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!

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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!

Panic in the offices of the NFL, and their teams

Strictly, we are just over a week into the new NFL season, and we already have our first sacking, clearly the signs of panic in the offices of the Buffalo Bills, who unfortunately I support! Admittedly, they are the only team to have lost 2 games already, which isnt saying a lot, but given I rate the coach as highly as I rate Trump (not at all), in truth, I’m not surprised.

What is ironic though, is that its the offensive coordinator who paid the price, even though they scored 31 points on Thursday. Its just that the incompetent defense gave up 37 points, but oh, the defensive coordinator is the brother of the head coach, so he couldnt possibly be blamed for that lol!

Dont get me wrong, if there are long term issues, then changes do have to be made, but 1 week into the season isnt long term! Sadly, and probably why I’m going off so many sports nowadays, is the demand that win now, or be gone, is becoming the attitude of both team management, and the fans! Not that it only happens in the NFL, happens in a lot of sports nowadays, I’m afraid.

Fine, I’d be tempted to change my affiliation to the L.A team, but they look as bad as Buffalo, though they havent sacked anyone yet. Mind, given they dont play their second game until tomorrow…give them time?

Sadly, the NFL head office hasnt looked a lot better so far this season, to be honest. After all the fuss made about protecting players, and concussion protocols being talked up in the summer, that didnt even last through the first game, last Thursday. Cam Newton was battered by the Denver defense, and near the end of the game, took a hit that really should have seen him taken from the pitch, and checked out. But because it was near the end of the game, and on a potential winning drive (it didnt in the end), somehow he stayed on the pitch!

I know, prime time TV, and an exciting finish, but if you are going to say that these are the rules, you have to stick to them!

Now, they have the kick off issues too, which they are making a joke of. They changed the rules, to try and eliminate kick off returns, the most dangerous part of the game collision wise, but if the first week is anything to go by, it hasnt worked. Maybe because kickers are now trying to drop the ball into the field of play, so teams have to return it, rather than just starting with a touch back, ah well…

So yes, we have panic in the NFL offices, and team offices, not a good thing for a game desperately seeking respect, as more parents decide they dont want their children to play Football, because of the dangers involved!

OK, the video. No idea why, because its more about politics, than sport, but this came to mind

Lets get physical!

Yes, you know summer is nearly over, when the start of the NFL season is fast approaching. Yes, the season proper starts on Thursday evening (Early Friday morning here in the UK), and thats a pretty good clue that Autumn/Fall is beginning to draw near. Yes, I know, different titles each side of the pond, and given where most of my readers are lol.

I’ll be honest with you, anyone looking for shrewd advice on who are going to be good, who are going to be bad this season, not a clue. The AFC seems a total mess, as no one seemingly knows how good the Denver QB is going to be, and New England will be without Brady for 4 weeks, so how things will play out there, not a clue. In the NFC, Minnesota may have looked a decent outsider until their QB got injured, and is out for the season. Dallas, as always will be talked up, but their QB situation is even more of a mess! But yes, you can make a case for Carolina, Seattle, Green Bay, and Arizona at least, I guess?

Of the teams I sort of follow, Kansas City might have a chance in the maelstrom that is the AFC, but Buffalo just look as big a mess as ever, and though I’d love to see them do well (30 years of support), I cant see it! Of course, the other team I guess I will keep an eye on this year, due to location, is the Los Angeles (formerly St Louis) Rams. Mind, I cant see them being any good either, but…

Yes, sort of makes it obvious if you look at the schedule, the one game I’d love to be at this season. Yes, Buffalo, in Los Angeles, simple as that! Not going to happen, not going to be on TV over here, so if someone has got piles of unwanted money, and wants to spend some on me? No, didnt think so!

Oh, and lastly, while we’re talking LA sporting action, I got one piece of great news this week. My second favorite Dodger (after Vin Scully), Clayton Kershaw is finally back in action, did a minor league game last night, so fingers crossed, he’ll be back with the Dodgers soon. Just think, this year, he might not be burnt out if we reach the playoffs, and actually perform well. Fine, he might not, but dreaming, you bet!

Lastly, the video. Clue in the blog title, you bet! And ONJ is in this, but its not the original video!

I’m going to live forever

No, not me hopefully, unless its living as a robot, anyway! To be truthful, the human me is so beaten up already, that while not saying I’m ready to die just yet, I certainly dont want to live that long, either!

One thing I’ve noticed that most North American based sports have, and which seem now, to be creeping into more sports, is the ‘Hall Of Fame’ thing. I’m not saying its a bad thing, because as a historical lover of sports, it makes people think about players whose career is over, and in many cases, whose lives are over, and remember what they done. Most are remembered for one sport, or another, though there are a few (Jim Thorpe is the obvious name that comes to mind), who were famed in more than one sport, though generally in times when perhaps the depth of talent in most sports was not as deep as it is now.

Its not that long ago, baseball had its big ceremony, and this weekend, the NFL does the same. Yes, and that does mean, the first pre season game, is on Sunday! Given that one of the teams involved is starting a Quarter Back that no one has heard of, is miles down their depth chart, and everything else, its not to be taken too seriously. To be honest, apart from the one time, many years ago, that I saw a pre season game at Wembley, live, I dont take them seriously in the slightest. I know it was the Raiders, but who they played, no idea? At this point in time, ironically, for one of my 2 favorite US sports, I still havent seen a regular season game live, in person, but one day, I hope I will.

In truth, if anyone offered me a ticket, to any game this season, it would be an easy choice to make. Oh please, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan, and they’re playing the Los Angeles Rams, in Los Angeles, so yes, no contest! In fact, we are just a week away from the first pre season game in L.A, the first in town in, well, forever! Though this one is at the Coliseum, as the new stadium wont be available for a couple of years yet.

Maybe I’ll be a L.A citizen by then? Yes, and pigs fly, lol! But oh, I wish!

The video, well, the clue is in the title, its fair to say?

California, here we come

Yes, I know, a lot of the readers come here for the mind control stuff, but equally, the California stuff seems pretty popular, and given I love the state, I’m happy to provide some stuff about it too.

So fine, tonight, lets do a couple of California sports items, one of which many people will know about, the other, far less so.

Lets be wicked and start with the less popular one. Today, in my news feed, this piece came up

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_29766643/fremont-first-synthetic-turf-cricket-field-u-s

To be fair, to some degree, cricket has been played for over 100 years in California, though I suspect numbers, other than ex-pats from cricket loving countries, may be a bit limited? But yes, there appear to be a few teams in the Bay area, a few more in the Los Angeles area, and maybe a few more around the state? But yes, its great to see a floodlit ground, with hopefully a decent synthetic turf wicket being created, I must say. No, I dont envision the sport suddenly becoming amazingly popular in California, but things like this can only help?

The other, better known recent news about sport in the LA area, is the return of the NFL, to the city. Not that I’m sure how good the Rams will be, on their return, though their draft gamble this week shows signs of positive attitude for the future, more so for when they move to Inglewood, hopefully in 3 years time. But yes, why they took my eye this week, was because of the announcement on Thursday, of the schedule for the forthcoming season. To be honest, before Wednesday, I hadnt realized they were playing my team, the Buffalo Bills this season, at home. Hey, I hadnt even realized they were playing the Bills until then!

Oh, the funny point, the date of that game? October 9, a date that last year saw me in LA. Put it this way, if I was there on that date this year, I know where I’d like to be! Thats right, the Coliseum, watching that game. What better way than that to break my NFL virginity, other than maybe a home game in Buffalo! Ironically, the week before, they are away to the team my dear friend Kate supports, and most Bills fan hate, the Patriots! Me, I’m not infatuated in anybody enough to hate other teams, especially ones supported by my wonderful friend.

But yes, the chance of me getting there, short of a generous benefactor, or a fluke lottery win at present, seems to be zero. Still, I guess I can dream for a bit, at least?

Right, the video. I found this song, and was surprised how much I liked it. I know nothing about the group, other than what I can find on Wikipedia at least, just found it on a random search on You Tube. Yes, what I’d like to be able to say in October, if not sooner.

After 10 years of waiting…

Yes, there may be a few on here that know, that when it comes to the NFL, I’m a long standing Buffalo Bills fan. Fortunately, soon after I started supporting them, a quarterback named Jim Kelly signed with the team, and shortly after that, the glory years began. Since he retired, its fair to say that things have gone a bit downhill since then! So much so, that its been 15 years since we last made the play offs. And it had been 10 years since we last had a winning season.

So fine, we still havent got to post season, but we had a winning year, though not quite in the way I expected us to! With 2 weeks of the regular season to go, the Bills were 8-6. Yes, one win, from 2, for a winning year. Snag, one of those games was against the New England Patriots, in New England, and we hadnt won there for 12 years! Thankfully, or so it seemed at the time, the other game was against the pretty awful Oakland Raiders, admittedly in Oakland, but surely we couldnt lose to them? We did, 26-24!

With that, went our very bleak chances of making the play offs, and as this week played out, we wouldnt have made it, even if we’d won! But now, to break that awful streak, we have to beat the Patriots, in Foxboro, ah well…

The only blessing, other results in Week 16 meant that the Pats were the number 1 seed, regardless of what happened this week. So just maybe, they’ll take it easy, and…on the other hand, they hate losing at any time, to divisional rivals, so…

Tom Brady started, but despite that, we took the lead. When Brady got sacked, just before half time, they took him out of the game, and we managed to stagger across the winning line, to a winning season. Its not real success, but its better. No, Kyle Orton wasnt Jim Kelly, but he did pretty well, but…he retired after this! So sheesh, we’re looking for ANOTHER quarterback for next season, ah well…

Sorry, this was the best video I could find, I’d just give it a pass, in all honesty