Great outing to see Bears win NFC North: beat Packers 24-17

The game itself was interesting; the Bears mostly dominated play in the first half, scoring on two drives while limiting the Packers to a field goal and taking a 14-3 lead.
The Packers opened the second half with a drive of their own to cut the lead to 14-6. Then on the next drive, the Bears tried a fake punt on 4’th down which got stuffed, giving the Packers the ball at midfield. They promptly marched down the field to get a TD (run) and a 2 point conversion (pass) to tie the game.

Looking back to last season and the games which I got to see in person: this was the first TD scored against the Bears in over 3 games; last season (49’ers, Browns) and this season (Rams) the Bears had given up only 8 field goals, TOTAL (and yes, managed to lose the 49’er game). Today: they gave up 3 field goals, 1 TD and a 2 point conversion.

Oh, back to this game: the Bears drove but fumbled the ball away off of a botched wildcat play while in scoring position. But the defense held, forced a punt and the offense punched it in to go up 21-14. The defense got another stop, got a great punt return and then kicked a field goal to go up by 10 with 6:43 to play.

But finally the Packer offense got untracked and they drove right down the field to the Bear 9…only to have a short pass intercepted in the end zone. They Packers got the ball back and managed a field goal with 11 seconds to go to cut the lead to 24-17, but the Bears recovered the onside kick to end the game.

I can say that the stadium was rocking.

I made the trip with Harry, my yoga teachers “significant other” and it was a good time; we agreed to more games next year. Maybe Lynn…and possible others…might go with us?

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48 min. until Packer playoff hopes die. Go Bears!

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Go Bears!

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Early action. Bears v. Packers.

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Packers strike back to tie it at 14.

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This took a bit of the sting out of a very disappointing Bradley loss to Eastern Illinois (73-66) the day before; BU had a 36-27 lead late in the first half before Eastern cut it to 3 at the half. EIU made 11 of 18 3 point shots, many (but not all) of them uncontested.

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Eastern Illinois at Bradley. Go Braves!

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Go Braves! Close with EIU early

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Santa outfits for the dance team.

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Ugh. Ugly loss. Booing from some fans.

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December 17, 2018 Posted by | basketball, football, NFL, travel | , | Leave a comment

Sweet! Bears take down the Rams 15-6 in a great defensive effort

As far as the game itself, this graphic really tells the story:

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Total domination by the #MonstersOfTheMidway. 😤

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And of the 6 points; 3 of those were set up with an early interception that set up the Rams at the Bears 15 (opening series). The other 3 was a 50 yard field goal off of a short drive to tie it at 6.

The Bears offense sputtered though and the quarterback threw 2 ugly interceptions ..each of which set the Rams up in scoring position, though the Bears defense got one of their interceptions on the next play.

I thought that the Rams had momentum in the second quarter after a Bears interception, which put the Bears at first and goal at the Rams 5 yard line, lead to only a field goal.

That lead to a wild exchange in the final 2 minutes of the half which saw the Bears force a punt, throw a pick and then get the pick right back, only to stall, punt, and have the Rams fail on a “Hail Mary” before the half.

But the second half: opening kick off pinned the Rams at their own 5 (after penalties) and lead to a “sack/safety”…that put the Bears up 8-6…then an 81 yard drive finished the Rams off.

Yes, 15-6 was not an insurmountable lead but..a Rams drive ended with a missed field goal; and the Bears stout defense did the rest.

Great defensive ball game!

Our experience: I splurged for United Club seats (got them early, when few suspected this would be a battle of division leaders)

It WAS cold (mid 20’s to the teens) BUT there was little wind..and people in the stadium made it less cold than an Illinois game.

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Jump around! Bears D holds!

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Though we were on the top (3 rows from the top) of the 300 United Club level, they were great seats.

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Rams threatening

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To make matters better; going to and from Chicago was easy as it ever was…very, very easy.

I am glad that we went.

Though I go to a lot of games, being an Illinois, Bradley (basketball) and Chiefs (A) fan, I rarely see games of national importance. This game WAS..national audience, two good teams.

Last year’s Ohio State vs. Iowa upset was a bit like that. I saw an Colts vs. Bengals playoff game a few years ago…a Lakers vs. Spurs playoff game in 1988 (Magic Johnson, Kareem Jabbar championship team) and a couple of big Cotton Bowl matchups (Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M, Miami vs. Texas). But these sort of games are rare for me…

December 11, 2018 Posted by | football, NFL, travel | | 1 Comment

South Florida vs. Illinois in Chicago: barnburner.

I had made two predictions: 41-20, USF and 41-24. Basically, I expected the South Florida offense to roll over the Illini defense. And in total yards, it WAS 626-380, South Florida (215 rushing, 411 passing). But nevertheless, the Illini lead 16-7 at the half and 19-7 early in the 4’th quarter.

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Get off me! #ILLINI

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But games are 4 quarters long and in the 4’th, USF decided to go with the deep passing game and that did the trick. Still, they didn’t score the go ahead touchdown (and 2 point conversion) with 2:24 to go and even then, the Illini rallied to get to the 20 yard line and was throwing into the end zone as time expired.

Overall, it was a good effort from Illinois: on offense, the freshman quarterback managed the game well and, aside from one fumble on a hand off, didn’t do anything to get his team beat. The offensive line opened holes and the running backs found found them. (212 rushing yards; one RB over 100 and one just under).

The kicking game was outstanding; 4 times, the punter pinned USF at or inside their 20. The field goal kicker went 4-4, including a 41, 46 and 53 yard fg’s.

Defensively; the pass rush knocked down several passes and forced some motion penalties. Several times, USF drives stalled inside of Illini territory. And the defense got 2 interceptions.

BUT: our quarterback was sacked 5 times, and several times, a 3-4 man rush got to the passer.
And yes, they did have all of those yards; they had no trouble moving the ball..and two missed field goals kept the score down a bit.

I was delighted to see the Illini score on their second possession and take a 7-0 lead. USF answered with a drive of their own..but subsequently, the Illini played great “bend but don’t break” defense and got just enough out of the running game (and got an interception) to set up 3 field goals and a 16-7 halftime lead.

3’rd quarter: a bit like the first two; another field goal (which bounced in) set the Illini up for an exciting finish.

But then USF started to finish their drives; touchdown (set up on busted coverage), field goal to cut the lead to 19-17 and then the very long busted coverage touchdown.

Still the Illini got the ball back and mixed it up well, getting the ball to the 20. But a sack forced the Illini to use their final time out and the final pass was overthrown (well defended).

Still, it was an exciting game.

Socially About visiting Soldier field: do not be fooled by the road that runs right next to the L tracks. That road is a bus short cut; you can not get to Soldier field from there. Walk on Michigan Ave. instead. A nice McCormick employee gave us a ride to the pedestrian bridge.

About where we sat: we were in the United Club 200 section. I do not recommend row 19 seats in the United Club. Why? Most of the sight lines in Soldier field are excellent. But on row 19, there is just a small extra platform lifting your seat above the row in front of you; if someone tall sits there, you will have trouble seeing. Rows 1-18 are fine. Fortunately, we were able to move due to the very sparse crowd (21,700 in a 62,000 seat stadium).

And as far as the United Club: frankly, the 200 level sears are Media Deck seats, PLUS the privilege of being able to go inside. So if you (or your companion) do not value the privilege of being able to go inside during the game ..the Media Deck seats offer the same view for about half of the cost.

Sadly, there weren’t many there. Illinois recent history, plus many other events (Cubs game Saturday and Sunday, plus Northwestern had a game that evening, plus the Bears on Monday night) kept the crowd down to fewer than 22,000.

Highlight videos:

My photos:

We got there in time to make the lunch buffet at the Nepal House.

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Pregame lunch. Already saw some South Florida fans.

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Both sets of fans had events:

USF had some very shiny helmets.

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Shiny helmets II.

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The band:

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Go Illini!

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We were ready:

Early action..and a sparse crowd:

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Sparse crowd though.

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The Illini did move the ball well for the first half:

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Illini in the red zone again!

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Second quarter. 16-7 Illini at the half.

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Shady seats were popular:

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Shaded seats are popular.

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Had the game ended at 57 minutes, I would have been happier:

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25-19 bad guys. 1:44 to go.

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September 16, 2018 Posted by | college football, travel | | Leave a comment

Why I am so weak (one reason anyway)

I started lifting weights back in 1972, mostly to get ready for football season. So, I pushed myself to “squeeze out one more rep” as, well, I felt it might make the difference between making a block or missing a block.

Needless to say, I have no such reasons for lifting now.

Example: when I was doing my “heavy” (ok, go ahead and laugh) bench press set, I felt lethargic. I tried my best to whip up some energizing hate. It worked for all of 3 reps..I didn’t do a 4’th as I could feel a strain in my left shoulder and I didn’t want to be injured for the next month!

It is that way for me every time. Old man effort and old man’s results.

PT, pull ups: 4 sets of 10, then used the new bar: 7, 5, 5 and later a set of 5 for 62 total (instead of 50)
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (pathetic), dumbbell: 10 x 75, incline: 10 x 140, decline: 7 x 170
military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 140 Hammer machine, rows; 3 sets of 10 x 110
abs: 2:30 plank (ok), slow twist cruches (12), slow 4-count leg lifts (10), moving bridge, head stand, side plank

run: 1 in 11:03, 8:48 second mile, then 1 mile walk. Just not into it; trip lag.

I walked a routine 4 miler yesterday morning. Back to marathon training..lots of little errands though.

August 20, 2018 Posted by | running, travel, walking | Leave a comment

To Ohio…

Yesterday, I got in a quick 2 mile walk and drove to Cleveland, OH (actually, Middleburg Heights). I went the northern route. There weren’t as many trucks as I remembered (though there were many) and at times, it just POURED came down very hard. At times, run, but mostly overcast.

I had dinner with my daughter, talked a bit and then this morning, up for a 4 mile walk (59 minutes; roughly 30 minutes out, 29 minutes back). It was enough to “get the kinks out”.

I wondered why my motel didn’t have a fitness center; breakfast reminded me of why.Oh boy…still, the walk to the bike path (about 1.25 miles to get there) was pleasant.

August 18, 2018 Posted by | obesity, travel, walking | Leave a comment

Return home..

I did catch one final talk and one final walk (15 minute pace)

This latter talk was an overview of applications of knot theory; the mathematician giving the talk was very encouraging to me when I was young. It meant a great deal to me.

On the way to the talk, I did see a cool mushroom.

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On the WKU campus…what a mushroom!

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And back home, a waitress wore an engineering shirt. (I have a photo of the front as well)

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Heart equation with graph…

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The walk wasn’t that much; I did see the football team working out.

Now for something that I hope will be more significant.

July 21, 2018 Posted by | travel, walking | | Leave a comment

Is age catching up with me?

I am feeling a bit fatigued, at least physically. Part of the reason is that I am doing quite a bit of non-workout related walking in addition to my usual workouts, and the campus is hilly. But in the days of old, I never worried about that. But within the past 10 years or so, I noticed that routine hill and stair climbing was more difficult on the days I ran.

Today: weights at the WKU gym (a nice one) and then 4 miles of running: 1 on the treadmill (11:10) then 3 on the upstairs track (6.9 laps to the mile, and I did 21 laps in 31:26 (10:50, 10:44, 9:50..chased a young woman). I have to remember that this was sort of 5K-ish and within 2-2:30 of what I race these in these-a-days.

weights: weak..perhaps I rushed? 5 sets of 10 pull ups (good), bench: disaster. 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 5 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 5 x 165. Military: ok, 3 sets of 10 x 45 dumbbells (standing), 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer rows (usual), headstand and plank (2:30..easier?)

Note: my back can “feel” my not doing my back exercises.

Talks: good, as usual:

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Slipknots in random walks (appears in proteins).

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The last one combined some serious global analysis, PDE and knot theory to deal with “almost real world” knotted cylinders.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | running, travel, weight training | | Leave a comment

Wills and Ways Part II

Ok, I am learning stuff…but lunch was a bit too heavy.

I walked 3 miles just under 15 mpm in the morning (72 F, 76 percent) and then another 4 over lunch 86 F, 47 percent) at about 15:30 mpm. The combined courses are above; I might want to stroll past the Bowling Green Hotrods stadium though they aren’t playing at home this week.

The Western Kentucky University campus does have one wicked hill on it; I wonder how any of their students ever get fat.
Note: while eating at the Student Union, I met the baseball coach.

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Mat presenting his work.

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July 18, 2018 Posted by | travel, walking | | Leave a comment

One reason for Trump supporter’s hostility to higher education

I will not deny that *some* right wing critiques of US higher education have a bit of merit (e. g. hostility to free speech..among some, and yes, there are a few kooky is inevitable in our country of our size).

But if you go to any math conference you will see professors from all around the world..and in the hallways you will hear many languages being spoken. The reality is that outlier level talent (e. g. the main speakers) really is spread out all over the world; even our country would be hard pressed to gather enough outlier level talent for a good conference using only, say, native-born Americans. And yes, universities do draw professors from around the world, especially the highest ranked ones. That is just a fact of life. Academia (at the higher levels least in the sciences) and xenophobia are incompatible.

From the conference:

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Lori Alvin discussing dynamical systems.

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Applcation of Riemannian Geometry.

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Professor Kosterlitz, Nobel Laureate in physics.

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And yes, I did run across one anti-Trump, anti-Rand Paul protest on my way back from dinner to campus:

Running: 44:25 for 4 on the gym treadmill…I just had a rough time of it. Not sure as to why (big week?)

July 18, 2018 Posted by | education, running, travel | | Leave a comment


Lifted weights yesterday (usual..highlights were 2 sets of 5-5-5-5 and 1 set of 10 pull ups, 4 x 185 bench, 8 x 170 bench, 7 x 170 decline) and got on the road to Western Kentucky University.

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Crescent moon.

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That saved me from listening to Trump with Putin in Finland…and this is extraordinary:

US President Donald Trump, in a stunning rebuke of the US intelligence community, declined on Monday to endorse the US government’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying he doesn’t “see any reason why” Russia would be responsible.

Instead, Trump — standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin — touted Putin’s vigorous denial and pivoted to complaining about the Democratic National Committee’s server and missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal account.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said during a joint news conference after he spent about two hours in a room alone with Putin, save for a pair of interpreters.
Trump’s statements amounted to an unprecedented refusal by a US president to believe his own intelligence agencies over the word of a foreign adversary and drew swift condemnation from across the partisan divide.
His words signaled that he continues to equate the assessment of Russian election meddling with efforts to deligitimize his election, even though the US intelligence community made no such assessment.

And earlier:

I suppose that this “blame America First” is fine with the Republicans so long as they get their deregulation, tax cuts and SCOTUS picks.

Oh, and there is this outlandish claim that is being put forward to distract the rubes.

July 17, 2018 Posted by | politics, social/political, travel, weight training | | Leave a comment