Man In The Mirror: CSP’s 10 Worst Calls of 2k10

Posted: December 31, 2010 by Matt Whitener of CSP in Gaming, MLB, NBA, NCAA, NFL
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The end of the year is upon us. In some places it’s already underway. However, in the world of sports, 2010 ended before it even started, and here in THE CHEAP SEATS, sometimes I too missed the memo on that, and gave those unfortunate souls too much of the benefit, while giving nowhere near enough doubt.

On the other hand, sometimes I flat-out underestimated what would come to be (see my #1 flub of the year below for that…). While still in other areas, I got Superbad-level blindsided by a breakout year from a team or player. For some casual-to-serious sports talkers, this is fine. But since I release a good number of my opinions for public consumption, I end up with a Mike Tyson from ’87 level blow to my ego/conscious when these things go bad.

At any rate, my first year (or 8 months actually) writing this site has been full of some decent writing and solid observations, if I do say some myself (yet luckily, I’m not alone. Thanks Mom). I’ll be putting up my “Best of 2010″ links on my Twitter feed all day, so check out @CheapSeatFan for that countdown all day to round out the first year of the decade. That frees me up to “celebrate” my fumbles, errors and self-inflicted tragedies of over projection here today with this column. Happy New Year and happy finger-pointing….

10. Arian Foster-Nowhere Man (August 11th): I figured Houston would just throw a million times to Andre Johnson and company, while only running the ball when they really needed to, if then. So it made perfect sense to me to leave an undrafted free agent, who only had ONE good week the year before, outside my top 20 running back for fantasy football in 2010. Little did I know that he’s have 16 GREAT weeks in his this year. I won’t be caught sleeping again in ’11 (And you probably won’t catch Foster in next year’s draft with a pick lower than four).

9. The F*cks & Sprockets (7/27, 10/28 & 10/29): I had a lot of good things to say about the outstanding summer prep of both the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets. You couldn’t tell me that they wouldn’t be mainstays as competitors this year. While there is a lot of season to go, I think its safe to say I overestimated the addition of Corey Maggette & John Salmons, and the return of Yao Ming (who has since returned to his real home, the injured list).

Yeah man, I know that feeling...keep on reading.

8. This isn’t my idea of a “Fantasy”: This isn’t about an article, more or less, this is a personal matter. I’d like to publicly say I was off base by calling my fantasy football team a “juggernaut”. My receiving corps of Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith and Brent Celek didn’t quite click, and I’m still waiting on “the ultimate up and comer” Shonn Greene to report to work, even though the season is over. Lets just say my record looked a lot sexier backwards than forwards, but that’s the case about many things in life.

7. Wingless Redbirds (9/3): While I didn’t write about this prediction in advance, because the site wasn’t up yet, if I had, I would’ve called you crazy if you would’ve told me I’d have to write a concession letter like this before September even started on behalf of MY St. Louis Cardinals. I’d have definitely called the white coats if you said the that the Cincinnati Reds, led by a reborn Scott Rolen & NL MVP *sigh* Joey Votto, would be the reason. Here’s to sanity returning to both me and the NL Central by April.

6. The Passion of the NFC (10/6): I mean come on!!! I’m not alone on this one, and if anybody says they knew it,  show them section 16 of the Ten Commandments. I mean the only prophets worthy of speaking on this are Wade Phillips, Brad Childress and Mike Singletary. But I’d be a little more careful about approaching the last one than the first two. At least I’ve still got the Saints for now.

5. Locked Down (7/15): Back in July, I bought into the hype of a can’t miss kid by the name of Jake Locker, who foolishly passed on millions of dollars and guaranteed NFL stardom. Then he had a game that read like this against some legit talent

20 attempts, 4 completions, 71 yards (45 of which were on 1 pass), 1 TD & 2 interceptions

Thanks a lot Nebraska for blowing that up in my face. At least Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are here with me in the ER too.

4. His Beautiful Dark Twisted Year (8/13): I’ll let the numbers address this one as well.

- Randy Moss in 2009: 1 team, 83 catches, 1264 yards & 13 (league leading) touchdowns

- Randy Moss in 2010: 3 teams, 27 catches, 375 yards, 6 TD….through 15 games, and 3 attempted releases (only 2 of which worked)

My bad on recommending him in the same breath as Andre Johnson for your ensured fantasy success.

That angry mob with the torches and pitchforks are the folks that took Moss in their drafts. Sorry people.

3. Three The Hard Way: Few months back in the midst of the NBA’s free agent circus of the summer, I made a real big case about why the Miami Heat assembling a super trio wouldn’t work strategically or financially….yeah. And this is why Pat Riley is who he is and not who I am.

2. The Return of the Bungles (8/28 & 10/6): Maybe I got caught up in the hype, or maybe it actually was just karma visiting Cincinnati for the first time since 2008. Whatever it was, it made perfect sense to me that the Bengals would take a step forward after sweeping the AFC North in 2009. Well chose them to take far too many steps forward here, and I look my greatest loss of the year here, having the Bengals rep the AFC in the Super Bowl in my NFL prediction article.

Apparently adding Terrell Owens, drafting an amazing group of college guys and returning all of a core that went 10-6 the year before has a reverse effect in the Bizarro Land of Marvin Lewis & Carson Palmer. The bright side? I learned to NEVER go with a team that features two grown men that wear tights and call themselves “Batman and Robin”, unless its I’m in a movie theater (and maybe not then either).

1. Lamb Chops No More (8/24): I’m a man, a grown one at that. I can fess up and admit my mistakes and biases, and often times in discussion, I am against all things Rams. But on both a logical and fan level, this was both a tremendous defeat and huge upset. The St. Louis Rams took home a six-pack of wins from 2007 to 2009, and languished among the worst of the worst in all of sports.

Finally, for all of their losing, they “earned” the top pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. With that choice they took a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, that had not played for basically an entire season after injuring his throwing arm no less, in Sam Bradford. With all of those time tested elements for professional disaster mixed into one guy, it seemed assured that they would continue on the same track. Instead, what did they do? They won more games in 4 MONTHS than they did in three years and are a game away from starting the new year in the PLAYOFFS!!!

It's been all downhill for my Rams predictions from this moment on. Go ahead...enjoy it "friends" and "family".

It’s safe to say I picked them to do far, far less than this a few months back, and to the satisfaction of virtually everybody I know in my hometown, I have eaten every word of it weekly. Now for the final twist of fate, I am actually rooting for them to win and make the playoffs (only because I am the president of the Missouri chapter of the “Pete Carroll Anti-Fan Club”).

These are indeed strange, wacky times here in THE CHEAP SEATS.

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