McDaniels Screws Colts – Leaves City Unsatisfied

Posted: February 7, 2018 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Chad Schrump

Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

But not surprising.

The stunt that Josh McDaniels pulled on the Indianapolis Colts Monday evening, telling Jim Irsay that he’d changed his mind and after verbally accepting to terms that would make him the franchise’s newest head coach, is shady and deceptive and all sorts of other adverbs and adjectives that I’m sure we’ll throw out there soon enough but when it comes to New England Patriots’ players, coaches and personnel – are you really surprised?

Hell, I’m not.

Image result for josh mcdaniels

I’m pissed.

Damn right I’m pissed. I love to write – specifically about sports, more specifically about my hometown teams and I’m not paid to do it.  I’m not employed by the Indianapolis Star or WTHR.  I write for my high school friend’s sports website so I can be an Indianapolis Colts’ homer if I want to be and right now, yep – I’m a homer that is angry.

Really angry.

I may ramble so bear with me. My mind is still racing.  This is such a low blow.  I mean, c’mon man.  Who does shit like that?

Oh yeah, Bill Belichick does shit like that. He did it to the Jets.  You already know the story so I won’t rehash it here but when you dangle like a filthy rodent hanging onto the back of Belichick’s hoodie for so long, you begin thinking you’re just like him.  That you’re above reproach.

New England’s evil, cheating empire (it’s a proven fact – look it up) just stuck it to the Colts again.

Damn.

Josh McDaniels essentially agreed to become the Colts’ head coach several weeks ago. Problem is, the agreement, due to NFL rules, can only be in principle – nothing put on a dotted line, i.e. no contract, obviously.  It’s been done this way for a very long time – a team can’t hire another team’s coach until his team’s season is over.  When you’re talking a dynasty franchise like the Patriots, their season is rarely over until the Super Bowl is played so you’re stuck, waiting at the altar for several weeks, hoping your new hire doesn’t get cold feet and reconsider.  Well guess what?  He reconsidered.

Well, he didn’t just “reconsider”, right? This scummy trash can of a human being agreed to become head coach, continued calling assistant coaches on other teams, trying to get them to join him in Indy just hours before he announced that, nah – he wasn’t coming after all.  This prison rat excrement even allowed Ballard and Irsay to splash his hiring all over television, print and social media – even announcing a Wednesday press conference, introducing this probable lice ridden, visor wearing, lying, deceiving, shell of a real person.  What a crock of shit.

How embarrassing for Ballard.

I actually feel bad for Ballard. Say what you will about Jim Irsay and Lord knows I’ve said it, but what has Chris Ballard done to deserve this?  This dude takes the Indy job and immediately has his star QB taken from him for an entire season and possibly more.  (That column is for another time.)  Not only that, but he’s saddled with Chuck Pagano.  Yikes.  To boot, he has to revamp a Colts’ roster shaped by former Indy stooge, Ryan Grigson.  Does Ballard even sleep at night without prescription medication?  (Yes, Jim… we know you can help there.)

If I’m perfectly honest for a moment, I was really excited about the hire. I was excited that Indy finally had an offensive mind that could get the most out of a potentially once in a generation QB like Andrew Luck.  I’ve read all kinds of things said about McDaniels’ stint in Denver – how he didn’t report cheating activities to the league, how he treated staff and assistant coaches like garbage, how he drafted Tim Tebow in the 1st round of the NFL draft and couldn’t identify talent even if Terry Bradshaw was standing on his face.  I’ve heard it all but I still wanted him on board.  That Denver era was almost nine years ago.  People change.  People change a lot in 9 years.

But not McDaniels. He hasn’t changed.  He’s still that goo that sits at the bottom of a restaurant’s back alley dumpster, that just devastated a franchise by reneging on a promise and has them scrambling to save face and most importantly, finding someone off the scrap heap that can change the fortunes of this football team.

Where do they go from here? Who’s left?

If you don’t feel bad for the Colts’ fans, players, Ballard, or Irsay, maybe you should feel bad for the brand new assistant coaches that have already left their old teams and signed contracts with the Colts. There are literally several coaches in the Colts complex, right now, recruited by Josh McDaniels to come to Indy, that found out that McDaniels changed his mind the very same way that you and I found out.  They read it on social media and via text messages because McDaniels, potentially one of the world’s most enormous, soulless excuses for a man, didn’t have the balls to call those men that had uprooted their families and their lives, to tell them the truth.  That’s pitiful.

When I heard that, I realized that’s not a man that I want in charge of my football team. He’s a bad person.  We’re better than that here.

Hell, we deserve better than that here.

Bye Josh McDaniels. Glad we didn’t get to know ya.

 

 

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images-6Up to this point LaVar Ball and his boys three have brought nothing to the table besides cheap shoes and hot air.  And just when I think they couldn’t possibly be any worse, they go and give us something like this… and totally redeem themselves!

The gift of LITHUANIAN MUSIC!!!

No really, check this shit out.

This is the song the play-by-play guy sang when news broke that Big Ballers were coming to town.

 

That’s good stuff, right?  Here is the full song where that came from.

 

Now aren’t you glad LaVar entered our lives last year?  I mean we would never know what fine asses Lithuanian women had.  Who knew?!?

Wait, there is more.

 

Alright, I have watched this more than anyone should and I still can’t figure out if she is planning on kidnapping the boys and feed them those potatoes or what the hell is going on.  Let me know if you figure it out.

Anyway, I want to thank the Ball’s for taking their talents to the Baltic and giving me the tune I will not get out of my head for weeks.

Welcome to Lith-u-a-nia

Welcome to Lith-u-a-nia

The Colts’ Circus at W. 56th Street

Posted: January 4, 2018 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Chad Schrump

There is an eerie, almost cult-like fascination by a vocal minority in the city of Indianapolis about whether or not Colts’ owner Jim Irsay should “open or keep shut” the mostly tax funded, Lucas Oil Stadium roof each Sunday Game Day. If you visit Twitter, Irsay’s page is literally flooded with comments, most of which brutally criticize his decision regarding the $100M roof, regardless of whether it stays closed or is painstakingly opened.

Mercifully, the 2017 Colts’ campaign ended last Sunday with a win and at least until next August, we won’t have to debate the roof decision. This column won’t discuss Lucas Oil Stadium and its roof any longer but instead, we should talk about the ‘Big Top’ that’s currently covering the Indianapolis Colts’ complex on W. 56th Street.

Grab the kids and even your neighbors then come on over because over the course of the last week, Irsay’s workplace has become a full-blown circus!

Where to start? Let’s begin with the Colts, last Friday, finally trotting out their $140M franchise quarterback to meet with the media regarding the shoulder that refuses to heal.  Andrew Luck, noticeably bigger and stronger than the last time he met the Indy media, still seemed, to me, like a guy that’s depressed and had absolutely no desire to be meeting with anyone, much less media.

Andrew discussed feeling “like a distraction” and “not truly being part of the team.” Those feelings are to be expected.  I’m not sure how an injured player can feel like he’s part of any sport’s team, much less a football team, where major injuries are the norm – not the exception.  The mantra is “next man up” and is heeded at an entirely different level in the NFL.

What had me scratching my head most about Luck’s long overdue presser, was that he felt he had to go to Europe, specifically the Netherlands, to receive physical therapy. That he “felt like a distraction and was being pulled in different directions.”  What?  You couldn’t have gone to Mobile, Alabama for said treatment?  You couldn’t have gone to Kalamazoo, Michigan?  Phoenix?  You had to go to Europe?  Huh?  I’ve had physical therapy before and felt inconvenienced when I had to drive 15 minutes, three days a week! Can you imagine traveling 4,000 miles and staying in Europe for a couple months to get the necessary PT?  That just seems absurd to me.  Luck says he didn’t have any other procedures done, only therapy.

Okay then. Whatever you say, Andrew.  You have to admit, that’s just really bizarre.

Luck went on to say that he’s not putting a timetable on his rehab but felt like he’d be a full go for all of the off-season workouts, OTA’s, etc. Essentially, that’s putting a timetable on it but I get what he’s saying.  His “gut tells him that he does not need another surgery” so we’ll just have to roll with the limited information we’ve gotten.  Jacoby Brissett is a really nice backup – maybe with time, a damn good starter – but I need Mr. Luck back under center to lead this team into its future.  Not Brissett.  Not some hotshot #1 draft pick.

But damn, when’s he going to throw a football again!?

After Sunday’s unnecessary, but comically expected victory against the Texans, which cost Indy the #2 pick in the upcoming draft, Chuck Pagano was finally put out to pasture. This was a very, very, very long time coming and came with essentially little to no fanfare.  Chuck was presented with a game ball in front of his football team by Irsay and then an hour later, was presented with a pink slip.

Image result for pagano game ball

Bing, bam, boom, done. Should have happened at the end of the 2015 season but at least the deed is done.

The Colts released a statement to the news outlets and through social media accounts but Pagano wasn’t paraded in front of the media to say goodbye and thankfully, Irsay didn’t speak about the termination Sunday. Irsay would speak plenty the following day.

Which brings us to Monday. Just wow.

Colts’ GM Chris Ballard and Irsay met with the media in the late afternoon to discuss the state of the franchise and my oh my, was it something to behold.

Irsay said repeatedly that Ballard would do the “heavy lifting” and present him with a worthy head coaching candidate to hire. He said that he doesn’t remember a time that he didn’t agree with his GM when presented a candidate to make head coach.  That had to be good news to the Colts’ GM – that he could hire “his guy” and not an Irsay-like “splashy” hire, i.e. Jon Gruden, Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh, etc.  This frees up Ballard to find a man that he can work with, hand in hand and build something special.

The more Chris Ballard talks, the more I realize how much I already trust his decision making. There’s a very real sense of cockiness, and maybe that’s not the right word, when it comes to Ballard.  It feels like he knows that he was born to put a football franchise together.  That he was bred to build a winner.  He’s quietly confident and has an air of superiority about him that seems real and necessary, yet doesn’t overpower the room.  I love listening to him speak and gain more and more confidence in him the more I do but unfortunately for those in attendance Monday afternoon, Jim Irsay and his random thoughts took center stage and engulfed his GM.

Irsay rambled on and on about who knows what and God knows who, seemingly channelling his inner Bill Walton even so much as looking menacingly at a writer that had written some unfavorable things about him in the Indianapolis Star and raising his voice at him.

It was comical.

It was sad.

Image result for luck press conference friday

At one point, the same writer that asked Irsay the question that had previously riled him up – bravely asked another which then prompted a 12-minute soliloquy that made about as much sense as when a dental patient coming out of anaesthesia and being secretly recorded, starts talking gibberish and then the video is posted on social media.  Go to YouTube and watch one of those videos and then listen to Irsay – not much difference between the two.  Just unintelligible ramblings like you can’t even fathom.

Don’t get me started on the fact that this guy says “um” about 15-20 times per minute. That is not an exaggeration.  It’s insane.  He is perhaps the worst speaker I have ever listened to, maybe even worse than Trump.  Now that’s saying something!  Has there ever been such a high profile individual that can’t publicly speak – yet talks incessantly? Insists on talking, even! Once started, there is no shutting off the spigot that controls Jim Irsay’s mouth.  The man can speak for an hour and not tell you a thing.  It’s truly amazing.

And people are listening to this! Potential head coaches are listening and thinking, “Man, what is going on in Indianapolis?  Who is running that show?  Do I want to be part of that?

Yes, my friends, Irsay professes that Chris Ballard is in charge of football operations, which he absolutely needs to be, but it’s pretty easy to see and hear that Irsay is having a difficult time letting him.

It’s painfully obvious that Ballard is going to have a difficult time being ringmaster and running this circus.

You see, unfortunately, a clown keeps stealing the show.

 

 

The Plight of a Cincinnati Sports Fan

Posted: January 2, 2018 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Ryan Sparks

“That means the Bengals are going to suck for another 2 years.”  While that is the opinion held by many, it was odd hearing it from where I heard it.  Those are the words of an extremely soft spoken 7-year-old.  A 7-year-old who cringes when I cuss.  A 7-year-old who often says, “Dad, LANGUAGE!” A 7-year-old who doesn’t use the word “suck”.

For 15 years, Marvin Lewis has been a Cincinnati staple.  When you think of Cincinnati, you think of Skyline Chili, Graeter’s Ice Cream and Montgomery Inn.  Unfortunately, from a lifelong Cincinnati sports fan, those go hand in hand with underachieving sports teams.  The amount of sleep I’ve lost over this collective group of teams is staggering.

I’m 37 years old, so my recollection doesn’t go back as far as some, but let me recount some vivid memories.

I’ll take you back to March 9, 2000.  The University of Cincinnati was playing St. Louis in the first round of the Conference USA basketball tournament.   Less than 3 minutes into the game, the consensus National Player of the Year, Kenyon Martin, broke his leg, effectively dashing any hopes of UC competing for the National Title.  UC ended up losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Next, let’s go to 2009.   Texas vs Nebraska (bear with me here).  Texas QB Colt McCoy rolls right and tosses a pass out of bounds.  The clock reads 0.00.  The refs converge, and put 1 second back on the clock which allows Texas to kick a 46 yard field goal to beat Nebraska.  Why does that matter, you ask?  That 46 yard field goal knocked the University of Cincinnati to number 3 in the BCS standings, meaning they didn’t get to play for the National Title.

To add insult to injury, Brian Kelly left the Bearcats to become Notre Dame’s head coach a few short days after.

Fast forward to 2012.  The Cincinnati Reds were considered one of, if not the team to beat in Major League Baseball.  They cruised through the regular season, won 97 games (second only to the Nationals), and won the NL Central by 9 games.

Come playoff time, Cincinnati fans were feeling great after going to San Francisco and winning the first two games of their best of five series.  The Reds were coming home, only needing to with one game.  2-1, 8-3, 6-4.  Those were the next 3 games.  All won by the San Francisco Giants.

People often talk about curses.  The curse of the Bambino.  The curse of the Billy Goat.  The curse of an extremely shitty run organization.  Okay, maybe I made that one up, but it brings me (finally) back to my original point.  There are no curses.  There is only epic failure as a result of years of ineptitude.

The city of Cincinnati hasn’t won a playoff series since 1995.  Highlighted in that epic run of failure is the Cincinnati Bengals.  Let me throw that number 7 at you again.  0-7.  That is Marvin Lewis’ record in the playoffs.  People want to fondly remember 2005.  When the Bengals came out of nowhere to go to the playoffs for the first time since 1990, only to have Carson Palmer tear his ACL on the second play of the wild card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Or 2013 when the Bengals were significant favorites against an overmatched San Diego Chargers team, but managed to lose by 17. And it wasn’t that close.  I was there.

Oh, and then there was 2015, when Marvin Lewis completely lost control of his team and players.  Those players managed to blow a game to the Pittsburgh Steelers through acts or dirty plays, blatant disregard for the rules and their opponents, and a disrespect for their head coach.

Today, 1/2/18, those same Cincinnati Bengals signed Marvin Lewis to a 2 year extension.  The same Marvin Lewis that Adam Schefter reported was leaving the Bengals after this year.  The same Marvin Lewis that had his team quit on him that led to a 26 point loss to the Bears (the BEARS!).  The same Marvin Lewis that has been defiant in every press conference for the last 15 years and insulting all fans’ intelligence along the way.  The same Marvin Lewis who reiterated his goal is to bring a world championship to Cincinnati.

The problem, Marvin, is that no one believes a word you say anymore.  This is the classic case of over-promising and under delivering.

This is a dangerous precedent that the Bengals are setting.  I’d imagine what I’m feeling is not the best-case scenario for the Bengals.  I should feel heartbroken like I did in 2000 when Kenyon broke his leg.  I should feel frustrated like I did when Texas made that field goal against Nebraska.  I should feel disappointed like I did when the Reds lost game 5 to the Giants.  I should be pissed off like I was in 2015 when the Bengals lost to the Steelers.

But I don’t feel any of those things.  Not even a little bit.  I wasn’t surprised.  I wasn’t mad.  I wasn’t disappointed.  I wasn’t even frustrated.

I was apathetic.

I am to the point where I don’t give two shits about what the Bengals do.  I don’t care if they win.  I don’t care if they lose.  I don’t care if they get arrested, get in a fight on the field, commit ridiculous penalties and cost themselves thousands of dollars.   I don’t care if they threaten to move if they don’t get tax dollars from people who actually give a shit about doing the right thing.  After all, if they don’t give a shit, why should I?  And that is the most dangerous feeling of all.

Someone pass me an LA Rams jersey…

A Hoosier Sports Tale

Posted: December 21, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Mike Johnston

Ki

The light, cancel that, the beacon, hits my sternum like a salt truck.

NAME YOURSELF!!

Unlit hallway. My room is six steps away. I know my bowels are there, but they seem to want to give way. I pay rent here. All is well. Right?

‘Um, it’s Mike. Mike Johnston?’ Questioning my own name, as the muzzle of my roommate’s gun is targeted directly at my innards. Unfortunately for both of us, my BAC and the caliber of his weapon are similar numbers.

Recognition replaces damnation on his face.

“Jesus, dude. Why did you bang on the door that way,” he questions, the weapon thankfully now pointed downward.

“The power is out, man! You have my spare key!”

And with that he ushers me into a home of my own, and we have a beer. Lord knows we both needed one. Bloomington is under (within?) two inches of ice, and the campus is a mile away. Classes are cancelled for the foreseeable future, the power is out, and we have a fridge full of Keystone that needs transported to the snowy stoop, right next to the lookout owl.

———- – – – – – – –

I lived less than a mile from Assembly Hall at the time, but for once, Ed Magoni and I are leaving at the same time.  We have just beaten up on a directional team in mid-December, back before the Big Ten lost its mind and scheduled conference games before Christmas and a conference tournament in New York City.

Sidenote: The fact that we’re letting the Big East dictate anything in terms of our scheduling might explain why the conference hasn’t won a national title since Adam Ballinger was relevant.

Regardless, Ed had asked his intern – me – to head to the opposing Iocker room. Instead of the typical postgame regurgitation story, I was tasked with getting something – anything – out of the opposing coach. I failed, and I think he knew it. He likely had already heard the clip and the questions that came a little too quickly out of my mouth.

I’m in no mood to talk, and out of nowhere Ed goes, “Hey. You know that used to be the player’s party house right?”

“Huh,” I respond incredulously.

“Oh yeah. Your place. Keep in mind, I know where your checks go. If that same coach still owns that house, there were some PARTIES up in there!”

I smile once I arrive home. I clean my bathroom vigorously, and think of my landlord with a little less vitriol.

– – – – – – – – – –

The house is not our own, and we see the landlord thrice yearly. He is a former Indiana basketball coach, not of the head variety, and one cannot be seen as a “former coach” in these parts without questions being asked. He shakes our hands before we’re allowed to live in his domicile. He thinks a bong is a crack pipe. He has rules that we know he won’t enforce. He smells of yesterday.  His girlfriend (or so we’re told) picks up the rent checks that our parents write like clockwork. “First of the month. Don’t make me find you on the third.”

Picture the former assistant, trudging around town like some proud moment of yesteryear. It would be impossible to be anonymous in a town as basketball-crazed as Bloomington, so he no longer hangs out here. He has his own home, in a state further west, and the grade school and middle school camps he runs are based off of the teachings of his boss, Robert Montgomery Knight. I imagine they are lucrative.

– – – – – – – –  — – –

“Hep passed away.”

Those words still sting, and as I was stacking lumber in a mill some 70 minutes from Bloomington, they damn near took my hand off. I read the text my mother had sent at an inopportune time, and tried to gather my senses as quickly as possible.

Walnut dust in my lungs, I stifled a tear. I allowed them to spill once I was away, on my own at lunch.

Hep was the first IU football coach I believed in, and the first one that granted me a phone interview. Ed didn’t have to mince words, as the message was clear: ‘Don’t screw this up’. Hep had me sold long before then, and I tried my best not to screw the pooch on the interview. When he spoke of a rocket ship, I believed every last drop of fuel coming out of his mouth. I smiled – grinned really – when he used the same turn of phrase later on ESPN, after his first signature win.

I returned to IU the fall after Hep passed away, and as the Bucket Game approached, I realized one of my best friends had never been to a big-time college football game.  And as far as Memorial Stadium goes, this was it. Play 13. Beat Purdue. Do it for Hep. Ed needed extra coverage for that game, and I selfishly asked if I could attend as a spectator instead. Without missing a beat, he said, “Of course.”

Oh, did we celebrate. And we somehow made it home in pieces, managing to keep the lookout owl intact.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I’m sitting two rows up from Ed, and it is halftime. We share our usual text or three about the first half, but this is my chance to make him laugh and vice-versa.  And hey! The Hoosiers are actually in it against a pretty good Iowa team! We share similar incredulities about how and why Kirk Ferentz refuses to throw the ball against this shitty IU secondary. We eat “catered” Chipotle, which has created a serious line in the press box restroom. We separate as play resumes and as if we were sharing a brain, we both send a text at the same time. There’s 2:50 left in the game. The Hoosiers are clinging to a lead they simply won’t hold.

“WATCH FOR MCNUTT. MULTIPLE SERIES BREWING”

“MCNUTT GOING DEEP SIDELINE SOON. BEEN SETTING IT UP FOR 3 SERIES.”

Marvin McNutt catches a 53-yard touchdown pass on that drive, and the game ends predictably in heartbreak, as the Hoosiers (Damarlo) belch the game away. Ed and I share a steely look, one that says equal parts “Been here before” and “F*** Iowa.”

– – – – – – –  — – – – – – –

Believe it or not, there was a time before the Big Ten Network existed. That is probably still the case in Decatur, Georgia, but I managed to find a sports bar and beer haven called Taco Mac that carried the fledgling product. It was Tom Crean’s first year, and the IU brethren were ever patient, ever true. I mean, my God, if you can love Devan Dumes, you can send Christmas cards to the penitentiary. I was there for every conference game, as we sunk lower and lower into the Sampson Swamp. The true IU fans wore that team like a proud bandage. And when we beat Iowa for our lone conference win, tears in my eyes, the knowledgeable bartender picked up my tab with a simple point and thumbs up.

A text from Ed, always thinking of others:

“How bout them Hoosiers!”

= = = = = = = = = = = =

Fast forward three years. The former landlord and assistant coach is no longer in my life, but I am still in his. I recall his name being listed as an assistant coach on every barber poster in town, from Evansville to Mishawaka. You know the poster: faces of players and coaches, arranged in some trapezoid or semicircle. If your barber shop didn’t have smiling faces of Norm Ellenberger, John Treloar, and Tim Garl, I’m aware of a town that does. I’ll have my hair cut there, please and thank you. I know these names as if they are etched within my cerebellum. But today seems different. I’m lucky enough to be covering a game between Indiana and Kentucky, the latter being the number one team in the country. It’s December 10, 2011. I have a weird itch, as if I want to get my ears lowered. I want to see the familiar names.

I head southwards on SR-37 early, hours early, as if the Wildcat fans are somehow headed south and I’m due for a major traffic Issue. In reality, I’m texting and driving. I’m telling Ed how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to cover the game, and asking if he needs any extra pregame help or coverage.

He tells me to relax and enjoy, and in a very un-Ed way, that he feels good about this one. Eight hours later, I stand, arms crossed in my candy stripe dress shirt underneath the 1953 Championship banner, as Verdell Jones gets bailed out by Christian Watford. I’m not supposed to cheer, but I do, and somehow, I don’t storm the court.

I take a victory lap by the Delt House, the Union, and Kirkwood. It’s pushing 2:00, and my stories are filed, but I want so badly to soak in the moment. Lastly, I drive down 3rd Street, past Mother Bear’s and another party pad with ancient memories, and I double back. I think of the old house, the player’s house, and wonder if the lookout owl is still there.

I creep back towards the bypass, and turn off near the golf course. The lookout owl is gone. Some part of me is glad for the former landlord. Maybe he’s finally put Bloomington in his rear view mirror.

– – – – —  – – – –

It’s days like today that I miss my friend the most. Ed Magoni was a tried and true Hoosier fan, one that could run back plays of national championships and first-round losses to Pepperdine equally. We lost him far too soon. He was the one I wanted to text so badly when Bonzie Colson’s half-court heave rimmed out last Saturday, giving the Hoosiers their first big win under Archie Miller.

Ed was selfless, and the hardest working journalist I’ve ever met. Yet, he always found a way to infuse his dry wit and positivity into any dire situation. After I was tasked with covering the dullest of games, a horrific football loss to Northwestern in Evanston, I found myself in gridlocked Chicago traffic. I texted Ed to make sure he had received my stories, and more importantly, that I hadn’t been too harsh.

“Got em. Thanks. Hey, it could always be worse. You could be trapped in Michigan Stadium. And that Northwestern popcorn is gold. ”

While the Michigan Stadium bit is a story for another day, the truth remains that I miss those interactions more than I could have ever thought possible. And of course, Ed was correct about the Northwestern popcorn.

Ed gave me opportunities that I may not have deserved, and nothing made me happier than getting an e-mail saying he enjoyed one of my columns. He’d tell me to cut this damn thing down by 700 words, truth be told.

But Ed is in a better place, and he can’t tell me to cut this column down. He was my journalistic lookout owl, and always had more faith in my ability to cover an event or write a column than I did myself. The fact that he enjoyed my scathing Purdue columns was a bonus. He allowed me to cover soccer national championships, Big Ten basketball titles, and praise the Lord, a win I never thought was possible at the Breslin Center.

I wonder what sort of texts we would have exchanged on Monday night, as the Hoosiers fell to Fort Wayne, some 48 hours after that big win over the Irish. I wager we would have been texting right after Saturday’s game, saying “Good win. No time to celebrate, big game on Monday.”

If I was thinking it, Ed was thinking it a minute sooner.

Ed would have bemoaned the lack of rotation, the lack of effort, and would not have sugarcoated it one iota. I miss that, and a large part of me always will.

The wins are easy  to cover. The losses are when the people want the full-court press. And Ed would be putting on the 1-3-1 trap right now.

O

+

Betting with Britt: Bowl Edition

Posted: December 16, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Kenny Britt

Bowl season is upon us, it’s one of my favorite times of year! Not counting the national championship game, there are 39 games to be played in just over 2 weeks. Most of these games are meaningless to everybody but the Universities involved and of course, Vegas. Handicapping them, especially in advance, is very difficult. You have coaches that have left or are leaving, star players transferring or sitting out to avoid injury, players becoming academically ineligible right before kickoff, or kids get arrested for shoplifting or selling their gift cards they are given for the bowl they’re in and being suspended. HAPPENS EVERY YEAR, lol. So basically, you need to try and find the team in each game that has the most to play for. Especially in the first half of the bowl season. So, I’m going to give you every game, side and total, for a whopping 78 picks.  Am I betting every pick? HELLZ NO!!! I will however try and give you some of my favorite plays. This is just a lot of fun for me to do. Honestly, if I go 1 game over .500 here, I’d be happy.

HERE WE GO:

NEW ORLEANS BOWL: Troy -7/Under 62.5

CURE BOWL: Western Kentucky -6.5/Under 53.5

LAS VEGAS BOWL: Boise St +7/Under 61.5

NEW MEXICO BOWL: Colorado St -5.5/Over 58     ***STRONG PLAY ON THE OVER***

CAMELLIA BOWL: Arkansas St -4/Under 64

BOCA RATON BOWL: Florida Atlantic -22/Over 64.5   ***Like FAU***

FRISCO BOWL: Smu -5/Over 70   ***STRONG PLAY ON THE OVER***

GASPARILLA BOWL: Temple -7/Over 56

BAHAMAS BOWL: UAB +7.5/Over 55

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL: Wyoming -1/Under 44.5

BIRMINGHAM BOWL: Texas Tech +2/Over 68

ARMED SERVICES BOWL: Army +6.5/Under 46.5

DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL: Toledo -7.5/Over 62

HAWAII BOWL: Fresno St +2.5/Under 49 ***STRONG PLAY ON FRESNO ST***

HEART OF DALLS BOWL: Utah -7/Over 57 ***STRONG PLAY ON OVER 57***

QUICKEN LANE BOWL: Northern Illinois +5.5/OVER 47 ***STRONG PLAY ON N. ILLINOIS +5.5***

CACTUS BOWL: Ucla +2/Over 64.5

INDEPENDENCE BOWL: FSU -15/Over 49

PINSTRIPE BOWL: Iowa -3/Under 46

TEXAS BOWL: Texas +3/Over 60.5

FOSTERS FARM BOWL: Arizona -3.5/Over 65 ***STRONG PLAY ON OVER 65***

MILITARY BOWL: Navy -1/Under 55

CAMPING WORLD BOWL: Ok st -4/Over 63 ***STRONG PLAY ON OVER 63***

ALAMO BOWL: Stanford +2.5/Under 49

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION BOWL: Washington St. -2/Over 45

BELK BOWL: Texas Am +3/Under 65

SUN BOWL: NC ST +6.5/Over 59.5

MUSIC CITY BOWL: Kentucky +7/Over 51

ARIZONA BOWL: Utah st -4/Under 62

COTTON BOWL: USC +7.5/Over 64.5 ***BET THE FARM, HOUSE, TRUCK AMD DOG ON USC***

TAXSLAYER BOWL: Louisville -6.5/Over 63 ***STRONG PLAY ON VILLE AND THE OVER***

LIBERTY BOWL: Memphis -3.5/Over 65.5 ***STRONG PLAY ON OVER 65.5***

FIESTA BOWL: Penn St-2/Over 55

ORANGE BOWL: Miami +6.5/Over 45

OUTBACK BOWL: Gamecocks +7.5/Over 42.5

PEACH BOWL: Auburn -9.5/Over 66.5 ***STRONG PKAY ON OVER 65.5***

CITRUS BOWL: Notre Dame +3/Over 51.5

ROSE BOWL: Georgia -2/Under 60

SUGAR BOWL: Clemson -3/Over 47

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

CLEMSON 31 GEORGIA 24

I’d like to wish everybody a sincere Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Be safe, don’t drink and drive, and remember what the great Ricky Bobby says, “If you ain’t first, you’re last”

Betting with Britt

Posted: December 15, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Jeff Henning

(Editors Note: Jeff Henning went 6-4 last week so Kenny isn’t dressing this week. Betting with Britt continues with Henning’s hot picks. Let’s. Go!)

My 1 week cameo has turned into two. I’m ok with that,  because although we did finish 6-4 last week, I was hoping for a little bit more.  Kenny is focusing this week on the 39, yes 39 college bowl games that will be played over the next 3 weeks, therefore, I am going to take another swing for 10 NFL picks!  If you played 100 on all 10 last week, you would have profited 160.  Lets make that much more this week.  The winners train is coming thru, are you gonna ride?

Denver -2 at Colts

My top pick of the week is the Atlanta Falcons -5 at Tampa.  Tampa is 4-9, going nowhere, and Atlanta needs to keep winning for a playoff birth. They currently sit in the projected 6 spot as a wildcard.  They are dangerous inside, or in good weather, and Tampa should be a nice venue for the dirty birds to keep rolling.

Next is a road dog that I think vegas has missed the line on big time.  Of course they have the billion dollar casinos and literally print money every day so its pretty dumb of me to think I’m in some way smarter, but we shall see on this one.  Arizona +5.5 at Washington.  Take the points, and thumb your nose at the sports book when you collect.

Next is a two for one.  I really like what Baltimore has done recently and look for them to continue their push to get in the playoffs.  They are -9 on the road at Cleveland where the weather could be a little sketchy, but I’m gonna ride with the Ravens -9 and take the over 40! Two for one, sounds like fun to me, just don’t let the wife catch ya!

In any division game, no matter the teams, it’s hard to give up more than 10 points and still cover the spread.  The AFC South is garbage as usual, but they are still professionals and getting paid, so that should be enough to make you compete. Houston is +12.5 at Jacksonville, and even though I think Jacksonville wins this game easily, I don’t think they will cover. Take Houston +12.5  and pray that the defense can do enough to keep it close.

The balance of picks:

Chargers -1.5 at KC

Vikings -10 vs. Cincy

Pats/Steelers OVER 53

Packers +2 at Carolina (Aaron Rodgers is the only reason to make this bet)

Happy hunting!  Let’s build that bank roll to invest in Kenny’s 39 bowl games!

*Season (74-63-1)