Sunday, January 23, 2011

And then there were 2

There's going to be a common theme here in the two games were two teams get out to large leads and then hold on


Pittsburgh over the Jets - Yes eventually it was a game but anytime you fall behind by 24 points your really tempting the fates. The Jets did everything wrong in the first half and the Steelers nearly everything right. The tables turned in the 2nd half although the Jets clock management and odd need to run up the middle (or at least attempt) in short yardage seemed to have hamstrung them. Hidden away at the end of the game was Mendenhall's first half heroics. I think it was hard running (or bad tackling) that probably was the difference.

Packers over Bears - Similar to the late game the Packers could do no wrong at the beginning - got out to a big lead and then hung on. It's hard to evaluate when the injuries to Chicago's QBs meant in the grand scheme of things. Possibly because its unclear if there were injuries. In any event 3rd string Caleb Hanie got the Bears back into the game but also made some crucial mistakes (like throwing the ball to someone over 3 tons) . Besides that Rodgers looked great for 1 quarter but bad the final 3. I really couldn't give a firm explanation way. Where's Jaws and his film room when you need him?

NCAA Basketball
KU's almost 60 game home win streak was snapped by UT. KU went beyond cold in the 2nd half to allow the Longhorns to pull off the upset. That said KU should still be regarded as one of the best teams in the country given their depth, outside shooting, and inside defense. The Buckeyes will eventually lose given their murder row schedule and KU will immediately go back to being considered a potential #1.

The biggest game this week will probably be between undefeated #6 San Diego State and the one loss #9 BYU. BYU has player of the year candidate Jimmer Fredette (that's not a typo his first name is really Jimmer) who is averaging over 26 points and 4 assists a game. Unfortunately the game is on CBS College Sports which can only be seen by George Smith in Tuscon, Arizona.


B. Hutchens said...

Lets see here. A team who has a QB who was alleged to sexual assault a woman versus a team who's iconic figure was alleged to send pictures of his dong to a woman. I will take therapist for 500 Alex.

MJ said...

I'm pleased that good (Pittsburgh) triumphed over evil (Jets) last night. Although I guess that reveals my bias towards rapists over foot fetishists...

In all seriousness though, I'm glad the Steelers beat the Jets and are now in a position to win their seventh Super Bowl.

I like Aaron Rodgers so if the Packers win that's just fine too. This is the first time in quite some time when I can watch the Super Bowl and be completely neutral (trending towards positive) about both teams.

For review:

2000: Giants/Ravens. Guess who I was rooting for...
2001: Rams/Patriots. As a temporary St. Louisan, this was a no-brainer.
2002: Bucs/Raiders. Was pulling for TB because I wanted Gruden to win with Dungy's players in order to make Dungy look bad.
2003: CAR/Patriots. Rooted hard against Boston.
2004: PHI/Patriots. Hated both teams passionately.
2005: Bears/Colts. Rooted hard against the Colts on the basis that Peyton was getting his ass kissed too much despite playing like crap throughout the playoffs.
2006: Seahawks/Steelers. Hated both teams that year.
2007: Giants/Patriots. As happy as I was with the outcome, two things were in play for me. First, I really wanted to see an undefeated season and, second, I knew that if the Giants won, people would think Eli Manning was better than he really is.
2008: Cardinals/Steelers. I absolutely hated the Cardinals that year, plus I won $1000 on the Steelers.
2009: Saints/Colts. Wanted Peyton to win just so we could stop hearing about a goddamn hurricane that happened long enough ago that all talk of it was overkill.

As you can see, I haven't had a neutral position in a Super Bowl in a long time (if ever). I'm going to enjoy this one...

Hitman said...

MJ, you're not neutral on ANYTHING. I'm sure that something will happen over these two weeks that will bring on the vitriol within you against one of these teams.

Go Steelers.

MJ said...

@Hitman: That's just not true. I'm neutral on plenty of things.

With respect to this game, I suppose it's possible that something happens to push me in one direction or another but, as of this morning, I would be perfectly content with either team winning the Super Bowl. I like Aaron Rodgers a lot and, for whatever reason, I like Roethlisberger too (even though he's a sexual predator). I like both coaches, both fanbases and both teams' histories (minus the Brett Favre era).

Will I change my mind? I have no idea. But right now I don't see any reason to. I'm rooting for a great game between two teams that are pretty easy to like (in my opinion).

Gutsy Goldberg said...

1) I still want to know how Bears QB Todd Collins is still in the league.
2) That KU vs. Texas game was nuts. Texas looked like they were on the ropes, down by 20, then by 15 at the half... but then won by 15! college basketball is unpredictable and fun, no doubt.
3) I like MJ's game of charting who he roots for. I also believe you will inevitably choose a team to root for this week...

2000: Giants/Ravens. I disliked both teams.
2001: Rams/Patriots. I rooted for the Rams to end my Bill Belichick nightmare. Instead, I've had to hear multiple times how Belichick could have never succeeded had he not made mistakes in Cleveland.
2002: Bucs/Raiders. I was rooting for the Raiders, because if the Raiders would have won, I would have correctly predicted the entire NFL Playoffs.
2003: CAR/Patriots. Rooted hard against Belichick.
2004: PHI/Patriots. Rooted hard against Belichick.
2005: Bears/Colts. Rooted for the Colts because they were fun to watch offensively.
2006: Seahawks/Steelers. Hate the steelers, so rooted for the seahawks, though I knew that was hopeless.
2007: Giants/Patriots. Rooted hard against Belichick... and it worked!
2008: Cardinals/Steelers. Hate the steelers, but enjoyed greatly rooting for the Cardinals who almost pulled off a miracle.
2009: Saints/Colts - Rooted for the city of New Orleans.
2010: Rooting against the Steelers (a given). I do enjoy watching the Packers win, and its more enjoyable knowing that Favre is not enjoying any of this!

Hitman said...

Ok, I'll play:

2000: Giants/Ravens. I rooted for NYG. At the time, I was still pissed at Modell.
2001: Rams/Patriots. Pats all the way. Couldn't stand the Rams as a result of the '99 campaign - suffered through idiot St. Louisans that whole year while in college.
2002: Bucs/Raiders. I'm pretty sure I rooted for Tampa. I have no love for the crazy Al Davis.
2003: CAR/Patriots. Patriots. I have no problem with Belichick, and no expansion team should win until the Bears do again.
2004: PHI/Patriots. Philly. Pulled for my hometown boy Donovan. Nothing against the Pats, but it was enough by now.
2005: Bears/Colts. Da Bears!
2006: Seahawks/Steelers. I admire the Steelers - great organization, great fan base. Easily my 2nd-favorite team in the NFL.
2007: Giants/Patriots. Giants, only to see the upset. And it worked!
2008: Cardinals/Steelers. See above. Also, Phoenix fans stink across the board...they don't deserve a title. Go Steelers.
2009: Saints/Colts. I have great respect for Indy and Payton, but I rooted for the feel-good Saints.
2010: See above. I actually respect the Packers (except Rodgers, that obnoxious a-hole), but I also have my pride, and I still like the Steelers. Also, I am afraid of Mike Tomlin.

MJ said...

@Hitman: I assume you dislike the Rams because of the Chicago-St. Louis rivalry?

Mighty Mike said...

Alright since everybody else is doing it

2000: Giants/Ravens. Giants. There's a place in hell reserved for Modell next to people who talk in movie theaters.
2001: Rams/Patriots. Loved the greatest show on turf
2002: Bucs/Raiders. Memory is hazy I think I rooted for the Bucs, possibly because of Vivek. Or against the Bucs. Because of Vivek
2003: CAR/Patriots. Rooted for Carolina due to family ties.
2004: PHI/Patriots. Philly. Like Donovan.
2005: Bears/Colts. Colts. Wanted Manning to get his first title.
2006: Seahawks/Steelers. I broke my normal rule of hating the Steelers because I wanted Cowher to get his ring.
2007: Giants/Patriots. Giants for upset reasons. And it was the Patriots
2008: Cardinals/Steelers. Arizona. Back to hating the Steelers
2009: Saints/Colts. Saints. Like Brees, New Orleans.
2010: Rooting for the Packers. Intense hatred of the Steelers at this point.

Hitman said...

@MJ: Back in '99-'01, I didn't assign the Chicago-Lou rivalry beyond baseball. I wasn't a hockey fan then, and the Bears and Rams aren't natural rivals. I disliked the Rams because: (i) all those Rams fans didn't know squat about football and didn't deserve a winning team; (ii) said aforementioned idiot fans thought that playing in a dome was acceptable; and (iii) Kurt Warner's incessant JC-love and his bfugly wife.

Gutsy Goldberg said...

1) hitman - why are the steelers your 2nd favorite team? I'm curious.

Hitman said...

@Gutsy: top to bottom, it's a well-run, professional, classy business. Each level of the organization - from ownership down to management, then to coaching, and the players - seems to like each other level. The fans are dedicated, loyal, intelligent, and fair. The team and its fans respect for the franchise's rich history, but they're also easily adaptable to the present. Oh, and except for a few off years, they play really good football - best record in the NFL since the 1970 merger.

There are few other American sports teams about which these things can be said. I just think the Steelers are a model sports team and I have tremendous respect for them.

MJ said...

@Hitman: Now I'm even more confused. Why do you think Rams fans don't know anything about football?

Hitman said...

In the late 90s, they didn't know squat about the game. Maybe that's improved in the nearly 11 years since I left the Lou, but back then, they were just happy to have the team (Rams relocated in '95) and hadn't yet picked up on any of the complexities of football.

Missouri is just not big football country, traditionally, and back then it showed.

(I also think Cards fans are overrated when it comes to their purported passion and knowledge of baseball, but that's a subject for another day.)

MJ said...

@Hitman: I don't know what you're basing your statement on. The city of St. Louis had pro football for 27 years (1960-1987) before the Cardinals moved to Arizona and the Rams came to St. Louis in 1995.

If you're saying that the entire city of St. Louis didn't know anything about football, I'm just going to have to call BS on that.

As to the statement that the state of Missouri isn't big football country, I don't know what you're basing that statement on. The University of Missouri football has quite a strong following in that state. Perhaps you didn't pay attention to it when you were in college (I sure didn't) but I know now, from watching college football, that Mizzou fans are definitely definitely active and engaged with their team. You shouldn't confuse a lack of exposure -- the result of being only a second-rate team in a conference that has some historical powerhouses -- with a lack of interest or awareness.

B. Hutchens said...

Also don't forget the extremely die hard fans that follow the Kansas City Chiefs. From living out here in Denver, those people are absolutely insane and extremely knowlegable on football. I think they consistently sell out their stadium even with sub par teams.

Hitman said...

St. Louisans of the late 90s didn't understand football well. I stand by my position.

I didn't say that they had a "lack of interest or awareness". And yes, Mizzou has its backers. But I don't know anyone who considers St Louis a football town; it's a baseball town - and it sure as shit wasn't a football town 10 years ago.

@Colonel: I make no statement about KC fans. I have no idea how much they understand the game.

MJ said...

@Hitman: I know you stand by your position but I just don't know what you're basing it on. I lived in St. Louis and I watched Rams games on Sunday mornings/afternoons and, truly, for the life of me, I can't think of a single time where I felt like I was surrounded by people that didn't understand the game. If you're going to make that claim, you'll need to back it up somehow.

As far as St. Louis being a football town, I still don't know what you mean. Do Rams games not get sold out? Are their games blacked out from television like they are in Jacksonville or Detroit? St. Louis is a baseball town, I know that. But there's nothing that says that they can't be both. After all, New York is considered one of the country's great basketball towns and I can tell you first hand that the Yankees rule this city more than any other team or sport. So if NYC can be a basketball town and a baseball town (and a football town), I'm not following how St. Louis isn't a football town.

I'm not trying to be difficult here but you're making blanket statements without offering up much in the way of evidence. Now, if this is something subjective that you feel then you're clearly entitled to your opinion. But subjectivity and fact-based assertions are totally different things.

In my own experiences as a resident of St. Louis from 1993-1999, I can't agree with your position.