At Section 123 – 12/26/15

What’s up – hope you all had a great Christmas.  Happy 11th Birthday to my nephew Taen today also!

If you like the NBA, there was plenty of things happening this week with Christmas Day games featuring uniforms that would have made the 1950s proud.

For those going out on Amateur Night (New Years Eve, stay safe).   There are a handful of days I try to avoid at all costs.  NYE, 4th of July, St. Patricks Day, Night before Thanksgiving, Octoberfest and either the Brewer/Packer home openers.  Amateur Night 101…..these are the nights where people who don’t normally go out are out and turn into ‘Likes to Fight Guy’ if anyone even looks in their direction.   I get much less tolerant of the crowds on these nights.

I could do a year in review, but that’d require a lot of thought and writing….that’s not happening!   So, here’s a handful of thoughts from a limited sports week.

-Hats off to a great career, Charles Woodson.  See you in Canton!  It would have been cool to see Woodson complete the end around pass to Derek Carr in overtime, but the Chargers had the play figured out and drilled Chuck.

-Can the NFL reduce the number of years in retirement before enshrinement to the Pro Football Hall of Fame?  5 years seems too long, 3 or 4 would make more sense.  And can the NFL please get Packers G Jerry Kramer in there?  He’s more deserving than most of the alumni that have been going in!!

-Decent start for Wisconsin coach Greg Gard in their win over Green Bay Wednesday night.  One huge concern?  They were up 30 and nearly blew that lead once the Phoenix applied a full-court press.   Next up?  A damn good Purdue team to begin Big Ten play.

-An under the radar conference to watch when the College Basketball league play gets going?  The Horizon League.  There are 4-5 legit teams with Valparaiso (won at Oregon State, Belmont), Oakland (took Michigan State to OT and won at Washington), Milwaukee (won at Minnesota and Wisconsin),  possibly Detroit and Wright State.  Cleveland State and Green Bay should be able to win a couple games they shouldn’t.   I may have to trek to the Resch Center for a couple games this year.

-My College Football playoff picks.

  • (1) Clemson vs. (4) Oklahoma – I really like both teams offense, but I think Oklahoma has played a little better aside of their hiccup against Texas.  I’m just not a fan of the ACC when it comes to football strength.  Oklahoma 38, Clemson 31
  • (2) Alabama vs. (3) Michigan State – As fierce as the Crimson Tide is, they have a tendency to struggle with veteran quarterbacks that can stretch the field.  Connor Cook can, and let’s not forget about Spartys’ defense. Michigan State 24, Alabama 21

-Green Bay at Arizona.  Well, here’s a true test for the 10-4 Packers to see if they’ve really turned the corner.  Winning 3 straight games in various fashions shows the signs of a good team.  The offense is still struggling to find its rhythm and that will continue to be an issue if the run game doesn’t find some consistency and if the receivers continue to drop passes.  Another part of me thinks the Packers shouldn’t reveal the whole playbook since I think they’re going to meet in the playoffs.

The Cardinals losing Tyrann Mathieu will hurt their defense, but not enough.  The Packers must run the ball effectively to keep Carson Palmer on the sidelines – and I mean 25-30 carries for 150 yards.  Here’s what I think are going to be two differences in the game…..the Packers run defense will struggle to stop David Johnson and the Cardinals like to throw the ball deep.  They’ll make enough plays to counter if the Packers play ball control.

The Divisional Round of the playoffs will be going through Arizona for the Packers.

The pick:  Cardinals 31, Packers 27

-NFL picks

  • Arizona over Green Bay – should be a great game.
  • Minnesota over NY Giants – flex to Sunday night for Packers-Vikings.   The Giants need the immature Beckham in this game to pull out the win in Minnesota.
  • Oakland over San Diego – nice sendoff for Charles Woodson
  • Philadelphia over Washington – sorry, Skins.  Philly will find a way to pull one out of their gaping asses and clip you.
  • Carolina over Atlanta – I’m done picking against this team.  They’re going 16-0.
  • Pittsburgh over Baltimore – when healthy, this is a fierce rivalry.
  • Seattle over St. Louis – Beat. Down.
  • Tampa Bay over Chicago – King Crab over ****ler.  Has Publix received payment for the crab legs?
  • Kansas City over Cleveland – The Browns have a drug problem.  Their defense will be drug down the field, then back down the field.
  • Houston over Tennessee – No real QB?  No problem.  Texans D should take out the Titans.
  • New Orleans over Jacksonville – oh hell.  At least this should be a shootout.  Free beads to the fans?
  • Buffalo over Dallas – oh hell round 2.  First team to 13 wins??
  • Detroit over San Francisco – are they giving tickets away for this snooze fest?  I’m not sure even if they gave away free booze I’d be interested in this game.

Upsets

  • Miami over Indianapolis – a hunch on this one.
  • NY Jets over New England – why the hell not?   The Jets are much tougher at home and I’d hope Ryan Fitzpatrick should be good enough to avoid a butt fumble.
  • Denver over Cincinnati – one of the games of the week.  If Dalton was playing, I’d pick the Bengals.

-Dumbass of the week.  Hard to really pick one since we had Christmas this past week.

The statistician who says Packers WR Davante Adams has only 9 drops this year.  It seems like he has 2-3 per game!!

The NFL.  This seems to be a trend…but this league needs to find ways to be more consistent in how you fine / suspend players for dirty plays.  Odell Beckham should have been ejected / fined and suspended for his actions against Carolina.  Panthers CB Josh Norman got fined, but he could have easily been ejected.  Another dirty / cheap play was in the Pittsburgh-Denver game with Steelers center Cody Wallace leaving his feet to take out Broncos safety David Bruton after the whistle was blown.

Winner?  The NFL.  I wonder if I should send them a box of cookies for the most wins from me this year.

That’s it for me for 2015…. If you are heading out on NYE, again stay safe – utilize cabs or Uber.  For me, there’d have to be an amazing concert going that night for me to even step out of the house.  See you in the next year.

-n

 

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