Joe Burrow Leads Bengals to the Super Bowl

What a run for Joe Burrow and the Cincy Bengals. I feel better now about having compared the Bengal Triplets to Joe Montana, Roger Craig, and Jerry Rice. I was worried I might have gone over the top on that comparison, but I clearly feel good about having written such as I did.

Sometimes…I almost amaze myself on here.

Wow. I hope Sam Hinkie-Presti watched both the AFC and NFC Championship Games this weekend. Because it is clear to me Hinkie-Presti needs serious mentoring on how to make the Oklahoma City Thunder relevant minus Kevin Durant.

You draft smart. You draft studs who you know will be able to play at a certain level in two to three years. You don’t go scouring the Greek B League in search of physically emaciated Serbs.

You and your inner circle people pick men who can play at an elite level and are physically equipped to do as much.

I have no idea how I’m going to pick the Super Bowl just yet since the LA Rams for the second week in a row will be allowed to play at home, but for a few days I’m just going to savor what I just witnessed as a passionate NFL fan these past two weeks.

No hyperbole attached…since the days of Lombardi on the frozen tundra at Lambeau…I’ve never enjoyed the NFL Super Bowl Tournament as much as I’ve enjoyed this one.

These past two weeks have given us six games for the ages.

Nowhere to be see left standing are Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Patrick Mahomes.

I feel as if I’m witnessing art evolving in front of me as each page is being turned and the new Joe Montana is showing himself just as Tom Brady appears to be headed to retirement.

I just pray Hinkie-Presti and his sycophants beneath him are witnessing all of this so as they’ll be just a little smarter on how to rebuild a franchise beyond Portland taking Greg Oden.

I’ll write about the NFC Championship Game tomorrow since I need filler here on the blog since the Thunder might not win another game this season.

Joe Burrow…you’re going to the Super Bowl, buddy.

Jabari Smith Overwhelms Oklahoma, 86-68

OU hung with No. 1 Auburn for thirty-one minutes, but Jabari Smith was just too much as the game wore on.

Jabari Smith is the smoothest player I’ve seen so far on the college level this season. When Bruce Pearl teams him with the seven-foot Walker Kessler they in my mind have the best front-line I’ve seen so far this basketball season. Their skill sets complement one another.

I think Baylor’s guards are better than what Auburn puts on the floor and Kentucky may have more overall roster talent, but Jabari Smith is my new No. 1 with Palo Banchero my new No. 2. This means Sam Presti will probably draft the gawky white kid from Gonzaga who might even take longer to develop than Poku.

Presti won’t take either one of these guys even if the Thunder hit the lottery. It’s not his style minus the drafting Kevin Durant. He wants to make a pick no one saw coming so he can be perceived as some sort of talent evaluator savant.

What I would say to that is…. Cole Aldrich, Mitch McGary, Jeremy Lamb, Alex Abrines, Terrance Ferguson, Josh Huestis, Darius Bazely, and Poku the Fabulous.

Presti will pick the gawky emaciated kid from Gonzaga…no doubt. He won’t take a player who can actually shoot a basketball. He must have signed some sort of pact with some basketball deity where he swore if the hoops gods gave him Kevin Durant he would never draft another basketball player who could actually shoot a basketball. Kind of like in the old movie…Damn Yankees. I think that movie starred William Demerest if my old mind remembers correctly.

OU never had a real chance in this game because of Auburn’s defensive presence at the rim. There were no easy OU baskets on back cuts which usually lead to somewhat easy buckets. OU usually shoots around fifty percent from the field, but in this game there were no easy looks. Every bucket was a tall order…excuse the pun.

Next up for OU…another Season on the Brink type of game for the Sooners when they host pesky TCU which beat ranked LSU today in the Big 12-SEC challenge.

The SEC was the better hoops league today. I’m thinking that might reduce the Big 12’s number of teams to either six for sure or maybe seven. We’ll see.

Keep an eye on my Cinderella sleeper in Texas Tech. I love how Mark Adams has the Red Raiders turning into what I think is a Top 8 type of team right now. I think the Red Raiders are much more dangerous than Chris Beard’s Longhorns. I thought OU should have beaten Kansas…so in my mind the two best teams in the Big 12 right now are Texas Tech and Baylor.

In closing…if anyone spots EJ Harkless roaming the streets of Norman on Sunday please call Porter Moser so he’ll know where his toughest player was the past week.

Thunder Find New Ways to Lose vs. Lowly Pacers, 113-110 OT

Very nice….as far as the death march tank goes.

This game had multiple elements attached as to why the Oklahoma City Thunder are the worst team in the NBA currently. It’s like watching something between the Bad News Bears and a really bad car crash on the interstate.

If ever a game illustrated the current plight of non-legitimate NBA basketball in Oklahoma City this was the game. This game showed why the Thunder may very well still be two-to three years away from being where the Memphis Grizzlies were two years ago.

To add salt to the wound, it was former Thunder youngster Domas Sabonis who tormented the childlike Thunder from start to finish in amassing a triple double and clearly showing himself to be the best player on the floor.

Not even close.

Sabonis tossed the frail OKC youngsters around like Alabama does when they play a Big 12 football team in a meaningful playoff game. I hope for Rick Carlisle’s sake Sabonis stays in Indiana because lest we forget it was Dirk who blossomed into a world brand with Rick Carlisle as his coach.

Those were the Thunder glory days post Kevin Durant weren’t they? When trade-aholic Sam Presti acquired Sabonis, Oladipo, and Ilyasova…with Ilyasova later being conveyed into Jeremy Grant. What could have been frontline-wise for the Thunder? I wonder if Matt Pinto would ever contemplate saying something like this on a Thunder telecast? Doubt it.

But not to fret Thunder fans, like Jack with the Beanstalk…Sam Presti conveyed that one really good trade he made into the all-time NBA record for protected first round picks and a litany of second round picks. Plus, the big fat guy without a shirt is still under the basket at one end of the court. The Thunder kept him…. but not Domas Sabonis.

As far as tanking excellence goes this might have been the greatest loss yet this season acquired by the pathetic Thunder as they not only blew a sixteen-point lead in regulation, but then went on to find a way to choke a six-point lead in the last two minutes of overtime.

It was painful to observe. Lu Dort had the ball stolen on one key possession and then on the game’s biggest play Darius Bazely declined a dunk and made a pass which led to a comedy of errors under the Pacer basket.

It was difficult to observe. As a human you wanted to walk out there on the court and put your arms around them and promise them this will all be over in thirty-four games and as a Little League parent you’ll never make them play in the open division ever again.

But still…the illusion of the tank keeps the Operation Bongo zombies aglow in Oklahoma City. That fervent hope that all of this will lead to the Thunder somehow landing Jabari Smith or Paolo Banchero this summer in the NBA’s draft.

I wonder to myself how closely Sam Anderson follows all of what is happening with the Thunder nowadays? I wonder if there’s a sequel to Boomtown somewhere down the road?

It would have to be an extremely black comedy at this point…but you never know. Portland did take Greg Oden.

As far as the Thunder’s death march…the Thunder now stand at 14-34 just a hair out of last place in the West. If you go back to December 23rd the Thunder have now lost 15 out of their last 18 games and are now losers of seven straight games. The Thunder are 1-12 in January and Shai might very well be injured after turning his ankle in this loss to Indiana.

As far as the Thunder Tank Death March… it doesn’t get any better.

Next up the Portland Trailblazers.

Jabari Smith in Preview of OU vs. Auburn

Can’t wait to see OU vs. Auburn in tomorrow’s Big 12 – SEC Challenge. Porter Moser and his Sooners will have a severe test on their hands inside of what should be a packed gym at Auburn.

Auburn is the current No. 1 team in America with Gonzaga at No. 2. This should be a great opportunity for Thunder fans to see Jabari’s game and at the same time get a rare glimpse of what it looks like when two teams are both trying to win a game.

I’m a little torn right now to be honest. Part of me would pick Banchero, the other part of me is starting to really like Jabbari Smith’s game.

This should be an entertaining game to watch. OU isn’t a Top 10 team, but they compete. I haven’t seen them back down from anybody. In only one game so far this year have the Sooners not been in a position to win in the last six minutes of the game. That was at Texas…and that was just one of those nights they couldn’t get anything going.

It will be interesting to see if EJ Harkless is back out on the court assigned to guard Jabari. EJ had to take Cade Cunningham twice last year and did a very solid job in the second Bedlam game.

I like Auburn hoops. Since Bruce Pearl took the job the Tigers in essence have become a much better hoops school than a SEC football power. I expect a ton of energy in that building tomorrow.

My take is if OU can keep its turnover demons in check and stay under 14 turnovers…they might have a chance. This is the fourth time this season OU will be playing against the No. 1 in the country…so they know what’s in front of them tomorrow.

OU has to value the ball and hit some threes to have a chance.

Hopefully… masochistic Thunder fans will watch the game and take a break from their March of the Penguins death march and check out Jabari in the process.

U. S. Supreme Court History 101

It’s so embarrassing having to admit I’m a citizen of the same country as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson or Ted Cruz. It really is.

The bar is set so low as far the Fox Entertainment Network … I feel the need to help out just a bit.

This won’t take long. I’ll make it brief.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan, the father of the red caps that these Trump people still wear said he would nominate a woman to the U.S. Supreme Court and did so with his nomination of Sandra Day O’ Connor.

Later in Reagan’s first term… he said he would nominate Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court because it would be crossing a barrier of sorts placing an Italian American on the Court.

In Bush 41’s only presidential term he said publicly he would like to nominate an African American to the bench since the departure from the Court of Thurgood Marshall as the only previous black member on the Supreme Court.

As recently as 2016, Donald Trump, the original pussy grabber and confidante of Billy Bush, said he would like to nominate a conservative woman to the bench. Thus…the nomination of Amy Coney-Barrett to the Court. I feel almost certain that’s one woman he didn’t ask to go furniture store shopping with him during the throes of a lonely night.

So today when Joe Biden announced he was going to nominate an African American woman to the Court…I found the outrage from the Trump Usual Suspects a bit amusing.

To me…the Supreme Court should be a human montage of qualified judges regardless of race or gender. But at the same time you want the Court to reflect to the mixture of people in our country.

But don’t put all the blame on Joe Biden and James Clyburn for this because all they did was follow the precedents of Reagan, Bush 41, and Donald Trump who all made previous Affirmative Action nominations to the Supreme Court.

If you want to tell me Sandar Day O’Conner, Clarence Thomas, and Amy Coney-Barrett were the most qualified jurists then you need to spend some time reading their judicial resumes.

If I have this wrong, then please explain to me how I have it wrong. I’m a Libra and always fair at the end of the day.

I’d love to hear your legal nuance on why one is something while the other isn’t.

You never heard a word from me on my blog previously pertaining to Trump’s three supreme court nominations and you’re really not hearing one now. You know why? Because when a party wins a presidential election with it come the fruits of nominating Supreme Court justices.

So I was little stunned today hearing the outrage from the right voicing their concerns to qualified judges being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in relation to race and gender.

I’m additionally embarrassed for Nikki Haley. I will no longer take Nikki Haley seriously as someone who should someday be POTUS.

How sad. Her reference to Tim Scott was laughable at best.

I guess these people think Joe Biden and James Clyburn should feel compelled to nominate Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin to the Court.

Happy From Buenos Aires…It’s All About a State of Mind

It’s a rather cloudy, cold, bleak January day in Oklahoma…yet I’m pretty happy.

OU won a must win game last night on the road in Morgantown. Brent Venables and staff are killing it both on the recruiting trail and in the transfer portal… although I doubt even with West Texas Crude trending towards $100 a barrel the Sooners can persuade Josh Allen to come to Norman from Buffalo via the transfer portal. I’d love to see the look on Bob Bowlsby’s face if we just pretended that was going to happen though.

President Joe Manchin is going to be able to reshape the U.S. Supreme Court with a judge of his choosing. The Court will then be composed with five hard right justices, three liberal justices, and moderate Chief Justice John Roberts. Again…if Trump gets re-elected… I would submit Justice Roberts should consider heading off to Buenos Aires before Trump tries to give him the Mike Pence golden parachute exit and replace him as Chief Justice with Mr. Pillow.

Fed Chief Jerome Powell steadied the recent uneasiness with the markets and it’s a good rebound day on the Dow so far. I would keep this in mind…. once this most recent wave of Covid settles down I would think the economy will be posed for a steadying year, but certainly not a 28.5% growth on money type of year President Manchin delivered in his first year in office.

I would think since Germany gets 40% of its natural gas from Russia…in the end, the Germans and Putin will figure things out with President Manchin acting as the peacemaker.

As far as the Chinese in Taiwan… we’ve talked about this for quite some time and I would think U.S. concessions will ultimately be made there despite what Nikki Haley thinks she would have done if still holding some sort of office.

So really…with President Manchin’s first State of the Union just on the horizon to me the faux angst being projected by the Trump crazies is amusing…to say the least.

An historic infrastructure bill was passed. The U.S. is no longer going to be mired in Afghanistan. A record 6.4 million new jobs were created. Covid vaccinations are available everywhere if you’re only smart enough to avail yourself of one. The Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have been kept at bay. But most of all…jobs are everywhere for all these lazy entitled Trump whites if we can only wean them off their Covid stimulus welfare checks.

God bless POTUS Joe Manchin…and god bless the United States of America.

Have a wonderful day.

Sooners End Four Game Skid in Morgantown, 72-62

A huge win for Porter Moser’s Sooners tonight in Morgantown as the Sooners pretty much led wire to wire to grab a 72-62 road win.

Not to be overly dramatic, but I pretty much had this as a ‘Season on the Brink’ type of game for the Sooners if they want to go dancing in March Madness.

OU came into this game as losers of four straight Big 12 games. This was one of those Bob Knight situations kid you not. I think seven Big 12 teams get into the Tournament, but on this night in Morgantown OU had to have a gut check road win and they got it.

EJ Harkless didn’t start the game and only played four minutes. If EJ didn’t understand the message being sent by Coach Moser…I’ll translate on the blog:

“EJ, please step up. Your teammates need you. The way you’ve played the past few games is not going to cut it. If you can’t play at a higher level…then both Jacob Grove and Marvin Johnson will absorb your minutes.”

And that’s exactly what Coach Moser did tonight in Morgantown. EJ was benched. Jacob Groves started and played his best game as a Sooner. Marvin Johnson the senior transfer from Eastern Illinois absorbed the still injured Ethan Chargois minutes.

Both of these guys rose to the occasion and along with Moj Gibson, Tanner Grove, and Jalen Hill all get helmet stickers.

OU improves to 13-7 overall and 3-5 in Big 12 conference games.

You see… this wasn’t tanking. This was this team giving everything they had to win a road game and put their dream of playing in March Madness back on track.

This was real human competition…. not that contrived scripted bullshit we’ve seen two years in a row in Bricktown.

You compete. You put your competitive soul on the line in public and expose it for all to see.

Why do think Mike Boynton was crying with his players when he found out about the NCAA ban imposed this spring?

He was crying because he knew how much this hurt his players’ competitive souls.

That’s why.

Next up…OU heads to Auburn to play the No. 1 ranked Auburn Tigers in Big 12-SEC Challenge. This will mean in the last six games OU will have played defending national champion Baylor twice, top three Kansas, top 15 Texas, and now No. 1 ranked Auburn with the potential National Player of the Year in Jabari Smith.

I’ll feature Jabari on my blog tomorrow in preparation of the game on Saturday which will of course be played in a standing room only arena against the No. 1 ranked Auburn Tigers.

OU could get their ass kicked, but I assure you they won’t be tanking.

Can the Thunder Crack the Top Five Worst NBA Teams of All-Time?

I’m not sure because for some reason I don’t understand what the Thunder were doing earlier in the season. Maybe because of the two wins over Russell Westbrook’s Lakers they may have forgotten how bad they were supposed to be this season.

The Thunder, with last night’s predictable home loss to the Chicago Bulls who were without DeMar DeRozan, lost their sixth game in a row to fall to 14-33 . This means in the twelve games played by the Thunder in 2022 the team has an abysmal record of 1-11.

That’s pretty much on the pace the Thunder played in their last twenty-five games last season when the team tanked shamelessly down the stretch going 2-23.

But of course, for a reason no one understands to this day…they foolishly won their last game of the regular season to in essence drop them from a top three pick or so. Evan Mobley would have been the logical pick. But the Thunder seem to have landed a nice player in Josh Giddy… so I’m not going to dwell on last year.

Besides I adopted Miami in the East, Golden State in the West, and Memphis as my overall dark horse pick. So… I’m good.

The Thunder now have thirty-five games left this season. To me…it appears Sam Hinkie-Presti seems focused on making sure his puppet coach stays the course the rest of the way.

So… let’s do the math if the Thunder can stay on their current trend of historically wretched play. Let’s just say in the next thirty-five games the pathetic Thunder go 4-31.

That would mean the Thunder would go 5-42 in their last forty-seven games. That’s historically bad. That’s puts you right in the trajectory of these five putrid teams highlighted above in the Five Worst NBA Teams of All-Time video.

This is what I’ll say to Sam Hinkie-Presti at this point…if you’re going to tank…then tank hard with no competitive conscience whatsoever. Have no regrets. Never give a sucker an even break and kick him when he’s down.

To me…it’s apparent these Thunder fans who are still attending the Thunder games chanting “OKC” and “Defense” are going to be there for you no matter how bad the team performs. No matter how embarrassing the record ends up being for this season.

If you’re going to tank…then tank big, buddy.

17-65….is that possible? Maybe.

I don’t feel good about my 22-60 pick any longer that’s for certain.

Josh Allen Simply Deserved Better

My goodness…what a weekend of NFL divisional playoff games. I had to decompress for twenty-four hours before getting back on my blog.

All four games were stellar. Some might even say if you combined the first three games they were an iconic montage of what every NFL fan aspires the divisional round should be.

All three visiting teams won on the road. All three games came down to a winning field goal in regulation as time expired.

Joe Burrow, Jimmy G, and Matthew Stafford were the three winning quarterbacks.

Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Ryan Tannehill were the three losing quarterbacks.

It was in a historic sense a changing of the guard of the NFL quarterback hierarchy.

What we saw in these games was the future of the NFL in Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, and Patrick Mahomes. I wonder if Caleb Williams and his father took notice nary a Lincoln Riley quarterback was even remotely relevant in these NFL playoffs.

Not one.

I wonder if Joe C could put some of his oil and gas boosters together and offer Josh Allen enough to make him consider coming to OU thru the transfer portal. You gotta figure if Putin invades Ukraine…there’s going to be some sick Texas oil and gas money available for the first ever NFL back to college transfer portal move. Fictional Big Ed Bookman from Semi Tough in Fort Worth wouldn’t blink. Why not from the Buffalo Bills to OU?

Josh Allen > Caleb Williams…not even close.

Lincoln Riley at his best in Body Heat couldn’t pull that one off. These are the kind of thoughts which keep me awake at nights.

But in Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen what was we saw was the bright burning light of what the AFC Championship Games are going to be about for the next decade or so.

Sheer brilliance is the way I would describe it.

I simply couldn’t take my eyes off of Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. Combined they completed 61 of 80 throws. Not one interception between them. Every clutch play needed to be made was made.

But here’s the thing which eats at me on late Monday night…the best quarterback didn’t win this weekend…and that would be Josh Allen.

I thought he was brilliant.

Unfortunately–he was shackled by his coach, Sean McDermott’s, decision to kick the ball thru the endzone with thirteen seconds left and to not run the game clock down six or seven seconds.

Tyreek ‘The Cheetah’ Hill only returns punts…not kickoffs. Don’t think I wasn’t thinking about Bob Stoops’ fatal decision to re-punt to Cheetah…but Tyreek only returns punts for Andy Reid, not kickoffs.

Tony Romo called it as it was happening in live time. You have to burn half of those thirteen seconds in that circumstance. Time and score…. time and score. Those two words Russell Westbrook could never learn from Maurice Cheeks.

I know…that’s hindsight to a certain degree. But I wanted to make sure at least on my blog that Josh Allen was recognized as the best quarterback I saw playing this past weekend in the NFL divisional round.

Now we get Joe Burrow vs. Patrick Mahomes at Arrowhead.

I can’t wait.

But Josh Allen should still be playing.

Tom Brady the GOAT in Search of Ring No. 8

It’s absurd is what it is. In a sport like football where the NFL as a league discourages prolonged success through a hard salary cap… Tom Brady has won seven Super Bowl rings while getting to the Super Bowl eleven times in his career.

This is ludicrous.

The hard salary cap plus the avoidance of serious injury plus longevity easily in my mind make Tom Brady the greatest player in team sports history minus possibly Bill Russell as the GOAT.

The Bill Russell vs. Tom Brady is an argument for a different time perhaps after we see if Tom Brady can get to his 12th Super Bowl in the next two weeks.

I think today’s matchup this afternoon in Tampa is fascinating because it pits Matthew Stafford at 1-3 all-time in playoff games versus the GOAT.

You wonder what’s going in Matthew Stafford’s mind right now just hours before kick-off. In one game… Matthew Stafford could conceivably alter his Detroit Lion legacy.

I’ve always wondered what Barry Sanders would have done with his NFL legacy if he’d played two seasons away from the pathetic Detroit Lions. In my mind, Barry Sanders was the greatest college running back of all-time, but because of being shackled to the Lions we never got to see if he would have won a ring while playing on a decent team.

My dad was actually co-counsel once for Barry Sanders on a civil matter. I treasure the autographed pic my dad got for me even as an OU fan. Right there in my sports cave next to the autographed pic of Joe Carter.

I can’t wait to see this game later today. I’m going to go start up the chainsaw and do some work before kick-off to get in the right frame of mind. When you get into your sixties—it’s all about the chain saw, baby. The lab, then the chain saw. Just saying.

This is why we play, coach, and watch competitive sports. We do so to bring out the best of ourselves as humans who love the exalt of competition.

And at the end of the day that’s what trips Tom Brady’s trigger…which I think is kind of cool. Kind of like a Jonathan Livingston Seagull approach to his zen-like mastery of football.