Wudder Sports Week Two Preview: Mr. North Dakota Returns to the Midwest
We'll skip the preamble, because we've got a bunch of #QuickHits to get to before heading over to N2N Festival this Saturday afternoon.
Our Expert Analysis on the NFL's Thursday Night Games:
Besides Thanksgiving, we don’t need Thursday Night Games.
Give the viewers, and more importantly the players, a break.
This watery mid-week mess, usually like Bengals/Texans between mediocre teams, on minimal rest, isn’t helping the brand.
That being said, the final play of Thursday's dreck, JJ Watt bum-rushing Jeff Bodine like he was trying to leave the field with a Hurricane Harvey relief check Watt was there to collect, is worth a watch:
Let’s re-cap some of last weekend’s first football weekend of the sporting Fall.
Nostrabombus picked seven contests.
Ending up one game removed from being perfect.
Okay, technically we went 5-2.
But one of the games lost, was Oklahoma blowing out OSU, which is one of those rare occasions when it felt great to be wrong.
Congrats to Baker Mayfield and the Sooners, maybe you just needed to be rid of Little Big Game Bob to pull off wins like this.
The only real thorn in the side, over the course of an otherwise Lucky 7, was the Cowboys' performance on Sunday night.
Or should I say, the Giant offense’s complete lack of performance, on their way to a pathetic three points.
Our bad, for underestimating how bad Eli, their faceless running backs + pedestrian o-line can look, without much-maligned Odell Beckham.
Perhaps this performance will silence the crowd looking to pin last season’s lack of playoff success on his boating adventures.
Without OBJ, the Eli Face might remain in place so long you'll start thinking he has Bell's Palsy.
Let’s show some Wudder Sports love to the following people for their efforts this week, before we get into this weekend’s docket.
Sloane Stephens played the best set of tennis she’d ever played in her life, against Venus last Thursday night. I’m glad she was able to cap it off against her good friend Madison Keys on Saturday, in a considerably less drama-filled affair. There was still plenty of feel-good in the air when you watched her and her BFF, Maddie (Sloane’s words), share an extended hug and some laughs at the ceremony.
American Women’s Tennis is in great shape, and for the first time in eons, for reasons beyond the GOAT Sports Siblings from Compton.
U.S. Men…c’mon, get it together, please.
It’s been a long time since Sampras.
Andre & Steffi’s kid is already committed to USC baseball next Fall.
Speaking of United States Men disappointments in international competition, props to Richard Jefferson, champion with the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, and member of the 2004 USA Olympic team debacle, for finally telling the world what we always knew:
“You could not have picked a worse coach for that team than Larry Brown”.
In an entertaining appearance on Bill Simmons’ podcast yesterday, he does provides further detail and context than that, but the above sentence is relayed as inescapable fact.
One so true he repeats it 3-4 times while recounting that lost summer of '04 in Greece, under the tutelage of play-the-game-the-right-way Bronze Brown.
Richard, I see a bright broadcasting career in your future.
We haven’t watched a full Phillies game since attending one with about 2000 other Phillies fans at Citizens Bank Park back on Cinco De Mayo.
But this Rhys Hoskins kid, on his Nouveau-Ruthian start to his career, is almost enough to get us watching the Phillies again.
Okay, not really, they still somehow have the fewest wins in baseball, despite his unprecedented 18 HR and 30something RBI, in his first month in the Big Leagues.
But feel free to give ya boy a heads up, whenever he’s on deck, this September.
The Flyers first preseason game of the season at Islanders on Sunday, and announce plans to retire Eric Lindros' number in 2018.
Which is more ridiculous...
That the Flyers are actually beginning the never-ending hockey season in the second week of September?
Or that the Flyers have still yet to retire their greatest ever's number, despite the fact that they throw their 70's and 80's alumni parades annually, and that Big E entered the Hall of Fame (belatedly) over a year ago?
Both are a small microcosm of why I can't be bothered, with this franchise, or frankly this sport, anymore.
#6 USC at Texas
LA Memorial Coliseum, 8: 30 PM
Los Angeles, CA
Line: USC by 5.5
Outlook: Did you know the USC Trojans are undefeated all-time vs. the Texas Longhorns?
Oh, you didn’t?
2006 Rose Bowl Who?!?
The NCAA told us later that game never happened, so who are we to argue?
It’s a little bit nerve-wracking to think of the prospect of losing to the Texas Longhorns for the first time in over a hundred years of college football history, particularly since they head into this one riding high off their victory over Stanford, while being such a prohibitive favorite, but hey, you’ll have to show us the horns can hook the Trojans at least once, before we believe it.
Nostrabombus Pick: While there may be a first time for everything, we’re gonna play it safe and just wait-and-see, while taking USC.
Triple-G (Gennady Golovkin) vs. Canelo (Saul) Alvarez
T-Mobile Arena, Approximately 11 PM EST
Las Vegas, Nevada
Line: Nearing Pick ‘Em, GGG +155, Canelo +125
Outlook: Floyd & Conor turned out to not be quite the debacle it was supposed to be, but this the fight to see. For those unfamiliar with the work of Triple G:
Canelo Álvarez, most casual boxing fans are likely a little more familiar, at least by name. You might remember that time he fought Floyd and never touched him a few years ago. You may remember when he began to build his name back up, starting with his victory over the aging warrior Miguel Cotto, two years ago. Some of you may have seen him knockout Amir Khan last year, a few might have suffered through watching his “fight” against Julio César Chávez Jr, when Junior barely bothered to show up at all.
Either way, the fight between these two, in a perfect world focused on the matchup rather than the surrounding circus, should be huge.
But somehow, this almost now feels under-the-radar.
Nostrabombus Pick: With apologies to all my Mexican brethren, particularly my good friend Jose out in LA, I gotta give this to Triple G all the way. Especially if Alvarez actually does what he says, and tries to take the fight to him, rather than outbox Golovkin.
Please stop working out your issues with the Philadelphia Eagles in public.
I mean, it's not a big deal, and it's definitely not as bad a look as this:
But it ain’t a good one either.
Jealousy and passive-aggression rarely are for anybody.
Nobody in Philly is gonna forget you anytime soon.
Save the unsolicited advice, and shade tossing from a distance as if we don't all know the real deal.
Hitching a short ride on the Wentz Wagon, while there’s still plenty of room, would be mightily, usefully, magnanimous of you.
It might even show everyone that you get it...at least a little bit.
Speaking of the Wentz Wagon, Flock of Eagles is feeling good while it pushes West from our nation's capital, towards the land of Big Red and Barbecue.
Sure his numbers looked good, while he pulled a few Harry Houdini moves disappearing from would-be Deadskin sack attempts.
But those are things we’ve come to expect from Carson Wentz.
That’s the bare minimum for a Top 10 QB and the Top QB in the NFC East.
Yes, the bar has been raised, already.
For the Birds to prevail this week in Arrowhead against the well-rested Chiefs, the kid is going to have to connect on some of these deep ball opportunities, eliminate those bad turnovers, and unleash the beast.
It will also help if the Eagles can find a running game.
They'll be aided by KC losing the great Eric Berry, who's now lost another season, with another star-crossed setback in what would otherwise-surely-be-a-Hall-of-Fame-career. We wish him well, even if this Sunday, his absence makes Wentz and his receivers lives much easier.
If you think I’m exaggerating, go back and watch what Berry did on Opening Night, while covering Gronk one-on-one all game.
Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium, 1 PM Eastern
Kansas City, Missouri
Line: KC by 5.5
Outlook: This would be Wentz' biggest road win of his short career so far. This would be a major win for the Eagles somewhat-beleaguered coach Doug Pederson, who apprenticed under Andy Reid as a QB in Green Bay and Philly, then later as an assistant coach in KC before landing the Birds gig after Chip Kelly self-immolated in his final season at the helm in Philadelphia.
Pederson learned the thrill of victory, in a game that cost the Eagles their starting corner, left tackle and placekicker by halftime, and the agony of answering questions about the manner in which they won, all week afterwards starting with the post-game presser.
That was weird, even for Philly.
But Doug did make a couple questionable play-calls, particularly that backwards pass with an early lead that led to a turnover.
There were also nowhere near enough runs, but it's tough to figure out who to blame for that, since they weren't getting anything on the ground, particularly new addition LeGarrette Blount.
The new Lendale White, is not in New England anymore.
Apologies accepted to any and all who tried to quote his Pats' stats when he signed, as if that had any application to his Eagle bottom line.
Maybe we can get Shady back at the deadline for a third-day draft pick and agreeing to pay the rest of his salary.
Nostrabombus Pick: Birds to cover without half of Kansas City's secondary in tow.
Nostrabombus Season Record: 5-2
And finally, we're just gonna leave this here for now to get our Stream of Process-ness peeps ready for training camp in a few weeks.