Archive for November 2011
The Lions and Panthers met in a battle of the big cats in Detroit (that was pretty lame). The Lions have a high-powered offense that scores a lot of points, especially at home. While the Panthers are much improved over last year and they have the likely rookie of the year playing QB, they’re very turnover prone. Cam Newton has thrown 14 interceptions this year. Sunday’s meeting with the Lions was no exception. In a high scoring affair, Newton threw for only 1 touchdown but 4 interceptions. Stafford on the other hand threw for 335 yards and 5 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.
The game was actually quite close into the fourth quarter. The Panthers just couldn’t keep pace as the Lions won the game by 2 scores: 49-35.
Week twelve features 3 Thursday Thanksgiving games, and even better – the return of the Colts!
The Suck for Luck continues!
Tough week for picks in week 10, so I went for the pick that hasn’t failed anyone all season – whoever is playing the Colts. In week 10 the Jacksonville Jaguars went on the road to beat up the Colts. Yes I know, I’m breaking two rules in taking the away team in a divisional game. However, all season long, the Colts ability to lose games has trumped all else. They don’t have anything going for them. The Jags on the other hand have MJD facing off against the leagues 30th ranked run defense.
(MJD - http://blacksportsonline.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/mjd.jpg)
MJD rolled for over 100 yards and a touchdown: 17-3 to the Jags. Too bad the Colts are on the bye next week.
I frequently visit www.grantland.com and recently found this article. ‘Living in State College’ is written by Michael Weinreb, and it is his third piece on State College since things started spiraling out of control a little over a week ago. Weinreb grew up in State College and that is largely the basis for his first piece – ‘Growing Up Penn State.’ In ‘Living in State College,’ Weinreb returns to State College to write about how his hometown is coping with the blowback, as well as the differing perceptions of the town versus the nation.
Safe? In State College? I spent my Friday nights in high school loitering at a defunct video arcade called Playland. The closest I ever came to danger at Penn State was during a fraternity initiation involving several pints of Mad Dog 20/20. I knew people who left their cars and their apartments unlocked for days at a time. In State College, we liked to think we looked after each other, and then we found out that some of the most prominent members of our community had failed to look after helpless children, and because of our lifelong emotional attachments we now feel like we are being branded as complicit in these crimes.
“It’s like people are on the outside, saying, ‘You don’t get it,’” I heard a man say. “And we’re on the inside, saying, ‘You don’t get it.’”
I think State College is more than a little different than most any town in the United States. Sure, theres plenty of small towns that bond around whatever it is they share; but nothing really rivals Penn State football and Joe Paterno. State College now has the national spotlight, and large collections of metropolitan populations are tuning in – and they can’t relate.
Weinreb continues and shares a thought that a friend shared with him in relation to Mike McQueary and his failure to act.
“Before I deployed to Afghanistan,” said a friend of mine, a Penn State alum, “I was convinced that the first time I got in a firefight I would be out in front of my men, leading them with bullets zinging around. Want to know what I did the first time the shit hit the fan? I jumped in a fricking ditch. Once I gathered myself, I was able to make the decisions that needed to be made, but the point is, I thought I knew what combat would be like and how I would react. Turns out I was wrong, and if I can’t even tell how I’ll react in certain situations, I certainly am not going to say how others should have reacted in situations requiring split-second decisions.”
This is one view point that I disagree with. I can accept that I don’t appreciate the culture at Penn State, and I can’t understand the way their unwritten chain of command is followed. I think this point applies only partially. According to the ‘facts’ as they currently stand (more information could obviously come out, but this is what we have to go off of for now), McQueary witnessed a sex act between Sandusky and a young boy in the shower, and walked away from it. The point made in the above quote – and I think that it is a valid one – only applies to that split second when he turned his head instead of rushing in. After that though, it is no longer a split second decision. I can forgive McQueary for initially turning away to walk, but I can’t forgive him for not going back.
Wenreb goes on to address the way people at State College struggle with accepting what has happened and realizing Joe Paterno was involved.
“You have to live in the middle of this contradiction,” a Penn State sociology professor, Sam Richards, told a class that Lori Shontz of the Penn Stater magazine sat in on. “You have to live in this zone where both [situations] can be true, and it’s very, very, very difficult. But part of becoming a thinker is to sit with two contradictory thoughts in your head and see them both as being true. And not go crazy. And not immediately try to resolve them. And so we’re offering that to you. Sit with that. Because this is big. That’sbig.”
And one final point about Penn State and the community culture.
The people who think the need for football in State College is entirely about football did not grow up in a place like this, where the community happens to congregate outside a stadium to mark the time and to mourn and to express sympathies and sorrows and regrets we might not otherwise be able to put into words. I know people who have been coming to this stadium for years and have never gone inside. It is just something we do, and if it’s the wrong thing, if it needs be pulled back or dropped to Division III or halted altogether for a year or two in order to achieve some measure of justice and perspective, then we will adjust. There are so many questions, and so few satisfactory answers. It feels like we are walking in place.
Week 9 was a success. I decided to go with the Falcons who were on the road playing the Colts. This breaks one real rule (don’t pick road teams) and one guideline I try to follow (don’t bet against win-less teams). I’ve managed to survive by picking against the colts and previously against the then win-less Rams. Generally speaking though – I hate to pick against teams that are win-less because odds are they will win eventually. But as I pointed out before…
So yeah – I liked my odds. The Colts are now the only team without a win, and they are leading the ‘suck for Luck’ campaign. They are 31st in the league in total team offense, and also 31st in total team defense. Thats a certain recipe for failure. They have no reason to win at this point. On Sunday, the Falcons went in to Indy and handed them a very convincing beat down. The final score was 31-7, and the game was never really any contest at all.
Proud to say I’m still alive after 9 weeks. The total count is down to just over 1,000. Thats about 1 in 25 from original pool at the start of the season.
Dont worry. I’m still alive. Literally and also in the suicide pool. I’ve been with only 1 handle since week 6.
Week 7 – In week 7 I decided to go with the Dallas Cowboys. They had been playing pretty well all year and they were playing host to the win-less St. Louis Rams. The Cowboys never trailed in the game and won by a final score of 34-7. In addition to this game getting me through week 7, it also served as Demarco Murray’s welcome party. He scored on the first drive of the game with a 91 yard run from scrimmage. He averaged 10.1 a pop for the game totaling 253 yards. He has continued since then at a very impressive clip.
Week 8 – This one wasn’t as smooth as week 7. I picked the Ravens and they did win. So that’s what really matters. However, it took three touchdowns out of Ray Rice and ultimately needed a game winning field goal at the end of regulation. This game never should have been close. To see Arizona put up 27 points on the Ravens defense IN Baltimore really had me worried. Typically, Baltimore wins games with its defense bailing out the frequent offensive woes. However, this game was different. Ray Rice scored a career high for touchdowns and this time bailed out the defense. It was hard to watch, but it worked. Baltimore took it 30-27.
Still alive half way through the season, looking good so far.