Even Ickey is dancing with football coming back... (Was I the only one that cringed at this commerical)
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where the locals are finally getting their full football fix.
Football is back!
Whether its cheering for your alma mater, high school or college. Or getting dressed up in your favori te pro team colors on Sunday there is a certain special feeling about this time of the year. Football is back, in full force. I could wax nostalgic about the crisp evenings, fight songs combined with the sights and sounds of the game but instead lets look at some of the interesting tidbits of the past weekend which include
Michigan State going to the Autzen Zoo and holding the Ducks at arms length for a couple quarters then having the roof fall in on them. Hey folks, got a tall flash for you Marcus Mariota is the real deal. The school of thought was that he might not be as good as he was hyped up to be, but after taking A
Ohio State looking like chumps against a decent but heretofore nondescript Virginia Tech team. Yeah, the game really has passed Frank Beamer by. Im still wondering why Beamer is not more celebrated as one of the best coaches in the game. If you can take a lunch pail team into one of the more hostile environments in college football in Ohio Stadium and lay the wood like the Hokies did. Ive never seen 107,517 look so sullen, the Bucks struggled to beat Navy and the locals poo-poohed it as having a hard time against that funky offense that the Midshipmen run, now getting housed in their own crib, primetime Saturday night if front of a record crowd and national TV audience, Buck Nation is in full panic. Oh if they could only that bad when my beloved Bearcats go up there in 3 weeks. One could only dream…
Nebraska struggled to beat McNeese State…hold up. Nebraska struggled to beat who??? Nebraska doesn’t get pushed to the final minute by warmup opponents at Memorial. I was in fear that my old roommate, who is a diehard Nebraska fan (and one of two people I know that are actually from Nebraska, his cousin being the other) was going to have a coronary as his beloved Huskers were being taken to task by the D-2 Cowboys…This wasn’t North Dakota State, and had the Cowboys not been such poor tacklers on an electrifying catch and run by… the game would have went OT. Who’da thunk it?
Michigan? Don’t ask… Notre Dame isn’t that good and them running from the series is further proof of how much they have fallen off.
Is it me or had the Big Ten fallen the fuck off or what? I mean Purdue got housed in West Lafayette by Central Michigan for crying out loud.
Damn, Im seeing all this football and my beloved Bearcats have yet to take the field, thanks Whit
That was just a classless play here...what was Antonio Brown thinking with this move?
Turning to the pros now, yes Im very happy that my beloved Vikes took the Rams to the woodshed in their season opener. The offense played up and down at times but the defense looked much improved. When AP isn’t the leading rusher and Im not concerned, it’s a good thing.
What a catch by AJ Green to win a thriller against the Ravens, can we now start getting off of Joe Flacco as anything more than a QB that rode a hot streak into a big contract and is playing like he doesn’t care?
The Bills win in Chicago??? Are they a team to take seriously for the first time in better than a decade? Why does Jay Cutler continue to get a pass from the media for his laconic attitude and mediocre play? Why does the Bears defense suddenly look suspect
I thought I was going to have to resuscitate a couple of friends who are Eagles fans (and I was getting pretty heated since they were my lock) after they fell behind 17-0 to the lowly Jags but that fastbreak offense will wear any defense out and once the Eagles got rolling, they got the rout going.
Is Brady’s era of dominance fading fast? I think the Dolphins “Hit em in the mouth” strategy got to Brady more that he wanted to let on. This is the first time in the Brady/Belichick era the Pats are in last place by themselves…wow.
Peyton Manning is still a beast, but if you sleep on Andrew Luck you sleep on yourself.
My thoughts on Ray Rice:
I was willing to give Ray Rice the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to believe that it was a domestic dispute that went really bad. I then saw the elevator tape and got sick to my stomach. Had Ray Rice been dating or marrying either one of my princesses he would be spitting teeth after he woke up from the lengthy coma he was put in. There is no room for actions like that…ever. Hoodwood never condones violence, and domestic abuse is never ever acceptable. The NFL caught heat for its meager 2 game suspension of Rice for his reprehensible actions. The tape of the incident came out Sunday night and Rice was released by the Ravens and suspended by the league before 6p the next day. Rice went from decent guy to pariah in mere hours. Rice got what he deserved, the boot. Swinging on a female is never ever acceptable, I want to see someone try to defense this.
Why Bruce Levenson isn’t Donald Sterling
Im a casual pro hoops fan, so I couldn’t tell you much about the Atlanta Hawks other than they are a marginally decent team but besides Dominque Wilkins, Spud Webb and Mike Fratello I couldn’t tell you a lot about them. But when I heard and read about their majority owner Bruce Levenson stating that he would divest himself of his team and offering a mea culpa in regards to an email that he wrote in 2012 in regards to black patrons and why he thought white patrons stayed away. Despite having surprisingly the 2nd current playoff run in the NBA at seven seasons, and longest in the eastern conference they are near the bottom of the NBA in attendance. Levenson also suggested some changes that he thought would attract more whites to games. Levenson was quoted in an email saying "I think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority" and "I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while I don't care what the color of the artist is, I want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that's our season [tickets] demo. I have also balked when every fan picked out of crowd to shoot shots in some timeout contest is black. I have even [complained] that the kiss cam is too black."
Now I have been to a number of Indiana Pacers games and my buddy has courtside seats and we a very much in the minority as Ive only seen a handful of black patrons in the lower bowl, I don’t know much about the scenario in Atlanta but I seriously doubt its that much differernt in that arena, besides what does it matter what color patrons are there? Atlanta pro teams have never drawn well, it’s a transient town where people move there from other locales and more often hold fast to the loyalties of that team. The Falcons and Braves have only really drawn well when they are winning big and the Hawks have never really been a big draw win or lose no matter the locale.
But in regards to Levenson, he is an anti-Sterling. Liked by his players and around the league Levenson doesn’t come off a clueless bigoted old man. The Hawks players were reported to be upset by the comments. My feeling are this, would Levenson be asking the same questions in reverse if he were trying to attract “more color” to Philips Arena? I don’t think that Levenson was being racist, he was asking demographical questions. He opined that the reasons that white patrons stayed away was because they might feel uncomfortable with the music choices. Is he right? He could be. Was he wrong for asking the question, hypothesizing or speculating? No. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a thoughtful enlightening piece for Time giving his take on the subject. He thinks like I do that in the rush to be so PC that opinions and real food for thought is being trampled on and that the effort to root the Donald Sterlings out, that people like Levenson might get caught in the backwash based on borderline suspect comments. On his worst day, I don’t think Levenson is anywhere near the stupidity level of Sterling. I think that he will get out quietly and rue the remarks that might have been put more succinctly.
The Bengals have long been a franchise that has been knocked often for its pr gaffes and clueless owner. But they made a move recently that was pure class. The Bengals cut their roster down as is required by the first game, one of the players cut was lineman Devon Still but the Bengals resigned him to their practice squad so that he would be able to take care of his daughter who has stage 4 pediatric cance. With Still remaining on the roster, his family remains covered under the NFL’s insurance. And four year old Leah’s treatment will be 100% covered. Bravo to the Bengals for looking out for someone in need. And we here in Hoodwood wish the best for the Still family, we are behind you in your fight.
To Pat Haden the AD of USC, who stormed down from his press box vantage to the sideline during this past Saturday’s game against Stanford to loudly protest a call against the Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian. Now in the grand scheme of things, it was moot the Trojans pulled a mild upset knocking the Cardinal off on The Farm with a late field goal in a tight defensive struggle. But Haden should know his place and his actions were immature and childish not to mention out of place for someone who is on the super heavy college playoff committee. Looks like someone that is trying to curry favor with the refs for a later time. Haden for his part was fined $25k for his actions.
Penn State get paroled from its near death sentence, had this been say Bama or Florida State and not one of the NCAA’s fair-haired boys do you think this would have happened? But to be fair, the kids at Penn State were being punished for something that happened before they even got there so it was fair for them to be off the hook.
Beatdown in Motown, is Eli Manning really on his last legs
Tell me why did Larry Fitzgerald go deep into the 4th quarter without a catch? He got it but he shouldnt have to have 11 other receivers get grabs before him...
Thats the view from the Hoodwood, until next post fellow sports fans!
Like a kick to the face, the football season finally got started. With an hour to go before kickoff, we went food shopping…I’m pretty sure everyone else in the local area was doing the same thing – I’ve never seen the parking lot so full. We blasted through - $175 worth of groceries – in 35 minutes…and waited in line. We got home with 1 minute to spare…and Mrs. really appreciated the fact that I left everything on the counter and sat down in front of the TV.
The Patriots played an abomination of a game. Nothing like pissing away a game – the first game of the season. THE game everyone’s waiting for. For a while they looked good, but then…not so much. I’ll chalk it up to game time heat, but there was something definitely missing here. Next week, they get to face Matt Cassel, the man who led the Pats to 11-5 in 2008 while Brady recovered from a season ending injury. Interestingly enough, it was the Chiefs who knocked Brady out for the year, and it was the Chiefs who landed Cassel. That would bedevil them for the next 4 years – don’t mess with Bill Belichick.
Another former New England quarterback, Brian Hoyer, brought Cleveland back from a blowout to force Pittsburgh to win their game on a last second field goal. It’s a shame the Cleveland defense returned to form and allowed that final drive. Mean while, “Johnny Cleveland” was all “Johnny Bench” (wah wah wah). Now, that said, Hoyer was showing some promise last year before he was injured – making the firing of Coach Chud very confusing to most people, until you get some flavor of what was going on behind the scenes in Cleveland.
Josh Gordon, currently sitting at home on suspension, may get a chance to play this year if the NFL and NFLPA can agree on a new drug policy. Apparently, the front office was concerned enough about him last year that they were looking to trade him – a move that was ixnayed by ownership, but a move that shows what a mess the front office was. Is it possible that Haslan actually knew what he was doing?
I wonder just how long Dallas can stick with Tony Romo. This is his 9th season starting. He has exactly 1 playoff win. He’s a good QB, I mean a career 95.8 rating is good. But he’s 63-46, 57%. Three straight 8-8 seasons. He’s only good. I don’t get it. I’m just glad he’s not my quarterback.
Lots of racism, real and imagined, going on in the sports news this week. We have Hanna Strong, a Syracuse senior, soccer mid-fielder, and Western MA native, being suspended and now under investigation for her drunken rant on an undated video, calling the videographer derogatory terms for both homosexual and African American. “Don’t record me saying this…” Ooops. It happened sister. You don’t actually get to tell people they can’t record you making an ass of yourself.
Next we have Bruce Levenson saying he has too many black people coming to Atlanta Hawks games. Well, kind of. What he actually seems to be saying is that he doesn’t have enough affluent people coming to the game, his problem is the way he said it – something he both acknowledged and self-reported to the NBA. What this really comes down to is that I’m pretty sure he just wanted out of owning the team…or that he was concerned that someone else would out him and he decided to pull the trigger. A “Zero tolerance policy against racism” apparently includes self-reporting, a really interesting step – I mean who does that?
Rather than leave you on that note, I give you this as a reminder that sports is supposed to be about more than “me, me, me.” Let’s leave it to this young Red Sox fan to reinforce that message.
So hi dee ho neighbors. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. It's the wee hours again as I write this while yawning sporadically. Just got done watching the last race of the regular season. Our field of 16 is set. So there's that to talk about. So like who's ready for football? Fall weather? Not ready for Pink-tober. We could skip that. Especially since the NFL botched the punishments for their domestic violence offenders. Please don't try to make it up to us women and tell us you care. Really? I'm not buying it. Pink-tober has a big smudge on it now.
Michael Waltrip from MWR is heading to Dancing With The Stars this season. Mr Chong form Cheech & Chong will be dancing too. And Lo Lo Jones. I liked watching Apolo Ono & Hines Ward when they were on. Didn't know Hines could still make his football battered body move in fluid motion. I'll probably catch the shows on You Tube after they're on tv. Watching the dancing is pretty cool. I almost can see Lawrence Welk and his bubble machine when I watch that show. And a 1 and a 2 and a 3.
OK....so that picture there is the high light of the race. I actually have to say that it was just that boring that this guy climbing the catch fence was the highlight of the race. Out of 400 laps Keselowski led 383 of them. So why would they stop a race for some guy sitting on the catch fence?
That's why. The catch fence catches cars that go up in the air. There weren't any wrecks at Richmond but one never knows. Such a dumass. Wonder how drunk he was or high to think that he should climb the fence. I will give him this much, it was one damn boring race. Oh, sorry, I already mentioned that.
Johnson got out of his car, sat down and couldn't get up. He was treated at the infield care center for dehydration. It was Hot & humid at race time.
Hey, The Danica finished 16th and on the lead lap. Girl is winning.
Top 15 finishers : Keselowski - Gordon - Bowyer - McMurray - Harvick - Logano - Ku Bu - Johnson - Newman - Almirola - Larson - Dale Jr - Vickers - Ky Bu - Stewart
Keselowski 4W's >>>>> 2012 points
Gordon 3W's >>>>> 2009 points
Dale Jr 3W's >>>>> 2009 points
Johnson 3W's >>>>> 2009 points
Logano 3W's >>>>> 2009 points
Harvick 2W's >>>>> 2006 points
Edwards 2W's >>>>> 2006 points
Ky Bu 1W >>>>> 2003 points
Hamlin 1W >>>>> 2003 points
Ku Bu 1W >>>>> 2003 points
Kahne 1W >>>>> 2003 points
Almirola 1W >>>>> 2003 points
Allmendinger 1W >>>>> 2003 points
Kenseth - No W's >>>>> 2000 points
Biffle - No W's >>>>> 2000 points
Newman - No W's >>>>> 2000 points
So next week I'll explain how the elimination works. I'm just too beat to do that now. The weather in combination with all the life that's been thrown at me this past week as pulled me down a tad. I hope all is well in Gabland, our traveling Gabbers are safe and every body else is planted in front of the flat screen with remote in hand and favorite beverage in the cup holder. I do believe it's football time.
The start of football season mandates a prediction of a Super Bowl Champion...so to kill the suspense, I once again my Team of Destiny to be the New Orleans Saints. As one who, as they say, "can't pick his nose," it is not worth calling into your favorite booking establsihment with a mortgage payment based on that prediction, however, I can't be any worse than the legions of so-called experts that picked - now here's a surprise - the Seahawks.
Just to expand on that for a moment, I have to ask what kind of expert do you have to be to pick the Broncos and Seahawks as AFC and NFC champions respectively? The last meaningful data point we have to go on was the last Super Bowl...and last February, those were the best two teams. But things change after the season, players move on, injuries accumulate (both seen and not seen), emotions vary...there are a lot of reasons why teams do not perform to expectations. To me, a real preseason forecast would dig a little deeper to make their picks.
The fact of the matter is that unless there is some momumental change in the way the NFL does things, there will be about a 50% turnover in playoff teams, the last Super Bowl loser will not win a playoff game and the last Super Bowl winner will not repeat. Those are historical facts. The last Super Bowl loser to win the next Super Bowl? The 1972 Miami Dolphins who had to go 17-0 to do it. That puts over 40 years between us and the SB loser claiming the next title...you can add another year to that list as the Broncos will not repeat as AFC champs.
Picking the Seahawks to get back to the Super Bowl is a different subject - they are basically intact, have a young and developing QB, a great defense...what could go wrong? They certainly will be a playoff team. It is hard to imagine them not winning 10 games this season, but they play in a very difficult division. One team of mystery is the Cardinals. They have all the ingredients to be a surprise team and could upset Seattle. One advantage both SF and Seattle have is that young QB's that have not had their "pay day" yet. Once they do - and consume $20 million of cap space - their teams will slowly but surely deteriorate. It is the Rozelle Curse of Parity working long after he retired.
My other big unknown team is my hometown Redskins. We just don't know whether we are going to get Rookie of the Year RGIII or 2013 SpongeBob. The defense looks better but who knows. Playing in the terrible NFC East, winnning 8 games is not impossible and, who knows?, that may be enough! So I have rambled on enough....here are the rest of my picks:
NFC Division Champs: Eagles, Saints, Lions, Seahawks with Packers and Cardinals as wild cards
AFC Division Champs: Patriots, Bengals, Colts, Broncos with Ravens and Chiefs as wild cards
Super Bowl: Saints versus Patriots
Well...at least its different than everyone else - but those are my picks.
With the greatest of respect to knightswhosay, I want to talk about ALL of College Football because the reality is that it is about FAR more than the SEC. I think that while we are in the position of being able to have REAL reform, I want to continue to push this plan, which to me is evolving with the times, so a lot of it is rehash, but I as we start the new season, bear with me:
While we sit here and talk about College Football, I continue to tweak my plan to make it more feasible for EVERYBODY in college to either make or save money.
CFB Realignment Proposal.
New Division 1: Four 16 team conferences: SEC, ACC, PAC 12, Big 10.
New Division 2: Current MWC, C-USA, MAC, Sun Belt, Big East (Add Army and Navy), Iowa State
New Division 3: Current FCS, but add New Mexico State and Idaho to Big Sky. Add Minnesota State Mankato to replace North Dakota State.
New Division 4: Current Division 2. Add Wisconsin-Whitewater and Mount Union.
New Division 5: Current Division 3.
No matter how much I want to deny this, it has become crystal clear to me that the MWC, C-USA, and MAC cannot compete with the big boys, and they deserve their chance at their own national championship in their own division.
Elevate and relegate based on performance every four years. For instance, Bring North Dakota State up to D-1 and drop Iowa State (for now!). Wisconsin Whitewater and Mount Union should move from D-5 to D-4. Minnesota State should go from D-4 to D-3.
Here’s how I would do it D-1:
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, West Virginia, Florida State
Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Miss State, Missouri, Ole Miss, TAMU, Auburn
Boston College, Louisville, Maryland, Pitt, Syracuse, VA, VT, Notre Dame
Keep it at eight teams, divisions in yellow have nine.
Florida State has nothing left to prove in the ACC, they need a bigger challenge, and really, UCF deserves a shot at the big time, they've proven they can hang. West Virginia could reduce travel costs and play games closer to home. I know the PAC 12 can be a bit snobby, but why not give BYU a chance, and put them back in with their rivals Utah? It would make sense to me to put the Texas teams in the PAC 12. It may not seem like a good fit, but it gives the PAC 12 some added depth to argue their cases that they belong in the mix.
Week 1: Scrub week. Teams can play a “scrub game” (err, glorified scrimmage) against a team from one division lower or above them. This gives lesser programs a chance for a big payday. But add in that for every game a big name plays at home, they do the same on the road. I continue to hear "the small teams need these paydays." Really? Then why not be even more charitable - if a D-1 team really wants to give a D-1AA chance, then go on the road and give them their home game to make a bit more. Why can't Minnesota or Sparty go to Fargo to play North Dakota State? Georgia Tech to Savannah State? Why can't Auburn keep it in-state and go play Jacksonville State and save them travel costs to Florida?
I've often wondered why nobody gives those teams in the SWAC or other historically black schools a chance to play them. Yeah, I'm going to roll the dice and go there. Florida could go right up I-4 to Daytona Beach and play Bethune Cookman. Hell, Florida State (of all teams) could have a virtual home game with Florida A&M, both are in Tallahassee, right? Why couldn't Alabama give Alabama A&M or Alabama State a shot? How 'bout LSU play Grambling on their home turf? They certainly could use some financial help. I may be wrong, but they also play football, and I would think they'd appreciate a payday like that, and it might less a small bit of the burden on some of these schools and those who fund them. Just a thought...
For that matter to be fair and local, why can't Cal or Stanford come to UC Davis or Sacramento State? That would be a financial boon to the lesser programs and less travel costs for the lesser program. And here's the "win" for the big boys on the road - even more exposure to recruiting.
Week 2 (a marketing dream): Teams play an SEC/Pac 12 and ACC/Big Ten Challenge just like college basketball, but alternate the conferences after two years.
2016/17: SEC/PAC 12, ACC/Big Ten
2018/19: SEC/ACC, PAC 12/Big Ten
2020/21: SEC/Big Ten, ACC/PAC 12
Who wouldn’t love to see South Carolina/Oregon or Notre Dame/Ohio State? How bout something new: Florida State/Georgia or UCLA/Sparty? Or even Alabama/Ohio State, or Clemson/Stanford? Others I can think of: USC/Florida, UCLA/Alabama, Florida State/Texas, or Nebraska/Notre Dame, Penn State/Miami, or Ohio State/Virginia Tech in September? Heck, for that matter, up the ante - why shouldn't a team like North Dakota State get a shot at a big boy, let's say a Texas team. It's a win/win for marketers, teams, and fans. Revenue is generated and fans are genuinely excited.
Week 3-4: Teams play two games within conference against other division based on last season placing: 1st place teams meet, 2nd place teams meet, 3rd place teams meet, and so on....Why shouldn't we see Alabama/Georgia, North Carolina/Clemson, etc.?
Week 5-12: Teams play conference games within their own division (eight games).
***NOTE: Scrub games should not be allowed during conference play!!!***
Week 13: Conference Championships between division winners.
Week 14, 15, 16: Bowls, playoffs, NC. In my mind (warped as it is), the only people who play in the playoffs should be conference champions. Why should a second place team (especially within a division) be rewarded with a playoff appearance over a conference champion?For that matter, why should a conference champion such as Michigan State or Texas be penalized by losing a playoff spot to an LSU team that lost to Alabama? That second place team had their chance, and they lost to the division winner, period, end of story. The one caveat is that if it is determined that in a given year that conference is so pathetically weak, then of course, but common sense should prevail here.
That's what bowls are for, to reward second place teams and below for their great seasons. There is no shame in a second place LSU team playing a second place Ohio State team in a Cotton Bowl game on New Year's Day. There's no shame in Clemson playing Stanford in an Orange Bowl game.