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NFL17 Cherry Picks W9: It’s Paradise Found For Gridiron Leg-Men In London Town

4 Nov

NFL London Games is proving a Paradise for those players rostered to leg the ball, whether it be field-goals, kickoffs or punting the pigskin (cowhide) to opponents in an act of sportsmanship on their own failure to fashion a score.

That last bit is on slim chance a reader new to North American football (China, GreatBritain, Mexico, etc.), just happens to read my post and could use a little insight into just exactly how the gridiron game works and why (I’m still cricket-challenged). And that’s a chance slimmer than the one the Cleveland Browns presently hold (0-8) for winning the 2018 Lamar Hunt trophy (+ SB52 ticket to Minneapolis 2.2.17). But you do what you can.

In this age of massive passing stats, still highly-valued run-games (See; Ezekiel Elliott), sieve-like defense (prevent) and corresponding scoreboard tilt, kickers in football have generally been treated by most fans as chopped liver: Not a salivator but good for the mind and body.

One man’s punter whipping-boy can be another’s perfect athlete. That’s the case for NFL kickers when they sail off USA shore to the other side of the pond.

Here’s what the Browns injury-sidelined, perennial All-Pro tackle Joe Thomas had to say in observation of the Twickenham Stadium crowd while in attendance of last Sunday’s Pond East contest (and loss) against the Vikings, with Wembley Stadium serving as the other NFL London venue:

“The English sure seem to enjoy the kicking plays, the biggest applause seem to be these punts (USAToday – sports, 10.30.17 (@ JoeThomas73 on Twitter))!”

In actuality, this would be more of a return to paradise than a first find, as the kicking game was, in football’s early years, one of its most valued aspects.

Names like Pat O’Dea (UW 1898-99 (CFHOF 62)) and Jim Thorpe (Carlisle 1910-12 (CFHOF 51)) made national headlines with their famous footwork, long before Walter Camp turned the forward pass into a gridiron strategy staple.

The English (rugby) and the Mexican (fútbol – soccor) can teach us Yankees a new perspective, a broader appreciation for all the aspects of our own game. Because as every NFL fan knows, the kicking game, with all its memorable moments both good and bad can, when you least expect it, prove decisive.

And that’s the way we want to keep it. ¡Sí cómo no!

NFL17 Cherry Picks W9

Cincy @ Jaguars: 11.5 CBS 1:00: Jackson
LosAngeles @ NewYork: Fox 1:00: Giants
Atlanta @ Carolina: Fox 1:00: F-Birds
Baltimore @ Tennessee: CBS 1:00: Ravens
Arizona @ SanFrancisco: Fox 4:05: 49ers
KansasCity @ Cowboys: CBS 4:25: Dallas
Raiders @ Dolphins: NBC 8:30: Oakland
Detroit @ Packers: 11.6 Disney 8:30: Lions

Record: 34 – 23

Steven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: NFL-symbol, wikiproject, 2011; mini-skirted-legs, wc.cca, S/E-England, 1972, IXIA; J.Thomas, D.Whitner, E.Drost, 4.14.15, wc; Cherries-ripe, wc, 6.24.07, Chirak; mini-skirted-lady, wc, 8.5.70, PiccadillyCircus, JaneArt
Posted: 11.3.17 @ 11:29pE; Copyright © 2017

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NFL16 Cherry Picks W9: In a Sorry Slate, Broncos @ Oakland Beckons

1 Nov

Maybe you’ve got some chores to do around the house (or flat), ones you‘ve been putting off. On Sunday, put on your dungarees and have at it.

Checkout the lawn. Maybe it could use one more mowing before the snowing starts to blowing. Brrrr!

If you haven’t already you could start on your Christmas-Hanukkah list. That’s why they invented catalogs, Sport. You won’t regret it, come December.

You have kids or you‘re a Big Brother / Sister? Take ‘em to a nearby park to breath in some nature, or head to the city zoo. And don‘t feed the rhinos.

Better yet, team-up and give Mom a hand around the house this Sunday, or take her out to lunch, just as long as it’s not fast-food or chain-fare, meaning, somewhere nice. And leave the damn phones at home.

raking-leaves-wc-d-goehring-12-17-09-2-3mBut whatever you do, don’t plan to spend all your afternoon watching the National Football League.

And it ain’t got nothing to do with the Krude one (Colin-of-the-mock-socks). Any TV viewer who’d ditch a date (NFL) simply because of one self-serving racist could not have had a spirit for sport to begin with, making it more likely their reported exit is in support of Krusader’s play-act, making Nielsen numbers they represented ephemeral (false positive) and then no true reflection upon which sponsors might rely.

Check out the next round of NFL contests.

If Week 9 games could fill a Halloween sack you’d have some glum looking kids with a sad haul of tricks n’ treats to spread on the living room floor: Things like butterscotch wraps, gummy-bears, caramel-covered popcorn balls, red delicious, licorice thingamajigs, whatsits & whatevers. All great stuff, if that’s what you like, but void of the candy corn, Milky Way® and M&M’s® we’ve come to expect.

NFL schedulers must’ve figured fans had better things to do at the midway point than lounge in front of the boob-tube with match-ups like Dallas @ Cleveland, Saints @ 49ers, Panthers @ Rams and the Titans heading to San Diego (Zzzz).

This has gotta’ be the sorriest slate of the season, hands down.

DSC_6852There is one game that beckons like a Kit-Kat® sitting solitary on the kitchen counter: The Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders (NBC 8:30 EST). Chomp!

Both tied for the AFC West lead at 6-2 with young QBs feeling their oats (T.Siemian / D.Carr), the winner taking command but knowing a re-match awaits Week 17 at Sports Authority in Denver to close out the regular and to drip with playoff ramifications.

The Raiders, led by 3rd-year quarterback Derek Carr whose playing in a different stratosphere this 2016, one where the likes of Tom Brady, Matt Ryan & Aaron Rodgers usually orbit (’Who‘s the dude with the goatee?’), hold the scoring edge (#5 ygpg / #6 pspg) over the Mustangs rather tame offensive output (#27 ygpg / #13 pspg), while the hosts, led by Von Miller and T.J. Ward (SS), continue to exhibit tremendous defensive wherewithal (#3 yapg / #5 papg) as their guests can’t stop feeding off the bottom (#31 / #29).

The immovable object versus the unstoppable force, that is, when the Raiders have the ball and the Mustangs aim to stuff it down their…you get the drift.

In truth, I must concede a smidgen of hyperbole in my watchability ratings. Apart from the AFCW battle-for-supremacy, you could reasonably claim a few other contests capable of converting Mom‘s lunch outing into an early dinner.

siemiant-wc-8-29-15-1-9m-j-beallThat includes traditional tussles where the Philadelphia Eagles fly into the Meadowlands to face the rival Giants, the Colts take to Lambeau and the Steelers return to the Crab Cake city to face the Ravens. All teams flashing flaws but still very much in the hunt for those playoff sweets.

In fairness to NFL schedulers, how were they to know that mediocrity (parity) would come to permeate the 32 teams? Correction, 31 teams (See; Patriotus Juggernautus).

And then as any fan worth their weight in high fructose corn syrup knows, even the saddest looking match-up can produce the most heated, exciting battle that turns ticket-stubs into collectible gold. So there’s that.

cherries-ripe-chirak-wc-605k-6-24-7Cherry Picks Week 9

Falcons (5-3) @ TB (3-4): 11.3 NFLN 8:25: Atlanta wins
Lions (4-4) @ Minnesota (5-2): 11.6 Fox 1:00: Vikes win
Eagles (4-3) @ Giants (4-3): Fox 1:00: New York wins
New York Jets (3-5) @ Miami Dolphins (3-4): CBS 1:00: Dolphins win
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-4): CBS 1:00: Ravens win
Indianapolis Colts (3-5) @ Green Bay Packers (4-3): CBS 4:25: Packers win
Denver Broncos (6-2) @ Oakland Raiders (6-2): NBC 8:30: Broncos win
Buffalo Bills (4-4) @ Seahawks (4-2-1): 11.7 Disney 8:30: Seahawks win

Record: 39 – 40 – 2

......NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: V.Miller, wc.cca, J.Beall, 8.20.11; rake-leaves, wc, D.Goehring, 12.17.09; D.Carr, wc, P.Sheffield, 9.28.14; T.Siemian, wc, J.Beall, 8.29.15; cherries-ripe, Chirak, wc, 6.24.7; NFL-symbol, wikiproject
Posted: 11.1.16 @ 7:01pm, edit @ 11:18 EST; Copyright © 2016