Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


What have we learned - Week 4

You know what we've learned? That Andy Reid, inexplicably, goes against his instincts at the worst possible times. I must say, I watched very little football this Sunday. Philadelphia was on at night, and we were doing some other stuff. But let's see what we can suss out about the No Fun League!

First, there was collegiate football played this weekend, and once again, the polls showed why we shouldn't take them at all seriously and why we shouldn't rank teams until October, as team were upset all over. Penn State played a good team, Illinois, and beat them 38-24, which is a nice win, to be sure, but they still need to watch themselves, especially as they play Wisconsin and Ohio State on the road. For some reason, the local ABC affiliate in Phoenix showed the Virginia Tech-Nebraska game, even though Phoenix, in case you didn't know, is not in the state of Virginia or Nebraska. Why did they show a game between two unranked teams when they could have shown two ranked teams? What the hell? Wisconsin, meanwhile, choked away a 19-0 lead against Michigan. Despite the win, the Wolverines didn't really look all that good. Of course, by the time they play PSU, they'll be dynamite. The big game of the weekend took place on Thursday, of course, as USC went into Corvallis and got manhandled by Oregon State. I don't know if any East Coasters who read this blog watched the game (it started at 9 in the East, after all), but it was fun to watch. The Beavers simply ran it down USC's throat. It definitely wasn't a fluke. Sure, the Trojans turned the ball over a few times, but it wasn't like OSU got freaky touchdowns. They just lined up and bashed them. It was also nice to see Florida lose to Mississippi. Who doesn't hate the Gators? And I'm sure Tom was happy to see Cal win big, while Woody! could take solace from the fact the unprofessional Cincinnati team won, even though the "professional" one couldn't come through.

Chicago 24, Philadelphia 20. Goddamn. I'm glad that Brian Westbrook didn't push it and play, preferring him to rest his ankle for later in the season, but don't tell me the Eagles lose if he's playing. The defense, despite a few lapses (but not on the Devin Hester touchdown, on which he pushed Assante Samuel over in front of the official but wasn't called for it), played well enough for the team to win, and they even got four (4!!!) turnovers for the offense, which they couldn't cash in. And then we get the end. The Eagles started running the ball and plowed through the tired Bears defense. They reached the 2-yard line and had 1st-and-goal. Andy Reid, as pass-happy a coach as we've seen in a while, calls four straight running plays. You have to throw it once, right? Da Bears were ready for the run, especially the running plays he called, which were right up the middle. Even if you run four times, run once outside, for crying out loud, just to see if Da tired Bears can still pursue! Sheesh. How annoying. Andy Reid never listens to me to run the ball more except at the one point he shouldn't. Again, I have no problem running even three times in that situation. But you should try one pass, just in case you catch the defense off-guard. So the Eagles are 2-2, in the middle of a brutal part of the schedule (at Dallas, Pittsburgh, at Chicago, Washington, and even at San Francisco, which should be easy but is a road game on the other coast). I'm fairly happy with their effort, but I wish both Westbrook and McNabb could stay healthy for one season. Is that too much to ask? Oh, and Da Bears won't go far with that offense. They were awful in the second half. They're lucky they have a good defense and that Westbrook wasn't playing.
DeSean Jackson update: 2 rushes for 35 yards, 5 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, 4 punt returns for 37 yards, one fumble on a punt that led to a touchdown. Oh well, he's a rookie. Suck it up, rook! The season so far: 3 rushes for 36 yards, 22 catches for 327 yards, 16 punt returns for 157 yards.
Turnovers: Da Bears 4, Eagles 2. Turnovers = loss? No, damn it. Da Bears wanted to give the game away, and the Eagles didn't take it! 0-1.

Tennessee 30, Minnesota 17. I didn't watch any of this game. Tennessee is really solid, though. As Peter King wrote on-line, how good would the Titans be if they had chosen Jay Cutler instead of Vince Young?
Turnovers: Vikings 4, Titans 1. Turnovers = loss? Looks that way. Don't turn the ball over! 1-1.

Kansas City 33, Denver 19. The Broncos' poor defense finally came back to haunt them, as the Chiefs decided to give the ball to their good running back, Larry Johnson, and get out of the way. Johnson, who I like because he went to Penn State, whined about not getting the ball earlier in the year, and it was nice to see him back it up when they gave it to him. 198 yards is not a bad way to show what you're worth. Of course, what did in the Broncos? See below!
Turnovers: Broncos 4, Chiefs 1. Turnovers = loss? When you're on the road, you can't turn the ball over 4 times. Even a crappy team like KC can win occasionally if you give it to them that much! 2-1.

New Orleans 31, San Francisco 17. Another game I completely skipped. The 49ers are just another NFC West team that can't win on the road.
Turnovers: 49ers 3, Saints 2. Turnovers = loss? I guess. 3-1.

New York Jets 56, Arizona 35. This was a weird game. It was 0-0 after one quarter, and then the Cardinals simply gave the game away and the Jets scored 34 points in the second quarter. Actually, Arizona lost this game in the first quarter, when they had two possessions inside New York's 20 and didn't score. You can't let chances like that go! People are blaming the defense for getting torched, and that's fair, but Kurt Warner and the offense kept giving the ball away. Seven turnovers, for crying out loud! Meanwhile, everyone is going gaga over R. C. Favre. SIX TOUCHDOWN PASSES!!!! He's JESUS!!!! Well, if you watched the game or saw the highlights, three of the touchdowns were to wide-open receivers. And I'm not talking somewhat open, I'm talking no defender within 10 yards (and in two cases, something like 20) of the receiver. I can throw touchdown passes when there's nobody else in the picture! You can commend R. C. Favre for actually finding the receiver, but it's not like three of them were hard throws. Come on - a high school quarterback could have thrown those passes. And finally, Peter King doesn't think the hit on Anquan Boldin was all that bad. I don't think it was malicious, but the fact remains that the Jet defender left his feet, led with his helmet, and hit Boldin on the face mask with the crown of his helmet. It should have been a penalty, but failing that, it will definitely be a fine. Of course, why on earth was Boldin still in the game with 30 seconds left and his team losing by three touchdowns? I don't mind that they were trying to score, but maybe you could put in some back-ups and see what they could do? Sheesh. [The word came down Monday: A $50,000 fine and a game suspension. Yowch. Roger Goodell has said he wants to crack down on dangerous plays, and this is proof. Boldin flew back to Arizona late Sunday night/early Monday morning, so apparently there's no spinal problems. We'll see if he plays next week.]
Turnovers: Cardinals 7 (!), Jets 1. Turnovers = loss? Uh, yes. For sure. 4-1.

Tampa 30, Green Bay 21. I don't have much to say about the Matt Bryant situation. In case you didn't know, Bryant, who's the kicker for the Buccaneers, lost his three-month-old son last week. He died in his sleep, so it might have been SIDS. Bryant still played on Sunday, and said that it was important for him to do so. I was watching ESPN and Berman was talking about the fact that the NFL doesn't have a bereavement policy. So he kind of had to play, apparently. That pretty much sucks. Bryant kicked three field goals, which was the margin of victory for Tampa, and he sounded like he wanted to honor his son by playing, but it kind of sucks that the NFL would dock him money if he wanted to take the game off to mourn for his kid.
Turnovers: Packers 4, Buccaneers 3. Turnovers = loss? It appears so. 5-1.

Carolina 24, Atlanta 9. I didn't watch this game, either, but I'd like to point out that Jonathan Stewart, another guy I like because he went to Oregon, scored yet another touchdown in this game. Go, Jonathan Stewart!
Turnovers: Falcons 0, Panthers 0. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash.

Jacksonville 30, Houston 27. I saw the very end of this game, and it was pretty neat how David Garrard kept running when he had no other options. I doubt if it's something the Jaguars really want to keep doing, but it worked for this game. They couldn't stop Houston late in the game, but they got lucky in overtime because the Texans never got the ball. Jacksonville is finally looking like the team people thought they would be.
Turnovers: Texans 0, Jaguars 0. Turnovers = loss? Another wash.

Cleveland 20, Cincinnati 12. Boy, the first battle of Ohio was a drag this time around, wasn't it? Last year the Browns won 51-45. Now that was a game! This time around, Carson Palmer didn't play, and after the Browns won, Derek Anderson said "We've got our swagger back." Yeah, okay, Derek.
Turnovers: Bengals 5, Browns 2. Turnovers = loss? Sure looks that way. 6-1.

San Diego 28, Oakland 18. Poor Oakland. They had a 15-0 lead at the half, a 15-3 lead at the end of the third, and the Chargers ripped off 25 points in the fourth quarter to win. Al Davis should fire Lane Kiffin right now or tell the world that Kiffin is his coach. Letting him twist in the wind sucks. And if the Chargers need 25 fourth-quarter points to beat the Raiders, they're in trouble. [And, finally, Big Al fired Kiffin Tuesday. At least our long national nightmare is over!]
Turnovers: Chargers 2, Raiders 2. Turnovers = loss? Another wash.

Buffalo 31, St. Louis 14. Poor St. Louis. They had a 14-6 lead at the half, a 14-13 lead at the end of the third, and the Bills ripped off 18 points in the fourth quarter to win. Sound familiar? Lane Kiffin might still have a job, but Scott Linehan got the ax today. It's probably about eight months too late, as he didn't do a good job last year, but we'll see if Jim Haslett does a better job with this team. I doubt it. Meanwhile, the Bills are pretty good. But we'll see how they do next week ... here in the desert!!!!
Turnovers: Rams 2, Bills 1. Turnovers = loss? You bet! 7-1.

Washington 26, Dallas 24. So Terrell Owens whined that he didn't get the ball enough. Dallas threw to him 17 times (he caught 7) and called two running plays for him out of 58 plays. How the hell are they not getting him the ball enough? Shut the hell up, Owens. Owens had two carried, Romo scrambled for one, and Marion Barber had 8 carries. Those were the only running plays for the Cowboys. Yeah, you're not going to win too many times with that. The Cowboys are kind of soft. Maybe Owens will tear them apart. That would be sweet.
Turnovers: Cowboys 1, Washington 0. Turnovers = loss? Why not? 8-1.

Pittsburgh 23, Baltimore 20. I couldn't bring myself to watch this game. I guess it turned out to be pretty exciting, but I wouldn't know. I do know that what happened last night is the reason it's tough to start a rookie quarterback. Joe Flacco looks like he'll be pretty good, but he held the ball too long last night, fumbled, and the Steelers scored their second touchdown in 15 seconds. A veteran quarterback probably wouldn't have held the ball. In today's NFL, where the margins are so tight, little things like that often determine the winner.
Turnovers: Ravens 1, Steelers 1. Turnovers = loss? Technically, no, but I don't know if the Ravens scored off of theirs. I know the Steelers did.

That makes the teams that turn the ball over less than their opponents 36-9. Don't turn the ball over!

Okay, let's look at the standings!

Tennessee: 6 turnovers, +6 margin, 4-0 record.
Washington: 1 turnover, +6 margin, 3-1 record.
Pittsburgh: 5 turnovers, +4 margin, 3-1 record.
San Diego: 5 turnovers, +3 margin, 2-2 record.
Green Bay: 6 turnovers, +3 margin, 2-2 record.
Philadelphia: 6 turnovers, +3 margin, 2-2 record.
Buffalo: 5 turnovers, +2 margin, 4-0 record.
Atlanta: 3 turnovers, +2 margin, 2-2 record.
New York Jets: 7 turnovers, +2 margin, 2-2 record.
Miami: 1 turnover, +2 margin, 1-2 record.
Kansas City: 7 turnovers, +2 margin, 1-3 record.
Baltimore: 5 turnovers, +1 margin, 2-1 record.
Oakland: 6 turnovers, +1 margin, 1-3 record.
Cleveland: 7 turnovers, +1 margin, 1-3 record.
New York Giants: 1 turnovers, +0 margin, 3-0 record.
Carolina: 4 turnovers, +0 margin, 3-1 record.
Tampa: 9 turnovers, +0 margin, 3-1 record.
New Orleans: 7 turnovers, +0 margin, 2-2 record.
Chicago: 8 turnovers, +0 margin, 2-2 record.
Jacksonville: 6 turnovers, -1 margin, 2-2 record.
New England: 4 turnovers, -2 margin, 2-1 record.
San Francisco: 9 turnovers, -2 margin, 2-2 record.
Minnesota: 7 turnovers, -2 margin, 1-3 record.
Denver: 7 turnovers, -3 margin, 3-1 record.
Arizona: 9 turnovers, -3 margin, 2-2 record.
Indianapolis: 5 turnovers, -3 margin, 1-2 record.
Seattle: 6 turnovers, -3 margin, 1-2 record.
Houston: 6 turnovers, -3 margin, 0-3 record.
St. Louis: 5 turnovers, -3 margin, 0-4 record.
Dallas: 6 turnovers, -4 margin, 3-1 record.
Cincinnati: 9 turnovers, -4 margin, 0-4 record.
Detroit: 6 turnovers, -5 margin, 0-3 record.

It's starting to shake out a bit, if you notice. We'll see how it goes as the season goes along.

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The most famous boner in history!

I missed the 100-year anniversary of the most famous boner in history! Well, at least sports history. And no, I'm not talking about the current usage of "boner." I'm talking about mistakes, man! Yes, 23 September 1908 was the day of Merkle's Boner!

Fred Merkle, a member of the New York Giants, was on first base during a game against the Chicago Cubs. A game-winning hit was nullified when Johnny Evers, Chicago's second baseman, saw that Merkle failed to go to second base after the run scored, and when he tagged second, the umpire called Merkle out on the force play. It's a lot more complicated than that (read about it at the link!), but that's why you always, always, always see players touch the base that they need to go to. It's all because of a play that happened a century ago.

This is why baseball is awesome. Merkle's Boner. Hee hee.

Here's the box score, in case you're interested. Box scores are awesome, too.

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What have we learned - Week 3

Well, I know we learned that every Eagles' fan's heart skipped a beat on the first play of the second quarter on Sunday. That was when Brian Westbrook landed on big fat Tra Thomas, who couldn't get out of the way, and the season almost ended for Philadelphia. Luckily, the MRI on his ankle showed no ligament damage, so he might miss a week (if Andy Reid is smart, he'll keep Westbrook out for a week), but he's not lost for any significant time. Phew!

My beloved Penn Staters continued to roll on Saturday, beating up on hapless Temple 45-3. The voters finally figured out that, even though they haven't played anyone good, they're still better than Ohio State, who struggled against Troy, of all teams. The SEC continued to look good, as Georgia pounded Arizona State in Tempe, Florida dominated Tennessee, and LSU came back to beat Auburn. The only game that was really impressive was Georgia's, because they went 2000 miles (the first time, amazingly, they had played a non-conference road game that wasn't Georgia Tech, Clemson, or South Carolina since 1972, I think, when they played Tulane, and the first time they had been to the West since 1960) to play a desperate Sun Devil team that choked away a win the week before. The Pac-9 looked lousy, with the aforementioned ASU loss, Oregon going down to Boise State at home (with their third quarterback, sure, but still), UCLA getting hammered at home by Arizona (another Pac-9 team, sure, but the Bruins should defend their turf!), and Washington State defending the honor of the conference by hammering ... Division 1-AA Portland State (yay, Vikings!). It's ugly out here in the West, unless you look at BYU, which just posted its second straight shutout by scores of 59-0 and 44-0 (this past week, the opponent was Wyoming, but consecutive shutouts is nothing to sneeze at!). Notre Dame got completely dominated, which is always nice to see (after they beat Michigan, some people were saying they'd win 10 games, which shows how dazzled by the golden helmets some people are; and did everyone hear that Mike Golic's son was arrested over the weekend for underage drinking?), and Wake Forest beat Florida State, which means Joe Paterno passed Bobby Bowden on the all-time Division 1-A coaching win list. Yay, JoePa!

Onward to the professional ranks!

Philadelphia 15, Pittsburgh 6. McNabb got hurt as well, and with him, you can never tell how it's going to affect him. He's looked so good in the first two weeks and early in this game, but if his chest muscle continues to bother him, the Eagles are in trouble because Andy Reid refuses to take any pressure off of him and run the ball more. Stupid Andy Reid! Anyway, the Eagles defense was so freakin' good yesterday that if the Eagles manage 10 points a game, they might win 12 this year. Of course, it would be nice if they could sync up their offense and defense one of these years, but that's just the way it is, I guess. The Steelers, inexplicably, abandoned the run early on for no good reason. Philly was stopping it, but they should have run more to take some pressure off Roethlisberger. It was a silly game plan, but I guess that's why I don't make millions of dollars coaching NFL games!
DeSean Jackson update! 1 rush for 1 yard, late in the game on an end-around, and he ran out of bounds when the Eagles were trying to kill the clock (stay in bounds, DeSean!); 5 catches for 40 yards; 2 punt returns for 11 yards. No bone-headed plays - yippee! Season so far: 1 rush for 1 yard; 17 catches for 256 yards, 12 punt returns for 120 yards. Not bad for the rook!
Turnovers: Steelers 3, Eagles 3. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash, with each team scoring 6 points off the turnovers. The Steelers' TOs felt more significant, though.

Atlanta 38, Kansas City 14. I had no interest in watching this game, and the first time I turned it on was when it was 24-0, Falcons, so it wasn't like it became interesting (like a lot of games that went down to the wire). I do know the Chiefs' QB, Tyler Thigpen, was at one point 1-for-10 for -1 yards. Yeah, that's not going to get it done. KC continues to make the case for worst team in the league. Unfortunately, they don't play the Rams this season, so they can't settle it on the field!
Turnovers: Chiefs 3, Falcons 1. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 1-0.

Buffalo 24, Oakland 23. So Lane Kiffin might be fired anytime as Oakland's head coach. Okay. The Raiders took a 16-7 lead and allowed a 96-yard touchdown drive, which made the score 16-14. After JaMarcus Russell threw a beautiful pass into coverage and the receiver (the immortal Johnnie Lee Higgins) took it 84 yards for a touchdown to make it 23-14 with a little over 6 minutes left, the Bills went 69 yards in 2 minutes for a touchdown, then went 46 yards in 2 minutes for the game-winning field goal. Isn't that on the defense, which is coached by Rob Ryan? The same Rob Ryan that Lane Kiffin wanted to fire this summer? The Raiders are a joke. Trent Edwards looks really good, by the way. Sure, it's early, but the Bills are 3-0 and look solid.
Turnovers: Bills 3, Raiders 1. Turnovers = loss? No, because the Bills were fortunate enough to be playing the Raiders! 1-1.

Tampa 27, Chicago 24. I thought Da Bears' strength was on defense. That same defense had a 10-point lead with a little over 6 minutes to go and allowed the Buccaneers a 12- and 11-play drive for the tying points. Good job, Chicago! Plus, the game-tying touchdown came on a pass, in the middle of a stretch where Tampa threw something like 22 straight times. You just might want to defend the pass, Chicago! Brian Griese throwing 67 passes just isn't smart, but I guess it worked. I only watched the very end of this game, so I don't know how Da Bears played earlier in the game, but if their defense is getting torched like this and their offense isn't very good, it could be a long season on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Turnovers: Buccaneers 4, Da Bears 2. Turnovers = loss? I guess not. Chicago had the ball eight minutes longer, proving that this was one weird game. 1-2.

Minnesota 20, Carolina 10. In the weird NFL, a team like the Panthers can look very good the first two weeks and then play poorly in the third week, while a team can replace its quarterback and suddenly look like a playoff contender. Man, it's a strange league. I doubt if Gus Frerotte is the answer for the Vikings at QB, because he's just not that good, but the team got a shot of adrenaline from him and a good effort by the defense to beat an overrated Carolina team. From what I saw of it, this was an ugly game. So many games this weekend were better, so let's not dwell on this one, okay?
Turnovers: Panthers 2, Vikings 1. Turnovers = loss? One of the Carolina turnovers was returned for a touchdown, so I'd say yes. 2-2.

Miami 38, New England 13. The greatest game of the weekend had to be the Dolphins' beat-down of the Cheaters. Miami, incidentally, was the last team to beat New England in the regular season. I watched a good deal of this game because I loved it so much, and it was fairly stunning how slow the Cheaters looked on defense. I know that Miami threw that awesome single-wing at them, but Belicheat never adjusted, plus Ronnie Brown just ran past the D. Plus, on his second touchdown he blasted through Ellis Hobbs at the goal line, which was wonderful. And how about those classy New England fans, streaming out of the stadium in the fourth quarter before their team's 21-game winning streak actually ended? Good move, Cheaters fans! Your team has no class, and neither do you!
Turnovers: Cheaters 2, Dolphins 0. Turnovers = loss? Looks that way. 3-2.

New York Giants 26, Cincinnati 23. Late in the game, when the Bengals were driving down the field, down by three, I begged them to go for the throat. Throw the damned ball in the damned end zone, Carson! You know that Eli will win it in overtime! YOU KNOW IT!!!!!! They had 3rd-and-1 at the 14 - an easy field goal - with 12 second left and a time-out. They threw it short for 3 measly yards and took their last time-out, sending on the field goal unit. Dear Lord. If you're going to throw a wussy pass like that, why are you even playing? The field goal is probably a gimme from the 14 (it's a 31-yarder, and if your kicker can't hit that, he should be fired), so chuck it into the end zone, for crying out loud! The Bengals did get the ball in OT, but I don't think anyone thought they would win that game after the fourth quarter. Stupid Cincinnati. At least they showed some moxie.
Turnovers: Bengals 0, Giants 0. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash.

Tennessee 31, Houston 12. Here's another game I watched a little bit of, but it became clear that the Titans were kicking the crap out of the Texans and it wasn't going to change, so I didn't watch anymore. Matt Schaub is not the guy for Houston, apparently.
Turnovers: Texans 3, Titans 2. Turnovers = loss? Both teams had 2 until the very end, when Courtland Finnegan (greatest NFL name this year?) picked off a Texan pass with a minute left and Houston behind 24-12, but the stats don't lie! 4-2.

Washington 24, Arizona 17. Ken Whisenhunt, the Cardinals' coach, is defending his decision to punt the ball back to Washington on a short 4th down at midfield with a little less than 3 minutes left. It's not convincing. Whisenhunt has been a bit of a gambler during his tenure in the Basin, and he has a very good offense, and his defense really wasn't playing all that well. Of course, Washington never gave up the ball and the Cardinals lost a chance for a big win on the road. How must Washington feel? They're a pretty decent team but they play in a division where they're probably the worst team. That must suck.
Turnovers: Cardinals 2, Washington 0. Turnovers = loss? The two turnovers led to 10 points, and the Cardinals lost by 7. You do the math! 5-2.

San Francisco 31, Detroit 13. I don't think you could have paid me to watch this game. I think I saw two minutes of it. Detroit is absolutely awful. It's just sad.
Turnovers: Lions 2, 49ers 0. Turnovers = loss? Let's say yes. 6-2.

Seattle 37, St. Louis 13. I'm not going to talk about the game, because it was ugly early, but the Rams managed to run a few plays inside the 20, so that's a win, right? Today Marc Bulger was benched in favor of Trent Green. A friend of mine is a huge fan of Bulger, and he's peeved about the benching. I'd like to know if Steven Jackson, who gained slightly less than 3 yards per carry, is going to be benched. He's lousy. I'd like to know if the offensive line, which gives Bulger no time to throw, is going to be benched. I'd like to know if the defense, which looks as if it doesn't even want to be in the stadium (I saw some of this game, but I'm basing this on the first game, where the players looked like they wanted to leave the field against the Eagles), is going to be benched. Scott Linehan is desperate, I know, because he's going to get fired soon, so if he makes a change, at least he can claim he's doing something. But maybe this is a blessing in disguise for Bulger. He won't get a concussion sitting on the bench, and maybe the Rams will trade him to a good team. He's a good quarterback who is not getting any chance on a horrible team. Of course, he did sign an extension with St. Louis, so I don't feel too bad for him. But still.
Turnovers: Rams 2, Seahawks 1. Turnovers = loss? Why not? 7-2.

Denver 34, New Orleans 32. The Broncos can't be a very good 3-0 team, can they? I mean, their defense is getting torched, and the offense can't keep this up, right? They got lucky two weeks in a row, as they were offside on the play before Martin Gramatica missed the field goal that would have given the Saints the lead but it wasn't called. I mean, they're fun to watch, but they can't keep it up! Of course, the Saints made some odd play calls, especially at the end of the first half when they had the ball inside the 5 and couldn't score, but they still kept up with Denver. I don't really care if Denver is any good, because their games are fun to watch!
Turnovers: Broncos 2, Saints 1. Turnovers = loss? No, because Mike Shanahan has apparently sold his soul to Satan! 7-3.

Jacksonville 23, Indianapolis 21. I watched some of the end of this game, and when the Jaguars took it down late and didn't try to score a touchdown, instead settling for a field goal to go ahead 20-14, I thought they were in serious trouble. Well, they were for a bit, but it turned out the Colts wanted the game just a bit less than the Jags did, because they let them drive right down the field for the game-winning FG. Jacksonville dominated this game, and if you haven't seen Fred Taylor's run in which 8 Colts try to bring him down and fail, it's worth checking out. The Colts are in a bit of trouble, and it has nothing to do with Manning being "rusty." Bob Sanders is down, they can't stop the run, and I knew the loss of Jeff Saturday would hurt them. O-line play is key, people!
Turnovers: Colts 2, Jaguars 1. Turnovers = loss? Yep. 8-3.

Baltimore 28, Cleveland 10. I didn't watch any of this game. It was 10-7 at the half, and I figured I'd check it out in the second half, but then, suddenly, it was 28-10, and I had no reason to check in. Derek Anderson's job is in jeopardy, which is a shame, as he hails from Scappoose, Oregon, so naturally I root for him. Oh well. At least Brady Quinn, hero of gay men everywhere, will soon be starting!
Turnovers: Browns 3, Ravens 2. Turnovers = loss? Sure. 9-3.

Dallas 27, Green Bay 16. Some people are praising Terrell Owens because he ran down the field blocking for Felix Jones on the running back's 60-yard touchdown run. If you look at the tape, though, Owens is standing around at the point of attack, and Jones breaks free despite that. Then Owens decides to run downfield for a rather meaningless block, as Jones had already outrun the defense. I don't like Owens, I'll admit, but I don't care if people want to praise him. Just praise him for something he actually does well, not a play where he stands around until he decides to get on the highlight reel when it no longer matters. Sheesh.
Turnovers: Cowboys 2, Packers 1. Turnovers = loss? Damn, the Cowboys keep overcoming their turnovers. That has to catch up to them eventually! 9-4.

San Diego 48, New York Jets 29. Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!! Oh, R. C. Favre. It's so good to see you.
Turnovers: Favres 4, Chargers 1. Turnovers = loss? Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! 10-4.

Let's break down the turnover stats!

Washington: 1 turnover, +5 margin, 2-1 record.
Green Bay: 2 turnovers, +4 margin, 2-1 record.
Pittsburgh: 4 turnovers, +4 margin, 2-1 record.
Tennessee: 5 turnovers, +3 margin, 3-0 record.
Arizona: 2 turnovers, +3 margin, 2-1 record.
San Diego: 3 turnovers, +3 margin, 1-2 record.
Atlanta: 3 turnovers, +2 margin, 2-1 record.
Miami: 1 turnover, +2 margin, 1-2 record.
Chicago: 4 turnovers, +2 margin, 1-2 record.
Buffalo: 4 turnovers, +1 margin, 3-0 record.
Baltimore: 4 turnovers, +1 margin, 2-0 record.
Philadelphia: 4 turnovers, +1 margin, 2-1 record.
Minnesota: 3 turnovers, +1 margin, 1-2 record.
Oakland: 4 turnovers, +1 margin, 1-2 record.
New York Giants: 1 turnover, +0 margin, 3-0 record.
Denver: 3 turnovers, +0 margin, 3-0 record.
Carolina: 4 turnovers, +0 margin, 2-1 record.
San Francisco: 6 turnovers, -1 margin, 2-1 record.
Tampa: 6 turnovers, -1 margin, 2-1 record.
New Orleans: 5 turnovers, -1 margin, 1-2 record.
Jacksonville: 6 turnovers, -1 margin, 1-2 record.
Cincinnati: 4 turnovers, -1 margin, 0-3 record.
Kansas City: 6 turnovers, -1 margin, 0-3 record.
New England: 4 turnovers, -2 margin, 2-1 record.
St. Louis: 3 turnovers, -2 margin, 0-3 record.
Cleveland: 5 turnovers, -2 margin, 0-3 record.
Dallas: 5 turnovers, -3 margin, 3-0 record.
Indianapolis: 5 turnovers, -3 margin, 1-2 record.
Seattle: 6 turnovers, -3 margin, 1-2 record.
Houston: 6 turnovers, -3 margin, 0-2 record.
New York Jets: 6 turnovers, -4 margin, 1-2 record.
Detroit: 6 turnovers, -5 margin, 0-3 record.

Fun stuff! The NFC East, by the way, has lost only two games - both within the division. That's hard core!

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Megan Fox needs to shut up

Megan Fox, whose sole contribution to the betterment of Western civilization is bending over the hood of a Camaro in Transformers, apparently is desperate to remain in the limelight even though she's, you know, not a very good actress. She has been interviewed by GQ magazine, in which she drops some knowledge. Allow me to quote, as slogging through the entire article might cause you to lose some IQ points or, at the very least, make you suicidal.

"Well, that year my boyfriend broke up with me, and I decided — oh man; sorry, Mommy! — that I was in love with this girl that worked at the Body Shop [a strip club on Sunset Boulevard]. I decided that I was going to get her to love me back, and I went out of my way to create a relationship with this girl, a stripper named Nikita. I was there all the time — I would go there by myself. I bought her things — perfume, body spray, girlie stuff. I turned into a weird middle-aged married man. I felt like I had this need to save Nikita. I'd get lap dances so I could get to know her, and I'd give her what I thought were great little sound bites of inspiration — like You can do it, you're better than this! I didn't want her to be there."

"Well, she did smell good. Like vanilla. She was sort of a tough badass, but she'd do these beautiful slow dances to Aerosmith ballads. She had really long stick-straight hair and was Russian. I just liked her. She was really sadistic and sarcastic and funny."

"Look, I'm not a lesbian — I just think that all humans are born with the ability to be attracted to both sexes. I mean, I could see myself in a relationship with a girl — Olivia Wilde is so sexy she makes me want to strangle a mountain ox with my bare hands [WTF?!?!?!?]. She's mesmerizing. And lately I've been obsessed with Jenna Jameson, but ... Oh boy."

Dear lord. Olivia Wilde is currently starring as "Thirteen" on House (where she's so well respected they never use her actual name), but you may have caught her on The O. C. (I never watched the show) or in the totally awesome horror movie Turistas. She's okay, I guess, but I never thought of her as particularly sexy:

As for Jenna Jameson ... well, the less said, the better. That's a link to her Wikipedia entry, and she looks rough. Years in the porn industry will do that too you, I guess.

Anyway, Megan Fox has a nice body and all, but she kind of has that vapid look on her face for most of Transformers and in photographs that isn't all that attractive. Plus, she should, you know, shut up. Way too much information, Megan. How about you concentrate on not taking the Jenna Jameson Career Path instead of letting us know all this stuff, okay? And keep rocking that Marilyn Monroe tat. You'll be fine.

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One thing I just don't get

Almost every young person plays video games. Huh. The numbers are quite staggering. These are kids 12 to 17, and pretty much all of them play video games (of 1102 participants in the survey). That's just amazing.

I have never been into video games. Never. Not even when I was young, and I was the ripe age for the first video games in the late '70s/early '80s. Some of my friends were into games, but not many. By the time they really took off with the graphics and, you know, blowing shit up realistically, I was too old. Even in college (1989-1993), I just wasn't into them. I was too busy playing hearts. Yes, the card game.

I was hoping that we would never have a video game console in our house. It's not that I have anything necessarily against them, but I just didn't want to spend the money and I don't really want the kids sitting in front of the television any more than they already do. But we might get a Wii for Mia. Krys has been reading up on it and found that a lot of therapists are using it for their patients. We're going to talk to her therapists and see if they think it's a good idea. I guess I'll have to do some parenting to make sure Norah doesn't become a video game zombie.

Still, I'm astonished by these numbers. That's a lot of people playing video games!

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What have we learned - Week 2

And lo, the Big Eleven sent their "best" team West, and verily I say unto you, that team was removed to behind yonder woodshed, where they were whupped. And then whupped again. And the Midwesterners did gnash their teeth and rend their garments in despair. And the Vested One did slink back to Columbus, whilst the victors basked in the Southern California sun and partied with blonde suntanned babes. Such is the way of life in the game of the oblong spheroid. Yea, we must accept it.

And so the latest "Game of the Century" played out rather predictably. I mean, even if they had played Chris Wells, did anyone think the Buckeyes would win this game? After the past two BCS "Championship" games? Everyone keeps bashing on the Big Eleven because they don't play speedy football like USC and the SEC teams, but I would love to see a bowl game in Columbus or Ann Arbor or Happy Valley in January. One of the reasons why Big Eleven teams don't build their teams that way is because of October and November games, when the weather negates speed a bit. Of course, USC was tougher than Ohio State, too, so there's that.

It's lucky that USC won, because the Pac-9 had a shitty weekend (USC, I think, now plays in the NFC West, so the conference ought to rename itself). Oregon won, but they had to come back furiously against a mediocre Purdue team (in Indiana, it should be noted, so you can say a road win is a road win). Oregon State won, but they played Hawaii at home. Washington absolutely stinks, and proved it against Oklahoma. UCLA scoured the junior high schools of Los Angeles and suited them up, because there's no way college kids lost 59-0 to BYU (I expected BYU to win, but come on!). Stanford lost. Arizona lost to New Freakin' Mexico. Cal inexplicably scheduled a game to start at noon on the East Coast, and by the time they woke up, Maryland had built a big enough cushion to hold on for a win. Tom wanted me to mention Cal last week, but I doubt he expected this. I assume the game was played so early because ESPN wanted it so, but I wish these West Coast teams would stand up and get a better TV deal (one with ESPN and not Fox, for instance) and then they wouldn't have to grovel for any ESPN television appearance, even if it puts them at a distinct disadvantage. To wrap up the day, Arizona State blew a ten-point lead in the second half and lost in overtime to UNLV. This was a weird game. ASU plays Georgia this Saturday, so they might have overlooked the Rebels. Dennis Erickson kept running the ball, which didn't work, and then, in OT and down by a field goal, he ran into the line twice for very little gain and then called a pass play that looked like it was designed for the QB to throw it out of the end zone. It was as if he assumed their kicker would get a field goal, but why not go for the touchdown? Plus, the kick was blocked. ASU is now out of the Top 25, which is a bit harsh, considering Ohio State is still ranked ahead of, for instance, Penn State.

Ah, the Nittany Lions. They went to Syracuse and destroyed the Orange 55-13, continuing their exhibition season. Next week they play Temple, which lost on a Hail Mary to Buffalo, of all teams. Poor Temple. If Penn State doesn't win this game by 40, it will be an upset. Michigan got trounced by Notre Dame, a game I wanted both teams to lose, but all that means is that it will look that much worse for PSU when, on 18 October, the Wolverines beat them again. Wisconsin actually had some balls and went to California to play Pat Hill's Fresno State Bulldogs, and they managed to win. I just find it amusing that after USC made Ohio State cry for their mommies, ESPNers were saying that the Buckeyes will win the Big Eleven and all will be all right. Um, what? I'm not saying they won't win, but they have a tough road. Just assuming they're going to win it is kind of insulting to the other teams that didn't lose 35-3 and barely beat Ohio, is all I'm saying.

In other college news, Missouri is good, East Carolina almost believed the hype about their team, Middle Tennessee State completed a Hail Mary against Kentucky, but it was at about the 15-yard line, and the dude who caught it got tackled at the 1-yard line. So close! That has to suck. Auburn beat Mississippi State 3-2. I watched a few minutes of that game and almost died of boredom. Jesus, someone score a touchdown!

Onto the league where they play for pay:
Dallas 41, Philadelphia 37. I'm not terribly happy about the Monday Night game, despite the Eagles playing well. They drove it right down the field twice early and were forced to kick field goals. It was early in the game, but I was worried. You need to score touchdowns! Later, they were forced to kick another field goal. Yes, the Cowboys kicked two field goals, but they were long FGs, and the Cowboys weren't that close to the end zone. Then the Eagles got the ball back with almost 3 minutes left and dicked around. McNabb took two sacks on the final drive instead of running with the ball. You have a time out, the two-minute warning, and not a long way to go! The Eagles panicked, and that's the most frustrating thing. They were moving the ball up and down the field, and they could have thrown a screen pass to Westbrook or something else short, or even run the ball, but McNabb looked far downfield and took sacks. Damn. Still, the offense looked really good, and although the defense was crappy, they did get an interception and a touchdown on a fumble, so that was something. I'm glad they didn't get blown out, but this was frustrating. But if McNabb stays healthy, the rest of the league better watch out.
DeSean Jackson update! 6 catches, 110 yards, 2 punt returns for 12 yards, and one unbelievably idiotic play at the goal line, where he dropped the ball before actually scoring. Yes, this is a "run 'til you puke" situation (see below with Reggie Bush), and I hope Andy Reid actually glues the ball to his hands. I'll give him a tiny bit more leeway than Reggie Bush, because this is the first time he's done it in the pros, even though he did it college. Come on, DeSean, don't be an idiot!
Turnovers: Cowboys 2, Eagles 1. Turnovers = loss? Well, no, but the Eagles' turnover came at the worst time, in the fourth quarter, leading 37-34, driving for at least a field goal. Damn. 10-2.

Green Bay 48, Detroit 25. The Lions took a 25-24 lead with 7.41 left in the game after being behind 24-9. I turned the game off, thinking I'd come back in a minute or two to check out the score. When I turned it back on, the Packers had kicked a field goal to go up 27-25. I turned it off and when I turned it back on, the Packers had scored a touchdown. What the heck? When I turned it back on, it was 41-25 and the Lions had the ball back. I watched in amazement as Jon Kitna threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown, the second interception going the other way in a minute of game time. Holy crap! That's why you're the Detroit Lions. Sheesh.
Turnovers: Lions 3, Packers 1. Turnovers = loss? Well, two of the Detroit turnovers went for touchdowns for the Packers, so I'd say yes. 1-0.

Oakland 23, Kansas City 8. I didn't watch any of this game, but KC has to be the worst team in the league, don't they? I mean, the Rams have lost to two good teams and looked awful, but losing the Raiders and looking awful is really, well, awful. Larry Johnson is whining about playing time, and although I love LJ because he's a Nittany Lion, he should shut up - no one forced him to sign a big contract with the Chiefs! And who was playing quarterback for the Chiefs? That's right, Tyler Thigpen! Who doesn't love Tyler Thigpen? He's a Chanticleer!
Turnovers: Raiders 2, Chiefs 2. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash.

New York Giants 41, St. Louis 13. It was only 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, but the touchdown for the Giants was a pass to Plaxico Burress in the end zone where the closest Ram was about fifteen yards away. That pretty much summed up the game. By the fourth quarter, the G-Men just hammered the Rams, who have, amazingly, not run a play in the "red zone" - inside the other team's 20-yard line - in two games this season. Scott Linehan has to be fired soon, right?
Turnovers: Rams 1, Giants 0. Turnovers = loss? Well, not really, because the turnover was returned for a touchdown when the score was 27-13, but what the hell. 2-0.

Indianapolis 18, Minnesota 15. This was one of the more ridiculous games of the weekend. Minnesota dominated this game for almost three quarters. They knocked Peyton Manning around, they stuffed the Indy ground game, and they ran the ball well with Adrian Peterson. But they couldn't score a touchdown, and that was their downfall. You have to score touchdowns! Why didn't they score touchdowns? Because their quarterback sucks. I'm sorry, but it's true. Even Brad Childress, the coach of the Vikings, thinks he sucks. There were plenty of chances for Tarvaris Jackson to throw, and the Vikings ran the ball right up the middle. They didn't want Jackson to lose the game, in other words, but all that meant was that he did nothing to win it. I said this last week, and it's still true - you can't win in this league without a good quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson is not a good quarterback. And Dan Dierdorf is an idiot (although you should have already realized that). At one point, Adrian Peterson took a handoff and, about three yards behind the line of scrimmage, faced a defender who broke through the line. Peterson juked him and managed to gain about three yards. Dierdorf raved about the play, saying that's what makes Peterson special and that no other running backs can make that kind of play, turning a big loss into a decent gain. I thought, "Isn't that what running backs are supposed to do?" I mean, don't we see running backs doing that all the time, because running backs are good at making moves? Every Barry Sanders run started that way, and he often went 70 yards after making the guy miss. A good friend of mine said that Sanders often had to avoid getting tackled by his own linemen as well as the other team! A few minutes later, I turned on the Buffalo-Jacksonville game and Fred Taylor did the exact same thing. Good job, Dierdorf. Shut the hell up.
Turnovers: Colts 2, Vikings 1. Turnovers = loss? No, only because the Vikings are so inept on offense. 2-1.

Tennessee 24, Cincinnati 7. In honor of Woody!, I will henceforth refer to the Bengals as a "professional" team. The quote marks are important, I tell you! By the time I wanted to check this game out, it was already late and the Titans were beating them up, so I missed the wind storm. It looked kind of cool, though. If you haven't seen the windiness, it's quite fun. I suppose that Vince Young won't be getting his job back any time soon, because Penn Stater Kerry Collins stepped up and led the team to victory. As for Cincinnati ... the less said the better. They're not as bad as the Chiefs, but they're getting there!
Turnovers: Bengals 2, Titans 1. Turnovers = loss? Seems like it. 3-1.

Washington 29, New Orleans 24. Why is Reggie Bush so stupid? Remember two years ago, when he scored on a long pass against Da Bears in the NFC Championship Game and taunted them before he scored? And how Da Bears came back and won? I'm not saying that was the reason, but don't you think Da Bears had a bit of incentive after that? Well, on Sunday, Bush, a year and a half older, did it again! He scored on a punt return and pointed and waved at the Washington defenders. It made the score 24-15, Saints. The football gods promptly punished New Orleans, as they didn't score again and lost. Whenever an athlete does something idiotic, Krys and I have the solution: The coach should make him run until he pukes. Let's hope Reggie is doing some regurgitating this week. And damn, the NFC East looks good, doesn't it? I wonder if any of them will lose outside of their division.
Turnovers: Saints 3, Washington 1. Turnovers = loss? Well, yeah, but I think it was Reggie's stupid play. 4-1.

Carolina 20, Chicago 17. I watched very little of this game, because it wasn't really that interesting, but it was nice to see Jonathan Stewart, a rookie from Oregon, scoring two touchdowns, including the game-winner. A Devin Hester apparently has internal bleeding, which can't be fun. Chicago looks like they did two years ago when they went to the Super Bowl, but I wouldn't be happy if I were Chicago fans, because you really can't rely on blocked punts and interceptions to help you win games.
Turnovers: Da Bears 2, Panthers 1. Turnovers = loss? So it appears. 5-1.

Buffalo 20, Jacksonville 16. The Jaguars are having trouble running the ball, and that's why they're 0-2. Running and defense is fine, but when it comes down to it, you need a QB who can make a big throw, and David Gerrard doesn't seem to be that guy. I'm not saying he's a bad quarterback, but he doesn't have that ability, it appears. We'll see about Trent Edwards, but right now he looks decent. I will say that James Hardy, who caught the game-winning touchdown, is a good addition to the Bills. I saw him last year against Penn State for Indiana, and he torched the Lions. He's tall and has good hands. He was taken in the second round, 41st overall, but he could be seen as a steal down the line.
Turnovers: Jaguars 2, Bills 1. Turnovers = loss? Why not? 6-1.

San Francisco 33, Seattle 30. I'm honestly not sure how Seattle lost this game. Whenever I turned it on, the Seahawks were winning and seemingly do whatever they wanted. Patrick Willis's 86-yard interception return helped turn it around for the 49ers, but even late in the game, when Seattle's offense was playing poorly, the defense still seemed to be beating up poor J. T. O'Sullivan. Then, suddenly, the man with the olde-tyme name (seriously, J. T. O'Sullivan sounds like he should be lobbying Congress in the 1880s or something) put together two awkward but effective drives, and just like that, San Francisco had won. It was very strange. Seattle is circling the drain, unlike some other 0-2 teams. The only reason they might have hope is because they're playing the Rams this weekend. But given their performances in the first two weeks, they might not want to chalk this up in the 'W' column just yet!
Turnovers: Seahawks 3, 49ers 1. Turnovers = loss? Definitely. Hold onto the football, people! 7-1.

Tampa 24, Atlanta 9. This is another game I had no interest in, so I watched very little. I will say that Brian Griese looked pretty darned good in the highlights, and it looks like Jeff Garcia might be out of a job once more. At least he gets to go home at night to her:

Yes, I'm shamelessly posting pictures of cheesecake! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!
Turnovers: Falcons 2, Buccaneers 1. Turnovers = loss? I suppose. 8-1.

New England 19, New York Jets 10. You know, I may not like R. C. Favre, but the man can throw a football decently. The Jets, presumably, also think he can throw a football, because they went out and got him. So why, when they have first and goal, trailing 6-0, do they run into the line three times and kick and field goal? Don't you want R. C. Favre to do what you got him for, which is run around in the backfield for 10 seconds, giving ground from the three to the 15, before launching a wounded duck 30 feet in the air, which three defenders will have a chance to intercept but won't, bobbling it around among them before it falls into the hands of your receiver, who just happened to be lying on the ground in the end zone? I mean, isn't that what you got him for? Sheesh. Meanwhile, I'm still not sold on Matt Cassel. He had a nice game, but come on - it's the Jets. R. C. Favre or not, it's still the Jets.
Turnovers: Jets 1, Cheaters 0. Turnovers = loss? Looks that way. 9-1.

Arizona 31, Miami 10. People here in the Basin are trying very hard not to get too giddy about the Cardinals' 2-0 record, because they haven't really beaten good teams (although San Francisco looks better this week than they did last week), but they're still doing what they need to, and that's beat the bad teams on their schedule before it gets really hard (up next: two games on the East Coast against Washington and the Jets, for which they will stay in the East instead of coming back here). The nice thing about this game is that they put their foot on the gas early and didn't let the Dolphins have any hope. Of course, because it's the Cardinals, their offensive game started this way: delay-of-game penalty (before they could run their first play, mind you), illegal formation penalty, and then, on 1st-and-20, a 79-yard touchdown to Anquan Boldin. That about sums up the Cardinals! Miami, meanwhile, continues to stink, and kicking a field goal in the third quarter when they were losing 24-0 is just a jerk move. I know they scored a touchdown later, but kicking a field goal there is just the coach being scared they'd get shut out. No guts, no glory indeed.
Turnovers: Dolphins 0, Cardinals 0. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash. I will point out that, although Arizona continues to commit stupid penalties (8 more on Sunday), they haven't turned the ball over so far this season. Hold onto the ball, people!

Pittsburgh 10, Cleveland 6. Yes, I skipped the entertaining afternoon game to go straight to the excruciating night game. Gadzooks, Cleveland is not good. Why are they on national television so much? I know they were flashy for a while last year, but they faded down the stretch (before the television schedule was made, remember) and didn't make the playoffs. Now they're stinking up the joint and making Madden even more incomprehensible than usual because he can't talk about the game. They should be CBS's fifth game with my grandma and Jim Fassel as the broadcasting duo. The Steelers have to go play the Eagles next week. That should be a pretty good game.
Turnovers: Browns 2, Steelers 0. Turnovers = loss? Sure! 10-1.

Denver 39, San Diego 38. This was a wildly entertaining game, but everyone's focusing on the end, which is fine. Until that point, it was a wildly entertaining game, and that one minute at the end didn't decide it. Denver put up 31 points in the first half, after all, so the San Diego defense should look in the mirror instead of whining about the refs. And for all the talk about how great Jay Cutler played, he threw an unbelievably stupid interception a few minutes earlier that led to the San Diego go-ahead touchdown. Cutler was driving the Broncos to a field goal or touchdown, but his choice to throw it into triple-coverage was horrible. Finally, the non-fumble was a joke, sure, but it was 3rd-and-goal from the 10, which is really hard to pick up. Plus, they ran the same exact play for the two-point conversion. Come on, San Diego, play some D! As for Norv Turner calling the ref's decision "unacceptable," I wonder if he called his defense unacceptable. Did he call his coaching unacceptable? People make mistakes, Norv! Sheesh.
Turnovers: Chargers 1, Broncos 1. Turnovers = loss? Doesn't matter.

There's another week. So far, teams that turn the ball over less than their opponents are 18-5. Let's check out the teams, their records, and their turnover margin:
Arizona: 0 turnovers, +5 margin, 2-0 record.
Pittsburgh: 1 turnover, +4 margin, 2-0 record.
Buffalo: 1 turnover, +3 margin, 2-0 record.
Green Bay: 1 turnover, +3 margin, 2-0 record.
Washington: 1 turnover, +3 margin, 1-1 record.
Tennessee: 3 turnovers, +2 margin, 2-0 record.
Denver: 1 turnover, +1 margin, 2-0 record.
Carolina: 2 turnovers, +1 margin, 2-0 record.
Philadelphia: 1 turnover, +1 margin, 1-1 record.
Tampa: 2 turnovers, +1 margin, 1-1 record.
Kansas City: 3 turnovers, +1 margin, 0-2 record.
New England: 2 turnovers, +0 margin, 2-0 record.
New York Giants: 1 turnover, +0 margin, 2-0 record.
Baltimore: 2 turnovers, +0 margin, 1-0 record.
Atlanta: 2 turnovers, +0 margin, 1-1 record.
Chicago: 2 turnovers, +0 margin, 1-1 record.
Miami: 1 turnover, +0 margin, 0-2 record.
Minnesota: 2 turnovers, +0 margin, 0-2 record.
San Diego: 2 turnovers, +0 margin, 0-2 record.
New York Jets: 2 turnovers, -1 margin, 1-1 record.
Oakland: 3 turnovers, -1 margin, 1-1 record.
St. Louis: 1 turnover, -1 margin, 0-2 record.
Cleveland: 2 turnovers, -1 margin, 0-2 record.
Cincinnati: 4 turnovers, -1 margin, 0-2 record.
Dallas: 3 turnovers, -2 margin, 2-0 record.
Indianapolis: 3 turnovers, -2 margin, 1-1 record.
New Orleans: 4 turnovers, -2 margin, 1-1 record.
Houston: 3 turnovers, -2 margin, 0-1 record.
Jacksonville: 5 turnovers, -2 record, 0-2 record.
San Francisco: 6 turnovers, -3 margin, 1-1 record.
Detroit: 4 turnovers, -3 margin, 0-2 record.
Seattle: 5 turnovers, -4 record, 0-2 record.

It's early in the year, but it's interesting to track this. The weird thing, of course, is that Dallas has 3 turnovers, a -2 margin, but a 2-0 record. Their offense is that good, but they should watch that.

Next week: More fun!

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Sports ineptitude

I'm not sure how many of you have heard about this, but the next time you're whining about your team sucking, consider the Bulgarian women's hockey team, which lost to Slovakia a week ago ... 82-0. Yes, a hockey game was 82-0. Bulgaria didn't get a shot off. They also lost earlier games 41-0 and 30-1. Hey, they scored a goal!

There are some videos here, but they're kind of depressing. Bulgaria doesn't even look like they want to be there, even when the game is 0-0 (for about a minute). One wonders why they put a team together.

Next time you're moaning about your favorite team losing a game by a touchdown or two or blowing a five-run lead in the ninth inning, just be thankful you're not a rabid fan of the Bulgarian women's hockey team. Man, that must suck.

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Cameras are everywhere!

This is pretty awesome. I love the look on the guy's face. Why would you do something like this in public? Sheesh.

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I have no idea what this means ...

... but I think we should all head to New Mexico to find out!



Yay! We're not dead!

The Large Hadron Collider was activated today in Switzerland, and it DID NOT create a black hole, destroying the entire planet. Good times.

Let's celebrate the fact that we're still alive! Woo-hoo!

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What have we learned - Week 1

Yes, it's the return of football to this here blog, and I know you're all terribly happy about that. You know that ESPN should hire me to offer my completely unfettered football thoughts, but they just keep trotting out Merrill Hoge! The indignity! So let's delve into the wacky world of football for this weekend, beginning with college football (in a change-up from years past, where I would end with the colleges).

Penn State overwhelmed Oregon State, 45-14, a game I thought would be closer. I took nothing from the Lions' 66-10 beatdown of frickin' Coastal Carolina in their season opener, but I thought the Beavers, despite coming to the East Coast, would put up a fight. But this game was over early. Daryll Clark looked great at QB, Evan Royster continued to run well after limited duty last year, and the wide receivers, all seniors, were excellent. I'm not willing to say that PSU will dominate the Big Eleven, but I feel a lot better about them after this game. Yes, JoePa has apparently been recruiting from prisons the past few years, but at least he's willing to suspend or chuck people off the team. In other Big Eleven news, Ohio State barely beat Ohio, 26-14, and they have to go to Los Angeles next week to play USC. Oh dear. Michigan barely beat Miami of Ohio, but of course they'll beat Penn State, even if teams like Utah and Miami can hang with them. And Wisconsin, flying under the radar as usual, torched Marshall, 51-14. the big news from Saturday was East Carolina's beatdown of West Virginia, proving that, like the ACC, the Big East is a joke. Oh, I guess that's not big news at all. And out here in the desert, Arizona State smoked Stanford, 41-17, and nobody noticed. I'm a Sun Devil fan from way back (mostly because they're called the Sun Devils), and it's a shame they don't get more publicity. Their first two wins are nothing big (in Game 1 they beat Division 1-AA Northern Arizona), but it's not that - it's that they play games at 10 Eastern and so nobody from ESPN stays up to watch them. If you don't think there's an East Coast bias, consider that Georgia played a Division 1-AA team on the first weekend, and we saw plenty of highlights. ASU was ranked 15th, and even on Sunday, I not only saw no highlights, they weren't even mentioned. Weird. Finally, there was the controversial ending to the BYU-Washington game. If you haven't seen it, the Huskies' quarterback, Jake Locker, scored a touchdown with hardly any time left to bring Washington within a point, 28-27, of the heavily-favored Cougars. He threw the ball into the air and celebrated with his teammates. The refs called an unsportsmanlike penalty for the throw of the ball. The extra point was from 35 yards away, and BYU blocked it to escape with the win. All weekend ESPN pundits have been blasting the officials because Locker wasn't taunting the opposition or showing them up. The officials responded by pointing out the rule that specifically prohibits throwing the ball up in the air. I have no problem changing the rule - the NCAA can claim it wants to promote sportsmanlike behavior, but it lets big schools (like Penn State) schedule cupcakes (like Coastal Carolina) just so the big schools can put a whuppin' on them (like 66-10). How sporting is that? So change the rule. But what these EPSNers fail to understand (or, more likely, they understand it but ignore it) is that LOCKER BROKE A RULE! He might be a great guy, he might be a saint, but he broke a rule that the NCAA is specifically trying to enforce this year and has emphasized to officials and coaches. I'd be pretty pissed at the call if I were a Washington fan, especially because my team sucks and any chance for a win is slim, but Locker broke the rule and was penalized. Case closed.

Okay, let's check out the professionals!

Philadelphia 38, St. Louis 3. I know that the Rams just aren't that good, but the Eagles dismantled them, and only a wussy field goal when St. Louis was behind 38-0 kept this from being their first shutout since 1996. If McNabb can stay healthy, this team will challenge for the NFC title. They have all the weapons, but it's always about the quarterback (see New England, below). I liked the fact that they were missing their top two receivers but were still able to throw the ball, I liked the fact that Andy actually ran it quite a bit, and I liked the fact that he got McNabb and Westbrook out of the game when it was clear that there would be no comeback. Although the defense didn't get any turnovers (something they failed to do a lot last year, and it hurt them), they had their chances. And I was a bit skeptical about ponying up so much money to Asante Samuel, but he was really good, blanketing whoever he was covering and almost coming up with at least two interceptions. Next week the Beagles head to Dallas, so we'll see if they're as good as they looked, but this was the kind of game that makes me think they're back to 2002-2004 form, and that's not good news for the NFC.
In case Tom still reads this blog, I'll keep track of DeSean Jackson's stats for him (DeSean starred at Cal, which is where Mr. The Dog attended school). Jackson's line: 6 catches, 106 yards (including a 47-yarder for the first catch of his career), 8 punt returns, 97 yards (including a 60-yarder where he weaved through a bunch of tacklers). 203 yards, no touchdowns. Not a bad way to start a career.
Turnovers: Rams 0, Eagles 0. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash. The Eagles, however, had some chances, while the Rams' defense never seemed to be near the football.

New York Giants 16, Washington 7. I didn't watch any of this game. I did see Brandon Jacobs plow over that dude, which was pretty funny, but I kind of had the feeling this would be an uninteresting game. A lot of people said Washington would be pretty good this year. I think those people are incorrect.
Turnovers: Giants 1, Washington 0. Turnovers = loss? No, probably because Washington's offense is so anemic. 0-1.

Pittsburgh 38, Houston 17. I missed the early games because I had to pause the Eagles game (the kids wanted to watch a DVD) and so I couldn't turn that off because I would lose my place. So my trenchant analysis will be lacking this week. I'll try to better next week! Anyway, Houston was a sexy pick to make the playoffs in some circles, but they have to do better than falling behind 35-3 on the road, even if it is in Pittsburgh. As for the Steelers ... which Pennsylvania team was more impressive? The Steelers and Eagles play each other fairly soon. That'll be fun!
Turnovers: Texans 3, Steelers 1. Turnovers = loss? Looks that way. 1-1.

Baltimore 17, Cincinnati 10. This might have been the biggest shocker of the weekend, mostly because the Ravens decided to forego this season in order to get their rookie, D-1AA quarterback some work. But Joe Flacco, the Fightin' Blue Hen himself, led the Edgar Allans to the victory with a 38-yard touchdown run against a defense that, inexplicably, never gets any better even though they're coached by a defensive-minded guy. And Carson Palmer was just horrific - wasn't he supposed to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league? 10-of25 for 99 yards and a pick? That's Trent Dilfer territory! I hate to pile on fine Cincinnati fans like Woody!, but this looks like a long season in the land of WKRP.
Turnovers: Bengals 2, Ravens 2. Turnovers = loss? Another wash.

Atlanta 34, Detroit 21. I kept looking up and seeing these two teams scoring. It was 21-0 Falcons before the Lions could even blink, but then it got back to 21-14 before the Falcons pulled away again. Michael Turner ran for 220 yards and Matt Ryan threw a touchdown pass on his first NFL attempt. I don't think Atlanta is going to be that good, but I bet they're really going to savor this win, especially after last year. Meanwhile, the Lions are ... well, the Lions. They got lucky for a decade with Barry Sanders, but they've been bad for almost fifty years. That has to suck.
Turnover: Lions 1, Falcons 0. Turnovers = loss? Yes, although I don't know the circumstances of the turnover. When will ESPN include "points off turnovers" as a statistic? 2-1.

Buffalo 34, Seattle 10. Seattle didn't look too good going into the season, what with Matt Hasselbeck's back injury, and then they lost Nate Burleson for the season in this game, so things aren't looking any better. Anyway, the Bills are better than people give them credit for, but this beatdown was a bit surprising. But the fake field goal on which Buffalo scored a touchdown was just bad coaching. Come on, Seahawks, pick that dude up! Seattle might have seen their NFC West dominance come to an end. We'll see.
Turnovers: Seahawks 2, Bills 0. Turnovers = loss? Pretty much. 3-1.

New York Jets 20, Miami 14. You know, just when I thought Brett "Risen Christ" Favre was out of my life forever, he comes back and throws a horrible pass that, if anyone else in the history of the NFL had thrown it, it gets intercepted and returned for a touchdown, but because R. C. Favre chucks it, it's a touchdown. So of course all we hear is the gushing about how wonderful he is. GOD I HATE THE GUSHING!!!!! I have always said that I don't really mind R. C. Favre, even though I think he's not as good as everyone says, but I hate the vocal fellatio that goes on whenever he throws one of his ducks in the air and, impossibly, someone from his own team catches it. DAMN IT!!!!! I'm going to loathe this season, aren't I? Well, it was only the Dolphins, so I can still hope that R. C. will throw that pass against a good team and get it picked. Can't I?
Turnovers: Jets 1, Dolphins 1. Turnovers = loss? Another wash. But the Dolphins should have had one more. Just one more!

New England 17, Kansas City 10. The big news of the weekend, of course, is Tom Brady going down for the season. I can't say I'm that upset. You could argue it's the football gods taking their revenge for the Cheaters running up the score against hapless teams last year, but I think the Super Bowl was revenge enough. Shit happens - deal with it. I think if the Eagles had had a healthy Donovan McNabb for the past few years they would have made the playoffs a few times. I do know that if Randall Cunningham hadn't gone down in the first game of the 1991 season, the Eagles, with one of the most dominant defense I've ever seen, probably would have won the Super Bowl. So SUCK IT, PATRIOTS FANS!!!!! The only thing that they can hope for is that the rest of the division isn't really that good. But the Bills might pass the Cheaters this year. That would be neat. Oh, and Randy Moss thinks it's a dirty play. Shut the fuck up, Randy. The only universe where that's a dirty play is one where teams can cheat, get caught, and get a slap on the wrist. Oh, wait a minute. Never mind ...
Turnovers: Cheaters 2, Chiefs 1. Turnovers = loss? No, but only because Kansas City is in the running for worst team in the league. I feel bad for Nittany Lion Larry Johnson. 3-2.

New Orleans 24, Tampa 20. This was another early game of which I saw none. I guess the Saints are good. Who knows. I'll check these teams out next week, I suppose.
Turnovers: Buccaneers 1, Saints 1. Turnovers = loss? Yet another wash.

Tennessee 17, Jacksonville 10. Remember those people who said the Jaguars would go deep in the playoffs? Yeah, okay. You might want to gain more than 33 yards on the ground, Jax. And although the Titans won the game, Vince Young had a weird game. I've never been a fan of Young (check the tape!), but he seems to have gone 'round the bend. Did he need to be coaxed back into the game at one point? He was finally knocked out and will be out for a few weeks, and I really wonder if he'll ever come back. He spoke of retiring in the off-season, and I wish that if he wanted to quit, he would. Football isn't everything, after all, and Young shouldn't be pressured to play.
Turnovers: Jaguars 3, Titans 2. Turnovers = loss? Sure, why not. 4-2.

Dallas 28, Cleveland 10. The Browns, a sexy pick to make the playoffs and the darlings of national television (five appearances this season), looked really awful. Whenever I turned on this game, Tony Romo was dissecting them. Hey, Cleveland - you might want to get a defense! And their offense didn't look that great either, frankly. And I like how the commentators were talking about Romo's poise as he ripped apart the Browns, but they never mentioned the fact that his offensive line gave him what seemed like eight minutes to throw every single time. As we have seen, it's pretty easy to be a good quarterback when your offensive line is so good. Just ask Peyton Manning, who lost his long-time center and looked pretty ordinary in the Sunday night game. Of course, no one cares what Dallas does in September. They haven't won a playoff game in over a decade. You cannot believe how sweet that sentence is to type.
Turnovers: Cowboys 1, Browns 0. Turnovers = loss? Nope. 4-3.

Carolina 26, San Diego 24. Remember those people who said the Chargers would go deep into the playoffs? They still might, be you really shouldn't let a team drive down the field against you with hardly any time on the clock and let them score a touchdown on the last play of the game. At home, mind you. This is another game I didn't watch much, but I still don't buy Delhomme as a great quarterback. It's nice that he's finally healthy, but I'm going to say that the Chargers are a bit overrated this year. Maybe I'll change my tune later in the season with regards to the Panthers.
Turnovers: Panthers 1, Chargers 1. Turnovers = loss? Another wash.

Arizona 23, San Francisco 13. Most people probably ignored this game (I know ESPN did), but it was somewhat intriguing. More than a few people claimed the Niners would be decent, but they're not good. And although it was against a bad team, Arizona did a lot of things right. They went into the half tied 10-10, and the Cardinals got the ball to start the third. They took 6.35 off the clock on a 15-plau drive and kicked a field goal to go ahead. Then they pooch-kicked off, which the Niners fumbled, and recovered. Then they had a 4.22 drive down to the 1-yard line, where they went for it on fourth down and scored a touchdown to go ahead by ten. San Francisco came back and kicked a field goal, and when the Cardinals got the ball back, they went 18 plays in 10.08 and kicked the clinching field goal at the two-minute warning. They held the ball for 23 of the 30 minutes in the second half. That's good stuff. Not only does it destroy the other team's will (and keep Frank Gore, who was gashing Arizona in the first half), but it keeps your defense fresh for next week. I'm not ready to say the Cardinals are a good team, but Arizona in previous years wouldn't have won this game. They play another bad team next week (the Dolphins), and it will be interesting to see how they respond to this early stay at the top of the division.
Turnovers: 49ers 5, Cardinals 0. Turnovers = loss? Pretty much, although the Cardinals didn't capitalize on the three in the first half. They should have won by a lot more. 5-3.

Chicago 29, Indianapolis 13. I was fairly stunned by this score, as I didn't think Da Bears had enough offense to beat the Colts, even though I don't think Indy is as good this year as they have been in the past. As I wrote above, when you put pressure on a quarterback, he usually looks ordinary, and Manning looked kind of ordinary. I never turned the game back on after the Colts scored to make it 15-13, and I wasn't watching a lot before that, but I did see Da Bears defense play well. Will Tennessee win the AFC South by default?
Turnovers: Colts 1, Bears 0. Turnovers = loss? The turnover was returned for a touchdown to make the score 22-13, so sure. 6-3.

Green Bay 24, Minnesota 19. I'm not sure why people thought the Vikings were going to go deep into the playoffs (and some picked them to win the NFC or the Super Bowl). Tarvaris Jackson has never wowed anyone as a quarterback, and we know that you need a good QB to win, and Adrian Peterson, despite his dominating year, looked crappy against some teams (the Eagles, for instance) and did get hurt, just like he did in college. Meanwhile, I still think the Packers are overrated and got lucky last year, but somebody had to win this game, right? So where other people saw a possible titanic matchup between two Super Bowl contenders, I saw a game with two mediocre teams who might win a division by default. Aaron Rodgers didn't embarrass himself, however, so I guess that's something.
Turnovers: Vikings 1, Packers 0. Turnovers = loss? I suppose. 7-3.

Denver 41, Oakland 14. Not unlike the Eagles win, I don't know how much you can take from this. Oakland is probably worse than several college teams, so the Broncos putting the whuppin' on them isn't that astonishing. However, the fact that the Raiders keep bringing in talented assholes (hello, D'Angelo Hall!) who get burned by a nobody (Eddie Royal?) is priceless. I'm not a Raiders fan, in case you're wondering. The Raiders, like the Rams, are looking at a long, looooooong season.
Turnovers: Raiders 1, Broncos 0. Turnovers = loss? Well, I don't think it really mattered, but the stats don't lie! 8-3.

So that's the week in football. Dallas and Pittsburgh were probably the most impressive (Philadelphia and Denver looked better, but their competition was much worse), while San Diego and Indianapolis were probably the most disappointing. And how many games will the Cheaters win? I say seven. I hope this past weekend is the only one they win, but I don't think that's feasible.

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To apologize for going missing this week, here's some old-school cheesecake

I don't know what happened to me this week. It just passed me by. Those holiday weekends are always tough, and then it's Tuesday, and then I had an appointment on Wednesday for Mia (read about it here!), and then, suddenly, it's Friday. Sheesh. How will I retain my dwindling readership if I post so infrequently?

To make up for it, I thought I'd post some pictures of Raquel Welch, as it's her 68th birthday. Wow! 68. She still looks great, but I'm sure a lot of surgery, airbrushing, and obsessive personal training has a lot to do with that. But to celebrate, let's check out Ms. Welch (whose real last name is Tejada, by the way) in her heyday:

I will post more often, I promise. NFL football returns this weekend, after all, and where would you be if I didn't break down the games????? Yeah, I know - probably not lost at all. But don't tell me that! It might make me cry.

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