Friday, June 24, 2022


 Dobbs finally arrived:

“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito for the majority. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

He was joined in the majority opinion by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. Justice Roberts filed a separate opinion concurring with the majority.

“With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent,” wrote Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan in a joint dissent.

The issue of abortion will now be returned to the individual states to regulate as each sees fit. Dark blue states are expected to impose the most radical pro-abortion policies while dark red states may ban all abortion. Many states may choose to allow abortion only under certain circumstances.

A few thoughts:

  • I am Catholic. We walk by faith and reason. Both faith and reason point to why Catholics have always opposed abortion. In that sense, today is a great day.
  • Now the battle really begins, and I do not mean the inevitable attacks and violence that will unfold over the coming days. The real battle is to win hearts and minds where possible. As long as Roe existed, all potential discussions about the morality and efficacy of abortion laws were always more theoretical than real, because 7 dudes said so. Now, for good and bad, the people and their elected representatives get to decide the matter.
  • The Court's decision is, at bottom, an admission of humility. Roe was always an exercise in raw judicial power, as Byron White said in his dissent nearly 50 years ago. And as is often the case, the best use of power is sometimes to refrain from wielding such power.
  • Between this decision and the court's earlier decision this week in the Bruen case, the court has at least started a necessary process of returning to first principles. And if the Court were to continue this process, I'd certainly like them to look at earlier abusive rulings. I'd start with Wickard v. Filburn.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Benster and D Pick Your Games----It's The Super Bowl Edition

 Fun fact, I think that the Super Bowl pregame show has already started. There is way too much of the pregame show. At least have the last hour be just focused on football. 

Especially since there's at least one 15-minute segment dedicated to Stan Kroenke's beauty tips.

Pretty Vacant

Old dude, that's just not right.

Ugly is as ugly does, grasshopper.

What do you expect from the guy who puts the arse in Arsenal? Anyway, it's the first time I can recall a Super Bowl in which the two teams playing both lost to the Packers in the regular season.

That's interesting, but is it relevant?

It's irritating. And it is what it is. Green Bay has nobody to blame but ourselves for this. 

I hope they're not blaming us!

You know what I mean. Anyway, I am feeling the HYYYYYYYYYPPPEEEE! and it is time to watch me work.

Los Angeles Rams (-4) vs. Cincinnati Bengals The Rams getting here isn't a big surprise, and they get to have a sort of Hollywood ending if they win, and maybe could win the heart of LA in the same way that the Fakers and Dodgers have. The Bengals on the other hand are a huge surprise. Honestly, it's been the most impressive playoff run since the 2008 Cardinals when you consider that the Bengals were the underdogs in all of their playoff games. I don't want to hear about the Chiefs and Titans choking, the Bengals won those games on their own merits. I don't hate either of these teams, and at least Tom Brady isn't in this game for once. What I think the key is going to be is how the Bengals respond to the crowd noise. Now, I know what you are thinking. You might be saying to yourself that the Rams get outnumbered by the visiting fans a lot. Yes, but this isn't going to be a normal NFL crowd in LA. There are going to be a lot of the corporate types who are just there for the swag, instead of the real fans who actually contribute to the atmosphere. The Bengals are used to playing in front of a more hardcore crowd in these playoffs. Someone is going to end a title drought, and that's at least something positive. Bungals No More 28, Rams 21. 

I would like the Bengals to win, if only to remind people of this guy, an important figure in Bengals and NFL history:

You get both sides of the argument in this video that the NFL apparently won't let us post, but I saw Ken Anderson play and he was one of the best quarterbacks of his era. He should be there. As for tomorrow, it's possible that Joe Burrow is the best quarterback the Bengals have had since Ken Anderson, although Boomer Esiason and Carson Palmer were no slouches, either. The Bengals are built to win and should have a puncher's chance to do it, but I think, overall, the Rams are a better team. And I see Aaron Donald making a huge play late to win the game for the Rams. Rams 34, Bengals 29.

Thanks so much for reading this year, and for all the comments I got. Even those that called me out. Enjoy your football this weekend. Ben out.

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Video Dilettante, or something less than a Bicentennial Minute

 It's an experiment. And we need to do more than just turn this feature into a tout sheet for the Benster. So here goes. About 1 minute, completely off the cuff, and with only a modicum of stammering:

Friday, January 28, 2022

Benster and D Pick Your Games----We Need To Talk About Saturday Edition

 No, I'm not salty at all about what happened on Saturday. Yes, I'm still here. 

You posed for this, right?

Vintage. That was what you used back in the 1890s, right?

As far as you know.

I will have some words about the Packers, but I have an axe that is being sharpened. I hate to do it, but honesty is the best policy in this case. 

Honesty is tough sometimes. But there's little need for diplomacy at this point. The season is over for the Packers and it wasn't good. So what else?

I am feeling the HYYYPPPEEEEEEEE!, and it is time to watch me work. 

Cincinnati Bungles (+7.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs Needless to say, the Bengals have been the story of the year in the NFL. Zac Taylor took a lot of heat for his performance; it looked like the Bengals might have made a horrible decision to hire him. But it turns out that Joe Burrow can breathe new life into teams named after Tigers in the NFL level as well. Obviously, the Chiefs are probably the favorites now for the Super Bowl, and Arrowhead is rapidly turning into the proving ground for the AFC that Foxboro was for so many years. As much as the Chiefs winning wouldn't be too bad, a Bengals victory would be a real feel good story. I mean, if the Bearcats could get into the playoff, why can't the Bengals reach the Super Bowl? Bengals 28, Chiefs 14.

Why indeed. Cincinnati has been playing very well in the second half of the season and this could be a tremendously entertaining game, as the Chiefs are sporadic in their defensive efforts. The Bengals aren't quite as dynamic as Buffalo, but I see a high-scoring affair coming at Arrowhead. Chiefs 38, Bengals 33.

San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams I'll be fair to the Niners. Even though the Packers had their chances to win, the Niners did enough to win. Soon, this will feel like the 2007 NFC title game. The Niners have gotten this far, and will have to go through a tough opponent to get to the Super Bowl. The biggest challenge that the Niners have is that they will have to beat a good team for the third time in a season. The Rams survived an epic collapse, and major kudos for knocking out Tom Brady and avoiding another Super Bowl where he graces us with his presence. Matthew Stafford is trying to write a Hollywood ending for the Rams, in what might be the most important game the Rams have played in Los Angeles. If the Rams win, then they could make LA take notice of them in a similar way to the Dodgers and the Fakers. I like the Rams in this one, as you wonder how many bullets the Niners used up in JerryWorld and in Lambeau. Rams 45, Niners 18.

For what it's worth, the Niners kinda own the Rams. They've won, what, six in a row? That seventh one will be tough to get, though. I am not convinced that Matthew Stafford is going to do what is needed to win, but he may not have to. Another home game in the Super Bowl, I think. Rams 27, 49ers 24.

And now, it's time for a Very Special Comment. First things first, the Packers defense is excused from what is to follow. They did more than what could have been expected of them, and set the Packers up for success with multiple clutch stops. Only giving up 6 points in situations that they could control is great. But enough nice words, it's time to level some critiques. I take no pleasure in doing this, but I wouldn't be a real fan of this team since 2002 if I wasn't critical. And this is in no particular order. 

Special teams was a complete failure, and Maurice Drayton needs to be fired or leave of his own accord yesterday. Two blocked kicks were inexcusable, and how can you just let guys come up the middle on both of them? Once, I understand. But twice? And on the blocked punt, why didn't anyone cover up the punt? It was too easy for the Niners! All year long, special teams was an issue, but no matter the makeup of the unit it seemed to struggle. The front office needs to go find a great special teams coach, and give said coach all the resources he needs to succeed. 

Aaron, what was that? You played probably the worst game of your career in a game that mattered. Maybe if you stopped spending time with your buddies Pat McAfee and Joe Rogan, you could have played better. If Davante was covered, throw it to someone else. You asked the front office for Randall Cobb, and Cobb was there and healthy. Allen Lazard was on the field. You had options. If you were patient and took what the defense presented you instead of going for the downs, then you would have won. You have been a big distraction all year. I want you back, but you need to learn some humility. I defended you offline, but this is how you repay me? 

Matt LaFleur may be a great coach, but this was ultimately a game that got away from him. This is the first time under his tenure that he was horribly outcoached and failed to provide leadership. After the blocked punt, he should have gathered the team and made it clear that the Packers were still in the game. He also should have told Aaron to not try and win the game by himself, and to be patient. I don't want LaFleur to be fired by any means, and he is probably going to win Coach of the Year. But what he needs to do is to be a leader and proactive. So many times when things go bad, this team goes into the tank. He needed to make adjustments, and get the ball out of Aaron's hands. Hell, he should have gone for it a couple times in the second half. If the special teams is trash, minimize their time on the field! Crap like that is why I got Rocco Baldelli vibes. For those that aren't into baseball, Rocco is the manager of my beloved Minnesota Twins. Rocco seemingly is slow to adjust over the course of the game and not get the bullpen up when a pitcher is struggling. LaFleur needs to learn from this game, or the fanbase will want him gone in a few years. 

You wanna know the worst thing? We might be going into the wilderness again. I wouldn't be surprised if Gutey blows this thing up. All of the past decade has been a waste of talent, just like the Saints and Steelers. We should have made at least two Super Bowls, and won at least one of them. Then, at the very least the pain would have been worth it. I'm not abandoning the team or my fandom. At least the Packers care about winning and have given me fun memories in the playoffs. We will be back if this is indeed the end, and new success will be had. Unlike the Twins, but that's another blog post for another day. 

Enjoy your football this weekend. Ben out. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Benster and D Pick Your Games------Packers Are Healthier Edition

We were on assignment last week, so that explains why there were no picks last week. 

Well, I was in St. Louis and apparently there's no football there.

It is arguably the best weekend of football all year. The two best teams in the NFL come out to defend their home fields. 

I am assuming one of them is about 240 miles to the east?

You need to ask? I am feeling the HYYYYYYYYPPPEEEEEE! and it is time to watch me work.

Cincinnati Bungles (+3.5) vs. Tennessee Titans What a world we live in where the Bengals actually won a playoff game. Fun fact, this is the first time that the Reds or Bengals advanced in a postseason since the Reds won in the 1995 NLDS. The Titans are coming off their bye, and they will end up getting Derrick Henry back for the playoffs. As much as what the Bengals are doing is very impressive, it's hard to look past the Titans. If Henry can shake off the rust, then the Titans should win in a comfortable manner. Titans 38, Bengals 24.

I think the Titans can be had, but they are an exceptionally tough-minded team. They seem to win the games they are supposed to win. This is one of them. Joe Burrow wounds them but does not kill them. Titans 31, Bengals 26.

San Francisco 49ers (+5.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers This is a rematch of the Packers beating the Niners in the Bay Area during Week 3 thanks to Mason Crosby kicking a game winning field goal. The Niners have gotten better since their swoon in November, as they have discovered a winning formula in using Deebo Samuel and getting back to the physicality that led them to a Super Bowl berth two years ago. The Packers have had the bye work to their advantage as a lot of the injuries have healed, meaning that even without MVS being available, this is the healthiest this team has been in months. Even better, the weather forecast is going to be cold, which won't be much fun for Jimmy G and his injured shoulder. I think the two keys are going to be how the Packers contain Deebo Samuel, and how the Packers respond to a Trey Lance package that is similar to what the Niners threw at them in Week 3. I also want to thank the Niners for allowing America to laugh at the Cowboys melting down and causing the bandwagon Cowboys fans to jump off the bandwagon faster than those same fans did with the Golden State Warriors. This won't be easy, but the Packers should win a fairly tight game. Packers 27, Niners 17.

Does this game make me nervous? Sure, but I don't think the 49ers offensive line is nearly as dominant as it was in 2019. Meanwhile, the Packers are substantially stronger than they were in 2019. It's worth remembering that the Packers have won their last two matchups with this opponent and have been able to move the ball effectively. The 49ers will try to play bully ball, but it's not going to be that easy. I think the Packers score early and often and withstand the inevitable comeback. Packers 33, 49ers 24.

Los Angeles Rams (+3) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers This is a rematch of a game played earlier in the year in which the Rams comfortably beat the Bucs in LA. In an interest of full disclosure, I didn't watch the Bucs beat the Eagles due to being on assignment, but it looks like I didn't miss much. The Rams had a comfortable win over a Cardinals team that is clearly all sizzle and no steak. Kliff Kingsbury is that guy at your workplace that you wonder what does he actually do to warrant all the praise he gets from the bosses. The Rams can match up well against the Bucs. Look, as much as I think that the Bucs will win, I would love to see Tom Brady not get back to the Super Bowl. And no, it's not because of a certain playoff game last year. Rams 21, Bucs 20.

Tampa Tom is lacking a few weapons this time around. They don't have their pounding running back (Leonard Fournette) and their possession weapon (Chris Godwin). If Jalen Ramsey can handle Mike Evans, the Rams can win this game. While picking Matt Stafford over Tom Brady doesn't seem advisable, I believe the Rams will pull this off. Rams 28, Bucs 24.

Buffalo Bills (+1.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs This is a rematch of last year's AFC title game, in which the Chiefs beat the Bills handily. But the Bills are a better team than they were last year. They took the Patriots to the woodshed last week, and it was more impressive than the Chiefs beating a Steelers team that snookered a playoff spot away from more deserving teams. Even the most delusional of the Yinzers would agree. While it is true that Patrick Mahomes has looked better in recent weeks, the Chiefs have gotten away with some narrow escapes at Arrowhead in the past few postseason games in Kansas City. That changes this weekend. Nobody Circles The Wagons Like The Buffalo Bills 42, It's The Rodgers Rate, Not the Patrick Price 0.

Uh, no. This should be a great game, but there's no way the Buffalo defense shuts out Patrick Mahomes in his building. Up and down the field, all day long. Last team with the ball likely wins. Chiefs 41, Bills 37.

Enjoy your football this week. Ben out.  

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Benster and D Pick Your Games----Zimmer's Last Ride? Edition

Old dude, it's quite possible that the Mike Zimmer era could be ending against the Bears at US Bank Stadium on Sunday. But I thought that the Vikings were going to win last week? Even the KFAN approved Vikings hosts like Meatsauce, PA, and Bumper to Bumper told me so. 

What did that damned Benster write about me this week?

Now you're just trolling, Benster. But that's okay. Trolling is fun. And yeah, Zim appears to be dead coach walking now.

You love to see it. You also loved to see the Packers clinch home field a week early. 

It does make things more comfortable. But that's a double-edged sword. The last time the Packers came in feeling fat and sassy, the Saints handed them their asses.

True. But know this much -- I am feeling the HYYYYYYYYYYYPPPEEE! and am ready to talk about some games. It is time to watch me work. 

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (+5.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings Remember when Bears fans claimed that the NFC North was run by the Bears? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace should stick in their jobs. I've said it before, they have done a great job running the Bears. As for the Vikings, I'll be talking more about Kirk later, but testing positive wasn't Kirk's fault. All credit to the Vikings fans for being just has hard on Kirk as they were on Aaron earlier in the year. I wouldn't be surprised if both teams go in different directions on Black Monday, but who would be the right people to lead a rebuild? This game is going to be a bit odd. Nobody has anything to play for, and I think it might be slightly more open than most people think. Vikings 26, Bears 23.

It puzzles me a bit, but the Bears seem to be playing better the last few weeks. Maybe the team wants to save Nagy. I agree -- I'm all for it. The Bears haven't had a real GM since Jim Finks and we won't belabor the quarterback jokes. As for the Purple, last week's performance was, well, pathetic. I can't prove the team quit on Zim, but it sure seemed that way. I should pick the Vikings here, but it feels like the Bears are more motivated. Therefore, Bears 24, Vikings 20.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-3.5) vs. Detroit LOLions Meanwhile, the Packers have nothing to play for. It might have been a strange journey, but the Packers have the top seed clinched, and have the luxury of choosing to be careful. I personally would have sat Aaron to give him another week of rest for the toe, but that would have insulted Hub Arkush. When Mike Florio calls you out for hating on Aaron, that is something. I was also glad to see that some of the injuries are starting to heal, and that the Packers have fresh legs. This game has worried me for about a month. On an intellectual level, I see that the LOLions are terrible. But they have clearly fought hard for their coach, and played a lot of teams tough. In Week 2, they gave the Packers a lot of problems in the first half at Lambeau. I think the Packers will win, but it won't be easy, especially when the regulars get their bye week started. Packers 31, LOLions 17.

If you had told me at the beginning of the year that the Lions would look like the second most stable franchise in the division by the end of the year, I wouldn't have believed you. But here we are. The Lions are set up well for success for the first time in, well, 65 years. Extra draft picks and some nice pieces in place; if they don't blow it completely, the Lions could rule the division in a few years. But then again, they are the Lions. Packers 28, Lions 24.

Georgia Bulldogs (-2.5) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide, in Indy Oh great, another SEC vs. SEC title game that nobody asked for. The only redeeming factor to this Big Ten loyalist is that this game will be in Big Ten country, which is something that I have been advocating for years. If college football is to grow and prosper, it's time that the Big Ten get the chance to play games in locations favorable to us and our fans, who have been good soldiers in traveling to SEC, ACC, Big XII, and Pac 12 country for bowl games for years. Georgia laid an egg in Atlanta a month ago, and I'm sure that Kirby Smart has been very clear about reminding the Bulldog players of  that fact. It is hard to beat a good team twice in one season in college football. As much as I want both teams to lose, that isn't possible. If Georgia wins, then at least someone new wins, which could be healthy. If Georgia loses, then at least Bulldogs fans can console themselves with the Braves? Hate Feeds the Dawg 35, Can't Nick Saban Retire Already 34.

I agree -- it's not good for the college game if the SEC keeps dominating, but it's up to the other schools to get better. Georgia looked like a complete juggernaut against Michigan, but they have a mental block where the Tide is concerned. Can they break through? I'd like it, but. . . . Alabama 38, Georgia 29.

It's time for A Very Special Comment, and it's not another rant about why the SEC is evil or why they will rue the day they invited the Longhorns into the league. The Vikings are at a crossroads, and it's clear that Kirk Cousins is at the center of it. Now, I'm not a Vikings fan, and I have no emotional attachment to Kirk. That being said, Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman haven't done a great job in giving Kirk the best chance to win. Zimmer clearly has struggled to keep offensive coordinators, even allowing for losing two to head coaching jobs. John DeFilippo wasn't the right fit, but he was hired in part to improve the offense, and they showed promise. He was right to hand the keys of the offense to Kirk, and to attempt to build an offense around what Kirk does best. Zimmer just wants to run the ball, and as we saw at Lambeau when that fails he is screwed. Also, how come Kirk doesn't have full control of the two minute drill? If Kirk is at the level of an Aaron, Brady, and Mahomes, then he should get more trust in him. Klint Kubiak is a nepotism hire, and the offense is a pale imitation of his dad's. Justin Jefferson might force his way out, as he seems frustrated with the offense at times. 

Rick Spielman has been around since the Triangle of Authority days. While it is true that Spielman has drafted plenty of great players, he hasn't done a good job in getting Kirk the help he needs. Spielman can't draft offensive linemen, and seems to draft a ton of defensive backs in recent years. That is despite defense not being the problem for the Vikings. He also should have told Zimmer in no uncertain terms that Kirk was brought here to get the Vikings over the hump because he thought that Case Keenum couldn't. As much as Vikings fans hate to admit it, the Packers show what can happen when you build around a quarterback when you want to get over the hump. They hired an offensive coach to work with Aaron, got him more weapons on offense, and have improved their relationship with the quarterback since the summer. Why can't the Vikes do the same?

I don't usually say much about your Very Special Comments, but in the case I'd simply observe that Spielman has picked a bajillion defensive backs because that's what his head coach wanted. And I would also add the Packers have spent more draft capital on defensive backs than any other position in recent years, mostly in vain. Having a great quarterback cures many ills and the Packers have had consecutive Hall of Famers. Having grown up with David Whitehurst and the petrified remains of John Hadl, I remain eternally grateful for the efforts of ol' number 4 and Mr. Rodgers.

Enjoy your football this weekend. Ben out. 

Friday, December 31, 2021

Benster and D Pick Your Games----Badgers Got It Done Edition

 That was a pretty solid win for the Badgers earlier this morning. Thanks for scheduling a game at 9:30 at night local time, ESPN. 

What happens in Vegas should be broadcast very late at night, if at all. But a W is a W.

Oh well, at least it was only one game. The Packers game also got more interesting in the process of writing this post. 

It did, now didn't it? You can't spell COVID without Cousins, apparently.

I am feeling the HYYYYYYYYYYPPEEEE, and it is time to watch me work.

Cincinnati Bearcats (+13.5) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide, in JerryWorld The committee did the proper thing and gave the Bearcats a well-earned slot in the playoff. I personally think they should be ranked as the top seed, as they have been the only team in FBS to not slip up in a game. When I saw them against Notre Dame and in the AAC title game against Houston, they really impressed me. Desmond Ridder is a really good quarterback, and they are well-coached. But they are getting no love from the folks in the desert. We all know how good Alabama is, and Nick Saban won't be overlooking Cincy. No matter what happens, this Cincinnati team has changed the narratives in college football surrounding underdogs in a way that no team since Urban Liar's 2004 Utah team with Alex Smith did. Bearcats 35, Tide 34.

I would love to see Cincinnati pull this off, but I don't think they will. Alabama really should join the NFL and be done with it. Tide 42, Bearcats 24.

Georgia Bulldogs (-7.5) vs. Michigan Wolverines, in Miami Oddly, Georgia and Michigan have only met twice. You'd think that they would have played in a bowl game or something, but they haven't crossed paths that much. Georgia is coming off a bad performance in the SEC title game. Now, I don't think Georgia belongs in the playoff. Quite simply, if you aren't the best team in your conference, then you can't be the best team in the country. Nothing against Georgia, but I have to be consistent. Michigan is a team that is peaking at the right time, as their two best performances have been against Iowa and A School In Columbus in their last two games. And don't forget that Georgia does have a tendency to choke in big games, which is damning for Kirby Smart. Michigan 50, Georgia 10.

This game should be quite interesting, actually. Michigan has really surprised me this year; there was no indication coming into this season that they could get so much better. It's worth remembering where the Wolverines were last season:

That 2020 Michigan team was, well, inept. This year, things changed completely. It's been an amazing transformation. Can they beat Georgia? Yes. Will they? Georgia 28, Michigan 23.

Minnesota Vikings (+7) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers I am pretty sure that this line will change, because Kirk did test positive for the virus this morning. This is bad news for the Vikings, as that means that the Packers are going to probably put a bunch of guys in the box to slow down Dalvin. It wasn't a pretty game on Christmas for the Pack, but a win is always appreciated. Unlike the last meeting, this time the Packers will be a lot more healthy. While I do think the Vikings will keep it close as they are fighting for their collective lives, the Packers should pull away late. Packers 31, Vikings 14.

Dalvin is going to see 8 in the box for sure. All day long. Sean Mannion is not going to beat the Packers on a historically cold day in Lambeau. Packers 24, Vikings 10.

Arizona Cardinals (+6) vs. Dallas How Bout Them Cowboahs? Because the Cowboys are the main competition for the Packers in the race for the 1 seed in the NFC, it makes sense to pick this game. Now, I am a huge Cowboys hater. I really dislike Jerry Jones, hate the media cheerleaders like Skip Bayless who always overhype the Cowboys every single year, and find that the Cowboys fanbase has a lot in common with the Lakers fanbase in terms of the number of bandwagon jumpers. At least the Cowboys don't have Lebron, so they don't get the Lebron bandwagon fans. That being said, the Cowboys looked really good against the Gridlocks last week. Arizona is a team that is just tough to figure. They look great for a bit, and then they look just horrible the next week. Maybe call it an overreaction on my part, but after the Packers beat them in Arizona against all odds, how are the Cardinals real contenders? But they have a chance to redeem themselves. Please shut Skip up for a week. That's all I ask. Cardinals 21, The Accident Waiting To Happen 0.

It appears the Cowboys are on the upswing and the Cardinals are collapsing. But the NFL is all about odd narratives, so. . . Cardinals 24, Cowboys 21.

Enjoy the New Year this weekend, and enjoy your football. Ben out. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Benster and D Pick Your Games----Packers 1 Seed Edition?

 Old dude, last week went very well for the Packers. Not only did they become Kings of the North for the 3rd straight year, but the Cardinals and Bucs lost. If they can win their next three in a row, then the road to LA on the NFC side runs through Lambeau. 

It does. Merry Christmas, by the way, to our adoring public!

Indeed. Now, back to the games. Nothing is for certain, as the NFL has been as wide open as I have seen in my two plus decades of watching the league. 

We are close to the NFL's dream of having 20 teams with 7-7 records.

That's about right. I am feeling the HYYYYYPPPEEEEE!, and it is time to watch me work.

Guaranteed Rate Bowl: West Virginia Moutaineers (+4.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat, in Phoenix West Virginia is a team that to be honest, I haven't seen a whole lot this year. After getting off to a slow start, they rallied with a good finish to the season to secure a bowl spot. The Gophers got rewarded for winning the Axe by being put in a worse bowl than the Badgers. The Gophers should win this game, as I don't think West Virginia is as good as they have been in years past. But for the record, I think West Virginia is going to be competitive in the Big XII once the Red River schools leave. Remember, West Virginia had a lot of success in the Big East after the ACC poached Miami, Virginia Tech, and BC from the Big East. Row Row Row Your Boat Elitely 35, Country Roads Take Me Home 24.

Haven't seen West Virginia, either. If the Vegas guys think the Gophers are 4.5 better, they probably are. And maybe a little more. Gophers 31, Mountaineers 20.

Las Vegas Bowl: Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-6.5) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils, in Las Vegas Look, we all know that the Axe game was a complete disaster for the Badgers. It's clear that this Badgers team was overrated in the preseason, as much as it pains me to say it. But thankfully, I do think that the Badgers are going to be motivated. Braelon Allen should be healthier, and I feel like Graham Mertz has a point to prove. Arizona State kinda underperformed a bit, as some people thought they could win the Pac 12 South. But Herm Edwards has an important message for the doubters. 

It's obligatory, but it needs to be repeated. Should be a fun night in Las Vegas, and hopefully the Badgers stay away from the Strip. Badgers 28, Firm For Herm 10.

Do you remember this?

I guarantee you the Badgers do. Woe betide the Sun Devils. Badgers 34, Sun Devils 13.

Los Angeles Rams (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings The Rams have quietly begun to sneak back into the race for the 1 seed, as they are tied with the Cardinals in the NFC West and only a game behind the Packers. The Vikings have looked a little loose in the turns since they led the Steelers by a score of 29-0, but they got the win in both of their games, and the Vikings defense deserves some credit for how they defended Justin Fields. If the Vikings lose, then a lot of questions are going reappear regarding jobs amongst the coaching staff and executive ranks. Especially because next week the Vikings have to come to Lambeau, where things are looking better now then they did after the first meeting. Rams 42, Vikings 35.

Dalvin Cook is in the protocol. No Dalvin? No chance. Rams 31, Vikings 20.

Cleveland Brownies (+7) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers The Packers survived a spirited Baltimore comeback, and thankfully Kenny Clark will be back. The Browns are a bit disorganized. They lost a tough one to the Raiders, while they also lost two days of prep due to their outbreak. While getting a lot of their weapons back is going to help the Browns, it's going to be interesting to see how they play. If you remember, Aaron was rusty against the Seachickens, and I expect Baker Mayfield might be a little off as well on Saturday. Everything is in front of the Packers, and I think they will have a nice win, even if it won't be smooth sailing. Packers 28, Browns 17.

Baker Mayfield is a little off even on his best days. I expect the Browns to attempt to ground and pound the Packers. Kenny Clark will put a stop to that. And then the floodgates open. Packers 35, Browns 20.

Enjoy your Christmas weekend. Ben out. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Benster and D Pick Your Games---NFL Is a Dumpster Fire Edition

 Old dude, just when you thought games weren't going to get moved, it turns out that games had to get moved. 

COVID is the gift that keeps on giving.

Meanwhile, the Packers are trying to keep their grip on the top seed in the NFC, and clinch the North. 

How do you keep your grip?

Grab, grab, grab!

Not sure how you keep your grip these days, old dude? Maybe it's Poli-dent? But enough of that. I am feeling the HYYYYYYYYPPPEEEEE! and it is time to watch me work.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-6.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens This analysis is going to make the assumption that Lamar isn't going to be able to play because of the ankle sprain he suffered last week against the Browns, and even if he does will be in some discomfort. The Packers are going to need to play a lot better to win, as this is probably the toughest game they have left this year. The special teams need to be better, as it's become clear that Maurice Drayton hasn't matched up to the stellar jobs that Nathanael Hackett and Joe Berry have done with their respective units. I also think the slow start can't be repeated, as the Ravens are more than just Lamar. This isn't going to be an easy game, but I think the Packers can get it done and move on to the next goal. Packers 31, Ravens 20.

The Ravens will be a tough out, but they are decimated defensively, especially in the secondary. I think Davante Adams has a big, big day. Packers 35, Ravens 22.

Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) vs. Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck You remember when Bears fans had hope earlier in the year? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Despite emptying their entire bag of tricks in the first half, they lost again to the Packers. You really hate to see it. The Vikings rode their luck at the end of the game against the Steelers, and although they deserved to win based on the first half, they can't afford to ride their luck like that too many more times. We all know that the Vikings have struggled at Soldier Field over the years, and get ready for the Monday Night Football announcers to mention Kirk Cousins having only 1 victory on Monday Night Football. This is going to be a close game, but I think the Vikings are going to win. Even though I think I speak for most Packers fans in hoping they both find a way to lose. Vikings 21, Da Bearz Still Suck 9.

I was thinking about picking da Bearz, but they have so many COVID cases that they may need to bring in some reinforcements from Fenwick High School. The Vikings stay in the hunt. Vikings 24, da Bearz 13.

And now, it's time for a Very Special Comment. I've always found Urban Meyer to be a coach that leaves toxic messes around when he leaves a team since he left Utah in 2004. Meyer's Gator squads were loaded with talent, but had a lot of players with character issues. Notably, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon James, Cam Newton, Riley Cooper, Janoris Jenkins, Carlos Dunlap, and Chris Rainey all were arrested at various points. By the way, those players were also major contributors to the 2008 Florida team. Ohio State hired Meyer, and he left a huge mess for Ryan Day to clean up in terms of the Zach Smith incident. I wasn't surprised to see him flame out with the Jaguars and leave another trail of destruction. Meyer makes Bobby Petrino look like a great NFL coach. Bobby Petrino quit on the Falcons and couldn't tell them like a man he was leaving to take the Arkansas job. I will always respect Meyer for what he did with the 2004 Utah team, as that was an unthinkable accomplishment at the start of the BCS era. But since then, the trail of destruction Meyer has left should make any team think twice about hiring him. Shad Khan didn't do his due diligence, which is insane to think about for a hire that is this public. Urban Meyer might win at the college level, but he changed since he left Utah, and since the 2004 season has had 3 teams have to deal with turmoil, horrible scandals, and a toxic mess left as Meyer gets out of town and on to the next team dumb enough to hire him. If the Badgers or Packers hire this guy to coach them, then I'll be upset. I'd rather have P..J. Fleck coach the Badgers or Packers, and that's not something I say lightly. 

Enjoy your football this weekend. Ben out.