Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of Season, if not World, Report

By Steve Harvey
Mayan Liaison

Lowlights and weird flights of the 2012 football season:


---Murray State Coach Chris Hatcher, asked whether he thought Florida State would finish ranked No. 1, replied: "I'm no procrastinator."

---After Stanford upset USC at home, Fox scoreboard host Erin Andrews exclaimed: "Nobody is going to class tomorrow morning!" She was right for two reasons: "tomorrow morning" fell on a Sunday, and the semester hadn't started yet.

---Savannah State dominated Oklahoma State in the all-important time-of-possession category,  34.13 minutes to just 25.47 minutes.  (However, OSU managed to win, 84-0).

---Washington State coach Mike Leach said that some of his seniors' play was "zombie-like."  A movie is said to be in the works.

---After a 52-0 loss, Arkansas coach John Smith defended his program, saying, "It's our program---it's a state of Alabama program." (Actually, the University of Arkansas is located in the state of Arkansas.)

---Disoriented Arkansas, ranked No. 10 in AP's pre-season Top 25 poll, finished 4-8.

---USC became the first team in almost half a century to be ranked No. 1 by AP before the season began and unranked when the season ended.

---USC's opponent in the Sun Bowl_Georgia Tech (6-7)_was so bad that bowl officials had to get a waiver from the NCAA to allow the selection.

---Kansas Coach Charlie Weis was paid $2.5 million per win, steering the Jayhawks to a 1-11 record.

---Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg said that after Washington state voters legalized marijuana, the University of Washington  "changed its mascot from the Huskies to the Snoop Dogs."


---Seattle receiver Braylon Edwards was cut by the Seahawks after he characterized the Jets' management as "idiots."  Several days later, Edwards was signed by the Jets.

---The S.I. Jinx: ``Four straight victories---and a sudden calm---suggest that Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb has finally found his form," Sports Illustrated wrote after the team got off to a 4-0 start. Kolb was then injured and the Cardinals went on a 9-game losing streak. which point the West Greenway Bible Church in Glendale, Ariz., stepped in with a marquee that said, ``No One is Beyond God's Help_Not Even the Cardinals." (And the Cardinals won.)

---The NFL ruled that Denver linebacker D.J. Williams tried to manipulate a drug test, possibly with non-human urine, leading Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times to write: "So, in addition to his 6-game NFL ban, he's been declared ineligible for next year's Kentucky Derby."

---The Chargers became the first NFL team to lead by 24 or more points at halftime, then lose by double digits (24-35, to Denver).

---Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan visited Browns practice and singled out QB Brandon Weeden for praise. Oops. USA Today reported that, at the time, Ryan was actually "pointing and staring directly at backup Colt McCoy."

---The Browns canceled a promotion in which their fans would have waved flags at the Steelers when someone noticed the flags were white.

---Jacksonville (2-12) and Kansas City (2-12) were declared Bottom Ten champions by Mayan replacement refs.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cards dealt a disastrous hand

By Steve Harvey
Chess Editor




``No One Is Beyond God's Help_Not Even the Cardinals," said the marquee at the West Greenway Bible Church in Glendale, Ariz.

Maybe. But there's no other sign that the Cards' 9-game losing streak is coming to an end. Arizona took one step closer to the Bottom Ten title by falling, 0-58, to Seattle. (Hopefully someone asked Seahawks coach Pete Carroll after the slaughter, ``What's your deal?")

The crushing of the Cards was nearly the only bright light in the Bottom Ten. Officials uncovered a conspiracy in which several inept teams _Dallas, San Diego, Philadelphia and Carolina_recorded upset wins.

Next up (or down), the Cards play perennially disappointing Detroit, which drew laughs in the NFL with its official 2013 calendar, featuring wide receiver Titus Young on the cover, said.

Young, who was accused of insubordination to coaches and sucker-punching one teammate, has been in coach Jim Schwartz' dog house for much of the season (and you know how effective a dog house is at restraining a Lion).
Young was recently put on season-ending injured reserve. It's not clear if he'll even be on the team next year.

Wreck, Record................. Last Drubbing .......Next Drubbing
1. Arizona (4-9)................... 0-58, Seattle........... Detroit
2.  Jacksonville (2-11)....... 10-17, N.J. Jets......... Miami (Fla.)
3. Oakland (3-10).............. 13-26, Denver........... Kansas City
4. Kansas City (2-11).......... 7-30, Cleveland....... Oakland
5. Buffalo (5-8)................. 12-15, St. Louis......... Seattle
6. Detroit (4-9); 7. Tennessee (4-9); 8. Carolina (4-9); 9. New Orleans (5-8); 10. N.J. Jets (6-7).

Crummy Game of the Weak: Kansas City (2-11) at Oakland (3-10).

Rout of the Week: Stanford Routt, Houston cornerback (You don't believe me? Google him).

Special Citation: The Associated Press reports that Philadelphia comic Joe Conklin and his daughter Casey have paid tribute to  Eagles coach Andy Reid with a video parody of Taylor Swift's song, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Title of the parody: "We Are Never Ever Gonna Win With Andy."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bowls and bowls of nonentities!

By Steve Harvey
Chief Copy Editro


"An Event Like No Other," bragged a brochure handed out to the media by Sun Bowl officials earlier this year.

It's true. The Sun Bowl is the only post-season classic that had to file for a waiver to get permission to invite a team to play in this year's game. That's because the team_Georgia Tech_actually lost more  games than it won.

No wonder 6-7 Tech is known as the Ramblin' Wreck.

Its opponent is USC (7-5), which also has a distinction, being the first team in 48 years to start the season ranked No. 1 and end the season unranked.

Other exciting bowls include the Minnesota-Texas Tech match, which will answer the age-old question: How would a Big Ten team ranking 7th in the conference in victories do against a team that tied for 4th place in the Big 12?

In the Little Caesars Pizza bowl, it's Central Michigan against Western Pepperoni.

Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) and Ohio (8-4) clash in the Independence Bowl, which has lost much of its luster since it was the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl.

Finally, Liberty Bowl rivals Iowa State 6-6) and Tulsa (10-3) are rated even, reportedly because the teams are so obscure no one has the slightest idea which will win.

1. Sun.............................. Georgia Tech (6-7) vs. USC (7-5)
2. BBVA Compass ..........Pitt (6-6) vs. Ole Miss (6-6)
3. Little Caesars Pizza...... Central Michigan (6-6) vs. Western Pepperoni (7-5)
4. Belk*............................ Duke (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)
5. Meineke Car Care........ Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
6. Pinstripe ........................Syracuse (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5)
7. Independence................ La. Monroe (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4).
8. Woes Bowl ...................Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)
9.**..........Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3).
10. Buffalo Wild Wings.... Michigan State (6-6) vs. TCU (7-5).
*Belk is a department store chain. Or maybe it's Duke that's the department store chain.

**Among those disinterested in the Go-Daddy bowl are the Kent State and Arkansas State coaches, both of whom resigned their positions.

At least he didn't get the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: The Aug. 20 cover of Sports Illustrated (see below) said that USC quarterback Matt Barkley had decided to stick around for his senior year with one goal in mind. (And it wasn't the Sun Bowl, either.)

The No. 6 N.J. Jets had just managed to nip No. 1 Arizona (4-8) when unemployed receiver Braylon Edwards decided it was time to speak up for the Gang Green. "Don't blame (QB Mark) Sanchez (for the team's troubles)," he tweeted. "I played there. Blame the idiots calling the shots."

Edwards later apologized but the Jets were also slammed by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who said that Jets coach Rex Ryan "can't decide who their quarterback is going to be. That's the same problem the Republicans are having."

Reid no doubt was having a bit of fun at the expense of Jets owner Woody Johnson, who said earlier he'd rather that Mitt Romney had a winning year than the Jets.

Anyway, imagine what would be said if the Jets had lost!

Outside the Beltway, Arizona and Philadelphia each stretched their losing streaks to 8 games. Jacksonville (2-10) fell to No. 8 in the ratings but could bounce back nicely with a loss to the Jets and their quarterback, who ever it may be by the fourth quarter.

Wreck, Record........... Last Loss.................. Next Loss
1. Arizona (4-8)........... 6-7, N.J. Jets.............. Seattle
2. Oakland (3-9)........ 17-20, Cleveland......... Denver
3. Philadelphia (3-9)....33-38, Dallas.............. Tampa Bay
4. Carolina (3-9)......... 21-27, Kansas City..... Atlanta
5. Kansas City (2-10).. Def. Carolina, 27-21...Cleveland
6. N.J. Jets (5-7); 7. San Diego (4-8);  8. Jacksonville (2-10); 9. Detroit (4-8); 10. Cleveland (4-8).

Fantasy Flops: New Orleans QB Drew Brees threw five interceptions vs. Atlanta but the figure was misleading. He actually could have had six passes picked but one was erased because of a penalty.