Baseball Thoughts Entering the 2015 Playoffs (or how the Cubs can win the World Series)

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

I’m sitting in the ProjectShanks.com home office in Longview, Texas, six feet to the left of my slave-driving boss, Chris Stuckey. Talk about pressure.

But I surge ahead, determined to transfer these thoughts I have from my brain to keyboard, whether a thousand miles away at home, or at headquarters.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

In case you haven’t noticed, the Cubs have the third best record in baseball. It is typical, that in such a case, the two better records belong to teams in their own NL Central Division; the Cardinals and Pirates. With only a couple of games this weekend to settle the dust and seal the postseason awards, the National League playoffs are set. The Cubs and Pirates will play the one game wild card game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, TBS the dutiful portrayer of the game. And don’t the playoffs just scream TBS? They broadcast an excuse me game every now and again, I was surprised to find late in the season that Ted Turner’s network even continued to broadcast baseball, with the superstations TBS and WGN dumping the local team coverage in the last few years, they being the Braves and Cubs. But that’s a conversation for a different column. [Read more…]

Reviews from the Road: Talking Chicago Bears in Reno

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

The cat just farted as he leaps away from me. Thank you for that Shadow, I’m inspired. Have you been into my ham?

I’m a thousand, maybe two away from the center of my sports universe hard by the shores of Lake Michigan. The Bears are 3-3 with the Miami Dolphins coming to call this Sunday. I’m only two weeks removed from Davie, FL where the Dolphins train. The buzz when I was there had to do with Coach Joe Philbin being cryptic about who his starting quarterback would be for the game in London which the Dolphins wound up winning easily, and Ryan Tannehill bought himself a week long reprieve. I expect that the Bears will be the reason for those questions to arise once again. Tannehill has a tendency not to throw the football straight, and the Bears have one of the best young corners in the league in Kyle Fuller who has shown thus far in his career that he is a ball magnet. Look for Tannehill to complete at least two passes to No. 23 of the Bears and for the Bears to roll. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: 2014 Ryder Cup – Day Two

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Ryder-Cup-2014-Logo

The morning four-ball matches on day two of the Ryder Cup was some of the best golf I’ve ever witnessed. The first match out, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson finished their match against Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson with 10 straight birdies yet only won 3&2. Kuchar and Watson were seven under par and got beat. Incredible golf. Cup veteran Jim Furyk was paired with Hunter Mahan and played extremely well, pouring putts in from everywhere to take care of the Euros Jamie D0naldson and Lee Westwood. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: Opening Day Ryder Cup

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

The opening morning four-ball matches didn’t quite go as the European side might have scripted. American captain Tom Watson surprised many with his pairing of Ryder Cup rookies Patrick Reed and Jordan Speith to take on European rookie Stephen Gallacher and ringer Ian Poulter. The kids came through with a resounding 5 & 4 victory, turning the tables on the highly favored European squad.  Phil Mickelson and BFF Keegan Bradley teamed up for an exciting 1-up victory over world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and the third ranked serial choker Sergio Garcia. They were able to pull out the match when both Europeans made a mess of the 18th hole, and Mickelson managed to stay standing to win the hole. Bubba Watson, who has become my new player I have no use for, and Webb Simpson, who seemed to be caught up in Watson’s vortex of negativity teamed up to get pantsed by Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn. The four morning matches finished with the US leading 2 1/2-1 1/2. A small victory for the US in a competition they were expected to be resoundingly trounced. [Read more…]

2014 Ryder Cup Preview

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff, Serial Insomniac & Chicago Guru

Ryder-Cup-2014-Logo

As a primer to this years Ryder Cup, and since I have a couple of hours to kill until the 2:30 a.m. tee off, I’ll offer a couple of hints to watching. First of all, the matches are being held this year at Glen Eagles Golf Club in Scotland, the first time in many years it’s been held on Scottish soil. [Read more…]

Baltimore Ravens Cut Ray Rice, NFL Suspends Him Indefinitely

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

I’m watching the breathless ESPN coverage of the video depicting Raven’s running back Ray Rice giving his then girlfriend, now wife Janae a powerful introduction to his left fist on an elevator in an Atlantic City casino.

I don’t have the information that local police did, nor the NFL for that matter. The Ravens say that Ray Rice is a ‘good person’. The behavior he exhibited isn’t indicative of his long-term character. Hey Ravens! Yes it is. Choirboys need not apply for NFL jobs, we know there is inherent evil lurking in the psyches’ of a large portion of players. It’s what attracts many of us to the game in the first place. [Read more…]

2014 NFL Fan Viewing and Protocol Guide

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

The advent of the 2014 NFL season requires updates to etiquette as it pertains to viewing habits, proper dress and appropriate conduct for fans wishing to steer clear of subhuman meathead status.

Go-Bears

Alternative uniforms styles have progressed beyond the typical home and road jerseys of our youth. Military camouflage, throwbacks to each decade beginning with the 20’s and any other style the NFL believes might net it a dollar, will be trotted out during the course of the season. On Sundays, or Mondays, or Thursdays, or Saturdays, we as consumers are left to decide how we will approach this. We of course have several clothing articles proclaiming undying support for the very large men that beat the hell out of each other. The question then becomes, should we buy new “old” jerseys? Or do we stick with the tried and true combinations that have led our teams to the promised land. Or at least the bragging rights from the Bears-Packers game. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: PGA Championship Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Wow! That was fun. What is often thought of as the majors afterthought turned out to be the most compelling of the year. Like heavyweights exchanging blows, the likes of McIlroy, Mickelson, Fowler and Stenson traded punches for 18 thrilling holes in Sunday’s thrilling final round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Country Club.

Rory McIlroy held off his challengers and won his second straight major, third straight tournament and fourth overall major championship. He has become as David Feherty said on the broadcast, The Quiet Assassin. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: 2014 British Open First Round

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Welcome to the 2014 British Open, self importantly called; (in your best British accent) THE OPEN. By far the stodgiest of the four golf majors, participants are polite, spectators even more polite and Mike Tirico trying to figure out which continent he’s on and which event he’s covering. This year’s Open is being contested at Royal Liverpool aka Hoylake. Home of the Beatles, though they aren’t necessarily familiar to the tourney’s contestants or ESPN’S producers. But I will get to that in a while.

The first round leaderboard of the Open is typically littered with no name qualifiers, local blokes who stumble from the latex factory to the links and manage to put together the rounds of their lives to play the Championship. This year however, the leaders are well known to golf fans. Rory McIlroy leading at six under on the par 72 layout. Forty-nine golfers under par after round one. Twenty or so bunched within three shots of the lead, including one Tiger Woods at 3-under par. Phil Mickelson, my favorite whipping boy, shot 74 and said afterward it was the best he had hit the ball in over a year. These guys don’t play the same game as I do. [Read more…]

8 Game Home Stand Gives Mavericks An Opportunity To Move Up

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer

“There’s opportunity here, but it’s going to be very challenging, too,” said Rick Carlisle after Monday’s practice. “We’re going to have to work to keep our edge every day and every night. We’ll find out a lot about our character. The ability to keep that edge is one of the signs of competitive character. We’re going to have to have it.”

The Mavericks, fresh off a three-game road trip that was punctuated by a 23-point victory at Oklahoma City, are now faced with something their head coach hasn’t seen in his three decades in the league; an eight-game home stand. The favorable schedule allows the team to remain at home for the remainder of the month, but Dirk Nowitzki isn’t so sure of his team’s chances to improve their standing.

Dirk.Backing.Down

[Read more…]

Perfection for the Shockers Reigns Supreme at the MVC Tournament

by Kevin P. Thomas
ProjectShanks.com Writer

Championship Sunday at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament

Sometimes it is hard to ignore the moment. The entire tournament was filled with an anticipation of a moment. When that moment came, the business-like effort of Wichita State coaches, players, staff and fans went from confidence to exuberance.Wichita State had completed the perfect season by beating Indiana State 83-69. Undefeated.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

The Shockers had accomplished something with an undefeated regular and conference tournament season that no team had ever accomplished. 34-0. Think about that for a moment. The Shockers have 34 wins before playing a single game in the NCAA Tournament. The last time Wichita State lost was just under a year ago when they fell in the Final Four to the eventual NCAA Champions Louisville. [Read more…]

Commemorating the 1,000th Post

This is the 1,000th post on ProjectShanks.com.

1,000 posts. Articles, columns, previews, podcasts, YouTube videos, pictures of Kate Upton…it has been one heck of a journey to reach this milestone.

In-depth analysis to the absolutely hilarious to the utterly ridiculous, ProjectShanks.com has covered it all. It started as a vision over a year ago and has since turned into something we can be proud of for the rest of our lives. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this accomplishment. In less than 365 days, 1,000 posts have gone up on ProjectShanks.com. It’s the most enjoyable work I have ever done. The term “labor of love” could not be more fitting. Not even 10% of this site’s success could have been realized without the dedication, passion and drive of single person that has contributed. Life is crazy and has a habit of throwing curveballs at us and continually you guys came through with fresh, new content. [Read more…]