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Picks of the Weak: KDs (Kneel downs) is not an NFL stat

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017 at 11:53 am

By Ken Jackson

Ramblings from the comfy, tan recliner, which are not-so-random this week …

I didn’t think I would get wrapped into Kneel-Gate, the NFL player protest over race relations and President Trump’s response to it.

Trust me, you don’t care about my political beliefs, and I don’t even pretend to be aware of others’ outside of my family.

Those who’ve served the flag and anthem are invested in standing for and honoring them. Makes sense. Hundreds of players didn’t share the investment, instead bought into what Colin Kaepnernick started by kneeling for the anthem. Also makes sense.

Good for them. All of them. It’s cleansing for the soul to believe in something.

When the National Anthem comes on, I know what I do, and I did it Sunday when the networks all aired the pregame tradition … for the wrong reason. Because this is not news and the response is completely contrived.

The main concern on game day should be what happens after the whistle blows and the ball is kicked. They keep score of touchdowns. Why keep tally of the kneel-downs?

If you’re a Kentucky football fan, do you ever harbor hopes of ever beating Florida? Like, ever? That’s twice in a row that the Wildcats had the Gators in their mouths in Lexington before Florida wiggled its way out. They did it this last time with half a quarterback.

Only 12 more wins over the Bluegrassians before Florida clinches the streak record of 43 Notre Dame now holds over Navy. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s a mortal lock …

I picked Florida State to make the national championship game. At this rate, they may not make the Birmingham Bowl. Am I right, ‘Noles fans? Hello, FSU folks? Hellooooo …

Kudos to UCF for the big road win against Big 10 Maryland Terrapin. As much success they’ve had over the last few years, it’s crazy to think it’s just the Knights’ fourth road win over the Power 5 (Alabama, 2000; N.C. State, 2007; Penn State, 2013).

That’s good for a spot in the Mighty News-Gazette Divine Nine, right?

1.Ala-blam-a (ask Vanderbilt). 2. K.C. Chiefs 3. Clemson. 4. The ATL Falcons. 5. Oklahoma. 6. UCF. 7. Eagles’ rookie PK Jake Elliott (61-yarder to beat the Giants, farther than I go on vacation) 8. Donating to Hurricane Maria’s victims throughout the Caribbean. 9. Anthem singers (takes guts to go out and do that).

Now for this weekend’s sure-fire winners …

Vanderbilt at Florida (-10): If that spread, at home, against Vandy, isn’t an indictment of the Gators’ offense, nothing is. Here’s to more Gainesville drama. Gators by just 7.

FSU (-7.5) at Wake Forest: Another spread that would be around eleventy-billion any other year. Coach Jimbo will just take a win. ‘Noles by 11.

Memphis at UCF (-4): Knights beaten Tigers eight straight. Trends are good. Ask a Gator fan. Trendy Knights by 3.

Georgia (-7.5) at Tennessee: Bulldogs are good. Vols are still stumbling around Alachua County somewhere. UGA by 4 in SEC Game of the Century of the Week.

Iowa at Michigan State (-3.5): Hawkeyes led Penn State for 59 minutes and 54 seconds. That should be worth something. Corn kids by 1.

The paid professionals:

New Orleans (-3) vs. Miami: Dolphins flew to London by way of L.A. and New York. And they’ve been Jet-lagged for a week. Saints by 4.

Jacksonville (-4) at N.Y. Jets: Jags hung 44 on Baltimore last week. That’s a month worth for them. Jets by 3 in Empty Jags Offense upset special.

N.Y. Giants at Tampa Bay (-3): In ’06, Bucs’ Matt Bryant beat Philadelphia on a 62-yarder. So it’s been a thing for years. Bucs by a long way.

Pittsburgh (-3) at Baltimore: Both lost to bad teams last week. One will again Sunday. Steelers by 7.

Oakland at Denver (-2.5): Raiders are good, but go with the thin air. Broncos by 6.

Brian “Big Man” McBride Super Sniffer Upset Special: J-E-T-S by 5.

Petey “The Gators are Gonna Win” Covino says: Florida by 11.