Happy Friday and greetings from a blustery New Jersey. Earlier this week there was actually snow on the ground out here as the staff pulled into the office parking lot. SNOW? Wow, there are still leaves blowing around for crying out loud. And we might get some winter weather Sunday night into Monday. Not fun for anyone who drives. Especially a moron who drives from Long Island to New Jersey every day. One more week in the office before the staff takes its annual holiday sabbatical. So, you’ll get a Gazette next week, but Week 16 is up in the air. Stay tuned. But enough about us. We are set for the postseason! We have our championship and consolation brackets all good to go. Who made it? Who didn’t? To the recaps!
WEEK 13 RECAPS
Apache Chief 108.94
Captain Atom 62.08
Plastic Man 52.06
The year ends on a high note for the commish, who wins his last five games to finish at a respectable 6-7. Golden Tate (who I dropped like an asshole a few weeks back) had a strong game in the win. Mike finishes 1-12 and mercifually, his season is over.
Green Lantern 115.66
Chris enters the playoffs rolling and he’ll be rewarded with a bye week. Jordan Howard ran wild on the 49ers, as did Melvin Gordon for the Chargers. Flash had just an average day from Tom Brady and as a result, finishes the year at a disappointing 6-7.
FC Aquaman 114.74
Just a beatdown administered by the Twin Cities’ top dog. Johnson and Nelson with big days as their teams win. Yet another rough week in what was a rough season for our defending champion, who finishes the year at 2-11.
The Toxic Avenger 101.30
Carr, Elliott and McCoy with high scoring weeks, ensuring that Mitchell’s group enters the postseason on a high note. Jimmy’s team had terrible timing in having a so-so day when he needed something bigger. He just misses the playoffs and will play in the consolation bracket.
Celo wins the grudge match against Dan, as he finishes the season at 5-8. Devonta Freeman has the standout game for him. Even with the loss, Dan still qualifies for the playoff bracket.
In a fitting finish in his redemptive season, Kev’s team squeaks into the postseason as his opposition has just an awful day. Batman fans don’t care, they’re just happy to have made the playoffs, where they have dreams of championships and inexplicable point outputs in their heads.
2016 TWIN CITIES PLAYOFFS BRACKET
And so we are set for the tournament to determine the 2016 Twin Cities winner. Here are your participants:
FC Aquaman (12-1) is your top seed and will have a bye week this year. He only has one blemish on his schedule (a loss to Apache Chief! We have hope!).
Green Lantern (9-4) is the second seed and has the other bye week. He enters the postseason in cruise control and awaits the winner of the 3 seed vs 6 seed.
The Toxic Avenger (9-4) finishes as the third seed. He will go up this week against the sixth seed Batman (8-5) who dramatically made it in as he looks to make a run.
The other matchup this week will see the fourth seed Apache Chief (9-4) take on the fifth seeded Shazam (8-5), as they do battle to see who will go up against the Jorge juggernaut.
THE POOBAH SPEAKS
THE MARCH TO 8-8 BEGINS
What an offensive debacle on Sunday. How apropos that the Giants played at Heinz Field, as their offense moved the ball slower than ketchup coming out of a bottle at a diner. Just wretched. It’s the worst case scenario The Poobah feared for this offense when they finally played a somewhat decent team. The Steelers defense isn’t even that great. But it’s certainly a step up from the dregs of the NFL the Giants were up against in previous weeks. That bag of shit offense is excusable against the Browns and the Rams. But once you play a team that’s at least competent? What a goddamned mess.
Some games have one of those moments, where it seems like THAT was the play that shaped the rest of the game. The Giants had played not so great, but were only down 5-0. They were at the tail end of a great, time consuming drive that brought us to the middle of the second quarter. They had the ball inside the Pittsburgh 10 yard line with a second and short. Even with the poor play, they were on the doorstep of going up 7-5. And then THAT moment happened, as Larry Fucking Donnell jogged out onto the field. Larry Donnell, who hadn’t played in about six weeks because he friggin stinks. Larry Donnell, who couldn’t block a toddler. When he comes in, the Giants are throwing to him. That’s painfully obvious. The play is snapped and I’ll give you one guess what happened. Go ahead. I’ll wait. OK, are you ready?
I’m especially a big fan of the way Donnell just kind of flops about in the background as Timmons picks the ball off.
After 12 games, this is the Giants offense. There’s no more waiting for the pieces to fall into place. There’s no more “adjustments” they can make. There’s no more hoping the line can block better. No more thinking Eli will step it up and get better. No more conversation about getting the running game going. All of that is out the window. This is the Giants offense. It is not good. We seem to be watching a good quarterback deteriorate before our eyes. How bad has Eli been this year? Don’t give me “his numbers are good”. Stop it with that rationale. He’s jittery, he gets rid of the ball too quickly, his arm strength seems to be sapped and his moxie is gone. God dammit.
I am also at wit’s end with Ben McAdoo. The Giants have run about 98% of their plays (no joke) with the 3 WR, 1 TE set up. They run about four plays….the shotgun draw running play, the quick dumpoff to a WR, the quick dumpoff to a RB, and the seven yard slant. And yet McAdoo carries around this fucking monstrosity to call plays…
This sheet looks as if it’s harder to read than the menu of the Golden Reef Diner in Rockville Centre, which is 25 pages long and has no less than 3500 items within it. What the hell is that thing? He even has a post-it on one of the pages. What could possibly be on that post-it note that’s not covered on that playsheet? It has a three ring binder at the top. HE CALLS FOUR PLAYS! Holy crap.
But let’s look at the bigger picture. And that’s not bright either. In last week’s Gazette, The Poobah noted… Hard to believe that JPP has been this effective and this disruptive all while having a right hand that would make Luke Skywalker blush. Let’s hope he keeps this up and that he has good conditioning this season. Him and Vernon and played virtually every defensive down this year. I worry that one or both of them will start to tire or break down. That crack Giants medical staff has their work cut out for them. One week later, JPP is officially done for the year with some sort of groin/sports hernia situation that makes me instinctively grab my crotch even as I typed those last few words. A HUGE loss. He missed the second half, and the Steelers ran for almost 100 yards in that half alone. They controlled the clock and prevented the Giants from getting back in it. A big reason that their defense has been good the last month and a half is that JPP and Vernon were playing the run and the pass so well. And with JPP out, that creates just an enormous void in that line. They really struggled against the run (as we noted before). It’s a good thing the Giants aren’t playing a team with a strong running game and can get out to the edge this Sund…..oh.
Yes, they are still 8-4. Yes, they are still in control of their own destiny to get into the playoffs. Bit do you like their chances Sunday night? Do you like their chances against a Lions team that always seems to pull wins out of their ass? Do you like them against an Eagles team in Philly? Do you like them in Washington? I don’t know. This has 8-8 written all over it. Which, let’s be honest, is better than I could have hoped for before the season. But let’s go here. Win a few games. Just get into the playoffs. Let the chips fall where they may once you get there. But just get there. VAMOS!
THE NCAA JUST LOVES OHIO STATE
A couple of years back, TCU and Baylor had very strong cases to make the College Football Playoff. But Ohio State got the nod because “they were the Big Ten Champion”. And don’t get me wrong, it wound up being a good call because the Buckeyes won the whole thing that year. But TCU won their game that week and slid from number 3 in the rankings to number 6. OK, whatever, championships matter. I get it. Fast forward to last week. Penn State wins the Big Ten. Penn State beat Ohio State earlier this year. And Ohio State, which did not even make the Big Ten title game, makes the playoff. Penn State stays home. I am NOT here to make an argument for Penn State. Screw that whole university. But for the “committee” to say how much championships matter, and then two years later select Ohio State because of…..reasons….then how can anyone take them seriously. Why even hold these conference championship games? What’s the point?
I specifically remember the commish and The Poobah hashing this out in a bit of a drunken stupor back in the mid 1990’s. We were out and were in the Lex/53rd St station waiting for the E train back to Queens. “They need to have a playoff” I said. The commish asked what should they do. I said to take the conference champions and then a few wildcards to fill out a field of eight teams. It was literally done at 2AM by two idiots. And yet here we are still trying to figure out how to best have a playoff for college football twenty years later. This is not hard, people. On December 31st, we are all Clemson fans.
IT’S THE MOST RIDICULOUS TIME OF THE YEAR
Ah, the holidays. A time for gathering with family and friends. A time for celebration and counting your blessings. A time for yet another goddamned Lexus spot, whether it be on the television, on radio, on a billboard. Ah yes. Another shot of a well to do family sauntering out to their driveway and bathing in the splendor of a new car that no one but one person in the family knew about. Who the hell buys a car without telling their spouse, by the way? I picked up a couple of stocking stuffers for the kids the other night and told Mrs. Poobah. Maybe I’m some sort of wuss. You know, A MAN KNOWS WHAT CAR TO BUY AND HE NEEDS NO HELP! All I know is the last time we bought a car, the four of us went. Everyone’s going to have to sit and ride in that thing, they may as well see if they like it and feel good in it. But that’s not my point. My point is that there is so much nonsense to buy out there. Anything, from a $85 Christmas tree waffle maker at Williams Sonoma to my favorite. Just look at this:
LOOK. AT. THIS. This is not made up. Nordstrom is selling a rock wrapped in a leather pouch for 85 DOLLARS. For a fucking rock. I assume that as whoever buys one of these goes to leave the store, they are told it’s a joke and then beaten to death with said rock. At least I hope that’s an organic, free range rock. If anyone is looking for that great, thoughtful gift at the last minute I have good news. I’ll be bagging Harry’s shit in artisinal plastic bags for $10 a pop…or poop. Good God.
Another strong week from our incoming commander in chief. We had him talking to someone from Taiwan that was supposedly some breach in decades of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Not that it’s a terrible thing. But seems to be par for the course. Then we see him pick some more folks for his cabinet. Who better to oversee Housing and Urban Development then the borderline mentally incompetent Ben Carson, who could barely form a coherent sentence during the Republican debates? Who better to oversee small business than Linda McMahon? Yes, of the WWF McMahons. A family that methodically killed all the small wrestling companies and territories in the 1980’s….the small business of wrestling….and then essentially became a monopoly? Maybe they’ll hold Wrestlemania on the lawn of the White House next year. Also, after all the talk about “pay to play” during the election, old Donald appoints McmAhon, who gave $7 million to his campaign. DRAIN THE SWAMP! Speaking of swamps, who better to lead the EPA than a guy who flat out denies climate change? Really! Like it’s not even a thing! Who better to head Labor than the fast food executive millionaire CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr? A guy who is against overtime, against a higher minimum wage, and against Obamacare because “people don’t have enough money to eat out anymore”? Guy probably rooted for Potter in “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Strong choices!
Trump has also shown to have the thinnest of skins over the course of his life. I’m sure he’ll tone that down any day n…..oh wait. The president of the steelworkers union had the temerity to say Trump didn’t tell the truth about how many jobs were saved in the “deal” he gave to Carrier last week. He was promptly angrily tweeted at by Trump, saying how he’s such a bad union leader and how he should spend more time working and less time talking. For real. Then he went and tweeted about how awful of a show Saturday Night Live is, again. How they’re biased and not funny. Because he didn’t like the impersonation of him, you see. They’re impersonating him as they have done with every single president before him since Gerald Ford. But this guy apparently can’t take it. Can’t wait until he tells the Prime Minister of Canada to suck his balls in a tweet by February 1st. U-S-A! U-S-A!!!
Ever since The Poobah wrote about the Rangers it has been the kiss of death. The rest of the league has figured out that you can clog up the neutral zone and nullify the speed and skill of their offense, while Vingeault the dunce hasn’t made one adjustment. They continue to roll out Girardi and Klein every night, even though they’re both legitimately two of the worst 10 defensemen in the NHL, Nash got hurt, Buchnevich is still hurt, Zibanejad is still hurt, and Lundqvist has been good but not great. As always, take it away, former Ranger Brandon Dubinsky!
So I’m with Littlest Poobah on Wednesday, and he’s getting ready for the school day. We’re about to leave, and I notice the nut has shorts on. It’s like 35 degrees outside. Any good parent worth their salt would march their child back up to their room and physically force them to put pants on. Then I thought back to Sunday night. I was walking Harry. It was 38 degrees outside and I had on shorts. It was invigorating. It felt fantastic. I am not normal. Yada yada yada, the kid wore shorts to school. Parenting fail, for certain.
On Monday night, St. John’s held a 50th anniversary reunion for their 1966 baseball team that was the university’s first entry into the College World Series. They eventually finished in 4th place that year. They were brought out onto the court in the second half as a tribute. There’s a very handsome older gentleman near the middle of this picture. Looks like a winner. Just saying.
I’m not sure what’s the crazier story. That the Rolling Stones have put out another album in 2016, or that Mick Jagger just became a dad again at the age of 73. Mick, Mick, we get it. You’ve got satisfaction. Jeez.
How wonderful and magnanimous of the NFL to let players wear cleats emblazoned with their charity or cause of choice last week. Question…why doesn’t the NFL let players just do this every week? Because then the NFL doesn’t get money out of it. Sure, teams have to pink stuff for breast cancer and camouflage stuff around Veteran’s Day, but that’s because the league then auctions that shit away and makes money. They don’t make a dime if Brandon Marshall has cleats that bring attention to mental illness. Oh, sure, they’ll make a commercial out of that, but only because it makes the league look like they give a shit about anything other than making money, which is false. What nonsense.
Dear Harry, with the holiday season now in full gear, what’s your plan on gift giving? Thanks!
Brandy – East Northport, NY
Thanks for your note Brandy. Gifts, huh? I think we all know what gifts I’ll leave for that fat bastard Poobah. If he’s not sure what I’m talking about, tell him to go around the side of the house to collect his gifts. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I may smell reindeer pee on a tree. I need to go over there and smell it for the next 15 minutes.
SONGS FROM THE POOBAH’S SPOTIFY
When Love Comes To Town – U2
Born At The Right Time – Paul Simon
Shine – Mondo Cozmo
Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
Busy Thinking About Today – Phil Roy
Devil’s Teeth – Muddy Magnolias
A Conspiracy – Black Crowes
Someday At Christmas – Stevie Wonder
The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
Please Come Home For Christmas – The Eagles
PLAYOFFS WEEK 1 AT A GLANCE
While splitting some macaroni and cheese with Maggie and Conor last night, the following picks were made:
Shazam 94, Apache Chief 61 and Daddy’s hopes for a title run are crushed in spectacular fashion.
The Toxic Avenger 102, Batman 95 as Mitchell survives and advances.
In the consolation bracket, Brainiac 84, Huntress 69 as Celo suprises.
Flash 82, Captain Atom 74 in a bit of an upset for Craig.
LAST WEEK: 5-2