Fort Worth Congresswoman and bootlicking sycophant Kay Granger did her best to suck up to her puppet master this week. Krazy Kay was incensed after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up her copy of Trumph – the Insult Comic President’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday. According to Granger it was “appalling and shameful” and she introduced a resolution Thursday to formally condemn Pelosi. Her stunt was rejected on a party-line vote. Apparently, ripping up a copy of speech is repellent but ripping up the Constitution is okay as long as a president of your party is doing the dirty work. Granger has no problem with a President who routinely lies, bullies, abuses the power of his office, obstructs justice, claims dictatorial powers, uses the Presidency to enrich himself at the expense of taxpayers and openly seeks foreign interference in our electoral process. Two dozen Republicans co-sponsored Granger’s resolution, including Texas whackdoodles Louie Gohmert of Tyler, Bill Flores of Bryan, Randy Weber of Friendswood, Pete Olson of Sugar Land, John Carter of Round Rock, and Kevin Brady of The Woodlands. Granger is clearly desperate as she is seeking re-election and faces a serious challenger in the March Trumpian (f/k/a the GOP) primary. Even though Trump endorsed her in December, KKG certainly should be worried that the mantle of presidential favor may be ripped from her as it has been for so many others.
Trumph – the Insult Comic President – awarded right wing radio host Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Racism, Misogyny, Deceit, Insult, Narcissism and Demagoguery (f/k/a the Presidential Medal of Freedom) during his Mis-State of the Union Address last night. It was entirely fitting as Trump owes his entire political existence to the path that Limbaugh forged. Before Limbaugh a philandering, lying, cheating, swearing, bankrupt, swindling con man such as Trump would have never found a home in what used to be a respected political party. Limbaugh lowered the bar for entry by spreading his toxic brand of take-no-prisoners, right wing, utter bullshit to indoctrinate working class and poor whites into believing that Republicans had their best interests at heart. Trump took advantage and has now rewarded his avatar.
At last, the seemingly interminable NFL season comes to a close in the first weekend of February – which has always seemed wrong to Red. The NFL should be done in January so that we can move on to more important things – like Spring Training or the MLS opener. In the past, Red has predicted that the 2032 SB will be played in March after an 18 game regular season and three rounds of playoffs culminating with the London Lords beating the Mexico City Aztecs as NFL champions.
Let’s look at the current odds. Right now the Chiefs are about a 1.5 point favorite and about -120 on the money line (meaning you win $100 if you bet $120 on the Chiefs to win straight up). The 49ers are correspondingly a 1.5 underdog and about even on the money line (bet $100 on 49ers to win and win $100). The over/under is right at 54. Red doesn’t go in for the myriad of prop bets available as many of those can be rigged (e.g. what color of Gatorade will be dunked on winning coach). If Red were going to choose such a bet he might go with number of first player to score touchdown. Red would double up on Numbers 10 (Hill) and 15 (Mahomes).
As for the game itself:
Chiefs over 49ers – To begin with, on Sunday the Chiefs will set an NFL record for longest span between Super Bowl appearances. The Chiefs last played in the Super Bowl IV on January 11, 1970 where they bested the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 (but who didn’t) at old Tulane Stadium (aka the Sugar Bowl) in New Orleans. This was before the AFL/NFL merger so do they have an NFL Championship?
As for the 49ers, this will be the team’s seventh SB showing and they are an amazing 5-1 in previous games having lost only in 2012 to the Ravens in a barnburner that capped off Flacco Joe’s amazing career start. The 49ers are in something of a championship drought themselves not having won it all since 1994. A win will tie them with the Stealers and Patriots for Superb Owl wins and who wants that to happen? Of course, all of those teams have a long ways to go before they match the Packers’ total of 15 NFL Championships.
Red doesn’t think there is any team that can keep up with the Chiefs if the offense is clicking. The 49ers offense is excellent, but hasn’t really been tested under fire like the Chiefs in the last two games. The Chiefs were well behind against the Texans (unbelievably so in fact) and the Titans and rallied to destroy both squads. The 49ers have had relative cakewalks against the Vikings and Packers.
Red will go with tested under fire every time. If form holds true, the Chiefs will fall behind. Red predicts 10-0 deficit after first quarter (so ignore Red’s prop bet). But then the furious rally begins as Mahomes hits Hill and then Kelce and the Watkins and then Kelce again and then back to Hill for touchdowns. The 49ers rather complete reliance on their running game becomes a big liability when all of a sudden they are down 35-20 heading into the 4th quarter. Remember that QB Jimmy Garoppolo has attempted just 27 passes, completing 17 for 208 yards with a TD and pick in the playoffs so far. (Contrast that with Mahomes who has thrown for 209 yards combined and five scores in just his two second quarters!). Despite previous heroics, the 49ers running corps cannot keep up. Red is completely “hats off” to RB Raheem Mostert who arguably had the greatest post-season performance ever with 220 yards rushing and four scores against the Packers – but that lightening is hard to put back in the bottle. The Chiefs pull away with two more scores and the 49ers get some points in garbage time to make it look sort of respectable. Kansas City 49 Santa Clara 35.
Finally, Red wants the book to be closed on the notion that the so-called “Air Raid” offense cannot work in the NFL. On a side note, see interesting article in today’s WSJ on the origins of the AR offense at Iowa Wesleyan. Guess who was there? Mike Leach who recruited Kliff Kingsbury who recruited Patrick Mahomes who Andy Reid had the good sense to draft.
The U.S. Navy has announced that a new aircraft carrier will be name after Waco native Doris Miller. Miller was an enlisted man serving aboard the USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Because of the racial line of the Navy, Miller was a messman assigned to kitchen and cleaning duties. When the attack occurred, Miller ran topside and was first engaged in carrying wounded sailors to safety. He was a strong man – a former football player and the ship’s heavyweight boxing champion – and likely saved numerous men including the captain. Miller then took over a .50 caliber anti-aircraft gun and fired until ammunition ran out. Even though he had never been trained on the weapon, it is believed he downed a Japanese plane.
Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism – the first African-American awarded that honor. Miller continued his service and was killed along with 650 other sailors aboard the USS Liscome Bay when it was struck by a Japanese torpedo in the Pacific in 1943. Miller’s body was never recovered. He was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart, among other honors.
Red was so-so last week having gone 2-2. He was wrong about the Vikings as they are in fact pretenders and the 49ers had little trouble in dispatching the northern warrriors.
Red was not entirely shocked by the Ravens loss. In fairness to Red, he did indicate that if any team could beat the Ravens it was probably the Titans. Red was shocked that the Ravens vaunted offense completely failed to show up.
Less surprising was the Texans historic collapse against the Chiefs. The only surprise was that the Texans were up 24-0 in the second quarter. They remedied that by getting outscored 51-7 down the stretch. If there has ever been another 44 point swing in the NFL playoffs Red is unaware of same. And to top it off for long-suffering Texans’ fans, apparently Head Coach Bill O’ the Clown is keeping his job. Red will be turning in his season tickets.
The Packers and Seahawks predictably played a close game with Red picking the winner. Neither team is capable of a Chiefs style wipeout of an opponent.
Packers over 49ers – Red doesn’t really think either of these teams belongs in the Superb Owl, but the point of this exercise is to pick a winner. Why pick a team that lost to the Niners 38-7 in the regular season? Why the hell not? The regular season meetings really don’t seem to mean much in the playoffs. If all world TE Kittle has an off-day (and boy is he overdue for one), and D. Adams, Geronimo A. and J. Graham have good days (50-75 yards each), then the Pack should be competitive – unlike last meeting. Those are big “ifs” but not ridiculously so. But Red really thinks this game turns on QB pressure. Whichever team pressures, knocks-down and/or sacks the QB most effectively is going to win. Right now maybe nobody does it better than the Packers. Jimmy G. limps off the field more than once. A-Rodg gets one last shot at history. Green Bay 24 Santa Clara 21.
Chiefs over Titans – Again, Red believes that if any team can beat the Chiefs it is the Titans who seem capable of winning any game with their offense straight out of the 1950s and a stingy defense. While Derrick Henry has been nothing short of amazing, he alone cannot win this game. Red expects Titans coach Mike Vrabel to pullout some of the stops in order to keep up with the Chiefs. Look for Marcus Mariota to be on the field for more than a couple of plays, to keep the Chiefs defense wondering. In case anyone has forgotten, MM is capable with the ball in his hands. And then there is Mr. Brown – the budding superstar of the Titans offense. Red thinks the stage may be a little too big on Sunday – but the Chiefs have to put a clamp on Brown and force Tannehill to look elsewhere on the rare occasions when the Titans might actually consider using that innovation called the “forward pass.” On the other side, the Chiefs are relatively healthy, loaded with weapons and have the best offensive-minded coach left standing in Andy Reid. Patrick Mahomes must drop back in the pocket and ask himself, “Who should I make look like a hall-of-famer today? Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, some guy in the stands?” Add PM’s magic touch to an innovative running game and you have an offense that can score anytime anywhere. Red just doesn’t think the Titans can keep up with Chiefs unless Henry breaks 180 yards again. Red calls it – Henry finishes with under 120 and the Chiefs win in a modified shoot-out with the Titans making it close at the finish. Kansas City 42 Tennessee 34.
In an amazing (but not altogether unpredictable) turn-around, the Houston Texans lost to the Kansas City Chiefs by 20 points after being up 24-0 in the second quarter of Sunday’s playoff game. The 44 point swing may be the largest post-season change in NFL history. Red is going to bother looking that one up, because it doesn’t matter if the Texans C-H-O-K-E is historic – the humiliation and disappointment is enough.
The Texans were effectively gifted 14 points on a blocked punt (give the special teams credit) and a muffed punt by KC speedster Tyreek Hill (curiously attempting a punt return for only the second time this season). But still a 24-0 lead should guarantee a competitive game down the stretch. Not so for the hapless Texans. Red does not fault Head Coach Bill O’ the Clown O’Brien for taking a field goal when faced with 4th and 1 in the “red zone”. But after the Chiefs marched effortlessly down the field following a brilliant kick-off return, BO botched the next series with a foolish fake punt that even Red could see coming. That gave the Chiefs another short field and after another quick score to make it 24-14 – a new lease on their playoff football life.
The Chiefs proceeded to ultimately score touchdowns on seven straight possessions while the Texans offense returned to the BO tank in which in normally lives. Being outscored 51-7 in any stretch of any game is agony enough. But when you had the game in hand it is a franchise altering result – or at least it should be.
If this debacle is not enough to get Bill O’ the Clown fired, then it is hard to imagine what would. He and defensive coordinator Romeo “I’m not on the take from our opponents even though it sure looks like it” Cremel need to exit NRG this week. If not, the talent on this team (and there is talent) will be wasted for at least one more season.
Really, the Texans need a clean sweep from top to bottom. It starts with hiring an actual general manager who may be able to find someone, somewhere willing to take over this reclamation project.
A local retail landmark for the Houston Jewish community and others is set to close in January. Belden’s Food Market will cease operations after more than half a century in business. Belden’s was one of the last big box independent grocers in Houston offering a wide variety of Kosher foods as well as being a full service grocery store.
The Meyerland store has been struggling for some time as HEB, Kroger and Whole Foods have upgraded their stores and locations. HEB tore down its old store and replaced it with an ultra-modern new outlet in Bellaire and is set to open a Meyerland location later this year about a mile away from Belden’s location.
Belden’s survival as an independent was not helped by the unending onslaught of floods in the Meyerland area (Tax Day Flood, Memorial Day Flood and Hurricane Harvey) which have pushed many of the older Jewish residents out of Meyerland and cutting into Belden’s customer base.