Dreams Blog

October 26, 2014

Week 8 Giants Bye,
Buffalo (5-3) 43 Jets (1-7) 23
The Jets are not very good and that goes from the very top to the very bottom. The owner, Woody Johnson, is also wearing the “the Brown Serape” because he’s the one who hired Idzik and signed Ryan to an extension. I understand his wish for continuity; but you have to have some success to continue.
The total yards in this game were misleading. The Jets had 312 and the Bills- 280. But the Bills didn’t have to go far to score. The Jets had had 4 sacks, 4 int’s, 4 fumbles, and 10 penalties. No concentration- no preperatiom.
World Series
I think this year’s series might be more interesting if the teams playing were the pennant winners instead of fourth and fifth place teams.
Names To Remember
Free agents
Asdrubal Cabrera- 29, Jed Lowrie- 36, John Lester- 31, Max Scherzer-30.
Possible prospects
Luis Sevrino, Aaron Judge, Jacob Lindgren, Ian Clarke
Dear Me!
The Sports Curmudgeon passed, “an interesting item from Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald:
‘Olympic wrestler Dremiel Byers was cited for allegedly hunting deer at a Colorado Springs Lexus dealership … He was cited for hunting out of season. How about hunting out of place?’”
Punting To Infinity and Beyond
Dan Daniel told us: “
Since they just let Ray Guy into the Hall of Fame — and since the name of the game, after all, is football — why don’t we kick around the subject of punting for a while? So much has been made in recent years about the increasing infallibility of kickers, but punters, in my mind, have become just as proficient. It just doesn’t show up, in bright lights, on the scoreboard.
What steered me onto this topic was my growing awareness of Tress Way, the Redskins’ undrafted rookie from Oklahoma, who has been booting the bejabbers out of the ball. Through six games, Way is averaging a league-leading 51.2 yards with a 41.9 net. That first figure, if it holds up, would be second best in NFL history, behind only Sammy Baugh’s 51.4 in 1940 (which was inflated by a fair number of quick kicks).
Way, moreover, has been remarkably consistent, averaging 47 yards or better in each of the first six games. Only three other punters since 1960 have done that — Shane Lechler (twice), Donnie Jones and Mat McBriar.
It’s stunning, really, how the performance of punters has improved in the past decade. The 2007 season was the turning point. That was the first time a punter had a net average of 40 yards for a full season — Lechler and Andy Lee both did, in fact — and seven that year had a gross average of 45 or more. Since then, the numbers have just gone up and up.
Consider: From 1940 (when the league first started keeping the stat) to 2006, an NFL/AFL punter averaged 45 yards gross for a season exactly 100 times (minimum: 20 punts). In the seven-year stretch from 2007 to 2013, it happened almost as often: 95 times. Two seasons ago, 21 punters averaged 45 yards gross and 15 averaged 40 yards net.
Heck, the Colts’ Pat McAfee is netting 44.8 yards this season. If that were merely his gross average, it would be good enough to lead the league every year from 1974 to 1980.
There are all sorts of reasons why punters are kicking the ball to the moon these days. For one thing, some of them are bigger than their predecessors. (Let’s not forget: 5-foot-9, 168-pound quarterback Eddie LeBaron doubled as a punter for the Redskins in the ’50s.)
“That [Australian rules] game is a kicking game,” Smith said. “You’ve got guys kicking on the run, booting the ball from weird positions, kicking under pressure . . . and developing tremendous leg strength. Then they get over here, of course, and it’s all about perfect drops and [staying] stationary, that kind of thing.”
Ageless
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) wrote about Peyton Manning, “Watching the past two nationally televised performances from 38-year old Peyton Manning, I have no trouble imagining him still getting the job done four or five seasons down the road. Barring injury and even accounting for the inevitable erosion, would he be worse than in the top one-third of NFL quarterbacks when he’s 42 or 43? Who would bet against Manning setting a few more records while playing from a rocking chair?”
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote- “ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, summoning his inner Yogi Berra: “You cannot lose games in the NFL and still win.
“Hall of Famer Mark Messier, speaking at a 30-year gathering of the 1984 Stanley Cup-champion Edmonton Oilers: “I never finished high school, so this is my first actual reunion.
“So who’s complaining?
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un hasn’t been seen in public for six weeks now.
On the bright side, neither has Dennis Rodman.”
“Teen Towers Dept.
Romanian basketball prospect Robert Bobroczky stands 7 feet 4, at age 13.
Kentucky coach John Calipari, vacationing in Bucharest, declined to comment.
“Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo.com, on why it’s fitting that the back of the Maple Leafs’ Zamboni features a Right Guard ad: ‘Because
they stink.’
“Ever see what’s left of a fluffy cat after you put it under a water tap? Same goes for the actual game action in an NFL broadcast.
Vox.com broke down the Bengals-Patriots game Oct. 6 and discovered that more than one-third of the air time — 35.5 percent — consisted of players standing around between plays, commercials- 24.5 percent, oh, and as for actual football being played? 8.3 percent.
Dwight quoted Lenny Berman of ThatsSports.com, “On the rechristened Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: “Yup, nothing goes together quite as well as spicy wings and a citrusy drink. What’s next, Guantanamo Bay sponsoring the Liberty Bowl?”
Brendan Alert
From Dwight Perry- Get a grip, Putin
“At a WWE event, the Big Show ripped down a Russian flag,” noted Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. “Before World War III starts, can someone quickly explain to the Russians about pro wrestling? Thanks.”

Dreams Blog

October 19, 2014

Week 7 Patriots (5-2) 27 Jets (1-6) 25
This was an unusual Thursday game- close until the end. Geno tried as hard as he could to put this in the Ws column but just didn’t have enough to close the deal. The Jets had to go for FGs 4 times instead of getting into the end zone. Here’s a team with 40 minutes in possession time, 423 total yards, and 218 yards rushing to the Pats’ 63 yards but didn’t win. The guys with the head sets have to explain that.
Dallas (6-1) 31 NY (3-4) 21
They keep telling me that there’s no cheering in the press box. I wish the guy doing the color commentary for the game would remember that. His smugness, his dislike for football teams from NY, and his intentional non-description of anything putting the Cowboys in a less than favorable light is infuriating. That’s not cheering, is it?
NY didn’t get a lot of interference, holding, and roughing the passer calls. Eli was 21/33,248 yds. No sacks or INTs. Compare that to Romo’s 17/23, 279 with 1 INT and 2 sacks. Am I letting my feelings show?
Thursday Night Football
The Sports Curmudgeon has a pretty workable solution to the lopsided games, “More than a few times during the season, a player cannot practice during the week but recovers sufficiently to play on Sunday. Most – if not all – of them would not be able to play on Thursday night without putting their well-being at greater risk than normal. The NFL injury reports and the media coverage of teams and their practices tell us this.
“The union and the league is kind of the same thing.”
Well, I am not the same as the union or the league and so let me offer a possible path toward resolving this issue:
Every team that plays a Thursday game will have a Bye Week the week before that game. Therefore, every player will have 10 days to recover/prepare for a Thursday game.
That means every team will need 2 Bye Weeks during the season and to accommodate that, the regular season would be extended to 18 weeks (but would stay at 16 games).
Players and coaches should like the extra time to prepare; the league and the union should like the extra revenue that another week of NFL games on TV will generate; the networks should like another week of highly rated programming; the fans should like being able to see more regular season games over a longer period of time. Only the folks in the scheduling department might dislike this idea because it would complicate their job ever so slightly.
Tuna Melt
Rich Cimini (ESPNNY.com) wrote about Bill Parcells’ view of Jets Michael Vick and Demario Davis, “Parcells wasn’t forgiving in regard to Michael Vick and Demario Davis. Asked about Vick’s admission that he wasn’t prepared for the game, Parcells said, “He should be ready to play, but that doesn’t surprise me.”
“Tuna” isn’t a Vick fan.
“I certainly don’t think he’s the answer to their problems,” he said. “I think Mike was a pretty good player for a while, but if you look at his history, it has been just OK, certainly nothing spectacular.”
Not surprisingly, Parcells didn’t endorse Davis’ headline-making remarks. After the game, the Jets linebacker questioned the team’s practice and film-study habits, saying he needed to do a better job of leading.
Asked how he’d handle something like that, Parcells said, “I’d tell him to shut up and do his job.”
Long MLB Games
The Sports Curmudgeon passed these along, “
Knicks- First Impression Here is another baseball-related idea from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
‘Parting thought: Baseball continues to mull ways to speed up games. They already rejected my idea: Relievers getting from bullpen to mound via catapult.’
Finally, here is a self-contained description of a minor sports event from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
‘The 60th Columbus Day Regatta wraps up Sunday on Biscayne Bay. That’s the local institution known for drinking, topless women, partying, debauchery, and when time allows, sailing.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………”
I Remember
I remember when I was a student at SJU, about 7000 years ago, Lou Carnesecca came into the practice gym and told a few of us that he was going to teach us a play called “The Auburn Shuffle.”
We tried to follow his instructions but kept bumping into each other. He threw up his hands in frustration and told us we’d never learn the play because we were thinking too much about what we had to do instead of just going with the flow of the game. That’s the way the Knicks looked against the Celts in the opening pre-game, while trying to learn the “triangle offense.”
Long Gone
I think that the Yankees are going to miss, hitting coach, Kevin Long more than they think. Mick Kelleher was the 1st base and infield coach. What did he do wrong? Nothing- the team just wanted it to look as though they were doing something.
Perry Patter
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote: Priorities in disorder
The NFL fined Broncos tight end Julius Thomas $8,268 for his illegal chop-block that could sideline Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell for two or three weeks.
Meanwhile, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick got docked $10,000 for wearing the wrong brand of headphones to a postgame presser.”
Talking the talk-
Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, on the folly of provoking a trash-talk war with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman: ‘It’s like sitting too close to the stage in a comedy club and getting up to use the bathroom. Not going to end well for you.”
New Raiders coach Tony Sparano, seeking to put the team’s 0-4 start in the past, buried a football at practice.
In the coffin corner, one assumes.”
Haven’t gotten your fill of Derek Jeter yet? His game-used socks can be yours for $409.99 — each.
Or as Ian Hamilton of the Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post put it: “That gives new meaning to the term ‘getting hosed’”.

dreams blog

October 13, 2014

Week 6
Broncos (4-1) 31 Jets (1-5) 17
Good teams are able to overcome wrinkles in their game plan. When the Jets came within a TD of the Broncs, Denver seemed to say- “Hey wait a minute” and opened their scoring reservoir. Geno didn’t play that badly but had little in the way of pass protection, which allowed 4 sacks, and a lack of competent pass receivers. These guys had at least 4 drops. The Jets had less than 40 yds. rushing but the D seemed to confuse Manning at times, sacking him twice along with several hits. Now the Jets have a short week and meet the Pats.
Eagles (5-1) 27 Giants (3-3) 0
I’ll let Dan Graziano (ESPNNY.com) give you his impression, “They are what we thought they were all along — a rebuilding team that’s going to show progress in spurts but isn’t likely to sustain excellence anytime soon. They’re a team unlikely to be able to survive injuries to players as important to them as Cruz and injured running back Rashad Jennings, who missed this game with a knee injury of his own. They’re good enough and well-coached enough that it’s not going to shock you to see them win any given game, yet they’re unfinished enough that they can still get their helmets handed to them by a 2013 playoff team that has as many good players as the Eagles do.” The Giants had 253 total net yards on 51 plays. The Eagles had 448 total net yards on 70 plays.
What’s Wrong With The Jets?
Everything! Owner, Woody Johnson should put a little of Mr. Steinbrenner in his step and clean house. You can always get someone else who can’t do the job as the Jets have shown, so far.
Right now they’re sitting at 1-5 and are see Tom Brady warming up.
Ian O’Connor (ESPNNY.com) sees the Jets finishing at 3-13 with the top pick in the draft. He thinks they should go for Marcus Marista, the “all-world” QB from Oregon. Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) has a thought, “Jet lag- Jets QB Geno Smith missed a team meeting the night before Sunday’s 31-0 loss to the Chargers. Apparently it was the one in which they installed the touchdown plays.
Molinaro Maranara
“Numbers game: If the string of lopsided scores from the NFL Thursday night games are any indication, the mystical forces that control the football cosmos strongly disapprove of the new prime-time CBS package. Through five games, the average margin of victory has been 29 points, with no result closer than 20 points.
Dollars and sense: This week, the NFL signed an eight-year, $12 billion Sunday Ticket deal with Direct TV. Which is why as far as NFL owners are concerned, talk of firing Roger Goodell is just so much background noise.”
Safeties
Dan Daly wrote, “You’ve gotta admit, few things in football are more scintillating than a timely safety.
The only way the day could have been better is if one of the safeties had come in overtime. We’ve only had three of those, the most recent by the Dolphins’ Cameron Wake last season vs. the Bengals. Details here, courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.
Safeties are kind of like a two-dollar bill. They change the arithmetic of a game. Granted, the two-point conversion also changes the math, but not nearly as dramatically. The latter, after all, gives a club only one additional point; it would have kicked the PAT, which is virtually automatic, anyway. Also, after a successful two-point conversion, you have to kick the ball away (unless, of course, you want to risk an onside kick). After a safety, you get to retain possession. The other team has to kick the ball to you. (Plus, it puts That Crazy Look in the eyes of your defense, which should never be underestimated.) The biggest safety I can think of in recent years is the one that helped the Titans break open the 1999 AFC title game against the Jaguars. Tennessee was up 17-14 midway through the third quarter when defensive tackles Josh Evans and Jason Fisk broke through and sacked Mark Brunell in the end zone. Then Derrick Mason returned the free kick 80 yards for a touchdown, and the Titans were on their way to their first and only Super Bowl.
NFL Discipline
From the Sports Curmudgeon, we heard, “I also suggested there that the best way to deal with discipline would be to “outsource it” to an arbitration staff paid for by both the NFL and the NFLPA such that there would be no suspicion of pulling fiscal strings behind the scenes. Well, last week, the NFL and the NFLPA took a first step exactly that path. They agreed to hire an outside arbitrator to handle the appeal that Ray Rice and his attorneys have filed. This is a big deal. The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed on a single person to handle this matter and both sides have agreed to live with the consequences of that person’s decision here. That may seem very normal – even mundane – for us “ordinary citizens” but that has never been the case for the league and the union. Former US District Court judge, Barbara Jones, will be the arbitrator. For one, I hope that her handling of this matter is so exemplary that both sides come to the decision that hiring a small outside staff that will do nothing except handle disciplinary matters is a positive direction for both organizations.
Quotes
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) cited, “Ian Hamilton of the Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post, after swimmer Michael Phelps’ latest DUI arrest: “Phelps was released by police after doing a few lengths in the drunk tank.”
Stanford-ND
Bruce Jenkins (SF Chronicle) recalled info about the 1st Stanford-ND game, “The first Stanford-Notre Dame game was the Rose Bowl of New Year’s Day 1925. The coaches were Rockne and Pop Warner, and Stanford sent the great Ernie Nevers onto the field against the fabled “Four Horsemen” of the Irish. To watch Notre Dame today, at home, is to be generously overwhelmed by the past. Here’s a vote of hearty approval.”

DREAMS BLOG

October 5, 2014

Week 5 Giants (3-2)30 Falcons (2-3) 20
All of the pre-game talk had the Giants being unable to keep up with Atlanta’s offensive machine. They fell behind the Falcons by 10 early but they stiffened and won by 10. Atlanta had less than 100 yds. on the ground and had a 15% 3rd down efficiency with a sack and an INT. Williams and Jennings rushed for 120yds. Beckham, Jr and Randle caught 4 each and Cruz had 3. The D was great!
Chargers (4-1) 31 Jets (1-4) 0
The Jets couldn’t cover SD’s receivers so to make up for it they let the Chargers run3wild. Total yards were 439 to 151. The Jets looked like a college Div.3 team playing a Super Bowl winner. I thought the Giants might not win 5. Now the Jets are in that category.
MLB Wild Card
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote, “One flaw of MLB’s new extra wild card is that it throws teams into awkward debates over whether or not to celebrate. The Giants backed into their playoff spot Thursday and actually had some internal discussion over whether or not to hold a playoff spray-off.
Our general policy here at Fun Central is to break out the Champagne at the slightest provocation. But if you have to form a committee to decide whether to pop the corks, it’s best to wait ’til the next round.
Sadly, baseball celebrations aren’t what they used to be. I remember the 1980 Phillies upending a huge buffet spread in their clubhouse and staging a crazed sliding exhibition. Witnesses emerged looking like survivors of a deli explosion.
Now you’ve got your protective tarps and your swim goggles. What, no shower caps? It’s like walking into a HazMat cleanup operation.
Eli To Donnell
Dan Grazianno (ESPNNY.com) marveled at the connection, “There he was, catching seven passes for 54 yards and three (three!) touchdowns in the Giants’ 45-14 victory over the Washington Redskins on Thursday night at FedEx Field. Donnell and the Giants (2-2) have figured out a way to use his height advantage with great success on third downs and in the end zone. And the team’s reconfigured offensive coaching staff is showing it is not afraid to keep doing the same thing over and over again — as long as it works.
But the biggest thing that has happened here is Coughlin and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo have accurately assessed their personnel and tailored an offense to fit it. Donnell isn’t a great inline blocker, and he’s not going to do anything after the catch. But man, he is tall. And he can jump. And his routes are clean. So you bet they’re going to throw it high to him on third down and at the goal line.
Perry Patter
Flush with pride
Critics say drawings of the Golden State Warriors’ new arena looks just like a toilet.
“Count your blessings,” muttered 25 Oakland A’s in unison. “Ours smells like one.”
“Sorry, wrong team
Shouldn’t Western Illinois receiver Hi-C Scott be playing for the Syracuse Orange?”
Dogged by injury
Tight end Joseph Fauria missed the Lions’ last game because he sprained his left ankle scrambling to prevent his 3-month-old puppy from urinating in his apartment.
Doctors say Fauria can’t resume practicing until he’s able to lift his leg.
Alan Ray, on Kobe Bryant’s version of the triangle offense: “Me, myself and I.”
Dan Daly’s Joy of Stats
“In his first NFL start, the Vikes’ Teddy Bridgewater completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards and . . . that’s it. No touchdowns, no interceptions. You might say it’s unusual to throw for 300 yards, average 10 per attempt (league norm: 7.1), avoid getting picked off and not have any TD passes. In fact, Bridgewater is just the third quarterback since 1960 to have such a game.
A big reason Bridgewater didn’t throw for any scores — except for a two-point conversion, that is — is that Minnesota ran the ball well when it got near the goal line. Matt Asiata pounded it in from 1, 3 and 6 yards out, and Teddy scrambled 13 for another touchdown. The four rushing TDs equaled the franchise record, first set in 1965.
Anyway, that’s how Bridgewater wound up with his unusual 30-19-317-0-0 line. (And it’ll probably never happen again).”
Daly’s Thoughts on Phelps
“Michael Phelps’ second DUI arrest the other day got me thinking about Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne, another member of the Drinking and Driving Club – and a classic example of how much attitudes toward such behavior have changed. In the ’50s and ’60s, when Layne was weaving down the road, an athlete getting pulled over was more likely to elicit eye rolls from fans than the condemnation being directed at Our Most Famous Swimmer. A different time, to say the least.
Like Phelps, Layne had multiple vehicular episodes — all coming not in his youth but toward the end of his career, when he was one of the most high-profile players in the NFL. Indeed, they seemed to happen every other year:
● A drunk driving arrest in Detroit in 1957, just before the season got underway.
● Another DUI arrest in Austin, Texas, after a 1959 exhibition game.
● And finally, an incident late in the ’61 season in which he drove into a stopped street car in Pittsburgh.
Nothing came of any of these screw-ups. Not a blessed thing. Layne ran a bootleg on the legal system the first two times — details to come — and talked his way out of it the third. And this being the boys-will-be-boys era in pro football, neither the league nor his teams (the Lions in the first instance, the Steelers in the other two) took any action.
You can imagine what the reaction would be today if, two weeks before the opener, a star quarterback was stopped at 2:10 a.m. for “traveling without lights . . . [and] straddling the center line,” then refused to take a breathalyzer test, according to reports. But Bobby skated because no jury in Detroit was going to convict the home-team QB, not one who’d led the Lions to two championships.”