No matter how you slice it: I think the scoreboard here says everything you need to know...as if there was any doubt the Raiders were going to lose today anyway.
Ohio State. Kosta Karageorge was found dead Sunday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. On Saturday, the (Ohio State) University paid tribute to him and urged a safe return. His family points to a concussion history that may be to blame, and it may well be, but it strikes me that a 22 year old man would more likely be suffering from depression with concussions rather than suffering from depression resulting from concussions. I believe head trauma is serious and no laughing matter. To. Be. Sure. But most players suffering from Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are older and have sustained repeated injury over a long period of time. If this young man is found to have suffered from CTE, you can be sure there will be changes - if for no other reason than mom and dad will not want their kid to play. Godspeed Kosta.
All party and not playing makes Johnny a dullard boy: Poor Johnny Football. He gets into it with a drunk, and then when he finally gets into a game and has his big play called back. Now, the Browns/Bills tilt struck me as a potentially interesting game this week...until it was played. It says a lot that you pull a trick play out of your hat in the second with the score 10-7. That strikes me as a little desperate - that said, it was well executed...well except for the illegal shift. I guess the good news is that his face wasn’t “smashed,” a fact I’m sure the publicists are happy about.
Look at that stiff arm.
Emotional Support Pig. So, this is apparently a thing. You can’t bring a dog into a supermarket or on a plane or whatever...UNLESS it’s a service animal. Well, it turns out there’s a cottage industry in getting animals certified as “service animals.” So, it was really only a matter of time, then, until someone got thrown off an airplane because their pig became disruptive. Now, I suppose it’s possible that this woman relies on this pig for her emotional well being, but it seems to me that would have to be the least likely thing ever. Makes you wonder if she eats ham sandwiches.
Unemployment Claim. The 9-3 Cornhuskers fired Bo Pelini. Now, this cat is a good coach - 62-27 in his time in Nebraska - just not good enough. That said, I’m sure he doesn’t much care. If you or I were to get fired tomorrow, it would suck. If you live in Hawaii, on average you’re going to get about $425 a week, if you’re in Alabama, you’re gonna get about $200. Coach Pelini is getting about $7.7-Million - the highest UI amount you can get in Nebraska is $348. It may be a bit before he’ll be collecting, but frankly I’m not too worried about his well being.
LIES!! On a more serious note, Ray Rice’s “indefinite suspension” was overturned this week by an arbitrator. The NY Daily News points out (and I agree) that the most “alarming” aspect of the situation is:
...there have been 20 instances of prior domestic violence incidents over the last seven years, none of which got more than a two-game penalty, including one player whose offences occurred over two years and involved “no fewer than 10 incidents in which law enforcement was required to intervene.”
Wow. Just wow. The arbiter stopped just short of calling Goodell a liar. Janay Rice said on NBC when asked directly if he lied, that all she could say was that he wasn’t telling the truth. It’s not a stretch, then, to paraphrase and say that she says he’s a liar. Now, it’s one thing for Mrs. Rice to say he’s a liar, but to get an arbitrator to come that close - someone whose as dependent on the NFLPA as the NFL for her living (and note here, a female arbitrator - extremely important that a woman was king this ruling) - tp saying it is meaningful. From that, I’d say Goodell has a HUGE credibility problem. Will he survive as commish? Sure. The League makes far too much money for the owners (note here: the NFL is technically a “non-profit”), but I’d also say he’s on very thin ice. The domestic violence commercials we’ve been inundated with over the Thanksgiving holiday notwithstanding, the league has a lot of work to do.
Dopes. Sheryl Crow, Lance Armstrong’s longtime girlfriend, apparently told investigators about an illicit blood transfusion Lance got in 2004. Now, here’s a lesson for you kiddies: if you’re going to take sponsorship money, take it from a private company; don’t take it from the USPS. 2 years ago charges were dropped against him, but because his team was sponsored by the Postal Service, the government gets a second bite of the prosecutorial apple. The other lesson you should take away is don’t trust a ‘ho. Turns out he did little to nothing to hide his transfusions from her. If you’re not gonna put a ring on it, don’t tell her that stuff.
Don't Trust Whitey. I watched "The Jerk" again this weekend. It's probably one of my all time favorite movies. It's against that backdrop that I came across Sammy Sosa whose apparently been bleaching his skin for the last 5 or 6 years. Dude. Seriously? You look like a freak.
Well I hope that your Turkey was filling and you shook off the effects of the tryptophan to fully enjoy all the football and if you went shopping got what you wanted to get. Me, I spent the day collecting hot plates from friends and family to have lunch for the next week. It’s a wonder how I’m not an enormous tub of goo after Thanksgiving…Anyway aside from kicking myself for foolishly believing that the Pokes would play good at home on Thanksgiving it was a good day of picks for me on Thanksgiving and Im hoping to roll that into the weekend. The Thanskgiving bounty of quality football is apparent this week as there are a host of really good matchups this week. After this Monday we’re in December with the drive for the playoffs ratcheting up a few notches. Here submitted for your review, perusal and approval are this week’s picks with the odds provided by ESPN strictly for entertainment and comparison purposes only. That means if you can’t buy the 56 inch plasma for $200 because you had to pay your bookie after taking the lines and getting took, that’s all on you. Don’t call me.
Washington (3-8) @ Colts (7-4)
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Colts by 10
Last Week Washington lost to 49ers 17-13, Colts defeated Jaguars 23-3
This would have been the first meeting between 2012 top draft QB’s Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III before RGIII’s benching. Colt McCoy gets back into the saddle for the visitors who are coming off a tough road loss in San Fran, the Colts easily dispatched the Jags and their offense has been running at a fairly crisp pace. McCoy pulled the upset in Jerry World but Im thinking the Colts defense will not be having any kind of an upset here.
Panthers (3-7-1) @ Vikings (4-7)
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Vikings by 2
Last Week Panthers were on their bye, Vikings lost to Packers 24-21
The Panthers have been more or less wandering blindly from one pathetic performance to another, only a bye has slowed their loss run. The Vikings have played decently over the past four games but only have a split to show for it. The Vikings are having to live with the growing pains of Teddy Bridgewater and a patchwork running game while the Panthers are trying to stay within shouting distance of the pathetically weak NFC South. Call it a hunch but I think Bridgewater is due for another breakout game to help the Vikings complete a sweep of the NFC South.
Titans (2-9) @ Texans (5-6)
NRG Stadium, Houston 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Texans by 7½
Last Week Titans lost to Eagles 43-24, Texans lost to Bengals 22-13
The Titans are slogging through another lost season and got hammered by the Eagles, while the Texans could not get on track in a costly loss to the Bengals. Ryan Fitzpatrick for better or worse ascends back to the starting spot for the Texans who are trying to stay in playoff contention. Zach Mettenberg continues his often painful learning curve. The Texans are marginally better but they should have no real problems with the woeful Titans
Browns (7-4) @ Bills (6-5)
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Bills by 3
Last Week Browns defeated Falcons 26-24 Bills defeated Jets 38-3
Bouyed by a thrilling rally to upend the Falcons, the Browns head to Western New York to take on the Bills who won big in spite having to relocate their home game to Detroit. The Browns are weakened by the loss of ballhawking safety Tashaun Gipson who hurts his knee and maybe out for the season. The Bills seem to grow more resilliant as the season goes on. The Browns have been playing tough but getting a win in Orchard Park where the Bills have seemed to be a nasty place to get a win. I smell an upset brewing here
Chargers (7-4) @ Ravens (7-4)
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Ravens by 6
Last Week Chargers defeated Rams 27-24, Ravens defeated Saints 34-27
The Chargers had a harder time with the Rams than they expected but got the win and now head east to face the Ravens who toughed out a gritty game with the SaintsThis is a really good matchup of a pair of teams that are right on the fringes of the playoff hunt, but I don’t like the Chargers having to come east for an early game. I can just see this as a disaster waiting to happen. Joe Flacco is quarterback I just cant trust fully but I think he should have enough to get by the road weary chargers, whom I have even less trust
Giants (3-8) @ Jaguars (1-10)
EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Giants by 3
Last Week Giants lost to Cowboys 31-28, Jaguars lost to Colts 23-3
Both of these teams are going nowhere, the Giants lost a shootout with Dallas while the Jags looked lifeless against the Colts. Eli Manning might have his way against the weak Jags defense, but I smell an upset here, why? I don’t know.
Pick-Jacksonville (Upset of the Week)
Bengals (7-3-1) @ Buccaneers (2-9)
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Bengals by 3½
Last Week Bengals defeated Texans 22-13, Buccaneers lost to Bears 21-13
The Bengals sprung a bit of a shocker in Houston winning a gritty game against the Texans, the Bucs continue to look like they are lost, losing another tight game in Chicago. I smell a trap here, the Bengals are overdue for a flat performance and look like that they should struggle against the otherwise woeful Bucs who they should steamroll. But for some reason I think that the Bengals should pull it out, but it wont be the rout most think it should be.
Pick-Cincinnati (Lock of the Week)
Raiders (1-10) @ Rams (4-7)
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Rams by 7
Last Week Raiders defeated 24-20, Rams lost to Chargers 27-24
The Raiders stunned the football world by upending the Chiefs while the Rams are a lot better than their record would indicate, though they lost a heartbreaker to the Chargers. The Rams should be able to exploit the weak run defense of the Raiders and I just cant believe that Derek Carr can be enough to keep the Raiders in it.
Saints (4-7) @ Steelers (7-4)
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Steelers by 5
Last Week Saints lost to Ravens 34-27, Steelers were on their bye
The Saints are spiraling out of control as they slogged their way through a tough loss to the Ravens, the head to the Steel City to face a rested Steelers squad who is still in the midst of the wild AFC North playoff fight. I have more or less given up on the Saints and I think that asking them to go to the Steelers formidable lair is asking a bit too much
Cardinals (9-2) @ Falcons (4-7)
Georgia Dome, Atlanta 4:05 (FOX)
Favorite Cardinals by 1½
Last Week Cardinals lost to Seahawks 19-3, Falcons lost to Browns 26-24
The Cards lost a tough defensive struggle with the Seahawks while the Falcons mismanaged the clock and blew a winnable game with the Browns. The Cards are a solid defensive team but you have to wonder how much their offense will struggle with Drew Stanton at the helm and possibly missing stud wideout Larry Fitzgerald. I don’t think the Falcons are a real contender team though this is matchup of first place teams. I think the Cards grind out an ugly win.
Patriots (9-2) @ Packers (8-3)
Lambeau Field, Green Bay 4:25 (CBS)
Favorite Packers by 3
Last Week Packers defeated Vikings 24-21, Patriots defeated Lions 34-9
One of the best games of the season, both teams are of the first rank and are piloted by great QB’s. Both teams are on long winning streaks and both are real contenders for making and winning the Super Bowl. Coming off an easy win over the Lions the Pats head to Lambeau to tangle with the NFC North division leading Pack. I want to say that Brady and the Pats can go into Lambeau and steal a win , but they are heading into one of the few places that are harder to win at the their own venerable Gillette Stadium
Broncos (8-3) @ Chiefs (7-4)
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 8:30 (NBC)
Favorite Broncos by 1
Last Week Broncos defeated Dolphins 39-36, Chiefs lost to Raiders 24-20
A high stakes AFC West matchup finishes the day, the Chiefs took an embarrassing pratfall in Oakland while the Broncos struggled but got by a tough Dolphins squad. This may be one of the tougher road games for the Broncos. I just have a hard time banking on the inconsistent Chiefs though
Monday December 1
Dolphins (6-5) @ Jets (2-9)
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 8:30 (ESPN)
Favorite Dolphins by 7
Last Week Dolphins lost to Broncos 39-36, Jets lost to Bills 38-3
The Dolphins are trying mightily to stay on the fringes the AFC playoff race, their loss to the Broncos did nothing to further that cause, meanwhile the Jets totally embarrassed themselves against the Bills in the snow bowl game played in Detroit. The Dolphins are a better team on both sides of the ball and the Jets have more or less, quit on the once grinning jeering Rex Ryan who has the dead coach walking look down to an art.
While enjoying the last day of my 4 1/2 day weekend...
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @TheOneTrueJay
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Wareham Football - Despite being 1-9 going into the game with a mostly anemic-slash-pathetic offense, the Wareham Vikings had themselves a hell of a game on Thanksgiving Day against arch-rival Bourne. They rolled to a 44-8 victory to at least give a nice exclamation point to the rather awful season they had this year.
By the way, my former player Josh caught an 18 yard TD in the game, you can see a photo of the catch below. (Both photos by Adam K. Ellis of the Wareham Courier.)
Basketball - With the Thanksgiving holiday over, thoughts will now turn towards the high school basketball season. Tryouts are coming up once the kids head back to school. And it looks like I'll be going to 5 schools again this year after all.
There's the Wareham girls that have Gabby, Erica and Tieyanna (amongst others), the ORR JV team will have Jillian, the Sturgis East varsity will have Isabella, the Bristol-Plymouth varsity will have Savahna and the Upper Cape varsity will have Michaela plus the rest of the team that has become my adopted team to root for. The Upper Cape JV team will have at least one former player of mine (Ann Marie) plus the possibility of others.
I've already arranged to get out of work for a 1/2 day for the Upper Cape home opener so I can see both games.
And speaking of my ex-players, their talents extend further than the athletic courts and fields. Check out this video of Savahna performing the song "Titanium" at her school's talent show.
THE POLICE BLOTTER
Yet another of my former players has been arrested. This time it was for possession of pot, coke and for an unlicensed gun and ammunition. And he had nearly 1400 bucks on him when arrested. Hmmmm...wonder what he does for "work".
Just shaking my head at the stupidity.
And in the case of me being at least semi-evil, I also had myself a silent chuckle because the guy is the son of one of the people primarily responsible for kicking me out of the basketball league.
There's no Celtics Report blog post this week. I wrote about their 94-88 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in another blog post earlier in the week. Other than the up and down nature of James Young's week with the Celtics and Maine Red Claws, there wasn't much going on with the Celtics this week until Friday's afternoon game against the Chicago Bulls.
The Celtics started out strong in the game holding an 11 point lead after the first quarter. They were up 6 at both half-time and at the end of the third quarter. But once again, Boston showed their inability to close out games when they were outscored 24-11 in the fourth as they lost 109-102. The loss drops them to 4-9.
In the fourth quarter, the Celtics shot just 5-26 from the floor.
Jared Sullinger (pictured below) scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Celtics. Avery Bradley added 18 points. Brandon Bass had 16 points and Evan Turner scored 13 points. Rajon Rondo scored 8 points and dished out 9 assists. He missed both foul shots he took in the game and is now shooting a pathetic 32% (9-28) from the line for the season.
The usual way the Celtics have been losing has been for either their offense or defense to fail them. But now this game shows that both parts of their game can let them down at the same time and when it does, the results are even less pretty than before. Talk about frustrating.
Boston College - In the Eagles regular season finale, there was a lot a stake. A win would bump them into position for a marginally better bowl slot. It was Senior Day at the Heights and the school was celebrating the 30th anniversary of the famed Flutie to Phelan Hail Mary pass against Miami. You don't want to lose on a day like that.
And the Eagles did what they needed to do as they carved out a 28-7 win that saw fireworks right from the very beginning. The opening kickoff was returned 95 yards for the score by Myles Willis. You can see the TD run below.
Quarterback Tyler Murphy (see below) ended up being named MVP of the game for throwing for 160 yards and a TD (he did get sacked three times). He ran for 20 more yards which gave him the new ACC single season rushing record (1079 yards) for a quarterback. He passed Clemson's Woodrow Dantzler's.
The passing TD was a 26 yard strike to Sherman Alston (see the catch below).
Boston College's defense did a remarkably good job at containing the Syracuse offense all afternoon. They held them to just 136 total yards while racking up 3 sacks and 2 interceptions.
As for the Eagles ground game, they accounted for two touchdowns on the day while they ground down the Orange defense. Jon Hilliman had a 7 yard TD run while Tyler Rouse (pictured below) led the individual rushing stat line with 59 yards, including a 42 yard TD scamper.
For the second straight year, the Eagles finish with a 7-5 regular season record (4-4 in ACC play). I'll be looking forward to seeing where they end up for a bowl game and hope that this season ends with a big win.
Coach Steve Addazio mentioned in the post game press conference that the next two weeks will see him and his staff out on the road recruiting. This is a good thing given the uncertainty surrounding next year's team. They'll be looking to replace QB Tyler Murphy for one thing and for that matter, you might end up seeing a need for a new coach if Addazio is snatched away by the open Florida Gators job.
You can check out all the highlights from the game in the video below.
Alabama - After what coach Nick Saban termed the "worst half of football we've played since I've been here", the Crimson Tide won a shootout in the second half to win the Iron Bowl over Auburn 55-44.
The first half saw Alabama with a 14-6 lead before Auburn's offense dialed up a number of big plays against the Bama defense and took a 26-21 lead going into the break. Bama QB Blake Sims was awful in the first half. He threw 3 interceptions in the first half (on 15 passes) and after the game it was revealed that he very nearly got pulled from the game.
But Saban stuck with Sims and that faith paid off when Sims ended up rallying Bama back. He finished with 20-27 for 312 yards and four TDs. He was sacked once to go along with those three picks. He also ran for a TD. (see below)
Alabama's defense got torched for a total of 630 yards, including 456 yards passing (with 3 TDs) from Auburn's Nick Marshall. They did sack him three times and picked him off once, but the videotape of this game is not going to be must see TV for the Bama defense.
Bama's run game tallied 227 yards on the ground. T.J. Yeldon (pictured 1st) had 127 of those yards and scored twice. Derrick Henry (pictured below 2nd) ran for 72 yards and a score.
Receiver Amari Cooper (pictured below) had a huge day. He caught 13 passes for an Iron Bowl record 224 yards and scored 3 TDs.
You can see video of those TD catches below.
DeAndrew White (pictured below) caught the other TD from Sims.
Alabama is now 11-1 for the season and despite giving up a ton of yardage and points, will almost certainly remain atop the playoff rankings when they come out this week. But it sure was a scary game watching Alabama flounder for much of the first half.
Mount St. Joseph's - Just a quick update on Lauren Hill. There has now been more tan $350,000 raised in her name for cancer research. Also, her high school team announced they were retiring her jersey. You can read more about that HERE.
Mount Ida - Breanna is another of my former players on a college roster. She isn't playing this season as she recovers from an injury but you can see a photo of her in uniform below. She's on the right in the picture.
Catholic University - Before heading off on Thanksgiving break, the Cardinals put a 76-45 beatdown on Bridgewater (Va.) to improve to 3-1 on the season. My ex-player Amber saw 7 minutes of playing time. She was 0-4 from the floor (including 0-1 from three point range), but had 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal while committing 1 foul.
Missouri State - The Lady Bears dropped to 0-4 with a 70-57 los to Oral Roberts University. Before the game freshman Liza Fruendt (pictured below) was named MVC Newcomer of the Week.
As for the game, Missouri State got 15 points and 5 boards from Kenzie Williams. But they couldn't overcome their 4-24 three point shooting and missed 9 of 28 foul shots. Oral Roberts turned 12 MSU turnovers into 18 points.
Hillary Chvatal scored 9 oints, grabbed 15 rebounds and had 4 steals. All those numbers are new career highs for her. The team played in the Omni Classic on Friday and Saturday. They played Colorado on Friday night and ended up losing 87-59. Liza Fruendt was the only Bear player in double figures with 17 points. Onye Osemenam had 6 points with a team leading 8 rebounds. Lee Ann Polowy (pictured below) hit 3 out of 5 three point attempts for 9 points.
Missouri State ended up facing TCU in the consolation game of the tournament on Saturday night. Despite a number of Bears players hitting for career or season highs in points or rebounds, they couldn't do enough to stop TCU rolling to an 82-68 win. TCU hit 17 of 30 shots in the second half (56.7%). the scored 24 points off of 24 MSU turnovers.
Liza Fruendt scored a career high 20 points for Missouri State and was named to the all-tournament team. Nijay Gaines (pictured below) had a career high 14 points and a season high 7 boards. Kenzie Williams added 9 points. Aubrey Buckley had a career high 8 points. Riley Israel added 7 points and Rachel added a career high 7 rebounds.
Missouri State is now 0-6 on the season.
Hartford - The Hawks found this week a tough go as they lost to Lafayette 74-59. Deanna Mayza scored 14 points to lead Hartford. She dished out 7 assists in the game but had 4 turnovers as well. Cherelle Moore scored 13 points and Janelle Harrison (pic below) scored 10 points with 7 rebounds. Amber Bepko added 10 points but fouled out of the game.
The team then headed off to Mexico for three games in the Cancun Challenge. Things didn't start off well as the Hawks lost to Furman 53-42. Cherelle Moore had 13 points and 11 boards while Deanna Mayza added 11 points. The biggest problem for the Hawks in this game was their shooting. They shot 17-64 from the floor (26.6%) and hit just 3 of 18 three pointers. They forced 17 turnovers by Furman but managed to convert them into just 8 points.
On Saturday, Hartford played Washington. Despite a career high 26 points from Cherelle Moore (pictured below), the Hawks lost the game 81-70. Amber Bepko scored 16 points while Deanna Mayza added 13 points and 7 assists (4 turnovers).
The Hawks having 14 turnovers would seem to have been a big factor in helping to decide the game. Washington scored 18 points off of those turnovers. This despite the fact that Hartford managed to get 19 points of their own off of the turnovers by the Huskies.
On Saturday, Hartford's stay in Mexico ended after they played against Florida State. Unfortunately for the Hawks, the Seminoles took the game 69-59 to send Hartford home with an overall 3-4 record. Cherelle Moore (who ended up being named to the All-Tournament team) had 18 points and 7 boards to lead Hartford, while Amber Bepko added another 18 points (hitting 5-10 on 3 point tries). Deanna Mayza added 11 points.
But Hartford got almost no help from their bench (just 2 points) and turned the ball over 21 times. The Hawks are going to be looking to get themselves back on track as their strong start to the season has gone for naught with their winless tournament appearance.
Tennessee LADY VOLS - The Lady Vols opened up their week by destroying Tennessee State 97-46. Nia Moore (pic below) scored a career high 25 points and grabbed 11 boards to power the Tennessee offense.
Bashaara Graves (pic below 1st) added 14 points while Jaime Nared (pic below 2nd) added 11 points and 6 rebounds. Cierra Burdick finished the game with 10 points.
(All photos from Tennessee game photo gallery)
The Lady Vols did hit a snag on Wednesday night though. They went on the road to play Chattanooga and for the 2nd straight year lost to the Mocs. This time the score was 67-63. The Mocs led by 16 points at halftime and despite the Lady Vols tying the game up four times in the second half (the last was at 63 all), they squeaked out the win by hitting four foul shots to provide the final margin of victory.
Tennessee shot just 37.7% from the floor. They were led by a career high 21 points (18 in the 2nd half) by Jasmine Jones and 11 points from Ariel Massengale. The loss dropped the team to 4-1.
Boston College Women - There was a quick 3 minute weekly news conference with women's coach Erik Johnson at the beginning of the week. You can see that below.
The Eagles are in Maine this weekend to play in Maine's Black Bear Tournament. But weather challenges forced a change to the tournament when Wright State was unable to make it to play. BC played Brown on Friday afternoon and ended up taking a 90-80 overtime win.
Nicole Boudreau led the BC offense with 18 points and Kelly Hughes added 17. Emilee Daley scored a career high 15 points. Ashley Kelsick finished with 10 points and established her career high assist mark thus far with 9. The win was the 100th head coaching victory for BC's Erik Johnson.
The Eagles play Maine at 1pm today.
MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS ARTICLE OF NOTE
Do you remember Darryl Talley of the Buffalo Bills? He was one of their superstars during their Super Bowl glory days. But this article from the Buffalo News lays bare the now sad and tragic story of his life after football. It makes for some harrowing reading.
I know this will come as big a surprise as it did to me, but I actually won one of my leagues last week. I lost in the other one so it was a 1-1 break even week. The most interesting thing about the league I picked up the victory in was that it was against the first place team.
TV - Here's the Pop-topia.com recap and review of the "Power Outage" episode of The Flash.
Music - You can check out the official video for the title track to the new AC/DC album Rock or Bust below.
Movies - The first teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie has been released. The new title is Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the 88 second trailer can be seen below. The movie is due out in December 2015. And I can pretty much guarantee that I'll be seeing it on opening weekend. I'm not a huge fan of J.J. Abrams but if doesn't try to put too much of his own imprint on the movie and instead lets it be a Star Wars movie that he happens to be the director of, things should be okay.
Thanks to the long weekend, I decided to take in a movie on Friday afternoon. I saw The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1. Like most movies that are split into two parts from one book, a lot of the stuff in the first part seemed geared towards making the audience come back for part 2. There was some stuff that was good of course, but overall, I found this to be a merely decent movie. It is better than the first one but not as good as the second film was. Still worth watching however.
The traditional NFL Thanksgiving Day games have come and gone and as usual the early games combined with tryptophan from the turkey consumption, alcohol (for some), or maybe a family member’s boring stories and left America snoring on the couch once again. It was a pair of blowouts as Detroit spanked the Bears 34-17 while dinner was on the table, and as the eyelids grew heavy in the afternoon the Philadelphia Eagles stomped the Dallas Cowboys 33-10 in the one-sided battle for first place in the NFC East.
With the Lions winning, the Packers have extra motivation for Sunday when they face New England in the marquee match-up of the week. A loss to the red-hot Patriots puts the Pack back in a tie with the Lions for first place in the NFC North. Two hot teams with great quarterbacks and explosive offenses. The most entertaining part may be simply seeing a rejuvenated cornerback Darrelle “Revis Island” Revis face off against Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb. That is the game-within-the-game right there: If Revis and company can slow the mighty Packers passing attack it may be all the Patriots need to go to historic Lambeau Field and pull off a big win on the frozen tundra.
Speaking of first place, the Denver Broncos face off against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. The Broncos lead the Chiefs (and pesky San Diego Chargers) by just one game in the standings. The Broncos have lost two of their last three and were fortunate to win at home against Miami last week. The Dolphins have improved by leaps and bounds on offense but are still just outside the playoff picture right now due to the Chiefs and Chargers a game better. The Chiefs blew out the Patriots in September on Monday Night Football in week four, then lost to San Francisco before ripping off five wins beating the Chargers, Rams, Jets, Bills, and an emotional home win over Seattle. Of course, on Thursday they then lose to Oakland which had gone a full year (November 17, 2013 to November 20, 2013) without winning a game.
The Chiefs lost star safety Eric Berry to a season-ending non-football injury reported to potentially be a lymphoma--a cancerous mass found in his chest . At this time, further testing is being done, but there is still nothing definitive. Only 25, Berry is a leader of the defense and a great player. Obviously, this is an important personal issue that transcends football.
The final Thanksgiving Day game was the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Both are looking up at an Arizona team that is 9-2, but looks like they could finish 10-6. Seattle is having the usual Super Bowl malaise as their free agents get picked over, every team has them circled on the schedule, and the injuries pile up. It seems to just be the way the NFL goes with the long, grueling season and off-season. Both the ‘hawks and 49ers are underachieving a bit, but play each other twice in the next three weeks. The Seahawks face Philadelphia and Cardinals before closing out versus the Rams. It seems likely the ‘hawks will still finish with 11 or 12 wins and top the NFC West.
The 49ers have an interesting issue with head coach Jim Harbaugh as they still seem uncertain if he will return in 2015. He has had great success getting the 49ers back into the championship contender mix, but his act is wearing thin. He has been linked to just about every high profile head coaching job in the college ranks, and NFL teams will line up for his services if he becomes available.
Arizona plays the NFC South leading Atlanta Falcons in a battle of division leaders in week 13 though both are unlikely to win their division. The Falcons are just 4-7 and still have match-ups versus the Packers, Steelers, and Saints before facing the Panthers in week 17. A 5-11 finish should leave them out of the playoffs. The Cardinals have a two game cushion but face the Chiefs, Rams, Seahawks, and 49ers to close the season. Going 1-4 the rest of the way is conceivable.
An under-the-radar game is Buffalo versus the Browns. These two former laughingstock franchises are both in position to make a playoff run still. The Browns are 7-4 and the Bills are 6-5. The Browns just got wide receiver Josh Gordon back and add a huge playmaker to an already strong offense. The Bills have built around a great defense and with Kyle Orton at quarterback have settled down an offense that seemed stuck in neutral with top running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson (who is back at last) out. Who would have thought a week thirteen Bills-Browns match-up could have potential playoff implications for both teams.