Dreams Blog

September 29, 2013

Week 4 KC (4-0) 31 Giants (0-4) 7
0 and 4—Show ‘em the door.
The offense fumbled 3 times, allowed 3 sacks, and was 1 for 14 on 3rd down (98yds. rushing). The D only allowed 102 rushing yards but allowed 15 1st downs and 130 return yards. KC made the better half-time adjustments scoring 21 2nd half points to NY’s 0.
Titans (3-1) 38 Jets (2-2) 13
A rookie QB will have some good days but will have more frustratingly bad days. This is one of those games for Geno Smith- especially when he tries to switch hands holding the ball BEHIND HIS BACK. He went 23-34, 289 yds, 2ints., and 2 fumbles. The Jets had over 300 yds but had those turnovers. I just hope Smith is learning what the NFL is about so we can see the consistency necessary for winning football.
A Green Face
Stephen A. Smith wrote about some of Geno Smith’s ills. “We spent the end of last season wondering if Rex Ryan would remain the Jets’ coach. We spent the offseason wondering if Mark Sanchez would start the 2013 season as the Jets’ quarterback. We’ve wondered about the decision-making at the top, who’s in charge of the offense and the play calling. And now that the decision’s been made.
Consequences are contemplated, and those who make the decisions are conspicuous, reputable and accountable.
But these are the New York Jets we’re talking about, headline-mongers that would put reality TV stars to shame. So forgiveness is usually required, for all the comical reasons one can muster. As things stand, the Jets’ offense is 25th in the league in passing yards (202). They’re 31st in turnover differential (minus-4), 29th in points per game (14), 25th in yards per game (311) and 21st in third-down conversion rate (36.1 percent). With numbers like that, essentially, you don’t have an offense. Considering that this present trend would mark the third consecutive year the Jets are walking around with one of the more anemic offensive resumes in the game, despite the changes that have been made, the last thing anyone should be hearing is alarm bells concerning Geno Smith, who has shown more than enough promise to avoid getting yanked after Week 3.
Fun House Mirrors
A lot is being made about how good the Jets are doing, despite Rex Ryan’s presence, and how bad the Giants are. But, everything is not as it seems.
The NFL schedule makers try to equalize outcomes by making teams with poor records play weaker teams than teams with better final records.
The Giants after week 3 are 3-8 in their last 11 games. Not only because of a tougher schedule but also because their interior offensive AND defensive linemen haven’t been winning the battles in the trenches. You just can’t win that way.
Is There A Common Thread? Yes, there is and right now he wears a whistle around his neck.
Rex Ryan is a mid level Jet exec who has reached the level of his incompetence.
He should go!
Hoe,hoe, hoe
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) reported, “Ageless pitcher Jamie Moyer, finally retired at 51 and living in San Diego, says, ‘I’m pretty proud of my garden.’ In other words, he’s still keeping things down in the dirt.”
The Engine That Could
Jamie Moyer retired in 2012 after playing for 25-years. He had 235 of his 269 wins after he was 30. He won 21 when he was 41. He played on a World Series team at 46 and even won 2 WS games when he was 50.
You may look at these Stats and think he must have used PEDs but his soft throwing would never classify him as a power pitcher.
It was all about location, location, location. That ability to locate pitches allowed him to K 2441hitters and post a career WHIP of 1.32.
Numbers, I Love Numbers
Bob Molinaro knows I like the way numbers fit together and said, “Since the wildcard was added to the postseason in 1995, only three teams with the best winning percentage have gone on to win the World Series. That’s a very bad batting average. This shouldn’t even surprise us anymore. Winning too many games before October is generally accepted to be a recipe for disappointment. In Boston, some fanatics are panicky over the prospect of the Sox winning 100 games. In the last quarter century, you see, 20 teams have won 100 or more games, with only two winning the World Series. Be prepared, then, for the emotionally wrenching postseason downfall that the current data suggest awaits the Red Sox, because isn’t the whole country totally wrapped up in Boston’s baseball interests? It’s not? Then I guess I’ve been watching too much ESPN. Baseball is a game of infinite statistics, but as it stands now, one very intriguing number doesn’t favor Boston’s postseason chances.”
Random Evidence From A Cluttered Mind
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) wrote: “A shoulder injury will sideline Mark Sanchez an estimated eight weeks. “Ah, let’s be safe and make it 10 to 12,” suggested Jets fans. America’s Cup sailing is getting intense as the U.S. tries to stay alive against New Zealand’s huge lead. Cannot confirm, but somebody told me a U.S. Navy destroyer just sank the Kiwis’ catamaran. Intentional crashes affecting race outcomes give NASCAR a credibility crisis as its Chase for the Cup continues. Makes sense, though. If there were a recipe for road rage, I’d make it macho men who don’t like each other driving 180 mph.”
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) Patter
“Brad Dickson (Omaha World-Herald) on Mike Tyson saying he wants to become a promoter to give sport a boost. ‘I this ex-con with the facial tattoo who once bit part of the ear off a competitor can’t restore the image of boxing, who can?’
An Angels-Mariners game was twice delayed by a swarm of bees in right field- three months after a similar swarm in KC took up residence in LA’s dugout.
Coincidence? Some 21 of the 33 players on the Angels September roster played Triple-A for the Salt Lake City Bees.”

Dreams Blog

September 22, 2013

WEEK 3
Carolina (1-2) 38 Giants (0-3) 0
I didn’t think the Giants could play any uglier than last week, but against the Carolinas they allowed 6 sacks in the 1st half, their biggest gains came from Panthers turnovers, and they blew a relatively short field goal attempt. NY had 18 yards of 1st half offense and150 for the game.
It would be easy to rake the O-line for not allowing the Giants QB to have the protection necessary to have a good day (Manning was 12-23,119yds,1 INT) but I had a thought that the receivers weren’t running their routes correctly. The QBs have better ball thrown ball control than we’ve seen.
Jets (2-1) 27 Bills (1-2) 20
The Jets rang up 243yds. in the 1st half; Smith had 187yds. in the air, going 10-17.
The rest of the game was typical of one between two 1 and 1 teams. The Jets started running the ball pretty well in the 3rd. Powell had 26 carries for 149.
Don’t get too excited. These were the Bills!
UH-OH, 4th quarter Jets meltdown. PenaltiesA lack of personal control has allowed the Bills to come back from 20-6 to tie. WHOA! A pass from Smith to Holmes for a 69yd. TD. Jets up 27-20 with 1.5 min. left.
Enough Is Enough
Maybe there wasn’t enough green space around our apartment building, while I was growing up, to practice and appreciate golf so I just don’t understand the “snarkiness” of the game. Karen Beckwith (Boston Herald) wrote about a problem experienced by Tiger Woods. “Woods’ approach on the 363-yard hole went long and landed in a brush area. While clearing loose impediments, his ball moved a fraction of a centimeter. That’s not enough to gain an advantage, but a PGA Tour Entertainment crew captured the moment on video and alerted officials. Had the ball returned to its original spot, Woods would have been OK. Had he returned the ball to its original spot, he would have incurred a one-shot penalty. But by not calling the penalty on himself, the penalty was two shots” at the end of his play.
Rules for the NFL Road
Jim Litke (AP NFL Columnist) wrote about some NFL changes. “Football will never be safe. Science proved that. Roger Goodell can try to make the NFL safer, but he can’t legislate that, either. ‘Players are adapting to the rules and techniques,’ Goodell added. ‘The culture doesn’t change overnight.’ No kidding. It’s not just Goodell’s fight, of course. He can’t protect players from themselves. But the league could spend less time instructing officials to crack down on cursing and faked injuries, and err more often on the side of caution in helmet-to-helmet hits. Fining repeat offenders like Ndamukong Suh, James Harrison and more recently Meriweather hasn’t made a dent, not with the paychecks they cash nearly every week. Goldson’s suspension would have been a good first step, but instead it became another missed opportunity. Goodell can’t stop players from playing too fast and reckless any more than authorities can stop the same behavior on highways. But he can do everyone a favor by taking a few of them off the road now and then.”
We hear about football’s culture quite a bit. Players like Jack Lambert, Ronny Lott, and Johnny Sample had always been praised for their rough style of play. Now hopefully, we know better.
TV Station Apology
Bob Molinaro told us about the message from WKMG: “As a reminder that its market wouldn’t be getting the feed to the late Sunday afternoon duel between the Manning brothers (it turned out they didn’t miss much)because of an unwelcome commitment to show the Jags’ game from Oakland, Orlando’s CBS affiliate posted this on-screen announcement during the early Dolphins-Colts game: ‘In accordance with NFL policy, WKMG must carry all Jacksonville Jaguar away games. We apologize for any inconvenience.’ The message was a putdown of the Jags that would have been embarrassing if the franchise weren’t beyond embarrassment. After two games, the team is averaging 5.5 points. Enough said.”
Corruption, Cheating, and Scandal
The Sports Curmudgeon told us: “Speaking of corruption, cheating, scandal, and such, a cheating cabal showed up in NASCAR leading to penalties for an entire racing team not just a single driver or car. Cheating in NASCAR ought not surprise anyone given that the informal credo for the sport is: If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.” A Memorable Streak
Is your favorite team not winning enough? The Sports Curmudgeon told me about San Marino. “The San Marino national soccer team competes against other national teams in UEFA and enters a squad in the qualifying matches for the World Cup. They never come close to a championship; in fact, they have never won a game in a UEFA tournament or in World Cup qualifying, but they continue… Their only win was in a “friendly” against Lichtenstein in 2004. The San Marino national team did manage a draw against Latvia in a real match back in 2001. The Latvian manager was sufficiently ashamed of that outcome that he resigned after the match. Counting all the international encounters – including friendlies – for the San Marino national team since it began play in 1990, its cumulative record is 1-112-5. In a qualifying game for the 2014 World Cup against Poland about a week ago, the San Marino team lost – no surprise there – by a score of 5-1. The score was a surprise for one simple fact:
San Marino scored a goal. They were not shut out.
The last time the San Marino national team scored a goal against another national team was almost 5 years ago. The goal against Poland came off a header after a corner kick; the player scoring the goal is not a professional soccer player; he works in retail in San Marino. In case you have not kept up with the country of San Marino, let me give you a couple of items from the CIA World Factbook: San Marino is an “enclave country” in central Italy. Its land area is about one-third that of Washington DC. San Marino has no military except for a volunteer force that provides ceremonial duties and assists the police if necessary.”

Dreams Blog

September 15, 2013

WEEK 2
Patriots (2-0) 13 Jets (1-1) 10
This was a “S-C-W” game (shoulda-coulda-woulda). Smith should have seen all of open receivers. They could have been TDs. The Jets would have won the game. The D was pretty good; they rushed pretty well on O & D. This was Smith’s 2nd game and had rookie mistakes. Let’s see if he learned from them.
Broncos (2-0) 41 Giants (0-2) 23
YUCK! The Giants didn’t win, didn’t pass, didn’t rush the ball or the passer, and didn’t defend. Eli completed more end zone passes to Broncos than Giants and had 4INTs. The G-Men had only 33 yards on the ground from 19 rushes. There were drops, misplays, and not that much pressure on P. Manning. Aside from that they played well.
Jet Headline
At SportsPickle.com: “Jets say they were planning to give Mark Sanchez season-ending surgery even if he wasn’t hurt.”
OOPS!
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us that, “A billboard shilling for UNLV season tickets shows football coach Bobby Hauck alongside basketball coach Lon Kruger with the slogan ‘Come To Our House.’
Just one problem: It’s 1130 miles to Kruger’s house. He left to become coach at Oklahoma in 2011.”
Say What?
Tim Hunter said, “A sure sign you’re into football a bit too much: You tailgate before everything- even church.”
This What We Live For
Paul Newberry of the AP wrote in the Boston Herald with some possibilities in the new season: “BAN THIS: Showing just how much influence it has over all elements of society, the NFL’s ban on purses larger than a piece of gum becomes the latest fashion craze. All across the country, women willingly start carrying tiny clear plastic bags that require them to leave wallets, phones, bobby pins, sunglasses, mirrors, someone else’s purse, and 17 J.Crew receipts at home. Everything but gum, that is. JETS GEL: Rex Ryan is fired before the season is a month old. In a stunning move, the Jets bring back Tebow as a player-coach. He names himself the starting quarterback and leads the Jets to an improbable playoff appearance despite a passer rating of 0.04. Miley Cyrus even concedes she should’ve Tebowed instead of twerked at the MTV Video Music Awards. What Extravagance? Dwight Perry told us that Brad Dickson (Omaha World-Herald) commented after a critic called Alabama’s Football locker room “too extravagant”: “It was the Sultan of Brunei.” Side Business The Sports Curmudgeon delivered a five page rant about the hypocrisy of the NCAA with regard to raking in side money. Here is a bit of it: “Supporting my assertion that colleges are running this “business enterprise on the side” is the simple fact that they are admitting football and basketball players to their campuses whose applications for admission would be laughed out of the room when the admissions committee met to make final decisions. Many of the players’ high school diplomas are of questionable value; if lots of players had to sit and take the GED exam to obtain a diploma equivalent to the high school diploma they have in hand and if they were monitored during the taking of the exam, a large fraction would not come close to passing. I cannot prove that with data because none of the players has ever been forced to do that. Nevertheless, you and I both know that to be the case.”
Wrestling For Approval
Tracee Hamiton (DC Post) commented on an IOC vote: “In February, the IOC voted on 25 “core” sports that would make up the Olympic program beginning with the 2020 Games. In a stunning move, wrestling was not on the list. To the sport’s credit, it immediately began grappling (couldn’t resist) with its perceived problems. Three days after the IOC’s decision, Raphael Martinetti resigned as president of FILA, the sport’s international governing body. Nenad Lalovic of Serbia was named acting president, and the sport immediately turned its attention to problems with its rules, gender equity and the internal workings of FILA.
On May 18, FILA met in Moscow to vote on the changes, and Lalovic was elected president, losing the “acting” from his title. Eleven days later, the IOC trimmed its list of eight possible sports for 2020 to three — and wrestling made the cut. FILA changed some of its inner workings. It added two weight classes for women in time for the 2016 Games. And it adopted new rules that will make the action more aggressive. There will be less stalling and more scoring, and the winner will be decided on total points, not the best two-of-three periods. Stalling will be penalized. Offensive takedowns will earn two points. The matches will be faster and more exciting.”
Coach Worm
Dwight Perry told us: “Dennis Rodman says he will coach the North Korean basketball team.
In honor of Kim Jong-il, they’ll play the Demilitarized Zone Defense.”
The Worm’s Turn
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) chimed in with, “Dennis Rodman reportedly met again with the leader of North Korea. That man is crazy. But then, again, so is Kim Jong-il.”
Talking The Talk
Dwight Perry related, “Reggie Hayes (Fort Wayne News-Sentinel) talked about the two men arrested for trying to pilfer some Wrigley Field ivy, ‘In keeping with Cubs tradition, the steal was unsuccessful.’”
Highly Rated
The Sports Curmudgeon passed along this rating from Greg Cote (Miami Herald), “Miami’s Booker T. Washington High is ranked No. 1 nationally in some high school football polls. That’s the highest ranking for Booker T. since Booker T. & the M.G.’s reached No. 3 with Green Onions in 1962.”
Random Greg Cote (Miami Herald)
“Floyd Mayweather is reported to keep $123million in his checking account. His checks don’t bounce. They take private jets.
“The U.S. men’s soccer team beat Mexico 2-0 to qualify for a seventh consecutive World Cup. We pretty much have the getting-there down pat. It’s the winning-there that’s been problematic.
“A man named Tom Garfinkel is the Dolphins’ new president/CEO but he has nothing to do with the football operation, so his title might as well be president of we’re-not-interested.”

Dreams Blog

September 9, 2013

WEEK 1
Jets (1-0) 18 Tampa (0-1) 17
The Jets circus is still in town. This time NY won the game with two seconds remaining on the clock. The BIG story is the successful debut of Geno Smith as the Jet QB. Smith was 24-38, 256 yds, with 1TD 1 INT, and was sacked 5 times. He showed a great deal of patience and confidence. Tampa was penalized 13 times for 102 yards The last penalty (unnecessary roughness) was called with 3 seconds left and put the Jets in position to boot the winning FG. Dallas (1-0) 36 Giants (0-1) 31
The Giants turned the ball over in their first three possessions and played catch-up for the rest of the game. Dallas was able to expose weaknesses of the Giants at RB & DB. The DB’s looked smaller than the Cowboys’ receivers and they couldn’t punch the ball over the goal line from the one. Coughlin has to pull the same magic he used on Tiki Barber to get the ball to stay in Wilson’s hands. Wilson also has to block for Eli when he stays in.
BRING BACK BRANDON JACOBS!
Mets Fans And Cubs Fans Aren’t Alone.
“Pittsburgh went to a baseball wilderness where hope and promise and even simple competence dared not dwell.
Mark Stover went to the United States Air Force, to Korea, and, after 9/11, to Afghanistan.
But now, Technical Sergeant Mark Stover is retiring, and, though he never has ventured much past the observation that it’s hard to believe the Pirates didn’t have a winning season the entire time he was in the service, the synergy, or at least synergy’s invitation to irony, can’t be meaningless, can it? With an 82nd Pirates victory soon to be on the table, I asked Technical Sergeant Stover, now just a couple of months from his return to civilian Pirates fan status, if he ever in the past 20 years thought his scarce free time would be better spent with another baseball team.
“Noooo,” was the short answer. “That’s usually one of the better arguments military people have with each other, how they decide their sports allegiances. With us, there’s no question. I was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. I am black and gold. There’s no question about it.”
The Pirates, of course, haven’t always deserved that kind of bedrock loyalty. But, as the streak ends on this little slice of symmetry with one Air Force career, I don’t guess anyone should be surprised that Mark Stover was someone they could count on.
SORI! SORI! SORI!
Andrew Marchand (ESPNNY.com) praised Alfonso Soriano, “If Alfonso Soriano were to continue his home run pace with the Yankees over 162 games, he would finish with nearly 61 in a season. As it is, in his 32 games as a Yankee, Soriano has 12 homers, 35 RBIs and six stolen bases” with an .871OPS. He played 93 games with the Cubs, batted .254, had 17 HR, 51 RBI, and a .764 OPS. “One of the newest reasons why (the Yankee lineup is deeper) may be the emergence of Mark Reynolds. Reynolds suddenly looks like a different player from the one that Cleveland sent to the Yankees for nothing in return.
Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long convinced Reynolds to abandon the toe tap that had preceded his swings dating back to his time at the University of Virginia. This has allowed him to improve his timing.
On Friday, Reynolds had his second consecutive three-hit game. He has done that only twice before in his career. It appears as if he will be the everyday first baseman until further notice.
Strange Doings
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about the settlement in the NFL’s concussion lawsuit: “I am not going to pretend to understand the motivation(s) to move to a settlement in the case (for a rumored $760M). However, in one of the things I was reading about this whole matter, I ran across a statement that the attorney fees for all of this would probably come to $100M. It was not clear if that was the total for both sides or if that was just the fees for the lawyers representing the players. In either case, that seems like an awfully high number.”
Another Thought On Those Injuries
NFL players are well compensated and have a lot of medical people on the Sunday sidelines. However they’re present mostly to treat twisted knees, ankles, and elbows. They don’t treat the concussions as much because head injuries are harder to diagnose. But what about the players in college, high school, and Pop Warner level leagues who don’t have that same medical staff? What do they do?
Game plan for Geno: Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will tailor the game plan around Smith’s strengths. Look for a lot of shotgun. Look for a moving pocket. Look for some pistol formation. Look for some read-option plays. Above all, the Jets need to establish a strong running game, protecting Smith from obvious passing situations. We’ll see whether the pass-happy Mornhinweg can stay married to the running game.”
Recent Report
The Sports Curmudgeon sent this along (I whole heartedly agree): Recent reporting suggests that Bobby Riggs may have tanked his tennis match against Billie Jean King 40 years ago. There are hints that there may have been a mob influence in the outcome of the match. You can read the reports and form your own conclusions on this matter but here is what I think of the entire matter: Who cares?
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) Patter
Barney Fife Lives
“The Maury County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Department has reprimanded Lt. Andy Jackson for firing his gun into the air to scare off a turkey defecating on the hood of his patrol car, The Columbia Daily Herald reported.
So consider this your final warning shot, gobblers: Just 12 weeks until Thanksgiving.”
Son Of Sampson
Brad Rock (Deseret News, UT) said that, “Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman claims he hasn’t cut his hair in eight years.
Beckerman will play five more seasons after which he will donate his hair for use as a goal net.”