December 7, 2008 / by emptywheel

 

Trash Talk II – Waiting For The Sunday Games

Well, I was going to add this to the main trash talk thread, but you folks gossipped up the joint right nice, so I decided to post it as a Part Deux. This version will be for the NFL Sunday games and some F1 news of significance.

National Favre League: It is another week of mostly unexciting matchups, even though many teams have effectively must win games. The game of the day is pretty easily the ‘Boys at the Stillers. Romo v. Rothlisberger; TO versus Hines Ward. Dallas has regained their swagger since Tony Romeo returned; Pittsburgh has just been gutting it out with tough fundamental football every week. Both teams have issues at running back Marion Barber is very questionable for Dallas and Fast Willie Parker is probable for limited duty for the Steelers. I have been trying to figure out who is going to win this game, and I have no idea. You all will have to tell me what is happening, as, thanks to the pissant worthless Arizona Cardinals, the game will not be shown in Arizona. I guess they are afraid people would watch other teams than them if given the choice; they are right.

The Falcons at Saints looks like a fun tilt too. Drew Brees has been literally ripping it up this year passing. Seriously, Brees is on a pace to break Dan Marino’s single season passing yardage record. But the Saints have been uneven, to say the least, and, at 6-6 need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Dirty Birds are a shocking 8-4 and rookie QB Matt Ryan is playing like a seasoned pro. Since the game is in Nawlins, the Saints should win at home. Except the Dirty Birds have Michael "The Burner" Turner, and that and a conservative Matt Ryan will keep the ball out of Brees’ hands and garner a win.

The Sunday Night game of Redskins at Ravens looks interesting too. Both teams have excellent defenses, but I give the nod to Ray Lewis and the Ravens here. Not to mention the Ravens have Ed Reed, who has rather quietly had a career that is of Hall of Fame quality; the man is just flat out tough nuts, and he always plays. Coach John Harbaugh has rookie QB Joe Flacco on a short and conservative leash, but i have just never warmed up to Jason Campbell, especially in big games. Clinton Portis is hurt, but is a stud and is going to play. I’ll take the Ravens at home.

In other games, there will be enough Good Eli for the Gents at home to take out the Eagles. The Colts will continue the March of the Mannings and continue the lost season for the Bengals. The Packers will rope the Texans in Green Bay, although it should be close. I will predict right now that next year the Houston Texans finally break out nad make the playoffs; they are getting better. The cute pick of all the prognosticators has been that this is the week that Deetroit finally wins their first game, at home versus the Vikes. I don’t think so, "Yo Adrian" Peterson is going to run silly on the Motown Kitties. As Kanye West would say, "Richard Shelby hates Detroit. So do the football gods. Bears bag the Jags and the Titans take the Brownies. The Pats will stew the Seahawks, Broncos trample the Chiefs and Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown and teh Fish will grind down the Bills. Those aforementioned worthless Cardinals will beat up on the Rams in the Big Toaster in Phoenix. And, in the penultimate game in the rundown, the MNF game of Bucs at Panthers could be pretty interesting. Both teams have veteran QBs that can win tough late season games; both have good defenses. The running game for Carolina has been superb lately, but Cadillac Williams is back for Tampa Bay. No clue here; it is a pick em.

Hey now, you didn’t think I would leave out Brett and the Jets did you? Of course not. The Bretts are visiting the Niners up in Frisco. The 49ers have been playing better and with a lot more emotion under Mike Singleterry, and should play tough; but the Jets need this win to keep a game ahead of the Pats and solidly in the playoff picture. J E T S Jets, Jets, Jets.

Formula One: Yep, like I promised, there is some fairly earth shattering news from the F1 Circus. Honda is withdrawing and will not challenge in the upcoming 2009 season. Next time you here Richard Shelby or some other union busting neanderthal idiot bloviate about how great the Japanese manufacturers are doing, just remember that Honda was forced to pull out of literally the biggest automotive showcase in the world because of financial concerns. From the Financial Times:

Honda announced on Friday that it would withdraw from Formula One, a startling pullout that has its origins in the dismal state of the auto industry and that is likely to have huge repercussions on the high-profile global racing circuit.

A glum Takeo Fukui, the chief executive officer of Honda, made the announcement at a news conference in Tokyo.

He called the company’s withdrawal from the series "a difficult decision" caused by the worldwide economic gloom and "the quickly deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry."

"I offer my sincere apologies," he said, "to everyone involved."

Honda has struggled badly this year, battered by weaker sales and a stronger yen. November sales, for example, were off 32 percent from a year earlier.

"Honda must protect its core business activities and secure the long term," Fukui said. "A recovery is expected to take some time."

For those of you that don’t know F1, or are just casual fans, this is just jaw dropping. There have already been questions about the status of Toyota’s fledgling F1 program, but the factory works has indicated that it is staying in. But, as to Honda, wow. Just wow. As recently as a year ago, the head of Honda Motorsports was saying the company would spend whatever it would take to win the F1 crown and they were thought to be chasing a top driver, perhaps Fernando Alonso from Renault or young Bruno Senna, an up and coming star and Aryton’s nephew, for future campaigns. All gone now. Sad.

The remnants of Team Honda, but in need of new engine support, may well be bought up, the current rumor is that there is heavy interest out of Dubai, and make a run yet in 2009. But with the season starting on March 29 in Australia, it is going to be extremely hard to get get an engine package (presumably from Ferrari) and test it out sufficiently to be competitive early in the season, if at all. But in order to fill the grid, I sure hope someone runs what is left of the works for 2009.

The bad news for motorsport does not end with Honda either. Team Audi has announced that it is withdrawing from European endurance racing including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Audi is withdrawing from the American Le Mans series as well. Audi has long been dominant, a gold standard, in closed wheel endurance racing. This, while not of quite the level of Honda leaving F1, is still mind numbing.

The Republicans, with bellicose jackals like Richard Shelby, have plied their precious unregulated free market financial innovation trickle down happy horseshit to the catastrophic demise of not just this country, but the entire world. Thanks for the memories you soulless pukes.

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2008/12/07/trash-talk-ii-waiting-for-the-sunday-games/