A few notes after a trip to Buffalo, New York, where the sunny sky matched the disposition of Bills fans even before their team humiliated the Chiefs.
» Interesting remark from Chris Johnson after Sunday’s game in San Diego: “The run game ain’t working. People need to step up and do their job.” Yes, Chris, they do.
» On the off-chance you missed Episode 91 of the Dave Dameshek Football Program , I enacted golf’s mulligan rule for me and my fellow prognosticators after the first week of games. Glad I did, ‘cause I switched my AFC West division choice from the KC Chiefs to the Denver Broncos.
» Then again, the Chargers might the best team in that division. Because you only get one mulligan, I’m stuck with my prediction the Titans will get a wildcard, but right now I’d favor some combo of the Bolts, Bengals and Steelers to take ‘em.
» One thing’s for sure: the Raiders are definitely not the best in the AFC West.
» So far, so good for Sean Payton & every other highly paid NFL head coach. The struggling 0-2 Saints are validating the premise that coaches do, in fact, have a little something to do with the results.
» Guaranteed Super Bowl XLVII Matchup of the Week: Houston Texans vs San Francisco 49ers. (But I’m sticking with my Texans/Packers preseason pick.)
» Apologies for patting myself on the back, but here’s my tweet on Sunday, nine minutes before the games kicked off.
Gold Star of David Pick of the Week: Rams win by 3.
— Dave Dameshek (@Dameshek) September 16, 2012
» You know what? It’s my blog page. Apology retracted!
» Mark Sanchez + Tim Tebow < (at least) 20 starting NFL QBs
» Lots of talk today about the Patriots’ offensive line, which Willie McGinest told me before the season would be the team’s Achilles heel. It’s starting to look like that broken nose Tom Brady got in Week One may be just the tip of the iceberg. On behalf of Messrs. Rodgers & Roethlisberger, two guys who’ve been able to thrive for several years without the benefit of dominant line, I’ve got two words for you, Tommy: ‘boo’ and ‘hoo’.
— Paul Allen K (@Paulallenk) September 17, 2012
» Let’s find out, Paul: the refs stunk Sunday. Especially in St Louis and in the two games played in the Keystone State.
» Next time the subject of ‘Best Running Back Ever’ comes up, see how long it takes before a Barry Sanders wonk points out how Barry put up his numbers without a passing game to keep the defense honest. (It won’t take long.) Well, Larry Fitzgerald supporters are hereby free – nay, encouraged – to initiate the “Outside of Kurt Warner, Fitzgerald has put up his numbers without a decent QB” argument. What a waste of a Hall of Fame career.
» Then again, the Cardinals are 2-0.
» Hey, Nick Saban – chill out, you’re just a football coach. It’s all right for it to be a little fun.
» Plenty of good things can – and are – being said about retired UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun. Plenty of bad things can – and are – being whispered about him, too. On one hand, beating two kinds of cancer and winning three national titles doesn’t necessarily make him a good human being. On the other hand, swearing at reporters and getting tagged by the NCAA for recruiting violations doesn’t make him an amoral criminal. He did a remarkable job building Big East patsy UConn into a perennial juggernaut. I wonder, though, if he could’ve done it without being such a jerk.
» I’m sure people will accuse me of misogyny for asking, but if Geno Auriemma is such a terrific coach, why didn’t he take over the men’s program at UConn? It really isn’t about men vs women, it’s about coaching at the higher level. I’m sure there’s not a successful arena football coach who wouldn’t rather be coaching in the NFL.
» It’s been a quarter century since the Soviet Union and Canada played the best-of-three 1987 Canada Cup finals. NHL fans coping with the second lockout in a decade are hereby encouraged to dig up all three transcendent games on YouTube ASA & P. (If you’re the type who likes to read the last page of the book first, here’s how the series ended.)
» By the way, are we sure NHL commissioner Gary Bettman likes hockey? Roger Goodell and his peers all get criticized – for better or worse, that’s just part of the gig. At least Goodell, Bud Selig, and David Stern seem to actually enjoy the sport for which they’re commissioning. (Is ‘commissioning’ a word?) I’ve not seen or heard any empirical evidence to that Bettman – Stern’s former right-hand man at the NBA – cares about his.
» This week’s in-flight movie review: ‘Men in Black 3’ – perfect as a time killer on a cross-country sojourn, but I can’t recommend spending money on it. However, tip of the hat to Josh Brolin for the fantastic Tommy Lee Jones impression. I’m giving it… 2.5 MINI-BAGS OF PEANUTS
» My travels across our football nation for the NFL Fan’s Ultimate Road Trip Presented by Cars.com is in full swing. (Be on the lookout for my full “report” on NFL.com later this week.) Know this, pigskin fans: Buffalo has set the standard very high. Droves of people wearing blue #12 jerseys with ‘Kelly’ on the back were out tailgating early in the morning, grilling up some high-grade wings, beef-on-weck, and all manner of meat links. Beer was flowing, music was blaring, good times were rolling. And that was on Saturday.
See ya Monday night, Seattle. Looking forward to seeing what the 12th Man’s got…