Week 1 CFB Expert Predictions

The best time of year is back…it’s FINALLY college football season…and once again I’m thrilled to have the expert panel of my buddies Jon Bell, Steve Malina as well as ABC15’s Shane Dale to make our weekly picks.

For our guest picker each week, I’ll have a 1580 The Fanatic personality and this week, I’m pleased to be joined by Morning Fanatics producer and occasional fill-in co-host on The Daily Blender, Chris Schubert!

Here’s how this works – we’ll track each of the 10 games weekly straight up and against the spread based on each person’s score predictions.

After nine long months, here we go with some AWESOME matchups!

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Cohen’s Corner 2018-19 College Football ‘Expert’ Predictions

One of my favorite things to write on this blog is my weekly college football picks. Last year my buddies Jon Bell and Steve Malina made picks each week…but we’re pleased to add a fourth full-time picker, Shane Dale from ABC15, who knows a few things about college football and especially the UofA-ASU rivalry.

Next week will be our first weekly picks column but in the meantime, enjoy our season preview column with some surprising picks that I’ll touch on below!

Name (Twitter Feed)
Eric Cohen (@eacohen83)
Jon Bell (@koshercoach)
Shane Dale (@ShaneDaleABC15)
Steve Malina (@BearDownSteven)

Projected UofA Record
Eric: 9-3
Jon: 9-3
Shane: 9-3
Steve: 9-3

Eric’s Commentary: Surprised to see no one picking 8-4 or worse for the ‘Cats who have a favorable, but far from easy schedule.

Projected ASU Record
Eric: 6-6
Jon: 6-6
Shane: 6-6
Steve: 4-8

Eric’s Commentary: I’d be shocked to see ASU finish with less than 5 wins considering they have a senior QB and arguably the best player in the conference at WR.

Continue reading “Cohen’s Corner 2018-19 College Football ‘Expert’ Predictions”

Fantasy Football: Players to Draft or Pass

The NFL’s preseason is upon us and with that, it’s time to identify fantasy football sleepers and busts. The following table identifies one player (mostly) per team and whether you should put them on your fantasy radar or let them be another owner’s problem. As you’ll see below, Christian McCaffrey is one of the players I think might end up being on their share of winning fantasy teams!

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August Mailbag: My D-Backs ‘hate’, the Territorial Cup rivalry, multiple favorite teams, my dating life, and more!

We haven’t done one of these in a year – so might as well address some things I’ve received via email and Twitter before football season kicks into high gear. If you have questions for future editions, don’t hesitate to email me at ecohen@1580thefanatic.com.

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You come off as such a hater of the local major sports teams, especially the Diamondbacks…what gives?

As of the time of this writing, the Diamondbacks are in first place in the National League West and I’m happy for their fans. But I’m a Cubs fan through and through…so I’ll never be loyal to Arizona’s MLB team.

To me, Arizona sports fans as a whole are fair-weather…that even includes my fellow UofA fans, who simply boycott football games even if they’re winning! Some D-Backs fans annoy me though because I don’t find them realistic…sure I can be a homer just like anyone…but when my Twitter feed is littered with continuous praise of the acquisitions of two relievers with ERA’s of 3.69 (Jake Diekman) and 3.98 (Brad Ziegler), it just adds fuel to my fire!

To those of you who are loyal and REALISTIC fans, I sincerely apologize for the diatribe above. But to those fans who root for the team when they’re good and turn their backs when they aren’t, you’re exactly why I feel the way I do.

Relating to the other teams in town:

Cardinals: I don’t have anything against them and in fact, I’d like to see a surprise season from what Vegas predicts is one of the worst teams in the NFC. Don’t expect a ton of ‘hate’ from me here throughout the season. I’ll objectively praise and critique on-air and online what I see from the team on the field.

Suns: I used to be a big Suns fan when I was younger but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve soured on the NBA as a whole. I’m intrigued by the offseason additions of DeAndre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo, Trevor Ariza and more so if I was to choose a favorite team in the NBA, it would for sure be this one.

Coyotes: I used to love going to games in the late-90s, early-2000s when I actually recognized players on the team…Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Teppo Numminen, etc… Since the move to Glendale, attending weeknight games are next to impossible and considering I can’t name more than 5 players on the roster, I just don’t care about them for now. Wake me up when they become relevant in the Western Conference again.

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Speaking of hating things, do you really dislike anything and everything Arizona State as much as you say and write?

YES! If ASU football went 0-12 every season and/or turned into the Pac-12 equivalent of Kansas football, I wouldn’t complain one bit. While basketball coach Bobby Hurley was one of my favorite players as a kid, his constant gyrations on the sidelines annoy me and make me dislike the basketball team that much more.

As I’ve said before (to much criticism), I believe that UofA-ASU is one of the most HATED rivalries in college athletics, especially football. There’s a natural dislike between Tucson and Phoenix and to be perfectly honest, it’s very uncomfortable for either side’s fans to go in their opponent’s stadium. Though I’ve been to every Territorial Cup football game since 2001, I absolutely detest stepping foot in Sun Devil Stadium wearing anything UofA because some jackass usually starts running their mouth unprovoked.

My favorite example of this was from the 2005 contest. Arizona led 20-5 in Sun Devil Stadium midway through the 3rd quarter. There was a moronic kid talking smack to my friends and I almost resulting in fisticuffs between one of them and him in the first quarter. As soon as the Wildcats took command, he disappeared…for hours. Yet as Terry Richardson returned a punt and ASU successfully executed a 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter to tie the game, guess who returned? The Sun Devils went on to win by a field goal with 6 seconds left and I wanted to literally punch the bandwagoner kid in the face (good thing I’m not a fighter in the least).

I’ve heard stories from my ASU buddies of hostile times in Arizona Stadium and that also disgusts me. Boo people all you want for rooting for the opposite team in your stadium…but don’t unnecessarily antagonize them.

Former ASU and Dallas Cowboys QB Danny White (and notorious UofA hater) once told me that he’d root for the ‘University of Iraq’ over UofA. Well I wouldn’t go that far on the opposite side…but the strong dislike is certainly there in my blood.

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Some people like to choose multiple teams to root for in every sport – if you were to rank your top-3 favorites in each of the major sports, who would they be?

Good question. I’ve been outspoken as to fans ranking their favorite teams and truly the answer is this – if I bet on a team, I’ll root for them on a given day. Outside of that, I don’t have a top-3 in any sport. Call it the ‘fantasy football mentality’ of sorts. My parents are University of Miami graduates so that was my college team as a kid…so they’re clearly my #2 in football behind UofA. Outside of that, can’t answer this one.

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Last year you put together a list of Sports Watchability Rankings. After seemingly enjoying the World Cup in June/July, does soccer move up your updated list.

Surprisingly, no…in fact soccer slipped behind tennis.
Here are the updated rankings (with rankings from last year in parentheses):

20. MMA (Last year: 20)
19. Boxing (19)
18. WNBA (17)
17. LPGA (16)
16. Women’s College Basketball (18)
15. IndyCar (14)
14. College Hockey (15)
13. College Softball (12)
12. College Baseball (13)
11. Men’s and Women’s Soccer (10)
10. Men’s and Women’s Tennis (11)
9.  NHL (8)
8.  NASCAR (9)
7.  NBA (6)
6.  Horse Racing (7)
5.  PGA Tour (5)
4.  MLB (4)
3.  College Basketball (3)
2.  NFL (2)
1.  College Football (1)

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You’ve run your own fantasy football league for 22 years without winning it. Why should I listen to your season-long and weekly advice?

Simple: Do as I say, not as I do.

Is your dating life really as bad as you portray it every weekday on The Daily Blender?

Over the course of time, it’s had its moments. But remember, we’re a comedy radio show so some things are a schtick. That’s all I’ll say for now.

Four Downs, 7/27: A handful of Bold Predictions for the NFL in 2018

With training camps underway, here’s a four pack of NFL predictions that some of you may agree with and others…well…not so much:

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FIRST DOWN: The New England Patriots WILL NOT make another Super Bowl with Bill Belichick and/or Tom Brady.
How to describe the Patriots’ offseason – I don’t know, does complete and utter disfunction ring a bell? After a stunning defeat in the Super Bowl to the Eagles which included Belichick benching one of his best defensive players, CB Malcolm Butler for an inexplicable reason, the hits just kept on coming. WR Brandin Cooks was traded to the Rams and his compadre Danny Amendola left for Miami. Julian Edelman, who was supposed to be Brady’s primary pass-catcher while returning from a torn-ACL, was suspended for the first four games due to PEDs. Butler and RB Dion Lewis left for Tennessee while defensive coordinator Matt Patricia took the Lions head job. Oh, and top offensive tackle Nate Solder bolted for the Giants. And I haven’t even mentioned behind the scenes discord between Brady and Belichick due to the QBs professional relationships.

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2018 Pac-12 Football Predictions: Washington runs away with the North but the South should be fun

Since Fall camp is right around the corner and with it the best time of the year approaching, it’s time to break down how I believe the Pac-12 conference will shape up in 2018.

Below I’ll project each team’s record (overall and in-conference) and give a bold prediction (at least I hope so) for each team.

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Continue reading “2018 Pac-12 Football Predictions: Washington runs away with the North but the South should be fun”

My Top 10 Favorite Underrated Play-by-Play Calls of All-Time

(Posting this again in 2018 for the purposes of 1580thefanatic.com. One of my absolute favorite columns to write in the last year – hope you’ll watch the clips and enjoy!)

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One thing that makes sports on radio and TV great are the play-by-play calls. As someone who dreamed of once becoming a play-by-play announcer as a kid, I appreciate greatness when I hear it. While Al Michaels’ “Do you believe in miracles?” call is legendary, there are so many more incredible moments in sports that go unappreciated. Here is a list of my favorite under-appreciated sports calls of my lifetime (pre-1983 is excluded)…hope you enjoy:

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