End of the NFL Regular Road and Start of Bowl Season Coach Lombardi Trash Talk

Here we are at the cusp of the end of the regular season line for the NFL and official start of the college football bowl season. Man, things are not what they used to be. As I write this, I am watching the Fiesta Bowl Parade on local TV. It looks fucking pathetic. This used to be a parade that hundred’s of thousands of people came out for. Now it looks like a podunk town homecoming parade. Right this second, there is some mope on a bicycle towing a freaking monkey in a little red wagon. I need to start drinking stat! Maybe with the Tequila Gun!

Okay, so the ASU Sun Devils are playing the Blue Devils of Duke in the otherwise long ago relevant, but now piddling, Sun Bowl, and that game is on CBS and just started. I’ll take the Devils! Boston College versus Penn State, the Nittany Lions fresh off of truncated probation, in the Pinstripe Bowl from Yankee Stadium on ESPN may be a decent toss up. As may be the Cornfuskers versus Trojans in the Holiday Bowl tonight, also on ESPN. There are other bowls starting up on Monday, and there may or may not be Nuevo Trash between now and next Tuesday or Wednesday, so make this yer Bowl Trash Talk home thread until you see another one!

So being done with the Joes, let’s move to the Pro’s. Really, is there any doubt but that the biggest game of the NFL regular season comes down to bmaz and Phred’s beloved Packers versus teh Evil Kittehs of Ms. Wheel. Matt Stafford currently looks like a scruffy lumberjack that has eaten more hotdogs than Joey Chestnut on July 4th on Coney Island. Which should make pulling away from rookie center Travis Swanson, who will be taking his live first snaps ever in the critical game on the Frozen Tundra™. That would because the 12 year starting center of the Lions, Dominic Raiola, who was suspended for going all Suh on a Chicago Bear last game. Unless Aaron Rodgers gets cheap shotted by the Dirty Felines, expect the Packers to continue the Lions losing streak at Lambeau to 24 years in a row.

There are really only three other true games of interest in the league Sunday. First, Bengals at Steelers, where my bet is Big Ben once again denies Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton the big game win they so covet. Second, the Panthers are at the Falcons for the NFC south Championship and a losing record berth in the playoffs. Not just a losing record berth, but a home field game to boot. The NFL really needs to rethink their seeding priorities. The Cardinals will almost certainly be the wild card opponent for the victor of this game, and Ariaona will have won many more games going in, and against far better competition.

Lastly, the combo of the Cardinals versus Niners in San Francisco and Rams at Squawks still counts. Were the Rams to pull the road upset over Seattle and the Cards to pull a road upset over the Niners (the Cards still have Ryan Lindley at QB, so a win would be a HUGE upset), the Cards would still win the NFC West and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Of course, neither upset will come even remotely close to happening. Yes, I know Marcy and Rosalind say I am a whiner and bellyacher on these points, but I have not been wrong about them yet. Most unfortunately. I’d love to change this world and have had Carson Palmer for the whole season so that it was a fair fight for the Cardinals in the NFC West, but that was not to be the case. It is what it is.

Music today by Ten Years After who also wanted to change the world. Eat well, drink responsibly and let it rip!

69 replies
  1. emptywheel says:

    I’ve taken the liberty of changing the title of this post because bmaz’ was all boring and really the Kitties-Packer showdown will come down to whether Coach Lombardi can deliver at Lambeau.

    Granted, the Saints lost the two games they played at Lambeau while Lion’s OC (and my neighbor, when I was 12), Joe Lombardi, was coaching there (Saints won big once in the Superdome while Joe was with them).

    Saints lost 34-42 on September 8, 2011.
    Saints lost 27-28 on September 30, 2012.

    But at some point the Kitties’ O — Coach Lombardi’s O — will gel, maybe, even without a center (!). And what better time to do so then to have Vince Lombardi’s grandson hit his stride as an NFL Coordinator than in a game of this importance just off Lombardi Avenue?

    “Winning is not everything, but wanting to win is.”

  2. What Constitution? says:

    If not for “I’m Goin’ Home” at Woodstock, today’s song would qualify Ten Years After as the greatest One Hit Wonder band of all time. What a classic. Include the Woodstock footage, and even with nothing else they’d be one of rock’s finest bands. Awesome talent. Thanks for using it, bmaz.

  3. emptywheel says:

    Also, two corrections.

    1) Raiola went Raiola. Suh has mended his ways, and Raiola has more than picked up his slack (as many Centers do as they get too slow to do what they used to). Doesn’t excuse the behavior and a suspension was totally called for and if it contributes to a Kitties shellacking then that’s the way things should be. But not Suh.

    2) THe Kitties could win the same way they won last time, and the Bills won: containing both Lacey with that Rodgers. Prolly won’t happen twice in a season for the Kitties, prolly won’t happen at Lambeau. But they just need to make Rodgers look ordinary, which has been doable on occasion this season.

  4. bloopie2 says:

    “The Cardinals will almost certainly be the wild card opponent for the victor of this game, and Arizona will have won many more games going in, and against far better competition.”

    But the result is who plays at “home”, right? Why does that make a difference — are these professionals that susceptible to crowd noise? Pretty sad.

  5. jo6pac says:

    Rumor has it over at the San Jose Mercury the uofm will make an announcement on Tuesday on the hiring jh. The AD is in town this weekend to work out the final details with the 9ers.

    I do think jh and the OC should be arrested for fraud but then again I think some banksters should have been arrested also.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup. Been hearing that for a long time.

      Really don’t like the idea of paying $8M to a coach at a public institution of higher learning. Hope to hell it’s mostly bonus driven.

      • jo6pac says:

        No problem I do think uofm has to pay his last year of his contract. I will love that news if true$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

        • P J Evans says:

          They could request donations from the public – there are a fair number of people in the Bay Area who would be happy to donate to moving him elsewhere.

      • Peterr says:

        I’d love to see the NCAA adopt a rule that says a coach can’t make more than something like 150% of the average salary of the institution’s full professors. As I noted last April:

        (The Chronicle of Higher Education has a helpful searchable database of school by school figures [of faculty salaries] here.) For a bit of perspective, at the University of Kansas the average compensation for full professors at KU is $118,300, while basketball head coach Bill Self gets $3,865,000 a year in compensation (plus incentives and a lump sum longevity payment if he stays through the whole contract) — almost 33 times higher! There are whole departments with salary budgets smaller than what Self takes home. Self’s not alone — in forty of the fifty states, the highest paid employee in state government is either a football coach or a basketball coach. Don’t tell me this is because we value education so much.

        Embedded links at the original.
        While we’re making wishes, I also want the Fighting Journalists to win the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Not sure which of these is more likely.

  6. dakine01 says:

    Well, the important game was this afternoon where the ‘Cats took a serious bite outta the Cards at that tasty facility known as the YUM!. Once again a team managed to get their hopes up and hang close to the ‘Cats until the second half of the second half when the eventual loser goes from down three to down 12 almost with the blink of an eye.

    Louisiville is the first team to hang on and be less than ten points down at the end of the game.

  7. Peterr says:

    Here in KC, wishful thinking is running rampant. Starting QB Alex Smith has been discovered to have a lacerated spleen, which means that backup (and Mizzou alum) Chase Daniel will get the start. The Smith-haters have been itching to get Daniel into the game, and now they get their wish.
    Their second wish is for the Chefs to make the playoffs. This would require (a) beating the Bolts in KC tomorrow, (b) the Jags beating Houston in Houston, and (c) the Browns beating the Ravens in Baltimore. Bookies put the odds at all three of these happening at something like 2-3%. Channeling their inner Dumb and Dumbers, Chefs fans are telling each other “So you’re saying we’ve got a chance?” Hardcore Chefs fans are looking back to 2006, when the Chefs needed help from not two but three other teams on the road, and got it. Royals fans are laughing at this, certain in their belief that they used up all the post-season karma any one city can get in a single calendar year.
    Me, I’m enjoying a Mythbusters marathon on the Science channel, where they are showing every episode in the whole series back to back.

  8. Bay State Librul says:

    Terry Bradshaw is the only Steelers player to be named MVP of the NFL.

    Ben Roethlisberger should join him on that list. (Bryan DeArdo)

    Who is DeArdo, and has he met Tommy?

    • bmaz says:

      Big Ben has had a hell of a good year, but agree with you, Brady’s has been better and more consistent. I’ll say this though, I think far more than the sputtering Donkos, the one real concern Bill Bel and the Pats have in getting back here to a second Super Bowl in Phoenix, is the Steelers. I bet Boston is rooting hard for the Bengals today.

  9. bmaz says:

    Definition of Hell: I have to watch the dying Cardinals lose to the dysfunctional Niners today, instead of the Most Glorious Cheese beating teh hell outta teh Kittehs.

  10. rosalind says:

    if appears, bmaz, you may not get a chance to see if Johnny Football can grow into a proficient quarterback, at least with the Browns. Dude threw a party Friday night for the team at his home, two players were late to Sat. meetings and are suspended for today. Team called Johnny’s cell but no answer, sent Security over to drag his hungover ass out of bed and to Team HQ.
    The Lil’ Dude is a living sequel to “North Dallas 40”.

        • bloopie2 says:

          Absolutely. He’s 22 years old, and only four years out of high school. There are plenty of NFL players who are as ‘improper’ as he, who are much more senior. it seems everyone simply likes to have someone to criticize. Well done all of you.

        • emptywheel says:

          Hey, I don’t care how much partying he does. I don’t, however, have much respect for kids who can’t take an NFL opportunity seriously enough to show up for work.

        • P J Evans says:

          Throwing parties the night before a work day is stupid – that’s the stuff you’re supposed to learn fast and early. (We had a guy where I worked who went home for lunch, fell asleep, and didn’t get back. He was gone the next day.

        • bloopie2 says:

          Well, I also think it’s a mistake, and he really seems to be a slow learner in that regard; better change fast. But I don’t have much respect for the numerous other NFL players who cheat on play after play and think nothing of it so long as they can get away with it; who knowingly go for a hard hit when it is not needed; who pull up crowd noise to defeat the other team’s offense when their own defense is not good enough to do that; etc. There’s a whole lot of immature and childish and dirty players out there, most of them more than four short years removed from their last high school game.

  11. What Constitution? says:

    Wonders will never cease with the compensation for college coaches. But at least that’s a fairly competitive effective marketplace. I wish as much attention was focused on Halliburton no-bid war machine contracts — or, perhaps, $81 million secretly paid to two nimrods for torture protocols? I know, I know, the focus here is on expenditures by “publicly funded educational institutions”. In that case, I’ll be fine with limiting my concerns to the University of California Boalt Hall School of Law not merely paying conscience-and-ethics-free John Yoo to teach law, but even naming him to an endowed Chair at the school. He should be sleeping chained to a wall in a bare concrete cell, not drawing a salary from the University of California. So the coaches, hell, let them have what TV revenues will support…..

  12. bloopie2 says:

    Perhaps it’s that I have respect for the man but not for his actions (the old ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’ saw). And I think my comment reflects the fact that, as I age (if not mature), I respect more those who succeed via skill rather than by force. That’s why, I believe, I don’t take in much NHL action any more; the rules there seem to enable the thugs. Anyhow, I’ll give Johnny another year to grow into the role; after that, I’ll be ready to cheer for the backup quarterback just as loudly as the next fellow.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, this year was a write-off for Manziel, but he better show up next year or he is done. Assuming the Browns keep him around, which I assume they will considering they spent a first round pick on him.

      • bloopie2 says:

        I’m trying to remember. Aaron Rodgers sat for three years behind Brett Favre, right? But did everyone know, all that time, that he had the skills and maturity for the game? Or was he something of an unknown?

        • bmaz says:

          Rodgers was pretty quiet and appropriate while waiting. But he was sitting behind Favre, not a journeyman backup like Hoyer. Either way, Manziel made a hash of it his rookie year. Next year he better do better.

      • scribe says:

        Ok. Now I can sling some trash. I spent the afternoon listening/watching CLE online and am pleased to say that’s done.
        As to Mr. J. Football, I think his partying his ass off and leading other teammates into the slough of “Violation of Team Rules – Late for or Missing Meetings” is an admirable achievement on his part. Recall that he was said to be, in reports sourced to anonymous teammates, to be a real clubhouse asshole, if not an outright cancer. So, from his POV, it was a good move to host a party for his bros’ and make sure they saw a good time.
        I’m sure it helped him in the locker room.
        As to the problems this is supposed to have caused for him and management, I don’t see them as problems. The long and the short of it is that because of his “Living Treasure” status, itself a product of his First-Round Pickdom, Heismann-dom, all that First-Round Money and that homeless guy persuading management to pick him first, there’s no way management was going to endanger him in the final, meaningless game of yet another lost season. That he was injured last week – a hammy, at that – and there was no f’g way he was going to play. So, in absolute terms of Game-time importance, he could have just as easily been in Cabo or out making Keyshawn Johnson again the Voice of Reason by partying with the Original Bieber. He was meaningless to the Browns today and was always going to be meaningless because he wasn’t going to play anyway, so his missing the meeting and game was important only to trash-talkers and watching Browns fans writhe and moan like souls being slow-roasted over the coals of Hell.
        That he spent his partying time with his teammates rather than in Cabo or somewhere else warm is to his credit. At least he didn’t go out and rent a pontoon boat and hire some strippers/hookers to perform. (Search “Vikings sex boat” on Deadspin for more details on that). No one was arrested – no foul.
        If his lazy-ass teammates couldn’t shake themselves out in time to make their meetings, when they might get to play, that’s on them. They have to learn how to manage their partying. I spent a lot of my college years on that and it worked out fine.
        I have to say that I, too, find Mr. Football far more entertaining and engrossing than Tebow. Knee-walking drunk and all the stuff that just happens then beats sanctimonious faux-genuflecting any day of the week and twice on Sunday in my book.
        And now we get to see who gets to host the f’g crows next week – the Bungles or my Stillers.

  13. emptywheel says:

    Hmm. Seems that, as has happened of late, the #1 run D hasn’t shown up at the start of the game. Hope they don’t fall too far behind as a result.

    • What Constitution? says:

      I saw that first run and thought I probably should go out and wash the car. But the Lions held in a phenomenal effort. Gonna sit here and watch this one — has the makings of a monster game.

  14. emptywheel says:

    Thinking that’s more than the calf. And no, bmaz, it wasn’t a Kittie hit (though I think Rodgers stepped on a Lion before he took off there).

  15. Peterr says:

    The Chefs managed a win, with a respectable performance from backup QB Chase Daniel despite some appalling play by his receivers. WR Dwayne Bowe caught a pass at the 1 and then fumbled inches before crossing the goal line. The KC tight end fell on the ball for a TD, so the Chefs got the points, but they also managed to finish the 2014 season with absolutely no TD passes to their wide receivers. None. At. All. Per the KC Star, it’s been at least fifty years since that has happened.

  16. Peterr says:

    Fox Sports is reporting that Harbaugh is definitely going to coach the Wolvereenies next year:

    A source confirmed to FOX Sports CFB insider Bruce Feldman on Sunday that Harbaugh — currently still the San Francisco 49ers head coach — is expected to be the Wolverines’ new head coach.
    His family is flying to Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Monday, the source said. The plan is for Harbaugh to be at Michigan’s home basketball game on Tuesday against Illinois.

    My favorite part of the story is where Harbaugh channels his inner Rumsfeld: “What will happen will happen, what won’t happen won’t happen.”

  17. emptywheel says:

    Welp. Didn’t expect the Kitties to win this, but DAMN they missed a bunch of opportunities. And no way this O is going to make it past Dallas.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, Dallas kind of sucks at home, and they are playoff snakebite, so I think there is a fighting chance for the Kittehs. Of course Kittehs have some playoffs snake bite problem too.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, yeah. Although Men’s BB coach Beilein “only” makes $350K. But there are incentives and guaranteed shoe and other tied deals to insure the total is $2.5 mil or more.
      So, UM may not technically pay all of Harbaugh’s salary; but at the reported $8 mil I bet they pay a large chunk of it.

        • Peterr says:

          I’m waiting to see a coach’s contract that also includes negative incentive clauses. “If you get busted by the NCAA for recruiting violations, you return 150% of your pay for the relevant time period. . . . If you fail to qualify for a bowl game/March Madness, you return 50% of your pay. If you fail to qualify for two consecutive years, you return 100% of your pay . . .”

      • bloopie2 says:

        Well, he is an entertainer, after all, and it’s the entertainers make the big bucks today. His teams stop being entertaining, and he won’t make the big bucks any longer; simple as that. I mean, isn’t that why we’re all up late on a Sunday, commenting on this dumb crap? Because we find this entertaining? Certainly not because we care about the underlying football.

        Couldn’t resist this one, also: “Jim Harbaugh, 49ers mutually agree to part ways” says the headline on NFL.com. Well, I for one am sore disappointed – I was hoping only one of them would agree. Now that would be a story, eh?

  18. tjallen says:

    I hear the excuse that the alumni pony up most of the football coach’s salary.
    Suh’s cleats make it to the Hall of Shame!
    Karma – Rogers & GB win the game anyway!
    Top QB Rating for the season is Tony Romo!
    Seattle looks scary again at season’s end, even to this Pats fan.

  19. rosalind says:

    brrr. Stanford/Maryland Game at Levi Stadium is gonna be a fun one. 34 degrees w/23 MPH winds.
    And Candlestick Park says “ha!”

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