Monday, September 22, 2014

I Don't Believe This

Are you still standing in line for a new iPhone? You're an idiot.
Is Jameis Winston still on the Florida State roster? Why? He's an arrogant bastard. He is everything that is wrong with college football, especially at Florida State, where winning comes before discipline, appropriateness, ethics and, perhaps most importantly, education.
The New York Giants won twice, which means there is are teams with a worse offensive coordinator than theirs. 

I think.

Or else the Redskins were still so made about their brawl with the Eagles that they were totally drained from it or just plain forgot to show up for the Giants.
One more thing about Jameis Winston: he could never play for my pro team, never. Would never draft him. I don't care how many Heisman Trophies he wins.
If you're still in line for a new iPhone, hey, guess what? They ran out.
Did Jameis Winston really deliver the pregame pep talk against Clemson, a game for which he was suspended? Does anyone at Florida State understand the meaning of "suspended?"

Dumb question.
If you know math, what does 6 + 8 equal? Trouble for Apple, that's what.
Did the New England Patriots really only score 16 points against Oakland? They are looking awfully vulnerable, awfully ordinary.

As are the 49ers. Very pedestrian. Too many guys suspended, hurt or have just tuned out Harbaugh.

Or is Colin Kaepernick back to Earth? Alex Smith had a heck of a game for the Chiefs in their win at Miami. The same Miami that beat New England.

There is a reason teams trade for someone else's starting quarterbacks (Smith, Matt Cassell, Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer). Somebody else didn't want them. Or they can't win the big one. Or one good year does not a good career make. Or they had one lucky year and otherwise suck. Or they were way overrated coming out of college (especially if it was Oregon - i.e. Joey Harrington, Akili Smith).
It's been a good week in the NFL. No one arrested. Yet.
Oh lord. Just passed an Apple Store. People still in line. Yikes...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

Were those really the Green Bay Packers today against Detroit? They sucked. They're 1-2 and have played, in essence, two good quarters of football in three games and are lucky not to be 0-3. Should've lost to the Jets. Where are the real Packers? You've got to be kidding me.

And did you see the arrogance, the play-not-to-lose attitude of the Rams against Dallas after building a 21-0 lead? They crumbled. Arrogance lasts one play. Wins last all week. All season. You've got to be kidding me.

Couldn't help but notice, watching the Mississippi State-LSU game, how the refs decided to keep a one-sided game closer than it should've been. Called a holding penalty on Mississippi State on a dive play from the LSU 1 on which they scored. I swear, he had the flag out and was running in to make the call as the ball was snapped. You've got to be kidding me.

Did the Giants fire Ben McAdoo? Because they scored 30 points today. They've been pathetic on offense until today with this guy calling the shots. Then again, the Packers have been pathetic on offense without him so far this season. Hmmm... makes you wonder. Two teams, one without him, one with him, both suck. Can't have it both ways, can you? You've got to be kidding me.

My NIU Huskies got destroyed by Arkansas. Destroyed. They thought they were worthy of a national ranking after beating Presbyterian. You've got to be kidding me.

The U.S. Men's National Basketball team beat everyone by about 30 points at the FIBA World Championships. Looks like we really needed the NBA all-stars there, huh? You've got to be kidding me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life In The Slow Lane

The Eagles, God bless 'em, sang about "Life in the Fast Lane."

Today, it is life in the slow lane. At the Starbucks near my office, everyone from CNA Insurance and DePaul Law are in there. Everyone. The line double-curls around the service counter and almost out the door. It blocks the revolving door in.

The line isn't moving because people are not watching it - they're glaring at their little smartphone screens as if life itself depended on it, as if their text messages and emails are the most-important things in the universe.

"Did my boyfriend like the dinner I made for him last night?" "What time are me and the bff meeting for a drink?" "Ugh, I am not ready for this exam. Are you?" No, wait, "Uh, i am not reddy 4 this exam, r u?"

There. That's better.

Me, I want my hot cocoa and chocolate croissant (mmmmmm ... good). So I can get to my office and babble about these idiots.

The baristas and cashiers do work hard and hustle. Gotta' give 'em credit (and a nice tip). They keep it moving. Their customers don't.
 Everyone in line at the Metra train station ticket window has to have a conversation with the booth clerk. Everyone.

Updates on grandchildren, children and golf game, Gripes about the weather, the Cubs (what else is new?), the White Sox and skepticism about the Bears mysterious win at San Francisco.

How about swiping your credit card and buying your freakin' ticket? Geez.

Train's pulling in. Ain't gonna' make it now. Thanks, slowpokes. Thanks for nothing. And that picture of your grandkids, it's not Facebook worthy.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Say Yes To Michigan (State)

Last year, three quarterbacks from North Carolina State wound up starting in the NFL (Wilson, Rivers, Glennon). Two made the playoffs. One took the Super Bowl.

Yesterday, three quarterbacks from Michigan State played at the very least in starter roles  (Hoyer, Stanton, Cousins). All won. An omen?

And they say the SEC is the best conference. Hah!
The refs are figuring far too much in NFL outcomes so far.

Too many flags yesterday in the NFL. Sixteen against San Francisco alone in their come-from-ahead loss. Three against the Bears on one special teams play in that game.

And the ref who didn't see who called timeout in the Jets-Packers game and granted it even though it wasn't by the head coach and even though the assistant who did it was telling the head coach to do it and not doing it himself.

Because, by rule, he can't.

Got all that?

The refs in general are hesitant to make calls and pretty much turn anything close over to the replay booth. It's time to take replay out of the game.

It slows everything down, drags it out and doesn't always get it right anyway.

Give the game back to the refs. Watch them get things right without big brother peering over their shoulders.
A lot of guys got hurt yesterday. A lot.

It's time reinstate hitting in training camp. Guys are getting babied in camp and then injured in games.

Stop it. Now. Stop it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Age of Forgiveness

Apparently, we are living in the age of forgiveness.

Penn State has been reinstated after one of the most-egregious scandals I can think of. Ever. Former head coach and current Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is being politically correct but you know he's saying, "Hey NCAA, thanks for nothing."

Now, it appears Josh Gordon of the Browns and Wes Welker of the Broncos could be reinstated from substance-related suspensions. There's nothing like resetting the bar so guys convicted of infractions can play anyway. How low can our standards go? Maybe all the steroid-era guys in baseball should get into the Hall of Fame and Pete Rose should have his lifetime ban lifted too.

Who's next? Ray Rice?

Johnny Manziel is not happy, by the way, about Gordon returning. Could keep Brian Hoyer on the field that much longer.

And the ultimate forgiveness - Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend. Just plain shot her. Could receive no jail time. Could receive lots. Will never receive a max sentence because the prosecution couldn't prove that he meant to do it.

Of course he did. And Pete Rose didn't mean to bet on baseball. And Mark McGwire didn't mean to want to talk about the past.

Michael Irvin is in the Hall of Fame. So is Ty Cobb. But Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, maybe even Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, will never go into the Hall of Fame.

Or will they?

Sure. And Richard Nixon was a great president. And Lindsay Lohan is a role model. Why isn't she in jail? Or the rehab hall of fame?

Age of forgiveness? My ass.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Puzzle That Is The NFL And Those Who Cover It

So, in the midst of all the breaking sports news yesterday, there's Richard Lewis being interviewed on Mike & Mike.

Richard freakin' Lewis. Why? Was he going to offer his dynamic perspective on the Ray Rice situation, let alone on the prospective cover-up in the NFL offices?

Don't get me wrong - I think he's hilarious. But not hilarious enough for what was going down yesterday. Hello, ESPN - reschedule him.
I would once watch Mike and Mike regularly. Love the parade of sports guests, the updates, the laughs, the gaffes. But they are losing me.

Freshen it up fellas. Do not kill the March Madness bet. Make it meaningful. Stop taking yourselves so seriously - Greeny, you are not going to be a rap star nor a major sports commissioner. Your opinion means nothing. How you facilitate the opinions of others means everything. You know how to do that. You were a reporter once,  remember?

Back to basics, guys. Report the news instead of trying to be the news. And Roger Goodell is not your friend, although Golic's lovely wife being on an NFL advisory board of sorts should disqualify the big guy from expressing opinions on NFL matters - conflict of interest.

Just like my viewing habits. Can't believe it, but I'm going to give Fox Sports 1 a morning view and even the local Comcast Sports Net. Or CNN.

They'll get the Ray Rice scandal right. Won't they?

Won't they?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Let Me Get This Straight

So, as far as I can tell, Jay Cutler is telling the media he can explain to them what happened on the plays on which he threw picks against Buffalo, but he's also telling them they wouldn't understand it so why bother. OK, Jay, I guess I could never understand how you threw the ball to a 300-pound defensive lineman who you couldn't see.

How could you not see him? He blocks out the sun. I assure you I understand that. And the first pick, to former teammate Corey Graham, I really don't understand that one. You threw it before your tight end had looked back to you on the play. Not smart. I understand that. Oh, sorry, I mean the tight end's not smart.


Maybe, some day, Jay. You can explain the facts of life to all us media types. You know, where babies come from, safe sex,  as opposed to safe throw, and that's why you're so much smarter than the rest of us.

At least you're smart enough to know that you're smarter than the rest of us. Fortunately, I'm only smart enough to write this.

Enjoy it. While you're still smarter than the rest of us and while that lasts.

The NFL Is Back, Way Back, Unfortunately

NFL defensive backs suck. No, they do. Totally.

Can't guard, as the saying goes, their lunches. Can't guard my grandmother.

Who is coaching these guys? They play 90 percent of the time with their backs to the ball and apparently have been coached to stick up a hand in the receiver's chest when the receiver appears to be making his move to catch the ball.

Please, please, what I wouldn't have given to have guys playing defense like that when I was quarterbacking in high school and college. I knew I had 6 every time if a guy was guarding my wide out like that. It's as if they're being taught to play in desperation mode before it's even desperation time in the game.

I know the rules are such that the offense has a distinct advantage now. I know that the refs are supposed to be rigidly enforcing the existing rule on no contact after 5 yards downfield, a rule they failed to enforce with any regularlity for 20 years or so.

But if these DBs, these great athletes and No. 1 draft picks can't guard the guy opposite them straight up without keeping an eye on the QB and the ball while running with them, then they can't play for me.

I would immediately fire every coach who is teaching his DBs to play like that. By the way, they can't tackle worth a damn either. Saw way too many misses this past weekend, with guys easily faked out of their cleats. I always guarded my man straight up, kept an eye on the quarterback and ran everywhere with my guy till the play was over. I rarely got beat. Yeah, I played both ways. And was damn good at it. I beat my opponent with my speed, my positioning, my skills and most of all, my ability to keep the whole field surveyed while doing it.

Hey, NFL defensive backs, what's your excuse?
Somehow, despite Aaron Rodgers sucking against Seattle last Thursday, I still have a chance to win my fantasy match-up this week as my opponent is done and I still have Larry Fitzgerald (please don't be hurt) and Rashad Jennings (please, no fumbles) playing tonight. Don't suck, you guys, don't suck.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

EEEEE yow!

If E! Network doesn't renew its stars, it kills them.

First, Chelsea Handler leaves, bolting for Netflix and taking her foul-mouthed popularity and creativity with her. Now, Joan Rivers,  who riveted viewers to their seats with her highbrow comedy and commentary, has suddenly passed away and Fashion Police will never be the same.

Two ratings winners gone in a flash. What to do. Who to replace them with, if at all? Whitney Cummings for Chelsea? Mary McCormick?

Kathy Griffin for Joan? Ross Mathews? Lily Tomlin? Her daughter Melissa? Eli Manning?

Likely no one for either. Both one of a kind. On to bigger and better things. Well, Joan.
Football starting.  My quarterbacks are gonna' burn me this weekend. So what!

Here Came The Sun

Dark, gloomy. And that's just the mood at work. Everyone dreading the next cuts. And they're coming, to be sure.

Our new boss is nanny negative. No apologies for who's hurt by his missives. Which is good, I guess. Tough guy who walks the walk. I like that. I respect that. Much more transparent than those who tread that path before him. I can dig it.

I've met other people who know him, who have worked with and for him. All good from them. Play by his rules, written or otherwise, and all should be fine. Hopefully, our performance and his leadership will produce what he wants next, what we all want next; a stable environment where we can all be productive and shine.

We will make it happen.
OK, ladies on the train, on the street, at work: I am tired of seeing your bra straps. Really. It is unbecoming. It sullies your look.

If you're the kind of gal who needs to wear a bra, then wear it and cover it up. I've seen enough.
Eli versus Detroit or Rodgers versus Seattle this week in my fantasy lineup. Ouch.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sam I'm Not

I was rooting for Michael Sam, but the Rams cut him and that's that. All the discussion should have centered on how the SEC Defensive Player of the Year didn't make the team, not how an openly gay player didn't make it. Sad that the media wouldn't be talking about him if he wasn't gay.

Even ESPN reduced itself to talking about his showering habits. Really?
OK Subaru, I'm tired of the commercials that promote dads driving recklessly for their kids to "fix" their toys or to just provide a thrill in a parking lot-turned-road course.

Don't even think of trying that with my grandson. I like your product, but will never buy one now.
Somebody help me out -- should I play Eli Manning in week one of my fantasy league against Detroit or play my No. 1 man, Aaron Rodgers, but against Seattle, at Seattle? The NFL always provides surprises and I'm thinking, for one week, Eli might be that surprise against Detroit's defense.