Tagged with "NFl"
OH Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Cleveland NBA NFL MLB

  

whats Hotter than July

July is that place between other sports and the NFL

How many of you gabbers watched the MLB All Star game?

How many watched the World Cup final?

 

I found other things to do…

I made pickles during the game.

I watered my gardens.

I picked vegetables.

I met with clients and designed a fabulous new kitchen.

I changed the oil in my truck.

I changed the headlamp in Mrsharrys car

I had friends over for a fire in the pit and a glass of wine. Mrs Harry grilled pizza on the char cooker, I tended bar and stoked the fire.

Tried a new kabob recipe, venison steaks, cucumbers, water melon, scallops…no leftovers.

I took down the old woodshed (my kids are grown up and so no beatings take place any longer)

I built a new woodshed (for wood)

I mended the broken fence that was held up by the old woodshed that I had taken down.

I heard the NBA had some free agent movement…better than constipation.

I tried a new dill pickle recipe and it’s in the fridge waiting for test # one on Friday.

Our Gab co leader Beeze has been trying to come to grips with being a loyal Cleveland resident. The fiasco deuce dropped on them last week was painful even for outsiders.

We gabbers are sympathetic with Tim but we do not know the depth of the pain suffered by those Clevelanders and the sports failures…how could we know.

Jim Brown is not walking through that door.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland and then there is…

So maybe some suggestions for the city of “South Beach at Erie”

How about Cleveland adopts sisterhood with the Spanish city of Pamplona.

 

Cleveland couldn’t lose with this idea, a North American version of the Running of The Bulls. Cobblestone streets could be installed and nuts from all over the world would come and run down the street to get gored and trampled. Australians are great at this.

Think of the tourist industry bump.

 

Now it is possible that Cleveland gets a championship out of the Cavs with that new guy coming home again with a 2 year deal…now doesn’t the fact that it’s 2 years make you wonder…if things suck he could just move on again without a decision or an essay.

 

It’s also possible that Brian Hoyer lights it up for the Browns and they jump over Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the NFC North, get a bye and take out Denver or New England for an AFC championship and that Lamar Hunt trophy. They then draw an over confident Seattle team in the SB and bring home a Lombardi

 

This is possible…remember the 5-11, 2000 N E Patriots? Opening the 2001 season with gun slinger Drew Bledsoe at QB. And then in week 3

The most important play in Patriots history happened.

Jets Linebacker Mo Lewis

crashed into Bledsoe as Drew tried to get out of bounds on a 3 yard scramble

Drew suffered a sheared blood vessel in his chest and…

Tommy Brady stepped in

So Clevelanders, don’t fret

 

I’m just sayin’

 

Divisional Upheaval?
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Manziel NFC AFC

 

Why talk football? Why not, with a bare 6 weeks or so before we gear up for preseason? Good time for a final prediction before the oft-meaningless results of said preseason cloud one's judgement, catastrophic injuries excepted.

Football doesn't change much. Despite an effective draft system and free agency galore, the league has a stunning equilibrium, at least in some divisions. Bottom feeders like the Red Sox don't vault to the top in one season --- then plummet to the bottom again the next. In hockey, the elite tend to stay that way for a while until slow change overcomes them. The NBA is the one place where one player, whether named Wilt Chamberlain or LeBron James, can team-hop and turn the league upside-down.

The one thing that can produce a sea change in the NFL is a dramatic QB change, but even Peyton Manning hasn't seen the mountain air produce a ring.

Anyway, on with it!

AFC East:

In what has become the most predictable division in football, don't expect any miracles outside Foxboro. The Patriots, with all their supposed issues, will win the division again and vie for the ring again just because they're... well... the Patriots.

The Jets, erstwhile challengers, have spent the past few seasons in the bad joke department. This year, despite what many are calling vast improvements in personnel, one of said improvements has been none other than Mike Vick. Gone is Sanchez, the questionable quarterback who led them to two conference games not so long ago. Vick is aboard to 'mentor' Geno Smith. Smith needs more than mentoring, but doesn't relish the thought of being a backup. The plan is that he starts. We shall see. The stage is set for another circus.

The Fins, sidetracked by the media's vapid anti-bullying campaign last year, have proven less than resilient in the face of adversity, however minor. Why they should suddenly develop the heart of a champion is a topic for conjecture.

And, as usual... Buffalo. They seem to have a lot of good players. They are a tough out in the division. But they're always an out. EJ Manuel isn't going to turn into Tom Brady. Or Ryan Tannehill. Or even Mike Vick. But they may not finish last. In fact, except for first place it's a scramble, but one with dubious probability of producing a wild card.

 

AFC North:

With the decline of Baltimore and Pittsburgh, the Bengals have been something of a default champion recently by virtue of being a solid team. But they lack everything necessary to advance past their first playoff game. What that lack is can't be quantified easily, but it will focus, as it always does, on Dalton. Fair? Who cares? Anyway, though Pitt and Balty have stronger organizations, the front offices don't slug it out on Sundays.

The Browns are a big talking point. Again. Last year they looked formidable for a game and a half before Hoyer crumbled behind his oddly porous offensive line. Everyone would love to see Johnny Football ride in on his horse and pull an instant Andrew Luck, but only Cleveland fans could possibly believe it will happen. Something good could happen. The Browns have some pieces, the Bengals are still a dubious division dynasty, and the Ravens and Steelers still have winning pedigree but not much else. Unfortunately, the Browns' organization from top to bottom is so chaotic that it's impossible to believe they can pull it off until it happens.

The Ravens and Steelers are lumped together. Each team has a star quarterback, but the rest of the equation is a big fat question mark. It's hard to fathom starting a season without a 'pick one' for the AFCN between them, but here we are.

 

AFC South:

Colts Magic may be burning out a bit, but has anyone lately come out of college and turned a completely dismantled team into a winner like Andrew Luck? So far the rebuild has been more successful than planned. Expect this to continue. Unless...

Well, there is one case of first-to-worst in the NFL, and it's the Texans. How a team boasting one of the strongest rosters can succumb to injuries (and to two disheartening blowouts to New England) with a 2-14 season is beyond belief. We are about to find out whether Gary Kubiak was the glue that held them together or the problem. Bill O'Brien is a great coordinator but this is his first head job in the NFL. A coaching change can do wonders, and if he can revive their moribund offense things might get interesing. But bypassing a quarterback for a defensive end in the draft may have sealed their fate.

Tennessee ain't too bad... and ain't too good. End of story.

Jacksonville had a very good offseason, but the Jags need to pull a 'show me' to regain credibility as a contender. The team has heart. It could happen.

 

AFC West:

You'd think with two flops in the playoffs and Peyton Manning applying for Social Security the Broncos would hang it up. Not John Elway. He has his window, and this year is proving no different than last with an army of acquisitions to get Peyton his ring. It's doubtful that it will, but it will get him yet another division crown.

Should Denver slip up, however, the Chiefs at least look like the clear lady in waiting. Alex Smith may not be Manning, but he's pretty good, and his team isn't bad either. It's all a question of what the Broncos do, and after that Super Bowl, more than one potential sword hangs over their heads.

And then there's Oakland. Except for the Browns, the perennial example of how not to do things. This year they had a good offseason, not just for them but for anyone. The question will be whether the added talent has effect or just gets sucked into the bottomless pit that has claimed so many. Matt Schaub will become the latest faded star to try his luck. Carson Palmer couldn't do it. Went to Arizona and looked just fine. Oughtta tell you something.

Finally we have the Chargers... or what's left of them. They showed so much heart last year, it's impossible to write them off. Under AnybodyButNorv, they blossomed from talented underachievers to untalented overachievers. The latter is far more fun to watch. Don't count them out of second place unless a few of their remaining wheels fall off.

 

NFC East:

The division that had everyone in a 4-way head scratching quandary for years now is Nick Foles' to lose. The Eagles may not be great, but they're good, and that's all it should take. The reasons?

The Giants stunk, and have great stink potential again. The embattled Coughlin could pull one of his miracles again, but this time it would have to be a real miracle.

The Redskins have more problems than their name (or, more accurately, those who've made a PC cause celebre out of it) and they start with what was only recently their one rock-solid position. Two years ago, RG3 and Kirk Cousins looked too good to stay on the same team. But they did, and the results were disasterous. Griffin, back early from his injury (at his insistence), stunk the house out. He was so bad that he was benched in favor of Cousins, unfortunately so late in the season that the cause was hopeless and Cousins was hopelessly out of sorts. Now they have two young question marks to go with the others... which comprise the whole shebang, on and off the field.

The Cowboys get sillier --- and progressively worse --- by the year. Don't guess this trend will continue. Bank on it.

 

NFC North:

The Pack may not be what they were once, and Aaron Rodgers may be contemplating suicide judging from his comments on running with the ball, but for reasons so common among the divisions they should manage win theirs.

The Bears are coming back with a revamped defense. Good idea. After that it's Jay and Matt and pray for health. Same old Bears.

The Lions continue to be the league's shining example of how to squander apparent talent. Will a coaching change make all the difference? Something better.

The Vikings try hard, and that might be enough to push them past the menagerie if both animal squads sputter, which is more than possible. But whatever happens they probably won't catch Green Bay. You can't ride AP like a horse.

 

NFC South:

I've been predicting the dissolution of the Saints for a few years now, and been wrong. Last year their hot start buried the Falcons, leaving doubt as to how hard said Falcons were actually trying. And they handled upstart Carolina when they had to. They have the best (and dirtiest) coach in the division. Will that still be enough? Maybe. Maybe not. The wheels have to fall off some day, but they need some encouragement.

Atlanta is a huge question mark following a pathetic season rivaled only by Houston. Is Mike Smith really back? Consistency may be something the Falcons don't want this time around. Nobody sinks like that after losing a wide receiver. Nobody good, anyway.

Carolina had a breakout season for Cam last year. Or was it a flash in the pan? Judging from what happened between the season and postseason, it'll all depend on how short a leash they can keep on Newton, who appears to prefer the Superman routine, which loses, to the game manager routine, which won them games.

Tampa Bay isn't pathetic, but the Bucs also aren't looking like contenders either. This year, though, is the Lovie Smith Show. If they play as hard for him as the Bears did, who knows where this fairly talented team might end up?

 

NFC West:

Suddenly the premier division in football, the NFCW has two powerhouses, one good team and one mystery flop. Seattle's hold on the division is anything but guaranteed. But the champs are the likeliest to win it. There's one major reason.

Colin Kaepernick has been showing more and more of his flaky side since the reins came off. He's talented and dynamic, but he's also a mistake-prone passer who can be a liability when he goes sour. His discipline is in, shall we say, some question, certainly when compared to that of the possibly less skilled Russell Wilson. But the Niners should be there until the end anyway.

The Cards surprised almost everybody by making a run at a playoff spot late. Carson Palmer settled into his role, and the team played well. There's just too much to overcome right now in the division though.

Which brings us to the Rams. Is Sam still a franchise QB? Have all those draft picks borne fruit yet? Will they this time around? Is Fisher really still a capable coach? Stay tuned, but the likely anwers, as their record shall determine, are no, no and no. This ain't the NFCE. This ain't even the NFCS. Rebuilds don't take this long.

Sports Friday with Hal: Around the Leagues
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Sports Baseball Football Basketball Hockey NHL NFL MLB NBA

Happy Friday!

 

Locally it is another week closer to another epic meltdown by the Boston Red Sox who have decided to copy the San Francisco Giants with their “win one year, crash the next” strategy. The Boston Bruins lost top line veteran sniper Jarome Iginla and are struggling to find a way to replace him. The Boston Celtics are jumping in on trades to...well, who the heck knows what they are doing? Football is two weeks away as in just two weeks training camps will open and it will be all football news all the time until January as the Patriots try to get back to the Super Bowl.

 

Nationally in the MLB, the Baltimore Orioles have taken over the American League East, Detroit looks strong in the Central, and the Texas Rangers inexplicably have crashed harder than the Red Sox as Anaheim and Oakland duke it out in the AL West. Over in the Senior Circuit Miami and the Mets won’t die in the National League East as Atlanta and Washington remain bunched up, the Central is bunched up as well with St. Louis charging (and losing Yadier Molina for 8 to 12 weeks...Ouch!) and Cincinnati and Pittsburgh close enough to strike behind Milwaukee, and finally in the West the Dodgers and Giants are deadlocked echoing an epic battle for the summer played out initially in baseball history in New York and after the 1960s out west.

 

Basketball is all about free agency in the NBA and waiting for the dominoes to fall. Dwyane Wade is likely returning to Miami but will LeBron James follow? Is Chris Bosh too insecure to take the big bucks in Houston and form a Big Three with Superman (Dwight Howard) and the Beard (James Harden)? Carmelo Anthony SHOULD go to Chicago, but is there enough cash and glamour for him? Would he interact with Kobe in L.A.? Come back to the Knicks? LeBron to Cleveland? Now that would cause the Internet to explode.

 

The big news in the NHL is that the Blackhawks locked up their two top players signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to matching $84 million deals. Both are young (25 and 26 years old) and dynamic players on a squad that has established themselves as the elite franchise in the NHL. Having these two locked up for another another eight years puts the franchise on a winning track for the future. The ‘Hawks have two Stanley Cup wins with the duo and Kane has won the Calder (2008) and Conn Smythe (2013) while Toews has won the Conn Smythe (2010) and Selke (2013). Now they are in Chicago together through 2022-23.  Wow. That is called winning an offseason!

 

Finally, the NFL is quiet with camps so close and the last weeks of time off for the players and coaches (and beat writers!). The NFL had the supplemental draft come and go without a team wasting a draft pick for the second consecutive year. The last pick? 2012 when Cleveland got Josh Gordon for a second round pick. Of course, Gordon is in the news for all the wrong reasons having already been reported to be facing a season-long suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. This time he was arrested and charged with a DWI last weekend.

 

Gordon is supposed to have a hearing for his suspension for the substance abuse test failure later this month to request a reduced suspension. With his suspension last year (two games and two games with no pay) and now a DWI and speeding ticket last month (with his passenger cited for possession of marijuana) the supremely talented player is doing himself no favors.

 

It seems the NFL Players Union has hurt their own players by negotiating all this time off in the offseason and limits on time working with teams. With more time off players have more time to get into trouble. Aaron Hernandez was the poster child for too much time away from the team last year, and now Gordon is finding more ways to sabotage his career. Some players seem to need the structure of team control all year long to keep themselves out of trouble, but the Players Union has decreed it is not in the best interest of their constituents to have them spend the offseason with the team getting better and putting out a better product and stuff like that. Sad.

 

Finally, from the NFL’s only publicly traded team--the Green Bay Packers--having to release revenue numbers comes news that all that money going to the NFL teams...oh, yeah, there is more than anyone imagined. NFL teams divided more than $6 billion last season. Revenue rose almost 5% from the year prior and just continuing to grow. The DirecTV deal is up and being negotiated...the NFL Network got another big chunk of cash for CBS to take over half of the Thursday Night lineup, and the money keeps rolling in. With no signs of slowing, the league continues to pile up the profits.

 

OK, that’s all for today. Have a great weekend!

 

OH Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB NBA FIFA NFL

OH Thursday

Fresh back from multiple vacations and my daughter’ discharge from active duty USMC and I find that we are in the middle of the early summer sports lull.

two of my sons at 30mph...not easy on a tube

 

I am not a soccer fan. The Germany 7-1 beating of faux favorite and host Brazil was the thing that could draw fans from the dark side. The NFL equivalent would be 49-7 and that’s what we are talkin’ bout.

 

MLB The home town team is in the position of seller because they are much closer to the AL East cellar then the top spot.

Training camps are just a few weeks away for the NFL.

Summer leagues are playing for the NBA, actually better B ball than the regular season for the most part, at least more watchable.

 

Sully had a question of the day I saw when I got back to the gab, that’s me sitting in the corner table at the posh “Mo’s Bar”

Who was your first concert and who opened for them.

I went to HS in the 1960’s

Rock and Roll

Vietnam war

Woodstock

Kennedy

Nixon…

 I went to as many concerts at every venue available as I could possibly fit into my schedule.

Hence my hearing loss.

I saw the Stones at Boston Garden in 1969, I think November.

BB King was one of the opening acts and that’s when I fell for the Blues.

I was 17 at the time.

I saw Pink Floyd at the old Providence Civic Center (now known as the Dunk) in 1973

Great live show.

Boston had a load of small venues in town and it was a regular thing to stop at the Jazz Workshop, Paul’s Mall, Katies or the Paradise in Kenmore Square to see the likes of James Taylor, Muddy Waters, Myles Davis, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, Captain Beefheart and George Benson.    These small venues were a great place to see a good show at a reasonable price and you just never knew that one of these artists could make it big.

One of my old favorites from those recreational days was

 

Captain Beefheart , ( Don Van Vliet 1941-2010) played from time to time with Frank Zappa and the Mothers along with a career with his own band. Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band had several albums with some success and his shows were very entertaining as he invited audience participation.

His most successful venture was the album Trout Mask Replica with is # 58 on Rolling Stones 300 best rock albums of all time list. Take the time to check out this unique artist and poet.

Two Trains…two railroad tracks

One going and the other coming back

 

The black paper between the mirror makes me said that I can’t go

Steal softly thru sunshine steal softly thru snow.

I was going to weigh in on Johnny Manzel but BOB took care of that Harry…

quiet end to a great weekend

I may even be back to real sports next week, have a great day

 

 

 

 

Musings From The Hoodwood 7-8 Video Edition
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NBA World Cup MLB NFL

Look who's in the Hoodwood this week!

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