American Football

Tuesday Tithbits: 17th December

No, this was not Melbourne last weekend

So at this rate, my last post for the year will be a Tuesday Tithbits post on NYE.

Also, just for context later on, a ‘Bad Beat’ is a poker term, in which player with what appears to be a strong hand inexplicably loses. 

In sports betting, it generally refers to the events at the end of a game, such as meaningless buckets in a basketball game, that cause a person to lose their bet in the most inexplicably stupid way – As you’ll witness below.

It’s hilarious… when you’re not on the end of it.


The start of the Big Bash season

Those nice looking two-toned uniforms are gone, pointless timeouts are in, and the Big Bash back again for a ninth season – It feels like yesterday I watched the Stars provide a decade’s worth of laughter with that collapse in the Final.

If you ask me, the Big Bash has a beautiful, hilarious chaos to it, compared to the massive star power you get in the IPL.

In what other competition in the world could you have routine crap fielding (So poor that all crap fielding is now known as BBL Fielding), dodgy umpiring decisions, combined with B-grade club cricketers and fringe Shield/Marsh Cup players getting thrown in the deep end against the likes of AB De Villiers, Dale Steyn, Chris Gayle, and noted rapper Dre Russ.

Just last weekend Matty Renshaw and Tommy Banton took on a bunch of club cricketers… and hit them for a solid 260.

And you also get moments like Andrew Tye missing every ball of the last over an innings, and Adam Zampa executing the legendary Falcon run-out, at the expense of his schnoz being bent at 90 degrees for the rest of his life.


Marnus up to No.5 in the Test batting rankings

What a meteoric rise – A year ago, Marnus was just some random expat South African with an unpronounceable surname filling the Steve Smith void, now he’s THE South African Steve Smith.


The ODI Squad for the India Tour

Lasagne finally goes into the ODI set-up, and the big note I can find is that Handscomb somehow survived his crapper of a WC Semi, and the unfortunate player to miss out is Ussie, despite his very good Marsh Cup, with the big problem being that he’s an opener going up against Finch and Warner.

Stoinis and Maxwell being dropped isn’t that surprising, given Maxi’s World Cup ending was utterly forgetful + he’s not in the long term plans for 2023, and The Oil Rig has had one good ODI innings out of 38….. which was 3 years ago, and the Aussies didn’t even win.

And of course, the question does remain as to why the Aussies were whisked away for an overseas series in mid-January, and the major answer is the ICC’s new Future Tours program, with a dead heat for second between India having this thing called “Shitloads of money,” and it’s also a case of quid pro pro for the Indians touring Australia twice in a 3 season span.


Death, Taxes and Ellyse Perry earning another award

It was the Big Kahuna too – ICC Women’s Cricketer Of The Year, and you’d have to think she’ll be winning the Belinda Clark Award in a few months for Australia’s best International Women’s Cricketer.


The Latrell And The Beautiful: Episode 437 – The Books

Personally I just can’t believe Uncle Nick and the Roosters, the masters of the accounting sombrero, cannot seem to find a sombrero big enough to fit in Latrell on $800,000 a year without some kind of dodgy third party deal.

But then again, Latrell has the likes of Anthony Mundine in his ear… Which may explain why he somewhat overestimated his own worth (Rookie error, I’ve done it for 10 months straight) and turned down a contract that would’ve made him the highest-paid centre in the League.


Australians in the NFL: Week 15

Aka, THE PUNTING REPORT.


Lachie Edwards (NY Jets) lost to the Balitmore Ravens 42-21 @ Some part of Camden Yards

The Jets got the ball first and did the usual 3 & out, Edwards punted to t… and Lamar Jackson and company drove it 84 yards for the opening touchdown, and in the process, the MVP favourite also broke Michael Vick/Ron Mexico’s old single season QB rushing record of 1039 yards – And there’s still 2 games left.

So after the Jets had a field goal blocked, which led another Ravens touchdown after they got the ball, Jamison Crowder had a moment that kind of sums up the absburdity of the existence of the New York Jets.

First off, he reels off a 41 yard catch and run.

Two plays later, he drops a wide open touchdown so easy that Nick Vujicic could have caught it.

And then a play later, he made the next to impossible look easy in a narrow window for a touchdown from Sam Darnold.

That was about as good it got for the Jets, who would end up about 35-7 down thanks to a bunch of turnovers and the legs of Lamar, although they did finish the game with a few touchdowns, including a blocked punt return on Sam Koch – Still, the game ended as expected.

For me, the scariest part about Lamar is this.

At 22, not only is he basically a moral lock to be crowned MVP, he’s also YOUNGER than the newly-crowned Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.

For the actual record, the actual difference between them is just on a month – Burrow is December 10 1996, and Jackson is January 7, 1997.

Michael Dickson (Seahawks) defeated the Carolina Panthers 30-24 @ Bank of America Stadium

The Seahawks took the lead on the opening drive, and they never let it go with Russell Wilson at the helm, in a game that as absolutely ugly in extended patches, especially at the start of the 2nd Half, in which the first 7 drives ended like this:

Panthers Field Goal, Seahawks Punt, Panthers Interception, Seahawks Trick Play Interception, Panthers Interception, Seahawks Field Goal, Punt, until the misery ended early in the 4th Quarter when the Seahawks drove downfield and scored to lead 30-10, which was effectively game over.

Eventually the Panthers scored a pair of touchdowns on late drives to cut the lead to 30-24, but Wilson strolled back out, killed a bit of time, and picked up a pair of first downs to end the game.

The Seahawks have obtained a unique record – They’re only the second team in history to win at least 10 games by one score, alongside the 1978 Houston Oilers.

It also means they’re now back ahead of the Niners in the NFC West and move into the No.1 seed – Despite being as threatening as tits on a bull.

Unfortunately, the Seahawks also encountered another problem – The ever-problematic Josh Gordon was suspended for the 5th time, funnily enough, exactly a year after his last suspension.

The great shame about this latest substance suspension is that the NFL couldn’t wait until 4:20 to announce they’d suspended him.

Cam Johnston (Eagles) defeated the Washington Redskins 37-27 @ FedEx Field

In another classic NFC (L)East Cripple Fight, Cam ended up only having to punt 3 times, and held on all 5 of Jake Elliot’s successful kicks – But like most punters, he was a small cog.

I’ll cut through a few things- The depleted Eagles were challenged mightily by Dwayne Haskins, who had his best start as a pro, but with Carson Wentz firing lasers like this to Miles Sanders, the Eagles were up for the fight.

The Skins retook the lead in a wild 4th Quarter, but for the second week running, Wentz drove downfield and threw the game-winning touchdown, this time to Greg Ward Jnr, a guy making his first NFL start (Not his first game though) thanks to injuries, after a wild life story that saw him waived, cut and re-signed from practice squads of teams a grand total of 16 times over the last 3 seasons- 6 times alone by the Eagles.

The ending to the game was possibly even more crazy, and will go down as another entrant into the fabled ‘Best of’ for Bad Beats in 2019.

For context, the Eagles were a -6.5 point favourite for the game, which for the gambling illiterate, meant they had to win by 7 points – They were only up by 4…. Prior to the last play.

Setting up for a Hail Mary with 6 seconds left from the Eagles 47, Dwayne Haskins was sacked, leading to him throwing a lateral to no-one to keep the play going, and the live ball was scooped up by Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, who raced 47 yards and fell into the endzone for one last touchdown, giving the Eagles a 10 point win and a cover with the bookies.

There’s only one way to describe a moment like that to those who took the Redskins.

Character building.

Anyway, the Eagles have the Cowboys next Sunday in the cripple fight of the season – If the Cowboys win, they claim the NFC East, if the Eagles win, they’ll be almost certain of it.

Adam Gotsis Did Not Play – Broncos lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-3 @ Arrowhead Stadium

Gotsis was out due to a knee injury, and it seems he missed out on a bit of Winter fun in KC.

Ohhhh the weather outside is frightful, and so is the scoreline for the Broncos, who lost for the 9th consecutive time to the Chiefs, in what is the longest running H2H streak in the league.

They were even making snow angels after 2 point conversions!

Tony Montana’s factory had just exploded

Mitch Wishnowsky (49ers) lost to the Atlanta Falcons 29-22 @ Levi’s Stadium

The NFC-best Niners were depleted defensively after a pair of brutal games on the road, and combined with a slow performance on offence, the lowly Falcons stayed in the hunt, with the scores at 13-10 with a quarter to play.

Still, the Niners appeared to get the job done after some excellent punt coverage on one of Mitch’s deep punts, resulting in a recovery that was returned to the goalline, and eventually led to an easy touchdown.

Crucially, Robbie Gould shanked the extra point, and you’ll also hear at the start of that video that Darryl ‘Moose’ Johnston talked about the Niners allowing the Falcons to stay in touch and giving them confidence – Which would end up proving fatal.

The Falcons scored again to cut the lead to 19-17, the Niners had to settle for a field goal, and Matt Ryan and Julio Jones drove the Dirty Birds downfield with time dwindling, and Austin Hooper looked to have caught the game-winning touchdown with 8 seconds to go, but the automatic League review determined the ball had hit the ground, causing Hooper to lose control, and therefore it was ruled incomplete with 5 seconds left.

Ryan then went straight to Jones on a shallow route, but he was originally ruled short and down at the 1, which would have ended the game, but the League review confirmed Jones and the ball had partially crossed the plane of the goalline, and the call was overrturned to a touchdown, and a Falcons upset!

Believe it or not I’m walking on air , this was Part 2 of this week’s Bad Beats entries… and it was downright harrowing.

This time, the Over/Under for the game was 50 points.

With 5 seconds to go, the total was 39, then the Jones touchdown made it 45, however, the Falcons kneeled on the 2 point attempt, meaning with 2 seconds to go, there was still the kickoff to come.

On the final kickoff, the Niners lateraled a bunch of times, which all went absolutely nowhere, and one final stray pass went to absolutely nobody, the ball rolled into the endzone, and was recovered by Olamide Zaccheaus for the unique situation of a 0 yard touchdown, pushing the total to 51.

That also allowed the Falcons to break the NFL record for the shortest time scoring 2 touchdowns – Officially 2 seconds.

Another stunning defeat for the Niners, who have now lost 3 times on what was effectively the last play, dropping them down to the 5th seed once again, but the situation remains the same – They have to beat the Rams this Sunday, followed by the Seahawks in Seattle to win the NFC West.

Jordan Berry (Steelers) lost to the Buffalo Bills 17-10 @ Heinz Field

This has been a very good season for Jordan, but this might be the sort of night that gives him the incentive to visit Three Mile Island and grow eyes in the back of his head.

The reason being that his first punt of the night was the visual definition of the word ‘shank’ – An absolute shank that went 70 yards vertically, and a grand total of 22 yards upfield, giving the Bills the ball at the Steelers 40, leading to a touchdown.

While his net average for the night was 40 yards (After factoring in the lone legal punt return that went 12 yards), The Bills started from within their own 20-yard line on just 1 of Berry’s punts (A penalty wiped out the return), they started at no worse than their own 30-yard line three times, there was one from the 23, and there was that aforementioned shank.

In a low-scoring game, the Bills circled the wagons around Duck Hodges, and picked him off 4 times, Bills QB Josh Allen did the rest, and the Bills secured a playoff spot and their first 10 win season in 20 years, while the Steelers are barely clinging to a wildcard spot.

It was also the first time the Steelers have lost to the Bills since 1999, and the first time in the regular season in Pittsburgh since Week 2 of 1975, when a certain OJ Simpson demolished the eventual back-to-back Super Bowl champs with 221 yards in a 31-20 win at the old Three Rivers Stadium.

I say regular season, because the Bills did win the 1992 Divisional Round 24-3, on the way to the 3rd of 4 consecutive Super Bowl defeats.

Somewhere in Africa, that 90s Bills team are the greatest dynasty in NFL history.

Categories: American Football

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