Football Trash Talk Thread

I had intended to post this thread on Friday, as a regular feature on the new digs for the rest of the season. But with so much going on, I’m just getting around to it now. To catch us up on the football trash talk, I give you Neil:

It’s 36F and overcast in Foxborough with a steady 6 MPH breeze from the northeast. You can run or throw in this weather. The players won’t be tight from extreme cold. It’s apparent the loss of Roosevelt Colvin has made the Pats run defense more vulnerable, putting additional pressure on the suspect secondary. The Pats will have a sophisticated game plan to take away the Steelers strength on offense.

The 10 point spread is an over estimate. I think the Pats have a 3-point advantage. Vegas has gotten in wrong for three weeks in a row. Things have changed since the early routes. Vegas is still catching up.

This week in the NFL is when fatigue sets in. Players’ minds are sharp but their bodies can’t execute at the same level as earlier in the season. Better, more disciplined athletes will make the plays. Expect errors like turnovers and drops that affect the outcome.

About the Rodney Harrison watch, we continue to observe if a failure on defense that results in a loss is caused by this “experienced” free safety or steroid withdrawal symptoms.

The Lions are up 10-7 against the Cowboys early in the second quarter with the ball in the red zone.

 I agree with Neil about the spread: this is going to be a very tough game for the Pats. If only the Steelers were playing as well in away games as they have in years past, I’d be even more conservative than Neil.

The Rodney Harrison reference is to something I said last week; I predicted he would be the weak link in the Pats inevitable loss this year. But I think he must have read what I said, because he was really instrumental in stepping it up against the Ravens last week. Though I agree with Neil: without Roosevelt Colvin, the Linebackers all of a sudden look as old and creaky as I am.

And about those hapless Lions? They’re now up 20-7 against the ‘Boys. 

  1. BayStateLibrul says:

    Our man Dan’s perfect prognosis…

    FOXBOROUGH – Secretariat at the Belmont was perfect. Don Larsen in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series was perfect. Bobby Orr on ice was perfect.
    more stories like thisA score of 2400 on the SAT exam. John Edwards’s hair. Halle Berry in “Die Another Day.” The final two minutes of “Jungleland.” The last paragraph of “The Great Gatsby.”

    All perfect.

    And now the Patriots are perfect. So far. And they are the biggest story in the NFL. Every day.

    [edited to meet fair use]

    New England finishes its regular season on a Saturday night after Christmas on the road against the Giants. Think there’s any chance they can lose to Eli Manning if they go into that game with a 15-0 record? Senator John Kerry already is lobbying to assure that the game (a dreaded NFL Network production) will be televised everywhere. He knows perfection when he sees it.

    We do, too.

    [edited for fair use]

    Shakespeare Sonnet XXIX. Super Bowl XXXVI.

    All perfect.

    And now the 2007 New England Patriots. Still looking for Future Perfect. Pats Perfect.

    • phred says:

      Hmm, you don’t think Dan’s comment that the Pats are the biggest story in the NFL every day is biased by his job at the Boston Globe at all, do you?

      • Neil says:

        Hmm, you don’t think Dan’s comment that the Pats are the biggest story…

        Dan Shaughnessy? He’ll write whatever sells papers. Larry Bird used to call him “scoop”. I’m not fond of his column.

        • Neil says:

          I like Bob Ryan’s writing very much. Have you read 48 Minutes: A Night in the life of the NBA. Great book. He’s a bit of a curmudgeon on teevee though.

          Some BC fans are pretty fanatical to the exclusion of other teams in the Bay State. And naturally those fans get sick of it. I went to the BC Wake Forest game in September. It was a good take.

          My friends’ dads coached football and wrestling at Umass when I was kid so I’m familiar with the programs. I especially enjoyed their success last year in football.

          I was a fan of the teams from the small college across town where I lived on the small street between Pratt Field and Alumni Gymnasium. Umass Hockey use to play their home gamnes at Orr Rick.

        • BayStateLibrul says:

          Great stuff. I haven’t read Ryan’s book on the NBA… but it looks like
          a great Christmas gift. I hung around Amherst for four years when Milt Morin and Greg Landry thrilled/charmed Alumni Stadium and when they were called the unpolitcally correct “Redmen”
          I’m an old dude but more liberal than 1969…

        • Neil says:

          48 Mins is about a 24 hour period before, during and after the Celtics, Cleveland Caveliers game in ‘81 I think. Ryan knows his basketball. I remember Milt Morin and Greg Landry. My best friend’s dad was the Umass Head Trainer. We’d go to practices and games together at Umass and Amherst. I was 9.

          Was it ‘70 when Umass hosted the Pats trainnig camp? I think so. We went and watched.

          I can remeber parades and the Umass Marching Band marching through downtown at homecoming. I remember bon fires and pep rallies Friday night. Those days are gone.

        • nomolos says:

          Was it ‘70 when Umass hosted the Pats trainnig camp? I think so. We went and watched.

          Covered the pats that summer (’70?) for Hartford Courant and some freelance.

          Lots of fun. Learned all about drinking tomato juice and beer love it still when I am hot and worn out.

        • BayStateLibrul says:

          “Greer is putting the ball in play. He gets it out deep and Havlicek steals it! Over to Sam Jones… Havlicek stole the ball! It’s all over… It’s all-l-l-l over!”

          Ryan’s best is basketball

          Missing Johnny the Most

        • dakine01 says:

          Ryan also tends to reply if you send him an email, whether you are complimenting him or disagreeing with him. I do like that.

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        Dan is definitely biased…
        but look at the bright side, he hates Schilling for
        his pomp and supporting McCain….
        I’d bet Dan is a Dem.
        Schilling is a great pitcher, but a shill for the Repugs.

  2. phred says:

    Oh sure, post NEIL’s comment… Harummppphhhh…

    So as to the Iron Man’s “shoulder”, it was his elbow. Apparently, they hit his funny bone in a way that has made a couple of the fingers in his throwing hand numb. The announcers said Brett’s doctors told him that it could be a couple of weeks yet before the numbness goes away.

  3. BayStateLibrul says:

    My prediction:

    Pats 35, Steelers 23
    (I’ve been drinking too many Corona’s)

    I wish Fitzy was flipping the coin

  4. emptywheel says:

    I hadn’t gotten down to yours yet when I posted his. Besides, he trashed my Rodney Harrison prediction last week, so I’ve got to admit publicly that after I trashed Harrison, he went on to do very well in the Baltimore game when it mattered.

    As to Favre–I’m just glad the streak is still alive. Wouldn’t want him to lose the streak for a silly thing like numb fingers… The man’s not going to be able to hold a spoon when he’s 55, though.

    • Neil says:

      As to Favre–I’m just glad the streak is still alive. Wouldn’t want him to lose the streak for a silly thing like numb fingers… The man’s not going to be able to hold a spoon when he’s 55, though.

      Hillarious! A trash-talking compliment of sorts. Who could disagree?

    • phred says:

      Ok, maybe I did start the trash talking — but you brought up football first ; )

      And yes EW, my psychic friend, I was doing my best to not sidetrack the thread with football in the hopes this thread would appear My, but you are popular over here — good for you, you deserve it!

  5. emptywheel says:


    Nah, you were trash talking my prediction on Harrison–at least that’s what I’m gonna argue for the sake of argument.

    Besides, phred had reason to believe this trash talking thread might appear, so she may have held her fire, whereas you didn’t.

    In any case, I see no one answered my question on the Colts Ravens game?

    • Neil says:

      Nah, you were trash talking my prediction on Harrison–at least that’s what I’m gonna argue for the sake of argument.

      For the sake of argument, I’ll agree but you know and I know that was just me taking you seriously and reflecting on your thesis. Anyway, I was gratified to see my comment in your post. Thank you.

      I can’t find your question on the Colts Raven’s game this thread or last. I’d love to see the Ravens kick the shyte out of them. I’ll read up and get back to you on that.

  6. Rayne says:

    Hapless they remain, those Lions. They are just plain lucky today.

    BTW, YumYum put up a link to the OLC decisions, many of which for 2007 have been redacted with pen. I noticed, though, that there might have been marginalia that was redacted, first by pen, then covered in some other fashion…unless somebody else thinks it’s just poor copying process. What say you folks?…..8-2007.pdf

  7. emptywheel says:

    Oh shit. I guess I only THOUGHT I put that in the post, but really didn’t. That’s about when mr. emptywheel was emailing me from teh office to ask whether I was watching the Lions.

    Rayne, I don’t think they’re lucky–they very often do well late in the season to piss other teams off. And while it won’t put the Packers even with the ‘Boys, it’ll at least get them close. Plus, then the ‘Boys can’t clinch ytet. They’re be luck, though, if Kitna doesn’t have a late fourth quarter meltdown and start throwing picks.

    • phred says:

      EW, the Lions (and Vikes) do well late in the season to blow their draft picks ; )

      But, I’m puzzled why you say why a Lions victory won’t put the Pack even with the Boys? In terms of home field advantage in the playoffs? ‘Cause assuming the Pack doesn’t blow their lead, their W-L records would once again align.

        • phred says:

          Yep. I was just trying to clarify what EW meant. But yes, absolutely unless the Boys manage to lose one more than the Pack, they get home field, which is bad for my Pack ’cause Brett has not done well historically in TX Stadium and sadly this kind of thing tends to crawl into his head (and consequently his throwing arm ; )

        • emptywheel says:

          Brett has not done well historically in TX Stadium

          Power of understatement. Though if you think about it, the superbowl will be worth that much more if Brett has to overcome his little issue with Texas Stadium. Kind of like beating that Pats did for the Colts last year.

        • phred says:

          Power of understatement.

          I was trying to be kind ; ) Now that you mention it, I don’t know if there are any other stadiums he has yet to win a game in. I’ll have to see if I can find out with that googly thing. I do know that once the curse was broken in the Metrodome (and that one lasted for years), he didn’t have any more trouble up there.

          And I agree with your Colts-Pats analogy. Same goes for Sox-Yankees. I find these superstitions in sports really interesting ’cause they seem quite real until the psychology of it snaps. Don’t get me wrong, I had them myself when I played and even as a fan I am careful to wear my Packer jersey and my green socks (can’t be too careful ; ) But I really thought you could see it all over Brett’s face in Dallas that he didn’t know whether he could win there. Fascinating.

        • emptywheel says:

          Yup, Sox-Yankees.

          Maybe someone else knows this. But I thought there was a stat a few weeks ago that showed that Brady has won in all the stadia and I THINK they said he was the only one. But that might just reflect Texas Stadium in Brett’s case.

        • phred says:

          Neil, I went to a tiny Div. III college, so the sports I played were all club sports, not varsity. That said I was on the soccer, swimming, and rugby teams (in order of fall, winter, spring). Of those I loved rugby best. As a Packer fan and a girl I was channeling my frustration in not being able to play football, I think ; ) I also played racquetball casually, which I loved, but my knees aren’t so good so I had to give that up along with the rugby in grad school. I played softball for awhile (pitcher, catcher, and 2nd — can’t throw for shit, I’m sorry to say ; )

          But I pined for a real sport, so a friend got me into rowing. And there I found my true love in sports. Better than rugby, better than weightlifting. Absolutely the finest athletic experience I have ever had. There is a real zen-like quality to rowing when you’re in an 8 and everything is moving smoothly. What I miss most was being on the Charles with Storrow Drive on one side, Memorial on the other, seeing the Citgo sign and the buildings of Boston and Cambridge all around you and all you would hear were the oars in the water and the creak of the oar locks and the seats moving in unison. It was heaven. Way better than a solid tackle.

          How ’bout you?

        • BooRadley says:

          Thanks phred. If you’re a Packer fan, I hope you get a chance to read Bob McGinn (Michigan grad) in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. If you want to know why the Packers won or lost, he’s the best.

  8. BooRadley says:

    Bingo on what a tremendous loss Roosevelt Colvin is.
    I give Belichick and Pioli tremendous credit for what they’ve done. They had to build around Brady. The problem is, it’s a finesse offense trying for homefield in Foxboro. Where was Randy Moss against Baltimore? The fact that NE only had to give up a D4 to get him, suggests that a lot of NFL GM’s were worried about how he’d play in the cold late in the season. Bitter cold and gusty winds, Foxboro in December and January is rarely ideal for the shotgun and five wides.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      The bottom line is that Brady has a horseshoe up his arse?
      I’m a firm believer in karma, and Brady is karma-laden…
      I would never bet against Brady…

      • BooRadley says:

        Bridget Moynahan bet on Tommy and lost. Also, I wasn’t dissing Tommy as a qb. Prior to this year he never had anywhere close to the quality of wide receivers that Harrison, Wayne, and Clark give Petyon.

        You might want to watch some of the hits that the Ravens put on Brady. That’s the weakness of the shot gun, it’s very difficult to move the pocket and the dlinemen have a lot less to worry about. Again, the shot-gun certainly fits NE’s talent, but it also points out the aptness of your point about not betting against Brady. If Brady gets hurt, the Pats aren’t even a .500 team.

  9. emptywheel says:

    Damn, I think I’ve had too much coffee today.

    Re: the Ravens/Colts. If the Ravens play like they did last week (and if Reed plays–he is questionable) that might well be a cracker of a game. And no, I wouldn’t be bummed if the Ravens won–they sure played well for half of last week’s game.

  10. annagranfors says:

    I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry to break into a thread like this, but obviously someone somewhere explained to you all how to get past the news that we effectively have no representation in government (see Marcy’s last thread) and just dig teh sports. could you explain it to me, please? because I tend to think that it’s the human ability to compartmentalize, to downshift and turn on the NFL, that kept us from developing the steam to run this corrupt administration out on a rail before they ever took office.

    and yes, there’s snark there, but I mean it. PLEASE ’splainy, even later, after the game. I’d love to know. I’d save SO much on Valium.

    • Neil says:

      Keeping balance in your life will help with all the things you find important. Read this, I found it illuminating with respect to your concern.

      • phred says:

        Neil — that link above doesn’t appear to be active.

        annagranfors — restoring our democracy will be an uphill slog. It won’t happen overnight, and I for one, need my little pleasures like following my Packers to maintain my sanity. An obsessive level of frustration will only hurt you. Keep up the good fight, but find your joys where you can. I like football, others like music, theater, dance, what have you. I like all of the above, but the magic of national sports is you can enjoy it long distance with friends and family.

    • emptywheel says:


      This blog is not FDL, it is emptywheel. Those of us who have been together for the last many months have regular football trash talk conversations, and it will continue here. It is part of our community.

      I virtually abstain from almost all other kinds of pop culture: TV, movies, music, etc. Football and a few more sports are my pop culture. So I would ask if you’re begrudging my one recreational fun when I work full time and more blogging to save our democracy the rest of the time?

    • selise says:

      not to worry. marcy has more steam in her little finger than most people see in their whole lives.

      also, i think the football trash talk helps recharge her batteries. but, i could be wrong that… although i read through most of the threads, i really have no idea what they are talking about when the topic turns to football. *g*

      • phred says:

        selise — next time we get together at a sports bar during the football season, we’ll leave the sound up and we’ll get you up to speed so you can follow along better ; )

        • BlueStateRedHead says:

          To illustrate just how ignorant an intelligent person can be about football, I once asked: you keep talking about four downs, which one of all those lines is a down and how can there be only four?

          I was such an embarrassment that the junior BlueStateRedHead declared that I was forbidden to watch fourth quarters of the any Pats games until we won the Superbowl.

          Which we promptly did. And then went out and read Football for dummies.
          And they promptly lost the Superbowl.

          Pats were apparently better off when I was an ignoramus. There’s still hope. I am still ignorant enough (or forgotten enough of Football for dummies) to have asked just a few days ago is a safety a person or a point?

          Seriously. Football is one place in this country where everyone wants to be not the fastest or the biggest or the toughest kid in the classroom but the smartest.

        • selise says:

          thanks! that sounds like fun… it’s great to have such nice tutors. but, it’s also kinda fun to just get the vicarious enjoyment of watching you-all get into to it. (and i confess to being an ex-basketball fan… my mom hooked me in ‘85 & ‘86 by taking me to see the celtics play in the old boston garden. then when i moved to CA i bought a season ticket to the golden state warriors. moving to dallas in the ’90s and going to grad school eventually made me realize i didn’t have the $, the time or the brain cells to devote to it anymore. but probably more than anything it was the lack of other fans to enjoy the games with.

        • Neil says:


          IT’S TIME to renew your Celtics fanaticism. They are good, probably really good, and you haven’t missed a thing since ‘86. They’re in Sacreamento this month on the 26th. You won’t regret it.

        • BooRadley says:

          Condolences selise.
          OT, about the Celtics, long before anyone else in the NBA ever thought about it, Auerbach made Bill Russell the Celtic’s coach, 1966. It’s comparable imvho to what Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson did.

        • dakine01 says:

          Red also drafted the first black player and was the first coach to start five blacks. All Red ever wanted to do was find the best players and win.

        • Neil says:

          Auerbach made Bill Russell the Celtic’s coach, 1966.

          Yeah Boo, Auerbach knew the only one who could motivate Russell was Russell.

          I saw Red’s statue at Faneuil Hall Friday near King Fish. It’s a wonderful tribute. Saturday, I went to Brandeis to watch the Judges play and beat the Jeffs of Amherst in Men’s Basketball. The Jeffs are last year’s defending NCAA national champions. The basketball floor is named after Red. I’m sure he donated some cash, the Celts used to practice there before they built their own facility in Waltham.

          Brady to Moss – TOUCHDOWN! Where are those Pittsburgh safeties?

        • Neil says:

          ah, but now i’m back in MA and my mom is gone…

          Sorry to hear about your mom. Have you watched the Celts on Comcast? It’s exciting basketball. Unlike many NBA teams, the Celtics play hard all four quarters.

        • selise says:

          Have you watched the Celts on Comcast?

          no, i don’t have cable tv. although i’m thinking about it… for the c-span channels *g*

          charter has a deal going on now (probably because of the writer’s strike) – 12 months at $40/mo for internet, voip and basic cable tv. sounds too good to be true.

    • BooRadley says:

      European American women didn’t have a shot at representation in government until 1919. African Americans had almost no access to the vote until the 1960’s. A lot of us have known for quite some time from emptywheel and Jane how perilous our political situation is. Everyone deserves a break, it doesn’t have to be football.

      When Cheney shot Harry in the face, I had no idea how many hunters we had at FDL. For days afterwards the best place to find out about what kind of gun Dick used, bird shot, hunting safety, spray patterns, shot load, lethal distance,… .

      IMVHO, watching football/basketball is a great break. Lots of studies confirm much better soldiers fight when they are given breaks.

      OT, a lot of topics here, the best I can do is read and learn, because of all the great commenters. A football thread, I actually have something to offer that others might find marginally helpful, entertaining.

      OT, traffic is what drives advertising revenue, which is what pays emptywheel, Jane, TBogg, and everyone else. So these threads contribute to the bottom line.

  11. emptywheel says:

    Right. But the ‘Boys will have the win over the Packers. So the ‘Boys will need to lose one more for the Packers to get home field.

    Trust me, I’d love to see some meaningful playoff games in Lambeau.

  12. ratbastahd says:

    anna, I think it’s cuz we’re human, ya know fallible and imperfect. We all need to escape in some way, shape or form. It’s like Happy Hour on Fri. afternoons, I just NEED it!

    Lions will find a way to blow this lead, just you watch. phred, Pack won’t be even with the Boys, cuz they lost to them, so they need to finish a game ahead to get home field, a tie goes to the hated Cowboys.

  13. annagranfors says:

    Marcy, no, of course I’m not begrudging you that. (and I realize that you’re on Seder’s show in not too long, too.) that’s why I said to feel free to explain post-game.

    I really am simply wondering if it’s the compartmentalization that we all need (I spent three hours watching The Mighty Boosh last night, and trying not to think of The Evil Boosh at all) that has kept us from going to the streets, a la a French general strike. it’s more just a query along the lines of recent posts everywhere that bemoan the endless stream of outrages that, in the end, go nowhere.

    see, it’s that damned Suskind quote that keeps coming back to me. whether it’s apochryphal or not, we all feel the truth therein: “And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    and Neil, thanks for the link, but it’s not working. (and thanks, ALL, for your comments.)

    • emptywheel says:

      Also, I suspect at least 3 of us on this thread are NOT properly compartmentalizing their lives, in that they’re watching football and engaging in both this and the thread on Pelosi. And yes, I’m prepping for Seder’s show.

      I’m multi-tasking. I don’t get into full compartmentalization until the Pats come on, and I’m going to have to miss an hour of that for Seder.

  14. Neil says:

    Few people are talking about what the Colts can do because we know what they can do. The question is what the Ravens can do. Here’s an edited (pared down) scouting report from Ravesn24× by A Wilson.

    The Colts are favored by 10.

    Context – The Ravens

    One week removed from an extremely emotional loss to the undefeated New England Patriots that ended in controversial fashion with the Ravens complaining about several officiating decisions, last year’s AFC North champions have to summon their intensity again in another high-profile encounter against a heavily-favored team. The defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts (10-2) are in town tonight at M&T Bank Stadium after dismissing Baltimore (4-8) from the postseason last January in a defeat that broke the city’s heart and probably closed the Ravens’ window to win another Vince Lombardi title. Now, the Ravens have to put aside their dispute with the officials that ended with a total of $70,000 in fines assessed to linebacker Bart Scott, cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle and wide receiver Derrick Mason. Easier said than done, though. Although the Ravens have insisted all week that the revenge factor is overrated, they’ll need something extra to manufacture an upset against yet another formidable opponent.

    Containing Peyton Manning

    Manning is the consummate professional, blending intelligence with arm strength, accuracy and the rare ability to call his own shots at the line. Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan changed tactics against Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, using less aggressive blitzing tendencies and playing sounder coverage than the team did against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger earlier this season. Manning has completed 125 of 199 passes for 1,454 yards with nine touchdown passes, three interceptions and a 93.7 quarterback rating during six regular-season meetings with the Ravens. However, the Ravens contained him during a 15-6 AFC divisional playoff loss last January. He completed just 15 of 30 passes for 170 yards with two interceptions and a 39.6 quarterback rating. Expect the Ravens to try to go after Manning a little more than they did against Brady, who has superior mobility to the Colts’ classic pocket quarterback. There’s little they can show him in coverage that he hasn’t seen, though. One thing working in the Ravens’ favor is a knee injury that will likely keep wide receiver Marvin Harrison out. Still, Manning has wide receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark as more than viable downfield targets.

    Willis McGahee impressive performance

    The Colts’ have a smallish front seven and have proved vulnerable against the run, setting things up well for McGahee to try to control the game again as he did a week ago with a season-high 138 yards on 30 carries. The key to running on the Colts is winning the physical matchup with hard-hitting Colts safety Bob “The Eraser” Sanders, a strong presence in run support.

    McAlister’s knee

    McAlister is expected to be a game-time decision after resting his knee all week. He’s listed as questionable. If he plays, he might need double-team assistance from safety Ed Reed over the top if he’s paired against Wayne, one of the league’s top deep threats.

  15. Richmond says:

    annagranfors@41. I’m a multi-tasker (like many here I bet), right now I’m watching FB, checking out the web, and evaluating applications for a nat’l fellowship (my prize for each one completed application is a glimpse here).

    My sense of the problem you bring up vis-a-vis the political disconnect is that more and more families are having one or more adults working 2 plus jobs just to make ends meet, feeling great anxiety about rising costs across the board, healthcare, and finding a way to pay kids’ college tuition etc. Those concerns eat away at one’s ability to move constructively on political issues.

  16. nomolos says:

    If those darn Chargers tie this thing up and consequently delays the real game of the day I will be a might pi**ed.

  17. emptywheel says:


    Well, let’s see whether Romo really is the latter day incarnation of Favre…

    phred is another of the phemale retired ruggers around these parts.

  18. bmaz says:

    How bout them Cowboys! Looks like “Ten Win Kitna” learned his math from KKKarl Rover.

    Looks like the Bolts zapped the Titans late to send into overtime. That must compound EW’s multitasking slightly…

    • phred says:

      I don’t know about MI, but it’s on here. Go Steelers! Can’t help myself, where would the talk be without the trash?

  19. Muzzy says:

    This game is a real gut check for the Pats. One close one against Philly is meaningless, two in a row after Baltimore makes you wonder and probably has the the players’ attention. Three in a row could signify some real vulnerability. I don’t gamble, but I convo I had at a b-day party last night had me feeling the Pats would win by more than 10.5 simply because the Pats have got to be feeling they need to do more than get by.

    Steelers are pounding away though.

  20. PetePierce says:

    Not to put a damper on the legend of Tony Romo to Whitten undefeated to win the NFC East 27-26 @ 12-1, or the Pats quest to remain undefeated. Not to bring law into football, but tomorrow I hope Vick gets the max from Henry Hudson for serially murdering dogs. I ‘m almost always defense oriented, but not this time.

    I don’t see it as a “little mistake to get past” the way many people do.

    • bmaz says:

      I dunno. I think that whatever sentence Vick is given by the court has to be pardoned (commuted) by Bush immediately. Commander Guy has decidered; no crime analogous to, or lesser than, perjury and obstruction of justice merits actually serving time in incarceration. I mean, we do want to be consistent don’t we?

      • PetePierce says:

        I dunno. I think that whatever sentence Vick is given by the court has to be pardoned (commuted) by Bush immediately. Commander Guy has decidered; no crime analogous to, or lesser than, perjury and obstruction of justice merits actually serving time in incarceration. I mean, we do want to be consistent don’t we?

        LOL–nothing Commander Codpiece could do would surprise me Bmaz.

  21. Neil says:

    Boys win in a great comeback.

    San Diego ties it up and CBS4 cuts to commercials and segs to the pre-game Patriots show. (Chargers won it in OT!)

    BayStateLibrul – Did you watch the Celtics on TV, turn down the sound and listen to the Johnny Most broadcast? He was such a homer and we loved him for it. “It’s rock fight! McFilthy and McNasty (Pistons Forwards) are out there sucker punching the…”

    Phred – you make me wish I had taken up rowing. I used to live on Clarendon Street. I loved to run along the Charles on the Esplanade and Memorial Drive. In my school days I played football, wrestled and lacrosse. I was more skilled at the first two than the spring sport so I played defense in lax in college. While I gave up wrestling freshman year in college, I played four years of football and lacrosse. I too went to a small D3 school. I needed to find a new sport when I graduated so I took up basketball and I love it still. My desire to compete, my enjoyment of basketball, gets me to the gym four or five times a week to train my cardiovascular capacity, otherwise, there would be no way I could still play. Use it or lose it.

    Ok, the Pats game needs my undivided attention, except if Emptywheel is on Sam Seder live and I won’t be able to catch it on podcast later. Anyone know?

        • phred says:

          You’re welcome — I’m trying not to be too pleased with myself (h/t of course to EW )

          With regards to the rowing, alas no. I have an awful commute these days, puts a real crimp in engaging in hobbies. I sure miss it though. I’m envious of your time on Clarendon and the handy access to the Esplanade. We’re not far, but I would either have to drive or take the T to get there. I could bike, but by the time I made it over that way, it would be time to turn around and head home again. Still, we’ve got some nice places to bike over this way, so I can’t complain. But I do miss the rowing…

  22. emptywheel says:


    I’m fairly sure Sam’s always available later on podcast. So you go make sure the Pats have three times this lead by the time and I’ll go do Sam’s show try and raise hell on Sam’s show.

    • Neil says:

      I’m fairly sure Sam’s always available later on podcast. So you go make sure the Pats have three times this lead by the time and I’ll go do Sam’s show try and raise hell on Sam’s show.

      Will do. If the Pats defense can keep hammering Big Ben we’ll be in good shape… the Pats offense is moving the ball today!

  23. Muzzy says:

    That 10.5 over feeling I had last night is starting to look good. Of course, if I were an actual gambler, it would ruin my juju

  24. emptywheel says:

    Neil, our deal is that you make sure there’s 3X the lead that they have when I go on the air, okay? So starting in about 10 minutes.

    I don’t want another one of these close games.

    • Neil says:

      Neil, our deal is that you make sure there’s 3X the lead that they have when I go on the air, okay? So starting in about 10 minutes.

      G-damn. Hobbs just got beat on the deep route. And Big Ben made a great move in the pocket to buy himself the time he needed.

      I hope I don’t let you down. Belichik stopped taking my calls when he learned I was from Amherst.

      Knock ‘em dead on Seder. I’ll do my best, you know that.

      • phred says:

        OK, time to fess up… Mr. phred grew up near Pittsburgh and is cheering his Steelers in person even as I type. As a kid watching football in the ’70s the Steelers were a joy to watch. Plus, I thought their helmets were cool. So, they have always been my second favorite team. Sorry Neil, I can’t help myself. Besides, saying “I like Bill Cowher” is one of the surest ways I know to ignite righteous indignation with my rabid Patriot fan chums at work. Like I said, my commute cuts into my time for hobbies, gotta amuse myself these days as best I can ; )

  25. BooRadley says:

    Steelers learned from the Ravens, if Belichick wants Brady in the shot gun, the Steelers are coming after him.

  26. Neil says:

    I heart Williams Gay.

    Who was asking about the lucky horseshoe? A short, shanked, shitty punt hits Steeler’s player Williams Gay on the shin. PATS RECOVER on the 30yrdlne.

    WooHoo! Go Steelers Patriots.

    Ask youself the question, How would a Patriot Act?

  27. Neil says:

    Steelers stuff the Pats on the “drive”, 3 downs 4 yards and FG attempt, No good wide right. Where’s that lucky horsehoe?

        • phred says:

          Missed it Neil — did they try? I popped over to Crooks and Liars during the commercial break and caught the clip of Howie Long’s assinine remark about Gore, so miseed the kick. Clearly, it did not succeed…

        • phred says:

          Yep, that Howie. Made a dumb remark along the lines of Bill Martz still thinks he’s head coach just like Al Gore still thinks he President. C&L is hoping that will make Howie KO’s WPITW tonight, but we’ll see…

        • Neil says:

          FG is better than zip but it’s frusrtating (to Pats fans) when they move the ball 60 yards with ease and then can’t punch it in for 6 plus PAT.

        • bmaz says:

          I am certain you can literally feel the empathy and sympathy flowing toward all you “frustrated Pats fans”. Gosh, you didn’t draw another CFL team like the Dolphins this week so you could shamelessly run up the score again. How tragic. Heh heh heh……

  28. BayStateLibrul says:

    Half-time. Time to kick Bush’s arse…
    Please God, have AG release docs to Henry the Wax… (he will
    treat him with respect)

  29. Richmond says:

    Nailbiter at Foxborough. On Sam Seder, what in heavens name can we do about that IDIOT Lionel at Air American? I can’t stand him.

  30. Neil says:

    If Seder is over in 15 and halftime is too, I’m already sunk. BUT I care more about the victory than the Pats = 3xSteelers challenge with which EW charged me. I do hate no being able to hold up my end, especially for EW who I admire but I don’t know what else I could have done.

  31. emptywheel says:

    I’m back!!

    It’s okay Neil–the Steelers match up superbly against the PAts, so I’m happy they have a lead at the half–sounds like they’ve been playing better than tehy were the lat two weeks and I intend to go give them some luck.

    Oh, and now that I’m off the air–it’s beer thirty.

    • phred says:

      Enjoy your Beamish, EW. By the way, Mr. phred just called from the swanky seats (club level, is that what they are called?) on the 20 yard line. He’s having a great time and wishes you (though not necessarily your team) well : )

  32. phred says:

    Nice job on the Seder show EW, I liked the last bit especially!

    Neil, we can all attest to you holding up your end. I just think Brady needs to get that lucky wedgie squared away ; )

  33. ProfessorFoland says:

    I have the slightly unfair advantage of knowing the halftime score, but 10 seems only a little high for the Patriots-Steelers; I might have made it 7. Outdoor stadiums after the twelfth week, on average, give an advantage of about 4 points agianst other outdoor teams. I think the Pats are about 3 points better than the Steelers on a neutral field.

    Remember, the 16th Pats game (vs. the Giants) is only on NFL Network…

  34. emptywheel says:


    Man, you and phred should make plans to watch football together some time. The wonk factor would be pretty high!! A bunch of scientists quantifying their football.


    As for mr. phred, I hope he’s enjoying himself. Like i said (or maybe I thought I did), I have a ton of respect for the Steelers. I really want the Pats to win, but I do like the Steelers to do well. Only not too well today.

    I think bmaz is just grumpy, btw, because college football is on a hold and he’s back to watching the Cardinals. Who aren’t doing quite as well as the Lions in a predictable loss.

    • ProfessorFoland says:

      I had a grand scheme for generating football Monte Carlo simulations from my statistical work in grad school; had good dry-run results with it for a year. The year I was going to go live with it was preempted by the birth of my first, and I never got back to doing it seriously. But yes, I do have a Perl script for reading NFL play-by-play logs…

      And all that said, seeing that I would have given as few as 7 points, the second half shows why you might not want to pay too much attention to my wonkery about football

      • phred says:

        Clearly EW has overestimated my wonkeriness. I must defer to you Professor, I always considered Monte Carlo simulations to be a rare form of torture inflicted on graduate students ; ) Although, I suppose I ought not to joke about such things these days.

  35. emptywheel says:

    Oh, and btw, phred. It’s not Beamish today. It’s Sundog, the amber from Holland Brewery here in MI. It’s the oddest thing–Holland is a town full of Dutch reform Christian conservatives. But it’s got one of the three best breeweries in the state. Their Mad Hatter is one of the best IPAs in the country, IMO.

    • phred says:

      Actually, that doesn’t surprise me too much. A town in WI is defined by an intersection with a gas station on one corner, a church on another, and a bar on the third — the fourth corner is what makes each town distinctive ; ) I’ve had the Mad Hatter and I agree it is quite good. Have you tried any of the Wolaver (VT) organic beers? The oatmeal stout is very nice.

      Neil, it’s not lookin’ good for the Steelers is it? The Pats have enough of a lead they should be able to mix it up pretty well without having to rely on the long ball.

      And lectriclady, good point about Romo — I always forget that redeeming trait of his. I guess I should ease up on my dislike for the ‘Boys. I heard during the game last week that Romo can’t get any of his high school chums to become Cowboy fans — not a huge surprise.

  36. Neil says:

    the steelers must regroup. the brady to moss to brady to gaffney took the starch out of ‘em. the pats have beat the steelers safeties TWICE on the long ball. first was was a pass to moss and long YAC. think they’ve learned yet or will they continue to gamble the game on it?

  37. Muzzy says:

    pardon my eavesdropping, ew, but I’m hoppy to hear you are fan of IPA’s. Being out here in portland, we have an an embarrassment of riches when it comes to tasty brews. In fact, we’re about to head over to a Colgate alumni holiday party (my other’s alma mater) hosted by a man who is a bonafide master brewer here in town. Every year he treats us to his craft.

  38. lectriclady says:

    How bout dem Packers? Whoohoo! What a sad lost for the Lions. There is only one good thing about the Cowboys… their QB is a Born and Raised Wisconsin boy.

  39. bmaz says:

    Oh, I am just jiving you guys. I was actually hoping the Lions would keep their newfound momentum going this year (as long as they didn’t catch the Pack). I admire, respect and like the Pats too; although I am a Rothlisberger fan. I do like seeing teh Pats be played tougher and closer as they have been the last few weeks. The end of the college football season did take a bit of wind out of my sails. Being present on Thanksgiving night for the wholesale drubbing USC administered to ASU was a bit of a downer. If ASU had been able to pass protect that night, we would be playing in the BCS title game; instead, thanks to freaking Hawaii (a great and totally cool story this year I might add, but wish it had not come at the expense of the Sun Devils), 10-2 ASU doesn’t even get a BCS bowl game and has to settle for the Holiday Bowl. The Cardinals don’t particularly affect me one way or the other; if they do well (thats a big if; we have not actually ever encountered such a situation of them doing well during the 20+ years they have been in Arizona) I’ll watch and go to a game, but otherwise don’t care about them. The Pack and the Broncos are my teams for pro football. Holland Michigan – that was the original home of the Squirt Beverage and Bottling Company. My mother was their head chemist back in the 50s.

      • bmaz says:

        No, she left the company in 1959 when my father was ill; being born in 57, I was only 2 at the time. I know that she was in Holland a lot, but there were two company lead chemist, one in Holland, one in Glendale/Phoenix, which is where the west coast operation for the company was. But we always had a lot of Squirt, a pretty good soft drink I might say….

        • phred says:

          bmaz –indeed, the hubby likes it best with Don Julio tequila. I like it best just plain.

          Neil, what ARE you talking about, some of us have moved on to other things… ; )

  40. Neil says:

    how about this long time-consuming Pats drive, not with the running game but with the passing game! If you complete the passes, the clock keeps ticking. Big Ben and the offense cant get their rythm back if they’re sitting on the sidelines.

  41. emptywheel says:

    Muzzy, oh yes, that’s my normal beer of choice.

    Unless, of course, our troll puts phred and I onto Beamish. Then it’s Beamish, and a toast to Jodi.

  42. lectriclady says:


    Folks in that part of SE Wisconsin always hope that Romo has a great game, but that victory will be just snatched out of the Cowboy’s hand. Didn’t quite work today

  43. Neil says:

    The Pats will be able to pass short all day long unless the Steelers change the defensive strategy. If the Steelers start to cheat with their safeties then the Pats’ll go long.

    Defense, defense!

  44. Neil says:

    ew, we had a toast at DKE which I’m trying to remember. If I do, I’ll join you in a toast to Jodidog-the real Jodi with the funny moniker.

  45. emptywheel says:


    I gotta say, the best thing I did was question Harrison’s manhood. Challenges like that tend to bring out the best in ‘roid users, I think.

    • Neil says:

      Challenges like that tend to bring out the best in ‘roid users, I think.

      You’re right to call him out for that. I haven’t seen him play this well since last season.

  46. Neil says:

    bmaz, I loved Squirt. It was so much better than Sprite or Fresca although I rather liked Fresca too, except the cyclamates.

  47. phred says:

    Ummm, bmaz, not sure if you’re watching the Pats, but it’s starting to look like another blowout shaping up. Someone is not going to be happy…

  48. Neil says:


    My grandfather was a chemist at DuPont. He had a patent for co-inventing a color-fast red and maroon paint for cars. Naturally, he bought a maroon oldsmobile 4 door sedan with a huge engine that was given to my oldest sister when pop-pop got a new car. The oldest sister didn’t use it – she didn’t have a license – but I did, not with anyone’s permission of course.

  49. Neil says:

    Moss better get his shyte together. That’s at least three drops in two weeks. Some Sunday between now and the Super Bowl one the Pats will need those points to win.

    • selise says:

      jeeze… i suck with the patience thing. already waiting for tomorrow when we get to read marcy’s take on senator whitehouse’s friday statement. now i have to wait until next week for the weed money story?

        • lectriclady says:

          “Me too. I’m still waiting for Fitz to indict Rove.”

          But not until after the Pats/Steelers game.

        • Neil says:

          “Me too. I’m still waiting for Fitz to indict Rove.”

          But not until after the Pats/Steelers game.

          OK, It’s over, shoot!

      • Neil says:

        now i have to wait until next week for the weed money story?


        EW does know how to keep us coming back for more, n’est pas?

  50. bmaz says:

    Neil and Phred, Squirt is still very good; although it is not the old Squirt that my mother helped perfect. The original formula for Squirt had grapefruit pulp in it; which early on, made it somewhat unstable and subject to spoilage (which is why a small beverage maker like Squirt had a separate west coast plant; to keep fresh product on the shelves on both ends of the country). They drafted my mom from some high tech wing of Dupont after the war in order to figure out how to make the formula stable without altering the taste, which they had been trying to do unsuccessfully for some time. She and the lead guy in Holland solved the problem and life was groovy for Squirt for many, many years until they sold out to 7-Up. 7-Up determined the pulp formulation too cost expensive to produce and went to a pulpless formula that is still the formula today. It does not have quite the exquisite taste of the original pulp formula, but it is pretty close and still very good.

    Hey Neil, was about to hit the post button when I saw your bit about your father. Wow, I wonder if they knew each other? Probably not, my mom was in some specialized war material program (secret at the time, but turned out to be the containment insulation/building material for the containment facility where Fat Man and Little Boy were assembled) but who knows….

    • phred says:

      Why is it companies just cannot leave well enough alone? I used to be so enamored of Tang I had to have a glass before agreeing to go to bed when I was a kid. They changed the formula though, and I never liked it after that. I gotta say bmaz, your Mom sounds remarkable — just like her son : )

    • Neil says:

      was about to hit the post button when I saw your bit about your father

      My mom’s dad was the DuPont chemist. Mom moved to Wilmington DE when her father started at DuPont during her high school years, probable about ‘44-’48. He probably retired around ‘65. I don’t know when he and the German chemist made the breakthrough. I’m gueessing the food scientists and the pigment chemists didn’t share a lab but that doesn’t mean they didn’t know each other.

  51. Richmond says:

    TPM has it that perhaps NONE of the rethug candidates will make it through to become the nominee leaving open the possibility of a dark horse -Jeb, Cheney, Newt?

  52. phred says:

    EW — thanks for the football trashtalk thread! I’ll try not to get so carried away next week, but what can I say a Packer, Pats v. Steelers doubleheader brings out my worst ; )

  53. bmaz says:

    I would like to congratulate Neil for his efforts in insuring that the lead was eventually tripled per EW’s request. Its hard work, but someone has to do it….

      • CTuttle says:

        Next, I’d like to live blog a Red Sox/Yankee hookup

        The Rivalry! Tho, I’ve been to Fenway, I’ve never been fortunate enough to see the Evil Empire play… Go BoSox! I was pleased to see my Broncos had stopped SD’s chance to clinch a berth…

  54. Neil says:

    You guys made that a lot of fun. Many Thx!

    Anybody staying up late to watch the Ravens Colts?

    Count me in for the RED SOX versus YANKEES (”Jan-Kaas” as in Jan Cheese, a derogatory ethnic slur the British settlers had for the Dutch who came before them in Manhattan.) Ironic, isn’t it?

    I knew the Dutch invented bowling and billiards – there’s was one of the first societies with sufficient wealth to support a leisure time innovations, but I didn’t know they had anything to do with baseball (and I still don’t know whether they did). Abner Doubleday wasn’t Dutch, was he? His name wasn’t Albrecht Van DoubleVay before he arrived on Ellis Island, was it?

    • phred says:

      I’m in for the Sox-Yanks.

      CTuttle, I hope you get to a Yankee game in Fenway, it’s a lot of fun.

      Neil, I’ll have the game on tonight, but probably won’t stick around until the end… I’m just a fair weather football fan I guess ; )

  55. ProfessorFoland says:

    I don’t think Don Shula can expect this year’s edition of the Dolphins to do for him what the ‘85 ones did…I think he’s becoming a big Eli Manning fan right about now.

    • Neil says:

      I don’t think Don Shula can expect this year’s edition of the Dolphins to do for him what the ‘85 ones did

      The ‘72 Dolphins did not lose. I’m sure that’s what you mean, yes?

    • Leen says:

      It is really something how folks are trying to lay the blame of the false pre-war intelligence on “Curveball”. As if one individual could have forced Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, John Bolton, Liv Wurmser John Hannah, Cheney, Cambone etc to believe the lies that they had all ready been disseminating.

      Yeah right it’s all Curveballs fault. More like it was the “cakewalk in Iraq” Screwballs that lied our nation into an unnecessary and immoral war.

    • bmaz says:

      Neil – No, he was referring to the 85 Dolphins beating the Bears that year. It was the only loss the Bears suffered in their SuperBowl championship season, thus preserving the 72 Fins as the only unbeaten team in the modern age.

  56. radiofreewill says:

    The ‘trend’ seems to be: Moving previously ’secret’ meetings and agreements into the open, such as the NIE, the Torture Tapes and…dare we say – the Hospital Visit?

    Wouldn’t Whitehouse’s speech on Bush’s ridiculous claim to UE Super-Powers, his Above-the-Law-ness, call for more ‘clarity’ in the Power struggle at the Hospital that night?

    What are the chances that the ‘document’ Gonzo had with him was merely a token of a Power relationship, the very nature of which Comey, et al, objected to, and threatened resignation en masse? What might have been the structure of that Power relationship, so object to?

    From Bush’s – as Whitehouse saw it – point of view, it went like this:

    1 – Do as I say, not as I do
    2 – What I say Goes
    3 – No Back-talk

    The problem with the ‘document’ was very likely that it was less a legal ‘certification’ of Bush’s Program, and more a fielty ‘enablement’ of Bush’s ‘royalty’ status – and Comey, as well as most of the Senior DoJ Staff, had finally surmounted the ‘compartmentalization’ scheme to the point where they decided they were ‘No Longer going to Kiss Bush’s Ring,’ anymore.

    Now that Sheldon’s seen the ‘legal’ reasoning behind Bush’s Power-Grab, why not now reveal if that is what Comey, Goldsmith and crew were ‘confronting’ Bush over?

  57. Leen says:

    Scarecrow hits the nail on the head this morning!…..estigative

    Pelosi should call their bluff, someone is trying to take her out. What is with all of this effort to make Harman who was under investigation come out smelling like a rose? Has this investigation of Harman been dropped?…..01446.html

    As Christy would, e-mail, visit your reps about this critical
    issue, the NIE report etc etc.

  58. radiofreewill says:

    If it’s true that Bush ‘out-sourced’ his Torture to Syria and other Countries – then, how Ironic would it be if the evidence against he and Cheney and Rumsfeld at the World Court included a Bush-ordered Syrian-made Torture-tape that showed the War Crime of Waterboarding AND included the detailed confession of Saudi and Pakistani involvment in 911?

  59. bmaz says:

    Pardon me, but which football or other sports teams and leagues do the last two comments pertain to? My god humans, do you have no sanctity for that which is sacred? The almighty football gods have duly noticed these infractions…..