Sunday, January 27, 2013

NFL '12 Dread News - Week 20

Oh brother, the one time I want my crystal ball to be wrong and what happens? Of course, it nails its prediction right on the head, correctly forecasting the Ravens and 49ers to meet in the Super Bowl. As often as CB has been wrong in the past, you'd think I'd be thrilled that it finally got something right. But for real, there was nothing thrilling about watching the Falcons blow a big lead for the second Sunday in a row. They survived the Seahawks the previous week despite blowing a 20-0 lead. But against the 49ers last Sunday, after having a 17-0 lead early vanish and become a 28-24 deficit late, the Falcons came up 10 yards short on their final chance to score, and the 49ers held on to capture their first NFC championship in 18 years.
It was not a good day last May when I watched the video of WR Julio Jones getting his dreads cut off. But with or without the dreads, it's always a good day seeing him in a Falcons uniform.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

College BB '13 - First Look

At around this time last year I did a College Basketball post featuring seven newcomers, all of whom had sick dreads and all of whom were good players with bright futures. To refresh your memory and for your convenience, you may click on the link below to view that post.

Well, all seven players still have bright futures; but as for the dreads - man, it has been almost non-stop disappointment so far this season. And, not surprisingly, at the root of the disappointment is our good old friend (not!) - reduced dreads.
  • Johnny O'Bryant and Anthony Hickey - Actually the problem here isn't reduced dreads, it's no dreads (notice that their names aren't in boldface type). Both O'Bryant and Hickey cut off their dreads at some point during the offseason. I was kind of expecting this too, so it wasn't too disappointing.
  • Terran Pettway - By rule Pettway can't play this season because he transferred (from Texas Tech to Nebraska) after last season. Apparently he hated Coach Gillespie so much (I don't know that for a fact) that he wanted to leave Texas Tech ASAP. But if he had waited, he could have stayed at Tech, becasuse Gillespie ended up resigning. Terran still has his dreads, and hopefully we'll them them on the court next season with his new teammate .......
  • ...... David Rivers - All was going well (top photo below) until the calendar turned to 2013, when Rivers got the bright idea that he should reduce his dreads (bottom photo below). And just like that I went from looking forward to Nebraska games to ignoring them. David, come on man, your dreads deserve better than this. (Fortunately after 6 games in a row with his dreads reduced, he was back to normal for the game against Illinois last night, so hopefully his experiment with reduced dreads is over. We'll see.)

  • Bryant Allen - Speaking of reduced dreads, meet the king of reduced dreads. Allen had his dreads reduced for about half of his games last season, so I knew that this year might be a problem. But I didn't expect it to be this bad. Instead of seeing Bryant on the floor with the longest dreads in Division 1, we see him with a different style of reduced dreads seemingly for every game. In the game against Dayton on Dec. 19 Allen gave us a glimpse at how long his dreads can be (photo below). But for most games he's had them reduced far more than that, and in no games have we seen them in their full glory. I hate to admit this, but I'm kind of glad to see ISU doing so poorly this season. And may their struggles continue until Bryant unleashes the dreads. 

  • Rod Hall and Marcus Thornton - Finally some good news: no reduced dreads here! I have the tiny complaint that Hall (right photo below) - who last year didn't band all of his dreads, keeping a few of them loose in the back - has them all banded together this year. But that's not a problem. Both he and Thornton (left photo below) are starting and doing well so far this season.

The total number of players with dreads on Division 1 rosters dropped by 25 after last season. 14 of those players were seniors (with only Jae Crowder currently in the NBA); 5 transferred to JC or to D-2 schools (including former Utah F Dijon Farr); 3 are ex-dreads (O'Bryant, Hickey, and Missouri G Jabari Brown). And the other 3 (Rondale Livas, Martez Harris, and Terry Tidwell) - their whereabouts are unknown.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

NFL '12 Dread News - Week 19

You heard it here first (in my report three weeks ago): when Torrey Smith scores a TD, the Ravens win. So when Smith burned Hall-of-Fame-bound CB Champ Bailey deep for a 59-yard TD catch (photo below) to tie last weekend's game at Denver at 7 in the 1st quarter, it was already game over right then and there. No need for all of that drama that followed later in the game; the Ravens already had it in the bag. Right??
All kidding aside, what a disastrous and heartbreaking defeat that was for the Broncos and their fans. Wow. I mean, giving up a 70-yard TD to tie the game with 31 seconds left? And not just any game, a playoff game. Are you kidding me? You don't deserve to win when you do something like that, and fittingly the Broncos didn't, as they fell 38-35 when the Ravens kicked a FG early in the 2nd overtime period.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

NFL '12 Dread News - Week 18

A couple of running backs made the postseason dread stars list as the playoffs got underway with 4 games in the Wild Card round. One of them - Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch - we've all heard of. He was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team after having the best season of his career. The other? Well, prior to last Saturday night you might not have heard of him before. He's just happy to have a job in the NFL .....

..... Of course, if you are a longtime reader of this blog, you have heard of DuJuan Harris before. His name came up several times during his solid college career at Troy (including winning my first ever player of the week award in Week 1 of the 2008 season). And it came up again during my Week 14 NFL report last season when he was a rookie with the Jacksonville Jaguars. This season the Jaguars' new coaching staff (you know, the one that just got fired after leading the team to their worst season ever) decided they had no use for Harris. He was cut near the end of training camp. And after the Steelers then took a quick look at him and said, "No, thanks," Harris found himself unemployed.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

NFL '12 Dread News - Week 17

Instead of my usual weekly gavel-to-gavel viewing of the Falcons' and Chiefs' games, I gave my remotes a workout this week, constantly switching from one game to another. The result: I filled up almost 7 pieces of paper with notes from what I saw. The bulk of this week's report lists some of the highlights. Just a couple of things before we get started. I didn't watch as much of the Ravens-Bengals game as I had planned because BenJarvus Green-Ellis was injured and did not play at all, and because Torrey Smith didn't play much (most of the Ravens' starters sat out most of the game to avoid injury). And there won't be many notes from the 2nd half of the Chiefs-Broncos game - because I just couldn't take anymore; it actually hurt to watch it). Anyway, here's NFL Week 17 through the eyes of the house of dread, minute-by-minute (items in parenthesis are additional info and did not necessarily happen at the time listed).


12:03 PM CT - Jacquizz Rodgers returns the opening kickoff 12 yards for Falcons against Tampa Bay

12:03 - Joique Bell does better for Lions, returning opening kickoff 30 yards to the 33-yard line against Bears

12:04 - On 2nd play from scrimmage, Bengals S Reggie Nelson tackles Ravens FB Vonta Leach after a 2-yard reception; Leach leaves the game injured

12:07 - Chris Johnson scores a 2-yard TD run for Titans against Jaguars then does a different celebration than his usual one

12:13 - Torrey Smith loses 4 on a reverse on 1st down (it would be the only time he touched the ball all game)

12:17 - Falcons CB Dunta Robinson injures himself trying to tackle RB Doug Martin then quickly takes off his helmet, revealing those super long dreads of his

12:20 - Now Falcons' other starting CB is down, as Asante Samuel aggravates a shoulder injury while making the tackle on 5-yard reception by WR Mike Williams

12:21 - Browns WR Travis Benjamin is wide open on an out route on 2nd and 7 for a 12-yard catch to the Steelers' 21-yard line

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I usually change the channel whenever a commercial comes on. But no matter how hard I try, it's impossible to avoid them all. Actually though, I do like the AT&T commercial that ends with Oklahoma Coach Stoops saying "Hello" to a high school player he presumably is meeting for the first time - a player that came to his attention only after someone used a phone to capture video of that player making a spectacular play and then letting the magic of the AT&T network (and nobody else's) spread the viewing of that video like wildfire - so quickly that it allows Stoops to come and meet the player in person by the time his game is over.

Well, I was thinking of that commercial - and of videos spreading rapidly (going viral is what it is called, I believe) - after a special play during the bowl bonanza on New Year's Day. If you were watching the games, you already know which play I'm talking about (and if you haven't seen it yet, you either were in a cave all day or that was one whale of a hangover) ....... It was the 4th quarter in the Outback Bowl, and South Carolina, trailing Michigan by 1, had just stopped Michigan a couple of inches short on a fake punt on 4th down - only to have the referee signal 1st down Michigan (huh?). Since the measurement was right in front of the South Carolina sideline, the ref's call left Coach Spurrier and several players furious (I don't know, maybe it was the ref who had that hangover). Not to worry though, because Jadeveon Clowney said "I got this." 
It should never be in your game plan to leave Clowney (celebrating with fans after the game in photo above), the All-America sophomore DE, unblocked on any play.