Musings From The Hoodwood 11-2-11
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL MLB NBA College Football


This aint a babe alert, you chowdaheads!...that's my daughter the lovely Princess Katie!

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where your scribe has returned after a few days in the desert southwest.

First of the top, dap and many thanks to Jeff who was kind enough to switch up column dates with me. Your timeliness in my time of need (Details to follow) is much appreciated.

I’ll get to some sports here in a bit but, first lets go back. Back to October 1996, Bill Clinton was the president and was campaigning for his re-election. The hip hop world was mourning the death of 2Pac and a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati was pacing nervously about awaiting the birth of his first child. On October 3rd 1996 at 12:09 PM, the after saying “Wow, this baby has a lot of hair!” the Doctor said “It’s a girl!” An 8lb 15¾oz girl. Hollering and squalling, Kaitlyn Jalia Green made her arrival. A little while later her mother said wistfully “Well we now have till what 2011 to plan for her quincenara.” Since Princess Katie’s mother is Hispanic and had a quincenara of her own with her sister, it was a given that she would have one too. For those who are uneducated, a quincenara is something like a sweet 16 party but in the Latino community the passage is for 15 year old girls. It’s a big deal. Of course, yours truly would have to be there to celebrate and for me it was a big deal in itself. Princess Katie and her mother moved to California 10 years ago and then to Arizona in 2004. I have not celebrated Princess Katie’s birthday with her personally since she was 4. Add to the fact that I have a serious fear of flying, and I have never visitied Katie.  So me getting on a plane and flying out 1670 miles is a big deal.  After making sure I had my good luck talisman in tow (A medium sized bear named Benny given to me by grandmother when I was a kid) I drove from the hoodwood to Port Columbus International Airport, A drive that I make twice a year usually to get Katie. But this time, it was me that getting on the plane. The trip itself out there aside from the occasional turbulence was uneventful. I took a bunch of pics from my window seat that was literally in the back of the plane.


When I landed in Phoenix, I immediately appreciated the 35 degree increase in temperature met up with Princess Katie and her mom and we headed out.  Im not one that travels much beyond the Mississippi River,  having only been to Dallas a couple times, Denver in 2008 for Obama’s nomination and to San Jose for my stepbrothers wedding in 2004 so having to adjust for the time difference (you don’t appreciate a 3 hour time difference until you fly to it. I never realize how very provincial that this country is until you see something that you don’t see in your own hood. After getting  an incredulous look from Katie’s mother that I had never had Jack in The Box we got some grub there. Katie’s best friend in Ohio Catherine came on the same day (on the same plane too) and I got to listen to teenagers giggle and gossip, but it still felt like early evening when locally it was only 4:30, my body was not liking the 3 hour time difference and I was wanting to hit the hay at 7p

In any case, I ended up getting up way early every day I was there (I was determined not to screw up my inner clock) Katie and her mom freaked out most of the day getting ready and I had to keep the peace with Katie’s stepdad who we are not even close to being in each other’s fan club. But for Katie’s sake I kept the peace.  And Katie was the Belle of the Ball looking breathtaking in the dress that was shown at the top. I took a few pics with Katie (professionally done so I can show them off yet) and enjoyed a dance with her.  By and large the weekend was a lot of fun. I got to see how people in the western half of the country watch football and frankly, Im a little jealous. Pregame shows with breakfast at 9a and 1st game kickoffs at 10a. I got a call as the Vikings-Panthers game (now you know I was going to find a sports bar didn’t you) asking if I wanted to go to brunch. The second set of games was started at 1:15, which means the Sunday game starts at 5:20 and you can still go find something to eat when that game is over.  To those that are in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, I am jealous.

 Monday, I got up early as I had a morning flight. I wanted to catch the early morning flight but Katie’s mom who was taking me to the airport begged off saying that she would be wiped out from the weekend. (I was the one wiped out, the time difference was still giving me fits.) But I arranged to catch a 9a flight. Knowing that you just cant show up to board a plane I was adamant that she pick me up early enough so I could check in. I checked in online and was all ready to go. One problem, Katie’s mom and stepdad took their sweet time picking me up from the hotel which was only a few minutes away. I asked her to pick me up between 6:30 and 7:30, I got picked up at 8:05…shit.

I was staying in Mesa which is in the East Valley, and had to get to Sky Harbor Airport which is just east of downtown Phoenix in Monday Morning traffic…ummm aint gonna happen. I got dropped off at 8:25, and missed getting my boarding pass by a couple minutes. The good news was that the friendly folks at Delta (no plug intended) got me on another plane. The bad news, I wouldn’t get to go through Minneapolis like I had planned, instead I would go through Atlanta and I had to wait for 4 hours to get that flight. Was I mad??? You bet your ass I was. Have you ever spent time in an airport? Its no fun, the food is expensive and you can only watch CNN-Airport just so many times. Four and a half hours later, I was on the plane to Atlanta. That flight was less bumpy and added another 1500 miles to my air total for the weekend, after getting to the sprawling Hartsfield-Jackson airport in the ATL (Sully, how you have ever navigated that airport is beyond me) I spent another couple hours  waiting before flying back to Columbus, picking up my car and driving back to the Hoodwood. Needless to say that circumnavigation of the country and the time waiting wore me out and on top of all that my laptop went BSOD on me and I have to figure out why. So without further ado lets get into some sports talk shall we?

MLB: LaRussa goes out on top

While waiting for Katie’s mom to show up Monday morning, I caught the news flash that Cards manager Tony LaRussa is retiring. I have long been vocal critic of the overmanging style of LaRussa and even had a long musing on why he was a vastly overrated manager but that isn’t saying that he didn’t win. He won 2728 games in 33 seasons and is only  the 2nd manager to have managed in 5000 games, think about it MLB has had LaRussa in parts of five different decades managing a team. I was in the summer between 1st and 2nd grades when he took over  the White Sox for Don Kessinger midway through the 1979 season and has been on an MLB bench since. Yes he has had team that seemed to flame out in the postseason, but give the man his due you have to be doing something right to be around  that long He won 99 or more games in a season with every team he managed. (99 with the Sox in ’83, 104 in ’88, 99 in ’89 & 103 in ’90 with the A’s and 105 in ’04 and 100 in 2005) Ironically his of his 3 world Series titles only his first in ’89 won 99 games. So now in four seasons three of iconic managers have retired in Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and now LaRussa, who would a fourth manager of the past thirty years be on a Mount Rushmore of managers? I give gruding dap to LaRussa who saved his best managing for last and goes out on top

NFL: Stunners and Showshockers

The Saints were looking like world beaters when the pasted the Colts last week and facing the Rams they looked like they would hammer the winless Rams who were without their starting QB. Instead the Rams broke out the old Rams jerseys leaned heavily on Stephen Jackson and an opportunistic defense and rode the goodtime wave of the neighboring Cards World Series win to a stunner. I think the Saints Jeckyll & Hyde routine is getting tiresome quick.

Hey Cowboy fans, queue up to the left to give me your excuses why the Pokes got their ass handed to them in Philly (just like I predicted, sorry the post wasn’t shown) Im getting  tired of hearing the Pokes apologists continue to say that their team is ok and that they will make the playoffs. If the Pokes make the  playoffs I will buy a Cowboys hat and wear as my headline picture for the column the Tuesday after the season is over. But I wont worry about doing that cause it wont happen.

The Dolphins are playing hard but they are losing game after game and Tony Sparano is getting more and more tense and hostile. I made the joke about Sparano having for sale signs in his front yard when he actually does since he  and his wife are looking for beachfront property in South Florida. Uh, Tony I wouldn’t invest in it unless you are really retiring. You might be looking for work soon, cause your days are numbered.

Everyone(except your humble scribe who never was)  is back on the Steelers bandwagon after they grinded out a win over the Pats. I read in the New York Times on the way home that the “old label” that had been put on the Steelers was premature. Actually it wasn’t, the Steelers won that game because they held on the ball and kept Brady and company off the field for long stretches. Its easy for a defense to play fresh when you have better than a 2 to 1 time possession margin.

No one will give dap to the Bengals, they have quietly put together a 5-2 record and went to a historically tough venue in Seattle and led all the way to a 34-12 win. Now keep in mind the Bengals have yet to face the aforementioned Steelers and Ravens and still are very young.  On the real for real a team that many were saying could go winless are looking good and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is now the franchises all time winningest coach surpassing  Sam Wyche but only Paul Brown has a winning coaching record for that team.

College Football: Clash of the Titans.

Even more disconcerting this past weekend was watching college football while scarfing down breakfast at 9a. Im used to the noon kickoffs and I even adapted to 11a kickoffs when I lived in Minnesota but seeing Big Ten games on in the morning and to me 9a is early was different.

The stage is set, LSU-Alabama in the most modern version of the “GAME OF THE CENTURY” (add requsite bluster and echo if you choose.) Im not knocking the game, this has the billing of two heavyweights of the first rank and both teams are National Championship caliber, but both teams are in the same division and a rematch would be unlikely. Who would have thought that a battle for divisional control in the SEC West would have such grave national implication? Bama is tough as nails in Bryant-Denny but that LSU defense is full of game changers and playmakers. A primetime Saturday night showdown that you know CBS is giddy about having. Me, Ill be switching back and forth between that game and watching my alma mater Cincy play Pitt.

Is Andrew Luck the favorite for the Heisman? Dunno, but he made it look like he was the front runner with his gritty performance against SC. The Cardinal and Trojans battled back and forth on a national stage. The score was a bit skewed due to the overtime, but nevertheless it was a great game and it was ironically decided by the defense not a heroic last play by Luck. SC coach Lane Kiffin comes off as a whiny sore loser (Imagine that) when he vociferously complained that the at the end of regulation that his team should have been granted a time out with a second left to be able to set up for a game winning field goal.  But it isn’t when the coach or players call the time out, its when that time out is acknowledged and signaled for the clock to stop. USC lost the game and Kiffin is unhappy boo hoo.


Phat Dap

Oklahoma City F Kevin Durant is keeping busy. After complaining that he was bored via Twitter one of his followers invited him to his frats flag football game…to play. Durant went to Stillwater and actually played in the game. Playing quarterback he threw for four scores. Durant is fast becoming my favorite player in the NBA for his down to earth style and great play. But we wont see much of the latter, great PR play

Head Slap

Percy Harvin of the Vikes needs to get his mind right. Its not real smart to start a fight in the middle of your opponents bench. But here was Harvin who took exception to being slung out of bounds and got into a shoving match surrounded by Carolina Blue jerseys. Football fights are dumb to begin with but Harvin did not have numbers here.

 Back to the regular spot next Tuesday, and the NFL post will really be posted on Sunday. Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!

Tuesday's Tantrum - 11/1/11
Category: FEATURED


Welcome to the tantrums, where as I post this, little ghosts and goblins, fairy-tale princesses, and dumb ass teenagers are trick or treating my house.  When you read this, it'll be 11/1/11.  Pretty interesting numerology - I guess.  I hope everybody had an enjoyable and safe Halloween!  Now we move on to November, can you believe it already?  Wifey and I are already talking about making the food run for Turkey Day!

Rant of the Week – Kardashian.  I’m sorry guys, I gotta go here.  Is there any reality stunt this disgraceful example of a “family” won’t pull?  Having a woman get married for ratings and then discard the marriage after 72 days?  These people are truly despicable.  How stupid are those of you who watch the garbage that these idiots peddle? 

MLB – World Series.   Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals, a team given up for dead back in June, July, and August.  Incredible job to an incredible team.  Now comes the challenge St. Louise, keeping “the Machine” - losing LaRussa may have hurt your chances.  Honestly though, I hope he chooses to stay in a city that idolizes Baseball, and in the history of all of the sport has the second most championships.

Speaking of LaRussa, we bash him repeatedly, and deservedly so, but is there any real doubt that this guy can manage a MLB team?  Did he have Phil Jackson syndrome?  Yeah, his A’s and Cardinals teams were loaded, but he sure had to massage some serious egos, especially in Oakland.  History will be ambivalent to him, and I certainly have concerns about what he knew regarding some of the major steroid players who played for him.  This years team however, he had to really manage!

Cleveland trading for Derek Lowe, whose best days are probably seven years behind him?  Lowe was 9-17 with a good Atlanta team last year, what the hell does Cleveland think is going to happen next season with a team that doesn’t have nearly the talent of Atlanta?


NFL.   Hard to talk about such a crappy schedule.  Trying to pick out a game that was interesting is a bit tough, especially when you want to leave Patriots/Steelers to those far more qualified to discuss it.  I’ll take a stab though:

Baltimore, pull your head out of your ass.  Horrible offense, bitching and whining in the locker room?  This from a team with a bunch of defensive leaders who should be squashing any of this crap, and now you’ve got a rejuvenated Steeler team in Pittsburgh? 

If you want a team that is slowing becoming a pleasant surprise, look at Minnesota. 

The talking heads have been very quiet on the subject of Dallas, and that’s a good thing.  But Lance Armstrong got off an epic blast on Jerry Jones when he tweeted “If I had a few hundred million bucks, I’d buy the Dallas Cowboys then get the hell outta the way.”. 

49ers are now 6-1 with a four game lead in the NFC West.  A four game lead over second place Seattle and a win over them makes it a five game lead – IN WEEK SEVEN.  The Niners have given up 107 points in seven games, three points better than Baltimore.  I’m starting to believe, and am looking forward to the second half of the season.  The family is looking forward to a little post-Thanksgiving dinner Harbaugh fight (49ers at Baltimore).  Now watch, I post a picture of a 49er and the karma blasts this team in the nad.

San Diego Chargers - you absolutely suck.  Kansas City Chiefs might be on a roll, but the Chargers had no business even allowing the Chiefs on the same field.  You're going to win the game and you screw up the snap after getting your asses kicked the whole game pretty much?  Is Philip Rivers have a horrible year or what?

College Football.    I had all sorts of fun watching that Stanford/USC game, and at a family get-together many of us were glued to this game.  As much as I want to see Stanford get into the BCS Championship Game, they had better work on their defense, or they won’t get past Oregon in two weeks.

As much crap as South Carolina has been through, and they’re still 7-1 and what amounts to a two game lead over Georgia in the SEC East?  I said it two weeks ago, they’ve got to face the LSU/Alabama winner, and you have to feel for them.  Of course, they still have to travel to Arkansas and still be home for Clemson before they can get that far. 

OK Penn State, it’s time for you to step up in competition.  With that schedule, how the hell do you rate being ranked #16?  Because you played Alabama?  You barely got by a FAR overrated Illinois.  Let’s see how you handle Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisky.  Even IF you sweep those three, the Big Ten still is weak sauce.

Wanna know who the quietest team is out there?  BYU.  Currently 6-3 and only a game at Hawaii could wreck a very surprising nine win season.  Could be a solid opponent for a second level bowl game.


Beaver Report.  The Beavers came back home, and Jerry got the start against a 3-4 Golden Eagle team that seemed more interested in cheap shots and hurting players than actually playing the game.   Not once did their defense stop the Beavers, the Punter was bored because he didn’t see the field, and the Kicker’s leg got wore out.  Final score, Beavers 73, Golden Eagles 21.

Mustang Football.   The local heroes went down to Lionland and brought back a 44-7 win.  They’re now 8-1, and ranked #3 in the division rankings.  Next up, the final regular season game against their rivals, the 2-7 Buffalos with the additional incentive of winning the league undefeated, not done since Jerry's team did it in 2008.  Best of luck boys!


Douche Bag of the Week – Halloween.  There's been a trend lately of adults trick-or-treating in costume - FOR THEMSELVES!!!  Do I really need to add anything to that?   Yeah, just this - you morons deserve admittance into the Douche Bag Hall of Fame!  



Monday Moaning...Happy F___ing Halloween
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Halloween Kids Little Beeze The Beeze NCAA NFL Notre Dame Wisconsin Badgers World Series Cleveland Browns Tim Tebow Stephen Tulloch

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of Halloween...Although I do like that it has turned into more of a look like a slut day! I never liked it much as a kid, and even had a few of my younger years, where I just didn't go trick or treating...I tried to go along with the flow a few more times, but I just never bought into it...The begging for candy thing seemed dumb, especially since there was never any tricks...Other then some one smashing your pumpkins in the street hours later, there was no fucking tricks...It was bullshit...

But now I have kids, and of course they're into it, so I have to go with the flow...The flow being, setting up decorations, and carving pumpkins, and spending too much on costumes my kids will wear once...During all this, I start getting annoyed by it, and the pumpkin carving gets intense...I don't trust my kids with sharp shit, so I do the carving...We draw their ideas out and then I get to work...Little Beeze, artistic as hell loves to challenge me, and I dig back into my art major days and strive for perfection...This is where the wife gets annoyed with me! And baby Molly's pumpkin, well, I took a crack at carving her, all 6 teeth, big smile, wide eyes, and dimples...(I'll get picture uploaded tomorrow night)

I had to do something other than watch the Browns get smoked by the 49ers...WOW does that offense suck! It's like each wee they take another step backwards...I never thought I would want Eric Mangina's awful offense back!

-So I missed most of the NFL coverage, but I saw this, and I loved it...

All last week I heard dopes on ESPN talking about "Tebowing" The whole kneeling with the fist on the head...Well, it didn't take long for some one to stick right back to St. Tebow! The Lions Stephen Tulloch shoved it right in Tebow, and the world's faces...Some will bitch about it, but Tebow set himself up for it...If he's going to do it every time he makes a big play, he better expect it to get it back...This why I feel dopes like Tebow, no matter what their faith is, need to keep that shit at home...I don't drag my religion/church (The church of the Beeze) into the Fish House with me, and shove it people's faces...Knock it off St. Tebow, and learn how to throw!

-I worked a double Saturday, so I missed the Notre Dame game...I was glad to see they not only didn't struggle with Navy, but they rolled them...But it's too little too late...They needed to bring that shit against USC, Michigan, and USF...The Irish Hockey team took 2 games at Bowling Green this weekend...Sorry Frank!

-Did you see the end of the Wisconsin/Ohio State game...The Luckeyes let the Badgers back into the game later, and then gave up the lead...Then, I nearly choked on my Sullivan's Irish Red, and Turkey & rasher Melt, as Wisconsin gave up another Hail Mary touchdown...All the talent, hype, and love for Wisconsin, and these dopes get beat two weeks in a row, on a Hail Mary...Unreal!

-I just have one note on the World Series...Am I the only person bothered by the fact that MLB postponed game 6 for a possibility of rain...Rain that never really came...Which set up the Cardinals to have their "Ace" go in game 7 if they got there? It just seems fucking strange to me...

-So I wasn't around much last week...Lots of shit going on in Beezeland...And I was a single parent for a couple days while the Mrs. was in Philly for a funeral...I even had to break out the baby gates...Ms. Molly wasn't pleased...

So then she tried to charm her way into the kitchen...

How can you say no to that?

As for costumes...She's going as a bunny, but she's not hip on the ears...The oldest is going as a Witch...She says a good one, but she's been mouthy lately...9 going on 16...The Little Beeze is going as an Angry Bird...But the costume is big and bulky, so he's not going to wear it at school...For school he's going as a "Star Wars" classic...

All these years later, and Boba Fett is still the coolest, baddest, mother fucker in the galaxy...

Have a Week...

Later, The Beeze.


Category: FEATURED



Thoughts from an Island Girl

I went to the racetrack in Martinsviile,  VA.,  because we have hot passes.   It was so cool,  being in the pits and seeing all that activity.   During the practice for the Cup cars,  they say girls get back please.   At that moment the engines for all 30 plus cars fire up.  

  Then in single file,  just past Jimmie Johnson's hauler they all take a left turn moving through the pits.   We are right there across the pit entrance road to the right of the cars.   The superstars of NASCAR.    They were all so beautiful,  with their sponsors and paint schemes.  It is kind of breath-taking.   Kind of like a Christmas parade.     When all the cars have made this trek to the track itself,  I go to where are the pit boxes on the inside of the fence.  

 Then the cars approach the opening to pit road.  The cars slow a bit and then take a hard left onto the pit stop area to make it on the track.   Of course,  I saw Regan Smith and waved to him and he wave back.    I was very excited about that.  

I saw the legends of the track and of NASCAR.    I saw Dale Earnhardt Junior and think of the heritage and lineage that makes it seem all the more real.  I see 5-time and defending champion Jimmie Johnson and think I am part of this moment.   I see the good guys and the bad guys in my mind and I think,  there are no bad guys.   It is what it is and we love or hate based on our perceptions of an accident or someone break checking your favorite driver.     As I stood at the inside pit gate,  cars were coming and going and standing near the number one turn,  you hear the cars gearing down the tremendous power in those engines,    We even saw a few drivers.   One was Jeff Gordon.   He makes me feel a bit taller.  Ha!   But two pretty blonde girls got a picture with him.   I heard one fan say,  he is going to tell his wife and then another fan said he took a leak in the stall next to Mark Martin.  

   NASCAR is bigger than life,  with it's own dramas.   It is very likely that Johnson will not win his sixth straight but that's okay,  you eventually move on in all sports, with winners finally bowing out at some time in their career.   And for all the people who say they are not athletes or just rednecks.  I say this:  "There are plenty of people of different races and walks of life and there is an international flavor with drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya,  Nelson Piquet Jr.   There are also more women racing now too and it will be not too far off that a woman will compete for a title.   For those of you that think this is all redneck,  there are a lot of beautiful women in the pit area.   Some are with the teams and others are fans.

This is really fan friendly and very secure.  But I must say to people be careful where you walk in the pits,  you can get run over.  And be respectful of the drivers who might have to jam on the brakes to avoid hitting you.   These cars are powerful, so keep that in mind.    Finally,  there is so much more to say,  but I have to get going.    Just remember,  go to a track near you.   If not NASCAR,  then your local tracks.   They will welcome you and you can be part of it all.

Tim Tebow Hype : How To Avoid It As The Descent Into The NFL Playoffs Begin Now
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Tim Tebow NFL NCAA Green Bay Packers Denver Broncos Peyton Manning Miami Dolphins Indianapolis Colts Florida Gators College Football AFC

Tim Tebow has owned a great deal of attention from the media, football fans, and religious zealots long before the Denver Broncos drafted him last year. A former Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow became a legend at the University of Florida by leading the Gators to a pair of national championships.

While setting several Southeastern Conference records, Tebow also became the first collegiate player to ever score at least 20 touchdowns in both throwing and rushing in a single season. He was a consensus All-America choice once and has been called one of the NCAA's best players in the 2000s decade.

Undeserved or not, the hype of his collegiate achievements have followed him to the NFL. huge part of this reason has nothing to do with the gridiron. It has to do with his personal life, which some follow at every turn.

Tebow's mother was told to abort her son during her pregnancy, as doctors expected a stillborn delivery due to an infection. His mother, a devout follower of the Christianity religion, refused and both mother and son beat the odds. After spending his life being home, he became the Florida Player of the Year twice in high school after being allowed to join a team at a school he did not attend.

The religious beliefs of his family has drawn a legion of fans, several who are unconcerned about his gridiron exploits and more concerned about his following of the same gospel they believe in. This was seen when he joined the NFL in 2010.

There have been many more Heisman winners to have played poorly in the professional ranks than there have been players who have been excellent. Since the award started in 1935, just seven players eventually were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This fact has followed Tebow, as has the fact many think of him to be more of a fullback than quarterback. While he has an immense desire to win, the mechanics he possesses is quirky and not considered good enough to succeed in the NFL by many.

While he hasn't completed even 50 percent of the passes he has tossed in his career, Tebow is 2-2 in his career starts. Whatever circumstanced led to those victories, most pundits agree is has been accomplished with a Broncos franchise that has more questions than talent on their squads the past few years.

When Denver came back to defeat a horrid Miami Dolphins team last week, the Tebow hype has been full blown. Even as the game was being played, the NFL's own website didn't even keep track of the match up like they typically do with all contests. Unless you were a Broncos and Dolphins fan actually watching the game, or you bought an NFL package that allowed you to view, the game remained largely shrouded in mystery.

With Brett Favre now retired, the media has been craving a replacement to dote over constantly. Tebow has come along to take this mantle, whether it is viewed as a good thing or not. Unless an injury ends his career, expect the camera to follow every move he makes for at least a decade.

Not every fan wants to follow this hype train, as many have never boarded it or had gotten off long ago. Those fans can concentrate on much more interesting and important stories that are going on during the 2011 season. Stories that could carry on to Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

The Green Bay Packers are looking like a team that could be the first to repeat as Super Bowl champions for just the eighth time since the game was first played in 1967. They won last year despite having a plethora of key players injured, and now they are pretty much at full strength and the leagues only undefeated team this year.

Not only is quarterback Aaron Rodgers considered one of the very best at his position today, the Packers are one of the leagues top teams in scoring, passing, rushing defense, and yards allowed per game. Rodgers already has tossed the ball to 13 different players, seven players have caught at least 11 balls and scored a touchdown.

While they are a long way away from having a chance to repeat, the road traveled so far has been impressive. Even with all of this, Green Bay isn't even the only story in their division.

The Detroit Lions, one of the NFL's worst teams for the last decade, shot out of the gates at 5-0. While they have lost their last two games by 14 total points, this young team has shown an exceptional balance that belies their experience. They rank 13Th in scoring and 10Th in points allowed, a stat that could help the franchise reach the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

The tight end position is seeing a boom in production as well. Since most of the defenses in the NFL play a zone, the success of the tight end splitting the seam has become even more important. This has allowed quite a few become stars this year.

Only eight tight ends are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though there should be more. Men like Jerry Smith and Fred Arbanus belong, but most feel the first tight end ever selected, John Mackey, is still the best ever at the position.

While youngsters like Jimmy Graham, of the New Orleans Saints, and Fred Davis, of the Washington Redskins, have stood out this year, there are a ton of excellent players at this position at the game today. Many are good blockers, but they have enough speed to get downfield at break a zone scheme with their deep threat abilities.

Men like Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Witten, Ron Gronkowski, Kellen Winslow Jr., Tony Gonzales, Aaron Hernandez, Owen Daniels, Jermaine Gresham, Jermichael Finley, Dustin Keller, Heath Miller, Greg Olsen, Jeremy Shockey, and Ed Dickson are just a few who are important players on their teams as well. Pettigrew, Gresham, Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Dickson are youngsters learning their positions as they accumulate impressive statistics.

Established veterans like Dallas Clark, Kevin Boss, Mercedes Lewis, and others, have yet to truly break out in 2011 due to injuries and quarterback struggles their teams are having. Wide receiver may get a lot of attention, mainly due to the diva-like behavior of a few head cases at the position, but the tight end in the NFL today has quietly become the consistent star a team needs to win often.

All eyes will be on Carson Palmer for a few weeks, monitoring his progress as he learns the Oakland Raiders playbook after having joined the team barely a week ago. He had sat out all year, refusing to play for the Cincinnati Bengals, who also spent that time refusing to trade him.

After gridiron giant, and Raiders owner, Al Davis died, the team made the type of risky move Davis spent his career making by dealing away possibly two first round draft picks for the quarterback.

Palmer was thrust into action last Sunday, the first time he had ever come off the bench, and completed just eight of 21 passes. Three attempts were picked off, as the Raiders were dismantled 28-0 by the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.

The race for the services of Andrew Luck, a quarterback at Stanford University, has started to thin out some. Luck, who many think the 2011 Heisman is his to lose, is considered to be the best quarterback prospect in a very long time.

Two horrid teams this year, the Saint Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings, are probably not interested in Luck. The Rams used the first pick of the 2010 draft on quarterback Sam Bradford, and the Vikings used their 2011 first round pick on Christian Ponder.

The main two teams in the "Battle for Luck" are the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins would love to draft him, especially now that it seems the injured Chad Henne's days are done in South Florida. Not only has Miami failed to win a game yet this year, it almost appears they are laying down in each contest in order to procure defeat.

Peyton Manning's neck is still not healing, even despite a radical stem cell surgery that had hoped to help. While heading to Canton as a first-year inductee, the Colts did not foresee this when they gave Manning a five-year contract worth $50 million before the 2011 season started.

Manning has led the franchise to two Super Bowls, winning once in a game was named MVP in. He has been to 11 Pro Bowls and has broken many Colts passing records that were once held by Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, considered by most experts the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

Yet he will be 36 years old if he even is able to play next year. Luck would benefit sitting and learning from Manning in 2011, and there are similarities between the two. Both have fathers who played quarterback in the NFL, and both are students of the game who are known for being detail oriented.

While Miami would want to see Luck follow in the footsteps of Bob Griese and Dan Marino, the Colts would love to see Luck give them at least the same greatness as Unitas, Manning, Earl Morrall, and Bert Jones once did for the team.

Miami is battling the Colts for misery in 2011, since the Colts have failed to win a game as well so far. This epic battle of futility and Luck could see Indianapolis get an edge in two games, as the Dolphins host the struggling Chiefs. The rest of Miami's schedule appears difficult for them to win much.

The Colts, who have already lost to Kansas City, might have a harder time getting Luck. They have been trying to win and have been competitive in a few contests. Indianapolis will also face mediocre teams like the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars twice, as well as an encounter with the struggling Carolina Panthers in a month.

No matter who is the winner of this battle, the prize of being the worst of 2011 is a banner not to really be proud of nor promote in their quest to get a franchise quarterback of an unknown future. If Luck plays as many expect, maybe a ton of losses will look a little less uglier in a decade from now.

So there really is no reason to follow the evolving Tebow story faithfully, even if you are a fan of the game or a Bible thumping fanatic. With a lousy team that just traded their best receiver, it is doubtful many victories will follow. Especially if he plays like he did most of the game last week.

But he must win because he does not want Denver to be in a position to get Luck. If that happens, these could be your final weeks to get Tebow souvenirs and bask in the bizarre hype unless another franchise wants to take a shot at seeing how far they can go with the kid that has cameras following him everywhere.


Yoooooooooooo! Dis iz 7thStoneFromTheSun once again. My cuzin 3rd covered dis entry so I iz gunna make it short and sweet. Capeesh?
I went 7-6 las weak, so I iz now 62-41 overall. Letz get too it.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
OK, da Titans have been losing lately. Dat getz solved now.
Titans 24    Colts 20
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Da Jags showed me sumfin las weak. I tink dey are more confident now and will defeet a injured Texans.
Jaguars 23   Texans 21
Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants
You iz kidding, rite?
Giants 38    Dolphins 13
Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens
I bet da Ravens iz mad over las weaks crappy showing, so dey is out four blood.
Ravens 27    Cardinals 17
New Orleans Saints @ Saint Louis Rams
Da Rams secundairy can't stop da Saints passing attack.
Saints 35     Rams 20
Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers
Both teems is improving behind dere rookie quarterbacks, but I tink AP makes da difference hear.
Vikings 30   Panthers 27
Denver Broncos @ Detroit Lions
Tim Teblow wont get away wif da crappy way he played las weak, so da Lions will crush dis glorified fullback cuz dey ain't chumps like da Dolphins.
Lions 27     Broncos 13
Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills
Sorry 3rd, but Fred Jackson will kill da Skins. Plus Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick iz happy after just signing a huge contract da other day.
Bills 34    Redskins 24
Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks
I just tink da Bengals defense is two much for da Seahawks.
Bengals 23    Seahawks 14
New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Game of the Week
OK, da Steelers are aging but proud. Da Pats are aging and proud. Both got rosters wif champions on dem, and coaches wif rings to. Da run game will be da important factor, cuz I expect both quarterbacks two play well.
You almost hafta flip a coin hear, four reel. I'm taking Mike Wallace and da gang over dat suspect Pats secundairy.
Steelers 30    Patriots 28
Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers
OK, da Brownies stink no matter who iz da coach.
49ers 23    Browns 13
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
I am tinkin da Igglez got dis, cuz dey always seem too win after a bye week.
Eagles 34    Cowboys 24
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
I laugh at ESPN, cuz Monday Night Football has SUCKED this yeer. Wasn't what dey had hoped.
Chargers 27  Chiefs 17
Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New England Patriots
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. New Orleans Saints
6. Atlanta Falcons
7. Buffalo Bills
8. Detroit Lions
9. Baltimore Ravens
10. New York Giants
11. Philadelphia Eagles
12. San Diego Chargers
13. New York Jets
14. Houston Texans
15. Chicago Bears
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17. Dallas Cowboys
18. Oakland Raiders
19. Cincinnati Bengals
20. Tennessee Titans
21. Carolina Panthers
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
23. Washington Redskins
24. Minnesota Vikings
25. Arizona Cardinals
26. Cleveland Browns
27. Seattle Seahawks
28. Kansas City Chiefs
29. Denver Broncos
30. Saint Louis Rams
31. Miami Dolphins
32. Indianapolis Colts

OK, I met at dis hunny da other day. I iz gonna go show her how too eat a stromboli, capeesh?

As dey say in Ol' Messico = A.M.F.





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