Monday Night Football Reaction and other ramblings

Well hello there again.  Two posts in less than 24 hours, what were the chances. I was speaking with Brian “Scooter” Cullen last night and mentioned to him that I need to get my Mojo back when it comes to my writing.   He told me (through his sickness and foggy head) that the fact I wrote a Blog post was “Very cool”.  Not surprising coming from a closet hippie that is still stuck in thee 80’s (just like me).  But when I told him that I was  inspired by the new show he emulated to me “Right On”..  I wondered to myself if he was actually coherent enough to get what I was saying.  After all, he was not on cam for our Sunday morning show and he wasn’t feeling well enough to do the Sunday night show (neither was I and the show was cancelled) so I wondered if he even understood what I was saying.   But the truth remains that I AM excited for the future of this blog, and I have plans in my head of what I want it to become. 

With all of that being said, lets get on to the Monday Night game between Seattle and Buffalo.  I know my good friend Jon Olson is not feeling good today after watching his favorite team lose on National TV, because The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Buffalo Bills 31-25 on Monday Night Football.  the game was marred by what happened at the end of the first half when Richard Sherman jumped offside and continued on, due to no whistle being blown, touched the football and hit Bills kicker Dan Carpenter as he was attempting to kick the ball.  This was totally the fault of the officials.  they should have blew the whistle earlier and when Sherman ran into Carpenter, even though he did make contact with the ball, it should have been at the very least, running into the kicker, which would have moved the ball up 5 yards closer and created a shorter kick for Carpenter on the re-try.  This was a failure totally on the officiating, not on the players.  Rex called Sherman’s play “dirty” but in fact it wasn’t so much dirty as it was careless.  Players are taught to play to the whistle, and that’s exactly what Sherman was doing, as he explained to the on-field reporter after the game. 

I have a very strong opinion on the NFL officiating not just this year but in years past.  The NFL Officiating is terrible, its imperfect, and it needs an overhaul from the NFL.  I am an advocate of full time officials, simply because it would allow for continuous training, study, and attention to detail.  In relation to that, quoting NFL.com..  “On the ensuing field-goal attempt, the referees flagged the Bills for delay of game even though an official was over the ball with less than 10 seconds remaining on the game clock. Blandino(Dean Blandino, NFL senior vice president of officiating) said referees need to reset the game clock if they’re handling the ball with fewer than 20 seconds left on it.”  The referees did NOT reset the game clock which led to the delay of game.  That is gross negligence and again, this is on the referee and his staff.

Despite all that, the Seahawks still end up with the win, and there is no changing that, but if the NFL is wondering why their ratings are slipping, they can look at Monday night’s game as part of the reason why. 

In one other quick observation..  The College football poll came out tonight .. in fact.. as I am writing this it came out.  the top 4 are as follows:  1) Alabama 2) Clemson 3) Michigan 4) Washington.  I think this is right.  Ohio state doesn’t deserve to jump Washington yet despite their big win against Nebraska.  In my opinion Nebraska was an overrated top ten team.  the real test for the Buckeyes comes when they play Michigan Thanksgiving weekend.  The polls mean nothing to me until that happens.

Today is election day, hope you made the right decision for what you believe in.  good luck to your candidate and here is to the future of our great country.

Until next time….

Week 9 NFL Recap

Yeah I know..  where the hell have I been?  I’ve been here.  Working a lot, being lazy when I can, and of course, ignoring this web site.  Well something happened in the last month or so that has changed my outlook on the future of this site.  I am now broadcasting four times a week on Huzza.io with a couple of friends of mine.  One you may know, that’s Brian “Scooter” Cullen, my best friend and co-host for the Sunday night Sports Nerds Show, along with another good friend of mine Eliot “Big E” Lomba.  We broadcast Wednesday through Friday nights, and again on Sunday mornings.  This time of year it is mostly about NFL, but we have Hockey Wednesday nights, College Football Fridays, and Thursday and Sunday we talk for two hours about the NFL and fantasy football with Derek Lofland from Fantasy Football Maniax.  So click the link above and subscribe to our channel and j you will be notified when we are about to go on air.  Join our Facebook group at Sports Nerds Network, follow us on @SNNonHuzza, and watch Replays on our YouTube Channel at SNN – Sports Nerds Network.  I am real excited at this new direction and I hope you can join us!!

For my first post in weeks, I’m gonna dive right in and pick up like I never left.  Let’s recap Week 9 in the NFL.  I have picked a few games to highlight and then after that I will make some random comments about what I saw this past week.

Detroit Lions 22 Minnesota Vikings 16 – Well after starting the season 5-0 the Vikings have now lost 3 in a row since their bye week in week 6.  the defense that looked unbreakable the first 5 weeks now is showing signs of bending and have let them down when they were needed most.  They allowed the Lions to drive 35 yards in just 2 plays and 21 seconds to allow Prater to kick a 58 yard FG as time expired to force OT.  The Lions get the ball to begin the OT and once again the Vikings D gives up a drive that started at the Lions 13 yard line and finished with a 28 yard TD pass from Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate to end the game.  The defense wasn’t the worst of the Vikings Woes, the offense has been inept and has stalled after lighting it up with Sam Bradford.  The absence of Adrian Peterson looms large as Minnesota was able to rush for just 78 yards as a team.  Bradford was 31/40 for 273 yards and a TD.  that’s just 8 yards per completion on average, which doesn’t get it done in today’s pass-happy NFL.  On the other side, Matthew Stafford continues to figure out ways to win, making this the 5th come from behind victory this year by the Lions, which just happens to be the number of wins they have had all season.  they find themselves just a game back of the Vikings, but with the way Minnesota has been playing of late, it may not be too much longer before the Lions lead the division if this pattern keeps up.

NY Giants 28 Philadelphia Eagles 23 – The Eagles are another team that have lost their luster since starting the season 3-0 including a huge win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 3, but have managed to go just 1-4 in the 5 games since.  The Eagle secondary was picked apart by Eli Manning for 4 TD’s and 257 yards.  There were moments where Eli looked like Eli, he did throw two picks, but the defense of he Giants made up for it, stopping the Eagles 3 out of 4 times on fourth down, and getting 2 interceptions of their own.  Odell Beckham Jr. caught two of Eli’s 4 Td’s, finishing with 4 catches for 46 yards.  it wasn’t a huge yardage game, but the defense of the giants stepped up when they needed to and secured the win. 

Oakland Raiders 30 Denver Broncos 20 – The seat of power officially changed hands Sunday night in Oakland as the Raiders dominated this game from the opening gun and never let off.  Latavious Murray ran for 114 yards and scored three touchdowns against the Leagues #1 rush defense, with the entire team giving up 218 total yards on the ground.  Derek Carr only managed 184 yards through the air with no TD’s, but with the running game going the way it did, they didn’t need Carr to have one of his 300+ yard games (513 last week alone).  the Raiders are the real deal folks and Sunday Night’s performance put the rest of the AFC on notice, the Raiders are good, and they don’t show any signs of letting up.

Some other thoughts I have regarding week 9:

Pittsburgh looked horrible against a very average Baltimore Ravens team.  Pittsburgh was my preseason pick for the Super Bowl this year, but if they cant get it going, Big Ben injuries aside, they will not make it far in the postseason.

Atlanta took control of the NFC South with that victory against Tampa Thursday night.  The only question remains for the Falcons is whether they repeat the late season swoon that kept them out of the playoffs last year.

The New York Jets need to move on from Fitz.

New Orleans and San Diego may have defenses full of more holes that Swiss cheese, but man are those offenses fun to watch.

Green Bay should be better, Aaron Rodgers looks lost, and with no viable running game, they could be looking at a wild card this year instead of winning the division.

Ill be back tomorrow  with another post to re-cap the Monday night game as well as thoughts on the rest of the sports world.  Until then, take of yourself..  and each other…

My thoughts on the Sports World

So here we are, 3 weeks out from yet another NFL Season.  Two weeks to College Football.  the pennant races are heating up in MLB.  NBA and NHL about to start training camps, and the 2016 Summer games have officially come and gone.  So much to discuss, so much to comment on, yet it seems we have been here before.  Every August for me brings new feelings of hope, excitement, and dreams of another NFL season to look forward to.  Can the Browns win?  Can the Bucs get out of their own way?  the answer to both questions, of course, before the first down is played is no.  I don’t believe in being hopeful, because as my friend Robert Arnold always says, expect disappointment and then you wont be disappointed when they suck. 

Here’s the deal…  The Cleveland Browns are not going to win a championship this year, and neither are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  That’s not a bold statement, that’s reality.  This has been my reality for the last 14 years (my god has it been that long) and I don’t see any change coming this year.  The Browns actually may have a decent offense this year, but because of their defense they will los games, because if you cant stop anyone, the best offense in the world wont help you.  A fact that my Cowboy fans can relate to looking back at last season’s performance.  With all of that being said, I will focus on Fantasy Football this year, since I am in two paid leagues and can really earn some decent cash, but then again,I am usually not the league winner, but this year can be different.  I have more faith in my ability in fantasy than I do in my two favorite teams.

As for Baseball, well that’s a different story.  The Indians lead the AL Central, have the best record in the AL and are poised to make a run to the World Series.  the problem there is should they make it to the Series, they could very well have the Cubs waiting on them, and that again poses some challenges.  If that scenario does come to fruition, I will root for the Tribe, but I also will be thinking of my Paternal Grandmother who was a life long Cubs fan.  she rooted for the Cubs the latter part of her life thanks to WGN and cable.  Still, I will root for the tribe until the last out, and should they not make the Series…  Go Cubs!!

The Olympics wrapped up over the weekend and the train wreck I expected to happens did not occur.  It was a great two weeks and my most endearing memory will be of Michael Phelps and his performance at 31 years old, Katie Ledecky smashing her own World Record and taking home 4 gold medals.  Simone Biles also taking home 4 Gold Medals in gymnastics in the all around competition.  Who could forget Usain Bolt, taking 3 more gold’s for the third straight Olympics.  there were events to forget (see Ryan Lochte) but for the most part, Rio did a good job, and it was an excellent Olympic Games. 

That’s all the thoughts I have right now..  More later… as the motivation hits me..

 

 

Super Bowl awarded to Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles

This is a bit of a sore subject for me.  The awarding of Super Bowls is one of the most political processes in the world of sports.  The hoops that cities have to jump through in order to host the most-watched sporting event in the world is mind blowing and frustrating.  Teams bring in city officials and representatives to promote their city and pitch why they should host the game.  The financial impact can be huge, and yet, the reality is that it isn’t much, in fact some cities actually LOSE money when they host the game, as the cost of putting on such an event is more than some city budgets can handle.  I remember living just across the street from Raymond James Stadium when Tampa hosted the Ravens and Giants in 2000.  The one memory that sticks in my head was during the week leading up to the game I was fortunate to shake the hand of Jim Brown outside the Stadium.  Now me being a life long Browns Fan, that was a surreal moment for me, and I will never forget it.  That was the highlight of the week for me, a resident of the host city, because the remainder of the week was a series of traffic nightmares, people being stupid, and the ever present factor of the fact that the Ravens were playing in the Super Bowl, a team that five years earlier were known as the Browns.  Art Model was there, a man that will be forever hated in Cleveland, and it pained me to know that they could end up being world champs.

But enough of my misery, this post is more about the fact that Tampa was snubbed once again from hosting a Super Bowl in the next 5 years.  The deciding factor in awarding Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles Super Bowls 49, 50 and 51 boiled down to the venue.  Atlanta and LA are building new stadiums, monuments of architecture that were too attractive to not  warrant getting the game. Miami is in the middle of renovating “Joe Robbie Stadium”, a building that has been the home of the Dolphins since the Mid 80’s, to the tune of $400 million.  Ray Jay here in Tampa, which has been in place just since 1998, is in the process of $100 million in upgrades, including new Video screens and a remodel of their luxury suites.  Tampa has hosted the Super Bowl 4 times, while this latest award for Miami will be it’s 11th hosting, the most in history. 

Raymond James Stadium seating capacity is 65,890, while the Stadium in Miami seats 76,100.  The major factor to me that Tampa was snubbed, in my usually wrong opinion, is because of the presence of a great big pirate ship in the north end zone, impacting what could be an extra 5-10K seats.  I feel the ship is a deterrent for the NFL, and it is also my firm belief it is too team-specific.  The game is supposed to be all about the two teams that will be playing in it, as well as the NFL putting on a spectacular show, and to have a great big ugly pirate ship on camera being shown to the world with a Buccaneers Logo on it, when the Bucs probably would not be in the game is a visual that the NFL doesn’t want the world to see.  The ship can not be removed for the game, it is a permanent piece of the stadium, and it would be impossible to remove it for one game.  This is my opinion, and it may in fact be a small reason in the grand scheme of things, but I feel it weighs more on the decision who will host than the NFL will lead on. 

Another factor is ownership.  The Glazers are arguably the worst owners in the NFL, and the reason I say this is due to the fact they are more focused on Manchester United than they are on the Bucs.  They own the most valuable Soccer team in the world, and they are all in on Man U and the Bucs are secondary and not their primary focus.  The primary reason for this is that Malcolm Glazer was all in on the Bucs when he was primary owner and in the grand scheme of things, he bought the Bucs to make them a perennial Super Bowl contender, but as he declined in health over the years, more control was given to his sons, and they are all about Man U.  They should sell the team to a more attentive ownership and move to London now that Malcolm has passed away.  Until serious changes occur in Tampa, they will not host another Super Bowl.  The only bright spot in Tampa’s future is the fact they will host the 2017 National Championship Game, and may be in the running for more in the next few years, but that will depend on how well this year’s game goes.  I am not calling for a new Stadium, because the city and the taxpayers are still paying for this one, but I am seriously calling for changes that would make the city a more attractive host for a Super Bowl in the future.

The NBA and NHL Conference Finals

So we have come to the time of year that to me, is both super exciting and “not so much” at the same time.  You all know I am not a fan of the NBA, in fact if you go back in the history of my posts you will discover that I barely mention the NBA unless I am saying how terrible it is.  I quit being a fan of the NBA once MJ (Michael Jordan for you kids out there) left the game.  I didn’t like the direction it was headed and I knew that the game I loved growing up was never to be seen again.  I am a fan of the college game, especially in March and April during the tournament, but the NBA is horrible to watch simply because it is a game that no longer puts its emphasis on team play, but on the individual and superstars getting the highlight on Sports Center.  it has become about ego, and it has become less about team goals. 

That being said, on the other side of the coin we have the NHL.  The NHL Playoffs provide some of the most exiting drama filled games in the history of sport.  Why it is the fourth or fifth most popular sport in the US is beyond me.  It is non-stop action, and the athletes are probably the most conditioned athletes in the world.  If you don’t believe me then you try and skate for 3-4 minutes at a time up and down an NHL rink and then place a big stick in your hands, a heavy uniform, and try and place a 3” piece of vulcanized rubber in a goal while 5 other guys are trying to prevent you from doing this by whacking you with their sticks and knocking you against the glass or the boards.  Hockey is by far a better sport because it is a team game, you cant be an individual on the ice, you have to work in conjunction with 4 other guys on the ice to not only try and score, but prevent the other five guys on the opposing team from scoring as well.

I love sports, I am a casual fan of the NBA, I don’t live and die with the Cavs, or the Magic, and I do follow them a little, and I would love to see the Cavs win the NBA Championship for the city of Cleveland, but if they lose..  MEH..  I could care less.  However, as for the NHL, I live and breathe this time of year with the Lightning.  Every game has me on the edge of my seat, and I am sure to have woken my upstairs neighbors on more than one occasion by my screaming at the TV when the game is on.  So for those of you that love the NBA, more power to you…  Ill take the NHL any day over the NBA.

Have a great Tuesday…