Run for your life Johnny Football! Manziel bombs against the Bengals
Greetings from the Hoodwood where the locals are hoping for another Fantasy Football title.
NFL: Manziels Big Flop
The hype was palpable. Johnny Football was going to get his first start in the NFL, the much ballyhooed 2012 Heisman winner and first round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns was going to get take the stage and possibly shine against a vunerable Cincy squad that had suffered a painful 4th quarter collapse against the Steelers. But the Bengals came out running and the Browns came out…flat. Far from being inspired by their crazy crowd, Manziel looked scared. He looked tentative. The Bengals seemed to be everywhere on defense and Manziel was getting beat on like a rag doll. Manziel finished a pathetic 10-18 for only 80 yards. 80! Manziel and the Browns only had the ball 38 plays and barely 20 minutes as the Browns were hammered 30-0 to be formally eliminated from the divisional and for all intents and purposes the AFC playoff race. Manziel said he was “humbled” by his performance. You think about it, Manziel had been chirping to get the start and when Brian Hoyer finally played his way out of the starting position, the natives figured Manziel was going to be ready to step in. Instead, Manziel looked confused, unprepared. He threw two interceptions and was sacked three times and his QBR? 1.0 That’s it…it wasn’t like his counterpart Andy Dalton was that much better but he didn’t really need to be. He had the redoubtable running of Jeremy Hill who ran for 148 yards which was more yards by himself than the Browns had in the entire game. Manziel may look back at this inauspicious start of his career and laugh. I doubt that though.
NFL: Reseed the playoffs?
Here we go again, the whining commences because the NFC South is the bastard child of the NFL this year. Remember when the NFC West champ won the division with a 7-9 record? That team was the Seattle Seahawks they won the division and hosted a playoff game while the NFC South had three teams win 10 games or better and the Tampa Bay Bucs with the New York Giants both won 10 games and were on the outside looking in. This year it’s the reverse. The NFC South is the weak team and there is a chance that a team with a worse than .500 ledger will win the division. Commence the whining, reseed the playoffs. Now this has quieted some as the chances that the Cowboys might win the NFC East, but there will likely be a team that will win at least 10 games and miss the playoffs. Now who will it be? Detroit? Green Bay? Philly? Seattle? Dallas? Keep in mind that Arizona has already taken one playoff spot off the table. There are five teams but only four spots left. Someone is going to be left out in the cold and the crying will commence. Lets be clear the playoffs don’t need to be reseeded, you don’t need to add an extra team. The playoffs are fine the way it is. This isn’t every one gets a trophy. Some teams are going to get left out, you have to have a division winner and that winner hosts a playoff game as reward. Yeah the NFC South is weak but the game is cyclical.
Six Divisional Titles in a Row for the Pats
Is Peyton getting the noodle arm?
The end of the Jets-Titans game was a madhouse
The Pacers were up on the Lake Show at one time 53-19
Kobe passes MJ and his sycophants go nuts, I say big deal
Damn, Jay Cutler is that bad…
The Bandits win in the GMFL Playoffs and are going to the title game.
Know what’s ridiculously difficult? Trying to figure out what cell phone to get and with what company. AT&T has 2 iPhone 6+ certified preowned (now, how a phone is preowned after what 4 weeks of being on the market is beyond me) and like 10 GB of data for $150/mth. BUT their coverage near me sucks butt. Verizon is solid coverage wise, but I hate them - perhaps irrationally so, but I do. Like the Raiders. In fact, I equate Verizon to the Raiders.
So, I’m comparing phones and plans. AT&T has great service where they have service, Verizon has good service, all over the place. I honestly have spent more time on this phone thing than I did the last time I bought a car. Maybe I should’ve spent more time when I was doing that, but this is ridiculous. Really.
I mean, it’s not like Mrs and I are walking around with rotary phones in our back pockets. We don’t have NEW phones but we’ve each got iPhone 4s’. They’re no longer flashy, but they work. They’re solid. They do what they’re supposed to. I’m 3 years older now than when I bought them, so looking at the screen is no longer as easy as it used to be; I kind of squint and move my arm back and forth to get focused. And I will say, my company iPhone 6 is pretty freaking sweet for that. I use my phone as a GPS a lot, and the 6 is completely fab for that too. Now, is getting a 5 worth a 2 year contract if I get it free? Um… Gee, we’ll give you a 2008 Ford Focus if you agree to have it serviced with us for the next 6 years. I’ll pass. Seriously, why would I commit to another 2 years because you give me a phone that’s already a year and a half old? That sucks ass and I’m not doing it.
We did our Christmas cards this weekend. Some folks consider it “late” to be mailing them on December 12-13, but I consider that the sweet spot. I mean, if you thinks that’s late - then you’ve already mailed them out, in which case I didn’t get one so screw you you’re not getting one from me. If, like me, you think it’s just about right - fab, you’ve given yourself extra time to get me on your list. If you don’t mail them out til like December 20, you can’t really expect the make up card until next year...in which case my whole list is pretty much made up of the “make up cards” from last year and the “early card senders” from the current year.
This year Christmas comes on the worst possible day - not date, duh, it’s the same date every year. It falls the day before payday. REALLY? So I’m expected to pull presents out of my butt 12 days after we got paid last? I mean, people don’t really, like, plan and stuff for this do they? I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t matter if I was making $7.25/hr or $725,000/yr, I seem to live paycheck-to-paycheck. I’m not really sure how or why that happens, it just does. I’m pretty sure we could eat ramen noodles and drink water for two straight weeks and we’d still have no money the day before payday. I could buy 2 cars, 3 business suits, and retain a housecleaning service and I’d have just as much money the day before payday as if I had eaten ramen. It’s crazy.
I’m pretty sure, though, that $725,000 yearly is a better place to be than $7.25/hr and if anyone challenges me on the paycheck to paycheck thing, it’d better be making the 700 large.
So, because it’s Christmas, all the retail stores are blitzing the airwaves with their pitch for your buck. It’s now that I learn that K-Mart has a “membership?” WTF is that? Who the hell wants to be a member of K-Mart? Blue light specials for members? Oh christ, just go to Costco and be done with it. Seriously.
Obligatory Sports Talk. Johnny Football might be back down to that $7.25 payrate if Sunday’s performance is any indication. At one point he had thrown for 22 yards and 2 picks. Cleveland, please remember, that just because Hoyer hasn’t played great the past few weeks, it doesn’t mean that it’s just Hoyer not playing well. At least when he was playing the Browns didn’t get shut out. Anyone read Radatz yesterday? You should. Sums it up nicely.
San Diego knocked Peyton Manning out of the game and still couldn’t get anything done. Denver wins, and secures a playoff spot. San Francisco gets knocked out of the playoffs. New England kicked ass, and wins the AFC. Buffalo beat the Packers - how’d that happen?
Oooo hey there. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. I think george has a point there. Don't you? Another annoying human habit is touching the glass on a door you're opening. Do you really have to? That's what handles are for.
Been a busy week for Santa's helpers. We've been packing NFL hoodies, sweat shirts, jackets and scarves for all the good NFL fans out there. It's been a tough pack for about 4 weeks now. The jackets and hoodies don't fold real nice. They create issues but volume is our friend. Santa will have no Debbie Downers. So maybe if you were on Santa's nice list, you have NFL gear coming your way.
So lets see what's happening in the land of Left Turns.
MORE SURGERY FOR TONY STEWART
He just had the rod replaced in his leg right after the last race of the season and now it is said there will be #5. Doctors aren't happy about how slowly it's healing. The goal is to not have that rod in there in the future. Stewart says it still hurts but is optomistic that when the rod is out that the pain will go to.
I hope so. February is around the corner. Stewart plans on being at the Chili Bowl next month to help with track preparation for the dirt track midget race (wingless sprint cars). So far I don't see any NASCAR driver entries on the list.
DALE JR"S BEST SELLING DIE-CAST
Not only is Dale Jr's Daytona 500 paint scheme the #1 best selling die-cast of the year it'sthe #1 best selling die-cast car in Lionel Racing history. While Dale Jr took like 6 spots on that top 10 list Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Austin Dillon got spots to.
WATKIN'S GLEN GETS GRANT FROM NEW YORK
The track will have it's repave and updates courtesy of a $2.25 million grant as well as $12 million in private funding. The repave is scheduled after the Cheez-it 355 race weekend.
LOGANO GETS MARRIED
Fiance Brittany Baca picked the date 12-13-14 so it would be easy for Joey to remember. He is a busy guy. Honey moon is in Costa Rica for 5 days.
Congrats to the new couple.
NASCAR TO LET TEAMS DECIDE JUST HOW MANY LUGNUTS TO TIGHTEN
Is this bizaare or what? They have decided to let them tighten all 5 or just 2 or 3 or however many they want. No morte monitoring during the stop. Sort of opens things up for disaster if you ask me. There's a lot of gamesmanship in NASCAR. This is why I call it a high speed rolling chess match. Always decisions to be made at every pit stop.
Now NASCAR is not letting them completely off the hook here. If they lose a wheel during the race they will be penalized. That I find a bit stupid. If your wheel comes off the car while you're driving, I'm sure you're about to get penalized right into the wall or into another car. They didn't state just where this penalty falls on their scale yet.
Now I can see how this 2 or 3 or 4 lugnuts could play into the hands of a crew and driver willing to take the chance. If you come in for 2 or 4 tires during a late race caution with like 5 to 10 laps to go, you might want to roll the dice to get that extremely valuable track position. AND THEN you hope they stay on for the restart and possibly the win.
Something to look forward too in the 2015 season.
NEWS OF THE DANICA
Besides the who's going to be her crew chief thing, there really isn't any news. Just thought you all needed to hear that name.
WANT A NEW RACING CAREER?
The Roush Yates Racing School of Technology will be open for classes in February of 2015, Their 36 week program will make you an entry level machinist. You'll be machining engine blocks and cyliders before you know it. No word on tuition costs. I didn't look it up.
KEVIN HARVICK NAMED DRIVER OF THE YEAR
17 journalist and broadcasters got together and voted. The catagory was for all drivers of every racing series. Harvick beat out Tony Schumacher (2015 Top Fuel Dragster Champion) and Erica Enders Stevens (2015 Pro Stock Champion) by taking over half the votes. He gets a trophy and Tissot wrist watch.
DUMBASS THAT CLIMBED FENCE CONVICTED
The race fan that climbed the fence at the Richmond race in September was convicted of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. He got 12 months in jail which 11 months were suspended and a $100 fine. His lawyer says he has post truamatic stress disorder from his military service and has other conditions as well.
Harry Potter says...HORSE HOCKEY. So do I. What a dumbass.
THUNDERBIRDS TO DO D-500 FLYOVER
The U S Air Force Thunderbirds are due back at the Daytona 500 for the 5th straight year to provide the thunder over the opening ceremonies at the Daytona 500 in February.
I think that picture says it all. F you to the bleeding hearts. They should all be sitting on stools facing the walls every day they are in those camps alive. Don't move for ANYTHING.
Welcome to the weekend version with your host, the Bad Penny himself…UNCLE B.O.B. This weekend should be the big Christmas Parties (work and home) weekend for many. I wish you all an enjoyable and safe time if you partake in the parties.
Today is a very busy day for the ole hermit known as myself as I will be attending the Wreaths Across America ceremonies this morning, which is honoring vets by putting holiday wreaths at the graves of veterans. I will also be putting the finishing touches on tomorrow’s town VFW Kids Christmas Party, and participating in the town parade doing some advertising.
Before you all head out to start your weekend, let me drop a few tidbits on ya:
Weather. Yes, the “Storm of the Year” hit us here in NORCAL, and my house wasn’t without damage. Heavy winds blew off shingles and exposed wood, and the rain got in and caused water leak in my bedroom. Small price to pay I suppose for getting water out here. Need a new roof anyway and I expect we’ll be getting that in the next few months. For the time being, temporary fixes are in order.
Ugly Sweater Craze. Before I start, This ugly sweater fetish has got to stop. People look like damn fools and in a few years they are gonna regret getting their picture taken.
Sons of Anarchy. I kept hearing about this show, about a biker gang located in Northern California, so Tuesday I finally took a peek at what it was all about. Well, it was the series finale of all things – a two hour show. What got me interested was the references to the areas (cities and towns specifically – Stockton, Lodi, etc.) near where I live.
I watched it and it was definitely better than that garbage reality show “The Devils Ride”. Wasn’t too keen on the ending, but it is what it is.
Pretty good show with Peg Bundy, her rack, and Jimmy Smits, and others.
UFC. C. M. Punk saw how bad the direction in WWE was going so it makes sense that Phil Brooks goes to the UFC. And why not? Lesnar, Lashley, and Bautista all tried it to varying degrees of participation and success. But at age 36, can he hang with the Middle and Welterweights who are bound to be much younger? My understanding is that Brooks/Punk holds multiple black belts in jiu-jitsu and practices kenpo. Question is, does he have real wrestling in his repertoire? I’m not a UFC guy, but I think I’ll watch this just to see how he does.
WWE. Vince McMahon going on Stone Cold’s Podcast and publicly saying that his talent basically sucks and needs to step up is a cop out – perhaps Vince and HHH need to take their own advice and step it up. The talent is there – it’s creative that’s the problem the same ole shit week after week is what’s driving people away. How many weeks in a row do we have to start off with 20 minutes of talk and end with the same ten guys charging each other in the ring. It’s the same shit and people are tuning out and not going to shows like they used to. Take the chance, feature Cesaro more and if he sucks on the mic, work with him – hell, bring the Rock in to teach him. More Cesaro and less Big Show and Mark Henry is a good thing!
It’s like anything else in business nowadays, leaders blaming workers rather than stepping up their own game, thinking outside the box, improving their leadership and communication skills, and skillfully influencing employees to do better, and making things better for everybody – apparently it’s easier to remain with the status quo – which increasingly has a short shelf-life and publicly call out your workers and throw them under the bus. News Flash Vinnie Mac: The Rock, Stone Cold, HBK, and the Undertaker aren’t coming through that door - Work with what you have.
Memo to WWE: When Sirius XM has a two hour wrestling show and all they talk about is Ring of Honor and how much better their product is than yours, it pretty much tells you all you need to know about your product.
WAIT, WHERE’S THE SPORTS YOU SAY???
NBA. Well, I guess Tragic the Myopian (err Earvin Johnson) is at it again, adding his voice to something that isn’t really welcome (what else is new with this clown?). He actually had the audacity to say that losing is the best option in the NBA and that he advocates the Lakers losing so that they can get a high draft pick. That ought to make Commissioner Adam Silver real happy - one of the greatest players of all time advocating losing.
That Carmelo Anthony is such a badass eh? Threatening to kick his teammates asses after games? Uh yeah tough guy. Hey Melo, just admit you signed with the NY Tricks for the money then planned to engineer a trade. It's easier that way then having to go through all your drama - yet again.
I wasn’t really that in tune with what was going on with Darren Sharper, but damn. The State of Lousisiana AND the Feds want some of this guy for Date Rape, and just this week he was indicted? WOW. Dude could have a life-long reservation at the Graybar Motel?
Was horrified Tuesday to hear of the car accident of Cam Newton. That’s scary, and it has nothing to do with Football. Best wishes to Mr. Newton for a speedy recovery.
How funny was it to see Kaepernick get into a verbal w/Oakland LB Sio Moore and Kaep telling him “I’m coming for you in the 2nd half?” Hey Colin, how bout focusing on your own play rather than letting opponents get into your freaking head?
Adrian Peterson's appeal was denied. So what, he gets paid and he's fresh for next season, wherever he ends up. Seattle?
MLB Winter Meetings. Just wanted to try to keep it about stuff we haven’t already talked about.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I absolutely LOVE the Nelson Cruz to Seattle signing.
I’m trying to understand San Diego wanting to trade Yasmani Grandal plus some for Matt Kemp. San Diego should be looking at Kemp’s many, MANY injuries.
And once again the threat of “New Stadium, or the team moves”. This time its in Tampa. If I’m the politicians there I just laugh at that prospect, call their bluff and say “Did you see what a new stadium did for Miami?”. Story is right here.
Apparently Jon Lester is going to the Cubs and a ton of people are saying that the North Siders are “winning the offseason.” Well, let me introduce you to a quote from former MLB Pitcher and now SF broadcaster Mike Krukow: "I heard someone say the Cubs are winning the offseason. Well, when the Hell have you ever seen a parade for winning the offseason?"
Christmas Music. DJ Uncle B.O.B. is back with a few more video carols for your pleasure. The first is in honor of our Boston contingent here at the Gab:
Let me say this, I love when the Pops do this, but I also found a version performed by the United States Marine Corps Chamber Orchestra here, so I’m putting the same song on twice:
One final one is R&B, may I present one of my favorite songs from Mr. Donnie Hathaway:
Hello folks, and welcome to this week’s Grumble with IHM. Been a long week for yours truly… mostly because of the wait I’ve been dealing with since Monday, when I got a call with a potential job offer making a hell of a lot more money than I’ve ever made thus far in my “career”. As of the time I’m writing here, I still haven’t heard back… but I’ll keep the hope alive until I hear otherwise!
Been a big week in baseball hot stove news, as the winter meetings are in full swing in San Diego. This week’s biggest players have been the A’s, Dodgers, and Cubs; all of whom made big splashes in one way or another. The A’s seem to be in the midst of yet another firesale… first trading Josh Donaldson last week, and this week trading away Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox for a gaggle of low level prospects (the Sox also added closer David Robertson) and All Star 1B/OF Brandon Moss to Cleveland for a prospect. With a shitty stadium, shitty ownership that refuses to spend a dime, and a GM who seems to enjoy rebuilding more than any fan can stand, how does this team maintain any form of a fan base? Good lord!
The Dodgers were all over the place this week. On Tuesday they made a move to bring in Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins. Wednesday they made another series of moves… acquiring a handful of prospects from the Marlins for All-Star 2B Dee Gordon, SP Dan Haren (who is allegedly retiring, in which case the Marlins receive $10 million from the Dodgers), and SS Miguel Rojas. They then parlayed parts of the Marlins trade into All-Star 2B Howie Kendrick (formerly of the Angels, much to DVT’s chagrin), then made another deal moving former star Matt Kemp to San Diego in exchange for C Yasmani Grandal, cleaning up the mess that was their crowded outfield situation. The team is also allegedly near a deal with SP Brandon McCarthy… who will likely parlay a good 15 game run with the Yankees last year into a 4 year, 48 million dollar contract!
The Cubs made their first move on Tuesday, trading a pair of pitching prospects to the Diamondbacks for All-Star C Miguel Montero. The next day they made their biggest splash, signing SP Jon Lester, considered by some to be this year’s biggest free-agent prize, to a six year, 155 million dollar deal. James Shields has also been mentioned as the Cubs next potential target. With the surplus of young position talent this team has in the minors and Majors, expect to hear a lot more from the Cubbies before the offseason ends.
As for the Tigers, they were in the category of “watchers” until just a few moments ago, when they traded RHP Rick Porcello to Boston for power hitting, power armed OF Yoenis Cespedes. The Red Sox also added Wade Miley in a trade with the Diamondbacks earlier in the week, and signed Justin Masterson. Doesn’t do a damn thing to shore up the bullpen (aside from a pair of minor league pitchers who might end up in the pen), but still, nice to get some added protection for Miggy and VMart in the lineup. Plus, the Tigers added Shane Greene in a three-way trade with the Yankees and Diamondbacks earlier in the week, which sent DiDi Gregorious to the Yankees to replace a retiring Derek Jeter, and some minor leaguers to the Diamondbacks.
The Tigers just made another deal, this time acquiring 2014 All-Star Alfredo Simon from the Reds for IF Eugeno Suarez and minor league P Jordan Crawford. Simon was 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA for the Reds last year. The best part is his nickname… he loves it when you call him “Big Pasta”. The Reds then traded SP Mat Latos to the Miami Marlins for SP Anothony DiSclafani and C Chad Wallach.
Two guys I was hoping the Tigers would make a move for to shore up that bullpen, Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek, were signed by the Astros on Wednesday.
As for Max Scherzer, the Tigers, Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Giants and Nationals are among teams mentioned in speculations as to where he will land. I’m guessing the Tigers are out (kind of hoping, actually), since they already have a solid rotation with Price/Verlander/Sanchez/Greene/Simon… but I’ve been wrong before, and I know how much Scott Boras enjoys bending Dave Dombrowski over the negotiating table!
Over in the NFL we have three big stories this week: Johnny Clipboard is now Johnny Starter, and Roger Goodell and the NFL’s owners have decided on a new conduct policy… without the input of the NFLPA, and Cam Newton was injured and likely shelved for the rest of the season after being involved in a car crash…
As for Johnny Football/Cashsign/Scumbag/Douchebag/Clipboard/Starter… it is probably best for the Browns to go this way, especially after the horrendous play of Brian Hoyer the past four weeks. In those four weeks, he ranks at or near the bottom of the league in the majority of NFL Quarterbacking stats, including throwing only one TD pass and a league high eight interceptions. At this point, they’re still in the playoff hunt, but Hoyer simply isn’t making the plays needed to help that defense win games. Will Johnny make it any better? Well, he can’t really make it much worse at this point! Besides, with two first round picks in next year’s draft, the Browns need to know if this guy’s play making ability translates to the NFL or not… and whether or not they need to go after yet another name for the long, long list of starters for the team since 1999!
As for Johnny’s first start… it comes against Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. When asked about Manziel, Lewis apparently called Manziel a “midget”… which sent the world of little people into an angered, adorable frenzy. Lewis apologized for the comments later… sad when midgets can force an apology out of a full sized man. Just goes to show you the PC hellhole we now call reality.
The new NFL conduct policy is set… highlights include:
Embracing the use of independent investigations; the NFL will hire a special counsel for investigations and conduct who will oversee initial discipline.
The policy will implement an element of leave with pay during investigations of people charged with violent crimes.
The commissioner still has some role in the appeals process, but may appoint a panel of independent experts to decide an appeal.
Doesn’t sound like all that bad of a deal, but I’m sure the NFLPA will find something to cry about in there… most likely about the fact that they weren’t able to collectively bargain for any part of the policy. Whaaa, whaaa, whaaa… fucking unions.
Cam Newton was injured when he was cut off by another driver and rolled his truck a few times on Tuesday. Newton was in the hospital overnight, and suffered a pair of fractures in his lower back, similar to the injury Tony Romo suffered at the end of last season. Best wishes to Cam on a full recovery.
This week’s games include: The Lions hosting the Vikings… a team that always gives them trouble. The Packers travel to Buffalo to face a tough Bills D. Hopefully we get a little help from Gym Shorts and the boys. The resurgent Falcons (despite the loss to the Packers on Monday night) host the Steelers. The 49ers and Seahawks face off in the afternoon and the Cowboys and Eagles battle for first place in the NFC East on Sunday night. On Monday night, the Saints travel to Chi-town to face the Bears.
In college football, the debate continues over the playoff teams and the slotting of the rest of the bowl eligible teams… but this weekend we get a chance to see football in its purest form. The Army vs. Navy game on Saturday at 3. Only game on the schedule… as it should be. These young men deserve the spotlight, even if only for one week. Make sure you tune in if you get the chance.
Over in the NBA, LeBron James caused a stir early in the week with his perpetuation of the “I Can’t Breathe” slogan on a t-shirt (he among other athletes around the country), then caused an international incident by daring to touch the duchess when he met the royal couple (don’t remember their names, don’t give a shit either). Apparently nobody is to touch the future queen… not even “King James”. Neither the duke or duchess seemed very offended by it, but apparently the tea suckers overseas were quite upset. LeBron scores major points in my book if he comes out and tells the uptight citizens brigade to sit on it! Fuckin limey Brits!
The Warriors won their 14th straight over Houston Wednesday night, improving to an impressive 19-2 on the season in the process. Does this team finally have it together enough to make a serious run at the NBA title? I’d love to see it, personally.
The NHL is apparently in the grips of a mumps outbreak… Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson have been diagnosed with the vaccine-preventable disease, as have players for the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Anaheim Ducks, and St.Louis Blues this season. Looks like somebody missed their shots growing up.
This week marked the ten year anniversary of the night Dimebag Darrell Abbott was shot and killed while playing in a Columbus, Ohio club. RIP to one of the finest guitar players this world has ever known:
Well, that’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy your weekend, Gabbers!