Former Detroit Lion great Alex Karras passed away Wednesday at the age of 77. Karras is known by most people today as an actor rather than a football player, which is really too bad. Karras was an undersized overachiever whose intensity was so ferocious it would make Ray Lewis look mellow in comparison. He should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame long ago but his unrepenting disdain for authority has kept him out, which is a shame those voters will have to live with.
Karras was so obstinate that he wouldn’t speak to his college coach – yet was still a runner-up for the politically drive Heisman Trophy in 1957. In 1963 Pete Rozelle suspended him and Green Bay’s golden boy Paul Hornung for a full year for placing a handful of $50 and $100 bets. Hornung publicly apologized and was voted into the Hall of Fame; Karras remained true to himself and refused to do the same. The end result was that the four time Pro Bowler who was good enough to be on the All Decade team of the 1960’s was never enshrined in Canton. The voters will probably wash their guilt by voting him in posthumously in the next year or two; Karras would probably look at the gesture as blaspemy.
Ironically Karras made more money during the year he was suspended as a pro wrestler than he did playing pro football; the effects from playing in the NFL led to dementia which led to his death.
3-2 New England Patriots at 3-2 Seattle Seahawks
4:05 on CBS (coverage info here) and DirecTV channel 712
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts
When the 2012 NFL schedule was announced I thought this would be one of, if not the most challenging game for the Patriots; what Seattle has done this year reaffirms that thought. However I think the Pats run defense wins the battle of the trenches against Seattle’s o-line and Russell Wilson will turn the ball over a couple of times. As good as Seattle’s defense is they have faced five subpar offensive lines and running games; the Pats versatility will be just a bit too much for them to overcome. You will find more detailed thoughts on the matchup here, and here are all the stats, facts, numbers and trivia on the game.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Seahawks 16
Pats -3.5, under 44
edit: final score Seahawks 24, Patriots 23
Please note that neither I nor this website am in any way advocating, promoting or recommending gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes. It is just something I do for fun to test myself on my knowledge of the NFL. If you have a gambling problem get help; call 1-888-ADMIT-IT.
AFC East Games
2-2 Indianapolis Colts at 2-3 New Jersey Jets
1:00 on CBS, DTV channel 709
Last week it was the 666th Monday Night Football game. This week Mark Sanchez‘ passer rating is 66.6. How many more signs do you need?
Colts +3½ (2 units), under 44 (3 units)
edit: final score Jets 35, Colts 9
3-2 St. Louis Rams at 2-3 Miami Dolphins
1:00 on Fox, DTV channel 705
Rams won an emotional game last week on national team on national television; they could have a letdown against an under the radar team. This week they travel to Miami where it is expected to be 85 with a heat index of 91, against a very good, underrated defense. Reggie Bush is quietly averaging 4.8 yards per carry now that he has left the Kardashian Klan. However I think this line is a bit high; I would have taken Miami when it opened at 2½, but not now.
Rams +4½ (1 unit), under 38½
edit: final score Dolphins 17, Rams 14
2-3 Buffalo Bills at 4-1 Arizona Cardinals
4:05 on CBS, DTV channel 711
The Bills defense gets a bit of a reprieve against a one-dimensional Arizona offense. If Buffalo can’t get a sack on the Cardinals then I don’t know if they can get a sack all year. Problem is that based on how they have played in the 4th quarter this year it looks as if they have already quit.
Cardinals -3½, under 44 (3 units)
edit: final score Bills 19, Cardinals 16 in OT
Other Early Games
3-2 Cincinnati Bengals at 0-5 Cleveland Browns
CBS, DTV channel 708
This might not look like a good game at first glance, but A.J. Green vs Joe Haden makes this a matchup worth watching. Then there’s Cincy run defense (2.6 yards per carry) vs Trent Richadson (109 yards in first meeting, touchdowns in four straight games).
Bengals -2½, under 45½
edit: final score Browns 34, Bengals 24
1-4 Kansas City Chiefs at 1-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
CBS, DTV channel 710
Brady Quinn gets his first start since 2009; he wasn’t better than Matt Cassel then, and he isn’t better than Cassel now.
Bucs -3, under 43
edit: final score Bucs 38, Chiefs 10
1-3 Oakland Raiders at 5-0 Atlanta Falcons
CBS, DTV channel 707
I’m not a fan of west coast teams traveling across three time zones to play an early game; double that when it’s a 1-3 team coming to play a domed 5-0 club. Atlanta is weak against the run but the Raiders are dead last in the NFL with less than 61 rushing yards per game.
Falcons -7½ (2 units), under 48½ (2 units)
edit: final score Falcons 23, Raiders 20
2-2 Dallas Cowboys at 4-1 Baltimore Ravens
Fox, DTV channel 704
While the turnovers may not be Tony Romo’s fault, they’re still on the Cowboys. While Dallas is an up and down team and due for a good game, M&T Stadium is a tough place to go pull your team together.
Cowboys +4½, over 43½
edit: final score Ravens 31, Cowboys 29
1-3 Detroit Lions at 3-2 Philadelphia Eagles
Fox, DTV channel 706
The Eagles have turned the ball over four times in the red zone; the Lions have given up four returns for touchdowns this year. Offensively Detroit has not opened up lanes for Mikel LeShoure, and Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson have yet to combine on a TD pass. Michael Vick has 11 turnovers and the Eagles’ three wins are by a combined four points.
Eagles 28, Lions 24
Lions +5; over 47½
edit: final score Lions 26, Eagles 23 in OT
Other Late Games
3-2 New York Giants at 4-1 San Francisco 49ers
Fox, DTV channel 713
Harbaugh’s club has been looking for revenge from last year’s NFCCG for 35 weeks. The one thing they have to watch out for is being too amped up and trying too much – not staying in their lanes, late hits, etc. I think San Fran will win but the line is way too high.
Giants +6½ (3 units), under 45½
edit: final score Giants 26, 49ers 3
4-1 Minnesota Vikings at 2-3 Washington Redskins
Fox, DTV channel 714
Minnesota is one of those teams that is not used to success. Now that they go on the road is this the week they get stunned? Redskins’ defense is really bad, and Griffin (I refuse to save three keystrokes by calling him RGIII) is concussed.
Vikings +2½; under 45½
edit: final score Redskins 38, Vikings 26
2-3 Green Bay Packers at 5-0 Houston Texans on NBC
I’ll reach and say that the Packers have more incentive in a must win situation, while Houston is due for a loss.
Packers +3½ (2 units), under 47½ (1 unit)
edit: final score Packers 42, Texans 24
2-3 Denver Broncos at 3-2 San Diego Chargers on espn
Crazy things going on with this one, with the line fluctuating four full points; the Chargers were favored by three, now the Broncos are favored by one. Originally I would have taken Denver and the points. I still think the Broncos will rally and win this one.
Broncos -1, under 49
edit: final score Broncos 35, Chargers 24
Last week favorites bucked a recent trend, going 10-4 straight up and 8-6 against the spread. Home teams were 8-6 both SU and ATS, while on total points five went over, eight went under, and there was one push.
Tale Of The Tape:
Straight Up: 12-2 last week, 52-25 for the season
Against The Spread: 7-7 last week / 34-42-1
Over/Under: 9-4-1 last week / 46-30-1
1 Unit Plays: 3-4 last week / 11-11
2 Unit Plays: 3-1-1 last week / 17-5-1
3 Unit Plays: 1-1 last week / 11-7-1
4 Unit Plays: 0-0 last week / 0-1
5 Unit Plays: 1-0 last week / 2-1
2-Team Teaser: 1-0 last week / 4-0
3-Team Teaser: 1-0 last week / 3-0
Weekly Total: 8-6-1 regular / 2-0 teasers
All Confidence Picks: 10-6-1 last week / 45-24-2
Week 5 Total: +1530
Season Total: +5020
Former Saint and current Cleveland Brown Scott Fujita blasted called out Roger Goodell for his ‘abuse of power’. What’s Fujita going to tell us next, that water is wet? The players have known about this for years since he instituted the Player Personal Conduct Policy. Anybody that follows the NFL for more than just three hours on Sunday knew that the opportunity to fix that was during the CBA negotiations. The players signed off on the CBA without so much as a murmur about Goodell’s power or the appeals process. You had your chance; don’t try to rewrite history and point fingers when you need to look yourself in the mirror when you complain about the current system.
Watching college football Saturday and Erin Andrews has on these faux-nerdy oversized big black frame Drew Carey style glasses; why? Anybody that follows college sports even just a little bit (that would be me) realizes that Andrews knows her stuff when it comes to college basketball and college football. Andrews is an attractive woman; as a result there will always be some men that will consider her to be nothing but eye candy. Those that are in that group are never going to take any woman sports analyst seriously; the librarian look isn’t going to change that. Frankly I found the look more distracting than any tight sweater she has ever worn in the past; all it did was somehow make her nose look big. I ended up thinking ‘what is up with her look’ instead of paying attention to what she was saying, which obviously completely negated the intended result.
Speaking of eye candy, something is disconcerting with the appearance of NFL Network’s Melissa Stark. I thinks she is just so thin that she looks like a caricature, as if her head has been photoshopped on someone else’s body. Eat up Melissa!
Another week, another couple of great SEC games. #9 LSU edges #3 South Carolina 23-21; #4 Florida holds of a resilient Vanderbilt team 31-17; and #19 Mississippi State and Tennessee battled it out in a barn burner. On a side note it took a little while to get used to looking at them but I like those new funky South Carolina uniforms.
Elsewhere in college football BC got blasted by Florida State 51-7. I would suggest that they go back to the schedule they had in the ’70’s, but Northeastern and BU no longer have football teams. Maybe they can play Army like they did then. Wait, what was that final score last week again?
I know fans of other conferences will protest, but if you want to see defense in college football then you have to watch the SEC. Ohio State gives up 49 points to Indiana? West Virginia gives up 49 to Texas Tech? Texas-Oklahoma combine for 84 points? Stanford-Arizona combine for 102 points?
Congratulations to Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas, who will be inducted into the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll on Sunday. Thomas was an over achieving fifth round linebacker that was written off by many for being too short; Taylor is a future NFL Hall of Famer who got (too) many of his 139 sacks against Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe. Worthy competitors, and worthy of being recognized and honored.
I was watching the game last Monday night and the thought occurred to me: does anybody out there actually enjoy watching and listening to Stuart Scott? Is it just me; why does this person still have a job on television? His schtick got stale over a decade ago.
New Flash: the Patriots are playing the Jets next week! I have not heard one mention of the game at all this week; normally there’s a lot of chatter by fans for two weeks prior to the meeting. I’ll be curious to see how much of a buzz there is next week, but as of right now it’s the quietest it has been since the Rich Kotite era, i.e., since Tuna bolted from the Pats for the Green(er) pastures of Exit 16W.
I’m not sure who is in a tougher position at running back this week: the Colts with Vick Ballard now that Donald Brown is out for three weeks, or the Cardinals with LaRod Stephen-Howlings and William Powell now that Chris Wells and Ryan Williams are sidelined.
So Ndamukong Suh gets caught up in morning rush hour traffic, yells at somebody to get out of his way, drives on the shoulder, sideswipes the car causing body damage to the vehicle, berates the other driver and threatens him when the driver follows him to the Lions’ facility. The victim of the hit and run calls the police; they decide they’re not going to investigate because there were no injuries, and drugs and alcohol were not involved. Huh? So if I’m in Detroit I can slam into cars till my heart’s content as long as I don’t injure anybody and I’m not high? In other news Suh was sued this week for failure to return a $100,000 deposit to a couple that rented a home that he owns. On top of that he apparently violated state law by charging a deposit hat was more than 1.5 times the monthly rent, and the icing on the cake is that he refused to give the couple their property back that was in the home.
Somewhere Charlie Weiss is saying ‘why couldn’t I get calls like that to go my way when I was at Notre Dame?’
Another weekend and another game where the officials are second guessed. Here’s my question: when the whistle blows, the play is over. Once the whistle blows players are supposed to back off. So let’s say one player does that, but another continues, as if the whistle had never been blown. Who is rewarded for that action and who is penalized? If you review the play under the concept that you are ignoring the whistle you are penalizing the player that did what he was supposed to do (stop when the whistle sounded), and rewarding the player who skirted the rules by ignoring the whistle. Something seems inherently wrong with that situation.
The NFL Network gets some flak for repeating the same shows over and over, and for other shows have buffoons loudly offering inane opinions. While that may be true, that is offset with their A Football Life series. Last week they had a stellar piece on the Bill Belichick years with the Browns, ‘Cleveland ’95‘; this week they have a great documentary on the old Rams defensive line, ‘Fearsome Foursome‘. If you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend that you take an hour to check it out.
It’s unfortunate that MLB has fallen to the point where you can’t find what channel their playoff games are on. During the weekend football rules; college on Saturday and the NFL on Sunday. Saturday’s game between the Tigers and Yankees was a classic, and I didn’t find it until it was in the sixth inning. I bet lots of fans clicked over to a game like South Carolina-LSU during a commercial and never returned, missing that remarkable finish.
Support The Arts
Supporting the arts doesn’t have to mean you hand over money to a charity and you get nothing in return. I had the best weekend I have had in I don’t know how long last weekend: Friday night I saw The Wailers, Saturday Night I caught Public Image Limited, and in between saw this incredible vintage photography exhibit. I DVR’d the Florida-LSU game and watched that Sunday – I made sure to not turn on the radio or television after the show Saturday night, so I had no idea what happened when I first saw it – and had plenty of time left over to get ready for the Pats-Broncos game. The three events combined cost me about the same as going out for dinner one night and ordering a pizza another night, or doing without a new shirt and pair of jeans; there’s no question the trade off was well worth it.
Support the arts – not for their sake, but for your own.
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October 14, 1957:
Jailhouse Rock was released; it was the ninth number one single for Elvis Presley and remained a top 40 hit for nineteen weeks. The song from the film of the same name is considered by many to be the very first rock video. The song was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also wrote ‘Hound Dog‘, ‘Kansas City‘, ‘Stand By Me‘, and ‘On Broadway‘.
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