NFL Season begins

Today the professional football season begins with New England facing off against Kansas City. Miami and Tampa Bay will have a bye week because of Irma heading towards Florida.

So New England will most likely go on and make the playoffs based on the previous several seasons as they try to win their ninth straight AFC East title.In the AFC North it will most likely end up between Pittsburgh, Baltimore or Cincinnati. The AFC South will be Houston with a slim chance for Indy. The AFC West is the biggest toss up for me right now It won’t be the new LA team for sure but Oakland, Kansas City and Denver might also be in the mix. So that’s 9 playoff teams for the AFC

NFC East will be won by some other team this year as no team has repeated as winner since 2004 perhaps the NY Giants will rise to the top this year, but it could be anyone but it should be anyone but Dallas. NFC North it seems like Green Bay is the safe choice but Minnesota and Detroit could have big seasons. NFC South has been the strongest division in the NFC producing the past two NFC Champions but both failed to win the Big Game will it be Atlanta or Carolina again or could Tampa Bay and New Orleans come up big. NFC West has been the Seattle show for the past couple of years but Arizona could have a shot as well.  So that would make 12 NFC teams. I’m good at this picking thing.

As for the professional prognosticators have these as the winners  AFC East: Patriots; AFC North: Pittsburgh; AFC South: Tennessee; AFC West: Oakland; NFC East: NY Giants; NFC North: Green Bay; NFC South: Atlanta; and in the NFC West: Seattle. For the Wild Cards it looks like Cincinnati and Kansas City in the AFC while in the NFC they have Dallas and four possible 9 win teams (Washington, Philly, Carolina and Tampa) that could claim the other spot. So they have the right number for the AFC but nine teams from the NFC.

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NFL Season begins

It is that time of the year again the National Football League begins a new season today with a rematch of last season’s Superbowl the Denver Broncos play the Carolina Panthers. This year we have a team in LA for the first time since 1994 as the Rams have moved back to Los Angeles. Over the post season we’ve had some big retirements as Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch and Calvin Johnson all hung up their pads. Tom Brady won’t be playing for the first four weeks of the season and it seems likely that this might be Brady’s last season as well.

On to the predictions:

AFC East: Patriots and Jets will still contend and the Bills and Dolphins will both try to make up ground. Although not sure what to think about Miami with a new head coach.

AFC North: As usual this will be a three team race between Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati. Cleveland with RGIII might be better but it is a very young team.

AFC South: Looks like it will be the Texans or Colts who will win the division with the Jaguars and Titans lagging behind.

AFC West: Here it is a big difficult to predict anything with the Broncos with a new QB and no one has seen much from him against actual competition. So the Chiefs might win the division and who knows what else will happen.

NFC West: With the Rams moved back to LA this division make sense again, but the move isn’t going to help the Rams win anymore neither did drafting a QB at number one. Look for Arizona and maybe Seattle to actually do something not sure what to make of Chip Kelly being hired by the 49ers.

NFC South: Carolina seems like the team to beat and the Saints look likely to rebound. It’s the last season for Atlanta in the Georgia Dome perhaps they will do better because of this and Tampa Bay still exists.

NFC North: Green Bay and Chicago look like the favorites to do anything as the Vikings have a fresh QB just joining the team as Bridgewater tore his ACL in the final preseason game. Perhaps the Lions will do something but it seems unlikely as they’ve lost their best wideout.

NFC East: This division has been the hardest to predict since no team has won back to back division titles since 2004. This season it seems even harder since there are new head coaches in New York and Philly, so either team could have a good season because of this. Washington seems to be able to compete for a division title. It looks like the Cowboys season is all but lost as Romo went out in the preseason with a back problem and is likely out for 6 -10 weeks.

Great Native American name debate part 10

You remember the details the Washington Redskins have what some people consider an offensive name and people want it changed. Lots of people are up in arms South Park even did an episode about it and the trademark lawsuit back in 2014. It looks like the Trademark suit will be going to the Supreme Court sometime in the future. While that is still up in the air The Washington Post has released a poll it took of 504 Native Americans that indicates that 9 out of 10 are not offended by the name.  Sure critics are saying that this was a biased poll since only 504 individuals were contacted and the total population of Native Americans is around 5.4 million, and that it isn’t indicative of how all Native Americans think about it. However even if the name does get changed there are still other teams out there that are called the Indians, Warriors, Chiefs, etc. that should be considered just as offensive with the whole “We are not Mascots” stance.  Nor will this do anything to get rid of the Tomahawk chop or fix any other problems facing the Native American population. When the Supreme Court decides I think that might finally be the end of the debate. If Dan Snyder has to change the team name or not this single victory isn’t going to do much for anyone living in the United States.

News Roundup

Space: There is some huge news out in the Universe as astronomers are saying that there is a new 9th Planet in the Solar System. This is pretty cool the Planet is past the Kuiper belt and is said to be a Neptune sized somewhere between 600 and 1200 Astronomical Units away from the Sun. The presence of the planet is suggested by the tilted and elliptical orbits of like Sedna and other Trans-Neptunian objects. While Scientists aren’t sure if a planet actually exists it seems likely something is there and it’s not just a star, They are currently have telescopes trained to the sky to see if they can catch a glimpse of this far out there planet, hopefully they can and we can have a crazy complicated  Solar System.

Football: I found this article about Vince Lombardi coaching the Washington Redskins. Not many people remember or even know that Lombardi icon of football coached in Washington. It’s a cool read as it talks about the season and how Lombardi tried to make the most out of this losing outfit. in his single season with the Redskins they posted their first winning season since 1955.  It changed the culture of the Redskins and to some effect I would say that Lombardi made the team better in the 72 they made it to the Super Bowl and a decade later they would go out and win their first title since 1942.

Student Debt: Student are applying en masse to get student loan debt forgiven saying that colleges had defrauded them. While I agree that College is a expensive undertaking and there is no real way for colleges to line up a job that make a certain salary. The reason that individuals are claiming they have been defrauded is that the college recruiter told them that job opportunities were for them as soon as they got out of school.  These seems like weak claims and sure job exist but they are just not what the students expected they would have some fancy job after graduating. This says a lot about the education system in America and the fact that for some it seem that College has become basically high school and you need college to get a decent job. So you have so many more people going out and racking up debt for going to Graduate School to get a Masters in whatever. Perhaps one day this will change.

NFL playoffs: Wild Card Weekend

The regular season is now officially over and boy was it an exciting finish it is time for Playoffs here are some predictions for the Wild Card games next weekend.

AFC: We have Peyton Manning and the Broncos leading the way with Tom Brady’s Patriots as the two seed. This is followed by the Bengals who won the AFC North and Houston who took the South  mostly due to the absence of Andrew Luck in Indy. As for wild cards we have Kansas City and Pittsburgh. This will be an Interesting Wild Card weekend since Pittsburgh will be facing their AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City will be traveling to Houston to play the Texans. This both are rematches for games earlier this season The Steelers and Bengals split the two games with the home team losing.  The Texans and Chiefs met way back in week 1, with Kansas City winning, but both teams are so different since the first week. The AFC games are on Saturday and It seems like any team could win these Wild Card games. As for the next round with the Broncos and Patriots joining in there will still be a chance for a final installment of Manning Brady rivalry match up but who knows who the Broncos will have playing Quarterback and who can tell if the Patriots will be able to really do anything this post season as they sort of limped into the playoffs and this could only happen if they both made it to the Championship game.

It would be nice to see Marvin Lewis finally win a post season game so pulling to the Bengals to beat the Steelers for be ideal. As for the other game it would be interesting to see the Texans win so they could go up against their former coach Gary Kubiak, but even if they played the Patriots it still would be an interesting story since Bill O’Brien, the Texans coach was an assistant for the Patriots.

NFC: We have the Panthers who were almost perfect followed closely by the Cardinals who managed to win the West. They are followed by the Vikings who took the NFC North and Washington who won the East for the first time since 2012.  As for the wild cards we have Green Bay and Seattle. This leads to some unique match ups Green Bay will be traveling to face the Redskins and the Seahawks will go to visit the Vikings. This second game is a rematch from earlier in the season when Seattle came to Minnesota and dismantled the Vikings. Most people are saying that Seattle will likely get through and that they have a chance to go to a third Super Bowl in a row. The Packers haven’t been looking like the Packers lately, sacks have been a problem, but who know how it will end up Kirk Cousins and the Redskins have been hard to beat at home this season. As for the Divisional Round I don’t have a clue as to what will happen when the Panthers and Cardinals join in the mess.

I would be nice to see the Redskins make it past the Wild Card game, thankfully they will not be playing the Seahawks who they’ve lost to the past three times they made it in the postseason. However the Redskins and Seahawks  could face each other yet again in the Championship game, but that is wishful thinking.

News Roundup

Washington Redskins: If you’ve been alive the past decade or so and have heard about anything wrong with the team let’s just point to the owner. Daniel Snyder is a huge jerk.

Baltimore: My sister works around the the Inner Harbor so I thought that this was a cool story. Mr. Trash Wheel is a cool water wheel that Baltimore has in the Inner Harbor which has removed like 330 tons of garbage from the harbor and this is just in a year. Imagine what would happen if we had one or more of these on like the Chesapeake Bay or like a supersized one for the ocean. It’s unique and it would be great if other cities see the progress that just one Trash Wheel is making in the restoration of they ecosystem of the Harbor and bring the idea to their city and help clean up all the waterways around the world.

 

NFL Season begins

Tom Brady and company will be kicking off the actual season tonight and stuff like that.  The Patriots will begin cheating the NFL out of another championship while all the other teams will sit beside and know that it’s basically because the Commissioner Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots are close friends. If Jerry Jones were doing the things New England has been doing according to the reports from ESPN I think Jones would be without a football team.

This year we will see the first female coach (Arizona Cardinals) as well as the first female ref and that’s about the most notable change over last year. A unique feature this season will be that there will be “rematches” of some previous Super Bowls since it is the fiftieth Super Bowl, stylized at Super Bowl 50. The biggest question that many people are asking “Is this Peyton’s last season?” Manning has been in the NFL since 1998 and people have asked this question in the past as well, but speaking of Manning, Tom Brady is getting pretty up there as well. This season we may see the final installment of Brady/Manning.

Some predictions for the playoffs in the AFC New England, Denver, and The Colts are most likely to win their divisions with the AFC North the only hard one to predict who will win but just chalk one or at least two in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The NFC is a bit harder, Green Bay seems like a lock as does have the Seahawks try and get to the Super Bowl for a third consecutive time. The NFC South and East are a bit difficult to choose as anyone could win these two most notably the East hasn’t had a repeat champion in over a decade.

Questions: Will the Browns throw the season to be able to draft who ever comes from Ohio State? Who will be moving to LA the Rams, or Chargers/Raiders and if the Chargers/Raiders who will switch to the NFC? Will RGIII get on the field at all this season, and if he does will it be with Washington or someplace else? Can the NFL fix the way it handles suspensions so that they will stick, and set up some sort of tribunal or something other than the Commissioner having final say as to who gt suspended and for how long? Will New England eventually become that mediocre team that they were before 2000? Finally will the NFL let teams have alternate helmets again? Since I really liked the brown leather helmet that Washington had with it’s throwback uniform back in 2012, and it seems like college teams change up their helmets week after week and no one is complaining about that.

The great name debate part 9

As you might recall the American Football team in Washington the Redskins are in the midst of a huge legal battle about their name. I’ve touched on this subject in the past but news came yesterday that a Federal Judge ruled to cancel the Redskins’ trademark registration upholding the Trademark board’s ruling that the name is offensive to Native Americans in the Amanda Blackhorse et al. case but the Redskins are going to appeal this decision and  the trial will go on for ages. The Suzan Harjo’s case lasted from 1992-2005 and Blackhorse’s case has been on going since 2006 so we are bound for a couple more appeals of this case it might even go to the SCOTUS, but that would be years from now. However, it looks like everything is swinging in favor of the name being changed with the whole Supreme Court upholding the Rights of Texas to not make a Confederate license plate an option since it offends some people.

So until next time the Indians can still have Chief Wahoo and the Braves/Seminoles can do a tomahawk chop and not a single person is offended. I wonder whenever the Redskins finally change the name (when they move into a new stadium in the District) the Indians and Braves will make some changes as well, or if they will hear louder calls for change.

News Roundup

NFL: The National Football League has handed down a severe punishment to the New England Patriots for their role in the ball deflation incident. They are fined 1 million dollars and lose a first round pick next year and like a fourth round in 2017, and most significantly Tom Brady has been suspended for four games will this actually matter in the long run they are the first four games of the season and I’ve heard that Brady might appeal his suspension so it might be less. Now Harry Reid has spoken up about this and says that it is a shame that so much emphasis is on this and not the name of the Washington football team. While it is admirable that a politician is calling the team’s name offensive, that seems to be old hat right now as some 50 senators sent a letter to the NFL about this a year ago and nothing happened. I would really like it if Harry Reid actually cared about Native American and help push through whatever is need to actually federally recognized more tribes in the country. Since most of the tribes recognized are in the Western US while there are still some states with no federally recognized Indian tribes, notably in Virginia where I think the oldest recognition exist in the nation the Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes have reservations based in colonial-era treaties ratified by the Commonwealth in 1658. I am sure that the name Redskins, will change sometime in the next decade, as Dan Synder really wants the team back in DC and the DC council/mayor want the team back as well but have expressed that if the team does return it should be with a new name.

Science: This is a cool story, scientist have found a new state of matter. Now this isn’t going to change the states of matter that you learn in school (solid,liquid, gas\plasma) but it is one of the more obscure ones like Bose–Einstein condensate, degenerate matter, supersolids and superfluids, or quark-gluon plasma. At this new state the Jahn-Teller effect happens and insulators can be turned into superconductors by just adding pressure. A whole bunch of work has to be done before anything really comes of this but it is pretty cool to think of what can come of this.

News Round Up

Sports: As per usual the off season is just starting  and the Washington Redskins have made a huge splash, and are once again looking to take home the off season banner once again. This is a brilliant development and the fans in Washington are sure to be thrilled with the upcoming announcement. The Redskins will have a GM, and one who is actually pretty good as well. Scot McColoughan it is said will be announced as the Redskins new GM. McColoughan was a pivotal figure in building the 49ers and Seahawks into what they are today, so will any luck he can do the same thing here in Washington, The Redskins have been without a good GM for a good long time, maybe all of Synder’s tenure as owner. This move signals hope for the future and there will be ever more good news coming soon as it has been reported that the Redskins are interviewing for new Defensive Coordinators.

Theatre: There was an interesting article up about High School Theater and Censorship. I found it to be an compelling read as I was involved in the drama program in high school and we did a wide variety of shows from the popular (Music Man and Our Town) to the lesser known (Once in a Lifetime and A Chorus Line), but time have changed. Sure when I did A Chorus Line, we toned it down a bit it wasn’t Tits and Ass but rather This and That, but the adult nature of the show was intact. My niece in now in high school and involved in the drama program as well and it seems at least with the musicals to have moved to a more younger appeal (Wizard of Oz, Once Upon a Mattress, Beauty and the Beast) it’s all cotton candy shows. There is hardly any deep though needed for these types of shows. Sure there could be some compelling musical done this year but it’s bound to be some other family friendly sugar coated look at the world. The article goes on about how censoring shows at the high school level is and perhaps always been done, but it seems to have gotten out of hand lately with the easy access to stories about censorship hitting the internet. They go on to wonder how we will be able to get new challenging works that will win Pulitzers.

Movies: The Ant-Man Trailer is out and I couldn’t tell you the first thing about Ant Man, but it look like it could be a good movie. I mean Marvel has made a bunch of decent movies lately and there haven’t been many stinkers, but who knows. This is the end of Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and there is bound to be some connection in the New Avengers movie. Which just so happens to have a new trailer coming out on Monday night during the National Championship Game between the Ducks and Buckeyes.