Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chiefs Thump 49'ers

Wow, everyone was convinced the 49'ers would win this game with a superior run defense stuffing Chiefs runners and an offense with a strong runner and weapons at tight end and wide receiver.

(I for one was not sold on the Niners winning--due to their heartbreaking loss to New Orleans and due to their HBLtoNO on Monday night--I really thought they were due for a let down and Arrowhead was the perfect place for the let down...I should have made this clear before so it doesn't look like "now picking.")

Well, there was a team out there with a strong run defense, good runners and weapons at tight end and wide receiver. It was the Chiefs.

Actually you have to hand the game balls out to the guys in the trenches. Both the offensive and defensive lines played absolutely superior, shoving the 49'ers all over the field, and enabling the fireworks on offense. And didn't you just love the play calling? Perfect balance between conservative and gambling.

Critical moment when the Chiefs could have lost the game: After Ryan Succoup's rare miss just before the 2 minute warning, the defense could have allowed the Niners to move the ball, and possibly score. Instead, they held them to 3 and out, and the Chiefs took advantage to get that 3 points they missed out on earlier.

Chiefs are off on a bye next week--they return in two weeks in Indy. Tough assignment!

In other news, Josh Freeman is held in check by Steelers defense and Steelers offense runs over and above Buc's defense for a blow out win by the Steelers.

Us Giant fans may have to step out of denial and recognize that our football team is not very good. They lost to Tennessee in New York, making them 1-2.

As I type the Jets and Dolphins are down to the last minute of their game, with the Jets up 31-23 and the Dolphins on the Jets 10. The Dolphins would need a TD and 2 point conversion to tie. The Jets have intercepted Miami's pass in the end zone, and will do the Victory Formation to win the game. The Jets may be the better New York team, now being 2-1.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Baseball Slogs On--End Is In Sight

Royals losing more than winning but looking at a lot of guys and setting up for next year. There are some positives coming out of these games, and we are not going to lose 100 games this year either.

With regard to pennant races, Tampa Bay and the Yankees are in a dogfight for the division championship, but it's not to the death. Loser gets the wild card spot as a consolation prize. Kind of takes some of the edge off. Rangers and Twins counting magic numbers now in the west and central respectively.

Over in the NL, the west is a total fight, Giants and Pads within one game of each other, with the Rockies lurking. For the wild card, it's the Giants, Padres and Braves who have slipped enough to allow the Phillies to take the lead in the NL east. The Reds are far ahead of disappointing St. Louis and the Phillies would have to have a significant collapse to allow the Braves back in it in the east.

Regular season wraps up October 3--then it is on to the play offs and World Series. Guess Fall is really here!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Your Josh Freeman Update

Josh Freeman ran and threw his way around the Carolina Panthers this past week. You might remember that Carolina was where Josh played his worse game last year with multiple interceptions. This time, he threw for 178 yards on 12/28 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 43 yards on both designed runs and scrambles. His best play was when he shook off two potential sackers in the back field, then confidently, calmly and with good form stopped and completed a long pass. So Tampa Bay is also 2-0 unexpectedly.

The Grandview High grad looked right at home last Sunday, eluding the rush and making strong accurate passes (

Chiefs Win--People Fret Anyway!

Matt Cassell and the Chiefs offense need to improve if the Chiefs expect to continue winning (

I think we live in a town of people with black clouds over their heads sometimes...

The Chiefs are an unexpected 2-0 and all people can talk about is how rotten Matt Cassell is. (Well, he isn't playing very well, no and in some ways we are winning in spite of him, with running and defense and special teams...)

The win is the thing though. It's winning. We-Are-Two-and-Oh. Not Oh-and-Two. It took us til November to win this many games last year. And I do not think we are done winning yet. The team is carrying itself with a certain amount of swagger, swagger we could not buy last year. Swagger that has a can-do spirit that was missing most of last year, pounded into submission by the endless losing and the way we looked losing, crappy in every phase of the game.

So yes, we got stuff to work on, but enjoy the two "W"s and look forward to the challenge of the next game, here, against the San Francisco 49'ers (who are giving the Saints a tussle as we speak on MNF--but it is only the third quarter with S.F. up 14-9.)

Preps: Ruskin Loses First Road Game

I don't have any pictures for you this week as Ruskin traveled to Park Hill for their game last week and I don't have extensive stats for you--I did look at the box score earlier in the week however and it's amazing what you can tell from a box score.

Ruskin was leading at half time (again). Ruskin scored nary a point in the second half. Ruskin lost the game in what looked like a rout but was probably only a rout in the last quarter.

Hard to tell why. Possible reasons. Offense not good. Defense not good--couldn't get off the field to let the offense have a chance to score. Penalties. Turnovers (it wasn't a full box score).

So...hopefully the boys learned something. It's hard to tell if their next game, against North Kansas City at NKC will be a hard game--don't know these teams in this division at all. We could use another W before returning home October 8.

Nice thing: Left Kearney behind in class 4, and as usual, they took apart a southland team, this time Grandview. Center survived their trip to Grain Valley with a win.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chiefs Shine in Rain

Derrick Johnson makes a tackle in the fourth quarter. He had 11 of them and forced a fumble too. (picture from nfl dot com)

If you are a Kansas City Chiefs fan, you just had to enjoy yourself yesterday. Nearly full stadium. Loud fans fouling up the opposition's offense. Exciting plays. Defensive stands in the forth quarter. Most importantly, a win. In fact, the Chiefs stand as the only AFC West team to win its opener.

Now there are flaws in this team. Matt Cassell was not very good. The only thing you can say good about him is that he did not turn the ball over. The defense, particularly after the last KC three-and-out, picked Cassell and the offense up by holding the Chargers out. Special teams contributed too, especially with the fine kick run backs, including one for a TD.

This feels good, but lets see what happens next week at Cleveland. Monday night teams often struggle in the next week. If we can get a win in Cleveland, well, then, even the naysayers might have to get a little bit enthused.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Night Doubleheader

AP photo of Joe Flacco getting sacked and losing the ball in the first half of the Jets game.

The Jets and Ravens have just started the third quarter with the score 7-6 Ravens. The game was utterly dominated by defense until the Ravens put together a 4 minute drive in the last 4 minutes of the second quarter to score a touchdown. Should be interesting to see if defense still prevails in the second half, or the offenses adjust and there are more points.

The Chiefs and Chargers follow at 9:15 pm. Chiefs could surprise. I just hope they show well, even though the eastern time zones might tune out due to the late start--that's 10:15 eastern time!

Update: Jets lost to Ravens in a dreary game that bored most everyone. With the score 10-9 and about 1:37 left and one time out left, the Jets could not manage the two minute quick step down the field to get in position for a field goal that would have won the game. This could be a problem as the year goes on.

Prep and College Round Up

The beginning of the winning play by Smith Cotton against Ruskin.

What a difference a week made for Kansas. The team that looked ill prepared and disorganized against a far inferior opponant got their crap together and upset a top 25 opponent, Georgia Tech. They did it with great defense and a power running game and steady play from QB. They are probably not this good, just as they were not as bad as last week. So everyone in Jayhawk nation, take a breath. Your football team does not stink. Meantime Missouri and Kansas State took care of business against cupcakes, both squads able to get lots of players playing time.

In the preps, a bunch of games were suspended and continued on Saturday afternoon. It was wonderful weather! Ruskin had its first close game for this combined team. Ruskin had quick strike offense and some defensive turnovers against Smith-Cotton. But the Eagles could never consistently stop the Tigers' run and penalties again reared their ugly heads, stealing vital yards from the offense and giving up yards for the defense. In addition, in the tensest part of the game, there was a short lived scuffle on the sideline between Ruskin players. Let me tell you, the crowd in the stands, which was mostly adults, shouted down the fighting players and urged them to stop and save it for the field. In the end the Eagles lost by two on a touchdown run in the last minute by Smith Cotton. My hope is that the coaches use this first close game extensively as a teaching opportunity for the team. At the end of the season, when winning the last couple games can give an opportunity to go to state play offs, this experience should serve the team well.

Your Josh Freeman Update

Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Bucs played the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and came away 17-14 winners. Josh Freeman was 17/28 for 182 yards, with one interception and two touchdowns.

He looked steady in the pocket, and appears to have grown over the off season. It was noted that he was wearing the Captain's patch--even for a QB, for a second year player to be elected one of the captains--that's not a small thing.

He did have one horrendous throw, an overthrow over the middle, that was intercepted, but his bad throw was overshadowed by one even worse--the throw of Cleveland's Jake Delhomme on the resulting offensive possession of the Browns that was picked off by Ronde Barber and nearly returned for a TD.

Josh had a long run of 33 yards. He was sacked three times--without seeing the game it is hard to know if these sacks were related to any of the common sins of the young QB--holding the ball too long, missing open receivers, etc. So a good steady game it appears for Josh Freeman, but the game was won for Tampa Bay by old man Barber.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weather Impacts High School Football

Weather postponed/suspended several high school football games this evening, including Ruskin-Smith Cotton. The Ruskin game will be resumed tomorrow at 3 p.m. Other games impacted by the weather include Grandview and Raytown. We at Hickman Mills District Stadium were bummed as we were leading 13-7 when play was suspended in the middle of the second quarter around 8 p.m. for lightening in the area.

People circulate as they head for shelter at Ruskin High School.

Once in the auditorium, the cheerleaders did some cheers from the stage. A talented young lady also played the piano and sung a little while we waited for the verdict on continuing the game.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Who Pitched?

North Dakota State collects a KU fumble. (Kansas City Star photo)

This must have been absolutely no fun to watch, this KU-NDSU game, ending in a baseball like score of 6-3. For Kansas it was a cascade of fumbles, bumbles, offensive ineptness, and special teams misses. A bad bad debut for Turner Gill. If this was a movie, it would have gone straight to DVD. Universally panned by the critics, this Jayhawks team has a lot of work to do.

Meantime, both Kansas State and Missouri win their openers with strong second halves, especially from the Wildcat running game and the Missouri defense.

Tough Night for Southland Football

The Park Hill Trojans proved to be tough foes for Ruskin Friday night.

Tough night for Hickman Mills C-1 football Friday. Park Hill thumped Ruskin 35-13. Ruskin was just plagued by penalties, especially a holding call in the waning moments of the second quarter that took a TD off the board. Park Hill held at the start of the third quarter, and the game was pretty much over at that point. Ruskin is now 1-1. In order to join the elites of the conference, the Eagles need to eliminate the penalties, running now in the double digits in both games.

Grandview took a thumping from Raytown South, and Center was beaten by St. Pius so a tough night for southland preps all around.