Big Game Trash

With September out of the way, the rust is off the gridiron and we are getting into the heart of the football season. Heck, we even got a cold snap going here in the desert. Got down to 72 degrees last night, and the hight today will only be in the low 90s. Brrrrr. Smells like football weather. It is time for some big games.

The Student Athletes: In the Big Mitten, the Wolvereenies are taking on the Spartans. Nothing would crash Rich Rodriquez back to earth faster than a loss to Michigan State. This is the first real test Big Blue will face this year; to win in Sparta, they are going to have to do better than scrape by with last second victories over also rans like they have the first four games. Smells like an upset. Oklahoma versus Miami will either be a great game or a Sooner blowout; it is up to the Hurricanes to decide, and they sure looked mediocre last weekend. Young Landry Jones for the Sooners is looking very good substituting for Sam Bradford. Oklahoma is safe. LSU at Georgia is too close to call and should be a really good game. The game I am most interested in is USC and Cal. Both teams seem to be less than advertised so far this year, but this game will have huge ramifications for the conference crown and likely the Rose Bowl matchup for January. Who knows which Bears and Trojans will show up, but if pressed, I guess I will roll with USC here. Matt Barkley is back, and the freshman may still be getting his sea legs, but he is clearly critical to the Trojans offense, they looked very pedestrian without him.

National Favre League: Clearly the game of the weekend is the Lions and Bears. Okay, just kidding. The Pats host the Ravens in a real early season gut check. The Pats are 2-1 and have looked only so-so through three games. Tom Brady really is a little tentative, and opposing defenses have been blitzing the bejeebies out of him with success. They really need to get Fred Taylor and the Law Firm untracked. Bill Bel needs to use the Law Firm more I think. Hard to pick against the Pats at home, but I will. Joe Flacco has turned into Daryle Lamonica for the Ravens. The kid can flat out throw the ball downfield and the Ravens finally have an offense to match their defense. Ray Lewis still rules the field when he is on it, having another career year so far. The most interesting game this week may be the Jets at the Saints. Rex Ryan’s defense meets Drew Fookin Brees and the Aints offense. I don’t know if Mark Sanchez can keep up yet with Brees and the Saints point production. I’ll take the Saints here.

The Bolts travel to The Big Ketchup Bottle to visit Mike Tomlin and Big Ben. I am tempted to take the Bolts, but cannot. Big Ben will squeak out a hard fought win, but the Steelers really miss Polamalu. Look out for Dallas visiting the Donkos, it has an air of an intriguing game. Josh McDaniels has Denver at a surprising 3-0, nobody saw that coming. Dallas is 2-1, but looks flaky and Mile High is still a tough place to play. Both Marion Barber and Felix Jones are hurting for Big D, look for the Broncs in an upset. Well, that is it for the pros – looks like a great slate of games.

Formula One: Only three races left in the season. Jenson Button is still leading the point chase and is 15 up on teammate Rubens Barichello. This weekend is the Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuka is a great track unless it is wet. There is a a lot of parity among the teams in F1 right now; this has not been seen for a long time. Even Force India is competitive lately and Adrian Sutil has one of their cars qualified on the outside of row two again. Sebastian Vettel is on pole with Jarno Trulli in P2 and Hamilton in P3 after a wild and crash filled qualifying. This is a track that should suit Vettel, if his car holds up look for him to do well. For the championship, the only two with a realistic shot are Button and Barichello; from here on out relative points between the two will be critical. Fifteen points is a lot to make up in F1 with only three races to do it in. Suzuka should tell us whether Jenson has it buttoned up or not.

Other Stuff: I was all set to publish, but it turns out there is one other game of note to discuss. Apparently there is some wretched old washed up geezer still out there tarnishing his legacy and he might make it into the game. Who says Brad Childress doesn’t have a sense of humor? He put Favre on the injury report this week. I actually heard some dope on ESPN discussing whether Favre would start. Yeah, he should be able to make it I think. The opponent it turns out is the Packers and apparently this Brett Favre guy has a history with them; should make for an interesting game Monday night. Charles Woodson has a bad foot, look for the Vikes to put both Berrian and Percy Harvin on his side and see how Woodson runs. Speaking of running, Adrian Peterson can do that; but Ryan Grant may have a tough go of it against the Norske defensive front. That will put it on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers, and he and Donald Driver should both have big games. For all the build up over Favre and Rodgers, I expect the defenses to control this one. The Vikes are really solid on defense; no huge names other than Jared Allen, but they are all good. The Vikes know what this game means to the old man. My guess is Favre will have some troubles; he has always been prone to getting too hyped up early in big games and despite all the platitudes about treating it as just another game, it is not just another game. Fall is in the air and the Monday Night Lights shining on the Black and Blue slugfest and Brett Favre playing the Cheesers for the first time. What could be better than that? What are the odds John Madden happens to show up at the game?

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90 replies
  1. freepatriot says:

    the Detroit Tigers and the LA Dodgers both need to win one game to finalize the mlb playoffs

    you coulda mentioned that

    but at least we ain’t gettin bass masters updates

    so I guess we’ll take what we can get, and be thankful

    thank you

      • skdadl says:

        Do you say “pudding” for “dessert” in Arizona? I thought that was only British. The Brits do call absolutely everything eaten as a dessert course “pudding.”

        • freepatriot says:

          it’s a line from “The Wall”, by Pink Floyd

          so yeah, he’s talkin bout the british idea of pudding

          an for the record, I heard about the shite those brits eat, and I don’t want the meat or the pudding

          don’t get me started on the “cuisine” of the British Isles

          • skdadl says:

            Uh oh. My age is showing. I only knew “The Wall” through my students, although “Hey there! Teacher!” etc gave us all some good laughs.

            You’d love haggis, freep. Srsly.

            • scribe says:

              I’m old enough to remember when “The Wall” was banned in South Africa because the ANC-supporting kids started singing “We don’t need no education” as they went on strike from school and went into the streets.

              That was back in the days when the Afrikaaner cops were using birdshot alongside the rubber bullets.

              And, for that matter, to remember going to see “The Wall” as a movie in a theater.

  2. Palli says:

    Thinking about football in the health care context and the recent confirmation that brain injuries come with the game (although it wasn’t the tightest scientific study, self ID as it was)…
    How do people think about the reality of football as a violent sport?

      • scribe says:

        Love it.

        Like the bumper sticker says: “Jack Lambert is a defender of all that is right.”

        I have to say – I’m worried that the Stillers will go 1-3. They are looking … ordinary without Troy. He is likely to be back next week, but by then it might be too late. And their running game is … feh. Not worth talking about.

          • scribe says:

            I don’t know that I’d go so far as to be “shocked”, but I will say that at a minimum they thought they had more in the players they had than they are actually proving out to have. And now they’re casting about for some solution, when they should (and don’t) have one on the practice squad. More likely than the minimum-bad bad estimate is a serious screwup in the drafting procedure, which is far more worrying to me, looking forward, than a weak running game now.

        • randiego says:

          I have to say – I’m worried that the Stillers will go 1-3. They are looking … ordinary without Troy. He is likely to be back next week, but by then it might be too late. And their running game is … feh. Not worth talking about.

          What? Wait a sec… weren’t you cutting a bust in Canton for Mr. Tomlin two short weeks ago? What happened there?? Surely he can overcome the loss of one player, no?

          • scribe says:

            I don’t lay the failures to date in Stiller-land at the feet of Tomlin. He has, AFAIK, done nothing wrong. Rather, it was the personnel procurement department in the front office which seems to have fallen down.

            My Canton Chisel is still cutting Tomlin’s bust.

    • freepatriot says:

      concussions are cumulative

      we know that because football has taught us that

      several medical advances can be traced to sports injuries

      so in response to your question, I think of it as a laboratory for research possibilities

      and it’s the most fun you will ever have in your life

      I’m starting to feel the pain that comes from my mis-spent youth. Some of that pain comes from playing football, and I wouldn’t do anything different …

      btw, I’m rootin for the dodgers and the royals today

      • scribe says:

        If you ever get a chance, ask Wayne Chrebet and Troy Aikman about concussions. They’re both well on their way to “blithering drooler” from all the shots to the head they took.

    • john in sacramento says:

      Don’t know if this is a direct answer but …

      Back a million years ago when I was a right defensive end I hated practice, not as bad as Allen Iverson; didn’t mind scrimmages, loved the games, but hated practice

      Here’s thumbnail of the worst incident

      So anyway, we were running drills one day and the offensive linemen could. not. block. me. I was getting in the backfield on every play. Well, on one play I ran a speed rush on my guy, went right by him like he was standing still, the only thing was was that the outside linebacker had a step or two on me (he wasn’t blocked), and he got to the qb – who was rolling right – a second or so before I did. He went to tackle him around the waist, but he was a little guy, so when he grabbed him he swung around the qb almost 360 degrees so when he came back around he slammed into my knee and tore something. I don’t know if it was an mcl or acl or what. I didn’t go to the dr because you didn’t do that back in the day (see: Jack Youngblood)

      And another one

      I got chop blocked. Again, in practice. They could not block me and I was getting into the backfield. So the kid who was playing offensive tackle got the bright idea to go after my knees. They hiked the ball, so I took off and the kid ducked down, and I thought I he tripped or something, and I’d get a free shot, but he went right for my knees. I was rolling on the ground for about five minutes and thought if I ever got up again I’d kill him. I did get up but that kid really pissed me off for going for my knees

      My left knee clicked audibly for years afterwards, but hopefully it won’t cause arthritis (knock on wood)

      I never really got hurt in the games, just scratches, minor bleeding, a few bruises. It was the practice that I hated (I totally understand Brett Favre not wanting to be in training camp). Back then, you just spit anything that was bleeding or walked off whatever was sore

      Of course a concussion is completely different because you’re talking about a brain injury and Tebow shouldn’t play as long as the drs feel he needs to stay out

  3. freepatriot says:

    20 -20 in spartanville

    what a comeback …

    this kid Forcier has some promise

    led a game tying drive with 2:53 and no time outs, in the rain

    • freepatriot says:

      The Forcier was not quite strong enough. Picked off in OT

      the primordial ooze screwed the guy

      he looked great in the rain during the 4th quarter

      then the sun came out in overtime, and it didn’t go so well

      the kid’s a “mudder”, what can I say ???

  4. cregan says:

    bmaz, agree with you on USC and Cal. I am rooting for Cal, but I think USC will win. Even with a loss, it is early enough in the season that either could still come back and end high in ratings (if a few others get knocked off). But, with two losses, the loser is going to have a hard time making it a good season.

    I kind of don’t count the USC loss since they were without Barkley, but the polls do.

  5. john in sacramento says:

    bmaz:

    … Who knows which Bears and Trojans will show up …

    Well, Cal follows their pattern, they’ll crumble faster than Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and get their ass handed to them 73-0 by the Trojans. I don’t know what kind of mental block they have, but anytime they have a chance to move up into, or within, the top 5 they fold like a house of cards and lose … usually to one of the Oregon teams

  6. Mauimom says:

    Watching the Stanford-UCLA game. Somewhat hard to root, since I went to both schools, but Stanford’s winning — and winning my heart as well.

  7. freepatriot says:

    twinkies get a run in the sixth

    1-0 in the metrodome

    in the sport that we ain’t talking bout

    • PJEvans says:

      Some of us are interested. Not rooting for the guys who bleed blue, though. Can’t bring myself to do that.

    • john in sacramento says:

      I haven’t said anything because the last time I did say something, a few days ago, I jinxed my team

      I want them to win, but then again, even if they do they get their nemesis (Yankees) in the first round

    • scribe says:

      Twinkies win 5-4 on a late-inning homer. That was a good game – the starting pitchers didn’t give up any hits until the 5th. Seriously dealing.

      There still could be playoff baseball in the land of fried walleye, Nice, and oatmeal-colored ceilings. The Tiggers have to lose out, and the Twinkies win tomorrow, then it’s playoff time.

      Since I’m rooting for the Yankees, I have an interest – we get the survivor of that race to come to the Big New Ballpark/Wallet Vacuum in the Bronx.

      • freepatriot says:

        the twinkies and the tiggers are tied

        161 games played, and they’re tied at 85 – 76

        if one wins and the other loses, we have a division champ

        if they both win, or both lose, we’ll see you it the metrodome on tuesday

        • BayStateLibrul says:

          Verlander for Detroit…
          Like that, but Minnesota ‘gainst KC? (Can Zack make a relief appearance?)
          Hope not to jinx, but Tigers are my favorite.

        • scribe says:

          Anything’s possible.

          I’d rather have them going into the playoffs with a wave of butt-kicking wins, rather than sliding sideways like they seem to be right now. Yes, I know the ‘98 version won 114, then went down 2-1 to Cleveland courtesy of David Cone’s brainlocked arguing a call at first while the Indians merrily circled the bases, before handing the ball to the then-younger El Duque and shutting down the Indians and the rest of their challengers on the way to winning it all. (Favorite ‘98 vignette: World Series, Yankee Stadium. SD fans in the grandstand hold up a polite banner urging on the Pods. Yankees fans light it afire. SD fans complain. Yankees fans respond: “Welcome to New York”.) And I know the ‘99 edition limped sideways into the playoffs like they were dead men walking, then proceeded to clean house on the way to winning their 3rd series in 4 years, and 3rd of 4 for Torre. I think they swept everyone in ‘99.

          So, who knows how this team will react. All we know is that this is a new season, and 102 or 104 wins mean … nada. Everyone is 0-0.

          My sense is that the obvious weak links in the Yankees – Burnett and Joba – likely will not be the source of any downfall they might suffer. I’m looking more at Damon coming up lame/stupid, or Texiera going 0-for the world. Or Cano’s glove getting a curse on it, or Bad Melky returning after a season of Good Melky. Playoff A-Rod is still, in my book, A-Dog until proven otherwise. I still have a copy of the NYDN back page headed “A-DOG” with the subhead about how he admits he “played like a pooch” in the Yankees’ playoff elimination to someone or other. A-Rod has never won anything, and it’s up to him to step up and win. Or he will still never Be A Yankee, and will deserve every boo he hears.

          Yankees fans go out to the Stadium to see the Yankees win, and not just to watch a ballgame. And that’s why they revere Jeter – he wins.

          • bmaz says:

            My favorite Yankees World Series memory is watching both games 6 and 7 of the 2001 WS at Bank One Ballpark and seeing the DBacks out score them a combined 18-4 over the two games with Randy Johnson being the winning pitcher in both. Now those are fond Yankee memories!

            • scribe says:

              And it still took a fluke gork and a baserunner blocking Jeter from getting to it for the D-Backs to “win” in the bottom of the 9th of game 7.

              Not that the D-Backs have done much since then.

              • bmaz says:

                Actually they still had very good teams for the next two years after 2001, but have really tanked ever since Jerry Colangelo was forced out. I will point out that the DBacks have won just as many World Series titles as the Yankess since 2001. And the whole team operates on what the Yankees pay their infield. I have a theory that NY cannot win a title as long as they have AFraud playing for them. It is karma.

          • BayStateLibrul says:

            What a great assessment… Yanks got the Mo…
            Jeter is the best..
            As a Sawx fan, I could never be that non-partisan…
            Shaughnessy must have pissed off the Angels today, he reamed
            the Halos…. hope it doesn’t bounce back…

            • scribe says:

              Big article in the NYDN about Mo Rivera today. He notes that when a new guy comes to the Yankees, he doesn’t even have to go over to them and talk to them – just has to look at their eyes – to know whether they will make it as Yankees or not.

              Me, I’m wondering what he sees in Joba’s eyes. ’cause that guy has the lightning in his arm and could be great, if he’d Just. Stop. Nibbling. At. The. Corners. And. Trust. His. Stuff.

              I saw Joba pitch in the first month he was up. Sitting in the upper deck, one could see the break in his slider from there – it was that sick. He came in and made some of the best hitters in baseball look absolutely stupid flailing at his stuff. And you could see the entire visiting team was up on the top step watching him pitch and watching his pitches to see just what it was that he had going on. Yeah – he was rushed to the bigs after a half-season in the minors. But he’s had two years and needs to have learned to tune out the press and the guys telling him to not be himself.

              I’m hopeful for the Yankees. But I refuse to give them my heart to break.

  8. bmaz says:

    Don’t know if anybody else has been watching the Georgia-LSU game, but the Dawgs were fucking robbed blind by an inexplicable unsportmanlike conduct penalty after a late touchdown. I am serious, the referee who threw that flag must be on the take or something, absolutely inexplicable.

    • john in sacramento says:

      Watching the streams on the tubes as I’m doing other things

      I was watching that game for awhile but couldn’t stay with it. Couldn’t get Stanford UCLA. ND and UW are in overtime right now

      No streams of teh baseball

  9. Palli says:

    Thanks guys, I am just as passionate about my life needs as well; though it is like football (and some other sports too) is separate from other parts of culture… maybe it is just my commonsense socialism coming out in a socially unacceptable way.
    John of Sacramento, My partner has a similar story of youthful hard play- grew up in Green Bay, family bought in the moment it went public. When he played he was a guard, got hit in practice & games often too. Hated practice too. Getting hit… for what reason? Then one day after a hard won game, the team was watching the video replay and Michael suddenly realizes he didn’t remember anything after the first quarter… nothing… even though he had played the whole game. He quit, just like that, walked out of the room. He says: yeah, they were his friends and winning games made for great celebrations but “unit cohesion” wasn’t worth it. Made a choice (was allowed to); lived with it and got through college without the football help. If we are lucky the knee injuries like you talk about are the only consequences from the fun of the game 40 years ago. And he sometimes watches the game but thinks Favre out to have enough money to do something else with his life by now.

  10. Quebecois says:

    Hey bmaz,

    I was amazed by vettel’s performance at the start of this very weird season. I still am, this kid is a talent of the likes you see rarely in formula one. I’d put him in Prost’s territory, consistentely fast, and extremely smooth.

    Looks like Button will win the championship by staying under the radar, no one knows where he is.

    Massa is back in a Go-Kart, good times!

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, Vettel is very good, seems like a genuinely nice kid too. Will be interesting to see what Ferrari looks like next year. It does look like Massa will be ready to go and will have Alonso as his teammate replacing Raikkonen. I really am not crazy about Alonso, he is a skilled driver, but is a jerk that always seems to be a caustic irritant to team chemistry wherever he goes. Fisichella apparently will stay on as the reserve and test driver.

      • Quebecois says:

        I would have loved to see Ferrari go for Sutil.

        I think Alonso is a good to rarely inspired driver, I could live well with him out of the circus.

        Ferrari is under a leadership crisis, Schu out, Brawn gone, Todt probably going to the FIA, they won’t be dominating for a long while. I believe parity will be here for another year, while they get used to no refueling.

        • bmaz says:

          I think Kubica would have been good too; although he has been disappointing this year; much of it attributable to equipment though. I think another year of eery parity is about right.

    • scribe says:

      You were betting the Titans, weren’t you?

      Hope you didn’t go all in on them or anything. No more room under my roof.

      And, whatever it was that the Kitties did in the first half, they forgot in the locker room at halftime. Eesh.

      Eli’s hurt his heel, and the Giants still win. Not surprising – it was the Chiefs playing to an empty Arrowhead, and being booed, too. Who made Herm Edwards a head coach?

    • bmaz says:

      Bolts better take care of business tonight, lest they be two games back of division leader The Donkos. Who’d a thunk it?

      Welcome home, looks like you guys had a beautiful time.

      • randiego says:

        It was truly an amazing trip, my better half is ready to move down there!

        Bolts have lost their starting nose tackle, and two of their starting O-linemen. They have scored 1 TD in the red zone out of 11 trips. They can’t run the ball. Without QB pressure, their secondary can be eaten for lunch. This was the team supposed to go to the super bowl?

        The best Charger team was the 2006 one, where they choked away the Division game against New England in SD with Marty Schottenheimer. Much better defense that year.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, that Norval is cagey that way. Who else would think to sneak up on people with an 8-8 regular season?

          And Faith Hill is still hot in black. So there!

      • randiego says:

        I’ll leave the internal Texas rivalries to my wife, the texan, but I can tell you that Romo the QB is awful. He missed a dozen receivers today.

  11. bmaz says:

    Collinsworth says teh Stillers are going to open up the offense for Big Ben let him heave away from the get go because of the Bolts ability to score points. Probably not a bad idea since Pitts has shit for a running game currently.

    • randiego says:

      he’ll throw for 250 and they’ll run for 125 at least.

      That big pass play the guy that caught the ball had only one foot in – no replay. Not that it will matter.

  12. bmaz says:

    Is this first half another one of Norval’s devious plans to get the other team right where he wants them? Jeebus, Bolts have 50 total yards at the half.

  13. bmaz says:

    Well, it is getting closer; problem is big Ben is eating up giant chunks of the clock every time the Stillers have the ball. Bolts running out of time to make a game of it.

    Or not; just recovered onside kick. Crikey, maybe Norval does have a plan.

  14. scribe says:

    Oh, what a relief.

    I dozed off in front of the tube during halftime (those shows do that to me) and slept soundly in the knowledge that it was 28-0 Stillers.

    Then I woke up with about 6 minutes left and had a hell of a start when I saw it was, what, 35-28. I was sure they were going to piss away another game late.

    And that conviction did not disappear until the D fell on the ball to seal it.

  15. emptywheel says:

    Yeah, that was some game last night: Stillers v. Stillers. The latter kept it close until the end there.

    Still, I’m not sure the better team won.

  16. freepatriot says:

    Jebus

    last year the bolts just got hozed by the refs

    this year they really STINK

    pittsburo don’t look so good either

    oh well

    Drew Fookin Brees

  17. freepatriot says:

    that ain’t football

    it’s a fookin circus

    even the announcers admitted ya need a “bigtop” for this game

    they’re cheering vikings’ touchdowns in Green fookin Bay

    we’re deep in the rabbit hole here

  18. LabDancer says:

    Someone sent me this transcript; looks like from someplace…Fox-something…Bost-something, Massa-Massachu-something; sounds like somebody maybe somehow got hold of a tape from a parabolic mike. Excerpt:

    “Okay- I got it- they got this monster runner, right? So, first we shut down the monster; throw everything we got at stopping the run; force the pensioner to throw…”

    “I–am–just–LOVIN’ this! Dude’s so old he’s losing teeth from age; an’ at this point, he can’ hardly even SEE more’n five, six yards. It’s…it’s GENIUS, is what it is. Genna-men, we’ve been to the mountaintop an’ this is the one true answer; an’, I might be so bold to add, this is why we get the big bucks. Showa hands: all in?

    …uh…

    Jeebus, temporary 3rd backup assistant to the towel holder for the waterguy an’ you got some THINK that’s so worth-while we gotta hear it? Okay–get it out; sooner we get over widdis sooner we all get some sleep.

    …well…uh…ahem…all-time most TD throws…
    all-time most yards in th’ air…
    all-time most completed passes…
    5-time NFL Player of the Year…
    3-time AP MVP…
    3-time second-team all-pro…
    3-time FIRST-team all-pro…
    ten Pro Bowls…
    I gotta leave for sec now; gotta back up the U-haul to get all the other records…

    ‘kay, ‘kay; that enuf. What’s yer point then?”

    Could it mean something?

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