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.

Clemson Up Huge; People Losing Their Shit Over A Kicker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Packers At Bears – The NFL Sun Comes Out Again Trash Talk

Trash Talk is back baybee! The NFL season starts for real tonight with the first game of the league’s centennial season. And, proving that even Roger Goodell and the NFL can occasionally get something right, the season starts with the Packers at the Bears. On Soldier field. Now that is a start to the season.

Honestly, the Bears are at home, and are probably, overall, the far better team. But the Cheesers have that Rodgers guy. If Green Bay’s O-Line can hold, they have a chance. If not, they don’t. It is pretty much that simple. Even a couple of Khalil Mackers to Aaron Rodgers will slow the Cheese train down. But, either way, it is one hell of a season opener.

There are a myriad of additional games on tap for Saturday in the college ranks, and Sunday, in the pro ranks. Not to mention the timeless speed of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Last weekend at Spa was a sensational race at, perhaps, the most beautiful circuit on the Circus calendar. Monza is not far behind, even if it is not the same as it once was with the feared steep banking.

So, Saturday is a big day here at Casa de bmaz as our daughter is coming home in the afternoon after six months on work assignment in India. We are extremely excited, but will try to get some more content up in the morning. If not, now you know why. The NFL sun is coming out starting tonight at Soldier Field. So the official Trash Talk season opening music is Sun King by The Cult. It is one truly kick ass song. Let’s rock and roll peoples!

The [Andrew] Luck Of The Draw

It seems as if both Marcy and Jim White (where has that guy been lately?) are harshing on me for some Trash Talk. So, off we go!

The Florida Gators seem to have won a football game. Over other Florida men, the crossfire Hurricanes. Of Miami. That was Mr. White’s concern.

Marcy wants me to talk about the Patrick Chung case. I will likely come back to that later, when there is more information available. Like departmental reports and search warrant affidavits (if there are any!). For the meantime, there are serious questions as to the propriety of the actions of the Belknap County, of New Hampshire, officials in entering Chung’s house, not to mention searching it without belief there was a suspect inside and ongoing crime being committed. It is, for now at least, hard to see how they could have thought that. We shall see, but there are some serious questions needing to be asked and answered on this one.

And, then, the Luck ran out. Of Indy. From the great Gregg Doyell of the IndyStar:

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck announced Saturday night he was retiring, and for a moment he couldn’t breathe. He was crying. He was catching his breath and apologizing.

Luck was booed off the field Saturday night when the Colts played the Chicago Bears in the third preseason game, the news of his retirement breaking on Twitter during the second half. The fans who stuck around, they booed Luck off the field. And he heard it.

Even so, Luck sounded like a man at peace, a man who has stared into the abyss and turned away. Football, once his favorite hobby, the source of such childlike joy, had become his dark place. He said he had been thinking about retiring for about 10 days, calling it “a moment of clarity” when the idea finally started to take shape. He said he’d been tired.

“I feel exhausted,” he said, sounding very much that, “and quite tired.”

This is stunning. And it changes the AFC calculus dramatically. Good for Andrew Luck. He has always seemed like a cerebral chap, and if he thinks it is time to move on, then it is time to move on. That is truly gutsy though.

So, there are two musical selections today. The first is, in honor of Andrew Luck, The Luck Of The Draw by the incomparable Bonnie Raitt. Along with early (think Derek And The Dominoes era) Eric Clapton, and Lowell George of Little Feat, Bonnie is as kick ass of a slide guitar player as I have ever seen in my life. She is so good.

And, the second is the Stones. They are still Rolling.

And in just over 24 hours from now, Mrs. bmaz and I are going to be visiting with the Glimmer Twins, and the other Stones. Because if the Stones are in town, you go. And they are not some over the hill geriatric second level casino act, they still absolutely kill. The attached video is from 2006. A tour I saw, though here as opposed to at Copacabana Beach with half a million people in Rio. I wish I had flown down to Rio. Because, damn, that looked like some serious fun.

Manafort Plea Agreement Weekend Trash Talk

Okay, this post will have nothing to do with Manafort’s plea. But this is the big weekend after the Friday of Manafort, and Trash must be talked. This will be a bit of truncated Trash because , well, I am tired after an early morning yesterday and then spending the rest of the day, and much of the night, trying to settle a couple of things as to the day job.

As to the Joes: I dunno, most of the college games this week look uninteresting. Can Florida State regain their footing and beat Syracuse in the Cuse Dome? You would think so, but FSU has stunk it up so bad to date that you have to wonder. I guess the Irish can handle Vandy at home, but you never know. BYU at Wisconsin could be a lot tougher game than the Badgers want. Probably most think LSU at Auburn is the early game of the day, but Boise State at Oklahoma State may be it. Ohio State may run into a buzz saw visiting TCU deep in the heart of Texas. USC at Texas is getting big buildup, but not sure it is deserved. Washington at Utah may be another curious game. Rice Stadium is not always particularly hospitable (though it sure was when I was there with the Stones in 1994!). Locally, and late, we will be watching ASU at San Diego State. The Devils somehow, miraculously, beat Michigan State last weekend. Can they make it to 3-0 tonight against the Aztecs? I will not bet on that.

As to the The Pros: Cinci already beat the Ravens, and did so rather convincingly. That is surprising. Cleveland is undefeated for the first time in forever, but don’t think they can win a shootout with Brees and the Saints in NOLA. The Chargers will kill Buffalo, which is just seriously bad. The Chefs at Steelers should be interesting. Still no Laveon Bell for the Stillers, but James Connor kicked ass last week. I’ll take the Stillers, but young Mahomes and the Chefs offense look like the real deal.

Miami at the suddenly explosive Jets Jets Jets looks fascinating. I think the Sammy and the Jets keep it going at home. Vikings at the Cheeseheads will be interesting IF Rodgers and Adams are on the frozen tundra at home. If not, then Kirk Cousins gonna win that game. Cardinals going to get humiliated for a second week in a row against the Rams in LA. The Cards billed this as the Year of New Hope, instead is the year of nope.

New England Pats at Jacksonville could be highly entertaining. Brady and the boys were not really in synch last week in a win against the Texans. He hooked up well with Gronk and Dorsett, but the whole effort, especially the run game, looked suspect. The Jags may be without Leonard Founette, but their defense is almost as good and bit as Jalen Ramsey’s mouth. Seattle at Bears is a tossup.

F1: Not a lot of comment from me on the circus this week. They are in Singapore at the Marina Bay Circuit for the famous night race. Personally, I find the night race on the heavily cemented in pit at Marina Bay kind of flakey, but they run it nevertheless. The starting grid is Hamilton, Verstappen, Vettel, Bottas and Raikkonen in P1 through P5 respectively. Not easy to pass at Marina Bay, so take your cues from the starting grid.

And, with that, we are off! Also, last week a new commenter by the name of “Bill” suggested a Canadian band called The Big Wreck. I said I would check them out, I did, and they are indeed quite good. Do check them out. So they are this weekend’s music. We are a full service blog here at Emptywheel!

Baku, Belichick and the NFL Draft

Okay, it has been a while since we had a real Trash Talk. So here we go. Not a particularly deep one, but between the NFL Draft, which has been pretty interesting, and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, it seemed like a decent opportunity for one of our off season points to talk a little sports trash.

First up, Baku. Frankly, Azerbaijan has made significant and important strides since the breakup of the USSR. While I am not totally comfortable with the support that a continuing Grand Prix provides, it is nowhere near as troublesome as F1 bucking up truly oppressive and evil middle eastern nations like Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. At any rate, it is what it is, and the street course in Baku is truly beautiful. Extremely so. It does not, however, allow many opportunities for overtaking and passing.

Starting grid position is at a premium, and Vettel of Ferrari and Hamilton of Mercedes are on the front row. Kimi Raikkonen was on pace to be the pole sitter through early sectors in Q3, but had a blip. Was amazing driving to pull his butt out of it without shunting his car into a wall, but the time blip cost him dearly and he will start in P7. The race looks to be very promising, even if a tad processional, especially at the front. Alonso, seems slow, and could not even get his McLaren out of Q1.

Now the NFL draft. Rounds 1-3 are in the books. Many teams seem to have done quite well for themselves, including the Brownies and Jets. I figure I will totally jinx the local Cards by saying this, but I think their first round to move up and get Josh Rosen, the best pure, and pro style ready QB in the draft, was wonderful. They followed up by getting a fantastic long term answer at slot receiver, local Scottsdale prep product, later of Texas A+M, in Christian Kirk. Very much a Julian Edelman/Danny Amendola kind of talent, but maybe slightly faster and shiftier. Oh, and the Cards’ next pick will, seriously, be announced by a dude standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona.

You cannot really rate a draft class until it is over, but, so far, the Cards are having a very good year. And, for Scribe, I think it is extremely notable that the Steelers maneuvered to select Mason Rudolph. Groomed right, Rudolph is very much a Big Ben clone successor. Will need the grooming, but sure looks like a great value pick, and with incredible upside, to me. And Pittsburgh did not stretch to get him, at all, either.

As to the Belichick angle, the Pats have been all over the board moving around and trading up and down repetitively. The national sportswriters seem to be joking that it is so much that nobody will ever know the real value of the Jimmy G trade with San Francisco late last year, because it is all too confusing. That may be true! Belichick loves to obscure things. My question is whether Bill Bel will take Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta with the fifth pick in the fourth round if he is there, and he may well be. The Pats seem like they are going to take a QB somewhere, even if just for camp fodder. Lauletta seems like a real prospect though, and a perfect flyer for the Patriots. We shall see.

Alright Wheel nuts, let loose with your draft, F1 and general sports and other thoughts. Let’s let our hair down and have some fun. Music by Pink Floyd from Obscured By Clouds, one of the great under appreciated albums ever, for Floyd and in general. So, bring some chatter about your NFL team, what they have accomplished in the offseason and draft, and about F1.

Down Under F1 Trash Talk

Welp, we have not had a Trash Talk thread here in a while. Since the Super Bowl by my guess. So, maybe it is time, and consider this an open thread because I know not all share the historical love of Formula One that this blog does.

The Circus season is about to open. As usual lately, it will be in Albert Park in Melbourne. And it is a fair and fast circuit to open the season with. Last year provided a shocker with Vettel and Ferrari taking the opening win. The rest of the season devolved into another Hamilton coronation though. Sadly. All things racing are better with better competition.

So this year, coverage of the Circus moves from NBCSN, which was abominable, back to ESPN from whence it came long ago. Personally, I loved Leigh Diffey, Steve Matchett and David Hobbs. But other than that, the always changing, and unpredictably located coverage by NBC was shit. As was their babbling and unctuous on scene pit row “reporter” Will Buxton, who is distressingly still present on the Sky feed ESPN uses. Can we swap Buxton for Leigh Diffey somehow?

ESPN may be doing it on the cheap, but they are doing so by utilizing a far superior European feed. Frankly, I am good with that, so far, so much the better. And we are not even into qualifying yet.

Okay, off we go for qualifying. We shall see that out before I post this, but the race, like The Dude, will have to abide.

And Qualy is off! The start of the season is always pretty exciting. Albert Park is a good spot, but not necessarily one of the classic circuits in F1. Probably a little warmer there than ideal, but still a decent track.

Wow. Just wow. The difference in the feed from the NBCSN years, as well as Fox/Speed, is like night and day. Incredibly superior. Hamilton takes pole, but Raikkonen and Vettel are in P2 and P3, with the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Ricciardo right behind.

Sadly Fernando Alonso in the McLaren starts out the season once again out of the top ten in qualifying. Couldn’t even make it into Q3. At some point he will no longer have it, and that day is quickly approaching, but Alonso is not done yet and the fact he is not in competitive equipment is a tragedy in the Circus. Put Fernando in Botas’ seat and Hamilton might pucker. But that is not happening, which is a sad thing for F1 fans.

So, we are off with a new season of Trash. It will be inconsistent until football really starts again, but will pop up every now and then. This weekend’s music is by Jimmy Barnes, a great Aussie import (for the Australian GP) that never got enough cred here in the states. In this clip, with Joe Bonamassa, but it is totally a Jimmy Barnes song (and it is awesome). Give it a listen, it is pretty great. Other than that, keep rolling, we have a long way to go yet.

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