Should have stayed home yesterday?

Well, if I mention this is the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour, and the video relates to the climax of said event, you might have worked out what it is already?

No, I’m not going to bore you, or otherwise by going through the events of that fateful day, I could only copy large chunks of Wikipedia and the like if I did that anyway. So yes, if you want that, go visit Wikipedia. What I’m going to tell you is a side story to the event, which I only know about thanks to ESPN.

In those days, when the college football regular season ended, that was pretty much it, get on with the awards, and wait for the next season. There were a few bowls of history, like the Rose Bowl, but nothing like the 39 we are having this year! Part of that was down to the fact that whereas now, a team from California can get to the East Coast in a few hours, back then you were talking several days, by train!

So, in those days, the selection of, and awarding of the Heisman Trophy, to the best player of the year wasnt some massively hyped TV event, because most people didnt have TV! So, by the beginning of December 1941, it was already announced that the winner of said award was Bruce Smith, a running back from Minnesota. Therefore on the 5th December 1941, he set out for New York, to receive the award, 2 days later. He had his acceptance speech prepared before he reached New York, on the morning of the 7th December, when he heard the news about Pearl Harbour, and the inevitability that the US was going to war with Japan.

So basically, the speech got a total rewrite, and was squeezed into a radio presentation on the 9th December, shortly before Roosevelt made it official, that America was now at war with Japan. The rest, as they say, for the next 4 years or so, is written in history. Bruce Smith clearly was one of the fortunate ones who survived the war, given that the short documentary included his 2 sons. Sadly, many millions didnt, on all sides.

Of course, this war ended with a first. Not necessarily a good first, but a first, all the same. Yes, thats right, the 2 nuclear warheads dropped on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, that finally forced Japan into surrender.

Smith finally did get to play in the NFL after the war, for Green Bay, and the Los Angeles Rams, but much of his career was lost to the war. Also sadly, he didnt have a long life, dying at the age of 47 from cancer, in the days long before all the modern treatments for that ghastly disease.

So yes, on this day, let us remember all those brave people that died at Pearl Harbour on that fateful day, in the war that followed, but lets also remember the guy whose life was changed while travelling on a train.

OK, the video is the one I hope you’ve worked out. A live version from 2016, rather than the regular video, which I’ve probably used before

Advertisements

Divine interference?

Alright, warning, this may not mean a lot to anyone other than US readers, but anyway… Seeing they are the vast bulk of my readers going by the stats…

Most championships are decided by merit. Either the team that wins the most games against the others teams in their league, or in their continent, wins the title, or they end up with a series of knock out deciders to settle the matter. Then you get College Football (Gridiron type, for any non US readers still going) where there are about 12 top rank divisions (including a supposed Big 5), plus some independents who dont play in any other divisions, of which 4 teams go to the playoffs.

Yes, thats right, the maths dont add up well, do they?

Earlier this weekend, all of the championship games got played. One of the supposed top 4 isnt in a division, so they just rested up. Even more complex, the ‘number 1’ team were playing the ‘number 4’ team, as both play in same conference!

Lurking outside of all this, sitting at number 5 going into the weekend, were Oklahoma. Yes, I know, I support Kansas State, and Kate supports Oklahoma State, both in the same conference, so I should hate them, right? Thing is, Oklahoma would be Clara Johnson’s team I suspect, as its the nearest University to where she was born, though she certainly never went there! Given she was moving to LA, from Texas at the age of 20, thats a safe bet! But anyway…

Last night, I watched Oklahoma beat Texas 39-27, getting revenge for their only defeat this season. Thing is, unless one of the top 4 drops out, they cant make the play off. So thank you, I thought, for Alabama (No 1) playing Georgia (no 4), as given logic, the latter should lose, drop down the rankings, only… when I went to bed last night, Georgia were winning 28-14. And yes, that would drop Alabama down the rankings, but probably not to No 5, and let Oklahoma in.

Apparently, with 6 minutes to go, that was still the score. The final score, you ask? 35-28 to Alabama! Now whether this was Alabama inspiration, yet another Georgia meltdown, or someone up in heaven intervening to let her local university get to the playoffs, who knows? My money is on that it wasnt the latter, but it would be funny to think so, wouldnt it?

No, I know, sport is just crazy!

Right, video time. Well given it feels like heaven may have played a part in events, how about this?

Sudden death with Buffalo

No, dont worry, its nothing serious thats happened, just the opposite in fact. But I had to do something to fit in with the video lol!

Yes, within the next hour or so, all the American Football left this season will be sudden death, knock out stuff. As I write this, the last ‘normal’ Bowls are being played, the last NFL season games were played yesterday, so after that…

Firstly, tonight, we get the 2 college football ‘semi finals’ for want of a better word, where Georgia take on Oklahoma, and Clemson take on Alabama. A week later, the two winners get to meet for their Championship. The most interesting thing for me has been the multiple shots of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, to be honest. Well, except that with a little more discovery work today, I now know where, and when a certain young lady was born in Oklahoma! Yes, on 6th September 1905, a baby girl was born somewhere in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. Thats right, a baby named Clara Elaine Johnson! Tried googling for Oklahoma birth and death records, tried her name on the site, then lo, and behold… Looking at a map, she wouldnt have been a million miles from where Oklahoma University would have been! Of course, given she left Texas for LA in 1925, how long she lived there, no idea?

Ah, the title of the blog? Yes, thats the NFL bit. For over 30 years, through thick and thin, I’ve supported the Buffalo Bills. The late 80’s, and most of the 90’s were pretty good times, but other than that, no! Until yesterday, they were the team with the longest interval since previously being in the play offs, 18 years. Not now!
It wasnt hard to see them winning before I went to bed last night, and Baltimore were losing, 2 facts which meant they would be in, but there was still about a half of football to go for each. Bills won, but until nearly the end, Baltimore were clinging on for a win seemingly, then Cincinnati scored, Baltimore lost, and Buffalo were in the play offs.

Oh fine, I found out when I opened my emails this morning (one was from team, mentioning they were in play offs), which made a nice way to start 2018! They now get to play Jacksonville, who were last in the play offs in 2007, and last played a home play off game in 1999, the last time Buffalo made the play offs! No, they didnt play each other then! Oh, and I’d better mention the Los Angeles Rams, who won their division, leading to the first play off game in LA since 1994, though for much of that time, no team was in town! By coincidence, leading to another Georgia team heading to LA!

Right, video time. For those of you who read both, I used this video on the other blog recently, so you’re not seeing things. For those who dont, enjoy a classic 30’s musical! And all those girls sharing sleeping berths, shocking stuff lol! 😛

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!

Alabama, and the rest

Even earlier than the start of the NFL, the college football season got under way in the last few days. In truth, if you believe the experts (and a friend called Kris), there is only 1 team that will matter, and that is Alabama. To be fair, the way they beat Florida State yesterday, who were ranked the 3rd best team, he may well be right!

But ignoring the matters of Washington (Seattle is a city I’ve loved forever), USC and UCLA (the LA teams), or even Yale (first team seen live), who I have affection for, in the end, there is 1 conference I will follow more closely, and a couple of teams there, with special emphasis on 11/18 this year. Yes, though I have no idea why, beyond the Kansas connection, I follow Kansas State, coached by the amazing Bill Snyder. My dear friend Kate, well, not only does she support Oklahoma State, its her alma mater, so I guess she’s entitled to, lol. So yes, a Big 12 girl, me!

Oh, and I might give honorable mention to Idaho, because they play in silver and gold!

Like most sports team I follow, including the Dodgers, I follow them, rather than act as crazy fanatic, as so many people do. So yes, though I’m hoping Kansas State will have a good season, especially as there are rumors it could be Bill’s last, he is approaching 80, mind, amazing man! But if they dont, I will be sorry for him, but it wont be the end of the world. Oh fine, it would be nice if we beat Oklahoma State, but only so I can tease Kate, rather than the more likely event, judging by the rankings, that she will be teasing me!

But yes, when it comes to college champions, at the end of the season, I suspect it will be Alabama, and the rest. Still, Kris will be happy with that!

Video time. Well, yes, I was looking for something Alabama related, and found this. Seems a good choice to me!

Safety training

OK, fine, a posting which makes me grateful that I’m not involved in any sport where training gets as stupid, and crazy as this.

Most would assume that because the college football season has literally just finished, that the players might get a bit of a break before preparing for the next season. Even more so, as they dont even get paid for playing. I know, some get scholarships, but compared to what the universities make out of the matches, not good!

So fine, count me stunned when I read this week of 3 players from Oregon who were hospitalized, because of the training they were undergoing after the season was over, was so extreme it actually damaged their health really badly. What made it worse, was the guy who was running these crazy training schemes, not even qualified to do so!

Conveniently, Oregon have now suspended him for a month, to err, review things, according to CBS, though someone else (unconfirmed) said he had actually been sacked. But seriously, whoever took him on in the first place should be gone too! Hopefully the families of these 3 men will sue the university for lots of money, though I’m sure it will all get covered up if they do. Discreet mention of an out of court settlement, maybe?

But yes, what can I say, other than that I’m glad I was never good enough at any sport for it to go this far!

Fine, the video. This is one of those crazy acts, who were pretty much a one hit wonder over here in the UK. Slightly more popular in their home country, Canada, but for me at least… Yes, this video definitely falls into the wacky group, for sure.

On New Years Day (plus one)

Today, strictly one day late, due to New Years Day falling on a Sunday, is one of the great Los Angeles (well, Pasadena) traditions, the Rose Bowl parade, and college football game.

I know, I know, but the great beast that is the NFL takes priority on a Sunday, so this has had to wait until today. Maybe one day I’ll get to see the parade live, or even visit the Rose Bowl, but the former wont be this year, and the latter, in terms of going to a game, no time soon, I suspect? I might see the Stadium later this year, but it wont be one of the priority places to visit, so…? I have no idea how practical that is by public transit, anyway?

Mind, compared to what travel must have been like for Michigan, for the first ever game, in 1902, its probably a whole lot easier nowadays. I assume 2 or 3 days by train, just to get out to California, and the same again, to go back afterwards. Now you could do the flight in a matter of hours! The current famous Rose Bowl wasnt apparently used until 1923 (Thanks, Wikipedia), but only once since then, in 1942, has it not happened there. Yes, that pesky WW2 forced it East for one year!

By tradition nowadays, its the champion of the Big 10, against the champion of the Pac 10, but it doesnt always happen. Commercialization, and nowadays the College Championships get in the way of that. So this year, we do have the Big 10 champions, Penn State, playing USC who didnt win the Pac 10, but beat the champions of that conference! They were in the College Championships, but anyway… I like many others suspect Penn State should have been among the 4 in that championship too!

Oh, the NFL? Well, Buffalo were as awful this season as I expected them to be, as were the Los Angeles Rams. Now seems there will be a second team in LA next year, the Chargers seem to be moving up the coast to join them. Not that they will improve the quality of the teams in the city, but anyway… Thankfully, from a Harlow point of view, the Kansas City Chiefs made the playoffs, and in fact, won their division in the end. More due to the Raiders having major injury issues, but all the same… its something!

OK, video time. A very apt piece of U2!