BY:DALTON Happy Birthday JBob
What an amazing first day for the Lions in free agency! It seemed like it was one after another after another after another. Schefty and Rappaport were BIZZY with the Lions news in the early afternoon. While free agent signings don’t win games in January, it sure is a lot of fun in March. This effects their draft strategy immensely, but lets worry about that later. Lets talk about the Lions winning the first day of free agency.
Contract: 1 year/ $4.25 million base + $1.5 million in incentives
This was the first deal of the day for both the Lions and the NFL. While Amendola isn’t the same player he was in New England, the Lions are still getting a solid slot receiver and veteran. Did they pay a little more than they should have for a year of 33-year old Danny Amendola? Yea, probably. But if he hits all his marks and earns that extra $1.5 million, he will be worth it. This is obviously just a stop gap solution for a looming problem, but the Lions could certainly have done worse. He will fill the Golden Tate role of being a chain-mover and Stafford’s safety blanket.
Contract: 4 years/ $36 million
When this move came across the twitter feed, I think I heard a collective “Huh?” from the Lions faithful. After doing a little research, like the hardcore journalist I am, this move is a strong one. I was puzzled to learn that the Lions cut Nevin Lawson. I thought he was an average corner for most of the year. But, Bob Quinn went out and got the best nickle corner on the market while also paying him like it. Coleman is the highest ever paid nickle corner, but in today’s NFL the nickle scheme is being used more and more often. To be able to have the best one is a huge plus for this defense. Did they over pay? Yes. But I feel like Detroit has to overpay for these types of things. The best part of this deal? The fact that he is only 24 years old. We will have him locked up through the prime of his career.
Contract: 5 years/ $85(?) million
The crown jewel of this years free agency. As I was doing my research on the Coleman deal, my phone started to get flooded with updates from twitter, group chats, and individual texts. I was pretty taken aback. I knew the Lions were in the running but last I heard was that Flowers wanted to go play down in Miami with Brian Flores. I was very surprised and very excited. While the exact numbers of the deal haven’t been announced yet, it is strongly rumored to be in the $17 million/year range. It is a hefty price, but when you consider the Lions were paying Ansah that same price last season, it isn’t that hard of a deal to stomach. My favorite part of the deal, much like the Coleman deal, is that we will have one of the best players at their position locked up through their prime. The price tag may look high, but I think Flowers will be worth every penny.
Since we don’t know any of the contract details yet, it is kinda tough to give this deal a true grade. But, just based off player skill and need, this isn’t a home run but it is a bases-clearing triple (hell yea, cross sport reference). The Lions had a glaring deficiency at tight end last season and Jesse James was the best TE on the market this year. He can block well and is someone a defense has to pay attention to in the passing game. I’m assuming they over-payed for him because that is the way the free agency has been going thus far, hopefully they didn’t over-pay too badly for him though. This also should take Hockenson off the board for the 8th pick in the upcoming draft.
Grade: B, for now
UPDATE: Jesse James deal is being reported at 4 years/ $25 million. Above average pay for an above average player. Changing my grade to a B+.
For those who don’t want to read how I will become wealthier than someone who works for 40 years, the answer is yes. I can exploit the current political climate for financial gain.
How did this plan come about? I saw a news post about a snow plow driver spraying slush on to some protesters. Naturally I checked out the comments. I would say that every 4th comment was about how someone would contribute to a Go Fund Me if the person was hurting for cash. This is when the light bulb in my big galaxy brain went off. Now, for anyone who wants to look into my plan, here is the step by step outline of how I will become richer than in my wildest dreams.
STEP 1: FIND AN EVENT
- This is the first and most important step. I have to find out where a liberal or conservative public event is happening. Without a politically charged event, this plan is kaput.
STEP 2: CREATE A FAKE CONTROVERSY
- Here is where I separate myself from the idiots who actually create controversies. I just lie and say I did something to “expose a racist” or “own a lib”. I don’t have to actually do it. People on the internet are so stupid. The people commenting on the plow driver post aren’t even from the same STATE as where the incident happened and they are willing to give this person money like they saved their child from leprosy. Just to be clear, I will be lying to people about this actually happening. In no way, shape, or form will I get my fat ass out of bed to make a counter-political statement.
STEP 3: CREATE GO FUND ME
- Business 101: Have a way to monetize.
STEP 4: LOSE MY JOB AKA: LIE AGAIN
- Obviously, just doing something wont bring in any money. But, you can generate sympathy by saying you lost your job because of your controversy (which is also a lie). People on the internet love giving money to people who act like assholes then have to deal with real world consequences. For example, the Vans employee who told a 14-year old kid wearing a MAGA hat to fuck off and was fired. Whether you agree politically or not doesn’t matter, if you tell a customer that and you aren’t the boss, you will be fired. But guess what? There was a Go Fund Me set up for him. The main formula here is Act Like an Ass+ (Job Acquisitions *-1)= Money from a Go Fund Me. Much like the controversy, this is not real. It is all a lie.
STEP 5: GET A GRASS ROOTS POLITICAL ACCOUNT TO SHARE STORY
- Again, I cant stress this enough, people on the internet are stupid. People who aren’t famous but have large follower accounts just because they write sassy political tweets may be the dumbest of the bunch. All I would need is for them to retweet the link to my Go Fund Me and then I watch the dollars roll in. Again, this would be a Go Fund Me set up for a FAKE person, doing a FAKE political stunt, and losing their FAKE job, but the money would go into MY bank account. Here in lies the beauty of the plan. People who run and follow these accounts will do ANYTHING to feel righteous and justified in their beliefs. That includes encouraging or positively reinforcing behavior that they agree with. The political climate is so radically charged that people wont even research anything. “Oh, some asshole was acting like an asshole and lost their job? But, they also agree with me politically? I will stick it to the other side of the aisle by giving a stranger money!”. I’m not saying everyone is stupid in a vacuum (I am), but today’s politics have people so blinded that they throw all rationality out the window.
STEP 6: REPEAT UNTIL I CAN RETIRE
- No one is going to fact check this shit. I figure I can do about 12 of these a year and if I get about $10,000/controversy, I should be able to bank about $600,000 by the end of the Trump era (assuming he gets re-elected). But, I think the political radicalism will extend to one more president after Trump. So, I should be able to retire by 2034 with around $1.5 million in my nice little nest egg. If a few things break my way in both the market and in how much people are willing to give to stupid causes, I could possibly retire before 2030. Its a lofty goal, but I believe in the stupidity of the internet. It hasn’t failed me yet.
So, the discussion of Little Debbie snacks broke out at work the other day. Obviously, everyone had their opinions on which snacks were better than others. Even more obviously, most of their opinions were wrong. I couldn’t include EVERY single thing Little Debbie makes in that magical kitchen of hers, but I decided to rank the 10 snacks you will find at almost every gas station. Here is the definitive Little Debbie snack rankings:
10. Fudge Round
What the fuck are these things? They are like Oatmeal Creme Pie’s drug addicted cousin that lives in a trailer park and only comes around when it needs money and always has random scabs and bruises. It is supposed to be fudge-y and creamy. Not only is it not tasty, but there are other LD snacks that satisfy those tastes so much better. This is the only bad snack on the list.
9. Apple Pie
Pretty straight forward. LD doesn’t do fruit pies extraordinarily well. Any fast food chain has a pie that is better than this, but in a pinch, it works.
8. Powdered Sugar Donuts
Much like the apple pie, there isn’t a whole lot to dive in to here. They are pretty good donuts for a really good price. Powdered sugar are the best kind of mini donuts, don’t come at me with that chocolate dipped shit.
7. Brownie w/ Nuts
The first snack on the list where Little Debbie starts to put its products ahead of the pack. The brownie is the base and the highlight of this snack. Dense and fudge-y, the brownie is contrasted nicely with the crunch and saltiness of the walnuts.
6. Zebra Cakes
Zebra Cakes are an overload of sugar. From the frosting on the outside to the cream on the inside, everything is super sweet. Not to say that’s a bad thing. I love a single Zebra Cake. The fact the you can only eat one, without making your stomach feel likes its getting punched by prime Tyson, knocks it down a few spots in the rankings.
5. Nutty Buddy
Chocolate, peanut butter, wafers. No extra bells and whistles here. It has three simple things, but it does those things REALLY REALLY well.
4. Cosmic Brownie
Now we enter the Mt.Rushmore of Little Debbie snacks. These next four are the best of the brand and in a different tier of elite. Laughing down upon all the other lowly snacks. The first to laugh is the Cosmic Brownie. A staple in both soccer snack and American culture. This brownie improves upon its lame cousin, the Fudge Brownie with Walnuts. It took the best parts (the brownie) and improved upon the weak parts (replacing nuts with candied chocolates). Rock solid from top to bottom, you can never go wrong with the Cosmic Brownie.
3. Swiss Roll
The Swiss Roll is great right off the shelves, that’s why it is in the top 4 of the rankings. The real value comes when they come out of the freezer. When frozen, a Swiss Roll is like a mini ice cream cake. The cream and cake is obviously a time tested classic. But, the hard chocolate outside is what puts this snack ahead of the rest.
2. Star Crunch
Underappreciated and under-consumed, the Star Crunch brings nothing but delight with every bite. The chocolate, caramel, and crisp rice combination is really only utilized in a 100 Grand bar. Star Crunch is exactly like a 100 Grand Bar only bigger and tastier. The fact you have the wrapper as a mini glove to protect your hand from chocolate is a HUGE bonus for this. But, wrapper or not, the Star Crunch is strong enough to be in the top 2.
1. Oatmeal Creme Pie
The cream of the crop. The tip of the top on the tower of power. “YOU DOWN WITH OCP? YEA YOU KNOW ME!”. There are endless ways to say how great the Oatmeal Creme Pie is, but the best way to do so is to shame people who don’t think its #1 in the rankings. The soft oatmeal cookie with the rich creme is basically heaven in a plastic wrap. If you took an OCP back to the Greeks and Romans, they would denounce all the Gods they had previously worshiped and build shrines to both you and the 50 cent pastry you time traveled with. Not only is the original so good, Little Debbie went and made the Big Pack OCPs. More cookie and more creme. WOWZA! I can fall in love with almost any of the snacks on this list, but only one has my heart. Here’s to you, Oatmeal Creme Pie. May you live a long and prosperous life. May you continue to bring delight and joy to future generations. May you never be expelled from gas stations and convenience stores around the nation. Amen.
I have a question for the teams in the East that are vying for a playoff spot. Would you rather get kicked in the nuts by a bull or play the Pistons? I don’t want to say the Pistons are the best team in the East right now, buttttttttttttt only two teams have longer win streaks than them (4 in a row). The Griffin and Drummond combo is clicking ever since Andre came out of concussion protocol. Thon Maker may be a god in human form (possibly a premature exclamation). Wayne Ellington is certainly a basketball player. Reggie Jackson doesn’t stink anymore. Luke Kennard is officially NOT a bust. I could go on and on about how the Pistons should strike fear into every living basketball franchise on the planet, but if I waxed any more poetic, the rest of the East may just fold and give the Conference Crown to Detroit right now. What sort of fun would that be?
In all honesty, the Pistons making a run at the playoffs is the right move over tanking. Outside of Zion, I am not sure if there is a player more likely to change a franchise than to bust. The Pistons are so far out of the number one pick (and have too much talent to be the worst team) that tanking for the number 9 pick is so much worse than trying for a playoff spot. The Knicks have lost 17 in a row! There is no way Detroit could suck that bad. As for the draft? You just have to hope the new Pistons front office can find value in wherever they are picking. They havent had a chance yet to draft int he first round so you cant trust or distrust them, but their second round picks (Brown and Thomas) have proved worthy picks, especially Bruce Brown.
If the Pistons make playoffs, I don’t expect them to win a playoff series but I would be pretty disappointed if they didnt win a game. Especially considering that a LeBron led team is out of the question for a first round match-up. Obviously, these expectations are hinged on the fact that they make the playoffs. If the Pistons dont make the playoffs this will be the most disappoint season in a while. So, lets not think about that until later in the season, ok?
Back when I was writing for WCBN, I did an end of year media awards blog. Well, it popped up in my Facebook memories today and inspired me to write another. But Dalton, aren’t you at work? Yes, but its that weird week in between Christmas and New Years where nothing really gets done. This one will be a little more in depth than my previous one, probably because I care a little more and have consumed more media.
*Obviously there are some HUGE names I am leaving off of this list (Avengers, Star is Born, Black Panther, etc.) but I never a. got around to seeing them or b. Not a huge fan of comic book movies/am so far behind on them that it would be a disservice for me to watch them now.
- Isle of Dogs– A classic Wes Anderson film through and through. From the stop animation, similar to that of Fantastic Mr.Fox, to the constantly dry humor. A cute and touching story about a boy going and finding his dog. What is not to love about that? All the big names in the movie certainly delivered on their voice acting. When the biggest gripe with Hollywood is that its all remakes, this was an invigorating breath of fresh air.
- Into the Spider Verse-While I said I am not a huge fan of comic book movies, this one completely blew me away. It was a refreshing take on the played out Spider-Man story. It was cute, funny, and 100% self-aware. For example, they introduce many Spider-People into this movie and each time they show the origin story, they make some comment about how “we’ve all heard this story before”. This movie took a story line that looked to be dead and pumped new life into it. I’m not saying I would like a second movie in this series, but I am saying this is my favorite comic book movie of all time.
- Death of Stalin– Death of Stalin was a phenomenal film with a lot of nuanced, dark comedy that a lot of people didn’t expect. It wasn’t advertised that much or shown in many theaters nationwide. I was luck enough to see it in its last week of running. If you get the chance to buy/stream it, you have to do so.
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs– Netflix release movies typically scare me away, but this Cohen Brothers film bought Netflix a little more credibility. The fact that this movie was so unconventional is what made it so great. Instead of a normal movie where there is a main story line surrounded with B and C plots through out the entire film, this movie was a collection of five individual stories that had no connection to each other. Setting it in the Wild West was a great way to touch on the different types characters you would come across that the Silver Screen doesn’t really pay homage to. Because of the ‘five individual story’ structure, it is one of the easiest movies of the year to watch.
- Bad Times at the El Royale– The big cast (Bridges, Hamm, Hemsworth) certainly delivered in this murder-mystery thriller. But it was the lesser known names that stole the show. Lewis Pullman’s performance as Miles Miller, the bell boy/concierge at the El Royale was phenomenal. Portraying the innocent boy who knows too much, his character was the whipped cream and cherry on an already delicious movie. The movie is a little long and can drag at times, but the “You don’t really know who anybody is” aspect of the film keeps you engaged for its entirety.
WINNER: ISLE OF DOGS
*I know that most of these songs are rap and a lot of my followers will ask where the Greta Van Fleet is. GVF is good. I like them, but they didnt put out anything in 2018 that was “Song of the Year” good. So get off my back.
- Mo Bamba by Shek Wes: The anthem of college kids across the nation. It is simple, the words are easy to figure out, and anytime drunk people can scream three consecutive obscenities in public, the song will pick up a lot of steam. Also Mo Bamba being a good basketball player has helped. Underrated part about this song is that Shek Wes filmed it while in a walking boot and on an Amigo scooter.
- High by Young Thug ft Elton John: The first 500 times I listened to this song, I wept uncontrollably. Its like Thug, Sir Elton, and Jesus sat down in a studio and decided to give this world the most important piece of media since the Ten Commandments. If you haven’t listened to this song yet, I’m jealous that you get to experience it for a first time.
- Rats by Ghost: This radio friendly rocker from the Satan-worshiping metal band is catch as all get out. Ghost would probably be my band of the year if I had that category. Their new album “Prequelle” was strong from front to back and “Rats” is the crowned juul (trying to get my SEO up). My Dad always told me that a metal song is all about the riff and “Rats” certainly delivers. From ground and pound melodies to mind melting solos, this heavy rocker takes back seat to nobody.
- Nice for What by Drake: Undeniably the King of Main Stream Rap right now, Drake’s newest album “Scorpion” delivered hits on hits on hits. “God’s Plan” got all of the social media hype with the tear-inducing music video and meme culture. “In My Feelings” got massive numbers because of the Shiggy Challenge that was inescapable on Instagram. But “Nice for What” is the most fun, dance-able, singable, and listenable song off of the 2018 project from Aubrey.
- The Middle by Maren Morris, Zedd, and Grey: So, so catchy. This dance hit combines all the features of a modern pop song. Strong vocals, fun bass/beat drops, and high energy. It was played at least 2x at every house party or bar I went to in the summer. Not the greatest song of all time, but I would be doing it a huge disservice to leave it off of this list.
WINNER: HIGH BY YOUNG THUG FT. ELTON JOHN
BEST TV SHOW*
*I don’t watch Game of Thrones. I’ve been planning to since last April.
- Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 13: The ASIP cast delivered again. While there were a couple of duds in this season, there were just as many all-time classic moments. It was great that Dennis (my favorite character) is back to his maniacal ways, Frank is as crazy and depraved as ever, Mac fully embraced his gay character, Charlie is Charlie, and Dee still doesn’t get an ounce of respect. A very self-aware season where they poked fun at the TV industry, society, and themselves.
- Big Mouth, Season 2: From the weird mind of Nick Kroll, Big Mouth was the most outrageous show I’ve seen in a very long time. Continuing to follow a group of kids through puberty, it is every bit as awkward and hilarious as it is raunchy and adoring. The best addition to this season was Nick’s personal Hormone Monster. Weird, decrepit, and a total failure. “You’re the man Steve!”
- American Vandal, Season 2: Crushed the entire season in one sitting while out in San Francisco with some friends. Not as funny as the first season, but the main story and the plot twists were just as captivating. Again, they perfected the mock-umentary and I will be sure to watch Season 3 (if there is one)
- South Park, Season 22: One of South Park’s better seasons in a while. I’m not sure what the critical reception is, but anytime they can put in an entire episode about Catholic priests, count me in. They also brought back Al Gore and ManBearPig (MBP) in a couple of episodes. The biggest thing I got out of this season is that Al Gore’s life mentor was Al Gore.
- Better Call Saul, Season 4: For those of us who has stuck with Saul through the first three seasons, we were rewarded BIG TIME. This season really dives into the character of Jimmy McGill and you see more and more cross over with Breaking Bad. I don’t want to spoil too much of it in case there is someone who has been meaning to watch the series. The first few seasons were slow, but this last season was just as good, if not better, than the best seasons of Breaking Bad.
WINNER: BETTER CALL SAUL, SEASON 4
BEST VIDEO GAME*
* I don’t have a PlayStation or a Switch but I’ve heard really really good things about God of War and Smash Bros.
- Red Dead Redemption 2– In the much anticipated release to the sequel to Red Dead Redemption, RDR2 doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. In fact, it may be the only game that had exceeded already sky-high expectations. The graphics were absolutely phenomenal. It was the first game that was built for consoles with enhanced graphic capabilities. Ever minor detail was accounted for. The game play was even more in-depth than the visuals. From the horse relationship mechanics to the way you could interact with local towns folk. RDR2 didn’t just give us a rehash of its predecessor, it took what made it great (story line, endearing characters, rarely touched upon genre) and built upon. Not too often does a video game sequel deliver on this level.
- Fortnite- I know that this game technically came out in 2017, but it didn’t become what it is today until early 2018. I’m sure most people understand the gist of what Fortnite is and how its played. But some many people don’t understand what makes it so fun. Simply put, it is the multiplayer aspect. Squading up with your friends and taking on 96 other people is both challenging and exhilarating. Pair that in with the fact that no two games are exactly the same and it is 100% free to play, and you have yourself a smash hit. Obviously, people buy different character skins and dances to help personalize the experience, but they offer no competitive advantage. All you need is a console, an online membership, and some friends for a good time.
- Far Cry V- Before this game, I was never really into the Far Cry series. But, when my brother told me it was about a cult in Montana, I was hooked. It was a very open world game with a lot of side missions and mindless activities that helped enhance the game play. The story line was engaging and the weaponry was very fun. From guns like a shovel launcher (exactly what it sounds like) to a variety of assault rifles, the guns in this game added another level of enjoyment. Not as in depth as RDR2 but for this game, that is a good thing. They kept it complexly simple and delivered an absolutely outstanding game.
I’m ready to talk about Michigan football after giving it almost 10 days to marinate about what happened in Columbus. It was ugly, it was disappointing, it was embarrassing, and it wasn’t fun. It officially killed everything that Michigan football wants to be. They are no longer my father’s Michigan. National Title aspirations can never be the hope again. This loss officially confirmed that we are now the Wisconsin or Iowa of the B1G Ten East. We should aim for a B1G Championship appearance and the Rose Bowl. From here on out it would be foolish to have a “CFP or Bust” mentality as long as the last game of the year is against Ohio State. Some of my fellow Michigan fans will disagree with me. I want to be with them. I want to think there is a chance every season to make some national noise simply because “We are Michigan Football, 11 time National Champions”. Well, the last title came in the 90’s and since the turn of the century Michigan has only beaten Ohio State three (3) times. If they couldn’t beat them this year, I honestly don’t know what it would take to beat them. Ohio State has our number. Harbaugh isn’t great against rivals. Those are just facts. Cant argue with them. As for what happened a couple Saturdays ago, there is plenty of blame to go around.
Obviously the defense was the most shocking part of the failed venture into The Horseshoe. I saw plenty of scenarios where Michigan could lose the game, but the defense having the worst performance in Michigan Football history was not one of them. Giving up 62 points seemed impossible the way the Michigan defense had played under Brown the last 2 seasons. To me, it all started with the defensive line. That has been the strong point and calling card of the Michigan defense. When Gary, Winovich, and the rest of the crew were neutralized at the line of scrimmage, the rest of the team was exposed. Especially corner back Brandon Watson. If he played horribly, that would have been an upgrade over the performance that was turned in. The linebackers were constantly being burnt on running back wheel routes and, as mentioned in the preview by me, the secondary just simply wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the OSU wide outs. I thought that the secondary would be able to hold their own because I thought that Michigan had a superior advantage in the trenches. I was wrong, the defense was torched, and my hope for the future was lost.
The offense was not blameless. Despite putting up 39 points, the offense failed every time they were needed. Deep into the 3rd quarter it was an 8-point game and the defense had come up with multiple stops. An offensive score there potentially changes the story of the game. Gentry is the first player that comes to mind when thinking of the offensive ineptitude. He dropped a sure fire touchdown and a few big first down opportunities. Higdon was exposed for not being fast, Evans was exposed as not being strong (even though he would have given the running game the best chance that day, in my opinion), the offensive line was porous, and Shea proved to many that he is not ready for the NFL. The players under performed, but that wasn’t my biggest issue with the offense.
Now we are on to the coaching staff. Don Brown failed to adjust his game plan for what seemed like the first time in his tenure as DC. But, despite having a historically horrific day, I give him a pass. Not a pass for the game, but a pass for the future. I truly believe he will make the right adjustments going forward and wont be caught like he was that fateful Saturday ever again. Jim Harbaugh and the offensive coaching staff is a completely different story. Let me get this out there now, I do NOT want Michigan and Jim Harbaugh to separate paths. I think Jim is the best possible guy for the situation. That being said, RUN AN OFFENSE THAT IS NEWER THAN 1984. The game plan for this years’ game was absolutely pathetic. We continued to try and pound the rock, run play action, and huddle up despite being down two scores in the 4th quarter. The correct game plan against Ohio State’s defense was to go down field, something we never attempted to do, and to use speed, another thing we never attempted to do. Why were there no plays designed to get the ball into the hands of Tarik Black? Maryland scored 52 points basically running jet sweeps and Hail Marys and we didn’t attempt one of those. The ground and pound offense works against the Purdues and Marylands of the B1G Ten. Not against Ohio. Why was the game plan for the biggest game in the last 12 years of Michigan football the exact same as when Michigan won the National Title in 1948? No creativity and inside the box thinking lead to another ass-whooping at the hands of Ohio State. I don’t know why, but I honestly thought that Harbaugh and Pep Hamilton (Maryland, please hire him) would look at what had worked against OSU all year and done something remotely similar to that. Don’t try to tell me that Michigan doesn’t have the athletes to do it. Don’t lie to yourself and think that Michigan doesn’t have the players to do it but Purdue and Maryland do. I understand the game plan of clock control, wearing them down, and having that pay dividends in the 4th quarter. But, when you find yourself in the middle of a shoot out, set down your hammer, pick up a gun, and give it hell. The one exciting drive Michigan had in the second half led to their only score that really mattered. The worst part about it is that the two games against OSU previous, I thought the coaching staff did an excellent job at game planning and that they just didn’t have the players to execute on offense. This year though, I’m not even sure if the coaching staff put together a game plan.
Its just sickening to see such an amazing season thrown away. 10-2 with a New Years 6 bowl is a great season any other year. But when you go in to the last game of the season against your bitter rival, with not only a B1G Ten Championship on the line, but also a College Football Playoff berth on the line, a NY6 bowl is a pretty shitty consolation prize. Now, I do want Michigan to beat Florida in the Peach Bowl. I would never want them to lose a game. It is just going to be tough to feel excited for it.
As we all know, the University of Michigan Wolverines will take on the Buckeyes of Ohio State University on Saturday at high noon. According to my close personal friends Merriam and Webster, a rivalry is “: the act of rivaling: the state of being a rival: COMPETITION”. But is Michigan still a rival? Let’s break it down:
The Wolverines are certainly rivals in “the act of rivaling”. Any time the Buckeyes win anything of meaning (games, recruiting, internal investigations) it is like a small knife stabbing all Wolverines in the heart. Michigan wants to beat OSU in every single thing that involves 100 yards and a leather ball. So, rivaling is an act that Michigan not only does, they excel in it.
Part two of the definition, “the state of being a rival”. Everything that was said in the paragraph above can be said for Ohio State. They hate us, we hate them. Hell, the entire state of Ohio tries to get rid of the letter “M” for an entire week. I’m willing to put ownership of this lowly frequented blog down that if you ask 100 Ohio State fans who their biggest rival is, 99 of them will say the University of Michigan. To question if Michigan is in the state of being Ohio State’s rival would almost be as dumb as shortening your alphabet to 25 letters for almost 2% of the year.
Competition. If you’ve read to this point and expected me to argue that Michigan had won games that they haven’t, you can probably close out the window. I know the statistics. Michigan has won two of the last seventeen contests against Ohio State. Even Ohio State fans are smart enough to tell you that isn’t very good. An unacceptable amount of wins that Michigan fans have no choice but to accept. It is our reality. We have been flat out dominated by Ohio State and the likes of Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer. Sometimes the good guy doesn’t always win. When push comes to shove, Michigan hasn’t been a rival in terms of competition. It doesn’t matter how close the games have been, who the quarterbacks have been, or where the spots on the field were; Michigan lost.
While meeting two out of the three prongs for being a rival, Michigan misses out on the most important one. But, a rivalry isn’t decided by what’s written in the history books. It’s not what arbitrary electronic numbers are shown on a scoreboard one Saturday a year. It is in the hearts and minds of a fan base. When a stunningly gorgeous baby boy is born at 3:13 am in Saginaw, Mi and raised in Standish to despise anything related to Columbus, Ohio, that is a rivalry. When an Ohio State graduate delivers his last pizza of the night, backs his ’91 Civic into a parked car, and then decides not to leave his information because that Lamborghini has a Michigan license plate, that is a rivalry.
Now, we come to the year 2018 of our Lord. The B1G East title, a spot in the B1G Championship game, and a shot at the College Football Playoffs lay in the balance on Saturday afternoon. While the competition aspect of the rivalry has been dead for 10 years or so, it doesn’t matter on November 24th. This is the biggest game in Michigan’s history since the same teams met in 2006. Not only is all the aforementioned on the line, but this is also a legacy game for Jim Harbaugh. There is absolutely no reason Michigan should lose this year when looking at this game on paper. Michigan has a clear advantage at every position except wide receiver and, maybe, quarterback. But, as I said before, this game isn’t played on paper. At the end of the day, this is THE Game. Both teams will be fired up and should need no extra motivation outside of the game and what’s at stake.
This game is everything for Michigan fans. Well, it is everything for me at least. If Michigan ends up losing this game, I may never be able to care about anything ever again. I will be broken mentally and, quite possibly, physically. I have already seen my passion for sports wane down over the past couple of years. Whether it be getting a job, having more important things to worry about, or simply just getting older, I just don’t get as excited as I do for sports anymore. Yes, I still get juiced up while watching the games. Wins are still sweet and defeat is still bitter, but not like it used to be. Until this season, this season of Michigan football has restoked a competitive fire inside me for events that I’m not even competing in. If Michigan loses, I may never be able to recover. I’m sure there are some sick bastards out there who would love nothing more than to see me and millions of other Maize & Blue fans have their collective hearts ripped out. While I understand the hatred of Harbaugh because he is bombastic, unabashed, and honest, I just can’t simply wrap my head around not wanting Michigan to win unless you’re an OSU fan. Some people would rather see a coach who enables and silently endorses repeated domestic abuse to come out on top again. They would rather see someone who actively harbors murderers on their team win this game. They would rather see someone who fakes health scares in order to draw sympathy when his teams are playing poorly win the B1G East again.
Pause a second for me to get off my high horse…
BUT, I have a message for the Ohio State University and all who cheer for them or Michigan’s downfall. This year is a new year. For Michigan to start a dynasty over the B1G East, if not now, when? The time is high for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh to do what he was brought in do. Dominate. A victory Saturday may not only usher in a new era of Michigan reign, but it may also end the coaching career of the conveniently-forgetting Urban Meyer. His time is up. The bell tolls for thee, Urban. To quote the great Buhdist monk Bodhidharma, “Still others commit all sorts of evil deeds, claiming karma doesn’t exist. They erroneously maintain that since everything is empty, committing evil isn’t wrong. Such persons fall into a hell of endless darkness with no hope of release. Those who are wise hold no such conception.”. When karma catches up to Urban, he must address it by name. Karma has a name on November 24th, its name is Michigan.
PREDICTION: Michigan 28- Ohio State 17
(These 1000+ words would be pointless if I didnt predict Michigan to win)
This year’s Lions team is absolutely pathetic. I have never seen such a lack of effort in a game. I don’t know if it’s just me getting older or if the Lions have finally done it, but a wave of calmness and disgust washed over me today. Now, now I can clearly see. I can see that the Lions will never win. I really shouldn’t waste my Sundays anymore watching these perennial losers. If they don’t want to play on Sunday, I shouldn’t watch. Am I saying that I’ll never watch again? Of course not, I’m hooked for life. But as for this season, I will no longer plan my Sundays around watching the Lions. If someone comes to me with plans for Sunday afternoon, I’ll take them. Literally, anything is better than watching this team right now. Stafford has played like shit this season, the playcalling has been awful, the defense can’t stop anyone, and the special teams might as well be playing no arms or legs. I feel like the end of the Jim Bob Cooter era is coming to a close. This offense stinks to high heaven. I just don’t understand how there can be such little creativity despite having playmakers littered across the offense. I would probably say that Jim Bob gets fired after this season. It’s inexcusable how bad this side of the ball has been. I really don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said on this blog or any respectable news outlet. I’m just done. Fed up. Sick of it. Whatever phrase you can think of, apply it.
The Lions, of course, made a little push back in the second half. But, it is not going to fool me. This is a bad team that has seemingly quit on the season. I usually try to write around 500 words for a game recap but you can only write “This team fucking sucks” so many different ways/times. So, until the Lions decide they want to play for 60 minutes, I will not be writing 500 words. If you want more content from me, don’t yell at me, yell at the Lions. This is their fault.
Ohio State @ Michigan State, Noon, FOX: This is my biggest upset alert for any team ranked in the top 25. Michigan State is getting healthier and at home. Now, the Buckeyes are still going to be the favorite but this is clearly Urban’s worst team at Ohio State. They struggled with a trash Nebraska team. If Dantionio actually wants to put together an offensive game plan, then the Spartans should be in it right to the end. When an underdog hangs around in a game, they usually can find a way to pull off the upset, especially at home. OSU’s season is over at about 3:30 pm. PREDICTION: OSU 21- MSU 24
Michigan @ Rutgers, 3:30 PM, BTN: The fact that the line on this game is only Michigan -39 is all the motivation this years Wolverines should need. The only thinking on this game I have to do is will Rutgers have more yards than Michigan has points? PREDICTION: UM 62- RU 0
Lions @ Bears, 1:00 PM, FOX: With the Lions looking like absolute garbage against a good pass rush last week in Minnesota, they dont inspire much hope going into Chicago going against an even better pass rush. Now T.J. Lang is officially out so I dislike their chances of stopping Khalil Mack even more. Slay was also announced as OUT for Sunday so the defense is going to be down one of their top play makers. The good news for the Lions? The Bears offense can be stopped. The bad news? They have to stop the running game. The Lions can win this game if they can contain and force Trubisky to throw. That and a little bit of protection for Stafford should make for an interesting Sunday. But, dont get your hopes up folks. The Bears defense will be the best one the Lions face this year outside the Rams. Lions fans should just hope that Stafford makes it out of Chicago with the ability to walk. PREDICTION: DET 13- CHI 24
Just 10 days after I wrote that I was going all-in with the Lions this year, they swiftly kicked me in the balls and punted away the season. I am thankful that they did it quickly instead of dragging it out until Week 15. This team, we can now comfortably say, has taken a step back this year and this means Bob Quinn has some questions to answer. You cant fire Caldwell after claiming a 9-7 wasn’t good enough and then hire your buddy from New England and look the way that the Lions have looked. Am I saying that Quinn and Patricia are on the hot seat? Certainly not. BQ still has a pretty solid draft record and this class is looking like his best yet. The Snacks trade is right up there with one of the best in recent Lions’ history. So, Quinn has bought a little bit of cushion on his seat. But, that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass for this season. Make no mistake, he hitched his GM tenure in Detroit on Matt Patricia and so far, the wagon has yet to leave the barn. Now, you could point at Philadelphia and see that Doug Peterson struggled his first year then figured it out his second year once his system was in place. Ya know what? I’ll buy that argument a little bit. But I don’t remember the Eagles EVER looking as bad as the Lions have this season.
While Patricia has a few more years before his seat gets super hot, Jim Bob Cooter might as well be sitting on magma. What the hell is this offense right now? Unimaginative, predictable, mistake prone, and boring. The offense has scored 23 points in the last two games and only one touchdown. While the Vikings and Seahawks have formidable defenses, that is simply inexcusable. Stafford has returned to his mistake prone ways. The running game is as fickle as Michigan weather. What happened to the extended hand-offs, short passes, and quick routes? The Lions offensive line was absolute garbage on Sunday. When you give up 10 sacks, there is plenty of blame to go around. Most goes on the line, some goes on Stafford, and the rest go on Jim Bob Cooter. While they couldn’t block if their life depended on it, JBC did nothing to help them. Throw some slants or curls or screens. Do SOMETHING to get the ball out of Stafford’s hand quickly. Stafford doesn’t have time and in turn tries to do too much and in turn makes dumb mistakes. Help your team, help yourself Jim Bob.
The defense I actually didn’t think was that poor. Outside of their “once-a-game” huge run they gave up, I thought they did a nice job stopping the run. They got multiple stops in the second half that left a window open for the offense to come in and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Alas, the offense never came. Teez Tabor is, in fact, awful still. Still the 144/144 rated corner in the NFL per PFF and is also the only corner back in the league that is allowing a perfect passer rating when he is targeted. In layman’s terms, the Lions would be better off sticking me out there.
The only way I can end this article without seeming like and angst-y teen who hates his parents is this, I’m happy Michigan football is back in my life. I’m happy that I have a dominant team in my life. I might even just start blogging about them only because the Lions suck beyond belief and Michigan, especially their defense, is amazing beyond belief. So, here’s to the Lions getting a little bit better to still lose but show improvement and to Michigan kicking the ever living shit out of Ohio State.
Michigan State @ Maryland, Noon, ESPN2: The Spartans proved me and many others wrong by hanging on and defeating a hot Purdue team. Lombardi started his first game as a Spartan and didn’t look half bad. Its always hard to come in and replace a Heisman dark horse candidate like Brian Lewerke(56% passing, 8 TDs/7INT). Big time shoes to fill. So Sparty goes on the road this week after a big win and a quarterback change, what does it all mean? It means MSU will become bowl eligible this week. Maryland is an absolute dumpster fire right now. After bringing back, then firing former head coach DJ Durkin for having a toxic culture in their program. They don’t know what they’re doing in terms of coaching and this isn’t the same Terps team that beat Texas in their first game of the season. I expect the Spartans to handle Maryland with little problems. If MSU’s defense doesn’t have the breakdowns in the secondary that plagued them early in the year, expect a stress-free watch. PREDICTION: MSU 24- UM 10
Penn State @ Michigan, 3:45 pm, ESPN: #14 Penn State comes into the Big House with its B1G Championship hopes on life support. If they don’t win in Ann Arbor, their dream is over for the season. For the Wolverines, this is stop number three of the Winovich coined “Revenge Tour”. Michigan is looking to avenge its loss last year in Happy Valley. While both teams are ranked, I fell as if Michigan is going to make this a statement game before Ohio State. As it sits, Michigan is number five in the College Football Playoff rankings. A dominant win here and they will move into the coveted top four, especially considering Alabama and LSU play each other this week. Not going to over think this one, Michigan is better in ever facet of the game. PREDICTION: PENN 14- UM 28
Lions @ Vikings, 1 pm, FOX: The Lions are playing their first game without Golden Tate in years. Does losing Tate really hurt the offense? Yes. Especially for the first game since losing him. I’m not sure if Golladay is ready to draw the type of coverage that Tate drew, this will be a huge game for the 2nd year receiver. The Vikings aren’t the same team that won the Division last year. At least, not yet this year but they still have a stellar defense on paper. That means the defense can show up at any time because they still have high caliber players. The Lions defense still willfully employs Teez Tabor, who is the worst corner back in the league per PFF. I’m out on the Lions right now, but if they some how win, I’m all the way back in. PREDICTION: DET 17- MIN 24
Two part blog today. Was trying to think of a way to weave Halloween and the Lions together, but I cant. I’m too brain dead from playing Xbox in every single free minute I have. So, here are two sort-of-separate blogs about things going on in my bubble of life.
Well, they suck again, at least until next week. The only consistency we’ve seen out of this team through 8 weeks is that they are inconsistent. They came out and looked absolutely awful against the Seahawks, outside of the first offensive drive. Defense couldn’t stop anything, both run and pass. The most disappointing part of that is the pass defense. Multiple times a Lions corner back, not named Darius Slay, was in a position to make a play and they simply couldn’t. The offensive line was awful for the first time this year and in turn, the running game couldn’t get going early on. Stafford played alright until the end of the game with two costly turn overs that can mostly be put on him. That’s enough of the game recap, you all know they sucked. But, even worse than sucking, Golden Tate was traded for a 3rd round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles. While I dislike the trade, I understand the other side of the argument of acquiring draft capitol in exchange for a guy who would only be here for 8 more games. Especially when you consider that we didn’t have a third round pick this year and 3rd round picks become starters around 30% of the time. The argument is that you’re getting something in the future for nothing in the future. I am, though, in the other camp. I dislike this trade for a couple of reasons. 1) It sends the locker room the wrong message. How can Patricia and Quinn go into that locker room and tell the players that they are still trying to win games after they trade away one of their most productive players? 2) The division is still wide open. The Lions, while in last place, are only a game out of first with half the season left and there isn’t a dominant NFC North team. We are going to devour each other in divisional play. I know the trade was a move for the future, but I’m fucking sick of everything being for the “future”. I’m 24 years old now, a young adult by all measures. I’ve NEVER seen the Lions win the NFC North. In every year of my life, the Lions have never been better than 3 other teams in a single season. And now, in a fluky year of all the competition being down, we are essentially punting the season away with 8 games left and only a game behind. Pathetic. I don’t even want to get into the compensatory pick argument because that is kind of a crap shoot. Also, it wouldn’t be until the 2020 draft. I realize that the Lions wouldn’t win anything this year in terms of “big picture” goals, but given the fact that the Lions have been horrible to the fans for 60 years, a divisional title would seem like a conference title. Now, does trading Tate make this offense significantly worse? Short answer, no. They still have Kerryon Johnson, Marvin Jones Jr., and Kenny Golladay. This will be an opportunity for KG to get more targets, but it is hard to justify trading your most electric play-maker.
If you don’t like Halloween, you have a big ole dump in your pants. Is it the greatest holiday in the world? Certainly not, but its still a lot of fun for all ages. Kids? Trick or Treating. Young adults? A more legitimate reason to get drunk than just, “its a Wednesday”. Adults? You get to dress up in costumes and forget about paying bills and lame stuff. Also, if you have infants, you can dress them in what ever outfit YOU want! Its not like they are going to fight back. They’re babies, they’re dumb as shit and can barely even walk. Also, Halloween offers the greatest holiday themed song in history. Its the Monster Mash. But Dalton, how can you say the Monster Mash is the greatest holiday song ever recorded? 1) Its a grave yard smash 2) The Christmas song market is over saturated and overplayed now that every station starts November 1st. The MM is only played on Halloween and that makes it that much more special. 3) The monster references are off the chart. I mean, every single scary character is there. I don’t hear Christmas songs with Santa, Jesus, Baby Jesus, Mary, and those 3 Wise (?) Men all in one song. 4) Outside of Christmas, there are no other holidays with songs. Easter sucks as a whole, 4th of July doesn’t have 4th of July songs, it just has patriotic songs that get jammed into the holiday. No Thanksgiving songs, no Valentines day songs, no Arbor Day songs.
Michigan, BYE: Glad there is a bye to give a week cushion between coming down from MSU and getting focused for Penn State next week.
Purdue @ Michigan State, Noon, ESPN: Michigan State is hurting. Both in terms of personnel and coaching innovation. After getting dominated by Big Brother last week, this week doesn’t get any easier for Dantonio and Company. Purdue may be the hottest team in the entire B1G Ten right now. The offense is firing on every cylinder they have. BUT, they are in a prime “let down” spot. On the road, after a huge upset of Ohio State, against a beat up Spartans team, and possibly looking ahead to next week against Iowa that will have major implications in the B1G Ten West race. Now, if the Michigan State coaching staff decides to put together an actual game plan, they stand a chance. But, from what I’ve seen this season, it looks as though they keep trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I think this game is going to be much closer than it should be, but Purdue pulls it out in the 4th quarter. PREDICTION: PUR 27- MSU 20
Seattle @ Detroit, 1 p.m., FOX: The big story into this game will be if Damon “Snacks” Harrison will be able to play for the Lions. The recently added run stopper will help bolster the 30th ranked run defense going forward. Today, Matt Patricia said they were trying to get him up to speed with the system. As of now, he will be a game time decision but I would be mildly surprised if he plays. Luckily, the Lions probably wont need him this week. The key to stopping the Seahawks is to stop Russel Wilson’s ability to scramble/improvise. The Lions defense should be able to do so if they remain disciplined up front and the defensive backfield continues to play the way they have been. There are not many offensive threats on this Seattle team outside of Wilson. As for the Lions offense, they should have no problem moving the ball if they remain as balanced as they were last week. These aren’t your Seahawks of 2011-2016. The Legion of Boom is no more and, while they rank 2nd in the NFL in total defense, the only potent offense they have played this year is the Rams. It wont be a cake walk for Stafford and the rest of the offense, but if the running game can stay on track and the offensive line continues to be a top 5 unit, there should be no real issues. PREDICTION: SEA 17- DET 28
Folks,,, I’m pushing all of my chips into the middle of the table. All of my maize and blue ones? Middle of the table. All of my Honolulu blue and silver chips? Middle of the god damn table. This past weekend, one of the best football weekends of my life, has me drowning in Kool-Aid. Please, someone, send help. I’m going to be devastated if Michigan doesn’t either win the B1G Ten or the Lions don’t make the playoffs. If for some reason, both don’t happen, it might be lights out for your boy’s football life. But, with what I’ve seen from both teams, I am almost positive one of those things will happen. If I had to guess, I would say Michigan winning the B1G Ten is more likely.
The Wolverines have been fortunate. Don’t get me wrong, they have played well enough to be where they are now. They have dominated everyone they’ve played since losing week one against Notre Dame. But, they have been relatively healthy. The major opponents they have beaten have been banged up (Wisconsin, Michigan State). Now, some people will take that as a reason to be cautious. That’s fair. But, Michigan hasn’t been getting these types of breaks in a long time. Add in the fact that Ohio State’s best defender is quitting the team to focus on the draft, they haven’t been able to run the ball, and that Urban Meyer has seemingly warmed his own seat. Michigan is the favorite to win the B1G Ten, as they should be this year. With the way this team has been playing, the way Shae has been minimizing mistakes and making plays when needed, the way Higdon has run like an out of control train, and the way Don Brown is doing Don Brown things; There is no reason for me not to believe in this team to MINIMALLY win the B1G Ten outright. CFP is a different beast because we still need a game or two to break our way (Alabama to beat LSU and Georgia, ND/Clemson win out), but it will be tough for the committee to keep a one-loss B1G Ten champ out. I am All In.
The start to the season was rough, I’m not telling anyone anything new here. But, the Lions have won 3 of their last 4 and were a play away from beating Dallas. Not only have they won, but they’ve also been dominant. The offensive line is clicking, the run game is gashing, the secondary has been solid, and NOW the defensive line should be much tougher to run against. The Snacks Harrison trade is absolutely massive. It took so little to get him (5th round pick) and we fixed our biggest issue (run defense) with one of the best run stoppers in the league. Now the Lions have an explosive offense, both passing and rushing, and a formidable defense. They are the most complete team I’ve seen since the 0-16 team (completely awful). It is time to buy into the Lions winning the NFC North. They are only, essentially, a game back of the division lead and there isn’t a dominant team in the North like there has been in the past. It’s the Lions’ time. Its Matt Stafford’s time. It’s MY time. I am All In.
It was an ass-kicking.