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Thoughts on Football the week of November 11

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 20, 2019

I watch the Cleveland Browns because Baker Mayfield is their young, Heisman Trophy winning quarterback. I thought they could beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, and on one level they did, but on another level they lost big time, because during the last eight seconds of the game,  Myles Garrett #95, the Browns’ best defensive player, committed perhaps the most egregious foul in NFL history. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, though close.

Garrett tore the helmet off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph and hit him in the head with it. This is a serious NFL no-no, dangerous, and bad press for the NFL, which is something you don’t want to be the subject of with the front office. The NFL fined both teams a quarter of a million dollars immediately for letting such a thing happen, and suspended Garrett indefinitely. In the end, three players were ejected and suspended for different periods of time. Bear in mind that when a player is suspended, he doesn’t get paid for whatever games he misses, whatever his contract.

(Rudolph is not a completely blameless party. He was pretty aggressive with Garrett after what I thought was a clean tackle – about the only thing “clean” that happened. – but there’s a vas deferens between what Rudolph did and what Garrett did.)

Basically, the NFL told Garrett, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you to let you know when you can come back into the league, but it’s not going to be anytime soon, and certainly not in 2019.” So, just as they were getting on a roll, the Browns lost their best defensive player for the season and probably into the next, and another player or two for a game or two. Not helpful for a team that needs all the help it can get.

As I see it, Garrett is going to be hearing from the NFL office, if and when they are ready to talk to him, he could hear from the police and possibly the district attorney, he could hear from Rudolph’s lawyer regarding a civil suit for assault, and worst of all, all three suspended players are going to hear from their wives (I don’t know if they are even married) about how they pissed away various sized fortunes the wives were planning to spend on a manicure and a new house. It’s not going to be pretty, and they, especially Garrett, deserve it richly.

It’s worth noting that the Browns were already the most penalized team in the NFL by a margin. They have no discipline, which is due to inexcusably bad coaching. Freddie Kitchens has no business being a head coach, and his being hired shows inadequacy throughout the entire organization.

What then to think about my beloved University of Oklahoma Sooners after their dramatic come from behind victory over undefeated Baylor? Not much, I’m sorry to say. Same old, same old. Championship caliber offense, capable of winning any game, a Junior Varsity defense, capable of losing any game, an inexplicable loss to some woefully inferior opponent each season, a Heisman Trophy level quarterback who can do amazing things and could win the trophy and go first in the draft. Frankly, I’m sick to death of it. The previous two seasons, the Sooners were able to get into the playoffs with this mix, but I’m not sure it will happen this year. There may be too many teams ahead of them.

All that said, it was a remarkable, record setting come from behind victory on the road against an undefeated team with OU’s best receiver on the bench with a concussion. It was a tale of two halves. The first when the wheels came off the Sooner Schooner metaphorically, and the second Hurts couldn’t watch. He turned his back to the field. A coach or friend put his hand on Hurts’ shoulder and gave it a squeeze to let him know that the kick was good. After the game, Hurts was interviewed and even then, his demeanor was the same. He told the sideline interviewer that he dug his team into a deep hole and couldn’t let them see him lose his cool so he could get them out. When asked what now, he said he was going to enjoy the win for 24 hours and then get ready for the next game. And he did! Right after the interview, he ran to the end zone laughing and shouting and shaking hands with fans and having a good time. Today, I’m thinking he’s preparing hard for next week’s game. He deserves the Heisman. Wouldn’t that be something? Three in a row for OU.

Should OU play Baylor for the Big XII Championship, I will not worry about that game at all. We beat them at home, there’s no way Hurts is going to have such a disastrous start again, and by then, we will have Cee Dee Lamb back. Baylor, or anyone else we play, will be toast.

Iowa State beat Texas in a close game. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t pay much attention to this game, but a widow lady neighbor went to Iowa State and I feel a little sorry for her that ISU has played hard this year only to lose four close games, including to Oklahoma, so I was happy for her. Texas seems to have taken a step back this year, much of it due to injuries, I think. But their quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, who came into the season an early Heisman candidate, and about whom I worried, seems to be having a down year.

The Dallas Cowboys beat the Detroit Lions on the road, as they should have since the Lions’ starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford, was out of the game. The Lions played the Cowboys just like Minnesota did: stop Zeke Elliott and take their chances with this rest. This week, Dak Prescott stepped up and met that challenge. He played very well.

I don’t know what this win means, except the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the New England Patriots (never bet against Tom Brady), so Dallas is a game up on them in their division, but they’re not out of the woods yet. The only way the Cowboys can get to the playoffs is by winning the division (they don’t have a chance as a wild card team), so they may make it now, but they have some tough games ahead. We’ll see.

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