The Weekend in Kansas City
“The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people. I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what I could have done differently. When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth? We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us. Hopefully people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.” – Brady Quinn
Living in Kansas City, there was no way to miss the story that unfolded on Saturday morning in Independence and then subsequently at Arrowhead Stadium. It dominated local and national news coverage about Kansas City. It truly was a sad thing for the Chiefs players, coaches, and families. My heart really breaks most for the 3 month old girl that woke up Saturday morning with a mother and father and before many people had even had their breakfast, she was needlessly orphaned. My heart also goes out to Romeo Crennel, Scot Pioli, & Gary Gibbs who cannot un-see what they witnessed Saturday morning. And yesterday afternoon when Jamaal Charles returned home, he returned to his wife who lost her cousin, whom she had introduced to Javon Belcher. I feel for her, and the rest of both families that lost children that day, as well. The fallout from this will be felt for far longer than the national consciousness will remember it.
The sad reality is that this happens all the time. I’m friends with a KC, MO homicide detective that could give far more stories than we want to hear about these type of unnecessary actions that leave countless people in a world of hurt and despair. They just aren’t people that are “known”…they are simply people that are hurting. It was a much “smaller” story that a member of the Cleveland Browns’ ground grew took his own life at their stadium Saturday morning as well. There are likely almost as many people affected by that as there were in Kansas City, there just won’t be as much coverage. It’s a daily struggle that many people go through. As my brother-in-law worked as a firefighter on Thanksgiving Day, his first two calls of the day were attempted suicides. The list could grow exponentially with the stories of others that have dealt with similar situations, and I could go on unendingly, but I’ll get to the point. The takeaway I see in a situation like this is simply that this should emphasize that there is so much more to life than what we spend 95% of our lives doing, and those are the things that we should get busy dealing with. We were created for so much more than the ‘rat race’ and we will find far more joy and peace when we go about fulfilling our purpose instead of fulfilling our selfish wants.
(There really is no seguing from all of that to the irrelevance of recapping a weekend in sports, so I won’t try… I’ll just jump in)
Northern Illinois – Courtesy of the pathetic existence that is the Big East Conference, Northern Illinois earned a BCS bid this weekend thus bumping Oklahoma out of an at-large berth. It doesn’t take an astrophysicist to tell you that Florida State/Oklahoma would have been a much more highly anticipated matchup than Florida State/Northern Illinois, but before you start yelling about the MAC Champion not being worthy of a BCS berth, pay attention to the rule. The rule is that if the champion of one of these Non-AQ (automatic qualifier) conferences finishes in the Top 16 of the BCS standings AND if they finish higher than the champion of one of the AQ conferences, then they get an automatic berth. So the real culprit is the Big East, since their champion (Louisville) finished below NIU. And then really you have to blame the Big XII because it’s likely that West Virginia would have been good enough to win the Big East and be ranked higher than NIU had the Big XII not stolen West Virginia. And the Big XII wouldn’t have stolen West Virginia if they hadn’t lost Nebraska, Texas A&M, & Missouri. So as usual Oklahoma should be mad at Texas!
Championship Games – When looking back at the weekend it was pretty impressive how many of the championship games turned out to be compelling. Normally you have a few that don’t quite live up to what is on the line, but from what I can tell every game that was played was compelling. (Editor’s Note: He’s not ignoring one particular game, he’s just crazy…he’s convinced that that the B1G Championship wasn’t played. He seems to think that a 15 year old from Madison, WI challenged Tom Osborne to a game of NCAA Football ’13 on the PS3 and they took that outcome as the actual outcome. Like I said, he’s crazy…and yes, his mom had him tested). Here’s a recap of the Title games:
- Louisville 20 – Rutgers 17 – Down 14-3 at the half, Louisville brought in a QB with a broken wrist and a sore ankle to lead the comeback victory
- N. Illinois 44 – Kent State 37 – in Double-Overtime
- Stanford 27 – UCLA 24 – a last second game tying field goal was missed by UCLA
- Florida St. 21 – Ga Tech 15 – Tech was driving with a chance to win until Tevin Washington did what he does best
- Tulsa 33 – C. Florida 27 – in Overtime
- Alabama 32 – Georgia 28 – Georgia was inside the Alabama 5 yard line when time expired
That was a pretty good slate of compelling football.
Early Christmas Presents – The Texans, Patriots, Falcons and Broncos have all opened presents a bit early this year, already clinching their division championships. Congrats to all 4 of them and the QB’s that guide them…two Hall of Fame rivals, the original backup plan for Michael Vick in Atlanta, and the actual backup plan for Michael Vick in Atlanta. Not pictured in the division winners… Michael Vick.
Andrew Luck & Russell Wilson – Luck set the record for wins in a season by a rookie QB taken #1 overall. Oh, and there’s a few weeks left and he has the look of someone not slowing down. This week he tossed the game winning touchdown with no time left on the clock (though by the looks of the play he probably could have run it in himself if he had wanted to). Coming into the season I think Colts fans would have been happy at 5-11 showing signs of improving. Now they are 8-4 and looking really good for the playoffs. Russell Wilson won another one for short QB’s everywhere. Wilson threw the go-ahead TD with 24 seconds to play in the hostile confines of Chicago, only to have the Bears answer with a field goal to send it to overtime. So Wilson drove the Seahawks down the field again against a very good Bears defense and threw the game winning touchdown as well. It seems that rookies just don’t play like rookies anymore.
Charlie Batch – You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but old dogs are known for having some tricks up their sleeve that can keep young whipper-snappers in their place. Batch pulled out an old trick and led the Steelers to a badly needed victory on the road in Baltimore, of all places. Kudos to Charlie and nice camera work catching the genuine embrace between he and Ben on the sideline at the end of the game.
We Are The Fallen
The Blackshirts – What in the name of Carl Pelini was the defense that allegedly was on the field for Nebraska on Saturday?! Is everyone from the planet Krypton and Wisconsin used kryptonite paint on their helmets?! Holy crap on a cracker. There’s not much more that I can say about that other than if that defense shows up in the Capitol One Bowl then Georgia Tech may not be the team that gets blown out by Georgia by the largest margin.
Kentucky Basketball – Kentucky is a perennial favorite to be a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament and this year really wasn’t looking all that different, but falling to unranked Notre Dame on the road and then snapping their 55 game home winning streak against Baylor (who hadn’t won a road non-conference game against a Top 25 foe…EVER) this week has definitely put a damper on that conversation. I’m sure they’ll bounce back, but they had better figure it out quickly…4-3 doesn’t go over real well in Lexington.
Mark Sanchez – Everyone has been waiting for when Sanchez would get replaced by Tebow. Not everyone was seeing him getting benched in a week where Tebow is injured. Even more surprising was that Greg McElroy not only replaced him, but also led the hapless Jets to a victory. Perhaps the ‘Sanchize’ should start putting a For Sale sign up in his yard in New York.
Louisiana Tech – So you went 9-3, but your athletic department put one bowl game on hold because they were holding out for two other opportunities they felt “pretty confident” about, only to not be offered either of them and to miss out on the one you put on hold because you didn’t call them back in time. Wow. Stellar work there gentlemen, you should be proud. Enjoy your short existence now that Karl Malone is calling for your heads and is volunteering to do your job.
Oklahoma State – Going into Bedlam, this felt like a season they could really hang their hat on and be proud of. Two weeks later? Their only date remaining is with Purdue in the ‘Heart of Dallas Bowl’. Ouch. Gotta say that has to burn a good bit on the way down.
Los Angeles Lakers – Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, & Dwight Howard. You would think that a lineup like that could put up a better record than 8-9 wouldn’t you?! So you fire one coach and hire another and the coach with the best record was the interim one you had in between. How’s that working out for you?! Feels like trading for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, & Carl Crawford and then falling short of the playoffs doesn’t it?! Just remember Laker fans…you’re still the 2nd best basketball team in L.A.!!