blueollie

And I drag Lynn to a Bears vs. Packers game…

Ok it was dry for the walk over but rained during the game. Still, a poncho kept us dry and we were bundled up.

The game: The Packers won 23-16, though thanks to a botched snap/hold on a late field goal attempt, the Bears got the ball back with 1 minute to go and had a shot to tie it.

A key moment came in the 2’nd quarter (2:30 into the video; score was 10-3 Packers) when the Bears receiver made an excellent run after catch and dived for the end zone. He was ruled out at the 2 (first and goal at the 2) but the Bears challenged the call, claiming that he hit the pylon with the ball before going out of bounds.

Call was reviewed..and showed that he lost control of the ball just prior to hitting the pylon. Hence the ball went out of bounds in the endzone..”touchback” and the Packers ball at the 20 versus the Bears having it at the 2.

Overall, the Packers got just enough offense with their backup quaterback and a receiver running as running back. And they sacked the Bears quarterback several times.

An action shot via the Bears Instagram account:

kickoff. Yes, there were empty seats.

We were about where the arrow is: 2n’d row of the upper deck (442, row 2). GREAT seats..the best I’ve had in Soldier Field so far. This shot was retweeted by EmptySeatsGalore on Twitter. Shot by @RobDemovsky:

Some action.

More action

Some shots of the stands…it was rainy.

Yes, there were some unsold seats up in the upper corner of the upper deck:

Lynn and I in our ponchos.

Lynn and I before going in..it wasn’t raining as yet.

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November 14, 2017 Posted by | football, Friends, NFL | | 1 Comment

The joy of blocking on social media and one appeal of Trump (it is nowhere near enough though)

Well, work has its challenges, and decorum (and just simply doing my job) forces me to be more polite than I’d want to be; it would be unprofessional for me to go off on someone, even if they “deserved it” (e. g., being completely in the wrong but unwilling to entertain the thought that it might be true).

And what does Trump do: he goes off on people…and once in a while, he goes off on someone I do not like.

Ah…sort of a guilty pleasure, no? But it is a poor quality in a POTUS…in addition to his utter lack of qualifications for the job.

But one way I do engage in that fantasy: on social media, “dumbsplainers” get blocked on the first, or sometime the second warning. And yes, often these are liberals, but not always.

One example: there were some empty seats for the Bears Packers game this year, and the Trumpchumps were trying to tell me that this didn’t happen in previous years; this year’s empties were due to their “boycott the NFL”.

So I found an Instagram photo from the 2016 game (during the game) and SHOWED them..yes, there were empty seats in that game. And this year, Aaron Rodgers was out. That felt good.
And if the Trumpchump can’t accept that I will block them.

(yes, the game was going on, and it was close the whole way).

Workout notes: Sunday: 2 mile “fast walk” (25:30) before a Bears vs. Packers game
Yesterday: weights; usual PT, pull ups 5 sets of 10, one set of 5-5 on the new bar, bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 50 (first with thick bar dumbbells), 20 x 40 standing, dumbbell rows (3 sets of 10)..yoga later (slept in)
today: 10K walk outside.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | NFL, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

The NFL protests: disappointment

When I first saw the NFL protests I was hopeful. After all, the NFL fan base is very diverse and I thought that we might finally get some meaningful discussion between different types of people. Yes, I knew that a large subgroup of fans would be upset; there is a reason the NFL does the “canned showy patriotism” stuff.

But, alas no such luck.

Even among some who believe in freedom of speech: they claimed that an employer has a right to enforce PR actions of their employees (I agree with this) but then go on to say that the protests are deeply unpopular with “NFL fans”.

This misses a key fact: not all NFL fans feel the same way.

No, I am not talking about liberals like me; I know that I am in the minority.

I am talking about the large African American fan base; the NFL needs them too..and can’t afford to alienate them. That is probably the main reason you haven’t seen a major crackdown, aside from the Cowboy’s owner (who even agreed to a compromise “kneeling before the anthem and joined the players in doing that).

In short: same old stuff; people refuse to look beyond their own statistically small bubble.

Here is one poll which shows that the country is split.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | football, NFL, social/political | | Leave a comment

Bears Trip

Ok, I did get to see a Monday night game between the Bears and the Vikings. The game was fun (but Soldier field’s concourses are way too narrow and there aren’t enough bathrooms; it is insanely crowded during halftime)

The Vikings won 20-17, based mostly on a field goal off of a strip sack, and off of an interception with just over 2 minutes to go. Otherwise, it was a slugfest with both teams getting 2 touchdowns apiece in the second half. The Bears had the two coolest plays of the night, but overall, the mistakes made the difference.

The Bears got a few yards off of their opening possession and then the teams traded punts several times, with the Vikings losing the field position battle. An end zone sack gave the Bears a 2-0 lead, and it stayed that way until the strip sack set up the Vikings for a field goal and a 3-2 halftime lead (seriously)

The Vikings scored on their opening drive in the second half (and had a funny end zone celebration; they played “duck, duck, goose”) and then the Bears scored on a beautiful fake punt. The Vikings scored again (58 yard run) but the Bears retaliated in the 4’th quarter (tipped pass) and hit a very cool 2-point conversion (handoff-lateral). And it remained even until the last second interception (which I worried out loud about prior to it happening).

Trivia: I saw the Bears rookie quaterback play last year when North Carolina visited Illinois, and I saw the Vikings quarterback play when he was with the Rams (and yes, he got hurt all the time then too). He got hurt this game, going down on a play where a lineman was pushed into him.

Via the Bears Instagram page.

Oct 9, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd (94) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) for a safety during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Game selfie with Barbara.

From our seats (section 225)

October 12, 2017 Posted by | football, NFL | | Leave a comment

Trump’s failed war on the NFL

Yes, Puerto Rico is devastated and many lack both power and drinking water. And yes, Trump refuses to waive an arcane rule about what ships can go to Puerto Rico.

But he can attack the NFL and encourage fans to “boycott” and owners to fire players.

I doubt that it is going well for him. I note, with glee, that I now have tickets for 3 Bears games (ok, the Packer game tickets were pricey, but in row 2 of the upper deck); the other two sets of tickets are in the second deck (200); one is in the media deck and the other is the end zone.

I am planning on going to a Colts game as well; maybe two?

Now why we play the National Anthem at sporting events? Here is how it started …not sure why we continue OTHER than because many fans like it.

And as far as the discussion on the protests, just look at the contrast between Obama and Trump. But alas, a big part of our country’s problem is that all too many prefer Trump’s style (“fire that son of a bitch”) to Obama’s thoughtful style.

September 27, 2017 Posted by | football, NFL, politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment

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:

packerscatch

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:

chiefholding

chiefsholding

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

buuni20172

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

buuni20171

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.

ndfsupickplay

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

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.

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-9-58-35-pm

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)

barbarahudnut

Random fan.

barbarabuttshot

Colts enter the field.

coltsjagsentry

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.

coltsjagsaction

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

selfiepacers

The cheerleaders

cheerleaderbutt

The massive scoreboard

hugescoreboard

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

rapelldown

Pacers enter

pacersenter

Tipoff

tipoff

The Turner Block Rowdies

turnerblockrowdies

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