Saturday, January 14, 2006

I guess this is my second round playoff preview

Seattle 34, Washington 6

While waiting for the Pats game at Blake Street Tavern in Denver, I chatted with some Redskins fans at the bar. We were all intially outraged that sean taylor got a penalty but Michael Pittman didn't for hitting taylor in the head, then were furious at taylor once we saw the spitting evidence, then watched the game. I had no rooting interest, but as happy as the Skins fans were to win, the sentiment was "Seattle's gonna kick our asses." I concur. The Seahawks can score on anyone, and even the Redskins' stellar defense will give up points to them. The Redskins' can't score unless they get turnovers, which Seattle won't give them. Blowout all the way

New England 26, Denver 20

I really hope the Pats can pull this off, seeing as the Broncos are the one team in this otherwise fantastic city that I can't f*****g stand, and I've been a Pats fan my whole life. I can say with confidence that with Seymour and Bruschi back, Denver won't run at will on us like they did last time. And as well as Jake Plummer has played this year, I'll take Brady over him 365/eternity in the playoffs. Add that second corner Darrent Williams will only play in nickel coverages, and the Pats will be able to move the ball through the air. If Corey Dillon shows up so Kevin Faulk can be a 10 carries a game / change of pace / screen-catching pass, we'll run the ball enough to win.

Indianapolis 34, Pittsburgh 17

I simply cannot see the Steelers staying with Indy for four quarters. Other than Polamaulu (spelling), the secondary is very suspect, and if Ryan Diem can come back and play, Indy has the two tackles to keep the pass rush at bay. The Colts won't do it all with finesse, just balance.

Carolina 12, Chicago 9 (OT)

Or Chicago 12, Carolina 9 in overtime. I can;t fogure this one out, besides that points will be real tough to come by. The Panthers are more playoff-tested, and have many more offensive options. Okay, Steve Smith, only one of the best two or three receivers in the game. So I guess they're my pick.

Friday, January 06, 2006

First Round Sort Of Playoff Preview

Tampa Bay 20, Washington 17:

Bucs are at home and will slow Clinton Portis down enough to prevail in a close one. No Mike Alstott 2-point conversion controversies but the host Bucs can run the ball, control the Redskins passing game, and will prevail in a nailbiter.

New England 23, Jacksonville 10:

My beloved Pats take over the contest late, as the defensive front seven asserts itself like it has been late this season, mitigating the tall receivers vs. small DBs advantage the Jaguars have. And let's not forget that Tom Brady is our QB. And Bill Belichick is our coach. Pats prevail in a physical contest even with their battered secondary.

Carolina 26, Giants 24:

I can't figure this one out, but Jake Delhomme has been there, done that, come playoff time. The jury's still out on Eli Manning AFAIC. Two evenly matched teams, but I see a late John Kasay FG winning it for the visiting Panthers.

Pittsburgh 23, Cincinnati 20:

I can't really figure this one out either, but the Steelers are more epxerienced come post-season time. I realize the last three opponents of their recent hot run were Minny, Cleveland, and Detroit, but the Steelers went back to their type of football. That smashmouth offense and just enough defense to win does the trick here.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

What I missed in the NFL Today

A lot of the Pats' starters did not play very much. They lost. But I NEED to see the highlight film of Doug Flutie dropkicking (kicking the ball after it hits the ground) an extra point.

The Just End The Seasons, I mean Jets, can't even lose when they're supposed to. They screw everything up. Ah ha!

The Reggie Bush Bowl between 2-13 Houston and 3-12 San Francisco went to freaking overtime. Oy vey. I feel for the people that went to that game. Houston lost so they get the #1 pick in the 2006 draft. San Francisco couldn't have gotten the #1 pick with a loss, something to do with strength of schedule, but that's besides the post.

I don't have Mike Tice to pick on anymore. He got shitcanned less than an hour after the Vikings game today.

Dick Vermeil coached his last game for the Chiefs. I'll miss him. Seriously. Maybe his showing emotion/crying is over the top, but I'll always take a guy who cares that much about his craft.

The playoff matchups are now set for next weekend. In the AFC we have #6 Pittsburgh at #3 Cincinnati (early prediction: still not sure), and #5 Jacksonville at #4 New England (Pats 20-10). In the NFC it's #6 Washington at #3 Tampa Bay (no did Mike Alstott get in the end zone or not controversy but the Bucs win 20-17), and #5 Carolina at #4 New York Football Giants (don't know yet).

How far will the Pats go? I'd be a lot more confident about Super Bowl prospects if Rodney Harrison could play.

Purple Skies, Bumps, and bad I-70 traffic: 2006 off to a surreal start

Okay, I was really excited to go skiing this morning. I usually like to be at the Morrison Cut by 6:30 am to beat traffic. The Morrison Cut is an interchange on I-70 that has cut rock formations on the south side of the highway, hence its nickname. It's also the exit you take to get to Red Rocks, the greatest outdoor ampitheatre ever. I didn't get there until about 6:40, but no traffic worries yet, seeing as it was New Years Day, which rarely draws huge skiing crowds. The Eisenhower Tunnel was a different story. Traffic up there sucked going to the mountain and sucked even worse on the way home, even if I didn't get there until over two hours after the ski area closed. I took my own sweet time getting to my car, getting my coffee, and finding part of a windshield wiper broken off.

There were a couple inches of fresh snow on the ground when I got to the ski area, which is always a good thing. My giddyness was soon tempered when I dropped one of my poles just after getting on the chairlift. I had to ski down a fairly tricky run with one pole, only to almost not find it. After that near mishap, the day was fantastic. Lots of good snow, fun bumps, little crowds (at least in the back bowls I was skiing), and even talked with a snowboarder from Yukon Territory, Canada. And did I mention purple skies?

Yes, purple skies, and I wasn't in a Jimi Hendrix style haze. A front was coming in from the west. There was some blue sky in front of it. Now, most fronts that move across the high altitudes in the Colorado mountains (9-12,000 ft above sea level at the ski area) turn the skies gray and drop a decent amount of snow. The area where the front is gets a bit of fog as well. But the sky to the west of me, a mix of blue and a nasty front, was purple. I swear. Not gray, or even black like a real bad T-storm would give you. Purple. I wish I had a camera. It was tough to concentrate on skiing to be honest because I wanted to look at the sky because it was so surreal.

Not being able to concentrate almost bit me in the ass on my last run. While I wasn't looking at the sky anymore, I was very tired and not on top of my game. I ended up going over a three foot rock that serves as a ramp to jump off of. Fortunately, I landed okay (I don't "huck jumps" so this was new and unintended for me) and got to the bottom of the mountain. Note to self: Don't try for that last run at 3:59 when I'm real tired, or next time it could get ugly.

The traffic on the way home sucked like it always does on I-70. Stop and go in the tunnel itself. I saw two SUV/Ford Broncos, obviously not driven by Al Cowlings, flipped over in the I-70 median after spinning off the road, before I even got to the tunnel. These people think they're freaking invincible in those big autos, and subsequently drive way too fast (35 was about right for these icy roads). I see this far too many times, hope they are okay, but it scares me to see crashed like that casued by little but excess speed and careless driving.

Surreal, but fun, way to start the new year.