Week 12 NFL picks

Chippewa strip goers, beware of this man.

Pittsburgh comes to the Ralph this weekend, but it won’t be much of a home game for the Bills. The game miraculously sold out, which is most likely due to Steeler fans coming up to Buffalo. One of my teammates put it best: He’d bet the house except he never bets against the Bills.

Pittsburgh at Bills (+6 1/2)–Pittsburgh

Tennessee (+6 1/2) at Houston–Houston

Green Bay (+2) at Atlanta–Green Bay

Minnesota (+1) at Washington–Washington*

Jacksonville (+7) at N.Y. Giants–Giants

Carolina (+10) at Cleveland–Cleveland. I want anyone +10 against the Browns, but I’m intrigued by Jake Delhomme against his old team.

Kansas City at Seattle (+1 1/2)–Chiefs

Miami (+3) at Oakland–Oakland

St. Louis (+4) at Denver–Rams

Philadelphia at Chicago (+3 1/2)–Eagles

Tampa Bay (+7 1/2) at Baltimore–Bucs

San Diego (+3) at Indianapolis–Peyton Manning doesn’t lose at night.

San Francisco at Arizona (+1)–49ers

Feel like I picked too many favorites, but changing picks is like picking children. Okay not quite, but I couldn’t find any I would change.

On a related note, the Bills promoted Naaman Roosevelt this week. Projected stat line: 3 offensive plays, 1 catch, 4 yards, all garbage time. Might get in on kickoff too.

Overall
Northrop: 85-67-5 (7-4)
DiCesare: 82-70-5 (7-4)
Sullivan: 82-70-5 (7-4)
McKissic: 77-75-5 (4-7)
Gaughan: 71-81-5 (8-3)
Wilson: 71-81-5 (8-3)
Game Seven 64-88-5 (8-2-1)

Last week:

Bills (+5 1/2) at Cincinnati–Bengals
Bills 49-31. We won! But Loss
Oakland (+7) at Pittsburgh–Raiders
Pittsburgh 35-3. Loss
Houston (+7) at Jets–Texans
Jets 30-27. Win
Baltimore at Carolina (+10)–Ravens
Ravens 37-13. Win
Washington (+7) at Tennessee–Titans
Washington 19-16 (OT). Loss
Detroit (+6 1/2) at Dallas–Lions
Dallas 35-19. Loss
Green Bay at Minnesota (+3)–Packers
GB 31-3. Win
Cleveland (+1 1/2) at Jacksonville–Browns
Jacksonville 24-20. Loss
Arizona (+8) at Kansas City–Cards
KC 31-13. Loss
Seattle (+11 1/2) at New Orleans–Seahawks
Saints 34-19. Loss
Atlanta at St. Louis (+3)–Falcons*
ATL 34-17. Win
Tampa Bay (+3) at San Francisco–Tampa
Tampa 21-0. Win
Indianapolis (+3) at New England–Colts
Pats 31-28. Push. The news staff doesn’t have any ties, and upon further review, it seems this game was actually a win.
Giants (+3) at Philadelphia–Eagles
Eagles 27-17. Win
Denver (+10) at San Diego–Chargers
Chargers 35-14. Win
8-7

Restaurant Draft perfect way to get in the mood for Thanksgiving dinner

Just finished the Restaurant Draft. Results are here.

Initial thoughts: It was awesome. Especially on a day where we are prepping for a huge meal, thinking about food all day really set the mood. This is basically two of my favorite things combined–fantasy sports and food.

We kept track of the snake draft in Google Docs and had a poster board on the floor marking picks by category so everyone could see what they still need and what is already off the board in that category. We also did a live blog of the event, although we had some difficulty with that.

I had my little brother filling out the board. This doesn't reflect rounds, just what positions everyone had already drafted to avoid confusion.

I would do this again with another topic. Everyone had fun doing it.

Here’s my team, round by round.

1-Salvatore’s Italian Garden (Italian) Classic. I had the fourth pick, but Salvatore’s is the Adrian Peterson of the draft.

2-Casino buffet (buffet) I didn’t think there was a lot of depth at this position, so I grabbed a good one early. This is my Antonio Gates.

3-May Wah (Chinese) See #2.

4-Duff’s (American) Best wings in town. Just ask Obama. Fantasy comparison: Peyton Manning.

5-Mighty Taco (fast food) This one was a steal. Great food and didn’t have to get stuck with a McDonald’s or Burger King. Comparison: LeSean McCoy. Waited on him and still got great value.

6-Alethea’s Chocolates (dessert) I love ice cream, so I was happy with this pick. Not a sexy pick, but you know what you’re getting. Comparison: Wes Welker.

7-Olympic restaurant (Greek) There weren’t a lot of Greek places left here, and this was all I could think of. Good pancakes, too. Comparison: You don’t know who else to draft, so umm… Eagles defense.

8-Moe’s Southwest Grill (Mexican) I would take Moe’s over Chipolte. Sorry everyone. Playing favorites here, compares to Fred Jackson.

9-Quaker Stake and Lube (Utility) Solid pick. This place is awesome inside. If you haven’t been to one, you need to go. It’s on Transit. You don’t know what you have unless you see the place. Comparison: Stevie Johnson.

10-Starbucks (coffee) I love frappuccinos. Little bit out there, but price isn’t an issue in fantasy sports, so Starbucks is a winner. Comparison: Terrell Owens.

11-Bagel Jay’s (breakfast) I was really stuck on breakfast places, and I didn’t want to take IHOP. I heard Manhattan Bagel get selected and it gave me this idea. The “Hey, why not?” pick: Mike Vick.

12-Bocce Club (pizza) Everyone took a pizza place early, so I just waited until the end. Can’t go wrong with Bocce club. Waiting everyone out and still getting a great selection? Sounds like Matt Ryan.

We had two extra rounds of utility picks after the 12th round just for fun.

13- Outback Steakhouse. I love steak and I couldn’t believe no one took this. Major steal, even though everyone knows it’s good. The Phillip Rivers of the draft.

14- Hibbard’s Custard. If you’ve ever been to this ice cream place out in Lewiston, you know what I’m talking about. They scoop their soft serve, which sounds odd but it tastes fantastic. They are a good player with limited exposure, so if I wasn’t jonesing for some right now I might say Ryan Fitzpatrick, but I have to go with James Jones.

Keep in mind we haven’t been to every restaurant out there, and everyone likes different things. I know right now there are some restaurants that were criminally left out, such as Anderson’s and P.F. Chang’s. That’s the nature of the beast, sometimes you get in to draft mode and you blank out.

Matt has declared himself the winner of the Restaurant Draft, which is funny because winning things that are supposed to be for fun is usually my thing.

I would like to do more of these in the future. Right now I’m thinking something about Christmas cookies, but that seems a little specific. Never a dull moment on this site… stay tuned.

Restaurant Draft II

Remember this post? Today is a day about food and giving thanks, and we decided it would be appropriate to to have our Restaurant Draft today.

Follow the live blog: Restaurant Draft

Here are the categories again:

Cuisine

-Italian
-Greek
-Mexican
-Chinese
-American

Specialty

-Breakfast
-Coffee houses
-Fast food
-Pizzerias
-Buffets
-Dessert
-Utility

Chance was renamed to utility because it sounds more sporty.

For all discrepancies, we are just going to have to vote on them as they come up. There are too many restaurants and situations to cover them all before we begin.

However, one distinction we made was between pizzerias and Italian cuisine.  If the place is an Italian place that also serves pizza (i.e. Frank’s Sunny Italy), it only counts as an Italian place, not a pizzeria. If it is mainly a pizza place that only sells other stuff to make money (Pizza Hut), it won’t count as an Italian restaurant.

We also considered making a steakhouse division, but opted against it due to lack of options and because it infringes on other categories.

Feel free to comment, I’ll be monitoring the chat throughout. I’ve never ran a Cover It Live chat before, but it seems pretty user-friendly.

Also, we are only using places from Buffalo and immediate surrounding areas. No Rochester for this… sorry Dinosaur BBQ.

You we will also be keeping track of the draft on a Google doc, which can be seen here.

Career day for Bryon Mulkey powers UB past Canisius

UB's Byron Mulkey

Eighteen hundred strong packed into the Koessler Athletic Center Tuesday night, expecting to see the top college basketball programs in Western New York duke it out.

Instead, they got the Byron Mulkey show.

Mulkey had a near-perfect game for the Bulls, dropping a career-high 23 points while propelling UB past Canisius, 81-64.

Mulkey finished the day 7-of-9 from the field and converted all eight of his free throw attempts. He didn’t miss a shot for almost the first 35 minutes of the game, going 7-for-7 until Tomas Vazquez-Simmons blocked his shot with 5:08 to play.

Buffalo’s Zach Filzen hit a 3-point shot 21 seconds into the game to open the scoring, and the Bulls never lost the lead the rest of the game. The closest Canisius came was tying it at 6-6, and never got closer than seven points in the second half.

“We didn’t play up to our standards,” Canisius head coach Tom Parrotta said. “They out-did us in every facet of the game.”

Did they ever. The 17-point winning margin was the most for UB over Canisius in nearly a century. The game tied the record the Bulls set in 1915—before the shot clock and 3-point line—when they beat Canisius 40-23.

The Bulls shot a blazing 64 percent from the field in the first half to take a commanding 42-29 lead into the locker room. Canisius had the ball stolen from them seven times in the first half, and while both teams committed 10 turnovers, UB cashed them in for 14 points, while the Griffs were only able to muster six.

Reggie Groves led Canisius at halftime with double-digit points for the second consecutive game, however, for second consecutive game, he also was shut out in the second half.

The Griffs went on a 6-0 run to start the second half and cut the deficit to 42-35, but UB answered with an 8-0 run to extend the lead even further.

UB (3-1) led by as many as 20 before closing out the game up by 17 points on Canisius (2-2). The Bulls finished the game shooting 56.9 percent, including 46.2 percent from behind the arc.

The Griffs shot over 42 percent in the game, but settled for too many bad shots and didn’t rebound nearly well enough to stay with Mulkey and the Bulls.

Elton Frazier led Canisius with 14 points (6-for-7), Julius Coles had 12, Groves had 10 and Greg Logins added eight. No Griff had more than five rebounds.

UB coach Reggie Witherspoon made it a priority to take Canisius point guard Gaby Belardo out of the game, and they had success with eliminating him. Belardo was held to just eight points (went 0-for-4 from 3-point range) and committed five turnovers.

Filzen added 13 points for UB, while Mitchell Watt had 12 and Jawaan Alston had nine. Javon McCrea had seven points and added nine rebounds and four steals on the night.

Parrotta was looking for size to put in to the game when Frazier got into foul trouble early, and opted for Chris Manhertz (6-6, 235) instead of Marial Dhal (7-3, 230). Manhertz played five minutes in the first half while Dhal did not get into the game.

UB players made it clear in the press conference that they wanted to get back at Canisius for what they called “disrespectful” actions after the Griffs’ 73-71 win at Alumni Arena last season. They were upset when several Canisius players made derogatory actions toward the UB logo on the court after the game.

Even McCrea, a freshman, said he was briefed on the incident. With the decisive win, Bulls players believe they got revenge on Canisius.

“We beat them pretty bad on their home court,” McCrea said.

Canisius is now 1-1 versus Big 4 opponents, with two MAAC games against Niagara remaining.

“Our plan was to sweep the series, go 4-0,” Parrotta said.

The Griffs have a week off until its next game, which will take place next Tuesday, Nov. 30 in Binghamton.

UB shooting the lights out in the first half, lead Canisius 42-29 at the break

Byron Mulkey’s 15 points is tops for all players at halftime as the UB Bulls lead Canisius 42-29 at the Koessler Athletic Center.

The Bulls shot 64 percent from the field in the first half (16/25) and went 6-for-9 from the line to get the lead on Canisius. The Griffs’ man defense looked somewhat porous as UB put up a majority of its shots with open looks at the basket.

Canisius has zero second chance points so far and has had the ball stolen from them seven times. Both teams committed 10 turnovers, but UB has 14 points off Canisius turnovers while the Griffs have six.

Reggie Groves was the best player in the first half for the Griffs for the second game in a row, scoring 10 points and leading the charge on offense. Gaby Belardo has two steals.

Chris Manhertz played five minutes in the first half, but did fouled twice and committed a turnover.

The Griffs are shooting just under 40 percent from the field but will need to rebound better and get much more aggressive on offense if they are to have a shot at coming back.