Monday, November 3, 2014


Happy Stroessner Day! Today marks the birthday of ex-Paraguayan president Alfredo Stroessner, who "served" the country from 1954 to 1981 following his successful military coup. Wikipedia sums it up succinctly:

"His 35-year-long rule, marked by an uninterrupted period of repression in his country, was the longest unbroken rule by one individual in the history of South America."

He was a real crap-sandwich for Paraguay...but he was a staunch anti-communist and so was backed by the good ol' U.S. of A. during his rule, while turning the country into "a sanctuary for smugglers in arms, drugs, and everyday goods like whiskey and car parts."

[and let me tell you, if you are a successful businessman or politician in Paraguay, you drink an awful lot of whiskey]

So, of course, it is yet another holiday in Asuncion, and my child was awakened early this morning by another round of fireworks celebrating this "national treasure." Because they love-love-love their fireworks here. Oh, yeah...and this morning the city of Asuncion is without water today due to a broken pipe. Hey, remember that time that your capital city of half a million (with an additional Monday workforce of two-four times that) had no running water?

Yeah, that's been my morning.

And yet, the Seahawks were able to handle the Goblin Raiders yesterday and are still in the hunt for the division lead, so I can't feel too bad. Always nice to get a win against Oakland (old AFC West rivalries die hard, ya' know?). And so I thought I'd revisit my earlier pre-regular season "reflections" now that all the teams have had a chance to play through at least half their schedule.

Something fun while I wait for the city to get the water back on.

AFC EAST Standings
New England Patriots (7-2)
Buffalo Bills (5-3)
Miami Dolphins (5-3)
NY Jets (1-8)

The guy at ESPN who thought that Geno Smith was going to win nine games this year? He's an idiot. I've been giving my buddy, Steve shit for two years now about being high on Smith ("high" being the operative word); the only question is will Ryan survive the year. He's not a bad coach, but he's had inferior talent at the QB position for too many years (and you'd think that's a GM's drafting responsibility). As predicted by most (including myself), it looks like this is New England's year (again). However, kudos to both the Bills and Dolphins for making their seasons relevant and fighting for a play-off berth. The Dolphins shellacking of the Chargers yesterday was a beautiful thing.

AFC NORTH Standings
Cincinnati Bengals (5-2-1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
Cleveland Browns (5-3)
Baltimore Ravens (5-4)

We're all allowed to get one wrong, and yes, I was wrong about the Steelers being mediocre this year.  However, before you Pittsburgh fans start jumping up-and-down and yelling "I told you so" (like I do with Steve-O), allow me to point out their wins have been at home against Cleveland (barely), against a weak-sauce Carolina, crap-sandwich Jacksonville, last year's bottom Houston (at home), a Charlie Whitehurst led Tennessee, and (at home) against the struggling Ravens. I did not reckon with how weak their schedule was this year (next up: the NY Jets!)...still, the second half of their schedule is a little tougher (getting to play the Saints at home is a lucky break), and while a team that drops a game to Tampa Bay is probably not going to get to the predicted 10 wins, they might still get nine. Nice to see Cleveland stuck with Hoyer, by the way (and has been rewarded for it). The Bengals are looking more and more like a paper tiger.

AFC SOUTH Standings
Indianapolis Colts (5-3)
Houston Texans (4-5)
Tennessee Titans (2-6)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8)

My prediction of a good year for the Titans was conditional to Jake Locker staying healthy. Charlie Whitehurst may be the worst quarterback in the NFL (after Geno Smith). I know this because I watched him for a season at Seattle in one of current regimes weirdest missteps. The Titans' season is over. I see that even I was too optimistic when I said five wins for the Jags this year; I was trying to be kind to Gus Bradley who has one hell of a nightmare on his hands. What do people in Jacksonville do during football season? Watch the SEC, I guess. I was wrong about both the Colts and the Texans, by the way...unless Foster's injury causes Houston to tank in the second half of their season.

AFC WEST Standings
Denver Broncos (6-2)
Kansas City (5-3)
San Diego Chargers (5-4)
Oakland Raiders (0-8)

When do we move the mantle of "Ageless One" from Jerry Rice to Peyton Manning? Next year? Maybe. But my prediction was Denver failing to make it back to the Super Bowl, not failing to make the play-offs. Nice to see I was right about KC not folding like a cheap shirt (even their blogger was predicting an 8-8 season...the "anti-homer"). Still think the Chargers can make the play-offs as a Wild Card. Still think Oakland is...well, when you look up "crap sandwich" in the dictionary, it should probably have a picture of the Raiders.

NFC EAST Standings
Philadelphia Eagles (6-2)
Dallas Cowboys (6-3)
NY Giants (3-4)*
Washington Redskins (3-6)

*Yes, the Giants could still get to halfway mark of their season at .500 with a win tonight, but come you really think that's going to happen? Really?

Did I say the Cowboys and Romo would get one more shot at the playoffs this year? And that mediocre coach Jason Garrett would get a contract extension? Yes I did, and I'm thinking that prediction is still looking good. The Eagles are still leading the division thanks to several close wins; we'll see how Nick Foles's broken collarbone (and Mark Sanchez's return to the captain's seat!) affects the second half of their season. Wasn't Mark Sanchez sidelined for Geno Smith? As for the other two teams: crap sandwich times two.

NFC NORTH Standings
Detroit Lions (6-2)
Green Bay Packers (5-3)
Minnesota Vikings (4-5)
Chicago Bears (3-5)

What a difference an additional wide receiver from a championship team makes, huh, Matthew Stafford? Ex-Seahawk Golden Tate is the 4th best receiver in the NFL this year, on pace for a 1600 yard season. It's enough to wish we'd kept him instead of Percy Harvin...but that's just me. The Packers are still in it (as predicted),, who was it that said the Bears "aren't going to sniff the playoffs" this year? Who said that? Yeah, me. The homer at ESPN who said Chicago would win ten? Sniffing glue. Boy, I'm kind of feisty today. Wonder when that water's going to get turned on.

NFC SOUTH Standings
New Orleans Saints (4-4)
Carolina Panthers (3-5-1)
Atlanta Falcons (2-6)
Tampa Bay Bucs (1-7)

Welp, I was right in everything I said here, but I missed the mark on how truly awful the division is this year. The AFC South has nothing on their NFC counterpart's claim to worst division in the NFL. There's only one word to describe it: crap sandwich. Well, I guess that's really two words.

NFC WEST Standings
Arizona Cardinals (7-1)
Seattle Seahawks (5-3)
San Francisco 49ers (4-4)
St. Louis Rams (3-5)

Ahh, here we go. Let's see: Arizona did leapfrog San Francisco (as I figured they would), but they've leapfrogged Seattle, too, to become the team with the best record in the NFL. And this despite having to play several games with backup QBs. This is what happens when a well-coached team (10-6 last year) gets to play a 3rd place schedule. Fortunately, Seattle still has two games to play against the Cards, so their placement at the top of the division ain't yet secure.

O my poor Seahawks! The one thing I hadn't predicted was how damn injured we'd be this year. Playing with a 4th string center last night? Missing all but two of last year's starters on the O-Line (including our Pro Bowl tight end that we use almost exclusively as a blocker)? Watching Dashawn Shead (who??), a 3rd or 4th string corner getting beat for a TD pass from Raiders rookie Derek Carr? Our offense in week nine is in week two of "life after Percy Harvin" trying to rebuild and redefine itself after spending all of preseason building around a troublesome (and/or troubled) player. They still have time to turn it around (if the season ended today, the 'Hawks would be in as the #2 Wild Card based on their tie-breaker over the Packers). But they really have to handle their business in the coming weeks (five division opponents to end the season!). Hopefully, some of our (what is it now? nine?) injured starters will be back on the field to finish out the year and make a strong push. But I have a feeling we're going to see more "ork-ugly" games as we head down the stretch.

Why couldn't they have put Peyton Manning on the cover of Madden this year? Wasn't he the MVP or something?

All right, all right. Enough of this. We'll see how the whole thing ends up over the next eight weeks. Now let's get back to some gaming posts, huh?

[still no water]

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