Some Normal

If you are like me, you are very tired of living in unprecedented times and would like a little bit of normal in your life. It was an odd Labor Day weekend with a late Kentucky Derby. My daughter is back at school. but still taking online classes. My job is still very different than it was before. It’s all very stressful and depressing. Luckily, I’ve had something recently that feels somewhat normal: fantasy football.

I sent out the email recently about getting our league set up for the new season. At the last minute, two people decided that they did not want to play this year. One cited “the state of professional sports” I’m not sure why the are out. I just know that I need this to feel like something is normal. We scrambled and found two new people to join, so the league will continue.

This means that I have spent the weekend transferring teams to the new players and getting things ready for our draft tonight. Part of that is the usual harassing of the slow people who have not told me who their keeper players are yet. There has also been a string of text messages from people regarding the league and other random things. The draft is tonight, so I will spend time today making sure everything is set up for that to happen and then at 9 I will be online drafting a team and chatting with the other players.

The NFL season starts Thursday night. I’m really looking forward to watching football again. I’m looking forward to looking at the stats to see how my fantasy tam is doing. I’m looking forward to a Sunday afternoon watching my Ravens play. I’m looking forward to something that is somewhat normal. I need it.

On a different topic – I decided to claim my blog on Bloglivin, so here is the required link to to so. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Support the Common Tater

An Odd Derby Day

The Kentucky Derby is a big event at our house. Well, at least for two of us. I don’t think my son cares and my wife refuses to watch horse racing because she’s afraid something bad will happen to a horse.

My daughter and I always watch. Even when we are in different places we watch while texting. We watch the horses walk out and pick our winner based on how they look on the walk. We refuse pick the favorite because that’s too easy. We would love to pick the actual winner, but the real goal is for my horse to beat her horse. We do the same for the Preakness and Belmont.

It’s already odd that the Belmont has ready happened. It’s odd that Derby day is bringing the end of summer when it is usually one of the harbingers of summers return. It will be odd not to see all of the people in their hats.

It’s odd, but I’m looking forward to it for the same reason I hope football can happen. I need normal. The rest of my life is not normal and may not be for a long time. The Derby, football and fantasy football will help get a little normal in my life.

The One Where Tater Talks About the Super Bowl After Everyone is Done Talking About the Super Bowl

I didn’t have time to write anything yesterday so my Super Bowl post is late and after everyone is finished talking about the Super Bowl. I’ve always been a little slow.

Pre-Game – Demi Lovato did a great job with the National Anthem. I’ve liked her since my kids watched her on Disney. I’m glad she seems to be doing well now. I thought the NFL 100 commercial followed by the kid running into the stadium live to deliver the ball was very good. I loved the NFL 100 video with all of the legends on the field. A great celebration of the sport’s past. All of the pre-game was very good.

The Game – My daughter texted me before the game to ask me who I wanted to win. I told her Kansas City, but I wasn’t completely invested in it and my opinion might change. She decided to cheer for them as well since it has been 50 years since they were in the Super Bowl. As the game went on I realized that I really was cheering for KC and will admit that I counted them out when the score was 20-10. I really thought the 49er defense was too good for the typical KC comeback. I was happy that the Mahomes magic was still alive and just needed a 10 point deficit before it activated. A couple of people have said they thought the game was boring until the end, but I don’t agree. I thought it was a good game and seemed to move quickly. I hope next year my team is there and I actually care about the results.

Halftime Show –  A lot of people are clutching their pearls over the halftime show. Oh dear, those ladies aren’t wearing enough clothes! Don’t look Ethel! Why isn’t the show more family-friendly? Maybe next year we can get The Wiggles. That will be fun. I thought the show was very good. They are both very talented and a bilingual show in Miami was perfect. I felt old because I didn’t know who the rappers were, but overall I relly enjoyed it.

Commercials – Here is my definitive list of top 10 commerials:

  1. Jeep – Groundhog Day – Loved the movie. Perfect commercial for the day
  2. Tide – Charlie Day commercials – Maybe I just like Charlie Day, but I thought these were very good
  3. Google – Loretta – I usually only pick the funny ones, but this one came close to making me cry. Very well done.
  4. Rocket Mortgage – Jason Mamoa – I thought this was very funny. Insightful commentary, huh?
  5. Bud Light – Post Malone – Loved the end when he asked for pretzels.
  6. Doritos – Old Town Road – Loved the horse shaking its head no
  7. Amazon – Before Alexa – loved all of the other Alexas
  8. Mountain Dew – Bryan Cranston – Good Shining spoof
  9. Snickers – FIx the World – Loved the end when the people fell in
  10. Little Caesars – Sliced Bread – I probably remember this one more because I like Rainn Wilson, but it was good,

And now we are on the road to March Madness..

 

Tater’s Delayed Take on the Super Bowl

The Game – I know a lot of people thought the game was boring, but I actually like good defensive games. I would have liked it more if the bad guys hadn’t won, but I didn’t think it was boring. I also would have enjoyed it more had Brady been hit more and cried a little. I’m so tired of Brady and the Patriots. But boring? I didn’t think so. Also, I really liked listening to Tony Romo call the game.

The Halftime Show – I don’t have Maroon 5. I like some of their songs. I like Adam Levine a lot more since I watched a few seasons of the voice. Still, I thought the halftime show was mediocre. I didn’t feel the need to pay much attention to the show at all. I just don’t think Maroon 5 has what it takes to be the halftime show. I think next season needs someone iconic to bring some pizzaz back to the show.

The Commercials – As a whole, the commercials were not exciting. There were a few standouts. I really liked the Bud Light/Game of Thrones crossover. I thought the Michael Buble commercial was really good. I like Jason Bateman in pretty much everything he does, so I enjoyed his commercial. I’m sure there were more I liked when I watched them, but now 24 hours removed, those are the ones that stuck in my mind. Oh, and the NFL 100 spot with all of the great football players. That was really fun. It doesn’t count as a commercial, but the open with Peyton Manning was very good. I really like Manning and he does a good job in spots like these.

The Patriotic Part – Both God Bless America by Chloe X Halle and the national anthem by Gladys Knight were excellent, but I can’t help but feel that all of that stuff meant that the NFL wanted the Patriots to win. There were no Ram related songs. That’s just wrong.

On another note – I’m now part of the WordPress Affiliate Program. If you have considered a WordPress account consider doing it as part of Tater’s WordPress Drive!

Some Final Ravens Thoughts

I was, and still am, all in for Lamar Jackson as the starting quarterback for the Ravens. I was all in for replacing Flacco before he was injured. I argued with someone on Twitter recently who was complaining about the “snotty nosed kid” they were playing over Flacco. That “snotty nosed kid” was 6-1 at the time as a starter. It made no sense to put Flacco back in as the starter while Jackson was hot. The team did the right thing sticking with him when Flacco returned.

That being said, I completely disagreed with the team not going to Flacco in the game on Sunday. I have read some things since the game that suggests the OC did not make any adjustments at all when going in to play a team they just played two weeks before. I believe that is coaching malpractice and should result in his termination. There is no denying that whatever they were doing with Jackson in the game was not working. If you are the coach of a team in the playoffs it is your job to do what it takes to win a game. If that means bringing in a backup quarterback when the starter is having a bad game, then do it. Starting pitchers are replaced in baseball all the time. Teams use two running backs in the game and sometimes then stick with whoever is playing best. Why not try it at quarterback? It doesn’t mean Jackson doesn’t start the next game. It just means he was having a bad day and you decided to try something different. Will it hurt his ego? Maybe, but if your ego is so fragile that this would cause problems moving forward perhaps professional sports isn’t for you. I also think refusing to play Flacco was coaching malpractice and I think maybe Harbaugh should head out the door with Ozzie and Flacco. A fresh start all around might be what the franchise needs.

I do think there is a bright future with Jackson at QB. He needs a coach that will help him develop his passing game and will make adjustments when Jackson’s running game isn’t working. The offensive line needs to get better at protecting him on pass plays to give him time to throw the ball. I think he will develop to be a good NFL QB and I’m all in for him to start next year. It was a great run with Harbaugh and Flacco, but the team has grown stagnant. Changes are necessary.

Tater’s Take on Kaepernick Taking a Stand(by Sitting)

I was going to write something new, but with Kaep in the local news , I decided to comment on this knee jerk reaction post from when he first took a knee.
Things I still think: He has the freedom to express himself by taking a knee. You have the right to express that you hate him for that. These freedoms are part of what makes America great. I will still take him over the white guys who stand but chat, drink beer and make fun of the singers during the national anthem.
Feelings that changed – For some reason I was not a fan before this and that was part of my knee jerk reaction to hate him more. As time has gone by, I’ve discoverd I like and respect him more now and would be happy to have him on my team.

The World's Common Tater

Not that anyone wants another middle-aged white guy’s opinion on the way a person of color decides to protest oppression, but here it goes anyway:

First, and most important is that the best thing about this country is freedom. We have freedom of speech and freedom of expression right there in the Constitution. If you truly believe in these freedoms, you will believe that he has a right to express himself in this way. We have the right to not stand up for the national anthem, not say the pledge of allegiance and to even burn the flag if we choose. It’s part of what makes this country great. On the other hand, you have the right to think he is an asshole and say that as much as you want. I have the right to write a rambling, most likely wishy-washy, blog post about the situation. It’s what makes…

View original post 343 more words

Tater Takes On Burkinis, Babies and Books

Burkini Bans: The news broke today that the French court ruled that mayors could not ban burkinis on their public beaches. I was happy to see this news. It’s ridiculous that burkinis were banned in the first place, especially in France where their beaches are generally known for an anything goes attitude when it comes to swimsuits or the lack thereof. This was just another stupid “all Muslims are bad” reaction to terrorism. Somehow, we are supposed to assume a woman in a burkini wants to kill us all and not just simply enjoy the beach while wearing what makes her comfortable. We feel comfortable assuming all Muslims are bad because of terrorist acts of a radical extreme, but we would never assume every white guy with a gun wants to shoot up a movie theater or church. We can’t judge and discriminate against someone else for the actions of another. I’m glad to see the French courts agree.

Birthing Babies: Yesterday the news was posted on sports sites and twitter feeds that AJ Green would miss a game for the birth of his child. This was broken like it was big news. I don’t get why it’s such big news. I missed work when my kids were born. I think most people who have the ability to be there for the birth of their child are there for the event. I know Green makes a lot more money than me, but should that mean that he should go to work instead of being there for the birth?  This isn’t news. It’s a father doing the right thing.

Books: I am reading a book that features a deaf character in parts. I like the books, but I think it’s weird that all other dialogue is in regular print, but the dialogue in sign language is in italics.  Is this normal for books with deaf characters? Do they really think we need an indication that this dialogue is in sign language? Can’t we just assume that if the deaf character is speaking, this is likely the case? Can’t the dialogue just be in regular print like the rest? I don’t know why it annoys me so much. It just does.

Let’s Talk About Cheaters and Their Balls

Unless you have been living under a rock the past week you have likely heard the controversy surrounding the New England Patriots and their deflated balls. At this point, it seems like there is enough evidence to prove that the balls were deflated and that the New England Patriots have cheated once again. Bill Bellichek can claim all he wants that he knows nothing about the issues with his balls, but we all know that isn’t true. We have to assume that since Tom Brady and the rest of the offense spends their entire career handling balls that they had to know as well. My personal opinion is that Bill Belichek needs to be suspended since this is his second time being caught cheating. If the NFL had any guts they would suspend him for the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, what will likely happen is that they will be so mad at New England that they will fine Marshawn Lynch more money for grabbing his crotch(maybe we was making sure his balls were properly inflated?) and not talking to the media.

This is not a sore loser complaint. I’m not saying the Ravens lost to NE because of their balls(I do blame GB’s loss on the lack of balls). I’m saying that I don’t like cheaters and that we seem to be to willing to forgive the cheaters of the world. There are plenty of people out there who think nothing should be done because they assume NE would have won anyway. These are probably the same people who think the steroid users from baseball deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. These are probably people who would and possibly have cheated to get ahead in life.  We use the excuse that “everyone else is doing it” so it’s OK for us to do it as well. Do I think that there is a good chance that every team in sports cheats in some way? Yes, I think bending and violating rules is common place. Do I think that’s OK? No, I don’t. I would like to think that my team’s ownership, coaches and players are honest, but I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that they aren’t. I also wouldn’t argue that it’s no big deal. If John Harbaugh was caught cheating I would wnat him suspended by the NFL and fired by the team. Same goes for John Calipari at UK. I would rather be an honest loser than a cheating winner.

Ravens Off Season Thoughts

Now that the Ravens are done for the year, it’s time to start looking ahead to off season moves. We will be saying goodbye to some familiar names this year. I think the following will not be on the team next year:

Michael Oher – too inconsistent.

Arthur Jones – too expensive

Jacoby Jones – too expensive for what he does

Ed Dickson – We have Pitta and Dickson can’t catch

James Ihedigbo – Elam will move to strong safety and they will bring in a free safety.

I think Suggs will restructure and stay with the team. If he refuses, I believe they really will cut him.

I think the O line will be addressed via free agency, while the WR and safety positions are filled mainly via the draft.

I think the team would really like Caldwell to get offered a job so they can bring in another OC.

I think they will pick up another young RB either late in the draft or free agency in case Rice/Pierce don’t improve.

Other veterans I am not expecting to leave might be cut.