Random Thoughts…Yeah, I Have ‘Em

Thursday, January 5th, 2006, 12:05 pm

What a game last night. Great plays, bad plays, mistakes, miracles. Was Vince Young’s performance the greatest in college football history? I’d have to say yes. Playing the way he did against what was thought of as the greatest team in history (a totally bogus claim, but still) adds his name to the Pantheon of Sports Greats. And it’s not like the other team played lousy. Leinart was fantastic. LenDale White would look awfully good in Black and Gold. And Reggie Bush…Reggie Bush had something like 275 total yards and had a “bad” game. Which tells you something about how good HE is.

Still, Bush was the big loser in this game. His bonehead lateral was a killer. Texas showed that team speed on defense can keep him under wraps. Bush showed he’s a huge talent–that TD down the sideline was spectacular, and he had nearly 100 yards receiving–but when the Trojans needed the tough yards they went to White. Which may give NFL teams pause.

Kudos to Pete Carroll for going for it on 4th and 1. He’s got the best offense in the galaxy–go for it. If you convert you win the title. If you don’t, your defense might still win it for you (and it took a face mask penalty and a 4th down conversion to pull it off). It was the football version of a semi-bluff, and for the first time in 3 years the Trojans didn’t catch.

I’d like someone to explain how, during the biggest game of the year, the guys in the replay booth slept through the game. How they didn’t review the touchdown where Young’s knee was clearly down, or the play where the Texas receiver may have fumbled the ball, is beyond me. Maybe the latter play was inconclusive–but it should’ve been reviewed. Not reviewing the touchdown was inexcusable. It was an obvious review, not just for the knee, but to make sure the lateral was backwards. Nope, thumbs tucked firmly up their asses they did nothing. Compare this to the Sugar Bowl (and other games I saw this year) where the refs went to the booth after every incompletion. At one point in the Sugar Bowl the refs went to replay to see where a ball should be spotted and then, after it was reviewed again, decided, oh, wait, it wasn’t a catch at all. Once again I raise the cry for an army of superintelligent cybernetic officals.

The biggest loser from last night’s game, or perhaps the biggest winner, was the Houston Texans. What do you do with the #1 pick now? Last week the Texas-Niner game was called the “Bush Bowl”. If Young enters the draft (and I can’t see why he wouldn’t, Heisman-Shmeisman) how could the Texans NOT take him? He’s the most popular person in Texas since Davy Crockett. He’s from Houston, for God’s sake. I know, they already have David Carr, and even exercised their option on him. Well, they gotta trade him. Carr’s had a tough time in Houston, he’s been hit more times than a pinata, but if the Texans DON’T take Young he’s going to be booed every time he touches the ball. Even if he throws a touchdown. Carr will be less popular than Jack Abramoff at a DeLay family reunion.

If the Texans take Young then the Saints will grab Leinert, I think, as they have no QB. Would Tennessee take Bush? I would think so, they’re current backs are fairly pedestrian. Or would Green Bay try to move up, offering the Saints a package involving bust-in-waiting Aaron Rodgers and a smattering of picks so they could grab Bush and lure Brett Favre back for one more title run? Ah, sweet, sweet speculation. Who needs to the games, really?

I’d hoped my Nittany Lions would move up to #2, but after the game last night there was no way. If you’ll allow me to mix my sporting metaphors, the Orange Bowl was like a NASCAR race at Bristol with 37 cautions and the race ending under the yellow when Kyle Petty hit the wall in Turn 2 for the fourth time that night. While the Rose Bowl was a seat-of-the-pants barnburned in Daytona, with the leaders swapping paint and a slipstream pass on the final turn to win by a quarterpanel. The Penn State defense is as good as it gets, but I don’t think the Lions could’ve mustered enough offense to beat either Texas or USC. Still, a great season.

One little weird poker hand to discuss. I’m playing an SNG and one from the button I’m dealt A-J. It’s folded around to me, I raise, and the button calls. The flop comes J-10-7 with two spades. I bet, and he raises me. Bastard! He has me outchipped about three to one. I have two courses of action–the meek one (fold and save my chips in case he was trapping me) and the bold (shower him with the re-raise). Instead I call, and instantly start berating myself. “The hell you do THAT for?” I said aloud. “How does a call help? What card can help you? You don’t know where you are!” Then I got nasty, “You worm, you little man” I sneered at the ghostly reflection in the monitor.

The next card is the queen of spades. OK, I’m like so done with this hand. If I wasn’t beat already I am now. I check, and he checks, no doubt saddened that my brain has uncramped. The next card is a fourth spade. I don’t have a spade. I check, and move my cursor to the point on the screen where the “FOLD” button will appear.

But it doesn’t appear. The “MUCK CARDS?” button pops up. Because the other guy didn’t bet. He didn’t check. He folded.

Folded. If he bets I fold. If he’s got nothin’ he can just check then muck. Instead he gifts me the pot. He would’ve had to hit the “FOLD” button, and then clicked “OK” when the popup advised that he could check for free.

It was a nice pot I raked. I started to type, “Uh, you folded?” in the chat box. But I didn’t. Nor, oddly enough, did anyone else. No one mentioned it. And the guy who capitulated raised the very next hand. I mean, maybe he folded because there ws a grease fire in the kitchen he had to attend to. And no one else cared. I ended up winning the thing, which gives you an idea of the competition. Even though, that A-J hand aside, I played BRILLIANT poker. No donkey me.

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