Friday, October 25, 2013

How Tall This Fall?

Looks like Chase is inching closer to four feet tall, and also growing out of that shirt. Jules sprouted up by 2 apples, nearly the height of a Smurf (they're three apples high).





about three foot four this year



how tall with daddy


how tall with mommy

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Song of the Week

"Royals" - Lorde
This chick is 16 years old and apparently she saw a picture of someone on the Royals, signing baseballs, and decided to write this song, which she did in half an hour.
I love her process, and the end result is a pretty good repudiation of our money-obsessed celebrity culture.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The NFL is Poop - Week 7

Picture of the Week
I never start this column with a picture of the week, but this time is different. I found the perfect picture of the most talked about play of the week.
In the foreground you can see Chris Jones who had just pushed his teammate Will Svitek. In the background you can see the official throwing his flag.

The flag gave Nick Folk another chance, and after missing the 56-yarder, he nailed the 42-yarder to give the Jets a 30-27 overtime victory over the Patriots.
The call was correct. You cannot push a teammate into a defenseless player (it's a player safety thing). Bill Belichick misinterpreted the rule (it seems the league did a bad job explaining it) and taught his guys the wrong thing.
Now there is some scuttlebutt that the Jets pointed out the Patriots tendency to do this to the referees perhaps leading to a heightened awareness.
If that's the case then the Jets did a good job in film study. Teams have been doing this for years. Notice little things their opponents do to gain and edge, and try to get the referees to call them on it.
But the bottom line is the rule was correctly enforced. It was a bad break for the Patriots, but it would have been a worse one for the Jets had they lost on a clear infraction that went uncalled.

Game of the Week
Indianapolis Colts 39 Denver Broncos 33

A huge coming out party for Andrew Luck who played a hell of a game, showing himself to be perhaps the best combination of the quarterback for this new age. He can run well enough to get out of trouble, and even to make plays, but he also has a rocket for an arm, and a killer instinct for the game of football. He's got the arm/head combination of Brady and Manning, while being much more mobile. If he continues to develop this way he could be scary.
Luck clearly outplayed Peyton Manning, but I blame a lot of that on bad play-calling. I think the Broncos tried way too hard to establish a running game, and all it did was give Peyton Manning fewer chances to find a receiver for a big gain. With Manning you just need to let him drop back 3 times and hope he can hit one of those for 10 yards. Denver had 6 3 and outs and on all 6, the first place was either a run, or a short pass to Moreno. You can't have passive play-calling when you have Peyton Manning on your team.
I think we all know Manning is great, and their offense is going to put points on the board, but the Broncos have a major issue on defense and they will not dominate the regular season, nor win in the playoffs without serious improvements in the defensive secondary.

Consistently Inconsistent
Seattle, San Francisco and Denver are a combined 0-3 against the Colts. And a combined 17-1 against everyone else. The Colts outscored those 3 great teams 100-68.
Meanwhile, Miami, Oakland and San Diego are 2-1 against the Colts. And a combined 7-9 against everyone else. And they outscored the Colts 60-50.

Note: I am not counting Indianapolis's 37-3 over Jacksonville, similar to the way wins against FCS teams don't count for bowl eligibility.

The Colts definitely have a lot of pieces, and I especially love Andrew Luck, but they really need to play every game as if the opponent is a contender. They can't take games off against the weaker teams.

The Ballad of the Backup QB
One thing I have noticed in my years of gambling is this: never underestimate the backup QB. It very often happens that a team has a horrible QB who then gets hurt (maybe legitimately, sometimes to give him a breather without embarrassing him) and the gamblers write the backup off. "If he's backing up that guy, he must be even worse. For whatever reason, very often that is not the case. Five straight weeks of pick-6s either by Matt Schaub or TJ Yates and then along comes Case Keenum. And there he is doing a serviceable job and almost beating the undefeated Chiefs.

That Hurts
I know professional football is a rough game, but the amount of serious injuries to high-profile players this week was startling.
Reggie Wayne tore his ACL while running a route, no contact involved.
Jermichael Finley suffered a bruised spinal cord but he should make a full recovery. That injury was the result of a hard hit to the head.
Brian Cushing broke his leg on a low block by Jamaal Charles.
Sam Bradford tore his ACL during a scramble.

That's four very high-profile players, all out for the season.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
It's nice to get a win. And I certainly was encouraged about RGIII's increased mobility. He looks much better on his scrambles, and his accuracy when throwing on the run was much improved and a major factor in the breakout performance by Jordan Reed (9 catches, 134 yards, 1 TD). Also, the running game can be dominant again when RGIII's scrambles and designed runs are added to the mix. He ran for 84, Morris had 95, even though Helu only had 41 yards, he scored 3 touchdowns.
There are still major problems with the secondary that are going to be exposed this week against the Broncos, but a win is a win and we are happy to have it.

Game of Next Week
Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions

A weak crop of games this weekend. I guess I won't be missing too much while attending the neighborhood Halloween party. This is one of only 2 matchups of winning teams (Jets-Bengals is the other). It is an interesting matchup and the way Romo is playing he always makes it fun. But even though both these teams are 4-3, I don't consider either to be very good.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Kansas City Chiefs 7 Seattle Seahawks 6

I have to give their Chiefs their due. They're still undefeated and the Broncos are not. And while the rest of the league is pass-happy, these two teams earned their spots in this category with great defense.