October 1, 2023 / by 


Emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread – Holiday Edition

The weekend is upon us, which means it is time for some trashing and burning (Note: not for you folks working for Cheney at his "ceremonial" office, you have trashed and burned quite enough this week). You may ask "why, bmaz, is Cheney’s Vice Presidential Office ceremonial"? Don’t ask such silly questions, everyone knows he mans the President’s office while his feckless sidekick, Boy Dunder, rides his trike and clears brush. Without further adieu, here are some of my takes:

Green Bay at Da Bears – What can I say, when the head cat is away, the rat is gonna play. So the lead game on this week’s thread is not the Pats. Oh, the sacrilege. Its a shame Phred isn’t around to see the Pack in the pole position. Da Bears are having an injury filled downer of a season. But it is late December, Halas and Lombardi, classic Black and Blue Division football. While Soldier Field may not be the frozen tundra of Lambeau, it sure isn’t much warmer if the wind is up. With these two old foes you can throw their records out the window when they get together. Well, perhaps you can throw the records out the window, not me; um, I’ll take the Pack.

Fish at Pats – If I wasn’t worried that mom would take my car keys away, I am not sure I would bother with this one. The Dolphins are a once proud and grand franchise that have really fallen on hard times. I guess it seemed like the right idea to them at the time; but somehow or another you just knew that sooner or later they would regret giving Don Shula the bums rush out of town, even if it was for Jimmy Johnson. Pats ought to be able to rest Brady by the time the two minute warning is given. In the first half that is.

Browns at Bengals and Skins at Vikes – These are my co-choices for best of the rest. Neither one of them seem particularly appealing on the surface; but both have some compelling story lines going. The Browns may be the story of the year when it is all said and done. They have been playing good, smart, conservative ball all year. And winning. At the start of the year, I didn’t figure Romeo Crenel would make it through the season; now the playoffs are well within sight. As with the Bears/Packers, there is big history between these two. Kind of like the Cleveland Browns playing the Cincinnati Browns; they are both the creation of Paul Brown. The Vikes have had a surprising year and Adrian Peterson is the real deal and worth the ticket price to watch. The Skins have had a difficult and disappointing, not to mention tragic, year. Still, they are a better team than you think and Joe Gibbs knows how to play ball. This is a tough one, and I don’t say this with much confidence, but I got the Skins in an upset. I’ll bet I regret this one….

I am also going to toss in the Eagles at the Saints as an honorable mention for best of the rest. Eagles are a far better team than their record shows. Ask Tony Romo. The Aint’s have turned it around and are playing well again. I think New Orleans will hold on, but I sure wouldn’t bet any money on this one. Also this weekend, we have the New Orleans Bowl (Florida Atlantic v. Memphis); Papa Johns Bowl (Cincinnati v. Southern Miss); New Mexico Bowl (Nevada v. New Mexico); Las Vegas Bowl (UCLA v. BYU) and the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (East Carolina v. Boise State). I love watching Boise State, the others seem kind of like yawners. What do you have to say? Belly up to the bar and make yourself comfortable.

Emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread

Hello there sports fans and fanettes. You have probably been wondering what happens to the New England Patriots if Tom Brady is injured or out. The second string is a pretty severe step down; for those scoring at home, or even if you are alone (shameless rip off from Keith Olbermann), Brady’s backup is Matt Cassel, a perfectly fine chap, and by all accounts a good quarterback. But he is no Tom Brady.

Well, here at Emptywheel, we have the same phenomenon. My name is bmaz, and I am no Emptywheel. Most of you know me; and for those that don’t, well, please don’t be scared off. This will not be the only thread; there will be substantive thread as well, if, and as, called for. If you see breaking news that is important, or have something critical for discussion, please ante up. I have noticed in the past the absolutely incredible talent that frequents this site, and TNH before it, tends to dissipate when Marcy is away. The group I know and love, and that is all of you (crikey, even the house troll I suppose), is too good, and works too well together, for that to happen. I will do my best to at least be a marginally competent guest host, but its no good without all of you; so have at it.

With the pleasantries thus out of the way, lets get down to business. It is crunch time in the NFL:

Looks like the weather may be a bit dicey in the greater Beantown area. Are the the Pats going to need a work furlough crew of convict snow plow drivers; or is Belichek going to hang a 75 point runup on his ingrate student, Mangini?

Did you know there was a game tonight between the Bengals and 49ers on the NFL Network? Do you even get the NFL Network? For those answering yes to these two questions, hey Mr. and Mrs. Dilfer and hey Mr. and Mrs. Palmer.

Will Brett Favre make his 251st straight start against the Rams in St. Louis? Is this record more astounding than Cal Ripken’s streak of 2,632 games? My take – of course he will, and it just might be.

The best of the rest appears to me to be the Browns v. the Bills. These are both up and coming teams that are coming on at the right time of the year and look to be pretty solid for the future. It really was a brilliant move for the Bills to scoop up Willis MaGahee in the draft when everybody else was spooked by his collegiate injury. Where in the world did Derek Anderson come from for the Browns? (Hint: Beavers are involved). Did anybody know about this guy before this year?

Will Neil give us another of his pre-game pigskin prognostications that are literally so good they could be scripts for John Facenda of NFL Film lore?

What games are you interested in, who you got in them and what do you have to say? Don’t be shy, if you don’t know football, or don’t care about it, that is just fine; lob out anything you have and are interested in, whether it be other sporting events, getting punked on FISA (Is that like deja vu all over again, or what?) or, for that matter, nuclear physics (Hey, Schrodinger’s Cat made a recent appearance). The pub is open; step on in and trash the joint.

Update: BooRadley reminds that although the Bills did make a great draft selection in Willis MaGahee, but they shipped him out to the Ravens. The current Bills running back is Marshawn Lynch, drafted out of Cal, and who is also pretty darn good.

Football Trash Talk Thread

I had intended to post this thread on Friday, as a regular feature on the new digs for the rest of the season. But with so much going on, I’m just getting around to it now. To catch us up on the football trash talk, I give you Neil:

It’s 36F and overcast in Foxborough with a steady 6 MPH breeze from the northeast. You can run or throw in this weather. The players won’t be tight from extreme cold. It’s apparent the loss of Roosevelt Colvin has made the Pats run defense more vulnerable, putting additional pressure on the suspect secondary. The Pats will have a sophisticated game plan to take away the Steelers strength on offense.

The 10 point spread is an over estimate. I think the Pats have a 3-point advantage. Vegas has gotten in wrong for three weeks in a row. Things have changed since the early routes. Vegas is still catching up.

This week in the NFL is when fatigue sets in. Players’ minds are sharp but their bodies can’t execute at the same level as earlier in the season. Better, more disciplined athletes will make the plays. Expect errors like turnovers and drops that affect the outcome.

About the Rodney Harrison watch, we continue to observe if a failure on defense that results in a loss is caused by this “experienced” free safety or steroid withdrawal symptoms.

The Lions are up 10-7 against the Cowboys early in the second quarter with the ball in the red zone.

 I agree with Neil about the spread: this is going to be a very tough game for the Pats. If only the Steelers were playing as well in away games as they have in years past, I’d be even more conservative than Neil.

The Rodney Harrison reference is to something I said last week; I predicted he would be the weak link in the Pats inevitable loss this year. But I think he must have read what I said, because he was really instrumental in stepping it up against the Ravens last week. Though I agree with Neil: without Roosevelt Colvin, the Linebackers all of a sudden look as old and creaky as I am.

And about those hapless Lions? They’re now up 20-7 against the ‘Boys. 

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/football/page/35/