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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2012 NCAA Bracket & Picks, and other thoughts

          Though it’s been a while since I posted on the blog as the day-to-day sports dialogue hasn’t intrigued me enough to write anything beyond a tweet / Facebook post, I thought I’d post a bracket for the NCAA Tournament and a couple picks.

         Join my group on ESPN to see my bracket. (Yes, I’ve bowed to the sports monopoly.) Everything locks tomorrow at noon, I believe, and my picks will be visible then. I’ll post an image of my bracket in this post at some point after tip-off. The group is called “Rob Q Ink” and the password is “steelers.” More on the password below.

          As a peek at the bracket, here are my two official picks so far:
1)     Prop: Will a #14 - #15 - #16 Seed Win a Game (St Bonaventure-Belmont-BYU/Iona winner-South Dakota St-Loyola MD-Detroit-Norfolk St-Lehigh-NC Asheville-Lamar/Vermont winner-Long Island-Mississippi Valley St/Western Kentucky winner)? I took “No (Second Round Games Only)” at +300.
                              I even checked with Maddux Sports Picks to see what I was missing on this prop. I couldn’t figure out why “No” was such a big underdog. The reply read, “[It’s] the 14 seeds that make odds so high. Belmont alone has roughly a 37% chance to win [straight up]. The rest around 25%.” I went with it anyway for 50 points to win 150.

2)     Kentucky +250 for 50 points to win 125.
                               No big explanation, I just like them to win it.

          Here’s my bracket:

Picks update

          The last time I gave out a pick was the first week of January. Quite frankly, I felt extra pressure making my picks public, and just didn’t want to do it for a while. I’m still deciding if I want to do it regularly, but I feel like it for the Tournament. For the record, here’s how I fared since I last updated my picks:

·       Week of December 22 - December 28: Football picks went 2-3 for +133.81 points, with NFL picks 1-3 for 3.81 and college picks 1-0 for +130 (Note: +130pts in each column came from half of an NFL/college parlay, counted in the W/L as 1-0 in college)        
·       Week of December 29 - December 31 (Sat): Football picks went 1-2 for -36.82, all in college
·       Week of January 1 (Sun) - January 4 (Wed) 2012: Football picks went 2-5 for -27.73, with NFL picks 1-2 for -10.91 and college 1-3 for -16.82
·       For the 2011 football season, I finished 43-42 for +61.63, going 28-26 for -13.13 in the NFL, and 15-16 for +74.76

          All-time my picks stand at 330-319-10 for +156.25 points in all sports, 165-171-7 for +55.67 in football*, with NFL picks at 126-130-5 for +56.41 and college at 54-57-2 for +129.33 points. (*I cannot decipher my record in the NFL vs. college in early posts updating my results, hence the discrepancy).

Joining Steelers Nation

          After 40 years of rooting for the Eagles, I gave myself a birthday present and became a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I won’t try to justify it, having spent my life mocking front-running Cowboys fans. I will probably address it more in-depth if I return to sports blogging on a regular basis. Bottom line, I genuinely dislike the public persona of Andy Reid, Jeff Lurie, and Joe Banner, and don’t think they have a clue as football people. The actions of guys like Jason Kelce, who ripped Eagles fans last summer, had me disliking players on the team for the first time in my life.

          It wasn’t just thinking “these guys suck.” I don’t like them. I no longer want these people to win.

          So, I decided to go with an organization I’ve always respected and allowed me to claim some geographic loyalty as they are in my home state. Let’s go Steelers!

          Don’t like it? I can’t argue with you. But I’m done supporting an organization I don’t even like.


          What does my new allegiance to the Steelers mean for Rob Q. Ink – A Philly Sports Blog? I really don’t know. I’ve been thinking the Philadelphia angle would have to stay (if I returned to regular blogging) simply because that’s what I’m surrounded by and, besides the Eagles, I’m still a fan of the Philadelphia sports teams. In fact, not being a fan would likely sharpen my perspective on the Birds. But as I sit down to actually write this post, I’m not even ready to commit to that.

          Blogging daily simply began to bore me, and I’ve been focusing on other writing efforts. I just couldn’t write another “Andy Reid will never win” post. Covering individual games was too much effort when so many other people are doing it. And, to be completely honest, for a time advertising money was coming in enough to keep me interested in doing a blog five days a week and I thought I had a chance to connect with a media outlet. The ads disappeared as fast as they appeared, and I don’t know any outlets that are actually hiring these days.

          Yet, somehow, I’m still drawn to the public sports conversation. I’ve been tweeting / Facebooking regularly, and those activities come much closer to creating the interaction I always wanted on the blog. I’m toying with the idea of continuing to use those outlets for day-to-day commenting on sports while leaving the blog for the occasional sports essay. I’m just not sure sports essays would interest me (or anyone else) regularly enough to make the blog worthwhile. Another thought I’ve had was to originate tweets from the blog, but we really do need to say something that takes more than 125 characters every now and then.

          Don’t we?

          Regardless, I imagine I’ll be commenting and/or writing about sports somewhere on the internet going forward.

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