Friday, December 26, 2014

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Pluck the Cardinals Again

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

The old women in the rec room today are excited. They've followed their Seahawks all year and know this game with the Arizona Cardinals is a really important game to win. Many don't understand seeds, ties, and point spreads, but they do know by winning today their boys could have home field advantage for the playoffs and make them the winners of the NFC West.

The snack table is full of holiday creations, not one of which is good for you.

The Cardinals get on the board first. The old women are not pleased. The first field goal is where their boys start. After watching the hapless Cardinals' Ryan Lindley work to find his way as a starting QB, the old women relaxed and just watched the Hawks dismantle the Cardinal defense and offense. Seeing Wagner, Chancellor and Bennett throw Cardinal players around to get at Lindley brought out the blood-thirsty side of the old women. Even the 2 men in the room were taken aback by the ferocity of the screams to drop the QB. The old women commented that if the kid was going to learn anything it might as well be from the most aggressive front line in the game.

Touch downs and interceptions by their boys reduce the old women to raucous yells and applause. The disbelief that the kicker, Steve Haushka missed 3 field goal attempts did quiet the old women down a bit. Motherly excuses took over the conversation: maybe he didn't feel well, maybe he had problems at home or on the team. That last was dispelled when he was encouraged that it was OK by his team.

Richard Sherman picking off a Lindley pass and getting going in the right direction was pure Sherman. The old women think he has got the spirit of the Hawks.

Russell Wilson just destroyed the Cardinal defense's game plan of keeping him in the pocket. They learned you can't blink and still keep up with his scrambling to the goal line. The old women scream “run Russell run” loud enough to have other residents on the upper floors come down to see what is going on. Three of the Hawks TDs were classic Russell. On the mark passes and trademark hustle is his game now. The earlier season shakiness seems to have passed.

Watching Marshawn drag Cardinals all over the field to the end zone is something they love. The old women were worried when he did not come out to play early in the first quarter. Many did offer a shoulder or tummy rub for him if that would help. They didn't sound too Motherly with subsequent very risque comments. Old women say they could always kiss it and make it better. Must be a Mom thing.

Luke Willson, a former Canadian Lacrosse player, brought the rec room group to their feet with his touchdown run. He is one of the fastest tight ends and was just having so much fun. The old women cheered him on as he lumbered down the field.

Winning this game and looking forward to burying the Rams next week makes these shared afternoons/evenings a gift well appreciated. Noisy teasing and constant shushing keep them together, keep them caring for one another.

All the old women were a bit hoarse and one said she clapped so much her arthritic hands hurt. They did all over-eat so there was not much food to take back to their little rooms. Old women share. They know some can really use it.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Creeper Report: Fantasy Football Week 16

I'm getting to the report. I've been hired to write several articles on green cars plus some other things this week.

Besides, did any of us get to Week 16 on the backs of Titans and Jaguars? The Charlie Whitehurst/Chad Henne Bowl? You may want to play Jacksonville's defense here, but please have some better options.

Baltimore is in the middle of a three game stretch playing rookie quarterbacks. Try that instead.


Alright. I knocked out most of my work last night. I wrote about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Mitsubishi concept cars, the Toyota RAV4 EV. I have a piece on Tata, an Indian conglomerate, and a couple pieces on Elon Musk ahead of me. It's good to be busy.

I told you that last night would have little fantasy football meat on the bone. If you were crazy or desperate enough to start Toby Gerhart, Leon Washington or Jordan Todman, you earned double digit points. Both quarterbacks did so-so. Blake Bortles surprised me by playing with a sprained foot.

How'd you like to be the guy that said: "Aw, screw it. I'm starting Chad Henne."

As for The Creepers, because I know you care as much as me, we're fighting for two championships this week. Bethanie's league has a Week 17 championship and I'm still in the final four. The only league I can't win is Andy's, where I predictably was bisected by the buzz-saw. DeMarco Murray didn't break his hand until he'd beaten me. I was still alive Monday night and only lost by 10 rather than the predicted 32. A top 4 finish ain't bad.

Please note that we have two games on Saturday, so get your lineups ready before you black out tonight. And do us all a favor and black out on your couch or at least with your keys at the bottom of a bowl of Kool-Aid in the freezer, for safety's sake.

If you've made it this far, you know what you're doing. Don't do anything crazy. Here're a few notes regarding this weekend though:

Rashad Jennings is Out

Fortunately, it's a nice clear O and none of that Q crap. Andre Williams is getting the start, against St. Louis unfortunately. That's a nasty D, but he'll get touches and is worth a play unless you're stacked at RB.

Jonathan Stewart is Starting

DeAngelo Williams will play in an emergency situation. Cam Newton's back and should run sparingly, so that's Stew's job. I expect the Panthers to feast on Johnny Manwich, providing plenty of short fields and run-out-the-clock opportunities.

Jordan Cameron was a Blink

What was that on my fantasy radar? For a moment last week, I thought maybe Jordan Cameron would benefit from Manziel starting. I was needy at TE and rolled the dice. One catch, four yards, crapped out. Picking up Dwayne Allen.

Giovani the Back-Up

Jeremy Hill has firmly taken the lead and goal-line role in Cincinnati. Giovani Bernard is far from dead, but I'm not believing in him for the rest of this year. Against Denver, they'll be chucking it and neither back will see much groundwork. Outside of a big pass play, I don't think Gio puts up too many points.

I Hate the Raiders

This is not a news flash. Also non-shocking: the Jets offense is not good. I have Chris Ivory on a couple teams and don't want to start him. I have the chance to grab Latavius Murray. Seeing him play against the Seahawks in the preseason, he looked dangerous both running and catching it. He's finally getting a chance. Now, I don't like my heart making decisions my head should make, but I just don't want to put Week 16 in the hands of a Raider. Ain't owned one all year. Ain't starting now. Let's go, Chris Ivory.

Fantasy Football Reflections Coming

It's good to look back while the season is still fresh in your mind to see what you did right and what you did wrong. What predictions came true and which were hooey? I did a lot of yapping this year. Let's see how much looks brilliant now.

In the weeks following the season, I'll look into the draft, tight ends, defenses, individual predictions and next year's stars.

Until then, good luck and happy creepings.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Shooing Harbaugh

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

The old women come to the rec room in good spirits. For this game they just know their boys will hand the San Francisco 49ers and their annoying coach, Jim Harbaugh, their collective butts.

All they've heard all week is how much discord and and lack of direction the 49ers are suffering. Good. The old women have learned if you can't keep your work planned out and your respect for your team mates together, winning at anything is harder to do. In-fighting is something old women do really well. They don't always fight fair but they fight smart. A couple of old women who came to the rec room to chat during the game were told in no uncertain terms to take it down the hall.

The Seattle Seahawks got off to a less than a Super Bowl quality start. The 49ers QB, Colin Kaepernick actually looked like he knew what he was doing for some minutes Their defense tied up Russell Wilson and showed up the lack of a cohesive offense, something the Hawks just couldn't get together at first.

Getting on the board in the first quarter with a Steve Hauschka field goal always makes them proud. For some old women, Steve just isn't on the field long enough.

Then watching Kaepernick unravel when he really started getting hit, tackled and sacked was just plain fun. Old women don't like cocky QBs and watching their Wagner and Bennett and Smith drop him brought screams and cheers .

When Frank Gore ran in for TD early in the second quarter, one old woman got up and left. Said she couldn't stand the Hawks even giving up one TD to the 49ers. She came back a little later and yelled for her boys to get going.

That was the only real possession the 49ers would ever get. Holding Kaepernick to just 46 yards made the old women happy.

Watching Marshawn Lynch sort of jog into the end zone for a TD and getting all excited for Paul Richardson scoring his first ever NFL TD was icing on the cake.

The most fun for the old women was watching their Hawks get really into the trouncing of Harbaugh's 49ers. The rumors about him being removed as head coach are probably true. Favorite moments again are seeing their surfer boy coach, Pete Carroll, challenge the refs for his team.

His constant refusal to accept what he considers bad calls is like the old women. They have had to wade through conflicts all their lives. Most of them know about the courage to get what they want. They know all about challenges. Some are beaten, some are afraid but old women step up to give a little help; a cookie, a kind word. It's what they do.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Creeper Report: Fantasy Football Week 15

Despite a nasty cold, I'm cranking out the Creeper Report for you anyway.

Dude, you didn't have a cold Monday night when you were supposed to be writing this.

So I have the heater cranked in the office and some tea with ginger. Let's do this.

Your office is downstairs from your bedroom. How was the commute, Nancy?

I'm doing as little as possible this Thursday, but I'll get this done for you.

Boo hoo. So you got to sleep in instead of going to the gym.

Because it's playoff time and no games matter more than these, let's get down to business.

Making it sound like sitting in a chair, wiggling your fingers and saying things about football that will be at least 50% wrong will be hard.

Congratulations on Making the Playoffs

...or at least caring enough about the consolation rounds to keep working. The Creepers are, for the second year in a row, 100% in the post-season. Maybe I'm figuring this game out. Certainly a lot of luck to it, but sticking to some fundamental rules is important.

I'll spend more time on the fundamentals after the season is over, plus look into what we can learn from this season. Until then, let's keep one fundamental in mind: don't overthink it. Continue to use trusted rankings and don't get cute. Keep doing the things that got you here and don't try to outsmart yourself.

Some Quarterback News

Two major quarterback shakeups we need to take note of:

-Cam Newton hurt his back in a car crash and is out for the week, at least. Derek Anderson gets the start. It's a shame. Just after the Panthers finally woke up against the Saints, Newton's out.

So what does this mean to us? Well, what do you do if you're a backup quarterback thrust into the starting job? Run the ball and throw it to your biggest targets. That means play Jonathan Stewart if you have no better options and stick with Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen.

I expect the Panthers' defense to play some inspired ball against Tampa Bay. You may have better choices, but don't be afraid to keep picking on a 2-11 team. Of course, if you wanted to pick on a backup QB, using the Buccaneers' D wouldn't be the worst choice ever. Good luck.

And Cam owners need a new quarterback. I'd suggest Eli Manning against Washington or Joe Flacco against Jacksonville. Oh, and Johnny Manziel gets his first start against Cincinnati. What a handy transition...

-Manziel didn't earn the job, but he's got it. I doubt he's got the stuff to make a great quarterback in this league, but we're talking about this week in fantasy football. He will probably run for one and throw for one, making him a respectable play if he doesn't turn the ball over too often. He's playing at home, so he'll be supported and won't have to deal with heckling. And he has big-play upside.

This makes Isaiah Crowell a good play. The Browns will run to support Manziel. Crowell has separated from Terrance West as the lead back.

Josh Gordon is still too dangerous not to play. He could win the game for you if he gets on track. Plus last year he showed he just doesn't care who throws him the ball.

I'm rolling the dice on Jordan Cameron. (Or is it Cameron Jordan?) At the end of the year, I'll study the tight end situation this season. It's been nuts for me and probably everyone else. I said in July that tight ends are the new kickers. Then ESPN's Christopher Harris said it last week. Maybe I'm onto something. Or on something.

Back to Cameron. I was looking at Jordan Reed, Dwayne Allen and Jared Cook, not liking any of it. The first and third guy have questionable QBs. The second is coming off injury and has to compete with Coby Fleener. Looking at ESPN's ranks, those guys are back-to-back-to-back. So I'm going with a guy who was a star last year and has the best chance to be Manziel's snuggly blankie.

Please Enjoy your Buzz-Saw, Creepers

Fortunately I was already locked into a playoff spot in Andy's league when I got smoked 162-107 by the #1 team in the league. My reward? The same team in round one, highlighted by Luck, Murray, Bell and Lynch. I'm predicted to lose 132-107 this week. Come save me, Russell Wilson.

RW will have a huge game at home against the 49ers. Momentum is on their side and San Francisco is collapsing. While we're flashing back on things I wrote for RantSports, I told you they were a mess in June. Don't worry. We'll go into things I predicted that were dead wrong soon enough, Percy.

Defenses I Like

After a career of picking on the Raiders, I just decided I like Baltimore versus Jacksonville more than I like Kansas City versus Oakland. There's some fight in that team and after last week's win over San Francisco, I'd rather not mess with them this week.

Don't get me wrong. Take KC if you must, but given the choice, I'm going Ravens. I also like either end of the Arizona/St. Louis game or the Cleveland/Cincinnati game. Both will be black-and-blue divisional battles with scores in the teens. As previously stated, I like Carolina too.

Time to wrap myself in blankets and watch the Cat in the Hat near, but not too near, my kids. I'll try not to sneeze on them.

Poor guy. Do you want your dollie and your bah-bah, too?

Good luck and happy creepings.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Bird Fight

More old women and men came to the rec room at the home for the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles game. Even an old man brought snacks. Ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Old women do food well. They don't have anyone to cook for. The rec room snack table was full of hot baked biscuits, sliced cheeses, salads and Christmas candies.

The old women's decorating committee outdid themselves with this year's rec room holiday display. They wrapped everything hanging on the wall: pictures, corkboard and calendars with Christmas gift wrap and bows. Someone did take down the Hawks' schedule and tape it to the TV before it got hidden. Greenery, colored ornaments, lights, more bows and toys were placed all around the room... everywhere.

The old women as a group had a good feeling about the Eagles game. They read how tough Eagles coach Chip Kelly was. They immediately compared him to their surfer boy Pete Carroll. Some comments made about Kelly weren't nice: too out of shape and grumpy. Old women don't have to be nice.

The one old women know-it-all went on and on about the Seahawks hawk really being an Augur Vulture from Africa and is never around water. This brought cries to sit down and shut up. The old women did not need a lesson in ornithology.

The Eagles were another team with a young fill-in QB. Mark Sanchez got good points for being really handsome. Coach Carroll and Sanchez were part of the USC '09 team that got beat by Coach Kelly at Oregon State.

When the opposing team gets the first TD, the old women quiet down. With so many in the room, there were at least 10 conversations going on at the same time. Shushing each other is done loudly and not too politely. Old women don't have to be polite.

It soon became apparent that their boys were completely in charge of this game. Russell Wilson was in top form throwing for 263 yards and running for 48 while Sanchez gained 96 and 7. One old women noted that their boys seemed to hang on to the ball most of the game. Someone said later that the Hawks were in control of the football over 40 minutes.

The old women's heroes were all in top form. Marshawn, Russell, Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner and most fun was watching Richard Sherman point at and tease the fans and the players. Old women love that attitude. They said he was lucky he didn't get a penalty call for taunting.

The old women grudgingly said that the refs for this game in Philly were at least not just on the Hawks. "Fair" is not a word that comes up much regarding refs as old women believe their boys get picked on with penalty calls more than the opposing teams. The call to repeat a play because the ref wasn't "in place" just baffles the old women. Who tells the refs where they are supposed to be? Seemed to be the funniest question.

For those old women who know, sportscasters said the whole week that the Eagles fast no huddle offense would be a problem for the Hawks. One old woman said they obviously did not experience Kam or Bobby or KJ Wright or Michael Bennett heading in their face. The "Legion of Boom" took no prisoners this game. For the old women it is an attitude thing. They like that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Creeper Report: Fantasy Football Week 14

Here it is. The final regular season week for most fantasy football leagues. I hope it finds you well.

The Creepers are doing just fine. Somewhere in the rush of turkey prep, extra holiday work and writing about the best psychology colleges in the Southwest, I forgot to mention in last week's report that the Creepers and I went 4-0.

So I'll do it again. Because we did it again. Back-to-back undefeated weeks in crunch time feels good. Thanks CJ Anderson, Connor Barth, Rashad Jennings, Mark Ingram and Antonio Brown.

We're not fully dipped in gold yet. Nate's league has a six team, three week playoff format in which I've landed a bye. That's pretty golden. I'm in first place and clinched in Bethanie's league. Also shiny and yellowish.

Still fighting in my Euro league. The Euro is free but I have a $20 bet with Gabe of U MAD BRO? over who would finish with the most points. I came screaming from behind this week and closed the gap by almost 40 points to a mere 4.08. I told him we'd be creepin'. Also, if I can win or not let 4th place gain 17 points on me, I'm in the post-season. I do badly want to defend my title from last year, in which I started 2-6 then went undefeated for the rest of the year.

That leaves Andy's league, where if I don't beat the #1 team in the league and Patrick wins I will be out of the playoffs by a skinny half game, thanks to a tie I suffered. That's the highest paying league I'm in and the one I've played the longest, so it's time for me to win it.

Evaluating my Trade

I can say that the only trade I make this year has paid off so far. At the deadline, I sent my Alshon Jeffrey and Denard Robinson away from Antonio Brown. The trade did not process until the end of Week 11, so Alshon's 135 and 1 counted for me.

Antonio was on a bye the next week, yet I still clinched a playoff spot that week. Last week Denard only totaled 54 yards, so despite Alshon's 2 scored, the pair only scored about a point more than Antonio. Meanwhile, I played LeSean and Joique at RB for about 20 each. Chris Ivory at flex slightly outperformed Denard.

So I like the move. My trade partner made the playoffs with the fourth seed, so this was mutually beneficial. If we both make the championship game, the trade will get its final test.

Who Will and Who Won't

Who is going to repeat a big performance from last week? Who won't? Who's worth picking up and starting?

Ryan Fitzpatrick - Will not throw for 6 scores but is facing Jacksonville. Eli threw for 247 before fumbling the game away. Fitz has DeAndre Hopkins on fire and a healthy Arian Foster. I hope you have a steadier choice at QB this deep in the year, but if not go for Patrick Fitzryan.

Colt McCoy - Won't put up 392 again, even though that was mostly in garbage time. The Rams pass rush is back and they'll treat the Pigskins like they did the Raiders. I think DeSean Jackson disappears in this one.

Tre Mason - Will run wild against Washington. I think Shaun Hill and St. Louis get a lead after causing some turnovers and will run to the finish. I only wish I'd been patient enough to keep him on my bench.

Rashad Jennings - Won't repeat his 91 yard, 2 score performance against Tennessee if his ankle doesn't shape up. But Andre Williams will. The Titans have the worst run defense in the league. Reports I've seen say the ankle won't keep him out, but keep an eye on it late in the week. (Wish I had a better won't, but most of the double-digit scorers last week look pretty good still.)

Eddie Royal - Will catch several with a good chance hosting the Patriots. The Chargers are in the playoff hunt and will go down scrapping. Bill Belichick will likely try to eliminate Malcom Floyd or Antonio Gates, making Royal a good choice if you're reaching at WR.

Donte Moncrief - Won't score on two long bombs again. He only saw 4 targets last week. Don't rely on this sort of streaky production. I'd rather have a guy who caught numerous short ones, like Royal or Harry Douglass.

Jordan Reed - Will catch a bunch of passes from Colt McCoy. What's the easiest way to escape a pass rush? Dump it to the big guy.

Heath Miller - Won't catch 8 passes against Cincinnati. This is going to be an AFC North winter dog fight with a low score and lots of Le'Veon Bell.

St. Louis - Will put pressure on McCoy and cause mistakes. I wouldn't doubt a special teams touchdown against the accursed Pigskins. This ain't their decade.

Jacksonville - Won't be recover two fumbles for touchdowns, so don't even think about taking my most picked-on team and turning them into a streaming defense.

I Could Write Forever, but No One Wants Me To

Good luck and happy creepings.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Colin Kaepernot

Contributed by Kathe Frahm.

Old women aren't always sad. Sometimes they put their aches and worries behind them and just have fun. A Thanksgiving smearing of the San Francisco 49ers by the Seattle Seahawks fit the bill for a happy start to the holidays at the home.

At the start of the game, only two old women were in the rec room. They really had no place to go. Later, more and more old women and some old men came in when they got back from their friends and families. One old woman hoped she wouldn't fall asleep after all she ate. Falling asleep was not an option for this much awaited game.

The only NFL quarterback that the old women hate more than Peyton Manning is Colin Kaepernick. With a few exceptions, no NFL player is as good as they think they are. Kaepernick would just like to be that good. He has had falling stats for many games in a row. One of the broadcasters mentioned that he heard 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh tell his QB to shoot up the middle and stay away from the Seahawks' Richard Sherman. Some teams will do anything to keep from throwing in Richard's direction. An old woman saying Kaepernick must have missed the memo brought gales of laughter from the others.

Nothing can get the rec room crowd more worked up than a Hawk interception or a recovered fumble. They were not disappointed. Having favorites Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor to muscle the defense made a difference in the team's attitude. The old women said their boys got the bad boy attitude back that carried them to the Super Bowl.

One old woman, a former old-time Raiders fan, worked to explain penalties.

The Raiders are always among the most penalty-prone teams and never back away from a good fight. She said if your boys are going to be aggressive, they have to play hard and worry about penalties after they are called. The object is to make 15 penalties and only get called on 13. Coach Pete Carroll says the Hawks get more than their fair share. He spends a good part of the game running up and down the sidelines yelling at the refs. The old women love to see him get up in a ref's' face defending his players. Of course it was mentioned that he is so much more handsome when he is screaming mad.

There were many standouts in this 49er game. The old women knew the stakes were high. Russell Wilson proved again that the 49ers defense couldn't take their eyes off him for a minute. Richard's interceptions, Turbin's TD and Marshawn Lynch's running brought out the screaming the rec room fans were famous for. Steve Hauschka made kicking field goals look easy.

Some of the old women hoped their boys would beat the 49ers by many points. But 19 to 3 was enough.

Even if some of the old women had no one to see or no place to go on this holiday, their boys gave them a certain amount of joy. They have to take it where they find it.