Sunday, September 30, 2007


Well, it's early (and we're playing the Jets), but the Bills are at least moving the ball against the Jets, making first downs, and keeping the defense off the field a little bit. The sustained drive is something we have failed miserably at through the first three games. Maybe Trent Edwards is going to be the Man in Buffalo at QB.

Midway through the 3Q, Bills just scored on a run by rookie Marshawn Lynch, the tough kid from Cal (funny, Edwards is a rookie from Stanford, and our coach is from Yale, and GM from Harvard). Bills up 7-0 and actually have more first downs than the Jets, after running up a 35-74 deficit in this categorey over the past three weeks.

Jets came down and scored to tie it up, Pennington (Jets QB from Marshall) is clutch like that. (He's no Morelli.) But Bills answered with a solid drive and a field goal 10-7. Plus, we're still leading in first downs. Whoopie. We might have a chance hear without having to rely totally on luck, as we were hoping for in the opener vs. the Broncos.

Halfway through the fourth quarter, Bills get stuffed on the one on third down, after an interception and facemask call on the Jets give the Bills the ball deep in New York territory. Bills are going for the field goal. As a fan, I was going to say I was agains this, but the Bills changed up, as I'm typing this (following a timeout)- and end up going for it, and scored on a play action fake - Edwards to Gaines, this new tight-end we picked up who has made a few plays. Bills lead 17-7. I guess fans can be right sometimes!

Jets, of course, march right down in score in about three minutes. Even with the time-of-possession and first d0wn advantage (which has now disappeared) our defense is gassed in the fourth quarter - again! Now we've got to see if we can get a couple more first downs to close it out. Should be interesting.

Well, that sucks, Bills went three-and-out. Had a third-and-three after two decent runs, and then threw it. Pass was broken up. No first down, clock stops. Double-sucky-whammy. We have a great punter who got it down field to the 25. Jets have to go like 50 yards to kick and tie it.
-Jets completion for 11 yards
- Jets completion for 4 yards (clock running)
-Jets completion for 2 yards (clock running :52 seconds, tick, tick)
-Third-and-five, swing pass, for gain of one (27 seconds left, Jets call final TO)
-Fourth and three at Jets 44-yard-line. First down near mid-field (21 second left, clock stops top move the chains... must have gone out of bounds)
- Incomplete pass on first down (17 seconds left)
- Second and 10 at the 50, caought and out-of-bounds at Bills 40. That sucks. We let them complete the out. Jets do have a big leg kicker (11 seconds left)
- from shotgun, INTERCEPTION - Terrance Magee - he's a player.


Wade Philips and Cowboys coming in next Monday.


Let the Yankee-hating begin. The Bronx Bombers will be opening their 2007 playoffs against none other than the Cleveland Indians, down the road at Jacobs Field. First game match-up looks like a good one, with Yankees 19-game winner Chien-Ming Wang (yeah, he last name is Wang, but pronounced Waung) going against Indians Cy Young-candidate C.C. Sabathia. Interestingly enough, Sabathia, a 6-foot-seven, hefty left-hander, has barely pitched against the Yankees in his career. Obviously, he's a helluva pitcher, having thrown 241 innings this year, striking out 209 and walking only 37. A two-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio is usually considered good. The Indians have also won his last six starts, with C.C. picking up wins in five of them.

The Yankees hitters are famously patient, but it doesn't appear that will do them much good vs. C.C. And, of course, having a heavily left-handed team designed to accel at Yankee Stadium won't help much either. Lefties have hit only .203 vs. Sabathia this year. In the Yankees favor, however, is the fact that A-Rod is right-handed.

Other Yankee positives, I think, are that Jacobs field is a power hitters' park and the Yankees led the league in home runs. Also, Wang is a sinker-baller, and if he keeps it down, the Tribe will be pressed to generate offense.

The weather report looks promising with temperatures in the '70s all week, so this should enable the teams to play mid-season-form ball, instead of the much colder, pitching-heavy version of the game that I call Fall Ball. Anyhow, I look for the Yanks and Wang to pull an upset in game one and come away with a 4-3 win.

Check back with me on Thursday.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Koehler Landmark

I've pretty much held off saying anything about this Koehler site development stuff because I have a friend that's involved with it. The the letter to the editor that appeared in today's Erie-Times regarding it was kind of amusing. I guess the thing that gets me is the bemoaning of that fact that an "Erie landmark" was destroyed. If old, crumbling, deserted buildings pass for landmarks in this town (and remember the developers reportedly tried to save the building until is was found to be structureally unsound), well let's just say, we are desparetely in need of some re-development. Does anyone realize that the Niagra has been rebuilt like three times and that the current version doesn't contain any of the original materials. Yeah, it's kind of cool to be nostalgic, but stuff gets old and broken down, and sometimes we need to move on.

Speaking of which, the Yankees 20-year-old pitcher Philip Hughes threw six strong innings last night, albiet against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Torre has already announced that Wang and Pettite will start the first two games of the playoffs, and Clemens, assuming he's healthy will likely go the third game. The fourth game will then likely fall to either Hughes or Mussina, who starts tonight. Should be fun.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Foust Plan

I think City leaders have to be crapping their pants over this recent proposal by Erie County Councilman Kyle Foust to give the city some $23 million basically for control of the aiport, EMTA, the Zoo, and Erie Golf Course. Clearly, Erie needs the money, but they would be asked to give up control of some of their biggest assets. It would quite a transition of power, but one, in my opinion that needs to get done.

We've been discussing the benefits of a regional government for some years now, and I don't see anything bad about pooling more resources, the region, toward one common goal of a healhy economic community. More people and more resources simply get more things done when working together, than several splinter groups.

Yeah, the city has held a position of power for many years, but (as Dylan says) "Times, they are achangin'." The tax base is moving out to the County, so the County needs to seize control. I know it will be painful for people on City Council (and probably the mayor's office too) to deal with, giving up some of the power they've worked so hard to obtain (you can see some of this in Jenkins' quote in the artcle), but like Nietzsche says, the most honorable thing you can do is give yourself up for the Overman and the greater good, and it's time for the City to capitulate to the County.

I'm not saying Foust is offering the perfect deal, as with all deals there is probably some negotiating that needs to be done to get the City a bigger piece of the pie than what is now on the table. But Foust's concept is sound. Didn't I say yesterday we need to focus on the Airport and Golf Course is we want to attract tourists? EMTA and the Zoo also follow under the same categorey (I think EMTA does at least).

I say we need to move forward with Foust's plan as a step toward a regional government. Let's see what happens.



Yankees apologist

I always feel I am defending the Yankees, maybe because I have a guilty consious, or maybe just because people around here seem to hate them. At least the Indians have a better record than the New York-based Evil Empire this year, so that has kept their fans mostly quiet. Although with a New York-Cleveland first-round playoff series looming, it could get ugly if the Yankees win. (I might want to take down that flag I put up last week.) Anyhow, I still here it from Pirate fans how the Yankees are ruining baseball by buying their way into the playoffs every year.

However, this theory would seem to be in contrast with this article that appeared in today's paper, saying that the game is healthier than ever, and in fact, there is more parity than ever.

My basic Yankees aplogogist tenent has been that the Yankees have always bought their way to the top, so they're not ruining anything, rather they are just continuing the tradition of how the professional version of the National Pastime has always been played out. Granted, making the playoffs 13 years in a row is a team records, but it's not that far of a cry from the period of 1949-1964 when the Yankees made the playoffs 14 out of 16 years, and finished second and third the other two years... mearning under today's expanded playoff structure, they likely would have made the playoffs 16 years in a row, and maybe 18 or 19 if you go back to 1947 and/or 1946, because they finished third in 1948, first in '47 and third in '46. If you're really liberal and let a fourth place finish in 1945 slide in, you could say, that if the top four teams in each league always make the playoffs (as conceivably they could today), the Yankees could have conceivably made the playoffs everty year from 1926 to 1964, which is almost 40 straight years.

Just something to think about.



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yankees clinch?

Sounds like the Yanks area about to clinch a playoff spot tonight for I think the 11th straight year, does that sound right? Since 1995, the year before Torre started, which was also Don Mattingly's last year. The Big Unit, an old nemisis (unfortunately, he remained a nemisis even after we signed him) and his Mariners knocked us out of the playoffs that year. Been in every year since. I guess that's a pretty incredible string, even if you have the highest payroll this side of the Itatian Premier League. However, I might add that the Cowboys, Raiders, Vikings, and Rams all seemed like they had similar streaks in the NFL back when I was a kid. Sooner or later that Yankees will falter won't they. I mean the Bills made four straight Super Bowls and look at them now.

Anyhow, I'm trying to catch the game on WCBS, but because of the rain, the reception blows. I heard the end of a Cano home run that "broke it open." I think their up like 12-1.

Read an intersting column today, don't remember where, the suggested a wild-card play-in round be added to give teams some incentive for winning the division. However, I really don't think we need an extra round of playoffs, seeing how the World Series is already bumping up near the beginning of November. I love baseball and all, but as I said before, we're really starting to get into football season.



Airport runway

Slow night in sports, so I'll turn to some local news. You know, you read stories about millions of dollars in government funding being spent on projects that don't make any sense. For example, there is this piece about $2 million being spent to beef up marketing and research associated with PA wines. I don't know about you, but I've tried many and really haven't been able to cultivate a tatse for PA wines. So, maybe the money will be well spent, but I don't know, can't we just leave the wine industry to Napa Valley, where they already know what they're doing?

Anyhow, I just wanted to point out that of all the government funded projects, the expansion of the runway at the Erie Airport seems to make the most sense, yet we seem to having a helluva time getting it done. My most basic logic goes like this: If you are going to invest 100s of millions of dollars in maknig this place a tourism center - and there is still lots of work to be done in that area - you could at least make sure you're airport is capable of getting people here.

It looks like the plans for this runway expansion continue, but that fact that there is still questions about whether or not this gets done really irks me. In my opinion, this should be like priority number one (that and re-opening Erie Golf Course) is we really want to execute on our vaunted tourism strategy.

I'm not sure who this R. Kingen is, but he put together a great letter to the editor that appears in today's paper, asking for an investigation into some of the delays associated with the runway expansion. He seems to blame the failed German cargo airfield deal as acting as a roadblock because it called for a longer runway than would have been otherwise needed and through some extra kinks in the planning. Anyhow, we need to continue to push to get thing done, no matter what the cost, unless someone has a better vision than the tourism thing....



Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hound of Heaven

The Blood, Sweat and Tears song reminded me of the Francis Thompson poem "Hound of Heaven." You might want to check it out.

I have also written a poem about being relentlessly pursued (I was in grad school at the time, so it fits). I'll dig it out and post it. You'll get a kick out of it. I modeled it after Poe's "The Raven."

In other news, it's good to see the Steelers go to 3-0 (although rooting for the Vikings is a lot like rooting for the Bills these days, I imagine; seems like they find a way to lose more often than not).


Dyin' and such

Been dealin with some issues lately that have tested my courage. At one point last week, somebody asked me if I wasn't afraid I would get shot. Since then, I've had this ole' Blood, Sweat & Tears tune runnin' through my head. Here's the lyrics:

I'm not scared of dying,
And I don't really care.
If it's peace you find in dying,
Well then let the time be near.
If it's peace you find in dying,
And if dying time is here,
Just bundle up my coffin
'Cause it's cold way down there.
I hear that its cold way down their.
Yeah, crazy cold way down their.

Chorus: And when I die, and when I'm gone,
There'll be one child born
In this world to carry on, to carry on.

Now troubles are many,
they're as deep as a well.
I can swear there ain't no heaven
but I pray there ain't no hell.
Swear there ain't no heaven
and I pray there ain't no hell,
But I'll never know by living,
only my dying will tell.
Yes only my dying will tell.
Yeah, only my dying will tell.

Chorus Give me my freedom for as long as I be.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me,
And all I ask of dying is to go naturally.
Oh I want to go naturally.

Here I go,
Hey Hey!
Here comes the devil,
Right Behind.
Look out children,
Here he comes!
Here he comes!

Don't want to go by the devil.
Don't want to go by demon.
Don't want to go by Satan,
Don't want to die uneasy.
Just let me go naturally.
and when I die,
When I'm dead, dead and gone,
There'll be one child born in our world to carry on,
To carry on. Yeah, yeah...

Yeah, I kinda guezz I got three chitlens in this world to carry on for me. But, my ole' friend Beane, that one goes out to you. We used to listen to Blood, Sweat, and Tears Greatest Hits on the 8-track player in his parents ole' Impala back in the mid-'80s. And we sure the hell weren't scared of dyin then either.

Anyhow, carry on.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Steelers' coach

Dr. Dee: Thought you'd get a kick out of this quote from new Steelers' coach Mike Tomlin:

"Wednesday's a big day for us. Thursday's a big day for us. It's not just Sunday,'' he said after a 37-16 win over the 49ers made the Steelers (and Tomlin) 3-0. "The journey's what's important, not the destination.'' (lifted it from Peter's King's column on

Tomlin was the Vikings D-coordinator before taking the Stillers job.


Football weekend

Just on a quick, cursory glance, looks like I'm 14-5 heading into tonight and Joey is 11-8, so that's a good start for dear ole' Dad... Maybe it has something to due with the official arrival of fall, but it sure started to feel like football this weekend up here in Western PA. Despite the fact the, as Dr.D said, baseball is heading down the stretch run (and the Yanks maintained their 1.5 game deficit behind Bosox and 5.5 game lead over Tiggers for wild card), it's hard to resist the strong call of the pigskin in these parts. I missed both Yankees wins this weekend because of football commitments.

On Friday, at least I was able to resist heading over the Gus Anderson field for the annual Prep-McDowell spat, but that was mainly because Gus is a "field" and not a stadium, and it's pretty hard to get a decent seat unless you show up really early. I just don't have that much invested in that game.

But, for some reason, the Penn State-Michigan game was really calling me Saturday afternoon. I tuned in a few minutes after kickoff and saw some solid, hard-hitting Big 10 football for about an hour and a half. Finally, though, I had to turn it off right at halftime, because both quarterbacks were bad. At least the Michigan kid, a 6 foot-seven, 250-pound freshman, has some potential. This Morelli kid from Penn State, despite JoePa's constant defense of him, looked bad. He is pretty innacurate and missed a sure touchdown by throwing a ball three-feet over a kid's head on a third-down crossing route. You can forgive a lot of things in a quarterback if he's clutch....

Our neighbor had us over yesterday. He, like I, is a Bills' fan, which is rapidly turning into some sort of disease I'd like to get rid of. The Bills got squashed again, but Matt had a great setup with the TV in the backyard, and BBQ going, and the kids all running around playing football and other games around us.

Of course, we were hooting and hollering when the Bills rookie back-up QB came off the bench and led the Bills on a marvelous TD drive to take a 7-3 lead. However, Tom Brady, and our old friend Mr. Moss, as well some other familiar faces like Sammy Morris (another ex-Bill come back to haunt us) and Wes Welker, the former Dolphin scrapper, did us in.

Next week, Bills are at home vs. the Jets, so it could mean a win. That's also the last day of the MLB regular season... On a somewhat related note, we are continuing to enjoy wonderful weather up here. Next two days, they're calling for highs in the mid-'80s, but with this breeze blowing through and the cool nights, as I said last week, you really couldn't ask for more.

Anyhow, hope everyone else had a good weekend, as well.



Saturday, September 22, 2007

Football picks

My son Joey, 8, and I did our football picks for this week's Money Mania contest (no point spread, just pick winners).

Joey's picks: College: Mercyhurst, Edinboro, Penn State, Uconn, PRO: Baltimore, Jets, San Diego, Kansas City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Indy, New England, Detroit, Cincy, Denver, Cleveland, Carolina, Washington, New Orleans (42 points)

My picks: College: Mercyhurst, 'Boro, Michigan, Pitt, Arizona, Jets, San Diego, KC, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Indy, New England, Philly, Cincy, Jacksonville, Oakland, Carolina, Washington, New Orleans (also, 42 points)

We'll check back on this next week.

The Yankees All-Star Team

I watched a few innings of the Yankees/Blue Jays game yesterday. The Yankees tied the game 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth but went on to lose in 14 innings.

I only watch baseball in the fall, which means, more or less, after September 21, so I don't know a lot about the game. But the point I want to make is that watching the Yankees, for me, is like watching an all-star team. Alex Rodriguez is a giant man who has 143 RBI and a shitload of home runs. In fact, the entire lineup is filled with great names: Damon, Jeter, Giambi, Rodriguez, Abreu, Matsui, Posada.

Wow. I wonder how they ever lose. Then I watch the Blue Jays, and the lineup is filled with players I've never heard of. I don't know how other teams manage to beat the Yankees at all, because, as they showed last night in the ninth inning, when the game is on the line, they can send up batter after batter who will make you tremble in your cleats.

Funny thing is, they probably won't win the World Series this year. I say this because they typically have the best team on paper and yet they don't win the World Series year after year. In fact, if I were a betting man, I would bet against them, despite what I've said in this column.

Maybe it's the magic of baseball that keeps one team from winning every year. The bounces are funny and the coaching is crucial. And maybe there is so much talent in the league that the Yankees can't dominate like they once did, even if I haven't heard of the players from the other teams.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Belichick genius?

For all this talk about what a genius Bill Belichick is, let's remember, his record with the Patriots before Tom Brady took over as the starting quarterback was 5-13. And is record with the Browns in five years prior to getting fired was 36-44. So, his cumlative record without Tom Brady is 41-57, for a winning percentage of 42%. His record with Brady at the helm, including playoffs, is 85-25, for a winning percentage of 77%. So, who's the genious here?

Also, remember, if Bledsoe never got hurt, who's to say Brady is starting even today? Yes, Belichick had enough wisdom to elevate Brady in his second year to second string, past two incumbent back-ups, but still if Bledsoe doesn't get hurt vs, the Jets in 2001, is Belichick even still coaching the Pats today? So, you wonder why he is insecure and has to cheat.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

THE Yaaankeeeeees Win!

Well, if you haven't noticed the Yankees have won 12 out of 14 and pulled within 1 1/2 of the Red Sox, who are apparently waiting to turn Manny loose until they really have to. I suspect that Sox may be a better team than the Yanks with Manny in the line-up, but if he's not there, they are definitely not. Plus, for the second year in a row, their bullpen seems to be coming undone at the end of the season. I'm not saying Papelbon isn't a great pitcher, but he sat out the last month last year with arm trouble, and he seems to be struggling a bit now. Gagne, of course, has been a total disaster, and the Japanese set-up man has apparently "hit a wall," after pitching shorter seasons in Japan. Dice-K may be hitting this same wall. Of course, come the playoffs, if these guys bounce back, the Sox potentialy have a very deep bullpen. Add that with two and a half great clutch hitters (Lowell, Ortiz, and Ramirez - I've only giving Lowell half credit, which may come back to haunt me), and some potentially strong starting pitching and you've got a potentially dangerous playoff team.

The Yankees are a little more ragged. They've been winning lately, but I'm not sure their players have the postseason pedigree to succeed. Joba Chamberlain has really been the key to this final resurgence, but I know the Yankees don't want to push him too far. So, we'll see. If he leads us to the World Series, great, but you have to remember he is a true rookie who appeared in 14 games for Nebraska last year and 18 the year before that. This year, he had 15 starts before he even came to the Yankees, and now he has appeared in over a dozen games in the bigs as a reliever. The rest of the staff is fairly uninspiring as far as I'm concerned-either over the hell or too young. We do have some bats, but pitching is paramount when it comes to the playoffs.

Last night, the Yanks apparently got a great performance out of Andy Pettite, who's been pretty hot lately, excepting a disastrous start vs. the Bosox last Friday. I was busy with some work, and didn't turn the game on until about 9:30, when there were two outs, and two on in the top of the ninth at Yankee Stadium, will the Rivera on the hill. He loaded the bases with a walk before striking out a batter to close things out. I was struggling with the position of my radio to get a signal from 880 AM WCBS in New York. After losing it a couple times, I was rewarded by John Sterling's signature call at the end of the game. This is not from last night's game, but here's a taste of Mr. Sterling, which should give you an idea of what you're missing if you're not tuning in.

Over the top, yeah. But at least he's got his thing. Not to mention a female color commentator. These are just some of the things that make the Yankees great.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

King George Inn in Allentown

I found a great pub in Allentown last Friday. It's called the King George Inn. It's been located at an important local crossroads since 1756. Lots of beautiful wood inside, particularly the bar itself. I had a pint of Guinness and oysters on the half shell. Really good.

They had the Yankees/Red Sox game on the TV, and nobody in the whole joint was smoking.

They have fine dining as well, inside or outside. Apparently their head chef has been named Chef of the Year in Allentown.

Definitely my kind of place.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Prophet

We've had some pretty insightful posts here over the past week. First, I'd like to offer some kudos to Dr.D for his setiments on Mike Mussina. It indeed appears as if it was too early to give up on the Moose as he threw seven innings of three-hit shutout ball tonight in what looks like will be an easy win for the Yanks. Their up 12-0 after eight. Meanwhile, the Manny-less Bosox lost. Gagne blew the game in the bottom of the eighth, giving up three runs, after two were out and none were on. Wow, has he been a bust for the Bosox so far. Lester, the kid who came back from cancer pitched almost seven strong innings, giving up only one run, before giving way to the suddently ineffective Boston pen. Their lead is down to 2.5 over the Yanks, who are now 4.5 ahead of Detroit. Anyways, looks like the Bombers might get their chance this fall after all. I want to say they're like 15-3 over the past couple weeks.

Back to the prophet stuff, I ran a post about O.J.'s great 1973 season first thing Friday morning last week. This kicked off a dialogue between myself and Dr.D about whether or not he was insane and if this insanity helped him achieve greatness on the gridiron. Little did we know that the night before this post, O.J. had invaded a hotel room in an armed robbery that would by Friday afternoon catapult him back into the center of the media storm. I'd like to say we had it hear first, and in some respects we did. We actually broke the discussion of O.J.'s insanity several hours before any other media outlets began discussing basically the same thing. See, you are smarter if you stop by Ralph's Place.



Yanks win again

Not the prettiest of wins. Farnsworth blew up in the ninth, which is a bad sign, but we pulled it out. We're within 3.5 of the Bosox, and now an equal number in front of the Tiggers-who blew one against the Tribe last night. Mussina on the hill tonight vs. his old team-the O's. Bosox have to deal with A.J. Burnett. I wonder when Manny is coming back.



Monday, September 17, 2007

Ricky Henderson

One of my all-time favorites. Jeff Passan, who does a solid column for Yahoo!, interviews him here and discusses (what else?) base stealing. The column points out that as home run numbers have dropped (more juice testing) base stealing numbers are picking back up. And what's interesting, is that stealers are succeeding at a higher percentage than in the past. I find it fascinating, for example, that A-Rod, in additional to his 50 HRs and 150 RBIs, is approaching 30 steals, and almost never gets caught. The stolen base as a weapon is very much back in vogue, but managers/players are being more cautious about when they go.

Hendeson, for example, stole 130 bases (a record) one year, but he also get caught 40 times. Tim Raines stole a zillion bases at the same time, and there were guys like Vince Coleman and Willie Wilson running around as well. In fact, the stolen base really characterized early '80s baseball very well. That was at the height of articial turf, cocaine use (instead of steroids, which characterized the power days of the late 1990s), and everything was fast, even the junk bond trading and Miami Vice. Then, of course, it all collapsed, and we've only began to rebuild that art of the stolen base. Artificial turf is also making a comeback on football fields as least. Can concaine and junk bonds be far behind? I think they already tried to bring back Miami Vice, but mercifully failed. Then again, with YouTube arguably becoming new version of MTV, who knows what could appear next.

Carry on.


Great Sports Weekend

Well, we made it down to the Bills-'Stillers game in the 'Burg yesterday. It was a beautiful day for football, but as I heard someone in the crowd on the way out say, "What day isn't?" Anyhow, it about the low '60s and sunny and at about 10:30 a.m. I was standing by the grill, with a freshly charcoaled Bratworst in my hand, laid on top of a pepper stuffed with priscuto and parmesan, drinking a cold Labbat's -and well, I've been to some really nice restaurants in my time, but in my book, it just doesn't get much better than that.

Anyhow, it was a great day for football, but not for the Bills, as they got shellacked 23-3. Really, couldn't move the ball in the first half, couldn't really stop the Steelers from moving up and down the field all game, and then couldn't punch it in the end zone when they did move it in the second half. Things ended badly when our best player, Lee Evans, got two unsportsmanlike penalty calls on our last drive.

Dick Jauron, a Yale man, is our coach, and I've seen one of stars on his teams, a defensive lineman on Lions a couple years ago, have a similar meltdown. As an educated guy, I think Jauron is giving his players a bit too much credit and may be a bit lax with them, which is why you have these outbursts. Hopefully, it doesn't lead to the team losing respect for the coach, because we have a enough problems already. Jauron seemed to have some sort of conservative game plan, in which the Bills didn't take too many chances yesterday. You hope this is designed to build confidence, which will manifest itself later in the season, as the squad gradually improves and finally starts to win ballgames. But, if the team quits on the coach before this master plan can come to fruition, (as they say in New York) Forget about it!

What do I know about football, now that Tom Brady-to-Randy Moss looks like the hottest combo in the league?

At least the baseball was good yesterday, with Jeter hitting a game-winning home run on Curt Schilling in the eighth, and then Mariano Rivera holding on for dear life in the ninth and getting David Ortiz to pop out with the bases loaded and the Yankees up 4-3. Yankees are really making a push for the postseason, with the Tigers and Red Sox hangin' tough, however.



More OJ

An audio tape of the recent OJ incident has now been released. You can hear OJ yelling and calling the guys in the hotel room "motherfuckers." OJ's a scary guy. You can hear it in his voice. I wouldn't want him to come busting into my hotel room, calling me a motherfucker. I'd be scared shitless.

Anyway, back to our OJ insanity discussion. He is either organically insane, which means he has some problems with his hard-wiring, or he's been conditioned by the people and circumstances around him to be anti-social. It's probably both. I know that he has faced adversity in his life, but so have lots of other people, and they don't make the terrible decisions that OJ makes.

Plus, despite his rough early years, OJ was treated like royalty for much of his professional life. Certainly at USC, with the Buffalo Bills, and then into into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, OJ has been treated like a god. He was also a movie star. But gods, if you look to Greek mythology, often behave in ways that are petulant and antisocial---because they can get away with it. Not a good situation for someone with latent schizoid or antisocial tendencies.

So, anyway, OJ would never even think of calling the local police and telling them, "I have reason to believe that there are men in a local hotel who are attempting to sell stolen merchandise that belongs to me. I want it back. Can you help?"

Instead, he takes matters into his own hands. He gets a few of his thug buddies and crashes the party. I mean, is that stupid or insane? I can't tell. If it can be proven that there were guns involved, OJ is in big trouble. Armed robbery is a felony. It doesn't matter if some of the memorabilia once belonged to OJ. That's for the courts to sort out. Any way you slice it, it is a serious crime to walk into a hotel room with an armed posse.

But OJ thinks he's above the law and he has good reason for that opinion. He got away with double homicide once, so he problably doesn't consider this latest escapade as any kind of offense at all, after all, nobody was killed. This makes him all the more dangerous.

He is in jail right now without bond (because, of course, he is a flight risk). I won't be surprised if local law enforcement doesn't use this recent incident as an excuse to lock him up for as long as they can. And Johnny Cochran is dead, isn't he?

OJ should have stayed out of Vegas and kept playing golf in Florida. That's what any sane person would do.

Any sane person would say, "Thank you, God, for letting me beat that double-murder rap. I'm going to lay low for the rest of my life, get laid, play golf and eat good food."

Instead, he felt the need to write a book called If I Did It (insane or stupid?) and go venturing for his sports memorabilia.

I wonder what his family history is like. That would tell us a lot about why he makes such terrible choices on such a regular basis.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Giambi (tries to) Throws Game

Mark my words. I have no proof of this, but Jason Giambi is quite possibly throwing the game tonight for the Yanks vs. the Sox. He has two critical errors, and after walking the first two times up, his third time up, with the bases loaded, the normally patient Giambi swings at three pitches and goes down on strikes. I know he just had some sort of secret meeting with George Mitchell a couple weeks go about his steroids use. I wonder if that has anything to do with it....

No shit, right after I wrote that last paragraph, the strangest turn of events ocurred. The Yankees are down 7-2 going into the top of the eighth, with, who else, but Giambi leading off. The announcer starts to say what a nice guy he is and how bad he must feel, and I'm thinking this is all B.S. and Giambi hits a home run. (Okay, so maybe he figured the game was out of reach and was trying to save face.) But then Cano hits a titanic home run. And then Cabrera walks, and Damon doubles... and so on, until the Yankees are suddenly winning 8-7. With A-Rod on second, the Yankees having a chance to extend their lead, Giambi comes up again and this time reverts to form and strikes out. He then gets pulled for a defensive replacement. All in all, still a curious turn of events. Still the Yankees might win, which means perhaps Mr. Giambi will turn up missing tomorrow.

Just some thoughts.



Kutztown University's New Professional Writing Blog


Next week, I'm going to make the announcement that the KU Professional Writing program has a new blog. It's at: I am the moderator. Feel free to stop by and comment. I'm trying to get the Professional Writing students to dial-in. As a professional writer yourself, you might enjoy the discussion.

Independent Study student Brian Robinson is also making revisions to the Kutztown University Professional Writing Group Website. The blog will actually link directly into the website, once Brian is finished with the changes. Pretty cool.

One last point: I'm officially literate in HTML. I'm not a wizard by any means; however, I can edit a document and clean up junk in HTML. It's pretty cool to get that "coded" look into the world of software. Helps you understand how it really works.


Justice Wears Many Clothes

The remainder of the article bout OJ was well-written. More AP:

"On Thursday, the Goldman family published a book about the killings that Simpson had written under the title, "If I Did It," about how he would have committed the crime had he actually done it. After a deal for Simpson to publish it fell through, a federal bankruptcy judge awarded the book's rights to the Goldman family, who retitled it "If I Did It: The Confessions of a Killer.""

I'm glad the Goldman Family are gaining some justice in all of this. They actually got to take over OJ's perspective on the matter, and tell it through his experience. Amazing. I'll bet the book does well. Maybe I should write a paper on this. It would all depend on whether or not I could see early drafts and compare them against final drafts. I guess it would all depend on what the family tells the publisher: confidential or not.

It would be a compelling comparison.


OJ in Trouble Again

From the Associated Press on Friday, September 14, 2007:

"LAS VEGAS - Investigators questioned O.J. Simpson and named him a suspect Friday in a confrontation at a casino hotel room involving sports memorabilia, but the actor and former football star denied breaking into the room. "

Full Story

Yanks, Juice

Well, the Yanks lost last night, after winning seven in a row. Got beat by A.J. Burnett, who at least the couple times I've paid attention has pitched pretty well against the Yanks. He throwing like 98 MPH to the corners of the plate last night. Ian Kennedy, the rookie who the Yankees called upon to replace Mussina in the rotation, actually pitched brilliantly, giving up one hit over eight innings. Unfortunately, the Jays rallied for a run in the ninth off a reliever to pull the game out. Two-out-of-three at Toronto is not bad. Now come the Red Sox, with some great pitching match-ups:
1. Tonight: Dice K vs. Pettitie
2. Saturday: Wang vs. Beckett (in what could be a battle for top dawg in the A.L.)
3. Sunday: Clemens vs. Schilling (old-timers day).

Anyhow, getting back to that great year 1973, when I was in kindergarten and apparently learend everything I needed to know. That was the year O.J. gained 2,000 yards (in 14 games), averaged six yards per carry, and played on a team where the quarterback, I'm not kidding, threw like five TD passes all year. That has to be one of the greatest years by an individual in any sport. However, for some reason, on YouTube, for instance, you can barely find a clip of O.J. running the ball that year. Finally, yesterday, I found this 12-second clip, which shows how incredible he was. Now, I realize O.J. joins Michael Vick in the all-NFL criminal backfield, but man, in the day, that fucker was a hell of a running back. I'm guessing as time goes by less and less people will remember him for this. The same will probably hold true for Vick, who also made some unbelievable, eye-popping runs in his career. I guess, like the Boss says, "Glory Days, well they'll pass you by...."



Thursday, September 13, 2007

Need to post a photo

Yankees win again

Another big win for the Yanks. I think it's seven in a row now, including two over Toronto. Good stuff, especially because Mussina pitched last night and went almost six scoreless innings. He was not great, he gave up like five hits, while the Yankees only had three of their own, but left the game with a 4-0 lead. How does that happen? Good fielding and clutch hitting mainly.

I love the Yanks' current line-up from top-to-bottom. The weakest hitter is probably Giambi at number seven, and even he has some pop. After him, you ramp it back up with Cano and Melky, and then the deadly top of the order.

A-Rod, of course, has been having a great season, but last night didn't really have a big hit and had a potentially costly error that enabled the Jays' only run to score. However, in true team fashion, the Yanks picked him up and made a couple plays to get out of a potentially dangerous inning. Yeah, I think, these Yankees are finally coming together as a team.

Teamwork is definitely a big plus in the pressure-filled playoffs and is some of what the Yankees have been lacking in recent years. However, if the Bosox don't start losing a few games, the Yanks are still going to be stuck with the Angels and the first round, and they kill us. I know I said the Bosox were punchless a couple nights ago after losing 1-0 to Tampa Bay. But, since then, they've had two come back wins vs. the Devil Rays, including a 5-4 win last night on a two-run Ortiz blast in the 9th. No, they're definintely not as strong without Manny, but they can still be formidable at home-which is where the Yankees have to go this weekend. We'll see. If Ramirez is still out, and I need to check on this, it could be very interesting. The Yanks could have a real shot at closing the gap. (Unfortunately, it looks like Ramirez will play.)

I'll get to something on the Yankees pitching later. Pennant races can be fun.



Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Larry Bird

The Tiny Archibald highlights got me thinking about Larry Bird. Tiny may have great moves, but when it comes to winning and heart, it's Larry Bird. Check out the video.

That particular video is a little blurry, so if you want more Bird, just search YouTube for Larry Bird Highlights.



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tiny Archibald

One more note, following up on my obsession with 1973, the year I was in kindergarten, and apparently learned everything I needed to know. I remember at the time seeing some sort of NBA pre-game/halftime special on Tiny Archibald, then of the Kansas City Kings. In 1972-73, Tiny Nate, who is listed at 6-1, 150, (and hails from the Bronx), averaged a league-high 34 points and 11.4 assists per game, leading the league in both categories-and no one else was even close. (Jabbar averaged 30 per game, and Lenny Wilkins dished out 8.4 assists per game.) Oh yeah, there was no three-point shots either to help the little man. Bob Cousy was the Kings coach and they somehow finished 36-46. Tiny never had another year like that.

Check out this video compilation of Tiny Nate highlights. How about those moves? Especially when he was with the Kings.



Godless Yankees

Sometimes I really do feel like I'm rooting for the Evil Empire - it's a good thing I have memories of Thurman Munson to keep me going. (By the way, the Bronx is Burning version of Thurm is exactly how I imagined him to be when I was a kid. )Anyhow, tonight the souless one, Jason Giambi, hits a grand slam to put the Yankees up 8-2 against the hapless Blue Jays. The Blue Jays absolutely outplayed the Yankees and should have been up like 5-0 (well maybe not that bad) after two innings, but for a great diving catch by Johnny Damon, a stupid baserunning mistake, and some poor fielding on their part. Instead, the Yankees were up 3-2. Not only are they good, they're catching breaks, and then Giambi of course goes yard, and I assume it's over. In Boston, Red Sox were down 8-4 but rallying. Nonetheless, without Manny, the Red Sox are a hell of a whole lot less scary, and almost punchless, dare I say. Next weekend is showdown time in Fenway.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yankees update

Not that anyone case, but the (hated) Yankees have a three-game series at Toronto, starting on Tuesday, and the pitchers scheduled to go are Philip Hughes, Mike Mussina, and Ian Kennedy, in that order. Two rookies sandwiching a struggling veteran who has been pulled from the regular rotation, but gets a start because of an injury to a guy (Clemens) even older than he is. Anyhow, with a four-game lead with 20 to play, you'd think the Yankees would have this wild-card thing locked up-with the way A-Rod is hitting and all. But, at Toronto, with three pitchers who are by no means locks to give you strong games, could set us back a little. This series bears close watching - by and for those who care, of course.

That's all.


NFL Week 1

Okay, so it appears I may be wrong about this whole Brady-Moss thing. I can only hold out hope that it is a 16-game season, and that week 1 was a fluke....

The Bills loss, however, appears to have been no fluke. Very typical. The Bills get outgained like three-to-one, but manage to hold the opposition out of the end zone for the most part and get a special teams touchdown. But, because they are so badly overmatched, they just can't stop the opposition down the stretch and end up losing a close game. Saw this a half-dozen times last year and already now in Week 1 this year.

Funny thing, watching ex-Bills coach Wade Philips make his debut with the Cowboys, who won. When Wade was with the Bills, they were the polar opposite of the team now - great defense, ball control offense, and terrible special teams. Now, our special teams are our only bright spot, although it seems that Marshawn Lynch, our new RB had a good game yesterday. Anyhow, Wade is wearing a headset now, one thing he was criticized for not doing in Buffalo. I hope he wins the Super Bowl...

That's about it for now. Hope everyone had a good weekend.