Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 9 Hangover - Love/Hate


- Thankfully we no longer have to worry about Iowa crashing the BCS championship. Losing to Northwestern? Ouch. While I don’t believe Ricky Stanzi is a great quarterback by any stretch, the guy is a gamer, and it’s obvious that the team is not the same without him. After he left the game with an ankle injury, the Hawkeyes had no chance. And yet they still can play their way to the Rose Bowl (where they will get demoralized by Oregon) by beating Ohio State.

- Congrats, Mr. & Mrs. Squirrel on a great wedding this past weekend. Great to catch up with everyone. And it was a classic Midwest wedding in that there was a mullet sighting, at least one guy wearing a short-sleeved shirt with a tie, and a few people that were as wide as they were tall (and at least a few of them were cops, so I should probably leave it at that). Oh, and of course, a polka.

- The Bengals are a virtual lock to make the playoffs and are potentially a threat to win the AFC. They’ve now swept the Ravens are 4-0 within the AFC North, which many thought was the best division in football. They pounded the Ravens with their running game, as Cedric Benson went over 100 yards against the supposedly tough and angry Ravens defense for the second time this season.

- As strange as it sounds, the Titans appear to be much better with Vince Young at QB. It’s not that he’s putting up magical yardage numbers, but the team is responding with him under center. He has a passer rating of 83 and is averaging less than 150 yards in his starts, but he ran for a TD as the Titans won their second consecutive game. Now here’s where it gets interesting for the owner, Bud Adams. If the team continues to win with Young, is Jeff Fisher more or less on the hot seat? He was the coach who went with Kerry Collins to start the season, and he was the coach who was reluctant to go to Young until the owner demanded that the former #3 pick get some playing time. Now that they are winning, his record looks better, but his error of not starting Young from the beginning looks more and more glaring.

- The Brewers traded JJ Hardy to the Minnesota Twins for young CF Carlos Gomez over the weekend. The move frees up Alcides Escobar to be the starting shortstop, and guarantees the team will not be resigning Mike Cameron, which frees up a considerable amount of payroll. If that money is used for much-needed starting pitching, I think it could be a great trade for the Brewers. They were not going to get much value for a .229 hitting SS that everyone knew the Brewers no longer wanted. And Gomez is a young player with vast potential, as he was one of the key cogs in the trade that sent Johan Santana to the Mets a few years ago. This gives the Brewers the potential to have an extremely fast and athletic line up with Escobar, Gomez and Ricky Weeks all able to put pressure on opposing teams with their running game. The real question is whether Ken Macha will utilize that speed or if he will continue to try and rely on the HR as the sole source of offense.


- Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome your 2010 coach of the Green Bay Packers, Jon Gruden!!! There needs to be wholesale changes in Green Bay after this season. Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy need to go. And the special teams coach should have been left in Tampa Bay to find his own way home. The team has talented players at the skill positions, but the game plan is about as exciting as watching Lauren Conrad on the Hills – nothing ever happens, and there is no creativity or excitement. The offensive line is worse than an average big ten team, but they don’t do anything to help Rodgers get rid of the ball faster – roll him out, stick with a 3 step drop, draw plays, etc. Tampa Bay sacked Rodgers 6 times and had 3 interceptions. This was a complete abomination and embarrassment, and a reason for a complete overhaul.

- How is that Jay Cutler experience working out in Chicago? About as well as Katherine Heigl’s movie career. The Bears were blown out by the Cardinals yesterday, and while Cutler hasn’t been the biggest problem, the team is in trouble. Has the team quit on Lovie Smith? Time for Chicago fans to start thinking about whether Luol Deng and the Bulls. Then the Bulls will fall out of contention by April, and false hope for the Cubs can begin again. The cycle continues……

- Does Mike Singletary’s “Mr. Furious” routine have an expiration date? Are we past it? It seems possible that he had his team too high to start the season and the team has regressed and went from 3-1 to 4-5. And Alex Smith definitely has not revived his career based on this week’s 3 INT performance.

- Not sure what to even say about this video from a women’s college soccer game. This is the dirtiest, most ruthless thing I’ve seen in a really long time. She should have been thrown out of the game at least 4-5 times.

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