YouGabSports Blogs
Weekly Grumble with IHM 10/31
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

  Hello folks and welcome to this week’s Grumble… new time, new date, same old cantankerous ranting and raving! First things first, I want to thank storminnorman for doing me a solid and switching days with me… from now on, he’s in the top slot on Saturdays next to SunTzu. Thanks again, buddy.

  This week went a little bit better for the IHM household… lil IHM is back up and full of beans, but Mrs. IHM caught a pretty nasty case of strep throat, so I was home taking care of her (when the stubborn ol’ woman would let me) for a few days as well. So far the worst thing I’ve had is a tickle in my throat, a little bit of coughing, and a plugged up ear… hoping it doesn’t find its’ way to me next!

  Before I move on to sports, I want to pass along condolences to the massive Boston conglomerate here at the Gab on the loss of former Mayor Thomas Menino, the longest serving Mayor in the city’s extensive history.

  Pretty big week in sports… we crowned a new World Series champion (congrats to BOB and his Giants), tipped off the WWE (I mean NBA) season, and we still have the NFL and NHL in full swing… plus the NCAA put out their first Top 25 for the college football playoff.

  Let’s kick off the sports talk with the man who is most deserving of the top billing anywhere these days… Madison Bumgarner, a.k.a. the scariest thing you can Trick or Treat as in Kansas City this year!  Not only does the guy go out and pitch on three days rest after throwing a complete game shutout (just a few days after going seven strong and picking up his first win of the series), he dominates the final five innings, giving up a goose egg and picking up the save as the Giants topped the Royals 3-2 in game seven. Overall, he was 2-0 with an ERA of 0.25, picked up a save, and went 21 innings in this World Series… the guy was just on cruise control out there. As cool as it would have been to see the Royals get their first World Series win in 29 years, it was pretty cool to see the way Bumgarner dominated this series.

  As for the Giants on the offensive side of the baseball, how about the work Pablo Sandoval (what else is new, right) put in over the entire postseason. Struggled all year, picks it up when it matters most… the guy set an MLB record with 21 total hits over a single postseason, and if it weren’t for the domination of Bumgarner, is probably looking at a World Series MVP trophy. In game seven, he was at it again, with three hits and scoring two of the Giants three runs on the night.

  And how about we finally give some credit to Bruce Bochy? Seems like he is forgotten every time there is a discussion about the best managers in the game, yet all the guy has done in San Francisco is win titles! Three in five years… if I used the word, I’d say that qualifies as a dynasty… but personally I think the word is overused and overrated. Bochy always seems to know which buttons to push and when, and the proof is in the pudding.

  Overall, it was a pretty damn good series if I do say so myself… The Royals fought hard, and didn’t embarrass themselves by any means. Taking a team like San Francisco to the limit is a feat in and of its self… just ask the Tigers! Hopefully this isn’t a one hit wonder in KC, and the Royals can continue to build for the future and get even better still moving forward. But the Giants and the team brand of baseball they play really took me by surprise and took the series. Congrats again to BOB, and to the rest of the fans out in the NoCal area.

  Sources say that the Cubs are close to reaching an agreement with Joe Maddon to be their next manager. Is he the guy to reverse the curse? I don’t know if even Maddon has the ability to get that team a World Series.

  Over in college football land, the first ever college football playoff rankings were released earlier in the week… and surprise, surprise… we’ve got a ton of SEC teams in the top six… and another one at #11! But four of the best six teams are in the SEC West? Amazing. Georgia of the SEC East sits at #11. Oregon snuck in ahead of Bama at #5, and the defending champs from Florida State sit at #2. Of course, each of the four SEC West teams in the top six all play one another at some point, so that will sort its self out eventually. Just have to bide your time and not shit the bed, other conferences.

  As for #11 Georgia, who has really not shown any ill effects of missing star RB Todd Gurley due to the autograph signing fiasco, they got some decent news on that front. Gurley will be allowed to return (lucky him) and play after two more games. So, if Georgia makes it to the SEC title game, Gurley will be there to try and knock off the SEC West “superteam” that survives that melee.

  This week’s schedule features a couple of biggins, as we have four (five if you count Thursday night’s FSU vs. Louisville matchup) ranked vs. ranked games on tap. On Saturday, #7 TCU heads to West Virginia to play the #20 Mountaineers and their senior star QB Clint Trickett. #3 Auburn heads to the Grove to face #4 Old Miss. #12 Arizona heads to Hollywood to tangle with the #22 Bruins, and the #17 Utes try to deal with the Devil… the #14 Arizona State Sun Devils that is. Should be a nice day of college ball… enjoy it folks.

  After spending Wednesday night flipping around between game seven (watched all but commercial breaks), the Wings game, the Pistons game, and the Bulls-Knicks game on ESPN, I can honestly say that this has to be the absolute best time of year to be a fan! Hell, even Thursday night we get college football, the Thursday night NFL game (Saints-Panthers), and a combination of NBA/NHL coverage on various networks… just awesome. Baseball may be finished for the year, but what a great season it was this time around.

  The Wings game last night gave me a bit of hope that this team might actually be a contender after all. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are back and healthy; Abelkader is benefitting from being on the Pavel/Hank line and already has 5 goals on the season. Jimmy Howard is playing over his head right now… or maybe he’s finally figured things out! Still nervous about the lack of muscle on this team, but if Pavel and Hank continue to shine like they have, they might just be able to overcome it and become a threat in the East, especially with Boston missing that monster Chara for a while… but we all know how deep the Eastern Conference is.

  On a sad note before leaving hockey, Mr.Hockey Gordie Howe suffered a serious stroke on Sunday. The stroke has caused him to lose some function in the right side of his body and he has been having difficulty speaking. He is 86 years old and all, but still sad to see a legend and a class act like Gordie Howe suffer that kind of incident. Howe was a six-time MVP and four time Stanley Cup champion with the Wings. Best wishes go out to Mr.Hockey and his family.

  As for the NBA, they kicked off the season Tuesday night by giving us a solid game between the defending champion Spurs and Mavericks… then they followed it up with the Rockets and Lakers. The next night… yeah, the fucking Lakers again… in case you don’t get it yet, I’m sick of seeing the fucking Lakers already! I get it, Kobe is on the team… but he’s surrounded by Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin, and another 12 nobodies that nobody in their right mind wants to watch! Oh, and tonight… we get Cavs-Bulls and then, you guessed it, the goddamn Lakers! At least they’ll get smoked by the Clippers again… that’ll be fun to see.

   Over to the NFL, the Lions hit their bye week sitting pretty at 6-2, thanks in large part to their newfound ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Even last year, they always seemed to find a way to shit the bed… but this year, it looks like things are different. Maybe, just maybe, a decade plus of Karma kicking the shit out of the Lions and their fans has swung back around, and now we get to see how it works in reverse. Last week in London (evidently a home game for the Falcons, not the Lions, so that was my mistake last week), the Falcons jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half. The Lions somehow found a way to tighten things up, and in the last seconds, they screwed themselves right into a fucking win!

  Screwed themselves into a win? That’s right… Matt Prater was lined up for a game-winning 43-yard attempt (nerve wracking for a Lions fan this year, given all the kicking issues we’ve had), and the kick he got off was shanked wide right. Luckily for the Lions, they forgot about a little thing called the play clock… delay of game, five yards back, now we’re looking at a 48-yard attempt for the win. Kick is up, it’s good, Lions go home winners, and Mike Smith is left picking grass and wondering where his life went wrong! One of the more bizarre things I’ve ever seen go in the Lions favor, for sure.

  Thanks to the Saints beating Green Bay last week, the Lions are a game up on the Pack, who are also on their bye week. The Bears also get the week off… although they have been a train wreck this year! The Vikings get a returning RG3 and the Redskins, fresh off their impressive Monday Night win in Dallas.

  The big game this week would have to be the Pats hosting the Denver Broncos, a game that features a couple of fairly good quarterbacks named Brady and Manning. Hopefully this game is broadcast in my freaking market… because somehow it’s not the Sunday Night or Monday night game this week.

  That’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out, and make sure to head on over to Hal’s blog on the left and get your fill of NFL news and notes. And make sure you tune in tomorrow to check out storminnorman's Saturday featured blog. Happy Friday, Happy Halloween, and enjoy your weekend, Gabbers!

Weekly Grumble with IHM 10/25
Category: FEATURED


  Hello folks, and welcome to this week’s Grumble. This week, we’ve got football in London (for some ungodly reason), rivalry week here in the murder mitten, and a whole lot more, so let’s get right down to business…

  Honestly, it’s been a long freaking week for yours truly. The boy has been home sick all week… we had to take him to urgent care on Saturday and then again on Sunday because of the pink eye he caught at school, and an ear infection the next day. Because of his Autism and Cognitive Impairments, the eye drops we were given to help get rid of the pink eye are kind of like trying to baptize a fucking cat! So we’ve been battling that all week now, and I’m honestly looking forward to him just getting better and getting back to school so I can relax for a day! This has been one hell of a draining week, but it is finally over, and hopefully so is the battle with pink eye!

  So the Lions play at 9:35 AM this week in London, England… and somehow it counts as a home game for them. Initially when this came out, I was under the impression that the Falcons were being given a home game… but evidently that was NOT the case. Now, the Lions get seven home games in a season where they are actually competing for not just a Wild Card spot but the fucking division title… and how in the hell is that fair? Because the Sherriff wants to push the “NFL Global” agenda… because he wants to be the next David Stern? Guess what, the NFL has already tried to grab a piece of the European market… it was called NFL Europe… and it was a massive flop! Ask your predecessor, Paulie T, Roger. Europeans prefer their footballs to be round, and on the ground… while Americans evidently prefer whatever in the hell the main stream media tells them to, because soccer (football to those whacky Euros) is becoming popular here all of a sudden thanks to the millennials that plague our future. Now THAT’S a bunch that needs some kind of new plague to hit them… maybe something transferred through skinny jeans or iPhones.

  I can see trying to get a piece of the global market, but three fucking games over in London this year? The novelty is going to wear off, Sherriff. And putting a fucking team over there, or worse yet, a Goddamn Super Bowl? That is complete and total sacrilege! People interested in the NFL overseas will pay for the satellite channel to see games; the rest would rather watch a bunch of fun boys run around a field for 3 hours and barely get one fucking goal on a 24 X 8 foot net! Me, I prefer men’s sports thanks.

  As for the actual game, the Lions D should be able to handle the Falcons attack. The Falcons have issues running the football, but do have Roddy White and Julio Jones on the outside; we’ll see if Matt Ryan can get some quick passes off before the Lions’ suddenly formidable pass rush closes in on him. The secondary has been better this year, but when your front seven is playing the kind of football the Lions’ has been, it covers up a LOT of ugly. The Falcons D has been maligned this year, and hopefully the Lions can exploit that enough to pick up a W and get the hell out of England… fucking Goodell.

  Around the rest of the NFL, how about those Titans… going from Locker to Whitehurst to Ashton Kutcher… I mean, Zach Mettenberger! Did you see the dude’s Farrah Do? The headband? But aside from the fashion report, Titans players rave about his delivery of the football and poise in the huddle… so we’ll see if he can give Tennessee fans their first viable quarterback since freaking Steve McNair!

  Former Bears MLB Brian Urlacher says that Jay Cutler is an elite QB “in salary only”! What do you have to say about that, Mettenberger… I mean, Kelso?

  Peyton and the gang were still on their game as Thursday night rolled around, and they rolled the Chargers by a final score of 35-21. Peyton threw three more TD passes (513 and counting…), all three to former Steeler Emmanuel Sanders. Phillip Rivers had an off night, throwing two picks in the loss.

  Looks like Joe Maddon will finally have a decent payroll to work with, as he has opted out of his contract with the Rays. Looks like Don Mattingly is going to be sleeping a little less easy the next few nights with this guy available and his failures in the postseason the last two years!

  The Royals and Giants pick things up where they left off in San Francisco this weekend, with games 3-5 upcoming. The Royals had better hope they win either game three or four, because you sure as hell don’t want to face Madison Bumgarner AND elimination in the same game!

  Miguel Cabrera underwent surgery to repair bone spurs and repair a stress fracture in his right ankle. These injuries nagged him all season, and likely led to the drop in his power numbers this season. Hopefully he gets fully healthy and is ready for 2015, because this team needs a hell of a lot more out of him.

  The Sawx brought in Chili Davis to be their new hitting coach. Not that I particularly care about the Red Sox… just always been a fan of Chili Davis! Great name, solid player.

  Back to the gridiron, it’s rivalry week here in the Murder Mitten, as the hapless Michigan Wolverines get ready to invade East Lansing, Michigan and take on their second biggest rivals in the Michigan State Spartans (conversely, Michigan IS Sparty’s biggest rival). #8 Michigan State had better win and win big if they want a shot at that college football playoff, so this is a bigger game than it looks like on paper.

  Only two ranked vs. ranked matchups this week… the biggest of the two features #3 Ole Miss heading to Death Valley to face the #24 ranked LSU Tigers. With two losses already, this is probably LSU’s last shot at a decent bowl game, so they’re playing for their lives, while the Rebs are still in the running for the college football playoff.

  Over in the PAC12, the #19 Utes host the #20 U$C Trojans. We’ll see if they can keep themselves in the conversation by beating USC, although the win over Michigan doesn’t quite carry the kind of weight it would have in previous years given the train wreck that team has become!

  Looks like Steve Nash is done for the year already, and perhaps done for his career. This just seems to keep happening to guys who chase titles late in their careers… injuries take hold and the titles never quite happen. Nash has had a great career, especially given the fact that he was a #15 overall pick and didn’t come with a whole lot of expectation as a South African born Canadian kid out of Santa Clara University! He is #3 all-time on the NBA’s assists list, a two-time MVP and 8-time All-Star, he should have little trouble getting into the Hall of Fame if this is, in fact, the end for him.

  That’s it for me this week, folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy your weekend, Gabbers!

Weekend Wrap Up with IHM
Category: FEATURED


  Hello ladies and gents, and welcome to Tuesday here at YouGabSports! Since BOB just posted yesterday and this would be his normal spot, I figured I’d stop in and throw something new up here for the day… so, without further adieu, let’s get on with it.

  Great week for NFL football… a huge night for one of the game’s greatest, as Peyton Manning, in the words of the great BOB, went all Iron Sheik on the 49ers and humbled them up. It was like he had that defense in the camel clutch from the opening kickoff! Three touchdown passes away from Brett Favre’s seven year old mark of 508, Manning proceeded to throw four touchdown passes on the night and add a little cushion to his new NFL standard. You can argue that Peyton might not be the best of all time in terms of winning championships, or getting it done in the postseason, but when you look at regular season numbers, it’s hard to put anybody else above him. Of course, adding another Super Bowl win or two to the resume before he retires would help him in the other department, too. Only time will tell where he ends up in the pantheon of all-time passers, but regardless, he’s a top five quarterback at this point even without another ring. Congratulations to Peyton on his accomplishment, but I’m sure he’d trade every one of his 510 TD passes for another ring or two.

  Obviously, the Broncos won the ballgame… and won it big. The 49ers are now 4-3, but it looks like they will get Aldon Smith back sooner than expected. His nine game ban is likely to be reduced by a game or two due to “good behavior”… good news for a team that is struggling to pressure the passer. But they’re still weak against the run with both Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman out. To be honest, I’m surprised at how well they’ve held up with what is basically a Pro Bowl roster of linebackers out of their lineup!

  There is still hope for the 49ers, thanks to the struggles of the Seattle Seahawks over the past two weeks. The St.Louis Rams shocked the world by taking them down 28-26 with the help of some great special teams play. Nothing better than seeing Dick Sherman after a loss… because he shuts the hell up!

  There was more action outside the stadium, but somehow it missed most of the major media outlets. A group of “Ferguson protestors” stood outside the Edward Jones Dome, harassing, physically assaulting, spitting on and shouting racial slurs at white folks on their way out of the game Sunday afternoon. Yet, somehow, it missed all the major networks. If there were a gang of white folks outside a stadium doing the same to every black person as they walked out, don’t you think we would have heard a bit more about it nationally? When does the double standard stop, people?

  Meanwhile Arizona (you know, the team that is WINNING the best division in football) beat the Raiders. Not much of an accomplishment, but with the Seattle loss they opened up a two game division lead.

  The Steelers bounced back from a loss to Cleveland last week with a 30-23 win over the Texans on Monday night. The Texans dominated the first 27 minutes of the first half, but they seem to have forgotten that a half of NFL football is actually 30 minutes long! The Steelers went on a scoring binge in the final three minutes of the half, and took the lead for good on a trick play from Antonio Brown, who threw a 3 yard TD pass off an end around to Lance Moore to go up 17-13. The Steelers weren’t done there… after recovering an Arian Foster fumble on the shadow of the goal line, Big Ben found Le’Veon Bell for a 2 yard TD pass to close the half with a 24-13 lead.

  The Browns used the momentum from their rare win over Pittsburgh last week to… well, shit the bed against the Jaguars, giving the Jags their first win of the season. The 2008 Lions are a little bit closer to popping that champagne, with just Oakland remaining on the winless side of things in 2014. Don’t worry Jon Kitna and Rod Marinelli… your spot in history seems safe still!

  The Detroit Lions snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on Sunday… something they normally do in reverse… by scoring two TD’s in the final 3:38 to top the New Orleans Saints, 24-23. There is a much different feel to this team. The defense is dominant, special teams is solid (aside from the kicking issues, which will likely be shored up once Prater settles in), and the offense isn’t committing their usual brand of poorly timed turnovers and moronic penalties. I’m not saying they’re Super Bowl bound by any means… but winning two in a row without Megatron on the field bodes pretty well for when this guy is back and healthy!

  Lucky for me… I got to miss this epic Lions comeback. About halfway through the game, the boy started having pain in his ear, so the wife decided to rush him to urgent care and get it checked out. This was after the previous night’s trip to urgent care because he caught pink eye at school the freaking day before. So, needless to say, I’ll be hanging out at home with him over the next few days until the pink eye and ear infection clear up. Made for one hell of an eventful weekend, for sure.

  Next up for the Lions, a trip to London, England to face the Atlanta Falcons… who lost 29-7 to the Ravens last week. The Falcons continue to struggle running the football, and that shouldn’t improve much for them going up against the #1 ranked run defense in the league (that’s right, I said that about the Lions… and it’s week 8!) this week. Not sure how the extra travel will affect anything, but this is a game the Lions SHOULD win… and with a win they’ll go into the bye week with a 6-2 record. Sorry to brag here, folks, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a damn thing to brag about when it comes to the Leos!

  The Packers continued their winning ways, dominating the Panthers at Lambeau Field behind another near-flawless performance out of Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers now has 18 TD passes to one interception on the season.

  The Dallas Cowboys continued their winning ways, topping the Giants in Jerryworld 31-21. Demarco Murray broke an NFL record held by Jim Brown by picking up his 7th consecutive 100 yard rushing day to open a season. Tony Romo continued his stellar play, throwing for three TD’s and just one pick in the win.

  The Chiefs made Phillip Rivers look somewhat human this week, holding him to just 205 passing yards and forcing just his third interception of the season.

  Over on the college front, how do you end such a great fucking game with such an iffy call? Was it a penalty… technically, yes. But is that the kind of call you want to end a game of the year candidate? Hell no! The Noles were running the same “pick play” all night long… and the week before against Syracuse… with zero flags thrown their way. I’m calling bullshit… the Irish got screwed. The Noles had better hope Jameis keeps his nose clean and stays in their lineup the rest of the year, because they are a very beatable team even with Winston under center. When they hit the playoffs, I normally don’t root for an SEC team, but I will be hoping to see them get blown out of the water by whichever of the Alabama/Auburn/Mississippi State/Ole Miss group comes their way.

  As for Jimbo Fisher… what a fucking scumbag. Mugging for the cameras and pretending as if Winston has redeemed himself, and acting like he’s “like a son to you”. Nothing worse than a disingenuous person, especially when it’s a disingenuous millionaire football coach exploiting a bunch of kids to continue making that much money.

  Staying in the top five, Baylor shit the bed in Morgantown, as West Virginia pulled the upset special on the #4 Bears thanks to a 14-0 4th quarter run. This Clint Trickett kid… he’s got some freaking moxy!

  TCU recovered nicely from their last minute loss to Baylor last week with a 33 point beatdown of the the #15 Oklahoma State Cowboys. That’ll get you back in the conversation.

  As for the SEC… four teams in the top five? I know that will change quite a few times between now and the end of the season, but what in the hell? At least they all play each other, and only one of them should be standing once we’re ready for the first NCAA football playoff. At least I hope to holy hell there is only one SEC team of the four that qualify!

  Last week I had Alabama on upset alert against Texas A&M… evidently I was mistaken… because the Tide rolled the Aggies hard to the tune of a 59-0 win. Such an ugly game it was unwatchable.

  Game one of the World Series is coming up tonight! James Shields against NLCS MVP Madison Bumgarner. Should be a great atmosphere in Kansas City tonight, they’ve been waiting a long time for this! As I’ve said before, I don’t have a beef with either side winning, but I’ll be rooting a little harder for the Royals.

  That’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for anything you leave on the way out.

Weekly Grumble with IHM 10/18
Category: FEATURED


  Well folks, it’s that time of the week again… time for another visit with your old pal IHM. This week, I got the opportunity to fill in for the legendary Ol’ Harry two days ago. Hope you enjoyed the trip OH, and you know I’ve got you covered any time you need it my friend. But now it’s Saturday… and time to sit back, relax… wait, that’s not what I do here… I rant, rave, and do the sort of things that develop ulcers! Well, at any rate, here’s the blog!

  While filling in for OH, I got into a discussion with BOB about what has happened to the sports card and collectibles industry. For me, this is an important subject, as I very much enjoyed (and still occasionally do enjoy) the hobby. Growing up, my father was an avid collector, and it was a great way for him, myself, and AFD to bond and spend some time together. Heck, me and AFD used to go to the KB Toy Store at the mall and split a $5 box of cards. We’d buy the box, split the packs, and make trades, swap doubles, offer the old man any cards he didn’t yet have or needed for a team set. A lot of very fun memories doing that. I can remember heading a mile up the road to the Diamond Connection (local card shop) and checking out all the display case cards (i.e. cards I couldn’t afford in my wildest dreams) and dropping my allowance money on a few packs of Upper Deck basketball/Topps baseball/etc.

  But then something happened; the collectibles end of the sports card hobby started moving in on the sports cards end. Memorabilia cards, autograph cards, “graded” cards, and “premium products” started flooding the markets and the prices started to skyrocket. Back in 1990, a pack of Topps Baseball cost fifty cents, affordable for just about anybody. Today, you’re looking at a minimum of $2.00 a pack, and that’s only if you find them at a store. You don’t see them at the grocery store any more… you have to go to one of the retail giants, such as Target or Walmart to find them… and then you have to wonder if some idiot already came through and sorted the entire freaking display box (“investors” will literally plop their fat, acne riddled, living in my mom’s basement ass down in an aisle and check every pack to see if it is a little thicker than the others, indicating a “hit”, or a memorabilia/autographed card. They literally spend all day driving from store to store to store doing this, then usually sell them on EBay.)

  Card shows were another thing we used to look forward to as a family… they would have them at local malls, etc., and there would be nearly a hundred booths packed into that mall, and there was always a current/former player signing autographs… FOR FREE! I got to meet plenty of Tigers legends this way, and I still have every autograph I picked up this way in an album. Some of the highlights included Mickey Lolitch, Aurelio Rodriguez, Denny McLean, Norm Cash, Gates Brown, and even Tony Clark during one of his more productive seasons with the Tigers (although the team was still terrible). Now, we have no more mall shows… in fact, we have to drive to a trade center twenty miles up the road to get to a card show in our area (and even that is becoming abysmal). While AFD has moved to Pennsylvania, my dad and I still make the trip on occasion to see if we can’t add a couple pieces to our collection. But even at the trade center things have taken a dive… the showroom used to be full of tables, and it now only takes up about half the room. There are no signers, and even when there are they charge $25-50 to have anything signed… not worth it to me, for sure. I’ve paid for an autograph once in my life, and that was to meet the legendary Ted Lindsay at the Diamond Connection… it was ten dollars and the proceeds went to children’s charities (mostly Autism research, which I didn’t know so much about then as I do now!) My dad had to spot me the extra five bucks of allowance money that week, but I’d say it was money well spent!

  And why are things drying up in the collecting business, you ask? People are being priced out. No longer can little kids afford to go spend their allowance money on a couple packs of cards… if your kid gets five bucks a week in allowance, they’re lucky if they can get two packs with that. Hell, most cards these days don’t even give you stats on the back… if they do, it’s one year and the career totals… not the full breakdown you’d get on a Topps base card back in the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, etc. Anything from the 70’s and before you need to pay an arm and a leg for… and anything from the 80’s or 90’s is barely worth the cardboard it is printed on due to over production. You can’t collect an entire set; they have all these damn “variations” and insert sets that make that impossible. You can’t even build a team set anymore, which is what my dad always did, because most card companies don’t print cards of anybody that isn’t either a rookie or a known player. It is a sad state of affairs, for sure.

  But the biggest leeches in the business are the memorabilia dealers… the same ones that approach a guy like Todd Gurley or Jameis Winston and ask them to “sign a few items for them for a little pocket cash” knowing full well that it is a violation of NCAA rules. Sure, the players know it too, but most of these guys are flat broke (or close to it) and really need the money. These greasy faced freaks then turn around and sell what they paid maybe a hundred bucks for for thousands of dollars, after, of course, they get it “authenticated” by a company such as JSA, the company involved in the current scandal involving Winston and Gurley. Then there are the idiots buying this stuff… which will be worth the price of a footlong sandwich at Subway in a few years if either one craps out in the NFL… which really serves them right if they’re buying this kind of stuff knowing full well the athlete gets zero cut and some middle aged professional loser is the only one benefitting.

  Big night in sports Thursday night, as the Giants won the National League pennant, and the Patriots were able to hold off the surprisingly spry Jets with a blocked field goal in the final seconds.

  The Giants and Cardinals only played a five-game series… but it was a classic for sure. Some great finishes, including game five. The Cardinals held a 3-2 lead going into the 8th inning, but in the 8th, Michael Morse hit a solo shot to tie things up. In the bottom of the 9th, with two runners on, Travis Ishikawa sent a 401 foot bomb out of the ballpark to give the Giants the pennant, their third in the last five years.

  So starting Tuesday, the Giants and Royals play for baseball’s richest prize. Both teams should be at full rest, but recent history has the least rested team winning it all. Personally, I’m not a fan of either team, but how do you not root for the Royals here if you’re not a Giants fan? Hell, even if you ARE a Giants fan… NLCS MVP Madison Bumgarner takes the hill against “Big Game” James Shields for game one. Personally, I’ll take the Royals in six or seven… but this is going to be an evenly matched series… both teams seem to have a knack for getting a run when they need it, any way they can. Both teams are damn solid defensively, have solid rotations, and damn good bullpens. It might not be the “ratings bonanza” that Major League Baseball prays for, but it will be quality baseball between two deserving teams.

  The Patriots got a real scare Thursday night from Sexy Rexy and the Jets, but were able to block a 58-yard field goal attempt as time expired to escape Foxboro with the win, 27-25. The Jets outrushed the Patriots 218-63, but were unable to get the ball in the endzone, settling for four Nick Folk field goals on those drives. That Tom Brady guy wound up looking pretty solid, throwing for three TDs in the win as the Pats improved to 5-2. The Jets loss drops them to 1-6, and puts them in great position for that #1 pick in the 2015 draft!

  Good news for Jets fans... the team has dealt a conditional 2nd-4th round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for veteran WR/KR Percy Harvin. The bad news, they didn't throw in a quarterback in the deal... so you're still stuck with Geno Smith or Michael Vick. That, and the fact that Harvin has a grand total of 22 catches for 133 yards on the season.

  The Lions kicking woes continue… they signed Matt Prater to remedy the situation last week. Matt Prater, the guy who missed one field goal attempt all of last season… problem solved, right? WRONG! He proceeded to go 1/3 on field goal attempts, making the team 5/15 on the season. Since everything has to have a name now, I’m going to go ahead and call this the “Curse of Kickalicious”, the guy that all Lions fans wanted before the start of the 2013 season, but they went with David Akers instead (although even Akers is an upgrade over this shit!).

  The Lions face the Saints Sunday, and are likely to be without Calvin Johnson once again. As for the Saints, things are looking up in terms of Jimmy Graham’s availability for Sunday… great.

  Bad news for Browns fans, as C Alex Mack is now out for the season. Mack hadn’t missed an NFL game going into last week, but was injured during the Browns surprise win over the Steelers. Still, the Browns have a solid shot at another win this week as they play the winless Jaguars.

  The biggest college game of the weekend is the top five matchup of #2 Florida State and #5 Notre Dame in Tallahassee. Honestly, I don’t know how this one goes down, but I’ll be rooting for the Irish to pull off the road win… but after not being able to shut down North Carolina last week (luckily the offense stepped up and scored enough to win), I’m not all that confident here. The Seminole defense is a step or two better than the Tar Heels D.

  Other ranked vs. ranked games include #23 Stanford traveling to play #17 Arizona State for your late night viewing pleasure. In the Big12 we get two such games, as #15 Oklahoma State travels to Texas to play #12 TCU, who look to avenge their tough luck loss last week at Baylor. #14 Kansas State heads to Norman, Oklahoma to face the #11 Sooners. In the SEC (yeah, there’s always one SEC ranked vs. ranked game), #7 Alabama hosts the #21 Aggies of Texas A&M. Can Kenny Hill repeat Johnny Football’s upset performance against the Tide from two years ago? This Alabama team is ripe to be upset… their offense seems to have zero rhythm.

   Should be another fun day of college football today; hope everybody enjoys the games, or whatever else you decide to do with your day. Have a great weekend, Gabbers, and I’ll see you all next week.

Weekly Grumble with IHM... on OH Thursday?!
Category: FEATURED

  We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you… yet another rant by your old pal, IHM! Ol’ Harry is on the road this week visiting his Marine down in Maryland, so I’m stepping in for the week, and hopefully not scaring too many of his regular readers off before he returns next Thursday! So Ol’ Harry is being replaced this week by the cantankerous old man trapped in a 31 year old’s body!


  I’ll be honest with you all… my boycott of all things NCAA is not going so well! Honestly… there is NOTHING ELSE ON TV on a Saturday. It all started two weeks ago with Alabama losing to Ole Miss… saw the score on the ESPN page and couldn’t in any kind of good conscience NOT watch that happen! After that, I was hooked, and I’ve been watching ever since. Some damn fine football being played down in the state of Mississippi these days… if both of these teams hold up with their perfect records going into the Egg Bowl, we’ll be looking at absolute bedlam for that game! Mississippi State’s biggest hurdle is #7 Alabama in the five remaining games between here and there, while Ole Miss plays at LSU and hosts #6 Auburn before hosting the Bulldogs on November 29th. I don’t think there’s much question about the Rebs’ defense, but can Bo Wallace keep avoiding the big mistakes that have plagued his career thus far? Only time will tell, but if both teams make it there unscathed, we’re looking at a titanic football game to close out the regular season!

  Attention Baylor fan… you are the #4 team in the country… start acting like it! I get it, that was a great football game on Saturday against #9 TCU (unless you’re a fan of defensive football, that is), and your team made one helluva comeback to win that home game you were supposed to win against a team ranked below you. Baylor hasn’t been an underdog very often in the past couple of years now… you should be used to success by now, so why in the hell are you rushing the field after knocking off a team that you were supposed to beat? So…

 New Rule of the Week: Unless you have a helmet or a headset, keep your stupid ass off the football field! Personally, I hate rushing the field, rushing the court… just seems like a recipe for disaster to me. Nobody has been hurt yet, but there will be a day when some idiot takes things too far and something awful happens. I hear all the voices that say “they’re kids, let them have fun”… but as the old saying goes, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Then it’s just plain fun for me, and I’ll be there to shout about how “I told you so!” It’s cute that you think your cheering or chanting has something to do with the outcome of a game… but I can assure you that it makes little to no difference… and the score would have probably been exactly the same whether they played in front of a packed house of 100,000 or in an empty corn field in the middle of Nebraska.

   Todd Gurley of Georgia is probably done for the year, and now the same autograph dealer has been linked to another college football star, Jameis Winston of the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles are “conducting an investigation” as we speak… but what do you think the odds are that Winston misses any kind of time this week when the #2 Noles take on #5 Notre Dame in Tallahassee? Winston has reportedly told coach Jimbo Fisher he didn’t sign for money, but let’s be honest; Winston isn’t exactly the face of honesty. Maybe next week this tool will keep his names out of the headlines until Saturday.

  The biggest question this raises for me, though, is why in the hell aren’t these kids allowed to get $5-20 bucks a pop from pathetic, grown men who are going to turn around and make thousands of dollars off of what they get autographed by them? Why the hell isn’t the NCAA going after JSA authenticators (the firm who has authenticated a “suspicious amount” of signatures from Gurley and now Winston), asking for client lists, and going after the people looking to make money off of naïve college kids? I mean, we all know the NCAA loves to get it’s cut… so why not have NCAA sanctioned autograph sessions for every team, give these kids a shot at making a little money, and have these dealers pay $10 bucks to the kid for their signature and some sort of flat rate to the NCAA to appease them? That way, everybody gets something out of the deal, and you can actually look like you’re trying to help student athletes for a change instead of making money off their backs and tossing them aside the second they make a mistake.

  The NHL has hired Chris Pronger to its Player Safety Department… for those of you who don’t follow hockey, that’s kind of like the NFL signing Ndamukong Suh to theirs! Good God.

   Steven Stamkos made up for his two game, season opening “scoring drought” by picking up a hat trick in the Lightning’s 7-1 win over P.K. Subban and the Habs, who had some nice, sour grapes comments after the game.

  Who wants to talk some NBA basketball? Yeah, me neither.

  Good to see the Royals making their first trip to the World Series since 1985! Best story we've seen in baseball in a long time. Congrats to Royals fans, and those who just enjoy rooting for the underdog. The weird thing is, this will be the first time this playoff the Royals will have home field advantage. The bad news for Royals fans, it's been a while since the team that clinches first has won a World Series. We'll see what kind of factor the layoff ends up being.

  Over in the NL, the Giants and Cardinals are putting on exactly the kind of series we should have expected… a close, evenly matched series.While the Giants currently enjoy a 3-1 advantage, it has been a very close series to this point, with the Giants just finding a way to win, despite the fact they haven't hit a home run since game 2 of the NLDS.

  A big week in the NFL last week, with the year’s first tie, some solid upsets, and a few close calls for contenders…

  The Lions won their game against Minnesota 17-3, despite two more misses from the kicking game. Matt Prater went 1/3 on the day, but did hit a 52 yarder just before the half. The defense was the star of the show, picking up 8 sacks and 3 interceptions, while giving up just three points on the day. Matt Stafford continued to struggle, going just 19-33 for 185 yards, but did manage not to turn the ball over. Next up, the Saints down in New Orleans… we’ll see how this defense holds up against Drew Brees and that offense.

  The good news, Jimmy Graham might be out. The bad news, Calvin Johnson is also likely to miss Sunday’s game. To be honest, I say shut Johnson down until after the bye week… don’t even let him set foot on the plane to London, and get him right for the rest of the season.

  The Browns shocked the world (kind of) by beating the Steelers 31-10… but these aren’t exactly your father’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

  The Panthers and Bengals played to a 37-37 tie, in a game that featured just two punts. The Bengals were in line to win it at the end of OT, but Mike Nugent missed a 36 yard field goal as time expired in the extra session to leave both teams kissing their sisters.

  Green Bay picked up a come from behind win over the Dolphins, which featured Aaron Rodgers pulling off the Marino-style fake spike pass in Dan Marino’s former house!

  The Chargers barely held off the Raiders, keeping Oakland among the ranks of the winless.

  The Jaguars were a blocked field goal away from their first win of the season, but Tennessee’s Sammie Lee Hill rose to that challenge, helping the Titans avoid a second straight home loss in the final seconds. The 2008 Lions alumni will have to wait another week or so to pop the cork on their Miller High Life (the Champagne of beers, that is) and know their 0-16 piece of history is secure.

  The Bucs somehow managed to make Joe Flacco look like an elite quarterback, allowing five touchdown passes in the first 16 minutes of the ballgame en route to a 48-17 loss to the Ravens.

  The Pats were able to do what they’ve done consistently for the past decade now… beat the Buffalo Bills. That Tom Brady kid did pretty well for himself, going 27-37 for 361 yards and 4 TD passes… guess he’ll work out after all!

  The Broncos handled the Jets fairly easily, coasting to a 31-17 win in that putrid swamp of East Rutherford, New Jersey. Peyton Manning threw three TD passes, leaving him two shy of Brett Favre’s NFL career record of 508 TD passes. Next week, the Broncos host the San Francisco 49ers.

  The Eagles handled the Giants fairly easily 27-0.

  The Cowboys handed the Shehawks their second loss of the season, knocking off Dick Sherman and the bunch 30-23. Highlight of the day had to be DeMarco Murray rolling over Dick Sherman on his way into the end zone on a 15-yard run to give the Cowboys the lead for good. Murray joined the great Jim Brown as the only two running backs in NFL history to start a season with six straight 100-yard rushing games.

  To kick off week seven, the Patriots will play host to the New York Jets, but will be without the services of Jerrod Mayo and Stevan Ridley. On the other side, the Jets are missing the top three corners from their season-opening depth chart. Something tells me the Patriots are going to be just fine here.

  That’s all I’ve got this week folks. Don’t worry, OH will be back next week, same time, same place! Make sure to head on over say hey to Lanz to the left… and have a happy “almost Friday”, Gabbers.

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