Written by: WindyCity iGGY

Not Again! Josh Gordon Fails Drug Test; Suspension Looming

January 25, 2015

Here we go again, Browns star receiver Josh Gordon has failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year suspension. Adam Schefter broke the news via his twitter, and said he will elaborate on the story on ESPN at 6pm.

Now, I know most are probably like "c'mon Josh, just put the weed down!" But it wasn't marijuana that showed up in his test, Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol. A source close to PFT's Mike Florio says that the suspension looks to be a "done deal."

I know Josh has been given multiple chances, but isn't a 1-year ban for alcohol (which is legal), a little harsh? I understand he has been suspended multiple times and this was probably a stipulation of his reinstatement, but a whole season wasted because of booze? Really?

If Ray Rice can pummel his wife on video and only be suspended for a few games, Josh drinking alcohol shouldn't result in a season-long ban. It's just too harsh in my opinion. I get it, Gordon should just keep clean, stay home, and avoid trouble. But come on. He's 23 years old, he's still a kid who is going to make mistakes. Drinking alcohol shouldn't be this serious. Neither should marijuana in my opinion but that's for another day.

Let's hope Josh can straighten his life out and just stay sober so he can grace us with his talent on Sunday's. Gordon is a superb athlete, and he's proven he can be a top wide out in the NFL when he suits up every week. I'm not sure the Browns will continue to give him a pass, they will most likely part ways with him. But some team out there will be willing to wait a year for his services. Like I said, he's only 23 years old. Let's hope he stays cleans and can resume his career soon. 


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Written by: WindyCity iGGY

Iggy's NFL Conference Championship Betting Selections

January 17, 2015

It's that time again. The NFL is down to four teams, the Packers and Seahawks representing the NFC, and the Colts and Patriots representing the AFC. Let's take a look at the odds on these games, pubic opinion, the bookmakers opinion, and then my own.

With so much on the line, you would think these games will come down to the wire, and they just might, but Vegas has pegged both home teams as touchdown favorites. The Seahawks are actually a tad higher, currently 7.5-point favorites, with some books as high as -8 now. On the AFC side, bookies are to no surprise giving Brady and the home team the edge, Pats opened as 7-point favorites, but most shops are now dealing with the Patriots -6.5.

The money is split right down the middle in regards to the Packers, Seahawks game. Bettors are torn, and books will be happy to collect the juice. Packers moneyline is a popular bet, some bettors obviously like the value with Aaron Rodgers, and the over of 46 is also a heavy public bet. 

At 7.5, I believe the books are enticing Packers action. The Seahawks are just that damn good at home, and the books are giving the Packers little to no chance of winning this game. And I think they're right. This Seahawks defense has been truly amazing as of late, and if Rodgers' calf acts up at all in this game, consider the Packers dust in the brisk Seattle breeze.

Rodgers is not the same quarterback when facing elite defenses, in fact, Rodgers faced the top five scoring defenses on the road three times this year (Week 1 vs Seattle, Week 3 at Detroit and Week 15 at Buffalo) and averaged just 179 yards, combining for his three worst quarterback ratings of the season. I expect the same type of result here. What will change? Nothing, because nothing is stopping the Seahawks from reaching the Super Bowl. Seahawks 28 Packers 17.

Wagers:

Seahawks -7.5 (-110)

Packers-Seahawks Under 47 (-120)

6-point Teaser: Seahawks -1.5/Under 53 (-120)


In the other conference championship, almost everyone has given Tom Brady and the Patriots their ticket to the big game in advance. Bill Belichick and the Patriots OWN Andrew Luck. In three career meetings, Luck is 0-3, and the Patriots have outscored the Colts 144-66, winning each contest by 21+ points. The Colts haven't beaten the Patriots since Nov. 15th, 2009.

The line on this game opened at Patriots -7, and Patriots money has seem to come in at a steady pace. Despite public opinion, the bookies have decided to move this line off the key number of 7, and we are now dealing with Patriots -6.5. This has caught my attention, I find it peculiar that the books would move off 7 here knowing Patriots money will continue to flow in. 

I'm not saying the Patriots don't win this game, but it's hard to embarrass the same quarterback four times. Luck and the Colts deserve to be where they are, and they looked damn impressive against Peyton and the Broncos last week. The Patriots run game has been non-existent, so I envision a back-and-forth type of game, both QB's slinging it, with the Patriots pulling out a late victory. Give me the Colts and the points, as well as the over. Patriots 31 Colts 27.

Wagers:

Colts +7 (-115)

Over 53.5 (-110)

7-point Teaser: Colts +14/Over 46.5 (-130)


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Written by: WindyCity iGGY

Video: 49ers New Head Coach Jim Tomsula Bombs Interview

January 16, 2015

New 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula had a one-on-one interview with CSN Bay Area earlier today to discuss the direction of the team, his schemes, and plans for the upcoming season. If I'm a 49ers fan, I'd probably be a little weary at this point. Tomsula just doesn't sound like a professional head coach, he sounds like a mumbling fool. Honestly, this could have been like a Will Ferrell skit.

Maybe Tomsula just doesn't do well in front of the camera, or maybe he didn't prepare for the interview, but holy hell this is by far one of the strangest interviews I've seen. It was awkward. He mumbled a lot. There was silence. This interview had it all. Props to the CSN host for trying to keep the conversation moving, but Tomsula just couldn't grasp the interview.

The host asked if Tomsula is excited to get a top-flight defensive coordinator and a chance to win with him. 

Tomsula replies, "I mean that'd be fair to say."

Host: "Ok, so you will probably look more in that direction then?"

Tomsula: "I wouldn't say that."

Host: "Alrighty, you wouldn't say that?"

Tomsula: "I would not say that, I wouldn't say it either."

Wait, what?!?!?

CSN then asked Tomsula if he was campaigning for the head coaching job before it was available. Tomsula goes, "That's absolutely ludicroust." (This is not a typo. He clearly said "ludicroust.)

Tomsula was also asked as new head coach what his first order of business. Tomsula asks the host, "yesterday, today, or...?" Hahahaha, I was in tears. This guy is a riot, I can only imagine how the head coaching interview went. Don't quit your day job, Jim. Good luck in 2015, Niners fans. 

[Video courtesy of CSN Bay Area]


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Written by: WindyCity iGGY

Let the Bidding Begin: The Brooklyn Nets are for Sale

January 13, 2015

Well, that didn't last long. After purchasing the Nets just a few years ago, building a new arena, and relocating them from New Jersey to Brooklyn, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has decided to cut his losses and sell the Brooklyn Nets. 

Per a Bloomberg News report, Prokhorov has retained Evercore Partners to sell the team he bought back in 2010. The Russian mogul, who once ran against Vladimir Putin for President, owns 80% of the team, and 45% of the Barclays Center. Prokhorov paid roughly $220 million for his majority stake in the team, and ESPN is reporting that the franchise lost $144 million last season.

Some financial experts say the Barclays Center is worth more than the actual team, and the arena is set to house the New York Islanders starting next season. So don't expect Prokhorov to give up his 45% stake in that investment, he should see a return at some point. However, the first foreign owner of an NBA team, will go down in history as a big disappointment and a huge failure in terms of success on the court.

Last year, Forbes reported the Nets were wroth around $780 million, fifth-highest in the NBA. Financial experts are now predicting the sale will fetch much more than $780 million, possibly eclipsing the $2 billion that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer paid for the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Nets become the second NBA franchise in the past month to be put on the market. Brooklyn joins the Atlanta Hawks, whose owners put the team and the operating rights to Philips Arena up for sale on January 8th.

This is probably a good move for the actual basketball team moving forward. Whatever Prokhorov's vision was, it has failed miserably. The Nets own the highest payroll in the NBA at $91 million, and they are a lousy 16-22 with a couple aging stars and no improvement in sight. 

Some change is definitely needed in Brooklyn. Money certainly can buy you lots of nice things, but money doesn't guarantee you an NBA championship without leadership and a team willing to sacrifice what it takes to be successful. Good luck in your future endeavors, Mr. Prokhorov.


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Written by: WindyCity iGGY

2014 Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl: Football and Bitcoins Collide!

December 25, 2014

Tonight, history will be made in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Central Florida Knights square off against the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the first ever Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. With all due respect to these two teams, It won't be historic because of the matchup, but because of the new bowl sponsor...Bitcoin!

I won't be shocked if some don't know what exactly Bitcoin is, which is basically digital money, called cryptocurrency, but before I explain that, let's look at the history of this bowl game. 

This bowl dates back to 2008, and is played in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The inaugural game featured the South Florida Bulls and Memphis Tigers, with the Bulls being victorious 41-14. It was played on December 20th, 2008, and it was known as the magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl. Yea....magicJack, remember that thing? 

Then the sponsor changed in 2009, and it was called the St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef 'O' Brady's after the restaurant chain obtained a title sponsorship. I'll be honest...never heard of Beef 'O' Brady's, nor have I ever eaten at a Beef 'O' Brady's in my life, have you? This bowl game featured yet another Florida school in Central Florida who faced Rutgers. Rutgers rolled 45-24.

In 2010, the Louisville Cardinals defeated the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 31-28 after falling behind 21-7. In 2011, Florida International lost to Marshall in a boring 20-10 game. 2012 brought the Central Florida Knights back to St. Petersburg a second time, where they steamrolled Ball State 38-17. East Carolina defeated Ohio 37-20 in the last ever Beef 'O' Brady's bowl.

Thankfully, both those sponsors have now been replaced by something innovative and certainly much more intriguing than magicJack or Beef 'O' Brady's. Bitcoin! On June 18th, 2014, it was announced that Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay would become the new sponsor of the bowl game. 

BitPay co-founder, Tony Gallippi, wants to spread his message that digital currency is as easy to use as cash and safer than a credit card. So he put his bitcoin where his mouth is this summer when he paid ESPN for a college football bowl game sponsorship in bitcoin.

"Our goal is to continue to move bitcoin into the mainstream and sponsoring the St. Petersburg Bowl offers us that opportunity," said Gallippi, "College football fans and the bitcoin community represent a similar target demographic - tech-savvy men between the ages of 18 and 40."

For those still living in a world of only government-issued paper money, Bitcoin is cryptocurrency and it's been around for roughly half a decade now. Bitcoin will be accepted for ticket and concession sales at the game as part of the sponsorship. Word is, Tropicana Field will continue to accept Bitcoin as payment for it's ticket sales and concessions beyond the bowl game, opening up the door for more sports teams to implement Bitcoin in their financial strategy. 

Back in January, I wrote a piece about the Sacramento Kings becoming the first ever pro team to embrace and start accepting Bitcoin for ticket sales and merchandise sales via their website. Funny enough, BitPay had their hands in that deal as well, so it looks like Bitcoin is sort of taking the sports world by storm, as teams and corporations realize it's potential.

For those who are curious, cryptocurrency is 100% legal in all countries except for Iceland. Bitcoin is actually considered property by the IRS, so feel free to get involved, there is nothing illegal or criminal about it! Bitcoin and all digital currencies are decentralized, the total opposite of what most of the world uses, which is based on a centralized system.

All transactions via Bitcoin are publicly recorded on a ledger, which is called the block chain. You can view the funds you sent to someone, or vice versa, and so could anyone else in the world. It's not secretive or shady, it's actually quite transparent without personal details having to be involved.

Some might be wondering, well how do I obtain Bitcoin, or where do I store them? You can obtain Bitcoin in all types of different ways, but the most common and safe way, is to buy them from a seller via an exchange or face-to-face transactions which can be done on sites like LocalBitcoins. There's even some Bitcoin ATM's out there believe it or not. And you store your bitcoins in your digital wallet, which is encrypted by a password and shows your recent transactions and current balance, just like you do with your online banking. 

Oh, there's a bowl game to talk about, sorry sometimes I get carried away when talking about Bitcoin, it excites me! I hope that helps explain it in a nutshell for the rookies out there, please do some further research, I felt overwhelmed when I first ventured into cryptocurrency, but now I'm hooked. You will be too.

Central Florida finished the regular season with 9 wins and a share of the American Athletic Conference title, thanks to a last minute hail mary against East Carolina. Central Florida is seeking it's fourth consecutive bowl win, and this is their third time taking the trip to St. Petersburg.

North Carolina State returns to bowl season after a forgettable 3-9 season in 2013. They finished 2014 with a much more respectable 7-5 record, and gave Florida State a real scare back in September. The Wolfpack's success in this game will be decided by their quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who owns a 22-to-5 touchdown-to-interception and has ran for 498 yards and three scores. Their ground game can be deadly as well, but they will certainly be tested against this stout Central Florida defense.

Central Florida's defense is quietly one of the best in the nation, as they boast the fifth-best rushing defense, and are allowing a respectable 17.9 points per game. However, it won't be an easy task against a Wolfpack squad that has torched their last two opponents, by a total of 77-20. Central Florida's defense must hold up in this game, or NC State's offense will take a lead, and force Knights QB Justin Holman out of his element.

The Knights rely on their defense and their ground game to be successful. Justin Homan isn't a terrible QB by any means, it's just this isn't 2013, he's no Blake Bortles. He can and will be inconsistent in this game if he's forced to play catch up. And I think that may happen in this game. I could be dead wrong, and the Knights defense punishes the Wolfpack with no mercy while coasting to an easy Bitcoin Bowl win, but I just don't see it panning out that way.

So my selection for the very first Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will be on the Wolfpack plus the points.

North Carolina State +2.5 (-110)

And in honor of it being the Bitcoin Bowl, I will be placing the wager in Bitcoins! Yes, you can wager on sports with Bitcoin as well. The current price for 1 Bitcoin is $321. So I'm wagering 1.0 BTC on NC State +2.5. 

It's just an awesome concept, and I truly hope this football game will shed some more light on Bitcoin, and broaden the scope outside of the demographic of "18-40 tech-savvy males." Although that stereotype is probably spot on at the moment, Bitcoin is and will be bigger than that in my opinion. And hopefully tonight's game will prove that.

For those interested, you can open up a Bitcoin wallet here, that link will offer you every known Bitcoin wallet out there, but I personally use MultiBit. Feel free to use the one you feel most comfortable with!


Follow me on twitter @windycityiggy. I will be live tweeting the Bitcoin Bowl, and discussing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies!

For those kind enough and/or just simply in the holiday spirit, you can send me Bitcoin to the following address: 

1B6UCMDxphX8125cuDzo8wAcgeNcUwog6e

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Written by: WindyCity iGGY

College Football Playoff: TCU Dropping to #6 is Nonsense

December 07, 2014

So the committee has made their decision on the final four teams for the College Football Playoff. My god, I'm not even a TCU fan or alum and I'm furious. How in the world does TCU get bumped two spots?

Just one week ago, on December 2nd, the committee had TCU at #3, Ohio State at #5, and Baylor at #6. Final rankings are as follows: #1 Alabama, #2 Oregon, #3 Florida State, #4 Ohio State, #5 Baylor, #6 TCU.

Wait, what? TCU dropped 2 spots and Baylor is now ahead of them? How and why? Baylor beat Kansas State 38-27 for a share of the Big 12 title. TCU demolished Iowa State in their final game 55-3, and they dropped 2 spots...how does that make sense?

Don't get me wrong, Ohio State's 59-0 drubbing of Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship was impressive...but let's look at the overall picture here.

TCU wins:

Beat #4 Oklahoma by 4 points, beat #15 Oklahoma State by 33 points, beat #20 West Virginia on the road by 1 point, win over #7 Kansas State by 21. Their only blemish...losing to then #5 Baylor, at Baylor, by three lousy points.

Now let's look at Ohio State's accomplishments...

Beat #8 Michigan State on the road by 12 points, beat #25 Minnesota by 7 points. All other Buckeye wins aren't even worth looking at, as they were all cupcakes (Navy, Kent, Cincy, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, Illinois, Michigan). Oh, and let's not forget...Ohio State LOST to an UNRANKED Virginia Tech team by 14...AT HOME. 

To make my case even more convincing, these two have a common opponent. The Minnesota Gophers. TCU beat Minnesota 30-7, and Ohio State squeezed by the Gophers by a final score of 31-24. 

Soooooo, outside of the Wisconsin game, where and how does Ohio State look like the more deserving team over TCU? Show me.

I don't even understand Baylor being ranked higher than them to be honest with you. I guess the committee just said, "well, Baylor beat them earlier in the year so they are better." TCU had a better season than Baylor in my opinion, and had more impressive wins. Baylor lost to West Virginia (TCU beat them) and they should have lost to Texas Tech. They won 48-46 as 27-point favorites. Texas Tech is TERRIBLE. 

So, TCU's only loss this season is against Baylor and it occurred on October 11th...Baylor lost the following week, on October 18th, against an opponent TCU beat. So, how does their loss to Baylor cost them not only a shot at the 4-team playoff, but also two whole spots in the rankings?? That's terrible, I just don't understand the logic in this. Makes no sense to me. 

Well, it makes sense in a way that this whole thing is really about money and ratings and the committee wanted a nice diversity of conferences representing their first ever playoff style tournament. 

Pac-12, SEC, ACC, and the Big Ten. Look at that. West Coast, the South, and the Midwest regions all covered. Just how they want it. This is really exciting for college football fans, but it's even more exciting to the corporate fat cats, the sponsors, and everybody in between, excluding the actual players on the field, who will get a piece of this Bowl Bonanza.

Ohio State fans, congratulations on making it to the first ever College Football Playoff. Impressive win over Wisconsin for sure, but be prepared for Nick Saban and Alabama. They are going to DESTROY your team and any National Championship hopes that you may have. That is all.


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Written by: WindyCity iGGY

Iggy's NFL Game of the Year Wager

December 06, 2014

It's that time of the year again, folks. The NFL regular season is winding down and I have yet to provide one of my infamous "Game of the Year" wagers. The time is now.

For those who don't follow the blog or follow me on twitter, I hit last season's game of the year on the Baltimore Ravens -3 over the Cincinnati Bengals way back on November 9th of 2013. It's called a "Game of the Year" because I truly only make this type of wager once a season. 

Ok, now that I have your attention, let's get to the game. 

New England Patriots (-3.5) vs. San Diego Chargers

The Patriots travel to San Diego for an under the lights prime time matchup. The Chargers have won three straight, including a big 34-33 road win against the Baltimore Ravens last week. The Patriots look to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since September of 2012. Brady and Co. just couldn't get it going at Lambeau Field against the Packers, losing 26-20 in Week 13.

The Patriots have basically looked immortal at home, while looking average on the road. The Patriots are 3-3 this season away from Foxboro, and Brady has been held in check, throwing 257 yards or less in five of those games. 

On the other side of the table, Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been outstanding at home this season. Rivers has thrown for 1,638 yards, 13 touchdowns, and has gone 5-1 in 6 home games this year. He has also thrown for over 300 yards in his past three meetings against the Patriots. Rivers also has a career record of 30-6 in the month of December. 

The momentum and the venue certainly gives the Chargers the edge in those aspects of the game, but don't be so fast to back the Chargers to make it four straight. Philip Rivers might be very successful in the month of December, but the truth is, he can't beat Tom Brady. He's 0-5 against him lifetime, and the Patriots have the edge in talent on both sides of the ball.

In last week's loss to the Packers, you could see what the Patriots were doing wrong. The Patriots were simply giving Aaron Rodgers way too much time in the pocket, allowing him to scramble and find the open man when it mattered. You won't see that this week. Philip Rivers is a great quarterback, but his mobility compared to Rodgers' is not even close.

The Patriots are in the top half of the league in both sacks and interceptions. Rivers has turned the ball over eight times in the past five games, and always seems to have that one boneheaded interception. I'm sure he will be good for at least one, maybe two against this secondary. 

Speaking of the Patriots secondary, Revis will have Keenan Allen on lockdown, and the Chargers don't have many options other than Antonio Gates. The Patriots have only allowed two receiving touchdowns by wide receivers in the past four games, so where will the Chargers production come from? Do they try feeding Ryan Mathews who has come on strong the past two games? Mabye. But it still won't be enough to beat this defense in my opinion.

Let's look at both defenses and how they have fared in the past five games. The Patriots have played the Packers, Lions, Colts, Broncos, and Bears. Packers put up 26 at home, Lions were stumped scoring only 9, the Colts put up 20 at home, the high and mighty Broncos scored 21, and the lowly Bears put up a 23 spot. Patriots forced 6 turnovers and scored 2 defensive touchdowns in that five game span.

The Chargers may have a 3-game win streak, but their defense has been pretty horrid this season. San Diego has beaten the Ravens, Rams, and Raiders, and lost to the Dolphins and Broncos. In that five game span, they have allowed: 33, 24, 6, 37, and 35 points. They only game where they really looked impressive on the defensive side of the ball was against the Raiders...which is basically saying the sky is blue. 

San Diego has only forced four turnovers in the past six games, and surprisingly enough...all four came against the Rams and Raiders! When they aren't playing either of those two cupcake teams, the Chargers defense is swiss cheese. They gave up 33 to the Ravens last week, and Tannehill and the Dolphins put up 37 on them in week 9 at home. 135 points allowed in the last five is a problem for any team, I'm not sure how the Chargers correct that this week.

New England has averaged 37.3 points and 421.4 yards per game in the past eight contests versus the Chargers. A HUGE edge in this game goes to the Patriots offense and especially Rob Gronkowski. Why? Because he will wreak havoc on the Chargers weak linebackers.


Seriously, look at the Chargers depth at linebacker. Jarrett Johnson? Average defender in coverage and slow off the edge. Manti Te'o? Ha, no chance. Donald Butler is about all they have in terms of speed and even him, nor Dwight Freeney, will stand a chance against Brady and his choice of Rob Gronkowski and/or Timmy Wright.

Tom Brady vs. Philip Rivers: Edge Patriots

Chargers RBs (Mathews and Oliver) vs. Patriots RBs (Vereen, Blount, Gray, Bolden): Edge Patriots

Chargers WRs (Allen, Floyd, Royal) vs. Patriots WRs (LaFell, Edelman, Amendola) Edge PUSH

Chargers TEs (Gates, Green) vs. Patriots TEs (Gronkowski, Wright): Edge Patriots

Defense: Edge Patriots

Coaching: Edge Patriots

Yes, the Chargers are riding a 3-game win streak, yes they are at home in prime time with playoff position on the line, but none of that matters to me. The Chargers are totally outclassed in my opinion. On both sides of the ball. Patriots coming off a loss, plus Rivers' shortcomings against Brady throughout his career are enough for me to lay the wood on the Patriots.

New England will put up 30+ in this game, and their defense will stymie Rivers and his weak arsenal of weapons. Patriots win 31-20.

My NFL game of the year is the New England Patriots -3.5 (-110)

Fade or tail, best of luck to all gamblers and all fantasy players this weekend. Remember, bet with your head, not your heart!

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Written by: WindyCity iGGY

NFL Week 11: Top 5 Bets

November 15, 2014

So, every Friday, I go on Miss V's Fantasy Season Pass show hosted by Dash Radio and give my top 5 NFL picks. For those who missed the show, here they are. Tail or fade, best of luck in week 11.

Play #1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Redskins (-7)

I find this spread to be suspect. The Redskins really shouldn't be favored by seven over anybody, yet the line has moved to -7.5 at some books. As explained on the show, 3 and 7 are key numbers when gambling on football. When the bookies move the line from 3 to 3.5 or 7 to 7.5, you autoplay the favorite, or at least that's been my philosophy and it's been profitable over the years. 

The last seven games between these two teams have been decided by six points or less, and last three have been decided by a combined six points. So, please tell me why the Redskins are 7-point chalks today? Because they win by double digits, that's why. Oh, and Redskins won't see their home field again until December 7th against the Rams. Look for them to get a big home win today knowing they won't be back for quite some time. Redskins 30 Buccaneers 17.

Play #2

Cincinnati Bengals vs. New Orleans Saints (-7)

The New Orleans Saints are simply a different animal at home. Drew Brees is 11-1 last 12 home games with 4,102 passing yards and 37 touchdowns. The Bengals are simply a mess. Giovanni Bernard's absence hurts the Bengals chances today, and their lack of getting to the quarterback (29th in sacks) will allow Brees to have a field day. Also, Saints are 26-0 under Sean Payton when they do not commit a turnover. If Brees has time in the pocket, and there are no dumb mistakes made by the playmakers, this will be a long day for Bengals backers. Saints in a must-win situation, as the horrid NFC South is still up for grabs. Look for the Saints to avoid a rare 2-game losing streak in the dome and get a win to stay in the hunt. Saints 34 Bengals 21.

Play #3

San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) vs. New York Giants

Aldon Smith returns for the 49ers after a nine-game suspension. Not good news for a struggling Giants offense that has had issues with keeping turnovers to a minimum. At 3-6, the Giants season is all but over. At 5-4, the 49ers need this win to keep their playoff hopes alive. More bad news for New York, as their leading tackler, LB Jacquian Williams, has a concussion and will not play after being sent home earlier in the week. The Giants historically are not a good bet in the month of November, going 19-44-2 against the spread in their last 65 games, and 4-13 against the spread last 17 in week 11. 49ers 27 Giants 21.

Play #4

Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns (-3.5)

Maybe Ryan Mallett will evolve into a great quarterback at some point, I just don't think it starts tomorrow in the Dawg Pound. Mallett will take over for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has struggled all season. Problem I have here, is that Mallett will be doing it without star running back Arian Foster, who has already been ruled out. Browns defense is legit, and Foster is the Texans main playmaker. Now it goes into the hands of a guy who has four career pass attempts. One of them being completed, one being intercepted. 

Good news for the Browns secondary, as their star safety Tashaun Gipson has been cleared to play. Let's also throw in the fact that Ben Tate played second fiddle to Foster in Houston for years. I'm sure Tate will want to make a big impact in this game. Let the good times roll for Cleveland as Hoyer and co. get it done at home against a team with a new quarterback and a depleted rushing attack. Browns 24 Texans 17.

Play #5

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears (-2.5)

Ugh, this is one of those games where I'm not looking at past matchups or recent performances. Nobody in their right mind should back the Bears right now, so I won't blame you if you fade this play. Here's the deal...the Bears STINK right now. Marc Trestman is over his head as an NFL head coach, Mel Tucker is one of the worst defensive coordinators of all-time, and the only thing elite about Jay Cutler is his paycheck. The Bears have yet to win a game at Soldier Field, and heads will roll if they lose this week to the Vikings. It's that simple. If the Bears want to save their coach(es) then they show up today. If they want to save face and make the fans happy, they show up today. 

Shockingly, the last time Chicagoans saw a home win, was December 9th of last year against the Cowboys. That's gross. Far too many times have we seen this in Chicago. What is supposed to be a positive season with high hopes, quickly turns into another disappointing year with no chance at the playoffs. We saw it in the Lovie Smith era multiple times. Rattle off a few meaningless wins, finishing 7-9, 8-8, and miss the playoffs. Matter of fact, I remember a game where Lovie beat the Vikings to finish 8-8 already eliminated from playoff contention. I think it cost the Bears 4 spots in the draft. Anyways, look for the same result here. Bears will click on offense, god help the defense. Bears 35 Vikings 31. 

*Side note on the Bears game. If you aren't comfortable with the Bears -2.5, the over 47 should be good as well.

Don't forget to turn in to Miss V's show every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday as we talk fantasy football, game picks, and more. You can also catch Sportsblog partners Terez Owens and Juan Elway on the show with the latest sports gossip and best fantasy football advice around.

Don't forget to follow me on twitter @windycityiggy


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Written by: WindyCity iGGY

Monday Morning Hangover: What Now, Bears Fans?

November 10, 2014

After a 55-14 shellacking, courtesy of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, it's time to reconsider the Bears' potential and future moving forward. There was so much hope. So much excitement and anticipation heading into the season. All gone. Poof. Up into the brisk Wisconsin air it went on Sunday night.

I'm not going to bother with some sort of "recap" of Sunday night's  game, no need for it. The Bears were manhandled by the Packers and Rodgers made them look foolish, AGAIN. He threw six touchdowns in the first half and probably could have thrown six more if he wanted to.

Heads should roll in the morning, plain and simple. If I don't wake up to some sort of news on defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, and/or head coach Marc Trestman being fired, I'm going to walk to Halas Hall and start a picket line. You're more than welcomed to join me.

The Bears have surrendered 106 points in the last two games. ONE-HUNDRED-AND-SIX. Members of the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons are probably dancing in their graves. For those that don't know who that is (don't worry I won't hold it against you), that was the last NFL team to give up 50+ points in back-to-back games.

The 1923 Rochester Jeffersons

Somebody should let Marc Trestman and Mel Tucker know that football in Chicago isn't some joke, go coach in Oakland if you're ok with results like this. I've been alive for 30 years, and I've seen quite a few bad Bears teams. I've also seen some very good ones. This 2014 team is by far one of the worst I've witnessed. The entire team is in complete shambles. The Bears have no identity, no leader, no passion, no nothing. I've never seen anything like it.

So, step number one is obviously firing Mel Tucker. You can't give up 106 points in back-to-back games and keep your job. You accomplished something a team hasn't done in 90 years, Mel. The Rochester Jeffersons, Mel! Oh, and Aaron Rodgers completed 18 passes last night....six of them reached the end zone. Imagine if he completed 18 more...

Marc Trestman is also on the hot seat, maybe you don't can him just yet, but the guy seems to be over his head. Trestman can't seem to adjust during games, and he did not have his team ready off a bye week against a division rival. Not only a division rival, but our mortal enemies, the Green Bay Packers.

Starting with the home opener loss to the Buffalo Bills and the guy (E.J. Manuel) who got benched for Kyle Orton, Trestman has not had the Bears prepared for games. Despite the repetitive rhetoric to the media of "good practices," the Bears have gradually gotten worse as the season has progressed. He's done next to nothing to fix problems on both sides of the ball. He's incompetent as far as I can see.

Bears fans are a patient bunch, as the team hasn't been to the playoffs in almost 5 years, and it's been 30 since they have hoisted the Lombardi trophy. Despite the organizations shortcomings, Bears Nation has remained strong, the fan base travels well and home games are always sold out. The passion and love for the team runs deep, and there's always been one golden rule (or at least in my family), if you aren't going to contend, or be a playoff team, there is one thing you must do to keep us happy. BEAT THE PACKERS. Even Lovie Smith knew that. Apparently, Trestman and Cutler haven't gotten that memo.

Not only are their coaching issues, but I'm going to be brutally honest here and some hard-headed Bears fans will scold me for this. Jay Cutler and his massive contract have set this franchise back. Don't you dare yell, "the offensive line doesn't give him enough time. Or, "he has nobody to throw the ball to!" Those excuses won't work anymore.

The Bears offensive line isn't perfect, but it sure as hell is an upgrade from what it was a few years ago. The duo of Marshall and Jeffrey is one of the best in the league, Martellus Bennett is a top tight end, and Matt Forte is one of the best dual-threat backs in the game. So someone please tell me how you can still sit here and back Jay Cutler until you turn blue in the face?

I'm not saying the Bears should release Jay Cutler or try to trade him. I realize that's not going to happen or should happen. YET. But it's time to sit Jay Cutler and see what Jimmy Clausen can do for the rest of this season, because let's face it folks. It's over. 2014 is finished. 

Cutler is the Bears franchise quarterback, he's here for the next half a decade, so what now? How many more weapons can you give a guy? How many more coaches must the Bears rifle through before they find a system that finally works for Jay Cutler?

When do the Bears start to consider other options at quarterback for the future? What is it going to take for the executives and front office to draft a good young quarterback via the draft like most successful teams in the NFL have done? Each year the Bears grasp and reach for journeymen backups and draft no-name quarterbacks who end up being cut before the season begins.

Phil Emery should be paranoid as well, he's got all the tools, but has not executed with his coaching decisions nor his ability to land much talent in the draft. Yes, he did acquire Brandon Marshall, he did draft Alshon Jeffery and Kyle Fuller, but he has certainly missed on quite a few draft picks not to mention completely ignoring the quarterback situation.

Shea McClellin wasn't even a player who fit our scheme and Emery still selected him. As a defensive end, who is now trying his way at linebacker. In that same 2012 draft, Emery did get Alshon Jeffery in the 2nd round, and then missed on almost every other pick that year drafting: Brandon Hardin, Evan Rodriquez, Isaiah Frey, and Greg McCoy. All of these guys were busts. 

Emery has already publicly stated that he won't take a quarterback late in the draft because he has a theory that "they don't pan out." Yet, he drafted David Fales in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft only to cut him, and also signed undrafted NIU QB Jordan Lynch.

It boggles my mind that they are so sure of things working out with Cutler. It's not like they just acquired him, Jay has been the Bears quarterback since 2009. It's 2014 and the franchise has accomplished NOTHING. Not even regular season wins against the Packers let alone playoff appearances. With only 3 wins, sitting in dead last in the NFC North, I don't see why the Bears don't tank the rest of the season and get the highest draft pick possible, which can be used to take a quarterback. 

Also, Tim Jennings...what happened to you man? Didn't you make the Pro Bowl two years in a row and weren't you considered to be a shutdown corner? 13 interceptions combined in 2012 and 2013, Jennings has ZERO interceptions in 2014 and gets burned on a weekly basis.

An organization once known for their defense, the Bears now go down in the record books as one of the worst in the modern era, right next to the friggin' Rochester Jeffersons of 1923. 

The "Monsters of the Midway" have been laid to rest. The Chicago Bears defense is now the laughingstock of the NFL. Thanks, Mel. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Bye, Marc. You aren't a bad coach, you just aren't a good head coach. Not in the NFL at least. 

Take a seat Jay...just like they say on the North Side of Chicago in the summer, "there's always next year."


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Written by: WindyCity iGGY

2014 Breeders' Cup: My Father-in-Law Won $20,000 on One Race

November 01, 2014
JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

So, earlier today was the 2014 Breeders' Cup. To be honest, I did not wager on any of the races. I'm very active for the Triple Crown, but a 1-year old birthday party today had me occupied. That didn't stop my father-in-law from placing a few wagers though, and boy did he make it count.

I left the birthday party early because I had work, but he told me to call him when the results come in. My eyes lit up when I hit the results button on my phone.

In the 7th race, the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, there was a horse called "Bobby's Kitten." My father-in-law's name is Bobby. So, naturally, he places a $30 wager on the horse to WP. For those who aren't hip to horse lingo, that's a WIN, PLACE wager. He also goes ahead and places numerous exotic bets. A few exactas, a few trifectas, and even a superfecta. All with Bobby's Kitten on top.

Well, guess what? He hit ALL OF THEM. Not only did Bobby's Kitten win, he hit every exotic bet he took including the same exact superfecta... FOUR TIMES. And he didn't even know it until I called him.

"Hey, I think you won the 7th, Bobby's Kitten came in first," I told him. "Iggs, you sure? Who came in second?" I tell him, the #14 horse, No Nay Never." "Oh my god, ok who came in third?" I tell him the #11 horse, Undrafted. 

Now I can hear the excitement in his voice..."Oh my god iggs I think I just hit all of my bets, wait...wait, who came in fourth? I bet the superfecta four times." I tell him "the #15, Ageless." 

Whole entire room explodes into laughter and joy, the man just swept the 7th race in the Breeders' Cup. He cleared over $20,000 on the race and only risked a total of $366. Check out the bets, I took a screenshot of all of them including the ending balance. All wagers were placed on TVG, and they took the taxes out immediately! What a Saturday it was for Bobby!

Slideshow:

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