I was out of town this weekend for my Aunt's Birthday, and while I was gone, the landcouple and the handyman set up the new heater. The new heater is pretty tall! It's about an inch shorter than me. Very tall, and impressive no less. It can heat things up in a hurry.
I probably won't use it much this week, because the temperatures are heating up out here. We had a *very* cold weekend in California. Each night this weekend, the temperatures went as low as 35 degrees, which is pretty frigid for these parts. Highs were hovering around 55 degrees all weekend. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. I only needed my long sleeved shirt and this semi thick jacket. Pants too.
I can't waste too much time breaking down all the NFL games this weekend, as I'll be doing the same on thisjongruden.com. All I want to say is:
Peyton Manning -- never trust this guy in the playoffs. I knew it from the moment he locked up that 1 seed with the Broncos. Something was going to go wrong. I didn't think the Broncos would lose per se but I had a BIG feeling the Ravens were going to play them tough. I had that feeling for nearly a week.
I just want to hear what the excuses are this time. Manning has a better defense now than he ever had with Indy, at least on paper. He has a great home field advantage. He has a mostly likeable coach like John Fox. He had plenty of time to rest. He had a worn down, old, and pretty mediocre Ravens team to play against. NOW what? If Manning and his Broncos were so good, then what are they doing at home? Same ole Manning. Which is exactly why I saw it coming. Seemed to me that Manning's "act" was largely unaccounted for in most football experts' predictions.
Likewise, Pete Carroll and the Adderall Jokers of the Northwest can SMELL IT! Team of destiny my ass! After making a big comeback like that, what group of morons would allow 70 yards in 30 seconds to set up the Falcons' winning field goal. The Falcons were spent and that soft defense Carroll put out there ruined the game! That was so satisfying, my friends. This is Carroll in a nutshell... he rah-rahs his teams to big things, but when it's time to COACH, ya know, make a good decision, he is clueless at the wheel. Take your dirty team back to Seattle and go suck on some more frapuccinos you clowns! Better luck next year, Seachickens!
Why the unbridled, irrational hate of the Seahawks? I saw Carroll punk his guys at SC and it started a resentment for the Seahawks that grew over time. Now I'm just doing it because there's no going back. The Seahawks truly had the better team out there and somehow they blew the game anyway. Well... not sure what else to do with that.
My buddy Chris in Syracuse and I were breaking down favorite sandwiches last night. I came up with this top five, in no particular order:
- Philly Cheesesteak sandwich -- many places do it well, including spots in LA as a matter of fact.
- Godmother Sandwich -- cappy, salami, provolone, some other sliced meats, with all the Italian fixings, hot peppers, and so on. Bay Cities is a master at making this sandwich.
- Pastrami Sandwich -- the creme de la creme: Langer's in Los Angeles, Katz's in NYC, and a whole lot of other places who do pretty well but only come into the neighborhood of these two. Some say "get it with the cheese and coleslaw." I say just go plain with some mustard. It's the best.
- Tri Tip Sandwich, Just BBQ Style -- my favorite Tri Tip Sandwich is made at Just BBQ in Ventura. I've eaten it numerous times over 15 years. It's wonderful. The way they smoke the meat and craft the bbq sauce is one of a kind. Nobody and I mean *nobody* in LA can make a tri tip sandwich this good (and sure as hell can't do it for $6.50).
- McDonald's McRib sandwich -- need I say more?
Huell Howser died last week, and I hope to carry on in a way similar to his loopy unedited observations of the world. He was great at it on "California's Gold" (KCET):
I'm gonna miss that guy.
I can't get that excited about the start of baseball season like other people I know. The only problem is that baseball goes on for-ever. Once it gets here you can't get rid of it! It is a long, long season. I like just waking up one day and seeing baseball in action. Then I can absorb it like a sponge, roll through the season and then look at who the Yankees and Red Sox will face in the playoffs.
One of my all time running pipe dreams is a postseason without either the Yankees or Red Sox. Since the Wild Card Era began, I don't think we've had a postseason without at least one of the two. You can bet that's the exact reason Bud Selig *used* a wild card. I bet Selig likes that either of those two teams is a lock for the playoffs every year.
I've grown to accept it. I'm not going to gripe about the value of either Boston or New York to baseball, as they're both tremendous assets to the sport. I just feel like both of those groups are already pretty good, and they don't need the extra help. Still, we're in a good spot now with where baseball is. May we usher in a new year... but eventually, I'm patient enough to just focus on other things for now.
Here's the thing: All I want is for the NFL to somehow avoid hosting Baltimore *and* Atlanta in the Super Bowl. That is going to be a chore for a lot of people and frankly, I would have no interest watching that game. Both of those teams together would be impossible to root for. There are people on both the Ravens and Falcons that I enjoy. However, seeing a game where one has to win would be a farce. I don't think I could take two full weeks of Ray Lewis saying that either they are the chosen team or that nobody is giving them a chance. Of course he couldn't just retire gracefully! He had to make the entire playoffs some giant running story about how it's *his* farewell tour. These are the kinds of things Favre would do. Oi.
I was happy to see the Broncos choke, but seeing these Ravens clowns advance is the price we pay. It's fine: as long as the Pats do their job, it won't be such a big deal.
We've all said plenty about the Falcons. They don't know how to win. ATL has a 20 point lead and does everything in its power to give it away, only to see Seattle *give* them the game with a few seconds left. I'm fine if ATL makes the Super Bowl on its own against NE, because they will be toast against a smart team like the Pats. Against the Ravens, I would just as soon go to Disneyland.
I always used Disneyland as a leveraging chip: if the Super Bowl was completely objectionable, I'd forget watching it and go to the happiest place on earth. Fortunately that moment has not occurred yet. I wanted to go to ditch Super Bowl XLII so badly, remember that one with NYG and NE? The Perfect Season. I was so fed up with the Perfect Season talk that I was ready to abort the SB altogether. Then, after a few days, my friends convinced me to watch the game anyway.
Then a few days after that, I realized that the Giants might have a shot in this one. They played NE tough to close out the regular season and at that time Jacob Rosales and I lived in Santa Barbara. One day, when it was cold and overcast, we met at an In N Out and went over the matchup. Both of us said "You know what? Maybe the Giants could make a game of this."
The day of the Super Bowl, I'm at my parents house, and I told my little sister, who had no idea how point spreads worked, that the Patriots were 12.5 point favorites. I went into the game's telecast, having fully come around to the Patriots as a dynasty, and ready to fully root them on to a historic win. THEN...
The unbelievable happened. The Giants fought like a gutty little boxing contender for the full 15 rounds, and as the game moved into the second half, my family, and I, and a couple dozen other people around the house who came over, were sensing the Patriots could lose this game. Obviously we know the rest: Giants came back and got a HUGE, world-shocking upset and unseated the Pats. New England hasn't been the same since.
It's early to get into this, but there are two streaks on the line for the Super Bowl this year: the Dave Super Bowl Prediction, which has been correct for every Super Bowl since 2008, and the "streak of close games in the Super Bowl."
I am fully convinced that both streaks will come to an end this year. Interestingly, a third "streak" of sorts is about to end:
For three years, starting with Super Bowl XLIV, every Super Bowl had two quarterbacks from the same group of six: Manning, Eli Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers, and Roethlisberger. Together, I called them the "Super Six." It was a good era, and with so many good QBs involved, it's not surprising to see each of those games become good games. If you take it a step further, at least *one* of the Super Six represented in every Super Bowl going back through the 2003 season. That is a long, LONG time to have the same group of six QBs involved.
If the Patriots can't beat Baltimore this weekend, we will see the first Super Bowl not featuring a Super Six QB since the Bucs smashed the Raiders in SB XXXVII. It can't be good news with respect to the quality of the game.
Even so, with good games stretching back through a decade, I will remember the "Super Six" era of the Super Bowl fondly. Especially with the last four seasons, we've had some good games featuring some big moments from the 'Six.
My brain is out of gas. I think I'll post some additional thoughts later on, but hope all is well for most of you. Catch you soon!