49ers and Ravens Win Conference Championship Games

January 21, 2013

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Joe Flacco

Joe Cool is headed to the Super Bowl.

So the Super Bowl is set. The Harbaugh brothers will face off in New Orleans in two weeks. My prediction of Atlanta vs Houston was completely wrong. The majority of the sports talk community was only half right, predicting a New England San Francisco match up.

Let’s review the story lines beyond the sibling rivalry. This will be the sixth trip to the big game by San Francisco. It has been a long time since the Montana – Rice and Young-Rice days. There will be many hours of radio dedicated to comparing and contrasting the current version of the 49ers with the historical version. The Ravens have also been a long time away from the Super Bowl, but they do have a connection. Ray Lewis was there for the first on and will play his last game as a Raven in the Super Bowl again.

Both of the teams are undefeated in the Super Bowl with San Francisco posting five wins and Baltimore posting one. With a win, San Francisco fans will start talking about how they are the best. They will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers with six wins, but will claim superiority based on being undefeated. They made same claims when they were tied with Pittsburgh and Dallas for five wins even though those teams had made it to more Super Bowls. Well each fan base can claim as they please. Using that logic, with a win, the Ravens will jump ahead of the 49ers in the list of winners, being undefeated with two wins.

These two teams represent some of the best offense and defense available in the league. Pure offense did not drive the participants this year, nor did pure defense. Overall, my evaluation is that these two teams are very evenly matched. This should be a very good, hard played, close game. Even if you are not a fan of either team, even if you are not a typical professional football fan, you are very likely going to be one of the millions of viewers or at least participate in a Super Bowl party. You have two weeks to plan. Party responsibly, and enjoy the game.

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NFL Playoff Results: Divisional Round

January 14, 2013

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And we are down to four. My predictions from a couple of weeks ago are debunked. I think I shall continue to write and work as an engineer rather than trust in my gambling acumen or my sports genius. I had predicted that the Atlanta Falcons would face the Houston Texans in the Super Bowl with the Texans taking home the Lombardi Trophy. The Texans fell to the New England Patriots. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Denver Broncos in a shootout to continue the Ray Lewis retirement tour. The Atlanta Falcons held on against the Seattle Seahawks to at least keep that half of my prediction valid while the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers to earn the other spot in the NFC championship.

This weekend, the games averaged 64 points with the least points by a singe team being 28 points. The highest scoring game (SF-GB) had 76 points. What does all of this scoring mean? At the very least, the rules that have been changes to promote more offense has definitely paid off for the league. The interpretation of the rules has also helped. Very seldom does an offensive face mask penalty get called except on linemen. Offensive pass interference also seems to be a penalty that is destine to be remembered only in history.

Next week should be a pair of good games. Baltimore, Atlanta and San Francisco are trying to break back through to the Super Bowl. New England is trying to get back to make up from the loss last year. Thing of the eventual match ups in the Super Bowl, any of them should be exciting. The San Francisco – Baltimore match up would match up brothers as the head coaches. Personally, I would prefer to see a Baltimore – Atlanta match up primarily because San Fran and New England have already been to the big game so often. It is still too early to plan the decorations for your Super Bowl party, but it is time to send out your invitations and make plans for food.


New Year’s Pot Luck

January 2, 2012

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I was travelling to visit relatives most of the last week.  This article is a hodge-podge of topics I discussed with my college age children during a combined 24 hours of car travel.


I live in Iowa and will be participating in the Caucus.  All of the voting age people in my house will be going participating as well.  Our participation is more to understand what the positions of the candidates are and what the major issues that will be championed by the party will be.  Yes we get to be part of the first in the nation guidance for the primary season, but that is secondary to learning as much as possible.  My father lives in Texas and will call shortly after the caucus to tell me if Iowa chose correctly or not.  Last time he was correct for both parties, as far as who the final nominees were.  Crunchy’s article about the caucuses matches my experience, except she left out the part about the cookies that are provided.  Ok, I guess that is not really important

Sports – College Bowl Games

The college football bowl season is moving along nicely.  We only have about thirty bowls to go (just kidding).  I have watched several of the bowls.  Most of them have been competitive.  Most of them have also had what appears to be low attendance.  This may be because of the venues (Yankee Stadium is not the best for football viewing and using professional stadiums that hold 100,000 people for a bowl that traditionally has 50,000 spectators will make it appear empty).  The best games are still to come, although my personal opinion is that the championship game is sort of a waste.  Why would you ever have a bowl with two teams from the same conference?  If Alabama wins, will they really be the champions or will it be shared with LSU since they would each have beaten the other once?

Sports – Professional Football

The playoffs are set.  I think it was great that the final week of the season actually meant something this year.  There was positioning as well as qualifying at stake, even in the last game late Sunday night.  The match-ups look good with some rematches.  Tim Tebow will be there, at least the first round, to keep the story line of the religious quarterback going.  Just a note, most football players have a strong and public faith life.  This comes from the fact that on any play, they can be injured and could be prevented from playing the game they love (and their livelihood).

In some ways it is the same teams in the playoffs again; New England, Baltimore, Pittsburg, Green Bay, New Orleans and New York have all been to the Super Bowl or at least conference championships over the last few years.  The notable new comers are the Houston Texas – congratulations on you first playoff appearance.  The notable missing team are the Indianapolis Colts – what a difference a quarterback makes.


I have been writing while I have been off for the holidays, but not nearly enough.  I am challenging myself to actually get my first book into the various electronic formats and out for the world to consider.  I am also challenging myself to actually complete my second book.  Then I have to actually work on my third effort, the one I failed to even get 50,000 words written for NaNoWriMo this year.  For Christmas, I received a short book on how to write and publish by an English Professor.  Although it was interesting to read his ideas, I would recommend Kosmo’s guide.  The main difference is that Kosmo provides actual advice, the professional drops of names and brags about his own publishing record, but provides little concrete help.

Productive Hobbies

A couple of articles ago, I commented that I was crocheting in my spare time.  I am happy to report that I have (almost) completed a afghan for my daughter to take back to college with her.  My next effort will have to be a little more complex to help me grow in my capabilities.  I have found that crocheting while watching TV has actually helped me in my quest to lose weight.  My hands are occupied and the urge to grab a snack or even sip a soft drink is really reduced.  So to sum up, Politics, Football, Football, Writing and keeping busy.

Lessons from the NFL Playoffs

January 18, 2011

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We are just about to the end of the seemingly longer and longer NFL football season. This past weekend was filled with four games but I don’t think we really learned anything new watching any of the games. Here is a recap.

Jets vs. Patriots. – What we knew going in – The Jets are a loud mouthed smack talking bunch and so is their head coach. What we learned? Yep, that pretty much sums it up……

I was particularly entertained by Bart Scott going on a tirade following the game how they are all disrespected and that no one gave them a chance and everyone in the media is bad mouthing them. First off who is “they” Secondly, no one was disrespecting you in the media. The media has just pretty much been saying that the team you play for – starting with the head coach down to the 4th string kicker – like to run their mouths a lot. I guess you proved to everyone Bart after this weekend that YES – in fact the media had this one right all along.

Steelers vs. Ravens – What we knew going in – Flacco has never beaten Roethlisberger in the Playoffs. What we learned – Yep that pretty much sums it up….

Another old fashioned slobberknocker of a football game, but the main story here was the Steeler magic as the Ravens blow a HUGE halftime lead and get sent home, yet again, at the hands of the division rival.

Packers vs. Falcons – What we knew going in – The Packers are playing really good right now. What we learned? – The Packers are playing even better than we thought.

This was the most lopsided game of the weekend as Atlanta is good, they were at home, and they got whipped bad. This was not even as close as the score. This sets up a dandy this weekend with…

Bears vs. Seahawks – What we knew going in – The Bears live and die by the play of Jay Cutler – What we learned? This last weekend Cutler was pretty dadgum good.

Da Bears are not the 1985 Bears although the media has to ALWAYS go there. The defense is good, but nowhere close to the total stymie defense of 85. The offense is totally Jekyll and Hyde and that falls mainly on the fact the Bears have no good wide receivers, a limited run game, but the special teams and defense are good enough that it can keep them in most games, unless they become unraveled by the QB play. This one to me is the most intriguing matchup of the playoffs. Old School rivalry. Playing in the cold and the snow. Black and Blue division…..etc. Should be a good one.

I have the Steelers vs. the Packers in the Match Up next week. The Jets do not have enough defense to counter the power game of the Steelers and the Steelers defense…well…it is a WHOLE lot better than the Patriots.

In the NFC, I have the Packers moving on. I think they are playing better than anyone right now. Their defense is good enough, their offense is explosive, and most importantly I would take Rodgers over Cutler all day long.

Enjoy the weekend and some great football games.

Stay Classy Tucson!!