…someday I’ll write again. On the reg.
Well, maybe not on the reg, but i love that phrase.
…someday I’ll write again. On the reg.
Well, maybe not on the reg, but i love that phrase.
Another exciting week in the books: the final undefeated team falls at the hands of the Saints, two 7-1 teams square off in the slop, and the 1-7 Chiefs bring the Steelers to overtime in a nail-biter.
Week 10 Power Ranks
1. Houston Texans (2): Knocking off another 7-1 club, on the road, in the slop – well done Texans
2. Atlanta Falcons (1): This team nearly pulled it off again, twice, late against the Saints but succumb to their first defeat
3. Green Bay Packers (4): Jumping up one spot due to others ineptitude, despite having the week off
4. San Francisco 49ers (5): Overcoming the loss of their starting QB was well done, but they pulled out a hard fought tie in a game they quickly fell behind
5. Chicago Bears (3): Did well to hold the Texans down, but – no touchdowns? This offense needs to get in gear
6. Denver Broncos (7): A strong road victory against the Panthers, the Broncos converted on special teams and defense
7. Baltimore Ravens (9): A home win against the Raiders isn’t worth the uproar it’s receiving, and totally classes fake FG with the game in the books
8. New England Patriots (6): The defense against shows if they offense doesn’t score 35, they’re not going to win it for the Pats
9. Seattle Seahawks (11): The Jets were nothing but a blip for this squad, in Seattle. That gift game against the Packers might matter, after all.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (10): A squeaked out win against the Chiefs, the Steelers better hope Ben’s injury isn’t too serious.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13): Another strong effort on the offensive side of the ball, another win for the suddenly rolling Bucs
12. New York Giants (8): This team has just looked awful for the past 3 weeks, they better hope Eli comes around or the NFC East won’t look so comfortable.
13. Indianapolis Colts (14): Great home win from the feel-good story Colts
14. Dallas Cowboys (16): The Cowboys hang on to what little hope remains
15. Detroit Lions (12): More hard hits for Megatron and the Lions playoff dreams
16. Miami Dolphins (15): Now -that- was an embarrassing home loss
17. New Orleans Saints (21): An uphill fight and rolling Bucs probably have the Saints on the outside looking in
18. Washington Redskins (17): At least the defense can’t be shred when they don’t play
19. Minnesota Vikings (20): Adrian Peterson is a machine amongst men, returning quickly from a knee reconstruction and having his best season ever
20. Cincinnati Bengals (22): A nice home win against the Giants but likely too little, too late
21. Philadelphia Eagles (18): If Nick Foles turns out to be less turnover prone, and if Juan would come back, the Eagles might not crash and burn all the way to January
22. San Diego Chargers (19): Playoff dreams gotta be fading in San Diego
23. St. Louis Rams (24):A blown 14 point lead, and all sort of self-sabotage ruined a could be upset for the Rams
24. Carolina Panthers (25): The -DEFENSE- held the Bronc to just 20 points…the rest of the team did not pull their weight (or even try to, really)
25. New York Jets (23): Jets playin’ like it’s the pre-season
26. Tennessee Titans (29): A big road win for the leagues most inconsistent team
27. Arizona Cardinals (26): At least they didn’t lose
28. Oakland Raiders (27): Oh wow, Oakland, wow….
29. Buffalo Bills (28): They tried to make it exciting late, but another game, another loss
30. Cleveland Browns (30): See Cardinals, Arizona
31. Kansas Chiefs (32): At least they made it a competitive game…
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (31): …because the Jags did not compete.
For a little while I was trying a Sunday-in-Review type article, but I was really not feeling the format after a couple weeks and sort of shied away from it a couple weeks back. I thought maybe I’d try a little mid-week, mid-season power rank and try to jump start myself into a weekly power ranks, tried and true by … every football site under the sun.
Mid Season Power Ranks
1. Atlanta Falcons: This team might almost struggle not to go 16-0
2. Houston Texans: The Texans have benefited from a weak schedule, but they’ve looked a solid club so far
3. Chicago Bears: I almost wonder if this team can just take knees all game and win anyway
4. Green Bay Packers: Even without a run-game, this team is finding it’s stride by the week and will be there in the playoffs
5. San Francisco 49ers: This team just doesn’t have the passing game to pull it off, but in the AFC West they won’t face competition
6. New England Patriots: This team just doesn’t have the defense to pull it off if the offense slips even a little bit
7. Denver Broncos: A team with a defense that has no glaring holes, AND Peyton Manning hurling, is going to cause a lot of clubs a lot of problems
8. New York Giants: Who knows? I’m not even so sure if the Giants know if they’re a good team or not
9. Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens ability to remain a top 10 team will revolve around if their defense can overcome those injuries.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers: That “old” Steelers defense – they’re doing just fine, thank you.
11. Seattle Seahawks: If this team ever learns to win on the road the league will be put on notice
12. Detroit Lions: Winning 3 of the last 4 and a solid showing against the Bears in the midst, maybe this team isn’t as bad as the start would suggest
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: No Davin Joseph? No Carl Nicks? No problem. This team seems to have found its stride
14. Indianapolis Colts: Rookie Andrew Luck – 100% living up to the billing. He’ll be mentioned with the best in the league in no time.
15. Miami Dolphins The defense that’s been carrying them couldn’t get off the field last week, that’s not going to help the developing Tannehill
16. Dallas Cowboys: This team will never get close to even live up to its ability with Jerrah at the helm
17. Washington Redskins: The middle team in the NFC East underachievers, at least they’ve got the ultimate weapon in RG3
18. Philadelphia Eagles: Bringing up the rear for the NFC East, the Eagles are a great mix of: why do you keep giving them the ball AND why did you just call that play?
19. San Diego Chargers: New year, same excited fumbly interceptiony Chargers
20. Minnesota Vikings: The only team that’s going to come back to earth more than the Vikings are the Cardinals. Might not win again.
21. New Orleans Saints: No coach, and no overcoming those glaring defensive holes. Too little, too late.
22. Cincinnati Bengals: Last year this team was competitive because they won the games they should win, this year…not.
23. New York Jets: Coach, quarterbacks – voted most overrated. See through their ‘rated’ness, they’ve horrible
24. St. Louis Rams: A lot of mediocre and underachieving pieces, combined with no wideouts, make up a puzzle for a mediocre and underachieving teams.
25. Carolina Panthers: This team has been competitive of late, and last weeks win might help get them going
26. Arizona Cardinals: People won’t take much longer to forget that 4-0 start
27. Oakland Raiders: Another year, another squad that can’t compete with good teams
28. Buffalo Bills: Would seem the Harvard man wasn’t the answer, and nor was Mario Williams.
29. Tennessee Titans: Definition of a team that should be building taking a BIG step back.
30. Cleveland Browns: This team has a ways to go, but they’ve picked up a couple wins
31. Jacksonville Jaguars: This could almost be 32a instead of 31, but in Jax’s defense they’re a mostly young team whose best player held out all training camp and is now banged up.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Anytime you actually discuss putting Brady Quinn in, the season, she’s over
Ugh, ugly last week all around, neither of my selections were even close. That doesn’t leave you with a terrific feeling going forward, and we’re now 3-3-1 for -30 units through 4 weeks of FP.
Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans, Over 48.0
This games analysis can be summed up almost by suggesting that Buffalo has enough talent to get 2 touchdowns. That should be round about all they need to make this game go over. When a team like Houston: rested off the bye, at home, meets a team with such a porous defense as the Buffalo Bills you can expect puh-lenty of scoring. The Bills defense ranks 22nd vs. the air, and 32nd vs the run. Houston ranks 2nd in points per game, with just a touch over 30 points on the board every game, which matches terrifically with the Bills 32nd ranked points per game defense, allowing nearly 32.4 points per game. It’s a recipe for disaster for the Bills, as even when the Texans get a comfy lead the Bills won’t be able to stop their running out the clock.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders, Over 47.0
I played this hand last week and totally lost the game, so here I am doing it again. Relying on bad teams that you can’t necessarily rely on scoring points, to score points. The saving grace I guess here is that the teams aren’t really defensive powerhouses either. The Bucs featuring the second worst pass defense in the NFL (remember our friends the Bills above hold the worst) and I’m just going to have to bank on Palmer and Denarius Moore being able to take advantage of that. The Bucs however are the better of the two teams, and should be able to keep up and surpass the Raiders. The last 3 weeks the Bucs have put up 38,28 and 36 points in the last 3 weeks and should throw up near 4 score again this week.
Oh, woah, the CHLPA has been providing us with all the ridiculousness we’ve needed in the past few days, that’s for sure.
First broke the news that a formerHalifax Mooseheads player, Joshua Desmond, has filed suit alleging he is due back wages from the CHL as he feels he wasn’t adequately compensated last year. Now, correct me if I’m fucking wrong, but is the CHL not an amateur sporting body? They’re under Hockey Canada, which is an amateur sporting organization. They don’t make anything near what NHL clubs do.
And on top of that, they’re a stepping stone. In a world where we’ve suffered years of a depressed economy and a difficult youth job market, the CHL is a stepping stone for those who want to try to reach the higher leagues, the AHL and for the fortune few, the NHL. They provide players with coaches, trainers, and travel as they try to gain the skills required to gain a profession that places them firmly in the 1%. Although there are stipulations behind it, they’ll help pay for your education. Given the vast numbers of university and college graduates struggling to find good jobs in today’s market, the numbers of unpaid interns looking to get their foot in the door – you’ve got to consider the CHL is a pretty sweet deal for those that choose to go that path.
Georges Laraque, former NHLer and executive director of the “CHLPA” says that the real driving force behind the union is the expand the scholarship program. You see, it’s all for the players. Currently there’s a stipulation in place that you have to enroll in education within 18 months of hanging up your skates – that’s not enough time, Laraque claims. Take a second, let that shit right there sink in. A year and a half is not enough time to enroll in post-secondary education. What in the name of hell are these fellas up to that they need longer than a year and a half? Most people that are planning to pursue education do so directly from high school. Many more take a year and travel abroad before entering school. Most who don’t have their shit lined up after a year and a half didn’t actually plan to enter school a year and a half prior, and I can’t figure out why their former hockey team should be on the hook for that. I’m sure Georges can’t explain it either, but…it’s for the kids.
The real reason any of this shit exists is because of money. Money is the driving force of just about every business in the world, and every union involved with protecting those workers rights. This isn’t about pro or anti-union, but here’s what it is for the CHLPA: this is about money. This drive to try to assure players, despite being amateurs, are being paid minimum wage has nothing to do with helping the players, but I think, collecting union dues. Those players get paid, and Georges and Co. get paid. And not without, unless they’re collecting dues from the handful of dollars are the players are being given now.
And that brings us to today’s news: that spokesman Derek Clarke (MIA these days, for what it’s worth) is actually Randy Gumbley. Randy, convicted of fraud, Gumbley. This union isn’t even off the ground and this type of nonsense is permeating the news about them. TVA reporter Stephane Gonzalez showed Laraque a picture of Gumbley and asked if it was Clarke, and on two occasions Georges answered affirmatively. TSN reported that they had spoken to distinctly different people who have identified themselves as Clarke. Today the CHLPAs lawyer denied the accusations, and hey, innocent until proven guilty. Their lawyer stated that Clarke would give an interview on TSN by 5pm, but no interview aired. Innocent until proven guilty, but this certainly doesn’t look good.
It’s all a shame, and it’s earned a solid Thursday facepalm.
A pretty busy week I didn’t get a chance to get together any other articles, I think I’ll probably write again in the morning to go over a few thoughts I’ve had about some of the new Saints suspension – sympathizer excuses and the Broncos and Vikes seasons.
In the meantime, Finding Paydirt. The Lions-Bears games was an enormous ‘over’ flop – the Lions struggled to hold up their end, posting 3 redzone turnovers and the Bears never did get it going, despite that first TD looking so smooth that twitter blew up with comments about it being “too easy.” 1-1-0, -10 last week, bringing the season record to 3-1-1, +190.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans; Over 47.0
This type of game is a classic example of two teams whose strongest points play directly into the other clubs weakest. The Colts have only played 2 games so far this year on the road, but they’re throwing up 28 points per game in the effort and Andrew Luck is developing just fine in his rookie season. Fortunately they face a Titans secondary that are giving up 281 yards per game through the air and allowing a league worst 34.0 ppg. To top it all off, it’s looking like Colts will probably get back Donald Brown in some capacity to bring havoc to the Titans porous run defense.
On the note of porous run defense, who has a worse run D than the Colts? Well, a few teams, but they are listed as 26th in the league and are allowing over 140 yards per game on the ground. That probably doesn’t bode entirely well for a matchup against the suddenly resurgent CJ2K, who has had 3 solid outings over the past 4 weeks averaging over 4.5 ypc against the Texans, Steelers and Bills. Matt Hasselbeck has performed acceptably over the past few weeks since taking over for Locker, and is primed to make this a competitive game and perhaps a 3rd straight Titans win if they can overcome their defense woes.
San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns; Over 44.0
There are all sorts of things about both of these clubs that normally I would be alllllll about avoiding. First, for instance, generally you can’t trust a team that’s traveling from the west to the east, but the Chargers had last week off so have had plenty of time to adjust presumably. Also, the Cleveland Browns are a bad team, and shit it’s hard to trust a team that fucking bad to pull their weight, but this week I think they’ll get it done against an error prone / hard luck Chargers squad, especially after almost connecting a few times last week. The Chargers feature a very strong run defense, but Trent Richardson is a bruiser and is feeling better than last week.
Normally I like to avoid Norv too, at least against the spread, but I’m going to hope that it works both ways. The Chargers have posted overs in 4 of the last 5 games and the Browns have posted 2 overs in 3 of their last 3; this week, they’ll post an over together.
For everyone keeping track, and I’m pretty sure that’s just me, through 2 weeks of the revived Finding Paydirt we are 2-0-1, +200 units. Last week was certainly a bit of wild ride to get the result, with the Jets securing the over in the final 2 minutes and the Monday Nighter going over in a wild 35 point Bronco 2nd half. It’s been a pretty successful start and looking to keep it going this weekend.
Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans; 48.5
My biggest concern coming into this game is that it ends up getting played out on the ground, and without big breaks here and there that can certainly take the pace out of the game. The Ravens hit the road with mounting defensive injuries after losing Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis and now face a team full of serious threats in Schaub, Foster, AJ – enough to exploit a hurting Ravens D. After losing last week at home versus the Packers, the Texans will be looking to come out strong and face one of the most porous defenses in the league. Given the season they’ve strung together so far, it’s hard to imagine that the Texans won’t post 30-35 points of this, themselves…
…leaving the Ravens to come up on the short end and still comfortably secure this over. The Texans defense will be a serious test for the Ravens on the road who haven’t performed terrific away. It’s actually kind of difficult to write a whole lot about expecting the Ravens to do well, because they haven’t done a whole lot to inspire confidence with any consistency and are averaging 16ppg on the road. It just has to come down to sheer faith that Flacco, Smith and Rice will be able to produce a few touchdowns this week. Those are names that should in theory have enough firepower to carry their weight.
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears; 47.5
I love to see a sensible line when there are two teams that like to pass as much as those lead by Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler. Although the Lions in Detroit are showing off an improved defense, at least in terms of returning names over the past couple weeks, they haven’t held a single team to under 20 points this season — and that might be a problem versus Jay Cutler, who is leaps and bounds a stronger foe than Bradford, Smith, Locker, Ponder and to a lesser extent, Fumbles McGee, Mike Vick. The Bears have performed successfully in their two home games thus far this year (posting a 40-bomb in one of them already) and they’re coming off a bye and sure to be rested. The biggest concern with the concept of Bears games going under this number would normally be that they take a heavy lead and don’t push it along…
… but if Stafford’s memories of last week holds up – once he found Megatron in the 4th quarter he looked like the Stafford of old – then I don’t think the Bears defense will have such an easy time holding. I was about to write “this quarterback-receiver” combination is one of the best in the league, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily the case — this receiver is going to make every QB he plays with look at least semi-elite. The opposing defense, the opposing corner doesn’t matter, Megatron is going to catch balls. As long the Lions take advantage of it when he does, they should be able to pull their weight against a staunch Bears squad.
I copied and pasted this from dictionary.com:
[uh-juhst] Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapt; accommodate: to adjust expenses to income.
There are other definitions there, too, but that’s the one we’re looking for. In particular, adjustments made my coaches. In particular, Norv Turned…and (final time…I think) In particular, a lack of said adjustments, made in the second half, by Norv Turner.
Through 6 weeks a team that arguably could be more successful sits at 3-3. There might be enough talent to suggest that they should be maybe 5-1 at the very worst, and it has to fall squarely on the shoulders of the Norv Turner, because as it seems to me ol’ Norvy seems to be developing a decent game plan for the first half, and then makes no adjustments following halftime.
There’s argument certainly that Rivers and his picks were to blame last night in the debacle that was Denver returning from down 24-0 at half to beat the Chargers 35-24. And they certainly played a part, but what’s totally unacceptable is producing a game plan that affords you 0 points the entire second half of the game. Even bad teams get an occasional field goal.
But the problem is it doesn’t stop with just this Sunday. Last week in New Orleans the Chargers entered half with a tiny lead and scored quickly into the 2nd half to open up a 10 point lead, and proceeded to give up 17 unanswered, and pick up the loss. The Saints hadn’t won a single game all year for gods sakes, and you allow 17 unanswered?!
They weren’t even in the game against the Falcons two weeks before. I’m sure it was embarrassing for Chargers fans. I’m embarrassed for you.
Of the 3 wins they’ve got (the Chiefs, Titans, and Raiders), their opponents have a combined 4-13 record. They’re middle of the pack – to bottom of the pack, in nearly every category offensive and defensive (with run defense being the saving grace). One of my favorite stats concerning the Chargers, however, is that through 6 weeks they’re -1 in give/take… despite being a +5 three weeks ago against the Chiefs. Their third down defense ranks 20th in the league.
And maybe, maybe if they were under a new coach and in a rebuild then some consideration could be given to that. But this isn’t a new coach, this isn’t a team of rookies. The Chargers are meant to be perennial playoff contenders in the West, but if last night is to be seen as a microcosm of the division they will not actually stand a chance. This is the same nonsense that the Chargers find themselves combating every year, a question of why they’re underperforming and somewhere along the way maybe AJ Smith will come around and realize that it’s actually undercoaching.
Time for the Chargers ownership to adjust.
AFC East: aaaaand the entire division is 3-3 after 6 weeks, pretty crazy stuff…Bills I think got away with one, Jay Feely missing that 38yarder… at least Mario got a couple sacks… Patriots…nice secondary… also Ridley and Bolden used to run the ball pretty well… Jets finally broke free of that awful slide…Shonn Green pretty solid day…Brian Hartline – pretty solid day….but the Dolphins D looks fine again and they’re probably the second best team in the East…
AFC NorthTNF note: nice game, Pittsburgh…ouch…anyone remember the time when the Bengals won the games they were supposed to win, and lost the games they were supposed to lose…currently having a time losing games they should win…AJ Green is still a damned monster…respect his authoritah…the Browns were bound to break one soon after being semi-competitive…bet the interdivison was especially sweet…and lucky Richardson isn’t serious in Cleveland…speaking of lucky…how about the unlucky Ravens – goodbye Lewis, goodbye Webb and with that run defense…goodbye any real superbowl dream…
AFC SouthHouston finally plays a good opponent…and it shows…welcome to the Cushing-less-era…Indianapolis faced the harsh reality this week that it’s going to continue to be baby steps with Andrew Luck…Thursday night note: Tennessee – good for you, jack….give CJ a chance again, you’re paying him for a reason…Jacksonville…there’s plenty to work on this week I’m sure…
AFC Westinter-division Broncos/Chargers on now…Broncos not loving kick returns…I mean what do you say about Oakland…”way to stay in the game, chap” …losses are losses and they’re piling up…hey Kansas…remember that article I wrote 2 weeks back about clamoring for Brady Quinn? How’d that go…he’s awful…pray Cassel is back asap if you want to not finish at 1-15…
NFC EastThe New York Giants love to get up for a game that they shouldn’t have any business winning like no other team in football….gotta start to consider them potential for the SuperBowl…Philadelphia Eagles…sometimes you gotta wonder if their quarterback has any interest in actually playing with the frequency which he turns over the ball…Yo Cowboys is Jerry Jones calling the game from up in the box or what…get your clock-management shit under control guys that’s embarrassing…RG3 continues to live up to his billing..what a rookie..what a run…big home win for the Redskins to snap an awful streak…
NFC NorthThe Green Bay Packers doubled the Houston Texans’ passing TDs allowed…Aaron Rodgers paging all critics – shhhh….that train is picking up steam….Bears went into the bye strong, getting rested…first in the division – good times in Chicago…Minnesota finally looking like Minnesota…but this was a tough road match against a unique foe, and they nearly made a go of it…when the dust settles, they’re still probably 3rd best in the division…I’m sure the city of Detroit is glad Matt Stafford remembered that Megatron likes to catch passes…but probably too little too late, and it was hardly commanding…
NFC SouthHalf the division takes the week off…both the Saints and Panthers sporting 1-4 records could use the week off I’m sure…Atlanta didn’t play their proudest game, but in 11 weeks til, it’ll be just another win on the record books…6-0 and the only undefeated…but playing like a team that won’t cause a 16-0 controversy…Tampa Bay…is anyone even paying attention? So you beat Brady Quinn and Kansas…the run defense there is pretty good, but that’s where the story ends for those guys…
NFC WestMost overrated division in football 2 weeks ago…goes 1-3 this week…mind you an impressive Seahawks victory takes…Giants just manhandled the 49ers, putting questions into everyone’s mind…Rams passing game looked better than 7 receptions from last week, but not enough still…Russell Wilson sliced up the Pats secondary…Cardinals…how Cardinalish of you…that’s what we expected from these guys before 4-0…can’t keep it together…Kolb gone, Skelton sucks…rough year about to start and ain’t gettin’ any better in Ari…
I got some shit to talk about here on Saturday morning.
FIFA – You are a fucking mess. Shambles.
Kick’r right off with Christine Sinclair, the Canadian Women’s Olympic Soccer star. FIFA yesterday, in all their wisdom, levied a suspension against Christine for 4 games and fined her an undisclosed amount of money for her comments post-match. Now what Christine did, maybe that warrants one game or a menial fine – but even that’s to save face. The refereeing in the USA-Canada game was atrocious, the situation peaking in the second half with about 20 minutes of the match remaining, with Canada ahead and a crucial penalty called by Christina Pederson on Canadian Keeper Erin McLeod for holding the ball for more than 6 seconds. No warning, just a straight call. Pia Sundhage, the USA Head Coach, involved with the highest levels of soccer since 1978 had never seen that call. You have to let that sit and really think about it for a minute, that woman has been playing/coaching professional level womens soccer for 34 years. Never seen that call before. And FIFA hit Christine with 4 and cash for speaking up about that? In the sport world, at this level, on the Olympic stage, that’s an atrocity. Suspending Christine Sinclair, some two months after the incident, for the equivalent of speaking out of line is absolutely ridiculous. But hey, I guess you guys did act quicker than the FA on John Terry.
But don’t worry FIFA, we won’t leave you with just one back eye…here’s a matching one – The Cuban National Team. Now it’s probably a little bit too early to state these things with 100% surety, but perhaps it’s time to consider allowing Cubans to play for clubs outside of their own country. When Canada squared off against them last night in Toronto, they had 11 players. Do you know why they had 11 players, FIFA? Because upon arriving with 15 fielders, four of them went missing, presumably defected. They’re off to claim citizenship elsewhere, eventually, and attempt to begin careers as professional footballers outside of Cuba. Nevermind absolutely ridiculous, you are fuckin’ ridiculous, FIFA.
Now I’ll leave FIFA alone for a minute or the rest of the article or whatever because I just have to bask in the glory that is the Washington Nationals being first round losers in the playoffs. Truth be told, I have half a soft-spot for the old Expos’ but it did feel real nice to see them lose after that ballsed up decision to bench ol’ Steve Strasburg. That’s what you get, Nationals. You totally mismanaged that whole situation, you let it get out of control, you benched your ace, and you lost the series. Now I love me some Gio Gonzo, had him in fantasy, that worked out. But he isn’t Strasburg. He’s great, but he’s not Strasburg. And I read people saying through 3 games “well, all 3 of those pitchers would have pitched in the series anyway presumably” (on the assumption it went 4). I actually read this on sports pages, ESPN, NBC, it’s crazy. I sometimes wonder if sports writers grasp the psychology behind sport at all. If SS starts game 1, and they win, and Gio game 2, and they win – momentum is a whole shit load different than this years Gio starts game 1 and wins, Zimmerman starts game 2 and gets hammered. A whole shit load – you go from being in a position of needing to win one of three, to needing to take 2 of 3 – and without your best pitcher. Thank you, baseball gods, for the Cards improbable 9th inning comeback victory and to the Nationals management: you shouldna done that. I am sorry for the fans though, you guys didn’t make that fucked up decision and probably didn’t deserve this fate.
One last thing, I have on my mind this morning touches on the NFL and the fine delivered to Slauson because of his hit on Cushing. I’ve got a really serious issue with the concept behind this fine being levied and not because of how I personally feel about the hit, but rather how the rulebook feels about the hit. I feel bad for any player that suffers serious injury in any sport, you never want to see someone hurt and knee injuries can be real sons-a-bitches, but if a hit falls within the rules that your governing body has set in place then I don’t think you can or should fine someone because of the outcome of their hit. Personally, I think Slausons hit was unnecessary and dirty, it didn’t need to happen – but he clearly strikes the front, and that’s within the rules of a peel back block. I think it sets dangerous precedent to fine a player for a play within the rules, and hopefully Slauson appeals and has his fine over-tunred. Dirty isn’t illegal, and if the NFL wants to fix that then they need to address it in the rulebook in the off-season and then (much like every other play) fine the hell out of it.
Oh, phew, almost forgot this: fuck you, Lance Armstrong.