28 September 2010

Tuesday Football: Oddities and farewells

I joined my father and my sister in visiting my oldest sister in suburban Omaha, Nebraska, so there wasn't time to update the Victory Weighting standings, nor much time to spend my fantasy-football teams. The actual football news only made things crazier this weekend. Fasten your seat belts.

Children of the Corn.  Huskers:  It's not difficult to describe the affection Texans have for their high-school and college football teams, or Hoosiers' similar love for basketball.  Nebraskans' dedication to the University of Nebraska football team is different.  It has to be witnessed in person.

It's not that the evidence can't be described.  The Cornhuskers' Saturday-night game with South Dakota State, for example, was televised... on a pay-per-view basis.  Sure, Boise State was on free TV, but I'm sure the PPV scheme worked.

Saturday night came, and there was cooking going on at my niece's house.  The cilantro supply having run out, my nephew-in-law and I went to the supermarket to replenish it.  What's playing over the store PA system?  Is it top-40 drivel?  Soft-rock drivel?  Alternative-music drivel?  Oh, no, it was a kind of drivel I thought didn't exist in the U.S.

It was the Nebraska-South Dakota State game, live on statewide radio -- and all over the supermarket.  That's dedication!

Victory Weighting update:  The Falcons-Saints overtime game this Sunday illuminates the central feature of the system.  On this week's VW Standings page, you'll see that New Orleans leads the NFC South with the highest Strength, even though the Saints lost to Atlanta.  Right now, the Falcons hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, with a 3-1 Strength advantage over the Saints.  Should they win the return game in regulation, however, the Saints would gain 4 Strength.  They would then win the HTH tiebreaker from the Falcons, 5-3.

Fantasy audibles:  With only one computer at my niece's house, I pretty much had to have my fantasy lineups set Friday night.

The Middlemen sucked up their reservations about Michael Vick's character and used him to replace struggling Alex Smith.  Against a high-powered No Clue 2010 team, I benched original starter Joe Flacco for Vick.  Flacco made me look bad by passing for three touchdowns, but Vick trumped that with four touchdowns.  His 33 points were barely enough, as the Middlemen squeaked by with a 117-114 win.  At 3-0, they stay atop their public-league table.

The Fluttering Horde also made a big deal, trading Wes Welker to shore up its bench.  That may hurt later in the year, but this week, the damage came from disastrous performances from the 49ers, Saints and Packers.  Flying Hawai'ian 3, run by my niece Amber's partner, dealt the Horde its first loss, 82-79.  With the Niners in coaching disarray, Vernon Davis heads to the bench, and Chicago's Greg Olsen will assume TE duties.  Despite this week's struggles, the 2-1 Horde remains in third place overall.

Last, but not least: Condolences to the family and friends of George Blanda, who passed away Monday at the age of 83.  Finding players better than Blanda is not difficult.  Finding one as versatile and persistent as he was is impossible, and will probably remain so.  As my friend Matty Boy has reminded me, QB/punter Sammy Baugh and punter/tackle Lou Groza came close; Danny White, a little less so.  But that's about it.  Godspeed, Mr. Blanda.

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