Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pro Bowl Debate

Last year, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell made the decision to move the Pro Bowl from the week after the Super Bowl to the week before.  His rationale was that the Pro Bowl is highly anticlimactic, and he wanted the season to go out with a bang.  I guess the idea was to leave an intensity burning in the hearts of football fans everywhere to build anticipation for the following season.

While I understand the reasoning for the switch, I am against it, and the reason is twofold.  First, moving the game to the week before the Super Bowl negates a portion of the all star rosters.  It doesn't seem far fetched to assume that a large number of all stars play for the two Super Bowl teams (although, it's not always the case).  I don't see why they should be automatically disqualified from playing in this game.

My more deeply seeded disagreement with the notion of a pre-Super Bowl Pro Bowl is that I don't like the season to end with a bang.  I find it less enjoyable that way because I'm always rooting strongly for one team in the big dance, and since it's for all the proverbial marbles, it's like ending the season by jumping into the icy lake of off-season.  With the Pro Bowl being played after the Super Bowl, it's more like an old man slipping into the warm bath of off-season.  I'll side with tranquility instead of ball-shriveling treachery, thank you very much.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Misleading Grit

This afternoon, I sat on my couch and turned on the television.  The problem was that I had been watching reruns of the Office on TBS last, so when the screen came to life, weekend daytime programming was on, and my eyes were assaulted with Legally Blonde.  As such, I feel the need to write a testosterone ridden post to  make up for this travesty.  For today, I am going to compare Jeff Bridges to John Wayne, specifically, their performances in True Grit.  Having seen the remake a few weeks ago, I wanted to treat myself to the original (as I am generally a believe that the original is better).  The other night, I caught the original on AMC, so now I am primed to compare!

Let me just say that this post will not be a spoiler, and I will not mention specific differences in the plot...Suffice to say, there were MAJOR discrepancies.  Instead, I will compare the role of Rooster Cogburn along the dimensions of my scientifically designed scale.

Likability:  I find that John Wayne's character was far more likable than the Rooster of Jeff Bridges.  Bridges always seemed to be out more for himself with an "I do not give a damn" attitude.  John Wayne seemed to care more about Mattie and be a genuinely better guy.  In a way, it seems like he had to learn less to care about others than did Jeff's Cogburn.

Humor:  Jeff Bridges had me laughing, and John Wayne did not.  His delivery was more deft, and the funny lines were simply more amusing in the remake than the original.  In fairness to Wayne, I believe the director was less concerned with comic relief in his version.  Either way, Bridges had me cracking up in the court scene, and he gets the nod for this category.

Believability:  The Duke was pretty tough, but as noted in "Likability," I always felt like he was a guy I should like.  With Baby Duke (Bridges), there were a lot of moments where I did not like him.  Given that Rooster Cogburn is supposed to be a Civil War veteran with a reputation for being a old, drunkard bad-ass, I think that the character is more believable if played in a manner where I dislike him from time to time.  Thus, Bridges gets my vote here.

Authenticity:  This cannot be computed since I did not live in the time period portrayed.  When trying to compute, my method produced an error message that said, "No basis for comparison."

Classic:  This one is not even fair to Baby Duke.  If there is any discussion of a more classic performance in a Western movie, it is clear that no version contained John Wayne.  However, it should be noted that classic usually implies a little cornier.

Grit:  The main criterion for this one is the question, "Who wins in a bar brawl?"  I would put my money on Bridges.  He seems like he would fight dirty, pull hair, kick in the nards, etc...whatever to win.  His portrayal just had me believing that he lived a rougher life and was shaped in a grittier way from his past.

Overall:  I think that the remake was a better movie, but I have a difficult time deciding whether that was because of the acting by Rooster Cogburn or the other multitude of factors that went into my overall enjoyment of the movie.  Both actors brought very discernible and distinct aspects to the role, and while I'm tempted to go with Bridges, I don't want to be held to it.

I'm interested to see what you think.  Please put the reasoning behind your vote in the comments!
Who Had Misleading Grit?
John Wayne
Jeff Bridges free polls


Thursday, January 27, 2011


So I'm sitting here watching "Wild Russia" on Animal Planet (how cool am I?), and I've now seen two commercials for a product called "Sha-Poopie."  If it didn't look so ridiculous...sidenote: There is now wild boar porn on my tv...I would not post anything about this product.  If the theme music wasn't so crappy (pun very intended), I probably would leave it alone too.  However, I cannot resist mentioning this product.

The idea is that when you're walking your dog, and he has to poop, you have an extension arm with a sort of cup affixed to the end to catch the poop, thus negating the necessity of bending over and picking up the poop the conventional way.  You're probably wondering, "But, FSG...How does it work?"  For anyone wondering that, here is a demo!

For the low price of $24.95, you can have this product!  Add in $16.95 for sixty liners, and you're set.  So, for all you dog owners, the question becomes, "Would I pay $41.90 to avoid being knee deep in dog shit for sixty walks?"  There is another factor though...The related question is "Would I pay $41.90 to look like a retard with a poo stick in public?"  I guess there are trade-offs to everything.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Biden a Dummy?

You'd probably assume that I'd write my follow-up post to last night's State of the Union speech with some analysis and strong political undertones.  You'd also be wrong.  The speech was just about exactly as I predicted in yesterday's post.  Therefore, I will share with you a realization from a conversation with a friend that I had while watching the address.

We were hypothesizing about what Joe Biden was doing.  I contend that someone smeared peanut butter on his teeth Mr. Ed style before the cameras began to roll.  I read someone else on Facebook claiming that he must have been passing gas the whole time (supported by not only the facial expressions he was making, but also that Boehner kept leaning away).  However, the main realization from the night was a likeness of Vice President Biden to the most famous contemporary piece of wood (Sorry, Chris Cooley...You're #2.):

And my personal favourite:

Uncanny, no?  I wonder whether Jeff Dunham crafted Walter with Joe Biden in mind.  Perhaps not, but if not, that's one Hell of a coincidence.  We're talking Twilight Zone weird...


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Uplifter after the Last Post

The last post is still hot off the presses, but I want to share a youtube video sent to me by a very close friend (you know who you are) to lighten the mood and provide a little cuteness to the blog that's frankly been lacking.


State of the Union

Well, well, well...The time is upon us.  Tonight, we are treated to the first of at least two of the standoffs I wrote about way back in November!  Further, Congress will not be partitioned by party this year, so instead of the floor being a giant game of group"Standing/Sitting/Bending," it should look a little more like the Super Bowl with the cheers and the lack of exuberance intermingled.

There are a multitude of possible effects that could arise, and I'll run them down for you now:

1.  It will look like the chamber is doing the wave.
2.  People will be able to throw elbows at their opponents undetected, and a rumble will ensue.
3.  At least one old guy will stand when he "shouldn't" because the act of the people around him rising will wake him up, and he'll act reactively.  This one, I really hope is caught on camera!
4.  Pelosi may, while standing, in a moment of spontaneity, run up to her old spot behind the podium and devour Boehner's soul.

On a more serious note, does anyone else find this speech to be hideously formulaic and disingenuous year in and year out?  Every year, the President stands up there and tells us how great things are, but also that there are many challenges that lie ahead.  These challenges are always roughly the same, and the solutions are always similar (begging the question, what are our lawmakers doing?).  They always tout their prior year's "accomplishments" even though most of the voters don't see them as good.

After the speech, we're treated to a canned rebuttal that often just talks past the President's talking points.  It assumes what will be said in the address, and it goes from there.  If there is anything unexpected in the speech, the rebuttal does not react to this, so the deliverer looks foolish.

Now, for the kicker:  After the address and the rebuttal, both parties claim that they "won."  Pardon me if I find this ludicrous.  Who wins?  I can stand up and spout things I want to be true too!!!  When I do, am I to proclaim myself the "winner?"  I wish that just once, the parties would say, "We don't win while unemployment is near 10%, we're creating money like Frank Abignale, and our money is about to be more inflated than our egos."

I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that I just want for this venue to be used to have a real, tough, frank discussion about the State of the Union.  Until we can acknowledge the true situation, we will never be able to concoct solutions.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Playoff Recap: Jets/Steelers

Now, my attention has turned to CBS for the Jets/Steelers game.  I'd like to share my CBS pre-game chant with you now:  "Please don't be Phil Simms.  Please don't be Phil Simms.  Please don't be Phil Simms..."  Crap...It's Phil Simms.  Well, we're of to a great start in this one.

1.  Phil Simms is at it again.  In this case, he doesn't really know anatomy too well.  I'm not even talking about advanced topics...The man legitimately doesn't know the difference between a hip and a thigh.  They've shown the clip of Ben getting kneed by Pace in the hip at least three times, and each time, Phil talks about how the league mandated thigh pads and says, "You can see, he got kneed in the thigh."  PSA to Dumbass: No he didnt.

2.  The hit to the head of Emanuel Sanders over the middle by David Harris drew more than just a yellow flag.  Did anyone else lipread what Rex was yelling?  I'd write it here, but if I were to clean it up, it really wouldn't be a sentence.

3.  I'm not sure which is the case, but I can't believe either: 1. How well Pittsburgh is running, or 2. How poorly the Jets are playing run defense.  I think it's a little bit of both.  There are pretty big holes for the Steelers' backs to hit, but the Jets aren't really tackling very well either.  The result is two long scoring drives and complete annihilation in time of possession.  As noted in the last game, look for Pittsburgh to exploit this early success with the play action game later to hit some big plays over the top.

4.  Now, the Jets seem to have stopped playing pass defense.  Unless they can start playing stellar defense, and the offense can sustain some drives to get some points and give the defense a bit of rest, Rex Ryan will be left footing the bill for this little dinner date.  (Update: Belichick has benched me.)

5.  I'm disinclined to agree with the refs on the strip sack touchdown.  I think that was incomplete.  The people I was talking to agree (although they're rooting for the Jets).  That said, I'd like to think I'm pretty impartial (unlike last week) or, realistically, tilted towards Pittsburgh since I stand to win moneys if they win, and I think the arm was going forward.  Last week, Pittsburgh got every call.  This week, they get a TD that I don't think was legit.  If I hear another Steelers player or fan say that the league is against them (I'm looking at you, Harrison), I'm going to puke on that individual *supposing they are within puking distance*.

6.  I don't understand how you could lose track of Santonio Holmes (ex-Super Bowl MVP, mind you) and let him burn your entire secondary like that.  You can see the Jets' confidence growing with two straight scores.  What Pittsburgh really needs here is to come out and have a long drive to take lots of time off the clock and put at least three on the board.  Conversely (and more obviously), the Jets could really use a three and out to bolster the momentum.  (Update: The DB fell.)

7.  Roughing the punter?  I can see calling it running into the punter, but roughing?  For that?  Absolutely a TERRIBLE call.  There's yet another huge call going for Pittsburgh.

8.  Two fumbled snaps?  I know he's the backup center, so he and Ben haven't gotten many reps, but c'mon...How hard can it be to grab his balls when you've got your hands on his ass?  There...has to be a better way to say that...

9.  This game is a lot better than it seemed like it would be when it was 24-0.  This is exactly why the Steelers needed a drive to answer the Jets' first touchdown.

10.  Rex looks mad.  Cheer up, dude.  You get a free trip to Hawaii!  Also, does anyone else get the impression that he wants to be known for coaching more Pro Bowls than Andy Reid?  Sidenote...Are they also vying for world's fattest coach?  If so, I think Holmgren may have something to say about that.

Look for highly detailed Super Bowl Analysis (unlike anything I've done in previous preview posts) in the next few weeks!


Playoff Recap: Packers/Bears

I've been waiting all day for this, and finally 3:00 has arrived!  That rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and the flyover have me juiced up (not in the Shawne Merriman way) for some FOOTBALL!  Time to grab a beer before the coin toss!  Man, this should be one Hell of a game.  FOOOOOTBALLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!  What would be weirder:  The Packers holding the George S. Halas Trophy or the Bears holding the Lombardi Trophy?  Too bad they're mutually exclusive...I think if both were to happen, we'd be in Bizzaro World.

1.  Man, Green Bay looks impressive.  Chicago didn't provide even a speed bump on that first drive.  Aaron Rogers is ON today, and Chicago is going to have to find some way to pressure him.  The play calling there was also very interesting.  They came out aggressively and took shots, and most importantly, they took advantage of the Bears being pumped up at home on defense.  The play actions fooled the linebackers, as they crashed hard, and the naked boot was a thing of beauty.  I don't think I've seen an entire defense go in one direction on a fake since the Turkey Bowl when my uncle ran a fake pitch with no one behind him to receive it (I still don't know how people bit on that).

2.  Now, Green Bay has its running game going too.  If Chicago bit on the play action before that last drive, it can be used as a devastating weapon now!  Also, looking at the last replay, if Briggs hadn't pulled Starks's legs up to try to drag him away from the endzone, the knee probably would have hit before the ball crossed the goal line.  Mike Martz needs to call a perfect drive to answer with some points on the board now.  If he doesn't, the consequences could (and likely will) be dire.

3.  Jay is throwing the ball up for grabs a bit more than he should here.  It's still the first half.  He needs to settle down a bit and not do anything to build a hole that Da Bears can't climb out of.  (Update:  There it is.  Good thing the Bears defense reversed the field by intercepting Rogers before this.)

4.  The Bears defense or special teams is going to have to make a big play here to get some momentum.  The Bears offense looks completely dejected, with their heads hanging.  I don't see them changing the momentum with that sort o body language.  That's not to say they can't feed off momentum caused by a big play, but it is not something I'd want to see if I was a Bears fan.  Another thing I wouldn't want to see as a Bears fan is Todd Collins taking snaps.  I saw it as a Bills fan after the Kelly Era, and it's not pretty.  Now, it will be old and not pretty.  (Update: The Urlacher pick may do it...let's see.  Update 2: Todd Collins time...Uh oh.).

5.  If I'm McCarthy or the Green Bay special teams coach, I'm not letting Williams return another punt.  He muffed one earlier, and trying to pick up the one rolling around with two guys "Bearing" down on him was foolish.  That's the kind of play that can let a team back into the game.

6.  What's worse than Todd Collins?  Todd Collins's backup, Caleb Hanie!  I don't know for sure because I (along with probably anyone outside of Chicago *excepting his mother*) have never heard of him.  I'm just assuming that the Bears coaching staff knows how to rank their quarterbacks.  It's a very good thing for the Bears that Rogers seems to enjoy throwing to blue jerseys today.  Maybe, they can bring him out to QB their offense?

7.  They're saying that since Hanie came in in the third quarter, neither Jay Cutler nor Todd Collins can reenter the game.  This of course begs the question, "What happens if Hanie gets hurt?"  Will there be wildcat out the wazoo, or do the rules permit reentry of one of the other quarterbacks in that case?  I don't hope to find out the hard way because I don't want to see the guy get hurt...I wish the announcers would have touched on it though.  If anyone knows, please post in the comments section.

8.  The Johnny Knox completion was a touchdown, and to call it anything other than that is a travesty.

9.  That is the second time today that I've heard Troy Aikman say, "And that's the first time we've seen Jay Cutler smile all day."  Note: The first time he said it was about fifteen minutes prior to the second.  ::scratches head::

10.  0 for 9 on third down for Chicago?  It's a wonder they have seven points.  The score is close, and this is by no means over because of that, but it's felt like Green Bay has been in complete control regardless.  The third down conversion (or lack of conversion) number supports that feeling.

11.  BJ Raji turns out the lights.  If only they'd really been turned off so no one would have had to see his fat ass hula dancing.  That's going to haunt my dreams.  Props to Hanie for chasing him down though...He nearly knocked the ball out of Raji's hands Don Beebe Style.  In more display of resilience, Hanie just marched the Bears down the field for a very quick score.  I know the Packers had likely not looked at tape of him (as the availability of such tape is highly limited), but he's been impressive.

12.  With the Green Bay offense struggling like they are, Masthay deserves all sorts of credit for flipping the field and keeping Hester negated on the punt returns.  I'm gonna give him the nickname "Anti-Dodge."

13.  If I'm a Bears fan, seeing Julius Peppers laughing and joking around with a Green Bay coach would make my stomach turn.  Congrats to the Packers.  Celebrate now, and start preparing for your Super Bowl opponent at 10:00 tonight.

14.  Thank you, Green Bay...Now I can have my annual Super Bowl Bacon Cheeseburger!

Up next:  Jets/Steelers


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Conference Championship Preview

By tomorrow night, we will have a Super Bowl match-up set for the big game in Dallas.  The question at hand now is, "Which teams will vie for the world championship?"  Will we see Packers/Jets, Packers/Steelers, Bears/Jets, or Bears/Steelers (we better not see this one because I quite fancy red meat and bacon *see bottom of post*).

The first game of the weekend, kicking off at 3:00 pits longtime rivals, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears against each other in what is sure to be an impassioned slugfest between two very talented teams.  Since the opponents are divisional rivals, this game should have that extra intensity that we saw in both AFC games last week.  These teams met twice this season, and the results were a Chicago win in week three (20-17) and a Green Bay victory in week seventeen (10-3).  I think both teams have very solid defenses, but I give the offensive edge to Green Bay.  What will be interesting is to see which coaching staff can throw a little wrinkle into the game plan and ride that to an early lead.  If someone gets ahead early, it will be extremely difficult for the other to get back in it.  This game should be a nail biter the whole way through, but I'm going to give Green Bay the edge.

Prediction: Green Bay 24, Chicago 20

The second game of the day is between the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Both teams surprised me last week by pulling out victories over division rivals that I thought would have advanced instead of these teams.  The key to this game will be whichever team can avoid a let-down after emotional victories last week.  Earlier in the year, the Jets marched into Pittsburgh with all their bravado and escaped with a victory.  However, the game plan that they used to play the Colts and Patriots (with great success) seems to be ill suited for this Steelers team.  On top of that, the Steelers defense is a decent bit better than that of the the Colts or Pats.  If the Jets are to win, they'll need Sanchez to play the game of his career.  To their credit, the Jets haven't done much talking this week (maybe their voices are still hoarse after last week?), and that may indicate that they've been able to focus and put last week's win in the past.  On the other hand, this game isn't personal for Rex, and we've seen that he coaches better when it is.

Prediction: Steelers 17, Jets 13

Stay tuned for in game notes on each tilt tomorrow!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Case of the Mondays

This past Monday, I was basically a walking example of Murphy's Law (although watered down since putting it in perspective, nothing really bad happened).  I figured I'd share some of the absurd/unlikely things that happened, and the reasons are twofold: 1. A few days removed, it's really damn funny, and 2. I'm always one for validating Garfield's core beliefs (eating lasagna, hating Mondays, and kicking Odie).

To give you some background (that will come into play later), Sunday night, it was snowing, and by Monday morning, it had turned to freezing rain.  After waking up groggy with a newly contracted cold, I was sluggish in moving around and lacked much clarity in my thought and precision in my morning actions (making breakfast, lunch, etc.).  Leaving for work that morning, I kept getting outside only to realize I had forgotten my spoon, my wallet, (my brain?) all in separate repeating episodes.  When I finally got out to the car, I was understandably flustered.  Instead of scraping the snow and ice off my windshield, I decided to employ my wipers.  It worked! Were my fortunes turning?

After the windshield was clear, I turned my attention to the watery ice caked to my windows.  Again, I got a brilliant idea!  I'd just roll the window down and push the ice away from the car from the inside (brilliant, no?).  When the window was most of the way down, just before I pushed on the ice sheet, it collapsed inward on my lap.  It was at this point that I realized one other thing I'd forgotten to do: zip my fly.  So now I'm driving in to work with ice in my pants.  Wonderful!

Balls a-frozen, I just wanted to get to work.  But NO...Once again, I hit ten red lights out of twelve opportunities!  I won't get into all the technical things that went wrong at work, but suffice to say, the phone wouldn't stop ringing, and each call was a problem.  There wasn't one simple issue to arise.

If you've got a Monday morning (or Murphy's Law) story that can compete with the above, I'd love to hear from you in the comments section!  We can commiserate.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bitter Memories

Every now and then, there is a post on a blog that absolutely must be shared with the world.  Since this one is already on the other blog, it is currently shared with the world.  That does not mean all is well in the universe though.  In this particular case, the post is so fantastic that it is necessary to share it with the world twice over.  I present to you as a proxy for a girl learning firsthand the definition of "bitter" with her first taste of grapefruit:

Grapefruit Aftermath Gif - Grapefruit Aftermath
see more funny videos


Monday, January 17, 2011

A True American Patriot

Today, is more than just your basic, run of the mill Monday.  Today, we honor a true patriot, man who shared the same ideals as our founding fathers, albeit many years later.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. bravely and defiantly stood up for freedom and justice, knowing all the while that in doing so, he was putting himself at great physical risk and emotional.  We don't know whether he feared for himself privately, but actions speak far louder than anything else, and this man's actions show an unwavering commitment to freedom and equality for all.

He fought for what he believed in through his words, and his dedication to nonviolence and discourse to change the wrongs of his world serves as an inspiration to me every day.  May we never disregard the lessons we can learn from this hero, and may his soul rest in peace.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Playoff Recap: Jets/Patriots

Here comes the second divisional rival match-up of the weekend.  I hope I'm wrong, but I think this one is slightly more lopsided.  I'm afraid that the most apt title of this post will have been "Playoff Recap:  Jests/Patriots" when all is said and done.  I will try to be as impartial as possible with my recap, but let it be known that I loathe the Pats, so there are likely to be snide remarks, and I may get angry and just stop writing at some point.  You've been forewarned.

1.  I'm watching the game with my dad, and he just said, "The Jets are going to lose because Rex Ryan loves de-feet."

2.  Wes Welker benched for the start because of his press conference Rex Ryan foot jokes???  Okay, another reason to dislike New England.  One of their players finally does something I find, and the hooded crap-sack (I've already thrown objectivity aside, you see) doles out some punishment?  It seems that they're only allowed to do things that piss me off.  They can die of gonorrhea and rot in Hell (to quote Ray Finkel's mother).  (Update:  Welker benched for the beginning, so they defer the kickoff (so he doesn't "start" and put him in for the punt return?  I'm waiting for the announcers to take back their comments about how strong the Pats' morals are.  Still waiting...)  (Sidenote counterfactual:  If Brady had made the comments, would he have been "benched?")

3.  My middle fingers are getting tired.  The muscles aren't strong enough to endure this workout (despite doing the bulk of my driving in a state that has necessitates their use quite often).

4.  Not sure I understand why you'd call a play where you have two receivers running the same route on the same side of the field.  Perhaps, one of these two degenerate WRs was drunk in the huddle, and the call wasn't really that terrible?

5.  Going for the fake punt in your own territory?  If I disagreed with the Eagles decision to go for it at the Packers' goal line last week, you can guess what I think of this decision.  Didn't work out too well this time, did it (he says with utter delight)?

6.  Revis is all over Branch like stink on shit (not in an illegal contact/pass interference way).

7.  Woodhead always seems to squirt forward.  Despite his diminutive frame, he seems to wriggle forward.  For any Patriot fan readers, please note that it pained me to write the above, yet I did it anyway.

8.  On the strip sack of Brady by Calvin Pace, all the Jets defenders were yelling, "White ball!"  I wish the Pats had yelled, "Blue balls!"  That said, that fumble didn't make me feel queasy...In fact, I quite liked it.  I know this is contrary to all my posts from the playoffs, but I want to see more of that!

9.  Just after I said, "Just keep throwing to Cotchery...Don't bother with Holmes," in response to Cotchery hijacking this drive and Santonio's drops, #10 makes one of the prettiest catches I've ever seen on a fade pattern.  Wow.

10.  That was a flawless game plan by the Jets.  They didn't give Brady anything deep (just like they did with Manning last week), and they ran the ball well enough, and Sanchez did more than just manage the game.  Win the turnover battle, and win the game.  It's usually that simple.

11.  If they hadn't benched Welker to start the game, I think they would have won.

Twelfth and most importantly:

13.  I don't think I've ever seen so many onside kicks in one day.  That makes five for those of you counting at home.

Look for Championship Round pre-game analysis and picks later this week.  Also, the malice level should be considerably reduced from this point forward.


Playoff Recap: Seahawks/Bears

It's 1:00 on Sunday, and that means kickoff time!  I can't wait!  While I don't anticipate this being a great game, the snow is guaranteed to be fun!  I'm hoping it starts to stick.  The thing I'm most excited to watch today is the battle between the two best special teams in the league.  T'is such an underrated part of the game in general, and it should be a joy to watch these two teams duke it out in that respect.

1.  Who's on the board first?  DA BEARS!  What a way to get started at home.  I don't know how a tight end gets that open, but I know that it happened.  The Seahawks need to suit up some mini-Ditkas on defense.

2.  The Carlson hit didn't look bad live, but it looked scary in replays.  Hopefully everything was precautionary and he's okay.  I'm glad to hear he was showing movement and responding to doctors.  (Update: Head injury, NOT neck or spinal cord.  When I saw the replay, I was hoping it was that because it's the lesser of two evils.)

3.  Greg Olsen is a guy I wouldn't mind playing for my team.  He seems serviceable as a blocker in the run game, and he's a beast in the passing game.  WOAH!  Cutler threw the ball right at the Seahawks nickel corner.  That will bring up a third down...Now wonder he's a DB instead of a WR.  

4.  Da Bears are looking incredible.  The Packers have been looking incredible as well.  I love playoff games between division rivals, and I'm pretty happy that I'll be treated to three this year.  That's assuming, of course, that Seattle is toast.  If Seattle comes back, however, the Packers will have to have taken down three bird teams to get to the Super Bowl.

5.  Well, there haven't been many (any) turnovers in this one so far, so I'm delighted by that.  However, the only reason for that is that the DBs have bricks tied to their hands.  All the same, I'm happy to see no turnovers.

6.  AAH!  The space heater in the man-cave tripped the circuit, and the feed died!  That's probably God's way of saying that football should NOT be played in domes.

7.  The announcer just said that the Bears defense always has eleven eyes on the ball.  I'm not doctor, but I'd venture a guess that maybe there are twenty-two eyes on the ball.  (Update: not a single set of eyes jumped on the backwards pass as it laid on the ground as a live ball...I'm changing my guess to zero eyes.  How could neither team have learned from the Ravens/Steelers game?)

8.  Very bad call on the 4th down interception pass interference.  That looked like hand fighting on both sides and a clean play.  If Seattle scores and gets back into this, they have the zebras to thank.  (Update: The first and second down plays from the 2 yard line should have drawn defensive interference flags, but didn't.  Either these are make-up non-calls, or the refs have fewer eyes on the field than the Bears D on the backwards pass.)

9.  John Ryan is really earning his money today.  He's been on the field more than Matt Hasselbeck, and he's done a nice job of negating Devin Hester's freakish return ability.

10.  Earl Thomas is a hair late, and Kellen Davis puts this game in the books.  Seattle's got a good young nucleus (excepting Hasselbeck who is indeed old)...They should improve with experience, and I smell a rivalry between them and the Rams that should heat up in the next few years.

Up next:  Jets/Pats


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Playoff Recap: Packers/Falcons

Well, the Packers are on the road trying to knock off another set of birds.  If they succeed, it would be two birds with two stones.  Here comes one of the top two games of the weekend!

1.  Number 90 for Green Bay has just about the sweatiest ass crack in the annals (anals?) of recorded history.

2.  There have been more fumbles this post season than I think I've ever seen!  It's absolutely nauseating.  This time, it is Greg Jennings on this transgression.  That said, that play was probably the second longest of the playoffs thus far (only a whopping 2 minutes less than the Marshawn Lynch run from last week).

3.  Tramon Williams...Just stay away from Tramon Williams.  He's already got one pick, and you almost threw a pick 6 while trying to get into field goal territory.  Don't throw at...Oops...Too bad I didn't type this sooner.  There's the pick 6 to Tramon.

4.  Green Bay is looking completely unstoppable.  I don't see them losing to anyone in the NFC field if they keep playing like this.  Offense is clicking, Rogers is in the zone, James Starks is moving the chains, and the defense is menacing.  They're healthy and peaking at the perfect time.  Wow...They just showed a stat, and the Packers have outscored Atlanta 35-0 in the last 18+ minutes.  That seems like exceedingly bad news for Atlanta.

5.  I like the idea for the onside kick, but not when Green Bay is ready for it.  Also, no way that ball went 10 yards.  And, the ref just confirmed what I said when I saw it live.  That's more trouble for Atlanta.  I see this becoming a 24 point game before long (at least).

6.  DOINK!  I don't know why, but it's very amusing when a team (other than mine) knocks a kick into the upright.  The odds are slim, and the noise is very satisfying.

7.  Points to the announcer for saying, "Matt Ryan needs to channel his inner Frank Reich.  I think that's the only thing I've ever enjoyed hearing Joe Buck say (and he's said entirely too much, so there's a lot of comments I'm using as comparison points).  (Update: Troy Aikman ruined the moment by talking about that year's Super Bowl...To borrow a term from Cromartie, what an "ass-hole")

8.  Another fumble.  Did the NFL grease the balls for these playoffs?  It's like trying to hold onto a greased pig(skin).

9.  31-36, 366 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 2 carries for 13 yards and a TD...What Tedford Curse?

10.  Another fumble?  Am I watching professional football?  I'm done.  This game is over, and I'm not going to comment on the rest of the fumbles that are sure to come.  I do, however put the over/under on the number of fumbles to still occur in the next 4:30 at 2.

Up next:  Seattle at Chicago


Playoff Recap: Ravens/Steelers

Let's get this weekend's action started.  First up is the much anticipated heavyweight fight of NFC North powerhouses (sorry, Cincy and Cleveland, but I'm not near at all talking about you).

1.  The Steelers defender mauls Todd Heap.  No flag.  The next possession, Mike Wallace engages in what I'd argue is about as textbook an offensive pass interference as there is, and there is a flag for defensive pass interference?  I'm getting a bit of a premonition that the refs are going to be deciding this game.  I hope I'm wrong.

2.  The E-Trade babies are frickin' hilarious.

3.  PLAY TO THE WHISTLE.  On the play with the fumble, I yelled "Live ball!  Pick it up!"  Way too many people were standing around picking their proverbial asses with no whistle anywhere in sight (in sound?).  Anyway, finally, someone picked it up (Redding).  Again, why am I not a coach?

4.  I will NOT mess with Sasquatch.  Thanks to Jack Links Beef Jerkey for the public service announcement.

5.  Lose the turnover battle = Go home.  (Update: This was originally written for Pittsburgh, but now it's for Baltimore).

6.  Uh oh...You can't tell me I didn't call it.  The holding call on the punt return touchdown might be the single worst holding call I've ever seen in my many years of football watching.  That cost the Ravens 4 points.  Unbelievable.  Just...Beyond the realm of belief.

7.  The Steelers are deep in Ravens territory trying to take the lead near the 2 minute warning.  The holding call on the Ravens defensive lineman was pretty bad.  When I saw the flag, I yelled, "They finally saw the hold on the Steelers RT."  Apparently not.  BS Automatic first down for Pittsburgh.  (Update: They scored on 3rd down.  That would have been a field goal if not for that holding call.  I hate it when refs decide outcomes.)

8.  I can't understand why Baltimore hasn't taken more shots down the field (have they even taken one yet?) to try to keep the defense honest and open things up?

9.  Well, I would have liked to have seen what would have happened if the refs hadn't given the Steelers a free four points with the bad hold and hadn't docked the Ravens four points on the garbage hold call on the punt return.  By my estimation, it would have been a whole different ballgame.  While Baltimore didn't necessarily deserve to win after blowing such a halftime lead and turning the ball over drive after drive, I think they have a pretty legitimate gripe with the way the officiating was conducted.  In the biggest situations, the refs seemed to have given breaks to Pittsburgh (Corollary: They did so at Baltimore's expense).

Up next: Green Bay at Atlanta.


Divisional Round Prognostications

Well, this weekend figures to give us two very good games on Saturday, but I'm on dud alert for Sunday's affairs.  Saturday's first game, Ravens at Steelers figures to be a smash mouth game that's close and hard fought from start to finish.  Both teams know each other, and they know what to expect.  Generally, they just line up, beat the hell out of each other for sixty minutes, and the team left standing wins.  Add in some cold weather, and you've got a football fan's dream.  My prediction for that game is Baltimore 16, Pittsburgh 13.

The second game features the Packers and the Falcons.  I can't figure out whether we're going to see a defensive battle or a high scoring affair.  Both teams are strong in each facet, and I could see it going both ways.  I like Green Bay because of their experience, but Atlanta is very difficult to beat at home (and on the road for that matter).  That said, Green Bay seems to be peaking at the right time.  I'm going to take Green Bay 24, Atlanta 20.

Sunday kicks off (pun intended) with Seattle visiting Chicago.  My brain is saying this should be pretty lopsided, but there's a small (very small) part of me advising me to not count Seattle out after last weekend's upset.  In the end, I think Chicago has the special teams to match Seattle's, and it has a better offense and defense.  I'm going with Chicago 27, Seattle 10.

The weekend ends with the Jets facing New England.  I expect Brady to pick on Cromartie early and often after his comments this week.  I think the Jets have the individual talent to match up, but for whatever reason, they never seem to play up to the level of the sum of their talents.  I can't see them beating the Pats on the road, although I don't think it will be quite the stomping of a month or so ago when they went up to visit the Massholes.  Patriots 34, Jets 20 (and I do not like to type that).


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Orange Ginger Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

One thing I love to do is cook.  I find time in the kitchen to be an extremely cathartic way to express my artistic side.  Those of you who have seen it know that when I try other, more traditional forms of artistic expression, it generally results in an epic disaster involving colored pencils, lined paper, and some sort of celebratory event.  Anyway, when I cook, I tend to like to experiment...Trying new ingredient combinations, spice concoctions, etc.  Often, I find myself trying to recreate meals that I enjoy from restaurants (or Mexican burrito stands as the case may be).  In the future, I'll be posting some recipes that I enjoy for you to try.  My warning is that since I cook in a "haphazard" manner, the measurements of the ingredients changes from edition to edition of any given meal.  I encourage you to try the recipes, but also to embellish and to change them to make them your own.  If you come up with a wrinkle or a twist that you find really works, please post in the comments section of the post involving the base recipe you used!

Today's iteration is Orange Ginger Chicken!

The below ingredients make two servings:

1 Medium to large boneless, skinless chicken breast (frozen/semi-thawed)
2 Medium oranges (or 1 Freakin' huge one) *I highly recommend seedless*
1 to 2 Tbsp of grated fresh ginger depending on your tastes
2 Tbsp teriyaki
1 Pinch of sugar
1 Crown of Broccoli
1 Cup rice (dried)

1 Large frying pan (I use non-stick)
1 Pot for rice making purposes
1 Appetite for something amazing
1 Medium sized piece of tupperware for marination

1.  Cut oranges into eighths and squeeze into the tupperware
2.  Combine the orange juice with the teriyaki sauce, ginger, and sugar
3.  Slice the semi-thawed chicken thinly (easiest to do when there's a nice frost still in the middle) and combine with marianade
4.  Let sit for a few hours
5.  Pour entire mixture of chicken and orange ginger teriyaki sauce into the frying pan and mix in broccoli and cook till chicken is done
6.  Cook Rice
7.  Eat

Warning: This recipe will make your kitchen smell amazingly.  Don't say I didn't tell you.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I am extremely fed up with all of our political "elites," the media, and frankly anyone who plays politics with disasters.  Those on the right (Drudge in this case) are quick to post links supporting the claim that he was a "left wing pothead."  Those on the left were quick to blame Republicans and the Tea Party.  All of this gets posted and reported, and when it happens, there is no proof either way.  Let's ignore the fact that he was known to be one scary, completely insane individual who had a skull shrine in his back yard.  This guy is frankly just a sick, twisted, paranoid schizophrenic.  Might there be political motives?  Certainly...I'd be foolish to deny the possibility.  However, I find it offensive that people on both sides of the aisle would rather blame their political "opposition" for a tragedy by an unstable thug than bother searching for facts.  Is this what we've really come to???  This is a tragedy of epic proportions...There was an assassination attempt (I hope I never see another in my lifetime), and six people were murdered in cold blood.  Can we leave the political sideshow least for a week?

Apparently not.  Now, those in government are pushing to ban "incendiary symbols" and for the FCC to crack down on radio broadcasts and tv shows that "could incite violence."  In this video, Congressman Brad Sherman, mentions how we should crack down on magazine size (although he notes it may not solve everything).  (Flashback to my post on our anti-terror policies).  I say again...Crazy people will find a way to do the destructive things if they want.  We have to stop the person, not the weapon.  That said, where were the people who support cracking down on this sort of speech when President Obama said this?  Is that not "incendiary?"  It would have been insanely rash to bar that speech, just as it would be to do so in reaction to this.  The way I see it, this unspeakably tragic event is being used as a way to control speech and toughen gun control laws (something that has long been a goal of people pushing so hard for it now).  Call me crazy, but I think that's playing politics.  In a period where we ought still be grieving, we're using this unspeakable tragedy to advance policy?  Oh wait...I recall Rahm Emanuel saying a few years ago, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."  Again, give me a damn break.

Just for kicks, let's contrast the immediate reaction of this event to that of the the Fort Hood Massacre where we were urged to refrain from drawing rash conclusions based on the fact that Nadir Hassan yelled "Allahu Akbar."  Why, New York Times, I ask can we jump to conclusions now to demonize an entire group of people (at least in strong implication) but needed to refrain then?  I do give the New York Times and many of those in politics credit because they were right in one of these instances.  We should have refrained from drawing rash conclusions to implicate a larger group of innocent people after the Fort Hood Massacre.  Where they seem to have gone wrong is not practicing what was preached then in this case.

My challenge to you and to all of our media and politicians is simple.  Do NOT jump to conclusions that you "want" to be true because it jives with what your politics are.  More importantly, and sometimes more difficultly, don't generalize and impute beliefs and actions on a mass for the actions of an extreme outlier.

I would like to close with the most important point.  My thoughts and prayers are with, and have been since the atrocity, the victims and their families and friends.  May you have speedy recoveries and rest in peace.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Act Like You've Been There

Here's my argument against endzone celebrations.  This comes courtesy of the CFL, specifically Toronto QB Kerwin Bell.  Enjoy...I know I did.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Playoff Recap: Packers/Eagles

Now onto the most anticipated matchup of the weekend.  It's a rematch of an earlier game in which Green Bay was abusing Philly till they knocked the snot out of Michael Vick's proverbial kid brother, Kevin Kolb.  Then, in came the big dog (couldn't resist...sorry), and the rest was history.  Vick made the unsuspecting Green Bay defense look more like a sieve than anything else.  Now, for part two:

1.  Turnovers AND special teams?  If you're the return team on a punt, and the ball is on the ground, you have no business ever going near it.  Period.  Frustrating to watch given my turnover gripes from earlier.

2.  Quinten Mikell covers balls worse than old men at the gym after a shower.  How he didn't cover up that Kuhn fumble is beyond me.  Also, if I see another fumble this weekend, I might just puke.  (update: Rogers just fumbled, and I had a bit of a viscous burp)

3.  Green Bay's D is intense and fast...very scary.  I still would want to face them though, as it would mean my team was IN the playoffs (Super Bowl to be precise).

4.  The holding call on Green Bay #73 was about the worst holding call I've ever seen.  That was a great block, and the zebra ought to be ashamed.

5.  The hold by Winston Justice on Clay Matthews where he basically clotheslined him from behind was probably the most amusing hold I've ever seen.  If I'm Reid or Vick, I'm happy he did it though.  Things could have been far worse than a ten yard penalty if he hadn't held.

6.  David Akers is a hooker.  Seriously, that's two hooked kicks now.  It would be a five point game, but instead, it's still a two score deficit.

7.  Balls by Reid on the fourth down.  I would have kicked the field goal to make it a one score game.  Also, the people I was watching with were arguing that my take was wrong (and apparently offensive?) because an eight point deficit would still be more than a one possession game?  Not sure I see the logic...

8.  When the illegal touching happened on the two point conversion, and the refs said the try was no good, I said that there should be a retry.  Apparently, after some discussion, the refs realized that I was right (since he'd reestablished himself on the field of play).  However, then the refs announced that the try would be from the twelve instead of the seven, where it should have been.  Basic rules, refs...basic rules...

9.  Tramon Williams had a Pro Bowl year, but he was snubbed.  Fitting that he gets the clincher in this game and a little more prime-time national exposure.

10.  Green Bay ran the ball far better than I would have expected.  Given that they were using a no-name running back (not to take anything away from him, he had an amazing game and was all effort), while I didn't focus on the o-line as much in this game as others, they deserve props.  There were holes in a pretty good run defense, and that is a testament to the big uglies.

11.  Packers/Falcons rematch will be a treat.  I, for one, can't wait for next weekend!

Look for Divisional Round previews later in the week!


Playoff Recap: Ravens/Chiefs

Time for the Sunday Wildcard games.  Up first is Baltimore at Kansas City (who would have predicted this matchup in the preseason?).  I've got my homemade wings and beer ready, so let's kick this baby off!

1.  The best teams make the playoffs.  The best refs are selected to officiate the games.  CBS picks Phil Simms. Why, oh why did CBS have to rebel and buck the trend of selecting the top performers?  I may have to watch this game on mute.

2.  The Chiefs haven't won a playoff game since the 1993 season.  That means that I was at the game (1993 AFC Championship game) when the losing streak began.  The final was Buffalo-30, Kansas City-13.  That was the game that Bruce Smith incapacitated Joe Montana concussionularly.

3.  Fantastic goal line stand by Kansas City.  The last thing you want to do as a home team (and underdog, mind you) is give up an opening touchdown drive.  On 3rd down, I was looking for the play action pass, and apparently, the defense was as well.  From that part of the field, if I had a nasty o-line, I'd have used McClain to pound it thrice.  For the record, I texted my buddy who is a Ravens fan to confirm that McClain isn't inactive today.  He confirmed that 1. He is active, and 2. My question is completely justified given the play selection.

4.  A few years ago, all the draft experts and fans were saying Ray Rice was too small to be an effective NFL running back.  I wanted Buffalo to take him because he's one hell of a player.  I stand by my analysis.  I wonder whether all the naysayers from a few years ago stand by theirs.

5.  Was that a flea flicker or a RB option?  Someone needs to tell the RB to never pitch it to the QB on an option play.  Also, Jamaal Charles is a beast.  Not five seconds after I typed about how he shouldn't be pitching the ball, he takes my advice and goes a long, long way.  Also, you can't afford to turn the ball over in the playoffs.  I think I just saw a blood vessel pop in Ray Lewis's forehead on the sideline just now.  (update: Did the Chiefs not see my comment on ball security *or last year's NFC championship game*???)

6.  Do the Chiefs have 3 guys on the field wearing Berry jerseys at any point in time?  It certainly seems like they do.

7.  I know I've talked about ball security already, but you intercept a ball THEN fumble it and give it right back?  That's like giving up a big completion.  Shame on you, Mr. Nakamura.  Whichever team first decides to protect its balls will win this game.  (update: and another Chiefs fumble...this time in the red zone.  Trouble, my friends...trouble.  And now a pick.)

8.  Going for it in FG territory in the third quarter?  Mistake.  The only way I'd send my offense out is to try a hard count to get an aggressive defense to make an aggression mistake.  And he's stuffed.  Way to go, Mr. Haley.  I like that you would send a signal to show such faith in your offense, but you can't leave points on the board in the playoffs.  I predict that call will come back to haunt you.  (update: Ravens D has been energized since that play, and it's forced two turnovers since...momentum much?)

9.  I just saw Todd Haley lip an "f-bomb" at the refs after a late hit call.  It's funny because he thinks he's Rex Ryan.

10.  As I stated in the original playoff post, the Chiefs are a solid young team that should improve as it ages a little.  For now though, experience wins out.  They're just unraveling and turning the ball over at an incredible (and highly unsustainable if you hope to win) rate.  I reckon this game is over, and it's the start of the fourth quarter.  Ravens/Steelers should be a fun game to watch next week.

11.  Would somebody please tell Tyson Jackson that he's no Andre Johnson?

12.  Another big TD run to ice a game by another ex-Bill.  That said, Marshawn's was still far more impressive and amusing.

Up next:  Packers/Eagles


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Playoff Recap: Jets/Colts

And as kickoff is about to start, I'm not sure what to expect anymore.  I thought that the Saints would win in a slam dunk affair, and I was wrong.  Will I be wrong to count out the hobbled Colts and Peyton Manning?  Let's go to the (yet unfolding) video tape:

1.  Faith Hill is absurdly hot.  She might be the best part of Sunday Night Football (and that's saying a lot because SNF is pretty righteous on its own merits).

2.  I just burned my popcorn because I accidentally turned the heat up too high and refused to walk away from the TV to tend to it when a commercial wasn't on.  This game better be entertaining because it's already on my shit list for the aforementioned transgression.  "It's personal."

3.  Why don't the Colts ever run on 3rd and short?  The situational play calling seems prohibitively predictable.  (update: they just ran one on 3rd and short, and they converted.  Why will no team offer me a lucrative contract to coach?)

4.  When your defense gets shredded for a huge play by a guy with about as French of a name as I've ever seen in the NFL, you need to rethink your coverages.  That was a beautiful route by Garcon and a perfect throw by Manning.

5.  Chris Collinsworth doesn't know what he's talking about.  He shows a replay of a stretch run and talks about how D'Brickashaw Ferguson is a great blocker in space.  On the play he opted to use as proof that his praise is warranted, D'Brick completely whiffed on his downfield block and wound up rolling on the ground while his guy made the tackle.

6.  If Mark Sanchez was even a hair more accurate tonight, the Jets have the lead going into half.  Maybe it's just nerves or adrenaline, but he's overthrowing everyone.  That has to change if the Jets want to punch their ticket to New England.

7.  Brian Schottenheimer is calling an excellent second half.  His o-line is manhandling the Colt d-line, and this game plan takes pressure off Sanchez (revisit point 6 to see why that's a good idea).

8.  It started with Dustin Keller asking for a flag on every incomplete pass he was part of.  Now, that disease has spread to Pierre Garcon, Jacob Tamme, and the crowd.  It's rare that I do this, but I have to defend the refs.  The no-calls in the passing game are correct.  The plays have been clean.

9.  To quote J. Walter Weatherman (loosely), "And that's why you don't run into the punter."

10.  Excellent Jets gameplan.  It reminds me of something Buffalo did to Manning years ago.  Unfortunately for yours truly, Buffalo wasn't able to manage the game winning field goal, and ironically lost 16-14 (which would have been the score of this one if not for the Folk field goal with time expiring).

11.  What a game!  This Saturday's games are the kind of thing that will spoil a football fan.  I'm just hoping that tomorrow's games are as good!  Also, the Jets winning means that if Baltimore knocks off KC, they go to Pittsburgh...That's always a fun matchup!

Up next: Ravens/Chiefs.


Playoff Recap: Saints/Seahawks

I've decided to jot down some notes during each game and post my thoughts on each playoff tussle this year after it ends.  Without further ado, Saints/Seahawks:

1.  Before the opening kick, I said to myself, Seattle can't hang on offense and defense...They need amazing special teams to be a game changer.  Then, Olindo Mare boots the kickoff out of bounds...Ominous, no?

2.  Seeing a playoff game in Seattle reminds me of Tony Romo.

3.  It's halftime, and someone forgot to tell the Seahawks that they're not supposed to be in this.  They have considerably less talent than New Orleans, but to this point, they're playing their hearts out and more than holding their own.  I'm impressed.  That said, I expect the Saints to come out and take control and send a message in the second half (presumably after being laid into at half).

4.  These announcers are awful.  They say something's a nice catch while the refs are signaling incomplete.  They say "They're sending the punt team out," as Drew Brees is running onto the field.  I don't even need to watch the game...I'll just listen, and I know the opposite of what they say is what's really happening.  (Point validating update: the announcers just called the Seahawks a "Wildcard Team.")

5.  If you can't run the ball, you can't consistently win in this league, and the Saints can't run the ball.  Take notice, Indy...I'm thinking I may post this same thing in the writeup of your game.

6.  That's now two big plays made by ex-Bills (Lynch and Greer).  Nice to know Buffalo knows when to keep talent.  That run by Beast Mode was pretty insane though.  I don't think any force on Earth short of Chuck Norris was going to take him down.

7.  That was just about the worst onside kick attempt that I have EVER seen.  EVER.  Period.

8.  Props to Seattle.  They aren't the most talented, and they didn't really do that much in the regular season, but today, they undeniably displayed more heart than the Saints, and they were the better team.  I think they're in trouble in Chicago or Atlanta next week.  I would say I'm sure they're in trouble, but they taught me that I shouldn't count them out just yet.

Up next, Jets/Colts.


Front Office Debacle

It delights me to write this post skewering the hated Miami Dolphins for their handling of this fledgling offseason. I can only hope this ineptitude continues, as the entertainment value is worth its weight in gold (does that mean it's worthless?).

Miami offered Jim Harbaugh a contract to make him the highest paid coach in the NFL before ever coaching a game at that level.  They did so while they still had their coach of three years, Tony Sparano, on the (coaching) roster.  Whether his reason was that he preferred to stay in the San Francisco area (he coached for Stanford before) or he was displaying great class by not taking a non-vacant coaching position, Harbaugh accepted the 49ers offer, which was worth about $3 million LESS than what Miami offered per season.

Now, to look at this from the Sparano point of view for a minute:
Who's running this team?  John Edwards (to soon?)?  Why are they looking for an upgrade when I'm still here?!?  Will they do this every year...Am I always under a 1 year contract?

The ridiculous part of this (no...we haven't even gotten there yet) is that as soon as Harbaugh signed with San Francisco, Miami turned around and handed Sparano an extension AND more control over personnel.  Essentially, the Dolphins are saying that this guy is bad enough that they'd not think twice about replacing him with a man who's never coached an NFL game, but he's also good enough to deserve an extension and more control?  Maybe it's just me, but I don't necessarily understand the logic.  All I know is that if I'm Sparano, I'm busy updating my resume for my next job.

What other nuggets of foolishness will we see come from South Florida this offseason?  Time will tell, but I for one can't wait.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One More Round of Deep Thoughts

These ones aren't mine, but I found them on the interwebs, and they amused me, so I figured I'd do a wee bit of sharing:

1.  What if there were no hypothetical questions?
2.  Does the Little Mermaid wear an algebra?
3.  Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
4.  If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown as well?
5.  If you ate both pasta and antipasto, are you still hungry?
6.  If you try to fail, and you succeed, which have you done?
7.  Why aren't hemorrhoids called "assteroids?"
8.  Why is it called "Tourist Season" if we can't shoot at them?
9.  Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
10.  If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it a hostage situation?
11.  What should you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
12.  If a parsley farmer is sued, do his wages get garnished?
13.  Can an Atheist buy insurance for "Acts of God?"
14.  If the police arrest a mime, do they have to tell him he has the right to remain silent?
15.  If you spin an Oriental person around three times, do they become disoriented?


A Moment for History

On January 4, 2007, Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.  Today, I'd like to extend my congratulations to her for becoming the first female ex-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

It looks like she's trying to fly away before getting beaten with the gavel.  Ironically, this occurred just around the time she decided to stress the need for a commitment to bipartisanship.  I can't help but find it interesting that one of the most polarizing figures in recent memory, one whose actions didn't show any concern for bipartisanship (unless it didn't get in the way of getting what she wanted done *and expediently at that*), now decides to stress bipartisanship when she's out of the majority.  I'm not saying that what she said is the contrary, I actually agree.  I'm just pointing out how absurd this claim is given her prior actions.

An interesting read is this summary of new House Rules proposals.  However, forgive me if I remain skeptical that the results will be anything near what is stated.  Maybe I'm too cynical, but I've heard the gist of all this before.  I believe it was the ex-Speaker (can't say I mind calling her that) who said that she would preside over the most open and ethical Congress ever.  If it was anywhere near that, shame on all previous Congresses.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thought Provokers Redux

Today, Elmo sent me an email containing some deep thoughts (in the same vein of Thought Provokers)  that I'd like to share with you.  Let's just consider this my forwarding it on to many people, so I have good luck!

1.  Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?
2.  OK..... So if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the 'Jags' and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the 'Bucs,' what does that make the Tennessee Titans?
3.  If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea does that mean that one enjoys it?
4.  If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
5.  If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?
6.  If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, dry cleaners depressed and prostitutes delayed?
7.  If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?
8.  You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive!
9.  Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
10.  At income tax time, did you ever notice: When you put the two words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells ... 'THEIRS'?


Monday, January 3, 2011

Nobody Circles the Wagons...

...Like the Buffalo Bills.  Eighteen years ago today, I was sitting with my dad on a frozen bench in the scoreboard end zone of Rich Stadium.  It was Wildcard Weekend, and Buffalo was without its Hall of Fame quarterback and running back, Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas as well as one of its standout linebackers, Cornelius "The Biscuit" Bennett.  It was rainy, cold, and miserable.  Yet, as used to be customary, spirits in Western New York were soaring.

I can still hear longtime Bills announcer, Van Miller yelling "DO YOU BELIEVE IT?!?  IT IS FANDEMONIUM!!!"  That fateful day, Buffalo overcame a (still NFL record) 32 point deficit.  The crazy thing is that if not for my uncle promising my cousin nachos at halftime, we might have left at halftime.  However, promise, he did, and so at half, he waited on the line for her food.  By the time she was done eating, the comeback had begun.  The rest, as they say, is history.  No words I could type could ever do justice to the surreal atmosphere and the incredible turnaround from despair to pure unfettered ecstasy.

I'll close with an excerpt from coach Marv Levy's halftime speech:

"You've got thirty more minutes. Maybe it's the last thirty minutes of your season. When your season's over, you're going to have to live with yourselves and look yourselves in the eyes. You'd damn well better have reason to feel good about yourselves, regardless of how this game turns out."


Identity Crisis

For the last few weeks, I've been in a state of flux.  I've become a very different person, and I just wanted to share that now.  About a month ago, I noticed that there was some residual liquid on the floor of my beloved fortress, the middle stall.  I didn't think much of it, but then it happened again a few days later, and again, and again, and again.  Growing wary and somewhat disgusted by this water, I began to rethink everything.  There was no way to discount the possibility that said liquid was once housed in some aimless fool's bladder, and that thought lead me to branch out and try something new.

The other day, I sojourned in the first stall to conduct my business.  At first, it felt unnatural.  It almost seemed like a betrayal of nearly Benedict Arnold proportions.  Then, I realized all of the sudden (epiphany moment forthcoming) that the middle stall betrayed me first.

From now on, I am sold on the first stall.  It is cozy, functional, and most importantly, I don't have to swim in piddle to use it!  Accordingly, I'm henceforth changing my name to First Stall Guy.

Thank you for your understanding,


Sunday, January 2, 2011


It's that time of year again.  All the match-ups for the 2011 NFL Playoffs are set (except for one, but as will be discussed later, that is irrelevant).  As such, I'm going to give my take on the most overrated and underrated teams in each conference as well as my round one picks and some ramblings of a madman.

Overrated - Da Bears.  They play strong defense, and Cutler has been very good this year, but something in the back of my head keeps telling me they aren't the second best team in the conference.  Maybe it's because Cutler is a rich man's Rex Grossman; good Jay/bad Jay?  Maybe it's because I saw the defense get shredded by New England?  Perhaps (and most likely), it's because I saw Buffalo hang with them for 60 minutes.  Whatever it is, I don't see da Bears making it out of the NFC field (or even to the NFC Championship game).

Honorable Mention - Rams/Seahawks.  I don't care which team wins the NFC West, they are overrated.  In fact, whenever any of the teams from this division wear an NFL logo, they are overrated.  Potential 7-9 division winner?  C'mon man!

Underrated - New Orleans.  It's hard to call the defending Super Bowl champs underrated, but this selection is a study in "process of elimination."  Can't call the first seed underrated.  Perhaps it's because I see Eagles fans wherever I look, and thus, I hear a lot of hype.  They are definitely a solid team, and they may go far, but I don't see them as underrated.  That brings us to the Packers.  All day, I've heard about how they're a dangerous team that nobody wants to face...They're the best number six seed, yada yada yada.  So, that brings us to the Saints.  Haven't heard much about them.  That may be because they have had a solid (11-5) season, but compared to last year's flirtation with perfection, this season has been ho-hum for them.  Don't sleep on them.  They're a VERY dangerous team still.

Honorable Mention - Philly.  I assume that elsewhere in the country, the hype machine isn't as well oiled, so I'll assume they may not be overhyped everywhere in the lower 48.

Overrated - Indianapolis.  This is my hands down choice.  Everyone always seems to assume that Peyton Manning can do it all by himself and can never be counted out.  He's shown that is true to an extent throughout his career, but that defense can still get pushed around, the WRs are banged up, and there is no running game.  The thing that's protected the Indy D in the past is that they were generally playing with a lead. That plays to the defensive strength: speed.  However, with the disappearing act of a running game, there is no offensive balance.  That makes it very difficult to keep defenses honest to get a lead for your fast, but undersized defense.  Are they dangerous still?  Absolutely...They have Peyton.  Are they overrated?  You bet.

Honorable Mention - Pittsburgh.  They're clearly very talented and experienced, but man, are they hyped.  Perhaps that comes from their record six Lobardi Trophies, but I see this as a team that could lose to any team in the AFC field without a major imaginative stretch.  It's worth noting that they would be the fifth seed if Stevie Johnson was a little more serious.

Underrated - Baltimore.  I again could be wrong, but I just get the impression that this team is very capable of coming out and smashing teams right in the jaw.  Ray Rice is a match-up nightmare for any defensive coordinator, and there are some wily vets at WR who just know how to get open.  Add in that Ed Reed is coming on strongly of late, and you get a recipe for a dangerous team.  They haven't received the hype because everyone's always lining up to kiss the Steelers' arses, and they haven't shown the killer instinct we're accustomed to seeing (think back to last year's wildcard round).  If they find that, they'll make a deep run.

Honorable Mention - Kansas City.  I'm not picking them to do much (in large part because of their first round draw...they'd be my upset pick if they'd been facing Indy or the Jets), and that fact weighs heavily into my decision.  This team can run on anyone, and they play some pretty solid defense most of the time.  They'll be a very tough team as the young players gain more experience, but for now, I'm sticking with underrated.  They'll be a handful, and they've got nothing to lose.

Saints at Rams/Seahawks - Saints, and as noted above, there is no correlation between my choice and the first round opponent.  They have the experience edge and the talent's not close in either category.

Jets at Colts - Jets.  They match up against the Colts very well (although I bet the Colts are happy that San Diego didn't make the cut).  They will run the ball, and their corners will make for slim pickin's for Peyton.  If the Jets play up to their talent level, they win this game.

Ravens at Chiefs - Ravens.  I wouldn't want to go to KC for round one, but I'd rather do that than sit at home (my team makes me die a little inside every year).  I like this to be a good game (possibly the second best of the weekend), and it will be played in the style I love to watch: smash mouth football.  Can't wait to watch it, but in the end, I think the Chiefs are still a year or two away.

Packers at Eagles - Packers.  This is far and away the most difficult one to choose, and I hope you (you know who you are) can forgive me for this pick.  I know that Vick set Green Bay ablaze earlier this year after Kolb was knocked silly.  However, the Packers are no joke, and now, they'll be game planning for Vick.  This will however be an incredible game to watch, and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Philly move on.

Last Notes 

- I'm sitting here torn trying to decide for whom to root tonight.  As much as I hate that little dweeb cheerleader, Pete Carroll, it would be fun to see a 7-9 division winner.  Either way, it's a blessing for both the Rams and the Seahawks that whoever moves on will have a home game...It would be very cramped on the short bus these teams would undoubtedly be taking to a road game.

- If the Super Bowl winds up being played by both number two seeds, I'll give up red meat and bacon for a month.