NFL Sunday Trash Talk
I mostly boycotted NCAA football yesterday, and got busy with an absolutely insane F1 race from Italy. It is the Tuscan Grand Prix, celebrating Ferrari’s 1000th F1 race. But is is a shit cookie cutter circuit, and the course is WAY too narrow. It is nuts, eight cars have already crashed out, and there has been safety cars out and two, TWO full red flag suspensions of the race.
Anyway, after the Chefs cooked and BBQ’d the Texans on Thursday, today brings a full slate of games.Brady and the Bucs have a very tough opener with the Saints. Probably can’t win it, but we will start to see how they are going to look. Cards are choking on the Santa Clara air to play the 49ers.
Eh, it is a new year for everybody. Discuss!
Mugello was a shitshow. An unforgiving, fast track, with few opportunities to pass. Three standing starts. Red flags and safety cars. Seven cars retiring. Blessedly far from the endless processions of a decade back, but not a clean race by any measure. Nice to see Albon get a podium, and for Ricciardo to get his Renault up to fourth. Russell was so close to getting a point, but Kimi got points, bracketed by Ferraris. Ferrari, at their thousandth race, on their very own home track, were fortunate to have both cars finish in the points.
Agree with every word of that. I saw a hot lap of Mugello by an F2 driver (no clue who it was) Thursday or Friday and thought to myself, “it’s pretty, but holy shit is that narrow, that does not look good”.
It was not good.
Indeed, noticed the narrowness and also during quali when Dani Ric complained of being exhausted from his fast lap from the G’s, I was wondering who thought this track was a good idea? Would have loved to see Lewis be 2nd to Valterri who fought hard all weekend but once more was upstaged by his teammate. At least it was not boring!
Now, any thoughts about the old track Imola that we will see the teams at the end of October? The one where Senna died?!!?!
Also, Roland Ratzenberger the same weekend as Senna. Imola has been updated substantially, so hopefully will be okay.
Also Cicero, welcome to Emptywheel, and please join us more often,
The air in Santa Clara isn’t any worse today than it was in the northwest San Fernando valley yesterday – which is to say that you won’t enjoy it, but it’s not really bad (particulates about 175). It’s improving.
That is not very good. The NFL goes off of the data at AirNow.gov and today in Santa Clara, they will play at anything below 200 AQI. So the game will go off. Still not very good.
The local news at 10:30 this morning showed a reading of 199 AQI, so it’s a dice roll as to what it will be this afternoon. We have had not even a breeze today.
Up north of Santa Clara, us Portlanders surpassed 500 on the AQI for the second day in a row – our stasis is so toxic that the AirNow gauge calls our score “beyond index.”
The EPA said in 2014 that “AQI values above 300 are extremely rare.”
Good gawd, that is brutal. I have a friend who was in Santa Clara and at the Cards/Niners game. He said the conditions were bleak, but the game went off fine apparently. But over twice that in Oregon? Jeebus, All best wishes for an end to it up there.
Predicted plot for the Bucs-Saints game: How well will the New Orleans DBs with the additions of the two Jenkinses handle Tampa’s WRs (whom they *know*) versus Brady (whom they don’t)?. Subplot: What will be the impact of Sanders and Montgomery on Brees’s passing options? Also: No Who Dats! Hurricane! 2020!!
Against a LOT of QB’s in this league, given no OTAs and preseason, even with a new team, you would give Brady an edge. But this is Drew Fucking Brees, so no edge. And the game is in NOLA, barely pre-hurricane Sally.
And Brees *knows* his receivers (even ran routes with Sanders in the spring). But this is Brady (and Gronk), so who knows? Game will show a lot about both teams and their pre-season rankings.
Yep, and it may not mean much by the end of the season, who knows? But it is a hell of a start for both. Unfortunately, it is not on my channel lineup here. I get Vikes and Packers instead. Not a bad game at all, but would love to see the other one.
For my friend BSL when he drops by, two things: 1) I get the Vikes and Packers as the early game on Fox and then Cards at Niners for the late game, so no TB12 v. Brees. I hope you can see it there in NE. I do get the Pats and Fish though on the other channel.
2) I used to kind of know this man who insisted on being called “Judge_____ (can’t really remember his name now). He was never a judge, he was a civil traffic ticket hearing officer and not even a lawyer as I recall, and no they are not real judges. He wore a giant cowboy style copper belt buckle with giant letters spelling out “JUDGE”. What a pretentious jerk. He wanted to be called “Judge”. At a poker game, whatever. Formally in court, once not a judge, you no longer get that suspect honorific.
Thanks for the update and your story about the Judge. Good stuff.
We were able to tune into the Bucs game.
I think it had pretty high ratings as Tom underperformed.
The Arizona team stole Deandre Hopkins. Good pickup for the Cards.
Mugello, drivers like that track…
Tour de France, Pogacar is phenomenal and barely anyone mentions him. Bernal is done for the year. Jumbo Visma is impressive with Wout and Sepp. I’m so surprised they’re still racing. If you are a real fan, stay.the.fuck.away.
F1’s bounce on restarts.
If I was a driver, I would think about boycotting that pile of junk track.
It was wholly amateurish at best.
The marshalls lifted a car that was till burning, I’m certain the screaming helped.
The back markers running into back of the front running cars was ironic at best.
Tom Brady is the guest this week on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert. Have had a love/hate relationship with Mr. Brady, but as he’s a San Mateo boy have some regional loyalty. I found the talk really fascinating, and got a new appreciation for how he has managed to make it this far.
I don’t really listen to any podcasts as a general rule. But Mrs. bmaz does and says Dax Shepard’s is surprisingly good.
it is indeed. despite his comedic image and really rough upbringing, he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and is an excellent interviewer. He rotates between celebs and scientists & others.
he’s also the host of the new “Top Gear America”.
Oooh, what channel is that on??
appears it will be on MotorTrend channel (used to be Velocity) which is part of Discovery. the first season filming was put on hold due to corona, but they just wrapped & now have to go into post. don’t know when it will be premiering…
Well, we’ll see how this opening Sunday of the No Fun League goes.
I don’t bother watching F1. Any race where the race is pretty well decided during qualifying ain’t worth watching.
I’m still getting more viewing pleasure out of Korean baseball than is my due. It’s good baseball. Without all the shifts which have turned American baseball into strikeout-and–home-run derby. Once upon a time, a strikeout was viewed as the most selfish, bad-teammate play a player could deliver. Recall, because of a bad year towards the end of his career, Joe DiMaggio wound up with 369 strikeouts against 361 home runs. In a 13-year career (1736 total games, lost ’43-’45 to military service) he never struck out more than 39 times in a season. In 1941 (139/154 games), he struck out 13 times. In 1949 (76 games), 18 times.
By comparison, Yankee Aaron Judge has, in his 5 years of major league service (only one of which has been a “full” season (2017, 155 games, 208 K, 52 HR), two were most of a season (2018 -112 games, 2019 – 102 games) and 2016 a cup of coffee) (414 total games), struck out 562 times against 119 home runs.
I wanna watch baseball, not Home Run Derby. We get enough of that on the night before the All-Star game.
I wrote at length about football last week and really have kinda dried up on that front. I’m sure by tomorrow night, when my Stillers take the field against the Giants, something will come up. In the meantime, I’m wearing my “DALLAS SUCKS” t-shirt, bought during a trip through Philly a few years back.
Because Dallas Sucks.
The guards are out on the creek trail, so it is a go today at Levi’s.
The dynasty continues, at least for one game.
We get to watch Tom at 4:00PM
And Brady has a rushing TD now too.
Tompa Bay is playing like a bunch of guys who don’t really know each other. The Breeses, OTOH, are not.
Biebs didn’t get the ball to Gronk until 6:30 left in Q2. Until then, Gronk had been doing a lot of blocking, and doing it pretty well.
Interesting, on the couple routes where the Bucs’ receiver(s) blew their routes, Biebs was not seen chewing them out like he used to in NE. He did quietly counsel them on their errors. Same intensity, but not the same fury.
This game looks like the Saints’.
If he gets the time, Biebs can still wind up and zing a dart.
His O-line isn’t exactly helping in that department.
And his second INT becomes a Pick-6.
Butt ugly tonight.
Yeargh. That was every bit as butt ugly as the pick six that ended last season. Ooof.
Yeah. Brady doesn’t know them yet, nor them him. So far about as expected. Of course the Saints are on the same page, they “do” know each other. It is the first step, and a loss was almost a given. I did hope the TB O-Line would be a bit better though. From what I can gather from GameTrak and Twitter, not so much.
Football Team beat the Eagles in a bit of a surprise.
I can’t stand Football Team because of Dan Snyder, but I will be following Football Team in the standings simply because the name is so damn hilarious.
I know working out the IP can be a bit tricky, but I find it amazing that Snyder had no backup plan for a replacement to the old horrible name, and is stuck with Football Team. I kind of hope Snyder picks a name that ends up in a protracted legal battle and Football Team has a nice long run.
Oh, trust Dan Snyder’s ability to be a blithering and incompetent idiot. One of the safest bets ever.
My home is about 2 1/2 miles from Levi’s — the AQI is about 155. It’s so foul. So I sheltered in place, watched the U.S. Open Men’s final, waited until it looked like Austrian Dominic Thiem was getting his butt handed to him by German Alexander Zerev, took a nap to escape the misery of a BAD sinus headache, woke up for the tie-break set. Thiem won. I’m thrilled. Still have the headache, though. I can’t imagine how the ‘9ers can play in this smokey crap.
Belichick has taken the lead over Brady, 1-0. Patriots offense looks like a 5th gen fighter jet, providing asymmetric advantage across the multi-domain spectrum. Belichick isn’t afraid of doing anything. One play they had 5 O-linemen, 4 tight ends and a fullback. The only other player on the field, Newton, ran it in for a score.
bmaz, Congrats on a good win by the Cards. The Niners stunk up the smoky stadium this afternoon. Not an easy accomplishment !!
I had a bad feeling about this game because the Eagles went in WR-heavy and RB-light (and no husky ones at that) behind a decimated, once-glorious, O-line (began with 7 starters out — more would follow — but O-line = scariest lack, and they hadn’t even practiced as assembled). IOW, they announced to the world (and a top D-line) to come get our QB. Plus, WFT was hyped for a win. I was so pleasantly surprised for that first half. BWAHAHAHA. Pain.ful.second.halfffff. (Some similar stuff was going down in the TB-Saints game, which made it hard to watch. Too soon, ouch.)
They didn’t staff or scheme enough (besides some first-half roll-outs, etc.) around the known injury problems.
My parsimonious theory for the stunning lack of adjustment, other weird things that otherwise smart, talented people are (not) doing:
Instead of calling to conditions, Pederson is play calling to Lurie’s dreams (contending now for interfering owner stakes) and the big-play, high-scoring bombs-away offense that we cannot *quite (or certainly not as predominately)* put on right now because our O-line is decimated, the rookie receivers aren’t polished in their routes, blah blah.
_That’s_ the pressure that’s (been) transmitting down through to Wentz at key moments last season and in today’s second half. Last season’s deferred comeback makes sense in that light, too: once the higher-ups finally let go and called up all those secreted practice squadders, Wentz could leg go and lead, too.
You do stuff disingenuously (like a W is not enough), then perseverate, and it works out to disaster. I’d call that analogous to homers and strike-outs baseball, btw.
Also, Ertz just got into it with them over restructuring his contract and he had some odd moments on the field. (The Eagles are poors on a budget just behind the Saints.)
So I am concerned there are some kinks beyond lack of practice. Maybe Doug et al. need fans present to yell at them. We’ll see, but the “pressing” might be coming from the top. Square peg/round hole stuff. May the Philly and national press boo them into going with the actual flow, and may that happen ASAP and FFS!
disingenuously: playing to _make_ analytics [or to (owners’) fancies over facts on the ground]
I feel bad for the new Lions RB who dropped the game winning TD.
Are the Lions cursed or something?
I knew anything could happen when the Bucs won the SB. Sure miss that old Buc’s Defense…
Josh Allen put on a clinic on how and how not to be an NFL quarterback. Good thing the Jets were just plain pathetic. Let’s hope all those defensive player injuries are just dings. The Bills will have another pretty bad team next week to help them straighten things out before they have to play the big boys.
My “Dallas Sucks” t-shirt worked.
Never underestimate the proclivity of a Kyle Shanahan team to play down to a lesser opponent, then panic and collapse when playing from behind.
AZ played just good enough, and got a gift. You’re welcome. Play hard, play smart, good chance of finishing 8-8.
We’ll make the playoffs, maybe even advance, but eventually coaching will panic again, followed off-season by ownership already in meltdown over lost revenues. No dynasty under the York yoke, who treat team personnel as an expense, not an investment.
The air out here is awful. Steady ashfall, can’t find the sun, tastes like campfire. At weeks end early Santa Ana off-shore winds will drive fires exponentially, sending even more smoke and ash into the Bay. The worst of the fires is still to come.
In true Jason Garrett fashion, the Giants O has just burned 19 plays running up everyone’s fantasy scores, and tossed an interception in the end zone to a very large Stillers’ D-lineman. That makes 2 INTs for young Mr. Jones tonight, one to Watt The Younger and one to Cam Heyward, Son of Ironhead.
But I guess it got Saquon Barkley’s stats out of negative yards per carry. So it’s good for something….
Well, that was a pleasant way to start the season.
After hearing for a year the injury was to Ben’s elbow, it finally came out (at least to my attention) that the core of that injury was not the elbow per se, but rather that he’d had three tendons detach from the bone in the area of his elbow. Assuming I heard correctly, these were all flexor tendons supplying fingers of his right hand. Each finger has two, a flexor and an extensor tendon, and those are the tiedowns, so to speak, that connect muscle to bone and allow muscles to flex and extend the fingers.
Speaking as someone who, this time last year, snapped the extensor tendon in one of my pinky fingers, I can say it’s a serious injury. Even for an average person doing average things, snapping a tendon is a life-changing injury. At best, how you use your hand is permanently changed. I’m still not able to extend that finger fully and probably never will be, nor can I do a lot of the things I used to with the pinky. Ironically, since tendons are not really supplied with pain or other nerve endings, it didn’t and doesn’t really hurt that much. It was surprising when it happened, but not painful. Having three pulled off the bone, way up at the elbow, would permanently cripple that hand save for the miracles of modern medicine.
After knocking off some rust it looked like Ben is back. The Stiller D never left.
What I saw tonight was a playoff team in black and gold. The Giants looked better, gamely showing they had no quit in them, and they will be a tough out for every team in the NFC. Even the Iggles.
Now, to see how the Stillers do when they face teams like the Rams, Ravens, and so on. This will be interesting. It should also be fun.
Tonight, this Stiller fan smiles.
Glad someone is having fun. Not seeing anything in the way of “Fire Tomlin!” (my, how circumstances change), which seemed to have trailed off with Big Ben out in any case.
As I said at the close of Eagles’ last post-season (contra then-prevailing takes), the Giants (are) would be a team on the upswing. Divisional games are always a slog, owing to lack of state secrets and such, so I take nothing for granted there (and am always surprised when national-level commentators, who are paid to know better, lean on them as easy outs). The traveling fandom used to help, but alas no more.
The ketchup bottle came up in a state GOPer’s comments yesterday on the WDPA ruling parts of Gov Wolf’s shutdown orders as unconstitutional (as in ~ “Now, we’re not trying to fill Heinz, but…”. Right.). But then again there’s some contingent of (Happy Valley) Big Ten moms petitioning for their kids to play, so priorities and variable-term gambles in times of rona football are complicated.
Dialing back a year plus to the end of the first of two seasons in which the Stillers did not make the playoffs, I was in the camp that said Tomlin needed to win, or else. Recall, also, that that was in the context of Tomlin’s contract coming up and then his getting an extension. Recall, also, that his extension was rather short, as coaches’ extensions go. So, Stiller management was, to some degree, on board with “win or else”. Naturally, having to insert Mason Hardheaded Rudolph and Devin Duck Dodges (now available to teams needing a replacement QB) behind center made winning a goal much more difficult to reach. As most commentators including me will say, the fact the Tomlin was able to get an offense held together with baling wire and bubble gum to an 8-8 record was a tribute to his coaching skill. Accordingly, and to be fair, dialing back the “Fire Tomlin” is both fair and just. OTOH, this year he has a healthy-so-far Ben, a useful cast of backs, ends and receivers on O, and the same brutal D. So, assuming no major injuries, a deep playoff run is almost mandatory for Tomlin to either get extended again (IIRC next season is his last on this deal) or get a new deal. Missing the playoffs for the third year in a row could be a job terminator. This, particularly in the 7-team format now in place – we woulda been in last year, under this year’s format.
It’s worth noting that while the Stillers don’t change coaches the minute a great QB retires, there is some level of correspondence. I’d have to look at the dates and such, but replacing Bradshaw (#12 on your program) with the immortal Bubby Brister (appropriately #6 on your program; surely half the QB Bradshaw was) would have been enough for any coach to say “enough”. And, so, replacing Ben with whomever may catalyze a Tomlin departure, particularly if Ben closes things out on a down note.
So, we can put firing Tomlin on the back burner, turned way down low, until things develop one way or the other.
On the issue of Big 10 kids wanting to play and filling stadia (even part way) and all the rest, I have to come down in favor at least of the games being played. Like it or not (I don’t), the stepwise perversion of the ideal of the student-athlete into the unpaid minor leaguer playing under the flag of State, Tech or the U (of whichever state or city) and taking gut classes between practices has left a collegiate generation (i.e., 4 years’ worth) of kids with a gaping hole in their resume for their hoped-for next job. These games are resume-builders for the kids, who have struggled and worked most of their lives for the chance to play for pay Sunday instead of for meals and rooms Friday night or Saturday. I know the odds are against them making it, but they knew that going in. Stacking the odds further is just unfair to the kids.
To move the example away, consider the kid who has the chance to try out for Julliard but isn’t sure he’ll make it. You take the chance because those chances only come along once. A kid from a fine near-Ivy Eastern college developed into a good pitcher while studying and playing (in that order) there. A major league team didn’t draft him but tendered him a minor league contract as an UDFA after his junior year. In the time of corona, do you sign, go to the minors and forego your final season of eligibility AND senior classes, or do you stay in school?
Tough choices. Decisions to be made now, for opportunities which will most likely never come again. Good arguments on both sides. But denying the opportunities out of fear of a virus (which has likely already spread through the neighborhood) is more than a little high-handed.
On the PA decision, before you undertake to come down one way or another or all over the block about it, do take the time to read it and digest it. The judge did a remarkable job in a very short time frame. Keep in mind that Wolf’s decrees were constructed by people who never created any objective criteria for which activities would or would not be allowed, in committees whose members were never named and whose composition repeatedly changed, with no objective criteria for anything, and a waiver process that suffered under the same opacity and subjectivity, which allowed some businesses to operate and others not despite their selling the same things or services, and then closed down the waiver process so those which had not received waivers could never receive them. Take the time and read the opinion carefully.
An acquaintance once worked as a contracted advisor in an African country run by a strongman and notorious for both its corruption and its rather ruthless approach to dissent. Pennsylvania’s approach to its shutdown makes that country look the model of Athenian democracy and enlightenment (except that Wolf hasn’t had henchmen wiping out opponents and their families. Yet). Pennsylvania politics being what it is (corrupt) I have little doubt that the “life-sustaining/non-life-sustaining” distinction and particularly the waiver process were replete with favors asked, granted, and paid for. That is the only real-world-believable reason for all that work being done with no record created. Recall, around the beginning of summer the media outlets in PA made open records requests for documents around the waiver process: how waivers were being granted/denied, criteria, who was or was not getting them, etc. Wolf’s administration denied the requests because the state’s offices were closed and the requests couldn’t be processed until the offices were reopened after corona was vanquished, at some indefinite future time.
Under PA’s application of the life-sustaining/non-life sustaining definition they made up out of thin air, the company that makes (everyone’s favorite) Marshmallow Peeps was allowed to remain open and operating, while every realtor in the state (and law firm) was ordered to close. I read, at the time, that people were complaining Wolf’s personal business was allowed to continue operating; it was unclear whether his business’s competitors were, too.
And before you go on about how “it was for a Good purpose” or “they were trying to stop people from dying”, please keep in mind a couple things. One, Wolf’s or your definition of “Good purpose” doesn’t necessarily match other people’s definitions of “Good purpose”. “For a Good purpose”, a governor could decree a public health emergency in that a large loss of life goes on in abortion clinics, so they must be shut down. Or he could go even further and have waivers granted (or denied) to women of one race but not another. It’s not inconceivable; I’m sure it was discussed in some red state capitol somewhere. Where Wolf went is a very treacherous slope.
Two, “people might die” is, in the long run, a banality. Every one of us will die one day. The politicians are arrogating unto themselves the power of life and death, dangling the false promise that only they can save you from death, but only if you obey them.
One more thing about Wolf’s shutdown. As the judge rightly noted, this kind of shutdown is unprecedented in American history. It was the equivalent of home confinement, a sometimes punishment imposed as part of a criminal sentence. Only this time, the entire country was turned into a big jail, without trial, on the decree of politicians.
So, before you go off, take the time and read the opinion, then allow it to digest for at least a day.
And I’m saying this as someone who, for once, was an early adopter. I’m pretty sure I had a relatively-minor case of corona in early April. It was back when you weren’t supposed to go to the doctor lest you contaminate the office. So I didn’t. I sucked it up and gutted it out at home. It wasn’t as bad as others’ cases (very thankfully) but it sucked nonetheless.
I think they did resign Duck to the practice squad. Which is smart. The guy was serviceable even in bad circumstances. It may be as a reserve, but he may well have a place in the league.
“Public health” is a good and legal reason for what the state did. I’m just sorry for PA that some of its judges don’t understand it.
(CA is still pretty much locked down. We’re still mostly functioning.)
I don’t know if you’re a fan of F1 or not Bmaz, but Mugello is a far more entertaining circuit than many of the newer soulless tracks F1 goes to these days. The track is clearly a challenge to the drivers with its full speed corners (Arabiata 1&2) in the middle sector, plus it provides overtaking opportunities that certain other tracks don’t. Yes the race only finished with 12 cars, but incidents and crashes are what makes motor racing exciting to watch, provided no-one is badly hurt or killed (none of us want to see that).
As for the two red flags, I think both were warranted, the first for obvious reasons after that insane 4 car crash on the main straight, and the second was sensible because Stroll’s car presented a danger to other drivers if another incident occurred in the same place. Plus do people really want to see cars following the safety car lap after lap until it’s safe to race again? I know I don’t.
I wouldn’t be unhappy to see F1 return to Mugello in the near future, crikey, it’s far better than watching the hour and half long F1 procession that is commonly known as Monaco.
I am! Grew up around F1 since I was a kid. Monaco still exists because of its history, and the big money people love going there. It is still a scenic setting, but continuously a horrible race. I had the invite to go once when I was in high school, but contracted mono and couldn’t. That still hurts because the lodging was at some wing of the palace and everything was free. Not paying $50K to go, so that was my only good shot.
As to the rest, Monza is still great, as is, of course, Spa and Spielberg. Silverstone a bit sanitized, but still good. I really dislike most of the cookie cutter newish circuits like Mugello, which I seriously hated. The one newish one I do really like is the Rodriguez in Mexico City (which is coming up hopefully). Probably left off a couple, but just woke up and am a tad blurry.
I agree with you on your favourite circuits, it’s still the old (historic) ones that are the best, I still miss the old Hockenheim layout though, as that was another classic track, compared to the sanitised version today.
I have followed F1 for 40yrs and love it because of the driver skill required, dramatic incidents (don’t we all?), but I also marvel at the technology and engineering that allows the cars to drive as fast as they do (especially in the corners).
For me, Mugello was fascinating because of it’s high speed corners and the G-force the drivers endured, I find it incredible that a car can take some of those corners without even lifting, plus there were definitely overtaking opportunities on the 1k main straight.
Another aspect Mugello had that I wish other tracks would reintroduce are the gravel traps, I’m more than a little frustrated with drivers making mistakes and not being penalised because there’s a big asphalt running off area, for me there needs to be jeopardy when mistakes occur.
On a final note, I believe that all races in the Americas (north & south) are off the calendar this year. Sorry.
Well, crap, yes Mexico looks off and Imola on for early November.
And, yes the “kitty litter”, as the Brits used to call it, is a decent thing.
Also, I should have included Nurburgring in my initial response, though it is, while still wonderful, kind of a sanitized shell of its old self.
kitty litter? I’m a ‘Brit’ still living in good old Blighty (not including the current government) and I confess I’ve never heard it called that before. I may have to ask my dad if he’s familiar with the term.
Heard that term long ago, but it was David Hobbs and Steve Matchett that brought it back to me. It is actually a perfect characterization.