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! 😛

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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!

Becoming a California Girl

OK, so lets catch up on things so far. Not that there was really much to report for the first couple of days, but after today, there’s more than enough lol.

Wednesday: Flights were smooth enough, the bit in between was entertaining though. Now I knew that when I got to Atlanta, I could go to the automated machines to pass through Immigration, and that was the plan. Only…I ran into Miss Jobsworth, who insisted I had to go join the lengthy queue to go through Immigration in the old fashioned way. So, 15 minutes took an hour and a half, only to be told by the guy on the desk that I neednt be doing this. When I told him I knew that, and told him what had happened, his comment was something akin to “You must have run into…”, and he passed me through very quickly. Then when I finally got to security, something set the machine off (I have no idea what?), which slowed me even more. Eventually a 2.5 hour gap before boarding for the LA plan, ended up being just under 20 minutes!

Oh, and the shuttle. Now, whether the guy had given the right address or not (I think we ended up dropping him at the East address, and he’d given it as West), but the sat-nav didnt want to go in the right direction. Eventually the guy sorted out where he wanted to be, and we dropped him off. Finally (3rd drop in van), we got to me, but despite telling her we were at the right place, she sailed by, and in a narrow road, it took her a while to find somewhere to turn round. But finally, about 9.30, I arrived.

The apartment is cute, and I love it, but the bed really is something else. I knew I had to climb up (literally) to get into it, but its even better than the picture suggested. I will have to move the cases, and take a picture sometime! That was it, grabbed nightwear, and to bed. Bed is very comfortable, btw.

Yesterday, really little happened.I got unpacked, and settled in. Did some shopping, caught up on the net, and…not a lot else. I did go down to the Boulevard in the afternoon, but principally for a very nice ice cream, and that was it. I did go and visit Jean’s prints at the Chinese Theatre, and her star across the road, but that really was it.

So to today. The one main place I wanted to visit last time, and didnt get to, was Long Beach. Mainly to see the Queen Mary, but it looked an interesting trip anyway. Oh, right, for those with a memory, the metro line goes through Watts, and Compton. Made for an interesting crowd on the train, shall we say? Yes, I survived, and got to see an English lady, far older than me, the Queen Mary! No, I didnt go on board, I am trying to be sensible with money, and $27 minimum to get on board (for not that long) seemed a bit daft to me. But I paid my respects.

The weekend should be relatively calm, though I will have to go shopping for bread, if nothing else tomorrow. Beyond that, a little college football on TV is quite likely. Hopefully, my team (Kansas State) against Kate’s team (Oklahoma State), but not sure if I will get that here? Sunday, a mix of NFL on TV (there is a game in London, which kicks off 6.30 am, my time), and meeting up with someone I met in April early afternoon, is promising me a tour, which I suspect is either going to be going up near the sign, or more likely something Jean related. More on that on Monday or Tuesday, I’m sure. I may, or may not get to the Dodgers baseball tomorrow night, we shall see.

Fine, the video. Well, I could cheekily say this is about me!

Simply the best?

Yes, lets go back to one of my loves, a quite ironic one for a UK citizen, college football, US style.

Saturday evening, care of ESPN, I had the privilege of seeing a half, and a drive, of one of the best games of college football that I’ve seen. Alabama at Auburn, if you get the chance to watch the highlights at some point. And to be honest, despite what I saw, I missed the most incredible moment of the whole game, the last play! Seriously, it must be somewhere on You Tube, go find it if you can.

So right, its 28-28, and seemingly the game is headed into overtime, as the clock reads 0:00 as the Alabama player runs out of play. But no, they check the play, he actually left the pitch with 1 second remaining. So they reset the clock, and the Alabama coach decides to send out his second string kicker, to try a very long (57 yards, if I remember right?) field goal, to win the game, instead of just taking overtime, and taking his chances there.

That leads to the ultimate facepalm moment. The kicker makes a valiant attempt, and the ball drops barely a yard short. But, and this is the big but, it falls into the arms of an Auburn player, and oh, the ball doesnt go dead when a field goal is missed. He then proceeds to run 109 yards, to the opposite end zone, and win the game for Auburn.

Given these teams are deadly rivals, and the game is in Auburn, the place erupts, almost literally. As I say, go hunt down the film, if you havent seen it already, of course.

But fine, now we get to the rant. The BCS rankings, which decide who gets to play for the National Championship. Seemingly this thing has a total fixation with unbeaten teams. So given Auburn lost one game earlier in the season, and Alabama lost this one, both are seemingly out of the running for the national title, short of an amazing event. Why, because Florida State (probably a merit team), and Ohio State (who probably arent) are both unbeaten this season, and therefore they get ranked the top 2. Seriously, this is the Ohio State team who only won last Saturday, against a relatively moderate side, because the coach had a brainstorm, and went for a 2 point conversion, rather than kicking the extra point, and taking it to overtime.

The snag being, that teams like Auburn, Alabama and Missouri, play in the SEC, probably the strongest league in the country, and take victories off each other, who would probably eat Ohio State for breakfast. We had this problem last year, Notre Dame went unbeaten on a relatively soft schedule, and Alabama destroyed them in the championship match, because they werent the second best team. Oh, and its not just the SEC, both the PAC-12, and the Big 12 have the same problem, of taking each other out, simply because they lose 1 game to a very good team.

In theory, this is the last year of this stupidity, as from next year, 4 teams will play off for the Championship instead. So why do I get this horrible feeling that stupidity may arise again.

So I just want to say this, to the fans of those 3 teams, and Oklahoma State, and whoever wins the PAC-12, you might not be in the championship, that doesnt mean you arent still the best, or second best at worst, thats all.

The video, well, the clue is in the title. I know, shock horror lol!