Well folks, it’s that special time of week again; time for another visit with your old pal IHM for this week’s Grumble. Election day has come and gone, and a message has been sent… and even better, no more idiotic political ads until 2016! That’s something we can all get together in celebrating, regardless of your political affiliation!
With the 2014 MLB season all wrapped up, now it’s time to hand out some hardware. The San Francisco Giants won the most important trophy you can add to the trophy case, the Commissioner’s Trophy… but there is still the matter of doling out the AL/NL MVP, ROY, Cy Young, MOY, and comeback player of the year awards. Here are my picks:
AL MVP- Mike Trout, Angels. The official finalists are Trout, Michael Brantley of the Indians, and Victor Martinez of the Tigers. Given the three options, Trout is almost a no brainer. Brantley had a great year, the better batting average, and he’s also a plus-defensive player, but Trout has him beat in the power numbers, and in runs scored. As for Martinez, the fact that he played almost exclusively DH (some first base) takes him down quite a few notches when you’re talking MVP award. He had great splits on the year (.335, 32 home runs, 103 RBI), but the fact that all he did was hit makes Trout an obvious pick over him in my eyes.
NL MVP- Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers. It’s rare to see a pitcher take home both the Cy Young and MVP award… although we saw it recently with Justin Verlander… but Kershaw had a monster season, piling up 21 wins with an ERA of just 1.77; and he picked up those 21 wins in seven fewer starts than most of the guys he’s up against due to a brief DL stint early in the year. Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals (20-9, 2.38 ERA) and Johnny Cueto of the Reds (20-9, 2.25 ERA) both had great years, but Kershaw was just on a different level. Let’s put it this way… Johnny Cueto pitched 243 innings to Kershaw’s 198… Cueto tied for the NL lead with 242 strikeouts… just three ahead of Kershaw in nearly fifty more innings pitched! The other candidates for NL MVP are Andrew McCutcheon of the Pirates and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, but they’re really only there because you have to name three finalists.
AL Cy Young- Corey Kluber, Indians. This is a true three-man race, with Kluber, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, and Chicago’s Chris Sale all neck and neck, but Kluber was just the better pitcher down the stretch when it mattered most, keeping the Indians in the playoff chase until the final week despite the annual trade deadline player dump from the Tribe. Kluber finished with 18 wins, went the distance more times (3-2) than Sale and Hernandez combined, and finished two strikeouts shy of leading the league in that category (2 behind David Price’s 241).
NL Cy Young- Kershaw… explanation is above! Most years, Cueto or Wainwright would have no trouble winning a Cy Young with the seasons they had… but Kershaw was just on a different level!
AL ROY- Jose Abreu, White Sox. While I dislike giving a rookie of the year award to a guy who has played professional baseball elsewhere before, Abreu had a monster MLB debut, hitting .317 with 36 homers and 107 RBI. Yankee reliever Dellin Betances and Angels starter Matt Shoemaker are the other two finalists, but this is pretty much a slam dunk for Abreu.
NL ROY- Jacob deGrom, Mets. Unlike the AL ROY and NL Cy Young, this is an award that is being given simply because it has to be given every year… there are no really strong candidates, and deGrom pretty much wins by default! Billy Hamilton of the Reds and Kolten Wong of the Cardinals are the other two finalists, but deGrom is the pick for me after going 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA. Hamilton impressed with his speed and ability to steal bases (56 steals), but the OBP of .292 is pretty ugly. Wong was solid but not spectacular, hitting .249 with 12 HR, 42 RBI and 20 steals.
AL MOY- Ned Yost, Royals. Yost, Buck Showalter of the Orioles, and Mike Scioscia of the Angels are the finalists, but Yost got the most out of the least, bringing a Kansas City Royals organization to their first postseason in 29 years, despite finishing last in the Majors with just 95 home runs.
NY MOY- Bruce Bochy, Giants. Bochy is joined by the Pirates Clint Hurdle and the Diamondbacks Matt Williams as MOY finalists, but Bochy is deserving of the MOY nod for the job he was able to do with this Giants team. Not exactly an offensive powerhouse, and a lot of injuries over the season… and the guy only has one career MOY award... back in 2006 with the Padres.
AL Comeback Player of the Year- Phil Hughes, Twins. Hughes had a miserable 2013 season for the Yankees, going 4-14 with an ERA of 5.19. He was not re-signed, but the Twins took a flier on him; they’re glad they did, as Hughes rebounded with a 16-10 record and an ERA of 3.52.
NL Comeback Player of the Year- Johnny Cueto, Reds. Cueto had a spectacular 2014 season, going 20-9 with an ERA of just 2.25, this after making just 11 starts in 2013 due to injury. Hard to beat a comeback season like that.
And with that, the hot stoves will start to heat up… winter meeting are just a month away!
Alfonso Soriano has called it a career, retiring at number fifty on the all-time home runs list with 412 while hitting .279 with 1,159 career RBI and 289 steals. The former Yankee/Ranger/National/Cub spent last season with the Yankees, hitting just .221 with 6 home runs. Soriano is one of just four players in MLB history to join the 40/40 club, joining Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, and Barry Bonds on that list when he did it in 2006 while playing for the Washington Nationals, and remains the only player not linked to steroid use in the club.
Speaking of steroid use… Alex Rodriguez reportedly admitted to the DEA that he was a steroid user between late 2010 and September of 2012, recanting the claim he earlier made that he had only used in 2001 while with the Texas Rangers. He was also “trained” in ways to beat drug testing, specifically to use only “mid-stream” urine in drug tests. Evidently the beginning and end of your pee stream is what gets you busted kids… write that one down! Rodriguez also paid large sums of money to keep Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch quiet. Lying, cheating, stealing… but at least he’s stealing from the Yankees, which makes it slightly less despicable! Here’s hoping a 100 MPH fastball finds your jaw early in the season, A-Fraud!
Before I leave baseball completely, check out the MONSTER elk free agent 1B/DH Adam LaRoche took down hunting in the Rockies this week... and it made his pussbag teammate Dan Haren "kind of sad"...
Now that's what you call a freezer filler!
The NFL announced its’ 2015 “international series” games, three games in London… again… and again, the Dolphins, Jaguars, and Lions will play in England. The Dolphins will face the Jets, the Jaguars get the Buffalo Bills, and the Lions face the Kansas City Chiefs.
As for the Jaguars, they’re in London this week getting set to play the Dallas Cowboys, who apparently will have Tony Romo under center. Romo missed last week after injuring his back against the Redskins two weeks ago on Monday Night Football.
All the noise in Cleveland these days is about the “struggles” of the 1-3 Cavs… but a little bit of noise came out of the mouth of Greg Little… the fucking hack that couldn’t catch a pass to save his own life while wearing the orange striped helmet… who said his return to Cleveland Thursday night as a Bengal was “personal”. Really, with all the drops he had as a Brown, I can’t understand why you would open your mouth in that situation… especially when the only reason you’re even on the Bengals roster is because their receiving corps resembles a fucking MASH unit! Poetic justice has this asshat dropping a potential game winner at the end of the game, and the Browns winning! We’ll see what happens in Cincy…
The Lions host a Dolphins team fresh off a 37-0 crushing of the San Diego Chargers last week… you have to hope this isn’t the beginning of another second half choke job by the Lions, who enter the game 6-2 and in first place in the NFC North, but this game seems like a bit of a trap game if you ask me. The Lions get Calvin Johnson back after three weeks out, so we’ll see what this offense can do with its’ biggest weapon back in the fold against a tough Miami D.
Once again, I have to wonder exactly what the hell CBS/FOX are thinking this week… I get two freaking games… one at 1 PM and one at 4… then obviously the Sunday/Monday nighters. Why the hell are they paying billions for broadcast rights if they only get one game a week?
Big Ben looks to continue his recent tear when he faces the Jets and their weakened secondary… the question isn’t whether or not the Steelers win this one, it’s whether or not Roethlisberger throws 6 TD passes for a third straight week!
That 49ers-Saints game looked a helluva lot better at the beginning of the season than it’s looking right now, eh?
Heading over to college ball, what a huge weekend we have in store for us with six ranked vs. ranked matchups going on… the majority of them in prime time. Early in the day, #12 Baylor visits #15 Oklahoma. In the afternoon, #10 Notre Dame heads to the desert to face the #9 Arizona State Sun Devils (Catholics vs. Devils… gotta love it!). Then we hit prime time, with three ranked matchups going head-to-head-to-head, starting with #6 TCU hosting #7 Kansas State, the #8 Michigan State Spartans hosting the #14 Buckeyes, and #5 Alabama going to Death Valley to face the #16 Bayou Bengals of LSU. In the late game, #4 Oregon goes on the road to play #17 Utah. Should be a great day of college football watchin’; enjoy it, folks.
Gotta wonder how long it takes a Hendrick guy to take out Brad Keselowski in this week’s race in Phoenix… really doesn’t seem like a matter of “if” more so than “when” with all the bad blood boiling on the track. Hendrick Motorsports has paid the $185,000 in fines levied upon crew members for their roles in the post-race brawl between Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick last week, but four remain suspended as a result.
As I mentioned earlier, the “crowned world champion” Cavaliers fell to 1-3 Wednesday night in Utah, as Gordon Heyward hit a game winner in the final seconds. Speculation is rampant that LeBron is simply sitting back and allowing his teammates to “correct bad habits” they picked up during the dismal time he was away in Miami… yeah, that’s the actual spin LeBron’s personal sack hanger Brian Windhorst had for it… this freaking league!
As for teams that are actually WINNING… how about those Warriors? They improved to 4-0 on the young season after running the Clippers out of the freaking gym Wednesday. Wouldn’t it be something to see this team make a deep run in the playoffs?
Before I move on… is there more of a whiny, floppy, overrated pile of crap in this league than Chris Paul?
Over in the NHL, the Ducks look like regular season champions again… too bad for that lack of playoff success though. Meanwhile, the defending champs look like they’ll have to take the long way through the playoffs this year as they sit at the bottom part of the bracket with 16 points, while the Blackhawks sit just below them at 15. Over in the East, the Habs lead the way with 19 points, followed closely by the Lightning and Pens at 17 points. Still a long way to go, and some great hockey being played so far.
To end things on a positive note, here’s an update on the legendary Gordie Howe; his family says he is making “remarkable progress” in his recovery from a stroke last week. Howe’s speech is improving, and he is able to walk with assistance and a walker. Best wishes to Mr.Hockey as he attempts this comeback.
That’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy the weekend, Gabbers!
Well folks, it’s another Monday here at the Gab, and this week you get IHM coming at you, covering for the man, the myth, the legend… the Beezer!
Big weekend in both college and professional football, and we’ve still got hockey/basketball happening as well. I spent a good chunk of Saturday watching college ball, then headed out to take advantage of the extra hour of drinking time Saturday night (thanks, Ben Franklin). Got home around 2:30 (actually 3:30, but you know…), and before I could get my buzzed ass to bed, heard the boy running around his room. The wife was asleep already, so I figured what the hell, I’ll sit up with the boy and enjoy my drunkenness a little more. Turns out the boy wanted to stay up til 5… and by the time I finally got up to bed it was around 5:30. Just before 11, the wife comes up and wakes me up, and that’ll show you the level of alertness/awakeness I had for the day Sunday! Luckily, the boy was pretty tuckered out too, so we got to bed at a decent time last night, which leaves me good and refreshed for today.
Some pretty big shake ups in the college football world happened this weekend, as #1 and #2 barely fended off their opponents, and #3 and 4 met head to head! Hell, if Arkansas had any semblance of a passing game, we might be talking about a massive upset of #1 Mississippi State. But the Bulldogs squeaked out a 17-10 win over the Razorbacks, mostly due to an apparent injury to Heisman frontrunner Dax Prescott, who was clearly not himself and visibly limping throughout the game. Gritty, ballsy performance out of him. #2 Florida State barely survived a visit to Louisville to beat Petrino’s gang 42-31… a game that was much closer than the score indicates. #3 Auburn outlasted #4 Ole Miss, who lost their top receiver for the rest of the year to a gruesome ankle injury at the end of the ballgame. Laquon Treadwell (sorry, never sure if the Q is supposed to be capitalized on these names or not…) fumbled at the goal line, and suffered a gruesome ankle injury on the play… and the kid had played a GREAT football game to that point… making some huge plays both catching the football and blocking for teammates. Hopefully this guy makes a full recovery, because he’s a guy I’d love to see on the field on Sundays, especially the all-around approach he takes to the game of football.
#5 Oregon blew out an overmatched Stanford team, #7 TCU barely beat #20 West Virginia on a last second field goal, and the #10 Irish survived a major scare from Navy, winning 49-39 over the Midshipmen. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out once the committee meets up this week… and we’ll find out Tuesday night. #9 K-State blew out Oklahoma State 48-14.
#11 Georgia... they did their annual shitting of the bed. This year's bed shitting occured in Jacksonville, Florida, against their biggest rival the Florida Gators. They'll still probably win the SEC East (by default more than anything else), and still play in the SEC title game against a much better SEC West team, and they'll probably play over their heads there and create another "game of the century" for Sully and the rest of the folks down in the Atlanta area to see for months on end after it happens... but how does this yearly bed shitting bode for the job security of Mark Richt? How does this guy hang on after repeatedly dissapointing the fanbase? The guy seems to choke away every big game... every rivalry game... hell, he's just 8-5 in bowl games. Am I way off base as an "SEC outsider" here, or should this guy be on the hot seat, especially after losing to a dead man walking in Will Muschamp?
The Steelers and Ravens showed us why they were the Sunday night game, providing a chippy, gritty ballgame… and the Steelers showed us they might just be a team to be feared going forward by blowing out their rivals 43-23 behind Ben Roethlisberger’s second consecutive six touchdown game, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw six TD passes in consecutive games.
During halftime, the jersey of “Mean Joe” Greene was retired. The biggest question I have out of that is, how the hell did it take this long to retire the #75 of an NFL icon? Hell, when you think the Steelers of the 70’s, who comes to mind first? For me, it’s Mean Joe every time!
The other big game yesterday featured the Patriots and Broncos… and a couple of quarterbacks you may have heard of in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Turns out it wasn’t as close of a matchup as you’d think, as the Patriots were able to take a commanding first half lead and didn’t have much cause for looking back, coasting to a 43-21 win over the Broncos. For the second straight week, Tom Brady has a big game, throwing for 333 yards and 4 TD’s… only to be overshadowed by a bigger game out of Roethlisberger!
Julian Edelman continued the "little engine that could" tradition in New England... catching a TD pass and setting a new franchise mark with his 4th career punt return TD, an 84 yard return in the second quarter that seemed to put the Pats in control for good. It came just about three minutes after he caught a five yard TD strike from Brady.
In the big game that nobody really paid much attention to, the 6-1 Cardinals took on the 6-2 Cowboys at Jerryworld. This one wound up being a bit closer, but the Cowboys were forced to start Brandon Weeden in place of an injured Tony Romo, and looked completely out of sync in the 28-17 loss. DeMarco Murray fell 21 yards short of 100… the first time this season he’s failed to reach the century mark. Carson Palmer threw for three TD’s in the win for the NFC West leading Cardinals.
Strange when you think of it, but the Cardinals have actually been to a Super Bowl more recently than the Dallas Cowboys!
The Seahawks stayed two games back in the NFC West by holding off the Raiders late rally, while the 49ers fell three games behind to 4-4 in their loss to the Rams.
With the Steelers, Bengals, and Browns all winning Sunday, the AFC North is the only division in football with all four teams above .500.
The Eagles got a win but suffered a big loss Sunday when starting QB Nick Foles went down with a broken collarbone. Backup Mark Sanchez filled in nicely, though, throwing three TD passes in a 31-21 win over the Texans.
Not to step on Qwazier's toes here or anything... but what is up with all the shoving matches and "fights" in NASCAR this year? Every week, it seems like someone is trying to run up from behind on Brad Keselowski and go all knock out game on him! I'd respect it a helluva lot more if they were coming up to the guy's face, looking him in the eye and then swinging, but every single time it seems like it's somebody taking a swing from behind when the kid isn't looking. I know he's involved in quite a few "situations" and all, but what is with all the hate for this guy? I heard Gordon say he was a "dip shit"... but I didn't see much wrong with Keselowski was trying to do sneaking past Gordon during the race. Yeah, he clipped the back tire of Gordon's car... but isn't that just part of racing? What the hell is going on here, Q? Anybody? Is the new format leading to that much more tension on the track?
Not sure how many metal heads there are out there reading, but I just wanted to throw a R.I.P. out for one of my favorite musicians, Wayne Static of Static-X and Pighammer, who passed away Saturday night at the age of 48. No cause of death has been announced yet, but the usual suspects (O.D, etc.) are all in play.
That’s all I’ve got for a Monday Morning. Be sure to head on over to Uncle Moz’s Family Feedbag next door and see what he’s got to say! Thanks as always for reading, and for any comments you leave on the way out.
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!
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!
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.