Monthly Archives: September 2016

A lot since I last blogged…

There has been a lot of craziness since the last time I posted. I should have posted something Sunday or Monday with all that went on.

The trip home from Kansas City Saturday was uneventful. It was a good two days over there, a good break from the humdrum of Russell, Hays, Norton and other towns.

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez died in the wee hours of Sunday morning in a boating accident, along with two others. It was reported the operator of the boat, which was licensed to Fernandez, was traveling at high speed, much faster than was safe for that time of night. It crashed into a jetty, throwing the occupants around like rag dolls, and killing all three by blunt force trauma.

Arnold Palmer died Sunday evening. It was announced during the Bears-Cowboys game on NBC. Palmer, who was 87, was one of the most popular golfers who ever lived, and one of America’s most iconic athletes, period. His exploits on the course would be surpassed by Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and others, but nobody will ever come close to matching the popularity Arnie enjoyed during his heyday, and well after his retirement. In fact, he had recently been appearing in ads for the blood thinning medication Xarelto with NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and comedian Kevin Nealon, the longtime Saturday Night Live actor. I’ll always remember Palmer in the Pennzoil commercials of the 1980s.

The Arizona Cardinals looked mighty pathetic in Buffalo. The Bills won 33-18, and frankly, it was never that close. Buffalo gashed the Cardinals for over 200 yards rushing, and Carson Palmer looked like he had never seen an NFL defense. Palmer threw four interceptions in the fourth quarter. Let that sink in: four picks in one period. Brutal. I’ve seen this so often from the Cardinals in over three decades of following the NFL, but most of the time, I didn’t expect them to win. Now that the Cardinals are expected to win many of these games, it makes it much more frustrating.

The Cardinals play the Rams Sunday in Glendale. Yes, Arizona has won four of the last five meetings, but the one was last year in Arizona, when the Rams won 24-22, thanks in large part to Todd Gurley. If Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy can have that much success on the ground vs. Arizona, what will Gurley do? Oh boy.

The most important sports news of Sunday, at least to me, came out of my native state.

LSU, my alma mater, fired football coach Les Miles Sunday, 24 hours after the Bayou Bengals lost 18-13 at Auburn. LSU appeared to win the game when Danny Etling hit D.J. Chark along the sideline in the end zone on the last play of the game. I didn’t think LSU got the snap off before time ran out, and indeed, the officials concurred after reviewing it.

The next afternoon, I read on The Advocate website LSU was “considering” major changes to the football program. Then came a rumor Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron were going to be fired. Then it was confirmed.

Miles was very close to being fired last November when LSU lost three consecutive games to Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss following a 7-0 start. Miles’ job was saved only after LSU beat Texas A&M 19-7 in Baton Rouge in the regular season finale. The job appeared more secure after a 56-27 victory over Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl, but the 16-14 loss to Wisconsin at Green Bay in this year’s season opener had fans grumbling and only served to turn up the heat on Miles.

Miles was canned despite a 114-34 mark at LSU. He has the highest all-time win percentage in program history (.770), and his 114 wins rank him second only behind the 137 by “Cholly Mac”, Charles McClendon, who coached the Bayou Bengals from 1962-79. Miles won a national championship in 2007 despite triple overtime losses to Kentucky and Arkansas, and in 2011, LSU won its first 13 games against the nation’s most difficult schedule to reach the championship game, but were thoroughly embarrassed by Alabama in New Orleans. The Crimson Tide won 21-0 and held LSU to a meager 92 yards, fewest by any team in a championship game since 1998, the first year of the BCS.

LSU hasn’t won even an SEC West championship since 2012. It hasn’t finished any of the previous four seasons with fewer than three losses. I fear the Bayou Bengals may regress to the point where it falls behind Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M permanently.

Ed Orgeron, LSU’s defensive line coach, was named the interim coach. His first game is Saturday night vs. Missouri in Death Valley. Orgeron was head coach at Ole Miss in 2005, ’06 and ’07 and was a miserable failure, going 10-25 overall and 3-21 in SEC games. He also was arrested for DUI, and committed some recruiting violations, violations which are still casting a shadow over the program even though Orgeron has been gone from Oxford for nine years.

Orgeron was interim coach at USC in 2013 after Lane Kiffin was fired, and went 6-2 with the Trojans. Some felt he should have been given the job permanently, given his ties to Pete Carroll as an assistant on  USC’s back-to-back AP national championships of 2003 and 2004, but the Trojans made the disastrous hire of Steve Sarkisian, who didn’t last two full seasons.

This is Orgeron’s dream job. He grew up in Cut Off, a small town in southern Lafourche Parish, and played at South Lafourche High, where the Trojans won the 1977 Class AAAA state championship (Louisiana’s highest classification at that time). One of Orgeron’s high school teammates was Bobby Hebert, who went on to play quarterback for the Saints and Falcons. Orgeron briefly attended LSU, but transferred to Nicholls State in Thibodaux and played football there.

Orgeron was hired in 2015 by Miles as defensive line coach. “Coach O” is known as a fantastic recruiter, and he was elevated by LSU athletic director Joe Alleva to help keep recruits from wavering in their commitment to the Bayou Bengals.

If Orgeron helps LSU win its next eight games, he could very well stay on permanently. Alleva will only consider people with previous college head coaching experience, and even though Orgeron’s career record is 16-27, he qualifies.

Miles’ firing is the earliest in LSU’s history. Now what if a previous athletic director had the guts to pull the trigger on another LSU coach after a stupefying loss at Auburn? I’ll discuss in another post.

As for me, it’s volleyball in Hays for the second time in three days. Norton lost to TMP and Plainville Tuesday. Today is no easier, since the Bluejays play three larger schools: Salina South, Hays and Abilene. I’m going back to Norton Monday, because it’s the last home matches this season, which means it’s senior night for Caitlyn. She’d never forgive me if I missed it.

This week is the first time I haven’t had an appointment with Crista since the week of July 18. I had been going weekly since the last week of July, but she wanted to try to go back to every two weeks, which was the schedule until the change. I was feeling a little bit anxious Tuesday in TMP’s fieldhouse before the matches. I was about to call her and leave a message saying it was a huge mistake to cancel. Lucky for me, I snapped out of it and didn’t need to call.

I can’t believe it will be October Saturday, but time flies sometimes.

Thoughts from a barstool

Back at Buffalo Wild Wings this afternoon. Been here since 12:35. I saw my buddy Larry for the first time in a long time. Trey, whom I’ve seen here since I first came here in May 2013, is bartending. I’m sure I’ll see a few more people I know before I leave.

I had to get work done on my car this morning in Overland Park. Didn’t have to wait at Morse-McCarthy Chevrolet this time nearly as long as I did the last two times, when I had new tires put on. Stopped at Staples and Bed, Bath & Beyond before heading north. 

I was thinking about coming back tomorrow and leaving Sunday morning, but there is an 80 percent chance of rain for tomorrow night and Sunday, so I’m going to get out of here tomorrow. The cold front will pass through Russell tomrorow night, and hopefully, that will be it for temperatures above 80 Fahrenheit, or 27 Celsius, until at least April. I do not like hot weather. 

I’m probably going to be back to Kansas City sooner rather than later. Maybe I come back next weekend to watch the Missouri-LSU football game. Or maybe I come back for my birthday in less than three weeks. I can’t stay away. Too many people I want to see. 

LSU plays Auburn tomorrow night on the road. The Bayou Bengals have traditionally struggled at Jordan-Hare Stadium, but if they lose tomorrow, LSU may be in the market for a new coach after the season. I could see the season unraveling if Auburn wins tomororw. WIth road games against Florida, Arkansas and Texas A&M, plus home dates with Ole Miss and Alabama, it could get ugly fast in Baton Rouge. 

Kansas does not play tomorrow. Kansas State might as well not play. Another cupcake, Missouri State, visits Manhattan. Bill Snyder can’t get enough cupcakes. Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines could make a killing sponsoring Kansas State football. 

How much does Snyder fear playing strong teams? When he was hired at K-State in 1989, he canceled the second game of a home-and-home series with Tulane. 

Not making it up. I said TULANE.

K-State played in 1980 at LSU. However, that was a one-time deal so the Wildcats could infuse their coffers with much-needed cash. No way LSU was going to play a game in a stadium which seated 42,000, unless it was an SEC game. Certainly not vs. the worst team in the Big Eight. Certainly not when LSU had four games vs. Florida State lined up from 1980-83, four with Notre Dame (1981, 1984-86),  contests with Washington, Arizona and USC, and a home-and-home with Ohio State later in the decade, not to mention the annual game vs. Tulane. 

The Green Wave defeated the Wildcats 20-16 in New Orleans in 1988. Coach Stan Parrish was fired following an 0-11 season, part of a 30-game winless streak. Tulane, which was an independent at the time, was scheduled to make a return visit to Manhattan, but Snyder canceled the game and picked up some team which was weaker than the Greenies, which took a lot of searching. Tulane won all of 23 games between 1988 and 1995. 

I can’t believe MIssissippi State and Oklahoma have agreed to play Tulane in the New Orleans in coming years. I can’t imagine the Bulldogs or Sooners playing at Tulane’s on-campus stadium, which seats only 30,000. I believe the visitors, not to mention television, will insist the games be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where the Wave played from 1975 through 2013, save for 2005, when the Dome was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. 

Tulane cut its own throat when it foolishly voted to leave the SEC in 1966. The Green Wave might have been at or near the bottom of the conference in football every single year, but it would have made money hand over fist. 

Vanderbilt, a private school in a large city like Tulane, chose to stay and take their punishment from Tennessee, Alabama and others. But the money the Commodores have raked in from the SEC have made sure the school’s academic mission continues to be funded at the highest possible level, while athletes get to compete against elite institutions. 

Wait-y issue

It has not been boring today. 

I was almost late to my appointment with Crista. I stopped at a car wash on 27th Street in Hays. The front bumper of my car was beyond gross. I don’t know how many love bugs divebombed to their death on my car, but it had to be in the tens of thousands. It was almost completely black. 

By time I got done and stopped further down 27th for gas, it was 8:51. I made it to the office with three minutes to spare.

Then I waited. And waited. And waited.

Unfortunately, the lady who had an appointment with Crista at 8 am was having some problems. I could hear her through the door. I know that feeling. 

Dr. Patriarca saw me waiting for Crista at 9:15. I knew that something must have been wrong, because there have been times where my sessions have begun 10 to 15 minutes after the hour. 

It turns out I didn’t get in until 9:38. I felt guilty if the lady before me needed to talk to Crista some more. Crista apologized for being so late, but I told her it wsan’t a big deal. I certainly understood about people in crisis. 

Lucky for me, I haven’t had any real problems as of late, so 30 minutes did just fine. I canceled my appointment for next Wednesday and will go back October 6, which happens to be the day my parents are leaving to visit my brother, his wife and their son in Nashville. 

I had to drop off my Hawaiian silk shirts at the cleaners in Hays after I got done with my appointment. I wanted to check my post office box, but drove right past the post office, which is across the street from the cleaners. No big deal, I’m back in Hays Tuesday anyway. 

The drive to Kansas City was smooth. I stopped in Topeka to use the restroom and get some refreshment. When I got past the toll plaza near Bonner Springs, traffic became choked due to construction. I got off at K-7 and found my way to I-435, and then on to Buffalo Wild Wings.

I’ve been here since 2:20. I’ll stay thorugh at least the first half ot he Texans-Patriots game before heading to Overland Park to check in to my hotel. Leaving either Saturday or Sunday.

Early, early rise

Second straight morning waking up before 6, although it was 20 minutes later today. I won’t have the early Thursday the next two weeks, since my two appointments with Crista after today are in the afternoon.

I got home later than I had hoped Tuesday from Phillipsburg, but that’s volleyball. It’s like baseball, no clock and you can’t know when a match is going to end. I don’t like the fact that varsity matches in Kansas are mostly two sets out of three, but it does get me home earlier.

I would rather varsity matches, especially those in the postseason, be best three of five sets, but there’s no way the Kansas State High School Activities Association will go for that. There are more best-of-5 matches in the Kansas City and Wichita areas because there isn’t as much travel, but it’s not practical when teams are traveling long distances, as was the case last Thursday, when the schools came to Norton from over 100 miles away.

The triangular at Phillipsburg involved two visiting schools which are not that far away, Norton and Stockton. I had the longest trip home of anyone there! Then again, I wouldn’t be going that far if it weren’t for Caitlyn and Peggy.

Norton lost to Phillipsburg and defeated Stockton. The Bluejays have now played six three-set matches out of 11 so far. They’re 7-4 this year,  only one win shy of last year, when Norton was 8-26. The Bluejays haven’t finished above .500 in volleyball since 2005, when Peggy’s oldest child, Chelsea, was a senior at Norton and middle daughter Courtney was a sophomore. Caitlyn was 7. Norton made the Class 3A state tournament in 2007, but it was 13-20 after winning sub-state. At state, the Bluejays were beaten three times.

I had to get up earlier yesterday to get my work done, which I did by 10:45, even with a short nap between 8:10 and 8:40. I sorted through the pictures from the Norton-Phillipsburg match and uploaded them to Instagram. I’ll do the Norton-Stockton match today, tomorrow and probably into Saturday.

After my appointment with Crista, I’m planning to go to Kansas City for the first time in seven weeks. I need to get my car worked on tomorrow in Overland Park. I’m also going to Buffalo Wild Wings today and tomorrow; hopefully I’ll see Robb and Dawn at least once. I have to get home either Saturday or Sunday.

Not as much travel for next week, although I do have three straight days in Hays–two for Norton volleyball, and a Wednesday afternoon appointment with Crista in between. Then again, three round trips to Hays will be less than one to Norton.

I finished watching the season 18 premiere of Law and Order:SVU on Hulu. Now it’s time for me to shut this computer down, get cleaned up, and get on my way to Hays. I have things I want to do before the appointment, so I can quickly get out and head east.

Football-free Tuesday

Sorry for the long delay with a new post. No excuse given I spent almost all of my time at home between the trip to Norton Thursday and right now.

I got home very late from Norton last Thursday. The matches went long, I went to eat with Peggy and Clark afterward, and then I had to fight rain between Norton and Hill City. By time I got home, it was 11:35, the latest I have been awake since I acquired my CPAP machine in early August.

I need a break from football. I estimate I watched 24 hours worth between Saturday and Sunday. I did not watch any of the Eagles-Bears game last night. It wasn’t much of a game, anyway, so I missed nothing.

The Cardinals beat up on the Buccaneers 40-7 Sunday, but Bruce Arians wasn’t pleased with his offense. I doubt much pleases Arians, but it’s how he keeps his players motivated. Bill Belichick is the same way. Besides, Arizona needs every motivation to stay focused after the way it choked the game vs. New England.

Arizona travels to Buffalo Sunday. The Cardinals have played in western New York only five times since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. The first time the Cards played there, it was in 1971 at the old War Memorial Stadium. St. Louis won 28-23, but the Cards haven’t won in Buffalo since, losing at what is now New Era Stadium (formerly Rich Stadium and Ralph Wilson Stadium) in 1986, 1990 and 2004. If the Bills can’t defeat the Cards, Rex Ryan may be a dead man walking. Buffalo would be 0-3 before heading to Foxborough to play the Patriots, who would be heavily favored even without Garoppolo.

Speaking of the Patriots, they will have to go this week without Jimmy Garoppolo, barring some miracle cure. This leaves Belichick starting his third-string quaterback, Jacoby Brissett, who was starting last season for North Carolina State, the same school where Russell Wilson played the first three years of his collegiate career before finishing at Wisconsin.

New England hosts Houston Thursday. The Texans haven’t showed much offense, but their defense has been very good in defeating Chicago and Kansas City. It may be the first team to score a touchdown wins.

I’m going to watch volleyball this afternoon. I’m traveling to Phillipsburg, where I haven’t been in over 17 months. Norton is playing Phillipsburg and Stockton starting at 5. I would skip if the Bluejays were playing again this week, but since they aren’t, might as well go. My work is done, and it’s a nice day, too nice to be staying inside the whole day, even though it is brutally hot. Hopefully that cold front they’re forecasting comes in as scheduled Sunday.

Brenda LeBlanc’s birthday was last Friday. I sent her a birthday card, but haven’t heard from her. Oh well. I tried. At least I still have Peggy and Cailtyn.


Tigers and Bluejays…oh my!

Just before I woke up, I had a strange dream.

I discovered a secret passageway between Norton and Stockton high schools. I was trying to make my way from Stockton’s gym to Norton’s, but there was a crush of people. I somehow made it through.

In that same dream, Caitlyn and Peggy suddenly disappeared without telling me where they were going. The case to my cell phone broke. To top it all off, Norton’s wrestling team was competing in a tournament, but the high school I went to, Brother Martin in New Orleans, was in the same tournament. I was upset I was missing that.

Norton and Stockton connected? Sure, I know both are in the Mid-Continent League, but they’re pretty far apart. They’re nowhere near each other; Norton is at the junction of US 283 and US 36, and Stockton is where US 183 and US 24 meet. I could understand if there were a passage between Stockton and Plainville, since they’re in the same county and 15 miles apart, but with Norton? Hmm. But anything is possible in a dream.

Now that I’m awake, I have to get ready for my session with Crista in Hays, and later today, my trip to Norton to watch Caitlyn play volleyball vs. Goodland, Dundy County of Benkelman, Neb., and Stratton, Colo. I missed Caitlyn’s matches Tuesday in WaKeeney, but she and Peggy forgave me. The Bluejays won vs. Oakley and Trego to improve to 5-2 this year.

I had an appointment with Dr. Custer yesterday. I learned something new about her: she has two sons, both born in October, although neither on the 13th, my birthday. I’m glad. I’m certain she’s a super mom. My health is pretty good, although I need to be more vigilant about checking my blood sugar.

If the Royals weren’t finished before, they are now. Losing three consecutive games at home to the Athletics, mired in the basement of the AL West, is inexcusable. Maybe Oakland is extracting its pound of flesh for the loss in the 2014 AL Wild Card game. Then again, the Athletics have always had it in for Kansas City, given the franchise’s pitiful 13-season existence in KC.

Ned Yost is going to rue the day he ever brought Joakim Soria back to KC. Yes, he was an All-Star for Trey Hillman, but now, he’s shot. He would have done much better giving Kelvim Herrera the closer’s role when Wade Davis went down. Greg Holland wasn’t an option since he’s still recovering from Tommy John surgery. Royals fans should not be that sad. It wasn’t that long ago avoiding 90 losses was reason to celebrate.

I’m going to have to drive back to Russell after my appointment with Crista. Not ideal, but if I went straight to Norton, I’d be there before noon. The other option is to drive all the way to Colby, go up to Atwood and then over to Norton, but that would burn too much gas. Not a big deal.

Screwed in Stillwater

If you haven’t seen the ending of yesterday’s Central Michigan-Oklahoma State game in Stillwater, you need to seriously watch it.

To recap: on what looked to be the final play of the game, Cowboy quarterback Mason Rudolph took a snap from under center, retreated a couple of steps, and threw the ball towards Oklahoma State’s sideline. The clock ran out while the ball was in the air, with the Cowboys leading 27-24. Game over, right?

Not quite.

The eight officials from the Mid-America Conference, of which Central Michigan is a member, huddled after the throw. When the huddle broke, referee Tim O’Dey threw a flag. He called Rudolph for intentional grounding, which is penalized at the spot of the foul with a loss of down.

Under most circumstances, if a penalty is accepted after time runs out in a period, an “untimed down” is played. There was a 1986 game between Ohio State and Alabama where Crimson Tide linebacker Derrick Thomas–yes, THAT Derrick Thomas–committed pass interference on consecutive Hail Mary passes by Buckeye quarterback Jim Karsatos. Alabama survived a third Hail Mary attempt and won 16-10, but I’m sure then-Tide coach Ray Perkins had a bad case of heartburn.

However, in yesterday’s game in Stillwater, the game should have ended despite Rudolph being flagged for grounding.

In the NCAA rule book, there is an exception to the untimed down rule. Here it is:

A penalty is accepted for a live-ball foul(s) (Exception: Rule
10-2-5-a). The period is not extended if the foul is by the team in
possession and the statement of the penalty includes loss of down
(A.R. 3-2-3-VIII).

There you have it. Oklahoma State should have left Boone-Pickens Stadium 2-0.

However, O’Dey and the other seven officials did not know this rule, and gave Central Michigan an untimed down.

Chippewa QB Carson Rush threw the ball as far as he could, but it only reached the 12-yard line. Jesse Kroll made a leaping catch in front of three Cowboy defenders. Kroll alertly pitched the ball back to Corey Willis before he was down. Willis took the ball on the run and cut from the right side all the way across the field, and stuck the ball over the goal line as he was being tackled. The play was reviewed, and it was ruled Willis did break the plane before his knee was down–I might have ruled differently if I were in the replay booth–and Central Michigan was a 30-27 winner.

While the play was being reviewed, Fox Sports football rules analyst Mike Pereia, a former college and NFL official and former NFL Vice President of Officiating, told announcers Justin Kutcher and Petros Papadakis the play should not have been run. He read the rule on air and stressed the Chippewas had won on an ill-begotten play.

Sadly, there is nothing Oklahoma State can do. The NCAA rules clearly state once the game is over, it is truly over and the score is final. This is not Major League Baseball (or college baseball), where a team can protest over a misapplied rule, and the game would revert to the point where the rule was misapplied. The NBA has the same mechanism in its rules.

The only avenue would be for Oklahoma State to ask Central Michigan to forfeit the game. No way that happens. No way the Chippewas are giving back their biggest win in 25 years, and one of the biggest since joining Division I in 1975.

It is utterly incomprehensible none of the eight officials knew the rule. No matter what level of football one officiates–Pop Warner, junior high, high school, college, professional–it is your JOB to know the rule book. How could eight men who are officiating at the highest level of college football not know that rule?

It’s my hope those eight men never see a college football field again. If the MAC does not fire this incompetent octet, then shame on them.

I understand most college football officials have Monday-Friday jobs, families and concerns above a Saturday game involving 18-22 year olds. Then again, if you earn the privilege of officiating at the highest level of the sport in college, and the second highest level of the sport in the world after the NFL, you have to know the rules. Period. No excuse.

The replay officials, who were from the Big 12, also deserve some blame. They had the ability to stop the game and alert the on-field officials to the rule. At the very least, they should have held up the game after Rudolph’s final pass and explained to O’Dey and his crew the game should have been over at that point.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy took the blame for calling the play which resulted in the grounding penalty. All Rudolph had to do was get outside the tackle box and throw it. Or he could have run backwards until the clock ran out. Or Gundy could have lined up the punt team and had the punter take the snap and run out of the end zone. So what if it negatively impacts your final rushing total?

Yes, it was not the best call by Gundy. However, these officials screwed up royally. There is no plausible explanation for that.

Tulane and Missouri know how bad it feels for officials to screw up.

In games played 18 years apart, the Green Wave and Tigers fell victim to an opponent being awarded a fifth down.

Tulane lost 24-21 to Miami in the Orange Bowl on October 14, 1972 when the Hurricanes used a fifth down to keep a drive alive. Miami eventually scored the winning touchdown in the final minute. The loss probably cost Bennie Ellender’s Green Wave a bowl bid. Tulane would have been 7-4 if it had won, and would have been attractive to the Liberty Bowl, which took a 5-5-1 Iowa State squad to play Georgia Tech.

On October 6, 1990, Colorado received a fifth down, which it used to score the winning touchdown to pull out a 33-31 victory over Missouri in Columbia. It seemed like numerous people inside Faurot Field, including a few Colorado players, knew the Buffaloes received an extra down, but coach Bill McCartney wasn’t buying it, and of course gleefully accepted the win.

After the game, McCartney put his foot in his mouth by blasting Missouri–his alma mater–for installing Omniturf in the stadium in 1985. Omniturf was a sand-based artificial turf which needed to be watered down for better traction. It worked fine for Oregon and Washington State, which are in the rainy Pacific Northwest, but it was not a good fit for Missouri.

Colorado went on to win a share of the 1990 national championship thanks to the fifth down.

September 10, 2016 will join October 14, 1972 and October 6, 1990 as black eyes for college football officiating. And that’s bad for football, period.

College football’s sleepy Saturday

Looking for a good college football today? You’ll have to go hunting high and hunting low. (Trivia: What band released an album named “Hunting High and Hunting Low” in 1985?)

There are a couple of intriguing games later this evening. Arkansas travels to Fort Worth to play TCU in a battle of former Southwest Conference teams, and Tennessee and Virginia Tech play at Bristol Motor Speedway along the Tennessee-Virginia border, where a crowd of up to 155,000 is expected. The record attendance for a college football game is a little over 115,000 at Michigan. But no game will ever come close to the nearly 200,000 who jammed Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in 1954 to watch the Brazilian national futbol team.

Other than the two games I just mentioned? SNOOZEFEST.

ABC is so desperate to show Michigan and Ohio State they are giving us a pair of horrific mismatches. Central Florida goes to Ann Arbor at 11 a.m.,, and Tulsa heads to Columbus at 2:30.. Please. ABC didn’t want to at least televise Arkansas-TCU, given how few times ABC gets to televise SEC teams other than the neutral site games?

CBS’ SEC game is Kentucky at Florida. Problem is, CBS has to televise a conference game if one is available, save for opening weekend, and there are only two conference games today. The other choice was South Carolina at Mississippi State.

LSU hosts Jacksonville State tonight. I’ll watch, but if the game is closer than expected, then it’s going to be an even longer season for the Bayou Bengals than I thought last week after the loss to Wisconsin.

LSU should not be playing any teams from a lower division. Period. But with every SEC game on some sort of television these days, conference teams don’t feel the need to schedule four Power 5 teams. During my first year at LSU, 1994, only three of 11 games were televised at all: Auburn, Florida and Alabama. And two of the three were on the SEC’s syndicated package, which meant they were not carried outside the SEC footprint, which at the time didn’t include Texas or Missouri. To be fair, the LSU-Texas A&M game would have been televised had the Aggies not been on probation, which included a TV ban for 1994. No team has been banned from TV since Ole Miss in 1995.

Games are kicking off in 30 minutes. I’ll watch, but not with any particular enthusiasm.

My 2016 NFL predictions

I humbly offer my 2016 National Football League predictions:


  1. New England (13-3)home field advatnage
  2. New York Jets (9-7)
  3. Buffalo (7-9)
  4. Miami (6-10)


  1. Pittsburgh (12-4) first round bye
  2. Cincinnati (11-5) Wild Card
  3. Baltimore (7-9)
  4. Cleveland (2-14)


  1. Houston (9-7)
  2. Indianapolis (8-8)
  3. Jacksonville (6-10)
  4. Tennessee (5-11)


  1. Denver (11-5)
  2. Kansas City (10-6) Wild Card
  3. Oakland (8-8)
  4. San Diego (5-11)


  1. Washington REDSKINS (9-7)
  2. New York Giants (7-9)
  3. Dallas (7-9)
  4. Philadelphia (6-10)


  1. Green Bay (13-3) first round bye
  2. Minnesota (10-6) Wild Card
  3. Detroit (7-9)
  4. Chicago (5-11)


  1. Carolina (11-5)
  2. Atlanta (7-9)
  3. New Orleans (6-10)
  4. Tampa Bay (6-10)


  1. Seattle (13-3) home field advantage
  2. Arizona (12-4) Wild Card
  3. Los Angeles (6-10)
  4. San Francisco (4-12)


  • Cincinnati 31, Houston 17
  • Denver 20, Kansas City 17


  • Arizona 35, Washington 20
  • Minnesota 14, Carolina 10


  • New England 37, Cincinnati 21
  • Pittsburgh 30, Denver 19


  • Seattle 24, Minnesota 14
  • Arizona 34, Green Bay 31


  • New England 36, Pittsburgh 28


  • Seattle 17, Arizona 14 OT


  • Seattle 23, New England 14

Time to motor

If you haven’t seen my photos from Tuesday, go to Instagram and look me up (davidsteinle).

I’m almost out of here and going to Hays. Appointment with Crista at 10, but since movers are coming to the house in a few minutes to start taking my grandfather’s antiques out of the house, I want to be out of the way. If it weren’t so humid, I might drive a little while, but not today. Next week is supposed to be much nicer.

I have some work I could get caught up on today if I’m in the mood. I doubt I’m going anywhere tomorrow. Rain in the forecast. Saturday looks better anyway.

Enough for now. Time to head out the door.