Latest NOT The Footy Show Podcasts

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas from Warrick D. Nicolson... featuring Richie Benaud's 2013 Christmas XI

Merry Christmas Everyone!

By W D Nicolson - December 23, 2013



Have a fantastic Christmas Day 2013 and a safe 2014 from all of us here at www.wdnicolson.com... okay that's just me, but still - be good!


Sunday, 22 December 2013

#NFL 2013: Week 16 Picks - Head to Head and with Spread | #nflpicks #nflpickem

2013 NFL PICKS - WEEK 16
- AFC and NFC Picks - Head to Head and with the Spread -
By The Postman, December 22, 2013

WEEKLY RECAP: Stuck on the fence on both fronts - with matching 8-8 records halting the momentum from back to back 10-6 and 11-5 weeks (Head to Head wise). Just a poor week with upsets happening everywhere as Sunday went into Monday in the NFL.

H2H UPSETS PICKED: Well Chicago looked after us, but Jacksonville remembered they suck and lost at home to Buffalo. Only went with two upsets, so 1 from 2 is acceptable. Tipped 1 from 2 Upsets Correct for Week 15 (per Pick'Em favourite/underdog listing).

H2H LESSONS LEARNED: We're so late in the season you'd think teams with their playoff lives on a knife's edge would turn up... not so. Good luck to San Diego who beat Denver and Miami over New England but seriously Philly losing to Minnesota, Dallas to Green Bay, New Orleans to St Louis, Cincinnati to Pittsburgh and Baltimore to Detroit all involved the losing team being in a position to either secure their playoff spot or a high playoff seed and they got BEAT.

Our Week 16 Picks are up next...

Not gonna happen... thanks Atlanta
My 2013 NFL Season Preview and SuperBowl picks are here - and every week throughout the NFL in 2013 I will be posting my picks here on www.wdnicolson.com and via @wdnicolson.

Last year in the Yahoo! Sports Pro Football Pick'em competition I managed to finish in the 98th percentile (so Top 2%) of tipsters across the world... completely surprising myself by using the rule of thumb I (for some reason) refuse to back entirely in my NRL Tipping (that is pick favourites and then pick favourites and then, and only then... pick favourites and maybe one or two gut picks - which doesn't hurt you as much with up to 16 NFL games a week v 8 NRL games).

Week 16 sees the first regular season week of the year without Thursday Night Football - with all but one game now on Sunday. There are just two weeks left until the playoffs.
=====WEEK 16 PICKS=====

Friday, 13 December 2013

#NRL Classic Footy Films previews the 2014 Parramatta Eels...

Can the Parramatta Eels end the nightmare?

2014 National Rugby League Premiership Preview

By W D Nicolson - December 13, 2013


There's plenty of 'newness' at the Parramatta Eels for 2014... so Classic Footy Films takes a look at the team for next season.

How do you think the 'New Eels' will go in 2014 Parra fans?
Let us know by commenting below or replying on Twitter.
Now you can still subscribe to our NOT The Footy Show Podcast on iTunes here and although we're not sure if or when we'll be back on air again, it doesn't hurt to be prepared right?

#NFL 2013: Week 15 Picks - Head to Head and with Spread | #nflpicks #nflpickem

2013 NFL PICKS - WEEK 15
- AFC and NFC Picks - Head to Head and with the Spread -
By The Postman, December 13, 2013

WEEKLY RECAP: Head to Head is back in business with a good 11-5 to follow a 10-6. Back up to the 89th percentile with a 129-78 record and with just three weeks to go - let's aim for a final tipping percentage of over 65% if it is at all possible. Spread was better than last week's 4-11 at 9-7 but it wasn't particularly good. Still we're in striking range of a 50% tipping rate with the Spread so that has to be the aim.

H2H UPSETS PICKED: Stick with the favourites kids... went for 5 upsets in Week 14 and got just Jacksonville on Thursday... the only game I missed was Miami over Pittsburgh, otherwise really I shoulder stuck with the favourites and picked up an easy 12 or 13 tips last week. Tipped 1 from 5 Upsets Correct for Week 14 (per Pick'Em favourite/underdog listing).

H2H LESSONS LEARNED: San Franciso might be okay if they played Seattle at San Fran next time (they won't), while Dallas and Detroit lost games that may have had a huge bearing on their playoff chances given... well they did and these two lost. Don't pick Houston kids... they want the 1st overall pick, while Jacksonville are working their way out of the Top 3 by winning... Other than that, Tampa Bay proved Buffalo are also also-rans like them, while New Orleans put Carolina in their place. And didn't Kansas City need that win over a dud opponent to get their campaign back on track?

Our Week 15 Picks are up next...

Not gonna happen... thanks Atlanta
My 2013 NFL Season Preview and SuperBowl picks are here - and every week throughout the NFL in 2013 I will be posting my picks here on www.wdnicolson.com and via @wdnicolson.

Last year in the Yahoo! Sports Pro Football Pick'em competition I managed to finish in the 98th percentile (so Top 2%) of tipsters across the world... completely surprising myself by using the rule of thumb I (for some reason) refuse to back entirely in my NRL Tipping (that is pick favourites and then pick favourites and then, and only then... pick favourites and maybe one or two gut picks - which doesn't hurt you as much with up to 16 NFL games a week v 8 NRL games).

Week 15 begins with the last Thursday Night game of the season with San Diego visiting Denver (Friday morning Australian time). Then we'll be able to publish our picks at a more decent time... like Friday lunchtime.
=====WEEK 15 PICKS=====

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

#NRL: Watch Akuila Uate's 15 Tries from Season 2013 for @NRLKnights in just 3 minutes...

Akuila UATE... Tryscorer

2014 National Rugby League Premiership

By W D Nicolson - December 11, 2013


With the off-season now in full swing, Classic Footy Films is pleased to present our second video celebrating the footballing feats of 2013.

Today - Newcastle's Akuila Uate gets the all-star treatment as we recall all 15 tries he scored in 2013.

Enjoy that? Want more?
Let us know by commenting below or replying on Twitter.
Now you can still subscribe to our NOT The Footy Show Podcast on iTunes here and although we're not sure if or when we'll be back on air again, it doesn't hurt to be prepared right?

Thursday, 5 December 2013

#NFL 2013: Week 14 Picks - Head to Head and with Spread | #nflpicks #nflpickem

2013 NFL PICKS - WEEK 14
- AFC and NFC Picks - Head to Head and with the Spread -
By The Postman, December 5, 2013

WEEKLY RECAP: Decent enough Head to Head - scrambling to 8-3 before the late Sunday games and by Monday Night we'd gone 2-3 to fall away to 8,255th overall after a season high of 5,393 in Week 8... oh so long ago. Spread picks were a disaster... going 4-11-1, including missing on (technically) the last 7 games listed on the schedule. Yowser... PS. Why are you still reading our tips?

H2H UPSETS PICKED: Got Miami... missed on Chicago, Washington and New Orleans. So a bad week for upsets. Tipped 1 from 4 Correct for Week 13 (per Pick'Em favourite/underdog listing).

H2H LESSONS LEARNED: Cleveland, Chicago and Buffalo let us down early on (here I was thinking they were playoff contenders at least record wise before their games with Jacksonville, Minnesota and Atlanta - who WERE NOT PLAYOFF TEAMS) and then saw San Diego drop another winnable game at home to the Bengals and then swung and missed on Washington and New Orleans (both going for upsets) in the prime time games. The good news?
Not much... the only upset we picked was Miami over NY Jets - otherwise we would've gone 12-4 with just favourites.

Our Week 14 Picks are up next...

Not gonna happen... thanks Atlanta
My 2013 NFL Season Preview and SuperBowl picks are here - and every week throughout the NFL in 2013 I will be posting my picks here on www.wdnicolson.com and via @wdnicolson.

Last year in the Yahoo! Sports Pro Football Pick'em competition I managed to finish in the 98th percentile (so Top 2%) of tipsters across the world... completely surprising myself by using the rule of thumb I (for some reason) refuse to back entirely in my NRL Tipping (that is pick favourites and then pick favourites and then, and only then... pick favourites and maybe one or two gut picks - which doesn't hurt you as much with up to 16 NFL games a week v 8 NRL games).

Week 14 begins with Jacksonville hosting Houston on Friday (Australian time) and somehow - the recently pretty good Jaguars aren't favourite!!!
=====WEEK 14 PICKS=====

Friday, 29 November 2013

#NRL 2014: Here is how we'd schedule Round 1 as NRL announces draw announcement

OUR CRACK AT ROUND 1, 2014.

2014 National Rugby League Premiership

By W D Nicolson - November 29, 2013

The NRL announced on Thursday November 28 that they will be announcing the 2014 NRL Draw at an announcement next Wednesday December 4.

That's nice to know sure, but what if www.wdnicolson.com had a chance to put together the draw for the opening round of 2014?

In short we are looking for games that will draw fans through the gates in their respective timeslots, while also considering the TV value of the prime time games. Something that just makes too much sense to us is why wouldn't you work out your Round 1 matchups and then build the rest of your 26 round draw around that? 

Ask yourself this - is it really that hard to build and tinker with your draw based around a blockbuster Round 1 in mind, considering the powers that be have already been tinkering with the initial computer draw to satisfy club and TV requests for the last couple of months?

We'd love your feedback either as a comment below or shoot us a tweet via @NRLTweet

Note: All times are Sydney based - with the theory being it brings the biggest audience for Channel Nine and Fox Sports and thus lines up somewhat with the timeslots they'll likely use in 2014.

Here. We. Go.

Thursday Night Football 7:30pm at SFS

Sydney turned out in force to see the Roosters host the Rabbitohs in Round 1 last year (36,000) and because A. It has all but been confirmed as happening anyway and B. Is a taaaasty matchup for the very first game of the year - it gets the call to open the season. However don't play this at ANZ, instead play it at the SFS again because the Premiers should ALWAYS open their title defence at home - no exceptions. Plus these two fan bases are actually close enough to get to the SFS on a Thursday night - a factor that simply has to be considered to maximise the opening night crowd.


Friday Night Football - 8:00pm at Newcastle

Happy Birthday to well, everyone. Two teams who made at least the final four in 2013, have a good historical rivalry and will once again be bearing high expectations entering 2014 = a Friday Night WINNER. Hunter Stadium would almost certainly sell-out as the first Friday Night game of the year - it makes more sense than playing Brisbane in this timeslot this opening week because these two teams earned prime time based on their finish to 2013 and have genuine appeal because of this. Brisbane were terrible last year and don't deserve a Friday Night Opener ahead of the four teams who will play Thursday/Friday (though they will obviously feature heavily in the overall schedule). But for this game - Manly v Newcastle please.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

#NFL 2013: Week 13 Picks - Head to Head and with Spread | #nflpicks #nflpickem

2013 NFL PICKS - WEEK 13
- AFC and NFC Picks - Head to Head and with the Spread -
By The Postman, November 28, 2013

WEEKLY RECAP: Week 12 was ordinary to say the least... 6-7 with the GB-MIN tie makes for awful reading. The days of double digit wins look over as the playoffs (and the end of the regular season) approach as the playoff race kicks into gear and games will only get tougher to pick. Still, we're not going abysmally. With the spread we actually went 7-7 which is only the third time this season our Spread Weekly Record has been better than our Head to Head.

H2H UPSETS PICKED: Dallas and Pittsburgh did their thing against NY Giants and Cleveland, but Indianapolis and Chicago fell away badly against Arizona and St Louis. Ouch. So 2 from 4 Correct for Week 12 (per Pick'Em favourite/underdog listing).

H2H LESSONS LEARNED: Well we've got on the Steelers at the right time but St Louis are making a mockery of our declaration earlier in the year we'd never pick them again (I think they lost that week at home to Tennessee). Indianapolis are rotten right now but when you look at who they've lost to (and beaten) well you don't feel that bad about picking them going into the contests... New England just got it done after sporting Denver a huge lead and Houston are a shell of their former selves... San Diego win the un-winnable then drop a winnable game the next week traditionally so beware. And how did Detroit lose to Tampa at home???

Our Week 13 Picks are up next...

Not gonna happen... thanks Atlanta
My 2013 NFL Season Preview and SuperBowl picks are here - and every week throughout the NFL in 2013 I will be posting my picks here on www.wdnicolson.com and via @wdnicolson.

Last year in the Yahoo! Sports Pro Football Pick'em competition I managed to finish in the 98th percentile (so Top 2%) of tipsters across the world... completely surprising myself by using the rule of thumb I (for some reason) refuse to back entirely in my NRL Tipping (that is pick favourites and then pick favourites and then, and only then... pick favourites and maybe one or two gut picks - which doesn't hurt you as much with up to 16 NFL games a week v 8 NRL games).

Week 13 is Thanksgiving Day central this Friday (Australian time) - so there's 3 games on the schedule kids.
=====WEEK 13 PICKS===== 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

#NRL Will wide-open Queen's Birthday Monday finally get a designated day game in the 2014 Draw?

WILL THE NRL ADDRESS THE BIGGEST OVERSIGHT IN RUGBY LEAGUE SCHEDULING FOR 2014?
2014 Rugby League Premiership
By W D Nicolson - November 26, 2013

The success of the ANZAC Day clash between the Roosters and Dragons has something special at its heart, but has the NRL and at least two clubs missed a trick by not jumping on the Queen's Birthday Monday Public Holiday?

The NRL is expected to announce its 2014 NRL Draw later this week (think Thursday or Friday kids) and for this pundit there is just one thing I really want to see on the schedule... say sometime in June.

A designated day clash between two teams who finally had the foresight (or have read this website in the last 2 years we've been bleating on about the topic) to say 'Hey did you know there's an open day for a marquee Rugby League game midway through the season... and it happens every single year?'

Sure there's a Monday Night Football fixture on the QBM (Queen's Birthday Monday falls on June 9th in 2014) every year but why the heck isn't there a day game for all those fans to be able to actually get along to and enjoy those rare days off on a workday?

Though we are not suggesting that you will see a QBM game capture the feeling of the ANZAC Day clash - a prime day game is simply being wasted and has been wasted for far too long.

The clubs that are smart enough to embrace this open date can make it honour whatever they deem fit, the game itself can lend itself to doing the same, but the point is - it is the chance for the NRL to add another genuine marquee day to the fairly tame club schedule during the Origin period of the year.

The NRL are quite rightly trying to maximise the game day experience for members and fans and it is hard to imagine that CEO David Smith has not skimmed the soon to be released draw and identified his marquee matchups to pump up for his initial address when the 2014 Draw is released.

At least... that's the hope.


So which teams would play in the QBM Game?

Monday, 25 November 2013

#NRL 2014: Want the Skinny on next year's signings by the Canterbury Bulldogs? #NRLRecruitment

2014 CANTERBURY BULLDOGS SIGNINGS - 
GOOD, BAD OR INDIFFERENT?

2014 National Rugby League Premiership
By W D Nicolson - November 25, 2013

The Bulldogs are still pursuing a fullback to replace Ben Barba but is the playmaking custodian they need already in the system?
INCOMING TALENT:
Featuring www.wdnicolson.com's Recruitment Rating
 - Superstar First Grader, Will Win Games
None Recruited As Yet
 - Star First Grader, Representative Quality Player
None Recruited As Yet
 - Good First Grader, Solid Starter/Role Player
Reni Maitua - Backrower/Five-Eighth/Centre from Eels
(Note: Maitua has been suspended by the club following being charged with assault on Monday November 25)
 - Capable First Grader, Spot Starter/Bench Player, Potential Talent
Chase Stanley - Centre/Five-Eighth from Dragons
 - Fringe Roster Depth, Unheralded Player
Pat O'Hanlon - Prop/Second Rower from Eels
Kayne Brennan - Outside Back from Dragons
Tyrone Phillips - Outside Back from Rabbitohs
Damien Cook - Fullback/Hooker from Dragons
OUTGOING TALENT: 
Ben Barba to Broncos
Kris Keating to UK
Dene Halatau to Tigers
Martin Taupau to Tigers
Danny Galea to UK
Paul Carter to Titans
Leilani Latu to Panthers
Other 2013 Bulldogs squad members are believed to be off-contract for 2014 but have yet to sign elsewhere.
The current Canterbury Off-Season Roster is available per the Official Club Website Player Profiles Page
Reni Maitua (Note: Maitua has been suspended by the club following being charged with assault on Monday November 25) is/was the biggest name recruited but he's going to be doing it tough to play a significant role in the first grade side. That's because his best position is in the backrow and the Dogs are positively stacked there with Frank Pritchard, Greg Eastwood, Josh Jackson, Dale Finucane and Tony Williams clearly ahead of him in the pecking order. His best chance of earning a spot in the 17 is to embrace replacing Dene Halatau in the utility role and be prepared for a massive cut down on minutes. That said - it might bring out the best in Maitua and it may be his only ticket into the 17.
Chase Stanley either has to beat out Tim Lafai or Mitch Brown for a centre/wing spot, or hope Josh Morris or Krisnan Inu get moved to fullback permanently if he wants a spot in first grade. Stanley is a good player and fine goalkicker but with Inu and Trent Hodkinson already in the lineup, the Dogs don't need him for his kicking. His pre-season needs to be first class to get a look in for Round 1 should the Dogs keep Inu and Morris in the three-quarter line - and even more so if Josh Hoffman or Kevin Locke make their way to Belmore by Christmas.
Pat O'Hanlon is signed on as depth, because he doesn't look any hope of breaking into the front row rotation even with David Klemmer suffering a serious toe injury this off-season and the aforementioned stacked backrow pretty much ends his chances of playing there as well, while Kayne Brennan and Tyrone Phillips face plenty stiff competition out wide to play anywhere but NSW Cup in 2014. Damien Cook is a genuine utility who joined the Dragons as a hooker (he played fullback for them in NSW Cup last year) - so don't rule him out as the smoky for that utility spot in the 17 if Maitua can't adjust to the role.
 (Former NYC players on NRL roster per bulldogs.com.au)
Moses Mbye, Patrick Templeman, Lloyd Perrett, Jon Sila, Jaline Graham and David Minute.
2014 Bulldogs
RECRUITMENT
RATING

So who replaces Barba? Well, Coach Des Hasler can go with Morris, Inu, Perrett or maybe Templeman (who perhaps has the playmaking skills the Dogs could use in the #1 jersey)... or whichever of Hoffman or Locke the Dogs sign first. Point is - from a recruitment perspective they haven't addressed their biggest need yet and added depth to an already deep roster. That said they might get more impact from their rookies than their signings in 2014 anyway. It's an INDIFFERENT grade for the Dogs right now, based on what they've signed, not what they already have.
Let us know what you think of their 2014 Recruitment Class by commenting below or replying on Twitter.
PS. This is the second of 16 NRL Recruitment Guides for 2014 on www.wdnicolson.com... you can find Brisbane's Recruitment Overview here
If you Like what we do here - a Tweet/FB Post plug tagging @NRLTweet wouldn't go astray kids using a link to this article. 
Given what you get here on this site for free during the season, it's not a huge ask for a plug if you actually get something of value of what we produce. Cheers and thank you.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

#RLWC2013 Semi Final Predictions for Wembley World Cup Double Header

No stopping Kiwis and Roos in Semi Finals... right?

2013 Rugby League World Cup

By W D Nicolson - November 23, 2013

The locals may want to see England advance to a home World Cup Final - but Australia and New Zealand are about to prove they are a class above in International Rugby League.

Tonight at Wembley Stadium - World Cup title holders New Zealand take on England and then in the second game of the Semi Final double header, Australia play Fiji. The winners will face each other at Old Trafford next weekend in the World Cup Final.

Here's www.wdnicolson.com's quick hit thoughts on both games.

1st Semi Final - 12:00am Sunday Morning (Sydney time) 
NEW ZEALAND (Likely)
J Hoffman, J Nightingale, B Goodwin, D Whare, R Tuivasa-Sheck, K Foran, S Johnson, J Bromwich, I Luke, J Waerea-Hargreaves, SB Williams, E Taylor, S Mannering (c). FP Nuuausala, B Matulino, S Moa, S Kasiano, A Glenn. (F Pritchard withdrew after being named)
ENGLAND (Likely)
S Tomkins, R Hall, L Cudjoe, K Watkins, J Charnley, K Sinfield (c), G Widdop, J Graham, J Roby, C Hill, S Burgess, B Westwood, S O'Loughlin. G Burgess, R Burrow, B Ferres, L Farrell, L Mossop, C Ablett.
IN SHORT: New Zealand will get a good tune-up for the Cup Final against the English but the Poms just haven't looked likely bar their opening 25 minutes in the first game against Australia. And if you recall England blew that lead by halftime and trailed by 8 points. New Zealand will play attacking footy and force the English to fight fire with fire instead of it being a game played exclusively between the forward packs. The Kiwis know their best chance of beating Australia is to be firing on all attacking cylinders to shock the Kangaroos - so their approach to this Semi Final will be to blow the English away early. Can England chase points? Well any team can... but they won't be wanting to and will try to force New Zealand into playing through the middle - not an easy task with Williams, Foran and Johnson in the Kiwi lineup.
Prediction: New Zealand 30 def. England 12.

2nd Semi Final - 2:30am Sunday Morning (Sydney time)
AUSTRALIA (Likely)
G Inglis, B Morris, J Hayne, B Tate, D Boyd, J Thurston, C Cronk, M Scott, C Smith (c), J Tamou, G Bird, S Thaiday, P Gallen. D Cherry-Evans, J Papalii, A Fifita, C Parker, N Myles, R Farah.
FIJI (Likely)
K Naiqama, M Koroibete, S Waqa, W Naiqama, A Uate, D Millard, A Groom, A Sims, J Storer, P Civoniceva (c), T Sims, J Bukuya, E Vunakece. A Koroisau, J Roqica, K Evans, S Radradra, P Botiki, J Storer.
IN SHORT: You want to give Fiji some hope but it was clear when these two teams played in the Group stage that Australia did it easy. Not that Fiji didn't put in the effort to try and cause the monster upset but they just don't have the playmakers to make the most of Uate, Koroibete, Waqa and the Naiqama brothers. They'll have a crack but they'll be well beaten by fulltime and Australia will march into the decider. HUGE game for Brent Tate - he wanted his chance to show he's a difference maker in this game but if he's average then Sheens may give Slater his chance (not 100% fit) or give Jennings or Morris another crack in the decider. Because Sheens has to know that if there's a weak spot in the Australian team - NZ will be in a position to expose it. For Fiji - back to back World Cup Semi Finals is a great achievement but the dream ends here.
PredictionAustraila 42 def. Fiji 4.

So we've got New Zealand v Australia in the World Cup Final and only England have a chance to change that seemingly inevitable eventuality... right?


Do you expect England to push New Zealand or in fact beat them? And can Fiji get across the tryline against Australia?
Let us know by commenting below or replying on Twitter.