Saturday, December 19, 2009
Al Franken was elected to fill a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota last year, and apart from the controversy surrounding the numerous recounts and lawsuits, he really hasn't generated much media buzz. This stands in stark contrast to the hoopla surrounding Governor Arnold Schawzenegger in California, and former Governor Jesse Ventura in Minnesota, both of who were, like Franken, "celebrities", of a sort, prior to their elections.
I guess the mainstream media prefers to tell the story of a major film star turning into a marginal politician, rather than the story of a marginal celebrity turning out to be an effective statesman.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Now, not every school district has made these permission slips available to parents, but Blogometrics is here to help. Below is a copy of a permission slip that readers are free to print out and send along to school with their children next Tuesday:
Dear School Administrator,
I am asking that my child (select one with an 'X'):
____ Be allowed to view the president's speech, as I feel that this is a valuable opportunity for students, teachers, and parents to reflect upon and discuss the importance of education in our society. As parents, we fondly remember answering President Reagan's 'Physical Fitness Challenge' and valued the words of George H.W. Bush when he addressed the nation's students in 1991 to stress much of the same topic Obama will address today. However, we request that the viewing be stopped should President Obama begin to read from "The Pet Goat." Thank you.
____ NOT be subject to radical subversion and indoctrination into President Obama's 'cult of socialism.' Instead, please send my child to the art room, so that he/she may paint Hitler moustaches on pictures of our 'president' so that I may bring these with me to the next health care town meeting. I believe that the government should stay out of public schools, and feel that the same communist forces who seek to allow students to 'opt out' of reciting 'The Pledge of Allegiance' are again at work, this time trying to corrupt the picture of the Real America that I rightfully draw out for my child every evening.
Folks, it's one thing to disagree with the president. It's another thing entirely to indoctrinate your children into the cult of asinine, right wing, delusional and absolutely empty-minded "conservatism" running rampant in this country by excusing them from this speech, and pitting them against their classmates who - gasp - watched the president tell them to study.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Somewhat understandably, we dig up towns' roads when the water, gas, electric, or communications needs new wires, conduit, or pipe. But highways do not have those under them - beside them under the brush, yes - so I do not understand why I see newly paved sections being re-dug.
Something else I do not understand is why - with all of the technology we have - humans have not come up with a substance that can withstand harsh winters and scorching summers (let's say -40oF - 120oF). Why are we still using ground up rock and tar?
The real footage, though, was eye-opening. Somewhere in the program, they quoted $1.5 trillion as a necessary figure to make this go away. What has already been spent? Is this in addition to the Roads/Bridges/Construction stimulus already passed? The program is listed as 2009 in the IMDB, so I wonder if they've left out the stimulus money.
Either way, without saying we need more committees, where is the taxpayer oversight?
At these times, your only direct action is further indebting yourself to petroleum producers. That sort of 'captive market' does not occur too often - and I wonder if it is an actively manipulated phenomenon.
I laugh when I see a single lane being added to a highway. A single lane? Really? Is that how to engineer for the future?
You make a really great point about the spending of money and time behind the wheel in traffic. That person is not spending money, and many hourly employees are also not making any money, either... almost like a deadlock.
Look at all the jobs created by traffic. Every station in the area has a "traffic on the [insert digit here]" report, and many stations like FOX25 put a helicopter in the air. Here is a list of more expenses brought on by constant construction:
If you think about it, traffic reports as a whole sort of play into this whole "frozen consumer" theory - they are usually the only exclusively marketed 'news' segment. You don't hear "...and now with today's Johnson's Water Seal weather report, here's a girl who's not hot enough for tv...", but you do hear "...and now it's time for the Commerce Bank traffic report. Let's go up to Rusty McDuff in the Liberty Mutual traffic copter."
I'll say it: "hmmmmm..."
We could have a whole blog section devoted to traffic reports - really.
Theory number 2: The South is actually rising again and has been fighting a proxy insurgency since at least 1945. And by 'South', I mean the Confederacy.
By proxy, you mean the enlisting of third parties to fight this battle or do you mean the insurgency is the third party / proxy. I'll go with the insurgency being the proxy between the North and South for now until you respond.
After 1945 the whole new world politic began - globalization continued to grow more than ever as soon as the U.S. asserted its nuclear and aeronautic superiority. Now more than ever, the direction of the U.S. citizens and their global cause had to be steered.
They have adopted the mid-west and corn belt - most recently making their corn stocks/stalks part of the non-oil but still fuel industry. Things like NASCAR have become household words, and every American business is on a car. This goes back to oil-run money pits. Sayings like "get her done" have made their way to the National vocabulary (even in the workplace) and look at how they have hijacked the country music genre.
So, I'm reading RollingStone's review of the new Sugar Ray album, and they make note that singer Mark McGrath might have a future in country due to his plaintive song writing ability. They mean this as a compliment. That got me thinking "Since when has 'you've got a future in Nashville' been a compliment to a pop-rock star?'" I realized, "Oh, for about a decade." (I have great conversations with myself). Then I thought, "Hmmm...Indy car racers are going from their circuit to NASCAR, too...this never would have been the case in the past. And what's up with the national reading grade level? The average American reads at a SIXTH grade level? That used to be reserved for places like Tennessee and Texas, and by the way - what's up with all the state's rights crap coming out of these 'tea parties'?"
Anyway, in the world of conspiracy theories, where there's dust, there's fire.
I guess what I'm saying is: There's something happening here, and what it is ain't exactly clear.
Let's open this up to commenters and see how crazy we are.
As always, feel free to weigh in by posting a comment, and enjoy.
Blogometrics: I had a thought about the whole 'main page commenting' mechanism. It would be rad (yeah, said it) if that tool could be used as a sort of community twitter - where anyone can come on and "tweet." It can be interactive or linear, sort of like a twitter community - but where chat rooms have the drawback of being in real time (one of the only times that 'real time' is a draw back, unless you're George W. Bush), this is more like a message board open to any visitor. I know there are message boards, but I don't know that they've been properly marketed, or anywhere that they're totally free-form.
Smack: I think it’s a good idea. Not exactly the same concept as Twitter but I know what you mean. It’s better than having people write comments on posts asking for other topics to be discussed. I like the recent comments feature even more. You just need more people posting comments.
B: Right - not twitter, but kind of. More like "open twitter", where instead of having only certain followers, or only following certain feeds, this would be open to anyone - so that person 'x' can do the whole "I'm watching ESPN, and what the heck is the story with Colleen Dominguez' hair?" - and then anyone can either reply, post their own - whatever.
S: Google indexes a lot of stuff on its own. Like if someone Googles that British PSA, your site might come up somewhere down the list. I think a good way to generate traffic would be to start commenting on other popular blogs. Post as yourself, and write things that will make people click on your name and check you out. They’ll see your blog and probably go read it. Or maybe you need to make a viral video.
B: Viral video! I knew there was a good reason I just bought an HD camcorder, besides my newborn son, that is.
Alright - you're in on this. We need a premise. Maybe we could revisit our Australian movie idea, but that might get pricey...
S: Do you have any direction? I feel like most viral videos are bloopers or funny injuries. Or people who are so terrible at something that it’s hilarious…
B: Hmmm. Maybe something spoofing PSAs, like the "Just Say No" spot I jokingly came up with the other day. Or a "Don't Gamble" PSA featured a homeless dude who lost it all, getting beaten up by the stars of our "Just Say No" PSA in a cross promotional piece. "If You Can't Say No to Gambling, At Least Say No to Drugs."
S: Not bad.
B: Yeah, too bad these guys already stole most of my good ideas...
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
As always, feel free to weigh in by posting a comment, and enjoy.
Blogometrics: So, for dinner last night I had about 3 pounds of boneless ribs. Nothing else. Just 3 lbs of meat, sauce and seasoning. Then I watched Chad Vader.
Clint is a fool.
Smack: That is also funny. I was telling someone about Chad Vader this past weekend.
On another, unfunny note, have you heard about this British texting while driving PSA? Most disturbing thing I’ve seen in a while. Makes me wonder when the elderly driver PSA is going to debut.
B: Whoa. Wow.
That was...wow. Were the sound effects necessary? I mean, we still want people drive, right? Man. You know what's crazy about that? It will be shown during some movie like The Bourne Supremacy, or Pulp Fiction, which will have been edited for TV to remove graphic violent content. I'm still floored by the sound effects. I mean, really? It had me expecting the two girls to awaken from the dead and start devouring the girl who survived, and then dash off into the woods. Then we would call it 28d L8TR.
You know what's scarier than that (and this is true)? Last night I walked down to the video store after dark, and on my way home I passed a young boy - well, maybe 10-12 - riding his bike in the road - and this is Route 106 (not the busiest street, but I wouldn't ride it after dark) - no hands on the bars and, you guessed it, texting.
S: I know. A car accident is a traumatic thing, nevermind a 3 vehicle multi-fatality wreck with a dead baby and a little girl with dead parents. That’s a situation that you wouldn’t wish upon anyone, so why is that something that everyone watching TV should be subjected to? The visuals and sound effects are enough to leave viewers with nightmares. It’s totally over the top, tasteless, etc, etc. Almost unbelievably so.
B: Seriously. I can't even think of an equivalent PSA - save for a similar one for cell phone driving, drunk driving...maybe a "Just Say No to Drugs" spot that starts with a kid taking a hit on a joint, follows him through addiction to meth, and ends with his house being broken into by Afghan heroin dealers who shoot his mother and throw his kid sister into the fireplace - all because little Johnny forgot to pay the vig.
S: Thanks for weighing in and as always feel free to leave a comment!
B: I'm reminded of a certain saying about flattery...
S: “Flattery is a counterfeit money which, but for vanity, would have no circulation.”It’s a good one. Write that one down.
B: Will do, but I was thinking of "Flattery is alright so long as you don't inhale."
Monday, August 31, 2009
I also think there might be some holes in some of the categories you propose, because Daughtry would be smoking groups like Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, etc. in every category but longevity.
So, let's say that recording was a sport - and the recording season started today. Who are the power players - taking into account only bands that could realistically produce major releases (not simply those with recent records, or those coming out soon)? So, Metallica would be in play, for instance. Still recording, still impactful. Green Day, Kings of Leon, etc.
Essentially, I'd like to try to come up with American Rock's version of NFL Power Rankings as of 8/31/2009.
I think basically it's the point of origin rule: Did this group start out as rock? So Fray - "yes" - regardless of how "hard" they rock." This is really all rock - even rock that has gone in the other direction, like Green Day (moving towards straight 'pop').
I think these are the main players - let me know who I'm leaving out, in your opinion: Kings of Leon, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Daughtry, The Fray, Fall Out Boy, My Morning Jacket, MGMT, Springsteen, Wilco.
There are others...but let's start to flesh this out.
I think if we're going Top Ten, we can weed out Third Eye Blind and The Strokes - maybe even The White Stripes. Chili Peppers and Dave Matthews Band are definitely up there. I'm going to throw out what I think are the Top Ten, but not in any order:
Kings of Leon, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Daughtry, Fall Out Boy, Pearl Jam, Wilco, Dave Matthews Band, My Morning Jacket.
The next tier is crowded, and there could be a few in this group that force out some of the "Top Ten" I just named. Here are the next few: Weezer, Linkin Park, Creed (who's "back" I guess)...any others?
Do you have a prelim Top Ten (ordered or not)?
I don't think The Fray beats out Daughtry (I can't believe where this has gone, yet why am I surprised?), and they might not beat out Weezer or Fall Out Boy. As far as Phish, do you think that their record sales will match that of the new Creed album being released in the coming weeks? Because I think the ticket sales will be closer than you think, historically that is, regardless of Phish's reputation as a tour-de-force, so to speak. Creed draws huge quasi-Christian crowds over great swaths of this country - the same places where Phish might not be so hot a draw.
Other than that, it's a solid list. Let's try 1-3:
Green Day, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon?
Green Day is top 3 for sure. I think Foo Fighters outperform Pearl Jam on the radio; not sure how they compare for ticket sales. Pretty sure Pearl Jam have them beat there. Kings of Leon are really hot right now but they still play relatively small gigs. The were at the Paradise within the past year. Good luck trying to get Pearl Jam or Foo Fighters in there without people dying.
1. Green Day 2. Foo Fighters 3. Kings of Leon 4. Pearl Jam 5. Red Hot Chili Peppers 6. Dave Matthews Band 7. Daughtry 8. The Killers 9. Wilco 10. Fall Out Boy
If so, has any top ranked group ever had a worse song than '21 Guns'?
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I endured about 2 minutes of coverage, and sat through a brief commentary by an anchor who felt it necessary to point out how fortunate we are to live in a country where some one like Ted Kennedy would not be jailed or beheaded for his views during times when his party was not in power. Obviously a nod to Kennedy's loyal opposition to the Bush presidency, I felt that this sort of idiocy was a bit inappropriate for airing during Kennedy's funeral procession (if it could ever be deemed appropriate, that is).
I decided to explore the Internet for other nuggets from Fox's coverage of Kennedy's funeral and burial, and found the clip below:
What do you think? Was Fox News inappropriate in airing this sort of commentary during the funeral coverage?
Also, if anyone can find the transcript of the commentary I reference above (I have so far been unable), please feel free to provide a link by commenting.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
1) Is Plaxico's sentence too harsh?
Now, a lot of people consider that a big deal for Aerosmith, but Bod Dylan doesn't get any credit for Jimi Hendrix's amazing guitar work on his cover of "All Along the Watchtower" - if you catch my drift. Anyhoo, 1987's Permanent Vacation saw "Ragdoll" and "Angel" top the charts, but the album was a mixed bag of sorts that sold well, but was not the full fledged "comeback" it was cracked up to be. That comeback occurred in 1989 with Pump, with its 3 top ten hits and another single in the top 40. Aerosmith was back at the forefront of American Rock. The success continued with Get a Grip in 1993, but the string of "Cryin" "Crazy" and "Amazing" turned the band into sort of a punchline - and deservedly so, they released the same awful song three times under three cheesy names.
Nowadays, Aerosmith is more of a "personality act" than a legit musical force. Age, of course, factors into this - but they're still not as old as The Stones. Now, you could make the argument that Aerosmith is more likely to have one more "hit song" than The Stones, but their also more likely to make an appearance on The Simpsons, a late night talk show (as a guest), or in a format other than music.
Should I follow through with "The Kurt Warner Story" - or do you see where I'm going with this? For the sake of those who'll read this and are not familiar: Warner was not exactly a hot prospect coming out of college, toiled in the arena league, and actually left football for a while. The Rams picked him up in '99 and BOOYAH - Trent Green blows out his knee and Warner gets the starting job. The Rams become "The Greatest Show on Turf", win a Super Bowl, lose one more...and then run out of steam. Warner goes to the Giants, toils as a starter, toils as Eli Manning's back up...goes to Arizona...toils as Matt Leinart's backup...until...BOOYAH - don't call it a comeback. The 2008 Cardinals become The Greatest Show on a Crazy Surface That Literally Rolls Around - and suddenly this guy is getting serious Hall of Fame consideration...
Slow start, a several year string of elite performance, obscurity, comeback, talk of being "great." There's my analogy (over-simplified) - work for you?
If pushed, I liked their really old stuff (think "Rocks") and even got into Run's version of "Walk this way", but that's it.
So, for me, while I think the parallels exist between Kurt and Aerosmith, I at least think Kurt has (or at least "had") real greatness. The other difference has nothing to do with performance, per se, but I just cheer for Warner. He seems genuine and I respect that he paid his dues and persevered. I mean he used to bag groceries after college, right? Good God! Not that Aerosmith didn't, but I just get the sense that they have a higher opinion of themselves. Fair or unfair, that's my sense. Again, nothing to do with performance.
Now, I know this actually kills my initial analogy, but I guess it takes a lot more to be considered an "All Time Great" in sports than it does in music...
It would actually be pretty hilarious, come to think of it, if Kurt Warner used this example to point out his legitimacy as a Hall of Fame candidate, a la "I am the Aerosmith of NFL quarterbacks! 2008 was my Pump! For crying out loud, backing up Eli Manning should get me as much love as "Dude Looks Like A Lady!!"
I would put Duran Duran in front of them. I think Aerosmith most resembles Jamie Moyer: long-lasting, had flashes, and is good, not great. At least Moyer has Digger as a Father-in-law!
How about Brady Anderson and "pick your favorite" one-hit wonder. I like Falco personally.
Did I tell you that I saw Milli Vanilli back in the day (with Paula Abdul, Was Not Was and Information Society)...yes, a girl was involved in this.
How about instead of greatest one hit wonders - the greatest behind the scenes athletes of all time? Just like the 3 or 4 people actually producing the infectious pop of "Girl You Know It's True" were unarguably talented musicians, you would quite literally have better odds at picking a specific grain of sand off the ocean floor than you would at picking any of those performers out of a crowd.
“And I’m the re-animated corpse of Rob Pilatus, the deceased second ‘vocalist’ for Milli Vanilli.”
We’re here to usher in warm Holiday tidings for you and your loved ones this Christmas season. Now, you may ask what Milli Vanilli has to do with the holidays, and the answer simple: If you think we’re selling these cards to help pay off our enormous tax burden and legal fees, well, Accounts Receivable, You Know its True.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Friday, August 21, 2009
For those not familiar (from SI.com):
Caster Semenya has been asked by to undergo a gender test, this after she burst onto the scene by posting a world leading time of 1 minute, 56.72 seconds in the 800 meters at the African junior championships. Her case gained more attention when she won the gold medal at the world championships on Aug. 19.
Monday, August 17, 2009
In light of Tiger's "collapse" this weekend at the PGA Championships - who more dominates their individual sport right now: Tiger Woods or Roger Federer?
Y.E. Yang (as in: "Who?") beat Woods this weekend, marking the first time Tiger had ever lost while going in to the final round with a lead in a major. He was 12 for his previous 12. Now, to be fair, Tiger cannot be expected to win every major - but this is the first year since 2004 he has failed to win at least one. We've seen him lose to Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, and a handful of other top-notch competitors - and now we've seen this. I am not implying in any way that Woods' run at the top of his game is over, but I think maybe his dominance has started to slip.
Looking at Federer - and assuming you have a healthy Nadal - he is one of 2 players in the world with any realistic shot at winning any tournament he enters (the other, of course, being Nadal). I know Andy Roddick gave it his all at this year's Wimbeldon, but it illustrated perfectly that a top ten ranked player, playing way above their level, still cannot beat Federer (unless their name is Nadal).
Now, as for Nadal, it will be interesting to see how he bounces back from what has turned out to be a bit more of a knee issue than was originally thought. If you take away 1/10th of Nadal's mobility, I think that gives Federer another few years as the sport's pre-eminent talent (or until Andy Murray can get his emotions in check).
Not every athlete has a Smoltz-ian (or Wang-ian, or Big Papi-ian) collapse. Some fade slowly, even if most folks don't realize it until the dominance is almost gone. What we may be seeing here with Woods is that he's falling back to Earth ever so slightly, albeit just enough to fall within reach of that next tier below him.
My whole issue with comparing golf to tennis is what it takes to win a tourney. In tennis, you have to beat 6-7 opponents to win a tourney. And the first 3 are usually outside the top 50. In golf, Tiger (for argument sake) has to beat EVERYONE. And I think even he was surprised at how well he played coming off the injury. While no majors in 2009, he leads the tour in wins...and they aren't the cheap ones (See Greater Hartford Open or whatever they call themselves with their 20 under par golf course).
Now I tip my hat to Yang for chipping in for Eagle, but bottom line is that Tiger had absurd pressure to win yesterday and Yang was free wheeling. It is obscene how we all just expected Tiger to win. Given the conditions and the chase to Jack's record, it's pretty unfair. And with all that said, if he makes any of those puts on the front 9, it is OVER.
But let me jump to Federer. A year ago at Wimbledon, people were saying he was "done". Not done as in no longer in the top 10, but done in terms of majors. Guess what, I think they were right. Nadal owns the French...can you say the best of all time on clay (cuz McEnroe did I believe). And once he went down, the path opened. Murray had the pressure of a country and Novak lost his game in 09, which leaves A-rod. So he beats one top 10 guy and he gets a major. Tiger has to beat the field with everyone gunning for him...and luck is so much more in play in golf.
I play both sports, and my fluctuation in golf is crazy from day-to-day. Just saying...
First, I'll argue that Tiger isn't directly competing against anyone - he's competing against the course, as is everyone else. If you want to bring direct competition into it, then it just makes Yang's chip in eagle look even more amazing - just as it reminds you that it used to be Tiger that made those shots...
As for the competition - and tournament formats - facing Federer, I agree, but in a way you're making the counter-point that, well, it is what it is. I think that Federer is at least as far ahead of his field (except on clay - but Tiger has seemingly lost the ability to play links-style courses) as Woods is.
Maybe instead of trying to point to who is more dominant, we can point to how both men are in the decline of their dominance?
Tennis is like being a RB in the NFL. You hit 30 or have a lot of miles, and it is a bad thing.
Back to Tiger, I think he has a hard time on Poana greens because they are brutal to read, and he is probably the best all-time at reading greens.
Can you tell that I like Tiger?
Would it surprise you if Tiger had another 0-fer? Would it surprise you if Federer won 2 or 3 of his own?
Here's another way to look at it: Assuming Nadal is slow to bounce back from his knee (which seems to be the case), and Federer holds off Murray and Roddick (strong on the hardcourt - plus the home crowd) and wins the US Open (as he has every year since 2004), he has won 3 majors this year, to Woods' zero.
I think if you go back to the original question "who more dominates their sport right now" - that's a pretty compelling case.
Look at it this way: If a major tournament began in both golf and in tennis tomorrow, and you had to bet on either Federer or Woods to win their tournament outright - who would you pick?
Personally I just have a hard time "forgetting" about that whole Nadal domination of the past year and a half. But with that said, and back to your question, I guess it would depend on which major. I really thought Roger would win Wimbledon once Nadal withdrew, but the Open is a different ball game. In golf, Tiger is almost always favored vs. the field (at least in the court of public opinion).
So if we take the next 2 majors, I would favor Tiger at the Masters over Federer at the Open. But it is close! In fact, maybe a push?
The other piece that I probably subconsciously think about is that tennis is on the decline, while golf is booming! For every Steve Stricker, Lucas Glover and Hunter Mahan, there is a...wait for it...Jo-Wildred Tsonga and Marty Fish? Seriously. Very weak!
See, here's the thing about your point: It kind of makes mine. If I were going to ask you "Who dominates their sport more: Tiger Woods, or Tim Duncan playing against 6th graders?" - you'd have to say Tim Duncan. Federer can't control his competition...
I just checked and Federer is 42-7 in 2009. While this may not be completely up-to-date, it's not dominant. And he has a losing record to Murray and Nadal, correct?
Still, I see your larger point. My thing is that watching Federer in 2009 is like watching Shaq now. Still dominant, but not "as dominant". I don't feel that drop-off with Tiger, but 2010 just got a whole lot more interesting!!!
He's entered 13 tournaments this year and won 5. That's a 5-8 record. Is that dominant?
So if Tiger has won 5 titles and there are 100 people in each, does he get 500 wins?
Just saying that there have been more dominant years in the past for Federer, Sampras, Laver, etc.
If Federer wins the Open, I will switch sides. But I just can't pour dirt on Tiger just yet. By the way, which is worse---being up 2 shots in the final round or being up 5-1 in the 3rd? Ouch!
B) There are big differences between golf and tennis - but to answer your question, no. Tiger does not get 100 wins for each championship, he gets 1; but let's say it worked that way. If everyone, in every tournament, he finished ahead of was a 'win' - everyone ahead of him was a 'loss', do you think he'd have an .857 win percentage? That's Federer's stat for the year. This could probably (actually, definitely) be looked up, but I don't have time for your "facts."
C) Congrats to you, sir, on getting me to resort to A,B, and C arguments. I say congrats!!!
In terms of stupidity,I would stand that up against just about any saying, sports-related or not.
Even Berra's quotes hold some sort of odd idiosyncratic relevance - For example: When asked "What time is it?" Berra would respond "You mean now?" That's borderline metaphysical. Madden's quotes are over-simplistic, but true. "If the season ended today" is akin to "The Raiders would have finished last season 12-4 if their touchdowns had been worth 9 points each."
The whole 'season ending today' is, again, akin to total make believe - like "Running backs would be harder to tackle if they rode horses" or, "That pass would have been incomplete if this game were being played on the surface of the Sun."
See my point?
“If the season ended today…” is just a way of pointing out where a team stands at the present moment. Is there any point to keeping track of the Red Sox record during the season? However many games back they are doesn’t matter until October…
Same thing with projecting season stats based on performance through the All Star break. “David Ortiz is on pace to hit 4 home runs this season.”
Your point about projections is a good one - and the strongest challenger to the crown of "Dumbest Sports Quote" (this category excludes quotes by individual athletes/commentators , except for Madden and Berra - who we've already touched on anyway). Projecting anything in sports is ludicrous. After week one in the NFL, you'll have 16 teams on pace to go 16-0, and 16 on pace to go winless.
I guess "that's why they play the games."
Friday, August 14, 2009
Now on to Rick Pitino - cut and dry: Do you think that he should lose his job?
On the other hand, all we've been hearing about lately is how Michael Vick deserves his second chance (which he does). We'll hear it about Donte Stallworth a year from now. Now, I can see the point where one would argue that Vick and Stallworth paid a penalty and are now moving past their incidents while Pitino is still resolving his issue - and facts have yet to come out as to exactly what took place between Pitino and this woman. The thing is, Vick and Stallworth committed criminal acts, and - unless there is a major bombshell about to drop - Pitino did not. I think the case can be made that he's paid his debt already, both with his family - and now with the public embarrassment. However, just like Michael Vick's second chance is coming with different team, maybe Pitino's should as well.
I guess this is a wait and see sort of situation.
Alright - on to The Cubs. Shane Victorino is filing a criminal complaint against the fan who doused him with beer from the stands. Thoughts on this?
1) I think Victorino is absolutely within reason (ahem) in filing this complaint. This could sound trite to a non-sports fan - who may think Victorino is overreacting - but if that ball had clunked him in the head, he could be very seriously injured. Now, it was not the fan's intent (we'd think) to harm Victorino, but that does not get him off the hook. For instance, I always wonder why fans rail against players being fined, suspended, penalized, etc. when the issue of intent comes up. Let's use Vince Wilfork as an example ( I know we're going from football to baseball, but...). Wilfork has a reputation of going for opposing QB's knees. Whenever he gets fined, many Pats fans cry foul, because, they say, his intent to harm the QB cannot be proven. Well, let's look at another football player, the aforementioned Donte Stallworth. He is currently under suspension from the league for pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter - and an interesting parallel exists. When you strike some one with your vehicle, and it is your fault, you are immediately "in the wrong." The severity of your penalty, however, stems from the severity of the harm caused to the victim. If the victim is in a coma (God forbid), you are charge with assault, negligence, etc. However, if (again, God forbid) the victim passes away days later from injuries sustained, you are immediately charged with manslaughter. The only way intent s factored in is whether that manslaughter is changed to murder. Either way, you have committed a criminal act - just like this fan.
2) I think an interesting sub plot to all of this is - the Cubs security staff apprehended the wrong fan, and escorted him from the premises in a 'not so gentle' way. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of that.
3) Lastly, and this is a bit nit-picky - can we ask that the sportscasters reporting on this story stop remarking how amazing it is that Victorino caught the ball as he was being doused? I'm getting tired of hearing "I couldn't finish this sentence if you threw a beer at me" or "It just shows how amazing these athletes are..." I agree that Victorino is quite an athlete, but I also think that plenty of non-elite athletes could make the same catch - mostly due to protective reflexes. I know, I know, this is nit picky - but still...
I would have been more impressed if he had been hit a half second earlier and still made the catch. He was hit just as the ball was coming into his glove. It was too late to make him flinch enough to flub it.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
1) Stay hydrated
2) Never trust Eric Mangini
Not saying that I think the Browns are interested - I just don't like Mangini.
Alright - what's your prediction for the Pat's season?
I have high hopes for the Pats. It will all hinge on Brady staying healthy (just released Gutierrez). McDaniels was a tough loss, but luckily Brady was pretty involved in the play calling so it should be a smooth transition there. Maroney should be healthy and we’ve got Fred Taylor now. Did we resign Wilfork yet? Burgess was a good signing. And Moss, Welker, and Galloway are a solid WR group.
QB: Brady is the key. Having seen him at camp last Thursday, the knee does appear to be bothering him a bit, so it remains to be seen if his ability to step up in the pocket will be affected. If it is, look for the Pats to change up their coverage schemes and return to the tried and true "spread and screen" that worked so well in 2003, 2004 and 2007.
Unfortunately, the back up picture is not too rosy, saving any Cassel-esque surprises. Andrew Walter and Kevin O'Connell are substantial drop-offs, despite the praise for Walter coming from those who worked with him in Oakland since A)they traded him, and B) it's Oakland.
RB: Crunch time for Maroney. He's been an injury liability prone to streaky play since his arrival, and the addition of Fred Taylor will not increase Maroney's touches. Add to that mix the versatile Kevin Faulk and (despite failing to protect Brady's knee last year) the under-rated Sammy Morris and you've got a very solid backfield.
WR: The Pats are so loaded at receiver that it's borderline scary. Regulars Moss and Welker return, along with newcomers Greg Lewis (from Philadelphia) and Joey Galloway (from Tampa) - who may be the fastest man in camp. The question that will be presented to opposing D-Coordinators is "Who do you single cover?" That problem gets compounded when you add to this receiving corps a backfield full of solid hands in Maroney, Faulk, Morris and Taylor.
Also look for rookie Julian Edelmann (drafted out of Kent State) to make an impact in the passing game one way or another. Edelmann could be the Pat's version of a 'wildcat' player - lining up at any number of positions, but look for him to make his presence felt in the short passing game, where he's drawn comparisons to Wes Welker in camp (having seen this in person, this is not a bad comparison).
TE: It appears the Benjamin Watson experiment has come to an end, with the tight end yet to appear in camp, so that leaves former Jet Chris Baker as the number one. Baker torched the Pat's last year in Foxboro, so - as is Belichik's habbit, he was brought aboard in the off season as a solid receiving tight end who is a more than adequate blocker. While he does not possess Watson's athleticism, he can hold on to the ball and presents Brady with a large target. Also look for WR and special teams ace Sam Aiken to line up at TE from time to time.
OL: The Pat's return their starting line, for better or for worse. Koppen and Mankins remain solid NFL performers at their positions, while the second guard position, opposite Mankins, will be a battle lasting through the season - much as it was last year. The tackle position is not as solid as in years past, with Matt Light another year older and another step slower. Each of the past few seasons has seen Light's play diminish somewhat, but in a year where Brady may have lost a step or two himself, look for the Pats to make efforts to protect Brady using various schemes and formations.
Overall, this is one talented offense which, on paper, has every reason to believe it can rival the marks set by the 2007 Pats. Brady's knee is the big question, and so long as it's healthy, look for lots of offense and lots and lots of points.
Defensively, there are a lot of questions. Wilfork isn't holding out, and is signed for the season. Having him on the d-line will be important, with an aging Richard Seymour drawing less attention. Jarvis Green and Ty Warren are no slouches, either, and all 4 could be on the field at times should the Pats employ a 4-3 more often, as I'm inclined to think they will.
At linebacker, Mayo is another year older and wiser, which should sends chills through the hearts of plenty of opposing offenses, and Adelius Thomas returns to fill one outside slot. From there, look for a revolving door throughout camp, with Bruschi, Crable, Redd, Alexander, Banta-Cain and Woods fighting to fill the remaining inside and outside slots.
I just realized - why am I writing like a high school newspaper reporter?
Look for newly minted Patriot Fred Taylor to dazzle the Foxboro faithful with his usual assortment of jaunts and jukes this fall....veteran signal caller Tom Brady looks to return to his winning ways under center...Head Patriot Bill Belichik surprised the troops by calling off the dogs an hour early on Friday's afternoon workout...Randy Moss put on an exhibition of some snazzy sideline footwork in passing drills...The fumble bug plagued the morning session Thursday, so Friday's drill focused on ball protection...
Meriweather has been sort of a letdown so far - all the athleticism in the world, but still not totally comfortable as a pass defender, which is sort of important at safety. We'll see...Patrick Chung has looked good in camp, and James Sanders filled in well for Harrison last year on the weak side.
How about predictions on record (again realizing that they have yet to play an exhibition game)?
Buffalo already had a top-flight receiver in Lee Evans, adding T.O. won't solve their defensive problems. Miami will experience a come-down, now that the league has had a chance to catch up to the wildcat. I'd think The Jets are due for a rebuilding year, since no matter what, you've got a new QB and a new head coach.
Each of these teams would be fortunate to split with the Pats, but I have trouble seeing Buffalo and New York giving the Pats too much trouble.