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! ūüėõ

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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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!

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

I went to a fight…

…And a game of Ice Hockey broke out. Yes, I know, its an old joke, but for me at least, a pretty apt one, as the only 2 games I’ve seen live both included at least 1 fight!

Why do I mention this now, well, isnt it obvious, the NHL season finally gets under way tomorrow, almost as late as a Trans Pennine Express train, and a much reduced service, looks again at my ‘wonderful’ train company lol! In case you’re wondering, no this ranks no higher than a distant 3rd for me in the ‘big 4’ American Sports, only beating the NBA for me. Comes 2nd in terms of regular season matches watched though, but only with 2, a long, long way behind baseball!

I sort of follow (extremely loosely) the Buffalo Sabres, for my pains. Hey, its only because I was following the Bills, Buffalo had an ice hockey team, and so…Funnily enough, their ‘junior’ team in the AHL happens to be in Rochester, but guess what, their last home game (unless they make playoffs) is the Saturday I arrive in town, so no, I’m not likely to add to my collection. I assume even in the AHL that playoff games (should they make them?) sell out to regulars anyway? If not, I might add to my collection, but…There will also be an indoor football league game on the Sunday in Rochester, but its a few miles out of town, so not sure if I will be able to get there or not. If I can, that will be my sports fix for sure, though. Roc City Thunder, I’ll give them a shout, who knows where it might lead? Rochester Americans are the ice hockey team, being fair to one and all.

This weekend, there are also a couple of more important NFL games, not that sadly due to timing, and an early start back to work on Monday, that I shall see much of them. Well, one half of one, none of the other in fact! I suspect the parking at Patriot Place might be quite full on Sunday evening lol. Yes, despite being divisional rivals of my team, I’ll have to cheer for them, I’ve been to their place this year. Stood outside the stadium, visited their excellent display, and had my picture taken ‘wearing’ a Superbowl ring too. Oh, and saw the trophies too! No, I dont think Kate, or the Patriots brainwashed me to say that, I’d have enjoyed it far too much to forget that lol! Hopefully the 49ers as well, given thats the 2 cities I know and love that are left.

Right, the video, back to the ice hockey joke!

We mustnt forget

Some would quite rightly say, one of my more serious posts on here. Tomorrow is the 11th day, of the 11th month, and 94 years ago, it held even more significance than now. Yes, the end of WW1. We cannot possibly imagine what they went through in that war, I doubt we could even imagine it as awful as I suspect the reality was. No, I’m not going to get critical of leaders on either side, just admire those brave men who followed their orders. All survivors are now gone to a better place, to join their friends from those awful battlefields once again. Indeed, earlier this year we lost the last survivor of the Battle of Britain, a whole war later.¬† So please, wherever you are, at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, take a few moments to remember them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4NtSqZcT_4

On a slightly more lighthearted item, it was when I was doing my NFL picks this week, that I noticed one fixture, which probably means more to two people than most, Buffalo @ New England. A better placing in the schedule, and it would have been a game I might have been going to. But as the weather recently has proved, we did the right thing by not waiting for now to take that holiday lol!

One last addition to this, tomorrow is a very special persons birthday, and I just like to mention it here. No name, they will know who I mean, and for the rest, its just a nice milestone in their life. Someone who has done a lot for me, and surely will again, given the chance. Thank you.

 

Holiday, Part 2

And here for your edification is the rest of the week

Wednesday 19th

Much better weather greets us, I’m delighted to say. We meet up with James, and head out of Albany. The only comment I get as we head¬†north on I-90 is that, no, we arent going to Rochester lol, anyone would think it was a well known fact I was a Louise Brooks fan, or something! Yes, for those who dont know, thats where she is buried. I will get there, but next September, under my own steam. In fact, as a signpost soon gives away the game, we are heading somewhere apt for 2 baseball fans, Cooperstown, and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Seriously, its quite some place, and if you have any interest in baseball, try and get there some time. I managed, with a little help from James in distracting Kate, to get her a little gift. Back to Albany, say our goodbyes to James, and settle down for rest of day.

Thursday 20th

The day we head back to New England, and¬†again, I know where we are heading, Foxboro. Yes, where some NFL team called the Patriots play lol. Most of the day was a straightforward long dostance drive, so I wont say too much about that. In the evening, we head out to Patriot Place for a meal, and so Kate can impress me with the stadium. It works, the stadium is impressive, it has to be said. Then the fun starts! We go to a Toby¬†Keith restaurant (no, name didnt mean a lot to me, but to US folks…I gather it does), and order our food. As a good Kansas loving girl, seeing an item on the menu that seems apt to eat, I order it, and enjoyed it. Kate ordered something else, but guess what, they bring 2 of what I ordered! Hilarity ensues, but¬†credit due, before long, her correct meal arrives, though I had already started, as sense, and Kate told me to. But no, thats not the end of the fun. Given its now dark, Kate sets the sat-nav to get us back to the hotel, even though we have a pretty fair idea of the route. Halfway back, we want to go one way, sat-nav wants to go another! So, unwisely as it turned out, we listened to the sat-nav. Ended up in the entry way to a High School! Yes, we eventually convinced the sat-nav to take us where we wanted, but…modern technology is a wonderful thing at times lol!

Friday 21st

Back to Patriot Place, this time on a shopping and¬†sightseeing trip. We both do some shopping, and then head to a ‘proper’ burger place for lunch. Yes, proper in the sense they grill it in front of you, as you order it, not any sign of tired pre-wrapped food here! Absolutely lovely it was too. Then I got¬†inducted into the world of the Patriots lol, at the Pro Shop, and an excellent display called the Hall, over 2 floors. Not only, but mainly Patriots stuff,¬†college, high school, and teams of the past from New England also get covered here. Oh, and I get to see 3 Superbowl trophies too, quite a sight. I also get to ‘try on’ a Superbowl ring at a display point. Yes, I was able to¬†slip my ring finger in it, and for Kate to take my picture ‘wearing’ it. I could also nearly slip another finger in it too, to be honest lol. The evening, we head out for our final meal together, first place we try, very full (and I mean, very full!). Second place, not much quieter¬†to be honest. We eye up a Japanese place, and I say as long as I dont have to eat Sushi…I didnt, had a very nice meal with noodles, and glad we ended up there. Back to hotel, said our goodbyes, as Kate was off early next morning, and I was being collected by shuttle to go back to the airport about midday.

Saturday 22nd.

I get up about 7.15, Kate’s car is still there, so thought I might get to see her off yet. By the time I’ve been to the little girls room, she’s gone, so I didnt. From here, for a while it gets boring for the reader, breakfast, packing, all those tedious things lol! Just after 11.45 I head out to the lobby, thinking I’ll be ready when the car gets there. Wrong, its already waiting, with a cute label over the door with my name on it. I felt a proper lady as he held the door open for me, and put my bags¬†in the trunk. Again, after getting to the airport, nothing all that exciting or noteworthy happened.

As I said before, but will say again, so many thanks to both Kate and James for making the trip so wonderful. Thanks to Fenway, and Kates AO for letting her loose for the week too. Next big holiday, next April, part 1 of what I’m calling the Louise Brooks Memorial tour. LB may not have truly loved Wichita,, but¬†part of her life was spent there, and I want to go take a look. Not sure if there is much of, or any indeed any trace of her left there, but I’ll have fun finding out anyway.

Right, part 2 musically, is a summing up of how most of the British Summer has been. This is so old, I cant find a live video for this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcfGCf7UGSg

The last day of a 3 figure number

Before you ask what thats about, its days to my next holiday! And will I need it by then, you bet I will! Yes, 100 days from today, I fly back to Boston, via Shannon, and team up with Kate. Sounds familiar? Yes, it should do, and I’m really looking forward to repeating it. In a sense, even more so, as I know her so much better now!

But please, dont ask for any more details about the holiday, I dont really know them. Well, apart from the fact that I return home the following Saturday via Dublin, thats about it. But in all honesty, for me, thats all part of the fun, not knowing.

Lets see, what dont I know? Where I’m staying is a good starting point as yet, I know Kate had plans on this front, but I’ve not got any details as yet. At some point she will have to give me my first night staying address, simply because the TSA like to know such things, but beyond that…? And of course, first nights stop, especially given possible plans for the Sunday, it doesnt follow thats where I’m staying for the rest of the week!

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to an NFL game live for the first time. But equally, maybe not! Tickets for Patriot games are like gold dust, and given its the first home game, even harder to get. Mind, when I saw their prices on the website, I thought they cost gold dust as well lol! Makes our football matches look reasonable, and thats saying something. But trying to tell her not to do it, no, I’m not that brave lol!

Red Sox only have 1 home game that week, the Friday evening before I fly back, so the only Fenway I might see is the far more famous dog! If I get to the NFL, I dont expect to see the Red Sox anyway, but not convinced how much Kate will listen lol!

As to what we’re doing for the rest of the week, nope, I’m none the wiser on that front either, but thats definitely part of the fun for me. One or two ideas have been tossed across the Atlantic, but which ones will be taken up, and what has been planned without me having a clue about, no idea! Should all make for great fun though, it has to be said.

One good¬†thing for the week, and has been hinted at, is meeting up again with a wonderful man by the name of James. There is one more¬†New Englander I’d love to meet too, but suspect she might like her privacy too much for that. Hope I’m wrong though. I’m sure she knows who I mean lol.

So in less than 3 hours from now (UK time), that magic number will drop to double figures. I will be asleep by then, but anyway… And yes, I know, 99 is still a pretty hefty number, but at least there are only 2 digits to it.

And alright, call it pre planning, or call it sad, whichever you prefer, but I know where I’m going for¬†my next 3 breaks to America, and a short list of 3¬†only, for September 2014. Alright, circumstances might have changed by then, but if not, its all planned out. Next year is settled, just not booked. April is to Rochester, NY, and September is to Wichita, KS. There is a connection there that some might be able to make! ūüėČ

Yes, technically its the wrong way round, but anyway…And on the latter, if I¬†can find any possible way to get to Cherryvale, KS, then I will! Looks Mission Impossible for a non driver,¬†but anyway… April 2014, I’m going to visit¬†someone on his home territory in Albany, and also enjoy the history there.

Video, no music tonight. Lets just say this was one of the more ‘entertaining’ moments of the last¬†Patriots season.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj-MGTgo1u4&feature=related