Well, now that the little Le’Affaire du Patraeus thing is over (just kidding, Pete Hoekstra promises more to come!), we can now get back to the important stuff: Trash Talk. This edition is served up Chicago Style because no city has had a better week. The reelection effort for hometown guy Obama, run out of Chicago by Axelrod and Plouffe came up roses and Obama gave his acceptance speech there.
But, even bigger and badder are Da Bears. Man, they are on a roll that is not getting enough attention in the football universe. The Bears are 7-1 on the year and just demolished the Titans last week. Urlacher is solid as usual and Charles Tillman is the second coming of Revis Island in their D-backfield. Who knows, he may schiz out at any time, but Jay Cutler and the offense are really clicking. Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall are a big part of that. Together, it is a team that is just flat out scary right now.
Which is a good thing, because the other current league powerhouse, the Houston Texans are coming for a Sunday Night throwdown. This is far and away the game of the week, and it will tell us a lot about both teams as they start the second half of the regular schedule.
Some other random thoughts: Don’t look now, but with Thursday’s win over the hapless Jags, the Colts and Andrew Luck are 6-3. The Vikes and Kittehs game should be interesting; similar records, but moving in opposite directions as teams. The Lions are starting to settle in and the Vikes are unraveling slightly as of late after a surprising start. Cowboys at Iggles is another interesting game between two desperate teams, both of which should be better than they are.
In the land of “student athletes”, the one I most want to see is the total destruction of Alabama by Texas A&M and the amazing super frosh “Johnny Football”, Johnny Manziel. If you have not heard of this kid yet, you need to. He is flat out ripping it up in the big bad SEC.
The Aggies’ quick-tempo offense ran 97 plays and amassed 693 yards, gaining 361 on the ground and 332 through the air, in last Saturday’s 38-13 win over then-No. 15 Mississippi State. It was the fifth time this season Texas A&M racked up at least 600 yards.
Manziel completed 30 of 36 passes for 311 yards and ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns for the Aggies, who improved to 5-0 on the road. The freshman has now totaled 31 touchdowns and is averaging 383.2 yards of total offense, better than 47 FBS teams.
There is no stopping the Tide unless the Aggies do it today. Either way, it will be exciting to see how Johnny Football holds up to that smothering defense.
The clear game of the week for some particular denizens of this blog is the Fighting Journalists dropping in on the Wolverweenies. Man, the Bo Merlots have been vacillating between competent and horrid this year, and they looked so promising at the start of the year. The Journalists, on the other hand are a solid 7-2 and have the makings of one of their better seasons in a long time. Pat Fitzgerald is really a quality coach, you just have to wonder how long before he moves on to a bigger job. Other games of note are Oregon State at The Tree in Palo Alto, ASU at USC,
No Formula One this week, the next appearance of the Circus is at the brand new Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas for the renewal of the US Grand Prix. However, there is huge news in the NBA: The Lakers up and fired coach Mike Brown after a painful 1-4 start to the season and an offense that was burying LA’s best players, Kobe and Steve Nash. Really, Brown had to go, so it was good to get it over with. Most prominent names bandied about as replacements are Phil Jackson (would be unlikely, but Jeannie Buss is his longtime love interest) and Mike D’Antoni who really knows how to use Nash from their collaboration in Phoenix. If Jackson won’t do it, I would love to see D’Antoni. Brian Shaw is also in play, but he is an assistant under contract elsewhere right now.
That is the rundown. Music by, who else, Chicago. It is easy to forget just how smoking good early Chicago really was. REALLY good. For my money, Terry Kath was, and remains, one of the most underrated world class guitar players ever. Check him out on Make Me Smile. The second selection, South California Purples is kind of a more obscure song, that I have always liked, off the band’s debut album when they were still Chicago Transit Authority.
Hoop it up folks.