The Sports Animal

Traber Blog: Bedlam wrap up & more Football

I’m back after a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. My turkey was as good as it’s ever been, if I do say so myself. And my mammas’ stuffing was Big League! My brother, Pete, made turkey soup the next day with the carcass and it was the best soup I’ve ever had – of any kind. I am so thankful for Julie and my family, my brother & sister, and Julie’s extended family as well.

 

Thanksgiving weekend also means Bedlam. As you know I’ve been doing radio for over 17 years now; and when I first started I used to worry about making everyone happy. I quickly realized that is impossible and I decided to do my show based on the truth. To the dismay of many fans, I would not be a homer for the school I so proudly attended, Oklahoma State University, this past weekend. I would never change my experience in Stillwater, but there sure are some orange clad fans that embarrass the heck out of me.

 

Here are two examples: If you listen to my show you know that I picked OU to win the game and cover the spread. After Al Eschbach and I gave our picks at the end of the pre-game show we started walking to the stadium and there she was… A woman dressed in orange calling me Trader. I sure am happy that my name rhymes with Trader… Jim Trader this, Jim Trader that. But this pathetic woman was mad because I wouldn’t go against a team that had won 29 straight in this stadium and was 65 and 2 under Bob Stoops at home. Guess what? I was right on the money. Hmmm… maybe telling the truth and calling the game the way I see it is the right thing to do. If you want a homer for your school there are others on the radio that will tell you what you want to hear… but that’s not me.

 

Example number 2: Because my family was in town all weekend, I didn’t have a chance to look at all of my emails from Tuesday of last week until Monday morning after the game. One of the emails I received was from an OSU fan who before the game couldn’t believe that I was picking OU. He said that the home field thing that I had harped on was incorrect, because over the last 15 years OSU has won in Norman. That wasn’t the only reason I picked OSU, but he was trying to prove that I was wrong. Obviously I was right and on Monday morning when I got his email I sent a quick reply saying, “Well, I guess I was right. Sorry.” He then replied by ripping me and saying how weak it was that I had waited until after the game was over to answer his email and that if I had been wrong, and OSU had won the game, that he wouldn’t have heard a word from me. He said I was arrogant and that he would never listen to my show again.  I simply emailed back, “but I wasn’t wrong and I just now read your email”.

 

As you can see many people do not want to hear the truth about their beloved school. The week before I picked Tech to beat OU and of course the OU fans were mad at me about that. I’ll just go on calling it like I see it and being right more times than not.

 

Under the circumstances, OU played one of their best games in a long time. Brent Venerables and his defense were dominating. And although I thought Mike Gundy could’ve shown more imagination, and Zach Robinson was definitely hurt, I don’t think it would have changed anything for the Cowboys. The fact is it’s close to impossible to win in Norman I don’t care who you are. And before OSU fans start trying to figure out what’s wrong, just realize what is right – 9 and 3 with a Cottonbowl bid is a really good year considering the injuries and the suspension of Dez Bryant.

 

I can’t wait for the Florida Alabama game. There is nothing better than 1 vs 2 late in the season. It could be an old fashion, defensive, slug-it-out type of game, but I’m kind of old fashion. I realize that many of you would love to see Tim Tebow fall flat on his face, but it’s not going to happen. Florida wins and plays Texas in the National Championship game. More about that later. Next week we will talk about the Bowls, which I’m sure at least 20 of them will be junk. How can anyone get fired up for 6 – 6 and 7 – 5 teams? This year cries for a play off more than any other. Wouldn’t you like to see TCU, Boise, and Cincinnati all step up to the Big Leagues and go head-to-head with a Florida or a Texas? Not going to happen… instead we’re going to get Cincinnati against someone like Georgia Tech. YAWN!

 

Pro Football: I got an email Sunday night 10 minutes after the game ended ripping the Steelers and me. Par for the course, but I was really proud of the Steelers Sunday night. They went to a division rival with a huge crowd, started a third team quarterback who had thrown one pass in the NFL, and their star defender did not play. And they go to overtime? The Steelers may not be the Super Bowl representative from the AFC, but they’re not done yet. I know I wouldn’t want to play them in January.

 

I love what Craig Humphries said on the Sports Animal and it needs to be repeated. He said that when Bret Favre went to Dr. Andrews to get his shoulder operated on he must have operated on his head to. It took Favre until he was 40 to realize that the guys around him can be stars too. And boy is he throwing the ball really well. Great MVP race: Favre, Brees, and Manning… believe it or not, right now I lean towards Favre. The Saints looked unbelievable on Monday night. If their defense plays like that they will be unbeatable. Of course that’s not the way it usually goes. Right now, they are the best team in the NFL. How about that? The Saints.

Traber Blog: From Turkey to Bedlam

Glad to be back after a blogging hiatus.  When you have a family sometimes things can get really hectic.  Speaking of family, this is my favorite time of the year.  When you play baseball the winter becomes even more special.  Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day… those just become another work day.  So Thanksgiving and Christmas are by far my favorite holidays.  It could have something to do with food… ok, it has a lot to do with food.  This Thanksgiving both my brother and sister are coming to visit.  With my Mom’s passing last year and my Dad 10 years prior to that, I feel a greater need to have family together as much as possible.  It sucks when your parents are gone.  But I will make my mamma’s stuffing and along with Julie’s family we will have a wonderful feast.

Now to sports.  Isn’t it unbelievable to finally see an Oklahoma State football team play defense!  I realize that Texas Techs offense is not as good as it has been in the past, but to hold them to only 17 points is impressive.  They should name a street after Bill Young in Stillwater.  I love the way they hit!   Even when the other team completes a pass or makes a decent run they are brought down violently.  And by the way, if you didn’t know this, Football is a violent sport.  It may be hard to fathom that with all of the “sissified” rules now days.  In past years, OSU would have surely lost that game when they gave the ball back to Tech – but not these Cowboys.

On the offensive side of the ball, Gundy is doing a masterful job of taking what he can.   If Robinson doesn’t throw the ball well, then they run… to the tune of an 18 and a 16 play drive.  That sounds like the 1960’s.  Good to see Kendall Hunter back; although Toston has had a great year, Hunter brings something to the table that they don’t have otherwise.  What a great one-two punch.

Zac Robinson sure took a wicked hit at the end of the game on Saturday night.  Being the experienced player that he is he should have never been hit.  But let’s not dwell on that.  There is no way that he should play Thursday night against Colorado.  I know that it’s Senior night, and I’m sure he will beg and plead and yell to get on the field – I know I would – but if the doctors clear him to play, let him be ready in an emergency.  Colorado stinks.  OSU should win with the back up quarterback.  So announce Zac Robinson last on Thursday night, name a street after him too, but just don’t let him play.  Why?  You may ask?  Because the Bedlam game in Norman will be the biggest game in the history of the school.    If they win out they have a great chance to go to a BCS Bowl for the first time in school history.  It will go down as the greatest year of football ever at OSU.  If Robinson were to get hurt again against Colorado they would have NO chance without him in Norman.

Now I hate to burst everybody’s bubble, but I think they will lose.  Bob Stoops is 65 – 2 in Norman…tough odds.  I can’t wait to see OSU’s offensive line against OU’s defensive line; two of the best in the country at their respective positions.

Speaking of OU,   it was a great win against Texas A&M – as I predicted.  You know why I predicted it?  Cause A&M stinks!  I like the way Kevin Wilson got the ball to his two play makers, Broyles & Murray, but A&M’s defense couldn’t stop me, Julie and my girls.  At least Landry Jones threw the ball to the right team.  This week in Lubbock we will find out which was the fluke: Five interceptions against Nebraska or five touchdowns to Norman.  The Sooners are a 5 point favorite, which is higher than I thought.  So Vegas believes OU has a great chance to win.  Lubbock has been a thorn in the side of Bob Stoops.  And even though Tech’s offense is not as good as it has been, their defensive line will give OU fits.   Over / under on penalties on the offensive line is 10.  I’m picking Tech to win in a close game.  Sooner fans better hope the wind doesn’t blow 40 miles per hour.

On to the NFL:  As I throw up in my mouth, I have to give credit to the Cincinnati Bengals; sweeping the Steelers and the Ravens is impressive.   But don’t give up on the Steelmen yet.  I was a week late on the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo.  They waited until Green Bay to puke down their leg.  But they still have the inside tract on the NFC East Championship.

What’s happened to Denver?  I can see Baltimore at Baltimore; I can see the Steelers on Monday night… but Washington?  Oh and by the way, here come the Chargers.  Whoever wins Sunday in Denver will win the AFC West – I’m staying with Denver.

Traber Blog: Halloween in Stillwater, plus my NBA picks and more

Very rarely in the State of Oklahoma does a game in Stillwater mean more than a game in Norman if we’re talking about the Big 12 Championship.  But that’s definitely the case true this week. It is also the biggest home conference football game in the history of OSU.  I am fired up to go to Stillwater Saturday night and watch the Cowboys vs. Longhorns!  The atmosphere in the new stadium will be unbelievable.  And what better place to spend Halloween night than a stadium filled with black and orange.

OSU has had a horrible time with Texas; at least figuring out a way to play an entire football game.  I always say that if OSU wants to get to the next level these are the kind of games they have to win – A small under dog at home.    Unfortunately, there is no Kendall Hunter and there is no Dez Bryant.  Although, I’ve heard that Hunter may play.  But the pathetic NCAA has said nothing about Bryant and probably won’t.  I got a great text message from a friend of mine yesterday that said “Who is worse – The NCAA or the Obama Administration?”  I don’t know if I can answer that one; they’re both disturbing.

Back to the game, Texas is better than people around here give them credit for.  They may not be as good as they have been in the past, but clearly they are the best team in the Big 12.  If you go back to some of my earlier blogs you will see that I was concerned that something was wrong with Zac Robinson earlier in the season.  Mike Gundy all but agreed when he said in a press conference that Zac had lost weight and was moving much better.  He got bigger this off season to avoid injury, but it also made him slower and more sluggish.  However, he has played some big time football the last three games and he will need to be even better this coming Saturday.   The no–name receivers are catching the ball and making plays.  It has been remarkable what Gundy and his coaching staff and the players have done under adverse conditions.

Let’s talk about the defense:  There is no doubt that they are better both physically and mentally.  It’s been a long time since an OSU defense will hit you in the mouth.  Bill Young has brought a great attitude to this defense.  Although I think Baylor stinks – especially without Robert Griffin – and Missouri is not as good as last year, this defense still went almost six straight quarters without giving up a point.  In 2009 that’s impressive I don’t care who you’re playing.

Last year OSU went down to Austin and played the Longhorns off their feet.  Two years ago, they led into the fourth quarter, but then let Colt McCoy run wild.  I don’t have to remind you of the history; sorry, but I have to give the edge to Texas.  If Hunter and Bryant were playing I would pick OSU, I just don’t think they have enough weapons without them.  I will tell you this though, if OSU wins this game it will be the biggest win in a long time for the Cowboy program.

Now to Norman:  We certainly didn’t think that OU or Kansas State would be where they are right now.  But don’t let their records fool you.  This is a mis-match of epic proportion.  I give it up to Bill Snyder for pulling this team together (I still think he’s the greatest coach to ever coach in NCAA football) but the North is horrible!  Kevin Wilson and Brent Venables have really picked up their game planning in recent weeks.  Wilson has all but admitted that they can’t run the ball – a far cry from the beginning of the season.  It’s great to see a football coach admit that what he originally thought was wrong.  Now they’re clicking under Landry Jones.  This will be a spanking and I doubt Kansas State will get double digit points.

Last week I gave my opinion as to what Sam Bradford needed to do; apparently someone else agreed with me and was giving him some really good advice.  Hope his surgery goes well.  I will miss watching him play.  I believe he’s the greatest quarterback ever to play at OU!

By the way, this is by far the worst year I’ve ever seen of Big 12 football since its inception.  Eight teams are bad, the entire North plus Texas A&M and Baylor… Oh yeah, A&M just crushed the fourth best team Texas Tech.  I do want to give major props to Iowa State and Coach Rhoades; he has more wins already than Chizek had in two years.

NFL:  I told you last week the Steelers would beat Minnesota, but I must say I was impressed with the Vikings.  Not because of Favre or Peterson… but because their defense is really good.  Final score of that game should have been 13 – 10 Steelers; wouldn’t mind a Super Bowl re-match.

I thought that the Giants were the best team in the NFC – they’re not.   Right now it is definitely the Saints; that was a great comeback against the dolphins.  Hey Dallas Fans, Cowboys had an impressive win against the Falcons; especially after getting punched in the mouth to start the game.  I told you they would be better off without Terrell Owens.

World Series:  I was right on the money with my Yankees – Phillies pick.  I like the Yankees in six games.  Isn’t it nice to see the two best teams in the World Series?  I know people love Cinderella stories, but this is what it’s all about.

NBA: Season starts tonight with Lebron and Shaq against the Celtics.  For those of you who don’t know I’m a HUGE Lebron fan.  So my NBA comments will be biased.  I give it up to players and teams when necessary – like Kobe – but I will cheer Lebron on.  Who will be a better addition – Shaq or Artest?  Artest says that all he wants is a ring and he’s changed… we’ll see.  I’m hoping he’ll cause trouble and mess up the Lakers, but I doubt that will actually happen.

In my opinion there are only four teams that can win the championship, Lakers and Spurs in the West and Cavs and Celtics in the East.  Some of you will say “what about Orlando?”  I think they will miss Turkeglu.  The Spurs have to stay healthy (Ginobili) and the Jefferson pick up could get them over the top, but Findley and Duncan are getting old.  So, I just don’t think they will have enough.  In the East my head says the Celtics, but my heart says the Cavs.  Guess what?  For once in my life I’m going with my heart.  I’ve got Lakers – Cavs in the finals … what a match up Kobe and Lebron.  Who do you think I’m going to pick?  Lebron in a classic!  I sure hope I’m right.

As for the Thunder, they will be better; maybe 30 – 32 wins.  And we’ll see if Harden was the right pick.  I just want to see improvement and which guys will fit in for the 2010- 2011 season.  That’s when they need to make a run at the play offs.  So, will Ibaka or White or Mullins be a part of that team?  Find that out this year.  Is Westbrook a point guard?   We’ll know that in nine months.  Then spend some money in the off season with the great free agent pool and maybe play off basketball will come to Oklahoma City.

Last, but certainly not least, my locks of the week are still perfect!  Mississippi State and the Steelers were both winners.  To show you just how lucky I am right now, both teams returned two turnovers for touchdowns.  Don’t touch me – you might burn yourself!

Traber Blog: Please Mr. Bradford!

Katie with the Gamma Phi float (2)Last weekend was kind of tough for me.  Normally I hitchhike to Dallas, do my show from Humperdinks and then meet my family for dinner.  Because of a scheduling snafu, OSU’s Homecoming fell on the same weekend as OU / Texas.  Since my daughter is a Gamma Phi at OSU my wife and youngest daughter went to Stillwater for the big Homecoming events.

Am I selfish?  You better believe it, I want my family with me.  So I went to dinner with some friends Friday night (by the way if you’re in Dallas eat at Bob’s Chop house; it’s Big League!), went back to my room then woke up at 6:30 am for the ridiculous 11 am start.  Meanwhile Julie and the girls enjoyed Stillwater.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough after the post game show to get home for the OSU game.  Fortunately OSU played at 8:15, which meant that I was able to see both games.

Anyone want to get on Brent Venrables?  What a great defensive performance by OU in the Cotton Bowl.  Frankly the problem with this team, other than injuries, is that their offensive line isn’t very good.

Let’s talk about Sam Bradford.  Sometimes bad things happen to great people.  It’s hard to understand.  Bradford’s strong faith in God will pull him through.  But I hope and pray that he and his family will do the following:

  1. Have surgery as soon as possible.
  2. Announce today that he is done for the season.
  3. Announce that he will go into the NFL draft within the next month.

I don’t care what the “experts” say.  I’ve been told that this surgery is six weeks in a sling and 3 – 4 months of rehab.  That would mean that he would be ready by the end of March, which would give him over three weeks until the NFL draft.  Is it cutting it close?  Sure, but to come back for another year is absurd.  I know the OU fans don’t think that way; they believe that every player should play forever.  But the negatives far outweigh the positives. Another serious injury and he could be done.

I’m sure I will be in the minority on this argument as I always am.  But I was in a massive minority this past January when I said that something like this could happen.  REMEMBER, I said Gresham should never come back and look at his situation!  Not to say I told you so, but …

The three losses by OU this early in the season opens up a huge door for – you guessed it – OSU.  Because of the crazy things happening in Norman, nobody’s really talking about OSU.  Yet, with all their injuries and suspension, they’re just cruising along.  I still think they need Hunter or Bryant or both to beat Texas on Halloween, but so far after the blip against Houston they’ve done everything they needed to.  Zac Robinson is back to his normal self and Mike Gundy said he’s lost ten pounds since the beginning of the season.  Hmm… remember, I said something looked wrong and even Gundy said he looks better with the weight off.

How about this scenario:  If OSU could win out to the Thanksgiving weekend game in Norman, there is a chance that that game would mean nothing.  How could that happen?  OU loses another game, Texas Tech loses another game (to OSU) and then OSU has tie breaker with Texas win or lose.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I know one thing though, Mike Gundy, his staff and his players are doing a great job of dealing with adversity!

Hey NCAA, let Bryant come back.  You’ve punished him enough.  I don’t’ condone lying, but he didn’t break any rules. He lied because he was scared.  Don’t you think four games is enough?  Let him back for Texas. A note to Kendall Hunter, the doctors say you’re ok; suck it up and get after it!

Last note on OSU, heard that my name was part of a trivia question Saturday night and when I was announced some of the crowd booed.  To the fans who booed me, thank you.  It shows that I’m not a pathetic homer for the school I attended like some others are.  See I decided a long time ago that the right way to do a radio show was to be unbiased. That way people believe what you say.  And by my ratings I believe I’ve made the right choice.  So if the truth hurts sometimes, then I’m doing my job.

My ‘lock of the week’ has been on fire.  6 and 0, and this past week against the Fat Jack I went undefeated: 4-0-1 (OU was a push).  Since no one else will do it I’m giving it up to myself.    Obviously there will be weeks coming where I will fall on my face, but as of October 20th no one can touch me.

NFL:  It’s almost getting too easy to beat up on you Charger fans.  You guys are done… already.  But please call me next August and tell me how good you’re going to be.   How about the Seattle Seahawks?  My favorite water logged friends – another winning team, huh?  Don’t worry the NBA is getting ready to start… oh that’s right, you don’t have a team any more. Well, the WNBA is only nine months away.

Huge game this Sunday, Favre and Peterson come to Hines Field – Bring it on!!!  I hope it’s five degrees and snowing.  By the way, do you know who’s thrown for the most yards in the NFL to this point?  Not Favre, not Brees, not Manning… it’s Big Ben!  Vikings get their first loss courtesy of the STEELMEN!!

MLB playoffs have been great so far.  My Yankees / Phillies World Series looks good.  Isn’t it time people start to give Charlie Manuel some credit?  I’ve known him for 25 years and although he sounds like he should be on Hee Haw, he’s a big league manager.  I really wish A-Rod hadn’t been found to be a cheater.  It would be fun to cheer his first successes in the post season, but I’m done with all the cheaters; pains me to say it.  Go Derek Jeter!

Traber Blog: Super Bowl in October

So I go to the mall to have lunch with my lovely wife Julie.

Julie hit Chick filet because she would eat at chick filet every day if I would let her.

I went and got myself a subway sandwich.  The guy at the counter was a big listener of the show and gave me some free cookies.  After devouring my sub I thought to myself, “I probably don’t need these cookies”… Julie agreed.  Since we were surrounded by children having lunch with their parents, I decided to give the cookies to some kids.  I had two cookies and there was a perfect family of four across from us – two children.  As I started to rise Julie looked at me and said, “What are you doing?”  I explained that I was going to give my cookies to the two children.  She informed me that I can’t do that.  I said “why not?”  She further explained that they don’t know anything about me… I could be a monster, I may have germs, I may have touched the cookies with my bare hands… “They don’t know where your hands have been!” Julie told me exasperated.

I was just trying to be nice!!!  Like Pastor Trevor tells me to be.  I don’t think I have any more germs than the next guy and I certainly wouldn’t poison a child.  But because Julie wouldn’t let me eat the cookies and wouldn’t let me give the cookies away I had to throw away two perfectly good cookies!  What a waste!

I shared this story with you because it goes right along with how disgusted I am with the direction our world is headed.  My grandpa used to get dressed up in his little suit and hat and hand out life savers and gum to any kids that were nearby.  He would sit on a bench in the Village Green and marvel at the little smiling faces.  Now my wife tells me that I can’t do that – people will worry that I’m a pedophile.   Boy how I wish I had been born 50 years earlier.

On to sports…

Wasn’t it great to see Sam Bradford back on the field!  For you idiots who thought that Landry Jones should still play even if Sam was healthy, well…I won’t waste my breath.  I still don’t believe that Bradford will be enough to beat Texas, but at least the receivers caught the ball in the second half of the Baylor game.

If you listened to the massive arguments on the radio you will see that I cannot predict the future and I certainly cant predict what might have happened if Sam Bradford had been healthy the entire season… others disagree.  They believe that with Bradford the Sooners would be 5 and 0.  I can’t go there.  Texas is solid, but not a great team, so OU has a chance.  But I am picking Texas by 10.

OSU finished off a horrible week by winning a much needed road game against Texas A&M.  No Dez Bryant… no problem… at least against the Aggies.  Zac Robinson finally, after a bad start, played the way we all knew he could; even with his beloved Grandfather’s passing three days earlier.  Homecoming is a huge event in Stillwater, but the pokes must concentrate on beating Missouri in the late, late, late game.

By the way, I have three beautiful daughters and if any of them ever brought home a boy like Sam Bradford or Zac Robinson Julie and I would be very proud.  And trust me I don’t like many boys!

Although many people can’t stand Tim Tebow, or more importantly the media that prop him up, he just wins.  What a great performance by Florida, especially their defense in Baton Rouge!   Florida and Alabama will be a big time football game.  I think they are definitely the top two teams in the country and unless Texas puts a huge whipping on Oklahoma, they are by themselves.

NFL

I love Rex Ryan – I’ve said it before – but sometimes his dad, Buddy Ryan, comes out in him.  He has to learn to stop the urge.  Confidence is good, but arrogance sucks.  Give credit where credit is due when you lose a game.

Hey Dallas Cowboy fans – I really thought that you had won the Super Bowl in October!

As I saw Jerry Jones hugging everyone in his box and jumping around like a five year old kid (with all the work he’s had done on his face nothing was moving). Then the players piled on in the end zone as Miles Austin scored the big overtime touchdown to beat……

THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, THE 0-5 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, THE PATHETIC KANSAS CITY CHIEFS!!!!!!!  Are you kidding me?  After the game Romo said, “We’re coming together as we go into our bye week.”  LOL   I am so glad my father did not grow up in Dallas and I feel sorry for you cowboy fans.  But hey, it’s the biggest news of 2009; for the first time in the history of the NFL we have a Super Bowl winner in October! Congrats!

MLB

I’m 2 for 4 on my picks.  The Cardinals choked it off, but if you look back on my previous blog you will see that I wasn’t real excited about Ryan Franklin and that came to pass in the Dodgers series.  If anyone is blaming Matt Holliday you’re clueless.  Not just because I rocked him to sleep when he was a baby, but because he lost the ball in the lights.  Have you ever done that?  I have, in Toronto, and the ball drilled me in the chest.  Raul Ibanez lost one in the lights in Colorado and they gave him an error.  How can that be an error?  Once again, you have some official scorer who knows nothing about actually playing the game.

I wanted to pick the Angels, but I thought the psychological edge was too big.  But I cannot tell you how happy I am to see J D Drew and the Red Sox go down in flames.  Although I picked the Yankees to win it all and I will stick with that, the Angels may be playing with a higher power (see my past blogs).

Yankees / Phillies are still my picks – with the Yanks winning it all.

Thought for today: You can be nice & help others… but don’t make it edible.

Traber Blog: Blount, Bowden and… Tinkerbell?

Welcome back to the fastest growing blog in the country – tell your friends!

Let’s start with College Football:

Many of you will remember the incident in the first football game of the season between Boise State and Oregon.  LeGarrette Blount, RB for Oregon, made statements before the game about how they “owed Boise State a butt whipping”.  After Boise beat up on them one of the Bronco players came up and said something to Blount; obviously, he was wrong to do that.  But as the Boise coach tried to separate them, Blount punched the player in the face.  He then proceeded to go ballistic, trying to climb into the stands in order to fight some Boise fans.  The verdict by coach Chip Kelly – suspended for the rest of the year.    I couldn’t agree more!  We later learned that Blount missed workouts, practices and was basically not much of a team player.

So guess what?  Coach Kelly is now reconsidering the suspension.  He says that Blount has been a model citizen since the incident.  I say – SO WHAT!!! I’m all for second chances and even in certain instances third chances, but this kid is a punk.  Here is the coach’s side of the story: Blount getting a degree will mean far little compared to him having an opportunity to play in the NFL.  Because Blount comes from a bad background he deserves the chance to play more football.  REALLY?  Why didn’t Blount think about that when he was blowing off practices and workouts… why didn’t he think about it as the coach’s were restraining him from going into the stands…?

This is not a case of a second chance; this is a fourth or fifth chance, which is ridiculous.  I get so sick of society continuing to make excuses for adults time after time.  Blount can still play in the NFL.  If he is such a “model citizen” then go to the combine and show the teams that he is a changed man… run his 40, lift a bunch of weight, and make a team.  But his college career should be over.  It’s easy to be a model citizen when your back is against the wall.  Coach Kelly, who made the right call in the beginning, has a chance to set a great example for his team, his school, college football and Blount – That there are consequences for bad behavior.  I hope he has changed and I certainly don’t want him to be held down, but when a person in authority makes a tough decision they need to stick to their guns.

This Bobby Bowden situation is really sad.  There is no doubt that his time has passed him by and this team has progressively gone down hill over the last ten years.  Now people of power at Florida State want him to step down.  Yesterday it took a turn for the worst as Bowden’s wife of over 60 years, Ann, decided to go public.

“I am angry,” Ann Bowden said Monday. “I’m angry at some of our boosters that Bobby has worked for and supported, raised money for. And he’s been such a top quality person, such great character and everything for this university. And for them to turn their back on him like that — I don’t care if he is 80 years old . . .”

 

I certainly appreciate the tremendous love and loyalty that Ann has for her husband and I would hope that my wife would stick up for me as well, but there comes a time where someone has to be the voice of reason.  Someone in the Bowden family has to go to Coach with tears in their eyes and say, “we love you; you are one of the greatest coaches ever but it’s time for you to move on and spend your golden years with your family.”  I hope that in my job when it becomes hard for me to put together sentences and I can’t figure out what is going on around me, that someone – whether it’s my wife, or one of my children or grandchildren – will be honest with me.  Would it be hard?  Sure!    Is there a chance I would be mad? Yes!  But if my wife, Julie, were to say that to me then I would know she is doing so for my own good.

From broadcasters to athletes to coaches, there is nothing worse than people in the sports business who stay way past their prime.  Heck, rename the University and call it Bobby Bowden State, but the time has come – Bobby Bowden, it’s time to go away.

It’s obvious that Kent Bradford is very concerned about Sam’s shoulder and will not let him play until he’s 100%.  Now I know the OU fans are not happy about that, but as a father I say it is definitely the right move.  Although Landry Jones didn’t lose the game for OU, the coach’s were certainly nervous about putting the game in his hands.  OU has some problems; without Broyles at wide receiver they have no playmakers and their offensive line is average at best.  A healthy Bradford will help, but it’s not the cure all / end all.  They will light Baylor up this weekend and then its Bevo time.

OSU travels to College Station and although the Aggies defense is terrible they can score.  Good test for Bill Young and their defense.  We will see if the injured play.  OSU should win the game and come back for homecoming against Missouri in Stillwater.  By the way, make sure to check out the Gamma Phi float if you are in Stillwater.  My daughter has personally stuffed a lot of crepe paper on that thing!

NFL:

Charger fans, nice defense!

Steelers did what they had to do, but still a long way to go.

How about Brett Favre?  I thought I was watching a fairy tale. I kept looking for Tinkerbell to fly across the screen with her fairy dust and her magic wand… Favre can definitely still play.  I still don’t believe he can do it all year long, but I guess if anyone can Favre will be the one… PUKE, PUKE, PUKE!

Playoff time in Baseball:

Go Twins!

Also, I want to talk about a story that went unnoticed last week.  I’m sure many of you remember the tragic story of Nick Adenhart of the LA Angels.  Adenhart died in a horrible car accident early in the season and was sorely missed by his teammates.  Matter of fact, I’ve given the AL Manager of the Year to Mike Scioscia because they fought through this tragedy, as well as other injuries, to make the playoffs.  Last week, when they clenched a spot in the playoffs, the entire team ran out to the fence where a baseball hung with Adenharts name; each one patted it in a touching and loving way.  Afterwards, they celebrated in the clubhouse – as is customary in baseball – with champagne bottles and beer cans.  Someone got Adenharts’ jersey and poured alcohol on the jersey as a tribute to him being part of the team.

What you might have forgotten is that Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver, so some thought their tribute distasteful.  I COULDN’T DISAGREE MORE!! This goes back to our “sissified” culture and the PC world we live in.  That is the way we baseball players celebrate.  The team wanted Nick to be a part of it.  Don’t make it into more than it really is.  Next thing you know people will want baseball to stop celebrating with alcohol totally.  STOP IT!  Adenhart would have loved to have been a part of that celebration.  Unless he’s different than every other baseball player I’ve ever known, he was looking down and smiling as his uniform was being drenched.

On a personal note…

Last Saturday would have been my mamma’s 87th birthday.  It was the first one without her.  It was hard, but thank God I have my lovely wife Julie, my brother, my sister and my three beautiful daughters.

Happy Birthday Floss!  We miss you!!!

Traber Blog: I’m not a band hater PLUS MLB picks

As I’m sure you are aware, I have no problem with confrontation.  And over the past 17 years I’ve had some doozies.  From the John Blake fans who burnt down my port-o-potty (it’s a long story) to the Corner Man to the people of Seattle I’ve had my share.  But this latest one is the most shocking I’ve ever experienced… I’m flabbergasted!

Sunday night on my Fox 25 TV show (co-hosted with Myron Patton and Curtis Fitzpatrick Sunday nights at 10PM) we have a segment called ‘Final Thoughts’ where each one of us has roughly 30 seconds to give a statement on something that happened during the previous week.  Mine was about the Grambling Band, who is renowned world wide, only getting 6 1/2 minutes during half time to play.  And while they were playing the OSU band walked in front of the TV cameras that were trying to tape the show.  Normally, they are very good at walking behind the cameras.

I made it a point to say that my comments were not about OSU’s band – I think OSU has a great band!  But bands such as Texas A&M, Grambling and Stanford bring something unique to the table.  The fans from other schools DON’T LEAVE AT HALFTIME!  They want to watch these bands!

Since Sunday night I have been berated not only by the OSU band members but the band director himself.  Every other comment I received agreed with me.  It seems like any media outlet that speaks well of Grambling’s band, was accused by the band director of dissing OSU’s band.  They have even gone as far as to challenge me to come to Stillwater Wednesday at 4:00 on the lawn in front of the library and “say it to our face”.  THE BAND!!!  Say what to their face???  That a lot of people wanted to see Grambling’s Band?  Are they coming after me with their tubas and piccolos for that?  I’ve never seen such insecurity in my life.

Hey OSU Band – I am not a band hater!!!  I just enjoy watching the Grambling band!!  I’m not the guy that gave you a Melvin in high school – I just wanted to watch Grambling’s band!!!  No one is saying that Grambling is better than you technically… but they are entertaining and original in the way they perform.  Their football team lost by 50 points – it was an embarrassment.  Give the band their due!

Lastly, if someone comes up to me and tells me that they love Mike Steely’s show (which happens a lot by the way), I don’t beat Steely down to make myself look better – I like his show too.  It’s ridiculous!  Get over it.

NFL:  My Steelers are an embarrassment!  Although I’m not giving up on them, AND the Bengles’ are not a pathetic team, the way they lost to the Bengles was a joke.  They dominated for almost three quarters and then gave up!  You have to finish games in the NFL.  They better beat San Diego this Sunday or they WILL be done.

The other half of my Super bowl predictions – the NY Giants – look great.  The other NY team, the Jets, have taken on Rex Ryan’s personality.  Let’s see how long it will last.

Bret Favre:  As I throw up in my mouth, I have to admit that throw was unbelievable.  50 yards on a line into the only spot you could throw it.  I still think there is a chance that when December rolls around things will be different, but as of right now… puke, puke, puke… It’s been a great pick up.

College Football

OU Fans:  Don’t be too fired up that Miami lost; they will play a lot better Saturday night.  My simple prediction – if Bradford plays OU wins, if he doesn’t OU loses.  By the way, who are the best teams in the country?  After Florida, Alabama and Texas it is wide open.

MLB Playoffs:  I told you last week that I would give you my breakdown.  And as I’m writing this we still don’t know who the winner of the AL Central is, or the NL wildcard, but let’s go for it anyway.

American League:  the Yankees are by far the best team and I believe the Red Sox magic is over.  Hopefully Minnesota will get in, but Detroit is probably more of a threat with Verlander and Jackson at the top of their rotation.  The Angels led by my manager of the year, Mike Scioscia, cannot seem to figure out a way to beat the Red Sox.  Oh, by the way, they will meet in the first round.  Yankees move on the World Series.

National League:  This one is a lot harder because we’ve got three teams that are all very close.  I picked the Phillies at the beginning of the year to get back to the World Series, but the Cardinals have just been amazing.  The Dodgers scare me with Manny Ramirez and some of their young pitching; with Carpenter and Wainwright at the top of the rotation the Cardinals will be hard to beat.  But who will close?     It’s a little bit different pitching in October than it is in August.  I’d love to pick the Cardinals but I’m staying with the Phillies.  With Lee and Hammels at the top and Lidge getting back on track they will repeat.

World Series:  Great matchup between two of the finest and most psychotic sports cities in the country.  I think the Yankees finally get back on track and win the first championship in the new Yankee Stadium.  I’m picking it to go seven games.  Mariano Rivera is the difference.  Sorry Yankee haters and to my good friend Charlie Manuel.

Traber: What a difference two weeks can make; 336 little hours

Traber: What a difference two weeks can make; 336 little hours

Because we’re such a microwave society (i.e. I want it now!!!) it is so entertaining from week to week to check out the emotions of the fans.

Let’s start with OU:

Two weeks ago some Oklahoma fans were ready to give up on the season.  No Bradford, No Gresham, Kevin Wilson had no clue of what to do offensively… they were done.  Now after beating a JV team and embarrassing Tulsa – by the way, the first back to back shut outs since 1987 – now there’s hope!

Someday you people will listen to me about trying to be more objective and even keeled.  How about if you’re a USC fan today?  What if Bob Stoops and the Sooners had lost to Iowa State or a team that was 0 – 12 last year?  I bet there wouldn’t have been nearly as many OU car flags riding around the state…  And I’ve got to tell you that Pete Carroll is a big league coach, but for some reason almost every year he loses to a bad team.  BYU is not a bad team, but many of you jumped ship.  You’re probably back on now.  Wouldn’t it have just been easier emotionally to say after the BYU loss that, “it’s a long season, we had some injuries, but let’s see what happens…”  You could have saved yourself a couple of horrible hangovers and some of you are getting too old for that.  Can’t wait for the Miami game!  Hopefully they’ll beat Virginia Tech and it will be a match up of two top 10 teams like this series should be.

OK, OSU:

Coming off the Georgia win two weeks ago there was huge optimism and then here came Houston.  Don’t want to rub in the loss; but I felt like it was very important that Oklahoma State get back on track against Rice and live up to their pre-season hype.  Sorry, it just didn’t happen.  Yes, Zac Robinson looked better and the defense made plays at times, but still too many points given up.

How about the running game?   Sure you miss Hunter, but even when he was in there it just doesn’t look like the same offense.   Maybe Pettigrew was better than we thought?  But here’s the deal, both OU and OSU had games against inferior opponents where they could get some things done and gain some confidence; OU passed the test, OSU did not.  Sure glad Grambling’s band is coming.

To Mike Holder:

Barry Trammel’s article in the paper today was close to being 100% true.  The steps that Mike Holder took were bold and many didn’t like it.  But it looks like it just might work.  We have to wait for Basketball as well though.  Let’s not forget that Gallagher Iba has been the bread and butter.  Like I’ve always said, no one loves the University more than Holder.  Obviously, he believed his plan was in the best interest of his alma mater.  Sure is nice to see over $50 Grand.

NFL:

Traber Blog 9/15/09: Hey Bears fans – still happy with Jay Cutler?  Talent wise the dude is awesome; but he’s a loser, as he showed us Sunday night.  As I predicted when the trade was made he won’t win any more games than Orton would have.  Think it was a coincidence what happened with Denver and Cincinnati?  I think not!  Karma baby!

I said on my radio show that this statement would come back to haunt me.  And I picked the Bears to beat my beloved Steelers.  So, you may think that my statement from last week is wrong.  … we shall see.  Notice Cutlers’ talent will come through, but let’s see where they are at the end of the year.

Hey Cowboy fans, big league stadium… nice loss.  Are you serious with Tony Romo? Has there ever been a more talented quarterback who chokes it off in pressure situations more than this guy?  And there is no Jessica Simpson to blame this time.

I love Rex Ryan!  More coaches need to speak there minds; I get so tired of this coach speak and PC rhetoric.  You can get in trouble this way, but don’t you think his players were fired up to play for him on Sunday?  And what an awesome move to bring out the ex- Patriot players as captains!  All of it was Big Time including the win!  Speaking of the Patriots, make sure to listen to the Sports Animal every Monday at 3pm Central as Wes Welker joins me to talk football.  You can log onto www.thesportsanimal.com and listen live.

My whipping boy team, the Chargers, made one of the dumbest play calls I’ve ever seen.  How can you have a QB throw for over 400 yards and your team rushes for 50, and on 4th and 2 with the game on the line you run Sproles?   He weights like 150 lbs!!! Ray Lewis and the Ravens laughed for five hours on the plane ride home.  Nice job Norv Turner.  You should be 0 – 2!  Maybe it isn’t a given that you will win the AFC West.  LMAO!

Next week the MLB playoffs start and I’ll give you all of my predictions.  My 1st of the year predictions are looking really good.  Hope the Twins can still get there.

See you next Week!

Yes, “Sissified” is a word

What an unbelievable week of football – From the Steelers big win on Thursday night to the overrated Chargers slipping by lowly Oakland on Monday night and all the games in between.

The #1 thing on my mind today is how “sissified” our culture has become.  We are so politically correct it makes me want to puke!  And sports have been affected as much as anything.  First you have the ridiculous deal of shaking hands before a game – are you serious?  So, the coach gives a pre-game speech and says, “lets go out there and kill them!!!” you fly out of the locker room, onto the field jumping around and then… you line up and shake hands with the other team?  Pathetic.    Why not have the linemen hug each other before every play.  And what about this helmet to helmet crap?  A defensive player makes a great hit and here come the penalty flags.  I know, I know… we want to protect the players. Let’s just put dresses on the offensive players too.
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College Surprises / NFL Predictions

College football never ceases to amaze me!
From a brand new stadium to an unexpected loss, what a crazy football weekend in the state of Oklahoma.

Let’s start in Stillwater:
Having played both football and baseball at OSU too many years ago to mention, I had to pinch myself as I watched the festivities on Saturday… I mean ten years ago it was called “Rustolium Stadium! As I said before the game, no matter how great the stadium or the atmosphere the Cowboys had to win the game.  AND THEY DID!
But who’d have thunk that it would be due to their defense?  They still have a bunch of really good offenses to try to stop, but hey, they beat an SEC power and remain in the top 10.  Let’s see if they can slow down Houston (who by the way will throw the ball).

Oklahoma:
I guess Andre’ Ware isn’t the idiot we all thought.  Granted he just picked BYU to be original, but he was about the only one.  What a shocking Saturday night in Arlington!  Sam Bradford getting hurt was huge, but let’s remember, when he left the game the score was 10-7, not 24-3… in other words they stunk it up with their Heisman trophy winner.
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