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Slot 1 Notes And Prediction

The Philadelphia Eagles are apparently the first conference top seed to be underdogs, in a quarterfinal/division round game.

That is the case for their slot 1 game (with Al Michaels), on NBC vs the Atlanta Falcons. The tilt starts at 4:30 P.M.

“Philly” spread backers get three points, which seems a decent amount of “cream cheese.”

The Eagles are (6-6) in these tilts but (4-0) at home.

Philly will not “cream” the Falcons, but their backers will get the “cheese,” Eagles 19 Falcons 17.

 

Olivia Newton-John sang “Let’s Get Physical.” in her big hit “Physical.” Above I got “generic,” but you get it.

Click below to view Olivia Newton-John singing¬† “Physical.”

Olivia Newton-John – Physical

 

 

 

‘Bama Title Season, Presidential Notes

The Alabama title won in the incredible championship game, Monday past, is the school’s eleventh Associated Press crown.

Some may have noted U.S. President, Donald Trump a Republican, was at the game, leaving at halftime and apparently missing another overtime thriller, in which a Georgia team was dealt a heartbreaking loss. (Mr. Trump stopped watching the most recent Supe, missing his buddy Robert Kraft’s New England team’s great comeback win, vs the Atlanta Falcons).

Perhaps Mr. Trump’s Republican presence helped the Alabama karma, as for the first time, the Tide have won it all with a Republican President in office. (Their 1992 title under Gene Stallings, Bear Bryant and current coach Nick Saban(o) have 5 titles each at ‘Bama, was gained on January 1, 1993, 19 days before Bill Clinton was inaugurated, thus G.H. Bush, a Republican, was in as a so called “lame duck” President.

Otherwise the other 9, really 10 Tide titles, were won with Democrats as U.S. President.

Leroy Jordan, Bear Bryant and John F. Kennedy in 1961, Joe Namath (1964), Steve Sloan (1965) with Lyndon Johnson both years.

Mr. Bryant’s ’78 and ’79 crowns were with Jimmy Carter in office, while as stated, the ’92 crown with Stallings and a player I saw have a great game and help beat DeMatteo (somewhere there is footage of me running along the sidelines in a white jacket, as the then Derrick Owens, Lassic at ‘Bama and now, scored a touchdown for coach Joe Casarella and North Rockland High School), Derrick Lassic was accomplished with W.J. Clinton, having been elected.

The previous 4 ‘Bama titles under coach Nick Saban were with Barack Obama (note the “bama” in his name) as the President.

There is one “big” difference between the 5 other presidents in office when Alabama won the title and Barack Obama. Can you guess the answer?

The answer is the other 5 presidents have a “J” “leading off” one of their names. A “breakdown” follows: (I hope to have an additional breakdown of the scintillating Alabama/Georgia title game) two first names, (“J”ohn F. Kennedy and “J”immy Carter), middle names for Clinton and Trump and a last name for Lyndon B.”J”ohnson.

Perhaps the proximity of the first letter of Mr. Obama’s middle name, “H” (for that matter the one in Mr. Bush’s,¬† still in office for the ’92 crown, as stated above),¬† a scant two letters from “J” in the alphabet, can serve as a reminder, this country so desperately needs, to become far more united, after all, it is The United States.

 

The great Alabama football coach, Nick Saban pictured above.

Click below to see Derrick Lassic, then Derrick Owens “wrap up” brilliant touchdown run. I believe it was 1987 not 1986 but kudos for digging up the video.

Maybe I am one of the people shown running on the field but I am not the man shown behind the end zone.

I ran on the field praised Derrick and invited Mr. Casarella on my television show. He accepted and was a great guest.

Roll Tide- Alabama Claims Their Eleventh Title, Fifth Under Nick Saban Tying “The Bear,” Paul Bryant

Tua Tagovailoa, an almost completely inexperienced reserve quarterback, threw 3 touchdown passes, after being inserted into the game in the second half, the final one 41 yards to an open DeVonta Smith, on a second and 26 yards to go play in overtime, lifting Alabama to their 11th crown, winning (26-23) over Georgia.

This was a truly incredible game and the heroics of Tagovailoa will be an enduring story.

‘Bama coach Nick Saban, who tied the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant with his 5th Associated Press crown at Alabama (he also won another version of the still mythical crown, while coaching LSU, sharing the ’03 crown with USC) put “Tua” into the tilt with Georgia leading (13-0) at halftime.

He threw touchdown passes to Henry Ruggs(The Third) and Calvin Ridley that respectively, cut the deficit to (13-7) and tied the game at twenty apiece.

There were so many twists and turns in this the second straight college title game, decided on the last real play of the game, this one the very last.

Tomorrow I will have more details, regarding those plays and some notes.

A truly big play, I am citing now, occurred after Georgia built a (20-7) lead and had intercepted Tagovailoa possessing the “pig” at the Alabama 39.

Likely they would go up at least 16 points, a 2td and 2 2 point conversion margin, maybe more, however, Fromm’s pass was deflected and intercepted by Raekwon Davis and returned into Georgia territory.

That play and a live bet, I knew the Tide were in it, they won it!!

 

Tua Tagovailoa (pictured above) is “an overnight sensation,” maybe through the boosters he “will drive a big expensive car.”

Sure it is a polluted culture, but, for now, hail Tua’s rescue effort, culminating in a 5th title in 9 seasons for Nick Saban and Alabama.

“Four Dog” Weekend

Though I marvel at their great music, which includes seeing once lead singer, Chuck Negron perform some of it recently, I do not know the “Three Dog Night” musical catalog well enough, to choose a possible title, to describe all four “dogs” (underdogs) covering the point spread, two winning outright, in the just completed wild card round.

Last year all four faves won and covered, however, this year the opposite occurred.

Yesterday, Jacksonville won its first ‘offs game since winning at Pittsburgh (they go there next, opening as SEVEN, now 8 point “dogs”) in the 200(SEVEN)7 wild card round, repeating a 1996 such win, then as a nice road underdog as a second year expansion team, yesterday (10-3) in a boring tilt as a 9 point favorite.

The Saints beat Carolina for the third time, in the maximum 3 season/postseason meetings, winning (31-26) as 6 plus point favorites.

Thus the Saints go to Minnesota in the slot 4/later Sunday/Joe Buck/”quarter’/divisional round game on January 14th, the exact 50 year anniversary of the late Vince Lombardi’s last game as Packers’ coach.

In that game Green Bay eased (33-14) vs the Oakland Raiders in the second Super Bowl, giving Lombardi, whose grandson Joe is a Saints’ assistant coach, a still never equaled or topped 5th NFL crown in 7 seasons.

 

Amazing Titans/Oilers And Falcons Wins And Coincidences

Last season, 9 of 11 (oh those numbers!) favorites covered the spread in the NFL postseason, culminating in New England’s amazing comeback win and “cover” in the 51st and first overtime Super Bowl vs the Atlanta Falcons.

Yesterday both (already as many as last season) underdogs not only covered pretty big point spreads, but won outright, first the Tennessee Titans (the “comeback score”) and next, perhaps fittingly the Atlanta Falcons.

What can be said about the woeful playoffs record, especially at home of the Kansas City Chiefs and their coach Andy Reid, whose home ‘offs woes precede his tenure as K.C. coach.

Yesterday I mistakenly shut off the tilt, “vibed” the phone would call Tennessee first and they did. I should have known as the K.C. lead at the half, was the comeback score of (21-3).

Nobody but me, but alas too late, this is the 40th season of NFL wild card round play (1978-2017). On the first day in this round’s history, the winners were the Atlanta Falcons and the team that became the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Oilers.

Yesterday the two “barked” outright at minimum 10 to 1 odds.

Next Atlanta goes to Philadelphia, the team they beat in the first wild card game ever, 39 years and six days before yesterday’s win.

If the heavily favored Jacksonville Jaguars get the “faves” back on track, by at least winning, never mind covering, the Titans nee Oilers will sojourn to New England as they after their wild card game win at Miami in 1978.

Meanwhile if the Bills make the dogs three for three at what would have originally been around 50 to 1 odds, the Titans would go to Pittsburgh where their ancestral Oilers went for the ’78 title tilt after beating New England in the slots/division round. Pittsburgh ripped Houston en route to their third Supe crown in 5 seasons, winning (34-5).

 

The Titans nee Oilers gained revenge for two losses at the hands of the Chiefs nee Texans, including the 1962, 2 overtime, AFL Title tilt loss. (the program shown above.)

Los Angeles vs Atlanta Postseason Notes

Yesterday, I cited the fact that tonight’s wild card clash between the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons, will be the first between the two franchises.

The cities have met in six previous entities, two each in the NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball.

Both NHL series were best of 3 preliminary round clashes, both baseball were best of 5 quarterfinals/division series and both NBA match ups were best of seven semi-final series.

Tonight is a best of one and one/I (maybe a few others) wonder if any other two cities have this history even a best of 1, best of 3, best of 5 and best of 7, covering the 4 major North American Sports leagues, no less in a truly symmetrical pattern.

L.A. favored by 6 points tonight, has won 5 of the 6 series.

The NHL L.A. Kings won 2 straight from the Atlanta Flames,( now in their 37th season as the Calgary Flames, parenthetically to say the least, a Georgia college team will attempt to win a title 37 years apart this Monday night, something only the Yankees have done in baseball (’41 and ’78), (’61 and ’98, two great Yankees’ teams, but please the ’98 team, no matter their record, were not nearly as good as the ’61 team) and ’62/’99), in ’76 and in 3 games in ’77 in NHL best of three preliminary series.

Getting an individual name in there; Butch Goring, who later played on the 4 straight New York Islanders’ Stanley Cup champions from (1980-1983), had three goals, one an empty net tally, in the decisive third game Kings/Flames in 1977.

The Atlanta Braves swept the Dodgers in 3 straight games in a 1996 “quarter”/division series. “L.A.” won three games to 1 in a 2013 “version.”

The L.A. Lakers won semis from the Atlanta Hawks, oddly as was the case with other Atlanta teams then in the Western Conference, in both ’69 and ’70, losing but one game in the two best of seven series, that in 1969.

So 3 sweeps, all by L.A. teams, one in each sport in which the cities have clashed and three series won by a team, with one loss.

Tonight one loss means ouster. None of the six L.A./Atlanta series winners “titled,” the Lakers twice and the Braves once losing in final rounds.

Both Kings’ prelim series wins vs the Atlanta Flames were followed by “quarters” losses to the Boston Bruins, while the Dodgers were felled by the St. Louis Cardinals, after their division series win, vs the Braves.

 

Rams/Falcons, (Mostly Rams’) Notes

Saturday’s second game, the second of four wild card round tilts, matches the Los Angeles Rams and defending NFC champion, Atlanta Falcons.

This will be the first postseason clash between the two franchises in this the “younger” (The Rams once had a tremendous player named Tank Younger) Falcons’ 51st season and 47th season in which an ‘offs tilt between the two teams was possible.

The Rams (4-5) in wild card round games lost their only previous home tilt in this round to the New York Giants, as part of the ’84 season. That game was the first of 8 ‘offs wins for the Giants under Bill Parcells, (three each in Super Bowl winning seasons in both ’86 and ’90 and a wild card round win in ’85).

Only the Rams have ever hosted a postseason game in as many as three locales/incarnations and tomorrow night they will host an ‘offs game in their second L.A. incarnation, in this their second season, playing there after their move back from St. Louis.

The Rams also played in and won the 1945 NFL Title as the Cleveland Rams, winning the crown, vs the great Sammy Baugh and Washington.

Their other locales/incarnations also produced one title, the one in Los Angeles won vs the great Otto Graham and Cleveland in L.A. in 1951 and as the St.Louis Rams vs the Tennessee Titans as part of the ’99 season, despite a stellar effort by Steve McNair, whose demise in a plane crash puts or should all of this in perspective.

St. Louis’ 1999 title was won at a neutral site in the league’s 34 Super Bowl “on the #,” with Al Michaels, tomorrow’s Rams/Falcons earliest round announcer on that year’s NFL final/Supe.

Tomorrow even more Rams/Falcons notes, with (cue Mildred Dunnock, who said similar in both the play and movie based on Arthur Miller’s iconic “Death Of A Salesman”) “ATTENTION paid” to the Falcons’ ‘offs history as well.