Hello Gang! I was looking at some past Monday Moaning stats, and realized, that this lovely Brit model, (my favorite) Rosie Jones has graced the top of more editions of Monday Moaning, then any other lovely I have posted...Can you blame me!?!
I was also surprised to see just how many pictures of my kids made it into posts...(Especially baby Molly) Why was I looking up these things?
Well, I was fully prepared to sit here and type out my last Monday Moaning...Last as in, that's it, I'm out...I told Sully and Jeff this week that for the Gab to be what I want it to be, it would be best if I wasn't involved...I've been often absent as a owner/member...Work has eaten up a ton of my time...I try to spend as much of what is left with my family...I have little interest in sports, mainly, because I don't have the time...Hell, Notre Dame played a huge game against FSU and last week the last thing I wanted to do was write about the cock-sucker refs, and what piece of shit Jameis Winston is...So I didn't...
I've had a number of non-sports ideas/topics I wanted to write about, and just didn't...I've had a bit of an 'ahh, fuck it' mentality...Whether that's from being tired, or stressed, or frustrated, or depressed, I don't know...But I don't like it...
Even on my days off I often have to field texts, or calls from work...It's the nature of beast...I barely see my two oldest kids compared to before, and right now, and my son is going through some things, and he needs all the time I can give him...I'm not willing to get into it yet, because we just aren't sure where it's going...There has been a lot of change in our house, and quite a bit of juggling...And I ain't no juggler! It's been tough...
But as I started looking at old stats, and posts, I realized just how much of my life has been shared here, and just how big a part of my life this has become...So, maybe the best way to shake this funk, and work through some of these trials and tribulations, is to push myself to keep writing...Write what's going on...Write what's driving me crazy...Write these other ideas...
So let me ask this of you...Are you okay with me writing whatever is in my head instead of forcing out some half-hearted sports talk? Are you okay with me being a part-timer, when it comes to getting in here on days other then Monday, so I can do what I have to with my juggling act?
If you're okay with that, then I'll keep posting Rosie Jones pics, along with others, along with my ramblings...It might be the therapy I need, and maybe I'll get back to sports...
But right now, this is the most important thing in my world...
Not the giant life-sized Transformers...The kids!
Something else I had done a lot in Monday Moaning was pop in some music...So, I'll close with this...And just know, when this was recorded, this girl was 16...Fucking talented!
I know this is supposed to be a powerful statement against sexism and such, but aside from that, I just couldn't stop laughing at this hilarious video.
It was quite the eventful week in college football and it really began last Saturday when former USC star LenDale White went on Twitter to blast AD Pat Haden after White got kicked out of the stadium. Reading the news article, White makes a case for why ex-players should never be allowed around a program once they leave the school.
It's been three years since the Jerry Sandusky scandal erupted at Penn State. SI.com's Tim Layden went to Happy Valley to see how things have changed since then. You can read the story HERE.
The University of North Carolina has long had a strong academic reputation. But that reputation is not only tarnished now, it is in tatters. A report released this week revealed a massive cheating scandal over years that included over 3,100 students. That figure includes 1,500 athletes. While football players aren't the only sport indicted, they do seem to be a large part of it along with men's and women's basketball as well. You can read the story HERE.
Because athletes are involved, that is the angle most stories will carry. It is hard to argue with that notion, but it would be nice to see the 1600 "regular" students get their turn in the harsh media glare as well. As for the athletic department, you do have to ask why in the world they would do this. Okay, yes they need players to pass so they can play but there's two glaring problems with this school of thought. The first is that they aren't doing any real service to the students by letting them cheat. The constant handwringing about giving athletes a chance to change their lives by attending college kind of goes by the boards when it turns they didn't actually do any work in the first place. These same athletes that were being helped to stay eligible will be utterly bereft of further life opportunities that the top notch education they were SUPPOSED to be getting would have given them when their athletic careers end. It's like they want to turn out a generation of idiots who don't know how to do anything.
The second problem is that SECRETS ALWAYS FIND THEIR WAY OUT! Yes, it may take a long time but eventually all these scandals find the spotlight. You may get away with it in the short term, but the hammer is going to come down on your and yours HARD when you do get caught.
I know that the NFL doesn't allow players into the league until three years after high school, but they might want to change that rule. If only so that colleges stop letting people into the school that can't possibly do the work. Social promotion is a horrible excuse for turning out one moron after another. Either teach like you are supposed to do, or get out of the business of education. If that affects the won-loss record of your football team, so be it. You are the ones responsible for the bed you made, now lay down in it.
Yahoo Sports columnist Pat Forde had a great piece on the scandal. Check it out via this link.
Boston College - Before talking about the Eagles on the road vs. Wake Forest yesterday, I thought you might want to check out this article on quarterback Tyler Murphy.
The game against the Demon Deacons started out in the first half as an exercise in total domination by the Eagles. Boston College was up 17-0 at halftime with a total of 213 yards of total offense. 147 of those yards came via the run game. Conversely, Wake Forest had MINUS 3 yards rushing (6 yards total offense) for the half.
In the second half, Wake Forest didn't improve all that much on the ground (19 total yards rushing for the game), but their passing game took off and finished with 242 yards through the air as they pushed BC's seeming inability to get much going offensively. The Eagles held on to win 23-17 but some might say that the Eagles kind of rested on their first half laurels and almost paid a dear price for it.
In moving to 5-3, the Eagles got a superlative rushing defense (see below) that also saw them sack Wake Forest QB John Wolford 4 times. While the secondary did give up yardage in the air, it was DB Justin Simmons picking off Wolford that sealed the victory for the Eagles.
QB Tyler Murphy (pictured below) was an economical 11-15 passing for 165 yards, including a 37 yard TD pass to Shakim Phillips. Murphy also ran for 77 yards.
Freshman sensation Jon Hilliman (pictured below twice) ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles are now one win away from becoming bowl eligible
You can check out the game highlight reel below.
Alabama - The Crimson Tide rolled to a 7-1 record with their 34-20 victory over Tennessee last night. While Bama seemed to be in full control as they built a 27-0 lead, the Volunteers did eventually make it a game with their ability to run against the Crimson Tide defense. The Volunteers finished with 181 yards on the ground, which was just 2 yards less than what Alabama finished with.
The edge in the game came via the arm of quarterback Blake Sims (pictured below). He threw for 286 yards including two big scoring strikes (80 and 41 yards) to Amari Cooper in the first quarter. He also ran for another score.
Amari Cooper (pictured below) caught 9 passes for a school record 224 yards to go with those 2 TDs.
Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon (pictured below) each ran for a score.
The defense had a rough day in giving up a total of 383 yards. They managed to pick off Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs once and had two sacks.
Mass Maritime - The Buccaneers went on the road this week to play UMass-Dartmouth. I went to this game last year when Maritime hosted (brutally freaking cold that day). One of the coaches for UMD is a former basketball player I coached, which always makes me chuckle.
The game ended up resembling a Wild West shootout as the four game losing streak for Mass Maritime came to an end. The final score was 46-41. Maritime is now 2-5 on the season.
The game featured almost 1000 yards in total offense between the two teams, and Maritime's defense tallied 6 sacks on the afternoon. E.J. caught 2 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.
By the way, you can read a brief article about E.J. that was published in the Cape Cod Times on 10/23/14 HERE.
THE BASEBALL HOT STOVE
While it isn't OFFICIALLY the hot stove season in baseball yet, there were a couple of moves off the field that caught my interest.
Try as I might, the World Series isn't really holding my interest. I don't have anything against either team, but with the Boston Red Sox out of things, the largest part of my rooting interest ended at their game 162.
Speaking of the Red Sox, the team announced the hiring of Chili Davis as their new hitting coach. The former All-Star player was been the hitting coach with the Oakland A's the last three seasons, but worked as the Red Sox instructor at the Triple A level before that. He seemed to have a pretty good run of success with the A's, so let's hope he can get Yoenis Cespedes to have a better OBP next season. And it would also help if he could get some of the younger guys to at least look like they can hit major league pitching.
The far bigger news came on Friday when Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay DEVIL Rays. He had a year left on the contract but decided to exercise that clause. After the Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman left to join the Dodgers organization, this latest departure could be the harbinger of the Rays going back to being a non-competitive laughingstock. And it likely gives Maddon a chance to find a new managerial job with a club that actually spends money on players rather than solely draft players and hope for the best. You can read more about Maddon's departure HERE.
Yes, it is really me writing about the topic of golf. However, given my longstanding aversion to the activity, it won't come as too much of a shock when you see that I'm writing about something outside of the actual playing of the game.
On Friday, Ted Bishop, the president of the PGA, was impeached from his position (a month before his term was up anyway) because of comments he made first on Twitter and then expanded upon on Facebook. He was defending Nick Faldo against Ian Poulter (two players feuding with each other) and Bishop referred to Poulter as a "little girl" and then later "like a little girl squealing at recess".
As you might expect, the sexism card was played and though he was offered the chance to resign, he declined. The PGA's board of governors then voted him out anyway. He's losing his job, he won't be recognized as an honory president and won't be referred to by the PGA as a past president.
Seriously? All this over him acting like a two year old and throwing around relatively tame (or should I say lame ass) insults? I'm more offended that he couldn't come up with anything more creative to use to insult Poulter.
But I guess in this day and age, you can't say anything to anyone or about anyone without someone acting like you've just made a sin against all mankind.
You can read more (including some really pathetic cover your ass apologies from both Bishop and the PGA) HERE.
I'm nothing if not mediocre. Another week of splitting the two leagues I'm in with a 1-1 record for yet another week.
Mount Saint Joseph University - Last week's mention of Lauren Hill, the terminally ill player determined to play "One More Game" brought about a request to provide updates as the game gets closer. News about the game being moved to Xavier University's Cintas Center was followed by more news that the tickets were sold out in 30 minutes. It is a 10,000 plus seat arena! You can read the most recent report HERE.
Boston College Men - The season is still a couple weeks away but you can check out this brief interview with Olivier Hanlan. He talks about his work in the summer and why he came back for another season with the Eagles.
Missouri State - You can learn more about Lady Bear Tyonna Snow in this video piece. You can check out a shot of the Lady Bears basketball team from their Media Day event below.
Boston College Women - Nicole Boudreau and Kelly Hughes were the two players from the team that went to the ACC media day event in Greensboro, NC this past week. Along with coach Erik Johnson they met the media for season previews etc. You can see some shots of the two players from the event below.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
There was a ton of rain to deal with in the area this week but some game action did make it in.
Wareham Boys Soccer - The Vikings lost to Apponequet 8-1.
Wareham Girls Soccer - The team lost to Apponequet 3-0. They also had Senior Night this week. My former player Brianna is the only senior on the team so congratulations to her for battling through all her various injuries to make it back to the field this season.
Upper Cape Girls JV Soccer - Against Old Colony, the jayvees opened up a can of whoopass and beat the Cougars 9-0. Ann Marie had 2 assists in the game.
Wareham Field Hockey - The Vikings got knocked off twice this week with a 3-0 loss to Westport and a 4-0 loss to ORR. They are 2-14 on the season.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - The team got swept 3-0 in their match against Apponequet. The team held a free clinic for younger potential players. You can read about that HERE.
Upper Cape Varsity Football - Last Saturday, the Rams blew out Holbrook/Avon 38-14 and my girlfriend's son Connor (who is usually on the JV team) was able to make his varsity debut for a few plays. Way to go Connor!
Wareham Football - Despite talk of how the Wareham defense had been improving over the last couple of weeks, the Vikings were completely annihilated by Apponequet on Friday night. They lost 61-6. Apponequet had 502 yards of total offense while Wareham managed just 84 yards.
Upper Cape Girls Varsity Soccer - I mentioned last week that UCT soccer player Krystle found herself 1 goal shy of the 100 goal plateau after scoring a career high six goals in a game. You can read about that game in this Wareham Courier article. (All photos by Adam K. Ellis of the Wareham Courier.)
On Monday of this past week, the Lady Rams faced Bishop Connolly and Krystle did indeed get her 100th goal (plus one more for good measure). Unfortunately they lost the game 4-2. The loss eliminated the team from postseason contention. A 7-0 loss to Norfolk Aggie left them with a 6-10-1 record.
You can can see Krystle's 100th goal on a PK, along with brief comments from her and her coach in this video link.
Some photos from the Bishop Connolly game as well.
The 100th goal kick:
With her team:
Books - I picked up the new Jon Land thriller Strong Darkness this week. It is the latest in his Caitlin Strong series. I can't wait to dig into it.
TV - Here's the Pop-topia.com recaps at this week's new episodes of The Flash and Arrow.
Movies - The trailer for the new Avengers movie "Age of Ultron" was "accidentally" leaked a week early. And as expected, it set the Internet ablaze. You can check it out for yourself below.
In any football season, there is always a few games that jump out at you as a fan as must-see TV. For any Redskin fan, that list includes the Cowboys games where even in lost seasons - and we have had no shortage of those - a win over the Cowgirls is always welcome. This season, the Cowboys are off to a great start at 6-1 and first in the Now-Not-The-Worst-Division NFC East. The Redskins are limping along at 2-5 with wins over 2 teams of similar abilities. First of all, we do not know whether Dallas' record is the real deal or a mirage. Pre-sesaon, nobody saw a strong team in Big D - what the hell happened?! Are they really a 6-1 team - one that beat Seattle on the road no less, or will they fall comfortably back to earth and finish 9-7 or even 8-8? We shall see...they have to play the meat of their schedule in December, where they have been horrid with 4 of 6 games on the road to finish up after their Thanksgiving matchup with the 5-1 Eagles. No matter the case, they have at least made NFC East football interesting to watch again.
And as for the Redskins, I thought an 8-8 season would be a good outcome for the team, but that seems a bit optimistic at this stage...but beat the Cowboys, get to 3-5, 5-5 does not seem out of the realm of possibility. But we hate the Cowboys, and besides this game, the other game I will watch no matter what is on December 28...maybe the Skins can ruin Dallas' season with final blow! In the mean time, I search for this T-shirt...
As you know from my last post, I have been in Japan for the last week. The weather was not that great (until I was leaving today of course), so I did not get to do any photography but the business purpose was a big success. (My company is trying to treat their national affliction, cedar allergy, and we had a meeting with their FDA to get permission to start a clinical study. We were told it couldn't be done, but they loved us! So it is back to the Island in December...at least the Frequent Flier points are racking up!) I think Imentioned this before, but it is worth repeating. A Slingbox is a MUST-HAVE if you travel. Direct internet feed of your home TV anywhere in the world is just to great a gift, especially to the sports fan. Here's what I had for casual viewing....Golf from Europe, Japanese gymnastics (men's) and some soccer....it did help me fall asleep!
AND A COUPLE OF OTHER NOTES:
How about those Royals? I thought the Giants might sweep after Game 1, but they have really shown their resilience. It is hard not to pull for them.
The NO FUN LEAGUE reestablishes itself as the leader in Killjoy sports...now Peyton Manning is leading the cheers whineing about the video operation having a little fun getting the crowd revved up. Once again, the League and now its head cheerleader forget that IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A FUN EVENT...it's entertainment, guys.
Well, that's all for now...I will try to get my jet-lagged body back on Eastern Daylight time!
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While still shaking my head in anger, frustration and disappointment...
WHERE STUPIDITY REIGNS SUPREME...APPARENTLY
As many of the Yougabsports community know, I was once a youth basketball coach. I've made it a point to happily report on the high school athletic exploits of my former players over the last couple of years that I've been here on the site. On occasion, I've found myself also writing about former players of mine who found themselves in legal trouble.
And this week, it was a whopper and a half. Four of my former players are in jail where they will soon see the charges against them upgraded to murder. They apparently got into a fight in the middle of a convenience store with some other guy and that guy ended up dead on the ground.
Of the four ex-players, three of them come as no surprise to me at all. As much as it seems cold and unfeeling, I file them under "it had to happen sooner or later". But the fourth guy was a big surprise to me. He played for me for two seasons and was one of the best players I'd coached. He did everything I asked from him on the court and did it without complaint. He went on to have a pretty solid high school basketball career as well. Hell, I'd written about him here in this blog numerous times. He only just graduated in June of this year.
As I read the story, I quickly and silently thanked my parents for being strict with me when I was growing up. It kept me out of trouble (okay MOST of the time) and on the relative straight and narrow. And my sense of disappointment with that one ex-player grew as more details came out.
*WARNING - EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AHEAD*
But don't let that sad disappointed feeling let you think I'm feeling sympathetic towards any of them. Unlike some of the morons that have posted comments on the newspaper articles or on the Facebook pages for the newspapers, I don't feel that they are somehow still "good kids". Good kids know how to stay out of trouble. They don't get tied up in a fucking murder case! There are many rumors floating around town as to why this confrontation happened. And frankly since I don't have any knowledge about which of those theories might be true I'm not going to dignify any of them by writing them here.
But can there really be a reason, short of defense of your own life, that can allow for you and three "buddies" to kill someone in broad daylight in the middle of a store?
In case you are wondering, the answer to that question is no. I don't know where the lives of the four soon to be defendants were going in the passing decades but I doubt the Oval Office was on their life achievement bucket list. But I can't imagine prison was on their minds either. That may be because none of them seemed burdened by an overabundance of brains and/or common sense but still.
Instead, their lives are fucked. You can read the story for yourself, but these four dipshits are candidates for a spot on World's Dumbest Criminals.
So that was the biggest news of my week. Yet more athletes that I had a hand in coaching chose a path that will lead them to a life of being inconsequential.
*Sarcastic Button Turned On* - Just what a former youth coach always hopes for his players, no?
New England Patriots - Wow, the Patriots looked like the Patriots last week eh? Even when you allow for the fact they were playing the Cincinnati Bengals, a team that always fails to come up in a big game on TV, the way the Patriots played had you almost ready to forget how mediocre they'd been over the first month of the season.
I did say almost...because they are still being penalized as if they are the Raiders back when the Raiders were a good team. They got nailed 12 times for 114 yards. With Bill Belichick hating even one penalty in the team execution, 12 yellow flags must've driven him nearly batty.
The most consistent part of the Patriots offense has been kicker Stephen Gostkowski and as the Patriots battered the Bengals 43-17, he again had a big night. He finished with 5 field goals.
But the offense was really clicking as well. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been getting pilloried in New England for their craptastic offense but he was making some solid play calls against Cincy.
Tom Brady passed for 292 yards and 2 touchdows and looked like the Tom Brady we've come to know and love.
And Brady did it without much help from the wide receivers. Instead it was the one-two punch of tandem tight ends that made the passing game so effective. Rob Gronkowski (pictured below 1st) had his best game of the season with 100 yards receiving and a TD. And Tim Wright (pictured below 2nd) caught a TD as well.
The defense helped set up the offense by recovering three fumbles on the night. This helped set up running back Stevan Ridley (pictured below) to rush for 113 yards and a touchdown.
The reaction to just how badly the Patriots beat the Bengals was relatively split. A lot of people acted as if things were suddenly back to their glory days while others were decidedly more cautious in their praise of the team's performance in this one game.
I'd probably fall on the latter side of that judgement. It was great to watch the parts of the beatdown that I watched but I'm by no means convinced this means their struggles are over. They still need to play like this consistently. They can't backslide into mediocre offensive playcalling and execution when they play Buffalo this week. The offensive line has to continue to keep Brady upright and open holes for Ridley and/or Shane Vereen. And while it is great that the scary tight end duo could be making a return for the Pats, the wide receivers have to make their contributions. Julian Edelman has been the best pass catcher for New England this season but he had an off game against Cincy and his was the best performance out of everyone not lined up as a tight end. The continued ineffectiveness of Danny Amendola (I believe he's hurt again but trying to play through) and the release of Kenbrell Tompkins means there is playing time for someone that can actually step up and CATCH THE DAMN BALL!
There were a number of articles this week written about teams or players in the NFL that caught my eye and I thought I'd share them with you.
New York Jets - Robert Klemko's SI.com article didn't include the late week admission by backup QB Michael Vick that he didn't really prepare well for the team's loss to the Chargers last week, but he did have a pretty solid breakdown on exactly how and why the Jets stink. You can check it out HERE.
San Diego Chargers - Speaking of the Chargers, their 31-0 beatdown on the Jets was just the latest example of how things have seemed to turn around for their QB Phillip Rivers. Once again SI.com writer Robert Klemko provides an excellent story and analysis.
Miscellaneous Stories - Two more stories that caught my eye focused on two people now out of the game. One by choice, the other not so much. You can learn about retired cornerback Chris Carr's new life as a law student HERE. As for coach Ken Flajole, he's learning to live life without a coaching job for the first time in 37 years.
In a move that should surprise NO ONE given the recent history, it seems integrity might not be all that important to the Heisman committee anymore. You can read more in this article.
Boston College - After enduring a lighting weather delay, the BC Eagles raised their record to 4-2 on the season with a 30-14 win over ACC opponent North Carolina State. It's their first conference win of the season. Quarterback Tyler Murphy (pictured below) was the big standout on the day. While his passing numbers were relatively mediocre (12-19, 101 yards), it was on the ground where he made his biggest mark on the game. He ran for 132 yards and two scores. One of those TD runs came on a beautiful 47 yard scamper.
Sherman Allston and Jon Hilliman also ran for scores in the game.
Meanwhile the Eagles defense had a solid game. They picked off NC State QB Jacoby Brissett once and sacked him four times. Their rush defense held the Wolfpack to just 43 yards on the ground.
You can see the game highlights below.
Alabama - Blake Sims tossed two touchdown passes (including one to running back T.J. Yeldon, pictured below) as the Crimson Tide avoided a second straight upset and squeaked by Arkansas 14-13. For a rather large turnaround in the scheme of things, Alabama was the team that was held to a low total of rushing yards. They managed just 67 yards on the ground against the Razorbacks.
While the Bama defense held Arkansas to 98 yards rushing, it is always a bit odd to see Bama get outgained on the ground. The defense also picked up four sacks and two fumble recoveries. Unfortunately, Sims got sacked twice and the offense lost two fumbles (out of four made) as well.
I don't know what happened with the offense in this game but something is going to have to give to get Alabama back to looking like an efficient if not entirely thrilling offense.
Mass Maritime - The Buccaneers dropped their game against Western Connecticut 30-19. The loss leaves them at 1-4 on the season. E.J. caught 6 passes for 74 yards in the game.
For Red Sox fans of a certain vintage the fifth game of the 1986 ALCS between the Sox and the California Angels was a legendary game. It all boiled down that Dave Henderson whalloping a home run off of Donnie Moore that led to Boston eventually winning the game. It has long been posited that Moore's suicide a few years later was due to this one game. You can read Michael McKnight's longform SI.com story "The Split" and learn more about Moore's story and the falsehood of the home run leading to his death HERE.
It was another crappy week for me as I got wiped out in both leagues last week.
After announcing he would be entering rehab to deal with his alcohol problems, Michael Phelps found himself suspended for 6 months by USA Swimming. And he's apparently won't be competing in next summer's World Championships (long after his suspension ends) either. As I wrote last week, I'm fully in support of Phelps being suspended. Of course, I don't understand why he can't swim at the championships, but that's another matter entirely. You can read more via this Yahoo Sports article.
But what makes me chuckle a bit is how quickly USA Swimming acted in dealing with Phelps. He gets busted for DUI and they whip out the old "code of conduct" stuff. Yet you have "coaches" who molested young swimmers for YEARS and no one either knew or did anything. Driving under the influence is terrible but destroying a life by molestation is something you'd think the paragons of virtue (yeah right) that run USA Swimming would've moved faster to deal with as well.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Wareham Boys Soccer - The boys season continued down a bad spiral as they lost to ORR 5-1 and to Case 4-0.
Wareham Girls Volleyball - As their hopes for a playoff berth flickered down to almost nothing, the Vikings lost two five set thrillers to ORR and Dighton Rehoboth. Against D-R, Erica (pictured below from the ORR game, photos by Adam K. Ellis of the Wareham Courier) had 16 digs and 12 service points.
Oh and here's a shot of Rae-Lyn from that same ORR match:
Wareham Girls Soccer - ORR gave Wareham yet another shutout loss beating them 7-0.
Upper Cape JV Football - The Rams picked up their first win of the season beating Blue Hills 22-14 this past Monday.
UCT Girls Soccer - Upper Cape stands at 4-8-1 after a 4-0 win over Old Colony and a 6-1 loss to Pope John Paul II High.
Wareham Football - After their big win last week, the Vikings were unable to keep that momentum going and lost to Fairhaven 20-8.
Wareham Girls Field Hockey - After a 7-1 loss to Apponequet and a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Bourne to start off their week, the Vikings closed out their week with a 2-0 win over Case. Kali had one of the goals, her first career score. The team is now 2-10. You can see an excited Kali after the goal (in pink) below. (Photo by Adam Ellis of the Wareham Courier). There's also a video of the goal that you can see HERE. (also by Adam Ellis)
Books - I finished the Archer Mayor novel Proof Positive this week. Although the ending of the book was rather abrupt I still quite enjoyed this latest Joe Gunther story.
TV - It was a big week for TV this past week as two shows debuted that had comic book fans breathless in anticipation. The series premiere of The Flash lived up to most of its hype as the show began to set up their storytelling tent. The Pop-topia.com site I do some writing for is covering both The Flash and Arrow this season. You can read the recap for The FlashHERE.
As for the 3rd season premiere of Arrow, let me just say that I loved it. It might just have been the best premiere of any of the returning series that I watch. And what an ending to the episode to make fans gasp or cry out "NOOOOO!". Here's the recap.
Of course, the premiere that is almost certainly the one a LOT of people are waiting for is tonight's 5th season premiere of The Walking Dead. I know that I'll be glued to my TV tonight. To whet your appetite, check out the season 5 trailer below.
Oh, and I picked up Season 7 of NYPD Blue on DVD this week too.
Movies - I saw the Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow this week. It's a military science fiction version of Groundhog Day. For the most part it was a very good action flick. But for me, I thought the ending was just a bit too blase for my liking. Overall I gave it a 7 out of 10 on the IMDB.com site.
For those of you on the fence about seeing the Ben Affleck movie Gone Girl, why not check out the Pop-topia.com review.
Music - Last week, I linked my review of the new John Mellencamp CD Plain Spoken here. I linked it on a few other places as well including Mellencamp's own Facebook page. Well they shared it there and it's been pretty successful there. It's been liked more than 700 times and shared at least 40 times. It is likely my most viewed CD review thus far.
My latest CD review is for the Unisonic album Light of Dawn. You can check it out via this KNAC.com link.
The new AC/DC album Rock or Bust is due out December 9th. The first song from the album is called "Play Ball" and you can listen to that below.