blueollie

More on St. Louis later

I have to get caught up on some academic stuff. We went to St. Louis Monday to see the 49’ers beat the Rams 31-17; note that the Rams had the ball with just over 1 minute left in the game and the score was 24-17; the 49’ers broke it open with an interception return for a touchdown.

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The Rams started out with a 14-0 lead; they got a touchdown on the first drive (aided by defensive holding on the 49’ers), the teams exchanged punts, and then the 49’ers hit a long pass only to have the receiver fumble after a nice run. The Rams got the ball and drove for their second (and final) touchdown of the night.

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The defenses took over for a while; the Rams had trouble with the 49’er pass rush (linebackers) and were sacked 5 times…harassed more than that.

The 49’ers managed a field goal.

Then with about a minute to go in the half, the 49’ers started at their own 5. They got a first down at the 20 and seemed to be content to let the clock run out. But they did try one long pass on 3’rd down; they got single coverage and then…

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I gasped when I saw the receiver break open (TD was in front of me) and the wind went out of the sails.

Second half: The 49’ers opened with a touchdown drive, got stopped once, and then got a second off of a nice play action pass on 3’rd and 2. The 49’er defense shut the Rams down completely.

Still, the Rams made it sort-of-interesting. On a late 4’th quarter 49’er drive, the 49’ers got it inside the Ram 5 yard line, but ran 3 straight “up the middle” runs instead of using play-action or letting their mobile quarterback roll out. The Rams held, had to punt but held the 49’ers on another 4’th and 3 at the Ram 32 (4:19 to go in the game).

The Rams drove and got a field goal, but along the way missed a wide open receiver. So it was 24-17 with just under 2 minutes to play.
The Rams did NOT get the onside kick but got the ball back at their own 9 with 1:05 to go and no time outs.

2 plays later: the pick 6 to seal the game for the 49’ers.

We did not see protesters at the game as they were higher than we were and behind us (we had corner seats: first row of the upper tier and they were in that end zone, higher up.

We saw a few after the game and gave them handshakes and fist bumps.

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After the game

This morning, we took in 2/3 of the St. Louis Art Museum. It is an interesting place; most of it is pretty good though..well the modern art section???

Workout notes: just a simple “hotel treadmill” 3 mile workout: 29:10 for 5K (10:40 first mile, then 1 mile at 6.7 (8:57) then a mile: 6.8-6.9-7.0-7.1 (every .25 miles) and then 7.2 for the final .1

It is a good way to stay limber and not have your spouse waiting and twiddling her thumbs.

October 15, 2014 Posted by | football, NFL, social/political, travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Monday (stiff…)

Workout notes Weights then 10 miles on the indoor bike in 35:45; some stretching.

weights: 5 sets of 10 pullups (sort of weak); Achilles and Hip Hikes
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 8 x 160 (sort of weak) rotator cuff
military: couldn’t get 50’s. Did 3 sets of 6 x 85 standing, 10 x 40 dumbbells standing
pull downs: 3 sets of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200, Hammer.

Note: I have a slight tug in my skin of my right ribcage; not sure what that is.

Performance notes: one of my high school classmates ran a 43 minute 10K. Of course, this woman looks like an athlete; very strong. It seems as if I’ve grown to accept substandard performance in myself as “normal”. I need to work on leg strength.

NFL
Bears: well, three turn overs in the last 5 minutes of the game managed to turn a 3 point lead into a 7 point loss.
Rams: yes, it is great that they didn’t quit when down 34-7 but when you go down by 27 points, you will all but certainly lose the game. It did finish 34-28 but still…

October 6, 2014 Posted by | bicycling, football, NFL, weight training | Leave a comment

Football on October 4-5

NFL
Bears at Panthers: we have two 2-2 teams; the Bears won both road games (49’ers and Jets) and lost their home games. The Panthers won their first two and got blasted in their next two. Who knows: I don’t know how healthy Cam Newton is either. Call it: Carolina in a narrow win.

Rams at Eagles: Eagles are 3-1 with a recent narrow loss to the 49’ers on the road. Rams: 1-2; narrow loss to the Cowboys at home (blew 21-0 lead); humiliating loss to the Vikings in the opener; narrow win against Tampa on the road. I have to pick the Eagles here.

College
Illinois vs. Purdue. I have tickets to this one; last year, Illinois got their only Big Ten win at Purdue. The spread is Illinois by 10, which is too much. Illinois has wins over FCS Youngstown State (27-16), Conference USA Western Kentucky 42-34, Sunbelt Texas State 42-35; each time Illinois had to rally in the 4’th quarter to win. The losses were huge: Washington 44-19, Nebraska 45-14.

Purdue: respectable losses to Iowa (24-10) and Notre Dame (30-14); embarrassing loss to Central Michigan (MAC) 38-17 at home; victories over Western Michigan 43-34, FCS Southern Illinois 35-13. This is Purdue’s second road game and their first visit to another team’s home.

Illinois should pull this one out…narrowly…not by 10. Call it 24-20 or something like that.

This is the 11 am game so I won’t see any of these 3:30 games:

Texas-Baylor
Texas troubles are well documented: blowout loss to BYU at home; tough loss to UCLA, easy win over North Texas (Sunbelt) and Kansas.
Baylor: highly ranked but untested; rolled to a win over a FCS program; big wins against a downtrodden SMU squad and Buffalo (MAC team); win over Iowa State.

Baylor is a 17 point favorite, BUT Texas has played far harder teams and is playing at home. I have to pick Baylor to win, but maybe not by an outrageous score.

Navy vs. Air Force
Air Force is 3-1 with a loss to Wyoming (not a strong Wyoming team); Navy is 2-3 with victories over Temple and Texas State and losses to Ohio State (34-17), Rutgers (31-24) and Western Kentucky (puzzling; 36-27).

Still, Navy is favored by 5 and has played tougher competition; I look for the Mids to win this one.

Notre Dame vs. Stanford
Stanford has a easy wins over a FCS school and over Army, as well as a tough win against Washington. Their loss was to USC.
Notre Dame: large margin wins against Rice, Purdue, Michigan and Syracuse. Washington and USC are better than anyone that ND has played, though ND’s weakest opponents are stronger than Stanford’s weakest opponents. Stanford is favored by 2, which appears to be right on.

I’ll call it: a narrow win for Stanford, though ND pulling it out wouldn’t be much of an upset.

October 2, 2014 Posted by | college football, football, NFL | | Leave a comment

Penalty on Abdullah wasn’t about Muslim prayer (the NFL did make a mistake of interpretation though)

Here, Husain Abdullah got a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Why? The knee slide was interpreted as, well a knee slide celebration:

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instead of merely getting into a position to pray. Yes, American football players have done this before.

This is a knee slide in soccer:

This was not intentional “Muslim prayers are not ok, Christian prayers are” type of thing.

Of course, people LOVE the good old self-righteous outrage. But it helps to actually know what you are talking about.

September 30, 2014 Posted by | football, NFL, religion, social/political | | Leave a comment

Football remarks

College
Navy’s loss to Western Kentucky surprised me a little. Navy doesn’t appear to be quite as sharp as last year, though Ohio State is a good team and Rutgers is respectable. But WKU: lost to Illinois and…

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Illinois: the 45-14 loss to Nebraska was all-too-expected. Expectations are so low that the Champaign Newspaper gave the Illini team a C- for being…competitive in the first quarter? The reality is that Illinois would be a strong Sun Belt or Conference USA team; we don’t have the over all team talent to compete with Big Ten teams ….save perhaps…perhaps Purdue.

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But Purdue has at least played well against Iowa and Notre Dame; I am not so sure that Illinois would have stayed that close.

Texas: Kansas is not a good team; Texas winning is hardly a surprise.
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Note: Kansas fired their coach Charlie Weis:

On-field results, however, weren’t the only factor that cost Weis his job. Kansas announced an attendance of just 36,904 for Texas, even after Weis pleaded with fans leading up to the game to fill Memorial Stadium.

Ugh…I know of a team that I follow that is having that sort of attendance at home games.

Notre Dame: quietly having a good season. But how will Notre Dame do against a strong Stanford squad next week?

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Other notes: though my pick of Duke over Miami was a miss, my pick of Minnesota over a reeling Michigan team was right on.

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I was also surprised at how easily Northwestern handled Penn State. I saw that one; they physically whipped them.

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NFL
The Rams were off. The Bears reverted to form (38-17 loss at home to the Packers) and Tampa Bay rebounded from a 56-14 defeat last week to beat the Steelers 27-24; the defense got the ball back in the final minute and the offense scored with 7 seconds to go.

September 28, 2014 Posted by | college football, football, NFL | | Leave a comment

Ranking my top teams in College Football (and an NFL quip)

College Football

Of the teams that I follow (more or less):

1. Notre Dame (easy) 3-0 Predicted record: 10-2 (loss to Florida State and one other stumble somewhere)
2. Navy (two tough losses to Big Ten teams though) 2-2, Predicted record: 8-4 (loss to ND, one upset along the way)
3. Texas (38-7 over UNT, played UCLA tough) 1-2 Predicted record: 5-7: losses to Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and one more.
4. Illinois 3-1 (probably the nation’s worst “power 5 conference” 3-1 team) Predicted record: 5-7. Purdue (home), and possibly either Minnesota (home) or Northwestern (away) are the possible wins down the stretch.

Now if we are talking about the nation, as a whole: right now, I’d go with

1. Oregon
2. Alabama
3. Florida State (played tough opposition)
4. Oklahoma
5. Texas A&M

But there is a lot of football to be played..

NFL quip
How tough is NFL competition? Three weeks into the season, and there are THREE undefeated teams. THREE. Winning an NFL game is hard, no matter who you are playing.

September 23, 2014 Posted by | college football, football, NFL | | Leave a comment

Football on the brain…

Yes, there is more to talk about, but right now, I’ve got football on my mind.

Actually, I won’t actually watch any high profile games this weekend as I am traveling to my daughter’s “family weekend” at Baldwin-Wallace University. I’ll see a live football game; they are playing Bluffton. This is division III action (non-scholarship). But there will be some other games that I am interested in that I won’t be watching:

College:

Navy plays at Texas State (San Marcos, TX). Obviously, I am a Navy fan having graduated from there in 1981, but in the 1990’s, I lived near San Marcos, TX and saw some of the then Southwest Texas State games. In fact, Dennis Franchione, the current Texas State coach, coached there prior to leaving to coach at New Mexico.

This season, Navy hung with Ohio State prior to going down 34-17, and beat Temple 31-24. Texas State easily beat FCS foe Arkansas Pine-Bluff 65-0 and so has not been tested.

Of extra interest: Texas State travels to Illinois the next week! So, this game interests me on many levels.

Illinois is at Washington. If one just looks at this season’s results: Washington beat Hawaii 17-16 and beat FCS foe Eastern Washington 59-52; last season EWU was in the semi-finals of the FCS playoffs and got knocked out by Towson State. So, this season, Washington’s performance and Illinois’ performance have been comparable. Last year, a stronger Washington team beat Illinois 34-24 in Chicago.

But: over the past few years, Illinois has been a horrible road team; I just don’t trust them.

Purdue plays Notre Dame in Indianapolis. ND is 2-0 and beat Michigan 31-0 and Rice 48-17; last week Purdue got blown out at home by Central Michigan. Should be a blood bath.

UCLA plays at Texas
UCLA beat Virginia 28-20 and Memphis 42-35. Texas: beat a decent Sun Belt North Texas team 38-7 and got slaughtered 41-7 by a strong BYU team (outscored 35-7 after halftime). It would be tempting to say “easy UCLA win” but UCLA has not been that dominant this season. UCLA deserves to be favored but, well, let’s just say that BYU exposed UT’s weaknesses and UT is young on the offensive line and at quarterback.

Professional
Rams at Buccaneers: The Rams got drilled 34-6 at home by the Vikings; the Buccaneers lost 20-14 to the Panthers. The Rams are missing an all pro defensive lineman and are scrambling to find a solution at quarterback; they did beat the Buccaneers last season. But this is a different year, and the Rams are reeling.

Let’s put it this way: the Rams-Cowboys game originally had the cheapest tickets selling for 67 dollars. Now the cheap tickets are being offered for 27 dollars.

Bears at 49’ers: are you kidding me? No contest.

September 12, 2014 Posted by | college football, football, NFL | , | Leave a comment

Why I am indifferent to the Ray Rice NFL incident…

Of course, I am opposed to domestic violence; people who commit domestic violence have committed a crime and that crime should be prosecuted.

It turns out that an NFL player was seen on tape punching his then fiance (now his WIFE) and, while he had a 2 game suspension prior to this, has now been cut from his team.

Yes, his fiance hit him first, prior to them getting on the elevator. He then hit her, but did so in the elevator. Clearly, his blow wasn’t an immediate retaliation or an reflexive punch back. She assaulted him (weakly) and he cold cocked her, but later.

So, he committed a crime (so I’d think).

And the Ravens made a PR move (and probably a team cohesion move as well) to release him.

Fine, so far. Yes, there are some screamers going on about how the NFL is “misogynistic”, blah, blah, blah, but there is no evidence that NFL players are more criminally violent than other males of the same age and socio-economic background.

I’ve discussed the ethics of retaliatory striking back here.

But overall, my attitude is “what does his being an NFL player have to do with anything?”

Think about it: the vast majority of those who beat their spouses (or partners) are people that few have ever heard of. Do you do a background check to ensure your garbage man isn’t a wife beater? How about your waiter, clerk, bank official, secretary, plumber, doctor, lawyer or office coworker?

The bottom line: in our day to day lives, we judge those we interact with by how well they do the jobs we contract them to do, so why should it be different for entertainers (which is what a professional athlete is anyway)?

To me, this incident is far more troubling.

September 9, 2014 Posted by | NFL, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Football: full week…

NFL: disaster. Bears lose to the Bills in overtime 20-17 and the Rams got blistered at home by the Vikings 34-6. So much for this being a promising season. :-)

Right now: it is 28-3 49’ers over the Cowboys late in the 3’rd; not sure why Fox considered this a national marquee game. The 49’ers are among the NFL’s best; the Cowboys are, at best, mediocre and have been that way for years and years. Ok, make that 28-9, pending the extra point.

Now the colleges:

I rambled on about Illinois yesterday. I was able to follow the scores in Navy’s 31-24 win at Temple.

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Then I had time to watch either Notre Dame vs. Michigan or Texas vs. BYU; I chose the latter as Texas games aren’t as easily seen here; FS-1 carried it.

At the half it was only 6-0 BYU; the defenses dominated.

But then came the second half and that was a massacre. BYU just beat up UT at the line of scrimmage (UT had some inexperienced linemen) and it ended up being a 41-7 beat down. Here, the athletic BYU quarterback hurdles a hapless defender.

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It was as bad as the score would indicate.

Why I stayed with this game: remember, it was only 6-0 at the half; ND was up 21-0 on Michigan at the half (ended 31-0)

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September 7, 2014 Posted by | college football, football, NFL | | Leave a comment

What kind of football fan I am

Workout notes cool morning; great running weather but I was heavy legged and my right heel hurt just a bit. I ran the W. Peoria course (flat); 40:38 (20:15/20:23) so it was pretty evenly paced, if slow.

Then I went to the Illinois game.

What sort of fan I am: Many know more about football than I do, especially in which team is better than which other team. I am the son of an old football coach, and a former incompetent high school football player. I started two years on the JV and one on the varsity but fared poorly against those headed to play at the next level.

So, I do know the game but not as well as some.

Many who know the game better than I do enjoy watching on the television: they have the comforts of home and can see more games; it takes time to drive to see live football.

Many who go to the game are mostly there for the experience (the music, tail gating, etc.; they want their team to win, but for some, that is almost secondary.

I am one of those who likes the game of football itself; I very much care about the action on the field.

On the other hand, I love the trappings of a game. For me, there is little better than walking into the stadium, past the vendors with program in hand, taking in the sights and smells of the cooking food.

I like watching the game and seeing the stuff that the camera doesn’t show you (e. g. that lineman who was previously out limping..and calling to be replaced, or a coach correcting the mistake made by an individual player, etc.).

For me, there is nothing like being there. :-)

September 7, 2014 Posted by | college football, football, NFL, running | , | Leave a comment

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