30 September 2007

Yet again, ouch.

You aren't going to win too many games when your quarterback throws three interceptions and then fumbles the ball as well. Hence, PSU went down to Illinois Saturday in what had to be the most frustrating sequel to last week's show of ineptitude in Ann Arbor. It's one thing to lose to Michigan, but it's quite another to lose to Illinois. But so it goes. Here's my record against the spread: 11-10.

Pretty poor. Now in my defense, I'm counting the BC v. UMass game as a loss, even though the spread on espn was being reported as -0, an obvious mistake in my mind. I have no idea what it really was, but it was probably more than ten, so I'm guessing it would have been a loss anyway. The lesson to learn is that you shouldn't mess around with bookies.

28 September 2007

It's Friday, so it's College Football picking time...

I thought I might try going against the "Las Vegas Line" on my picks this week for a change. I don't think I'll be doing it again, because it's a pain in the ass. These are spreads taken from espn.com as of Friday early a.m. So here goes nothing:

1. USC (-20.5) v. Washington. USC does not cover the spread.
2. LSU (-41) v. Tulane. LSU will cover.
3. Oklahoma (-23) v. Colorado. Oklahoma covers this spread.
4. Florida (-18) v. Auburn. Florida does not cover this spread.
5. WVU (-7) v. #18 South Florida. WVU covers this spread easily.
6. Cal v. #11 Oregon (-6). Oregon covers.
7. Texas (-14.5) v. Kansas State. Texas does not cover.
8. Ohio State (-24) v. Minnesota. Ohio State covers this spread.
9. Wisconsin (-7.5) v. Michigan State. Wisconsin covers.
10. Rutgers (-18.5) v. Maryland. Rutgers does not cover the spread.
11. See #6 above...
12. BC (-0) v. Mass. For some reason, ESPN doesn't have a line for this game...Oh well, BC crushes Mass by four touchdowns.
13. Clemson (-3) v. Georgia Tech. Clemson doesn't cover. Georgia Tech wins this game.
14. Kentucky (-24) v. Florida Atlantic. Kentucky covers.
15. Georgia (-15) v. Mississippi. Georgia covers.
16. South Carolina (-13.5) v. Mississippi State. South Carolina will cover.
17. Virginia Tech (-18.5) v. North Carolina. V-Tech does not cover.
18. See #5 above...
19. Hawaii (-25) v. Idaho. Hawaii covers.
20. Missouri is idle.
21. Penn State (-3) v. Illinois. Penn State covers.
22. Alabama (-0) v. Florida State. Surely that's a typo. Alabama will kill Florida State.
23. Arizona State (-14.5) v. Stanford. ASU covers the spread.
24. Cincinnati (-14.5) v. San Diego State. Cincinnati does not cover the spread.
25. Nebraska (-21) v. Iowa State. Nebraska does not cover the spread.

And no, I am not taking bets.

25 September 2007

Two peas in a pod.

So this madman has come to New York to talk to the UN, but it's unclear what Bush can exactly do after spending the last four plus years disturbing the world's peace and creating the greatest upsurge in terrorism since the mid-1970's. Bush has actually had the gall to tell the UN to "join in the mission of liberation," which I'm sorry, but to most ears, knowing the track record of this petty man, must sound something like asking the UN to destabilize more regions of the world.

Certainly, Bush is absolutely correct that the military junta in Myanmar is repressive, but I suspect his pointed criticism of that country has a lot more to do with China's cozy relationship with the military dictatorship than with his actual concern for the country or its people. After all, he chose as his vice president a man who voted against a resolution calling for Nelson Mandela's release from prison and worked to continue close relationships with the Apartheid government in South Africa...I mean, freedom and liberation aren't exactly tops on the puppetmaster's agenda.

So I imagine it strikes people as a bit daft when Mr. Let's-start-a-war-on-false-pretenses gets up in front of diplomats and starts talking about freedom.

Meanwhile, in the same city, the Iranian president was yukking it up at Columbia with such zingers as claiming Iran has no homosexuals:
Asked about executions of homosexuals in Iran, Mr Ahmadinejad replied: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country."
Reacting to laughter and jeers from the audience he added: "In Iran we don't have this phenomenon, I don't know who you told this." [BBC]

Of course, it's easy to have fun at Ahmadinejad's expense, because he's as utterly ridiculous making his pronouncements about Iranian freedoms as Bush is making his about liberation. But seriously, no homosexuals? Let's take him at his word for a moment. It's quite possible he's an avid student of Michel Foucault and he realizes, via The History of Sexuality, that homosexuality as an identity is something the culture only begins to recognize as we move into the twentieth century, that prior to that it was a behavior (e.g. sodomy) that was criminalized and hence it was a criminal act, like robbery. Hence poor Oscar Wilde being sent to Reading Gaol for "gross indecency."

However, in Ahmadinejad's case, I really don't think he knows that history. I would argue, though, that the end result is the same: he truly believes that Iran has no homosexuals because he doesn't believe in homosexuality (in the same sense that rabid right-wing Christians don't believe in homosexuality as identity): he understands the physical manifestations of homosexuality (i.e. same-sex sexual activity) as criminal actions outside one's identity, much like stealing a loaf of bread or assaulting someone are criminal acts that don't give the perpetrator any sort of identity claim.

In other words, he's way way way behind the times, but quite earnest in his ignorance, even as Bush is earnest in his.

23 September 2007

Ouch.

Well, I got my comeuppance big time this weekend, with Penn State taking a loss against Michigan in the Big House. That makes nine straight, through thick and thin, that the Wolverines have laid on the Nittany Lions.

In scores of other games, my entire Top 25 success streak ended this weekend as well. I was 17-4, which doesn't look so bad, except that I called the games almost all entirely wrong. Here's what I said about the Nebraska v. Ball State game:
24. Nebraska v. Ball State. This game will be over by the end of the 1st quarter. Nebraska in a rout.

Actually, it was Nebraska coming from behind to salvage a win, 41-40. Hardly a rout. I also believed Florida would "win big" over Mississippi, and they won 30-24, which is not "big" in anyone's book, and thought Wisconsin would beat Iowa by seventeen, when in reality the final was 17-13.

Of course, I'd have happily lost all but one, so long as the one was the Penn State v. Michigan game. Sadly, now I have to wait until October 18, 2008, for the Lions' next shot at UM and some redemption.

22 September 2007

Big Surprise.

Yeah. Real Big Surprise. They're mercenaries for f*$k sake. Get this through your head: it's always and only about the money. Once you countenance running private armies for the highest bidder, all bets are off. Jesus Christ, the business model does not apply always and everywhere, you morons. There are very good reasons why things like education, healthcare, and, um, national security should not be measured by profit and loss.

21 September 2007

Real quick, here are the picks.

1. USC v. Washington State. USC wins by probably thirty.
2. LSU v. #12 South Carolina. LSU’s run is ended by the ol’ Ball Coach.
3. Florida v. Mississippi. Florida wins big.
4. Oklahoma v. Tulsa. Over in a flash. Oklahoma runs roughshod over Tulsa.
5. WVU v. East Carolina. Prepare for a closer game than you thought, but WVU still wins by twenty.
6. Cal v. Arizona. It’s in Tucson, but that won’t help as Cal wins.
7. Texas v. Rice. Texas finally has a dominating win.
8. Ohio State v. Northwestern. OSU opens up the Big Ten Season with a win.
9. Wisconsin v. Iowa. Iowa has looked bad, and Wisconsin will win by seventeen.
10. Penn State v. Michigan. UM always gives PSU trouble, but PSU wins 23-17.
11. Does not play.
12. South Carolina v. #2 LSU. Gamecocks take out the Tigers.
13. Oregon v. Stanford. Oregon wins against the PAC-10 doormat.
14. Boston College v. Army. BC has no problems handling this service academy.
15. Clemson v. NC State. For a few years in the early 21st Century, NC State was good. They aren’t anymore. Clemson in a kill.
16. Alabama v. #22 Georgia. Two great games in the SEC this week. Georgia comes away with the win.
17. Virginia Tech v. 1AA William and Mary. V-Tech has no trouble beating up on this cupcake.
18. Louisville v. Syracuse. Louisville in a romp against the Big East doormat.
19. Hawaii v. Charleston Southern. Umm…Hawaii wins. At least C-S gets a nice weekend in Hawaii.
20. Texas A&M already lost to Miami.
21. Kentucky v. Arkansas. Arkansas beats no-defense Kentucky.
22. Georgia v. #16 Alabama. Georgia wins.
23. South Florida v. North Carolina. South Florida stays in the rankings another week by beating UNC.
24. Nebraska v. Ball State. This game will be over by the end of the 1st quarter. Nebraska in a rout.
25. Missouri v. Illinois State. Missouri puts the misery in Illinois State (get it?)

19 September 2007

The company you keep, yet again.

It's been a while since I've written about the mercenaries the US is using in Iraq in lieu of a proper accountable armed force, but now they're back in the news. Blackwater, the war profiteering mercenary "business," have been caught a little too red-handed this time in their "civilian shoot-em-up" games, and the US government, the current employers of this mercenary force, is feeling the heat to separate themselves from this gang of thugs.

Not since the days of privateers on the open seas has the US been so dependent on these bottom-feeders of the world's tragedies, and days were when the term "mercenary" had a pejorative connotation, as the British employed their German mercenaries, the Hessians, against the U.S. in the Revolutionary War. Under the Bush Administration, anything goes, though, in this vain bid to secure the oil fields, as even Alan Greenspan now admits is the origins of the Iraq War (I would argue that a good bit of Bush's eagerness to invade also came about through his ridiculous family vendetta against one-time ally Saddam Hussein -- gotta teach those dogs that bite their masters a lesson...). Hey, Billy Bragg (did I mention he was playing the Birchmere October 22?) could have told him that about five years ago:


18 September 2007

Probably information you didn't want to know.

Yesterday my daughter was home sick, so I was, too. The whole thing started Saturday afternoon, with vomit in one of the worst places to have vomit: the car seat. First, the child is strapped in, looking pretty upset as she simultaneously retches and tries to bend over to expel the stuff, all the while with the seat straps holding her back. Sorry I don't have pictures.

Needless to say, that can get dangerous, what with the mouth filling up with chunky liquid and the head position slightly reclined, but we stopped the car immediately and rushed to her aid. The nastiness continued through the evening (although to in the interest of full disclosure, I'll embark on this sidebar: my wife and I had evening plans and a babysitter arranged, so when the little one got sick we cancelled the sitter and discussed who would stay home and who would go out. I got to go out), and then she slept through the night just fine.

Only to throw her breakfast up the next morning. And was fine all day after that, eating a huge lunch of something like five slices of quesadilla, and keeping it down. We thought we were out of the woods, then 5:30 a.m. Monday morning she throws up again. And I stayed home. And we're back to where we were in the first sentence of this post.

Now normally, being off work in the regular work week is a pretty good gig, because you get to see this other world that is populated by the waitstaff, bartenders, night-shift maintenance staff, drug dealers, prostitutes, and the unemployed. These are the people who are in the coffee shops and walking the neighborhood streets during the day. However, this time I stayed inside the entire day (not wanting to tempt fate like I did last time my son was sick: he seemed a bit better in the afternoon so we went to the zoo, which is right around the corner, but let me tell you, he wasn't better...), which inevitably saved me money because I would have found an excuse to eat lunch out and buy a cd or two at Crooked Beat.

All seems to be good today, so let's keep our fingers crossed.

16 September 2007

College Football Week 3 roundup.

So the end of Saturday's action saw me with an 18-3 record in the Top 25 matchups (and 2-0 outside the Top 25), not bad if I do say so myself. And I do. I'll not dwell on the mistakes (Hawaii v. UNLV game, ahem), but rather draw everyone's attention to the fantastic pick I made with Kentucky over Louisville. More close to home, the Big Ten is looking ugly, with Minnesota losing to Florida Atlantic University (WTF?) and Iowa losing to Big 12 punching bag Iowa State. Sure, there are three Big Ten teams in the top ten (Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Penn State), but I'm starting to wonder more and more about Wisconsin's program following its close call to UNLV last week and it's less than impressive win over the Citadel this week.

Michigan State beat Pitt and Michigan walloped Notre Dame. Now you really have to wonder about Notre Dame, because in Michigan's two previous games, the Wolverines gave up over 30 points per game; Notre Dame couldn't hang a single point on them. Likewise the Wolverine offense, which was nowhere to be found against Oregon, lit up the Fighting Irish defense. That should give Michigan a boost going into their upcoming game against the undefeated Penn State Nittany Lions who damn well better win in Ann Arbor after having been robbed there a few times over the years.

14 September 2007

College Football Week 3 Pick 'Em.

We must protect this house....yeah, right. Ralph Friedgen came in to Maryland, revitalized a moribund program, and promptly fell off the edge of the earth after a few years. Now they go down to a resurgent WVU program that under Rich Rodriguez has enjoyed a few very good years. I honestly don't know what the deal is with Maryland football, other than the fact that the ACC has traditionally been a basketball conference (which is why Bowden was so eager to get into the conference and pad his win totals).

But enough of the pre-weekend game. Let's talk Saturday.

1. USC v. 14 Nebraska. Ooh, this'll be a good one. USC wins, though.
2. LSU v. Middle Tennessee State. 3rd week in a row for LSU to play a cupcake team. They romp.
3. Oklahoma v. Utah State. Oklahoma in a rout.
4. WVU already beat Maryland.
5. Florida v. #22 Tennessee. I don't know how good Florida is, but I know Tennessee isn't. Florida wins by a few touchdowns. Let's say 20 points.
6. Texas v. UCF. Texas gets another shaky win.
7. Wisconsin v. Citadel. Are you kidding me? The Big Ten non-conference schedule is an embarrassment. Wisconsin thrashes Citadel.
8. Cal v. Louisiana Tech. Cal isn't Hawaii, and Cal will have this game well in hand by the half.
9. Louisville v. Kentucky. Neither team has any defense, but Louisville is bound for a fall. Kentucky wins this one.
10. Ohio State v. Washington. A tight game, but Ohio State's D is the difference. OSU wins.
11. UCLA v. Utah. UCLA already beat the only (halfway) decent team from Utah. UCLA wins.
12. PSU v. Buffalo. PSU wins a game versus an opponent they should be embarrassed to have scheduled.
13. Rutgers v. Norfolk State. Rutgers in a route against a team no one knew existed.
14. Nebraska v. #1 USC. USC wins.
15. Georgia Tech v. #21 BC. BC will win this game.
16. Arkansas v. Alabama. Please. Alabama wins this game easily.
17. South Carolina v. South Carolina State. South Carolina routs in state punching bag.
18. Virginia Tech v. Ohio. Va. Tech wins this game, but their offense will not impress.
19. Oregon v. Fresno State. I am taking Fresno State for the second week in a row.
20. Clemson v. Furman. Clemson in a kill.
21. BC v. #15 G-Tech. BC upsets Georgia Tech.
22. Tennessee v. #5 Florida. Florida wins big.
23. Georgia v. West Carolina. UGa wins. No surprise here.
24. Hawaii v. UNLV. Hawaii was unimpressive v. La. Tech; UNLV was impressive v. Wisconsin. I give this game to UNLV.
25. Texas A&M v. Louisiana-Monroe. A&M should have no problem putting away this tomato can.

Outside the top 25, people are talking about the Michigan v. Notre Dame game, since both schools have such storied, successful programs and both are 0-2 this year, which is seriously unheard of. And one will be 0-3 after Saturday. That one will be Notre Dame. The other unranked matchup in the Big 10 of interest is the Michigan State v. Pitt game; neither team has played anyone recognizable, but I give MSU the edge based on the home turf.

There is nothing new under the sun.

It seems everywhere you look the 1980's are coming back with a vengeance. This phenomenon is not new. Back in the late 1990's, you could go to an "Eighties Dance Party" most nights in either Adams Morgan or downtown at some joint called Polly Esther's (or so I read in the City Paper). That initial bounce was generated by newly-minted drinking age patrons who were too young the first time around to remember how shitty most of that dreck was, so it was mainly a playlist dragged off the pop stations of the 1980's (at least in Adams Morgan, where I could hear "99 Red Ballons" from Heaven and Hell bouncing off the buildings and into our house every Thursday night; yeah, not even the German version, "Neunundneunzig Luftballoons").



This latest return is a bit different and manifests itself not so much in the music at crappy dance clubs, but in the throwback t-shirts of The Smiths and Siouxsie and the Banshees etc. visible on the now up and coming generation of (non-kickball playing) club-goers. Such bands were once a staple of 99.1 HFS, back when it was locally owned in the 1980's and early 1990's and long before it became a Spanish language station.



Which brings me rambling to another point: DC has no underground or offbeat radio station. Prior to the advent of the bastard genre called "alternative," which essentially became meaningless once it was formalized and formula-ized, HFS performed that crucial role in a city with many colleges but no college radio stations actually run by college students playing whatever the hell music said college students felt like playing. WHUR, WAMU, and WGBT are long gone (though they live on in other vestiges: WHUR and WAMU you probably recognize, and Georgetown donated its frequency, 90.1, to the newly formed UDC, which then sold it [!] to C-Span...).



I suppose you could argue that teh internets have brought back the idea of local programming (WGBT for instance has come back as an internet-only station), but until I can pick up webradio on my portable boom-box or my car radio (minus special satellite radio equipment), it isn't the same.



So if you've read this far, I'll let you in on a little slice of the 1980's that you'll not find on the dance floors but you can find at the Birchmere on October 22: Billy Bragg.

13 September 2007

Who am I? How did I get here?




At least some cultural signs point in positive directions.

The Daily Collegian is reporting that fraternity recruitment numbers at Penn State are down this year, which could mean that these hotbeds of elitism, sexism, and racism are finding it more difficult to attract drones.

Oh if only it were so.

It seems these organizations that tend to divide themselves along racial, class, and even religious lines had a surge of enrollment when they sent out blast invitations using facebook; this year facebook is apparently preventing such mass solicitation abuse, much to the chagrin of the Greek recruiters.

But wait, wait, you say. They aren't just about "poling" people and inducing alcohol poisoning during pledge hazing and providing fertile grounds for date rape...the Greek organizations do so much good...look at the money they raise for charity. And it's true. They do raise money for charity, but do you think a single recruit has ever joined a fraternity based upon the charitable deeds of that organization? Plenty of groups raise money for charities without organizing themselves along reactionary lines.

Besides, Scientologists handing out free cookies at their free personality test screenings doesn't distract me from the fact that the cult's actual purpose is to bilk adherents out of as much money as possible.

12 September 2007

On the front lines of the useful idiots.

It seems like only a few days ago I was posting about the idiots in Israel who were running their own neo-nazi ring. In Israel. Oh, that's right, it was only a few days ago. So not to be outdone, we here in the good old U S of A have come up with our own freakshow, the West Virginia White Supremacists.

Now I'm not so naive as to think white supremacists are only in West Virginia, are only in rural areas, or are only a collection of derelicts that look like they're about one hit away from an overdose. Some of the best white supremacists wear some of the best suits...

However, this collection of six slop-eaters are not going to be seen around a boardroom or a pseudo-scientific racist conference such as put on by the "American Renaissance" group. No, these are your stormtroopers of the white supremacist movement, the useful idiots whom the more refined bigots plan to strain out of the gene pool once they've taken over and established a kingdom based on white racial purity. In other words, our West Virginia Six are dead ends in the white supremacist gene pool.

And remember, these are just six who got caught...

11 September 2007

A small note, and then a movie review.

OK Blogger. Stop putting fucking "div" tags in my posts. I don't know when you started this practice, and to tell you the truth I'm too damn lazy to look it up, but it seems for the past few weeks everything's getting more spaced out and I look and see I have these "div" things in there.

Get them out.

In the meantime, I'll tell you a little story. My wife is teaching two classes this fall and one of the books she's teaching is Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. Now we've both read the book, but neither of us had seen the 1992 movie adaptation starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Hawkeye. So we watched it the other night.

It's hard for me to evaluate it as a movie, since my understanding is so colored by my knowledge of the text, but as a film adaptation it absolutely blows. In fact, it's so far away from Cooper's novel that it shouldn't even be called The Last of the Mohicans. It should have been called The Names Are the Same but Everything Is Different.

First, Hawkeye is not a love interest in the novel. He's a crusty frontiersman who has no use for romance. Cora and Hawkeye never share any sort of hot passion and to make matters worse, Heyward is not interested whatsoever in Cora: he has his eyes set on Alice. So the movie sets up a typical Hollywood trope that is found nowhere near Cooper's novel: the love triangle between Cora, Hawkeye, and Heyward.

I could go on and on: Cora's mixed background and Hawkeye's insistence on his own racial purity are entirely absent from consideration, Magua and Uncas's competing desires for Cora -- once again, not Alice -- are absent, the plot structure is altered in entirely unnecessary ways, etc.

It almost makes me want to teach the novel sometime just so I can give an in-class writing assignment to see which students read the novel and which watched that fraudulent piece of crap.

When Oxymoron really involves morons.

[Yes, I know it's 9/11. This post has absolutely nothing to do with terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden, or BushCo's response to said events.]

Seriously. An Israeli Neo-Nazi ring. Now I've seen stupid, but I think this takes the cake, because it's wrong on so many levels, the first of course being that the original Nazis were sadistic, officious, murderers whose main qualities were good record-keeping and dressing up in fancy uniforms, so there should be little desire to emulate them from any rational being.

The most obvious fallacy of running this particular Israeli neo-nazi ring is that the participants appear to have been Russian immigrants who were there because the Law of Return guarantees citizenship to anyone with a Jewish grandparent. And these morons had Jewish ancestry (and probably lost a few relatives in the Holocaust). WTF. And they weren't very secret about their sympathies, either, apparently:

Boanitov, who was known as "Eli the Nazi", told police: "I won't ever give up. I was a Nazi and I will stay a Nazi, until we kill them all I will not rest." In one conversation recorded by the police, Boanitov tells one of his fellow gang members: "My grandfather was a half-Jewboy. I will not have children so that this trash will not be born with even a tiny per cent of Jewboy blood."

The dude's nickname is "Eli the Nazi." That's what the people in the neighborhood knew him as. In other words, he wasn't like Cheney, trying to cloak his fascist tendencies under the guise of the Republican Party. No, he was "Eli the Nazi." It doesn't get any clearer.

And how about the self-hate? Here the (by fiction of law and custom, to quote Mark Twain) Jewish Nazi first identifies the Jews as "them," and then asserts that his own Jewish blood precludes him from having children. My guess is that logic is not his strong point.

Then of course you have the additional irony that these guys are not only Jewish, but also Russian, and they're emulating the friggin' Nazis, who invaded the Soviet Union and considered the Russians (not to mention the Jews and non-Russian citizens of the Soviet Union) as sub-human, so it gets real dicey. I mean, what tortured logic would bring you to such moronic conclusions that because you're a member of two groups oppressed by the Nazis, you should become one?

OK, so I guess we get back around to the first principle, which is that anyone, and I mean anyone, who finds the Nazis to be role models is basically all fucked up.

10 September 2007

College Football Week #2 Post Mortem

First, the record: 16-4.


Of those four losses, I blame myself for not trusting my gut and picking South Carolina over perenially over-rated Georgia, and I have to say that Fresno State almost came through in the end, taking Texas A&M to three overtimes before faltering. Gutsy call by Texas A&M, by the way, going for the two point conversion in that third overtime. I thought the Auburn game would be close, but I thought Auburn would win. My bad there. TCU v. Texas looked good the first half, but TCU's second half collapse left Texas with a convincing victory.


I'm concerned for my Big Ten conference, though. Wisconsin looked very sluggish against UNLV, taking the game down to the wire. Michigan once again looked like very sick puppies (yet on their message board, unbelievably, they're still talking about winning the Big Ten). Ohio State didn't really impress against Akron, especially in the first half. Even the Post is onto it.


I was also thinking about the local college football scene and realizing that since none of the DC schools actually play any real football, University of Maryland is the only game in town, and they're not much game as it is. Navy, in Annapolis, is the next closest D-1 team (and this year probably the next best within 120 miles), but no one speaks their name in the same breath as "top 25" unless Notre Dame is having a good year. Charlottesville is an agonizing one and a half hours away, so they're about as local as Temple, and Blacksburg is so ridiculously remote, you might as well consider the Mountaineers, Rutgers, or even Penn State a "local" team. In fact, given the quality of the teams the Post currently considers "local," I wouldn't be surprised to see them start to claim WVU...

08 September 2007

Sweet, sweet, victory.


Aside from the final score of Penn State 31 - Notre Dame 10, the sweetest statistic of all was the Notre Dame rushing total: ZERO yards. That's right. Exactly 0 yards on the ground to go with Jimmy Clausen's 143 yards through the air. It's hard to win football games when you can't run the ball at all.

So PSU survived three turnovers to rout the Irish, and I hope Charlie Weis was taking notes when JoePa, leading 31-10, decided against calling a fake punt on a fourth and one situation. It's called class and respect, Charlie. Take notes.

One thing is for certain: when winless Notre Dame takes on winless Michigan, one of them will snap the losing streak.

And proving once again that something in the Ann Arbor air makes Michigan players and fans alike absurdly arrogant, Michigan running back Mike Hart used the Wolverines' devastating loss to Oregon to guarantee victory next week:
Hart predicted the Wolverines won't be winless after hosting Notre Dame.
"I guarantee we win next week," Hart said.
That's classic bulletin board material.

07 September 2007

If it's Friday, it's College Football Predictions.

OK. We have a few more interesting matchups this week than we had last week, but really it takes about three or four weeks before the top 25 is really settled and we have some good matchups and better ideas of where teams belong. After Louisville's performance on Thursday, I look to them to either stay put or drop a rank or two. Here are the rest of the top 25 matchups and predictions:



1. USC takes the week off.

2. LSU v. #9 Virginia Tech. Vtech won't know what hit them. LSU goes Katrina on their ass.

3. WVU v. Marshall. WVU continues to feast on steady diet of cupcakes.

4. Florida v. Troy. Troy is not to be confused with Trojans, as in USC. Florida routs this punching bag.

5. Oklahoma v. Miami. In a battle of two schools with storied thuggish programs, OU will win big. BTW, OK and Wisc are technically both #5 in the AP poll...

6. Wisconsin v. UNLV. Huh? Wisconsin will send this squad back to their homes in tears.

7. Texas v. #19 TCU. TCU wins a shocker in Austin.

8. Louisville v. Middle Tennessee State University. Louisville won, but not very convincingly.

9. V Tech v. #2 LSU. LSU wins big.

10. Cal v. Colorado State. Cal shows no let up and handles C-State easily.

11. Georgia v. South Carolina. I'd love to pick SC in this one, but I can't. Bulldogs beat Gamecocks.

12. Ohio State v. Akron. Akron has a good program, but OSU has a better and more criminal one. OSU wins by two touchdowns and some change.

13. UCLA v. Brigham Young. UCLA wins big at home.

14. Penn State v. Notre Dame. PSU wins big. Charlie Weis starts to rethink whether being an asshole who fake punts even when his team is winning big is really a great way to live.

15. Rutgers v. Navy. Rutgers will sink Navy.

16. Nebraska v. Wake Forest. Nebraska rolls against a weak ACC team.

17. Auburn v. South Florida. Auburn wins, but closer than it should be.

18. Arkansas doesn't play this week.

19. TCU v. #7 Texas. Hit the Road, Mack. TCU upsets Texas.

20. Hawaii v. La. Tech. Hawaii continues its victory march.

21. Georgia Tech v. Samford. GTech woops up on Samford.

22. Boise State v. Washington. Washington upsets Boise State. Yes, I said it.

23. Texas A&M v. Fresno State. Fresno State stuns the Aggies.

24. Tennessee v. Southern Miss. Tennessee recovers and soundly beats So Miss.

25. Clemson v. Louisiana-Monroe. Clemson in a laugher.



Here's what's happening in the Big 10 outside the top 25:

Michigan will top Oregon, and if they don't Lloyd Carr will be dragged from the field and beaten severely by crazed Wolverine fans.

In my mind, that game is the only one that a Big 10 team might lose on Saturday, and pity Carr if UM loses again, at home.

And in a totally unrelated note, tomorrow is the opening of DC Stoddert Soccer, so my weekends will be even busier this fall (and I can't wait until t-ball starts up next week, either...)

On the Outside Looking in.

I am of course writing this post from an alternative reality. I'm not sure how long I've been trapped in this other world, but occasionally information filters in from the real world and gives me the unsettling feeling that all is not well, and that I do indeed live in a state of waking dream.

In this alternative universe, the Iraq War is going poorly. The alterno-Bush Administration cooked up evidence against Iraq, invaded the country, deposed the dictator, and believed the occupying forces would be met with flowers strewn at their feet. Four long years later, we're still involved in this war, here in alterno-universe. In fact, while many critics predicted that deposing Saddam would lead to sectarian violence and devolve into civil war, they were ignored by the media and the politicians...and unfortunately in alterno-world, that's exactly what has happened.

However, I'm made to understand that back in your world, the real world, this is not the case. President Bush has affirmed to none other than Australian Deputy Prime Minster Mark Vaile that the U.S. is vanquishing foes left and right:
"We're kicking ass," Bush said to Vaile Tuesday, according the Herald, after the deputy prime minister inquired about his trip to Iraq.

So thank goodness for that. You can all be thankful you live in the real world and not in my alterno nightmare world.

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And speaking of alternative universes, the President is apparently getting a drubbing in the comments section of the link I've given above...except for a few diehard morons whose alternative realities are far more real to them and far more idiotic. Take this fantasy-laced diatribe from one right-wing tool:

give me a break people. we all slip and say stuff like this. you are supposed to be on his side(america's side). i guess everyone forgot about those plane attacks again. i dont think he took the presidential seat knowing what it held for him. no one does. put yourself in his shoes. nevermind, you cant. i dont encourage or like war, and i feel for every family who has lost a family member, but sometimes you have to react when you have been the target of a terror plot. guess we shouldnt have increased security at airports either. remember he is a human being and your leader and we should support him and this country in whatever our/your president feels is best for this great land

Posted By jason hewitt, santee, sc : September 6, 2007 6:56 pm



The problem, Mr. Hewitt, isn't that Bush said "ass"; the problem is that he's a moron whose statements have absolutely no bearing on reality, but so long as he has useful idiots who believe that Iraq has any connection at all to "those plane attacks," then he's got a base of hardcore, slime-eating, primeval supporters. What the fuck does airport security have to do with invading Iraq?

Wouldn't we all like to disappear into a SIMS world right now?

06 September 2007

My bike is out of commission...

So yesterday I'm running a few lunchtime errands...I park my bike outside a shop, I take care of the.business, and when I return, the rear tire is flat like the Eastern Shore. For those of you unaware of such things, it's no fun pushing a disabled bike around town in the heat and humidity.

When I get it home, I zip the tire off, find an inch-long thin spear of metal sticking through the tire and tube. I patch it up, inflate, deflate, inflate, everything seems to be ok, so I put the tire back on, being o-so-careful that it's balanced properly, and...

I overtighten the damn skewer, stripping the nut and rendering my work useless, especially as it's after seven p.m., City Bikes is closed and no I don't happen to keep extra sets lying around the house.

So I'm on foot today.

Man it's so much slower.

05 September 2007

From the Archives....

Here's a recently discovered out take from the shooting of Caddyshack (1980), with Rodney Dangerfield and the actor who plays Spaulding having an informal moment between shots:


By the way, is he wearing inflatable pants?

04 September 2007

College Football Weekend #1 Post-Mortem

I did a miserable job picking the games this weekend. It's not that I got so many wrong, but really on opening weekend you shouldn't get any wrong, really. And my descriptions of how teams would win or lose were, um, fanciful. The most obvious howler was the Michigan v. Appalachian State matchup. In this case, I thought the Wolverines deserved their #5 ranking, but I was sadly mistaken. Here's what I said:
5. Michigan destroyifies Appalachian State.

Ahem. Far from destroyifying anything other than their own reputation, Michigan trailed the entire game and ended up losing to a Division I-AA team. I also claimed that Penn State wouldn't cover the spread, but I think that 59-0 covered the spread pretty handily (I think it was somewhere in the 30's); I thought Tennessee would lead Cal and then choke in the end, whereas it was almost the other way around. About the best call I had was that "over-ranked Virginia Tech beats East Carolina," because they are over-ranked, and that's about all they did, 17-7. Either East Carolina is a sleeper powerhouse (not) or V-Tech is looking at a four or five loss season, with the first coming up this weekend against LSU.

In actual right/wrong numbers, I went 17-3.

Speaking of the Penn State game, we watched it from high in the stands on a beautiful sunny day, and while it's hard to draw conclusions from a rout of one of the worst teams in Division I-A, I can draw a few:

1. QB Anthony Morelli is not making the horrible decisions he made last year: he's checking off receivers, handling the rush, and not throwing into triple coverage. That's good.
2. QB Anthony Morelli is not hitting receivers in stride, forcing many of them to go up high or dive to make the catch, meaning there are fewer Yards-after-Catch (YACs). Against a good team, that will be a problem.
3. The linebackers look GOOD. Dan Connor as always was everywhere. Sean Lee had a hell of a game as well.
4. Everyone is excited for next week's game against Notre Dame, although I'm sure the "showdown" aspect has been lessened by Georgia Tech's demolition of the Fighting Irish. I mean, 33-3 in South Bend? If Penn State beats them next week, it takes the sweetness out of the victory, and if PSU were to lose, well, that would be pretty damn embarrassing.

In fact, with both Notre Dame and Michigan looking poorer than one might have expected, Penn State has a good chance to go 4-0 in the early going, especially with two cream-puffs like Florida International and Buffalo in the mix. In fact, they could very easily be 6-0 going into the October 13 home game against Wisconsin. If they survive that game, they'd most likely be 8-0 going into October 27 at home against Ohio State.

However, knowing Penn State's history against Michigan, we could easily lose that game (it's in Ann Arbor) and stumble against a lesser Big 10 team like Iowa and enter the Wisconsin game 4-2.

Yes, I'm that sort of fan: I believe (almost) every year, that Penn State can go undefeated, while at the same time I believe every year that we could choke against middling teams and finish with three or four losses (and in recent years even more...ugh).

Anyway, it was good to see JoePa jog out of the tunnel with the team and to see the campus again.