Wish it were better, but…

In case you’ve been visiting the blog and been disappointed there hasn’t been a post in a while, I apologize. But things have spiraled downward, and it was best I keep it to myself than explode.

My blood pressure is through the roof. I hope it is just too much consumption of caffeinated coffee. I got so scared a few hours ago that I pitched all of my open bags and cans of caffeinated coffee and started brewing decaf. Dr. Custer should be able to shed light on it when I see her in nine and a half hours. I pray it isn’t something more serious.

It has been brutally hot. BRUTALLY HOT. I hate having to go to Hays today in that heat, but what choice do I have? I can move the appointment with Dr. Custer, but not the one with Crista at 1600 (4 pm). If I cancel with Crista, I’m on an island until October 5, when my next appointment is scheduled. I will be so happy if and when that cold front comes through. Hopefully Friday.

I watched maybe two minutes of the Premier League last weekend. I slept through the Manchester City-Fulham match Saturday at 0630 (1230 British Summer Time), as well as all the 0900 (1500 BST) matches, including the one I was really looking forward to, Leicester at Bournemouth. Turned out to be exciting, with the Cherries winning 4-2.

I barely watched a few seconds of Everton-West Ham Sunday. Good to see West Ham on the board, especially at Goodison Park. Everton is on top of my Premier League dislike list. I won’t go into detail as to why.

The best thing to happen to me this week was sending Brenda flowers for her birthday, which was Sunday. She got them Monday at St. Joseph’s Academy. I was happily surprised to see a text from her today at noon. I miss her and a lot of other people in Baton Rouge.

Lost Saturday

Today was a bust. No English football, didn’t get any work done and didn’t go anywhere. Ugh.

Tomorrow is the first full slate of NFL games for the season. Not too interested. Just like I wasn’t interested in college football today.

My blood pressure is too high, just like my weight and debt.

That’s enough for now. It’s late anyway.

NFL opening night? I’ll pass

The 99th season of the National Football League began this evening with the Falcons-Eagles game in Philadelphia. Somehow I don’t think many people in the United Kingdom stayed up until 0130 (2030 Eastern/1930 Central) to watch.

I’m not watching either. I swore off football. I may check the scores, but I’m not going to watch the games. Waste of time and money. I watched a couple of Lifetime movies on my iPad tonight and I’m going to go to bed in a few minutes.

A new Nike commercial praising Colin Kaerpernick is debuting tonight. I have had it with seeing him on TV. He doesn’t play in the NFL anymore. I’m also sick of the protests and the talk about the protests. Players have the right to protest. That’s guaranteed by the First Amendment. However, they should not be protesting during work, and for them, a game is WORK. If NFL players want to spend Tuesdays, which is a day off for almost all players who have games the following Sunday, protesting, so be it. They should be able to. But meetings, practices and games are work and not a proper forum for protesting.

The late, great Ara Parseghian coached Notre Dame’s football team throughout United States involvement in the Vietnam War. Ara told his players they could do whatever they wanted when they did not have commitments to class and football. However, he told them they’d better study, go to class and be on time for football meetings and practice, or there would be consequences. That’s the way it should be everywhere.

I slept way too much today. The Seroquel didn’t cause me to sleep too much when I should have, but I was tired throughout the day. I’m going to try sleeping without it tonight. I need to go to Salina to get my hair cut because (a) I have time tomorrow and (b) it will get hot again next week. Also, I need more capicola. That stuff is addictive.

Saturday and Sunday will be perfect days to sleep late, since there is no football in England, or anywhere else in Europe.

No football? FREEDOM!

I am blissfully unaware of what is going on in the college football game being played this evening. I am happy.

To me, Ed Orgeron is a grossly overpaid man who supervises a bunch of 18 to 22-year old male children playing a stupid game at what is supposed to be Louisiana’s flagship institution of higher education, although maybe it isn’t such a great institution of higher learning, considering I earned a degree from that university despite my grossly inadequate performance in every course except three (Louisiana government and two on constitutional law) during my time there.

I don’t care how the children Orgeron supervises do in their stupid game. Tell me how Orgeron should be making 30 times the salary of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who is paid $130,000.

Tell me how the head football coach of a state university in Alabama deserves his $11 million salary when Alabama still has many pockets of abject poverty and the state’s education system is ridiculed everywhere except Mississippi? You can’t.

Tell me how the head men’s basketball coach of a state university in Kansas deserves his $6 million salary when Kansas is broke, many legislators refuse to fund higher education adequately, and the man who may be the state’s next governor is threatening even further cuts? You can’t.

Tell me how the head women’s basketball coach at a state university in Connecticut deserves his $4 million salary, even if Connecticut doesn’t have as many people in poverty as Alabama or Kansas and the state’s education system is usually ranked pretty high? You can’t.

Notre Dame should not be paying its head football coach $10 million. But Notre Dame isĀ  a PRIVATE institution. The school is not getting a dime from the state of Indiana. If that were being paid to coaches at Purdue and/or IU, then that’s a huge problem.

I’m not enamored with the $10 million salaries a couple of NFL coaches are pulling in, but they are PROFESSIONAL football coaches. The owners of the teams can pay whatever they feel their coach is worth.

Four years ago, I was at Buffalo Wild Wings in Kansas City the first two Saturdays of the college football season, and again for four more Saturdays. I was there every Sunday for NFL games for each of the first six weeks.

WHY? Wasted time, wasted money. I was very happy I got to see Liz and Lisa (plus another employee of Buffalo Wild Wings at that time whom shall remain nameless), but come on. I could have put those days to much better use.

Now I’m seeing that. I’m not a slave to the television for 11 hours on Saturday and nine hours on Sunday.

By contrast, Premier League matches are over by 1330 on Saturday and 1200 on Sunday. Ten matches over three days (usually; this weekend was an exception, since there are no Monday matches) is a heck of a lot easier on the eyes and the brain than dozens of games on Saturday, then 12 more on Sunday and another on Monday.

I probably should follow the Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and La Liga more. And possibly the three lower leagues in England.

I know what I will not be watching every Saturday for the next three months. Book it.

Hornets abuzz in England

So much for picking Watford to be relegated from the Premier League.

I was dead wrong about the Hornets. Dead wrong.

Wins over Brighton, Burnley and Crystal Palace were nice, yes, but it all figured to end today when Tottenham came to Vicarage Road.

Instead, the Hornets will go into the international break level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea and now must be considered to be the favorite from outside the Big Six to make it to Europe.

Watford bested Tottenham 2-1 despite being thoroughly outplayed in the first half and falling behind 1-0 in the second half following an own goal.

Instead of folding, the Hornets stung back, with Troy Deeney in the 69th minute and Craig Cathcart in the 76th putting the home team in front. Watford held on for the final 13 minutes plus stoppage time to go to 4-0-0 for the first time since 1988, when the Hornets were in the second division.

Watford’s #1 fan, Sir Elton John, was enjoying it immensely, as were most of those at Vicarage Road. Who would have dreamed it?

Elsewhere, Manchester United defeated Burnley 2-0 despite playing the last 19 minutes with 10 men after Marcus Rashford was shown a red card, and Arsenal bested Cardiff 3-2.

Time to update how I think the table will look on Mother’s Day. Remember, the bottom three are relegated to the Championship, the top four qualify for the UEFA Champions League, fifth and sixth for the UEFA Europa League group stage, and seventh for the Europa League qualifying rounds:

20. Cardiff
19. West Ham
18. Huddersfield
17. Newcastle
16. Burnley
15. Southampton
14. Crystal Palace
13. Brighton
12. Fulham
11. Bournemouth
10. Wolves
9. Leicster
8. Everton
7. Arsenal
6. Watford
5. Manchester United
4. Chelsea
3. Tottenham
2. Liverpool
1. Manchester City

Does LSU play tonight? Asking for someone out there. I don’t know and I don’t care.

Big name Sunday

Three of the “Big Six” play in the Premier League today, all on the road: Arsenal at Cardiff City, Manchester United at Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur at Watford. In the last matchup, both teams have nine points from their first three matches and are seeking to stay level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea.

Arsenal keeps Cardiff winless. Cardiff has played two goalless draws vs. Newcastle and Huddersfield, but the Gunners will break down the Bluebirds’ defense enough to move level with Everton and Leicester with six points.

Tottenham ends Watford’s early run and keeps itself well within title conversation. Now Spurs need to get their new stadium at White Hart Lane open.

Manchester United’s woes have been well documented. Burnley’s have not, but the Clarets also desperately need a win at Turf Moor. NEITHER team gets the victory it wants. Draw.

It’s still pouring outside. Russell has received quite a bit of rain since yesterday evening. Not that I have anywhere to be.

Freedom without American football

Manchester City leads Newcastle at the Etihad, but it isn’t the blowout I expected. The defending Premier League champions are up 2-1 after 69 minutes.

Liverpool and Chelsea each went to 12 points earlier today, which I expected.

The Reds bested Leicester City 2-1 in the East Midlands, with the Foxes pulling together a fine performance in the second half, although it wasn’t enough to offset the terrible defending which allowed Liverpool to tally twice in the first half.

Chelsea scored twice in the second half to dismiss Bournemouth 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. The Blues still have their kinks to work out under Mauricio Sarri, but a lot better to do it when you’re 100 percent through four matches than any alternative.

West Ham is stuck on zero points, losing 1-0 to Wolverhampton at London Stadium as the Wolves scored late in second half stoppage time. It is Wolverhampton’s first PL victory since the spring of 2012. All that spending and what has it gotten the Hammers? Not a darn thing. The Championship looms in East London.

The draw I predicted on the south coast came to pass, and it came to pass by the exact score I predicted: Brighton & Hove Albion 2, Fulham 2. The Cottagers had the match dead to rights with a 2-0 lead, but their defense is a sieve. The Seagulls certainly would have dropped all three points had it been most any other team, save maybe West Ham or Cardiff, but they came back strong to gain a point at home. Considering Brighton has tallied only 11 points in 21 away matches since going up, it had better get all the points it can at the AMEX Stadium.

The other draw so far today was Everton 1, Huddersfield 1 at Goodison. The Terriers played a 5-4-1, bunkering in and trying to keep the Toffees from doing much damage. It worked to give Huddersfield a critical point. Every point figures to be critical for Huddersfield, who will be in or near the drop zone all season. Everton, though, has to be kicking itself after blowing winnable games with Bournemouth and Huddersfield. Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea will not be so forgiving.

Southampton shocked me with a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace. This has got to be depressing for Roy Hogsdon. Very depressing. Losing at home by the same score to Liverpool is completely understandable. Losing away to Watford is completely understandable. But this result is very bad. If Crystal goes down and/or Southampton stays up, remember this match.

It’s 1300 CDT (1900 BST), and I must say, it is beyond liberating not to be a slave to the boob tube watching college football. I am not controlled by kickoff times. I am not controlled by the game being tied with two minutes to play. I am free to do what I want. And I love it.

Ready for some jolly good football

When I wake up tomorrow morning, the first thing I’m watching is Leicester City vs. Liverpool at 0630 (1230 British Summer Time).

Matchweek Four in the Premier League. I feel a bit out of place not drinking hot tea and munching on crumpets while watching, but my homemade sausage muffins (for Leicester-Liverpool) and cold cut sandwiches (for Manchester City-Newcastle at 1130 CDT/1730 BST) will do fine.

I’m hoping the Foxes will recapture some of the magic that spurred them to the 2015-16 PL championship, but I’m also a realist. Liverpool is playing out of this world through its first three matches, and I can’t see Jurgen Klopp’s men giving any ground at the KP. Leicester will make it quite entertaining, but the Reds head back to Liverpool with 12 points out of a possible 12.

The featured match at 0900 CST/1500 BST is Chelsea welcoming Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge. The Cherries showed quite a bit of heart after rallying from 2-0 down to Everton last Saturday at Dean Court to pull out a draw, but that will be fatal this time. The Blues have taken well to Mauricio Sarri following last season’s rocky ride under Antonio Conte. Eddie Howe’s men have a fighting shot to leave London with a point, but I can’t see it. Chelsea matches Liverpool at 12 points.

Elsewhere in that 1500 BST window, two matches have rout written all over it: Crystal Palace vs. Southampton at Selhurst and Everton vs. Huddersfield at Goodison. The home teams clearly have the upper hand in these.

Huddersfield can’t score, and the Toffees have to be angry after dropping two points on the south coast last week. Roy Hogsdon’s team has lost two in a row after winning on opening day at Fulham, and the Eagles figure to get well against a Saints team which couldn’t hold a 1-0 lead at home in losing to Leicester last week.

Fulham is feeling good after a 4-2 victory over Burnley at Craven Cottage, but it now goes to the south coast to face Brighton & Hove Albion, which defeated Manchester United 3-2 the last time it took the pitch at AMEX Stadium. This one ends in a 2-2 draw.

West Ham is at the foot of the table, and Wolverhampton comes to London following a thrilling draw vs. Manchester City at Molineux. The Hammers will still be stuck on zero when full time arrives. Wolves win their first Premier League match since 2012.

Manchester City vs. Newcastle? Pep Guardiola’s side will run riot over the Magpies at the Etihad. Considering City was hosed on two calls last week at Molineux, it will leave no doubt. I would not be shocked if City scores seven or eight.

Sunday’s early match (0730 CDT/1330 BST) is Cardiff hosting Arsenal. The 1000 CDT/1600 BST fixtures are Manchester United at Burnley and Tottenham at Watford. More on those next time.

I need to get to bed! I won’t have this problem next weekend, because there are no PL matches.

No American football? Nirvana

Tonight is the first night of high school football in Kansas. I’m at home in my basement watching a Lifetime movie.

And I feel pretty freaking great. I don’t miss high school football. I don’t. There are many better ways to spend a Friday night in my opinion.

I followed through on my pledge not to watch college football last night. I’m doing it again tonight. And I’m sure as hell not going to watch tomorrow, Sunday or Monday.

College football is corrupt as hell. Whenever an asshole like Urban Meyer (URBAN LIAR) can get away with only a three-game suspension after covering up an assistant coach’s dastardly deeds at TWO major universities, you know the game is full of shit and shouldĀ  not be supported by any sane human being.

Ohio State fired Woody Hayes, who won 205 games in 28 seasons in Columbus for punching an opposing player (Clemson’s Charlie Bauman) in a fit of rage, yet it can’t fire Urban LIAR for covering up a man who threw his pregnant wife against a wall and continued to abuse her after moving from Gainesville to Columbus? WHAT THE FUCK?

You know college football is corrupt when two power five conferences are allowed to play by a different set of rules.

The ACC and SEC fucking refuse to go to nine conference games like the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 have. They lay out a bullshit argument that it’s too tough to force them to beat up on one another.

There’s only one voice of reason, and as much as it pains me to say it, it’s Nick Saban.

Saban wants nine conference games, but everyone else in the SEC are big pussies and don’t want it. Same with everyone in the ACC, including Dabo Swinney. What’s wrong, Dabo? That scared of Duke, Virginia or Pitt? If you are, then get out of the business, pal.

Same to all the SEC coaches who oppose Saban’s idea. Yes, you’re tired of him kicking your asses all the time. I understand. My alma mater has been the most abused by Saban’s Alabama teams. But LSU has no business playing Southeastern Louisiana, Louisiana Tech and Rice in the same season.

How would it hurt if LSU traded one of those teams for Vanderbilt, Kentucky or Missouri? IT WOULDN’T. It might help the bottom line because LSU wouldn’t be on the hook for a ridiculous guarantee and pocket $3 million in revenue from tickets and concessions, and even if that game were on the road, they’d come out ahead over having to pay some shit team $900,000.

If the College Football Playoff committee had any balls (they don’t), they would demand the SEC and ACC play nine conference games, or else be held to a much stricter set of standards when determining the playoff berths. Playing five road games in the SEC shouldn’t mean a damn thing if you’re that good. Saban isn’t afraid of it. Too bad there are too many emasculated pussies in the ACC (John Swofford, Swinney, Mark Richt, Jimbo Fisher before he left Tallahassee for College Station) and SEC (Greg Sankey and Mike Slive and Roy Kramer before him, Ed Orgeron and Les Miles before him, Fisher, Gus Malzahn, Will Muschamp, Kirby Smart and Richt before him, Dan Mullen) for Saban to prevail.

Saban also wishes his school would stop scheduling cupcakes and play only fellow power five teams. Alabama’s administration won’t listen to him, but maybe it should. I don’t care if Saban scheduled Kansas, Rutgers and Oregon State, arguably the worst three schools in power five leagues. It would be a major improvement over the shit SEC and ACC schools play in non-conference for the most part, save South Carolina playing Clemson and Florida playing Florida State every year, plus the occasional neutral-site game.

LSU could play Texas, TCU or Texas Tech home-and-home. Revive the series with Georgia Tech and discuss playing the Atlanta game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium instead of Grant Field. Nebraska? Hell yes. Wisconsin? Why not, home-and-home would be just as fabulous as Houston and Green Bay were. North Carolina State? I like. Stanford? Yep.

Get the TV networks involved. Maybe Saban and James Franklin would consider reviving the Alabama-Penn State series, which was a fixture throughout the 1980s. Demand Texas and Texas A&M play a minimum of four years, possibly playing once in Arlington and once in Houston. Same with Missouri and Kansas, with all games in Kansas City. Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado should all play at least one Big 12 team per year. Texas A&M should also play Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech regularly.

Enough college football. At least the real football starts in under 10 hours.

Dark day–LITERALLY

It’s now Friday. Thank God, because yesterday was horrendous.

The electricity in the entire city of Russell went off at 0130 yesterday. I noticed because the fans I have on stopped working, and my CPAP machine also quit. I was able to sleep because I had taken Seroquel. The power came on briefly at 0630, but by 0715, it was out again.

And it wouldn’t come on for good until 1545.

I was pissed. REALLY pissed. I could have taken it had it been winter, but not summer.

I’m sick and tired of hearing how much people hate winter compared to summer. Last I checked, you can put on layer after layer to combat the cold. You cannot strip naked to battle the heat of summer, unless you are at a clothing-optional location, and even then the heat is relentless.

I slept until almost 1300, then I couldn’t take being in the dark anymore. I got in my car and headed east on Interstate 70. I got to Salina, and by time I made a stop at Dillon’s on Ohio Street–a place I went twice yesterday–my dad texted me that the power was back on. I drove to Abilene, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east, to kill some more time before getting word it was safe to return to Russell.

At least the outage occurred on a Thursday when I didn’t have work to worry about. Had it been on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, I would have been really screwed.

I would have been even more outraged had the power stayed off longer. I bought a lot of frozen food yesterday in Salina and Wichita. I didn’t want it to spoil. The worst would have been losing 0.91 kg (2 lb) of capicola ($31) and two six-packs of natural casing weiners ($14) from Whole Foods.

I’m about to go to bed. I want to be able to sleep for a long, long time this morning. Nothing coming on I really need to watch on TV until 0630 tomorrow, when Premier League leader Liverpool plays at Leicester City.