Sunday, January 18, 2015





The gang at SportsPickle.com keeps track of preseason predictions and has recalled three of the best (worst?) that are related to this NFL season. 1. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers would win the Super Bowl (ESPN’s Herman Edwards). 2. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler would be league MVP (NFL Network’s Brian Billick). 3. The Dallas Cowboys would finish 3-13 (USA Today’s Nate Davis). . . . Now that’s throwing mud against the wall and hoping something sticks. . . . “This isn’t whining,” says analyst John Garrett on a Vancouver Canucks telecast, and then he proceeds to do just that.. . . It’s enough to make a viewer turn against the Canucks. . . .

If you were watching Green Bay and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, you had to feel that the football gods would make the Packers pay for the two early field goals. Football is a physical game and when a team gets the opportunity to impose its will on the other side, especially early in the game, shouldn’t it be trying to stuff the ball into the end zone, especially when the line of scrimmage is the one? . . . And, yes, the NFL needs to rework its overtime rule. Each team should get at least one possession, because a game shouldn’t be decided at least in part by a coin flip. . . . Of course, this is the NFL where a catch isn’t always a catch. . . .

“It's minus-7 in Cooperstown,” Mark Whicker of the L.A Daily News reported on Tuesday night. “The Vaseline on Gaylord Perry's plaque froze.” . . . At the risk of repeating myself, how is it that so much unpenalized cross-checking has been allowed to creep back into hockey? . . . Here’s Richmond, B.C. blogger TC Chong, who claims to know a thing or two about shopping: “Target Canada went to throw in the towel, but when it went to the towel section, the shelves were empty.” . . .

“L.A. Police have recovered a duplicate statue of O.J. Simpson’s Heisman Trophy that was stolen from USC’s Heritage Hall 20 years ago,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “But O.J. says that won’t deter his quest to find the real trophy.” . . . Pro rassler Abdullah the Butcher turned 74 on Sunday. As Perry notes: “Just a guess here, but no one gets in his way when he goes to cut the cake.” . . . One more from Perry: “Scientists can gauge the slightest slowing of Earth’s rotation enough to know that we need to add an extra second in 2015, but what is and what isn’t a completed NFL pass still can’t pass the eyeball test?” . . .

Jay Cutler is a bodybuilder who is a four-time Mr. Olympia. Yes, he sometimes is given a tough time because of his name. “It’s been a little tough for me sometimes on Twitter,” he told DNAinfo.com, “especially on Mondays.” . . . If Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames is Johnny Hockey and Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns is Johnny Football, it must mean that John Morris is Johnny Curling. . . .

You will recall that Florida State, with Jameis Winston at quarterback, got pounded 39 points by Oregon in a national semifinal. After the game, Winston was quoted as saying the game “could have went either way.” Responded RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Sounds like Winston went the other way heading to math class.” . . . Might have missed the odd English class, too. . . . All six of the ‘experts’ on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown panel picked the Denver Broncos to eliminate the visiting Indianapolis Colts last weekend. After the game, Indy punter Pat McAfee tweeted: “Oh, OK . . . Wrong horse, fellas #Colts.” . . .

ICYMI, NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is involved in a messy court case in which he has claimed his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, is a CIA-trained assassin. As Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wrote: “Gentlemen, start your cuckoo clocks.” . . . The aforementioned Currie chimed in with: “A friend of mine said the same thing of his ex-wife, but only about her cooking.” . . . Here’s Currie, again: “N.Y. Jets RB Chris Johnson was arrested after he ran a stop sign and police found an open firearm in his car. Is that a run-and-shoot offence?” . . .

After Washington State hire Alex Grinch as its new defensive co-ordinator, Seattle Times desk editor Scott Hanson offered: “So I’m guessing he’ll make his players practise on Christmas.” . . . After ESPN’s Ray Lewis made the statement that the ‘Tuck Rule’ is the only reason football fans know who New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is, Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen pointed out: “The only reason we know who Ray Lewis is? Witness tampering and plea bargaining.” . . . How long until Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh arrive in Cleveland to bail out LeBron and the Cavaliers?

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)

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