Saturday, June 18, 2016

It's Race Day!

I know some of you are taking the weekend off from NASCAR, but did you know there's major road race across the pond? Yes, it's that time of year again. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is this weekend, and yours truly spent a few hours on Friday racing a Chevrolet Corvette C7.R race car around the track in Project CARS.

This year, the event is getting the television coverage it deserves. For the first time since we had the SPEED channel, 19 of the 24 hours will be on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2. If you want to see those five "missing" hours, you can stream the race on the Fox Sports Go app. It's free and you'll have access to the race provided your cable provider has FS1 and FS2 in their channel lineup.

If you want to cheer on Corvette Racing, the new Ford GT race cars, or watch Porsche, Audi, and Nissan battle it out in the highly competitive LMP1 prototype division, here's the television broadcast schedule. All times are Eastern (EST):

8:30am - 2pm  FS1
2pm - 4:30pm  FS2
6pm - 6:30pm FS2
7pm - 7:30pm FS2
10:30pm - 2:30am FS2
2:30am - 9:30am FS1

Will I stay up for the full 24 hours this year? Not this year. Sunday is Father's Day, and I don't want to visit my family on three or four hours of sleep because I stayed up all night. I'll be on Twitter off and on all day and evening, though.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Let us Stop Complaining About Our Teams

All you have to do is watch this video and realize that your team isn't as bad as Cleveland.

And I want that payment plan.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Cleveland Browns Did The Right Thing By Trading The #2 Pick

R.J. and I make fun of the Cleveland Browns on the forums of the BoSox Tavern Blog. We both seem to realize that the team has made some real bad decisions since coming back to the league (Tim Couch, Johnny Manziel, Trent Richardson, Courtney Brown, and Braylon Edwards just to name a few). Those names don't include the revolving door at G.M., Coach, President of Football Operations, Popcorn Vendors, Cheerleaders, and anybody else associated with this franchise. But this new regime that has been assembled since January has made a smart move by trading the #2 Pick in the 2016 draft to Philadelphia. Let's examine why.

1. Let's say that Carson Wentz has a Hall of Fame career. And he would have been the Browns pick at #2. It doesn't matter. Why? The Browns don't have the support staff on the field to make this happen. At best, Cleveland is 3 years away from considering a playoff run because of the lack of talent on the team. Can you see the team putting in a rookie Quarterback with an Offensive Line that is inadequate at best? As we have seen time and time again with this team, the Quarterback will eventually start shucking and ducking. (See David Carr in Houston to see the prime example of this). We know that RG III isn't a long term answer. He doesn't have the escapability that he had in his Rookie year. His ability to get injured does not bode well for playing all 16 games. Josh McCown? Same with injuries. So you bring in Wentz and there is no O-Line to keep him upright, you might as well start identifying your next QB three years from now. You know that he will get hit time and time again. A QB is only as good as his Offensive Line makes him. And there is a lack of an Offensive Line in Cleveland.

2. Hue Jackson. Hue has his man in RG III. I am going to assume that he was the one that convinced Upper Management that he can rehabilitate Griffin. He is known as a coach that can get the most out of his QB's. I trust the Head Coach to know what he wants to do with the team. RG III is a bargain if he regains what made him special in his rookie year. I don't think he can, but who am I to argue with Hue?

3. The picks acquired. While only getting a 3rd and 4th round pick this year, the #1 in 2017 and #2 in 2018 are the real value picks here. The Browns got those picks while going back 6 spots in the 2016 draft that they are not convinced has a Franchise QB available to them. So you get an unsexy pick at #8 like a DE or a LT (And yes I know they have Joe Thomas. That will come into play later in this post). It improves the team and brings in more new blood of players that are highly thought of. If the scouting department does it's job, we can see talent starting to accumulate in Cleveland.

4. Setting realistic expectations of the Cleveland fans. Each and every year, we hear Browns fans telling us that the team will surprise us by making the playoffs and showing why they have faith. Well, now they can face the cold hard reality that the team needs to rebuild everything. There should be nobody safe from being cut or traded. And this leads us into #5 which will anger Browns fans.

5. Trade Joe Thomas. Right now, this is the guy that you can truthfully say is the best player on the team. He is 31 years old. He is a valuable commodity for many teams. Now is the time to trade him. You can get at least another 1st Round pick if not more for him in a trade. Here is what I do if I am in the Cleveland Brass. I let word leak that Joe Thomas is available for the right price. I ask for a 1st Rounder in 2016 or 17. Also included is a 3rd or 4th rounder in 2017. And here is the key, a developmental QB that the team likes. That way, you add more pieces that are highly thought of, you get that mid round pick that makes teams good if they can find starters there and you possibly have your QB for the next 10 years if the developmental QB develops like you want while watching the game from the sidelines for a year or two.

The new and shiny QBs come out each and every year. And you can always grab one if you want. You know the price, but the Browns have the worst roster in the league and the past couple of drafts haven't satisfied anybody. The talent level needs to be improved in all facets of the team. A rookie QB will not do it for this franchise. Getting the picks they did from Philadelphia and the picks and possible parts from a Joe Thomas trade will allow the talent level to rise. And from that point, we will see if the Moneyball Gang for Football can get this franchise up off the floor (no, not laying right beside a passed out Johnny Manziel). Because right now, this team is the laughingstock of the league.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Found On Twitter: Bad Business Decisions

I only watched part of the fourth quarter of yesterday's Super Bowl, but at least I put more effort into turning on the TV than Cam Newton did to get that loose football. Or stick around for the post game news conference. I'm pretty sure a typical bathroom break is longer than that.

Remember when I said I liked Cam Newton? Scratch that. In one game, he went from being Superman to... the 2014 version of Cam Newton. He simply does not have the mental toughness to get the job done when it matters, or to be a leader when things get tough. That includes fighting for the ball when it's loose in front of you. Instead of pulling a John Elway and risking himself with the game on the line, Cam inexplicably pulled up as if he was scared to get hurt.

There is no excuse for this behavior, especially the walking out of the press conference part. Cam's not a kid anymore. He's 26 years old, and with the MVP trophy for better or worse he's now the face of the NFL. With that trophy comes certain responsibilities, and that includes taking the good with the bad on game day.

Superman? How about Bizarro?

Monday, January 25, 2016

This Ain't A Love Letter

Right now, Chargers fans are writing "love letters" to the Chargers to tell them they should stay in San Diego. I have one from the bottom of my Silver and Black heart I'd love to share with y'all. -- R.J. 

Dear Chargers,

You're probably expecting me to be just another NFL fan that will whisper sweet nothings in your ear about how I love you and want you to stay in San Diego. You're wrong. Dead wrong. But I write this letter out of love, and you deserve to hear me out.

Once upon a time, I bled powder blue and gold. I was proud to support you through thick and thin. In my case, it was mostly thin since you rarely enjoyed success after Alex Spanos bought the majority share of the team from Gene Klein in 1984. My time as a fan since then was filled with precious few good memories. I was thrilled when you won the 1994 AFC Championship. I even stayed up all night to help welcome you home to what was then called Jack Murphy Stadium when the players arrived from Pittsburgh. I also owned a custom made Stan Humphries jersey that I wore for a long time after he retired because he was such a good player whenever you needed a big play.

But those happy memories are also filled with many years of sadness. You hired Steve Ortmayer and Al Saunders to run the team into the ground in the late 1980s. You then hired Bobby Beathard, and I hated that he traded away almost all of our first round picks in the 1990s and couldn't agree to disagree with Bobby Ross. I thought Beathard lost his mind when he took the third overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, a future first round pick, a future second round pick, and Pro Bowler Eric Metcalf and shipped them to the Arizona Cardinals to move up one spot to select noted flag football enthusiast/franchise savior Ryan Leaf. I also had to put up with offensive guru Kevin Gilbride's inability to score points for a couple of seasons, followed by an overwhelmed Mike Riley who nearly completed the NFL's first "Imperfect Season" in 1999 before the Detroit Lions turned the trick in 2008.

When you hired John Butler in 2001, that was the first good thing Dean Spanos ever did since his father let him run the team seven years earlier. Butler drafted LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees with his first two draft picks that year, and then hired Marty Schottenheimer to coach them the following season. You were well on your way back to respectability until Butler's life was tragically cut short by cancer two years later. You could have hired a good general manager to succeed Butler, but predictably you settled on A.J. Smith's ego. With that choice, you destroyed your one chance to win a Super Bowl during my lifetime. I won't dissect what could have been if you had hung onto Drew Brees and done something different with the first pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. My story ends earlier than that.

At the end of the last century, my city gave you a sweetheart of a stadium deal. We guaranteed a "sellout" by buying up all of the unsold tickets, and for about $80 million expanded then Jack Murphy Stadium's seating capacity. But that wasn't enough for you. You wanted more. Only a few years after the stadium expansion was completed, Alex Spanos was quoted by a self-employed journalist that he wanted a new stadium. For those of us who lived in San Diego at the time, it struck us as jealousy. The San Diego Padres, who were coming off a World Series appearance in 1998, got a new stadium after residents voted for it in the following election. You on the other hand were busy trying to cobble together that Leaf trade and were in no position to demand a new stadium.

But that didn't stop you from doing it anyway.

Since we were first introduced to Mark Fabiani in 2002, we have been told repeatedly by you and the local fish wrap (that's what I call the San Diego Union-Tribune, y'all) that you would leave us if we didn't build you a new stadium. That's when I realized your threat sounded all too familiar. If there's a common theme San Diego has with professional sports teams, it's not losing. It's horrible owners. We had Donald Sterling for a few years before he moved the Clippers to Los Angeles. We also had a very good San Diego Gulls hockey team in the old IHL that, like the Chargers, threatened to move to LA if they didn't get a new arena. They did exactly that in 1995 when they became the Los Angeles Ice Dogs. With two San Diego teams following through with threats to move to Los Angeles, I knew back then this would be the end game. That's why I "divorced" you and joined Raider Nation.

Even though I made my choice clear a long time ago, I still don't want you to stay in San Diego. I'm tired of my city feeling like they're in a loveless marriage with you. You should move to Los Angeles and cater to the 25% of your fan base that lives there. My city deserves an owner that is not only committed to winning, but wants to become part of the community. For the past dozen years or so you've had one eye on Los Angeles, and then Carson, while making one unappealing stadium proposal after another to show you're negotiating with my city in good faith.

So, what's the love part of this letter? I love that the NFL screwed you the way you screwed us. Whether you choose to stay here or move to Los Angeles, by the time the 2017 season rolls around you will become Southern California's third-favorite NFL team after the Rams and Raiders move to the area. Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire are Rams and Raiders territory. Those fans will never give you the support my city once did.

Do the right thing and make this divorce final. Either move to Los Angeles so we can attract another NFL team, or sell the Chargers to someone who will work with my city on a long term solution that works for everyone. We deserve better than the Spanos family and Mark Fabiani.

Good riddance,

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Drive For Five Hits Frisco TX

A True Symbol of Excellence At The Current Time
Well, here we go again. Friday Night, the Richmond Spiders visited the Fargodome to take on the North Dakota State Bison in the FCS Semifinals. The Fargodome has been a house of horrors for teams visiting in the playoffs. The last loss for the Bison at home during the playoffs was back in 1999 when they were a Division II team. Well, the Spiders didn't bring their bite this game. It was over in the 1st half when the Bison were ahead by 26 points. Add the 2 missed FG that the freshman kicker had and the Spiders could have been trampled more than they were.  The final score was 33-7. But the best drive of the game was the end of the 3rd Quarter into the 4th. The Bison held the ball for 10 minutes for 1 drive. That is controlling the pace of the game.

The Bison have now won 19 straight playoff games. In the past 5 years, their record is 70-5. We have graduated an entire class of players and changed head coaches, and it seems like we haven't missed a beat. There are kids that want to come into this program from around the country. The Bison recruit overlooked kids from the area of the Big 10 conference. NSDU rarely has a JUCO player or a player transfer from a FBS team either. The redshirt QB playing right now wanted to join the program from Florida. The Bison Nation footprint is being felt in the MAC recruiting circles because of the success that NDSU has had. They are the Alabama of the smaller Universities out there.

Early in January, The Bison will play for their 5th consecutive FCS title. And even if they fall short of that goal, they have proven once again that the program can absorb losing pro prospects and filling their shoes with players that have the drive to be a good as they can be and be a championship contender. That is the standard for the little football team from Fargo ND. #Bison Pride

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Patriots in Houston

Well, I may have found a solution to the photo posting issue here...the Blogger app for IOS.  So I'm going to post the pictures from my trip to see the Patriots beat the Texans in Houston first as a test, then finish the story later.
This place is huge.
From our club level seats.  Did I mention they were free?!
Zoomed in, so a little blurry.
L-R. My brother Tom, AA and his dad, who scored the tix.
Tried to get the Gronk TD spike and just missed.
This app seems to work, though am finding it awkward using a tablet to type a lot.  So I'll make it short and the pics are more interesting. We obviously had a great weekend of food, drink, golf and then capped off with the game. Patriots 27-6

Sick of Pete Rose

Just a little rant I posted to FB earlier.  I've been sick and tired of him long before this recent uptick in the need to feel sorry for/talk about him at all.  As long as Shoeless Joe stays out, keep Pete out.  Never liked the guy, even before the gambling stuff.

Can we please, please stop talking about that asshole Pete Rose?! Yeah, he's one of the all-time greats but he also bet on baseball, worst yet his own team and he's always been a walking, talking prick. I get near vomitous every time they start talking about him.

I know I'm now talking about him.  I don't care to debate, just wanted to vent.  Plus I just remembered I need to finalize this week's pick 'em and then do a quicky about my trip to Houston.