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?