Big Game Trash Talk

The world is now one week post Paris attacks. War drums are being pounded, and the worst tendencies of American chicken hawks is in its full pageant grandeur. For being such an “exceptional” people, we sure have our head up our ass an awful lot. No, ISIS is not here to steal your baby or turn the south into a caliphate. Just stop and take a breath politicians. Even the “Reasonable Republican™”, John Kasich, wants to return the US Government to the Judeo-Christian crusades mentality. Get a grip.

Last weekend, it almost felt bad to focus on sporting games; this weekend it seems necessary to take the mind off the stupidity at hand. Locally, that comes in a rare afternoon game at Sun Devil Stadium between Arizona State and Arizona for the treasured Territorial Cup. Both teams are huge disappointments this year, especially the Sun Devils. Preseason, several experts thought ASU had a real shot at the College Football Playoff. That is down the tubes, as the Devils are at 5-5 and have fallen off the face of the map by poor play and atrocious coaching. But, hey, the winner today will be eligible for the Dung Fertilizer Bowl or whatever. Yay.

Iowa should roll to 11-0 easily over Purdue. But I think Michigan may have a tougher time against Penn State in Happy Valley; possible upset there. Ohio State is a 14.5 point favorite in the Big House against the visiting Spartans. Man, that is a lot of points, not sure about that. Northwestern at Wisconsin should be a nail biter even though the Badgers are highly favored, but go Fighting Journalists! The usual garbage ball will be on display in the Big-12 between TCU/Oklahoma and Baylor/Oklahoma State. Hard to be too in love with any of these teams, but both Oklahoma schools look to be the more solid.

For the second week in a row, the Cardinals are on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Despite a couple of hiccups, the Cards took care of business, and the Squawks, last week in Seattle. This time they are home in the Big Toaster facing the Bengals. The Bengals are really good, although not invincible, as the Texans proved. Should be a great game, but too close to call. This is a little shocking, but I am pretty interested to see how Kirk Cousins and the Skins do in Carolina. Washington really seems to be jelling a little bit, but this is a stiff test. The other really big time matchup is the wounded Packers at the resurgent, and now NFC Norske leading Vikings. The Pack cannot lose four in a row can they?? The Eagles need to hold serve at home against an improving Tampa Bay squad, if they want any real shot at the playoffs. But they are down to Mark Sanchize at QB, is that enough?

It is a little early to talk NBA, but hollee shit, the Golden State Warriors are fun to watch and are kicking ass. Some war music for your Sabbath.

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.
70 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    “The Eagles need to hold serve at home against an improving Tampa Bay squad, if they want any real shot at the playoffs. But they are down to Mark Sanchize at QB, is that enough?”
    .
    Sure it’s enough. I mean, the guy’s brilliant, face it. Just listen to what he had to say after last week’s game (which he threw away)): “Just got to be smart with the ball and understand the situation and what we need at the time,” Sanchez said this week. “We’ll do a good job pushing the pace and then analyzing where we’re at and what we’re going to accomplish on that specific play.” See? What could possibly go wrong?

  2. What Constitution? says:

    The Warriors. Years from now, people will look back on how Steph Curry’s shooting changed the game of basketball. He’s essentially “in range” at half court, and if he puts together a few more consecutive effortless 40 point performances, teams are going to have to start picking him up and denying him the ball at mid court, or he’ll just continue kill them. Nobody yet believes he can keep it up, and he’s dropping threes on them from 35 feet like layups, or else he’s dodging the tired guys lunging at him — as if they’re surprised he’s actually shooting from that range — and picking up “easy” buckets or stunning assists inside. It’s going to require more defensive rotations to actually guard him and because that much work is exhausting, a basketball game will involve line switches like hockey — go like hell for two minutes then send in a new batch to keep the ball away from Curry.

    The 3 point line changed the game. Curry is creating a new line to be defended against and nobody really yet believes it’s there. Nobody is going to defeat the Warriors until they figure out how to definitively keep the ball out of Curry’s hands. And damn is it exciting to see how just plain great an offensive player one human can be. Even if he is doing it to the Clippers. Fun and amazing to watch.

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    What the hell?

    Nothing to report on Rex Ryan, the Pats, Chuck Klosterman’s Brady article in GQ, and the showdown at Fenway (BC hosting the Fighting Irish).

    Have you no love for the Northeast?

    • emptywheel says:

      Fairweather Pats fans being fairweather Pats fans.

      No Julian, no Dion, no Collins.

      Bills aren’t that bad–they have a shot. After all, Rex won in the Meadowlands.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        The Bills Rambo is a dick

        Rex is a dick

        “Rex [Ryan] has something up his sleeve,” Rambo said. “Rex is, in my opinion, the best defensive coach in the league. He’s going to find a way to slow them down. He’s going to bring some of those rabbits out of his hat to slow them down. We just have to know our assignment and do our job. We can’t do too much, we can’t do too less, we have to do our job.

        Think Brady will throw 59 passes?

  4. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    Funny you mentioned the NBA. Really find myself rooting for Golden State now, after all the crap they got for winning 67 games and the NBA title last year. So many observers seemed ready to cast them into the role of a right place right time/one-time champ. Now they’re all wondering (with good reason) who could ever beat this team. Amazing as Curry is, Draymond Green, as basically a power forward/point guard, may better personify where the NBA is headed.

    Don’t know if I’m more surprised by the Vikings or the Packers. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by Green Bay. Watching them allow Philip Rivers to throw for 500 yards a month ago should have been a warning sign. Never mind if Rodgers is playing injured, misses Jordy Nelson or is just not quite as good as he was — the Packers have a terrible defense and no running game. The Vikings should take care of them of this week. Our inevitable soul-crushing letdown will come later.

    Still think bmaz’s B team, the Cardinals, is the NFC’s best, even with Carolina’s perfect record. Bruce Arians knows what he’s doing.

  5. lefty665 says:

    ‘Skins are starting to look like a real team instead of a soap opera. Thank GM Scot McCloughan for building a real team. It’s more than a one season project, but he’s been amazing so far. Snyder seems to have reduced his meddling. So far this year they’ve resisted his lust for overage, over paid, used to be talent and mega deal draft saviors. Gruden is improving as a coach along with the team and they’ve assembled a very solid crew of assistant coaches to support him.
    .
    Cousins has been decent for three games in a row, can he make it a streak of 4? He seems to be getting a handle on the yips. He’s still throwing some balls that have in the past been picks, but he’s been lucky recently and is clearly getting better. Will fortune smile until he gets good? They’ve been unable to win on the road or put together back to back solid games. If that changes tomorrow they could give the Panthers a good run and demonstrate that team character change is real.
    .
    Key for them on O is some early long balls to Desean Jackson, even if they don’t connect. That will make the Panthers unpack the box so the run and short passing game can work.
    .
    Odd for this time of year, but the defense has been getting healthier, especially the secondary. ‘Backers are a problem area, expect we’ll see some changes there, and the D line has issues. Bodes ill for stopping runs and generating much pass rush. They’ve specifically had trouble setting the edges. Facing a 6’5″ 245lb QB has its own set of challenges too. Could be a thriller diller, or a Carolina blowout.

    • JohnT says:

      .
      Contrary to popular opinion about Trent Baalke building the 49ers, it was Scot McCloughan who drafted what became the base of the 49ers recent run
      .
      I knew it was a huge mistake last year for SF to let Harbaugh go instead of Baalke. Not that Baalke is horrible, and not that Harbaugh didn’t have his own faults, but between the two, I’d take Harbaugh every day of the week and twice on Sundays

        • lefty665 says:

          Agree on McCloughan, just gotta keep him off the sauce. ‘Skins at least the 3rd team he’s had a big hand in building. It has to be emotionally very tough making career decisions on players pretty much daily. He’s done wonders with the ‘Skins so far building both 1st team and depth. But, for each new face that helps someone else gets dumped.

  6. JohnT says:

    .
    “Steph Curry” … don’t remind me. That’s who I was hoping the Kings would take. I could see the logic in taking Tyreke Evans, but … what coulda been?
    .
    Not a lot of college football games have jumped off the page for me this week. The best matchups on paper seem to be Temple vs Memphis; Oklahoma vs TCU; Oklahoma State vs Baylor
    .
    And the only two teams I feel fairly certain about winning ATS are Arkansas over Miss State, and Missouri over Tenn.
    .
    I do like LSU’s and Oklahoma State’s ML’s though
    .
    If I were to make a bar bet with a loudmouth knowitall jerk today, I’d take the Rangers, Stars (NHL) and Pacers (NBA)

    • bmaz says:

      Yo, don’t get me started. I know what was going on inside the Suns brain trust at the time, and they were ABSOLUTELY ready to take a teenager named Kobe Bean Bryant with their pick in the draft. And, at the last second, some other team went up and took him. Their name is the Lakers.
      .
      Bygones, it is what it is.
      .
      But anybody who thinks the Warriors are playing some kind of newfangled, never seen before, ball……you need to think about that. It first happened with the Suns and Cotton Fitzsimmons with Kevin Johnson and Tom Chambers, and then was perfected with the Suns and Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash.
      .
      But, please, do not ever seek to imply that this kind of offense was an original with Steph Curry/Kerr/Golden State. I have been there and seen it before.

  7. bloopie2 says:

    Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier has lost the appeal of his one-year suspension after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The positive test was the result of something he took over the counter and did not get approved by Florida trainers. I don’t get it. You can go into the drugstore and buy something over the counter and it’s illegal for a college athlete? What a stupid-ass rule. The NCAA thinks it’s SO superior, all the while it makes a fortune off child labor. Fuck the NCAA.

  8. emptywheel says:

    Mr. bmaz:

    Would you do me the courtesy of changing the Buckeyes’ home name to its proper name? There is just one Big House and those turds in OH don’t own it.

      • emptywheel says:

        We’ll slam de buckeyes in prison next week baybay!

        (Trying to practice trash talking–out of practice).

    • Peterr says:

      Mr. bmaz:
      .
      Would you do me the courtesy . . .

      Bmaz, when Marcy is calling you “Mr.” you should know that something is amiss.
      .
      When this is followed by her requesting something as a courtesy, you should recognize just how deep a pile of manure you are standing in, and if you listen closely between the lines, you should be able to hear another truckload of the stuff coming up the road.
      .
      Should her polite request not be complied with, I am confident in saying that the consequences would be . . . unpleasant. Can you say “Brady prOn”? Sure you can. Think you can stomach that? How about a series of Gloria Allred posts?
      .
      Bmaz, as a friend, I’m telling you to quit while you’re behind. Throw yourself on the mercy of the blog and plead ignorance of this B1G heresy. (“Marcy, I’m sorry, but what can you expect from a Pac-whatever guy? . . .”) This is a nice little trash talk gig you’ve got here. It’d be a shame if anything were to happen to it.

      • bmaz says:

        Fuck the Buckeyes! They belong in a real Big House, which, as was alluded to above, is a prison!
        .
        Don’t ever talk about that Brady pRon thing again. I’m warning you!

        • Peterr says:

          There are plenty of places that could be called “a Big House,” but when it comes to football, there is only one place that could be called “the Big House.”
          .
          I’ll agree that the Sweatervests might “belong in a real Big House,” but they do not own “the Big House.”
          .
          Didn’t the folks in law school teach you about the difference between the indefinite and definite article? Seems to me that this distinction is a a big deal among lawyers.

    • bmaz says:

      True story: Marcy slugged me for screwing up the O-Hio stadium name earlier, not just here, but on the phone too. But I left it be, because, you know, fuck the Bucks! What kind of team is Urbane Meyer running where all his star players are announcing they are going pro after they just got their butts kicked by Sparty? Seriously poor form and unappealing.

  9. P J Evans says:

    Kaepernick is now on the IR list – his left (non-throwing) shoulder apparently is in need of surgery.

    • phred says:

      rosalind, so just yesterday I saw in the local paper that Martha Coakley, former Massachusetts DA, former failed candidate for Senate (lost to Scott Brown) and governor (lost to Charlie Baker) is now a lobbyist for DraftKings (Boston based).
      .
      I’m sure you will be equally shocked shocked! to hear that Gov. Baker thinks that DraftKings isn’t gambling, it’s a game of skill and our new DA (Maura Healey) just doesn’t know what to think now that the legislature punted (Martha’s clearly earning her keep).
      .
      And while all that is disgraceful enough, our imbecile governor is one of the Republican bedwetters afraid of immigrants. Martha has a lot to answer for.

      • bmaz says:

        If that flaming DFS shit is not gambling, then what is?? If it is to be allowed, fine. Call it full blown gambling and regulate and monitor the living shit out of it.
        .
        If you carve out an exception for this worthless crap, it is a fraud on the public that all sports gambling and propositions are not universally legal. The relative discussion on this issue, and the insipid position of Draft Kings and Fan Duel is insane and dishonest.

            • Bay State Librul says:

              BMAZ meet Sud, another fool

              “You look at the track record of people who’ve succeeded,” Sud says. “You look at the skills that I’ve developed, the things that I’ve looked at, and it’s clear to me that it’s a skill-based game. I mean, I’ll challenge anybody.”

              Just like a sports competition, he says, it’s one person’s skills against another’s.

              Maybe Marcy agrees that skill is involved, Sud is an Amherst College grad with a major in mathematics.

              Here is his modern-day gold rush to making a living.

              http://www.wbur.org/2015/11/23/dfs-power-player-profile?utm_source=cc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nwsltr-15-11-23

              • bmaz says:

                Sud. Spud. Whatever. Looks like another dipshit punk. If he makes money GAMBLING, that is his business. But man up and call it what it is. It is gambling pure and simple. If this two bit fantasy bullshit is legal, then ALL sports gambling should be legal. And this degenerate society can just admit it straight up. Until then, however, DFS is pure and simple gambling. And the argument that it is not is simply inane.

                • Bay State Librul says:

                  I think when he files his Schedule C (unless he is incorporated), he puts in
                  “analytic engineer” rather than “gambler”

                  Your view is a little judgmental for my blood

                  Fantasy is not two bit, it is a 2Billion industry with plenty of excitement with a sure fire sizzling business model until the competition (Vegas gambling syndicates) stepped in.
                  —-
                  In the meantime, your friends in the legal establishment will rake in plenty

                  Time for Scalia to step in and declare that gambling is “morally reprehensible” or
                  degenerate in your words.

                  Maybe the Good Wife will have an episode with a link to the legal definition of gambling

          • phred says:

            Funny you mention that, because Healey did, too! If Wall Street is no more than gambling rigged to ensure the house (i.e., insiders) always win (which is clearly true), then maybe the time has come to abolish the defined contribution retirement theft system and bring back defined benefit pensions, eh?

      • scribe says:

        Deval Patrick is on Draft Kings payroll, too.
        .
        But, to be fair, he never met a corporate interest he wouldn’t whore himself for.

        • phred says:

          He pissed away a lot of his time in office pushing for casino gambling, rather than promoting other job creation projects. I’m not remotely surprised he’s on the Draft Kings payroll.

          • Bay State Librul says:

            Good point. What’s his job at Draft King, a consultant? As a former governor, he has to be careful of ethics violations

            • phred says:

              I don’t know what the policies are for state elected officials and lobbying, but if it’s anything like federal offices, the waiting period is too short to be meaningful.
              .
              Good luck to your Pats, BSL, these Monday night games always go too late for me ; )

  10. Jim White says:

    .
    In theory, the Gators are at a point where wins count for more than style points, but sheesh, that was one stinky win. Hope they bring a better effort against the Noles next week.
    .
    Gator basketball is off to a 3-0 start under new coach Mike White. They get an interesting test tomorrow, taking on #21 Purdue on a neutral court. Team has serious depth this year and is responding well to White’s changes.
    .
    And let the Meyer Meltdown commence. Couldn’t happen to a more appropriate “person”. As was pointed out on Twitter, MSU did not lead for a single second on the clock against either the Wolerweenies or the Nuts, and yet they won both games. Remarkable.

      • Peterr says:

        Didn’t see the game – just read the recaps — but wow.
        .
        Eons ago, when the FJs were just the Js, I took a road trip up to Camp Randall with some friends. We bought some tickets on the sidewalk in the fifth row, only to discover that they were in the fifth row of the student section. There were about eight of us in purple, surrounded by a sea of red. . . .
        .
        My memories of the game are a bit hazy, but I recall Northwestern scoring first (a field goal, maybe) and the eight of us stood up and cheered like mad. The folks around us sort of edged away, as beers started arriving from several rows above us. We didn’t care. The FJs kicked off after the score, and the Badgers ran it back for a TD. The FJs quickly gave up the ball after the Badgers kicked off, and the Badgers scored again . . .
        .
        By the end of the first quarter, the Badgers students were buying us beers to either rub in their joy or help us to drown our sorrows.

        • phred says:

          Ah Peterr, that’s the kind of heartwarming story about my home state that brings a tear to my eye… Nothing like the kind of good sportsmanship where the winners help assuage the thirst and sorrows of the less fortunate ; )
          .
          Speaking of the ol’ home state, we had a most excellent time at Lambeau last week, but I have to admit I am enjoying today’s game a bit more : ) Sorry JohnT…
          .
          And a belated congrats to EW and her Kittehs — two weeks in a row, well done!

  11. JohnT says:

    .
    Sheesh, if it’s not obvious, I’m having a horrible time getting a read on the college games (especially the home teams). Baylor had a ‘who’s yer daddy’ game at the expense of Oklahoma State, in OKC; Missouri couldn’t score at home, against a Tennessee team that they’ve never lost to; and Arkansas, at home, forgot that half the game is playing defense
    .
    I did ok with the Stars; Rangers; and Pacers though

  12. bloopie2 says:

    It’s going to be a good day in the NFL today: my Brownies, proudly tied for the worst record in the league, can’t lose! (Of course, they can’t win, either — bye week.) But it
    s good to see that they’re going to play Little John the rest of the season – he’s finally ready. Seems to be growing into the role quickly — hope that goes on for a long time, not just a few more weeks.

  13. rosalind says:

    blech. WA/Carolina on the teevee. i will attempt to muster up an iota of the enthusiasm bmaz has for this game.

    • bmaz says:

      I also have Denver/Bears available. Noodle arm Manning’s replacement, Brock Osweiler, from ASU, has already thrown a long TD pass.

  14. Ed Walker says:

    The Irish made it look hard last night with five turnovers and uncountable drops. I’m just hoping the team was looking down the road to the Tree and not taking care of business, but after these last couple of games, and with so many injuries on the first team, I’m feeling like it’s not all good.

    And did I note that Jay Cutler is doing much better these last few games? Maybe the Bears aren’t doomed forever after that 6 year contract.

    • JohnT says:

      .
      Dunno why, but it seems Boston College saves their best game of the year for the Irish
      .
      PS Just guessing, but I think you and my uncle are close to the same age. He actually had an academic scholarship to Notre Dame, but he wanted to play football, so he wound up at the Univ of North Dakota

  15. JohnT says:

    .
    (getting the dart board out)
    .
    (throws three darts)
    .
    Hits Raiders; Panthers; Patriots
    .
    Don’t need a dart for team number four. Guess who it is ;-)
    .

  16. bmaz says:

    Joe Flacco torn ACL+MCL is out for rest of the year. Bad luck for the Ravens this year.
    .
    How bout them Kittehs? On a roll!

  17. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    Well I’ve been saying for a month or more that the Vikings aren’t that good. Fuck if they aren’t proving it today…

  18. scribe says:

    An interesting thing seen on the webs somewhere today: In an interview King Roger the Clown could only laugh when a member of the press asked him “so, what is a catch?”
    /
    Not that the rules of what does or does not constitute a catch, and the interpretation thereof, could possibly ever change the outcome of a game. With a reversal happening during the replay. Nope.
    .
    Not that Biebs himself doesn’t know how a strained interpretation of a rule can help change the course of a franchise and career. See, e.g., the Tuck Rule.
    .
    Not that the owners of the DFS operations have no interest in the outcome of games – seeing as how some NFL owners own a piece of the DFS.
    .
    I’m waiting for the game-fixing scandal to erupt. It will.

    • scribe says:

      Maybe King Roger – or one of the refs – had structured their DFS in such a way that the Patsies scoring on that play (like they likely would have) would have hurt their pocketbook. Chance favoring the prepared mind, an inadvertent whistle. Or maybe it was Fat Rex yelling in the side judge’s ear.
      .
      Though penalizing Fat Rex for crossing the boundary was clearly the right thing.
      .
      Were I the side judge, after that I would have told Fat Rex to STFU, else every call from now on goes against him.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        Did you like Brady’s audible “Rex Ryan”

        How will the Pats fix their pass receiving injuries?

      • Bay State Librul says:

        Someone mentioned that the quick whistle was an attempt to save Brady from being injured (save the QB theory) Kind of made sense to me

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