Rubber Biscuit Trash Talk

Eh, late start here. Been tied up on Twitter reading and discussing the FOIA doc dump obtained and published by Jason Leopold and Anthont Cormier of Buzzfeed. Check Marcy’s Twitter feed and other posts here for that, it is….something. Somehow or another in the process we got off on Blues Brothers lyrics, so that is today’s music.

Hate to say it, but Harbaugh and the Wolverweenies have their groove back. After flattening a good Notre Dame team last week, they are killing Maryland today. Number 8 Georgia at number 6 Florida looks to be one hell of a game. Earlier in the year, the Dawgs would have been an easy pick, but not now, and not at the Swamp (Grrr, I buggered that up, game is in Jacksonville, of course, and not the Swamp). New grandfather Jim will likely weigh in. Utah and Washington should be a good Pac-12 game, but it is in Seattle so, despite the Utes’ number 9 ranking, don’t sleep on the Huskies. Same goes for Oregon at USC Trojan land. In the meantime, everybody awaits LSU at Alabama next week.

In the pros, the Niners beat Arizona in a surprisingly close game Thursday night. If Pat Peterson had not had an atrocious game for the Cardinals may well have won that game. Oh well, the Niners move on undefeated. The Vikings at Chefs may be good. Cousins is on a roll and Mahomes, if he plays, is still slightly hobbled. That is a pick em. The Jets at the Fins is a laugher. The obvious best game of the week is Patriots at Ravens. The Ravens are good, and they are at home. Lamar Jackson is exactly the kind of QB that give the Pats fits, and the Baltimore defense is outstanding, still. Not going to bet against Bill Bel and Brady, but this is a real test, and in the primetime of SNF.

That’s it for this week folks, hoop it up.

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81 replies
  1. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    Aw man… the back up band Belushi & Ackroyd managed to put to together for that act was amazing…

    Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, and Matt Murphy?

    It just doesn’t get any better than that…

    “She Caught the Katy” was one of my favorite covers to play for years and years…

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        No doubt…

        I was quite aware of who the horn players were at the time…

        They would not have been part of the band if they weren’t on par w/ Dunn, Cropper, and Murphy…

        I was always impressed w/ Belushi’s and Ackroyd’s pull to get those guys together for their backup band…

        I’m old enough to have seen Murphy with James Cotton in college…

        • bmaz says:

          I liked their intro album a lot, but figured the concert might be a novelty show. Nope, simply incredible. And Belushi and Ackroyd were totally up to the task. Just great.

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            Never saw them live but have watched the musical numbers from the movie over and over again…

            Such a powerful band and yes, Belushi and Ackroyd pull it off… and that’s one hell of a compliment when you know who they’re performing in front of…

            I don’t believe the individuals in that band would have done it if they didn’t like Belushi and Ackroyd… and they certainly didn’t need to do it…

            • Peterr says:

              Belushi was a native of Chicago, and both he and Ackroyd worked at Chicago’s “Second City” comedy club. I have no evidence to back it up and also no doubt that Belushi regularly hit the Chicago blues clubs after SC closed for the night, and the two of them probably connected with the blues music scene through that.

  2. scribe says:

    When they heard about it at first, everyone who was anyone in music thought the Blues Brothers were a joke, and not particularly a good one. Had to be.
    And then they saw Jake, Elwood and friends perform.

    This week, my Stillers get to face off against the Colts. This is going to be a tough game. Frank Reich is rapidly showing he has the skills as a head coach in The League. And Jacoby Brissett is showing why Cheatin’ Bill drafted him. I recall emailing with EW back when Brissett was a rookie and noting he was “a Cam Newton type” (but, as it turned out, without the narcissistic baggage) and that he was an entirely different kind of QB from Biebs or Garop. And when Biebs was suspended for messing with the laws of physics and Garop got hurt, Brissett showed himself capable. The Colts losing T.Y. Hilton is a body blow.

    So, in true 2019 Stiller fashion, James Connor is likely not playing. Hurt. Great.

    I am holding out hope for a Stiller win this week, which would bring us to 4-4. If the Cheatertown Cheaters win over the Crows, Balmer will be 5-3, only one game up, and with another meet to close the season, in Charm City. If the tumblers fall the right way, it’s entirely possible my Stillers can still win the AFC North despite their horrid start.

    As some of you may have noted, I was pretty harsh on the Stillers Monday night. Mason Rudolph in the lead role as “Interception Man”. I have yet to see whether he’s going to need a cascade of boos to motivate his butt or, hopefully, not. Once he got his shit together, he was ok. Now we’ll see if it stuck.

    Word is, Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham, Jr. are in a mutual hate relationship. Something about OBJ getting Biebs a pair of cleats with “GOAT” on them, and Baker not being very forgiving. Or forgiving at all. All I know is, when the Brownies went to Cheatertown last week, OBJ wasn’t in the same county as the ball. I look forward to the Clevelands continuing to flail their way through the season, alienating any decent player they might acquire.

    I’m good with that.

    Iggles and da Bearss dis week. Word is the Iggles just don’t seem to have it this year, whatever “it” is. I’ll go with that. Something not right in the City of Brotherly Love.

    Got a good look at Garop and the Niners the other night. They do look like the real deal. I just have to wonder whether, and how, Cheatin’ Bill is grinding his teeth over that trade. In that same game, I was very favorably impressed with the Cards. They look like a team on the rise.

    And, my prediction of the week is that the Dolphins will finally break through, defeating the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS. To get an indication on how dire is the situation with Gang Green, before the trade deadline they were entertaining offers for Bad Teammate LeVeon Bell. Including discussions with the Stillers. Bell was supposed to be the face of the media guide, right alongside Mr. Sam Mono Darnold. Some years ago, passing through their service area during one of the implosions surrounding the end of Fat Rex’s rule there, I had occasion to hear WFAN talker Francesa tee off. The sum and substance of his extended rant was in his lede: “Da Jets are a sewer. A sewer.” He was right then, and is still right now.

    Finally, a note on the demise of Deadspin. They were, for a good 15 years, a beacon blazing in the night of bad sports reporting, lighting the way to some sense of sanity. From “you’re with me, leather” https://deadspin.com/he-could-go-all-the-way-166410 https://deadspin.com/youre-with-me-leather-166570 to the Brett Favre pictures to the Vikings Sex Boat https://deadspin.com/the-full-report-on-the-sex-boat-143558 and the highly imaginative Hall of Fame plaques http://web.archive.org/web/20060913001113/http://cache.deadspin.com/assets/resources/2006/09/sexboat_plaque.jpg and https://deadspin.com/2013-deadspin-hof-inductees-manti-teos-dead-girlfriend-1674878734 they gave us sports news utterly without access, favor or discretion. So, of course, some hedge fund clowns decided to invest, to monetize the fun. And then it was “stick to sports”. And, as is the case every. fucking. time. a hedge fund gets into a going concern, they fucking. ran. it. into. the. ground. And so they did with Deadspin, pissing on the bonfire until the entire staff quit en masse earlier this week.

    May it rest in peace. And the hedgies, in pieces. And if you meet a Deadspin staffer, buy them a drink.

    • BobCon says:

      Agree about Deadspin, and no doubt the sites that are still around are headed the same direction.

      Jim Spanfeller, the new CEO, has a strong Tronc connection, and it shows — he can’t even manage to do a good job on the pump and dump scheme. Instead of driving up the value before selling it off, he is just crashing it before he can flip it.

      There were so many great articles there over the years, but for whatever reason this is the one that is sticking in my mind right now. Fortunately it seems to have been backed up on archive.org so it won’t be lost when Spanfeller forgets to pay the upkeep on the servers and everything goes blank.

      https://adequateman.deadspin.com/fuck-winning-1724810215

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    In his understated style, bmaz refers to Mayor Pete as an “insincere dolt.” That’s his response to Mayor Pete telling an Iowa crowd that he “genuinely believed” Trump would pass his promised infrastructure bill. He’s “surprised” that he hasn’t yet done it, despite his party controlling both houses of Congress for the first two years of his maladministration.

    Bmaz may be a little too kind. The mayor is a Harvard magna and a Rhodes scholar. At Oxford, his degree was in PPE (philosophy, politics, and economics), which has for over a hundred years been the top degree for students wanting to become prime minister. Since then, he’s been in local politics and an officer in naval intelligence.

    Mayor Pete has no excuse that he lacks the experience and training not to have seen what the entire GOP saw in Trump (before he won the nomination): Trump is a preening, vacuous, insincere cretin.

    Mayor Pete’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington schtick is getting old. We’d all be better off if he stopped it, and admitted to being the bright, ambitious, realistic guy he is. We will need all hands on deck to recover from the Cat 5 storm that is Donald Trump.

    https://twitter.com/bmaz

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That and the close relationship with Zuckerberg and other CEOs I find pretty damning. Been there, done that.

        Any politician in a virtual room with Zuck is the courtier, he the patron. If s/he doesn’t know that, s/he’s a patsy, too.

    • Tom says:

      Perhaps there’s such a thing as being too intelligent or too intellectual for politics. For example, I think of Michael Ignatieff’s brief career in Canadian federal politics where, as leader of the Liberal Party from 2009-2011, he and his party took a drubbing from Harper’s Conservatives and went down to a disastrous defeat in the 2011 federal election.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I have no problem with the ‘butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth’ approach Pete is taking towards Trump for the moment. I don’t think anyone believes that he thought Trump was going to do any of those things, but it allows him to take shots at Trump from a position that if it draws Trump’s wrath, only highlights what a bully he is. I think Pete is swinging for the Independents.

    • bmaz says:

      Earl, for what it is worth, I know Mayor Pete’s education background, and his military one too. It is hard to not like the guy, he has those bonafides and the cred, not to mention a fairly good delivery. And I think what he has done to be where he is right now is remarkable. But I do not want him as my chosen candidate right now.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      On taking Louise Mensch seriously, don’t tell bmaz. You’ll hear him shouting and grinding his teeth.

      • Valley girl says:

        Yeah, I know! On one of Jim’s earlier posts I linked to a site that I didn’t know (then) was run by LM. Now I do. Ouch!

  4. Molly Pitcher says:

    bmaz, I said after the Niners game that they will have to play much better when the Cards come to the Bay Area. They picked up three players who are going to make a big impact on the team, especially amazing was how well Kenyon Drake played after only three days in AZ. We need this long stretch to heal before the Seahawks.

  5. Valley girl says:

    earlofhuntington – I was hoping you would show up on this thread, b/c I wanted to know your take on Brit. election, Brexit, and such. I tried to keep track of it all, but just couldn’t after a while, b/c of Trump goings on moving to a fever pitch. fwiw I, of course, loathe Boris (and Farage crew) but also hold Corbyn in pretty low regard.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Dog’s breakfast. I think Boris is wildly unpopular, but the Tories are reflexively more popular than Corbyn’s Labour Party. That would be contrary to the overwhelming evidence that the Tories have FUBARed everything they touch: Brexit, immigration, justice, the economy.

      The proto-fascists picked by Johnson for his top ministries probably communicate better in their original German or Italian, although it looks as if Putin has a considerable hand in UK politics now, too. Farage and Banks, for example, have never explained their funding.

      Corbyn should be more popular, but he is relatively weak at the same thing that hobbles most Dems: an inability to articulate a good message in the face of outrageous, fact-free propaganda.

      I suspect no party will win a majority. Corbyn will probably be asked to put a coalition together, something traditionally disfavored in the UK. But nearly anything would be better than continued Tory misrule.

      • BobCon says:

        Murdoch’s power is even stronger there than here, and any set of progressives are always sailing into headwinds.

        Having said that, I think Corbyn is ridiculous in thinking he can somehow prevail by staying as leader. Johnson is a monster and he will do terrible things to the country if he wins a full term. Corbyn is going to turn off too many people to win. But at this point, I’m not sure Labour has an alternative, and the best they can hope for is a coalition that will be weak and splintered and vulnerable to a Conservative return.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I agree about Corbyn. He was right to reject Blair and all his neoliberal works. But he waivers too much on important issues, especially Brexit vs. Remain, and the utility of a second referendum – which would not bind Parliament.

          Allegations of significant antisemitism in Labour appear manufactured and ironic, given the history of it being a bigger problem for the Tories. As was the apparent intent, they have brewed dissent among Labour’s leadership, making it harder to find a suitable replacement for Corbyn.

          The Guardian article on the rich planning to leave the UK the minute Labour comes into power produced comic commentary, along the lines of good riddance, but tax them before they go.

          Made me think of a bus conductor ejecting passengers who refused to buy tickets – or Indiana Jones throwing Nazi Michael Byrne off the dirigible flight in The Last Crusade – “No ticket!”

      • Valley girl says:

        One thing I don’t understand is why Corbyn was/is pro-Brexit. A disastrous choice, methinks. And, Corbyn was incompetent in dealing with the anti-Semitic issue, at least according to my take on a Panorama special a while back, plus other readings.

        And it seems that he dithers, and provides little clarity. He really isn’t cut out for leadership, imho. Correct me if this has changed, but Corbyn has never spoken strongly in favor of a second referendum. Even though there was massive evidence of illegalities by Farage and co. leading up to the first referendum. Long ago I liked Corbyn. Now not at all. Labour needs a new leader. Banks, at least, is funded by Russian money as far as I can establish. I suspect the money went from Banks to Farrage.

        Carole Cadwalladr has been fighting heroically, imho, while getting sued by Banks etc.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Corbyn presents something of a Michael Foot problem. I agree about Cadwalladr. She has done sterling work, which the establishment does its best to ignore completely.

          • Valley girl says:

            I’ll have to go look up Michael Foote. I confess it doesn’t ring a bell, or maybe just a vague one. My knowledge of UK politics is spotty. And when I came back to the US in 1987 I was working so hard to get tenure I paid almost zero attention to UK or US politics. I had a lot of catching up to do after I got tenure.

          • Valley girl says:

            p.s. Just read the wiki for Foot. He was active while I was in Cambridge, but for whatever reason I have no firm memory of him.

            • Valley girl says:

              apologies. Not sure what I said above came out the way I meant it (Foot Corbyn comparison). Time to crash.

            • scribe says:

              Foot was on the books of the KGB as an asset. Gordievski, who defected after becoming the KGB “resident” in London (i.e., the head of their operation in England), confirmed that.
              No allegations; fact.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              A little disinformation is a dangerous thing, especially when the sources are “retired or anonymous spies.”

              The MI6 of that era was almost as rightwing as MI5. Both were becoming creatures of the equally leftist-averse CIA.

              The CIA had opposed the Labour Party since 1945, as well as every other leftist government in the world. Harold Wilson, in the UK, and Gough Whitlam, in Australia, were special targets, as were the Sandinistas, in Nicaragua.

              The bias of Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times is equally obvious. That he and it should have it in for Foot could hardly be a surprise.

              • Valley girl says:

                Scribe is wrong on this one. I had already read the article I linked, and concluded then that it was a hit job on Foot. Thanks for the added info.

        • Chetnolian says:

          I can explain Corbyn’s antipathy to Brexit. His view on the EU like many of his other views has moved little in 40 odd years. He thinks, and is right in thinking, that the EU would not let the UK follow the pure socialist policies (and I do mean socialist as a description not an insult) he would like. But he could never get these policies through in modern Britain. This blinds him to all the support the EU has consistently given to high standards of environmental health and safety and workers’ rights. In his mind the good is the enemy of the best. History will not forgive him for not properly resisting the right wing project that Brexit is and always has been.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Pithy summary. The analog to that is that the Tories convinced those most harmed by their and Blair’s neoliberal policies that more of them would help them instead. Rather like trickle down in a cholera ward.

            I prefer Corbyn’s policies. But as you say, his views are blinkered, which leads to weak leadership and the continuation of neoliberalism.

            My fear is that those who would most like to replace Corbyn would prefer the continuation of Blairite neoliberalism. Doom all round for the average Brit. No wonder the Scots want the hell out.

            • bmaz says:

              Chetnolian not only lives in the UK, but is one of the most astute observers of its politics and culture I have ever met. Actually, he is the most astute.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              We’ve talked about that before. I see him more frequently at nakedcapitalism, where his comments are equally refreshing and knowledgeable.

              • Valley girl says:

                do you and Chetnolian have the same monikers at NC as here? If not, please tell me what they are so I can look out for them

                  • Valley girl says:

                    I asked b/c it takes quite a wile / while to get the hang of evaluating comments. Which to skip over and which read more carefully- esp. when it’s a topic where one has an iffy grasp.

                  • earlofhuntingdon says:

                    No worries. (Sorry, I left out the “t” in Chet’s screen name.) I have the same issue here. Lots of new names compared to, say, the Fukushima threads from several years ago.

                    I find many of the comments at Yves’s site well to my right, but she is rigorous in policing them.

                    • bmaz says:

                      It is hard to keep track sometimes, which is why we, like Susan, moderate as we do. I know it bugs folks every now and then, but we really want the content here, not just in the posts, but the comments too, to be trustworthy. It ain’t easy!

  6. BobCon says:

    Lamar Jackson is tremendous. He’s lucky that the Ravens fired Marty Mornhinweg and hired an OC who was willing to design a system around him, instead of trying to force him to play within the OC’s system.

    I have no doubt that Jackson slipped as far as he did in the draft in large part because teams are deathly afraid of changing their schemes to fit personnel. They’d much rather go with second rate talent to fit their established system than to play to the strengths of the best people they can get. Not unlike the problems with a lot of the party machinery in America these days.

  7. scribe says:

    I meant to include a note about the wonderful success of the Washington Nationals in a truly excellent World Series. It was tightly played, tense and just plain good baseball. There were games where a little small ball – work the walk, steal second, sacrifice to third, score on a groundout or sac fly – made all the difference. In an age of launch angle and exit velocity bullshit, these serving to remove the human factor and digitize a game (for the benefit of gaming houses desiring a predictable product and owners’ profits therefrom) which has forever been as analog as can be and should remain so, it was refreshing. The German paper Die Zeit led its article on the Nats’ triumph with “Nothing is as boring as baseball. Nothing is as enthralling as baseball.” And they went on to highlight the centrality of the pitcher, talked in some reverential detail about just how good Greinke was for Game Seven and … how suddenly things changed when Hinch lifted him for relief.
    Of course, none of that would have happened had the Nats not been a Team With No Quit In Them. In other words, they didn’t want the participation trophy. It wasn’t good enough to just be there. Contrary to the Deadspin article BobCon links upthread, https://adequateman.deadspin.com/fuck-winning-1724810215 , they weren’t playing just for fun. They were playing to win. They had loads of fun doing it, but the fun was the product of the desire to win expressing itself in coming through in the clutch. Yes, they had the songs and dance, but compare, e.g., the 99-00 Piazza-era Mets, who at various times adopted “Who Let the Dogs Out” (still a favorite of minor-league stadia everywhere) and The Doors “Mojo Rising” for their celebratory motivational exercises. We watch, and as a consequence they get paid a lot to play in magnificent stadia, because they are playing to win.
    And, frankly and as much as your communitarian kumbaya instincts recoil at admitting it, that playing to win ethos is what gave you the wealthy, luxurious society you live in and enjoy. Where your houses are tight against bad weather, your morning eggs come from a carton in the fridge and you get to cavil and complain on computers about how those higher on the socioeconomic totem pole are shitting on your sunny day. A big hint: knock that emphasis on winning out of your kids and you wind up with an ossified society where the 1 percent stay the 1 percent for generations far into the future because there’s no one who has the spine to challenge them because they were taught from little on up to accept their spot at the table. Because it was good enough.
    I think the Nats, and their fans, ought to enjoy this to the fullest. I tend to doubt the Nats will repeat. They’ll be good, probably good enough for second in the East (behind the Braves) and maybe a wild card. But they are old in baseball terms, have some free agent exposure and, most of all, caught lightning in a bottle. When they played the Cards in the LCS I was sure enough to say they were a team of destiny. (And not, like in the Schilling quote, where Destiny dances alongside Aura at that bar down near the airport.)
    And, as sometimes happens, I was right.
    For those who’d appreciate this, I point you to a lovely banner the courtroom artist Art Lien has had posted over at SCOTUSBlog: https://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Banner191102.jpg Love ’em or hate ’em, agree or disagree, baseball is one thing we all should appreciate and enjoy.
    Perhaps if we can persuade Commissioner Manfred to ditch the juiced balls in favor of regular ones, so we can get the panoply of small-ball strategy instead of Home Run Derby all night every night, things will get better.
    Hail the Nats and put a curly W in the scorebook.
    And James Silverback Harrison, he of making his sons return the participation trophies, remains god.

    • BobCon says:

      I agree the Nats victory was great, in part in light of the Astros management horrible handling of a front office guy taunting women reporters about the Astros signing a domestic abuser:

      https://www.si.com/mlb/2019/10/22/houston-astros-roberto-osuna-suspension

      But the Deadspin piece by Albert Burneko is really worth a read. It’s about the sadness of how society treats kids and the pressure to be winners when they aren’t even ten. And how a dad can’t shield them from what’s coming and can only enjoy the little moments that there are left.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      My favorite is Sister’s “Ode to the 1979 Pittsburg Pirates”
      “We are family” — a joyous, breathtaking moment in time.

  8. Pete T says:

    It’s week 9 and it looks like only the Jets have to win to keep the epic week 16 battle for the first round pick alive between the Fins and Bengals.

    Kendal Drake recently of the Fins gets to play for the Cards. Decent back – not gonna make the Cards better than he makes the Fins worse off.

    I fear for Josh Rosen’s mental state. I mean Fitz looks better when he’s in because of 100 years in the NFL, but the result is the same and Rosen has such a poor cast of characters around him.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I can’t agree with you about Kenyon Drake. He definitely elevated the play of the Cards against the Niners.

  9. scribe says:

    Winnin’ ugly is still winnin’.

    My Stillers have made it back to .500, something I would have discounted as a near impossibility even a week ago. Rudolph is a piece of work. We’ll see how he progresses. What makes my heart warm and smiley is the way the Stillers’ D is playing. They put Brissett and later Hoyer on their asses more times than I could count. Watt the Younger is coming into full flower of his Linebacker-ness, and the rest of the pass rush is pretty awesome, too. Still wondering what possessed the Colts QB to throw that INT, but I’m surely not sending back the TD.

    That PI call, where the ball landed about 7 yards downfield passed about 10 feet above the players’ heads and off to the side (and unfindable) had to be one of the most bullshit PI calls in the league’s long history of bullshit PI calls. I would contribute to the fine fund for Tomlin, or any player, who said so and was tagged by King Roger the Clown for speaking the truth. If you watched the play, the nearside official was clearly signaling “incomplete” before the other official threw the flag. You can be sure that will be edited out.

    At the rate these PI calls are going, and the intransigence about overturning even the most egregious bad calls continues, one has to assume the worst: that maybe the refs, or someone controlling them, has money riding on the outcomes.

    Iggles won. Yay. Still trying to get their shit together.

    Bad day for kickers. Vinatieri missed 2 – one blocked, one hooked badly when the holder did not spin the laces away. Tenn’s kicker just pounded one off the upright.

    And it’s finally decided as final: the Dolphins beat the J-ET-S JETS JETS JETS. FWIW, on the tiebreakers I think the ‘fins are now ahead of the Green Slime. Count me as laughing.

    • BobCon says:

      It’s always possible Goodell the Senator’s son got scared when Louisiana politicians like Senator Kennedy started making threats after what happened to the Saints on the blown PI call.

      And in typical Goodell fashion, he jammed through a solution that made absolutely no sense. It’s weird how he deals with things like this, dangerous play, and the Calvin Johnson rule by resorting to complicated rules changes rather than thinking through better training for the refs.

      I guess the Browns and Lions will be resting easier now that only the Bengals are threatening their record. It’s pretty incredible how bad the bottom of the league is — Jets, Dolphins, Washington, Falcons and Bengals are all really, really bad teams.

  10. Skilly says:

    Sunday night. Most of the NFL games are done. The Rugby World Cup is completed with a huge upset win for the Boks. For the many rugby fans and ex-players, who are known to participate here, I think it only appropriate to mention the tournament. I was able to watch many of the matches, often live, thanks to YouTubeTv. The game has changed so much since I played long ago. The athletes are truly impressive. The transition from Amateur game to Professionals appears to actually slow the game. The pace of game play is Fast, but injury delays are more frequents and Video review is glacial. The teams that have historically prospered continue to do so. Players with their origin in the pacific nations seem to have filled rosters in all the participating nations. Japan seems to have transformed to a rugby power house in recent years with the increase in island nation players. I am not sure what the future holds for the game, but I suspect the best teams will get bigger and faster, but to the detriment of the game as a whole. I welcome others thoughts about the changes.

    Now on Football_ I am depressed to see the sharp decline of Kicker Adam V. His Hall of Fame credentials are taking a hit this season. Without a doubt he has cost the Colts in every loss they have this season. The other group taking a hit to their collective reputations is the Referees. Yikes, what a season they are having.

  11. Pete T says:

    Re: Packers…”fortunately” the entire NFC North puked losses yesterday. Thank you Raiders especially. So, net net is no change except for a ding to home field when we get there. And, hey the Pats lost too so there’s that.

    Unfortunately the Fins won and have now made the race to the #1 pick more open.

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