1) NHL season underway- But not the start for my Bolts that I was hoping for, dropping their opener 6-3 against the Thrashers. I'm still hoping for a better defense and more points this season. That was a little disappointing giving up 6 goals, though.
2) The "U" upgraded from Tropical Storm to category 3- Wow, huge win for the Canes and Jacory Harris, who rebounded very nicely after throwing two early picks. What a leader this kid is turning out to be. The Hurricanes could have let last week's horrid performance and early troubles inundate them, but instead held it together for an impressive win. The Hurricanes could possibly lose only the one game and be a second representative for the ACC in the BCS (unless Va Tech loses a couple in conference, in which case they could be THE representative). By the way, can we please abolish preseason polls? Oklahoma is still in the Top 25 with two loses because of what? Oh yeah, they started number 2. How can you rank them and not an undefeated Wisconsin team? Now, don't get me wrong, in no way am I suggesting that the Badgers are better. Most likely, Oklahoma beats them. But until Wisconsin loses a game, how can a TWO loss team be in front of them. And what if the Badgers don't lose? Eventually they have to leapfrog the Sooners, right? Right??? Actually, unfortunately, it's not likely to happen.
3) The football gods officially have it in for me- Gyah!!!! That was heartwrenching to watch Washington choke away two shots close to the goalline like that and have the domers come back and beat them, extending my worries that ND will make a BCS bowl game. Kudos to the Irish defense for stepping up like that, but come on Sark!!! The runs to the middle were not working. Mix in a roll out with a run/pass option. I'm not going to get on the officials for blowing the two point conversion call which I immediately saw on the first replay that he was down. Afterall, I think Sark had his challenge left. But that didn't cost them the game. The ineffeciency I previously mentioned did.
4) Speaking of Gyah's- I pick my Bucs to win over the hapless Redskins, and what thanks do I get? Missed FG's, no adjustments, and a loss. This team's best (and possibly only) shot of winning a game is in two weeks when the Panthers come to town. If they lose there, 0-16 is not out of the question. And could we please throw Josh Freeman to the wolves already and see what we might have in our first round draft pick from this year? This season is lost, and Josh Johnson is not the answer. Sure he gives you mobility and a faster delivery, but lacks everything else Leftwich brings to the table. Honestly, Leftwich never should have been pulled until Freeman was ready to play, which even in that case is hopefully sooner rather than later.
5) Giving credit where it is due- Have to give props to the Saints, which is hard for me because I can't stand their win nothing, think their crap doesn't stink fans, but that was a huge win over the J-E-T-S. I'm still not sold the Saints D will be able to stand up for a whole season, but for one game, they won it for them.
6) Cal Bleakly- Boy, what a fraud this team was. People thought they were going to be the ones to challenge USC? People figured out if you shut down Jahvid Best, whose Heisman Hopes are now officially zero, there isn't anybody else on this offense that's going to beat you. And who is the leader of the Pac-10 at this point in the season? Would you believe it's the Stanford Cardinal? No joke.
7) Keep the yellow in the pocket, part 1- Well, at least unlike the Pac-10's head of officiating who defended the worst call in history last year, the SEC's head ref stepped up and admitted they screwed up throwing a flag on Georgia Bulldog receiver A.J. Green after making one of the most incredible catches I've ever seen, the fact is that that flag has to stay in the pocket in the first place. Actually, more likely the rule needs to be changed, but as the 90,000 people in attendance and millions watching at home clearly saw, Green made no jesture. It would have been kind of hard from the middle of the mass of humanity that was his teammates congratulating him on his spectacular play. But don't get me wrong, UGA fans. this DID NOT cost you the game. Again, blaming it on officials is loser speak, and there is the little matter of kicking off TO Trendon Holliday and giving up a 40+ yard return which likely would have happened regardless of kicking from the 30 or the 15, and not being able to wrap up on Charles Scott and everybody else seemingly giving up on the play when the defender SHOULD have had him on the turf. THAT cost you the game, and LSU DESERVED to win. And the only thing worse than all of this? The make up call on Scott after his touchdown. Under NO circumstance should you EVER compound one horrific call with another trying to level the field. And deny it all you want, but if that wasn't a make up call, then I'm not a Gator fan. Remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left. Point is, you don't ever want to be worried about your team scoring a touchdown because some ref might get a little overzealous.
8) Keep the yellow in the pocket, part 2- I had the Pats-Ravens football field thingy on NFL.com several times during Sunday as I had the Ravens in my Pick 'Em pools and knew it would be an important swing game. Twice I saw as the Pats had the ball just past the 50, Personal Foul, Roughing the Quartback on the Ravens. Then I heard about Ray Lewis' remarks after the game. Even being right, I figured he was going to be fined for speaking his mind, especially since he was questioning the officiating, which is a definite no-no in the NFL. Shoot, on one play, it looked like the flag was thrown simply because Tom Brady whined for it. Well, I heard today on the radio that Ray Ray will not be fined for what he said, which means one of two things. Either A) Our Refs really F'ed up, or B) Our rules are F'ed up and need to be revisited after the season. Most likely, it's the latter, and to me, and to many other people, it appears that the league has far too many rules in the name of "Protecting the Player" that is detracting from the game. Pretty soon, football will become 7 on 7 where the offensive and defensive lines are eliminated, and it's man on man, including a defender to shadow the QB who can't touch him until he gets near the line of scrimmage. Seems this is what they want. Oh, and no making a good hard hit on the receiver, either.
9) Bored of Untrustees- First off, I will make this clear. Even as a Gator fan, I have a huge amount of respect for Bobby Bowden and what he has accomplished. I was adminantly PO'ed this offseason as it was suggested he lose 14 wins for playing players that to the best of his knowledge that were eligible, while the school which allowed itself to get swallowed up in an academic scandal that encompassed SIXTY ONE of its athletes in NINE sports got off with nary a slap on the wrist. To me, nothing screamed lack of institutional control more than this case, and made me yearn for the days of bowl probations and losing t.v. revenue. You want to stem something like this, hit the university in the pocketbook, don't punish a coach by vacating wins. Not like Duke is going to show a victory for that game anyway. Now word comes from Monday of the head of the Seminoles Board of Trustees, who I can only define as a world class moron. Here are the quotes that came from his way.
"We've got too many bosses out there," Smith said.
"Jimbo is in a very, very tough situation where people assume he has a whole lot more authority than he really has," Smith told the Associated Press. "He's getting blamed for a lot of things that's just not his fault."
Really, too many bosses? I count one. A coach in waiting does not count as a boss. And if coordinators count as bosses, then yes, there are too many as this would make Mickey Andrews and the special teams coach a boss, too, but no team is run like that. Fisher's situation is clearly outlined to him, and as far as getting blamed for a lot of things that just are not his fault, I'll blame him for one thing that is his fault. He is the offensive coordinator, correct? He, or one of HIS OWN assistants call the plays, correct? Then I blame him for having a offense that has the consistancy of an elderly man's bowel movements on a low fiber diet! And don't give me recruiting, either. Yes, it hasn't been up to standards at FSU recently, but do you really think Fisher has no input, especially with offensive players? Give me a break!!! And he continues:
Smith said Fisher should take over following Florida State's last game this season.
Too bad this isn't the board of trustees' decision and you have no direct say in it whatsoever.
Smith said that arrangement has resulted in division among the Florida State staff, an accusation Seminole coaches have vehemently denied.
"I know coaches are sniping at each other and that's just terrible," Smith said Monday. "There are too many mixed signals."
Really??? And you know this from what? Your close, intimate, first hand knowledge of the team? You'd swear HE was a coach at FSU. Yeah, I'm sure there's a lot of dissent between Bowden and Andrews, life long friends. And if there is division between Fisher and Bowden, which I don't believe there is, especially since Jimbo has yet to produce on his end of the field, well then, there might be another agenda at work there, so forgive me if I put absolutely no stock in it whatsoever.
He also said fundraising has slowed significantly, and the school has an obligation to fans and alumni to be competitive.
"I take absolutely no pleasure in this," Smith said. "I love Bobby Bowden, but I tell you what, I love FSU more."
Ah, and at last we arrive at the only true statement from this genius, and the true crux of his problem. Fundraising is down. Imagine that. First off, Bobby can't go out there and play for these kids, so I apologize for the sudden downturn in which you have your first losing record since Bowden's first year. Yes, that hurts a little, but, clown, fundraising is down everywhere. There's this thing called the economy, which maybe you're not up on current events, but it hasn't been doing all too great as of late. The fact of the matter is you have little power and no immediate knowledge of the current situation there, so dude, please, STFU (and no, I'm not talking about John Cena's finishing move). If anybody's earned the right to go out on his own terms, it's Bobby. Besides, sure didn't hear you or any of the other Nole faithful complaining as he was delivering a record 14 straight top 4 finishes to you, and I'm sure ALL KINDS of fundraising dollars. Guess you didn't invest wisely when you had the money.
10) Weekly look ahead- The things I am looking forward to this week are, surprise, surprise, the Florida LSU game to see who can stake early lead to conference supremacy, Alabama Ole Miss to see if Jevan Sneed can rebound or if the Tide continue to roll, Nebraska Missouri to see who's the early leader for the Big 12 North, and Ohio State Wisconsin to see if the Badgers are for real, or if they're simply Badgering me wanting to put them ahead of two loss Oklahoma. In the NFL, give me New England Denver, Jets Miami, and Redskins Panthers wait, that's another suckfest. Also give me the start of the MLB playoffs, which is really underway right now with a tight one going on in Minnesota. Also, my Bolts play three games this week against teams currently 0-2. They need to take at least 4, preferably 5 or 6 points from them. I'll update after today to give you my MLB playoff predictions.
Update: MLB Playoff Predictions- Wow what a game tonight in Minnesota. Unfortunately, I don't think it bodes well for them having to turn around and play tomorrow in New York. At least they get a day off after that. Anyways, here's what I think for the playoff series.
Philadelphia over Colorado in 5
Los Angeles over St. Louis in 5 (both cases just because of home field. Think the NL is very evenly matched)
New York over Minnesota in 4 (Yankees should win game 1)
Boston over Los Angeles in 4 (I know LA will be out for revenge after last year, just don't think it'll work)