5-at-10: Uncle Buck and the NFL power poll, Braves to D.C., 'Wheel of Fortune' controversy

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Bryce Elder throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

NFL power poll

Do we really know anything about the NFL?

Like know know, you know?

I say no.

We don’t know if the Chiefs are going to be the Chiefs without Tyreek Hill stretching the field from the Outer Banks to Oahu.

We don’t know if the Bills are going to be THAT team since in a big week three game they threw the ball more than 60 times. (Seriously. I looked it up and stuff.)

We don’t if the Jags are a contender or if they stink, but the former seems more likely than the latter. (Side question: Does Urban Liar get any credit for redirecting that franchise any now that the Jags look like the best team in the AFC South three games in? Discuss.) 

We don’t know if Tom Brady will be Tom Brady or whether Aaron Rodgers can be Aaron Rodgers in big moments without Davante Adams. (Side question: You know how we say at a certain age Freddies and Tommys need to become Freds and Toms? Well, as old as Tom Brady is, he’s officially Thomas Brady around these parts. As Uncle Buck said, “It’s in the books.)

Side note on the side question: If we are going for supremely under-appreciated 1980s comedies, I’ll start the conversation with “Uncle Buck,” people. God bless you, John Candy. Do I detect a theme power poll in the works? Why yes, yes I do.


1 Philadelphia. “What’s your record for most consecutive questions asked?” Uncle Buck’s query to a precocious Miles (played superbly by Macaulay Culkin long before life and drama wore him into a burned down adult who looks like he spends way too much time using the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks and wondering how much longer until the pumpkin spice lattes are back for a limited time) is the perfect place to start the poll and address the Eagles. Jalen Hurts has been amazing. The Eagles have looked like the best team in football. They have a deep roster because their QB is on a rookie deal. But we still have a slew of questions, no? Welcome to the 2022 NFL friends. (And Miles answer of course was “38… I’m a kid, that’s my job.”)

2 Miami. “Isn't that something? I'm on to cigars now. I'm on to a five-year plan. I eliminated cigarettes, then I go to cigars, then I go to pipes, then I go to chewing tobacco, then I'm on to that nicotine gum." Buck’s plan to quit lung darts is the definition of where the Dolphins find themselves. Speed to burn on the perimeter and a QB in year three of his five-year, team-friendly contract, which I guess would be pipes at this point.

3 Buffalo. The Bills lost to Fins on Sunday, and you know the rules: You are what your record says you are. But, as the Bills were driving late to try for a potential game-tying field goal, Isaiah McKenzie failed to get out of bounds and the clock expired. It caused Buffalo OC Ken Dorsey to completely lose it. Like as if, as Maizy informed us, “My uncle was microwaving our socks and the dog threw up on the couch for an hour.” So there’s that. 

4 Baltimore. I’m telling you the Lamar Jackson double-middle-victory contract tour is only beginning. Book this: Dude will be a top-three finisher in the MVP voting. “The guy’s a predator, and you’re his prey.” Man, Buck really saves Tia, whether she wants his help or not.

5 (tie) Tampa Bay and Green Bay. Yes, the Bucs lost to Green Bay. But they lost with WRs 1, 2, and 3 unavailable. Green Bay will be without a WR 1 (and maybe a 2) all year because they are not on the Pack’s roster any more. Still, when Thomas and Aaron are taking your snaps, you always are better than most, and in terms of Thomas, as Buck told Tia,”We’ve done the battle of wills. The deck’s stacked in my favor. You’re just gonna lose again.”


(Side note: The bottom five may be harder to place than the top five in a league this upside down. How upside down? Glad you asked. There are two unbeaten teams — Philly and Miami — and only two teams without a win — Houston and Vegas. But sandwiched in those 28 franchises that are 1-2 or 2-1  are a slew of teams with winning records and negative scoring differentials. Go figure, right?)

28 New York Jets. The Jets stink. Have for years. So it goes. And did you see the confrontation between a Jets D-lineman and a coach over the weekend? Scary stuff. I can only imagine that exchange ending with, “they’re all good kids until dried-out, brain-dead skags like you drag them down and convince them they’re no good. You so much as scowl at my niece or any other kid in this school, and I hear about it, and I’m coming looking for you! Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you.”

29 New Orleans. Has there been a bigger drop in terms of professionalism and accuracy from one QB to the next for a franchise than the Saints going from Drew Brees to Jameis Winston? Who in a million years could have guessed that when Brees was coming out of Purdue as a second-rounder and Winston was headed to the league No. 1 overall with a Heisman and a natty? Which brings us to the great exchange with Buck and Pooter the clown. “I don’t have to take anything from you. Do you know who I am? In the field of live-home entertainment, I’m a God.”

30 Arizona. How’s the studying coming, Kyler Murray? Buck’s exchange with Maizy’s assistant principal is so great. And when it comes to Kyler, “I don’t think I want to know a 6-year-old who isn’t a dreamer or a sillyheart. And I sure don’t want to know one who takes their student career seriously.” 

31 Las Vegas. There simply is no way the Raiders are this bad. None. But they are bagel-and-3 — worst record in the league — because of a miracle Arizona rally, a failed two-point try against the Titans and a tight loss to the Chargers when Justin Herbert was healthy. This leads to the philosophical and tragic exchange between Maizy and Tia. Maizy asks, “I don’t know why we need boys at all. They are so loud.” Tia’s jaded reply is, “We need boys so they can grow up, get married and become shadows.” Ouch. 

32 Houston. Has one player ever wrecked a franchise more than the aftermath left in the wake of the Deshaun Watson scandal in Houston? “You know, I have a friend who works at the crime lab at the police station. I could give him your toothbrush, and he could run a test on it. To see if you actually brushed your teeth or just ran your toothbrush under the faucet.”            


Braves' D.C. trek

OK, so the Braves played. The Braves won. Bryce Elder unloaded a six-hit shutout as the Braves rolled 8-0 over Washington and moved within a game of the Mets in the East.

Also of note, while in D.C. the Braves got to swing by the Oval Office and celebrate last year’s World Series title.

Two Braves — Marcel Ozuna and Ronald Acuña — skipped the White House hullabaloo. 

Now if this had been the previous regime, there would have been a whole big deal made about this. Heck, who knows whether the team would have visited the White House whether they wanted to or not in the previous regime.

Still, I saw someone ask on Twitter whether Acuña was ‘MAGA,’ the umbrella term for Trump supporters. (Side note: Here’s betting that Acuña, who still uses an interpreter for interviews, would guess that M-A-G-A stands for ‘Me A Good Atlanta” player, and in that case, he’s 100% in that category.)

To be honest, I think this tradition needs to go away. Not in a shut-up and dribble way, but in a ‘we make way too much of this’ way, if that makes sense. Because, let’s say half the Braves loathe Biden and his politics. 

If they didn’t show up, I would be the first to say they are disrespecting the office of the president, even if I agreed with their politics. 

And we all know how the other side views that. 

Plus, after the visit the conversation with the White House press secretary turned to the ‘offensive’ nature of the Braves’ nickname and logos.

Personally, as milk is $6-plus a gallon and my electric bill is creeping closer and closer to my mortgage payment, I’d hope that Biden and his cronies would have more to worry about than the Tomahawk Chop.

But what do I know? I was dumb enough to pay off our family’s student loans before the handouts started.

So, the more you know, the more you know

OK, couple of things over the last couple of days in our ever-constant battle to treat each other better and find real racism and fight it as best we can.

First, there’s a growing hubbub over at “Wheel of Fortune.” We discussed earlier this month that Pat Sajak was getting hatred over being in a photo with Marjorie Taylor Greene. 


Now, TWoF is getting social media blowback for its ‘Rhyme Time’ puzzle Monday night.

The puzzle was “EENIE MEENIE MINY MOE CATCH A TIGER BY THE TOE” and that drew some harsh criticism from folks online with claims that the line learned by kids all over the world has a dark history globally and a racist history in the U.S. Here’s more about the phrase from Dictionary.com. 

I was unaware of this.

This and that

— Fred Ward, who was Remo Williams and in a slew of stuff through the years, including “The Right Stuff,” died over the weekend. Rest easy sir. Ward was one of those guys who you may not have instantly recalled his name, but he always brought something to the table and made whatever he was in better. From “The Right Stuff” to being the dad in “Sweet Home Alabama” is quite the range and the career.

— You know the rules. Here’s Paschall on the growing Heisman chatter for everyone in Big Orange's favorite signal caller Hendon Hooker. 

— Speaking of the Braves, here are some interesting details about the all-important series looming with the Mets this weekend. It appears the Braves are setting their rotation to go Fried, Wright and Morton as the Mets are slotting Bassitt, deGrom and Scherzer for those three huge games. Edge Mets. Especially if 2022 Charlie Morton shows up on Sunday against Max Scherzer.

— So Georgia follows up a lackluster showing against Kent State with a DB getting arrested. Anyone want to guess on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the time of your life, how much fun practice will be the next couple of days in Athens? I say negative 8. 

Today’s questions

True or false, it’s a Tuesday. Happy fall, Ern. Hope you and Karen are well.

True or false, Uncle Buck is criminally underrated. 

True or false, we know which team is the NFL’s best right now.

True or false, you knew that ‘Eenie Meenie Miny Moe’ nursery rhyme was racist.

True or false, the Braves should change their name.

True or false, the White House welcoming of title teams should stop.

You know the drill, answer some T or F, leave some T or F.

As for today, Sept. 27, let’s review.

Mike Schmidt is 73 today. (True or false, he’s the greatest third baseman of all time.)

Gwyneth Paltrow is 50 today. Her Rushmore may be a bit better than you may realize.

Go and enjoy this beautiful weather.