Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
I was born and (mostly) raised in Washington, D.C. So I’m a lifelong fan of the team with the most offensive name in all of sports. I won’t wear the gear, but I will still pull for the burgundy-and-gold every week during (US) football season, in good seasons and bad . . . and this season has turned out to be a pretty damned good one. But it’s not over yet.
I’m also enough of a geek to participate in a friendly pick-’em pool every season. I’ve got a system (it’s highly proprietary, so don’t ask) that was right a respectable 61.1% of the time, and that brought me to a very close third place finish this year (one pick out of second place, and two out of first). And that system tells me that the NFL playoffs will shape up as follows.
Houston over Cincinnati
Minnesota over Green Bay
Indianapolis over Baltimore
Washington over Seattle
Minnesota over Atlanta
Denver over Indianapolis
Washington over San Francisco
New England over Houston
Washington over Minnesota
Denver over New England
Washington over Denver
As I write these words, the nice folks at Football Outsiders (one of my fave NFL-centric sites) figure that this particular matchup — which would reprise the 42-10 beatdown that Washington handed Denver in Super Bowl XXII — is only about 2.8% likely, but I’m not phased by those odds. After all, seven weeks ago, when they were 3-6, that’s about what my team’s chances were of merely making the playoffs. And they’ve done alright since then. With much more to come.
Nine days late, I know, but it’s been a busy week or so.
As before, these are in no particular order . . . except for #1.
One of the most amazing little serendipitous moments of . . . well . . . who knows how long? And way too sweet not to mention here.
Was out with a couple of friends, celebrating a birthday (not mine). The Super Bowl was not an official part of anyone’s agenda though, as it turns out, all three of us were rooting for New Orleans. Even the birthday girl, who’s not a football fan. At halftime, we leave the bar we’d been and start walking back to where 2 of the 3 of us had parked their cars. And we hear this noise up ahead from several blocks away.
We get closer, and it sounds vaguely like a Mardi Gras parade. There’s music. Horns. Shouting.
Bear in mind, this is Minneapolis. In February. And it’s snowing. So we figure that can’t possibly be the case.
We get closer still. And, yes. There’s a small brass band standing in an alleyway. There are a dozen people dressed in black and gold (Saints colors, for those who are not NFL-savvy) dancing in the street, having the time of the fuckin’ lives.
This is one of the reasons I love Minneapolis.
Better still, it’s one of the reasons I love N’awlins. Even though I’ve never lived there. I can’t think of any other city in the US that could generate enough passion and love and community and loyalty to have people dancing in the snow like that. Not for people who were 1000 miles from home, anyway.
Why I chose to make Monday my “regular” blog posting day, I’m not sure. It’s my long teaching day this semester, and several of those long days will be made longer by various meetings that are scheduled to happen in between my morning class and my afternoon seminar. Not to mention the obligatory (for me, even if not always for anyone else) post-seminar retreat to the local brewpub for a bite to eat and a pint (or two) to drink. Just when did I think that blogging would happen in all that? I don’t know. I simply don’t know.
Anywho . . . last Monday’s post never happened because Monday Night Football demanded my attention. My team (who shall remain nameless here, seeing as how they have the most heinous and offensive nickname in all of professional sports) was playing, and when one lives 1100 miles away from one’s team’s homebase (and the guarantee of weekly TV opportunities), one doesn’t let a MNF appearance by one’s team slide by. The blog, I’m afraid, suffered as a result. But I did come away from the experience knowing, for the first time in my life, someone I could turn to should I ever want to place a bet with a bookie. Not to mention a bar where “buying” shots for the bartender seems to mean that you and he and half the staff all drink for free. So it wasn’t a total loss.
Less pretty — and something closer to a total loss (at least to this point) — is the AFSCME strike at the U, which officially ended last Friday . . . but only because the striking workers couldn’t afford to stay away from steady (if still inadequate) paychecks as long as the administration could afford to hold out. There’s much more to say here, but I’m still feeling far too angry about it all to get it down cleanly.