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Even if you’re not playing with us in the BDFL, you can join one of our free fantasy football games or pick groups hosted on Yahoo!

The password for our league or group in all games is “brutal”.

Yahoo! Fantasy Football: Brutal Deluxe Experimental League
(Yardage-based league. 10-16 teams, depending on response. No keepers; last year’s owners are encouraged to re-join the league ASAP.)
League ID: 384913

Yahoo! Pro Football Pick ‘Em: BDFL/Nitevilla/Cygweb
Group ID: 17721

Yahoo! College Football Pick ‘Em: BDFL/Nitevilla/Cygweb
Group ID: 8534

Yahoo! Survival Football: BDFL/Nitevilla/Cygweb
Group ID: 3032

Yahoo! Salary Cap Football: NOT OPEN YET.

Cross-posted at the Brutal Deluxe forum.

cygweb: What’s Next For The Bills?

The Bills finally break from my predictions, in a good way.  Thanks to a decent defensive performance, Rian Lindell’s leg, and Joe Gibbs’ overeagerness to freeze said leg, the Bills won 17-16 over the Redskins.

Going into Week 8, the teams that the Bills have played are a combined 25-15 and their remaining opponents (including two games against the Dolphins) are a combined 28-30 (not counting the 0-7 Dolphins twice).

I’ve got less time for TV these days, so shows that aren’t entertaining me are getting the boot. The first of this season is Heroes. It’s going absolutely nowhere and has too many characters. I’ve been checking out BBC America’s Torchwood, but it’s turning out to be more “fi” than “sci”. Might give it one more episode.

Why would a network affiliate bit-starve their flagship HD content to broadcast SD subchannels? That’s what WHP is doing. I used to chalk up macroblocking during CBS football games to the network’s transmission capabilities, but after years of following NFL HD discussion on AVS Forum I’m convinced that the games would look fine if WHP would either get rid of their SD subchannel (who’s watching it?) or bit-starve it and leave plenty of bandwidth for the HD content. I can forgive a little macroblocking during live fast-motion football shots, but when I see it in pre-recorded dramas like Numbers I think WHP (owned by Clear Channel) doesn’t really care what their programming looks like. On the forums, CBS is praised for their HD NFL coverage over NBC, Fox, and sometimes ESPN. However, the picture we’re getting in Harrisburg is being compromised by WHP.

I’m definitely interested in the over-the-air set-top-box (OTA STB) coupons that the government will be distributing to assist with the DTV transition. Namely, what kind of antenna and placement will be required for adequate reception with the boxes, and what kind of outputs will the boxes in the estimated price range have? The documentation is geared towards a box designed to connect to an analog standard-definition set via coax or composite video/audio, but I’m wondering if mid-tier (s-video, optical audio) and higher-end (component video, HDMI) options will be available and eligible for the coupon. With most of the HD programming we watch delivered by broadcast networks, I can’t help but think of investing in an over-the-air alternative to Comcast’s HD DVR service. Like other Comcast services, it never seems to get cheaper. Two HD OTA STBs connected to an HD Tivo or similar unit (or a carefully-crafted media PC) might seem like a lot of money in the short term, but after a year or two of Comcast bills are avoided, it would probably pay for itself.

Update (10/14): My post at AVS Forum: WHP Is Killing Cin @ KC

Update (10/19): I had thought WHP had two SD subchannels, one for weather and one for MyNetworkTV, but was mistaken.  They have just one SD subchannel for MyNetworkTV.  I’ve edited my previous comments.

…I don’t think it’ll be another 13 years before a Skycam hangs in Ralph Wilson Stadium.  Brian Moorman, Jabari Greer, Angelo Crowell, Trent Edwards, Marshawn Lynch and the rest of the guys gave us what may end up being the best MNF game of the season.  After the game, Tony Romo called his team “resilient” a number of times, but he should acknowledge their incredible luck at the end of the game.  A little more offense from the Bills and they probably would have won.

OK, the Bills are 1-3 after a quarter of the season. Can they get to 8-8? 9-7? Let’s look at the rest of their schedule:

Mon 10/8 Dallas 8:30 pm 1-4 (Correct, BUF 24 DAL 25 in a MNF nail-biter.)
Sun 10/21 Baltimore 1:00 pm 2-4 (Correct, BUF 19 BAL 14.)
Sun 10/28 at NY Jets 4:05 pm 3-4 (Correct, BUF 13 NYJ 3.)
Sun 11/4 Cincinnati 1:00 pm 4-4 (Correct, BUF 33 CIN 21.)
Sun 11/11 at Miami 1:00 pm 5-4 (Correct, BUF 13, MIA 10.)
Sun 11/18 New England 8:15 pm 5-5 (Sunday Night Football in Buffalo!) (Correct, BUF 10, NE 56. OUCH!)
Sun 11/25 at Jacksonville 1:00 pm 5-6 (Correct, BUF 14, JAX 36.)
Sun 12/2 at Washington 1:00 pm 5-7 (Incorrect! The Bills win a nailbiter: BUF 17, WAS 16.)
Sun 12/9 Miami 1:00 pm 6-7 (Correct, the Bills are 7-6 after squishing the fish: BUF 38, MIA 17.)
Sun 12/16 at Cleveland 1:00 pm 7-7 (Incorrect, the Bills lose the Snow Bowl.  BUF 0, CLE 8.)
Sun 12/23 NY Giants 1:00 pm 8-7 (Incorrect.  BUF 21, NYG 38.)
Sun 12/30 at Philadelphia 1:00 pm 8-8 (Correct.  BUF 9, PHI 17.)

It’s looking like 8-8 right now to me. We’ll see.

Update (10/22): Figured I’d update this entry, noting my predictions to date. The Bills are 2-4 after their upset of the Ravens.

Update (11/5): The Bills are back at .500 with their defeat of the Bengals. The rest of my predictions should hold up, except for the last two games of the season. I think those games’ results will be reversed. The Bills should definitely reach 8-8, and have a great shot at 9-7.\

Update (12/3): The Bills finally break from my predictions, in a good way. Thanks to a decent defensive performance, Rian Lindell’s leg, and Joe Gibbs’ overeagerness to freeze said leg, the Bills won 17-16 over the Redskins.

Update (1/1/2008): The Bills limp out of the season 7-9.  I correctly predicted all but one of the wins and all but two of the losses.

Scott hosted another great BDFL draft in his basement last night.  Thanks to Scott and Julie for their hospitality.  Here is the drafted lineup for the 2007 edition of my fantasy football team, Cyg’s Calorie Outlets:

QB    Donovan McNabb PHI (keeper from 2006)
RB    Jamal Lewis CLE (keeper from 2006)
RB    Marshawn Lynch BUF
WR    Deion Branch SEA
WR    Hines Ward PIT
TE    Dallas Clark IND
K    Shayne Graham CIN
D/ST    Bears CHI
RB    Ahman Green HOU
WR    Devery Henderson NO
QB    J.P. Losman BUF
RB    Ladell Betts WAS
D/ST    49ers SFO
WR    Muhsin Muhammad CHI

I was called a “homer” for my first-round pick of Marshawn Lynch, and, rightfully so, seeing as I had former Buffalo Bill Travis Henry (now the starter at Denver) available.  I wanted to draft at least one of the promising rookies this year since we have two keepers per year, so Lynch was my guy.

2006 Outlets QB J.P. Losman,  kicker Shayne Graham, and the Chicago defense/special teams found their way back to the team for this season.  I’m very pleased with my revamped receiving corps, and we’ll see what kind of noise my RBs will make.  I’m hoping Donovan has an injury-free season this year.

This was the first time I can recall recording or watching the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies. I tuned in mainly to see Thurman Thomas, who delivered a great speech, but also watched the activity surrounding the induction of Bruce Matthews and Michael Irvin, other players I’ve seen in my time. I wasn’t planning on watching Irvin’s speech, but after Jerry Jones’ introduction I was going to. Ironically, just as Irvin was coming up to speak, the end of the three-hour ESPN recording on my DVR was reached. I read the speech and I have to say that I liked it.

I got the fuzzies when Thomas expressed his love for the legions of Bills fans. I was in Buffalo for all the Super Bowls, and while I didn’t go to many games, I was a pretty big fan.

Another irony: the year I watch my first induction ceremony is the first year I’m unable to easily watch the Hall of Fame preseason kickoff game tonight, exclusively (let that word ring around a bit) on the NFL Network, which Comcast moved to a sports tier I’m not paying for. To honor the NFL Network’s decision to raise its carriage rate and Comcast’s decision to remove the channel from regular digital cable, I’m going to say something special during every BDFL podcast where we cover a game that was exclusively on the NFL Network:

The NFL Network kept this game a secret: good thing we have the stats!

I’ve set up leagues/groups for us to play the various free Yahoo! football-related games together this fall.  Check out this post at the Nitevilla forums for details:

Official BDFL/Cygweb/Nitevilla Yahoo Fantasy Football 2007 Groups!

Please join us!

The USA Today NFL feature I blogged about before is all but done. I guessed #1 Joe Montana correctly (not formally announced yet) and got close on Emmitt Smith, but I disagreed with many of the rankings. I guess that’s the point of these lists. Still a fun ride.

Update (7/23):  The voting results.  I was glad to see that Jim Kelly nearly made the list.  Darrell Green should have received more votes.  Shame on the voters (“10 NFL reporters and editors at USA TODAY”) for completely snubbing Art Monk.