Wednesday, September 13, 2017

week two: the bird is the word ...

I know that it might sound jaded,
But I have to say?
I feel love is overrated,
But I don’t like throwing it away!

I know you could probably tell me
Right where I went wrong.
Some guys can’t have all the luck?
If others don’t sing sad songs!

Do you hear that?
I’m right back!
At the sound?
Of lonely calling!

You hear that?
It’s where I’m at!
It’s the sound of teardrops
Falling down …

Down …

A slamming door
And a lesson learned --
I let another lover?
Crash and burn! …”


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Last Week SU: 12-3-0 (80.00%).
Season to Date SU: 12-3-0 (80.00%).

Last Week ATS: 11-3-1 (73.33%).
Season to Date ATS: 11-3-1 (73.33%).

Last Week “Screw You Pete King” Upset / Week SU: Bango.
Last Week “Screw You Pete King” Upset / Week SU: 1-0-0.
Season to Date “Screw You Pete King” Upset / Week ATS: Bango.
Season to Date “Screw You Pete King” Upset / Week ATS: 1-0-0.
This Week’s “Screw You Pete King” Upset / Week: Lions(+5) over Giants.

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The Non-Jets, Non-Chiefs Predictions:

* Texans (+3) 20, at Bengals 10.  Both teams are probably grateful to get back on the field after sh*tting all over it in their respective games on Sunday.  Also, Webster Game O’ The Week.

* at Ravens (-9) 31, Browns 21.  The Ravens impressed me Sunday.  The Browns really impressed me Sunday.  Also, ALF Game O’ The Week.

* at Panthers (-8 ½) 41, Bills 13.  Enjoy first place while it lasts, Buffalo.  Which might be until Week Three!

* at Colts (+9) 6, “Super” Cardinals 3.  To bastardize a quote from one of the six funniest movies of all time: Jim Irsay picked one hell of a season to quit sniffing glue.  Also, Good Times Game O’ The Week.  Wow, this is one seriously crappy slate of noon games.  Thank God I’ll be inside Terrorhead and avoiding these putrid offerings.

* at Jaguars (PK) 26, Titans 21.  Do you realize this is the first time the Jacksonville Jaguars have been above .500 since Week Two 2011?  I mean, holy hell Batman!  Forget that they’re all alone in first place (and there’s a damned decent shot they could be two clear of every other South team -- with two divisional wins in hand -- come 3:30 Sunday).  They haven’t been above .500 since Week Two 2011!  

* at Saints (+4 ½) 41, Patriots 31.  My favorite game on the board not involving the Red and Gold.  This is gonna be fun.  

* at Steelers 28, Vikings (+7 ½) 24.  My Lee Corso “Not So Fast, My Friend” Game O’ The Week.  Vikings keep this close, if not spring the outright upset.

* at Bucs (-7) 28, Bears 20.  Wish I had a half point to play with either way.  Smells like a 27-20 game, to be honest.

* Dolphins (+4) 31, at “Super” Chargers 21.  In the words of Timothy B. Schmidt: “I can’t tell you why”.

* at those people (+1) 20, Cowboys 17.  As a FYI, our tailgating group’s official t-shirt will be delivered the week before the Monday Nighter against those people.  The slogan this year is without question -- (allard baird voice) without question! -- the single most inspired drinking slogan I’ve ever heard.  Cost is $15 / apiece for any size, any sleeve length; I’ll be happy to take your order at the Eagles or ‘Skins or Steelers tailgate, or the Chargers or Texans watching parties.  (Usually they’re ready for the home opening tailgate, but the company we use is backlogged right now, and it just seemed right to make the tailgate against those people, even more special than it already is.)

Oh, and this year’s slogan?  Is a secret until it’s delivered.  There are three of us who know it.  The three of us rarely agree on anything.  Hell, one of us DESPISES the person this year’s slogan semi-bastardized.  One of us loves this person.  The third couldn’t give a sh*t either way.  (Hint: I’m the one who despises this person.)  Trust me -- it’s that f*cking awesome.  It’s a slogan that all but compliments someone I HATE, yet in a completely “go f*ck yourself” kind of way.  I think I nailed this year’s slogan to (reggie jackson voice) second f*cking base.  You’ll want one of these bad boys.  Badly.  On sale now through October 23rd (when the order is due, to ensure delivery by October 28th).

* at Rams (-1) 34, Redskins 20.  It’s only one?  The spread is only one?  Are you kidding me?  I watched most of that Eagles / ‘Skins game on Sunday.  I ask anyone else who did: did you see even one shred of evidence that the ‘Skins are going to be anything other than a 3-13 trainwreck?  Because I didn’t.

* at Seahawks 24, 49ers (+13 ½) 14.  This line is a solid two to three points too high.  I watched almost all of that Seahawks / Packers game on Sunday.  This Seahawks O-Line is atrocious folks.  It is 2012 Chiefs sh*ttacular, it’s that bad.

* Packers (+2 ½) 38, at “Shane” Falcons 31.  I loved the Packers game plan on Sunday, for what it’s worth.  The scoreboard didn’t show how effective it was.  Seattle was gassed by midway through the third.  Although to be fair, I watched about thirty seconds of the Falcons on Sunday, and it was the last thirty seconds, when they should have lost to the lowly Bears.  Oh well.  Such is life.

* Lions (+5) 34, at Giants 13.  I entered this season believing the New York Giants are the single most overrated team in the game.  I also entered this season thinking the Detroit Lions are the single most underrated team in the game.  I have seen nothing through a week of football action, to convince me I might be possibly incorrect on either count.

The Flashback: My 2nd Most Hated Game of the Richard A. Vermeil Pathetic and Indefensible Cash Grab (aka “My 2nd Most Hated Chiefs Game from 2001-2005):

Flash back with people peoples and peepettes, to the last time the Eagles visited Arrowhead Stadium for a game that counts.

Sunday, October 2nd, 2005, should have been amongst my most favorite of games from the 2000s.  For starters, it was perfect -- and I mean perfect! -- weather conditions.  According to Pro Football Reference, it was 87 degrees at kickoff.  At 3:15pm, on the first Sunday in October.  I mean, can it get any better?  (Answer: in this fine metropolitan area most of you reading this -- and the drunk and/or stoned dude typing this -- call home?  No.)

Secondly, note the start time: 3:15pm CT.  FOX National Game of the Week.  I cannot even begin to explain how much I love the national TV spotlight for the Red and Gold.  I mean, prime time rules, no doubt about it.  But the (then) 3:15 / (now) 3:25 stand alone spotlight?  It’s just awesome.  You get the FOX or CBS A team 99.26% of the time.  (Joe Buck and Troy Aikman did this one for FOX.)

Plus, when you’re in the stand-alone national late-afternoon slot, you’re usually facing one awesome squad in return.  (Emphasis on “usually”.)  In this case, the Chiefs were hosting the defending NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles, who used to be coached by?

You guessed it.  Frank Stallone.

Nah, just kidding.  You guessed it -- Richard A. Vermeil.

Thirdly (is that a word?  I guess it now is), thirdly -- in addition to perfect weather conditions, and one awesome, epic matchup on paper (that -- spoiler alert -- did live up to the hype … unfortunately), you had one of the last epic tailgates at the crosswalk next to the N44 sign.  Nancy made her steak kabobs.  G and I brought the Hooters wings.  Jasson brought Dr. Pepper and Boulevard Wheat.  There may or may not have been a half eaten bag of Oreos as well.  In any event, given how sh*tty and game-altering every damned moment post-Week Four was the year before, here we were a year later, Week Four, still standing.  Weaker, but still standing.  That means something to me -- then, now, and always.  (Specifically, life may (and will) kick you in the balls, but it doesn’t mean you can’t take the HHH Memorial Sledge Hammer and shove it up life’s ass in response.)

Fourthly (again, a word?), fourthly, the Chiefs did EXACTLY what any fan of this team would want them to do, on a perfect late summer / early fall afternoon, with the eyes of the nation upon it: open up a can of whoop ass on the Eagles.  They scored the first three times they had the ball to grab a 17-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter.

After forcing an Eagles punt, up 17-0, the Chiefs begin marching again … when Trent Green reminded us all why Jason Whitlock used to spell his first name TrInt -- a pick six to temporarily let Philly back in it, at 17-6 (they missed the extra point).  Reason to panic?  No sir -- Dante Hall promptly did what Dante Hall do, and took the kickoff to the house to make it 24-6 with barely four minutes to play in the half.

I was so damned ready to kick the shoes off, kick back, and relax for the next two hours.

And then … the floor collapsed.

Thirty one unanswered points later, the Eagles led by 13 (37-24), not even three minutes remained in the game, and (although not necessarily obvious at the time) the Chiefs season, for all intents and purposes, was over.

(And in case you think that this one game meant nothing?  Had the Chiefs won this game, that they led by EIGHTEEN POINTS almost exiting the first half?  They get the six seed in the AFC Playoffs in 2005.  And in case you think that means nothing?  Your AFC Six Seed, your Pittsburgh Steelers?  Won the godd*mned Lombardi.)

And that, in a nutshell, is reason 1,029,398,485,386 why I am not a fan of Richard A. Vermeil.  He cost this team far, far more, than he ever gave it.

Especially on the cash side of the ledger.

Also, my focus on this particular game will possibly make sense, in about eleven pages.

The “Klassy” Kevin Keitzman Tweet O’ The Week:

Presented Without Comment:



The Watching Party Plans:

There are no The Watching Party Plans, as this is a home game for the Chiefs.  However, Saturday night will see a pre-party on The Deck; feel free to participate.  Someone has to drink The Beer Machine dry before we have to shut it down in six weeks, and my liver can’t handle that awesome responsibility alone … anymore.

The Tailgating Plans:

I can tell you the main menu will be Philly Cheesesteaks.  I can tell you the primary side course will be my jalapeno poppers, which -- and far be it for me, the least most arrogant dude in Lot G, to brag -- are damned delicious.  I plan to visit the City Market Saturday morning to buy up a bag or three of those suckers to prep; the ones we got two weeks ago were the best I’ve ever made (in my always never humble opinion).

As for where we’ll be?  I am assuming that we will be in our usual spot -- the grassy lot, north of the G30 sign, right where Dubiner Circle and Chiefs Way intersect.  

(Deep, deep sigh of disgust …)

However …

The Stevo “What The F*ck Is The Point Of This” Rant:

I have reached out to two sources I rely on, when it comes to all things Chiefs, and specifically all things Chiefs parking and tailgate related.  One is my STM Representative, a nice dude named Zach who probably reacts when he sees my phone number hit his caller ID the same way I did for years when I saw a 206 area code hit my work caller ID: scream, curse, throw sh*t against the wall, and then choke down the rage for the most fake yet sincere sounding pleasantry you’ll ever hear.  

He confirmed that the Chiefs are not planning to offer the early-in pass this year.  I registered my official complaint.  He said I wasn’t the first one to do so.

However, he did note that as a “compromise”, the gates will open no later than five hours before kickoff for all, for every home game this season.  Which means the gates, according to the Chiefs, should open by 7am on Sunday.  Considering the early-in bought us flexibility in arriving up to 7:30ish for a noon game, I have to concede, this seems like a reasonable, fair concession.

But when it comes to Chiefs parking regulations, I think we’d all agree -- there’s never anything reasonable or fair about them.  Let alone anything resembling a concession.

So I reached out to my second source, a “highly placed confidential one” known on this site as “Rufus”.  (See, Chiefs?  Two can play the “Rufus” game!)  “Rufus” is a great guy I used to work with, who has very intimate knowledge of the parking setup for the area of the Truman Sports Complex my group parks and tailgates in.  (Also, I don’t know why I used “”’s for his name; it actually is Rufus.)

Rufus has been 100% right about everything coming regarding parking for four years now, since he gained the position that gives him intimate knowledge of Lots F, G, N, and H.  He accurately nailed the debacle of the 2015 home opener, accurately noted the Chiefs were so shook over the fan’s reaction (note: ours was tame, believe it or not) that they backed off, and they haven’t tried anything to mess with tailgating in the two years since.

He assured me that nothing is changing from last year in terms of us: come in the gate we’re used to, make sure a tailgater or two is at the bottom of the hill to move a cone to allow The Bus to turn around, and provided we’re in place before things really begin filling up, we’ll be fine.  He swears they’re not targeting tailgaters who park their oversized vehicles in the grass.  I am choosing to believe him.

If, however, we are forced out of a spot that not only have we tailgated in for twenty years now -- with the same bus! --, but if we are not even allowed to access the spot?

It’s on, Chiefs organization.  

The Bus leaves at 5:45am. As of today, there are ten of us confirmed heading out early, ten more coming in from Springfield, and however many Roger and his crew haul in. Plus any of you who meet us out there. Hope to see y'all there!

The 2 Legit 2 Colquitt League Idiotic Hunches:
Last Week SU: 2-4-0.
Season to Date SU: 2-4-0.
Last Week ATS: 2-4-0.
Season to Date ATS: 2-4-0.
We’re one week in, and already, it feels like the sky is falling in Season Twenty One of this fine upstanding waste of time and money.
For starters, Chane is in first.  I mean, no really – Chane is in first!  Granted, it is a three way tie, but still, Chane – who has never made the postseason, barely ever fields a competitive, let alone threatens .500 squad – this dude is in first!  Sweet Jesus!
Before I get to this week’s Fantasy Football thoughts for the 2L2C League, let me knock out the five games that don’t involve the matchup I want to expand upon:
* Banana Hammocks (Will) (-4) over Angry Beavers (“The Voice of Reason”).  Although mad kudos to team tito’s Week One MVP Stefon Diggs, for nearly single handedly rallying the fighting titos to the upset.  (I pulled within six points early in the third quarter of the Saints / Vikings game after trailing by nearly forty entering said game … before Sam Bradford stopped looking in Mr. Diggs’ direction, sadly.)
* Jasson’s Occiffers (Jason) (-19) over JYD’s Huskerbugeaters (Ross).  I lowered the line by adding in a defense for Ross, since he currently isn’t starting one.
* Focus and Finish (Chane) (+5) over Salty Bananas (“bts”).  A big early test for both squads.
* Patrick is Mahomes (“Reputable National Sports Columnist”) (+12) over GO BIG RED (Gordon, Garrett).  Come on.  Twelve points?  Seriously?  That’s like favoring team tito in any matchup not involving booze, weed, or salty language – it’s just wrong.
* B*tch Kitties (Cooksey) (+4) over Orinoco Flow N My Pantalones (Potter).  True story: there’s a Mexican food truck parked across the street from “current employer” that I have bought lunch from twice in the last week.  Day One the quesadilla was half baked (like the person eating it (rimshot!)), Day Two they gave me soft tacos instead of hard shell.  The lesson?  I’ll give them at least twenty more chances, before I give Don Chilito’s even one.
And now … for this week’s Game O’ The Week!
If there is a positive to the divisional realignment this year (and there are many), one of the major ones is that for the first time in at least thirteen years, the two biggest rivalries in the league, are guaranteed two matchups a year, via being in the same division for the first time.
We’ll have to wait a week or two before the Beavers and Bananas hook up at The Dam or The ConDome … but Week Two gives us, for the first time, the league’s biggest “dear God, won’t these two brain dead dumb f*ck idiots PLEASE shut up already!” divisional (coach don fambrough voice) hoedown, throwdown, showdown!, as the fighting titos (that would be me) match up with Mike Ditka in your mouth (that would be Vince) at William Zabka Memorial Field.
And so, in honor of this historic matchup, it seems only natural, it seems only fitting, that one of my favorite gimmicks be hauled out of dry dock, to celebrate this matchup.
(good ol’ jr voice) Good God!  Good God Almighty!  That’s The Tale O’ The Tape’s Music!
(jimmy lennon jr voice) In this corner, sporting a 1-0-0 record, hailing from somewhere in Kansas via somewhere in Chicagoland, please welcome Mike Ditka in your mouth!!!!!  (yawns, muffled comments.)  And in this corner, sporting a 0-1-0 record, hailing from south KC via somewhere south of the border, please welcome team tito!!!!!  (Build that wall!  Build that wall!)
Here’s how this works, for the uninitiated and/or clueless.  Seven questions.  Three possible outcomes.  Two primary contestants.  One grand winner.
(ryan seacrest voice) Dim the lights, drown the music, here we go!
Question One: team name is slang for …
Mike Ditka in your mouth: where you deposit the expected male outcome of a sex act.
team tito: “disreputable” people of Hispanic descent * .
Winner: push.  We’re all “offended” here.
Question Two: their child’s name comes from …
Mike Ditka in your mouth: the first two letters of each parents’ first name.
team tito: thanks God the birth control of choice has never failed.
Winner: Ditka.  Seriously, contemplate how f*cked up a kid of mine would be.  
Question Three: awful addiction they have in life …
Mike Ditka in your mouth: hounding you with ridiculous, insane trade proposals.
team tito: has never met an adult beverage he won’t try once.
Winner: tito.  Even at my drunkest, I’m not Annoying Fantasy Trade Dude.
Question Four: Presidential candidate strongly supported and voted for …
Mike Ditka in your mouth: Mr. Trump.
team tito: Secretary Clinton.
Winner: Ditka.  Regrettably, the win counts.
Question Five: has won the Cayman Cup ...
Mike Ditka in your mouth: no.
team tito: yes.
Winner: tito.  Tragically, the win counts.
Question Six: long suffering baseball team they root for …
Mike Ditka in your mouth: Chicago Cubs (2016 World Series Champs).
team tito: Kansas City Royals (2015 World Series Champs).
Winner: push.  Awesomely, the wins count!
And so, we have arrived.  The Question of Great Significance.  We’re tied up entering the final query: Push 2, Ditka 2, tito 2.  The winner of this question, wins the debate.
Question Seven: is not Sebree.
Mike Ditka in your mouth: debatable … but no.
team tito: not a chance in hell.
Winner … push?!?!?!
Come on folks, there’s no winners here, only the poor, suffering fellow owners in the 2L2C League.  team tito (stevo) (+6) over Mike Ditka in your mouth (Vince).  Because nobody – and I mean NOBODY! – circles the (paddy) wagons when the cops come a’callin, like the fighting titos.

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(*: before I get accused of (insert an "ism" here), I will point out to you that I stole the phrase "tito" from my college roommate Frank ... a Hispanic dude from El Paso. Also, I have been using that phrase with his permission for over twenty years and counting. If that makes me an "ism", then so be it. I'm done trying to reason with people who've lost every last semblance of reason God gave them.)

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The Jets Best Guess:
Get Booed Off for (Mason) Rudolph, Week Two!!!!!

Please, raiders -- have mercy.

* at raiders (-15) 41, Jets 6.  And for those of you in the Kansas City metropolitan area, in case you have ANY doubts as to whether or not Gang Green is THE worst team in football?  Tune into Channel 5 at 3:05pm on Sunday.  Because this is your CBS Game O’ The Week in our fine Nielsen market.   
The Chiefs Prognostication:
As always, I pick the theme to each post for a reason.
Flash back with me (and I swear to God, I’m going somewhere with this), flash back with me to Week Three 1998.  (Because that’s where I choose to start.)  The Chiefs entered that game at 1-1, after a Week One blowout victory over a raiders team that saw Jon “Chucky” Gruden make his head coaching debut, and a disappointing one score loss at Jacksonville.
The team they were facing that day was a surprising upstart San Diego “Super” Chargers team, that had opened 2-0 with the number two pick in the draft, Ryan Leaf, under center.
It is the game that both destroyed – and defined – Mr. Leaf’s stint in the National … Football League.
The line is as hideous twenty years later as it was that rainy Sunday afternoon:
  • Attempts: 15.
  • Completions: 1.
  • Yards Gained: 4.
  • Touchdowns: 0.
  • Interceptions: 2.
  • Fumbles: 3 (all lost).
  • Sacked: 2, for 23 yards lost.
  • Net Passing Yards: -19.
  • Rating: (mark rolfing voice) bad.
I mean, my God.   When your turnover to completion ratio is 5:1 in favor of turnovers, uuh, that ain’t good.  I mean, those are Stevo-esque QB numbers right there folks.  (If you replaced “completions” with “beers”, that is, because let’s face it – most of us have seen me throw a football.  I ain’t completing sh*t.)
And to make matter worse?  Mr. Leaf’s only completion was on his first attempt of the damned game!  
I bring this up, because Arrowhead is, traditionally, a graveyard for newbies under center.  Whether the QB turns into something special, or turns out to be Ryan Leaf, most quarterbacks suck like a Ted Cruz approved adult entertainer, in their first appearance at Arrowhead.
Now, granted, in the Seven Years of Stench (with two mediocre years mixed in) known as the Herm / Coach Asshat / Coach Baffoon years, that wasn’t necessarily true.  I mean, hell, you win (in order) 9, 4, 2, 4, 10, 7, and 2 games (cumulative record in those seven years: 38-74-0, .340 … ewwwww …), you’re going to see some newbies do well.
And yet, in those Seven Years of Stench, some damned good quarterbacks made their Arrowhead debut, and left with their asses handed to them.  Current Chiefs quarterback “Sir” Alex Smith got demolished in his debut (2006 Week Four, 0-41).  Phyllis Rivers lost his debut (2006 Week Seven, 27-30).  Ben Roethlisberger was chucked around in his first failure (2009 Week 11, 24-27 (OT)).  Aaron Rodgers lost his debut (2011 Week Fifteen, 7-19).  Cam Newton lost his debut (2012 Week Thirteen, 21-27).
That’s not a shabby list.
But nothing like the list from from Marty and Gun years (and to a lesser extent, the Vermeil years as well).
So, given that the Chiefs are guaranteed to face two newbie QBs in their first two home games this year – beginning Sunday with Eagles QB Carson Wentz – I wanted to know: has the “Fat” Andy Reid Era restored the sheer joy of seeing a first timer inside the confines of Arrowhead being forced to bend over and take the business ** ?
Let’s go “Inside the Numbers” then, to find out!
(kazoo voice) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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(*: (julie chen voice) But first!  In case (like me) you’ve ever looked back and marveled in amazement at exactly how in the hell the 2006 Kansas City Chiefs somehow, someway, managed to fight, scratch, claw, and (probably) cheat their way into the postseason?  Look no further than this exercise!  Here is the list of QB Newbies who entered Arrowhead in 2006, and their results:

I mean, holy cow!  Seven of the eight contests were against newbies!  (Note: technically, Carson Palmer took eight snaps in the 2005 finale at Arrowhead. Considering his team trailed 37-3 at the time, I didn't count that as his Arrowhead debut.)

And the only one that wasn’t (Thanksgiving Night against those people)?  They switched to jay cutler immediately after their 19-10 defeat!  Meaning that had those people made the switch from jake “the fake” to “sullen” jay just one game earlier?  The 2006 Chiefs would have faced nothing but QB Newbies the entire freaking season!  That is utterly and completely unbelievable.  At least to me.
Anyways, back to whatever the hell the point of this rambling senseless commentary was …)
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The Chiefs, under “Fat” Andy Reid, have restored the intimidation factor at Arrowhead.  Newbie QBs are a staggering 3-10 the previous four seasons at Arrowhead:  


Amazingly, two of those wins came last year -- both via last second field goals.  The other win?

Jake freaking Locker.

I mean, how?  How in the hell is Jake Locker the ONLY Newbie QB in the “Fat” Andy Reid era to march into Arrowhead and emerge with a victory via anything other than a field goal as time expires?

Anyways, that wasn’t the question I meant to ask.  The question this deep numbers dive meant to ask and answer is, what can we reasonably expect to see out of Eagles QB Carson Wentz on Sunday?

If you believe the law of averages, expect this:

  • 19/35 for 227 yards.
  • 1 TD / 1 Interception / 1 Fumble Lost.
  • Sacked 3 Times For a Loss of 19 Yards.
  • And a 23-15 defeat.

And honestly, at first glance, that seems about right.  Complete 50% for a mediocre yardage mark, commit a couple mistakes but achieve at least one success, go down a couple times, and emerge from a reasonable well played game with a one score defeat.

But here’s the thing.

Sunday?  Damned well may be the only chance this year, for the Perfect Stevo Game.  A game in which the Chiefs get up (at least) three scores by halftime, on a gorgeous 85 plus degree sunny day, and I get to spend the second half with my feet propped up, t-shirt nowhere to be found, taking a two hour nap in the sun as the game unfolds underneath me.

After being back in the workforce for all of six days?  That sounds pretty damned tempting … if only because it’s how I spent nearly every day the last four months.  (Except for the football part, sadly.)

I don’t ask for much.  I’m begging for just one Perfect Stevo Game.  You know, the one the Eagles stole from me so rudely twelve years ago, rallying from down 18 right before the half, to win comfortably.

It’s time to right that wrong.

* at Chiefs (-5 ½) 38, Eagles 10.

I can’t wait to see another (Newbie QB) “crash and burn” ...