A decade has sped by faster than Usain Bolt can run.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Sunday night, I celebrated my 10th anniversary of living in Boise.

Doesn’t seem remotely possible that this is true. I thought NFL seasons flew by in a matter of weeks when I was covering that team that used to call San Diego home but here we are talking 10 years of living somewhere.

Ten years flying by like it’s been three.

The bridge at Celebration Park.

There were way too many challenges my first six years in the Potato state (Oh yeah, the natives can’t stand that people from the other 49 states refer to them that way). But the last four have been pretty darn good.

 

Off the top of my head, there were these bad things …

–No jobs available in my profession in 2009, and no real-person jobs for me to land until finally finding one that called for duty from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. (Not good for someone who prefers going to sleep at 3 a.m., as opposed to waking up at that hour).

–I landed my first online writing job in 2010 but it wasn’t fitting well with the 4 a.m. job. I slept two hours here, three hours there for 17 months. I often went to the 4 a.m. job with one or zero hours of sleep. I would pound 40 ounces of Diet Coke in me before I entered the place. At the same time, I got crushed on taxes and was making monthly payments until August. I also had gigantic credit card debt from my move and not having work that I had no chance of paying it off. I finally hit the wall hard. Major anxiety disorder in June of 2011 and a super tough summer.

–All seemed well in 2012. I had reached an agreement on a financial plan the previous summer and told the person I dealt with I was so glad I wouldn’t need to buy a car for five years. Minding my own business at a stoplight in April 2012, I looked in the rear-view mirror to see a car traveling way too fast. A second later, it plowed into me, totaling my lovable red Mustang and leaving me with six months of back pain with weekly visits to a physical therapist and chiropractor. Oh yeah, and now I had car payments ahead of schedule. Idiot woman was texting while driving, something Idaho folks do all the time for some reason.

–Undergoing another skin surgery cancer in early 2013 was familiar ground but this time, the aftercare didn’t go right. The wound, on my left arm, became badly infected. About six weeks after surgery, things were finally under control.

The Mustang rests in heavy snow in 2010.

–Was trying to buy a house in early 2014 and I felt it was about 100 times more stressful than it should be. Then another hefty tax bill ensued and I finally called it off. But I still felt horrible every day and it just kept getting worse — way worse than the 2011 anxiety issue. That lost summer was the hardest time period of my entire life and I finally hit bottom in mid-August. But it got me in front of a doctor who had solutions rather than the typical guesswork. Things stabilized and I made the slow climb back to normalcy.

–Again, I thought things were great in early 2015. Then I get the call one day that 50 percent of the work was going away at my online gig. Well, I just got hit with another high tax bill and was still rebuilding my financial life so this was a horrible development. Lost $7,000 out of the savings account in six months until I reached my turnaround point. At this point, I’m kind of like — ‘Is anything ever going to go well living here?’

 

Off the top of my head, there were these good things from that point forward …

–Talk about blessings in disguise. Turned out I knew one of the main managers at the company that was responsible for 50 percent of the work going away. So I got hired there at the start of the 2015 football seasons and that stabilized a lot of things. We worked out of a virtual database so I actually had journalistic co-workers for the first time in six years. Good for relationships. I was getting paid hourly for editing shifts and that was a boon for the income as that was the first hourly pay I had received for journalism work as my own self-employed business entity. And I was still getting paid per writing assignments and now I had two companies giving me writing work. I had so much work and not enough time that I cut out all the live local freelance game coverage I was doing.

–In 2016, my income was finally on an uphill plane. So good that it didn’t appear real. I was actually able to save money again and my awesome bank branch manager got me working with their financial planner and I got all my retirement stuff consolidated and began growing that as well. It hurt to find out Obamacare could penalize you after the fact per the amount of premiums you pay so taxes remained a problem, but after sinking for so long with very little hope, I knew I was really truly moving in the right direction.

Awesome Camel’s Back Park.

–Back to the house purchasing hunt in 2017 and boy were there hurdles. A $2,712 car service bill in January – my car literally froze to near-death in polar bear weather – and then $9,500 in taxes to pay. I was close to giving up again but the mortgage officer somehow found a plan to where my interest rate would still be the same and my down payment would be a little less but I would still get approved for the amount I was shooting for. Unbelievable. So on June 29 I closed on the three-story mansion. A better house than I ever dreamed of being able to buy. Would cost close to $1 million in San Diego. After all the years of cramped apartments, I feel like I live in a miniature village. On top of that, my income for the year was the highest of my entire life. Being my own entity was paying off big.

–Talk about more good fortune. I made the second-most money I’ve made in my life in 2018 because I had the foresight to change jobs. Had a lot of help as my favorite co-worker had made the move and he kept calling and emailing me, telling me I had to leave. The same guy who hired me in 2015 was one of the two co-owners of the company too. Funny thing is, I discussed a job but had no vision of how it would work out for me so I initially stayed put and was going to watch how things go. A week later, I knew I had to take the job. Nearly 18 months later, I can say it is the best job I’ve ever had (sorry, newspaper that no longer exists). Oh yeah, the company I left? It folded on Dec. 31, 2018. #Blessed

 

Kind of interesting to look back at 10 years off the cuff like this. I faced way too many challenges the first six years of living here. Some of it doesn’t even seem real any longer.

But things finally got going in the right direction in the latter part of 2015 and have continued to move on a good path. My current work gig is awesome. Great co-workers and all my skills are used in a proper manner. My house is outstanding. Have my own work office, have a partial view of the foothills (a true perk in Boise) and my garage is twice the size of multiple apartments that I’ve lived in.

San Diego will always be Paradise but I’m not lying when I refer to Boise as Paradise Jr. You are doing pretty good if those are the only two places you’ve lived in your life.

And nobody cares any longer that I’m from California. They did in 2009, I can tell you that. Especially that police officer that pulled me over from a half-mile ahead and ticketed me even though I did nothing wrong. (My co-workers insisted it was because he saw the CA license plates). But I fought it and the prosecutor agreed and the charge was dismissed.

Spectacular Shoshone Falls.

Somehow, I am now a local. I know this because last summer I was out getting exercise and a couple interrupted me. They flew over from Seattle for the day, and after I answered their questions, the man said ‘Sure is a nice town you have.’

As I continued my exercise, it was going through my mind — ‘Nice town I have? My town? This is my town?’

It started to sink in … if I’m able to give directions and answers at that high of a level, I guess it is my town.

So here on my 10th anniversary, I will finally say it: “Boise is my town.”

Now if the next 10 years can go just a little bit slower.

Advertisements

Remember when Kawhi Leonard was a lousy 3-point shooter in college at San Diego State?

Did you cringe when he air-balled the tying 3-point attempt as time expired in the NCAA Tournament loss to Tennessee?

As in, “Nooooooo, not him!”

Funny how a guy who couldn’t shoot — he made a porous 25 percent of his 3-point attempts in two seasons — is now the most lethal player in the NBA.

Let’s get this out of the way: The Golden State Warriors have Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant (hurt or not), Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

But the best player in the NBA Finals suits up for the Toronto Raptors … Kawhi Leonard.

The NBA Finals start Thursday night in Toronto and Leonard has carried the franchise to the finals for the first time in franchise history.

(Stellar preview here — https://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/basketball/nba/warriors-vs-raptors-preview-and-predictions/ …)

The San Diego State product is the best player in the NBA.

Leonard is averaging 31.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in the postseason and provided the most dramatic moment with his game-winning 3-pointer to win the second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers. His shot from the right corner bounced four times on the rim before dropping through.

The former NBA Finals MVP with the San Antonio Spurs is again being mentioned as one of the league’s best players after he evaporated from that discussion last season when he played in just nine games due to a quadriceps injury.

There are only a few players in the discussion but Leonard has no interest in participating in it.

“I’m not playing the game for that reason,” Leonard told reporters on Wednesday. “I’m playing to have fun and try to be the best player I can be. I’m happy with myself and what I have done in my career and I’m just going to keep on from there. It’s not about me being famous or want to have more fame. It’s about me playing basketball and having fun on the floor.”

Leonard is slated to become a free agent in July so this could be the Raptors’ one-and-only Finals opportunity with him on the roster. He will be a super rich man wherever he chooses to go.

Oh yeah, he is also somebody who can shoot. The outside shooting issues were a factor in why he only went 15th overall in the 2011 NBA draft.

But Leonard obsessively worked on the weakness and kept getting better and better. The weakness eventually turned into a strength and he has made more than 100 3-pointers three times during his career.

Heck, he has drained 40 so far this postseason.

The guy who couldn’t shoot in college now does it all. He’s got the inside game, the outside game, the court awareness, the competitive fire and is one of the best defensive players in the league.

Say it with me: The best player in the NBA is Kawhi Leonard.

The Raptors have a chance to win the NBA title simply because he is on the roster.

Where were you in 1984? How about 1980?

Virginia and Purdue fans know those answers and one of those schools will end a long drought on Saturday.

That’s Virginia that last reached the Final Four in 1984, several months before Tony Gwynn and the San Diego Padres reached the World Series for the first time.

Purdue’s most recent Final Four appearance was 1980, the same season in which it looked like Don Coryell was going to guide the SAN DIEGO Chargers to the Super Bowl but the Weather Gods in Cincinnati froze out that scenario.

In other words, it has been a looooong time since either Virginia or Purdue has reached the pinnacle of college basketball.

The winning coach — either Virginia’s Tony Bennett or Purdue’s Matt Painter — will no longer have to hear about falling short so often either.

Heck, how many times do you think somebody has yelled “UMBC!” at Bennett?

I can’t tell you who will win this game — Virginia can’t possibly score 60, can it? — but I can tell you I handled the national preview duties so at least you will be on top of things as you watch.

 Here is the stellar preview, courtesy of the New York Times … https://nytimes.stats.com/cbk/preview.asp?g=201903300618

 

Might as well drop my Thursday night recaps here (I love discovering Netscape still exists): 

Purdue 99, Tennessee 94 (OT)

https://isp.netscape.com/sports/story/0002/20190329/FLM5f1VQR_1347448839.htm 

Virginia 53, Oregon 49

https://isp.netscape.com/sports/story/0002/20190329/FLM9YchXh_82391173.htm

 

 

 

Well, if you followed my advice per the West Region, you’re doing good in March Madness. I went 4-for-4 on my Sweet 16 picks.

This week, my national assignments are to cover the South Region so we will see if I can nail that one too.

Of course, your bracket can’t be changed now unless you are an expert at removing red ink.

Anyway, look for Virginia and Purdue to move on to the Elite Eight.

 

Virginia vs. Oregon

The Cavaliers appear to have put last season’s embarrassment behind them — you know, being the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 when UMBC walloped Virginia by 20 points.

The key for the Cavaliers will be to play the contest at their pace and an Oregon team that has played ferocious defense over the past month figures to make sure the matchup on Thursday night is low scoring.

So look for Virginia to produce just enough offense to prevail.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/preview?gameId=401123381

(permanent link if you click the above after tipoff — https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/virginia-braces-for-upset-minded-oregon/419740/ )

 

Purdue vs. Tennessee

This is a tough one. You feel like you can’t go wrong no matter which way you pick.

The Volunteers are better at basketball this season than they typically are. And the Boilermakers are 0-4 in Sweet 16 games during coach Matt Painter’s 14-season tenure.

It all depends on which Carsen Edwards shows up. If the 42-point version is back, Purdue definitely wins. But if the 9-of-28 shooting version shows up Thursday night, you probably will see Tennessee celebrating afterward.

I’m going to forecast Edwards to score around 25 to 30 points and that will be enough for Purdue to slide by the Vols.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/game?gameId=401123382

(permanent link if you click the above after tipoff — https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/purdue-looks-to-clear-sweet-16-hurdle-vs-tennessee/419955/ )

 

MLB Opening Day Special

Guess it is about time to accept that Manny Machado is a member of the San Diego Padres.

The guy who wouldn’t hustle in the World Series received a 10-year, $300 million deal from the Padres as the franchise single-handedly saw their frugal reputation overturned.

I wasn’t looking for the Padres to sign Machado but as I learned when I was a kid, they don’t ask my opinion over what moves they make.

If they had, I would have told them trading George Hendrick to the St. Louis Cardinals was an idiotic idea. Then Silent George spent the next decade proving I know more about judging baseball players than the dopes running the Padres at the time.

So Machado is in San Diego and we know he will produce. But it would be a major plus if he wasn’t a horse’s ass 82 percent of the time.

In San Diego, they like baseball players to hustle. Of course, they want to remember what it feels like to win. Machado definitely helps that part of the quest.

So, um, yeah, welcome to San Diego, Manny! It is only 90 feet to first base! Run Manny Run!

Here is the stellar preview — http://scores.suntimes.com/baseball/mlb-preview.aspx?page=/data/mlb/matchups/g4_preview_12.html

What the heck is Ja Morant doing at Murray State?

The second-best player in college basketball typically plays for a national program.

What a huge miss by all the elite coaches. Guess they were too busy telling their middlemen which players to steer their way for cash.

Morant once actually played on the same summer team in South Carolina with the best player in college basketball — Duke’s Zion Williamson.

Since I first heard of Williamson when he was in ninth grade, you know coaches were already watching his games and trying to establish a relationship.

And the point guard passing him the ball that one summer was Morant … and none of these so-called experts noticed?

LOL … so many coaches act like they are ultimate geniuses when it comes to assessing talent. Many of them are so not experts.

Kind of like two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry playing in ACC territory and none of those schools thinking he was good enough to play at that level.

So Curry becomes a legend at tiny Davidson and you can still see the egg on the faces of all those silly coaches.

Kawhi Leonard is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and an NBA Finals MVP. None of the Pac-12 coaches thought he was all that good so he ended up at San Diego State.

There are hundreds of other such stories because let’s say it how it is — identifying which teenagers are going to become college stars isn’t always that easy.

Here are the schools Morant had to choose from — Maryland Eastern Shore, Duquesne, South Carolina State and Murray State.

After Morant chose Murray State, apparently South Carolina coach Frank Martin became aware of him and offered him a scholarship. Clemson also learned of him and get this, the Tigers wanted him to be a walk-on.

Wow. Pay more attention to young basketball players in your state and less attention to the Confederate Flag.

Anyway, Morant is now the star of the NCAA Tournament after posing the tourney’s first triple-double in seven years. He will try to guide the Racers into the Sweet 16 on Saturday when they take on Florida State.

Here is the stellar preview … https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/morant-murray-state-take-aim-at-florida-state/417168/

 

–Charles Matthews looks healthy and that is a good thing for Michigan. I picked Florida to beat unraveling Nevada but Gators will need a huge effort to beat the Wolverines … Here is the stellar preview … https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/matthews-led-michigan-looks-to-hold-off-florida/417317/

 

–Buffalo has won 32 games but doesn’t feel like it has been receiving enough respect. Well guys, you can solve that problem by beating a tough Texas Tech team. … Here is the stellar preview … https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/buffalo-seeks-respect-as-it-faces-texas-tech/417998/

 

Might as well store my NCAA Tournament recaps somewhere. My website seems to be the best place.

 

–Florida State 76, Vermont 69

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-basketball-ncaa-ver-fls-recap-idUSKCN1R22GG

 

–Murray State 83, Marquette 64

https://www.albanyherald.com/sports/morant-no-murray-state-race-past-no-marquette/article_c069359d-1839-5dae-8e14-8b57cc628da8.html

 

–Florida 70, Nevada 61

https://www.reuters.com/article/basketball-ncaa-nev-flo/10th-seeded-florida-trips-7th-seeded-nevada-idUSMTZXEF3MQV8XBL

 

–Michigan 74, Montana 55

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/03/22/sports/22reuters-basketball-ncaa-mic-mon.html

 

–Texas Tech 72, Northern Kentucky 57

https://isp.netscape.com/sports/story/0002/20190322/FLM9ZzVgW_219577172.htm

 

–Buffalo 91, Arizona State 74

https://www.reuters.com/article/basketball-ncaa-buf-asu/harris-perkins-help-buffalo-rout-arizona-state-idUSMTZXEF3MSI7BOX

You may know that I am a seven-time winner when it comes to filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket.

Guess it does help being an award-winning college basketball writer.

And now I am about to help you clean up in the West Region on your bracket.

At least it gets you one-fourth of the way towards winning the March Madness cash.

If you are in the same bracket competition as me, please ignore everything below this point.

OK, I am hooking you up with the comprehensive view of the West Region so you know the best matchups, key players and all the other inside info.

I’ll let you in on this right now — Texas Tech is going to the Final Four. The Red Raiders nearly got there last season before losing to eventual champ Villanova in the Elite Eight. That suffocating defense gets them a spot this season.

Sorry Gonzaga and Michigan.

Here is the stellar Breaking down the West Region …

https://www.albanyherald.com/sports/breaking-down-the-ncaa-tournament-s-west-region/article_bf0bf873-d6ad-5f42-88b5-cdf2dc33a347.html

 

All the previews below are on big hitters like ESPN and Yahoo but disappear at tip-off. So we are going with links to a site where they remain visible throughout the game.

Vermont-Florida State, Thursday

Vermont is from the same conference as UMBC, the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1, so keep an eye on the Catamounts. America East Player of the Year Anthony Lamb gives Vermont a chance to stick with the Seminoles, an athletic bunch that whipped Gonzaga in last year’s tourney. … Here is the stellar preview … https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/NCAAB/vermont-hoping-to-shock-battletested-florida-state/415414/ 

Murray State-Marquette, Thursday

Do-it-all guard Ja Morant is worth the price of admission (oops, forgot they are paying ME to watch this game). He will try to lead Murray State to an “upset” of Marquette in a game that looks pretty even. The Golden Eagles have a star of their own in Markus Howard, who fires up long-range aerials from all parts of the arena. … Here is the stellar preview … https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/howard-marquette-move-to-keep-morant-murray-st-from-marquee/415059/ 

Florida-Nevada, Thursday

The Gators don’t have that impressive of a record but they sure look like a team that can win multiple games. It is a good break for them to draw a Nevada team that had some issues down the stretch. The Wolf Pack made the Sweet 16 team last season but don’t appear to have that special chemistry they had last season before Sister Jean and Loyola-Chicago ended their run. … Here is the stellar preview … https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/7-seed-nevada-set-for-test-from-10th-seeded-gators/415287/

Montana-Michigan, Thursday

The Wolverines opened with Montana in last year’s tournament and ended up in the championship game. They get the Grizzlies again in an oddity that shows you that several of the committee members must have fallen asleep on the job. Or perhaps meant to write down Michigan State as Montana’s opponent and messed up. Bad luck for the Grizzlies. … Here is the stellar preview … https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/michigan-montana-set-for-rare-ncaa-tourney-rematch/415176/

Northern Kentucky-Texas Tech, Friday

The Red Raiders are not a team that will lose to Northern Kentucky. There is no chance that Texas Tech loses to Northern Kentucky. Texas Tech will easily beat Northern Kentucky. Yeah, I just had a flashback to 2012 when I picked Missouri to win it all and the Tigers were beaten in the first-round by 15th-seeded Norfolk State. … Here is the stellar preview … https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/texas-tech-hopes-to-kick-start-tourney-run-vs-northern-kentucky/415475/

Buffalo vs. Arizona State, Friday

Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley coached Buffalo to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015. Now he will try to end the program’s best season. He hired Nate Oats — now the coach — and regularly speaks to him. Bet the chatter is diminished until after the contest. … Here is the stellar preview … https://www.scoresandstats.com/breaking-news/basketball/ncaab/hurley-sun-devils-shoot-to-ruin-buffalos-best-season/416539/

I think we can all agree on one thing: That was a horrible Super Bowl.

No matter if you were rooting for the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams, that was one bad football game to end the season.

When soccer people are taking shots at how little scoring is happening in the Super Bowl, you now it is a sad day.

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots will cherish their sixth Super Bowl crown — as they should — but we will never include Sunday’s 13-3 contest in the discussion of best Super Bowls.

It was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl so it could merit discussion of being in the bottom five.

And what about the Rams … ummmm, when are they going to show up to Atlanta?

Boy Wonder coach Sean McVay looked like he needed about 10 weeks to prepare for the Patriots. His offense still hasn’t reached the end zone.

Quarterback Jared Goff wilted on the Super Bowl stage and looked more like Nathan Peterman than a top-notch quarterback. He never found his groove.

Punter Johnny Hekker was the Rams’ best player and he will be icing his foot for hours after being called on to unleash nine punts.

Patriots receiver Julian Edelmand deservedly won MVP honors after standing out with 10 receptions for 141 yards.

New England running back Sony Michel scored a touchdown just when it looked like the end zone might be closed.

Yeah, the Patriots won again and that made things kind of awkward when Brady was on television whining about how everybody counted out his team all year.

Really? The Patriots were preseason favorites to win the Super Bowl title. And on Sunday they won the crown.

You can call Brady’s tale the athlete’s spin of Fake News.

The only thing more fake were the Rams. They were on the Big Boy stage and wilted like kindergartens.

Yep, this was one horrible Super Bowl.

It no longer ranks as a surprise when Don Coryell is passed over for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The latest snub proves that Coryell isn’t going to get in until he goes before the Seniors Committee sometime down the line.

The know-it-all writers snubbed offensive lineman Jerry Kramer for decades. He goes before the Seniors Committee and gets in last year.

The smarter-than-everyone-else writers traditionally overlook safeties. Johnny Robinson goes before the Seniors Committee and gets in Saturday.

Notice a trend?

I asked a Hall of Fame voter a few years ago why Coryell isn’t in and he told me there were a few stubborn voters who wouldn’t change their view.

So think it out … there are only 48 people with votes … and the same people vote every year … and did I hear the word stubborn?

Oh yeah, Coryell is going to keep falling short because there is one thing sportswriters are superb at — having an agenda.

When Coryell didn’t make it in 2017, I knew that was trouble. That was the opening. He should’ve made it that year.

This year, three first-time eligible players got in — tight end Tony Gonzalez, safety Ed Reed and cornerback Champ Bailey.

Since Coryell didn’t even make the cut to 10 this year, you can’t feel good about his chances next year.

And look what happens in 2021: Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Charles Woodson and Jared Allen will be up for consideration.

So yeah, on to 2022, and who wants to think that far ahead right now?

The guys/gals that vote like to act like they are the smartest people on the planet when it comes to football. Having heard some of them talk football, let’s just agree that some of them aren’t as astute as they think they are.

Apparently, some of them don’t know teams often ran on third-and-3 before this Coryell guy showed up in the NFL and stomped out the dark ages.

Apparently, some of them aren’t aware passers accumulating 2,500 yards in a season were Pro Bowlers before this Coryell guy showed up in San Diego. That’s when “Air Coryell” changed football and some guy named Dan Fouts went from average at best to putting together a mountain’s worth of 4,000-yard passing seasons.

Apparently, some of them don’t know the formation advances – hey, this Coryell guy is splitting the tight end out wide and only has one running back? – and that today’s offenses can be tied back to one of the top innovators in football history.

That’s where the problem comes in. If you can’t write the history of pro football without mentioning that person’s name, he should be in the Hall of Fame. That stands whether or not he coached in a Super Bowl.

But Coryell isn’t in the Hall of Fame and I sadly have to say I don’t see it changing. Stubborn sportswriters will make sure he doesn’t get in. You can count on that.

Anyway … here is a stellar Hall of Fame story … sorry, doesn’t call it a travesty that Coryell was passed over again … http://fieldlevelmedia.com/latest-stories?storyId=29689

The Football Gods were on San Diego’s side on Sunday.

The runaways known as “Chargers” were humiliated and outclassed by the New England Patriots, which is exactly what a franchise run by the “Spanos Goofs” deserves.

Heck, the Patriots had more first downs (24) than the Chargers ran plays (23) in the first half. Typically, you only find that type of mismatch at a high school football game. 

So call it a win for San Diego as the city which proudly supported an NFL franchise is forced to see its team play 100 miles north in a tiny soccer stadium that the home team can’t fill with its home fans.

Let’s call it what it is: The University of Montana — a small-college program — has a better stadium than the Chargers.

Heck, Montana certainly would have played the Patriots tougher, too. 

I had wondered Sunday morning if it might be better for the Chargers to upset New England and then lose to the Kansas City Chiefs in next Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. 

The thinking was that it would be much more painful for the Spanos Goofs if the Chargers lost next week with a Super Bowl berth up for grabs.

But the nature of the Patriots’ game-opening drive said it all. New England was going to annihilate the Chargers … and it kept on doing so and just steamrolled all over a poorly prepared team.

The team was so out of sync that you wondered if Pinocchio Norv Turner returned to give the pregame speech.

The stage was too big for the Chargers and the ownership deserved such an embarrassing whipping.

So celebrate your victory San Diego. And remember that the Football Gods know that you were wronged by the Spanos Goofs. 

More proof of that happened today with that completely inept joke of a performance by the Chargers.

 Be happy “San Diego” wasn’t attached to that debacle.

 

Figured it was a good time for a Weekly Links post so I will have it on record that I picked the correct winner in the College Football Playoff game between Alabama and Oklahoma.

You say that isn’t hard to do? Try doing it my way.

The No. 1 offensive player on my 2019 NFL draft board plays for Oklahoma. Some people think Kyler Murray will be fine with being just another player on the Oakland Athletics.

Not a chance — you will see him tearing up the NFL someday. But first you will see him roll up the points on Saturday.

That’s right, I’ve got Oklahoma winning the contest.

And the proof is right here in the stellar preview: https://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/NCAAF/oklahoma-sooners-vs-alabama-crimson-tide-preview-and-predictions/358719/

Remember, I’m the guy who picked Villanova to beat North Carolina in the 2016 college basketball title game when everybody else was picking the Tar Heels.

Not only that, I almost predicted the exact final score. Villanova won 77-74 on Kris Jenkins’ memorable game-winning shot. I picked Villanova to win 77-73.

That’s about as good as it gets when it comes to predicting college basketball scores.

Anyway, you can find the predicted score inside the preview link but don’t be the least bit surprised when Heisman Trophy winner Murray outduels Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa (wow, just spelled his last name without looking it up for the first time ever).

And you will remember where you heard that the Sooners would prevail.

ROSE BOWL — Ohio State vs. Washington

Urban Meyer’s last game as a college coach. Ummm, sure. He’ll be back, headaches and all. I’ve got him going out a winner against Chris Petersen’s underachieving Washington squad.

https://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/NCAAF/washington-huskies-vs-ohio-state-buckeyes-preview-and-predictions/360497/

 

NFL

Chargers-Broncos

Unfortunately, the Chargers are going to the playoffs. Now comes the fun part. Is it better to have them collapse in the opening round or reaching the AFC title game before being sent home? Either way, the Super Bowl is for winners so there is no need for any people named Spanos to be in the building.

https://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/NFL/chargers-vs-broncos-preview-and-predictions/365804/

Seahawks-Cardinals

Seattle just gave coach Pete Carroll an extension through 2021 while Arizona is likely to fire coach Steve Wilks after one season on the job. You have to be highly overmatched to lose your job after one year so it must be clear to everybody in the front office that Wilks has to go. Even horrible Kevin Gilbride (worst NFL head coach I covered) got 22 games before being fired.

https://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/football/NFL/cardinals-vs-seahawks-preview-and-predictions/365809/

 

COLLEGE HOOPS

Kentucky-Louisville

I guess people in the state of Kentucky are excited but seems this game has lot a bit of his luster. Perhaps Rick Pitino can show up and do something stupid. If you see Kentucky freshman guard Ashton Hagans around, guard your stuff. He steals everything in sight and matched the school record of eight thefts in the Wildcats’ last outing.

https://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/basketball/NCAAB/kentucky-wildcats-vs-louisville-cardinals-preview-and-predictions/366400/

Oregon-Boise State

Bad deal for the people in Boise as Oregon freshman star Bol Bol will miss the contest with a knee injury. Not much good to see from the Boise State side but at least the Ducks are evening things up with three injured players missing. Oh yeah, asked Manute Bol for some of his time before a CBA game once and he grazed the right side of my body and yelled “Right now, you’re crazy!”

https://www.scoresandstats.com/previews/basketball/NCAAB/oregon-ducks-vs-boise-st-broncos-preview-and-predictions/366394/