A lot of sports and stuff to get through from the past weekend.
Weirdest game of the season for Cathedral, against rival Bishop Chatard. It was CYO Night + Homecoming + Chatard, so the stadium was packed. We got there an hour early and still had to park in the overflow section a couple blocks away.
The Irish started hot, jumping out to a 21–0 lead in the first quarter, and it looked like it would be a repeat of the past three years, all blowout CHS wins.
But Chatard steadied themselves and controlled the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 21–10 at the break.
The weird thing was the lights on the visiting side of the field were not working. As CHS went through the halftime homecoming festivities, we noticed the Chatard side was completely clearing out. As soon as the homecoming king and queen were announced, official word came that the game was being postponed until Saturday morning, and would move to Chatard.
(Reminder for you non-Indy folks, CHS does not have their own football stadium. In recent years they’ve stuck to Arlington Middle School, which is about a mile from campus. The stadium is old, isn’t well maintained, and most fans have to park in a very sketchy strip mall. The other option is to drive 20 minutes downtown to play at Tech High School, which has a much nicer field but it is, again, 20 minutes away. Something is always going wrong at the Arlington stadium. This time it was the power not working for half of the lights.)
L wanted to go to the freshman game Saturday so we did not return to the varsity game. Good choice. On Cathedral’s four second half possessions, they threw two interceptions and turned the ball over on downs twice, while Chatard scored on their first possession after resuming and then threw a 39-yard TD pass with a minute left to break their four-game losing streak in the series. The kid who caught the winning pass did not play Friday night because he was in the concussion protocol, but Saturday was the first day he was eligible to return. Pretty good timing. My girls all thought I was joking when I told them the final score. By the computer rankings, CHS was a 19-point favorite.
Familiar issues for CHS. Their offensive line can’t block. They have a D1 quarterback, four really good receivers, and a junior running back who has the potential to be great. But they can’t give the QB time to throw or open holes for running plays. The D-line struggles as well, and the secondary is the weakest I can recall in my five years of going to games. Since schools don’t hand out rosters anymore I don’t know if CHS is young or just not very good. Whatever it is, they’re wasting the skill players.
Next week they play hapless North Central, right up the block from our house. Unless they get their shit together, that might be their last winnable game of the regular season.
I again missed the first half of the KU game while watching CHS. Allow me to reiterate that playing college football on Friday nights is dumb. Although it you have to do it, it better be on ESPN/ESPN2 so you at least get the benefit of people being able to watch it easily along with guaranteed coverage on Sportscenter.
Apparently I missed the best part of the game. As we were leaving Arlington I couldn’t find the KU feed on Sirius, so listened to the Illinois halftime show and they were raving about Jason Daniels. 28–7 seemed like a good start.
By the time I got home the second half had just begun and I had to watch nervously as Illinois tried to come back and the referees tried to steal the game.
OK, it wasn’t the field refs so much as the replay official. The targeting call on Austin Booker was terrible. There was no way you could definitively determine if he hit the Illinois QB with the crown of his helmet, especially when making such a call leads to an ejection and suspension for Booker. Then the same person somehow confirmed a spot that was clearly wrong by two yards as KU was trying to clinch the game late in the fourth quarter. When the impartial ESPN announcers are incredulous about calls you have to assume it was an Illinois alum doing the reviews.
I’m obviously kidding but since I didn’t see the best part of the game I can’t dive into those details and am left to overreact about those two calls.
Bottom line was JD looked great, the offense was crisp in the first half, the defense was doing some nice things before they lost focus/got tired in the second half, and KU won a game everyone was worried about fairly easily. I saw that KU is now something like 42–117 all time against the Big 10. Maybe this was the win that turns all that history around!
I did not like the uniforms. I have it when schools that don’t have black as a primary color decide to bust out black uniforms. This isn’t 1995. Now make those same uniforms blue and I would have been totally onboard. I guess the players loved them, which is all that matters. The uniform gurus agree with me.
I was only able to watch isolated portions of opening weekend of the NFL. The Colts looked competent for stretches of their game against Jacksonville before things fell apart in the fourth quarter. Anthony Richardson getting blasted and having to leave the game was not good, although he claimed afterwards that he was fine. He was terrific in the first half – 16–20 passing including two drops, 30+ yards rushing – but was largely ineffective in the second until his final drive. That will be the story of the year so no need to get worked up about either aspect of it.
Props to the Colts for keeping the Lucas Oil stadium roof closed on an absolutely perfect day. It’s a running joke around here how much we paid for a retractable roof for how rarely it actually gets opened for a Colts game. I guess 78 and sunny was too oppressive for the fans and players.
The Cowboys looked awesome Sunday night. I apologize to Lions fans for not taking them seriously. Green Bay fans need to calm down and save it for after the play a real NFL team. I’m officially declining my honorary homer status for the Bengals, but reserve the right to reclaim it when they play better. My Niners pick is looking good after 60 minutes of football.
We watched almost every one of Coco Gauff’s matches, from her opener against the frustrating German Laura Siegemund, to the final when she captured her first Grand Slam title. What a delightful two weeks. Not only is she a terrific tennis player, she is more composed and thoughtful than I’ve ever been. And she’s only 19!
There were so many great moments over her run, but my favorite may have been how she was sobbing after she hit the winner that clinched the championship match. Most players cry tears of some kind when they win a Grand Slam. Something about hers seemed different. Teen tennis prodigies are always a dicey long-term bet. Coco sure seems like the real deal.
One of my other favorite recurring moments of the tournament was all these divas (of both genders) who for some reason scream at their coaches and support teams when they lose a point. You’re the one with the racquet and on the court, asshole. Take some responsibility.
FIBA World Cup
Speaking of assholes, I didn’t get too worked up about the US losing the third-place game to Canada. I did get worked up about them letting Dillon Brooks score 39 points. DILLON BROOKS. No one on the US roster should be allowed to play international ball again. Although he probably thinks he’s an All NBA caliber player now, which could lead to all kinds of hilarious bad play this coming year. Kind of a shame he’ll be wasted in Houston and not torpedoing some actual contender when he goes 3–27 in a playoff game.
I didn’t get up to watch the third-place game and it was over before I woke up Sunday. I did watch most of the other US games during the tournament that were on at more decent times. The real goal was to qualify for the Olympics, which they accomplished. With a flawed roster. Now roll out the A team next year to grab the gold medal.
It was super interesting to watch how the US struggled with the format of FIBA basketball. The court is slightly smaller. The ball a touch different. There are no illegal defense rules. Refs call some fouls very differently than in the NBA. The games also move quicker. Combine all that and the US never seemed comfortable.
It’s not just that the rest of the world has gotten a lot better. The international teams generally have a core that has been together for years, where the US throws a different lineup out there each time they play in the World Cup or Olympics. When you have a LeBron or KD or Kobe anchoring things you can paper over a lot of those little issues. When you have a bunch of nice but not great players there is not much room for error. It’s also interesting that of the top five players in the world right now, only one is an American, and he wasn’t playing in this tournament.
One thing about the US team did bother me. It seemed like they were always looking to throw the toughest pass possible rather than the easiest. I blame it on them wanting to try to match the 1992 Dream Team’s flair. They need to understand that Germany in 2023 is way better than it was in 1992. Just do the simple things and win the game. If you’re up by 20 in the closing minutes, then you can start throwing behind-the-back passes. Oh, and maybe pick someone for the team capable of getting a rebound.
BREAKING NEWS: This morning LeBron said he’s in for next summer’s Olympics. That’s great and all but not sure he’s what the US needs.
It was an utterly amazing night for an outdoor concert Sunday evening. Warm as the sun set, cool but not yet chilly as darkness descended.
Sadly Pearl Jam postponed their Indianapolis show because of an illness in the band. They say they will reschedule and tickets will be honored at that show. There are only four more nights on this tour and Eddie Vedder starts a solo tour on September 30, so it seems like it will be in the next couple weeks, maybe? I hope whenever it is that the weather is as great as it was Sunday.
- Cobee Bryant’s targeting foul? Yeah, that was 100% a legit penalty. ↩
- One minute time outs are the best invention ever. The NBA and NCAA would never go to those – too much lost ad revenue – but they sure speed up the pace of the game. ↩
- I would say that’s Steph Curry, although Jayson Tatum was All NBA first team last year. ↩