WEATHER OR NOT?

Week 3 NFL/select college football weather report

Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins will face the heat again. Miami Dolphins/Facebook

This weekend will see the country’s first good fall cool front move across the nation (but no, unfortunately it won’t make it all the way to Houston). As these fronts begin to become more frequent the weather will become volatile as they pass through. However this week impacts from the front look to be limited to just a couple of games. In addition to that there will also be the usual Florida trouble spots. Also, keep reading to the end for a College Football Special for a couple of games of local interest.  Lets jump to it:

Raiders @ Dolphins (12:00 PM Sunday) – The typical Miami issues look to be in play for this game.  The humidity will put the heat index in the mid to upper 90s. Some thunderstorms will be possible over the course of the game, with lightning being the main concern. Slight bump down to the defenses due to the heat but other than that no big position impacts.

DEF: ↓

Packers @ Redskins AND Broncos @ Ravens (12:00 PM Sunday) – Rain lingering behind the aforementioned cold front will be the primary issue at both of these games.  This will likely be a soggy afternoon with light rain being present for most of the game with pockets of some moderate rainfall moving through from time to time.  Overall winds shouldn’t be a huge issue, but there is the possibility that there could be a few gusts around 15 MPH which could cause a brief cross wind. Given the conditions I see the position impacts as follows:

RB: ↑

WR/TE: ↓↓

K: ↓

DEF: ↑

Steelers @ Buccaneers (7:15 PM Monday) – As of now it looks like the heat index will be around 90 degrees for this game and some rain may be possible. However it is still a bit too far out to make a good call on rain here yet.  If something looks concerning I will post an update.

College football special

TCU @ Texas (3:30 PM Saturday) – There is a good chance this will be a wet affair. Rain is very likely for at least the early portion of the game, but it could linger throughout the afternoon.  Overall rain will be light to moderate but there may be a few pockets of heavy rain that move through and a couple of lightning strikes that could possibly cause an issue.

Texas A&M @ Alabama (2:30 Saturday) – I don’t think that even a hurricane could change the likely outcome of this game. But if you plan to bet you may want to note that while no rain is forecast, it will be a sweltering afternoon with the heat index around 100 degrees throughout the game. While both teams should be relatively well acclimated to heat it can still take a toll over the course of the game. If I had to bet, I would say A&M would see the defensive drop off first though.

For more information on these or any other games, or if you have any questions you can find me on Twitter @stephenuzick.


 

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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