This is something I should be used to…something that should brush off my shoulder, roll off my back, keep moving without missing a beat. I didn’t think the Buccaneers still had the power to destroy me. Boy was I wrong.
Picture my Sunday afternoon like this: Bruce Arians is Pennywise, living down in the sewers, leading idiot fans (like myself) to their deaths with the idea of a 2-1 start on top of the NFC South.
I’m stuffing my face with hot dogs and chips as the Bucs play a nearly perfect first half of football. I’m feeling good, great even. Then I hear a whisper from out in the street. My windows were open yesterday during the games, it was nice out. It’s PennyBruce, he’s calling from the storm drain.
I look down into the sewer with wanting eyes. “This is it! Jameis has found his rhythm….The Bucs have changed…Maybe they’ll talk about us on SportsCenter this week…Mike Evans’ prime won’t be squandered!”
“Come closer Matt! Have you seen Shaq Barrett? He’s awesome!”, the clown brags–It doesn’t matter, I’ve already taken the bait.
Next thing I know I’m being dragged into the sewers. Jameis throws a pick, my arm gets bitten off. “3 and out, 3 and out, 3 and out”, the demented clown starts to chant. I’ve lost the will to live by the time Daniel Jones runs it in to put them ahead.
I let the other side take me as the field goal attempt soars far outside the right post. I wish I could tell you it was painful, but it wasn’t—I was numb. I had seen this story before.
I slump back on my couch.
Death, taxes and the Buccaneers blowing a second half lead.
Maybe I’ll be back later this week with a more positive outlook. Maybe I won’t.
It’s almost September, which means two things: the NFL season is right on our heels and college football is even closer. As a graduate of URI, college football is a foreign language to me. For reference, during my Junior year the Rams won their opening game and then proceeded to lose their final 10 games. They opened my senior year by losing their first two games and finished that two year stretch with an superb record of 6-16. That incredibly sad story brings me to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.
I’m an adopted fan of the Gamecocks thanks to my wife’s undying allegiance to her Alma Mater, so let’s take a look at their 2019 season.
In the latest Coaches/AP polls, the SEC has an impressive 6 teams in the top 25, including four (Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida) in the top 10. The Gamecocks have a very tough schedule as they will play against four of those 6 teams (at Georgia and Texas A&M, at home against Alabama and Florida) while also battling the current #1 Team That Shall Not Be Named to finish off the season.
If the Gamecocks lose all five of those games to their ranked opponents, they would finish 7-5 in the regular season for the second straight year. The 2018 Gamecocks were detrimentally consistent, trading wins and losses for the first six weeks before beating Tennessee and Ole Miss in consecutive games. They went on to trade wins and losses the rest of the way, ending the season with a 28-0 loss to Virginia in the prestigious Belk Bowl.
One huge advantage for the Gamecocks this year is that I will not be attending a home game. The Cock’s are 0-3 when I attend a game and it’s gotten to the point where my friends are starting to rethink inviting me down to a game ever again. Beyond that, the key to the Gamecocks offense will be a consistent rushing attack and far fewer turnovers for QB Jake Bentley.
In the Belk Bowl loss to Virginia, the Gamecocks rushed for less than 50 yards while Bentley completed 43% of his passes, threw zero touchdowns and 2 interceptions. That’s…not great. Bentley will be back for his senior year where you have to believe he’ll improve upon his SEC leading 14 interceptions from last year. A big part of that improvement will take place off the field, as Bentley explained a few days ago.
Another improvement on the offensive side could come from right down the road in South Carolina. Tavien Feaster transferred to the Gamecocks from the The Team That Shall Be Named and has added some much needed depth to the running back position alongside Rico Dowdle and Mon Denson. While it’s too early to predict who will be the lead back, adding Feaster should ensure that another Belk Bowl performance doesn’t happen, which should at least keep the Gamecocks in most games this year.
Regardless of how well Bentley and the offense do, the defense will need to make some stops to keep the Gamecocks afloat. Most preseason reports are glowing for the front four of the Gamecocks, and they’ll need to put a lot of pressure on opposing QB’s to help out their secondary. The Gamecocks forced 6 interceptions last year, but half of those were by cornerback Rashad Fenton who graduated last spring. Turnovers and constant pressure will be the key for Will Muschamp’s defense, especially against the top seeded teams. If the defense can force teams into turnovers, Bentley and the improved rushing attack might give the Gamecocks a season to remember.
Everyone loves their team in August, but how will they look in December and January? The “cautiosly optimistic” Gamecock prediction I received from handsome Gamecock fan Tom Coughlin was 9-3. If you don’t believe in your team, who will? If the Cock’s go 9-3, they would have to upset two of their five ranked opponents (Alabama, Georgia, A&M, Florida and The Team That Shall Not Be Named) and beat Kentucky for the first time since 2013. Can it happen? I hope so. Will it happen? Time will tell.
My prediction with this ridiculously tough schedule is the Gamecocks win all the games they’re supposed to, finally vanquish Kentucky but fall to all the ranked teams. Not a bold prediction, but a 7-5 season where your five loses are all to ranked teams (including the preseason 1-3) would be a huge win for South Carolina.
Did our movie podcast vanish? No it didn’t.
“Ok idiot, then why can’t I find new episodes of MMGA in my podcast feed?”
The answer to that is two-fold…
- We went on a small hideous. One of our members got married, another moved and another moved again. Life gets in the way.
- It was swallowed by the media conglomerate that is Average Nobodies. The podcast feed “Make Movies Great Again” has been folded into The Average Nobodies Podcast. So, if you subscribe to the latter, you’ll get all of the movie podcast goodness you expect from us. The format is changing a bit, and to be honest, we don’t know exactly what that looks like yet–but it is coming.
“Are the cohosts staying the same?”
Yes. Adam, Sean and even our Foreign Movie Correspondent, Fella Fitzgerald, are planning to return–Ryan is even joining the fold! Right now, Ryan and I are working up a new format that will allow us to rotate hosts and guests as needed. Some weeks could be a full lineup others could be two or three of us.
Those are all the main points. Subscribe to Average Nobodies Podcasts so you don’t miss anything. New content coming very soon!
Game of Thrones recap for Season 8, Episode 5
Game of Thrones recaps for episode 803 and 804
Episode 76 covering ‘The Battle of Winterfell’ is coming soon! AverageNobodies.com