Gary Laubach

About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

Team of Destiny?

Everyone in the sports world has heard the term “team of destiny”. It is often used when a team which is not supposed to win a championship, wins!  And… it is only used AFTER a team has accomplished what most prognosticators believed they could not accomplish.  It is always after the fact and leaves one little opportunity for debate.

So, looking at this past weekend of the NFL playoffs, we are left with three teams that look like they may be “teams of destiny”.

First, of the four teams still playing, there is one team that just doesn’t fit the definition – the New England Patriots. The Patriots have won 15 AFC titles in the last 17 seasons and they have appeared in the Super Bowl nine times, winning six.  Of the four games this past weekend, the only game that was over long before the end was New England’s drubbing of the Tennessee Titans 35-14.  The win means the Patriots are going to their seventh straight AFC championship game.  You obviously could conclude that the Patriots are the ultimate “team of destiny” or, if you are SUPPOSED to win it all every year, there is no surprise.

The other three teams, however, all won in dramatic fashion, so those who believe in such things, would argue it was meant to be, like fate, like destiny. The Steelers were favored to easily beat the Jaguars and, in fact, were talking more about New England before the game than they were talking about the Jaguars.  That was a big mistake – the “game of destiny” – Pittsburgh at New England will not happen.  Are the Jaguars a “team of destiny”?

The Eagles needed a tremendous defensive goal-line stand at the very end of their game with the Falcons going in for the winning touchdown. They held and won 15-10.  They will play for the NFC championship for the tenth time, but they haven’t won it since 2004 and last played in the conference championship in 2008.  Did the goal-line stand make them the “team of destiny”?

Or does the term belong to the unlikeliest winner this past weekend – the Minnesota Vikings? They won on the very last play on a desperation pass from an undrafted backup   quarterback, who was himself a backup to a backup.  The Saints secondary made a huge blunder and ended up sending the Vikings to their tenth NFC title game, but their first since 2009.  Destiny?

So, which of the three, based on this past weekend, is a “team of destiny”? Or does New England just simply win another Conference title and another Super Bowl?  Remember a “team of destiny” has to win their LAST game.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. The NFL is a tough business. After the Tennessee Titans lost badly to New England on Saturday, their head coach, Mike Mularkey, and the team agreed to part ways. Mularkey had gotten the Titans to their first postseason appearance since 2008 and they did face New England. I guess he was still expected to win that game, too.
  2. Even though the Conference championships will be played in Foxborough, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, it appears the weather will be much kinder than it was this past weekend. Jacksonville will face 48 degrees and cloudy, while the Vikings will see even warmer weather – 53 degrees and cloudy. In conclusion, the weather should not be a factor.
  3. Does it seem like replay is used almost every other play any more in football? Much of the responsibility has been taken away from the officials. If they make a call, they know the NFL can always “go back to New York”. Everybody is getting a little sick of “going back to New York”.
  4. The Eagles were the first #1 seeded team not to be favored in their first game of the postseason. The Falcons were favored by three. The Eagles are also not favored this week either – 3.5 point underdogs. Lane Johnson broke out the underdog mask this past week after the win over Atlanta. I assume he still has it in his possession.
  5. There were two shocking upsets this week in high school basketball. On Friday, the Freedom girls beat the defending state champions, Bethlehem Catholic – 66-59. On Saturday the Dieruff boys beat cross-town rival and previously undefeated Central Catholic 40-37. It must be getting close to the playoffs!!

 

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 3-1; OVERALL – 169-94 – 64%)

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

NEW ENGLAND

PHILADELPHIA

 

One and Done?

The guys and gals who cover the NFL are not giving the Eagles much of a chance to win a game, let alone multiple games in the NFL playoffs.  Of course, the media also felt that the Chiefs and the Rams would win their wild card games.  The Chiefs were favored by 9 and the Rams were favored by 6.  Both lost.  Andy Reid, once again, could not put a winning game plan together and get a playoff victory at home.  The Rams are young with a young head coach and could not deal with the experienced Falcons.

On the other hand, two teams who were favored – the Saints and the Jaguars – won their Sunday wild card games. So it is off to the AFC and NFC semifinals.

Based on what we have seen so far, it is hard to be comfortable with Nick Foles at quarterback for the Eagles. The Eagles certainly can run the ball with their stable of outstanding backs, but if they are forced to rely on Foles to win the game, my confidence sinks way down.  I do like the Eagles’ defense and I like Doug Pederson at the helm.  Do I like them enough to pick them?  Go to “Gary’s Guesses”.

Most think the Eagles will lose this first round matchup which will give the Vikings the home field advantage throughout. If, and it is a big IF, the Vikings can beat a very good Saints team with an outstanding quarterback in Drew Brees.  The Vikings have proven to be good enough to win the NFC title, but are they good enough to beat the Saints? The Vikings have an outstanding defense and an adequate offense.  It would be a shock if the Vikings did not get to the Super Bowl.

Everyone is anticipating a Pittsburgh-New England AFC championship game with the votes split on who would win it. New England won a couple of weeks ago when the famous no-catch rule came into effect.  The Steelers’ Antonio Brown should be back for this one and running back Le’Veon Bell should be healthy.  New England, if the match-up occurs, would be the home team, but weather-wise, playing in New England or playing in Pittsburgh in January should not make much difference.

Now all both teams have to do is get to the championship game. The Jaguars are no match for the Steelers and New England will beat Tennessee.  Of this, I am certain.

 ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. A number of “so-called” experts have Saquon Barkley being drafted by the Cleveland Browns as the fourth overall selection. I, for one, hope not. This town just held a mock parade “celebrating” Cleveland’s 0-16 season. The Giants and the Colts would have a chance to beat Cleveland to the punch. I hope they do.
  2. The story going around the Patriots is that Tom Brady was happy to see his backup QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, go to the 49’ers and Bill Belichick was not. Again, supposedly, owner Robert Kraft ordered Belichick to trade Garoppolo. Now rumors are saying Belichick is ready to move on to the Giants as head coach. Sounds like a great soap opera.
  3. Eagles’ fans – are you feeling a bit uneasy about playing the Atlanta Falcons next weekend? The Falcons upset the Rams 26-13 and looked very good doing it on both sides of the ball. QB Matt Ryan is a Philly native, playing high school football at Penn Charter High School. The Falcons, as you know, are trying to get back to the Super Bowl. Without Carson Wentz, the top-seeded Eagles are the underdog.
  4. If you want the best example of an overbearing parent, look no further than LaVar Ball. His oldest son, Lonzo, is a member of the LA Lakers and Lonzo said this week no one on the team wants to play for or respects the head coach of the Lakers, Luke Walton. This is the same father who took his other two sons LiAngelo and LaMelo out of college and high school to Lithuania to play professionally because, you guessed it, he did not like the coaches.
  5. AAAAAA high school basketball in District XI is up for grabs. No one team looks to be the favorite to win it all at the end of the season. With Beca (AAAA), Central (AAAAA), Pocono Mountain West (AAAAAA), and a wild card, the EPC playoffs, which will mix up the classifications, and should be even more entertaining than the Districts.

 

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 2-2; OVERALL – 166-93 – 64%)

 DIVISIONAL ROUND

PHILADELPHIA

NEW ENGLAND

PITTSBURGH

MINNESOTA

 

Happy New Year

HappyNewYear

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 9-7; OVERALL – 164-91 – 64%)

WILD CARD WEEKEND

RAMS

NEW ORLEANS

JACKSONVILLE

KANSAS CITY

Behind the Mic: Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 12-4; OVERALL – 155-84 – 65%)
 
Week Seventeen
 
BALTIMORE
DETROIT
BUFFALO
CAROLINA
NEW ORLEANS
TENNESSEE
NEW ENGLAND
INDIANAPOLIS
PITTSBURGH
WASHINGTON
MINNESOTA
PHILADELPHIA
CHARGERS
SEATTLE
KANSAS CITY
RAMS

Looking Ahead

I know this is the time of the year when most writers look back on the past year and reminisce on the highlights of the 2017. You will be able to find plenty of those articles and opinions in the next week or so.  I am not much for looking back.  I tend to think except for the nostalgia value, not much is gained by it.  Instead, I like to look ahead – you know, have a reason to look forward to the next day and the one after that.

So, with that in mind, and since this will be my last blog for the year (“Gary’s Guesses” will continue, however), I thought I would offer up some of the questions I look forward to the future answering in 2018. They are in no particular order:

  1. Can the Eagles actually get to and win the Super Bowl?
  2. Are there better NFL games to watch than the Steelers against the Patriots?
  3. With that in mind, when is a catch a catch in the NFL?
  4. Will there be any prominent males left in positions of power at the end of 2018 or will they all have harassed someone and left their positions?
  5. Since it is a foregone conclusion that Penn State and Whitehall football player Saquan Barkley will head for the NFL draft, will he sign with a team I can root for? (I certainly want to root for him).
  6. Now that it looks like all Philadelphia sports teams are on the rise, will the spring and summer (Phils), fall and winter (Flyers, 76’ers, Eagles) all create year-round excitement in the City of Brotherly Love?
  7. When will there be a positive story about the concussion problem in football – like advancements being made? (The Larry Johnson story in Sunday’s Morning Call was very difficult to read, but well worth reading).
  8. Will the District XI use the PPL Center again for their showcase high school winter sports (wrestling and basketball)?
  9. Jay Wright and his Villanova Wildcats are #1 in the nation in college basketball. Can they stay there and win their second national championship in three years?
  10. Will excitement return to College Hill in Lafayette football and basketball?

Well, that’s enough to chew on for a while, with new questions cropping up every week. Before I call it a year, I do want to thank all the people who made this past year so gratifying – the RCN-TV crew and management (they are an amazing group); athletic directors and coaches (their cooperation is essential); the players (your dedication and effort inspires me every game); the Lafayette Sports Information Department (you make me feel like part of the team); and, especially, you, the fans.  Nothing makes our day than when so many of you take the time to tell us how much you enjoy our product.

I hope we all can spend 2018 together once again!

 Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 13-3; OVERALL – 143-80 – 64%)

 Week Sixteen

 BALTIMORE

MINNESOTA

DETROIT

CHARGERS

RAMS

CHICAGO

CAROLINA

NEW ORLEANS

WASHINGTON

KANSAS CITY

NEW ENGLAND

JACKSONVILLE

GIANTS

DALLAS

PITTSBURGH

PHILADELPHIA

 

 

 

 

Wentz-less

Carson Wentz just got done throwing a record-setting 33rd TD pass to Alshon Jeffery when he left the field.  After watching the hard, sandwich hit he took on what turned out to be a non-play due to a penalty, I was amazed he went back into the huddle to play another down.  But, Carson Wentz played another four plays throwing a TD pass on fourth down.  He walked off the field and appeared to be limping just a little.  And then, he went into that dreaded tent.  When that happens in a game, my first thought is always “concussion protocol”.  Not this time.

Wentz left the tent and walked, under his own power, to the locker room. The injury still did not look season-ending.  But, on Monday it was reported he had suffered an ACL injury.  That injury would put him out for the season this year and, perhaps, next year.  The Eagles can ill afford to take any chances with their franchise quarterback.  They must give him the time to fully recover.

So with arguably the NFL’s MVP out for the season, how will the Eagles fare without Wentz?   Perhaps, the better question is, “Can the Eagles win with Nick Foles?”  Foles started one game for the Chiefs last year and posted a QB rating of 12.5 (not close to being even mediocre).  He certainly does not have Wentz’s mobility and was injured in each of his years with the Eagles.  Next up would be third–string QB Nate Sudfeld who has never thrown an NFL pass.  Or… dare I say it – Colin Kaepernick?

So is there hope? Yes – the Eagles can certainly run the ball with Blount, Ajayi, and Clement.  They should be able to throw safe and short passes to their three tight ends.  The Eagles’ defense is solid and seems to play at their very best with their backs against the wall.  And there should be time to learn to mesh with Foles.  They have the Giants away, and the Raiders and Cowboys at home.  They should be able to win those games and give Foles a chance to get comfortable.  Win them all and they are guaranteed the top seed in the NFC.

In 1990 the Giants won the Super Bowl with Jeff Hostetler, who was in the lineup because Phil Sims went down in Week 15. The Giants won the Super Bowl that year.

Can the Eagles do the same without Carson Wentz? I, along with throngs of Eagles’ fans have our doubts.  The season has been magical so far and it might need a true magician to reach the desired finish.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

    1. Seahawks defensive lineman, Quentin Jefferson, tried to go into the stands on Sunday in Jacksonville when, after being ejected, a fan threw a drink on him. His attempt was thwarted by an equipment manager.
    2. I was at the December 23, 1979, hockey game between the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins played at Madison Square Garden when every Bruins player except one went into the stands after a Rangers fan reached over the glass and hit a Bruin player. I was far enough away to just be a spectator, but when we left the arena, angry fans had surrounded the Bruins bus. It looked like the entire NY police force was there to allow the players to leave the city. No one seemed to be in the holiday spirit. (There were suspensions, lawsuits, and installation on higher glass).
    3. Thanks to the NFL Red Zone, I was able to watch a great deal of the Bills-Colts game played in blizzard-like conditions on Sunday. I now understand what weathermen mean by “lake-effect snow.” The Bills won in overtime in a surreal environment.
    4. The Browns just cannot win a game. Even after wide receiver Josh Gordon caught his first TD pass since 2013 and having a 21-7 lead going into the fourth quarter, they still managed to lose to the Packers in OT 28-21. They now are 0-13. The Ravens are next.
    5. No one would argue that it has been a good winter so far for a Philadelphia sports fan (except for the Flyers) – the Eagles are great; the ’76-ers play exciting and winning NBA basketball; and the Villanova Wildcats are now the #1 college basketball team in the nation (Duke and Kansas both lost this week).
  • Two great wrestling matches will occur next week on RCN-TV when PA’s #1 team Bethlehem Catholic takes on Northampton on December 20 and Nazareth faces Easton on December 21. This is an early holiday gift for wrestling fan. High school basketball will be on RCN-TV Tuesday and Friday.

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 8-8; OVERALL – 130-77 – 63%)

Week Fifteen

DENVER

DETROIT

CHARGERS

PHILADELPHIA

CAROLINA

MINNESOTA

MIAMI

JACKSONVILLE

NEW ORLEANS

WASHINGTON

BALTIMORE

RAMS

NEW ENGLAND

TENNESSEE

DALLAS

ATLANTA

 

 

 

 

Insanity

No one knows the source, but someone once said the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I feel that way about this blog.  I want to make two points – one about college football and one about the Pennsylvania state football playoffs, knowing full well that this is a waste of computer space and will fall on deaf ears.  But, I will do it anyway.

Let’s start with the high school football playoffs. District XI, in my opinion, and I think most of our viewers would agree, has pretty good football.  This year we sent undefeated AAA Palisades , twice beaten (by AAAAAA schools) AAAA Bethlehem Catholic, AAAAA 9-3 Whitehall (2 losses to AAAAAA schools), and undefeated AAAAAA Parkland to the PIAA playoffs.  Three of the four were pummeled by Philadelphia private schools, where the student body of those schools had virtually no boundaries, not even by state. Palisades lost 34-17; Bethlehem Catholic lost 34-14; Parkland lost 49-14.  Whitehall did not lose to a Philadelphia school, but the team that beat them lost to one, Archbishop Wood, by a 41-14 score.

Now I understand this may sound like sour grapes. “Boo-hoo” – the Lehigh Valley teams lost and let the whining begin.  However, the playing field is not equal here.  Everyone knows it.  So since we all know the roster makeup of the Philly private schools will not be regulated, why not create a system where we have public school champions and private school champions?  If the PIAA is insistent on six classifications, then have four public and two private classifications.  May the best teams of both types, on an equal playing field, win!

Now that I have wasted my time on high school football, let me turn my attention to the college football playoffs – four teams in – Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama; everybody else is out. That means Ohio State (Big 10 champion), Wisconsin (12-1), Auburn (beat Alabama), and USC (PAC 12 champions) and undefeated (the only one in the Top 25, by the way) UCF are all out.  I have no argument with the committee’s top four FBS selections; there just needs to be four more teams added to the mix.  That simply means one more week of football – eight teams to four; four to two; and the national championship game.  Ironically, the FCS (made up of schools like Lafayette and Lehigh) does it with many more teams – 24!  So arguments about time away from class and scheduling are moot.

There will still be plenty of arguments from teams below the top eight, but the volume of disgruntlement will be much less. Not having the Big Ten champion and the PAC 12 champion in the national playoffs just seems completely wrong.

The NCAA playoff system is in place until 2025 so no expansion is on the horizon.

In conclusion, the PIAA high school playoffs will not change; the NCAA college football playoffs will not change. Therefore, I have just wasted your time and my time.

But I plead “guilty by reason of insanity.”

 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. A wise sage once told me that the reason a football game is lost can be broken down into five critical plays. Looking at the Eagles game on Monday against Seattle, how about these five:
  • A fumble by Carson Wentz at the one-yard line
  • An overthrow by Wentz to Nelson Agholor (probable TD)
  • Alshon Jeffery holds on a play where LeGarrette Blount ran to the one- yard line
  • Challenging a ball spot when the Eagles only needed an inch for a first down which they got on the next play
  • Not challenging a forward lateral which would have stopped a scoring drive by the Seahawks
  • That’s the game in a nutshell.
  1. Beca’s opponent on Friday, Imhotep Charter, won 34-14 without top player Isheem Young. He was considered one of the top athletes in all of Pennsylvania. However, the morning of the game, he was charged with armed robbery of a WAWA in July. He has since been removed from the Penn State’s commitment list by a recruiting site.
  2. I hope Eli Manning has a chance to latch on to a new NFL team next year. For the Giants to think they accomplished anything by playing Geno Smith this past weekend and benching Manning is a good indicator of why their season (2-10) has been so bad. Even the front office got it this week by firing head coach Bob McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese.
  3. Tiger is back! It makes golf much more enjoyable to watch when one of the greatest returns and Tiger’s successful weekend in the Bahamas sure had a tremendous impact on viewership and interest. Let’s hope he stays healthy.
  4. High school basketball begins on Tuesday, December 12, with Bethlehem Catholic at Parkland and Central at Whitehall. Friday, December 15, we will have Central at Liberty and Emmaus at Northampton. Let the games begin! 

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 10-6; OVERALL – 122-69 – 64%)

Week Fourteen

NEW ORLEANS

DETROIT

BENGALS

INDIANAPOLIS

JACKSONVILLE

KANSAS CITY

VIKINGS

GREEN BAY

HOUSTON

CHARGERS

JETS

TENNESSEE

PHILADELPHIA

DALLAS

PITTSBURGH

NEW ENGLAND

 

 

 

 

Dream Come True

High school football has two more weekends and college football for the RCNTV crew has come to a close. College basketball has begun and high school basketball is right around the corner.

That can only mean that it is once again time for one of my favorite nights of the year and it has nothing to do with athletics. It is the night that I co-host the Dream Come True Telethon. Believe it or not (and I am a “not”), we will be doing the Telethon for the 32nd  year.  I did not host in the very early years (just a guest), but I have been around for most.

The Dream Come True organization, in case you did not know, was founded in 1984 by Kostas Kalogeropoulous, a local businessman. The goal of the organization is simple – fulfill the dreams of children who are seriously, chronically, and terminally ill and reside in the greater Lehigh Valley area.  Children are referred by family, friends, clergy, doctors, social workers, etc. and the dreams usually fall into three categories – trips, contact with celebrities, and special gifts (computers, shopping sprees, for example).

Scott Barr will be co-hosting again this year. We have spent this night together for many, many years and I would not want to work with anyone else. The telethon includes an online auction, which has already commenced. Scott handles the auction area during the telethon and, boy, is he terrific! If you watch Home Shopping Network or any of the other television all-day shopping channels, just watch Scott do his thing during the three-hour night.  He is as good as, if not better, than the professionals.

Here are the specifics:

 2017 Dream Come True Telethon & Online Auction
1292_DCT_Banners_RCNTV_600x250

The 32 nd ANNUAL DREAM COME TRUE TELETHON is Monday, December 4, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, live on RCN TV. The goal of the telethon is to raise funds for and increase awareness of Dream Come True, an organization that grants the dreams of children who are terminally, chronically, or seriously ill. Join hosts Gary Laubach, Scott Barr and Vanessa Keiffer for heartwarming interviews with Dream recipients, special guests, and featured auctions.

Bid on incredible auction items  donated by your favorite networks! Online bidding opened Monday, November 20, and closes Monday, December 4, at 8:00 PM.

Make a financial contribution to Dream Come True by calling in during the Telethon or donate on-line now.

You will find a variety of unique items. If you want something really special that cannot be found in any store, tune in and bid on the items. You will make Scott’s night and, more importantly, help to make a child’s dream come true.

Vanessa Keiffer’s interviews with the children who have had their dreams fulfilled will demonstrate to you just how valuable your donations are.

The important facts again are:

The Date:        Monday, December 4
The Time:        6:00 – 9:00 PM
The Purpose:   To fulfill as many hopes, dreams and fantasies for seriously, chronically, and terminally ill children as possible
The Phone Number to Make a Donation:       1-800-749-8099

All proceeds from the online/on-air auction go directly to Dream Come True.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support!  Your donation will help make a child’s dream come true!

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. With the town of Philadelphia ecstatic about the success of the Eagles and the ‘76ers, it’s a shame the Flyers cannot be a part of it. As I write this, they are in last place in their division and mired in an eight-game losing streak.
  2. I had a chance to chat with two former Eagles this past Saturday when Parkland played St. Joe’s Prep. They were there to watch their sons play, one on the Parkland team and one on the St. Joe’s team. While talking to them, it became evident that one of their major concerns as they age is memory loss from concussions.  One of them pointed out that he was already suffering.  He pointed out that the game was much different back then with very little precautions taken.  Those older players are now paying the price.
  3. Speaking of football concussions, there is a new helmet being touted – the ZERO1.  It has ranked #1 in the testing labs set up by the NFL. The helmet is supposed to be a great improvement over the current ones.  The downside is that each one costs @$1500.  That is certainly an investment the pros could make, but could colleges and high school programs afford them?  It will be interesting to watch where the priorities will lie.
  4. Parkland, without question, was the best football team in our area, going undefeated and, for the most part, unchallenged. And then they ran into St. Joe’s Prep this past weekend, a Philadelphia Catholic school. Prep is made up of players from all over the city and many from New Jersey.  There was no comparison in the talent level on the field.  But, it is not a level playing field.  It’s time to have public school and private school champions in Pennsylvania.  If Pennsylvania wants six classifications, how about two private champions and four public school champions?
  5. There is one more football game on our schedule – Bethlehem Catholic against Imhotep Charter (another Philadelphia private school). This is the PIAA state semifinal AAAA game. We will televise it on RCN-TV LIVE this Friday night at 7:00pm.  No matter the outcome, our football season will come to a close.  The state finals will be on PCN the following weekend.  Thanks for watching!!

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 11-5; OVERALL – 112-63 – 64%)

Week Thirteen

WASHINGTON

BALTIMORE

CHICAGO

ATLANTA

NEW ENGLAND

MIAMI

TENNESSEE

JACKSONVILLE

GREEN BAY

KANSAS CITY

CAROLINA

CHARGERS

RAMS

OAKLAND

PHILADELPHIA

PITTSBURGH

 

Greetings, Games, Guesses

FROM THE RCN-TV STAFF

Happy Thanksgiving

GAMES

 PIAA State Football

  GoParkland

    VS Saint Joe’s on Saturday, November 25, LIVE at 1:00 on RCN-TV

Bethlehem Catholic

  VS Selinsgrove on Friday, November 24, LIVE at 7:00 PM on RCN-TV


Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 10-4; OVERALL – 101-58 – 64%)

Week Twelve

DETROIT

DALLAS

WASHINGTON

CINCINNATI

PHILADELPHIA

NEW ENGLAND

KANSAS CITY

ATLANTA

CAROLINA

TENNESSEE

SEATTLE

NEW ORLEANS

JACKSONVILLE

OAKLAND

PITTSBURGH

BALTIMORE

The Competition

Even though I am sure the Eagles were quite happy that every team in the NFC East lost this past Sunday while they were enjoying a pleasant bye week, this week’s results actually did not help them as much as one might think.

Right now, the Eagles have the best record in the NFC and, for that matter, all of football. But, that honor is a precarious one.  The Vikings, the Saints, and the Rams all won their games this past Sunday and they are all 7-2 and certainly ready to become the team with the best record in the NFC should the Eagles falter.

If you are so inclined to use analytics, a crystal ball, or tarot cards, take a look at the remaining schedule for the Eagles and the teams chasing them:

The Eagles will certainly win their division – their toughest opponent may be the Seahawks. They will not encounter a suspended Ezekial Elliott the first time around against Dallas and may miss facing left offensive tackle Tyrone Smith for both games with the Cowboys.

The Vikings look like the most likely team to surpass the Eagles for the home field advantage based on remaining schedules.

There are, also, teams lingering: Dallas (5-4), Atlanta (5-4), Detroit (5-4), Carolina (6-3), and Seattle (6-3).  Remember there are four division winners and two wild card teams in the playoffs.

The final six weeks should be very interesting and Eagles fans should be excited! They could not be in a better position at this stage in the season.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. Did you see where Colin Kaepernick was named “Citizen of the Year” by GQ magazine? In the article entitled “Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced”, he is not quoted once.
  2.  In case you were wondering, the win Sunday by the Patriots was the 270th for Bill Belichick. He is now tied for third place with the Cowboys’ Tom Landry. Do you know who #1 and #2 are? The answer is at the end of the musings.
  3. According to the ESPN Power Rankings, the 76ers are now #11 up from #17 last week. This could be the year that proves the last five awful years were worth the pain!
  4. Well, Notre Dame and Penn State fans in the Valley (and there are plenty of them) have been in tears the last few weeks. Penn State lost two in a row before this weekend and Notre Dame was routed by Miami on Saturday after climbing into the Top Four. Notre Dame is now #9 and Penn State is #13. Maybe they could play each other in a bowl game. It would not be for a national championship, but the stadium and television interest would be off the charts!
  5. Parkland will try to win their sixth straight District XI AAAAAA championship this Friday when they take on Freedom. The game will be LIVE on RCN-TV at 7:00 from Northampton.
  6. On Saturday RCN-TV will have the 153rd addition of Lafayette-Lehigh, college football’s most played rivalry. Game time is 12:30.

P.S. #1 – Don Shula (347); #2 – George Halas (324)


Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 9-5; OVERALL – 91-54 – 63%)

Week Eleven

PITTSBURGH

DETROIT

KANSAS CITY

TAMPA BAY

GREEN BAY

RAMS

ARIZONA

JACKSONVILLE

NEW ORLEANS

CHARGERS

CINCINNATI

NEW ENGLAND

PHILADELPHIA

ATLANTA