Tagged with "NFl"
OH Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB O's Royals Giants NFL Manning Rex

Oldharry here, back in town after the wife and I enjoyed a nice week away with my little girl.

My daughter and her hubby are a happy couple entering their third year of holy matrimony, they remind me of me and Renee back when we were kids…I mean when she was a kid and I was a fumbling 30 something about to marry this beautiful 22 year old …way over my head. We are closing in on 28 years and I am a lucky guy. My daughter’s hubby married over his head too and I made sure I let him know!

His family, living in Northern Maryland are Orioles fans, I thought I new what sports heartbreak was like

That is until I spent several days with these ardent Orioles’ fans. After advancing to the ALCS by dispatching the Angels these fans were talking World Series like it was a given.

And then the Royals happened…happened to be better. I watched  games 2,3 and 4 with my daughters in laws and there neighbors (most of them over the road truck drivers in this middle class hard working lunch pail neighborhood) sit and watch and hover on every pitch and I saw grown men cry. Big strong men, veterans of foreign wars, guys who make the economy move literally. Shedding tears for their beloved team that was breaking their sports hearts.

They have their 48” flat screen on the covered porch and they sit around a great fire pit watching the games… a fine set up.

I thought back to recent history and how lucky I am

        2012 last place

 2013 WS Champions              Red Sox sandwich

       2014 last place

The last time the O’s won was in 1985

After the final loss in the sweep by the Royals, one of the guys turned some of his anger and frustration towards me and reminded me that the Ravens beat the Patriots on the way to the SB a couple of years back. And that Flacco is already better than Brady…

My sensitive response was, “don’t go there for your own good, I don’t want to remind you that since this century began one city has a leg or two up on all of the others with Champions”

One guy from across the street, a guy with a deep woods West Virginia accent said “Hay, we won the SB in 2000 and again in 2012…”

One of the others, a guy named Dale said to him,” Gordy, his Pats won three and his Red Sox won three and seein he’s a Boston guy he probably follows hockey and them guys won a Cup and the basketball team musta won one or two so don’t rag him it a bee a mistake cause they got the hardware.”

We enjoyed the fire some beverages (some sweet homemade moonshinish shots were available but being a guy who likes to keep his wits and hold his tongue, I stuck to the beer and wine and wings. We talked families, fishing, driving and football…baseball was then off limits. Overall they were a great bunch of guys who just lost in four to the Royals.

 

New NFL Rankings

1. Denver           6-1 and back on top with that demolition of SF

2. Arizona          5-1 this is a good team

3. Dallas             6-1 Murray is the MVP

4. Philly              6-1 Defense isn’t bad either

5. San Diego       5-2 another division game following a close win in Oakland and close loss to KC

6. Green Bay       5-2 Is anyone playing like Rodgers/ Nelson/ Cobb

7. Detroit             5-2 Golden Tate has been a nice surprise

8. Indy                 5-2 Andrew Luck is a monster

9. Baltimore         5-2 I don’t trust them going forward

10. New England  5-2 Injuries may derail them with tough six game stretch ahead,

Five of them are listed above And here is the Patriots remaining schedule:

Chicago        3-4                     10/26

Denver          6-1                      11/2

BYE

@ Indy          5-2   Sun night   11/16

Detroit           5-2                     11/23

@ Green Bay 5-2                    11/30

@ San Diego  5-2   Sun night  12/7

Miami              3-3                   12/14

@ Jets              1-6                    12/21

Buffalo             4-3                   12/28

 

Milestones:

I bet you haven’t heard…

 Peyton Manning (510) passed Bret Farve (508)and moved into the lead in career TD passes.

Marino has 420, Brees 374, and Brady 372. My bet is that Peyton adds another 75 or so and nobody ever comes close to that.

 

Other NFL news, The Jets and Seahawks made a mid season move with Persey Harvin that will help both teams. Seattle gets rid of 7 million dollars and a guy who reportedly has had an altercation with all of his coaches and half of his teammates in just the past 3 months. The Jets get a dynamic offensive player to force opponents to game plan for a compliment to that run run running game. Harvin will make Geno better and I’m banking on Harvin getting a load of looks and touches to help put the wheels back on my Gab Fantasy football team.

The Jets season thus far was spelled out by Radadz on Sunday, go back and take a look if you missed it.:

Rex is on the hot seat, I personally like Rex and would miss him in the AFC East. This move by the Jets makes them a spoiler for the rest of the season. They won’t run the table but with a favorable schedule ahead they can still save Rex’s job.

One of my favorite Rex Ryan quotes was when asked a couple of years back at a press conference before a Sunday afternoon matchup with the Patriots how he matches up with Bill Belichick.

“We are two great athletes… we are, obviously solid. I think I could’ve held my own with him on the football field but I know he was also a lacrosse player. I would have no idea what I was doing playing lacrosse although hitting people with a stick has some appeal  to me so I guess I would do ok in that match up”

Sean Peyton quote post game:

Next question….ok next smart question

 

World Series

 

The Royals and the Giants opened the 2014 WS on Tuesday night in Kansas City.

The Giants took game one in Kansas City which kills my prediction of the home teams winning every game.

 

My son Middle Harry (I have 5 kids and my number three son is smack dab in the middle of five.)

He is also first born of my young bride which gives him all the benefits of being a first born and the curse of being the middle child.

He is gifted with his mother’s striking good looks and superior brain and his father’s love of sports, food and cooking.

This weekend he made his soon to be famous   “ bean free chili”

Here is the recipe, you won’t be disappointed.

-First you replace any thoughts of beans with 1.5 lbs of Apple Smoked Bacon.

Cook this any way you like but I prefer a large cast iron skillet.

Drain and set aside to dry and cool.

Next is the 4 lbs of ground beef, pre cook in a large cast iron skillet and use some of the leftover bacon grease…after all it’s good for you, it’s  bacon.

Now in a large cooking pot pour ½ cup of spring water (tap water has chlorine, ammonia and fluoride added…none recommended for consumption.) Put on a medium heat.

Then add 9 ripe Tomatoes from Dad’s garden harvest.

Puree them or have your father do that.

Stir as needed and it is needed.

Add 5 chopped green and red sweet peppers and two jalapeños

Have Dad slice 2 large onions from his garden, it will keep him out of the way for at least a few minutes

While Dad is crying over the onions pour in a Shipyard Pumpkin Ale and stir.

Add the onions and open a Shipyard for Dad and send him away to relax.

Add various spices including but not limited to crushed red pepper flakes, celery salt,

Paprika, ground black pepper, kosher salt,  2 heaping tablespoons of dark brown sugar, oregano…

Bring to a simmer

Get out Mom’s large crock pot, Put the beef and bacon in and pour the rest of the contents in. Stir it up with a good wooden spoon and leave it on a medium heat.

Taste often, stir often and it will be perfect in four hours.

Serve with football, beer and these guys.   CH

 

Later Gabbers, thanks for reading and commenting,

Thanks to IHM for filling in last week, a fine job as usual

Check out Lanz to my right

NFL Week 7 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Week 7

Thursday

Jets (1-5) @ Patriots (4-2)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 8:25 (CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Pats by 9½

Last Week Jets lost to Broncos 31-17, Patriots defeated Bills 37-22

Fast Fact The Jets 5 game skid is the longest of the Rex Ryan Era

The grins and jeers long gone from Ryan he is just trying to make it through a season where almost everyone is in agreement that he will likely be fired. The Jets put a good fight up against the Broncos but their upset bid was poleaxed by a soul crushing pick-six late. The Pats look like they are fully recovered from their KC swoon that had the doubters out in full force but are now back grumbling  about Brady and his receivers. By and large the road team gets hammered in these Thursday night farces…uh matchups. I don’t think the Jets care that much at present and the Pats are the better team on both sides of the ball

Pick-New England

 

Sunday

Falcons (2-4) @ Ravens (4-2)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite

Last Week Falcons lost to Bears 27-13, Ravens defeated Buccaneers 48-17

Fast Fact Joe Flacco’s 5 TD passes were done in a mindboggling 18 minutes of gameplay

The Falcons look stunningly flat at home versus a middling Bears squad and got thumped, while the Ravens started nuclear hot and never let off the gas in their could have been much, much worse blowout of the Bucs. I doubt that Joe Flacco could pull a trick like he did against the Bucs this week. Or probably any more in his career, but I think he will be able to strafe the weak Falcons secondary

Pick-Baltimore

 

Titans (2-4) @ Washington (1-5)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Washington by 5½

Last Week Titans defeated Jaguars 16-14, Washington lost to Arizona 30-20

Fast Fact Washington QB Kirk Cousins is 1-7 as a starter

A real snoozer in the nation’s capital where Washington and the Titans have one thing in common beating lowly the Jags. Both teams do a lot of things and all of them bad, Washington has no running game though the Titans run defense is virtually no existent. The Titans passing game is nauseatingly bad, but then again Washington’s puts little fear in defenses. Who wins? Who cares? Toss a coin and hope that you don’t have seat near a TV that has this game. I’ll probably be wrong but Ill bank on Alfred Morris being overdue for a breakout game and that gets the home team the win.

Pick-Washington

 

Seahawks (3-2) @ Rams (1-4)

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 7

Last Week Seahawks lost to Cowboys 30-23, Rams lost to 49ers 31-17

Fast Fact Seahawks have not lost back to back games since October 2012

Bottled up and beat down, the defending champs lost a tough one at home to Dallas, while the Rams came out fast then fizzled on Monday night. The Seahawks demise I think is greatly exaggerated and they are looking to take their anger out on someone. The Rams were a chic pick to make noise in the NFC look lost more often than not on both sides of the ball and lack a clear direction. The Seahawks should bounce back easily and whip the struggling Rams

Pick-Seattle

 

Browns (3-2) @ Jaguars (0-6)

EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Browns by 5 ½

Last Week Browns defeated Steelers 31-10, Jaguars lost to Titans 16-14

Fast Fact Browns offense will be playing without longtime center Alex Mack who before going down with a broken fibula last week hadn’t missed a snap in his career, playing in all 5289 offensive snaps until injured

The Browns have had fewer satisfying wins than hammering their hated bullies in front of a happy home crowd last week, while the Jags are trying like the good scout but still have nothing to show for it. The Browns now have the rare opportunity to be the bully in matchup and the way that the schedule sits the Browns have the opportunity to get three wins over eminently beatable opponents. The Jags are showing some improvement but the Browns are much better

Pick-Cleveland

 

Bengals (3-1-1) @ Colts (4-2)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Colts by 3

Last Week Bengals tied Panthers at 37, Colts defeated Texans 33-28

Fast Fact Bengals have not won in Indy since 1997 when current Bengals QB Andy Dalton was all of 10

The Bengals started fast with three wins but have been winless in their last two after failing to secure a win in a long overtime draw with Carolina. The Colts have been flying high with a string of wins offsetting an 0-2 start. The Bengals offense isn’t a real problem, they get they get the points, the problems is that after giving up 11 points a game in their first three wins they have given up 80 points in their last two and facing the high energy attack led by Andrew Luck. The knock against the Colts is that they are piling up the numbers against so-so divisional foes and that the Bengals defense should be a real defensive test. I just can’t shake that fast fact line, the Bengals just have trouble winning just 112 miles up the road. I see another shootout.

Pick-Indianapolis

 

Dolphins (2-3) @ Bears (3-3)

Soldier Field, Chicago 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bears by 3

Last Week Bears defeated Falcons 27-13, Dolphins lost to Packers 27-24

Fast Fact The Bears last shutout was against these very same Dolphins in 2010

The maddingly inconsistent Bears knocked off the Falcons in the dirty dirty, while the Dolphins battled the Pack to the wire but couldn’t hold off a last second score. Jay Cutler plays mediocre at home, point blank and you just can’t trust his play. I’m almost afraid to pick the Bears here for fear that Cutler will make a liar out of me yet again. The Dolphins offense is just about as inconsistent as the Cutler is and I’m less likely to trust Ryan Tannehill who has underperformed more often than not. I’m gonna regret this one

Pick-Chicago

 

Vikings (2-4) @ Bills (3-3)

Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Bills by 5

Last Week Vikings lost to Lions 17-3, Bills lost to Patriots 37-22

Fast Fact Bills have yet to surrender a rushing touchdown and allow and NFL best 67.5 yards rushing

The trials of Teddy Bridgewater continue as the Vikings continue to struggle offensively, the defense plays decent but with little room for error. The Bills have a stout rushing defense and a respectable offensive output with the oft traveled Kyle Orton bringing some needed stability to the offense. I so want to see Bridgewater and the Vikes have a breakout game, but against that defense that may be wishful thinking.

Pick-Buffalo

 

Saints (2-3) @ Lions (4-2)

Ford Field, Detroit 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Lions by 2

Last Week Saints were on their bye, Lions defeated Vikings 17-3

Fast Fact Opposing quarterbacks have an 103.2 QB rating against the Saints defense, and has only forced one interception

The Saints are a week removed from their best offensive output of the season against the Bucs will have a much steeper test against the Lions who are much more stouter defensively. The Saints are very weak defensively but the Lions are missing many key components of their offensive arsenal as Megatron Johnson remains out of action and Reggie Bush is nursing a bad ankle. I’m always a fan of the electric Drew Brees but I think that the Lions defense should be able to carry the day in a low scoring slugfest

Pick-Detroit

 

Panthers (3-2-1) @ Packers (4-2)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 6½

Last Week Panthers tied Bengals at 37, Packers defeated Dolphins 27-24

Fast Fact Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is the first to have thrown 15 TDS with only one interception in his first six games and has thrown 170 pass attempts without a pick.

The Panthers hung tough in a wild shootout with the Bengals that ended in a draw while Aaron Rodgers okey doke got the Pack a last second win over the Dolphins. Both teams have played uneven as of late but Rodgers peerless play has been the real catalyst for the Pack over the last three weeks. Though Cam Newton has been playing a lot better and reincorporating his dangerous mobility to the Panthers offense, the Packers are a tough draw in Lambeau.

Pick-Green Bay

 

Chiefs (2-3) @ Chargers (5-1)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Chargers by 3½

Last Week Chiefs were on their bye, Chargers defeated Raiders 31-28

Fast Fact Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles needs 53 yards to surpass Priest Holmes as the team’s all-time rushing leader

The Chiefs had a week off  after their loss to the Niners at the big blue jean to get ready for this divisional duel, the Chargers struggled with their upstate rivals but got the win, the Chiefs were scoring a high clip until being held scoreless in the last 26 minutes in their last outing. Points have been no issue for the Chargers but you have to wonder if their running game will continue to run smoothly with neophyte Branden Oliver handling the bulk of the work as long as Philip Rivers is the QB’s I’m pretty sure that the points won’t instantly dry up anytime soon. Andy Reid is a master of the post bye week game, having won 11 of 13 in Philly but he has yet to do so in KC and thought the Chiefs are a talented team on both side of the ball I think that they will have a hard time on the road in SoCal.

Pick-San Diego

 

Cardinals (4-1) @ Raiders (0-5)

o.Co Coliseum, Oakland 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite

Last Week Cardinals defeated Washington 30-20, Raiders lost to Chargers 31-28

Fast Fact A win would give the Cards their first 5-1 start since 1976 when they finished 10-4 as the St. Louis Cardinals

The Cards bounced back strong from their first loss to whip Washington, while the Raiders may have a budding talent in Derek Carr who played smartly against the Chargers in a tough loss. The Cards are doing it with a tough defense and an offense that is looking that much better with the return of Carson Palmer who spent three hellacious years in the East Bay and was 8-16 as a starter. I think that the Raiders are improving and will get a win or two before too long. Will it happen this week? Nope

Pick-Arizona (Lock of the Week)

 

Giants (3-3) @ Cowboys (5-1)

AT&T Stadium; Arlington, TX 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Cowboys by 6½

Last Week Giants lost to Eagles 27-0, Cowboys defeated Seattle 30-23

Fast Fact Tony Romo has had 197 pass attempts through 6 games, his fewest since he has become the Cowboys starter in 2007

The Giants were plumb humiliated on national TV in Philly last week while the Pokes confidence hasn’t been this high in some time after rolling into Seattle and outslugging the defending champs before a stunned Seahawks crowd. DeMarco Murray is the reason why the Pokes are growing into a formidable threat. Not having to rely on Romo to be the savior seemed to suit the Pokes well. Meanwhile, Eli Manning has painfully regressed and looked like a QB with no clue. Everything is really pointing to the Pokes looking like the heavy favorite to roll to the win, but something keeps telling me that the Pokes, gassed up on their pub and the media wonks nearly genuflecting before them on their 5-1 start are way overdue for a flat performance.

Pick-New York Giants (Upset of the Week)

 

49ers (4-2) @ Broncos (4-1)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Broncos by 7

Last Week Broncos defeated Jets 31-17, 49ers defeated Rams 31-17

Fast Fact Peyton Manning needs 3 TD’s surpass Brett Favre’s all time touchdown passing mark (508)

The Broncos struggled mightily in Gotham and needed a late pick-six to ice their win over the Jets, meanwhile the Niners spotted the Rams a big lead and then stormed back with 31 straight points to win. Ordinarily I would like this as an upset for the Niners, but having back to back road games on a short week and going to Mile High on top of it is just too much. I think that Colin Kaepernick is playing fabulous and is looking more and more like a comfortable pocket passer who is very mobile instead of a running QB. I just can’t see Manning not shining in primetime and not cashing in the chance to ride a record to a win. I think this game will be a fun shootout to watch.

Pick-Denver

 

 

Monday October 20

 

Texans (3-3) @ Steelers (0-0)

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Steelers by 3

Fast Fact In most recent back to back losses the Texans have allowed 694 passing yards and five touchdowns

Last Week Texans lost to Colts 33-28, Steelers lost to Browns 31-10

The Texans fell behind big to the Colts but rallied hard to make it a game late though they lost, the Steelers just got housed in Cleveland and are now in dead last in the AFC North. I think the scare factor of the Steelers is over, Their running game is inconsistent and though Big Ben is still the formidable factor he can only do so much and the once proud Steelers defense is getting trucked. I don’t think that even the factor that they are playing at home holds sway as the Bucs rallied late to upset them. JJ Watt must be accounted for on every play, and I think he will be the disruptive force that makes the difference. On offense I think that Arian Foster has a breakout game and Andre Johnson makes a ton of big plays. This isn’t an upset…

Pick-Houston

 

Last Week:  8-6-1 (Lock & Upset Correct)

Overall: 51-39-1

Locks: 5-1

Upsets: 2-5

 

 

Sunday Musings #169
Category: User Showcase
Tags: NFL NewEnglandPatriots AlabamaCrimsonTideFootball MLB CollegeFootball NewYorkLiberty NCAATrack CollegeBasketball HighSchoolSports

 

 

While busy running around all weekend long...

 

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay

 

NFL

New England Patriots - The Patriots had a busy week as they played last Sunday against the Bills and then followed that up with the Thursday night game vs. the Jets.

The two straight AFC East divisonal matchups saw the Patriots win both games and take control of the division as they raised their record to 5-2.

Against Buffalo, the Pats won 37-22 but the win was a costly one as both Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley went down with what turned out to be season ending knee injuries.

In the first half of the game, the Patriots offense was just miserable. They managed just 101 yards of total offense. Thankfully, they woke up in the second half and rolled up nearly 300 yards of offense in that half. Tom Brady had a great game with 361 yards passing and 4 TDs. He spread the ball around to 10 different receivers in all.

Brandon LaFell had 4 catches for 97 yards and most importantly, two TDs. Rob Gronkowski caught 7 balls for 94 yards. Meanwhile, Tim Wright and Brian Tyms caught just 1 pass a piece, but each of them went for a score. Julian Edleman had 9 catches for 91 yards.

When the passing game is as effective as it was against the Bills, the Patriots can look positively unbeatable. But they are really going to have to lean on that passing game with the loss of Ridley. He was their workhorse back and while Shane Vereen can be effective out of the backfield catching passes, he is not the same time of runner Ridley is. As for the rest of the rotation of running backs, they haven't shown any reason for fans to expect them to do much better.

While their defense held the Bills to just 68 yards rushing, the Patriots run game was even worse. They had just 50 yards for the game, the rushing attack being thoroughly ineffective. It was a good thing the passing game took off in the 2nd half or the Patriots would've gotten beaten down quite soundly.

The defense also harassed Bills QB Kyle Orton all day long, they picked him off once and sacked him five times. Three of those sacks came from Rob Ninkovich. The defense also recovered a couple of fumbles along the way too.

I don't think anyone was really expecting the New York Jets to give the Patriots much trouble on Thursday night. They were 1-5 coming into the game and in what seemed to be complete disarray. They don't really have an NFL caliber quarterback on the roster and can't seem to get out of their own way most of the time.

But the team certainly hasn't quit on coach Rex Ryan and they showed up and gave the Patriots all they could handle. In the end it was a blocked field goal attempt, by Chris Jones, on the last play of the game (see below, Jones has the red glove on), that gave New England a 27-25 victory. It was a highly competitive and exciting game and one that FINALLY let the Pats fans exhale.

As they awaited the Jets, the questions facing the Patriots were 1. Can they have a balanced run game with Ridley out? and 2. With Jerod Mayo out, can the Patriots defense stop the run (when Mayo went out last year, that's when the Patriots run defense went into the crapper)?

The Jets got a surprisingly solid performance from QB Geno Smith (pictured below 1st) and the question about the Patriots defense was answered for one night at least when New York put up 218 total yards on the ground. Chris Ivory (pictured below 2nd) tallied 107 yards rushing for the Jets to go with four receptions out of the backfield.

 

What helped the Patriots win the game was their defense sacking Smith 3 times while New England's offensive line kept Brady upright for most of the game. The Jets defense was credited with 1 sack of Tom Brady, but it was a sack that saw Brady moving out of the pocket and then slid to give himself up.

Speaking of Brady (pictured below), he had 261 yards passing and 3 TDs on the night. And once again, he really had to get things done through the air because the other question facing the Patriots was answered by the team managing just 63 yards on the ground for the game.

Shane Vereen (pictured below) had 43 yards to "lead" the rushing attack, but he made his biggest impact catching passes. He had 5 receptions for 71 yards (also the team lead in that category), including a beautiful 49 yard diving catch for one of his two TDs on the night. You can check out the video below to see both scores.

But the Patriots still couldn't put the Jets away. It wasn't until forgotten man Danny Amendola (pictured below), who had been playing on special teams most of the evening, caught his first TD of the season that the Patriots took the lead for what would be the final time.

I love the two wins for the Patriots, but given that they came over relatively weak (despite playing solid games against the Pats) teams in the AFC East, I'm by no means convinced this turnaround means New England can consistently beat the better teams in the NFL this season. They are going to have to find someone who can run the ball to give their offensive playcalling some balance. If they don't, they are going to be in trouble if teams start paying more attention to their receivers. And if they can't run the ball, what happens to the offense when the passing game gets shut down too?

They also still need to figure out how to cut down on their penalties. They had 9 called on them against the Jets. I'm sure Bill Belichick can figure things out, he usually does. But the team is going to have to win games by guile as much as skill while they get things figured out.

One final semi-related Patriots note: There is a new book about former Patriots coach Bill Parcells coming out October 28th entitled Parcells: A Football Life. Sports Illustrated ran an excerpt from the book detailing the behind the scenes machinations that happened when Parcells quit as coach of the Jets and Belichick was supposed to take over. Football fans know what happened next, but you can read this article for a more in-depth look at what it took for Belichick to be able to be hired to coach the Patriots and change the course of the franchise.

Chicago Bears - Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is out injured this season, but this interview with Robert Klemko of the MMQB.com website gives you a great look at a player who's time in the NFL is winding down. A lot of other topics are covered as well.

Miscellaneous Article of Note - Former NFL player Irving Fryar spent the early part of his career in varying degrees of trouble. But he turned his life around becoming a really good receiver, and later became a preacher. But according to Greg Hanlon's lengthy article, there's been a big hiccup in Fryar's reformed life recently as he found himself in a lot of trouble. He now stands accused of bank fraud. You can read more HERE.

BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

The Red Sox are playing in the quest for the World Series championship this year, so I haven't really been paying much attention to the MLB Playoffs. But I wanted to take a quick moment and congratulate the Kansas City Royals (first playoff and World Series appearance in 29 years) and the San Francisco Giants (3rd World Series appearance in the last 5 years) for making it to what promises to be an electrifying conclusion to the baseball season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Boston College - Before I talk about yesterday's game against Clemson, I wanted to note that after the Eagles win over North Carolina State last week, Josh Keyes was named ACC Co-Linebacker of the Week while defensive end Brian Mihalik (pictured below) was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.

As for the Clemson game, the Eagles looked to pull the upset over the 24th ranked Tigers, but ended up falling short. They lost 17-13 to drop to 4-3 on the year.

The BC defense got torn up for 398 total yards despite the relatively low point total for Clemson. But it seems more like the inability of the offense to put more than 13 points on the board is what really did the Eagles in. QB Tyler Murphy (pictured below) was just 8-19 passing for 108 yards. Granted, two of those completions were for touchdowns, but it was another game where his inability to pass the ball consistently hurt the team. It was even more evident because the run game was stifled this time around as well. Murphy led the team in rushing with just 55 yards. Meanwhile, Jon Hilliman, Myles Willis and Sherman Alston (who caught one of Murphy's TD strikes) combined for just 65 yards all together.

Alabama - With the Crimson Tide's upset loss last week, it seems to have become open season on Alabama. More than a few have opined that the team's run of dominance in the SEC West could be over. That led into yesterday's nationally televised game against Texas A&M where the Crimson Tide laid such an ass whipping on the Aggies that A&M coach labeled his team's performance "embarrassing". The final score: Alabama 59 Texas A&M 0. Yes, that's right a big fat nothing for the Aggies as Alabama improves to 6-1. Apparently, reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.

A&M's offense had been averaging 565 yards in total offense coming into the game, but got outgained a monstrous 602-172 by Alabama. It all keyed off of the resurgent performance of quarterback Blake Sims. He freely admitted that he hasn't played well in the last two games but yesterday, he threw for 268 yards and 3 touchdowns while adding 54 rushing yards. That rush total includes a beautiful 43 yard run for a TD that you just have to see to believe.

 

Alabama's defense was in razor sharp form on the day. They picked off Aggie QB Kenny Hill once while racking up 6 sacks on the day as well. They also held A&M to just 31 yards on the ground (Bama's backs had 298 yards).

Bama receiver Amari Cooper has been held in check the last couple of games but he had 8 catches for 140 yards and 2 TDs yesterday. He had a 45 yard TD and you can see his 24 yard TD reception below.

As for the run game, T.J Yeldon led the way with 114 yards and 2 TDs for Alabama. Derrick Henry had a solid day as well. He ran for 70 yards and a TD and had a 41 yard catch and run from Sims for a second score. You can see that below.

Mass Maritime - While the Buccaneers struggled in their 32-16 loss to Westfield State on Saturday, my ex-player E.J. continue to extend his hold over every receiving record at the school. He caught 12 more passes today for 103 yards and a touchdown. The loss drops MMA to 1-5 on the season overall, with an 0-4 conference record.

Georgia - I'm not talking about any game the Bulldogs played but rather the suspension of running back Todd Gurley for allegedly making money off of signing memorabilia. I know that a lot of people out there are incensed that the NCAA and its member schools can make billions of dollars off of these athletes who labor for peanuts (scholarships). I happen to agree with them.

But while the rules stink, I don't agree with the notion that Gurley violating them is somehow a noble thing. It isn't. He knew the rules going in. They may suck, he may hate the rules, but he agreed to them. You can and should lobby to change rules you don't like. But I'm a firm believer in not breaking the current rules governing your participation in college athletics. And if you do break the rules and get caught, I have no problem with an athlete's career being in jeopardy or even over.

The NCAA is a corrupt organization as it is currently set up. They need to be changed from the top down as the playing field of college/amateur sports evolves. But until that happens, an athlete that agrees to the idiotically draconian rules of the NCAA must abide by them.

WNBA

The big news out of the women's basketball league this week was the rather surprising move by the New York Liberty. The team declined to pick up the option on coach/GM Bill Laimbeer. They'll be looking for someone new to lead the team for next season.

The Liberty took a step back the last two years under Laimbeer, who was unable to recapture the magic he had as the head of the now defunct Detroit Shock. They didn't make the playoffs either season but I don't think anyone really saw this move coming.

Laimbeer, who I hated as a player, but really like as a coach and GM in the WNBA, commented about his time with the Liberty in this article.

So far, I haven't been able to find out if assistant coach Katie Smith is still with the team or has been officially dismissed. I do know that if she isn't back with the team, my fandom for the Liberty will be a thing of the past. I go where she goes. By the way, Smith's latest blog post on her KatieSmithBasketball.com site is about her dog Logan. You can check it out HERE.

COLLEGE SPORTS

Tennessee Women's Track - I know that I don't usually spend much time on college sports other than football and basketball, but this past week brought a story about the Lady Vols track team that just pissed me off. And I wasn't the only one as noted women's college sports writer Mechelle Voepel and men's college basketball analyst Jay Bilas also tweeted about the story.

It seems new track coach Beth Alford-Sullivan revealed herself to be thoroughly disreputable and not worthy of being a coach. She kicked athletes off the team who had done nothing wrong. This was two weeks into practices and the players she dismissed were ones she had praised publicly not two months before. The parent of one of the dismissed athletes took the story public.

The coach and the school are hiding behind the lame ass excuse of Sullivan not having done anything wrong and while they are technically right, that is a purely gutless counterpunch to the way they have completely screwed over these athletes. This story is yet another example of the atrocious level of corruption that abides in the current NCAA system. You can read more HERE.

Mount Saint Joseph University - And then you have a story like this one, where it shows what can be right and good about college sports. Lauren Hill is an incoming freshman on the women's basketball team. She's eagerly looking forward to playing her first college basketball game...because it will be her last game as well. And that is if she lives that long. Lauren is dying from an inoperable brain tumor. She was originally given two years to live, but things got worse and doctors told the family she wouldn't live past this December.

NCAA rules don't allow Division 3 teams to play games that count in the standings until mid-November. But even they were moved because they granted MSJU an exemption. With Hiram College agreeing to move the game to November 2nd, Lauren will dress in her #22 uniform and play "One Last Game". You can read more and see the local news report via this link. Yahoo! Sports also covered the story HERE.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Wareham Girls Soccer - The Vikings lost to Middleboro 3-1 to start off their week. The one positive in that game was the news that my former player Paige scored her first career goal. A 6-1 loss to Bourne dropped Wareham to 0-15 on the season.

Wareham Boys Soccer - A 2-1 loss to Middleboro (Eoghan had an assist on the goal), a 4-0 loss to Bourne and a 6-1 loss to Case dropped the team to 0-13.

Wareham Girls Field Hockey - Westport beat Wareham 9-0, then lost to Seekonk 5-1 on Friday dropping them to 2-12 for the year.

Wareham Girls Volleyball - The Vikings got swept 3-0 by Bourne and 3-0 by Case to fall to 4-13 for the year.

Upper Cape Girls Soccer - The Rams beat Blue Hills 2-1 early in the week. Friday night saw them beat Old Colony 6-1. While she isn't one of my former players, Krystle scored all 6 goals and raised her scoring tally for her high school career to 99 goals. Below is an Adam Ellis photo of Krystle (in white) on one of a couple of chances where she could've scored that 100th goal.

Wareham Football - In their annual Cranberry Bowl matchup, the Vikings came up on the short end of a 21-12 decision against ORR. They are now 1-5 on the season. Josh (pictured below) ran for 58 yards on the ground and had 28 receiving yards in the game. (Photos by Adam K. Ellis of the Wareham Courier.)

MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLE

One of my favorite sportswriters is Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan. It seems others hold him in high regard as well. You can learn more about Ryan by reading this Grantland.com profile.

MISCELLANEOUS

TV - If you didn't watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead last Sunday, wow did you miss a fantastic show. Seriously, go watch it on On Demand right now, you won't regret it.

As for a couple of other shows, you can check out the Pop-topia.com recap of The Flash Season 1 Episode 2 "The Fastest Man Alive" HERE. The recap for Arrow Season 3 Episode 2 "Sara" is available via this Pop-topia.com link.

I also added to my TV on DVD collection this week when I picked up Cagney & Lacey - The True Beginning. It is the second broadcast season of the show but the first with Sharon Gless in the role of Cagney.

 

Music - Country singer Glen Campbell is dealing with the effects of Alzheimer's Disease. The last song he ever recorded is called "I'm Not Gonna Miss You". You can check out the official video below. It's some moving stuff.

Sports Friday with Hal: NFL NOTES AND MORE
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

 

Happy Friday!

 

I’m a busy bee and have been reduced to my old “Lurker” status here as I check in for a quick read. Like the great Steve Miller sings, “Time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future”

 

 

So the New England Patriots are playing their division rival New York Jets in a monsoon on Thursday night so I will have this posted and ready to go before 8:30PM. A lot of fun storylines with talk of Darrelle Revis playing some wide receiver? Practice squad running back Jonas Gray stepping into the New England backfield? Jets tight end Jace Amaro finally putting together a good game last week.

 

STORY OF THE WEEK:

The best storyline is the the Bill Parcells book set to be released in a few weeks and news of the advance copy having plenty of juicy details about the divorce of Parcells-Belichick. Since the divorce--don’t forget--Parcells won nothing while Belichick won three Super Bowls and went to five.

 

That said, going back twenty years to what football in New England was pre-Parcells and Drew Bledsoe is almost comical. Whenever the team found the smallest measure of success, they found a way to ruin it in spectacular fashion. The Lisa Olsen Scandal. The Cocaine Scandal post getting Super Bowl shuffled in 1986. General Manager Pat Sullivan getting his ass kicked by Matt Millen and Howie Long after he taunted them after the Patriots upset the Raiders in the playoffs in ‘86. Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour failure nearly bankrupting the team owners. The debacle of drafting quarterback Tony Eason over Dan Marino. Steve Grogan, John Hannah, and Steve Nelson playing so many years for so many bad teams. Trading away the draft picks that became Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Cortez Kennedy. Head coach Chuck Fairbanks bailing on the team. Roughing the passer against Oakland in 1976. This list goes on and on and on and on and on. I am sure the Northeast Gabbers can add about 20 more without taxing their brains.

 

The Patriots owe a debt of gratitude to Parcells for sure, but kudos to Belichick for getting out from “Big Bill’s” shadow. Belichick has hinted at how he hated being linked to Parcells when he saw him as a defensive assistant coach who got the lucky break of taking on the Giants top position. Belichick always visibly reacted whenever a reporter made the mistake of referring to him as a Parcells protegee. Belichick really is a part of the Joe Collier coaching tree as Collier was the long-time defensive coach in Denver and where the “Orange Crush” 3-4 defense took root. Parcells was a Ray Perkins acolyte and Belichick was more established in his defensive philosophy prior to landing in New York. To lump Belichick into the Parcells family tree is really a stretch when you look at the differing styles and philosophies.

 

That said, I am really looking forward to Parcells’ book and gleaning a little more information about his ending in New England. Should be a fun read.

 

NFL NOTES:

 

I’ve been keeping my eyes on the AFC East as always as I write primarily about the Patriots, but in watching Buffalo the demise of C.J. Spiller has been eye-opening. While the benching of 2013 first-round draft pick quarterback E.J. Manuel has been the top story, the declining touches for Spiller has been shocking. He’s hit 15 carries just twice this season and against New England had just six carries after just ten against Detroit the week prior.

 

The offensive line in Buffalo is atrocious and Fred Jackson’s quick-decision running style is more conducive to toughing out yards after contact. Center Eric Wood is adequate and left tackle Cordy Glenn is excellent, but right tackle Seantrel Henderson and guards Erik Pears and Cyril Richardson are dreadful and not NFL starting quality.

 

Now, backup running back and former Philadelphia Eagle Bryce Brown is healthy at last and Spiller looks like the odd man out. Spiller is still effective in the return and passing game, and I believe the game tape does not lie: the problem is his poor blocking offensive line.

 

*

 

The Boston Hollywood Sports Guy returned to Grantland/ESPN this week as his three week suspension for criticizing of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Three weeks later and my life was no poorer not reading his “mailbag” or not listening to his podcast as I haven’t tuned in to that since probably 2007 a few weeks after it came out. Simmons reportedly was furious about the suspension but didn’t go on a public diatribe or anything.

 

On one hand, Simmons is the godfather to us all. Blogs were not even really a “thing” back in the nineties. Simmons actually is a good writer who was a bartender after not being able to break into the Boston sports reporting scene. Simmons started writing on AOL Digital City (ahh, the heady 90s go-go Internet days!) and had his own website: BostonSportsGuy.com. By 2001 he was onto the big time at ESPN. After a hiatus to join the Jimmy Kimmel show in Hollywood, he was back and soon had his site Grantland.com.

 

In the pre-ESPN days, I adored Simmons and his unique style of writing. Without him, would TSN have blogs? Would I have started my BostonSportPage.com blog in 2005? Would we be sitting around the Gab loving and sharing sports? Probably not. That said, he went from “Must Read” to “ehhh, whatever” in the past few years. It is hard to maintain momentum and there are a ton of imitators who have come and gone.

 

*

 

I was ecstatic to see Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll come out against the seven inactive players on game day. Currently, the NFL has a 53 man roster that receives full pay and counts against the salary. Randomly, the league has the team only be able to play 46 of the 53. They’re paying them but not playing them? Why?

 

Since I never heard a rational reason and having more healthy players able to contribute can limit teams using starters on special teams (Rob Gronkowski’s broken forearm in 2012 blocking on an extra point?) is a good thing, what the heck is the league doing? It seems ludicrous for teams to have to pay these players a full salary and sit them? Make it 46 players or keep it 53, but LET THEM PLAY.

 

*


Wow, got on a few tangents there. OK, folks, time for me to watch some Thursday Night Football. P.S. Kudos to IHM filling in superbly for the great O.H. here on Thursday. Be sure to swing by next door to check in with the always interesting, informative, and opinioned StorminNorman as well --->.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 
Musings From The Hoodwood 10-14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL College Football MLB NBA

 

Bad sportsmanship on display in Philly

 

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where sometimes you are just trying to get by.

 

College Football: Look Who’s Running things…Mississippi State?

Most casual observers of college football would look at the fact that Florida State dropped from the #1 slot for an SEC team and shrug their shoulders, the fact that the team that replaced them is not one of the usual suspects from the SEC is the one that would be the eye catching fact. Its not Bama, not LSU not Auburn. Its Mississippi State. Read the following line slowly and digest it.

Mississippi State is the #1 team in the country in college football.

And their in-state arch rival Ole Miss, is lurking dangerously at #3. The oft maligned Magnolia State who was more infamous for the antics of Ross Barnett and the shameful chapters of the civil rights movement are now living large with two of the best teams in the country. From the Bulldogs do everything QB with the cool name, Dak Prescott to the Rebels junkyard dog tough defense that just abuses its opposition. These teams are fun to watch and are making the football world sit up and notice. The Egg Bowl on November 29th could be for a lot higher stakes than simple bragging rights, it could better the Iron Bowl as the conference’s big game in the SEC West as the gateway to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Mississippi State has only a trip to Tuscaloosa on its docket that may keep them from heading to their showdown game unbeaten. Ole Miss has a bit of a tougher run, they have head to Baton Rouge for a likely Saturday night tangle in the Bayou, never a good time then they host Auburn the very next week. The very idea that these team could be playing the final regular season game as unbeatens should quicken the pulse.

Meanwhile Florida State keeps chugging along, despite the growing noise that Jameis Winston may still face some sort of disciplinary actions for his alleged involvement in a sexual assault case, this all in front of a sort of conference showdown with Notre Dame who is still an independent but seem to be playing a few ACC teams here and there. But a matchup of unbeaten teams this late in October is always nice to see.

 

NFL: A tie?

For reasons I cant explain, Ive seen on TV each of the last three tie games. In 2012 I sat in my man cave and watched the Rams and 49ers slug into early evening but without a victor in a 24 all draw, last season I was visiting my Grampy and watched my Vikes and the Pack battle to a 26 all standoff, Sunday I again was visiting my Grampy and caught the tail end of a wild 37 all draw that set an NFL record for the highest scoring tie since 1974. The thing that amazes me about ties is the general football populaces ignorance about overtime and tie games. Tie games to be sure are a rarity nowadays, there have only been 20 ties since overtime has been instituted for regular season games in 1974. Before then overtime only happened in playoff games and only had happened four times in NFL history before the extra period was instituted for all games.  Since the overtime rules were instituted the Packers have had the most ties with 5, and all teams in the NFL except Houston, Jacksonville and Seattle have had ties. Though the Patriots have not had a tie game since the merger, their nine ties in their AFL days go forward with their overall won-loss total. Ties were a regular occurrence before 1974, if the 60 minutes were played and the score was tied that’s what it went into the books as.  There was at least one tie game in the NFL each season from 1952-1974 and as many as nine in 1967 & 1970, it wasn’t uncommon to see teams with 2 and sometimes 3 ties on their ledger the 1963 Bears finished 11-1-2 in their title season, I liked the 1965 San Diego Chargers who won the AFL West with a 9-2-3 record. More ties than losses, go figure. In 1970, every team in both the AFC and NFC West had at least one tie. 1975 was the first full season with no ties. And only 19 times since the Steelers and Broncos played to a 35 all draw in 1974, with the addition of sudden death then the modified possession overtime there have been more OT wins and fewer times that the game has ended in a draw. Ironically the Bengals last tie was at home due to a missed field goal.

But now you have the crying wonks. “Uhnnnnh there should be a winner, keep playing.” Can you imagine if either of these teams had to play on Thursday and had to keep playing till there was a winner?

 

 

Phat Dap

Its rare when I give dap to a St. Louis Cardinal, since Im not a big fan of them, but I always like to see someone gain a measure of redemption. And Kolten Wong got a bit of it Sunday night against the Giants. Wong got picked off to end a World Series game last year and in some circles wore the goat horns for the Cards lost to Boston. But Wong had a solid year for the RedBirds and clubbed a walk off homer in Game 2 to level the NLCS at a game a piece heading to the Bay Area. I still think the Giants are the better team and will win in 5 or 6 but Wong won a game by himself Sunday.

 

Head Slap

To the useless jerk in Philly that was clapping over the prone figure of Victor Cruz as he lay in agony on the Lincoln Financial Field turf Sunday. Cruz tore his patella tendon and is out for the rest of the season and the picture in the NY Daily News said it all, that was uncalled for.

 

Quick Hits

 

The TCU-Baylor game was a fun shootout to watch, Ill bet the score of either of their basketball games doesn’t match the 61-58 score

 

The Rain was the only thing that could stop the Royals, good to see that Buck Showalter hasn’t lost his overmanaging touch

 

KD out for 6-8 weeks with a foot injury…not fresh at all. You know Russell Westbrook is salivating at the chance to jack up shots

 

Ok so Romo and the Pokes beat the Seahawks…when he wins in the crunch let me know

 

Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!

 

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