Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Leftism Loving Confederacy

Remember when the Left embraced the Confederacy?  They loved Johnny Reb in music and movies.

Bread And Butter Lead To Week Three

The Patriots scrapped the gameplan used against the Chiefs and went back to their bread-and-butter offense and crushed the New Orleans Saints

Week Two saw an expected improvement in crispness of play outside of the Thursday Night affair between Houston and Cincinnati; there is also a subplot with the CFL banning padded full-contact practices, a change the NFL is monitoring but which won't be reciprocated.    With two weeks of the season, some trends are beginning to develop.    We look back at Week Two while making our picks for Week Three -


Rams over 49ers

The Rams' schedule turned out to be easier than some expected, though the Redskins looked like a good team again.   The Rams now fly to San Francisco with the Niners staring at 0-2.   They've shown some more fight than expected, notably at Seattle.

Patriots over Texans -New England diversified the offense by diversifying who got the touches, this after putting in an Edelman offense against the Chiefs.   The Patriots also dodged a bullet with injuries to Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, and newcomer Philip Dorsett, who caught three passes for 68 yards and thus showed he can flesh out a depleted receiving corps that didn't get a catch until 13:09 into the first quarter at New Orleans.    Injury to Donta Hightower appears to be such that if he misses any time at all it will be two games tops.    They get their first look at DeShaun Watson, who has thrown 47 passes with 27 completions for a measely five yards per completion (and a passer rating of 68.15) and whose primary attack so far is rushing the ball (seven rushes for 83 yards and a score).  The Texans defense is long hyped but got exposed by the Jaguars and the Patriots are not running the Edelman offense anymore, which makes the odds higher for the struggling Texans.  J.J. Watt in particular always seems to go into Witness Protection when he plays the Patriots.

The Raiders are the Raiders again, and the NY Jets are.......well, in full Suck For Sam - that's Darnold - mode, right down to a punt bouncing off Kalif Raymond's helmet and becoming a Raiders scoring drive just past the two-minute warning

Dolphins over NY Jets -   22nd in points while gagging up four turnovers, dead last in points allowed - Suck For Sam is the operating phrase of the 2017 NY Jets, with about the only positive being Jermaine Kearse.   The Dolphins meanwhile come in after an escape job at the Chargers, their first win in their first game of the season

The Titans overcame a costly INT by Mariota to crush the Jaguars, who crashed back to earth after their eye-opening win over the Texans

Ravens over Jaguars at London -The NFL hits London for the first time this year and the Ravens come in at 2-0 while the Jaguars got a rude awakening in a 37-16 home embarrassment by the Titans.   While the Jags are averaging 22 points scored the Ravens are averaging that same number with ten points per game allowed, plus ten turnovers forced.   Joe Flacco hasn't put up monster numbers but he has three touchdowns to two INTs, slightly better than Blake Bortles and his seeming regression back to subpar quarterbacking status.

Buccaneers over Vikings - The Vikings have quarterback problems again with Sam Bradford forced to sit out the loss at Pittsburgh; if he can't go against the Bucs we're not sure the Vikings can generate enough for a win.   Their former NFC Central division mates are in the top-seven in points and points allowed, albeit having only played one game.   Forcing four turnovers (one Robert McClain's pick six) vs the Bears certainly does make a case for the Bucs defense while Jameis Winston played a solid game.

Eagles over NY Giants - The Eagles fell again to their former coach and didn't force a turnover after forcing four by the Redskins, but they get a Giants team that is 0-2, last in offense and whose star - Odell Beckham Jr. - is transmuting more into a marketing-oriented locker room cancer instead of a playmaker.   The irony is Eli Manning has completed some 75% of his passes so far vs. Carson Wentz' 60%, yet is playing so poorly his own head coach has publicly called him out - not a sign of a season that is developing in a positive manner.

Panthers over Saints - It's now obvious the Saints have no future with Sean Payton and perhaps not with Drew Brees; 0-2 advertises at best another 7-9 season as they take on the offensively-mediocre Panthers who with that are leading the league in fewest points allowed.   Cam Newton's career-long struggles with completion percentage continue at 59 and change and just two touchdowns.  Rookie Christian McCaffrey has shown spark but not much sustained production at an abysmal 2.7 yards per carry; he's done more damage catching the ball (nine catches for 72 yards).   Given the recent history of this series with back-to-back 41-38 games twice in the last three meetings we could see points scored here.

Colts over Browns -  This is a risky pick because the Colts have collapsed (they're in the bottom six in the league on both sides of the ball) to where 8-8 may be beyond their reach.   The Browns aren't in better shape though after DeShone Kizer went out with a migrane against the Ravens.   Right now we think Jacoby Brissett will start for the Colts; he constituted an improvement over Scott Tolzien and the Colts were competitive to the end against the Cardinals, but this one could get ugly.

The Falcons are now 2-0 while Aaron Rodgers fell to 1-1

Falcons over Lions -  The Falcons are showing no sign of a Superbowl collapse hangover, though they could have done somewhat better putting away their game against the perennially-overrated Packers.   This week they travel to Detroit, 2-0 after a comeback against the Cards and manhandling the Giants.   Look for the points to pile up here.

Trevor Siemian exploded the Broncos offense like we haven't seen it since Peyton Manning's 2013 season 

Broncos over Bills -  The Bills didn't get it done against an offensively-mediocre Panthers team, this week they face a Broncos team that is fourth in points scored after averaging 20th in points scored the previous two seasons.   Trevor Siemian didn't put up this kind of explosiveness before (four touchdowns, 68% completion, a 116 passer rating) and such a surge of offense spells trouble for opponents down the road, provided he sustains it - something he didn't quite do in his quasi-rookie season. 

Steelers over Bears -  How much longer will the Mike Glennon experiment continue?  At this rate we don't think he'll be starter by latter-October as the Steelers come in looking for their third-straight win.

Titans over Seahawks -   The Seahawks are fifth in defense but that is somewhat illusory after a loss to the mediocre Packers and the win over the struggling 49ers, plus the Seahawks have locker room issues and have had them since Richard Sherman played his way to getting traded only to see the Seahawks unable to finish that job; Michael Bennett's self-serving character assassination of Vegas cops further displays a poisonous Seahawks locker room culture, one not conducive to winning - and something they haven't done well on the road, having lost ten (with the 2016 tie at Arizona for good measure) of their last twenty road games.  They go to Tennessee fresh off the Titans' 37-16 pasting of the Jaguars, presently ninth in scoring though Marcus Mariota's completion percentage in two games  reached 60% against the Raiders but faded to 55 and change against the Jaguars with a pick. 

Packers over Bengals - At the Falcons Aaron Rodgers lost for the 42nd time in 52 comeback attempts and the 32nd time in 36 games when he's trailed by at least two scores.  Should the Falcons finish with a winning record Rodgers will thus have lost in 36 comeback tries against a quality opponent; overall the Packers are 15th in points and 17th in points allowed.    This week Rodgers gets a Bengals team that has collapsed almost out of the box despite being seventh in fewest points allowed.

2015 breakdown of AJ McCarron

The idiotic story that some Bengals players are lobbying for the inept Colin Kaepernick instead of Dalton's backup AJ McCarron is mind-boggling, for McCarron when he had to play in 2015 showed genuine form and in particular was far better than Andy Dalton in the playoff game that season, erasing a 15-0 Steelers lead and putting the Bengals into the lead late.     

Chiefs over Chargers  -  USC outdrew the combined attendances of the Chargers and Rams in LA - this spells for all to see that the NFL made a complete mistake moving even one team to the worst sports market in the country. The Chiefs make their first trip to LA since November 10, 1991, a 27-20 win at Anaheim Stadium won on Derrick Thomas' fumble return score in the fourth.  The Chiefs come in looking like world-beaters despite being 25th in points allowed, while the Chargers are livid at back-to-back losses on missed FGAs by the rookie YoungHoe Koo, a mind-numbingly bad 25% field goal percentage.   The worst part for the Chargers is Philip Rivers has stormed to 73.6% completion (106.4 passer rating) and four touchdowns; he faces Alex Smith and his 77% completion rate (a whopping 134.1 passer rating)


Raiders over Redskins - The Skins are mediocre at 1-1 and 27th in points allowed; they are getting decent play out of Kirk Cousins. At the Rams three Redskins backs erupted for 222 yards and the Skins have averaged 5.2 yards per carry so far. The Raiders come in leading the league in points, tenth in points allowed, 126.5 passer rating for Derek Carr, and are themselves averaging 5.2 YPC on the ground but are getting hit at 4.8 YPC allowed, they've also lost three of their last five road games.  Even so the Raiders look like the Raiders again where the Redskins look like the dysfunctional mess they've been since the mid-1990s.

Cardinals over Cowboys  -   An ominous development was showcased in Dallas' loss to the Broncos - when Zeke Elliott was shut down the Cowboys offense fell apart - Dak Prescott threw 50 passes with 30 completions and two touchdowns but was picked off twice; targeted sixteen times Dez Bryant had just seven catches for 59 yards and a score.    That the Cowboys are this one-dimensional - and publicly attacking each other with the story Elliott quit on the game - shakes confidence in their season going forward as they go to a Cardinals team that pulled off an unexpected win at Indianapolis. 

We thus await Week Three

Monday, September 18, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Remembering Ted Christopher

The shocking death of New England racing legend Ted Christopher brings to mind that he exploded through New England racing as seemingly no one else has.   This 2007 SK 100-lapper at Stafford Speedway illustrates the controversy that surrounded Christopher to go with his enormous talent and success.

ESPN's Leftism Eats It Alive

The idiocy of leftism is being proven by the collapse of ESPN and especially the kid-glove treatment of the deranged Jemele Hill.

The Campus Assault Lie

Title IX by any measure is a failure by the standards set for it; it hasn't created equality, just favoritism.   The lie of the campus sexual-assault controversy is the exaggeration of its prevalence (by female fondler in chief Joe Biden in particular) and also the reality that college student society doesn't just prosecute phony courts, it has degraded intercourse to where parties and seeking of sex for its own sake instead of for some kind of genuine relationship are more important than actual learning and maturing.    The reality of life remains to stop trivializing sex and demand actual maturity from college students.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Who Pays With Single Payer

Single payer health care - aka cartelization by government - makes everyone pay for something that doesn't work. And the same thing happens with the idea of Medicare for everyone.

Hillary As Spoiled Child

Hillary Milhous Clinton insists nothing can be her fault in her attempt to explain away why she lost yet another election.

Susan Rice And Obama's Disinformation Campaign

First this repost from April 4:

It is now clear the Obama administration launched a disinformation campaign using government law enforcement to smear Donald Trump - and Susan Rice was in the thick of it and lied repeatedly about it. Of course the Lamestream Media wants to ignore it. Meanwhile Victor Hanson looks at Rice and how Obama and the Democrats are using Soviet Russian "influence" as a dodge to get people from looking at their own lawbreaking with this look at how Obama used it to blackmail Senators to support his Iran appeasement.

UPDATE September 14:  Now has come more evidence - via a private admission by Rice to House investigators - that Rice has done nothing but lie about the entire affair.

The Larger Fraud Of Diversity

Diversity always sounds benign, but in practice never works better than e pluribus unum

The Muslim "Cause" As Seen By Muslim "Refugees"

Muslim refugees are not fleeing war, and the way they speak some of them express the reality of demographic imperialism.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Planned Parenthood As Establishment Killers

Planned Parenthood is not thought of as a part of the "establishment." But it is - and its role in illegal fetal tissue trafficking has been covered up by Media.

Successful Deregulation Of Trucking

Trucking was deregulated in 1980 - that it was Jimmy Carter enacting such deregulation is ironic. Media, however, are making up claims that deregulation has harmed the industry. The facts - as always - do not bear out any case against deregulation.

The Continuing Fantasy For Palestinians

The State Department - historically not a repository of good sense - keeps getting the savages of "Palestine" wrong.

Excuse-Mongering For Quitting Victory

Obama Administration satraps are determined to cover their own ass about the Obama regime's refusal to go for defeating the international dictatorship in Syria as the full folly of Obama's gutlessness there (and everywhere else, including Afghanistan) becomes all the more graphic.

The Spendaholic Debt

The debt crisis has hung over the head of the US for decades and the vote-buying corruption behind it gets examined here.

Smithfield's Petty Squabble

Aric Almirola and Richard Petty's win in the 2014 Firecracker 400 was the highlight of a partnership that suddenly has been torn asunder

Rumor that Smithfield Foods, one of the most prominent sponsors in NASCAR and one of the primary sponsors of Richard Petty's #43 team, would shift over the Stewart-Haas Racing organization has been circulating for a number of weeks.    The rumor became fact September 12 with announcement of the changeover and concurrent announcement that Aric Almirola would leave Petty's team, the rumor being he will be shifted to the SHR #10, replacing Danica Patrick.

Where the story turns eye-popping comes when Richard Petty himself expressed disappointment in the decision, stating Smithfield had expressed interest in staying with the team and even gave a handshake agreement to stay - "I come from a time when did major deals with sponsors like STP on a handshake."  

Smithfield's CEO strangely took umbrage at that, claiming that Petty "is lying" and attacked the team's performance.   The claim that Petty is lying is beyond incendiary, for Petty is famous for giving his word and staying with his word even at his own expense, most famously in the ill-fated two-year period under the Curb Motorsports aegis.   There is also speculation that it was Smithfield leaking out claim to be leaving; the rumor by all accounts never emanated from Petty's shop.

The team's present performance has certainly not been a winning performance; it has, though, been encouraging and strikingly strong (the #43 has been among the cars passing more cars than anyone else), notably the Daytona 500 and Winston 500 before Aric Almirola's disastrous back injury at Kansas.   Indeed the biggest irony is Smithfield attacks "RPM's inability to deliver on the track and the organization's repeated failure to present a plan to address its lack of competitiveness" yet is switching to a racecar, the #10, with fewer top-tens (one) than Almirola this season.

And the claim of "inability to deliver on the track" is grossly simplistic given encouraging efforts not only in the team's three top-ten finishes so far but also in promising efforts at the Firecracker 400 and Kentucky, Indianapolis, and Michigan, plus a decent run at Richmond.    This for a team that has had to field four drivers in one car this season and is recovering from the disastrous effort at building its own chassis in 2016 - which incidentally constitutes an attempt to "address its lack of competitiveness."  

The journey of Petty's team has been an enterprise of survival.  Reestablishing winning legitimacy has dogged Petty since the ultimately failed Curb Motorsports period, yet it finally got there in 1996, winning three times in a four-season span as the sport's economics became increasingly absurd.  It faltered badly in 2000 and had to survive the sport's fratricide of 2008-09.   Petty is still standing as a team owner when teams like Andy Petree, Robert Yates, Ray Evernham (whose team disintegrated and wound up being absorbed into the Petty organization), DEI (likewise absorbed, into Chip Ganassi's team, the two teams once fielding six racecars and from the beginning of 2010 a truncated two-car version of its former lives), and even Petty's present equipment supplier Roush Racing have either disbanded or are a mere shell of themselves.  George Gillett's merger of Ray Evernham's former team into Petty's organization and the signing of AJ Allmendinger gave the team competitive spark, but Gillett would leave and the team nearly foundered at the end of 2010; it was Petty who kept it going, winning twice at Watkins Glen with Marcos Ambrose in the #9 team before Almirola's Daytona win in 2014.

Smithfield's decision comes after the Subway chain of sandwich shops abruptly quit Joe Gibbs Racing in an apparent snit that one of its drivers made an ad for the Dunkin Donuts breakfast and coffee chain in promotion of New Hampshire's coming race.    It also comes amid commentary by Regan Smith, who on FOX Sports' NASCAR news show proclaimed discomfort with Smithfield's argument because he competed in Petty's #43 in two races this year on a handshake deal.  

One also should keep in mind Target's decision to leave Ganassi Racing despite the recent surge of success of Kyle Larson, this after some striking inconsistency.   Sponsors looking for reasons to leave find them for reasons unrelated to performance.

It all adds up to a stunning and disconcerting development - the team working to get better in essence gets ambushed by its sponsor.    Petty, the ultimate participant in stock car racing even today commands a respect unmatched in racing outside of AJ Foyt, his equal in Indycars, and his #43 on the racetrack personifies racing now and forever.    Effort to win has never been an issue, and Smithfield's rhetoric was ugly and grossly improper.  

With this development, the word is Darrell Wallace will drive Petty's #43 in 2018; after his very encouraging four-race tryout in 2017 one can feel confident he will make the team stronger.  It is no criticism of Almirola; the scuttlebutt was the original Petty plan was to field a two-car team for Almirola and Wallace under the aegis of RCR (a rumored RCR alliance supposedly explains the team's decision to vacate its present shop).   One feels the #43 will continue to make effort to win, and the possibility of successs, despite the unfortunate criticism of Smithfield, remains real.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September 1989 Buffalo Bills vs Houston Oilers

NFL Classics - 1989 Buffalo Bills at Houston Oilers 

Week One Lacks Luster So Week Two Needs Promise

The NFL's first week of 2017 erupted into some eye-popping surprises and some statement performances, but in the end turned out to be a lackluster opener with the lack of crisp play common to the league's opening week due to the restriction in physicality in practices etc. imposed from 2011 onward.   In league history falling to 0-2 has a poor record as far as rebounds, so "must win" becomes an angle to watch.


over Texans -

This is a case of two teams that looked awful in their season opener.  The Bengals had beaten the Ravens seven of their previous ten meetings, so that makes this loss all the more disturbing for Cincy's season down the road.   Andy Dalton's performance tells the story - four INTs, just 170 yards passing, to go with a paltry 77 rushing yards (3.5 YPC).   He now hosts a Texans team whose defense is advertised as one of the best in the league but which got exposed as a fraud (especially Houston's run defense) by the Jaguars.   But of course it's quarterbacking that counts, and Bill O'Brien's inability to develop a quarterback is haunting his team yet again as Tom Savage played his way to the bench and then vaunted rookie Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown, got sacked four times, and threw an awful interception.    Savage may have to start again with Watson reportedly banged up, so Thursday Night Football's poor reputation for quality play may take another big hit this time around.

Patriots over Saints 

Of the surprises of Week One, none was bigger than New England's 42-27 embarrassment by the Kansas City Chiefs.   The most shocking development was Tom Brady periodically lapses into leaning on a binky instead of spreading the ball around; despite two weeks with which he was supposed to work more closely with his other receivers and for Josh McDaniels to work out a different game plan, the Patriots came out with essentially a Julian Edelman package for Danny Amendola and Brady leaned on a binky - Amendola's six catches for 100 yards were Edelman-esque until he was knocked out of the game.  After this Brady looked shockingly unprepared to throw to anyone else; the scoresheet says Brandin Cooks was targeted seven times but it never seemed like Brady looked his way that many times; Philip Dorsett, in Foxboro less than a week, was targeted once on an overthrow.   The Chiefs defense was the old clog-the-middle approach that teams have tried forever; the Falcons took away Edelman in the Superbowl and Brady got the hint and made the effort to engage others in the passing game. 

The Patriots are masters at making changes and Brady and Belichick undoubtedly let everyone else have it about lack of intensity, and at New Orleans one should expect a crisper, more prepared team, especially against a Saints team that's 39-42 (just one winning season) the last five seasons and which gave up 470 yards to the Vikings.   Drew Brees once again didn't deliver clutch performance, and was outscored by Brady 27-19 in comparing the two from Week One.   The controversy over Adrian Peterson's meltdown to Sean Payton ignores that he gained a paltry three yards per carry in his return to Minnesota. 

Browns over Ravens -  

The Ravens are suddenly boasting their defense is Superbowl caliber again, and Joe Flacco delivered enough offense to win the game.   The Ravens, though, weren't particularly effective on offense outside of Javorius Allen and Terrence West rushing for 151 yards, which certainly made a difference but also served to cloak weaknesses such as Danny Woodhead's injury (out up to six weeks per Pro Football Talk), Flacco's subpar passing (just 9 of 17 for 121 yards with a touchdown and a pick), and continued lack of contribution from Breshad Perriman.    The Browns come in with DeShone Kizer under center.   Though sacked seven times Kizer clawed the Browns into contention with 222 yards and a touchdown against the always-hated Steelers.    Cleveland looks for a rare victory over the Ravens, and right now the boasts about the Ravens defense need more substance behind them.

Bills over Panthers

Tyrod Tayler impressed new coach - and ex-Panther - Sean McDermott and everyone else as one of three backs rushing for 192 yards and added 224 passing yards and two scores.   He now faces a Panthers squad that beat up the woeful 49ers, putting up 116 yards on the ground and 171 from Cam Newton.   The Bills come in with the division lead while the Panthers are tied with the Falcons for the NFC South.   The Panthers' collapse last year is still fresh in the memory - the win at San Francisco was only the seventh in Carolina's last eighteen games - so it would seem the Bills may have an edge in momentum at the moment.

Cardinals over Colts -

Jacoby Brissett at this writing is the presumptive starter for the Colts after Scott Tolzien gagged his way out of his starting job in getting obliterated by the Rams; the last time the Colts cycled through the NFC West (2013) the Rams and Cardinals laid waste to the Colts and the organization looks in shambles.    This is a blessing the Cardinals needed after gagging in Detroit and looking like just another 8-8 at best team with aging and increasingly ineffective Carson Palmer (three INTs at Detroit).   The Colts should make this game far more competitive than they attempted at Los Angeles. 

Jaguars over Titans -

This series has split the last eight seasons and the last time the road time won was the 2013 season split.   The game should be bitterly tight; the Jaguars managed just 125 yards in the air, may be without Allen Robinson at receiver, and committed ten penalties while the Titans in their loss to the Raiders had just five penalties and were not too bad in run defense (3.7 YPC allowed), plus Marcus Mariota is a higher caliber quarterback than Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson.   Overall, though, the biggest difference is the Jaguars appear far crisper and defensively they look a lot better than they've looked in years.     

Chiefs over Eagles -  

The Eagles showed competitive form in beating the Redskins but now face their former coach and his Chiefs team with momentum after their biggest win in years.    Losing Eric Berry for the season, though, may weaken the Chiefs defense, especially with Carson Wentz coming in after putting up over 300 yards in the air.   Alex Smith, though, can certainly counter this and one suspects Andy Reid still has a feel for the NFC East as it rotates through the AFC West.

Vikings over Steelers -

The Steelers beat the Browns again, but Ben Roethlisberger, though efficient, curiously looks less engaged than before; his talk about retirement still hangs over the Steelers and they host a Vikings team with an emotional win over the Saints under their belt and nearly 500 yards of offense generated.   Le'Veon Bell rushed for thirty-two yards on ten carries; he should be better as he gets more snaps, but overall the Steelers didn't look different from what they were last season.

Bears over Buccaneers -  

The Bears showed something in a bitter loss to the Falcons, falling short on four straight pass incompletions, with two ugly drops, in the hot zone at the end of the game.    They get a Bucs team that hasn't played thanks to the disaster that has been 2017's hurricane season and we saw how Houston didn't respond after that city withstood a huge hurricane.  

Dolphins over Chargers -

The Chargers are kicking themselves after the bitterest loss they've experienced in awhile.   The Dolphins beat the Chargers last season and Jay Cutler may not be a wise choice at quarterback but is good enough to attack a Chargers team that hasn't shown it can respond to losses like the one at Denver.

Raiders over NY Jets -

What you need to know - Josh McCown's passer rating against the Bills was 56.3, Todd Bowles punted instead of convert 4th and 8 with four minutes to go, and the result was not only a loss but sign the Jets have no fight.   The Raiders meanwhile are loaded for a title run, so this should be easy pickings.

Cowboys over Broncos   -

The Broncos win by escaping yet again, and being sixteenth in points allowed after one game is not a good sign against a Cowboys team that curiously is just seventeenth in scoring (though third in points allowed).   Trevor Siemian had a respectable night - 94.2 passer rating is getting a good job done - but the Broncos basically just frontran and when the Chargers finally started fighting back the Broncos didn't respond well, and the O-line did Siemian no favors on back-to-back sacks before the missed FGA that led to the mind-blower of a finish.   We saw last year the Broncos live by escaping and eventually die by it. 

Seahawks over 49ers

Two lackluster teams.   The Niners are in full rebuild mode while the Seahawks we thought were the most season-ready of everyone coming out of preseason; that has not been the case, on the contrary the Seahawks look in slow-motion collapse.   The curious aspect is Russell Wilson not delivering enough to make the Seahawks win more with the Seahawks just 25th in scoring.   The home record should help them here.

Rams over Redskins

The Rams we doubt are this good overall, but scoring 46 points in the NFL is pretty damned good, and hosting a Redskins outfit that looks to have regressed back into Deadskins mode should help the Rams, who forced three turnovers by the Colts and see a Skins offense that gagged up four against the Eagles. 

Falcons over Packers  -

The Packers produced a lackluster win over a bad road team in the Seahawks and now return to the sight of a two-game sweep by 77-53 in 2016.   The Packers are fifth in points allowed but the Falcons showed at the Bears that they can win low-scoring games, plus the Packers in the fourth quarter against the Seahawks once again didn't raise their game, a malady that has dogged Aaron Rodgers his whole career (noteworthy is the Falcons in the fourth against the Bears outscored the Packers against the Seahawks 10-3).   

Lions over NY Giants

The Lions have yet to beat quality foes but in the NY Giants they get a team that looks disorganized and poorly prepared.   Eli Manning threw a pick, the O-line is a mess, Brandon Marshall has already proven himself irrelevant, Odell Beckham Jr. isn't clutch even when healthy, and the Giants are thirteenth in points allowed while giving up 4.2 YPC on the ground and 6.6 YPP in the air.   The Lions, though, aren't that good on the ground (a paltry three YPC) while Matthew Stafford for now looks a lot better a quarterback than Eli, so the Lions we think will focus at first on throwing their way to a lead. 

And so we await Week Two.

Russia, Red China, And North Korea

Red China and its surrogate North Korea have become a genuine international threat, while focus on Vladimir Putin from Obama appeasement to Democratic obsession with nonexistent collusion has been a failure.

Trump Routing Progressivism

Progressives think they're winning against Trump. They're not. Related here is the sick saga of left-wing character assassin Rachel Maddow as she bolloxes up the history of Woodrow Wilson to try and attack Trump.

Israel Does The Right Thing

Israel attacked a chemical weapons base in Syria - another case of Israel doing the right thing for over fifty years now.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The Michael Bennett Disinformation Campaign

Seattle Seahawks defensive player Michael Bennett has made himself a major figure when he claimed, nearly two weeks after the fact, that he was grabbed by police and cuffed after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor MacGregor match in Las Vegas; Bennett claims he was targeted because he is black, that an officer threatened him by saying he's "blow your f----ng head off," and that he'd obeyed officer commands when a gunman threat suddenly erupted at the area where Bennett was leaving.

The Vegas police in response to Bennett's public accusation released video evidence of the incident showing Bennett disobeying officer commands, hiding and trying to flee - in manner that one could interpret as resisting arrest - and with the officer involved using kid-glove treatment on Bennett, being strikingly careful at applying cuffs and nowhere using any force on Bennett.   Nowhere does this heavily recorded incident support any of Bennett's claims, especially with regard to his claim of a violent threat by an officer; even a claim an officer pulled a gun on Bennett is disproven by closer examination showing a taser unholstered.

And Bennett's claim he was targeted for being black was refuted by his own lawyer, saying it was not racially motivated - the cops were trying to protect an audience that was mostly black, as were the two officers involved with Bennett.

It continues a trend of dishonesty by Bennett, who sided publicly with Colin Kaepernick's anthem protest and put his foot in his mouth when he spoke out for Palestinian savages and seemed surprised when people objected.   Bennett wants to pretend he was targeted for being black - and the facts don't support him.   So his word carries no credible weight.

Already Bennett rumpswabs have made the claim the Vegas Police Department and its union - this after the Vegas police union complained to Roger Goodell about his public support of Bennett despite escalating refutation of Bennett's story - was launching "a smear campaign."   It's a sign of losing the argument on facts that his attorney claims this.

Bennett like all leftists is a waste of time and it's past time he be ignored as a liar.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Russia's Ukraine Invasion, Again

Vladmir Putin is at it again in his invasion of Ukraine.

The Endless Cover Your Ass Campaign

The narratives pushed by the Mainstream Media about James Comey and also the left-wing savages of Antifa are the case of government ineptitude and media dishonesty working ever harder against the truth.

"(B)ased largely on the DNC's strange outsourcing of the investigation to a private cybersecurity firm....." 

"....Debbie Wasserman-Schultz weirdly refused to allow forensic detectives from the FBI to examine the DNC server.....Why did the FBI accept that refusal?
"Comey may have been the most politicized, duplicitous, and out-of-control FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover." 

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The Puncturing Of Obamacare's Latest Lie

Obama and his media toadies claimed uninsured admissions to hospitals would be reduced by Obamacare. They've escalated. Attempt continues to keep the failed law alive.

The DACA Myth

Donald Trump has ended the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program and it's caused an uproar in the media and among the Left. It's a program that rewards illegal immigrants and as such it was illegal, as Obama himself admitted in 2010 -

"When I talk to immigration advocates they wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that's not how a democracy works."

 He then went out and did just that.   And people are praising him for enabling law-breaking.   Blanket entitlement drives such advocacy.  The claims of economic advantage by allowing illegal immigration have never been particularly credible, with very heavy welfare dependency as shown by Harvard University and also heavy involvement in felony crimes. There is nothing wrong with legal immigration - it's the illegal kind that is a societal problem, and Trump is right about it.

Here is another area where Democrats get it wrong.

Obama Plays Cover Your Ass Again

With the UN addressing Syrian genocides, Obama's refusal to fight against them is now coming back to haunt him, so he plays Cover Your Ass.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Angela Merkel Hoist By Islamo-Arab Imperialism's Petard

A look at how Germany screwed up by letting Islamic savages "immigrate" there.

A Reminder About "Price Gouging"

A reminder is needed about "price gouging" in the wake of hurricanes from a situation from 2004.

Finally A Reexamination Of Title IX

Title IX has created a phony victim culture that is finally being addressed.

So Arrives Week One

The fourth game of the 2017 preseason has yet to be played as of this writing but by now the nitty gritty of preparing for Week One of the NFL season is all but underway.   With that, predictions for Week One will be in short order, so we present perhaps the first such batch -

Patriots over Chiefs -  Predictions by fans and some media of a 19-0 season began with the free agent acquisitions made by the Patriots; Bill Belichick never buys into such predictions, and the Patriots have even less reason to feel they will go unbeaten now.   Julian Edelman's season-ending injury is the one getting the most attention, but the mediocre performance of the line of scrimmage defense already led to the release of Kony Ealy - among the free agent flameouts of the Belichick era this may be the most graphic given Ealy was already in Belichick's doghouse when camp started - and the Patriots' depth at the line of scrimmage already looks questionable.   Malcolm Butler also is living down to a media report proclaiming him the most overrated player on the Patriots roster.  

And yet the Edelman injury is a blessing in disguise - Brady periodically lapses into forcing the ball to one guy at the expense of everyone else (illustrated in the Football Life episode on Belichick where he laments the lack of receiver depth to his staff before 2009's loss at the NY Jets, and also shown in Brady's dismal performance in the infamous 2014 game at Kansas City) and when the Falcons took away Edelman in the Superbowl it forced Brady to spread the ball more and thus unclog the passing game.   James White, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, and Danny Amendola will see more catches and the Patriots may see Austin Carr on the roster to go with Brandin Cooks (curiously quiet in preseason) and Gronkowski; Dwayne Allen may be the odd man out after a nonexistent preseason.

For the Chiefs the season-ending injury to Spencer Ware is more concerning given the Chiefs' lesser depth compared to the Patriots.   The Patriots also hold the overall edge against Andy Reid, 5-2, and the Chiefs are clearly waiting for Patrick Mahones to develop, so Alex Smith can see his days numbered, a disadvantageous situation heading into Foxboro.

Bills over NY Jets - The new game in the NFL is Suck For Sam - as in USC quarterback Sam Darnold.   Buffalo and the Jets have hemorrhaged veteran personnel - Anquan Boldin retired just two weeks into Bills camp - and for the Jets the call to tank the season has been an open story.   The Bills have changed coaches, so there is more reason to establish some kind of positive momentum than is the case with the Jets, a team forever haunted by history - fifty years ago Joe Namath became the first quarterback to reach 4,000 passing yards and also authored the Jets' first ever winning season; twenty years ago the Jets paid a king's ransom for Bill Parcells, while Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning inquired whether the Jets were interested in drafting him; when they declined Peyton stayed at Tennessee for one more year and got drafted by the Indianapolis Colts - and history changed.  

The present Jets have to start Josh McCown by default as Bryce Petty despite a huge output in the preseason game against the Jets has not proven he warrants being starter, and Christian Hackenberg looks more and more like a flat-out failure.   So Suck For Sam gets underway.

Texans over Jaguars - Even before the hurricane ravaged the Houston area and thus has put a massive damper on the Texans' season going in, Houston's team hasn't looked ready for prime time with either Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson.   Watson in particular looks like a bad quarterback, relying on running, throwing on the run, showing no small-ball technique, reading of defense, or any of the techniques that real quarterbacks master to become winners.   Houston's defense is ranked very well but is certainly beatable, if not even overrated, and Bill O'Brien has yet to prove he can do better than 9-7 entering his fourth season as Texans head coach.  

The Jaguars, though, are in worse shape and may also be in the Suck For Sam sweepstakes.   Blake Bortles' mechanics problems are still there, his quarterbacking acumen hasn't shown much improvement if any, and the offensive line has been a mess.   Tom Coughlin is in the first year of his return to Jacksonville, now as de facto GM, and the mess he's inherited is such that rebuilding will take years, this after the many years spent trying to rebuild from the wreckage of the Blaine Gabbert failure.  

Bengals over Ravens -  The Bengals come into 2017 looking no better than the six-win flop of 2016.   Vontaze Burfict faces another suspension for another questionable hit, this one on Anthony Sherman of the Chiefs, and Andy Dalton has looked like a quarterback who plateaued and is now beginning to decline.    Dalton did show some moxie in the game against the Redskins, and he faces a Ravens team he has bested seven of the last nine meetings and whose own quarterback, Joe Flacco, has battled knee concerns all camp.   John Harbaugh has said he will start this game, but one has to feel a lack of confidence in Flacco after going 13-19 since losing the 2014 divisional playoff at New England. 

Raiders over Titans -   The Raiders have looked noticeably sharper in preseason than the Titans, who scored just ten combined points in losses to the Jets and Bears; Alex Tanney won no confidence with a poor performance against the Chiefs.   The game against the Bears with multiple penalties, an ejection, and just one touchdown was embarrassing, though lack of receiver depth with numerous veteran guys held out didn't help anything.

With that the Titans should be a lot better than this - they did show fight in the game against the Panthers after the three-point embarrassment at the Jets - and this game should be a lot closer, facing a Raiders team that won twelve games last year and returning their quarterback of the future in Derek Carr while ex-Seahawk Marshawn Lynch showed a little of his old muscle in preseason; whether it proves sustainable remains to be seen.  

Eagles over Redskins -  The Redskins looked like the dysfunctional mess they've been almost since the end of the first Joe Gibbs era in the off-season and the controversy over Kirk Cousins' contract will only get worse now.     They face an Eagles team that suddenly looks improved over 2016.

Buccaneers over Dolphins - The injury that ended Ryan Tannehill's season led to the unexpected signing of the weak Jay Cutler, who played decently under Adam Gase in Chicago, but it is impossible to take Jay Cutler that seriously, especially facing an improving Bucs team, though preseason has been a little erratic.

Falcons over Bears - Of the six losses for the Falcons in 2016, curiously four of them were home losses - the Superbowl included as the Falcons were the designated home team - so going to Chicago would seem easier to start the season.   The Bears, though, for the first time in awhile have reason to believe there will be improvement, though Mitchell Trubinsky likely won't see any action outside of mop-up duty later in the season.   Given the relative porousness of the Falcons defense the Bears should out up some points here.

Steelers over Browns - DeShone Kizer has been designated the starter for the Browns - thus presumably ending the Brock Osweiler era.   The Steelers, though, enter with Ben Roethlisberger not looking committed to the game as much as in the past and with the division looking weaker than in recent seasons.

Lions over Cardinals - Matthew Stafford's league-record extension will make the quarterback market crazier - and also whet appetites for more such contracts despite the top-heaviness of such an approach.   Armed with this new contract Stafford takes on a mediocre Cardinals team that still has Carson Palmer and whose only road wins last year were against all three of their division foes.   Stafford's improvement as a quarterback has been noted by the varied experts as he continues switching away from the Calvin Johnson bomb squader to the small-ball quarterback that is the kind that wins Superbowls.    His abysmal performance against quality opponents, though, showed up again in the Patriots game, where Jake Rudock led the comeback from down 24-0.   Rudock - the Patriots radio broadcast cleverly noted his status as a sixth-round draft pick from Michigan - won't usurp Stafford's job, but actually beating good teams is a priority for the 2009 first rounder.

Colts over Rams - The Colts are a mess, and so are the Rams,  but the Colts just got better with the trade for Jacoby Brissett.  With  Andrew Luck presumably out until until the Colts' home game against the Jaguars it seems a no-brainer Brissett will start - his game against the NY Giants showed genuine growth as a quarterback, while the Rams are stuck with Jared Goff, who looks like a complete failure of a quarterback.  

Seahawks over Packers -  Surprisingly the Seahawks have exploded in preseason and look by far the most ready team in the NFC for the season.    They travel to a Packers team that has bested them the last few meetings, but which looked rather sluggish in their game at Denver.   The Seahawks did regress as a road team in 2016, but in Russell Wilson the Hawks have the better quarterback.

Panthers over 49ers - The John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan era begins after a surprisingly competitive preseason, though expecting major improvement right away is too much to ask.   Suck For Sam may be a non-option here, though all the Niners have is Brian Hoyer as they take on a Panthers team smarting from 2016's collapse.

NY Giants over Cowboys - So far in preseason the loss of Zeke Elliott to league suspension - though Fort Worth Star-Telegram reportage suggested the accusation against Elliott may not in fact be truthful - appears not to be in the Cowboys favor; even with Elliott the Cowboys have lost three straight to the Giants in the Joyful Heart Curse and the Cowboys didn't acquit themselves particularly well against the Raiders.   Injury to Odell Beckham Jr. in preseason may hamper the Giants offense.  

Vikings over Saints - Neither team has shown much in preseason; the Vikings host this game and the Saints have been a 7-9 team four of the last five seasons; the can still put up offense but Drew Brees has not put up clutch wins lately.

Broncos over Chargers -  The Broncos are stuck with Trevor Siemian, who has shown no growth as a quarterback, but they face a Chargers team with no discernable LA audience and which has played poorly throughout the preseason, even in a win over the lowly Rams.   Thirty years ago Chargers legends Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow retired after San Diego won eight straight and lost the remainder of the season.  Twenty years ago the Chargers fell to 3-13 and wound up with the worst draft pick in history; to think they may be no better off now than in 1997 is hair-pulling for Charger fans.

So we await Week One.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Continuing Falsification Of What Nazis Actually Were

The myth continues that Nazis were a right-wing ideology - except they never were anything but leftists the way the Charlottesville counterportesters were leftists.

Erasing History - And Reality

The war against Confederate statues - and the related whining by the Boston Red Sox's inept owner John Henry about the naming of Tom Yawkey Way because former Sox owner (1933-76) Yawkey was racist, a racism that was the norm in all society until the 1960s (where even the Boston Globe referred to the daily underground numbers game of the time as the "nigger pool")  and which was futile and irrelevant thanks to competitive reality dictating eventual integration - are a reminder of the war against reality and thusly is driven by a complete double standard.   It is a war that - natch - California leads.

Fossil Fuel Protesters Clueless

Protesters against fossil fuels get everything wrong.

Monday, August 21, 2017

USC's Title IX Persecution

USC threw out a member of its football team they accused of sexual abuse - except the abuse never happened and now his girlfriend is lashing out at USC.

It's a lesson of what happens when Title IX meets a foul-mouthed SVU-wannabe (named Gretchen Means) with a Roger Goodell-esque contempt for truth - the result is never good.

Japan And The Idiocy Of Multiculturalism

Japan has geographic advantages that isolate it from international issues that bedevil other nations - and it also celebrates what makes it different in the world, at the expense of multiculturalism.

Smearing Sebastian Gorka

Sebastian Gorka is a White House counterterrorism advisor who has come under fire after Steve Bannon's departure, and the criticisms are false - especially yet another Rolling Stone character assassination piece.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NFL Classics - 2003 Titans at Patriots

NFL Classics - Week 5 of 2003 the Titans squared off with the Patriots in a wild affair where fan reaction to Red Sox scores in their concurrent game with the Oakland Athletics made for a bizarre atmosphere.

First half

Second half

Trump Opposition Learns Nothing

Opposition to Donald Trump has become more and more deranged as things are more and more genuinely improving in the US. And the nitpickery is endless.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Criminal

The thievery committed by Democratic Party honcho Debbie Wasserman Shultz of course isn't getting media coverage because media doesn't want to go after someone they support.

Charlottesville Killer - Leftist

The killing of a counter-protester at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA has touched off sanctimonious anger at "white supremacists" and resultant hypocrisy - and no one notices the killer is apparently a leftist whose Hillary Clinton support was erased from his social media, and apparently his car was attacked first by pole-wielding leftist protesters - this as (of all people) the Southern Poverty Law Center reports Jason Kessler, leader of the white supremacist group, was an Obama supporter. Also worth noting is the ACLU's confirmation that Charlottesville police were told to stand down rather than be present to prevent violence.

The use of such scams is common to leftism, shown when opponents of California's Proposition 209 - banning identify favoritism in hiring, education, etc. - paid David Duke to argue in favor of 209....

The guilt by non-association scheme backfired, repulsing not only even the mainstream media, but the anti-209 debater, the late Joe Hicks, a legendary civil rights leader

In short, leftism creates and begats violence......

The CSUN sorcery was, and remains, a sham - a formula to defame the opponents of race preferences and quotas, racial polarization and Balkanization, bilingual education and multi-language ballots, etc. These issues those Americans of all backgrounds who want a society of goodness and virtue, not graft and vitriol.

The irrelevance of David Duke et al is shown by the nonexistence of dominant cultural sympathy for him; all cultural, media, etc. sympathy goes to the graft-vitriol enablers of Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Party.   David Duke is not the threat - leftism and its variant killer ideologies such as Sharia Supremacism are the threat.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bubba Wallace Steals Michigan Show

NASCAR's Yankee 400 weekend at Michigan International Speedway once again sees off-track issues grabbing attention away from some wild on-track competition.   And when we say wild on-track competition we mean the finish of the 2017 LTI Printing 200, an amazing Camping World Truck Series 200-miler at Michigan.

Darrell Wallace Jr. has gone through an astonishing season, losing his Xfinity Series ride when the money dried up, being loaned out to Richard Petty's Winston Cup car and sparkling at Daytona and Kentucky, and now returning to the Truck Series and pulling off a spectacular surge to win.   What began as a wild Yankee Truck 200 settled into a Kyle Busch show for awhile before Brad Keselowski's Fords surged to the fore and in the final laps all hell broke loose.

Speaking of all hell breaking loose......

Michigan had several hard hits, but for wrecking a slew of cars.................

.......the Xfinity Series at the Mid-Ohio road course topped the Trucks.    Ryan Reid should have stayed in bed after getting into two T-bone melees, while there was an astonishing side by side lap for the lead between Daniel Hemric and race-winner Sam Hornish before Hornish put it away.


What followed in the Michigan 400 was another tranquil affair - surprising given what is advertised as "playoff pressure" - but even with that there was a nasty hit involving Kasey Kahne and another overtime finish.................

...........where Kyle Larson snaked everyone and sang on the radio the last lap because he knew they couldn't draft back around him.   It was something of a first for a driver to trash-talk the field before the checkered flag had flown.

In all it was a weekend where the main feature saw a surprising finish that ultimately was continuation of a driver's recent momentum - the hat trick for Kyle Larson.   After several weeks of surprises, the form chart appears to be reasserting itself for the season, and Bristol beckons thusly.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Truex's NASCAR And Being Along For The Ride

Martin Truex's Watkins Glen runaway despite a late fuel mileage scare has established that 2017 has become Truex's NASCAR and right now everyone else is along for the ride.   Kyle Busch may win the poles and lead laps but it's Truex who figures out how to win.   Busch does nothing but figure out how to blow it, while everyone else is pretty much racing for something other than the win.

The race itself was unremarkable, this after a rather mayhemic preliminary period.

There were several off-track stories coming in, as has become custom for NASCAR.   With Watkins Glen as a road race, Nick Idgalsky of Pocono suggested his track may run its second race on its infield road course, this with Charlotte wanting to run its 2018 National 500 on its infield road course.  

Nothing at Watkins Glen could compete for quality racing with what Pocono produces on its superoval

The idea of running on any road course beyond Sears Point and Watkins Glen of course stems from fan anger at lack of passing on the bigger ovals - but more importantly it stems from lack of understanding, or refusal to understand, why.    By glomming onto road courses, critics of the bigger ovals keep kidding themselves - they're not better than superspeedways and are not the answer - the answer was found in the Xfinity 250 at Indianapolis, which showed what the real issue is regarding passing and lack thereof on the bigger ovals.  

Another issue is the economics of the sport, and the story that Kurt Busch's contract option won't be picked up by SHR has created some confusion, as SHR states he will return to their team in 2018, but the story that Ford was caught off guard by the move has done nothing but feed speculation that SHR in fact will retract by perhaps two teams - the disbanding of Danica Patrick's team or at least her release seems a fait accompli even with several strikingly productive runs in recent races - alas Watkins Glen was reversion to form.  

That SHR might - note the emphasis - retract, this after Ganassi-SABCO will lose Target Stores sponsorship, this atop when Barney Visser suggested he may have to cut back to one car, comes after Andrew Murstein of Richard Petty Motorsports (a disappointing 21st at Watkins Glen after the first lap wreck at Pocono and the encouraging run to 13th at the end at Indianapolis) has now called for a spending cap in NASCAR.   That NASCAR's spendaholism is a fundamental problem has of course been known for decades, and that a team owner hasn't previously stated the need for a cap in spending is surprising given the wholesale loss of teams and the retraction or forced merger of such teams as Petty, Roush, DEI, Ganassi, etc.  

We've heard the dismissal of the idea, that teams will ostensibly cheat around it, yet when critics cite examples of how to cheat around a cap they just give away how enforceable a NASCAR spending cap actually is, and when critics lapse into the "if you aren't cheating you're not trying" cliché they give away their lack of understanding - cheating is self-defeating in sports (see the million-dollar fines to the Broncos and 49ers for cheating the NFL's salary cap), and life in general - it denies the cheater the legitimate improvement in performance needed, and in NASCAR benefit from cheating is never long-term; teams always do fundamentally better when they stick with the rulebook and work within it.

And the critics simply don't get it - the owners can no longer afford not to limit their spending.   The owners have no incentive to cheat a spending cap; the incentive is entirely on making it work, and thus stabilizing the sport's economics so it benefits them.   The fact the Race Team Alliance even exists has shown that team owners have an understanding that they're in this together with NASCAR.  

So the idea that teams will cheat a spending cap is ignorant - they can't afford to, they have to make it work else they too will be bankrupted by fratricidal economics.   The fact the idea of a salary cap, once controversial, is now accepted MO in sports (via a hard NFL-style cap or the "soft" cap of MLB's luxury tax - a sign this works is the refusal of the Boston Red Sox, the league's best revenued team outside of the Yankees, to spend over the tax because they're losing money in the long run by being hit with the tax) should tell NASCAR that the concept works, and is enforceable.

Another issue is NASCAR's new limits on Cup driver participation in the Xfinity and Truck Series - Kyle Busch's petulant threat to shut down his Truck team if he doesn't get his way shows how childish he is and also shows he needs to get it that he is supposed to help the sport, and he can be the face of his team solely by being its owner.   The fact only fifteen drivers a year can run the full Xfinity schedule and has been the case for over fifteen seasons shows most graphically how much Cup drivers have bled the series dry. 

The curious caveat that has gone overlooked, though, is the Lillys 250 at Indianapolis - the restrictor plate-drag duct package used there so equalized the field that Kyle Busch and the other Cup regulars had their hands full fighting for the lead with Xfinity regulars, much as Ryan Newman so often struggles when he runs Modified Tour races at New Hampshire.   The theme cited in defense of Cup participation in lower levels is that the drivers there get valuable experience racing against the Cup guys; this though has not been in evidence in almost every Xfinity companion race to Cup races; that Indianapolis proved an exception shows two things - it is an exception proving the rule, and also that the Xfinity regulars can race with the Cup guys on a playing field that's actually level.   The level of the competition field becomes the true issue.  

So it went at Watkins Glen, and now the Yankee 400 weekend beckons for Cup and the Trucks.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Pocono Erupts For Kyle Busch

The Overtons 400 weekend kicked off yet another NASCAR weekend filled with off-track concern and continued a recent surge of on-track racing that has intensified in competitive ferocity.

The big off-track story is the word that Target stores is quitting its racing commitments; the rumored subplot behind this is a divorce of team owner Chip Ganassi and his wife and that she was the one who actually controlled that sponsorship.    Whatever the particulars, the loss of Target sponsorship is a major blow to racing in general given the company gained superb attention from its racing endeavors between over one hundred Indycar wins (four of them Indianapolis 500s) and victories in NASCAR including two wins so far in 2017 for Kyle Larson.  

If there is reason for optimism, the recent arrival of Overton's sponsorship of several races gives some reason to believe they will also sponsor a car for a few races, with cobbling together of other sponsors by now the longstanding method of filling in the sponsor gaps.    Certainly Kyle Larson's surge of success provides a sponsor a platform from which both benefit.

The Truck Series opened the NASCAR portion of the Pennsylvania 400 weekend and the sport now seems to be seeing a surge of great racing that began at Indianapolis.   After Kyle Busch crashed out the fight for the lead swelled into a spirited fight between John Hunter Nemechek and Christopher Bell, a battle that threatened to rival the ferocity of the Xfinity Series Brickyard 250 last week.   Bell finally got past Nemecheck and was gone for his fourth win of the season.

The Overtons 400 turned out to be a surprisingly tranquil affair, except it started with a bang when Matt Kenseth broke loose and it stacked up some eight cars behind him.    Jimmie Johnson's crash and Kyle Larson's busted driveshaft (a fitting upshot to his weekend) were the only other incidents as pit sequencing dominated the race; Kyle Busch seemed to sequence himself out of contention when he took four tires on his last stop and fell over six seconds behind.   Busch, however, stormed forward and punted his longtime enemy Kevin Harvick just enough to surge to the win.  

The win was the 100th in some 340 starts for Toyota dating to its merger with Joe Gibbs Racing.  JGR accounts for eighty-four of these wins while Barney Visser has won seven times fielding Toyotas, the now-defunct Michael Waltrip outfit won seven races with Toyotas, and the Dietrich Mateschitz team sporting Red Bull colors won at Michigan in 2009 with Brian Vickers and 2011 at Phoenix with Kasey Kahne.

Given this level of success and how much Toyota has meant to teams - and also speedways; the scuttlebutt has long been that the Fontana speedway is kept going in substantial part to some level of Toyota sponsorship - it remains perplexing that some fans still insist on denouncing the brand's participation in NASCAR.   The sport certainly shouldn't be saying no to participants like Toyota.

BTW the Firestone sign on the Tunnel Turn scoreboard is still there....for the NASCAR weekend,  just as was the case in June.  

So the long national nightmare for Kyle Busch is over and the NASCAR tour hits Watkins Glen next week - and given Watkins Glen's history we mean hits. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Boffo And Bollox As The Brickyard Raises Kahne

In the history of the Brickyard 400 this may rank as the most preposterously exciting moment of all

The competitive excitement of the 2017 racing season just rose several notches as Indianapolis Motor Speedway, under fire for dismal stock car racing over the years, answered back with the wildest weekend outside of the 500 perhaps ever seen - certainly the most exciting to date. 

The 250 produced the most competitive racing while the 400 saw the most eye-popping challenge - and the highest incidence of crashing since NASCAR debuted here in 1994

The Brickyard 250 for the Xfinity cars showcased some of the best racing anywhere this season and showed the big picture for the sport, but the takeaway of the weekend was in the 400.    It began as a Kyle Busch runaway with only Martin Truex offering anything resembling resistance, leading eight laps to Busch's 87.    That all got shot to pieces following Ricky Stenhouse's hard hit - on the next restart Truex took out Kyle Busch and himself when he broke loose in One - a crash mildly reminiscent of Dale Earnhardt and Tim Richmond at Pocono in 1982.  

Pocono analogies abounded later.   Following the Busch-Truex melee the race ran green with Trevor Bayne seemingly in the fuel catbird seat - until with eleven to go what we thought was the biggest crash of the weekend erupted involving Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, and Erik Jones, who has wrecked the last two races now.   On the next restart Jimmie Johnson - seemingly blowing up - challenged Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski.   Just when it seemed Keselowski had them cleared the Hendrick cars stayed nose to nose and still got a gigantic sidedraft, to where the leaders were three abreast through Turn Three - an impossible scenario it appeared for a split second they would pull off - it was Tim Richmond stuffing it three abreast on Geoff Bodine and Neil Bonnett in the Tunnel Turn at Pocono in 1986 all over again.  

It all added up to a day personified by competitive ferocity, a bad rules package on Sunday doubly exposed as such by the racing on Saturday, dubious TV timing (why not start just after 12 PM area time?), some questionable officiating - I'm not sure there should have been a second GWC restart - and yet another eye-popping upset winner in a season that's been strikingly replete with them. 

The win comes in a dismal season for Kahne and amid Rumor Control Central speculation that he is on the way out; it is unclear whether this win will help that much, for he's led just thirty-one laps and has only three top-fives and one additional top-ten.   Kahne's struggles, though, now mirror a run of mediocrity and worse by Jimmie Johnson since winning the Mason-Dixon 400 - just two top-tens in that span for Johnson.

Johnson's recent slippage comes as Chase Elliott has posted five top-tens in that same span but has gagged twice in the last four races; overall Elliott has been maddeningly inconsistent - he has led just twenty-eight laps since leading 106 at Phoenix; he's posted six top-fives and four other top-tens this season but nowhere has he shown that he truly knows how to win; in his two seasons he's been streaky, with top-tens galore for weeks followed by lengthy stretches where he doesn't finish well. 

Showing greater consistency has been Brad Keselowski, the runner-up at Indianapolis being his fourth such this season amid Atlanta and Martinsville wins and four other top-fives so far this season.   While Keselowski remains on a run, Penske teammate Joey Logano stopped recent bleeding by finishing a largely-unnoticed fourth, only his third top-ten since the penalized Richmond win.

Their strong effort comes amid Ford comment about addressing aerodynamic inadequacy; whatever their recent struggles Ford did showcase depth taking four of the top eight spots and six of the top thirteen.   The run that stood out was Aric Almirola, two races into his return to Richard Petty's #43 from his back-breaking layup after Kansas, involved in a late crash, and charging to finish a respectable thirteenth.   The chaos for Stewart-Haas' team makes Danica Patrick's eleventh all the more eye-opening.   Of the five Chevrolets in the top twelve Chris Buescher and AJ Allmendinger's 9-10 finish for Brad Daugherty's team impresses even more than Kasey Kahne's win.

Completely unnoticed were Matt Kenseth in fifth and Daniel Suarez in seventh, showcasing Toyota's strength but also the inadequacy of its competitive depth after Busch. Truex, and Erik Jones crashed out.  

The Lillys Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis showcased terrific racing and finally showcased the answer to NASCAR's competition headaches spanning some seventeen or more years 

A number of fans, and some writers, have suggested NASCAR needs to cancel racing at the Brickyard and switch instead to the rinky-dink bullring at Indianapolis Raceway Park.   That IRP looks curiously dilapidated even on television gets overlooked; that people overrate its racing has also been ignored.   IRP is a very good facility for short track open wheelers - USAC's short trackers put on great battles there and have done so forever - while the Busch/Xfinity Series and Trucks have also seen some spirited battles but nothing approaching superspeedways for competitive depth. 

Top-heavy sedan bodies on radial tires with little to no downforce and horsepower 50-plus percent higher than 500 - the short tracks in NASCAR have seen the same struggles - aeropush, inability to make the cars handle better, etc. - that the superovals have seen.   No short track in the world can overcome when the cars simply are not designed for passing.  

The Xfinity Series' 2017 running thus refutes the argument for switching to IRP and also finally answers the question of why NASCAR has had so much problem with passing.   Running restrictor plates, returning the larger spoiler, and also debuting drag ducts - scoops in the nose that channel air entering the nose out the front wheelwells, thus blasting open a bigger draft - the Xfinity cars hit the balance of horsepower and drafting effect that creates passing, and it showed especially when Kyle Busch and Joey Logano swapped the lead some three times in one lap  - curiously instead of old-school crossover passing down low, they did it backward with crossover passing up high - and Justin Allgaier not only challenged Kyle Busch, he fought him like someone no longer afraid of the presumptive dictator of the Xfinity Series seemingly whenever he runs there.   Blowing his ill-advised short-pit bid before the end of the second segment of the 250 was a head-shaker for Allgaier, and it left it up to William Byron to slay the Busch dragon.  

It is this kind of competition package and resulting balance of drafting effect and horsepower that NASCAR has maddeningly been missing for nearly twenty seasons - certainly NASCAR would have saved itself a lot of headaches if this package had been figured out for 2001 onward.   One wonders who thought of the idea of drag ducts, for while the concept of making the draft more effective has been a no-brainer for decades, how it's being done is truly eye-popping and clearly works.  

As for no-brainers integrating this package into Cup and the Trucks - and for that matter the rest of NASCAR's series - and for all tracks qualifies as the ultimate no-brainer, because it works, period.

BTW three abreast all the way through Three and Four at Indianapolis Motor Speedway........?

And it offers a compelling lead-in to Pocono as there now is a series of scores to settle as July reaches its conclusion.