USA, you have a west coast, I believe?

Oh fine, non college football fans might want to look away now!

Earlier today, the 4 teams for the College Football playoffs were named. In truth, though I disagree with the order of 3 of them (Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia), those teams deserve to be in the play offs, no arguments. Where the fun starts, was the 4th team picked.

In truth, Ohio State might have had a couple of losses, but they won the Big 10 in the end, so must have a chance, right? On top of that USC also had a couple of losses, but won the Pac 12 nicely, so must be in contention for selection. Well…? More shortly! Then you get the matter of Alabama, who only lost 1 game, but they lost to Auburn, who got thumped in their rematch by Georgia, so not good?

Wrong, wrong! The incessant hype surrounding Alabama got them into the Top 4! Seriously? Dont get me wrong, but surely they should be below Auburn in ratings? No, seemingly. Before anyone asks, the best team they beat is ranked 17! Ohio State beat 2 in Top 10, and USC have nice rank wins too. But…? Oh, I forgot, its the SEC, and people look at that with rose colored glasses!

To be honest, with the East Coast bias, I might have settled for USC being ranked 5, or 6, but no, they are ranked 8! Seriously, I wonder if any of the committee have even seen a West Coast game, and I’m not sure in this era of cosy insularity on the East Coast, do they even know the West Coast exists, or have they gone back to the 1850’s or something?

Fine, California lover rant over. Honest. The other bowls havent been announced yet, but fine, a friend and I are hoping Kansas State, and Oregon get matched! Love you, Alei x!

Tonights video is supposedly a live performance. Beyond maybe, Neil Tennant singing live (and I’m not convinced), this isnt live! But fine those outfits really are something, just love them!

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Walk of life, and death.

When it comes to US sports, my longest term love has to be the NFL. Primarily because it was the first one shown on TV over here, back in the mid 1980’s, and I’ve pretty much followed it ever since then. In that time, its changed channels, its changed from being recorded highlights, to 1 game a week, to the numerous games per week we have now over the years, but its always been around.

For many years now, providing most of that much improved coverage has been Sky Sports. Even then, they’ve been through a few presenters over the years, but for many of them, there was 1 American guy there, who definitely knew what he was talking about (unlike some of the UK ones), and even better, was a fellow Buffalo Bills fan, through thick and thin. Well, I suppose had a good reason, he was born in the city, whereas I just picked them out purely at random!

Then tonight, when the coverage of the game from London started, I heard the sad news that he’d passed away, at the age of 62! Hey, he’s not that much older than me, and believe me, I feel my age at present, anyway! So…I just want to say, Kevin Cadle, I’m going to miss seeing you on TV, and yes, rest in peace.

I guess it would be wrong (and I’d hate myself if I didnt) not to mention a certain team in the World Series, starting Tuesday (strictly, Wednesday morning, my time), the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yes, its a shame its only happened the first year after Vin Scully retired, though such is life. I have seen people hoping he will do something, but hey, he’s fast approaching 90, so I dont blame him for saying no, so far at least. Who me, a Dodgers fan? Well…

No, I wont see any of it live, all going to happen in the middle of the night over here, and I’m too old, and fragile for things like that, even if I wasnt working! I’ll see some presentation hopefully, though no idea how much? But yes, naturally, I’ll be dreaming of a Dodgers Championship, though only from afar. It will actually be strange next May, assuming I decide I’m up to the trip, when I see a game in Seattle, its been a long time since I saw one other than Dodgers Stadium, but…I can at least add another to my stadium visit list, as I say, health permitting. With luck, and finances, I hope to add the White Sox to my collection next September, though that might be a step too far on both counts!

The video is one with plenty of NFL, plenty of baseball, and some basketball too, which Cadle was a top coach in. Yes, its an oldie, the Houston Oilers no longer exist, so…

Stand by your man?

I do wonder if Trump realized on Friday when he made the speech about the NFL, and the players, and the National Anthem, that it was always going to end badly, right? I mean, telling people that if they dont stand for the National Anthem, that they should be sacked on the spot, was always going to end well, not!

I suppose the only thing you could say he has succeeded in doing, is to some degree uniting the players, their bosses, and the NFL head people by his statement. Yes, its been fair to say today, judging by the reports I’ve read, its backfired on him, big time! No, I’m not surprised, but anyway…

Funny thing is, it seems some NFL fans wont be watching any more games (yes, I’ll stop laughing soon) because of it, and others will watch games because of the players doing it, priceless stuff.

The biggest irony, the people that seem to be defending the players the most over their choice are the military, and they are the people most of the ‘Trump-ettes’ say would be the most offended by it. Yes, I know…

But fine, I know he’s not the brightest star in the sky, but did he seriously think this would work out well? Ah well…

The video? No, not Tammy Wynette, the setting here seems more apt for the NFL fans somehow lol

Last cut is the deepest

Its hard to believe that its nearly time for the NFL season to start seriously again, but this time next week, we’ll be looking at the opening game, and Kate and I will be gently teasing each other, as its Kansas City, against New England, so that will be fun! Its just a shame that its 2 days before we could have watched it together, and stirred each other up together, but such is life. The likely possibility, given New England wont be playing on the Sunday, is that I will get to see the Buffalo Bills, play the New York Jets, 2 teams that pretty much seem to be throwing away their seasons before they even get started. Yes, strictly the Bills are my team, but I’ve seen so much awful right wing, racist stuff written by their fans on social media of late (mostly about the anthem stuff), that I find it hard to get involved with them, in truth. Oh, and not to forget, the Monday night game, and my one chance this autumn to see the gorgeousness that is Jon Gruden! Swoon!

But why now, why the blog title, you ask? Well, tonight marks the last round of pre season games (other than the one in Texas, cancelled for obvious reasons), and after that, the huge squads that the teams currently carry, have to be trimmed back drastically. Most of those getting the chop will be players we’ve never heard of, but some of whom will either be plucked up for practice squads, or selected when injuries start to take their toll on teams. There will also be a number of relatively ‘more famous’ players who will be cut, for salary reasons. Again some will be plucked by other teams, some will get picked when injuries strike, but for a few, that will be it.

Before I sound too sorry for them, lets just remember what crazy salaries these people earn! In some cases, cutting 1 player cuts $6 million from a wage bill! But yes, for those young men, its still a tough time, if you’re the one thats cut. And thats on top of those who should have, but never got called to a team this summer…whistles innocently…

No, I’d have made a lousy cheerleader, even when I was young, lol! 😛

The video, you could say, as so often, there is a clue in the title. This is pretty much the original version of the song, Cat Stevens, from 1967! Yes, I really am that old, I was 9 then!

Fake news has its moments!

Generally I find all these ‘fake news’ websites about as entertaining as watching paint dry, yes, really that good. Generally, for me at least, they are so ridiculous that even if you dont know they are fake (some are less subtle about the matter than others), that anyone with half an ounce of sense can see through them. Unfortunately, at times there seem to be more than a number of people who clearly lack that half ounce, but in a sense, it doesnt matter, I just laugh it off, and move on…

But yes, sometimes, they just get scary!

Let me just say that it didnt take me very long to spot one big difference between the UK, and the US, its the playing of the national anthem at sporting events. Over here, generally, unless its an International match (or a cup final) of some kind, the national anthem doesnt get played. In the US however, its played everywhere, and every time! Fine, each to their own, and I always sing the US anthem when at a sporting event over there, and indeed the Canadian one, when I went to a baseball game in Toronto. Oh, and an Ice Hockey game in Seattle, when the opponents were from north of the border too! In truth, I prefer both to our own, but anyway…

Last year, rightly, or otherwise, a quarterback from San Francisco (though the team actually now play some distance from that city) decided not to stand for the US national anthem, to protest against police violence, or something. Personally, I think he was wrong, but if it was his stance, and he was free to do so…?

Anyway, to keep it brief, end of last season, he, and his team parted ways. I believe he was a free agent, but as a ‘fair’ player of his position, you’d expect him to be snapped up by someone as a back up at least. No, they havent! Related issues, quite likely, it seems!

OK, as a follower of the Buffalo Bills (no, I dont get passionate enough about any sports team to really qualify as a fan), I sort of follow a few related pages about them. Last night, on Facebook, someone posted an obviously fake news page saying that this quarterback (Colin Kaepernick, if you hadnt already worked it out) had signed for one of their divisional rivals.

Basically several hundred comments erupted on the thread, and if ten of them could be read by children, I’d be amazed! The vitriol relating to what they would do to Kaepernick, Jets staff, or in general, anyone even who supported the Jets was awful! Let me say that I dont know if this is a general rabid NFL fans syndrome, specifically a Bills one, or what? Given its only a fan board, I’m not expecting the team to comment on the matter, but if that kind of Neanderthal thinking sums up Bills fans only, I think I want to support another team! I suspect its worse than that, but hopefully not! Equally, I guess this is the reaction only of a small minority, but it makes me sad, all the same.

So no, I might not agree with Kaepernick’s stance, but if this is the reaction of others, to a piece of fake news, then yes, it scares, and depresses me!

Video time. A piece of 70’s kitsch, and not even a good one. But given what his original protest was about the treatment of, by police, I couldnt resist. Yes, clothes were really this awful in the 70’s believe me!

The games people play

Well, we’ve reached that time of year where one of the big US sports is just getting over the hype of the draft, and the so called experts are trying to work out what it all means. In truth, until those people make it, or otherwise this summer, we wont even start to see what the outcome of that is. But yes, NFL is desperately trying to keep itself in the news, so…

Two of the other ‘Big 4’ are now in the middle of their playoffs, and the loosest (and it is loose) interest I have in either, is Anaheim in the NHL. Its close to LA, and any team called the Ducks has to be worthy of support lol! Still as all US sports seem to do, the playoffs take on a life of their own, for a month or more!

So soon, for a couple of months at least, America’s favorite summer sport will take over events, baseball! Oh, and probably my favorite too, though I will watch football, both pro, and college, when I get the chance. Later this month, for the first time in over 18 months, I will get to see live baseball again, in the flesh. Yes, Dodgers, so sue me! 😛 In truth, you can get a seat for not that unreasonable a price, especially compared to soccer over here, and the NFL over there. Yes, you can pay a ridiculous sum for a seat, but I wont be doing that! No, not commenting on food prices, but yes, I will get some, all the same… One game, definitely, two if I can fix it, but if you twisted my arm, I’d probably say one will be as good as it gets!

Over here, the soccer season is also coming to an end, and talking of drawn out hype, we now have play offs to decide the last promotion position. Not quite as drawn out as play offs in the US, but even so…Oh fine, my local team, Huddersfield, and the team from the town where I work, Bradford City, are both in their respective play offs, so I’m told. Yes, that will be the only mention of it I plan to make! Well, I suppose if Huddersfield make the Premier League, I might, but otherwise…

Right, video time. A real oldie, which I doubt many of my readers have heard before, but I remembered it, and it seemed apt, so…

What a feeling to fly

So now we know the 2 teams left for that great sporting institution in the US, the Superbowl. Fine, the baseball World Series might mean even more to me, but this is pretty big all the same.

Its fair to say that the first team in the big match will surprise few people, its the New England Patriots. Yes, I know, the ‘marmite team’, or for those who dont get that comment, a team you either seem to love, or hate, nothing in between! Me, I’m one of those in between brigade, but only because my dear friend Kate is a supporter of them, I suspect. Otherwise, as a longstanding Buffalo fan, fine, I’d probably hate them too.

The other team are more of a surprise, or are at least if you are a pundit, expert, or just blindly followed prices at the start of the season, as its the Atlanta Falcons. Now me, I knew what their offense could do, thought they had a chance, but if you’d told me that Seattle would be ordinary, and that Carolina would be awful before the season started, then yes, I would have laughed.

But this team has run up points against just about everybody, and certainly impressed me even more than I expected. So fine, I might expect the ‘dark force’ to win out, as usual, but I know who I’ll be rooting for, the underdogs! Besides which, they’ve never won this, only once before been to a Superbowl, so yes, it would be nice for someone new to win, and…sorry Kate! xxx

The video, its the wrong bird, would be more apt for Philadelphia, but it was as close as I could get!