NFL Week 14 Predictions

Dan O’Brien

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Thursday December 8, 2016

Football: Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (4) with New York Giants QB Eli Manning (10) after game at AT&T Stadium. Arlington, TX 9/11/2016 CREDIT: Greg Nelson (Photo by Greg Nelson /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (Set Number: SI541 TK1 )

Oakland Raiders 27 @ Kansas City Chiefs 30

This game could be a match between two very dominant, yet decidedly different offenses. The Oakland offense is the sort of offense that ends up on a lot of highlight reels and gets mentioned daily on radio talk shows. There are explosive players with young faces that light up TV screens through plays that get more talked about than the game itself. These players don’t always make every catch and could use some work on fundamentals, but they sure do know how to make the 80-yard catch that gets shown in every sports highlight reel the next day. The Kansas City offense is much less talked about, but could be just as scary. While the Oakland offense is likely to make mistakes that lead to a 3rd and long catch for a touchdown, the Kansas City offense is likely to be consistently good enough to have multiple 15-play drives down the field to get into the end zone. This game will be thrilling to watch and will play a key part in who wins the division, who gets a wild card spot, and who goes home early. Oakland will look explosive as its young team is one of the best in the AFC and maybe the NFL, but Kansas City plays great at home through good coaching and leadership from Alex Smith to win the home game.

Washington Redskins 24 @ Philadelphia Eagles 17

Washington is a team that has not been talked about much lately, but they have reasons to be successful. In the past, Washington has played like a team with weapons that can match up against tough opponents. However, they have also played like a team that plays down to average opponents and can even lose to bad opponents. This is a key divisional matchup with pride on the line for Philly and a potential playoff spot on the line for Washington. The Eagles have been playing like they forgot how to fly and Washington can win a much-needed game to assist them in their attempt to reach the playoffs in two consecutive years. Philadelphia will play tough at home in a divisional game late in the season, but Washington will find a way to win and keep playoff hopes alive.

Houston Texans 14 @ Indianapolis Colts 31

Indianapolis is a team that can perform well, but hasn’t been playing consistently well enough this season to have a lead in the awful AFC South. However, Indianapolis has leaders on its team like Andrew Luck who can help win tough games, like a late season matchup with a divisional opponent in a meaningful game. This game will play a major part in determining who will win the AFC South and I just can’t see the Texans getting out of their slump to win a game like this. I predict the Colts will follow up their massive routing of the Jets last week with a decisive win to stake their claim to the AFC South title.

Cincinnati Bengals 27 @ Cleveland Browns 10

Cincinnati has legitimate problems when it comes to sustaining success. For the past couple of years, Cincinnati was the team that always had reasons to get into the playoffs with high hopes, but would end up squandering it and wasting an entire year not meeting its true potential. This year has been different, but unfortunately it has gone worse. People aren’t afraid of Cincinnati like they were in years past and this team will play with a chip on its shoulder. The fact that Cincinnati is almost out of the playoff picture and there’s nearly a month left in the regular season is astounding. Cincinnati plays angry and wins against a winless opponent, showing a fire that could have won them close games earlier in the season.

Denver Broncos 23 @ Tennessee Titans 20

Denver is a team that has a very solid record because of strong defensive play and occasionally good play by Trevor Siemian. However, Denver appears to not be playing quite as well as they were earlier in the season. Tennessee is a team that typically is associated with Jacksonville and Cleveland as consistently underperforming year after year. However, Tennessee is showing potential under Marcus Mariota as he is showing growth at a great time in the season. Due to Denver’s strength on defense as well as how much they need to win this game to help get to the playoffs, they will win a surprisingly close, but crucial victory.

Arizona Cardinals 24 @ Miami Dolphins 31

Miami has played decisively good football for the past two months, especially when it comes to home games, as they haven’t lost at home since October 9th. However, their winning streak came to an end last week in a brutal loss going away to Baltimore and some people might lose faith in their ability to win late in the season because of that loss. The Dolphins have reasons to win, whether it be the dominant play at home along with the unusual motivation they have due to the rare opportunity they have to get to the playoffs. Arizona played well last week to beat a Washington team that I predicted would bring the team one win closer to a playoff spot. Arizona showed sparks of life, but I don’t see how Arizona could sustain success to defeat a playoff-motivated Dolphins team that is coming off a brutal loss and looking for revenge.

Chicago Bears 14 @ Detroit Lions 27

Divisional matchups tend to be some of the closest games on a weekly basis, especially when it comes at the end of a season. These games can have a massive impact on who plays in the postseason and who watches it at home, but they always have a more competitive nature than a typical game. Chicago has not had a good season and it doesn’t take John Madden or Jon Gruden watching hours of tape to figure that out. There has been no consistently good quarterback and there isn’t enough talent throughout the rest of the team offset the often-substandard play behind center. Detroit started out the season in surprisingly good fashion, barely edging out Chicago to avoid being worst team in the division. They have come back decisively to gain the division lead from the faltering Vikings, the dysfunctional Packers, and the abysmal Bears. Chicago will put up a better fight than usual, but the Lions have too much momentum with an underappreciated Matthew Stafford to lose and they will start to solidify the divisional title with a win.

Pittsburgh Steelers 27 @ Buffalo Bills 21

Pittsburgh is one of the best teams in football in danger of not making the playoffs. This is due to a competitive matchup between them and the Baltimore Ravens atop the AFC North as well as a strong AFC West unlikely to get less than all of the wild card spots and assured of at least one of them. The Steelers have played exceptionally great on offense, so great that their atypically average defense has not held them back. Pittsburgh is a gritty team that knows how to play tough games against divisional opponents, but can play tough against anybody. Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best clutch quarterbacks in the game and knows how to win in the winter unlike most quarterbacks. The Bills will play tough with a wild card spot slowly becoming unattainable due to their inconsistency, but the Steelers under Big Ben will not come up short as they win a crucial game with the playoffs on their mind.

San Diego Chargers 24 @ Carolina Panthers 31

Carolina and San Diego are two teams that are technically still in the hunt for a playoff spot. However, the odds that either one of them make the playoffs are about as realistic as seeing a double rainbow go over a blue moon with a unicorn riding its trail. These two teams are like the innocent kids in a horror movie. It’s not a matter of if they don’t make it, it’s just a matter of when. San Diego has wasted a legitimately decent team that might have been in contention in one of the toughest divisions in football had a couple games gone differently through better 4th quarter play. Carolina had a lot of reasons to look up at the beginning of this season, but now they’re just looking back at the season that could have been a good follow up to a Super Bowl qualifying team last year. This game could be close, with both teams fighting for the technical chance to be in the playoffs, but more realistically for the shreds of dignity they have coming out of this season. San Diego has played good games, but they haven’t figured out how to win close and competitive games and that won’t change this week as they fall to Carolina.

Minnesota Vikings 24 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 3

Minnesota was a team that looked like it could win before the season started and looked like it would dominate based on strong early season play even with injuries to the starting quarterback and running back. However, they have been playing like the Minnesota that they were expected to play like immediately after the injuries happened. They have become a team that relies too much on defense and does not have enough success on offense to match. The past two months have not been good for them as they have lost close games due to a low scoring offense, even as their defense would keep them in most of these games. If Minnesota is to make a legitimate run at the divisional title, they need to win consistently over the next month and a strong showing at Jacksonville will show that they have the potential to do that.

New York Jets 14 @ San Francisco 49ers 20

This game between New York and San Francisco is an interesting matchup because while most teams are thinking about the next month and whether their season will go further than that, the Jets and 49ers are more likely to be thinking about next season. Both teams could be thinking about next season for numerous reasons, whether that be looking towards draft picks or just to try anything to forget this abysmal showing. There are not a lot of positives to say about either one of these teams, but at least with these two facing off, this game could be quite competitive. I was thinking of putting the Jets down as my favorite to win here, but I remembered something I saw when I watched them this past week. I didn’t see players fighting for something, I just saw a bunch of guys trying to get off the field, get a paycheck, and then go home. I don’t see them fighting to win and I don’t see them fighting for their coach, so I’m putting the 49ers to win because I still think there’s a passion for them to want to win based on recent performances.

Atlanta Falcons 35 @ Los Angeles Rams 13

Atlanta is without a doubt one of the top teams in the NFC due to their explosive offensive production that is rarely limited. They had a tough loss by one point to the underrated Kansas City Chiefs, but that should not be held against them. If Atlanta plays to their full potential at the end of the season, they should win the division and might even get a bye if they are able to overcome the Seahawks and Lions. The Los Angeles Rams showed some signs of life early in the season and Jared Goff has had a good game or two, so they have some things to build from next season. That said, there just isn’t enough there to save them from early elimination from playoff contention this season as they will fall to the Falcons who will dominate in a comeback performance.

New Orleans Saints 28 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31

Tampa Bay is a team that people should really start paying attention to because of their performance in the past two months. They’ve won 6 of their last 8 and those two losses came against the Atlanta Falcons and the Oakland Raiders. There are no guarantees that Tampa Bay can sustain this success as teams bring their A-game to the last month of the season. However, if Tampa Bay keeps winning the way they do, then they have a good opportunity to get into the playoffs as a wild card spot. This game will be a close one and will have implications throughout the division and all of the NFC. I see New Orleans putting up a big fight, but I just don’t see them beating the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, especially since they have so much momentum.

Seattle Seahawks 24 @ Green Bay Packers 10

Seattle can be a very difficult team to get a good read on. One week, Russell Wilson will play good enough to look like one of the top quarterbacks in the league. The next week he’ll play as though he’s a rookie 2nd string quarterback who has never played on turf before. This is alarming, but if there are two things that the Seahawks are known for, it’s physical defense and winning close games late in the season. Aaron Rodgers has been playing better than before, though it was hard to get much worse, and Green Bay will show signs of life at home. However, Seattle has too much on the line in this game and will go to Green Bay, pressure Aaron Rodgers into making mistakes, and win this game.

Dallas Cowboys 23 @ New York Giants 24

I have a major upset pick this week and it is that the New York Giants will beat the Dallas Cowboys in a close, yet essential matchup this week. There are many reasons for Dallas to win this game, whether it be the best offensive line in football, the best running back in football, or the best rookie quarterback in football. That said, there are also reasons for New York to win this game. New York has a tough schedule over the next month and has nothing secure when it comes to the playoffs, giving them a lot of incentive to play well. Landon Collins has been exceptional for the New York secondary and Olivier Vernon is playing like the player that New York paid him to be. I predict that Dallas gets some early scores, but New York gets some clutch catches from Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. to keep them close. The New York defensive leaders play their best football, even with Jason Pierre-Paul out, to match their offense and ensure that Dallas doesn’t score any more points as New York edges out Dallas and shows the true potential of their team when everything comes together.

Baltimore Ravens 13 @ New England Patriots 24

Baltimore might be thinking very highly of itself this week based the performance they had last week. They beat a good Dolphins team at home and many might think that Baltimore could win against this New England team because of their recent success. However, Baltimore has only won two road games this season and those both were early in the season against the Browns and Jaguars. New England has problems because of Tom Brady being shaken up and Rob Gronkowski being out the rest of the regular season. That said, New England will likely have some snow, the Ravens have lost of problems with consistency, and are an awful team when it comes to away games. The New England Patriots win a winter game against a physical Ravens team that makes enough mistakes to cost themselves a potential win.

The Plugs w/ Melissa Ferris, Host of “Girl Chat Sports”

img_0363Melissa is based in Las Vegas, NV, but was born & raised in Seattle, WA. She is now the host of “Girl Chat Sports”, which was was founded in January 2015. Aimed at the Female Sports Fan, Girl Chat Sports developed from a personal sports blog to a weekly LIVE interactive Online show. We caught up with Melissa to talk about the NFL, and her Seattle Seahawks after their 40-7 thrashing of the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers last Sunday night. We then asked her why her favorite NBA team is the Chicago Bulls. Melissa talked about the former NBA team Seattle Sonics, now Oklahoma City Thunder, and her fondest memories of the Sonics having grown up in Seattle. Lastly, we touched on what a great fan base Seattle has, and how it feels to have all their teams being successful as of late. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Week 13 Predictions

Dan O’Brien

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Thursday December 1, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands off the ball to teammate Ezekiel Elliott #21 against the Minnesota Vikings during the game on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys 28 @ Minnesota Vikings 13

The unexpected rise of Minnesota has been followed by an unexpected fall. The play that they have had in the past month has been mindboggling in comparison to what they were doing previously. They looked to be one of the conference’s best, but now look like they won’t make it out of the division and into the playoffs. The Vikings still have a great defense, but that’s not getting them through the tough games they have to face every week and I don’t expect this week to be any different. The Dallas Cowboys have been utterly dominant in nearly all of their games, with their one loss coming by a one-point loss to a New York Giants team in week 1. I favor the Cowboys and I just don’t think that Minnesota will be able to solve their problems to win this game or to make it into the playoffs.

Detroit Lions 27 @ New Orleans Saints 20

The Detroit Lions are an interesting team because of how drastically different they are now from early in the season. They started out the season 1-3, even losing to the Chicago Bears, and looked as though they could even compete with the Chicago Bears for the NFC North team to be the quickest to go down south. They have won 6 of their last 7 and they have a very good opportunity to win an NFC North that has been very different from preseason expectations. The Lions have a lot of momentum while the Saints have a lot of inconsistency. Matthew Stafford is playing better than expected and he leads the Lions over the Saints as they fight for a place in the playoffs.

Los Angeles Rams 14 @ New England Patriots 20

Typically, a matchup like this would look exceptionally favorable for the New England Patriots, especially at home. However, there have been some atypical aspects to this season for the New England Patriots, whether it be performing better on the road than at home as well as losing Rob Gronkowski for the season. The New England Patriots at home are no joke and have dominant performances as the winter months arrive, but there are reasons the New England Patriots should take this game more seriously. The Patriots are dealing with no Rob Gronkowski as well as a sub-100% Tom Brady and they very easily could overlook the L.A. Rams who have the potential to play spoiler. The L.A. Rams have some surprisingly good plays and show that they have some long-term potential, but Tom Brady gets a needed win to help the Patriots get a great seed for the playoffs.

Denver Broncos 45 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 10

This game has the makings for an absolute slaughter, since Denver is coming back from a close loss that will be discussed for a long time. The Denver Broncos might not make it into the playoffs, but they will fight in games like this to make sure that doesn’t happen. Denver’s defense will show its true colors with big plays and maybe even a defensive score, showing they can be successful, even with an injured Trevor Siemian sitting out. Expect this Denver team to stake their claim to get in the playoffs, even with two legitimate teams ahead of them in a division with about as many total losses as the Cleveland Browns.

San Francisco 49ers 33 @ Chicago Bears 17

This week is a week with many teams fighting for playoff spots, whether that be in the form of wild card spots or at the top of a division. This game has nothing like that. If this week is a five-star restaurant with all of the competitive games to be watched, this game is the dumpster out back where the remains get dumped. This could be an ugly game since both teams combine for only 3 wins, a feat that would likely have a team stuck in last place in a division, 3rd if they were lucky. Although the Bears could get a slight boost by playing at home, the 49ers have some momentum off a competitive game last week that was decided in the last minutes. I give the 49ers the edge in this competition that resembles a race between a tortoise and a snail, due to it being slow, ugly, and absolutely uncalled for.

Houston Texans 17 @ Green Bay Packers 27

This game would have been very exciting and very different early in the season, since both teams had many reasons to shine early on. However, both of these teams have lost most of their shine and are showing signs of rusting. The Houston Texans have not met early expectations with this season, only having 3 wins in the last 7 weeks, all of which came against weak AFC South opponents. The disappointing play along with the severe injury to JJ Watt are reasons enough to worry, but they have more to worry about with the Titans playing better and the Packers showing signs of life. Aaron Rodgers, even with all of his team’s faults, has been playing better recently and will lead his team to a win to keep his team alive for the playoffs, while the Texans are at risk of being lassoed away from the divisional title.

Kansas City Chiefs 30 @ Atlanta Falcons 27

Like many games this week, this game could really go either way. Both teams here are sensational with great records and this game is an opportunity to get one step closer to a playoff spot. The Atlanta Falcons have one of the most explosive offenses in all of football right now, but their lack of a tough defense is certainly a cause of concern. The Kansas City Chiefs have rarely lost this season and I don’t think that will change with this game. The Atlanta Falcons have a strong performance, but are simply outplayed by the Kansas City Chiefs who are fighting tooth and nail to get out of their division and into the playoffs.

Miami Dolphins 20 @ Baltimore Ravens 13

This game is very interesting to analyze because Miami has a 6-game winning streak, but Baltimore is no joke and going into Baltimore is no cake walk. The Ravens have a great defense that has not gotten the attention it has gotten in previous years because of a lack of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, but still has leadership in the form Terrell Suggs. That said, the Ravens do have problems with consistency as well as having powerful weapons winning decisive games. The Dolphins have typically been a team that turns high preseason expectations into a disappointing season, but this season is something different. The Miami Dolphins have momentum and could quite potentially make it out the division in a Wild Card spot. Their running game will help them fight for it as they beat the Ravens in a tough game.

Philadelphia Eagles 16 @ Cincinnati Bengals 7

The Cincinnati Bengals have had a surprising season so far, but in a much more somber and disappointing tone in comparison to the surprising success of other teams. They are playing so badly that only a few wins separate them from the winless Browns. They aren’t playing for a realistic opportunity to get into the playoffs, but rather to not completely disappoint their fan base. The Eagles have not been playing well recently, as Wentz has lost much of the momentum that he had early in the season. Although he started out with high praise through the beginning months of the season, that high praise has turned into low expectations. That said, the Eagles play a physical game and a defensive battle to hold onto whatever shred of hope for a playoff berth they might have.

Buffalo Bills 17 @ Oakland Raiders 31

Oakland has many things going for it going into week 13. They have a five-game win streak, a lead in one of the most competitive divisions in football, and a reasonable expectation to get into the playoffs. Through an explosive offense that is being led by young players, the Oakland Raiders are one of the highlights of the NFL. This week is a great opportunity to show dominance on a sufficient opponent, while making a statement for the entire league to witness. While the Buffalo Bills are fighting for a wild card spot, they haven’t been playing consistent enough against good opponents to appear playoff ready. The Oakland Raiders appear ready for the playoffs and are already on a voyage to win the AFC West. They win this game with lots of home support and begin to be talked about in the same manner as the Patriots and Cowboys have been this season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31 @ San Diego Chargers 24

The Buccaneers have had some very good games, even though they have been under the radar and those wins have not gotten a lot of coverage. The last two weeks, they faced both the Seahawks and the Chiefs and won both of those games. This is not to say that the Buccaneers are going to the Super Bowl to go against the Patriots. They probably won’t even make it to the playoffs as they won’t catch up to the Falcons and there is no space for them in a wild card spot. It should be noted that they could get go on a 4-game win streak with a win here, which is a rare sight to Bucs fans, and they will win a close, yet entertaining matchup with San Diego.

New York Giants 20 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 24

New York has been playing great football in the past month and a half, having one of the longest win streaks that they have had in nearly a decade. There has been good defensive play from them so far this season and many Giants fans that were used to close defeats in prior seasons are slowly being accustomed to close wins. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed and they might even be rewarded with a playoff spot if they win enough games in the next month. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers, though they have their problems, are an incredibly difficult opponent at home, especially in December. The Pittsburgh Steelers will squeak out a win and keep playoff hopes in their grasp, while the New York Giants get dealt their first loss and will need to bounce back to get into the playoffs.

Washington Redskins 27 @ Arizona Cardinals 16

The Arizona Cardinals do not appear to be an awful team on paper, as they are 2nd in their division and they are near .500. However, they are 2nd in a division where the only legitimate contender to go to the playoffs and be threatening is the Seattle Seahawks. They also only have four wins and they have all been against the worst teams in the league. Overall, there are many reasons that Cardinals should be disappointed and this game will serve as another reason. The Washington Redskins will come in fighting for a wild card spot and will win against a hopeless Arizona team.

Carolina Panthers 17 @ Seattle Seahawks 20

The Seattle Seahawks are coming back from a tough loss and are going to face a challenging team, all of which seems alarming. That said, there are reasons that Seattle should be excited heading into December. They are atop their division and have no realistic threat of losing that, barring devastating injuries or a strong, but late surge by another team. Last week was disappointing and shocked the league, but Seattle will be at home and this home field advantage is one of the best in the league. Carolina will play to win to fight for relevancy and respect, but Seattle will play to forget last week and a decisive win will do just that.

Indianapolis Colts 30 @ New York Jets 20

The New York Jets are coming off a loss to New England, yet it was much closer than was expected, which is encouraging. However, this is still a team that doesn’t have a franchise quarterback, which is one of the most important things to have in this league, along with 11 players on your side of the field and a turf field to play on. The Indianapolis Colts certainly have their problems, with Andrew Luck not improving steadily as he typically did. However, they have reasons to believe they can make improvements as an organization next year, knowing what is wrong and how to fix it. The New York Jets have a lot to fix and I don’t see them duplicating the toughness and competitiveness that they produced last week against a hated divisional rival.

Lit&Local: OK Go at Hirshhorn, Awarded for Music Video Visuals

photoFormed in Chicago, Illinois, rock quartet OK Go defines imagination with daring exhibition and innovative graphics. Their most recent release “The One Moment” literally scopes the idea of creating something out of a blank slate. “The One Moment” comes from their 2014 album Hungry Ghosts (2014), and its video works as an addition to their complex portfolio of well-acclaimed music videos popularized on YouTube – let’s not forget “This Too Shall Pass” with their Rube Goldberg machine, or their more recent “Upside Down & Inside Out”, with the bandmates freeform dancing, mind you on a Russian jet, mind you again, in zero gravity.

OK Go (Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, Andy Ross) may not be flashy about their talents or overtly flashed by paparazzi, but maybe it’s better that way. Fans pay attention to not only their sound, but the experience associated with it, the visual arts that embrace their music. Seeing their videos is like watching a story unveil, with the guidance of a single camera, and seeing a visual film unfold from the comfort of your computer. The videos are widespread, have a universal “wow” factor, and have an ingenious motion. Each video and work claims their territory in whatever setting they are examined under – an urban bar, a city hotel, a quiet gas station television, anywhere!

Their music has evolved from their 2002 boy band vibes with hits like “What To Do” and “Return”, to now, a streamline collection of upbeat anthems like “Turn Up The Radio”, “The Writing’s On The Wall”, and now, “The One Moment”. Think of them as a fusion between Weezer’s iconic storylines, Rooney’s distinct use of guitar, and Vampire Weekend’s dynamic identity.

The band and directors associated will be receiving the American Ingenuity Award for Visual Arts for their “Upside Down & Inside Out” music video, provided by Smithsonian Magazine in DC. Damian Kulash, lead singer and guitarist of the LA-based band, is a DC-native, so the experience will be a momentous homecoming for him and a success for his team.

OK Go’s The One Moment

OK Go’s The One Moment, Behind The Scenes

OK Go will be at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden this coming Friday, December, 9, at 6:30 p.m. They will be having an unplugged performance and exclusive conversation about the artistry behind their music videos. Free tickets will be released online tomorrow, Monday, December 5, at 10 a.m. EST. The event will also be available for livestream on Hirshhorn’s Facebook page.

Link to tickets: http://hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/programs-calendar/#detail=/bio/ok-go-conversation/&collection=programs-calendar

Link to Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1779811782293846/

Livestream the event: https://www.facebook.com/hirshhorn/?fref=ts

More information about OK Go and the Ingenuity Awards 2016:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/ingenuity-ok-go-visual-arts-anti-gravity-180961102/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/2016-smithsonian-american-ingenuity-awards-180961117/

Facebook/YouTube: https://www.facebook.com/okgo/?fref=ts / https://www.youtube.com/user/OkGo & https://www.youtube.com/user/OkGoVEVO

Instagram/Twitter: @okgo / @okgo

Website: http://okgo.net/

 

The Plugs w/ Pro Boxer SETH ‘Killa Bee’ BILLUPS

img_0341This was Seth’s 3rd appearance on the show & it didn’t disappoint! We caught up with Seth to preview his upcoming fight on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, Virginia. We then touched on some upcoming pro boxing bouts, such as the controversy behind the WBC/WBO Super Lighweight Title fight between rising star Terrance Crawford (29W-0L, 20 KO’s) & John Molina (29W-6L, 23 KO’s), which is on Saturday, December 10 @ Century Link Arena in Omaha, Nebraska. We also touched on Seth’s fellow Philadelphia native & current WBC World Welterweight title holder, Danny Garcia (33W-0L, 19 KO’s), who takes on Keith Thurman (27W-0L, 22 KO’s) on March 4, 2017 for Garcia’s WBC title and Floyd Mayweather’s vacated WBA Super World Welterweight Title . Seth then gave his thoughts about the controversy behind Andre Ward’s victory by unanimous decision over Sergey Kovalev for the Light Heavyweight Title on Nov. 19.   We lastly touched on UFC 206, the main card getting cancelled, & Becker’s issues with how the UFC resolves those problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 6-10 this Wizards Team is Disappointing!

Anthony Fennell

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Thursday December 1, 2016

at Verizon Center on November 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

With a much needed win Monday night against the Sacramento Kings in overtime, the Wizards moved their record through the first 16 games at 6-10. Even with the win the team looked sloppy and completely out of sync.

John Wall the leader of the team had a career high in turnovers, the team missed a substantial amount of free throws, especially some key ones down the stretch. Additionally, one things that has also plagued this team has been there underwhelming frontcourt who have under produced on both the defensive and offensive end for most of the year.

For a team that has had a fair amount of success over the last five years and extreme promise for this season it has been disappointing and frustrating thus far to watch this team overall.

At this point in the season, I can’t help but ask, “What has happened to the old, fun and exciting Washington Wizards?!” A team that was great on the defensive end during their playoff runs, played basketball with a unique level of passion, energy, excitement and swagger.

There was a demeanor that they would lock you down defensively and beat you up and down the floor with quick and easy highlight real dunks, layups and three point baskets. Making basketball fun to watch in DC, the Wizards of the past made one be proud to call themselves a Washington Wizards fan.

However, the product that has been given to such a dedicated fan base has been less then tolerable and acceptable. If things don’t improve in the coming weeks, a change in either personnel or management must come about.

Up next for the Wizards are the Oklahoma City Thunder who are led by the absolutely dominant Russell Westbrook, who has been dropping triple doubles at ease. The hope is that the Wizards will steal one on the road tomorrow in OKC.

The NFL – The New Football League

Dan O’Brien

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Friday November 25, 2016

nflThis season has had more than its fair share of headlines throughout the NFL.  When it comes to broad issues that affect a variety of people, contentious debates arose from Colin Kaepernick sitting and kneeling during the National Anthem. In regard to issues that focus mainly on the league, certain teams are polar opposites of what they were in prior years, and the amount of viewers for games throughout the league have not been what they once were. With all of these headlines garnering much deserved attention, it can be easy to lose focus on the big picture when it comes to the NFL.

This season is showing us something drastic and it would be best exemplified by no longer calling the NFL the National Football League, but rather the New Football League. This league is quietly being driven by new players, predominantly rookies. It’s not simply that one rookie sensation is so phenomenal that everyone else is meager in comparison. Rather, it is the plethora of new players making an impact in different skill positions, solidifying their growing role.

There are many places to look, but a good start would be in the strongest divisions from top to bottom. These two divisions are the AFC West and the NFC East and both of which have some of the most talked about new players in the league. In the NFC East, Dak Prescott is without a doubt one of the biggest stories throughout the league and is demolishing the typical presumptions accompany a rookie quarterback. Ezekiel Elliott blew away any and all high expectations, leading the league in rushing and simultaneously being as big of a story as Dak Prescott. Carson Wentz, the rookie quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, has some work to recover from a bit of a slump, but the way he’s already led what was a mediocre team into a team with 5 wins is no small feat. Odell Beckham Jr. in his 3rd year as a New York Giant wide receiver is making a distinct brand for himself. His temper and antics have been very divisive, causing people to debate whether he is a distraction, a young superstar with potential to go far, or both. These are just a few examples of the young talent this league is creating.

Meanwhile, the AFC West has its own slate of new players that have performed well above expectations. The Oakland Raiders came out of nowhere with this roster of new players and have taken the top spot in the division under Derek Carr in his 3rd season and Amari Cooper in his 2nd. These two young and exuberant players are leading what was typically a substandard team at best in what is now an extremely competitive division. Another AFC West team with lots of young weapons is the San Diego Chargers, with one of the best young running backs in Melvin Gordon leading the way in his 2nd year. It’s worth mentioning there are only three teams with a player who leads the league with 5 interceptions this season. They are the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers of the AFC West along with New York Giants of the NFC East.

Overall, there are many reasons to be on the lookout for young talent to make a deep impact in a league traditionally focused on veteran players. There is lots of young talent throughout the NFL, not even just in the NFC East or AFC West, and the young stars of today are the ones who become the captains of tomorrow. It cannot be emphasized how few veteran quarterbacks have been able to consistently play at a high level in this league in comparison to previous years. Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger are good examples, Eli Manning should be in the conversation, and Philip Rivers could maybe be included as well. Having four top-rated quarterbacks out of the entire league is not something that should comfort many veterans. Aaron Rodgers is about as red hot as a Green Bay winter and Carson Palmer isn’t playing like a lively Cardinal, but as an extinct Dodo. Most tragically of all, Tony Romo has had so many broken injuries and is now dealing with a broken heart after losing his team to Dak Prescott.

This is not to say that there is no place for veterans of the league, as there are many veterans who have performed consistently well and some who are in a slump will rebound. However, the number of youthful players in this league should be alarming to the veterans of the league. It’s not just how many new players who are playing in the league. Rather it’s about the new players that are starting to make a name and a brand for themselves through performing unbelieveable feats on a weekly basis. The veterans of this league need to watch out because they could very well watch their careers fade into obscurity, only being remembered by die-hard fans at sports bars and tailgates. If they would be so lucky, they might be remembered for a historic play, a Super Bowl ring, or maybe even a Hall of Fame nod, but even those might not be on their terms. Meanwhile, the youth of the New Football League should be watched with optimism for the sport as a whole. The names seen on posters and Twitter are steadily becoming the symbols for their teams and the emblems for their sport.

 

NFL Week 12 Predictions

Dan O’Brien

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Thursday November 24, 2016

thanksgiving-football

Detroit Lions 24, Minnesota Vikings 17

If this game were held in the first half of the season, there’s no way I could pick against the Vikings. Unfortunately, as the weather got colder, so did the Vikings, having lost four of their last five. I don’t favor them in a divisional matchup with a big audience going away to Detroit who have won five of their last six. I’m picking Detroit to win the early game on Thanksgiving and to establish a lead in the NFC North standings.

Dallas Cowboys 30, Washington Redskins 24

Dallas has without a doubt been one of the best teams in football, having a 9-game win streak and only losing in Week 1 by one point to the Giants. I expect this game to be a very physical one, as most NFC East rivalry games are. I anticipate that Dallas will have its clutch players make tough plays and I just don’t see Washington as a team that can make those plays. I’m favoring Dallas at home in a tough game, but one that they’ll win to extend their win streak to 10.

Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Indianapolis Colts 17

The Pittsburgh Steelers have reasons to worry at this point in the season. They’re only at .500, lower than most expectations, and they’ve lost four of the last five. Although two of those games were against the toughest teams in football and the third was against the divisional rival Ravens, losses are still losses and there is still pressure on Big Ben. I believe this week will be the week for Ben to give his Steelers a much-needed jolt and I think they dominate going away against the underwhelming Colts.

New Orleans Saints 17, Los Angeles Rams 10

A lot has changed for the Rams this season, moving from St. Louis to LA and now moving from Case Keenum to Jared Goff. Unfortunately, one thing hasn’t changed and that is their ability for sustained success. They had some positive signs early on in the season, but they just weren’t able to capitalize and are looking more and more like a team that won’t make the playoffs. The Saints haven’t played to their potential, but I don’t trust the LA Rams to win on Jared Goff’s second start, going away nonetheless. I give the New Orleans Saints to show some signs of life against the underperforming Los Angeles Rams.

Tennessee Titans 24, Chicago Bears 13

The Tennessee Titans have encouraging signs for a brighter future after this season. Marcus Mariota has shown growth as he’s taken his typically substandard team and brought them near .500. With his potential and DeMarco Murray serving as one of the surprise rushers in the league, there are things to smile about in Tennessee. The same can’t be said for Chicago Bears fans. If you want a reason to smile as a Chicago native, avoid anything to do with the Bears and watch the Cubs winning the World Series on repeat. The Titans will have some positive moments and will beat the Bears while Chicago fans stop watching the unbearable Bears and will watch the World Series they recorded on DVR.

Atlanta Falcons 34, Arizona Cardinals 20

The Atlanta Falcons are one of the best teams in the NFC and even though their home record is nothing to gasp at, I think this week is when they recognize the need to win games in preparation for the playoffs. The Arizona Cardinals have some good weapons like David Johnson, who is running his way out of obscurity, but they haven’t been able to utilize them to their true potential. I have the Falcons winning this one with strong plays from the pass game that have gotten them this far and will continue to take them to the playoffs.

New York Giants 23, Cleveland Browns 14

The New York Giants have a lot of reasons to smile. The defense is finally starting to meet early expectations, they are on a five-game win streak, and they are winning the close games that they were always losing last season. If they want to give themselves the Christmas gift of making it to the postseason, they’re going to have to win this game, as they have tougher opponents ahead. The New York Giants don’t fall asleep as they almost did last week, keeping the winless Browns winless and keeping the win streak streaking into next week.

Houston Texans 30, San Diego Chargers 27

The Houston Texans have problems this year, whether it be losing J.J. Watt after having him rush his recovery or underperforming in a division where a decisive team could have practically clinched the division. The Texans didn’t perform well last week, but this is a home game and they are undefeated at home. The San Diego Chargers perform well enough to show signs of life, but choke as they’ve done the entire season and allow the Houston Texans to remain undefeated at home.

Buffalo Bills 28, Jacksonville Jaguars 0

The Buffalo Bills have been one of the teams that have been really surprising so far this season. They started out with two losses, won four straight, lost the next three, and won last week. It’s worth mentioning the three latest losses came against good teams, but make no mistake that this team can win games. I think Buffalo fights angry in order to try and snag a wild card spot and they shutout the Jaguars at home to send a message to the rest of the league.

Baltimore Ravens 24, Cincinnati Bengals 20

The Cincinnati Bengals are quite frankly not playing like the team they have been in past years. In previous years, they’ve been in discussions about making the playoffs, but now the more appropriate discussion is whether or not they’ll make it to .500. They’ve only won 2 of their last 8 games and Baltimore is going to play physical football at home with a divisional title on their minds. This will be a tighter game than usual for the Bengals but Baltimore outfights Cincinnati to win and garner serious talk about playoff chances.

Miami Dolphins 28, San Francisco 49ers 7

I have three teams in the NFL that I believe can be bet against nearly every week, barring an unusual circumstance like an injury to the opposing team or if two of the teams face each other. There are teams that have played awful, there are teams with very bad records, and then there are these three juggerNOTs. The first one is Cleveland because of a winless record and consistently mediocre play, the second one is Jacksonville for the very low win total they have, not just this year, but for many years. The last one is San Francisco, who have lost the last 9 games and have few reasons to be optimistic about the future. The Miami Dolphins have resurged and actually have a good shot at making the playoffs and I predict they absolutely manhandle the 49ers.

Seattle Seahawks 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are an intriguing story in the NFL because they have been performing better than previous years, but just don’t seem to perform consistently well. Tampa Bay is lucky they don’t have to go into Seattle for this game because they would likely get crushed as Seattle is undefeated at home this season. I think Tampa Bay plays better than expected, but Seattle has already established itself as one of the NFC’s best this season and plays like it this week. Seattle has only lost one of its last 8 games and they won’t lose this one as they look to solidify their position to head into the playoffs.

New England Patriots 35, New York Jets 10

In a year of many unexpected events, the one consistency for the NFL has been the dominance of the New England Patriots. There was lots of doubt and concern early on this season because of Tom Brady missing the first four games because of suspension. Those doubts were put to rest when the backup quarterbacks won three of those four and New England has been consistently dominant this season with Tom Brady looking to be an MVP favorite. The Patriots have few things going wrong and the Jets have few things going right. The Jets just can’t find a way to consistently win even though there is some talent there. Jets typically break the sound barrier, but this team can’t even manage to break .500. The New England Patriots demolish the Jets at home and even though the Jets play abnormally physically football due to the divisional matchup, the Patriots coast to another win and the Jets show more signs of needing a different pilot.

Oakland Raiders 45, Carolina Panthers 38

This game should be a very interesting one to watch because my prediction would be much different if it were held last year. Last year, these two teams meeting would result in a decisive win for the Panthers as they would go on to the Super Bowl. However, the Oakland Raiders have come out this season as a potential winner in one of the most exciting divisions in football through the strong offensive play of young stars Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. The Panthers got off to an abysmal start to the 2016 season but have won 3 of their last four. I anticipate lots of offense for this game and Oakland does have a concern here because they are not as good at home as they are on the road. If Oakland can limit the mistakes on field like penalties, dropped balls, and other self-inflicting wounds, they can play a physical game against a physical team and extend their four-game win streak. Oakland’s crowd will not disappoint as they will help their booming team to a decisive win against the resurgent Panthers.

Kansas City Chiefs 23, Denver Broncos 20

This game between two of the AFC West’s best teams will be an absolute thriller to watch. Kansas City has many reasons to be excited as they have won 5 of their last 6 and have a good shot at making it to the playoffs as a wild card. Denver has not played poorly, as they are 7-3 and weapons on their defense have kept them relevant even when things got shaky on offense. However, I predict that Kansas City, under the leadership of Alex Smith, has been so underestimated that they will go to Denver and eke out a memorable victory over the Denver Broncos.

Philadelphia Eagles 28, Green Bay Packers 14

On paper, this should be a relatively competitive game, since Philadelphia is 5-5 and last in their division and Green Bay is 4-6 and third in their division, ahead of the Chicago Bears. That said, Philadelphia is better than their record and Green Bay is worse than their record. Philadelphia has lost three of their last four, but two were against tough divisional opponents and the third was against the Seahawks. Green Bay is playing so badly in comparison to hype and expectations from early in the season that the Packers aren’t packing up the seats at home games, but are rather packing up and leaving any chances of a postseason behind. With such abysmal play from a quarterback who has played at a high level for such a long time, it makes you truly wonder what has happened to Aaron Rodgers and can he recover. Philadelphia’s defense stops Aaron Rodgers and his offense and rolls onto a win to keep any playoff hopes alive.

Lit&Local: Sweater Beats, Getting Cozy & Ready “For The Cold”

14046145_1159632220777778_4720892689247195437_nMaryland native Antonio Cuna, better known by his DJ name Sweater Beats, debuts his For The Cold tour this holiday season, stopping by U Street Music Hall in D.C., November 23rd. His singles and mixes are a bundle of sharp production, textured sound bites, and modal elements of EDM rooted with R&B and pop undertones. He has opened for EDM superstars Flume and Chet Faker (now Nick Murphy), along with rap gods like Chance the Rapper. His experience working with big name artists, along with years of work in production and remixed tunes, will make for a noteworthy performance next week. It is a show you do not want to miss.

 

Below is a conversation Local Music Director Jackie Reed had with Antonio Cuna, talking about his upcoming show at U Street:

 

Sweater Beats’ Did You Wrong (feat. MAX)

Sweater Beats is performing at U Street Music Hall, Wednesday, November 23rd. Tickets are $20, Doors open at 10:30pm.

DJ Bearson and Different Sheep will be opening the show.

Link to show tickets: http://www.ustreetmusichall.com/event/1349547-sweater-beats-washington/

Facebook/SoundCloud: https://www.facebook.com/sweaterbeats/ / https://soundcloud.com/sweaters

Twitter/Instagram: @sweaterbeats / @sweater_beats

Website: http://www.sweaterbeats.com/

Best of our College Radio Day Special Hour 2

11-04-crd-specialWGMU’s first ever College Radio Day special gets rolling in hour two as Jess, Jackie, Dea, Grant, Matt, and Mikey B. (fellow staff members) join Sasha and Cory in their celebration. More stories are shared with lots of laughs, and some… anger. You don’t want to miss it.