Ready to Bet? Follow These Tips Before Taking the Plunge
Betting is something that people just seem to enjoy, even though there is always the possibility of losing money. The thrill of making a correct choice in a game of chance stimulates people and keeps them coming back for more.
(image courtesy of cambiodefractal on Flickr)
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Happy New Year!
We at The Scores Report would like to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year. Let’s just hope that your New Year’s resolution isn’t to spend less time reading sports blogs…
Top 10 active NFL field goal percentage leaders
It’s almost fantasy football time, and many of you, like me, have already been doing your research. So let’s take a look at a category that you may not pay much attention to, and many experts will tell you not to anyway. That’s field goal percentage. I realize choosing a kicker is like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, but good references are to pick those on good offensive teams, or those that can’t score TDs and create more field goal attempts. But it’s also good to pick an accurate kicker, whether that kicker plays in a dome or not. I mean, why take your chances on someone who kicks 25 field goals but misses another 25? So here is a list of the active Top 10 in field goal percentage. You can thank me later.
1. Nick Folk, Dallas Cowboys (86.79%)—For as good as Folk’s rookie season was in 2007, he had less attempts but was even more accurate in 2008, kicking 20 of 22 field goals (90.9%). Which reminds me, what the hell ever happened to Mike Vanderjagt?
2. Nate Kaeding, San Diego Chargers (86.13%)—Sure, he kicks mostly in warm weather, but Kaeding is about as automatic as they come.
3. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears (85.94%)—If you’re hitting better than 17 out of 20 times when your home field is in the WINDY city, you’re damn good.
4. Shayne Graham, Cincinnati Bengals (85.64%)—One of the lone bright spots on a team that is perpetually going nowhere.
5. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots (85.56%)—No Adam Vinatieri? No problem. This kid stepped in as a rookie in 2006 and has improved each year, hitting 36 of 40 field goal attempts last season (90%) and leading the NFL in total points (148).
6. Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans (84.50%)—Bironas is extremely dependable, but nothing topped his 2007 All-Pro campaign, when dude kicked an NFL record 8 field goals against Houston.
7. Matt Stover, free agent (83.70%)—The amazing thing about Stover is that he’s been doing it for so long. He broke in with the Browns in 1991 and moved with the team to Baltimore in 1996, where he played until last season.
8. Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns (82.81%)—One of the original “expansion” Browns, Dawson, like his counterpart Graham in southern Ohio, has been a bright spot on a bad team for years.
9. Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh Steelers (82.65%)—Every year they seem to talk about how hard it is to kick in Heinz Field, so the fact that Jeff Reed is even on this list says a lot about his ability. I’d love to know what the guy could do playing in Minnesota for a year.
10. John Carney, free agent (82.59%)—Carney stepped in for Lawrence Tynes last season and all he did was hit 35 of 38 field goal attempts, an amazing 92.1% clip. It’s even more amazing because Carney played half his games in windy Giants Stadium, and because he did it at the age of 44.
Source: Pro Football Reference
Posted in: Fantasy Football, Happy Hour, NFL
Tags: 2009 fantasy football preview, Adam Vinatieri, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Fantasy Football, Houston Texans, Jeff Reed, John Carney, Lawrence Tynes, Matt Stove, Mike Vanderjagt, Nate Kaeding, National Football League, New England Patriots, New York Giants, NFL, NFL field goal percentage leaders, NFL kickers, NFL kicking leaders, Nick Folk, Phil Dawson, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rob Bironas, Robbie Gould, San Diego Chargers, Shayne Graham, Stephen Gostkowski, Tennessee Titans
Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest: Chestnut does it again and breaks world record
Two years ago, reigning Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating champion Takeru Kobayashi of Japan was injured with a jaw problem, and since he was not at 100% he let American Joey Chestnut (from San Jose) take over the yellow mustard belt. But Chestnut proved last year that the win was no fluke, beating Kobayashi in a dog-off, and today he won for the third straight year, eating a world record 68 dogs (last year’s record was 59 before the 5-dog tiebreaker). Kobayashi ate 64.5 to finish second, while Patrick Bertoletti came in third with a very respectable 55 dogs.
After announcing the rules, including the new 5-second dunking limit, and after sideline reporter Rob Stone whirred a few dogs in a blender and drank a slug of what he called a “Stoney Shake,” (ewwwwww) they announced each competitor as they do every year, as if they are the Lakers and Celtics players. Other standout competitors were Sonya Thomas, aka “The Black Widow,” who looks like she’s barely 100 pounds but holds world eating records for oysters, buffalo wings, and Vienna sausage. Another tough female competitor was Juliet Lee, who has records in Cherrystone clams and cranberry sauce. Tim “Gravy” Brown, Eric “Badlands” Booker and Tim “Eater X” Janus rounded out the top of the field.
The pace began frenetically, as the announcers said a good rate was 8 dogs per minute, but after the first minute Kobayashi held an 11-10 lead over Chestnut, and at the halfway point it was 42-40 Chestnut. With one minute left, Chestnut, who looked like he was in agony as usual (how could he not be?), was slowing down but managed to have downed 63 dogs by then, to 61 for Kobayashi.
So Chestnut, who also holds world records in funnel cake and deep-fried asparagus, broke his own hot dog record and with three straight yellow belts, is only three away from tying the number of titles held by his arch rival Kobayashi.
Yum, I bet you all now just have to go have a hot dog or sixty. Enjoy your Fourth and be safe!
Posted in: Happy Hour, News
Tags: Eric Badlands Booker, hot dog eating competition, Hot Dog Eating Contest Blog, Joey Chestnut, Juliet Lee, Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest 2009, Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Recap, Patrick Bertoletti, Rob Stone, Sonya Thomas, Takeru Kobayashi, Tim Gravy Brown, Tim Janus
National League All-Star voting–who is leading and who should be
Last week we picked apart the American League all-star voting. Well, this week we will look at the National League, and after last night the starters have all been selected (aside from pitchers). You ready?
Leader: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Mike’s pick: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals. Well, this one is a no-brainer. Is it possible that Albert gets better with age? Yes, and his numbers border on staggering. 81 games in, he’s batting .336 with 31 homers and 82 RBI and a slugging percentage of .748. That projects to 62 homers and 164 runs batted in. What’s more, dude has a .993 fielding percentage. There is little doubt Pujols is the best player in the game, and he gets to flaunt it in front of his hometown crowd a week from Tuesday.
Leader: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
Mike’s pick: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies. This one is also a no-brainer that the voters got correct, though as a Mets fan it pains me to say that. Utley has 17 homers, 54 RBI, he’s batting .303 with 16 doubles and a .980 OPS—all unbelievable numbers for a second baseman. This guy is a gamer.
Leader: Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins
Mike’s pick: Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins. This is getting to be a trend, but the numbers in the National League don’t seem to lie, do they? Hanley is batting .344 with 13 homers and 58 RBI, 26 doubles, 12 stolen bases and a .972 OPS. By comparison, he is hitting 119 points higher than JJ Hardy and 132 points higher than the slumping Jimmy Rollins. Case closed.
Leader: David Wright, New York Mets
Mike’s pick: Mark Reynolds, Arizona Diamondbacks. Wright was leading the league in batting for quite a while, and he’s currently hitting .333 but with just 5 homers and 42 RBI. By comparison, Reynolds has clubbed 22 home runs with 57 RBI while batting a respectable .271. At a power position, I’m giving the nod to the guy barely anyone gets to see play.
Leader: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
Mike’s pick: Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves. This is close, because Yadier’s brother Bengie has 10 homers and 46 RBI for the Giants, but McCann is batting .311 with 8 home runs and 33 driven in, with 15 doubles and a respectable .988 fielding percentage.
Leaders: Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia Phillies
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Carlos Beltran, New York Mets
Mike’s picks: Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia Phillies
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Brad Hawpe, Colorado RockiesIbanez is having a career season, batting .312 with 22 homers and 59 RBI, and Braun just continues to rake, with 16 home runs, 58 driven in and a .326 average. But Beltran, while he plays in the biggest media market and makes mega-bucks, is not going to get my all-star nod over Brad Hawpe. Beltran is hitting .336, but has just 8 homers and 40 RBI. Hawpe is hitting .328 with 13 homers and 56 runs batted in, 25 doubles and a stunning .993 OPS. If Manny Ramirez was playing most of the season, he’d probably be on this list, but I can’t consider a guy who’s only played 28 games, regardless of why he missed all that time.
As you all know, pitchers are chosen by the managers and will be announced this Sunday.
Mike’s pick: Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants. Last year’s NL Cy Young winner got off to a slow start, but has been mowing hitters down lately, to the tune of 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA and league-leading 132 strikeouts with just 28 walks in 114 innings. Arizona’s Dan Haren is a close runner-up, with a 7-5 record for a crappy D-Backs’ team, and a league low 2.19 ERA with 113 K’s and 0.81 WHIP.
Mike’s pick: Heath Bell, San Diego Padres. When this former Met helped christen Citi Field by mowing down his ex-teammates in April, I thought it was just a phase. But dude leads the NL in saves with 22, and is 3-1 with a 1.34 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 33 innings of work. And here’s the best stat of all—Bell has saved or won 74% of his team’s wins. If he keeps that up, Bell will contend for the NL Cy Young and even garner some MVP votes.
Posted in: Barstool Debates, Fantasy Baseball, Happy Hour, MLB
Tags: Albert Pujols, All-star voting, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Bengie Molina, Brad Hawpe, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Chase Utley, Citi Field, Colorado Rockies, Dan Haren, David Wright, Florida Marlins, Hanley Ramirez, Heath Bell, J.J. Hardy, Jimmy Rollins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Milwaukee Brewers, National League all-stars, New York Mets, NL All-stars, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Braun, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Tim Lincecum, Yadier Molina