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Playoff Football Thoughts

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on January 14, 2020

Typically, this weekend is my favorite for NFL football. Four games among the eight best teams, win or go home incentive. I was surprised, therefore, to see so much poor football this weekend. An exceptional number of penalties, myriad inexplicable dropped passes, many muffed punts and kick-offs and head scratching coaching decisions. (The referees didn’t particularly distinguish themselves, either.)

After the fourth game of the season, I picked the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens to make the Super Bowl and the Ravens to win it. This weekend, I considered Saturday’s games the only meaningful ones, and Sunday’s games superfluous (They probably still are). So much for my predictions. The 49ers did their part, dispatching the Minnesota Vikings handily, but the Ravens, who seemed to me to be the best NFL team this year, did a complete collapse.

Lacking imagination, I suppose, I could not conceive that the Ravens team could play as badly as they did in their game. They stunk on ice. The Tennessee Titans wiped up the floor with them.

Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh will be savagely second guessed, and possibly fired, for resting his starters in week 17th, with the result they hadn’t played in three weeks and were rusty as a tin can in the city landfill. Harbaugh looked stunned and clueless on the sideline.

The theory of resting players that long is controversial. Sometimes, coaches get away with it; sometimes, like Saturday, it bites.  San Francisco used its one bye week to rest and heal. The Ravens rested two weeks and rusted.

I can understand why coaches might want to do it, but I wouldn’t. The risk of getting stale is greater than the risk of a major injury. I thought the Ravens were just too good for this to happen to them, but I was wrong.

Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson, who will probably be league MVP this year, stunk up the place this day: interceptions, a fumble, two fourth and one stuffs, and by the end of the game he had lost his composure. His receivers (except for the two from OU – Andrews and Brown) were less than no help. They dropped the ball like it had herpes.

I still think Jackson is, and will be, the same guy he was three weeks ago, but he clearly needs more seasoning. He lost his cool in the big game. Jackson made great progress this year. I assume he will make good use of his painful off-season.

For a while, the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans looked like it was going to be a repeat of the Ravens v Titans game. For the first quarter, the Chiefs couldn’t hit the floor with their hat. Dropped passes and other misfeasance put them behind 24-0. But once they awoke and got going, they dominated and won the game 51-31.

The Chiefs got some help from the Titans’ coach who had a chance to put a nail in the Chiefs’ coffin, potentially, but blew it with two calls that were, how do I say this diplomatically, intellectually inconsistent, by which I mean stupid.  (How do some of these coaches get their jobs, and why do teams fill coaching positions with retreads and deputies when Urban Meyer is sitting at home?)

Once the NFL season has begun, two things are the best predictors of success:  quarterbacks and injuries. Great quarterbacks are precious and rare. Injuries are an X factor that is unpredictable but often decisive.

This year, there were a lot of injuries, and two teams were especially hard hit: the Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks. Remarkably, both got to the playoffs, Seattle with a truly great quarterback and Philadelphia, due to the utter ineptitude of my Dallas Cowboys.

The second game Sunday between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers turned out to be a terrific game, when it could have been a blowout. Green Bay was healthy and has a great quarterback – Aaron Rodgers. Seattle has Russell Wilson – but also has so many injuries it could hardly field a team.

Green Bay took a big lead, but Seattle came back in the second half and made a game of it but lost 28-23. Wilson carried his team by the scruff of the neck as far as he could, but it was not enough to beat the Packers with so many injuries.

Thoughts on Events the Week of January 6

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 14, 2020

Iran: admitted that in the fog of war, it mistakenly shot down a commercial airliner. This admission came at the direct order of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. No telling where this story might have gone if the Iranians had continued to deny it. The evidence was becoming incontrovertible, but nobody believes anything the Trump administration says about anything. I would believe almost anything Iran says before what our government says. It could have been a standoff.

But Iran stepped up and did the right thing. It’s inconceivable to me that I would be saying this, but at times, Iran seems to be better governed, more honest and more transparent than our own government.

Obviously, our foreign policy regarding the Middle East is in the hands of ignorant, religious wackos (exception: John Bolton, who is just a garden variety war monger), and a clueless, impulsive president. Secretary of State Mike Pompous and Vice President Puritan Pence, came over on the Mayflower, mentally. We may have witch trials in our future if they have their way.

These mental retards want to effect regime change in Iran. Among the many things they don’t understand is that regime change is going to happen there, in fact, it is already in the process, as it was Iraq before we intervened, but it won’t happen until we get out of their way.

That said, I’m not sure Pompous and Pence would like the new regime. They will, with little difficulty, take over control, if not authority, of Iraq, which is another Shia majority country, and they will have a greater influence in the region overall.

Opportunity loss: President Trump says he wants out of the “endless war” in Iraq. Iraq wants us to leave. This is the perfect opportunity to get the hell out of there.

But now Trump is pissing on this golden opportunity to get us out of Iraq like a hooker’s mattress. He’s refusing to leave and has threatened even to impose sanctions on Iraq, our ally, for crying out loud, if it tries to make him.  

What the hell is happening here? This fool doesn’t know what is going on, where things are going, nor what the hell he is doing. He’s stumbling around between his impulses, various equally clueless advisors and Fox News, with the result his foreign policy is a dog’s dinner.

Destroying Cultural Sites: A reminder came this week upset I was when the Taliban began destroying every statue in Iraq on religious grounds, including ancient pre-Islamic ones, and ISIL began destroying ancient historical and religious artifacts. I thought what a despicable lot of ignorant religious wackos these people are who have no regard for their own cultural heritage. These barbarians are beneath contempt.

The reminder, of course, was that President Trump threatened to destroy “cultural sites” in Iran. In other words, our barbaric president is no better than ISIL or the Taliban. Fortunately, Trump backed down, and it is a good thing, too, because I believe our military, if ordered to do this, would have refused, causing another major constitutional issue. This guy is a walking cock-up.

Democratic Primaries: The Democratic presidential field is beginning to winnow, and some pundits and politicians are lamenting that there is less diversity among the remaining candidates than when the process started. This is unfortunate, but what the hell did they think was going to happen? Diversity, mathematically, requires multiples. Ultimately, there can only be one candidate. We need to pick the best one, or at least a good one, and for sure one who can beat Trump.

The Royals: I can’t believe I am doing this, but I feel obliged to make a comment about Meghan and Harry.

I don’t pay attention to the royals, so I didn’t know this, but apparently Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and American member of the royal family, has been the victim of vicious racism in Britain’s press, and in society generally, since she married Prince Harry, because of her “mixed race” heritage.

I was ignorant of all this because we usually only get the fairy tale version of the royal family over here, I don’t pay any attention to what news we do get, and because, despite the current administration, we are much more egalitarian than the Brits, who are  more “class conscious” (read bigoted and xenophobic).

So, Prince Harry took Markle away from all this bullshit, or Meghan told the royals to kiss her rosy red rectum, and Harry, who seems genuinely to love his wife, went with him.

Simon Hogarth famously said, “I love the monarchy. It’s just this particular family I can’t stand.” Well, I like some of the family members better than before. But there is no question that the royals are caught in a time warp, centuries behind. They are the antipode (my new word) of the modern family.

Worst State: Just when I was thinking of removing Arizona from the list of worst states, and replacing it with, say, Kentucky, it came back with a vengeance this week, thanks to my own personal Representative and card-carrying pig part, Paul Gosar.

Gosar “shared,” in the popular vernacular, a doctored photo showing President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who have never met, shaking hands. This forgery is wrong on every level.

As we all know, President Trump despises “fake news.” I wonder what he will say about this. The most apt description of Gosar’s dissemination of false propaganda I have read is “Shameless stupidity.” Works for me. Arizona, you get the cup.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 30

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 8, 2020

Madness: Since George W. Bush, our worst president since the Civil War, invaded Iraq, our worst blunder since the Civil War, our foreign policy regarding the Middle East has been mismanaged. We are treating Islam today just like Europe did during the Crusades, which began in 1095, and which didn’t go all that well then either. In other words, we haven’t learned a damn thing in 925 years.

This current lot is the worst, which is really saying something considering the bozos of the Bush administration. Think Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. I doubt this lot knows the difference between a Shia and a Sunni Muslim, an important distinction to understand as it informs the region, and specifically the relationship between Iran and Iraq (hint: both are Shiite majority countries, you nit wits).

This indictment doesn’t include President Trump. The rest are ignorant, vicious ideologues. Trump doesn’t rise even to that level. He is a round orange ball of ignorance, stupidity and various neuroses, though I don’t want to dwell on his finer points too much. This unhinged fool is wading into another “Big Muddy,” as Pete Seager sang of Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam, and he’s dragging us all with him.

President Obama did the only intelligent thing we have done in the Middle East in this century when he gathered allies and other major players together and secured the Iran nuclear agreement. So of course Trump walked away from the agreement as soon as he took office, and it has been downhill from there. (To be fair, Obama and his people didn’t understand the situation fully either, or he would have gotten us out of there.)

Here are some basic thoughts that guide me when I think about the Middle East: The situation is more complicated and nuanced, but these ideas get me through.

First, the conflict in the Middle East is between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. It is fundamentally a religious/civil war, and we have no role in it, nor should we try to. You can’t step between two fighting dogs to stop them; you will only get bitten. The players in the region must work it out themselves.

Second, the reason we are under attack there, and in other parts of the world, is because we are poking Islam with a pointed stick. Remember the Crusades? If we weren’t there, they would have no reason to attack us.

Third, with the changing role of oil in our world, the Middle East is no longer as strategically important to us as once it was. We needn’t be spending so many resources there.

Finally, we are pissing away blood, treasure, reputation and influence, all of which we need to deal with more important international and domestic issues. One of the reasons so many people voted for Trump (though still a minority) is because we failed them while stumbling around in the Middle East.  

Worst state: Kansas gets the cup this week because Secretary of State Mike Pompous lied to us through his teeth all week. On the bright side, Pompous will not run for Senate in Kanas in 2020, so the seat could go to a Democrat, and if Trump is thrown out of office, Pompous will be out of politics, which will be a good thing for all of us.

Football Thoughts on the Wildcard Weekend

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on January 6, 2020

TIn the first game Saturday between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans, the fourth quarter and overtime were as exciting as any football I have seen in a while. This is not exactly a compliment. What made it so exciting was the bad coaching, the bad quarterback play, the senseless penalties and general ineptitude. At the beginning of overtime, the ref reminded the captains that the game must be won, but the play made one wonder.

Desean Watson rallied the Texans and pulled the game out for Houston, but I doubt they will go much further, now or in the future, until they get a new coach. Their current one made mistakes a Texas high school coach wouldn’t.

Buffalo would seem to have the brighter future long term, but their quarterback, Josh Allen, the least of the good quarterbacks in his draft class, in my view, made some disastrous mistakes. Unlike Watson, who walked on water when it was required, Allen passed water instead.

The Tennessee Titans unseated the reigning Superbowl Champion New England Patriots and pundits are declaring it the end of a dynasty, due to Tom Brady’s decline.

The dynasty thing may be true, at least for a while, but I have watched the Patriots this year, and although he is admittedly having an off year, Brady is not the problem. He just doesn’t have a team around him anymore. He has no receivers to speak off. His offensive line can’t hold the pass rush off Brady long enough for him to make a throw, and the Titans ran through New England’s defensive line like a hot knife through butter.

Perhaps this decline is the inevitable result of being so good for so long that the Patriots have been at the tail end of the draft line for many years. Perhaps it will take a few higher draft picks to get them back on top. But I have confidence in this organization’s being able to do it.

Here’s a scenario regarding Brady’s possible future. Remember, you read it here first. What if Dallas were to hire New England’s offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniel to be its new head coach (not a bad option in any case)? McDaniel and Brady are tight. So, what if Brady left New England to join McDaniel?

Brady, not needing any more money (he’s already rich and his wife is richer), has historically been very cooperative with the Patriots in reworking his contract to help with the salary cap, so he might be with Dallas. This would allow Dallas to jettison Dak Prescott, who is beginning to look like a middle of the pack quarterback, and avoid a salary cap problem with him and other Cowboy star players whose contract negotiations are coming up.

Brady would thrive, I believe, with McDaniel coaching Dallas’ talent, and hold the fort for a few years until the Cowboys find another quarterback. Just a thought.

Sudden thought: After watching how the Cowboys have handled the “Jason Garrett affair,” I’m beginning to think that Jerry Jones is no longer the NFL’s best owner, but a senile old man.

The first game on Sunday featured the most evenly matched teams in the wildcard round: the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. I was surprised that the Vikings won it. I thought that the Saints were a better team, but the Vikings outplayed them this day.

That said, the Vikings won it on a play on which most experts said offensive pass interference should have been called on the Vikings’ receiver. I have no opinion to offer on this, because I think the entire officiating protocol sucks and needs a complete overhaul. It’s threatening the game. But the Saints must be wondering why referees aren’t calling penalties on game deciding fouls against them. This is arguably the third year in the row this has happened to the Saints, though last year’s no-call was by far the most inexcusable.

Sunday’s second game – Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles – involved two teams that have had a devastating number of injuries this season. It was a contest between the walking wounded and the halt and lame. Seattle was always the better team and they won the game, but someone needs to explain to me why the 11-5 Seahawks had to play on the road against the 9-7 Eagles. I know. I know. It’s because the Eagles won their weak ass division and Seattle didn’t win their very strong one, but this defies common sense.

Skip and Shannon have been arguing for several seasons now which is the better quarterback from their draft – Wentz for Philadelphia or Prescott for Dallas. To me, it doesn’t really matter because Wentz just can’t stay healthy. He was knocked out of this game, as he regularly is during the playoffs, if not before.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 23

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 31, 2019

Happy Holidays: Congress left town for the holidays and so did I, to be with my three daughters in Santa Fe. So, little happened in politics and what did happen I didn’t pay any attention to.

Football: When my beloved Oklahoma Sooners announced that three of its players would be suspended and another starter lost to injury, I knew our odds would be particularly long to win their playoff game against LSU. Early in the game, my team was clearly intimidated and overmatched. That said, LSU is an extremely fine team having a Cinderella season. My hat it off to them. They wiped up the floor with us, straight up.

After watching the Sooners get demolished, I watched a good playoff game between Clemson and Ohio State, which the Tigers won at the end. All I could think of during this game was that Brent Venables was, and could still have been, our defensive coordinator. But we kept Mike Stoops and Venables went to Clemson, which has had spectacular defenses and won championships ever since. I know why this happened, and I understand it, but the bottom line is: Clemson has Venables and we have the Grinch.

The Dallas Cowboys, in a spectacularly underachieving season, failed to make the playoffs, again.

Scratching for something positive from the season, all I can console myself with is that Jason Garrett will be fired. Or will he? As of this writing, there is no news of this, and I was expecting it immediately after the game.

If the Cowboys don’t fire Garrett, it will be clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Cowboys are not serious about the business they claim to be in, and I will be off them forever.

I will find another team to support. It could be the Cardinals, depending on their draft, or Cleveland, depending on who their new head coach is, or the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are an easy choice (I picked them early on to win the Superbowl), but perhaps too easy.

Worst state: I’m reviewing the list of worst states, which could result in dropping one state out of the list and adding another. Candidates are Kentucky, because Moscow Mitch, and North Carolina, whose determination to retain gerrymandering is epic. I’ll let you know in my first blog of the new year.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 16

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 23, 2019

Impeached!: So, President Trump has been impeached. Whatever happens now, he will go down in history as one of those rare disgraced presidents whose behavior was such that a House of Representatives found it impeachable. Trump is one of only three among 45 presidents (fewer than 7%) to receive this level of opprobrium from the legislative branch.

So far, none of the impeached presidents has been removed from office by the Senate, and it’s unlikely to happen this time. (Nixon would have been removed had he not resigned before being impeached. It is a sign of how deep the stain of impeachment is that Nixon chose to resign rather than experience it.)

Andrew Johnson, a truly odious president, survived removal by just one vote. Clinton avoided removable easily, because voters were in general agreement that his “crime” – being a randy male who lied under oath to a question he shouldn’t have been asked in the first place – did not warrant it.

Clinton’s impeachment was driven by Republicans’ prurient prudishness (an oxymoron that informs conservatives’ sexual confusion), whose leaders are more conservative about sex than the general public. I, for one, can’t blame someone for wanting to get laid. I’m in no position to do so, as I like to get laid myself. As I remember it, Clinton’s behavior was what women should want it to be. He made a pass at Paula Jones, she rebuffed it and he backed off immediately.

Clinton’s mistake was that when he was asked about it under oath, he lied. He should have flatly refused to answer. He should have said something like, “How dare you ask me that question? What’s the matter with you sickies? I’m a married man, and I’m not going to answer for obvious reasons of maintaining domestic tranquility.” Let Republicans explain to a court why forcing him to do was so essential. The public didn’t want to hear more of this stuff. And, Linda Tripp, kiss my rosy red rectum, you disgusting Judas. Ditto, Ken Starr.

In the immediate, partisan term, the Senate will continue its failure to function properly, and Trump will claim exoneration. But the history books will give a more truthful account of the president’s crimes, and that’s how Trump will be forever recorded.

All that said, I wish the Democrats had pursued subpoenas of important witnesses, including Trump, through the courts earlier and more aggressively. I think it would have made a difference. Often, the Republicans look tough and the Democrats look weak and indecisive. I think most people want strength in a leader.

Football: Looked at objectively, it is better for me that the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in their do or die game. Had the Cowboys won, they would have been in the playoffs, but I’ve seen the other teams headed to the playoffs and any one of them would wipe up the floor with the Cowboys, so their making the playoffs would be symbolic but meaningless.

At least with this loss, the Cowboys will have to fire the head coach. They lost to the Eagles, who are so banged up they could hardly field a team, but the Eagles out played the Cowboys spectacularly. Dallas didn’t even score a touchdown! (I wouldn’t let the Cowboys’ wunderkind offensive coordinator run my taxi squad.)

Jerry Jones says he really wants to win another Superbowl, but he has brought these failures on himself by hanging on to this incompetent coaching staff.

I have stated often, mostly in earnest, that Jones is the best NFL owner, who is only dangerous when he thinks he knows something about football. But this opinion is incomplete. Money is not the only measure of an ownership. To be a great owner, one’s team needs to win some Superbowls. Dallas used to, but not for years. Jones wants to be thought of as a great owner, but today I’m thinking he is a stubborn, doddering old man.

My beloved Oklahoma Sooners will be without at least four players for their playoff game against LSU, one due to a broken collarbone but three due to broken team rules. Way to go, guys!

Contrary to my expectation and predictions, Kyler Murray has had a better and more successful campaign than his fellow OU Heisman Trophy winning first NFL draft choice, Baker Mayfield. So, Season 1 to the Cardinals’ quarterback over Cleveland’s. It will be interesting to see what their respective teams do during the offseason.

If you want to see an example of good execution, I commend to you Washington’s game against Boise State. Most of the Huskies’ plays were very well executed.

Worst States: Every senator from every one of the worst states has already indicated publicly that they will vote against Trump’s removal no matter what the evidence, or even before the trial, so hell with all the worst states this week.

Football thoughts the week of December 9

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 19, 2019

The Dallas Cowboys did something unprecedented for them this season: they beat a team with a winning record! And they looked good doing it. Who knew?

Oddly, this performance against the Los Angeles Rams had no effect on their chances of making the playoffs, win or lose. If they beat the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday and the Redskins the following week, they are in. If they lose either of those games, they are the Cowboys.

The Arizona Cardinals beat the Cleveland Browns in the first duel between the matching OU Heisman Trophy winning first NFL draft picks. Kyler Murray is figuring out the NFL. Baker Mayfield is still waiting for a team.

Going into this season, and game, I though the Browns had the better team. Still do. But Murray’s speed, like that of Lama Jackson of Baltimore, is a game changer. And, it is clear that the Browns’ head coach has no clue how to use his weapons, of which he has enough that they should be playing much better if he did.

This off season, the Browns need to draft defensive players and a new coach. It’s about the same for the Cardinals.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 12

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 19, 2019

Impeachment Inquiry:  As expected, the House Intelligence Committee submitted its report to the House Judiciary Committee, which voted to send the articles of impeachment to the full House next week. (Since I am writing this late, we now know that the House has impeached Trump.)

I’ve been ambivalent about whether impeaching Trump was useful. I was inclined to remove him from office via the next presidential election. However, there are two good reasons to impeach Trump now.

First, when the charge that Trump extorted Ukraine – a classic example of a high crime about which the Founding Fathers were specifically concerned – was documented and corroborated, the House had no choice at that point. Second, Trump might win the next election! He won the last one with fewer votes than Clinton. If that were to happen, Trump would have gotten off Scott free, which would have done irreparable damage to the Constitution.

What will happen next is predictable, but still unassured. But one thing is now certain. The mark of Cane is upon Trump, so to speak. He will be remembered in history as the third president to be impeached. He can never escape that legacy.

The caterwauling, lying and coverup by Republicans and Trump has been odious, but one of their claims galls me the most. I’m used to the lies, insults and vulgar language by now, but I am deeply offended by their claim that the impeachment is illegitimate. In fact, impeachment is clearly spelled out in the Constitution and is perfectly legitimate. I would argue that the House is the only Constitutionally specified body that is doing its job properly these days.

Brexit: The Brits voted again, and Boris Johnson won a landslide victory. I assume this means Britain is fairly and truly going to be out of the European Union soon. You don’t often see a country shoot itself in the foot like this, but apparently this is what the people want. Xenophobia runs deeper through the British body politic than I understood. Oh, well.

Worst state: Texas announced this week that it will not spend a dollar to help with the 2020 census, because it is trying to suppress the count of minority voters. This contrasts with many states that are supporting the census financially because they want a good count. Besides, Ted Cruz. For both, or either, of these reasons, Texas get the cup this week.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 2

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 12, 2019

NATO: President Trump returned to Europe for another NATO meeting as we winced, worried what he was going to say to embarrass us. But things were different this time. Trump did say some embarrassing things, but no one in NATO was paying any attention. It is apparent that Europe has decided to move on without Trump, or at least wait until he goes away to engage with us. So little do the NATO country leaders think of Trump that they made fun of him behind his back. Poor Trump, having the world’s biggest but most fragile ego, and the world’s thinnest skin, huffed off in a snit. Our president snits. What a sniveling pussy.

Wonkette.com: My daughter Megan introduced me to this website, and it has become a favorite. It is liberal, saucy, feminist, as you might imagine from the name, irreverent, and suits me right down to the ground. It describes a lot of rightwing activity and politicians in ways they deserve to be described, praises good works, and always offers a happy ending, frequently visuals of cute furry animals at play.

Note: the language is typical of that used between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump, but to better effect. Wonkette is self-funded and they will ask you for, but not require, a small donation if you read their stuff. I often throw in a few dollars to help them out, because any site that calls Lindsay Graham guilty of “fuckery,” deserves support.

Worst State: Everybody is picking on poor Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, but only because he deserves it. I’m giving the Lone Star State the cup this week.

Football Thoughts the week of December 2

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 12, 2019

The Dallas Cowboys embarrassed themselves thoroughly, again, losing to the Chicago Bears Thursday night. They are a disgustingly underperforming team that doesn’t earn the money they are being paid. In this one thing, I sympathize with Jerry Jones, though he has brought it on himself by failing to create a professional football organization and keeping a less than worthless coaching staff around.

Inconceivably, as bad as they stink, the Cowboys could still get into the playoffs by virtue of playing in the worst division in the NFL. Even having lost to the Bears, and even if they lose to the Rams next week, which wouldn’t surprise me at all, should they beat Philadelphia the following week and win against the Washington Redskins the final week of the regular season, the would win the division. This ludicrous injustice will be rectified during the first game of the playoffs, however. I have watched a lot of pro football the last couple of weeks and there is not another team likely to get into the playoffs who won’t wipe up the floor with Dallas. Dallas is a zombie franchise.

The only good to come of this season is that Jones will finally get rid Jason Garrett. But I am skeptical this will help the team, for what good coach would work for Jones? It certainly won’t be Lincoln Riley, as so many people in Dallas are speculating. Riley has one of the best jobs in college football, and he’s already a millionaire. Why would he leave to coach in the NFL at all, let alone to coach the sorry Cowboys for a sorry owner? In the best of circumstances, an NFL head coaching job is a firing waiting to happen, and coaching for the Cowboys, where you won’t be fired, just emasculated, is even worse.

There was a palpable difference in the pattern of recent Oklahoma football when the Sooners beat Baylor, again, to claim the Bix XII championship for the fifth straight season and make the playoffs. The defense played well! For some time, the defense has been playing with more spirit and effort, but with only mildly perceptible progress. This game, things came together. The Sooners still gave up two long passes near the end of the game that allowed Baylor to stay in it. But other than those two plays, the Sooners were very good on defense. One might argue the defense played better than the offense this game. Kudos to the Grinch.

Las Vegas, and everyone else, has already written OU off against the #1 ranked LSU Tigers in its playoff game. The Sooners opened as a 10-point underdog. But with a defense that is improving and an outstanding offense, OU should not be so easily dismissed. It could be a very good game.

One thing is certain, whatever the playoff outcome. Oklahoma is one of the truly elite football programs in the country. Winning consistently over time is the true measure of a championship program, and OU is always in the playoff picture, along with very few other terrific programs. Being a fan of the Oklahoma Sooners is a fortunate fan to be.