August 23, 2019 / by 

 

Trash Talk – Getaway Week

The Phoenix Suns once, thrice actually, had a coach named Cotton Fitzsimmons. A wonderful man, and a great coach (10th winningest coach in NBA history actually). Cotton was a diminutive man with outsized character; he may be one of the only men in history that could consistently put Charles Barkley in his place, and it was with such charm that Chuck loved him like a father. Anyway, Cotton had this theory that it was always important to win "getaway games". And Cotton defined getaway games as the last home game before a big road trip or the last game before the playoffs. He always wanted to roll into tough situations on a positive note. Smart man.

Well, this is the last week of the regular season in the National Favre League, and for those teams headed to the playoffs, or trying desperately to get into the playoffs, we got some getaway games. Eli, Coughlin and the Giants showed what it meant last year to play hard on a getaway game in the last week, even when you are already in the playoffs and it won’t affect your seeding. Even though they lost to the Patriots, they played their hearts out and left every ounce on the field. What they gained from that effort propelled them all the way to the Lombardi Trophy. Oh, and don’t miss today’s video, it is some excellent getaway music.

Fish at Jets and Pats at Bison: Let’s be honest, this is all one big game, and it is going to be for all the marbles. If the Dolphins win, they win the East and they are in the playoffs; if they lose and the Bills beat the Pats, the Jets are in. If the Jets win and the Pats win, the Pats are the East champs. Even if the Dolphins win, the Pats can get in as a wildcard if the Ravens lose to Jacksonville. The Jets get in as a wildcard if they win and the Pats beat Buffalo, so long as the Ravens lose. I really, and I mean really, hate to say this, but I think the Dolphins will beat the Jets, the Pats will beat the Bills, and the Ravens, being the home team, will beat the Jags. This, sadly, means that Brett, the Jets and the Pats all go home. Totally sucks, but that is how I see it; the Fish and Ravens win getaway games.

Donkos at Bolts: The other bare knuckle brawl for all the marbles is the Denver boys going to the beach to visit Randiego. Having spent some time in graduate school at Boulder, I am a bit of a Broncos fan, and I have always admired Mike Shanahan. I am again really sad to report that I think the Bolts will win this getaway game and head into the playoffs with as much steam as a weak kneed 8-8 team can muster. Then Norval Turner will show just what kind of coach he is and promptly lose to a wild card challenger.

In the rest of the games, Giants win a close one over the Vikings in Minnesota; Panthers beat the Saints in N’awlins; Lions end their season of historic incompetence in the home of the Green Bay Packers; Rams lose in HotLanta to the Falcons; Bears succumb to the Texans in Houston; Titans make it close, but get kicked by the Colts in Indy; Browns get rolled by Big Ben and the Steelers; Raiders get walked off the plank by the Buccos in Tampa Bay; Chiefs beat the hapless Bengals in Cincy; Cowboys scalp the Eagles in Philly (and that could be an ugly scene); Redskins lose in a close game to the up and coming 49ers in Frisco; Seahawks go back to their losing ways and give the Cardinals a getaway victory at home, and with it, only the second winning season in the more than twenty years the bumbling birds have been in Phoenix. Then, like Randiego’s Bolts, they show their true nature and become fodder for a wildcard challenger

Here is the complete playoff picture and calculations from Fox Sports, because this is really what is important at this point:

NFC EAST

New York Giants
Giants have clinched NFC East division title, first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys can clinch playoff spot with:

1. Cowboys win.

Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles can clinch playoff spot with:

1. Eagles win AND Bucs loss AND Bears OR Vikings loss.

NFC NORTH

Minnesota Vikings
Vikings can clinch NFC North title with:

1. Vikings win, OR …
2. Bears loss.

Chicago Bears
Bears can clinch NFC North title with:

1. Bears win AND Vikings loss.

Bears can clinch playoff spot with:

1. Bears win AND Cowboys loss AND Bucs loss.

NFC SOUTH

Carolina Panthers
Panthers have clinched playoff spot.

Panthers can clinch division title and first-round bye with:

1. Panthers win/tie, OR …
2. Falcons loss.

Atlanta Falcons
Falcons have clinched playoff spot.

Falcons can clinch division title and first-round bye with:

1. Falcons win AND Panthers loss.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers can clinch playoff spot with:

1. Buccaneers win AND Cowboys loss.

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals have clinched NFC West title.

NFC eliminated teams: 49ers, Lions, Packers, Rams, Redskins, Saints, Seahawks

AFC East

Miami Dolphins
Dolphins can clinch AFC East title with:

1. Dolphins win.

New England Patriots
Patriots can clinch AFC East title with:

1. Patriots win AND Dolphins loss.

Patriots can clinch playoff spot with:

1. Patriots win AND Ravens loss.

New York Jets
Jets can clinch AFC East title with:

1. Jets win AND Patriots loss.

Jets can clinch playoff spot with:

1. Jets win AND Ravens loss.

AFC NORTH

Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers have clinched AFC North title and first-round bye.

Baltimore Ravens
Ravens can clinch playoff spot with:

1. Ravens win.

AFC SOUTH

Tennessee Titans
Titans have clinched AFC South division title, first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs.

Indianapolis Colts

Colts have clinched playoff spot.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos
Broncos can clinch AFC West division title with:

1. Broncos win/tie, OR …
2. Chargers loss/tie.

AFC eliminated teams: Bengals, Bills, Browns, Chiefs, Jaguars, Raiders, Texans

That’s all folks. Please litter and trash appropriately!


Trash Talk – Prime Time Edition

The penultimate week to the regular season schedule in the National Favre League is upon us and, as many of you have already discovered, the hostess’s team is playing the janitor’s team. Yep, bmaz’s Arizona Cardinals (I don’t really claim the losers, but they are my home team) are visiting Marcy’s gridiron heroes, the Patriots. Apparently there are other games being played too. But, before we get to that….

Did you know that Brett Favre got more votes in Minnesota than Coleman and Franken? Yep, it is true. Has to be true, I saw it on that whiz kid Nate Silver’s site, and the dude has been right on about everything else. Nate says Brett cleaned out teh "Lizard People" too (I guess that means he beat Richard Shelby, Bob Corkass and friends, the "lizard liars"). Okay, so it was for President that Favre beat Coleman and Franken, and it was just a write in, but Brett Favre kicked their ass! Just like he is gonna do to the Seahawks Sunday!

Well, now that we have covered the Minnesota Election Trash, let us get back in our normal groove. By popular request, this week’s musical selection is from The Tubes, a pretty cool two song set (Prime Time and TV Is King) from some German TeeVee show patterned after American Bandstand or something. In their prime, The Tubes were an outrageously good band and put on a wild live show.

And now, for the games.

NATIONAL FAVRE LEAGUE: Well, as previously mentioned, there appears to be an American football contest going on up in New England. And, yes, EW is already beating me and the hapless Cardinals down. Go figure. Listen, first off, I didn’t pick these losers, they came here against my will. I actually participated in an effort to beg Jerry Colangelo, then owner of the Suns (later the Diamondbacks too) to start an expansion team here. But nooooo, the pissant Cardinals wanted a new stadium in St. Louis and was using Phoenix as leverage to get it. The fuckers in St. Louis called their bluff and they freaking moved here. Arrrggghhh! Oh well, they are all mine now. Lucky me. The Patriots, on the other hand, since the turn of the century, have turned into Lombardi’s Packers. They are big, bad, ruthless and good.

The Cards have no running game, rely on a precision passing attack featuring an ancient, fragile Kurt Warner who has small hands and can’t throw with a glove on. New England is not currently particularly balmy; you do the math, it ain’t looking real good. Oh, and the Cards have already clinched the National Conference West and didn’t even bother to mail it in last week against the Vikes. The Pats have Kevin Faulk, the Law Firm, Matt Cassel, Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Oh yeah, and Marcy is already promising that Richard Seymour is going to crush Warner. This isn’t good, Matt Leinart can’t even play in the sunshine, much less the tundra. Um, I may be lame, but I am not stupid; I am taking the Pats.

Ravens at ‘Boys: Well, the Cowboys sure dismantled Bad Eli and the Giants last week. Bad. Ray Lewis and the Ravens have a mean defense and Falcco has played well, but Dallas is playing for their lives and Tony Romeo, TO and Jason Witten got a taste of cohesive victory, and I think they will do it again. Chris McAllister being out for the season removes a shut down corner from the Ravens, and in this game, that is enough wiggle room for the ‘Boys.

Stillers at Oilers: Masaccio’s Titans, although still with only two losses, seem to be sliding fast enough that you would think they are Oily again. Big Ben and the Stillers just keep winning tough and ugly. But win they do. Albert Haynesworth is out. Albert is huge, and so is his loss. That is going to open enough running game for the Steelers to take a little more heat off of Roethlisberger than he has had lately. That is enough; Steelers roll the Titans in Tennessee.

Panthers at Gents: This is actually a huge game. Both teams are going to be in the playoffs, but this tilt is critical to seeding for home field. It is hard to pick against the Giants, especially at home. But the Panthers are on a roll and the Giants are not. Brandon Jacobs will play, but is hurt; D’Angelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are not hurt and are flat out killing people. i am not sure about this, but I am prowling with the Black Cats.

Jets at Hawks: Bet you didn’t know this, this is the battle of the running Jones. Running backs Thomas Jones of the Jets and Julius Jones of the Seahawks are brothers (Julius is the younger). Thomas Jones has been money this year and you can run on the Hawks. Matt Hasselbeck is out, and Seattle will be QBd by Seneca Wallace from Iowa State, and he has played very well lately. But Seattle has squat for receivers other than Deon Branch, who is healthy now, but has had a slow, injury filled season. One wild card here is that it is Mike Holmgren’s last game in Seattle, so there will be that emotional aspect. The other wild card is that it will be inclement weather, may even snow; that favors the Jets I think. The Jets do not travel well to the west coast. Not at all. This game is a toss up because of the Holmgren factor.

Cheesers at Da Bears: The Monday Night Game is the age old black and blue Norse division tradition of the packers and the Bears at Soldier field. Bad weather. Snow. Cool, who could ask for more (unless, of course, it could be for Favre to be on the field here in a GB uniform where he belongs). Te Pack have terribly underachieved this year. Aaron Rodgers has played very well actually, but they really miss the swagger that left with Number 4. Bad. Based on the records, and where the game is played, you would think Da Bears will win. That is what you would think; me, I’ll take the Cheeseheads.

Brownies over the Bengals (man do they suck). Saints send the Lions to 0-15. Fish over the Chiefs, but I don’t feel great on this one, Chiefs could upset. Niners at Rams, who the hell cares, I guess one of them has to win. Bolts at Bucs; eh, I think the Frightening Bolts streak is over; Buccos carve em up. Broncs beat the Bison, and the Texans clock the Raiduhs. Iggles claw the Skins (can Zorn keep his job with quick draw Snyder?). And last, but not least, the Vikes beat the Dirty Birds in Minnehonka. Gotta love the Falcons, but they are fading now.

That is the run down for this week. Mix a toddy and get yer picks in. Oh, and trash it up!


Trash Talk – The Axe Starts To Fall Edition

I’m snakebit. Am driving down the road Saturday afternoon listening to NPR’s Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me when the first crushing blow occurs. The guest is CIA head honcho Michael Hayden, and the interview is actually superb. Seriously. Then I realize the dude has a great sense of humor; another blow to my world. Now comes the clincher; Hayden is from Pittsburgh and is a lifelong diehard Steelers fan. The host asks him what he thinks of Bill Belichick secretly taping other teams (Hayden is non-plussed by this) and then asks "Well, we know the NSA has secret tapes of everything, surely you must have some of the Patriots’ practices and plays, have you ever thought about covertly sending them to the Steelers"? Hayden quips back "Naw, the Steelers don’t need to cheat to whip the Patriots!" Now, between laughing my ass off and trying to grab my phone to obligatorily call Marcy and prick her with this nugget, I nearly run off the freaking road. Then, in all the inordinate joy of relating this wondrous story to EW, I blow by a photo radar setup. Go figure. Still, it all seems worth it.

Okay, enough hilarity; time to get down to business. Three weeks left in the season, it’s go time baby. There are teams that are going to solidify their hold on a playoff position, and there are teams that are going to start falling victim to the axe. Here’s the rundown:

Steelers at Ravens: Yep, the game of the week is the Chief Spook’s Stillers against the Baltimore Not Colts. Both teams are on strong late season rolls, and they have the top two defenses in the league with Pittsburgh number one and the Ravens number two. Rookie Joe Flacco has been excellent and the Ravens are uncharacteristically scoring a lot of points. Even though the Ravens have Ray Lewis, it is really hard to go against Ben Roethlisberger. But I’m going to. Ravens win at home.

Giants at Cowboys: In Dallas, Jerry Jones has finally got the sideshow freak circus he has been angling for all these years. As Condiliar would say, "Who could have imagined?" Yeah, well, they are going to have to take time off from the carnival to play Eli and the Gents, who have a little theater going themselves. I may be bat shit crazy, but I think the ‘Boys will win.

Broncos at Panthers: Another tilt where both teams are coming on strong at the end of the year. Denver certainly has the better quarterback, but Jake Delhomme has a knack for winning, and the Panthers can flat out matriculate the ball down the field on the ground. D’Angelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are probably the best tandem RBs in the league (the Titans’ Chris Johnson and Lendale White are a real close 1A there). I think the Panthers’ defense is better than the Broncs though and Carolina wins at home.

Vikings at Cardinals: Whoo doggie, that Adrian Peterson is something. The Cardinals could have drafted him, but passed him up. Yeah, I know, how shocking; a stupid move by the Cards. Who’d a thunk it? Well, the Vikes aren’t real clean there either, they could have used a real quarterback and, strangely, thought that Tavarius Jackson was it. Oops. Creaky old gus Frerotte is hurt and is doubtful; very bad news for the Norske. More bad news: Kurt Warner isn’t hurt, and neither are Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Cards win and send the Vikes back north worse for the wear.

Buccaneers at Falcons: Man, the Falcons have had a magical season considering the disarray they were in last year. Matt Ryan looks like the real deal and Michael "The Burner" Turner is a speedy bowling ball on wheels. The Falcons have palyed with focus, skill and heart all season, and their record shows the results. But Jeff Garcia flat out quietly wins games when it counts and the Bucs historically have the Dirty Birds’ number. They will again. Tampa Bay wins on the road.

Bills at Jets: Well the glowing promise that Brett and the Jets showed mid season has been wearing off fast lately. The wheels are getting real wobbly after a loss to the Niners last week in Frisco. But the Bills are feinting on the couch even harder; in fact, they just have not been the same since Trent Edwards conked his head against the Cards a couple of months ago. Marshawn Lynch hasn’t been running well lately either. Brett and the Jets, Jets, Jets get their mojo back and beat the Bills.

Lions at Colts: This here game is what I would call "Teh EW Special". It’s got her kittycats AND the really evil Manning brother. Let’s see here, hmmm Dan Orlovsky or Peyton? I think the Colts have a slight edge at QB. Aw, hell, the dolts have an edge everywhere and will dispatch the Lions to Oh and 14.

Rams bounce the Seahawks, Fish flip the Niners, Cheeseheads salvage a little respect and beat the sinking Jags, Marcy gets what she really wants and the Pats obliterate the Raiders, Texans have been cowboying up lately but not enough to fend off the Titans, Iggles claw the eyes out of the Brownies (and probably seal Romeo Crennel’s fate), Skins scalp the Bengals, and last, and really kind of least, the Bolts and Chiefs sputter to a 0-0 tie.

That is it for this week folks. It is getting cold out, suck up a few hot toddies, get yer swerve on and pitch some trash!


Trash Talk II – Waiting For The Sunday Games

Well, I was going to add this to the main trash talk thread, but you folks gossipped up the joint right nice, so I decided to post it as a Part Deux. This version will be for the NFL Sunday games and some F1 news of significance.

National Favre League: It is another week of mostly unexciting matchups, even though many teams have effectively must win games. The game of the day is pretty easily the ‘Boys at the Stillers. Romo v. Rothlisberger; TO versus Hines Ward. Dallas has regained their swagger since Tony Romeo returned; Pittsburgh has just been gutting it out with tough fundamental football every week. Both teams have issues at running back Marion Barber is very questionable for Dallas and Fast Willie Parker is probable for limited duty for the Steelers. I have been trying to figure out who is going to win this game, and I have no idea. You all will have to tell me what is happening, as, thanks to the pissant worthless Arizona Cardinals, the game will not be shown in Arizona. I guess they are afraid people would watch other teams than them if given the choice; they are right.

The Falcons at Saints looks like a fun tilt too. Drew Brees has been literally ripping it up this year passing. Seriously, Brees is on a pace to break Dan Marino’s single season passing yardage record. But the Saints have been uneven, to say the least, and, at 6-6 need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Dirty Birds are a shocking 8-4 and rookie QB Matt Ryan is playing like a seasoned pro. Since the game is in Nawlins, the Saints should win at home. Except the Dirty Birds have Michael "The Burner" Turner, and that and a conservative Matt Ryan will keep the ball out of Brees’ hands and garner a win.

The Sunday Night game of Redskins at Ravens looks interesting too. Both teams have excellent defenses, but I give the nod to Ray Lewis and the Ravens here. Not to mention the Ravens have Ed Reed, who has rather quietly had a career that is of Hall of Fame quality; the man is just flat out tough nuts, and he always plays. Coach John Harbaugh has rookie QB Joe Flacco on a short and conservative leash, but i have just never warmed up to Jason Campbell, especially in big games. Clinton Portis is hurt, but is a stud and is going to play. I’ll take the Ravens at home.

In other games, there will be enough Good Eli for the Gents at home to take out the Eagles. The Colts will continue the March of the Mannings and continue the lost season for the Bengals. The Packers will rope the Texans in Green Bay, although it should be close. I will predict right now that next year the Houston Texans finally break out nad make the playoffs; they are getting better. The cute pick of all the prognosticators has been that this is the week that Deetroit finally wins their first game, at home versus the Vikes. I don’t think so, "Yo Adrian" Peterson is going to run silly on the Motown Kitties. As Kanye West would say, "Richard Shelby hates Detroit. So do the football gods. Bears bag the Jags and the Titans take the Brownies. The Pats will stew the Seahawks, Broncos trample the Chiefs and Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown and teh Fish will grind down the Bills. Those aforementioned worthless Cardinals will beat up on the Rams in the Big Toaster in Phoenix. And, in the penultimate game in the rundown, the MNF game of Bucs at Panthers could be pretty interesting. Both teams have veteran QBs that can win tough late season games; both have good defenses. The running game for Carolina has been superb lately, but Cadillac Williams is back for Tampa Bay. No clue here; it is a pick em.

Hey now, you didn’t think I would leave out Brett and the Jets did you? Of course not. The Bretts are visiting the Niners up in Frisco. The 49ers have been playing better and with a lot more emotion under Mike Singleterry, and should play tough; but the Jets need this win to keep a game ahead of the Pats and solidly in the playoff picture. J E T S Jets, Jets, Jets.

Formula One: Yep, like I promised, there is some fairly earth shattering news from the F1 Circus. Honda is withdrawing and will not challenge in the upcoming 2009 season. Next time you here Richard Shelby or some other union busting neanderthal idiot bloviate about how great the Japanese manufacturers are doing, just remember that Honda was forced to pull out of literally the biggest automotive showcase in the world because of financial concerns. From the Financial Times:

Honda announced on Friday that it would withdraw from Formula One, a startling pullout that has its origins in the dismal state of the auto industry and that is likely to have huge repercussions on the high-profile global racing circuit.

A glum Takeo Fukui, the chief executive officer of Honda, made the announcement at a news conference in Tokyo.

He called the company’s withdrawal from the series "a difficult decision" caused by the worldwide economic gloom and "the quickly deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry."

"I offer my sincere apologies," he said, "to everyone involved."

Honda has struggled badly this year, battered by weaker sales and a stronger yen. November sales, for example, were off 32 percent from a year earlier.

"Honda must protect its core business activities and secure the long term," Fukui said. "A recovery is expected to take some time."

For those of you that don’t know F1, or are just casual fans, this is just jaw dropping. There have already been questions about the status of Toyota’s fledgling F1 program, but the factory works has indicated that it is staying in. But, as to Honda, wow. Just wow. As recently as a year ago, the head of Honda Motorsports was saying the company would spend whatever it would take to win the F1 crown and they were thought to be chasing a top driver, perhaps Fernando Alonso from Renault or young Bruno Senna, an up and coming star and Aryton’s nephew, for future campaigns. All gone now. Sad.

The remnants of Team Honda, but in need of new engine support, may well be bought up, the current rumor is that there is heavy interest out of Dubai, and make a run yet in 2009. But with the season starting on March 29 in Australia, it is going to be extremely hard to get get an engine package (presumably from Ferrari) and test it out sufficiently to be competitive early in the season, if at all. But in order to fill the grid, I sure hope someone runs what is left of the works for 2009.

The bad news for motorsport does not end with Honda either. Team Audi has announced that it is withdrawing from European endurance racing including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Audi is withdrawing from the American Le Mans series as well. Audi has long been dominant, a gold standard, in closed wheel endurance racing. This, while not of quite the level of Honda leaving F1, is still mind numbing.

The Republicans, with bellicose jackals like Richard Shelby, have plied their precious unregulated free market financial innovation trickle down happy horseshit to the catastrophic demise of not just this country, but the entire world. Thanks for the memories you soulless pukes.


Trash Talk – Recession/Depression Era Edition

The economic crisis is starting to really intertwine with the sports world in many ways. For instance, CC Sabathia, a stud workhorse and the best pitcher on the MLB free agent market, can only find two teams, the Yanks and Sawz of course, to even talk to him about the contract he wants. The Padres, not long after opening their edifice Petco Field, appear in worse straits than the automakers (attention Mrs. Randiego, you picked a bad time to throw your lot in with the local sports homeboy). The global financial meltdown/crisis is so bad it is even causing grief and thinning of the ranks in the biggest sporting league in the world, Formula One. And, worst of all, talk about yer depression, today we have to deal with those damn dirt thieves, Freepatriot’s Boomer Sooners. Yep, the Sooners and Tigers are goin to Kansas City baby! They got some crazy little women there I’m gonna get me one!

That’s the low down and dirty, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

NCAA: First up is the SEC Championship from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Alabama versus Florida. I wonder if Jim White will be watching this one? Barely in the national polls when the season started, Alabama now sits atop them undefeated and untied. Florida, well everybody knows about the chompin Gators and Tim Tebow. Florida’s offense is the irresistible force to Nick Saban and the Tide’s immovable object defense. But, you know, Florida can play some dee-fence this year too, and there is no way the boys from the Tide pool down there in Richard Shelbyland can score with the Gators. The swamp creatures are gonna roll the Tide flat.

Next up, we have some Tigers versus some dirt farmers in the Big 12 Championship from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. This is a rematch of last year’s game where teh Okies rained on Mizzou’s parade big time. From ESPN.com:

By entering this week No. 2 in the BCS rankings, Oklahoma (11-1, 7-1) beat out Texas and Texas Tech for a spot in Saturday’s game and a chance to win a third consecutive Big 12 title game. All three schools finished tied for first in the South Division and the Sooners advanced on the conference’s fifth tiebreaker — BCS rankings.

Oklahoma moved past Texas in those standings, even though it lost to the Longhorns earlier this season, by putting up 60-plus points against ranked teams in the past two weeks. The Sooners demolished then-No. 2 Texas Tech 65-21 and defeated then-No. 11 Oklahoma State 61-41 last Saturday.

Let’s stop right there a second. Really, is there anything more pernicious in sports that the fucking BCS? If so, I am hard pressed to figure out what it is. It is hard to tell what Obama really has the juice to accomplish in this mixed up, messed up world, but if he can get rid of the BCS and get a limited playoff for major college football, he will be a success. Okay, back to regular programming.

Sam Bradford has torn ligaments in his non-throwing hand against Oklahoma State and will play against Missouri with a soft cast. This might make him more fumble prone and may affect the way he sets the ball for throws. Chase Daniel and Jeremy Macklin are a powerful duo, but are coming off of a very stale performance. If Bradford coughs up a couple of fumbles, and Daniel and Macklin bust out of the doldrums, this could be a close game offensively. Big "if" though, and the Sooner defense is way stouter than Mizzou’s. Oklahoma walks away with a win here.

UPDATE 1: As Gunner reminded me there is also the Duel in the Desert tonight. It may not be as well known as several famous rivalries, but it really takes a back seat to none as far as hatred, rivalry and passion. Arizona and Arizona State. They play for the Territorial Cup, and it is literally the oldest such rivalry game in college football, dating all the way back to 1899. The Devils have had an off year, but they have ben coming on strong as of late, and the Cats have been schizophrenic again under Mike Stoops (Bob’s not particularly bright little brother). The Devils are going to win this one even though the game is in Former Fed’s home turf of Tucson.

There is also the USC- UCLA game. Like ASU-UofA and USC-Notre Dame, the game has just lost a lot of it’s luster in recent years. I think Rick Neuheisel is the right guy for the Bruins and will get them back to prominence soon. But this year, USC is going to hammer em.

YET TO COME: I want to go ahead and get this up so we have a place to banter, I will add in the NFL material and an auto tie in a little later.

Trash it up guys and gals!


Trash Talk – Thanksgiving Stuff Yer Face Edition

It’s Turkey Day!!! Time to get fat and happy people. And then, when you cannot have one more round of food, you simply must have one more wafer thin mint! Or perhaps a Savoy Truffle.

Hey, is anybody out there having the John Madden specialty of Turducken instead of turkey?

Okay, this is a short trash talk for the Thursday Thanksgiving Day games only. Let’s get down to it:

Titans at Lions: That’s right, the masaccios are invading the Wheelhouse. If not for Brett and those pesky Jets, this would likely have been the first time in history that an 11-0 team visited an 0-11 team. Still pretty freaking close. Jeebus, and who says Ford doesn’t need a bailout? Cause William Clay Ford sure needs some kind of assistance here with his kitties. Just brutal. Makes me feel proud of the Bidwells (That’s bad; really bad). On the other hand, a rejuvenated Kerry Collins, Chris Johnson, a tough defense and the always solid as a rock steady coaching of Jeff Fisher has the Titans going strong and tied for the best record in the league with the Elis. This is a tough call, but I think I’ll roll with teh former Oilers. Football in Michigan will be a lot better next year. Has to be; the laws of physics say it simply cannot get worse. Jeebus.

Seahawks at Cowboys: The Seahawks fell 20-17 at home to the Skins last week, and have now lost four straight games. The do have Hassle back now. Not sure what else, if anything, they got going though. The Boys on the other hand look to be gelling and rounding into form now that Tony Romeo is back in the swing of things. T-Oh is even catching and running wild again. Cowboys roll.

Cardinals at Eagles: Donovan McNabb, heck really the whole team, has gone wobbly. Thankfully they have very understanding and patient fans in Philly, else they might get a little testy with the Iggles. Oh, wait, these cats booed and pelted freaking Santa Claus. The Cardinals with Kurt Warner and their high powered offense ought to kill the disjointed Eagles. Ought to. But these are the Cardinals. With a Bidwell owned team, the light at the end of the tunnel is always an oncoming bullet train. And the game is at night and outdoors; the ball will be cold and hard and hands frozen. Not a good combo for the fumble prone Kurt Warner. Eagles rebound for a much needed win.


Trash Talk – Clash Of The Titans Edition

It’s trash talk time again. And this week we have a great slate of games, so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I know, I know, we’ve got to get this guy out of our hair, but once again the world seems to revolve around randiego. You’ve got a dynamic blog owner, and a loyal janitor, and still the world revolves around a surfer dude from San Diego. Go figure. Must be teh Rio Grande Mud that Mr. and Mrs. Randiego are stuck in with their Texas Tech jones.

NCAA: The mondo game of the week is the Texas Tech Red Rayduhs of Lady Randiego versus the Oklahoma Sooners. This game is not just huge to our favorite surfers, this is, indeed, the biggest game of the week for the nation. Let’s take a look at the breakdown for the game courtesy of Fox Sports:

The biggest game in the nation, the Red Raiders are playing to reach the Big 12 championship game and possibly the national championship game, while an Oklahoma victory can throw the Big 12 South division into a tiebreaker scenario that would involve Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma. The Sooners have never been more explosive on offense than they are right now, gaining 674, 528, 508 and 653 yards, respectively, against Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and Texas A&M. The biggest difference has been a running game that’s taken off behind a line that’s once again living up to its preseason expectations. Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray have combined for 1,623 yards from the tailback position. At Texas Tech, everything seems to be fine-tuned in coach Mike Leach’s "Air Raid" offense. QB Graham Harrell is quickly approaching the 5,000-yard mark, WR Mike Crabtree is playing better than his Biletnikoff Award-winning season a year ago and the running game has never been stronger under Leach. Tech is averaging 132.6 yards per game (No. 73 in the nation). First won to 50 wins? Perhaps.

FAST FACTS: Red Raiders — The offensive line has yielded 15 sacks in a whopping 622 pass attempts. … The Raiders are one of five teams in the league with at least 20 sacks. … The offense is 48 of 58 on trips to the red zone. Of the 48 scores, 43 are touchdowns. Sooners — Lead the nation in scoring, averaging 51.4 points per game. … LB Travis Lewis ranks 10th nationally in tackles, registering 10.5 per game. … OU is 9-9 under Bob Stoops when playing higher ranked teams at home.

Sam Bradford is a very fine quarterback, and Bob Stoops always has a tough defense. But I think Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree and teh Rayduhs de Rojo will rule the day in Norman. Sorry Freep, the Sooners are later.

This is kind of scary, but most of the rest of the good matchups are in the Big 10. Not sure what kind of alternate reality that puts us in, but there you have it. And of those, let’s face it, the biggest is still Michigan at the Ohio State University. Big Blue goes to the Big Horseshoe. Gonna have to vote with my heart instead of my head and root for the Wolvereenies. It has been a tough year on EW’s local gridiron scene. The Lions; well, good grief, they couldn’t be worse if Charlie Brown was their kicker and Lucy Van Pelt their holder. Then Big Blue has a far worse rebuilding year under Rich Rodriquez than anybody envisioned. So EW needs some pigskin cheer up there. Go Big Blue!

The other Big 10 tilt that is prime would be Michigan State at the Penn State JoePas. Should be a good game, hope it is not Paterno’s last game in Happy Valley. Also keep your eye on BYU at Utah; it is actually a very important game. BYU is tough, but if Utah gets by them, and Boise State wins out too, it is going to seriously screw with the BCS fatheads. Here’s hoping.

NFL: The game of the week is the J E T S Jets, Jets, Jets at masaccio’s Titans. Now this is an interesting clash. It is a Clash of the Titans, because, you see, the original name of the Jets in the old AFL was the Titans. So, there you go. Here’s the rundown:

Not so long ago, Brett Favre and Kerry Collins weren’t even expected to be starting this season. Now two of the NFL’s oldest and most experienced quarterbacks will square off in the most highly anticipated game of Week 12.

Collins has thrown for 519 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in road wins over Chicago and Jacksonville. He hadn’t thrown for 200 yards in any of his previous eight games, during which he totaled three TD passes and three interceptions.

Favre’s been able to rely more on the rushing attack, which has averaged 163.8 yards and scored eight touchdowns over the last five games. Thomas Jones tops the AFC with 854 rushing yards and will be seeking his third straight 100-yard game after running for 104 in a 34-31 overtime win over New England last week.

Favre will be challenged by a Titans defense which has given up the fewest points in the league, is tied for second with 15 interceptions and ranks third in the AFC with 28 sacks – 10 in the last three weeks. Star defensive tackleAlbert Haynesworth has seven sacks and keys a defense which has allowed one 100-yard rusher all season.

You know where I’m going. That is exactly right, I am picking the Titans all the way baby.

The second big game of the week, and it is almost surreal to say this, involves the Arizona Cardinals. Crikey, this must be an alternate reality. The Gents are coming to town to hook up with the Cards in teh Big Toaster. The Giants at 9-1 and the Cards at 7-3 are arguably the two best teams in the NFC and this should be a whale of a game. Kurt Warner is literally have another MVP caliber season, and it is no joke that Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are the best receiving pair in the league. If you haven’t seen much of these two, take a gander, they are something special. Then there is Bad Eli. Manning that is. Don’t know if y’all are aware of this or not, but EW ain’t really a fan of the Manning brothers. Any of them. Must have something to do with the Pats, I dunno. It’s not like they have beaten the Pats out of the championship, first one brother, then the other or anything. Oh, wait…. Cards are really tough at home and are starting to really look good. I’m taking them in an upset. Jeebus I know I’ll regret betting on the damn Cards. Oh well.

Next, we have the Pats at the Fish. This is arguably as big a game as the first two. Both teams are 6-4, but the Dolphins are 2-1 in division play while the Patriots are 2-2. In their first meeting of the season, the Dolphins blew out the Patriots at Foxboro by 25 points; this game looks to be much different. If the Dolphins can manage to pull out a win, they will really have the inside track for a playoff berth and the Patriots will be hurting. The Pats won’t be fooled by the Dolphins wildcat formation this time and will win easily.

Okay that brings up the last game on this week’s review list. That would be the Colts visiting the Chargers. Now it’s a good thing that I was able to pick the Patriots over the Dolphins, because much to Marcy’s chagrin this game involves another one of those evil Manning brothers. And, boy is she going to hate this, it looks to me like the Colts are going to turn the Bolts home into Peyton’s Place. There just isn’t much to say here except that the old Norval Turner, that we all know and love, is back in all his glory; and that, combined with a couple of big injuries have left the San Diego SuperChargers in a world of hurt. But other teams manage to pull together past key injuries (read Cassell and the Pats still putting up a show without Brady, Harrison and Thomas), but the Bolts have tanked. That’s Norval folks. colts win this and keep their surge toward the playoffs on track (not Palin).

Epilogue: First off, the video today is from that L’il Old Band From Texas. It is a live version from 2003 of Just Got Paid Today from ZZ Top’s first second (h/t Bell) album, Rio Grande Mud. The bearded boys can still crank. This video, Francine, is what I had in mind when I set out today, but this is a family blog (Great video but very brief, maybe 6-8 seconds of semi-nudity) so I let discretion be the better part of rock and roll valor.

Secondly, a bittersweet farewell to a true all time great in sport. A woman who dominated her sport arguably like no other, the female Tiger Woods, has played her last match. Annika Sorenstam. Annika was maybe, for a four or five year period, the most dominant golfer on the planet; no less than Tiger Woods made that statement. Sorenstam is the only female golfer in history to have shot a sub-60 round in competition and finishes off with ten major titles and 72 LPGA victories for her career. She was the individual NCAA champion as a freshman at the University of Arizona. Her 90 international tournament wins as a professional make her the female golfer with the most in history. Best of all, she was one of the classiest people ever. Cheers Annika, best of luck and thanks for the memories.


Trash Talk – Post Throwdown Action

Okay, we shot our wad a little early this week with the special Thursday Throw Down. But man, what a game. J – E – T – S Jets, Jets, Jets! Okay, enough of that; the Pats will be back, and the Jets have to deal with masaccio’s Titans next week, so it is a temporary euphoria. Let’s get down to bizness; down the rabbit hole we go!

NCAA: randiego swears the Texas Tech Red Raiders are da bomb. But not this week, they have a bye and won’t face battle until November 22 when they travel to Norman to beat meet Freep’s Boomer Sooners. That leaves the big game of the day as the Ole Ball Coach and his South Carolina Gamecocks invading the Gators down in the Swamp.

Florida already has wrapped up the SEC East, but needs a win to keep its BCS title hopes alive. It will be the second trip back to Florida Field for South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, the former Gator coach and Heisman Trophy winner who guided the Gators to their first football national title in 1996. The Gamecocks head to Gainesville with a lot of confidence after winning six of their last seven. Both teams are ranked for the first time since Spurrier took over in Columbia. It’s a classic matchup of the SEC’s top defense (South Carolina) against the SEC’s highest-scoring offense (Florida). Florida has averaged 46.5 points per game during its current five-game winning streak. Quarterback Tim Tebow has been running the ball better of late since suffering a hyper-extended knee against Arkansas. Tebow has rushed for five touchdowns in his last two games. Wide receiver Percy Harvin is third in Southeastern Conference in touchdowns with 12 (five rushing, seven receiving). The Gamecocks lead the SEC in total defense (256.5 yards per game) and rank third in points allowed (15.6 per game). LB Eric Norwood is coming off a three-sack performance, and South Carolina picked off a season-high three passes a week ago. Tebow exploded on South Carolina last season. The defense needs to find a better way to corral him or South Carolina will suffer a similar result.

Other games of note include: Oklahoma State at Colorado; Ralphie and the Buffs are tough at Folsom Field, but they don’t have enough for OSU this time. Boston College at Bobby Bowden just got a lot harder for FSU since they just suspended their entire receiving corps. Southern Cal is going to piss on the Stanford Tree; Harbaugh used up his magic last year, not gonna happen again this year. Keep your eye on Boise State and Utah too; they are both still undefeated; should still be so after this weekend, they are each clearly better than their respective foes, but their games are always a lot of fun.

NFL: There are maybe more glossy games, but I think the most interesting may be a good old fashioned Black and Blue Division matchup of Da Bears at Le Cheeseheads. Just doesn’t seem right to be talking about this game in the middle of November, in Green Bay, and not have Brett Favre in the mix. But Brett’s a Jet now, so it’s Aaron Rodgers against a gimpy Kyle Orton. Better than Rex Grossman though. Da Bears are 5-4 and the Pack are 4-5; if the Bears win, they have the upper hand and the momentum for the division and the Pack is slack. But if the Cheesers put on a good show and nail down a solid win, all bets are off and the division is up for grabs with the Vikes in the mix too. Pack sack Da Bears.

The next curious game is teh Bolts at the Stillers. San Diego is an enigma; no clue what their bag is. The Stillers looked for the first six or seven weeks like one of the three or four best teams in the league; then injuries set in and they went a little wobbly. I guess there is a chance that the Chargers pop out of their doldrums and crank out a win; but I’ll leave my chips with Big Ben, wounded wing and all.

Titans go big game hunting for Jaguars in Jacksonville. Normally I would pick the Jags for the upset because they always give the Titans fits. But I am tired of predicting the Oilers, er Titans, to lose every week and having masaccio chime in with the latest win total. Titans win this one. Also, the ‘Boys go after Skins in DC. The return of Romo. If he leaves Jessica back at Southfork, his return will be enough juice to gin the ‘Boys up for a much needed win. Also Ray Lewis and the Ravens visit the Gents. I think Ray Ray is going to go wild and it will be a lot closer than most think; not enough though, and there will be enough Good Eli to pull out a close win.

Well, that’s the roundup for this weekend. Hoop it up, and trash the joint; and, find somebody to love, will ya?


Trash Talk – Thursday Throw Down Special Edition

It’s here baybee!!

Marcy’s Pats are hooking horns with bmaz’s New York Bretts. Tonight!!

Unfortunately, it is on the craptastic NFL Network (cable or sat); but get thee to a TeeVee!

There is always something special about a NY versus Beantown sporting match, and it is not just when the Yanks take on the Sawx. In week two of the season, a still reined in Matt Cassell led the Pats to a 19-10 win, although the game felt a little closer than that most of the way. Since that time, Cassell has come into his own a bit. Tom Brady he ain’t; but he does look to be getting to be at least comfortable and competent. The Pat’s defense is a little depleted since then though. Roidney Harrison is out, maybe career over; and last week, Audalius Thomas was lost. Considering the age of Bruschi and some of the others, the loss of Thomas, a big time defender, hurts.

The Jets have come into their own too. While not at the comfort level he was in GB, Favre looks to have settled in to the Jets offense. Somehow, I think his shoulder is hurt just a tad though, the old zip isn’t quite there, although he is still better than most. More importantly, Thomas Jones is untracked and the jets offense is balanced and not relying as much on Brett. On the downside, both key receivers, Cotchery and Coles are slightly dinged, but will play. The Jets defense is really coming together now and Kris Jenkins is a wrecking crew all by himself. The Jets also just signed Ty Law to help the secondary, and with his knowledge of the Pats passing game, he should be a plus.

Okay, none of you mopes on the sidelines! Pick a side and let’s get it on!

emptywheel here. First off, where does bmaz get off, with a mid-week Trash Talk? No sooner do the Democrats get in office, I guess, and they’re mandating mid-week recess and whatnot. Mostly I think bmaz did it so he could boast that Eric Mangini bought himself some expertise on the Pats with Ty Law; one might ask, of course, why Mangini’s own experience with the Pats does him no more good than allow him to tattle once or twice to the teacher. 

Which is really what bmaz is about here. He’d like to pitch this as a battle between BillBel and Favre. When of course, it’s really a battle between BillBel’s Video Cheats and the Mangy Manginis. Besides, as goofy and infectious as Favre’s smiles are, bmaz neglected to mention that someone else has been smiling on the Pats in the last week or so–and that’s got to be good luck. Doesn’t it?

Whatever. This game is going to be decided by the defenses–and the Jets are improving wildly there. But I’m not sure that means Mangini is ready yet to beat his hated mentor.


Trash Talk – Election Weekend Special Edition

Down to the nitty gritty. The big game is Tuesday. No, CTMET, I am not talking about University of Buffalo v. Miami of Ohio. I am talking The Obama State U v. McCain Community College. This OSU isn’t in the Big 10, and we are expecting victory baby!

But the good old boys at ESPN have been scheming to game the pre-election scene. Here is the play ESPN is running:

On the eve of the presidential election, with "Monday Night Football" from Washington as the backdrop, candidates Barack Obama and John McCain are planning to participate in one-on-one interviews on ESPN via satellite.

"We worked with our partners at the NFL to schedule a Monday Night Football game in Washington on this special night, and this presents a unique opportunity for John McCain and Barack Obama to reflect upon the last few months and address a large primetime audience on the final day of the campaigns," Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production, said in a statement.

It will be the first NFL game played in the D.C. area on the Monday night before a presidential election in 24 years. The Redskins defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-14 on Nov. 5, 1984; Ronald Reagan was re-elected the following day.

The Redskins, in fact, are an accurate barometer for presidential elections. According to Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sports Bureau, who coined the term "Redskins Rule" in 2000, the following bromide has held true for the past 17 presidential elections: If the Redskins win their last home game prior to Election Day, the party that won the popular vote in the previous election wins the White House; if the Redskins lose, the party that lost the popular vote in the previous election wins.

In this Monday’s case, a Steelers win would forecast an Obama victory; a Redskins win would indicate a McCain win.

Lovely. The last time we did this, Reagan won. And we are relying on the Steelers to win this time if we want Obama in the White House. Hope Willie Parker is back. On the plus side, maybe the Stillers will remember the pandering lie McCain pulled using them as a stage prop:

And then McCain told a rather moving story about his time as a P.O.W. "When I was first interrogated and really had to give some information because of the pressures, physical pressures on me, I named the starting lineup, defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers as my squadron mates."

"Did you really?" asked the reporter.

"Yes," McCain said.

"In your POW camp?" asked the reporter.

"Yes," McCain said.

"Could you do it today?" asked the reporter.

"No, unfortunately," McCain said.

Here’s one reason he likely couldn’t do it today — the Steelers aren’t the team whose defensive line McCain named for his Vietnamese tormentors. The Green Bay Packers are. At least according to every previous time McCain has told this story. And the McCain campaign just told ABC News that the senator made a mistake — it was, indeed, the Packers.

Now that’s some locker room bulletin board material. Let us hope the Stillers remember the Maine McCain. Funny thing is, knowing McCain, I would place a fair wager that the first story about the Packers was a lie too; there is about zero chance that he would have known even the Packer’s line.

Okay, let’s get to the games.

National Favre League – Well, we know the Steelers have to beat the Redskins. In DC. Oy. Man, all the games this week are good matchups. Probably the two most interesting are the Cowboys at Giants and Packers at Titans. The ‘Boys are due for a resurgence. But not until Romo is back, and that isn’t this week. Gents win at home. Packers have three losses; the Titans have none. Titans are 4.5 point favorites; but my gut tells me this is the week the Titans have a blip and the Cheesers eke out a win.

Bretts at the Bills also interesting. I dunno what the deal is there; Bills are at home though, that is a good bet. Favre messed up by not beating the Raiders; if the Jets win that game, they finish the first half 5-3, instead it looks like 4-4. Cards at Rams and Fish at Broncs also pretty interesting games. I am going to take the upset on both; Rams nip the Cards in St. Louis and the Fish run their Red Grange play set through the paper thin Bronco defense.

One other biggie. Peyton v. Cassell. Don’t laugh, Cassell is getting more comfortable every game; he is now a competent, if not yet good, NFL quarterback. Colts have been in a major funk; pats way more solid than people would have thought. Marcy isn’t going to like this, and I don’t have a good feeling about it, but I’m taking the upset special yet again. Colts and manning bust out with a win. Oh, and by the way, looks like Tom is getting down on one knee for Giselle. Good thing it only requires one knee, that is all he has got these days.

NCAA Gridiron Glory – I want really bad for Texas Tech to whack Texas. Man would that be fun. I am generally for anything that screws with the heads of the twits that populate the BCS Committee, and boy would a Tech victory do that. The other huge game this weekend is Florida at Georgia. Both teams have proved to be more flawed than they were thought to be at the start of the season. Both have overcome the skittish play and seem to be on track now; this is going to be a war. And don’t forget the stunt Georgia pulled last year; that left a mark. Tim Tebow runs over the Bulldogs.

F1 Circus – Well, we are down to the last race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix. Young Lewis hamilton of McLaren leads Felipe Massa of Ferrari by seven points and it boils down to this:

Another Formula One season comes down to the last race of the year, with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa vying for their first career title at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
In a thrilling season in which seven different drivers won races and as many as four led the series in points, Hamilton arrives in Brazil for Sunday’s GP with a seven-point lead over home-crowd favorite Massa.
Hamilton needs only a fifth-place or better finish to ensure he becomes F1’s youngest champion at age 23, and the first British champion since Damon Hill in 1996.

"I have to look at things realistically and appreciate that I have another weekend of maximum effort ahead of me," Hamilton said.

Massa retains a chance to become the first non-European driver to win the title since Canadian Jacques Villeneuve in 1997, and the first Brazilian champion since the late Ayrton Senna in 1991. But he has to win or finish second and rely on Hamilton finishing down the field.

Ferrari leads Mclaren in the constructor’s standings by eleven points; not an insurmountable lead, but a solid one. Last year, Hamilton had the lead over Massa’s teammate at Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen, going into Brazil and all hell broke loose and Raikkonen ended up winning the crown. Although my blood runs red for Ferrari, I think this is Lewis Hamilton’s year. Should be a great race to cap off an excellent season. Don’t count out Fernando Alonso, he may be out of the championship race, but he has been hot lately and would dearly love to upstage Hamilton and Massa to close out the year.

Well, that is the rundown my wheel friends. Whoop it up, suck some cool ones down, and enjoy the games. Why do we play the games? To win the games baby! Let’s get it on and trash it up!

UPDATE From the comments, per some commenter named Emptywheel:

For those who didn’t see this football-related news last night, Brigham Young’s direct descendant is telling his church to fuck off:

Former San Francisco 49ers’ Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young has two official “No on 8″ signs in the windows of his house in Palo Alto. On Friday, there were also three Halloween-themed signs in Young’s yard that also urged people to reject the gay marriage ban.

Young’s wife, Barbara, has also donated approximately $50,000 to the “No on 8″ campaign aimed at defeating Proposition 8. Steve Young, answering a doorbell ring at his home late Friday afternoon, declined to comment about the signs in his yard.

But in an e-mailed statement to the gay rights group Equality California, Barbara Young wrote: “We believe all families matter, and we do not believe in discrimination, therefore, our family will vote against Prop. 8.”

Good on the Youngs.

(this week’s video is Astronomy by BOC)

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/trash-talk/page/32/