Posts

NOT Trash Talk: Watch This Space

Most unsportsy member of the Emptywheel team here, throwing up a placeholder post to catch the sports stuff.

Commenter Lefty665 “seeds the kitty”:

How about them Redskins? Gonna kick some Cheesehead butt. Rogers has all the history, but since the bye Cousins has been the better QB. GM Scott McCloughan has turned the ‘Skins around, Gruden has grown up as coach, and miracle of miracles, Snyder has apparently kept his fingers out of the pie for the first time ever.

Here’s a link to the tune for the day, Patty Loveless doing Darrell Scott’s “You’ll never leave Harlan Alive.”

Have at ’em. Marcy, bmaz, edit this post as you see fit whenever you have a few minutes.

Oh yeah, might be helpful to post this weekend’s NFL playoff game lineup:

Saturday: Pittsburgh Steelers versus Cincinnati Bengals — 8:15 P.M. EST — CBS (free)

Saturday: KC Chiefs versus Houston Texans — 4:15 P.M. EST — ABC/ESPN (free on ABC)

Sunday: Seattle Seahawks versus Minnesota Vikings — 1:05 P.M. EST — NBC (login required)

Sunday: Green Bay Packers versus Washington Redskins — 4:40 P.M. EST — FOX (login required)

Mashable’s posted info about streaming these games. Sucks if you have crappy internet, especially if you’re one of the roughly 30% of Americans without high speed internet access. Given how damned little came out of the FCC’s auction for 700Mhz bandwidth formerly used for analog television broadcast, does it ever feel like the auction was a scam to force the public to pay more to view sports?

UPDATED — 5:30 PM EST —
Head upstairs where bmaz has posted the REAL trash talk tackling the divisional playoffs. I’ve also corrected the lineup to add Kansas City vs Houston *now in progress*, per NFL’s schedule. Wow, so pressure, much football, very relief. /Rayne

It’s A Great Football Weekend Charlie Brown

The St. Louis Cardinals are your 2011 World Series Champs, and man game 7 sure was a big letdown after the scintillating game 6. But now it is on to football and Formula One, where the heart of this blog truly lies. And Charlie Brown has more than the Great Pumpkin going for him this weekend, there is absolutely great football too.

Let’s start with the NCAA. Perhaps the most interesting game is tonight’s matchup of the Stanford Tree visiting USC’s Tommy Trojan. The Tree is 7-0 and 6th ranked, but the Trojans are an under the radar 6-1, and the only loss being to ASU in Tempe, which is nothing to be ashamed of. Andrew Luck is all world, and they are even letting him call some of his own plays tonight ala Peyton Manning. Matt Barkley is no slouch either though, in fact his stats are a near match with Luck’s. The difference really is, surprisingly, that Stanford has a far superior running game to the Trojans, who are usually known for that. USC is also weaker in the D-secondary. Those two factors should provide a win for the Tree, but it should be a good game and USC has the potential for a big upset here if Monte Kiffin can coach up the Troy defense beyond expectations.

Another late game, Clemson at the Ramblin Wreck of Georgia Tech also looks to be quite good. Clemson and star QB Tahj Boyd have been a real surprise this year. Tech (along with South Carolina later) is one of the few remaining obstacles between the Tigers and a legitimate shot at the BCS Championship game. I have a hard time believing it, but I think that just may happen and they start the push tonight by edging out Tech. The other game to keep an eye on is Baylor v. Oklahoma State. OSU is 3rd ranked and an offensive powerhouse, but Baylor and their mad good QB Robert Griffen III have some juice too. If this game were in Waco, I would smell upset; but it is in Stillwater, so OSU should prevail. Honorable mention games are Boomer Sooner at Bill Snyder’s Kansas State and the on a roll Spartans of MSU at the Cornfuskers.

It is also a fine slate of games in the pros, headed up, of course, by the TEBOWL! That’s right, any game Tim plays in IS the TeBowl. Sunday’s version involves the Deetroit Kitties coming to meet Baby Jesus at Mile High. Kitties are smarting from two losses in a row and need some steam heading into next week’s game against the Bears. But Stafford has a bad ankle and the running game is hurting without Jahvid Best. The Lions should win this, but they better get down on one knee and Te-Bow in prayer they do. The real top game is, of course, the Patsies at the Stillers. Bieber v. Big Ben. One shaky defense versus another suddenly shaky defense. Both teams have superb passing games and solid enough running games to get the job done. So, it comes down to the D’s. This would normally be a gimme for Pittsburgh, and indeed their passing defense is still somehow top rated in spite of other cracks in the Steel Curtain. But Tom Brady owns the Stillers and Bill Bel has had a bye week to coach up his defense. Bieber wins another tough game. Honorable mention to ‘Boys at Iggles and Skins at Bills.

Oh, I want to mention one little piece of schadenfreude lost in last weekend’s bender, the debut of the new super duper coaching staff member for the woebegone Indianapolis Colts. Yep the ‘ole Cheatin Sweater Vest himself, Jim Tressel (Photo Credit to NBC sports via SportsByBrooks screencap). The Vest worked his usual magic in helping the Peytons to a hard fought 62-7 not-quite-victory.

Also on tap is the inaugural Grand Prix of India. Qualifying went off very early this morning, with Sebastian Vettel taking his 13th pole of the year. Dude is just too good and his equipment is superior to boot. Vettel is followed by WEbber, Alonso and Button on the starting grid. Hamilton was fast in qualifying, and would have been P2 but for a 3 spot penalty for his assholey driving in previous competition. I got my first look at the course during the qualifying. Looks like a fast and possibly interesting track, but fairly ugly surroundings. We shall see after the first real race. By the way, in some stunning F1 news this week, our old buddy Chris Christie has helped lead an effort that has resulted in F1 coming to the streets of New Jersey. This could really be a fun setup done right. Credit where due.

Alright, let’s rip this joint; trash er up!

Taking Back Wall Street Trash Talk

Well we are a little late getting started on the trash talk this weekend, I apologize about that. I have been fixated on the Anwar Awlaki scenario and, today, the Occupy Wall Street effort. In honor of the citizens trying to take back the Street in New York, this week’s music is by Jimmy Cliff; you can get it if you really want it. But, you must actually try.

That, folks, is what is meant by the term “a democracy, if you can keep it”. The people still have the power, the people still have the vote; but they must have the information, and they must have the desire to exercise their power. Our friends and colleagues at FDL, via Kevin Gosztola, are doing great work covering the protests. And, if you have seen what I have on Twitter, it really appears to be something significant starting to form in the Big Apple. I am told about 400 people have been arrested; let’s hope they are replaced by 4,000 others.

Quite frankly it is a rather lackluster day in college football, the only 2 games I really had my eye on are Nebraska at Wisconsin, and 13th ranked Clemson at 11th ranked Virginia Tech. The Clemson game is already over, with the Tigers laying an unheard of whipping on Frank Beamer and the Hokies in Blacksburg. Not so for the Badgers however, the Cornfuckers are in Camp Randall right now with the Huskers up by a point 14-13. The rest of the game should be something fun, and the quarterback for Wisconsin, Russell wilson is really a special kid.

On the pro end of things, it is really not a very enticing slate of games on tap. Seriously there are like three games worth watching. The first is the Stillers at the Texans. Normally, this would be an easy call; but Pittsburgh has not settled in yet this season, and Houston has a fine team and is at home. That is a pickem. The second decent tilt, and maybe my most anticipated game, is Deetroit at Dallas. The Kittehs are THE hot team this year, and Suh is gonna be Romo rib hunting. But the ‘Boys are a little tougher than people think, and are at the JerryDome. I am leery of this, but am still going to go with the Lions. The other game tomorrow of interest is the Pats at the Black Hole to visit those nice Raider chaps. Darren McFadden got a bit nicked up in his huge day against the Jets, Jets, Jets last week, but looks good to go tomorrow. Marcy smells a Rayduhs upset here. So do I. Honorable mention to the Jets versus Ravens on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. It’s in Baltimore, gonna go with the home team there.

Lastly, it is October baby. Reggie Jackson time! and playoff baseball is in full swing. Unless the game is at Yankee Stadium, in which case it is in full swim. Tampa Bay just clocked the Rangers behind 22 year old rookie sensation Matt Moore to open the series, but Texas is up 7-3 in the 7th inning tonight. Oops, Eva Longoria just hit a three run tater to bring it to 7-6. Rays are like butter. On a roll. Diamondbacks got freaking smoked by the BrewCrew today in game one of the NLDS. Arizona has the youngest team in baseball and has been on a great run this year, but still may be a year and another starting pitcher away from being serious contenders. Never count out Kirk Gibson though, and the DBacks are Gibby’s team through and through.

F1 Hungarian Grand Prix and The Return of Football Trash!!!

Well, you knew sooner or later the Masters of the Football Universe (MOTFUs) would prove their superiority to the mental midgets in Congress and get the deal done so as to not cook the golden goose. For once, Daniel Snyder is looking better than the other DC Deciders, although that is a relatively pitiful spectrum of comparison. Well, whatever, we gots teh football back on the burner, and that is awesome. Before we get to that, however, there is the little matter of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

There was no Grand Prix in Hungary in 1961, so we will pick up with the season long retrospective of the 1961 Yankee Champion with the Italian GP at Monza in early September. This weeks tilt is at the the Hungaroring, just outside of Budapest. It is a dusty course that has many of the limitations on overtaking and competitiveness of Monaco without an ounce of the charm and elegance. In other words, as a circuit, it is bleech.

Sebastian Vettel still has a 77 point lead over his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, and 82 points over a resurgent Lewis Hamilton of McLaren. They simply are not going to catch Vettel, but the remainder of the season looks to be much more competitive across the board and the race for all positions but the Championship will be fierce. Practice revealed Hamilton still fast, followed by Alonso and Button. The other marques waited just a little too late to catch up Red Bull, but they clearly have as to speed.

The BIG news is the continued Murdochization of F1, and it is not welcome:

The bad news comes from Britain, where the country’s F1 fans are seething over the announcement that the BBC and Sky Sports have signed a joint deal to show Formula One from 2012 to 2018, with only half the races being shown on free-to-air TV and the other half on pay TV.

More coverage of the SkyTV deal with F1 here; and the sad truth on where all the riches of F1 are going is to a spoiled little rich bitch. Well, at any rate, at least the race is back to live broadcast in the US again, with coverage starting at 7:30am EST and 4:30am PST on SpeedTV.

Now, and without further adieu (i.e. before Marcy kills me), we move to NFL FOOTBALL!!! Yea! It’s back! Thanks to universe masters that actually can cut a deal without screwing the pooch royally, the NFL is back and the agreement mandates a whole decade of uninterrupted football free of labor disputes. And with that, we are off on a flurry of signings trades and activity. Let’s take a look at what is up with that. Read more

Fat Trash

Hi-de-ho folks, are you feeling as large and as inflated as I am? Jeebus. Santa sent me a box of edible goodies from Zingermans and then my wife started cooking. I believe I need just one more wafer thin mint…..

The NFL schedule is well under way for week 15. The Steelers already crushed the Panthers last Thursday night, and the hapless Cardinals won a squeaker over the feckless Cowboys last night. It was a pathetic, yet curiously fun game to watch. The best quarterback in the game was a rookie from Fordham. Scary.

The game of the day today is likely the Teh Jets at Da Bears. The Jets QB is nursing a sore shoulder; Rex Ryan would be far more interested if it was Sanchize’s foot instead. But Sanchez will start, and Ryan better focus on Brian Urlacher and the Bears defensive line, lest he suffer the agony of defeet. Jay Cutler is not exactly lighting the stat board up like Kurt Warner, but he has played a lot better and more consistently since being shepherded by Mike Martz. This game is really a tossup, maybe slight edge to the homeboys.

The “other” New York team, the Gents, are also in a huge game, which just so happens to be on the Frozen Tundra in the land of cheese. Aaron Rodgers is back for the Pack and should be fine, although the Giants have been rough on opposing quarterbacks this year. Both teams suffered crushing losses last week, the Pack to Brady and the Pats in a surprisingly close game without Rodgers, and the Giants, of course, in the soul crushing last second loss to Mike Vick, DeSean Jackson and the Iggles. Another pickem, with a slight edge to the home team.

I can’t decide which of the other games are the third best story today, so it is a tie between Vikes at Eagles and Peyton and the Colts visiting the Black Hole in Oakland. The latest from Adam Shefter is that the Eagles/Vikes game is postponed until Tuesday because of the wild winter storm invading Philly and the more tha half foot of snow expected during the game. More time for the Geezer to get ready! Now Favre versus Vick – that would be some kind of fun. The Colts really need a win against the Rayduhs, but it will be a lot harder than they want. I look for Manning to insure enough points to pull it out, but am very tempted to take the Silver and Black for the upset.

The Saints in Hot’Lanta Monday night should be a great game, but neither team’s playoff hopes ride on it. The Saints are coming on and Matty Ice and the Falcons never lose at home. The rest of the games are okay, but not great. Bucs should easily dispatch the SeaSquawks and the Bolts will kill the Bengals, who have just quit. Houston at Denver is only even worth a mention because it figures Gary Kubiak will be coaching one of these teams next year; which one is a good question. Sexy Rexy Grossman and the Deadskins should lose to the Jags and the Chefs should be able to cook the suddenly lost at sea Titans (unless Kerry Collins goes off, which he can still do). Ravens over Brownies and Bieber Brady and Pats over the Toronto Bills. That leaves the battle of the NFC West bulge, the 5-9 49ers at the 6-8 Rams. Obviously, with records like that, this game will likely decide the winner of the division crown and a playoff home game.

UPDATE – Ooops! Forgot the Kitties at the Fish. Cats eat Fish, then smack their lips.

Trash Talkin Texas Style

This week’s Lowell Thomas travelogue takes our rolling wheels on down south to Texas. Because the Lone Star State is where, by far, the most important and compelling game is to be found. That would be Jerry Jones’ ‘Boys visiting the upstart Houston Texans. In honor of our trip down south, we have two, count em two musical selections this week. The first is from that little old band from Tejas, ZZ Top with their classic tale of a trip to an, ahem, girls club – La Grange. A little bit o trivia, La Grange is the actual “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” made famous on stage and in film. The second selection is Gimme a T For Texas by Lynyrd Skynyrd in honor of the death of the actual namesake himself, Mr. Leonard Skinner.

But before we get down to the gridiron festivities, there is one big matter CHOMPing at the bits. Sharktopus! That’s right, tonight is the Emptywheel Sharktopus World Premier Sharktacular Extravaganza! The initial festivities kick off shortly before 9 pm Eastern time (8 pm Central) and will be hosted by Marcy, Eli from FDL and special guest Mystery Dub. Now, unfortunately, out here on the best coast, er left coast, we do not get the movie until 9 pm our time (that would be 9 pm Pacific, FDL and Arizona time), so I will be hosting a second set of festivities for all the west coast shark biters and bitees. This is the grand reemergence of the master of campy summer slasher movies, Roger Corman, and promises to be a load of really tacky and crazy fun. So, if you love seeing hot babes in bikinis frolicking and then being eaten by sharks – and who doesn’t?? – then join us tonight! (Much more after jump) Read more

Trash Talk: It Comes Out Of The Swamp Cool and Slow….

Comes out of the Virginia swamps

Cool and slow with plenty of precision

With a back beat narrow and hard to master

Some call it heavenly in it’s brilliance

Others, mean and ruthful of the Western dream….

I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft

We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping

Yes, it is the Texas Radio and the Big Beat. But, more importantly, it is this week’s Trash Talk …. and Sharktopus! Before we get down to this week’s slate of sporting festivities, we here at the incomparable Emptywheel blog have a truly special announcement! In one short week, on Saturday night September 25, 2010, we will be proudly going where no blog has gone before (thankfully probably). Yes, we will be liveblogging, FDL Mystery Theater 3000 style, the grand world premier of the movie of the century, Sharktopus!

As a special taser – er, teaser – I have attached the amazing trailer from this certain Oscar winning celluloid classic. And, thanks to the miracle that is cable TeeVee, you too will be able to watch and participate from the comfort of yer own abodes (i.e. For those scoring at home, and even those alone). This event will, MST3K style, be hosted by me, Eli from FDL and, if we can get her likkered up enough, Marcy (she needs some encouragement!). The event will go off next Saturday night at 9:00 pm EST, 6:00 pm PST/FDL time. The bar here will be open 20-30 minutes before the curtains go up. Bring your bikinis and shark repellant!

Student Athaletes: Okay, I’m going homer this week. And I ain’t talking Simpson. The game of the week is Iowa at Arizona. The 9th ranked Hawks fly into the 24th ranked Cat lair. Both teams are 2-0, and this is an always intense and entertaining Pac-10/Big-10 matchup – and not even in the Rose Bowl (that never happened except in the Rose Bowl when I was growing up; else Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes would have lost a lot more games). Two very top tier quarterbacks, Ricky Stanzi for the Hawks and Nick Foles for the Cats. Both teams have potent offenses and tough defenses to date in the still young season. You have to give the coaching edge to Iowa’s Kirk Farentz over the Benny Stulwiz like Bob Stoops for Arizona. But the contest is a night game on Bear Down Field in Tucson and that is special; Cats win in an upset.

Sticking with the homer routine, the other game of the day (I hope; cross my fingers, otherwise it could be a rout), is ASU at Camp Randall Stadium to visit the Wisconsin Badgers. Another Pac-10/Big-10 hookup. Just doesn’t seem right, but there you have it. I actually have friends with more dollars than sense who have travelled up to the Land ‘O Cheese to get a brat and see the game. Suckers. The Badgers are 11th ranked and always solid, if rarely exciting. The Badgers have a superior ground game, with the Devils having the slight edge at quarterback with Michigan transfer Steve Threet. ASU has also gone to the popular spread offense this year and they often run it hurry up style.. ASU is better tha people think, but the Big Bad Badgers are to much for them at Camp Randall.

Florida at Rocky Top to visit the Vols might be interesting if Florida keeps playing like a run of the mill team; but they should be able to get by the rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Kiffin Vols. Number 8 Nebraska goes to Seattle to take on Jake Locker and the Washington Huskies. This has got upset written all over it; Huskies remind the Cornfuskers they are just an average team – like Notre Dame – now. Lastly we got the Texas-Texas Tech tilt. With no Mike Leach on the sidelines, no way the Red Raiders keep up with the Whorens. Both schools are down a little, but Texas at least has a continuity facto and that is enough. Special mention for Pirates of the Gulf Coast, the Cougs of Houston and Casey Keenum travel to Rodeo Drive 90210 to visit UCLA. The Bruins are terribly disappointing and Keenum and the Cougs should win easy.

Professional Athaletes: Thunder Island is the talk of the town this weekend. Randy Moss promises to bring the old time Brady to Moss thunder and Darrelle Revis swears he is still an island. But that would be an island with a tight hamstring per the latest hard knock pre-excuse from the running mouth Jets. Sorry, Pats go 2-0 and put themselves in the division catbird seat while the still lost Mark Sanchez and the Jets fall to 0-2.

The remaining slate of games is not all that exciting, but there are a couple to note. Cardinals at Atlanta will tell us a lot about both teams. Cards won a squeaker last week but looked crappy on offense; Dirty Birds lost their opener to teh Stillers and do not want to go down to 0-2 in what was supposed to be a promising season. This game is a toss up. Same analysis holds for the Ravens at Bengals, but the strong wind is with Ray Lewis and the Ravens as Cinci bungles to 0-2. Sea Squawks at Doncos looks interesting; I may regret this, but I will take the Squawks. Lastly, the Manning Bowl. Dunno why, but I just cannot get as excited about this as I should. There seems to be some air let out of the Peytons these days and the Giants have been pretty blase ever since their improbable SuperBowl run a couple of years ago. But the Colts have the better Manning and better receivers for him to throw to, so I will take the Colts.

In the also ran category, I got the Saints over the Niners, Bolts over Jags, Raiders rout the Rams, Texans trample the Skins (could be good game though), Eagles and Mike Vick run wild on the Matt Stafford-less Lions, Vikings rebound over the Fish, Chiefs go to 2-0 over the Brownies, Panthers over Bucs, Packers obliterate the Bills at Lambeau, Cowboys and Bears and Stillers and Titans are both pick-ems. There is your schedule, get to talking about it folks

Might as well trash this joint, because after the Sharktopus rapture weekend a week from now, there will be no turning back. Let er rip. For the children.

Divisional Playoffs Weekend Trash Talk

Last weekend was supposed to be the big great weekend of exciting and wacky wildcard playoff games. With the exception of the Cardinals Packers Roaster in the Toaster game, they were all duds. This Saturday and Sunday we have another full slate of games, let’s hope they are better games that last weekend; I think they will be. Let em roll!

First up is the winner of that last, great, shootout last Sunday the Arizona Cardinals versus Drew Fookin Brees and da Who Dats. Both Kurt Warner and Captain Creole are gunslingers of the highest order. Honestly, Warner has had a better run in the last few games; but that shouldn’t mean much in this game, they will both come to play. The game is going to boil down to Arizona’s offensive line and defensive backfield; if both come up big, they can and will win. If not, the Saints win. The Cards will suck and the Saints will Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez.

The late game Saturday is the Colts and Ravens. After all these years, it is still Ray Lewis versus Peyton Manning and both are among the very best who ever have or ever will play their position. The Ravens look pretty fierce lately and are the sexy pick among many to knock off the well rested Colts. Peyton Manning is going to score some points, you just know that. But without Bob Sanders on the Colts playoff roster, the Ravens should be able to get at least a little scoring done too. It is going to come down to Terrel Suggs getting at Peyton Manning. My heart wants the Ravens to win and take out the the lay down artists; my wallet will go with the dive artists formerly known as the Colts.

The early game Sunday is ‘Boys at Vikes. Tony Romo and the Old Man River Geezer. This game is totally dependent on the ability of the Vikings defense to match the intensity and performance of the Dallas D. If the Vikes come up big on D, they will win in the dome; if not, they won’t. The other factor is the Minnesota offensive line, which was great at the start of the year, but has really fallen off. As quick a release as Favre has, he needs time for the vertical passes they have been relying on lately. This one kills me, but I think the ‘Boys come out with the win.

Last game is the J E T S Jets Jets Jets at the Bolts. You have to take Phil Rivers over Mark Sanchez, and quite frankly the San Diego receivers are better too. LT has been resurgent and Sroules can cause havoc. The Jets defense is better than the Chargers defense by a wide margin though. Even if the Gang Green can keep it close, it just seems like Rivers and the boys can score enough to win. That is if the Jets can even keep it close. Plus RanDiego has been on a roll. Bolts win.

There is your lineup folks, time to work up a Number Six!

Trash Talk: I’m An Excellent Driver Edition

Well I woke up this morning and got myself a beer
The future’s uncertain and the end is always near
Let it roll, baby roll, let it roll all night long.

These are strange days indeed we live in. One minute it is a quiet peaceful day after Thanksgiving, not even the sound of sugar plums and OPR reports dropping, and the next thing you know all hell is breaking loose in the Woods. Tiger goes Rainman driving in the driveway, and Elin Woods shows she’s got some game with golf clubs too. Go figure. You knew it couldn’t be long before Gloria Allred and Mark Geragos were involved. Ugh. The Woods family, sadly, will all be crawling from this wreakage for a long time.

But there is, thankfully, football to occupy our time, so let’s get to the games.

Student Athletes: Right now, and in my backyard, my ASU Sun Devils have just lost, via a late game moronic muffed punt, to the hated UofA Wildcats in what, at one time, was one of the best and nastiest rivalry games in the entire country. No longer, strictly ho hum now. Another game that was always huge, but has lost some luster is Trojans v. Bruins, which is a late game tonight (Fox Sports here). It may not be what it used to be, but very well may be an interesting game tonight. By the way, both TCU and Boise State are going to finish undefeated; I say put em both in BCS bowl games; these are good teams and they have earned it far more than some SEC team with two losses, and more than any flunky Big-10 team.

National Favre League: Again, there area a bunch of simply lousy games not even worth discussing. But the good ones have a lot to chew on. First up is Pittsburgh versus the Ravens in Baltimore. The big news here is that Big Ben is out, not going to play because of concussion symptoms. When Roethlisberger himself is making the call, you know it is real, he is a tough dude. So Dennis Dixon, who was a legitimate Heisman candidate, if not frontrunner, two years ago at Oregon before he hurt his knee, will get the start. He is a great athlete and can throw the ball, but has almost zero experience; ought to be interesting. The Ravens are desperate and have to have a win, but have not been playing well. This is a tossup, with the slight edge to the Ravens.

Peyton and the Colts at Houston is notable too. Can the Colts stay undefeated? Can Houston win a big game at home? I’ll take the Colts. Da Bears visit Old Man River in the land of the Norske. The other really interesting game, however, is the Cardinals visiting the Titans. Kurt Warner looks fine in spite of the hit last week, so the Cards look to be at full strength. The Titans have been resurgent with Vince Young though and are back to playing Jeff Fisher football. The Titans are on a mission, the Cards have the division pretty much wrapped up already because the NFC west is so pitiful. I’ll take the Titans in an upset.

By far the biggest and best game this week is the Monday Night affair down in the Big Easy. If I had more dollars than sense, I would head down for some hurricanes at Pat O’Briens and a 48 hour partay ramble. You know the Who Dat nation is going to be amped up and ready to geaux. This has the makings of another Dolphins/Bears Monday Night game from almost 24 years ago to the day. With only the Redskins, Falcons, Cowboys, Bucs and Panthers left on their schedule, if the Saints can overcome the Pats, they very well may run the table. The Pats are really rounding into form at the right time of the year. You knew they would. Most importantly, the New England defense is gelling. Couple that with a healthy Wes Welker and Brady getting back to the QB he is capable of being, and, well, you just cannot ask for anything more out of a regular season game. As Keith Jackson would say, “folks, this is gonna be a good un”. Drew Fookin Brees and the Who Dats are at home in the dome; give them a microscopic edge.

Alright, that is the slate; what ya got? Been kind of quiet here the last couple of days, time to make some noise fellow knuckleheads!!

Talkin Turkey Trash

Here it is, another big bird day! That means football and we have some trash to talk.

Some Preliminaries: ESPN has been reporting that the Buffalo Bills and Mike Shanahan had a seven hour sit down, and there is serious interest on both sides; we shall see. In other Bills news, Jim Kelly thinks Trent Edwards is a nice guy, but is why the Bills are finishing last. Notre Dame has cancelled all of Charlie Weiss’ recruiting trips, that were already set up for after the Stanford game that ends the season. Not a good sign; put a fork in him and carve him up, this turkey is cooked. Oh, and former Eagles offensive lineman Jon Runyan is going to run for Congress in New Jersey – just as soon as he is through joining the Bolts for the rest of the season. Clearly more worried about himself and money than learning issues and actually doing the dirty work of being a politician, he ought to be the perfect Republican.

The Games: First up we have Cheesers at Kittens. Young Matthew Stafford’s willingness, make that determination in the face of his coaches, to get in for the last play of the game last weekend versus the Brownies, and win the game with a TD pass on the last play earned him the team, and its respect, for good. He was already the man; but boy did that seal the deal. He is a stud and threw for 422 yards and five, count em five, TDs last week. Stafford has a hurt non-throwing shoulder; if he can’t go, which is likely, Duante Culpepper will get the nod. The Packers also had a big win over the 49ers, but lost Al Harris and Aaron Kampman for the year in the process. The Pack’s O Line is getting healthier, and not a minute too soon for Aaron Rodgers, who has takin a lickin and kept on tickin this year. This should be a surprisingly good game, especially if Stafford can go.

Next up is da Rayduhs versus the ‘Boys. Yeah, I dunno what to think here. Both these teams are infuriating. Oakland has a great defense and should not have been nearly as lame as it has been on offense. They have some players, I just think Jamarcus Russell has been a lead weight around their neck. But he is benched, and Bruce Gradkowski is at the helm now, and they are responding. Dallas, on the other hand, is 7-3 but has just sucked. Seven godamned points against the Redskins? Come on man. The Cowboys need this game though, because the Giants might be waking up. It is in Dallas, the ‘Boys usually win Turkey Day games at home, so I will go with them. If this game was in Oakland I wouldn’t though.

Last, but not least, we have the aforementioned Gents traveling to Mile High to visit the Donkos. As RanDiego keeps saying, the Broncs really need to think about wearing them striped socks and butt ugly unis for the rest of the year; they are a good luck charm. Two things are crippling Denver lately; Kyle Orton is hurt and they got nobody else (Simms is nice, but really sucks) and their new defense has been seen and schemed now. Most of all, Brian Dawkins, the key and soul to the D, has been hurt with a neck injury. Dawkins should play, if he is up to speed, that makes a HUGE difference. Still, Eli is feeling better with his foot and the Gents are coming around. I’ll take them tonight.

In honor of turkey day, how could today’s music not come from the Yardbirds? Happy Thanksgiving folks, and my thanks to one and all for being our friends and partners in the never ending expedition that is Emptywheel.