Start of Fall Trash Talk

The summer is in its last throes and fall is officially here on Sunday. And with football season hitting its stride, it really does seem like fall. Let’s see what we have going on with teh student athletes this week.

A lot of Wheelhouse denizens will have interest in the big Sparty Domer tilt. Unlike last year, it looks like Michigan State has the dominating defense and Notre Dame has to rely on offense. Neither one of these teams is likely as good as people think they are, but someone has to win. Game in South Bend, so smart money probably is on ND. Can’t do it though, Sparty in an upset. There is a lot of interest in the Stanford ASU game for some reason, but man, after seeing them last Saturday up close and personal, the Devils are just not that good. The Tree is going to shed points all over ASU in Palo Alto. Tennessee might take the Gators in Knoxville, but not in the Swamp. Kansas State at Texas will be interesting because KSU has a bad habit of beating the Whorens – five times in a row. Dunno if Mack Brown can survive if he loses this game. Stay tuned!

Probably won’t be on in much of the country, but I have a morbid curiosity about the Jets and Bills battle of the rookie quarterbacks. The Jets may not be quite as dysfunctional as everyone thought, but EJ Manual looks like a better bet than Geno Smith. Edge to the Bills. I suppose the best matchup is probably Texans and Ravens, but hard to care about it. Packers and Bengals is maybe the most potentially exciting game on tap. Cinci is good, but…..Aaron Rodgers you know. Close game, but I’ll take the Cheese. Cardinals are a decent club actually, but son’t have enough for the Saints in Nawlins. Especially with Spidey Fitzgerald and Mendenhall hurting. Niners are apparently going to let their errant driving linebacker Smith play and should be able to contain Luck and his new back, Trent Richardson; although it may be a close game. Go Stillers!

F1 is in Singapore. I hate Singapore. Lot of people love Singapore and Marina Bay under the lights, but not me. Brad Spurgeon has a good rundown – and he likes the gig at Marina Bay, check it out. The big news of course is that Felipe Massa is out at Ferrari for 2014 and the prodigal Iceman cometh back. Kimi Raikkonen is to be paired with Fernando Alonso next year and that ought to be, um, interesting. Especially if the new equipment is as good as is rumored.

The Yankees look dead and there are still some exciting wildcard races in play. Chat em up. Thought it was time for a nice country song this week, and Honey Honey’s Angel of Death is simply superb. Give it a listen.

66 replies
  1. Phil Perspective says:

    Kimi Raikkonen is to be paired with Fernando Alonso next year and that ought to be, um, interesting.

    The crew on NBC-SN are saying that Alonso might end up back at McLaren. If that actually happens would that mean Massa is back? Or would Ferrari find a new driver?

  2. bmaz says:

    @Phil Perspective: Alonso has said no and that he intends to at least finish out his current contract at Ferrari, which is three more years. And maybe more after that. Don’t think he is going anywhere.

  3. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Aryan Foster says he took money in college and the NCAA sucks as slavedrivers:

    Word down here is the Whorn Board of Regents has already contacted Saban and did so as early as 2010. Saban said in response to such reports he was too old to start over so the negotiating has already begun. You can stick a fork in Mack Brown – he’s done. Tickets for the game can be found for $1 from what I hear so the alums have already made their decision. Also reports the AD is out after football season which he of course denies. Too much smoke for there not to be any fire somewhere.

    Boise – Fresno game was entertaining.

  4. emptywheel says:

    No mention of the KC victory in Philly? (I got here at 10 and locals weren’t happy.)

    Man, competition to be the worst in the NFC East is even stiffer than the competition between the Stillers and the Brownies. After the Brownies traded away their running back, just because, Polamalu announced he’s cutting his Samson like hair.

    At least the Bungles and the Ravens still show up there, at least.

  5. Jim White says:

    Dang, but that was a short night! I actually watched the double header that the Orioles and Rays played last night. Too bad the Rays only get credit for one win, but the 6 hour + affair ending around 2 am was amazing. This video shows just how, um, hairy things got by the time of the walkoff hit in the 18th and on-field celebration:

    Rays now have the top AL wildcard slot on their own, a half game ahead of Cleveland. Texas dropped to a half game behind Cleveland. KC and Baltimore are now 2.5 back of Cleveland and the Evil Empire is 3 back, so the run for those two wildcard slots looks like it will go down to the final day. Rays have no days off left and will play nine more games in the next nine days (three more at home with Baltimore, three in the Big Apple and finish off in Canadial style in Toronto with three).

    Gonna be hard for the O’s to regroup after that loss. They hadn’t arrived in St. Pete until 4 am Friday, played Friday night’s game until after 2 am and now have the short turnaround for a 1 pm game this afternoon. Gotta like the Rays to win today, especially with Alex Cobb taking the mound. He’s been really solid lately.

    The Gators should indeed handle the Vols, but I’m still secretly hoping the Whorens “steal” Muschamp from us. I’ll even leave the door unlocked and keys in the ignition if that helps. Daughter scored an extra ticket to go to the game with a friend, but I think I’m just getting too damned old for these mid-afternoon games in September. I’m not jealous at all. I’ll probably just have a beer around the time the TV switched from baseball to football and enjoy the season from my couch.

  6. Nigel says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    As bmaz (my spellcheck tried to replace that with Bernanke !) says, it’s unlikely this time around – though McLaren appear to be sincere in wanting his services, and even the most secure contracts aren’t really secure in F1…

    Judging by Red Bull’s pace in practice, this season is just about over as a contest for both titles. The battle for second place will be interesting, however, especially as teams are switching most of their development effort to next year. Much will therefore depend on the drivers’ contributions.

    I’m liking the look of next year – much less downforce (with the banning of trick exhausts); much more torque; and the possibility of interesting tactics using the much beefed up, but still strictly constrained electrical energy systems.
    This article gives a useful overview of the new powertrains:

  7. bmaz says:

    @Nigel: I too am pretty excited by next year. In fact, I’ve had a hard time staying real excited this year with Vettel’s lead over the field. Given the Red Bull’s reliability, it feels like he has had the title all but sewn up for a while. I am yet to be sold on the complexity of the hybrid motor configuration; seems like they are begging for unreliability. But it is exciting, we shall see!

  8. Nigel says:


    They could be unreliable as hell; that’s part of the interest. The best implementations are likely to be closest to the borderline for reliability. And the cooling demands will seriously screw with Newey’s aerodynamics (it’s taken three years for Red Bull to get reliable KERS as their packaging is so tight) – which is a good thing in my book.

    I don’t think next year’s cars will be able to corner on rails like this year’s Red Bull, which should put a premium on driver skill.
    That is not a veiled criticism of Vettel, btw. I expect him to be at or near the front – it’s just that the only driver he’s truly had to prove himself against over the last three years is his teammate.

  9. bmaz says:

    @Nigel: Agree. Heck, even if it is because of random equipment failure, I’ll take some evening up of the odds and some excitement in the mix. You are right about Vettel’s lack of competition; which is really also a comment on Alonso’s skills. How in the world he has stayed as close as he has is really something special.

  10. Peterr says:

    In the Sun Devils v the Cardinal, I’m all for the school who understands that you don’t name your team after a color.

    But the big sporting interest in the southern end of the Bay area will be the almost-but-not-quite-out-of-it sailors of Oracle, who have managed to stave off losing the America’s Cup to the Kiwis. Like the Black Knight, they’ve only suffered a few flesh wounds, and they’re only down 8-3 in the race to nine.

    I trust Rosalind will keep us informed.

  11. Peterr says:

    @emptywheel: Folks in KC can’t believe that after three weeks, they have more wins than they did all of last year.

    The crazies have come out already, making plans for the Super Bowl.

  12. JTMinIA says:

    After a disappointing trip to Germany, Ogier won in Australia and has the WRC championship wrapped up. The reign of Loeb and Citreon is over. All hail the great new Volkswagon.


  13. jo6pac says:

    Well lets see I was wrong about Massa staying on, the 9ers sucked big time and are banged up on D. Aldon Smith has a problem and the 9ers seem to be letting him getting away with being a bad citizen.

    Yes Ice Man and FA on the same team, interesting for sure.

    Thanks JTMinlA on the update on WRC I haven’t paid attention to it this season.

  14. rosalind says:

    @Peterr: yes, Mother Nature has aided the Oracle team this week, with too much wind and too little, and with one-a-day races instead of the usual two, they’ve managed to stretch the series to today.

    after a weather delay, the first race is scheduled to go off at 2pm PST. should Oracle again prevail, i think there will not be time to get a second race off (they have strict time limits for the start), and the next race will be tomorrow.

    you can watch live on the NBC Sports Network, or via twitter @americascupLIVE.

  15. Peterr says:

    Looks like some on-field trash talk across the country, all aimed at the NCAA:

    In a gesture that organizers hope turns into an athlete-driven national movement, players from Georgia Tech and Georgia and Northwestern took the field Saturday with gear they had marked up to protest the NCAA’s treatment of athletes on issues ranging from concussions to compensation.

    ESPN cameras showed that players, including Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee, wrote on their wrist tape “APU” — All Players United — in a game against North Carolina.

    In Georgia’s game against North Texas, at least five Bulldogs offensive linemen joined the protest.

    Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter made the most visible and obvious display, writing “APU” in large white letters on black wrist tape.


    “Players will continue to wear the APU throughout the season and spread the word,” Huma said. “They’re taking the reform effort to television, which has never been done. They’ve been using their bodies to make money for the people who run NCAA sports. Now, for the first time, they’re using their bodies to push for basic protections at the very least.”

    Huma is the president of the National College Players Association — as close to a union as college athletes are allowed to have. They expect more players to be doing this in the games later today, and hope even more take it up next week.

    More at the link above.

  16. Peterr says:

    @rosalind: Postponed again — winds have been coming out of the wrong direction.

    As one of the NBC commentators said, this means the potential winning race will now take place when it is Monday in New Zealand, which means there may be more than a few folks ditching work to watch.

  17. masaccio says:

    Louis Nix III playing really well, Spartans have to double team or someone gets hurt. Makes a lot of room for Truitt.

    Irish getting a lot of help from referees. Probably Pope Francis on the phone.

  18. scribe says:

    What was it, two or maybe three years ago, Peyton Hillis was on the cover of that year’s edition of Madden Football.

    The Bucs released him today.

    Things going bad in Tampa, it seems, between their coach already losing the locker room and players pretty much coming out and quitting but not quitting.

  19. Jim White says:

    Rays got a huge win over Orioles today.

    Gators squeaked out a win over Tennessee and have a new QB. Gotta stick with Tyler Murphy now, Driskel is out for the season with an ankle injury. It got rolled up on by a defensive lineman as Driskel threw a pick 6.

    And go Trees! Just intercepted the Forkers!

  20. Brindle says:

    Brady Hoke is a joke. As long as the Hoke is the coach this kind of serial under achieving will be the norm for the Wolverines. Remember that Hoke said that speed is over-rated in football—what kind of moron would say something like that?
    There are lot of good coaches out there—too bad UM is stuck with a mediocrity.

  21. scribe says:

    I figure you’ll get chapped about this BMAz, but I gotta say it anyway: as racing goes, F1 is f’g borrring. If you don’t qualify in the top 2 or 3 slots, you have really little chance of winning. The biggest determinant after how well you qualify seems, as in today’s Singapore race, some mechanical part failing (some guy’s pneumatic valve control thingy) on your car. Beyond that, it’s just expensive, complicated machines going in circuits for a set amount of time (never heard about that 2-hour limit until today) until the pole sitter or #2 qualifier gets declared the winner.

    Say what you like about NASCAR being going in circles and redneck whoopdowns when someone causes a crash or someting, there’s no predicting a winner. Unlike today, when it seemed clear Vettel would take it.

    Hell, I’d rather go back to the days of Cannonball Run and stuff. That’d be interesting. You’d have to instrument the roads and close them while the race was going on, but in today’s Surveillance World, I’m sure some contractor or other would come up with a solution. And, like the Tour de France, it’d be a good excuse to fix the roads.

  22. rosalind says:

    Kent Somers tweet: “#AZCardinals NT Dan Williams’ father was killed this weekend in a car accident while driving to New Orleans to see son play.”

    “Accident details not available yet. Dan’s mom, sister were in car. They survived. Family lived in Memphis, often traveled to see Dan play.”

  23. Peterr says:

    @scribe: Somehow, I’m not sure bringing up NASCAR as an example to be imitated in racing is the best you can do right now. NASCAR officials seem worried that you *can* predict a winner — or at least, you can buy a better shot at having a winner by getting your buddy to quit racing to win so that you’ve got an advantage over your competitors.

    NASCAR has figured out that this approach to racing comes with a cost. From the Charlotte Observer:

    NAPA Auto Parts is voiding out of its sponsorship deal with Michael Waltrip Racing in reaction to the organization’s apparent attempt to manipulate Sprint Cup race results leading up to the setting of the Chase field.


    NASCAR called a meeting before last Sunday’s Chicagoland race, warning drivers, crew chiefs and owners that any future manipulation – any sense each team isn’t giving its best effort regardless of alliances to other teams – would be punished severely.

    Note that NAPA didn’t decide not to renew their sponsorship, but voided their deal before it was over.

    When a leading car-parts company decides your car racing business is too crooked to associate with, that’s saying something.

  24. rosalind says:

    America’s Cup Update: the weather gods have cooperated, so the next race should go off at 1:15pm PST, with the current wind forecast – 12-15K SW – well w/in the official race limits (24.4K first race, 23.3K second).

    You can watch live at NBC Sports Network, or follow along live via twitter at @americascupLIVE.

    The Kiwis have to win just one more race to take the Cup. If Oracle manages a win in the first race, they will sail again at 2:15pm.

  25. scribe says:

    I’m getting the end of the Browns-Vikings game on my tube.

    Dear God in heaven. Nothing like this has ever happened. I’ve even forgotten what the Browns’ uniforms look like. And now the announcers are screaming their excitement about how the Brownies have 5 MVPs today.

  26. scribe says:

    @Peterr: Actually, your argument proves my point. With NASCAR, you get crashes and fistfights in addition to predictable, some-might-say-“fixed” predictable races. With F1, it’s just roundy-round and Eurotrash soccer players in jumpsuits, pouting or strutting.

  27. scribe says:

    @scribe: The Brownies trading their #1 RB may turn out to be a case of addition by subtraction. We’ll have to give it a couple weeks to know.

  28. rosalind says:

    America’s Cup Update: W00t!!!! The USA boat, Oracle, just stomped the Kiwi’s and took the first race of the day. Series stands at New Zealand 8, USA 4, first team to 9 wins gets the Cup.

    Oracle can’t waste time savoring the win, each race is sudden death for them. Next race should go off 2:15pm-ish.

    In the first races the Kiwis had the much faster boat, especially upwind where they kicked Oracle’s butt over and over. Their crew also handled their boat much more smoothly. But starting last weekend Oracle made some tweaks to their boat, evened out their boat handling, and are now able to GAIN on the upwind segments.

    I want to be there!!!!!!!!

  29. scribe says:

    49ers running ball well. Someone lit a fire under thier O-lines’ asses and it seems to have worked well so far. D seems similarly pissed, taking anger out on Colts’ O.

  30. rosalind says:

    America’s Cup Update: woo & hoo!!! Oracle takes the second race of the day to live to sail another day!!! i don’t get the cable channel so have to follow along via twitter, so don’t know what speculation there may be about why the Kiwi boat is suddenly so much slower, wonder if there is a technical problem.

    both races will be available shortly on the America’s Cup youtube channel:

    a tweet that sums up the story of today: “USA sailing 32.5 kts upwind, NZL 25.6”

    Race 16 tomorrow 1:15pm PST, Race 17 if necessary follows at 2:15pm PST.

  31. Bay State Librul says:

    Globule update

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots offense seems to have finally hit its stride.

    They didn’t get off to a great start, scoring no points in the first quarter, but they found their groove in the final three quarters to trounce the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-3.

    They got some help from the Buccaneers struggles on offense, but the defense did its share in logging three sacks of quarterback Josh Freeman and holding running back Doug Martin to 88 rushing yards.

    Here’s a look at the players who had a strong showing, and those who need to pick it up after a tough week.

    Stock up:

    Kenbrell Thompkins: Sunday was a coming-out party for the rookie wide receiver. He caught three passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns on the day, making up for what was a tough showing against the Jets. Thompkins began looking like the reliable receiver we saw throughout training camp and the preseason.

    Aaron Dobson: Two rookie receivers really stepped up today, as Dobson caught the first four passes thrown his way and finished with seven catches for 52 yards, leading the team in both categories. Dobson came up big in some key situations, converting a third down and a fourth down on the day.

    Brandon Bolden: Finished with 100 yards from scrimmage on eight touches — three carries and five catches — and had the team’s biggest play of the day with a 46-yard run, on which it looked like he might be brought down behind the line of scrimmage. Credit goes to Logan Mankins for a nice block to spring him free on that run. Bolden has very much earned his role in the Patriots backfield rotation.

    Stephen Gostkowski: Made all three of his field goal tries, including a 53-yarder. It was his eighth field goal of 50 yards or longer, which tied the team record by former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri. Also, an interesting stat per Mike Giardi of CSNNE: only one of Gostkowski’s kickoffs has been returned. All others have resulted in a touchback.

  32. Peterr says:

    How ’bout those Bengals, bmaz?


    Have the calls started for Favre to make yet another “out of retirement” move yet?

  33. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: It’s a brave person who would put that on and walk through the tailgaters at Oakland Stadium. Either that, or a very very crazy person.

    Must have been designed by someone in LA who is still angry at Al Davis for leaving SoCal to return to the Bay area.

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