Sep 182017
 
  • Remember when Tennessee-Florida was THE game in the first half of the season? Did they edit an ending from 20 years ago onto Saturday’s snorefest?
  • If Gus Malzahn’s tenure at Auburn were a game of Combat on the old Atari 2600, the score just started flashing.
  • Did you remember that Missouri won the SEC East two years in a row? Seems like a really, really long time ago now, doesn’t it? (It was 2013 and 2014.)
  • Well, we’re not even to October and Ed Orgeron has already used his mulligan. It’s not necessarily embarrassing to lose to Mississippi State, but to be so listless and lose by 4+ TDs? Shameful. Had a look at the rest of LSU’s schedule? He better right this ship quickly, or .500 may be too much to hope for. Does a 5-7 or 4-8 Coach O get a second year?
  • We still don’t really know how impressive Georgia’s win in South Bend was. Now State’s upcoming visit to the hedges looks like the most intriguing game of the weekend.
  • Did you see Vanderbilt beat K-State? Maybe the East is anyone’s this year. (Well, except Missouri’s.)
  • The hole in Alabama’s defense is not broad, but it’s deep. Pruitt and Saban are clearly trying to put some weight on the resumés of a lot of different guys ahead of conference play, and on Saturday it showed. Nevertheless, so far it’s hard to see anyone clearly challenging Alabama’s SEC dominance. Whichever Bulldogs are victorious this weekend may have the best shot.
 Posted by at 10:21 am
Jun 062017
 

We watched hockey as a family last night for the first time since…uh, well, never.

The Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the Stanley Cup Finals this year, and last night the Preds (what you call the Predators if you’re a fan-insider type) beat the Pens (” ” ” ” Penguins ” ” ” ” “) 4-1 to tie the series at two games apiece. Now it goes back to Pittsburgh, resuming Thursday.

I don’t think I ever watched any NHL before HDTV made it so pleasant, and I’m pretty sure this is the first game I’ve ever watched deliberately from beginning to end. Having been similarly drawn into the World Cup a couple of years back, and considering the inherent similarities between the games of hockey and soccer, here are my three big takeaways:

  • Hockey action is much more frenetic and exciting. When there is a genuine scoring threat, it’s 5-10 seconds of intense entertainment, and there’ll be another one along shortly. A soccer scoring threat is usually one shot, and it may be 20 minutes before you see another one.
  • Hockey players are tough. Elbow here, stick there, and it’s got to get sure enough bad before there’s a penalty. “Injured” soccer players too often collapse in heaps and whimper like little babies, which I can’t help but suspect is directly tied to…
  • …the clock. The game clock matters in hockey. As I said at some great length before, time the game or don’t, but don’t pretend to time the game, which is what happens in soccer.

Now I may have soccer apologists preparing frenzied screeds calling me out as a rube for not appreciating the subtleties of “The Beautiful Game,” or for daring to compare barbarism and elegance merely because of superficial similarities, or whatever else, and well, that’s fine. I’m not questioning your wife’s integrity or speculating on whether you’re talking to Jesus enough. I’m just a red-blooded American male sports fan, informed mostly by football and auto racing but also some by baseball and a smidge by basketball, calling it like I see it.

And as I see it, hockey is what soccer wants to be when it grows up.

 Posted by at 10:29 am
May 292017
 

Dad, the boys, and I had a wonderful time attending the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 this weekend. I shall blog about it. However, I’m a little too tuckered to do it tonight. Instead, I will briefly write about the only real negative of the weekend here, in order to a) isolate it from […]

 Posted by at 7:04 pm

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