blueollie

Great Playoff Games! (for a change)

You can tell that the games are good when I get nervous watching them…and none of the games involve *my* teams (*)

Packers vs. Cowboys: a classic; 3 50+ yard field goals in the final 1:38. The Packers were leading 21-3 in the first half, but the Cowboys rallied to tie it.

Here is a close up of the catch from the NFL’s Instagram feed:

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Steelers vs. Chiefs: also a good one. The Steelers moved the ball up and down the field but had to settle for 6 field goals. The Chiefs got the only 2 touchdowns but still lost.

A key play came late in the game when it appeared that the Chiefs had tied the game on a 2 point conversion. The left tackle was flagged for holding which forced the Chiefs to try the 2 point attempt from further out:

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Sorry, but that was totally holding; he had his arm wrapped around the front of the body from shoulder to shoulder, THOUGH I’ve seen linemen get away with worse.

(yea, in HS, I’ve gotten a few of these calls…due to my slow feet)

(*) currently, “my” teams are the Bears )3-13) and the Colts (8-8); basically *my* teams are the ones I get to watch in person.

How they have gone:

early, up until 1975: Packers (dad liked Vince Lombardi)
1975-mid 1990’s: Cowboys. Lived in Texas for much of that time; and while in the Navy, Austin, Texas was my “home”.
1983-1984: Patriots were also my team, as I got a chance to watch a few of their games live in old Sullivan Stadium
1990’s-2009 none, really, “sort of” Bears
2009-2015: Rams; my wife took me to a Rams game and I saw a few games every year
2016-now: switched to the Colts and Bears as those are the teams I get to see.

Side note: I did catch one Tampa game when I lived in Florida, one Rams game back in 1984 and I was on leave near Los Angeles, and one Colts game in 1983 when I was on vacation in Baltimore.

January 16, 2017 Posted by | football, NFL | Leave a comment

Sports: Bradley Basketball (men) on the upswing…and NFL

Last night, Bradley shot the lights out (8-17 from 3 point range, 55.1 percent overall) and beat struggling Northern Iowa 72-61

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Bradley just sizzled during the first half, and did enough to put the game away during the second half.

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But, to be fair, UNI was without its best player, though BU was missing a key player as well.

Still, after repeated beat downs, it was nice to see BU turn the tables.

NFL: the Chargers are moving to Los Angeles…and are going to play in a stadium that holds less than 30K for at least 2 years?

Interesting…given the “empty seats” we are seeing in many stadiums, perhaps pro teams are going to “club seat only” type stadiums and relying on television for the average fans?

January 12, 2017 Posted by | basketball, football, NFL | | Leave a comment

Thrilling finish to the National Championship game and pick plays

Like many college football fans, I was spellbound by Clemson’s 35-31 thriller over Alabama. Clearly, these really were the best two football teams in the land, and they played an “instant classic” game; it reminded me of the Texas vs. USC thriller so many years ago.

But this game had some controversy toward the end. Because I follow Notre Dame (one of “my” teams, albeit behind Navy, Texas and Illinois), I remembered this “pick play” which DID draw an “offensive pass interference” penalty.

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But this play did NOT:

Why? This article has a nice explanation of the difference. Roughly speaking: it isn’t illegal if you can get the defenders to run into each other, but one isn’t allowed to block downfield (not past 1 yard).

Here is another article about these type of pass patterns (albeit at the NFL level)

January 11, 2017 Posted by | college football, football, NFL | Leave a comment

NFL, NBA or MLB: live and on TV: what do you chose?

Ok, I’ll ask a question:

on television, you get to watch ONE regular season game: MLB (major league baseball), NFL (pro football) or NBA (pro basketball).
Which do you choose? Assume that all are equally meaningful games.

Now same question, but this time, you offered a ticket (with companion of choice) of similar level to MLB, NFL, or NBA. Assume equally meaningful games, pleasant weather, etc.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | baseball, basketball, football, NBA, NFL | Leave a comment

Comment from the Oklahoma vs. Auburn football game

I was watching the Oklahoma vs. Auburn football game, and one of the announcers remarked that one of the Oklahoma running backs was suspended from the team for a year after an incident.

I saw the video. The player got into a verbal argument with another student. The student pushed him and slapped him, and the player punched the other student, who fell and hit a table face first, sustaining fractures.

There was a plea deal and the football player lost a year. I do not know if the other student was charged with assault.

Evidently the player has some anger issues; he was suspended for a game for tearing up a parking ticket on campus.

Oh, I’ve discussed such issues before. Issues like assault are serious issues, but sometimes, assaults ARE provoked. That doesn’t justify disproportionate retaliation (e. g. if someone slaps me, I am not justified in getting a gun and shooting them) but assault prevention/reduction programs do have to deal with “not provoking assault” in the first place.

January 3, 2017 Posted by | football, social/political | | Leave a comment

New Year 2017: Colts vs. Jaguars, Pacers vs. Magic (and I used up “spouse points”)

We celebrated New Year’s Day in Indianapolis. First, we made the Colts vs. Jaguars game (1 pm ET). Then we made the Pacers vs. Magic NBA game (6 pm ET). Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse are about an easy 10 minute walk apart.

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The football game: The Colts won 24-20 with the winning score coming with 9 seconds to go. The irony is that the Colts won in almost exactly the same way they’ve lost this season; they were outplayed for the first 58:20 of the game, but had one last good drive. They threw an interception, lost a fumble on a “t-formation” snap from center and got a punt blocked. In fact, the Colts were outgained 470-384.

But…after getting pushed all over the field for most of the first half (and getting booed), they were down 17-0 prior to driving for a field goal. The Jaguars drove but then missed a 30 yard field goal; so the half ended 17-3.

The Colts held their own in the second half, getting a drive to cut the lead to 17-10 The defense got some stops and some turnovers, and so the Colts made it 17-17 in the 4’th. But with 2 minutes to go in the game, the Jags blocked a Colts punt; there was a delay in the game to see where the ball should go, as the punter made a desperation throw (forward)…so the ball went to the scrimmage lines.

The Jags tried three runs to force the Colts to use their time outs. They kicked a 41 yard field goal, and a touchback on the kickoff placed the Colts at their own 25 with 1:32 to go…and no time outs.

They drove it to the 20 using passes and “spike to stop the clock”. Then the Colts threw a pass that ended on the 1; a quick spike stopped the clock at 14 seconds. Time for perhaps a shot in the end zone, but they couldn’t afford a sack or a stop in the field of play. They got the TD with 9 seconds to go…on a short pass. I really thought that the Colts were finished.

The Jaguars reminded me of the Browns against the Chiefs last year; they had a bad record (and of course, still do) but came in and played hard.

My photos:

Barbara with the Bill Hudnut statue (former Mayor of Indianapolis)

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Random fan.

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Colts enter the field.

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The action from our perch in the first row of the upper deck; I sat next to the same two ladies that I sat next to last year (for the Texans game)…4 seats over.

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We then walked to the Pacers game; we had to wait a few minutes as they let people in 1 hour ahead of time. I did see a few Colts jerseys there. Note: they had a nice crowd (17,500); there were a few empty seats in the “non-luxury” sections.

The Pacers won 117-104, getting 35 points in the second quarter to lead 62-51. They shot 40.9 percent (9-22) from 3 point range; or put it this way: the Magic made 10-38…one more 3 point basket made but 16 extra attempts to achieve that! Also, the Pacers were 22-24 from the free throw line; the Magic were 10-11.

My photos

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The cheerleaders

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The massive scoreboard

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There is someone rappelling down…hard to see but look at the center.

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Pacers enter

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Tipoff

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The Turner Block Rowdies

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January 3, 2017 Posted by | basketball, football, NBA, NFL, travel | , | 1 Comment

Armed Forces Bowl 2016: Navy loses a heartbreaker to Louisiana Tech 48-45

One of our mini-vacations was to go to Fort Worth to see the Armed Forces Bowl between Navy and Louisiana Tech. Navy came in with losses to Temple in the AAC Championship game (34-10) and to Army 21-17. Louisiana Tech lost a shootout to Western Kentucky in the Conference USA championship game, though they had defeated WKU in the regular season. I saw this bowl in 2013.

So it was no. 2 Conference USA vs. no. 2 AAC, and it was a great game. Navy piled up 459 total yards, including 300 on the ground; Louisiana Tech got 497, with 409 coming via the air.

Tech won 48-45, but it was quite a shootout, with the winning points coming on a field goal on the last play of the game.

The Bulldogs started things off with a big kick return from half of their two man wrecking crew; that set them up at the Navy 16 and the Bulldogs punched it in. Navy fumbled on their second play from scrimmage and the Bulldogs answered with a field goal to go up 10-0 early. The teams settled down, and aside from a rare punt, it was score, score, score.

Navy went in to the half trailing 31-24.

The second half saw Navy eat up 7 minutes to tie the game at 31. Tech fumbled in scoring position on their next position but Navy had to punt. Then Tech scored to go up 38-31; but the Midshipmen answered.

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Tech scored again in the 4’th to take a brief lead. Then the Mids got the ball back, lost their starting quarterback (who was 3’rd team at the start of the season) only to have the backup run for a touchdown on his first touch. 45-45! But that left 3:46 on the clock, and the Midshipmen had used their timeouts. So the Bulldogs moved the ball and wisely milked the clock, which enabled them to kick the winning field goal on the final play of the game.

Overall, it was wild. Navy complained about some calls. One pass interference call, you can see in a gif file. The Navy defender did tug at the arm..which is a penalty.

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But this hand fighting was overlooked on other plays; my guess is that the Tech receiver, being an outstanding player, got the benefit of the doubt. And no. 5 just killed up; 200+ receiving yards.

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My photos

The game itself

The Bulldog offense lines up

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Navy’s offense

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Navy’s defense regroups

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High drama at the end; 17 seconds to go; the Tech band in the background.

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Before and after the game

Where I did my exercise walk prior to leaving for the game: this old golf course has been converted into a park with sidewalk trails; it includes a dog park.

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Barbara and Jacob near the Davy O’Bryan statue on the TCU campus.

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The opposing band

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The Brigade contingent at the game. This was me 36 years ago (at the old Garden State Bowl in December 1980)

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Navy enters the field!

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Halftime enlistment ceremony

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Selfie at the game

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On the way back to the car: note the purple (TCU’s color)

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Mexican food after the game

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December 25, 2016 Posted by | college football, football, travel | , | Leave a comment

Colts turn the game over to the Texans 22-17


Though the Colts outgained the Texans 348-316, the Texans controlled the ball, ran for 185 yards and got three turn overs; one on a strip sack, one where the quarterback was hit while passing…and one when the Colt receiver just plain fell down. And the Texans kicked 5 field goals (Colts missed a 55 yard attempt just prior to halftime).

It started out promising, with the Colt quarterback making a 33 yard run as the Texan left end broken containment. But that lead to a field goal..which the Texans quickly matched. It was 10-3 at the half.

The third quarter saw the Texans take a 16-3 lead, partially based on a field goal after a turn over. But then the Colts struck back with a drive and were driving again and had the ball first down on the 1. But a tackle for a loss lead to a third down inside the 5..and the quarterback getting hit while attempting to throw and fumbling, which the Texans recovered.

So it remained 16-10 and the Texans drove to kick a field goal.

The Colts did strike back with a long pass, but Texan running put them in position to kick another filed goal. But it was only 22-17. The Colts had one more drive but failed on 4’th and 1 to end the game.

Overall: the extra turnovers just killed the Colts, as did the Texan ground game and accurate field goal kicking.

Photos:

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December 13, 2016 Posted by | football, NFL | | Leave a comment

And I drag Mat to the Bears vs. 49’ers game

How does a math professor afford “Media Deck” seats in Soldier field? Well, having an outdoor December game between 2-9 and 1-10 teams helps.

As far as the seats: row 1. Loved that. Now the bathroom at the end (section 244) is too small..and the concourse is crowded. So, next time I’d go to the middle sections to get to the bathroom. Other than that: excellent.

Now the game: the Bears won 26-6, though the first half didn’t look so promising. The 49’ers controlled play…but only managed two field goals. One came on a drive. The other was set up by a partially blocked punt which was returned to the Bear 4 yard line. But the returner though he had scored and …in celebrating what he thought was a touchdown, did a snow angel in the endzone. That resulted in a 15 yard penalty which ..lead to a field goal.

So with just over 2 minutes left in the half, the Bears had the ball at their own 20. They tried two running plays with limited success..and the 49’ers called time out, hoping to get the ball back.

So the Bears completed a pass for the first down..and which point momentum shifted. The Bears found that their backup quarterback COULD pass in this weather and he started to hit passes. That moved the Bears sharply to the 12 yard line, and a pass interference penalty put the ball at the 49’er 1 with just over 30 seconds to go. The Bears ran it in and took a 7-6 lead at the half.

The Bears dominated the second half, mixing running and passing. The drove for 2 touchdowns and established a 21-6 lead going into the 4’th quarter.

A nice field goal pushed it to 24-6; and then a good punt pinned the 49’ers deep (at their own 2), and a quarterback sack for a safety pushed the final margin to 26-6.

So, the Bears won 3 games this season, and I was there for 2 of those victories! In fact, I’ve yet to witness the opposing team score a touchdown on the Bears.

I never got that cold; in fact, during the game, I never had to put on my extra coat.

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The Media Deck concourse has heat lamps overhead. If you sit in rows 11-12, these might keep you a little bit warm.

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The Bears take the field.

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Early action.

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Field goal 49’ers.

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Bears in scoring position in the third quarter.

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Touchdown Bears!

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The cold fans braving the elements.

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The red arrow marks where we are.

December 6, 2016 Posted by | football, Friends, NFL | | 1 Comment

Why do you believe that?

Trump’s win has lead to a discussion about “political correctness” and people being “shouted down” and “shamed” into falling in line with a tribal orthodoxy.

Of course, Trump is bringing in a toxic right wing version of this which is a much bigger threat.

But still, the liberal community is important to me, and I like to see ideas vigorously discussed and debated. And it has gotten to the point of “why do you believe that” is considered a hostile reply.
So I’d like to move away from stigmatizing questions and conjectures and toward debating them…explaining why bad ideas are bad.

Football:
Navy got stomped by Temple 34-10 and Western Michigan beat Ohio 29-23 the night before. That sends Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl, I think. What I found curious was Navy fans lambasting Western Michigan last night for not looking overpowering. They seem to have forgotten that Navy had several close calls this season..and there was today’s game.

Navy IS a decent team, but not Cotton Bowl worthy. Sadly, it looks like Navy will be matched up with a dreadful North Texas team in the Armed Forces Bowl; that is disgusting. Navy deserves better than that.

Workout notes: 5K walk outside after a full weight workout, sans ab work
rotator cuff, pull ups (10-5)(10-6), 10, (5-5), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 140, military (dumbbell) 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported, 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm rows.

note: the (10-5) meant: 10 pull ups, switch grip, 5 more…same for 5-5…little to no rest.

December 3, 2016 Posted by | football, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment