Super Shocker

 

Peyton Manning
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning smiles while talking to reporters after the NFL football team’s voluntary veterans minicamp Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The very first football game I ever saw in person was on August 18, 1979 when my Dad took me to old Tampa Stadium on a Saturday night and we watched the Bucs beat the New Orleans Saints in a preseason game that evening, 14-7. The quarterback for the Saints that started that night was Archie Manning. I was two and a half weeks shy of my eighth birthday and loved seeing a game in person for the first time.

Last night, I watched his son Peyton win his second Super Bowl and break the record for most wins by a quarterback at 200 (counting postseason and regular season games) in what will likely be his final game. As a football fan, I guess that would be a “full circle” for me.

As for my pick, yes I picked Carolina, but with the cautionary tale that if I had to bet on the game, I would take the points and pick Denver. Considering what the Broncos could do defensively, I didn’t see how if the Panthers won the game that it wouldn’t be close. It was a worthy “final exam” for the heralded Cam Newton, but now he and the Panthers have become the third team coming into the Super Bowl with no losses or one loss to lose the big game, joining the 1968 Baltimore Colts and the 2007 New England Patriots.

That’s playoff and Super Bowl football for you. It doesn’t matter what you do in the regular season. One loss and you’re forgotten. Congrats to Denver, and I’m sure Peyton Manning will have a job somewhere in the vast landscape of televised sports.

The Super Pick

Everything big with the word “Bowl” on the end takes place today. The Kitten Bowl, the Puppy Bowl, and the biggest game of all, the 50th Super Bowl in Santa Clara, California between Denver’s Broncos and Carolina’s Panthers

I like Carolina to win today, 19-16. Think field goals and extra points (which are now 33 yard kicks as opposed to just 20 yarders last year and before) will play a critical role with two good defenses on the field today. If I were near a sports betting establishment, however, I’d take Denver and the 5.5 points they’re getting, meaning if Denver were to win or to lose by five points or less, you’d make $110 for every $100 bet.

Hoping, as I always do, for a good game. I’d love to see a Super Bowl go to overtime, I’d think that would be the ultimate thrill for any football fan for as long as it lasted.

Johnny Rehab

manziel

I was reading up on the whole Johnny Manziel saga yesterday, and it is a fair assumption that the pro football QB has bottomed out.

I thought he was going to be an NFL legend and he still might be, as his reputation out of Texas A&M suggested he was headed for bigger and better things. But not everyone who excels at the college game will excel in a league that only has limited job openings, where being simply good is not enough.

It seemed he would succeed in Cleveland, despite the talk that at a quarter-inch under six feet, he was too small to be an NFL quarterback. The Browns, only appearing in one playoff game since their franchise was reborn in 1999, looked to Manziel as their savior, and he’s been anything but.

Things have gotten so bad now that his agent has now left him, and sports agents don’t usually leave NFL players unless they feel their futures are very limited.

Alcoholism has been cited as his main problem. With concussions so prevalent in the news as of late, I wonder if Manziel has had concussions earlier than the one he got late in the 2015 NFL season. Top that on to his drinking history the past few years that we know of, and it’s not a healthy combination.

His father said yesterday that if he doesn’t get help soon, he’ll die before turning 24 ten months from today. I truly hope that’s not the case, but you can’t help people who don’t want the help, ultimately. This is all provided he also can beat the domestic abuse rap the Dallas authorities may want to investigate.

For the sake of Johnny Manziel the human being, not so much the football player, I hope he gets that help. The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.

Contrast Comparision

I found a little gadget that works well for those of you my age who’s eyesight is dimming if you use Chrome or Chromium. I just made the switch to Chromium last week, which is more or less Chrome’s bigger and somewhat better brother if you have a 64-bit computer.

The extension is called High Contrast, and gives you several settings so that you can see the screen a bit better. My favorite is the Increased Contrast setting, which personally works wonders for me when I type these blog entries up. The one program’s drawback is that if you scroll a little too far, you may scroll all the way to China (just kidding), but it’s an extension that does a lot of good for so little harm.

My problem is that one of my eyes has perfect vision still, but the other does not. If I put my hand over my good eye, everything seen out of the bad one goes very blurry. I’ve had this problem for the past two and a half years or so (first blogging about in on July 17, 2013), and I’m told that this was the time of life my Dad’s vision started waning and that this is hereditary more than anything else.

It’s kind of technology’s way of making you feel young as you get old, I suppose.

Aircheck: WUSF-FM, 11/27/1971

Haven’t done an aircheck for a bit, so why not do one today?

This Tampa Bay area aircheck takes us back once again to 1971, this time it’s Thanksgiving weekend. I’m a little shy of three months old when this was heard on WUSF, now an all-public news station in the daytime, going all-jazz at night.

Back then, WUSF had a college radio feel (because it’s based out of the University of South Florida in northern Tampa), sounding a lot like WMNF sounds at times. WUSF debuted on the airwaves in 1963, while community-driven WMNF came along sixteen years later with its debut in 1979.

Worth a listen, with some comedic banter between the DJ’s heard here.

Up The Establishment

iowa

Last night’s Iowa caucuses proved to be a bit raucous, with the TV experts proven wrong once again, and shown that the greatest experts in any election are the voters themselves.

They all predicted that Donald Trump would take the GOP race, and were all proven wrong when Ted Cruz won, and Marco Rubio nearly beat the gregarious New York mega-millionaire out for second place. While Cruz had a good night by any and all accounts, the Florida senator will probably be the man to watch going forward.

On the Democratic side, the oddest thing happened: neither Hillary Clinton could score a clear victory, nor could Bernie Sanders. As of this writing (6am ET on February 2nd), Clinton held a 49.9% to 49.5% lead by my computations. However, the results from 90 precincts have gone missing according to the Drudge Report, enough of a gap that can swing the outcome to the Vermont senator.

Bernie looks like the real deal. The key will be how he does in the Southeastern primaries, where Hillary would probably fare best with a more moderate voting base that could build a firewall to hold off Sanders and take the Democratic nomination. But, if Sanders can continue to do well in the Midwest and Northeast, look out. This could be close all the way to the end, and that’s provided Hillary can stay out of legal trouble. If she cannot, all bets are off.

Going to be an interesting political year, that much seems certain.

(EDIT, 2/2/16, 11:15am: Hillary was declared the winner around 11am or so, 49.8% to Bernie’s 49.6%)