Route 66 Trash Talk

Time for some sports trash talk, so let’s get hip to that California trip.

California is still burning. The death toll is now officially at 71 and the number additionally classified as missing is up to 1,011. This is an immense disaster, and there is increasing speculation that PG&E, including by PG&E itself, may have played a key role in the start of the Camp Fire. The old Route 66 ended in Santa Monica after “more than two thousand miles all the way”. In Santa Monica now, people on the beach can see the smoke of their neighbor Malibu burning to the ground. The rest of western California is faring no better and the Cal-Stanford “Big Game” has been postponed for the first time since JFK was assassinated as a result. It is not good on the coast with the most, keep them in your thoughts.

In NCAA games that will be played today, for this late in the season, there are not that many fascinating match ups. One I will be watching is Iowa State at Texas. As I noted earlier in the yeah, ISU is being led by Brock Purdy, a true freshman phenom that came from the Phoenix area. The kid is seriously good, and makes ISU a scary team since he took over the team early into the season. The game is in Austin, but Texas may have a real problem on their hands. Cinci at UCF may actually be a fair game, but big edge to currently undefeated UCF at home in Orlando. West Virginia at Oklahoma State could be pretty good. WV is clearly the favorite, but OSU is capable of getting hot and blowing up the scoreboard, so this is a potential upset special. Utah at Colorado and Arizona at Pirate Mike Leach’s Washington State Cougars are very import and games in the Pac-12 worth paying attention to. As are my Sun Devils who are up in Autzen to play the Quackers in a late night game. Autzen is a brutally tough place to play, and the Ducks almost always win there. ASU has really improved through the season, but hard to see them having enough to beat the Ducks tonight.

In the Pros, Seattle put a stake in the heart of Aaron Rodgers and the Pack on Thursday night. Close and very good game, and one Green Bay “should” have won, but the loss was catastrophic to their playoff chances. Washington at the Texans looks pretty interesting. Both teams are 6-3 and need to maintain their momentum. I’ll take the Texans at home and with Deshaun Watson starting to really blow up. Iggles are at Nawlins to visit Drew Breeeees and the Saints. Sorry Philly fans, that is too steep a mountain, and the loss puts your playoff chances in even more jeopardy than Green Bay. The Sunday Night game of Minnesota at Bears should be really good. Both teams evenly matched. But the Bears are at home, and Mitch Trubisky is on a little roll, so I’ll take the Bears in that one. The best game of the week is, of course, the Monday Night pairing of Chiefs at Rams. The game was originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City, but the turf at Stadium Azteca was just too beat up and in poor shape. So now the game is in LA, where the air quality is not the greatest currently. Yikes. No idea who wins this game, but it ought to be great. Rams have a better defense, and are at home now, so I’ll go with the Rams.

Alright, that is it for this week’s Trash. As you can tell, it is all about Route 66. It is an all time great song, and a great boogie. The early versions by Nat King Cole and The Stones are superb. But for a while now, the two versions I have loved the most are by Asleep At The Wheel and Diana Krall. So you get those two today! Happy motoring, and rock on.

62 replies
  1. orionATL says:

    O.T. it’s mueller friday.

    dozens of sealed criminal indictments on the d.c. docket per quote about an abc news story. true? we’ll find out.

    • bmaz says:

      Eh, not sure which ABC report referring to, but it is almost certainly full of shit. I know people that hawk that courthouse and clerk’s office, and none of them think this is so. A couple? Maybe. Dozens backlogged, there is little chance of that.

        • Rick Ryan says:

          Apparently it came from John Schindler in an anonymous attribution, that the Daily Mail then picked up and ran with, and then some random guy saw that then counted that there are 53 sealed indictments still in the DC Circuit (AN UNUSUALLY HIGH NUMBER!) and noticed that some of them date to times of known Special Counsel activity (This dates from March! MUELLER ALSO DID SOMETHING IN MARCH!), per Politico. So we’re dealing with the best and brightest minds and absolutely airtight logic here.

  2. JessP says:

    Meanwhile, up on I-90, today is Cat-Griz day. It’s a huge in-state rivalry, and the entire state seems to take a side and stop everything to watch The Brawl of the Wild. Both teams are 6-4, 4-3 each in the Big Sky Conference. Montana State won the (in my opinion quite ugly) trophy the last two years. If the Cats win again this year, it will be the first Cat threepeat in 33 years. After that last Cat threepeat, though, the Griz went on to dominate for the next 16 years, so we need to be careful what to wish for.

    I didn’t go to either school (URI ’76, among others), but I married into a Cat family, so Go Cats! Like most of the rest of the state, my husband and I will head to a nearby watering hole (there are also lots of parties, too) to cheer on our Cats. The rest of the year I root for both. Today, you really do have to pick one.

  3. Greenhouse says:

    Bmaz, absolutely right on version by the Stones and Nat Cole. Let’s not forget versions by Them, and Dr. Feelgood.

  4. BobCon says:

    If anyone wants to read an engrossing, well-reported NCAA scandal story, I highly recommend this piece on the GWU basketball team —

    It’s got a typical meathead coach, weaselly administration, media leaks, troubling video, and most of all a highly toxic AD.

    • BroD says:

      “It’s got a typical meathead coach, weaselly administration, media leaks, troubling video, and most of all a highly toxic AD.”

      So, pretty much the current national standard.  Just think how much better it would be if we devoted all that money and talent to use building a wall on our borders.

  5. scribe says:

    This week, you get last week’s trash, too.  After the lazy bums skipped not only some great football, but also the Brazilian GP.  Their and you loss last week is your gain this week.

    Well, we all saw the very satisfying result of my Stillers’ offense getting its gears synched and cranking out scores.  [Stillers 52, Panthers 21, but not that close.]  Except for EW, who told me she missed the game.  (Sacrilege!)  Thursday night, my Stillers didn’t have to punt until the 4th quarter, having scored on every possession save the one at the end of the 1st half, where they got the ball with under a minute to go, one timeout , and no real need to score again.  As it was, they scored on 7 of their 9 offensive possessions and had the scrubs in for most of the 4th quarter.  Big Ben had a literally perfect QB rating, going 22 for 25 with 5 TD passes, no INTs, and spreading the wealth such that 7 different players scored Pittsburgh’s 7 touchdowns (6 offensive, 1 pick-six).  When was the last time you saw a game in which the QB had more passing touchdowns than incompletions?  (there was another last Sunday – the Browns)
    OTOH, Cam Newton threw a pick-six, got sacked 5 times, and generally had a nightmare game.  PGH’s defense was just plain swarming.

    Ordinarily I never make it through Thursday night football  but this week I made an exception, stayed to watch the whole game, and then slept the sleep of the Saved. 
    I note that James Conner has more TDs so far this year than did Bad Teammate LeVeon Who in all of last year.  It has been said Conner would have been a 1st round pick had it not been for his cancer battle, and he’s proving it true. 

    If I was Bad Teammate LeVeon, I’d be looking at suing my agent, adviser, or whomever gave him the bright idea of holding out.  So far, he’s down something like 8 mil and counting.  He will not get that much next year.

    Making my week better, tonight’s game has the Dallas Owboys dragging their lazy Jerry-afflicted asses into the Linc to face the Iggles.  I look forward to this.  For those newer readers, to recapitulate my football rooting priorities run something like this:

    1.        Steelers.
    2.       Who’s playing Dallas
    3.       Iggles
    4.       Who’s playing the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS
    5.       I used to kinda put the Giants in here, but they’ve sucked so badly over the last couple years I’ve given up on them. 

    I respect the Cheating Cheaters of Cheatertown, but do not root for them.  Except when they play the Owboys (#2 above) or the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS (#4).  Even then, it’s subdued.

    So, when it’s Dallas at Philly, I get a twofer.  The only matchup better is Dallas at Pittsburgh.  Every year, the Owboys coming to Philly is one of the high points of the football fan’s calendar, an opportunity for the True Philly Fan to let it all out.  The only thing which appears to be missing is a snowstorm.  Ed  Rendell will not be able to bet another denizen of the 700 level “20 bucks says you can’t hit the field with that snowball” this year.  [And lose the bet, BTW.]  I may have to go to the cheesesteak place in town and see what kind of discount I can get if I wear my Iggle-green-and-white “DALLAS SUCKS” t-shirt.  (Bought in Philly)

    But the Owboys – man, they couldn’t even Defend The Star.  Last week, some guy I don’t remember ever hearing from before scored on them, ran out to midfield, spiked the ball then danced on The Star, then led his whole team to do the Cotton-Eyed Joe on The Star, all to no response from the Owboys.  At least when Young Terrell Owens did it (as a 49er, a long time ago) a couple of Owboys (#31 – name I forget, followed closely by Emmett Smith)  clocked T.O. bigtime.  Pretty much laid him out.  And, as I recall it, got a big injection of rage that led the Owboys to a win that day.  But the lack of Team Spirit this Owboys team evinced last week tells one all that needs be known about how badly Jerry has destroyed that franchise.  Not in the sense of monetary value – it’s still the most valuable sports franchise in the world – but in the sense of competitiveness.  They haven’t been to the Super Bowl in over 20 years, and have won … one … playoff game in that time frame.  And that is Jerry’s fault.  That, and his deal with the Devil, but we’ll leave that for another day.

    The guy who led the Star Dancing last week got fined by King Roger the Clown (actually, more likely a minion doing the King Roger’s dirty work on what is a minor transgression in the bigger scheme of things) to the tune of just over $10k.  Which, I saw reported this morning, the transgressor said was “totally worth it”.  It’s his money to spend, so who am I to doubt it.  I think it was a steep price to pay to stomp on a team that sucks, but I’m in an armchair and not a football helmet.

    Matthew Stafford had mean things to say about someone saying mean things about him.  Something about Matty being a stat hog or something.  I could take it a bit more seriously if Matty would win more games.

    I worked for a couple months alongside a born-and-bred Lions/Tigers fan, someone who grew up in that area steeped in seasonal rituals of hope and hopes dashed, so many times a deep fatalism set in.  One could see the sadness in his eyes as he discussed the possibilities, knowing they’d never land in the winning column of the standings.  Unless and until you actually go to the Detroit area and see Lions (and Tigers) logos on cars, trucks anything that moves and a lot that doesn’t, you can’t get a feel for it.  They sell soda (“pop” in Michigan English) colored Honolulu Blue by the pallets in Meijer and Walmart.  No particular flavor that I recall.  Just Blue.  There’s a whole section of Lions wear right next to the Tigers hats in Target.  Drive through Allen Park and on the “welcome to” sign at the city limit it says something to the effect of “Home of the Detroit Lions Training Camp”.  People drive down from the UP – hundreds of miles – to tailgate at Ford Field.  Seriously.

    It reminds me of how Pittsburgh is a city in Black and Gold.  There’s a reason all the bridges near The Confluence are painted golden yellow, and it’s not because they got a good deal from Valspar.  Detroit is like that, but without the winning.

    Getting rid of Golden Tate (to the Iggles) struck me as the kind of thing Cheatin’ Bill would have done.  Remember, he was going to ship Gronk the Fragile to Detroit until Gronk whispered “I’ll retire if you do”.  Sell at the top of the skills and let someone else pay for past performance.  Now we’ll have to let time show us whether Patricia has the same skill in choosing his deals as does Cheatin’ Bill, or whether he’s just copycatting the move for lack of a better thing to do.

    Now for the Saints and Drew Fookin’ Brees to go into Cincy and kick some ass.  Saints look GOOD.  And a Saints win means they help my Stillers open their lead in the AFC North by another game.  Too bad about Dez Bryant’s Achilles.  It would have been nice to see him show up in Dallas – having been pretty much run out of town – and have a good game on the other end of Brees’ passes.  He coulda danced on The Star, too.

    Browns still suck.  Surprise!  Todd Haley took the OC job there thinking he could finagle his way to replace Hue Jackson and go on to win with Baker Mayfield.  Now the world can see why Haley was widely derided in Pittsburgh for being an idiot.  Who pissed away a number of Big Ben’s best years.  For those of you who watched “Hard Knocks” this summer, if you couldn’t see the blowup coming inside the Browns coaching staff, you’re blind. 

    MNF is going to be interesting.  It’s the negative of, say, the Pats-Pack game last week.  Two good teams playing each other makes for a better chance of a good game.  Two bad teams playing each other – on MNF, Giants-Niners – can be good football or entertainingly bad football.  I’ll take the latter, assuming I spend any time watching it at all.
    –          – 
        Written later last Sunday afternoon…

    Well, Biebs and Cheatin’ Bill rolled a real stinker.  Good.  As it stands now, my Stillers have a better winning percentage than the Cheaters.  This Stillers fan smiles.

    I thought Atlanta was  supposed to be a Good football team.

    There’s more I could say, but given EW & Co. have decided keeping the trash under the kitchen sink rather than taking it out is the way to go, what’s the point. 
    –          – –

    Since yer lazy butts left the trash under the sink all week, I figured it only served you right to dish out last week’s now, and give you more tomorrow.  For a preview:

    We saw Bad Teammate LeVeon Bell complete abandoning his spot in the Stillers’ offense.  I have to commend the rest of the Stillers for dealing with it in the right way:  pillaging his locker.  It’s a common practice for players (at least those secure in their jobs) to leave stuff in their lockers over the off-season.  Bell was that kind of secure with the Stillers and left a bunch of stuff there.  So his former teammates got some cleats, some pocket litter, and a mixtape CD.  They threw his nameplate in the trash.  Appropriately. 

    I wonder whether Bell believes he’s going to get anything from any team.  Thing is, he’ll be put through a battery of physicals, and no team will feel secure in relying on him to show up when and where he’s supposed to.  Given the League’s history of owners colluding to drive down player compensation (in all its forms) I have no doubt he’ll be the self-inflicted victim of that.  Sure, the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS will be in the market and might allow themselves to be the suckers for Bell, but look at their two most prominent pickups from the Stillers.  Neil O’Donnell, who led the Stillers to lose to the Owboys in the Super Bowl (XXX), went free agent, got big money from the J-E-T-S, and (effectively) had his arm fall off.  Santonio Holmes was a disciplinary issue (and, it’s said, a police-call-to-the-house issue) and the Stillers traded him to the J-E-T-S in the middle of the night for a low-round draft pick and the pleasure of seeing him leave town.  He never did much after that.  Except make noise, but that doesn’t win games.

    Bell did do two positive things for the Stillers, though.  First, by checking out in the way he did, he gave them something in the neighborhood of $30 mil in cap space next year.  NFL contract mavens tell me the salary he passed on (some $14 mil) this year can be rolled over to become cap space next year.  So, to the extent the Stillers need to improve by paying free agents or by reworking their own folks’ contracts to keep them around, they have a lot of money to work with.

    Second, he helped weld the Stillers into a team.  It’s one of the oldest coaching tricks in the books:  making the disparate individuals on the team actually become a team by giving them something they can all hate – usually the coach.  Make them run suicides, as collective punishment/training.  You’ve seen the drill any number of times and know it.  Bell – by taunting his teammates through the whole time of his holding out and sucking up all the media with his Hamlet act – did that.  In the locker room, probably the only thing more sacred than “what’s said in the locker room stays in the locker room” is the actual physical space of a player’s locker.  They pillaged his, which should tell you all you need to know about how they feel.  As a team.

    Cheaters are on their bye week this week, so I have little to discuss there.  I hear speculation that Gronk the Fragile may call it a career after this season.  Sad.  As much as he drives me and other teams’ fans nuts, he does play with a joy that is a great positive.

    It’s Rivalry week in college football.  The great old rivalries that formerly capped the season, long before any form of playoff formula ran the season into mid-January, back in the days when fall semester final exams loomed a week or two or three after Thanksgiving.  Harvard-Yale,  Penn-Princeton, Lafayette-Lehigh, Brown-Dartmouth, some Midwestern “state” v  another Midwestern “tech”, UCLA-USC, Cal-Stanford.

    Football.  Played for the love of the game.  Too little of that these days .

    Maybe more tomorrow.

      • Eureka says:

        I love scribe’s dispatches.  All the more because he has a place in his heart for my Iggles.  And I’m relieved to see he wasn’t successfully shipped off to some conversion therapy camp as Bay State Librul was suggesting a couple weeks back.

    • Kokuanani says:

      No Cal-Stanford, because of the fires.  Games was to be held @ Berkeley, but the air is too bad.  Postponed to Dec. 1.

  6. X says:

    As a native son of Columbus, OH, raised in the shadow of the ‘Shoe, I propose we rename to THE Ohio St. Entropics. I think it’s the end of the Sciano scandal defense, the retirement of Meyer for a brain cyst (literal and figurative this year) and the beginning of the Ryan Day team.

    • Ed Walker says:

      I’m watching the Maryland/OSU game. I thought you were kidding about that brain cyst thing, but Meyer just looks really terrible, and the announcers noticed it too.

      Also, Maryland plus 7 with under two minutes to go

  7. punaise says:

    We’re choking on “very unealthy air quality” here in the Bay Area. The Cal vs. Stanford Big Game got postponed to Dec. 1. Schools are closed, all sporting events cancelled. N95 masks are the norm outdoors.

    Of course this is inconvenience is nothing compared to the Camp Fire devastation and loss of life not so very far from here. it will be interesting to see how Jerry Brown and GAvin Newsome comport themselves in the unwelcome company of the Cheetoh Mussolini, touring the fire damage. Cue to paper towel toss?

    • punaise says:

      It has probably been mentioned elsewhere, and it shouldn’t matter. But I wonder if he even realizes that (probably?) most of the victims voted for him. (lots of elderly white retirees, not a particularly affluent area).

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Yeah, I was all teary-eyed about the air quality in SF as I read this post — which I also happen to (inadvertently) track via my Twitter feed, given the @SF tweeters that I follow.  Having choked far too much in Seattle both Aug 18 and Aug 17, I will simply extend my sympathy, as well as my tips and pointers:  (1) use a mask before you need one, (2) get a HEPA quality air filter if you can afford one, (3) buy extra HEPA  filters, and (4) help fund any sentient candidate willing to actually deal with climate change.

        Together, Washington, Oregon, California, and BC have the 5th largest GDP on the planet.  Expect the western governors to act ‘mostly polite’ while finding workarounds to avoid Orange Mussolini.  The whole ‘green energy sector’ is actually a thing here, and we’d like it to be an even bigger thing going forward.

        punaise, be careful — that shitty air quality is nothing to mess with – do whatever you can to clear  your lungs.

  8. punaise says:

    @ROTL 4:03 pm (reply button funkiness):

    All good points, thanks. We’re mostly sheltering in place, zero outdoor activity other than getting from A to B.

  9. scribe says:

    I’m not the big race fan some participants are, and I didn’t watch. That said, US coverage of F1 is meh compared to, say, German TV. So I normally leave the F1 commentary to the experts.

    • bmaz says:

      This was a valid criticism before this year, when ESPN started basically feeding the excellent F1 coverage from SkyTV. Before that, it was NBCSN, and before that, Fox, both of which were total shit.

      It is better now, though not yet perfect for this continent.

  10. Rick Ryan says:

    Has anyone else actually traversed Route 66? I did most of it on my move out west awhile back. Parts of it no longer exist or have been subsumed into the interstate system, but on the balance it’s an interesting experience. It’s a narrower, windier route than I’d imagined.

    • bmaz says:

      I did almost every inch of it when I was younger. There were actually significant sections of the Highway 66 still there at the time; other sections already I-40.

      “From Chicago to LA”.

  11. Eureka says:

    RIP (screen) writer William Goldman:

    Goldman wrote the famous line “Follow the money” for the screenplay of All the President’s Men; while the line is often attributed to Deep Throat, it is not found in Bob Woodward’s notes nor in Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s book or articles.[17] However, the book does have the far less-quotable line from Woodward to Senator Sam Ervin, who was about to begin his own investigation: “The key was the secret campaign cash, and it should all be traced…”[18]

    (embedded links stripped from wiki quote.)

    He had quite a spread of iconic films:
    Christopher McQuarrie: “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid All the President’s Men The Stepford Wives Misery Marathon Man The Great Waldo Pepper The Princess Bride It neither began nor ended with William Goldman. He simply did it better than anyone. More than once.”

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      He’s also attributed with: ‘the cream and the bastards rise to the top’.  I’ve always found those words to be true.

      • Eureka says:

        Damn but aren’t they ;)

        He’s got some non-fiction stuff in his wiki I’d like to check out, hadn’t realized he was also an essayist.  Some writers can sustain that crystal-clear truth-saying between genres; I wonder if he is one (though by titles, like _The Big Picture:  Who Killed Hollywood?_, I suspect so).

  12. Ed Walker says:

    Well Trent, sadly Syracuse isn’t the team to hand the Irish a loss. But the Trojans have wrecked ND seasons before. I’ve seen several horrible losses.

  13. Rapier says:

    Someone picked Alan Page to get a Presidential Medal of Freedom, from Trump, so I hoped he would off the ceremony but I knew he wouldn’t, because he’s better than just about anybody.  I can’t think of anybody short of Johnny Cash who has the moral authority that Page does. When Wellstone was killed in that plane crash I instantly  thought the Democrats should ask Page if he would take the spot on the ballot.  I don’t suppose he would have, a shame. Instead they picked the worn out the old Democratic brain dead specimen, Mondale. Who lost to nobody Norm Coleman.

    Anyhow, and yes it is silly to worship sports stars as Page always felt, but that is just how many people are built, because they love stories, here is a story about Alan Page.

  14. Bay State Librul says:

    Yes, I’m with Eureka, Scribe is a persuasive and gifted writer. He bobs and weave a story with grace and civility. As Bmaz might say, he is best known for his charming commentaries on all things Steelers.

    To wit, he has repeated the term ” Cheatin’ Bill” as much as Don the Con blasts “Witch Hunt” from his lying voice. If you say it enough times, people start to believe ya.

    Okay, so much for the civility when it comes to Billy Boy. But, just maybe, he will have a change of heart with Coach Belichick.

    He can pluck down $9.99 on Amazon and procure “Fridays with Bill”.  As Bob Ryan raves about one of Bill’s Friday press conferences,  “One team that made a huge impression on the young Belichick was the Pittsburgh Steelers:

    “When you’re a young coach you’re (thinking) ‘Okay, who does things in a way that you admire or respect or want to emulate?’ Or, ‘What can you take from a good program to help you as a coach?’ Or, ‘If you ever get a chance, what would you do that they do?’ They were one of those teams. From the first year the Steelers had a very strong impact from the outside on my philosophy as a coach.”

    Tuesdays with Morrie, Fridays with Bill, and the Weekend with Bmaz’s Trash Talk — you can’t lose.

    • scribe says:

      Lesson from childhood, one you all should have received and retained:  “If you cheat, you can never live that down.  It will stay with you forever.”

      So, when I say “Cheatin’ Bill”, I’m not only being accurate, but also reminding you of things you should have learned before kindergarten.

      OTOH, “witch hunt” is still a cloud of possibilities.  Yes, the psi function (calling Dr. Schroedinger) says the probabilities lean strongly toward the cat being dead … um, “not a witch hunt” … but until all the facts are in (and they aren’t – we haven’t seen squat in the way of facts yet), we cannot put “witch hunt” and Cheatin’ Bill in the same box.  Bill’s cheating is established, a historical fact.  “Witch hunt”, not (yet).

        • Peterr says:

          Apparently not.

          But the end of her statement makes clear she’d have been a step up from the current situation:

          . . . BTW – I’m not ready to coach, but I would like to call a few plays next year if the Browns need ideas! And at no time will I call for a “prevent defense.”

      • Peterr says:

        No story on Cheatin’ Bill is complete without reference to the owner who enables him. Take it away, Isaac Bailey of The Root:

        These are the words of a billionaire owner of an NFL franchise, the words of the most (or second most behind Jerry Jones) influential owner in the league, the man whose team is led by a 41-year-old quarterback and a backup who probably isn’t even good enough to be fourth-string:

        “I would very much like to see [Colin Kaepernick] in the league,” Kraft told the New York Times.

        Gee. If only Robert Kraft was in a position—you know, had the power and influence—to do something about that. . . .

        [Internal links omitted.]

        Can you say “concern troll extraordinaire”? Sure you can.

  15. bmaz says:

    Thanks to the bizarre vagaries of NFL television programming guidelines, I get only two daytime games today: Cowboys at Falcons (puke) for the early slot and Raiders at Cardinals (also hard puke, but I guess, at least, it “is” the home team) for the later slot. Jesus, this is bleak.

  16. Bay State Librul says:

    Watch a re-run of the World Series.
    Consider Condi Rice as the next head coach of the Browns.
    Read Seth Abramson’s Collusion tome.
    Visit Chicago, the city of Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey.
    Wait for Con’s take home exam, now expected by Thanksgiving, but I’m laying odds on Christmas.

  17. scribe says:

    Well, the Stillers’ game just ended.  At halftime, I turned off the TV, walked out, and went to the grocery store.  To buy a lemon – to match my mood, which paralleled the paradigmatc Eli Manning lemon-sucking face.

    Actually, the lemon was for a baking recipe I’m going to crank up tonight.  It’s a classic German gingerbread recipe – lebkuchen – which I’ve been putting off for over a month.  It’s out of Luisa Weiss’ masterful cookbook Classic German Baking, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in baking and eating The Real Deal.  This particular recipe, the dough is supposed to be left in a covered bowl in a warm, comfortable place for two months (yes, months) to slowly rise.  It uses a leaven which is less than common (potassium carbonate) and which takes its time working.  I shoulda started the work early last month, but I wasn’t yet feeling Christmassy.  Seeing all the snow devastating the East this week and flipping one time too many past the Hallmark Channel’s All-Christmas-Miracle-Guy-Shows-Up-for-Woman-Who’d-Lost-All-Hope-of Finding-Love-All-the-Time programming enroute from AMC and The Food Network on the one side and The History Channel and The Weather Channel on the other has finally put me in a mood to tolerate the TV spitting out the  damned commercials for Christmas sales masquerading as anything but BECAUSE IT IS NOT YET THANKSGIVING.   And to feel a little Christmassy.  So it’s time to start on the cookies.

    Did you know there’s a drinking game out there for those forced to watch those Hallmark Channel Christmas Romance movies?  I’m not sure of the rules, other than “first one to pass out doesn’t quite win, but has an effect like hitting the ‘kill all aliens but you can only do it once’ button on an old-school video game”.  As I understand the scoring, you get points/have to drink if the lonely woman winds up (a) in New England, (b) in lightly falling snow, (c) at an inn or B&B (extra credit for a wise grandparent type running the inn/B&B, double extra if they help connecting the lovebirds-to-be), (d) there’s a mistake as to whether the cute guy is or is not already taken, which mistake later resolves in favor of Romance, (e) the cute guy has (1) 3-days’ worth of beard, (2) wears (i) flannel shirts, (ii) barn coat, or (iii) both, (3) has a small business doing Manly stuff like carpentry, running a bake shop, being a logger, (f) the lonely woman has a sister/mom/relative/friend who works tirelessly to get her connected with the cute guy.  And so on.

    You get the idea:  apply a complicated, incomprehensible scoring system whose main objective is getting the players blotto, quickly, so they don’t notice how bad these formula flicks are.  No one really cares about the rules, so long as there’s enough liquor around.

    I’m watching this NFL clothing ad wherein an Owboys fan and an Iggles fan are riding in an elevator, Iggles fan wearing a musical, illuminated (blinking lights) Iggles-themed sweater.  At the rate this game is going – Drew Fookin’ Brees just got the score to 10-0 and the Saints are looking Dominant – that Iggles fan is going to need to switch over to The Hallmark Channel Drinking Game.  Wentz just threw a bomb into double coverage and gave the back to Brees.

    This is no longer Super Bowl Hangover.  This is a team that never melded and won’t.  Look for rebuilding in Philly this winter and spring.

    Anyway, after tossing 5 TDs and 2 INT last week, Big Ben threw 1 TD and 5 INT today.  I know :  2 of those INTs came back.  Doesn’t matter.  JAX shoulda won that game.  One of the commentators laid the blame on the coach, pulling in, taking their foot off the pedal, whatever you want to call it.  I think that’s right.  That, and some stupid penalties by JAX defense.  It wasn’t until about 2:20 left in the 4th that Ben and Friends got their act together.  Even then, it took a QB keeper with 0:08 left for the Stillers to win.  A W is a W, but now we have to look at Cheatin’ Bill’s Cheaters, the Bolts and Texans.

    Speaking of Houston, I see Watt the Elder and Friends gave Alex Smith the Joe Theissman treatment.  My condolences on the Redskins’ season.  With the way the Iggles have been playing that means I may have to put up with the Owboys winning the NFC East.  Worth noting the ‘Skins will be playing at Jerryworld this coming Thursday.  Given both teams were playing well, it was looking to be a good game to watch after emerging from the tryptophan haze.  But, now, the ‘Skins will be going in to the house of a team on a bit of a hot streak, on 3+ days prep, with a new QB.  Looking disfavorable for the Washington team.

    I see where Matty Stafford and the Honolulu Blue beat Carolina Blue today.  All of a sudden Cam Newton is looking merely human and Dee-troit can have a good feeling going into what looks to be an interesting game, hosting Da Bears Thursday at noon.  That’s nice.  Get a winning season, Matt, and we’ll think about letting you say bad stuff about Rich Gannon.

    It’s now 17-0 Saints;  Iggles only 1st down came on a penalty.


    • Eureka says:

      It’s now 17-0 Saints;  Iggles only 1st down came on a penalty.


      Done.  Dug into my seasonal stash of Ballantine’s Burton Ale (a new Christmas is coming!) after Adams got on the board, and have now “watched” the equivalent of five Hallmark holiday movies.

      • Eureka says:

        (Eagles 7 Saints 45)

        This was my Saints score prediction, but there’s 13:15 left in the fourth.  Oh my.

        Oh my.

    • bmaz says:

      Iggles are well into the “Oooof!” category. The Stillers at least won, even if kind of ugly. You should hear the fans here in Phoenix on teh talk radio about now. Getting extremely ugly. Kind of rightfully so, but still.

  18. scribe says:

    The crawl, usually just showing scores, says Alex Smith has already undergone surgery on his broken leg.  Amateur doctor here:  when you need “immediate surgery” on a broken leg, that means the break is such that it’s either do the surgery NOW or lose the leg.

    Best wishes to Alex Smith to keep the leg and make a comeback.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, that is not good. Joe Montana he is not, but Alex Smith has always carried himself with great class, and, really, pretty good production. A very bad thing for a very decent chap. That sucks.

  19. Bay State Librul says:

    In Re: Scribe

     I went to Catholic Schools for twelve years, yet I never heard the dictum  “If you cheat, you can never live that down. It will stay with you forever.” I do believe though, that I would be thrown to the wolves by my monthly poker gents if I engaged in Hoyle-ian mischief. I will also grant you this…. when the NY Times obit is written for Bill, it will be sprinkled with some spying and deflating references.
     What I do remember are these words, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. Those damn Scribes and Pharisees were trying to trip up a teaching moment, but were ambushed by a pretty gifted 30 year old. Okay, we are not discussing adultery here but only pigskin problems. 
     “You don’t get to six Super Bowl victories without learning how to get around certain rules, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have done well to prove just that. Your Team Cheats reminds fans in its post of the time when Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin – accidentally or purposely – got in the way of Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones as Jones was seemingly making his way to the end zone on a kick return. Tomlin was fined for his actions, and the Steelers ultimately lost the game to the team’s hated division rivals. Coach would probably go back and do it again if given the chance.”
     Play nice with Patriot fans…… Put down those stones

    • scribe says:

      All true, but keep in mind I have never denied Coach Tomlin was wrong for doing what he did.  Nor has anyone disputed that The Football Gods administered an immediate corrective – a loss to the Ravens – for his misdeed.  And when he goes to Canton, and in his obituary, it will be dredged up.

      That having been said, there is a fundamental distinction between Tomlin’s and Cheatin’ Bill’s misdeeds.  Tomlin’s was something which happened in the moment, a part of the ebb and flow of the game and probably an emotional reaction to the play unfolding before him.  Something perpetrated by someone so into what was going on that he did it possibly without any thought, just the reaction of a (former) player.  That doesn’t excuse it, but it does mitigate it.

      OTOH, Bill’s filming cheating was the product of a carefully thought-out scheme, was intentional, went on for some time, took place in secret (until it was revealed by one of his former henchmen seeking his own advantage), and was organized, involving many people.  It’s the difference between Bill’s mens rea, knowing and intentional, and Tomlin’s, negligent (or less).  In law, and in football, the knowing and intentional violation is punished far more severely – as it should be – than the negligent.  After all, Cheatin’ Bill decided to violate the Rules, or to see whether the behavior he wanted to perpetrate would violate them (assuming he was caught).  Then he had minions – who might have been compelled to participate in his scheme because Bill was their boss and held their paychecks and careers hostage – carry it out.  Tomlin, I think it fair to say, didn’t have the time to reflect on his course of action, didn’t involve others in doing it, and did it in the glare of TV lights and the view of a nation.

      Cheatin’ Bill showed himself the capo of a crime family.  “Tony says ‘no more fires!'” just means Tony can make fires happen, or make them stop.  He’s in control of a crew.  Same for Cheatin’ Bill.  Tomlin, OTOH, was a guy overcome by the heat of the moment, much like someone who walked in on his wife playing House with someone else and decided to take things into his own hands.

      In law, in life, and in Football, these two kinds of transgressors and transgressions are treated differently.

      And don’t get me started on King Roger the Clown directing his Star Chamber to suspend the laws of physics to let him teach Biebs a lesson for winning too much.  (Biebs got his, from that courtroom sketch artist.)  King Roger is, I hear, still getting the business from his Queen after the neighbors at his lair made her most unhappy by shunning them socially in the wake of Deflategate.

  20. scribe says:

    Turns out the Alex Smith injury was on the 33rd anniversary of LT injuring Theissman. And Theissman was apparently in the house – one of the luxury boxes, possibly the owner’s.

    Not the kind of irony or resonance or whatever you want.

    NB: Hard to believe it’s 33 years. Makes me feel really, really old.

  21. Bay State Librul says:


    At first, I thought you were describing Don the Con.

    Your indictment is quite harsh and lawyerly. I’m an accountant so the details are hidden in the footnotes, as seen by this site which ranks the Steelers 4th and Patriots 16th.

    There is only one transgression: To cheat or not to cheat, and you can look that one up in Shakespeare.

  22. scribe says:

    NB: If you’re going to make the lebkuchen per Luisa Weiss recipe, do yourself a favor and USE THE STAND MIXER. The dough as mixed per the recipe is somewhat softer than a Tootsie-Roll on a hot summer day, or maybe a ballplayer-sized wad of Double Bubble. But not by much.

    I don’t have a stand mixer. I used, and now used to have, a hand mixer. Now my place reeks of “burnt electrical motor brushes”; I wound up watching a pillar of smoke rise from my loyal, one-of-the-last Made In America Sunbeam mixer.

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