I Swear That I’ve Seen This Play Beat Teams A Million Times

Okay, so I’m just a loser on the couch who knows nothing. I played one year of organized youth football. That’s it. Not even high school. My credentials to criticize coaching strategies in college or pro, are literally non-existent.

But… and this is a big “but”…. I have WATCHED a metric ton of football as a fan. So I’m not a total idiot. And the play that effectively ruined Notre Dame’s season? I’ve seen that a million times. So somebody help me out as I post these screen grabs of the play in question.

ND_stan_1Pre-snap, I already don’t like the look if I’m a Notre Dame fan. There’s just 3 lineman preparing to rush, and the DB’s are all a MINIMUM 12-yards off the line of scrimmage. It’s as if they think only a TD can beat them, so they are playing for ONE play, and to keep everything in front of them. Stanford wisely has plenty of timeouts available, so every sector of the field is available to them.

ND_stan_2Rushing just 3, the 4th potential rusher is spying Kevin Hogan, who the Irish somehow mistake to be Michael Vick in his prime. Note that 2 Stanford linemen don’t even have anybody to block, and Hogan has plenty of time and huge throwing lanes.

ND_stan_3Dangerous 6-4 wideout Devon Cajuste makes a simple in-cut to beat his man, who never comes closer to him than 5 steps. It is not an exaggeration to say that you, or me, could make that throw. Simple pitch and catch.

ND_stan_4Now the posse arrives, too late, and at least 20 yards too late – 5 guys to tackle one man.

I have seen variants of this middle-field, last seconds left throw around mid-field to beat teams. Surely there MUST be a better defense in this spot?

If it were me, I would absolutely rush 5 guys. Hard. Not an all-out blitz, but legit plus-one pressure. I would have my corners and DBs be at least 3-4 yards off the line of scrimmage. Hell, I might even play press coverage on all 4 verticals, disrupt the timing, re-route a few guys and trust my two safeties over the top to rally to any deep throws over the top. Even remind your cornerbacks, that a pass interference call is not the end of the world, as the 15 yard penalty is much better than letting Cajuste catch a candy-cane-easy 25 yard skinny post!

But, as I mentioned above: what the hell do I know? I’m a moron on the couch. Sure, that coverage looked COMPLETELY STUPID and almost like Notre Dame was THROWING THE GAME.

But hey, you didn’t get beat on a 50 yard bomb over the top. Which I suppose is the one thing every football coach in America wakes up in a cold sweat to on a nightly basis.


Luck Be, A Baby… Tonight

I am only sorta-mad that my Redskins – who had shown such enticing promise in their blowout of New Orleans – laid an egg against unbeaten Carolina. I mean, I wished they had shown up at least, and given Cam and Co. a game. Woulda been nice. Woulda made me continue to think this team was building toward something better than our usual December nap.

But what gets me expletive spittin’ mad, as you will hear below in our weekly SRBFTD Podcast (now with 20% more Andy Pollie!) is our own players coming up with crackpot theories about ref conspiracies! I mean, get a grip, fellas! And for god’s sake, enough acting like babies over two marginal calls! Our fans and my fellow media members are almost as bad as some of the players!

Andy and I knock around all the pertinent issues coming out of this week, and look forward to the next two home games: Giants and then Dallas. In a nutshell: that’s the season. You don’t have to win ’em both, but if you only win one,  then I would make it the Giants game, since Dallas is further behind and you’ve already lost one to Big Blue.

Sit back and enjoy this week’s edition, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Kick Peyton Manning When He’s Down? Not In Front Of Her, You Don’t!

I know of no bigger Peyton Manning fan-girl than listener Deb Wagner, from the great city of Seattle. She’s a devout “12” with her Seahawks, but has always had a soft spot for Peyton Manning.

I too, have been a Peyton fan from afar, admiring his Terminator-Dork persona, and his post-neck surgery success (regular season) in Denver.

But it’s all comin’ a cropper now, and the latest episode of Peyton staying home while Brock Osweiler got the go in Chicago, has some people (okay, maybe me.. maybe) re-thinking just how much of a “pro” ol’ Lego-Neck really is.

Well… (deep haughty sigh!) Ms. Wagner does beg to differ! She picks it up from here….

Kind Sirs –
I love the sound of hyperbole in the morning. Please allow me to comment upon the Peyton-Manning-Eulogy train that is in full motion and picked up some extra steam today as the Peyton-Manning-Is-a-Pissy-Bitch car attached itself to the proceedings.
Look, I’ve fully come to expect the ‘Aw, C’MON Man – Peyton is finished!! Dead!’ chorus that is present everywhere in sports radio and sports print media. Hot takes be everywhere.Guys cannot speak enough or write fast enough to laud Osweiler and insist that Peyton clean out his locker and get the hell out of Bronco-land. Fine. Have the wake and drink many, many IPAs.
But start comparing Peyton Manning to Brett Favre – Brett Favre!! – and those are much more than fighting words. Those are nuclear war words.
Allow me to point out that it might be sane to pick one side or the other. Either Peyton is suffering from a laundry list of fairly serious injuries or he is just a bit injured and is a unsupporting, selfish player who didn’t travel and is not helping his team. (How ‘Mean Girls’ of him!!) He cannot be both.
First of all, there are times when you need to fully REST your body. Have the sports media just full-on jumped the shark in bypassing how serious some of these injuries might be or is everybody just looking for the most gossip-worthy aspect?(Silly question!) You want him walking all around airports and stadiums, but sit on a chair on the sidelines?! Yes, I know that Peyton flew out East for a second opinion Monday. If he chooses to use what body energy he needs to move in order to go for some medical help instead of going to Chicago to hold Brock’s hand, he has more than earned that right. He is Ole Lego-neck and has come back from incredible injury. He needs exactly ZERO blessings from the sports media and needs to prove NOTHING to anyone.
And what is the deal with everyone being horrified that Brock didn’t have Peyton to go to? Isn’t Brock the guy who has had 4 effing years as backup? Was he playing ‘Angry Birds’ instead of paying attention during all that time on the sidelines? Was he supposed to come into the game, get the vapors and want to cry on Peyton’s shoulder? Has anybody taken a single moment to contemplate that quite possibly one of the reasons that Brock played well was that he has talked to Peyton often over the years and has received some pretty great advice and insight? Or are we only interested in whether or not Peyton and he do ‘pinkie swears’ and eat together in the cafeteria?
I read an article on Peyton being a diva that was listed on the Drudge Report yesterday. It also went to great lengths decrying Peyton’s possible bad attitude and sore-loserness. And then the article switched gears to interview Matt Cassel to ask him how Tom Brady had treated Cassel when Tom was injured. (At this point I searched for where this article was written. Why, it was Boston, that hotbed of Peyton love.) Color me stunned that Matt could not praise Brady enough and stated that Brady was the epitome of a supportive, helpful teammate. And also color me not-basing-my-overall-assessment-of-what’s-really-going-on-in-Denver by believing an article written in New England with the real message being ‘Tom-Good. Peyton-Bad.’
But, then again, there are all those quotes from Kubiak and Osweiler which support this story. Wait…..what? There aren’t any? How can that be? Don’t even try to tell me that either of those gentlemen would be afraid to say anything because this is open-season on Peyton – they would just be a part of the chorus and more people would clap and point and say, “See!! We told you!!” But never let the facts get in the way of a fun story debasing a guy who had seemed to be a pretty straight-forward, easy-to-be-around guy.
Peyton’s injured and in pain and probably more than aware of what is ahead. So……let’s get him!! He might be upset and struggling to comprehend everything and not be in the best mood. So…..he’s an asshole!! Did someone stand up in a meeting and shout, “Hey, they screwed with Brady – let’s bring Peyton down, too!!”?
And comparison to Brett Favre? What in the world did Peyton ever do to anybody that you’d even hint at comparing him to that faux-retiring-year-after-year, never-end-whining, junk-photoing individual? Save that utter insult for when it actually might fit this situation. Please.
Deb<—-it’s snowing here. Garage can’t be used until I throw a bunch of crap out and I don’t have the studded tires on the car yet. Could be fun!!!! Happy THANKSGIVING!!


Deb Wagner, wearing “cousin Bobby’s” jersey at CzabeVegas. (Note: Not real cousins!)

Fenway Park Gets Her Makeover, College Football Continues to Mezmerize!

While the actual game between Notre Dame and Boston College was an ugly-ass bastard donkey, the sight of Fenway Park hosting football again – for the first time since 1968 – was a thing of sheer beauty. And of course sod-nerds like myself, can’t get enough of the “how was it done” videos, like this one: which includes all the tricks of the video trade: time-lapse, slo-mo, and of course, drones!

Meanwhile, if you like “tasty” then you have to enjoy this week’s ESPN montage of Saturday glory. Jacked up kickers, sweaty young men bouncing in locker-rooms, a marriage proposal, and more than a few crazy bounces.

Some Idle Thoughts on Throwbacks, Alternates, and the Dreaded “Color Rush”

Contrary to some people’s opinion, I am NOT anti-uniform innovation or improvement. But like all of us, I have my likes and dislikes, and general sense of taste.

That said, I know few people who actually LIKE the NFL’s new Thursday night holiday money grab… er… “seasonal alternates”…. of tone-on-tone, “Color Rush” jerseys.

This week it was the Jags looking like a Chinese mustard packet, and the Titans looking like the Smurfs.

Or, maybe it was an ode to Star Trek. I dunno.

Next year, there’s a dirty rumor that the Packers will be volunteers in… er… subject to?… the “Color Rush” phenomenon. This is where my noted and accomplished logo-design buddy Dave Mann picks up the story..

To: Czabe
From: Mann, Dave
RE: Color Rush

I think the Packers are already “in” for 2016 color rush. I heard that somewhere….on twitter? I think. And while that obviously scares the heck out of me…some smart and likeminded uniform historians have pointed out that the Packers COULD elect to….not HAVE…but COULD… do color rush AND stay true to their actual uniform history at the same time. How?

They could throwback to the 1950-53 seasons and go green over green.

And no, I had no idea that they had ever dressed like that either.

All of this is, speculation and presumes that Color rush even makes it to next season.


Ah yes… the “good ol’ days” of simple uniforms, where teams had ONE home and ONE road unif…. oh.. hey wait. Holy crap! Look at that! The 1953 Packers had FIVE different schemes that year! Incredible.

Naturally, replicating the “green-over-green” from ’53 would look like utter shit now, what with shiny modern helmets and high tech fabrics. But if it does happen, then I suppose being able to cling to a historical reference may ease the visual pain.

If I had my way, each NFL team would be allowed ONE “throwback” uniform per season, and ONE “alt.” That’s it. That’s more than enough. I would let teams change their “throwback” from year to year to reference different historical touchpoints in team garb – but I would insist that the league verify the throwback has an actual antecedent look, and is not just a “second alternate.”

This way, we could reign in stupid shit like “Color Rush” and still let teams dabble in their OWN desired “alt” on a year-to-year basis – IF THEY CHOOSE. And some may not. Which would be fine with a lot of people.



“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”

  • Aldous Huxley

the GIF

The “Mad Hatter”…. escapes again!