The third installment of Water Cooler Talk is upon us, and I for one am excited for this edition because I get to talk World Series! The New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals will undoubtedly give us one hell of a treat which will hopefully go the distance. Then there’s the headlines of the NFL we’ll get you ready for as Week 8 officially begins. If you’re an NBA fan you’re excited for the season opener, and if you’re not, then Water Cooler Talk is there with you. Sit back, hide the monitor from the bosses view, and let Water Cooler Talk help you to be this week’s office sports guru.
The Mets have had six days off after their sweep against the Cubs, which is a lifetime for baseball players, especially after being as hot as they were. Yoenis Cespedes has said he’s not 100% healthy for the series after a shoulder injury in the NLCS, but he assures us that he’ll be in the Mets outfield and will most likely wreak havoc on the Royals pitching staff. Can Daniel Murphy continue the hot streak and extend his postseason homerun streak, which currently stands at six and is already a MLB record? Then there’s the starting rotation for the Mets, which doesn’t need to be questioned. The Dark Knight gets the start tonight, followed by Jacob DeGrom for game two, Thor starts game three, and Steven Matz takes the hill for game four. Before this series is over, maybe we’ll get DeGrom and Matz nicknames as well.
The Royals have had three days of rest after their six-game defeat of the Blue Jays in the ALCS, which ended Friday night. This team has depth and without a doubt the best bullpen in baseball. The starters for the Royals only need to go five innings a game to get to that bullpen, and they may need that for games 1, 3, and 4 when Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura, and Chris Young take the hill respectively. Johnny Cueto gets the game two start, a game in which he should be able to go 6+ innings if he’s on his game. The home field advantage belongs to the Royals, with the first two games at Kaufmann Stadium, and games six and seven as well if needed.
I do think this series goes the distance, and the bullpens of both squads will be the deciding factor for at least four of those games. Royals closer Wade Davis will shut down any possibilities for the Mets in the 9th inning. The Royals will win this series 4-3, and I predict Lorenzo Cain will be the World Series MVP.
Is Sexy Rexy the right guy in Buffalo? I think not, and I haven’t since he was announced as the head coach in January. The Bills have lost two straight and are now 3-4 on the season heading into their bye. Questionable coaching decisions against the Bengals raised one eyebrow, and a bad loss versus the Jaguars in London should raise both. He says the right things and gets fan bases excited, but that hasn’t resulted in the kind of season Bills Mafia was expecting. The same thing happened in New York, and look how that ended. “Lookie lookie, here comes Cookie,” that’s what got the fans excited about Rex, a reference that’s 50 years old. Way to hold on to the past.
We know one undefeated will lose this week, because the Packers travel to Denver to face the Broncos on Sunday Night Football. Both will enter the game 6-0, but only one leaves 7-0 (duh)! The Bengals, Panthers, and Patriots will look to go 7-0 this week as well and the action begins with the Patriots as they host the rejuvenated Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. If I was a gambling man (and I am), I’d say every team except the Broncos stay undefeated after this week.
The Detroit Lions are a mess, there’s no other way to put it. They’re 1-6 and are in last place in the NFC North. It was confirmed yesterday that offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was fired, along with two offensive line coaches. If anything, we can all get a chuckle when Jim Bob Cooter’s name comes up on the screen as the new offensive coordinator (c’mon Jason, let’s be mature about this). The Lions have a bad offensive line, a bad defense, and with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson taking a lot of salary cap space, it may take a while for this team to turn things around. The Lions face the Chiefs this week in London.
I have another gripe against officiating this week…can you believe it? I was going to go on a rant about spotting the ball this week, but Chris Johnson’s 62-yard run last night took that away from me. Just like last week I will again say that officiating is harder these days because of the pace of play, but everyone in attendance of that game and all the fans watching at home knew that Johnson’s forward momentum was stopped. Heck, even Johnson knew it because he squatted on the play. Now he did the right thing because the whistle hadn’t blown, but WHY WASN’T THE WHISTLE BLOWN? If you faced Chris Johnson in fantasy and lost by six points…I’m sorry for your loss.
The season starts today. Will Bron Bron take the Cavs to promise land? Is this the last shootout for “Old Man Duncan” in San Antonio? Can Golden State and Steph Curry find the magic…again?
I am not shocked that Utah lost on Saturday to USC. That was a trap game and the Utes fell into it.
I am surprised however that Clemson clobbered Miami 58-0, which led to the firing of Al Golden as the Hurricanes head coach. Not that I didn’t think Clemson was going to win, it was just the way they won. The Miami locker room quit on Golden, there’s no question about it. The program can come back, but like Penn State, I don’t think it’ll happen for a long time. There’s not enough money to get a big name coach, so they’ll have to look for someone who can recruit like no other. Perhaps Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham gets the first call?
#2 ranked Baylor suffered a huge loss, as Junior QB Seth Russell will miss the remainder of the season after requiring neck surgery. This may ultimately open the door for TCU to win the Big 12.
Florida State went from #9 to #17 this week after losing to Georgia Tech in the final seconds. The Seminoles had this coming, as they seemingly won every close game last season. The ACC has some tough teams this season with Clemson, Florida State, UNC, Pitt, and Duke. Not an easy road to climb for the Noles, but there’s plenty of time to gain ground.
Two games stand out for me this week. UNC travels to #23 Pitt and #9 Notre Dame takes on #21 Temple. A good matchup should be had between the Tar Heels and Panthers, and I think the Heels eke out a win. Temple is a good team that no one has seen, and I am calling for the upset, Temple wins 23-21 to stay undefeated.
I need to get away from the national spectrum and congratulate the Port Allegany Gators on being the 2015 AML North champions. The Gators started the season 1-3 and have ripped off four straight wins, with last week’s win at Smethport being the most impressive. They finish the regular season on Friday at home versus a winless Sheffield team, then face the AML South champion Kane Wolves for the AML title. I’ve broadcast this team the last three seasons and I’ve seen improvement each and every year. I’m happy to have watched this team accomplish what they have this season, in what is my last season covering the team. Keep it going boys!
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