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.

Why my Sports Teams are My Team

I was watching the Braves play the Cardinals yesterday and one of the Cardinals announcers said that he had always followed winning teams, so his fandom changed based on who was good. When Lebron signed with the Lakers yesterday I’m sure they picked up new fans who just follow wherever Lebron goes. I think the idea of changing favorite teams is weird. I can see having new interest in a team based on a new player, but not changing teams. Same with a personal move to a new city. I do have an odd collection of favorite teams. Here they are and why I’m a fan:

College Football and Basketball – University of Kentucky Wildcats – I grew up in Kentucky and attended UK for both undergrad and grad school. I watched the basketball games when I was a kid. I attended football and basketball games as a student. As a student. I had multiple classes with players from both teams. They will always be my team no matter where I live.

MLB – Atlanta Braves – I’ve always been a baseball fan. There is no team in Kentucky. I think a lot of people are fans of Cincinnati or St. Louis because they are the closest. I didn’t really have a team until TBS arrived and started airing Braves games. We started watching the Braves because all of the games were on TV. They were really bad, but we watched anyway. I was finally rewarded for my loyalty when they went through a stretch of being one of the best teams in the game. I stuck with them when they got bad again and am now enjoying a season where they are back in first place.

NFL – Baltimore Ravens – I didn’t really get invested in an NFL team as a kid. I don’t even remember watching much football. When we moved to the DC area, nothing about the Redskins made me want to change that. I didn’t start watching the Ravens when they fist came to town. It took a few years for me to start watching and then I was hooked and I’m now a season ticket owner(though I am trying to sell them)

NBA – Washington Wizards – This is the one where I can say I started watching because of a player, but at least they are local. I am a basketball fan, but never really watched the NBA. Since Calipari has been at UK there have been a lot of UK guys in the NBA. One of those is John Wall who was my favorite player on Calipari’s first team. He was drafted y our local team. It still took a while for me to become a fan of the team, but I’m there now. I have no idea if my interest will end when Wall leaves.

NHL – I just can’t get in to hockey. I don’t know why.

Those are my teams. I don’t expect it ti change. If Wall leaves Washington it’s more likely that I will watch less NBA than it is for me to pick a new team.

How to Act Like a Real American Football Player

I’ve decided it’s time for me to take a stand on the whole kneeling issue in the NFL. It’s time for these players to stand up and act like real American football players. These guys have lost their way and are too distracted by political motivations to focus and act like the real American football players they are. They spend too much time listening to the FAKE NEWS MEDIA and not enough time acting like real American football players. I’m here to help them out. Below is a list of how real American football players should act with a guarantee that no owner will threaten to fire you(as long as you are productive):

Beat your wives and girlfriends.

Use illegal substances, both recreational and performance enhancing.

Drive under the influence.

Use racial slurs.

Get injured by a stripper on a party bus(Hi, Jacoby Jones!)

If possible, do all of the above in the same weekend. It’s just boys being boys. It’s just locker room stuff. You will have nothing to worry about(as long as you are productive). Just be sure not to kneel. Stand up and act like a real American football player!

 

 

 

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…

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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.

Fans are Stupid

In lieu of my normal post where I pretend like I know something about football, I would like to talk about the stupidity of fans.  The Ravens are 3-4. This is not a good record and the team is not playing well. There is a very real chance they will not make the playoffs this season.  The fans are not happy. I admit that I don’t enjoy watching them lose and that I did say that if they are going to miss the playoffs that I would almost rather them lose every game so they could get a high draft pick. I still, however, plan to go the the home games, watch the away games and cheer for them to win. I will also be disappointed when they lose, but I won’t stop watching and I will never boo them.  Others have already started booing the home team. That is never acceptable.

I also don’t have the short memory that other fans apparently have. Since Harbaugh and Flacco have been with the team they have not missed the playoffs once. They just won the Super Bowl last season. at 3-4 this year people are already saying they should bench Flacco and start Tyrod Taylor. Are you insane? Flacco was the Super Bowl MVP last year and you want to bench him after 7 games the next season? I think Flacco has done a pretty good job considering he lost Boldin and Pitta, had no run game and faces pressure on almost every play. People need to take the time to look at all aspects of the game instead of thinking everything is always the quarterback’s fault. I will be happy to have Flacco as the Ravens’ QB for many years.

I heard some people this morning starting to talk about Harbaugh as the problem. Maybe we should get a new coach. Are you insane? He has taken the team to the playoffs every year as the coach and won the Super Bowl last year. Do you remember the shape the team was in when he got here? He has done an excellent job as the coach of the Ravens. So I think he’s made some questionable decisions, especially this season? Yes, I do. Do I think he’s still the best man for the job? Yes, I do.  It’s really stupid to stat questioning a coach’s ability to coach seven games removed from a Super Bowl win.

I would much rather the team be 7-0 or even 4-3, but I’m not going to give up on players and coaches because of a bad start. I won’t even give up on Flacco and Harbaugh if they go 3-13. I won’t be happy, but I will trust them to figure out the issues and gt better next year and I will still never boo them.

Monday Morning Quarterback, October 14, 2013

The Ravens lose a close one to the cheese heads 19-17. Here’s the good and bad.

The bad:

The offense still can’t score early and they started from behind again.

The run game is essentially nonexistent.

The offensive line is still really bad.

The defense gave up big plays at really bad times.

Questionable coaching calls like going for it on 4th and goal when down 3-0

Stupid “fans” who boo the team and now hate Rice, Flacco and assorted other players because they are 3-3. I hate fair weather fans.

The good:

Jacobi Jones looked good in his return as did Marlon Brown.

The defense did a good job of making it a winnable game.

The only major injury was to the team photographer.

We don’t wear dairy products on our heads.

Monday-morning quarterback

The Ravens got the win in a close one yesterday. I have to admit that a road game against a team with a winning record worried me. I was also worried about the fact that the only three receivers they had were Doss, Thompson and Smith. I was pleasantly surprised by the win.

The good:
the run defense was very good

Once again, the defense pressured the QB a lot and sacked him several times as well

The defense, in general is very good this year

Ed Dickson and Tandon Doss learned to catch

Justin Tucker is very good.

The run game looked better.

3-2 equals a tie for first place.

The bad:
Bryant McKinnie

The pass protection in general. Flacco is very good, but he needs time to throw.

Koch is looking a little shaky this year.