Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Week 15: Broncos Playoff Bound?

In this week's pod, Kieran and Spen are joined by old friend Matt Leisy from the middle of Texas to discuss the continuing phenomenon that is the Denver Broncos. What would you do if the Broncos won the Super Bowl?

Broncos Playoff Bound

As mentioned in the pod, check out Bob Costas' dissertation on Tim Tebow. Fascinating perspective.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The English Premier League for American Dummies

For those of you wondering, "what makes the English Premier League so different?" Fear no longer! For this is your guide to understanding how the league works. This isn't so much about who are the best and worst teams, but about how the league is structured. So if you want some good soccer commentary, you won't find it here. Treat yourself to the Men in Blazers Podcast instead. We'll start at the bottom and work our way up.

Championship

Sitting beneath the Premier League is the Championship division (there are several leagues underneath the Championship. The promotion/relegation principals that I'll be touching on apply to those leagues as well). Why is it called the Championship? No one knows, but it probably has to do with a Feudal lord named Paul Championship who ruled over a vast section of England and wanted his namesake to be attached to a soccer league. The top-two finishing teams in the Championship get promoted into the Premiership. Teams finishing in positions 3-6 play in a four-team playoff; the winner also receiving promotion rights. In all there are three teams that get promoted every season into the Premiership from the Championship. Getting promoted is a BIG deal.

I like to think of it in terms of the mass distribution in the Solar System: the sun occupies 98% of the mass while all the planets plus all the little tidbits of comets and asteroids take up 2%. The big teams in the Premiership are the sun hogging up all the mass ($, err... £) and attention in England. All the other teams fight for as much of the remaining mass as they can.

You're damn right I just compared English soccer to Solar System Astronomy

Premiership


The English Premier League (EPL), also known as the Barclay's Premier league, is often regarded as the best soccer league in the world. The league consists of twenty teams, each scheduled to play every other team twice: once at home, and once away. Everybody has the same strength of schedule, unlike the majority of American sports.

Relegation

At the end of every season, the bottom three teams are sent packing to the minor leagues of the Championship. This causes great stress and drama for teams that find themselves in the doldrums of the table late in the season. A last-place finish does not grant a team a chance to rebuild with the first overall pick in the following year's draft. A last-place finish sends a team packing to a league where the sponsorship rights are far less significant leading to a dramatic decrease in revenue (and ensuing firesale of top players on the team... think Florida Marlins after their '97 and '03 World Series championships). Imagine the Indianapolis Colts absolutely panicking that they will be sent down to the minor leagues after an awful 2011 season without Peyton Manning. Instead, they can sit back and draft their quarterback of the future, Andrew Luck, after they have all but locked up the worst record in the NFL.

Playoffs?

Once the final whistle blows at the death of the season, the regular season is over and the playoffs begi... wait... there are no playoffs. The champion in the EPL is determined by whoever finishes with the most points. No Cinderella playoff runs, no first-round chokes. You finish first, you win. Not all is lost, however, as the playoff format takes on an entirely new shape in European soccer.

European Cups


Teams that finish in the top spots in their respective European country's league play in the Champions League the following season. In basic terms, the Champions League is like a yearly World Cup for club teams. Teams battle in group stages, then enter a 16-team bracket to determine the grand champion of Europe.

The EPL sends four teams to the Champions League on a yearly basis. The top-three finishers in the EPL standings gain automatic entry into the Champions League while the 4th place finisher enters a play-in game qualification match against another squad from a fellow European League. The 5th place finisher gains entry into the Europa League, which is the light beer equivalent to the Champions League (no one really cares about it).

Economics

Americans love capitalism. Europeans love socialism. American sports leagues are socialist. European sports leagues are capitalist. How does this work? Let me explain.

In the simplest terms, the drafts that American sports leagues implement is designed to spread the wealth of incoming talent. Teams with the poorest record in previous years get first dibs on incoming talent, while teams with the best records have to wait. In Europe, no such system exists. Teams with the most resources typically have the resources to scout the best talent, while teams with minimal resources are left in the dust. I mean, the NFL shares its revenue. What's more socialist than that? It's a big problem in Europe, so I've heard: the rich teams get richer while the poor teams get poorer. And yet American and European socioeconomic systems reflect the reversed image from their respective sports leagues.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Broncos Streaking and College Bowls

In this week's episode, Spen and Kieran welcome special guest Brett Rush to discuss Tim Tebow's emergence as a real NFL QB, some new names for the NHL conferences and get an SEC perspective on college football.

Broncos Streaking and College Bowls

Thursday, December 1, 2011

NBA Back in Business & Stan Kroenke

In this week's pod, Kieran shares his excitement for the resumption of the NBA, Spen shares his concerns about the state of the Kroenke Empire (the Denver branch) and the Broncos roll continues.

NBA is Back

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Special

In this, the 303 Sports Podcast Thanksgiving Special, Kieran and Spen delve into some new enemies of the pod, touch on Kyle Orton's departure from the Broncos, discuss Spurs dismantling of Aston Villa and Spen tries to convince Kieran to join the #unfollowNBA movement.

Thanksgiving Special

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Week 11 picks, the Tebow Offense & College Football Problems

The Tebow-led Broncos are defying the critics as they prepare to mash the Jets Thursday night; what can we expect from the unpredictable Broncos? Plus, is the college football business model becoming broken? And yep, Kieran is sad about the NBA...

Week 11 picks and the state of college football

John Skelton puts his life on the line... is he a friend or foe of the podcast?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NFL Week 10 and NBA Apologies

In this weeks' podcast, Kieran and Spen make Matt Moore an enemy of the pod, discover that the NBA lockout is all Spen's fault (sorry guys) and learn that Tottenham fans expect to lose (but not us, we're American!).

Click here to listen to the Pod

Friday, October 28, 2011

NBA Lockout Moderator Application

No podcast this week. Instead, I treat you to what Kieran and I think of the current situation in the NBA.

Spen: Will the lockout be resolved today?

Kieran: They have to get to the actual meat of the issue; they figured out all the little stuff but they are still split on the main issue of how to split the revenue. Six days.

Spen: That's acceptable.

Kieran: I'm pissed off like Bill (Simmons). They've had barely a handful of meetings like this. Why in the hell couldn't they have done this in the summer? They cancelled games for no reason because they didn't even try to resolve things until motherfucking October.

Spen: It's supergay, but you had to see it coming when they didn't give a shit in February. The owners did want to lose games.

Kieran: Seriously, I was with the owners for the majority of the lockout. No way should the players have been getting 57% and no way should mediocre players be getting max deals. But the owners did it to themselves. Actually, I think agents are the most to blame, but whatever. This is what you get when the two sides that are debating are rich, selfish, greedy white guys on one side, and the ignorant, uneducated, entitled black guys. What the fuck else was gonna happen?

Spen: You see, the fact that fans are debating revenue splits and agent/player/owner relations is stupid. We care about players, games and gambling. I don't give a shit how much more owners make or what players get paid.

Kieran: I care because when Rashard Lewis gets $125 mil, we get a fucking lockout. There's a direct correlation: every time Rashard has gotten overpaid, there has been a lockout. I blame him for the lockout.

Spen: Haha, that sounds like a mailbag query for Bill Simmons. Can't deny facts.

Kieran: If only real life was like the NBA. You would have been making $1.5 mil per year at the (batting) cages. With $800,000 guaranteed and a player option.

Spen: Which would have made it even more of the greatest job in the world. I can see how if you get paid a ton (even if you're overpaid( you want to keep that system. But with a batting cage lockout, what foreign country do I turn to? Japan? Mexico? Dominican?

Kieran: Probably Japan, I feel like they are both a large enough market to afford you as well as give you the right facilities and make a TV deal.

Spen: Good call. But I dunno, I like the perks of staying in North America. One of the perks, remember, is the Del Taco. They have real tacos in Mexico!

Kieran: I think your best bet is to get in a room and talk for 15 hours and negotiate a rollback plan for your inflated salary and to accept that you could be amnestied in the new CBA.

Spen: "Amnestied" is too big of a word for me. I have limited intellectual capital, remember?

Kieran: How many players do you think are stoked that there's going to be a clause called "and tities?" They have no fucking clue.

Spen: Haha, "just sign here LeBron. Don't worry about the details, just slam some dunks and drain some threes."

Kieran: Literally. Who would be more irresponsible with $10 million? Gilbert Arenas or a spoiled 16-year old girl?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

World Series Preview & Avalanche Domination

In this week's pod, Spen and Kieran dive into what they expect from the Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals World Series and dry their tears over losing what could have been an epic jellybean parlay. Later the guys touch on Tottenham's recent action, the hot road start for the Avs and Kieran tries to convince Spen to make a 10-way parlay... or something.

Click here to listen to the pod

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Week 6: Gambling Rules & Nelson Cruz

We are witnesses: you can't stop Nelson Cruz, you may only hope to contain him. MLB playoffs are in full swing as storylines are being Written in the Stars... Tim Tebow is giving the people of Denver a new hope (seriously, the Broncos could go 2-14 this season and people wouldn't care cause Tebow will make every game close). And don't forget the usual stupid gambling parlays.

Click here to listen to the pod

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week 5: October Fever

This week Spen and Kieran talk about a crazy ending to the baseball regular season, while reminiscing about those poor Rays. Plus, who do the guys like in the upcoming elimination games in the MLB playoffs?

The Arizona Cardinals did their best to get on our hate list... they succeeded.

Click here to listen to the pod

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week 4: Covering the Spread

After a triumphant week three that saw Kieran and Spen throw down a majestic three-way parlay that saw the Raiders, Chiefs and Packers (thanks to a phantom holding call on what would have been an irrelevant punt return TD) all cover, the podcast is back to rake in some more bones. Stay tuned for the all inclusive Washington State at Colorado football preview.

Click here to listen to the pod

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 3 NFL Picks & Hooked on EPL

After another week off due to Spen's Montreal bender, the boys are back to discuss week 3 lines, Tottenham's dominance over Liverpool and enemies of the podcast. And don't you worry, we aren't taking after the Rockies and mailing this one in... we put forth a major league effort!

Click here to listen to the pod

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fantasy Goes and Broncos Woes

Week one of the NFL season came and went like the blur of a punt returner flying down the sideline. Between the endless checking of fantasy scores and the screaming at Kyle Orton to stop playing like a bitch. But what I want to touch on this week is the fact that I don't look forward to NFL Sundays for Broncos games nearly as much as I used to. I'm more concerned with who is in my fantasy lineup. Now is this a result of the Broncos just being a bad football team with seemingly no direction? Of course. I have written before that I am as much a fan of the NFL as a league as I am the Broncos as a team (the opposite is true with the Rockies. Once they're out of it, my interest in MLB as a whole drops, although I still watch from afar). But after one week of watching the Broncos take stupid penalties, drop fumbles with no oncoming pressure, throw impressive out routes to the Raiders' safety, and let a fat kicker tie Jason Elam's record field goal distance, I may just consider this NFL season a fantasy-only campaign. Am I mad that the Broncos lost (again...) to the Raiders at home, yes. But am I satisfied that my three fantasy teams combined for a 2-1 record? Also yes. If I can get satisfaction out of the NFL by not investing myself in the Broncos should I do it... I'm leaning towards that decision.

Now do I want somebody to come to me Week 14 and say, "look, the Broncos are 7-5. They have a chance!" Absolutely... I want to get proven wrong. But Kyle Orton's shitty attitude has rubbed off on me. If the starting quarterback of my team doesn't even care, why should I?  I'd like the Broncos to prove me wrong when the undefeated Bengals come to town lead by Andy Dalton and Bruce Gradkowski, but I don't see it coming.

I'm making picks this year (with the spread, duh!) on ESPN.com's Pigskin Pick 'em. View my entry here: http://games.espn.go.com/pigskin-pickem/en/entry?entryID=400784

9-7 for week one ain't bad. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NFL Week One Nonsense and Vegas Hangover

We open up week one of the NFL season with a podcast full of nonsense. Kieran and Spen chat about what they like for bets this weekend in the NFL and talk about our upcoming blood feud. Later on, I will recap my Las Vegas trip and whine about not being in that wonderful city anymore.

Click here to listen to the pod

Thursday, August 25, 2011

West Coast Bias

In the latest edition of the 303 Sports podcast, Kieran and Spen discuss Kieran's move to Virginia, Tottenham's loss to Manchester United in the Premier League Opener and what fun things Spen can gamble on in Vegas next week.

Click here to listen to the podcast

Monday, July 18, 2011

The World Cup & Tottenham Initiation

To fill the void left in our hearts after a devastating loss for the USA in the World Cup Final, Kieran and I chat about some soccer. Leading off we dissect why we actually enjoyed watching this years' Women's World Cup and then touch on our upcoming journey to become Tottenham Hotspur supporters. This is one of our best yet... seriously.

Click here to listen to the pod

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Boys Are Back in Town

Hey, I finally recorded another podcast, so have yourself a listen. Myself, Kieran, Christian and Josh make your threesome look like a nice walk in the park. Join us for some venting about the Rockies (mostly bashing Aaron Cook) and some competitive fantasy baseball banter. Also, Christian will give us his synopsis of Transformers: Dark of the Moon (although he is the only one of us that hasn't seen it). Send your complaints to @klmcguire303.

Click here to listen to the Pod

Monday, April 18, 2011

We're Warming Up

The last time I wrote a blog post I was super pissed off at my new job. Just graduated from college and my reward was to sit in front of a computer all day and do "blog commenting." It basically consisted of finding articles that had to do with some sort of product that this company worked with and write a short pitch to get people to click a link. Sounds like a bunch of crap, and it was... which is why I drank eight gallons of water everyday so that I could get up and go to the bathroom every 30 minutes to kill time. Well that shit ended after about six weeks and somehow I landed a much better job immediately after that (thank you Craigslist! And on a side note, I would advise avoiding any job that seems too good to be true. If you see an ad for sports and entertainment marketing then just know that it is a scam. Do a Google search for "PAG Advertising partners" in Denver; you will see... they almost got me). Now here I am, living the post-college life in Boulder and enjoying it more than I did when I was actually in school. There's a lot to be said about being self-sufficient, only paying for essential items, taking spontaneous trips to see friends and partying for a weekend in Vegas. The only trouble is that sometimes I take it a bit too far and am still hungover on Mondays when I have to work... but that isn't necessarily a bad thing now, is it?

But things are just warming up... baseball is here, summer is around the corner and Montezuma's Revenge is about to unveil an older, more experienced team upon the City of Boulder rec softball league. As the kids say, "It's on like Donkey Kong!"

As we embark on this wonderful time of year, think of all the better things you could be doing instead of writing a silly paper or sitting in front of the TV watching Jersey Shore reruns. Let's see, there's baseball games to attend, playoff hockey and basketball games to watch, creeks to jump into (great hangover cure) and grilling to be done. If all those things don't get you stoked, then I don't know what will. Until next time, peaceout4ever.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The State of my Union

Greetings boys and girls, and thank you for attending my first annual State of my Union address. Three days and 12 hours ago I embarked upon the real world. I hopped in my car and drove 20 miles in a northeasterly direction. My destination was simple: an office building. Eager to start earning some real world money, I was excited to start working. Unknown to me at that point, however, would be the actual job I would be partaking. Having knowledge in the internet and how to link sites and blogs together helped me land this job, but the act of literally posting links of my company's clients' sites across the bowels of the internet proved to be a big problem. You see, I know a lot about sports. I don't have to BS myself around the internet so that I seem like a knowledgeable individual of the sporting arena. I can blog and post stuff about sports all day long, but when it comes to blogging and posting about skin care products, nutrition supplements, and some weird fruit grown in Hawaii, my brain begins to melt. I would have rather stared at a computer screen and played minesweeper for eight hours than BS myself around the internet creating something we call "backlinks" (apparently having links to your site all over the internet gives you a better position in the Google search engine). They say drugs are bad for your brain... I felt as if the only thing to get my brain functioning correctly again was a puff of some a this and a snort of some of that (I'm 49% serious). 



Aha! While I'm on my 30-minute lunch break of which I am the only one in the office of about eight people to take (they all eat at their desks and forgo the required daily break) I receive some tremendous news via my twitter feed on my phone. It's all but official, Carlos Gonzalez is signing an 7-year $80 million deal to stay with the Rockies into his free agent years! I almost choke on my delicious Subway sandwich when I read it. Upon recovery, I realized had to tell someone. Should I tell the three Mexicans to my left? No way José. How about that fat mother to my right? (BTW I'm in some place called Frederick; I don't like it there, it smells) Still no.... I know! I'll tell someone in my office! I get back to my office in a midst of dead silence. Everyone is in a zombified state staring at their computers. I feel awkward wanting to tell the people that just hired me that I have zero interest in my work and want to tell them about how a baseball team they don't care about just signed their young star to a huge deal. Their silence spoke to me. It said: "sit down and shut up buddy, we have work to do!" I still haven't seen anyone get up to get a drink of water or use the restroom (the over/under is 23 hours). 


So day two rolls around and it gets WORSE. I'm feeling as if my brain is now a pile of slop which has thrown out any cognitive thinking ability in favor of the ability to stare at a computer screen and click. Four o'clock! I've made it seven hours... Eff this, I'm leaving. I cannot take an eight hour day. I mean, I've worked for eight hours before in a day, but that was supplemented by a few games of Fifa and a few wiffle ball dingers. 


You're thinking, "stop bitching you little bitch, at least you have a job!" And I say to that, "you're right..." Day three I was stationed to the company's second office building in which I had a wall to stare at instead of the back of someone's head (no, seriously), and things started looking up. I was given an actual job description where I could at least see how my work was valued. The people I was working with actually used words to communicate, so I no longer felt like a robot. But it was on the way home that I discovered the cure to all: Limp Bizkit. I have a 30-minute commute in which I get to drive on rural-ish highways at 70 miles per hour. What better way to let out your anger than screaming "you know what time it is, let's keep on rollin' baby!" while redlining the RSX. It then occurred to me: there are people that have way worse jobs than me, can't afford to call it a day after seven hours "just cause they felt like it", and have to sit in traffic on the way home. I will not complain anymore. 


In my outro I would like to thank the Colorado Avalanche for providing me with so many delicious Subway subs over the past months. Your $2 6" subs (just cold cut and meatball, though) ALL DAY after an Avalanche victory have proven to be staples of my diet. Well, that and Chipotle.... Wait a second, I just had an idea to make the Rockies even more awesome than they already are. Why can they not partner with Chipotle and make some sort of Taco Bell-like deal. Now I know that many people love four tacos for a buck between 4-6p.m. (with the purchase of a medium drink, of course) when the Rockies score seven or more, so I don't want to trash that. Taco Bell can take care of the Rockies offense, but the Rockies pitching and defense can be sponsored by Chipotle. So let's say if a Rockies pitcher hurls seven innings and allows three or fewer runs (so slightly better than a "quality start") then people in Colorado get 2-for-1 burritos the next day during a special time; let's say between 2-4p.m. so we don't put Chipotle out of business. You already hear the "tacos! tacos!" chants going through Coors Field every summer, but just imagine the level of interest when Ubaldo is sitting on a 4-3 lead with 120 pitches, two outs and a man on second in the 7th inning. Jim Tracy walks out to a chorus of boo's because the hunger of the state relies upon Ubaldo getting that last guy out. It is a good idea if I do say so myself. I'll be pitching it (pun intended) to Chipotle and the Rockies in the next month. Thank you and good night.