Greetings from the Hoodwood, where sometimes you are just trying to get by.
College Football: Look Who’s Running things…Mississippi State?
Most casual observers of college football would look at the fact that Florida State dropped from the #1 slot for an SEC team and shrug their shoulders, the fact that the team that replaced them is not one of the usual suspects from the SEC is the one that would be the eye catching fact. Its not Bama, not LSU not Auburn. Its Mississippi State. Read the following line slowly and digest it.
Mississippi State is the #1 team in the country in college football.
And their in-state arch rival Ole Miss, is lurking dangerously at #3. The oft maligned Magnolia State who was more infamous for the antics of Ross Barnett and the shameful chapters of the civil rights movement are now living large with two of the best teams in the country. From the Bulldogs do everything QB with the cool name, Dak Prescott to the Rebels junkyard dog tough defense that just abuses its opposition. These teams are fun to watch and are making the football world sit up and notice. The Egg Bowl on November 29th could be for a lot higher stakes than simple bragging rights, it could better the Iron Bowl as the conference’s big game in the SEC West as the gateway to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Mississippi State has only a trip to Tuscaloosa on its docket that may keep them from heading to their showdown game unbeaten. Ole Miss has a bit of a tougher run, they have head to Baton Rouge for a likely Saturday night tangle in the Bayou, never a good time then they host Auburn the very next week. The very idea that these team could be playing the final regular season game as unbeatens should quicken the pulse.
Meanwhile Florida State keeps chugging along, despite the growing noise that Jameis Winston may still face some sort of disciplinary actions for his alleged involvement in a sexual assault case, this all in front of a sort of conference showdown with Notre Dame who is still an independent but seem to be playing a few ACC teams here and there. But a matchup of unbeaten teams this late in October is always nice to see.
NFL: A tie?
For reasons I cant explain, Ive seen on TV each of the last three tie games. In 2012 I sat in my man cave and watched the Rams and 49ers slug into early evening but without a victor in a 24 all draw, last season I was visiting my Grampy and watched my Vikes and the Pack battle to a 26 all standoff, Sunday I again was visiting my Grampy and caught the tail end of a wild 37 all draw that set an NFL record for the highest scoring tie since 1974. The thing that amazes me about ties is the general football populaces ignorance about overtime and tie games. Tie games to be sure are a rarity nowadays, there have only been 20 ties since overtime has been instituted for regular season games in 1974. Before then overtime only happened in playoff games and only had happened four times in NFL history before the extra period was instituted for all games. Since the overtime rules were instituted the Packers have had the most ties with 5, and all teams in the NFL except Houston, Jacksonville and Seattle have had ties. Though the Patriots have not had a tie game since the merger, their nine ties in their AFL days go forward with their overall won-loss total. Ties were a regular occurrence before 1974, if the 60 minutes were played and the score was tied that’s what it went into the books as. There was at least one tie game in the NFL each season from 1952-1974 and as many as nine in 1967 & 1970, it wasn’t uncommon to see teams with 2 and sometimes 3 ties on their ledger the 1963 Bears finished 11-1-2 in their title season, I liked the 1965 San Diego Chargers who won the AFL West with a 9-2-3 record. More ties than losses, go figure. In 1970, every team in both the AFC and NFC West had at least one tie. 1975 was the first full season with no ties. And only 19 times since the Steelers and Broncos played to a 35 all draw in 1974, with the addition of sudden death then the modified possession overtime there have been more OT wins and fewer times that the game has ended in a draw. Ironically the Bengals last tie was at home due to a missed field goal.
But now you have the crying wonks. “Uhnnnnh there should be a winner, keep playing.” Can you imagine if either of these teams had to play on Thursday and had to keep playing till there was a winner?
Its rare when I give dap to a St. Louis Cardinal, since Im not a big fan of them, but I always like to see someone gain a measure of redemption. And Kolten Wong got a bit of it Sunday night against the Giants. Wong got picked off to end a World Series game last year and in some circles wore the goat horns for the Cards lost to Boston. But Wong had a solid year for the RedBirds and clubbed a walk off homer in Game 2 to level the NLCS at a game a piece heading to the Bay Area. I still think the Giants are the better team and will win in 5 or 6 but Wong won a game by himself Sunday.
To the useless jerk in Philly that was clapping over the prone figure of Victor Cruz as he lay in agony on the Lincoln Financial Field turf Sunday. Cruz tore his patella tendon and is out for the rest of the season and the picture in the NY Daily News said it all, that was uncalled for.
The TCU-Baylor game was a fun shootout to watch, Ill bet the score of either of their basketball games doesn’t match the 61-58 score
The Rain was the only thing that could stop the Royals, good to see that Buck Showalter hasn’t lost his overmanaging touch
KD out for 6-8 weeks with a foot injury…not fresh at all. You know Russell Westbrook is salivating at the chance to jack up shots
Ok so Romo and the Pokes beat the Seahawks…when he wins in the crunch let me know
Every time I come across a scandal, I have a facepalm moment. You ask yourself how someone could be so dumb. Then you realize the power of group dynamics. How the culture of an organization or a group can lead otherwise “normal” people to do some extraordinarily deviant things. I mean think about how behavior changes incrementally – how small measured actions can go further than one big lead in (as in, how often does “Hey baby, I know we just met, but d’ya wanna come back to my place?” actually work?)
So the Sayreville High School football team and the community now has a cancelled season and a criminal investigation because 7 of their children came to the conclusion that locker room rape was okay. I mean these kids did some sick things: four kids would hold a kid down, two would act as look outs, and one kid would anally penetrate the unfortunate victim. These were kids of 15-17. Where do they get this stuff?
Incremental steps. The worst part is, I can guarantee you that to a person, they will be asking themselves how they allowed themselves to be a part of this. They’ll think back to the first time, and the next “what if we…”, and then that first time where they completed the act.
I imagine the coming investigation will focus on how they came to do this, and what the coaches knew – what did they see, and if any of those behaviors can be linked to what these kids eventually came to do. I marvel at the idea the community was divided about the cancelation of the season. Seriously? These are minors. The team takes the field without Johnny, Jimmy, Hank, Virgil, et al, and it’s not too hard a stretch who is in (police) detention. No, cancelling the season was the right call. This was a sickness of the group. How could anyone not come forward if they knew it was happening? The only way to carve this disease out is to cancel the season, investigate, and discipline. What of the coaches who failed to hear the whispers? There will come new complaints. This didn’t just happen overnight – it’s behaviors built up over time and I can assure you, it doesn’t stop here.
Sayreville is Anywhere, USA. It’s almost a perfect demographic representation of the state of New Jersey – pretty much the living embodiment of the state average: socioeconomic, educational attainment… The lesson is that if this can happen in Sayreville, it can happen anywhere. Your hometown, the place down the street, across the country. It makes me wonder how long the coaching staff had been in place there – did they become blind or did they really just not know what was going on?
Did any of these kids go complain? If not, why? What would cause a kid not to tell mom and dad, tell coach? There was something cultural going on in that locker room, there was something in their relationships with their parents. There will be some that take the fall here – as well they should – but let’s not forget everyone had a role here. Check out this book – I highly recommend it.
The pink breast cancer awareness gear coordinates pretty well with some uniforms – Colts, Cowboys…I’d argue Seahawks and Patriots. I can’t think of a team that it clashes more fully than with the uniforms of the Bengals. Yikes. Packers, Jets, Buccaneers are up there, but the Bengals take the cake in my opinion. Those unis are pretty fugly to begin with, then add that pink?
The Panthers earned their first tie game in franchise history on Sunday. 37-37 against the Bengals…with an ending about as unsatisfactory as the score – a missed field goal. It’s also the highest scoring tie in NFL History. Of note, the last 7 ties have occurred in November. The team with the most ties since the 1974 rules change? Green Bay with 5.
Is it possible the Kansas City Royals will be playing for the World Series Championship? It blows my mind that it’s the Orioles and Royals playing for the ALCS anyway, but the Royals up 2-0?? Holy cow, THIS is what happens when the Yankees and Red Sox are out of the picture?
Hey hey hey!!!! Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. So I'm wondering. Who is mean and ornary enough to molest a gator? Do we really need a sign? But then again we need to put warning labels on plastic bags or somebody will give them to their kids as toys. Don't stick your hands in the blender when it's on. Don't use that as a step stool. Don't eat lit matches. I guesswe do need a warning sign to not molest the gators. Never mind.
So in May 2005 the Clipper Magazine Stadium opened and the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball came to Lancaster, PA. Since then they've gotten 2 Atlantic Division Championships. The 2nd one came this past Friday night after 13 innings in the rain and cold against the Sugar Land Skeeters. Have no idea where they hail from.
It is reported that we have 2 Japanese players on the team. Yusuke Kajimoto and Shunsuke Watanabe. I didn't know this team was that relevent that it would attract people from so far away. I imagine they use this team like our Hershey Bears hockey team. When a player can't hang in the big leagues, he comes down to the lower ranks to get his fix. And I guess a pay check too.
I like some of the other team names. The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, York Revolution, Long Island Ducks and Camden River Sharks. I've never gotten to a game at the Clipper but since everybody seems to be talking baseball, I thought I'd throw in some too.
SNAPCHAT UH OH
I'm not sure what Snapchat is but I think I'm not interested either. Somebody hacked this app or program or whatever it is and if you sent photos on it to your friends....well, somebody intercepted them. So yet again, I wonder about why a person would send compromising photos of themselves through the web-o-spere. Whether it's a phone or your PC, I think it's best to have one of those old antiquated Polaroid cameras. Unlike digital photos, you can burn Polaroids. Just saying. Consider this a public service warning.
SAM HORNISH JR TO DRIVE FOR RPM IN 2015
Marcos Ambrose is going back to the kangaroos in Australia and Sam Hornish Jr will be stepping into his ride in the #9. It was rumored that Hendrick was trying to get the #9 away from RPM to give to Chase Elliott when he does his part time stint in Cup next year because it was his dads (BILL) number. RPM says nope. We're running it. So for now, Sam has the number.
Sam says he is encouraged by the progress that RPM has made and he feels he has a shot at getting into the Chase next year. He has spent the last 3 years in the Nationwide Series after Penske didn't want to keep him in Cup any more. In 2013 he finished 2nd by 3 points in the standings but lost his ride with Penske any way. This year he's had a part time ride with Joe Gibbs racing. So welcome back to Cup racing Sam.
Last week was the Kansas race. Logano grabbed the win. Again Gordon and Harvick had issues that ruined their days. On lap 122 a caution came out and Gordon's crew lost a tire across pit road. Big no no. Tail end of the longest line and he struggled to finish 14th. Harvick had what he thought was a flat tire with 53 laps to go he pitted for tires. False alarm but if a championship is on the line, better to finish 12th than 43rd after a wreck.
Dale Jr led 45 laps AND THE CROWD WENT WILD. That is till lap that caution on lap 122 I told you about. Dale Jr said he felt the cords on his right front tire unravel and then he was in the wall before he could do any thing.
Keselowski had a right front go down at lap 160. On lap 84 Biffle hit Johnson who hit Allgaier and then the wall.
So that's 5 big dawgs in the Chase who had issues.
Hendrick kept the tires off Dale Jr's car for their own examination and will send them to Goodyear later. Goodyear says the crews that have had issues are running agressive setups with extra camber (they tilt the front tires more) and lower air pressures. Both Keselowski's team and Dale Jr's team said that was not the case this week. Sounds like another Twitter war brewing to me.
Top 15 Finishers - Logano - Larson - Ky Bu - Truex Jr - Edwards - Newman - Hamlin - Dillon - Menard - Vickers - Allmendinger - Harvick - Kenseth - Gordon - Biffle....AND THE DANICA WAS 16th!!!!!!!!
So besides Danica finishing in the top 20, we have an upset in the points. It looks down right weird. For the first time in years the Hendricks boys are not at the top. Not even Jimmie. So I guess NASCAR got the upset they were looking for.
Top 12 Chasers - Logano - Ky Bu - Edwards - Newman - Hamlin - Harvick - Kenseth - Gordon - Kahne - Keselowski - Dale Jr - Johnson
That is not how I envisioned the points at this time of the season. No wonder I can't get any where in my NACAR fantasy leagues. Nobody is performing consistantly or as per their driving history this year. I had Dale Jr, Gordon, Harvick, Keselowski and Johnson as my top 5 going into this race. So like I said, I think NASCAR has the upset they were looking for. This is now ANY BODY'S championship.
I'm not having a Charlotte preview because it's happening as I write this. Saturday night races are great but I've been doing OT and I'm beat. I can't stay up for that race and write my blog too. Since I can catch this race at my convenience on You Tube tomorrow or Monday or whenever I think I will. And that's that.
All you Gabbers and others who are out and about have safe travels, watch out for those falling leaves when it's raining, enjoy your sports watching, good luck on your fantasy teams....
A lot has happened since I last posted up here, fellow Gabbers and the reason deserves some explanation. Frankly speaking, all of the non-sports sports news put me into a bit of a writing funk. Every day it was another athlete or coach making news for all of the wrong reasons. Whether it was Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice or some other maroon (in Bugs Bunny speak) claiming the talking points for the day's sports news. Well, I had enough...it was depressing. And what better way to snap out of that sports malaise than a sports event binge! I went to the 18 inning game 2 Nationals - Giants game followed up by the Monday Night Redskins - Seahawks game...nothing like some good sound defeats at the ballpark to bring things back into perspective! We are fans because we love our teams, win or lose. And it is the teams we love...not really the individual players who in reality (and most definitely proven lately) we barely know. Yes, the players make it happen and we want the best players on our teams and hope they are good people who take care of the families, help out in the community and such, but as far as we as fans are concerned, we want them to be great when they step into the arena.
So with that perspective in mind, and with the air cleared for me...I'm back. Go Redskins, Let's go Caps, Yesss Wizards and as for the Nationals, well, they still will be the favorites to win the NL in 2015 - and I will be there, God willing, to root them on. I will just have to admire those World Series tickets as a happy, wishful thought.
A few things happened that I think are worth mentioning....
Over the last 20 years, the Euros have won 7 of the 10 Ryder Cups, golfs best international event. (as a note, this spans the Tiger Woods era). After this event, the US team embarrasingly took to public bickering, lamblasting team captain and golf icon, Tom Watson. Watson eventually came forward and said the loss was his fault - not true by the way - and tried to put the matter to bed. The bottom line for U.S. golf is that the Euros have passed us by, just like they have in tennis. Good heavens, what's next?! basketball?! They better figure out how to get along and play like a team or it may be a long time before the Ryder Cup (or maybe any international sports trophy) routinely resides in the ol' US of A.
I can't let the MLB playoffs go unnoticed...part of being a fan is the agony of defeat. I felt confident that I would at least have an NLCS game to go to tonight, little did I know that if I wanted that, I would have to have scalped a ticket in Baltimore! The Nationals pitching was again excellent but a team can't win when its lead off man and 3 & 4 hitters are hitting less than 50% BELOW the Mendoza line. That is hard to believe...Werth & Roche hitting below .100! At least Harper and Rendon showed that the youthful core of the team can hit in October.
Of the 4 teams left standing, I am picking Baltimore and St. Louis to meet in the World Series. That would be a special match up!
Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it...see you next week (from Tokyo)...sayanora!
Hello Gabbers, and welcome to another weekly installment of Storminnorman's Sports Blog. Let me start by saying it was a crazy week in both College Football and Major League Baseball, with heavy favorites such as Alabama, Texas A & M, Tigers and Angels all falling in their respective games and series.
Seriously folks outside of Baltimore and Kansas City, who would have thought these two teams would be meeting for the to face the National League in the World Series? Honestly, the Tigers didn't deserve to win their series, their bully basically choked and was pitching batting practice to the Orioles hitters. Dombrowski made a pretty good move by acquiring Soria, but for some reason it just didn't work in this series.
I made the comment to a few of my friends at work after the series was over, and I mentioned to one of them how poorly Brad Ausmus managed Game 1 and 2. His moves during those two games reminded me of Jim Leyland, he pulled Scherzer after 98 pitches and the bully proceeded to give up 8. Verlander being pulled in the 6th was okay, because he was getting his ass rocked that day and didn't seem like himself. Ausmus went to the well once to often with Soria, Chamberlain and Choke-Zero, and he got burned. Maybe Dombrowski will get the hint this offseason, and sign a few free agent relief pitchers.....
But let's give the Royals and Orioles their dues, they outplayed and outpitched the Tigers and Angels during their series, and deserve to be playing each other in the ALCS. Good luck to both teams, it should be an interesting series.
In the National League, I really thought the Dodgers and Nationals had a legitimate chance of facing each other in the NLCS. Great pitching, great hitters and poof just like that the Cardinals and Giants disposed of them like we do our trash on a weekly basis. Hell if hadn't been of ex-Tiger Doug Fister and Ryu, both teams would have been swept. Who would have thought Kershaw would have blown up twice in the same series? Bet you Dombrowski is kicking himself for trading Fister, the Tigers sure could have used him this year....
Thursday night begins another season for the Detroit Red Wings, as they face off against Sully's Bruins. With the apparent youth movement in Detroit (mostly because Mr. I is spending it on the Tigers), this year could be the year the streak finally ends. I would like to see it continue, but they will be leaning on a Sheehan, Tatar, Nyquist and others to move the streak to 24. With Datsuyk starting out injured, even though he should be back really soon. The first few weeks will be rather interesting to say the least.....
I would have loved to have said something good about the Lions this week, but after Henery looking like Nate Freese last week missing 3 field goals which cost them the game, and the Lions playing to the Bills level, loving that Lions defense still. I have been considering playing Teddy Bridgewater this week......
How can a team look like Super Bowl contenders one week, and then revert back to themselves the next? Oh wait, I am talking about the Lions. Couldn't score another touchdown, and looked like a really bad high school team offensively. Oh wait, I am talking about the Lions. I guess you get were I am going with this........
Well that's all I have for the week, don't forget to turn left and give a shout out to Hal....