Some Random Football Thoughts
If I ran the Baltimore Ravens, or the Detroit Lions, I'd work out a deal where Kyle Boller and Joey Harrington got swapped for each other. Just to defuse some of the bloodlust in the stands. Neither QB can play a lick, neither will be in the league in a year or two, but this way at least you turn the volume down on the talk radio stations. And maybe save your own neck. Matt Millen, Ozzie Newsome, this is a no-brainer.
Another no-brainer came from Bill Rhoden on ESPN's The Sports Reporters
. Rhoden said that USC should be in the BCS title game even if they lose next week to UCLA, because they've won 33 straight games. This is a idea that's been advocated on that show before (by Mike Lupica especially), that the defending champion should be ranked #1 until someone beats them.
I'm going to say this very slowly--USC hasn't won 33 straight games. Perhaps the PROGRAM has, but this team has only won 11 straight. The previous two seasons MEAN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when it comes to how they should be treated THIS season. It shows how profoundly messed up college football is when teams are rewarded for what they accomplished YEARS ago. Every season is a new beginning. Players graduate and turn pro. Younger players develop into superstars. With the turnover in players its ludicrous to look at what a team did last season and automatically give them credit going forward.
Do the New England Patriots get an automatic spot in the Super Bowl? Nope, they've gotta win their way back. The team that comes into the season ranked #1 (or even #2) in effect gets a mulligan. They can lose a game early, stay in the top 5, and worm their way back into the title game through attrition. It's pathetic that otherwise reasonable people think this is kosher. It ain't.
Look at the preseason rankings. USC, number one. Texas, number two. And number three? Tennessee. Think the pollsters know what they're doing? Look at college basketball. North Carolina won the title last year, had everyone down to the water boy leave for the NBA, and now they're unranked. They didn't come in as the preseason #1. And if Roy Williams manages to pull a large number of rabbits out of a series of hats, Carolina could find itself back in the tournament with a chance to defend their title. But they'll have to earn it. They don't get a bid just because they won the thing last year.
On The Sports Reporters
they also talked about how wonderful the Colts are and their chances of going undefeated. I believe it was Rhoden who also made the goofy argument that it would've been to the Colts benefit to lose a game early so they wouldn't have to deal with all this "undefeated" talk. I've never understood why people might think it's a good thing to lose a game. These guys have lost big games before, they've learned that lesson. You play every game to win, and a win is better than a loss. So far as the 19-0 goes, who cares? Just win the last 3 games of the year, that's all that matters.
The Colts do look like they could run the table...unless Peyton Manning gets hurt. And then they're in BIG trouble. Jim Sorgi is a nice quarterback, I guess. The Colts do a great job protecting Manning, but one flukey play could change their season. Believe me, after watching Tommy Maddox flail around for 2 weeks, I know that all too well.
Oh, and can someone explain to me how Chad Johnson's histrionics aren't worthy of a taunting penalty? If I can't spike the ball at an opponent's feet (which Hines Ward was flagged for against Cinci) why is it OK for Johnson to perform a one-act play in the end zone? I like the spontaneous displays of emotion, but the jackassery that Johnson indulges in deserves flags and fines.
Let's see, any poker content for yinz? I played quite a bit this weekend, and ended down a buck. I managed to double up playing no-limit, and lose my profit on a hand I misplayed and a hand I played perfectly until the ace of diamonds rivered me. I got knocked out of two SNGs after I went all-in as the favorite, so I can't be too upset with myself there. I played a little more no-limit and in the space of 50 hands was dealt aces three times and kings and queens once each. And they all held up, tho I didn't get much action. I had a guy call me an "idiot" for winning a miniscule pot with the Hammer (I raised preflop, natch) when I hit a seven on the river and beat his pocket threes. I managed to hold back the tears.
Vegas in less than two weeks. When I say that I'm not excited yet, I'm not quite telling the truth. Of course I am, but I don't feel that anxiousness yet. I still have a lot to do--like finish the goddam articles I should be working on instead of this. The flying thing still has me a little spooked, but I find that when I have a few beers in me the thought doesn't bother me much. I think I'll be hitting the bar a bit early that Friday morn.