Obscure Sports Report

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The Saskatchewan Rush remain unbeaten in the NLL

1/17/18

Let’s take a look at some alternative sports leagues that you won’t see in your local sports pages:

AMERICAN ULTIMATE DISC LEAGUE (AUDL) – The only professional ultimate disc league is going through some growing pains as teams have moved or folded during the offseason.  The latest move involved the Jacksonville Cannons who have moved to Tampa and will begin play there in the upcoming 2018 season.   The Nashville Nightwatch changed ownership in the offseason and plans to make some significant changes in the 2018 season.  A new franchise will be added in Portland, Oregon to play in the West Division.

MAJOR ARENA SOCCER LEAGUE (MASL) –  Here are the current league standings:

  • Eastern Division
    • Baltimore 10-2
    • Florida 6-6
    • Syracuse 5-5
    • Harrisburg 5-9
  • Central Division
    • Milwaukee 12-2
    • Cedar Rapids 6-8
    • Kansas City 4-8
    • St. Louis 2-11
  • Southwest Division
    • Monterrey 12-0
    • Sonora 6-6
    • El Paso 5-7
    • Rio Grande Valley 2-10
  • Pacific Division
    • San Diego 10-0
    • Ontario 6-6
    • Tacoma 6-7
    • Turlock 2-12

AMERICAN BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (ABA) –  The Richmond (VA) Elite are atop the ABA Power Rankings with a record of 10-0.  They are followed by the Kentucky Enforcers (11-0), South Florida Gold (12-1), Jacksonville Giants (9-1) and Worcester 78s (10-1).

NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE (NLL) – The Saskatchewan Rush won the battle of the unbeatens when they defeated the Colorado Mammoths 17-12 in Denver.  The Rush took over sole possession of first place in the West at 4-0 while the New England Black Wolves lead the East at 3-1.

NATIONAL WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE (NWHL) – In their third meeting of the season, the Buffalo Beauts edged the Connecticut Whale 4-3 at a game played in Pittsburgh.  Buffalo’s Lisa Chesson scored her first goal of the season and the game winner with less than four minutes remaining.  The Beauts are now 5-4 and currently in second place behind the Metropolitan Riveters at 8-0.  With the loss, Connecticut drops to 2-7.

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Southern Snowflakes

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Snow is a rare occurrence for us in the South. Northerners are entertained by the way we handle it. Forget watching a reality TV show, just watch us when we get a dusting of snow.

Last week the local weather people warned us of the potential for snow and ice in the days ahead. After my wife and I got off from work we headed for the grocery store along with everyone else. All of the shopping carts were taken and it was a quest to get what we needed in case we were snowed in for one or two days. Yes, you read that right – one or two days. In most situations like these bread and milk are the first items to sell out. I’m not really sure exactly why those items are the first to go but those seem to be the means for survival.

The next thing that happens are schools and businesses start to announce they are closing. This is before the first snowflake hits the ground. Just the anticipation of it creates chaos. To be fair, there are some legitimate reasons for this since there have been issues in the past where schools and businesses have ignored the snow forecasts which later created some serious issues with people getting stranded.

It’s true that we don’t know how to deal with snow since we don’t get it that often and we aren’t really equipped to handle it compared to our Northern cousins who see snow as routine as us drinking sweet tea.  We can do cold weather but when it changes to snow or ice, we get a little crazy.  Those snow flakes can take us down in a hurry.

People poke fun at us that we can’t drive in the snow and they would be correct because we don’t but it’s really no surprise since we can’t drive under normal conditions. Show me a road covered with ice or snow and I will show you a good ol’ boy that will be wheeling by soon in his four-wheel drive truck. Then follow him because he will likely spin out and end up in the ditch.

No, we don’t know how to deal with the snow.  We are always surprised by how inept we are in handling snowy conditions.  We aren’t prepared and our vehicles are built for it.  We hear that the Interstate Highways are cleared but the problem is that most of the roads to get to the major highways aren’t clear and can be a little treacherous for us non-Northern types.

The snow is fun but also annoying at the same time.  We like it and love to play in it but we aren’t looking for a free day off from work.  It can be a real mess.  Our normal routines are altered by the snowflakes that accumulate on the ground around us.  We don’t function well with the snow.

It’s funny really.  Our two or three days of snow each year rattles us.  It is certain we will have enough milk and bread for a while.

 

 

Where is God When I Am Sick?

Early one morning this week I had this thought when I was awakened with another coughing spell. I have been sick for a week now with what started as strep throat and is now an annoying cold with coughing and congestion. Life is quite miserable right now. In fact I can’t get through much of this blog until I need to cough or blow my nose.

I wondered why God doesn’t heal me. The immediate thought in my head was the question: have I ever asked?

Then I thought about that for a minute. I have never asked God to heal me when I have been sick with a nasty cold like this. Why not? I suppose I figured it wasn’t significant to ask God to heal. It isn’t something as serious as cancer or a heart condition. Is it really worth bothering God about?

So with several more hours left in the morning before time to get up I asked. I asked God to heal me.

As you can see, I am still sick. No better but no worse either.

I guess this is why I don’t ask because I fear the disappointment of not being healed. A lack of faith maybe? I don’t know. It was a test and nothing changed. I mean it’s just a cold right? Why test God? But wait….didn’t God challenge us to test Him? I will be honest. I’m a little confused right now. It could be due to all of the congestion.

It’s a cold right? It’s not a terminal illness. Why even ask God? The cold will eventually go away. No big deal right?

Yes, it’s just a cold but wouldn’t it have been amazing had I awakened this morning with no sign of a cold. No more coughing. No more endless sessions of blowing my nose. That would have been awesome.

I asked. He didn’t answer. So does that mean it is God will for me to be sick? How is that okay? I guess some things we just don’t get the answer too. I think about the story of Job. His world was completely destroyed for no reason. He asked God repeatedly and finally got an answer he wished he hadn’t asked for. Yeah, we are told about the “patience” of Job but read the story. He questioned God about it. He may have been patient but He didn’t suffer without asking questions.

I’m not Job. I’m Milton and I’m sitting here with a cold. I’m not the only one in the world with a cold. I’m sick but I’m not dying. God has his reasons I guess.

So where is He while I’m coughing so much at night that I can barely breathe? At least I can still breath so I’m okay. He doesn’t need to be bothered with me and this silly cold.

Where is God?

He’s here and He knows my condition. He’s the one who put the question in my head. Something I should think about and write about.

God heals. We can ask Him to heal us for any ailments even a common cold. We ask and either He does or He doesn’t. I can’t explain God to you. Sure, I could give you a list of references from the Bible but does that really mean anything when you head is filled with so much congestion that it feels it will explode? If I could explain God wouldn’t I be God? So, I have a choice to believe or not to believe. When we ask we also have to be ready for the answer. Sometimes the answer isn’t what we wanted it to be.

I have almost a lifetime of Bible training and years of pew time in the church. Healing always puzzles me. I still don’t understand how God chooses who He does and doesn’t heal.

My purpose isn’t to discourage you or me. I’m just being real. These are legitimate questions we have about God. Is it a reason not to believe in God because He doesn’t heal me when I’m sick? Absolutely not. Faith is not afraid of questions that we can’t answer. Our faith is in God – not in what He can do for me.

Do I like that answer? No, I can’t say that I do. So is that a reason for me to just stop being a believer? If it was then I have been in this relationship for the wrong reason. We get it wrong sometimes when we treat God like He’s some kind of celestial genie that we pull out when we need something. Just recite a Bible verse and end it with “in Jesus’ name” and it will be done. God doesn’t want an abracadabra relationship.

If God healed me of this current sickness then chances are there will be another one. So what then? Would He then be obligated to do it every time? No. He’s not under any obligation. He works in His ways and we are told that His ways are beyond our understanding. So like it or not we aren’t going to find a nice, easy answer. Sickness is a part of our lives. We manage it the best way we can. It’s still okay to ask God to heal us but we shouldn’t let our faith become weakened by it if He doesn’t.

Titans Have No Chance Against Brady in Bah-ston?

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Do The Titans Stand A Chance Against Tom Brady’s Patriots?

Yesterday I heard the following conversation in the hallway to my office:

“Do you think the Titans have a chance against Brady?”

“Not gonna happen my friend.  They gotta go up to Bah-ston to play the Pats.  No way they gonna win against Brady.”

It was clear with the respondents thick New England accent that he is pretty certain that the Titans might as well stay in Nashville instead of wasting time playing in the American Football Conference Divisional Playoff game at New England this Saturday.

The Titans advanced to this playoff round after “upsetting” the Kansas City Chiefs, 22-21, in last week’s Wildcard Playoff game in Kansas City.  They called that one an upset but not many people were surprised about it.  It’s a little different this week.

The defending Super Bowl champs are 100 point favorites in the game.  (Actually, it’s 13.5)

I have read this week any thoughts on any possibilities of how the Titans could pull off one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history this weekend.  Here are some of the ideas of how it could happen:

  • Tom Brady gets injured
  • Marcus Mariota has the best game of his career.
  • Patriots turnover the ball five times.
  • Derrick Henry gets 200 yards rushing.
  • Titans’ defense totally plays beyond their ability.

Yeah, doesn’t look very hopeful to me either.

I’m sure the most diehard Titans’ fans have the faith but you’d compare them to people who still believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.  Sure, there’s always a chance.  Upsets happen.  The NFL hasn’t had one in a while.  In fact, I wondered about NFL upsets in the playoffs.  Here are the five biggest upsets in NFL playoff history:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars 30, Denver Broncos 27 – 1996 AFC Divisional Playoffs:  No one saw this coming.  The Jaguars had made the playoffs in their second year of existence and played the Broncos who were 13-3.  The Broncos jumped out to a 12-0 lead but missed both extra point attempts.  The Jaguars came back to dominate the Broncos.
  2. Seattle Seahawks 41, New Orleans Saints 36 – 2010 NFC Wildcard:  The Saints were the defending Super Bowl champions.  It was a quirky situation since the Seahawks were hosting the playoff game with a 7-9 record as champions of a weak NFC West.  Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch punished the Saints with 131 yards in perhaps the best game of his career.
  3. Atlanta Falcons 27, Green Bay Packers 7 – 2002 NFC Wildcard:  It was all you heard before this game – “Green Bay had never lost a playoff game on the frozen tundra” – The Falcons dominated the Packers as Green Bay turned the ball over five times.  Brett Favre had a complete meltdown in the game.
  4. Los Angeles Rams 21, Dallas Cowboys 19 – 1979 NFC Divisional Playoffs:  The Cowboys came into the game with an 11-5 record and had played in the two previous Super Bowls.  The Rams were 9-7 but QB Vince Ferragamo played lights-out in the game with two touchdown passes in what was Dallas Cowboys’ QB Roger Staubach’s last game.
  5. New York Giants 15, San Francisco 49ers 13 – 1990 NFC Championship Game:  The 49ers were the dynasty at the time and were expected to return to the Super Bowl.  With just over two minutes left in the game, 49er RB Roger Craig fumbled the ball which was recovered by Giants’ LB Lawrence Taylor to set up the game winning field goal by Matt Bahr.

There were many games to choose from but these stood out from the lists.  Some of the common factors which led to upsets in NFL playoff games were:

  • An NFL star player had the worst game of their season or career.
  • Favored team had at least five turnovers.
  • Player on underdog team had a career game.

So with the Patriots as a 13.5 point favorite this weekend, what are the top five point spreads in NFL playoff history (including Super Bowls):

  1. 19 points – San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers (Super Bowl XXIX) – 49ers won 49-26.
  2. 18 points – Baltimore Colts vs. New York Jets (Super Bowl III) – Jets upset the Colts 16-7.
  3. 16.5 points – Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals (1998 NFC Divisional Playoffs) – Vikings won 41-21
  4. 15.5 points – San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears (1994 NFC Divisional Playoffs) – 49ers won 44-15.
  5. 15 points – Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons (1978 NFC Divisional Playoffs) – Cowboys won 27-20.

With the New England Patriots seemingly just using this week’s game against the Titans as a warmup for their AFC Championship matchup with Pittsburgh in two weeks, I wondered about the last times that New England had suffered an upset in the NFL Playoffs:

  • 2012 AFC Championship Game – Lost to Baltimore Ravens 28-13.
    • Patriots were 7.5 point favorites
    • Tom Brady was “un-Brady like” with two interceptions.
    • Patriots had 3 turnovers vs. none for Ravens.
  • 2010 AFC Divisional Playoffs – Lost to NY Jets 28-21.
    • Patriots were 9.5 point favorites
    • Brady was sacked 5 times for 40 yards
    • Jets QB Mark Sanchez outplayed Tom Brady.  He completed 16 of 25 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns.
  • 2009 AFC Wild Card Game – Lost to Baltimore Ravens 33-14.
    • Patriots were 4 point favorites
    • Ravens outrushed the Patriots 234-64.
    • Patriots had four turnovers.
    • Ravens got off to fast start with 83-yard TD on first play

The New England Patriots are 7-1 against Tennessee.  The only win for the Titans came on December 16. 2002 in their first-ever meeting in Nashville.  The Titans won 24-7.

The last time the Titans played the Patriots in the postseason was in January 2004.  Patriots’ Kicker Adam Vinatieri gave New England the win with a 46-yard field goal with less than five minutes left for a 17-14 win.  Another note about that game – it was the coldest game in Patriots’ history (4 degrees with minus 10 degree wind chill at kickoff).    This Saturday’s forecast predicts a rainy day with temps around 19 at kickoff.

Most of the football world expects the New England Patriots to easily dispatch of the Tennessee Titans and continue toward another Super Bowl trophy.  All signs point to that.  Every NFL expert gives the Patriots the green light this weekend.  Funny thing about the game of football, it’s not played with a round ball.  It bounces funny (even without deflate gate issues).   These are the kinds of games that set the stage for the term “upset”.   No one expects.  Patriot-haters secretly hope for it.

If there’s one thing I have learned in all the years of watching football is that you can never assume anything.  Just when you think you have it figured out, something happens.  This could either be the biggest upset in the NFL playoffs in recent years or the Patriots will do exactly what everyone expects to happen.

You’re playing against Brady in Bah-ston, Titans have no chance right?

Starting The New Year Off With A Cough

coughYep, this is me.  Be thankful you can see or hear me right now.  I’m frequently hacking and coughing.  Unfortunately, I have been overcome with a cold to start 2018.   This was NOT in my list of New Year’s Resolutions.

I started feeling some of those early signs last week and tried to fight it off with Zicam and other preventive measures but by Saturday, I did the unexpected.  I went to a walk-in clinic.  I say it is unexpected because I am usually in denial that I am sick until it really gets bad and I am forced to surrender.  My wife talked into going to the clinic early and as we hoped to get some help.

When I arrived at the clinic, I wasn’t alone.  The place was not packed but people there with the same issues I was having.  If there’s one thing I do not want to do when I am sick is carry on a conversation with anyone – especially strangers.  Wouldn’t you know it, a lady walks in with and sits down near me and proceeds to get into everyone’s business.  She already had all of us diagnosed with the flu.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to endure this long before my name was called to see the real doctor.

Of course, the first thing they assume is that it is the flu.  So whether or not you have had the flu shot, they stick these long chop sticks up your nose and swab your brain to get a sample to test with.  Not the most pleasant of tests.  It was also funny that the doctor said that it didn’t matter if you had the flu shot because they think they didn’t get the right strain again this year.

The flu test was negative so their next thought was that I could have strep throat.  Again they get the chopsticks out and jam them to the back of your throat.  The nurse commented, “You’re a fighter.”  Seriously?  You stick those oversized Q-tips into someone’s throat and you think they are going to be still?

Well, this test came back positive for strep throat.   For the next 24-48 hours I was contagious so when I returned home, I was quarantined.  I wanted to be careful not to pass it on to my wife.  That would be worst than the sickness itself.  The strep is gone now but has changed to what we usually call “the crud”.   So, as I go through this time of sickness, I had some questions that came to mind about all of this:

What is Strep Throat?

Strep Throat is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by direct contact with the mucus or sores of someone else with strep.  (Now, that’s just gross)   So if anyone sneezes or coughs, the infection is sent flying airborne.  Common symptoms that you have strep throat include sore throat, fever and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.  This is a very common thing as more than 3 million people catch it each year.  Strep Throat is treatable.  Usually through oral antibiotics.

What causes coughing?

The most common cause of a cough is a respiratory tract infection such as a cold or flu.  This kind of cough is caused by mucus (again, gross) dripping down the throat from the back of the nose.  That dripping stimulates the throat to get that “tickle” which causes you to cough.  (Which I just demonstrated if you could hear me)

Why do I have to blow my nose 200 times a day?

You would think you could just blow your nose one good time and clear it all our right?  If you have a cold, it doesn’t matter how much you blow your nose.  You will continue to make new mucus.  The underlying cause is allergies, a virus or bacteria.  Some other suggestions I have found that might help:

  • Sit in a steam room or shower.  Steam will help break up the mucus.
  • Eat hot and spicy foods.
  • Stay hydrated with non-caffeinated drinks.
  • Use a neti pot to help flush mucus out of the nasal passages.
  • Use a nasal spray but beware that they can become addictive.

So is there a proper way to blow your nose?  The recommended method is to blow gently one nostril at a time.

Why is coughing worse at night when I’m trying to sleep?

Gravity.  The biggest reason our cough gets worse at night is when we lie down flat, we allow the mucus to drip and collect in the back of the throat.   It is recommended that you sleep with a pillow propping you up or using a wedge pillow to counteract the gravitational pull of snot.

I will tell you that last night I slept better and didn’t have as many coughing spells when I propped up my pillows and used Delsym Cough medicine before going to bed.   I still had some coughing but I managed to get in more sleep than the past two nights.

How can I get over this cold faster?

While there aren’t any guarantees, there are some things that can help you recover faster:

  • Get some rest.  Your body uses more energy to fight off sicknesses.
  • Go to bed.  Lack of sleep makes your immune system weaker.
  • Lots of fluids.  Getting plenty of fluids thins your mucus and breaks up the congestion.
  • Gargle with saltwater.  Stir one-quarter to one-half teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water until it’s dissolved. This will help with sore throat.
  • Drink some hot tea. Research shows that the heat from herbal tea can ease cold symptoms.
  • Honey.  A half a tablespoon of honey at bedtime also helps with nighttime coughing.
  • Steam.  Helps with loosening the mucus.

Is there any ONE good over-the-counter drug for me?

I’m not a doctor but what I have experienced is that you just have to try different ones to see what works best for you.  What works for one may not work the same from someone else.   One trip to the drug store and you could be reading for hours and comparing different medications.  So, there really isn’t one that fixes it all.  You have to treat the underlying symptoms if the over-the-counter drug is going to be helpful to you.

If you’re like me, you don’t like being sick.  It isn’t exactly something you can schedule.  I don’t have patience with the recovery time.  Most would say that I’m an impatient patient.  This is true.  I want to be cured and over with this instead of hanging on for days.  It’s best to just give in and ride it out.  This too will pass.

Dawg Day After The Game

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Dawg Fans Suffer Another Disappointment

Here it is.

The day after.

The day after Georgia lost to Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.  Oddly enough, I’m not taking it as bad as I thought I would.  I think I’m the kind of fan that is sinking in the expectations of being disappointed.  At halftime when Georgia had dominated Alabama in the first half and held a 13-0 lead, I was expecting it to fall apart.  I just hoped that Georgia would weather the storm.  They didn’t.

Expecting to be disappointed.

That’s where I am as a sports fan.  Sure it’s nice to just make it to the championship game but you might as well win it when you get there because you never know when you will be back again.

I can tell you that I didn’t take last night’s loss as hard as the Falcons’ collapse in last year’s Super Bowl.  That one nearly did me in.  I honestly came close to calling it quits to sports after that one.  Yeah, I took that one the hardest of any loss any of my teams has had.  In fact, I haven’t followed the Falcons like I have in past years.

Of course, I remind myself that whatever the outcome, my life isn’t changed by it.  I still get up and go to work the next day.  My life goes on regardless.  It is simply entertainment.  It’s  just that recently my sports entertainment has disappointed me like watching the series finale of LOST.  (Yes, I went there.)

I’m still wondering how Alabama even got into the playoffs since they didn’t win their conference.  Yeah, I hear you talking about strength of schedule, blah, blah, blah.  I still don’t think anyone should be in the college football playoffs if they don’t win their conference.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m not in charge and nobody asked me anyway.  And, as I was reminded from one of my fellow sports friends, there is still controversy in determining the 68-team field for college basketball.

So what’s the next disappointment on my schedule?   The Tennessee Titans are 100 point underdogs against the New England Patriots this weekend.  (Actually it’s only 13.5 points but does it matter?)  I know anything is possible but I’m expecting another disappointment there.  I’m not throwing all of my emotions into it.

Losing still hurts regardless of how much “credit” the winning team gives you.  So what?  A loss is a loss.  Alabama Coach Nick Sabban gets his sixth championship.  I’m sure their fans are saying “Roll Tide” while Dawg fans are not talking.   I’m not even talking about the game with other Dawg fans because the wound is still pretty fresh.

Some would say, “Why don’t you just change to a winning team?”   Do you know how silly that sounds?  It’s about like all these Cowboy fans that only come out when Dallas is winning.  Yeah, I’m not going to do that.

Why do we go through this?  Why do we set ourselves up to be disappointed?  It’s crazy isn’t it?

When I went to sleep last night, I was doing like probably most other Dawg fans were doing last night, I was replaying the game in my head.  Thinking about missed opportunities.  Thinking about calls that weren’t made by the referees or the play calling at certain parts of the game.

I wake up to my life and getting ready for work.  Nothing has changed there.

I think we all knew that Alabama would come back last night.  Nick Sabban and his coaching staff know how to make adjustments and boy did they ever?

I’m going to stop short of congratulating them on winning the game.  I don’t care about that or being a good sport about it.  I’m not even thinking about “next year” or getting back there and winning it next year.  It’s a long season.  We will just move on to the next thing until we get there again.  We can’t forget that it’s just a game.  Our life is full of more important things than who wins and loses a game.  Especially when I have no direct involvement in the team.  Sometimes we lose sight of that in the excitement of the game.

When our teams lose, we should remember the good times.  Think back to great comebacks and thrilling wins.  I can tell you that no Dawg fans will be thinking about that today so don’t even try to console them with that but as they days pass, we will all remember that exciting win over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, the win over Florida and winning the SEC championship.  It will just take some time.

 

Football Friday

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I Hate To Tell You This But…The XFL May Play Again

1/5/18

The college football semifinal playoff game between Georgia and Oklahoma was a classic.  What a battle between two explosive teams.  Oklahoma jumped out to a 17-point lead in the first half but Georgia came back to win on RB Sony Michel’s 27-yard touchdown run in overtime to propel the Bulldogs to their first national championship game since the early 1980s.  Oh yeah, Alabama beat Clemson to advance as well.  Personally, Alabama should have never been in the playoffs but it is what it is.  The college football national championship will be played on Monday night in Atlanta’s shiny new stadium named after an expensive car.

Did you see that the University of Central Florida finished the season as the only major college to go undefeated? Yep, they finished their perfect season with a win over Auburn.  I read today that UCF is going to have a national championship parade in Disney World.  I know, I had to snicker at that too but, really, shouldn’t UCF had been given a wildcard or something for being undefeated? Yes, I know they play in the American Athletic Conference or something like that but just the fact they went undefeated should have got them somewhere in the playoffs.  It didn’t and – no – they aren’t going to be the official national champions outside of Disney World.  The playoff system won’t be right until they give all the conference winners a chance to play for the national championship.

I don’t know how to pick the Georgia-Alabama game.  I don’t it will be a high-scoring game.  I’m just going to watch the game and not risk jinxing anybody by making a pick.

In other football news:

The Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons rounded out the playoff field for the National Football League (NFL) playoffs this weekend.  Let me just get it off of my chest here – if Derek Henry ever learns to run straight he will be hard stop.  Please!  Pick the hole and run through it!  With that said, I think the Tennessee-Kansas City match up is pretty interesting.  Don’t be surprised if Tennessee wins.  Stranger things have happened.  The Carolina-New Orleans matchup will probably be the best one of the wildcard weekend.  Here’s how I see it going:  Tennessee 21, Kansas City 16; Los Angeles Rams 33, Atlanta 24; Carolina 37, New Orleans 34; Buffalo 20, Jacksonville 17.   Now go place your bets….

There are rumors that the XFL is going to come back.  Lord, I hope not.  You remember that one-year wonder right?  It was put together by WWE’s Vince McMahon.  Who could forget “He Hate Me”?  The league was quite gimmicky.   I used to have a Memphis Maniax jersey.  Dang, I should have kept it.  Don’t hold your breath for the XFL.  Aside from the United States Football League (USFL) – which most think was ruined by our current prez – no other league has been able to survive against the NFL.

Here are some of the best spring football leagues (that actually played):

  1. United States Football League (USFL)
  2. World League of American Football (WLAF)
  3. NFL Europa
  4. XFL

A new indoor football league called the Fan-Controlled Football League (FCFL) – nope I didn’t make this up folks – is planning to kick off this year with eight teams.  This strange league will allow fans to build up something called Ethereum-based FAN tokens and use them to manage the action both on and off the field.  So the games will be controlled by fans sitting in their seats drinking beer and chowing down on their nachos?  Yeah, okay, I think I can watch some grass grow somewhere.

Here are the indoor leagues scheduled to play in 2018 (defending champs):

  • Arena Football League (Philadelphia Soul)
  • Indoor Football League (Arizona Rattlers)
  • Champions Indoor Football (Texas Revolution)
  • China Arena Football League (Beijing Lions)
  • American Arena League (none)
  • National Arena League (Jacksonville Sharks)

Mater Dei of Santa Ana, California are the USA Today National High School Football champions.  They finished at #1 in the USA Today Super 25 poll with a record of 15-0.  Yeah, doesn’t excite me that much either.  Well, here’s the rest of the top ten in the final poll:

  • IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)
  • St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, MD)
  • St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)
  • Allen (Allen, TX)
  • Ben Davis (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Pickerington Central (Pickerington, OH)
  • Cypress-Fairbanks (Cypress, TX)
  • Pine-Richard (Gibsonia, PA)

The Rome Wolves (Rome, GA) finished #16 as the highest-ranked Georgia team but I really still can’t talk about it.  Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, TN) over here in my backyard finished #22.

The Jerusalem “Big Blue” Lions shutout Beersheva 45-0 in the Israel Football League (IFL) to remain the only undefeated team at 8-0.  Jerusalem QB David Abell completed 19 of 30 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Lions.

In the American Football League of China, the Shanghai Titans and Shanghai Warriors will meet in the championship game.  Both teams will be looking to become the first team in league history to win two championships.  The Titans defeated the Shanghai Nighthawks 27-14 in their semifinal game as Titans’ receiver Jibril Rasheed scored on a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put the Titans up 27-14.  The game was called early in the fourth quarter due to a fight which broke out resulting in multiple player ejections.  The Warriors defeated the Chengdu Pandaman 26-8.  A four-yard touchdown run by Chris Gardner midway through the third quarter gave the Warriors a 20-0 lead to pull away from the Pandaman. (I’m not making this up)

The Seoul Vikings scored the winning touchdown with nine seconds left to defeat the Goeje Bluestorm to win their fifth Korean National Football League title.