Monday, November 14, 2016

Football this 'n' that

Sometimes, to paraphrase the late Joe Garagiola, football can be a funny game, too.

Everyone assumed that once Tom Brady came back from his suspension for "Deflategate", the New England Patriots would steamroll everyone in their path, and get the usual covert benefits from the league's media partners.

But, as ESPN's Lee Corso is wont to say, not so fast, my friends.

Reality struck Sunday night, as the Patriots lost for the 2nd time at home, this time to Seattle, as a last-second drive came up a wee bit short at the end of the game. FS1's Skip Bayless, who seems to have an axe to grind with the Seahawks, particularly beef jerky salesman Richard Sherman, cried foul well before his current show, Undisputed, hit the air this morning. I haven't seen any footage of the game, nor did I care to last night, as I lost respect for the Pats a while ago, so I can't say if Bayless had any valid arguments. His detractors would have you believe he doesn't.

All this did was enable 2nd place Miami to climb to within 2 games of the lead in the AFC East after beating San Diego earlier in the day. New England, at 7-2, shares the best record in the AFC with West co-leaders Oakland and Kansas City. Getting home field for the playoffs is not a sure thing, if other teams can follow Seattle's example, and I hope they do.
Every year, there seems to be at least one week where college football's top 25 gets shuffled more than your average hand of poker. On Saturday, 5 top 10 teams fell in defeat, two of them on last second field goals. Clemson came in at #2, and was one of those victims of a game-ending kick, losing to Pittsburgh. #3 Michigan fell the same way on the road at Iowa. Big 10 rivals Penn State & Ohio State stood to benefit the most from the Wolverines' loss, although Penn State struggled before putting away Indiana, and Ohio State blew away Maryland in much the same way top-ranked Alabama spanked Mississippi State. #4 Washington, also at home, was only slightly embarrassed in front of a national television audience in a loss to Southern California. The other top 10 flops? Auburn & Texas A & M.
When the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's state tournament began on Friday, 5 schools represented Section II. At the end of business on Saturday night, only one of those five had been eliminated, that being Class C titlist Greenwich, which dropped a heartbreaker to Ogdensburg Free Academy on Friday. Class A champ Burnt Hills routed Massena. Class AA champion Troy destroyed Newburgh Free Academy on Saturday. In a double-header at Schuylerville, the Class B & D champs, Glens Falls & Cambridge, respectively, also won in dominating fashion.

Unfortunately, you had to be there. Time Warner Cable was committed to Syracuse football programming on Friday & Saturday, and didn't have the personnel available to cover any of the 5 games of interest to people in the home district. That won't be the case this weekend, though. Troy, Burnt Hills, Glens Falls, & Cambridge will all play state semi-final games in Kingston Friday or Saturday, and the games will be televised.
I found it amusing that in reporting on the arrest of three suspects in the arson fire that destroyed the field house at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High in Schenectady last month, Time Warner Cable News reporters said police were trying to determine what connection the suspects had to the school.

DUH! It's more likely than anything that the three jabronies were all former students at the school who felt as if they'd been railroaded on some small thing and sought revenge. Not only did they set fire to the guard house, destroying Holy Trinity's football equipment in the process, but they stole some items, too, and probably torched the joint to cover the thefts. Anyone that has seen any crime drama on television over the years could probably figure that out without a college degree.
People complain all the time about referees calling ticky-tack fouls in football or basketball at the most inconvenient times. Take for example Saturday's Clemson-Pittsburgh game. The way ABC/ESPN's Steve Levy & Brian Griese looked at it, it seemed as though the referees were sticking it to Clemson, the home team, with two critical penalties in the final minutes that set up the Panthers' game winning field goal. The game officials have to make split-second judgments, not always accurate, and then get 2nd, 3rd, and 4th guessed to death by a nation of armchair quarterbacks. Similarly, some people might feel as though Michigan got hosed by some home-team favoritism toward Iowa late in that game. Next thing ya know, they'll be calling for expanded replay to confirm penalties. Watch. It'll happen.
With Donald Trump moving into the White House, although not full time, or so he claims, as he's willing to waste money flying back home to New York and his comfy bed, rather than sleep in the White House, one wonders if he's as much of a sports fan as President Obama, and whether or not he'll publicize his brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament. I doubt it. He's more of a football guy, or have you forgotten that he owned the NY-New Jersey team in the USFL back in the 80's?

By the way, Dumb Donald, you could always move your bed to the White House.........

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