I’d like to begin with this week’s Irony Award, which belongs to St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. There is a fine line between unsportsmanlike taunting and sticking it to someone because they just plain deserve it. Prior to the 2012 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins gave up six picks so they could move up a few spots and grab Robert Griffin III with the 2nd overall selection. He was to be their franchise quarterback, and he played great his rookie season. Then he tore his ACL and has been on a downward spiral ever since. He was recently benched amidst concerns about his character and leadership abilities, not to mention poor level of play. Many believe he won’t even be with the Redskins when the 2015 season gets underway. Washington hosted St. Louis on Sunday. Jeff Fisher sent six captains out for the coin toss. They were all the players acquired in that ill-advised trade. The Rams then shut out the Redskins 24 to 0 while Griffin looked on from the sideline.
While we’re on the subject of awards, I assume you’re all familiar with the Darwin Awards. These are given to people who either die in ridiculous ways or show definite signs that they someday will. There was the guy who blew a fuse in his truck. He didn’t have a spare fuse at hand so used a bullet instead and shot himself in the nuts. Then there was the young couple who thought the busiest freeway in Brazil was the perfect place to make out. It was foggy, and they actually stopped in the right hand lane and not on the shoulder. Along came a cargo truck and that was the end of the story. Hey, at least they didn’t get a chance to reproduce.
I think there’s a decent chance Nebraska defensive end Jack Gangwish could be a future Darwin Award winner. While driving home from what we can only assume was a Cub Scouts meeting, Gangwish spotted a raccoon and must have thought that was the perfect opportunity to earn his wildlife badge. He stopped to take a selfie… with the raccoon. So what do we actually know about raccoons? They’re small, cute, and fuzzy, and look perfectly harmless. However, when provoked, they’re only slightly less nasty than the feared killer rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Rocky, it turns out, didn’t really want to be photographed, so bit Gangwish on the calf. He reacted like anyone would. With no holy hand grenade readily available (that’s another Monty Python reference), Gangwish beat the raccoon to death with a crescent wrench.
Our final award of the week comes from the are you kidding me? department and goes to Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White. “I don’t want to hear no noise about how people feel. Like no one has won a division going 8 – 8 or 7 – 9.” White was responding to all the haters who say the first place Falcons and their 5 – 8 record don’t belong in the playoffs. Here’s the thing. With all due respect, they don’t belong in the playoffs; nor does any other team from the piss poor NFC South. Of the Falcons five wins, FOUR of them have come against other crappy teams in their totally crappy division. They have exactly ONE win against the rest of the NFL, and ONE win against a team with a winning record. As they proved Monday night, their defense couldn’t stop an elevator door from closing. The entire division is 8 – 26 against teams outside the NFC South. Yes, some 8 – 8 or 7 – 9 teams have advanced to the post season. However, the Falcons would have to win out just to get to 8 – 8 and they haven’t won more than two games in a row since 2012. Sorry, Roddy, but your team stinks and A big win streak now seems unlikely to say the least.
The colder weather seems to be settling in, at least in the northeast, so we’re going to heat things up with a steaming pot of Game Day Chili. Unlike the Cincinnati Chili recipe I posted way back in Week 6, this is a more classic interpretation of a traditional football favorite. It goes especially well with Beer Bread and they take about the same amount of time to cook.
1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 large onion, chopped
4 to 5 cloves fresh minced garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 bell peppers, chopped (choose your favorite colors)
1 cup (3 to 4 stalks) celery, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans (1 light and 1 dark—drain & rinse)
1 cup sweet corn (canned or frozen)
2 tbsp chili powder
6 to 8 dashes of Frank’s hot sauce
1 tsp salt
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti/tomato sauce
About ¾ of a bottle of good beer (more if necessary)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (if desired)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add ground beef, onion and garlic, and cook until meat is browned. Reduce heat and add all remaining ingredients. Add the beer last. Use just enough to achieve desired thickness. Simmer covered until vegetables are tender and ingredients are well blended, at least one hour, stirring frequently. Top with cheddar cheese and serve with crackers or a nice crusty bread. Hungry yet?
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