Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year

Taking my cue from Buster Keaton:

Buster Keaton
I should probably write something down
We will try to have more content in 2020. I hear a few things might be happening. Fortunately, Benster has the sports beat covered.

One thing -- it's time for a new Dead Pool. Details coming in the next few days.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games---Bowl Game Extravaganza Edition

Old dude, the Badgers have returned to Pasadena and the Gophers are elitely rowing their boat in Tampa on New Year's Day. It's been a good year for the two college football teams we focus on the most around here.

Tidings of comfort and joy from the Benster? How about that!

It's also been a good year for the Packers and the Vikings. We know both are in the playoffs, but we don't know who they are going to be playing.

We know who they won't be playing, though:

Image result for smokin jay cutler
Light up!

C'mon, old dude! Let's try to have a positive attitude! I'm feeling the HYYYYYYYYPPPEE!, and it's time to watch me work.

Chokelahoma Sooners (+12.5) vs. LSU Bayou Bengals, in Atlanta This game is the more interesting of the semifinals because the two quarterbacks are both transfers. Jalen Hurts is consistently good in big games, going back to when he was at the helm for Nick Saban at Alabama. I get that Joe Burrow is the Heisman winner, but quite honestly this is the biggest game he has started, and he's due for a bad one. It's important to remember that LSU is going to have a virtual home game in Atlanta, and should they win a virtual home game in NOLA. I think that Oklahoma can actually win this game because the Sooners have the more decorated senior class, and in big games you look at the seniors first. Sooners 45, Bayou Bengals 21.

You're making Ed Orgeron sad, you know:

Related image
What he said
Hurts is a big-game quarterback -- I agree wholeheartedly. That said, LSU is a superior team this year. This one will be wildly entertaining. But I'm going with Coach O. LSU 45, Oklahoma 38.

Clemson Tigers (NL) vs. A School in Columbus This game has no line mainly because we are not sure about Justin Fields and how well he is going to play with the knee brace. It sucks that I have to mention it, but it is going to be a factor. Chase Young should not even be playing in this game, but the good news for Buckeyes fans is that I don't run the NCAA. Clemson feels disrespected because they are sneaking under the radar as defending national champions, which honestly feels strange even saying. If I were Dabo Swinney, I would have been talking to Paul Chryst all week leading up to the game, because the Badgers were the only school to play the Buckeyes tough all year. I really don't like A School in Columbus, but I'm sick and tired of Clemson being in the title game. I hate to say it, but I would much prefer the Buckeyes to win. I'm going to root for them, but do so in a hazmat suit with a strong need to take a shower after the game. Buckeyes 21, Tigers 0.

Urban Meyer sends his regards:

Image result for urban meyer smug
Benster said something nice about us!
This game may not be as entertaining as LSU/Oklahoma, but it's going to be a war. Clemson is good. The Buckeyes are loaded; we've seen that. I think they beat Clemson, but it's gonna be difficult to say the least. Ohio State 31, Clemson 28.

Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat (+7) vs. Auburn Tigers, in Tampa Bay The Gophers rightfully are in a very good bowl game, and P.J. Fleck deserves a lot of credit for the job he and the players did this year. Auburn is an interesting opponent, and a difficult team to read. They have two good wins this year, beating Oregon and (obviously) beating Alabama. The Tigers deserve the thanks of the wider college football world for keeping Alabama out of the playoff. Gus Malzhan is a coach who runs a speed based attack with a lot of gadget plays, and Bo Nix is a really fun quarterback to watch. I think the key to the game for the Gophers is how they respond to Auburn going off script. Fleck and his staff have done a great job all year, but the one black mark is that they struggled when Iowa and Wisconsin went off script in their two rivalry game losses. I think the Gophers can win, but Auburn should not be underestimated. Row Row Row Your Boat Elitely 31, Tigers 10.

This is a bad matchup for the Gophers, unfortunately. Auburn is a lot like Iowa and Wisconsin, except faster. The key will be getting the Gopher receivers going. If they can score, they will have a chance. Otherwise. . . Auburn 31, Minnesota 24.

Oregon Ducks (+3) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers, in Pasadena It may have been a strange journey, but the Badgers earned a trip to the Rose Bowl. Let me be clear as a lifelong Wisconsin fan. The Rose Bowl is never a consolation bowl, and earning a trip there means that the season has been very successful. I also want to thank the committee for not punishing the Badgers for earning a berth in the Big Ten title game and playing A School in Columbus a second time. Oregon looked mighty impressive in their league title game against Utah, and I think Justin Herbert is a sneaky good pro prospect. In fact, I consider him someone that the Packers should look at as the successor to Aaron. The Badgers will be motivated in this bowl game, and I would love for JT and a decorated senior class to go out on a high note for winning multiple bowl games, and multiple big bowl games. I also really enjoyed my interactions with Oregon fans at the Rose Bowl I attended in 2015. They were so nice and were gracious in answering my questions about the Ducks football program. Badgers 31, Ducks 24.

This is a different Oregon team than what we used to see. They still have the garish uniforms, but they are less speed based and more of a slug it out type of team. That's a good way to win, but very few teams can outslug the Badgers. I think the key is the offensive line for the Badgers. They have been good but not great this season. They need to be great to win. I think they will be equal to the challenge. Badgers 28, Ducks 24.

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings. I have some words for the Minnesota Vikings, but first of all this line is a joke. I guess they are assuming that the Vikings are sitting starters, but no way are the Bears favorites on the road. Time for a Very Special Comment.

The main talk around here has been throwing Kirk Cousins under the bus once again for allegedly not showing up on Monday. I get that you can call him out because of his $84 million contract, and that he is a polarizing figure among the Vikings fanbase. What I don't get is that he's being criticized for things are not his fault. It's not Kirk's fault that the Packers had a masterful defensive game. It's not Kirk's fault that the Vikings defense got gashed by Aaron Jones. It's not Kirk's fault that Dalvin Cook was injured and the Packers could focus on shutting Cousins down. It's like he can't win regardless of what he does. My word, he got you guys into the playoffs. Enough with the Kirk blaming, especially with the kneejerk KFAN callers. It must drive Vikings approved KFAN hosts like Meatsauce and PA mad to deal with the Kirk hate all the time. Kirk could win 4 straight Super Bowls and set every QB record with the Vikings, and people would still blame him for everything. What does he have to do to please people?

Uh, win?

Well, yeah. The Vikings are going to be careful with their starters this game, and we shall see when and where they will be going next weekend. And who knows, maybe the kneejerk fans can actually blame someone else besides Kirk for once. Vikings 35, Da Bearz Still Suck 10.

Not sure how to read this one, frankly. The Bears may phone this in, but I kinda doubt that is going to happen. Vikings definitely need to rest Cook and maybe Thielen, who was on a milk carton last week. I suspect the Vikings will win, but it's going to be a dull game. Vikings 17, Bears 14.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-12.5) vs. Detroit LOLions The Packers need to win to make sure that they can get the bye to rest up, and let some other teams play next weekend. This should be a nice win, but honestly the LOLions almost beat us at Lambeau in October. I know that Matthew Stafford is injured, but Detroit could be playing for jobs, as Matt Patricia could be fired on Black Monday. I think the Packers can win, but it's going to be more tough than people are saying. Packers 17, LOLions 0.

I would worry about this, but you can hear the buses idling in the Ford Field parking lot. The Lions are a hot mess right now and while it appears they aren't going to fire Patricia, it could be ugly. Packers gotta have this one and they'll get it. Packers 31, Lions 16.

Enjoy your weekend watching football. Ben out.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
Upon those who lived in a land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing;
They rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest,
as they exult when dividing the spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
the rod of their taskmaster,
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
will be burned as fuel for fire.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast
and forever peaceful,
upon David’s throne, and over his kingdom,
which he confirms and sustains
by judgment and justice,
both now and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- No Respect for the Pack Edition

Old dude, I'm sensing a lack of triumphalism from the Vikings approved commentators on KFAN. You'd think that they would not be worried about the latest Vikings victory.

KFAN offers this commentary on your slanders:

That ain't Meatsauce
Would you stop running that picture? Of course, KFAN isn't the only Vikings trolls who are triggered. Oh, that's right. Packers have not been winning pretty lately, or so say all the Vikings trolls on Pro Football Talk.

Image result for mike florio vikings
Paul Allen, Mike Florio, and Steely Dan

They're everywhere, Grasshopper. Don't worry about it.

I'm not worried, because I'm too busy feeling the HYYYYYYPPPPEEE!, and it is time to watch me work.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (+3.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings Well, this game is a rematch of the narrow escape the Packers had at Lambeau in September. That was the game in which Kirk Cousins got a lot of hate, and now he gets a rematch on Monday Night Football. Get ready for endless repetitions of the fact that the Packers have never won at US Bank Stadium and that Kirk Cousins has never won on Monday Night Football. In all seriousness, it looks like both Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison are both doubtful to play for the Vikings. The Packers have not looked great in recent weeks, but I honestly feel like they are in line for putting all the blocks together. This will be very difficult for the Packers, but they can do this. Packers 24, Vikings 21.

I'd like to pick the Packers. I would. But I'm not going to. The Vikings do have more overall talent. The one advantage the Packers have -- they are a careful team and do not beat themselves, which means the Vikings won't be getting gifts of the sort they received last week. If Dan Bailey isn't kicking too many field goals, the Vikings will prevail. Vikings 23, Packers 20.

Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) vs. Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck So it turns out that Da Bearz are bad when they don't have a Charmin Ultrasoft schedule and the NFC North actually has competence. It's shocking when all the Bears fans were saying that Aaron Rodgers was past his prime, and that Mitch Trubisky was going to be the best quarterback in the NFC North. It turns out that you can't blame Cody Parkey for everything, and that kick may have broken Matt Nagy. It wasn't Nagy's fault that his shiny offense with all the bells and whistles didn't work, and that Cody Parkey scored 9 of the 15 points in the Double Doink game. It also is not Nagy's fault that he blew a 20 point lead to the Packers that might have cost the Bears a first round bye last year. The worst part about this for Bears fans is that even if Nagy gets canned, the McCaskeys will still make terrible hires. It's honestly a real shame that the Chicago Bears have not won a Super Bowl in decades, and that Jay Cutler actually won a playoff game for the team, and Bears fans ran him out of town. The Chiefs should win this one to continue on their quest for a first round bye. By the Way, What's Wrong With The Chiefs 100, Da Bearz Still Suck 2.

Image result for matt nagy play sheet
Benster? I won't be you.
Getting all existential up in here! The Bears aren't that far away, but they seem to be lacking something. Can't put my finger on it, and perhaps that's just as well. Should be unseasonably warm in Chicago on Sunday, so the Chiefs may get a good track. Speed kills. Chiefs 31, Bears 24.

I think I'm banned from Halas Hall now. Ben out.

Wapo gets one right

Rare true statement in the Washington Post:

Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends
Any response, Angie Craig?

Shut up, low readership blogger

Thursday, December 19, 2019


I started reading about efforts to impeach Donald Trump before he even took office. So it's hardly surprising that the Democrats did it. They could, so they did.

Is there any reason for it? Sure. They could, so they did.

There is no reason to pretend otherwise. All that matters at this point is winning and the Democrats assume they can't win in 2020 unless they cover Donald Trump with officially sanctioned stink. Perhaps this is the proper calculation.

Does precedent matter? Does anything matter? It doesn't appear so. This isn't Nancy Pelosi speaking, but it might as well be:

At this point, the Democrats start to lose control. Mitch McConnell has control now. He hasn't said exactly what he will do, but I'm guessing he'll find a way to make this effort as Pyrrhic a victory as it can be for the donks. And Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, and the rest of these clowns deserve it.

I hate all of you
The look of love/is in your eyes

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Bear Week Edition

Old Dude, we're reporting from an undisclosed location.

It's quite mysterious.

Almost as mysterious as that strange smell. Are you wearing Hai Karate again?

Why wouldn't I?

Already with the distractions. The Packers and the Vikings have work to do before they can worry about the showdown on Monday Night Football in the People's Stadium. In fact, the DFL politicians can enjoy the game from their luxury boxes.

I've seen them up there:

Image result for romans giving thumbs down
Ryan Winkler in the house!

Exactly! You're learning, old dog! I am already feeling the HYYYYYPPPPEEE!, and therefore you really need to watch me work.

Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers Before we begin talking about the game, I have to include the obvious video.

It will be yet another road game at home for the Chargers. who have zero fans in Los Angeles. Dean Spanos should have stayed in San Diego, but he was too dumb to do the obvious. The Vikings are in a fine position, and I think they have a good chance of winning this one. However, there is danger in a trip out to California. The Chargers are a better team than you think, and they beat the Packers soundly in their soccer stadium. The Vikings also could be looking ahead to next week, though Mike Zimmer will do a good job fighting that this week. Don't be surprised if this goes the other way. Vikings 31, Go Back to San Diego 17. 

Do you hear the alarms?

Zim hears it. Do the Vikings? Yeah, but. . . Chargers 21, Vikings 20.

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (+4.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers This game is the 200th edition of the best rivalry in sports, and one that the Packers will not be overlooking despite the temptation to. Da Bearz have looked better in recent weeks, and they always show up in games against the Packers. The Packers can clinch a playoff spot this week, but will want to win all three games to make sure that they get the bye in the first round. The key is going to be to stop Mack, and get more consistent offensive execution. I also think that the offense looks a lot better than it did Week 1 in Chicago. Packers 27, Da Bearz Still Suck 20.

So the Bears always show up?

Behold the danger of categorical statements. That was then, this is now, however. And this game does scare me. The Bears are capable of winning. They won't, but this will be a nail-biter. Packers 24, Bears 21.

The Bears still suck, and they always will. Ben out!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Another reminder

Writing for Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi tells his audience something they don't want to know:
Democrats are not going to want to hear this, since conventional wisdom says former House Intelligence chief Devin Nunes is a conspiratorial evildoer, but the Horowitz report ratifies the major claims of the infamous “Nunes memo.”

As noted, Horowitz establishes that the Steele report was crucial to the FISA process, even using the same language Nunes used (“essential”). He also confirms the Nunes assertion that the FBI double-dipped in citing both Steele and a September 23, 2016 Yahoo! news story using Steele as an unnamed source. Horowitz listed the idea that Steele did not directly provide information to the press as one of seven significant “inaccuracies or omissions” in the first FISA application.

Horowitz also verifies the claim that Steele was “closed for cause” for talking to the media, i.e. officially cut off as a confidential human source to the FBI. He shows that Steele continued to talk to Justice Official Bruce Ohr before and after Steele’s formal relationship with the FBI ended. His report confirms that the Steele information had not been corroborated when the FISA application was submitted, another key Nunes point.
So who was the evildoer? Back to Taibbi:
The Horowitz report says all of that caterwauling was off-base. It also undercuts many of the assertions made in a ballyhooed response letter by Nunes counterpart Adam Schiff, who described the FBI’s “reasonable basis” for deeming Steele credible. The report is especially hostile to Schiff’s claim that the FBI “provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting.”

In fact, far from confirming the Steele material, the FBI over time seems mainly to have uncovered more and more reasons to run screaming from Steele, to wit:

The “Steele dossier” was “Internet rumor,” and corroboration for the pee tape story was “zero.”

The Steele report reads like a pile of rumors surrounded by public information pulled off the Internet, and the Horowitz report does nothing to dispel this notion.
I know, it's hard to imagine how anything could further undercut Adam Schiff, who might be the most consistently dishonest politician in Washington, despite the fierce competition.

Hey, but Schiff is going to get his way and the Bad Orange Man is gonna get impeached, probably next week.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Place yer bets

Our news from yesterday:

  • The Dems are gonna impeach Trump, even though they don't really have a reason
  • The IG Report was, as anyone who is paying attention expected, a whitewash
  • AG Barr and Prosecutor Durham disagree with the IG
So, do you think anyone gets punished for anything? Or does the swamp keep burbling along?

Friday, December 06, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games----Don't Count Out Wisconsin Edition

I heard rumors that there was a boat crime at TCF Bank Stadium last weekend. A group of Badgers just sunk a boat carrying Gophers, and stole back an Axe. I also heard it was a performance that was #Elite. You really hate to see it.

Well, some people hated to see it. 

That performance was awesome. The odd thing is that the Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat won 10 games, but lost to Iowa and Wisconsin. That is a stinging feeling.

Well, yeah. No Axe, no Pig. P. J. wasn't too happy about it, but someone else was:

Image result for paul chryst
Got me an Axe back, Jack

And he does, Geritol Fan! Enough talk about the Gophers, it's time to feel the HYYYYYPPPEEE!, and watch me work.

A School In Columbus (-15.5) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers, in Indy The Badgers came through when it mattered last weekend, and get a second crack at A School in Columbus. But before we get there, it's time for another Very Special Comment.

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Very, very special

Ahem. Obviously our graphics department coughed up another hairball.

Could have been worse:

Image result for very special episode
Come on feel the Joey Lawrence
Would you stop that? Now, as I was saying, I wanted to say a lot of nice things about the Buckeyes, I really did.

I don't believe you.

No, old dude, I really did. Now go soak your dentures and let me continue. Yes, I wanted to say something nice about the Buckeyes. But, once again they find a way to get attention for all the wrong reasons. I don't blame Chase Young for taking money, because he's not the first player to ever take money when he's not supposed to. It sucks that he grew up poor, and I hope he lives a good life in the NFL with money he will have earned. On the other hand, where was the Ohio State compliance department and the coaching staff in avoiding this mess? I find it hard to believe that Ryan Day and Ohio State AD Gene Smith weren't on top of this. That mess impacts the program, and they know that the football team at Ohio State is the glamour program in the state of Ohio. Especially considering that Day is now the third straight head coach to be involved in a scandal, and that it's becoming a pattern that disturbs me. If I were the NCAA and/or the president of the university, I would have held Young out for the rest of the season, and Ryan Day would have been suspended the same length.  Ryan Day is the head coach, and it's his job to know what's going on with his team. This is the reason I hate Ohio State football right here. They keep getting involved in scandals, and the school and the Big Ten don't have the guts to clean up the mess.

Now that we got that out of the way, we can talk football. The Badgers are a better team then they were in the first meeting, and this time Ohio State won't get to play in front of a home crowd. We all know that the Buckeyes are very elite, even more elite than #Elite, and that the Badgers might get blown out. What history teaches us is that Wisconsin has won 2 Big Ten title games after losing the first time to their opponent. Upsets happen, and this will be the biggest upset since Kansas State beat Oklahoma in the 2003 Big XII title game. Badgers 31, Buckeyes 28.

Uh, no. The Badgers are an excellent college team. The Buckeyes are a malevolent force of nature. It won't be 59-0 ugly, or even 38-7 ugly, but it won't be pretty. Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 17.

Georgia Bulldogs (+7.5) vs. LSU Bayou Bengals, in Atlanta This game is a virtual quarterfinal for Georgia, and should be a fun game. One thing to remember is that the Georgia campus is very close to Atlanta, and the Bulldogs will be backed by a very partisan crowd. I'm not convinced that Joe Burrow is the Heisman favorite, and I would give it to the aforementioned Chase Young. LSU has looked very great on offense, and I love Coach O for keeping it real and changing the narrative around himself. I expect LSU to win a close game. Bayou Bengals 35, Hate Feeds the Dogs 30.

I want LSU to win for one reason only -- if they beat the Bulldogs, we won't have two SEC teams in the playoff. That needs to happen. And I think LSU is better anyway. LSU 31, UGA 27.

Detroit LOLions (+12.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings The Vikings no longer control their path to the NFC North after the Seahawks beat them. At least this time people can stop with the Kirk Cousins bashing. The bigger culprit is the Mike Zimmer defense, which has been a bit questionable at times. I honestly thing the one weakness that Zimmer has is that he created that defense, and he might not be willing to change it up. It's what ended up dooming Lovie Smith in Chicago. Smith helped invent the Tampa 2, and couldn't adapt to a changing league. Zimmer is still going to go down as a smart defensive mind and a respected Vikings head coach, but can he win a championship? It's a rhetorical question, not just an observation I made. The LOLions are beat up, and David Blough is just a backup. The Vikings should roll in this one. Vikings 42, LOLions 0.

I dunno about the shutout, but I agree the Vikings will win. Vikings 34, Lions 14.

Washington Gridlocks (+12.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers The Packers are back on track, and are in a great position. They have 3 easily winnable games left, and only need to win 3 of the next 4 games to get the NFC North title and a home playoff game. The defense looked great against the Giants, although I know that Daniel Jones is far from a finished project. Washington is a mess, and Dan Snyder makes James Dolan look like a competent owner. If you follow the Knicks, that is a strong statement. The worrying thing is that Adrian Peterson is still playing, and he runs over the Packers every single time. I think the Pack should be fine, and they can keep our eyes on the prize. Packers 31, Hail to the Deadskins 10.

The Redskins are playing better lately, but they aren't very good. And they won't have much fun in Lambeau, either. Should be an easy win for the Pack. Packers 38, Redskins 20.

If the Badgers win, you heard it here first. Ben out!

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Just so we're clear

I haven't written much about the Trump impeachment charade, because it is a charade, but we did learn something about the depravity of the Democrats yesterday -- while they noisily decry Trump for imagined abuses of power, they abuse the hell out their power:
The most stunning aspect of the report, to me anyway, was the inclusion of telephone records of House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, Nunes’ aide David Harvey, President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and investigative reporter John Solomon. Schiff refused to say how he was able to obtain these records.

The mainstream media is abuzz with stories about Nunes communication with “Rudy Giuliani during key aspects of his Ukraine pressure campaign.” Nunes was in touch with John Solomon around the times he published major articles. And on and on. The telephone records don’t include the actual conversations. They identify who was calling whom and how long they spoke.

Schiff has crossed the line of decency with this move. Once again, he has abused his power. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted that obtaining these records is a remarkable abuse of President Trump’s constitutional rights. I would argue that it’s an abuse of the constitutional rights of all of the above. These are KGB tactics.
The author of this piece, Elizabeth Vaughn, is probably understating the meaning of this. What we've learned is the Democrats will stop at nothing to wield power. Any notions of fairness or decency are gone. We are in "whatever means necessary" territory. Our friend Gino has been warning us about this mindset for years, based on his experiences with the California donks. It's not coincidental that two California donks, Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi, are at the helm.

Trump will survive the attempt, but that's not enough. The Democrats must be stopped. They should never, ever have any power again.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games----Row That Boat Axe Chili Hot Edition

Old dude, we're in Madison, but the game is in Minneapolis. What were you thinking about?

Huh? Can't hear you over the storm.

Well, you can't say no to the family, and Fleck would say that you row the boat through the snow. Of course, he has bigger things to worry about.

Yeah, I suppose he does.

The Gopher fans are feeling the HYYYYYYYYPPPEEE!, and it is time to watch me work.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-2.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat That line makes no sense to me, and I would have flipped it around. It turns out that P.J. Fleck can coach, and this is a massive game. This game is so important, that Fleck needs to outsource his pregame speech. Tim Brewster, is that chili hot?

 The winner gets to be a sacrificial lamb to A School in Columbus, but you still want to win. The storm will make things more difficult for the underrated Tanner Morgan as well as the underrated Jack Coan. I would not be surprised to see the Gophers win this game, but the thing is that in rivalry games, you look at the senior class. Wisconsin has the more accomplished senior class, winning 3 bowl games, including two straight New Years Six bowl games. Wisconsin also is a run heavy team, which the Gophers have struggled with at times. The Gophers may be an amazing story, but sometimes the bad guy gets to win. Badgers 24, Gophers 21.

Weather. Here's the early forecast for the game:

Or was it this?

Either way, Lee Corso is gonna hate it. If it's just sloppy, advantage Gophers. If it's worse, advantage Badgers. Gophers 17, Badgers 16.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-6.5) vs. New York Football Giants  Last week was a disaster for the Packers, but the good news is that the schedule gets easier for them for a few weeks. The Giants are a team that quite frankly doesn't look good. The worrying thing is that this is a long flight, and the Packers struggle with long flights. The Packers should be fine and cruise home to a comfortable win, and can put the pressure back on the Vikings to match. Packers 35, All Hail The New York Giants 17.

We ran the Madagascar clip before, so we'll dispense with that. Packers need this one. They'll get it. Packers 28, Giants 13.

Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) vs. Seattle Seachickens The Vikings on the other hand are facing a more difficult opponent and a stadium that they could not conquer last year. Vikings fans generally seem happy with Cousins, but this is the type of game that the narrative says he doesn't win. The narrative is that Cousins can't beat winning teams, can't win on the road, and can't win on national television. I think the narrative is unfair, but I didn't start it. Seattle needs this game because they are hot on the tails of the 49ers. In this game, I go with the desperate team at home theory, which usually makes sense. Seahawks 14, Vikings 8.

The Vikings might be better than the Packers overall, but winning in Seattle on a Monday night ain't happening. Seahawks 20, Vikings 17.

Be safe in the storm. Also, be on the lookout for an Axe in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Ben out,

Friday, November 22, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games----1990s Flashback Edition

Old dude, this might be the first time since the 1990s that the Packers and the 49ers will have a sustained rivalry. It's just better for the league to have both teams at their best.

The Rams and the Vikings might disagree.

Wait, does anyone care what they think?

There's at least one person in this house who cares.

Good point.

Sometimes I know a few things.

I'll let that pass. Speaking of the Vikings, they are on bye this week, so we might be running out of games for a while to discuss.

Can you make do with less?

Sure, but I maximize the HYYYYYYYPPPPEEE!, and it's time to watch me work.

Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers Of The Boat (-13.5) vs. Northwestern Wildcats One week after winning their most important victory in who knows how long, the Gophers lost a game in Iowa City that puts all of their goals in jeopardy. P.J. Fleck can spout all of his sayings out, but he certainly did not help his team. The penalty for running out onto the field to yell at the refs gave Iowa 15 extra yards, and was not #Elite. I also think he should have kicked the field goal instead of passing on that fateful down, as well as managing the clock better in the 4th quarter. This game against Northwestern is a trap game waiting to happen if the Gophers aren't careful. The Wildcats are always a tough out, but thankfully for P. J. they save all of their annoying tendencies for the Badgers. Even if Tanner Morgan can't go, the Gophers should survive and advance. Gophers 31, Wildcats 10.

Northwestern doesn't have a lot left this year. Injuries galore and they weren't deep to start with. Pat Fitzgerald will have them back in the hunt soon enough, but tomorrow they don't have much chance. Gophers 24, Wildcats 13.

Purdue Boilermakers (+24.5) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers Thanks to events in Iowa City mean that the Badgers now have their path in front of them. Last week was not a pretty win by any means, but you can't argue with the results. Purdue is a team that has been shredded by injuries all year, and are not likely to get much help back on offense. The Badgers need a good defensive game, because winning the Axe back will require near perfection. I expect to see a comfortable win by the Badgers to make sure that JT and the seniors get a better farewell than last year's group of seniors. Badgers 35, Boilermakers 14.

This could get ugly. Purdue is missing most of their best players. The Badgers are not. And the Badgers have better players anyway. Badgers 42, Boilermakers 10.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (+3.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers  The Packers got a great win before the bye week against Carolina, and are fully rested and ready to go to the Bay Area. The winner of this game should claim home field advantage, so a win will be critical. The Niners have looked loose in the turns the past couple of weeks, and don't seem to be that invincible anymore.If the Packers want to win, they have to tighten up on defense, and will need to play very well. I think we can do that, but this game won't be easy. Packers 27, Niners 23.

This one isn't complicated. Block the 49ers pass rushers and the Packers will win. If they don't, they lose. I think they get 'em blocked. Packers 20, 49ers 14.

New York Football Giants (+6.5) vs. Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck This game is going to be a dumpster fire. If you get stuck watching this game and you don't have a rooting interest or fantasy football interest, then I seriously suggest watching something else. Both teams are offensively challenged, and somewhere Wellington Mara and Papa Bear Halas are looking down in disgust. At least neither of these teams are bumbling for Joe Burrow or Tanking for Tua. Da Bearz Still Suck 7, Giants 4.


The Bears might like Tua, actually. He also might drop in the draft far enough to take him. Would they, though? Interesting question. As for this game, uh, let's just say this isn't 1985. But that's always true for the Bears. Bears 20, Giants 13.

Enjoy your football this weekend. Ben out.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Ambassador Sondland, he presumes

I haven't spent much time on the impeachment hearings because it's the same thing every day:

  1. Witness implicates Trump in something nefarious in opening statement
  2. Republicans ask questions that reveal nothing nefarious actually happened
  3. Newscasts show opening statement
  4. Lather, rinse, repeat
But for the record, Gordon Sondland, actually spoke to Trump, unlike most of the other witnesses who didn't actually witness anything. And if you read the headlines, you see he says there was the dreaded quid pro quo. But if you read further, you find out, well. . . .

"Is that your testimony today, Ambassador Sondland, that you have evidence that Donald Trump tied the investigations to the aid? Because I don't think you're saying that." Rep. [Mike] Turner asked.

"I said repeatedly [...] I was presuming," Sondland noted.

After some more grilling, Congressman Turner asked again, "Is it correct, nobody else on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying this aid to the investigations? Because if your answer is yes, then the chairman's wrong and the headline on CNN is wrong. No one this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations, yes or no?"

"Yes," Sondland replied.

"So, you've really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations?" Turner asked.

"Other than my own presumption," Sondland said. 
"Which is nothing," Turner responded.
Presumption. Hey, being presumptuous isn't a bad thing, so long as it's in the service of whatever agenda the odious Adam Schiff is currently pursuing. And yet we're likely to have Trump impeached over this crap show, unless the focus group data says otherwise. We can stipulate until the cows come home that Trump is someone many people find distasteful. But that doesn't mean he's done anything wrong.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Is he serious, though?

I read plenty of righties who are worried that Bill Barr is going to pull his punches when it's time to drop the IG report and unleash his prosecutor John Durham. Is Barr really a swamp creature?

A lot of swamp creatures certainly hope so. But if this observation from Barr has any meaning, the game will be changing soon:
In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion.  Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the state to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection.  Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end.  They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implications.  They never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides.
They never ask because the Left counts on the Right to go all Marquess of Queensbury on the deal. "We're better than that," like that. Well kids, we don't have that luxury. And I disagree that what is being sought here is a momentary advantage. They are playing for keeps. Adam Schiff may look like an unholy amalgam of Charlie Brown and Marty Feldman, but operationally he's a straight-up Lavrentiy Beria. Barr seems to understand what motivates the Schiffs of the world, but he'd better damn well start dealing with them in kind. The boot is inches over our throats.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games---Talk To Your Kids About An Undefeated Minnesota Edition

Old dude, the Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat made me eat more crow last weekend. This might be happening.

Bon appetit!

Have some!

The lime slices really add to the flavor, you know.

Thanks for the tip there, Galloping Gourmet! Gophers also got screwed over by the committee. That sound you heard earlier was me starting to grind my axe. I've got words for them, and I have to set the record straight.

Will I need a hazmat suit?

You always need a hazmat suit, old dude.

Hard to argue with you there, grasshopper.

They are feeling the HYYYYYYYYYPPPEE!, in Dinkytown, and it is time to watch me work.

Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat (+2.5) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes. Before I unleash, how in the world are the Gophers an underdog? That makes no sense. Last week, the Gophers had a successful plan in place, and looked very strong against a good Penn State squad. I thought Tanner Morgan in particular looked very impressive, and credit belongs to Row the Boat and his staff for focusing on football instead of selling oar branded merchandise at Goldy's Locker Room. Before I get to what I think about the game, it's time for a Very Special Comment.

I understand that the committee has a tough job in ranking teams, and it will always be an inexact science. The Gophers not being ahead of LSU, A School In Columbus, and Clemson is fair. Heck, if they were ranked 5th behind an undefeated Baylor it would at least make sense to me. In what sense can they honestly defend ranking them at 8? The Gophers haven't lost a game, whereas Utah, Oregon, Alabama, and Georgia all lost one game. What is really stupid is that Alabama and Georgia are ahead of the Gophers. The SEC fan dancers in the media always like to go on and on about how their league is so superior to other leagues. Well, the SEC plays 8 conference games and freely allows their schools to schedule cupcake games in November. The Big Ten has strongly limited FCS schedules, and mandates 9 conference games. Georgia lost to a bang average South Carolina team at HOME and they are somehow the 4th best team in the land? Seriously? Then there is the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama is a team that lost at HOME to LSU, and all week long I've heard Alabama and SEC sycophants like Paul Finebaum try and excuse the loss because of Tua being injured. I'm sorry, but that is a lazy excuse. Tua was clearly healthy enough to play, and if Alabama had won everyone would have praised Tua to no end as being cowboy tough while waxing poetic about how Nick Saban is a coaching god.

Let's get one thing straight, the SEC always gets the built in advantages of having to play almost all of their games in the South, and the Big Ten always has to play the biggest games of the year in the SEC turf. All of the major bowl games are in the South and West, and the Big Ten never gets thrown a bone. How come semifinal games are never played in Chicago, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Indy, Cleveland, Cincy, or Detroit? All of those cities have quality venues that would be great hosts. All those venues in the North have football fields that are regulation sized, and the NFL will play important playoff games in the North without batting an eye, and nobody complains about them awarding Super Bowls to locations in the North. If college football is such a national game, then why is the north shut out from hosting games that matter in the playoff? You bet your butt that the SEC would complain if it was the other way around. If anyone that I called out wants to debate me, or if ESPN wants to have me on as a guest, I'm ready to debate the issue anytime of the day. College football was thriving long before the SEC was relevant, and always will thrive regardless of how well the SEC is doing.

Boy, I needed to get that out of my system. This game is interesting for the Gophers, because Iowa played very tough in Camp Randall last week. The Hawkeyes have a reputation for pulling upsets against ranked teams at Kinnick. I think the Gophers can win, but this game could go the other way. Row Row Row Your Boat Elitely 24, Hawkeyes 21.

You had your Wheaties for that one, didn't ya? Righteous rage becomes you, Seabiscuit. I'm not so sure people really want to see college football playoff games in Green Bay, but one could certainly take place at the People's Stadium, or Ford Field, or Lucas Oil Stadium. The Fargodome may not get the nod, either, but there you go. As for the game. . . the Gophers are feeling more and more like the 1993 Badgers, the team that finally broke through. Iowa City is a tough place, especially at this time of year. But if the Gophers are going to have their year, it has to continue tomorrow. I think it will. Gophers 31, Iowa 21.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-14) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Badgers had a narrow escape last week, but still are the fox to the Gopher hound. Nebraska is a team that is a long way off from where it was hoped they be. I think Scott Frost is the right man for the job, because he will be given the time he needs, based on his background as a Nebraska legend and his national championship at UCF. This game won't be easy because Lincoln is a tough place to play, and Nebraska can play without worrying about the results in Iowa City. Badgers 31, Cornhuskers 21.

UCF national champions? You need an asterisk the size of Alpha Centauri for that one, young fella. Badgers still have goals this season and Nebraska is not currently built to slow those goals. I have more confidence in the Badgers than you do. Badgers 38, Nebraska 17.

Denver Broncos (+10.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings kept pace with the Packers last week with a very impressive performance in Jerry World. They can gain half a game in the division thanks to the Packers being on bye this week. Denver is a team that has talent, but quite frankly has not been a good outfit. The strange thing is that they are not that far away in the AFC West, and with some results could steal the division in the middle of the night. I expect the Vikings to have a routine win at home, and go into the bye week in a comfortable place. Vikings 28, Broncos 7.

John Elway was a great quarterback, but he's no good at picking quarterbacks. The Broncos have a strong defense, but I don't see them getting much done on Sunday, either. Bet the under. Vikings 20, Broncos 3.

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (+6.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams. Both of these teams have been humongous letdowns. Who would have thought that the Bears would take a step back after playing a Charmin UltraSoft schedule last year, and actually playing real teams this year? The Rams have been a joke, and are going to pay the piper for that awful Goff contract. Both these teams are wastes of talent, and at least this game won't be a horrible brawl like the last primetime game. When in doubt, go with the desperate team at home theory. Rams 50, Bears Blew a 20-0 Lead to the Packers 0.

Did you mean this bear?

Image result for snuggles the fabric softener bear
All's fair in cheap shots, I suppose. The Bears still need to figure out the quarterback situation. I'd suggest they don't talk to John Elway. Meanwhile, Rams are in deep kimchi as well, but they still have a chance. The hour grows short, however. Rams 24, Bears 16.

I can't wait to see what excuses that the committee will dream up with to screw over the Gophers next week, but the old dude and I are both certain Ruff Ruffman Paul Finebaum is on the case. Ben out.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Standard setting

Mike Quigley, a congressman from Illinois, said this:
"I think the American public needs to be reminded that countless people have been convicted on hearsay because the courts have routinely allowed and created needed exceptions to hearsay," Quigley, a Democrat from Illinois, said to close his questioning of Kent and Taylor. "Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct, as we have learned in painful instances and it's certainly valid in this instance."
I was told Mike Quigley enjoys sex with barnyard animals. It's hearsay, but do you have better evidence it's not true?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Won't be missed

Good news:
Dean Lotter, 49, is unconcerned with the approaching Minnesota winter. He’ll be gone by Thanksgiving.

The New Brighton city manager has accepted a job running Eureka, a coastal city of 27,000 in northern California.

This guy is one of the most sanctimonious weasels I've encountered in local politics. Although his position is supposed to be non-political, he is political to the core, to the detriment of the citizenry. I will get back to this topic later this week.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games---Row That Boat Edition

Old dude, the Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat claim that they are for real. Well, they will be tested against Penn State.

I know a boat you can get on.

Always with the show tunes with you, Geritol Fan! So distracting. Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Let's see if Gopher Nation is going to get over that Gameday didn't come here, and instead went to the Alabama-LSU "Game of the Century", which is not even the game of the year.

It's not difficult to understand why they went there:

Lee Corso wants to stay warm

That's cold, old dude.

Some day you'll understand.

I'm feeling the HYYYYYYYYPPPPEEE!, and it is time to watch me work.

Penn State Nittany Lions (-6.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat.  So, this is the biggest home game for the Gophers since 2003. If you remember, the Gophers blew a huge lead to Michigan back then, and they didn't ever recover under Glenn Mason. There is a lot of excitement around these parts, but this is the first real opponent that the Gophers have faced, and people forget that they narrowly escaped a loss 3 times outside of league play. Penn State has big game experience, and will not be overawed by the environment. The biggest advantage that Penn State has is that they will be in football mode strictly, whereas the Gophers have to listen to the local media hype them up as contenders. It's too early to think about the playoff or Pasadena, because the Gophers will get exposed badly. The Gophers have not won a big game in years, and until he proves me wrong, P.J. Fleck is still a snake oil salesman who only cares about himself and his brand. Penn State 35, Capsize Your Boat Elitely 10.

It's a nice brand, though. You may be right. I think it's close, because the Gophers have improved, but Penn State has seen this before. Penn State 28, Gophers 20.

Iowa Hawkeyes (+8.5) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers This game is going to be a lot closer than you may think. Iowa and Wisconsin have always played very close, and this game matters in the Big Ten West. It's not a guarantee that the Gophers are going to go to Indianapolis, despite Gopher homer and Gophers approved KFAN commentator Justin Gaard's protestations. The Badgers haven't been playing well lately, but they are historically a very good team in November when coming back in the division. Iowa will be a tough out, because history tells us that. Badgers 24, Iowa 17.

I actually listen to Barreiro's show when I'm driving home from work and, oddly enough, the Gophers have only been getting moderate levels of hype. And, not surprisingly, the Badgers and the Hawkeyes aren't a topic this week. Bucky and Iowa both have had a week to nurse their wounds. Game is in Camp Randall and that should be enough. Wisconsin 21, Iowa 10.

The 131st Bronze Turkey Bowl: Knox College Prairie Fire (NL) vs. Monmouth College Scots This is by far the most important rivalry game happening this weekend. My beloved Prairie Fire are venturing onto Monmouth's home turf, for the legendary Bronze Turkey Bowl game. Take it from me, a totally unbiased source. I am a proud Knox alum, and Monmouth College is our biggest rival. We might not be very good at sports, but we did host Abraham Lincoln once. I wrote this blog post, and Monmouth College gave me a degree in English with highest honors and named me valedictorian. Knox 49, Monmouth 0.

They are generous at Monmouth. But the nasty Scots also kick Knox's butt in football every year. And this year will be no exception. Monmouth 49, Knox 20.

Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) vs. Dallas How Bout Them Cowboahs? So the Vikings are heading into Jerry World to take on the Cowboys in a pretty good game. Adam Thielen is going to miss this game due to injury, which sucks for the Vikings. The biggest culprit in last week's loss for the Vikings was a bad shank of a punt, that made it easier for the Chiefs to walk off as winners. What the Vikings need to do is to jump on the Cowboys and force them to pass. It worked for the Packers last month, and that should be the recipe. If the Vikings lose this game, they would have to make up a likely 2 game deficit on the Packers, and would be looking at winning three road playoff games in the playoffs. Cowboys 31, Vikings 17.

I don't trust either of these teams. Kirk Cousins struggles in prime time, but this time the good Cousins shows up. Vikings 28, Cowboys 24.

Carolina Panthers (+4.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers The Packers had a terrible performance last week in California, but thankfully everyone else in the division lost. Carolina has improved under Kyle Allen, who honestly has some talent. I remember him being good as a Texas A&M Aggie and a Houston Cougar. The Packers are going to have to avoid looking ahead to two weeks down the line in the Bay Area. The Packers just need to play better and get back to what makes them good. Packers 35, Panthers 24.

Christian McCaffrey scares me. A lot. The Packers will have to outscore the Panthers. Fortunately, they will. Packers 41, Panthers 31.

Enjoy your football weekend, and be safe if you are going out hunting this weekend. Ben out.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Miller time

Marvin Miller didn't play baseball, but it would be difficult to think of anyone who was a more consequential figure in the baseball world in the last 50 years. Miller was the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966 through 1982, but his influence went well beyond his tenure. He was instrumental in bringing the end of the reserve clause and the start of free agency, and baseball salaries increased exponentially as a result of his leadership. He changed the game. And the powers that be hated him.

Image result for marvin miller
Marvin Miller

Miller is one of 10 candidates for the Hall of Fame that the Veterans Committee will consider next month, along with nine "Modern Era" players, including the following:

Dwight Evans
Steve Garvey
Tommy John
Don Mattingly
Thurman Munson
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Ted Simmons
Lou Whitaker

I saw all of these guys play; the only one I didn't see in person was Garvey, but he was one of the most prominent players of the era and he was on television all the time, especially during his time with the Dodgers. Do you think of any of these guys as worthy of the Hall?

At this point, all of them probably deserve a look, especially if Harold Baines is the standard. If I had a ballot and could pick four, I'd pick Miller and then Whitaker, Simmons, and Murphy. Munson was a fine player, but he was already in decline as a player when he died in a plane crash. Garvey was a good offensive player, but he was a poor defensive first baseman. Evans and Parker strike me as classic examples of very good players who didn't do enough to merit consideration. Mattingly was a great player but his career ended too soon because of injuries. I think John has a fairly strong case, but no stronger than Jim Kaat, who is also on the outside looking in.

There aren't a lot of second basemen in the Hall and Whitaker is probably the best one not there, although you could also make an argument for Bobby Grich. Whitaker's double play partner, Alan Trammell, is already in the Hall and deservedly so. Whitaker and Trammell might be the best overall double play combo of all time. Whitaker also had surprising power for a middle infielder, with 244 career homers. He also won three Gold Gloves. That's a Hall of Fame career.

Simmons got lost because he played his career in the shadow of Johnny Bench, but in his best seasons he was Bench's equal. A switch hitting catcher who was a career .285 hitter with power, Simmons was the face of the Cardinals in one of their few lean periods, but he was also a key member of the only Brewers team to appear in a World Series. If I had to choose between Simmons and Munson, it would be no contest.

Murphy won back-to-back MVP awards in the 1980s and was a perennial Gold Glove outfielder. He also hit 398 home runs in his career, although in a favorable hitter's park (Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, a/k/a the Launching Pad). If you think of the best players in the National League in that era, he has to be on the list. Parker was his contemporary and played on better teams, but wasn't as consistent.

What do you think?

Friday, November 01, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Trash Big Ten Edition

Old dude, there is a disturbing lack of Big Ten quality games this week. What gives?

Instead of scheduling the Citadel and Furman like the SEC does, the B1G has byes. And this week could go bye-bye for sure.

I blame the schedule makers, they want us to watch other leagues.

I blame Furman.

You should blame someone else.

Like this guy?

Image result for fetch with ruff ruffman
Old dude, that's Ruff Ruffman -- he was on some PBS kids thing when Maria was little.

Oops. I thought it was Paul Finebaum.

It's obvious you weren't paying attention.

It should be equally obvious why I wasn't paying attention.

Good point. Either way, so many crappy games makes it hard to feel the HYYYYYYPPPPPEEE!, but a man has to do what a man has to do. Watch me work.

Georgia Bulldogs (-6) vs. Florida Gators, in Jacksonville The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is a game that we normally wouldn't pick, but the dearth of games makes it slightly appealing. Both teams come in with a loss both overall and in league play, so this game will impact not only the SEC picture, but the national picture as well. Georgia has the worst loss, to South Carolina at home. Say what you will about the Badgers losing at Memorial Stadium, that was a road game. I haven't seen much of the Gators, but me thinks that Georgia should win. Georgia 35, Florida 24.

If you're gonna talk cocktails, you really ought to bring some. I don't know. I guess Georgia is better. Georgia 31, Florida 19.

Everton FC (NL) vs. Tottenham Hotspur Because the slate of football games sucks this weekend, we have to pick the Premier League match that involves my beloved Everton against the old dude's beloved Spurs. Everton won our League Cup tie against Watford at home on Tuesday, taking the pressure off Marco Silva. Spurs haven't looked great either, and lost last weekend to Liverpool at that evil place named Anfield. Both teams have been kinda crap lately, and this has all the looks of a draw that will help nobody, and both sets of supporters can have a moan. Everton 3, Tottenham 1.

Crap is the operative word. But when you're dealing with crap, choose the one with the better pedigree. Spurs 2, Everton 0.

Minnesota Vikings (NL) vs. Kansas City Chiefs The reason there is no line is because we are not sure about Patrick Mahomes and his injury status. The Chiefs hung in there against the Packers, but could not finish the job last week. The Vikings are coming in red hot, and are aiming to keep the pressure on the Packers. This game will not be easy, but the Vikings can win this one. Honestly, it could go either way. Vikings 28, Chiefs 24.

Why yes. Yes it could. Kirk "Kirktober" Cousins is overdue to cough up a hairball. Chiefs 28, Vikings 20.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-3.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers The Chargers have no fan base in LA, which means there will be many Packers fans attending this game. It's awesome that Dean Spanos has to see his team play road games at home because he couldn't realize that screwing over loyal fans in San Diego to make a quick buck was not a good move. This game is probably going to be a shootout between Rodgers and Phillip Rivers, because that is the script of other games in the past when these two greats lock horns. This game could be difficult, but I expect the Packers can gut it out. Packers 56, Go Back to San Diego 41.

Bet the over, you say? Won't be that high scoring, but I agree on the victor. Packers 34, Chargers 20.

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (+4) vs. Philadelphia Eagles. I would have picked this game earlier, but Matt Nagy didn't trust me to and had me take a knee before sending me out to try a field goal. This is a rematch of the infamous Double Doink game, where Bears fans blamed Cody Parkey instead of acknowledging that the Bears lucked out last year and played a Charmin UltraSoft schedule. In fact, we have video evidence of the Double Doink:

The Eagles are in no great shape because they let Nick Foles walk, which was a stupid decision. He was the better quarterback than Wentz, and did nothing to lose his job. That mistake will haunt them forever. I expect the Bears will lose on a missed field goal again, because the football gods love seeing that happen again. Eagles 16, Da Bearz Still Suck and Blew a 20 point lead to the Packers 15.

I have a hunch the Bears bounce back. No reason other than why the hell not. Bears 24, Eagles 21.

Never forget that the Bears blew a 20 point lead to the Packers after they knocked Aaron Rodgers out of the game. Ben out!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Don't bother, they're here

There ought to be clowns, we are told. Lots of them. Items to note:

  • I know I’ve said this before, but it’s been obvious from the jump why this particular Schiff-scented impeachment confection had to take place at this time. While I expect IG Horowitz to pull his punches again, Durham won’t. The entire point of the charade is to allow the Democrats to characterize the Durham investigation as revenge, rather than the pursuit of justice.
  • Angie Craig and Dean Phillips must have looked at the polls and decided this faux impeachment vote won’t hurt them. Perhaps they’re right; suburbia is filled with minivan Mensheviks and Bad Orange Man offends a lot of sensibilities in places like Eden Prairie and Eagan. Craig in particular may feel the wind is at her back since Jason Lewis is gunning for Tina Smith instead, but she’s still gonna get challenged. 
  • Collin Peterson voted against impeachment. He’s looking at the polls, too. Prediction: if this blows up on the Democrats and yet Peterson still survives, he’ll cross the aisle in 2021, especially if the House flips. It may be his only way to survive.
  • Speaking of worried Democrats, you may also have noticed that Barack Obama spoke out recently against “cancel culture.” This isn’t a matter of intellectual bravery or principled liberalism, to the extent principled liberalism is even possible at this particular hour. Obama’s stance is really about something else: he’s seen the Lion King and knows what happened to Scar. He’s already getting “OK Boomer” sneers from some quarters and he knows the revolutionaries he nurtured are now coming of age. And they may come for him soon enough.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Question for the audience

Technical question, actually:

  • Do you use an ad blocker?
  • If you don't, do you see ads on my blog?
The reason I'm asking is my ad blocker indicates it's blocked multiple ads on my site. And I don't have ads on my site, at least that I've authorized.

Let me know -- I'm curious about this.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Worth remembering

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

                                                                   -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

In practice:

  1. Some things Donald Trump do are counterproductive at best.
  2. Donald Trump has been wronged countless times since he came down the escalator in 2015.
Or, if you'd prefer:
  1. Donald Trump is not the sort of person you'd want to be president in an ideal world.
  2. We don't live in an ideal world and the current batch of Democrats are uniformly horrible people who should have no power, ever.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games---Vikings Win Edition

Old dude, the Vikings won, and people are still complaining?

Yep. Apparently a lot of Vikings fans bet the over or something. I heard a bunch of moaning about Zimmer's 4th and 1 call in the game. It's not as though the Redskins were going to score, so I don't get it.

It's like they want Zimmer gone. Maybe Brad Childress could give Zimmer a ride to MSP.

They don't really want Zimmer gone, but some folks can't handle prosperity. Winning by 1, or 10, or 40 counts the same. No style points in the NFL.

If the Vikings want to feel mad, they could watch this:

I'm matriculating down the field and feeling the HYYYYYYYYYPPPPEEE! Okay, it's time to watch me work.

Maryland Terps (+16) vs. Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat The Gophers hold the inside track to Indianapolis right now, thanks to events we will discuss later. They are a good team, but now they have the pressure all to themselves. The spotlight will shine on them starting this week. Maryland seems to be building something, though this is going to be a very difficult ask. I don't expect the Gophers to fall into a trap similar to what happened last week at Memorial Stadium. Gophers 31, Terps 0.

Maryland isn't terrible, but they are inconsistent. The Gophers should win. Minnesota 28, Maryland 20.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (+14.5) vs. A School in Columbus Well, last week was quite simply a horrible loss and embarrassment to the entire Badger program. I was very upset with the performance of the entire team and the coaching staff. I still love them all, but sometimes you have to tell the truth. This game is going to be very difficult, and will require near perfection to win. Everyone knows what I think about the Buckeyes as a general rule, but they are arguably the best team in the nation. That's the standard the Badgers are going to have to play at to win. Badgers 24, Buckeyes 17.

Ohio State looks frightening. But you have to face your fears. I think the Badgers will rebound and play very well. But it may not be enough. Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 20.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-4.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs This game got more interesting and less interesting simultaneously with the news that Patrick Mahomes cannot play because of injury. This sucks, because this game should have been a fun shootout between two MVP quarterbacks. The Packers looked very good on offense last week and have proven they can win without Davante Adams. The key defensively is to get some pressure on Kansas City and do not let Hill and Kelce make plays. Packers 45, Chiefs 21.

The Chiefs are decent and Arrowhead is a very tough place to win. I think the Packers have only one once in that stadium. Make it two. Packers 31, Chiefs 24.

Los Angeles Chargers (+4) vs. Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck The Chargers are playing yet another road game, and it's amazing that they have to play 20 road games if you count the preseason. Da Bearz lost a tough one at home to the Saints, and look like they are out of the race already in the NFC North. Mitch Trubisky is in danger of being run out of town by angry Chicago fans. Even Marty McFly stopped going back to 1985, and the Super Bowl Shuffle crew is not walking through that door alongside Mateen Cleaves. Da Bearz should win, though. Da Bearz Still Suck 14, Chargers 7.

Have I mentioned the Chargers are dumb? Look at where they are. They have a nice team, but Benster is right -- they don't have a fan base and every time they play at home, the other team's fans fill the place. I expect to see a lot of Navy and Orange in the stands on Sunday. And while Trubisky seems to be channeling Moses Moreno, the Bears can still play defense. And they will. Bears 17, Chargers 10.

I'm walking outside that door. Ben out.