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Storminnorman's Sports Blog 10/17
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Royals MLB and a few other things.....

As I sat in the living room waiting ever so impatiently for my wife to hand me the laptop (because we are down to one) for the moment, I started remembering a few of the things I witnessed yesterday. Some things I never thought I would see happen again, and a few things I hope I never see again.

,

Honestly, did anyone see this coming at the beginning of the year? I surely didn't, but then again if you had told me the Royals would be waiting the winner of the St. Louis-San Fransisco series to play in their first World Series since 1985, I might have asked you what you were smoking......

But let's give the Royals their due. How many offensively challeged teams step up and perform at the level they have for 8 straight games? For what they lack offensively, they sure have made up for it with their pitching. Herrera, Davis and Holland, have been as close to automatic as any staff in baseball, and at the right time. 

But I don't really think the Royals would be in the position they are in right now, if it wasn't for their manager Ned Yost. Yost seems to be in tune with every situation during the game, and isn't afraid to yank his starter because he knows his bullpen is the best in baseball, hands down.......

Thank you Jeff for the pic, I thought I would use it one more time.......

Before I go out on a limb and crown the Royals champs, I remember a 3 years back when the Tigers disposed of the Yankees, and had to wait for the Giants to win their series. A week is a long time to wait to play, even though I heard it mentioned by the Royals that it would be good for the bully, because they were used every game. Good for the batters no, it's going to take them a couple games to get back in the groove, and like in 2012, it could be too late.....

Damn Giants up 2-1, Panik hit a home run.

And since I have left, Adams and Tony Cruz hit home runs, might be going back to St. Louis after all, but that's what I thought last night......

So I thought I would touch on a few more things, I figured out the difference between the first game played between the Bruins and Wings. The Bruins came out with that bit of nasty that the Wings don't have with all the young players on their roster. The Bruins were able to basically bully the Wings just like they did in the first round of the playoffs last year. The Wings still lack the toughness to compete in the rough and tumble Eastern Conference, and unless they add a little toughness their playoff streak might end. Oh hell what am I thinking, there are only a few really good teams in the East and Detroit is one of them....

Chara looked the the middle school bully trying to take lunch money from the Wings players, but then again that's one of the reasons I love watching him play, he is so damn nasty.

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to turn to the left and check out what Hal has to say about football...

 

 

Rivalry Series: LSU-Kentucky
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA COLLEGE FOOTBALL FLORIDA KENTUCKY LSU

Series facts

LSU leads, 39-16-1
In Baton Rouge, LSU leads, 23-5-1
In Lexington, LSU leads, 16-11

Currently, LSU has won three in a row at home and five of six in the series overall. Also, in three of the last five and four of the last eight games in the series, four points or fewer separated the two teams in regulation.

Longest home/away streaks
Home winning streak – LSU, 12 games, 1955-1975
Home unbeaten streak – LSU, 13 games, 1953-1975
Road winning streak – LSU, 5 games, 1978-1986

Kentucky won two in a row at home 3 times, 1954-6, 1974-6, and 1993-5. The Wildcats never won consecutive games in Baton Rouge.

Highest-scoring games:
LSU 63, @Kentucky 28, 1997
@Kentucky 43, LSU 37 (3 OT), 2007
Kentucky 39, @LSU 36, 1998
LSU 33, @Kentucky 30, 2002
LSU 29, @Kentucky 25, 2001

Lowest-scoring games:
@Kentucky 3, LSU 0, 1960
LSU 7, @Kentucky 0, 1962
LSU 9, @Kentucky 0, 1959
@LSU 10, Kentucky 0, 1972 and 1985

Largest margins of victory:
@LSU 49, Kentucky 0, 2006
@LSU 34, Kentucky 0, 2000
LSU 30, @Kentucky 0, 1966
LSU 37, @Kentucky 10, 1969
@LSU 41, Kentucky 14, 1996
LSU 34, @Kentucky 7, 1952

Largest Kentucky wins over LSU:
Kentucky 33, @LSU 13, 1977
Kentucky 19, @LSU 0, 1949


Historical Narrative (skip to the last section for recent games)

I mentioned in the last blog that I had done this same basic blog before on TSN. I believe that blog was done before the 2007 game. That will be one of three specific games I’ll talk about in detail, but first I just wanted to cover the major developments in the history of the rivalry.

Before the SEC went to the 5-1-2 scheduling system (I’ll explain) in 2003, LSU had played Kentucky in 51 consecutive seasons. There were only two games before that streak began, but I suspect the annual nature of the game was because neither team had particularly clear rivals in the SEC. Kentucky’s closest rival is Tennessee, but the Vols have bigger rivalries with both Vanderbilt and Alabama.

That LSU-Kentucky streak of games began in the waning days of Tulane’s membership in the SEC. The only other must-play conference rivals for LSU were Mississippi St. and Ole Miss, at that time the only SEC schools in neighboring states. Florida andAlabama didn’t become annual series for LSU until 20 years later.

The head coach of Kentucky the first time the Wildcats played LSU was none other than Bear Bryant, who always seemed to give the Tigers trouble. His teams shut out the Tigers the first two times he faced them, before LSU beat Kentucky in his second-to-last season there and tied them in his last.

Bryant’s successor had three decent years after he left (I guess until the talent dried up), and the Wildcats beat the Tigers two of the next three seasons to go out to a 4-2-1 series lead in 1956.

The 1950s were not particularly good for LSU until 1958 though. LSU was #1 again for most of 1959, so they beat Kentucky for the third straight time that year. Kentucky got one back in 1960 (both teams were barely above .500 that season) but then lost the next 13 games in a row in the series. The Tigers have had a commanding lead in the series since then.

LSU had a winning record every year during that time, but Kentucky only had one.

The Wildcats won three out of four from 1974 to 1977, but the Tigers lost 4 games or more in each of those years. Kentucky also had a little bit of a revival during that time, building up to a 10-1 season in 1977.

Ten of the next 11 were won by LSU. while Kentucky went back into the pattern of having a losing record almost every year (although not as badly). The Wildcats beat the Tigers during one of only two winning records over that period, 1983, one of the worst LSU seasons since that 1958 national championship.

LSU’s next 4-7 season was in 1989, and that was the next loss to Kentucky (who had a relatively good 6-5 season). The following loss to Kentucky was in the 1992, the worst LSU season since 1910.

Speaking of the early ’90s, Bear Bryant wasn’t the only mutual coach between Alabama and Kentucky. I also mentioned Bill Curry in my Alabama rivalry post:

“LSU continued its losing ways almost throughout Curry’s tenure at Kentucky, but the Wildcats didn’t fare much better. 1992 and 1994 were probably the sorriest match-ups during that period. 1992 was Curry’s only win with the Cats in Baton Rouge, but LSU would finish 2-9 and Kentucky would finish 4-7. In 1994, Kentucky’s lone win of the season was over Louisville in the opener. They still managed to make it close against LSU, losing 17-13 in Baton Rouge. LSU finished 4-7.

“In 1993, Curry’s most successful season at Kentucky (6-6, with a loss to Clemson in the Peach Bowl), Kentucky won 35-17

“Although LSU would finish 7-4-1 in 1995, the Tigers lost to Kentucky, who would finish 4-7, anyway. LSU made the unfortunate decision to wear purple pants for the game. And rather than causing Kentucky to avert its eyes for the entire contest, it seemed to make the Tigers self-conscious. I don’t think LSU has worn purple pants since. The final was 24-16 in Lexington. Curry had another 4-7 campaign in his final year, but LSU, on its way to a 10-2 record, had no problem with the Cats this time, 41-14.”

Kentucky would go 5-3 against LSU from 1992 to 1999. The only one that was really an upset in hindsight was in 1995. LSU had its first bowl season since 1988, but they struggled on the road that year, going 1-3-1, the only win coming against a Mississippi St. team that would go 3-8. Kentucky only went 4-7 that season, but they did get the Tigers at home.

The Tigers have won 5 of 6 since then, but there was one major upset (the one loss) and a close call in another. 2002 wouldn’t have been a huge upset since that wasn’t a very good LSU season (thankfully 8-4 isn’t what LSU fans call a good season these days), but it was the second consecutive year that the Tigers won in the last 15 seconds. I will detail those three games below.

LSU-UK into the New Millenium

I mentioned the setback in 1995 above. The next four years had expected results based on the strengths of the teams. In 2000, after two losing seasons, a new coach named Nick Saban came to town. He had mixed results his first year, which included an early loss to UAB and a characteristic blowout loss at the hands of Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators.

Kentucky proved to be no problem that year (the Wildcats had two non-conference wins but would go winless in the SEC), but the following two seasons would be adventures.

In 2001, Kentucky started similarly: 1-4 with a win over Ball St. LSU had two convincing wins over non-conference opponents, followed by setbacks against Tennessee (in a close game on the road) and Florida (another blowout).

A loss at Kentucky would have meant an 0-3 start in conference and almost no chance of winning the sec west. (At this time, two losses to sec east teams were not fatal.)

LSU started out reasonably well, taking a 19-3 lead at one point and a 22-10 lead into the half. The tigers had scored in four of their first five possessions. The only failure to score had been a missed field goal. The two teams had exchanged interceptions late in the first half, but there was no major cause for concern.

Kentucky must have made some adjustments on defense though, because LSU just could not move the ball down the field in the second half. It was still 22-10 going into the final third of the game, so at less the LSU defense had kept the lead.

Not for long though. Kentucky, led by Jared Lorenzen, would engineer touchdown drives on consecutive possessions (he threw for 70 yards in the first drive alone) while all LSU could manage was a series of punts.

After the go-ahead Kentucky touchdown with just over 8 minutes remaining, LSU still could not get a drive going, giving the ball back to the Wildcats with about 7 minutes left. Kentucky, with a three-point lead, drove to the LSU 44 before their drive stalled with 3 1/2 minutes to go. With the lead and the defense playing well, the Kentucky coach Guy Morriss stayed conservative and opted to punt on 4th and 1.

Kentucky quickly got LSU into a 3rd and 4 situation, but LSU quarterback Rohan Davey all of a sudden had an answer to Lorenzen. Instead of throwing for 30 yards at once, he threw for shorter distances, but 14 yards on the third-down play was more than enough.

After three more passes and two more first downs, LSU was in reasonable scoring position at the Kentucky 27. On the next play, Davey was sacked for a loss of 9 and it looked like the Tigers might not even be able to tie the game. He then completed a pass to his favorite target Michael Clayton for 18 yards, bringing up a third and 1. A pass to Clayton worked on the last third and less-than-5, so that’s what they did again, this time for 8 yards, bringing up a first and goal at the 10.

Davey nearly ran it all the way in on first down, but that would have been scoring too soon, so he waited until third and six (after an illegal procedure and threw to Clayton yet again for the go-ahead score with 13 seconds left.

After beating Vanderbilt to end its 15-game SEC losing streak, Kentucky would once again finish with only two wins.

LSU was still inconsistent the next two weeks: a blowout win over a weak Mississippi St. team, followed by a disappointing home loss to Ole Miss, but then something happened the following week at Tuscaloosa. LSU beat a comparable Alabama team by 14 and would not lose again.

The Tigers snuck into the SEC championship game, where they knocked off #2 Tennessee. Then LSU beat Illinois to finish 10-3 and win its first Sugar Bowl since 1967 That was an improvement of seven wins over two seasons before. But none of it likely would have happened has Kentucky won that game.

LSU would learn pretty quickly in 2002that you don’t just magically keep your spot in the pecking order. The Tigers lost their opener at Virginia tech convincingly. Then, the week before the Kentucky game, LSU was walloped by Auburn, 31-7.

Kentucky, however, was much-improved and entered the game with 6-3 record, only two wins shy of their highest season win total since 1984. Also, they were to play LSU at home.

The Tigers seemed to recover well to the loss to Auburn and played reasonably well on both sides of the ball. LSU’s offense wasn’t the greatest, but it went up 21-7 at the beginning of the third quarter, which isn’t bad against a winning team on the road.

The Tigers still held onto to 24-14 lead with around 12 minutes left. Kentucky was driving in LSU territory and faced a fourth and 1. Not knowing how many chances they would get (and likely not wanting to repeat the mistake of 2001), Morriss went for it.

Kentucky’s go-to back Artose Pinner easily ran for the first down, and this put the Wildcats within easy striking distance for Lorenzen, who completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to put Kentucky within 4. For some reason, they unsuccessfully tried for two.

The craziness was only beginning. When LSU went three and out and punted, the Wildcat returner fumbled, allowing the Tigers to take over at the Kentucky 19.

LSU got the ball to the two, but played it safe with a 19-yard field goal to go back up 7.

Aided by three different first downs resulting from penalties, Kentucky drove right down the field for the tie with 2:24 to go.

LSU then went backwards in its next possession and punted. A 21-yard punt return and face ask penalty for good measure put Kentucky back in scoring position.

Another LSU penalty made it just a 29-yard attempt, which gave Kentucky the lead with just 11 seconds left.

The Tigers took over at their own 13, and then seemingly in an effort to delay the inevitable, got a delay-of-game penalty.

Randall completed a modest 17-yard pass to Clayton, and everyone thought it was over. It wasn’t over on the clock, but still, that’s not good field position for any type of scoring play. If you haven’t seen what happens next, just watch the video at the beginning of this blog.

Kentucky didn’t play LSU again until 2006. The Wildcats were having another fairly good season and actually would win 8 games this time (new {from LSU’s perspective} head coach Rich Brooks would lead the Wildcats to four consecutive bowl games starting in 2006), but they had to travel to LSU and were coming off a tough loss to South Carolina. LSU had lost on the road to a very good Florida team (which would eventually beat Ohio St. for the BCS championship). I guess they had opposite reactions to losses, because LSU seemed hungry for blood, and Kentucky seemed to be looking forward to its bye week. The Tigers absolutely destroyed the Wildcats, 49-0, and would not lose another game that year. In fact, they would not lose again before their trip to Kentucky in 2007

The winning streak had pushed LSU to a #1 ranking, which they had not held in the regular season since 1959 when the Tigers lost by a single point at Tennessee.

Even though no players and few (if any) coaches were in common, the game followed a similar pattern to 2001 and 2002. Kentucky did score first, but LSU would go up 17-7 in the first half and 27-14 with 3:49 to go in the third quarter.

The Wildcats would score almost immediately afterward. Led by QB Andre Woodson, UK did not even face a third down on the touchdown drive.

LSU had to punt on the next possession, but they nearly had a three-and-out defensively on Kentucky’s next set of downs. The Tigers were whistled for a pass interference that kept the drive going. The Wildcats would eventually reduce the margin to three points with just under 8 minutes to play in regulation.

Two plays later, LSU QB Matt Flynn threw an interception way downfield, setting up the Wildcats at their own 37.

After an incompletion on first down, the tired Tiger defense gave up passes of 11 and 35 yards. Kentucky tried to run down he clock a bit before kicking the tying field goal.

LSU got the ball back with time for a winning drive, but it took 2:45 just to get to the Kentucky 40. Colt David was a good kicker with the Tigers, but 57 yards was a bit out of his range, so the game went to overtime.

The Wildcats got the first possession, and the LSU defense shot itself in the foot again, it would have been second and 15 from the 30, but a roughing the passer penalty gave Kentucky a first down at the 15. Kentucky later faced a third and 8, but Woodson completed a 12-yard pass, which led to the touchdown.

The Tigers had little trouble responding. It took just four plays to find the end zone, and LSU didn’t even face a third down.

The next LSU offensive possession did not go so smoothly. The Tigers faced third and 19 after a penalty and a sack, but got back into comfortable field goal range. The Wildcats responded with a three-and-out followed by their own field goal, but then the LSU defense was expected to hold them again and could not.

Actually, holding was the problem. After a Woodson incomplete pass on third and goal from the 6, the Tigers were whistled for a holding penalty. This allowed Kentucky a new set of downs, which led to the touchdown.

LSU ran four straight running plays, and the game ended about a yard short of the first.

No accidental Gatorade baths this time, Kentucky fans stormed he field and stayed there awhile. Maybe the team enjoyed it a bit too much,as they would lose four of the next five games. LSU would win 6 of the next 7 (the only loss to Arkansas, another team that would finish 8-5, also in here overtimes) on the way to it’s second BCS championship.

In 2011, Kentucky, which was in the midst of a losing season under Brooks’ successor Joker Philips, did not spoil LSU’s next serious attempt at an undefeated season.

(LSU had started 7-0 in 2010, but that was before Alabama, Auburn, or Arkansas, the only eventual 10-game winners the Tigers would face that season.)

LSU’s return trip to Lexington should have been in 2012, but that was Missouri’s and Texas A&M’s first year in the SEC, so it went to a 6-1-1 rotation, which means 6 divisional games (as a result of the seventh team being added to each division), one permanent opponent, and one rotating opponent. So rather than 2 spots rotating among five teams in that last number, one spot rotates among six teams. Back-to-back games are not done under the new system, but there is still some uncertainty over the long-term scheduling format, so they didn’t insist that LSU and Kentucky wait until 5 years had passed. That may happen before the next game, however.

Other “Rivalry Series” entries:

Team List:
Alabama (Pregames: 2011, 2013)
Arkansas
Auburn (2010 post-game)
Florida
Georgia
Mississippi St.
Ole Miss
(Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas A&M

Special editions:
Pac-12

Talking Sports
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Being Entertained

The team with the 19th highest payroll in baseball is going to the World Series. Yes folks I’m not sure how they did it playing a brand of baseball more suited to the National League than the American. It was done with smoke and mirrors and it was still done. The Royals have not lost in the playoffs sweeping the A’s if you can call a one game playoff a sweep , The Angels with baseballs best record and now a very good Baltimore Oriole team.

It looks very much like the Giants will be their opponent after beating the Cardinals  6-4 going up 3-1 in the NLCS and looking kind of unstoppable as well. I thought we might have had a Show Me State World Series but It doesn’t look that way. Instead we will have two Dynamic teams and some crazy type baseball that has been nothing less than fun. No routing interest , so I’m just sitting back and taking in some pure entertainment.

(they have been painting the damn thing for 20 Years)

Speaking about Entertainment folks in Boston have climbed of the Tobin Bridge even the Toll Takers have came down off the Bridge . Tom Terrific was back this past weekend picking out ten targets instead of Julian Edelman and not seeing the other guys. Brady looked as sharp as he has ever did. Maybe he is pissed maybe he was well prepared, I still think there is some decline but he made a good Buffalo defense look bad.

The price the Patriots paid was a heavy one Defensive Team leader Jarrod Mayo is lost for the season for the second straight year. Mayo is just one of the guys that bought into the Patriots from day one and he is just an intelligent football player. They also lost an 1,000 yard back in Steven Ridely which will hurt forcing Shane Vareen and Brandon Boldin will be filling Ridely’s void. I guess the one that hits home most is offensive lineman Dan Conolly who is also lost for the season. He is the anchor on an Offensive Line that often times just are unable to keep Brady upright although they have been much better over the past couple of weeks.

Tim Wright  is coming along complimenting Gronk in two tight end sets.  Than there is the Brian Tyms as he is back from suspension and has been added to Brady’s Aresenal. The Patriots have their work cut out for them over the next 3 weeks. They have the jets tonight. They are awful but may give the patriots a game in the rain. The Bear next week and the biggest test is the Broncos in a couple of weeks before the bye, If they can survive these three games you can count the Patriots back in the mix. Even if they only take 2 out of 3 but give solid performances in all three match ups. The Denver Game maybe one to mark on the calendar it could very well be the last regular season match up between Brady and Manning which has just been entertaining as hell over the past decade or so.

 

Lil Lakesiders Report

Lil Lanz popped home another goal Saturday has the team played much better than they have been, The Boys only had 8 guys and a goalie some tired legs at a 6am start time against Hollis NH. The Hollis team won the game in their pink jersey’s for breast cancer awareness. Our boys skated well and are starting work as a team. Unfortunately, on Sunday I think the boys left it all on the ice Saturday just looking lethargic. So be it two more weeks of  the parody round where they reseed the teams to even out the competition.

Speaking of coming together as a team Laser and the freshman soccer team have really bonded they way they should in an High school sport. At the begging of the year you had fifteen different kids and some clicks on the team as we progress to the last couple of weeks of the season you know have one big click of fifteen kids. Everyone of them just a nice group of kids. They have a coach that they respect and that respects them. Than again he isn’t much older than they are so it’s a great fit. He did think Laser and his buddy came were out of their minds heading to one of the HS fields Monday morning at 7:30am to working on their shots but he kind of loved it as well.

Zebra Tales

I heard the best line in our game Saturday by our Referee after a muffe kickoff was recovered in the end zone for a Touchback. The kid who muffed it recovered it in the end zone and took a knee. The opposing Team coach was arguing the whole game on every call even when it was to his benefit. The Referee comes over to explain the rule and the coach says we thought it was a safety. The Referee Dave says to him “you thought it was a safety but we know it was a touchback.” Just that it was a great comeback. This guy argued that an extra point went through the backjudge told him to ask his kicker. The kid to his credit says I missed a little to the right. He did apologize for that one.

Lanz’s Take

Monday my 17 year old  daughter ( she stayed in and did homework all weekend) and I headed out to the Local Fair the Mrs didn’t want to go neither did any of the boys. We saw the 1900 pound pumpkin. That was fun more farm type animals everything from cows to chickens and Clydesdales as well. My daughter and I had a blast just some good bonding time but what we both noticed was people just looked miserable. It’s the fair you eat some very unhealthy food you look at stuff and you have fun. People looked stressed and serious time to lighten up folks. I don’t  know maybe it was the end of the long weekend , maybe their kids just got to them I don’t know but fairs are fun. People need to enjoy themselves more.

Have a great Week

Weekly Grumble with IHM... on OH Thursday?!
Category: FEATURED

  We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you… yet another rant by your old pal, IHM! Ol’ Harry is on the road this week visiting his Marine down in Maryland, so I’m stepping in for the week, and hopefully not scaring too many of his regular readers off before he returns next Thursday! So Ol’ Harry is being replaced this week by the cantankerous old man trapped in a 31 year old’s body!

 

  I’ll be honest with you all… my boycott of all things NCAA is not going so well! Honestly… there is NOTHING ELSE ON TV on a Saturday. It all started two weeks ago with Alabama losing to Ole Miss… saw the score on the ESPN page and couldn’t in any kind of good conscience NOT watch that happen! After that, I was hooked, and I’ve been watching ever since. Some damn fine football being played down in the state of Mississippi these days… if both of these teams hold up with their perfect records going into the Egg Bowl, we’ll be looking at absolute bedlam for that game! Mississippi State’s biggest hurdle is #7 Alabama in the five remaining games between here and there, while Ole Miss plays at LSU and hosts #6 Auburn before hosting the Bulldogs on November 29th. I don’t think there’s much question about the Rebs’ defense, but can Bo Wallace keep avoiding the big mistakes that have plagued his career thus far? Only time will tell, but if both teams make it there unscathed, we’re looking at a titanic football game to close out the regular season!

  Attention Baylor fan… you are the #4 team in the country… start acting like it! I get it, that was a great football game on Saturday against #9 TCU (unless you’re a fan of defensive football, that is), and your team made one helluva comeback to win that home game you were supposed to win against a team ranked below you. Baylor hasn’t been an underdog very often in the past couple of years now… you should be used to success by now, so why in the hell are you rushing the field after knocking off a team that you were supposed to beat? So…

 New Rule of the Week: Unless you have a helmet or a headset, keep your stupid ass off the football field! Personally, I hate rushing the field, rushing the court… just seems like a recipe for disaster to me. Nobody has been hurt yet, but there will be a day when some idiot takes things too far and something awful happens. I hear all the voices that say “they’re kids, let them have fun”… but as the old saying goes, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Then it’s just plain fun for me, and I’ll be there to shout about how “I told you so!” It’s cute that you think your cheering or chanting has something to do with the outcome of a game… but I can assure you that it makes little to no difference… and the score would have probably been exactly the same whether they played in front of a packed house of 100,000 or in an empty corn field in the middle of Nebraska.

   Todd Gurley of Georgia is probably done for the year, and now the same autograph dealer has been linked to another college football star, Jameis Winston of the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles are “conducting an investigation” as we speak… but what do you think the odds are that Winston misses any kind of time this week when the #2 Noles take on #5 Notre Dame in Tallahassee? Winston has reportedly told coach Jimbo Fisher he didn’t sign for money, but let’s be honest; Winston isn’t exactly the face of honesty. Maybe next week this tool will keep his names out of the headlines until Saturday.

  The biggest question this raises for me, though, is why in the hell aren’t these kids allowed to get $5-20 bucks a pop from pathetic, grown men who are going to turn around and make thousands of dollars off of what they get autographed by them? Why the hell isn’t the NCAA going after JSA authenticators (the firm who has authenticated a “suspicious amount” of signatures from Gurley and now Winston), asking for client lists, and going after the people looking to make money off of naïve college kids? I mean, we all know the NCAA loves to get it’s cut… so why not have NCAA sanctioned autograph sessions for every team, give these kids a shot at making a little money, and have these dealers pay $10 bucks to the kid for their signature and some sort of flat rate to the NCAA to appease them? That way, everybody gets something out of the deal, and you can actually look like you’re trying to help student athletes for a change instead of making money off their backs and tossing them aside the second they make a mistake.

  The NHL has hired Chris Pronger to its Player Safety Department… for those of you who don’t follow hockey, that’s kind of like the NFL signing Ndamukong Suh to theirs! Good God.

   Steven Stamkos made up for his two game, season opening “scoring drought” by picking up a hat trick in the Lightning’s 7-1 win over P.K. Subban and the Habs, who had some nice, sour grapes comments after the game.

  Who wants to talk some NBA basketball? Yeah, me neither.

  Good to see the Royals making their first trip to the World Series since 1985! Best story we've seen in baseball in a long time. Congrats to Royals fans, and those who just enjoy rooting for the underdog. The weird thing is, this will be the first time this playoff the Royals will have home field advantage. The bad news for Royals fans, it's been a while since the team that clinches first has won a World Series. We'll see what kind of factor the layoff ends up being.

  Over in the NL, the Giants and Cardinals are putting on exactly the kind of series we should have expected… a close, evenly matched series.While the Giants currently enjoy a 3-1 advantage, it has been a very close series to this point, with the Giants just finding a way to win, despite the fact they haven't hit a home run since game 2 of the NLDS.

  A big week in the NFL last week, with the year’s first tie, some solid upsets, and a few close calls for contenders…

  The Lions won their game against Minnesota 17-3, despite two more misses from the kicking game. Matt Prater went 1/3 on the day, but did hit a 52 yarder just before the half. The defense was the star of the show, picking up 8 sacks and 3 interceptions, while giving up just three points on the day. Matt Stafford continued to struggle, going just 19-33 for 185 yards, but did manage not to turn the ball over. Next up, the Saints down in New Orleans… we’ll see how this defense holds up against Drew Brees and that offense.

  The good news, Jimmy Graham might be out. The bad news, Calvin Johnson is also likely to miss Sunday’s game. To be honest, I say shut Johnson down until after the bye week… don’t even let him set foot on the plane to London, and get him right for the rest of the season.

  The Browns shocked the world (kind of) by beating the Steelers 31-10… but these aren’t exactly your father’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

  The Panthers and Bengals played to a 37-37 tie, in a game that featured just two punts. The Bengals were in line to win it at the end of OT, but Mike Nugent missed a 36 yard field goal as time expired in the extra session to leave both teams kissing their sisters.

  Green Bay picked up a come from behind win over the Dolphins, which featured Aaron Rodgers pulling off the Marino-style fake spike pass in Dan Marino’s former house!

  The Chargers barely held off the Raiders, keeping Oakland among the ranks of the winless.

  The Jaguars were a blocked field goal away from their first win of the season, but Tennessee’s Sammie Lee Hill rose to that challenge, helping the Titans avoid a second straight home loss in the final seconds. The 2008 Lions alumni will have to wait another week or so to pop the cork on their Miller High Life (the Champagne of beers, that is) and know their 0-16 piece of history is secure.

  The Bucs somehow managed to make Joe Flacco look like an elite quarterback, allowing five touchdown passes in the first 16 minutes of the ballgame en route to a 48-17 loss to the Ravens.

  The Pats were able to do what they’ve done consistently for the past decade now… beat the Buffalo Bills. That Tom Brady kid did pretty well for himself, going 27-37 for 361 yards and 4 TD passes… guess he’ll work out after all!

  The Broncos handled the Jets fairly easily, coasting to a 31-17 win in that putrid swamp of East Rutherford, New Jersey. Peyton Manning threw three TD passes, leaving him two shy of Brett Favre’s NFL career record of 508 TD passes. Next week, the Broncos host the San Francisco 49ers.

  The Eagles handled the Giants fairly easily 27-0.

  The Cowboys handed the Shehawks their second loss of the season, knocking off Dick Sherman and the bunch 30-23. Highlight of the day had to be DeMarco Murray rolling over Dick Sherman on his way into the end zone on a 15-yard run to give the Cowboys the lead for good. Murray joined the great Jim Brown as the only two running backs in NFL history to start a season with six straight 100-yard rushing games.

  To kick off week seven, the Patriots will play host to the New York Jets, but will be without the services of Jerrod Mayo and Stevan Ridley. On the other side, the Jets are missing the top three corners from their season-opening depth chart. Something tells me the Patriots are going to be just fine here.

  That’s all I’ve got this week folks. Don’t worry, OH will be back next week, same time, same place! Make sure to head on over say hey to Lanz to the left… and have a happy “almost Friday”, Gabbers.

Deep Thoughts 10-15-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Playoff Baseball 2014 OU still sucks Dallas Cowboys beat Seattle Seahawks Victor Cruz injury

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. It has been an interesting fall in Austin. While the days have begun to grow shorter and the leaves have begun to fall…the temperature stubbornly held in the 90 degree range. But, as they say…all good things must end. With the cold front this past weekend, we actually saw the mercury fall into the low 50s. If I am looking for a jacket, Halloween must not be far behind. Mother Nature reminded sports fans that of her power by forcing the postponement of game 3 of the ALCS. I have asked this question before and I guess it is one a question that I will continue to ponder…given the technology available today, why would a baseball team build a stadium that does not have a retractable roof? Having the ability to play a game despite the weather would seem like something that is a very attractive option. Anyway…despite the one day delay, Tuesday delivered two more terrific post season games. Okay…after watching the Giants and Royals play in the playoffs, I have to admit that both of these teams have captured my fancy. The Giants are unique in the manner that they win games. It seems that they use everything except a hit to score the winning run. On Tuesday night, it was a walk off bunt that bested the Cardinals. I have to chuckle to myself watching the successful use of the bunt during this postseason. I chuckle because I know how much the sabre metric folks deplore the use of bunting. I realize that the propeller heads have added value to baseball, but the part of the story that these guys overlook is human error. While it may appear simple for a pitcher to field a bunt and throw to first, in a pressure packed situation like a playoff game…the act is not always automatic. It is basic baseball for me…in the bottom of the 10 inning, runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs…that is a situation that begs for a bunt. Randy Choate’s wild throw gave the Giants the game on Tuesday, but given the Giants ability to win ugly…it was probably just a matter of time before they squeezed across that winning run anyway. The Giants have a one game advantage, but those Cardinals are pretty salty as well. I still think that this is a 7 game affair.

 

 

 

The Royals snatched another one run game from the O’s Tuesday night. I thought that this might be the game that the Orioles might take. I did not think that Jeremy Guthrie could hold down the potent O’s bats. Boy was I wrong. Guthrie threw a three hit gem to once again stifle Baltimore. Coming into this series, the buzz was about the running game of the Royals. You have to tip your hat to Buck Showalter for his goofy, yet very effective manner of positioning Pearce to hold the runner at 1B. I have never seen this and apparently it has somewhat unnerved the Royal base runners. It is funny…I was watching a bit on the MLB channel talking about the Royal team speed. Typically, we think of the team speed with regard to stolen bases, but that speed can come into play in other ways. A baseball axiom is to always build a team strong up the middle…as in catcher, middle infield and center field. The Royals certainly got the center field position covered well. The Royals are blessed to have two great centerfielders on the roster. I really like how Yost brings Jarrod Dyson off the bench to pinch run, then moves Cain to right field and Dyson to center field. Is it any wonder that teams have a difficult time scoring runs against the Royals? The gaps are covered; the dying quails are scooped up. As a former outfielder, I just marvel at the skill of these guys. For me, it is definitely part of what makes this KC team so special. Of course, that bullpen does not hurt either.

Jarrod Dyson was asked about the series heading back to Baltimore. His reply has created a bit of a stir with the media…”we expect to finish the series in Kansas City and so does Baltimore…” or something along those lines. Maybe he should have left out the part about Baltimore thinking they were done…but words don’t make a team play better. This Oriole team is a very talented, proud team and they have given every bit of effort in each game. The baseball being played has been fantastic. Despite this fact, the media somehow still finds it necessary to try to stir up shit.  Up 3 to 0, I expect the Royals to take care of business in game 4…but the Orioles can always remember the Red Sox improbable come-back. The words of Kevin Millar are forever immortalized, Don’t let us win tonight. This is a big game. They’ve got to win because if we win, we’ve got Pedro [Martinez] coming back today, and then [Curt] Schilling will pitch Game 6, and then you can take that fraud stuff and put it to bed. Don’t let the Sox win this game.”

You just can’t make this stuff up.As improbable as an Oriole win is, there is always that crazy chance. I know I will be watching.

 

 

 


 

                                                                          Regardless of time...OU still sucks.

 

 

Last weekend was the annual Texas vs OU rivalry game. Despite the fact that Texas lost to OU, I was very pleased at the progress that the Longhorns have made. I am sure that offenses that have faced the Horn defense this year will agree that this is a very good defense. In the days of Coach Fred, Texas won with defense and special teams. Those old Horn offenses were boring, but they won a ton of games despite the lack of offensive firepower. Charlie Strong is on the right path with his defense, but poor special team play can and will get you beat. In losses to Baylor and OU, special teams have killed Texas. Quite honestly, Texas is just not good enough to allow a blocked field goal or kick returns to good teams. I was proud of the effort Texas gave and will borrow the words from perhaps the best rant ever…”they were who we thought they were and we let them off the hook.” Yep, I actually thought that Texas had a chance to beat Oklahoma this year. When OU has an experienced QB, they are tough to beat. Trevor Knight may be a playmaker in time, but to this point, I am not impressed.

 


 

 

 

 

I must admit that I was shocked to see Dallas beat Seattle on the road last weekend. It was one of the best Cowboy games I have watched in many years. With this win, I am encouraged, but I realize that there are 10 games left to play in the season.  As happy as I was to see the Cowboys win, there was a surprising sense of dread as well. Coming into this season, expectations for this Cowboy team were low. I won’t say that Dallas snuck up on early opponents, but at least the hype was limited. Now, that is no longer the case. Suddenly analysts want to know if Dallas is the best team in the NFL. Best team in the NFL? How about starting with being the best team in the NFC East? Of the 6 games the Cowboys have played, they have played zero against the NFC East.  I like what I see and truly think that Dallas has a good chance to win their division, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There is a very good reason that smart coaches refuse to look beyond the game at hand. To do so, frequently gets you beat. The other thing that comes with Cowboy success is all those haters that fire up the hate wagon. Yeah, I get it…once upon a time the Cowboys won many games. They were anointed “America’s Team” and this pissed many people off. When I look at how this Dallas team has been constructed, I see many similarities to those Cowboy Super Bowl teams. Those Cowboy teams did not rely on Aikman to win games; they ran the ball behind a huge offensive line. This is exactly what Dallas is doing now. If you watched what Dallas did to Seattle, they did not have a first down in the first half. Dallas had long sustained drives that kept their defense fresh. To be truthful, if not for the mistakes Dallas made, they would have blown the Seahawks away. One thing that everyone said before the Seahawk game is that this game would tell us much about this Cowboy team. While I think this is true, we also learned quite a bit about the Seattle team as well. This is not the same Seahawk team that routed the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Russell Wilson is a talented kid, but why did the Seattle coaching staff not pound Lynch when they took the early lead on Dallas? I think that the Seahawk coaching staff got their ass kicked in this game. I am reminded just how hard it is to repeat after winning a Super Bowl. Successful teams lose players to contracts, injuries or attrition. This is one reason that I have been so impressed by what Belichick has done in New England. Although they have not won it all recently…they have been in the conversation for a long time. Is Dallas good enough to be in the conversation this year? I definitely believe they are, but they will need to win a few games in December first.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Like it or not, the media is responsible for public opinion. This is not conjecture, but a fact. Here is an example of how this works… Last Sunday, Victor Cruz went down with a torn patellar tendon. It was a horrific injury that I was really sorry to hear about. A picture was published by the New York Daily News that had a member of the Philadelphia Eagle’s staff cheering the injury to Cruz. People everywhere jumped to criticize Philly. The fact is this team staff member (named Charlie) was not cheering the injury to Cruz, but only the fact that the pass was incomplete. I think that Charlie’s words will explain exactly what happened:

Angelo, I never call the radio,” Charlie told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday morning. “I just want to be clear. I don’t want to make it look bad for Philadelphia, especially me. I got to live with myself. It was fourth and two, which is an exciting play, the ball was overthrown and I just reacted like we just stopped them, so I was just cheering. As soon as I saw him [Cruz] hurt, we—everyone stopped cheering. I didn’t cheer for that. And honestly, if anyone in the media followed it, they’ll see me go down to my knee—not with the players, but I’m actually, I said a prayer for him as well. It was terrible. I would never do that.”

Hey…I have taken plenty of shots at the Philly fans over the years. They did in fact boo Santa, cheered Michael Irwin’s career ending injury and have been well known for throwing batteries…but in this case, the truth is this criticism was misplaced. Here is the article in case you want the entire story: http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2014/10/13/6968881/victory-cruz-injury-new-york-daily-news-cover-media-misrepresent-philadelphia-eagles-fans

It is always a good idea to slow your roll...and get the facts, even if it is Philly.

 

 


 

 

Kickers take quite a bit of abuse for being…well, kickers. Dayton has a kicker that made a play worthy of a look. Here it is…

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…

 

 

I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.

The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A death. What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months warm, happy, and floating...you finish off as an orgasm.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…

 

 

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