Aaron Rodgers. OK, Sir Falsheood has one of the most talked about toes ever. Rodgers' much ballyhooed digit falls somewhere between John Winger's "Big Toe" speech to Sgt. Hulka and Eddie Murphy shooting off that woman's pinkie toe in "Harlem Nights." But COVID misconstruings and toe overkill aside, there are one or two passes a month that Rodgers makes that give anyone with eyes and a football IQ north of 50 pause. He's that great, and he made one of them Sunday against Baltimore with a linebacker trailing and a safety over the top, Rodgers threw a 22-yard dart into a window the size of a volleyball. Truly.
College bowl picks. Giddy up. A 5-2 start against the number? Yes, please. That'll do pig. That'll do. Speaking of college picks, we had north of 50 entries. Not our most, but not our least either. Let's post scores on Wednesdays. Deal? Deal.
Father-son golf. OK, I'm not sorry, and this first sentence will surprise none of you: Tiger Woods is easily the most entertaining golfer I've ever watched draw it back. Whether you are rooting for him to shoot 59 or 79, Tiger commands your attention. But gang, Charlie Woods may be the second-most entertaining golfer around these days. Oh my, I know there was no pressure, and there were more birdies than a badminton convention, but the matching Woods team in red shirts and red numbers was great fun. And yes, I was also rooting for the Dalys to a) win the event and b) celebrate with keg stands and lung darts heading ton the 19th hole.
Joe Manchin. Yes, the Democrats are crushing their fellow party-member in the U.S. Senate. But — and I will offer the caveat very early that we all are guilty of it — when we all want working across the aisle, when someone votes their fiscal views and goes across the aisle, you cannot have kittens about a lack of loyalty. He voted his conscience, and more of national leaders voting what they believe and for what they believe their constituents believe rather than what their party believes would make for better leadership in my opinion.
Collegedale Police. Any and all things we can do to help others around the holidays is winning the weekend in my book. The Collegedale Police are rounding up bikes for the Kentucky tornado victims. Great job gang.
Bonus: Everyone who placed wreaths on Saturday. Kudos, gang, and remember they will need volunteers to round them up too.
Tampa Bay. Bagel? You're on Sunday night with all of America floating parlays and over/unders on you and you do less scoring than Spy's freshman year at Tech? No es bueno. How about the numbers for Tampa Tom with the Bucs against the Saints and against everyone else. Record: 0-4 vs. N.O., 21-6 vs. everyone else. Points per game: North of 32 against everyone else, south of 14 against the Saints.
Arizona. No other way to say it than the Cardinals came out completely ill-prepared. It's either that, or DeAndre Hopkins is the most valuable non-quarterback since LT was roaming the field in the Meadowlands. And the skies are opening up for the NFC road to the Super Bowl to matriculate through Lambeau.
Sports vs. COVID. The NBA has not seen this many games bagged since Tim Donaghy was wearing a whistle. The NFL now has two Monday night games and two Tuesday night games. Tennessee-Memphis was sacked. The English Premier is gonna take a week off, according to The Athletic. The NHL is dealing with cancellations and now tighter border restrictions between the U.S. and Canada. And all of this comes with the Winter Olympics in China — yeah the birthplace of this dastardly thing — in two months. You're starting to get the idea.
Marjorie Taylor Greene. It's hard at times to imagine she and I are registered in same party, never mind trying to be part of the same human fight for a better tomorrow. Gang, when polio and COVID are your punchline, well, it's time to change the channel.
Speaking of the virus, if we're to the place that branding on a McDonald's French fries carton is helping folks think, "Yeah, that vaccine thing" then we are way worse off than I thought.
Urban Meyer. Uh, Urbie, why don't you stop talking for a bit.
It's no secret. I love Christmas. Everything about it.
Heck, I'm headed to the mall today. Giddy-up.
We will have a Christmas segment every day this week. Deal? Deal.
I also love how all the TV shows have a Christmas episode based on one of the classic old-school Christmas movies.
Most lean toward "A Christmas Carol" and Scrooge. That's fine.
And we'll ask for more below, but there's nothing better than "It's a Wonderful Life" in my book. What a joyful movie, and what a great message about blessings and second chances and it's never as bad as it seems.
Don't get me wrong, I love "Christmas Vacation" and "Elf" and "Christmas Story" and the debates about "Die Hard" and "Iron Man 3" and whether they are Christmas movies or not.
And "Home Alone" is an all-timer. (Side note: That they felt the need to edit out Trump in "Home Alone 2" is beyond petty and silly if you ask me.)
But "It's a Wonderful Life" is the MJ of this category friends.
This and that
— Speaking of bowls, there's one bowl game today pitting teams that are unbeaten straight up and against the number in their eight combined games since Halloween. Hey, research, who knew? ODU is 5-0 — on the field and in the books — since changing QBs; Tulsa has played a much, Much, MUCH better schedule and ran for almost 300 yards against Cincinnati. The number is Tulsa minus-9 with an over/under around 53. Each team is rather sloppy with the football. (What, more research?) I'll ride with Tulsa, which is 6-6 with four of those losses coming to 10-plus-win foes Oklahoma State, THE Ohio State, Cincinnati and Houston and lay the points.
— Bo Nix is headed to Oregon. It's impossible for me to be more indifferent about something so Auburn.
— Because he's a Manning. Here's a write-up on Arch, the prep QB everyone wants who likely will have $1 million in NIL before he steps foot on whichever campus he picks. But no, this is not a football story. It's about Arch's hoops prowess before he and his Isidore Newman teammates played renowned prep hoops superpower Oak Hill. Rest easy, Arch is not going to have to choose like Iverson, Curry or Booty. Arch comes off the bench, averages a bucket-plus and almost four rebounds a night and did not score in the loss to Oak Hill. Which begs the question if this is the longest story on a national site like Yahoo about the eighth-man on a mediocre high school basketball team? https://www.yahoo.com/news/gridiron-hardwood-youngest-big-time-120018179.html
— Mocs hoops played. Mocs hoops lost. Back-to-back road setbacks to Belmont and now to Murray State all-but end any UTC thoughts of an at-large bid sadly. So now, go win the league Mocs. War Lamont.
— Which also leads us to Arkansas losing to Hofstra on Saturday. Yes, Doug found me on social media to make sure I was aware of the SEC power losing to the middling 7-5 Pride toppling the 9-2 Hogs. But it was not really needed. As has been my custom on Saturdays, I grabbed all of the huge favorites on a dozen-plus-team money line parlay. Saturday I had Purdue, Davidson, Florida, Indiana State, Illinois, Virginia, Colorado, Vandy, Western Illinois, Duke, Arizona, Michigan, Kansas and Arkansas. (Yes, those favorites were so lopsided the total payout was +117, and yes, we may have hedged a taste of Hofstra at plus-400.) But that's the second Saturday in a row of hitting all but one. And, DD, loss to Hofstra or no, gird up your loins and get ready that a 19-11 Arkansas team — if they lose that many — with a loss to Hofstra is going to dance before a 23-6 UTC team. Just prepare yourself for it now my man.
— Speaking of that, it was a mixed bag on the weekend. Crushed the bowl games on one site but missed hugely on the NFL on that site. On the other site, let's just say that Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Mark Andrews and Co. in-game parlay options may or may not have put a nice downpayment on Christmas. Good times.
— You know the rules. Here's Paschall on another Shuler coming to Knoxville. Side note: The transfer portal takes some adjusting too for sure. Side note on the side note: Want to know what takes more adjusting for me? Reading a sentence like this one from Paschall that Navy Shuler, who has been at App State for the last two years, "would have four seasons in Josh Heupel's program."
Weekend winners and losers. Go.
As for a Multiple Choice Monday, which of these is your favorite traditional Christmas movie?
— It's a Wonderful Life
— Miracle on 34th Street
— A Christmas Carol
— White Christmas
As for today, Dec. 20, let's review.
On this day in 1946, "It's a Wonderful Life" premiered. It's far and away my favorite Christmas movie of them all.
"The Godfather Part II" was released on this day in 1974. Good day for movies, my favorite Christmas movie of all time and the best sequel ever made share a birthday.
Dang, "Father of the Bride" was released on this day 30 years ago, and "Gangs of New York" was released on this day in 2002. Good day for movies.
And personal fav Dick Wolf, who likely has a spot on the all-time TV Rushmore — dude created Miami Vice, all the Law&Orders and the Chicago franchises — is 75 today.
Branch Rickey would have been 140 years old today.
Rushmore of all-time GMs. Go.