Sunday morning in snowy central Indiana. Seven people combined at chapel at Noblesville’s First Christian Church yet a very good service nonetheless. Good way to start the week as I await an afternoon of National Football League playoff action that won’t include the local NFL franchise as part of the proceedings.
Shocking, I know. After all there’s a nice collection of monotonous posts detailing how the Diamond Jim and the Dysfunctional Duo made that happen. But after getting an Instragram post from a Colts related fan site advising that ‘Big Grig’ Ryan Grigson approved Colts defensive underachiever Trent Cole was looking to play one more year (and comments arguing whether his season ending hit to Raiders QB Derek Carr on Christmas weekend was a clean shot or not), it made it an easy choice for me to say to myself “self, use this good energy to write another blog post on NFL football since you’re not ready to go take a morning nap.” Hence this post.
Here we go…..
FITZTHOUGHTS FIVE FOR NFL WILD CARD WEEKEND:
5) GROUND CHUCK STAYS GROUNDED, BIG BILL O’BRIEN ADVANCES:
Don’t be surprised about me whining about there being a Houston-Oakland matchup with what would be listed as backup quarterbacks (Brock Osweiler for Houston after he lost his starting gig to Tom Savage before Savage got hurt towards season’s end; Conner Cook for Oakland thanks to said Trent Cole hit referenced earlier as well as another injury to second stringer Matt McGloin) and then watching part of said game. If I could watch the Colts job 62-7 to New Orleans back in 2011….then safe to say I tend to watch anything on the tube that has the NFL involved. Said NFL Network is made for dumbf—s like me who say ‘sure, I’ll watch those highlights of the 2006 AFC Championship Game for a 50th time’ even though I actually did attend said game in person. (Good reference for future post material as well as good reference why I added that tag line to the blog header this weekend, too.)
So, I find the game on ABC as current media man Jon Gruden cuts his catchphrases while the son of the late Boston media man Will McDonough does his employers a favor by not resorting to insulting the stadium that the game is being held in. (That Son McDonough did just that by comparing the New York metro area’s MetLife Stadium to a toaster during last month’s Colts-Jets Monday Night Football matchup. That might make smart mark bloggers and message board types squeal like teenage girls at a One Direction concert, but not too sure if I would be a smarta– about it on national television 1) SINCE YOUR EMPLOYER HAS ALREADY HAD SUPER BOWLS PLAYED THERE and 2) with all due respect….you’re Sean McDonough. But this time the broadcasting duo actually seemed to focus on the game instead of billion dollar taxpayer financed architecture….and it ended up not being much of a game as I would be happy that the Raiders were holding the Texans offense to field goals in the early stages. That didn’t last long, and of course the Raiders didn’t get too much out of Conner Cook because you’r probably not getting much out of a rookie playing his first ever NFL game that matters on the road in the $!$^$ playoffs. So when a Texans touchdown towards the end of the first half made the score 20-7 in favor of Houston, I basically said to myself the game was over. Which it was. Final score: Houston 27, Oakland 14, and me wishing to myself that the Dysfunctional Duo of Ground Chuck and the Big Grig was off the Indianapolis Colts payroll. Maybe next year. Then again, best for me to not to think about next year just yet.
As for Houston, for some reason the Interwebs kept lecturing about their head coach Bill O’Brien and his job status. Dude has won two straight division titles. Dude just won a playoff game. I assume he won’t have any issues getting another gig if the Texans decide that he’s not worth keeping. If John Fox can stay in Chicago after going 3-13 this season, then I figure someone could do worse than have O’Brien on their staff. Then again I figured that Scottie Thurman would once be the next Scottie Pippen when he left a successful college hoops run at Arkansas for the NBA in the 1990s….and according to this Wikipedia link here, dude didn’t even make the NBA:
Did learn something new today: there was a pro hoops team (ABA post 1970s version) called the Arkansas RimRockers. So there’s that.
4) STAFFORD AND SONS FAIL AT SEATTLE
Stafford and Sons is my code name for the Detroit Lions as they are led by modern day warrior and former No. 1 overall NFL draft selection Matthew Stafford at quarterback. NBC did the honors of televising the Lions’ NFC wild card matchup with the Seattle Seahawks with Old Al Michaels saying Al Michaels things and Stafford’s offensive line being pretty damn offensive. NBC made sure to point out the Lions had not won a road playoff game since the Eisenhower Administration, and not surprisingly that didn’t change after last night. Final: Seattle 26, Detroit 6. Said pictured Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls ran for 161 yards and scored said pictured touchdown above. Dominant running games are something I don’t see on TV too often, so all props to Rawls for getting the job done in convincing fashion.
All credit to Detroit just to get to the postseason in the first place, but it will be interesting to see what they do in the upcoming NFL offseason to improve their chances for 2017. I have a feeling that offensive and defensive line help will be at the forefront as Seattle dominated the line of scrimmage all night long. Figuring Lions fan will have similar thinking.
3) SUPER SUNDAY WITH SUPER BOWL WINNING QUARTERBACKS
After two time World champ Ben Roethlisberger and his Steel City Sons of Pittsburgh play Miami in the 1 pm AFC playoff matchup, we get the honor of seeing the two pictured gents battle at (cueing ESPNer Chris Berman) DA FROZUN TONDRUH UV LAMBOW FIEEELLLLD as Young Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers host E. Nelson Manning and the New York Football Giants. As mentioned previously it’s the game I’m most interested in. No qualms as of now if either team advances to the Super Bowl, either. Just need to make sure I can put up with Fox’s Joe Buck on commentary as I tend to struggle with his presence on televised sporting events. Then again there is an invention called the mute button….so I need to not be lazy and actually use it for once.
TLDR: doubt I’ll be doing homework today. After all, football. Enough said.
2) FOOTBALL TIME IN AMERICA EQUALS HOOPS APATHY IN HOOSIERLAND
The NFL is dominating my sports television viewing these days, so I haven’t been watching too much of the local NBA franchise in part because until recently they like to lose games by playing Lavoy Allen regular minutes. In recent times Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan has changed that as Kevin Seraphin has replaced the seemingly unconcerned Allen in the Pacers rotation. Coincidentally the team has actually started to win some games (including the one from this photo where they beat the New York Knicks last night for their fifth straight win). Also not playing the pictured Jeffrey Demarquis Teague and Monta Ellis together has been a good thing as Ellis now comes off the bench and no longer gives up 25 to 30 points to whomever he attempts to guard. To paraphrase media semi-icon Bill Simmons (currently collecting checks at HBO) on the matter, good times.
The apathy though comes with the long grind of the 82 game season and the recent mediocrity (38-44 record with no playoffs in 2014-15, 45-37 record with an opening round playoff series loss to Toronto in 2015-16) that said local NBA franchise has been dealing with while keeping the likes of Allen and Rodney Stuckey on their roster as supposed vital parts. With both out of the rotation (Stuckey’s hurt yet again) coincidentally the team has actually won some games. Referenced in earlier posts that I’d prefer to not see Allen in a Pacer uniform after this summer; hoping that this recent stretch of winning play makes that a reality. Since Stuckey will be on the last year of his contract next season, then I’ll reserve judgement for a later time. But it would be preferable for this team to actually do more than lose to Cleveland or Toronto in the playoffs if they want to keep the Indianapolis area interested in their whereabouts. One can only have so many bobble head doll giveaways…..and since the team currently ranks 20th out of 30 NBA teams in league attendance figures, IMO having Allen and Stuckey around won’t change that anytime soon. Link for attendance figures below from our friends out of Bristol, Connecticut:
1.FITZTHOUGHTS GIF OF THE DAY:
I didn’t want to babble about Tom Crean and the underachieving Indiana University hoops team, nor cry even more about the state of the Colts. So to finish things out I’ll go back roughly a quarter century ago to the days when the before mentioned Scottie Pippen was throwing down dunks as a Chicago Bull with said GIF of him dunking against the Cleveland Cavaliers:
That reminds me of something from said 25 years ago when I was a first year pledging Delta Sigma Phi at college number one Transylvania University. That something is for my school shoes for the year I bought a new pair of Nike Air Flight Lites as worn by said Pippen. IIRC they cost in the ball park of $115-120, so if one ever wonders from previous posts the results were from me picking up trash for a summer in the Park 100 office complex….now one no longer needs to wonder. And thanks to the World Wid Web, here’s a photo of said shoes with an autograph from none other than said Pippen himself:
Time has definitely flied by. Sometimes I miss those days from college number one. Good to have something like this blog to be able to remember said days. Hope I can get towards covering them soon as I still have to get through recapping senior year of high school first. We’ll see if I can get the job done while not ranting as much about The Dysfunctional Duo in the upcoming months.
Thanks again to any and all who read this and have a good week.