Archive for the ‘football’ Category

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 …

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:

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.




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.


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.




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.

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!”


Weekly Links … Pretty sure I will win national Work Ethic of the Year honors for 2018.

I wrote nine previews on Tuesday — one shy of my personal best — in addition to writing seven or eight breaking news stories and editing eight to 10 more articles.

That is more work than many print reporters do all week. Check that, 16 or 17 articles would be a heavy month’s work for some of those dudes.

I can recall how a competitor would whine when his newspaper would ask him to write a second story. Geez, so overworked having to write TWO stories in one day.

Most sportswriters wouldn’t last two weeks in the online world. I can do their job, they can’t do mine.

Of course, one of the drawbacks in my work life is having to occasionally write about the C-word. Yep, drew the Spanos buffoons again this week.

How about the ticket situation for those clowns? Pretty embarrassing that they can’t get fans into their 27,000-seat children’s playground. Of course, nobody in Los Angeles cares that they are around. And nobody ever will.

All their fans are 100 miles away and they are enjoying what a joke the franchise is becoming.

So keep me up for Work Ethic of the Year honors and let’s nominate Dean Spanos for dumbest decision by a sports owner in NFL history.

Here is the stellar preview of Titans vs. Chargers in London —



Oregon-Washington State — The Pac-12 is pretty much a joke of a conference for a second straight season. Oregon somehow is about the best team the conference has to offer. Until the Ducks lose to Washington State and the team coached by nutty Mike Leach is the best. Yeah, not a good year for the Pac-12.

Ohio State-Purdue — Everyone seems to have forgotten Urban Meyer’s unethical nonsense. Everybody except for the football Gods. You don’t think this Nick Bosa injury and ensuing departure just happened? The Buckeyes aren’t winning the national crown without Bosa and that means the rest of us win.

Alabama-Tennessee — The Crimson Tide seem on their way to another national title. The boring run-based offense of earlier this decade is now a wide-open attack with speedy wideouts everywhere. Give Tennessee credit for showing up on Saturday and then watch the deluge of points from Alabama.

Weekly links …

My research showed me that the Milwaukee Brewers haven’t played in the World Series since 1982.

Then it sinks in — I have co-workers who weren’t alive in 1982.

That doesn’t feel so good. Where the heck did the last 36 years go?

Hopefully the Brewers will return to the World Series this year. Because that will mean that the Dodgers won’t.

Doesn’t seem all that long ago that a powerful Milwaukee offensive team — think Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor, Ben Oglivie, Ted Simmons, Gorman Thomas and Robin Yount — lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in a stellar seven-game  series.

Yikes, that was so long ago that the Brewers were in the American League.

Milwaukee has another great offensive team this season — led by probable MVP Christian Yelich — but the Dodgers probably have a more complete team. Should be a good National League Championship Series.

Here is the stellar preview —



Rams at Broncos — The Los Angeles Rams are fun and exciting and one of two remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. This after being a boring lifeless team just two seasons ago under Jeff Fisher. And even better, “Los Angeles” fits nicely with their team nickname. The Broncos are on their way to a fourth straight loss.

Here is the stellar preview —

Steelers at Bengals — Perhaps they ought to put these two teams in the octagon and let them go wild on one another. Some recent meetings have been more vicious than a UFC bout. Who can forget the way Pittsburgh wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster laid out Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict last season on Monday Night Football? Seems the Steelers always win the game and Cincinnati claims the penalty yards’ title.

Here is the stellar preview —

Chargers at Browns — Who can forget the last time the Chargers visited Cleveland on Christmas Eve during the 2016 season? The lowly Browns defeated the Chargers for their lone win over a two-season span. That was the type of embarrassment owner Dean Spanos deserved on his way out of San Diego. The Browns are much better now so perhaps there will be a repeat.

Here is the stellar preview —


College football

Missouri at Alabama — The Crimson Tide have looked so good you have to wonder if anyone can beat them. The offense has been explosive and the defense keeps scoring touchdowns (four off interceptions). Missouri is one of those programs that might stun a Top 20 program but has little chance to beat a powerful top-ranked team. And yeah, the Tigers are 0-14 all-time against No. 1 teams.

Here is the traditional stellar preview —

Here is the broken into team sections stellar preview —

Minnesota at Ohio State — Urban Meyer feels great now because he no longer is facing questions about his questionable handling of the situation in which assistant coach Zach Smith was accused of domestic violence. He won’t face much distress this Saturday when his team faces Minnesota either. The Golden Gophers have no chance of beating the Buckeyes.

Here is the stellar preview —

Weekly links …

Raiders versus Chargers no longer sounds so fun these days. Oops, I just used the C-word.

Still, the future Las Vegas team against the squad playing in a small soccer stadium doesn’t pack any luster.

Oakland visiting San Diego is a rivalry. Oakland visiting Carson, Calif. means absolutely nothing.

This isn’t Don Coryell’s offense rolling up 55 points on the Raiders and it surely isn’t Ken Stabler to Cliff Branch while picking apart soft Chargers’ defenses.

Both teams have superb quarterbacks — Philip Rivers for the Chargers, Derek Carr for the Raiders — but even a shootout won’t make this feel like an important game.

Not when the Chargers are playing in a miniature stadium with a populace that doesn’t care they are in town.

The Chargers aren’t even the most popular team playing in the StubHub Center. Ever heard of the L.A. Galaxy?

Here is the stellar preview — 

Rams at Seahawks

The Rams are way more popular in Los Angeles than the Chargers and for good reason. The team is way more exciting and is one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL. They also belong in Los Angeles. Now they get a chance to remind the Seattle Seahawks there is a new king in the NFC West. Oh yeah, how did it go last December? Try Rams 42, Seahawks 7.

Here is the stellar preview — 

Packers at Lions

Aaron Rodgers takes shots at coach Mike McCarthy after his team won by 22 points. Who is he taking advice from — Danica Patrick? Hey, I wonder if Rodgers’ family is on speaking terms with him again now that he has a new girlfriend. The Lions will try to silence Rodgers this weekend.

Here is the stellar preview —



Washington at UCLA

Something has to give here — Washington hasn’t won at the Rose Bowl since 1995 and Chip Kelly has a horrible team. Check out UCLA’s schedule and see if you find two wins. May turn out to be zero. The Huskies shouldn’t encounter much difficult winning in Pasadena for the first time in 23 years.

Here is the stellar preview —


Nick Saban complained that the student section was lackluster for last week’s drubbing against Louisiana. Um yeah, then don’t schedule a lackluster opponent. Sounds like Alabama students are pretty smart by not showing up. As for this week, there is zero chance of Arkansas pulling an upset.

Here is the stellar preview — 

Indiana-Ohio State

Ohio State is now the third-ranked team in the country and everybody has forgotten Urban Meyer’s embarrassing antics when it came to former assistant coach Zach Smith using his wife as a punching bag. That is exactly what the school administration was hoping. Hopefully, there are two losses to come to keep the school out of the College Football Playoff. Not seeing the Hoosiers delivering one of those setback.

Here is the stellar preview —



Yankees-Red Sox, Game 2

Don’t usually include baseball due to the short shelf life of a preview but this one needs to be included. Boston left-hander David Price is 0-8 in nine postseason starts and it will be fun to see that zero in the win column remain. Can he break the drought Saturday? Perhaps, but know this: He went 0-3 with a 10.34 ERA in four starts against the Yankees this season.

Here is the stellar preview —

Weekly links …

Sometimes I have to write about the “C word.”

There is just no avoiding it unless I want to get a boring, mundane job doing something else.

Objectivity always wins out since I am paid well to be a professional.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this tweet that came across my Twitter feed.

Oh yeah, the C word. … Chargers.

What a C word it is. A poor one when San Diego isn’t in front of the team name.

The Chargers are 1-2 but get the good fortune of facing C.J. Beathard at quarterback this Sunday after the San Francisco 49ers lost starter Jimmy Garoppolo last week. But hey, we all know how often that franchise has lost games it should win over the years.

Tight end Antonio Gates says they don’t select Super Bowl teams in the first four weeks of the season. True. They select them in mid-January.

And think, the Chargers were selected all of ONE time. And certainly won’t be this season either.

So yeah, let’s talk about the “C word.”

Here is the stellar preview —

Seahawks at Cardinals — Josh Rosen has done a lot of bragging about how he is the best quarterback of the 2018 draft class. Only time and results determine that, not someone’s mouth. But know this — the Cardinals have scored 20 total points in three games. Rosen can’t be worse than Sam Bradford. Here is the stellar preview —

Lions at Cowboys — Ezekiel Elliott wants more carries. Hard to argue when he is getting only 16 per game but is tied for the NFL rushing lead with 274 yards. Plus, quarterback Dak Prescott isn’t as good as his strong start to his NFL career. Hasn’t reached 200 yards this season and has cracked the mark just twice in the past 11 games. Here is the stellar preview —



Louisiana-Alabama — The Crimson Tide are once again playing the biggest cupcake available. The only suspense is whether coach Nick Saban calls off the dogs when his team leads by six touchdowns or waits until the advantage moves over 50. The coach at Louisiana — Billy Napier — used to be the receivers coach at Alabama so you can see the payday favor is in play. No other reason the Ragin’ Cajuns would show up. Here is the stellar preview —

Or if you prefer the type of preview that breaks it down into team forms, here is your stellar preview —

Boise State at Wyoming — It was pretty humorous Wednesday afternoon when I was out getting exercise that Boise State was pumping crowd noise into practice. Even more hilarious when I got back in the area 75 minutes later and it was still going on. Thought they must have been playing an opponent with an 80,000-seat stadium. Nope, playing at Wyoming and its cozy 29,181-seat stadium. I covered five games at Wyoming and only once was the attendance more than 20,000. The lowest three were 15,661, 14,012 and 13,757. Sorry, crowd noise isn’t deciding this game. Here is the stellar preview —


Weekly links …

Going to be hard-pressed to write a sadder story all year long.

The murder of Celia Barquin Arozamena while she was playing a round of golf in Ames, Iowa is one of the most irritating things that can occur. The 22-year-old loved being on the golf course more than anywhere else and a homeless clown decided to stab her to death and dump her in the pond near the ninth hole.

I should have been writing her name at some point during my career. But it should have been for her golf exploits, and not because she was victim of a heinous crime.

Barquin Arozamena played in the most recent U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek, missing the cut by three strokes. She was the Big 12 champion and Iowa State’s female athlete of the year.

The native of Spain appeared to have a real promising future. But one moron has left that chapter unwritten.

Here is the stellar article (accurate through Tuesday) —



Steelers at Buccaneers — FitzMagic is everywhere and a lot of people near Tampa hope Ryan Fitzpatrick’s roll will continue. That would mean Uber crotch grabber Jameis Winston would be on the sidelines watching. And what is with Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown? Can someone get him a pacifier? Here is the stellar preview —

Cowboys at Seahawks — How great would it be to see Seattle start 0-3 for the first time since 2002? Around where I live, those bandwagoners who were suddenly Seattle fans when the team made the Super Bowl will be shedding their gear soon. Then again, who wants to see Dallas win? Here is the stellar preview —

Bills at Vikings — Cornerback Vontae Davis quit football at halftime of the Bills’ last game and I think that means he suddenly realized he had signed with Buffalo. Minnesota safety Andrew Sendejo got fined $53,482 for a hit in last week’s game against Green Bay. I hear there are people who don’t make that much money in a year. Here is the stellar preview —


College football

Texas A&M at Alabama — Nick Saban is 12-0 against former assistants and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher is going to try to end this streak. He wasn’t able to do it last year when he was at Florida State and I surely don’t give him much chance this season against an Alabama team that looks like it can go undefeated. Here is the stellar preview —

Arizona State at Washington — How silly is it that the Sun Devils have won 11 of their past 12 meetings with the Huskies? Perhaps Washington coach Chris Petersen should spend less time engaging in his silly feud with the ESPN (silly on ESPN’s part too) and prepare his team a little better. Washington was supposed to trample Arizona State last season and scored seven measly points. Here is the stellar preview —

Tulane at Ohio State — Urban Meyer is back coaching and that means it is time for a lightweight opponent. The Buckeyes sure didn’t miss the Urban Liar while routing their first three game opponents. And now that we know he has a faulty memory, it is 50-50 that he knows how to find the stadium. Here is the stellar preview —

Penn State at Illinois — The Nittany Lions have a showdown with Ohio State next week so maybe they come out sluggish against Illinois. Actually, the Fighting Illini will fold at some point regardless of Penn State’s effort. How about giving up 18 straight fourth-quarter points to lose to South Florida? Bad stuff. Here is the stellar preview —

Boston College at Purdue — Boston College is ranked for the first time in 10 years. Almost makes you think college football on the whole is in decline mode for that to happen. Purdue quarterback David Blough passed for 572 yards last week. Not even school legend Drew Brees did that. Here is the stellar preview —

Weekly links is here …

Jalen Ramsey is part of a defense that allowed two fourth-quarter touchdown passes in last season’s AFC Championship Game to watch a Super Bowl berth evaporate.

He apparently isn’t the least bit embarrassed that his Jacksonville Jaguars sank like the Titanic with such a huge accomplishment on the line.

The Jaguars and New England Patriots meet Sunday in the rematch and there figures to be plenty of tension in the stadium. A lot of it stemming from Ramsey, whose most recent verbal shots at the Patriots included his declaration that all-everything tight end Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots isn’t all that good.

Yeah, OK Jalen.

Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash doesn’t agree with the assessment and said anyone that thinks Gronkowski is overrated is crazy.

Ramsey is a fantastic cornerback but the evidence is starting to grow — he’s truly crazy.

Here is the stellar preview —

Texans at Titans — Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson helped Houston roll up 57 points in his lone outing against Tennessee last season. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is bothered by a sore throwing elbow, which means Blaine Gabbert might need to play. You never want to see Gabbert in the game if you are trying to win.

Here is the stellar preview —

Vikings at Packers — Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers delivered a superb opening performance when he injured his left knee in the first half and returned at the start of the second half to rally Green Bay past the Chicago Bears. The Vikings are expecting Rodgers to play no matter how often the Packers say that he might not. And hey, isn’t Minnesota’s Harrison Smith a great safety?

Here is the stellar preview —

Lions at 49ers — The Detroit coaching debut of Matt Patricia was an outright disaster. Look, he got the gig because of the New England stint (Lions general manager Bob Quinn is a former Patriots executive). If he had been a Buffalo Bills assistant, he wouldn’t be a head coach.

Here is the stellar preview —



Boise State at Oklahoma State — Playing a Big 12 team rates as a big deal for the Broncos — sure beats playing Miami (Ohio) or Idaho State — and a victory in Stillwater would make Boise State the favorite to earn a New Year’s Six bowl. Nobody truly knows if Oklahoma State is any good or will end up being a four-loss team.

Here is the stellar preview —

Ohio State vs. TCU — Thought it was a typo — Ohio State is actually playing a tough team outside Columbus, Ohio. Yes, they really are playing the Horned Frogs. Guessing Urban Meyer’s faulty memory is at play — he probably said “schedule VCU” and didn’t realize that school doesn’t field a program, just a club team.

Here is the stellar preview —

Alabama at Ole Miss — Nick Saban says the real season starts when his powerful Alabama squad opens SEC play against Ole Miss. Makes me wonder why the SEC doesn’t play nine conference games if the nonconference games aren’t “real.” And yeah, makes me laugh even more that The Citadel is on the schedule in November.

Washington at Utah — The Huskies scored 10 points in the final 58 seconds to steal last season’s game against the Utes. That was the game when Kyle Whittingham displayed that your local pharmacist might be better at clock management than him. Utah is just 1-10 all-time against Washington.

Kent State at Penn State — The coach at Kent State is 32 years old. Youngest in FBS. That is the only thing remotely interesting about this matchup. The 40-point win will create more happiness in Happy Valley.