Thursday Numbers

We’ve made it to another Thursday and the weekend is just about here!  Congratulations!  If you’ve read The Western Word very much in the last three or four months you know that Thursdays are the days that we take a look at some the “numbers” in the news and offer a little commentary about each.

This week I write about solar panels, followers, unemployment, a fine, poverty, passing yards, baseball games, ovens, and pounds!   Plus there’s a lot more, so read on…

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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

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).

Sports by the Numbers


The final score was 64-61 Saturday as the Montana State Bobcats beat the Sacramento State Hornets in overtime. The Bobcats were up by 27 points at halftime. Whatever the Bobcats did at halftime with the defense, they should stop it. The Hornets scored 35 points in the third quarter (five TDs to one for the Bobcats).

If you like offense, then this was the game for you. The teams combined for 1270 yards. If you had to leave to get snacks or go to the bathroom, you might have missed a touchdown or two.

But in the end, the Bobcats won after the Hornets missed a field goal in overtime.


That’s the number of baseball games the Pittsburgh Pirates lost during this Major League Baseball season. The Seattle Mariners lost 101.


That’s the number of points the Carroll College Saints put on the board against Montana State Northern Saturday, winning 65-13.


That’s the number of players the University of Tennessee Volunteers had on field for what should have been the final play of the game against LSU. The Vols stopped LSU from scoring with those 13 players, but they got caught. LSU had one more play; they scored and won the game.


The New York Giants sacked Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler nine times in the first half. Cutler suffered a concussion and sat out the second half. The Giants recorded another sack in the second half to bring the total to ten for the game.


The New England Patriots became the first team in NFL history to score a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown, a kickoff return for a touchdown, a blocked field goal for a touchdown and return an interception for a touchdown in the same game. That’s five TDs all scored in different ways. They also blocked a punt, but did not score in dismantling the Miami Dolphins 41-14.


That’s the number of victories for the Kansas City Chiefs this year, who are the NFL’s last undefeated team. They had a bye this last week. Next Sunday, they head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts…