LSU and Missouri have been together in the Southeastern Conference since 2012.
Yesterday was the first time the Bayou Bengals visited Columbia, and only the second time the purple Tigers and black Tigers faced off as conference opponents.
Blame one man. He resides in Tuscaloosa.
Nicholas Lou Saban, the head football coach at the University of Alabama, believes the world would stop spinning on its axis if the Crimson Tide did not play Tennessee every year.
Alabama and Tennessee have a rivalry which dates to 1901, less than two months after President William McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo. The Tide and Volunteers have played every year since 1930 except 1943, when neither school fielded a team during the height of World War II.
General Robert Neyland wanted Tennessee to play Alabama every year, knowing if the Volunteers defeated the Tide, Tennessee would be the undisputed king of southern football.
Bear Bryant, who played on a broken leg when Alabama won 25-0 in 1935 at Birmingham, considered Tennessee a bigger rival than Auburn. It was his trainer, Jim Goostree, who began the tradition of handing out victory cigars to players and coaches following victory in the series. Tennessee soon copied the tradition.
It is a vile and disgusting tradition. The Birmingham News’ website, AL.com, posts hundreds of photos of players and fans smoking cigars after a Crimson Tide victory over the Volunteers. They are glorifying a product which has killed tens of millions of Americans (although cigars have killed fewer than cigarettes). Memo to the women who smoke cigars: it doesn’t make you prettier. It makes you repulsive.
Nick Saban loves the cigars, given he once chain-smoked cigarettes. Unlike Bryant, he had the guts to give them up, but he still chews Red Man.
Alabama fans shouldn’t be lighting up cigars anyway. Tennessee is as impotent against Alabama these days as I am with the disgusting little thing between my legs. No reason to bother.
No wonder Saban wants to keep Tennessee on Alabama’s schedule permanently. He beats them all the time.
On the other hand, the world will not end if the Crimson Tide and Volunteers don’t play every year.
Conference realignment has cost us Maryland-Virginia, Maryland-North Carolina, Penn State-Pittsburgh, Nebraska-Oklahoma, Nebraska-Colorado, Nebraska-Missouri, Missouri-Kansas, Missouri-Oklahoma, Colorado-Oklahoma, Texas A&M-Baylor, Texas A&M-TCU, Texas A&M-Texas Tech, Arkansas-Texas, and the biggest of all, Texas-Texas A&M.
LSU and Tulane haven’t played since 2009. That sucks. Tulane bears some of the blame for demanding every other game be played in New Orleans, but LSU has a point by not wanting to give up a home game and play in a stadium which seats 30,000. Tulane blundered massively by leaving the SEC in 1966, but it could make up somewhat for it by playing every year in Baton Rouge and accepting a generous check from LSU. It really angers me LSU will play McNeese, Northwestern State, Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, and now Southern and Grambling, but not Tulane.
Even within conferences, some rivalries aren’t played every year.
When the SEC split into divisions in 1992, it ended the yearly battle between Auburn and Tennessee. In 2002, Auburn’s yearly rivalry with Florida ended. LSU and Kentucky played every year from 1949 through 2001, but now don’t see each other but once every five or six years. Alabama and Georgia once played every year, but haven’t since Vince Dooley’s early days in Athens. LSU and Alabama was NOT a yearly rivalry until 1964. LSU and Auburn rarely played until they were thrown into the SEC West together. Same with Tennessee vs. Florida and Georgia in the East; Tennessee played Ole Miss every year before divisions.
The ACC stupidly divided the four North Carolina schools. This means North Carolina and Wake Forest don’t play every year, nor do Duke and North Carolina State. Last year, the Tar Heels and Demon Deacons played a game which didn’t count in the ACC standings just to play. Clemson also doesn’t play Duke, North Carolina and Virginia every year, while NC State and Wake Forest don’t see Virginia every year.
Before Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12, it stranded Oklahoma and Oklahoma State with the Texas schools, and refused to have even one cross-division rivalry which was played every year.
In the Big Ten, the Little Brown Jug isn’t contested between Minnesota and Michigan every year. Same with Illibuck, the turtle contested by Ohio State and Illinois. Fortunately, Iowa and Minnesota still battle every year for Floyd of Rosedale, the bronze pig which is bar none the best trophy in college sports.
Anyone who can read a map knows Missouri is farther west than 11 of the other 13 SEC schools. Only Arkansas and Texas A&M are west of Columbia.
Yet the SEC refused to consider moving one team out of the West to let the Big 12 expatriates join the same division.
Then-Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs repeatedly said he would gladly move to the East to allow Mizzou into the West, yet then-SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and league presidents refused.
The biggest reason was Saban’s bellyaching about the cherished Alabama-Tennessee rivalry. Such bellyaching was not as loud from Knoxville, although I’m certain some Volunteer fans want their team to play the Crimson Tide, even with the yearly slaughter.
If Auburn was moved to the East, the Tigers of the Plains would become the Crimson Tide’s permanent cross-division football opponent, meaning they couldn’t play the Volunteers every year. Tennessee probably would have picked up Mizzou or A&M as its permanent West rival.
There is no rule stating Alabama and Tennessee cannot play a game which wouldn’t count in the SEC standings. Bear Bryant did this vs. Ole Miss near the end of his tenure. Has nobody thought of this? I’m not just talking about the Crimson Tide and Volunteers. Everyone in the SEC could do this. It would be an easy way to schedule the required non-conference game vs. a Power Five team.
The above ideas are good, but definitely not the best.
I realize Tuscaloosa is farther west than Nashville, home to Vanderbilt. However, the SEC could fudge its geography just a little bit and make it all right.
Swap Mizzou and Vandy for Alabama and Auburn. There, problem solved. Alabama would have Auburn and Tennessee as division opponents, and playing Georgia and Florida would more than make up for not playing LSU every year.
Tennessee-Vanderbilt would become the lone cross-division game to be played every year, the same way Indiana-Purdue is the only one in the Big Ten. This would get teams into each stadium more frequently.
Your blogger would be pumped to see LSU and Mizzou play every year in football, baseball and softball, meaning the Bayou Bengals would be in Columbia every other year for those sports instead of once in a blue moon.
It just makes too much damned sense, so it will never happen.
Then again, Missouri sports teams have a history of being geographically misaligned.
The Cardinals played in the National League EAST from 1969-93, even though it was farther west than Atlanta and Cincinnati, which were in the West.
The Cardinals and Cubs raised holy hell when the National League wanted to align geographically when the two-divisiion format was approved for 1969. Both were afraid of (a) 27 games per year in California, which meant late start times for television, and (b) not playing in New York. NL president Bill Giles gave the Cardinals and Cubs what they wanted, giving the big “F YOU” to the Braves and Reds, which faced longer trips to California and later start times for their fans, since Atlanta and Cincinnati are on Eastern time.
Giles didn’t have the balls AL president Joe Cronin did. He told the White Sox flat out they were going into the West, and if they didn’t like it, tough shit. The Sox’ owners at the time wanted to be in the East, citing tradition, as five of the other six old-line AL teams were in that division (the exception was the second Senators franchise, the one which became the Rangers in 1972). The White Sox tried again to move to the East when the Senators’ relocation was approved, but the Brewers, who were originally the Seattle Pilots, were moved from West to East, trading places with the Senators/Rangers.
The AL should not have moved the Brewers. It short-circuited rivalries with the White Sox and Twins, and since the Cowboys were in the NFC East, and the Cardinals and Cubs were in the NL East, it wouldn’t have been too bad to keep the Rangers in the AL East.
Speaking of teams from Dallas and St. Louis, it was totally asinine the Cowboys and football Cardinals were in the NFC East. Those cities aren’t east of anything, except San Francisco and Los Angeles in the NFC.
Pete Rozelle wimped out when the AFL and NFL merged. Rather than unilaterally imposing an alignment on NFC owners, he allowed secretary Thelma Ekjer to blindly pick an alignment out of a vase. And wouldn’t you know, the only one with the Cowboys and Cardinals in the NFC East was picked.
Let’s see..the Cowboys in the East and the Falcons in the West. Brilliant.
Rozelle should have put the Cowboys in the West, then added either the Cardinals or Saints (probably the latter, since it would have preserved a Dallas-New Orleans rivalry, one Cowboys’ president Tex Schramm loved). The other should have gone into the Central with the Vikings, Bears and Packers, and the Lions would go into the East with the Falcons, Redskins, Eagles and Giants.
When the Rams moved to St. Louis, there was no problem for me with them staying in the West, although it would have been an ideal time to realign the NFC, with the 49ers, Rams, Cardinals, Cowboys and Saints in the West; the Falcons, Panthers, Redskins, Giants and Eagles in the East; and the Central staying the way it was. At the time, the AFC was too convoluted to try to redo the East and Central (the West was great the way it was).
I’m not giving up my hope LSU and Mizzou are more than occasional rivals. Sometimes the world actually works the way it should.
Until then, I’ll start saving up for tickets when the Bayou Bengals return to Columbia in 2023. And for LSU’s trip to Lexington next year.
Eighteen hours ago, I had never tried the Swedish crepes from iHOP.
Now I’m craving them worse than a pregnant lady craves ice cream and pickles.
While I was on the barstool at Buffalo Wild Wings Shoal Creek last night, I decided to order pickup from iHOP in Liberty so I could have breakfast in the morning. I figured I’d put them in the fridge in the hotel room then warm them for 90 seconds in the morning.
After getting lost on my way to the restaurant, I decided I couldn’t wait until morning. I tried one.
Wow. I have a new favorite iHOP dish, and one of my favorite restaurant items anywhere, right along with any steak from Outback, the Jumbo Combo pizza from Minsky’s, the Veggie 7 pizza at Old Chicago, the brisket and corn grits at T.J. Ribs in Baton Rouge, the charbroiled oysters at Acme Oyster House in New Orleans and Baton Rouge…you get the idea.
Thank God I got two orders. Breakfast was great. Now I want to go back and get some for late tonight and tomorrow morning.
The best thing about the Swedish crepes is they are meatless, meaning I can eat them on Lenten Fridays. If I happen to go to Columbia next month, I guess I’m going there at some point.
LSU’s basketball saga is over, at least as far as playing in the SEC tournament. The Bayou Bengals, the SEC regular season champion, lost 76-73 to Florida when the Gators, coached by New Orleans native Mike White, hit a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left.
LSU is a lock for the NCAA tournament, but with so much controversy surrounding Will Wade and the wiretap which revealed his willing to do anything to sign Javonte Smart, the three-time Louisiana high school player of the year from Scotlandville in north Baton Rouge, what can LSU reasonably expect?
I don’t think my alma mater will last past the first weekend. I hope I’m wrong, but I see trouble.
Kansas City is now overrun with Iowa State fans in town for the Big 12 tournament. The Cyclones play Kansas State at 1800, followed by Kansas vs. West Virginia, which finished last during the regular season but is still alive thanks to wins over Oklahoma and regular season co-champion Texas Tech.
Honestly, I only know what’s going on because I’m at Buffalo Wild Wings. If I were back in the basement in Russell, I would probably not watch.
I won’t watch the selection show Sunday. I can wait until the bracket comes out.
I usually don’t watch the NBA, but with the Bucks heading for the top seed in the East, will I have to?
The Chiefs are big news this week with the start of the NFL’s business year. Dee Ford, Justin Houston and Eric Berry are gone. Tyrann “Honey Badger” Matthieu is in. Kansas City needs to restructure its defense, but right now, it looks like it will try to win every game 41-38 with Mahomes.
The Saints let Mark Ingram go to the Ravens via free agency. It looks like the Cardinals will draft Kyler Murray first overall after drafting Josh Rosen last year. Great idea, Arizona, to let Murray get beaten up behind an offensive line which is worse than a sieve.
The Cardinals have had a horrendous offensive line since Dan Dierdorf was in his heyday, and that’s when your intrepid blogger was in diapers. Arizona is doing this back-assward, but I can’t help it.
Swedish crepes at iHOP. Gotta have them again.
For the second time in eight days, a National Football League game has ended in a draw.
Yet this time, the fans were not unhappy.
The Redskins and Bengals began the day’s NFL slate with a 27-27 deadlock in London’s Wembley Stadium.
It’s the first time since 1997 where there have been ties in the NFL on consecutive weekends. The last time it happened, the Eagles and Ravens finished 10-10, then the Giants and Redskins ended 7-7. The latter game was the infamous contest where Gus Frerotte, then the Redskins’ quarterback, head-butted a wall after scoring Washington’s only touchdown and jammed his neck.
Last Sunday, the Cardinals and Seahawks played to a 6-6 draw.
Arizona would gladly take a tie right now. The Cardinals look like pure shit in Charlotte, where they are losing 24-0 to Scam Newton and the Panthers. What is it about Charlotte which turns the Cardinals into something worse than a pee-wee outfit? It happeend the last two seasons in the playoffs, and it’s happening again today.
It’s an outcome which English sports fans are quite accustomed to. Draws have occurred in one of every four Premier League matches this season. William Hill, the leading bookmaker in the United Kingdom, offers odds on draws for every football (the one with the round ball) match it puts on the board.
England’s most popular football team, Manchester United, played to a scoreless draw yesterday vs. Burnley at Old Trafford. United fans were upset, given their side’s dominance of Burnley, but Burnley fans weren’t complaining, since their team more often than not has left Old Trafford in defeat.
Again, I do not see why a draw in an American football game is a negative. It’s not a playoff game.It’s not life or death. It’s the asinine American obsession with having a winner and a loser in anything and everything which makes most Americans averse to such an outcome.
I am not most Americans. I believe a draw is a fine outcome of a sporting event. Those who can’t stand draws can watch something else.
If association football, the world’s most popular sport, is okay with a draw, why isn’t American football? NOT EVERYTHING CAN HAVE A WINNER. Get over it!
I wish I could go back to sleep right now, but I can’t. My work is done for Russell, but I have to get going in order to make my appointment this afternoon with Dr. Custer in Hays.
Today and tomorrow would be two perfect days to stay inside and stay warm, but that’s not happening. In another stroke of serendipity, I have an appointment in Hays today, then have one tomorrow morning with Crista. Two weeks ago, I had to see Dr. Patriarca, who is in the same building as Crista. This time, the city is the same, but the destination is different.
I’ve had it up to here with everyone writing off the Arizona Cardinals. I know they were terrible in the regular season finale vs. Seattle and was way too inconsistent vs. Green Bay last week, but it’s a new week. Carolina isn’t getting bonus points for dominating the first half vs. Seattle.
Most of the experts were tagging Arizona as the NFC favorite prior to the divisional playoffs, but now they see the Panthers score 31 in the first half against the Seahawks, and combined with Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary, they’ve defected to Scam Newton’s bandwagon.
The same experts are giving Denver only a slightly better chance than Arizona, even though the Broncos host the Patriots. A lot of the bookies in Las Vegas like the Broncos plus the points, but will Peyton Manning hold up?
I swear if it’s New England vs. Carolina, I am tempted not to watch, but if I have to pick a side, it will have to be the Patriots. I cannot stand Scam Newton and the arrogant Panthers. Remember, Carolina is the same franchise which once employed the twisted Rae Carruth, someone so sick as to order a hit on his girlfriend, who was eight months pregnant at the time.
Just mentioning Carruth sickens me. How this asshole didn’t get the death penalty is a travesty of justice. Anyone who would do what he did is not human.
Almost time to go out in the cold. Not my favorite thing to do, but every life requires sacrifices.
So much for the Arizona Cardinals being the best team in the NFL. So much for the Cardinals carrying momentum into the playoffs.
The Cardinals were absolutely pitiful today, losing to the Seahawks 36-6 at home. What a bunch of SHIT. Arizona looked like absolute garbage, the team I have come to expect from the club which has lost more games than any professional football team.
What the hell was Bruce Arians thinking? What in the hell was his game plan? Whatever it was, it was total shit. SHIT. The Cardinals now have to swallow hard and look themselves in the mirror before taking on Minnesota, Washington or Green Bay in an NFC divisional playoff game Jan. 16.
I’ve seen so many losses by the Cardinals, I lost count long before they left St. Louis for Arizona in 1988.
This year’s team is nothing more than a giant tease, much the same way the Cardinals of Don Coryell in 1974 and 1975 were–great for awhile, then flaming out badly. The 1974 team started 7-0, only to go 3-5 the rest of the way, with the last loss coming in the playoffs at Minnesota. The next year, they were 11-3 but got mauled by the Rams. In 1976, it was worse–10-4 and no playoffs.
Between the time I was born and 1997, the Cardinals were losers. Big losers. I don’t count the 1982 strike-shortened season. Even though the Cardinals somehow made the playoffs at 5-4 that year, they were beaten twice by the Redskins and once by the Cowboys, then got blasted 41-16 by the Packers, who won their first playoff game since Super Bowl II, and wouldn’t win another postseason game until some fellow named Brett Favre was the starting quarterback.
Don’t even get me started on the fraud that was the 1998 playoff appearance. It would have been much better had the Cardinals not even made the playoffs. Instead, they back in and somehow beat the Cowboys, which only led to supreme embarrassment on the national stage when they were totally destroyed by the Vikings.
Then there was Super Bowl XLIII. Oh boy. If Kurt Warner, Steve Breaston and a few others could have just TACKLED James Harrison, the Cardinals win it. Brilliant.
I don’t know why the hell I thought this would be any different. Carson Palmer is old. Larry Fitzgerald is old. Michael Floyd gets hurt. Chris Johnson goes down. Tyrann Mathieu goes down. What’s next? Might as well get ready for the disappointment to come.
I’d like to be wrong. But given what went on today, I can’t help but be pessimistic.
The last Sunday of 2015 is one I won’t soon forget.
I frittered away another eight and a half hours of my life at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa. Actually, it was very enjoyable. Got to spend the day with some very nice people, as in the employees, as well as my buddies Dawn and Robb Amos, whom I didn’t know last year at this time. If I had to pick two people I’m very glad I met in 2015, they would be at the top of the list. It didn’t start so well, especially my meltdown in April on Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season, but it’s been wonderful since.
There was a couple challenging me at trivia yesterday. At first, they were keeping up in the shortened lunch games, which are seven questions compared to 15 in Countdown. But I posted a perfect score (7,000) in the final lunch game at 1:45, then proceeded to serious ass kicking in Countdown for three games.
With the Chiefs playing at noon and a big game between the Packers and Cardinals at 3:25, it was full. The bar was packed, with no seats available. From noon until a little after 6, a gentleman wearing a Steelers hoodie sat at the barstool to my right. I expressed my sympathy as his team was losing to Pittsburgh’s hated rival, the Baltimore Ravens, who have been a train wreck this season, but somehow beat the Steelers twice. The same Steelers who beat the Cardinals in October.
Except for the guy next to me, nobody in the establishment shed a tear for Ben Roethlisberger and his mates. The Steelers’ loss, combined with the Chiefs’ 17-13 victory over the Browns, meant KC was playoff bound, regardless of what happens next week to the Chiefs at Arrowhead vs. Oakland. Andy Reid’s team can still win the AFC West if Denver loses either to Cincinnati tonight or San Diego next Sunday, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders.
Meanwhile, I got to know Ashley, the girlfriend of Lazlo, one of the employees at Buffalo Wild Wings. She was pulling hard for the Seahawks, who were struggling against the Rams in Seattle. Her family was at the game at CenturyLink Field, and to add insult to injury, it was a typical Seattle day: lots of rain. Ashley was impressed with my trivia knowledge, and she also helped me with a few answers in my friendly battles with Dawn and Robb.
The Cardinals surprised the hell out of me yesterday. I never dreamed they could have beaten Green Bay as badly as they did. With Tyran Matthieu out for the season after tearing knee ligaments last week in Philadelphia, I feared Aaron Rodgers might shred Arizona’s weakened secondary.
Rodgers hardly got to test the secondary. He was sacked eight times and under pressure almost all game. The Cardinals returned two fumbles for touchdowns and had no trouble whatsoever in a 38-8 rout. I’ve been watching the Cardinals for over 30 years, and I’ve never seen them look that impressive against a quality team. The only game which comes close was the 2008 divisional playoff game when they went to Charlotte and shredded the Panthers. If the Cardinals are in Charlotte Jan. 24, it will be for a trip to Santa Clara and Super Bowl 50.
As for the Pittsburgh fan, I’ll say he enjoyed the second half of his stay much more.
The Steelers fan went to the restroom shortly after his team lost. He asked me to guard his beer, which I did. Meanwhile, a fashionably dressed lady walked in and sat down two seats to my right. When the Steelers fan returned to the stool to my right, he and the lady began talking.
They kept talking. By 5:45, it had progressed to kissing and playing footsie.
The making out part didn’t throw me–I saw a woman with a hand all over a guy’s privates at the Buffalo Wild Wings in south Overland Park in January–but what did was two married people who didn’t know one another a little under three hours earlier were going at it. And she did not take off her wedding ring.
I felt a bit like a social leper. I guess I’m person repellent. I guess I have something to discuss with Crista at our next session.
On the other hand, I was in my little zone playing trivia, and if it weren’t for Ashley and I striking up a conversation, and Dawn and Robb showing up, I probably would have been in my zone until I left the place at 7:30.
I hated leaving at 7:30. I felt like I abandoned Lindsey, who was behind the bar at 5 after taking over for Seekou, who was fabulous as usual.
I beat the bad weather back to the hotel and enjoyed my strip from Outback Steakhouse. I may be getting intimate with my room at the Courtyard Briarcliff today. The weather looks bad.
I’m glad the last Sunday of 2015 at Buffalo Wild Wings was 1,000,000,000,000% better than the first one (Jan. 4), when was asked to leave after melting down. That’s progress.
I have ended my longest time away from Buffalo Wild Wings since I started going regularly a little more than two years ago. Until I went to Salina today, I had gone 57 days without setting foot inside a B-Dubs, and I had not played Buzztime trivia in that long, either.
I have not been to Kansas City since the disastrous time around my birthday in October. It was horrendous becuase I had my iPod stolen from my car, and I left early on my birthday because it got a little crowded for me. I’m going to go back to Zona Rosa eventually, because there are too many people there I want to see, but I had no desire after what happened in mid-October.
I am very glad I came to the B-Dubs in Salina tonight. My favorite server, Kendall, is working, and it’s the first time I’ve seen her in exactly ten months. The last time I saw her was after the Russell-Sacred Heart basketball game I covered that night. I’m surprised she remembered me. It’s good to have a familiar face. She’s not in Liz/Lisa territory yet, but she’ll get there if I come here enough.
The NFL game tonight is Minnesota at Arizona. If the Cardinals win, they will clinch a playoff berth for the second consecutive season. That might not sound like a big deal, but the Cards have been wretched for most of their existence. They have NEVER made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, and they have only made the playoffs in back-to-back years three times: 1947-48, 1974-75 and 2008-09. Think about this–the Steelers have as many Super Bowl victories as the Cards have all-time playoff victories, 6. OUCH.
Most NFL teams are kicking themselves for not hiring Bruce Arians sooner. All Arians has done is turn the professional football franchise with the most losses all-time into a 10-game winner in three consecutive seasons. Only Don Coryell has prodcued three consecutive double-digit win seasons with the Cards, doing so from 1974-76. Gene Stallings, Joe Bugel, Buddy Ryan, Vince Tobin, Dave McGinnis and Dennis Green combined for ONE winning season between 1986 and 2006.
I knew of Arians a quarter of a century ago as the coach at Temple, where he had to live in the sizable shadow cast by men’s basketball coach John Chaney while at the same time pilot a program which, until very recently, was always on the short list of one of major college football’s worst.
I followed Arians through his career as an NFL assistant, and I knew he was one of the best offensive coordinators out there. Now he’s showing 31 other NFL teams what they missed out on.
I would love to see an Arizona-New England Super Bowl just to see Arians and Bill Belichick match wits. That would be something to see.
Kickoff in Glendale is now two hours away. At least this Thursday night game is worth the time.
Once I pulled into the parking lot at the Overland Park Marriott just after 9:30 Friday night, the car sat there and sat there and sat there.
I did not leave room 1123 at all yesterday, except for the very short trip down the hall to the ice machine. Did not go down to the lobby. Nothing. Mostly slept and watched football. I was prepared for the situation with food I bought Friday.
Maybe I should not have watched the NFL playoffs. Both games produced outcomes I did not want.
I knew the Cardinals were screwed, but when they took the lead late in the second quarter at Carolina, it raised false hope. The Panthers dominated the second half and won 27-16. Arizona finished with 78 net yards, the lowest in a playoff game in NFL history.
The Ravens beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh 30-17. The Steelers were in a hole because they had to play without the AFC’s leading rusher, Le’Vion Bell, who had a hyperextended knee. Baltimore now gets to play at New England Saturday.
I was tired Friday evening and left at 8:30. I wish I would have stayed longer for Brittany and Lisa, and also for Alexandra Mullinax, since I hadn’t seen her in so long, but I decided I wanted to get back to the room and rest. I left Brittany a note on her car window since she was parked next to me. She loved it.
I was leery of going yesterday for two reasons.
FIrst, I figured it would be nuts the UFC had a fight card on pay-per-view. I’ve been here for more than a couple of those, and it gets stuffed to the gills worse than Charlie the Tuna. I really hated to stay away with Brittany ad Lisa working (although Liz had off to celebrate her birthday, and Tori had a da off at last, so I wasn’t alone in missing it).
Second, I knew the forecast called for snow, and the last thing I wanted to be is stuck five miles south of KCI facing the long drive to Overland Park, which is hectic enough on a perfect night. On a night with the roads snowpacked, it was going to be hell. The snow didn’t start until after midnight, but all in all, I made the right choice.
I thought about staying in today, too, but since I’m gong back to Russell Tuesday, I figured I had to get it in when I could. I should have scraped the front windshield more, but it was enough to get me to Zona Rosa in one piece.
The good news: I’ here. The bad news: the Buzztime network is down, so no trivia (or poker). Going to have to amuse myself with the apps on my phone and the Bengals-Colts playoff game
12:10 p.m. update: trivia is back online. Just ate the prime rib caesar salad at Buffalo Wild Wings. Tasty. Nice suggestion by Rue Jean-Klapproth, who’s serving me today.
Once again, I’m lax in posting to the blog. I can’t believe I keep doing this.
There were two important events which have gone on since the last post which caught up everything. Those deserve more detail.
Anyway, here’s what you missed:
Friday, December 5
Didn’t get out of Kansas City until 11 a.m. No big deal, because the varsity girls game at Smith Center wasn’t scheduled to start until after 6 anyway. I was feeling awfully tired only a few miles out of Kansas City, so I stopped at the Love’s Travel Center in St. Joseph to get snacks before heading across the Missouri River back into Kansas.
The drive from St. Joseph to Smith Center and points west (Phillipsburg, Norton) is grueling. Two-lane highway, not much in the way of scenery except the little towns along the route, and heaven help you if you get behind a slow driver in a no-passing area. At least there wasn’t any construction zones along the way this time to bring me to a stop.
I barely made it through Hiawatha. By time I got to Seneca, I was starting to feel the fatigue again. Fortunately, I was able to make it to the Sinclair in Marysville for snacks and a restroom stop. It was worse west of Washington, but again, I had enough to make a run through the drive-thru at the Dairy Queen in Belleville for a Butterfinger blizzard and a chicken strip basket. I was hungry.
Turns out I made it to Smith Center before 4, way too early, but enough time to sneak in a quick catnap before going into the gym. The Lady Red and Redmen hosted Mid-Continent League rival Plainville, which is unusual for a season opener, although with two more teams in the MCL this season, teams have to make room for nine league games. With two tournaments, that doesn’t leave much room, so hence there are league games on opening night.
Smith Center’s girls season hit a roadblock only 89 seconds into the game. The Lady Red’s All-MCL center, Drew Mann, went down with a left knee injury. She was on the court for several minutes before being helped off.
The bad news: Mann is out for four to six weeks. The good news: no ligament damage, just a subluxated (slightly dislocated) kneecap. She’;ll be back in mid to late January.
Smith Center used an 18-1 surge over the game’s final 4:32 to pull away to a 46-31 victory. The Cardinals have not defeated the Lady Red since January 2006.
The boys game was close, if sloppy. Plainville had numerous opportunities to put the game out of reach, but went just 15 of 36 from the foul line. Still, the Cardinals prevailed 68-64.
Got home just after 11, facing a very short turnaround.
Saturday, December 6
Got out of Russell later than I would have liked. Didn’t leave the houe until 8, and then I had to get gas before heading north on US 281 to Osborne for the Bulldogs’ wrestling tournament. This has been the first wrestling tournament I have covered every year since coming to Kansas, and although the number of wrestlers is not as large as some other events, the quality of competition is excellent, especially for the first tournament of the season.
I sepnt three hours at the tournament taking pictures and talking to people I know. I left at 1 so I could get back to Russell in time for the SEC football championship game.
Alabama rolled past Missouri 42-13 to clinch the top seed for the upcoming College Football Playoff. Not surprised.
I was very upset Florida State won the ACC championship game over Georgia Tech, although the Yellow Jackets gave the Seminoles all they could handle and more before falling 37-35.
Sunday, December 7
Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State were selected, in that order, for the first College Football Playoff. I was not happy to see Florida State in there. Not at all. But I guess if Florida State had been excluded despite going 13-0, there would have been a real problem.
The other bowl game matchups were announced Sunday as well. LSU drew Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl. Good matchup, even if Notre Dame collapsed down the stretch. Terrible venue. The field in Nashville stinks, and it probably will be bitterly cold. Problem is, the people in Tennessee can’t handle it.
I tried to avoid watching the Chiefs-Cardinals game, simply because I feared Arizona would lose. My fears were misplaced. Cardinals 17, Chiefs 14. Arizona is 10-3, marking the first time the Cardinals have won 10 games in back-to-back seasons since doing so three straight years from 1974 through 1976, when the Girdbirds were in St. Louis.
Monday, December 8
Could not get going for the life of me. Fortunately, I only had one paper to get done today, and I had my articles and pictures ready for Osborne by 1. I fooled around the rest of the afternoon, waiting to leave for Russell High and the Broncos’ basketball doubleheader vs. Nickerson.
Russell’s girls were not challenged, leading 14-2 at the end of the first quarter and coasting to a 50-19 victory. The boys were not as fortunate, falling 73-58. It was, however, a happy homecoming for former Russell boys basketball coach Pete Herrera, who is now coaching Nickerson. Herrera led Russell to an 11-10 season in 2009-10, one of only two winning seasons in the last 24 for the Broncos. Herrera’s reward? A pink slip. Fired over false accusations.
Tuesday, December 9
Had a lot of work to get done. Somehow I had it all done by 3 p.m. I stayed up through the night to get most of Phillipsburg done early, then knocked out Ellis, Plainville and Smith Center.
Didn’t go out tonight since Russell played last night. Probably a good thing.
Wednesday, December 10
Got most of Russell done pretty early. Fell asleep for awhile in the late morning/early afternoon before finally finishing the last page by 1:15. I dozed off time and again in front of my computer.
Dr. Custer’s office called with the results from my lab work last week. I’m going on insulin to combat my diabetes. My A1C is far too high. I went to get the insulin at Walgreen’s after dinner.
I stopped by the office tonight to see Jack krier, who was playing in the usual Wednesday night poker game with my dad, my grandfather, and several other friends.
Okay, got two more posts coming. They should be far more interesting.
I’m sorry. I cannot get caught up in Royals hysteria. I can’t do it. There’s something that isn’t letting me.
Yes, I have favorite professional sports teams, but I am not invested heavily in them. For instance, there are no pennants of my teams on the walls of my basement room, I don’t have posters, clocks, lamps or anything signifying whom I pledge my allegiance to. The only thing I’ve got is a Brewers jacket. I have Brewers hats, but I don’t wear them, simply because I can’t. My head is way, way too big to fit comfortably even in a size 8 cap. I “liked” my favorite teams on Facebook and follow them on Twitter, but you won’t find me in Buffalo Wild Wings screaming for them. And you certainly will never find me wearing a jersey. Waste of money. Big waste of money. Why do I want to spend $250-$350 on a shirt?
The Arizona Cardinals, my favorite NFL team, played in Super Bowl XLIII. i got pretty excited when Larry Fitzgerald scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, but I knew in the back of my mind the Steelers would come back, and sure enough, Ben Roethlisberger hit Santonio Holmes and assured Pittsburgh of its sixth Lombardi Trophy. It would have been nice to see the Cardinals win, but I would not have gone out and bought a bunch of Cardinals championship gear. Sure, it would have been nice to wear it for a month or two after the game, but once the next season started, what did it matter?
I’ve witnessed LSU win six baseball national championships and two ore football national titles since 1991. The most emotionally invested I was for any of those teams was the 1997 CWS title team, since I had worked all the home games and would be moving into an expanded role for 1998. I got to see LSU win the 203 football title in the Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma, but in that case, I was in the press box and could not cheer. I have not watched an LSU football game as a spectator since the Bayou Bengals lost their 1993 season finale to Arkansas during my senior year of high school. I’ve only watched LSU baseball games as a fan during the old Winn-Dixie Showdown at the Superdome in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Do I have preferences for many events? Sure. I could not stomach the Oakland Athletics of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. I was not a fan of the Cincinnati Reds when they won the 1990 World Series. And I have always been negative about the Atlanta Braves, largely because they were owned by left-wing lunatic Ted Turner, and because Turner kept forcing “America’s Team” down our throats on TBS. Unless America only consists of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and the Carolinas, then the Braves are NOT America’s Team.
I’ll freely admit I could not stand Michael Jordan. Great player? Yes. Great person? HELL NO. Turd. Jerk. Arrogant bastard. All about him. I wanted the Bulls of Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman to lose every game they played, and I was angry every time they won the NBA championship. And I do not like any NHL team in the south. I believe hockey should only be played in places where it’s cold enough to do so outside in the winter. Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, Miami, Tampa, Atlanta and Dallas don’t qualify.
Is the journalist in me preventing myself from getting caught up in the hype? Maybe so. I do not feel comfortable going to sporting events and just watching. I feel like I have to be doing something, anything, whether it’s taking pictures, taking notes, following something online, whatever. Sitting at a game with a bunch of strangers just isn’t my cup of tea, nor am I one to sit at a sports bar with a bunch of friends to watch a game. I prefer to be in my own world, watching the game the way I feel comfortable doing so, without distraction, without pressure.
I was at Buffalo Wild Wings the night of the Royals’ wild card game victory over the Athletics. I had far bigger concerns than the Royals. I did not cheer. I did not clap. In fact, I put earplugs in for most of the night. I did not go to B-Dubs during the division series because I knew hotel space would be next to impossible to find with the NASCAR race at Kansas Speedway in town that weekend.
I was at B-Dubs for game two of the ALCS, but again, no cheering. Just watching, playing trivia and checking on my computer.
I’m watching the 2014 World Series the same way I watched the 1984 Series: a guy who likes Major League Baseball. I am not rooting for the Royals or the Giants. Not my style.