Fiscal Cliff Football Trash Talk

There is really no explanation for the cowardice in Washington DC that allows the most important items of governance to be backed into corners and to edge of cliffs before some slimy compromise screwing everybody and punting the rest down the road is made. Just happened with literally the essence of Fourth Amendment law on FISA, and not the insane “fiscal showdown”. And then, once done, the Monty Python Sir Robin like legislators turn their tail and flee under the cover of some holiday diversion that will occupy the feeble minds of the public until they can be consumed by the next idiotic disaster in the making. It is just all depressing. If the people in our national government these days are our best and brightest, we are truly fucked. Blerrrgh.

So, here, instead of worrying about the DC Wile E. Coyote’s hurtling toward the fabricated cliff, we are gonna talk some football. Much more satisfying. The big story, of course, is Week 17, the final regular season slate of games, in the NFL. Before we get to the Sunday Pros though, there are some college Saturday Joes on tap.

There are five lower tier bowls Saturday. Hard to get too excited by Rice and Air Force in the Armed Services Bowl, but the other four have some watchable matchups. West Virginia and Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium could be a real sleeper as they are old foes from when both were in the Big East. Both QBs are very good, even if not that well known. The Mountaineers’ Geno Smith got some early attention this year, but the team struggled and the focus went away. He is very good. However Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib got no attention despite turning in an incredible year, breaking school records in many categories. TCU and Michigan State pair off in the Buffalo Wild wings bowl right here at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Both teams underachieved for the year; hard to see much excitement there.

The premier game for the day is Texas and Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. Mack Brown and the Whorens had a pretty weak year, but still finished at 8-4 and ranked #23. The Beavers really had a consistently outstanding year, going 9-3 with a #13 ranking. Two of the three Beavs losses came against powerhouses Stanford and Oregon, and they were very much in both games. Mack Brown has a pretty good record in bowls, but OSU looks better on paper. This could be a great game. The game that most interests me, even though not exactly a scintillating pairing, is Arizona State and Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. Really, where do these bowl names come from? ASU surprised most and put a licking on the Arizona Wildcats to close out the regular season and earn this berth. Navy did the same to Army. Navy is decent on D and relies on the old fangled triple option running game. ASU is a better team, but has no experience with Navy’s offensive style. If the Devil’s defense can figure out the option they will win, if not, they lose. That simple. Go Devils!

Now, to the pros. It is Week 17. The Final Countdown (sorry about that link, the linker has been sacked). The game of the week HAS to be the Clown Bowl featuring the Jets Jets Jets at the Bills, whose wagons are circling down the drain. Having been vanquished by the mighty Bolts last Sunday in the Toilet Bowl, the Jets try to rebound in the Clown Bowl. They will face the imposing Ryan Fitzpatrick led Bills offense. Revis Island is now reduced to Rex’s Bikini Atoll. This grudge match is for the bottom of the AFC East, so you know it will be sixty minutes of ugly. Rory McIlroy is out with a concussion, so the Jets will tee up Dirty Sanchez, again snubbing Baby Jesus Tebow. What a Clown Show.

Am tempted to highlight the other Loser Bowl on the slate, i.e. Iggles at Gents (I think Andy Reid is starting at QB for Philly). But we probably ought to discuss non-loser games. So, how bout them Cheesers! Yes, the season will end with a classic Norske Division tilt – Packers at the surging Vikings. The Vikes seem to have no cognizable passing attack of late, but are riding Adrian Peterson and tough defense. The Pack is on a serious late season roll. Green Bay wants to lockup a first round bye, and Minnesota wants to lockup a playoff berth. And Peterson needs 208 yards to catch Eric Dickerson. Nobody will be slacking in this one. The Vikes have come so far, but it is hard to see them stopping Aaron Rodgers enough to take the Pack. Go Cheese!

The unquestioned most significant game of the week is the final game of the regular season, the NBC Sunday Night game of Cowboys at Skins. Washington is 9-6, Dallas is 8-7 and, simply put, the winner of this game wins the NFC East and goes to the playoffs as a Division winner. The Skins have won six in a row, their longest streak in sixteen years, and will have RGIII another week stronger. The ‘Boys, despite the crushing overtime loss to the Saints last week, have really been playing well on both sides of the ball. Probably enough that Garrett and Romo are safe for next year; still, Tony Romo has to start winning big games sometime or he will never shake that collar. This is, on paper, almost a dead even matchup. But rookie RB Alfred Morris for the Skins, and home field at Fed-Ex Stadium, gives the not to Washington.

That is the meat of the NFL slate. The rest of the games are fairly meh, but Ravens at Bengals has AFC seeding implications, Bears need a win at Detroit to keep their very faint playoff hopes alive, as do the Giants who host the Eagles, and Houston at Indy also has AFC seeding importance (especially for the Broncos).

That is your lineup for this weekend. Forget the cliff, smoke a spliff! In that vein, some reggae mon from Jimmy Cliff will light up the day. Two classics are posted. The joy of the Jamaican Bobled team effort leading up to and in the 1988 Olymics depicted in the “I Can See Clearly Now” video is really fun.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
57 replies
  1. Ben Franklin says:

    Sorry to be off-topic, again. Just sent an email to Bowser……

    I just wanted to say thanks to Barbara Boxer for her principled stand on the overwhelming Democratic vote in favor of expanding and extending the Warrantless Wiretapping of American Citizens.

    Her ‘not voting’ during Roll Call was a masterpiece of political expediency

    I also wish to thank Diane Feinstein for leading the charge against all amendments which would provide some transparency, for the unconstitutional bill.

    When Rand Paul is to the Left of Democrats, it’s time to Primary their asses

  2. Jim White says:

    Okay, Mr. Maz. If you have not arranged for a local power outage, or at least for the on-field sprinklers to come on during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, I will seriously begin to doubt your pull within the community and its bars.

  3. Peterr says:

    It pains me to say this, as a fan of Da Bears, but . . . Go CHEESEHEADS!

    shivers

    Now that that’s out of the way, I’m not sure this is the year for the Sun Devils. Are the Sun Devils of Mayan heritage, or are their roots Aztec or Incan?

  4. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: And thus hell was frozen over with the statement: “Go CHEESEHEADS!”

    It was a rebuilding year for ASU with both a new coach and a new QB. 7-5 and they should have beaten Missouri, and probably UCLA too. So, while not a great season, it was not too bad. They should – should – have enough to take Navy, but ASU has underperformed in bowls recently, so we shall see.

  5. BearCountry says:

    “Skins have won six in a row, their longest streak in sixteen years, and will have RGIII another weak stronger.” Bmaz, did you mean that as an oxymoron or a pun? Also, the Boys are 8-6 and the Skins are 9-7 or the standings are given incorrectly. For the Gints get to the playoffs, they have to win, the Vikes have to lose and BOTH the Skins and Boys have to lose

  6. JohnT says:

    @Peterr:

    Huh?

    Dontchyaknow that Cheeseheads are the sons of silly persons. I blow my nose at you. I fart in their general direction. Cheeseheads are silly English kaniggets whose fathers smelt of elderberries

    pfffttttt

  7. Peterr says:

    @JohnT: Of course I know that.

    But rooting for them today means that Da Bears may have the opportunity to rub their cheesy noses in the turf of Lambeau during the playoffs.

    There’s easily more that can be said about the Cheesy Ones, but I’ll save that for another Trash Talk.

    Of course, that’s no reason not to dump on the solar demons . . .

  8. Jim White says:

    Headed to the airport in a few for the flight to the Big Easy. Can’t wait for lots of fun, food and the sort of frivolity that only Bourbon Street can provide. I may not be around the threads much, but will try to check in now and then on Twitter.

    Oh, and the Gators will dominate the Papa John’s.

    @JimWhiteGNV

  9. Jim White says:

    @bmaz: Wait. The Forkers played a game? Who knew?

    Too bad they had such a crappy year they were shoved off into an irrelevant bowl.

    They did, however, run up the score impressively, unlike the Beavers, who seriously damaged the reputation of the PacHoweverMany by gift-wrapping that game to the Whorens.

    And I went to sleep before it was over. How on earth did the hapless and offense-less Sparty’s pull their game out?

  10. Bay State Librul says:

    Powerful editorial today on The Steroids Age
    by the Globule…

    http://bostonglobe.com/editorial/2012/12/29/baseball-hall-fame-must-take-full-account-steroid-era/njGNQcAZEixz1WqepVivgL/story.html

    My takeaway

    “Red Sox fans who fondly remember how Clemens lifted the team onto his shoulders for the 1986 pennant run may be inclined to support him on that basis alone; unlike Bonds and Sosa, he seemed a natural Hall of Famer from the get-go. But fans must consider what it would mean to ignore the mountain of evidence suggesting he violated baseball rules later in his career, and how his brash denials poisoned the atmosphere around the game. If people believe he used steroids, they shouldn’t forgive his furious defense as an expression of pride: True competitors play by the rules and tell the truth”

  11. bmaz says:

    @Bay State Librul: There is no “mountain of evidence”. Everything that exists is the product of Brian McNamee, a know perjurer and criminal who was trying to stay out of prison. There is nothing else. People will believe what they want, and even I have suspicions. But suspicions is the best there is, cause there is no “mountain of evidence”.

  12. Bay State Librul says:

    @bmaz:

    The evidence isn’t as high as Kilimanjaro but… have you ever seen
    a convicted felon tell the truth… I know you want a video of Mac
    plunging a needle into Rog’s arse, but I can’t help you…
    Picture this instead from Richard Justice (Houston Chronicle)
    “To believe Clemens is to believe that McNamee manufactured evidence and risked jail to make up an outrageous story… to believe Clemens is to believe Andy Pettite is a liar… to believe Clemens is to believe
    an affadavit in which he admits to discussing HGH with McNamee, then denies discussing HGH is no inconsistency.”

  13. Bay State Librul says:

    Can Belichick now seed what he has sown?

    A Pats, Indy and KC trifecta….

    The Patriots can end up as anything from the No. 1 to the No. 4 seed for the AFC playoffs following Sunday’s Week 17 action. Here’s a look at the scenarios:

    Patriots get No. 1 seed if: Patriots win, Texans and Broncos lose.

    Patriots get No. 2 seed if: Patriots win, either Texans or Broncos lose and the other wins

    Patriots get No. 3 seed if: Patriots, Texans and Broncos all win, or all three plus the Ravens lose

    Patriots get No. 4 seed if: Patriots lose, Ravens win

    Notes
    •The Colts and Bengals are locked in as the No. 5 and No. 6 seeds, respectively.

    •The top two seeds in the AFC get first-round byes.

    •In the wild card round of the playoffs, the No. 3 seed plays No. 6 and No. 4 plays No. 5.

  14. bmaz says:

    @Bay State Librul: @Bay State Librul: I believe McNamee lied to avoid jail, and he admitted perjuring himself in that regard earlier, which means there is little to any credibility in his proffers. Richard Justice clearly does not understand what Pettitte has always said, and it is not what most people think as Rusty Hardin conclusively demonstrated in open court. Justice also materially misstates the nature of the affidavit. Mountain? There is hardly even a hill.

  15. Jim White says:

    Guess who was on our flight from Gainesville to Atlanta? None other than Urban Meyer. Being a nice person, I congratulated him on the undefeated season while we were waiting for the gate-checked bags to show up. My wife, however, has already commented on Facebook that he’s not bothered with post-season bowl distractions this year.

    @bmaz: If your daughter comes back from her next sleepover with lots of beads, it’s time to worry.

  16. Bay State Librul says:

    Bmaz, here is the answer that I posed last week about Lance Armstrong’s defamation suit.

    Lance Armstrong and what constitutes fraud

    Extracted from Sports Law Blog

    “ESPN reports that Britain’s Sunday Times has sued Lance Armstrong, seeking to recover more than 1 million pounds (more than $ 1.6 million) that the paper paid to Armstrong to settle a prior defamation action that Armstrong brought against the paper for repeating allegations that Armstrong doped. The theory is that Armstrong initiated “baseless and fraudulent” proceedings by alleging that doping allegations were false and insisting in settlement negotiations that he had never doped.

    UK law is obviously quite different than US law. Still, I cannot imagine this suit can work. By bringing the suit, Armstrong simply put the paper to its burden of proving its allegations were true (a key difference between UK and US defamation law, where the plaintiff must prove falsehood). He was free to deny the truth of those allegations, both in bringing the suit and engaging in settlement negotiations.

    Given my First Amendment views, I am no fan of British defamation law or of worthless defamation suits that are designed to intimidate the press. But the notion that such suits, and their settlement, constitute actionable fraud seems equally wrong (Sports Law Blog)

    Here is my point: For how many years did folks believe that Lance was subjected to unfair accusations and prosecution?

    Now, we find out the truth.

    Same with Roger. It’s the code, Bmaz, the code. It’s baseball’s dirty little secret.
    Thou shalt cover for thy brethern.

    In Armstrong, the speculation WAS the truth

  17. MrsJimWhite says:

    I may be snarky but at least I’m paying attention. I had to point out to both Jim and our daughter that the eminent Coach Meyer had boarded our flight in Gainesville.

  18. bmaz says:

    THANK YOU Andrew Luck and the Colts! Colts lay a licking on the Texans. Now all Peyton Manning and the Donkos have to do is beat the Chefs and they will be number one seed and have home field at Mile High throughout the AFC playoffs. Good stuff.

  19. Mrs. JimWhite says:

    My bad @bmaz. I had forgotten that I put a period in Mrs. JimWhite last time I was trash talking here. I shouldn’t have been in trash talk limbo….

  20. Peterr says:

    @rosalind: But the Vikings beating the Packers is BAD for Da Bears.

    Which leads me to personally speculate that certain folks in Green Bay might be taking a dive, so as to cause great pain and anguish to the entire city of Chicago and fans of Da Bears everywhere.

    Because nothing brings a smile to a Cheesehead’s face like causing pain for a Bears fan. Nothing.

  21. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Just keep telling yourself that, bmaz.

    In other news, the KC Star is reporting that as of 15 minutes ago, Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli still had jobs.

    Armed with little more than a 2-14 record and a 38-3 season-ending loss to the Denver Broncos today, Romeo Crennel could offer no compelling evidence that he should keep his job as Chiefs head coach.

    “It depends on what the criteria is,” Crennel said. “If the criteria is wins and losses, there’s not much defense. If the criteria is trying to keep a team together and play young guys and make some improvement with those guys, then a defense could be made. But that’s not for me to judge, that’s not for me to say.”

    Bmaz, do you need a partner in your legal firm? Romeo sounds like a good defense attorney — and also like someone who knows his hours are numbered.

  22. JohnLopresti says:

    There ought to be ‘Bye cap and trade credits for teams who had rough seasons in Fútbol.

    Pro Bowl needs to be an event at the end of a redcarpet in a theater with glitterati, not a high-risk enterprise for guys who have not practiced together.

    And all these commercialized names for Soldiers field, Ebbetts field, the Oakland Colliseum, and the like sould be subject of congressional legislation to free up our distinctive local geographies and traditions once again, so games by their very name have regional meaning. Who is it who wants stadia named things like Tonka toy park? InterNational Call Back bleachers?

    If the Los Angeles Rams emigrate to St. Louis, they need to leave the bovine character behind. Hear tell there were a few buffalo around St. Louis until the railroads got built.

    9ers earned a ‘bye.

    Poor R Clemens, L Armstrong, and Levi Leipheimer. I saw a pro football game once on television, a playoff; a lineman was very bulked up on muscle. Thing is: steroids for muscle mass increase carries a similar bone density decrease. The pro lineman broke both shins pushing off scrimage, without any contact with anyone on defense. What I would ask is, can guys like that reverse metabolic gears and proceed to a normal life in retirement? It used to be that in track and field the US sent only certified amateurs, whereas the Russkies amped both men and women with steroids. It made US sports enthusiasts feel like the Russians were fudging again, but also like only US competitors were perfectly honest about following their respective sports organizations’ rules.

  23. Peterr says:

    @JohnLopresti: Folks here have been talking about the NFL and college pigskin. No “Fútbol” around here.

    If we were talking Fútbol, you’d be hearing about Messi, Ronaldo, etc.

  24. P J Evans says:

    @JohnLopresti:
    Betcha the locals don’t use the corporate names; they’ll call the fields what they always have. It’s like Burbank Airport got renamed ‘Bob Hope Burbank Airport’: no one I know calls it anything but Burbank.

  25. Peterr says:

    @P J Evans: Though to be fair, the Wrigley family sold the Cubs a long time ago, but no one would dare try to rename Wrigley Field after a different corporation.

    Some corporate names are more equal than others.

  26. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: I think the Chicago Ballet is working on getting him as a named sponsor. Rahm, however, expects them to pay him for the use of his name, so the negotiations have a way to go.

    Kind of like the NHL.

  27. Phoenix Woman says:

    As a Vikings and All-Day fan, I was half-rooting for Mister Automatic Three to actually miss that last FG just so Adrian could get his ten yards. But there’s always next year.

    And now — The Frozen Tundra!

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