Monday, January 21, 2013

NFL Conference Championship Weekend

Fascinating weekend. Two Harbough brothers now will be coaching in the Super Bowl against each other. That story will be played to death by midweek. On the other hand, you have to admit it's pretty amazing. I think I like the elder brother a bit more. Baltimore's John H. seems a bit more in control. Jim's a spaz at times. Are we still using "spaz" in the lexicon of today's language? I'm a child of the 80's so it seems appropriate. Anyway, you have to be impressed by the way the 49ers and Ravens have been coached the past couple of years. They are fairly disciplined and tough and when their players are on, they are a tough to beat. Joe Flacco was certainly "on" this past weekend. Ray Rice was solid, Kaepernick continues to impress, and the defenses for both squads bent at times but didn't break. I wouldn't have put either team in the Super Bowl at mid-season (hell, I didn't have the Ravens there as of yesterday morning) but they are the last two standing.... and good for them. I really thought the Packers, the Seahawks, Patriots, or the Broncos may end up in the big game but all made critical errors that sank their chances.
     I'm shocked with the play of Joe Flacco most of all. He has the most road playoff wins by a QB...ever.  You would in no way say he's a better QB than Payton Manning, but it's absolutely legitimate to say he's been a better playoff QB than Manning. Even in Manning's Super Bowl year he wasn't at the top of his game. Flacco has a chance to further his reputation as a playoff warrior by taking down San Fran's secondary in a couple of weeks.
    I need to also say how shocked I am at the Patriots play yesterday. Brady looked, dare we say it, ...average. Does taking Gronkowski out of the lineup really make them attack that much less? The whole season they were relentless in their offensive approach, yet yesterday they were much less aggressive. Even Belichick who is normally a go for it kind of guy on 4th down, punted twice inside the Raven's 40 yard line. Belichick has taken heat for it when it hasn't worked in the past but in this case he should take some heat for not being more attacking. They punted at the Ravens 36 yard line! Either something was wrong with their kicker or something was wrong with Brady. Otherwise I can't explain why the Patriots were playing not to lose. That's not their "m.o" usually. Again, shocking to see what happened in Foxborro.

    I'm looking forward to the Super Bowl. I' don't have a dog in the fight so I'll just be rooting for a competitive offensive style game.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lies we Tell: Manti Teo and Lance Armstrong.

I found it interesting that yesterday Lance Amstrong admits to doping and bullying others and yet he's bumped in the news by the Manti Te'o story. Check the headlines yesterday and today. Te'o is usually listed first and Armstrong second.  I realize the news leaked earlier that Armstrong had doped but still the actual interview played yesterday. One guy told us lies either for 2 days, a few weeks, or at most a few months. The other guy told us lies for over a decade. And then he tried to obliterate anyone who challenged his lies.
One guy had a fake girlfriend. The other guy had 7 fake Tour De France titles.  I know the Armstrong story is still big.....but to be 2nd tier in the news to a dude who is most likely more dumb than he is complicit seems weird.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Crap

Ofer. A word to describe the fact that  I was 0/4 with the teams I wanted to win this weekend in the NFL playoffs.   Dammit. Teams that shouldn't be in the next round are there due to some silly plays and even screwier decision making. Seattle goes stupid in the first half and then can't defend the field in the last 30 seconds. Unless you're a Falcon fan can you honestly say that Atlanta is better than Seattle? I don't believe so. The Broncos could and should have done the same thing the Falcons did but instead chose the chicken route and take a knee with 30 seconds left. I know Manning had not been at his best and the conditions were icy cold. Still, show some balls and try to win the game! How do you know you even get the ball back in overtime? That's at least as risky as trying to win it with less than a minute left.

    And can we agree that Payton Manning might be one of the greatest QBs of all time but that he's one of the worst big game QBs in playoff history?  His game wasn't the worst I've seen out of him but I've watched a lot of Payton Manning playoff games, and the same pattern crops up: He's hurried by a well prepared defense and he never gets into a groove, usually leading to him throwing interceptions or fumbling. It's like a broken record. Why did I become such a fan of his?  I should have gone to the dark side and become a Tom Brady fan.   ooh. Slap my face for saying that. That reminds me, the Patriots win was the most predictable of all. They'll be in the Super Bowl again even though you should give the Ravens a puncher's chance since they probably should have beaten them last year in the playoffs.  Still, you trust Joe Flacco? Not me.

   Hopefully the Pats will end up against a team that can beat them. Maybe that's the 49ers. They've done it before. I would rather have seen the Packers have the chance to destroy Atlanta and then play New England but to be honest the Pack probably would have lost to the Patriots. The 49ers may lose as well but we'd at least have hope going into the big game. You won't get that if it's Atlanta in the Super Bowl.

    So a crappy weekend ends and I'm hoping for better results next week.  My hope: San Fran over Atlanta and Baltimore over New England. My prediction: The Pats and 49ers in the Super Bowl. That will give us a couple of weeks to discuss who is smarter, Bellichick or Harbough. Awesome.

Monday, January 07, 2013

We're in College Football Hell

It doesn't get any worse than this. Alabama again. I hate that team. I hate that coach. I'm a hater at times but how can you like Alabama unless you're from Alabama?  Let's face it, a playoff system can't come soon enough. Alabama may continue to win them even in the playoffs but at least they won't get gifted a berth in  the championship game over other teams with the same number of losses just because of the initials of their conference. Roll Tide, right into Hell. And take your scum coach with you.