Tag Archives: Jimmy Graham

NFL15 Minute Waltz: It’s Carroll-ing Time!

16 Dec

It’s not exactly trending topic on Twitter but then somebody‘s gotta’ ask the question: Where o’ where have all the holiday carolers gone?

......Caroling.12.22.08.TF34.USArmy.thm.Iraq.wcCaroling was a rare happening back in the 60s – 70s when I was a tike in Chicagoland, thumbing through the Sears catalog for a little Christmas joy. And then I don’t recall my parents or even grandparents bringing up the topic.

I suspect it was a tradition that started losing steam back when…well, the steam-engine and such were giving way to electricity, back at the turn of the 20th century.

With phonographs, wireless (radio), then TV etcetera, the urge to merriment was met and staying put inside where it was warm, dry and safe seemed a better call. The sociology goes deeper than that, of course, but in a nut-shell, that’ll suffice.

.......Carroll.wc.12.29.13.M.Morris.thmAnd it’s too bad because not many activities are as visceral as chorus, dressed for the cold and awaiting surprises that were likely in store throughout the evening.

So we should thank our lucky stars we have Pete Carroll, head coach of the football Seahawks to help fill the sensory void, whatever your particular team allegiance. That was some preamble, huh? History matters.

Pete’s had an interesting year, to say the least.

Getting back to his 2nd straight Super Bowl as reigning champs (SB48) after his men pulled off a terrific come-from-behind playoff win in Green Bay (28-22) to take NFC title, only to be roasted on the spit in the biggest Whine-fest in sport history for an unsuccessful play-call that ended SB49 in loss to the Patriots.

......Wilson.wc.12.29.13.L.Maurer.thmbSomehow, some way, the goat-horns escaped quarterback Wilson and target Lockette who failed to convert on the infamous play-call (INT-Butler). But Peter and OC Darrell Bevell took their lumps, explained the decision, which needed none for those of us who follow football, and moved forward.

As has been typical of recent times, the pieces are falling into place for Carroll & Company come December. But that’s not how things started for the Seahawks in NFL15.

The 2015 season got off to a rocky start, going 0-2 and middling to 2-4. The post-SB49 hangover for Seattle was intense.

.....Lynch.wc.cca.1.8.11.K.Baily.thmbLosing the year’s biggest game is bad enough but the harping by petulants and non-sporting press took its toll and led to some internal discord (See; Lynch). Seahawks had developed a BIG following, especially amongst kids who think Dick Sherman is greatest thing since Xbox®. A loss was just unthinkable.

A new defensive coordinator in Kris Richard was getting his sea-legs underneath himself as the former DC in Mike Quinn had exited Seattle for the Atlanta Falcons head coaching vacancy.

And then the unexpected, ill-advised holdout by defensive captain Kam Chancellor that began in summer camp and bled into the early season left the defensive-centric Seahawks without a key leader and bit out-of-sorts.

.....Chancellor.8.22.14.wc.M.Morris.thmbBut they hit their stride leading into the bye in reaching .500 (4-4) and have looked strong ever since (8-5 (O: #5 / 6; D: 2 / 3), giving up only one loss to NFC West division leaders Arizona (39-32 (W10)) during a 6-1 run.

December is Carroll-ing time as Seattle has compiled a 14-2 mark going back to 2012. That record is likely to improve as what remains on the schedule is not all too daunting with Cleveland (3-10) visiting next Sunday and always feisty Rams taking CenturyLink in W16 action to close out the calendar year.

NFL officers-in-schedule usually know what they’re doing and did not disappoint on the Western front as Seattle finishes the regular in Arizona to take on Bruce Arians’ bunch in a certified mettle match-up that could foretell NFC’s champ.

....Carroll.10.6.14.K.Allison.wc.DC.thmSeahawks are peaking as sidelining injuries mount in Seattle and around the League.

The loss of fine Lynch fill-in Tom Rawls to an ankle break after tight-end Jim Graham’s exit (knee) throws a sizable monkey-wrench into the machine. But if anyone can work a modification it’s ‘Belichick West.‘ As noted in an earlier post (“Gang-Way!”), Seattle is a ball-club “(Oh-no)-body (and their grandmother) want to face come January.”

......macroecono.lamcasinoroyal.wc.2011Steven Keys
Macro Sport
Photo credit: P.Carroll, 8.22.14, M.Morris, wc.cca; Combat-caroling, USArmy-TF34, Iraq, 12.22.08; P.Carroll, 12.29.13, wc, M.Morris; R.Wilson, 12.29.13, wc, L.Maurer; M.Lynch, 1.8.11, K.Baily, wc; K.Chancellor, 8.22.14, M.Morris, wc; Un-named & Carroll, 10.6.14, DC, K.Allison; macroecono, lamcasinoroyal, 2011, wc
Posted: 12.16.15 @ 3:12pm EST; Copyright © 2015


NFL14 Cherry Picks W11: Grounding Hail Mary

14 Nov

Flop Jack

NFL Week 10: 49ers 27, Saints 24 (OT).

“A (flop) by any other name (“offensive pass interference”) would smell as (bad).”

Before Simultaneous-gate paralyzed the NFL for a week in 2012 (GB v SEA), the half-ending Hail Mary was a thrilling, at times chaotic physical drama that, due to its nature, unofficially allowed for a looser application of the rules. Outcomes were unpredictable and lady luck presided. And no, she didn’t wear pink.

But most importantly, the Hail Mary pass was always a good time, for fans and players.

Rarely and only in the most egregious circumstance was a near-miraculous TD catch ever invalidated.

No one messed with Hail Mary pre-2012. She had her standards, took her job seriously, no question, but she was a free-spirit, unencumbered and usually left most fans with a smile on their face, even if completion (TD) was not achieved.

But now that the replay fanatics have gotten a-hold of the game, she’s gone corporate and you never saw such sad eyes.

Since the Great Whine-fest of 2012, NFL officials on the field and upstairs are held to a strict-scrutiny standard, where every grab & push (flops are inexplicably ignored) is eye-balled to extreme and chicanery (49ers Cox) can rule the day, ending the game on a thud.


It’s possible the governors of our beloved NFL game truly do mean well in choosing this fretful pathway of inconsistent, micro-management, but then they’re the same guys who sold players on glove-wear.

In closing seconds of last Sunday’s 49ers – Saints game, bomb-catching Jimmy Graham was ruled in replay to’ve “fouled” faux-defender Perrish Cox and his TD grab was tossed.

But seeing is believing.

Everything’s connected, especially in sport. As such, it’s impossible to separate Perry’s apparent flop from Jim’s arm extension which was made to appear greater only by the Niner’s melodramatic drop. Had Cox not gone down in some post-election politicking, any arm-body contact in review would’ve been deemed incidental to the nature of the play (standing scrum), a form that defines most every Hail Mary heave.

Where flagrant foulage is absent, referees serve best who ‘let the players play’ to decide the outcome in those final moments.

And maybe someday, someone with power, moxy, brains and a real love for football will restore our Hail Mary to her perfect (imperfect) state. Not bloody likely but I’ll keep hoping and remembering how it used to be.

Sharp Cheddar

The Green Bay juggernaut got back on track at Lambeau last Sunday, putting on quite the offensive display in trouncing intra-division and leather-helmet rival da’ Bears (55-14). When Aaron Rodgers clicks, only Peyton, Drew & Tom compare (18-27 / 315y / 6.td).

Packers have been feasting on smaller game only to be roughed up in higher weight class (SEA, DET & NO), so they can’t be considered NFC topper just yet.

Sunday they face a new-look Eagles squad with much-maligned but rejuvenated Jets cast-off Mark Sanchez under center. Mark can’t shake his “fumble” tag that junior media petulantly persist in attaching, but if he keeps birds flyin’ onward & upward, and that’s a big but (no pun intended), the juvenile set will have to cast their dispersions elsewhere.


Besides a Philly team that‘s adjusted well to D-Jax’s departure, under-the-radar defending champs Seattle are gaining momentum, NFCN leading Detroit has a new discipline (Caldwell) and Arian’s neo-cardiac Cards are full of cackle, even w/Palmer out (ACL).

GB’s remaining slate is a curious one with most mettle match-ups at home facing the Eagles, Patriots, Falcons and Lions. The road-test looks reasonably navigable as most dreaded rival Minnesota are downright Bear-ish in 2014, Buffalo, with veteran Orton manning controls is just viable but Tampa’s Lovie Smith does know the Pack well.

The drubbing Green Bay gave Chicago was impressive enough.

Maybe more impressive and deserving of good karma down the road is Coach Mike McCarthy’s apparent refusal to run up scores when opponents appear out-classed.

At the rate they were going (28 2Q points), Pack probably could’ve scored 75 on the toothless Monsters of Midway who’ve hit the skids after a promising start to the season. Instead, the host team kept it respectable with one TD in each of the final two quarters.

That’s class, something too rarely seen on the college scene where piling it on for poll position is the norm.

A Matter of Choice

If you polled those women whose boyfriends, husbands or partners follow the NFL and asked them, which of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases they found most disturbing, I’d hazard a guess it’s the child abuse / discipline matter that has the Vikings former MVP indefinitely suspended by the NFL.

The NFLPA filed a non-injury grievance with the NFL on Monday asking that Adrian Peterson be removed the Commissioner’s Exempt list. The hearing on that request is to be held next Monday, as ESPN “reports (11-12).”

As shocking and inciting of outrage as are the Rice – Janay Palmer video releases, the victim apparently made a choice to forgive her assailant and afford him, her husband, and their marriage, a second chance. A brave person, and I wish the Rices both, as I do Adrian Peterson and his family members, all the best in their journeys.

Most women support choice.


NFL Cherry Picks Week 11

Bills (5-4) @ Miami (5-4): 11-13 NFLN 8:30: Dolphins win
Texans (4-5) @ Cleveland (6-3): 11-16 CBS 1:00: HOU wins
Bengals (5-3-1) @ New Orleans: CBS 1:00: Saints wins
Seahawks (6-3) @ Kansas City (6-3): 1:00 Fox: Chiefs win
49ers (5-4) @ New York (3-6): Fox 1:00: Giants win
Lions (7-2) @ Arizona (8-1): Fox 4:30 (GOTW): Cards win
Eagles (7-2) @ Green Bay (6-3): Fox 4:30: Packers win
Patriots (7-2) @ Indianapolis (6-3): NBC 8:35: Pats win

Record: 50 – 29 – 1

Steven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credits: Blessed Virgin Mary, wc.cca, W.Moroder, Groden-Oritisei, Italy, 2008; P.Cox, 8.26.12, J.Beall, wc.cca; Packers print, wc.cca, 1959; ripe cherries, wc.cca, Chirak, 6.24.07
Posted: 11-13-14 @ 10:06pm EST