Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Top Ten of 2014

This has been the most challenging year of my life. It has been strange and overwhelming. I don't expect to look back at 2014 with fondness. So it goes. Tonight, on New Year's Eve, I looked back at my blog. There were so many things that happened. A lot of things in the sports world that I had forgotten about. The Broncos Super Bowl. The Avs playoff run. The World Cup. The Royals run. Even when Illini basketball was #1 in the country in scoring seems so long ago. Aside from sports, there were a lot of things that I did for the first time. I started and completed a cookbook. I did a burrito search. I built something. I played a game of soccer. I went to Conifer and played frisbee golf in the hail with Mark. I made a five-course dinner. And then I looked through my blog and there were a lot of in-depth posts, stuff that you can't find anywhere else, but I don't know that they really warrant best of status. Things like this and this. Or this or this.

But enough of that. It's time for the good stuff.

Honorable Mentions

Nike's new Illinois uniforms
Spoilers: Zig Zag.

Tyson Chandler blocking a shoe
I seriously considered making this #1 for a while.

LV Anderson sucks
It blows my mind that she gets paid for this.

Reinventing the Video Game
Maybe in another life I'll get to this

Super Bowl Dips
At the time, Burnsy predicted this would make the top 10. So close!

10. Mates Ratings
Loyal viewers will know all about stormtroopers hitting the ground.

9. Cumulative Big Ten Standings
This should be a thing.

8. The Search for Denver's Best Burrito
This was a good series. I can't wait to see the results in the finals.

7. 24 Hours in Paradise
I get to see the Chiefs win and have the best barbecue in the world. At first the title seemed tongue-in-cheek but now I'm not so sure.

6. Avalanche Comeback on my Birthday
This was the best game I attended in 2014.

5. Blast from the Past
I'm a sucker for nostalgia. Also considered making this #1.

4. DIY Soccer/Hockey Goal
I've always wanted to build this. Now I have.

3. Playing Indoor Soccer
This was exhilarating and intimidating. And I scored our team's only goal.

2. Game of the Year
I got to see one of my teams actually win a playoff game. What a way to do it.

...and what was the best thing that happened in 2014?
Number One

Nostalgia / The Mole

This clip first aired on TV in February 2003.

In a rage of nostalgia, Niraj and I found captured it off a DVD in June 2007 and uploaded it to YouTube.

It is now 2015.

This is nuttier than "Cleopatra living closer to the building of Pizza Hut than the pyramids."
After completing our divorce mediation, Brittany and I went to dinner at Crave. We got two burgers, one beef, one black bean. But we both ordered the Love Stinks burger.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Nostradamus 2?

The funny thing is that even though Mark was being pessimistic in his approach, he actually oversold his team's future. The Lions secured the 6 seed, not the 5 seed, so instead of a road game against the Panthers they face a road game against the Cowboys.

- - -

I complain all the time about the Chiefs playoff history (last win 1993, 0-7 since) but the Lions know that pain (last win 1991, 0-6 since).

If it's any comfort, the Lions last playoff win was a 38-6 blowout over...the Cowboys.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Last Words on 2014 Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs beat the Chargers today, knocking San Diego out of the playoffs. The Chiefs finished with a winning record. Justin Houston broke Derrick Thomas's franchise sack record and finished with 22 on the year. (The NFL record is 22.5, set by Strahan via Favre.) After playing Manning twice, Rivers twice, Roethlisberger, Brady, and Wilson, the Chiefs did not give up 300 passing yards all year. They also didn't have a wide receiver score a touchdown.

- - -

Last year the Chiefs were 10-0 against non-playoff teams and 1-6 against playoff teams.

This year the Chiefs were 7-3 against non-playoff teams and 2-4 against playoff teams.

- - -

4 of this years wins over non-playoff teams (2 vs Chargers, Bills, Dolphins) were against teams in serious contention, and losses could have made them playoff teams.

Their biggest wins by margin were...

beating the Dolphins by 19. Beating the Rams by 27 (I was there.) And beating the team with the best record in the NFL, the Patriots, by 27.

- - -

They started 0-2, and then 2-3. No one was thinking playoffs.
I saw them beat the Rams and get to 4-3 and they were just in the hunt.

At 6-3 they were sitting at that point with a playoff game at Cleveland.
At 7-3, the #1 seed was in play. All they had to do was to beat the 0-10 Raiders. They didn't. They lost 4 of the next 5, getting to 8-7.

- - -

It's great to beat the Patriots and Seahawks. But losing to the 2-14 Titans and 3-13 Raiders erases those wins.

After the first day of the season, I saw them play super shitty against the Titans and called the season. Yes it was an overreaction. When they were 7-3, I looked foolish. But in the end, that first game of the season was the difference between going to the postseason and sitting on the couch.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Before the season started, Brit predicted a shoulder injury for Peyton that he would play through but affect his performance.

Well, it's not a shoulder injury...partial credit?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Things That Sound Impossible

In our Fantasy Football Super Bowl, Kyle Orton outscored Andrew Luck by 27 points.


(I started the day wearing a Chiefs shirt.)

Brit: Why are you shirtless?
Me: The Chiefs lost.
Brit: So?
Me: The season's over.
Brit: Did you have to take it off immediately?
Me: Yes. It is a symbolic gesture marking the end of the season.


The refs just called a total bullshit call against the Steelers. Chiefs down 11, would have been punting on 4th and 17. Instead refs make up a taunting personal foul and gift the Chiefs a first down. Steelers fans should be livid. As a Chiefs fan, it feels wrong, but sure, I'm happy it was called the way it was.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I've never really felt this way before, but I'm not sure that I want to watch the Chiefs tomorrow. I mean, after watching them lose to the Raiders, Broncos and Cardinals, I don't have a good feeling about this. And even if they do win, they still have to win again in week 17 against a good Chargers team.

It feels like watching offers a lot to lose and not a lot to gain.
If you trust Vegas favorites, the Chiefs hopes for the playoffs end tomorrow. But right now I can still dream. This is my ideal scenario:

It's going to be a road game no matter what. I don't want the Colts. Ravens or Steelers would be tough. Bengals are beatable. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fantasy Breakthrough

It's going to be Fat Dave vs Fat Mac in Burnsy Sucks Super Bowl VI.

Really glad that I secured the #1 seed as I would have lost to either of the other teams in the playoffs, not to mention 5 other teams that didn't make the playoffs.

I've never made the Burnsy Sucks playoffs, so it's a nice thing to make the Super Bowl.

- - -

In my work league, I came up a bit short. I lost 208-216.

Had I rested some starters in week 12, I would have advanced to the Super Bowl to play the guy that I just lost to. (If I had lost in week, he would have been the #1 seed, not the #3 seed. I was locked into #2 no matter what.) Or if I had won one more game, I would have gotten the #1 seed and also advanced by beating the #4 seed. Regardless, it was a good season, and I still have a chance to get my money back for 3rd place.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

This is Stephen Curry attempting to pass a shoe to a teammate, and Tyson Chandler rejecting it.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Fantasy Update: Work League Playoffs

This is week 1 of a 2 week matchup, semifinals. I'm the #2 seed for winning my division, going up against the guy that was #1 all year. I beat him in week 12 knocking him down to the #3 seed. If I had let him win, I would be playing the current #1 seed. (She put up 111 points, while the #4 seed has 86.)

At halftime, Matt Ryan hardly had any points and Lacy already had 20. I was up about 40 points.

Other notes:
I had stashed Josh Gordon since about week 4, benched Maclin going against the Seahawks, which cost me 7 points.

Catanzaro has been my kicker for a while. This week I dropped him for Tucker on the Ravens, who was on waivers until Friday. Somehow I neglected to start Tucker for the 11am start. I noticed at about 1:20, and needed to put in somebody. Catanzaro was in a late game and seemed like the best choice.

Tucker only put up 4. But Catanzaro should have had 16. He doinked 2 field goals off the uprights for a net swing of 8 points.

Good time for Green to act like Green.

I traded Steve Smith for Ellington in week 2, which seemed like a steal, especially considering my receiving corps. And then Ellington is done for the year, without playing in any playoff games. I just went back and looked. He helped me win one week, but I still would have won with either of my other guys. So even though he has a rep as a solid RB2, he didn't matter to my team for a single week.

I've got some tasty matchups in week 15, so I think I'll be okay, but man, this could come down to a few points.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Breaking Down the Bowls

First, I think the playoff selection worked out great. Yes, TCU and Baylor are right in the ballpark of Ohio State, any of them would be a deserving #4.

It's very ironic that the one conference who bragged about having "one true champion" was the only conference that ended up presenting co-champions.

On Big 12 media day in July, Big 12 Commish Bowlsby said if there was a tie for conference champion, they would go to tiebreakers, meaning head to head. On Sunday, Bowlsby told ESPN: "I went back and looked ... and just plain misspoke."

Um...your conference put up the website That's not misspeaking. That's going back on your word because your one true champion is Baylor but the committee kept ranking TCU over Baylor and you didn't want to hurt the chances of having any Big 12 representation in the playoff.

What I like about the match ups:
SEC vs Big Ten. SEC is always thought of as the best conference so I think it worked out nicely that Bama has the #1 seed. The Big Ten has a chance to either confirm or change conference perceptions.

Oregon vs Florida State. Florida State has the better record but no one thinks they're a better team. Settle it on the field.

And then assuming Bama wins, you've either got a matchup versus the high-flying Ducks, or a Florida State vs SEC rematch.

- - -

Anyways, I wanted to look at the bowls in descending order and see who get what. All numbers are final CFP Committee Rankings.

Sugar Bowl: 1 Alabama vs 4 Ohio State
Rose Bowl: 2 Oregon vs 3 Florida State
Cotton Bowl: 5 Baylor vs 8 Michigan State
Peach Bowl: 6 TCU vs 9 Ole Miss
Orange Bowl: 7 Miss State vs 12 Georgia Tech
Fiesta Bowl: 10 Arizona vs 20 Boise State

Those are the "New Year's Six." There are 2 other games on New Year's Day not a part of that distinction.

Kansas State was ranked 11th but did not get selected for the NY6.
- - -

Alamo Bowl: 11 K State vs 14 UCLA
Belk Bowl: 13 Georgia vs 21 Louisville
Sun Bowl: 15 Arizona State vs (nr) Duke
Citrus Bowl: 16 Missouri vs 25 Minnesota
Russell Athletic Bowl: 17 Clemson vs (nr) Oklahoma
Outback Bowl: 18 Wisconsin vs 19 Auburn
Las Vegas Bowl: 22 Utah vs (nr) Colorado State
Music City Bowl: 23 LSU vs (nr) Notre Dame
Holiday Bowl: 24 USC vs (nr) Nebraska

So that's all the bowls with the top 25.

To my ears, Outback and Citrus have more cachet than Belk or Sun which had teams ranked higher. But I guess there's not really a huge distinction between any of these.

- - -

Lastly, I thought I would go through the Big Ten Standings and explore our possible future destinations.

Ohio State 12-1: Sugar Bowl, New Orleans (#4 seed in the playoffs)
Wisconsin 10-3: Outback Bowl, Tampa
Michigan State 10-2: Cotton Bowl, Arlington
Nebraska 9-3: Holiday Bowl, San Diego
Minnesota 8-4: Citrus Bowl, Orlando
Iowa 7-5: TaxSlayer Bowl, Jacksonville
Maryland 7-5: Foster Farms Bowl, Santa Clara
Rutgers 7-5: Quick Lane Bowl, Detroit
Penn State 6-6: Pinstripe Bowl, Bronx
Illinois 6-6: Heart of Dallas Bowl, Dallas

If you think about it, Illinois got the same destination as Michigan State. And in December, I'd rather go to Dallas than New York. And I'd rather go to Dallas than Detroit any day of the year.

The Chiefs had the ball on the Arizona 22, down 3, with 4:52.
Arizona challenges and in video review, the refs make one of the worst calls I've ever seen, giving the ball to Arizona.

Complete College Football Bowl Schedule

I thought I'd make my own personal Bowl Schedule of the games that sound interesting to me. All times Mountain.

Heart of Dallas Bowl: Illinois vs Louisana Tech, Friday, Dec 26, 11am, ESPN

Saturday, December 06, 2014

A look back

Back in May, ESPN made predictions about how the college football playoffs would play out.

I'll summarize.

They started by listing 16 contenders in alphabetical order.

Michigan State
Ohio State
South Carolina
Texas A&M

Then they picked their final four to make the playoffs, again in alphabetical order.


Their title game pick: FSU over Alabama.

- - -

TCU was not on the radar at all. But aside from that, their picks seem pretty good. Or looking at it another way, the games have actually gone according to script.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Goal of the Year

Well, at least for the Avs.

Monday, December 01, 2014

So the Dolphins come down and get a field goal, take the lead 16-13. The Jets have a kickoff coming with 1:57 and two timeouts to at least get a field goal.

It's strangely fitting. Because when the Chiefs acquired Alex Smith, I was hoping they would draft Geno Smith. I don't wish that anymore. But for the next 1:57 it sort of feels like Geno Smith is the QB of the Chiefs' playoff hopes.
So I'm rooting for the Jets because the Chiefs are fighting the Dolphins, among others, for a wild-card spot. And miraculously the Jets are tied 13-13 in the 4th quarter. They have a 3rd and 7 from the Miami 19 and what happens? Geno Smith takes a 8-yard sack. Brings up a 45-yard field goal that Folk pushes wide. Would have made it from 37. Fucking Jets.

Rooting for the Jets, even for one night, feels hopeless.

This coming from a team that hasn't won a playoff game since Forrest Gump.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Chiefs-Broncos liveblog

Final: For the record, I saw every play. Even when I knew there was no hope of winning, I kept watching to see if they would make a play or do anything. The Chiefs are 0-6 against Peyton as a Bronco. Not much else to say.

4th quarter, 6:01: So when I said it's 4th down territory the rest of the way, I guess that doesn't include 4th and 25 from your own ass. I will not be wearing a Chiefs shirt tomorrow.

4th quarter, 7:33: H is in bed. Chiefs hold Denver to a field goal. That's five times the Broncos have gotten inside the 25 and settled for three points. A good game from the Chiefs offense and they'd be in this game. So now it's 29-16 with over 7 minutes to play. The only path to win this game is clear. Score two touchdowns. Don't let Denver score again. Win 30-29. It is so clear. Make it happen.

4th quarter, 10:14: And a huge gain to Sanders. Christ. Denver's already down to the Chiefs 22. A Denver touchdown ends the game.

4th quarter, 10:20: 3rd and 7 for the Broncos...every 3rd down is huge from here on out.

4th quarter, 11:46: Incredible drive by the Chiefs, including a late hit by Von Miller on Alex Smith, that looked like it really hurt. Don't get the two-point conversion so it's 26-16. Two scores and the Broncos have the ball. Need a pick. Or a fumble sack. Something.

4th quarter, 14:36: I still have to put H down for the night. Last time I put a kid down, the Chiefs forced a Manning fumble. Seriously thinking about when to deploy my last "bullet in the chamber."

4th quarter, 14:48: Another big stop by the Chiefs D. Broncos settle for their 4th short field goal of the night. Impressed with keeping them out of the end zone, but now it's a 16-point game. Chiefs will realistically have to score 3 times in the 4th. Which means scoring on every drive, which means 4 down territory from here on out. No margin for error. And there's been a lot of error tonight. 

3rd quarter, 2:53: I just don't believe it. Chiefs force a 3 and out. Broncos shank a punt and it bounces off the Chiefs DB covering the gunner. Bounces right into the hands of the Broncos gunner. The biggest thing when you play the Broncos is getting their offense off the field...and we've seen them convert a 4th and 7 fake punt, and now a punt get accidentally touched. To beat Denver, you need to play your best game. This is not it. I don't see how they come back from this.

3rd quarter, 5:00: Yardage: Broncos 279, Chiefs 69. TOP: Broncos 28 minutes, Chiefs 12 minutes. And the Chiefs go 3 and out.

3rd quarter, 6:13: DAT (De'Anthony Thomas) with a great return out to the 35. There was a good second or two where I believed he had a touchdown. Good returns all game. Still waiting for that big one. I believe it could happen this game.

3rd quarter, 6:20: BIG STOP. Broncos only gain 2 yards, settle for field goal. 23-10. Two touchdowns away from the lead. Get one on this drive and we've got a ball game. I want to say that I believe, but for now I'll just's possible.

3rd quarter, 7:14: I just commandeered the TV. First play on the big screen: tipped pass, interception. Broncos have it at the Chiefs 13. For fuck's sake.

3rd quarter: 7:23: Broncos punt for 28 yards. Chiefs take over, down 10. Score anything and cut it to a one score game. C'mon Chiefs.

3rd quarter, 9:00: I have this vision of my wearing a Chiefs shirt to work the day after the Chiefs beat the Broncos. I've never been able to do this.

3rd quarter, 10:00: Broncos are driving again, but it's just a 10 point game. Feeling stupidly optimistic.

3rd quarter: 12:43: I successfully put down G. I come down and I see it's 4th and 8 for the Chiefs? I see the replay of a missed attempt to Bowe. And then I see Santos make it a 20-10 game.

Halftime: I've got two kids awake. I can try and put down G now but I'll probably going to miss some of the game no matter what.

Halftime: 20-7. Big stop on that drive to hold them to a field goal. Could be worse. Broncos could easily have 28 points. Any chance we get the interception-prone Manning to start the 2nd half? If the Chiefs D could get a stop to start, and then the Chiefs get a touchdown it's only a 6-point game. There are some ifs in that sentence, but hey, that's what being a fan is like.

2nd quarter, :23: The Broncos are out of timeouts. Maybe time for a sack?

2nd quarter, 1:00: Remember in the Super Bowl when the ball was snapped right by Manning? That would be nice.

2nd quarter, 1:55: I don't like Peyton Manning.

2nd quarter, 3:02 remaining: Chiefs just scored to make it 17-7. Have shaved 4 points off the lead since I last posted. At this rate Chiefs will win 35-29.

3 minutes before half and Broncos get ball to start. 2 big possessions. Worst case, could be 31-7 before Chiefs see ball again.

Also, this happened before I started liveblogging, but the Broncos finally punted for the first time, Chiefs were going to take over on their own 9. But penalty on the Broncos. So on a 4th and 7, seemingly about to repunt, the Broncos fake punt run and convert. They end up driving to the 4 and getting a field goal. That was infuriating. After they converted, I wished we had the option of declining the penalty.

NBC spoilers

So I'm watching the game on my laptop in the kitchen so my kids can watch Netflix on the TV. If you look at the bottom of the screen you'll see it's 7-0 Denver with a key 3rd and 11 coming up. Big play.

Except if you look at the top of the screen like I did, you'll see that it's 14-0 Denver. So that sucks.

- - -

Initial reaction to being down 14-0. Obviously it sucks. But after being 0-5 against Peyton's Broncos, and seeing the Chiefs take a 21-7 lead last year only to have Peyton snatch it away...I'm more optimistic than you'd think. Alex Smith only attempts big throws when losing, so perhaps being down early can spark the offense. Or this could just be the start of a giant Broncos blowout that will ruin my week.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Beckman's Illini Resume

In 2012, Tim Beckman went 0-8 in the Big Ten, finishing 12th out of 12 teams.

In 2013, Tim Beckman went 1-7 in the Big Ten, finishing 11th out of 12 teams.

In 2014, Tim Beckman went 3-5 in the Big Ten, finishing tied with Rutgers and Michigan for 8th out of 14 teams.

So that's a 4-20 conference record over three seasons. But because this team got to 6-6, his job is safe. Three years from now, I don't have any real confidence that this team would have a winning conference record from 2015-2017. So I want him gone. But his job is safe.

CFB Playoffs

If we didn't have a 4-team playoff, Florida State would play 10-1 Alabama in the title game while 10-1 Oregon watches from the couch.

(I realize there are other Power 5 1-loss teams, so it's not perfect, but at least it's better.)

Also, I'm pleased that Miss St lost. I don't love when teams are 2nd best in their division and thus get to avoid a difficult conference title game and get rewarded. Also, do we really need a team from Mississippi in the playoffs?

The way it's shaping up with Florida State, Alabama, Oregon and a 4th team not from the SEC, we'll have 4 teams from different conferences battling it out. That's nice.

So the other one loss teams vying for that 4th seed is Ohio State, who just lost their 2nd quarterback of the season, or TCU or Baylor.

Will be interesting.

late to the party on this, but nice

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich Strikes Back

This year had it all. Warm turkey, my stuffing/dressing, and brown sugar sweet potatoes. All on a Hawaiian Roll bun.

Also, I feel like I've gotten a lot better at food photography.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This is the single worst article I've ever seen.

This person actually got paid to write this.

Thanksgiving Day Food Is the Worst Food

Just seeing those words is irritating.

If you don't like the food on Thanksgiving...blame your family, not the holiday.

Monday, November 24, 2014

AFC Logjam

Before MNF, Pittsburgh was in 5th, KC in 6th. Baltimore's win was enough to push them ahead of Pittsburgh, dropping the Steelers from 5th to 8th.

If you ignore the top 4 teams, there are 7 teams fighting for 2 spots.
5 teams alone with the same record, all vying for that 5th and 6th seed, the right to go on the road in the playoffs.

Eric Berry

Avalanche Comeback On My Birthday

My birthday comes at a good time on the sports calendar.

I follow four teams--the Chiefs, Avs, Illini football and Illini basketball. From the end of the hockey season in April/May to the start of football season, I've got no teams. But there's a stretch of time when all four teams are playing. This year it's from November 14 to November 29. From when the Illini start playing basketball until they stop playing football.

When we were in college, it felt like Illinois always played Northwestern in football right around my birthday. I remember thinking that was one thing I wanted as a present, an Illinois win.

Anyways, for perhaps the first time, I went to see one of my teams play live on my birthday.

- - -

This would also be Brit's first real hockey game. We took the boys in the spring, but sat in a suite and spent far more time walking the concourse than we did watching hockey.

We had good seats, the first time I've been in the upper deck, but also the first time I've sat at center ice. Also, the first time I got a good view of the new HD screen.

The seats feel virtually like the same angles as watching on TV. Good side to side action. I actually prefer the lower bowl even if it's behind the net because I like to feel and hear the action, but this was great viewing and Brit liked the seats a lot.

I told Brit I had a prediction. 3-2. I didn't say which team.

It was 0-0 in the first when I told Brit that Carolina's not very good. Three seconds later they scored. It was 2-0 Carolina, 5 minutes into the game. Not a great start. The Hurricanes scored to make it 3-1 late in the first. Roy pulled the 2nd string goalie, and put in Pickard, the AHL callup. (Varlamov is day to day with a groin injury.)

At this point, I told Brit that Carolina could get 6 goals.

The Avs couldn't complete a pass. They couldn't get it out of their zone with possession. They played very poorly.

After the first period, I got monster chicken nachos. It was still 3-1 when Pickard made the save of the game.

A few minutes later, Johnson scores and it's 3-2 with 31 minutes to play. (So my prediction was right!)

Colorado played better in the 2nd and 3rd, but still trailed with 6 minutes to go in the game. MacKinnon had some real chances on net but couldn't get anything to go in.

And then...

Tied up 5 to play. Now we're either getting another goal or it's going to a shootout. Either way, at least one more puck is going in the net tonight.

With two minutes to go, one did.

After that, Carolina pulled their goalie and there were some chances but nothing serious. The Avs comeback and win 4-3.

It's hard to believe but for the first time since I've moved here.

Pretty rad.

Illinois Basketball Scoring Ranks

When I see something like that, I get curious. So I looked up Illinois's scoring stats since I started going there. Stats from here

2001–2005 (Bill Self/Bruce Weber)
77.4 (51st of 321)
74.6 (66th of 325)
72.8 (88th of 326)
77.0 (21st of 326)

Not surprisingly, the year that we went to the title game is our best complete year in scoring rank. Though we actually scored more points my freshman year.

2005–2012 (Bruce Weber)

70.0 (136th of 326)
64.1 (258th of 325)
63.6 (263rd of 328)
64.8 (236th of 330)
70.8 (121st of 334)
71.0 (109th of 345)
65.6 (225th of 344)

Not great. Many people remember the 33-38 loss to Penn State during this era. In fairness, in terms of raw points, it's not a huge departure from the previous era.

2012–2015 (John Groce)

68.5 (147th of 347)
64.2 (314th of 351)
100.3 (3rd of 351)

In his first two years, Groce hasn't lit the scoring up yet. Obviously 100 points per game is not sustainable, but could it be the high 70's this year, get into the top 50 in the country again...maybe.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

About to leave to see the Avalanche play the Hurricanes. Sounds treacherous.
I want Beckman gone. Part of me was hoping we'd lose today. So the opposite of this podcast.

Raining Threes

Illinois has scored 100 in back to back games. Something that hasn't happened since '93.

After three games, out of 351 college basketball programs, here's how they rank in points per game...

Three-point percentage...

Even free throw percentage...

This team can score. And shoot from distance.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

here are all the ways this game hurts

1. It's the Raiders. You never want to lose to the Raiders. Prior to me moving to Denver, they were the team I wanted to beat the most.

2. It's embarrassing. The Raiders are a laughingstock. You don't want to be the team that loses to an 0-10 team. Plus, now they can't go 0-16.

3. Next week's game vs the Broncos is not for first place, unless the Broncos lose to Miami.

4. It blew the Chiefs divisional record, which is used as a tiebreaker if the Chiefs beat the Broncos. So it would appear unlikely that the Chiefs would own any tiebreakers, greatly reducing their chances of winning the division.

5. In ESPN's Playoff Machine, if the Chiefs had won tonight, and then you set the rest of the games to home field wins, the Chiefs would have been the #1 seed. Now a wild-card seems like their best case scenario.

6. There's even a chance that they slip out of the playoffs. You can never take anything for granted. They could lose down the stretch like they did last year and miss in entirely.

7. This essentially erases last week's win over the champs.

8. It erases a valiant comeback effort.

9. I hate blaming shit on the refs when the Chiefs blew it so many times, but I thought that was a terrible PI call against Parker on a 3rd down on the Raiders last drive. I thought it was going to be offensive interference and push it back to a 57-yard field goal attempt to tie...instead it gave them a fresh set of downs.

10. It ends a five-game winning streak and now the rest of the season is in jeopardy.

The only silver lining is we have 10 days to prepare for the Broncos. Win that one and I'll forgive (but won't forget) this one.
I just watched that entire game. Fuck.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Comparing Football Nerds

Both Football Outsiders and FiveThirtyEight have published their probabilities this week, I thought I would compare them.

Chiefs Winning the AFC West
FO: 47.4%
FTE: 29.9%

Chiefs Making the Playoffs
FO: 87.6%
FTE: 83.5%

Chiefs Getting #1 Seed
FO: 21.8%
FTE: 14.4%

They are close enough on making the playoffs, but clearly Football Outsiders is higher on the Chiefs than FiveThirtyEight. Hmm

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

This Hurts My Head

Here are this week's odds from Football Outsiders...

The Chiefs have a 17.6% chance of making it to the Super Bowl. This is the same team that hasn't won a playoff game in 20 years.

Isn't Indy really low for a team that's a 87% chance of winning their division and thus getting a home playoff game?

Current possibility of a Chiefs-Lions Super Bowl? 2.34%

Winning the AFC West probabilities:
Broncos 51%
Chiefs 47%

State of Sports

Things have changed since the last time I did this...

The Chiefs have won all 5 games since last time and are now 7-3, same as the Broncos. They should make the playoffs and if they can beat the Broncos on November 30th, have a shot of taking the division.

The Avs are 25th in the NHL. They are 12th in the West. The seasons's basically 1/4 over. There's certainly time to turn it around. I'm going to the Hurricanes game Saturday (my birthday). I don't have a ton of faith. They have the roster and the coaching...but they just haven't been playing well enough.

Illinois Basketball is kicking off. Scored 114 points, more than they ever scored during the great teams we saw from 2001-05. Key games against Miami, Villanova, Oregon and Missouri highlight the non-conference schedule.

Illinois Football doesn't warrant mention.

Tasty Salted Pig Parts is going to the playoffs for the first time in the 6-year history of Burnsy Sucks. Law of averages says that I would have made it twice in 6 years. Maybe I'll get the #1 seed. I like my team. We'll see.

Super Bowl Choke Job is also going to the playoffs in the first year of the work league. I'll most likely be the #2 seed. 2-week playoffs in weeks 14/15 and 16/17. I feel better about my chances over 2 weeks. I've got Josh Gordon. I don't have Peterson.

I'm crushing it in Calcutta. Packers, Cardinals, Cowboys are all legit contenders in the NFC. Patriots and Chiefs are contenders in the AFC.

The only other update from last time...the Royals finished their season one base away. I want to write about their run at some point. It was fun while it lasted.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Breaking Down Melvin Gordon's Historic Day

On Saturday, Melvin Gordon broke LaDainian Tomlinson's record for rushing yards in a game. But there's more to it that meets the eye. This is the play by play for Gordon's runs. Each number is number of rushing yards.

First Quarter
NEB 10 WIS 0
NEB 10 WIS 3
-1 (lost fumble)
Second Quarter
NEB 17 WIS 3
62 (touchdown)
NEB 17 WIS 10
16 (lost fumble)
NEB 17 WIS 17
Third Quarter
NEB 17 WIS 24
1 (touchdown)
NEB 17 WIS 31
6 (touchdown)
NEB 17 WIS 38
NEB 17 WIS 45
26 (touchdown)

There it is. That's how you have the greatest game for a college running back ever.
A couple things to look at.

1. Two lost fumbles. Against a ranked opponent that's enough to lose you the game or get you benched. Not here.

2. Nebraska was up 17-3 in the 2nd quarter. On 3rd and 6, the Badger QB converts a first down. If that doesn't happen, the drive is over and Gordon can't run for 62 on the next play. If they give the ball back to the Huskers there and they go up 24-3, maybe there's not as many rushing's a bit of a stretch to say that Wisconsin would abandon the run considering their identity, but down big most teams don't run as much as they do normally.

3. He had two carries, and then they were down 10-0. There's often a lot of out of one player's hands.

4. He had exactly one run that gained between 10-25 yards and he lost a fumble on it. He had 7 carries for 25+. If you let him get 10, he was gone.

5. 2nd and 3rd string running backs averaged 6 and 9 yards per carry, bringing the team average per carry down to 11 yards.

6. His 1-yard touchdown and 6-yard touchdown brought down his average. Without those touchdown, he averaged 17.4 yards per carry.

7. Oh yeah, and Nebraska has a good run defense (well, had) and Gordon only played three quarters. Truly historic.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blast from the Past

The following video was recorded on October 19, 2005. It was captured via a digital camera pointed at my TV in my studio apartment. It was then emailed to Mark.

It actually predates what is now Hoagie Central. That was launched on November 14, 2005 and backfilled with posts gathered from emails.

Anyways, I fucked up in the voiceover. I'm Ohio State who has the ball on the Penn State 38. I'm up 7-0 in the 2nd quarter but facing 4th and 17. Too long for a field goal. But punting doesn't gain that much field position...

Going Streaking

6 teams in the NFL have a winning streak of more than 1 game. 

Arizona and New England own the rights to the "hottest team in the league" but the Chiefs are right behind them.

On the other end of the spectrum, 8 teams have a losing streak of more than one game. The Raiders...Christ.

For Fuck's Sake

Get your shit together, Indy.

That is the last team I want to play. The Chiefs are on a 0-7 playoff streak dating back to 1994. 4 of those 7 have been against the Colts. In my modern era,  I've seen 4 playoff games. 3 against the Colts. After last year, I could go Luck's entire career without playing them and be happy.

If Indy falls to the 4th, the Chiefs should absolutely do what they can to drop to the 6th spot.

1.53% Chance of Apocalypse

So these numbers are five days old, calculated before the Chiefs beat the Seahawks and the current Lions-Cardinals game, but I don't want to wait 2 days for more numbers.

According to Football Outsiders on 11/11/14, Detroit had a riduculous 18.6% chance of getting to the Super Bowl. Detroit!

And the Chiefs had a 8.2% chance. That will go up.

If the Cardinals hang on to their 8-point lead, the Lions numbers will go down. But still...

You combine those numbers and you see that there is a 1.53% chance of a Chiefs-Lions Super Bowl.

Drinking the Goddamn Kool-Aid

The last year with Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli and Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn...the Chiefs were 2-14, the worst team in the league.

Since then, with Andy Reid and John Dorsey and Alex Smith...the Chiefs are 16-8, finished 8th in the league last year, 6th in the league currently.

I was wrong about Smith. Here's to a Alex Smith-Drew Stanton Super Bowl.

Chiefs Beat Champs, Broncos Fall To Rams

Ho Ho Ho Motherfuckers

I don't know why that's what popped into my head, but I'm going with it. The Chiefs just knocked off the defending champs. The Broncos have lost to the Patriots, Rams and Seahawks--the Chiefs have beaten all of them.

The Chiefs and Broncos both have 3 home games and 3 road games left.

Worse case scenario at 7-3 with a 5-2 conference record and a win over Miami and New England, plus two games agains the Raiders, the Chiefs should absolutely make the playoffs. The 5-seed looks very much in grasp. I would love, love, love to play the AFC North Champ this year, even if it is on the road.

But...say the Chiefs beat the Broncos on November 30th. That puts them 1 game ahead in the standings. If the Chiefs win their other divisional games (2 vs Raiders, home vs Chargers)...they would own the tiebreaker over the Broncos. Which means they could drop 1 of Cardinals/Steelers and still take the division. Or if the Broncos slip up again, the Chiefs could drop 2. If the Broncos lose to San Diego, then the Chiefs could do the same.

So there it is. Win vs Oakland, get to 8-3 and then a game for first place in the division against the Broncos. Seriously. This is happening.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Orange Hush

Yes, Orange Hush is cool. But what happens after is even better.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Broncos have NEVER beaten the Chiefs three times in the same year. So if Denver wins in a couple weeks, you know they don't want any part of Kansas City.

Seriously, if the Chiefs can hold onto the 5 seed and get to play an AFC North team in the opening playoff game, I would be really happy. I don't want any part of the Colts.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

playoff standings

I would sign up for Chiefs @ Browns in a heartbeat.

Also, are the Lions actually going to get a first-round bye?

The burger bet is very much in play. Although hosting any of the Eagles, Saints, Cowboys or Seahawks is not that enticing of a playoff matchup. I guess they Lions would be a favorite against the Saints, but that might be it.

Friday, November 07, 2014

First Look at Illini Basketball Uniforms

The zigzag...looks better than expected? Kind of snazzy, no?

Thursday, October 30, 2014


If you look back at this, I was remarkably prescient. Well, almost.

The Giants did win 3-2 of some big Sandoval hits. And I knew they were going to lose to Bumgarner.

Phew, I was really close on this one.

one single away

On the bright side, not buying a world series shirt saves me about 27 bucks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

24 hours in paradise

Saturday, Brit and I departed DIA for MCI. We landed in Kansas City around 5:30, left with a rental car (a Buick) by 5:44. We were at Arthur Bryant's shortly after 6pm.

I ordered the combo (2 meats). I picked brisket and burnt ends. I got fried and beans. And a large souvenir soda. The combo is 10.50, with everything it was about 20 bucks.

Just phenomenal. Really fucking good. Everything was perfect. Well the fries weren't my favorite (not crispy at all) but who cares. I would order the same thing every time. It took about 20 minutes to get through the line. As we left, the line was out the door.

Brit didn't get anything there, so next stop was the Plaza. The buildings were decorated and lit up for the Royals.

We got an outdoor table at the Cheesecake Factory. By the time we left the Royals were up 4-1. We headed downtown. It was surprisingly crowded. I figured the sports bars would be packed. But the streets were jammed. Lots were charging $20 for "Event Parking." That cracked me up. The event in question is a baseball game in California. Eventually we drove by this scene:

It's not my picture. Because I didn't get out of the car. There was nowhere to park and the line to get in seemed impossible. (Because who's going to leave?) So we headed toward the burbs, Overland Park. When we were downtown it was 4-4.

We walked into a sports bar in Overland Park. It was full but not exciting. The Royals were down 4-7. Tired, we just headed back to the hotel. Turned on the TV, and the Royals were down 11-4.

The next morning we hit Gates before going to Arrowhead.

I ordered something I've never had before. A double decker combo, two meats in one sandwich. I picked beef and pork. The woman behind the counter described it to somebody else, "21 slices of meat."

So fucking good. Gates and Arthur Bryant's really are the two best barbecue restaurants in Kansas City (and by extrapolation, probably the planet.)

Brit asked me which is better. My answer to her:

"Arthur Bryant's is probably a little better. But Gates tastes like home. If you could only have one meal, do you go with what's better or what tastes like home?"

Brit: "Probably home."


But no reason to choose. Just go to both.

And then it's on to Arrowhead. The parking was a nightmare. They developed a new system and we were in the stadium complex 20 minutes before the game, but it took 40 minutes for them to route our car to a spot. Awful. I heard the Rams score from the car radio.

Eventually we got to our seats.

We're 28 rows up in the upper deck (of about 40) but right on the 50. They're actually really great seats. I didn't mind the height. And it's a great view. The first drive I got to watch, the Chiefs scored and tied it at 7-7.

With 7:46 left in the 2nd quarter, still a 7-7 game, Charles fumbled and the Rams took over at the Chiefs 8 yard line. This would be the turning point of the game.

1st and 2nd down resulted in 1 yard run. On 3rd and goal from the 6, Ron Parker sacked Austin Davis for a 14 yard loss. On 4th down, Zuerlein missed the 38-yard field goal.

That defensive stand allowed 0 points and even gained 20 yards of field position.

On the ensuing drive, the Chiefs hit a 53-yard field goal as the first half expired.

On the ensuing kickoff, Knile Davis returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.

The Chiefs tacked on 17 more points and the Rams never had a chance. In garbage time, the Rams got the red zone for the first time since the fumble, but were sacked on 3rd and 4th down. It was a complete domination. The touchdown return after halftime was the best part.

After the game it was back to the MCI, the saddest international airport in the world.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

football triple crown (I was there)

On Saturday, Illinois got their first Big Ten win of the season over Minnesota, who was 3-0 in the Big Ten.

On Sunday, I saw the Chiefs blowout the Rams in person 34-7 to get to 4-3 on the season.

And on Monday, I beat Bobby 129-90 to get to 7-1 on the season. Luck put up 32, Hilton 24, Lacy 21.

Monday, October 27, 2014

First Avs Highlights of 14-15

There hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about for the Avalanche this year. They're 27th in a league of 30 teams and just lost to #28.

Although it feels like the season just started, it's already 11% over. In the NFL, it would be the 4th quarter in week 2. Plenty of time to turn it around, but they've already dug themselves a hole.

Anyways, they finally had a nice game, hanging 7 on the Canucks. And there were some beauties:

Spin and nice pass by Duchene, Iginla backhands it top shelf.

Duchene dangles and makes another nice pass, McGinn buries it.

Duchene turns a 2 on 1 into a breakaway. That's what speed do.

Iginla makes a sick backhand tip. Wait for the last angle.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Royals are going to win the World Series

Royals in 6 or 7.

Truthfully, I think the the Royals will win games 3 and 4, lose to Bumgarner in 5, and then earn the hardware in front of the home crowd in game 6.

If they drop one of 3 or 4, and I could see a 3-2 Giants victory off some big Sandoval hits, it doesn't concern me. Because then you'd get a game 7.

I think the Giants only hope is to take care of business in San Francisco.

- - -

Two nights ago, I saw something I've never seen before. The Royals lost a playoff game.
Last night, I saw something I've never seen before and never thought I would ever see. The Royals won a World Series game.

- -

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Way too early CFB playoff analysis

This morning there were 5 undefeated college football teams.

Baylor lost.
Notre Dame and FSU play each other today.
Ole Miss and Miss St play each other later.

So we're going to have at most, 2 undefeated teams come playoff time, possibly 1, possibly 0.

It appears the winner of Notre Dame/FSU should wrap up a playoff spot, barring a letdown later.
The SEC champ will for sure get one.
Another SEC team could get in.

Michigan State and Oregon need to run the table to have a shot.

Perhaps even the Notre Dame/FSU loser could get the 4th slot. There's room for a surprise team. Lots could happen...

- - -

Just to go on record, I'll assume FSU wins tonight.

1 SEC Champ (Let's say Alabama)
3 Oregon
4 Auburn

What a piece of shit

"Welcome to the worst World Series ever"

I clicked because I thought it had to be a joke. Some sort of ironic twist headline. But no, he's serious. Because they're wild-card teams?

It may be a good Series, it may be a bad one. But to say it's the worst ever before a game has been played, after these two teams have ripped through the opposition, just makes you sound stupid.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

On October 25, I'll be landing in Kansas City at 5:41pm Central Time.
On October 25, the Kansas City Royals will be playing Game 4 of the World Series, in San Francisco, at 7:07pm Central Time.

This trip was booked back in early August. Now it's just hard to believe.

For what it's worth, Game 5 (if necessary) begins at 6:07 Mountain Time. I'm supposed to land at 7:10 Mountain Time. By the time I get home and put the kids to bed the game could be over, or in the late innings.

Of course, none of that matters if the Royals sweep the Giants and the only 24 hours that I'm in Kansas City this year (and the first time since 2011) coincides with the city's first major championship since 1985.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In my serious fandom, the Chiefs are 0-4 in the playoffs. The Royals are 6-0.

I've never seen the Chiefs win one, I've never seen the Royals lose one.

Edit: Make that 7-0. 10-game playoff streak dating back to '85. Holy shit.

State of Sports

The Chiefs are 2-3. They're a middle of the pack NFL team and will finish behind the Chargers and Broncos. But nothing that happens this season can take away the incredible Monday Night Football win over the Patriots. I'll be at the Chiefs-Rams game in two weeks which looks winnable. And despite being two games behind the Lions, if I know the Lions, the burger bet is still up for grabs.

The Avalanche are 1-2, getting their first goal of the season in their first win of the season. New Av Briere scored the GWG at with .5 seconds left in the game.

The Royals are up 2-0 in the ALCS, which just feels strange to type. In fact, it's possible that the Royals could win the World Series during the 24 hours we'll be in Kansas City (though it would be a sweep and it would be on the road). In three weeks, I won't be a Royals fan anymore. But man, this is fun.

Illinois Football is a dumpster fire. Beckman is a dead man walking. In Lunt and Bailey, we have two of the best quarterbacks in the conference, and we still can't win a game. This team is bad and will be bad for a while. 

Illinois Basketball though, is on the rise. I've already predicted I expect this team to reach the Final Four in the next five years.

Tasty Salted Pig Parts is 6-0. I'm 5th out of 12th in points scored, but have a 3 game lead in my division. A 2-4 teams has scored more points than me. I drafted the best QB, but picked up the 3rd best TE and 4th best DST on the waiver wire. My most disappointing player is Lacy, my first round pick. But he was still a better pick than Peterson. A 1 vs 4 matchup with Mark is not out of the question. 

Super Bowl Choke Job is 4-2. I'm currently 4th in standings, but 2nd in points scored. 4 teams make the playoffs, so I'm still sitting pretty. I have Gordon stashed, so I feel even better about my chances of making the Super Bowl in this league. 

In Calcutta, I invested in the Packers and Patriots and they are both leading their divisions. Surprisingly, the Panthers, Cardinals and Cowboys are also leading their divisions and the Bills could make the playoffs as well.

To sum up, things are going quite well. Everything has some hope, except for Illinois Football.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Royals Riding an 8-Game Postseason Winning Streak

After being miserable my entire life, the Royals are 5-0 in the playoffs. And 4 of the 5 games have gone to extra innings and been thoroughly entertaining. I thought the Royals blew their chance in the top of the 7th, and especially in the top of the 9th, only to get a three run lead in the top of the 10th, and still face the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the 10th. These have been some of the best baseball games I've ever seen.

I still think the best is this. But man, this is fun.

Today I've got Game 2 of the Royals at 2pm and then the Avs home opener at 7pm. (I'm not even counting the dumpster fire that is Illinois Football.)

Anyways, as previously noted, this is fun.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

This is SO 2014 Journalism

What I mean by that is, now more than ever, it feels like there are articles being written where the author knows the audience likes a subject, and the author is critical. And then finds a subject that the audience doesn't like so much, and is very favorable.

To wit, Grantland published an article yesterday titled, Overrated, Underrated, or Properly Rated: Weezer.

In this article, Weezer's masterpiece Pinkerton is called overrated, while their two disappointingly mediocre albums that follow it are called underrated.

This is the world we live in.

this map hurts my head

It's not a big exaggeration to say that the Royals have been in last place all my life. So to see's hard to know what to make of it. It feels like the scene in Back to the Future II when the Cubs win the World Series. (Also, how great is it that the movie was made 30 years ago and it was a joke for the Cubs to win it all and they still haven't?)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

So Satisfying

I thought I had it clinched when I was up 91 to 29. And then going into SNF, I thought Mark had it clinched. This is a special one.

Biggest Blowout Ever

I crushed him.

Just for comparison, here's a shot of the entire league's scores for week 5. 

I picked up the Packers D when I heard Ponder was starting against them. I had enough points Thursday night to cover the victory.

(Earlier I tried to trade Lacy and Gates for Jimmy Graham. Glad that owner declined.)

I'm really in the driver's seat. I've stashed Josh Gordon and Moreno on my bench for the playoffs. This week I'm going against the 5-0 team. This has #1 seed implications.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Hoagie Central on The Royals

In 2007, I gave the Royals a chance.

"if they ever make the World Series, at least I could say that I never followed another team."

I even live-blogged opening day.

13 games in, they were the worst team in the league.

In July I was hoping they would not finish last in the division. (They would.)

In 2008, they were winning their division (in the first week) (They finished 4th)

And last year, they started 17-11.

A few weeks ago, I was preparing to jump on the bandwagon.

I remember back in 2007, I found the blog Royals Review. They were getting over 100 comments per blog post when they were last in the division. Those fans are loyal to the point of insanity. I am not one of them.

But right now they are up 5-1 in the 3rd with their ace on the mound, with a 2-0 series lead over the best team in baseball. For those fans that were commenting back in 2007 on a hopeless team, I can only imagine what that feels like.

- - -

It's kind of crazy that I have no memories of the Chiefs winning a playoff game, but now I've seen the Royals have one of the best comebacks to knock off the A's, and then two more road extra-inning wins over the Angels. Who knew the Royals would have been the better stock to get in on if you wanted to see Kansas City playoff victories.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm just going to save this for later

If Kansas City wins tonight, Kansas City wins tomorrow night.
If Kansas City loses tonight, Kansas City loses tomorrow night.

Friday, September 26, 2014

holy shit, is it 5775 already?

I can't find anything to post that is both Jewish and funny.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Resurgence of Illinois Basketball

Illinois Basketball is on the rise. We're going to be good again.

This article shows us our 4-star recruits on the roster: Nunn, Colbert, Black, Williams, Jordan, Coleman.

And then you look down at this handy scholarship grid found here and you see all of them on the team in 2016-2017. 

This year we get to see Ahmad Starks, Michael Finke, and Leron Black for the first time. And then next year, three more awesome guys come on. I like this.

We're going to be good this year. And it should get better and better. I believe in Groce. I expect Illinois to go to the Final Four within the next five years.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Best Start Ever

This is the 6th year of Burnsy Sucks Fantasy Football on Since I'm 3-0, I'd thought I'd look back at the previous five years and see my previous results.

2009: 0-3
2010: 2-1
2011: 2-1
2012: 0-3
2013: 2-1
2014: 3-0

I've never made the playoffs in the first five years of Burnsy Sucks. Will this year be the year?

(I did make the Super Bowl back in 2007 in Year One of our draft league, Construda)

- - -

Also, I wouldn't have gotten to 3-0 if Martellus Bennett hadn't been available on the waiver wire. I saw that Vernon Davis was doubtful and looked to pick up a TE.

In a league full of Bears fans, the 2nd best TE was sitting there having gone undrafted. He was drafted in the 9th round of my work league. (In my work league, I actually was targeting Bennett as the top TEs were off the board. But then Pitta was still there and ranked higher so I took him against my instinct.)

Anyways, Bennett came through for me and if Lacy can get going, I might actually make the playoffs.

Monday, September 22, 2014

2 games on the line

First up, in Burnsy Sucks, I'm only down 6.5 points with Martellus Bennett tonight. I had given up on this game and then the Panthers instead of scoring 8 or 10 points, put up a -4. I feel pretty good about this. Which means there's a 80% chance that Bennett puts up a 4.5.

In my work league I'm holding a 20 point lead against Forte AND Marshall. Yikes. Basically one touchdown for either guy and I'm done. Poop.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

There's a ton--I mean, it's all I read--of Illini people talking about how the Big Ten is there for the taking. How the Big Ten is so down that this a great window for Illinois to make a move and get to a good bowl game and contend for the division.

Do they not see that Illinois sucks as much as everyone else in the Big Ten? The Big Ten is just as there for the taking as it is for Northwestern and Purdue and Illinois and none of them are going to contend for the division because they're all terrible.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How To: Carbonara, Take Three

In the summer of 1999, my Dad and I took a road trip to the northeast. We met a family friend in Brooklyn who took us to an authentic Italian restaurant. I ordered fettucine carbonara. I was hooked. It took me three tries to figure out how to do it right at home.

Attempt #1.
Attempt #2.

I'm nearing the completion of a personal project, creating a cookbook. This is the last entree. And I finally figured out how to do it.


12 ounces angel hair pasta
8 pieces thick cut bacon, diced small
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole eggs
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and lots of black pepper


Dice the raw bacon and fry over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels, and season with pepper. Return the pan to the stove and throw in the onions and garlic. Cook until golden brown. Set aside. Drain but don't clean the pan.

Add the pasta to boiling water. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together eggs, Parmesan, cream, and salt and pepper until smooth. When the pasta is done, reserve a bit of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and place it in a bowl. While the pasta is still really hot, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture, stirring the pasta the whole time. The sauce will become thick and should coat the pasta. Splash in a little hot pasta water if needed for consistency (I didn't need to). Add to frying pan and stir briskly. Add the bacon, and sauteed onion/garlic.

The result is amazing. Cooking the onions and garlic in the bacon grease, and then finishing the whole pasta in the same pan gives it incredible flavor. And the ratio of egg and cream was perfect for me. (I know some people will say that cream has no place in a traditional carbonara. Okay. I guess this isn't traditional. But it's very, very good.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Broncos beat Chiefs again, Peyton's Broncos 5-0 vs Chiefs

I don't even really care anymore. I was upset yesterday right when it happened. But eh, I expected the Broncos to win by 27.

I expected the Broncos to play much better, and the Chiefs to play much worse.

Yet that was a totally winnable game. It came down to just a few things. I'm just doing this from memory so it may not be accurate.

1. That punt. 4th and and a foot. It was only a 4 point game in the second quarter. Drive and take the lead. Or you punt and Peyton gets a touchdown.

2. That drive. Down 21-10, the Chiefs go on their longest (timewise) drive in 16 years. 10 minutes to open the 3rd quarter. They had a 1st and goal from the 4, I think. And got no points. I thought it was stupid to cut Succop to save money and it looks really stupid now.

3. That last drive. After not getting any points on drives 1 and 2 listed above, the Chiefs still had a 1st and goal with a chance to tie in the last two minutes. Again, couldn't get a touchdown when they needed it.

3 good chances, 0 points. In a 7-point game.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Grow Some Balls Andy Reid

Seriously? 4th and a foot at midfield. 2nd quarter only down four against Peyton Manning. And you just give them the ball? There are high school teams that go for it on 4th and 12 from their own 10 against Joe Schlub.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Broncos -12 is the biggest lock in history.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

This Is Fun

Surprisingly, my work league is actually really exciting. The ability to talk trash in person is an added element. Also my team is better and I have a realistic shot of winning it all.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Another Shitty Year for the Chiefs.

God, the Chiefs are shit. Awful.

Feels like 2011 where they started 0-3 the year after making the playoffs. Two defensive starters lost for the year already.

3rd place in the AFC West is the ceiling. Last place likely. Chiefs-Raiders games will be brutal to watch.

3-13 or 4-12 is in play.

Is it Avalanche season yet?

Lunt for Heisman

Man, Illinois is shitty. We've almost lost to a FCS team and WKU. But at least we covered the spread this week. And we're at the top of the conference and Northwestern is at the bottom.

4-8 is in play!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Football Predictions

Illinois Football
2-2 non-conference
1-7 in the Big Ten
3-9 overall

Chiefs Football

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bold Strategy

I really respect Andy Reid's strategy to play like absolute dogshit in the preseason, thus ensuring that opponents in the regular season don't get psyched up to play against them, paving the way for the Chiefs to win the division.

- - -

Cotton: It appears that Average Joe's is forfeiting the final match.
Pepper: That's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for 'em.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Grantland's SNL Bracket

I'm not old enough to accurately comment on the first region. You can't really go wrong.

Farley/Hartman is too close to call. I guess Farley, but it's narrow.

Ferrell faces no competition.

Wiig-Sudeikis should be the regional final. I guess Sudeikis but he's not on the same level as the other regionals.

Will Ferrell has an easy road to the Finals on the right while the left is a bloodbath.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Once the 538 burrito bracket named their final 16, I predicted that 3 of the 4 would come from California. Cancun, Al & Bea's, and La Taqueria all seemed like shoe-ins. I figured the one not from California would be Tlaxcalli.

Well, they've named 2 of their final four, and I'm spot on so far.
Mrs. Hoagie Central has expanded on her original Manning injury prediction: I think he'll get through the first six games fine. I don't think he'll miss any games but I expect it to affect his performance. I expect him to be working through it on the sideline but downplay it in the media.

Royals Bandwagon

The last time the Royals made the playoffs, I hadn't yet turned two.

I have zero memories of the Royals being a good team. I don't really care about the Royals. I wouldn't buy a t-shirt even if they win it all. But I'll root for the Royals. (I'd also root for the Rockies but don't really care about them. The two franchises combined have a total of one postseason berth since 1996.)

That said, I'm ready to jump on the Royals bandwagon in October. (Regular season baseball is awful. Playoff baseball can be good sometimes.) Here's the current playoff picture.

The way it's shaping up now, the A's and Angels are the best teams in the AL, and the Royals could avoid both until the ALCS.

So yeah, if someone could start the engine on the bandwagon, I'll just run out and catch it as it goes by. (You're going to get some hop-ons.)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Since I moved to Denver, the Chiefs are 1-5 vs the Broncos.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Live from Billings, Montana

Okay, so I didn't get to Billings. I stayed two nights in Worland, WY for work and this is what was given to me at the hotel.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Breaking: We're Going to a Chiefs Game

Brit and I will be at Arrowhead Stadium on October 26, 2014, to see the Kansas City Chiefs host the St. Louis Rams.

We'll be in Kansas City for 24 hours. Barbecue will be consumed.

My wife is the best.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Big Ten Divisions

The Leaders and Legends existed for three years. They are no more. For posterity...

Ohio State
Penn State

Michigan State

Division Champs during this era:
Wisconsin, Ohio State x2, Nebraska, Michigan State x2

The new divisions are...


Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn State

- - -

From Illinois's perspective, we lost Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana and gained Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Northwestern.

Wisconsin and Purdue remain unchanged in the division.
Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Maryland remain unchanged out of the division.

It's a small sample size, but of the 6 division champs in the Leaders/Legends era, 2 are now in the West, 4 are in the East.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Originality in Big Ten Logos / Spelling

So there are now 14 teams in the Big Ten. Remember when there were 11 teams and the conference logo had that subtle nod? 

Anyways, I noticed that 10 of the 14 use a single letter as their logo. Indiana also letters but the IU combo doesn't fit in. The others, Penn State, Michigan State and Iowa, all use graphic symbols for logos. 

I thought it would be interesting to see if they spelled any words. It's not as great as I would have hoped for.
I suppose the best I can do that relates to sports is...