I like this guy. Image c/o NY Daily News

Lou Lamoriello resigned as president of the New Jersey Devils last Thursday. During his 28 years with the Devils, he won the Stanley Cup three times. He’s moved on to become the 16th general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. As a Washington Capitals fan, you’d normally expect me to ask, “Who cares?” But Lamoriello appears to be a generally good guy. What you all could verify with a mouse click is that Lamoriello took out a full-page advertisement in the sports sections of The Record and The Star-Ledger on Friday to thank Devils fans. That certainly seems like a decent thing to do, but I have more reason to believe that Lamoriello is really good guy.

I graduated from law school in 2000, and with nothing to lose, I decided to take a ridiculous shot at getting a dream job. I wrote every single NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS, and NFL team (except the Dallas Cowboys, because fuck those guys) asking for an interview for a position as in-house counsel. First, many of these teams don’t hire in-house counsel, instead retaining large law firms (which I call out-house counsel, because fuck those guys) to do the work. The jobs for which I applied, in some cases, simply didn’t exist. Second, for those people hired in-house at such a dream position, it takes a mountain of experience to get it, and there are the additional factors of luck and connections that a dopey, recent law school graduate isn’t going to have. As you might expect, I received rejection letters from about half of these teams, with the other half simply ignoring my request.

But not Lamoriello. He hand-wrote a letter to me explaining why he couldn’t interview me but wishing me well in my job search. This is a guy who had much better things to do than to tell me something that I already knew. Even if he were inclined to extend an extra bit of courtesy in the interests of public relations, he could have had his secretary send me a form letter with his name stamped on it. Nope. This guy appreciated my interest and wanted to connect.

I still hate the New Jersey Devils, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and every other that isn’t my team (because fuck those guys), but whatever you want to assume about people, this is no bullshit: Lou Lamoriello is a class act.

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Base Balls

Image  —  Posted: July 20, 2015 in Baseball
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In September, I went to Las Vegas with the intention of betting on the Green Bay Packers to win the #SuperBowl, but I was scared off by their week one blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Now, I’m sitting here with a marker worth $100 if Seattle wins the Super Bowl, and look who’s threatening to stop them. Damn.

At the half, it’s 16-0 Green Bay.

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I don’t do my research anymore, so my picks are even more suspect than ever, but I’m inspired to take another shot at it because of a couple of interesting fights on the card. I’m picking only those fights where I already know the fighters.

 

George Roop v. Rob Font

I’m still quite bitter that Roop lost to Hioki, ruining what would otherwise have been a perfect night of picks for me*.

Roop by decision.

* Okay, so I made a sentimental pick that ruined the perfect score anyway, but based on my discussion of the fight on Fight Fans Radio, it’s clear I knew Nelson would beat CroCop.

 

Chris Camozzi v. Bruno Santos

Bruno who?

Camozzi by decision.

 

Uriah Faber v. Alex Caceres

This is a ridiculously one-sided match up, but what else is the UFC to do? Uriah can’t beat Barao or Cruz but is head and shoulders above everyone else. They have to put him against lesser talent that has no chance. Of course, now that T.J. Dillashaw is champ, Uriah has an opening to get back into the title picture without everyone saying, “Been there; done that,” but this fight was already booked.

Faber by 1st-round dismantling (KO/TKO).

 

Uriah Hall v. Thago Santos

Yeah, Hall can throw a wheel kick. Do you know who else can throw a wheel kick? Me. It was my signature kick when I got my black belt in TKD. We measured it, and the power was scary. However, I won’t be winning a UFC championship anytime soon, and neither will Hall. If he connects with them against people on the UFC roster, then maybe we can stop calling that kick a fluke, but until that point, it’s not a selling point for picking fights.

Santos by decision.

 

Stefan Struve v. Matt Mitrione

A year ago, this was an easy pick, but Struve’s heart condition not only sidelined his fighting but also his training. I can’t believe he’s as sharp as he was.

Mitrione by 1st or 2nd round KO/TKO.

 

Ronda Rousey v. Alexis Davis

Now it’s time for my customary “I told you so.” I predicted all of this long before Dana White or even Scott Coker knew Rousey existed. However, while I certainly don’t wish ill will on her, she’s now “on my list.” I take partial credit for getting her a title shot against Tate when she did. She would have eventually done so without my help, but I’m responsible for getting her that shot about 6 months earlier than she did (with a serious hat tip to Erika Lewis). And before you call bullshit, Ronda acknowledged this in an interview; she just didn’t name me. She said “someone on Twitter” got the ball rolling. Trust me when I say I don’t want to be in the spotlight, but I found that a bit odd. Of course, none of this affects how I’m picking these fights.

Ronda by 1st round armbar or whatever else she chooses. There’s simply no one to challenge her in WMMA right now.

Please note: I’m not taking credit for her bronze medal, her actual winning of the title, her general self-promotion, or her harai-goshi. That’s all Ronda, and she should be proud of all four (and so much more).

 

Chris Weidman v. Lyoto Machida

Contrary to what some armchair fighters have said, Weidman’s wins over Silva were not flukes. He beat Anderson twice. Contrary to what Weidman himself has said, most people recognize that Weidman’s wins weren’t flukes. He’s not “underrated” or “not being given the credit he deserves.” However, I’m still picking against him. This is about how fighters match up against one another, and Weidman is almost tailor-made for Lyoto. Have a nice nap, Chris.

Machida by 2nd round KO/TKO.

 

Follow me @MMADork. Or don’t. I really don’t like the spotlight.

Okay, so here are my picks for tonight:

Makdessi v. Patrick

I love Makdessi, but for once I’m ignoring my heart. Patrick by decision.

Varner v. Trujillo

Varner has his moments. Something tells me tonight will be one. Varner by KO/TKO.

Mir v. Overeem

This is a question of who will underachieve the least. If Mir would stop trying to be a boxer, I’d have him all the way, but he just doesn’t get it. Overeem by KO/TKO.

Aldo v. Lamas

The past few months have reminded us that no one is unbeatable, but I have trouble believing Lamas will be the one to finally (recently) solve Aldo. Aldo by decision.

Barao v. Faber

This is a championship match, so the seemingly unstoppable Faber will choke again. It’s not that it won’t be a good fight, mind you. It will, but Barao will win. Barao by decision.

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I’m really too busy to write about this, but I’m always hoping to find a way to get a legitimate journalist to cover MMA, and Mike Wise of the Washington Post is on the fence about doing so. One of these days, maybe something will get him curious enough to watch, then interested enough to write. Tonight might be the night. The women have arrived, and the greatest MMA fighter ever is back to reclaim his title.

Manny Gamburyan v. Denis Siver

This is a toss up. Siver used to be good, but now he’s at the level of Gamburyan. Quite an endorsement, eh? When in doubt, I root for the judo guy.

Gamburyan by decision

Michael Johnson v. Gleison Tibau

I still don’t know why Johnson gets such a push when so many fighters are getting their pink slips for losing a single match.

Tibau by decision

Uriah Hall v. Chris Leben

Leben’s best days are behind him. While Hall is still developing, I think he’s good enough to get the win.

Hall by decision

Jim Miller v. Fabricio Camoes

Miller has disappointed me lately. I actually see this as a punishment for that. If he can’t beat Camoes, he’s in danger of getting bounced by the UFC. I never thought I’d say this so soon.

Miller by submission

Josh Barnett v. Travis Browne

I can’t see why so many people are picking Barnett. No way.

Browne by 3rd round KO/TKO

Ronda Rousey v. Miesha Tate

There is absolutely no reason to think this fight isn’t going the same way all of Ronda’s fights go. It’s a complete no-brainer. For those who hate Ronda, I say think with your brain, not your heart. And to everyone, I remind you, I told you so … 2-1/2 years ago, well before Dana White and Scott Coker knew she existed.

Rousey by 1st round submission

Chris Weidman v. Anderson Silva

Weidman has the style and skill to beat Silva, but he showed last time that he’s susceptible to being pulled into Silva’s game plan. Lightning doesn’t strike twice. 99.99% of the time, Silva wins the striking battle. Despite what most are saying, I think Anderson goes in there and does the same goofy dance he always does, gets under Weidman’s skin, and knocks him out. The only question is whether it will take more than one round. I’ll play it safe.

Silva by 2nd round KO/TKO

And now I’m off to Baileys in Ballston Mall. If you’re in Arlington, say hi.

Unless I don’t like you.

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Follow Mike Wise @MikeWiseGuy

So, my last published picks were embarrassing, but I went 4 for 5 on the last card. I regretted my decision not to publish what would have been redeeming,  and I’m on a mission to get Mike Wise to start writing about MMA, so I’m back at it. Unfortunately, I’m on my phone, so no formatting, pretty pictures, or links to sources. I’m just giving picks for the fights I’m willing to pick. We’ll settle up later.

Story – Once a contender. Tonight, I think he’ll be good enough.
Herman – He’ll get back on track (or lose his job).
Cerrone – He’ll also get back on track.
Koscheck – Hate him, but he’ll win after faking an eye poke.
McDonald – Well, duh.
Sonnen – I’d pick him to beat Muhammad Ali. I can’t pick against him.
GSP – No title is safe, but I’ll believe it when I see it.