Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Why the Thursday night game will be an epic fail. (NFL)

Tomorrow night's NFL contest could have been a great match up, had both the Raiders and the 49ers not gone into the toilet so hard, so fast. As often the case with TNF games, they usually are quite bad and not very entertaining. There have been a one or two exceptions this season, but that's all. Now I'll explain why it's going to be such a shit show tomorrow night.

On paper, the Raiders had a decent roster, and made a couple of moves during the off-season that made them even more of a contender, the main one being the hire of Jon Gruden as their head coach for his second go-around with the team. This is a guy who made something of Brad Johnson and won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers many moons ago. Derek Carr, who is actually much better (or so we thought) than Johnson, could have gone far. Instead. the Raiders are 1-6 and have opted for an instant rebuild. The defence is clueless, Derek Carr is horrible, and everything is going wrong for the Raiders, who look AWFUL.

To quote Jim Mora: "Playoffs? Playoffs?!?! I just hope we can win a game!"

My 49ers, on the other hand, are just as awful if not worse. Star quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was knocked out earlier in the season with a tear to his ACL (What the HELL WERE YOU THINKING RUNNING LIKE THAT JIMMY?!?!) , which has left the 49ers with less than nothing. The offence is not very good under QB C.J. Beathard, who in my opinion, shouldn't be a starting QB in the NFL. (I mean come on! He's BRUTAL!) The defence looks worse than Swiss cheese, and special teams..... well, they don't really exist. I will not blame Kyle Shanahan, as he has nothing to work with at this point. I will put the blame squarely on management for dropping the ball in the off-season.

To quote Vince Lombardi: "What the hell is going on out here?!?!"

Some spooky football notes for Halloween! (NFL/CFL/NCAA)

Anyone want to see something scary? No, it's not a ghost, but rather the NCAA college football/playoff rankings, which just came out the other day. What's the first issue I see right away? LSU (7-1) is ranked third, while undefeated UCF (7-0) is way back in 9th. Also, if a 7-1 team is going to be 3rd, it should be Oklahoma. But.....the biggest issue I have with this list is Notre Dame moving down to FOURTH behind LSU??? Notre Dame is 8-0 and has actually beaten several ranked teams. I've been saying for years that the rankings and seedings are a joke, and this just confirms it. The fact that Alabama is always ranked 1st shows what a joke everything is.

The NFL is extremely perplexing this whole season so far, and it's not getting any better eight weeks into the season. Penalty flags are flying at a ridiculous pace, and the league doesn't seem to care that the officiating as a whole has taken a nose dive. Yes, I've been crabbing about this all year, but you know what? I'M RIGHT. Don't believe me? Go on Twitter once in a while. There's enough vitriol being thrown around to convince anyone. Also, watch a game. I've never seen so many flasg fly as they have been this season. Must have been a discount on them at Costco or something.....

The Blue Bombers have kept rolling, and it's helped them clinch a playoff spot. They did it in convincing fashion again the Stampeders, burying them in the second half of the game. Offence and defence are firing on all cylinders right now. That being said, I am going to man up and offer an apology. At the halfway point of the season when the Bombers were struggling, I had said that Matt Nichols was garbage ans should be replaced. I'm big enough to admit when I'm wrong, and so I was. Nichols has really bounced back and has been kicking ass. He's in the zone, and I might have given up on him a little early. My bad. Go Bombers!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The road to the Grey Cup is a mess! (CFL)

So, there's two weeks left in the CFL regular season, and the playoff picture is as clear as my homemade chili. There are six playoff spots, and seven teams in contention for them, with so many scenarios possible it makes you want to fall over just thinking about it.

One thing is guaranteed: Both the Argonauts and Alouettes have already been eliminated. Unfortunately, that is all we know at this time. The Stamps still lead the West, but can finish second and get leap-frogged for top spot and home field advatange, never mind the first round bye. Saskatchewan could either jump into first, or finish second, depending on the outcome of the final two games. Winnipeg could finish second, or third, or crossover to the East, or be eliminated entirely if they lose of their last two games.

BC could finish second, third, or crossover, while Edmonton (who looked as done as dinner last week) could make the crossover, or be eliminated as well. And.....whoever crosses over to the East adds a different dynamic to the playoff picture, as Ottawa and Hamilton are still fighting it out to determine top spot in the East. If Ottawa secures first place in the East and gets that first-round bye and home field advantage, I have no doubt they'll put themselves in a position to make it to the Grey Cup. As for whoever crosses over to the East from the West......I dunno.

Usually, the CFL picture is already figured out at this point in the season, but because the East is a mess, and several teams in the West have had roller coaster seasons, this is what we get.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Several surprises yesterday! (NCAA)

I was able to catch most of yesterday's NCAA football action, and witnessed a few things that made me either stop and think, or shake my head with disgust. This was of course well before the alcohol knocked me out near the end of the late night game.

Michigan/Michigan State. Okay, I understand that some inter-state schools have a fierce rivalry, and that it can get quite intense at times. That being said, I completely disagree with Michigan's celebration on the Spartans' centre field logo. Yes, it was in response to something a player from Michigan State did, but the Wolverines could have been the bigger team and celebrated elsewhere on the field after time expired (The end-zone, anyone?). Then again, they do have a Harbaugh for a head coach.....

Purdue upsets Ohio State. I have nothing against Ohio State, and consider them to be a decent bunch overall. What I do like is when a huge underdog comes through and knocks off a top team. Was Ohio State a little too complacent? Did Urban Meyer underestimate his opposition? I really don't know the answer to those questions. What I do know, is that a Purdue fan with a terminal illness got to see his team win such an epic game, and that's all that really matters. The Boilermakers played like a team possessed, and I'm happy it went down the way it did.

Also, a few other neat things: Penn State held on against Indiana (I was watching this one intently), as the Hoosiers suffered from bad play calling in the fourth quarter, resulting in a mess that saw their fans start leaving very early. UCF has a rank! They do, they do! Unlike last year where they got screwed, UCF is ranked 10 so far (and won yesterday too). Finally.....I hate it when Notre Dame has a bye week. It really makes me sad.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Blue Bombers are heating up at the right time. (CFL)

The regular season in the CFL is coming to a close, and teams in playoff contention are scrambling to develop and/or keep a rhythm so as to find success, and make a trip to the Grey Cup in November. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are doing this quite well as of late, currently on a four-game win streak with only one game remaining in the regular season.

Yes, their final game after this bye week will be against the West-leading Stampeders, who have been the class of the CFL yet again. However, it's more than likely the Stamps will rest most of their starters in said game, having already clinched the division and a first-round bye, and so on. For the Blue Bombers, the season looked several weeks ago like it was becoming our of reach, with Matt Nichols' inconsistent play at the time, as well as a defence that looked downright confused.

Fast forward five weeks, and the Bombers look like a different team. Nichols is spot on and not committing any silly turnovers, the defence looks like it has the best pass rushing in the CFL, and everything is moving along like a well-oiled machine. If you're going to go on a winning streak, now is a good time. Momentum like this is needed for a sustained playoff push, and of course, a Grey Cup championship.

Here's hoping.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Eli Manning needs to retire. (NFL)

Another Giants game, another case of Eli Manning getting roughed up, sacked, fumbling, etc. I watched the latest episode of, "Eli is scared" last night, and heard the boos rain down from the home crowd in Jersey. It wasn't a pretty game by far for either Eli or the Giants, with most of the problems coming from the offence and their star QB.

When your top wide receiver (Odell Beckham Jr.) walks off before halftime even starts and shakes his head in the tunnel, you know it's getting bad. It would be too easy to blame the coaches or the whole offence at this point, when the blame squarely rests on Eli, and to a lesser extent, management for building the team around him and not drafting or acquiring a younger successor. This season is looking worse for the Giants than last, as Eli looks more and more like a man who is mentally done with the game, and who can't seem to keep up or make plays at all.

He's got nothing left to prove, having already won two Super Bowls. For the good of the team, he should either retire, or step aside and remain a backup to help mentor a younger quarterback. That being said, Eli and the Giants need to get this figured out very quickly if there's any hope.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Drew Brees and his yardage record. (NFL)

For those of you who are watching the Monday night contest between the Redskins and Saints (it's halftime as I write this), history was just made a little while ago as Saints QB Drew Brees passed Peyton Manning to become the NFL's all-time leader in pass yardage.

For those of you that don't know, Drew Brees now sits third for passing yardage in all of professional football. Here are the top five names in the overall list.

1) Anthony Calvillo, 79,816
2) Damon Allen, 72,381
3) Drew Brees, 71,975
4) Peyton Manning, 71,940
5) Brett Favre, 71,838

It's entirely possible that Brees will eclipse Damon Allen's total this season, but would have to play for two more seasons to pass Anthony Calvillo and secure the all-time pro football yardage record. Drew Brees is a hell of a competitor, and I wish him all the best as he continues to populate the record books during his stellar career.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Undisciplined football. (NCAA)

Yesterday's college action seemed to highlight an epidemic that has been going around since the start of the season. There have been so many players on so many good teams (and bad ones) that have been playing extremely undisciplined football, and costing their team yardage, field position, and of course, points. How this is tolerated I do not know.

Wake Forest. Players on the Demon Deacons were some of the worst offenders yesterday, with several key personal fouls being committed throughout the game. A captain in the defensive corps was even disqualified and sent off for a blatant targeting call against Clemson. For a player to screw up so hard, that's one thing. But a team captain getting busted for a stupid play? I understand they are college kids, but there needs to be some growing up, fast. If you're trying to get into the NFL, shit like this isn't going to help you.

LSU versus the Gators. Where to begin? There were so many flags in this game, I'm not sure I have the time (nor do any of you out there have the money) to listen to me go on all day about said contest. Never mind the dumb pass interference calls and blatant face masking that went on. Then, we get frayed nerves (with probably too much pre-game Red Bull) turning into fist fights (not that I mind a little more action) and almost full-on melees. Pushing and shoving are part of the game to a certain extent, but when you slap the shit out of the other player or throw a punch, it's gonna be 15 yards against you at the very least.

You know what? I saw a lot more, but I got better things to do right now, so there.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Andrew Luck. (NFL)

For those of you that are Indianapolis Colts fans, or just like to see a good player do well, then you have to be excited about last week for Andrew Luck, and the fact that his arm strength is back and in fine form. He's been out for quite some time, and had taken it easy over training camp and the pre-season. How that translates as the season progresses, we'll have to see.

Luck's arm looked to have all the zip it used to in last week's loss to the Texans. The Colts might view it as a loss, but the fact that they have their starting QB back to normal should be considered a win for the most part. Tonight's game against the Patriots should be a different story however, with Luck needing to have a great game and bring home the W if he is to be taken seriously from here on in, as the skeptics (myself included to a certain extent) maintain that he is an underachiever so far in his career. At the time of this post, Luck is 6/10, with 65 yards passing in the first quarter.

Granted, Luck took over the Colts from Peyton Manning, and those are big shoes to fill. But somehow, he needs to step up sooner or later and definitively make the Colts his team, and show them he can win and lead them into the postseason to contend for a Super Bowl. Until that happens, he's just another dude throwing a ball.