Sunday, September 30, 2007

Boy... Did Things Get Out of Hand Yesterday or What?

(Upon waking up Sunday morning and surveying the wreckage in his dorm room, College Football America decides on a plan to rid his skull of his raging hang-over and doing a double take at his acquired company from the previous evening decides whether or not to start gnawing off his arm. Yes, it was that ugly)

Guest author, The Substitute had a saying related to the relative success of the University of Texas football program: “Doing less with more than any other program in America.” It had become a favorite of ours that we felt might have to be shelved because of Texas’ win over USC in that epic Rose Bowl 2 years ago and its subsequent winning of the BCS title.

Well, it appears that we may be able to dust it off as perhaps head coach Mack Brown’s climb to the top of the mountain was due more to the singular excellence at QB of one Vince Young than any break-through of the Longhorn program or by Brown as a coach. Kanas St.’s trashing of Texas, 41-21, has signaled perhaps that Brown and the Longhorns are back to their Red River shootout-losing and underachieving ways as this was the 2nd straight loss to a clearly inferior Wildcat program. O joy.

Not a good day for top-25 teams yesterday. It was like the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan where the troops were disembarking from the LCUs only to get mowed down by Nazi machine gun fire… but replacing G.I.’s with top-25 teams. The carnage started early and just continued through the day.

It would almost be easier to talk about who didn’t lose rather than who did as 4 of the top 7, 7 of the top 13 and a total of 9 top-25 teams wound up on the wrong end of the scoreboard yesterday.

And perhaps most disappointing of all, with Texas, Oklahoma and Florida all losing, it puts a damper on what would’ve been two great conference match-ups next Saturday (Florida plays undefeated LSU in Baton Rouge and Texas plays Oklahoma at the State Fair in Dallas).

As for the victors Saturday, the AP voters were unimpressed with USC’s sloppy win over Washington and placed LSU No. 1 over USC (#2). In fact, they were in a very rewarding mood for those teams that have remained undefeated, vaulting Cal, Ohio St., Wisconsin, South Florida, Boston College and Kentucky all over 1-loss Florida and Oklahoma.

Its early and things will probably sort themselves out as the season progresses but there is no way in hell that any of those aforementioned teams, outside of Cal and Ohio State, are better than a one-loss Florida team. These polls remain a bad joke and unfortunately, there is no real move afoot to reform the process.

"Maybe if I'm real quiet I can just slip my arm.... oh hey, yeah, hi.... hi.... how are you doing?"

....Or Maybe this is the Charger's New Mascot?

(Many thanks to B-Daddy for holding down the fort this weekend as we were visiting family up in Orange County and though it may seem like piling on from what was posted by B-Daddy already this afternoon, we did have a few thoughts of our own… )

Well, this certainly cannot be considered good news by any measure but it has become evident that the Charger players are entirely on their own. Everything that has been lacking from a coaching and leadership standpoint this season was epitomized in a single coaching decision made in the 4th quarter of today’s jaw-dropping loss. Down by 7 and driving, QB Philip Rivers faded back to pass. He brought his throwing arm up and then appeared to start bringing his arm back down out of the throwing motion when he was hit, fumbled the ball and the ball was then picked up by a Chief defender and returned for a touchdown… game over.

“Tuck Rule” was our immediate thought. Head Coach, Norv Turner is going to throw the challenge flag, right? He has to. The obscure throwing motion rule that saved Tom Brady and the New England Patriot’s bacon a few years back in the AFC championship game certainly looked like it may apply here with River’s fumble. And may apply is the key term here. If you let the play go without challenging the ruling as the head coach, you are essentially conceding defeat. But in this situation, if there is just a glimmer of hope that the replay officials may see the play as a “continuation of the forward throwing motion” and thus an incomplete pass……. You Have to Throw the Challenge Flag!

Never happened.... Never... happened. We were dumbfounded – utterly shocked and frankly horrified that we saw a coaching staff just give up on their team. There is no reasonable explanation for not throwing the challenge flag there.

So as we were saying originally, the players are on their own and that ain’t good news because outside 1 or 2 players on this team like LT or fullback Lorenzon Neal we see no one with the intestinal fortitude and heart to step up, take over the leadership void and start infusing the individual players on this team with some heart of their own. Guess its not all about brains, afterall.

Outside of LT’s performance in the 1st half, we cannot think of a single positive thing to say about today’s performance. Even GM A.J. Smith is going to get some as he assembled this pathetic coaching staff… and we couldn’t help but notice that Dwayne Bowe (8 catches, 160+ yards) was the LSU receiver that the Chargers didn’t draft this past spring. But to be fair to A.J. and receiver Craig Davis, Davis wasn’t going against the Charger’s defense.

Home crowd, against a mediocre opponent with your backs against the wall….. If you can’t win a game like that then the spray-painting is on the wall for a very long season.

Coach of the Year? Not!

I am writing this at the break between the third and fourth quarters of the Chargers - Chiefs game, tied at 16. Win or lose today, I am just disgusted at the lack of imagination and abysmal play calling on the Charger side of the ball. As Dean, pointed out before, why can't we see Turner and LT in the game at the same time? Also, when Turner is the running back, OF COURSE, he is going to get the hand off. I know it, you know it, and of course the entire Kansas City Chief defense knows it as well. Hence, the loss for two yards. There is no doubt that the Chargers could be taking it to the Chiefs with their running game to allow Rivers to get in sync. Not happenin' today.
Clearly, the Chargers have way more physical talent than the Chiefs, and they may win this game on that alone. But I hope not. Like an alcoholic that needs to hit bottom before they hit twelve-step, this team needs a shocking loss to wake up their sorry coaching staff.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Negro

Recently, Juan Williams, pictured here was called a "Happy Negro" by Boyce Watkins. As usual, when a black man wanders off the reservation and doesn't tow the liberal party line, he is labeled with some epithet questioning his authenticity as a black. Some quick background; on his radio show, Bill O'Reilly made some nice comments about Sylvia's, a restaurant in Harlem where he lunched with Al Sharpton. Juan Williams was a guest on the show at the time. Later, the lefty blogosphere put the comments in the high spin cycle and out came a racist interpretation. More on this here and here. Later, Williams defended O'Reilly as an actual witness to the conversation. Hence the vitriol being slung his direction.

My point here is the consistent racism on the left. Yes, you heard it here first, left wingers are more likely to be racists than conservatives.
Exhibit one: Conservative blacks are labeled Uncle Toms or worse. The underlying racist attitude is that blacks can't be conservatives, that's reserved for whites. See the poo flung at Michael Steele, black candidate for the Senate in Maryland, 2006.
Exhibit two: Affirmative action/racial preferences in hiring. The underlying racist attitude is that blacks and other minorities can't make it without special help, that they are somehow inferior because of their race. If that isn't hidden racism, I challenge the readers to tell me what is.
Exhibit three: The welfare state, which disproportionately created dependency among minorities. Often we are lectured that a policy is racist if it has a discriminatory outcome (like using SAT scores for college admissions.) The racist outcome of the welfare state was the creation of a disproportionately black permanent underclass.

I say it again, the left is more racist than conservatives. The prosecution rests.

Coach of the Year?

At halftime of this evening's win over West Virginia, I was thinking that, if his Bulls won this game, USF's Jim Leavitt would have my vote for coach of the year. On the first drive of the third quarter, I changed my mind. With fourth and inches on their own 30 yard line, the Bulls went for the first down. That cinched it for me, win or lose, he had my vote. Not because I believe in recklessness, but because the man has game sense. As documented else where in this column by Dean, coaches don't seem to watch games, just game film. Coach Leavitt seems to be the exception, he went for the jugular with a team he believed he had to put away early. Later in the game, sitting on an 8 point lead with under three minutes left, USF BLITZED!! Hooyah! No sitting in the prevent and letting the back up quarterback drive down the field. I am convinced that bringing the pressure sealed the victory.

It is well documented that football coaches as a group, especially at the professional level, are more risk averse than circumstances warrant, almost always punting on fourth down for example. (See debunking of this proclivity here.) Great to see a coach with the fortitude to not worry about the critics, but ot just think, "How can we win this thing."

Gettin' that Love Train back on Track

From Hollywood to the Upper West Side and spreading out to college campuses across America, a huge sigh of relief was exhaled… its safe to swoon for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad again. You see, after that unfortunate little slip-up at Columbia University regarding the lack of gays in his country our boy made a nice recovery by visiting fellow thug dictator Hugo Chavez of Venezuela on Thursday. It was a regular ol’ love-in as the two showered each other with praise and took turns slamming the “imperialist” Americans.

This follows closely on the heels of a visit by American actor Kevin Spacey to pay his respects to Hugo. Other actors/thug apologists such as Sean Penn and Danny Glover have also made trips to Venezuela.

Whether its Chavez, Castro or Sadaam Hussein, its almost a knee-jerk reaction for some folks in this country to cozy-up to these people. We figure the only reason there hasn’t been a George Soros-sponsored “peace and understanding” junket to spoon with Kim Jong-Il is that the weather in Pyongyang is crappy six-months out of the year. C’mon, Havanna or P-town? It’s a no-brainer.

But as we were saying, it was good to see Mahmoud taking the necessary steps to right the ship and get the usual suspects here in our country back in his corner.

At the beginning of the week, we had no intentions of posting about this guy. And never ones to be mistaken for serious journalists, we now know however, what is meant by that adage of a “story just writing itself.” His performance here was just too good to pass up (his quote regarding gays, "In Iran, we don't have this phenomena. I don't know who told you we have it." is one of our favorite lines of smack we've heard so far this year). So we extend our warmest regards and gratitude to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad for making our little hobby here so much easier. Thanks, bro… you’ll be missed. Looking forward to next time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Now, THIS is the type of 'Boycott' we can all get behind.

We’re not Catholic… but we’ve got many Catholic friends so it has caused us no small degree of shame and embarrassment over the behavior displayed in this row up in San Francisco right now.

There is a street fair in the City called the Folsom Steet Fair which is an unabashed leather/fetish happening and which is sponsored in part by Miller Brewing Co. What has a particular Catholic group upset is a poster for the event that depicts leather-clad males and females sitting around a table, Last Supper-style, with sex toys littered around the same table. And just to make sure the less-savory wings of the Catholic Church were properly offended… Jesus is black. (This follows a theme in many of the “alternative” Christ stories. The only one that beats black Jesus is Jesus having relations with Mary Magdalene. It seems every single one of them, from the Last Temptation of Christ to the DaVinci Code, can’t seem to drop their lurid fascination of Jesus having sex with a prostitute.)

This group, the Catholic League, is calling for Miller to pull their sponsorship of the event and short of that they are calling for a boycott of all Miller products. A boycott? Ohhhh…. no .. anything but a boycott.

Are they serious? A boycott?. Honestly, what a bunch of wusses. Message to the Catholic League: If you want some reaction… if you want some justice… if you want to be taken seriously as a player and have newspaper editorial staffs and legislative bodies the world over roll over to your demands and the President of the world’s most powerful nation fall all over himself extolling the virtues of your religion then get serious!

Torch some cars… throw rocks through storefront windows…. declare some some infidels….! Show that you are a true believer! Demonstrate to the planet that your religion is not to be trifled with and that your religion really is a tolerant and peaceful one… until someone says it isn’t. Make me BELIEVE!

Short of all that, don’t waste our time… we don’t drink any of Miller’s swill anyway.

Future Programming Alert... and our 100th Post!

Triple digits, y'all... And they said it would never last.

B-Daddy will take the reins for the weekend as we will be visiting family up in the OC. He did bang-up work in his first substitute effort a few weeks back when we were visiting other members of the family in Colorado (some of whom can be seen to the right), so we look forward to seeing what depths will be plumbed this time around. Please give him your support.

And speaking of visiting family members... we hope whatever it is that is planned, at 1230 PDT Saturday, we will be planted squarely in front of the tube to watch what is on paper the match-up of the season thus far. Of course, we're talking about Cal-Oregon up in Eugene.

And this weekend, we are going to start a little competition to see what host family unit is most respectful of our college football-watching jones. Our kinfolk in Colorado, clocked a very impressive 8.5 (on a scale of 10) so it will be interesting to see what the OC contingent can do to top that. We've been told that the Godson and nieces are no longer nap-takers so that 8.5 looms quite large indeed.

We want to thank everyone who has encouraged us to undertake this endeavor and want to extend our gratitude to those that actively participate with this site.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

He's got Jesus in his Heart... and the Chronic in his Lungs.

As you are probably aware by now, Michael Vick failed a drug test by testing positive for marijuana earlier this month. On top of the state dog fighting charges he now faces, he gets to deal with this. The downward spiral continues. Read Sports Illustrated article here.
We had some thoughts last month on Vick's somewhat dubious spiritual awakening here.

While watching the Tennessee Titans wallop the New Orleans Saints this past Monday, we noted the commentators praising Titan QB, Vince Young for his poise and maturity in leading not only the offense but the entire team in that victory.

Indeed, Young’s play was to be commended. He directed the offense efficiently using his amazing athleticism only in spots as for the most part he managed the game plan putting his team in favorable down and distance situations throughout the night.

(And one person who does not seem to get enough credit for Young’s development is the offensive coordinator, Norm Chow. Chow essentially reintroduced the forward pass to the college game while at BYU back in the late 70s and 80s and it was our thought that Chow would not be a good fit for a team and organization that since Jeff Fisher took over as coach was primarily run-oriented. So the guy deserves a lot of credit for swallowing some pride, scaling back the play book a bit and bringing Young along slowly to allow him to grow into this role as an on and off the field leader.)

But back to the commentating. What struck us about the deserved compliments was that they were all eerily similar to what we were hearing about Michael Vick some 5-6 years ago when he first broke into the league and was the Atlanta Falcon starting QB.

We recall a story about Michael Vick’s first year as starting QB and which took place immediately after an exciting last-minute victory by the Falcons that put them in the playoffs. Someone in the Falcon marketing department got the idea to have Vick tape a message right there on the field and have that message sent to the home phones of all the Falcon season ticket holders.

Gee… would something like this work? Would Vick, charged with emotion while being physically drained, be up for this stunt? One of the staffers nervously approached Vick and before he could get half-way through the explanation, Vick snatched the tape recorder from the guy’s hand and started speaking into the recorder something to the effect of: “Hey, this is Michael Vick. What a great game today, huh? I just wanted to call and thank you for your support and thank you for being a season ticket holder. I’ll try to give you a call during the playoffs. Bye.”

THAT’s what Falcon fans had waiting for them when they got home. THAT’s who was calling just to say “Hi”. It was no wonder then why the Falcons were so high on Vick (oh, yes I did) and why he was viewed not only as the face of the Falcon franchise but also as an ambassador for the city of Atlanta.

Now, are we in any way suggesting that Vince Young is like Michael Vick the person? Certainly not. We bring all this up only because we were struck by the similarities in the two situations: two young, athletic, black quarterbacks in the NFL who are on the verge of super-stardom who because of their relative early success are showered with praise and adulation by the fans and the media. That…. AND the expectations, both on and off the field, that Michael Vick failed to live up to which are now Vince Young’s expectations.

We’re pulling for Vince Young. He got into a little dutch in the preseason by violating some team rules. We hope it was an isolated incident. His teammates appear to think so as they voted him to one of the team captain positions. And we hope the Norm Chow “slow and steady” model of progression for his development as an NFL QB is the model for his human development as well.
Photo above is courtesy the cut-throats over at Kissing Suzy Kolber.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

..... SQUISH.....

Of course there is no way to ever definitively prove this but we couldn’t help but feel that a particular set of people in this country were pretty tickled that Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was going to be speaking at both Columbia U. and in front of the U.N. General Assembly. Afterall, he hates Bush… they hate Bush. He hates the Western ideals of freedom and liberty… they (secretly) hate the Western ideals of freedom and liberty, etc., etc.

Its reminiscent of the free pass that Communism got back in the 20s and 30s in this country from the very same socio-economic set because it offered an alternate path to the wage-enslavement of capitalism. That, and it wasn’t Nazi fascism. Yes, there was a time when being against anti-Semitism was quite fashionable.

Anyway, his talk at the U. was pro-forma for dictators (transcript can be read here) wanting to leverage audience dissatisfaction here with the current elected leadership… lots of make-nice relativism, veiled swipes at U.S. foreign policy over the years and “can’t-we-all-just-get-along” pap…. generally the stuff that sends Sandalista hearts aflutter. And by all accounts, things were going along swimmingly until the Q & A session after his speech.
He talked around the issues of denying the Holocaust and of wanting to destroy Israel but he veered wildly off-course when he was confronted about Iran’s treatment of homosexuals... and no, this "treatment" is not a medical reference, per se, but rather "treatment" of homosexuals that has terminal medical consequences:

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): In Iran, we don't have homosexuals, like in your country.


We don't have that in our country.


AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it.

(sound of record needle skidding across vinyl…….. woooopsy-daisy…)

We especially liked the transformation of audience reaction once they realized this guy wasn’t making a joke…. when they realized fully the implications of “We don’t have that in our county.”
It had to happen, though, right? Really, was there any doubt?

After performing admirably to that point in his little try-out to be Bush’s chief 3rd world foil, he stepped right in it. In this case, it wasn’t with respect to the Jews but rather homosexuals. Nice try, Mahmoud. Damn, you were right there, buddy.

“Is Hugo ready for his close-up?”

"Gee...uhhh... Thanks but No Thanks"

Proving that she is if nothing else, perhaps as shrewd a politician as the old man, click here for story in NY Times on Hillary Clinton (and other Dem frontrunners) steering clear of the fringe left-wing netroot crowd.

The article talks about how the candidates don’t really see how the anger and vitriol ginned-up by groups like the DailyKos and and which are void any semblance of a positive or constructive message are going to actually deliver votes for them in November.

This phenomena can be summed up in the Rasmussen poll taken on the reaction to the deplorable General “BeTray Us” ad run in the New York Times (…for a discount rate!). The poll revealed that 23% approved of the ad but that 58% disapproved. The margin was even greater on the extremes as 12% strongly approved and 42% strongly disapproved.

This really should not have been a surprise to anyone, though. The U.S. military has traditionally maintained the highest approval ratings among American institutions and entities and discrediting many of these esteemed institutions are what and their buddies are all about.

So, perhaps “shrewd” is a little too fawning. Maybe its giving these people a little too much credit. Maybe “doesn't have head lodged in ass” is a more accurate assessment of their wanting to run away as quickly as possible from the DailyKos, and their ilk.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What do House Guests and Fish have in Common with This Guy?

Is it us or is it getting a bit ripe in here….? In what has seemed like a week-long circus, Iranian strongman, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will be speaking at Columbia University today. Obviously, much has been made regarding whether or not Ahmadinejad really is or isn’t a Holocaust denier and then there’s the business of him alleging that Israel be wiped off the face of the map…. or was the comment taken out of context as part of some Zionist-media conspiracy? To us, its kind of a moot point. Whether or not he actually said those things doesn’t make him any less of a whacko in our book. We just wish the guy would leave… the stench is beginning to rise.

… but back to our man of the moment. The Dean at Columbia who is moderating the event, John Coatsworth has attempted to base his reasoning for allowing Ahmadinejad to speak there by infamously stating that he would’ve allowed Hitler to speak were that cantankerous ol’ rascal, Adolph still around. Hitler…? Hell yeah! We remain skeptical, though, of how enthusiastic he would be if the speaker were instead Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter or the thorn-in-the-side of higher learning, civil rights crusader, Ward Connerly.

And proving that once you start digging yourself a hole in these matters, the only direction you can go is down, Coatsworth attempted to clarify his position by stating that he wouldn’t have invited bad Hitler, only the nicer, more tolerable Hitler when “he had not started the war and the Holocaust had not begun.”… and stuff. Dude! Just shut up!!!

Of course, the whole 1st amendment/free speech argument we’ve heard thrown around is laughable in this situation. Ahmadinejad is not even a U.S. citizen and outside of the U.S. Senate and the Bush Administration, the vast majority of rationally-minded Americans know that Constitutional guarantees are not extended to non-citizens.

Nevertheless, the editorial staff here at BwD is split as to whether or not Columbia should’ve rolled out the red carpet for this bum. The majority camp is of the opinion that you don’t give a platform for lunatics like this to spew their rhetoric and wished that Columbia U. gave this guy a Bronx cheer on their way to running him out of the country as most of the townies there in the Big Apple desire to do.

The minority opinion bases its logic on the thought that sometimes the best way to expose these people is to let them have the bully-pulpit so they can sing to their heart’s content, giving everyone a full dose of their idiocy. You know at some point this guy is going to step in it… you just know it.

We’re interested to hear what you all think. Chime in on poll on right-hand margin and click on link here for story out of New York Daily News.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kevin Federline is a Big Fan

Oh boy. We couldn’t pass up these beauties before shutting it down for the weekend. Right before Georgia Bulldog Matt Stafford’s game-winning touchdown pass against ‘Bama, ESPN announcer, Mike Patrick, decided to go all pop-culture on us with a bizarre non-sequitur on Britney Spears. Click here for YouTube clip.

The man who Patrick replaced as lead announcer for ESPN’s prime-time Saturday night games can be heard from time to time doing 2nd-level Big 12 games over on the Deuce. Its unfortunate because Ron Franklin is, hands down, the best play-by-play guy in college football. Yes, even better than the Figurehead. We assumed him to be a lock to move into the Keith Jackson role as college football’s GodFather upon Jackson's retirment. We assumed wrong. Too bad.

And then we have this from Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy in the press conference following his team’s win against Texas Tech. Gundy was expressing some slight dissatisfaction with a column written about one of his players and, well… Coach Gundy will explain things.

Not Quite There... Yet.

Some house-keeping first… To make it easier it comment, its been opened-up to “anybody” - you will not have to register with Google to post a comment. Just hit the "anonymous" button and comment to your heart's content knowing that your identity is secure and that you won't wind-up on Dick Cheney's or anyone else's watch list. Was advised to do so by the site’s defacto ombudsman, B-Daddy. Apologies for lack of blog-savvy in this matter.

Some throwback uniforms sprinkled around the NFL today…. We had heard that the Eagles were going throwback so we were expecting possibly the white helmets from the Chuck Bednarik days. But what were those…? And how far back did they have to throw to get them? Was Ben Franklin the GM…?

In watching last night’s demolition of Washington St. by USC, it was apparent that the game plan was to come out throwing…. Actually, the WAZU defensive scheme demanded that SC throw the ball. The corners were playing at least 10 yards off the Trojan receivers and quarterback John David Booty took advantage of this by throwing out to his big, physical receivers at the line of scrimmage resulting in 8-10 yard gains on every play.

This is one of the things we’ve always admired about the Trojan offensive philosophy these past few years. Yes, in nearly every instance, their skill position players are going to be better athletes than whoever they line-up against but the schemes and play-calling put those athletes in outstanding positions to make highly positive gains.

Offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian and his predecessor and mentor, Norm Chow are out of the Sid Gilman school of passing where you get the ball to your athletes ‘in-space’ and heading toward the goal line. This style has been used effectively by Don Coryell for the Charger in the early 80s and more recently by Mike Martz when he was the evil-genius offensive coordinator for the Rams during their “Greatest Show on Turf” run a few years back (thankfully, the Trojans have left the “Get your quarterback killed” pages out of their own playbook that Martz seemed to have in his).

So this is why the Charger's 1-2 start is so perplexing and frustrating. The team is absolutely loaded talent-wise. They have the best running back and tight end in the game, a young but accurate quarterback and as a set, the two best edge rushers in the league in Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips. After 3 games, though, its obvious that those talents aren’t being maximized by the coaching staff.

We did a search and found nothing in the California Penal Code that prohibits playing the team’s two best running backs at the same time. Apparently, the Charger coaching staff does because in what in our mind is a no-brainer, they simply refuse to put dynamic back-up, Michael Turner, in at the same time as LT. Why wouldn’t you do this at least occasionally? Why wouldn’t you put maximum pressure on the defense to devote resources to defending against the best running back in the league, the best tight end, perhaps the best back-up RB and a set of big physical wide receivers? Its baffling. There was a reason why LenDale White and Reggie Bush were on the field together so often at SC… who was the defense going to try to stop?

And on a critical 3rd and 3 in the fourth quarter, the successful conversion of which, probably ices the game, tight end Antonio Gates who had a monster game is kept in to pass protect. Huh???? We could understand if QB, Phillip Rivers went to one of the wide-outs as he did for an incompletion if Gates wasn’t open – but Rivers was not even afforded that option. If there was EVER a situation where you would look to this guy to preserve a lead, it would’ve been this…. and he was kept in to pass-block???? Baffling.

Coming into the game, we figured the biggest key to victory would be to get pressure on Favre. Despite all his greatness, when Favre is pressured he is still prone to bone-headed rookie mistakes. The pressure never materialized and thus the Charger’s Key Stone Cop secondary was even more exposed, especially in that god-forsaken cover-2 zone that they can’t execute.

During the pre-season, the word on new defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell was that he did not like to blitz much. We didn’t want to believe it because this defense, personnel-wise, was tailor-made for getting pressure on the quarterback. We didn’t want to believe it because we knew the secondary would be getting torched without that pressure.

Well… didn’t see a whole lot of blitzing and certainly didn’t see a whole lot of pressure and Favre subsequently went bonkers out there looking like a guy who would one day throw for the most TD passes of all-time. Again, baffling.

If coaches are supposed to put their players in the best position to win then this is not even close to happening for the Chargers, right now.

… that finger edging ever closer to the panic button.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Week 4.... and the Charger's New Mascot?

The maddening saga that is UCLA football continues Saturday at the Rose Bowl against the resurgent Washington Huskies. They followed up a 10-win season in ’05 with a 7-6 record last year. And in a two-game microcosm of head coach Karl Dorrell’s tenure, they stunned USC, knocking the Trojans out of BCS title contention in the last game of the regular season and then capitalized on that momentum by laying an egg against Florida State, 44-27 in the Emerald Bowl. This year’s team, chock full of returning starters, got out to a 2-0 start and then got destroyed by Utah last week, 44-6. UCLA is actually favored by 6-1/2 points… we’re not even going to touch this one. Yeah, we will. Take Washington and the points.

… and speaking of maddening inconsistency… Michigan St. (3-0) travels to Notre Dame (0-3) and is giving the Irish 13 points. Proving the popular perception of this squad, were this team to wear any other name on the front of its jersey than “Michigan State”, the line against the Irish would be 17-18 points.

We like the ol’ Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks getting 16-1/2 pts. at LSU. LSU will win but Darth Visor will keep it close.

We really like Georgia Tech giving 3 on the road to Virginia and we think Oregon will cover the 16-1/2 to Stanford at the Farm.

And now a few words about our Chargers…. How to put this politely….? They’re not a very smart team. Spanning the end of last season and the beginning of this, they’ve sandwiched a win against the Bears between a playoff and regular season loss to the Patriots and those 3 games have revealed the character and nature of this team. If they are called upon to simply line-up opposite a team and sock them in the grill as they were against another physical team in the Bears, the Chargers are going to win. If they are called upon, though, to use their heads against a savvy, veteran team like the Pats, they are going to lose.

One of the Randy Moss touchdowns in the 1st half was perfectly illustrative of this. In fact, the play, a simple skinny post that is a seam route against the Charger’s cover-2 zone has, by our count, been run at least 4 or 5 times now this season (including the preseason) against the Chargers first unit defensive backfield resulting in either touchdowns or long gains. And in every instance immediately after the play both the Charger safety (either Marlon McCree or Clinton Hart) and the cornerback (Quentin Jammer) whip their heads around to look at each other with the “I thought you had him” look on their faces. Every time… every…. single…. time. At what point do they figure this out? Short of that, at what point do the coaches who are now equally culpable figure out that the secondary is mentally incapable of playing zone and just start playing man-to-man?

We’re only 2 games into the season and its certainly too early to hit the panic button but this lack of smarts is an inherent flaw of the Chargers and its an immutable fact that dumb teams don’t win championships in the NFL.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Few Quickies....

(gonna try something a little different today. We'll see how it goes).

Liberals: They’re smarter… just ask them. Click here for story from about a study funded in part by NYU that proves just that. As noted here, libs have this near Pavlovian tick when it comes to them noting how much smarter they are… well, that and how much more open-minded… and caring…. and tolerant… and…..

Strange Hsu: It remains to be seen how much the unfolding saga of political fund-raiser Norman Hsu will affect Clinton Inc. and Hillary’s bid for the Presidency. One would suspect that if he continues to be referred to in the general manner,“disgraced Democratic fundraiser” that appears in virtually every news story on the subject, rather than what more precisely defines his purpose on this planet then Hillary may be able to walk away relatively unscathed in the court of public opinion. Click here for story in New York Times.

Your Rube Goldberg update: You were warned…. As a reminder, the continuing efforts of our elected leaders to wave a magic wand to confer rights and legality upon those that are illegal simply will not stop. It remains simultaneously baffling and galling to us that the well-being of people who are not even supposed to be here seems to have a higher priority than that of the citizenry. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is planning on resurrecting yet again something called the DREAM Act which would provide a “path to citizenship” for illegals who happen to be students. He intends on attaching it to the 2008 Defense Appropriation Bill because a few knucklehead suits at the Dept. of Defense think it would be a swell idea for boosting recruitment. Same language, same goal, different packaging. Freddy lives!

And lastly, Shotgun Annie's missive on those evil, money-grubbing U.S. doctors in the employ of Big Medical.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Could be Worse.... Could be Living in L.A.

Proving once again just how recklessly out of control the politics down here are, the D.A. is refusing to press charges in the forced evictions of residents from their homes 6 months ago in order to make way for a… yep, Indian casino.

Attached article out of the San Diego Union-Tribune is hopelessly bereft of any of the salient backround details that make this whole ordeal so appalling.

The Jamul Indians east of San Diego have been making plans to build a casino on reservation land and found that there was some property which they wished to develop that was inconveniently owned and/or occupied by its residents.

What the article doesn’t mention is that there was some confusion though on where the exact boundaries of the Indian Reservation were and in order to buy some time to clear up this matter (the properties in question were in this ‘gray’ area), County Supervisor Diane Jacobs brokered a handshake agreement between the Tribe, its financial backers and the residents of the properties in question.

Well lo and behold, that agreement didn’t last as on a Saturday back in March, something called the Tribal Reservation Police descended upon a handful of these residents and forcibly evicted them from their homes. What the article also fails to mention is that the vast majority of the members of this “police” force were no more than off-duty cops from around the San Diego area that signed-up for a little weekend fun playing jack-booted thugs while employing physical force and using pepper spray to roust U.S. citizens from their homes. All this while Sheriff Bill Kollender’s men just stood by and watched, and by some accounts, physically restrained friends of the residents who were attempting to come to their aid against these g*d-dammed Gestapo tactics.

At least one of the evicted residents, Walter Rosales, a Vietnam Veteran, is even a tribal member. Well…. he was until he voiced his objection to the casino plan and he was promptly relieved of his membership by the tribal elders, something else not mentioned in the article.

…and the D.A. Bonnie Dumanis… her hiding behind the legality of not getting involved in civil matters on tribal lands is bad enough but her refusal to answer any questions regarding this situation represents the height of arrogance and un-accountability. So you have a crooked sheriff in the back pocket of the tribe (tribes, actually as the area Indian tribes have been major contributors to his election campaigns for years) and an indifferent D.A…. who to turn to? In situations like this, it becomes apparent why the Founders placed the right to bear arms in the on-deck circle directly after the freedom of speech and religion in the Bill of Rights.

McCain-Feingold ticks us off, but Kelo v. New London makes our blood boil. There is just something about property rights that strikes a nerve. Freedom of speech, gun ownership, trial by jury of peers… these rights are hugely important… they represent the pillars upon which this great democracy is built. But Propery Rights…. there is something more visceral and real about that than all the others. One can crank out banned speech from a computer in the secrecy of one’s house or hide banned guns in that house. But you can do neither without sole possession of that same house.

Apologies for the way-too-serious nature of this post. We try to find humor or something in each of our subjects to parody or poke fun at. We tried but just couldn’t find anything remotely amusing about any of this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Missed it by that Much..."

On this week's HBO’s Real Sports, Donovan McNabb the Philadelphia Eagle quarterback who also happens to be black, said that race plays a part in the public perception of quarterbacks in the NFL. Here’s what he told interviewer James Brown:

"There's not that many African-American quarterbacks, so we have to do a little bit extra. Because the percentage of us playing this position, which people didn't want us to play ... is low, so we do a little extra. I pass for 300 yards, our team wins by seven, 'Ah, he could've made this throw, they would have scored if he did this.'"

Of course, this tune is different than the one he was singing some 4-5 years ago in the wake of the Rush Limbaugh/ESPN dust-up when he was wondering why people always had to make an issue of race.

But, you know, that’s not even what we want to focus on – that’s not the reason for this post. This post is to acknowledge a missed opportunity on the part of Beers with Demo and an even bigger missed opportunity on the part of the broadcast crew of Monday Night Football.

Last night, we debated posting on this but declined because it was getting late and there were many ships to be built early the following day and, etc., etc., lame excuses all considering McNabb’s HBO comments which were made public the following day. A perfect opportunity to get out ahead of the curve was blown for want of getting a good night sleep. Sheesh.

Anyway, this post now being a day late and a dollar short was to be on the subject of what WASN’T addressed in that broadcast booth. During the 3rd quarter of last night’s highly un-entertaining game between the Eagles and Redskins, Charles Barkley (Sir Charles!), joined Ron Jaworski, Tony Kornheiser and Mike Tirico. As everyone knows Charles is never afraid to speak his mind and it’s this candor that makes the TNT studio show for their NBA games the greatest studio show of all-time.

The 4 of them were in kibbutz mode and the subject happened to be Philly fans and specifically how rough they could be on their own sports stars. Precise to this was what was perceived as harsh treatment of Donovan McNabb who is coming off a serious knee injury last year and who has not played well in the Eagles first two games which have both been losses. This situation is compounded by the fact that after he went down with the injury last year, back-up Jeff Garcia who is white (Garcia, white? O.K., Hispanic… but he looks Irish, dammit!) went 6-1 with the team and led them to the playoffs.

Later in the conversation, it was noted that the Philly fans love(d) Ron Jaworski (white) but had a contentious relationship with Charles Barkley (black). Barkley then said something to the effect that Indianapolis fans loved Peyton Manning (white) even before winning the Super Bowl last year much more than Philly fans loved McNabb (black) even though in Barkley’s opinion, McNabb had been the more accomplished quarterback to that point.

“So.. why do you think this is…?” “Uhh, oh”, was our thought. Oh-boy… Are they going to go there? Oh no they’re not. Careful fellas. Its all set up for them. Its all right there.

The camera showed the 4 of them… they were looking at the monitors silently, staring down at their feet and shifting their weight back and forth somewhat uncomfortably. At one point, it even looked like Kornheiser snuck a glance at Barkley as if to say, “So, Chuck... are you doing this or am I?” One could cut the tension with a knife. At that point, we’re nearly screaming at the T.V. “Do it….! Somebody please do it…! For the love of all that is right, somebody please roll that grenade out there and then… let’s see who jumps on it! Pleeeeeease…!”.

And then as slowly as the momentum and tension had built it dissipated just that quickly as one of the 4 (can’t remember who) saved all of sports-talk listening America from hearing about this 24/7 for the next week by saying, “… well, you know, those Philly fans are just really tough”, followed by an extremely relieved chorus of “… yeah, yeah… boy, you’re right, they sure are tough on their own.”

Wow. Potential meltdown narrowly averted. The opportunity to call out the fans of an entire major metropolitan city as a bunch of racists had just gone by the boards. Whew. That was close... We now return you to your regularly-scheduled bland, boring NFL football game.... As we said, missed opportunities all around last night.

Oh well. Its late. Time for bed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Solution in Search of a Problem

The 3 leading Democratic Presidential candidates continue to play dueling universal health care plans as Hillary unveiled her own $110 billion/year plan in Iowa today (one would think even the good people of Iowa are sick of the campaigning as it appears all the candidates from both parties have been there en masse for the past 6 months and don’t have any designs on leaving until after the Iowa Caucus in January).

In case, though, any of you free-market types out there were worried that this is just the top of the slippery slope to socialized medicine…. relax… Hillary says it isn’t going to be a government run program. Clinton was quoted as saying, “This is not government-run.” See.

Similar to John Edward’s program, Clinton is being gracious enough to grant voluntary participation if you are happy with your current plan. But also similar to Edward’s plan, choosing not to participate in any plan is simply not an option.

So, if its not government-run, how will enrollment compliance be enforced, you may ask? Well, you would be getting way ahead of yourself as Clinton advisor Laurie Rubiner said that a specific compliance mechanism would be worked out once the health care plan was passed. This is reminiscent of John Kerry’s secret plan to straighten-out the Iraq situation: Vote for me and then I’ll tell you.

Besides, you’d be focusing the whole enforcement question on the wrong end of the equation. We actually believe half of Clinton’s claim that it won’t be a government-run program… there will not be any actual accountability or oversight for enforcing enrollment in this or any other health plan.

However, the means to generate the revenue for her plan will be via rigorous government participation and enforcement. There is this branch of the government…perhaps you’ve heard of them… its this outfit called the IRS that will make sure you are holding up your end of the deal in insuring the 47 million of your fellow Americans who are without health insurance.

So when one breaks down the concerns a typical conservative would have with this plan: 1) Is it Government-run? 2) Do I have to enroll? 3) Do I have to pay for this thing, regardless? And its done in a mathematical fashion, one would have to be pretty pleased with the 2/3rds favorable rating. Shoot, you can’t have everything, so just be a good little American and quit griping about it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Why am I smiling? Because I'm not Charlie Weiss"

We only got half our wish yesterday as Michigan embarrassed Notre Dame, 38-0, but Ohio State beat Washington, 33-14. Even in the loss, its apparent that Washington is on the right track. They’ve got athletes and play-makers on both sides of the ball. They were beat by some dumb freshman mistakes by quarterback Jake Locker as much as anything else. Locker, is the real deal though – he’ll learn from those mistakes.

There’s an old adage about teams not being as good as they look in a win or as bad as they look in a loss. Michigan epitomizes this as they faced a perfect storm in starting the season against two fast, spread-option running teams with athletic quarterbacks in App. State and Oregon. Michigan’s defensive personnel is completely unsuited to defend this style of offense. They were much more at home playing a fellow, plodding Midwest team in Notre Dame. Combine that with the fact that it was just Notre Dame and, voila… 38-0.

Charlie Weiss claimed after the game the he was not even going to watch the game film or show it to his players. Good call, Chuck. Can’t imagine there is anything remotely positive that can be gained from watching it. Domer fans who were flipping back and forth between this game and the Washington game had to be scratching their heads and wondering, "O.K., the ass-kicking is one thing... but where are our athletes... where are our play-makers? Weiss was brought in to recruit NFL-caliber talent to compete with the USCs, Floridas and LSUs. Where is it?"

A friend commented that last night’s USC/Nebraska game had the feel of a typical USC game of the last few years where the Trojans would appear to be going through the motions in the first half, allow the opponent to stay close, go into the locker room at half-time, make adjustments and then come out and blow the opponent off the field in the 2nd half. SC didn’t wait for half-time against the Huskers, though, as they separated themselves from their opponent in the 2nd quarter.

The crowds at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln are renowned for their gracious behavior towards the opposing team. There have been stories of the fans there actually applauding the opposing team after the game if that opponent had proved itself to be a worthy adversary. So we can only assume that Bill Callahan took the cue and extended this middle-American hospitality to Pete Carroll by going completely away from the short passing game in the 2nd quarter that was keeping the Trojan D off balance in the 1st quarter. No half-time adjustments necessary – thanks, Bill.

As encouraging as the successful running game was, the passing game was that disappointing. John David Booty did not look to be on the same page as his receivers and though Stafon Johnson may have run his way into a starting position at tailback, his greatest advantage last night may have been to be fortunate enough to have his number called on the plays where SC’s offensive line was opening up holes one could drive an SUV through.

And in its first real test of the season Florida, in what was supposed to be somewhat of a rebuilding year, pummeled Tennessee 59-20 and in doing so elevated themselves to real players in the BCS title hunt. If Florida can hold serve against Ole Miss and Auburn and then beat LSU in Baton Rouge, we will be prepared to confer “evil” status upon Gator head ball coach, Urban Meyer.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Week 3.... "..But will you be an 'Evil' coach?"

Some thoughts on the college matchups today….

Its mid-September and USC begins its season in earnest against Nebraska this evening in Lincoln after a Labor Day weekend scrimmage against Idaho preceding a bye week last week. This is mentioned only because in USC’s two national championship seasons under Pete Carroll (’03 and ’04), they opened up the season with impressive road victories over Auburn and Virginia Tech respectively. Limited data points to be sure but something worth noting just the same.

This game is being touted as one of those “barometer” games for the Nebraska program that has been rebuilding and transforming from the run-oriented I-back offense that dates to the Triassic period to the pass-oriented West-Coast offense under head coach, Bill Callahan.

To a lesser degree, this is a “barometer” game for the USC program as well. Despite the #1 ranking and the “best defense in the nation” status conferred by many, we have some doubts about this Trojan team, mostly on the offensive side of the football. As posted before, we hate… absolutely detest the running back by committee that SC employed last year and the game against Idaho did not reveal any frontrunner for that position. Also, the receiving corps though talented is young and will face its first real test after the departures of Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith.

It will be interesting to see then, how the stockpiling of all this 5-star talent and the soon-becoming-legendary “competition Tuesday” Trojan practices will handle the hostile environment of Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. In fact, this game has the feel of the USC-Notre Dame game of two years ago in South Bend. A proud program on the rebound, pulling out all the stops at home in a highly-charged and emotional prime-time affair to see if they could knock off the Goliaths from the West Coast.

…and speaking of Notre Dame… we are on our knees to the football gods for a Michigan victory over the Irish and a Washington Husky victory over Ohio St. in Seattle. That would of course leave ND at 0-3 and Washington, coached by previous Irish coach Ty Willingham, at an improbable 3-0. (If nothing else, it will prove that the Huskies are back and that football in the Pacific Northwest is back, and that is a good thing).

For years, Notre Dame has supposedly been this beacon of virtue putting academics and ethics above mere mortal football wins and losses. Of course, its all been B.S. (you mean to say that Notre Dame was the only place Lou Holtz ever coached at that was not penalized in some form by the NCAA?) as epitomized by the institution’s unceremonious dumping of Ty Willingham for the glitter and allure of the fat man, Charlie Weiss. We do like Michigan in this one. For the first time this year, they won’t be facing a quick team with a dynamic quarterback that is running the spread offense.

Tennessee at Florida… we like Florida in this one. In fact we like Florida to cover the 8 points they are giving. This just in… Urban Meyer can coach. In fact, we suspect a little “evil” in him. If trends continue as they have, we are looking forward to a nice little silent rivalry between USC and Florida in years to come. One can sense that since Meyer took over in Gainesville, the two programs have been eyeing each other, seeing what the other is up to. The locales, the coaches, the talent pools in which they reside… its all there. Stay tuned.

Florida St. at Colorado… This is the sort of intersectional road show that put FSU on the map 25-30 years ago. We’re still not sure what the hell has happened down there in Tallahassee. It has become the place where 5-star high school recruits go to disappear. They still get the athletes so its gotta be the coaching, right?

Hawaii at UNLV… The Colt Brennan Heisman Trophy show hits the mainland. As noted here at this site, Mr. Brennan can’t afford any slip-ups in his quest for the honor.

Enjoy the games!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Red...? Is That You?

(…. back from the Great Beyond… more specifically a remote Mormon hide-away deep in the Utah back country where we were advising the Romney campaign. Before we get back (fully) in the saddle, want to express heatfelt thanks and gratitude to B-Daddy for his excellent work in filling-in as the lead this past week and a half…)

Not merely content to be viewed as an on-field (or on-court) dynasty in New England as the Celtics of the 60s, 70s and 80s were, the New England Patriots have adopted a similar off-field image and persona as those great Celtic teams.

The secretiveness of this Patriot team is reminiscent of those old Celtic teams where, from the outside, it appeared as more a coven than a sports franchise. It has been no mystery that the Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick was not pleased at all when one of his former lieutenants, Eric Mangini, took the Jet’s head coaching job before last season. Belichick’s handling of the weekly injury report has been a study in coyness and subterfuge. And now that Patriot-gate is in full-swing, reports are coming out from around the league about other suspected shenanigans being played by the Patriots against their opponents much like the Celtics back in the day.

And even Belichick himself seems to be a New England football re-incarnation of the late Red Auerbach… an excellent, detail-oriented tactician who also happened to be a smug and arrogant S.O.B.

(if nothing else, this gives an opportunity to share a story from back in the old AFL when the Raiders and Jets had a healthy rivalry going in the late 60s. Weeb Ewbank, the Jet’s coach, was obsessed with the notion of the Raider's Al Davis, spying on the Jets. At half-time in the locker room of one particular game where the Raiders were soundly beating the Jets, Ewbank was shaking with rage, clearly convinced that Davis and the Raiders had obtained their half-time lead by ill-begotten means, perhaps by bugging the Jet locker room. With the team gathered around him for the half-time talk, Ewbank looked up at the ceiling, shook his fist and shrieked, “Davis, g-d-d#$it, I know you’re up there!” Imagine the looks on the players’ faces who had no idea of Ewbank’s suspicions but merely see their enraged head coach looking skyward and cursing-out Al Davis).

Got a full-dose of talk radio during the drive back on the subject of the Pat’s videotaping the Jets during their game last Sunday and think all the angles were covered but still…. something is just not printing out… something about this whole thing is not adding up.

If the Patriot’s wanted to steal the Jet’s defensive signals, it would seem there are numerous other and more clandestine ways of doing it. Having one of the Patriot employees standing right there on the sidelines, camera in hand, is the most blatant and hamfisted way of doing it, though, and that is why none of this is making any sense.

The Patriots were warned about this before and despite Belichick’s “apology” there is nothing in the NFL rule that specifically prohibits video-taping the opponents bench that could possibly be “misinterpreted”.

One is left to wonder then if Belichik was doing this out of some perverse sense of spite… against Eric Mangini… against the NFL itself…. Not really sure. After having a few days to digest this, though, one thing is certain: only a massively out-sized ego like that possessed by Bill Belichick would try a stunt this bold and audacious. Red would be proud. Hope he chokes on it Sunday.

O.J. Who?

Once again defying parody, OJ Simpson has been named as a suspect in a criminal investigation. There was a joke at the time of his indictment, for which he was later acquitted (this comment inserted to protect Dean from legal action), that went like this:

Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
O.J. who?
You're on the jury.

As he continues his flagrant disregard for law and established authority, as he can't help but stay in the limelight of press attention, I want a stinking apology. I want at least an acknowledgment that those of us who thought he might have been somehow involved in the deaths of his ex-wife and Ron Goldman were not part of some vast racist conspiracy. There that felt good, and hopefully is on the list of 100 things.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Honey, My pay got docked a half a mil

When I first read the rumor that the Patriots had used a video camera to steal defensive signals from the Jets, I thought, what's the big deal? Isn't that routinely done in baseball? I didn't know there were specific rules for this activity; so I say good for the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. As previously posted in this column, the integrity of the sport is key to maintaining the fan base.

Relatedly, that much needed wardrobe upgrade Bill Belichik had been planning is probably on hold. By the way, I saw 49er coach Mike Nolan in suit and tie on the sidelines in their victory over the Cardinals. I know that the classic coaches like Halas and Lombardi did that; but it looked a little off to me. Further research answered the mystery; the suit was designed by Reebock, not Armani or some other Italian. But I have digressed into a "
Queer Eye" moment.

Back to the issue of the fine, imagine having to explain to the Mrs. that your pay got docked by half a million for cheating. The coach's exact pay is not known, so hard to say how much this hurts. But I just can't imagine him having that kind of cash sitting in the freezer; even Congressman only have 90 large on hand or so.

Anyway, go Chargers, maybe all this distraction works to there advantage as they visit the Pats this weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

National Holiday? I Think Not

Yesterday, I heard Oprah Winfrey call for September 11th to be made a national holiday. Who does she think we are, Serbs? (The most glorious Serbian holiday, Vidovdan, or St. Vitus' day, celebrates their military disaster while fighting the Turks in Kosovo, or defending Christian Europe as they like to put it.) Hey, we're Americans and we celebrate victory and success. December 7th, a far worse battlefield defeat in terms of its implications for the nation is not a national holiday and for good reason.

Take a look at some of our holidays. The 4th of July celebrates the triumph of individual liberty and rights. Veterans Day originally celebrated the end of World War I, also a victory. The birthdays of Washington and Lincoln are especially instructive. Washington is revered for the determination he brought in bringing those ideals to fruition. Lincoln saved the Union and in so doing enshrined the idea that our nation was dedicated to the freedom and liberty of all peoples. (More specifically, it was unacceptable to break the compact of the constitution in order to perpetuate injustice.) Memorial day celebrates sacrifice of our service men and women, but not defeat.

We celebrate that which gives meaning to our nation. Ours is not a nation of a single ethnic or racial composition, not even of a single language, but a "nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." We celebrate the triumph of our ideals on our national holidays. And on those days where we experience temporary defeat, we pause, mourn and reflect, never forgetting what we stand for.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Some Football, Please......

Since we've been ensconsed in the little house on the prarie here in Colorado, we've been catching up with family and weren't able to watch a whole lot of football but watched enough to have a few thoughts:

By Saturday night, it looked like USC picked the wrong week for a bye. The thinking being that the latest "beauty contest" on Saturday before the first BCS poll comes out would put LSU and maybe Oklahoma over USC because of their impressive performances against Virginia Tech and Miami respectively. Was not to be, however. USC remains atop the AP poll that came out on Sunday.

Michigan..... good Lord. Don't even know what to make of this spectacle. The conventional wisdom is that the game has passed Michigan and Lloyd Carr by..... the program has not recruited well enough to keep up with the speed and the spread offense that has become the rage of the college game. All that is plausible. We've been proponents of the theory that 'speed kills' for many years now, particularly at the college level. But c'mon.... this is Michigan, one of the winningest programs in the history of college football - despite the losses on defense and any shortcomings regarding recruiting philosophy, its not like they are suiting-up chumps out there. A 4-game losing streak is one thing but to be losing in the manner that Michigan is defies description.
(Need to amend post on college coaches winning a national championship within first 3 years and never winning it again. Carr, who won the championship in his 3rd season, would make that the 7th such occurrence in the past 19 years)

Which brings us of course to Notre Dame. These two programs, as a snap-shot in time, appear to be stuck in the same spot and stuck in the figurative mud of not keeping up with the changing face of the game. The situation is different, though, in that Notre Dame has hitched its wagon to Charlie Weiss for better or worse, winning season or losing while Michigan is not contractually bound, at least, to the same committment to Lloyd Carr. Here is the thing with the Domers, though. They ran Ty Willingham out of town after a 6-6 record in just his 3rd year. Record-wise, the Domers are probably going to fare worse this year. The time of the evening and length of the post will not allow us to get into the racial aspect of this.... that'll be saved for a later time. If not for Ty Willingham, then for Charlie Weiss, year 3 is still early and he has some lee-way to get things turned around but it is obvious that Notre Dame fell under the spell of having a former pro coach/coordinator (a la Pete Caroll at USC) come in as the quick fix and savior at the expense of a near-life time college guy. If Notre Dame's performances the past 2 games (4, if you count the gut kicks against USC and LSU last year) are any indication, then he isn't anywhere close. Thank Touchdown Jesus for 10 yr. contracts.

Speaking of 2 similar programs... Georgia and Auburn are identical twins. Two ball clubs led by two bright relatively young head coaches at the heads of powerhouse programs with an abundance of talent all over the field that have not quite got over the hump nationally. There is a sneaking suspicion of underachievement lately at these two schools. Also, both teams lost on Saturday as favorites.
Dumb commentator comment of the week: Commentator for the Oregon/Michigan game said that Oregon's thrashing of Michigan takes some of the luster off of App. State's win. Hardly. Even if Michigan goes winless, that victory will still stand apart as one of the greatest upsets in college football history if for nothing more than the names of the schools involved.
Back out on the road again tomorrow. B-Daddy has the con.

So, What Ever Happened to that Guy?

A good friend of ours (hint: guest blogger in the past) is about as fine and upstanding patriotic American as one will find. An unabashed flag waver with an excellent grasp of this nation's history and struggles against the forces of tyranny abroad. He also happens to be a registered Democrat.

This is mentioned only as an introduction to an excellent piece from Andrew Sullivan's blog (author is a guest blogger but the content of Sullivan's site would never be confused for "conservative") lamenting the demise of the anti-authoritarian Left.

There was a time when the guiding principles of the Democratic Party were rooted in this anti-authoritarian sense of human justice. When one looks back at most of the major military conflicts this nation embroiled itself in during the 20th century and who was the Commander-in-Chief, it becomes apparent that it was done as much for this principle as any tactical or strategic means to national security ends.

This nation's war efforts in World War I, the European theater of WWII and the Vietnam War were led by highly ambitious and highly idealistic men in the persons of Woodrow Wilson, FDR and JFK, Democrats all, who grasped the strategic AND moral obligation this country had in combatting this country's (and freedom's) enemies in each respective conflict.

....something happened, though, during the late 60s and early 70s that purged the Democratic Party of this principle. Well, that "something" was the hi-jacking of the Party by the McGovern wing and to this day, it is clear the residing philosophy contained therein is the M.O. of the Party.

Think about it: When was the last time you heard a leading Democrat talk about "freedom" or "liberty" in the context of foreign policy? Hell, when was the last time you heard a leading Democrat talk about the same at all except in the context of some as yet undetected Constitutional right to abortion on demand?

It appears that since the 60s, they've been too busy cozying-up to dictators from Ho Chi Minh to Daniel Ortega or being apologists for Soviet leaders and even Sadaam Hussein to be bothered with all this freedom and liberty talk. This talk has become exclusively the domain of the Republicans and it shouldn't or needn't be that way. As B-Daddy has pointed out in the previous post, the West as a whole should not be ashamed of promoting and advertising the concepts of freedom and liberty... they work... all else is pure folly.

The latest video of UBL betrays the liberal-Left, again. At the same time they slam Bush for taking his "eye off the ball" in not capturing the man ultimately behind 9/11, they find UBL's "talking points" all a little too familiar and too close to home and now Bush is blamed for making UBL this larger-than-life figure and which has contributed to an exaggeration of the threat of terrorism and to a "climate of fear" in this nation. And worse, because it appears he has been doing quite a bit of reading from the DailyKos and Huffington Post, they now paint UBL as some sort unhinged, crazed lune who is no longer a threat to us or anyone else. Sorry, can't have it both ways.

A big, fat..... "...whatever..." to these people. Here is to my friend, a good liberal and more importantly, a good and patriotic American and to the hopes that he can take his own Party back.

The Continuation of Politics by Other Means

Carl von Clausewitz, 19th century military historian, famously said that "War is politics carried on by other means." ("Der Krieg ist eine blo├če Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln") It has become clear to me in these times, that terrorism, too, is politics continued by other means. Consider recent statements from the left wing extremist pictured here. (Need to ask Dean if that is on the list of 100 things?) In a rambling 25 minute video, he takes the American people to task for re-electing George Bush, and goes on to trash the Democrats for not forcing an American withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. ABC news has a summary here. He also rails at the concept of democracy in general, which I find heartening. Politically, being against free elections is a long term losing position throughout the world, and if we were smart, we could exploit UBL's foolishness. He mentions our failure to sign the Kyoto accords, as if he really cares. He also rants against capitalism, and then perversely, recommends conversion to Islam to provide relief against high taxes. "There are no taxes in Islam, but rather there is a limited Zakaat [alms] totaling 2.5 percent." (quoted from the linked ABC article.) Who knew he was also a "supply-sider?" But praising Noam Chomsky, fellow left wing extremist, in the same tape is a real puzzler. But wait, it isn't. He has no coherent theory to offer the world, only his own supposed holiness, so he uses whatever facts appear convenient at the time.
In a better world, our leaders would see that the political dimension of the war on terror is as important as the military one. The western democracies have a great story to tell. Democracy, human rights, prosperity... What's not to like? But we do such a bad job of selling that story and we undermine our own cause by not keeping the pressure on our supposed allies in the Mideast to democratize. The same resolve that won the Cold War will win this war as well. Even though it had its military dimension, what broke the game wide open in the Cold War was the embarrassment of the Soviet leadership over their constant need for repression. Glasnost followed, and the rest, as they say is history. Clearly, we have to embarrass our current enemies and it is so easy. Teaching children to kill, blowing up fellow Muslims on pilgrimages, killing children... the other side has so much to be ashamed of. We need to do a better job of publicizing that.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Apparently not Ordinary

So Fred Thompson says that ordinary Americans don't watch debates. Count me as not ordinary, I found the debate on Fox two nights ago rather lively. (Also, I did not catch Fred on Leno.) However, the post event spin puzzled me. Frank Luntz, pollster and spinologist gave the nod to John McCain. By the way, his focus group literally had little hand dials they spun to record their impressions, giving newer meaning to that much abused word. I found McCain to be vague, but the audience liked his style. His best answer was on why he didn't sign the "no tax increase" pledge, where he said he stood on his record. Rudy Giuliani took the toughest questions, and though I have a tough time forgiving him for the Michael Milken prosecution, he gave thoughtful, direct answers. On the pledge question, he said it better than McCain, standing both on his record and then saying as a matter of principal, a future President should not start signing pledges everywhere to appease interest groups.

I had been thinking I would be boosting Mitt Romney. I like him on the basis of being the tallest, having good hair and a sense of humor. But he seemed very flat. He made a pretty lame joke about the Democrat tax cut plan of $250 per person not even paying for a John Edwards hair cut. It didn't work for me when Mitt clearly spends some green on his own personal appearance. That John Edwards gets fancy haircuts never bothers me anyway, if the wealthy want to spend their money that way, thanks for keeping people employed. But to then get hypocritical and go after the rest of us who are trying to earn a living and shield a little of our money from Uncle; and blame our selfishness for the poverty in America galls me. But I digress. Mitt looked bad and for the life of me, I can't remember any distinguishing position he took.

Ron Paul got the most applause and the most boos. I thought he looked like a jackass. A case can be made for his positions, but he did little to persuade people and he sounds irresponsible. Also, he was the winner of the text messaging poll, go figure. (Mysteriously, the next day he was listed as second.)

Overall, it was a good debate except for the stupidity on immigration. All the candidates, except Paul, of course, talking tough and building walls; no one addressing the root causes of the problem. Perhaps more on that later.

I Told You It Was Rare

As previously discussed, Navy's short reign as the only unbeaten independent came to a nasty end tonight. Fortunately, I was busy romancing Mrs. B-Daddy on our anniversary and missed all but a few of the Navy lowlights. From the couple of plays I did see, all I can say is, dang, they used to tackle better than that. Congrats to Mr. Rice on his impressive running.

The Spirit of '89

Just popping in....

Being after Labor Day when most of America is back to school and work, we found that the natives were the exception rather than the rule out on the road and in particular, the tourist traps of the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley.

Euros..... they're everywhere. And if we can engage in a bit of stereo-typing, the French and Germans can be spotted a mile away. Thinner, less color and noticeably more angular facial features than Americans.
Of course, the folks from the British Isles look most like us but sound least like us.

The Czechs, however.... the Czechs generally look like how we wish we looked. The denial from our Western world Czech, Hungarian and Romanian supermodels and blonde Russian tennis players is reason alone to banish Communism to the trash heap of history. Bastards.

Many thanks to B-Daddy for the excellent work he is doing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Presidential Handicapping

O.K., I admit it, I can’t predict who is going to win the nominations of the major parties, but I will make some fearless predictions on who won’t.

John McCain. Whenever I listen to John McCain speak, I can’t shake the mental image of Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg in the “Caine Mutiny” complete with twin metal marbles, looking for the missing strawberries. No way will the American people trust this guy with the button. You just know this guy is ready to snap.

Barrack Hussein Obama? Are you kidding me? Still too soon after 9/11. Too much unease with his names. (Osama-Obama, did I have to spell it out?) Also, he’s way too nice; his Democrat opponent is Hillary, after all. If things look close, look for the long knives to come out and Mr. Obama to be figuratively in a pool of blood on the floor before he knows what happened.

Ron Paul. I love this guy, even voted for him for President once before, way back in 1988. But there is a reason no other Republican candidate is advocating
immediate withdrawal from Iraq.
It is a losing proposition, politically and historically, and the Republican base knows it. But maybe if he can gather enough support, the Republican leadership might remember that advocating and delivering smaller government actually wins elections (I’m thinking Ronald Reagan, I’m thinking, 1994 congressional elections.)

Of course, don't take my handicapping seriously. My long track record of not understanding the voting populous started at an early age. I remember toddling after my Mom as she did volunteer work for the Goldwater campaign. Living in Orange County at the time (it wasn't the O.C. yet and it definitely wasn't cool) I met no one who wasn't voting for Barry. I even remember the AuH2O bumper sticker that appealed to the budding geek in me.Needless to say, I was shocked when Johnson won. "But Mommy," I said, "the Democrats must have cheated. We don’t know anyone who voted for Johnson.” “Not this time,” my Mom patiently replied, “it was a landslide.”To this day, Barry Goldwater is my favorite presidential candidate among those I can actually remember.