Thanksgiving weekend included the good, bad and ugly
If there ever was a time to catch up on your football watching and your turkey eating, it has to be the Thanksgiving weekend. I watched a ton of games on the tube and even listened to one on the radio (the West Orange-Stark win over Bullard) simply because of the rainy weather forecast and did double-duty on my turkey-eating.
Last weekend offered a wide variety of scenarios like many of our favorite football teams winning, some of them losing or having key players injured and others had some downright disgusting incidents occur.
Only three of the seven area teams survived the second round of the Texas high school football playoffs, with the West Orange-Stark Mustangs being the only Orange County team remaining in the playoffs. Other teams still playing are the Port Arthur Memorial Titans in Class 5A and Beaumont Kelly playing for the state championship Saturday in the TAPPS.
Although the Mustangs played well enough to post a convincing 45-13 victory over the Bullard Panthers, they had three passes intercepted, lost two of five fumbles and had 14 penalties for 120 yards. Mistakes like that will get a team facing Coldspring murdered.
But on the positive side of the coin, the Coldspring Trojans also made several mistakes in their two playoff games and scored only 20 total points. However, they have only given up seven points in the playoffs. The Mustangs know what they have to do to win Friday night’s Region III championship game at Humble.
Port Arthur Memorial’s game with Houston Memorial Saturday afternoon was delayed by a thunderstorm for almost an hour.
When the game started, a TV sports camera spotted a huge man alone in the stands wearing a poncho and holding a huge umbrella. It was former Astros pitcher Roger Clemens, who there to watch one of his four sons play for Houston Memorial. His son recovered a Titans fumble early in the contest.
The third area team—the Kelly Bulldogs— overcame an 11-point deficit against defending TAPPS state champion Plano Prestonwood Christian to score twice in the final seven minutes to pull out a 24-21victory in the state semifinals.
Other fans celebrating a win last weekend include the University of Texas faithful who watched their Longhorns rally in the second half against rival Texas A&M to win 27-25 on a last-second field goal in what could have been the final meeting of these two long-time arch-enemies.
Of course what was good for the Longhorns was bad for the Aggies as they demonstrated they don’t discriminate about who they blow their halftime leads against.
Lone Star State pro football fans were happy both the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans won last weekend, but both should have doubts about the future of their respective teams.
The Cowboys let an early 10-3 lead disappear and needed a last second Dan Bailey field goal to pull out a 20-19 win over the hapless Washington Redskins Thanksgiving Day. Although the team owns first place in the NFC East Division, they’re not playing nearly consistent enough to be thinking about the Super Bowl.
And the Houston Texans, who two weeks ago looked like a shoo-in for their first-ever trip to the NFL playoffs, lost two starting quarterbacks for the season in a period of one week. Now they must depend on rookie third-stringer T.J. Yates, who helped guide the Texans to a 20-13 win over Jacksonville, to lead them for the rest of the season.
The Houston quarterback situation was a hot topic Monday morning on ESPN2’s First Take where host Skip Bayless and former New York Jets and Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini seriously suggested the Texans consider dragging Brett Favre or 41-year old Jeff Garcia out of retirement to run the Houston offense.
Pro basketball fans are happy the NBA finally settled their dispute and ended the lockout. Apparently there will be a 2011-12 season that will be shortened to 66 games and will begin around Christmas Day.
So many of the former NFL players and so-called experts on the pre-game shows insist that Tim Tebow is not the type of quarterback that can have success in the league. His delivery of passes is all wrong, he doesn’t stay in the pocket like he should and he runs way too much with the football. But Denver Bronco fans reply that all Tim Tebow does is win. And isn’t that what the NFL is all about???
One of the bad things that happened last weekend was that Vidor’s season came to an end at the hands of undefeated Angleton, which needed to score 32 points in the third period to fend off the stubborn Pirates and win 55-30.
Another setback for some Houston Astros fans (me not included) was that new owner Jim Crane fired General Manager Ed Wade and long-time team president Tal Smith Sunday night. It looks like the Astros won’t be the dumping grounds any more for the players the Philadelphia Phillies no longer want.
One of the ugly incidents last weekend occurred at the end of the Beaumont Ozen-La Marque playoff game at Stallworth Stadium in Baytown when the second free-for-all broke out and was quelled by the stadium police who blatantly fired pepper spray in the eyes of anybody on the football field that wasn’t a peace officer.
Whenever the UIL sorted out the incident, it left the disciplinary action up to the school districts because the brawl occurred after the game.
The other ugly act occurred Thanksgiving Day in the NFL game between Detroit and Green Bay when Lions defensive lineman and No. 1 overall pick Ndamukong Suh was ejected from the football game for stomping on Green Bay lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith’s right arm.
Although Suh’s been in the league less than two years, he has been fined several times for what appears to be dirty play. Don’t be surprised if he is slapped with a one or two-game suspension when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell investigates the incident.
Suh’s former Nebraska teammate Matt Slauson, who plays offensive guard for the New York Jets, said he’s no fan of his controversial former teammate.
“Somebody needs to get Suh under control because he’s trying to hurt people,” Slauson pointed out in an exclusive interview with the New York Post last weekend. “It’s one thing to be an incredible physical player and a tenacious player, but it’s another thing to set out to end that guy’s career.”
The article added that Suh already has been fined $42,500 by the NFL for dirty play. “Last year when he got fined for the takedowns on quarterbacks, it looked like he was trying to kill them,” Slauson explained. “I’m all for physicality, but within the framework of the game.”
Slauson added that Suh wasn’t popular at all with his Nebraska teammates. “He was well-respected for his ability, but he wasn’t well-liked,” Slauson concluded.
KWICKIES…The first time this season the Seattle Seahawks were favored to win last weekend they suffered an upset at the hands of the Washington Redskins 23-17, who rallied in the fourth period to get the victory. But Orange’s Earl Thomas continues to lead the Seahawks in tackles with 73 and 55 solo stops. The Seahawks play against the Philadelphia Eagles tomorrow (Thursday), but it most likely will be shown only on the NFL Network.
A couple of college head coaches who became unemployed this week include University of Illinois longtime head man Ron Zook and Turner Gill of Kansas. On the other side of the coin, Urban Meyer, who left Florida for “health reasons”, must be feeling much better as he just agreed to be the new football coach at mighty Ohio State.
LSU and Alabama retained their top two positions in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 College Football Poll with Oklahoma State jumping two places to No. 3, Stanford remaining at No. 4 and Virginia Tech moving up one notch to No. 5. Arkansas dropped from third to No. 6, Houston and Oregon each moved up one spot to No. 7 and No. 8, respectively while Boise State fell two spots to No. 9 and Southern Cal remained No. 10. TCU moved up one spot to No. 17 and Baylor jumped two places to No. 18.
JUST BETWEEN US…The Canadian Football League featured its Grey Cup Championship game Sunday, which is comparable to the NFL’s Super Bowl, between the Winnepeg Blue Bombers and the British Columbia Lions. The Lions won 34-23 to the dismay of former West Orange-Stark and University of Texas star Deon Beasley, who starts at cornerback for Winnepeg and runs back kickoffs and punts.