Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Conservative Michael Moore-wannabe arrested

At least that's the way I see James O'Keefe's arrest yesterday related to bugging the phones of a Democratic Senator. It's kind of an outrageous story. When I first read it, I figured they must have wanted to be caught - for publicity or something...or is this just what happens when conservatives try to get into the liberal game of sensationalized film exposes? I guess you could compare it to Watergate, which occurred at a time when most people thought Democrats owned dirty politics.

Anyhow, from what I've read, there is no way these guys thought they could get away with this, is there?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Vikings' Misfortune

I know we have a regular blog reader who is a longtime Vikings fan, going back to Joe Kapp and, of course, the legendary Bud Grant. My condolences to this fan after yesterday's travesty. The Vikings dominated the game statistically, only to be undone by an inordinate amount of inopportune turnovers, as well as a ridiculous, costly penalty. The fact that, as a Bills fan, I can manage sympathy for fans of a team that made their conference championship game should give you an idea of just how snakebitten their franchise seems to be.

The aforementioned Vikings fan and I have discussed this curse many times, and yesterday's game was just the latest example of the Minnesotans' knack for bad fortune in big games. At the beginning of the year, we discussed how due to karma, the Favre-Viking marriage was destined to end badly. So, really, yesterday's outcome may have been inevitable.

And, the way the pundits are writing it, the loss falls squarely on the shoulders of #4, due to his bad interception at the end of regulation. However, let it be noted here that it was not Favre's fault (I don't think) that 12 men were on the field previous to the play, resulting in the penalty that knocked the Vikings out of semi-comfortable field goal range and forced Favre to try the ill-fated pass in the first place. I mean the guy was playing on a very bad ankle and had just made a spectacular pass a few plays earlier to move the ball across midfield. It really came down to them asking him to do too much (especially those who keep asking, why didn't he just run for five yards?)

Anyhow, that's probably enough of a Favre apology. As I said, he kind of called the bad karma down upon himself, with enablement/help from the Vikings. I guess, as painful as it is for Vikings fans, who generally seem like a good lot, the team probably got what it deserved.

Final note: I really would like to see Favre come back next year for a couple of reasons:
1. He really had a great year and a second year with the same teammates has the potential to create even better results.
2. I'd hate to see his career end on that miserable interception.

However, you have to wonder if he can take it physically anymore. He seemed fine during the regular season, but the the conference championship looked like another level. The Saints really punished Favre, and I almost hate to see what the Colts (and their great pass rushers) would have done to him in the Super Bowl.

All said, it was an interesting season up in Minnesota and truly a great drama, albeit a bit tragic, played out for the Norsemen!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Great Carlton Fisk Column

Carlton Fisk is being portrayed as a bit of crusty old guy following his recent bashing of steroid users. I thought this portrayal was a bit unfair until I read Joe Posnanski's excellent column on the topic today. It's a bit long, so feel free to skim, but make sure you read the beginning and the end. (Full disclosure: I was a huge Thurman Munson fan growing up, so anything that attempts to put Fisk in his place has attraction to me. Sorry, Carlton, that's just the way it is.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Say it ain't so - Ralph

Reports out of Buffalo are that the Bills are getting ready to hire Chan Gailey as their new coach. This can't be. After being teased with Shanahan and Cowher, we get Chain Gailey, he of the lifetime 18-14 NFL record coaching a Cowboys team that had both Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman. Not to mention six mediocre years with a Georgia Tech team that never lost less than five games in a season during his tenure, but two years after he left finished 11-3 and played in the Orange Bowl. The same Chan Gailey who started out this year as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs but was demoted after three games. Yes, Mr. Gailey is not good enough to be an assistant for the 4-12 Chiefs, but he's good enough to be our head coach. This must be some kind of joke! Remember, this comes in the wake of the Bills hiring a 70-year-old GM who has never been a GM before and who was retired just two years earlier. Sadly, it appears our Hall-of-Fame owner Ralph Wilson has entered Al Davis territory. We will likely never see another winning team in Buffalo, as it seems all-but guaranteed the team will move after Wilson dies and while he remains alive and in control of the team, it seems we are f@#$%d.


Monday, January 18, 2010

NFL Playoffs: Success of the Sons

I find it fascinating that Brian Schottenheimer and Rex Ryan are the coaching braintrust behind the underdog Jets and their 2-0 run in the playoffs. If you follow football, you probably realize that they are the sons of two very successful NFL coaches, Marty Schottenheimer and Buddy Ryan, whose careers are often defined by their playoff failures. Marty was 5-13 in the postseason as a head coach with three different teams, while Buddy went 0-3 with some pretty talented Eagles squads. The kids led the Jets to a fairly mediocre 9-7 regular season record this year, but have two surprising road victories to their credit in the playoffs and a date at Indianapolis for the AFC Championship on Sunday.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Playoff wrap-up

Do you think it was any coincidence that the only divisional playoff game worth watching was the only one played outdoors? The Vikes-Cowboys in the Metrodome certainly didn't have the same romance to it as the old games played outdoors at the Met. I wanted to hear Pat Summeral describe D.D. Lewis wrapping up Chuck Foreman as he went off tackle one more time...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Most Recent Star Trek

Saw the movie on DVD last night (after a night out at Scottie's, I borrowed it from my neighbor). While there were definitely some interesting elements, exploring the past of the crew made famous on the original TV show, which I watched semi-religiously in my teen years, overall the movie seemed a bit shallow. Maybe because of my age at the time, I remember the original show as exploring things like psychology and power a bit deeper than the newer, seemingly more superficial version. Last time I was at Blasco, I saw some DVDs of the original episodes. I think I may need to check them out. Should I try to introduce my 11-year-old son to them?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

BCS Follow-Up

From Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ column this week (He offers an explanation of why the performance of the Texas freshman QB picked up coincidentally with Colt McCoy's return to the sideline in the second half of the game):

"Colt McCoy was injured early and freshman Garrett Gilbert entered, never having played in a pressure situation in college. Instantly it was obvious the game would turn on whether Gilbert could perform cold. My seat was low behind the Texas sideline, with a clear view of the Longhorns coaches and players. To my amazement, when the Texas offense wasn't on the field in the first half, Gilbert simply stood alone. He wasn't throwing to his receivers. Senior leaders were not coming by to urge him on. And no coaches were talking to him! Texas not only has $5 million-a-year coach Mack Brown, it has a bloated coaching staff, yet none of these gentlemen came over to help Gilbert prepare, calm down or adjust. Greg Davis, the Longhorns offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, was nowhere to be seen as Gilbert stood alone. Just what exactly was Davis doing that was more important, at that moment, than helping a freshman get ready to go back in at quarterback in the national championship? Only when McCoy returned from the trainer's room in the third quarter, donned headphones and started assisting Gilbert, did the Texas comeback begin. McCoy, a student, was the one "coaching up" Gilbert. Where was the Texas coaching staff?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Verizon Back Online

Got the call today that there was a service outage and it really had nothing to do with the modem...really not surprised. The who called me sounded English. I had previously dealt with Indians and Filipinos that were supposedly corresponding with Americans. And it took them about two and a half days to fix the problem...Funny thing is I'm getting to the point where I've had the service so long that I think I know more about that most of the lower-level support people....Maybe I need to get a business account.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Verizon Internet Change

Did this happen to anyone else? On Tuesday morning, my home Internet connection suddenly stopped working. It took three calls over two days, but the current diagnosis is that Verizon has upgraded the line so it is no longer compatible with the modem I bought from them a couple years go. They claim that they are going to send me a newer modem without charge. Well, if they knew I had this modem and they knew they were upgrading the lines.... I guess they're too big to worry about things like that. We'll see. I'm posting this from the downtown Starbucks. Interesting place after dark...