After what was a seemingly unusually long season this winter, I for one am excited about these playoffs (and the lighter reffing schedule in the upcoming weeks). With the extra games this season, rivalries have formed, teams have gelled, and refs have sharpened their skills. Here is the playoff situation as I see it from a degenerate gamblerís perspective. And please donít take this preview personally. For reference, I finsihed dead last in my NCAA pool and rooted against the Hoyas just so I could finish in last place and get my entry fee back. Good luck to all teams.
#7 Solid Gold and #8 Drago
Much like the guys who roll into the Bellagio playing $30/60 Texas HoldíEm because they just watched the Fossil Man win the World Series on ESPN, these teams have to be considered dead money. Drago and Solid Gold have some talent on their team, but theyíll will need a Cinderella-esque performance in the magnitude of George Mason to advance anywhere beyond the first round. But both of these teams have won 3 on 3 CRFC tourneys before, so there is always the weekend of April 14th to look forward to.
#3 Serenity Now, #4 Cha-Ching, and #6 BALCO
These teams are rock solid, no question about it. They also have some of my favorite players on these teams, but betting on them to win is like betting on the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl every season. They have the talent to really draw you in, but if you really look at the match-ups, you realize they donít have a legit shot at the title. These teams are grind it out kind of teams, and I donít see them being able to grind out a win against either Genzyme or the Mullets. Then again, SN just beat Genzyme last night, but I wrote this last week, so I chalk that up to an end of the season lull for Genzyme.
Taking A Flyer
If you have an extra $100 to put on any team in this tourney to take a flyer on, itíd be Biogen. The three headed monster of Josh Bruno, Todd Cogdell and Van Tran are capable of taking down any team in this league if there threes are falling, and that includes the Mullets and Genzyme. Throw in the re-emergence of John Schmid, and you have yourself a nice flyer to take a chance on. Although, you could also take the extra $100 and just go to the Deuce (thatís the Crazy Horse II for all of you non-Vegas junkies out there).
Paying the Vig
#1 Mullets and #2 Genzyme
Like betting on the Yankees against the Devil Rays with Mussina on the hill, youíll have to lay down at least $170 to win $100 on either of these teams, but in my estimation itís worth it. I hate to be a Favorite Freddy, but clearly the Mulletsí Paskalev and Genzymeís Kmiec are the cream of the crop of this league. And their teammates fit in so perfectly itís uncanny. Their earlier match-up this season was marred by the absence of league MVP Kmiec, so I am downright giddy about the possibility of an East final between these two teams. Anything less for either team will be an inexcusable end to this season.
#7 ALS-TDF, #8 Dr. Ken
I love both of these teams, but getting past the 1st round will be a monumental task for either of them. I do think though either of these teams would win the sportsmanship award for this league though as none of these guys ever complain about anything. Well, at least not to me directly anyway.
#2 Fred Roberts, #4 Tribe Called Monkey, #5 B Squad, #6 Expos,
Again, the talent is there for these teams to draw you into thinking they could pull it off. But in this case, Cowbell presents so many match-up problems for these teams I canít see how it happens. Then again, I didnít think Peyton Manning would be a good pro quarterback.
Taking a Flyer
#3 Industrial Economics
If you have an extra $100 to put on any team in this tourney to take a flyer on, itíd be IE. This team has been a mystery to me all season long as they play at the Morse School every Tuesday. But my man Adam has informed me that they are for real. I remember the great play of ìHamma Donítî Herter and Mike Donlan playing well, but where has Mark Ewan been all season long? Betting on an unknown is always extra exciting, like betting a random WNBA game even though you have never watched a womenís basketball game in your life, so why not.
Paying the Vig
#1 More Cowbell
Youíll have to lay down at least $180 to win $100 on this team, but in my estimation itís worth it. Sure this team has lived in the spirit of Steve Spurrier ìIíll stop trying to score when they doî motto all season long, but their dominance cannot be denied, not even by their biggest critics. As with the Mullets, anything less than a title in the West is unacceptable. The real question is how theyíll fair against the East winner in the unification game. The Sherman/Paskalev possible match-up already has me giddy.