Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week VI

endimagesAs is their wont, Georgia’s Bulldogs were washed away by the Crimson Tide between the hedges.

I shoulda known better. The Nickmeister doesn’t oft drop two in a row. While Richt, a good coach, doesn’t seem capable of taking his team to the next level. So much for my hunch.

Sooooooooo, yeah, I missed that one last week. Buuuuuuuuuuut, Baylor, Clemson, the Cats and Cards all came through, for my second 4-1 week in a row. I now stand 16-9 for the season. Righteous.

Guess the decimation of Herricane Katina though hoops related affected both U of L, and it’s arch rival Kentucky,  whose BBN is swimming in schadenfreude. The Cardinals have the week off before heading to Tallahassee Saturday after this one. The Wildcats are resting after their survival test against Eastern Ky, before hosting beatable Auburn in Week VII.

Which means I have the opportunity to spread my wings, and observe a larger landscape of Planet Pigskin.

This week’s five winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week VI

U of L Hoopsters Scrimmage; Hookergate Pall Enshrouds

cardsJoe Btfsplk was in the Yum! yesterday during the Cardinals’ first Red/ White preseason scrimmage.

Old fans know of whom I speak. Joe was the character in Al Capp’s comic strip “L’il Abner,” who walked around with dark rain cloud over his head, bringing misery wherever he went.

I’ll get to the play on the court in a second. But, first, I need to address the herd of elephants that have overrun every nook and cranny and corner and crevice and crawlspace of the House of Cardinals.

First, I know nothing specifically about Hookergate, other than what I’ve learned from the televised press conferences Friday night, when the news broke of an upcoming book, alleging money was paid to provide whores for the Card hoopsters and recruits. I have not, and surely shall not, read the book. Life’s too short.

Eric Crawford has. If you want his astute as usual first take, read it here. But be sure to come back and read the rest of what I have to say about it, and yesterday’s scrimmage.

Here’s what I do observe. These are serious accusations. They aren’t going to go away quickly, or easily.

There was a pall over the usually joyous proceedings yesterday — the Btfsplk Effect. Continue reading U of L Hoopsters Scrimmage; Hookergate Pall Enshrouds

Louisville CardFile: North Carolina State

CardHelmetThe Cardinals entered the fourth quarter in rainy Raleigh up 20-13.

They then proceeded to do what teams starting to get good do in such situations.


Two drives told the tale.

Second one first. Josh Appleby had just landed a pooch punt on the Wolfpack 4 yard line, as gently as a mama loving on the first pup in her litter. State had 1:45 to go 95 yards, to hope to knot the game up, or win it on a last second two-point conversion.

Instead, thanks to Louisville’s stalwart D, which played huge all day, the home team gained nine yards in :32, and surrendered the ball and ball game to U of L.

The big play was, of course, LB James Burgess MONSTER HIT on State RB Matt Hayes.

When it needed it the most, State, with the game on the line, on fourth and one, got none and, toss off the headsets, done.

Which cherry on the sundae defensive series was preceded by my favorite U of L offensive drive of the season. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: North Carolina State

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week V

endimagesHad Butch Jones’ Tennessee Volunteers not blown a two touchdown fourth quarter lead for the second time this season — by a wafer thin wide right miss off the misaligned toe of kicker Aaron Medley at the final gun — the kid would have had his second perfecto of the now maturing season.

But it wasn’t to be. Rocky Top was silenced. Then again, Memphis State, UCLA, Kentucky and U of L all came through, for a 4-1 weekend, my second best performance thus far this year.

Which puts me 12 up, 8 down on the campaign. I’ll take 60%.

Games are getting seriouser and seriouser as conference play kicks in motion. But I’m battle tested and ready for the challenge.

So, without any of the proverbial further ado, here are this weekend’s Ws, days before the games shall even be contested. Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week V

MMQB: Orange is the Color of L

passimagesWide Right.

Tennessee, which just like rival Kentucky is looking for that signature W which will say “We’re back,” shall have to wait a bit longer.

Aaron Medley’s 55 yard FG attempt at the final gun was but a silicon wafer thin right of the goal post, but wide right nonetheless. Which miss secured the Volunteers 11th straight loss to Florida, not quite as onerous a streak as rival UK’s annual futility, but dispiriting anyway.

Which wouldn’t have been quite so hard to take . . . except the Vols led by 13 with under 5:00 to play.

As of the moment that UT L was in the books, there had been 191 college games played this season, during which a team held a 13 point 4Q lead. In 188 of those, the lead held. Of those three times the school ahead choked, Tennessee had done it twice. Saturday and previously at home to Oklahoma.

Meanwhile Burnt Orange like Orangey Orange found a new mode to snatch defeat from the maw of victory. Continue reading MMQB: Orange is the Color of L

Louisville CardFile: Samford

CardHelmetMr. Commissioner observed.

I’m talking about my dad, Arthur A. Kaplan, a major sports fan, someone who took every opportunity to encourage my participation despite my lack of athletic skills. That involvement evolved into his position as the first head of the Jewish Community Center Little League in the mid 50s.

He ruled with an iron hand, a veritable Kennesaw Mountain Kaplan. (Okay, I made that up, for the sake of effect, literary license. What did I really know, I was 12 years old, all I wanted to do was get on the field.)

But his stature was such, that my buddies who played in the league continued to call him Mr. Commissioner for the rest of his life. Which he mostly spent golfing.

Anyway, as I said, Mr. Commissioner observed. And shared such pronouncements.

I kept thinking of one of his favorites last night, while wünderkind Lamar Jackson was able, through sheer athleticism and instinct, to scramble his way out of trouble time and again when U of L’s rejiggered, but still mediocre OL gave way.

Against the slower, significantly less talented Bulldogs, LJ frolicked like the biggest kid on the sandlot does.

As Mr. Commissioner would opine, “You look fast when you run past trees.” Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Samford

Yogi’s Gone, So Too What He Represents

yogiindexWhere have you gone Yogi Berra/ A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Oh that it were true.

That we as a culture in this time of vitriol and vainglory would actually take a moment and consider the passing of a true superstar in the country’s national pastime of his era. Someone who excelled through hard work and talent yet remained self effacing. Someone who put his career aside to serve his country, was there at the Normandy Invasion in WWII.

I fear the lessons we can learn from the life of Lawrence Peter Berra will be fleeting, lost in a Kardashianian miasma of political diatribe, the whining of overpaid crybaby athletes, at a moment in time when glitz trumps grit.

That we will remember his indelible aphorisms, but gloss over his accomplishments and the American values he represents.

 * * * * *

It is the yin and yang of Yogi in that photo at the top, as iconic an image as exists in sports.

Yankee catcher Berra had just engineered the greatest game ever pitched in baseball, Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

After the final out, Yogi, consummate professional always, reacted with the joy of an adolescent, running toward the mound, jumping into the arms of his battery mate in celebration.

The visceral thrill of victory incarnate.

 * * * * *

His post season numbers alone are astounding.

He played on 10 World Champions. He’s in the World Series record book for most games played in the October Classic, most at bats, most hits and most doubles.

Multiple MVP awards, yada yada yada.

He’s easily in the argument as the greatest catcher ever.

He was a notorious bad ball hitter. He rarely struck out. One season, just a dozen times in 650 at bats.

 * * * * *

He also had a penchant for the quirky observation, succinctly stated.


That he might not have been the actual originator of many quotes attributed to him matters not.

As Yogi himself said, “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

So he was beloved. For his talent. For his unassuming Everyman personality. For his lack of guile. For his sense of honor, his embodiment of the values of the Common Man.

He was many things which we Americans should aspire to.

 * * * * *

At the lede, I coopted the well known Paul Simon lyrics about another Yankee icon.

All things considered, we should probably lionize Berra more than DiMaggio. He represents the America that seems lost, long gone. No Marilyn in his life, he was married to his beloved throughout. She took care of the family budget.

He was a smart man. But a simple man of humble beginnings. A proud man. But not prideful.

He stayed in the game after his playing days were over.

But stood up to George Steinbrenner, when the latter didn’t respect Yogi’s sense of dignity. Then forgave the brash Yankee owner, when a heartfelt apology came.

After the rapprochement, he returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time in over a decade, to be feted on a day in his honor.

His perfect game battery mate Don Larsen joined him.

Yankee David Cone hurled a perfect game that day.

— Seedy K


Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week IV

endimagesHow appropriate that it’s Week IV coming up.

Because during the commencement of last week’s games, which were a disaster, by the by, and we’ll get to that soon enough, I was hooked up to an IV, while undergoing a surgical procedure.

All’s OK here. Which is not what can be said for Roll Tide fans, who looked positively hara-kiri Saturday night, to the extent that even the usually joyous schadenfreude over an Auburn L in Death Valley was muted. Since War Damn Eagles weren’t doing so well either, Sweet Home Alabama turned into Suicide Home Alabama.

Southern Cal blew one to Stanford, which had looked awful in its opener in Evanston. The Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech were in need of an engineer after failing to fire in South Bend.

And we’re all hoping, if only for his own sake, that Bret Bielema down in Razorback Country would just keep his mouth shut from now on, unless he’s yelling, “Wooooooooo Pig Sooooooey!”

They’ve postponed b-ball obsession for another week along the Banks of the Wabash. TD Jesus is smiling. But the ACC looks like it’s going to have its face pressed against the outside of the candy store looking in, come Playoff time, while extolling its hoop excellence to any sports fan who might listen.

As for last weekend, prediction-wise, I, uh, failed to rally though there was some improvement from the week before. Which is a faint boast indeed. The locals let me down. Cards, Cats and Toppers fell when I thought they’d be swell. UCLA bested the Mormons and Northwestern tormented the Blue Devils. 2-3 for the weekend leaves me still just on the upside of .500 for the season at 8-7.

But matters are now beginning to come clear — perhaps — in the world of college pigskin, if not the QB situation along the banks of the Olentangy or on the Belknap campus.

This week’s primo selections: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week IV

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week III

endimagesThere was lots of improvement from Week I to Week II.

Put the Kentucky Wildcats near the top of that list. Listless in victory in their opener, such that fans left the stadium in droves to beat the gang to the parties, they were so high after their road W in Columbia, they could have flown back from South Carolina without their chartered jet.

The Michigan Harbaughs also found Week II more fun.

The flip side was Arkansas and Maryland and Oregon and, sigh, my Louisville Cardinals.

And, uh, me.

Having picked all five winners on my opening weekend slate, only Sparty, my preseason choice for #1, came through in Week II. After the 1-4 debacle, I stand 6-4 on the year. It’s still above .500, but the Nate Silver trending curve doesn’t look so good.

But I’ve purged the negativitude, and feel comfortable I’m back on my game.

Thus I provide five winners for Week III: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week III

MMQB: Second Weekend Wackiness

passimagesI mean, come on, you can’t make these things up.

For the second week in a row, BYU’s Tanner “Book of Mormon” Mangum threw a last second TD for the Cougars, as they bested Boise State.

Kent State got a score from a coed. April Goss became just the second female to score in a college football game, kicking an extra point in her school’s 45-13 W over Delaware State.

Which doesn’t come close to the absurdity of the end of Florida’s 31-24 W over East Carolina. As ECU was driving with a chance to tie or go ahead, Pirates QB Blake Kemp fumbled at the Florida 25 yard line with :12 on the clock. Gator Alex McAlister recovered, picked it up and was headed to the endzone for a defensive tally.

But, at midfield, McAlister was caught and tackled by Jarrad Davis. Which was odd because Davis happens to also be a Florida Gator. Which seriously incomprehensible tactic he took, to “prevent a fumble.” Or, so he says.

 * * * * *

Matters were arguably more cockamamie in the high school ranks.

Under the Friday Night Lights up in the Keystone State, DuBois HS’s sophomore QB Matt Miller had a helluva night. He passed for 741 yards, and led his team to 90 points.

Which, one would suppose, would have been enough for the victory. Even were his school playing hoops. Except that foe Meadville scored 107. Led by running back Journey Brown, who ran for 722 yards, and reached the endzone for 10 TDs.

107-90. You can look it up.

After the game, RB Brown was quoted as saying, “I’m tired.”

Closer to home, my alma mammy, the ever hapless J.M. Atherton High School Rebels, spanked Fort Knox, 62-0. Which came just a week after the normally punchless Dundee Roaders scored 40 in a beatdown of Shawnee.

Could it get any curioser?

 * * * * *

Well, yes.

Perhaps the strangest circumstance of all, at least in Kentuckiana, is this set of numbers.

Kentucky: 2 wins, 0 losses.

Western Kentucky: 2 wins, 0 losses.

Indiana: 2 wins, 0 losses. Though one of the teams’ perfect record will end Saturday. They meet in Bloomington.

Louisville: 0 wins, 2 losses.

What kind of odds could you have gotten on that parlay? Continue reading MMQB: Second Weekend Wackiness