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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!

Rumble at the Big House Trash Talk

[As a reminder, it is fundraising week Chez Emptywheel. Please help support our work if you can.]

[special Live Update From the America’s Cup below]
We are only a week into real football and already there is a blockbuster game on tap. The Fighting Irish are going up the country to visit the Big Blue Bo Merlots at the Big House. Lotta B’s in that sentence, but it is hard to give these two teams A’s! (Thanks, I will be here all week, enjoy the veal). Well, at least this game is not in the ignominious class of the 2007 game, which was a scintillating battle of unvictorious and untied loser teams. So, there is that.

Now, what should we expect when expecting this mammoth matchup? For one thing, some great trash talking! And, man, there has already been some prime trashing going on behind the ESPN Gameday set in Ann Arbor. Check out the sign this guy has to greet the blighted Irish:

Play like your girlfriend is real today

Hahahahaha, oh man my side hurts. As an extra bonus, the Game Day folks were just discussing the Arizona v. UNLV game, and all picked “Rich Rod’s team”. The boos from the Michigan cognoscenti about shook the earth at the mention of Rich Rod. Some bonus trash from the Big Mitten: Michigan coach Brady Hoke slams Johnny Football by saying the reigning Heisman winner wouldn’t even be starting were he on the Big Blue. Whoa! Also, Notre Dame, in apparently the only way they could find to show that they can rock and roll, have added Bon Jovi’s kid as a walk on cornerback on their roster.

Since the NCAA put in their overtime rules, I guess someone has to win this game. My friend Armando (who weekly does a series of picks at Talk Left) has the Domers and the 4 points. Naw, Big Blue all the way baybee! Also on tap today is Jim White and Armando’s Florida Gators hooking up in South Beach with the Miami Hurricanes. This game is far from what it once might would have been, but still could be good. Canes in a big home upset. The other really sweet matchup is South Carolina at Georgia. Clemson clocked the Bulldogs in the first week. Hard to see the Dawgs going 0-2 to start the year, but I am rolling with the ‘Ole Ball Coach and his Cocks.

Well then, off to the NFL we go. The only game of note in the pros is The Cheese versus The Niners. Is san Fran as good as they looked last year? Does Colin Kaepernick have too many weapons now that he has Anquan Boldin to go with Vernon Davis and Frank Gore et. al? Who in the world is playing on Green Bay’s offensive line at this point and what will the Pack do for a QB when Aaron Rodgers gets his clock cleaned because of that porous O-Line? This REALLY pains me to say it, but Niners roll at home.

Couple of other pro games of note, namely the Sunday and Monday Night games. SNF is the Gents at the Owboys. Jerry Jones says he is so excited he has insomnia. Think Good Eli will show up to give Jerry indigestion too? Not me, nope this is early in the season and the Cowboys will dredge up some more usual hollow hope for the hometown. But they play again, and Eli will own that one. On MNF we have teh Iggles at the Skins. The much awaited debut of the Chip Kelly Quack Attack run by Mike Vick in the NFL, and the return of the rebuilt RGIII. This is a very tough call. Slight edge to Skins because they are at home, Kelly needs time to have his offense gel and Philly’s defense is a question mark. If vick stays healthy and productive though, watch out. A real sleeper game is the Cardinals at the Rams. Both teams are WAY improved. Watch out for Larry Fitzgerald now that he has Carson Palmer instead of a string of scrubs throwing to him, and the Card’s defense should be solid once again.

Lastly, this weekend is the Italian Grand Prix. There are a few MUST watch races on the Formula One calendar, and Monza is at the top. It always is, but there may be weather Sunday, which could seriously skew things and turn it into really compelling theatre. I was up for qualifying this morning and am sad to report the Red Bulls, led by Sebastian Vettel, have locked out the front row. Nico Hulkenberg surprisingly got his Sauber into P3, with Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in P4 and P5 respectively. The buzz everywhere is that this race, at effectively Ferrari’s home track, will likely decide Massa’s future. Out qualifying Fernando is a good start, but the result is what will matter. Massa is almost certainly driving for his future in F1 at all with Kimi Raikkonen’s potential return to Maranello lurking. The one thing in Massa’s favor is that Alonso wants no part of Kimi returning to the fold. Should be an interesting race and it goes off at 8:00 am EST on NBCSports.

THIS JUST IN: SPECIAL LIVE UPDATE FROM THE AMERICA’S CUP RACE!

ACRace 2This is from our very own fearless Emptywheel Roving Reporter Rosalind, hot off the wires!

“Greetings Wheelies! it is I Rosalind, Roving Reporter. The Emptywheel
assignment editor forced me to spend the weekend in San Francisco. Temp in the 80s, clear blue skies, giant boats flying across the water. Good times.

When we last met, I was waxing rhapsodic over the America’s Cup Sailing races finally coming to San Francisco, one of the most perfect natural venues for a sailboat race. Alas, Larry Ellison, Mr. Oracle, as defender of the Cup got to chose the new boat design and went with a radical new approach: giant catamarans with towering fixed wings that can go really really fast – 50 mph fast – but are wickedly unstable in the SF Bay conditions.

ACRace 3Two destroyed boats and one crew member’s death later, the official America’s Cup finals kicked off today, after a summer Challenger series where the only suspense was which boat was gonna break down first. Truthfully. I really wanted to blow off this trip, but you know how stern the EW taskmaster can be. So here I am, in glorious weather surrounded by tourists from around the World and SF citizens from all about and happy happy shopkeepers loving the influx of customers. The races are free to all, just head to the waterfront and pick a spot. Grandstands free for the public are near the Marina Green.

ACRace 4A relative treated me to a reception last night at the St Francis Yacht Club where the Italian engineers responsible for figuring out Computational Flow Dynamics made a lot of sense for why this new Wing technology will have other applications and is a great advancement, but they had an open bar and well, I’ll have to get back to you on that one….

The New Zealand boat looked scary good today, the boat was just flying over the water. The Oracle boat looked off its game from the get go. They lost a crew member over the side per-race, and it went down for, there. They had a rip in their Wing that they patched with Duck Tape (hee…h/t EW)

Races 3 and 4 tomorrow (Sunday).

That is it for this sporting weekend ladies and gents. There are a plethora of games and things to talk about, and let’s get to it in comments. Music this week by, of course, a Michigan man, Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band, with the classics Travellin Man and Beautiful Loser. Wonderful tunes if you have not heard them in a while.

Italian Grand Prix 1961-2011: Monza, Death of von Trips & A Yankee Champion

When we started the 2011 Formula One season back in March, I noted that 2011 is the 50th anniversary of the magical 1961 F1 season in which Phil Hill, driving for Ferrari, became the first, and other than Mario Andretti in 1978, only American Formula One Grand Prix World Champion. From our season opening post in March, Circus Starts Anew, 50 Years On From the Yankee Champion:

As starts the 2011 Formula One season, so too started the 1961 F1 season fifty years ago. For all the differences brought by technology and time over five decades, there is much in common. The excitement and anticipation of the drivers, the longing to put the knowledge of the off season testing and tech changes finally to proof in actual race conditions, the first drivers’ meetings of the season, the beautiful people and the eyes of the international sporting world focused. There is nothing like the Formula One circus; that was the case then as much as it is now.

Longtime regulars here at the Emptywheel Trash Talk threads will likely remember that I had the privilege of knowing Phil Hill as I was growing up. Phil was the first, and still one of only two (Mario Andretti), Americans to win the Formula One Grand Prix World Championship and his career was immortalized in the excellent biography Yankee Champion by William Nolan. 2011 is the fiftieth anniversary of his championship season. In honor of that, I will be comparing and remembering the races and excitement of the 1961 season over the course of the current season. See here for some simply superb [Cahier Archive] photos from the 1961 season.

Phil was my friend, and my mentor. I miss him.

Phil Hill German GP 1961 - Cahier Archive

This will be the last formal installment in the 1961 retrospective series. While there are 19 races in this year’s 2011 F1 schedule, with six remaining after the Italian, there were only eight races on the 1961 docket. The Italian was the seventh and penultimate race, and the one that will not only live in infamy, but in which the Championship was determined. Indeed, with both the Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships decided at Monza in the Italian, and in light of the tragic death of their star factory driver, Count Wolfgang von Trips, the dominant Ferrari team did not even travel the Atlantic to contest the final race, the inaugral United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, NY.

So, in 1961 all the marbles came down to the famed steep banked course at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Read more