This was a really good weekend. Gopher football, NFL season starts, Twins are still playing, and the golf tournaments still matter and aren't the weird World Series of Golf crap and other made for TV events. Other than college basketball season and specifically March Madness this might be my favorite time of the year. If only we could get some nice, crisp fall weather instead of this sweltering heat. Anyway, let's get on with it.
WHO WAS AWESOME
1. Michigan Football. It's nice to have a chance to write something positive about a Big Ten team, and Notre Dame is full of a bunch of queers, so it's great to see Michigan knock of the Irish 38-34 to break into the top 25. There wasn't a whole lot of defense in the game, and it would have been a lot of fun to watch if the stupid people at the stupid bar would have been able to figure out how to change their satellite to a local channel. Seriously, I thought all that local channels business was straightened out in like, 1999. I know that everyone I know with satellite has their local channels as part of their regular package, so there is no complicated switching of satellite feeds or anything. And they didn't even know how to do it. Yet they advertised drink specials during Vikings' games, which are on local television stations. I should have gone back during the Vikes game to see if they had that crap figured out yet. Arg. Oh, and your friend Micheal Floyd caught 7 balls for 131 yards and a score. It seems he's pretty good. Like the opposite of that stupid bar.
2. Adrian Peterson. It is just sick how good this guy is. Just another how hum day at the office, compiling 180 rushing yards and 3 scores. It's just so fun to watch him. He has the power to barrel right through people, the quickness to make them miss, and the speed to run away from them. Favre and Harvin both looked good yesterday too. Harvin is going to be a handful, running and catching. He has a world of talent (second only to Hakeem Nicks of the receivers in ths class). It's clear that Favre's lack of practice has had an effect on his chemistry with the wideouts, since a couple times he threw to an empty area because the receiver went somewhere else, but that can still happen even with a full practice schedule (see Brady Quinn's interception) and should get better with time. If Favre can contain himself and play just like that all year, there's no reason this isn't a Super Bowl team.
3. Drew Brees. Talk about having your way with someone, Brees violated the Lions yesterday, basically whatever he wanted whenever he wanted, finishing the game with 356 yards and 6, yes 6, touchdowns. One of those TDs went to Robert Meachem, who I told you was going to break out this year. Also Mike Bell had 28 carries for 143 yards (a 5.1 ypc average) while Reggie Bush rushed 7 times for just 14 yards. Seriously you guys, Reggie Bush is a terrible running back.
4. Brian Duensing. I am totally falling in love with this guy. Another start, and another gem, he pitched 7 shut-out innings on Sunday to help the Twins miraculously actually win a game. This runs his totals as a starter (5 games) to an ERA of with a WHIP of . Just incredible. He's the Francisco Liriano we thought we had but didn't but now do again because of Duensing. It's tough to find a gem in this lost season of perpetual disappointment. Seriously, how many Twins are you happy with this year? Mauer, Morales, Duensing, Nathan, Span, Kubel, and Mijares? Tough to put Morneau or Cuddyer in there despite their good numbers. Their dueling late season slumps haven't exactly left a nice impression. Anyway, Duensing is a stud, and is now 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP as a starter. A quick check of BABIP, K/BB, and GB% tell me this probably isn't a fluke. If the Sidler was still alive, I'd ask him to do some nerd analysis on this kid, because he looks like the real deal to me.
5. TCF Bank Stadium. The team won, and put out a very good defensive effort against Air Force, a team that runs an offense that can be hard to stop, but I was more impressed by the new stadium. There were a few issues, such as lines of 30 minutes + for concessions (and longer at halftime), souvenir stands running out of t-shirts, and both Dino's Gyros and Subway stations running out of food, but overall it was a fantastic experience. It was the first major sporting event I have ever seen in Minnesota out doors, and that's truly how sports should be. Our seats were in the first row of the upper deck, visitor's side, on the 35 yard line, so we had a great view but it looked like the seating was laid out perfectly, and you would have a great view no matter where you were sitting. I'd like to write more about it, but really you just have to experience it yourself. The best way I can sum it up is that it finally felt like watching a real college football game. If you can snag a ticket, I highly recommend it.
Of course, the real highlight of the night was listening to some 70-year old man say if he ever saw Joel Maturi he would punch him in the face. . It seems he's had season tickets for 56 years, and lost his spot on the 50 yard line and is now on the 15, as we learned on the bus ride from a local establishment to the game. He was not very happy about it.
1. Michgan State Football. I don't live in Michigan, but even I know that when you are Michigan or Michigan State, you don't lose to a directional school - yet that's what Sparty did on Saturday, falling 29-27 to the Chippewas of Central Michigan (aka Chris Kamen U). The Spartans certainly did everything they could to lose. CMU scored with just 32 seconds left in the game to bring the score to 27-26, then elected to go for the win and the 2 point conversion. They failed. Michigan State then botched the recovery of the onside kick, giving the Chippewas another chance. They quickly drove into position for a 47 yard game winning field goal - which was missed. But wait. Sparty was offsides. Given another chance, the CMU kicker drilled the 42 yarder for the upset and the embarrassment. Seriously, this conference is awful. There's no reason the Gophers can't finish in the top 4. Other than the fact that they aren't very good either.
2. Terrelle Pryor. Good god is this guy terrible. The numbers are awful (11-25 for 177 and a pick passing, 10 carries for 36 yards rushing), but they don't even tell the whole story. Ohio State had every chance to win that game and get the "can't beat the good teams" monkey off both their and the Big Ten Conference's back, but Pryor just couldn't make a play when they needed him to. He's not a very good passer, is a tentative runner, and is a deer in headlights against a good, fast defense. Luckily for him, there aren't many of those in the Big Ten so I expect he and the Buckeyes will have a good year once again, and then get destroyed in whatever bowl game they end up in. I also want to admit here that I have no idea why people use "in a minute" as slang to mean "a long time." Like as in, "I haven't seen you in a minute" would mean I haven't seen you in a long time. That makes no sense. A minute is actually a very short unit of time. I think it's the stupidest slang I've seen since saying "hella-" before everything. If you do this, stop.
3. Oklahoma State Football. Remember last week when everybody was all like, wow Oklahoma State what a huge win over Georgia they must be really good lets rank them fifth and put them into the conversation for National Champion contenders? Well they flushed all that right down the toilet by inexplicably losing to Houston. The Cowboys came out flat, falling behind 24-7 at halftime. As good teams tend to do, they came roaring back with three unanswered touchdowns to take a 28-24 lead. Then, as good teams usually don't do, they pissed it all right away, letting Houston score three times in the fourth quarter including an INT returned for a touchdown when OSU was trying to drive for a winning socre to seal the deal and the 45-35 Cougar win. So we don't have to worry about them winning a National Championship anymore. And Dez Bryant is still a superstud.
4. Cincinnati Bengals. Remember how I predicted the Bengals would be a playoff team this year? Nevermind. They couldn't even beat the shitty Broncos at home, and not even after taking the lead on a Cedric Benson TD run with just 38 seconds left in the game. Then, knowing full well that the Broncos were basically going to have to chuck the ball deep, they somehow managed to let Brandon Stokely catch a deflected pass and run 87 yards to win the game. Seriously I have no idea how somebody could let that happen, but then again, it's the Bengals. Really not a shock.
5. Jake Delhomme. Yuck. Wasn't this guy actually pretty good a few short years ago? And now he's an absolute trainwreck, as shown by yesterday's outing - possibly the worst game by a QB in the history of football. Jake went 7/17 for just 73 yards and threw four picks, and was so bad that not only did the Panthers bring in Luke McCown, they also brought in Matt Moore (who?). I really wish I would have watched the game, just to see what that kind of performance looks like. You can go ahead and scratch the Panthers off your Super Bowl contenders list - which I already told you to do. God I'm brilliant.