Thursday, November 17, 2011

To Russia, With Love

The fun part of having a site is checking the site stats periodicially. I can see if anybody's really reading my drivel, and if so, I clean it up a bit.
There's a way to break down by hits by country. Of like 300 hits over the last two weeks, a couple have come from Canada and Germany. And, over three dozen are coming from a mind-boggling outpost.

I have a following in Russia.

Well, they say you should play to your audience, so I ask you, what do you kids in Kiev and mommas in Moscow want to read about? What do you like? I'll assume soccer, because you are in Europe, and I imagine hockey's up there to, because your surfaces are icy five months out of the year. (I'd make a vodka comment here, but I never acquired the taste for it.) Shoot me a note from your neck of the woods, I'm curious to hear from you.

Other stuff on my mind: last night, ESPN's SportsCenter ran a poll: "Which 1-loss team deserves to play for the BCS title?", then ran off the usual suspects ... Alabama, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Stanford, Arkansas, Boise State.

Here's a translation of what they're REALLY saying: "We don't want Oklahoma State, or really even LSU, in the title game. We can't sell them. They aren't sexy."

If they win out, the powers that be can't do a damn thing about an LSU-Oklahoma State title matchup. That will be a great game anyway, a high-flying Big 12 offense against a swarming, spitting SEC defense. I'd watch, but I'm not 100 million people.

Oh, ESPN, BCS, Fox, all you people in charge of putting on this BCS party: you're not getting Alabama. They aren't even the best team in their division. I don't care if they may be the second-most talented team on paper in the country. If that ends up happening, you will have proved that the NCAA regular season is completely irrelevant, and while people in SEC towns will continue to fill the stadiums, people will stop watching on TV. Now I wish I was 100 million people.

Here's some football picks for this weekend:

UCF at East Carolina (-8): Knights trailed ranked Southern Miss by 7 last week, then scored on the last play of the game. George O'Leary eschewed tying it with a PAT and going to OT. He played it to win. The two-pointer failed and they lost by 1. It was the right call. I bring that up because I sense a similar game Saturday. Pirates by 2.

Virginia at FSU (-18): What an awful game with the Noles looking to the Gators next week. FSU by 10.

Nebraska at Michigan (-2.5): Every time I think Michigan is legit, they lose a game I expect them to win. Hooray for low expectations! Huskers by 3.

Miami (-1.5) at USF: Middle of the road ACC team vs. middle of the road Big East team. Easy pickins. 'Canes by 7.

Penn State at Ohio State (-5.5): The mess continues. Buckeyes by 6.

The paid professionals ...
Buffalo at Miami (-1): Like two cars whizzing past each other in opposite directions on the interstate ... Fins by 4.

Jacksonville at Cleveland (-1): Oh boy, we get to watch this schlockfest on TV! At least with two mostly running offenses, it won't last much longer than two hours. (With that said, expect overtime.) Browns by a field goal, and it could be 6-3 or 9-6.

Tampa at Green Bay (-13): Bucs lose by 4 TDs. At home. To the mildly talented Texans. This won't be fun, and also on TV. This is a good Sunday to clean the gutters. Packers by 16.

San Diego at Chicago (-3.5): I'll put the whammy on those Bears. I've picked against them the last two weeks, soooo ... Chi-town by 7.

Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants (-5): Eagles by 3, but follow me here. I know they're on the road. I know Mike Vick likely won't play, and if he does he won't be Mike Vick. I know the defense is a bi-polar hot mess. But the Giants aren't world-beaters either. Nor are the Cowboys. All three are splitting their series this year because of all the shear mediocrity. And, Eagles owns the New Meadowlands soul after last year. So there.

Thought for the day: Realized this morning that people don't drink coffee for the coffee. It's for the power of holding that stylish cup. I had a Dunkin Donuts coupon so I got some hot chocolate, then carried the cup through the grocery store. It almost made me want to start drinking coffee.


Wanna tell me how wrong I am? Be my guest, just form an orderly line, please.

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