Hello folks. My name is Uncle B.O.B., and I am an ESPiN-a-holic. I have been sober for eight days now (August 26th was my last visit there). Some say that the following comments are “just plain stupid”. Well friends, you’re right, and it’s done for effect to point out the lunacy. So sit back, relax, and watch Uncle B.O.B. “FIGHT THE POWER”...
Protest. I have seen the light that those courageous few who are so much smarter than the rest of us have been trying to tell us mere mortals and I am now on a mission, though not from God (I won't blaspheme). Today, I honor Phil Simms, Tony Dungy, Keith Olbermann, and others in the media who stand up for all of us to fight the oppression of a nickname. I stand before you today Gabbers in full support of those folks, but I’m going to challenge them to take it one step further - standing up for what I believe is right – to reaffirm what I said a few months ago: I am here today to publicly announce to the Sports World that I am offended by EVERY team nickname. Therefore effective immediately, I will boycott the use of nicknames when I refer to ANY team of ANY sport.
Those of you who fight to retain the Washington Football Franchise Nickname are full of “filthy mouths and bad attitudes.” That’s right Gabbers, I have seen the light and can no longer be associated with that. In all good conscience, I can no longer sit here and subject you good to these vile nicknames that are disrespectful of so many in our society. I challenge you Gabbers, it is time to clean it up and for us to take a stand and be an example for others to emulate – join me and stop this national disgrace of offending everybody and hurting so many feelings. We know that these names are so deeply offensive that people just can’t perform their job descriptions on a daily basis.
So you all get wise and come to the light. Join me my friends in ushering in a new era – one of joy and respect – HALLE-FREAKING-LU-YAH!!! Please Gabbers, refer to teams by their city name only, and here’s why:
Patriots: Offensive to liberals. How dare we honor the founding fathers.
Jets: Offensive to the movie “Top Gun”, anybody who likes Football on the field, and those who tire of a sorry team always yappin. Also offensive to the military: at least their Jets work and do their job. Also offensive to the EPA because they use Jet Fuel which is somehow screwing with carbon emissions.
Bills: Offensive to anybody who has to pay bills, buy stuff, and pay tips. We shouldn’t have to pay bills. We should get everything for free, right? Where’s my free phone (I pay a lot monthly for something I hardly use), and why should I pay taxes? 50% of the country doesn’t. Oh, and as for tips, if a person who gets tips makes more than I do just on minimum wage ($15 per hour), they can say goodbye to 20% tips. Sorry Seattle and Minneapolis…
Dolphins, Bengals, Jaguars, Colts, Broncos, Eagles, Bears, Lions, Falcons, Panthers, Rams, Cardinals, Seahawks: Offensive to PETA. How dare anybody make money off of these beautiful creatures. Oh, and the Dolphins get extra criticizing for having Flipper retrieve kicks out of the pool of the east end zone in the old Orange Bowl back in the day. By the way, where is PETA’s outrage at Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, and that new movie about A Dolphin Tail? And what about going after the Alligator Wrestlers in Florida, huh?
Browns: Offensive to anybody of any other color. Could you imagine the Greenwich Whites? Yeah, I know the team was named after Paul Brown, but dammit that shouldn’t stop us from going after this offensive nickname because just one dumbass could construe “Browns” as a racial slur, no matter that they’re violating common sense and only doing it for their 15 minutes of fame and fortune. Lawyers are lining up boys, have at it…
Steelers: Ruined the environment with all that pollution. Rat bastards.
Titans/Giants: Offensive to little people (that is the correct PC term, right?).
Texans: Why should one state be singled out, even if it is Texas - that’s not fair to the other 49.
Chargers: “SAN DIEGO, I WANT A REACTION…SHOW ME YOUR LIGHTNING BOLT!!!” Oh wait, we can’t use Hacksaw Hamilton’s famous line, it could be construed as a sexist remark – plus Hacksaw has a cheesy mustache and has said offensive stuff on the radio. Besides, one of my eco-friends has something she wants to say:
Chiefs/Redskins: Offensive to Native Americans. Hey, if Sioux and Redskins gotta go, Chiefs absolutely has to go.
Raiders/Buccaneers: Glorifies bad behavior. This is the 21st Century, you damn pirates can’t be running around singing “Yo Hoe Yo Hoe, a pirates life for me!” Don’t you know that hoe is a derogatory term for Women? You damn sure can’t be honoring a group of people who were known to rape, loot, plunder, and oh yeah, get the booty! Besides, Raidah fan is offensive to everybody outside of Philly…
Cowboys: Offensive to urban yuppie hipster folk and the cool kids of the DC/NYC/LA party circuit. Besides, how dare Cowboys mock NYC. Oh, and the botox-infested owner hanging all over hookers (err, strippers) 55 years younger than him is offensive too. Where are the NOW crowd to complain about this abomination? Women unite and stop this abuse of women!
Packers: This one should be obvious and decorum prevents me from going further.
Vikings: Offensive to peace lovers and hippies. Vikings were such vile people, oh and they brought us Lutefish, so that alone…
Saints: Offensive to atheists. There will be no honoring religion in any way in America .
49ers: Offensive to me right now, freaking criminals. Besides that, If we can’t have a team named 69ers, then dammit I don’t want to see any other numbers out there!
While I’m at it, I am offended by Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood doing the opening to SNF – why can’t we get a different choice of music each week? NBC must be a bunch of freaking rednecks to keep choosing country. Why are you discriminating against the youth and their “music” NBC? For that matter, why are you not putting on Lawrence Welk? You got something against old folks and champagne music and polka? Are you anti-Polish? You should be sued you discriminatory pricks!
I’m also offended by Bob Costas preaching his beliefs to us (I don’t need a sermon at halftime, so stop preaching – that’s a violation of my right not to hear churchin’), I’m offended by Chris Berman’s rug on top of his head, Warren Sapp, Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders acting ignorant on NFL Network, and the NFL trying to squeeze more money out of everybody – isn’t that where the liberals are supposed to go after them? Come to think of it, why aren’t those in power going after them for more in taxes? Hell liberals, they make $9,000,000,000!!! Go getcha some of that!!! No? Why?
What? I’m a douche? Yeah, OK, whatever. It was all done with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.
So let me be serious for a quick second - I watch Football to get away from all the BS garbage being laid out in this 24/7 news cycle society. Again, when I hear from a majority of American Indian Tribes that they are offended by it, then I’m more than willing to listen – I WILL NOT LISTEN TO TAKES SPEWED BY THE DC/NYC/LA COCK-tail party circuit or those who are supposed to call the game. Screw you, I only want to hear about a freaking game, I do not want to be lectured to and with each passing lecture and report, you are driving me and folks like me further and further away.
Douchebag of the Week. I gotta go with the PC Crowd this week. The NFL might stand for No Fun League, but these jackasses could take the fun away from ants at a picnic. Just seems to me that the only thing they live for is to be butt-hurt by something and to shake somebody down because of it.
Greetings from the Hoodwood where though football season is getting ready to start, your humble scribe is not ready to let the summer go.
The final part of the NFL preview heads west where the defending conference and Super Bowl Champs reside
2013: 12-4 AFC Champs lost to Seattle in Super Bowl 48
Coach: John Fox 34-14 in 3 Seasons with Denver, 107-85 in 12 Seasons with Carolina & Denver; 115-91 overall
Man on the Hot Seat: Montee Ball, with the departure of Knowshon Moreno the onus will be on Ball to take more of the offensive load to keep defenses honest and away from Peyton Manning
Fast Facts: Broncos 606 points set an NFL record, no team has scored over 525 points in a season and won a Super Bowl (0-4)
Mile High Football: The Broncos were just about the most feared juggernaut in the NFL until they got hammer locked by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Manning is back as the front man of the prolific offense and the defense is capable at slow opposing offenses enough to make keeping up a nightmare. Though the Broncos are in a division that had three playoff squads, the west is still suspect enough where the Broncos are still head of the class here, a repeat of the 13 win season is not a longshot.
Kansas City Chiefs
2013: 11-5, Lost to Indianapolis in Wild Card Round
Coach: Andy Reid 11-5 in 1 season with Kansas City, 141-98-1 in 15 seasons in Philadelphia and Kansas City, 151-108-1 overall
Man on the Hot Seat: Alex Smith, he now has a big money contract and unquestioned starter status but he needs to win ASAP
Fast Facts: The Chiefs 9 game turnaround was the biggest in the NFL last year
Arrowhead Madness: Reid turned the Chiefs around and fast, the problem is that team 610 miles to the west is still just as tough. With a solid running game and impeccable defense, the Chiefs are still a team to reckon with but I cant put them ahead of the Broncos
San Diego Chargers
2013: 9-7, lost to Denver in Divisional Round
Coach: Mike McCoy 9-7 in 1 Season in San Diego, 10-8 overall
Man on the Hot Seat: Ryan Mathews, he needs to have a better season to keep the full defensive pressure off Philip Rivers
Super Charged Football: A late run and stunning playoff upset was the highlight of this teams 2013 season, but I really cant see the Chargers putting the moves on another playoff run. Im just not really sold on Philip Rivers and that defense is way too skittish to count on.
2013: 4-12 Missed playoffs
Coach: Dennis Allen 8-24 overall in 2 seasons with Oakland
Man on the Hot Seat: Allen, Another 4-12 season won’t fly especially with the Niners dominating the talk just across the Bay
Fast Facts: The Raiders have had 11 straight losing seasons
East Bay Football: The Raiders are a shell of their once formidable selves. Its hard to climb over three tough teams when they have no plan of attack. 5 wins will be a tough task for them.
2013: 13-3, Defeated Denver to win Super Bowl 48
Coach: Pete Carroll 38-26 in 4 seasons with Seattle, 71-57 in 8 seasons in Seattle, New England and New York. 77-61 overall.
Man on the Hot Seat: Russell Wilson, yeah hes a Super Bowl winning QB. The trick now is repeating.
Fast Facts: Seahawks CB Richard Sherman is not only the latest Madden cover boy, he’s also on the Time 100 most influential list.
The Champions defense: The defending champs have all the pieces back including the locqaucious Sherman and the famously laconic Marshawn Lynch. The pieces are there but the schedule is brutal with 3 separate east coast trips, and a November-December run that has both their divisional games with Arizona and San Fran sandwiched around a tough trip to Arrowhead. Can they win 13 again? Maybe not, but they will still be a tough team to deal with
2013: 10-6 missed playoffs
Coach: Bruce Arians; 10-6 in 1 seasons in Arizona, also 10-3 as interim coach in Indianapolis in 2012
Man on the Hot Seat: Carson Palmer, he needs to have a big season to take the Cards to the next level
Fast Fact: 2013 was the first time that the Cardinals had ever won 10 games and missed the playoffs.
Desert Football: The Cards were the best team in the NFL that stayed home in January, and even though that will be missing a key cog in their defense in losing Darnell Dockett to a devastating knee injury, but the defense is still one of the best that you likely know nothing about. If Palmer can keep from being his usual brain lock self, the Cards could be a real sleeper team.
San Francisco 49ers
2013: 12-4, lost to Seattle in NFC championship
Coach: Jim Harbaugh 36-11-1 in 3 seasons with San Francisco, 41-14-1 overall
Man on the Hot Seat: Frank Gore, the Niners solid RB will be asked to shoulder more of the load of the offense as they try to be more run oriented
Fast Facts: Harbaugh’s 31 wins in his first three seasons are second to George Seifert in the same span
Football by the bay: The Niners move into new digs but have a litany of problems that have descended on them, they will be missing Aldon Smith for nine games, Navarro Bowman is out and Ray McDonald could be facing a suspension of his own. All this puts more an onus on Patrick Willis and that may be too tough to overcome. I think this is the team that takes the step back.
St. Louis Rams
2013: 7-9, missed playoffs
Coach Jeff Fisher, 14-17-1 in 2 seasons with St. Louis, 156-137-1 in 19 seasons with Houston (Oilers), Tennessee and St. Louis. 161-143-1 overall
Man on the Hot Seat: Kellen Clemens, with the injury to Sam Bradford Clemens will be looked to be the leader of the offense
Fast Fact: Fischer is the most tenured coach in the NFL, having coached 19 seasons (only missing 2011 season)
Football under the arch: The Rams have a solid defense but a hampered offense could spell another bottom finish.
NFL Picks will start being posted on Thursday
Ill add more as the day goes. Until next post fellow sports fans…
What up Gabbers!!! Irish Shu is back with my annual preview/game predictions on the just-started season for my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish…sorry for the delay, I’ll try to keep it shortish, but you know me…
Head Coach Brian Kelly has now started his fifth year 2 years removed from a National Championship Game appearance and is looking to improve upon last year’s 9-4 record. He’ll have to try and make the improvement with new Offensive and Defensive coordinators as the ones he had last year bolted for head coaching jobs of their own.
The Irish will also be facing yet another tough schedule, but that’s nothing new. Five of this year’s opponents start the season ranked in the AP top 25 and top-ranked and defending national champ Florida State is among the lot. The Irish also face Michigan – a team which I feel is better than the lack of rank they start with, and the Wolverines will be motivated to beat the Irish since they will no longer be on the schedule after this year due to ND’s obligation to play 5 ACC teams a year from here-on due to their all-but-football commitment to that conference which starts next year.
What is working against Notre Dame more than the gauntlet of a schedule are some key personnel losses and lack of experience on defense. The defensive interior was already hard-hit with: DE Stephon Tuitt (Steelers) and nose guard Louis Nix (Texans) along with several linebackers and a couple secondary players departing for the NFL. Now add to that: their defensive captain in Austin Collinsworth suffering a knee injury just before the Rice game and being out for a few games, a valuable D-lineman in Tony Springmann retiring from the team due to a chronic back problem, and linebacker Jarrett Grace still recovering from a severely-broken leg he suffered last year and not playing yet, and you have the Irish D looking VERY green…several true freshmen saw playing time against Rice because of these losses.
Then, of course, there is the still-pending academic fraud investigation which has resulted in the suspension of 5 players from the team, including 2 starters and 2 reserves on defense and 1 starter on offense. Maybe the investigation will be completed soon and all 5 players will be back on the team in the next week or 2, or maybe all 5 will be kicked off the team and out of school altogether. My take on that? There are few colleges and universities where student athletes do not cheat sometimes…that does NOT make it okay for any of them to do so, but Notre Dame is holding their alleged cheaters accountable, at least, and rightfully so…that’s all I have to stay about that. Point is, it SUCKS!...and the resulting lack of experienced players on defense could result in a few “shoot-out” games in which the Irish offense will have to put up a lot of points and pull out some wins with some close, basketball-like final scores…
There IS some good news, though…it seems that in spite of some key NFL losses, namely a great Tackle in Zach Martin (went to the Dallas Cowboys in the first round) receiver TJ Jones (Lions) and tight end Troy Niklas (Cardinals), this year’s Irish Offense has the players to put up that amount of points.
Everett Golson is back as the starting QB after his year-long suspension and he has a good line to block for him, great receivers and another great tight end in Ben Koyak to throw to, and a solid stable of running backs to hand off to. Golson looked awesome in the opener against Rice…yeah, it was only Rice but still, I liked what I saw. Should Golson suffer an injury (and he very-well could if he keeps the ball and runs one time too many) his backup in redshirt sophomore Malik Zaire has looked VERY good both in the Spring game and in the last minutes of the Rice game when he got to play. Methinks that despite Zaire’s lack of experience, the O will be in good hands should he need to come in for Golson.
Other than that, I was disappointed to hear that one receiver in sophomore Torii Hunter Jr., who has already suffered a couple injuries before he’s had a chance to see any playing time, was injured again as he suffered a groin tear during practice last month. He may be back in the coming weeks. I am VERY anxious to see how this son of a major league baseball player can play once he’s at full strength. He was rated as one of the nation’s top receivers in his class and I want to see him do well. Let’s hope he heals well, again.
Moving to special teams: it is reassuring that senior kicker/punter Kyle Brindza is back. He has had a very solid career as the Irish kicker and has once again been named to the Lou Groza Award watch list as one of the nation’s outstanding kickers. Looking to improve upon the Irish return game, Coach Kelly added Florida grad transfer Cody Riggs who plays cornerback, but also wanted to return punts and kicks…both he and sophomore running back Greg Bryant looked good doing so against Rice, so hopefully we’ll see the overall improvement Kelly and staff are after. So far, so good.
Finally, there’s something else new this year – the football stadium having field turf for the first time.
Change is inevitable, I know. And while the traditionalist in me prefers grass, I understand why it was done – the grass field just hadn’t been holding-up. It had to be re-sodded 3 times last year and was slowing and tripping-up players from both sides. It is what it is and it seems to be a well-proven surface to play on, so let’s just roll with it now that it’s done.
With that, let’s get to my game-by-game predictions for this year:
8/30 vs. Rice: Defending C-USA champs won 10 last year in all, but they lost too many players from then, so we did see them fall.
Irish won 48-17
9/6 vs. Michigan: this battle is the last with the meat chicken Wolverines, who say the Irish “chickened out”, but I say IN YOUR DREAMS!
Irish win...will be close, if so.
9/13 vs. Purdue@Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis: the “Shamrock Series” goes to Indy, cool looking digs to wear,
The Boilers played us tough last year, but this year have no prayer.
9/27 vs. Syracuse@Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ: the second “neutral site” game in a row, this time against the Orange of ‘Cuse. Will Coach Scott Shafer’s team have a chance?...it will be no use.
10/4 vs. #11 Stanford: Coach David Shaw has Stanford’s team on an impressive tear. ND may have a chance at home, but this year it’s not quite there:
10/11 vs. #23 North Carolina: Tar Heels arrive from ACC as Notre Dame rebounds. The Irish will bounce back and win as the triumphant Victory March sounds.
10/18 @ #1 Florida State: Unless the Noles have lost a game, and Jameis Winston chokes, this game in Tallahassee will upset us Irish folks.
Semen Holes win…will LOVE it if I turn out to be wrong on this, but I don’t think I will be.
11/1 @ Navy: The Middies have played a few close games against ND of late, but their run first, cut-blocking ways won’t get a win on this date
Irish win..hopefully without any knee injuries to the D-line this time.
11/8 @#19 Arizona State: Last year the Sun Devils put up a good fight, and lost close to N.D.. This year I think the tough Pac-12 sched. will wear them down, indeed.
11/15 vs. Northwestern: The Wildcats are really not the cream of the Big Ten crop. When the Irish O gets cranking, their D won’t be able to stop.
11/22 vs. Louisville: The Cardinals were great last year and did finish 12 and 1, but without Teddy Bridgewater and in South Bend, the Cards won’t get it done.
11/29 @#15 USC: what pisses me off about SC is this: ahead of ND in rank, even though the Irish beat them 2 years in a row. This year, the Irish will SPANK!
BCS or New Year’s Bowl, the Irish will then play. Whether Big Ten, Big 12, or other foe, it will be an Irish Day.
I guess you might say I’m being overly-optimistic at predicting a 10-2 regular season given the youth and inexperience on defense, and, indeed, it wouldn’t surprise me if either ASU or USC and perhaps one other team may beat them in an upset special, but I’m thinking that with BOTH Everett Golson and Malik Zaire being explosive QB’s that should thrive in the offense this year, I think that will offset whatever points the D gives up just enough for them to get the 10 wins. If Tommy Rees was still in there, I’d predict otherwise. We shall see.
Montana Grizzlies: The Griz bounced back a year ago, 10 wins and playoffs made. This year I think they will repeat, and No Dak State will fade.
Nebraska: The Huskers have been “hit and miss” since joining the Big Ten. Will “Blackshirt D” ever return? If not, sub-par, again.
Colorado State: An improved last year for CSU saw Rams go bowling and win it. Will they improve upon that feat? If the era is new, let’s begin it!
WELCOME BACK COLLEGE FOOTBALL! I MISSED YOU!!!
From the three top levels of football...
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
There's two teams I will keep tabs on this season. The first will be Wareham High. They have at least a couple of players that I coached slotted to contribute in a big way on offense. I won't go to many games, but my girlfriend's daughter is in the marching band so I'll probably have to go to at least one game to see the half-time show.
The other team I'll be following a bit is the Upper Cape JV team. My girlfriend's son is on the team. I won't be able to make it to any games because of when they play but I'll be able to get the skinny on how the team does I hope.
I was occupied with a funeral on Saturday so I missed 99 percent of the football action on TV.
But the two teams I follow got their seasons off to a winning start.
Alabama - The Crimson Tide picked up a 33-23 victory over West Virginia. The first game showed Bama's run offense and run defense are already in midseason form.
T.J. Yeldon ran for 126 yards and 2 scores while Derrick Henry had a career high 113 yards and score.
The Tide's run defense held the Mountaineers to just 28 yards on the ground.
But the pass defense has some work to do as they gave up 365 passing yards. Nick Saban can't be happy about that at all.
As for the QB situation, Blake Sims got the start and did a solid job. He threw for 250 yards and ran for 42 more. Receiver Amari Cooper had 130 yards receiving.
Boston College - The Eagles used a strong second half to roll past UMass 30-7. Transfer QB Tyler Murphy made a strong first impression as he passed for 173 yards (and a TD) and ran for 118 yards (career high) and a score.
I don't know that he'll be able to maintain being the main star of the game for the Eagles throughout each and every game, but since BC only has him for a year, let's hope he is consistent in helping the team win games.
New England Patriots - As the rosters got cut down, the two biggest moves for the Patriots this preseason had to be the trades of Ryan Mallett and Logan Mankins.
Mallett going to the Texans officially signified his failure to do much of anything in the preseason games. It wasn't much of a surprise that he was expendable because Jimmy Garoppolo showed much more in the way of promise than Mallett has showed during his years here.
Granted, being the backup to Tom Brady is nearly a futile enterprise but even in extremely limited action, Mallett never did enough to give anyone faith in his ability.
As for the Mankins trade, despite the cold-blooded reputation of Bill Belichick, this had to be a surprise. And it wasn't really tied to on field play, but rather it was a money thing. Sadly though, the trade weakens the offensive line which is a rather important component of keeping Tom Brady upright.
I really hope the newly constructed O-line gels quickly or Garoppolo just might be seeing the field a lot earlier than anyone would like.
Who are you picking to be the MLB Wild Card teams?