The Weekender (Oct. 6-8)

In an effort to simply experience what it’s like to be in a city where the football team isn’t sucking the life out of folks, the staff here at Random Thoughts Illustrated have elected to relocate for this week to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and bask in the glow of the Vikings. Wow… those words don’t even look right to type them, but it’s true! [Editor’s Note: The whole purpose of this paragraph is to give an explanation for why this article is so late in publishing today.]


The Rising

The Infield Fly Rule – Not since…well, the Simultaneous Possession Rule… has a rule become more popular in less time. Who knew that there are 8.7 million people that are experts on the Infield Fly?! All joking aside, the call in the Braves/Cardinals game was horrendous. I’m pretty sure a fly ball that lands 225 feet from home plate is definitively NOT an infield fly. When other MLB players not involved in the game started taking to Twitter to voice their astonishment, it kind of locked in how bad it was for me. That being said, it didn’t cost the Braves the game, their errors did. However it did cost them their best chance to come back. But hey, the Infield Fly is loving its 15 minutes of fame!

Everyone Dreading LSU-Alabama for the National Title – The long national nightmare is over!! We won’t have to watch that matchup again for the title this season!!! Thank you Florida!

Geno Smith – I mentioned him last week and he just might keep showing up. West Virginia’s first road game in the Big XII-II was at Texas in a game that they could have easily lost. What did Geno do? He kept his completion percentage over 81%, added TDs, and left Austin with still 0 interceptions. He has gone from not being mentioned in the Heisman conversation to being the hands-down front-runner. Not too shabby.

The Icy Matts – At this point, I kind of think that Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub are kind of the same guy. Both just keep getting better. Both are at the helm of an undefeated team. One was the safety net for Atlanta in case anything happened to Michael Vick, the other one became the safety net for Atlanta when Michael Vick happened. Kudos to them both. Here’s hoping they can both stay heathly and make me really happy by meeting in New Orleans in February…while Vick is at home.

Drew Brees – So it appears that as long as Sean Payton is somewhere in the building, the Saints can win! But seriously, Brees breaking Unitas’ record of 47 straight games with a TD pass was awesome. It’s a different game now, so I don’t think Unitas’ accomplishment loses any significance, but the fact that Brees has done this and Marino/Montana/Manning/Brady/Favre/etc. didn’t do it, definitely shows how special of an accomplishment it still is.

Washington D.C. Baseball Fans – Both of the D.C. teams made it through the first weekend of the MLB playoffs with a split. As moribund of an existence as these franchises have been living, it’s pretty sweet to see them both doing this at the same time. And considering my lack of love for St. Louis and New York, here’s hoping they both keep these runs going into the LCS’. (Of course it would be REALLY nice if a certain pitcher were available for Washington… I’m just sayin’)

Ohio State – After living through last year’s embarrassment with the coaching situation as well as how they played, they are getting the best case scenario this season. They are banned from the post-season, but they are well on their way toward matching what Terry Bowden did with Auburn back in ’93 where he became the first D-I coach to go undefeated in his first season at a school (a school which was also experiencing a post-season ban). The schedule is looking pretty favorable for Urban Meyer’s crew to do just that.

Penn State – Does anyone remember when they were 0-2?  What a turnaround. If the season ended today they would be tied with Ohio State for the division lead! (Of course neither are postseason eligible, but that’s for the B1G to worry about, not the schools). Very impressive job by Bill O’Brien and the players at PSU.

 We Are The Fallen

The ACC – So just when you had a shot at legitimacy, Florida State goes down to NC State and Virginia Tech goes down to North Carolina. Brutal. Pretty sure the only bright spot is if they try to claim Notre Dame as their champ this season.

Coco Crisp – Let me get this straight… your team (The Oakland A’s) have a massively improbable run into the playoffs, and in the 2nd game (probably a must win for your team) you decide to get cute and try to do a Willie Mays basket catch on a ball you could have easily caught out in front of you?! Congrats… you blew the game and likely the postseason for your team. Brilliant. (Editor’s Note: Yes, he did make a brilliant play tonight, but that doesn’t give them Game 2 back)

The Swami’s Love – The Big Ten (plus two) has issued a cease-and-desist order to me when it comes to giving love to their undefeated teams, as it appears that those proclamations are doubling as the Grim Reaper’s hand on the next week’s game. Sorry, Northwestern & Minnesota. But hey… here’s hoping it works on Ohio State!

In-Stadium Crowds of Teams I am a Fan of – Seriously?! One week after I get to be proud of how the Royals fans treated the crowning of Miguel Cabrera I get hit with not one but two displays of hooliganism?!  All I could do is shake my head. First, in the aforementioned Infield Fly game, the fans in Atlanta, feeling the game slipping away for good after the bad call, apparently believed that delaying the game further would be the only chance the team had, so they hurled as many bottles as they could onto the field. Brilliant. Thankfully for them, by the time the weekly media cycle clicked back in Monday morning, the bulk of the fans in KC had taken all of the attention away from Turner Field. As I was watching the game at home on Sunday and saw Cassel go down, I turned to Mrs. Swami and said, “The sad thing is that I’m sure a bunch of people are happy because they wanted him pulled.” What I didn’t realize (because the sound was turned down) was that they inebriated minions were doing their best display of Shakespearian mob mentality and were making me seem extremely accurate while doing their best to give the entire city a black eye. The saddest part is that it didn’t fully shock me. The combination of a lot of frustration and a lot of alcohol is a very toxic pairing. And the reality is that Arrowhead is a great environment when the Chiefs are winning. But I wouldn’t take my kids to a game there unless I could be in a suite, segregated from the masses, because it is just a vile environment if things turn. There’s a really good reason that I didn’t say or cheer much in the 2nd half of the Falcons game at Arrowhead (since I was wearing Falcons gear)… I know these fans. Pretty pathetic. Eric Winston said it very well.

Taylor Martinez – Let’s hope that Saturday’s regression back to T-Mart version 1.0 was a small blip on the radar and not an indicator of things to come any time that the going gets tough. Now if you will excuse me I’ll be going now to see if I can find one of those flashy things from Men In Black to erase all of my memories of Saturday’s game.

 The Skillet

  • MLB Playoffs – Plenty of drama to be had. It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiime of the yeaaaaaaar!!!!
  • Packers @ Texans – Two preseason favorites for the Super Bowl that are having completely different seasons face off in a game that is far more important for the Packers than the Texans.
  • Vikings @ Redskins – With the reports that RGIII will be good to go this weekend, this matchup may fly under the radar of many people, but this could be a sneaky-good game as the Vikings continue their surprising start to the season.
  • Giants @ 49ers – NFC Championship rematch that could be a preview of this year’s as well. Could be a classic.
  • Texas v. Oklahoma – Not exactly what the Red River Shootout used to be, but Texas and Oklahoma will want this just as bad as in years past.
  • South Carolina @ LSU – South Carolina is looking to send a message to Alabama that they will be a thorn in their side. They need this one on the road to do just that.
  • Stanford @ Notre Dame – Another marquee matchup for Notre Dame and another one where the defense will have a chance to really shine.
  • Kansas State @ Iowa State – Ames is always a tough place to play and Iowa State’s defense has been sneaky good. K-State should win, but this is as good of a chance at a stumbling block as anything on their schedule.



Categories: Sports General

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