Friday, October 29, 2010

Glad to Be Wrong

Earlier this year I was ready to consign the New York football Giants to the dumpster because they were losing and looking ugly doing it. No defense, no running game and Eli Manning with happy feet and an erratic arm. I am happy to report that the Giants have won three in a row, including a drubbing of those Cowboys in Dallas and are in a position to be in control of the NFC East. Yup, happy to be wrong here.

Also, I wrote that the University of Missouri's football team was "average," beating the bad teams of the Big 12 but having no signature wins against powers. Well, last Saturday the Tigers beat Oklahoma. I am happy about that win, secured with fine defense and timely offense. If the Tigers can beat Nebraska up in Lincoln--well, now, wouldn't that be something? And I am completely happy to admit that I was wrong to call them average.

You don't always have to be right, you know.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Series: Not the Yankees or the Phillies!

AP photo

Tonight was the start of the World Series, in San Francisco, with the Giants beating Texas 11-7. This should be a pretty good series, with hitting and pitching. The Rangers may have better defense. Game one was an out of character slugfest for both starters Lee and Lincecum.

No Yankees! Sorry Yankee lovers.

Also no charming Northeast weather. San Fran can get chilly at night, but games should start at about 5:30 western time and avoid the worst of night chill. Play ball!

Your Josh Freeman Update

Freeman in the fourth quarter avoiding the rush and leading the drive (

I didn't know this. Of the seven games that Josh Freeman has won as a starter for the Tampa Bay Bucs, five of them were fourth quarter comebacks. He added to that total Sunday as he led the Bucs back from a 17-3 deficit to win 18-17 over the Rams. Obviously he didn't do it by himself as the Bucs defense had to hold the Rams scoreless for the second half. But he executed the hurry up offense and made a touchdown pass with 10 seconds left to win the game. His final stats: 22/40 for 212 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

TB's coach proclaimed his young team the "best in the NFC"--quite a contrast to the Chiefs coaching staff. Bulletin board material for the Arizona Cardinals, TB's next opponent.

Chiefs Look Forward

Thomas Jones goes over the top to get short yardage and a first down. He still is plenty powerful, still has some speed and lends leadership in the locker room. (Kansas City Star)

Our very own KC Chiefs are 4 and 2 and in first place in the AFC West. After a middling to poor first half against Jacksonville, the Chiefs forced inexperienced QB Todd Bouman into errors and played strong offense as well to win going away 42-20. Look for the Chiefs to continue to take advantage of a relatively soft schedule. One of the marks of a good NFL team is the ability to win the games against clearly inferior opposition.

Todd Haley is playing all this success very close to the vest, always saying that there is something for the team to work on. I agree with this approach. This is still a very young team. There are veteran leaders on the team (Vrable, Jones) but the overall team is very young and not fully used to success or having to perform under expectations. I am very much liking the direction the Chiefs have taken, and while I don't agree with Haley or Pioli all the time, to me they have made many of the right moves and this team is moving in the right direction.

The remainder of the Kansas City schedule:

08Oct. 31Bills
12:00 PM CDT

09Nov. 07at Raiders
3:15 PM CST

10Nov. 14at Broncos
3:05 PM CST

11Nov. 21Cardinals
12:00 PM CST

12Nov. 28at Seahawks
3:05 PM CST

13Dec. 05Broncos
12:00 PM CST

14Dec. 12at Chargers
3:15 PM CST

15Dec. 19at Rams
12:00 PM CST

16Dec. 26Titans
12:00 PM CST

17Jan. 02Raiders
12:00 PM CST

Of course, the Chiefs could be "flexed" onto Sunday night if called for by NBC. Wouldn't that be cool if it was one of the home games?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Who Knew?

Who knew the Chiefs defense would yak up a hairball in the fourth quarter? Four possessions--four touchdowns for the Texans, bringing them to a 35-31 win. The Chiefs gagged up two 10 point leads in the game.

Also, Tampa Bay just go spanked by New Orleans. A thoroughgoing beating administered by a better team. However, it was not aided and abetted by Josh Freeman interceptions--he had none. TB just couldn't do anything against a superior team.

Both New York teams won.

The NFL rolls on.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Checking in With Baseball

A quick check of baseball here.

Yankees-Rangers tied 1-1. They are playing in Texas and the Yankees came back from behind on Friday to defeat the Rangers, just like they did against the Twins in the Divisional series. This time, the loss did not break the competition and the Rangers came back and tied the series. Now, it goes to New York for 3 games. Go Texas! So sick of the Yankees!

Giants-Phillies have had one game and it went to the Giants, a close 4-3 victory that featured 2 home runs off of Roy Halladay. They are playing in Philadelphia. Game 2 tomorrow--features Jonathan Sanchez against Roy Oswalt. Should be a good one.

Paul Lukas of the Uniwatch Blog notes that teams playing at home and wearing colored tops (rather than dressing in all white) have lost every game at home wearing those colored tops. Rangers, Phils, stick to white at home please!

Local Colleges: Kansas is Really Bad at Football

Jayhawk Nation is already asking two questions:

1. When's basketball?

2. Can we fire Turner Gill?

Because the Jayhawks are really bad at football this year. Kansas State skunked them on Thursday past.

Kansas State and Missouri are average Big 12 football teams this year. This basically means that they will beat the teams they are supposed to beat, they will lose to the teams they are supposed to lose to and they will beat on each other.

Meantime, Kansas State has been picked to win the Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship this year.

Chiefs-Texans: The Incompetent Meets the Inept

Just a few short predictive words on the Chiefs game tomorrow: The Chiefs can win this game.

If they do well what they've been doing, and can do something better. That is, pass the ball against one of the NFL's worse pass defenses.

I think they can. Chiefs victory tomorrow.

Going out on a limb here boys--don't cut it off.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Baseball: Two Series Wrapped Up, Two Still Going

The Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees both swept their division championship series against the Cincinnati Reds and the Minnesota Twins respectively. The Phils did it with awesome pitching including the second ever no hitter thrown in post season play by Roy Halliday.

The Yankees just did it by being a much better team, beating the Twins twice at Target Field, including a demoralizing come from behind win at the Twins' home field.

Tampa Bay and Texas are tied 2-2 with the final winner take all game tomorrow night in Tampa. The Giants and Braves are playing their game 4 right now with the score tied 2-2 in the top of the seventh inning. Editor's Update: Giants won, taking the series 3-1. They will play Philadelphia, starting Friday night.

Photos from of the Phils and Yanks playing in the champaign.

Your Josh Freeman Update

The Tampa Bay Bucs are 3-1 also and frankly are in a very similar position to the Chiefs: Very young team with a rising defense, still looking for consistency. Only thing: I do believe they are better off at QB then we are, having Josh Freeman. In last Sunday's game against the Bengals in Cincy, Josh was able to take advantage of the two late turnovers by the Bengals and lead the Bucs to 10 points in the last two minutes, including the game winning FG with 5 seconds left in the game. Freeman's final line was 20/33 for 280 yards, one interception and one TD. He ran for 20 yards as well.

Even with this success, and division rival New Orleans the next opponent, Tampa Bay expects to be blacked out at home this coming Sunday. In fact, according to this blogger, the Bucs figure to be blacked out for their five remaining home games. Like one of the locals posted it's hard to figure they wouldn't get 65,000 people in to see a winning team.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Close But No Cigar

The game might very well have had a different outcome had Dwayne Bowe hung on to this potential touchdown pass. (Kansas City Star)

The defense played well enough to win. The special teams, while they did not do anything amazing, were more than adequate. There were some decisions on the part of the coaching staff that you could question, but that did not lose the game.

It was the lack of a passing attack and the inability of the offense to stay on the field. Matt Cassel continues to struggle, looking unsure and not confident. He is struggling with his accuracy. The receivers, especially Dwayne Bowe, are dropping the football again.

Result: Despite holding the Colts to one touchdown, the Kansas City Chiefs lost today 19-9.

I was poking around in the Kansas City Star's comment section and one reader I think has the right attitude. Yes, let's look at this game: take the good, analyze the mistakes and then move on. We have the Houston Texans next, fresh from having their lunch handed them by the Giants at home. Houston has not played well since their victory over the Colts and their defense in particular has had problems. So, let's go on to the next game and win that. This team is good enough to win the next game, unlike last year's team when we wondered when the next wins would come.

Yeah, I'm an optimist. It's all those years rooting for the New York Giants.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Any Possibility of a Chiefs Upset Sunday?

Most feel that the Chiefs have little chance of beating the Indianapolis Colts in Indy Sunday. I can see a way we could. If...

We run well against their porous run defense and keep the ball from Payton Manning.

We have at least one special teams or defensive touchdown.

We get some pressure on Manning without sacrificing coverage.

We have NO turnovers.

However, Manning is so good that it is possible that we could do those things and he could still lead the Colts to a win. The youthfulness of our defensive back field and the inability to get consistent QB pressure, especially if the game is even or Kansas City is behind could be our eventual undoing.

If the game is close we have a chance.

If we score first we have a chance.

If Payton Manning goes off, we have no chance.

Either a rout in the Colts favor or a close game with a last minute score for a Colts victory or a close game with the Colts offense frustrated. Two out of three scenarios leading to an Indy win--tough odds but not impossible.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Baseball Post Season Set

OK, the regular season is over...the envelopes please!

In the AL, we have Texas, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay for division champs. The New York Yankees are the wild card. Texas will play Minnesota and New York will play Tampa Bay.

In the NL, we have San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia for division champs. The wild card is Atlanta. The Reds will play the Phillies and the Giants will play the Braves.

And as this article from documents, heads are already starting to roll from the managers and executives of teams that fell short of expectations this past year.

Yes, New York Mets, I am looking at you!

Friday, October 1, 2010

True Confession: I Am Rooting For Michael Vick to Do Well

I spent four years in the Philly metro area going to school and during that time, the city's professional sports teams wormed their way into this New Yorker's heart. I still have to this day a soft spot for the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and Sixers. Part of that may have been that all were winners at that time in the late '70s and early '80s but the teams also had some winning players as well, players who played hard and embodied the spirit of Philadelphia. In the NFC East, always my second choice; if the Giants can't win, please let it be the Eagles.

Now, if you follow the NFL, you know that the Eagles lost their starting QB to a concussion this year and inserted Michael Vick in the game. He has continued to play and even now with the starter, Kevin Kolb ready to go, has remained the starting QB for the Eagles. He has received acclaim for his play--he has regained the speed that made him such a threat in the back field, has been more disciplined in the passing game and has shown leadership both on and off the field.
And I am glad for him.

He served his time. He lost his fortune. He lost respect. He is trying to regain his footing in his life. He has done everything asked of him and it has appeared to be genuine. So let him excel and show the gifts that God gave him for the football field. I hold no grudge against him. I don't want to holler "Dog killer" at him or stop rooting for the Eagles.

Yes, it's me The Observer, who blogs about Wayside Waifs on a regular basis and couldn't leave a kitten out in the rain, rooting for Michael Vick.

You know, there is a weird sort of bright side to all this. Would we, meaning the general public, know anything about this underworld of dog fighting if it wasn't for this public figure, Michael Vick, getting swept up in the criminal investigation like he did. Now we know. We know more than we want to know. But we know, and now we watch, we donate, we adopt and we care.

So here's a sweet ending: A redeemed human being, who gets to do the thing he loves the most--play football--and is an improved and better person. Dogs get more protection from abuse due to increased public awareness and donations to causes that help prevent, detect and prosecute dog fighting and care for the abused dogs left behind. A double WIN in my eyes.

Photos: Michael Vick X2 from and an English Bull Terrier at the 2010 Pet Expo by The Observer.