NFL 2014

September 5th, 2014 Comments off

Well, my 2013 prediction were close… I just picked the wrong NFC West titan to beat the Broncos. I even correctly predicted camera-less Brady would once again not looking anything like Joe Montana in losing to Denver in the AFC Championship.

Frankly this year I’m not feeling so confident… I really want to predict a rematch between Seattle and Denver; neither lost anyone too dramatic and Denver signed a bunch of big names. But it’s tough to repeat and both the Seahawks D and Denver O seem primed for some regression.

East – PHI (9-7), WAS (8-8), NYG (7-9), DAL (6-10)…. Eagles will once again be the best of four flawed teams.
North – GNB (11-5), CHI (10-6), DET (7-9), MIN (6-10)… Packers and Bears best the one dimensional Lions and Vikes.
South – NO (13-3), CAR (9-7), TB (8-8), ATL (7-9)… Saints will benefit from a somewhat soft division and even softer schedule.
West – SEA (12-4), SF (10-6), ARI (8-8), STL (6-10)… Still the toughest division in football by far; I was this close to predicting the 49ers to falter and miss playoffs but they just have too much talent. Rams way better than 6-10 but not in this brutal division.

East – NWE (11-5), NYJ (8-8), MIA (7-9), BUF (5-11)… sigh, Pats cruise to another title; only real question is whether this is final year in Buffalo for Bills. Jets secondary a mess but the offense has to be better after looking like a D3 team last year so they will sneak into the playoffs to keep Rex around for at least 1 more year.
North – CIN (10-6), BAL (9-7), PIT (7-9), CLE (4-12)… Dalton taking a lot of flak for playoff losses but he’s still young and improved each of his 3 seasons. Ravens are a sleeper if o-line figured out…. Steelers are old and Browns losing Gordon really hurt whoever ends up playing QB.
South – IND (11-5), HOU (7-9), TEN (6-10), JAC (3-13)… Colts should go 6-0 in division play and improvement from Luck could make them the #1 seed in AFC. Texans bounce back a bit but still a weak field here.
West – DEN (12-4), KC (8-8), SD (7-9), OAK (4-12)… Denver still loaded but both they and KC will come back down to earth a bit after 2013 peaks. Raiders suffer through another miserable season… and possibly last season moving back to LA again.

NFC Wild Card Round – Packers and 49ers prevail over Bears and Eagles
AFC Wild Card Round – Jets sneak into playoffs only to get stomped by the hated Belicheats, Bengals finally get a playoff W vs Ravens
NFC Divisional Round – Saints edge the 49ers, Seahawks edge the Packers
AFC Divisional Round – Broncos rough up Bengals, Belicheats edge Colts as traitor Revis snags two of Luck’s 3 INTs
NFC Championship – No 12th man no problem as the Seahawks silence the Superdome.
AFC Championship – Manning-Brady bowl part 57… I really want to pick Denver but my gut is telling me Belicheats

Super Bowl
Remember how bad the Seahawks made Peyton look last year? Welp, this year Tomwina is on the receiving end of “baby seal clubbing”. Seahawks repeat as defense is not quite as dominant but Russell Wilson grows into a top 5 or so NFL QB.

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NFL 2013

September 4th, 2013 Comments off

NFL ShieldLast year I predicted 49ers vs Belicheats in the Super Bowl which was half right. And Colin Kaepernick and the Niners came pretty close to fulfilling my prediction that they would win the big game. Throw in the fact the Belicheats made it to the AFC Championship and I’d say that’s not half bad.

But let’s cut right to the chase – I’m going to nail it this year b/c I’m taking the 49ers again. They are going to steamroll through the NFC and then bitch smack the weaker AFC in the title game. Peyton and the Broncos look like the cream of the top heavy AFC but they will not be able to handle the 49ers D or Kaepernick. Denver is built well to beat a pocket QB like Brady but I see Kaepernick shredding their blitzes for a 38-17 win while Peyton tries to do much and throws 3 picks.

Now that I’ve told you what’s going to happen in the big game I might as well give you the standings.

East = NE (13-3), BUF (7-9), MIA (5-11), NYJ (5-11)… yawn – Belicheats dominate the weak east again as Dolphins look like 2011 Marlins, Geno Smith looks like a bust for the soon to be Rex-less Jets and EJ Manuel gives Buffalosers hope for the future.
North = (9-7), CLE (8-8), BAL (8-8), PIT (6-10)… the Bengals improved offense and solid D is enough to win a hard fought but ultimately underwhelming division race. The Browns surprise by stealing a wild card as the Ravens fail to replace all the pieces they lost and the Steelers look like a team in need of a rebuild.
South = HOU (12-4), TEN (9-7), IND (7-9), JAC (4-12)… Texans easily take another division titles. Colts come back down to earth after Cinderella ’12 and Jaguars stink again. Big story is Titans getting hot late in the year and snagging wild card berth.
West = DEN (13-3), SD (6-10), KC (5-11), OAK (3-13)… Broncos dominate a putrid AFC West.

East = DAL (10-6), WAS (8-8), NYG (7-9), PHI (6-10)… Romo and the Cowboys get back into the playoffs with minimal drama this year but still don’t win when they get there. Redskins can’t match 2012 performance while Giants and Eagles both show they need to seriously reload talent wise.
North = GB (12-4), CHI (9-7), MIN (8-8), DET (6-10)… Packers class of this division. Bears offense plays better but still not enough protection for the passing game. Vikings and Lions are “tough outs” but generally outs none the less.
South = ATL (12-4), NO (8-8), TB (6-10), CAR (5-11)… Falcons barely break a sweat within the division. Saints rebound a bit but even Sean Payton can’t cover up the terrible D that much. Bucs and Panthers both end up way worse than they might look on paper.
West = SF (14-2), SEA (11-5), STL (9-7), ARI (5-11)… wasn’t it just 2 or 3 years ago someone with a losing record won this division? Now its got 3 teams that would stand a good chance of finishing first in any other division. Ultimately the 49ers defense is just too good and Kaepernick terrorizes the league both running and throwing. The ‘Hawks are probably 2nd best team in the AFC but can’t get away from SF as they’ll eventually lose to them in the playoffs as well. Rams are going to sneak up on a lot of people – their offense loaded up and an improving young D. Cardinals are better than 5-11 but can’t compete in this brutal division.

AFC Wild Card Round = Texans hold off feisty Browns, Titans upset Bengals
NFC Wild Card Round = Seahawks throttle Cowboys, Packers edge Rams
AFC Divisional Round = Pats over Texans in a classic, Broncos romp over Titans
NFC Divisional Round = 49ers offense is too much for Seahawks to match, Packers best Falcons in a no D shootout
AFC Championship = Even Belicheat can’t cover all the Denver receivers and the Broncos pass rush shows once again Brady can’t take a hit
NFC Championship = Just like last year, the Packers defense is no match for Kaepernick.

Super Bowl
The game is close early as Kaepernick looks a little tentative despite being on the big stage 2nd straight year. But eventually the 49ers offense starts to click and San Fran starts to pull away early in the 2nd half. By the end of the 3rd quarter Peyton has resorted to trying to do it all by himself, forcing throws for a couple of bad picks. By early in the 4th quarter this one is over and the 49ers may just have the start of another hall of fame qb career & dynasty on their hands.

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MLB 2013

April 15th, 2013 Comments off

Ok, so I’m about 2 weeks late with these predictions but since no one is reading this blog I think we’re fine here. MLB logo

Let’s also not talk about last year where my MLB predictions were not so hot – neither of my world series teams even made the playoffs :-/

So on to 2013!

AL East

  1. Yankees – this division is by far the toughest to call but rumors of Bombers demise are premature.. plenty of talent and still deep pockets at the deadline
  2. Rays – they’ll continue to be just good enough to make the playoffs and not do anything in them
  3. Red Sux – same story as the Yankees… as much as I’d love to see it happen, last year’s disaster will not repeat
  4. Blue Jays – they will be to 2013 what the Marlins were in 2012… a high priced all star team that will flop
  5. Orioles – the O’s luck from 2012 runs out and they go back in the basement

AL Central

  1. Tigers – getting back VMart is like a big free agent signing… class of the AL thanks to the pitching
  2. White Sox – none of the other 4 teams in this division impress me much but I’ll give slight edge to Chisox based on pitching
  3. Indians – I see the Tribe making a surprise wild card run but fading down the stretch
  4. Royals – Shields is nice but still not getting over the .500 hump
  5. Twins – going to be a loooong year for Minny

AL West

  1. Angels – Hamilton adds to an already loaded lineup but the real question is how good is their pitching
  2. Athletics – 2012 Cinderella is for real and wild get a wild card this year
  3. Rangers – they are headed into mini rebuild mode with a bunch of aging vets being phased out for youngsters… I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sub .500 this year but contending again in a season or two
  4. Mariners – I like most of the little moves they made in the offseason as Morse and Morales should add some nice pop. Tempted to pick them to finish ahead of Texas but that might be a reach
  5. Astros – new league, same triple A level talent

NL East

  1. Nationals – tempted to pick the Braves here but I’ll go with the masses and say Nats win in a close race
  2. Braves – I love getting Justin Upton… they’ll give Nats all they can handle in tougher than expected NL East
  3. Mets – this is more of a reflection of how bad I think the Phillies and Marlins are going to be than a vote of confidence in the Mets
  4. Phillies – don’t like their chances of a rebound much at all… beating the Mets out for 3rd (which isn’t saying much) is a possibility but so is giving the fish a run for last place
  5. Marlins – Miami will see how AAA ball draws in that brand new tax payer funded stadium

NL Central

  1. Reds – tons of offense but can they pitch?
  2. Cardinals – I was very close to picking them to win the division so they are a few key Reds’ injuries away from 1st
  3. Pirates – unless they find some starting pitching, they’ll once again come up just short of finishing above .500 for the first time in forever
  4. Brewers – similar to Pirates, a solid offense with some big bats but not much starting rotation depth
  5. Cubs – may get worse before they get better

NL West

  1. Dodgers – health is the biggest concern for the Dodgers… they could have the best record in the NL or miss the playoffs depending on how their DL ends up looking
  2. Giants – if you’re a baseball fan, you have to like how this team is put together and I can easily see them beating out the Dodgers
  3. Rockies – best of the rest in the very top heavy NL West
  4. Diamond Backs – congrats to the D’Backs for finally ridding themselves of one of the best young players in baseball!
  5. Padres – the fences at PETCO have moved in so all the San Diego losses are higher scoring

Wild Card: Giants over Braves and Athletics over Rays
Divisional Round: Tigers over Athletics, Angels over Yankees, Nationals over Giants and Dodgers over Reds as both NL series go 7
Championship Round: Tigers over Angels in 6, Nationals over Dodgers in 5
World Series: Tiger over Nationals in 6

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NFL 2012

September 8th, 2012 Comments off

NFL LogoWell, I was half right with my 2011 NFL picks. I correctly predicted the Belicheats (who are, sans video cameras, 1/2 way to Buffalo Bills territory and trail the Jets in legitimate Super Bowl victories 1-0) would lose the Super Bowl. I also accurately predicted Belicheat would at least shake hands this time and, yes, Brady did cry like a little girl. The only facet of the glorious, righteous defeat of the evil football team from New Engalnd I failed to anticipate was Gizelle making a fool of herself after the game blaming her doofy husband’s teammates.

All that being said, I missed the boat on the winner. The Packers obviously didn’t win and I didn’t even have the Giants making the playoffs. But the important thing is the Belicheats lost and I predicted it!!!

Ok, on to the 2012 picks:

East = Belicheats (12-4), Bills (10-6), Jets (7-9), Dolphins (3-13)… Pats again, Bills feast on an easy schedule, Mark Sanchez again fails to improve, ‘Fins stink and Tannenhill ain’t the answer
North = Ravens (11-5), Steelers (9-7), Bengals (7-9), Browns (3-13)… Ravens aging D still good enough here, Steelers o-line still a mess, Bengals take a step back (as usual) and the Browns are, well, the Browns
South = Texans (12-4), Titans (10-6), Colts (6-10), Jaguars (2-14)… Texans could be + or – two wins depending on health of offensive trio, Jake Locker the real deal for Titans, same for Andrew Luck in Indy, not for Gabbert and awful Jaguars who may punch their ticket outta FLA this year
West = Broncos (10-6), Raiders (9-7), Chiefs (7-9), Chargers (5-11)… Peyton has to be worth at least 2 more wins right?, I like Raiders tho not sure why entirely, Chiefs are just blah and Chargers window of opportunity officially closes this year as Norv finally gets axe

East = Eagles (12-4), Cowboys (10-6), Giants (8-8), Redskins (6-10)… Eagles pick up where they left off last year (4 wins to finish season) but Vick health always a concern, Cowboys solid, Giants had too many things break right last year and will miss playoffs as that normalizes, Redskins a tough team that would be a wild card contender in an easier division as RG3 does a decent Cam Newton impersonation
Central = Packers (13-3), Bears (10-6), Lions (9-7), Vikings (4-12)… Packers breeze through regular season again, Bears improved just enough to take advantage of young Lions struggling as Stafford misses 4 to 6 games and Vikings a long way from being good with or without AP
South = Saints (11-5), Falcons (8-8), Panthers (7-9), Bucs (6-10)… Sean Payton or not, Saints still plenty good enough to win this weak division, Falcons are an overrated & soft team, Panthers won’t get same crazy year outta Newton, Bucs are not real good
West = 49ers (14-2), Cardinals (6-10), Seahawks (5-11), Rams (2-14)… Dominant niners and 3 really lousy teams

AFC Wildcard round = Titans upset Ravens, Broncos throttle Bills
NFC Wildcard round = Eagles crush Bears (Cutler knocked out again in playoffs), Cowboys upset Saints
AFC Divisional Round = Texans beat Titans, Belicheats throttle Peyton in a different uniform for a change
NFC Divisional Round = 49ers beat Cowboys, Eagles upset Packers with great pass rush
AFC Championship = Texans vs Belicheats… if Texans are all healthy at this point they win but unfortunately another Belicheats Super Bowl instead
NFC Championship = 49ers beat Eagles in a great game but Vick throws 3 crucial picks to doom Eagles

Super Bowl
49ers vs Belicheats… Tom Brady is bruised and battered again. Running scared all game and rushing throws b/c he can’t take the heat when he doesn’t know what plays the defense is calling, Brady drops to 0-3 in the Super Bowl. His lousy performance proves once and for all the “Montana like magic” was actually just good ol’ fashioned cheating. Alex Smith wins Super Bowl MVP but will out of the league within 3 years. 2012 champs = San Francisco 49ers

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Performing a URL rewrite with an F5 BIG-IP irule

August 21st, 2012 Comments off

So at work we use F5 networks BIG-IP load balancer.

Every once in a while i find myself needing to do a URL rewrite with the load balancer to map a non-existing /foo context to the actual /bar backend.

And every time that happens I can’t remember how exactly to do it and Google doesn’t either… so for posterity and my own benefit the next time, assuming you already have an iRule created add this:

switch -glob [HTTP::uri] {
"/nhlv2/*" { pool nhl_v2_test_pool; HTTP::path [string replace [HTTP::path] 0 5 "/nhl"] }
... other rules here ...

Node that you MUST have a pool configured and be pointing to that – the HTTP::path string replace part will NOT work if you are pointing to just a node directly. (i.e. { node 80; HTTP::path [string replace [HTTP::path] 0 5 "/nhl"] } does NOT work.

Hope this helps someone – or at least me next time I have to do this!

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@Resource injection of a Websphere MQ jms topic in Glassfish V3

June 20th, 2012 Comments off

So in my day job at ESPN we’ve been using Glassfish & MDBs to do JMS message processing for several years now. But most of our messaging stuff is queue based and we’re only now getting around to upgrading our topic publishers from Glassfish 2.1 to V3.

As per our IBM webshpere MQ support contract, we have to use their wmq.jmsra- resource adapter (not the generic JMS adapter that GF comes with).

We ran into an issue when we upgraded from V2 to V3.1 where resource injection of a topic (i.e. @Resource(mappedName="jms/NBATopic") private Topic nbaTopic;) seemed to not work anymore and threw an exception looking something like this:

com.sun.enterprise.container.common.spi.util.InjectionException: Error creating managed object for class: class com.espn.jmstest.SendMsgServletMQ
… snip snip …
Caused by: java.lang.IllegalStateException: Exception attempting to inject Unresolved Message-Destination-Ref com.espn.jmstest.SendMsgServletMQ/topic@java.lang.String@null into class com.espn.jmstest.SendMsgServletMQ: Lookup failed for ‘java:comp/env/com.espn.jmstest.SendMsgServletMQ/topic’ in SerialContext[myEnv={java.naming.factory.initial=com.sun.enterprise.naming.impl.SerialInitContextFactory,, java.naming.factory.url.pkgs=com.sun.enterprise.naming}
… snip snip …
Caused by: javax.naming.NameNotFoundException: NBATopic not found
… snip snip …
… 50 more

Long story short, the problem stemmed from defining the Connector Admin Object Resource via the V3 admin console. This worked fine in V2 but the dialog for it in V3 forces the attribute class-name="" on you (click screenshot).

If you use the admin console you get something like this in your domain.xml – note the class-name attribute which results in the topic resource injection not working (guessing that IBM class not @Resource compliant?).

<admin-object-resource enabled="false" res-adapter="wmq.jmsra-"
        res-type="javax.jms.Topic" description="" jndi-name="jms/NBATopic"
    <property name="baseTopicName" value="SA/NBA"></property>
    <property name="baseQueueManagerName" value="QM_ESPN_01_DEV"></property>

Not sure why V3 added class-name as required but the attribute in the underlying domain.xml is NOT required. So the solution is to simply use asadmin create-admin-object directly so you end up with something like this in your domain.xml (and yes, I know, we should have been real men and used the command line all along!):

<admin-object-resource res-adapter="wmq.jmsra-"
        res-type="javax.jms.Topic" jndi-name="jms/NBATopic">
    <property name="baseTopicName" value="SA/NBA"></property>
    <property name="baseQueueManagerName" value="QM_ESPN_01_DEV"></property>

Voila! Same code from V2 works just fine in V3.

Here’s the long back story / full instructions on how to set up Glassfish to talk to Websphere MQ using the IBM RA – hopefully this helps the next poor sucker Googling for it:

  1. Install IBM RA far to GF instance (your MQ distro should come with a file named something like wmq.jmsra- which can be deployed directly)
  2. Create a connector connection pool specifying wmq.jmsra- as the resource adapter and javax.jms.TopicConnectionFactory as the definition (seems it has to be TopicConnectionFactory not generic ConnectionFactory). We set “NoTransaction” and then set the following properties: transportType; channel; hostName; queueManager; port (the value of which obviously depends on your MQ setup). The connection factory should ping successfully in both V2 and V3.
  3. Create a Connector Resource pointing to the pool created in step #2.
  4. Create a Connector Admin Object Resource jms/NBATopic of type javax.jms.Topic specifying the wmq.jmsra adapter and the topic + queue manager properties required by the IBM RA. NOTE*: if you try step 4 using the GF V2 admin console, all is good. If you try it using the V3 admin console, you will run into the class-name attribute problem described above and no workey – so use asadmin create-admin-object in V3 as the GUI has a required dropdown with only the 1 selection !!!

Then the code to get the topic and publish to it is pretty simple and looks something like this:

    @Resource(mappedName = "jms/SPORTSQMTCF")
    private TopicConnectionFactory connectionFactory;

    @Resource(mappedName = "jms/NBATopic")
    private Topic topic;

    ... other stuff ...

    public void send(String msg) throws Exception {
        connection = connectionFactory.createTopicConnection();
        session = connection.createTopicSession(false,
        messageProducer = session.createProducer(topic);
        textMessage = session.createTextMessage();

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Hypocrisy in media part 3742

May 19th, 2012 Comments off

Breitbart doing what the mainstream media refuses to do on their boy Obama – vetting his past lies and transgressions… like they would if, you know, he wasn’t a liberal…

Like the article says, it’s highly unlikely Obama actually was born in Kenya – Billary would have turned that up to win in 2008 if he had been.

But it IS about the mainstream media completely ignoring the fact that as recently as 20 years ago Obama’s own publications listed him as “born in Kenya” – which proves that either he’s willing to lie when it suits him or he actually IS ineligible to be president.

Dan Rather went live with made up “facts” on Bush skipping out on the National Guard.

And there have been a bunch of recent investigations into who Romney may have beat up in high school 40 years ago.

But when fairly recent biographies written by Obama or at least his publicist say he was born in a different country? Not a story.

When the president is linked to trying to auction off his former senate seat? Not a story.

When the president personal pastor turns out to be a raging, anti-American racist? Not a story.

It goes on and on… just unreal.

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RIP Ginger

May 3rd, 2012 Comments off

You were always a bit crazy but we loved you anyway…

Ryan and Ginger

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MLB 2012

April 5th, 2012 Comments off

The “real” opening day for baseball is here so it’s time for my annual predictions… I hate this dopey new 2 wild cards in 1 game format (at least make it 3 games!) but they didn’t consult meMLB

AL East

  1. Yankees – most well balanced and deep team in baseball’s best division although Pineda injury is troubling
  2. Red Sux – don’t like the Bobby V hire at all and lots of questions about starting pitching but don’t see them missing playoffs again
  3. Rays – they’ll be in it ’til the end but most of the pitching is pretty young and Shields won’t come anywhere near 2011 #s
  4. Blue Jays – getting better but not enough pitching to seriously contend in this brutal division
  5. Orioles – it’s going to be a very, very long season

AL Central

  1. Tigers – Fielder signing was huge… they will run away with this weak division
  2. Royals – great young bats but no pitching… finishing above .500 would be a realistic (and big) accomplishment
  3. Indians – lots of experts see them as a sleeper but I see their late 2010 collapse as their 2011 reality
  4. White Sox – not much to get excited about
  5. Twins – midwest version of the Moneyball A’s… years of fruitless playoff trips eventually turn into unfortunate reality

AL West

  1. Angels – Yankees west? Stellar rotation and Pujols + Morales return will cure a lot of offensive ills as they take this top heavy division
  2. Rangers – this will be a dog fight but exas eventually wilts and a 3rd straight post season run is too much to ask
  3. Mariners – Angles & Rangers will battle for 1st, Mariners + A’s will battle for last
  4. Athletics – even if Manny is back on the juice and Cespedes is the real deal they are in for a tough year

NL East

  1. Phillies – need Howard to come back healthy at mid year but pitching is dominant enough to win the division either way
  2. Nationals – probably at least a year away from serious contention but this looks like a dynasty in the making
  3. Braves – after collapsing last year, i see them struggling out of the gate and a year of growing pains for their young players but wouldn’t be shocked by a dark horse run to the series either
  4. Marlins – I’m calling it now: this team and the new stadium will both be epic disappointments. Oh, and Reyes will get hurt and miss half the year
  5. Mets – they’ll be more competitive than many expect but still not very good

NL Central

  1. Reds – love the Latos trade and other young arms like Cueto and Bailey will finally start putting it together to complement great offense
  2. Cardinals – lost Pujols, get Wainwright back. Return trip to the playoffs a possibility but I see them just missing with 85 or so wins.
  3. Brewers – Fielder is gone and something tells me Braun is going to see his #s drop off big time. Pitching is good enough that 2nd place wouldn’t shock me but think red birds are more well balanced
  4. Pirates – getting better but still nowhere near enough pitching to even sniff .500
  5. Cubs – they’ll be bad
  6. Astros – they’ll be positively awful

NL West

  1. Giants – love the Melky acquisition. That + healthy Posey and their staff makes puts them head and shoulders above the rest of the west
  2. Dodgers – Ethier will bounce back and I like the signings of Lilly + Capuano to solidify the rotation
  3. Diamond Backs – I like their offense but the starting pitching WAY overachieved in 2011… Kennedy + Hudson will come nowhere near the 37 wins they combined for last year
  4. Rockies – like the lineup but Jamie Moyer is their 4th starter… ’nuff said
  5. Padres – they are going to lose a whole of 2-1 type games

Post season
Wild Card games: Red Sux beat Rangers, Dodgers beat Nationals
AL Divisionals: Angels in 5 over Red Sux, Tigers in 5 over Yankees
NL Divisionals: Phillies defeat Dodgers in 4, Reds beat Giants in 5
ALCS: Angels over Tigers in 6
NLCS: Phillies over Reds in 5

World Series… the AL is the better league by far this year and the World Series will prove it as loaded for bear Angels earn all that money Moreno shelled out by dispatching the light hitting Phillies in 5

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Year 37

February 17th, 2012 Comments off

Wife got me “Essential Wisdom of the Irish” book for bday yesterday.

And while I’m not that old yet I have decided that as I begin my 37th year I am officially adopting this motto:

“To get back my youth I would do anything in the world except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable” – Oscar Wilde

Categories: Personal, Random Musings Tags: