emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread* – Championship Sunday Edition

Championship Sunday brings conflicting emotions for me. It brings the very essence, the finest, that pro football has to offer; the two best teams in each conference duking it out for the right to go to the Super Bowl. It also means that, save for the commonly anti-climatic Super Bowl, the football season is over, and that leaves a hole in the sports, and emptywheel, world until next fall. Well, enough of that, we DO have one outstanding day of gridiron glory left, lets get to it.

Frightning Lightning Bolts at Pats – The Bolts are busted up. Tomlinson has a hyperextended knee. Rivers also has a bum knee and Antonio Gates can hardly walk, but will undoubtedly play fine just like last week, with his famous toe. None of these three have practiced this week, but all are expected to play. Shawne "Gastineau" Merriman is a little under the weather, but has practiced and should be ready. For the Pats, Donte Stallworth and guard Steve Neal have minor pains, but have practiced and are good to go. Now if I am Bill Belichick, I am telling the whole team how the female complainant against Randy Moss is on the Charger’s payroll, and a statement has to be made for their oppressed teammate by steamrolling the Bolts and running up the score. The weather forecast is for bitter cold and wind. Not exactly favorable conditions for the beach boys. The Bolts have been playing inspired and excellent football for weeks now, and Norval Turner is off the snide and has actually won a playoff game. Congratulations on the fine season randiego; however, I fear it has come to an end. The Pats win this one easy.

NY Football Giants at The Green Bay Favres – What do you say about this game? It has everything you could ask for as a fan, and more. Young Eli Manning is actually playing like the reliable bulletproof Ecodrive watch he hawks. The Gents running game is strong and deep and the defense tough. Well, except for the secondary that is; where Kevin Dockery, Sam Madison and Aaron Ross are all pretty nicked up, but are available. Good thing they won’t be facing a proven quarterback or anything. For the Pack, everybody is practicing and ready to go, although Woodson, Bubba Franks and Nick Barnett are still nursing minor bumps and bruises; but nothing alarming. The frozen tundra, the freezing cold air, the championship banners, Titletown, Lombardi, Starr, Nitschke, cheeseheads and Curly Lambeau. It is all there, and all as it should be. Really, can you picture a better setting and storyline? I can’t. Neither can Phred. Both teams have sound running games and strong offensive lines. Both have hot quarterbacks pulling the trigger. The difference is the defensive secondaries, and there the Packers have what looks to be a commanding edge. The Giants deserve to be in this game and are to be commended for getting into it. I am more worried about them than I ought to be; but, as long as Favre doesn’t press, the Packers are going to be arriving in Phoenix soon. The kids will keep Brett loose and ready to rock and roll. Ah, the power of cheese!

As there are only two games, if you wish to make a play on the much coveted "Emptywheel Shiny Hubcap Award", you are going to have to predict the points in addition to the winners. Get some antifreeze in you, its cold out there! What do you have to say for yourselves?

307 replies
  1. sanandreasfaults says:

    Excellent overview of all four teams. Your point about the Superbowl anti climantics sadly is becoming the norm. I’ll be submitting my predictions soon.

    • Neil says:

      Time to leave. I just hate American Football!!!!

      Thanks for sharing …don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

      What? This IS a trash talk thread, isn’t it?

      I’m going to leak my two predictions slowly over the next 24 hours… No wishes this week, just predictions. I learned my lesson.

        • Neil says:

          Damnit don’t do that again! It makes it hard to find…

          I won’t… I was just trash-talking.

          I was thinking about the vivid dream you had about Gore offering you a job. You do realize that with your prolific and masterful critical reading and thinking skills, you’d be a tremendous analayst, advisor, policy wonk or consultant for anyone in a leadership position… and that ain’t no trash talk. Do you think you might want to do something like that? Just sayin… you’re the best. And you know, you don’t have to take my word for it.

          Another aside, the Jeffs (14-0) play the Jumbos (12-0) tonight in women’s basketball. We, the A Assoc. of Boston, will be there cheering on the Jeffs. There’s a great pizza place around the corner called Boccelli’s. Try the ricotta and spinich.

          • randiego says:

            Neil, excellent take on EW – it goes without saying really, but glad someone said it anyway.

            Who are the Jeffs and Jumbos?

            PS – my gf spent 6 years in Somerville (Boston). We have Pats-fans friends all over the place, including SD. Talk about awkward!

              • randiego says:

                Great stuff – we have some close friends that moved here from Boston in May. They experienced the fires in their first year, and have hung out with us on the beach as recently as last week. They absolutely love it and swear they’re never going back. All they need to complete their So Cal experience is an earthquake…

              • Neil says:

                Jeffs=Amherst College team name
                Jumbos=Tufts U. team name
                Wes Welker is the key to the Pats’ victory!

                Right, Right and right.

                Maroney and Faulk must have good games too.

                Last night, the Jeffs beat the Jumbos by scoring a layup on a half court pass in the final 2.4 seconds as the clock ran out. They’re now 16-0 with a win against the Bobcats today.

  2. emptywheel says:

    It’s forecast to be teens here, with zero windchill, which means it’s likely to be a lot colder in Lambeau (yup: highs of 5 degrees!). The last time we saw Bad Eli–in fact, almost every time we saw Bad Eli this season–Eli seemed as flummoxed by the weather as the other team’s D. So I’m predicting we see some Bad Eli this weekend with Charles Woodson and my new favorite Packer (watchout, phred, I think there’s a spot for him on the Pats), Atari Bigbee, will each get a turnover.

    Packers 27, Giants 17

    As for the Pats, yes, the Bolts do seem undermanned, and with LT ouchie, the Bolts are no better prepared to deal with crappy weather than the fair weather PAts this year (though it’s forecast to be a comparatively balmy 20 degrees). Well, probably less prepared.

    This game pits last year’s presumptive AFC champs against this year’s presumptive AFC champs (the pundits were noting that the AFC seems to have had a one-year delay for its presumptive champs to win the conference). And Shawn Merriman–he will sack Brady once or thrice, which is a key ingredient to any hope of beating the Pats.

    Oh, and have I meantioned that if the Pats lose it’ll be Rodney Roids, fault, if not for missing plays (though he’ll miss one or two of those, just to piss me off), then for getting STOOPID penalties for hitting someone after the whistle. Boy, I can’t wait until we pick up Bigbee in the off season.

    That said, the Pats have enough weapons, the Bolts are so ouchie, I gotta go with the Pats. (What’s that? You think I was going with the Pats anyway? Um, well, at least I can rationalize that decision).

    Pats 27, Bolts 14

  3. BlueStateRedHead says:

    Is anyone putting money on the bolts? A linky to the las vegas site would be fun. I am sneaking a peek and can’t look it up myself.

    Phred, there is a fellow who has sued Lambeau field. Do not, however, be too afraid. He has also sued Michael Vick and:

    George Bush, Malcolm X, Vanna White, Jimmy Hoffa, Google.com, Pope Benedict XVI, Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist Party, the Ming Dynasty, the Statue of Liberty, Michaelangelo, the Hubble Telescope, the Magna Carta, Plato, the Tenth Edition of the Merriam Webster Dictionary, Tsunami victims, the Appalachian Trial, Meals on Wheels, and Tony Danza.

    From jail,that is. Time on his hands, I guess.


    • phred says:

      Wow, talk about a charter member of Wingnuts ‘R Us. I would love to know how exactly one goes about suing a piece of paper (Magna Carta) and a building (Lambeau).

      bmaz, thanks for adding that wonderful video of the 3rd graders : )

      I hope BSL reposts Our Favre over on this thread, it was great…

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        I’m a Patriot fan, and I do not endorse this supplication

        Let us pray?

        Our Favre,
        Who art in Lambeau,
        Hallowed be thine arm.
        The bowl will come,
        It will be won.
        In Phoenix as it is in Lambeau
        And give us this Sunday,
        Our weekly win.
        And give us many touchdown passes.
        But do not let others pass against us.
        Lead us not into frustration,
        But deliver us to the valley of the sun.
        For thine is the MVP, the best of the NFC,
        and the glory of the Cheese heads,
        now and forever.

        • phred says:

          Thanks! Cheer for the Pats to your heart’s content… Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some prayin’ to do ; )

        • vieravisionary says:

          Now that a prayer if I ever heard one :-)!!

          Well, I believe that Green Bay defense will be the key and the Packers will defeat the Giants 27-17.

          On the AFC side, it is just hard not to pick the Pats . . . especially at home in the cold! However, San Diego’s defense has greatly improved during the year and since they come in with nothing, and I mean, nothing to lose, they will be more relaxed and cause the Pats’ stadium to watch the most unlikely moment when Norv Turner figures out a way to defeat NE at home in the cold!

          Score San Diego 37 – Pats 31 (with at least two San Diego defensive TDs during the game!

  4. Evolute says:

    So David is going into battle with toes he can’t turn on, knees that will eventually be replaced, his right arm tied behind his back and, oh wait… that’s how he beat the reigning champ Colts from Indianapolis. And now the 32 million fans that watched last weeks heroics scorn at the left coast’s little mutant’s chance against Goliath, the establishment’s darling from the east, who’s biggest handicap might be its hair out of place from the wind at its back. Scoot over randiego, let them laugh a-loud, I’m with you on this one.

    The NFC game should be a good one. I’m still rooting for the ol’ man. If it just get a little colder..

  5. randiego says:

    Yep, cold weather. Yep, Chargers banged up. Blowout coming, right?

    LT banged up? Hello Michael Turner and your 5.5 YPC avg. Gates banged up? hello Manamaleuna and Legedu Naanee. Rivers banged up? Hello Billy Volek – do you believe in miracles?

    The Chargers have nothing to lose, the Patriots have everything to lose. Advantage, SD.

    Just because the Chargers play and practice in warm weather doesn’t mean they are sissies. Half their players played college in cold weather locations. The big deal about the weather is the wind, not the cold. Wind affects passing teams. Advantage, SD.

    Bmaz, it’s Frightning Lightning, thankyouverymuch.

    Have you guys ever heard the Chargers fight song? It’s pretty catchy, you can catch it here:

    One more thing. Will the refs give the Bolts a fighting chance in this game? You watch the flags, and you tell me.

    Long winded rant coming up in 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1

    • emptywheel says:

      Btw, there’s an NFL.com video of Belichick talking about how much he hates that “super Chargers” song. It could be your secret weapon. Just find a way to hack the Foxboro audio system so it plays over and over and over. You’ll drive Bill Bell nuts, he’ll have to leave the stadium, and the Pats lose their best weapon.

      Though it might just make Seau play like a 24 year old, only with wisdom…

      • randiego says:

        EW, the bar I watch Charger games at (the one with the LT shrine) plays the song over the PA every time the Bolts score. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head all week.

        Here’s an amusing article about the LT Shrine.

    • bmaz says:

      Manamaleuna and Legedu Naanee.

      Easy for you to say. Crikey, can’t they change their names to Smith and Jones? Me thinks you have been working on this a while! EW, if Norval Turner is half as prepared as randiego, the Pats might be in trouble. Fear the Volek vortex!

      • randiego says:

        Oh yeah, worked on it since I saw that tool Hoge busting out Ryan F’ing Leaf.

        btw, very nice writing to open up the thread, and I also enjoyed Evolute’s take @ 11.

  6. randiego says:

    Sorry for the long post, but this stuff has been grinding on me all week.

    The National media has really lost their perspective on sundays’ Patriots/Chargers game. I’ve heard over and over that the better team lost last weekend, and that Indianapolis was the one team that could challenge the Patriots, why are the Chargers even bothering to show up…. yadda yadda yadda.

    By definition, the better team is the one that wins, right? It’s like they didn’t even watch the game.

    I’m not saying the Patriots are favored by 2 touchdowns for no reason. They are a dominant franchise, won 3 of 5 super bowls, very well coached, and Tom Brady will go down as the greatest of all time. Watching him put on a clinic last saturday was simply amazing – when he has time, he finds the open guy and you are dead. And they are playing at home.

    It’s silly to pick against them, right? But – The Patriots are unbeaten – not unbeatable – and there’s a difference. It’s why they play the games.

    OTOH – What have the Chargers done? Not much. They are 2-2 in playoff games over the last 13 years. But, the Chargers are a dangerous team, and while it’s unexpected that they are in the AFC Championship game, it shouldn’t surprise anyone they are capable of it. The Chargers record is 25-7 over the last two years; the Chargers have sent 30 players to the Pro Bowl the last 3 seasons (punter Mike Scifres hasn’t made it yet). All that’s been missing is some adversity to mature them, and the 1-3 start appears to have done that. They aren’t healthy, but everyone saw the depth on their roster last week.

    I was curious about the matchup, so I sat down and ran some numbers for you guys over the last 10 games:
    Last 10 games:
    W/L record:
    Pats: 10-0 Bolts: 9-1
    record of opposing teams:
    Pats: 78-82; .486 Bolts: 84-76; .526
    avg margin of victory (or loss):
    Pats: 16.7 Bolts: 11.8 (with a 7-point loss in there to Jax, week 11)
    avg points scored:
    Pats: 34.1 Bolts: 26.8
    avg points allowed:
    Pats: 17.4 Bolts: 15.0

    On paper, those numbers hardly look like a blowout of epic proportions the media would have you believe. The defenses are the key to this game. Late in the season, the Eagles/Ravens/Jags/Giants showed the Patriots defense can be had. Where’s the coverage of that?

    National Media Rant, Part II:
    ESPN – man there’s something in the water over there. Lots of Rivers bashing this week.

    In the last couple of days I have heard Bob Golic compare Philip Rivers career against ELI MANNING – with ELI coming out as the better player! Are you kidding me – Rivers passer rating is like 15 points better over the two years Rivers has been the starter, not to mention his W/L record. Then, Merrill Hoge compared Rivers to RYAN FUCKING LEAF! He’s also been lumped in with TERRELL OWENS. What’s next guys, Rivers compared to PACMAN JONES?

    Let’s all meet Philip Rivers, shall we?

    Rivers is 26. He married his middle-school sweetheart, has 3 kids with another on the way, his dad was his high school coach and the guy is a model citizen. He is Mr. Middle America. He started all 4 years at NC State.

    There’s no unwed mothers or supermodel ex-gf’s in there, no run-ins with law enforcement, no strip bars, or league sanctions, no bashing teammates or coaches, no berating reporters – nada. The coverage of him jawing at fans in Indy is regrettable – what do you expect when the ‘great fans’ in Indy are cheering when a guy gets hurt? He is young, he is a bit immature, he’s a hyper chatterbox, and Charger fans cringe when he gets the media attention for being mouthy. But you show me a QB that’s not confident, and I’ll show you a QB that sucks. I like him being confident and thriving on the adversity. Yes, it would be nice if he just shut up and played, but give me a break. Those two TD throws last week (Chambers and Jackson) proved he has it when it counts.

    Hey I’m their biggest critic – Bmaz might remember I said it here in a football thread like 6 or 8 weeks ago – I doubted the Chargers would win even one playoff game. Since then they have found themselves. They are confident but not over-confident, and they are really finishing games.

    I said it last week – The Chargers CAN WIN.

    PS – Packers over Giants.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      But my Christmas with my brothers and dad has been postponed again because the Chargers keep winning. How long can this go on?

    • Evolute says:

      Fill ‘um with facts, the creeping nightmare is working. Even the establishment is feeling the dread of a monumental upset.

    • ThadBeier says:

      Scifers should be Boltz MVP — a punter like that flat changes the game.

      They beat the favored Colts twice this season — both times by rattling Manning, one of the best in the game. It is possible they could do the same to Brady. not likely, but possible. I think Manning threw half his interceptions this year against the Boltz.

  7. BayStateLibrul says:

    Gino Cappaletti sayeth that the Pats have the mo, and the 4th quarter buzz.

    I’m predicting

    Pats 26 Bolts 20 (in overtime)
    Packers 23 Giants 14

    The thriller in phoenilla:

    Pats 35 Packers 33

    Did ya know that Wes Welker was cut by the Bolts?

  8. bonjonno says:

    great thread bmaz.

    I just went to get the mail; it’s 13 here in South Dakota with a -9 wind chill. The sun’s out and I almost seized up entirely. So I’m worried about Brett. It’ll be 10 degrees colder there at least and dark. Brrrr. Remember what happened in Chicago? he stopped workin’. For Phred’s sake I hope it doesn’t happen again.

    • phred says:

      Boy that’s for sure. If they have another game like the one in Soldier Field, I’m liable to have a seizure. Still, they blew a game against Chicago earlier in the season, so I don’t think it was just the cold. As BooRadley (I think it was him) pointed out, Lovey Smith was on a mission to beat the Pack. He succeeded by beating them twice. Unfortunately that fixation didn’t pay off with 14 other games in the season ; )

      13 degrees in SD, huh? What would you call that — brisk or bracing? ; )

      • bonjonno says:

        sorry… I was gone thawing out my toes. 13 degrees used to be no big deal then I got old. er.

        But thanks for reminding me it was mostly a Chicago thing. Not the frozen football. I gotta get my cheesehead straight before gameday.

  9. pseudonymousinnc says:

    Having a Pats-Packers SuperBowl in Phoenix seems so utterly wrong. Move the damn thing to Heinz Field.

    I have a gig to attendon Sunday evening, which means I’ll miss the back end of the NFC championship, but I honestly can’t see it being decided late. The AFC is another matter, but the Pats have shown their ability to pick out a way to win, no matter what the opposition.

  10. pinche.borracho says:

    Both winners will have Western Illinois Leatherneck ties:

    Rodney Harrison with 1 pick and 1 sack…Pats 34 SoCalScum 17

    Ghost of Bag ‘o’ Donuts (Frank Winters) former roommate/amigo of Favre w/2TDs and QB rating above 90…Pack 24 G-Men 13

  11. realworld says:

    pats 24 bolts 17 (the pats defense has really woken up once they get out of the first quarter anyways. It’s going to very windy so that will inhibit the long balls to RM.)

    gb 31, giants 24.

    • emptywheel says:

      It’s Rodney Roid. He always slacks off until I get done with visiting egregious or off the radio. And then so long as I’m there abusing him, he remembers that in his youth he was a mean player.

      I’ll be glad when we get Atari though.

  12. randiego says:

    Did anyone read that article? Partial-torn ACL, to go along with the sprained MCL. Yikes!

    I now believe that Billy Volek will be the starter on Sunday.

    I hope everyone has noticed that I haven’t been boasting or predicting a Charger win – I won’t give points or anything like that. My goal has been to point out that this game is a lot closer than folks realize and do my bit to boost the PR effort for my beloved Bolts.

    As you can tell, I am pretty annoyed that the reporting and analysis hasn’t been very good (a common complaint around here eh?) and that the establishment seems very ready for The Coronation before the game has been played.

    I’m a boy with a Dream. Can you imagine if the Chargers shocked the world?

    • bmaz says:

      Well, as the Bolts are the closest pro football team to the Phoenix market, I guess it would be like a home game. Except for the fact that the stands would be full of Pack fans that is. I went to a Packers-Cardinals game here a few years back. There were literally more GB fans than Card fans. Shows you how smart the fans here are….

  13. BayStateLibrul says:

    From a Pat’s diehart:

    San Diego’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to be a sports fan there…

    • randiego says:

      It’s easy to be a sports fan from Boston these days, that’s for sure!

      Don’t cry for me being a sports fan out here. The Chargers have a long proud history in San Diego – a lot more NFL luminaries came out of Don Coryell’s system that people realize. People forget that it was the addition of the AFL that made the NFL what it is these days, and the Bolts were a part of it.

      The Padres have been a solid team for several years now and have a nice new ballpark.

      Besides, half the people out here are from somewhere else – like what bmaz said – it can be hard to find local fans in any random group of people! That can definitely try your patience!

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        You are right, randiego.
        My brother lives in San Diego, and invited my wife and I to see three
        Red Sox v Pads games last summer.
        What a ballpark with very nice fans and expensive beers…

        • randiego says:

          I went to one of those games… Jenny wore a Red Sox hat and a Padres shirt – same as my buddy’s gf. We were telling Boston fans at the bar that we were stealing their women!

  14. radiofreewill says:

    I can feel a good one coming on!

    Ye of little faith! I’m with randiego – the Bolts will Win! 28-24

    Why? Because the Cheats can’t go 18-0, and they certainly don’t have the fortitude to hoist the Excalibur of Pro Football, The Vince Lombardi Trophy, in two weeks!

    Bolts win because its the Right thing!

    The Giants are still laughing over the Dallas game – they’ve already had a Successful Season, and it’s not going to hurt them one bit to lose to Green Bay, 45-21.

    Go Bolts!

  15. dipper says:

    My only hope of ever winning the coveted hubcap is to play havoc with the odds. Therefore:

    Bolts 26, Pats 24

    Gents 21, Favres 19

  16. jdmckay says:

    EW, I thought daddy Wheel yanked your U-Tube privs? (you tie him up in back room?) That’s the cheese(head)iest thingie I’ve seen since Gouda…

    Gooooo RAIDERS!!!

  17. bmaz says:

    Breaking News: Police are searching the grassy knoll outside of Tom Brady’s residence after reports of a sniper. In between donuts, one officer stated that a wood paneled van, with two surfboards (one long, one short) on top, bearing California tags reading “RANDEGO” has been located and identified as a “vehicle of interest”…..

  18. randiego says:

    OT – whoa, just noticed the $500 tax-rebate thingy. So that’s what Bush was muttering about on TV this morning.

    Talk about your bandaid on a gaping chest wound! Won’t this make it worse?

    • bmaz says:

      For our kids, you bet, got to pay for that sooner or later; probably can’t hurt in the short term, sure doesn’t seem likely to be of any real help though. That is like putting in a quart of gas when you are on empty and a hundred miles from the closest station. Funny that Bush can champion throwing 150 billion dollars down the drain in a meaningless gesture to make himself and the GOP look like they are actually doing something, but can’t find 20 billion to give healthcare to destitute children. What a despicable excuse of a human being Bush is.

    • Elliott says:

      OT – whoa, just noticed the $500 tax-rebate thingy. So that’s what Bush was muttering about on TV this morning.

      Talk about your bandaid on a gaping chest wound! Won’t this make it worse?

      Heaven’s No! randiego, once you receive, you’ll be able to shop harder for Victory!

  19. CasualObserver says:

    Bmaz, I percieve you’re not seeing the Giants/Packers game clearly. The Giants win this game.

    It doesn’t matter who wins the other game. I don’t care about who’s favored or who wins the shiny hubcap. Giants win.

    I hope it will be a great game, good luck.

  20. Elliott says:

    I’m looking for peyton pain, I want Eli to win the jewel encrusted wheel obscenity awarded to the winnah’s! Then Peyton has to stop ninner-ninnering his little brother.

  21. bmaz says:

    To quote Vince Lombardi (no roTL, not that fake one up in the emerald city) “What the hell is going on here”? Did you not watch the video above? You all are jabbering on about these Manning chumps when we have the greatest quarterback in the history of the universe taking the field in the Holy Cathedral of Football? Absolute heresy!

    • CasualObserver says:

      It ain’t about Manning. It wasn’t last week, or the week before that. And while it may end up being about Favre, I don’t see it that way. I think it’s about who can run, and which defense can apply more pressure.

      And I’m thinking you already know which team that is.

  22. bmaz says:

    Hey randiego, all I got to say is that if Bush is going to slam through this bullshit, please do it fast so I can use my rebate on a ducat to the Pack-Pats game being played here in 16 days!

    • randiego says:

      I’m conflicted between myselves… the sensible one sees a big fat credit card payment. Randiego sees a surfboard he’s been thinking he’d like to have made…

      I still think it’s a stupid (and especially cynical) idea – the Walmart crowd will buy into it and think Bush is a hero. He thinks they’re too stupid to notice that the deficit will go up another $150BN, and he’s probably right. It’s amazing how persistent their ‘tax-and-spend liberal’ meme has proven to be.

      • bmaz says:

        Hey, I got a question for you. I used to spend my summers during college in Santa Monica working at a family friend’s antique auto restoration shop. At some kind of illicit party, I met these two guys Chris and Jeff. Wild dudes. Can’t at this point remember which was which, but one was a radio DJ and one was a part owner or manager or something of a company named Natural Progression that made surfboards. Way cool guys, and they always had the kind. Is Natural Progression still around?

        • randiego says:

          I haven’t heard of them, but it’s clearly a well-known manufacturer from Malibu in the 70’s. Their old boards are prized by collectors (you’d be surprised what rare surfboards sell for these days).

          Someone is making boards using their old logo and selling them in Hawaii. Probably one of your buddies. It’s an old story that the old classic surfboard makers from California drop out and move over to Hawaii.

          Pretty cool anecdote – very California.

        • Evolute says:

          First a slight correction at 79- I checked my facts (OK, I went to the Karl Rove school of math – and opened my mouth with self-absorbed conviction). Hap Jacobs sold his PCH shop in 1971, when back-yard production collapsed the market, opting for sword-fishing out of King Harbor in Redondo Beach for the next 15 years. He started shaping boards again in 1990 and now has an outlet at 717 Valley Dr., Hermosa Beach.

          Dewey Weber also went into the sword-fishing business and Greg Noll went into the crab-fishing business. But with the abundance of transplanted inlanders discovering the joys of surfing and willing to part with hard eared cash like randieago, both Weber and Noll came back to putting their name on surfboards as well.

          Was your Natural Progression bud a guy called J. Roger Horsey? If so click here

          The Bolts strike on Sunday.

          Actually the bolt is bitting my a** right now. I’m trying to link to http://jrodgerhorsey.com/Bio.htm
          But no workie for me. Help!!

          • Evolute says:

            Scratch that last paragraph. The preview failed to link, but the real thing seems fine. New kid on the block , what can I say?

          • bmaz says:

            Naw, it wasn’t the Horse. I think I know who that guy is, not positive, but I think he was already a bit of an absentee or erstwhile founder/owner. I was not a surfer; tried, but man did I suck. I was 5′8″ skinny white kid; not a natural athlete, but pretty competent at most sports, but surfing was always the heinous black mark on my record. Could water and snow ski pretty darn well; couldn’t stay on a board if you fucking glued me to it. However, these were cool guys and we got along pretty well. The one known as Chris lived in the same little apartmentette units on 2nd Street in Santa Monica that I did the first summer I was over there (75); that is how I met these guys. I am not sure what the real “ownership” of the Natural Progression” enterprise was (heh heh, not sure that any of them, including Horse, knew either, they just kind of did it). All I know is that they were all part of it, had keys to the shop, came and went, took stuff in and out etc. like they owned it. It is my inclination that they really knew what they were doing with the boards though. I know that when I was in Boulder, there was an analogous group of ski dudes that I fell in with because they, like I, skied primarily at Maryjane. Everybody knew who had the skills tuning the boards.

            • emptywheel says:

              Btw, my CO bro is a big MaryJane skier–he’s got a place in Winter Park (that’s where my Tele boards have been collecting dust for the last 5 years). Apparently my 7 year old nephew was skiing the double diamonds on the first day of the season this year–he’s in the racing program for rugrats there.

          • randiego says:

            Evolute – where are you at/from? You sound like you know your way around the South Bay. My family moved to SD before I was in kindergarten.

            • Evolute says:

              The Canuck transplant sez:

              My family moved to SD before I was in kindergarten.

              Are you saying that beach life since kindergarden makes not an inlander. I agree, if you grew up with sand in all the wrong places and a head full of salt-dried hair –surfs up dude, a belated welcome to the left coast : )

              As for myself, I sprouted twelve blocks from the water in Manhattan Beach. We now have a house here in Northridge, a 5-iron from the university, and one in Petersfield, England, where Mrs. Evolute doesn’t have to deal with the decline and fall of the American Empire, and the kids can walk to school and get a proper education.

              On the other hand, my football loyalties are nebulous at best (most all LA sport fans are fair-weathered sissies with the possible exception of Jack Nickolson’s obsession with the Lakers, and with respect to management, probably Jane when she is in town). I live in a NFL free-zone. Thanks to Carroll Rosenbloom forgetting that he wasn’t a beach-bum when he tried swimming in Florida breakers. Unfortunately he willed the team to Georgia, RIP, and not his son Steve, who knew and loved football and worked in the front office. I think she waited till Carroll was pushing daises before she fired Steve, though I’m not sure.

              That’s all water under the pier. My best bud and I got handed great tickets to a Rams home game one day – in the visitors section. It was the hated Raiders. Unbelievable now, but at the time we had such a blast, those fans and that team, it was magic, love at first sight. bla, bla, bla…

              Anyway, a few years later they moved in, literally. Dave Dalby, the center, rented a house at fifth street on the strand, exactly in front of where we had built a volleyball court (I say built bc courts were at a premium, if you didn’t get there early some inlanders would plant their party at “your” court and you might be s.o.l. so I made posts with dowel holes that only particular hardware would hang the net). So there was Jim Plunkett with his offensive line drinking beers watching the babes skate by, with us playing volleyball in the background. Life is funny.

              In this period, IIRC some of the best affordable seats in the colosseum were row 31 section 15, right between the uprights in the west end. The plays unfold nothing like the 50 yard-line view. Life continued.

              It was all good, Then Al Davis got a personal hair up his ass and sat Marcus Allen for the better part of a year. The rebel I looked up to morphed into the sleaze-bag the rest of the NFL tried to ignore. You must remember his feud with Ray Kroc. I wouldn’t be bothered if a Mac truck ran up his backside.

              The best part of this tale is that this court is where my nephew fell in love with volleyball. He became single focused and incorrigible to the extent his mother emancipated him, sending him from up north to life with me. I became his guardian and helped him get into a strong volleyball school, Mira Costa. He earned a scholarship to Long Beach State and was the main passer on the team that beat a perennial powerhouse, SC, for the NCAA championship. I have one of the game balls signed by all the winning players.

              Go Chargers!!

              • randiego says:

                Great stuff Evolute – I know some guys that surf Manhattan Beach, I feel bad for them – SD is a lot more consistent, and we have Mex right here.

                Once in a while, The Chargers would play the Rams, and we’d go up and catch the game. That was a shame when they got moved out of town, they had a great fan base.

                As fars as me being a inlander, my parents are from Oz. They emigrated from Sydney to Toronto, and the family was only there for 5 years. Throw in the fact that we’re convicts, and what does that make us?

  23. PascoBill says:

    Well, I’ve just had a bottle of chardonnay, so I’m in a perfect condition to root for my SD Chargers. Of course, I haven’t had the prerequisite sushi (sorry, I’m a veggie), nor the quiche, and I’ve moved to Washington – but I still look for a Bolts victory. They’ve found ways to win, even with injuries, inexperienced quarterbacks. OK, now it really doesn’t sound as likely, but again, the chardonnay…

  24. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    2nd to last hubcap shot:

    Pats by 3 over Bolts

    Pack by 4 over Gents

    and cap that with Pack by 1 over Pats in SuperBowl

    • emptywheel says:

      I’ll register that as 3-0 Pats win, then, and a 56-52 Packers win?

      You gotta give the score, otherwise I get to dictate whether we’re playing baseball or basketball…

      • watercarrier4diogenes says:

        I got some faith in Brett, but not that much, given the weather forecast.

        I’ll register that as 3-0 Pats win, then, and a 56-52 Packers win?

        You gotta give the score, otherwise I get to dictate whether we’re playing baseball or basketball…


        OK, Officially:

        Pats 27-24 over Bolts

        Pack 14-10 over Gents

      • bmaz says:

        I just tell the Bar that I have no idea where my client got those things, but I assumed it was from the hubcap boutique he swore his mother ran.

      • Muzzy says:

        Apologies to bmaz! In my haste to blurt out my prediction, what caught my eye was the striking banner that says Emptywheel. I guess that just overshadowed bmaz’ poor little title beneathe it.

  25. Evolute says:

    Sadly no. And down PCH a few miles, to my early stomping ground Manhattan and Hermosa Beach, neither is:
    Dewey Weber or
    Greg Noll Surfboards.

    They moved out before it became way hip, trendy, and the land of McMansions on post-stamp lots.

  26. ANOther says:


    It seems to me that you are way too involved with this thread. When EW hosts, her postings are rare, pithy and informative. Only Randiego (who I assume is smoking something) has made more comments than you in this thread. Maybe, like EW, you should be working on your next thread, or the one, two, three after that.

    Look, the big game this weekend for most of the civilised world is Australia vs India at cricket where Australia are trying to achieve a record 17 wins in a row, but it looks like they may not make it (he says, hopefully).

    Of course this is coming from a Canuck, from Winnipeg, which is closer to Green Bay than you are, and if the weather conditions there on Sunday are anything like they are here tonight, the game will be a joke.


    • bmaz says:

      Yeah. Well then. You have a point there; but if you were to wear an extra tall dunces cap, you might could cover it up. Secondly, what randiego and Neil said. Third, perhaps you should invest in a mirror in order that you might recognize your own absurdity. You babble vaingloriously alleging that I babble incessantly. Brilliant.

      • ANOther says:

        and replying to Randiego at 84

        Unlike chetnolian, I never said that I hated American Football. On the contrary, I will be watching both games, unless Mike Weir is in contention at the Hope, which, based on today’s scores is a reasonable possibility. As far as babbling, I thought that was the operational definition of trash talk.

        • bmaz says:

          Fair enough. You are right about the weather. The Weather Channel just told me that the temp should be 3 degrees with the wind chill factor at 15-20 below sunday night in GB. You have my condolences on that. It is currently 51 here and it is fucking freezing if you ask me….

          By the way, I don’t know dick about cricket but I absolutely love Australian Rules Football with those wacky referees in the silly hats and the wild arm and hand gesticulations.

        • randiego says:

          Oh that’s right, it’s a trash talk thread.

          Well, I may appear to be smoking something, but you’re a Canadian with a stick up his ass, making his countrymen (who I love, having been born in Toronto) look bad.

          Cheers and enjoy the games.

    • phred says:

      randiego and bmaz commenting more on a trash talk thread than me?!? Perish the thought — I’ve got some catching up to do ; )

      And just for the record, a Packer game is NEVER a joke. It may be painful to watch, a disaster of epic proportions (yes, Chicago, I’m thinking of you), but a joke? Never.

      That said, I hope Grant has his best running shoes on, ’cause at -20 they may as well be playing with a brick as a ball…

        • phred says:

          Sorry for shirking my responsibilities ; )

          By the way, I laughed out loud at your surfing story… I’m perfectly fine on snow skis (I even skied Tuckerman’s Ravine once), but utterly hopeless on a surfboard. I got the worst sunburn in my life after trying for 4 solid hours to stand up on a surfboard in Cocoa Beach. It was just awful. I spent the rest of the week I was there, lurking in shadows and keeping the lights off — I did not know a human was capable of turning that shade of red…

          • bmaz says:

            Yeah, well, try that over on the west coast where they have real waves to boot. Man, it was brutal; there have not been many times in my life I have had to admit defeat like that. Still pisses me off thirty years later. By the way, the video up top was in honor of my favorite cheesehead.

            • phred says:

              Very nice of you to post that video, I’m a sucker for singing 3rd graders all decked out in their Packer best…

              I can imagine how much worse it would have been to spend an afternoon flailing around in proper waves. Of course, I might have thrown in the towel sooner and saved myself a good bit of misery. In my opinion, water is meant for swimming in, not skimming atop. Freeze that water up a bit into a nice bunch of snow, and I’m good to go though: skis, snow shoes, heck even snow angels, I’m all set ; )

              Go Packers!

  27. masaccio says:

    TGIF! I’m really looking forward to watching football in the snow and cold. I remember a game from my freshman year at Notre Dame, Ara’s first year, against Iowa. Temperature at game time, around 20, 14 inches of snow in the stands. That was a great game. I think we won 28-0. Now that’s football!

    When I have no rooting interest, I always cheer for the team with the most Irish. According to wikipedia, we have two playing for the Packers, so I’m a Green Bay fan for this game. Go Pack.

    Mike Richardson is the only Irishman in the other game, so I’ll be pulling for the Patriots.

    Pretty scientific, huh?

  28. bmaz says:

    Heh heh, while sitting here babbling incessantly, I am also watching The McLaughlin Group on PBS. I got to hand it to the old coot John McLaughlin. For years, the two panelists “from the right” have been Pat Buchanan and Tony Blankely. No more. For the last couple of months, it has consistently been either Buchanan or Blankely, but only one of them and the other chair filled consistently by Monica Crowley. It is the same conservative drivel, but a hell of a lot easier on the eyes.

  29. ratbastahd says:

    Pats 38-6.
    Packers 27-13. I think the Giants have the better chance of an upset, but not in G.B. with those temps.

    Pats/Packers could actually make one of the better SB’s of recent times. I say the Pats finish it out: 31-27.

  30. pseudonymousinnc says:

    Oh, scores. Looking at the forecasts, I now have a feeling that the game in Green Bay is going to be looow-scoring. 14-7 GB. And no matter what the score, zilch field goals. Pats? Beat the spread.

  31. Mauimom says:

    I noticed [via a link on FDL] that KO posted on the Great Orange Satan. Perhaps if he knew how articulate and knowledgeable we were on football, he’d become a regular here.

    Has anyone invited him?

  32. jloc says:

    I’m hoping for a Pats/Jints super bowl. The Cheesehead and Favre things are old plus another opportunity to smack NY and the most ignorant sports fans in America.

    • bmaz says:

      I take strong issue with your comment. The most ignorant fans in America are clearly the ones that actually pay for tickets to see the Arizona Cardinals, a not very professional football team. This does, of course, not apply to nice, handsome intelligent folks that will go to one of their games every now and then if you give him a free ticket and offer to buy the beer…..

  33. ratbastahd says:

    Sorry to hear about your Teles Marcy, but really, where you gonna use them in WI/MI? The West it is not.

    Heading up to ski here with my 7 y.o. right now., she’s been on skiis since she was 3.

    We just got back from the Islands, and here she is first time on a surfboard – forgive the camera work

    • emptywheel says:

      ooh. Looks fun.

      You’re right–not much use for tele boards out here in flatlands, and back in the days when I was skiing regularly it was nice to keep them inthe condo in Winter Park. But since I haven’t skiied in 5 years, I could probably use a couple of runs down the land fills around these parts.

  34. bmaz says:

    Marjane was the best. It was too hard for most people to ski back then; therefore there were never any lift lines. The Challenger chairlift actually had (may still for all I know) a big sign saying “WARNING: this chairlift services only expert black diamond slopes” with some kind of directions on which way to head if that was not you. They weren’t kidding either. There were people that didn’t pay attention; you would pass by them many times while they were trying to get down the hill from their one time up.

  35. BayStateLibrul says:

    What me worry?
    You betcha.
    I’m worried about the Chaa-juhs.

    “Players are trained not to worry. Media and fans worry. They see what could go wrong. Players are different. How many times have you heard an athlete explain that he “doesn’t worry about things he can’t control”? Coaches teach players to anticipate situations. They don’t worry about opponents. They don’t fear them. They prepare for them.”

    — Globule, Ryan, Jan 19, 2007

  36. randiego says:

    Howdy all – phred you sure do have some catching up to do!

    Short-sleeve weather here today. How’s it in Phoenix today bmaz?

    • phred says:

      Hiya randiego : ) It’s positively balmy up here at the moment, 33 degrees, just the way I like it (well a bit warm for me really, but tomorrow should be better ; )

      bmaz, after that afternoon, I couldn’t go outside in moonlight, much less daylight. I couldn’t have tried again if I wanted to. Now that I think of it, I haven’t been back to FL since. Coincidence? I think not.

  37. ProfessorFoland says:

    Pats over Bolts 28-10 (expect to see a lot of Charger 3-and-outs)
    Pack over Giants 21-20 (this one I think could really go either way.)

    Also, perhaps answered above (I’ve not been through all the comments yet), but how exactly are the point predictions scored? RMS, or mean absolute deviation, or something more exotic? Also, if going by points alone, it’s mathematically possible for someone who predicted 0 winners to beat someone who predicted 2. Will getting the winning team matter at all? (It’s just best to define all this before hand to avoid an ugly “they changed the rules in the middle” threadwar for the Hubcap afterwards.) FWIW I’d suggest that among those tied for the most game winners predicted, the one with lowest mean absolute deviation win. If any further tiebreakers are needed I suggest it be something silly.

    • emptywheel says:

      Jeebus Prof

      Haven’t you seen my discussions about how long it’s been since I took math? I’m going to have to put you and phred in charge to figure it all out.

      It’s only a hubcap, after all, and a virtual one at that…

      • phred says:

        FWIW, in my football pool, first you calculate W-L, only those who are tied with the best record (presumably 2-0 this week) are eligible for points-based tie breaking round. In that round the total predicted points for each game are compared to the actual total points. The person with the smallest difference between predicted and actual wins. So for example lets say you have two people who go 2-0, with the following points:

        Person 1 Person 2 Actual
        Pats 35 24 21
        Chargers 3 21 24

        Subtotal 38 45 45

        Packers 28 3 56
        Giants 21 0 14

        Subtotal 49 3 70

        Total 87 48 115

        Person 1 would win in this case. We usually only put in points for the Monday night game as a tie breaker for the weekend, but we could add the two games together here. It might be simplest. Of course, it’s bmaz’ thread and technically he would be the one to decide (letting EW off the mathematical hook), so what do you think?

        By the way, I typed in lots of spaces to make the table easy to read, but alas, the comment box suppresses extra spaces — my apologies for the hard to read example. And EW, the trophy in our pool is a styrofoam cup with the name of the winner added in marker each season. A hubcap, is practically an Oscar in comparison ; )

        • ProfessorFoland says:

          I can get behind this system. It’s slightly funny in privileging the O/U over the spread, which is a little ameliorated by the requirement to pick the winners; but the real plus of the system is that the bookkeeping is pretty simple. When collating the predictions one simply groups the predictions into the four possible combinations of winners, and for each predictor sums the four scores. Then when the games are over one scans down the relevant group looking for the closest sum. [If nobody took Pats-Giants and that’s the matchup, then choose among all those with one game correct, i.e. Bolts-Giants and Pats-Pack.]

          I suggest that in case of a tie, it be awarded to the one with the trashiest comment, at bmaz’s sole discretion.

          So the collated predictions summary would look like (this is not intended to be complete)

          EW 85
          ProfessorFoland 79
          watercarrierfordiogenes 75

          [In my quick scan I didn’t see anyone predicting this]

          vieravisionary 113
          Evolute 109
          radiofreewill 108

          dipper 90

  38. randiego says:

    Yeah, I’m way too ADD and distracted to even ponder that one from Prof.

    Was wondering about the hubcap – who had it, would it be polished for the winner, how it would get shipped, etc. Who knew it was a virtual hubcap.

    Headed out to see “Charlie Wilson’s War”. That should distract me for a bit.

    • emptywheel says:

      CTuttle has it, from week before last (no one picked both the Pats and the Bolts, go figure). Unless he sent it to Peyton Manning, as I suggested.

      You think you could get Merriman to go ask Peyton nicely for it back? Like tomorrow mid-afternoon, maybe?

  39. randiego says:

    well, Charlie Wilson’s War is excellent. If you haven’t gone and seen it, by all means do go see it. About halfway through, I thought to myself – this has got to be written by Aaron Sorkin. I had no idea. The dialogue is like the best episode of West Wing you can think of. (Two Cathedrals is my favorite.)

    Tomorrow is the biggest football game in San Diego since 1995. The best part is that it’s all gravy, nobody expected us to be here, and nobody expects us to win.

    • bmaz says:

      Phillip Rivers is no Stan Humphreys. Sorkin is amazing; I really liked SportsNight too. Two Cathedrals, is that the one where Mrs. Landingham dies and he speaks latin while smoking in the church?

      • bmaz says:

        I would add that if that is the right episode, the sequence done to Dire Straits is quite likely the most powerful use of music I have ever seen on TV.

      • randiego says:

        Yeah, that’s the one. I still get goose bumps and a lump in my throat watching it. Also, the episode where CJ’s Secret Service bf dies, and they use ‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley – that was pretty powerful too.

        I’ll revise my comment about CWW – it wasn’t lump-in-your-throat good, but the dialogue was clever and funny – outstanding.

  40. ProfessorFoland says:

    So the Randy Moss restraining order has gotten lots of press here in New England. Apparently, in MA it’s possible to get a first restraining order with essentially no judicial review, basically you just drop off an affidavit and the order is entered.

    So inevitably this has led to the question: can Tom Brady swear out an affidavit that this September, Shawn Merriman and the Charger front seven spent three hours assaulting him, and get an order requiring them to stay 500 feet from him at all times on Sunday?

    • phred says:

      That’s hilarious (Brady getting a restraining order) — I really should read more of the local sports press. This week though, I’ve been focused on the Milwaukee sports press (thanks Boo!). I can see why BooRadley is so fond of Bob McGinn.

      At any rate, yes Professor, we use the total points simply as a tie breaker, and given certain members of our trash talk community with a certain disinclination for math, I figured simple might be best. And I absolutely love your suggestion of the trashiest comment tie-breaker, if needed. Bmaz will love that : )

      Ok, I just got a new McGinn article, off to read it, then back with my picks…

      • BooRadley says:

        You’re very welcome.

        OT, according to Vegas, the wind at Lambeau will be around 5 – 10mph. That’s less than Foxboro. If Favre and his receivers can cope with the cold, it’s possible they will get a little leverage against a weak Giant secondary.

        OT, imvho, in order for the bolts to have a chance, they have to string together long drives. Field goals are fine, but Rivers has to keep Brady off the field. Chargers’ D is playing well, but they will wilt if they have to play too many snaps.

  41. BayStateLibrul says:

    Hoping we like the real feel?

    “Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
    Thou art not so unkind
    As man’s ingratitude;”
    As You Like It (II, vii, 174-176)

    At Gillette

    Kickoff: 26
    (RealFeel 11)
    Game’s end: 19
    (RealFeel 2)

  42. phred says:

    I think the cold at Lambeau will make ball handling really tough, I expect plenty of turnovers, limited passing, and short kicks. I agree with Bob McGinn’s take that the cold will pretty much even up both teams chances. So I’m guessing it will be a low scoring game…

    Packers 14
    Gents 7

    The cold will also be a factor in Foxboro, but the 20 degree difference between Foxboro and Lambeau is a huge difference, so I think the ball handling will be better.

    Pats 28
    Chargers 17

    randiego, I’ll be pulling for your Boltz (for obvious reasons), but I’m banking on the Pats for the hubcap ; )

    So, you can add my picks to the Prof’s list

    phred 66

    Go Pack!

  43. bmaz says:

    If the the bitter cold weather is in your mind, and you are worried and thinking about that, your head is not in the game. What have the Gents been doing the last couple of days? Well, they have been out furiously shopping for, and scrambling to get airlifted into and, on to, their sideline in Lambeau some super high tech heated benches complete with helmet warmers. The lifetime stockholder Packer owners/fans, who have been going to Pack games in the elements since the NFL was born must be very impressed.

  44. bmaz says:

    A little crossover sports here. A lot of people over the years have carped about Bode Miller, but say what you will, he is his own guy and doesn’t give a damn what others say or think and he skis with an electrifying reckless abandon that is absolutely breathtaking to watch. He kind of trains on his own schedule and isn’t big on buttoned down US Olympic and Ski Team rules. Miller likes to drink and carouse with friends and chase skirts well into the night, and sometimes the morning, before races, even the huge ones. For this behavior, the American sports journalism community, and the few segments of the American public that even pay attention, have lambasted him and turned him into an outcast anti-hero. In Italy, the same rowdy behavior and style was the hallmark of Alberto “Tomba la Bomba” Tomba; yet he was lionized and cheered as one of the nation’s greatest heros ever. Well, yesterday, Bode Miller became the winningest American World Cup Alpine ski racer in United States history, and he is not done yet. If you have ever been a snow skier, tip your hat today to Bode Miller, he is almost singlehandedly carrying the American flag in World Cup ski racing, and has been doing so with success for quite some time now; he has earned a little love.

    • ANOther says:


      You might want to qualify your comment about Bode Miller single-handedly carrying the American flag. Here are the latest women’s World Cup standings:

      HOSP Nicole AUT 1 759
      VONN Lindsey USA 2 683
      MANCUSO Julia USA 3 639

      For the record, the scores today will be Pats 35 Chargers 13 and Pack 21 Giants 7.

      • bmaz says:

        Perhaps I should have qualified that with “men”. The women are doing well and I am a fan of Mancuso. Are you a natural contrarian or just with me?

    • Evolute says:

      Bode is exemplary. I did more than ski with this attitude..

      electrifying reckless abandon that is absolutely breathtaking to watch.

      is one of the pillars that make action sports memorable. When one runs a country with that as its ethical lynchpin.. not so much.

    • Evolute says:

      Do you know? Not sure, but I know Bode’s parents are forward leaning and I just assumed that his name came from the word bodacious.

      Which brings back a hilarious memory for me. Years ago my in-laws were visiting, we were walking up from the Manhattan Beach Pier when we notice a classy gentleman’s clothier plopped right in the middle of typical So. Cal. beach environs – bikinis, beer, and pizza by the slice. My proper AND dapper VERY English father in-law noticed the oddity by exclaiming in thick brogue, “well that’s quite bodacious.”

      • bmaz says:

        No clue on that, but I do know that the Miller family are rather infamous counterculture types from the 60’s

        Neil @177 – we’ll see how it goes for now; if the comments get up near 300 or so, I’ll put a fresh thread up (sans requested photo, thank you very much!).

  45. Gunner says:

    Just in from ESPN Tom Brady was the 4th Brady brother on the Brady bunch until he hit Marsha in the face with a football

  46. randiego says:

    Stan Humphries is the honorary Captain for today’s game – look for him on the field when they flip the coin.

    headed out to start the tailgating – some bloody mary’s before I hit the bar!

    enjoy the games everybody. Go Bolts.

    PS – Masaccio; pull the rip-cord, get out of there! Go find the games, man!

    • bmaz says:

      If Stan Humphreys ain’t suited up, I just dunno about the Bolts. Although i like the odds better with Volek right now than Rivers. Cheers. Plug a couple of ‘ritas for me.

    • ratbastahd says:

      Perfect for this site: The Wheel. “If the thunder don’t get ya then the lightning will.” Pats in a rout.

      Snowing here, should be up skiing again but I want to watch these games. I like rebels, go Bode go.

      Anyways, I think I was a bit high on my Pack/Giants score (27-13), but it’s there in black and white so I’m stuck with it. I think it might be more like 20-13.

    • Neil says:

      oh and I just heard that the forecast for Foxboro today is for THUNDER AND LIGHTNING.

      I’ve been hearing the THUNDER all week from Bolts fans, where’s the lightning?

      • bmaz says:

        Um, they go by phonetics down in South Coast; you misuderinterpretedstood. Should read “Thunder and Kaeding”, i.e. a lot of noise and a field goal.

  47. PetePierce says:

    Okay-you just can’t take it. You want to be in the stadium and you’re ready to fly to Foxborough or Greenbay. You want to soak in the crisp, -9 degree (High of -4 degrees Kickoff Temp -2 degrees air to watch Strayhorn put pressure on Favre. Kickoff 5:30PM Eastern.

    Maybe ya want to send EW to the Superbowl in Phoenix

    Here’s how you can get your last minute tickets.


    Tickets Now

    And there are a few more sites.

    Internet Puts a Sugarcoat on Scalping

    • bmaz says:

      I hereby offer the Wheels lodging, libations and frivolity for their Super Bowl visit. Marcy is going to have to wear a cheesehead, Favre jersey and root for the Pack though….

  48. PetePierce says:

    No one is into upsets. No one thinks underdogs can do it. But I do. I’m giving you the chance to make some serious money. Here it is:

    Bolts over Pats 27-24.

    Giants over Pack 24-17.

  49. Neil says:

    The Patriots have not blown out an opponent* since they beat Buffalo week 11 by a 36 point margin. (* Unless you count Miami as a opponent and the Pats 21-point margin against them “a blowout”.) Before Buffalo, the Patriots beat Indy by 4 and Washington by 45.

    San Diego has won 8 in a row, including wins over Baltimore, Tennessee twice, and last week, Indy, on a tremendous game-winning drive by backup quarterback and backup running back. Like the Patriots, San Diego beat Indy by 4.

    While there is uncertainty about the physical condition of QB Rivers and some other starters, we’ve seen Billy Volek and other backup skill position players get the job done. We also know that pass rush, getting people in Brady’s face is the one defensive tactic that has worked against the Pats and forced them to change their game. San Diego’s pass rush, led by Merriman is exactly that.

    Throw out the records. These teams are evenly matched. Both teams went through Indy, last years Super Bowl Champion, and they arrive at The Razor today on cold 18F and blustery 12mph day. Feels like 0F.

    In more pleasant weather conditions, an edge would go to the Patriots whose long-ball threat to Moss not only scores points fast but must be defended by allocating defensive personnel. In allocating defensive personnel to counter the Brady-Moss effect, defenses yield an advantage to other aspects of the Pats offense – the short passing game and the running game, an advantage the Pats will need to win.

    But these are not pleasant weather conditions and the long ball to Moss is not the same threat when gusty winds buffet the long ball’s trajectory. Moss’ advantage is his speed not his focus. Moss will get a touchdown pass but he wont get three, and its more likely a 20 yard jump ball than an 80 yard long ball. So where do the Pats turn when long ball is grounded? Usually, their ball-control short pass game is a substitute for the running game, and when it works, it opens up the running game too.

    Patriots 34 San Diego 24

    THE FROZEN TUNDRA!? No, the Packers have a heated natural grass field with synthetic fibers woven in to keep clumps of grass from detaching. Who knew?

    The Seahawks report, that in weather like this, it’s like running on sand. The Squawks, with their great defensive pass rush game were mired in the heated tundra last week. The Packers play on it and know what to do; the Giants (who seem concerned about the frozen blast of arctic air that has descended on Green Bay) will still be learning how to cut on it in the 3rd quarter. It’s a good thing Jacobs is a bruiser who can run downhill.

    Look for Toomer, Jacobs and Eli to have good games.

    For the Pack, watch Grant – who lost two fumbles in Q1 last week that led to TDs – to run wild, and Brett Farve, oh BRETT FAVRE, to light up the subpar Giants cornerbacks, especially if the normally effective Giants pass rush can’t bring it due to quicksand-like heated tundra.

    Packers 31 Giants 24

  50. ANOther says:

    Are you a natural contrarian or just with me?

    No and no. The weather (-40 with the wind) has made me cranky.

    • bmaz says:

      Like I said before, you have my sympathies on that. Catch a flight down here, it is a little chilly but still 67 for the high today and not a cloud in sight. A little bit o sunshine, and a couple of margaritas will cut the edge right off that crankiness….

  51. Neil says:

    It sure is quiet around here. I know, everyone is busy going through their pre-game ritual, first a training meal, then off to the film room, to the locker room then to the trainer to get taped, back to the locker room to suit up, finally, a quiet moment seated by your locker, relaxing, thinking, getting ready, getting ready, getting ready…

    • bmaz says:

      Head over to the Packer’s locker room Neil. Brett is throwing snowballs outside, putting exploding cigars in his teammates and coaches lockers and generally goofing off. You will have more fun over there.

      • Neil says:

        Oh I appreciate the importance of tension-breaking practical jokers like Brett Favres, but I don’t have a man-crush on him like you and John Madden do…

        …let the trash-talking ensue! Actually, I’m off for a quick errand so take your time and get some good digs in.

        Does the AFC and NFC Championship game warrant a fresh thread? If so, can we also have a photo of BMAZ and Brett Favre snapping bath towels at each other?

  52. CasualObserver says:

    Nobody picking the Giants, everyone piling on with the Pack. Swallowing the hype. Endless media coverage about how the pack froze their balls, while practicing indoors. Meanwhile, the Giants simply practiced outside in 30 degree weather. I’m telling you, the Giants are being under-appreciated here. For the third game in a row.

    Fine by me–this works for the Giants.

  53. ProfessorFoland says:

    Since it was my stupid idea, I felt guilty and did the collation…when no score was given I used the lowest total possible consistent with what was said (bmaz, randiego, pseudonymous)–if you’d like to get your own number and not the one I assigned you, better speak up in the next 19 minutes!
    Sorry for the formatting.

    If I missed someone or mistotalled, speak up…I didn’t see scores from randiego or bmaz…

    PetePierce BG 92
    dipper BG 90

    radiofreewill BP 118
    viearvisionary BP 112
    Evolute BP 109
    randiego BP 4

    Neil PP 113
    Gunner PP 104
    realworld PP 96
    pinche.boracho PP 88
    emptywheel PP 85
    ratbastahd PP 84
    BayStateLibrul PP 83
    muzzy PP 83
    ProfessorFoland PP 79
    watercarrier4diogenes PP 75
    phred PP 66
    dakine01 PP 65
    psedonymous PP 36
    bmaz PP 4

    • phred says:

      Thanks Professor — I was going to do that after getting back from our brief cultural excursion this afternoon (timed specifically to be home by kickoff ; ) Glad to see you saved me the trouble!

      • ratbastahd says:

        Thanks for doing that, Prof. I knew ratbahstad’s guess looked good to me. Go figure.”

        Hey, what’s this “guess” and “go figure” bullshit? ;^) These were my own highly advanced scientific calculations made at breakneck speed – kinda like BushCo science, ya know “their math and their science” – yep, yer right, they were guesses.

  54. nonplussed says:

    Can San Diego capitalize on the Pats geriatric Linebacker corps(e)? Nonplussed says this is the key to the game. Stay tuned…

    Pats and Giants

  55. BooRadley says:

    Nice piece on Belichick from November: “Under the Hoodie.”

    […] David Salisbury is interested in talking only if I promise to play nice. There is no hiding where his loyalties lie. At the start of training camp each summer, Salisbury hangs a Patriots flag outside his house in Cranston, R.I. When New England loses, the flag flies at half-staff. When the Patriots win, his neighbors tend to avoid him.

    “I only met him for those couple of minutes,” Salisbury says on the phone as he waits for a Patriots game to start on TV. “You know what? I just wish I had met him under different circumstances.”

    His brush with Belichick came on a late Saturday afternoon in July 2006. Five-hundred drivers must have blown by the twisted, upside-down BMW on a patch of Route 95 just south of the Rhode Island border, Salisbury says. Not Belichick.

    Salisbury and the coach, wearing a Super Bowl XXXVI visor and apparently on his way back from watching his son play lacrosse, were good samaritans.; Together, they helped an injured driver whose car shot across the highway, hit a drainage ditch and flipped on its roof.

    And now Belichick was ready to take charge. “Hey, you have a head injury,” he said to the driver. “Let’s go lie down.”

    Taking the wobbly man by the arm, he laid him in the bed of a truck, and held a beach towel full of ice to the man’s bleeding head until rescue workers arrived. “He was very polite,” Salisbury says. “He took control, but was still polite about it.”

    Belichick almost escaped without being recognized, but the whole thing became too much for Salisbury, who let out a cry of “Hey! You’re Bill Belichick!”

    Sssshhhhhh, said the stare Salisbury got back. So he refrained from asking for an autograph. Didn’t seem like the right time, or place.

    Instead, he wished Belichick luck on the season. “Thank you very much,” Belichick said. And then he was gone, off in his sensible SUV, just a few days before training camp.

    “He just pulled over like anybody else,” Salisbury says, still amazed at the wonder of it all. […]”

  56. Neil says:

    Looks like a low scoring game, huh. I forgot the defenses get teams to the playoffs and defenses play well in crucial gamnes. No hubcap for me.

    The wind is a factor. The pats were able to throw over the middle and short passes to the outside in Q1, with th wind at their back. Well, see what they can do in Q2 witht the wind in their face.

    • Muzzy says:

      If SD caves, and I sense their legs still remember the wild card game, NE could rack them up pretty quick.

      4 more NE TD’s with the bulk of 3 qtrs to play is not unlikely, imo.

  57. BooRadley says:

    Moss running the reverse was HUGE.

    As far as I know, it’s the FIRST time he’s carried the ball all year.

    NE only had to give up a fourth round draft choice for Randy, because the whole NFL thought he was “soft,” although an unbelieveable talent. On that reverse, Moss didn’t run out of bounds and didn’t try to avoid contact.

    On the minus side for NE, the wind may really be affecting Brady. The reverse may indicate they are concerned that Tom can get the ball to Moss deep on the sideline, his signature route.

    • Neil says:

      On the minus side for NE, the wind may really be affecting Brady.

      He’s conecting on 20-25 yard passes, nothing longer than that. He’s even had trouble getting it to Moss on the out pattern from the far hash.

  58. BooRadley says:

    Huge play by K. Washington.

    That’s a 16% change in field position inside the red zone. You don’t see many sixteen-yard plays inside the red zone.

  59. Neil says:

    Why is Norv Turner passing the ball downfield when they’re running it effectively on 1st and 2nd and converting on 3rd?

    • bmaz says:

      Norval Turner was somewhat a product of the quality talents of his pupil, Troy Aikman; much like the “genius” Charlie Weiss was his, Tom Brady.

      • BooRadley says:

        Completely agree about Rivers. His movement in the pocket, while keeping his eyes downfield was exceptional. Belichick will not let SD run the ball. He will force Rivers to beat NE.

        If Welker, doesn’t make the tackle on the INT, I think it’s a TD for SD.

    • Neil says:

      Why is Norv Turner passing the ball downfield when they’re running it effectively on 1st and 2nd and converting on 3rd?

      I don’t know either. They’ve been able to run play-action pass becuase it keeps the old, slow except A.Thomas Pats linebackers sucked in but shotgun has been a disaster for Rivers, Turner and the Bolts.

  60. BooRadley says:

    Vrabel’s sack was pure Belichick.

    Vrabel’s inside spin was set up, because the rest of the Pats line slanted away from Vrabel opening up room for the spin.

  61. Neil says:

    You’re Turner and you’re playnig a team that scores POINTS, lots of offense. You can run the ball. Running the ball runs the clock, keeps the opponent’s offense off the field, and is less risky than passing. What do you do?

  62. emptywheel says:

    Man, I’m impressed as hell though with Rivers. That knee doesn’t feel good at all, that’s pretty clear. Yeah, he has thrown two picks, but it’s a pretty damn impressive half for a guy with a key joint missing.

    • phred says:

      Great fashion link! The Point Beer t-shirt and insulated camo layers were a nice touch. Now all he needs is a little Miller anti-freeze ; )

      EW, I agree about Rivers — he’s looking better and lasting longer than I expected. I figured Volek would have been in by the 2nd quarter.

  63. BlueStateRedHead says:

    Anybody multitasking? Because even this rookie fan can tell they have nothing to day and are doing the mindless mindreading thing. yuk. also obsessed with the players who are on the bench.

    • phred says:

      Who would have guessed a two point difference going into the 4th quarter?

      EW, are you actually watching the game or are you eating or on the radio?

      • Neil says:

        Close huh? The Pats offense just accomplished what great teams must accomplish, a long drive for a TD after their opponents score (fg).

        I heard the forcast in Foxborough is for lots of thunder and heat lightning, which puts on a good show, but doesn’t score a “touchdown”.

  64. nonplussed says:

    NOw I think you have pull Rivers. The kid is really hurting. He can’t get any velocity, ordinarily that second down pass would been lights out. On the third down he was so badly hurting he couldn’t even reach his target and the shot of him after the pass told it the whole story, IMHO.

  65. masaccio says:

    I like Ian’s posts, and try to be around for them. The big complaint about the left is its failure to grasp business issues, a common lie. Most of us do, we just don’t agree, and we have no place to air our differences.

    I watched Billy Volek play a lot here in Nashville, he’s careful, and he’s enough different from Rivers to be slightly confusing to the Pat’s D.

  66. prostratedragon says:

    I’ve been wondering whether SD figures Vollek can get them one score if they need it, but couldn’t keep them in it for the whole game. We’ll see who comes out after this kick …

    • phred says:

      Don’t hold back Neil — how do you really feel? ; )

      Getting a 1st down after the sack left ‘em at 2nd and 18 didn’t hurt either.

  67. Neil says:

    two possession game, pats have the ball, 5:49 to go. than can ice it with a TD+PAT.

    … Will they GO THE DISTANCE?

  68. Neil says:

    The radio announcer said “That’s our favorite play!!”

    Oh, make that 18-0. I can’t count when I’m celebrating.

    • Neil says:

      I thought Bill Bell would run a post play to Moss for a touchdown on the last play….

      Against the redskins with the colts the next following week, absolutely! With the Super Bowl in two weeks, no way.

  69. Neil says:

    Maroney (25 carries 122 yards 1 TD)and Faulk co-players of the game on the WBCN Patriots’ Radio Broadcast.

    • Neil says:

      you think the Packers are going to spot THIS TEAM two touchdowns?

      One, maybe. The Pats are good at getting their hands on the ball.

      • emptywheel says:

        Nah, I meant the Giants. Packers have to get there, still. (though, for the record, I already found my Woodson/Brady YouTube for the big game)

        Meanwhile, didn’t someone around here say that Faulk would be the key? Where’d you learn football, sir?


          • emptywheel says:

            You obviously haven’t checked out the YouTubes of the most famous Woodson Brady play evah–the only good one isn’t really pro-Brady…

            Though first Woodson’s got to earn it. Otherwise, I’ll just find a Favre YouTube or something.

            • phred says:

              Ok, you piqued my curiosity (I love Wikipedia) — who knew Brady and Woodson were both Wolverines??? I gotta start following college ball… Ok, I’ll let you get away with ONE You Tube (maybe ; )

        • Neil says:

          Oh, I had a coach in college who knew his football. What I could have learned if I had gone into the business.

      • bmaz says:

        Ah, but riddle me this Batman, do ya think things might have been different today if the Bolts had Brett Favre at quarterback instead of StepNfetchit Rivers? I thought Rivers absolutely just killed them.

    • phred says:

      Lets not get ahead of ourselves young lady. I’m here decked out in full Packer regalia, next to the radiator with a Packer blanket on my lap. One. Game. At. A. Time.

      • BlueStateRedHead says:

        Where are you and the blanket? Do the Packs require their distant fans to be at least half as cold as the fans?

        Whohoo Pats. It’s redwhiteblue breaking out all over in the BlueBayState. This is out a Patriot acts!

        No patsies, they! That said, best of luck to all Pack fans.

        • BlueStateRedHead says:

          sorry, dancing and typing simultaneously, this is how a patriot acts, naturally. Outs, well that’s for spring training. Too bad there is no baseball trash talk. Really EW, how can you ignore the national pastime.

        • phred says:

          Thanks for the good wishes BSRH — congrats to your team : )

          Until I am able to purchase SEASON TICKETS to Lambeau Field, I will remain comfortably ensconced under my Packer blanket thank you very much! You really oughta see it, bright green and gold with the Packer logo — my Mom gave it to me, the thing practically glows in the dark ; )

  70. ratbastahd says:

    Well, considering the Bolts injuries, they played a tough game. The lower scores are looking good.

  71. phred says:

    LOL — back to back “young ladies”, sorry EW, should have read the rest of the thread before double teaming you like that ; )

  72. bmaz says:

    Well, now that the warmup band is done, time for the Main Act! Let there be Lambeau!

    Phred – Are you kidding? I am thinking about not even mentioning that warm weather soft team from the East in Super Bowl Trash Talk!

  73. ratbastahd says:

    One more score by the Pats would’ve greatly helped a lot of differentials. However, I totally agree that in THIS game you don’t have any legitimate reason to go for it. Heh, I did predict SD would only score FG’s.

  74. prostratedragon says:

    Another key Wolverine watch: Amani Toomer, wr, NYG. Obviously, he might exchange some pleasantries with Mr. Woodson.

  75. bmaz says:

    Well, if all you chowduhheads really want to hear about the most exciting division in Major League Baseball (which DOES NOT involve that stolen from kiddie’s t-ball designated hitter rule), and the thrilling exploits of the Diamondbacks, Padres and Dodgers, I might be coerced into hooking you up…..

  76. Neil says:

    I want to see a Favre/Brady Super Bowl

    …like cowboys/redskins, MI/OSU, Hatfields/MCoys, Bird v. Magic…and I’m a Giants fan from way back.

  77. Neil says:

    Packers get the ball first. Hope Grant holds it high and tight, and Favre can keep himself under control.

  78. Neil says:

    In 2005 Rodriquez’ “graduation success rate*” at W.VA was 64% and GoBlue was 68%.


    * New NCAA graduation success rate, which takes transfers and early draft departures into account. Four-class averages are for scholarship players entering school from 1995-98

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m not interested in graduation. I’m interested in seeing Tommy Harris, getting a B after not trying very hard, in a CompLit feminist studies class.

      • Neil says:

        Wow, profs are in on it?

        I think there’s also a general grade inflation problem throughout higher ed. It used to be a string of gentlemen’s C’s was the earmark of an underperformer.

        Now, for example, Art majors at Cornell who do not play sports squak about grades and ask to have them raised. It’s as if they don’t understand their record is a record of their work performance. And THEIR PARENTS will inject themselves into the discussion! Nothing is too much for junior’s career, except accepting the grade that was earned.

        Maybe they have point, what should $45,000 a year buy?

  79. randiego says:

    still at the bar kids, and yes the margs are flowing ok. congrats to the pats, but i think we needed bolder leadership today. one wonders if the chargers have a blitz package at all. i’m underwhelmed by the pats. even more so by my own coaching staff.

  80. phred says:

    Neil — do you remember the prof at Georgia or Georgia Tech who got fired for NOT giving football players a pass? She sued. I don’t recall how it all came out…

    • Neil says:

      phred, didn’t hear about that case. a lot of schools take it out of the hands of the prof and have the dean change the grade.

  81. prostratedragon says:

    Is this going to come down to who has the ball last?

    What the hell just happened?! That GB coordinator sure can draw ‘em up.

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