You are using an old web browser. Such browsers do not support modern web technologies and do not offer proper security. Please update your browser or download one of the others suggested for free.
Mozilla Firefox |
Google Chrome |
Internet Explorer |
Tuesday's List of 13: Nobody asked me, but.........
13) Carl Cheffers’ officiating crew is by far the worst in the NFL- they had the Saints-Redskins game, when a side judge blew his whistle stopping a Carolina run, even though he never stepped on the right sideline. When the crew huddled up to decide what to do, they gave Carolina the TD, figuring he would’ve scored even if the Redskin defenders hadn’t stopped because of the whistle. Don’t think that’s what supposed to happen.
This same crew was also on the Chargers-Saints Sunday night game last month, when even NBC’s Cris Collinsworth was taken aback by some of the calls in the Saints’ favor late in the game.
12) As if New Jersey hasn’t had a cruddy enough time lately, a small earthquake hit the Garden State very late Sunday night. Only a 2.0, but still, enough already.
11) Its possible that Saints’ coach Sean Payton could be a free agent after this season, since the NFL voided the contract he signed last year. Imagine how Saints fans will react if Payton goes to…say, Dallas? there is no salary cap for coaches, and don’t think Jerry Jones doesn’t have his checkbook ready.
10) What Jones should be doing is hiring a real football guy to replace himself as GM. He’s awful, and it is obviously hurting the team. Great promoter, great businessman, amateur personnel guy.
9) Arizona Cardinals’ QB coach is John McNulty, who had been the WRs coach the last three years; he was replaced as WRs coach by Frank Reich, who was Jim Kelly’s backup QB in Buffalo, but who also engineered two of the biggest comeback wins in football history, once while in college at Maryland, the other in that memorable playoff game for Buffalo against the Houston Oilers.
Wouldn’t it make more sense if the former NFL QB was the QB coach, and McNulty stayed coaching WRs? Arizona desperately needs their QBs to play better; you’d think someone who has walked in their shoes might be more able to help Skelton/Kolb through difficult times.
8) Rumors have free agent slugger Josh Hamilton asking for seven years, $175M. Good luck there. Problems are this: Hamilton will be 32 in May. He has played more than 133 games twice in six big league seasons. He is a recovering drug addict who is one bad night away from a year’s suspension, and he also struggles in day games.
Hamilton says its because medication he takes do something to his eyes that make it tougher to play well in sunlight. Whatever. You’re giving him $22M a year? I don’t think so. Put it this way; the guy who has Hamilton in my sons 16-team keeper fantasy league tried very hard all season to unload him, and no one would bite.
7) Before last week, I had never heard of Marshall McDougall, but he was a AA prospect the A’s traded for reliever Ricardo Rincon at the 2002 trading deadline; it is the scene in Moneyball when Billy Beane tells the A’s cheapskate owner that he’ll pay for Rincon out of his own pocket, but when he sells him down the road, he gets to keep the profit.
Anyway, McDougall never gets mentioned in the movie, but I looked him up; he made the big leagues with Texas in 2005, going 3-18 in a brief big league stint. He is still playing ball; he hit .341 in 145 AB’s in Mexican League this past summer, a full decade after he was traded for Rincon. Would be a good story if he made it back to the big leagues someday.
6) Odd stat this week; NFL teams usually have about 10 possessions per game; Chargers only had six Thursday night, because they had two defensive TD’s, other possessions by both teams were sustained drives.
In Tennessee’s ugly 51-20 loss to the Bears, Titans had the ball eight times…..in the first quarter alone!!! I’ve never seen anything close to that before. Three turnovers and a blocked punt dug them a 28-2 hole they never came close to getting out of.
5) In their last five games, Denver has outsacked opponents 17-2, 10-0 in the last three.
4) 49ers were +28 in turnovers last year, an extraordinary number- they went 13-3; halfway thru this season, the Bears are +16. Any wonder why they’re 7-1?
3) Over the first seven weeks of the NFL season, there was only one game with no turnovers in it; in last two weeks, there have been five; either offenses are getting better, or defenses are wearing down.
2) I dislike politics a lot, but it is baffling to me how Mr Romney can run for President and not do a commercial where he, and only he, speaks to the American public on why he should be President.
Why would he not do this? Who is advising him? What makes them think we should vote for him? Although you know I didnt vote for Obama.
Are they just counting on people voting against the incumbent? Seems like an odd way to run an operation that is playing for very high stakes.
1) That said, please get out and vote today, no matter who you vote for; it’s the least we can do as citizens, to exercise the freedoms people risk their lives to protect.
ESPN's Marathon Analyst - Yes, this is a real position who was on Sportscenter on Friday crying about the New York Marathon being canceled while the Knicks and Giants games were not. It's because watching people run is pointless while the NBA and NFL are awesome. Eat shit, runners.
People that think that Sean Payton is going elsewhere - Oh Christ, what a dumb story this is. So the NFL is ignoring Payton's contract extension for whatever reason so now he will be a free agent after the season. Why would he go anywhere else? Sane people don't leave Drew Brees to go coach Tony Romo.
Jimmy HarBRAH - We're a little late on this but his "gobble gobble jive turkey" quotes are absolutely fucking insane. But it makes total sense to a dickhead that refuses safeties. Jim HarBRAH is a nutjob.
Pacman Jones - His blatant pass interference in the endzone followed by asshole celebration followed by the realization that his flag was thrown and him acting like he was wronged was just the best. I am so happy that Pacman is still in the league.
Andy Dalton clock management - When you're down by 11 points with 2 minutes left, running the ball is probably not the best idea.
London Fletcher - Ugh, nice fucking loss to the Panthers and never actually being in the game. That's always fun to get your shit stuffed by a completely terrible team with a coach that is just begging to get fired and likely carries a switchblade at all times. I'm a Fletcher fan and he's had a great career but he has been brutal all season long. The Redskins are terrible. I hope that the Rams enjoy two top ten picks.
Barack Obama - YOU LOSE, FOOL! The Redskins just doomed you good! At least you're a Bears fan and don't support this awful franchise! Unless your opponent is John Kerry (which he might be) then there is no reason to campaign any longer. No need to vote now, everybody, because the Redskins just ended the drama.
Brandon Weeden - The most talented player in the league was back to his usual bad self yesterday in a game that they absolutely should have won. Just remember, everyone, that at this time next year the Browns will be UNDEFEATED.
Jordy Nelson - Biggest pussy in the league? I was all fired up when he was activated and then this honky gash gets hurt in the first quarter. BOO WHITES. Remember when Arizona was undefeated? That was hilarious. They might not win another game.
Everyone else compared to the Bears Defense - The Bears D has scored EIGHT fucking touchdowns this year. EIGHT! When I said that Matty Ice and Peyton were the first half fantasy MVPs this year, I meant that the Bears Defense is the fantasy MVP this year. BEARS SICK.
Ryan Tannehill - That was an enjoyable game between two surprise contenders but Tannehill was pretty awful in the final two drives. He seemed to prefer overthrowing his receivers by 4000 feet instead of completing passes.
Andrew Luck's hair - I don't know what the hell is going on with that bird's nest but it is ridiculous.
People trying to stop Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin - Good God, these two guys can not be slowed down. Peterson is a damn stud and Martin is on a run that is rarely seen.
That ref in Indy - Yelling GOD DAMMIT into an open mic is always terrific.
Terry Bradshaw - Reggie Bush was chasing a bucket of chicken? Yeah, you're going to get in trouble for that, hayseed.
GAMBLING! - I had another monster Saturday and Sunday. If Radwoodson is reading this, tell them the truth and the spooky magic.
In case you missed this: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday........
13) There will be articles written on how the Giants are struggling and can they regain last year's championship swagger, but think about it, a lot of the players had their homes flooded this week-- you expected them to play a strong game this week?
Last year's championship team was 7-7 at one point, by the way; this is a better team, just remains to be seen if they'll get hot at the right time.
12) People continue to be unimpressed by the 8-0 Falcons, which is the best thing for the 8-0 Falcons. Less scrutiny, less pressure, easier to win.
11) Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano seems like kind of a jerk, but he's done a good job with this year's Buccaneers, who had 278 rushing yards, 237 passing in a wild 42-32 win at Oakland. Bucs lost their last ten games LY, are now 4-4 this year.
Funny thing is, Schiano wouldn't let his QB take a knee at the end until the last play, when they took a knee out of the shotgun, not with the QB under center. Schiano had his players take a shot at Eli Manning earlier this year when the Giants were taking a knee; was he concerned with reprisal?
10) Six teams were +2 or better in turnovers this week; all six won, all six covered, with Tampa Bay the only underdog of the six. Four of those six teams had a field position advantage of 10+ yards; those four, along with Steelers (+12) and Packers (+15)-- they all covered, too.
Problem is, you can't handicap when turnovers will happen. When Chicago stops forcing turnovers, thats when they'll get upset.
9) Chicago Bears scored six TDs Sunday; one on a blocked punt, one by the defense, and four by the offense, on drives of 8-16-65-2 yards.
8) Seattle paid $13M to sign Packers' backup QB Matt Flynn, but he has no chance of playing, now that Russell Wilson seems entrenched as the Seahawks' starter; shouldn't they trade Flynn to a team that really needs a QB, say.....the Chiefs or Jaguars?
They really can't trade him to Arizona, since they're a division rival, but the Cardinals really need a quarterback, too.
7) Speaking of which, Jets needed to trade Tim Tebow to Jacksonville. It would liberate Mark Sanchez from excessive scrutiny, it would sell a lot of tickets in northern Florida, and it would just make sense.
6) Denver is 5-3. Indianapolis is 5-3; how weird would it be if the Colts and Denver met in a playoff game in January?
5) If you didn't see Colts' coach Chuck Pagano address his team after their game Sunday, check it out here. Very emotional, very real. Our thoughts and prayers are with the coach, who is fighting a treatable form of leukemia.
4) Redskins' biggest problem with Robert Griffin III is going to be keeping him in one piece; he's terrific, but he takes too many big hits.
'3) NFC teams were 3-1 against the AFC Sunday, with Steelers the only AFC team to win. Lions-Bears-Bucs all posted fairly easy wins. So far in 2012, NFC teams are 23-12 against the AFC.
2) Home teams are 6-7 vs spread this week, favorites 9-4, over 7-6-1; there were 107 explosive plays (4.12 per team). Teams are averaging 4.77 points per red zone drive this week, and that includes the Bills and Cowboys.
1) Is there a more overrated sports franchise than the Cowboys? TV still treats them like they're the best team in the NFL. Truth is, since '97, they're 1-6 in playoff games. Thats fifteen years.
Colts (5-3) @ Jaguars (1-7)—Indy playing inspired football for disabled coach Pagano (leukemia) who visited team Sunday, winning four of last five games, last three all by 4 or less points, or in OT; they’ve lost last two visits here, 31-28/19-13- last year was first time Jags ever swept season series. Series was split in five of last six years. Indy allowed 41-22-35 points in its losses; they’re 4-0 allowing less than 22 points, a figure Jax has yet to hit at home this year. Jags’ only win this year came on 80-yard pass in last 2:00 at Indy, after Colts had just grabbed lead; they only had 148 passing yards the whole game. Jax lost five games in row (2-3 vs spread) since- they’re 0-4 at home (0-4 vs spread) losing by average score of 32-6. Home underdogs are 6-9 vs spread in divisional games so far this season. Three of last four Jaguar games went over total; under is 4-2-1 in Colts’ last seven games.
Bills (3-5) @ Patriots (5-3)—If you go back a decade, average score of second Bill-Patriot game each year has been 32-8 Pats; average score in first meetings, 28-20. Patriots trailed first meeting 14-7 at half in Buffalo, then exploded in second half for 52-28 win, their 22nd in last 24 series games; Bills lost last eight visits here, with five of last seven by 10 or less points. Buffalo lost four of its last five games; only one of its five losses was by less than 12 points- they’re 1-4 as underdogs this year, 1-3 on road. NE won four of last five games, forcing 15 turnovers (+9) in those games, after forcing only five in first three; they’re 1-2 as home favorites. In its last four wins, Patriots ran ball for 131+ yards; Bills allowed an average of 211 rushing yards in their last five games. Home favorites are 7-14 vs spread in divisional games this season. Last six Patriot games all went over the total.
Giants (6-3) @ Bengals (3-5)—Cincy lost to Peyton Manning last week; younger brother Eli visits here, in series where home team is 8-0, with Giants losing all five visits to Cincinnati (four of five losses by 5 or less points). Bengals lost last four games (0-4 vs spread), with three of the four at home, allowing 34-24-31 points in last three games; they’re 2-3 as underdogs, 0-2 at home. Last three Giant games were all decided by 5 or less points; they’re 2-2 on road (4-0 vs spread), 2-4 vs spread as favorites, 1-0 on road. Underdogs covered seven of their nine games this year. Red flag for NJ: they’ve completed only 25 of 53 passes in last two games, scoring two TDs on 21 drives- they had defensive TD in each game. NFC East non-divisional favorites are 3-11 against spread, 1-4 on road; AFC North underdogs are 5-6, 2-2 at home. Three of four Giant road games stayed under the total.
Chargers (4-4) @ Bucs (4-4)— Being 4-4 depends on your outlook; Tampa fans are thrilled to be .500 after losing last 10 games LY; some Charger fans are calling for Norv Turner’s head because he’s 4-4. Bucs’ WR Vincent Jackson left SD for Tampa and has invigorated Tampa passing game that averaged 6.9+ yards/attempt in each of last five games, during which time they averaged 33.2 ppg (20 TD’s on 59 drives, 31 plays of 20+ yards). Bolts had three extra days after Thursday night win that snapped three-game; they’re 2-2 on road, but lost at Saints/Browns in last two- they’re 0-1 as dogs this year. San Diego won eight of nine series games, including all five played here, but Bucs won their only Super Bowl on Chargers’ home field. NFC South home favorites are 5-6 vs spread outside their division; AFC West road underdogs are 2-5. Four of last five Charger games, and last five Tampa Bay games all went over the total.
Broncos (5-3) @ Panthers (2-6)—John Fox returns to Charlotte to coach against team that (stupidly) let him walk two years ago, because they didn’t want to pay him what he’s worth; Denver is on roll, winning/covering last three games, scoring 35-34-31 points. Broncos scored 31+ points in all five wins, 21-25-21 in losses. Carolina lost five of last six games, but held three of last four opponents under 20 points; they’re 0-4 vs spread when scoring 14 or less points, 4-0 when they score 21+. Panthers lost last three home games, scoring average of just 11 ppg (3 TD’s on 30 drives). Home side won all three games in series; Broncos lost only visit here, 30-10 four years ago. AFC west non-divisional favorites are 4-5 vs spread, 1-2 on road; NFC South teams are 16-8 vs spread outside their division, 9-2 as underdogs, 0-1 at home. Three of last four Bronco games went over; three of last four Panther games stayed under.
Titans (3-6) @ Dolphins (4-4)—You’ll get spirited effort from Tennessee here after 51-20 home debacle vs Bears last week, after which octogenarian owner Bud Adams basically threatened everyone in organization; five of Titans’ six losses are by 23 points- they’re 1-3 on road, pulling out 35-34 win at Buffalo in last road trip, but losing first three by 28-24-23 points (1-3 as road dog). Five of well-coached Dolphins’ last six games were decided by 4 or less points; Fish are 0-2 as favorites this year (both games were decided by 3 points) as underdogs covered six of their eight games, including last five. After running ball for 263-185 yards in Weeks 2-3, Dolphins averaged just 70.8 yards on ground over last five games. Miami won eight of last 11, three of last four series games; Titans lost six of last seven visits here, dropping last three by 14-3-12 points. AFC East non-divisional favorites are 6-5, 3-3 at home; AFC South underdogs are 9-8, 4-4 on road. Under is 3-0-1 in last four Miami games.
Raiders (3-5) @ Ravens (6-2)—Baltimore won six of seven series games, but teams haven’t met since ’09; Raiders are 0-4 here, losing 28-6/29-10 in last two visits, last of which was in ’08. Oakland got run over last week by Bucs’ Martin, who had 265 yards on ground before giving few away on kneeldowns in last minute; they’re 1-3 on road, covering last two, but losing three of four, with losses by 22-31-3 points, and only win at 1-7 Chiefs.. Ravens’ 137 rushing yards last week was season high; they’re 4-0 at home, but 1-3 as home favorites, winning by 31-1-7-2 points at home. Baltimore allowed 24-43 points in its two losses; they had 26 plays of 20+ yards in first four games, only 11 in last four- they need more to protect injury-riddled defense. AFC North non-divisional favorites are 2-8 vs spread, 2-4 at home; AFC West underdogs are 4-7, 2-5 on road. Three of four Raven home games, five of last seven Oakland games went over the total.
Falcons (8-0) @ Saints (3-5)—New Orleans won 10 of last 12 games in one of NFL’s best rivalries (teams came into NFL a year apart), with five of last seven games decided by 4 or less points; Atlanta lost five of last six visits here, but are 8-0 this year, allowing only 15.3 ppg in four road wins (all vs teams with .500 or worse records, but Saints are 3-5). Saints won three of last four games, but wasn’t impressed by Monday night win over freefalling Eagles; loss of multi-purpose back Sproles (hand) hampers their quick passes out of backfield. Atlanta scored 17 TD’s on 54 drives in first five games, only five on 30 in last three, but they keep winning. Saints are 3-1 when they score 28+ points, 0-4 when they don’t; Falcons allowed 16.8 ppg in last four games; they’ve allowed more than 24 points once (Carolina) this year. Underdogs covered three of first four NFC South divisional games this year. Three of last four Falcon games stayed under the total.
Lions (4-4) @ Vikings (4-5)—Minnesota was outgained 341-227, didn’t score offensive TD, but had two TD’s on special teams in 20-13 (+3.5) win at Detroit in Week 4, just second win in last five games vs Lions, after they won 21 of previous 24 series games. Detroit’s 26-23 OT win here LY was their first in last 14 visits here; they’re 3-1 since bye, scoring 8 TD’s on 17 drives in last two games, with six of eight TD drives 80+ yards. Lions are 4-1 when they score 26+ points, 0-3 when they don’t; Vikings allowed 29.5 ppg in last four games, after giving up 15.8 in first five. Minnesota QB Ponder looked lost at Seattle last week, when Vikes lost by 10 despite running ball for 243 yards; Ponder’s averaged 2.2/6.0/1.7 ypa in last three games. Detroit has run ball for 117.5 ypg since the bye, after averaging 90.3 in first four games, so they’re making effort to take heat off Stafford by running ball better. Three of last four games for both sides went over the total.
Jets (3-5) @ Seahawks (5-4)—Much like Giants last week, Jet players have had to deal with hurricane-related issues to their homes, so long road trip west could help them re-focus; they’ve won eight of last ten series games, after losing first seven games with Seattle- they’re 3-4 in Pacific Northwest. Seattle much better team at home (4-0, scoring 23.8 ppg) with wins over Packers/Patriots; speedy WRs Tate/Rice allowed Wilson to become more dangerous improvising out of pocket. Curious to see how Jets change approach after getting drilled 30-9 by Miami in last pre-bye game, when normally reliable special teams fell apart in first quarter. NFC West teams are 13-10 vs spread in non-divisional games, 5-5 as favorites, 4-4 at home; AFC East teams are 12-10 vs spread, 7-6 on road, 4-4 as road dogs. Three of last four Seattle games went over total. Many moons ago, Pete Carroll was once HC of the Jets.
Cowboys (3-5) @ Eagles (3-5)—Do struggling teams have home advantage? Home folks ain’t happy with Iggles, who allowed Vick to get sacked seven times in 28-13 loss to Saints Monday night—could be that Reid’s long (and largely successful) run as Eagles’ coach is nearing an end, since Philly lost last three games, allowing 26-30-28 points- three of their four home games have been decided by 3 or less points, and now they face hated Pokes on short work week. Dallas lost four of last five games, with last three losses all by 6 or less points; they’ve run ball for just 169 yards on 66 carries (2.56 per carry) in last three games. Philly scored 20+ points in only two games this year, and lost both of those. Home teams are 0-4 vs spread (2-2 SU) in NFC East divisional games this season. Four of five Dallas road games stayed under total; three of four Eagle home games went over. Iggles won three of last four series games, but Dallas is 4-3 in last seven visits here.
Rams (3-5) @ 49ers (6-2)—Niners are bully team, allowing 6 or less points in four of last five games, but they’re just 2-2 when they allow more than 6 points; curious to see if Rams’ patchwork OL can give Bradford enough time to move chains with favorite target Amendola back in lineup. SF won seven of last eight series games, winning last four played here by average score of 30-9. St Louis lost last three games, scoring four TD’s on last 27 drives; they’re 2-2 as road underdogs, but haven’t forced a turnover in last three games (-4) after forcing nine (+2) in first five games. Niners scored 13-3 points in their two losses, running ball for just 89-80 yards; they’re 6-0 when they don’t lose the turnover battle, and are 2-2 as home favorites, with home wins by 8-4-27 points and a loss to the Giants. Underdogs covered four of first five NFC West divisional games. Six of last seven 49er games stayed under the total.
Texans (7-1) @ Bears (7-1)—Possible Super Bowl preview with both teams’ only loss to Green Bay; Bears are setting unreal pace of forcing turnovers, with 28 in eight games; Chicago is already +16 in turnover ratio halfway through season- they’ve scored eight TD’s on defense/special teams in last six games, masking an offense with a suspect offensive line. Houston is underdog for first time this year- they’re 3-0 on road, with wins at Broncos/Jets/Jags. Texans turned ball over six times (-6) in only loss; they only have three other turnovers all season (+5 for year). Houston won both series meetings, 24-5 here in 2004, 31-24 at home four years ago. NFC North non-divisional home favorites are 6-7 vs spread; AFC South road underdogs are 4-4. Four of last six Houston games, four of last five Bear games went over the total. NFC teams have turned table on AFC this year, with a xx-xx advantage in interconference games so far.
Chiefs (1-7) @ Steelers (5-3)—Pittsburgh OC Haley was dumped as Chiefs’ HC during last season; hard feelings exist between him and KC front office. KC coach Crennel hired former Oklahoma HC Gibbs to be new DC during bye week, with Crennel becoming more of overseer of program; Chiefs lost last five games (1-4 vs spread), scoring two offensive TD’s on last 42 drives- they still haven’t led any game in regulation this season, and were down 24-6 in only game they’ve won. Steelers won/covered last three games, allowing only four TD’s on 28 drives; they rallied from 10 down in 4th quarter to win in Swamp last week. This is just Chiefs’ second visit to Pittsburgh since ’89; their last was a 45-6 loss in 2006. Steelers won last meeting 13-9 LY at Arrowhead. AFC North teams are 2-8 vs spread as non-divisional favorites, 2-4 at home; AFC West non-divisional underdogs are 4-7, 2-5 on foreign soil. Six of eight Chief games went over total; four of last five Steeler games stayed under.
Thursday's List of 13: Random stuff on a warm, breezy Florida day........
13) Jason Bay is my new hero; he was owed $21M by the Mets, but is now a free agent, after Bay agreed to defer some of the money owed him. He is free to sign with another team, after hitting .165 in 70 games with the Mets last season.
I'll repeat this; the guy hit freakin' .165, and gets $21M to go away!!!!
12) Maryland Terrapins got some excellent news Wednesday; Xavier transfer Dez Wells, tossed out of school at Xavier for an off-court incident that many people say he got railroaded on, was declared immediately eligible for the Terps, which really helps them. Maryland plays Kentucky Friday, so they’ll need all the help they can get.
11) Underrated election result Tuesday; apparently Puerto Rico voted that they would like to become the 51st state in the union. If that happens, which major leaguer will be the first to change his number to 51, the way Hawai’ian Sid Fernandez used to wear #50 for the Mets?
10) There are 127 I-A college football teams; 27 of them (21.8%) changed head coaches after LY. Two (Kentucky/Idaho) have already fired their HC this year, but the carnage is expected to fall well short of 27 this winter.
9) I had no idea Virginia is only state in our country where the governor is allowed only one term. I would think with a one-term person in charge, six years would be better than four, but thats just me.
8) Former Notre Dame/North Carolina/SMU hoop coach Matt Doherty will try his hand at TV this winter, working games on ESPNU. Always interesting to listen to ex-coaches work games.
7) Houston Cougars have an awful defense; in their last three games, opponents have converted 33 of 55 (60%) 3rd down plays. That’s terrible.
6) Over their last four games, UConn Huskies have been outscored 49-3 in the second half, a different problem than Maryland, which has been outscored 40-3 in the first half of their last three games. Neither is good.
5) NFL games are the top 14 rated TV shows in primetime so far this TV season; #15 is the season premiere of NCIS, starring former UCLA QB Mark Harmon.
4) Not sure if I mentioned this already, but Mark McGwire, who quietly is a pretty good hitting coach, left the Cardinals for the same job with the Dodgers. McGwire hit a walk-off HR against the Dodgers in the ’88 World Series, in the only game the A’s won.
3) Saints’ GM Mickey Loomis is back in the office this week, his eight-game suspension over; not sure how he could be totally have been stopped from working, if he and team employees used their own private cellphones and such. No more worries about that; now all Loomis has to do is get coach Sean Payton under contract for next year and beyond.
2) I thought it never rained in San Diego? Friday’s Syracuse-San Diego State hoop game, scheduled to be played on the deck of an aircraft carrier, has to been moved to Sunday at 4:00 because of rain expected for Friday.
1) Longtime Texas Longhorn football coach Darrell Royal passed away this week at age 88; Texas was a dominant team under Royal- one of his best players was QB James Street, father of major league relief pitcher Huston Street.
To honor Coach Royal's memory, Texas will run the first play of this week's game from the wishbone formation, which was the offense of choice during Royal's heydey. Pretty cool.
Friday's List of 13: Things I'm looking for this weekend outside of some relief from all this pain and discomfort I am having post-op........
13) Broncos’ coach John Fox goes back to Charlotte this week; he led the Panthers to their only Super Bowl appearance, but was allowed to walk after the 2010 season, in a cost-cutting measure. Sunday Fox gets a measure of revenge.
12) UCLA opens refurbished Pauley Pavilion tonight against Indiana State, the only school John Wooden coached at before moving west. Little eerie that UCLA never redid Pauley until after Wooden passed away. I'm curious to see how the places looks now.
11) Kansas State QB Collin Klein appeared to have a right arm/wrist injury last week, but no one in Manhattan is talking; 7.5-point spread at TCU says Klein will play.
10) Lakers are 1-4 and Steve Nash has a broken bone in his leg; curious to see if Mike Brown can hang onto his job until Christmas.
9) Mark Sanchez played for Pete Carroll at USC, now he’ll play against him in Seattle Sunday. When Sanchez left school early, Carroll said he should’ve played another year at USC. Tension ensued. Seahawks are a much better team at home. Sanchez was a better QB two years ago.
8) West Virginia allowed 49-55-39 points in last three games; they won a game this year when allowing 63 points—how many they giving up at pass-happy Oklahoma State this week? WV’s DC DeForest worked for OSU for 11 years, as did Holgorson two years ago.
7) College basketball tips off this weekend with three games on various battleships, and one on an Air Force base in Germany. Outside shooting takes on a whole new meaning when the game actually is….outdoors.
6) Perception Bowl in Tampa: Everyone’s happy with the improving 4-4 Bucs, while San Diego is 4-4 and some Charger fans want to fire Norv Turner. WR Vincent Jackson is an ex-Charger and a huge part of the Bucs’ turnaround.
5) How will Alabama/LSU bounce back against capable foes the week after an emotional, last-second Alabama win? Tigers weren’t playing that well before last week, then they played a great game against Bama but let it slip away late.
4) Knicks are NBA’s lone remaining unbeaten team; last time that happened was 1959. Hell, they hadn’t been 2-0 since 2000. Knicks-Mavs Friday night should be fun.
3) Falcons are 8-0, but have lost five of last six visits to Superdome. Saints won three of last four games, but hardly looked impressive in dispatching freefalling Eagles Monday night.
2) Louisville Cardinals are quietly 9-0, with five wins by 7 or less points; they’re less than a FG favorite at Syracuse, where they’ve won three of last four visits. Cards’ QB Bridgewater is one of most underrated players in country.
1) Texans-Bears could be a Super Bowl preview, but then you look at these 7-1 teams, and both clubs lost to Green Bay, so maybe the Packers will go win the Super Bowl. Still way too early to tell.