Rocky Racoon, NFL, NCAA and F1 Trash Talk

Okay, the big news at Casa de Bmaz is that a full blown giant raccoon has taken up residence somewhere in our front. We have always had families of little ground squirrels living in some of our cactus patches, but this thing is huge. Our 92 pound Doodle, MissCue, has discovered it and is close to breaking through the front window to get to it. We, of course, call our new friend Rocky. It is pretty amusing so long as giant doodle doesn’t break through the window.

Some excellent NFL games this weekend. The Rams already clobbered the SeaSquaks, and Seattle has lost Russell Wilson in the process from a hideous middle finger injury on his throwing hand. But, wait, there’s more! The Cardinals, shockingly the only unbeaten team left in the league, travel to face the San Jose 49ers, who will be without Jimmy G already. Young Trey Lance takes over, and it could be a very interesting game.Pack goes to the Bungles, but Cinci is starting to maybe gel for once. Denver at Steelers is interesting. Steelers are flailing a bit, and if Bridgewater plays, this could be a great game, as could Cleveland at the Bolts. Then there is the Sunday Night game on NBC, the Buffalo Wagon Circlers at the Chiefs. The Chiefa have struggled, but think I’ll take the Chefs with some home cooking.

In the junior pro football league, which is all that the NCAA is after adoption of the NIL insanity, The Sun Devils dispatched the Trees of Stanford in the PAC-12 after dark game in Tempe. If you don’t watch PAC-12 after Dark, you are missing out, it is usually very good. The best game today is arguably number 4 Penn State at number 3 Iowa. Go Hawkeyes! LSU at Kentucky could be a real sleeper, but nobody ever made money betting on Kentucky Football. Same for the ND Domers at West Virginia. Georgia at Auburn looks interesting, but I’ll take the Dawgs.

That leaves F1 of the major sports. Hamilton is on pole, but has a ten place grid penalty, so will start eleventh. Verstappen will start in P2 alongside Hamilton’s Merc teammate, Bottas.There are not a lot of great passing opportunities in Istanbul, so we shall see how the race plays out. This has turned into a pretty interesting F1 season.

In other sports, the WNBA playoffs have been simply spectacular. Last night, the Phoenix Mercury beat out the Las Vegas Aces, in Vegas, behind timeless performances by Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. Griner has a last second block that sealed it with less than a second to go. Really good stuff. The Mercury will face Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and the Chicago Sky in the finals.

Also, too, the MLB playoffs are ongoing. Jim Whie’s Tampa Bay Rays looked to be world beaters until the Sawx lit them up toward the end of the game, and now the series is tied up. Giants beat the Dodgers in their first playoff meeting ever.

So, there is the sporting scene. It has been a while since we have done Trash Talk, so let your hair down and chat it up about anything. Today’s music is All Along The Watchtower. Most people think it is a Hendrix song, but it originally is a Bob Dylan song. And if you have never seen Dylan play it electrified, you are in for a treat, and it also includes Highway 61. Rock this joint.

122 replies
  1. punaise says:

    Go Giants! Last night’s opening victory put an emphatic stamp on this first ever postseason meeting with the Dodgers. Let’s see if it carries over to Gausman’s start tonight.

    Raccoons are clever fellows. We’ve had more than one pry open the cat door in the middle of the night and help themselves to cat food, leaving rather a mess. One made it all the way to the kitchen; we thought it may be a human prowler. He eventually scurried out when I got brave enough to emerge from the bedroom (where’s that old baseball bat?).
    The cat door has been reinforced.
    The occasional nocturnal parade of raccoons, skunks, and opossums has diminished lately.

    • bmaz says:

      Rocky had climbed up 4-5 feet on a giant palm tree and was just looking back and mocking MissCue. Well, at least as reported by Mrs. Bmaz, It was in the early morning, and I was still sleeping, but the racket sure woke me up.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Back east, raccoons are commonly the size of a small dog. In Pacific Beach, I’ve seen them the size of a large one, with the behavior of a very different animal. Not cute and cuddly at all. Emptied the goldfish pond in a hot minute, necessitating a trip to the the h/w store for some chicken wire.

        • Peterr says:

          Don’t know what’s behind it, but around KC I have seen many more raccoon roadkill carcasses than usual.

          And yes, when you see them in person and up close, they are not cute and cuddly at all.

      • Callender says:

        We had a big fat one come down our chimney years ago after we’d had the whole house painted white. He came down like a big, fluffy sweep, and then proceeded to run rampant throughout lower floor of the house while we slept (for a while) until he’d blacked every wall.
        What a disaster.
        I put the cats up – they were freaked and useless – and opened the mudroom door and that damn coon ran out the basement like he knew the floor plan better than I did.
        I’ve been a big believer in chimney caps ever since.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      For about 20 years, I lived in a subdivision whose tag line was The Livable Forest. We had an on-going battle for our house with a multi-generational racoon family. I remember buying a guaranteed “raccoon-proof” trash can (one of those big heavy-duty plastic types with a locking lid). I came out the next morning, walk in to the garage, and, lo and behold, the lid is off and the raccoons had been through the trash. After staring in disbelief for a while, I decided to play Sherlock Holmes and figure out exactly how the raccoon had managed it.
      As it happened it was spring time and that meant our cars, even though they were parked in the garage, were covered in pine pollen. I noticed there were raccoon tracks on the hood of the car nearest the trash can. And then I noticed that the top shelf on the wall next to where I put the trash can had a bunch of stuff knocked off of it. Sure enough, the raccoon had climbed on to my car, jumped over and up a couple of feet to the shelf, and then jumped down on to the trash can lid which must have bowed in enough to pull the lid under the locking mechanism.

      • skua says:

        Tearaways (not me) were using that jump technique to open car doors that resisted the usual methods not very long ago. Don’t know if it still works on today’s models.

  2. greengiant says:

    Racoons like to invade houses and attics if the vents don’t have hardware cloth.
    My best raccoons story, jr. came up to the patio door, stood on their hind legs and raised their “arms”.

  3. P J Evans says:

    ISTR them meeting in a three-game tie-breaker for the NL championship back in 1962. Giants 2, them bums 1.

    • punaise says:

      Not officially “postseason” – that was to close out the regular season back in the non-divisional era. But high stakes nonetheless!

      “Beat L.A.!”

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        An interesting footnote to the Giants v Dodgers history. In 1889, the National League Champion Giants played the American Association Champion Brooklyn Bridgegrooms (later to become the Dodgers) in the 1889 World Series. The Giants won this best-of-11-games series, 6 games to 3.

        In 1890 the Brooklyn team transferred to the National League, won the league championship, and became the first major league club to win consecutive pennants in two different leagues.

  4. P J Evans says:

    My sis had a raccoon get into her place once, fish a packet of cocoa out of a gift mug, and try to “clean” it in the cat’s water dish.

  5. drouse says:

    The track surface at Istanbul is orders of magnitude better than last year. Still watching Q1 this morning, I couldn’t help notice that the slightest moisture on the track and things got iffy really quickly. As long as it stayed dry it was really fast with the track record repeatedly broken.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah it certainly did not look like the track was that wet when drivers started having problems. Easy for us to say I guess, but there was no downpour nor big deep puddles of water.

      • drouse says:

        Well there’s always tomorrow. Rain is predicted. If it’s wet I expect Hamilton to drive to the front and win. Dry, it’s Verstappen’s to lose.

        • drouse says:

          Only if he punks Bottas for the start. Othewise it will be Bottas coasting for the win. Plus, I think that F1 is going to try to avoid having that particular scenario again. It wasn’t without controversy after all.

  6. rosalind says:

    got woken up one evening by 2 raccoons having a loud squabble outside my bedroom window, setting off my security light. one finally chased the other off then waited a few seconds…and went over to my apricot tree and patted its paws against it several times…then one by one four tiny little racoons emerged from the tree down the trunk to the ground. mama did a quick headcount, then they all headed off into the night.

      • Eureka says:

        Skunks are so destructive, though. Wrecked the foundation (hence door-using ability) of fam’s garage; caught the one who lives under our deck trying to rip off the old dryer vent in the middle of the night (speaking of rackety!).

        Props on their industriousness but no thanks.

        • Peterr says:

          Mrs Dr Peterr and I were camping in northern California years ago, and I had just put some delicious steaks on the grill over our campfire when a skunk wandered into our camp. We retreated a bit, allowing it space, but I was shifting from one foot to another with great nervousness. Mrs Dr Peterr asked if I had to use the bathroom, and I said “No – I just need to flip those steaks!” In desperation, we tossed some pine cones near — not at! — the skunk, and it deigned to move along a bit. I quickly raced in, flipped the steaks, retreated again, and the damn thing turned around and came back. Again we waited, and again we tried the pine cone thing . . . and it worked long enough to pull the steaks off the fire. We covered the plate with foil and let it sit until the skunk finally wandered off for good.

          After dinner, we discovered that the base of a nearby tree was covered in bacon grease, likely dumped by the campers who had used our spot the night before. Grrrrrrr . . . It’s a wonder we didn’t have a flippin’ parade of critters coming for that.

        • Eureka says:

          You’re lucky you didn’t meet a larger or more persistent omni/carnivore!

          Those are some bad fellow campers! Doesn’t every ranger’s station have a reminder to take out what you brought in? (Fine, we’ll leave unsaid what’s not, um, practical to take back with you.) Or warnings to tree-up your food? I guess they didn’t do the math; this strikes me as the type of folks who breeze through life never meeting the lesson that’s left instead for someone else. /joke’s on us all

          But how were the steaks? Last time we had steaks at camp, they were of improperly prepared (so) hairy venison from a friend. Kinda (**sphit** **bleck**) killed the excitement.

          T’was a bad neighbor who facilitated the garage destruction *by intentionally feeding the skunks*, even after asked nicely (and more pointedly) to stop. Ugh, Mom was so mad.

        • Peterr says:

          I grieve for you and those venison steaks. If nothing else, I hope you indicated to your friend how poorly they understood what they were doing.

          As for my steaks (beef), they were great. This was the second night of a week-long camping trip, so having the fresh meat and fresh veg was the order of the day.

          And yes, there’s a vast gulf between campers who understand that someone else will be using the campsite the next day, and those who think no one will ever be in that place again. I’ve always thought I’ve been pretty good at leaving my campsite ready for the next campers, but this episode ramped that up immeasurably. I definitely don’t want to be “that guy” who ruined someone else’s camping trip.

        • Geoguy says:

          I grew up in an old farmhouse with a well and hand pump in a back room. Dad freaked out when he noticed there was a skunk hanging out there at night. Mum never told him that every night she would put out a saucer of milk for it. The little stinker disappeared when the milk was gone.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:


          My grandmother had a hand pump in her kitchen and an out house until 1970, when she finally sold that house for about $5,000 and bought an old house trailer that we put behind our house.

          This was in upstate NY…

          I always like the look I see on peoples’ faces when I tell them we put a man on the moon before my grannie had a flushing crapper…

          All completely true…

        • P J Evans says:

          Sis lives in a ground-floor apt with a small patio, about 20 feet from a small canyon. Resident skunks, feral cats, occasionally deer. It’s fun being there when a hawk or a vulture sails past at eye-level or below.

  7. Peterr says:

    No mention of the National Women’s Soccer League?

    Like the women gymnasts, women soccer players suffered abuse at the hands of coaches, who were allowed to move on to new teams once their behavior began to come to light. Finally, the players had enough, and told their stories in incredibly painful detail. Multiple coaches were subsequently canned or suspended pending further investigation, and the head of the league resigned. That commissioner, Lisa Baird, was hired in large part to build up the new league, and came to the job from a background in sales and marketing. Her immediate past positions were Chief Marketing Officer for the US Olympic Committee and before that Senior VP for Marketing for the NFL. One can’t help but note that those aren’t exactly organizations known for protecting athletes.

    Once these coaches and the commissioner were forced out, the players also demanded — and got — all the matches cancelled last weekend, both to dramatize the stain of the past abuse as well as to give the teams some time to deal with the mental health aspects of all of this coming out. From today’s KC Star:

    Kansas City NWSL coach Huw Williams admitted there has “not been a lot of soccer” at his team’s Swope Soccer Village training facility over the past week. Williams said Friday that the club has been focusing on its players as human beings following last week’s report from The Athletic detailing multiple instances of alleged sexual coercion and harassment within the National Women’s Soccer League.

    “There’s been as much support as possible for the players, and our leaders have stepped up on the team as well,” Williams said. “We’re just giving space and freedom for the players and being as supportive as we possibly can be.”

    Members of Kansas City’s ownership group, including co-owners Angie and Chris Long, have repeatedly said that their club is a players-first organization. Angie Long is one of three women who have formed an executive committee to oversee the league’s front-office operations until a replacement is found for Lisa Baird, who resigned as commissioner in the aftermath of the scandal.

    • Eureka says:

      The sixth-minute uniting of teams at the center circle during the Wednesday games was pretty powerful.

      Sinead Farrelly: “Absolutely blown away 😭. Tears and chills watching this happen. My heart goes out to every single player-former and current- who has lived through this culture of silence. We are demanding change and we are not going away.” [QT’s the NWSLPA explaining the 6th minute observance, citing Sinead’s, Mina’s, and others efforts to be heard]
      8:05 PM · Oct 6, 2021

      Meg Linehan: “Being here in person for this… yeah. [video from the Gotham FC - Washington Spirit match]”
      7:29 PM · Oct 6, 2021

  8. Peterr says:

    In other soccer news . . . errr, football news . . . The English Premier League team in Newcastle has new owners. The locals have been upset with the former owner for years over a lack of money being put into the team and a lack of wins on the field (right now Newcastle United is in danger of being relegated out of the EPL). The new owners have plenty of money and have expressed a willingness to spend it. There’s just one little problem: the new owners are the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

    The Saudis have issued assurances that the government of Saudi Arabia will have no role in the team, which might be acceptable until you realize that the head of the Saudi government and the head of the Public Investment Fund are the same person: Mohammed bin Salmon.

    After looking at what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, I’d hate to be a beat writer covering Newcastle United.

    • rosalind says:

      it’s just horrific. picture the facial recognition technology they can install and track everyone who attends, looking for those they may have a “grudge” against.

      how any critic of the Saudi gov’t could feel comfortable entering that stadium…

      • Peterr says:

        I heard an interesting conversation on Sirius XM’s soccer channel between several English football pundits and callers, one of whom raised the question of how a hypothetical closeted gay footballer might feel playing for a team owned by people that rule a country whose laws call for gays to be executed.

        The pundits noted that there are no openly gay footballers in the EPL at present, and this will not encourage any closeted ones to come out.

  9. Peterr says:

    Then there is the Sunday Night game on NBC, the Buffalo Wagon Circlers at the Chiefs. The Chiefa have struggled, but think I’ll take the Chefs with some home cooking.

    One big wrinkle in the game will be the weather. There is a cold front moving in during the late afternoon and evening, and the forecasters are wondering (a) when the rain will arrive and (b) when the thunder and lightning will arrive. The game can continue with rain, but if there’s lightning in the proximity of the stadium, the game will be halted until it passes.

    Right now, it looks like the rain will be coming at some point during the game, but the lightning *might* hold off until after the game ends. If not, the fourth quarter could take quite a while to complete. Either way, holding on to the ball will be a struggle for the offenses, and keeping your footing will be a struggle for the defense.

    Think of it this way: teams have a helluva time keeping up with Tyreek Hill, both for his speed and his ability to fake defenders out of their cleats. Put those cornerbacks and safeties on wet turf, and those fakes are going to be even more brutally effective. Of course, Hill has to catch that wet ball, but still. . .

    On balance, I’d say rain favors the Chefs.

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      Hmmm… KC has nothing on Buffalo when it comes to crap weather, and Hill still needs to be able to make those cuts in soggy turf.

      Plus my wife is from Buffalo, so I’ll have to take the other side of that bet.

      • bmaz says:

        That was my thought too. Josh Allen is a big guy with big hands, and can probably deal with inclement weather. But Mahomes is a magician, so it could be a really great game.

      • Peterr says:

        Hill and other receivers have the advantage when it comes to making cuts, as they know when they are going to do it, while the defenders don’t know and have to simply and quickly react.

        I learned this as a goalkeeper in soccer, as the attacking player with the ball can make an otherwise great defender fall on his ass because the attacker knew he was going to make that cut and defender couldn’t react the same way in the soggy turf.

        5PM Weather Update: the prediction for tomorrow is now for thunderstorms to roll in at halftime and stick around for quite a while. If that holds, this could be a really long game.

  10. Bruce Olsen says:

    Both our sons went to USC, and both were in the Trojan Marching Band (modestly referred to, by the band members, as “The Greatest Marching Band In The History Of The Universe” and I can personally verify they are at least two orders of magnitude better than any of the Pac-12 bands. They’re different than Ohio State or Michigan, who are somewhat more disciplined but who have absolutely no groove. Fans dance to the cadences of the TMB drum line as they march by; other bands put everyone to sleep. The TMB always wins.

    My wife and I both went to tiny schools with tinier athletic programs where every sport had more players on the field than in the stands (sad, but a story for another time) so Division 1 football was a real eye-opener for us. It was a lot of fun to poke USC’s fingers in the eyes of the many Stanford and Cal alum among our friends, neighbors, and coworkers when we lived in the SFBA. We attended every home and Bay Area game from 1994 until a few years ago. We saw the decline and fall of John Robinson (shamefully fired by voice mail) up close and personal, and faithfully suffered through Paul Hackett (whose only high spot was beating Drew Brees, respected even then, at the Coliseum in 1998; they do have a big-ass bass drum, though, which failed to intimidate—or even impress—the TMB).

    We were there for every game of the Pete Carroll era, and there is absolutely no bigger kick I have experienced than watching the Trojans climb back from seven years of dismal disappointment (made even deeper at the outset by the hiring of their fourth choice as head coach.) I’m not a sophisticated football fan but even I could see the improvement week by week. The defense at first, tightening up, stopping plays and getting the occasional sack, then getting their hands on the ball and scoring. The offense took a little longer to develop the plays needed to start springing some of their talent from behind the line. We went from thinking “Here comes the collapse… again” to seeing them routinely put up 21 unanswered points in the third quarter. National championships and Game Day visits are all good, but being there for those first couple of seasons was huge fun as a fan, because you can start to see what’s coming. And, ummm, revenge is good. I hope each of you can have that kind of experience at least once in your sports fan life.

    Maybe I’m entitled to only one of those in life, but I like to think of the many other Trojan fans who have seen only a decade of slogging as I speculate who the next Trojan coach might be, and whether he’ll be able to approach the success of the past.

    So: who will it be?

    • bmaz says:

      We saw USC not only when they came here, but often went over to games at the Coloseum. Rarely saw their band though because we were too busy laughing at that stupid white horse.

        • bmaz says:

          Eh, relatively speaking, ASU did fine against USC. More losses than wins maybe, but, hey, we got Lane Kiffin fired on the tarmac. Including rolling them on the way to two Rose Bowls.

        • bmaz says:

          Fun story: I invited a good friend Trojan fan from Orange County to come over for that game. For whatever reason, he couldn’t or didn’t. I was half in the bag, back home and went to sleep. Woke up early the next morning to multiple messages that Kiffin was fired on the tarmac and thanking the Devils for it. Weird thing is, it was kind of a fluke game in a way, even though the score wasn’t that close. We did our part though!

  11. John B. says:

    The Domers, golden or otherwise, are @Virginia Tech tonight in Blacksburg , not the West Virginia team which is located Morgantown which is in turn located in an adjacent state.

  12. DrFunguy says:

    While I do appreciate Dylan’s rendition of his masterpiece, I still feel that Jimi owns that song. Just as Led Zeppelin own When the Levy Breaks more than Memphis Minnie and Joe McCo
    I can’t think of a lot of examples like this, where a cover is better than the original.

      • dakine01 says:

        I love me some Otis but you are correct.

        Surprisingly, I read not long ago that Keef thinks the Otis version of “Satisfaction” is the definitive one as it captures the energy he was looking for.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Aretha #1. Yes! Maybe Jim White’s grand babies were channeling Aretha the other day in the car. Here’s a little video for them to start practicing their skills.

        “Johanna channeling Aretha Franklin!”

    • bmaz says:

      I don’t care how good Hendrix’s version is, nobody owns the original but the one who wrote it and performed it. I saw Dylan play a very electric tour once, and if you think Hendrix had anything on his version of All Along The Watchtower that night, you are absolutely nuts.

      • Bruce Olsen says:

        That holds for all the R&B songs colonized (I mean covered) by white performers back in the 60s. Too numerous to mention.

        And most of the original groups were victimized by outrageously one-sided contracts. The music industry has always been an equal-opportunity exploiter, of course, but so many Black musicians were screwed out of their money (on top of little things like, say, racism).

  13. dakine01 says:

    Welp, I can’t really argue against betting on Kentucky as the track record is just not there. Yet. But Stoops & staff are recruiting better than Kentucky has ever done before & coaching them up. QB is still a bit iffy but the running game & defense are keeping things going. I think Stoops seems to be excited at being the one who turns the Cats from their history & setting new standards. If they beat LSU tonight, it will be the 1st 6-0 Wildcats since 1950 when some fella by the name of Bear was coaching them up.

    As an aside, my old military high school was where Bear did his pre-season training camps when he was at Kentucky. It had a nice steep little hill for running & the field was usually hot & humid in the late summer with no shade. Not quite the hell hole as his “Junction Boys” put up with but not far off either.

  14. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    All Along the Watchtower…

    Hands down, my favorite Hendrix recording of all time…

    Even after 50 plus years, it still amazes…

    And the guitar solo he laid down is sheer, utter perfection…

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Mitch was the ideal drummer for Hendrix…

        I loved the way he’d roll around on his drums, playing fills that sounded like thunder in the distance.

        I swear, I bonded w/ that song instantly the very first time I ever heard it, especially those opening guitar notes and then that first line – ‘There must be some way out of here…’

    • Dopey-o says:

      Granted, Hendrix spent days / weeks in the studio recording “All Along the Watchtower”. But he expresses the sense of foreboding, of knowing that out in an isolated, unprotected place, a huge storm is about to descend and destroy every living thing. Darkness, fear and violent death. I could feel the terror in his version of that song.
      While Dylan posed an interesting little parable, Hendrix grasped the nightmare and held it up to my face.
      We can now debate the Intentional Fallacy.

      • bmaz says:

        “While Dylan posed an interesting little parable, Hendrix grasped the nightmare and held it up to my face.”

        That is one of the dumbest and most full of shit things I have ever seen posted as a comment on this blog. What in the fuck is wrong with you?

        Bob Dylan, literally the voice of that time, and the man who wrote the song, only had “an interesting little parable”? Get the fuck out of here. And don’t think I do not remember your prior itinerant jasckassery, “Dopey”.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          Somewhere in my collection of ephemera, I have a cassette of Dylan playing w/ the Band somewhere around 1969… it’s a kind of a hard, hillbilly r&b sound… a little different than what you’d expect from Dylan and the Band…

          One of the songs was ‘I Ain’t Got No Home’…

          Well DAMN… I just found it on Youtube…

          It was recorded live at a tribute concert for Woody Guthrie in 1968… I never knew where that came from before… I just had that old tape a friend gave me…

          Very, very nice…

          I can’t begin to tell ya how many times I’ve listened to Blood on the Tracks over the years… thousands?

  15. Peterr says:

    Sir Marcus Rashford, MBE received an honorary doctorate yesterday from the University of Manchester, located in his hometown and the city of the football team for which he plays. From the Guardian’s writeup of the event:

    Accepting an honorary degree from the University of Manchester on Thursday, Rashford described it as a “bittersweet” moment, coming on the day after the universal credit uplift was retracted. [a COVID-related boost of £20 a week to support aid to low-income families]

    He used his speech at the ceremony at Old Trafford to warn that the cut meant millions of families across the UK had “lost a lifeline”.

    In an interview broadcast on Friday, he said poor families could be facing their most difficult period of the pandemic, as they were being hit by rises in the cost of living and looming new fuel costs.

    “People in households are having to decide – and it reminds me of my situation [as a child] – you have decide whether you eat or whether you are warm in the house. It’s a decision you don’t want people to go through, never mind children,” said Rashford, who added that food banks he worked with had also flagged up shortages.

    At 23, Rashford became the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from the university, rewarding his campaign against child poverty. The former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who also has an honorary degree from the university, joined Rashford’s friends and family to see him receive the award from the vice-chancellor, Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell.

    Rashford urged politicians to get “out into communities” like his home town of Wythenshawe, in south Manchester. He said: “Yesterday, millions of families across the UK lost a lifeline and a means of staying afloat. A move that could see child poverty rise to one in three children. For that reason, today is bittersweet. It’s time that representatives got out into communities like mine. It’s time they saw first-hand the true measure of struggle. Covid-19 can no longer be used as an excuse.”

    More like this, please, from any player, any sport, any time.

    (His bookclub for needy kids and schools is also a thing of beauty.)

  16. scribe says:

    If you love your dog, have the raccoon removed. Living in the country the easiest way would just be to cap it. But most people don’t live in the country and their neighbors likely wouldn’t take well to self-help, so it’s probably a better idea to call in professionals.

    The dog will hurt itself, one way or another, trying to get at the raccoon. A vet bill for fixing damage to the dog from broken glass, assuming it doesn’t bleed to death before you get to the vet, will be far more expensive than the cost of calling in the critter removers, whatever their name. In any event, after a fight with a raccoon, even if the dog wins there will be rabies quarantine to contend with. For the dog and maybe the people.

    If the dog gets to the raccoon uninjured, it will be too inexperienced, stupid and aggressive to do much more than aggravate the raccoon. The dog has been taunted, teased and had all its buttons pushed by the presence of the raccoon othe point where it is likely near insane. It surely won’t listen to “come” and “sit”. This canine excitement has been exacerbated by the reactions of the humans in the house both to the critter and to the dog reacting. When the dog does reach the raccoon, the raccoon will win. It has grown to its present size by being a successful, streetwise thief and aggressive predator. Allowing the dog to have a chance at the raccoon would be like tossing some puffy kid from the suburbs into some Brazilian favela [just to pick a stereotypic rough neighborhood] to fight it out with the locals.

    Real coon dogs are not house pets. Your dog has no chance. Get the professionals in stat, before you start the meter running at the vet.

  17. Eureka says:

    WOW this Bama at Texas A&M game was great the whole way through — and Aggies (who were drubbing the Tide in the first half) win on the last-second FG.

    But now Saban & crew are mad as mindful hornets to start the next win-run. Not Good for next opponents.

  18. surfer2099 says:

    Good luck to your Cards. My 49ers got a long-uphilll battle coming with JG out and George Kittle on IR now.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah. Could be a really fascinating game. The local sports talkers here are worried because, with Jimmy G there was a book and you could prepare for him, but with Lance comes the unknown. So there is a lot of interesting things about the game.

  19. boba says:

    and I blame you… Crikey, you bring up coons and sure enough the Dodgers win and a neighborhood coon takes up residence in the house gap. Our building is ’06 in-fill so the wall is just about right next to the neighbor’s house. Racoon(s) slip into that liminal zone and wedge themselves there for the day to sleep. At least they aren’t the 600 lb. variety, a.k.a., the California black bear. Still means I have to put up chicken wire. FWIW, racoon poo is biohazard (worse than cat poo!) so it’s best not to have it around.

    • Eureka says:

      Panthers run defense sucks but they have a fierce pass rush —

      Sirianni: let’s throw screen passes behind the LOS!

      There is no hope, no hope.

      Besides our pile of top 10, top 5? draft picks (ours & fins & colts if Wentz can stay on the field).

      • Eureka says:

        Oh, well I have to say that the D is schemed better today. Only reason it’s not yet a blowout.

        Love yet another TD called back because the WRs coach head coach somehow can’t teach what an illegal pick is.

        Pain Pain Pain Pain.

        So how’s everyone not in Philly enjoying their Sunday games?

        ETA: we just got a decent punt return. Those are the victories I have to celebrate. Is it beer o’clock yet?

        • Eureka says:

          Ahhhnd a forced fumble —> turnover on Smith, he of the Heisman — guess I shouldn’t have dialed up that anti-Bama song last night.

          What a shit show: interception!

        • Eureka says:

          OK. Now *Iggles* get a pick (former Kitteh Slay with two today, just had a son born the other day. Clearly he’s found that invigorating). Let’s see if anything positive can come from this.

          Nevermind, what the everloving fuck is Siri doing.

          Commercial break, thank goodness for the green hats. #TV timeouts underappreciated

          This game has been going on for five years

    • Eureka says:

      OK: here’s your perspective-type answer: Siri episodically doesn’t game plan for the obvious solution (i.e. stuff we all either expected or are yelling at our tvs) esp. when it involves running the ball (some of this is overthinking/outsmarting himself). [And then today he dumps the successful RPO game (until late) because we keep getting downfield man penalties instead of teaching better. Ugh and where was the presnap motion?] His poor red-zone scheming (overall to date, but some better today) is because they want TD passes, not runs. Because stats- and highlight-play – driven ownership and league. Tail-wags-dog and inexperience.

      They did at least adjust better, finally, late. Heard me yelling WHERE IS GOEDERT? (Where are the TEs is an every-other-week mystery.) At least today and last week they went with some easy sneaks on 3/4 & 1(WHERE IS THE SNEAK).

      There is a regular part of every game where Hurts kicks in to save-the-day mode (as if he has ‘permission’) and today it worked bx defense played lights out.

      Surely on a short week vs Arians w/fully-exerted defense Iggles will have a great game Thursday night.

      I have no idea who is really responsible for some of this every-other-week wtf-ball (perhaps some consultants?).

        • Eureka says:

          No I just have plain cable & didn’t get that one but just saw 5 passing TDs on the twitter. YAY. Do I dare say Iggles are not as bad as Fins, do I dare, really?

          Postgame on here they just pointed out Eagles don’t lose to Temple coaches as _jokey_ “optimism” for v. Arians/TB. On the Temple topic, though, I expect you might see Matt Rhule & his Panthers in the postseason. They are really making a run.

        • bmaz says:

          Welp, the Cards’ starting TE just got taken out by a cheap shot on his knee by some 49ers asshole, and it looks pretty bad. Is Zach Ertz available?

        • Eureka says:

          Per Iggles playbook for surefire success for a young QB .. Sure! Give Howie a call, this is exactly the deal he’s looking for, a needy team in contention. [But really a small piece of my heart would die, and he is one of the only mature skill players.]

        • Eureka says:

          He & Julie did their recoveries (injury/post-surgical rehab) out in AZ this summer, too, stayed with a friend (fellow Eagle, I think*) — like it’s not a place he’s opposed to.

          *now that it’s coming back to me I wonder if it was Jordan Hicks, former Eagle/now Card that the team is missing A LOT

        • Eureka says:

          Dunno about your Maxx Williams’ role but Ertz is not a YAC guy. Catches & falls over like a sequoia. Especially since injured by Wentz’ hospital balls.

        • Eureka says:

          Well there you go.

          & Ertz might be better post-surgery (ankle), hard to tell yet (and he blocks, but is not the best at it of their TEs — esp. Goedert. And no, you can’t have him. I do not allow it). They also have a developmental guy coming back from IR later in the season so this trade might be a real prospect …

          Of annoyance to me, a footnote: Eagles drastically decreased over-the-(shallow) middle plays back in previous era (2019) when (Wentz got) Ertz’s ribs broke in a tackle sandwich. It was an overt change for an injury-riddled/wary team which continues. Now (generally, not today per se) the talking heads have been all “Hurts can’t hit those mid-field throws” which is BS by his efforts and college charts in any case, besides that they’re just not schemed.

          Anyway the “national sports media” are really dumb and it’s hard to find their reporting/drama credible re _other_ teams when I know they’re whiffing on simple things about the team I know.

          And they are mostly obsessing over minutia for sports-betting purposes, with which they feed storylines so it’s all neatly packaged.

          This is the bad thing about online-ness in that the sports talk you may wish to avoid comes to you via hashtags and such, and I’d say at least it’s not democracy at stake but the whole pattern evokes the politics desks nonetheless. So sick of shit-take nation.

          /this was a pitch for local/ otherwise informed journalism

  20. dimmsdale says:

    Well, this is neither here nor there, except it’s automotive and thus perhaps somewhat apropos: I just discovered an absolutely glorious Youtube interview from this past February with the great automotive journalist Peter Egan (whose automotive writing, and approach to life, I have admired for decades). It’s IN HIS GARAGE, pardon the caps, sadly we don’t get a tour of his current projects, but I’m only 6 minutes into the interview and I’m completely absorbed. I always f up the URLs so not gonna attempt it, just go YT and search for Peter Egan – How Live Your Dream Job As a Writer”. I’ll be back with y’all in about an hour, after I finish watching it.

  21. scribe says:

    One of the weakest teams in the League, Houston, is tied with the Cheatertown Cheaters late in the 4th. Cheaters driving, knocking on the door at 2:00.
    Tompa Bay stomping the ‘fins; Biebs has 5 TD with 7+ minutes left in the 4th.
    Stillers managing to hold on, so far, against the Denvers. 5 point lead, which means somehow Tomlin will find a way to lose. Tomlin delenda est….

  22. Bay State Librul says:

    Tom Brady showed up in right field at 9:18PM last night — when the impossible happened at Fenway.
    The Rays “waz robbed” by the ground rule double call, instigated by right fielder Hunter Renfroe and the bull pen crew.
    I can just imagine the headlines from the Boston Herald .”Bounce, Bounce, Hop” sinks Tampa

    • scribe says:

      Actually, that call involving the ground-rule double and the bounce off Renfroe was strictly by rule. In a case where the ball not in flight (it’d already hit the ground) bounces off a fielder and goes out of play, the runners are awarded 2 bases from their position at the time of the pitch. Thus, 2nd (batter) and 3rd (runner on first). There’s no discretion in that rule for the umpires.

    • Eureka says:

      Ravens better be gentle on those sacks!

      Carson historically plays well in primetime so I figured Colts will get the win. But that totally-Wentzing first (and 2nd…) drive makes me think Miles Sanders (RB, former misser of bullet passes, who’d then take a run to the house) is watching this game like his life is passing before his eyes.

  23. Eureka says:

    I left the room with :06 left and returned to OT so missed if Colts kicker missed (again) or FG blocked (again). Shoot, Carson really took all of Philly’s 2020 problems with him to Indy. [Unfortunately there’s news today that instead of possibly getting traded to Indiana, Simmons is “preparing” or “working out” how to return to Sixers. I mean that would have been some *chef’s kiss* outcome.]

    • Eureka says:

      Simmons is only coming back so he doesn’t get fined anymore, not to play. Am referring to the shift in headlines — and the story I(‘d) find most amusing is his Kardashian-esque LA (celeb “lifestyle”)-loving ass in the midwest with his predecessor.

  24. russell penner says:

    True coon story: When I was 15,a young female redbone hound strayed to our farm. At the same time, my buddy Wendall bought a plott pup from his neighbor, a locally renowned bear hunter. We took them on a practice run before coon season officially opened. They struck scent,and treed within 100 yards, on a huge lightning blackened snag about 10 ft tall. We ran a length of barb wire in a hole at the base ,and caught fur. The coon that boiled out was the size of a small bear. Both dogs and boys stood in awe as the coon looked around as in ” who first?” 45 years later, his rankness is still pungent in my memory.

    • P J Evans says:

      I recall, back in the 70s, cat going full-on furball at the patio door. There was a coon out there going through the walnuts laid out to dry, and it was bigger than the cat – who was about 15 pounds, and most of it muscle.

  25. Bay State Librul says:

    Long ball then Small ball wins it for the BoSox.
    The zen-like Whitlock foils Tampa’s Revenge.
    For the ALDS — I’d like to see the Battle of the Hoses, rather than a Minute Man Park duel.

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