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Buzz from the Bleachers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Welcome to 2013 Gabbers. I donít know about you folks, but thereís a lot to be happy about while seeing 2012 go. I mean, that was a pretty tumultuous year in so many ways. Sticking with the sports side, we had every major sports aside from the MLB and NASCAR go through some sort of labor issue. The NBA had a shortened season that saw the Heat get a ring. The NFL lost some preseason games (though this was technically 2011) and suffered through replacement refs. Lucky for the NFL, the Pack was able to rebound from that crap call against the Seahawks. That is a fun potential rematch too. We still donít have the NHL. My girlfriend is pretty pissed and one could say a good part of the Southeast Michigan area are too. My old man thinks weíll get a shortened season, but I am not feeling as optimistic.

This, of course, says nothing about all the social and political issues. I have little interest in getting to those. Lake Superior State University unveiled a banned words list for 2012. Check it out here: http://www.lssu.edu/banished/current.php
Still, I had a lot of positive in 2012 in my personal life. Thatís only going to continue for me in 2013. Iíll be done with school, moving, and proposing. I am keeping nothing but good vibes for 2013!

One thing Iím not sure if Iíll miss is the 2012 NFL regular season. I think everyone here has mentioned at some point that the NFL was just lackluster this year. I donít know why, but it didnít hold my interest as well as it normally does. Still, weíve sifted through all the teams and the coaches have been fired. How Rex Ryan survived must solely be tied to the fact that he has a big mouth and keeps the Jets in the news. On to the playoffs.

The NFC Wild Card round features 3 teams that I figure few people really saw coming. Heading into this year, I figured Green Bay had enough returning to make it back even with the rest of the NFC North building up. I called for 2 NFC North teams, but I figured Iíd be seeing the Bears. I didnít think the Vikings would be able to put it together, but then I underestimated Adrian Peterson. That man is just not natural. The MVP/Comeback Player race between AP and Peyton Manning should be a fun one to follow. I gotta pull for AP in either, since Manning has enough hardware. Seattle and Washington both got some good young QBS, but I didnít figure theyíd be playoff bound. Heck, I figured Matt Flynn would be starting for the Seahawks. I figure Seattle ought to be shopping that guy around to help themselves and give him a second shot.

Saturday: Packers v. Vikings

Pick: Vikings in a close one

This will be a classic NFC North slug fest. The Black and Blue division was back with a vengeance this year. You had the Pack, Vikes, and Bears all clawing for the division much less the Wild Card spot. When the dirt settled, the Bears were odd man out and gave Lovie the boot. The Pack and Vikes had some tough match-ups and split the series this year. Still, the Pack donít quite have the D they did last year and even Aaron Rodgers and that offense have come back to Earth. I think the Vikings got hot at the right time and with the help of AP, they get past the Packers in Lambeau.

Sunday: Seahawks v. Redskins

Pick: Seahawks

Everyone figured this to be the year of Luck v. Griffin. Everyone knew this until the preseason when Russell Wilson showed up. Wilson, a comparative steal at the 75th pick, took the league by storm and compiled 3,118 yards and 26 TDs. Griffin surpassed expectations and would have been even more remarkable if he hadnít been injured. Really both teams mirror each other very well here, but I give Seattle an edge on defense.

The AFC is always strange. I just get the feeling that the AFC is a bit more unstable and outside of the AFC North and the Patriots, they have fewer traditional powerhouses. You figured the AFC North and possibly East would fill the Wild Card spots. The North held up its end sending the Baltimore Ravens and Cincy Bengals with Pittsburgh playing odd man out. The East? Well, theyíre the East. The Dolphins came close, but theyíre young. The Bills feel off and the Jets never had a shot. That left an opening and a 1-15 Colts team was able to step in. Who woulda thought all they needed to do was get rid of Manning to get back to the playoffs?

Saturday: Bengals v. Texans

Pick: Texans

Manning leaving the scene and the Colts rebuilding made this a prime year for the Texans. They came out on fire and put the league on notice early. They cooled off since, but this could be the year theyíve put it together. The offense is firing on all cylinders and Shaub, Johnson, and Foster have managed to stay healthy. Meanwhile, Dalton and Green have kept pace and have combined for 11 TDs this year, more than double shaub and Johnsonís total of 4. The Bengals have quietly won 6 of their last 7 games. Still, if the Texans are ever going to step into the leadership role in the AFC, this is the year to do it. I got the Texans satisfying their hunger to win in the playoffs.

Sunday: Colts vs. Ravens

Pick: Ravens

As expected, Luck has had a memorable rookie campaign. Less expected, however, Luck and the Colts now find themselves in the playoffs. Itís hard not to root for the Colts. They got this exciting young guy at QB. Theyíve done a heck of a job building themselves back up without Manning, Garcon, or Clark. Then youíve got the Chuck Pagano angle. I would not mind being wrong on this pick. Baltimore, on the other hand, has an offense that is starting to eclipse their defense. Their defense lost some weapons, but itís still premier and loves facing young QBs. I have to go with the pedigree here.

Interesting news in the MLB. The KC Royals have signed former MVP Miguel Tejada to a minor league deal. That might be interesting if Tejada doesnít mind DHing. In an oddseasons of big trades, I have to admit Iím intrigued by this move. Tejada hasnít played since a stint with the Giants in 2011. In 91 games, he hit 4 HRS and had 26 RBIs. Heíll be making 6 times less what he did in 2011. Still, should be interesting to see what he has left.

Well, that's it for me. I have work in the morning. Yep, school starts bright and early on January 2 round here. I'll be interested to see if we get over 50% attendance. Still, gotta go in with my lesson plans ready. I've got three more days with these classes before their regular teacher is back. I hope I have them back on track to some extent. Thanks as always for stopping by and here's hoping for a better 2013!

Resolutionist, noun

A person who joins the gym in early January because of their New Years Resolution. Resolutionists can be spotted by their pasty white skin, excessive fat, poor form, and blank look on their face as they stand next to any piece of gym equipment. Resolutionists usually migrate back to the couch any time from mid-January to early March.

"This damn Resolutionist has been on the Smith machine for 30 minutes. Maybe if he put more than 30 lbs on the bar and stopped taking 10 minute rests it wouldn't take so long. I can't wait until March"

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