Click images for desktop size: “Koln Dome Bridge” – WWII Photo Post Bombing Run During the pre-season yesterdays USC matchup with ASU was being hyped as being nearly as big a deal as LSU and Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, with the whole Pac 10 race dependent on its outcome . . . I remember that clearly.
But the way both teams played yesterday that seems like a nasty joke. Let me rephrase that – the way 3/4 of the teams played yesterday. The USC defense started out playing in a mediocre fashion letting the country’s worst running attack lash them up cruelly, but as the USC offense played with more and more heartbreaking ineptness the defense rose like one and became an impregnable inspiring wall that refused to lose.
Click images: “Dracula” by Universal Pictures Five turnovers in the game most within 20 yards of the USC goal line and no touch downs allowed. ASU has last years Groza Award winner, the finest kicker in the country, one peculated to be a first round draft pick. Fili Moala blocked two of his field goal attempts to preserve the shutout.
Pete Carroll will , no doubt, take full responsibility for the offensive debacle. I put the blame on Steve Sarkasian, the Offensive Coordinator. Each week I’m pretty mystified, when I’m not horrified, by his play calling. He gives up on things or runs the same stupid play into the ground. He takes too many home run shots and doesn’t give his young O-Line a chance to settle in and play to its level of talent.
Mark Sanchez has talent. He’s a good kid. His talent and confidence are being undermined by this horrific refusal to play to his strengths, to protect him from his weaknesses and to protect him from the teams weaknesses.
Click images for desktop size: “Ultra Violet” by Superville Design Look at how Texas has protected Colt McCoy. They never give up on the run, even when its failing. They wait for the home run to come to them. They manufacture the opportunities for McCoy instead of forcing him to make them himself. Same with Chase Daniels at Missouri.
I think Sanchez might have more talent than either of them but he’ not being given a fair chance to show if he does or not.
The political scene is now horrifying. Even McCain is horrified at the rage and nastiness he has purposefully incited. The rampant racism his wife, his running mate and his commercials are setting off. He’s trying to turn the name “Obama” into a synonym for “uppity ni**er”. Its working.
A man showed up at an McCain rally with a stuffed monkey with a hangman’s noose around its neck and an Obama sticker on its forehead.
Some businesses are refusing to serve people with Obama bumper stickers on their cars.
“Georgia congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis, reacting to the increasingly incendiary atmosphere at McCain-Palin campaign rallies, condemned the GOP for using tactics that are creating a mood not unlike the one created by George Wallace, the former segregationist governor and presidential candidate. Lewis accused the Republicans of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” and warned the McCain campaign that they are “playing with fire:”
“As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign,” Lewis said in a statement. “Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.”
The veteran Democrat even invoked one of the most divisive figures in recent U.S. history. “During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a
Click images for desktop size: “Jeff Beck’s Fender Esquire” church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama,” said Lewis.
He warned, “As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.”
The McCain campaign responded by saying “that’s not what we’re doing!”
Of course they also said this about the release of the Branchflower report on Troopergate. Palin’s response: “If you read the report, you will see that there was nothing unlawful or unethical about replacing a cabinet member,” Palin said as boarded her campaign bus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “You got to read the report.”
The first line of the report quotes the law and says that Palin violated state ethics law by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator’s report for the bipartisan Legislative Council concluded Friday.
Palin says there was nothing unlawful or unethical, just read the report. And the report says? It was unlawful and unethical.
The McCain camp’s claim of some pretty petty and horrifying abuses of power is that since the report makes no recommendation that criminal charges be leveled, it’s therefore a case of “no harm, no foul.”
Last weeks NFL picks provided some justification of my system as opposed to my friends.
Using her daffy system of team colors, nicknames and helmet design she was an absurdly ludicrous 7-7 in her picks. It is hard not to laugh at her flailing futility.
I, using my method of careful analysis, study of previous games, tendencies and my encyclopedic knowledge of the game burnished by years of coaching and playing finished the week a gloriously scrappy 7-7 . . .
My picks are in bold.
St Louis at Washington – After firing the head coach teams have a solid history of rebounding and winning the next game in which they’re given no chance. That’s the scenario for the Rams this week, after firing coach Mike Linehan . . . that’s about the only hope the Rams have. Their offense guided by Steve Jackson and with Mark Bulger under center can be productive but the defense is a bad joke. I have no confidence in the Redskins except their helmets are red even though they are not as nifty as the Rams curly horned blue and gold affair. Still, the Redskins keep winning. I can’t for the minute understand how, except they keep scoring more points than the other guys. This is my Survivor game pick of the week. I’m still alive in the contest which only has 1,225 still competing out of 100,000 plus!
Carolina at Tampa Bay – The Panthers are a surprisingly strong favorite here. This surprises me as the Buc’s defense has looked incredibly stout and the Panthers have looked remarkably lucky. Sometimes luck is far better than skill or talent. This comes down to the Buc’s wearing black and dark red while the Panthers wear baby blue! But for logo’s the Panther is far cooler than the unchic pirate the Bucs are cursed with. This is almost a pic em!
Cincinnati at New York Jets – After the incredible performance two weeks ago destroying the Cardinals the Jets got a week off to heal up! The Bengals are busted up and in total disarray. Carson Palmer isn’t starting with a weak commitment that he might get some playing time. The Bengals haven’t won with Palmer and its impossible to win without him. The Bengal D has shown some resolution in the past few weeks but Brett Favre is excited about playing in New York now. Even though the Bengals have the coolest helmet in the NFL and the Jets have the creepiest I don’t think that will be enough.
Oakland at New Orleans – The Saints are as unlucky as the Panthers have been lucky. The NFL aggravated the situation by their fines this week and by Goodell assuring the refs that they were doing a great job and not to worry about it . . . In their last game against the Vikings, 3 Vikings were fined for dirty play! BUT the largest fine was for the DB who ran back the blocked field goal
Click images for desktop size: “Return of the Warriors” by Charles Marion Russelll for excessive celebration! The nasty and potentially fatal face mask tackle of Reggie Bush (which led to the game wrenching fumble) was only fined $7,500 . . . why to protect the players. The Players Union needs to replace Gene Upshaw quickly before Roger Goodell decimates the league! The Raiders have fired wunderkind Lane Kiffen, not too smart really. See the bounce back theory under the Rams game. Jamarcus Russell gets to come home to the SuperDome. The Saints are super busted up. Finally the Raiders kit is the di reguer classic standard for gang bangers and wannabees everywhere while the Saints kit is the highest in “eh- factor. A fleur ds lis? Still, despite all these facts I figure the Saints will blow them out. They need to.
Detroit at Minnesota – Poor poor Lions. I think they might win one or two games this year given they are overloaded with talent, even disgruntled talent. When they do win it will be a shock, whomever they beat. The Vikings are a joke to me. A dirty team who have very little to offer, especially considering the mountains of money they’ve spent on talent. But they do have purple kit (Someone in this household who is not me’s favorite color) and there is no denying that viking horned helmet is very cool.
Baltimore at Indianapolis – This is a rough pick. The Colts have only won twice and they’ve looked insanely unimpressive in both wins. Even Peyton Manning has looked nearly human. The Ravens (who dress in black but have chosen a CROW for their logo) have looked impressive in all their games, extremely impressive. With the brand new stadium the Colts really are missing a big part of their home field advantage. In another situation I’d take them and
Click images for desktop size: “Surf” by Unknown the 3 points . . . I just changed my mind. The old fashioned horse shoe on the Colts logo has swayed me to go with my heart and the Ravens Joe Flacco tearing up a Bob Sanders-less Colt’s D. This is my game of the week.
Chicago at Atlanta – The Bears appear to be this years schizo team, winning some games they shouldn’t and inexplicably losing the easy ones. This should be one of the easy ones. I don’t think the Falcon’s Matt Ryan is quite ready yet to face a pass rush like the Bears can muster even without suspended tackles. (I do think that Smith did the right thing in suspending the tackle. Teams respond to discipline and resent favoritism and teammates getting away with stuff. The suspension should fire up the rest of the squad.) Coming off a career game Orton won’t be quite as good but he won’t need to be. Even though the Falcon’s kit is eons cooler than the old school Bears gear I’m still taking the Bears!
Click images for desktop size: “Lily” by Unknown Miami at Houston – Its been nearly 3 years since I picked the Dolphins to win one! Now I figure they’ll let me down . . . if its because they wear teal and white as opposed to the Texans red and black I’ll do something drastic! Chad Pennington is the leader the offense has needed since forever. Their defense is not as punishing as in previous years but it is pretty efficient. Houston looks good in struggling . . . They hung their future away when they passed over Reggie Bush and hired Craig Morton. In its history no one has ever managed to full on beat the Wing T formation. Its an offense designed not so much to win games as to keep them close enough to maybe win. The Dolphins have adapted it and are making it work in the high powered NFL.
Jacksonville at Denver – The Bronco’s keep winning even when they get exposed. I think Jay Cutler is a very good QB and his handling of his diabetes is inspiring. He makes a good role model. I don’t think anything about any of the rest of the entire team. What they have going for them is Cutler and Mile High Stadium. Th Jaguars are more problematic. They have talent, they have fire, they have coaching and they’re 2-3 . . . They need to win and to string together some big wins or the wide open AFC will have them sitting at home watching the playoffs on TV. As the Jaguars wear teal and have the snazzy snarling cat on their lids I’m picking them.
Green Bay at Seattle – The Packers are a team in transition. That’s obvious as they’ve already lost as many games this season than they did all of last year. The Seahawks are just a bad team in a bad division. Aaron Rogers has shown he’s a good NFL QB, but he’s not shown he can play hurt. Lat week he was good but couldn’t get his wracked body to its former level of excellence. Rogers may have damaged himself even more by playing last week in a game the Packers lost anyway. If he’s spent the time healing I’d have them as the easy pick here. The Seattle Kingdome is a nasty place for visiting teams, especially teams who don’t play there every year. I think that the Seahawks should pull the upset victory today. Beside a seagull, an albatross for gosh sakes, maybe the dorkiest logo
Click images for desktop size: “Crescent Moons-Crop Circle” in the NFL but its still more inspiring than a letter G!
Philadelphia at San Francisco – Brian Westbrook, the heart of the Eagles attack, is out with broken ribs. But they still have Donavan McNabb who is the heart and brains of the team. The 49ers have exceeded everyones limited expectations but face a team that is desperate for a win. And the Eagles kit is that lovely shade of metallic green. The eagle is a cool enough logo while the 49ers logo, unless its on Jerry Rice or Joe Montana, is just dumb.
Dallas at Arizona – After their strong comeback after the embarrassing defeat the Cardinals look like a force. The Cowboys dismal performance against the Redskins should have them fired up. They can’t afford back to back losses if they expect a shot at making the playoffs. The paychecks should be enough to inspire the Cowboys to beat the Cardinals. Now I know the Cowboy C is a stupid logo, heck they don’t even play in Dallas! But I’ve been to Arizona plenty of times and I have never seen a Cardinal in the whole state! So on that front the additional edge goes to the Cowboys.
New York Giants at Cleveland – Cruddy game of the week. The Browns are without their premiere player, Kellen Winslow. The Giants are healthy and must be chomping at the bit to play this depleted team. The Giants should win easily and it will be nothing but dull.
New England 24 at San Diego 20 – This is the Sunday night game and its a good one. The Brady-less Patriots are still an enigma. Their aging Defense still suspect. At times it shows its age but then suddenly rallies itself. The Chargers are also an enigmatic team. Has Ladainian Tomlinson taken too many hits. He’s shown little of his brilliance of years past. Little and exciting Sproles has been more productive in pivotal situations. Now the Pat’s logo, the colonial in a football crouch is an historically bad logo. The Charger lightning bolt is tres cool. If the Chargers were still wearing their powder blue kit of ages past they’d be an easy pick here. But its still hard for me to go against the Patriots until they’ve shown they’ve forgotten how to won.
As usual these picks are for you to use when picking on me and have no other value unless you enjoy throwing money away.