Week Two Trash Talk

Hi folks, apologize for the late start on Trash Talk; had a very long day yesterday on a matter and with clients after. So, let us get down to business.

I’m worrying myself a little with this one, because neither the Big 10.2 nor Notre Dame are my usual cup of tea, but I am really interested in the game today between the Irish and Sparty of Michigan State. Both teams are 2-0, but the Spartans have a great defense which has not allowed an offensive touchdown yet (including the always offensively powerful Boise State). Notre Dame, however, has a QB controversy and struggled badly last week against Purdue. This game is a night game in East Lansing, and I think it will be a good night for Sparty.

The other two games that I will be watching closely are both Pac contests. The big one, of course, a huge early season conference matchup between USC and Stanford. The Tree has won an unheard of three straight against the Trojans, but I think they are out of Luck tonight. It is yet another night game and the weather in Palo alto should be perfect for Matt Barkley and the USC offense; they should get some revenge. The other game is a sleeper: Sun Devils against an honest to god SEC team, even if a new one, Missouri.

ASU and new coach Todd Graham have looked far better than anyone thought so far, and very disciplined, which has not been used in the same sentence as “ASU” in a long time. Missouri had a rough game last week against Georgia and will be looking to bounce back. The game is at Mizzou, and so is the slight edge; I will be looking for an upset by the Devils. If it is on your TV, it really might be worth watching. As will the Tennessee Florida game. Neither is what they once were in stature, but both are still interesting to watch. Game is in Knoxville and the Vols are getting better QB play, so much as Jim is going to hate it, I’ll take the Vols here.

Week Two in the NFL does not have that many great games. The one that really sticks out to me is Ravens and Iggles. Both have solid defenses and potentially explosive offenses. And, man, did Flacco, Rice and crew look sharp in their opener. Mike Vick and the Eagles looked anything but, and barely eeked out a win over the hapless Brownies. It is gut check time for the Eagles and their coaching staff, and I think they will come to play and will play well. Still think the Ravens win though.

The Kittehs are taking their raging hearts to San Francisco. If the Lions had a running game to take the pressure off of Matt Stafford, I would give them a shot in this game. But, they don’t and the boy named Su is apparently all googly eyes over famous virgin Lo Lo Jones. None of this bodes well for the Kittehs. Broken Beaked Bieber Brady should be able to nose out the Cardinals and Kamikaze Kevin Kolb. Even though Bill Bel LOVES him some SpideyDude Fitzgerald.

Other notable games are Dallas at Seattle; take the ‘Boys there. Lotta people had the Squawks as a sleeper team this year; dunno about that. Titans at Bolts could get interesting; San Diego is typically flaky, but I don’t think the inexperienced Jake Locker has enough to take them. Rounding out the Sunday tilts of note is an honorable mention to the Jets. Rex and The Circus won’t be playing the Bills this week, but a pissed off batch of Stillers reeling from getting Peytoned in Denver. I think the days of Mark Sanchez looking like Joe Montana are over; take what’s behind the Steel Curtain.

Lastly, the Monday Night game is a good one. Peyton and the Broncs visit Matt Ryan and the Dirty Birds for a night in Hot ‘Lanta. I have no idea how this one will go. I would normally say the Falcons have to be favored, but Denver looked very solid in all phases of the game in their opening win over the Steelers. This is a pick em; bring your popcorn.

About today’s music: It is riding With The King, an incredible album, and song, by Eric Clapton and BB King. I was reminded of it by Howie Klein who, along with Act Blue, is doing a fundraiser for progressive candidate Patsy Keever where one donor will be randomly selected to win the actual Platinum Record award for this album:

Rep. Patsy Keever is the intrepid grassroots populist taking on reactionary Wall Street shill Patrick McHenry. The newly reconfigured 10th CD in western North Carolina is a district that’s winnable. McHenry is loaded with “contributions” from Wall Street but DC Democrats aren’t coming to the party for Patsy. She’s far too independent-minded for that lot. So… Blue America is trying to help her raise some money for TV and radio ads. And we’re going to say “thank you” to one random donor– any amount– who contributes to Patsy’s campaign on this page. That “thank you” will be in the form of an extremely rare and valuable RIAA-certified double platinum record award for the Eric Clapton/B.B. King masterpiece, RIDING WITH THE KING.

Great cause and a great prize; help them out!

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.

158 replies
  1. rosalind says:

    what? no mention of Howie’s Act Blue give-away of a “an extremely rare and valuable RIAA-certified double platinum record award for the Eric Clapton/B.B. King masterpiece, RIDING WITH THE KING” for one lucky donor to the Patsy Keever campaign? pshaw.

    https://secure.actblue.com/page/clapton

    (and go Stanford!)

  2. Peterr says:

    As much as it pains me to say it, I think I agree with you on ASU v Mizzou. From the KC Star last night:

    A Missouri team spokesman offered no comment about the status of starting quarterback James Franklin on Friday, despite speculation that a shoulder injury will keep him out of Saturday’s home game against Arizona State.

    According to a report by KOMU-TV, Missouri is prepared to start redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser at quarterback in place of Franklin, though a source later told The Columbia Daily Tribune that Franklin could be a game-time decision.

    Even if Franklin is healthy, the uncertainty and lack of practice time will complicate matters for the Tiggers.

  3. jo6pac says:

    If the Lions had a running game to take the pressure off of Matt Stafford, I would give them a shot in this game. But, they don’t and the boy named Su is apparently all googly eyes over famous virgin Lo Lo Jones.

    If they had a running it wouldn’t help them against the #1 D against the run. Then again anything can happen on Sunday.

  4. bmaz says:

    @rosalind: Crikey, I thought that ended yesterday for some reason. It was what reminded me of this song and album, so excellent point. It has been added!

  5. JohnT says:

    As opposed to last week, I think there’ll be a couple ‘a good semi pro games this weekend. Leaving aside the obvious, Gators v Tenn, and the SC v Stanford games, I think the games below could be sneaky good.

    Not that I’m a psychic or anything, but I’m looking at Ole Miss v the Whorns, and BYU v Utah (and I was going to say TCU v Kansas but that game is on right now). And UCLA could be an interesting team throughout the year

  6. Skilly says:

    It is a rare day when I quibble with you bmaz, but…. You say, “It is riding With The King, and incredible album, and song, by Eric Clapton and BB King.” I only have a problem with one word, “by.”
    My personal favorite Hoosier musician, John Hiatt, wrote and released Riding with the King in 1983 on Geffen records. Here is another famous Hiatt song, that some forget he wrote.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSXQB0eQhCA&feature=relmfu

    and While you’re looking at great song writers, check out this one too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q91W6fHInIU&feature=relmfu

    He is not a Hoosier, but he once got married here.

  7. bmaz says:

    @Skilly: Fair point. This version is performed in the video by Eric and BB though. I have always like John Hiatt; not sure if I ever knew he wrote that song though.

  8. Jeff Kaye says:

    @JohnT: The Ohio St. coach looks like he’s in apoplexy! That alone is worth the view.

    Btw, I saw the last Ohio St-Cal game 40 years ago, from the “cheap seats” up on the hill above Memorial Stadium. The year was 1972. When I walked home, there was a huge bonfire in Peoples Park, but it wasn’t for the football team.

    The “Med” on Telegraph had a big sign at the door: “No heroin dealers allowed.”

    Ah, those were the days!

  9. Jim White says:

    Heh. Ohio State really should know better than to schedule a Pac-Howevermany team, even at home.

    Weenies ahead, 21-20. Watch for the Meyer Medical Meltdown to begin tonight if this score holds.

  10. phred says:

    @Jeff Kaye: LOL, where sports are concerned, hypocrisy is always allowed ; )

    And just because a certain Cheesehead failed to mention it earlier… That was a fine Packer-Bear game last Thursday. Very fine, indeed : )

  11. rosalind says:

    @bmaz: get thee to Itunes and buy the album. in addition to the title song, ya get “She Loves The Jerk”, “You Might Already Be Winner”, “Death by Misadventure” – so many great ones. saw this tour in tiny Keystone Palo Alto back in the day, lp is imprinted on my soul.

  12. efgoldman99 says:

    I have little or no rooting interest (my school dropped football in the 1990s, only a couple of years after they went to the 1AA championship game). I sporadically root for my daughter’s alma mater, UMass, which has stupidly bumped up to 1A and is getting slaughtered by Michigan in Ann Arbor.
    So I root for upsets (enjoyed Pitt over Va Tech earlier) and always, always against the SEC.
    I get very little satisfaction from that.

  13. bmaz says:

    I don’t know about nationwide, but at least here, ASU and Missouri is the featured game on ESPN2 at 7 pm EST and 4 pm PST for those of us on the wrong, er left, side of the country.

  14. bmaz says:

    Hi EFGoldman99! Sorry you got caught up in the filter, but you are free now. Have not seen your name here before, so welcome to Emptywheel. And you don’t have to root for teams, perfectly okay to root against them. ESPECIALLY if they are SEC teams.

    But Trash Talk threads are open to any conversation you wish to engage in, on any sport or any non-sporting subject. It is all fair game. So, jump in.

  15. bmaz says:

    @P J Evans: I will adapt for a far superior product. I will also, as i am wont to do, gripe along the way about the expensive adapter.

    But I cannot wait. I have waited nearly two years after I had too per contract waiting for the bigger screen and LTE features. This is my cellular destiny, and I will happily go there.

  16. JohnLopresti says:

    @J.Kaye: An appropriate sign*. Speaking of Clapton, the video with BB I saw was a kind of standup contest. BB did like I did in my notorious stage ‘performance’ breaks, lay back, wait twelve bars for the rhythm to state the machine music before lacing some keyboard ontop. Eric was one of the good northern guitarists. But, going down to the crossroads’s arrangement on Wheels of Fire never made me think ‘capo’; though, there’s armscontrolwonk’s Lewis linking to a nice photo of R Johnson, a Good blues musician, with a Capo! there. Some idea I have says RJ wrote Crossroads. It should be a good game between the fortyniners and the lions. Toss the coin.

    Shake hands. Kickoff. Shake hands. Shake hands. This is getting collegiate!

    *While in the mezzanine an elder again held forth over latte, reading the English translation yet another chapter of Г.И. Гюрджиев, Рассказы Велъзевула Своему Внуку. But that was after the blues, or before it; the Mediterraneum having a predilection for musack by Viennese strings.

    The best part of the Med was later, when no one knew you, or the philosophy tome you could read quietly. Eeek! Philosophy, that was the mistake.

  17. Jeff Kaye says:

    @phred: Well, Cal lost, so I must mount yet again my “football should be banned” soapbox.

    And @JohnLopresti: As for the old days of the Med… I actually did by a book by Gurdjieff and go to the Med mezz to read it. But over my cap, I discovered it was incomprehensible to me. I had bought it only on the literary recommendation of Henry Miller. I kept thinking… where was the sex?

    I was 18 years old.

  18. bmaz says:

    Wait. They call a personal foul on ASU for that shit???????

    Get out. Ed Hoculi, even at the Bolts game, thinks such is a crock of shit.

  19. bmaz says:

    @JohnT: JohnT. Please feel free to come over here where there are no Trees and the locals think if you support the SEC over the PAC, you may be a Nooner and not a Niner.

    Margaritas await, depending on your choice….

  20. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Heh. Funny you should mention THE DEVIL . . .

    Here in KC, it’s been pretty interesting following Mizzou’s departure from the Big 12 into the SEC. In the state of Missouri, it was seen as a pretty big step into the big time; across the state line in Kansas, it was seen as a betrayal of a century-long rivalry with the University of Kansas and of the Big 12/old Big 8. The phrases “work of the devil” and “they can go to hell where they belong” were both frequent on KC area sports radio call-in shows.

    As for rooting interests, I find myself torn. As a longtime Big Ten kind of guy, rooting against the Pac10 (especially those schools in states that lack any oceanfront property) comes easily. On the other hand, rooting against the football factory conference (Classes? What are these things called ‘classes’?) comes equally easily.

  21. JohnT says:

    @bmaz:

    Well, if I could make my way down there, I’d have to trash talk tomorrow after the Vikings regain their rightful place* atop the NFC Central, and go 2-0 by beating Andrew Luck and the ponies. And be the only ones standing, after the Niners put the kitties in their place

    *not that it’ll last past next week ;-)

    PS kinda rooting for Mizzou; I have a niece who married a former Tiger football player

  22. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: As a Bears fan of many years, I will restrain myself and say simply that people who put cheese ON THEIR HEADS instead of in their mouths have a problem.

    I will also say, as a fan of outdoor football no matter the weather, I love Lambeau Field. When the parking lots have places built into them to dump your hot coals from the grill you used at the tailgate party, you know you’re in a place that loves the game.

  23. Jim White says:

    How ’bout those Gator boys? It looks like they have a legitimate quarterback who can do it all. Nobody expected a 17 point win at Rocky Top.

    Just wow.

  24. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: Peterr. This is a hard and yet very early process. Do not worry about the likes of Kansas. The question is how can you fare in a conference with the big boys? I think that is a whole lot bigger problem for schools like Missouri and Texas A&M going in to the SEC.

    And, yes, I am old, and I have been there.

  25. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: Okay Peterr, dammit, this is why you SHOULD be on auto-mod!!

    First off, I typed ou and thought I sent the comment @49 above looong ago. Before the Evil Ms. Lizzy put me in a tizzy by making me help vacuum and mop the house. Things have generally gone to shit at Mizzou.

    Well, whatta ya gonna do? I was shocked at how good the Sun Devils looked in the first two games. Now I know my skepticism was warranted.

    Not sure how much this bucks up Mizzou in this year, at this point, but it sure shows how far ASU has to go. Ugh.

  26. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: “how can YOU fare . . .”

    I’m not a Mizzou backer, but was noting the radio call-in hype. I agree with your general sense that the big question is how Mizzou will function in the SEC.

    Back when the conference jumping all took place, one of the local radio folks was talking about MO gov Jay Nixon, who was hyping the move. The radio guy’s take was that Nixon was all about sitting in the SEC sky box, and wanting to be Teh Gov in Teh Conference. Word elsewhere is that Nixon is eying higher office, running on a fence-sitting record that would make Claire McCaskill look like a radical partisan.

    Ugh.

  27. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: Whoooo boy, had no idea about that.

    such said though, the Tigers have whupped ASU sufficiently. Mizzou may be going nowhere in the SEC particularly, but they have demonstrated that ASU’s early hope was a tad optimistic.

    It has been a long time since Frank Kush. I miss that time, football speaking.

  28. Peterr says:

    @Jim White:

    For a school that prides itself on its academics, Stanford has some serious problems. Their name is The Cardinal but their costumed mascot is a pine tree and the big symbol over which they fight is an axe.

    Word to Condi Rice’s school: (1) Cardinals do not nest in pine trees; (2) Why use the singular “cardinal” as opposed to the plural “cardinals” that every other sports team with that bird as a symbol uses?

  29. Jim White says:

    @Peterr: The “cardinal” bit is because the students voted to make the mascot the color, not the bird. This vote was to replace the racist “Indians”.

    And they have the best pep song: “All Right Now”

  30. rosalind says:

    oh yeah. Stanford may be out of Luck, but it still possesses a mighty mighty D.

    and USC goes tumbling down the rankings…

    heh.

  31. bmaz says:

    @rosalind: Well. Shit. I hate eating my own words and feelings.

    Crikey, I REALLY HATE IT. I actually thought Mizzou would beat ASU, though for the reasons stated, I had high hopes. Dashed totally and madly. Brutally. The Devils could have won that game, but, repetitively there was nothing they did overall to suggest they should.

    Hat’s off to Mizzou. Hat’s off to the Tree. I do not like it one bit. It shows the PAC to be worse than I hoped they would be.

    I had that wrong. My bad. Sometimes I am a romantic. I hate that part of me because, like tonight, it proves me to be a fucking idiot.

    Hat’s off to Peterr, Mizzou and the Tree.

    crap.

  32. JohnLopresti says:

    J Kaye @34. It takes Quiet to read those sentences, in English.

    For a more worldly but fixedly austere Georgian-Armenian work by the same writer, try that collection of 10 essays.

    Though for a kind of Pushkin tale from a G associate, and given your psych interests, I recommend from that same site that other document.

    The former begins with a case of calvados, which G admits was probably somewhat less.

    The latter download is like science fiction but seems to have been a term paper G assigned O to write. It is lascivious but inordinately philosophical, colloquial, and 160 pages..

    After tiring of the Mediterraneum, instead I would visit the new, less interesting, almost atmosphereless cafe closer to Cal at the corner, where a sole jukebox play of Positively 4th Street was quite eloquent, took less time than a coffee, and, thereby, was thrifty. 4th doubtless was the proprietors’ commentary on the shifts in the scene outside, and from D’s brash time.

  33. bmaz says:

    Oh Kay. Let Me Make This Freaking Clear:

    The PAC 10.JustFuckMeDead sucks.

    ASU sucks.

    USC sucks.

    They all fucking suck. Yes, there are some that have only today beaten up on other PAC teams that……SUCK. They too will later in the season …… lose.

    Fuck it, I just right now bow down to my masters at the Saban School of Tuscaloosa Knowledge.

    God I hate this.

  34. bmaz says:

    @pdaly: Listen here: That lampshade and Cheesehead are, so far this weekend, a hell of a lot smarter than I am.

    Good grief. Seriously, I understand what Warren Zevon was talking about with the phrase “bad luck streak in dancing school”.

    Ugh.

  35. pdaly says:

    @bmaz:

    I guess I got in too late for football games. Nothing on my TV at 2am.
    So I’ll go off topic about the iPhone 5 and LTE.

    I’m on an old clamshell phone from about 4 years ago and new to the concept of “LTE.”
    And it looks like LTE –despite making incompatibilities between cdma and tdma/GSM technology obsolete–comes in an array of confusing, non-standardized frequencies that don’t allow for global travel with one phone.
    Looks like Verizon Wireless iPhone 5 will have about 4 LTE frequencies and AT&T 2 LTE frequencies.
    Verizon may have frequencies that MIGHT be compatible with some western European countries but not with Canada. And Europe is not really using LTE yet.

    The soon to be discounted price of the iPhone 4S seems tempting at the moment. Verizon allows its CDMA phone to be unlocked for international travel–and therefore an owner can switch out the SIM card for a foreign SIM card (but not with an American AT&T or Sprint GSM SIM card) and pay that foreign country’s local cell phone rates.

    This is as far as I’ve got from knowing nothing this morning.

  36. bmaz says:

    @pdaly: Jeebus, you know I have done a LOT of jury trials. The better part of them representing criminals. It is not like I don’t understand losing big. But, man, it was a brutal day on the football thought page.

    Eh well, I will live on some how (though Peterr may be pimping me for a while). As to the iPhone5. My situation is this. I have had an iPhone3….not even 3S…..for a while. Long over my 2 year contract. But my wife got a 3S and….I did not find it that much more awesome. Nor did I the iPhone4. I patiently waited those out expecting the phone that just now got announced. I expected THIS phone when they did the iPhone4S. My phone was actually getting beat up by last year, but when the screen was no bigger and they did not have LTE speed, I sucked it up and did not bite. As badly as I really wanted to….and I even had to replace my screen for $60.

    Still, I knew a bigger screen and 4LTE were coming. This is the most patient I have ever been on anything in my fucking life. I may, at this point, even wait out a month to make sure there are no gremlins. But it will be mine………

  37. Peterr says:

    @rosalind: I’m still trying to figure out the connection between the Cardinal nickname and the Conifer that roams the sidelines.

    If you want a tree for your mascot, name the team the Fighting Redwoods or something.

    If you want (God help us) a color for your nickname, then instead of a tree on the sidelines, dress someone up like a can of paint or a crayon.

  38. phred says:

    @Jeff Kaye: Yep. But just wait ’til next week, when you put a bowl of chips and salsa on that soapbox and put it in front of your favorite chair by the TV ; )

  39. phred says:

    @bmaz: So I have to admit that I had to Google your Ed Hochuli reference… fwiw, I think “Hochules” is a great nickname. So uh, bmaz, do you happen to know said lawyer? You seem to know all the cool kids in your neck of the woods, so just wonderin’.

    And while, we’re on the subject of referees, I wish the NFL would bring the regulars back. Just sayin’…

  40. bmaz says:

    @phred: The wedge of cheese is everywhere in this house. It is like the evil toy in horror movies that mysteriously shows up in whatever room you are in.

    Spooky!

  41. P J Evans says:

    @Peterr:
    I think they went with the color because it didn’t require getting all-new uniforms and everything. The tree is just their mascot. (There are stranger things out there. The Hawaii Rainbows and the Irvine Anteaters come to mind.)

  42. phred says:

    @Peterr: I’m not sure I understand your rootless complaints about the Stanford mascot. Sure, it’s a bark(ing) mad mascot that leaves much to be desired, but I for one am pleased to see colleges branching out in their mascot creativity. Wood that more followed their lead ; )

  43. masaccio says:

    That was some night for Sparty, wasn’t it? I thought the Irish were the offenseless ones, but it looks like Michigan State could use some of that there QB controversy, and maybe even a decent defense.

  44. bmaz says:

    @masaccio: Heh, did you look at my list of games in the post?? I screwed up every stinking one of them just as bad as the ND/MSU game. Horribly bad prognosticating.

    I am thinking I like Peterr’s suggestion for a bucket of paint as a mascot for the folks in Palo Alto.

  45. What Constitution says:

    A Trifecta day in this house: my UCLA rakes, the spouse’s Domers rake, and everybody’s hated USC gets put in its place (x4) by smart guys from Stanford. Yes, yes, yes! Given the bottom of the ninth in Kansas City for the Angels, we’ll choose to remember the day as a college football moment.

  46. emptywheel says:

    @Peterr: I’ve always had the same problem with Stanford. Cardinal? REally?

    Then again, everyone in my high school was pissed off that neither I nor our salutatorian even applied to Stanford, as generally the top students always went to Stanford. So I’ve got a pretty demonstrable chip on my shoulder against Stanford from way back.

  47. emptywheel says:

    @phred: And here I was wondering how to raise money so we can go back to awarding hubcaps.

    Silly me, I hadn’t thought of fining commenters for bad puns per comment.

  48. phred says:

    @Mr_EW: MR. EW??? I’m flattered as all heck : ) Totally worth hubcapital punishment to get a rise out of the Mr. ; ) I’m (chloro)phylled with glee ; )

  49. bmaz says:

    Whoo boy. Yesterday was a disaster, and we are already off to an inauspicious start today.

    On the other hand, if the pun fine system doesn’t provide enough income, you could also fine shitty bmaz football picks. There appears to be a big upside there.

  50. Peterr says:

    @phred: You mention “creativity,” but I’m stumped. It may be a REDwood, but even a first grader knows that redwoods aren’t cardinal. They’re ever green.

    If you seek mascot creativity, take note of the wisdom of Terrence T Evans of the Seventh US Court of Appeals in Crue v Aikin [370 F3d 668]. After noting the high number of mundane names, Evans writes:

    [All this makes it quite obvious that, when considering college nicknames, one must kiss a lot of frogs to get a prince. But there are a few princes. For major universities, one would be hard pressed to beat gems like The Crimson Tide (Alabama), Razorbacks (Arkansas), Billikens[2] (St.Louis), Horned Frogs (TCU), and Tarheels (North Carolina). But as we see it, some small schools take the cake when it comes to nickname ingenuity. Can anyone top the Anteaters of the University of California-Irvine; the Hardrockers of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City; the Humpback Whales of the University of Alaska-Southeast; the Judges (we are particularly partial to this one) of Brandeis University; the Poets of Whittier College; the Stormy Petrels of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta; the Zips of the University of Akron; or the Vixens (will this nickname be changed if the school goes coed?) of Sweet Briar College in Virginia? As wonderful as all these are, however, we give the best college nickname nod to the University of California-Santa Cruz. Imagine the fear in the hearts of opponents who travel there to face the imaginatively named “Banana Slugs”?

    Legally speaking, that’s creativity.

  51. joanneleon says:

    Early in the game, Michael Vick is getting beat up already by the Ravens defense and I wonder if he will make it through the game. They are going after him on every play. A gratuitous swipe to the head just got a roughing the passer penalty. Eagles just scored. I think this is going to be a rough game.

    That interception and quick turnover again to the Eagles was lucky.

    A lot of fans (and my cousins in particular) were really fed up with the Eagles last week but Eagles fans are hard to please. What more do you want? They haven’t lost yet (though they might today).

  52. joanneleon says:

    On the college front, I think Rutgers might be a team to watch this year. They have a really strong defense. If the offense can pull it together, they could be formidable even with the challenge of losing their coach to the NFL (whose team is playing back in Jersey right now against the Giants).

  53. phred says:

    @Peterr: Touche ; ) But are you really going to try to persuade anyone, ANYONE, that the Tree is worse than a Slug? ; )

    FWIW though, I am totally on board with your preference for a crayon mascot for the Stanford Cardinal, especially if the weapon of choice for said mascot becomes The Sharpener ; )

  54. phred says:

    @bmaz: LOL, now that’s a mascot I can really get behind, preferably with a little dish of melted butter with a hint of garlic ; )

  55. phred says:

    @rosalind: rosalind, I am just trying to understand Peterr’s hostility towards trees. I’ll admit slugs are pretty cute. Maybe Peterr needs a copy of the Lorax ; )

  56. Peterr says:

    @phred:

    I like the trees, I do, my friend.
    I like the trees, from end to end.
    I like to climb them in the park.
    I’ll even climb them in the dark.
    I like the trees that line my street
    I think that trees are really neat.

    I like the trees with limbs that reach.
    I like the trees with fruits, like peach.
    I like the trees with leaves that fall.
    I like the trees with birds that call.
    I like the trees with needles green.
    I like *all* the trees I’ve seen.

    Except for one — the Stanford tree
    Which was banished by decree
    at the NCAA tourney
    where it needed an attorney
    This tree does not know wrong from right.
    This tree just itches for a fight.

    I’m all for fun and leading cheers,
    but this tree drinks too many beers
    and then proceeds to lose its cool
    and bring ill will upon its school.
    This tree needs help, it’s sad to say.
    This tree needs help, and right away.

  57. Peterr says:

    Unionbusting Oops Moment, NFL edition:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — We’re about to witness what I’m pretty sure is history at Bank of America Stadium.

    In a game in which Aaron Kromer will serve as interim interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints, we’ll have a replacement replacement official.

    ESPN’s Chris Mortensen just reported that side judge Brian Stropolo has been pulled from Sunday’s officiating crew after the league learned that his Facebook page was filled with Stropolo wearing Saints shirts and other merchandise.

    Officials are supposed to be neutral and aren’t supposed to be fans.

    Upon further review, the NFL needs to get real refs back in the game.

  58. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: I am assuming they lose that and the NFC North ends up in a 4-way tie at 500 (cause Luck is showing some and some skill too against the Vikes).

    Weird week. Though it may just be parity.

    About the only thing going as planned is hte Texans and the tie in Philly.

  59. Jim White says:

    Looks like I’m the kiss of death for Tampa Bucs. They were nicely ahead and then Eli burned them right when I turned the TV on.

    And as for that discussion of appropriate team mascot names, why weren’t the Florida Gators on that list? Just sayin’… From the newly announced number 14 ranking in both polls, no less. I may have to stop saying Muschump.

    And while I was typing this, good Eli has put the Gints in position to take the lead.

  60. phred says:

    @Peterr: And the winner of the mascot follies is… Peterr : ) Bravo! I have clearly been a sap. Your hostility is well-founded and justified. Rail away, my friend ; )

  61. phred says:

    Can we just keep talking about mascots for awhile? Aside from the Pack, I’m getting killed in my football pool this week. Ouch! Speaking of which, I have a 15 point bone to pick with your Patsies, EW.

  62. scribe says:

    @phred: There for a while, Dartmouth had an unofficial mascot “Keggy”, who was a smiling silver beer keg with Dartmouth-green tights on his/her/its limbs. I heard Keggy’s presence was beloved of the student body because Keggy embodied the apotheosis of the Dartmouth Ideal and Experience (from the student perspective) but was even more hated by the Administration, for pretty much the same reason. So much so that, IIRC, Keggy was banned from campus. If not arrested on sight. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keggy_the_Keg

  63. emptywheel says:

    @phred: Hey, I would have taken the win, but maybe not points, cause I don’t think the Pats are that strong, and I think other teams are gonna figure out the 2 TE O, and then where will they be?!?!

    The Cardinals played very good D.

  64. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: Excuses, excuses.

    I’m just waiting to find out whether my background chops-busting helped inspire BMAz to (A) drink heavily and (B) pick the Patsies over the Cards and take the rest of his weekend down the crapper….

  65. Peterr says:

    @JohnT:

    The Chiefs still suck worse. I had to turn it off at halftime, and happened to get into my car when the post-game show started. The announcers were brutal, and the callers were worse.

    The consensus: UGG-lee.

  66. Peterr says:

    @phred:

    Without your reference to the Lorax to inspire me, it would not have happened.

    It was an honor to trade puns and rhymes with you.

  67. JohnT says:

    @Peterr:

    I kinda figured the Colts would win, because the Vikings have never beaten them on the road … Aaaand, the Vikings suck; thanks again Chilly for your horrible drafts

    PS Niners roll over the Kitties

  68. Peterr says:

    @phred: KC’s legendary QB Len Dawson shares your pain, I think, as it applies to the Chiefs. Dawson sounded as if he was so disgusted with what was happening on the field for the Chiefs that he was ready to climb out of the radio booth and take over behind center.

  69. Jeff Kaye says:

    @phred: The battle against Gog went poorly.

    I can only hope for redemption when we meet Magog next week.

    Chips and salsa may yet save the human race, but not if the Pac-12 has anything to say about it (a point made just for bmaz’s sake).

  70. scribe says:

    CBS is down to highlighting that Sanchez hasn’t completed a pass in 128 minutes of real time.

    And that pass interference call was total bullshit.

    Meanwhile, Sanchez is losing his job.

  71. Peterr says:

    @scribe: Here in KC, CBS is showing Tenn v the Bolts. Are the cameras following Tebow around on the sidelines, waiting for Him to enter the game?

  72. scribe says:

    10:13 drive in the 4th quarter.

    Broken tackles.

    Grinding out a touchdown the old way – smashmouth.

    Steelers Football.

    Somewhere, Myron Cope lights an unfiltered cigarette, takes a drag, sips his drink, and smiles.

  73. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: He finished the game on his ass. Appropriate.

    In baseball, it’s said that one should not pay too much attention to March or September. I think the same principle applies in the No Fun League. Sanchez is playing down to the stats on the back of his baseball card.

  74. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: Troy keeps getting hurt.

    I think everyone pretty much agrees Clark is better than Troy, which is saying something because Troy is still pretty good.

    Now, I wanna know when Cheatin’ Bill is going to slot Welker higher than 3rd on the WR depth chart. Or is that just punishment for bitching about the franchise tag? And it was Gronk holding that lost the game for them. Appropriate – he’s getting too big for his britches.

  75. joanneleon says:

    Well that was a nail biter in the 4th quarter with the Eagles squeaking it out despite FSM knows how many turnovers and injuries. The Ravens beat up on Vick from start to finish. Quite the dirty players, those Ravens. One announcer was very sad that the Ravens lost and got all defensive when the other announcer said that the Eagles might make it to the Superbowl. Refs should be unbiased, but the announcers should pretend to be too. This one was definitely not. I forget their names at the moment.

  76. JohnLopresti says:

    Scalia High School mascot? What mascot? What ‘high school’?
    You old enough now. Come on!
    Geta job!
    You play a guitar.
    Go to Chicago.
    Go play blues in San Francisco.
    It’sa free world.
    Get over it!
    Like Chief Justice said, Sprint Communications v APCC dissent, p.4,
    “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”

  77. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: I’m okay w/the way the game has gone so far. Last week the Packers were down 16-7, IN LAMBEAU–as compared to 14-6 and some dinks. And the Kitties commitment to run has made a difference. And the Niners are making more mistakes.

    So I’m not sure the Kitties will win–like I said, I fully expected and expect the Niners to win this. But the Kitties have a decent game plan. Now they need to execute.

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