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.

Image result for very special episode
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.