Sunday, September 18, 2016

2009 Draft: Green Bay Packers Needs

The Green Bay Packers have a pretty solid core of talented players, there is no denying that. However with their decision to switch to the 3-4 base defense this year under new coordinator Dom Capers they now have a handful of major holes along the defensive front.

They have a number of very good players in place. Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk will work very well together in the middle linebacker slots. They have Aaron Kampman and Brady Poppinga slotted as the outside linebackers, I think they need an upgrade over one or both of those players. They were both good in the 4-3, but a different athlete is needed to play the outside in the 3-4. Along the front Cullen Jenkins looks like he should make the transition nicely at defensive end and Ryan Picket has the size to hold up inside. They don’t really know who is going to play the other defensive end slot, and they really don’t have all that much to back any of them up. As far as the secondary, they have a solid group of corners and safeties. Charles Woodson and Al Harris on the outside is a good combo, but both are getting old, however Tramon Williams looked good starting half of the year in relief of Harris. The lack of depth at safety showed as injuries wore on the defense last year.

Overall the offense is pretty well set. They have drafted a few solid wide receivers years in a row and have built a very good group of pass-catchers. Jennings has emerged as a star, and Driver still has a couple very solid years ahead of him. They re-structured and extended Ryan Grants contract last off-season following a break out year. He underperformed this year, but I think missing all of the camps last off-season due to contract dispute and injuries early in the year really slowed him and I look for him to improve this year. Brandon Jackson has shown flashes and deserves his chance. Aaron Rodgers showed a lot of strengths and a large upside this past year, after dealing with the unfortunate Brett Favre divorce he emerged as one of the top young quarterbacks in the game.The interior offensive line has been focused on recently in the draft. They have a handful of quality young starters in the offensive guard and center positions. There is a huge hole in the offensive tackle position. Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher have been stars for years, but both are well past their prime. Clifton is getting old and slow and Tauscher is coming off of a serious knee injury. Clifton is also in a contract year, and neither of them have a replacement ready. There literally is no one on the roster behind them, when either went down Darryn Colledge the starting offensive guard was forced to move outside if necessary.

Now on to the needs in this draft and who might potentially be available. The top three needs are the DE/OLB hybrid to fit into the 3-4, an offensive tackle, and defensive line. There are handful of elite athletes in those positions that will likely be available at the 9th pick overall. I would be happy if they filled any of those holes, and stay tuned as I will go deeper into what I believe they should do with their pick.

Tags:2009 Draft: Green Bay Packers Needs

2009 Fantasy Football: Linebacker (LB) Sleepers - Top 5

With the 2009 fantasy football season about to get under way, here are my top 5 linebacker LB sleeper picks to begin the 2009 season. Sleeper picks are based on a normal mixed NFC/AFC one-year redraft fantasy football league, with scoring categories including: solo tackles, assisted tackles, sacks, forced fumbles, interceptions, passes defended. Each players age for the 2009 season and their yahoo position eligibility is listed after their name.

Linebacker (LB) Sleepers

1. Lawrence Timmons – Pittsburgh (23) – LB
Entering his 3rd year in the NFL, Timmons the former 1st round pick (#15 overall), will be looking for a breakout campaign in 2009. With Larry Foote out of town and James Farrior getting older, Timmons should team up with James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley to form an outstanding pass rushing attack for the Steelers in 2009. Offering a solid combination of tackles and sacks, Timmons is nearly a mini version of teammate James Harrison. Expecting 80 tackles and 10 sacks is very possible from Timmons during the 2009 season.
2008 Stats: 65 tackles, 43 solo tackles, 5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 3 passes defended

2. Keith Rivers – Cincinnati (23) – LB
If not for a broken jaw that he suffered just seven games into his rookie season last year, Rivers could be coming off of an 80 plus tackle season. However as it stands, Rivers posted just 37 tackles in 2008, and heads into the 2009 season as an outstanding sleeper linebacker option in fantasy football leagues. With the Bengals defense likely going to be on the field a lot during the 2009 season, Rivers should have plenty of opportunities to rack up double digit tackle numbers per game this year. A 120 tackle season is very possible from Rivers in 2009.
2008 Stats: 37 tackles, 24 solo tackles, 0 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defended

3. Vernon Gholston – New York Jets (23) – LB
After being drafted #6 overall in the 2008 NFL draft, Gholston was a complete bust for the Jets and fantasy football teams in 2008. Now with a year of experience under his belt, Gholston will be looking at taking over a starting linebacker job, with hopes of utilizing his outstanding pass rushing ability. If Gholston figures out the NFL game this season, he could be looking at a 10 sack season in 2009.
2008 Stats: 13 tackles, 5 solo tackles, 0 sacks, 0 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 0 passes defended

4. Curtis Lofton – Atlanta (23) – LB
One of the most productive defensive rookies in 2008, Lofton will be looking to become a top 20 overall fantasy football linebacker during the 2009 season. After posting 94 tackles in his rookie year last season, Lofton has the potential to tally 120 total tackles and 3 sacks in 2009.
2008 Stats: 94 tackles, 67 solo tackles, 1 sack, 0 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 2 passes defended

5. Justin Durant – Jacksonville (23) – LB
In his second NFL season, Durant improved tremendously during the 2008 season. With a starting position his to lose, Durant will be looking to lead the Jaguars linebacking corps in 2009. After post 71 tackles in 2008, an up tick to 100 total tackles is possible for Durant in 2009.
2008 Stats: 71 tackles, 63 solo tackles, 0 sacks, 0 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended

Check out my complete Top 70 LB Rankings – 2009 Fantasy Football

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football: Linebacker (LB) Sleepers - Top 5

2009 Fantasy Football: Running Back (RB) Rookies - Top 10

With the 2009 fantasy football season about to get under way, here are my top 10 running back RB rookie rankings to begin the 2009 season. Rookie rankings are based on a normal mixed NFC/AFC one-year redraft fantasy football league, with scoring categories including: rushing yards, receiving yards, return yards, touchdowns. Each players age for the 2009 season and their NFL draft position, is listed after their name.

Running Back (RB) Rookies

1. Knowshon Moreno – Denver (22) – 1st round #12
As the first running back taken in the 2009 NFL draft, Moreno is the clear cut choice as the best fantasy football rookie running back option entering the 2009 season. With a Broncos backfield that includes Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan competing for carries with Moreno, there is no reason why Knowshon Moreno shouldn’t be the starting running back for the Broncos in week 1. A rookie season of 1,000 plus rushing yards and 6 plus touchdowns is very possible from Moreno in 2009. Entering the 2009 season, Moreno is worthy of being ranked and drafted around the #20 spot among fantasy football running backs.
2008 College Stats: 1,400 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, 392 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 900-1,100 rushing yards, 5-8 rushing touchdowns, 200-400 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

2. Donald Brown – Indianapolis (22) – 1st round #27
First the Colts draft Joseph Addai with a first round pick when they have Edgerrin James, and now they draft Donald Brown with a first round pick when they have Joseph Addai. With health issues surrounding Addai, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Brown actually receive more carries and tally more rushing yards than Addai during the 2009 season. Entering the 2009 season, Brown is one of the major rookie RB sleepers for fantasy football teams.
2008 College Stats: 2,083 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, 125 receiving yards
2009 Projections: 700-1,000 rushing yards, 4-6 rushing touchdowns, 100-150 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

3. Chris Wells – Arizona (21) – 1st round #31
Even with second year running back Tim Hightower on the roster, the Cardinals couldn’t pass up drafting Chris Beanie Wells when he fell to them at the #31 pick in the 2009 draft this season. Once expected to be the #1 running back drafted among all rookies in 2009, Wells’ stock fell because of injury concerns that he has endured during his college career. Just think of another recent rookie running back who fell in the draft because of college injury concerns…..Adrian Peterson ring a bell? I’m not saying Wells will pull a Peterson in his rookie season, but with the #1 RB spot in Arizona his for the taking, Wells could be a pleasant surprise for fantasy football teams in 2009. 800 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns is a very realistic possibility for Wells in 2009.
2008 College Stats: 1,197 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 47 receiving yards
2009 Projections: 800 rushing yards, 4-6 rushing touchdowns, 50-100 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns

4. Shonn Greene – New York Jets (24) – 3rd round #65
After winning the Doak Walker Award as college football’s best running back for the 2008 season with the Iowa Hawkeyes, Shonn Greene lasted until the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL draft where the New York Jets quickly scooped him up. Heading into the 2009 season, and with Thomas Jones getting up there in age and looking for more money, the Jets may opt to go with the much cheaper Shonn Greene as their starting running back in 2009. If Greene gets the majority of the carries for the Jets in 2009, he could post close to 800 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. On the downside, Greene doesn’t offer much pass catching ability, so expecting under 100 receiving yards in a season is very likely.
2008 College Stats: 1,850 rushing yards, 20 rushing touchdowns, 49 receiving yards
2009 Projections: 800 rushing yards, 5-8 rushing touchdowns, 50 receiving yards

5. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia (21) – 2nd round #53
If Brian Westbrook misses a couple of games to begin the 2009 season, McCoy should prove to be a solid fill in option for fantasy football teams over those weeks. However once Westbrook gets healthy, you can imagine that McCoy’s role in the Eagles offense will likely get cut in half. With a healthy Brian Westbrook roaming the field, McCoy will be luckily to get 10 touches per game, with a lower number very realistic. Yet on a positive note, McCoy offers plenty of fantasy football potential, so if you are in a bigger league, it would definitely be wise to grab McCoy as a must-have handcuff for Brian Westbrook owners. In other words, if you have to reach a round early to make sure you have McCoy, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea. Entering the 2009 season, McCoy has better long term potential as a keeper RB, than what his 2009 value will be in regular one-year redraft leagues.
2008 College Stats: 1,488 rushing yards, 21 rushing touchdowns, 305 receiving yards
2009 Projections: 600-800 rushing yards, 2-5 rushing touchdowns, 100-300 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Other Rookie RB’s to Watch:

6. Glen Coffee – San Francisco (22) – 3rd round #74
7. Andre Brown – New York Giants (22) – 4th round #129
8. James Davis – Cleveland (23) – 6th round #195
9. Rashad Jennings – Jacksonville (24) – 7th round #250
10. Javon Ringer – Tennessee (22) – 5th round #173

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football: Running Back (RB) Rookies - Top 10

2009 College Graduation Gift Ideas for Professionals

College graduation is coming up and it is time for college graduates to take a break and think about their upcoming new career. While college graduates are thinking about their new life ahead of them why not give them a gift they will need for their future? Here is a guide to six great gift ideas for 2009 college graduates becoming professionals.

Six College Graduation Gift Ideas for Professionals: For the Artist

Whether someone you know is going to be a musician, a painter, or a writer you can find a unique gift for them. Give the college graduate in your life something that goes with their personality, interest, and new career. Gift ideas for artists can include books, paintings, special pens, journals, and lots of cool inspiring things for the 2009 college graduate in your life.

Six College Graduation Gift Ideas for Professionals: For the Doctor

Is the college graduate in your life graduating from Medical School? Give him or her a gift for their new profession. A unique gift just for them. Gifts for new doctors include plaques, cute gift baskets, doctor themed drinking glasses, and much more.

Six College Graduation Gift Ideas for Professionals: For the Lawyer

Is someone in your life graduating from law school this year? Unique gift ideas for lawyers include plaques, lawyer themed drinking glasses, funny lawyer themed office décor, gift baskets and nameplates. Give the soon-to-be lawyer in your life something they can be proud to place on their office desk.

Six College Graduation Gift Ideas for Professionals: For the Accountant

Gifts for the accountant can include accountant themed posters, drinking glasses, and books. Other great unique gift ideas for an accountant include money themed bouquets, personalized calculator gift sets, accountant themed stress toys, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and much more. The soon-to-be accountant in your life will love these unique gift ideas.

Six College Graduation Gift Ideas for Professionals: For the Chef

Chef’s love food and art both. Give them a gift that says they will be a great chef. Unique gift ideas for chef’s include Olive Oil of the month club, personalized chef hat, leather recipe book and cards, food lovers trivia games, and an authentic chef’s jacket. The soon-to-be chef in your life will love these unique, well thought out gifts.

Six College Gift Ideas for Professionals: For the Business Person

Someone you know graduating from college with a degree in business? Unique gift ideas for business people include business themed drinking glasses, business themed office décor, plaques, funny posters, all-in-one travel tote bags, organizers and much more. You can find the websites for all of these gift ideas below.

Go to these websites to see all of these different unique graduation gift ideas for artists, doctors, lawyers, accountants, chef’s, business people, and other professionals.

For the Artist

For the Doctor

For the Lawyer

For the Accountant

For the Chef

For the Business Person

For Other Professionals

Tags:2009 College Graduation Gift Ideas for Professionals

2009 Ford F150 - This is Not Your Dad's Ford!

The Ford F150 has been popular since it first rolled off the assembly line in 1975. The F series has been around since 1948 and the F-150 has been the best selling truck for 31 years!

The new 2009, twelfth generation of the F-150, surpasses its predecessors in comfort, utility and reliability. In an era where fuel economy is so critical, the truck gets 14 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway, impressive figures for a vehicle as large and powerful as the F-150.

Power is one of the most impressive aspects of the 2009 F-150. The engine comes in 3 sizes; there are two 4.6 liter V-8 models, one which has two valves while the other has three. The third engine is a 5.4 liter V-8 with a 6-speed automatic transmission, 310 horsepower and runs on gasoline or E85 ethanol.

It easily out-tows the Dodge Ram, with a maximum capacity of 11,300 pounds! 4 wheel drive is available on all three models with a push button rear locking differential providing extra traction. Test drives made liberal use of deep mud bogs, boulders, rocky hill climbs and natural barriers; the F-150 easily conquered them without needing its low range.

Of course, safety is important and the F-150 was a winner in federal crash tests. In rollover challenges the two wheel drive model has a 4-star rating and the four wheel drive won 3 stars, an impressive showing for the nation’s most popular truck. The 3 year, 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and a 5 year, 60,000 mile power train warranty provides the owner peace of mind but the F-150 has proven to be a very reliable vehicle with little time spent in the shop.

The interior is comfortable and stylish with the front captain’s seats providing unparalleled visibility. Hanging file storage is available as is Wi-Fi and an automated tool inventory system. If you add the Work Solutions package you’ll have fleet tracking, Word and Excel built into the dash-mounted LCD display. A wireless keyboard and printer completes your mobile office, allowing you to create and print invoices on the spot.

Upgrades include leather seats, wood trim, moon roof and other niceties. Rear leg room is an unprecedented 43.5 inches and even the standard no frills models are comfortable for both driver and passengers. Ford offers regular model, extended or crew cab configuration as well as short, regular and long beds so you can choose the hauling capacity you need.

It’s no wonder the F-150 was named Motor Trend’s 2009 Truck of the Year, easily beating out the newly redesigned Dodge Ram.

Tags:2009 Ford F150 - This is Not Your Dad’s Ford!

2009 Fantasy Football Draft Guide

Ok guys and gals it’s about that time again, drafting for the 2009 fantasy football season has already began in some leagues. I am a long time NFL fan and player of the game we used to call rotisserie football years ago. This article contains a 2009 fantasy football draft guide; follow it to your league championship! If you want to see more fantasy football mock drafts search Associatedcontent.com or check out thehazean.com. Thanks for reading my 2009 fantasy football draft guide.

1 Adrian Peterson is the man and should be the number one fantasy football draft pick in every league in 2009. As you will see here Adrian Peterson ranks number one in my 2009 running back rankings, of course. Peterson can run and catch the ball out of the backfield. No matter what the Vikings have upgraded at quarterback with either Favre or Sage Rosenfels. Peterson should get lots of touches and score 12 to 15 touchdowns in 2009.

2 Drew Brees is the best fantasy football quarterback heading into the 2009 season. He will be the 2nd pick in many selection meetings this year. Usually I have the top two or three running backs before going with a quarterback in my draft guides. But the running back by committee approach is lessoning the value of some running backs. Drew Brees should give you about 4,800 passing yards and 30 touchdown tosses in 2009.

3 Michael Turner came out of Ladainian Tomlinson’s shadow when he joined the Atlanta Falcons in 2008. He then had a huge breakout season in the NFL and should be almost as good this year. Matt Ryan will have another training camp under his belt and has a new weapon in Tony Gonzalez. So I expect Turner to have a few less carries but still produce 1,500 yards and 12 to 14 scores this season.

4 DeAngelo Williams blew up last season with the Carolina Panthers with huge numbers. I like the kid and cover the Panthers for a website so I follow him a bit. The Panthers are in a tough division and have never had back to back playoff seasons. DeAngelo Williams shares carries with Jonathan Stewart as well. Look for DeAngelo Williams to put up about 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2009.

5 Peyton Manning is just too good to discount even with the loss of Marvin Harrison and the return of Tom Brady. Manning is my pick here in the 2009 fantasy football draft guide.

6 Tom Brady is back from injury and should have a good season. He still has adequate weapons in New England but will have to shake off some rust. It would help Tom Brady if the Patriots can muster a ground game.

7 Larry Fitzgerald is worth a shot here because he is just that damn good. I don’t expect the Cardinals to match their Super Bowl season but they should be competitive in a weak division. Fitzgerald will still have Anquan Boldin helping him out and Kurt Warner throwing the passes.

8 Aaron Rodgers showed he can be a good NFL quarterback after replacing Brett Favre but must stay healthy in 2009. Green Bay has some decent weapons on offense and Rodgers will have another training camp as the starter.

9 Thomas Jones should get a lot of touches under new coach Rex Ryan who will want a ball control offense. The Jets issues at quarterback will hurt Thomas Jones some but also force the team to rely on him.

10 Andre Johnson is the best wide receiver in the NFL in my opinion but he plays on a suspect team. Look for him to continue to jell with Matt Schaub and have another great fantasy football season in 2009.

11 Philip Rivers just needs some quality wide receivers and will be an elite quarterback in the National Football League. Rivers will be helped by Darren Sproles use more since he can bust a screen pass into long yardage for the Chargers.

12 Kurt Warner is old and probably won’t repeat his 2008 magic but he still has weapons at his deposal that make most quarterbacks drool. Having Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin and playing in the weak AFC West should inflate his numbers.

13 Matt Forte had a solid rookie season at running back for the Chicago Bears in 2008. The trade for Jay Cutler gives defense’s other things to think about than Forte. I think you will be please if Matt Forte is on your 2009 fantasy football team.

14 Steve Slaton plays for those same bad Texans as Andre Johnson but can be a force in 2009. He runs the ball and catches passes equally well in their west coast offense. Slaton should give you at least 1,100 yards and 8-12 scores.

15 Anquan Boldin is mad at still being a Cardinal and will be playing with a chip on his shoulder in 2009. I would not however draft both Cardinal wideouts on the same team if the possibility arises, in case Warner is injured.

16 Clinton Portis is a workhouse back for Jim Zorn’s Washington Redskins but he is getting older and more injury prone. But he is the best that the Skins have to offer and may have a decent season or two left in him.

17 Randy Moss should be back to form with the return of Tom Brady but ya never really know about him. If his head is in the game he should make a good addition to your 2009 league.

18 Calvin Johnson sadly plays for Detroit but still manages great numbers. He makes this 2009 fantasy football guide at 18 even if he has to break in rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford.

19 Roddy White had a breakout year in Atlanta with Matt Ryan at quarterback. I don’t expect White to be quite as good but he is still worth a look here.

20 Donovan McNabb is old and not overly happy to be in the “city of brotherly love” but his play has been steady after being benched briefly in 2008. Look for McNabb to have a solid season on an improved Philadelphia Eagles team.

Sources

NFL.com

Photo of Drew Brees comes from Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football Draft Guide

2009 Fantasy Football: Running Back (RB) Busts - Top 5

With the 2009 fantasy football season about to get under way, here are my top 5 running back RB bust picks to begin the 2009 season. Bust picks are based on a normal mixed NFC/AFC one-year redraft fantasy football league, with scoring categories including: rushing yards, receiving yards, return yards, touchdowns. Each players age for the 2009 season is listed after their name.

Running Back (RB) Busts

1. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina (26)
Ok I’m one of the doubters. But honestly, do you really think Williams will come close to 1,500 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns again in 2009? I highly doubt it. Expecting just half of that stat production would be more realistic for Williams in 2009. Entering the 2009 season, I feel Williams is extremely highly overvalued, and anything higher than a top 8 pick would be a waste in my mind for your fantasy football team this year.
2008 Stats: 1,515 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, 121 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
2009 Projections: 900-1,100 rushing yards, 8-10 rushing touchdowns, 200 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

2. Thomas Jones – New York Jets (31)
Its official, nearly everyone is on Jones’ bandwagon for being one of the top busts at running back in 2009. After a career year in 2008 that included 1,312 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, Jones will have to contend with several factors in 2009 that could lead him to having a bust type season. First off, the Jets won’t have a proven NFL quarterback to keep defenses honest, and secondly, Jones will have to fend off Leon Washington and rookie Shonn Greene for carries.
2008 Stats: 1,312 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns, 207 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
2009 Projections: 900-1,100 rushing yards, 3-6 rushing touchdowns, 200 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

3. Derrick Ward – Tampa Bay (29)
Even though Ward should receive more playing time and carries with the Buccaneers during the 2009 season, he won’t have the luxury of running behind the Giants Pro-Bowl laden offensive line. Sharing touches with Earnest Graham won’t help his cause either. Anything higher than a #30 overall running back ranking for Ward will likely be a waste.
2008 Stats: 1,025 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 384 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
2009 Projections: 800-1,000 rushing yards, 3-5 rushing touchdowns, 200-300 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

4. Willis McGahee – Baltimore (28)
After an injury plagued 2008 season, McGahee is losing his grip as the Ravens number one running back. From where I stand, Ray Rice is the future and the present in the Ravens backfield. If you are choosing between McGahee or Ray Rice, I would go with Rice based on his higher potential for a breakout season.
2008 Stats: 671 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 173 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
2009 Projections: 700-900 rushing yards, 3-5 rushing touchdowns, 200 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns

5. Julius Jones – Seattle (28)
Somewhere along the line Julius lost his mojo. Entering the 2009 season, TJ Duckett would actually be a better fantasy football running back than Julius Jones for the Seahawks. For some reason, fantasy football managers still see Jones as the 1,084 rushing yard and 4 touchdown RB from Dallas. Jones is clearly not going to put up those stats in 2009, which means a ranking around #50 among all running backs is reasonable for Jones entering the 2009 season.

Check out my complete Top 80 RB Rankings – 2009 Fantasy Football

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football: Running Back (RB) Busts - Top 5

2009 Fantasy Football - Week 2 - Sit/Start Quarterbacks

Mark Sanchez – Start. He certainly looks savvy after his first NFL start in week 1. Sanchez certainly could be Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan in 2009. Sanchez has a favorable match-up with New England, who did little against Buffalo on defense. Even if the Patriots are up, that’s a good fantasy situation for the other quarterback, who will throw a bunch in the second half. Start Mark Sanchez.

Jay Cutler – Bench. The Packers confused Cutler into 4 interceptions in his Bears debut. Now, Cutler faces the Steelers defense, albeit without Troy Polamalu, but still….it’s Pittsburgh. Both are 3-4 defenses and the Bears lack passing weapons to begin with. Bench Jay Cutler.

Tony Romo – Bench. What? Romo was a fantasy stud in week 1, I don’t understand. Well, Tampa Bay’s defense is a big difference from the Giants’. Romo faced very little pressure and played with a lead. The Giants are healthy on defense and will get plenty of pressure on Romo. The Cowboys will rack up some yardage in the 2nd half, but Romo will have less than 3 scores and turn the ball over a few times in week 2. Bench Tony Romo.

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football - Week 2 - Sit/Start Quarterbacks

2009 Fantasy Football: Defensive Linemen (DL) Sleepers - Top 5

With the 2009 fantasy football season about to get under way, here are my top 5 defensive linemen DL sleeper picks to begin the 2009 season. Sleeper picks are based on a normal mixed NFC/AFC one-year redraft fantasy football league, with scoring categories including: solo tackles, assisted tackles, sacks, forced fumbles, interceptions, passes defended. Each players age for the 2009 season and their yahoo position eligibility (DT-DE), is listed after their name.

Defensive Linemen (DL) Sleepers

1. Chris Long – St. Louis (24) – DE
Starting on a Rams defense that needs help at nearly every position for the 2009 season, Long is one of the defensive cornerstones who could easily become a Pro-Bowl type player in the next year or two. After posting 40 tackles and 4 sacks in his rookie year last season, Long has the ability and potential to accumulate 60 tackles and 8 sacks during the 2009 season. If you are looking for a young defensive linemen who is reliable and proven at the NFL level, while still offering a very high upside, Long is the perfect pick for your fantasy football team in 2009. A top 25 overall DL ranking is appropriate for Long entering the 2009 season, with the potential to becoming a top 15 overall DL by the end of the season.
2008 Stats: 40 tackles, 33 solo tackles, 4 sacks, 0 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 0 passes defended

2. Gaines Adams – Tampa Bay (26) – DE
With just 38 tackles and 6 and 6.5 sacks in each of his first two NFL seasons, Adams the former 2007 1st round pick, #4 overall, could very easily have a breakout year in 2009. If you can draft Adams anywhere after a #15 overall defensive linemen pick, you should be getting a steal for your fantasy football team in 2009.
2008 Stats: 38 tackles, 27 solo tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 6 passes defended

3. Derrick Harvey – Jacksonville (22) – DE
After failing to sign a contract early in training camp, Harvey was seemingly behind the eight ball from day one in the NFL. However on the positive side he did manage to play in all 16 games, and even tally 3.5 sacks and an interception. Offering big play and sack potential, Harvey could emerge as a top 25 overall defensive linemen in 2009, while being drafted well after the #40 pick in nearly all fantasy football drafts to begin the 2009 season.
2008 Stats: 19 tackles, 15 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception, 0 forced fumbles, 2 passes defended

4. Glenn Dorsey – Kansas City (24) – DT
A year of NFL experience should do wonders for Dorsey’s stat production in 2009. It wouldn’t at all be surprising to see Dorsey breakout with 60 tackles and 5 sacks during the 2009 season. Dorsey should be a solid late round fantasy football defensive linemen, who should get drafted soon after the #35 DL pick.
2008 Stats: 46 tackles, 32 solo tackles, 1 sack, 0 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defended

5. Aaron Schobel – Buffalo (31) – DE
Coming off of an injury last season that limited Schobel to just 5 games during the 2008 season, a return to fantasy football relevance is very probable from Schobel in 2009. Once a top 10 fantasy football DL option who could tally 73 tackles and 14 sacks per year, Schobel could make a comeback in 2009 while posting 60 tackles and 8 sacks. If you are looking for a solid late round DL pick, Schobel is a great comeback candidate.
2008 Stats: 19 tackles, 18 solo tackles, 1 sack, 0 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 1 pass defended

Check out my complete Top 50 DL Rankings – 2009 Fantasy Football

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football: Defensive Linemen (DL) Sleepers - Top 5

2009 Fantasy Football: Linebacker (LB) Rookies - Top 10

With the 2009 fantasy football season about to get under way, here are my top 10 linebacker LB rookie rankings to begin the 2009 season. Rookie rankings are based on a normal mixed NFC/AFC one-year redraft fantasy football league, with scoring categories including: solo tackles, assisted tackles, sacks, forced fumbles, interceptions, passes defended. Each players age for the 2009 season and their NFL draft position, is listed after their name.

Linebacker (LB) Rookies

1. James Laurinaitis – St. Louis (22) – 2nd round #35
A premier LB tackle machine in college, Laurinaitis will have an excellent opportunity to establish himself as the cornerstone of the Rams linebacking corps in 2009. With the starting middle linebacker job his entering training camp, there is no reason why Laurinaitis won’t be the Rams week 1 MLB starter. A rookie season of 120 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 5 passes defended is very possible from this future potential top 10 fantasy football LB.
2008 College Stats: 130 tackles, 52 solo tackles, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 5 passes defended
2009 Projections: 120 tackles, 70 solo tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 5 passes defended

2. Aaron Curry – Seattle (23) – 1st round #4
As the #4 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, Curry should step right into the starting job at strong side linebacker for the Seahawks come week 1. After posting 105 tackles and 2.5 sacks last year in college, Curry should become a solid fantasy football linebacker during the 2009 season. A 100 tackle season is very likely from Curry in his rookie year.
2008 College Stats: 105 tackles, 66 solo tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 interception, 3 passes defended
2009 Projections: 80-100 tackles, 50 solo tackles, 2-5 sacks, 1 interception, 3 passes defended

3. Rey Maualuga – Cincinnati (22) – 2nd round #38
Even though Maualuga doesn’t offer the traditional high tackle total expected from many fantasy football linebackers, this guy is just simply a playmaker. And on a Bengals defense that needs all the playmakers it can find, Maualuga should get plenty of opportunities during the 2009 season to showcase his abilities. With Dhani Jones currently blocking his path at the middle linebacker position, Maualuga will begin training camp as the reserve, but with a solid showing in camp, the starting job could very easily be his by week 1. A season of 80 tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions and 3 passes defended seem like a very solid bet.
2008 College Stats: 79 tackles, 51 solo tackles, 0 sacks, 2 interception, 4 passes defended
2009 Projections: 70-90 tackles, 40 solo tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 3 passes defended

4. Brian Cushing – Houston (22) – 1st round #15
Cushing adds another defensive piece to the puzzle for the Texans, who have had solid success with numerous defensive draft picks in recent years. Teaming up with DeMeco Ryans, Cushing should nail down the starting strong side linebacker job during training camp. As a potential week 1 starter, Cushing could tally 80 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception and 5 passes defended during his rookie campaign.
2008 College Stats: 73 tackles, 46 solo tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 6 passes defended
2009 Projections: 80 tackles, 40 solo tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 5 passes defended

5. Clay Matthews – Green Bay (23) – 1st round #26
A toss up between Matthews and Larry English for the #5 spot, Matthews gets the nod because of his prowess in the 3-4 defensive scheme. Competing with incumbent linebackers Brady Poppinga and Brandon Chillar, Nick Barnett coming off of season ending knee surgery, and Aaron Kampman adjusting to his new LB position, Matthews has a very realistic chance to win a starting LB job come week 1. If he has a solid training camp, Matthews could very easily be more valuable at LB then AJ Hawk in fantasy football leagues. An 80 tackle season is a very realistic possibility for Matthews in 2009.
2008 College Stats: 56 tackles, 28 solo tackles, 5 sacks, 0 interceptions, 2 passes defended
2009 Projections: 70-90 tackles, 40 solo tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 5 passes defended

Other Rookie LB’s to Watch:

6. Larry English – San Diego (23) – 1st round #16
7. Clint Sintim – New York Giants (23) – 2nd round #45
8. Slade Norris – Oakland (23) – 4th round #126
9. DeAndre Levy – Detroit (22) – 3rd round #76
10. Jason Williams – Dallas (23) – 3rd round #69

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football: Linebacker (LB) Rookies - Top 10

2009 Fantasy Football: Tight End (TE) Busts - Top 5

With the 2009 fantasy football season about to get under way, here are my top 5 tight end TE bust picks to begin the 2009 season. Bust picks are based on a normal mixed NFC/AFC one-year redraft fantasy football league, with scoring categories including: receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns. Each players age for the 2009 season is listed after their name.

Tight End (TE) Busts

1. Dustin Keller – New York Jets (25)
Every year there is always at least one player at every position that is considered a high end fantasy football player at that position, and they ultimately end up being a complete bust for fantasy teams. This year, Dustin Keller is my extreme bust pick among tight ends. Based on his overall ranking among other tight ends to begin the 2009 fantasy football season, Keller should post stats well below his ranking as a top 10 overall TE pick. The Jets lack of QB play could cut Keller’s stats in half from last season. Entering the 2009 season, Keller seems more like a stream matchup starter rather than an every week starter on fantasy football teams.
2008 Stats: 48 receptions, 535 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 30-50 receptions, 300-500 receiving yards, 2-4 touchdowns

2. Vernon Davis – San Francisco (25)
For the past three years, everyone seemingly thinks Davis will suddenly have his breakout year. And while other fantasy football managers are picking him in the top 15 among tight ends, I will be one who says no thank you. So until Davis gets some new scenery out of San Francisco, I just don’t see him becoming a fantasy football force.
2008 Stats: 31 receptions, 358 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 30-40 receptions, 300-500 receiving yards, 1-3 touchdowns

3. Ben Watson – New England (28)
Even though Watson will have Tom Brady back and throwing him the ball, I think the addition of Alex Smith will affect Watson’s fantasy football value more than most people will think. I wouldn’t expect more than 400 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns from Watson in 2009.
2008 Stats: 22 receptions, 209 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 30-40 receptions, 250-400 receiving yards, 2-4 touchdowns

4. Heath Miller – Pittsburgh (27)
Over his four year career, Miller has proven to be a reliable touchdown threat for fantasy football teams. However with a healthy Rashard Mendenhall entering the mix, Mendenhall could take a bunch of goal-line TD opportunities away from Miller. So if your fantasy football team is happy with between 400-600 receiving yards, then Miller is a solid and reliable choice. But if you are looking for half a dozen touchdowns or more from your TE, Miller will likely have a tough go round posting that.
2008 Stats: 48 receptions, 514 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 50-60 receptions, 500-600 receiving yards, 2-5 touchdowns

5. Alge Crumpler – Tennessee (31)
Crumpler a former top 10 overall fantasy football tight end during the prime of his career, posted his worst statistical year in his entire career last season. At age 31 for the 2009 season, Crumpler should once again be a non-existent factor in the fantasy football world. Unless of course Bo Scaife get injured, then Crumpler might be worth a pickup and spot start.
2008 Stats: 24 receptions, 257 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
2009 Projections: 20-30 receptions, 250-350 receiving yards, 1-3 touchdowns

Check out my complete Top 50 TE Rankings – 2009 Fantasy Football

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football: Tight End (TE) Busts - Top 5

2009 Festivals and Events in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs is home to a super group of summer events. Here is a list of the four best events for summer, 2009.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Friday, July 17, 2009 in downtown Colorado Springs is the lead-up to a weekend of practice and racing. Race fans will be able to get close to the machines and talk with the drivers who will try to bust the ten minute barrier. Most fans thought 2007 would see the barrier topple. The fans of Nobuhiro Tajima, certainly expected him to rocket through the 156 turns to the peak and claim his record. It was close, 10:01. The following year was not any better for Nobuhiro and his fellow racers. The ten minute barrier is patiently waiting for this year’s racers.

Balloon Classic

The 2009, Colorado Balloon Classic will mark its 33rd year. More than 100 balloons will be tethered on the ground at Memorial Park. The balloons will be at the park Labor Day weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. As dusk approaches on Saturday and Sunday, the balloons are filled with hot air. As the pilots fire the burners and hot air fills the balloons, the night is filled with a warm glow that lights up Memorial Park.

If you are new to the Colorado Springs area and have never attended the Balloon Classic, here are some insider tips to help you enjoy the event. The parking is limited. You will have to park on a street that approaches the park or on one of the side streets. Carry an umbrella. I think it has rained on this event every year since it began.

The Balloon Classic takes place over Labor Day weekend, September, 5th, 6th and 7th.

Colorado College Music Festival
The music festival is actually an intense music program that is assembled for 45 high school and college students from around the world. The festival is an intense three-week learning experience. The music festival runs from June 9, 2009 to June 29, 2009. The concerts begin June 11, 2009 and end June27, 2009. Students and faculty will each present their own concerts.

Territory Days
Old Colorado City was the first capitol of the Colorado territory. Every year we celebrate that fact with a three-day street party. If the sun is shining for the entire event, there might be 140,000
people show up and enjoy the festivities. Territory Days will showcase more than 180 booths. Artists, members of the business community and loads of food booths give you plenty of chances to stimulate the economy.

The summer festival runs May 23rd – 25th.

Music acts for the summer event include ,Jake Loggins, a popular local band, performing Sunday, May 23. For a complete listing of all bands and entertainment look here.

Some of the scheduled activities at Territory Days include, climbing walls, trampolines and rides for the kids. If you like your entertainment to be interactive, try the mechanical bull ride. The list of street entertainment is quite large and varied.

Tips for Territory Days

Pets of any kind are not allowed. Please don’t bring them. Parking is non-existent. Please park at Coronado High school and take advantage of the free shuttle that runs from 9:45 a.m. until closing.

Summer is a wonderful time in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Pack up the car and go grab some fun!

Resources
Colorado College
Territory Days
Balloon Classic

Tags:2009 Festivals and Events in Colorado Springs, Colorado

2009 Ford Mustang GT Review

Since the Ford Mustang was introduced in 1964, millions of people have lusted after one. Over the past 45 years, more than nine million have purchased new Mustangs and countless millions more have bought used Mustangs. The2009 Ford Mustang GT has continued thetradition.

Power

The GT’s V8 engine is a naturally aspirated 24-valve SOHC unit with a 3.55-inch bore, 3.54-inch stroke and a compression ratio of 9.8 to 1. The Mustang GT’s V8 is 300 hp at 5,750 rpm and 320 ft.-lbs of torque at 4,500 rpm. The V8-powered GT model boasts a lot of horsepower and driving dynamics that, in a departure from Mustangs past, are actually pretty impressive. Two engines are offered in the Mustang. Base versions are powered by a 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 with 210 hp. GT models get the sonorous 4.6-liter V-8 with 300 hp. Both engines come standard with a five-speed manual transmission; a five-speed automatic is optional.

Interior

Inside, the 2009 Ford Mustang features a handsome retro-styled interior that recalls the Mustangs of the 1960s. In base versions, the monochromatic interior can seem a bit dour, but an available Premium package spices up the interior with aluminum trim, special interior lighting, and multicolored accents. There’s a heavy dose of 1967 Mustang inside, with the dash divided into distinct right and left pods, blended with modern touches. Chrome-ringed air vents align with the gauges across the dash, and the steering wheel has three spokes with a center hub marked by the horse and tricolor bars logo. While the look is retro cool, many of the materials have a cost-saving look and feel, especially the plastics on the dash panel. An interior upgrade package adds red leather seats, red door inserts and red floor mats on cars with appropriate exterior colors. The Mustang Bullitt is considered an options package for the GT Premium mustang coupe. It adds a cold-air-induction setup, unique exhaust and suspension tuning, high performance brake pads, a front strut tower brace, 18-inch alloy wheels and special interior and exterior alterations.

Models

The 2009 Ford Mustang is available as a coupe or convertible in four trim levels: V6 Deluxe, V6 Premium, GT Deluxe and GT Premium. The V6 Deluxe includes 16-inch alloy wheels, key less entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The V6 Premium adds upgraded 16-inch wheels, a power driver seat and a Shaker 500 upgraded stereo with six CD changer. The convertible versions feature a power vinyl top with cloth material as an option. In addition to its V8 engine, the GT Deluxe comes with all the V6 Deluxe features plus 17-inch alloys, a rear spoiler, fog lamps and sport seats. The GT adds the Shaker 500 sound system and leather upholstery. The 2009 Ford Mustang GT coupe sits on a 107.1-inch wheelbase with a 62.4-inch front track and a 63-inch rear track. The vehicle’s body measures 187.6 inches in length, 73.9 inches in width and 55.4 inches in height. The cabin of the coupe offers 84.7 cubic feet of passenger volume with a trunk that offers 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space.

Tags:2009 Ford Mustang GT Review

2009 Georgia Wildlife Restoration Grants

The Wildlife Restoration Program, which is also known as the Pittman-Roberson Act of 1937, awards grants that fund projects that restore, select, improve and rehabilitate areas of water and land to be utilized for resting, breeding and feeding areas for wildlife species throughout the nation. The funding for these grants comes from an 11% tax on firearms, ammunition, bows, quivers, broadhead arrows and points, 10% tax on handguns, revolvers an pistols and $.43 on arrow shafts plus interest earned on the Wildlife Restoration Fund. This type of funding makes this program one that is used and funded by the same people.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for the administration of the Wildlife Restoration Program grants that are awarded to agencies throughout the nation, such as the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. In 2009, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources was awarded one Wildlife Restoration Program grant. This grant is the Range Enhancement and Hunter Development – Oconee National Forest Shooting Ranges.

The Range Enhancement and Hunter Development – Oconee National Forest Shooting Ranges Grant is $412,500 and extends from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. This grant provides funding for constructing a new shooting range at the Cedar Creek Wildlife Management Area and also at the Redlands Wildlife Management Area. These two new shooting range facilities, located in the Oconee National Forest, will have a 100 yard shooting range, restroom, break room, office and storeroom to enhance the users experience with hopes that they will be used more often, thus creating more public awareness for shooting as a sport.

The Wildlife Restoration Program, which is responsible for funding many grants, enable a cycle to be complete, a cycle that begins and ends with the user of the facility that received the grant. These grants are used for many projects that are in place to improve public use, wildlife resource access and wildlife management programs funded by the Wildlife Restoration Program and the funds are calculated using an apportionment formula which includes taxes, land area and number of paid license hunters of each state that apply for these funds. These grants, funded by the Wildlife Restoration Program, are disbursed to the states and insular areas on a reimbursement basis of up to 75% for the states and up to 100% for insular areas of America and with conserving the wildlife species and their habitats for many years to come.

Tags:2009 Georgia Wildlife Restoration Grants

2009 Fantasy Football - Week 3 - Sit/Start - Quarterbacks

Tom Brady – Quarterback – Start. I know it sounds stupid to question Tom Brady in fantasy football, but some actually are. There are message boards and questions about starting Tom Brady on ESPN right now for week 3. Start Tom Brady if he’s on your roster in week 3. He faced a tough defense in week 2 in the New York Jets and faced plenty of pressure. The Falcons have played well on defense, but in fantasy terms, the experts show that it takes 3 weeks to shift through the team defenses. I will bet that New England returns to offensive form and the Atlanta defense takes it on the chin a little bit in week 3. Brady will be fine and so will your fantasy football numbers from Brady in week 3. Start Tom Brady.

David Garrard – Quarterback – Start. Here’s a sleeper if you are unsure about your other signal caller. Garrard hasn’t looked like the top-10 fantasy football quarterback from 2008 so far in 2009. Everything looks like Houston is back on track and Jacksonville can’t buy a win right now, but that’s when you need to examine things further in the NFL. Jacksonville and Garrard get away from home, which will be a good thing for this team and all the turmoil with attendance and moving the team, etc. Plus Houston has allowed plenty of yards and moving the ball in their two games in 2009. Garrard will put up starter-quality fantasy football numbers in week 3 and your opponent will think you are a little crazy until Sunday night for starting David Garrard in the process. Start David Garrard.

JaMarcus Russell – Quarterback – Sit. The Raiders offense has given you a glimmer of hope in 2009, but slow down a little bit. Darren McFadden and the running game is looking a lot better, but the Raiders passing offense is far from fantasy-worthy at all. The receivers are average to below average and Russell gets the same protection as Marc Bulger (not good, if I needed to spell it out). So ignore all the statistics from 2008’s second half where Russell was “better” than Flacco or Matt Ryan. Look at those three quarterbacks in 2009. Flacco and Ryan look even better than their rookie years and Russell looks like the 2008’s 1st half version. Take a pass and find almost anyone else.

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football - Week 3 - Sit/Start - Quarterbacks

2009 Free Week Seven NFL Football Picks and Predictions!

Thanks and welcome to week seven NFL picks and predictions. Here are your picks for week seven of NFL action. For in depth analysis of the games, be sure to visit here as well.

Green Bay at Cleveland

Winner – Green Bay Packers

San Diego at Kansas City

Winner – San Diego Chargers

Indianapolis at St. Louis

Winner – Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota at Pittsburgh

Winner – Pittsburgh Steelers

New England at Tampa Bay

Winner – New England Patriots

San Francisco at Houston

Winner – Houston Texans

Buffalo at Carolina

Winner – Carolina Panthers

NY Jets at Oakland

Winner – NY Jets

Atlanta at Dallas

Winner – Dallas Cowboys

Chicago at Cincinnati

Winner – Chicago Bears

New Orleans at Miami

Winner – New Orleans Saints

Arizona at NY Giants

Winner – NY Giants

MON, OCT 26

Philadelphia at Washington

Winner – Philadelphia Eagles

Tiebreaker Score – Eagles 21 Redskins 3

Week Six Record – 8 – 6

Tags:2009 Free Week Seven NFL Football Picks and Predictions!

2009 Halloween Haiku: Halloween Moon

Ghosts and goblins lurk
Moon glows peculiar this night –
The beacon of souls

Tags:2009 Halloween Haiku: Halloween Moon

2009 First Aid Gear for Kids: Guide for Parents

The great outdoors in 2009 is the best. Nothing beats a great trip with the kids outdoors. So, while choosing your fun events here’s a guide for your first aid kit for the kids this year. Today there are so many cool gizmos and gadgets for your kids safety. So, along with the band-aids, the anti-itch cream; be sure to add some of these cool gadgets for your first aid kit in 2009.

First up on the list is the OnGuard Kids Personal Safety Alert System. It’s a gadget that alerts the locals that a child is in danger. If your child gets themselves into trouble they can hit a button and it sends out a 110 decibel sound to alert everyone that they are there and in trouble. This allows them to say help if they need it. If fits on their wrist like a watch and is simple to use. Like a flashing light on their bikes, it’s a no installation gadget that could save their lives if danger finds them.

Next up is the wireless child leash. I know horrible name; but the product is awesome for toddler security. The way that it works is this. You child wears the watch or a clip that sends out their GPS signal. You have the other part. If the child goes away from you in a boundary that is unsafe it sets off an auditory alarm for you. No more wandering kids getting pick up by strangers with this gizmo. It’s a lifesaver for outdoor picnics and the park.

Last up for water safety. If junior is not a swimmer, or you want to ensure that they only play in the water when you are there, then check this one out. The Safety Turtle is work like a watch by your child. It alerts the parent when they come in contact with water. You have a base station that resembles a baby monitor. You put the watch or watches on your kids. If any of them get into water it sets off the monitor. While it is not a replacement for supervision; it is a great way to help protect them kids when near water. It is really useful on camping trips near a pond or lake. Camping can be safer with this gizmo.

So head out to have fun with your kids in 2009 and know that you have some extra protection to safe-guard your precious little ones as you go.

Tags:2009 First Aid Gear for Kids: Guide for Parents

2009 Forecasts for Capricorns

First of all I must say that if any important topics come up for discussion during the first few weeks of the year, it’s vital that you make your point of view clear. Dealings with people born in the months of May and October will tend to go reasonably well but there could be some misunderstandings when in contact with someone who has a 7 in his or her birthdate.

Now it’s always nice to make money from a creative or some other talent isn’t it? And the chance to do just that could come to you some time between the end of February and beginning of April. Your first reaction, when someone offers to pay you for what had been a favour for them, will be to decline their offer.

However, there is the chance I think, that you’ll be asked to repeat this favour at regular intervals. And this could therefore be an ideal way of making a little extra cash.

June will be a month when health matters may come up for review. Perhaps you don’t really want to pause and consider such mundane needs, but it might be that you’ll have no choice. An irritating twenty-four hour bug could catch you by surprise when perhaps you’d expected your immune-system to be stronger.

But if coming down with a cold or an upset tummy makes you stop to realise that you might have been overdoing things lately, this has got to be good. For you might then take it as a warning to start pacing yourself at a more steady and slower rate.

Also, there are indications that unless you do start recognising such tell-tale signs of stress and tiredness, you may have some problems later in the year. All in all, I have to say that it’s time to start recognising the value of relaxation.

In August, if you’ve got no choice but to aim your attention to dealing with neglected tasks, then slowly you’ll start to see the light at the end of this tunnel. Rather than feeling worn out by all this, you’ll actually notice a sense of relief at having got certain things out of the way for the time being. So, all the toil and trouble will have been well worthwhile.

On the work scene, a colleague who was born on the 2nd, 13th or 19th may make a careless mistake in September. This could affect your own work. At the same time, you might find that this person has problems of a private nature. And I’m sure you will suddenly understand how it feels to be in his or her shoes and rather than showing your annoyance, you’ll be giving them your complete support and understanding instead.

Towards the end of the year be ready to join your friends and family in whatever they may be getting up to. Really, the activity or entertainment doesn’t matter. All that’s important to you at this time is being able to share the company of those who mean the most to you. No doubt too, this will all go to fostering wonderful sense of security that keeps you very happy.

Tags:2009 Forecasts for Capricorns

2009 Grammy Nominations - Best Rap Song

Let’s get to it. This is my lost, ranking the 2009 Grammy Nominations for Best Rap Song:

5: Low – Flo Rida featuring T-Pain

4: Sexual Eruption – Snoop Dogg

3: Lollipop – Lil Wayne

2: Superstar – Lupe Fiasco

1: Swagga Like Us – M.I.A. ft. Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and T.I.

We cannot grant too much credit towards these artists sashaying around with this latest music box / computer -love voice movement. This mindset automatically eliminates anything related to T-Pain. I am unable to arrive at any logical reason as to why Low by Flo Rida is even under consideration for a Grammy Award. The beat, chorus, and lyrics of this club anthem may be described as nuisance racket at best. Low is the type of ‘hit’ that urges legions of my hip-hop brethren to ignore anything related to the radio.

Do these Grammy types even listen to rap?

Uncle Snoop comes in at #4 for similar reasons. I admit that his use of the music box production was indeed creative and this hit does foster the mellow 70’s vibe that only Snoop Dogg can achieve. Many have attempted said strategy, only to be rejected by a Generation X fandom that mocks the greasy, jheri-curled tired Martin Lawrence – Jerome act.

Lil Wayne’s Lollipop at #3 was eh. Eh, exactly. I feel as if we have grooved to this single approximately 1,823,189 times. Not only am I suffering from Lil Wayne overkill, but also this ‘club banger’ playbook and requisite music video is beyond stale. We already know that you are a rapping-hustling-balling out of control-Boss-Don-Original Dun Dutta-Playa-Pimp.

Yawn.

Basically, Lil Wayne has been rapping since the age of fourteen and is synonymous with a six-year college basketball student-athlete in my book.

You know, like all of those pesky Duke University kids. Remember Nate James?

Still, Wayne deserves a bit of credit. We must acknowledge that this artist has come a long way from a sideshow Missy Elliot sound effect gazoo-type rapper. Young Wayne indefatigably reminded all parties that the temperature outside was indeed, four hundred degrees.

The Block is Hot. The Block is Hot. Ha. Ha. The Block is Hot. The Block is Hot. Ha. Ha.

Lil Wayne is the sole survivor from that unfortunate New Orleans Ca$h Money – No Limit Master P era. The guttural music, signature Manny Fresh drum machine beats and subject matter revolving around selling crack and Down South street combat may have very well blazed the trail for the ultimate destruction of real hip hop.

Rap is Dead. Right, Nas?

Wayne has evolved from a naive Juvenile sidekick urging millions of women to “drop it like it’s hot” into quite the versatile rapper. Seriously, Nineties babies remain convinced that Lil Wayne is the Greatest Rapper of All Time.

Moving on.

Chicago’s Lupe Fiasco checks in at number two. Sorry, Lupe. Any other year and I would have awarded you the crown. We recognize that you are at the forefront of this whole California skateboard-backpack-conscientious rap-neo-soul-intellectual movement. I do like the Superstar song. Just not right now.

No one on the Corner has Swagga Like Us.

This is my theme song.

This is the unparalleled anthem of 2008. Let us review:

Real estate bust. Stock market rout. Mumbai. Economic debacle. Foreclosure. Presidential election. Credit crisis. Layoffs. Bailout. $150 oil. Iran. Venezuela. Iraq. Afghanistan. Detroit. Recession.

How much swagger must one draw up and lean on to navigate this wretched environment?

The track is dominated by the theme of audacious courage bordering upon arrogance. The lyrics and keyboard are laid over a forward-march drumbeat of militancy. The mix encourages strength at all costs.

The sensation is the original product of M.I.A., the underground hip-hop celebrity descendant of Sri Lanka. The dueling wordplay of super producer Kanye West, mogul Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Southern King T.I engages listeners.

Mr. West compares himself to Mick Jagger, striving for a level of sheer dominance that is greater than Michael Jordan. Jay-Z intimates that immeasurable strength is lifestyle – impossible to be taught or purchased by any sum of money. Lil Wayne convincingly argues that has also put in the work – earning respect and the chain of command “stripes” of experience.

T.I. slams the door shut on this track with raging, flame-throwing lyrics. The King of the South salutes the business sense of top selling commercial rappers, while shredding the integrity of the fraudulent characters that have proliferated within the music industry. T.I. is no pretender – he is an artist who has poured his life out into the recording booth:

“I spit [rap] a certain Purpose. If you are not living what you’re kicking – then you’re worthless.”

No One on the Corner Has Swagga Like Us.

Tags:2009 Grammy Nominations - Best Rap Song

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