CANDYLAND, ELECTION BLUES, MUSCHAMP, BRADY, MISSING MADDON & THE BOZ

November 6, 2014

Not sure how often you eat candy but its rare for me….except this time of year.

Its almost as if I hold it in for 11 months and then make up for it in a two week span.

Hey Christmas is great, Thanksgiving is fun but for my money Halloween is the best. Let’s face it, its the easiest of the major holidays.

Low Maintenance stuff—-No gift wrapping. No turkey basting.

You have candy and costumes—there’s your holiday folks.

So what is your favorite Halloween treat? C’mon I don’t care if you’re 10 years old or 46—you still have your favorites?!

For my money, this one tops the list….

butterfinger pic

In a word Outstanding…..

Our friends at the Daily Mail surveyed a thousand people to gauge the most popular Halloween Candy and it concluded Snickers ranked first, followed by Tootsie Pops, Reese’s, Skittles, Twizzlers, Kit Kats and M&M’s.

Hard to argue with those choices but for my money the All Halloween Starting Five includes

(1) Butterfinger

(2) 100 Grand (highly rare but highly delicious)

100 grand pic

(3) Tootsie Rolls (man these are bad for you, but I wait all year to steal these out of my daughter’s trick or treat bags)

(4) Reese’s Anything (yeah peanut butter and chocolate…count me in)

(5) Heath Bars (somewhat unusual as well, but surely underrated)

Yeah nothing beats Halloween and maybe the best part are those post Trick or Treat 90% off sales—–I always take full advantage. Get em while you can folks.

empty candy shelves

Sugar Highs just a part of this week’s trip around the Naborhood. As always, thanks for stopping by.

ELECTION DAY: From sweet to sour—yeah let’s move on to this year’s voting booth which was truly scary. Many who read this don’t live in Florida but I’m guessing you can still relate in some way. Candidates in BOTH parties surely aren’t what they used to be. Take the Governor’s race in Florida where you had the dynamic duo of  incumbent Rick Scott vs former Governor Charlie Crist —–one of the ugliest races I can remember.

Scott let’s just say doesn’t have the cleanest past before he stepped into the Governor’s Mansion and his past four years as governor he’s managed to alienate many of the masses. Crist on the other hand is running on his third party. I’m guessing if they started a Unicorn party and it gave him a chance to be a governor/senator he wouldn’t hesitate.

Isn’t it ironic that this election took place on the eve of the sequel Dumb and Dumber?

scott and christ

For the first time since I earned the right to vote, I truly had to motivate myself to make the effort. Neither candidate deserved my vote and whether you’re a Democrat or Republican in this state, with our many differences I think the one thing we can agree on is that we deserve better choices. The problem in politics these days is many of the good candidates don’t want to go through the process. The media scrutiny and all the time and effort to raise money thins the herd considerably—I get that, but its a shame we don’t have a better pool to pick from.

I won’t indulge who I voted for as I don’t want to start a political rift but I was tempted to write in one of  my daughter ‘s and actually thought very hard about my golden retrieiver Sammy ?! In the end, I voted for one but for the first time stepped out of the voting booth feeling the quick need for a shower.Let’s hope four years from now our state is OK and the choices are markedly better.

MUSCHAMP/GATORS: I have a strange relationship with my alma mater, the University of Florida.  Having been in the media since the early nineties, I’ve had great opportunities to cover  big time programs  and coaches in both Tuscaloosa and Tallahassee. Being around Gene Stallings and Bobby Bowden made me more objective and in the process made me not a very loyal Gator—until it seems they try to kick around my alma mater. I always seem to pull for the Gators when everybody else isn’t.

Yeah I’ve never been a big Will Muschamp fan, even from the beginning. I remember watching him handle his first big loss at a post game press conference in Gainesville after he was walloped by Alabama. He seemed in over his head, very unprofessional not only on the sidelines but with the media afterwards. These days, Muschamp reminds me of that kid that finally turned in some good grades at the end of the semester with the hopes of passing—-yeah will acing the  Georgia exam now save his job? It shouldn’t.

Athletic Director Jeremy Foley has surely stood by his man. He could have fired  him after the Georgia Southern debacle a year ago and after the massive Missouri meltdown. I would have fired him surely after that Homecoming loss. But Muschamp now has a sliver of hope and it will be interesting to see if he takes advantage and possibly bails his AD out.

muschamp pic

Much to my Gator friends dismay, I’m usually indifferent about my alma mater’s athletic department when it comes to wins and losses. For the most part, its a department from a media standpoint which has been  arrogant and impersonal for years.  Again for some reason, I back my alma mater when its down— I find this Gator plot thickening in the coming weeks and with everybody calling for his head, I strangely am rooting for Muschamp to find his way out of the foxhole. I’m always a sucker for the underdog or just a great story?! Told you it was a strange relationship.

If he wins out, he keeps his job but I wonder how it will turn out if somehow he wins the SEC Least and is blown out in Tallahassee? That’s why Foley makes the big bucks.

BRADY’S THE BEST: Its always one of the great debates—who is the best NFL Quarterback of All-Time? Most of the time you get Joe Montana as the answer but for my money Tom Brady is the best ever. Sure Montana and Terry  Bradshaw have more Super Bowl rings but they also had more help..

Montana had the best receiver of all time in Jerry Rice. Bradshaw had Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. Brady for most of his time as a Patriot had journeyman receivers like Deion Branch and David Patten, guys who he made lots of money. Sure he had Randy Moss and has Rob Gronkowski but Brady won all of his Super Bowls without them—which is amazing.

tom brady pic

Peyton Manning has all the records and is another example of having more support  than Brady over the years but in 16 meetings Tom is now 11-5 following his most recent win over the five time MVP. Brady  has two more Super Bowl Titles and far fewer commercials and fanfare.  It would have been interesting to see Brady with more talent around him over the years but that’s what has made him standout. I would take him over Elway, Marino, Bradshaw and yes Montana and Manning.

HALFWAY HITS: We are now halfway through the NFL and College Football season, a lot has happened so far. Here are my quick thoughts:

*Despite its many critics, the SEC is not overrated and overexposed like the naysayers like to say but in the end the conference will lose because ….of the SEC. The league will wind up beating each other up costing them the proper representation in College Football’s first Final Four.

*Anybody who says Jameis Winston isn’t going in the first round is crazy. As much baggage as this guy brings, if I was an NFL GM it would be hard to pick any other QB besides this kid. I haven’t seen this kind of talent in some time—you just have to hope he grows up.

*The Bucs Lovie Smith may still be a decent coach but he needs a great GM because its clear like many head coaches, he’s a terrible talent evaluator. Lovie’s  highly touted free agent class have all been gigantic busts and are the reason why the Bucs are pathetic.

*I am anxious to see Johnny Manziel take the field, but its hard to root against Cleveland’s own Brian Hoyer. A great hometown boy made good story and the kind of player who is getting every bit out of his talent—hard to pull against him.

*Blake Bortles has made mistakes but all of my friends in Jacksonville rave about him—seems like he may turn this franchise around sooner than later.

*Rex Ryan is likely fired after the season which is probably deserved—I just with all coaches were like him.

*The Saints started slow but will finish fast in the second half. Not sure about Seattle or Arizona or even Philly. Dallas has to prove they won’t trip and fall over themselves in December—-yes the NFC is WIDE OPEN.

MISSING MADDON: I wasn’t surprised Joe Maddon left the Rays, especially when his main man Andrew Friedman bolted a few weeks earlier. What I am surprised is all the bitterness in the Bay Area. No doubt Maddon was the most popular coach Tampa Bay ever had and that includes guys who won titles here in Jon Gruden and John Tortorella—Maddon never won it all but changed the game of baseball while changing the perception that big league managers are overrated, which often they are—not Maddon.

joe maddon pic

It also didn’t hurt that he was fun and treated everyone absolutely the same.

Its funny to me now how many fans and members of the local media NOW say he was overrated and is greedy to jump at a better offer when they would all do the same. I will miss Maddon but can hardly blame him for leaving behind awful fan support, a lackluster stadium and seemingly dwindling minor league talent in the Rays system.

The Cubs’ gain is certainly the Rays loss. Maddon joins innovative Cubs GM Theo Epstein along with lots of young talent and a bigger bank account—-yeah I’m betting on that. Rays fans don’t be bitter–appreciate the time you had with one of the sportsworld’s rare personalities.

My only regret: I didn’t get a Joe Maddon Potato Head, maybe the best giveaway in MLB History…

maddon potato head

NOBODY ASKED ME, BUT: The baseball season is over and I would have been pulling for those throwback Royals if they would have been playing anybody but my man Bruce Bochy. I have said in this blog before that he was my favorite baseball player as a kid, as I followed the Giants Manager when he was a catcher on the Class A Cocoa Astros and was the least likely guy to make it to the Big Leagues.

SAMSUNG

That was in the late 70’s—-he not only made it to the big leagues as a player but Bruce Bochy my friends will now be a surefire Hall of Famer after leading the Giants to its third World Series title in five years. If you’re counting three World Series rings is as many as Hall of Famers Tommy Lasorda and Tony LaRussa—and two more than the immortal Bobby Cox.

bruce bochy pic

My man Boch has come a long ways from his days as the slowest catcher in the Florida State League and I couldn’t be happier for him!

EXTRA POINT: Really enjoyed the recent ESPN 30 for 30, Brian and The Boz on former Oklahoma All-American Brian Bozworth. Thought it was a nice touch to have him with his son looking at his old memorabilia throughout the doc—much of which was pretty ridiculous. The Boz was surely ahead of his time and paved the wave for self promotors like Deion Sanders. It was interesting to hear him talk about all of his regrets as well—another reminder that these college athletes are kids, often many of us forget that and forget how we were at that age as well.

UNTIL NEXT BLOG,

Mike Nabors

@mikenabors

PHOTO CREDITS: Huffington Post, Butterfinger INC, Seth Greenwood/Getty Images, nosebleeds.com & sportsnaut.com

 

 

 

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