Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lazy Ass Football Post...

Things ain't been quite right since ol' Buddy went into retirement at Action Football! Turk and I have recently fallen into the world of gainful employment and things are busier than a beaver hooker at a Shriner's convention. Ha! Can you imagine that? I am going to laugh about that one tomorrow. Beaver hooker? Hilarious. The gainful employment is nice, but it comes at a price. We lose a bit of freedom. You have to say things like "reports" "pdf attachments" wear nice clothes, shave more than our coin purses, and when we fart we have to say "Excuse me" instead of laughing & asking for a lighter for the next one. My grandfather killed all those Germans for this? Oh, he wasn't in the war, he just hated Germans. Anyway:
  1. NFL and NCAA had a bunch of monster/illegal hits this weekend. And like the NFL always does, they only worry about it when it comes in bunches. Now, players can be looking at suspensions. Overall, hits have not been crazy mad this season. It just happened over this weekend it was bananas. At this moment, Chuck Cecil and Fred Lane stop taken veterans pay in utter disgust.
  2. Todd Dodge is out as coach of North Texas. I don't really care about this so much. This does bring up a question though. Does anybody else think about "Necessary Roughness" whenever they see North Texas play? Man, how sweet would it be to play football with the dude from "Quantum Leap"? You'd know he just took over the QB's body, because shit would be out of control. You'd all huddle up. It'd be 4 & 29 and the team was down 70 points. You'd be screaming at him to figure something out. There'd be a big as flash, he'd look up all goofy and say, "Oh boy." DAMN!
  3. BCS hosed Oregon, TCU, and Boise State. Oklahoma hasn't played anyone and they stumble up to #1. Huh? Who does this sound like? Dot the "I", Suckeyes.
  4. Farve molestered Jenn Sterger. So what? I have you seen this girl? She created a whole persona based on her showing her udders on the sideline of Florida State games. Also, it was when he was with the Jets. THE JETS! THE EFFIN JETS! That is the most sexual harassment oriented organization in all of sports. Lets look at the stats, people. First, their legendary Super Bowl winning QB tried to get to second base with Suzy Kolber on national television. Two, they had an entire section of their (READ: The Giants') stadium dedicated to trying to bother women to show their boobs. C, their locker room tried to run a train on a Univision reporter. And finally, I am willing to bet that Brian Schottenheimer, at the very least, rubbed his penis on one of Mark Sanchez's moles. I have no proof, but he looks like the kind of guy who'd do that. Also, I got a real weird gay vibe off of the both of them on "Hard Knocks". Ha! A beaver hooker? What a world.
  5. Ben Roethlisberger started this week and he is a rapist.

It ain't much, but it is something.

Monday, October 4, 2010

So Long, and Thanks for All the Beers

I've been toying with the idea since the start of training camp, but it wasn't until I got the automated email for the podcast hosting billing transaction that it hit home. I'm done with Action Football!

After two football seasons, a bunch of blog posts, 40-some-odd episodes, and about 100 on-air bottles of about 80 different kinds of beer, I'm hanging up my microphone and keyboard.

Turk, Rochester, you can get me that gold watch whenever you see fit.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lazy football thoughts

I'm too tired to make any cutesy jokes, so here's a bunch of football shit I've been thinking about lately.

1. Notre Dame sucks. I'm not sure this is a surprise to anyone that actually pays attention to football, but it sure seems to be a surprise to the national media. It's time we all stopped paying attention to them until they do something noteworthy besides exist. So, ignoration starting... now.

2. Mark Sanchez is still not really that good. Again, yuuuuuge surprise to the national media, but not to anybody who has seen a QB who is able to throw more than about 20 yards. Because if you have, you'd be like, "Mark Sanchez is not one of those guys." Also, I hereby vow, for the rest of my Darwin-given life, to loudly and lustily chant "OVER-RATED" whenever I see Braylon Edwards in real life. Number of times I expect this to happen: 0.

3. Rex Ryan is a pretty good coach. I am large. I contain multitudes. Not as large as Rex Ryan, but still. Pretty large.

4. The Bears are well on their way to winning the NFC North, as predicted. The Vikings suck, and the Packers have really yet to put together a game that shows me that they're worthy of all the preseason hype.

5. NC State ZOMG WTF!!!!

6. Kinda looking forward to seeing Brian Brohm start for Buffalo this week. Not saying "succeed" this week, because he's still saddled with probably the worst organization in the league, but I like when young QBs get a chance to show their stuff after successful college careers.

7. Stanford ZOMG WTF!!!

8. Denard Robinson is pretty awesome.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Action Football's (Literal) Football Watching Guide

I watch a lot of football. You watch a lot of football. But have you ever stopped to think about how you watch football? Well, here's how I do it.

Years ago some magazine had a sidebar with tips from John Madden about how to watch football on television. The only one of the tips that I remember is that you should keep your eye on the offensive line before and immediately after the snap. Ever since reading that, that's what I do.

Initially, it was pretty difficult, because up to that point I was following the ball from the snap until the end of the play. Thing is, watching the guard and centers will tell you almost immediately if the play is a run or pass, the direction of the former and if there's a roll-out pocket on the latter. If you see the line move forward at the snap, it's a run, back up, it's a pass (or, I guess, a draw). If a guard pulls in one direction, chances are that's where the run is headed. If the entire line moves back and uniformly in one direction, that's going to be a moving pocket for a roll-out pass.

If it's a run play, I'll generally switch my focus to the running back, or more specifically, the area to which the running back is headed. Since it's almost impossible to see if a hole is open from the sideline perspective of the cameras, you kind of have to develop a sense for how many players are in the vicinity and if there are any free-running defensive players.

If it's a pass play, I start a "one one thousand, two one thousand..." count. Most NFL offenses have pass plays designed to get the ball out before you hit "four." If you get past four and the quarterback isn't scrambling, he's probably going to get knocked down whether or not he gets the ball out. For the most part, it's better to keep your eye on the line and/or backs tasked with picking up blitzers because 1) it's pretty much impossible to watch receivers that run routes any more than five yards down field after the camera sets on the quarterback, and 2) it gives you a much better sense of the pressure generated than simply watching quarterback look for receivers.

After I got comfortable watching plays develop this way, I started paying more attention to adjustments made before the snap. How many linebackers or defensive backs were crowding the line showing blitz? Did the center, quarterback, and/or running back(s) appear to point out those players? If so, did they back off? In most cases, at least one of the players that shows blitz ends up dropping off into coverage, in some cases being replaced by a blitzer that hadn't indicated he was rushing. At the snap, when the rush is set loose, are all the blitzers picked up? On a run, if it was impossible to pick up every blitzer, was the blocking scheme adjusted so the free-runner was furthest from the running back and coming from the direction away from where the ball is headed?

I'd argue that if you start keeping these things in mind while you watch games, you'll get a better sense of how the game is progressing, the strategy the offensive and defensive coordinators are employing, and how individual match ups are being played out. It's pretty gratifying to see a spectacular block that seals a running lane while the play's developing rather than having it pointed out by some color commentary jag during a replay.

One downside of this viewing approach, though: you'll find yourself getting a little pissed when, inevitably, the telecast holds too long on a replay, cutting back to the game after the next play is run. I mean, if I don't see every snap of the game, someting bad might happen. Now I'm going to have to switch the kitchen light on and off twenty five times while holding down the mute button on my cellphone.

Whew, that's better.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weeks 2 and 3

Earlier in the week, I had some big ideas for getting a solo podcast up considering AF!'s now five weeks behind what we've done in the past. The cost/benefit analysis came out waaaay on the side of "cost," so those were scrapped. Then, I had half a post typed up that was basically this paragraph and then a fleshed out outline of what I was gonna say on the podcast. Then I got busy and that got the heave ho.

So now here we are: Already into Week 3 (congratulations NC State, you couldn't have done it without Rochester's support), and shy of a post about Jacory Harris's Columbus attire, no mention of Week 2. At all. Man alive, we're pros!

So, before looking ahead, let's take a brief look back.

NCAA
Virginia Tech becomes a national non-factor so much faster than anyone ever would have thought. Tough tiddies for them, but the real question is how it's going to affect Boise State. Obviously, the Broncos' clutch Week 1 win is a lot lest lustrous after VaTech Michiganed it up to James Madison, but I think, for the most part, Boise State controls their own destiny. If they win out - handily - they'll get a shot at the NC, especially since they still have a game against Oregon State. The Beavers are still a ranked team despite a close loss to TCU, a top tier team in their own right. Of course, if Oregon State somehow lost to Louisville this weekend, well, Boise State would be pretty well fucked.

ESPN's much hyped "Monster Saturday" pretty much failed to live up to the billing on all fronts. First, South Carolina beat Georgia 17-6, leading wire to wire. Then, Ohio State beat Miami 36-24. And finally, Alabama beat Penn State back to the Stone Age (or, alternatively, Joe Paterno's awkward teenage years; hahahahaha, he's old!) 24-3.

Speaking of Alabama, that one running back sure is doing well in relief of that injured, starting running back. (Note to intern: fill in those names)

NFL
I think everybody's done talking about how the Lions got jobbed on that essentially game ending not-a-touchdown-after-all call. But look, I hate the Bears as much as everyone should, and I would have loved to see them get beat. At home. By the Lions. But as the rule is written, Calvin Johnson's reception wasn't. This isn't a new rule, and I find it hard to believe there's a receiver in the League that doesn't know you have to keep possession to the ground. And given that 1) he's a professional athlete with presumed excellent kinetic sense and 2) replays show there was about twenty minutes from the time he caught the ball in the air until the ball touched the ground, he probably should have been able to bring the ball into his bread basket and land on his side. Just sayin'. Still, non-Bears fans should take solace in the fact that Cutler and Co. barely beat a team that's won two games in the last two years, was without their starting quarterback, in Chicago. Lovie Smith's seat must be on fiiiyaaaah.

When is it too soon to make the JErsey RaTS and their fans stop the Super Bowl talk? 'Cause Monday night probably should have been it. Granted, Baltimore's got a helluva defense but the Jets offense (and Mark Sanchez in particular) looked effing dreadful. Yeah, so the Jets' defense also looked pretty good, and they say that defense wins championships, but the other part of that is offense winning games and good goddam luck playing for a championship if you don't win any games....

Finally, because it's the game I paid closest attention to, there was a lot of shit going on in the Packers/Eagles game. First, their were injuries galore. In the light of the increased scrutiny of and research into head injuries, the most significant long term were the concussions to the Eagles' Kevin Kolb (QB) and Stewart Bradley (LB). Especially the latter, given the fact that after he took the shot to his dome, he hit the ground, laid there, attempted to get up, stumbled, collapsed, and then still attempted to get up, despite the panicked pleas of his teammates to stay down while they were waving over medical personnel. I'll have to check the replay, but I'm fairly certain his brains were hanging out of his ears when he got to the sideline. And yet the coaching staff let him return to the game before finally, duh, diagnosing the concussion at halftime. Apparently, Andy Reid wants to use 2010 to expand his horrible, horrible in-game strategizing from "clock management" and "play calling" to "player safety" as well. (Although don't think for a second he's giving up on those other two: just look at how he used up all his timeouts with six minutes left in a one-score game or how he called a to-be-game-ending 4th and one quarterback sneak - up the damn middle - after a game loaded with Michael Vick runs to the outside that absolutely torched Green Bay's defense. Bravo, Andy Reid, bravo.)

That being said, since the Packers are most everybody's Super Bowl darling, you can't overlook the hit they took losing Ryan Grant for the year. Brandon Jackson ran well in relief during the Eagles games, and apparently the Eagles forgot that fullbacks were allowed to touch the ball considering Chad Kuhn seemed to gain a minimum of seven yards on the few carries he had, and the strength of the offense is the deep and varied passing attack, so.... Actually, I forgot where I was going here. Suffice it to say, I think the Packers'll be okay.

So, as far as this week is concerned:

NCAA
#1 Alabama a. Duke - There was some article that said the the Blue Devils' passing attack was going to test 'Bama's defense. That's some wishful thinking. Plus, I was certain this was a misprint: Alabama at Duke? Has Alabama ever played in a stadium that only holds 33,000 people?
#18 USC a. Minnesota - After seeing them play for a couple of weeks, I'm surprised USC's still ranked as high as 18. If Minnesota plans to beat a ranked team this year, this is the game. But, yeah, that's not going to happen.
Arizona State a. #11 Wisconsin - As a Badgers fan, this game's got me nervous as hell. Which does not bode well for Conference play.... Looks like it's off to Costco to stock up on Tums and Prilosec.
Baylor a. #4 TCU - Should be fun. Baylor's Robert Griffin can be an electrifying player (although doesn't it seem like he's been playing for about twelve years now?) and TCU has to win all their games in convincing fashion in order to stay in BCS striking range.
Clemson a. #16 Auburn - I know shit-all about Clemson this season, but after Mississippi State threw a scare into Auburn to start the season, who knows what'll happen here?
Mississippi State a. #15 LSU - So I just mentioned Mississippi State's near-upset of Auburn. Add to that LSU barely getting by North Carolina team short a shit-ton of players (on a side note, it's funny to think about Rochester foaming at the mouth right now; relax, I mentioned that as a fact, not an excuse for the Tar Heels...), and a MSST win would hardly be classified as an upset.
#6 Texas a. Texas Tech - In state blah blah blah.
#9 Iowa a. #24 Arizona - Why do I get the feeling Iowa's going to be down 31-10 at halftime, but then end up winning 33-31?
Wake Forest a. #19 Stanford - Here's my upset special. Which will probably work out as well as my last one....
ECU a. Virginia Tech - Will Virgina Tech go from NC hopeful to 0-3 dog in three short weeks? I don't see why not.

NFL
It's only week two, so almost all of the games are equally meaningful and meaningless, but looking over the schedule...damn, there's not much in terms of must-see football. So my advice is to watch your favorite team play (and be thankful that byes haven't started yet) and then watch Sunday Ticket's Red Zone channel.

Monday, September 13, 2010

TresseLOL

Jacory Harris, sometimes pretty good at football, but always sporting the latest in Tressel-mocking apparel. +1, bro.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This weekend's NFL line...

...what the hell is wrong with you? It is week one. I don't know shit about fuck. If you have to bet, then might I suggest going to a local soccer field and betting on youth soccer. I'd like to act like I've never done that and call you a degenerate. However, I have. Check back at Action Football! for week five picks.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Onion Sports 2010 NFL Team-By-Team Guide

Read it here.

Choice bits:

[Steelers] Intangibles: Commitment to defense forces opposing teams to respect the Steel Curtain until they realize at halftime that it's overrated and they should probably be exploiting a secondary that is actually pretty terrible

[Jaguars] Weakness: Quarterback controversy between Luke McCown and David Garrard has coaches wondering if they should even have a quarterback at all

[Texans] Strength: If quarterback Matt Schaub continues to improve at the rate he did between 2007 and 2009, he will throw for 6,000 yards and 90 touchdowns this year

[Eagles] Weakness: With the loss of Brian Westbrook, the Eagles have a major hole at starting knee injury and concussion

[Cardinals] Strength: Superstar Larry Fitzgerald runs crisp routes, gets good separation, and watches helplessly as poorly thrown passes wobble to the turf

Weekend Watching

Without a midweek podcast tipping you off to the marquee games, how do you know what games are worth your time? This post is how!

NCAA
The obvious approach is to find games with two ranked teams squaring off. So....
  • #22 Georgia a. #24 South Carolina - Click here for commentary.
  • #17 FSU a. #10 Oklahoma - Cut those rankings in half and this could be 1994.
  • #12 Miami a. #2 Ohio State - The first chance for Ohio State to get knocked out of the NC race. Keep them fingers crossed!
  • #18 Penn State a. #1 Alabama - Criminy, that's three pretty interesting match ups in a row. How the hell did this many huge games get scheduled this early in the season?!?
Next, you can try to pick out a few that just seem like they might be good. (Uh, duh.)
  • Iowa State a. #9 Iowa - Buddy Randolph's Upset Alert...for no particular reason.
  • #25 Stanford a. UCLA - Eventually UCLA's going to start winning games, right?
  • Virginia a. #16 USC - Because how hilarious would it be if Virginia's even mildly competitive in this game?
NFL
It's Week One, you might as well watch as many games as you can.

Although it might be worth boycotting the ESPN Monday Night double header on principle. I hate this new "tradition." Practically, the timing really only works for viewers in the Central and Mountain timezones. On the East Coast, the late game doesn't end until, like, 2 in the damn morning. On the West Coast, the first game starts at 4 o'clock. On a Monday. Plus, since they started doing this, one game has been okay (this year: Baltimore at the Jets) and one game has been fucking terrible (San Diego a. Kansas City). Attention ESPN: Knock it off.

Do you think it's gonna make him change?


Sometimes I think that Tom Brady's car accident was due to his new haircut. Like, some girl drove past, and he was just standing there, locks glistening in the sun, and she got like mesmerized and crashed, like that commercial with Dennis Duffy. I mean, not that you could blame the other driver. Look how pretty!


In other, less gay, footballier news... The Saints kinda squeeked by the Minnesota Interceptions Fumbles Favres Vikings on opening night. Hurry, go make an "all is right with the world" or "Who dat" Facebook status update, then resume regularly scheduled photos of your niece's birthday party.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It is on like Rae Dawn Chong

When Rochester and Buddy started butting heads

Nothing I loves more than being called out for not posting from a man on vacation. I apologize for not posting, but ol' Rochester has made some big moves. BIG MOVES! Things got rough for me and next thing I know I living in "Pirate Country" You need a little Rochester love? Here you go:

NFL
  • Ben Rothlisberger (SHIT I SPELLED HIS NAME RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!) is scared on how Pittsburgh fans will react to him. I can only imagine how scare he will feel. I bet it would feel like being forced to drink shots, then being forced into a bathroom by men who are twice your size, and then being forced to have sex with a middle of the road NFL QB. When it is all done, the sexual predator takes photos with the local law enforcement, that are paid to protect you. To finish it, the man in charge of the only punishment for the aforementioned sexual assault, reduces it because the sex offender was nice to him and his boss claims that it is all behind him. Man, that does sound like a nightmare, Ben. How could someone live with that?
  • Darrelle "And his other brother, Darryl" Revis ended his hold out roughly the GDP of Peru short of Nnamdi Asomugha's monster contract. If Revis wants that contract, then he should just hope that Al Davis lives long enough for his contract to end in New Jers-er-York. (Ed Note: Al Davis is crazy) On another note, can players who have a good season just go ahead sit out the following camp and stop this goofy "I hold out" malarkey? Geez 'um, Crow!
  • Tom Brady is still in talks about is contract. Good luck, Tom. I kind of visualize all interested parties involved sitting about a table as the bill shows up and no one is making eye contact. New England is cheaper than a Jewish Scotsman. (Ed. Note: Happy New Year, Jews) Also, Bill Belichick never even made it to the table because he was chatting up some GMILF at the bar, drinking Coors Cutter.
NCAA
  • Reggie Bush is going to lose the Heisman. OJ Simpson killed two people and robbed a dude at gun point, so...
  • A.J. Green will have to sit out three games because he sold his game-worn jersey. The weird thing is he sold it to a Japanese business man. Because you see, we buy their girls' soiled underwear and they by our NCAA football players jerseys. Is there really a market for these things? Aye gross!
  • Hey Notre Dame won last week! That means when the stumble around for a victory, like a 14-year ripping at a date's bra, against Michigan this week, then we can expect them in the top 10 next week. FAAAAAACK!
I am still here, Buddy. I am down, but I ain't out!

Without comment....



via Deadspin, by way of With Leather

Sunday, September 5, 2010

95% of the way through the first week of football

First off, it's a good God damn thing Turk was added to Action Football! He's out of the gate with the sort of enthusiasm that Rochester and I had at the beginning of this thing. (By the way, I guess since Rochester's name is still up there on the logo, he's still involved with AF!, all evidence to the contrary.)

Technically speaking, I have an excuse for (at least the last week of) my inactivity: I've just returned from the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. Speaking of Wisconsin, the Badgers had their first game last night (well, since I'm on the East Coast, I should say "this morning" since two thirds of the game was after midnight...). No longer having Directv, I watched it online, full on illegally. How rad is it that technology exists that some dude with Directv in South Dakota can hook me up with the game? Pretty rad. (Granted, the stream was sub-starndard def, but in theory it could be high definition and likely eventually will be, and it was free.)

While I'm still working the kinks out of my 2010 football watching technique, I'm awfully glad football's back on.

The thing that stuck with me most from yesterday was seeing on the ticker that the Cardinals had released Matt Leinart. Hilarious.

Now to wrap up this un-thought out post, my reactions to Turk's reactions regarding the Big Ten-lve divisions. I'm going to end up pretty "company man" here in that I don't have the same issues as my esteemed colleague.

1. Competitive balance - Like TR mentioned, there is an assumption that programs don't get better or worse. The thing is, taking a long view, Big Ten programs rarely get significantly better or worse overall. In the past thirty years, the biggest movement in the Conference has been the progress Wisconsin made after Barry Alvarez was hired and Michigan falling off recently. In those two instances, though, Wisconsin's been generally in the top third of the Big Ten for the past fifteen years and I get the sense that Michigan's going to be back on the upswing to the same top third starting this year. Any football program can experience dips or bubble up, but the Big Ten's been pretty consistent over time.

2. Maintaining rivalries - Okay, this is dumb. Either you have it set up that each team plays every other team in its division, keeping teams in the same division as their rivals or you keep rivals in different divisions so that there's the possibility of them meeting in the Championship game. The way it worked out, it doesn't seem to matter where anybody is since, like Turk mentioned, Ohio State and Michigan will still play each other every year.

3. Geography - I'm confused by Ramsey's assertion that "[t]his obviously didn't come out in a strict East - West sort of deal, as the far east teams like Penn State won't be routinely going to Nebraska or Iowa." While not "strict" (Champaign is further west than Ann Arbor) wouldn't those divisions actually imply an East/West separation? The NFC North is the NFC North because Minnesota doesn't routinely travel to New Orleans....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How badly is the Big Ten conference idea screwed up?

Pretty fuckin' badly, if you axe me. I'm certain Buddy will have something to say about it when he gets back from his weeklong fornication vacation, too.

The divisions were announced last night, and they're more gerrymandered than a New York congressional district.
Neither division has been named but they break down like this: Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern in one. Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana in the other.
The conference had said previously that their three concerns in dividing up would be 1) maintaining a competitive balance, 2) maintaining rivalries, and 3) geography, and in that order.
So how did they do?

1) Maintaining a competitive balance. This is so dumb as to be hardly even worth considering. It assumes that schools become no better and no worse over time. And even if they don't, who is the current "competitive balance" to Ohio State in the other division? Michigan? Please. Michigan State? NORTHWESTERN? COME ON! What if say, Wisconsin, grows into a Ohio State-like powerhouse (one that wins its bowl games, though)? Will the divisions change? No. So, fail.

2) Maintaining rivalries. What are the tradition Big Ten rivalries, and were they "maintained?"
  • Michigan - Ohio State: Obviously the biggest. Will still play each other in a "cross-division" rivalry game on the last week of each season. So, why put them in a different division? Georgia-Florida: both in the same division. UNC-Duke (hahaha... aaahhhahahahaha... no, not football): both in the same division. THAT'S how you make a rivalry. You don't make up some bullshit "cross-division" name and then call it a rivalry. I call this "not maintained." That they still play each other every year is a mere technicality. Playing the game on the last week of the season makes it sort of an "all or nothing" deal. Either the game has meaning for the championship, or it doesn't, whereas putting the two in the same division would make the game float in the schedule each year. With the addition of a championship game, can you see a situation where Ohio State has the division sewn up going into the Michigan game, and then plays scrubs so nobody gets hurt? I can.
  • Minnesota - Wisconsin: Same deal. Huge game. We've been assured they'll play each other in a cross-division rivalry game. Just dumb.
  • Wisconsin - Iowa: NOT MAINTAINED.
  • Even the recent quasi-rivalries we've seen emerge over the past few years, like Wisconsin - Northwestern have not been maintained.
  • ESPN says: "The other cross-divisional rivalries will be: Nebraska and Penn State, pitting the Big Ten's two newest members; Indiana and Michigan State, which play for the Brass Spittoon; and Iowa and Purdue; and in-state rivals Illinois and Northwestern."Lame, lame, lame. Penn State and Nebraska are not rivals just because they're the newest in the Big Ten. That's just stupid. Indiana and Michigan State? I've never even heard of that. Iowa and Purdue, obviously even too lame for the article to elaborate on. Illinois - Northwestern is sort of legit, in the way that watching two babies fight would be kind of interesting for a minute.
  • Other ones too dumb to mention. Except maybe Michigan - Michigan State, which I guess is sort of maintained.
3) Geography. This obviously didn't come out in a strict East - West sort of deal, as the far east teams like Penn State won't be routinely going to Nebraska or Iowa. I can sort of see a rough arcing North - South deal, though, if you squint really hard. Frankly, I think an East - West breakdown would have made the most sense, and best accomplished the other two goals.

I honestly don't see a whole lot of logic to the announced split, but we can be damned sure it was driven primarily by loudmouth Ohio State fans, and whatever beer-soaked corn dog logic they barfed up behind the Denny's.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Preseason Thoughts, and the GrooGrux Football Jesus

Just like the preseason itself, these little mind-bullets aren't significant, and won't really matter in a few weeks, but hey, it's still football.

I watched a few preseason games over the last few days. Week 3 of the preseason is supposed to be the one where we get the best idea of how teams will actually shake out during the regular season. With that in mind, a few thoughts about what coaches should do before the bullshit kickoff festivities.*

Like Rochester and Buddy, I also live in the Carolinas. Since the NFL has determined that no great American city television market shall be unblessed with a mediocre team, that means we get a lot of Panthers games. Although they wear minty AFC colors, the Panthers have come to embody what I like to think of as a typical NFC mentality, namely, run the ball and play solid defense. Their preseason game against the Titans showed that they need to get their offensive shit together. Speaking of minty, it wasn't until Jimmy Clausen entered the game in the 4th quarter that things started to pick up. While the Panthers still plan to start Matt Moore on opening day, they're still carrying Clausen, and college standouts Hunter Cantwell (Louisville) and Tony Pike (Cincinnatti) on the roster, which suggests they're at least contemplating adapting to the NFL's emerging pass-first-offense consensus. Also, I want to point out that John Fox is a criminally underrated coach. This is not a team to overlook.

Pittsburgh has been handed a $5 footlong crap sandwich, served up piping hot by the crap sandwich artist Ben Roethlisberger. His suspension puts Byron Leftwich at the helm, an idea that inspires confidence in exactly no one. I could go about how the Steelers are consequently pretty much out of the picture barring an incredible mid- and late-season run, but really all I wanted to say about them is that I saw Bill Cowher at a restaurant in Raleigh on Friday night after my fantasy draft, and that he gave me the up-nod when I shouted "Hey, Coach!" as he was walking past my table. It was pretty cool. And then I had a great Cuban sandwich; hold the crap.

Denver is a team that does not inspire a whole lot of confidence, as they seem to have been plagued with injuries this preseason, including to pretty much their entire backfield. Is this a plague that can be lifted ONLY BY FOOTBALL JESUS?!?!?! Denver certainly seems to think/hope so, and for that reason alone, they can all go get smote. A few weeks ago at our weekly trivia game (where our team, Queefer Sutherland, routinely dominates), Rochester and his buddy thought it great sport to run off a list of great Florida players after I went on a rant about FJ and how he can get fucked for all I care. Pssh. As if that was even the issue. The issue is that FJ is a douche, and I hate that he's in the NFL and positioned to make an impact this year. I hope Knowshon, being a Georgia boy, does the right thing and rolls up on FJ's ankle during a handoff.

Finally, I can't (and won't) go an entire post without mentioning the Bears. This seems to be a slow-motion train wreck, one that's all the uglier given the huge sums of money and draft picks that have been spent putting the cars in order. That's a metaphor, I believe. Urlacher, Briggs, and Roach are all hurt, and those are (were) the likely opening-day linebackers. Cutler seems to have not improved his decision-making ability, and to the surprise of nobody who ACTUALLY PAYS ATTENTION, Devin Hester continues not to be able to actually catch a football, which is kind of a core-competency for a starting WR in the NFL. Still, I predict the Bears will win the NFC North handily this year.


*Incidentally, the tagline for kickoff weekend is "Back to football," which to me at least implies a dismissal of irritating peripheral foofery, and a return to what makes the games and the sport so awesome, not unlike a coach refocusing his team after some locker-room towel-snapping jackassery. Ironic, then, that "Back to football" weekend is accompanied by some thrilling musical performances! Yes, there is quite obviously no better way to embody all of football's qualities than by hiring a girl, and the soccer of American music to perform for opening weekend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2010 Hater's Guide to the Top 25

Over at Deadspin, Drew Magary put up his annual Top 25 Hater's Guide. A good read, but I was struck by how many of the entries read like expanded versions of AF!'s own Top 25 preview. Of course, there's no way Drew saw ours, and, really how do you write about West Virginia and not mention burning couches?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In Drunk, Naked, Trespassing News

If there were preseason rankings for stories about college football, this one would have to be in the top 3 (with a lot of first place points, no doubt). When I read the headline "Oregon State Lineman Tased, Arrested While Naked and Trespassing," my fingers nearly tripped over themselves getting to Everyday Should Be Saturday for their take.

The story: OSU lineman Tyler Patrick Thomas was found naked in the upstairs office of a 32-year old Corvallis woman. When the police arrived, Thomas got into a three-point stance, charged, and was tased. Perhaps obviously, Thomas was kicked off Oregon State's football team.

In an effort to overlook the obvious gross part of a huge naked dude in a three point stance, in my mind's eye, Thomas is a broken man in a small Northwest town. When the police start hassling him, he falls back on his training. Of course, the cop that corners him looks like Brian Dennehy and the one that tased him looks like a young David Caruso. And then, after Mike Riley tells Thomas he's off the team, he's led away by Richard Crenna.

Friday, August 20, 2010

In which I invite karmic retribution by personally mocking John Clayton




From ESPN's pigeon-lookin' John Clayton, perhaps the game's more reliable purveyor of lame conventional wisdom, comes another column of pointless drivel, one which also carries an added bonus of being totally wrong on several points.

ESPN'S John Clayton, reporting from the sidelines

The ostensible point is that among Mark "Dirty" Sanchez, Matt Stafford, and Sam Bradford, Sanchez will be the best this year. First off, let's all marvel at the piercing insight that the older player, with AFC title game experience under his belt, a better coach, and an actual running game will be more successful. I fully expect a future Clayton column to carry the title "Out-Scoring the Other Team: Secret to NFL Game Winning?" Clayton goes on to hype an eligible-for-AARP-benefits LaDanian Tomlinson, and the pass-dropping terminator Braylon Edwards, as if either of those guys will make it past about the 6th week of the season without breaking or straining something. What's awesome is that Sanchez threw 12 TDs and 20 INTs last year, having Edwards, Cochery, and an already thoroughly decent running back. Meanwhile, Stafford, despite looking like that kid in that Demotivator picture, had comparable stats with a shitty running game, and only Megatron as a legit target. EVEN MORE, it had to be a consistent exercise in pride-swallowing for Stafford to throw to him.

Matt Stafford through the years

Says Clayton: "The Jets plan to run the ball every bit as much as the did a year ago, and it would be a surprise if Sanchez doesn't complete more than 60% of his passes this season." Uh, yeah it would. It would surprise me very much, as a matter of fact. Sanchez was 29th out of 32 last year in completion percentage, and if the Jets are running the ball as much as they did last year, Sanchez will need to make a yuge improvement in his accuracy this year. Not having Braylon Edwards would be a big help.

Man, I could go on and on about how bullshit this column is.
"Sometimes, it's just a matter of sending you in and say, 'Just go play,''' Sanchez said in camp. "I think that comes with learning the system and feeling comfortable. You also need to let things go. You just need to get to the next play if you have a bad run play or an interception or incompletion. You just need to let it go. You can analyze the error but don't have paralysis by analysis.''
Dude, you can say that in camp, and realize it in your head, or you can actually feel it, and play like it, like Stafford did all last year. "Stafford has a stronger arm than Sanchez, but it will take him a couple more seasons to come close to being successful." Not according to the stats, pigeon. In fact, aside from their teams' records, they're pretty fuckin' comparable.

As a UGA grad, I'm rooting for Stafford here. Plus, I've played team trivia against him in Athens, and our team beat his ass. As far as I'm concerned, Sanchez can go eat a bag of dicks. The nice ones, though. From Target. Clayton obviously has a hard on for the guy. As my first A*F! prediction, which will likely follow in the hallowed footsteps of my predecessors of being howlingly, knee-slappingly wrong, I want to predict that Stafford and Sanchez will be statistically pretty fuckin' equal, or Stafford beats that ass.

Game on, Clayton. Game on.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What a fucking shocker....

Geez, Louise, who'd ever have guessed Brett Favre wasn't retiring after all?

To Brett Favre: Seriously, get bent.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sixteen Days

Yes, a mere sixteen days until football season is back. (I do not count the NFL preseason as the start of football season because, while it's nice to see football being played live on television, come on...the preseason is boring as shit.)

ESPN's doing their normal Week One Thursday night thing, double-heading (that shit's a verb now, y'all) Southern Miss at South Carolina and USC at Hawaii, but somehow Versus is showing Pitt at Utah. It seems like I'll be watching Versus for the first time ever. What can I say, I don't give a good Gee Dee about UFC (or, wait, is that Spike I'm thinking of?).

Now, to link to something, go read a list of former NFL coaches that bust(ed) in college.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

USA Today Preseason Top 25

First and foremost (in case you didn't read the comment I left in Turk's inaugural post), welcome, Turk! Full disclosure: I've known Turk for a good long while, and somehow still really like him even though he's a pretty insufferable Bears fan. But then, I like Rochester, too, and he's a racist.

Anyway, I was looking around the football news world for a "WednesDay in Football" but nothing tickled my fancy, so I figured I'd write about something I'd intended to earlier. So without further ado, USA Today's Preseason Top 25 (with my own comments):

1. Alabama - Talent-rich, of course, but dang if Nick Saban isn't still the college coach most deserving a cock-punch.
2. Ohio State - OSU seemed to have turned a corner in the Rose Bowl when Sweatervest realized Terrelle Pryor was best utilized if the offense was opened up a bit. Will he carry that realization into 2010? No.
3. Florida - Sure, sure, John Brantley's the starting quarterback on paper, but we all know who's really leading the Gators onto the field each Saturday. Why, the plaque of Tebow's speech, of course!
4. Texas - One of a two team race to see who kills Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship.
5. Boise State - At #5, Boise State is in great shape to make a run at the Championship game. Which, in reality, means they'll finish undefeated, and #3....
6. Virginia Tech - Get ready for another Beamerriffic season: a bunch of 17-6 games with at least one disappointing loss (perhaps Duke?).
7. TCU - Expect another excellent defense and solid offense on a team no one will pay attention to.
8. Oklahoma - (See Texas)
9. Nebraska - A Big 12 farewell tour, beautifully capped off by getting waxed by whoever wins the South in the Big 12 Championship game.
10. Iowa - Boringly Efficient: Catch Hawkeye Fever!
11. Oregon - From LaGarette Blount to Jeremiah Masoli, a recent history rich with criminals.
12. Wisconsin - A sexy NC dark horse pick. Which has translated, in the past, to a 7-6 season.
13. Miami - Like every preseason for the past 10 years, the question is: Is The U back? Not without 200% more fat gold chains, they're not.
14. Penn State - Is this the season Joe Paterno falls asleep on the sideline during a game?
15. Pittsburgh - Wannstache always seems to keep creeping up the polls, even as he fails to perform up to expectations. A true American success story.
16. LSU - Hopefully this will be a balls to the wall, go for the win not the tie on fourth and short with :06 on the clock sorta season like a few years ago. Or, at the very least, a season with a lot of underage bar fights.
17. Georgia Tech - Face it: nobody knows what to make of the ACC this season.
18. North Carolina - (See: Georgia Tech)
19. Arkansas - Ryan Mallett is a Heisman candidate. Say what?
20. Florida State - (See: North Carolina)
21. Georgia - Georgia's transitioning to a 3-4 defense under a new coordinator. So...that's...something.
22. Oregon State - Goddamit, I still get them and Oklahoma State confused.
23. Auburn - Auburn's motto for 2010 is "Eight ain't it." Seriously? That's got a real "rural juror" quality to it.
24t. Utah - I'm sorry, your honor...yooooths.
24t. West Virginia - BURN. THAT. COUCH!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Introduction, and Thoughts on Progress

What's up, Internet? Besides pictures of your cat, I mean. (Which, really? We're still doing this?) I'm Turk Ramsey, and this is my first post here at A*F! And... oooh, off to a bad start. Hopefully I'll do better if Buddy and Rochester let my ass on the podcast. Anyway, let's wake up this sleepy-ass place with some football shit. Get the ball rolling.

Probably the one thing I'm most looking forward to about the upcoming football season is being able to watch college football again without having to hear the name... well, I'm not even going to say it. Let me just link to the latest bit of him-related (Him-related?) bullshit and move on. What remains to be seen, however, is how His former teammates will be treated by the media. For example, will Riley Cooper's new first name become [his]-former-roommate-Riley? I think the answer to that is directly related to whether or not Verne Lundquist will be calling any Eagles games this year, and how many touchdown passes Cooper catches. And, lol, I don't see that happening too much. I call that progress.

One thing you should know about ol' Turk is that I'm a die-hard fan of the Chicago Bears. This makes the news that Brett Favre is somewhere between 67.8% and "I'll tell you next week" sure that he's retiring that much more exciting, because that means the Bears will win the NFC North this year. I mean, look, Tavaris Jackson to Sidney "Who?" Rice is not something on which you want to pin your team's hopes. Favre's big plays last year covered up a LOT of offensive incompetence and poor coaching last year. As for the Packers, it's still not clear at this point if their pass defense has progressed beyond the high school level yet.

That's all I got for now, but let's hope Buddy and Rochester realize soon that NFL preseason has already started, and start posting.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Not even once a month

Cripes, here it is July 1 and I log in to see no activity since May 27. Ah well, I might as well keep it short and sweet.

I'm pretty sure I linked to this last year (I'm not going to check because, fuck it, I'm still in the off season), but The Grand National Championships has posted their 120 reasons to watch college football this fall. I haven't read any of it (save the Wisconsin entry), but I will. And I encourage you to, too.

If getting a third of the way through the list doesn't cause you to open a new tab to start looking at weekly schedules, pal, you got problems.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ha! Remember when I said we were back nearly two months ago? PSYCH!

Anyway, I'm only just dropping in now. (Who knows, maybe when training camp starts we'll get back on this horse. Sue us.)

As any of you that might happen upon this blog already know, NY/NJ has been awarded Super Bowl Ex El Vee Eye Eye Eye (2014). Bloggers and the Main Stream Sports Media have been going on about the possible weather ad nauseum so far, but today I happened upon an article that is easily the laziest and biggest stretch of the bunch:

Meadowlands in February? Watch for Snowballs

Seriously? This article is the kind of "hey, remember this game" bullshit that reeks of getting something in under the deadline. There's a near one hundred percent chance that N.R. Kleinfeld has had this article written for at least a decade and finally decided to pass it on to his editor so he could take an afternoon off.

Monday, April 5, 2010

...And we're back.

Whew, that was some kinda layoff (Rochester's short post aside), huh?

You might ask yourself, "What was it that finally inspired Buddy to log into his account?" It might be reasonable to think I'd finally decided to comment on the Super Bowl (way to go, Saints!), but nope. It was a story so nuts, I'd've expected it to be posted last Thursday:

Donovan McNabb to the motherfucking Redskins! Guzzah whaaaa?!?

It's conventional wisdom* that when trading players - especially franchise players, especially especially franchise quarterbacks - a general manager will try to avoid trading within the Conference, but will avoid at all costs trading within the Division. In fact, there's a pretty obvious recent precedent for this sort of thing. If the Redskins were hot for McNabb, the Eagles should have dealt him to an AFC team where he'd play for a year, get released, and then sign with Washington. (Of course, the AFC front-runner here was the Raiders, and by accounts, if McNabb had been traded to the Raiders, he'd have retired. ...Of course, then he could have tried the old Junior Seau fake out retirement end around.)

The thing that really boggles the mind is that, even if partially magnified by the Liberal Jew East Coast Bias Mainstream Sports Media, the blood in the NFC East is as bad as any other NFL Division from the top down. While I'm certainly biased in my opinion of the Greatest Rivalry in football (if not all sports), and each division is going to have some rivals, it seems that every NFC East team (and their fans) hates every other NFC East team (and there fans) almost equally. (For frame of reference, as a Packers fan, I hate hate the Bears, strongly dislike the Vikings - Vikings fans that claim Green Bay/Minnesota is now a better rivalry than the Packers and the Bears are almost adorable in their delusion - and don't have much of an opinion of the Lions.)

Needless to say, the two Redskins/Eagles games will be required viewing next season (even though, like last year's Packers/Vikings match-ups, they'll be waaaaaay over-hyped), and you're crazy if you think the NFL isn't going to do everything they can to have them on Sunday and/or Monday night.

But, yeah, the McNabb trade isn't the only thing to have happened in football in the past couple months. The big event, of course, was the Super Bowl. And, hey, pretty good game. (Which makes two straight memorable Super Bowls; keep it up, NFL!) While the lasting image will be Tracy Porter high-stepping for thirty yards into the end zone with his game-clinching interception, I'll be remembering, almost as fondly, a cornucopia of Cathleen's seven layer dip, and cheese curds and summer sausage shipped from Wisconsin. (I'll admit I ordered them with the hopes of seeing Green Bay in the game, but having them on hand was a helluva consolation.)

The only other really big free agent move was the Bears signing Julius Peppers. Time will tell how much gas Peppers has left in the tank, the move is remarkable because of the size of the contract offered by the traditionally stingy Bears.

* You know, now that I mention it, a lot of times "conventional wisdom" becomes conventional because it's repeated many times by many people, but what exactly makes it wisdom? Look, for a second, at the oft-repeated assertion that the first play after a turnover is a good time to take a shot downfield. If you watch a decent amount of football on Saturdays and Sundays, September through January, I'll be you'd hear that said a half dozen times a weekend. In fact, I think we've heard it so much that Rochester and I stick to that rule of thumb when we play football video games. The thing is: Is it even true? I mean, I get that, in theory, a defense might be ill-prepared since they weren't necessarily planning on being back on the field at that moment, but in practice, is there any data to suggest that "downfield shots" on plays following turnovers are more successful than similar plays in any other scenario? Well, get on it, nerds!


Feel the excitement, Redskins fans!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WAKE UP, ACTION FOOTBALL!


Action Football! has really fallen off the ball this time. We didn't even fake like we cared once the Saints won the Super Bowl. We just lit our cigarettes on their burning FEMA trailers as they celebrated and kept on out deadbeat paths. I need to get on this. ENJOY!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Action Football! Season 2 Episode 21

Our Signing Day recap and Super Bowl preview is available for all to hear, but some things are gonna be a little different around here. Gcast, our seasons one and most of two provider, has gone the way of the dodo, so we've got some new hosting. Clicking the image below will take you to the new host where you can either stream (click "show2-21.mp3") or download (right click "show2-21.mp3" and Save As). The switchover will put a hitch in our iTunes giddy up, but sooner than later all the AF! goodness will be back, automatically downloading like the good ol' days.



I said I'd do it, and so it shall be done.

SportingNews' Top 25 classes.

A cursory look shows a few surprises in my eyes: Auburn and UCLA at 5 and 6 and Ohio State way down at 19.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nothing like shuttin' her down for a couple weeks during the playoffs....

Well, we'll be getting back into the studio soon, but in the meantime, I'll put something up.

You've probably heard a lot of talk, watching football, about a salary cap-free 2010 and the (slim) possibility of an NFL work stoppage in 2011. Here's a pretty good article about the short term situation.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Action Football! Season 2 Episode 20


As Rochester pointed out to me, I never posted a...um...post announcing last week's episode. Even though Episode 19 would have downloaded to iTunes, that it wasn't posted here kinda makes it our Lost Episode. Kind of.

Aaaanyway, here's Episode 20. BOOM!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Well, maybe it's just a difference of opinion...

...or maybe I'm right!

I've said it before (and I'll say it again), I'm a big fan of SportingNews Today, the SportingNews' daily online paper. Today, though, some guy named Dan Levy wrote something that I think is way off base. On Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman calling the Florida/Cincinnati Sugar Bowl:
Brennaman’s admiration for Tebow during the game could be summed up in one word: uncomfortable. Even after Billick broke down the video of Tebow’s throwing motion to illustrate how he’s not an NFL-ready quarterback, Brennaman asked his partner, simply, “Why,” draped with so much how-dare-you-say that resentment it was as if Billick had told Brennaman to turn off his Wii and get in the kitchen for dinner.
I watched that entire game, and while Brennaman may have been pro-Tebow, I totally disagree with Levy's interpretation of Brennaman's "Why?" When Billick broke down Tebow's throwing motion, he didn't explain why having a slower release would scare off some teams. Logically, the answer is that an NFL pass rush is faster than a college pass rush, but it's easy enough to tack on to the description and hardly an insult to football viewers. In an earlier game that the duo called, Billick mentioned miscommunication between a receiver and quarterback on a read route and Brennaman said something like, "A lot of viewers are probably wondering how there could be a misunderstanding; doesn't the receiver have a route he runs and that's where he should be?" prompting Billick to further explain keys on cornerback and safety coverage. Perhaps Levy thinks that was also "draped" with resentment; I think it was a veteran play-by-play man leading a new color commentator into a deeper, more interesting description. I think the Brennaman/Billick booth has been one of the great surprises in this bowl season. Certainly the best thing on Fox's coverage. Think you guys can cram a few more Reese's logos into that studio?

Funnily enough, a few paragraphs earlier in the column, Levy chastises Football Night in America's Keith Olberman for being too "concerned with getting in his own quips." "[I]t was as if Billick had told Brennaman to turn off his Wii and get in the kitchen for dinner," anyone?

Monday, January 4, 2010

'Twas the season....

So apparently that Chris Henry post has been sitting on the top of the page for a couple weeks now. Welcome new readers!

Anyway, the holidays have passed (so now it's back to making up excuses for drinking in the afternoon...rats), college football's nearly crowned it's "National" "Champion," and the NFL playoffs are right around the corner.

The best news of all, no doubt, is that we're back in the studio tomorrow!