Sunday, January 31, 2016

Random (Sports) Thoughts......

Some random thoughts.....
  • The Pirates announced yesterday that Joe Block has been hired as their new play-by-play announcer, replacing Tim Neverette.  Block is a young guy, 37, and had been doing play-by-play with Bob Uecker for the Brewers.  Welcome to Pittsburgh, Joe, and good luck.  

  • I figure that Block will broadcast one game, maybe only three or four innings of one game, before two-thirds of all Pirates fans will decide that they hate him, while denouncing the Pirates for having fired Bob Prince forty years ago.
  • I hadn't commented upon it when it happened, but farewell to Tim Neverette, who gets to return to his native New England to become a play-by-play guy for the Red Sox, so good for him. He was solid, if unspectacular, announcer and provided a good contrast to Greg Brown.  I liked him, but, of course, he was no Bob Prince......
  • The Grandstander went 1-1 in his predictions on last week's, NFL conference Championship games, bringing my postseason count to 8-2.  Not making my official prediction yet, but based on last week, it will be hard to pick against the Carolina Panthers.
  • Did you notice that as the Patriots lined up for that two point conversion that would tie the game at the end that the announcers mentioned that this was the first two point conversion attempt for the Pats all season?  Sportswriter Bob Labriola, who covers the Steelers, made the point that was essentially, Are You Kidding Me?  In an entire season, wherein the Pats had at least six blow out wins, and on a team that has Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, that the Super Genius Head Coach did not even attempt a single two point conversion all season???  Was Bill Belichick more concerned about Stephen Gostkowski making a zillion consecutive PAT's (and how ironic did THAT turn out to be?) than at least trying a couple of two point conversions during the season, just in case the Pats actually needed to make one in a critical situation, like in the AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME???  Might have come in handy.
  • For me, though, the most noteworthy performance in both games last week was that of Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer.  I had noted after the Cards-Packers game that Palmer performed badly in that game, that the Cards were lucky to beat the Packers, and that if Palmer played like that against the Panthers, his team would be in trouble.  Well, he didn't play like that.  He was worse.  Four interceptions and two fumbles.  Those Bengals genes in Palmer's DNA just shone through in that game.  When I think of Palmer in the future I will see him sitting on the bench with his headphones and Cardinals stocking cap on while paging helplessly through that three-ring binder, as he tried to figure out, unsuccessfully, how to not turn the ball back over to the Panthers.  I actually felt sorry for him.

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