SPORTS w/The Jock 10-21-11

Ren?e Veronica Freeman

by Tom Weppel
Well, we knew this was gonna happen, as it always does in the NFL.
Almost halfway thru the season, and teams who are struggling start trying their best to a) figure out how to make a quick turnaround, b) feel vast amounts of consternation, leading to various opinions by both pundits and fans as what is good or right, and/or c) start making personnel changes, especially at QB.
And so, here we are, heading into this weekend of the NFL. You’d think there could be a Quarterback parade, with the number of ‘new’ guys starting this weekend!
Where to start? We’ll go with Carson Palmer, who was damn lucky he got traded from the Bengals, the team he never wanted to play for again. They sent him back out West, near Fresno, his hometown, to Oakland, where he replaces the injured Jason Campbell as the starter, over Kyle Boller. The Raiders host the Chiefs. Palmer comes in having not played at all this season. He didn’t know the Oakland offense, while Boller was ready to go.
If you listened to HC Hue Jackson, you would’ve thought he looks at Palmer as a savior or something! I thought they were quite content with Campbell…obviously not. If I’m Boller OR Campbell, this has to be slightly unsettling. Don’t forget, the Raiders drafted Terrelle Pryor, also.
So, good luck to Carson Palmer and the Raiders…we’ll see what magic they can pull…
Meanwhile, the Broncos will begin their journey now with former Gator QB Tim Tebow, whom oh, so many fans have been simply clamoring for! That, while every other expert covering the NFL has suggested Tebow doesn’t have the skills or ability to be a starter! I haven’t seen this much disparity in feelings and opinions in a long time.
It’ll be interesting to see what Tebow can and will do, as the Broncos go to Miami to face the winless Dolphins. I’m thinking there will be a large, solid contingent of fans there on Tebow’s side, from both UF & Denver! If they win, there might even be a parade in Colorado next Monday!
In Minnesota, HC Leslie Frazier decided it was time to replace the veteran Donovan McNabb and start the rookie Christian Ponder! What a great time to do so…when the 1-5 Vikings play host to the best team in the NFL…the undefeated, 6-0 Packers! McNabb said he was surprised with the decision, saying he still has a lot of football left in him. I’ll say this…while he certainly hasn’t had the best results so far this season, there’s NO question he could do a better job this weekend against Green Bay, as opposed to the rookie Ponder!
It can…and will…get damn ugly!
Then in Washington, HC Mike Shanahan has decided to go with John Beck to replace Rex Grossman, who threw four INT’s last weekend against the Eagles in a loss. I think everyone with even a slight connection, like the Redskins, has a decent chance to play, and win, against the 1-5 Panthers in Carolina. It’ll be damn interesting to see how it all shakes out!
And so there you go! We’ll see how all the changes and switches work for all the teams and participants involved! Should be fun, to say the least…

This weekend should certainly give us some rather intriguing match ups for the three undefeated teams left in the Big 12…Kansas St., Oklahoma, and Oklahoma St. All games are against conference opponents.
K-State will go to Kansas to face the Jayhawks, slightly surprising as an eleven-point favorite. The you have the Sooners, who will play host to Texas tech as a thirty-point favorite! Finally, we’ll see the 6-0 Oklahoma state Cowboys take the field in Missouri favored by seven against the Tigers.
All three contests should and could be quite interesting…my guess is at least ONE of those games will end up with an upset in some way, shape, or fashion.
In the meantime, we’ll see Notre Dame play as an eight-point favorite, hosting the USC Trojans. We’ll also see LSU as a three-TD favorite at home against Auburn in an SEC scrap. And then there is Wisconsin, who will go to Michigan state to face the 5-1 Spartans. Those games should all give us some exciting highlights!
It seems first-year head Coach Will Muschamp has a temper that is pretty fiery, especially on the sidelines during games.
Last week, the Gators went up to Auburn and lost 17-6. Muschamp got heated with the officials when it seemed his punt returner wasn’t given much room to make a fair catch, causing a fumble. TV mikes picked up his expletives and whatnot, along with his temper tantrum.
His composure and personality certainly do not show well for the University overall. If he were a MLB Manager, he’d get thrown out of every single game.
The Gators are now 4-3. They are playing with a raw, unproven squad that is banged-up from injuries, including starting QB Jeff Brantley, who is out. They’re likely to lose a few more, which means we will easily see more of Muschamp’s tirades on the sidelines. It is an ugly sight, for sure…
“We’re having some issues. We’re working through it.”
No, you’re not, Coach.
They’ll be off this week, then go to Jacksonville for their traditional rivalry with the Georgia Bulldogs. If they lose that one, they will be 4-4, and their fans base will start to desert them, easily.

When the playoffs started, it seemed a majority of MLB fans had figured we’d get the Phillies playing either the Yankees or Red Sox in this final championship series. But they do the playoffs for a reason…to give us the two teams playing their best baseball in the present. Obviously, the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals have come through with some fantastic games in order to reach this World Series.
The Rangers have been in Texas since 1972, having moved there after being the Washington Senators starting in 1961. They are one of eight franchises who have NOT won the World Series. They got here last season, only to lose to the San Francisco Giants.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals as a franchise are here representing the National League for the eighteenth time. They hold vast amounts of history, experience, and background. Oddly enough, the Series started in St. Louis, at the home of the underdog Cards, which I thought was rather odd, to say the least.
Whoever loses, there will be a certain amount of disappointment, to say the least, while the winner will capture an overwhelming sense of success as world champion! Should be a good Series…