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Monday Armchair QB

We had a mixed bag this weekend in South Florida for football.  The idea of the Canes winning an ACC title came to a smashing halt, while the Dolphins playoff chances advanced.

The Canes were whipped by the Wolfpack of NC State.  The game looked more than competitive early in the second quarter when Baby James scored a TD to put Miami up 14-7, and still looked good in the 3rd quarter when James did it again to put Miami up 21-20.  It was over when Miami fell behind 38-21 late in the 4th.  We added a meaningless TD with less than a minute to play.  That leaves VT with the division championship by virtue of their head-to-head win vs Ga Tech.  Tech would have probably been the coastal champ had we won due to their strong win over UGA and superior overall rank and record.  You are welcome, VT.

In the NFL, the Dolphins did what they needed to do even though it wasn’t very pretty.  Pennington was effective, Ronnie and Ricky did their thing, but it was the defense that deserves the accolades.  The Dolphin D held the potent St. Louis attack in check in scoring position.  With numerous scoring opportunities, the Rams could only muster 4 fieldgoals, no TDs, and Miami won the turnover battle 3-1.  It was also interesting that Miami just could not generate the same pressure on the QB that they normally do.  That meant zero sacks yesterday.  Miami was the only AFC East team to win yesterday.  We gained a full game on everyone in the division.  Miami’s record stands at 7-5 with a game remaining against the Jets.  We are 1 game back of the division lead, and one game back of the wildcard.  It is not exactly likely that we will make the playoffs, but it is not out of the question.

Two teams will clinch playoff spots this week in our LPC FFL.  I will beat Paul unless Owen Daniels gets negative 4, and the Dead Skins will clinch by beating Ritz like a rented mule.  The big news is that Bachrach is going to beat Jesse’s Fuserheads.  That leaves Jesse and Ritz vulnerable.  If Bachrach wins next week, and either of those two lose, they will miss the playoffs due to points.  Bachrach has the league’s highest point total.

In the second chance, I gained points on first place.  I am only 4 total points back even though I had a bad week.  That is what happens when only 2 teams win at home.  It makes for bad results in pickem.

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The Fantasy Football Report

What’s up with this “see-saw” league? The top 3 teams lost this week, Pastor Trav is toast, Oral’s Bachrach squad has fought his way into contention, and the Turkey Buzzards made me its latest victim as a spoiler. That makes 3 in a row! The title of the leagues hottest team has been passed from me to The Buzzards.

Ritz lost his 4th, but despite the loss took over first place. Pastor Travis lost by just a few yards which he needed to make up the 1 point margin of difference. That makes a four-way-tie for first place with about 15 points separating 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Jesse’s Fuser’s have one of the lowest point totals in the league and leaves him most vulnerable to being passed by points if he loses his remaining two games while Bachrach wins his two. Not one team has secured a playoff spot technically, because Bachrach has the leagues highest point total. A two game losing skid for any top 4 team combined with 2 wins for Bachrach would equal a disastrous choke and fall from the playoffs.

The League Standings

#1. Ritz 7-4
#2. The Citizen Cane 7-4
#3. Dead Skins 7-4
#4. Fuser Heads 7-4
#5. Bachrach 5-6
#6. Skins 4-7
#7. Big Doggs 4-7
#8. Turkey Buzzards 3-8

The playoffs are not yet set in stone as you can see. It has been a competitive league with parity from top to bottom. I believe at least two teams will clinch playoff spots next week, since there are only two weeks until the playoffs begin. If Bachrach loses, all 4 top teams will clinch playoff birth simultaneously, and at the same time too.

As for Vegas Pickem, I declare myself the winner since the other three teams have given up on passing me. I had a strong week with 9 correct picks out of 16.

In 2nd Chance, yours truly was the only team to successfully pick the New Yorks Jets to defeat the Tennessee Titans. That qualifies me for genius status. I also had the best pickset of the whole group for the second time this year. I still have a shot at winning that one. Until later…

Edited to update the standings.  I am actually in second place by one point.

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Monday Armchair QB

What a wretched week/weekend for South Florida sports, especially football.

The Hurricanes were downgraded to a mere Tropical Depression by the Yellow Jackets running attack. Prior to the game, a GT fan said that Miami was going to be runn all over Thursday because of two coaching mistakes Shannon was making. #1. He instructed the players to swarm to the ball. Against this offense, it’s important to play assignment football, and the swarm mentality will leave players out of position, in overpersuit, and susceptible to misdirection. #2. Shannon instructed the players to tackle high in order to create turnovers. This mistake would cause players to be run over by the large RB HB/FB, QB, and WR’s who are operating this triple option. Miami needed to get lower than the O-Line and ball carriers to keep from getting run over, through, or having tackles broken. Both of these predictions came true and Miami gave up the most yards on the ground since 1944, the second most in school history. You just cannot give up 450 yards total, much less on the ground and expect anything less than a complete embarrassment. Strangely enough, the Canes are still in contention for an ACC championship depending on the outcome of VT’s upcoming match up, GT’s next game, and their own game against NC St.

As for the Dolphins, it was a fun game until late 3rd/early 4th Quarter. The Wildcat was tamed overall, but Pennington had a fine game scoring 3 passing TD’s. NE is now in second place in the division at 7-4, Miami falls back to 6-5 and has a tough road to a possible playoff birth.

In pickem, I was the only picker to pick the greatest pick of the week. I called NY Jets to beat the Titans, thank you very much.

In fantasy football, there will be another shake up. Unless Mason Crosby scores 30 points for me tonight (hahahaha), I am going to lose due to my own trade. It’s ok, I would still have traded Turner, but this week his 36 points beat me. I hit a buzz saw named the Turkey Buzzards who just a few weeks ago were winless. Now the Buzzards are going to have 3 wins in a row and have the week’s high score. I also made a mistake starting Denver on D and benching Thomas Jones who also had a big week.

Stand by until tomorrow for the Fantasy Football Report.

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Brisk Thoughts

-Thanks to Chris for the cold weather alert. This chill we have had for the last 4 days has been great.
-Global warming is a funny thing. When it gets hot, they say it’s global warming (makes sense). When it gets unseasonably cold, they say it’s global warming. When it rains a lot, you guessed it! When it’s dry, that’s global warming too. When there are record frequency and strength, they say that’s from global warming. But don’t forget, we just had record low activity, so I guess that’s global warming too.
-Max loves the cool air. When I let him out, the cool air hits him and he just has to run. I guess he’s enjoying this global warming.
-I have a doctor’s appointment this morning. I’m actually at the doctor right now. Gotta get some updates on my BP and my weight.
-I’m doing OK on my nutritional plan. So far, I’m down 20 pounds since about July.
-Next week I have a planned cheat day or two because saying no to my mom’s cornbread dressing, sausage balls, and broccoli casserole will be almost impossible.
-I’ll probably hang out with my brother, Kelly, mom, and dad tonight for the big game. Miami has a tough game tonight against Georgia Tech that they pretty much must win. A win means we are one game against NC State from the ACC championship, probably a rematch against FSU.
-Marcela and I are watching 24 on DVD. We are at the end of season 2 right now. We’re trying to catch up with the whole series to date.
-I gave up double time on Thanksgiving and Black Friday via trade. So my schedule for the next week is that I work Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, then I get the next 5 days after that off.
-I may go spend a couple of days in the keys with Marcela, but one thing I have to do is take Marcela to a couple stores on Black Friday to grab a few DVD’s and maybe a few other items.
-Since it’s another weekend of work, I will see some of you guys next weekend at both Homestead and Plantation Key. I love being part of Life Pointe!

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The Fantasy Football Report

There are big changes this week in the Life Pointe Fantasy Football leagues.

The Ritz has been dethroned by yours truly (on points and tied record) after he lost to the ghost of The Fuser Heads. Jesse’s unmanned team is winning despite his absence of a starting quarterback. Pastor Trav dropped his second in a row, this time to Bachrach after winning 4 straight. Now his record stands at 4-6 and he is behind in points to both Bachrach and the Fuser Heads. The Turkey Buzzards have now taken two in a row, this time convincingly beating Paul’s Skins. That makes the Buzzards the second hottest team in the league.

This week, my team was up against the best team in the league on paper. The Dead Skins have scored the most points this year and despite the record has been the most consistent scorer. Thanks to monster games from Boldin, T Jones, H Ward, Adai, Elam, and Carolina Defense, I had one of my best games of the season and won the game by over 30 points. The standings have been shaken up in a big way.

The new improved standings are now:
#1 Citizen Cane 7-3
#2 Ritz 7-3
#3 Fuser Heads 7-3
#4 Dead Skins 6-4
#5 Bachrach 4-6
#6 TJ’s Big Doggs 4-6
#7 Skins 3-7
#8 Turkey Buzzards 2-8

Due to the new league developments, we now have a clear picture of the playoffs. The Citizen Cane Blog can now project the following teams to make the playoffs: The Citizen Cane, Ritz, and the Ghost Rider Fuser Heads. In all likelihood, The Dead Skins will make the playoffs. However, if The Dead Skins loses his last 3 games, and either Bachrach or Big Doggs wins 3 straight, either one of those could make the playoffs. Technically, by math only the Turkey Buzzards are eliminated since they cannot win more than 5 games and the 4th place team already has 6 wins.

In Vegas Pickem, it appears Pastor Trav has given up because this is the second week he has not completed his picks. That leaves the race between Paul and yours truly, though I currently have a pretty strong lead in the race.

In Second Chance, Alex drew even with Chris (The Manxiacs) for first place, and I was able to gain on the first place by one point (now 8 points back of first) on my 11 of 16 correct picks. The big winner was Paul who got only 1 incorrect pick (and one push since Philly and Cincy tied) and 14 correct picks. RacerX (James) had a great week as well with 12 correct picks.

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Thursday Thoughtful Thursday

-The holiday season is upon us. Just like our presidential election season, it’s starting earlier each year and last longer and longer.
-All the decorations are out at the stores, 93.9 FM is now playing Christmas music 24 hours a day, my wife is wrapping presents, and Uncle Sam (Santa Clause) is handing out wads of money to Amex, Morgan Stanley, and AIG.
-I haven’t decided whether I am having a live tree this year or if we will just break out the artificial tree.
-Saturday night, Marcela, my mom, dad, and I will be heading up to Miami for a bigtime Christmas treat. We are going to see Mannheim Steamroller in concert! I love it. I am sure most everyone has heard them before, even if they didn’t know it. If you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to them, you have to give it a try. Their Christmas albums are the standard by which all modern electronic techno medieval classical Christmas music is measured.
-Last year, we saw Trans Siberian Orchestra at the Bank Atlantic Center and that was a blast. They are the standard by which all 80’s hair band anthem stadium rock classical orchestral Christmas music is measured.
-Yesterday was open range for me, meaning I had 4 hours of gun range time. I ran roughly 300 rounds of Federal Premium Hydra Shok through my new olive green Glock 19. That’s nearly $200 worth of ammo just for target practice, and it cost me nothing.
-I also put 12 or so rounds of 00 Buckshot in a 2 1/2 inch cartridge through my Mossberg. Everything was fine until a friend broke out some slugs in a 3 1/2 inch magnum cartridge and convinced me to give it a try. My wrist and hand are still swollen from that one.
-Max was so full of energy yesterday when I let him out. He took off running in the field as fast as he could in a giant circle. We played fetch with a mini tennis ball and he’s getting pretty good at it.
-I figure that if anyone comes in the house unannounced and unwelcome, Max is going to take care of business. What a tough 4 lbs watchdog he is. 😉
-I have an incredibly tough game this week against Fuzzy’s Deadskins. He’s tied with me for the second best record. Whoever wins this game will solidify their playoff chances. Playoff seeding could be determined by this game too.
-I’m really looking forward to church this weekend. I will be at practice tonight, service Sunday morning in Homestead, and Sunday night in Plantation Key.
-If all goes as planned, I may have a job in the next few short months that allows for me to be at church every weekend instead of every other weekend. Pray for that job to come through.
-One last quick though. The Canes have a big game tonight against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hokies typically grind it out on the ground, run the option, play tough defense, and score with their special teams. If Miami plays to their abilities and avoids turnovers and big plays from VT’s offense and special teams, we should win handily.

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Fantasy Football Report

The big surprise of the week… The last place and 0-fer Turkey Buzzards defeat the tied-for-first-place Fuser Heads.  There are no more teams without wins.  Congratulations.  This really stirs the league up.  I garnered the high score of the week by almost 30 points beating Bachrach on the power of Thomas Jones (NYJ) huge 32 point game, Pastor Trav’s Big Doggs dropped a very important game in blow out fashion against the first place Ritz, and Fuzzy topped the Skins.  That leaves the league standings:

1. Ritz 7-2

2. Dead Skins 6-3

3. Citizen Cane 6-3

4. Fuser Heads 6-3

5. Big Doggs (Pastor Trav) 4-5

6. Bachrach 3-6

7. Skins 3-6

8. Turkey Buzzards 1-8

Right now, Pastor Trav is the only legitimate team that is not currently in the top 4 who has a shot at the playoffs.  It will be a tough road, but he must at least win 2 of his last 4 combined with one of the 6-3 teams going 0-4.  If he goes 0-4, he will need one of the 6-3 teams to go 2-2 and to outscore them overall.  Not a very good possibility, but it is still open.  None of the bottom 3 teams have a legitimate shot at the playoffs though they are not mathematically eliminated.  The playoffs start in week 15 (4 weeks are left in the regular season).

In Second Chance, Chris Day and Alex are still at the top fighting it out with Chris holding to a slim 1 point lead.  I am 8 points back with 7 games to go.  I will need some great picks from here out to make up the ground.  Due to the Thursday night game and some people not paying attention to the schedule, some picks were not made or were missed.

In LPC Vegas Style, I am strongly in first place due to an incomplete pick set by Pastor Trav, Paul is back 10 points, and with 7 games left he still is in the hunt.

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Fresh Thoughts

  • What can be said about living in South Florida this time of the year?  The weather is absolutely beautiful, the sun is bright, the air is fresh, and the temperature is perfect.  I love it.
  • With all the talk we have had over the past few years about man made global warming and increased hurricane activity, we have now had two years of extremely low hurricane activity in the northern hemisphere, the lowest in 30 years.  We have also had record low temps for this time of the year all over the globe, and even in our back yard.
  • My washer kicked the bucket.  Brandsmart USA has to send someone out to fix it.  I hardly ever buy the extended warantee on my appliances and electronics, but that was one item I decided it would be a good idea to purchase it for.  It’s covered.
  • There are some great opportunities that may be coming open for me soon.  It would have an effect on my schedule, which should mean that I can be at church every weekend.  I pray that it works out.
  • Tonight I have to be at work and I don’t get back until the weeeeeeeee hours of the morning.
  • Maximus is a funny little guy.  We still have not decided when we are going to have him clipped, but he is a big fluffy ball of soft hair.  He doesn’t really run, but he sort of hops around like a rabbit.  Every now and then, he gets a big burst of energy and just takes off through the house weaving through all the furniture in and out of all the rooms downstairs.
  • I went to Lou’s this past weekend and picked up a new Glock, and I think I am going to get a Mossberg 500 next week.  That should be enough for a while.
  • The Hurricanes are playing some decent football now, and so are the Dolphins.  There is some real talk of the Dolphins making a run at the playoffs which would have seemed impossible last year.  At 4-4, they are favored to win again this week.  So far they have been beating the best teams on the schedule and losing to the worst.  The Canes are looking at the possibility of a decent bowl game, maybe a run at the conference championship.  It did not even look possible after losing two conference games.  But the ACC does not have a dominant team, and they don’t exactly have a doormat either.  Any team could beat another any week, it seems.  That leaves for a competitive race.
  • The Citizen Cane fantasy football squad has a tough game this week.  As of now, I am projected to win by one point.  We shall see.
  • My property taxes in Homestead have gone up considerably.  The state passes a doubling of the homestead exemption, and Homestead passed a tax increase because they know we are paying less.  That’s just lousy.
  • I really enjoyed service down in the Keys on Sunday.  I’m sorry I won’t get to be at the launch, but I will be there in a week from Sunday.  It’s not exactly the theater, but it is a blast.  It was cool hanging out after church and looking at the football scores.  See you in a week and a half!

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Fantasy Football Report

This was a better than average week for me in the LPC fantasy football circuit, especially considering Romo was out with an injury and Rivers is on bye. I went to the waiver/free agent pool for 4 starters this week and that was the difference in the game. I picked up Owen Daniels TE Houston who picked up 133 yards, Hightower from Arizona who had 109 yards rushing and 1 TD, Jason Elam K Atlanta (7 points) and Cleveland’s Defense (1 point). I would have been better sticking with NYJ’s defense this week, but the net of my waiver activity was around 20 points which made the difference in the game. That makes 2 wins for me over Ritz this year and my record stands at 5-3, tied with Fuzzy’s Deadskinds.

Pastor Trav continued his impressive run with a win over the floundering Fuser Heads. At this rate, Jesse‘s boys might not make the playoffs even though he’s tied for 1st place with Ritz. Both teams tied for first place lost, both teams tied for 3rd place won, yet there was no change in the standings. The Turkey Buzzards continued their perfect record; they are now 0-8 on the season even though there have been numerous very close games.

Paul’s Skins took out the surging Bachrach. That leaves a nice competitive league where 7 of the 8 teams are still easily in contention for the 4 playoff spots.

The standings are:
1. Ritz 6-2
2. Fuser Heads 6-2
3. Deadskins 5-3
4. Citizen Cane 5-3
5. Big Doggs (TJ) 4-4
6. Skins 3-5
7. Bachrach 3-5
8. Turkey Buzzards 0-8

In Vegas pickem, I maintain my lead over Pastor Trav, but the lead is down to only 2 points and Paul is back 6 points.

In Second Chance, I had the top score of the week picking 11 games correctly. That moved me out of the tie for 4th place into 4th all by myself. But Chris continues to maintain 1st with Alex in second comfortably.

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The Monday Armchair QB

Another great weekend of football has gone by the wayside.  College and NFL games really turned out some big upsets, and some great finishes.  Due to my whirlwind schedule on Saturday and Sunday, I didn’t get to watch a single game, with the exception of the second half of last night’s Patriots/Colts game.
The U pulled out an incredible drive to finish regulation in a tie against UVA.  After penalties and a negative play, the final drive was 99 yards led by Jacory Harris and capped by a 30ish yard prayer of a TD pass and chewed up over 7 minutes of the clock to tie the game.  UM then missed a game winning fieldgoal with 4 second left.  In OT, UM quickly scored a TD with another pass from Harris.  UVA, in their possession, ran the ball and looked like they would be plowing in quickly.  After 11 yards, the Virginia RB fumbled the ball and the game away.  UM wins 24-17 in a great win for Miami.

The Dolphins pulled out yet another unexpected win against a favored team on the road.  This time, the victim was the Denver Broncos.  The defense, particularly Will Allen, turned up huge in this game.  The Ronnie Brown show continued to be a driving force as well.  At 4-4, and with a weak AFC, it is not crazy to think about the possibility of a playoff run.  The Houston game could have and should have had a different result.  We would be talking about a 5-3 team right now.  As of now, it is a vastly different season than last.

Here is a great game, Texas vs Texas Tech matchup.  Did anyone actually expect the Red Raiders to beat the Longhorns?  I know any team with an offense as good as TT’s can do something special, even against some of the best teams in the nation.  But the way TT played defense was the biggest surprise.  There were several series straight for the Longhorns that had negative yards.  They were at the most crucial points of the game, in the second and third quarter.  But then the WR from Texas (Williams) made some great plays to put Texas right back in the game late and then even take a lead.  Then with a few seconds left, the Red Raiders showed their steel.  TD, game over, Texas Tech pulls the big upset.  This year is not over at all in the Big 12, considering TT has to get past very good OK State and Oklahoma teams in 2 of their last 3 games.  That south division looks to be very strong!

UF beat Georgia like a rented mule.  They were short one point of the greatest margin of victory in the series history.  That’s impressive considering how long this series has been running.  Tebow accounted for 5 TD’s, 3 on the ground and 2 through the air to become the all time TD rushing leader in UF history surpassing Emmitt Smith who was actually a running back.  Tebow is by far the best player in football this year, much less the best QB.  I do not like the Gators, but I am a fan of this guy!

On to fantasy football.  Let me touch really quickly on a few things.  I will likely hand Ritz his second loss of the year (I beat him in game one and he has not lost since) yet he will remain in first.  Jesse‘s Fuser Heads will lose as well, and he will remain in 2nd place.  Pastor Trav is looking at his 4th win in a row, as he makes a serious push for the playoffs.  I am going to hold on to first place in the Vegas style LPC league, and I  will capture the best week of all the members in the second chance league, but I will not even come close to the  lead.  I have a lot of work to do in the second chance league.  But things are really heating up!  More tomorrow on the fantasy football report.

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