emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread – Wildcard Weekend Edition

At long last, the playoffs are upon us. Well, the playoffs are upon us for the NFL anyway; there are still no playoffs for major college football, so we will once again have to settle for a BCS title game with arguably the wrong participants.

Saturday’s Games
Skins at Seahawks – In the their last 26 games at home, Seattle is 22-4. Qwest field is as loud and disruptive an environment as any out there, if not more so. Hasselbeck and Alexander have been playing very well of late (and hey, Hasselbeck’s brain dead sister in law is returning to The View! It must be a sign!). This one seems pretty cut and dried. So I’ll take the Skins in another upset. Joe Gibbs has an even better playoff pedigree than Mike Holmgren and the Skins are really playing as a dedicated team in the aftermath of the tragic murder of Sean Taylor. And Gibbs has a history of playoff runs with quarterbacks pressed into duty out of the dust bin. Todd Collins fits the mold perfectly and Clinton Portis appears healthy.

Jags at Stillers – I don’t know what to make of this one. EW has been riding with the smart money lately on the Jags and they are solid in all aspects of the game. There is something about Rothlisberger that I am always hesitant to bet against; he is one tough kid and a hell of a leader considering how young he is. The absence of Willie Parker is brutal though; the Jags don’t have to worry about breakaway speed from the running game and Rothlisberger’s ability to run play action is hurt. That is the difference; Jags win.

Sunday’s Games
Giants at Buccos – Will Eli be as reliable as one of those Citizen EcoDrive watches? Can the Bucs keep Jeff Garcia protected from the Giants rush? I have no idea on this one; both teams seem flaky to me.

Titans at Bolts – This would a no brainer if we were not talking about the Chargers and Norv Turner. I firmly believe that history has definite patterns and sage lessons to teach, and the history in this regard for the Bolts and Turner is bleak. Vince Young sure isn’t going to be mistaken for Joe Montana any time soon for the beauty and art of his quarterbacking. But he is clearly a winner; and Jeff Fisher knows how to coach em up. Got to go with the Bolts because they are just flat out a way better team; but, man, there is a queasy feeling that comes with that pick.

Big Games That Are Not Playoffs
The Ohio State University versus Louisiana State. BCS Number 1 against BCS Number Two. I guess. Personally, I don’t think either one of these two teams could give USC a good game; but, as Les Miles so eloquently argued, LSU is unbeaten in regulation. So was Al Gore; how did that work out? Both of these teams are very good and well coached. They both unquestionably deserve to be in BCS bowl games. It doesn’t really matter, at this point, if they truly belong in the title game or not, because they are in it. I am rooting for Ohio State because I promised KLynn I would; and I shall do so with enthusiasm. Fret not, when the Aspens start turning next fall, I will be back to my usual blood lust for the Big-10 and the universe will return to it’s normal harmonic balance. How bout them Buckeyes!

I am thinking you folks may have some opinions on all this. Do tell.

296 replies
    • parbuster says:

      You’re feeling my pain, ain’tcha, Marcy? However, excepting last year’s el-foldo against the hated Patriots, The Bolts play pretty well at the Murph. If they don the powder blues, the Titans don’t stand a chance, Norvel Turner notwithstanding.

      GO BOLTS!

  1. klynn says:

    Aw-shucks bmaz. Many thanks for keeping the promise. Aspens turning? I’m speechless…

    My family thanks you too btw!

  2. nonplussed says:

    CT, after the last few days, your credibility as a pigskin prognosticator has been *ahem* somewhat compromised…

      • nonplussed says:

        Never one to pass up the gratuitous cheap shot *G* I was doing pretty good until I picked Oklahoma, which is what a Longhorn deserves for choosing the enemy! I actually have friends who refuse to drive through the Sooner State. I may now become one of them…

  3. Mauimom says:

    Hasselbeck’s brain dead sister in law is returning to The View!

    Whew, lucky for the QB: I thought that was his wife.

    Nonetheless, I’m rooting for the Skins.

  4. Mauimom says:

    I don’t think either one of these two teams could give USC a good game

    Oh, thank you, bmaz!!

    Husband went to OSU; son goes to USC. Fortunately they’re not meeting on 1/7. However, they’re on each other’s schedules for the next two years. Should be interesting. [2008 game is in LA]

  5. phred says:

    Skins, Jags (sorry Mr. p, but the Steelers have been kinda unreliable lately), Giants, and Bolts. I agree that both of the last two are too flaky to count on.

    I have an old friend at LSU, so I have to go with them (but I’ll cheer a bit for OSU on your behalf klynn).

    Glad the Pack has a bye this week, still I’ll be pining for them… Go Pack! : )

  6. MsAnnaNOLA says:

    LSU! LSU! LSU!

    Sorry folks, got to root for the home team.

    Oh wait, didn’t USC loose to like Stanford?

    Sorry had to put it out there Marcy.

    This is the football trash talk thread after all.

    Thanks for the blog. Keep up the good work.

  7. emptywheel says:

    I’m with phred on all her pro picks save the Giants (sorry to mr. phred too–maybe if you had “Fast Willy”). But I gotta root for the Big Ten. klynn promised me there were folks in the teevee stores rooting for the Wolverines the other day, so I have to return the favor.

    My favorite stat for this weekend (because, with the exception of the Washington West v. Washington East game, I worry these won’t be too scintillating) is that neither the Bucs nor the Giants have won a playoff game since they won the SuperBowl. And that must have been a very long time ago, given that they’re NFC teams. However, Jeff Garcia has the chance to win a playoff game with his third team. So I pick the Bucs, because Garcia is a hell of a lot more poised than Eli–unless Eli has two minutes left in the half against the Pats.

  8. AAbshier says:

    I wonder just how viable the Bucs are as a playoff team this year. Garcia has been very consistent, but hasn’t played much lately. I worry about them holding up to the Giants if Eli continues his World Famous Peyton Imitiation from the Patriots game. Then again, Eli may revert to being Eli, which is somewhere above Babe Laufenberg, but not much.

    Still, the Buc’s defense is still a proud outfit, and Tom Coughlin teams have a habit of falling apart in the playoffs. Bucs 17, Giants 14.

    • emptywheel says:

      Actually, I think that wasn’t a Peyton imitation, that was College Eli coming to NYC finally. Back when Eli was in college and Peyton was in the pros, Peyton frequently said Eli was a better quarterback. I don’t think he’s smarter, but he’s a lot more mobile (I know–not saying a lot there) and a lot more instinctual.

    • bmaz says:

      Whoa! Don’t be knockin Babe Laufenberg like that. He was a way cool character, and actually played ok when called on, for the most part anyway.

  9. bmaz says:

    Well! I am feeling purty pleased with myself right about now. My head is swelling from self satisfaction (although, in fairness, the swelling could be due to the nasty sinus infection I managed to gather up in my 48 hour non stop non sleep ramble with the Hoosier Hooligans that was just in it’s infancy this exact time last week). This is the first trash talker that I have done in which EW didn’t open with a salvo to the effect of “Well, I would have discussed X, Y and Z games….”. My standards are fairly low, so I am calling this real progress…..

    • Peterr says:

      Well! I am feeling purty pleased with myself right about now. My head is swelling from self satisfaction (although, in fairness, the swelling could be due to the nasty sinus infection I managed to gather up in my 48 hour non stop non sleep ramble with the Hoosier Hooligans that was just in it’s infancy this exact time last week). This is the first trash talker that I have done in which EW didn’t open with a salvo to the effect of “Well, I would have discussed X, Y and Z games….”. My standards are fairly low, so I am calling this real progress…..

      When there are only five games (plus or minus) to worry about, I think you’re on pretty safe ground.

      Except, of course, you left out Gloucester v. Bath in rugby . . .

    • PJEvans says:

      One of my fellow commuters was over to see the game. He’s a real Indy fan (he wears Colts blue, too, when it’s appropriate): his license plate is something like ‘INDY FN’.

  10. sojourner says:

    Well, if people are rooting for various teams due to “just because,” I need to pre-empt KLynn a bit. My 80-year-old father graduated from LSU (and is SO excited about this game), I graduated from LSU, and my two daughters both graduated from there. It is in the blood so to speak… The point is, root for LSU because it would make my father very happy (and besides, LSU is going to win anyway!). Sorry KLynn, but OSU is going DOWN!

    • klynn says:


      Sorry you missed the history on my aged father as well. Did his MA and PhD at OSU and was the first varsity coach for soccer at OSU. Was a professor with Woody for 35+ years. Both brothers went to OSU as well as other family members. My Dad was a friend of Woody’s and one day in the threads I shared a special personal history of memories of Woody from my childhood. Bmaz’ promise came out of that thread because he thought the history was quite special and learned some history in the process.

      Additionally, Jim Heacock, the defense coordinator, is also special to my family. His wife was our son’s third grade teacher six years ago. She still keeps in contact because she felt our son was one of the best students she ever had and she loves our family history wrt Woody. My son did a watercolor painting for her as an end-of-the-year gift and it hangs in the entry of the Heacock house for them to share with all their family and friends. ( I shared a story about something Jim did for my son’s class in that same thread noted above and bmaz thought that was pretty neat personal side to a member of the OSU coaching staff as well.) In a nutshell (no pun intended), that’s how the promise came about. Bmaz is being true to his word, that’s all.

      I wish you, your daughters and father a great game. Best of luck to LSU. They are a great team for OSU to play.

      Hey. OSU was in a rebuilding year this year. How the team ended up doing this year is a great tribute to the coaching staff. Tressel is a class act. He brings out the best in his team and coaching staff. He has respect for his opponents, the game of football, and sportmanship too.

      Good Luck!

        • klynn says:

          I have been trying to find the post to link to it but no luck yet. I think it is when I delurked because bmaz was on his Big Ten historical bashing streak and I do not think it was a “Trash Talk” thread yet… None the less, bmaz welcomed me to the threads and made his promise…I’ll keep looking…

          • bmaz says:

            I believe the incident in question was either the weekend of the glorious win by the Mountaineers (small time ones) over the mighty Big Blue in the Big House, or the weekend after.

      • sojourner says:

        Ha! I DO remember your story now that you mention it… Is Ohio State blood red, too?

        I think it will be a good game. SEC football the last couple of years has been particularly contentious, and the fact that LSU had ONLY two losses was wonderful I was in Baton Rouge when Arkansas beat them the day after Thanksgiving, and there was a collective mental and physical cry of anguish that rolled across the city. The next morning the local paper had a really convoluted analysis about how LSU could still get into the championship game… and darned if it didn’t happen!

        OK, here’s to the best team! And, there is always next year…

        • bmaz says:

          You bayou cats already had your Katrina karma bounce; you will be dead meat in the hands of the mighty Buckeyes! (Man, this just does not come naturally for me; how am I doing KLynn?)

            • bmaz says:

              Oh I can trash talk just fine; in fact, it may have been my mopey dope rants against all things Big-Tenish that started thread busting sports comments by the collective to such an extent that EW was forced to start actual threads. It is the rooting for the Big-10 team that I simply have no experience with, nor aptitude for….

          • klynn says:

            Wow really good if not great and with a sinus infection no less.

            (Remember “Tressel ease”…He’s all about respect for the other side but brings out what the Bucks “can do” against said team’s strengths)

            That “can do” attitude goes a long way so I hope you start feeling better soon.

  11. randiego says:

    I gotta say I’m with you guys on the flakiness of the Frightning Lightning. Fer chrissakes we haven’t won a playoff game since the AFC Championship in ‘95!! (that was against Pittsburgh and are STILL talking how they deeserved to win that game – waaah).

    Sooner or later the football gods have to smile on my Bolts.

    Also, Go Skins! (for my boys in DC).

    How about those WVU Mountaineers?? Huh??!! Be honest, who (other than CHS) picked them to steamroll Oklahoma?

  12. radiofreewill says:

    Go ‘Skins!

    LSU, imho, is going to put on a Clinic in Scoring with Speed and Precision against OSU. It won’t even be close. I wonder what the halftime show will be?

    And, OSU is 0-8 against the SEC in Bowl Games, so it’s more than just the Reputation of the Nation’s Toughest Conference that seems to be a problem for the Buckeyes.

    Geaux Tigers!

  13. Loo Hoo. says:

    Freaking Ran Diego! Haven’t seen you in a long while. (FDL) Last I saw you, I asked if you lived in San Diego. You humbly said that you ARE San Diego! How’s that all working out?

  14. bmaz says:

    Peterr @23 – Agreed; but i have been on a bad luck streak in dancin school on my football thread picks. I take any solace I can find…. And I also really miss Warren Zevon. RIP Warren.

    Loo Hoo @25 – “You humbly said that you ARE San Diego! How’s that all working out?” I understand he recently got burned….

  15. randiego says:

    heh heh Loo Hoo, I’m making quite a name for myself for non-humble hyperbole in my posts!

    I’ve been a lurker over here with EW for a while now – FDL gets a little claustrophobic for me sometimes, I prefer the more pastoral surroundings of The Next Hurrah.

    to answer your question, SD rocks! I live in Clairemont where I grew up, I work for Marcy’s favorite US National Corporation in Kearny Mesa and I surf in Mexico every weekend.

    You’re in Fallbrook, right? hope everything went okay with the fires?

    Go Chargers!!~

    • emptywheel says:

      Do you ever go to Porto Nuevo? I imagine it has gotten touristy beyond all belief. But boy can I just taste those burritos when I think about it.

      • randiego says:

        Puerto Nuevo is a little south of all the spots I regularly surf in the Rosarito area, but we do drive that way for the other spots further south.

        Not sure when you were there last, but it’s really changed. It’s TWICE as touristy as I remember it. Rosarito and Puerto Nuevo have gotten so big that the free road is being widened to four lanes all the way there. There are large condo towers being built everywhere along that coast, including The Donald, who is building three towers north of Rosarito.

        The ‘Marisco’ style of seafood is being served in a lot of places these days. You can get those yummy lobster burritos at a few places in Chula Vista even.

        PS – I failed to mention that I think the 9-point spread favoring the Chargers is ridiculous. Whoever made that line doesn’t know my Bolts.

        PPS – My dream is a rematch with the Patriots, where we dont’ get blown out, and Marlon McCree drops to the ground after his interception.

        PPS – The Patriots get the lowest seeded team left. If we win, we go to Indy. If we win there and the Pats somehow lose, then SD will host the AFC Championship. Let the games begin!

        • parbuster says:

          Puerto Nuevo is a little south of all the spots I regularly surf in the Rosarito area

          We used to surf K-38/39 back in the day, before there was a Puerto Nuevo. In those days, it was all about the Halfway House.

          BOLTZ EN FUEGO!

  16. masaccio says:

    I’m hoping for a good game from the Titans. If Albert Haynesworth can play a bunch, it may make the difference. Vince is a good quarterback, and plays well under pressure. Receiver Roydell Williams is hurt, but should be ready, and the O-line is good, with enough time to get over the loss of a couple of players. Mostly, I just want to see some scoring.

  17. randiego says:

    Hey bmaz, how are ya?

    We spent the week over Christmas in Austin at Jenny’s parents place. Last sunday night we caught the Scabs at Antones on 6th St – the quintessential Austin experience! We also went friday and caught Bob Schneider at Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas – the oldest ‘dancehall’ (honkytonk) in Texas – what a cool place!

    Good times.

    • bmaz says:

      Doing fine here; although I understand Cali might be sending me some extremely foul weather. Good to hear from you, haven’t seen you around much lately. I gave very brief thought to coming over for the Holiday Bowl (in retrospect, glad I didn’t for it did not turn out real well) and was going to leave a comment here to see if we could hook up for libations and vibrations at a local blues joint or something. ASU sold out their 11,000 tickets before I even called, and that was the end of that because it wasn’t worth scalping them. The Austin gigs sound way cool. I love Austin; its almost like not being in Texas…..

      • randiego says:

        I’ve been around, trying to keep up but not commenting. the week I was in Texas I was pretty much incommunicado – I just couldn’t hang around on the internet too much.

        Sorry about ASU in the Holiday Bowl. I thought they had a pretty good shot to win, but of course I was smack-dab in the middle of Longhorn country with some rabid fans. (Jenny herself is a Texas Tech Red-Raider, but everything her parents own is burnt orange).

        Jenny always volunteers at the Holiday Bowl in the press box to do media stuff, and I tagged along last year as a runner – had a great time. We didn’t do it this year due to the Austin trip.

        I’ll pop in more often, in case you’re planning a trip west. A few drinks is a great idea.

  18. Muzzy says:

    If I gambled, and I don’t, the only game over the next 3 days I would bet on given a spread is for LSU to roll.

    I like bmaz’ take on the Skins and taking note of Gibbs’ history with streaky qb’s (remember Doug Williams) but I think Seattle will disrupt that spell.

    Titans’ offense is pretty banged up – something like 5 starters out – with Vince also having a sore quad. I don’t think they advance. But give them credit, at least they made it to the playoffs with a second year qb and not a whole ton else.

    NY v. Tampa? no clue

    Steelers v. Jax? ditto

    I’d just add it’s hard for me to pull for any team from Florida.

    • bmaz says:

      Right, Doug Williams; but also gained a lot of mileage out of Jay Schroeder and Mark Rypien (Rypien arguably was no dust bin project, but injuries and family illnesses prevented us from really knowing).

    • emptywheel says:

      After I played things out, I realized that if Tampa Bay wins, they get to go to Lambeau. As we know, places like Lambeau don’t work very well for the Bucs. Seeing as how I’d love to see Favre in the big dance (only to get beaten by the Pats, who have a harder road to getting there), I’m now officially rooting for the Bucs.

      Though, as I said to mr. emptywheel–that rule about the Bucs and sub-30 games might not work out this year. They finally scored on a kick return this year. Maybe they’re breaking all those definitive rules.

      • parbuster says:

        That’d be Puerto Nuevo, Marcy, home to some 35-40 wonderful lobster houses about halfway between Tijuana and Ensenada, BC Mexico. For those who don’t know, they deep fry the bugs and then halve them, so the tray that arrives at the table is mounded with the delicious beasts. Bowls of refried beans and pitchers of margaritas accompany the feast.

        And, hey…How ’bout them Boltz?

  19. Neil says:

    NCAA D1 National Championship Game
    I love the speed of LSU. If they can set the pace of the game, they’ll win. OSU has a great team too and I think they’re tougher than LSU but it won’t matter if hey can’t match LSU’s speed. I think we’ll see points scored in all three phases of the game; O, D and special teams. I think OSU is the underdog. I’ll cheer for them.

    Washington @ Seattle
    is a tough call. Bookies are giving Seattle 3.5 points at home. Seattle’s defense was stingy – not giving up points – until the lowly Atlanta Falcons dropped 44 on them LAST WEEK, against the starters! If Washington can put some points up early, Washington can shake their confidence. Washington also endured a death on the team this year. Gibbs has brought the team together around this great loss – They are playing for something bigger. Washington also tends to play 4 quarters without letting up so I see Washington as having two ways to win and more to play for. Hasslebeck and his excellent running back have been there before. If I recall correctly, they had a rough playoff loss last year. Skins are the underdogs. I think they’ll prevail.

    Jags @ Steelers
    The Jags can run on the Pittsburgh defense. The last time they met, the Jags ran up 224 yards on the ground. When you run, you control the clock and your passing game gets easier. Steeler’s fast Willie Parker is out so the Pittsburgh ground attack my be ineffective. If it is, the Jags win. If Pittsburgh can move the ball by setting up the run with the pass, Pittsburgh wins. According to the spread, the Jags are underdogs by 2.5 but I think they’ll prevail. This game should be a good one.

  20. freepatriot says:

    seattle is 3-0 at hoe in the playoff in their new stadium

    but if Romo handles that snap cleanly in last year’s game …

    nuff said:

    Wahington over Seattle

    Jacksonville over Pittsburgh (The Jags have the stillers number)

    Tampa Bay (still have a Monte Kiffen Defense, don’t they ???) over the GNTS (seen what happens to a team a week after a loss to the Patriots ???)

    and Tennessee over the bolts (in “Fisher’s revenge”)

    lsu versus ohio state ???, who cares ???

  21. freepatriot says:

    o-t service tech stuff:

    is anybody else having problems with scripts on this page ???

    I’m back on the beater dell computer (they took my laptop, the bastards) (well, it wasn’t really my laptop, cept for squatter’s right n stuff)

    I’m using mozilla

    and I keep geting messages about “Busy Scripts”. The messages don’t interact well with the computer, and sometimes they lock up the damn thing, and I have to restart

    does that sound like a problem anybody is having or had in the past ???

    it’s exclusive to firedoglake and emptywheel pages, so I’m hoping there is a track record to follow

    thanks for your time and support

    • watercarrier4diogenes says:

      You might want to get NoScript add-on for Firefox. No script error problems for me, but I run NoScript and the latest version of Firefox.

    • sojourner says:

      I have been experiencing a lot of latency and have gotten periodic error messages, too, although they are slightly different. They refer to database errors. I am using Firefox. I am putting it down more to the hosting service here, as it seems to hang up while waiting for a connection.

      FWIW, maybe there is a built in delay to allow Cheney and his minions to see who is logging on or something

  22. nomolos says:

    Hello from New England. There is no football here this weekend though I do believe that the season resumes next weekend.

  23. Neil says:

    How are next week AFC matchups determined? I assume the Pats – with the best record in the AFC – will play the team with the worst record, left standing. The Colts will play the other AFC winner.

      • Neil says:

        NO, not sure at all … lowest ranked surviving makes sense. It takes tie-breaker into account, the record doesn’t.


        E Pats 16-0
        N Pitt 10-6 WC Jags 11-5
        S Indy 13-3
        W SnDi 11-5 WC Titn 10-6

        Is the conference winner necessarily ranked higher than the WC with the same record (Jags,SnDi)? If so, does this sound right?

        If Pitt and SnDi win, Pats play Pitt.
        If Pitt wins and SnDi loses, Pats play Titn.
        If Pitt loses and SnDi wins, Pats play Jags.
        If Pitt loses and SnDi loses, Pats play Titn.


        E Dall 13-3
        N GrBa 13-3
        S TaBa 9-7 WC Gian 10-6
        W Seat 10-6 WC Wash 9-7

        NFC East= Dall,Gian,Wash!

        Dall gets the worst ranked team surviving?

  24. BlueStateRedHead says:

    OSU Fans!! Fans of football history and New Orleans,which means LSU fans and all people who hate Heckofajobbers!!

    A funny Woody story. From a Canadian paper, no less.


    From a Pats fan who wishes all her fellow THNicks may their team do their best and may they be as happy this weekend as we surely will be on Jan. 19th and (does someone have subpoena pad–IANAL but I think they exist) on the 20th and going forward to justice, “truth, and justice, and the American way”.
    BTW, Michelle you know who once blogged against Superman.
    See you later.

  25. Neil says:

    The NFL Playoffs. Each of the 4 division winners is seeded 1–4 based on their overall records. The two wildcard teams (labeled Wild Card 1 and 2) are seeded 5th and 6th (with the better of the two having seed 5) regardless of their records compared to the 4 division winners.”

    Unlike most tournaments, with a predetermined bracket, each round of the playoffs is ‘re-seeded’; the highest surviving seed always hosts the lowest surviving seed, the second-highest hosts the second-lowest, etc. This guarantees each division winner at least one home playoff game.

    Bracket Diagram


  26. radiofreewill says:

    Motivation doesn’t fix s-l-o-w…What OSU needs is More Realistic Expectations.

    When healthy, LSU has been Unstoppable this year.


    Buckeyes take motivation home on DVD

    “The video, excerpts of which have become hot stuff on YouTube, has Florida players ripping Ohio State after punishing the Buckeyes, 41-14, in last year’s BCS national championship game; media personalities picking them apart for being slow, playing a weak schedule and competing in a weak Big Ten; and television broadcasts in which their selection to play No. 2 Louisiana State (11-2) in Monday’s title game is described as an inconceivable injustice.”

    • klynn says:

      Here’s a good read on speed…


      Sorry I cannot do a “pretty” link with the link icon. When I clink on it, my computer freezes. We cannot figure it out on this end because I can link on other sites just not here or FDL…

  27. klynn says:

    O/T Is it just my computer…I can get FDL to open. I can get Pull Up A Chair to open and then my computer freezes and I cannot scroll through and read the comments. Anyone else? I do fine here at EW’s but over at the Lake the last few days, problems. Today is the worst.

  28. randiego says:

    Oh yeah, there are some very nice authentic Mariscos sit-down style places in CV, and in true CV style, they are all located in strip malls on Broadway.

    Chula has doubled in size since they developed Otay Ranch.

    • randiego says:

      bmaz, they are trying yes. It would be nice there, down on the waterfront. I’m still holding out hope for a destruction of The Murph and a nice sparkling new one at the Mission Valley site.

      It’s the NFL that caused a lot of the problems by declaring that a Super Bowl would never again be held here until there was a new stadium. It made it look like extortion from a very rich league. They need to step in and help.

      • bmaz says:

        Heh heh heh. They ran that same gambit here. Was even threats that the Cardinals might leave. Still more than a few craggy natives here that yawned and said “Good. Get the fucking Cardinals out of here so I can go back to a normal slate of games on TV with real football teams”. Problem was that LA didn’t really want the Bidwells either. After a couple of years of that standoff, the league agreed to make substantial “loans” that, to the best of my knowledge, are rather illusory in terms of actually being paid back. Now the Cardinals have a new stadium and there is no more talk of them leaving. O lucky us. Can’t you just feel the thrill I am projecting? Oh well, we do now have a pretty established spot on the Super Bowl rotation with the game here in just a few weeks, so that part is good.

  29. Muzzy says:

    fwiw, the US Army high school All Star game is about to kick off in San Antonio (natl teevee). Traditionally many of the nation’s bluest of the blue chip recruits announce their college choices.

    • emptywheel says:

      I graduated from Poway High. But I only attended for junior and senior year–we moved out to Poway halfway through high school for me. It was a tough transition. My school in NY, by necessity, had to be good enough to compete with the private schools of Westchester, NY. So it was really really good at challenging elite college-bound students to push themselves. Whereas Poway is really good at getting most students, college-bound or not, a decent education. It had a different focus, really.

  30. Muzzy says:

    Regarding that national high school all star game going on right now, Terrelle Pryor, the top rated dual threat qb (running and passing) in the country ran for over 20 yds on his first snap of the game and has scored the game’s only touchdown.

    His college choices are down to Michigan, the Ohio State, and, Florida. Considering FL has Tebow for now, I have to think it’s a UM/OSU battle (if the rivalry wasn’t already bad enough). He won’t announce today per reports, but I hope he picks Meatchicken, for Marcy’s sake

  31. ProfessorFoland says:

    For the record, I’d take Pittsburgh (+2.5–do you really want to pick a Florida team outdoors in the North in January? I even think Pittsburgh will win straight up), Tennessee (+10–SD offense is really just not that good, this game the Under 40 looks tempting), Seattle (-3–I don’t believe in Washington, sorry), and the Giants (+3–the Giants are just plain better than TB, this game should be pick ‘em). FWIW the book positions are PIT, TEN, WAS, TB.

    OSU/LSU I have no opinion on, LSU -4 sounds about right.

    Neil–last week you said the kicking team on an onsides kick cannot contact anyone on the receiving team until the ball has touched the ground. This was a new rule to me–is it really an NFL rule? I watched the Steelers (I think it was) clearly violate this rule shortly after I read that, and nothing was called.

    • Neil says:

      Neil–last week you said the kicking team on an onsides kick cannot contact anyone on the receiving team until the ball has touched the ground. This was a new rule to me–is it really an NFL rule? I watched the Steelers (I think it was) clearly violate this rule shortly after I read that, and nothing was called.

      What I meant to say was that no one on the kicking team can make contact with a player trying to receive the ball until they touch the ball or the ball hits the ground.

      I wasn’t able to find the section in the rules but I found this…

      Question: Please explain the on-side kick.

      Answer: On kickoffs, the ball is live once it has travelled forward 10 yards whether or not the receiving team has touched it unless it hits the ground in the end zone untouched. If a team is behind late in the game and they score a touchdown or field goal, they sometimes use an on-side kick for the following kickoff. An on-side kick is a kickoff that is deliberately designed to go just over 10 yards. Sometimes, the kicking team can get the ball when an on-side kick is used. Kickoffs (and therefore on-side kicks) occur only after a touchdown or field goal or at the start of a half. On-side kicks rarely work.

      Normally, a receiver must not be interfered with before he catches the ball. That is why on an on-side kick the kicker almost always kicks the ball into the ground first. That removes the possibility for interference.

  32. bmaz says:

    HOW BOUT THEM SCARLET KNIGHTS! Jeebus, with Rutgers not in the spotlight as much as last year, I had forgotten about Ray Rice just a little. Rice is real good. Solid built, sneaky fast and great understanding and view of the lay of the field in front of him. 260 yards and the third quarter isn’t over yet.

    • garyg says:

      I’m praying young Ray does not go pro early. Between Rutgers and the Giants, it was a pretty wonderful weekend for me. Fired up for next season already!

  33. bmaz says:

    Let the EW insufferability start it’s skyrocketing arc right now (like I don’t have a ridiculous quotient of my own every now and then eh).


    • emptywheel says:

      Eh. What did you expect. It’d be hard to do anything different (though I may well have voted for Favre). But I still lack confidence the Pats will make it all the way so adulations like this are meaningless unless hte Pats really do win it all.

        • emptywheel says:

          While I want the Pats to win, I really think the hype over them all year is overrated. They are eminently beatable, in the playoffs probably by the Colts or the Jags, and if the Packers make it to the Super Bowl, I will be rooting first for a game of historic proportions and only then, grudgingly, for the Pats (I’d be damn happy to see Brett win this). I’m a Pats fan from when I predicted they’d beat the Rams and will remain a Pats fan for as long as Belichick keeps coaching the cerebral game he coaches. But I’m definitely not a fan of football coverage that proclaims teams the best every by the fourth game of the season.

          • ProfessorFoland says:

            Hear, hear!

            In general, teams with 13-3, 14-2, or 15-1 are usually “truly” 11-5 teams that got a few lucky breaks. (By “truly” I mean, that’s the average number they would win, with the same team against the same competition, if you could play the season many, many times.) The Pats are probably “truly” a 13-3 team that got a few lucky breaks. A true 13-3 team is indeed rare and historic. I doubt there’s ever been a true 16-0 team.

            Any rational number for the Pats probability to win the SB is in the range of 25-35%. Thats hugely better than any other team, but still hardly a lock.

          • phred says:

            Ah, I knew there was a reason I liked you so well ; ) Go Pack! And by the way, would there be anything sweeter than to have Brady win the League MVP and the Packers win the Super Bowl? I think not ; )

  34. CasualObserver says:

    and last but not least in our horse race football considerations–”ballet bowl”. That is what CNN is calling the NH primary. Listening to CNN coverage from another room, I’ve learned that “Hillary has not yet gone negative” (there’s a ‘negative Hillary watch, apparently), that one Democratic candidate “sure talks a lot” (Richardson), and one empty-headed CNN reporter actually announced that the battle of Little Bighorn was a tragic Civil War Battle. This is absolutely riveting stuff. Of course, the Ebola Virus is riveting too.

    • Neil says:

      great coaches make adjustments at halftime. we’ll see if gibbs and the skins can make some adjustments to get them off on offense. the c-hawks are dominatign the skins by playing a much more physical game. collins is getting hammered.

      gotta run out, enjoy the second half.

  35. masaccio says:

    Looks like the Skins have gone to the three step drop, so they are getting the ball out quickly. Seahawks 13-7 start of the fourth.

  36. ProfessorFoland says:

    In 3 decades of watching NFL football, I don’t think I’ve seen a team whiff a kickoff like the Seahawks did. Drops and bobbles, sure–but an outright miss recovered by the kicking team?! Can anyone think of another game that’s happened in?

  37. emptywheel says:

    Here’s who was right about the ‘Skins: Tuttle, Muzzy, Prof Foland (who predicted the exact opposite of me, I think)

    Here’s who was wrong: emptywheel, bmaz, phred, randiego

    Whose prediction did I miss? I guess CTuttle’s looking pretty good so far.

    • emptywheel says:

      Okay. For the purposes of this thread I’m taking those–so I just have to root against you for tonight.

      I gotta say, as a former Fullback and Outside Center, with the exception of that Jones Drew run-back, it has been a night of very serious tackling.

      I love playoffs.

  38. Muzzy says:

    I just got back from a game watching party here in the Pac NW hosted by a guy from Maryland and some of his die hard Redskins fans. It was a real lions den in there for my friend and his other who love the ‘hawks. They sang “Hail to the Redskins…” at 14-13 and were smelling victory. Great game but my prediction panned out.

    • bmaz says:

      I haven’t really seen much of the Jags (I’m not kidding, those stinking Cardinals really cut down on the tv games available, whether they are home or away) this year. They are MUCH more athletic and skilled up and down the lineup than I realized.

      • emptywheel says:

        Huge and fast, huge and fast, huge and fast.

        I wish it were a closer game. But the Jags have really only lost to the Colts twice (big head game there that would kill them if they weren’t gearing to see the Pats) and the fourth ranked D, Titans.

        Against every division but their own, they’re undefeated.

    • CTuttle says:

      Man. Has anyone else noticed how huge the Jags are? Huge and fast–that’s not fair, somehow.

      Heh, the Jags have the largest contingent of Hawaii Alum in the NFL, three starters, two on D…

  39. Neil says:

    big Ben is too slow to get 12 against the Jags but 1 point was worthless and 2 would have brought it to 3.

  40. bmaz says:

    This tundra ain’t frozen enough. Needs some snow and inclement weather. The quality of the usually reliable Heinz field is disappointing…

  41. bmaz says:

    Uh oh. My condolences Mr. Tuttle. Fox Sport says:

    After losing big in the Sugar Bowl, the University of Hawaii may be dealing with a much more important loss.
    June Jones, who has been the Warriors’ coach since 1999, has resigned, according to a report by The Honolulu Advertiser.
    The report says that Jones told his close friend, Al Souza, of his decision Saturday morning. He cited lack of loyalty and commitment from the athletic department as reasons for his resignation, the report says.

  42. MadDog says:

    As much as I truly love both the people and the city Pittsburgh itself, I’ve always detested the Steelers, particularly since they always kicked my Vikings’ asses.

    Way to go Jax!

  43. masaccio says:

    Garrard and the Jags overcame some really bad calls, and watching Garrard shake and bake that huge body and leave Pittsburgh’s 23 wondering where to find him, well, that was just great.

  44. Muzzy says:

    Credit Jax for winning on the road and coming from behind after staking an 18 pt lead.

    I think the better team won. They will have to be dealt with !

  45. emptywheel says:

    Let’s see: Rainbow Warrior Tuttle: 2-0
    phred: 1-1; will be sleeping on the couch tonight
    bmaz: 1-1
    emptywheel: 1-1
    ProfFoland (less spread): 1-1

    Who’d i miss?

    • freepatriot says:

      Let’s see: Rainbow Warrior Tuttle: 2-0
      phred: 1-1; will be sleeping on the couch tonight
      bmaz: 1-1
      emptywheel: 1-1
      ProfFoland (less spread): 1-1

      Who’d i miss?

      what am I, chopped liver ??? (sniff)

      freepatriot: 1-1 (and a little bit insulted)

      if I was a corrupt bushite official, you’d a remembered me …

    • phred says:

      Ssshhh… I haven’t broken the news to Mr. p yet. We had family visiting, so I didn’t get to watch any of the games. By the way, I take full responsibility for the Skins loss. When we got to the restaurant where we had dinner last night, the Hawks were up 10-0. I strategically took a seat at the table where I could see the TV over the bar across the room, and I peeked every chance I had. When we left, the Skins were up 14-13. Clearly, I should have refused to leave the restaurant until the game was over ; )

  46. Muzzy says:

    CTuttle, Marcy should be careful what she wishes for. Vince Young was the last Longhorn QB to beat the Wolverines. *g*

  47. bmaz says:

    Hey, come on, we’re gonna have to start a new thread if we are going to list all the quarterbacks that have beat the Wolverweenies. I am starting to feel sorry for randiego and the Bolts; everybody lining up against them AND they got Norval Turner. Have mercy….

      • bmaz says:

        Heh heh. Don’t worry, she can bring the wood with the best of them. She be a rugger, not a cheerleader. If I had any local teams left in the mix, or that had a century long tradition worthy of even gathering such enmity, she would be needling me. Sadly, I don’t even currently present a target of value.

        • freepatriot says:

          Sadly, I don’t even currently present a target of value.

          yeah, but you still made the list …

          who do I gotta lie to under oath to so I can get a little respect around here ???

          is this about that lsu-ohio state thing ???

          come on, everybody knows ohio state is gonna get creamed

          we’re talking about a college that is so dysfunctional that their band spells out the name of A DIFFERENT FUCKING SCHOOL during their halftime performances, and these dolts line up to celebrate this idiocy

          you hear all these football players saying “THEEEE Ohio State University”

          oh yeah, why don’t you tell your band that ???

    • Muzzy says:

      Well yeah, but Vince win over Michigan was the first ever meeting in football between the two storied programs (surprisingly) and it was the Rose Bowl. UM fielded Braylon Edwards, Chad Henne, and Mike Hart. I was there.

      • bmaz says:

        Well, see, if you were from the Pac-10, you would be used to seeing Michigan get beat in the Rose Bowl. Bo knows, wherever he may be….

        • Muzzy says:

          In further support of Vince Young, he did beat the best team evar the following year, again in the Rose Bowl, against a USC team with two Heisman winners and a slew of NFL draftees.

          That said, the Titans don’t advance tomorrow.

  48. ThatGuy says:

    Jags come from behind after blowing a lead to take out the Stillers. I am Happy! Happy the Redskins lost, too. Tomorrow, Bucs and Bolts will win!

  49. masaccio says:

    The local paper, the Tennessean, gives me nothing. Get a load of today’s brilliant insight. Anyone wonder why I canceled my subscription? The defense looks pretty good, but we need the offense to stay on the field more than it has recently. Watch Haynesworth, 92, who, if he is well, is just spectacular this year, after disappointing for several years.

  50. BayStateLibrul says:

    Tailgating at Marcy’s parking lot.
    Bring the beer, barbecue, and trash.

    Rip up the scouting reports, no cup flipping today.
    Titans upset Bolts, so Pats avoid the Jags?
    WELKER for Prez.

    A deluded Pats fan waiting for next Saturday night at 8:00 PM

  51. BooRadley says:

    Hope everyone has a chance to watch this week’s NFL MATCHUP with Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski. They’re breaking down film of the playoff match ups.

    NFL Match up

  52. BooRadley says:

    Tom Moore (Colts) and Chuckie are both outstanding offensive minds, but this game shows the contrast. It’s rare for Chuckie to run a play without “motion.” I don’t think Moore ever motions anyone.

  53. phred says:

    I may have blown the call on the Skins, but its lookin’ good for the Giants…

    Yep, what Neil said ; )

  54. Neil says:

    NEXT, we get to find out who the Pats play next Saturday at 8PM.

    if SD wins: Pats get the Jags, Colts get SD
    if Tenn wins: Pats get Tenn, Colts get the Jags

    SD is favored by 10.5 but this is playoff football ….I think the spread can’t account for the ‘win or go home factor’.

  55. 4jkb4ia says:

    What was iffy about McQuarters interception? I missed it.

    Very good day. Very proud. Today Eli was a man.
    I have little hope for next week.

  56. BooRadley says:

    What was iffy about McQuarters interception? I missed it.

    Nothing from what I saw. I’ve never seen a corner execute that kind of footwork along the sidelines, helluva interception.

  57. Muzzy says:

    I expected Vince to start stiff due to his quad injury and loosen up later if possible, but his gallup looks pretty to start. This could be interesting. An otherwise healthy Vince shouldn’t be underestimated.

    I’m rooting for the Titans because of their roster of former longhorns, just don’t see it today.

    That said, 3-0 Titans on the opening drive…

  58. Muzzy says:

    CT – I think Marcy pretty much is rooting for a Titans win from what gather up thread. Being the Pats devotee that she is, I can’t blame her. All else being equal, NE should want the team that is less likely to take a physical and emotional toll on them next week. Jax showed they can bring it yesterday, and arguably are playing their best ball right now. Funny how it works that the highest seed can end up facing the toughest of the rest in their first playoff game.

  59. Neil says:

    I’m not so sure the Jags are so much tougher than the Tenn.

    (if SD wins) Pats get the Jags, Colts get SD
    (if Tenn wins) Pats get Tenn, Colts get the Jags

    Pats lost to Tenn by 3 August 17 pre-season
    Pats didn’t play Jags

    Indy beat Jags by 22 October 22, by 3 December 2
    Indy lost to SD by 2 November 11

    Indy beat Tenn by 2 September 16
    Indy lost to Tenn by 6 December 30 (were the colts resting starters? Did tenn need the win?)

  60. BooRadley says:

    I think the Pats are only vulnerable in a real bad weather game (lots of wind and very cold), against a team that really runs it well and stops the run. Jacksonville and San Diego are those kind of teams.

    • emptywheel says:

      I’ve already started having nightmares of Vinateri, after proving less than reliable in key games this year, beating the Pats with a snowy field goal.

        • bmaz says:

          Of course Bill Bell may think appropriate for Vinateri to slip and fall on a specially placed patch of ice (undoubtedly placed by a work furlough convict) as “poetic justice” for leaving the team….

          • BayStateLibrul says:

            ||Of course Bill Bell may think appropriate for Vinateri to slip and fall on a specially placed patch of ice (undoubtedly placed by a work furlough convict) as “poetic justice” for leaving the team….||

            Crime and Punishment, Indeed, at the Bonfire of the Super Bowl.

      • Neil says:

        Gostkowski is 76 for 76 PAT attempts but not perfect in field goals. That’s a regular season record that was overlooked. I think Vinetari is a better kicker but not much better. It comes down to which team is in position to win it with a kick. Do you think we’ll get to see a Pats Colts AFC championship? I do.

  61. Muzzy says:

    Neil – Thanks for digging out the prior matchups. The Pats didn’t face Tenn or Jax in the regular season. I’d add Tenn into the category that BooRadley describes with Jax and SD though Tenn appears to be more smash mouth rushing than SD.

    Also, related to what Boo points out about weather/style compatibility, I’ve always given considerable weight to astroturf/dome vs. grass. Some teams are great on both (like the Pats or old 49ers) while others definitely gain from one or the other. Examples of indoor turf teams at their stylistic best: Indy, NO, old StL. 2 of Indy’s losses came on grass while the last one to Tenn was a meaningless pre-playoff rest game. Examples of outdoor grass teams at their stylistic best: Jax, Tenn, Green Bay.

    Based on this, I’d think Indy is in a preferable situation at home against Tenn/SD and Jax relative to NE. However, if Indy advances to the AFC champ game against NE, that has to really favor NE. If Indy loses at home to a rumblin bumblin team that is peaking, that could represent quite a showdown outdoors at Foxboro.

  62. CTuttle says:

    Hmmm… 6-0 Titans at the half, Norv had better rethink his strategy… Bwhahaha… Even Marty has a better playoff record, barely, tho…

  63. bmaz says:

    Posted this by mistake on the wrong thread earlier. Still sums up the game so far.

    This is exactly the kind of game the Oilers would hope for so far


  64. bmaz says:

    Now that Eli Montana Manning has proved his mettle as a savvy playoff leader, all the Pats fans out there must be getting awfully nervous thinking about a rematch, no?

  65. BooRadley says:

    Merril Hoge, the old Steeler fullback opined that the terrific Titan’s DT, Albert Haynesworth (92), doesn’t play as well in the second half of games as he does in the first half.

  66. CasualObserver says:

    Whoa–a complete and consistent game from the Giants. Cowboys will be tougher. Kudos to the Giants though. An excellent all-round game. That’s two games in a row to be mighty proud of…

  67. CasualObserver says:

    Why is it that our sports-news shows have regular, permanent panels filled with former players and coaches, but political news shows have panels filled with ‘journalists’, who have never been elected to anything, never served in any branch of government?

    Why is it that the networks depend on people who have actually been there for sports coverage, but have never tried the same for political coverage?

    What if some smart network decided to create a regular weekend news show that featured not journalists, but former legislators, cabinet members, and the like, including both liberal and conservative viewpoints?

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, except for Russert, Tweety, and Stephenopolous.

      Not that I would recommend imitating any of them.

      Oh–and Bill Moyers. That one we should see more of.

      • CasualObserver says:

        Yes, some hosts held positions, albeit not elected. But the structure is completely different. Their permanent people (discussants) are all journalist insiders–Kokie Roberts and her ilk. I can no longer stomach them. What would be interesting, imo, is a show in which the permanent discussants are former house/senate members, former cabinet secretaries, etc. In other words, former “players”. That was the point I was trying to make.

        • bmaz says:

          Would still result in the same crap; with each “side” spewing their respective BS. This is effectively what CNN’s “Crossfire” often was, with legislators from each side appearing. Was a screeching pile of junk.

  68. Neil says:

    think i’ll skip the GMAC Bowl… maybe tune in the 4th quarter to see if there’s some end of game action.

    NO, instead I’ll listen to Clemmons lie about not taking steroids on national teevee before he goes before Waxmen in ten days.

  69. Muzzy says:

    I went 2 for 2 of the games I *knew* what the outcome would be (SEA and SD) but abstained from the other two because I had no way of knowing [wink].

    I still have LSU rolling tOSU, mainly because this will be by far the best defensive front tOSU has seen.

  70. CTuttle says:

    Mahalo, I really think the Jags will topple the Patsies, my better half is a life-long Pat fan, and, I enjoy riding her when they lose, however, I hadn’t a chance lately… I think the Colts will prevail too…

    • emptywheel says:

      Congrats, CTuttle.

      I’m not betting against you, yet, wrt the Jags–I’ve been talking about their ability to surprise in the playoffs for too many weeks to do that. And, unfortunately, I think the Colts will probably win.

      I’d be happy with just about everyone left in the playoffs, but I don’t care for the Colts. They’re damn good, mind you, but still.

    • phred says:

      I agree. I think the Jags are a serious threat to the Patsies. But as our friends pointed out this evening, the Pats are a 60 minute team. The Jags can’t let up next week or they’ll be toast, just like all the other cannon fodder that fell before the Pats this season.

      Oh, and since it’s been awhile since I mentioned it… Go Pack!

      I love the fact that Holmgren will be back in Lambeau. Can’t wait til next weekend, when football will once again have my undivided attention : )

      • Neil says:

        The Jags are a physical team that plays smash mouth football. The Steelers tried to beat them at their own game. Why? Here’s how to beat the Jags. Score early and often, over the top and force the Jags to pass the ball to stay in the game – game over. They cannot go to the pass consistently and be successful. They need balance because their quarterback cannot carry that load alone. The Pats can put up 34 points in a half. The Jags need all game to do it.

        On defense, the Pats must stop the run and force the Jags to pass. Yes, it’s easier said than done but the Pats will gamble on coverage to force the issue.

        …is this just me hoping (against all logic) for a Pats Colts AFC and Green Bay versus Cowboys or Giants NFC championship games?

  71. Muzzy says:

    CT – a tidbit I picked up this weekend: the current field at Lambeau has never been a frozen tundra. Evidently there’s heated pipes underneathe that keep it warm and fluffy. who knew? I’ll be rooting for the Pack for now.

    Another tidbit about the Giants vs. Cowboys: it is not too terribly difficult to beat a team 3 times in the same year as Merrill Hodge or whoever was saying this evening.

    Divisional foes have played in the Playoffs 43 times.
    17 of those times have been a chance for one team to sweep all 3 games.
    Those teams have gone 11-6.

    and yes, I was born and bred to be a Cowboys fan. I was schoolmates with the sons of Jethro Pugh and Walt Garrison in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I’ve lived through a lot watching the team for over 30 years since childhood but have to admit I’m nonplussed by the embarrassing shenanigans over the last month. But I believe they have a shot.

    My wish is for the Cowboys to defeat an undefeated New England team in a Super Bowl rematch !

    In so doing, the Dallas Cowboys would surpass the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49′ers in the NFL and stand alone for all time Super Bowl Championships at 6.

  72. bmaz says:

    My hopes and dreams are staked to a Pats-Pack Super Bowl. And if, by stroke of good fortune, it actually comes to pass, I fully expect you guys to ante up to get me a ticket so I can live blog it. I am willing to pay my own transportation and lodging costs…..

    • Evolute says:

      Live blog a Pats-Pack Super Bowl? I’d kick in for that, it would be a hoot. But how does your typing speed measure up to EW’s? I would expect a full palette of nuance – no teevee time-outs.

      BTW that’s mighty big of you to volunteer transpo and lodging costs when the game is in your backyard.

  73. Muzzy says:

    Ha !

    Well if that’s the case, I’d happily donate to emptywheel.firedoglake.com to watch you and Marcy wrangle over the tickets.

      • bmaz says:

        Heh heh. Hey, I wasn’t kidding @166 above; Miss Marcy is no shrinking violet when it comes to her football. I would not dream of getting between her and ducats to the beloved Pats in the Super Bowl.

  74. bmaz says:

    Hey BSL, I hear the Rocket may be on the attack; told you that going quietly into the night would not be part of the plan if Rusty Hardin was his lawyer. Heh heh.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Blinking Rocket was on Dandy Dan last night…
      Lying his arse off.
      Dan Rather asked the tough questions while Roger looked disheveled (rubble) mean, mad, and scheming.
      Rocket meets the press today, and may be visiting Waxman…
      Stay tuned. He may be willing to strap on his Bronx polygraph.
      Bet we see enough fluctuations to fill Yankee Stadium?

  75. bmaz says:

    Clemens has filed a defamation suit against McNamee, maybe Mitchell too – I haven’t seen it yet, alleging that McNamed originally told investigators that Clemens was innocent and only recanted and named Clemens when he was threatened with prison if he did not. I don’t know which one of the two is telling the truth, but for all those people out there jawing about how reliable McNamee is because he was dealing with “federal agents” and therefore must be truthful, I got news for you. investigators hell bent for leather that get personally wrapped up in primarily one case coerce rubes like McNamee all the time. Every day. Jeff Novitsky fits the bill to a T. I think its even money on which side is telling the truth here, if either of them are, and am ordering up refreshments for the show.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Interesting take.
      I’ll have a Corona with a lime.
      Doesn’t Texas have Blue Laws… the nerve of Hardin filing suit
      on Sunday…
      My money is on McNamee cuz he’s Irish, and the Green never lie, except
      for FBI agent Connolley and Whitey Bulger.

      • bmaz says:

        BSL – Have you heard the tape of the phone call McNamee made to clemens last Friday? Whoo boy, this is going to be interesting. He sure comes off as a desperate guy that has been put through the grinder of manipulation. Who all is doing the grinding, how bad it is…all questions still open. I still don’t know who to believe but this pile of crap is nowhere near the clear cut done deal the media sports pundits are making it out to be.

  76. CasualObserver says:

    EW, Again, that structure is different, I believe. You are citing cases where the legislators (sitting or ex) are guests. I’m referring to a setting where they are regulars. Clearly, one would have to choose the panel carefully. If you put folks like Bill Bradley, Zbig Brezinski on permanently, I don’t think you get a screeching pile o’ crap. I think you might get some intelligent discussion. No idea who the conservative heads would be. Surely there are some.

    It might produce nothing better, as you say. But, I doubt it could be any worse than what we have now. Anyway, it was just a random thought…

    • bmaz says:

      OK, I get what you are saying now. Such a show could produce some good discourse; but who’s going to actually watch it? I am into wonky stuff like this; yet the thought of listening to Bill Bradley and Z Brez for more than a couple of minutes at a time is already putting me to sleep. I’ll say this much; you are right, there has got to be something better than what we got now.

  77. randiego says:

    Late to the party, but I was otherwise occupied yesterday. Some amazing surf south of Ensenada early in the day, then back north in time for the game and some excellent shrimp and fish ceviche at a sports bar in Rosarito in the afternoon.

    I knew that line (10.5 points!) was a joke, there was really something fishy about it. The ironic thing is that they actually covered it. The game was a duplicate of the first meeting a few weeks ago.

    The Bolts got their butt kicked in the first half, but didn’t blink. I’ll take a team that will shrug off some early body blows and gets stronger as the game wears on any day. They got the monkey off their back, and I think really proved that they have some mettle. Rivers showed he can make some throws too, but I still think we’d be better with Drew Brees.

    It really irks me that they have to play at 10am west coast time next sunday. West coast teams always get screwed like that. We won in Indy 2 years ago, and won a game we should have lost against them this year.

    A boy can dream can’t he?

  78. randiego says:

    Hey just because I want them to win, doesn’t mean I’m picking them to win.

    Indy is an 8.5 point favorite. Much better.

    • bmaz says:

      Hey, my hopes and desires are riding with you all the way; my money, however, is not. I am a native son of the west and the Bolts are the closest pro football team to where I live…. GO BOLTS!

  79. radiofreewill says:

    Okay, an hour to go! It’s time for you OSU fans to put on your red vests and start drinkin’ hard, because –

    We’re gonna run all over you, doo-dah, doo-dah…

    Good luck holding LSU to less than 40.

  80. radiofreewill says:

    20 Minutes till Demolition time!

    OSU has had 51 days to improve the crispness of their slow execution.

    I predict sharp handoffs by OSU, exactly a half step slower than the Defense.

  81. BooRadley says:

    ESPN poll has 25% of the voters believing Clemons; 34% not knowing who to trust and 40% believing McNamee.

    In the clips I’ve seen, Clemons comes off as a typical self-absorbed jock celebrity. I hope I’m wrong, but I have to think that theater is a dream come true for the owners. It takes the spotlight off of the fact that they created the conditions under which players were essentially encouraged to cheat.

    • bmaz says:

      Wouldn’t you be self absorbed by this if you were Clemens? The pundits and chattering classes jawed that if he was innocent he should make a statement. He did that. Then they said he should make a more forceful and personal statement. He did that. They said he should go on the TeeVee and be subjected to questions by a reputable journalist and say he was innocent. He did that. They said he should go in front of congress and swear under oath he is innocent. He has unequivocally said he is ready to go. They said he should sue if he has been defamed. He did that. What more can he do?? The sole, and I mean ONLY iota of evidence against him is the statement of McNamee, who if you listen to the tape of the phone call he made to Clemens last Friday, has clearly been put through the grinder by the Feds and is so broken down that he may be suicidal if you ask me. I have never been a huge Clemens fan, but I am kind of a stickler for due process for those being tied to the railroad track by runaway investigators and prosecutors and this case absolutely reeks of that. I am also totally shocked by the shitty and uninformed reporting going on by the sports reporters, who, quite frankly, I usually find to be some of the better journalists out there in the media these days. What if he really is innocent? What then?

  82. Neil says:

    Les Miles to defensive coordinator “Have we got anything to stop those 65 yard rushing plays up the middle for a TD?”

  83. Neil says:

    LSU looks like they didn’t know OSU would run a no back offense. LSU stopped ‘em and kept drive 2 to a FG.

  84. Neil says:

    LSU is mixing up their point of attack, effectively. They like to throw to Doucette to the wide side. I think they’re picking on the OSU corner #21.

  85. Muzzy says:

    24 unanswered first half points by LSU.

    They need to be careful to leave something for halftime adjustments.

  86. Neil says:

    A bunch of republicans met in OK today. they say its time for bi-partisan government and they want all the candidates to agree to cross party cabinet appointments. Now is the time for that, right? Not 8 years ago, not 7, not 6, not last year, not this but next year. How can these people be so transparently pathetic?

  87. bmaz says:

    Klynn – Wherever you are, you may have bit the bullet by getting me signed up to cheer for OSU. But dammit, i have been doing my best. Pretty poor results so far from my effort….

  88. bmaz says:

    Just saw a post by watertiger at FDL that made me wonder: Why are the major media organizations calling the presidential nominees for 2008 before we have even finished the 2007 college football season? That just seems wrong.

  89. bmaz says:

    If Katie Jensen is around, I think Pellini is going to do a good job for Nebraska and is the right guy for you. Sure has LSU defense coached up.

    • bmaz says:

      As to Clemens personally, that is about how I feel. But as a legal matter, I find it pretty intriguing. You have a federal investigator from the IRS that has been allowed to ramble uncontrolled way out of his element for literally years working with very ethically questionable AUSAs, primarily out of NDCA, a US Attorney’s office that was miserably mismanaged by one of the USAs fired in the purge, Kevin Ryan. The Feds have been directly partnering with Major League Baseball (who effectively supported the use of steroids when they needed their game to regain popularity) in an “independent” investigation being run by an owner of the Boston Red Sox, Mitchell. The big “independent report” springing from said owner of the Red Sox was curiously fairly silent on Red Sox folks, but was literally dripping with current and former Yankees, including their star pitcher, who by the way is enemy number one to the Red Sox. Oh, and by the way, it is my understanding that the orders for the DOJ to partner up with MLB, and in some instances, through Novitsky and crew, basically serve as private investigators and goon squad for the Mitchell investigation, came from literally the top of our government. And I also know a bit about Clemens’ lawyer, Rusty Hardin. He is a legend in some of the circles I used to run in; and if he gets cranked up, is worth the price of admission all by himself. As a lawyer doing the kind of work that I did for a long time, you just love this kind of stuff. Its almost kind of irrelevant what the real story with Clemens is, I just don’t care for the process as it has played out and I am excited at the thought of Rusty ripping it wide open. Seems like we always get lame lawyering on the big public cases these days; that will not be the case here win, lose or draw. To me, thats kind of fun.

  90. bmaz says:

    No soup for you! Where were the guts and glory on the sixth pick? Heh heh. Seriously, outstanding prognostication; we don’t have a prize, but you would win it.

  91. BooRadley says:

    OfT, but an interesting read from “CAN’T STOP THE BLEEDING” “Did Holy Tony Dungy & Jeff Fisher Conspire To Fuck Over The Browns?”

    No more so than Cleveland fucked themselves by making Charlie Frye their starting QB in Week One. However, the following item from the scandal-riffic Pro Football Talk is worthy of consideration, if only to suggest the Hooded Casanova might not be the only head coach playing fast and loose with the spirit of fair competition.[…]

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