Sunday, October 22, 2017

2017 NFL Series Trivia - Week 7

Got some good football going on today. How have these rivalries fared in the past? Note: The series records include postseason games.

Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo - The Bucs lead the series 7-3, and are 3-1 against the Bills since 2000. Buffalo last beat Tampa Bay in 2009, 33-20. Until today, that 2009 game was the only of the series ever played in Buffalo. They first met in Tampa Bay's inaugural season in 1976. Buffalo won 14-9. They never met in overtime or in the postseason. Neither team has ever shut out the other.

Tennessee vs. Cleveland - Though it's hard to believe by watching them today, the Browns lead the series of these former AFC Central divisional rivals, 35-30. They first met in 1970, when Cleveland won 28-14. The series is tied 16-16 in Cleveland. Since the Browns returned in 1999, they are 5-8 against Tennessee. They met in overtime three times. Cleveland is 3-0 in the overtime series, the last one a 31-28 victory in 2002. They met in the postseason once, in 1988. Bernie Kosar and the Browns won a squeaker against Hall of Famer Warren Moon and the then Houston Oilers, 24-23. The last time Tennessee shut out Cleveland was 24-0 in 2000. The last time Cleveland shut out Tennessee was 20-0 in 1972, when the Titans were the Oilers.

New Orleans vs. Green Bay - The Packers lead the series 16-8, but the series is tied 4-4 since 2000. However, the Saints are 2-10 in the (sometimes) frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. They first met in 1968, then Green Bay won 29-7. They never met in the postseason nor have they gone to overtime. Though each team has scored at least 50 points on each other (Green Bay 52-3 in 2005 and New Orleans 51-29 in 2008), neither team has ever shut out the other.

Baltimore vs. Minnesota - The Ravens lead the series 3-2, but the series is tied 1-1 since 2009. They first met in 1998, when the Vikings won 38-28. Minnesota won the only game of the series at home, 33-31 in 2009. They never went to overtime nor have they met in the playoffs. Neither team has ever shut out the other.

Carolina vs. Chicago - This is a game pitting Julius Peppers' first former team against his second former team. Da Bears lead the series 5-4 and is 3-1 against the Panthers since 2010. They first met in 1995, when Chicago won 31-27. The Bears lead the series at home 4-1. Though they never went to overtime, they met in the playoffs once in the 2005 season, with Carolina winning 29-21. Neither team has ever shut out the other.

Jacksonville vs. Indianapolis - The Colts lead the series 22-10 and is 7-5 against Jacksonville since 2011. They first met in 1995 when Indy won 41-31. The Colts also lead the series at home 12-4. They never met in the playoffs, but they did go to overtime once. Indy won that 2015 matchup 16-13. Neither team has ever shut out the other.

New York Jets vs. Miami - The Jets lead this AFC East rivalry series 54-49-1 and is 4-3 against Miami since 2014. They first met in 1966 when the Jets won 19-14.  The Dolphins lead the series at home 25-24-1. New York leads the series in overtime 5-0-1. Their last overtime game was a 23-20 Jets win in 2012. They met in the playoffs once, in the 1982 AFC Championship Game. LSU alum A.J. Duhe and the Dolphins blanked the Jets in a rainy game 14-0. This is also the last time Miami shut out New York. The last time the Jets shut out the Dolphins was 24-0 in 2001. Their only tie was 28-28 in 1981.

Arizona vs. Los Angeles Rams - The Cardinals lead the series 38-37-2, but the series is tied 5-5 since 2012. They first met in 1937, when the Chicago Cardinals beat the Cleveland Rams 6-0. The Rams also lead the home series 21-19. They met in the playoffs once, in 1975, when Los Angeles beat the then St. Louis Cardinals 35-23. The Cardinals lead the overtime series 2-1, winning the last overtime meeting 19-13 in 2011. Their last tie was 24-24 in 1953. The last time the Rams shut out the Cardinals was 21-0 in 1979. The last time the Cardinals shut out the Rams was 7-0 in 1942.

Dallas vs. San Francisco - The series is tied 17-17-1, but the Cowboys are 4-1 against San Francisco since 2005. They first met in 1960, when the Niners won 26-14. The series is also tied in San Francisco 9-9. They met in the playoffs seven times and Dallas leads 5-2. Of those postseason games, six were in the NFC Championship game. Their last NFC Championship game was in the 1994 season, when San Francisco won 38-28 and went on to spank the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. They went ot overtime twice, with the Cowboys winning both. Their last overtime game was a 27-24 Dallas win in 2011. Their only tie was 24-24 in 1969. As much as they beat up on each other, neither team has ever shut out the other.

Seattle vs. New York Giants - New York leads the series 9-8, but trails the Seahawks 2-3 since 2008. They first met in 1976, when the Giants won 28-16. The Giants also lead the home series 6-3. They never met in the playoffs, but they did go to overtime once. Seattle won that game 24-21 in 2005. The last time the Seahawks shut out the Giants was 23-0 in 2013. The last time the Giants shut out the Seahawks was 32-0 in 1981.

Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh - The Steelers lead the series of these longtime divisional rivals 60-35, winning the last four games against Cincinnati. The Steelers also lead the series at home 31-16. They first met in 1970, when Pittsburgh won 21-10. They met in the postseason twice, both in the AFC Wildcard Game. The Steelers won both games, winning their last playoff meeting 18-16 in 2015. Pittsburge leads the overtime series 3-1, winning their last one 23-17 in 2006. The last time Pittsburgh shut out Cincinnati was 15-0 in 2000. Cincinnati has never shut out Pittsburgh.

Denver vs. Los Angeles Chargers - The Broncos lead this AFC West divisional rivalry 65-50-1 and is 11-4 against the Chargers since 2011. Los Angeles leads the series at home 33-24. They first met in 1960, when Denver won 41-33. They met in the postseason once, with the Broncos winning 24-17 in the 2013 season. The overtime series is tied 1-1, with then San Diego tying it up 16-13 in 2011. Their only tie was 17-17 in 1970. The last time Denver shut out the Chargers was 12-0 in 1988. The last time the Chargers shut out the Broncos was 23-0 in 1978.

Atlanta vs. New England - The Patriots lead the series 8-6, including their only playoff and overtime meeting, Super Bowl 51, a 34-28 Pats victory. New England's Super Bowl win increased their winning streak against the Dirty Birds to five games. The Patriots also lead the series at home 3-2. The last time New England shut out Atlanta was 34-0 in 1992. Atlanta has never shut out New England.

Washington vs. Philadelphia - The Redskins lead the series 86-74-5 and is 5-2 against the Eagles since 2014. Washington also leads the series at home 42-38-2. They first met in Fenway Park in 1934, when the Boston Redskins won 6-0. They met in the postseason once in the 1990 season, when the Redskins won 20-6. Washington also leads the overtime series 3-1. Their last overtime game was a 20-17 Redskins victory. Their last tie was 7-7 in 1971. The last time Washington shut out Philadelphia was 23-0 in 1991. The last time Philadelphia shut out Washington was 24-0 in 1980.

Here are some historic scores for this week's matchups on October 22:

1939  Cleveland Rams 24 - Chicago Cardinals 0
1967  New York Jets 33 - Miami 14
1967  San Diego Chargers 38 - Denver 21
1972  Cleveland 23 - Houston Oilers 17
1995  New York Jets 17 - Miami 16
2007  Indianapolis 29 - Jacksonville 7

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year Odds and Ends

As 2016 comes to a close, it has certainly been an interesting year. One year ends and another begins. I hope 2017 will be a better year and I hope I have the time to make more entries here. My current job takes up the vast majority of my time, but sooner or later, that will change.

A year ago, I figured Second Chance would have been published by now. Little did I know that my sixth book, Justice, will end up being my fifth published book. Justice is still in the editing process, but it's looking much better. After this post, I'm making the time to get some significant work done on it.

Since I haven't made a post since July, let's get down to business.

Congrats to the 59-103 Minnesota Twins. You are the 2016 MLB Kings of the Cellar. Even though you ended the year on a two game winning streak, you dominated the runner-up 68-94 Cincinnati Reds by nine games!

This week's NFL Kings of the Cellar, the 1-14 Cleveland Browns, are one loss away from the winning the beer in the NFL cellar. They face a playoff bound Pittsburgh Steelers team on the road, so their title is all but earned. Their only competition, the 2-13 San Francisco 49ers, will host the Seattle Seahawks. The title will go to who wants the beer more.

Now for some trivia. On December 22, 1979, the LSU Tigers faced off against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the Tangerine Bowl (now the Citrus Bowl). LSU won easily, 34-10. Here's some trivia about the players in that game.

  • Wake Forest's head coach was John Mackovic. He had a 34-14 record there and went on to coach at Illinois (1988-91), Texas (1992-97), and Arizona (2001-03). His record was 95-82-3. 
  • Mackovic was also a QB for the team from 1962-64. As QB, he threw 6 TD's and 26 INTs. This was his only bowl appearance with the Demon Deacons.
  • Wake Forest WR Kenny Duckett was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1982 Draft.  He played for the Saints from 1982-85 and the Dallas Cowboys in 1985. Over his career, he caught 36 passes for 503 yards and 4 TD's.
  • The was LSU head coach Charlie McClendon's last season with the Tigers. He coached the team for 18 seasons with a 137-59-7 record. His bowl record was 7-6.
  • LSU QB David Woodley went on to get drafted in the 8th round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He played for Miami from 1980-83, including an appearance in Super Bowl XVII, and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1983-85. Over his career, he passed for 8,558 yards 48 TD's and 63 INT's.
  • LSU RB Hokie Gajan went on to get drafted in the 10th round of the 1981 Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He played for the team until 1985, when a knee injury ended his playing career. Over his career, he rushed 252 - 1358 yds and 11 TD's, for a Saints record of 5.4 yards per carry. He also caught 63 passes for 515 yards and 2 TD's. He went on to be a scout for the team and later, the color analyst for WWL radio. He passed away in 2016.
  • LSU RB Carlos Carson was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 5th round the the 1980 Draft. He played from 1980-89 with the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles (1989). He played WR and caught 353 passes for 6,372 yards and 33 TD's.
  • LSU WR Tracy Porter was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 4th round of the 1981 Draft. He played for the Lions (1981-82) and the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (1983-84). He caught 79 passes for 1,161 yards and 3 TD's.
  • LSU WR Orlando McDaniel was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1982 Draft by the Denver Broncos. This was his only season in the NFL. He played in 3 games, with no statistics.
  • LSU TE Greg LaFleur went on to get drafted in the 3rd round of the 1981 Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. However, he never played for the team. Instead, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1981-86) and the Indianapolis Colts (1986). He caught 64 passes for 729 yards and 3 TD's.
  • LSU TE Malcolm Scott was drafted by the New York Giants in the 5th round of the 1983 Draft. This was his only year with the team. He played again during the 1987 players' strike with the Saints. Over his brief career, he caught 23 passes for 241 yards and no TD's.
  • LSU DB Willie Teal went on the play for the Minnesota Vikings from 1980-86 and the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987.
  • LSU DB Chris Williams went on to play for the Buffalo Bills from 1981-83.

    Here is a link to the video of the 1979 Tangerine Bowl on YouTube. Enjoy.

    Have a great day and Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Last Place Update - July 26

Hey everybody! Hope your summer has gone well. Mine has been great, except for one thing that must be noted here shortly. Since my last post, I had the privilege of performing with the Phantom Regiment Alumni Corps a couple of weeks ago. I got to perform with people ranging from the founding members from 1956, to people I looked up to when I first got involved in the drum and bugle corps activity, to people I marched with long ago, to members of the 1996 and 2008 DCI champion corps, to recent ageouts. It was a great experience. SUTA!!!!

Now to the exception.

My 33-66 Atlanta Braves are Kings of the Cellar right now. They are 2-8 since the All-Star break, losers of the their last five. At least the 1899 Cleveland Spiders' record is safe for another year. The 1962 New York Mets were 25-74 after 99 games, so the Braves are 8 games ahead of their pace.

The 37-61 Minnesota Twins are 4.5 games back. The Twins have done a little winning, going 5-5 in their last ten games. Also standing outside the cellar door are the 38-60 Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who are 5.5 games back. They are 4-6 in their last ten games, losers of their last three.

Today's honorable mention goes to the 58-41 San Francisco Giants. The NL West leaders are 2-8 in their last ten games, losing their last two. That's what bad relief pitching gets you. Before the All-Star break, they enjoyed  a 7-2 record dating back to June 30. Will Frisco improve or implode?

Today my Braves play the Twins for a battle of mediocrity. Atlanta leads the series 10-9, which includes the 1991 World Series. The Braves have a five game winning streak against Minnesota dating back to June 12, 2010. They first met in the World Series, when the Twins won 4 games to 3. They went to extra innings five times, three of those in the World Series, including Game 7. Their last extra innings game was in 2013, when Atlanta won 5-4.

Will Atlanta take the beer in the Cellar? Will the Twins take this series and break my Braves' win streak against them? Will the Devil Rays surprise everybody and kick down the Cellar door?

Bring on the games!

Have a great day!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Catching Up

Hope your summer is going well. You'd figure with school being out, there would be more time to write a blog entry or two, but that's not the case. Here are some comments.

  • Congrats to the 10-72 Philadelphia 76ers. They are the 2016 NBA Kings of the Cellar and missed tying their NBA record of futility from 1973 by one game.
  • Speaking of the 76ers, they're set to draft LSU's Ben Simmons with the first pick in the NBA Draft. Will picking Simmons add to the streak of good first picks?
  • Congrats to the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. It's a major accomplishment to win a championship and an even bigger one to win one over a Golden State Warrior team that won 73 games.
  • The 23-48 Minnesota Twins are today's MLB Kings of the Cellar. My 24-47 Atlanta Braves are a game back, because the Twins are on a 3 game winning streak.
  • Today's honorable mention goes to the 31-39 Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who are on a 7 game losing streak. They edged the 43-30 Washington Nationals for the mention, who are on a 5 game losing streak.
  • Now on to some writing news: I added a prologue to The Curse. It fits with how the story works and improves the way it starts.
  • My final beta reader is almost done with Second Chance. I hope to have it published this summer.
  • Once Second Chance is done, the next book to be published has the working title Justice. According to my ideal reader, this is the best story I've written so far. This is the first book in a series. I already started a sequel and even set up a story that could take place just before the sequel. This pre-sequel story takes place in a fictional town in Louisiana.
  • Speaking of stories started but not finished, there are at least two. My November 2014 NaNoWriMo effort, Return To Origin, is still unfinished. That's what I've been working on this month. This is the first story I've written that has a cover completed before the first draft. The other first draft started but not finished is the sequel to The Curse.
  • Finally and most importantly, thank you all for your support and thanks to those who bought my books!! You are greatly appreciated!!!

    Have a great day!!!

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Few Comments and a Classic Game

Almost two months have passed since my last post and I apologize for that. I teach underprivileged children and the prep work and grading are far more time consuming than anticipated. However, there are times, such as today, when I have some time to write or post something, so here are some quick comments:

  • I'm already regretting not filling out my brackets for the NCAA Tournament, even though none of them would have been perfect. This is one of the better tournaments.
  • The 9-63 Philadelphia 76ers are the NBA Kings of the Cellar and have all but locked the door to the beer. If they lose out, the 76ers will tie their own record of futility at 9-73.
  • This year will be the 35th anniversary of the Louisiana Southernaires Drum and Bugle Corps' winning the 1981 Drum Corps International Class A Championship. The Southernaires are the only drum and bugle corps from Louisiana to have ever won a Drum Corps International World Championship at any level.
  • Sooner or later, I'll publish my 5th book, Second Chance. The story has no relation to the TV series. Besides, I came up with the title first in 2010. I'm waiting on my last beta reader to finish. The story is about a middle-aged man who lives in the past and would give anything if he could go back to his youth and fix the biggest mistake of his life. He gets his second chance, but will he succeed?
  • I've been watching (off and on) the NFL Network's Path to the Draft. I used to be more into this series, but since the NFL Draft is one big crapshoot anyway, none of the prognostication matters. It's pure entertainment.
  • Speaking of football, I posted a YouTube video of an old New Orleans Saints game from 1977 on Facebook a while back, but when I talked to people about it, they said it never showed in their news feeds. I wanted to show younger people how good of a quarterback Archie Manning was, that he was better than both of his sons (Peyton and Eli have admitted this). In this game against the Dirty Birds, Archie was coming off an ankle injury that had not yet healed (which affected his speed) and he still shined. More on this in a bit.
  • Back to March Madness. Kansas and Villanova have punched their tickets to the Final Four. Congrats to both teams. I'll predict that North Carolina and Wisconsin will make it in. Then the top two will be Kansas and North Carolina, with Kansas winning it all. Since it's one big crapshoot at this point anyway, let's see what happens.
Okay, let's see some historic football. This past season, New Orleans Saints fans have complained how bad the defense was and that the team isn't so good anymore. Here's a game from Week 10 in November of 1977. It's the Saints against the hated Atlanta Falcons. I do kind of miss the old Saints uniforms from that era. This is what Saints fans of old had to deal with, even though this was actually a very good game between the two teams. Gary Bender is the announcer and NFL HOFer Johnny Unitas is the color analyst in this game. Also, check out the commercials from then. You might recognize a few then unknown faces.  It's now time to click Publish and enhance my editing skills.

Enjoy the game and have a great Easter weekend!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2015 NFL Kings of the Cellar

Wow, start a new job and it takes up most of your time. I apologize for the delay.

Well, it appears once again that the 3-13 Cleveland Browns snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by losing the first pick in the draft. Close, but no cigar.  They will have to watch while another team enjoys the beer in the cellar.

Congrats to the 3-13 Tennessee Titans! They are the 2015 NFL Kings of the Cellar and winners of the coveted first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Their four game losing streak and loss to the Browns in Week 2 sealed the Cellar door and the win.

There are a few honorable mentions this year. The first one goes to the Dirty Birds themselves, the 8-8 Atlanta Falcons. They started 5-0 and forgot how to play winning football, finishing the season at 3-8. The second one goes to 4-12 Dallas Cowboys for their collapse when Tony Romo went down. Finally, the last honorable mention goes to the New Orleans Saints defense, especially CB Brandon Browner, who was the most penalized player in the league and whose penalties at key points during the season cost the 7-9 Saints at least three wins.

As much fun as we have with the updates, it's important to remember that the Last Place Updates are a tongue-in-cheek look at teams with the worst records in the featured sports on this blog. However, only a tiny percent of the population is good enough to even be a professional athlete. It's also important to remember and appreciate that it takes that special kind of athlete to earn the privilege to play for a professional sports team, whether it's for only a few games or a long Hall of Fame career. The rest of us can only dream of the life these people live, regardless of how good or bad their team is.

Congrats to the NFL for a good season!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Last Place Update - December 24

Merry Christmas everybody! It appears the 4-10 San Diego Chargers wanted something other than the beer in the Cellar when they beat the 5-9 Miami Dolphins. Henceforth (at least this week), this week's Kings of the Cellar are the 3-11 Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns. Why? As the great John Blutarski once said, "Why not?" The Titans have only one division and home win and Cleveland is...well,...just Cleveland.

Move over Dirty Birds. You're out as this week's honorable mention. That distinction now goes to the 6-8 Indianapolis Colts. Why? Because they're sporting a three game losing streak after sporting a three game winning streak after sporting a three game losing streak, while sporting...well, you get the picture. What's worse, they scored over 30 points only once this season and that was in week 3. This week, Indy visits the Miami Dolphins. Will this begin another win streak?

Next losses...

Tennessee hosts the division rival 7-7 Houston Texans. The Titans lead the series 15-12, but are 5-10 against Houston since 2008. Indy hasn't swept a season series against the Titans since 2007 and it won't happen this year either. They first met in 2002, when the Titans won 17-10. They never played against each other in the postseason, but did go to overtime twice. That series is tied 1-1. The last OT have happened in 2013 when the Texans won 30-24. There is only one shutout in the series. In 2010, Tennessee got blanked 20-0.

Cleveland will invade Arrowhead Stadium to take on the 9-5 Kansas City Chiefs. The series is tied 11-11-2. They first met after the NFL/AFL merger in 1971, when Len Dawson and the Chiefs won 13-7. They never met in the postseason, but went to overtime twice. The Chiefs won the last one in 2006, 31-28, but their first overtime game ended in a 10-10 tie in 1989, which was their last tie. Again, there is only one shutout in the series, After the 1989 tie, Kansas City spanked Cleveland in 1990, 34-0.

Here are a few historical scores for teams playing each other this week, on December 24,

2006  Carolina 10 - Atlanta 3
2006  Baltimore 31 - Pittsburgh 7
2006  Denver 24 - Cincinnati 23

On a different note, my ebook, Rickshaw, New Mexico will be free for the Kindle through Christmas weekend. If you haven't already, click the link, download your copy, and tell a friend.

Now to the burning questions of the week.

Will Tennessee wrest control of the Cellar from Cleveland? Will Cleveland win another game? Will Indy break the streaks of 3 and hold on to the honorable mention?

Stay tuned.

Have a great day!!!