Mondays, It’s Always The Mondays November 4, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Sports.
Tags: bum phillips, colts, gary kubiak, hat, heart disease, john fox, texans
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Look, the weekend got away from me and then Monday got away from me. There is very little I know for certain. When I went to bed last night, it was just a single offensive series into the third quarter, and the Colts were continuing to suck in a manner and with enthusiasm that would give Jenna Jameson pause. Apparently I once again revived the team by turning off the TV and pulling up the covers. When I glanced at the morning paper, I was frankly shocked to see that the Colts had somehow managed a three point victory over the hapless Texans…which apparently required two missed field goals on the part of the fellows from Houston (We suck the worst! No WE suck the worst! Hey, we were sucking when you guys couldn’t even decide on a uniform color! No, we had a patent on sucking when you guys could barely blow! And so on…) Sometime at the end of the first half, all the excitement seemed to have caused Texan’s coach Gary Kubiak some rather severe chest pain. He was taken off the field and transported by ambulance (probably to Presbyterian St. Lukes…where there are some stories I could tell…) Still, between Kubiak and the Bronco’s John Fox, what’s going on with coaches and heart disease? Maybe it’s the stress, long hours, and huge trays of barbecued ribs, strip steaks, and double-cheese with everything nachos. Who knows? Bum Phillips managed to survive to age 90. I personally believe the hat was protective.
Welcome Home Prodigal Blogmate, And How ‘Bout Them Colts? October 21, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Health Care, reader interaction, Sports.
Tags: Andrew Luck, broncos defeated, colts, computers, dystopian, HAL 9000, medical care, peyton manning
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Want to talk about doctors and computers? Radiolgists, whose patient interaction time was always a limited commodity, even before Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak first started tinkering in their garage, now barely tangentially approach actual human interaction. I don’t spend 40% of my time in front of an LED screen. It’s more like 95%. As I sit here at my desk, I’m looking at no less than eight high definition monitors scattered around my office. As I’m about to transition from medical provider to medical consumer, that chilling dystopian landscape of the new computerized medical care system scares me way more than it reassures me. I can’t help but hear in the back of my mind, HAL saying, “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
Meanwhile, the vaunted Denver Broncos and their demigod QB Peyton Manning are no longer undefeated. Robert Mathis and the Colts defense did exactly what I said they had to do to win. They rattled Manning and created game-changing and momentum-building turnovers. Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne took care of the rest. Mrs. Left and I did our part by going to sleep at halftime. Like the commercial says, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”
On Any Given Weekend October 19, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Sports.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Broncos, colts, Hoosiers, indiana, michigan, michigan stadium, momentum changers, peyton manning, turnovers, wolverines
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If you look at the statistics and the trends, it doesn’t look particularly encouraging for Indiana football fans this weekend. The IU Hoosiers head to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines at 3:30 this afternoon at Michigan Stadium, which will be filled with 109,000+ screaming fans:
109,000 is about the total attendance for Hoosier games in a season at IU’s Memorial Stadium. Aside from that, Michigan has won the last 17 meetings with IU and won their last 18 games in Ann Arbor. So what are the chances for an IU upset? Well, I wouldn’t bet the farm, but if IU can produce some momentum changers, fumble recoveries and interceptions, they do have an offense that’s capable of catching fire. IU is due for a miracle game. This would be just the national stage to produce it.
Meanwhile, tomorrow night at 8:30, the Denver Broncos juggernaut with ex-Colts quarterback Peyton Manning behind center arrives at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Broncos are undefeated and the Colts have lost two in a row. The Broncos are routinely scoring over 40 points per game and Peyton is racking up passing numbers that are stratospheric. But Andrew Luck has some skills of his own. Last week his receivers seem to have coated their hands with extra virgin olive oil before taking the field. If they catch the balls Luck puts in their hands, he’s going to make some noise of his own. And one thing I remember about Peyton Manning when he was playing for the Colts…he can be rattled. If he gets hit and sacked a few times, he does begin to hear footsteps. So that’s what the Colts need to do to win. Reacquaint Peyton with the view of the Luke’s roof, create some turnovers…and catch the damned football.
St. Peyton Hasn’t Been Excommunicated October 14, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Sports.
Tags: Broncos, chuck pagano, class organization, colts, jim irsay, lucas oil stadium, peyton manning
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The prodigal son returns to Indianapolis next week. As of this moment, the Broncos are 5 1/2 point favorites. We’ll see. The Bronco’s defense is a bit suspect, and Andrew Luck will have a lot of motivation. The Colt’s defense is better than anyone would have predicted, and there’re still a few folks in the building who are familiar with all of Peyton’s verbal fakes. One thing is absolutely certain. Peyton Manning will be treated like a hero in Lucas Oil Stadium. I guarantee there will be a tribute of some sort…this is a guy whose kisser was on the front of the building for a decade. After that, Manning will be treated like any other visiting quarterback, as if he needs to gain greater familiarity with the view from the turf. But Chuck Pagano and Jim Irsay run a class organization. No matter how the game turns out, there will be handshakes and hugs at midfield as the stands empty.
How next week’s game goes depends a lot on how tonight’s game goes. If the Colts have a big offensive night and run up some points, they could have a lot of momentum and confidence heading into the the faceoff with their old quarterback. If the Chargers surprise them, they could have a very long night with Peyton and his offensive juggernaut.
I can’t believe my blogmate would take the Broncos and give up the 26 1/2 points. The Jags suck, but they’re still breathing.
The freaking Packers may be down a couple of wide receivers, but they still managed to beat the reigning Superbowl champs. And the freaking Patriots…I have no words.
Tags: buckeyes, colts, debt ceiling, hillary clinton, kfc special, northwestern, ohio state, peyton manning, shutdown, wildcats
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My blogmate was at the college game of the week, our alma mater, Northwestern, vs. my son’s alma mater, Ohio State…the evening primetime game on ABC, no less. When Cory and I attended NU, the only way a Wildcat football team was going to even get mentioned in primetime on a major network is if their plane went down in Lake Michigan. On Saturday, they gave the Buckeyes all they could handle. It’s like a weird parallel universe. The next thing you’ll be telling me is that the federal government is closed for the fall season. (What’s that? No kidding? It IS a weird parallel universe.)
Another team that hardly ever rates a mention on Sports Center or NFL Gameday is the Colts…unless they’re talking about Peyton Manning, and then you might hear that he used to play in Indianapolis. On Sunday, the Colts played the vaunted 4-0 Seattle Seahawks, the team virtually all the sports cognescenti declared the pick for this year’s Superbowl winner. They are now the 4-1 Seahawks and a few folks might begin speculating on the Colts chances for visiting MetLife Stadium in February. (Note: Reggie Wayne is still the most underhyped and underrated wide receiver in the league.)
Andrew Luck is going to be a great NFL quarterback. Peyton Manning is a freaking demigod. Twenty passing touchdowns in five games, 1884 passing yards so far, quarterback rating of 92.0. Eli, not so much (Archie: “Eli, you’re dead to me.) And, oh yeah…Tom Brady had no TD passes for the first time in 52 games, and his Pats lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, who also beat the Packers and are beginning to look like the real deal.
The Republicans continue on their national suicide pact, and the lemmings are just about fully over the cliff. The rest of us didn’t sign up for this plunge, but here we are. John Boehner claims he can’t deliver a “clean” continuing resolution to fund the government, but that’s just one big fat pants-on-fire lie. There are more than enough “moderate” Republicans in the House who have declared their unwillingness to steer the ship of state right at the iceberg…there is little doubt that a clean CR would pass if Boehner would actually bring it to the floor, but he’s clearly the Tea Party’s prison bitch, and he’s not going to do it. Now he’s talking seriously about continuing this shutdown right through the debt ceiling, which would, according to just about everyone with a brain or a calculator, crash the global economy. None of this bodes well for the GOP’s chances in 2014, but that presumes there’s still a country left to vote. Absolutely shameful.
And while we’re on the topic of outrageous and shameful, take a look at these campaign buttons from the California GOP Convention:
Way to go after the women’s vote, GOP! How’s that rebranding effort coming along?
Weird Sunday In The NFL September 23, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Sports.
Tags: Andrew Luck, colts, jay cutler, kristin cavallari, underdog
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The Colts were 10 1/2 point underdogs against the 49ers in San Francisco, but the 10 1/2 points understates the overall sentiment throughout the media. On ESPN and virtually every pre-game show, the one certain lock for the weekend was that the Colts had no chance against the mighty 2012 NFC champs. I love when the experts get it wrong. In the 25 years I’ve been following the Colts, they haven’t really had a respectable running game since the Marshall Faulk days. As of yesterday, that seems to have changed. And Andrew Luck showed that being a winning quarterback in the NFL doesn’t always mean throwing four or five touchdown passes. Sometimes less is more.
As great quarterbacks go, Sunday and Aaron Rogers proved that one guy can’t always win a football game. Same deal with RGIII and the 0-3 Redskins.
The mighty Houston Texans helped the Colts in the AFC South by getting blown out by the Ravens, who were no fluke.
Maybe waking up every morning with Kristin Cavallari has been therapeutic for Jay Cutler.
And do the freaking Pats EVER lose?
The Sampson Effect September 16, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Sports.
Tags: Andrew Luck, beard, colts, dolphins, raiders, sampson
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The Colts beat the Raiders 21-17.
The Colts lost to the Dolphins 24-20.
You do the math.
My Sundays Are Saved! Football’s Back! August 19, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Sports.
Tags: Andrew Luck, colts, football, Giants, reggie wayne, zipcode
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I watched the Colts vs. Giants game last night. The Colts are pretty good. Any fool can see that Andrew Luck is going to be a great quarterback. But what not nearly enough sports experts can see is that Reggie Wayne has been and continues to be the most underrated wide receiver in the league.
As Luck says, all you need to assure a completion is to throw the ball somewhere in Reggie’s zipcode.
Monday Re-Boot From The Newly Old Guy July 1, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in crime, Scandals, Sports.
Tags: believe, colts, d.h. lee, felonies, finger, George Zimmerman, joe lefeged, nfl, rachel jeantel
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Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of the George Zimmerman trial. I’m going to ignore my blogmate’s detailed analysis, because it involves a tremendous amount of speculation about who was where when, and none of us will ever really know what happened in the minutes between the time Zimmerman made the 911 call and the moment multiple witnesses heard the gunshot. Did Zimmerman stalk Martin and confront him, ultimately resulting in Martin’s death, or, as the defense would like to assert, did Trayvon Martin double back and confront Zimmerman, ultimately resulting in his own death? Occam’s razor would suggest that the first, simpler, explanation is the more likely, but it’s the central question the jury will have to decide. Meanwhile, I don’t believe Rachel Jeantel’s testimony was a black thing or a white thing, and I understand full well that she’s changed her story several times…but when I intermittently watched her live cross-examination last week, I believed her. Will six women on that jury believe her too? We’ll find out soon enough.
A couple of other stories caught my eye over the weekend and this morning. Two were sports stories. Both are about athletes behaving badly, which has sadly become something of a recurring theme. Indianapolis Colts safety Joe Lefeged was busted this weekend in DC when he attempted to flee a car after a police chase. The cops tried to pull the vehicle over for speeding and for a passenger standing up in the backseat of the convertible (stupidity award, anyone?) but eventually charged the occupants when an unregistered .40 semi-automatic handgun was discovered in plain view under a seat…and, oh yeah, the car stank of dope smoke. The Colts usually avoid these kinds of scandals, running a low-felony operation, unlike say the Raiders, which has long been sort of a halfway house for recovering thugs. The Colts are hardly alone, however. Here’s a list of the 29 NFL players who’ve been adorned with handcuffs just since last year’s Superbowl. But the final story just about sums out the state of professional sports in America. Professional golfer D.H. Lee at the AT&T National:
Hey, it’s considered polite just so long as you’re wearing white gloves.
God Help Us All June 4, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Politics, Sports.
Tags: Andrew Luck, caucus, colts, god, john boehner, Pacers, republican, speaker
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The Michele Bachmann effect: John Boehner is still Speaker of the House because God told the Republican caucus to keep him. (You can’t make this shit up.)
Pulling for the underdog is overrated: Hey, I’m a Hoosier, but let’s be honest here. The Pacers never really had a chance against Lebron and the Heat. Time to start planning for Andrew Luck’s MVP season.
Programming note: Mission in Indy today, so I’ll return to the blogosphere tomorrow. Today the pendulum swings Right.