Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Enough Already

On December 18, 1997, a very funny episode of Seinfeld (aren't they all) aired. It was called "The Strike" and it introduced Frank Costanza's made-up holiday of Festivus.

On December 3, 2003, a very funny episode of The O.C. aired. It was called "Chrismukkah" and it introduced Seth Cohen's combined holiday of Chrismukkah.

It's been 14 years since Festivus, and 8 since Chrismukkah, yet I still see on Facebook and Twitter, people referring to these made-up holidays. I love the Festivus pole as much as the next guy, and I think Rachel Bilson looks hot, even in a Santa-cap/yarmulke hybrid but it's time we as a people moved on.

And until television writers can come up with the next fake holiday for us to worship, I think we should just stick to Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (dammit).

Song of the Week

"Stan" - Eminem featuring Dido
Another good one from Eminem that shows his lyrical skills. I choose this one because Dido just had a baby. And she named him Stanley.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 16

What a Weird Week
Very strange to have a full slate of NFL games on Saturday and only one game on Sunday. I see the reason they wanted to avoid Christmas but it just didn't feel normal to me.

Is This the End?
Will 2011 be known as the season Tim Tebow had his incredible run and was never heard from again? Tebow is finally falling victim to the turnover problems he avoided during his winning streak and his team is not good enough to recover from it. The supposedly great Denver defense that covered for Tebow during the winning streak has been charged with 81 points in the last two games. Though Tebow gifted at least 14 of those to the Bills. I stand by my statement that he has every attribute (size, speed, intelligence, leadership, devotion, work ethic, personality) that you would want in a quarterback, he just can't throw. His winning streak was very impressive, it's just not sustainable.

Don't Sleep on the Saints
All season long we have been focused on the Packers but the Saints are rounding back into form. They are 12-3 and have won 6 in a row. And the best new, they haven't allowed more than 24 points in any of those 6 games. The Packers have a weakness on defense and the Saints could expose it. The biggest problem for the Saints could be that they would have to face the Packers in the NFC Championship, in Green Bay, at Lambeau Field, on the Frozen Tundra, in late January. Those factors could prevent another game like the 42-34 thriller that started this season.

Picture of the Week
Pierre Thoams pulled a gold bow out of his uniform and stuck it on the football after scoring a touchdown. He then gave the "Christmas present" to a fan in the front row. I can see giving him a 15-yard penalty to prevent the antics from getting out of hand as they did in the TO-Chad Johnson-Joe Horn days. But I don't think a fine is warranted. We'll see.

Playoff Scenarios
Right now it seems like 7 teams are still alive for 3 playoff spots.
The Cowboys and Giants play a playoff game on NBC Sunday night. NBC flexed this game away from Fox. So both matchups of these teams became Sunday Night affairs.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
What can I say? Another horrible loss in an already horrible season. Even Mike Shanahan says this rebuilding project is harder than he thought.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Green Bay Packers 35 New England Patriots 31

I still have a lot of confidence in Green Bay but I think New Orleans is going to be very tough. As for the Patriots, they are going to have a tough time with Baltimore or Pittsburgh. Not sure I would favor them to get through once the playoffs start.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Something Syracuse and Penn State Alumni Can Agree On

I think the Syracuse alums, and especially the Penn State people are just sick of talking and thinking about these god damn child molesters who have embarrassed our Universities.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The War on Christmas

There is a war going on outside, and none of us are safe. It’s the war on Christmas.
Here are the warring factions: On one side you have the people who don’t celebrate Christmas and are offended when someone says “Merry Christmas” to them. On the other side you have the people who do celebrate Christmas and get offended when someone says “Happy Holidays” to them.
Both sides are nuts. But they have gone so far that people in the middle are starting to get dragged into this and getting aggravated.

Acceptable: calling a school's concert the "Winter Show" or "Holiday Show."
Not acceptable: At the winter show, having the children perform a rousing rendition of "I'm dreaming of a white holiday."

Acceptable: a civic building having a display containing artifacts from several religions
Not acceptable: a civic building having a "holiday" tree

Here is what should happen: everyone should calm the fuck down. People should stop getting offended so easily. If you go to a store and the person at the door says "happy holidays" you should reply "Merry Christmas" if you are so inclined. If you are a Jewish/atheist/Muslim and someone says "Merry Christmas", smile and reply "Happy Holidays" or "Happy Hanukkah" or "Joyous Kwanzaa" if you feel snarky.
If your child's school or town's municipal building has a display that only includes Christmas, kindly suggest a menorah be added.

This is a joyous time of year and we shouldn't ruin it by complaining that our particular religion doesn't get the attention it deserves.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Weekly Picks

I don't even know what to say anymore.

Didn't think a team that lost 13 straight would win two in a row. I already got this one wrong. By the way, it's the first time a 1-win team beat a team with 10 wins. I thought TJ Yates was good.

NEW ENGLAND -9 1/2 miami
Brady had the offense going against the Broncos. If they can score in the 30s the Dolphins won't be able to keep up.

cleveland +12 1/2 BALTIMORE
The Ravens got smoked by San Diego. For some reason I like the Browns to keep this close even though Baltimore needs this game for seeding.

tampa bay +7 1/2 CAROLINA
The Panthers shouldn't be giving more than a touchdown to anyone.

denver -2 1/2 BUFFALO

Denver will win by a field goal. Glad this spread moved half a point so I could take it without risking a push.

Last Week
: 2-3 (1 point1)
Season: 34-41 (10 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (6-9)
Home Favorites: 1-0 (15-17)
Home Underdogs: 0-1 (0-3)
Road Favorites: 1-1 (10-11)
Road Underdogs: 0-1 (9-10)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 15

Wonders Never Cease
So the amazing Tim Tebow 6-game winning streak is over. But I'm actually more impressed with the Broncos offense now than I was before. They totally dominated the Patriots on their first two drives. Problem was, the defense, which had supposedly been carrying them, couldn't stop the Patriots at all. And when Denver fumbled 3 times (something that hadn't done) the game was pretty much over. But I fully expect Denver to win at Buffalo and against the Chiefs, bringing them to 10-6 and winning the West. That would likely put them in a first round matchup against the Ravens or Steelers. A game they can win if they run the ball, kill the clock and avoid turnovers.

They Must Have Hated Todd Haley
The Chiefs ended the Packers run at a perfect season with a 19-14 victory. The timing was particularly bad for former coach Todd Haley because it came a week after he got fired. After a 3-game losing streak (outscored 109-27) to start the season, and another 4-gamer in the middle (outscored 95-25) the Chiefs actually have a chance to make the playoffs if they can win their final two games (Oakland, at Denver) and get some help.
But I wouldn't worry about the Packers. Every team has a bad game, even Aaron Rodgers is off sometimes. They are still nearly guaranteed the 1-seed in the playoffs and a very likely return trip to the Super Bowl.

There's Goes Peyton Manning's MVP Trophy
There was lots of talk -- none of it to be taken seriously -- that Peyton Manning should win the MVP Award because the Colts were so good with him and so horrible without him. Maybe that will die down now that the great Dan Orlovsky led the Colts to their first win of the season.

Every Underdog Has Its Day
The Chiefs, Colts, Redskins and Panthers all won on Sunday, and all of them were underdogs by at least 6 points. It just goes to prove what I always say, underdogs that cover win 75% of the time. It's a crazy mixed-up world when shit like this happens, but it's why they say "on any given Sunday."

And He Won a Super Bowl
Drew Brees needs only 304 yards total in his last two games to break Dan Marino's record for most passing yards in a season. In the 12 seasons since Marino retired he's been passed for most of his significant records, this one will be his last. And an even bigger insult to Marino, Brees has a Super Bowl ring.

Brief Rant About the Redskins
If the Redskins had to go 2-14 in a season I'd be ok with it, if both wins were against the Giants. So I guess I have to be happy with this. It does feel good to really hurt the Giants playoff chances, unfortunately the Cowboys stand to benefit. This game once again shows what I've been saying about the Redskins, you need to force turnovers to win.

Picture of the Week
Gruesome injury for Bears WR Johnny Knox. You can see him get bent backwards. Knox suffered a cracked facet joint, one of the components that keeps the spinal column stable. He needed back surgery but he could be ready to return to football next season.

Johnny Knox injury

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Green Bay Packers 70 New England Patriots 63

If these two teams match up they could easily set the record for most points in a Super Bowl, 69. The Packers may break the record on their own.

Song of the Week

"Christmas Rappin" - Kurtis Blow
Merry Christmas to all, from Kurtis Blow.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting Carted Off

Several people injured when a cart (the kind that normally takes injured players to the locker room) went out of control, despite no driver being aboard. You gotta keep your eye on the guy in blue who got run over but held onto the wheel and was steering it while it was careening recklessly. Good job by the guy who finally jumped on and was able to stop it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weekly Picks

This is the worst year I've had in several years. Missing tons of best bets which is just inexcusable. And worse yet, I started 5-3 and on best bets and missed 5 of last 6. I just knew Denver would push last week. Not sure why I did that, though I got all the other games wrong too so it wouldn't have mattered.

SAN FRANCISCO -3 pittsburgh
I think the 49ers will bounce back after a tough loss to Arizona.

new orleans -7 MINNESOTA
The Saints are starting to play better, and the Vikings are playing worse.

DENVER +7 1/2 new england
This is not just a Tebow pick, this is a pick against New England. They were terrible against the run last week against the Redskins. If the Broncos use the game plan they used against Kansas City (55 runs, 8 passes), they can move the ball, control the clock, keep Tom Brady off the field, and maybe even win the game.

ny jets +2 1/2 PHILADELPHIA
The Eagles won big last week but are not consistent enough to keep up that effort. The Jets need to keep winning.

baltimore -2 1/2 SAN DIEGO

I kept waiting for the Chargers to make their late-season charge. I don't think that's going to happen. The Ravens have been playing their best ball against their toughest opponents this season.

Last Week: 1-4 (2 points)
Season: 32-38 (30 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (6-8)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (14-17)
Home Underdogs: 0-1 (0-2)
Road Favorites: 0-2 (9-10)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (9-9)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Song of the Week

"Let Me Love You Down" - Ready for the World

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 14

It's Better To Be Lucky Than Good
The Denver Broncos have won 6 straight games, 7 of 8 since making Tim Tebow the starter. How are they doing it? The easy answer is luck. But to be this lucky, this consistently, you'd have to call it divine intervention.
This latest victory would not have happened without a couple bouts of colossal stupidity. First, Marion Barber ran out of bounds, saving the Broncos 40 seconds. That allowed the Broncos to tie the game. Then he fumbled in overtime allowing the Broncos to win it.

Marion Barber's fumble was the latest divine intervention on behalf of Tim Tebow

But I place even more blame on Bears coach Lovie Smith. For 55 minutes the Bears used their stifling to completely shut down Tebow. At one point he was 3 for 16 passing. Then they went to prevent defense. As we all know, the prevent defense prevents you from winning. And that's exactly what happened.
And this may be where Tebow's good qualities actually contribute to him winning these games. We know he can't throw against normal defenses. But he never gets discouraged. He always keeps his confidence up, and when the game is on the line he feels like he can make the play to win it.

Dear God, please allow my opponent to make some idiotic mistakes so my team can win without me completing a forward pass for 90% of the game

Kicker's Paradise
Denver kicker Matt Prater was the hero of Sunday's game but he got some help from Denver's altitude. He kicked 59 and 51 yarders, and the Bears kicker, Robbie Gould nailed one from 57. Since 1960 18 field goals of longer than 55 yards were made in Denver. The next highest total over that span is Detroit, with 7.

Ain't That a Kick in the Head
For the second straight week Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey missed a key late game field goal. Last week he was iced by his own coach, this time Bailey made the first kick -- which was nullified by Tom Coughlin's timeout -- but the second one was blocked by Jason Pierre-Paul. Might be time for Bailey to visit a sports psychologist.

Jason Pierre-Paul blocks a field goal to preserve the Giants 37-34 over the Cowboys

Cardiac Sunday
A record 5 teams bounced back from deficits of at least 12 points to win no Sunday. The Giants trailed the Cowboys 34-22 and won 37-34. The Texans were down by 13 before TJ Yates rallied his team for a 20-19 victory. The Falcons were down 16, but scored 24 points in a row to beat Carolina 31-23. Arizona was losing 19-7 to the 49ers, but earned a 21-19 win. And Jacksonville scored 41 points in a row after the ExpensiveCornPrices jumped out to a 14-0 lead. And that doesn't even count the Broncos overcoming a 10-point deficit.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
I can't even get fired up about these rants anymore. The Redskins lost a game I knew they were going to lose, but actually had a chance to win. The reason, Rex Grossman. His early fumble gave the Patriots a touchdown, and his late interception (not totally his fault) cost us a chance to tie the game. I would go a little easier on him if he hadn't been completely bailed out earlier in the game. He floated a pass into a wide open space and got picked off. But the play was nullified by a bullshit penalty and the Redskins eventually scored on that drive.

Picture of the Week
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder desperately wanted to bring the Army-Navy game to FedEx Field. But I guess they didn't have time to repaint the end zones. They still said Army and Navy. I also like this overhead shot and how it allows you to see the coverage.

If The Super Bowl Were Played Today
Green Bay Packers 35 Pittsburgh Steelers 20

The Packers are just awesome. And Aaron Rodgers is good enough to overcome any deficiencies they may have. But I still do not think they will go undefeated. I don't think they even try. I say Aaron Rodgers plays only the first quarter of Week 17's game against the Lions and the Packers lose.

The Best Verses in Rap History

I love "Headlines" by Drake so much that I not only made it song of the week, I also added its first verse to my list of top 5 verses in rap history. I picked these because they're fun to listen to, but also because they say something. Remember when rap actually used to have meaning? About a social condition, a rapper's life and not just how much money he has (or in most cases pretends to have).

I list them in no particular order:
Headlines - Drake

"I might be too strung out on compliments
Overdosed on confidence
Started not to give a fuck and stopped fearing the consequence
Drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments
Faded way too long I'm floating in and out of consciousness
And they sayin' I'm back, I'd agree with that
I just take my time with all this shit, I still believe in that
I had someone tell me I fell off, ooh I needed that
And they wanna see me pick back up, well where'd I leave it at
I know I exaggerated things, now I got it like that
Tuck my napkin in my shirt, cause I'm just mobbin' like that
You know good and well that you don't want a problem like that
You gon' make someone around me touch a body like that
No, don't do it, please don't do it,
Cause one of us goes in and we all go through it
Drizzy got the money, so Drizzy gonna pay it
Those my brothers, I ain't even gotta say it
That's just something they know"

It's a little superficial but not bad compared to most of what's out there today. He explains how the haters motivate, that he still loves to rap and how he hasn't forgotten his old friends. I like the napkin in the shirt thing, if its a reference to how mobsters are always depicted in movies.

I tuck my napkin in my shirt cuz I'm just mobbin like that

Spottieottiedopaliscious - Outkast

"When I first met my Spottieottiedopaliscious Angel
I can remember that damn thing like yesterday
The way she moved reminded me of a Brown Stallion horse with skates on
Smooth like a hot comb on nappy ass hair
I walked up on her & was almost paralyzed
Her neck was smelling sweeter
Than a plate of yams with extra syrup
Eyes beaming like four karats apiece just blindin' a nigga
Felt like I chiefed a whole O of that Presidential
My heart was beating so damn fast
Never knowing this moment
Would bring another life into this world
Funny how shit come together sometimes [ya dig]
One moment you frequent the booty clubs &
The next four years you & somebody's daughter raisin' y'all own young'n
Now that's a beautiful thang
That's if you're on top of your game
And man enough to handle real life situations [that is]
Can't gamble feeding baby on that dope money
Might not always be sufficient
But the United Parcel Service & the people at the Post Office
Didn't call you back because you had cloudy piss
So now you back in the trap just that, trapped
Go on and marinate on that for a minute"

This song might have the best music (yes, music, those are real trumpets) of any rap ever. But even if you divorce the lyrics from the melody this one still has a lot of meaning. It's the age old story of boy meets girl, which quickly accelerates into boy has a hard time leaving behind his old lifestyle to find a legitimate source of income for girl and their new baby.

It Was a Good Day - Ice Cube

"Left my homeez house paid
Picked up a girl been tryin to fuck since the twelfth grade
It's ironic, I had the blunt she had the chronic
The Lakers beat the Supersonics
I felt on the big fat fanny
Pulled out the jammy, and killed the punanny
And my dick runs deep, so deep, so deep
put her ass to sleep
Woke her up around one
she didn't hesitate, to call Ice Cube the top gun
Drove her to the pad and I'm coasting
Took another sip of the potion hit the three-wheel motion
I was glad everything had worked out
Dropped her ass off, and then chirped out
Today was like one of those fly dreams
Didn't even see a berry flashing those high beams
No helicopter looking for a murder
Two in the morning got the Fatburger
Even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp
And it read Ice Cube's a pimp
Drunk as hell but no throwing up
Half way home and my pager still blowing up
Today I didn't even have to use my A.K.
I got to say it was a good day."

Ok, so a little frivolous, no deep social issues explored, no dark inner feelings exposed. But it's got to be one of the most fun songs ever. And in defense of its meaningfulness, it does illustrate his dream. This could be a creative writing assignment "write about your perfect day." And the fact that he ends it with the classic "I didn't even have to use my AK" just clinches it for me.

Juicy - Notorious B.I.G.

"I made the change from a common thief
To up close and personal with Robin Leach
And I'm far from cheap I smoke stuff with my peeps all day
Spread love it's the Brooklyn way
The Moet and Alize keep me pissy
Girls used to diss me
Now they write letters cuz they miss me
I never thought it could happen
This rappin stuff
I was too used to packin Gats and stuff
Now honeys play me close like butta play toast
From the Mississippi down to the East Coast
Condos in Queens
Indo for weeks
Sold-out seats to hear Biggie Smalls speak
Living life without fear
Putting five carats in my baby girl's ear
Lunches, brunches, interviews by the pool
Considered a fool
Cuz I dropped out of high school
Stereotypes of a black male misunderstood
And it's still all good"

The gold standard of songs about coming from nothing and turning oneself into something. At the time Biggie was compelling because he was a former drug dealer who got "rescued" by rap. He was also a fat guy, who at this point was getting laid a lot. I could have easily chosen the next verse from this song, but the Robin Leach line really clinches this one for me. If this was the only thing you ever heard about Biggie you would have a pretty good understanding of his life story.

Til I Collapse - Eminem

"Music is like magic there’s a certain feeling you get when you're real
And you spit and people are feeling your shit.
This is your moment and every single minute you spend
Trying to hold onto it 'cause you may never get it again.
So while you’re in it try to get as much shit as you can
And when your run is over just admit when it's at its end.
Cause I'm at the end of my wits with half this shit that gets in.
I got a list here's the order of my list that it's in.
It goes, Reggie, Jay-Z, Tupac and Biggie,
Andre from OutKast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas and then me.
But in this industry I'm the cause of a lot of envy,
So when I’m not put on this list the shit does not offend me.
That's why you see me walk around like nothing's bothering me.
Even though half you people got a fucking problem with me.
You hate it but you know respect you’ve got to give me
The press's wet dream like Bobby and Whitney. Nate hit me."

I think it might be a surprise to many of you to see Eminem on my list. But maybe this is why I am so hard on Eminem. Like the child who gets an A on one test and gets Cs the rest of the time, his parents know what he is capable of. Though I disagree with his list of greatest emcees (though not by all that much) it's the first part that gets me. It really makes you understand what he feels when he's on stage. Why he loves music so much. Probably a lot of people feel this way. When he's on stage performing, and people are cheering and screaming, he feels loved. He feels appreciated. He feels validated. All the things people want to feel on an everyday basis, he gets those feelings through his music and his performances. You can feel that from this song, which is why it's on my list.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekly Picks

Exactly the opposite of the previous week. This time I only got one game right. But it was my best bet. Riding the Tebow train. Can't understand it but see no need to get off now.

CAROLINA +3 atlanta
Atlanta looked shitty last week against Houston. And I know I don't normally pay attention to that but they haven't impressed me all season. Carolina meanwhile, Cam Newton's amazing performances are starting to result in victories.

new england -8 WASHINGTON
I hate when I have to do this but the Redskins have no chance in hell of keeping this game close.

san francisco -4 ARIZONA
Have people not been paying attention to the 49ers? They are a damn good team. And the Cardinals stink, and they are coming off a lucky victory.

philadelphia +3 MIAMI
There's a big talent gap here I believe. The Eagles are just too good to finis 4-12. They got embarrassed last week and have a long week to recover.

DENVER -3 chicago

Very nervous about this because Tebow wins every game by 3 points but I am willing to roll the dice and hope maybe they win 21-17 or 17-13.

Last Week: 1-4 (2 points)
Season: 31-34 (30 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (6-7)
Home Favorites: 0-2 (14-16)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-1)
Road Favorites: 0-1 (9-8)
Road Underdogs: 1-1 (8-9)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Entitlement Culture

There's lots of talk lately about "fair share" and the "1% vs. the 99%." Radio host Adam Carolla, known as a comedian, hits is right on the head in this 9-minute rant. It is a thing of beauty, and you should listen to the whole thing. But if you don't have that kind of patience skip forward to 5:55 into the video for the story about Mr. Jenkins. I'll offer my thoughts after you've watched it.

This nails it. Everything I have been saying for years. Giving people things they didn't earn teaches them that they don't have to work to get things. In the real world, you do. And I don't even think it's a stretch to go from "I play so I deserve a trophy" to "I live so I deserve a job."
Especially when everyone, including the President, is telling you that your failures are someone else's fault.
Yes, the system can be unfair. Yes, there are some people who have more through no accomplishment of their own, and some have nothing through no fault of their own. But in general, in our society, if we allow it to stay a meritocracy, everyone has the ability to build something for themselves. As long as we don't beat the personal responsibility and desire for achievement out of them.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Fiddling While the Trailer Burns

Last year I wrote about a town in Tennessee where firefighters allowed a resident's home to burn down because he had not paid the $75 annual fire fee.
Some people will never learn. Another resident in the same county, Obion County, had her trailer burn down because she hadn't paid the mandatory fee to the fire department of neighboring South Fulton.
Let's recap: Obion is too small for its own fire department. Nearby South Fulton is willing to respond to fire calls there, if its residents pay a $75 fee each year.
Like it or not, you'd think Vicky Bell would have paid the fee after reading about Gene Crasnick. Crasnick's house burned down and the fire department didn't intervene because he hadn't paid the fee.
Now the same thing happened to Bell's trailer.

Here's the bottom line: when someone tells you "if you don't do this, this might happen" and you still don't do it, then you are accepting the consequences.
Especially, the second time around. Bell had warning. She chose to gamble that her trailer would never catch fire, she lost.
It's unfortunate (and again, if people were in danger the firefighters would have helped) but the system wouldn't work any other way.
You can't charge people after the fact because it would still probably not be enough to cover expenses from fighting the fire, because the fire department costs money just to operate, waiting for a fire.
And if you charged an exorbitant fee, these poor rubes wouldn't be able to pay it.

It comes back to the debate which is tearing apart our country right now: the responsibilities of the individual versus the responsibilities of the society to aid the individual.

We have become way to reliant on others and we need to restore personal responsibility.

Song of the Week

"Headlines" - Drake
I initially summarily rejected Drake just because of his overwhelming popularity. But when you really listen to him (and you can't help it with him being on the radio every ten seconds) the kid can really rap. I like his flow on this one the best.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 13

The Best Ever?
Right now I think we are witnessing one of the greatest seasons a quarterback has ever had. I'm not going to sit here and compare stats between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in 2007. Because I've seen that done, and Brady wins. I know Brady was great that year, and others have been great, but here's what I think puts Rodgers over the top. Every pass is perfect. He had less than a minute to get the Packers 60-plus yards for a field goal attempt, and it wasn't even difficult. Every pass was exactly where it needed to be for it to be caught. No defense could have stopped those throws from being completed. The Giants knew what was coming and they couldn't stop it.

Jordy Nelson hauls in another of Rodgers's PrimeTim Dimes -- the E is silent!

Good Friends Better Enemies
Two former Florida Gators teammates staged a great little back and forth -- but as always -- Tim Tebow won. Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin played the best game of his NFL career. He scored on 52 and 48-yard passes, but each time he did Tim Tebow brought his team back. And maybe we are witnessing his evolution because Tebow didn't win this game with his legs (only 4 carries for 13 yards), the defense didn't play great (scored one TD but allowed 32 points). Tebow threw some great passes including two to Demaryius Thomas. But even has he dropped one right into Thomas's arms it's still apparent that he can't throw a spiral. The pass was wobbling the whole time, but it got there. And as I am starting to believe with Tebow, it may not be pretty, but he gets the job done.

I Guess Everyone Has To Tweet Insults About Matt Forte
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte was cruising along having a great season. He was a serious MVP candidate (well, not really because of Aaron Rodgers) but it all ended in one fell swoop. He will miss several games (but could come back for the season ends) with a Grade 2 sprain of his MCL. Exactly the same injury Jay Cutler had during last year's NFC Championship game when it seemed like the entire league (of players who weren't in the playoffs) questioned Cutler's heart, toughness and commitment to his team.

Ice the Kicker
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is under a lot of fire for icing his own kicker. Garrett called timeout just as Dan Bailey was lining up to kick a 49-yard game-winning field goal. Time was called as the ball sailed through the uprights. Bailey missed his second attempt and Garrett is being blamed. Garrett shouldn't be blamed for that. I have seen studies comparing kicks before and after timeouts. The results are inconclusive with a slight bias leaning towards showing icing kickers works. I believe Garrett cost his team the game, but not by icing the kicker. He lost the game by not calling timeout after two successive complete passes. That cost his team the chance to run another play and get even closer. That's why Garrett should be under fire, clearly tangible evidence that he didn't effectively use his timeouts to his advantage, not some conjecture about the kicker's psychology going into his second attempt at the field goal.

you fucked up

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
The Redskins stink. Through 12 weeks of this season I know that. What is so galling is that they can't score touchdowns in the red zone. Four more field goal attempts. And Rex Grossman always make a critical error at the wrong time. I am keeping the rant brief this week.

Picture of the Week
When the ExpensiveCornPrices go retro they go all the way. Even the cheerleaders are dressed in throwback unis.

Here's Winking At You Kid

Maybe it's obvious, but I guess you have to learn how to wink. I wink at Julian and his efforts to imitate me are hilarious.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Never Leave Flour Laying Around

Woman gets home from food shopping. Leaves the groceries where her two kids can get them and goes to the bathroom. She claims she was in there for just a few minutes. When she stepped out she saw this, went in the bathroom to avoid killing the little bastards, got the camera and tried to laugh it off.

Adios Jose

Jose Reyes has officially left the New York Mets, signing a 6-year, $106 million contract with the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins have different motivations than the Mets. They are moving into a new ballpark and need to fill it with a star player to create excitement (though I think their flirtation with the Expensive Pooh Holes is just for show). And in truth, they have a better, younger core (Morrison, Stanton, Ramirez and Josh Johnson) than the Mets, making Reyes a more valuable addition for them.
The Mets were only willing to offer 5-years at $80 million, maybe $90m at the most. That wasn't going to be enough.
And as sad as I am to see him go, I think it is the right move for the Mets. This team is not ready to compete yet. And since his next two years are likely to be his best (of the 6 on the contract) it does little good to pay a player $18 million to be on a bad team. And by the time the Mets are ready to compete, Reyes, an oft-injured player whose game relies on speed, it's likely his performance will be in decline.
I will miss watching Reyes play. I always enjoyed his energy, his smile, his defense and especially his triples, but the time has come to move on.
Adios Jose.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Weekly Picks

I finally got a little something going last week but missed my best bet. I am still .500 for the season. But that's not good enough. 55% overall is what you need, and for these purposes, you certainly can't be 42% on best bets.

atlanta -2 HOUSTON
Such a tough break for the Texans to lose not one but two quarterbacks. I know they will still play good defense and still run the ball, but I think the Falcons can pull this one off.

st. louis +13 1/2 SAN FRANCISCO

This spread is a little too much for a team with a suspect offense. And perhaps the Rams can use some of the Ravens strategy for putting pressure on Alex Smith.

NEW ENGLAND -20 1/2 indianapolis

The last time we saw a spread this big it was the Patriots during their undefeated regular season of 2007. They were favored by 23 over the Eagles, and only won by 3. This time I see them scoring at least 38 points. Can the Colts score more than 17? I doubt it.

CHICAGO -7 kansas city
Hanie threw 3 interceptions last week. If he can cut that down to 1 or even zero I think the Bears can win big.

denver +1/2 MINNESOTA

If you can't beat em, join em.

Last Week: 4-1 (3 points)
Season: 30-30 (28 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (5-7)
Home Favorites: 2-1 (14-14)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-1)
Road Favorites: 2-0 (9-7)
Road Underdogs: 0-0 (7-8)

Friday, December 02, 2011

The A-Rod of the NFL

Five years ago I wrote about the problem with Alex Rodriguez. I gave A-Rod two pieces of advice:
"1) You can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourself
2) When you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one"

Seems like those lessons could apply to Donovan McNabb as well. In the last 2 years, McNabb has burned bridges with 3 NFL teams. The biggest reason of course is his poor play. But there's something about McNabb that is incredibly unlikeable: he is a phony. He tries to say what he thinks everyone wants to hear, and instead his act is very transparent, and even more annoying.

After he was cut loose by the Minnesota Vikings, he did a couple interviews, ESPN, NFL Network and seemed even more unlikeable. He refused to say he wanted to be released to go play somewhere else, instead saying he want to give Christian Ponder room to grow. Not wanting to seem selfish, he didn't say he requested his release to go play somewhere immediately, he said he wanted to "clear his head."

Some desperate team may make a bid for McNabb. But I have feeling they won't be happy with his play or his personality.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Still Feisty After All These Years

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca recently settled a feud that started during the 1963 Grey Cup. Kapp tried to squash the beef by offering Mosca a flower.

An awesome move by the old codger using his cane to knock the glasses off Kapp's face. And that was when hell of a right hook by a 73 year old man.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Valentine's Day

Bobby Valentine is the new manager of the Boston Red Sox. They brought in Bobby V to bring some decorum to the clubhouse after last season's embarrassing chicken and beer meltdown. I think they have the wrong guy.

Not just because his enduring legacy is his mustache gambit. But also because his philosophy, which includes an affection for the sacrifice bunt, doesn't mesh with the sabremetricians in the front office, who have proven the sacrifice bunt is an ineffective use of an out.

Song of the Week

"Borderline" - Madonna
Some people think Lady Gaga is the natural evolution of Madonna. But I'll wait until she does something as good as this before I make that proclamation.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 12

I'm Never Picking Against Tim Tebow Again
Until the playoffs. This can't be a coincidence. The Denver Broncos are 5-1 with Tebow as the starter. He actually has gotten a lot better as a passer, a few of this throws in the win over San Diego were actually good throws. He still can't throw on the level of most NFL quarterbacks but for some reason the Broncos keep winning. I know it is the defense, but didn't they have the same defense when Kyle Orton was 1-4? Maybe he knows how to get the most out of his teammates. Maybe the increased reliance on the run slows down the game. Whatever it is, I am starting to believe it.

If You Want to Talk Trash, You Gotta Back It Up

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson did an hilarious touchdown celebration, mock-shooting himself in the leg, a la Jets receiver Plaxico Burress.

Problem is, Johnson's antics resulted in a penalty, which helped set up a touchdown drive for the Jets. And even worse, Johnson dropped not one but two passes that could have helped the Bills score a game-winning TD late in the game. You may remember Johnson also dropped a very catchable ball against the Steelers last year.


Speaking of selfish behavior costing your team, Ndamukong Suh. I am a huge Suh fan and I have been for three years now. And everyone who knows him says he really is a great guy on the field. So why does he keep acting like this? Does he lose control? Is he tried to intimidate people? His latest infraction, stomping on the chest of a prone Packers player, earned him a 2-game suspension, which will surely hurt his team. Suh has already been fined three times by the league office for aggressive play. He even met with Commissioner Goodell to discuss acceptable behavior. It's a shame to see such a great player behave so poorly.

Ain't That a Shame

Every year is supposed to be the year of the Texans. 2011 actually seemed to be going their way. Their nemesis the Colts are winless, and their defense is number one in the league. Add the great Arian Foster and the capable Matt Schaub to that and Houston seemed in position to make noise in the playoffs. Now Schaub, and his backup Matt Leinart are injured, and the season lies in the hands of TJ Yates. Even if the Texans hold on for the division title it'll be hard to win a playoff game with Yates at the helm.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins

The 6-game losing streak is over, and a win is certainly a lot better than a loss. But there is a lot to be discouraged about. Rex Grossman played another bad game, but managed to hit one big throw, to Anthony Armstrong for the game-winning score. Graham Gano missed two more kicks, but both were blocked so the line deserves blame too. Roy Helu, the lone bright spot this year, scored on a incredible TD run in which he hurdled one tackler, bounced off another and scored. One of the best TD runs I've ever seen.

Roy Helu hurdle

Picture of the Week
Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints dunks the ball over the goal post after a touchdown in the Saints 49-24 over the Giants. Graham is the latest basketball player to follow in the footsteps of Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates to become a great tight end.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Green Bay Packers 38 New England Patriots 21

The Packers don't necessarily look unbeatable. The Patriots offense seems to be back on course, but their defense is still suspect. How delicious would it be if the undefeated Packers met the Patriots in the Super Bowl?

Monday, November 28, 2011

In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

I was watching Mike Francesa on the YES Network this afternoon, something I never do, because of his extended and informative interview with Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard. During the course of the interview, YES showed a picture of Jim Boeheim and Bernie Fine on the bench during a game, obviously taken from the broadcast of a Syracuse game. I noticed, in between the heads of Boeheim and Fine, seated in the first row, my [nephew] Roach.

Allen Griffin's favorite former manager

It saddens me to see the likeness of Roach sullied by this ugly incident. Forever tied to the likely pedophile and his possible enabler.

Jim Boeheim's Arrogance May Be His Undoing

Syracuse's Jim Boeheim may be the secondary legendary coach in a month to lose his job over a sex scandal involving a trusted assistant.
The Bernie Fine mess has gotten more serious, and more weird, in the past 24 hours.
ESPN has released more information from Fine's accuser, Bobby Davis. This includes an audio tape of a conversation Davis had with Bernie Fine's wife, Laurie in October 2002. During the phone call, Laurie Fine seems to acknowledge her husband's molestation of Davis.
"I know everything that went on. I know everything that went on with him. Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues," she says.
But that's not it. The latest twist in the story is that Davis claims he fucked Laurie Fine when he was 18, and even told Bernie about it.
Also, there is a new accuser, Zach Tomaselli, who says he was molested by Fine in a hotel room in Pittsburgh in 2002.
Tomaselli faces his own charge for alleged sexual assault against a young boy, and Tomaselli's own father says he is lying about Fine.
But that didn't stop the University from firing Bernie Fine.
In light of new evidence, the taped phone call is most damning, the school was right to get rid of Fine.
And Boeheim could be next. His aggressive comments about Davis -- he called him a liar and an extortionist -- are a real embarrassment now that it looks more likely he was defending a child molester.
A chastened Boeheim released a much more conciliatory statement saying "I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse."

At this point I'm pretty sure Fine was molesting boys. And there's also a very good chance Boeheim knew about it, and his aggressive reaction was designed to discourage future complaints, and to make his denial seem more believable. This is absolutely terrible. If there is any shred of evidence to show Boeheim was a Paterno-esque enabler of a molester he should be fired immediately even if it torpedoes a very promising season.
And no student or alumnus should shed a tear, speak a word, stand on a lawn or tip a news truck in defense of him.
If this is true, Fine and Boeheim have sullied our University's reputation for years to come, and they should be the only targets of our anger.

Thankfully, it appears the University as a broader entity is doing -- and has done -- the right thing here. If that 2005 investigation was legitimate (Davis never handed over the tape of his call with Laurie Fine to the school), then this alleged problem may not turn out to be the kind of cancer that ate away at Penn State.

I Guess the Throwback Trend is Officially Over

Throwback jerseys, once the hottest trend are clearly no longer a hot fashion item. Mitchell and Ness is having a huge sale -- all jerseys are only $100 -- even ones that regularly sell for $275 or $300.
I've gotten a little too old to keep buying and wearing jerseys but they're cool to have for going to games.
So I may add this Mookie Wilson 1986 Batting Practice jersey to my collection.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Home-Court Advantage

Under the leadership of Dr. Darryl Gross Syracuse has billed itself as New York's College Team.
That certainly was accurate for the Season Tip Off NIT at Madison Square Garden this week. After a sparse crowd watched a mostly bumbling victory by Virginia Tech over Oklahoma State, the building came alive for the Orange as they took on Stanford.
But that decidedly partisan crowd was disappointed with how the Orange played for the first 30 minutes -- for the second game in a row.
But like the game against Va Tech the Orange turned it on and turned a 58-51 deficit into a 69-63 win.
The key play was a 3-pointer by Kris Joseph that started the run. K-Jo had made the Orange's last 3 baskets prior to that shot as well. When the game is on the line Joseph is emerging as the go-to guy who can get the ball and score, or create for others. All championship teams need a guy like that. And it's something Syracuse has lacked in the last two disappointing NCAA Tournament losses.

The other thing Syracuse has this year that has been absent in years past is depth. Though Jim Boeheim who loves burying players, especially young players, on the bench, is in the process of destroying that depth. Freshman Michael Carter-Williams only played 2 minutes in each of the two NIT games. And the more promising freshman, and the only capable big forward on the team, Rakeem Christmas, started both games, but played only 7 minutes total in the two games.
With James Southerland (my favorite player on this year's team) likely to wind up in Boeheim's doghouse again soon (for his indiscriminate shooting and indecisive defense) Boeheim will be back down to 7 players in his rotation soon.
Last year Boeheim stuck with Fab Melo (mostly because he had no choice) and it's paying off as Melo is playing much better this season, especially on defense in the middle of that zone. I don't want to jinx the young fella but right now I would have to say that Melo "shows promise."

Boeheim's biggest challenge this year will be managing his guards. He has the older, experienced players in Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine. But I think we all agree that in most cases the two sophomores Dion Waiters and CJ Fair (Josh Pace with a jumpshot) are more reliable so far this season.
Three of those guys can play together if Boeheim wants to, and is able to go small. But at crunch time someone has to be the point guard, the orchestrator. Jardine, for all his play-making ability, really can't be trusted. So it will be interesting to see which of the other guys emerges.
Fair and Waiters each made big 3-point plays to key that run against Stanford. Those two guys are clearly the future of the program. How big a role they play in the present will determine if this season ends in a disappointing upset loss in the tournament the way so many Syracuse seasons have done.

Syracuse celebrates its NIT championship
obligatory picture of Jim Boeheim making a stupid face

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekly Picks

I am in a terrible slump. I actually was having a good season through 7 weeks. Now I have no idea how to pick a correct game. This week I am not overthinking things. Let's see if that works.


After I put them in the Super Bowl we learned Matt Schaub was out for the season. I don't think Matt Leinart is good but they have the talent to severely limit what he has to do. Especially against Jacksonville.

carolina -3 INDIANAPOLIS
I honestly think the Colts will go 0-16.

OAKLAND -3 chicago

I think the Bears will still figure out how to play without Cutler, enough to get into the playoffs. But it may take a short adjustment period.

ATLANTA -9 1/2 minnesota

Not sure if I think this one could be a blowout. But I'm pretty sure the Falcons are going to win it so I will roll the dice on the point spread.

SAN DIEGO -6 1/2 denver

The Chargers late season charge starts right now. Plus Tim Tebow still sucks as a passer. I just can't see him keeping this going.

Last Week: 2-3 (0 points)
Season: 26-29 (25 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (5-6)
Home Favorites: 1-0 (12-13)
Home Underdogs: 0-1 (0-1)
Road Favorites: 1-1 (7-7)
Road Underdogs: 0-2 (7-8)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Song of the Week

"Luv U Better" - LL Cool J
This song contains one of my favorite parts of any song ever.
"Do you think I meant to hurt you?
Do you think I meant to hurt you?

This Billboard Offends Me

There's a new billboard on the West Side Highway that I find highly offensive.

It's an ad for a generically named vokda, Wodka. It shows two dogs, a chihuahua in a Santa hat and an Afghan in a yarmulke.

It says "Christmas Quality. Hanukkah Pricing."

That's an overt reference that Christmas is better than Hanukkah. But it's also a subtle reference that Jews are cheap.

I don't have a problem with any of that. What bothers me is the poor dogs dressed up.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 11

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
Graham Gano fucking sucks. End of rant.

fuck you Graham Gano

Now They Love Cutler
The last time Caleb Hanie had to enter a game for the Chicago Bears it was because Jay Cutler was hurt and the Bears were in the NFC Championship game. At that point Bears fans insisted Cutler wasn't really hurt, and they hated him and never wanted to see him quarterback their team again. My how things have changed. Cutler has been mostly brilliant this season and Bears fans love him. But now Caleb Hanie is back. Cutler broke the thumb on his throwing hand while making a tackle. Without him Bears fans say all hope is lost. I say not so fast. If Hanie can go 3-3 down the stretch they can get a wildcard and maybe Cutler can return in time to play the winner of the NFC East or South. If not, the Bears can always sign Kyle Orton who was released by the Broncos.

Break Up the Dolphins
I really don't understand this, but the previously miserable Dolphins are now on a 3-game winning streak. I really don't see how they're playing so much better, but Matt Moore has been more consistent.

The Best Slate of Thanksgiving Games in a Long Time
Everyone is looking forward to this week's match-up of the Packers and Lions. It will be the first time in a long time the Lions will be relevant on Thanksgiving. Maybe since Barry Sanders retired. Though they sucked many years with him too. The Packers are still perfect, and once you get to double digits it starts to become real.
But that's not the game I'm looking forward to most, too many points. I will be anxiously watching the brothers Harbaugh go at it in the Ravens-49ers game. I feel like a lot of people are still doubting the Niners because they play in a week division. But they can play some defense which will make their match-up against the hard-hitting Ravens a great game to watch.


I guess I will have to write this every week. I still don't think Tim Tebow is a legitimate NFL quarterback. But with a 4-1 record as a starter I have to admit he certainly does have something special that he calls upon to make plays when the game is on the line.

Picture of the Week
Referee Ron Winter gets trapped at the bottom of the pile of players trying to recover a fumble in the Ravens-Bengals game.

But Seriously...
Graham Gano really does fuckin suck. He has missed 8 field goals so far this year. He is 30th of 32 kickers in percentage. And it's not just long kicks like the ones he missed against Dallas, he has 3 misses in 6 tries from 30 - 39 yards. He missed 2 field goals against Dallas this time, 1 field goal in a 2-point game against them last time. And two misses in an 11-point loss to Miami, which the Skins would have at least had a chance at if not for Gano. And lest you think this is an abberation, Gano missed 11 field goals last year. He hasn't been over 70% either of the last two years. 24 kickers are above 80 this year. He is clearly one of the worst 3 kickers in the game, why won't they cut him and try someone new?

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Green Bay 35 Houston 3

Why not the Texans? They have the same record as Baltimore, Pittsburgh and New England. Only difference, is they are hot, on a 4-game winning streak. They also have a pretty decent schedule with 1 game remaining against all the weak teams in their divisions. An AFC title game in Houston would be a big surprise.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

David Nelson, Scoring On -- And Off -- The Field

The sweetest moement of the NFL season so far came when Buffalo Bills wide receiver caught a touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys and ran around the field to give the ball to his girlfriend, Kelsi Reisch, a smoking hot Cowboys cheerleader.

Nelson is from Texas and has been dating Reisch for 4 years. There are rules against the fraternization of cheerleaders and players, but they don't seem to apply to different teams. Those rules are a complete joke anyway because no gold-digging hottie would be deterred from fucking a player by the threat of losing her $50 a game job.

We hope Kelsi and Nelson are very happy together.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Fine Mess

Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine is the latest coach to be accused of sexually molesting a child.
A former Syracuse ball boy named Bobby Davis, 39, has come forward and said Fine molested him hundreds of times between when he was 11 and 27.

Davis said he met Fine in 1983 when he was selling candy door-to-door in his neighborhood. Davis lived in a single-parent household. He says Fine took him under his wing, leading to him becoming a ball boy and traveling with the team, even to the 1987 Final Four.
Davis came forward with his claims to ESPN in 2003. They interviewed him but couldn't get anyone else to back up his story so they never aired the story. Davis also went to Syracuse Police who told him the statute of limitations had expired. He also went to Syracuse University. The University investigated for four months. They interviewed several people including four people Davis said would corroborate his story. None of them did so SU dropped the matter.
Now Davis's step-brother, Mike Lang, 45, is coming forward with similar allegations about Fine. And that is why ESPN is airing the story.
Lang says he was emboldened to come forward now because of the Penn State situation.
I guess those allegations make these a little easier to believe.
But that could cut both ways, they're more likely to be believed if they're telling the truth, but also if this were a plot, they'd be more likely to be believed in that case as well.
I'm not sure I believe them. I think it's very possible this happened, or something similar. But also relative to Penn State, there is a much greater chance this is completely false.
Jim Boeheim, whom Davis claims say him in Bernie Fine's hotel room, clearly does not believe these allegations:

"I know this kid, but I never saw him in any rooms or anything. It is a bunch of a thousand lies that he has told. You don't think it is a little funny that his cousin (relative) is coming forward? He supplied four names to the university that would corroborate his story. None of them did. There is only one side to this story. He is lying."

I understand why Boeheim is protecting his friend, but I think that tone is a little too harsh.
I think the University is doing a much better job. They took a serious look at this in 2005 and found nothing, and are taking a serious look again. Bernie Fine has been placed on administrative leave.
I hope this doesn't turn into another Penn State and ruin my alma mater too. But if it does I will advocate the same punishment: death to the perpetrator, prison for those who covered it up and a punch in the face for the students dumb enough to riot over it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Weekly Picks

Things have not been going well lately for your hero. Not only did I have a horrible week last week, most of my teams got blown out and weren't even close to covering the spreads. If not for Green Bay I would have suffered my first minus-1 in a very long time. Making my picks early this week to change my luck.

oakland -1 MINNESOTA
Possible Carson Palmer is back as a real quarterback? The Vikings don't need to be as bad as they were on Monday. All I need them to do is lose.

buffalo +2 MIAMI
What happened to the Bills? Could the Dolphins really win 3 in a row?

CHICAGO -3 1/2 san diego
The Chargers start their annual late season run next week. The Bears are looking good too. Almost like a real team.

kansas city +14 1/2 NEW ENGLAND
I'm just rolling the dice this one. I know Tyler Palko is starting, but I'm not all that worried about New England's defense. I think he can put enough points on the board (maybe 17 will be enough). The Chiefs defense isn't bad. As long as KC doesn't turn it over a bunch this game should be closer than 14.

new york jets -6 1/2 DENVER

The spread on this one has skyrocketed two points since I first decided to pick it. But I like the Jets coming off a rough loss and the Broncos off a big win. The Tebow thing has to end at some point, it's just not sustainable. And I think the Jets are just the defense to force him into doing things he doesn't want to do -- like throwing the ball.

Last week: 1-4 (0 points)
Season: 24-26 (24 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (5-5)
Home Favorites: 1-2 (11-13)
Home Underdogs: 0-1 (0-1)
Road Favorites: 0-0 (6-6)
Road Underdogs: 0-1 (7-6)

Paterno's House

Joe Paterno transferred full ownership of his house to his wife sue for $1 back in July, four months before the Sandusky scandal broke.
I bring this up not because I think Paterno was trying to avoid the consequences of a civil suit against him -- that's too much of a stretch.
I'm sure this was just part of his estate planning for his impending death.
I'm more interested in the real aspect of it.
The Paternos bought the house for $58,000 in 1969. A pretty hefty sum in those days. The fair-market value of the house currently is $595,000. Which i a very nice house, especially in State College. The average home value there is $202,000 according to the latest Coldwell Banker survey of home prices in college football towns.
It's actually kind of quaint that the Paternos never upgraded to a nicer house, even though they could have.

But here's what some experts the New York Times interviewed about the transaction said:

Lawrence A. Frolik, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who specializes in elder law, said that he had “never heard” of a husband selling his share of a house for $1 to his spouse for tax or government assistance purposes.

“I can’t see any tax advantages,” Frolik said. “If someone told me that, my reaction would be, ‘Are they hoping to shield assets in case if there’s personal liability?’ ” He added, “It sounds like an attempt to avoid personal liability in having assets in his wife’s name.”

Two lawyers examined the available documents in recent days. Neither wanted to be identified because they were not directly involved in the case or the property transaction. One of the experts said it appeared to be an explicit effort to financially shield Joe Paterno. The other regarded the July transaction, at least on its face, as benign.

Joe Paterno's house

So it remains to be seen how this house, the site of the disgusting riots by Penn State students, continues to play a role in this unseemly scandal.

Another Cool Tradition

We know everyone loves the serial photographs tentatively titled "Looking out the Door in Maine" , but there is also another series of pictures we've been taking. Each year at Halloween at Demarest Farms in front of the "How Tall This Fall?" sign.

about three foot four this year
how tall with daddy
how tall with mommy

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Song of the Week

"All for You" - Sister Hazel
This one was huge sophomore year of college. I am old.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 10

Winning Isn't Everything, It's the Only Thing
How do you win a game when you have only two complete passes? Just ask the Denver Broncos. Tim Tebow went 2 for 8 for 69 yards and a touchdown. Amazingly that is a 102 passer rating. The Broncos ran a version of a college option and it worked. 55 runs, 8 pass attempts. And a win. In fact, the Broncos are 3-1 with Tebow as the starting quarterback. But I still insist this can't last forever. Teams will either figure out how to stop it or Tebow will get hurt. Or Tebow will get hurt because teams figure out how to stop it.

He Who Passes Most, Loses
Despite calls that the NFL is now a passing league, Tebow points out an interesting trend. In every single game this weekend, except one (Eagles-Cardinals), the team that had fewer pass attempts won the game.

Note: Patriots and Jets both attempted 39 passes.

There were a few big blowouts where passing teams like the Texans and Packers didn't need to attempt a lot of passes. But for the most part I think this is a trend every week. You have to pass to get ahead, but you have to run to stay ahead.

For years I have been calling for coaches to be more aggressive on 4th and short situations but Atlanta's Mike Smith took it too far. For any gamble you need to evaluate the risk and the reward and the likelihood of each. With 4th and 1 at his own 29-yard line, Smith decided to go for it. He missed and the Saints won. The reason this was so bad is because the risk was so great (turn it over there and it's almost a guaranteed loss) and the reward so minimal (still a long way to go to win the game). Aggressive, but foolish gamble by Smith.

Is It Too Early?
The Green Bay Packers are almost halfway there, so it seems like a good time to review their chances for a perfect season. I definitely see the Packers rolling over the ExpensiveCornPrices this week, setting up a matchup against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. If they get through that they have the Giants Raiders and Chiefs. If they get to 14-0, they will likely have clinched home field (unless Niners are 13-1). And that's where the problem starts. The last two games are home games, but they're against Chicago and Detroit. Two good teams, who will likely have a hell of a lot more to play for than Green Bay will. So enjoy the Thanksgiving Day game, but don't count on a perfect season.

Brief Rant About the Redskins
John Beck couldn't move the offense. Rex Grossman moves the offense, then turns it over. They are just atrocious right now, they cannot score touchdowns. Five field goal attempts. In the last 3 games, the Redskins have 1 touchdown, and it was in garbage time against San Fran. And rookie wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, the lone bright spot, had 106 yards, then got hurt and is out for the season. 3-13 is a definite possibility.

Picture of the Week
Another one of my favorite underrated players is Bengals defensive lineman Domata Peko. Here he is sacking Ben Roethlisberger. If not for Troy Polamalu, Peko would have the Head and Shoulders endorsement. Also, look at Ben Roethlisberger's left shoe. That detail takes a good picture and makes it awesome.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Green Bay Packers 45 Pittsburgh Steelers 7
I really can't figure out the AFC. There are no really good teams. I honestly feel like the Chargers have another late season run in them and by late Decemeber they could be in this space.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm a Douche

I am addicted to my Blackberry and I can't possibly imagine going a day without it. That's why I climbed to the top level of the parking garage to retrieve it when I left it in the car.
When I get in the elevator to leave each day I check to make sure I have it. The other day I checked 3 pockets (left pants, left jacket, inside jacket) and couldn't find it. So I stepped out of the elevator, right before the doors closed. Then I put my hand in my right jacket pocket and found my blackberry. So I stepped back on the elevator, right before the doors closed.
Maybe this isn't soooooo douchey but I haven't posted one of these in 3 years (it can't be for lack of doing douchey things, can it?) so I thought I was due.
Plus I'm pretty sure the guy who was in the elevator waiting to go downstairs thought it was pretty douchey.

The Best Penn State/Sandusky Jokes

At Penn State you can now major in minors.

An older woman who goes after young men is a cougar. An older man who goes after young boys is a Nittany Lion.

The Penn State Creamery discontinued the Jerry Sandusky ice cream flavor. It was banana with whipped cream and a smear of chocolate.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how old is Sandusky's boyfriend?

Say what you want about Jerry Sandusky, but he always drives slowly through a school zone.

One time Jerry Sandusky was on a plane full of kids from his Second Mile charity. The pilot said the plane was going to crash. Sandusky said "we have to save the children." Someone else said "fuck the children." Sandusky replied "do you think we have the time?"

Jerry Sandusky was always the first one ready to leave the team hotel the morning after road games. He had his shit packed the night before.

Thanks to Golzilla, Albino and JLeary for their contributions.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another Penn State Institution Tainted

The Berkey Creamery, the ice cream store located on the Penn State campus, had an ice cream called “Sandusky Blitz.”
The flavor — described on their web site as “banana flavored ice cream with chocolate covered peanuts and caramel swirl,” was pulled from the store's menu and website.
But Peachy Paterno is still for sale.

Weekly Picks

Last week was my worst week of the season. I got only one point and I was fortunate to get even that much. Saints almost pushed, and Cardinals won in overtime. I'm still shocked by the Miami result and I would probably pick against them this week if they weren't playing the only team in the NFL with a worse offense, the Redskins.

PHILADELPHIA -13 1/2 arizona
No way they lose two home games in a row. Now the question is can they win by two touchdowns. It's about time for the Eagles to explode on offense and the defense should be able to shut down John Skelton.

GREEN BAY -12 1/2 minnesota
The last time they played Minnesota kept it close. I don't see that happening this time. Aaron Rodgers is on another level.

buffalo +5 DALLAS
I still want to believe the Bills were not an early season mirage. If they lose this game big, I guess it means they were.

CINCINNATI +4 1/2 pittsburgh
It's Week 10 and I still haven't picked a home dog. It's never too late. The Bengals might actually be a good team. Andy Dalton and the defense should be able to keep things close.

CAROLINA -3 1/2 tennessee

There has to come a point where Cam Newton's great performances start paying off in wins and losses. I think that comes this week against a Tennessee team that is very cold after a strong start.

Last week: 2-3 (1 points)
Season: 23-22 (24 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (5-4)
Home Favorites: 2-3 (10-11
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-0)
Road Favorites: 0-0 (6-6)
Road Underdogs: 0-0 (7-5)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

He Really Knows How To Drill His Players

In addition to the embarrassing title of his biography "Touched" by Jerry Sandusky, this picture emerges from Sandusky's instructional video

Jery Sandusky grabs a kid's ass

Friday, November 11, 2011

The TallSkott School of Crisis Management

Many years ago TallSkott chatted with some girls on the internet and made a plan to meet them at the Staten Island Mall. When he got to the meeting place he saw the girls were unattractive and he called his father for advice.
"Dad what should I do?"
"Be a man, Scotty. Go meet with them."
TallSkott ignored this advice and stood up the ugly girls.

But even TallSkott would not have done what Penn State Assistant Coach Mike McQueary did.

McQueary, by his own account, witnessed Jerry Sandusky anally raping a young boy in the shower. And the first thing he did was call his father to ask for advice.

And his father told him he should leave the premises immediately and come to his house. Don't confront Sandusky, don't make a noise or something to let Sandusky know you're there and certainly don't call the cops. Call your father, and then leave the scene.

You witnessed a crime. Your first instinct should be to protect the child. Then you call police. The fact that he decided to call his dad first, and to think about his own career before the welfare of the child, is leading to the rise of a lot of conspiracy theories.

Did McQueary know he had some reason not to report Sandusky to police? Was he rewarded for his silence with an assistant coaching job?

And that's what makes this whole situation so difficult. With as much as we do know, there is still a lot we don't.

McQueary, who was initially hailed as the only person willing to report this behavior, is now being cast as a villain for his inaction. He even received death threats. And that is why he will not be on the sidelines for the game against Nebraska. If Paterno got fired for his dithering, I think McQueary deserves the same fate.

I Can't Wait to Take This Luckbox to Atlantic City

Fresh off his big win playing Deal or No Deal in Maine Chase had an even bigger score at Point Pleasant, this time playing Wheel of Fortune.

The game starts with you spinning the wheel to see how many tickets you are playing for. Chase spun and landed on the tiny sliver with the silver 500 (the highest point total).

Then you see a puzzle with a few of the letters filled in, then you get to choose 3 letters from among all the other ones that are actually in the answer. We picked N, E & T, and got 500 tickets for each letter. Then we solved the puzzle "INDEPENDENT FILMS" and saw our winnings, 3500 tickets.

The tickets printed for what seemed like days. They just kept coming and coming until there was a huge mess on the floor.

Then we realized the machine had run out of tickets are we were still owed 1100. When they refilled the machines, the tickets came pouring out again. Chase was in awe, people were in shock, everyone was making a huge deal out of the little boy who won more tickets than they'd ever seen.

And after the game machine spit them out we had to feed them into another machine to count them. And turns out each ticket was actually worth 10, so in total we got more than 38,000 tickets.

We traded them in for 140 tickets to the rides (normal value: $50) and Chase also got a Mack from Cars. And we still left with a voucher for another 2000 tickets.

In all we spent about $12 on games ($3 on the winning Wheel of Fortune) plus an extra $6 in parking because we had to stay an extra hour to do all this.

My only regret is that it took me so long to post this.