Here it is already, Thanksgiving. This will likely be my only shot to tell you folks thank you, and so I do. Each and every one of you who have the passion, and take the time out of your lives to spend some of it here at Emptywheel.
Football games, being played on Thanksgiving Day, date back to 1876. When Yale and Princeton began an annual tradition of playing each other on Thanksgiving Day. The University of Michigan also made it a tradition to play annual Thanksgiving games, holding 19 such games from 1885 to 1905. The Thanksgiving Day games between Michigan and the Chicago Maroons in the 1890s have been cited as “The Beginning of Thanksgiving Day Football.
But the tradition with the Detroit Lions started in 1934 when a chap by the name of George A. Richards bought the Portsmouth, Ohio football team known as the Lions and moved them to Detroit to join the still fledgling NFL:
As a marketing ploy to drum up attendance at the new team’s games, then Lions’ owner, George A. Richards, arranged for the team to host the Chicago Bears in the University of Detroit Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. Richards also arranged for the game to be televised nationally via NBC.
In spite of the fact the Lions lost that first Thanksgiving-Day game to the Bears, the holiday game was such a success that Detroit continues to host it to this day; the Thanksgiving Day game in 2012 will mark the Lions’ 73rd. For the first five years, the Chicago Bears provided the competition to the Lions on Turkey Day. In the 1950s and 60s, Green Bay was the team that gave the Lions their holiday match. Over the years, however, the Lions have played most of the teams in the league on one Thanksgiving Day or another.
And this year the triple header of NFL Thanksgiving games starts out with the original, the home game in Detroit. Today the Kittehs host the mighty Houston Texans. The Texans come in 9-1 and Continue reading →
Here we are at the start of the NFL Playoffs – the always thrilling, and often surprising Wildcard Weekend – topped off by the Saturday night special featuring the Detroit Kitties first return to the playoffs since the late 1990s. And Marcy is going to be getting her culture on at a staging of Battleship Potemkin.
Yes, you read that correctly. We have here a playoff game with two, count em two, 5,000 yard passers. Yep, while all the focus down the stretch was on Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, Matt Stafford quietly put up one hell of a season and eclipsed the magic 5,000 yard barrier. In short, he has been great and along with a semi-healthy MegaTron Johnson, gives the Lions a puncher’s chance tonight. One other thing about Stafford, while he did give up 16 picks this year, 9 of them came when he was struggling with a protective glove over a broken index finger. That has mostly resolved and Stafford was money down the stretch. Also, the Kitties have their defensive backfield back to full strength with the return of Louis Delmas and CB Aaron Berry. The Saints are, of course what we thought they were. Flat out bad ass nasty good on offense led by the field general Brees and Darren Sproles chewing up ground. The Saints’ O-boys can get some game on, but their defense is not what it was in the Super Bowl run two years ago.
I won’t bet any money on it, but the Lions are more than capable of winning this game over the Saints, and it should be a LOT of fun to watch. Well, that is, assuming you are actually watching the game and not Battleship Potemkin! Which brings up the collateral damage problem. McCaffrey. You see McCaffrey LOVES him some football, and must be in the throes of despair at not being able to watch the Kitties and Saints like other rational American dogs. McCaffrey, seen at left during happier times, is considering filing a lawsuit for emotional distress. Soon as he puts his paw print on the contingency fee agreement, we are off!
The early game on Saturday is Bengals at Texans. If the Texans were at full strength, this is not close. But Matt Schaub is done for the year and Houston is going with rookie TJ Yates, who has a bruised up left shoulder, with Jake Delhomme in reserve. Andre Johnson should play, but is clearly still fairly hobbled. Linebacker Mario Williams also out. Houston really backed in to the playoffs with three losses to close out the season, but do have a great ground game. The Bengals did not exactly light it up down the stretch, but did really shows signs of maturing as a team, and Andy Dalton looks very much like a professional QB rather than a rookie. Edge to the Bengals.
The early game Sunday is Dirty Birds at Gents. If this game was in Hot’Lanta, I think it is not even close. But in NY (okay New Joisey), it is a tossup. The Giants defense seems to be gelling at just the right time and the running game is coming around a little. Atlanta despite the stability that should come from the air/ground combo of Matt Ryan and Michael The Burner Turner, has tendencies to be flaky. Probably all comes down to whether Good or Bad Eli shows up. Bet here is that it is Good Eli and the Giants boasting is correct, they are going to be a tough out in the playoffs.
The late game Sunday is, of course, The Tebowl. Stillers are gonna go pay their respects to Baby Jesus at the Mile High Mount. Probably won’t be much actual respect shown though. Big Ben is gimpy, and Ryan Clark is staying home because of the altitude and his sickle cell issue. And the Steelers have other health issues and blah, blah, blah. They are still the Steelers and Tim is still Tebow, great heart and no arm. Is it possible for the Broncs and Baby Jesus to pull off a shocker and win? Sure, but not damn likely.
This will in all likelihood also be the designated Trash post for Monday’s BCS Championship game. Not much to discuss there, we have already seen this game, it is just that the craptastic BCS is making us watch it again. Both are excellent teams, and both have killer D’s. But, just like last time, the slight edge goes to Honey Badger and LSU.
And they are not the ever lovely Watertiger kind of kitties either. Nope, these kittehs are big, bad, lean, mean and will Fuck. You. Up.
Detroit Motor City is happenin baybee; seriously happening, and here is hoping there is no Detroit Breakdown.
First on the catwalk are the Tigers. Los Tigres dispatched the evil empire of the NY Yankees. Fittingly, the game, and series, ended with a strikeout by Mighty Casey LeBron Rodriquez, aka “Mr. April”. Congratulations pinstripe pushers, you have 6, count em six, more years of this joy at the low, low price of only $27 million a year. Worry not though, while he has already been through Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz, you still have the ARoid and Gwyneth Paltrow hookup to look forward to. So you got that going for you, along with you new number one starter, AJ Burnett, after CC Sabathia bails. Red Sawx cognoscenti feast. As to everybody else, ponder whether there is enough Justin Verlander to slow down Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and the Rangers. Say what you will, these are, at this point, the two best teams in the American League.
In the Senior Circuit, my local kids, and they are kids since they are the youngest team in MLB, came up just a bit short tonight against the BrewCrew. Awesome game five, and awesome series. Both teams just had so much personality and good vibe, it was hard to root against either one. But someone had to win, and in extra innings in the win or go home game, Milwaukee did. And Albert Pujols and the Cards shocked the mighty Phillies, in Philly, to make the unlikely advance to the NLCS. This is almost certainly not the NLCS matchup FoxTV hoped for. Too bad, both teams earned it, suck on that Fox.
In the college gridiron type of sporting activity, a couple of has beens like Texas and Oklahoma are playing. If only they both could lose. Then the better and more appealing team, the Boise State Broncos, could move ahead to the rank they deserve in the standings. Especially after dropping 57 points on conference rival Fresno State Friday night. The most exciting team in the country as far as supposed first tier conferences go, the sharp toothed Wisconsin Badgers, have a bye week.
Next on the beautific catwalk are the Deetroit Lions. These too are some slinky cats.
The Chicago Poo Bears are going to mosey into the Lion’s Den at Ford Field, where the Kitties hope to say “Suh you later”. So far, so good, Matt Stafford is still healthy and leading the Lion offense. Stafford’s resume is spotty because of injury, but when healthy, he has clearly demonstrated he is a top-flite quarterback. Javed Best is a nice back, but the Lions might want to invest in another back at some point to insure the future that seems so bright. As good as the Lions’ defense has been so far this season, they have been playing without what many considered the best athlete in the draft, Nick Fairly out of Auburn. Dude has the potential to be another Suh. If he is even close, it is hard to imagine what it will mean to Detroit, and he may make his season debut against Da Bears.
I understand there may be other games of both the student and professional athlete variety, but if they ain’t from Detroit, you will have to supply your own analysis in comments. Because this is Motor City Madness Weekend!
Well, okay, maybe we will get to non-motorcity talk because, if nothing else, there is some shit going down in Suzuka. And if you know squat about F1, you know there is usually wet, and corresponding wild, in Suzuka. That’s just the way it is. Vettel was off pace in practice, but was fast and took pole in qualifying, with Jenson Button of McLaren in P2. Lewis Hamilton hung on for P3 followed by Mass and Alonso in the Ferraris. True to form, qualifying was off schedule due to rain. We will see yet what the conditions are for the actual race, but I have always found the wet to be a good thing at Suzuka as it seems a bit pedestrian of a track without it. The race goes off at 2:00am EST and 11:00pm PST and is being carried in the US by Speed TV. If Vettel finishes anywhere in the points, even with the minimal single point, he clinches the Drivers’ Championship, and that is a pretty safe bet to occur.
As you may have noticed, this is a VERY heavy music Trash post. But, if there is one thing Detroit is known for other than American steel on wheels, it is music. I didn’t roll with the common Motown motif, and I did not fall back on old friends that used to be from Detroit, but now are here in the desert. If you are a music nerd, check out the enantiomer MC5 version of Motor City Is Burning. Not sure exactly what the deal is, but it is clearly, whether intentionally or unintentionally, a reverse print if you look at all the right handed people flipped opposite. Weird. Probably not many people remember the MC5, but they were one of the early foundations of straight up hard rock, and they were dead nuts killer.
So, that is it for the Motown Trash. Burn it down!