Clemson Up Huge; People Losing Their Shit Over A Kicker

Trash talk is late. I had some serious home maintenance issues here in the Cactus Patch, other distracting things, and a bunch of dopes that thought references to Louise Mensch and her band of crackpots might be fair content on this blog. Let’s reinforce one immutable concept: If you are referring to Louise Mensch, or any related endeavor, stop. Full stop.

Okay, it is a huge weekend of football. Before we get there, let’s acknowledge the weather in Suzuka for the F1 Japanese Grand Prix in 1976. The weather there is atrocious. But F1, unlike NASCAR and IndyCar, runs in the wet. It is what they do. And one of the most memorable races, and championships won, ever, happened in the Japanese Grand Prix at Mount Fuji. Bet you thought this was going to be all about football. Nope. We have multitudes here.

Eh well, back to the footballs….Oh, hey, the Natinals stunned the favored Cards behind Anibal Sanchez last night. It was indeed a stunner. Game Two of the NLCS is ongoing in St. Louis and the Natinals are, improbably, up yet again.

In the collegiate ranks, Oklahoma edged Texas in a game not really living up to the “Red River” thing. But a win is a win. Michigan finally scored a few points and won, while the Dawgs of UGA fell short. Ooof. Wisconsin and Clemson rolling despite the carping of people over field goal kickers. People, if you have dozens of points of lead, your field goal kickers are irrelevant. Florida at LSU is clearly the game of the day. It is in Baton Rouge though, and that may be a problem for the Gators as LSU has a functioning quarterback. If the Gators win down there, they are truly legit. Penn State and Iowa may be interesting on a lesser scale.

In the Pros, it is also a huge week. Pats beat the Gents in a throwaway game on Thursday night. The Houston Texans is a matchup of two truly exciting QB’s from the 2017 draft, Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. I’ll take Mahomes at home. Skins at Fins…which team will be the biggest loser? Dallas at Jets and Steelers at Bolts might be interesting in some other year, but not this one.

Lions at Pack in Lambeau is far more interesting. I think Matt Stafford and the Kittehs are better than they are being given credit for, as is the Green Bay defense. The question is whether Aaron Rodgers and the Pack offense really shows up. That never used to be a question.

Music this weekend by Rod the Mod. Also look for a young, pre-Stones, Woody on guitar.

42 replies
  1. bmaz says:

    Say what you will about Ronnie Wood, but he spent a lifetime playing beside two of the best rock and roll frontmen in history. And he has done so quite well.

  2. bmaz says:

    Just gonna add that the Natinals closed out a second win in St. Louis. Stras up back in the Capital town. Wow.

    • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

      I’ve been a Cards fan since Bob Gibson. Their hitting has been inconsistent all season. So I’m disappointed but not surprised.

      At the same time I haven’t given up. They won four in a row at Wrigley near the end of the season. So they can win on the road.

      • bmaz says:

        Agreed. It is pretty stunning what the Natinals pulled off in St. Louis though. And in fairness to the Cards hitters, those two pitchers were amazing. Almost unhittable. And, yeah, Gibson. My grandfather took me to a couple of games as a kid. Speaking of unhittable, not sure how anyone ever got a hit off of Gibson.

  3. BobCon says:

    Supposedly Harbaugh is being wooed by Dan Snyder. Whatever his struggles at Michigan, you have to hope Harbaugh has the good sense to tell Napoleon that he’s not joining him at Waterloo, err, Washington.

    • Livonia Dave says:

      Harbaugh’s Michigan mojo is under duress, Wolverines are going to have a tough time getting past Penn State and ND in the next few weeks, then MSU and OSU loom in the distance. 8-4 is a distinct possibility which along with an 0-5 vs OSU should be a death nell for a fifth year coach in Ann Arbor even if his name is Harbaugh.

    • bmaz says:

      But, for better or worse, that is what they do. It has always distinguished F1 from the candy asses in NASCAR and IndyCar. Would I want to drive at speed in that? No. But the drivers who do are truly the world’s best, not the advertising bunk spoon-fed to a gullible US audience. And this has been the case forever.

      • drouse says:

        Yeah, just look at the Singapore course. God that had to be the most nerve racking thing to race. Simply nowhere to go for most the course if things got iffy.

        • bmaz says:

          I know you read here a lot. Which means you know how much I dislike Marina Bay in Singapore. It is a gorgeous location, but a cement lined nightmare as a track. F1 is kind of my thing, unlike football, which most all folks here kind of argue about in some form or another, even if they dislike football. The F1 thing is entirely on me, and I will take any heat associated therewith.

          I don’t know about football, but F1 cannot be made “safe”. It can be made better, and the amount to which it has been since I was first exposed to it, as a kid, is truly incredible. Stunningly so. That is good. Cannot be made perfect though. And racing in the wet is one of the distinguishing characteristics.

          • drouse says:

            I’m a recent convert myself. My old TV died a couple of months ago and its replacement makes motorsports just pop. I was surfing on the new set and I caught Barcelona and was instantly hooked. I’m just now getting to know the teams and drivers. I watch NASCAR basically for the carnage.

  4. drouse says:

    In case anyone is interested, qualifying for the Grand Prix kicks off in an hour. The station in my market is ESPNS. Although looks don’t equal speed, those F1 Mercedes have my vote for the most gorgeous cars on the planet.

  5. Rugger9 says:

    Dabo chasing down his kicker while losing his mind over a missed FG when already up 28-0 late in the first half should be on the replay reel for every recruiting visit Clemson makes until he’s fired. It brought back visions of Woody Hayes slugging a Clemson player (for which he was fired) and Frank Kush (a name for bmaz) losing his job at ASU for tormenting a punter IIRC.

    It points to a lack of situational awareness and is borderline sadistic. I’ve played for intense coaches before (see Clark, Jack) but none of them would do this stuff on national TV.

    • bmaz says:

      The punter was Kevin Rutledge, and Kush barely hit him upside the helmet. The entire team should have beat that little asshole Rutledge. Also, he was a shitty punter. He sued the university and Kush and lost badly.

    • Matty D says:

      Eh… I think you’re blowing this way out of proportion. I will preface this by saying I am a Clemson grad, but Dabo is just coaching. He doesn’t care about cameras and has literally done this with a kicker before (deservedly might I add, dude went rogue and tried to fake a punt by himself). BT Potter was also shown to be happy and dancing after the game. I disagree with a lot of Dabo’s views (specifically his outspoken religious views at a public institution), but the man loves his players and has always been consistent on every play being a competition. Personally, I think it’s Dabo trying to light a fire under BT. Dude is the best kicker we’ve had in the last two decades and will play on Sundays. Logically, if this is your guy, and he is the guy for the next 3 years, why would you do this unless you think it’s going to be a long-term positive?

      Comparing a verbal dressing down to a Woody Hayes punch is utterly ridiculous.

  6. Molly Pitcher says:

    bmaz, don’t forget the Niners at the Rams. Will the Niners leave LA 5 – 0 ? Will former Cal wonderarm, Jared Goff give the Niners their first loss ? Skeptical minds want to know.

  7. Bay State Librul says:


    Is this the case of yellow journalism or the beginnings of another baseball scandal?

    Skaggs, your boy “Rusty”, LAA coverup, and the “wrongful death” legal argument

    • Rugger9 says:

      A lawsuit was almost expected given the circumstances of a young talent in an organization with lots of money for the required deep pockets. With that said, though, I would suspect that the litigation will grind out whether the press allegations that the LAA knew and/or lost institutional control of their clubhouse (which I think will get them Manfred’s wrath sent their way). Either way it will be expensive on several levels. After all, Tyler Skaggs is dead from (apparently) opioid overdose. Any gloating needs to be tempered by that.

  8. Pete T says:

    The Fins and Skins in an epic battle to end in a 0-0 tie. Thrilling. I have no choice, it’s a home game.

    Crap, couldn’t hit send and Skins score.

  9. quebecois says:

    I tuned into a football game a few minutes back. First play, concussion. Yesterday night, hockey, within the first minute, same thing. Sigh, I don’t know…

    F1, Suzuka’s esses are pure heaven. Leclerc had a real bad day, heck, he pretty much drove like Vettel all year long.

  10. Vince says:

    Sad not to see Fernando Alonso this season, after his retirement from F1 at the end of last season. He’s one of the most courageous drivers since Gilles Villeneuve.

    • bmaz says:

      Absolutely. Alonso was easily one of the best drivers on the grid, he was just saddled with horrible equipment. He still drove the hell out of it, but even Alonso could not make the McLaren competitive. Was sad to watch. He says he might would return, but all the good seats are going to youngsters lately. He is so good.

  11. scribe says:

    I’m enjoying the baseball playoffs. The pitching has been quite good.
    That said, I can only imagine how Tigers fans feel, with Verlander, Sanchez, Scherzer three of the leading pitchers in this post-season (and Porcello and Price getting their butts kicked with the Sawx). Amazing how bad management can devastate a team that could have been a dynasty. And don’t give me that “small market” crap. Revenue sharing among baseball teams is a substantial part of their income. The Tigers have been run like a hedge fund owns them, with all emphasis on cashing checks and sucking every quanta of profit out of the product, consumers/fans be damned. Them and the Pirates.
    I am faced with a real quandary: Jets v. Owboys. Two teams I detest. After further reflection, given I loathe the Owboys and laugh at the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS (how could you not?) I have to come down on the side of desiring a Noo Yawk victry. Even though they pay Bad Teammate Bell. Still, the JETS passing offense is designed to gain yardage mainly by drawing penalties. Looking for some unsportsmanlike penalties against the OWboys. Character will out.
    [NB: and now Dallas takes a flag for horse-collaring Darnold, moving the ball to like their own 3. Then, on the next play a defensive PI in the end zone. Like I said.]
    Speaking of unsportsmanlikes, there was that debacle at Texas-Oklahoma, where the ref penalized both teams – the entire teams – for unsportsmanlike before the first tick of the clock. Trash talking. The article I read noted, repeatedly, how much that ref liked the sound of his voice, all the more when it boomed out over the whole stadium.
    And on their 4th trip into the red zone this season, the J-E-T-S offense scores a TD.
    The quality of refereeing has been an issue in the pros a while and now it’s metastasizing. There was a thoughtful article this week on the insurrection among NFL refs, refusing to overturn on video review even the most egregiously wrong PI calls.
    What I’d really like to see one day is an aggrieved coach not arguing with the ref, not going purple in apoplexy, but rather just reaching into his shirt pocket and giving the ref a pair of eyeglasses. Yes, the coach would likely be ejected, fined, strapped to a board and caned and all the rest, but it would be worth it.
    It’s one thing to get it wrong, but another entirely to be obstinate about it.
    But, looking at it from another perspective, the obsession in the sporting world with zebras “getting it right” – which has morphed into an obsession just crapping all over fan enjoyment by stopping the flow of game after game – is not about the need to get the calls right. Instead, it is about making the game safe for gamblers and especially the bookies. Ownership in all the major sports see revenue from gambling houses as their major income stream in the future. You can only put so many games on pay TV, the regular Thursday night NFL Network games broadcast on Fox instead of behind a paywall perhaps showing the limits have been reached. Ownership does not want any more ugly scenes like transpired after the blown PI call in the Saints-Rams game last season. Not that fan outrage meant shit to them – it didn’t. It was the pols, on the one hand, getting into changing the legal bases surrounding and supporting the games and, on the other, the Boys at the casinos and sports books wanting no static about bad calls. No uncertainty means happy bettors and happier bookies.
    Diverting to F1 for a minute, a few weeks ago I heard a magnificent interview with Mario Andretti on a sports-talk station which devotes about half of Saturday morning to racing talk. They had Mario on for about 45 minutes covering the entire block. Voluble, opinionated and deeply thoughtful he was simply magnificent. A couple takeaways: he really, really likes Leclerc and thinks he might be the next great driver. He is really sad that IndyCar is not coming back to Pocono. He talked a lot about the mental toughness and courage it takes to drive competitively, and how when drivers are carping about the track being “dangerous” it’s a sign they are signaling themselves as not-winners because they are letting extraneous stuff divert their attention from driving and competing.
    And there’s a lot of that in New England, I hear. The Patsies are undefeated and all I’ve heard is carping and whining about this and that. They are even calling on Kraft to bring back Antonio Brown.
    It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out, when the Patsies finally lose a game. They’ll lose their minds. They ought to try on my Stillers hat, just to see how it feels.
    Speaking of which, my Stillers will go to Cali this weekend to play the Chargers, yet another game I have marked down as a loss. They will trot out a third-string QB, some UDFA from Samford, a 1-AA school down south. I don’t even know this guy’s name. Matters not.
    Thing is, Kaepernick is still out there, staying in shape. For the team that pioneered scouting and drafting from traditionally black colleges, picking up the likes of Joe Greene, and the home of The Rooney Rule, not even giving Kaep the dignity of taking his call when they have no QB worth talking about shows just how pervasive the League’s blackball is. And how intense the threat(s) levied against anyone who might transgress it.
    It’s yet another instance of the League serving up crap, telling us it’s gourmet fare (and charging accordingly), and reminding us they’re the only game in town.
    Fuck King Roger.

  12. bmaz says:

    Who is playing QB for the Stillers now, Bubby Brister?

    The Cards eeked out a win due to a missed Matt Bryant extra point. An event that basically has never been a thing. Almost feel sorry for Bryant.

    The Cards will take it, but they are still shaky as hell. On both sides of the ball.

  13. jo6pac says:

    Well 9er D is awesome and the O played well enough for the win. 5-0 but now on to winning teams but at lest the first 3 are at home in SC.

    • Eureka says:

      *clink* Cheers!

      But their fans are _so depressed_ there is no space for additional schadenfreude (beyond the first glances, obviously).

      Stillers rocked it! I wrote a longer, more wide-ranging comment and withheld it so as not to lay the jinx on this last game of the day; now it’s frozen on my notepad so may add it later. I haven’t been able to see them play much this year (and esp. with everything going on), and my main opportunity was lost to unwatchable cable a couple-few weeks ago as I’d indicated. They’re your team, though, you know them best– not sure if you feel any phoenix rising potential, maybe?

  14. Bay State Librul says:

    From the deranged…

    Curt Schilling wants to be a pitching coach for the Red Sox!
    My friends from Rhode Island must be apoplectic.
    First, the Pawtucket Sox head 45 miles west to become the Worcester Polar Bears (Polar Beverages manufactures and distributes seltzer, ginger ale, etc and is based in the second largest city in Massachusetts with 181,000 blue collar democrats).
    Second, Schilling pilfered $75 million from Providence, the city that Buddy Cianci built (he called his crazy looking toupee “the squirrel”), with a whole bunch of corrupt jargon like “The toe you stepped on yesterday may be connected to the ass you have to kiss today.”
    I say send back Schilling’s ass back to Arizona where he belongs.

    • scribe says:

      Don’t forget that Schilling had given a personal guarantee to Rhode Island for those millions and, AFAIK, is still on the hook for them. Given the Sawx’ pitching woes, Schilling could probably step in and be a decent #3 in their rotation.
      Last time I was through that area, I had some of Polar’s products. Most of them are good, but their birch beer sucks flavorwise and it goes flat while you look at it. I did like their Orange Dry.
      Still trying to suss out why the Sawx punked Pawtucket in favor of Worcester – the PawSawx have been the PawSawx since forever. Other than pure mercenary bloodymindedness, it doesn’t make sense.
      Say what you like about Buddy, he did a lot for Providence. It was a real dump when he came to power back when, and he was its biggest cheerleader. That he was a bit crooked is to be expected. The story about arm-twisting supermarkets into carrying Mama Cianci’s red sauce by reminding them there might be a months-long sewer and road repair going on at the entrances and exits to their parking lots were they to say “no” (or it could be done in a weekend after a “yes”) is a classic case study for Borderline Municipal Governance Practices.
      Verlander’s comments about the ball losing its juice come playoffs, and how the owners are turning baseball into the ADD version of itself, is spot on.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        Indeed. Buddy was the James Michael Curley of Providence. My daughter graduated from Providence College, and he would occasionally visit the campus. He was a hoot.
        Aging McCoy Stadium versus a $90 Million Polar Park, with 10,000 Fenway-like seats in Worcester. There’s no place better than a brand new park….

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