Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday Potpourri No. 18

Today's post comes with the Standard Sunday Disclaimer: "The post title is using the term 'potpourri' in the second of the two senses listed here. The post may also be rather short, although not necessarily so."

Sunny Saturdays

The college football season is moving past the "cupcake" stage for the most part, and into conference play. This is the time of the season where the games are actually meaningful. If your alma mater beats some directional school by five touchdowns in September, no one gets too excited. That's what is supposed to happen. The only times those games matter are when your alma mater is the victim of a stunning, historic upset. And who needs that in their lives? Most fans just want to get that part of season over with as soon as possible, so that we can move on to games we actually care about.

"When opportunity knocks, open the door!"

The game I truly cared about this weekend, of course, took place at Faurot Field in Columbia. My beloved Missouri Tigers defeated South Carolina 24-10, behind true freshman quarterback Drew Lock.

Lock, playing in place of the suspended Maty Mauk, was 21-of-28 for 136 yards and two touchdowns. More than good enough.

It was the first time since Gary Pinkel (Missouri's all-time winningest coach and currently among the top five winningest active head coaches) took over at Missouri that he has started a true freshman at quarterback, which is a little surprising given his knack for developing players at that position.

It was mostly a satisfying day for me in other games as well. I was sorry to see Notre Dame lose, but Nebraska got beat, so that was nice. Penn State (my best friend's alma mater) beat Army. And in the Daily Double (for me, at least) Iowa State blew out Kansas. All in all, a pretty sunny Saturday for me.

"Nebraska's in a different conference now. Why do you still care how they do?"
 Long memory...

Wild Kingdom Bed & Breakfast Update

I've recently begun adding some food to my feeder blend that is designed to attract larger birds (shelled peanuts, pieces of dried fruit, etc.) just to see what happens. The B&B has already been attracting quite a variety of sparrows and finches, plus the occasional cardinal. Today, however, we had a new visitor...

"I'm not a fucking omen, okay? I was just hungry. Chill out."

He didn't stay long, just snagged a large piece of dried fruit and flew off (some of the smaller birds take their food somewhere else to eat it, too). He'll come around again, I'm sure, and when he does I'll try to think Creighton University and not Toronto...

Things That Make Me Happy: Home Field Edition

Speaking of the Toronto Blue Jays, they lost on the road yesterday to the Tampa Bay Rays, while my beloved Kansas City Royals played the Minnesota Twins, winning 5-1 at Target Field. The Royals win put them a game ahead of the Blue Jays for home field advantage in the ALCS, should both teams get that far (both teams will enjoy home field advantage in their ALDS series). It also eliminated the Twins from the Wild Card race.

Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08 ERA) pitched seven innings and only allowed four hits and one run, while striking out 11 (tying his career high). He certainly looked like he's ready to start Game 1 of the ALDS.

"Nice season, Minnesota, but no playoffs for you."

The game was a tense pitcher's duel through six innings, with the Twins' Tommy Milone (9-5, 3.92) matching Ventura pitch for pitch. The Twins went to their bullpen in the top of the 7th, which turned out disastrously, as the Royals pushed across four runs. With one out, SS Alcides Escobar tripled. With two out, CF Lorenzo Cain, who was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI on the day, drove home the game-winning run with an infield single. Before the inning ended, the Royals led 5-1 and the game was essentially over.

"When you're fast, sometimes a dribbler is as good as a line drive, you know?"
The regular season comes to a close today with Johnny Cueto (10-13, 3.48 ERA) getting the start, and trying to return to form before the playoffs begin. It isn't clear how many of its regulars Minnesota will play now that they have been eliminated, but they have announced that Ricky Nolasco (5-1, 5.97) will get the start, making just his second appearance since his ankle surgery back in June. If the Royals win, the outcome of the Blue Jays-Rays game won't matter...

Until Next Time...

In the fall of 1966 I had started 8th grade in Council Bluffs, and had taken to listening to my pocket transistor radio at every opportunity. My favorite station was Omaha-based KOIL, which in those days featured a Top 40 music format. One day in early October,
I was walking home from school when a song I hadn't heard before came on. It was ridiculously infectious, and to this day I want to start dancing every time I hear the first few notes.

"Gimme Some Lovin'" was the biggest U.S. chart hit (peaked at No. 7) for The Spencer Davis Group, a short-lived British R&B band. It is one of the most popular hits of the '60s (and features perhaps the most iconic Hammond B3 organ riff of all time). Today's send-off is an early version of the music video, which British groups often used to get seen on American television until they were popular enough to rate an invitation to appear in person on shows like American Bandstand, The Ed Sullivan Show, and Shindig! If you can stay seated while listening to this, check to make sure you still have
a pulse. Enjoy...

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