UA v. ASU football

I HOPE that the Dallas Cowboys lose on Thanksgiving Day. For decades, the National Football League has given Dallas a ridiculous, built-in advantage by allowing them to play a home game on Thanksgiving Day. That means that their opponent has to overcome the double handicap of having to play on the road and having to do so in an extra-short window of preparation. With most teams taking Mondays off after a game and Wednesday being used to travel to Dallas, the visiting team has Tuesday to prepare. Dallas, being at home, has an extra day for preparation…every year!

Truth be told, I hope Dallas loses every game. I don’t drive a pickup truck and I don’t much care for country music, so it would be hard for me to be a Cowboys fans in the first place. Add to that the nonsense of the Cowboys somehow being “America’s team” and it’s just too much. What could possibly make Dallas more special than, say, Cincinnati or Seattle or Green Bay, Wisconsin for that matter? 

Most NFL fans are fun and entertaining. But the fans of the Cowboys (and, to a slightly lesser degree, the Raiders) are completely insufferable. Every year, I hope that they both tie for the worst record in the league and, if they ever play each other, the game ends in a tie.

• Speaking of which, did you see the reaction of several of the players in the Pittsburgh-Detroit NFL game that ended in a tie a couple weeks back? Players on both teams were shocked to learn that an NFL game could end in a tie (even though that has been the case for 100 years). 

Yeah guys, you get paid millions of dollars to play a game. They can’t expect you to know the rules, too, can they?!

  I HOPE the Los Angeles Angels can find some decent pitchers (other than Shohei Ohtani). The Angels have two of the greatest players OF ALL TIME (Mike Trout and Ohtani) on their roster and their pitching is so atrocious, they can’t even finish a season with a .500 record, let alone make the playoffs. 

Ohtani was named American League Most Valuable Player last week by an extremely rare unanimous vote after having one of the greatest seasons in the history of baseball, one in which he was one of the top sluggers and also one of the top pitchers in the entire sport. But the Angels will lose him to free agency if the team doesn’t get better around him. And the three-time MVP, touted by many baseball experts as perhaps the greatest all-around player of all time, also deserves to make the playoffs multiple times in his career.

University of Arizona grad Arte Moreno, who owns the Angels, needs to handle his business and go out and get some arms.

• I HOPE that people will do the right thing(s) that will help COVID recede into the background, thus allowing high-school kids to have a near-normal sports year. Last year was horrible for kids and those who were high-school seniors will have to live with that hole in their experiences for the rest of their lives. This year, things are somewhat better, but they’re nowhere near all the way back.

On a personal note, I’m back coaching this year (Amphi girls’ basketball) and I absolutely don’t want to have to wear a mask while doing so. I’m not a yeller or anything but I do like to talk to my players during the game (in a soothing, always-positive manner). However, back when I was an athlete, I broke my nose three times (once each in football, basketball, and baseball) and now I’m a total mouth-breather.

If I have to wear a mask while coaching, I’m going to pass out. I just hope that if I do, my players will actually notice.

• Finally I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HOPE that the UA can beat ASU in football this year. If Arizona goes 2-10 this year, but with a win over ASU, that will be a successful season. 

Arizona State is having an OK season, considering that the NCAA’s Sword of Damocles is hanging over the program’s head. They went into last Saturday’s game with a 7-3 record and an outside chance of winning the Pac-12 South. It would be so great if Arizona could just ruin everything.

In 1982, we were in Douglas visiting my wife’s parents. I sat in the car and listened on the radio as Arizona killed ASU’s chance to go to the Rose Bowl. And I was there in 1986 when Chuck Cecil’s legendary interception return destroyed ASU’s shot at a national title.  

Oh, to feel that ecstasy one more time!

As Stephen King wrote at the end of “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” “I HOPE…”

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