We're one Guenther short this week with Tyler taking vacation but Pops and I can handle it with the first week of baseball down and playoffs getting started for hockey and basketball. We start with the Cubs with Kyle Schwarber. What does this do for the team? Is it possible Chicago looks for a left handed bat this summer? Pops is surprised early this season that the Cubbies have been able to work the counts. How about fantasy in the first week; what about the strategy of subbing out some of the lower parts of the roster for hot bats and arms? We move over to hockey with the Blackhaws facing a familiar foe in the St. Louis Blues. The team has been mostly down to end the season with Corey Crawford hurt and Duncan Keith suspended. With that, and Chicago losing to them near the end of the season, how much of a chance do we give the Hawks to get out of the series? We wrap up March Madness with the Final 4 and Championship game. A lot of people are saying this is possibly the greatest championship game of all time, where does it actually rank? The semi-final games stunk which ways it down a bit. We take an oath to not make fun of Villanova again. Do we think Jay Wright could bounce to the NBA? Pops takes a shot at Roy Williams as vastly overrated. Louisville has stripped scholarships from themselves, which seems like something really bad should be coming down the pipe. We move on to preview the NBA 1st round match ups but before we get there, the Bulls gave up down the stretch. Pau Gasol criticizes the maturity of the team, it's a mess. All the problems start up top, Gar Forman and John Paxson. Derrick Rose is endanger of being the first guy to win the MVP and not be a Hall of Famer. Pops thinks it's a bit subjective, but Blair thinks it's more serious. We preview the NBA playoff first rounds and make some best of 7 predictions. Who provides the biggest threat to the Cavs in the East? Will Cleveland be in a 7 game series in the East? How does the chase for 72 affect the Warriors, get it or not? Which potential second round match up goes longer; Clippers versus Warriors or Spurs versus Thunder? Which first round series is the most interesting in both conferences? Pops wraps up the podcast with a shot at Purdue Football.
A lot of smaller topics this week starting with the Chicago Blackhawks who have won a few in a row but have slipped a bit with some losses piling up. The Duncan Keith suspension could have been a lot worse and you expect more from one of your leaders. How about the season Patrick Kane has had? Tallying 50 goals and 100 points, huge bench marks for an American. In the NBA the whole DeAngelo Russell incident has swept over sports and really gotten a lot of attention. What do we make of the incident? What does this circus of this season mean going forward with LA thinking LA will bring free agents to the Lakers. It says something that no one is talking about Nick Young's fault. This is a bigger issue in basketball because it's a game of personalities and you recognize the stars. Staying in the NBA, what's going on with this LeBron debacle? Is he as good a teammate as everyone wants to make him? James seems to build the team and be involved in everything but just everyone he wants to play. He seems to have too much of an ego to realize he needs to have someone to rein him in. If the Cavaliers continue to get to Finals and not win, does it taint his legacy? Tyler also jumps on LeBron for his dream friend team he wants to put together. We move back to Chicago to talk Opening Day for the White Sox and Cubs. Tyler is really unhappy with Jimmy Rollins at SS and hitting 2nd. The offense continues to be all power and no average. The rotation is young, will it produce? David Robertson is a solid closer, but doesn't get enough use. One of the stories is Matt Szczur making the Opening Day roster, even with Javier Baez starting on DL. With Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward, do you like the depth or risk stunting the growth of Jorge Soler? Is the offense a whole lot better? Is the pitching enough with John Lackey coming off a career year at 37 and Jake Arrieta coming off a historic year? Pops a few ridiculous bets again this season. All women's sports for the Duel at High Noon. A sexist comment comes out about women's tennis needing to bow down to men's tennis? Why is men's tennis more popular? Members of the women's US National team are filing paperwork to be paid more equally like the men, should they be? Tyler says because it's a national team they should be paid equally. The salaries aren't even close, but the money that men's soccer brings in isn't even close. There's been a suggestion to make the WNBA more popular by lowering the rim. Some women have come out and taken serious offense. Is this the fundamental rule you can't change because it's basketball?
Something a little special this week with us on location for Spring Training. Pops gives us an up close report on the White Sox and some of the younger Cubs. We get to have our own league for Fantasy Baseball this season and Pops gives us the early look at the teams. How do we think we did? Pops talks the difference between the elite pitchers and the second tier guys. We move to a Purdue topic that got lost in the shuffle, the Fighting Illini hired Lovie Smith. How did they swing that one? We have our doubts about his ability to put a team together, but he raises the profile of the program. The fact that they could swing this hiring is nuts in the Big Ten. Did you know the NCAA gets 750 million JUST for March Madness. RG3 finally signed, what do we make of the deal in Cleveland? Can he really succeed with everyone leaving the Browns this off season? What are the Broncos doing? Will Josh Gordon be back? We jump on the Bulls, literally and figuratively. There have been injuries, but Fred Hoiberg and this team have been exposed. Can they just shut the team down and get in the lottery? It was supposed to be a crazy March Madness and from the Sweet 16 on it was pretty chalky. What conferences lived up to the hype and which one fell short?
March Madness is of course up first but we start with Purdue Basketball, is Matt Painter on the hot seat? The Boilermakers blew another one, not even getting out of the first round. That's two leads blown two years in a row in a short period of time. No point guards against the press and a 10-0 run against Little Rock, what the hell was Painter thinking? How are everyone's brackets, West Virginia and Michigan State going down had to of torch most. Who are the teams we're watching going forward? We cover some NBA with rumors with that Phil Jackson might coach the home games for the Knicks, smart? What do we take away from the Spurs beating the Warriors? Can San Antonio do this in a seven game series, or was it just a bad shooting night from Golden State? We move over to the MLB with big news coming from the White Sox. Adam LaRoche negotiated about having his kid around before Kenny Williams came to him and told him to cut it back ending in his surprise retirement. Chicago players have completely gotten behind LaRoche forming a rift. Chicago almost boycotted a spring training game because of it. Will we see some kind of attempt to file something against the Sox? How does this damage the Sox's image going forward? We finish the baseball previews staying with the AL Central. This division is kind of all over the place with the Royals falling off a bit, the Tigers still spending big, Cleveland's rotation and the young Twins. It looks like a division that all the teams could stick around and a big trade tips the scales. We go over some of the fantasy options to watch also. In the NL Central is it the Cardinals division to lose? Do the Pirates fall back? With the additions the Cubs made do they improve on 97 wins?
We continue our baseball previews with the West divisions and preview fantasy players of note. In the AL the West seems to be a rotating team on top with Texas surprising last year and the young Astros rising to the Wild Card. The division crown seems to sit in Texas. Both teams will likely be in the pitching market this summer with questions after the number three spot. The Marineers have always been a trendy Wild Card pick, but can they develop with Felix Hernandez looking to start declining. Are the Angels going to be an embarrassment this season with all their bad long contracts? In the NL West, it's an even year so does that mean another World Series in San Francisco? Do you buy Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija being able to help carry the load after Madison Bumgarner? What do we make of the Dodgers after Greinke bolted for Arizona and a lot of questions after Clayton Kershaw? The Diamondbacks made some big splashes, but where does that put them? In the NFL free agency it looks like the Giants are coughing up big bucks for any defensive help. The Raiders have to be one of the winners with more shrewd moves to add to a young corps that looked solid last season. The Jaguars spent big but it was a little bit of a head scratcher, like the Chris Ivory signing. Were we surprised with the Bears not being bigger buyers? How about the Broncos suffering a bit of an exodus? Brock Osweiler signed for a pretty penny but the Texans had a solid off-season. His contract has skewed the market and now Ryan Fitzpatrick wants those kind of dollars after a career year. Pretty much everyone has left the Browns, but the Ravens are in rough shape as well. And of course there's the Dolphins who keep adding overrated, big contracts. Where are they getting this money from? There have been some running back shuffles in the off-season, so for a position that needs depth what does this mean for Fantasy this fall? The Big Ten tournament has ended with Purdue losing 66-62 to Michigan State, what does this mean for March Madness? The Boilermakers have had an up and down season, so can they actually make a run?
Free agency has finally come for the NFL and we start with the Bears. Is franchising Alshon Jeffery the smartest move general manager Ryan Pace makes? Is this the season that Jay Cutler is released from Chicago? Will Chicago actually go after some of those Denver free agents? Pops throws out some lesser names that could be bargains late in the off-season. Front seven is definitely a position the team will look at, but what about secondary or offensive line? For the draft do one of the corners fall to 11 where Chicago is sitting? What about all of these Alabama players? How does Ezekiel Elliot compare to Todd Gurley? Who are some players that you think are can't miss? What about some guaranteed busts? Where will RG3 go? We start our previews with both East divisions. Is the AL East gonna be any good? Does David Price make a big difference? Who has a better pen, the Yankees or Sox? Who should we look at for Fantasy drafts? We start the NL East preview with Jenrry Mejia lifetime ban, a sad waste of talent. Are the Mets ready for target on their back? What about players now complaining about their pre-arbitration salaries? The NL East is already a three team race at best. Will the Marlins ever come through with their talent? Who's the best bat? Which pitcher on the Mets will be the best for fantasy?
Purdue holds on to win, but how do we feel overall with this team with the up and down season? Pops is very down on the Boilermakers making a run while Tyler says it's open and everyone around the country has the same problems. Purdue is 13-0 when Raphael Davis scores 10 or more points and 9-7 when he doesn't. He hasn't been consistent all season. After Mathias' showing against Maryland has everyone asking where has that been all season? We move on to the Blackhawks who were probably the busiest at the deadline. Former Hawk Andrew Ladd comes over to help fill in for the injured Marian Hossa and will be their line mate when he returns and send Andrew Shaw down to the 4th line. Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann will join #TeuvoTime on the 3rd line and of couse your have KaneGB for the 2nd line. Another championship contender in Chicago, the Cubs brought Dexter Fowler back and shocked everyone. What does this mean for Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler and Jason Heyward already in the outfield? Javier Baez was also working on seeing time in the outfield, does he make the roster? The bullpen battle could be an interesting one to watch with some of the arms added and brought back this season. The White Sox flew under the radar but made some solid additions, what do we think? The AL Central is an interesting division with the youth of the Twins, disappointing vets in Cleveland and the Tigers continuing to spend big. It's a wide open division. For the NFL we're gearing up for free agency and Ryan Pace may of made his smartest move in franchising Alshon Jeffery. What about the rumors of Danny Trevathan and Malik Jackson as rumors for the Bears? We talk some draft, what about Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith? What does our Mel Kiper Jr., Tyler, think about the QBs? Where will the signal callers go in the draft? Is there a QB the Bears could take later in the draft? For the Duel at High Noon first up is the division winners and wild cards in baseball. For the second question, who gets the ball for a last shot for the Cavaliers? Does Kevin Durant go to Golden State, and if so do you even watch anymore? For Tyler's garbage time he thinks the Cleveland and Toronto match up in the Eastern Conference Finals could be a good one. Pops takes a shot at FIFA.
We start with Purdue basketball who had an up and down game at Indiana and making it tough to decide how to feel going forward. Their best road win is still at Pitt, and it seemed to be a disappointing effort. One of the biggest rivalries in college basketball and the Boilers looked flat. What's going on with the seniors, especially Raphael Davis who has been up and down all season. We stay in West Lafayette with Morgan Burke announcing his future retirement. Do we think they'll botch his replacement? We stay in college football with the hoopla being made about all the things Jim Harbaugh is doing. Peyton Manning's squeaky clean image has started to dissipate. What do we make of the Tennessee scandal? With the HGH accusations coming out this year as well, how does your change the perception of Manning? Were we surprised about the very quiet NBA trade deadline? What team added the best piece? Should the Bulls have done more to collect some future assets? Which players in the NBA are franchise players, starting with Anthony Davis? Westbrook or Durant? Irving, Green or Klay Thompson? Lillard? Aldridge or Kawhi Leonard? Bosh or Love? Butler? Paul George? Harden? We wrap up with Fantasy Baseball with news that we're going to have our own private league. For the Duel of the High Noon we start with Ronda Rousey and her depression from losing. Do the Thunder even have a shot in round two against the Spurs or the Warriors? Will Golden State tie or surpass the 72-10 record? For garbage time Pops is unsure about the slogan 'Embrace the target.' Can the Cubs handle being the hunted?
We start with Purdue Basketball an ask, where are you from one to sick and tired of this team? With the way the Boilermakers have shrunk in the 2nd half it really looks like they lucked out to hold out against Michigan State at home. They still have at Indiana and home against Maryland left. We move on to the NFL Hall of Fame class that has eight members, but how many of them are really Hall of Famers? Of course the Brett Favre debate is opened up again. How much does being an analyst on television help? Terrell Owens called out the networks getting Chris Carter in. He's a jerk, but we think definitely has a point. How much does off the field issues matter for a Hall of Fame ballot. For the Super Bowl it was an ugly game that a lot of people didn't think Denver was going to win. Where does the Broncos' defense rank in Super Bowl performances? What do we make of Cam Newton not diving on the fumble? What about the criticism for Cam Newton being upset during the post-game press conference? Does a second Super Bowl do anything for Peyton Manning's legacy? We move on to the Super Bowl titles; how many teams have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in 50 seasons? If you take the best three quaterbacks all time for a franchise who you take? It's 19 difference teams in 50 Super Bowls and either the Colts or Packers for the best collection of QBs. In 18 seasons with Manning and Luck back to back they've gone to only FOUR AFC Championship games. They've gone to the playoffs 15 times and ran into the Patriots only five times, so it's not just New England's fault. Despite getting two franchise quaterbacks the Colts are in the lower ranks of trips to the Final 4 and Super Bowl. It's pathetic. Before we get to the Duel at High Noon the 85 Bears 30 for 30 is out and we put that team in perspective for it's right place in history. It brings criticism to Mike Dikta who was overrated as a coach. For the Duel at High Noon with 19 out of 32 teams winning titles, by the time we finish Super Bowl 100 will a few teams make it to 10 or will every team have at least gotten to the title game? Does Peyton Manning retire, and if not which team does he go to? With the injuries and losses piling up, is it time for the Bulls to wave the white flag? For his garbage time Pops calls out Dwight Howard.
We leave the Super Bowl behind this to cover some smaller topics starting with the All-Star games starting with the NHL with the rule changes. Does 3 on 3 make it better? Where does the skill challenge match up compared to the Homerun Derby or the Dunk Contest? Is the Pro Bowl even salvageable? Tyler suggests a celebrity game with full contact just for his enjoyment. We move to the NBA All-Star game with the roster snubs and the joke starting lineups. What do you make of Kobe Bryant's last hurrah? Damian Lillard is one of the biggest snubs of all time. How do you rank the All-Star games for all four pro sports? Do we think the Hack-a-Shaq rule needs to change? Signing day has come and gone and Michigan has gotten a lot of publicity, overrated? Harbaugh seems to be raising the banner for all the ridiculousness of a day that's already too much. Does it really matter with the SEC still dominating? An underlying story is what Kirbie Smart did to Alabama's recruiting class? Tyler wrote an article on how much recruiting points National Championships. Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss are really starting to make some noise. Pops is surprised about Clemson's finishing spot and Tyler is impressed with Houston. They got the first 5-star kid ever to go to a non-power 5 conference. Pops takes a shot at Notre Dame who finished outside the top 10. We talk Purdue Football who finished 79, last in the Big Ten. Kansas was the only power 5 conference that finished worst that Purdue. We switch to college basketball with Louisville self-imposing punishments on themselves. We take this as them finding out something worse could be coming down. The Cardinals were projected to be a 4 seed, making it a surprise. It was done to protect recruiting and of course the green. We expect them to get hammered and Pitino to lose his job. We talk a little fantasy baseball as we get ready for the new season. We talk preparation and rule changes for this upcoming season. Is there a comparable athlete with how Johnny Manziel has gone downhill? Purdue lost to Maryland, are we just looking at a Sweet 16 team at best? Who is the number one bat and number one pitcher for Fantasy Baseball? Tyler passes his Garbage Time and Pops criticizes the amount of criticism Cam Newton is getting.