Sure, some teams had a nice weekend. The Cincinnati Reds? Absolutely. College football teams that call one of the two Carolinas home? For sure.
Many others, however, did not enjoy the same elation. The Atlanta Braves and Buffalo Bills often find themselves in the same sentence, and not for a good reason. Both franchises make losing championships look as routine as putting on socks (perhaps that belongs in past tense, since neither team plays in championship games anymore). Now they’re back in the same sentence after similarly disastrous weekends. The Braves’ season ended after three errors of their own and one by an umpire, while the Bills lost a football game 45-3, and in the process set a franchise record for futility.
Here’s a look at the teams, players, coaches, gamblers, and — yes — even officials in this post-replacement refs era who endured wholly unfortunate weekends.
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The Braves had already lost six consecutive playoff series, so their fans were surely prepared for a loss last Friday. However, nobody could have been ready for what transpired. Atlanta committed a trio of costly errors at home against St. Louis then saw its comeback attempt foiled by a bizarre infield fly call, all of which resulted in a 6-3 loss.
Consider the irony: the Braves had won 23 consecutive games started by Kris Medlen, and in previous years they would have captured the league’s lone wild card by a whopping six games. But under the new format, they had to play Cardinals in a one-game playoff and — of course — lost (despite having Medlen on the mound). Adding insult to injury, the death blow (aside from infield fly-gate) in Chipper Jones’ final game was a throwing error by Jones himself.
In the last three Major League Baseball seasons, six infield flies had dropped to the ground. The longest of those was measured at 178 feet from home plate. Andrelton Simmons’ “outfield” fly landed a whopping 225 feet from home, but Holbrook still called an infield fly and ruled Simmons out. He’ll likely go down in infamous MLB umpires lore along with Jim Joyce, Jerry Meals, and Don Denkinger, among several others. Holbrook and his crew say they stand by the call. But, hey, Dottie Sandusky says she still stands by Jerry, so….
In Sunday’s blowout loss to San Francisco, Buffalo allowed the most yards (621) in the 53-year history of the organization. In their last two games, the Bills have given up 97 points. They became the first team since the 1950 New York Yanks to give up at least 550 yards in consecutive games in the same season. Since leading the Patriots 21-7 in Week 4, Buffalo has been outscored a ridiculous 90-10. Chan Gailey’s bunch will visit Arizona in Week 6. Legends Sportsbook has the Bills as five-point underdogs and the “over/under” is a mere 42.5.
Bettors who had the under
…. in Sunday night’s two playoff baseball games. The 7.5 over/under number for the Yankees-Orioles game seemed out of reach as late as the ninth inning, but New York put up a five-spot to break open a 2-2 tie and win, 7-2. Similarly, the seven-point total in Cincinnati vs. San Francisco appeared to be headed for the under until the eighth inning. The Reds crushed the hearts of Giants’ fans by posting a shutout, and then they ripped the hearts out of under bettors by scoring five in the top of the eighth for a 9-0 blowout. BetOnline has the over/under at eight for Game 2 of both series.
Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman
The Hollywood couple has split after 30 years of marriage. DeVito and Perlman married in January of 1982, but reps confirmed on Monday that they have gone their separate ways…. Some recent sports breakups: Chipper Jones and baseball, Georgia Tech and Al Groh (fired on Monday), Johnny Unitas and his record for consecutive games with a TD pass (broken by Drew Brees on Sunday night), and probably Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers.
Matt Cassel and the Kansas City Chiefs
In the fourth quarter of a low-scoring home game against Baltimore, Cassel was knocked out with a concussion. How the Chiefs fans responded isn’t really the news; but how offensive tackle Eric Winston responded to the response is news. Winston went on a three-minute, surprisingly profanity-free tirade in the locker room, lambasting the crowd (albeit a small percentage of it) for reveling in Cassel’s misfortune.
The cheering coincided with backup quarterback Brady Quinn’s entrance. Quinn, who could not quite engineer a comeback in Kansas City’s 9-6 loss, may get the Week 6 start at Tampa Bay. As of Monday evening the line for that game has not been set due to Cassel’s unknown status.
Through five games, Auburn is 1-4, with its only win coming against Louisiana-Monroe in overtime. In three SEC contests, the Tigers have mustered a horrendous 27 total points. It went from bad to worse last Saturday when they got blown out at home by lowly Arkansas, 24-7. Auburn committed five turnovers and was sacked eight times. Gene Chizik’s squad is a 4.5-point underdog this week at Mississippi (Sportsbook.ag).
Normally it’s good to be Roger Federer, but it wasn’t last weekend when he was the subject of a death threat prior to this week’s Shanghai Masters. “On October 6, I plan to assassinate Federer for the purpose of tennis extermination,” wrote a user on a popular Chinese Web site. The user was eventually found and apologized. Federer, who called it a “small distraction,” is 10/3 to win the tournament behind Novak Djokovic at 5/4 and Andy Murray at 11/4 (Bovada Sportsbook).