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Turkey, Geezers, Favre and Trash Talk

brett-favreWelp, here we are upon another Thanksgiving. All of us here at Emptywheel – Marcy, Jim White, Ed Walker and me [EW: Hey! You forgot Rayne!] – are thankful for your readership, commentary and friendship. Some of you are newer, some have been with us forever, but thanks to all of you.

Marcy did a wonderful Thanksgiving food post earlier this morning. Frankly, I might not have bothered with Trash since there was a great discussion going on there. But, today is momentous. It is Brett Favre Day baybee! That’s right old man geezer himself is getting honored in the late game from The Frozen Tundra of Lambeau. And no way that could slip by without some trash talking.

I am getting old now and, still, for my money, there has never been a more joyous and exciting free spirit to watch in the NFL. Yes, obviously, it helps that he played for the team I have rooted for since I was a child. But what a joy he was. At any given instant, Favre could do something incredible or catastrophic….you never knew! But you knew he would do something. And it was usually incredible in the good direction. And on any Sunday, he was always there. Always. Only eight quarterbacks in the history of the NFL have had streaks of a hundred games or more started in a row, and only two with 200 or more. Favre had 297. 321 if you count the playoffs. That is not just the most by a quarterback ever, it is the most by any positional player in NFL history. Until last year when Peyton starting overtaking him, Favre also held nearly every meaningful passing record too. A pretty fine career. He was unique, and he was awesome. Thanks for the memories Brett.

So the Packers host the Bears tonight, where the festivities for Favre will be featured. Rodgers got a bit of his mojo back last week against the Vikings, but I still wonder about his health. The Bears took a step back against the Broncos last weekend, but played tough. They may not be great, but this years’ Bears don’t suck. This should be a great game. And what better setting to end a Thanksgiving day on?

The Lions simply destroyed the Eagles earlier. Wow, where has this version of the Kittehs been all year? Apparently it took creaky old Martha Ford to kick their asses into gear. And the Panthers at Cowboys just started, and already the Panthers have scored on a pick six off of Tony Romo. That is not what the Cowboys needed at all.

So there it is, Happy Turkey Day folks. Eat large and enjoy. Music today is by a friend of mine from long ago from the Scottsdale blues club scene. She is beautiful, and man can she sing. Please give a listen to Janiva Magness, you won’t be sorry.

Big Game Trash Talk

The world is now one week post Paris attacks. War drums are being pounded, and the worst tendencies of American chicken hawks is in its full pageant grandeur. For being such an “exceptional” people, we sure have our head up our ass an awful lot. No, ISIS is not here to steal your baby or turn the south into a caliphate. Just stop and take a breath politicians. Even the “Reasonable Republican™”, John Kasich, wants to return the US Government to the Judeo-Christian crusades mentality. Get a grip.

Last weekend, it almost felt bad to focus on sporting games; this weekend it seems necessary to take the mind off the stupidity at hand. Locally, that comes in a rare afternoon game at Sun Devil Stadium between Arizona State and Arizona for the treasured Territorial Cup. Both teams are huge disappointments this year, especially the Sun Devils. Preseason, several experts thought ASU had a real shot at the College Football Playoff. That is down the tubes, as the Devils are at 5-5 and have fallen off the face of the map by poor play and atrocious coaching. But, hey, the winner today will be eligible for the Dung Fertilizer Bowl or whatever. Yay.

Iowa should roll to 11-0 easily over Purdue. But I think Michigan may have a tougher time against Penn State in Happy Valley; possible upset there. Ohio State is a 14.5 point favorite in the Big House against the visiting Spartans. Man, that is a lot of points, not sure about that. Northwestern at Wisconsin should be a nail biter even though the Badgers are highly favored, but go Fighting Journalists! The usual garbage ball will be on display in the Big-12 between TCU/Oklahoma and Baylor/Oklahoma State. Hard to be too in love with any of these teams, but both Oklahoma schools look to be the more solid.

For the second week in a row, the Cardinals are on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Despite a couple of hiccups, the Cards took care of business, and the Squawks, last week in Seattle. This time they are home in the Big Toaster facing the Bengals. The Bengals are really good, although not invincible, as the Texans proved. Should be a great game, but too close to call. This is a little shocking, but I am pretty interested to see how Kirk Cousins and the Skins do in Carolina. Washington really seems to be jelling a little bit, but this is a stiff test. The other really big time matchup is the wounded Packers at the resurgent, and now NFC Norske leading Vikings. The Pack cannot lose four in a row can they?? The Eagles need to hold serve at home against an improving Tampa Bay squad, if they want any real shot at the playoffs. But they are down to Mark Sanchize at QB, is that enough?

It is a little early to talk NBA, but hollee shit, the Golden State Warriors are fun to watch and are kicking ass. Some war music for your Sabbath.

Je Suis Paris Trash Talk

It is a little hard to get too excited about this weekend’s games with all of what is going on across the pond in Paris. My daughter had been scheduled to be in Paris yesterday and for the weekend until a last minute change in one of her classes left her still in England. You cannot imagine how relieved we were that she was not there. But there are friends of this blog that do live in Paris and/or have significant family there, and our thoughts go out to them.

With that said, we’ll take a brief look at the sporting festivities this weekend, even if the realities of the world have brutally reminded us that games are just that. In fact, there was a rather large soccer match in Paris between France and Germany that got that reminder up close and personal yesterday.

In the college ranks, by far the biggest matchup is in the Big-12 where Oklahoma travels to Baylor. The Bears are a home favorite by 3, but Oklahoma is more than capable of pulling off a win. Baylor was once in the top four in rankings, but now is not. If they want a spot in the playoff, the push starts today. The Ducks are at the Tree in the Pac-12 in another make or break game. The Ducks are having a really down year for them, but they are getting healthier and they can really wound the standings by felling the Tree tonight. I look for an upset here, though will be rooting for the Trees. Alabama is a Mississippi State, where the Bulldogs are tough, but there is no reason to believe the Tide won’t keep rolling.

In the NFL, the game of the week is obviously the Lions at the Pack on the Tundra. Naw, just kidding, the Kittehs haven’t won on the Pack’s home turf in 24 years, and they are not going to start now. The real game of the week is the Cards at Seattle, which is the Sunday Night game on NBC. Unlike last year, the Cards are pretty healthy for their trip to the Northwest. But so are the Squawks, and both teams are coming off a bye week. I am going to go with Seattle here simply because they are at home, if it was in Phoenix, the edge would go the other direction. The other big game is the Patriots at the Gents. Eli has always been Good Eli against Bel, Brady and the boys, and the Giants as a whole sure don’t fear them. But New York’s defense is not what it once was and Brady is on a mission. Take the Pats here, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

The Brazilian Grand Prix is this weekend. Practice has been fairly predictable, and qualifying has not gone off yet, so no grid to report. But the racing is almost always good at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos. Personally, I am hoping for a big race from Felipe Massa in his home country. And Massa usually does race well at Interlagos.

Lastly, the second Democratic debate is, for some idiotic reason, Saturday night. Are the Dems trying to be irrelevant, or just stupid? One thing is sure, the Paris attacks will loom large over the affair. Hard to see how this doesn’t favor Clinton, as Bernie and O’Malley have nowhere near the chops to hang with her on this kind of subject. Sanders, distressingly, still has little to no meaningful foreign policy in his stump speeches. That was always going to catch up to him sooner or later, methinks it is sooner now.

The music today is the French national anthem. La Marseillaise is a gorgeous anthem. I had not heard it in many years, and had forgotten how beautiful it is. I usually hear national anthems from other nations in relation to Formula One, but there have been no winners from France in a while.

Daylight Saving Time Trash Talk

If there has ever been an avatar as to the gimmickry and inane stupidity of those who govern in this country, it is Daylight Savings Time. Seriously, what is wrong with this picture? Golly, we will just pretend time and seasons don’t exist by willfully shifting them! What a load of shit. It was stupid when it was devised and it is stupid now. I wonder how people in Alaska, who live their lives with the truth of daylight versus darkness, feel about this inane nonsense? Well, at any rate, I am getting a bit of a late start this morning, and because Arizona does not engage in the fraud of Daylight Savings Time (one of the few smart things this state’s legislature has ever done) I never know what time it is other places in the world. Does anybody really care? Let’s get to the football now, because the KC Royals are glorious World Series Champions, and the F1 Circus is off this weekend.

In the collegiate ranks, this is moving weekend. The bigs are starting to play the other bigs. First and foremost is LSU at the Crimson Tide in Bama. If this was in Baton Rouge, I am taking the Tigers all day, because I think they are the better team at this point. Alas, the game is in Tuscaloosa. Undoubtedly going to regret this, but I am still tending to an upset by the Tigers, but it will depend on Fournette getting untracked against a Tide defense that rarely allows that.

Clemson versus FSU is a big game. Hard to find someone to root for here, but I will take Clemson. Because Jimbo Fisher and FSU are ciminal coddling scumbags. Think Northwestern’s Mighty Fighting Journalists may have a problem with a rejuvenated Christian Hackenberg and Penn State. The other big moving day game is TCU at Oklahoma State. Both are sitting at 8-0, and TCU is favored. Jerry Jones may not be winning squat (and given his constant coddling of a criminal like Greg Hardy, good) as a Cowboy, but I think his OSU Cowboys pull the upset here. Utah at Chris Peterson’s Washington Huskies is another trap game. Probably the game I am most interested in, curiously, is the Midshipmen of Navy cruising their flotilla into Memphis. If Memphis gets by this game, and I think they will, people are going to have to start taking them and QB Paxton Lynch for real. Let’s hope that is so.

In the pros, the game of the week has to be Green Bay at Carolina. Holy crap, the Pack sure stunk it up in Denver against the last undefeated team they played. Aaron Rodgers has never been more feckless that he was last week, including when he was carrying a clipboard for Grandpa Favre. Jeebus, that was truly ugly. Can that happen two weeks in a row to Mr. Rodgers? I don’t think so, but this IS in Carolina, and Luke Kuechly and Josh Norman will be patrolling the other side of the ball. Should be a great game, but I think the Pack won’t lay two eggs in a row. Which will help the Cardinals, who are on bye break waiting to head to the Emerald City for a showdown with the Squawks. Before they come home to take on the undefeated Bengals on a SNF flex game.

In other news and notes, Johnny Football did not look crappy Thursday against the Bengals. Didn’t look great, but he is certainly not the Brownies’ problem, a crappy team that is nowhere near as good as Cinci is the problem. Fish at Bills and Rams and Vikings both really are intriguing. If the locations were reversed, so too would my picks be. But I will take both home teams here. For once, ESPN is actually right about something, the battle between Todd Gurley and Adrian Peterson is truly compelling.

Raiders at the Steelers could be a great game. The Raiders are MUCH improved, and truly starting to play some decent ball. But this is Big Ben’s second game back, and he will have settled back in by now, and I think that is the difference. Look out for the Raiders in the future though. Peyton is going to his old home. Luck sucks lately. I’ll take Peyton here, though will note that Pagano is coaching for his job. So, maybe Chuck ‘n Luck will pull out some more of those dandy trick plays they used to such great success against Bill Bel and the Pats! Iggles at Cowboys? Are these two teams still in the NFL?

That’s it for this week lugnuts. Music by Terry Kath and Chicago.

Spooky Trash Talk

Here it is Halloween already and we are in the eighth week of the NFL season. It all happens so fast. No trick or treating at Casa de bmaz, we are going out to see Bridge of Spies tonight. But before that will be some football, baseball and Formula One activity.

In the NCAA there was a barnburner gross game Thursday night between ASU and the Oregon Ducks, where the Quackers won 61-56. I only watched about half of it, but it was simply terrible football by both teams, and ASU needs to fire their worthless coach Todd Graham.

Other than that, it is really a pretty dead slate in the college ranks. Can the surprising Temple Owls remain undefeated and knock off Notre Dame? Unlikely, but there is always hope! Minnesota just lost their charismatic coach, Jerry Kill, to a medically necessitated retirement this week. Can the Gophers rise up the inspiration and emotion to beat Michigan at home? On paper, no; but it is a game I want to see. In the SEC, the only interesting matchup is Georgia at Florida. If this was in Athens, you might have more faith in the Dawgs pulling the upset. But not in the Swamp.

But there is baseball on Saturday too. Last night the Mets got back in the series with a solid win over the Royals. As giddy as Royals fans were after the stunning 2-0 start at home in Kaufman Stadium, the way New York took care of business last night has to be sobering. And, man, the Mets hit the ball relentlessly. There are two more games in New York before the teams would head back to KC for games 6, and if necessary, 7. The Royals need to steal one of these next two games, or they are in dire straights. And that may need to be Saturday night as I am not sure Edison Volquez, scheduled to start game 5 for KC, has another lights out performance in him after the week he has had with his father’s death and funeral.

In the NFL, the game of the week, indeed the game of the season so far, is, of course, the undefeated Packers at the Mile High home of the undefeated Broncos. Rodgers versus Manning. You would normally expect this kind of storied matchup to be an offensive dogfight to the death. But not this time. Denver’s defense is world class, AND Demarcus Ware is returning to the lineup. But Green Bay’s defense is better than average and the Bronco’s passing and running attacks have both been anemic so far this year. In short, this looks to be a closer and lower scoring game that you would expect. The Cheesers are clearly the better team top to bottom, but never sleep on the broncs at Mile High. Must see TV for Sunday Night.

Frankly, it is hard to think about any other game, but we must. The other anticipated matchup of the week is already over, and it was over early with Brady and Bel simply dismembering the Dolphins. Wow. The Jets at Raiders could be a surprisingly decent clash. I think there is something going on out there in Raider Nation, they are at least a decent team, on both sides of the ball, again. The other game of real interest is Bengals at Steelers. Big Ben looks to be back, and Cinci is on a roll. I am very tempted to take the Stillers here, but Big Ben is usually rusty his first game back from an injury. This will be a telling game about both teams though. The poor chaps in London are saddled with yet another foul smelling stinker, and will have to drink lots of pints to watch the Lions and Chiefs.

The F1 Circus is back for the rare back to back weekends of racing, having moved from Austin for the USGP down to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez in Mexico City. This is actually pretty exciting, as F1 has not run a Mexican Grand Prix since 1992. Nigel Mansell dominated back in 1992, but there have been many memorable races at the old circuit. The first two practice sessions were uneven with a little weather affecting the process. Qualifying is at 2 pm EST and is, for some unknown reason, being carried on CNBC.

Well, there you have it, time to haunt this place and spook it up. Music this week is Spooky by Dusty Springfield.

Football and F1 Trash Talk

No catchy title this week, but we do have some fantastic sports on tap. Football, World Series baseball, and the F1 Circus all right here in the USA. So let’s get to it.

Football: In the college ranks, the most significant game is arguably Texas A&M at Ole Miss. If the Aggies can get by the Rebels, there is a very good chance they will roll into the regular season final game on November 28th against LSU with a 10-1 record and a chance at real glory. And there is a similar chance LSU will be waiting for them in Baton Rouge undefeated. Ole Miss is no pushover though, especially at home. I’ll take the Aggies here.

Emptywheel asked me to address just exactly what the hell is going on in the PAC-12 this year. I have no real idea, what do you all think? Utah is the darling of the dance so far, but can it last? Well, the Utes have two potential roadblocks, a road game November 14 in Tucson against Rich Rod and the Cats. And then there is tonight’s game at USC. I smell a trap tonight in the Coliseum. Other than those two road traps, the Utes have UCLA and Colorado at home in the surprisingly comfy confines of Rice-Eccles Stadium, where they will be clear favorites. But, the real power in the PAC, if you ask me, is the Trees of Stanford. They should take care of the Washington Huskies today, and get both Oregon and Notre Dame at home in Palo Alto. That is a big time schedule, and on very favorable terms.

One final note before we hit the pros, heed should be paid to two small names that are kicking ass and taking names so far this year: First, the Temple Owls, who are at 7-0 for the first time in forever. Now they may not belong in the final four playoff picture, but you have to be happy for what they are doing. The second is the Memphis Tigers, who rolled up 66 points on a decent Tulsa team in Tulsa last night. They are well coached by Justin Fuente (watch out, this guy is going to get a much bigger job soon) and have an outstanding QB in Paxton Lynch. Memphis manhandled Ole Miss already this year, and if they get through the regular season undefeated, which is quite possible, they deserve to at least be considered for the playoff. Yes, so far, they really are that good.

In the pros, there are only a couple of games that matter. The Jets at the Patriots is one of them. Lot of noise both from and about the Jets. Please, just get out of here with that noise. Brady and Pats in Foxborough, buff said. The Cowboys will now be starting Matt Cassel in their big division game at the Giants. The Boys are starting to get healthier, and are coming off a bye week, but I will take Eli and the Gents here. Lastly, the Ravens are at the Cardinals for MNF. Baltimore is starting to get their legs back, but the Big Toaster in Phoenix is a very tough place to play, and the Cardinals need to make a statement after a disappointing road loss to the Steelers. Problem is, the Cardinals are absolutely horrible historically in big prime time games. I think it is a tossup, with, maybe, the slightest edge to the Cards. Could really be a good game to watch though.

Baseball: Welp, it is the Royals and the Mets in the World Series, which will inexplicably not start until Tuesday October 27. That is nuts, they need to get on with it. Who will be the Boys of November?

Formula One: The F1 circus is has set up shop in Austin for the week. I really need to get to the Circuit of the Americas one of these years, I have heard nothing but good things about the show there, even from my European friends. But this weekend, the weather predictions are rain, rain and more rain. That makes for great spectacle for TV viewers, less fun for actual race attendees. While Nico Rosberg was fast in the first practice, the second session of practice had to be cancelled because of rain. That is the first time an entire practice session was completely lost since 2004 when a typhoon interrupted the Japanese Grand Prix weekend. Frankly, with the remnants of Hurricane Patricia still afflicting the area, qualifying, currently set to go off at 12:30 pm EST today may be in jeopardy too. We shall see! Update: Practice three is actually underway, and the boys are really pushing it, potentially out of fear that qualifying gets scrubbed.

Music this weekend courtesy of the great Mose Allison. If you don’t know Mose, you should. Hoist a tall one and have some fun!

Pure Michigan Trash Talk

Michigan’s official tourism and advertising campaign has been called “Pure Michigan” for a while now. They do some beautiful advertising that has commercials reaching nationwide, if not world wide. And so it is we go to Pure Michigan for this week’s trash talk. Because all the good ball is in Michigan this weekend.

First up in Pure Michigan is The Mighty Fighting Journalists of Northwestern at the Big House in Ann Arbor to take on obnoxious Coach Baggy Chinos and the Wolverweenies. Obviously, most Americans are properly rooting for the Journalists. Michigan got beat in week one when they went west to Rice-Eccles Stadium to visit Utah. Things did not turn out well for the Weens, but in hindsight it turns out that Utah is really good. Michigan has won all their games since then. Northwestern is undefeated and has been surprisingly good in getting there. The line favors Michigan by 10, and all the experts are picking them. I think 10 points is way too much with these two defensive minded teams (they rank one and two in defensive points allowed nationally), but no question Michigan is favored in the Big House. I think the game will come down to whether the Journalists can get Justin Jackson going on the ground. If they do, this could be an upset special. Frankly, the only other NCAA game of note is Cal at Utah. The last two undefeated teams in the Pac-12, and only one will leave still in that status. QB edge goes to Cal’s Jared Goff, but the Utes are awfully well coached and are at home. I’ll take the Utes.

The other Pure Michigan special this week is Cardinals at the Lions. The Battle of the Emptywheel Blog. The Kittehs are down on their luck, and got hosed at Seattle last week. The Cards got beat at home by the newly Todd Gurley invigorated Rams. The Cards were terribly off offensively. Much of that can obviously be attributed to St. Louis’ terrific defense, but it was more than that. Carson Palmer and the boys just never seemed in synch. I actually thought Detroit played a good game in Seattle and looked solid. It is still not clear they can keep Stafford from getting killed though, and that is not going to get any easier against the Cards defense. But the Lions have too much talent to lose every game, and they may well get off the snide this week in an upset.

Other games of interest in the NFL include Squawks at Bengals. This really could be a great game, and we are going to get a good glimpse as to whether Andy Dalton and the Bengals have really turned the corner this time. I think they have and beat the Squawks. Also the Rams visit the Tundra at Lambeau. The Rams are way better than you think, especially with Gurley untracked. But Lambeau, Rodgers and the Pack are a load I’m not sure St. Louis can overcome. Still, look for a great game. All the ESPN loud mouthed yokels are yammering about the Patriots at the Cowboys. This would have been worth the talk if Romo, Dez Bryant and a handful of others were not out for Dallas. But with a still pissed off Tom Brady, and Bill Bell coming off of an extra bye week to scheme? Yeah, good luck with that ‘Boys. Believe it or not, the Broncos at Raiders might also be pretty interesting.

The F1 Circus is in Sochi this weekend. There are still some rough edges on the young Sochi circuit. They barely got it ready for last year’s inaugural Russian Grand Prix. Far better this year, but still having growing pains. In spite of that, I really kind of Sochi. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz had a nasty crash at Practice Three this morning, but has been pronounced okay at the hospital. Still, he will be held for observation, and will not join the grid tomorrow. Qualifying is going on as I write, with Rosberg and Hamilton fast, and Valterri Bottas and Vettel just behind as we reach the Q2 cutoff. Massa didn’t make Q3, but there is Bottas currently in P3. Bottas really clicks at Sochi, having made the podium last year. Massa, his Williams teammate, however, seems not to like Sochi. Was off the pace last year too. Weird.

Anyway, in other news Jeb! Bush did NOT, I repeat NOT, smoke weed with Bill Belichick in high school. Well, you know, of course not. Everybody knows Bill Bel smoked hash, not weed!

The Roger Goodell Fraud and Stupidity in Seattle’s End Zones

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.57.28 PMMost all who read this blog already know the patent bogosity that is #Deflategate. But, Roger Goodell, on behalf of the entire National Football League, relentlessly and petulantly screams that not only is the ginned up horse manure worthy of occupying the NFL’s time, he and the NFL have seen fit to copiously waste the time of two different levels of the federal court system.

Even worse, they have either sought, or by their unyielding craven attitude, caused stipulations to be entered that the federal court system accelerate their cases while far more important criminal and civil cases wait. It is the epitome of arrogance and corporate hubris and personal narcissism.

Roger Goodell has consistently lectured all the rest of us, who do not make $44 million a year for being an incompetent jerk, that the whole ginned up, factually unsupported, steer manure that is #Deflategate is all “to protect the integrity of the league”.

What a load of horse manure. Has Roger Goodell seen what happened in the end zone at the end to the game in Seattle last night?? If the “integrity of the league” is not at issue with this type of blatant misapplication of the clear rules, and … what confirmation (or not!) by the NFL’s vaunted replay system (which is curiously not applied in many situations when it is dispositive), then what is?

Well, okay, THAT was really stupid and in complete contradiction of the crystal clear NFL rules. But hey, it is not like the referees could have looked at tape and done the honest thing to not hand the game on a platter to the Seahawks and skew the league for the entire year. Well, of course, they actually COULD HAVE done the right thing, but just did not. But beyond screwing the pooch, then the NFL’s stenographers at ESPN put up some former NFL referee expert™ to explain and cover for the patently obvious wrongful cow dung. Because that is what toadies do I guess.

Not exactly the first time, however, the NFL has willingly sanctioned and ratified stupidity in a Seattle Seahawks end zone that ended up screwing, and altering, the lives and seasons of teams and players across the league. No, of course, there was this intellectually insulting crap that occurred because Roger Goodell was too cheap to pay the referees and umpires in his league a few extra bucks (maybe if NFL paid more, they could get better, and full time, officials). Watch Goodell’s inglorious work in the 2012 game between Seattle and Green Bay:

So, the “integrity of the game” didn’t matter when Roger Goodell was trying to bust the game officials’ union for a cheap last couple of dollars. The “integrity of the game” apparently doesn’t matter to the NFL, or their apologists, over the sham that clearly occurred in Seattle last night. And Goodell and the NFL’s precious “integrity of the game” seems, to them, to be worth more than all other civil litigants in SDNY and the 2nd Circuit, even if there are serious civil rights and criminal cases that get shoved aside for their arrogance.

But Roger Goodell struts out like the $44 million a year arrogant peacock that he is and claims obsessively that a ginned up sting job the league ran on Tom Brady and the Patriots, that has absolutely no credible evidence to support it, was “necessary” for the “integrity of the game”.

The millions of dollars for an inherently biased, not to mention intellectually and legally incoherent, Ted Wells report, the waste of time, and acceleration before all other pending cases and controversies, including criminal cases with lives in the balance, of a federal judge in the Southern District of New York (SDNY)…that was in Roger Goodell’s “Integrity of the game”. They now waste time in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, and on an accelerated basis – all on affirmative initial filings by Goodell and the NFL – that, too, is in the precious “integrity of the game” for Roger Goodell.

The only thing that does not seem to be within the “integrity of the game” for Roger Goodell and the NFL is actual integrity and sense of place for the game. What a clownshow Roger Goodell is, and is running for the vaunted NFL shield.

Hurricane Trash

Apparently there is a big blowhard on the eastern seaboard (no, not talking about Rep. Peter King this time) and it goes by the moniker of Hurricane Joaquin. Another one of those storms of the century…or threats that are petering out…depending on who you believe and what hour of the day it is. Probably be easier to keep track of Mother Nature is Americans would quit gunning themselves down en masse. Anyway, football may be all wet in the east. In the meantime, cable news is all back to the same status quo idiotic conversation about guns. We are a profoundly stupid and insipid nation.

Two contests that may be affected are Alabama at Georgia and Notre Dame at Clemson. The latter sports two teams that are both flaky; don’t trust either one of them. The Tide and Dawgs could really be a great game though. Go Dawgs! In other games, Mississippi State at Texas A & M and Texas Tech could be interesting, and Baylor may use all the points available. ASU visits UCLA, where Josh Rosen and the Bruins will completely destroy the last remnants of what everyone thought would be a great Sun Devil team. But they suck, and that is why they play the games. Todd Graham is NOT a good coach. Get rid of him.

Jets and Fins and Giants at Bills may be affected by the Joaquin moisture. You’d think sloppy conditions would favor the defenses of Jets and Bills. The sleeper game may be the Vikings at Broncos. Adrian Peterson and the Vikes are starting to gel and the Donks, while 3-0, still have that uneasy feeling about them. The local team is hosting the Rams. Rams have a great defense, but the Cardinals are usually a tough nut to crack at home in the Big Toaster. Dallas and the ‘Aints may be a fair fight with no Romo and Bryant.

One other thing: The homestretch on the MLB season is pretty interesting. I really kind of hate that the “first round of the playoffs” is a one game series, but the excitement generated at the end of the season trying to get to that game has really proven awesome. The Astros hung 22 on the DBacks last night and solidified their position, the Angels kept their hope alive by edging the Rangers and the Cubbies ran their ace, Jake Arrieta out for a great performance that might well have earned him the Cy Young. Good stuff.

That’s it for today.

Green Bay TitleTown MNF Fall Is Here Trash Talk (NFL Week 3)

Hi there lugnuts, it is time for another edition of Emptywheel’s Famous Trash Talk! I actually would have started this last night, and therefore had it up earlier this morning, but had to go out to dinner and my new iPhone 6S had been delivered and was waiting when I got home. So, you know, I had to play with that and get it set up.

Thing sure is pretty. The experience deteriorated after unboxing it though. Apparently many of the early units shipped with iOS 9 and there is a bug in that OS which cause many users to have their phones freeze up on them during the setup process. I was one of those, and a very frustrated one of those, until I called AT&T help. A lovely chap named Nate helped me through the fix, which literally took about half an hour on the phone guiding me through it all. Nate was great, and now the device is functioning beautifully. It really is a fantastic bit of electronic hardware. Today (if the tracking is accurate), my wife’s will be delivered and we will now know what to do for it too. So, a hassle at first, but pretty wowed by the product in action.

Okay, Trash Talk came, in one sense, a little early this week with my early morning post yesterday on the Patrick Kane alleged rape case in Buffalo. There are a couple of new developments. First, the Erie county DA, Frank Sedita, held a presser yesterday a few hours after I had posted. I was in court and did not see it, but here is, to me at least, the key takeaway via Michael McCann and SI:

Sedita’s revelation was the latest bizarre development in an investigation that now seems less likely than ever to result in the Chicago Blackhawks superstar being charged with any crime.

Sedita said that the bag—which had been identified by the lawyer for Kane’s accuser as proof that key evidence had been tampered with—had actually been given to the accuser’s mother when she accompanied her daughter to the hospital to have a rape test performed. She was the last known person to have the bag, he said, and it was used to store one of her daughter’s garments and not the contents of a rape test kit.

He then showed video to prove that no bag had ever been used to store the kit and to verify that the chain of custody for the evidence has always been secure.

If true, this case is dead. The only question is whether Sedita himself declines to go further, or whether he seeks the imprimatur of submitting it to a grand jury to likely decline to prosecute. McCann seems to believe it will be the former. If there is no positive evidence in the real rape kit, and the chain of custody is as Sedita has consistently stated from the start, then he probably should decline prosecution. Cases without a reasonable likelihood of conviction should not be brought, and they all too often are.

Okay, on to the games. F1 is in Suzuka Japan for the Japanese Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg took pole last night over Mercedes teammate Hamilton, with Bottas, Vettel, Massa and Raikkonen of the Williams and Ferrari teams alternating in P3 through P6. Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat had a nasty crash, but seems to be okay. Suzuka is a great track, this could be a pretty interesting race.

As to the NCAA men, it is such a pitiful week’s schedule of games that the ESPN Game Day folks are holding fort in freaking Tucson, where Rich Rod and Arizona are hosting the UCLA Bruins and their wonder boy true frosh QB Josh Rosen. And hot damn! they have Arizona alum and southern Arizona guy Bob Baffert on the set. Excellent! UCLA looks to be a far better team. But DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER!this is exactly the kind of upset that very often happens down in Tucson when the Cats Bear Down. We shall see, but I take the Cats. The only other game worth squat is USC here against the Sun Devils in Tempe at night on ESPN. I actually have tickets to the game, but not sure I am going to be able to go. Neither the Trojans nor ASU appear to be as solid as was thought before the season started. I’ll take the Devils, but don’t feel good about it at all.

As to the Joes in the Pros, well, of course I am excited about the MNF game between the Chefs and Packers at Lambeau. Seriously, what is better than a rematch of Super Bowl 1 played under the lights on the not yet Frozen Tundra? Doesn’t get any better than that. The Chefs are going to do some cooking this year, but not in Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood. Take the Pack.

Niners are coming to Phoenix, where the Cardinals are not usually very hospitable. And, shhhh! don’t tell anyone, but the Cards are getting close to having a run game. Not there yet, but getting closer. Bengals at Ravens is a critical game for the Northern Dirty Birds. Bengals looks more solid this year, but then they always do until they don’t (half ass tribute to the great Yogi Berra there). Falcons at the Cowboys will be interesting only because Romo and Dez Bryant are gone. Eagles at Jets interesting because everybody thought the Iggles would be 2-0 and the Jets Jets Jets 0-2 right about now, not the other way around.

Oh well, talk amongst yourselves and, always, rock and roll. Music this week by my new favorite band from down under, Boom! Bap! Pow!

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @freespeechlover @emptywheel @CalFootball Yes, but Stanford has a real coach (Cal too probably) we have fucking Todd Graham.
JimWhiteGNV I used to think of @bmaz as my friend. Now, I just don't know...
bmaz Brady, Belichick and the Patriots. Doing work. To quote Frederich March in Bridges at Toko Ri, "Where do we find such men"?
emptywheel @onekade Another thing ISIS has in common with our far (and not-so-far) right: a desires for 10% taxes.
emptywheel @p2wy Try muting. Tho it didn't work for me when I tried to silence discussion of Harbaugh pre-season.
emptywheel @bmaz My apologies to Pat Tillman, who I have gravely slandered.
emptywheel @nittacci Do you know how easy it is to tackle a skinny 6'8" guy? Don't even have to bend your knees to get to his center of gravity.
bmaz What choo talking bout?? ASU has provides WAY more stars to NFL than that piddly UofA
emptywheel @nittacci Shorter. But bigger.
emptywheel Are there any non-Euro allies we have v ISIS that aren't either torturing them or assisting them? Bueller?
bmaz @Steplor Meh, sincerely all good!
emptywheel How many possible picks has Jones not caught this year? Guess he's been practicing...
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