Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Action Football! Episode 6

(For those wondering, the answer is "Da Art of Storytellin', Part I" which I totally remembered right after we wrapped.)

WednesDay in Football

New Mexico's going all Columbo on coach Mike Locksley after he punched an assistant in the grill. First Tom Cable, now Mike Locksley, next Rex Ryan (you know it's coming), Aught Nine is shaping up to be the Year of the Punchin' Football Coach.

Urban Meyer said Tim Tebow is looking "terrific." The comment, surprisingly, had nothing to do with Tebow's readiness after his concussion. He was just wearing a nice new blouse.

Brand new Yankee stadium is going to host a brand new bowl game in 2010. First, people are rightly saying that we don't need another bowl game. Second, people are saying that no one's going to go to the game because it's outdoors in New York in December. Well, Christ, there's a bowl game in Boise so it's not like there isn't a precedent. one's going to that game.

Brady Quinn was demoted (back) to back up quarterback in Cleveland. Man oh man oh man oh man: Cleveland sucks!

The injury woes keep woe-ing in Seattle with Matt Hasselbeck and offensive tackle Walter Jones expected out for the Seahawks this weekend. [Note to self, insert Starbucks joke here before posting.]

Apparently Michael Vick has signed a new endorsement deal with Nike. The move is a little puzzling, but since details are scarce, I'm going to shock the world with this prediction: Nike's going to use the "be kind to animals" angle to market a line of fully synthetic athletic shoes. No leather, bitches. You heard it here first!


Admittedly, this picture has nothing to do with the post and "hot chicks" is about the laziest cliche of sports blogs. But Adrianne Palicki was on Friday Night Lights so at least it has something to do with football....

TuesDay in Football: Wednesday Morning Edition

USC running back Stafon Johnson underwent seven hours of throat surgery after a weight lifting bar crushed his larynx. All reports indicate he'll fully recover, but I think that's a little misleading. It's still unknown whether he'll ever be able to speak again. In my opinion a "full recovery" means no lasting effects from an accident, and call me crazy, but I think losing the ability to speak would count as a lasting effect. You can bet that my hopes are for a real full recovery, but that Johnson's not paralyzed (or dead) is fucking fantastic.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Noodle Arm Pennington is done for the season (and, face it, his career) with a torn shoulder capsule. You know, I can't hear the word "capsule" without thinking of those things that you put in a glass water and then four hours later a sponge animal grows. I gotta get some of those things.

Monday, September 28, 2009

MonDay in Football

Tim Tebow done dinged up his brain. After sustaining a concussion in the Florida/Kentucky game, Tebow was kept in the hospital overnight for observation. He's back home now. It's good that he seems to be doing fine, but there's a part of me that wishes he'd at least have had the decency to barf on the field, '08 Jahvid Best style.

While most of the quarterback injury talk is about Tebow's concussion, the real (shitty) story is Baylor's Robert Griffin going down for the year with an ACL injury. That suuuuuucks.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach has banned his players from Twitter after some minor digs at were posted. Perhaps the players could tweet about how cool pirates are to get back in his good graces.

Byron Leftwich is out; Josh Johnson is in as Tampa Bay's quarterback. Looking into my crystal ball, I see MonDay in Football three weeks from now: Josh Johnson is out; Josh Freeman is in as Tampa Bay's quarterback.


Get ready, y'all

For (at least) eight full days of Brett Favre knob slobbing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

FriDay in Football

He may not be a role model*, but he will be starting against Wazoo. USC quarterback Matt Barkley's back, baby.

And speaking of college quarterbacks, apparently Jimmy Clausen's turf toe won't keep him out of Notre Dame's game against Purdue. Well, bully for you, Fighting Irish.

The New York Giants make like 30 Rock and tell safety Kenny Phillips to shut it down. Put on IR with a banged up knee, Phillips is out for the year.

Apparently Eagles defensive back Sheldon Brown wore a Jason mask during player introductions before last week's game against the Saints. The NFL decided that it was a fun little gimmick and chose to overlook it. Just kidding; they fined him $10,000.

* Like that Charles Barkley commercial, remember? Because both of their names are "Barkley," you see.... Ugh, never mind.

Your Weekend Primer

While the football "weekend" has technically started, most of the games are, of course, yet to come.

So here's what you should watch:

TCU a. Clemson (AF!) - Way back in July, this game was picked as our game to watch. With TCU ranked somewhere around 15, depending on the poll, and needing to prove they belong on the national stage and Clemson looking to make a statement, it should be a doozy. Even though this was our pick for the weekend, it isn't the Game of the Week. That would likely be...

Miami a. Virginia Tech - If the Hurricanes can score 21 points, they'll win.

But don't think that's it:
  • Southern Miss a. Kansas
  • North Carolina a. Georgia Tech
  • Cal a. Oregon
  • Texas Tech a. Houston
  • Pitt a. NC State
  • Michigan State a. Wisconsin
  • Iowa a. Penn State
A really great slate of games.

If you listen to the podcast, you already know that Sunday's as bleak as Saturday is bountiful; a whole bunch of turds on the NFL schedule. The only games worth a damn are:
  • Tennessee a. NY Jets
  • Atlanta a. New England
  • San Francisco a. Minnesota
  • Indianapolis a. Arizona
Of those, the 49ers/Vikings game is about the best. Sunday will be a real good day to do some work around the house only partially paying attention to the games on tv...

Ole Miss-step

South Carolina 16, Ole Miss 10

Our opinion of Ole Miss and their top 10 preseason ranking is no secret. I'm not here for any dead horse beating.

But, boy oh boy, some showing by the Rebs.

Here's a text exchange between Rochester and me:

9:52 BR: Ole Miss, huh?
9:54 RB: They're almost as good as NC State
9:54 BR: Oof.

That was right after, down 9-3, Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead was sacked and stripped by a South Carolina defensive lineman. It seems like the 14/15 ranking that we gave Ole Miss after our first Top 25s is about where they'll end up in the AP and Coaches polls next week.

Expect them to be a whole lot lower here at Action Football.

In a nutshell. (The State)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Action Football! Season 2 Episode 5

Rochester Binghampton Top 25: Week 4

  1. Florida
  2. Cal
  3. Penn State
  4. Texas
  5. Alabama
  6. Boise State
  7. LSU
  8. Miami
  9. USC
  10. Ohio State
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Virginia Tech
  13. Houston
  14. Oklahoma State
  15. Ole Miss
  16. TCU
  17. Cincinnati
  18. Florida State
  19. BYU
  20. Georgia Tech
  21. Kansas
  22. Georgia
  23. UCLA
  24. Oregon
  25. Michigan

Buddy Randolph Top 25: Week 4

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. Alabama
  4. Penn State
  5. Cal
  6. Miami
  7. Virginia Tech
  8. Boise State
  9. USC
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Cincinnati
  12. LSU
  13. TCU
  14. Ole Miss
  15. Ohio State
  16. Florida State
  17. Houston
  18. Oklahoma State
  19. Georgia
  20. North Carolina
  21. Nebraska
  22. BYU
  23. Kansas
  24. UCLA
  25. Washington

WednesDay in Football

Notre Dame's looking pretty thin on offense because of a rash of injuries. A real shame. Really.

Penn State linebacker Sean Lee's hoping to get back into the lineup for the Big Ten opener against Iowa and holy shit these are boring stories.

Everyone knows that Chad Ochocinco wanted to do and then did a Lambeau Leap in Green Bay. Soon, everyone will know that the Bengals fans he leaped to were plants. So help me, if I read the word "Leapgate" somewhere, I will lose my shit.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen shot some photographers in Costa Rica after they got married. Or at least that's what I think happened. I didn't read the article that carefully.

Cashing in on nostalgia.

I've long said that the smartest thing Nike's done in the last fifteen years was to start reissuing (or retro-ing, if you will) sneakers from the late '80s and early '90s. There are now a generation of men who coveted a pair of shoes but neither had money to buy them nor parents willing to throw down serious money for a shoes that would be outgrown in a matter of months that have that money, parents be damned.

I bet most of the men in the target demographic could identify the picture above quicker than most mothers could identify their own children.

Combine the two, and you've got these. And since I fit firmly in the center of the Venn diagram of kids that spent an afternoon in Foot Locker and didn't buy anything and sports video game nerds, you'd better believe I bought 'em.

With my Retro 3's, if I could get a pair of Air Raids and a pair of Air Force 180s, I'd have done my 12 year old self proud.

That...would be record.

Look, I don't want to get all KSK MMQB here, but this surely could have been worded better.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a big, big fan of The SportingNews' daily e-paper, but in today's issue, a feature in which two NFL scouts provided observations about the League after week two had the following:

So in other words, I shouldn't expect Antwan Odom to end the season with 56 sacks? Good to know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Like the kids do.

Oh yeah, might as well mention that we've got a Twitter account set up.

Another place to not write.

@actionfootball, bitches!

Slacking on our pimping.

Funny that with how exciting it is to have football back the blog's gone about as dead as it was in, say, April. In order to get reader(s) content with the content, I'm gonna try to get on my grind again. That means:
  • Doing "----Day in Football" again;
  • Making good on the promise to revisit the NCAA week-by-week picks in advance of the weekend;
  • Laying out must see games;
  • And probably some other bullshit filler (you know, lists and stuff).
That said, we're hitting Studio West for an Action Football! After Dark. This week's episode includes the debut of our Rochester * Randolph Top 25 Polls. It's gonna be the heat!

In order to kick this new found motivation kicked off, let's take a look at the Action Football! picks for NCAA weeks one through three:

Week One: Virginia Tech v. Alabama - I'm not sure if it was the game having a sponsor or that it was played in the Georgia Dome, but the aura of this game was a halftime throw-a-football-through-a-Dr. Pepper-can contest away from being a conference championship game. Or, maybe because it was the first ABC featured game after a long, long off-season I was simply prone to inflating it. Either way, 34-24 Alabama.

Week Two: Ohio State v. USC - The theme through the first few weeks (which will likely be the theme through the first few weeks from here to eternity) was "Big Ten Redemption?" There was a lot riding on this game - especially for Ohio State - and after a pretty good game, USC escaped Columbus with an 18-15 win. Of course, we all know what happened the next week: USC pooped their pants against Washington, losing 16-13, and everybody was apey over Terrelle Pryor's "bounce back" (262 yards passing, 110 rushing) in a 38-0 win over Toledo. First, USC's got a habit of let downs; second, bully for you, Ohio State, whipping a team you should whip.

Week Three: Florida v. Tennessee - By now, you've heard it everywhere: a victory for the Gators in the standings, a victory for Kiffin's Vols in spirit. Florida showed that they're not unbeatable, Tennessee showed that they're almost ready to walk the walk. Of course, I'd hold off on reading too much into the game as far as Florida's concerned; technically, the Gators showed they weren't unbeatable last year (by being beaten), only to regroup and run the table. What if the Tennessee game was their wake up call this year - a wake up call that they won, no less - and they come out next week like the last half of the season last year?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Excellence in blog writing.

I think it's probably apparent that I don't think about what I write on this blog before I write it. Or edit anything in any way. It's pretty much a one-off, steam of consciousness type deal.

Luckily, some bloggers actually take care to craft their words. When I come across a particularly excellent bit of writing I feel like I should recognize it.

So here (Jon Bois at Mouthpiece Sports on buying NFL Sunday Ticket):
Which we do, and we’re rewarded with unlimited access to live footage of, say, Brodie Croyle or Koy Detmer pegging his wide receiver in the back of the helmet. What a cruel sham.
Simple, insightful, hilarious.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Action Football! Season 2 Episode 4

Live it. Love it.

Well, suh-prise suh-prise.

From today's SportingNews Today e-paper (which, if you're not getting, you really should):

Monday, September 14, 2009

No Urlacher?

I've gone on and on about how the Chicago Bears' defense is getting older by the minute and that the ship has sailed on riding that unit to a division championship, but the game last night against the Packers fed me a little crow: they were flying around and looked, stuffing runs and putting constant heat on Aaron Rodgers.

But now there's gotta be a slight sense of panic in Bears fan-land with the report that a dislocated wrist is ending Brian Urlacher's season. After Urlacher left the game, Green Bay was finally able to start running the ball, which might be a harbinger for the remainder of the season. Really, you can't underestimate the importance of a veteran middle linebacker, and the pre-snap reads and adjustments he makes.

Still though, I'm not doctor, but when I hear "dislocated wrist," my initial reaction is "playing cast."

UPDATE: Apparently the nature and severity of the injury raises concerns for permanent nerve damage. So that's that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

That's enough, Dan Hawkins

It starts with a beat down to start the season off with your rival, in which your fans booed you at home.They play in the Mountain West. Then it develops into a 54-38 ram-jam by Toledo. They play in the MAC. So, I really don't think this is Big 12 football, Dan. In fact, there might be kids drawing up plays on the intermurals field who are better suited to coach the Buffs. Katie Hnida thinks your the worst coach in Colorado history, Dan. Hang 'em up and take your son with you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

FriDay in Football

Rochester said that, because of the NFL opener, no one would be watching Georgia Tech take on Clemson. I'll admit that, after the former started, the latter only functioned as something to watch during commercial breaks - especially since the halftime 24-0 GT lead had all the makings of a grade A beatdown. A strange thing happened, though; it seemed like each time I flipped back to ESPN, Clemson had scored more points: 24 unanswered, in fact, to tie up the game, and then another three (again unanswered) to take the lead. Ultimately, Georgia Tech was able to kick two field goals - to tie and then win - in the final six minutes, dodging a yoooge bullet, closing out Clemson 27-24.

The NFL season opened with bang: the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Tennessee Titans. We discussed what a great game this was on the podcast, and it did not disappoint. (Unless you consider a Steelers win as a disappointment, which, yeah, I kinda do.) The game was an interesting mix of big offense (Roethlisberger seemed to hook up with Santonio Holmes for 20 yards at will; Chris Henry was able to cut back against the Steelers defense for big gains, seemingly, on every other drive) and big defense (before leaving with a knee injury, "You asked with your eyes*" Polamalu was all over the field; the Titans front four was always in Roethlisberger's face and absolutely shutting down the Steelers' running game).

It's no secret I dislike the Steelers, and when I dislike a team, I tend to develop a bitter hatred against some of the players on that team (before, it was Jerome Bettis and Joey Porter - undeserved and deserved, respectively; now, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu - deserved and undeserved?). As a result, I was probably one of the happiest football fans in American when Ward was stripped from behind late in the game when he should have gone down setting up a game winning field goal. All the close ups of the sour puss of the "league leaders in smiles*" was sweet, sweet frosting on my delicious schadenfreude cup cake (tainted only because the mistake didn't ultimately lose the game for Pittsburgh).

Steelers win or no, if this game was any indicator for how this season'll shape up, we're in for a good'n.

* I thought Peter King, et al., jocking Ward for being the greatest blocking wide receiver of all time (cheap shot artist? You decide!) as well as praising him for always having that shit-eating grin plastered to his face (who loves the game more than that guy? Er, other than Brett Favre...), was about as bad as it could get, but I was wrong. Over the summer, when ESPN was doing that stupid fucking Mort Goes to Camp segment - a wrongheaded attempt to make Chris Mortenson a likeable or charismatic WWL personality - when he was at Steelers camp he honesttofuckinggod asked Hines Ward if he took "smile enhancing drugs."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Like a Football Holiday

Today, football season's really really back. The first regular season NFL game - the Titans at the Steelers - and a college game that, if not top tier, is at least nothing to sneeze at. Maybe? Anyway, today is the day that signals, for me, months of relative inactivity.

I'm always amazed, come the second weekend in February, how much free time I suddenly have. In order to counter the dozens of beers and pints of dill, french onion, and cheese dips I'm likely to consume, I should do ten sit ups and ten push ups at the start of each quarter of each game I watch this season. (Note: This will never happen.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Action Football! Season 2 Episode 3

Please consult the post below for a correction to the fucked up poll that we talk about in the podcast.

In Advance of the Upload

We blew the doors of Studios West yesterday afternoon. Later today, Episode Three will be available to the masses, but there's a chunk of the show that is inaccurate. Yesterday, I put together a Top 25 poll, like last week, based on the average of the coaches and AP polls. I won't divulge the site from which I pulled the numbers, but let's say that although the polls claimed to have been updated 9/08/09, they were not. Or, if they were, they weren't the least bit accurate.

So, below is the actual, factual averaged Top 25. While listening to the podcast, feel free to disregard the order we break down. I'd say feel free to fast forward, but then you'd miss out on the dulcet tones of Rochester Binghampton.

Top 25 (AP & Coaches poll average)
  1. Florida (1)
  2. Texas (2)
  3. USC (4)
  4. Alabama (5)
  5. Oklahoma State (11)
  6. Penn State (9)
  7. Ole Miss (8)
  8. Ohio State (6)
  9. LSU (10)
  10. Cal (12)
  11. BYU (22)
  12. Boise State (14)
  13. Oklahoma (3)
  14. Georgia Tech (15)
  15. Virginia Tech (7)
  16. TCU (17)
  17. Utah (19)
  18. North Carolina (20)
  19. Notre Dame (24)
  20. Nebraska (23)
  21. Georgia (13)
  22. Miami (NR)
  23. Cincinnati (NR)
  24. Kansas (25)
  25. Oregon State (NR)

Friday, September 4, 2009

FriDay in Football

ESPN's College Football Kick-Off Game (or whatever) was kind of a dud. South Carolina upset NC State 7-3 as a result of the Wolfpack's piss-poor receivers and some take-out officiating (I'm guessing that would be the opposite of "home cooking"). I was able to get back from Raleigh (with a brief trip through Arby's drive through) in time to see the last three quarters of the Oregon/Boise State game, which was kind of a snoozer itself. So much so, that, with about three minutes left in the game, I decided to turn in. Which was too soon, since....

Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount sucker punched Boise State defensive end Byron Hout. By all accounts, Hout cocked off to Blount during the post-game handshake period and Blount responded with his fist. While Blount made his bed by saying the Ducks owed Boise State an "ass whooping" and then having a less than spectacular game (in the 19-8 loss), Hout looks like kind of a dickbird and there's something pretty gratifying about seeing him drop in LSUfreek's gif.

It's been a damn bloodbath for offensive coordinators in the League this week. First Chan Gailey gets the bum's rush in Kansas City, then Jeff Jagodzinski was shown the door in Tampa Bay, and now Bills offensive coordinator Turk Schonert is out on his ass. Seriously, firing your offensive coordinator a week before the season starts is the hottest NFL trend since the Wildcat formation.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Holy crap is there a lot to love about this picture.

But, yeah, the "greatest of all time" probably takes it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Action Football! Season 2 Episode 2

NFL preview episode with a big fat Twin Peaks spoiler alert. Yeah, that's right, we're posting a spoiler alert for a series that ended in 1991.

WednesDay in Football

Oh, shiiiii.... Man, when it rains it pours, hey Dick Rod? Fresh on the heels of allegations regarding NCAA violating practice habits, it comes to light that Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez was involved in a failed real estate deal with some scumbag from South Carolina. What is it they say about birds of a feather? Oh, yeah, there's two of them in a bush which you can kill with one stone in your hand. Or something like that.

Iowa Hawkeye running back and successor to Shonn Greene, Jewel Hampton, is out for the year with a knee injury requiring surgery. While who will replace Greene is a pressing question for Iowa, a more pressing question is "Is Jewel pronounced like 'Who Will Save Your Soul' Jewel, or like, Joo-El or something?"

Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards is likely out of the season opener at East Carolina, which boldly changes the complexion of that match up. Armanti kind of reminds me of Amani which makes me think of "Well Dressed" Amani Toomer which reminds me of how much I can't stand Chris Berman.

Big, fat Andre Smith finally ended his hold out by signing with the Bengals and then he broke his big, fat left foot.

Apparently, the New York Jets are considering a trade for Broncos wide receiver, Brandon Marshall. I guess they must not have a "no disgruntled wide receivers prone to lying about hurting themselves by slipping on a McDonald's wrapper" policy.

NCAA Football Week By Week

Week Fifteen
Army v. Navy (AF!) - Much like week fourteen's USC/Arizona match up, this game becomes the pick by default. In actuality, there's no reason to expect Army to stop Navy's seven game win streak. While it might not be a competitive game (or rivalry, anymore), the telecast is sure to play up the tradition and history. Let's not forget, though, that there was a time when Harvard and Yale were national powerhouses....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

NCAA Football Week By Week

Week Fourteen
Arizona a. USC (AF!) - By default, this becomes our pick. Okay, in all fairness, the "real" pick this week will likely be either the SEC or Big 12 Championship Game, but that's not the way this thing works. Anyway, the Mike Stoops led Wildcats probably don't have much of a shot against the Trojans, particularly if USC doesn't piss away a game they should win and are perhaps in the hunt for a National Championship. (Which, after the last few seasons, is a pretty big "if".)

Speaking of college football, holy hell, can you believe the first real game (sorry Quincy and Indiana State) is the day after tomorrow? What's more, Action Football! will be on location at the NC State/South Carolina game. Don't expect to hear any interviews or anything from that game, though. We'll be far too busy getting drunk to do any work.