Sadly, I was “on hiatus” on September 19 which means that I was unable to celebrate “Talk Like A Pirate Day” this year. Too bad. Shiver me timbers…
I got back from Portugal realizing that I had missed about a month of football season. You might think that American football is not widely covered in Portugal and you would be absolutely correct. Other than scores, I basically knew nothing about what had happened since Labor Day. I was looking forward to reading some in-depth football stuff and instead I come home to a lot of sturm und drang about National Anthem protests. I thought that would have been resolved by now – but I was clearly wrong.
In Sunday’s Washington Post, Sally Jenkins wrote about the comments by President Trump regarding those protests and how the NFL got it right in terms of its response. Here is a link to that column; I recommend you read it in its entirety.
In today’s Washington Post, Jerry Brewer praised the way that Roger Goodell steered the league and its teams and the players through what could have been a very divisive weekend. It is not often that Commissioner Goodell earns any praise at all from Jerry Brewer – – let along high praise. Here is a link to that column; I recommend you read it in its entirety also.
Anyhow, I would much rather write about football than about anthem protests and/or politics so let me point out that before I left, I presented my pre-season NFL predictions. Two of them have already come to pass; another surely looks as if it is going to happen and one of them looks to be dead wrong. And we are less than a quarter of the way through the NFL season…
- Prediction #1: The Patriots will not go undefeated. Got that one right…
- Prediction #2: The Jets will not go winless. Got that one right.
- Prediction #3: Colts’ fans should hope the Scott Tolzien Era is mercifully brief. Looks as if it lasted for all of one game.
- Prediction #4: Lions will be looking for a new coach in January 2018. Well, they just gave Jim Caldwell a contract extension so I guess that one is down the tubes.
About 6 weeks ago, I also predicted that the Phillies would not lose 100 games this year. As of this morning, they have won 62 games so they need only 1 win in their final 6 games to make that come true. What I did not foresee then was the total implosion of the Giants and the Tigers; I thought the Phillies would be mortal locks to have the #1 pick in the MLB Draft next summer but as of this morning that “honor” would fall to the Giants and the Phils would flip a coin with the Tigers to see who gets the #2 pick. Oh, and by the way, the White Sox are only 1.5 games ahead of the Tigers and the Phillies in the bottom rungs of the MLB standings.
Here are some short observations about college football:
- Last year, I said that Penn State RB, Saquon Barkley was one of the best RBs in the country. Last week against Iowa, all he did was to rush for 211 yards and add 94 yards receiving to that total. He is the real deal.
- Oklahoma was rolling along and met up with a Baylor team that had looked like road kill in its early games. Final score was 49-41 favor of Oklahoma.
- After Vanderbilt had beaten Kansas St. to run their record to 3-0 and had only allowed 13 points in those 3 games, someone on the Vandy defense basically said that they were doing to show Alabama what it means to come to Nashville and face the Vandy defense. Not a smart move because the final score was Alabama 59 and Vandy 0. Ooops…
- Ohio State is 4-1 this year with the loss coming at home against Oklahoma. The Buckeyes have Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska as their next 3 opponents meaning they should be 7-1 when they host Penn State on October 28.
- Two weeks ago, Mississippi State disemboweled LSU by 30 points in Starkville. Last week, the Bulldogs went on the road and lost to Georgia by 28. Strange doings in the SEC …
- USF is ranked in the Top 25 for now and they beat Temple last week by 36 points. The interesting stat for that game is that Temple’s rushing attack for the day was a total of minus-4 yards.
I see where the NY Knicks finally found a way to unload Carmelo Anthony. What they got in return from OKC was Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick. The Knicks got more than a bag of donut holes in this trade but no one ought to consider that this is an “equal trade” from a talent standpoint.
Finally, just before I left for Portugal, Dwight Perry had this quiz in his column in the Seattle Times. See if you can get it:
“The 29th annual World Hen Racing Championships were won by a chicken named Cooked It.
The 2017 World Snail Racing Championships were won by a mollusk named Larry.
“So, now that we have your attention … Quick! Name the world heavyweight boxing champion!”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………