Sleeper Pick

YOOOOOOO Sports!!!!!!!

Red Grange, where art thou?? (The Jimmy Raye Experience)

Hi Folks,

It’s been a while. I know. But now it’s football season and everyone is as excited as Italians when the vino is flowing. You know, lots of gesturing, exclamations of “eh ciao!”, and ranting about how Ray Rice is gonna be epic this year for your fantasy football team. On the other hand of the “gonna give you an offer you can’t refuse” spectrum are San Francisco 49ers fans. Those downtrodden masses are left with nothing other than the comparison of “at least we are not as bad as the Raiders.” Yet even an Al Davis led team has signed its first round Wide Receiver to a contract. Is there hope this year for the 49ers? Will they field an offense which does justice to the Bill Walsh precedent or will he be turning in his grave after another game with fewer passing yards than a two lane highway in the Jungfrau?

Let’s backtrack for a second. 49ers coach Mike Singletary fired Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz on December 30. This after Martz raised the 49ers offensive ranking, in one year, from dead last in the league at a ‘makes Bill Walsh openly weep’ rate of 237.3 yards per game  to 23rd overall at a rate of 311.1 yards per game, just 1 yard behind the “Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers” (Cardinals D, how could you?).

I know what you’re saying: “You’re upset about the greatest, meanest SOB coach in the NFL firing Mike Martz!! The guy who doesn’t know what yard line the ball is on during the end of a game and calls a Fullback draw from the 3? The guy who stuck by J.T. “What color jerseys are we?” O’Sullivan?  Well Mr. Straw Man, I am still unconvinced that Martz should have been canned. I will grant that Mike Singletary is the perfect guy to bring some sense to Mike Martz. Singletary made a great move bringing in Shaun Hill and benching O’Sullivan. He did a great job forcing Martz to stick with Frank Gore more. The 49ers went 5-2 in their last seven games with the Martz-Singletary pairing. They’re like the Ying-Yang twins.

Run! No, Pass! No, Run or else I moon everyone!!!! OOOOKAAYYY!!!

On 3rd and 9--Singletary: Run a draw! Martz: No, I'm going 5 wide! Singletary: No, Run a draw, or else I moon EVERYONE!!!! Martz: OOOOKAAYYY!!!

They don’t make any sense together, but that’s why they make sense! Singletary stops Martz  from dialing up a pick-six a game and Martz keeps Singletary from giving 489 carries a year to a RB who ends up averaging 3.1 yards a carry. It’s an effective compromise of styles, or at least the best thing we’ve had around here since the Garcia-Owens era (You are so gay, Jeff. You are so immature Terrell!! Stop it!). But Martz has been canned so we move along.

After spending over a month looking for an offensive coordinator and being rejected by such luminaries as Scott Linehan & Dan Reeves, Mike Singletary defiantly claimed he found precisely the man he was looking for all along, a man who shares the same “vision” of what the 49ers offense should look like. That man is new 49ers Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye, and that vision looks a little like this:

Your 2010 San Francisco 49ers!!!

Your 2010 San Francisco 49ers!!! (Look for calendar specials on

I can’t tell you how elated I am right now that the new 49ers owner, Jed York, passed up talking to Mike Shanahan for this.

Keep in mind that Raye was the eighth and final candidate to interview for the 49ers’ offensive coordinator position. Can you imagine a job interview where you were the eighth candidate?

Employer: Do you want to work here?

Candidate: Yes, that’s why I’m sitting here

Employer: We have a work environment that some might describe as atypical. Are you comfortable with mooning?

Candidate: (long pause) uhhhhh, sure.

Employer: Welcome to the team.

What spin did Gen. Singletary give for the revolving door of offensive coordinators who wouldn’t be caught dead working under a head coach who hasn’t seen a 3 yard run he didn’t like: “I did not want to make a knee-jerk decision before we thought we had our guy.” Suuuurreeee you didn’t. Let me translate “our guy” for you: noun. 1) an individual well versed in the fullback draw and comfortable with male nudity as a motivational tool.

As I mentioned earlier, Singletary and I spoke at length a few days ago. I asked him some questions about the Bill Walsh legacy, the offensive innovation, the explosive offenses consistently ranked in the top 5 of the league, the star Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers and the tremendous organizational framework he left. I asked him if the Niners were abandoning their identity and transitioning to a Steelers-Ravens methodical rushing attack and aggressive defense. To which Singletary responded:

Cannot play with them

Cannot win with them

Cannot coach with them

Can’t do it!

I couldn’t tell what he meant by this so I rephrased the question more simply: what is your vision for the 49ers offense? He responded thus:

No. 1: Run

No. 2: Run

No. 3. Run

I asked him if there was a fourth tenant, and he said he’d rather play with “10 people and just get penalized all the way until we gotta do something else” than have a QB throw for 300 yards in a game. I asked him what he would do on 2nd and 67 after accepting penalties until the team was pinned on their own 1 yard line and he drew this up:

Finally! Our D can back on the field!

Punt formation. Coach Sing: Finally! Our D can back on the field!

At this point I was becoming increasingly, how should I say, completely and utterly disenchanted by Singletary’s offensive stratagems. I think Singletary noticed this change in tone and I did let one audible sigh slip in. I think it was after he mentioned the importance of “being physical with an f” for the 5,193 time. What does that even mean?? What added meaning does fhysical have?? All I could imagine was Michael Scott’s “Let’s Get Physical” performance before an office conference.  So after that it was all drama. Bad news.

Despite the acrimonious tit-for-tat mooning that wrapped up my converstion with Coach Singletary, I was still excited to speak with his choice for Offensive Coordinator, Jimmy Raye. I was looking forward to the chance to calm some of the doubts and fears I expressed earlier. When I sat down with Mr. Raye I was immediately struck by his composure. He was calm, deliberate, and after an initial few minutes of silence I felt it was prudent to turn his wrist over and check for a pulse. It appeared he had started napping. Being a young 63 years old will do that to you.

In case you were wondering, Mike Singletary was looking for stability with the Offensive Coordinator position. He didn’t want some spring chicken who plans on bolting to become the next head coach of the Denver Broncos. After Jimmy Raye joined the 49ers he had the following to say about his new 3 year contract: “I intend to fulfill the service of the contract, I hope to be there for the (length of the) contract and hopefully longer.” Well Mr. Singletary, mission accomplished. Jimmy Raye isn’t going anywhere. I mean it. He’s still sitting here with me. It’s been a week. Once in a while he mumble something about Jim Brown and then goes back to sleep.

(1 Week Later)

Jimmy Raye woke up from his nap and we were able to start an engaging interview.

Q: Can you talk about your offensive style?

A: It’s very important for us to be able to run the ball when we need to run the ball. That’s important. I don’t care if they have eight people in the box or nine people in the box. When you want to run the ball and you need to run the ball to win the game, let’s run the ball. And all the other things, let that go to the wayside. Let’s run the ball.

Q: Would this be an accurate portrayal of your vision for the offense?

Jimmy Raye & Mike Singletary's Vision of the O

A: Well, that’s a sweep, which is a little risky for my tastes. We prefer to establish our fhysicality (sic) up front.

Q: Is this any better?

What yard line are we on . . . it doesn't matter!

A: Did the Steelers steal my playbook?!? I’ve had that formation under wraps in my playbook! I never let that sucker out of team facilities!

Q: But the goaline, 2 TE formation has been in existence for nearly a century. Isn’t this the formation?

Pull Pants Down 34 right

A: Where did you find that?

Q: On the internet, under “basic running plays” on the site

A: What’s the internet?

Q: Are you troubled that the first-team offense hasn’t had a passing touchdown in the exhibition season?

A: It really has no significance to me because I don’t look at the game that way. I’m trying to beat the hell out of them and win by one.

Q: Interesting. So sum up this picture to me in fewer than 6 words:


Great Success!

Per Mr. Raye or Borat, "Great Success!"

A: The sweet smell of success. That’s five right? Well howdy-doody!

You know what’s frightening? Two of those Jimmy Raye answers are actually direct quotes.

At this point it seems nearly pointless to mention that as an offensive coordinator for six teams over the course of 12 NFL seasons, Raye has been involved with some bad football. Those teams for which he was coordinator posted a won-lost record of 67-125 and averaged a little more than 18 points per game.

The 49ers averaged 21.2 points per game in 2008 in Martz’s one season as coordinator. Just saying . . . .

Buckle in 49ers fans, it’s gonna get Tom Cable vs. assistant coach fhysical this year. More than likely it ain’t gonna be pretty. Just as Mike Singletary prefers.

Red Grange, where art thou?


September 8, 2009 Posted by | Podcasts | 2 Comments

Wanted: Someone to edit these things..


A. a computer.

B. the internet

C. about 20 minutes around twice a week.

Please apply in the comments sections and we’ll get back to you.

With the trade deadline just passing, Marc and Emil do their best to analyze and dissect every trade that went past. We are expecting a record number of Grizzlies fans wondering how Chris Mihm will turn out for them. SPOILER ALERT: We’re both thinking 20/10 and 3 blocks from the great white whale.

Marc also confesses his love for Rafer Alston and his career 35% shooting percentage… and E edits this thing about one week past relevance. Also, thanks to Emil’s 1985 computer, the theme music for this episode is completely lost.

February was a disaster… March is going to be fantastic. I promise.

The Late (as in one week) Show on Yo! Sports!

March 2, 2009 Posted by | Podcasts | 1 Comment

When I Was Your Age

Sleeper Pick posted at least once a week.

No way old man, stop blabbering on about the “internet era” and how people had all this time and what a slow pace of life it was and how people posted on blogs at least once a week. If I have to suffer through your reminiscing about how picket fences were white, the women were pure, the leaders were virtuous, and the month of February always had podcasts, I’m going to go shoot my nano-nuke at the neighbors in the Corilian parcept.

Okay, terrible made-up Star Wars reference. Before I lose any more momentum, let’s briefly recap what happened while we were away:

1) The Berlin Wall fell

2) The Peace of Westphalia brought a close to the Thirty Years War

3) Cows were created. Subsequent “Cow Bell Band” craze.

4) Mike Singletary kept his clothes on

Continue reading

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is Censorship Really Such a Bad Thing?

I don’t know about you but I was a huge proponent of censorship in the wake of 9/11. Particularly the French. If I had to choose between censoring the French or basic civil liberties all I have to say is: don’t bother RSVP-ing (that commie abbreviation apparently stands for Répondez, s’il vous plaît) and pass the freedom fries.

We practice censorship here at Sleeper Pick and what our listeners don’t know won’t hurt them. Some words you will never hear on this podcast:


Kobe Bryant (see also: any star player)

Well run team

Super Bowl preview

Any player or team the vast majority of the U.S. public wants to hear about in a sports podcast


Continue reading

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This week on the Sacramento Kings/Don Nelson show…

I’m beginning to think Marc and I are starving for NBA material.

Sure, we could talk about the 4 powerhouses in the NBA thus far (Orlando, Cleveland, LA and your world champion Boston Celtics). Why not talk about the team everyone seems to forget despite 4 titles in the last decade (San Antonio)? We could mention an epic season from LeBron, a hilariously overpaid season from Elton Brand or an underrated monster year from Kevin Durant. We could do these things, but that ain’t Yo! Sports.

Instead, a very special episode of Yo! Sports! spends 20 minutes talking about a triple overtime game between the Sacramento Kings (my favorite crappy team) and the Golden St. Warriors (Marc’s favorite team, which happens to be crappy).

Who says we’re not self serving here at Sleeper Pick?


P.S. You can download every podcast on iTunes for free (who would pay for this shit? Maybe Don Nelson, but we all know he’s one Australian short of a penal colony). Just search “sleeperpick”.

January 23, 2009 Posted by | Podcasts | 2 Comments

Would Tim Tebow Gator Chomp Jesus?

If Jesus said Tebow was the 8th best QB in the Big 12? That he was a 3rd or 4th round draft pick at best? Or if he then followed up with “If there are things you do not agree with, God [. . . . or Mel Kiper] will make them clear to you” – Philippians 3:15

It’s these deep questions that we delve into in our BCS Championship Game podcast. (Podcast link)

We also discuss the NFL draft prospects for Sam Bradford, Chris Brown, Percy Harvin, Tim Tebow, and Mark Sanchez.

[Aside: When are NFL systems going to adopt some elements of the spread? How do we rank draft-eligible college players who operate out of completely unconventional systems? Because nobody wants to see their team draft the next Alex Smith or Akili Smith or Rashaun Woods (urggghhh, too many Niners draft busts, mind is shattering . . .) . When will teams stop taking chances with top-ten picks (particularly given the obscene amount of money top picks make) who have to completely overhaul their techniques and style of play in order to conform to NFL systems?]

And most importantly:


You wouldn't want this guy as your goal-line QB?

You wouldn't want this guy as your goal-line QB?



Continue reading

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

If you thought the Knicks were dysfunctional

because some of their players refuse to play, wait until you hear about the recent accusation that Nate Robinson has committed a hate crime  in front of 20,000+ people . . . . against Yao Ming. And apparently the People’s Republic of China is none too pleased about it.

To learn more about the matter we brought in an expert, Jerry Hu. Not only does our guest star provide insightful analysis of this accusation and the inner workings of state-run television but he also chimes in about fantasy sports trading etiquette. FYI, etiquette’s etymology: French, étiquette, literally ‘not acting like Don Nelson’.

I know, I couldn’t believe that Merriam-Webster is as into Don Nelson as we are. They must have dated back in the 1920s when Don Nelson was running the “No rebounding, no defense, NO PROBLEM” system (sometimes known as “Nellie Ball”) at Iowa U.

I don’t know how this is defined in online dictionaries but our expert knows it when he sees it:

Hate Crime (podcast link)

P.S. Don’t forget, you can also listen to the podcast on iTunes. Just search sleeperpick.

January 6, 2009 Posted by | Podcasts | , , , , , | 2 Comments

1 Thing I Love about You, Don Nelson

. . . . . . . . . .

We have an excellent show for you; action packed with a Starting Five starring:

Andray Blatche, C,  Washington Wizards

Marco Belinelli, SG, Golden State Warriors (The Itallion Stallion!)

Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston Rockets

Louis Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers

Amir Johnson, PF, Detroit Pistons

(Because Emil thinks that I only include people under 6′ feet in the Starting Five, we also discuss up-and-coming big men Mareese Speights & Roy Hibbert. Whether Emil ends up hating 10 things about these guys we won’t know until they post their thoughts on global warming).

We then swim in the roiling waters of the BCS bowl system vs. playoff system debate. We come up with a few inspired suggestions for the NCAA that have about a 98.6% chance of being adopted and have been picked by the Y! experts.

So listen to this before Don Nelson pulls you into his car:

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

P.S. Stick around, we have another podcast coming up shortly. Now that I’ve recovered from my 10th egg-nog induced hangover we’re back on track.

January 4, 2009 Posted by | Podcasts | 1 Comment

ESPN is copying us

Just when we do a podcast discussing what the next schematic revolution in the NFL might be, ESPN the magazine does a cover piece on the A-11. I guess that’s what happens when you post a podcast a week after you actually record it. Now it looks like we’re copying ESPN! But loyal listeners, know that I would never copy any organization that would hire Matthew Berry as a fantasy sports writer ahead of you or me.

We also briefly mention Sammy Bough two days before his unfortunate passing, but I swear we didn’t jinx the poor guy.

(This is a complete side note, but everyone knows that Sammy Baugh was a fantastic three-way player: QB, S, and P. He still has the single season record for yards per punt. That punting record, however, is not exactly what it appears to be. In the olden days of football, teams would “short-kick”, i.e. punt on 2nd or 3rd down if they wanted to gain field position or avoid playing in bad field position by making a surprise kick. Only the rare teams with QB who doubled as talented P like Baugh could use this maneuver. When Baugh punted the ball on short kicks, they mostly bounced down the field an extra 10-20 yards since the opposing team did not have any return man set up to receive the kick. So while Sammy Baugh was a great punter, treat his record with that in mind. Also, why don’t teams ever try to coach up their QB if he has a leg? This maneuver could still be very effective.)

This edition of YOOOOO . . . Sports!! has an “intelligent” (that may be an insult to quotation marks) discussion of whether being a great strategist or intense motivator is the more essential quality in a great NFL coach, a reader’s brilliant attempt to create a Pavlovian response for whenever we say “ummmm”, and some strong opinions about how fantastic the Browns-Eagles MNF game was. Let’s just say it doesn’t get any better than a Kevin Kolb vs. Ken Dorsey matchup.

A week late and a bailout short:

To drop an extra DB in coverage or to drop trou, that is the question

December 22, 2008 Posted by | Podcasts | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

If I had a penny for every . . .

“ummmm” that I edited out of our most recent podcast I’d be rich enough to buy ESPN, fire Matthew Berry, bail out the auto industry, and place Yo-Sports! on the front page of

Since that’s not the going rate for deleting an “ummmm”, you can only find us here and on iTunes (search sleeperpick). We like it better that way. Honestly. Who wants to move to Bristol, Connecticut?

In this edition of the starting five we discuss:

Rodney Stuckey, PG, Pistons

Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies

Matt Barnes, SF, Suns

Steve Blake, PG, Blazers

Anthony Randolph, SF/PF, Warriors

Also on the show is a discussion of elite PG (Jose Calderon, Jason Kidd, & Chauncey Billups), E’s tendency to get excited about small white men and his new hero, Al Harrington.

And what would an episode of Yo-Sports! be without “Best Week-Worst Week Ever”, complete with an unintelligible, high-pitched rant from Marc about the plight of his fantasy football team?

Without further adieu:

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, uhhhhhh, yeahhhh, it’s another YOOOOOOOO-Sports!!! podcast

P.S. We are hoping for rants and raves (about anything) from our loquacious listeners!!! We are hoping to get our enormous fan base more actively involved in the blog/podcast.  So post comments on our site to have your voice heard, no matter how bizarre your sentiments are or how likely a warrant will be issued subsequently.

December 15, 2008 Posted by | Podcasts | 2 Comments