BOB MATTHEWS SPORTS TALK
Weeknights 6:00PM - 8:00PM
on WHAM 1180
Email Bob here.
For over 25 years, Bob Matthews has held the title of Rochester's most popular sports writer/commentator. For over 20 years, Bob has hosted WHAM's nightly sports talk program...consistently ranked at the top of his time slot!
From 1978 to 2012, Bob Matthews was a sports columnist for the Times-Union and Democrat and Chronicle and a regular "As the Sports World Turns" contributor to the Gannett News Service. He is the only person to be selected Press-Radio Club Sportswriter of the Year (five times) and Sportscaster of the Year, and was a pioneer inductee into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame.
A Rochester native, Bob graduated from Brighton High School where he played varsity baseball, basketball and served as student council V-P. Bob is also a veteran, serving his country in Vietnam.
Always opinionated and outspoken, Bob's proudest accomplishment is advocating for Frontier Field. His all-time favorite athlete...former Red Wing Luke Easter. One of his sports regrets……not being around for the glory year of the Rochester Royals.
SUPER BOWL XLVII COULD BE THE MANNING BOWL
POLIAN TO BILLS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
BRONCOS OVER BENGALS IS THE “BEST BET”
WHY YANKEES FIGURE TO MISS PLAYOFFS NEXT SEASON
Leading off with some sports things I’d like to see:
Eli Manning (Denver) vs. Peyton Manning (New York Giants) in Super Bowl XLVII…It could happen. The Broncos have the NFL’s easiest remaining schedule (opponents a combined 22-42).
Bill Polian return to the NFL as president/director of football operations of the Buffalo Bills.
Alabama’s defense vs. Oregon’s offense.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o win the Heisman Trophy. It is way overdue to select a pure defensive player as the best college football player in the nation.
NHL owners and locked-out players break the ice and get this season underway. Hockey fans deserve better. I don’t think the owners and players do.
The NFL eliminate the extra-point kick (my latest crusade). Replace it with running or passing for the extra point(s): 1 -point try from 2 ½ yards with option of try from 5 yards for 2 points.
Three outfielders – any position – from each league in Gold Glove balloting. Left fielders and right fielders generally aren’t good enough to play center field.
No minor-league lacrosse team in Rochester. Isn’t a team in the National Lacrosse League (the Knighthawks) sufficient?
A Syracuse football recruiting class loaded with speedy players on both sides of the football…and more playing time for Ashton Broyld.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig make two long-overdue dramatic moves: Require pitchers to throw a pitch within 15 seconds (penalty is a ball) and hitters to stay in the batter’s box with no runners on base (penalty for stepping out is a strike).
This season’s Rochester Amerks win the Calder Cup for the first time since 1996 – it’s been way too long.
Home-field advantage for the World Series be decided by interleague competition instead of which league wins the All-Star Game.
Departed RazorSharks coach Rod Baker be elected to the Frontier Field Walk of Fame.
Steve Donner be elected to the Knighthawks Hall of Fame.
A really good Rochester Red Wings team – one that is as exciting as the fireworks for a change.
The Buffalo Bills select a quarterback in every NFL draft. They might get lucky and find a QB capable of winning a playoff game.
Tiger Woods win the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter make a complete recovery next season.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones finally make a smart move and fire himself as general manager.
Some black ink for the Knighthawks, RazorSharks and Rhinos.
A Division I basketball team in Greater Rochester.
IS THIS THE WEEK NFL FAVORITES RULE?
The San Diego Chargers finally woke up Thursday night and drew away late to crush the visiting 7 ½-point underdog Kansas City Squaws 31-13.
Is this the week the favorites will start making their comeback in the NFL betting standings? Entering this week, underdogs were a highly profitable 72-44-2 against the Las Vegas point spread this season.
I’m paying particular attention to the favorites in this week’s picks. They got me in this hole and I’m counting on them getting me back on track.
The Denver Broncos are favored by 4 points at Cincinnati this Sunday.
The Broncos are starting to roll behind NFL Comeback Player of the Year Peyton Manning. They have the NFL’s softest schedule the rest of the way and are set up to finish on top of the AFC West.
The Bengals are 0-10 vs. teams with winning record the last two seasons, including 0-3 this year.
This week’s “Best Bet” is Denver 30, CINCINNATI (+4) 17.
Sunday’s other games
(home team in CAPS)
GREEN BAY (-11) 35, Arizona 14 – Green Bay’s pass rushers should have fun against perhaps the worst offensive line in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers vs. John Skelton is about as lopsided a QB matchup as you can get.
Miami 24, INDIANAPOLIS (+1) 13 – The underrated Dolphins have emerged as the second-best team in the AFC East.
Baltimore 27, CLEVELAND (-4) 10 –The Ravens are coming off a bye and I can’t see the Browns winning two games in a row.
WASHINGTON (-3 ½) 28, Carolina 14 – The Redskins come to play every week and the Panthers are a mess.
Chicago (-4) 24, TENNESSEE (+4) 17 – The opportunistic Bears have worked too hard to take a week off against the Titans, who don’t have the pass rush to take advantage of Chicago’s main weakness – protecting QB Jay Cutler.
HOUSTON (-10 ½) 37, Buffalo 20 – Houston’s rushing attack vs. Buffalo’s rush defense appears to be a gross mismatch.
Detroit 27, JACKSONVILLE (+4) 30, Jacksonville 13 – The Lions have too much firepower for the offensively-challenged Jaguars minus star running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Tampa Bay 30, OAKLAND (-1) 23 – The Raiders, coming off consecutive wins over bottom-feeders Jacksonville and Kansas City, will have their hands full against the Buccaneers, who’ve scored 102 points (38, 28, 36) in their last three games.
Minnesota 24, SEATTLE (-4 ½) 20 – The surprising Vikings were due for a clunker and lost 36-17 at home to Tampa Bay last week. My hunch is that they’ll bounce back to be one of this week’s few winning underdogs.
ATLANTA (-3 ½) 28, Dallas 27 – The Cowboys are good enough to throw a scare into the undefeated Falcons but usually find a way to lose.
Monday night’s game
Philadelphia 37, NEW ORLEANS (-3 ½) 33 – The Eagles are due for a big game offensively and will be facing the NFL’ worst defense.
Thursday night’s pick (on WHAM 1180) was San Diego by more than the 7 ½-point spot over visiting Kansas City. The Chargers won 31-13.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS: 10-4 picking winning teams outright (69-49 this season)…6-8 picking winners against the Las Vegas point spread (46-68-4 this season)…The “Best Bet” is 5-2-1 outright but only 3-4-1 against the spread after 13-point favored Green Bay beat Jacksonville by only 9 points (24-15).
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS PROBABLE OUTFIELD FOR THE 2013 YANKEES?
Here are a few of the many reasons I don’t believe the 2013 New York Yankees will make the playoffs:
Owner Hank Steinbrenner has set a $189 million maximum player payroll.
The team has too much money going to too many fading players.
The Yankees appear unlikely to invest in any high-profile free agents (for example, Josh Hamilton).
Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera are coming off injuries.
Holes in the starting rotation. At least they won’t be counting on Freddy Garcia.
Closer Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract for 2013.
Possibility that free-agent catcher Russell Martin won’t return.
Fading stars on the infield corners in Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez.
The top young pitching prospects had poor seasons at Triple-A in 2012.
Possibility of a starting outfield of Curtis Granderson plus slap-hiting Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki. Sure, the team could you the speed of Gardner and Ichiro, but Yankee Stadium was built for sluggers.
Right now, I’d make Tampa Bay the team to beat in the AL East next season, followed by Boston, Yankees, Baltimore and Toronto.
The Chicago Bears are a difficult team to figure. They ‘ve scored an amazing six defensive TDs this season but have allowed 11 sacks in their last two games…Best records in games after October since 1999: Patriots 82-31; Indianapolis 78-40; Eagles/Steelers 74-40-1…Denver QB Peyton Manning already has locked up NFL Comeback Player of the Year and is in the running for his fifth NFL MVP award…Kansas City now has played eight games this season without having a lead. The only win for the Chiefs was in OT. The last NFL team to start a season without leading in 8 games was the 1929 Buffalo Bisons. They folded after that season. (Note from ESPN ‘s Adam Schefter).
HOW THE FOUR AFC EAST TEAMS MEASURE UP (league rank in parentheses):
Total offense – Patriots 440.8 yards per game (1)…Bills 349.0 (19)…Dolphins 327.9 (23)…Jets 317.4 (27)
Rush offense – Bills 150.3 (4)…Patriots 149.6 (5)…Dolphins 115.9 (11)…Jets 109.8 (16)
Pass offense – Patriots 291.1 (5)…Dolphins 212.0 (23)…Jets 207.6 (26)…Bills 198.7 (29)
Scoring offense – Patriots 32.8 points per game (1)…Bills 24.4 (12)…Dolphins 21.4 (19)…Jets 21.0 (20)
Total defense – Jets 347.0 yards allowed per game (16)…Dolphins 363.0 (22)…Patriots (369.8)…Bills 424.1 (31)
Rush defense – Miami 82.0 (3)…Patriots 88.6 (8)…Jets 141.4 (29)…Bills 176.9 (32)
Pass defense – Jets 205.6 (6)…Bills 247.3 (22)…Dolphins 281.0 (27)…Patriots 281.1 (28)
Scoring defense – Dolphins 18.0 points allowed per game (5)…Patriots 21.3 (T12)…Jets 25.0 (24)…Bills 32.4 (32).
YOU MIGHT NOT AGREE WITH ME BUT:
The World Series should never go head-to-head against the NFL on TV
– even if that means playing in the afternoon (gasp) on Mondays and Thursdays.
Baseball’s Gold Gloves should go to the three best outfielders – not to the best left-, center- and right fielder in each league. For example, I thought Mike Trout was a better defensive outfielder than Adam Jones was this center, but I KNOW he was a better outfielder AL Gold Glove LF Alex Gordon and AL Gold Gloved RF Josh Reddick.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is touting 2004 as the NFL’s best draft for QBs – topping the well-publicized 1983 draft (featuring Dan Marino, John Elway and Jim Kelly, plus Todd Blackledge, Tony Eason and Ken O’Brien). He has a strong case. The Class of 2004 includes Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and, Matt Schaub; one negative was J.P. Losman selected in the first round by the Bills).
Oregon’s Chip Kelly has emerged as the college football coach most coveted by NFL teams. He’s an offensive genius and would deliver an entertaining product in whichever city is lucky enough to land him. SI’s Peter King has suggested the Cleveland Browns as a good fit. I’m sure Kelly would prefer a team with more offensive toys to play with.
Denver’s Peyton Manning has a chance to become the first NFL player to win Comeback player of the Year and league MVP in the same season. He’d become a top contender for AP Male Athlete of the Year and the revived Hickok Belt.
NFL POINT-SPREAD STANDINGS: Buccaneers 5-2…Falcons 5-2…Texans 5-2…Bears 4-2-1…49ers 5-3…Patriots 5-3…Jets 5-3…Rams 5-3…Seahawks 5-3…Broncos 4-3…Colts 4-3…Dolphins 4-3…Browns 4-3-1…Chargers 4-4…Giants 4-4…Redskins 4-4…Cardinals 3-4-1…Vikings 3-4-1…Bills 3-4…Cowboys 3-4…Panthers 3-4…Raiders 3-4…Saints 3-4…Steelers 3-4…Bengals 2-4-1…Packers 3-5…Titans 3-5…Lions 2-4-1…Eagles 2-5…Ravens 2-5…Chiefs 2-6.
CARMEN BASILIO STILL IS PUNCHING
1957 Hickok Belt winner and adopted Rochesterian Carmen Basilio fought off a nasty bout with pneumonia and is back home with his biggest fan – wife Josie -- after a stint in the hospital. He’s up and about and looking forward to Tony Liccione’s next fight film night at The Infield.