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Tuesday

3

January 2012

27

COMMENTS

Morning News: Bowl Games, Firings, and Vicious, Wild Dogs

Written by , Posted in General

Strike One:  Considering how many playoff spots were still up for grabs, Week 17 in the NFL was surprisingly lackluster.  Monday’s college bowl games made up for it, and then some.  Maybe you saw Michigan State and Georgia duke it out into triple overtime.  Maybe you caught the offensive duel in the Rose Bowl, as Wisconsin and Oregon traded scoring drives for most of the afternoon.  Or maybe you held on to watch my Oklahoma State Cowboys win the Fiesta Bowl in dramatic fashion.  With a few more bowl games dotted throughout the week before the National Championship rerun game next Monday, what has been the highlight of your bowl season so far?  Mine was screaming like a lunatic and scaring my nephews after Stanford missed what would have been a game-winning field goal and reopened the door for the Pokes in overtime.

Strike Two:  Speaking of Stanford, future NFL Hall of Famer Andrew Luck’s career path looks to begin in Indianapolis, as the Colts secured the first pick in the draft with a loss on Sunday.  On Monday, Colts’ owner Jim Irsay triggered some seismic changes in the front office by firing Bill and Chris Polian.  The dismissal of the Polians might be an indication of the teams’ plans for Peyton Manning–who is close friends with the Polians, and sounded somewhat shocked and dismayed in his comments quoted in the article I linked above.  Might this be the beginning of the end for Manning and the Colts?  Will they trade him away and gamble on the wunderkind Luck?  A few weeks back, Grantland’s Bill Barnwell wrote an interesting article about the possible destinations for Peyton.  Personally, I’d rather gamble on Manning and trade away the pick to fill the many other holes the team has, but I’ve been told that makes me a world-class idiot.

Foul Tip:  Chicago joggers, stay away from the lakefront!  Packs of wild dogs will attack and (nearly) kill you.

Strike Three:  Like most Cubs fans, I’ve been keeping one eye on MLBTradeRumors.com for the latest news on Matt Garza.  A couple weeks back I wrote about the reasons I think the Cubs should keep him.  And while I still stand by everything I said then, I am happy that Epstein and Hoyer are (supposedly) listening to the offers.  The reality is that as much as we need pitchers like Garza, he’s more valuable right now to a team that doesn’t have a dozen other holes to fill.   For the most part, the teams that have been rumored to be interested in Garza are contenders, or at least nearly contenders–teams for which a pitcher like Garza can make a substantial difference.  I’m still not eager to move Garza, but if there’s a team out there who is willing to overpay for Garza, I’m glad to know our front office will at least answer the phone.

  • Buddy

    That jogger story really bothered me. I hope the victim is OK. As far as the NFL goes, I thought Sunday’s action was great. You had the whole AFC West drama, plus the Lions slugging it out with the Packers in hopes of securing the five spot, plus the fantastic finish between the Titans and Texans.

  • Doug S.

    The grief of being a die hard Jets and Cubs fan. The Jets have gone from two straight AFC championship games to a whole lotta mess. Big talkin’ underperforming bums. The Cubs……?????….Bring it on!!!

  • BLPCB

    Ohio State laid a dud in their bowl game, and Gene Smith should have been fired for not imposing a bowl ban this year. This was the perfect year to do that. I’m glad Wisconsin lost. Clearly, Beilmia attends the Lovie Smith school on clock management. Not referring to the spike, that can be done with 2 seconds, but the ball has to be snapped immediately on the ready for play whistle. But that 2nd timeout he burned in the 3rd quarter. He should have just challenged it instead of burning a timeout. You get an NFL like challenge in college.

  • Jedi

    Buddy, you mean the AFC drama where the only potential playoff team that won on Sunday went home? I thought the whole thing was a bit anti-climactic, the four AFC team that open the playoff this weekend all LOST to end the regular season. And only the Giants-Cowboys game had a team make the playoffs by winning. “The NFL playoffs, come watch a bunch of slumping teams.”

  • BLPCB

    There is no such thing as backing into the NFL playoffs.

  • BLPCB

    Speaking of firings, the Bears have fired Angelo. Martz and the Lovetron need to follow him out. It’s 2 years too late to bring me back to the Bears though.

  • Jedi

    @BLPCB – I can’t agree…go looks at the Bengals schedule. Backing in exactly what they did. They beat a single team that finished with a winning record (Tennessee), and perhaps more to the point; they played 9 games against non-playoff teams, and 7 against playoff teams; they finished 9-7. They didn’t be a single playoff team. Cincy is the definition of backing into the playoffs, even losing on the season’s final weekend, 3 of their last 5, and 5 of their last 8.

  • BLPCB

    I disagree because the season is so short. Anyone can win any game in the NFL. The other 3 sports, yes, you can back into the playoffs.

  • Jedi

    They had a losing record for the second HALF of the season – that’s not one game. There’s only one sport where that can happen and a team can still reasonably expect to have a shot at the playoffs.

  • Doc Raker

    Poor jogger, I hope he is OK, who knew jogging could be as dangerous as going to a Dodger game.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Well played, Doc.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Buddy, I think the Lions/Packers and Titans/Texans were the only really memorable games. Didn’t seem like anyone in the AFC West played like a playoff berth was on the line. Not unusual for a Week 17 in the NFL, but compared to what was on the line, it underwhelmed me.

    BLPCB, I couldn’t be happier about the Angelo firing. Not sure about Lovie yet, but Martz should have been canned a long time ago. I’m still hopeful they can woo you back into the fold.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Broncos went 8-8….got beat by a crappy KC team 7-3 while Tebow got T’Boned 6 for 22 with a key fumble late…and they got in because Oakland couldn’t beat SanDiego.

    so..that’s not backing in? That is the definition of backing in….

  • Dusty Baylor

    As far as the Bears…missing the playoffs 4 of the last 5 seasons is enough for me. Bringing in a new GM, sweep it clean and start fresh.

  • Seymour Butts

    Obviously not a Bears fan, but, they were 7-3 when Cutler went down. Hard to blame that on the GM. Not everyone has the luxury of having a back up that can throw for 480 and 6 TD against a playoff team.
    Both the Broncos and the Bengals backed into the playoffs, no debate.
    P Manning playing any length of time in the future is a brittle eggshell waiting to become Christopher Reeve, The Colts would be beyond foolish to pass on a QB with their top pick.
    Hey! no spelling errors identified. Must be the new year.

  • MJ

    Hard to blame the GM???
    .
    Caleb Hanie
    .
    Sam Hurd
    .
    Roy Williams
    .
    Brandon Merriweather
    .
    Need anymore????

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Seymour, I think the Bears’ bad finish opened the door to fire Angelo, but it was far from the only reason for it. The guy can’t draft, and he routinely targets the wrong free agents. The Bears’ problems closely parallel the Cubs’, and Angelo was much more aggressive in his ineptitude.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Michael Haynes
    Michael Okwo
    Dan Bazuin
    Kevin Payne
    Al Afalava
    Joaquin Iglesias
    Mark Bradley
    Jarron Gilbert
    Dan LaFevour
    Josh Beekman
    Mark Anderson (except 2006)

    Yikes.

  • Seymour Butts

    All I’m sayin’ is they were the #2 seed last year (lots of luck involved, I know), and leading the wild card bunch before Culter goes down. Does the GM get credit for that?
    Yes Ted Thompson is someone Tebow should be praying to at the moment, but these things are cyclical. Angelo was the GM when the Bears were in good shape, If Cutler doesn’t go down, the Bears are a wild card team this year( 2nd year in a row in playoffs), no doubt. That marks a good job, not one marked for execution.
    And Sam Hurd…what pro franchise doesn’t have a felon or 2 on their roster.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    The Tribune’s Dan Pompei just tweeted that Martz has resigned. 2012 just keeps getting better!

  • Dusty Baylor

    Cutler masked problems on the O-Line, with the wide receivers, and with a defense that is aging rapidly, with little to no talent in the pipeline.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I’m not saying Angelo didn’t make some good moves–trading for Cutler and signing Peppers are two good examples. But top to bottom, we have a fairly weak and shallow roster–one that he’s been unable or unwilling to improve for several years. His stubborn insistence that he doesn’t need a #1 receiver, his failure to draft offense talent, his love for O-linemen with preexisting injuries, his inability to find effective safeties, etc. No doubt he had a hand in Chicago’s recent successes, but he’s also prevented the Bears from taking the next step. Seriously, he’s a less likeable, more aggressive, stubborn version of Hendry.

  • Buddy

    I meant the NFL drama that included a bunch of week 17 games with playoff impact.

  • chris in illinois

    I like the Netherlands in 2014.

  • Buddy

    I like beer.

  • I like Beverage Moxie Nerve Food.

  • BLPCB

    Beer is good. I toured the Anheiser-Busch brewery today