Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind………

13) All major league baseball games Sunday start at 3pm, to maximize drama if any of the games factor into the playoff race.

12) Last Sunday in Miami, the Browns’ Terrelle Pryor was the first NFL player since the 49ers’ Billy Kilmer in 1962 to throw 4+ passes, catch 4+ passes and carry ball 4+ times in the same game.

If you’re an older human like me, you remember Kilmer as a gimpy QB for the Redskins team that lost a Super Bowl to Miami. But before a car accident in the mid-60’s, Kilmer was actually a pretty good runner.

11) Colorado’s Tyler Chatwood finishes the season with a 1.69 ERA in 13 road starts (80 IP). Very impressive, but unfortunately for him, he also has a 6.12 ERA in 14 home starts in the thin air of Denver’s Coors Field.

10) Umps appeared to have fouled up the end of the Reds-Cardinals game Thursday night; Yadier Molina hit a ball that should’ve been a ground rule double, keeping the game-winning runner on third with two out, but umps didn’t realize it was an issue and the Reds didn’t challenge quickly enough, so the Cardinals win 4-3 with a controversial ending.

Umpires need to stick around for an extra couple minutes at the end of close games like this, to make sure nothing gets screwed up– this looked really, really bad, it being a critical game in the Wild Card race.

9) Bad news for the Oklahoma City Thunder; backup guard Cameron Payne broke his foot and will be out for a while, maybe a long while.

8) When Dodgers lost Wednesday, it was first time in 19 games this season LA hit 3+ homers in a game and lost.

7) Marvin Lewis has been the Bengals’ coach since 2003; Adam Gase in the Dolphins’ 9th head coach since Lewis has been in Cincinnati.

6) Not only is JJ Watt out for the Texans, now coach Bill O’Brien has taken the play calling away from his OC and will do it himself. Alrighty then.

5) If you like to bet first five innings results in baseball, you may know that Milwaukee is 69-71 in first five innings, Texas is 67-70— pretty similar team???

Upon further review, the Brewers are 71-88 and waiting for the season to end, while Texas jogged into the playoffs, thanks to its 36-11 record in one-run games. Bullpens are important.

4) More bad news for the Philadelphia 76ers, as if they needed any more; prized rookie Ben Simmons broke a bone in his foot, an injury that typically takes eight weeks to heal. NBA season starts in 3.5 weeks.

3) Cleveland Browns are not getting star WR Josh Gordon back next week; he will enter a substance treatment program— there was no timeframe announced for his return, but it is being suggested that the Browns don’t want him around anymore. We wish him well in his recovery.

2) Turns out that Les Miles turned down the Michigan head coaching job back in 2011 to stay at LSU, which wound up firing him last week despite a 114-34 record. Miles is a Michigan alum.

1— There is a lot of speculation that if freshman QB Blake Barnett (just transferred out of Alabama) can enroll in a college that is on the quarter-system (five of 12 Pac-12 schools are), then he could be eligible to play at this time next fall, instead of sitting out an entire season. Stay tuned on this one.

CBS Sports’/former college coach Rick Neuheisel had this to say: “Lot of parents these days believe that if he ain’t starting, then he’ll be departing”, regarding their kids and playing time.

Not a lot of patience in today’s world.

Friday’s List of 13: Things I’m looking for this weekend……..

Friday’s List of 13: Things I’m looking or this weekend……….

13) Stanford-Washington is big game in Pac-12 North; Huskies needed OT to win at Arizona last week. Cardinal beat USC/UCLA last two weeks; they’re due for a letdown.

12) How healthy is Russell Wilson? Seattle has its bye next week; Wilson has already hurt an ankle and a knee in three games. If Wilson can’t go, TCU rookie Boykin would get his first NFL start in unfriendly Swamp Stadium, against a Jet squad that is 15-10 vs spread at home the last 3+ seasons. Jets had eight turnovers in an awful loss at Arrowhead last week.

11) Memphis-Ole Miss is regional rivalry, of sorts; they do some recruiting against one another. Tigers have been unable to get into a Power 5 league; games like this against an SEC opponent are important to them.

10) Falcons are averaging 7.0 yards per play, best in NFL; they can go up two games on defending NFC champ Carolina in NFC South with win here.

9) USC is 1-3 but is a 10-point home favorite over an Arizona State team that plays wild games- they’ve been lousy on defense but are still 4-0. Trojan Nation is not used to being 1-3.

8) Whats the deal with 9:30am ET NFL games from England? Colts-Jaguars is not something I’m anxious to set my alarm for. Rams play the Giants in three weeks, also a 9:30 kickoff, so it can be a day game in England. When is a person supposed to sleep?

7) Field for the baseball playoffs should be set by Sunday night; will they need playoff game(s) to figure out who the Wild Cards are?

6) Ed Orgeron is the interim coach for LSU, which is a 13-point favorite over Missouri. Curious to see if he has changed their offense in the six days since Les Miles was fired- he said he wants them to run the spread. Oregon was once the interim coach at USC and the head coach at Ole Miss. How much can you change in six days?

5) How good are the 3-0 Ravens? They’ve played Bills-Browns-Jaguars, none of whom bear any resemblance to the ’72 Dolphins, but you are what you are and they’re 3-0. Oakland comes to town with a high scoring offense— this is an interesting game.

4) Oklahoma-TCU should be a good game; Horned Frogs have one of the youngest teams in country, but they’re still very talented. Sooners are 1-2, play Texas next week. Tense times in Norman.

3) Drew Brees plays his first game as a visitor in San Diego, 11 years after his last season for the Chargers. New Orleans is traveling on a short week; their defense is terrible, but Chargers have had a hard time holding leads in their two losses so far.

2) Disappointed that Oregon-Washington State is on Pac-12 Network, since DirecTV doesn’t carry it. Just got my DirecTV bill a few minutes ago; for what I’m paying, they should throw in the Pac-12 Network for free. But thats not how rich people get rich.

1) I really like Jameis Winston as a prospect but he panicked on the last play against the Rams LW, losing track of where the line of scrimmage was. Very interested in how he does against this strong Denver defense.

Thursday’s List of 13: NFL knowledge to ponder

13) Minnesota Vikings are 3-0, despite scoring only three offensive TDs, tied with Houston for fewest in NFL. Vikings’ defense scored two TDs in the Tennessee game and ran a punt back for a score last week- you look at their offensive stats and wonder how the hell they’re 3-0, but they are.

12) Giants’ first three games were decided by total of six points; they were minus in turnovers all three games (-6) but the defense has forced 12 field goal tries, while allowing only four TDs, so they’ve been tough in the red zone.

11) Eagles had a great first three weeks, but have their bye this week, much like the Bengals two years ago, when they started the season 3-0, had their bye week……..then went 0-2-1 in their next three games. Momentum is a funny thing; you want to keep playing when things are going well.

10) 49ers have gone 3/out 17 times on 35 drives, most in NFL; Rams are next (15 of 34). Oakland/Atlanta have gone 3/out fewest times (three each).

Carolina has forced opponents to go 3/out 17 times on 34 drives, most in NFL; Texans are next, with 15 on 37 drives. Strangely, Patriots/Steelers have forced the fewest 3/outs (four each).

9) Falcons (7.0), Raiders (6.7) Redskins (6.5) are averaging the most yards per play. Rams/49ers (4.4 each) are last in yards/play, followed by Texans/Vikings (4.6).

8) Colts/Jets have allowed three TDs by defense/special teams, most in NFL. Saints, Bucs and Titans allowed two each. Minnesota scored three on defense/special teams, most in the league.

7) Colts play in London this week; usually the teams that play in London have their bye week the next week, but Indy requested that not happen this year, so I’ll be curious to see how they do next week, after so much travelling this week.

6) Buffalo Bills are only team in league two TD plays of 50+ yards this season. Jets have allowed three TDs of 50+ yards, most in NFL.

5) Colts have nine TDs thru three games, all on drives of 75+ yards, most in NFL. Chiefs have only one TD drive of 75+ yards in their first three games. Atlanta has allowed 12 TDs, all on drives of 75+ yards. Not good.

2) Cowboys (21 of 40), Lions (20 of 39) are only two teams converting more than half their 3rd down plays. Bills (10 of 36), Jaguars (12 of 42) have converted the lowest percentage on 3rd down.

1) Panthers/Bucs (218 each) have run the most plays this month, with Texans 3rd at 211. Bills (159), Bears (168) and Vikings (172) have run the fewest plays from scrimmage.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings……

13) Tremendously obscure baseball trivia: In the history of baseball, only one player has homered in his first AND last major league at-bat.

John Miller played in six games in 1966, 26 in 1969, that’s it; he went 10-61 in those 32 games with two homers, three RBI, three walks. His homers came in his first and last major league at-bats.

The only major leaguer EVER to do that.

12) Detroit Lions got called for a 66-yard pass interference penalty in Green Bay Sunday, the longest PI penalty in at least 15 years.

11) Carolina Panthers have run the ball for 100+ yards in each of their last 30 games; the next-highest streak in the NFL is Dallas, with 7.

10) I like to track how the six most popular picks in the Westgate Super Contest fare each week; so far after three weeks, they’re 4-14 vs spread, including 0-6 in Week 3. Not good.

9) If your favorite NFL team is 0-3 (Saints-Jags-Browns-Bears), keep in mind that from 2002-15, 69 NFL teams were 0-3. None of them made the playoffs. San Diego did get to the Super Bowl once after an 0-4 start, but that was a long time ago.

8) Rams are 2-1 for the first time since 2006. Ten long years.

7) Florida International fired football coach Ron Turner, who is Norv Turner’s brother. FIU is 0-4 with three losses by 21+ points.

6) Mets were losing 10-8 in ninth inning the other day; TV analyst Keith Hernandez is adamant that hitters have to take a strike, since the closer for the Phillies has trouble throwing strikes. You could almost hear him biting his tongue when the leadoff hitter hit a fly ball to center on the first pitch, then the next hitter fouled off the first pitch.

Would’ve been interesting if Hernandez said what he was thinking after the first-pitch swings- he just grunted after the second one.

5) In their first three games, Indianapolis Colts were down 21-10, 13-6 and tied 13-13 at halftime. On their first drive of the third quarter, Indy has driven 85-79-75 yards for three touchdowns.

4) ESPN college football analyst Ed Cunningham had the Cal-Arizona State game in Tempe Saturday; he told a story of when he played offensive line for the Cardinals, he lost 14 pounds during an exhibition game in Sun Devil Stadium. That couldn’t have been a lot of fun.

3) Ivy League finally relented and will have a four-team basketball conference tournament in March. Only eight teams in the league; will be fun to see teams compete to get into the NCAA tournament.

2) Parents of Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter do a commercial for a sporting goods store on a St Louis TV station. Not sure how they came up with that idea, but it is a pretty cool commercial.

1– You think about how hard Jose Fernandez (and others) worked to get to this country from Cuba and how happy they appear to be here, getting paid to play a game they love.

Some of us have lost sight of how lucky we are to live in this country, not that it is a perfect place- there are no perfect places, but we’re free to do what we want and say what we think here and that isn’t true everywhere.

We need to tolerate each other more and enjoy our time here. We’re not guaranteed anything, that much we learned this past weekend.

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……..

13) Very sad night in Miami Monday, Marlins’ first game since passing of its star pitcher, 24-year old Jose Fernandez. Every Miami player wore his #16 jersey during the game; the Marlins will now retire his number 16.

Before and during the game, players were crying on the field; Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first inning with a homer and sobbed all the way around the bases.

Life is short, my friends. Lets enjoy it while we can.

12) Winner of golf’s Fed Ex Cup wins $10M; how much does his caddy get?

11) Cleveland Browns are first team since ’86-’87 Falcons to start five different QBs in a five-game stretch. Atlanta’s stretch is a little bogus, since it included the first replacement game they played in ’87, when players were striking and were replaced by inferior players.

Manziel-Davis-Griffin III-McCown-Kessler are your five Browns’ QBs. If they start Pryor at QB this week, it would be six games with six QBs.

10) Here is how stupid I was as a little kid: for about a month, my career goal was to be an architect.

Why? Because Wilbur Post (on Mr Ed) and Mr Brady on the Brady Bunch were both architects, and they never seemed to do much work. It is possible that I watched (and still watch) too much TV.

9) Another one that slipped by me: until yesterday, I had absolutely no idea that Angelina Jolie is Jon Voight’s daughter.

8) ESPN’s Brock Huard is one of the better football analysts on TV; he was telling a story Saturday about how when he was a backup QB with the Colts, offensive coordinator Tom Moore had Peyton Manning run the same running play 15 times in a row, because the other team couldn’t stop it. Makes sense. Sometimes simple is better.

7) NFL players who get taunting penalties are fined $9,115– that seems excessive. Seriously. I must say though, if somebody fined me $9,115 for taunting, I’d shut my damn mouth.

6) One huge difference in officiating between NFL and college; very few penalties called on defensive backs in college. In pro games, a DB can’t breathe on a guy without getting a flag.

5) Texas Rangers are 13-0 in last 13 games where winning run scored from 7th inning on; they’re 36-11 in one-run games.

4) LSU fired football coach Les Miles and OC Cam Cameron Sunday; Miles won an awful lot of games (and a national title) in Baton Rouge, but his inability to develop a balanced offense ticked off the wrong people and he got fired. His biggest problem was being at LSU at the same time Nick Saban was at Alabama.

Miles went 114-34 at LSU and got fired!!!! Tough crowd in Baton Rouge.

3) St Louis Cardinals are 6-15 this season in games following a day off.

2) Brian Kelly fired his defensive coordinator Sunday, which was lost in the bundle of other news during the day. Little early to be firing coaches.

Notre Dame was the last I-A college football team out of 128 to get a sack this season- that’s hard to believe, but it is true. They said it on TV, so it has to be true, right?

1– Michigan pounded Penn State Saturday, but Jim Harbaugh has some explaining to do to the folks at Nike who pay his program a small fortune to wear the Swoosh– some genius on Twitter had a pic of Harbaugh Saturday, zoomed in on it and realized he was wearing an adidas belt.

Not good.

That might not seem like much to you or me, but I guarantee you the fine folks at Nike are not amused. Michael Jordan even made an appearance in Ann Arbor as an “honorary captain” for Michigan game earlier this month, that is how much Nike covets having the Wolverines endorse its brand. Maybe MJ can send Harbaugh some Nike belts.

Nike belts sell for anywhere from $20-70 a pop on the their website.

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday………

1– Broncos 29, Bengals 17– Is Trevor Siemian a better QB than Peyton Manning was last year? Denver scored four TDs, two on plays of 40+ yards, handing Bengals their second loss in a row.

This is shaping up as the Year of the Inexperienced QB

2) Raiders 17, Titans 10– Tennessee had ball on Oakland’s 3-yard line in last 1:00 but roughing call on a Titan lineman pushed it back 15 yards, then a very shaky offensive PI call nullified the tying TD on the next play. Weird seeing Raiders getting calls from the refs. Game was 17-3 at half; Tennessee gained 393 yards but turned ball over three times.

3) Bills 33, Cardinals 18– Arizona turned ball over five times, including last four times they had it; Bills started three drives in Cardinal territory. Buffalo had only 88 passing yards, averaged 3.0 yards/attempt, but they won by two TDs, so who cares? Buffalo scored 31 points LW and fired their OC; no telling what they’ll do to the new guy.

4) Ravens 19, Jaguars 17– Justin Tucker nailed a 54-yard FG with 1:02 left to hand Jax its third loss in row. One TD, four FG tries is bit of a red flag for Ravens, but they’re 3-0, albeit vs Bills-Browns-Jaguars. 3-0 is 3-0.

5) Dolphins 30, Browns 24 OT– Cleveland’s kicker got hurt Friday; guy who replaced him was 3-6 on field goals, missing game-winner at gun of regulation. Browns are 0-3 but they’re fighting hard.

Hue Jackson coached his ass off in this game, but lost; he had rookie QB Kessler making his first NFL start, his third starting QB in three weeks, then he sprinkled in QB-turned-WR-turned-QB Pryor for running situations and he almost won.

When/if Browns get Josh Gordon back, their offense will make a big jump.

Over last 8+ years, Miami is now 11-27 vs spread as a home favorite.

6) Redskins 29, Giants 27– Five lead changes in second half in game with too much jawing, too many penalties (20 accepted for 198 yards). Skins kicked five FGs and passed up an easy one at end of 1st half, screwing up game management so badly that you wonder what would’ve happened if they lost this game by a point.

I like the Shepard kid who plays WR for the Giants; he catches a pass and doesn’t act like he cured cancer by doing so. He just keeps playing.

7) Packers 34, Lions 27– Game was 31-3 at one point; Packers only scored 3 points in second half- they have to be relieved, using 12-yard advantage in field position to score four TDs on eight drives. Detroit fought til the end, throwing for 368 yards, but they scored 13 points in 3 red zone trips.

8) Vikings 22, Panthers 10– Minnesota is on a 16-2 spread run in regular season; they scored only one offensive TD, but ran punt back for a score and picked Newton off three times (+3 in TOs). Vikings had eight sacks; October 23 is shaping up to be interesting, Bradford’s return to Philly.

9) Seahawks 37, 49ers 18– Easy Seattle win dampened by Russell Wilson spraining his left knee. Niners allowed 83 points in last two games.

I’m watching the late games and at one point I just yelled out, “How the bleeping bleep did we lose to the 49ers?!?!?!” No one else was here, so I basically was like an insane person but that happens a lot on Sundays.

10) Rams 37, Bucs 32– Last year, Rams two lost games just like this one, at Minnesota/Baltimore- those losses ruined their season. This year, they found a way to win, after a 70-minute lightning delay at the 2:00 warning. Bucs got to the 10-yard line at the end, but ran out of time.

Odd quirk of Jared Goff not playing yet; his QB coach is Chris Weinke, who went 1-14 as Carolina’s starting QB as a rookie in 2001, and Weinke was a little older, since he had played some minor league baseball. Case Keenum is doing just fine, no reason to rush the young QB into action.

As for Tampa Bay, they traded up to draft a kicker in the second round, and the young man is struggling. Bucs missed a PAT and a 41-yard FG.

11) Eagles 34, Steelers 3– You do realize that if Teddy Bridgewater hadn’t gotten hurt up in Minnesota, then Carson Wentz would be red-shirting this year, just like Rams’ Goff is. Instead he is heading to the Pro Bowl; in three games, Eagles haven’t even turned the ball over yet. Wow.

How would you like to be a coach at North Dakota State right now who is recruiting a QB for next year? Think his job is fairly easy?

12) Chiefs 24, Jets 3– I’ve never seen drive charts like the Jets’ in this game; they had ball 10 times, and turned it over 7 times, with two of those run back for KC touchdowns. Chiefs’ only TD drive was on a 35-yard drive; hard to tell if they didn’t try that hard on offense because of how well the defense played. KC scored only 10 points on three red zone visits.

13) Colts 26, Chargers 22– If you took San Diego +3, very bad beat; Luck hit TY Hilton for a 63-yard TD with 1:17 left for the win/cover. Chargers fumbled last two times they had ball; they missed a PAT, had only one TD in four visits inside the Indy 30-yard line.

I’m guessing the Pagano family is glad this is over; Chargers’ DC John and Colts’ HC Chuck are brothers. Tough weekend for the family members.

14) Cowboys 31, Bears 17– Good time to play the Bears; they have ton of injuries, but Fox is a good coach and they’ll get better. Prescott continues the amazing run of young QBs having success this season. Will be funny if Dallas keeps winning and then Romo gets healthy; who plays QB then?

For the week so far, favorites are 5-10 vs spread, home teams 7-8, over 8-7.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

13) Florida State 55, South Florida 35– FSU’s star RB Dalvin Cook carried the pigskin 28 times for 267 yards, as Jimbo Fisher showed how little faith he has in his defense by continually feeding the ball to a banged-up Cook despite having a three-TD lead in the 4th quarter.

USF justified Fisher’s lack of faith in his defense by running for 290 yards.

12) Auburn 18, LSU 13– LSU appeared to score the game-winning TD as time expired; replay reviews apparently showed that time had expired before LSU got the play off. Very chaotic last 0:30. Auburn wins without scoring a TD.

Dalvin Cook had 28 carries for 267 yards for Florida State; Leonard Fournette had 16 carries for 101 yards for LSU in this one– why only 16 carries in such a close game?

Cam Cameron makes $1.2M a year coordinating the LSU offense, but his offense isn’t good- they didn’t score in second half last week, scored one TD in this game. In the immortal words of former NBA star Micheal Ray Richardson, “….the ship be sinking”.

11) Tennessee 38, Florida 28– Gators led 21-3 at halftime;  Twitter was calling for the coach’s scalp, then they played the second half. Vols ended an 11-game losing streak to Florida.

10) Duke 38, Notre Dame 35– 21-point underdog Duke put up 498 total yards; 208 rushing, 290 passing and the Irish are 1-3. Scapegoat for all this will be the defensive coordinator; either that or Brian Kelly will jump to the NFL next year.

9) North Carolina 37, Pittsburgh 36– Panthers scored 74 points in last two games, lost ’em both- they led 36-23 with 6:00 left; UNC scored winning TD with 0:02 left. Pitt ran ball for 281 yards; Tar Heels threw it for 453.

8) Colorado 41, Oregon 38– Huge win for Mike MacIntyre’s Buffs, who blew a 33-17 lead, then won game in 4th quarter behind backup QB Montez, who threw for 333 yards. Total yardage: 593-508, Colorado.

7) Wisconsin 30, Michigan State 6– Spartans got all fat ‘n happy after beating Notre Dame last week, then turned ball over four times here and got waxed by a Badger squad that hadn’t won in East Lansing since 2002.

6) Wake Forest 33, Indiana 28– Deacons are 4-0……..over last three years, they were 10-26. Wake Forest hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2011; would be ironic if they played Baylor and former coach Jim Grobe in a bowl game this season.

5) Tulsa 48, Fresno State 41 OT– With 10:16 left in first half, Fresno State led this game 31-0. They lost.

Tulsa ran 100 plays for 617 yards; football is the only sport I know of where the college version is a longer game than the pro version.

4) Purdue 24, Nevada 14– Not only did Boilers win, two QBs who jumped ship and transferred out of West Lafayette lost their games (Florida, LSU). in especially painful fashion.

Mountain West teams are getting hammered this year; they’re now 2-11 vs spread as a non-conference road underdog. Not good.

3) Utah 31, USC 27– When was last time USC/Notre Dame had combined record of 2-6? Utah won this game Friday night with TD in last minute, on drive led by a QB from LA who grew up rooting for the Trojans, but they never tried to recruit him.

2) Stanford 22, UCLA 13– One of worst gambling beats of all-time; Cardinal (-3.5) scored nine points in last 0:24, beating UCLA, the spread in one fell swoop– Cardinal has now beaten UCLA nine games in a row.

I’m assuming David Shaw can be a head coach in the NFL, if he wants to be; would be curious to know if he is interested.

Sidelight: it is great fun to be in a Las Vegas casino when a team covers the way Stanford did (defensive TD on last play). People who were cursing 10 seconds before now declare themselves to be brilliant, while people who were grinning ear to ear start cursing the QB laying on his back.

1– Giants 9, Padres 6 (10)– NL Wild Card is Mets/Giants tied, with St Louis a half-game back. Cardinals have one extra game to play. Giants led this game 6-0 with Bumgarner on mound, blew the lead, then won it in extra innings.

Like we said yesterday, if this were to end in a 3-way tie (for two spots), there is chaos as far as the process to decide who doesn’t get in– its a weird system that you know they don’t want to use.

I think it is like this: Teams A-B play one day, the winner gets in, the loser then plays at Team C the next night, in effect giving Team B two chances to win one game and make it. Winner of the second game would then play one game at the winner of the first game to advance. Oy.

Saturday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……..

13) FOX announcer Joe Buck is from St Louis; his dad was a Hall of Fame announcer for the baseball Cardinals. Obviously he loves his hometown and had some sharp comments for Rams’ ownership when they skipped town for Los Angeles last winter.

Mr Buck showed his professionalism last Sunday when he and Troy Aikman worked the Rams’ home opener in the LA Coliseum. Couldn’t have been that much fun for him but he did his job and he did it well, which is why he makes a boatload of money. Good for him.

Ironic thing is that Aikman was a big Rams’ fan growing up so he thinks it is cool the Rams are back in LA.

12) Patriots 27, Texans 0– New England special teams/defense dominated game; Pats scored three TDs, but on drives of 22-21-47 yards, with two of three TDs coming after they recovered fumbled kick returns by Texans.

3rd-string QB Jacoby Brissett ran for a TD, didn’t turn ball over (NE was +3 in turnovers) but he also hurt ligaments in his thumb, so we’ve seen the last of him, seeing as Brady comes back October 9. Remains to be seen if Patriots will add another QB for the Buffalo game next week.

11) Speaking of the Bills, they still owe fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman $3M over the next 16 months.

10) Looks as if Jimmy Garoppolo would play against the Bills in Week 4, but if he never takes another snap for the Patriots, he’s already made himself a ton of money from someone, when he becomes a free agent after 2017. Competent QBs are in high demand.

9) This happened Thursday night; Patriots’ punt returner fumbled as he was tackled, the ball goes 7-8 yards forward, but NE recovers. Refs say the fumble counts, but Patriots recovered, so no big deal.

All of a sudden, Houston challenges the call; they want the ball pushed back to where the fumble happened. They win the challenge, but so what? You can only challenge a maximum of three plays/game; was it worth it?

Sideline reporter then piped in that Houston coach O’Brien was talking to his QB and wasn’t even watching the play. Texans’ punter went over to him and told him he had to look at the play and challenge it, and he did.

Didn’t make the Houston coaches look very good; it is the danger of your head coach also coaching the QBs. No one is the “CEO” of the game.

8) Padres’ OF prospect Hunter Renfroe got an intentional walk in his first major league plate appearance; not bad. He got two hits in his first start on Thursday; he put up big numbers in the minors.

7) Mets have 39 players on their roster; 25 is the limit before September 1. Terry Collins used 22 guys on Wednesday, 27 on Thursday; having so many guys in your dugout lends itself to over-managing.

Jay Bruce is hitting .174 since the Reds traded him to New York. They pinch-hit for him against a lefty the other night and have buried him on the bench since, preferring to start Alejandro De Aza.

6) Detroit scored a run in Minnesota Thursday on a wild pitch that was thrown during an intentional walk. Been a tough year in the Twin Cities.

5) June 14, 2015, Washington-San Diego-Tampa Bay made a 3-way deal. Nationals got Joe Ross/Trea Turner, San Diego got Wil Myers, Rays got Steven Souza Jr– there were other minor leaguers involved, so the final verdict on the deal can’t be judged for years, except that Tampa Bay got the short end of things.

Tim McCarver was working the Cardinal-Cub game Friday and declared that “whoever in San Diego traded Trea Turner should be fired” before he looked the deal up, at which point he changed the subject. Washington probably got the better of the deal, but Myers is pretty darned good, too.

4) Speaking of the Cardinals, Matt Adams got picked off first base in the 4th inning Friday, with St Louis trailing 4-0. Adams is in no way a base stealer– terrible baserunning.

3) Jon Miller/Mike Krukow were talking on Giants’ TV the other night about the scenarios if Giants-Mets-Cardinals finish in a 3-way tie for the two Wild Card spots. Put it this way; it would be good for travel agents.

2) Minnesota is paying Sam Bradford $7M this year; Eagles already paid him an $11M signing bonus in March. Vikings visit Philly October 23. Should be a fun day.

1– Kevin Garnett retired Friday; he played 21 years in the NBA, scoring 26,071 points, playing in 14 All-Star games. He grew up in South Carolina but played his last year of HS ball in Chicago, then jumped right to the NBA. Great career; hope he goes on TV, so we can learn from him.


Friday’s List of 13: Things I’m looking for this weekend………

13) This week, Cleveland Browns are starting their third different QB this season.

In Week 3.

Miami Dolphins have an awful spread record at home but they’re dropping way down in class this week, after playing Seahawks/Patriots. Then again, we talked yesterday about how well young QBs have been faring this year. Tough game to figure.

12) USC changed QBs this week, went to a freshman for its game at Utah. A 1-3 start wouldn’t go over too well with the home folks- this will be a tough spot for the young quarterback.

11) Arizona Cardinals covered their road opener the last eight years, which goes back farther than the Bruce Arians era. Buffalo fired their OC last week after a 37-31 loss, so I can’t wait to see how different their offense is this week.

10) Tennessee has lost 11 games in a row to Florida; they had Gators beat LY, but coach Jones messed up the game with horrid clock management. Dobbs is a senior QB; Florida is starting a backup who couldn’t win the starting job at Purdue– this is a must-win game for the Volunteers.

9) Got a lot of grief on Twitter when I complained in Week 1 about Josh Norman not shadowing Antonio Brown all over the field. Got comments like “Easier said than done” or “the corner on the other side is capable”

Guess what? Redskins visit Swamp Stadium Sunday and Norman is going to shadow Odell Beckham; someone else on Twitter pointed out “it (shadowing) can be done. Just have to do some coaching.”

Apparently Washington’s defensive staff did some coaching this week.

8) James Franklin is 1-3 as a double digit underdog at Penn State; we know the guy can coach- he got Vanderbilt to bowl games, but if you’re the coach at Penn State, being an 18-point underdog is no bueno.

7) Steelers are 0-8 in their last eight visits to Philly; their last win in Philly came at Franklin Field, in 1965. Carson Wentz is about two weeks from being inducted in Canton, but he better learn how to slide. Eagles are 0-8 in last eight tries as a home underdog.

6) Alabama is a 44-point favorite over Kent State; will Nick Saban take it easy on his alma mater? I’m guessing Saban would go all-out playing volleyball at a family picnic. Doubtful there will be mercy here; Kent State’s reward will be when the guarantee check from Bama clears.

5) John Pagano is San Diego’s DC; Chuck Pagano is the Colts’ HC. They have a family reunion this week. Chargers led 24-3 at Arrowhead, blew the lead, then pounded the Jaguars at home last week. Nothing the Colts have done so far is impressive.

4) Cal Golden Bears won 50-43 last week, lost 45-40 the week before; they’re must-watch TV. Cal visits Arizona State this week; ASU beat Texas Tech 68-55 couple weeks ago. Do these teams even recruit defenders?

3) Will the Rams ever score a touchdown? They just played two division games, play Arizona next week; this is a trap game against Bucs squad playing its home opener.

2) Florida State lost 63-20 last week; that just doesn’t happen to the Seminoles, who had to be humbled, stunned. FSU visits an improved South Florida team this week; very curious to see how Florida State plays- they completed only 8-24 passes last week.

1– Vin Scully broadcasts his last game at Dodger Stadium Sunday; the guy has worked Dodger games for 67 freakin’ years, before my parents met and they were married in 1955.

Mr Scully is and always will be the greatest baseball announcer ever.

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……….

13) As a football handicapper, I was looking to go against young QBs, especially when they make their first road start, because playing QB in the NFL is very hard. Aikman-Elway-Eli Manning; they were all bad when they started out. It is a freakin’ difficult job.

So after two weeks, Siemian-Wentz-Prescott-Garoppolo, none of whom had ever started an NFL game two weeks ago, are 7-1 now, and if you throw in Sam Bradford’s start after being a Viking for 8-9 days, that’s 8-1 for QBs who I was looking to go against. Very surprising.

12) My question is this: have coaches simplified things for these QBs?  If so, maybe the lesson here is that simpler is better and that coaches have been making the game too complex. Let the players play.

11) 247 different players caught a pass in NFL’s Week 2; that’s an average of 7.7 per team.

10)  For the first time in 20 years, there are no Big X teams in the top 15 of the AP poll; that’s no Texas-Oklahoma-Okla State-Baylor, etc……..

9) Actor Terry Crews (Longest Yard, Draft Day) was a walk-on football player at Western Michigan who earned a scholarship as a sophomore and wound up being drafted in the 11th round by the Rams, back when the draft had more than the current seven rounds.

8) Normally, major league teams are not allowed to make $$$ from sales of apparel of players who aren’t on their 40-man roster. Stunningly (not really), the Mets were given an exemption with Tim Tebow, so now they’re recouping their $100K investment by selling his #15 jersey.

Jerry Grote and Carlos Beltran can’t be real happy about that.

7) Mets are 70-39 when they hit a home run, 10-32 when they do not.

6) Carlos Gonzalez is a free agent after next season; over the last three years, CarGo has a .976 OPS at Coors Field, .707 on the road. He also has an injury history. Will Rockies trade him (most likely), sign him long term (expensive/doubtful) or let him walk (unlikely)?

5) For the last 40-45 years, Dick Enberg has been one of our country’s best broadcasters, in several sports; he is retiring as TV voice of the Padres next week. Once upon a time, Enberg was an assistant baseball coach at Cal State-Northridge.

My fondest memory of Enberg was his doing college basketball for NBC with Billy Packer and Al McGuire; talk about managing egos!!! Had to be a balancing act, keeping those two great characters/basketball minds on the same page. I learned so much about basketball from those three guys. Mr Enberg will be missed.

4) Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have six kids? They also have $400M to divvy up in their divorce proceedings. I’m guessing when rich people go their separate ways, things can get complicated.

Read on the Interweb that when Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas got divorced, their settlement was 57 pages long and they didn’t have any custody issues to haggle over. As usual, the lawyers get rich.

3) When the Toronto Blue Jays play in Seattle, they have a lot of their own fans at the games. Blue Jays are Canada’s team; lot of people come down to the Emerald City from Vancouver to root on their Jays.

2) Got the IOS 10 upgrade on my IPhone yesterday; in lot of ways, it is like having a new phone. I’m due for a new phone if I want one, but will wait now- what  is the point when there are lot of new features on this phone?

1– Thanksgiving weekend 2017, there will be a 16-team college hoop event in Portland, OR to honor Nike founder Phil Knight.

There will actually be two 8-team tournaments, with Duke-North Carolina-Michigan State-Oregon among the teams participating. It is expected to be a one-time happening, but it’ll be a good one.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…..

13) New rule in NFL this year; offensive coordinator up in booth can talk directly to the QB thru the radio in his helmet. Should wind up helping offenses, cutting out the middle man on the sidelines.

Jon Gruden said last night that not many teams are utilizing the new rule yet. Why? It should especially help teams with young QBs.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson is calling plays; they said Monday that he had never called plays in a game before Week 1 against the Browns.

12) Remember the scene in Moneyball where Billy Beane is in a room with all his scouts, and basically dismisses how they do their jobs?

Well, the Jonah Hill character in Moneyball was Paul DePodesta, who is now working for the Cleveland Browns (he was a WR in college at Harvard), and apparently, that same meeting happened for real in Cleveland last winter, with lot of the Browns’ old-school scouts saying they preferred Carson Wentz over Jared Goff or a trade of the pick- those scouts got fired before the draft.

11) Tuesday, Adam West (Batman) turned 88, David McCallum (Ducky on NCIS) turned 83; they’re both still very active, great for them.

10) Backup QB for the Patriots this week? WR Julian Edelman, who was a QB in college at Kent State. Jimmy Garoppolo will dress, but doubtful his shoulder is good enough for him to actually play, other than handing off.

9) Akron beat Marshall 65-38 last week; Marshall plays Louisville this week. Uh oh. Louisville is a freakin’ powerhouse; they might go over the listed total of 74 by themselves.

8) Miami Dolphins are 0-2, but they played good teams on the road, and both of those teams’ starting QBs were injured in the game. Miami could be an underrated team moving forward.

7) Dak Prescott’s salary for this season: $545,848; Sam Bradford’s WEEKLY salary: $411,765.

6) Seattle Seahawks had nine offensive lineman dressed Sunday; six of the nine weren’t Seahawks last year. Very unusual turnover for a good team.

5) San Francisco Giants are tied for last NL Wild Card spot, despite blowing 30 saves this year, and eight just in the first 19 days of September.

4) Baseball analysts are now saying the rise in use of maple bats are responsible for rising home run rates. Barry Bonds used a maple bat when he played, but was in the minority. More players are using them now.

3) In Marlins’ Park in Miami, there is a nightclub behind the left-field fence, and there is a bar on a walkway above that.

Monday night, Giancarlo Stanton hit a ball over the Budweiser sign that hangs over the bar that is above the nightclub. They said 466 feet; it is good that Stanton has come back from his leg injury– he isn’t playing on consecutive days yet, but he wasn’t expected back at all when got hurt.

2) Marlins-Nationals played 13 of their first 42 games against each other this year; then didn’t play again from May 22-September 18. Weird.

1– Unusual college basketball road trip: Louisiana-Lafayette is in southwest Louisiana, by the Gulf of Mexico. Ragin’ Cajuns have a basketball road trip that first goes to Minnesota, then to Montana State. There is no easy way to get from Bozeman, MT to Lafayette, LA. Dress warm, fellas.

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……….

13) OK, it happened again twice Saturday night, both in very important spots in the game. Twice, guy scoring an easy TD dropped the ball, before he crossed the goal line. What is wrong with people?

Oklahoma player ran a kick back 95 yards for a TD after Ohio State had taken a 14-0 lead- he had to act like a cool guy and dropped the ball, only he dropped it before he crossed the goal line, as replays clearly showed.

Luckily for him, the replays were shown after the ensuing kickoff.

Last game of the night, Texas at Cal. Cal leads 50-43 with 1:30 left; Texas is out of timeouts. Cal runner breaks away for an easy TD, or he could just slide down and end the game, since Texas had no timeouts.

Not only does the runner not take a knee, he does the cool guy thing and drops the ball, before he crosses the goal line. Number 14 on Texas picks the ball up– Longhorns should have the ball with 1:20 or so left on their own 20, down 7, with a real chance to force overtime.

Somehow, the officials rule the ball wasn’t picked up in time to make it an official recovery, so Cal got the ball on the 1-yard line and the game ended after 2 or 3 snaps. When are players going to learn?

12) Baylor fired football coach Art Briles last spring because of all the off-field hijinx that had been going on under Briles’ watch in Waco; they brought in Jim Grobe as an interim coach, but Briles’ son Kendall is still the Bears’ offensive coordinator– that musn’t be awkward at all.

11) Random fact: Roger Maris’ 61st home run in 1961 was the only run scored that night in a 1-0 game.

10) George Washington fired basketball coach Mike Lonergan over the weekend, a few months after charges about him verbally abusing players surfaced. I read about this in June or July, but nothing happened until now; curious timing.

If they had fired Lonergan during the summer, players could’ve left; not sure why they would’ve, since many of them wanted him fired, but now that school has started it would be lot harder for a player to leave and not lose a year of eligibility besides the year he has to sit out after a transfer.

9) Duke’s non-conference basketball schedule: two games in NYC, two more at a casino in Connecticut, one in Greensboro, five home games and a game at (totally rebuilding) UNLV at T-Mobile Arena, not the Thomas & Mack Arena. Not one game on another team’s home court.

8) 2001 Atlanta Braves are only team to make the baseball playoffs with a losing record at home. If the Cardinals make it, they would probably be the second- they’re 33-41 at Busch Stadium this year.

7) Indianapolis Colts haven’t had a 100-yard rusher in a game since 2012.

6) Before they blew a 9th-inning lead Friday night, San Diego Padres had won 143 games in a row when they led after 8 innings. That’s two years in between blowing a game in the 9th inning.

5) One other Padre note: Last winter they fired their trainer, a guy who had been with the organization 18 years, the last 10 with the big league club. The new trainer was then told to take two sets of notes on players’ injuries, the second (less extensive) set to be sent to opposing teams.

Other teams (Red Sox, Marlins) aren’t happy that GM AJ Preller wasn’t penalized more heavily than he was (month without pay). Will be interesting to see if San Diego makes any trades at all this winter.

What San Diego should do is fire Preller and bring the old trainer back.

4) Eli Manning hasn’t missed a start since he took over the Giants’ #1 QB job; during that time, 174 other QBs have made their NFL debuts.

3) Last year, 372 high school players from Texas got I-A football scholarships; Florida kids got 364, kids from California 286.

2) Ole Miss led Florida State 28-6 in 2nd quarter, lost 45-34.

Rebels led Alabama 24-3 Saturday, lost 48-43.

Two people that should be nervous about their job security: the defensive coordinator and the conditioning coach. People like to look for scapegoats if a season falls apart.

1– John Wall plays for the NBA’s Washington Wizards; I’m assuming he wants people to come out and root for the Wizards, but Sunday he showed up at the Redskins-Cowboys game wearing a blue Dallas jersey- growing up in Raleigh, apparently Mr Wall is a Cowboys fan.

Nothing like alienating the home folks.

Monday’s List of 14: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Titans 16, Lions 15–Detroit blew 21-3 lead last week, rallied to win; they led this game 15-3 after 3rd quarter. Tennessee has allowed one offensive TD in two games. 79-year old Dick LeBeau is the Titans’ DC; he played his whole 14-year career in the Motor City.

Texans 19, Chiefs 12–KC has been outscored 34-6 in first half of its two games; they didn’t score a TD here. There have been 67 offensive TDs scored this week with 66 FGs tried, compared to 77 TDs LW, with 65 FGs tried. Favorites are 7-8 vs spread so far this week.

Patriots 31, Dolphins 24– Jimmy Garoppolo posted a 21-0 lead before he hurt his shoulder and left for the day. Rookie Jacoby Brissett took over; Miami stormed back but couldn’t catch up, so now heading into a Week 3 Thursday game with Houston, the Patriots have a rookie QB and no one to back him up- by time you read this, they’ll probably have signed someone.

Garoppolo’s stint as the #1 QB may be over, unless he can play in Week 4; Brady returns October 9 in Cleveland.

Ravens 25, Browns 20– Cleveland took a 20-0 lead with its third TD of the day with 4:34 left in first quarter; Luke McCown looked like Frank Ryan or Brian Sipe, but Ravens blocked the PAT, ran it back for two points, and the Browns never scored again.

Gut-punch loss for young Browns, who will get a big boost in Week 5 when their best WR (Josh Gordon) returns from a suspension. Ravens were 10-16 on 3rd down in this game.

Steelers 24, Bengals 16– Rained during this game; Bengals threw for 366 yards, ran for only 46, making their 2-game totals 690 passing yards, 103 on the ground– not nearly balanced enough. Of course, Cincy hasn’t played a home game yet either.

Cowboys 27, Redskins 23– Cousins threw an end zone pick with Redskins up 23-20 with 10:35 left, then rookie QB Prescott led Dallas to the winning TD, driving 80 yards in 11 plays (5:50). Cowboys are now 9-4 vs spread in their last 13 NFC East road games. When you start the season with two home games and are 0-2, no bueno.

Giants 16, Saints 13– Last year Denver won two games without scoring an offensive TD, the only two NFL games to end that way all year. So far this year, there have been three– Minnesota LW and Giants/Rams this week.

Last year, Saints beat Giants 52-49 in Superdome; this game had one TD on offense, and Giants scored a TD on blocked FG which obviously was a huge factor in the game. New York won with a -3 turnover ratio, and that is pretty rare in the NFL.

Panthers 46, 49ers 27– Weird game; 7 turnovers, 7 TDs, 6 FGs tried. Total yardage was 529-302 Carolina. Over is 8-7 so far this week; of the 67 TDs this week, 19 came on plays of 20+ yards (28.4%), compared to 17 of 77 last week (22.1%).

Cardinals 40, Buccaneers 7– Awful game for Tampa Bay; they turned ball over five times, averaged 4.0 yards/pass attempt- they have to be happy to be 1-1 going into their home opener next week. Arizona has long trip to Buffalo next week (better September than December) in its road opener.

Rams 9, Seahawks 3– Russell Wilson is playing thru a high ankle sprain; he cannot run well and until he can, Seattle’s offense is in trouble- they scored one TD in their first two games.

As for the Rams, typical Jeff Fisher; beat the good team (Seattle), lose to the cruddy 49ers. LA has not scored a TD yet, though the offense had nice drives in this game which flipped field position and took pressure off the defense, which was excellent here.

Winning is better than losing, especially when 91,000 people showed up for the home opener. But rookie QB Jared Goff will play soon and rookie WRs Spruce and Cooper have to get into the lineup too.

It was a happier day at Armadillo World Headquarters.

Broncos 34, Colts 20– Denver scored two defensive TDs, held Colts to 253 yards (Andrew Luck was only 21-40 passing). Indy is 0-2, allowing 73 points in two games.

Was reading something on the Interweb last week, debating Luck vs Cam Newton as a QB; put me down for Newton, no doubt about it.

Falcons 35, Raiders 28– Atlanta averaged 11.1 yards/pass attempt, losing despite a 9-yard edge in average field position. Oakland is only NFL team that shares its home field with a big league baseball team- they allowed 69 points in splitting their first two games.

Chargers 38, Jaguars 14– San Diego blew a 21-0 lead LW, had a 35-0 lead in this game; that’s impressive. Chargers drove 75 yards for a TD on their first drive of both games this season- that’s good coaching and a veteran QB who is one of the best.

Vikings 17, Packers 14– Not sure why Green Bay eschewed an easy FG when they were down 3, but they did and it cost them. Adrian Peterson hurt his leg (check status). Sam Bradford played really well, considering he’s been a Viking for 10 days or so.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

13) Louisville 63, Florida State 20– Friend of mine told me this summer, quote/unquote, “Louisville will win lot of games and score lot of points this year”. Hanging 62 on Syracuse is one thing, but scoring 63 on the Seminoles is something different altogether. Very, very impressive.

Showtime’s weekly half-hour reality show on Florida State football should be very interesting this week.

12) North Dakota State 23, Iowa 21– Bison have now won six in a row against I-A opponents. Why do teams still play them? You’re better off playing a crummy MAC or Sun Belt team.

This was no fluke, by the way; total yardage was 363-231, N.D. State.

11) Alabama 48, Ole Miss 43– Lane Kiffin’s brother is an assistant coach at Ole Miss; what do you think they talk about at Christmas dinner?

10) Michigan State 36, Notre Dame 28– I never had a job in my life where the boss could just walk in and fire me, if he/she wanted to. Brian Kelly looked like he wanted to fire his defensive coordinator late in this game, and if he wants to, he can.

9) Nebraska 35, Oregon 32– Ducks went for two after all five TDs and only converted one of them. Not sure why they’ve poached a I-AA QB the last two years. Also not sure it helps a kid get to the NFL faster; after all, where is Vernon Adams these days? (Montreal in CFL) I know Carson Wentz played I-AA as a senior and he is in the NFL now.

8) South Carolina 20, East Carolina 15– ECU’s Tay Jones caught 22 passes for 190 yards; somehow, the Pirates didn’t score a TD until 2:27 was left to play. Total yardage was 519-312 ECU, but they turned it over 4 times (-4).

7) Ohio State 45, Oklahoma 24– This game wasn’t even this close. DBs at Oklahoma are not good. A kid who had five career catches coming into this game scored four TDs for the Buckeyes.

Oklahoma took the opening kickoff, drove down the field but missed a 27-yard FG. That was the high point of their night- they’re 1-2 and play their next two games against TCU and Texas.

6) I’m posting this before the Texas-Cal game is over (Cal leads 35-33 as I type this sentence). Longhorns freshman QB Shane Buechele wears #7; his father’s roommate in his college days at Stanford? John Elway.

5) Michigan 45, Colorado 28– Buffs led 21-7, then 28-24 before QB Sefo Liufau left the game with an injured foot. Too bad- if that injury is bad, it is going to ruin what could be a breakthrough season in Boulder for coach Mike MacIntyre, who is a very good coach (won at San Jose State).

4) Houston 40, Cincinnati 16– Misleading score from Thursday; game was 19-16 with 7:00 left. Cougars scored couple of defensive TDs to make the final score look like a rout, when it was anything but.

3) Arizona State 32, Tex-San Antonio 28– UTSA led 28-12 with 6:00 left in third quarter Friday, but ASU wore them down and escaped with a tough win on foreign soil. UTSA’s QB Dalton Sturm is named after Patrick Swayze’s character in the 1989 movie, Road House.

2) Stanford 27, USC 10– Trojans/Florida State lost by a combined 60 points this week. Trojans/Oklahoma/Notre Dame are a combined 3-6. USC goes to Utah this Friday, so for them, 1-3 is a distinct possibility.

1– Big 14 had a 9-2 week; Illinois got waxed by Western Michigan, Iowa lost to a I-AA team, while Maryland/Wisconsin escaped close calls as big favorites. But Nebraska-Ohio State-Michigan State had very big wins that will help the league’s standing come playoff time.

Saturday’s List of 13: Why is no one happy anymore?

13) Is it me, or is no one happy anymore?

I’m tired of hearing people complain, whether it be millionaire athletes, or media pundits complaining about the athletes, or Presidential candidates complaining about each other. It is tiring. See the good in things!!!!

And yes, I’m complaining about people complaining.

It is almost like it is a crime to admit you’re happy. I’m a 56-year old bald guy with a middle class retirement income, and I’m happier than hell and I don’t care if that offends you, because being happy is a good thing.

Is our world perfect? Hell no. Is it better than it used to be? Yes it is. Can it be even better if we tolerate and respect each other? Most definitely.

12) In case you were wondering, the Cleveland Browns’ new backup QB is USC rookie Cody Kessler, with 37-year old Josh McCown the new starter.

11) If you wonder why baseball teams coddle their pitchers, keep in mind that back “in the old days”, when men were men and threw complete games (sarcasm), Dodger pitchers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were both great, but Drysdale was done when he was 32, Koufax when he was 30. They wore themselves out.

Koufax threw 1,192 innings his last four years in the big leagues; that is 298 IP per year. He had 54 complete games his last two years. Drysdale threw 239+ innings 10 years in a row. That’s an awful lot of work.

Teams have so much money tied up in their stars today that they cannot afford to have them blow their arms out, because they’re going to get paid whether they’re hurt or not, so they get coddled so they’ll stay healthy.

10) Red Sox are 14-1 with Rich Porcello starting at Fenway Park this year; only loss was 1-0 to the Orioles Wednesday.

9) Speaking of the Red Sox, one of the morals of the AJ Preller suspension is this: Do not mess with Boston GM David Dombrowski– you try and screw him over on a trade and there will be consequences.

AJ Preller went to a fancy college; Dombrowski went to Western freakin’ Michigan, but in this case, the guy from the state school wins out. Ha!!!

8) And there is also this: San Diego traded Colin Rea to the Marlins earlier this summer. Rea came out of his first Miami start in the 4th inning with a bum elbow and was sent back to San Diego a few days later. How on God’s green earth did the Padres think they were going to get away with that?

7) I’m thinking that the next few years, baseball will schedule more doubleheaders to create more off days for players.

6) Buffalo Bills fired their offensive coordinator, the day after they lost a game 37-31, with touchdown plays of 84-71-18 yards. I’m obviously missing something here. You fire a coordinator after two games?

5) How does an NFL head coach not know that when he is winning by six points and scores a TD with 4:00 left, putting him up 12, he has to go for two points??? At that point, being up 13 is the same as being up 12, so the PAT is useless, but being up 14 is way better.

This is a guy making $3-4M a year to be a football coach and he doesn’t know basic game management strategy? Seriously?

4) New Mexico is playing football at Rutgers today; they’re getting a $900K guarantee from the Scarlet Knights, a surprisingly high figure.

3) I despise the taunting/celebration penalties in football; let the players have fun. Would the celebrations become excessive? Of course they would, but at some point, the players would police themselves, and things would get reigned in.

If football eliminated those penalties, I think they’d get a lot better treatment from the media, because the media would be more entertained during games, and when that happens the media complains a lot less.

2) I’m looking forward to the San Diego State-Gonzaga midnight game during the ESPN basketball marathon in mid-November. That should be a terrific game. Niagara-Hartford at 6:30am might be a chance for a nap.

1– Strange times in baseball; the Padres are getting nailed for espionage with medical information, a guy on the Cardinals got four years in jail for hacking the Astros’ computer system. Richard Nixon would be proud- he almost became baseball commissioner in the early 60’s.