So Long And Thanks For All the Fish
Well, this is it, I'm packing it in. I appreciate every single person who clicked through to read this page, especially those of you who took the time to then send an email calling me a moron. Thanks to Bart for letting me tack on to his good name.
I'm striking out on my own in this crazy blogging world because, well, there's more stuff I want to talk about. I'm still a sports fan and I still want to talk about it, but I also want to talk about history, bad TV, punk rock, and politics. I don't think it's fair to do that here. So, if you've like reading over the past two years, please check out my new blog, Porch Monkeys, at mcvoyers.blogspot.com. Those of us in our dorm who used to stay out late talking politics, sports, and life were dersively called porch monkeys. I'm taking up the moniker in the time honored tradition of embracing insults and turning them into compliments.
I hope we've learned a few things, among them:
- International sports are cool. There's a big world out there, and there are more options than you can dream of.
- College sports are better than pro sports. I'm sorry, there's nothing better than your Alma Mater beating up on your buddy's Alma Mater. Pro sports can never duplicate this.
- Owners lie all the time. Owners have been complaining about spiraling salaries and no competitive balance since sports began. They are lying.
- Don't use stats like a drunk uses a lamppost, as support not illumination.
- Athletes are people. You don't know them and neither do I. We all thought Kirby Puckett was a great guy and now it turns out he's a borderline psychopath.
- The media is not only ignorant, they are proud of their ignorance.
Dave Bliss is going to hell.
posted by Poseur 9/30/2004 01:32:00 PM
NFL Week 3
Lets' get right to it, starting with every game's stat o' the game...
Falcons 6, Cardinals 3
The longest field goal was 30 yards long. That's some pretty bad red zone offense, people. And, out of curiosity, are the Falcons the worst 3-0 team you've ever seen? The teams each had 4 turnovers, and if Vick doesn't run for 58 yards on one of the last plays, neither would have had 250 yards of offense. Guh.
Ravens 23, Bengals 9
52 passes to 26 rushes by the Bengals? This game was in doubt when Cincy pretty much abandoned a pretty effective run game. And I rant about Boller a lot, but this is his second straight adequate start. 11-18 for 126 isn't terrific, but he's cut down on the turnovers and is letting the defense do the heavy lifting. Which is all the Ravens need him to do. It seems Billick has wised up to the fact Boller will never be a positive, but at least he can not be a negative.
Eagles 30, Lions 13
McNabb went 29-42 for 356. This game was effectively over midway in the second quarter. Harrington continues to progress as a starter (Look, ma! No picks!), but McNabb showed Detroit what an elite quarterback looks like. And the answer is: nothing like Harrington.
Texans 24, Chiefs 21
102 yards. That's how long Marcus Coleman ran after intercepting Trent Green, easily the biggest play of the game. Had KC just gotten a field goal, they go up 17-6 midway in the 3rd quarter. Trent Green gets some accolades for finally playing a good game, and the Chiefs get on with their season. Instead, KC's in an 0-3 hole, and instead of talking about his 3 TD game, Green's defending his one bad pass of the game.
Vikings 27, Bears 22
The quarterbacks combined line: 40/61 for 608 yards and two TD's. Culpepper playing well is old news, but Rex Grossman? Yes, the Bears played from behind all game, but they were never really out of it and Grossman made a lot of huge plays. The Vikings are one of the best teams in the NFL, so maybe the Bears aren't too bad. They are 1-2, but with some breaks, they could be 3-0. Which, with a dollar, can get you a cup of coffee. But not sucking is a forward step for Chicago.
Giants 27, Browns 10
3 turnovers to 0. You go +3, your chances of winning are pretty good. Throw in a 100-yard rushing game and an oh-so-close-to 300-yard passing game, and you're chances of winning big are pretty good. Which is what the Giants did. The Browns are one of the very worst teams in the NFL, and their week one win over Baltimore will look increasingly mystifying as the season goes on. I'm not sure what to make of the Giants, who are at least good enough to let other teams self-destruct. I thought they'd be among the league's worst, but that is obviously not the case.
Saints 28, Rams 25
Aaron Stecker rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries. Deuce who? The Saints thought their runnning game would go south without McAllister, but Stecker was brilliant while the Rams' backs combined for 59 yards on 14 carries. A wild, wild game which perfectly illustrates why squib kicks are stupid. After the Rams took the lead with 38 seconds to play, they gave the Saints the bell on the 40 yard line due to a squib kick. Even the Saints can drive 25 yards in 35 seconds. Just kick away, people. Have some faith in your special teams.
Jaguars 15, Titans 12
69 yards and 5:20. That's how far and how long the Jags final drive went. With 3 seconds on the clock, they gave the ball back to the Titans. And they didn't squib it. The amazing thing is that the drive took place right after Tennessee's long scoring drive to score their first TD of the game. It's no longer luck. The Jags are an incredibly tough team that will not die. The offense isn't impressive, but it works when it has to.
Broncos 23, Chargers 13
Denver had 37 yards rushing. And they still won. Hearst led the team with, get this, 13 yards rushing. Against the Chargers, this doesn't matter so much, but against a good team, the Broncos need to be able to the run the ball to protect the lead. Then again, their lack of an effective runner makes my "Patriots Lite" tag for them even more appropriate (pre-Dillon, of course).
Colts 45, Packers 31
5 touchdown passes in the first half. What else can you say? This is the stereotypical Colts win. Manning throws for what seems like a billion yards and the defense makes exactly one stop in the entire game. The NFL is offense-starved right now, so this game was a blast to watch, but really, people made fun of the Chiefs for having no D, why do the Colts get a pass? There a 40-year-old virgin Trekkies who could score on the Colts.
Seahawks 34, 49ers 0
Ken Dorsey went 19/32 for 152 yards and 2 INT's. Forget about the INT's for a second, this means Dorsey completed about two-thirds of his passes and still only could get 150 yards and 5 yards per attempt. That's awful. I'm at a loss to talk about the Niners, they just flat out stink. They ran their gameplan fairly well and still lost by 34.
Steelers 13, Dolphins 3
The Dolphins gained 169 yards on 59 plays. Monsoon or no monsoon, that's not good. You get the feeling Zach Thomas just wants to kill his offensive teammates. If the Fins were even an average team on offense, they'd be a playoff team. This defense is really, really good, but they will be forgotten all year because of how dreadful the offense is. The scary thing was that Roethlisberger looked like the seasoned vet, not taking too many chances in bad conditions. Four times the Steelers started in Dolphins territory, and that just can't happen.
Raiders 30, Bucs 20
100 career touchdowns. The game was awful, and the Bucs' offense is even more dysfunctional than Miami's, so let's talk about Tim Brown catching #100 in Oakland. Only four players have ever pulled this off, including the guy on the other sideline, Jerry Rice. This a truly a remarkable accomplishment, and it's a shame it didn't make more front pages. Brown is dwarfed by Rice, but he may be the second best receiver in NFL history.
Cowboys 21, Redskins 18
384 yards. 8-18 on 3rd down. 0 turnovers. And a loss? The Skins dominated the statline, only to come up short because they couldn't manage the clock. The Washington papers are ripping Brunell a new one, and while he did look lost at times, it avoids blaming the guy who actually lost the game: Joe Gibbs. Hey, he was the guy who insisted on Brunell anyway. But at the end of both halves, Gibbs horribly mismanaged the clock, costing his team the game. It's as simple as that. He's a great coach, but he has got to work on managing timeouts because he did an absolutely awful job of it.
posted by Poseur 9/28/2004 11:48:00 AM
Guillen walked off the field as the A's changed pitchers, tossed his helmet toward the side of the dugout Scioscia was standing in and walked to the opposite side of the dugout before entering. He tossed his glove against the wall.
Scioscia downplayed the incident, as did Guillen after the game.
Stoneman said the club advised the commissioner's office of Guillen's punishment and send a fax to the players' association. Stoneman said the decision was based on the team's opinion that Guillen violated the conduct provision in the uniform player's contract.
I don't buy it. There's something else going on here. It's not like the Angels woke up yesterday and just noticed Jose Guillen is a headcase. He's been a headcase for his entire career, so why start punishing him for it now?
And a full postseason suspension for throwing stuff? Are they kidding? Guillen probably wasn't even the only player that DAY to throw a childish temper tantrum. There is no way this suspension is simply about Guillen showing up Scioscia and generally acting like a baby. This isn't even a good lie. Come on, anaheim, come up with a better story than this, yo owe it to your fans to lie to them with a certain level of dignity.
posted by Poseur 9/27/2004 09:55:00 AM
Screw the Ryder Cup. The US versus Europe? Big deal. The format itself just tells you that the US is so dominant the only way other nations have a chance is if they band together as one team. Give me the Davis Cup, a tourney the US used to dominate, but now haven't been to the finals since 1997.
Until today. The US finished off Belarus to advance to the finals against Spain. And let's be honest, it will take a mammoth upset for the US to win. Not because the spanish arethat much better, though Ferraro and Moya are a pretty lethal combo. No, the real problem is the surface: clay. By virtue of their higher seed, Spain will host the finals in December and they get to choose the surface, which almost certainly will be clay to negate Roddick's power game.
But here is the problem with Davis Cup. After this huge win in the semis setting up a terrific final, we now must wait three months for the matches to be played. And that's just dumb. Speed up the format, people!
posted by Poseur 9/27/2004 09:36:00 AM
Blech, a pretty boring weeek. Almost no upsets, and teams are just beginning to play their conference slate. Next week is the Showdown Saturday.
Yay, Virginia beat the crap out of another lousy team!! While it's nice they are beating the snot out of the collection of losers they have played (a win is a win), perhaps they should beat a team with a pulse before we start crowning them God' gift to football. There's not a team in the Top 25 that wouldn't go 4-0 against Syracuse, Temple, Akron, and UNC.
Speaking of UNC, I think they just let up another touchdown to Louisville. Bowden Bowl Whatever was not quite the dud we thought it would be. Sure, the game was a dog as Clemson's not that good, but Florida State may have found a new QB. After Rix went down, Sexson went 17-26 for 165. Hello, new starter.
We still pretend the Big East is a major conference, but it's slipped behind C-USA and maybe the MWC this season. West Virginia pounded a 1-AA team, and UConn pounded Army, so that's sort of the same thing. But Pittsburgh needed OVERTIME to beat 1-AA Furman. Even worse, they scored 20 consecutive points to rally to win this game.
BC has a pulse, but they just lost to Wake. Wake's not a great team, but they play tough, but this does not qualify as their annual upset. Though BC did outplay them and by all rights should have won. Tough noogies. Syrcause still stinks and Temple may be even worse than orignally thought. Losing to Toledo? No big deal. Losing by 28? Big deal.
Remember when Iowa looked pretty good? It seemd like only two weeks ago. Oh, that's because it was two weeks ago. They are still reeling from that butt-kicking from ASU, but now they return home, where they are a much better team. And the next road trip is Penn St and Illinois. So the season's not lost just yet. It just looks that way right now. but stop turning the ball over!
No other surprises. Wisconsin had little trouble with Penn State which for some unknown reason was the Gameday crew's detination. what? Was the Memphis-UAB game too big of a game? Indaina reverted to their losing ways, and Minnesota could have beaten Northwestern by 50 had they tried in the second half, which they didn't. The only minor surprise was Illinois showing some signs of life before losing to Purdue. Which is good news for Purdue, it's good to have your letdown game be against a team as bad as the Illini.
Three games, only one of which was any good. Shock of all shocks, Texas is better than Rice! Who knew? And Baylor beat the snot out of North Texas, proving again to everyone just how bad the Sun Belt is.
Which gives me plenty of space to analyze Kansas-Texas Tech. Woo hoo. It was actually a decent game, watching the Jayhawks blow a 30-5 lead. For some unknown reason, they went for two after scoring point number 30 and failed. Then they were taught a lesson in why teams like Kansas should never try and rub things in. You are not good enough to act like jerks.
The tale of two halves in Palo Alto, eh? First things first, Teevens was 100% correct to go for it on fourth and two with three minutes left. It didn't matter where on the field USC got the ball, he needed a defensive stop period. This way, he at least had a chance to keep the drive going. But they were absolutely dominated in the second half, and watching the game, you just felt like it was a matter of time beofre USC won. Really, they had no business even being close. They play this game 100 times, USC wins by at least two touchdowns at least 75 times.
Also, we learned a very important lesson in Wazzu-Arizona. Either kneel the ball or run your normal offense, but don't run the ball into a stacked ten-man front to run out the clock. Gilbert Harris fumbled the ball, and Wazzu then went on to score the game-winning TD. Sucks to be a Wildcat fan. I'm willing to give UA a pass because, really, when was the last time they had to run out the clock? ASU played like crap and still beat OSU, who look like a team still reeling from their brutal opening schedule. Sometimes playing a tough schedule backfires like this, and OSU may completely implode now. If the Sun Devils beat Oregon, which seems likely, we'll have a matchup of undefeateds when they travel to USC.
Never, ever write off Arkansas. One of our preseason predictions is that the Hogs are always a threat, even when they have no apparent talent. They just dominated Alabama, forcing themselves into the early SEC West race.
How bad is the bottom of this conference? Vandy lost to Navy, who at least is a pretty good team. But Ole Miss losing to Wyoming? Mississippi State losing by 51? Kentucky at least showed some life in their loss to Florida, but they don't look like world beaters either. While the top of the conference is awesome, and it really is a deep middle, the bottom three teams are among the worst in the nation.
I usually don't mention C-USA, but their first full week of conference games was pretty exciting. USF beat TCU in double OT (you have to make those PAT's!!!), and UAB scored the winning touchdown with about 10 seconds left against Memphis. The conference race is wide open should Louisville stumble, so watching the #2-5 teams in the conference square off for early position was pretty fun. And that's not even considering a tough Southern Miss team that beat Tulane pretty easily.
But they all trail Lousville. Usually, beating UNC is no reason to brag, but C-USA needs all the good press it can get. They went into Chapel Hill against a team that was supposed to give them trouble, and just blew them out with ease. The Cardinals have moved into the Utah, Boise St, Fresno group of BCS-busters.
A huge week in mid-major land. Urban Meyer admitted to panicking when his team went down to Air Force, but Utah rallied and they got another win. That's the deal for Utah, just not looking past any opponent. On top of that, Wyoming scored a major scalp, beating Ole Miss. BYU came within a field goal of ending Boise State's winning streak, but the magic of the Blue Turf beguiled them. Still, a nice week for them, one that merits mentions due to the lack of big upsets.
posted by Poseur 9/26/2004 04:03:00 PM