Wudder Sports Part 6: Guess Who's Bizzack, US Men's Soccer Tank, The Ballad of Miami Lines Coach, Week Six Picks
Last week was a mixed bag for Nostrabombus, going 0-3 in college on Saturday, then salvaging the weekend with a 3-0 pro day on Sunday.
But in realizing a 4-2 week swung on the first game of the weekend's final play:
It's a healthy reminder of why we’re currently wagering internet credibility, rather than hard-earned currency, on these crazy contests.
It was cool to see another great finish, in a game between The U and FSU. Even if neither squad is for the ages, that ending was.
The viewing experience, at Pistola’s Del Sur on Passyunk in Philly, eating Chorizo-and-Calamari-con-Salsa-Verde tacos, washing them down with mango margarita, as the bar played OutKast's ATLiens front to back, seated next to a group of Hurricane alums, was a truly memorable one.
So we’re closing in on a month without a losing week, with still only one losing week on the season.
But the past two weeks, finishing even-steven, feels oddly unsatisfying.
How do we return to a big winning week?
Well, let’s start by cutting the college fat, since that was clearly the past couple week's trouble spot, and we're looking at a fairly ho-hum week of NCAA games.
Then, make five, rather than six picks, so winning or losing is mandatory.
But first, let’s get look thru our Cliff Notes on this past sports week, shall we?
The Adrian Peterson Experiment in New Orleans is over, after only four games.
Realistically, it was over when we saw AD and Sean Payton on the sideline opening night.
The future Hall of Famer Peterson was jettisoned, for a fake draft-pick, to the place where Hall of Fame running backs go to die peacefully: Phoenix.
His arrival led to the immediate dismissal of his predecessor, Chris “The Artist Formally Known as Mr. 4.2” Johnson.
These two proud ships passing in the night, were perhaps previously best known as “the debate for #1 pick in your fantasy draft in 2010 & 2011”.
Just a reminder, once again, that a football life is typically short and cruel.
While NFL running-back, is the biggest meat-grinder position on the field.
It’s more harmful to the body than a professional athlete using a switch on a four-year-old.
Too soon? Don’t beat the messenger.
While American soccer fans and media dog-pile on the US Men’s National Team, for failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, due to an ostensibly inexcusable loss, on what looked like a high-school field in Trinidad, we here at Wudder Sports prefer to accentuate the positive.
What a bold move by the USMNT brain-trust, replacing former manager Jürgen Klinsmann’s German-engineered chess, with former-manager-turned-current-but-soon-to-be-former-again-manager Bruce “BK All Day” Arena’s checkers.
How else could we ensure repaying Russia for interfering with our elections, but by skipping the World Cup in Moscow, like Jimmy Carter did the ’80 Olympics?
What, you thought this administration was gonna do it?!?
LMFAO...you must be Djoking!
Who *really* loses here?
Is it USA Soccer, after getting another reality check, and deferring a thirtysomething-year old dream of being “next” among World Cup contenders?
Please. The checks will keep coming in, now more than ever before, hopefully with a better plan, to prevent future embarrassment.
And one fine day, if they manage to join Mia Hamm & Dem Girls, by becoming best in the world, casual fans will hop on board anyway.
Was it the one true superstar America has, Christian Pulisic, who scored the only US goal in their final game, who's still going to become the highest-priced transfer America produced, while not having to compete in a World Cup with this inferior cast in order to do so?
He's 19, soon to be rich and famous elsewhere. No need for American soccer to slather him in that Freddy Adu doo-doo any more than we already do.
If he pans out the way we expect, he can take another crack at it when he's 24..
This loss primarily hurts two entities:
1) The upcoming World Cup's home country, Mother Russia, who just saw lots of American dollars be replaced by a few Icelandic króna at their festivities.
2) The American television network (FOX) who just sunk a quarter-billi on an international event in which the US will not be competing, nor watching at nearly enough to justify the purchase.
Let those co-conspirators go mining for fake news, and alternate revenue avenues, elsewhere.
Not There. Don’t Care.
Brilliant Move, Bruce!
If you could sum up the tawdry downfall of disgraced Miami Dolphins offensive lines coach Chris Foerster in song, would you choose...
Either one seems to surmise this amazing mess accurately.
It all added up to a series of decisions so bad, that Anthony Weiner emailed Chris from the bing, offering to council him.
And what city more appropriate for these kind of shenanigans than Miami?
Foerster must not have seen The Sopranos, because Ralph Cifarella could have shown him the dangers of getting in two deep on that diet.
Okay, I know it’s early, but I’ll admit it, Markelle Fultz’ newly-tweaked shooting form is making me a little anxious.
Oh No Baby, What Is You Doing???
That form, and preseason, makes me more nervous than the Joel Embiid extension that the national media spent all week freaking out about.
Oh, and speaking of that…JoJo BACK!!!
Our five favorite moments from the return of EmBEAST last night.
"They can't f--cking guard me'
Joel Hans Nowitzki
Embiid Feeds Simmons
"I've seen the future, baby, it is murder."-Leonard Cohen
Embiid's near halfcourt heave, barely jumping, just because.
The guy does stuff I've never seen anyone ever do.
For instance, in the Sixers inaugural open-practice at Temple in 2016, we watched him walk behind the basket stanchion of the Liacorous Center, shooting high arcing shots while standing behind the bassline, that somehow swished thru the net on the opposite side of the glass.
If he’s healthy, he's likely already the best player in the league.
Yeah, you read that right...and no that’s not “potential”, that’s right today.
Seriously, go look at the on-court splits from his rookie year, on both sides of the floor.
Now figure he improves the longer he stays on the court, with all his counting stats ascending, without last season's mandated nightly minute-restrictions.
He might average 14 a night off foul shots alone.
Embiid is currently 40-to-1 in Vegas to win MVP.
Those are pretty good odds for a 7’3” freak athlete with soccer-star feet, who could shoot 80% from the line, knock down 40% from three, lead the league in fouls drawn, be one of the league’s best post-defenders, all while inspiring his team and a city.
*pauses to pay respect to the Basketball Gods before moving along*
Russell Westbrook continues to find more fashionable ways to be petty.
“we love the sport”-Ghostface Killah
Speaking of petty, allow me to reserve this space to gloat, while looking down at the winless New York Giants.
It’s difficult to pinpoint where the season truly became unsalvageable for them.
Was it the first game, when they failed to score a TD on national TV in Big D?
The second, after which now-lame-duck-coach Ben "Fanny & Freddie" McAdoo tossed his QB under the bus?
Or maybe strike three, came on the last play of Week Three...
...on a record-breaking boot that made Jake Elliott the biggest placekicking Philly hero since fictional Tony Danza.
Now, after losing a fifth straight plus Odell Beckham, Brandon “Back to TV, where I wanna be” Marshall, and that other wide-receiver, all for the season in the same game…the ship be sinking, as Michael Ray used to say.
Which means T.O.’s agent is calling, and Jerry Reese probably not hanging up immediately.
Welp, at least Knick season is only a week away.
The Giants are an easy target at this point.
We didn't even watch that Charger game on Sunday, due to its total irrelevance to the 2017 NFL season.
That Cowboy L Skeletor and Jason Garret took down in Dallas, at the hands of GODgers?
Damn right we watched and enjoyed that one, over a plate of Rajun Cajun & Lemon Pepper non-breaded wings, at Wild Wing Cafe in Barrington (best wingie in South NJ by the way).
That one was even more fun than the Birds beat down of the Cardinals & Patterson NJ's Coach Kangol, aka Kid Ray, earlier in the day.
Now that we're almost, but not quite, done picking on NFC East rivals, we shall proceed to this week's five-finger special of NFL picks:
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium, Thursday, 10/12, 8:25 PM
Line: Carolina by 3
Outlook: First on this week's schedule chart, as well as our hearts. It's a cruelly short week, on the road, and without Spiked-Vein Lane Johnson.
Cam is now past “female-gate", and starting to look like his 2015 self. Fletcher Cox is still not right, while the rookie from Tennessee (I’ll type his name when he does something) is still not ready. Birds are on a roll, with a key divisional game on 11 days rest following this. Most signs point to this being an NFL schedule loss. We’d be happy to be wrong, but so far we’re a half-point from being perfect on Birds picks this year.
Nostrabombus Pick: Petey Pablo & Co.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Giants Stadium of New Jersey, Sunday, 10/15, 1 PM
East Rutherford, NJ
Line: New England by 9
Outlook: At 3-2, the first-place Jets are the only team to have already won more than their projected over/under season win total in Vegas (2.5). They have three more W's than the Giants by mid-October, which is high comedy. Congrats to them, on both ends. But c'mon. They’re still a bad team, quarterbacked by a McCown. They've got nowhere to go but down.
Conversely, the Patriots spent what Belasterisk calls “the preseason” (aka the NFL season’s first month) being called the worst defense in the league. Gronk already missed a game, but will play on Sunday. Brady can take sole possession of a division he’s owned every season he’s played, for the past 15 years. All he has to do is beat these Jets. And somehow this line, moved from 10 down to 9?!?
Nostrabombus Pick: RIP to the fleeting phrase “your first-place New York Jets” in 2017.
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Racist Names
Snyder’s Folly Field, Sunday, 1 PM
Line: Washinton by 10.5
Outlook: The 49ers are a bad team, that's yet to win a game. This is undeniable. But they've shown some fight with Young Shanahan, unlike in the prior two seasons, under Chip Kelly and Jim Tomsula. Since getting pounded by Carolina in their opener, they haven’t lost a game by more than a field goal.
Like every year under owner Dan Snyder, the Washington Racist Names are not particularly good, even when they occasionally have a decent record.
They possess one of the negligible home fields in football, besides a Carson soccer amphitheater, playing in a dreadful, too-big stadium in Landover, where first-level fans still need binoculars and a bullhorn to feel a part of the action.
Combine these two teams, and -10.5 feels high, especially with a coach who’d love to pay back Danny for what the franchise did to him and his Daddy.
Nostrabombus Pick: *takes ten-and-a-half and does Merton-Hanks-chicken-dance*
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
US Bank Stadium, Sunday, 1 PM
Line: GB by 3
Outlook: No Dalvin Cook for Minnesota.
Whether the Viking QB is a brittle Sammy Sleeves, or a mediocre Case Keenum, doesn't much matter.
Like we saw in the final minute in Dallas last weekend, I'll spot you three, and put faith in GODgers to perform miracles.
Nostrabombus Pick: Whenver you get lost, go with GODgers.
L.A. Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars
Name After Some Kind of Bank in Jacksonville Stadium, Sunday, 10/14 at 4:05
Line: JAX by 3
Outlook: We thought the Rams were due for a come-back-to-earth game vs. Seattle in LA. We were right. But they’ve still got a solid team, with a great back in Todd Gurley and possibly the best defensive player in football in do-it-all-tackle Aaron Donald.
They’re blessed with luck by being a West Coast team flying East, who doesn’t have to play until normal West Coast kickoff time.
Jacksonville didn’t let Blake Bortles throw for the full fourth quarter last week, for reasons beyond “we wanted to chew clock”. They hide him because he's still terrible, and the Jags have no right giving three against any quality opponent yet, especially not one with a top-shelf D.
Nostrabombus Pick: The team that shares a name with Paul McCartney's best solo album.
Nostrabombus Season Record: 13 Wins, 9 Losses.
Signing off...on a Thirsty Thurs...GO BIRDS!