Football Thoughts – Week 13

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 11, 2021

College: The regular football season for my beloved Oklahoma Sooners is over, with results far below expectations. #16 OU will play in the Alamo Bowl against #14 Oregon.

OU has owned Oregon, with the exception of the game in which the referees cheated us in 2006. The game is the only one played between the teams in Eugene, OR, and this cheat was so egregious, it turned a light on Oregon’s shenanigan in Eugene and caused serious reforms there. But I haven’t forgiven the Ducks for that game, and I hope we beat the brakes off of them

The Alamo Bowl is a second-tier bowl but a good one. It’s played in San Antonio, Texas, obviously, and one of the nicest things about this bowl is all the video shown of the city, which is one of my favorites.

Though OU is out of the playoff picture, there was plenty of drama and excitement this week in Norman emanating from Lincoln Riley’s departure to USC and the search for a new head coach. This had to be done quickly because we are right in the middle of recruitment season. The Sooners selected Brent Venables, former OU coach and defensive coordinator at Clemson, where his defenses have been spectacular.

I am ambivalent about this choice. Venables is an excellent defensive coordinator, arguably the best in the country. It was unfortunate that he left OU Clemson. Our defense has been mediocre to dreadful ever since. But Venables is unproven as a head coach. Of course, Bob Stoops was a defensive coordinator when Joe Castiglione found him.

I wish Venables all the best, but one option I would have considered is Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule. He resurrected the Baylor program amazingly before going to the pros. I was impressed by what he was able to do there.

The playoff field is set, and after a lot of machinations and miscues by the committee, and with two teams new to the party, they got it right. The final ranking is: #1 Alabama, #2 Michigan, #3 Georgia and #4 Cincinnati.

I’ve been a skeptic about Cincinnati all season, and I still am (they are a two- touchdown dog against the Tide), but they earned their way to this shot with a 13-0 record and a questionable “quality win” against Notre Dame.

NFL: The Dallas Cowboys beat the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans 27-17 and looked good doing it. Head coach Mike McCarthy tested positive for Covid-19 and so wasn’t at the game, which doubtless helped our chances.

The defense still doesn’t look playoff ready. But they get some key defensive players back from injury, which should help. Also, Kellen Moore called a poor game and reminded me why he is not what he is cracked up to be and far from OC ready, let alone a candidate for a head coaching job. Coaching is one of Dallas’ two major problems.

The results for the OU QB Amigos last week were a mixed bag. Kyler Murray returned from an injury and threw four touchdowns as the Cardinals beat the struggling Chicago Bears, 33-22.

Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns lost 10-16 to the Baltimore Ravens. Beaten up as he is, Mayfield played pretty well, well enough to win this game, but his receivers betrayed him badly.

Jalen Hurts is injured and didn’t play in the game the Philadelphia Eagles won 33-18 against the pitiful New York Jets, so this game doesn’t count for him one way or the other.

Thoughts on Events the Week of November 11

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 3, 2021

While at the national level, the legislature is still griding like an aging, jaded stripper, some important news was occurring at the state level. A jury in Georgia, Georgia, found three knuckle-dragging, mouth breathing rednecks guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery as he was jogging innocently through a neighborhood.

Travis McMichael, 35; his father, Gregory McMichael, 65; and their neighbor William Bryan, 52 face sentences of up to life in prison for the state crimes, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving trio of crackers. (If this is what the NRA means when it says guns don’t kill people, people kill people, then these people should never have been allowed to have a gun.)

I’m not sure why this verdict is so different from the Rittenhouse acquittal in Wisconsin. These cases were similar (and to so many others), but it doesn’t reflect well on Wisconsin, a state once highly regarded by me that seems to have lost its mind.

Worst state: I’m giving the cup to Kansas this week, because of one of its duly elected state representatives, a Democrat, got arrested twice in one month. (To me, a crook is a crook, regardless of political party affiliation. This is not true of many Republicans.)

Aaron Coleman, age 21, was arrested last Saturday on suspicious of DUI. Less than a month earlier, he was arrested for assault to one of more of his own family members.

Kansas has a history of electing despicables and deplorables to office – think Mike Pompeo and Sam Brownback – but this poor boob takes the cake….and the cup. How did this almost juvenile delinquent get elected in the first place?

Football thoughts – Week 11 College

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on December 2, 2021

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners’ season is over. After beating Iowa State, they played their last game against Oklahoma State and lost 37-33. This knocked them out of the Big XII championship game and any chance at the playoffs.

It’s embarrassing to say, but the Sooners completely collapsed in the second half. They took a nine-point lead and blew it. Poor tackling remains a problem, and Lincoln Riley has been a little pass happy the last couple of weeks.

To be clear, Oklahoma State has an excellent team, perhaps their best defense in years. But OU scored 33 points on them and still lost. What does that say about our defensive play?

There was even more drama shortly after the game when Lincoln Riley announced he was taking the USC job. I never thought he would leave OU, and I’m not sure why he did. But I have confidence that Joe Castiglione will find an able replacement, just like he found Bob Stoops. In the meantime, Big Name Bob will be the interim coach, which is appropriate because OU’s next game will be a bowl game.

It’s uncertain to which bowl OU will go, but if it’s the Fiesta Bowl, I may very well go.

Michigan State finally beat Ohio State, which I kind of expected. This will give the selection committee a bit of a migraine.

I’m expecting Houston to upset Cincinnati, but if it doesn’t happen, Cincinnati will deserve a shot at the playoffs, having gone undefeated, even though they have not played much competition, unless you consider Notre Dame competition, which I don’t much.

NFL: A sign you are highly intelligent is you can hold two opposing thoughts in your head at the same time. I must be highly intelligent, because I can think that 1) the Dallas Cowboys will win the NFL East, and that 2) they stink on ice.

Dallas lost to a mediocre Denver Broncos team 30-16, but it wasn’t that close. Denver led 30-0 through three quarters and Dallas scored to empty calorie touchdowns near the end of the.

Despite getting a safety and a recovered fumble run in for a touchdown, and the Ravens Quarterback’s four interceptions, Dallas lost a game they could and should have won to Baltimore in overtime 36-33, due to spectacularly bad defensive play and poor coaching decisions, including by the wunderkind OC Moore.

Penalties, miscues, poor coaching decisions, you name it. The defense seems to rely on two techniques: prostrate themselves in front of runners instead of tackling them, and then chasing after them after.

Still, Dallas has at least a two-game lead in the loss column against any other East opponent, so they should win the division.

It has not been a happy time for the OU QB Amigos. Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the New York Giants 7-13. Ouch! Arizona beat the Seahawks 23-13, but again Kyler Murray was not able to play. The win goes to Colt McCoy, his third win in Murray’s absence, Way to go, McCoy. And Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns lost to the Ravens 10-16. A loss is a loss, and Baker didn’t play great, but I cut him a little slack because he is trying to play while very injured. I don’t think he should have been on the field.

Thoughts on Events the Weeks of November 8 and 15

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 22, 2021

Infrastructure: The Democrats finally passed their infrastructure bill after months of bloody partisan infighting, which in this case was among factions of their own party. Ugly, messy, off-putting, like the partisan warfare between Democrats and Republicans. An embarrassing performance by a party who is trying to convince voters it can govern.

Climate Change: There was a climate change conference held in Glascow, Scotland. I paid no attention to this conference, because, as I have written previously, it is too late to address climate change, and besides there is clearly not the will to do so. The meager, too little too late results of this conference only confirms my assertion.

Criminal injustice: We cherish guns over justice. The insurrectionist who took an AD-47 to a protest, and shot three people with it, two of whom died, was found innocent of all charges.

This is more proof, as if any were needed, that our criminal justice system is broken and corrupted. There is no longer such a thing as a fair trial as we used to have them. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. They let a stone killer of innocent protesters loose on the streets. I don’t blame blacks for wanting to see whites dead.

Worst state: Paul Gosar, my own personal Representative, doubled down on his posting of an odious, manipulated cartoon showing him killing AOC. This guy wins the cup for Arizona by just being himself. Gosar was censured by the House, but praised by Republicans, which says everything you need to know about the failure that is our Legislative branch of our government.

Football Thoughts – Week 10

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 18, 2021

College: Baylor beat my beloved Oklahoma Sooners convincingly, 27-14. That’s less than two touchdowns, but OU was never really in the game. We were out coached, out played and just beat. It’s hard if not impossible to see how we might get back into the hunt for the playoffs; we dropped to #12 in the rankings.

The last time OU lost as game in November was 2014. During those intervening seven years, OU typically hit its stride, won out, won the Big XII Championship game and went to the playoffs, often.

Though totally unexpected (we were ranked #2 preseason), something has been not right with this season’s team. Why? For one thing, we have had a quarterback controversy that absolutely no one saw coming. For another, our defense is playing with more effort, but still not very well. Penalties, missed tackles, confusion. Defensive deficiency is still not corrected.

Finally, maybe it’s just to be expected to have a clunker every seven years or so. We have had it pretty good all that time, just not good enough to beat a good team with a good defense in the playoffs.

NFL: Again this week, only one of the OU QB Amigos won. And again this week, it was Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles, who beat the Denver Broncos 30-13, the team that humiliated the Cowboys the week before. Hurts played well.

The Arizona Cardinals lost to the Carolina Panthers, about which more below, but Kyler Murray did not play so it doesn’t count for him one way or the other.

Baker Mayfield played when the Cleveland Browns were walloped by the New England Patriots 45-7, but he has been playing badly hurt and probably shouldn’t have been in the game at all; in fact, he was taken out in the second half.

A very interesting thing that happened this week is that two formidable, big-name players looking for a team, each found one, signed late in the week and played for a few snaps, probably all the plays they had time to learn.

The most interesting of these was Cam Newton, who returned to the Carolina Panthers. They put in a couple of plays for him in red zone situations, and on his first two touches, he ran for one touchdown and threw for another. Auspicious start.

Odell Beckham, Jr. landed with the L.A. Rams, which could be a very good fit and beneficial for both. LA eased OBJ back onto the field. He had three targets and caught one. I wish both of these players well.

Thoughts on Events the Week of November 12

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 11, 2021

Incompetence Comeuppance: Democrats took a drubbing in various elections this week and it was well deserved. Typically, the party in power loses some strength in off-year elections and that was a factor here.

But I suspect that primary reason this time is that the average voter was aghast and off-put to see the unseemly, not to mention unproductive intra-party obstruction that held up meaningful legislative accomplishments upon which Democrats could run.

This has been going on since almost immediately after Biden was inaugurated, while people in need and other priorities went wanting. Who could blame people for not wanting to vote for this lot?

Worst state: The cup goes to Texas this week, without even a moment’s debate. This time, however, it is not due to the malfeasance and misfeasance of its political leaders, but guilt by association, because…

A group of Qanon crazies invited its followers to come to Dallas to observe the resurrection of John F. Kennedy and his son, which would trigger the return of what’s his name, the disgraced former president, to the presidency.

After the appointed time for this resurrection came and went without JFK showing up after almost 60 years being dead, and Biden still the president, many of these people decided to hang around just to see if they got the date wrong by a day or two. As Ron White said, you can’t fix stupid.

But how stupid would one have to be to believe such nonsense, and how can I be expected to take them seriously, let alone respect them? Answer: I can’t.

That Texas would even let these crazies cross their state line, and why these crazies would think Texas to be a comfortable place to practice such nonsense, qualifies it for the cup.

Football Thoughts – Week 9

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 9, 2021

College: I don’t put much stock in early playoff rankings, and don’t comment on them. First, there is still a lot of football to be played and the early rankings are nothing but premature guesses. Much will happen before the final decisions.

My beloved Oklahoma Sooners typically plays the Big XII’s stronger teams, many of whom are ranked, later in the season, which propels them into the playoffs. I would really have egg on my face if I criticized the committee for its choices and then the Sooners were to lose one of more of those important games and not make it, which is my second reason for restraint and patience with the committee’s early opinions.

But I like our chances. OU had a bye this week to rest up, heal and prepare for a run through #12 Baylor, Iowa State and #10 Oklahoma State, and the Big XII Championship.

However, the first week of rankings had so many warts that I have to say something about it, because it raises questions in my mind whether this committee is up to the task. (For the record, this committee has ranked OU #8, while the AP and Coaches Polls have them #4.)

Let’s start with Michigan State, a darling of the uninformed this season. The committee shot them up to #3 in the first ranking, based on their upset of Michigan. Apparently, the committee failed to consider that Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the Wolverines, cannot win important games. Having achieved this ranking, the Spartans were upset by Purdue this week. I’m not sure how far they will drop, but it probably won’t be far enough.

Then we have Cincinnati, who some polls have as high as #2, which is ludicrous. Cincinnati may be a good team. We just don’t know because they don’t play anybody. They have one quality win and that’s it. They’re going to have to show a lot more, and I don’t see how they can do it. Of the remaining teams on Cincinnati’s schedule, only one team – SMU – even has a winning record. And SMU got beat this weekend by a 5-4 Memphis team, making SMU a two-loss team before they even get to the Bearcats!

And don’t even get me started on Oregon, Ohio State and Notre Dame, which are all one loss teams that have played some pretty weak sisters.

NFL: The Dallas Cowboys laid about the biggest egg this weekend that I have even seen from them, losing to the Denver Broncos 30-16, and the game wasn’t that close. Dallas was scoreless for the first three quarters and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter when the outcome was already decided. It was a complete collapse.

This game was so bad that it could have been just an aberration, unlikely to happen again, but I am skeptical. The failures were the usual failures – underachieving players and poor coaching – which are not being addressed adequately.

That said, I still think the Cowboys will win the NFC East, much good may it do them when they have to play good teams.

Results by the OU QB Amigos were a mixed bag this week. Starting with the best, after a week of drama, the Cleveland Browns beat the breaks off the Cincinnati Bengals 31-17, and Baker Mayfield looked superb doing it.

The Arizona Cardinals won, but Tyler Murray did not play so it doesn’t really count for him one way or the other. The Cardinals were without DeAndre Hopkins too, so it didn’t look promising for Arizona. But backup quarterback Colt McCoy played very well, and the Cardinals improved to 8-2.

(McCoy bedeviled Oklahoma when he quarterbacked at Texas. He gave us fits every year, though he was only 1-4 against us. He beat us soundly in 2013, by 32-20 if I remember correctly, but who’s counting? I usually hold grudges about things like that, but I was happy for McCoy to see him play so well for Arizona.)

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Los Angeles Chargers, a team with a winning record and favored in this game. But the Eagles gave them one – 27-24 – and Hurts played well. Philly has lost of problems, particularly on pass defense, but Hurts is not one of them. It won’t surprise me at all if the Eagles beat Denver next week, who humiliated the Dallas Cowboys just this last week.

Football Thoughts Week 8

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on November 6, 2021

College: A week ago, my beloved Oklahoma Sooners beat a bad Kansas team in lackluster fashion, 35-23, which did not cover the spread because OU was favored by a ton. OU slept through the first half and were actually behind at halftime. But they rallied, just woke up, really, and ran away with the second half.

I didn’t mind that OU had less than a stellar game. It’s impossible to get up for every game of the season. Some games are going to be like this. And remember, for all opponents, the OU game is their Superbowl. Highly ranked team, huge crowd, all the pageantry of college football. They bring their best game, even if OU doesn’t.

Last week, OU hung half a hundred on Texas Tech 52-21, scoring multiple times in every quarter. Remember this when the first playoff rankings come out.

NFL: Only one of the OU QB Amigos won last week, but it was a hell of a win. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles beat the brakes off the Detroit Lions, 44-6. The other two Amigos lost but shouldn’t have. Both were betrayed by their receivers at the end of the game.

Trailing the Packers 24-21, Kyler Murray took the Cardinals down to the goal line. At the least, the Cardinals should have been able to tie the game with a field goal to take the game to overtime.

But on second and goal, Murray threw to A. J. Greene in the end zone. Greene, who has been an excellent addition to the team this year, didn’t even turn around to look for it. The ball hit him in the back, bounced up and was intercepted. So, not only didn’t the Cardinals get another chance or two to score a touchdown to win the game, but they didn’t even get to kick a field goal to tie it. Murray was seriously pissed, and I don’t blame him.

Similarly, Baker Mayfield was moving the ball down the field for the winning score, but Jarvis Landry dropped two crucial passes that spoiled the drive at the end. Mayfield’s remarks are not recorded.

My Dallas Cowboys, sans Dak Prescott, stole one from the Minnesota Vikings. Cooper Rush, the back up quarterback played respectably all game, and in the final minutes hit Amari Cooper for two important passes to win the game in the last seconds. Zeke Elliot had an important, impressive role in that last drive also.

I’m thinking the Cowboys have a surprisingly good lock on winning the NFC Least. They are at 6-1, and the next best record in the conference is 3-5. Dallas earned, and took a bye week.

Thoughts on Events the Week of October 25

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on November 5, 2021

Legislative disfunction: Voters are disgusted with our legislative branch and it’s easy to understand why. Here are two reasons right off the bat:

In this highly polarized and partisan season, about half of the population disapproves of the members of the other party and vice versa. Throw a Ven Diagram over that and you get a very low percentage of voters who feel positive about the legislature overall.

More immediately, Since Biden took over the presidency on January 20, Democrats have embarrassed themselves with public, intraparty incompetence that has brought progress on important legislation to a screeching halt. That’s nine months of impotence that leaves voters to conclude that the Democrats are not capable of governing.

And there was another week of this paralysis leading right up to the week of special and scheduled elections. This does not look good on Democrats’ resumes.

Worst states: Let’s cut right to the chase. Paul Gosar, my own personal representative in the U.S. House is among the worst top five Congresspersons on his best day. But it appears he was up to his arm pits in the January 6 insurrection. It’s not even a contest this week. Arizona gets the worst state up by unanimous consent of me.

Thoughts on Events Through the Week of October 18

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 25, 2021

Sausage: More weeks of Democratic intraparty self-abuse, Republican obstruction, and no visible progress on anything. This is no way to run a republic.

Filibuster: One of the parliamentary traditions we inherited from England was an upper house determined to avoid making any decision. One change that would speed debate and legislation along is to get rid of the filibuster, as undemocratic an excuse for paralysis as you will ever see. In practice, it has turned minorities into ruthless subverters of majority will.

The biggest objection to losing the filibuster is that if/when the rival party should take power, it could use the lack of a filibuster against the other. This is true, but it’s also just the point. The party in power should get to lead. If Republicans gain a majority through the election process, they should get to be in charge, just as Democrats should be now.

Caveat: That said, this only works if everyone gets to vote. Republicans are already at an advantage, given the large number of small, piss ant states with small populations but two senators, while D.C. has a larger population than at least two such states and leans Democrat, has none. If Republicans are allowed to suppress voters, it destroys the cornerstone of a democracy: one man one vote, and perverts the process.

Afghanistan: Remember this pile of rocks that was all anybody could talk about when President Biden pulled out and many thought it was a mistake and would lead to disaster? Well, we don’t hear much about it anymore except that the Taliban is finding is more difficult to govern than to terrorize.

Among the reasons I predicted there would be no great repercussions from leaving this pile of rocks is that I knew that as soon as we were gone, the Taliban would be far too busy with its new domestic issues than to have any time to think about us, let alone cause us mischief, which is just what is happening, thank you very much.

Worst state: At present, there are two nominally Democratic senators who are throwing sand on the Democrat’s tracks to fulfilling its agenda. One is from West Virginia and the other from Arizona, my own personal state of residence.

I don’t see much hope for Joe Manchin, the West Virginia senator. He represents a very red state. Worse, he is bought and paid for by the coal interests, which have less than no interest in the state’s citizens. Coal is how Manchin makes his money and gets his campaign donations. As for looking out for the average person in his state, it just isn’t happening. Manchin owns a yacht for crying out loud.

The Arizona senator – Kyrsten Sinema – is worse. She has sold out to rich donors too, not trusting the thin Democratic majority here. But worse, she doesn’t know what she’s doing or what she wants, but whatever it is, it’s not helping the citizens of Arizona.

Manchin is beyond my jurisdiction. West Virginia is not a worst state. Read Hillbilly Elegy and you’ll question whether it is a functioning state at all; just one big Deliverance. But Arizona is a worst state, and we get the cup this week, thanks to Sinema.