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New URL (link) to FanYard Blog

We have permanently moved to our own blog, which will allow us to grow at a faster rate and do a few things we could not get done while being hosted on the wonderful WordPress.

Please check us at from this point onwards.


Dallas Cowboys: Will They Keep Jason Garrett or Wade Phillips?

According to a report on ESPN, the Baltimore Ravens have asked Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to be their new head coach after they fired Brian Billick for being out of his league and living on undeserved accolades from years ago. Word on the street says that Garrett has yet to make a decision.

I have a feeling he won’t have to: Jerry Jones will offer him the head coaching job with the Cowboys if he will stay on, firing Wade Phillips in the process.

Now, this is all on gut feeling and I know there are others out there who feel the same way, especially after the Cowboys became the first top NFC team to lose in the Divisional round of the playoffs in modern-day NFL history. Someone has to pay for that, and the top man has proven himself to be, like Marty Schottenheimer, a postseason loser.

Phillips is now 0-4 in the playoffs. Marty has won five games in the postseason, but he has had 18 chances – and two of those wins came with Joe Montana and Marcus Allen playing together for the Chiefs. I have those games on tape and I am pretty sure they just stopped listening to Marty in order to win. If that was the case, Schottenheimer has not won a playoff game on his own merits since 1990. That’s only 18 years, right? Yeah, he’ll get another chance real soon. Madness.

Even Phillips has admitted that he was surprised to get another shot at being an NFL head coach after his sessions of futility while masquerading as the head coach of the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills made it abundantly clear – apparently to anyone not named Jerry Jones – that giving Wade Phillips command of an NFL team is simply to watch the Peter Principle play out before your eyes. It is a waste of the talents of people like Tony Romo and Terrell Owens, and no one wants to see Owens all teary-eyed. (By no one, I mean everyone except Cowboys fans; and I especially mean fans of the 49ers and Eagles.)


The article linked to in the previous paragraph talks about Norv Turner, the first-year head coach in San Diego, who is going to give an excellent example of an entire team displaying the meaning of the Peter Principle when the Chargers visit New England this weekend to play the undefeated Patriots on their home turf, Gillette Field.

Still, hats off to Turner for getting his team into the AFC Championship game. He has made some great calls in these playoffs and pretty much everything has panned out very well for him. Color me surprised, but happily so. I love being wrong about someone sucking. I want everyone in the NFL to be great. How could you not, as a fan?

Anyway, read what 41 Miles To Freedom says about the hiring of Wade Phillips in Dallas back in July of last year and you’ll get a glimpse into the thought processes that can sway an otherwise sound mind into the illogical notion that, “Hey, maybe Phillips will do just fine.”

So, now Jerry Jones has two choices, really. Both of which will cause him at least a measure of stress and losing face. He can keep Phillips and lose Garrett in the process; a decision that will bring the ire of intelligent football fans from throughout the Lone Star State. Or, he can cut Phillips and make Garrett his new head coach; in effect admitting that he should probably have hired Garrett instead of Phillips last year.

While the second option will placate the fans, at least for now – such a fickle bunch are they – perhaps Jones is smarter than we know. It is entirely possible that, like the four other head coaches mentioned in this piece, Garrett will not be a good head coach and Jones knows this. After all, not many people have been around football and management as long as Jones. (Don’t bring up the obviously insane Al Davis.)

Still, Garrett would only have to be better than Wade Phillips to be the better choice and that can’t be all that hard. Phillips seems to have brought the fun back to the Cowboys and Garrett is given tons of credit for bringing their level of play up a notch. Solution: Keep both, but have Phillips as a sort of team leader / cheerleader-type thing.

This story should be interesting however it plays out.



NFL Playoff Predictions: Chargers at Colts

The last time these two met, in San Diego in Week 10, the Colts were without sure-handed targets Dallas Clark, Anthony Gonzalez and Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning threw six interceptions. The Chargers stormed out to a 23-0 lead halfway through the second quarter and even LaDainian Tomlinson looked a little bit happy on the sidelines. Most of the points, by the way, came from one punt and one kickoff return each for touchdowns by Darren Sproles; his first two NFL touchdowns. Then, Norv Turner coaching kicked in and the Chargers watched helplessly as Indianapolis began coming back.



At 23-7, Adam Vinatieri missed a 42-yard field goal to end the first half. A Kenton Keith touchdown in the third made the game 23-13 and the Colts attempt to covert for two was successful as well, making it 23-15. Just fifteen seconds later, Philip Rivers was sacked; the line of scrimmage was his own 8-yard line. He dropped the ball going down as he had seen Antonio Gates get free in the flat and tried to pass the ball as he was getting sacked, forgetting for a split second about the rain that was pouring down, making his hands and the ball too slippery to grip together. The resulting fumble was recovered by Indy in the end zone, making the score 23-21 with 14:28 to go in the fourth quarter. The Chargers stuffed Joseph Addai as he tried to run up the middle for the two-point conversion.

Somewhere around this time, Philip Rivers went to sit beside what appeared on television to be a sulking and pouting LaDainian Tomlinson as LT sat near the end of a bench on the sidelines. As soon as Rivers pluncked his butt down, LT jumped up and stormed off. It looked for all the world like he pretty much was disgusted with Rivers and wanted nothing to do with him. After the game, however, LT had this to say about the apparent rift: “I saw why it looked like that,” Tomlinson said. “But the crazy thing is that was the time I just got done talking to (Lorenzo Neal). I didn’t realize Philip had sat down.” He should run for office.

Then, with just 1:34 on the clock, Vinatieri lined up for a 29-yard chip shot field goal to complete the Colts comeback. Shockingly, he missed that one as well.

“I should make that kick every time,” Vinatieri said. “There are no good excuses. I just missed it.” Yeah, we saw…twice.

After holding the Chargers to three-and-out, Manning got the ball back with :22 seconds, but threw his sixth interception to seal the unlikely and very lucky Chargers victory, and Indy’s second straight loss.


So what happened? Well, even with six Manning interceptions, the Chargers were able to score just one offensive touchdown and almost lost the game, were it not for a missed 2-point convert (which would have tied and given either team a chance), or either of two missed field goals by Vinatieri. At home.

This week, the Colts may still be without Harrison, but they are use to that now. The Chargers will be without Antonio Gates – something they are not use to at all. And the Colts are at home and well-rested. And Norv Turner is still coaching the Chargers. And Tony Dungy has rumors of his impending departure from the Colts swirling about, perhaps giving the team a little extra incentive to win more games for the man they have grown to love and respect.

Something about this looks for all the world to me like a big-time Indianapolis victory.

The Yardstick for this game is calling for a 10-point Colts victory, but I think it will more likely be around an absurd 21 point win; a wholesale slaughter. The only real intrigue, I suspect, will be watching to see LT explode on the sidelines. Hopefully, he and Turner will actually get into a hockey fight on the sidelines.

Join FanYard to make your game predictions count for something!


Viewing Your Sports Predictions, Historically

You will now notice in your My Yard page at FanYard, that there is now a new section titled: Pick History. This page breaks all your picks into the various sports very nicely. It defaults to NFL, but you will see the tabs for NCAAF, NBA and NCAAB. Your picks in whichever sport you want to look at will be listed by date, starting with the latest date of any pick you have made in that sport. As you look down the page, your picks will be listed as they go further back in time.

Each game is linked to its Game Yard, so you can go back and see what was said about this game, or to see the Yardstick visually. For games that have finished, you will be able to see not only what you predicted the outcome to be, but also what the actual margin of victory (Score Margin) was and for which team. You will see whether or not you were credited for a win or a loss and how many points you were awarded for your win, if any. (Remember, you must be within ten points of the actual winning margin, and have picked the winning team, in order to receive points for your pick.)

The one other change in this regard is that only your most recent 20 picks are now shown in your Yard. To see the rest, click “View All Picks,” and you’ll be taken to the page described herein.

Happy New Year, all!


Texas Bowl Predictions


Tonight’s Texas Bowl features the TCU Horned Frogs against the Houston Cougars in Houston, Texas. Both teams have deep receiving corps and quarterbacks who can get the ball deep. The Cougars will have to play better pass protection than they have most of the season, while TCU quarterback Andy Dalton will have to do a better job at protecting the ball than he has through some of this season; he has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns this season, although four of his INTs did come in just one game.

Dalton’s job will be made all the easier by the relative lack of a pass rush possessed by the Cougars, not to mention that his sophomore running back Joseph Turner has come into his own this year. In his last game, Turner garnered 226 yards and four scores on 33 carries.

The Yardstick for the Texas Bowl predicts a four-point win for the Horned Frogs.


Holiday Bowl Prediction


This year’s Holiday Bowl pits Colt McCoy and his Texas Longhorns against Rudy Carpenter and his Arizona State Sun Devils at Qualcomm Stadium in sunny San Diego. Both terams expected their passing game to be more involved in the offense this season, but both quarterbacks have had their issues which have limited their passing plays as the season wore on.

McCoy, for his part, has made far too many bad decisions which have led to 18 INTs on the year. Of course, there were many tipped balls that ended up being intercepted – eight, to be exact – and he actually had only one INT throwing out of the pocket. So, perhaps the O-line and his receivers should handle at least a significant portion of the blame.

Carpenter has simply hung onto the ball too long, leading to the Sun Devils 51 sacks allowed; more than all but two other teams in the nation.

The Yardstick for the Holiday Bowl favors ASU by just one point, and this should be a close game that could very well depend on Carpenter’s ability to avoid the sack and find his receivers against a relatively weak Texas secondary.


College Bowl Predictions – Las Vegas Bowl


The Las Vegas Bowl tonight between the UCLA Bruins and the BYU Cougars is going to be a very different affair than when these two teams met earlier this year, when UCLA beat BYU by a score of 27-17. The Bruins have been a huge disappointment, due in large part to injuries they have suffered to the starting and backup quarterbacks, and their running back Kahlil Bell is out injured as well. This is not even to mention that their head coach, Karl Dorrell has been let go and their defensive coordinator has had to take on the head coaching duties in the interim.

In predicting the outcome of this game, FanYard users have made the call and the Yardstick for the Las Vegas Bowl favors BYU, led by quarterback Max Hall, by four points. If DeWayne Walker can get UCLA to play hard for him, it is possible he could become the head coach next year, just because not many other coaches around the country havebeen jumping at the chance to take over the reins for the Bruins. This could be an interesting game to watch.

Leave a comment if you’d like to have a football or basketball schedule for your site or blog. Take a look at the schedules to the right here to see what they look like. If you’d like a widget instead, we have those as well. Join FanYard and make your prediction on this game, and every major football and basketball game in America.

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