A jam-packed weekend full of events that may be of mild interest to my loyal readers.
Cathedral traveled three hours to play a horrible team – they were up 56–0 at halftime and held on to win by that exact score – so I walked across the street with my pal Nicole H to watch The Other CHS play the school our tax dollars support. It was the first, real, fall-weather night of the season, and it was terrific, other than the occasional sprinkles that surprised us. The Other CHS used a stellar defensive and special teams performance to win 50–19. I got to talk to Coach H for a few minutes after the game, which is always good.
KU Keeps Rolling
I was able to watch the entire first half of the KU-Duke game Saturday. That was good TV. A packed Memorial Stadium, KU making big plays on offense, and Duke doing enough to make it an interesting game. Daniel Hishaw’s 73 yard TD catch-and-run immediately goes up there with Monte Cozzen’s run in 1991 as one of the greatest plays in school history. And Jalon Daniels’ TD pass to Luke Grimm was a thing of beauty on both ends. I was sure it was going to sail out of bounds, but it was perfectly placed and Grimm made an amazing catch to haul it in.
As has been the theme this season, I missed the second half going to L’s basketball game. KU made it interesting late but held on to get the win and go to 4–0.
I was a little concerned after the game. Duke is solid but I don’t think they are better than any team KU will play the rest of the season. Yet they hung with KU all day.
Then I remembered that the Duke defense never really stopped KU, and if not for several self-inflicted wounds, KU wins this game easily. So chalk it up to still winning despite not playing your best? I don’t know, this is all uncharted territory for me.
I do know the defense needs to find a way to stop giving up the big plays. If you’re going to commit to stopping the run, which the Jayhawks pretty much did Saturday, you have to be able to at least slow the passing game. KU’s secondary make big plays but also give up big plays. With their level of talent and depth, I’m not sure you can hope for much more than that. But I do think that’s problematic as we get into the heart of the Big 12 season.
It was fun to see national commentators jumping all over the AP voters for not including KU. I’m sure K-State fans are taking some joy in knowing their win over Oklahoma is probably what kept KU out of the polls. Still, it’s good that so many national voices have come to KU’s defense.
I really don’t think KU is one of the 25 best teams in the country. But based on their performance through four games, they deserve to be ranked. I believe I saw that, of the teams receiving votes this week, the Jayhawks have played the seventh-toughest schedule, so you can’t say they’ve had an easy go of it.
Still, polls are kind of dumb and I’m not going to get worked up about the “snub.” Use it as motivation to come out extra focused for Iowa State. Win that, and there should be no question that the Jayhawks will appear in next week’s poll.
Double Kid Hoops
We’ve reached the point in the calendar where L has two different basketball teams in action. On Saturday her travel team continued their efforts in the Back to School league. Once again it was kind of a disaster.
They played a team they’ve never faced before. These girls were all long, wiry, and scrappy. They grabbed like hell on defense, which has been a theme all season. We even had three refs for this game and they were totally uninterested in calling any on-the-ball fouls. And these girls could shoot the hell out of the ball. They hit at least 15 3’s. At one point they had a 3-on–1 break and the girl with the ball pulled up and drilled a 3. S, who knows nothing about basketball, looked at me at one point and said, “I think our girls should just shoot 3’s, too.” She’s grasped what modern basketball is about.
It was a humbling 41-point loss. Egad! We were missing our best inside player but I don’t think she was worth 41 points.
L had been sick all week and it showed. She could only play a few minutes at a time before she lost her wind. Yet she went 3–3 from the field, including a 3, and 1–2 from the line to score eight.
Sunday the CYO season started.
We were playing the school, St N, that beat L’s kickball team in the City championship game the two times they made it. We knew they were tall and big and had a really good player we’ve faced in travel ball. We were missing the same inside player the travel team was missing, so we knew it would be tough to compete with them on the boards.
Fortunately L had her stamina back and played the entire game. She played really well, clearly our best player. The only issue was she missed five layups. A couple were in transition with pressure, but she still should have made them. Two looked like fatigue got to her, short-armed misses. And other was just a tough shot that was low percentage. Throw in a couple missed jumpers and she went 3–10 from the field, 2–4 from the line, for eight points. She had a couple assists, a couple rebounds, a couple steals, a couple turnovers. Twos were wild on her stat line.
St N’s best player got hot in the second half and they built a 13-point lead. They had multiple possessions where they got 3–4 chances to score because we could not get our hands on rebounds. We got it down to six with the ball a couple times, but couldn’t either hit the shot to cut it to one possession or get a rebound. Their inside girl wasn’t very good until you fouled her. She was 8–8 from the line, including 6–6 in the fourth quarter. She was six inches taller and at least 60 pounds heavier than the biggest girl we had.
Put it all together and it was an 11-point loss. I think if we have our inside girl and can get some rebounds, and L is 100% we could have won it. But we didn’t really expect to win so keeping it respectable was a decent result.
We are lucky this year to have a loudmouth dad. I was running the clock so well away from him, but I could still hear him screaming at the refs the entire game. In the second half the fouls were 9–2 against us. It was 7–1 before we started fouling in the last minute. All those calls against us were legit; that’s what happens when you’re trying to guard bigger girls with guards. But the one against them was fishy, especially since their best player got three fouls in the first quarter then didn’t get another foul the rest of the game.
Our loudmouth dad came walking across the court when the game was over and the refs were gathered at the scorer’s table. He loudly asked, “D, does the foul button work for them? Because it seemed like it was stuck on one the entire game.” Terrific. I think I’m going to keep stats on the bench during road games so I never have to sit near him.
L is very excited about the CYO season because she knows the level of competition will be lower than what she’s faced in travel. Sunday she looked like the second-best player on the court. They switched their best player onto her in the second half and she was still getting shots. She just needs to prove that she’s improved by hitting them.
The Sunday game matched up with the Chiefs-Colts game – apparently all my football interest this fall will coincide with L’s games – so I was only able to see the last 20 minutes or so. Even then I was only half watching, because the Colts seemed to be sucking and I figured the Chiefs would do just enough to win on a day they seemed to be lacking intensity and focus. I wondered if another Colts loss could lead to some kind of changes in the coaching staff this week.
Then a fortunate penalty gave the Colts new life on their final drive and Matt Ryan did just enough to get the win.
So the Colts get a tie and loss against the two worst teams in their division, then beat the co-favorites in the AFC. Sports make no sense sometimes.
The win gave me no real hope for the Colts’ season, though. That offensive line is terrible. It’s amazing how quickly things can fall apart in the NFL. That unit was one of the best, if not the best, o-lines in the game just two years ago. A retirement, some injuries, and poor decisions on incoming players have wrecked it. And while I was hopeful Ryan could be a steady if unspectacular correction from the high-stress Carson Wentz experiment, he looks washed up and a worse option than Phillip Rivers was two years ago.
Also, there must be something in the water in Indy, because like the Pacers in recent years, the Colts are just constantly decimated by injuries. It’s hard to expect them to improve when their best defensive player can’t get on the field and each week brings a new swath of players who will miss the next game.
The only good thing is the Colts are in the weakest division in the league, so there’s still a path to the playoffs if they can get healthy and find a way to protect Ryan. Although Jacksonville may not be as shitty as people expected, which could change that math significantly.
One final note. S and I were taking a walk Sunday morning when we saw and heard a couple police cars race by. We were about a mile from our house and they seemed to be stopping at a major intersection, so we figured there must have been a bad accident. But then more police cars roared by and we figured it was something else. It seemed like they were turning away from our house, so we weren’t super concerned.
As another batch of police screamed by, we crossed paths with some other walkers who told us they heard there was am armed intruder in a home. When we got back to the main road our house sits off of, we could see at least eight police cars in front of a house about half-a-mile south of ours. We later read there was someone with a weapon in the house that was refusing to come out. Whether they were an intruder or a resident we never heard. But the person was detained, no ambulances ever showed up, and things calmed down.
Not your typical sleepy, Sunday morning.