Upsides and Down

This year has been topsetervial for just about everyone I know. It’s probably been a mix of ups and downs for you. Without getting into deep stuff, this past weekend was a great example of how sometimes things are up and better than expected and other times not quite so. I’ll use my favorite sport of football as an example.

First in college, if you’re a fan of the top 25 teams, chances are you might have hung your head at some point this weekend as several of the top 25 were upset. I was happy that Ohio State finally lost to Winsconsin, as they’ve been overhyped for too long. Texas upset No. 5 Nebraska, South Carolina was beat by Kentucky a week after upsetting the Crimson Tide, Washington pulled out a nail biter against Oregon State, Hawaii upset No 19 Nevada, and San Diego State upset Air Force. The other ranked teams won (thankfully Bama beat Ole Miss). But the surprise of the week came from my parents’ alma mater Mississippi State, who not only upset the No. 22 Florida Gaters, but they hadn’t beat Florida in Gatorland since 1965. That’s huge. What a big day for those guys, who aren’t used to winning. I used to rag on my dad for how bad their team was, and then have to eat crow on the 2 or 3 times the Bulldogs beat Bama that I remember. But still, when it comes to football, these guys don’t usually have much to brag about and their recruiting class is proof. But they’ve won 4 in a row and look like they could be big upsetters as we get closer to division championship season.

As for the NFL, I spent a bit of time on Friday listening to ESPN and other sports “experts” talking about who they picked to win what matchup of the week. Just about everyone had the Packers beating Miami which didn’t happen. Aaron Rodgers (as Cowherd points out correctly) has never been a good closer and isn’t a great quarterback. He can’t win with little time left and a small point differential. He has the tools to do so with a great receiving corps, but just can’t get it done. Maybe he and McCarthy should have group therapy with Wade Phillips and Tony Romo. Speaking of, the experts picked Dallas to beat the Vikings. That didn’t happen. Moss had a TD catch (which was the one shining star on my fantasy lineup, everyone else bombed). Vikings win and the Cowboys are 1-5. The Chargers were supposed to beat the Rams, but the Bolts couldn’t get it done and lost 20-17, the Falcons are supposed to be the best team in the NFC yet they get spanked by the Eagles, the Redskins were supposed to get manhandled by the Colts but if not for a beautiful one-handed interception with less than a minute to go the Skins would have comeback. The Giants were supposed to crush the Lions but squeeked by and still allowed 20 points, Cleveland wasn’t supposed to score at all on the Steelers but somehow got 10 points (they still lost), San Francisco finally won against a team almost as bad as them on paper, and the Texans barely escaped a strong KC unit.

The one highlight for the Bears as this punt return ties Hester on the all-time charts

And then there’s my Chicago Bears, whom the “experts” (I continue to use quotes because these people are consistently wrong) picked to bruise the Seahawks with no problem. Right. Cutler returns after suffering a concussion in a game where he was sacked more times than he could count. The offensive line continues to be moved around and therefore does what it did versus the Giants: let people sack Cutler. Fortunately Cutler didn’t throw any picks, that would have ended it early. They also didn’t rush hardly at all a week after Matt Forte put up solid numbers. The defense did little to stop Hasselback and my favorite Bear Danieal Manning had his TD return called back for a so-called holding penalty. That’s crap. At least Hester tied the all-time record with his punt return. So the Bears lose to the Seahawks in a game they were supposed to win, but fortunately the Packers lost as well and the Vikings and Lions continue to stay at the bottom of the heap so we’re still on top in the division.

Topsitervial isn’t in the dictionary, but I use it all the time. Spell-check won’t help me spell it, but it’s real and it’s what we’re all experiencing right now. Things aren’t what we expected. Sometimes that’s good (reference Mississippi State), sometimes it’s bad (reference the Bears). But that’s the way it goes. You and I have to move on, roll with the punches and keep running, but because that’s the way cookies crumble. Some cookies taste better than others and when nasty ones crumble, we keep going in hopes the next one will be tasty and expeditious.

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Host of the syndicated radio program The Appetizer heard on public radio across Texas and online from our Listen Now link; enjoys conversations, music, food, art, storytelling, and people. Connect with me. Would love to hear from you.

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