Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by The Western Word – are you ready for your free dose of knowledge?

“Thursday Numbers” is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with sarcasm) just to make you smile, shake your head, or make you send me nasty e-mails or Tweets.

This week I write about Fox News & Bin Laden, Taylor Swift, CNN, Keystone XL pipeline, unemployment, Democratic Party, sinkholes, statements from Montana politicians, GOP 2015 Calendar, U.S. Senate, YouTube, President Barack Obama, earthquake, first female president of the Montana Senate, the circus is coming, and a whole lot more!

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Just Football…

It was very tough in the NFL pick contest this last week – I went 7-6.  There were some upsets (like the Jaguars beating the Ravens) but I am still holding my own against those paid sports people!

At first I was disappointed that the World Series was being played on Sunday and Monday nights – because that is football night!  After the Saints were up 34-7 at the half (Sunday night) and the Ravens and Jaguars played a very boring game on Monday Night, it was OK.  I went back and forth watching the games.

In case you are new to “Just Football” then welcome!  Just about every Tuesday during football season, I take a look at some of the NFL teams, major college and FCS games, throw in some high school football, plus a few pieces of info you won’t get anywhere else.  Continue reading

Just Football…

OK, we’ve got week one of the NFL season under our belts and half of the teams are losers.  That means there’s only about a 25% chance those “losers” will make the playoffs – that’s a cold hard fact.

We also have a couple weeks of college football in the books and even the high schools are well into their seasons.

My eyes are a little tired this morning – it all started Thursday night with the NFL kickoff and ended with a Monday Night Football doubleheader about midnight (in the Mountain Time Zone) with the Raiders beating the Broncos.

So after the first full weekend of football, here are some of the games, the teams, and the people that caught my attention from the pros all the way down to the high school – read on… Continue reading

2011 NFL Predictions: The American Football Conference

Growing up a Kansas City Chiefs fan let me have just a little excitement when Lenny Dawson led them to a Super Bowl victory way back in January 1970 – of course there were the “Marty Years” (1989-1998) in which we won a lot of games, put fans in the seats, but did not get to the Promised Land.  Last year there was some joy – the Chiefs contended and made the playoffs.

I guess the only big question left to be answered is which will come first: another Chiefs Super Bowl victory or my death?  This year the Chiefs reap the benefits of being the 2010 AFC West Champions – three primetime night games – and a much tougher schedule!

The AFC is where my heart is and my team is the Kansas City Chiefs. That will never change!  So this year I start off with my predictions for the American Football Conference.

Here’s hoping your team has a great year and you have something to talk about after Christmas…like the playoffs!  Continue reading

“…and the home of the…


As an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan, this season has exceeded my expectations. If we go no further than the first round of the playoffs, then it has been a great season.

Ok, those last two lines were just a little bit too nice.

Try this: Take that Chargers, Broncos and Raiders – your seasons end on Sunday and we get to play at least one more game – we get some of the limelight! We are in the big show and you aren’t.

Take that you dipsticks on ESPN and the NFL Network who talk down about the Chiefs – the Kansas City Chiefs are AFC West Champions! The AFC West Champions shirts and hats are printed and they say “Kansas City Chiefs” on them. Eat that for breakfast…

OK, now I feel better. Continue reading

Just Football…

There are lots of big games coming up this next weekend for your viewing pleasure and much to talk about from last weekend’s game.

College Football Playoffs

Yes, there are playoffs at every level of College Football except the major college level. It’s nice to see National Champions decided through a playoff system instead of on paper!

Eastern Washington:

Congrats to the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Eagles team! They beat North Dakota State University (NDSU) last Saturday to head to the semi-finals. NDSU had beaten the Montana State Bobcats in the playoffs. EWU will host Villanova on Friday night in a semifinal game. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN2 at 6:00 p.m. (Mountain Time).

The bad news is that EWU’s outstanding all America running back Taiwan Jones has a fractured foot and is not expected to play Friday night. Jones carried the ball 20 times for 230 yards against NDSU.

Carroll College:

Montana’s best college football team, the Carroll College Fighting Saints, are once again playing for the NAIA National Championship. They will play Saturday against Sioux Falls (SD) in Rome, Georgia. According to this article, the game starts at 2:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) and will be broadcast on CBS College Sports.

Hopefully the local CBS stations or some local station will broadcast it for all of Montana to see.

BOWL TIME! Continue reading

Just Football: AFC West

This column is dedicated to the AFC West today.


The Denver Broncos slammed the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, 49-29. These Chiefs/Broncos games have had a few games in the 40-50 point area. Last year, the Broncos won the first game 44-13 in KC and the Chiefs won the second game in Denver, 44-24.

The Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers had a bye week and it turned out good for them.


It pretty much sucked that the replay system in Denver failed to work during a critical time in the game between the Chiefs at the Broncos. There are no back-up plans, either. The referee, Mike Carey, made an announcement that the replay system was inoperable. So the ruling on the field stood as called, a touchdown for the Broncos. If the call would have been overturned, the Broncos would only have had a 14 point lead. Instead they went up by 21 and the game was basically out of hand.

Of course, later in the game when the Broncos challenged a play, the replay system worked wonderfully. Home field advantage….

If a replay system is inoperable because of something the home team has done then a severe fine should be administered. Maybe someone messed with it who was watching the game from Buffalo Wild Wings…

But the NFL needs a back-up plan in case this happens again.


Chiefs coach Todd Haley did not shake the hand of the Denver coach Josh McDaniels after the game instead just pointing his finger at him. Who knows why, but one reason may be that during last year’s beat-down of the Broncos in Denver, the Chiefs pulled their starters although they were close to having RB Jamaal Charles break the NFL single game rushing record.

McDaniels did not do the same thing this year keeping his starters in when the game was long over. There’s a rematch in Kansas City in three weeks. If history is any indication, look for the Chiefs to put a beating on the Broncos.

Also, look for this year to be McDaniels last year in Denver.


Yes, I hate math, too. But you need to use some basic math skills just to follow the NFL in the final weeks. Just when you though the Kansas City Chiefs looked as though they would run away with the AFC West, a couple of losses have brought them back to the pack. The San Diego Chargers may end up winning this division again.

Right now Oakland and Kansas City are tied for first with 5-4 records. Oakland has the tiebreaker by winning against the Chiefs. They play again in Kansas City the last week of the season. The Chargers are 4-5. Denver is 3-6.

All the AFC West teams have seven games left.

The Chiefs have three away games and four home games. Those seven teams have a record of 29-34. Three of those games are against AFC West opponents.

The Chargers, like the Chiefs, have three away games and four home games. Those opponents have a record of 27-36. Four of those games are against AFC West teams.

The Raiders have three home and four away games left. Those opponents have a record of 34-29. They face three AFC West teams. On the remaining schedule are the Colts and Steelers.

The Broncos have three home and four away games left. Those opponents have a record of 29-34.


This is way down the list of things from Sunday and not really that important, but it was interesting to see that the local CBS station decided to forgo the Chiefs at Broncos game (the late game) to show the early game Tennessee at Miami. According to website, someone in CBS (local or national) decided to change games in Missoula, Butte and Great Falls. I don’t know for sure, but it looks like the Billings market watched the Chiefs @ Broncos.

Local television stations should always pick games that will get the highest ratings which mean more people will watch the local advertisers. Local television stations know which teams garner higher ratings and can tell their corporate HQ what they want.

Supposedly some satellite TV listings, along with the local newspaper’s sports page, also showed the Chiefs/Broncos game would be shown here.

By the way, Miami is about 2,300 (air) miles from Montana. Denver is a little over 600 (air) miles.

Montana television stations that televise NFL games should understand that Denver, Minnesota, and Seattle NFL games will probably get more viewers (and sell more advertising) than a Tennessee @ Miami game even if there are a couple of former Grizzlies playing a total of 20 plays…

I was one of the first people to get NFL Sunday Ticket and had it for seven years, but when times got tougher, that was one of the things I dropped. I now have Sirius Radio and it is fun to listen to the Chiefs’ sportscasters and also follow the game on the computer. If the Chiefs @ Broncos game would have been on, I would have been watching it (and the local advertisements).