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 3

It was an okay weekend, except Penn State forgot how to score touchdowns. It's not that hard, men - see that vast space with no yard lines or numbers? That's where you want to go. Cripes. Then came Sunday, and the Eagles played a high school football team. So that was nice. Let's check out what's what!

You know you love Philadelphia's 1933 uniforms! You know you want to buy one today! Luckily, you can here (it's the McNabb one, but there are others). Anyway, I was so happy to see Andy Reid run the ball early on, because that really opened up the passing game. I know, shocking. Football is so hard to figure out! I know it's not going to be this easy every week, and Brian Westbrook isn't as durable as some backs (he got hurt late in the game, and let's hope it's minor), but Correll Buckhalter and Penn State's own Tony Hunt rushed for touchdowns in the second half, so maybe Reid will remember he has other running backs. McNabb didn't need to throw very much, but he ended up throwing only 26 passes. That's how it should be. The Eagles have a huge game next week against the Giants. Let's hope they didn't use up all their touchdowns!
Turnovers: Lions 3, Eagles 2. Final score: Philadelphia 56, Detroit 21. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 1-0.

Hey, good idea firing Marty Schottenheimer there, San Diego. Real smart. You know what else is smart? Not giving the ball to LaDanian Tomlinson more often. Granted, he hasn't been running all that well, but the best backs get better as the games go on, and the Chargers aren't allowing Tomlinson to wear down the defense. As for the Packers, the only reason I don't like the fact that they're 3-0 is because it means we get more and more "Nancy Boy Favre as the Risen Christ" stories. Seriously: listen to ESPN today. It's like they've touched the wounds in his palms and now they believe! Sheesh.
Turnovers: Chargers 1, Packers 0. Final score: Green Bay 31, San Diego 24. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 2-0.

The Vikings scored on the first drive of the game and didn't get another touchdown, adding just 3 points to their total. They have no hope. Meanwhile, the Chiefs won but Larry Johnson is still grumpy about how he's being used. I like Johnson because he's a Nittany Lion, but he did get 24 carries. Maybe they should have given it to him 30 times, but he gained only 42 yards on those 24 carries. So he blames his offensive line. Yeah, way to make them want to block better, Larry.
Turnovers: Vikings 1, Chiefs 1. Final score: Kansas City 13, Minnesota 10. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash.

The Cheaters are just unbelievably dominant these days. Tom Brady, who's really miffed that people are suggesting their Super Bowl wins are "tainted" (they won them all by three points, and their coach is an admitted cheater; what are we supposed to think?), is 70 of 87. In three games he has 17 incompletions! Rex Grossman throws that many in a half! How are parents supposed to tell their kids not to cheat if cheaters prosper so well in life?
Turnovers: Bills 2, Cheaters 1. Final score: Cheaters 38, Buffalo 7. Turnovers = loss? Yes, although the cheating might have had something to do with it. 3-0.

Chad Pennington had a great game. Did the New Jersey fans apologize to him at all? Probably not. Meanwhile, Jason Taylor said he "sucks." Well, someone had to say it. I'm glad it was someone actually on the Dolphins.
Turnovers: Dolphins 1, Jets 0. Final score: New Jersey 31, Miami 24. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 4-0.

Wow, San Francisco isn't that good yet. That's pretty surprising. Still, they hung around the Steelers for a while, until Pittsburgh just proved to be the stronger team. Of course, the Steelers haven't been tested yet. Just wait until next week ... when they visit the desert! Oh, the beatdown that awaits them!
Turnovers: 49ers 1, Steelers 1. Final score: Pittsburgh 37, San Francisco 16. Turnovers = loss? There's no advantage either way.

I like how "experts" still talk about the great St. Louis offense, despite all evidence to the contrary. They had a great offense, but it's just lousy these days. I do have a question about the Rams, though: in the first half, when the score was 10-0 (I think), Marc Bulger threw and interception at the Tampa 30 or so. It appeared the defender didn't get his feet down, yet St. Louis didn't challenge. It seemed like an easy challenge, so why didn't they throw the red flag? It felt like a game-changing kind of play. This passivity is why certain teams lose - they just accepted their fate meekly, so they lost.
Turnovers: Rams 3, Buccaneers 1. Final score: Tampa 24, St. Louis 3. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 5-0.

The big story in the Basin today is whether Kurt Warner should replace Matt Leinart as starting QB after Matty struggled mightily against Baltimore and Warner carved them up and almost led them to a win. Ron Jaworski weighed in this afternoon and said, emphatically, no. I say, Why not? The only reason Warner got replaced last year was because the offensive line stunk and Warner can't run. Now, however, they have a good line, and Warner can do everything better at this stage of his career. Leinart has started less than a full season, and he has a lot to learn. If his fragile psyche can't handle sitting, the Cardinals don't want him anyway. Also, Arizona got a bit hosed by the refs, as Adrian Wilson was flagged for a personal foul that helped the Ravens get in position for the final field goal. The refs said Wilson hit Todd Heap with his forearm, but it was clear he hit him with his shoulder pad. The No Fun League is trying to become the No Hitting League, either. Of course, Arizona shouldn't have fallen behind 23-6, either. But still - when did the league become a bunch of wusses?
Turnovers: Cardinals 1, Ravens 1. Final score: Baltimore 26, Arizona 23. Turnovers = loss? Not applicable.

I know nothing about the Indy-Houston game. I guess Peyton Manning played well, as did Matt Schaub, and the Texans might actually be decent. Go, Houston!
Turnovers: Texans 2, Colts 0. Final score: Indianapolis 30, Houston 24. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 6-0.

Everyone is banging on Mike Shanahan for going for it on 4th down from his own 9 with 4 minutes left and trailing 20-14. I say, Fortune Favors The Bold! Excellent call, and the receiver should have caught the pass. Meanwhile, the Jaguars simply ran and ran and ran. Wow, does that work? Who would have guessed?
Turnovers: Broncos 3, Jaguars 2. Final score: Jacksonville 23, Denver 14. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 7-0.

Oakland pulled the same pansy-ass crap as Denver did to them last weekend, and called a timeout just as Phil Dawson was kicking what would have been the game-winning field goal. Dawson's "real" attempt was blocked. I can't blame Lane Kiffin for doing something within the rules, but what a cheesy act. You can't win games by yourself, so you have to use some stupid rule to get a win? This is an idiotic rule that needs to be changed.
Turnovers: Browns 2, Raiders 2. Final score: Oakland 26, Cleveland 24. Turnovers = loss? No, but that's because there was no advantage.

I'd like to say that Cincinnati got shafted by the refs, but I reckon Seattle would have scored on the last drive anyway. With two minutes left, Matt Hasselbeck had a pass tipped at the line. He caught the ball and started to run, but was tackled for a ten-yard loss. He fumbled, but after he was down. The refs claimed the pass was incomplete, so Seattle didn't lose the yardage. How nobody saw Hasselbeck take about four steps with the ball is beyond me. I guess it wouldn't have mattered, because Hasselbeck was carving up the Bengals' defense anyway, but it's still something to mention.
Turnovers: Bengals 4, Seahawks 2. Final score: Seattle 24, Cincinnati 21. Turnovers = loss? Yes, especially when Cincy fumbled with a minute left. 8-0.

Did anyone see D'Angelo Hall go nuts on the drive that gave Carolina the lead for good? He got flagged for 67 yards in penalties, and then got in a shouting match with his head coach on the sideline. You stay classy, D'Angelo! It overshadowed a pretty good game by Joey Harrington. Maybe Atlanta won't need Byron Leftwich after all!
Turnovers: Falcons 2, Panthers 0. Final score: Carolina 27, Atlanta 20. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 9-0.

How stupid is Washington? They reach the Giants' 2-yard line (or so, maybe the three) with a minute left and no timeouts left, down by a touchdown. They rush to the line and spike the ball, even though they could have easily run a play. So on second down, they throw an incomplete pass that might not have been a touchdown anyway. Then they run into the line, which is what they should have done on first down! Then, with about 25 seconds left, they hurry up and run another play, and the running back gets tripped up, sealing the game for the Giants. What poor clock management! There was no reason to rush so much, and they just looked like they were panicking. Aren't these guys professionals?
Turnovers: Giants 3, Washington 1. Final score: New Jersey 24, Washington 17. Turnovers = loss? No. Stupid Washington! 9-1.

You have to bench Rex Grossman, don't you? Last year the Bears asked him not to lose games. Now, he's actively losing games, because he just isn't good enough. Meanwhile, their defense looks really vulnerable. Tony Romo continues to look good, but then again he looked good for a while last year as well. Can it last this time? We'll see. As long as Terrell Owens destroys the team eventually, I'll be happy. And he will, he will!
Turnovers: Bears 4, Cowboys 1. Dallas 34, Chicago 10. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 10-1.

That makes it 31-5 in three weeks when teams turn the ball over less than their opponents. Don't turn the ball over!

The word has also come down that cheerleaders can no longer warm up in front of the opposing team. Apparently some teams were "distracted" when the cheerleaders exercised in front of them. How could that be?

As I mentioned, my beloved Nittany Lions couldn't score a touchdown, but more importantly, they turned the ball over! Don't turn the ball over!!!!!! Michigan didn't move the ball too well in the first half, but they scored a touchdown because Anthony Morelli fumbled at his 15. Later, driving for a touchdown, Austin Scott fumbled at the Michigan 10. Scott fumbled twice last week against freakin' Buffalo, but JoePa is way too loyal to his players, so he was back in the game. Sheesh. I didn't really think Penn State would run the table, but it would have been nice to open the Big 11 season with a win. Why they can't beat the Wolverines is beyond me. Arizona State fell behind 19-0 and won, 44-32, but the game was not televised, even in Phoenix. People wonder why certain teams don't get any respect. I'm not saying ASU is a great team, but when nobody can see you play, it's kind of hard to get voted on. And then there was Georgia-Alabama. I was glad to see the Tide lose, because Nick Saban is an asshole, but what's making the rounds on the web is the video of Georgia's winning touchdown. But not because of the video, but because of the bizarre non sequitur Mike Patrick got into ... just as the Bulldogs came to the line, in overtime, losing by a field goal. Was Mike Patrick hitting the bottle before the overtime?

I just love Todd Blackledge's reaction. It's as if he's wondering whether he's been suddenly transported to an alien planet and he doesn't understand the language. It's awesome. I wish I had seen it live.

So that's it for this week. Next week: Can the Eagles go to 2-2? Will Rex Grossman ever play in the NFL again? Which coach will wuss out and call a timeout right before a kicker attempts a field goal? By how many points will the Cardinals beat the Steelers? Oh, the drama of football!

Labels: ,


The bridges of Portland, the befuddled Swiss army, plots to overthrow the government, Korean baseball brawls ... Yes, the links are back!

I decided to do some linking this week, and now I remember why I don't do this anymore. It took me a long time to find just these links, and I could only surf the web for the first few days of the week - at the end of the week I was just too busy. I love doing these posts, because there's so much weird stuff out there in cyberspace, but I probably won't do it again. Never say never, though! Who knows what the future will bring.

So let's hit the links. You know you love them!


This is from way back in March, but I couldn't let it go: On a routine training exercise, the Swiss army accidentally invaded Liechtenstein. It's not as awesome as it sounds, but it's still pretty funny.

This is a bit old, but I thought it was interesting: Sonia ranks the U. S. presidents. Sonia leans a bit to the right, but she's usually pretty rational. Putting Bush II at #9 is a bit crazy, however (as is putting his father at #10). Actually, I don't think we can rank any president after Carter, because it's too soon.

Here's a very interesting article about a plot in the 1930s to overthrow the U. S. government and replace it with a fascist-style government. When it came to light, our government whitewashed it, because many of the plotters were heads of big business and the social elite. Today big business doesn't need to overthrow the government - it just buys it.

Scott Adams points out this story: A Nebraska state senator has sued God. He did to protest frivolous lawsuits, but it would be more fun if he was serious.

If you want to protest the Iraq war, why wouldn't you dress like this?
I found the story at Donklephant, which links to the original story. Why people are surprised that others treat them better when they dress in nice clothing is beyond me.

This is interesting: Blackwater USA has been banned from Iraq. Blackwater is a private security firm contracted by the State Department. Apparently some of the guards killed some civilian bystanders on Sunday. It will be interesting if this has any effect on the practice of farming out important tasks in Iraq, like security. Probably not. I found this at Majikthise.


Apparently, Kathy Griffin upset some people with her sacrilegious Emmy acceptance speech. A FOX news correspondent helps explain things to her. That was awfully nice.

As the Emmy awards were this week, Go Fug Yourself was in heaven. This is Phoebe Price:

And just to be fair, Kristen Bell looked quite good:
(By the way, I didn't know who Phoebe Price is either. Here's her IMDb page.)

How can you tell if the television shows you loved when you were a kid are really any good? Dave Campbell provides the calculus!


Alan David Doane lists the three reasons people get to work in the comic book industry.

Some famous fashion designer named Luella (we know she's famous because she only uses one name) has come up with a clothing line based on Batman. Yes, you read that right. Check it out:
I found this at Blog@Newsarama.

Devon looks at major DC comics crossovers and what character developments came out of them here and here.


If you're interested in buying a product that makes everything taste like bacon, why not try Bacon Salt? Under the product name is the actual tag, "Everything should taste like bacon". Um, sorry, but no it shouldn't.

Speaking of which, here's a story about ... bacon-flavored chocolate bars. Go here to purchase yours today!

TV chef Gordon Ramsay burns his plums. Not the ones he was using in a recipe, either.

I know you're dying to go to Chicago and eat at Moto, the "postmodern" restaurant. This is what the food looks like.

Oh dear Lord:


I love the first sentence of this post. It's a bit ... pornographic, though, so be warned (no pictures, however, so it should be safe for work, unless your boss is reading over your shoulder, in which case you shouldn't be reading this anyway).

This is a bit old, but too good to pass up: Ashley points the way to ... OhMiBod. Just check it out - I can't ruin the surprise. You can also watch a video demonstrating the product.


With Leather points out how cool Shelley Duncan is when kids ask him for an autograph. Shelley Duncan, by the way, is a Yankee outfielder. The kid who asked for an autograph was a Red Sox fan. Things went downhill from there.

Woody linked to this video:
It's Korean baseball getting nasty. But "nasty" to Koreans means something far stranger than it means to us.


Do you know who Maddison Gabriel is? Why, she's the 12-year-old (she's now 13) who was chosen as the "official ambassador" of Gold Coast Fashion Week in Australia. I read about her here, which is also from where I stole this picture:
The Prime Minister of Australia is outraged, and wants to ban models younger than 16 from appearing on catwalks. Ms. Gabriel, you see, actually did some modeling of decidedly adult fashion - bikinis and such. She, of course, thinks it's great. Her mother thinks John Howard, the PM, owes her an apology, saying a bunch of idiotic things, including "We're trying to get our teenage daughters to act older." Why, exactly? This just makes me sad. I'm not going to link to a picture of her in a bikini but not post it, because it's just icky. The picture isn't too objectionable, but it's still a 13-year-old modeling a bikini. I guess fashion designers like her because they design clothing for women with no breasts and no hips - just like normal 13-year-olds!


I found this picture here. There's another fun ones there as well.

Jeff Parker has been blogging about the bridges of Portland. Well, I find it interesting.

French surgeons removed a woman's gall bladder ... through her vagina. Wow. I found this at Ace of Spades, where there's some other weird news for your enjoyment.

Is this history's most wicked woman?
Read about her at the link and judge for yourself!

Why you need to watch what you say around children.

Blogger Play lets you view every single photograph uploaded to Blogger. It's mesmerizing and oddly touching, looking at peoples' lives flash by (you can pause it, too). I stole these two stunning photographs of New York from this post:

I found the link at The Giant Fighting Robot Report.


You know what you need in your life? A calendar featuring Mormon men without their shirts on:
This is causing some consternation among the Church elders, as you might expect. Sheesh, lighten up, people! Part of the proceeds go to the charities that the missionaries were involved with on their missions. The calendar, as you might expect, is big in the gay community.

I know this is a shameless excuse to post a picture of college girls in bikinis, but does this really look like a swim team?
One of them is wearing a belt, for crying out loud! And don't they look a bit, um, chesty for a swim team? I stole the picture from here after seeing it at With Leather.

Tom's latest Object of His Affection (full list here!) is Olivia Munn:
I usually have at least a marginal reason for posting attractive women, but not this time. I just think she looks pretty darned good in that costume.

That's it for this week. I hope you like the links, because I very much doubt they will appear again. Savor them! Remember: the Internet is a wild and wacky place. It's always fun to zip around it!

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Slob rule

Today I went into 7-11. Never mind why! At the register stood a man trying to buy something. I'm not sure what he wanted to buy or if he even bought it, because by the time I got up to the register he had left the store, leaving behind a pile of change which the clerk proceeded to scoop up and put in the cash register. So I don't know what was going on.

But that's not important. What is important is the way the man looked. First of all, he was carrying a dog under his arm. It was a white fluffy dog, not exactly a rat dog, but a terrier of some sort. Okay. Next, he was shirtless. Yes, without a shirt. Then, he was wearing shorts that were pulled down almost to his crotch, exposing his Family Guy boxer shorts. Yes, the television show. Completing the ensemble were his long white socks and black slippers.

What, if you'll pardon the vulgarity, the fuck? First of all, does 7-11 no longer have a "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service" policy? Second, this dude was kind of buff and he was wearing some nice sunglasses, plus the dog looked well-groomed, so he wasn't a crazy bum and the clerk felt bad for him. He also drove off in a ratty but working automobile. I have no idea what was going on, but I was just saddened that this man figured he could go out in public and walk into 7-11 and nobody would bat an eye. Good Lord.

Yes, I'm a snob. I don't care. The slobbification of the country is getting WAY out of hand. WE MUST MAKE A STAND!!!!

Labels: , ,


What have we learned - Week 2

Whenever the Eagles don't play on Sunday, I tend to miss a lot of football, but I caught enough to glean some answers from the action. As always, I'm going to track the turnovers and see how that predicts the winner of the game. Last week, the team that committed fewer turnovers was 10-2. Hey! Don't turn the ball over! What a shock.

I watched most of the most entertaining game of the day (and in a while), the Cincinnati-Cleveland game. I love it when teams play no defense. How can the Bengals claim they're a playoff team when the Browns hang 51 on them? Cincinnati looks more and more like an 8-8 team. And it was fun watching Chad Johnson jump into the Dog (Dawg?) Pound and get beer dumped on him. Of course, his team was losing at the time, so maybe he should have calmed down, but it was still fun. I don't think we can really learn anything from this game, except that neither team plays defense.
Turnovers: Bengals 3, Browns 1. Final score: Cleveland 51, Cincinnati 45. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 1-0.

I barely watched any of the Indianapolis-Tennessee game, but if Vince Young doesn't learn how to throw the ball, the Titans are going to lose a lot of games like this. They have a decent defense and a good running game, but at the end, when Young needed to make a play, all he could do was run the ball, and that doomed the Titans. I think Young is overrated this early in his career, but I don't really have anything against him. He just needs to learn how to throw.
Turnovers: Titans 2, Colts 1. Final score: Indianapolis 22, Tennessee 20. Turnovers = loss? Yes, and the Titans fumbled with very little time left and a chance to win with a field goal. 2-0.

I love teams like San Francisco, which is 2-0 but isn't very good. In both of their games, key turnovers (or, in the case of the Arizona game, a turnover the Cardinals DIDN'T get) helped them win. The Rams really should be better, but they screw up far too often, and when the toughest guy on your team is the quarterback, that's not good. I did like the fact that the 49ers went for it on 4th-and-1 in the third quarter and Frank Gore smashed through the line and went 43 yards for a touchdown. Fortune favors the bold! No team should punt in that situation, unless they are surrendering.
Turnovers: Rams 3, 49ers 2. Final score: San Francisco 17, St. Louis 16. Turnovers = loss? Yes, again directly, as Dante Hall dropped a punt that led to the game-winning field goal. 3-0.

Even though I hate Nancy Boy Favre, I wasn't too sad to see the Packers beat the New Jersey football Giants yesterday. It was a loss for the Giants, and it made me feel a bit better about the Eagles' loss last week (not much, but a little). I didn't watch any of this game, but is the Giants' defense really that bad? Whenever the highlights came on, Favre was just carving them up. I thought New Jersey might be a mediocre team, but they might be worse than that.
Turnovers: Giants 2, Packers 1. Final score: Green Bay 35, New Jersey 13. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 4-0.

A game I had no interest in was the Buffalo-Pittsburgh game, and it turned out that the game wasn't interesting at all. I honestly don't know anything about this game - I haven't even seen any highlights. So let's just move on.
Turnovers: Steelers 1, Bills 0. Final score: Pittsburgh 26, Buffalo 3. Turnovers = loss? No. 4-1.

I should have done predictions before the year, because I would have put the Saints at no better than 8-8 and I'd be looking like a genius right now. They look awful on offense, which was supposed to be their strength. I guess Joe Horn was more important than we thought he was! Meanwhile, Jeff Garcia torched their weak defense while their running game methodically gained yards. Garcia threw only 16 passes but gained 243 yards. Holy crap, that's efficient. I doubt if Tampa will be that good this year, but they might finish in front of New Orleans.
Turnovers: Saints 2, Buccaneers 0. Final score: Tampa 31, New Orleans 14. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 5-1.
(Jeff Garcia, by the way, recently married this woman, who was Playboy's 2004 Playmate of the Year. Garcia is butt-ugly, so he must have something else going on!)

You have to be impressed with Houston. They were down 14-0, then ripped off 34 straight points. On the road, mind you. Is it just the addition of Matt Schaub? I haven't watched much of the Texans so far this year, so I have to think it's him. He had a pretty good day: 20-28 for 227 yards and 2 TDs. If Carolina is going to simply rely on Steve Smith (8 catches, 153 yards, all three of their touchdowns), it's going to be a long year.
Turnovers: Panthers 3, Texans 1. Final score: Houston 34, Carolina 21. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 6-1.

Jacksonville won, but they looked pretty crappy at home against the hapless Falcons. They're still overrated and probably won't do much this year. This was an amazingly dull game. The only thing we really learned is that the Falcons' line is awful - Harrington was sacked 7 times. How can we tell how good he is if he never has time to throw? Last week some Falcons said he held the ball too long. Why don't they block and get open for him?
Turnovers: none. Final score: Jacksonville 13, Atlanta 7. Turnovers = loss? No turnovers, so no advantage either way.

Another game I missed completely (sorry, but I didn't watch much, as I pointed out, and when I did, I was watching Bengals-Browns) was the Detroit-Minnesota game. I mentioned last week that we shouldn't put too much stock in the Vikings because they won the game so handily because of, you guessed it, turnovers. Their rookie QB (well, first-year starter, if not exactly a rookie) threw four interceptions. I guess it speaks to the lousiness of the Lions that they needed overtime to win because they kept giving the ball back. But you have to love Detroit's back-up quarterback, who led them to the win. His name is J. T. O'Sullivan, which I swear is a sports bar in Mesa.
Turnovers: Vikings 5, Lions 5. Final score: Detroit 20, Minnesota 17. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash, because both teams suck.

The question is: Are the Cowboys that good, or are the teams they're playing that bad? I hope it's the latter, but I'm starting to worry about my Eagles in the division, because I have a feeling Dallas will continue to be at least this explosive on offense, and I loathe the Cowboys. My only consolation is that Tony Romo did not have a particularly good day (14-29, 186 yards, 2 TDs), so maybe when he plays a real defense the team won't look as good. Because I refuse to live in a world where Terrell Owens doesn't destroy a team in his second season with them. Hey, Miami? How's that quarterback situation?
Turnovers: Dolphins 5, Cowboys 0. Final score: Dallas 37, Miami 20. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 7-1.

In the afternoon, I watched most of the Arizona game. Sorry, but since I live here, I hear more about them than any team, and they are kind of fun to watch. The Cardinals may - may - have turned the corner with the win yesterday. They had a nice 17-0 lead, which I knew they would give away, and then late, the Seahawks were driving for the game-winning field goal when Hasselbeck and Alexander bumped into each other and a Cardinals' defender crashed into them and forced a fumble. One of Arizona's defenders tried to pick it up - fall on the damned ball! - and then another fell on it. It was nice to see them get a win like this, even if it was at home. The surprising thing about the Cardinals is that they ran the ball with authority and stuffed Shaun Alexander for most of the game. He needs to sit out a game, maybe. His hand is hurt and he's not running well.
Turnovers: Seahawks 1, Cardinals 1. Final score: Arizona 23, Seattle 20. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash, but both turnovers led directly to scores.

Why do you punt to Devin Hester? I just don't get why, when you have a wide field, you punt directly to dangerous kick returners. Punt the damned thing toward the sideline, for crying out loud! Even if it doesn't go out of bounds, it's tough for a returner to get going when the sideline is right there. Rex Grossman had another lousy day, and I just can't see the Bears doing too well with him under center. The Chiefs are really bad. Well done with that quarterback and that running back in the off-season, Kansas City.
Turnovers: Chiefs 3, Bears 2. Final score: Chicago 20, Kansas City 10. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 8-1.

Hey, you know why Sebastian Janikowski missed a long field goal after making one that didn't count because Mike Shanahan called time-out before he kicked it? Because he plays for the Raiders. Man, shit like this just happens to bad teams.
Turnovers: Raiders 3, Broncos 2. Final score: Denver 23, Oakland 20. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 9-1.

Remember when New Jersey Jets fans cheered because Chad Pennington got hurt and they could finally see Kellen Clemens? Yeah, that was classy. Well, Clemens completed just about half of his passes and was intercepted twice. I like Clemens (because he's an Oregon Duck), but that's a tough game to start - against a pissed-off Ravens team in Baltimore. Speaking of which, do the Ravens even play offense? I would just let their defense play the entire game, because they could probably score more points than the offense. Arizona can win in Baltimore next week, but they can't, you know, turn the ball over.
Turnovers: J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets 2, Ravens 0. Final score: Baltimore 20, New Jersey 13. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 10-1.

Holy crap, the Cheaters put a stomping on the Super Chargers last night. Whenever I turned on the television, Tom Brady was standing behind his O-line, eating a sandwich, calling Gisele on the phone, and tickling little J. E. T. Moynihan's tummy. And then he would fire a bullet to some wide-open receiver. I never liked the Cheaters much and hate them even more now, but they looked gooooooood. I pity San Diego, because you knew whoever played the Cheaters after this week would pay dearly. I'm still waiting for Randy Moss to quit. It will come, my pretties. Oh yes, it will come.
Turnovers: Chargers 3, Cheaters 2. Final score: New England 38, San Diego 14. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 11-1.

So that's 21-3 for the teams that turn the ball over less than their opponents, with tonight's game to go. Surprising, I know. Tonight, let's hope Andy Reid remembers his stupid running game. Stupid Andy Reid!

In college football, it was an interesting week. Penn State didn't look too good against Buffalo, and I'm extremely worried about their game next week against Michigan. Their defense is pretty sound, but Michigan's offense is starting to play like we thought they would. Meanwhile, Kentucky knocked off Louisville, which is cool because I maintain that the Big East is overrated (the Big 10 is probably overrated, too, but the Big East is REALLY overrated), and Texas struggled against Central Florida. Central freakin' Florida! I'm also enjoying all the people trying to say how Charlie Weis is so much different than Ty Willingham, even though his third year, like Willingham's, is a disaster. It couldn't be because he's a fat white guy, could it? Arizona State is quietly 3-0, and Oregon looks really good. I always hope the Pac-10 does well, because they never get enough respect. So we'll see what happens this week, when my beloved Nittany Lions head to the Big House and try to snap a long losing streak (eight years? nine?) to the Wolverines. I have all week to fret.

Labels: ,


The Women of Jerry recap

Let's review all the girlfriends (or women Jerry almost dated) in Mr. Seinfeld's life, shall we? I thought I'd list them by Fame Rating, which is, of course, completely subjective!

Fame Rating: 10.
1. Courteney Cox. Season 5, Episode 81, 1994. Age gap: 10 years. She pretended to be Jerry's wife to get a drycleaning discount.

Fame Rating: 9.
2. Catherine Keener. Season 3, Episode 38, 1992. Age gap: 4 years. She painted Kramer and plagiarized a love letter to Jerry.
3. Teri Hatcher. Season 4, Episode 59, 1993. Age gap: 10 years. "They're real, and they're spectacular."
4. Debra Messing. Season 7, Episode 133, 1996 and Season 8, Episode 153, 1997. Age gap: 15 years. Jerry was waiting out her marriage in the first episode, and when he finally hooked up with her in the second one, she turned out to be horribly racist.
5. Marcia Cross. Season 9, Episode 163, 1997. Age gap: 8 years. She was "Pimple Popper, MD"!

Fame Rating: 8.
6. Tawny Kitaen. Season 3, Episode 26, 1991. Age gap: 7 years. It's TAWNY KITAEN!
7. Jane Leeves. Season 4, Episodes 50 and 51, 1992. Age gap: 7 years. She's the virgin who ends up losing her virginity to John F. Kennedy, Jr.
8. Marlee Matlin. Season 5, Episode 70, 1993. Age gap: 11 years. George asks her to spy on his girlfriend by reading her lips.
9. Jami Gertz. Season 5, Episode 76, 1994. Age gap: 11 years. She couldn't spare Elaine a square. Plus, she had an interesting job.
10. Janeane Garofalo. Season 7, Episode 134, 1996. Age gap: 12 years. Jerry proposed to her because they were so much alike, but then they decided they hated each other.
11. Christine Taylor. Season 8, Episode 148, 1997. Age gap: 17 years. Everyone thought there was something wrong with her, but Jerry couldn't see it.
12. Kristin Davis. Season 8, Episode 150, 1997. Age gap: 11 years. Her toothbrush fell in the toilet and Jerry couldn't kiss her afterward.
13. Lauren Graham. Season 8, Episode 154, 1997. Age gap: 13 years. She competed over Jerry with her mother.

Fame Rating: 7.
14. Jennifer Coolidge. Season 5, Episode 73, 1993. Age gap: 9 years. She was the masseuse who refused to give Jerry a massage.
15. Dana Wheeler-Nicholson. Season 6, Episode 106, 1995. Age gap: 6 years. Jerry put one of her discarded pecans in his mouth, which grossed him out.
16. Stacey Travis. Season 7, Episode 114, 1995. Age gap: Unknown. She made Jerry meat-heavy meals.
17. Brenda Strong. Season 7, Episode 122, 1996. Age gap: 6 years. She's Sue Ellen Mischkie, for crying out loud!
18. A. J. Langer. Season 8, Episode 140, 1996. Age gap: 20 years. Her mentor dated Bania, which made her abandon the mentor.
19. Melinda Clarke. Season 8, Episode 155, 1997. Age gap: 15 years. Jerry shaved his chest for her.
20. Amanda Peet. Season 8, Episode 156, 1997. Age gap: 18 years. Jerry couldn't keep up with her, so George helped him run errands.
21. Lori Loughlin. Season 9, Episode 159, 1997. Age gap: 10 years. She gets Jerry to express his emotions.

Fame Rating: 6.
22. Helen Slater. Season 3, Episode 37, 1992. Age gap: 9 years. She wasn't really a girlfriend, but Jerry tried to date her.
23. Anita Barone. Season 4, Episode 56, 1993. Age gap: 10 years. She's Jerry's ex-girlfriend, actually, the one who talks about Elaine's shoes and who gets snubbed by Kramer (and later dates him).
24. Paula Marshall. Season 4, Episode 57, 1993. Age gap: 10 years. She "outed" Jerry.
25. Anna Gunn. Season 5, Episode 67, 1993. Age gap: 14 years. George claims he saw her making out with Jerry's cousin Jeffrey.
26. Katherine La Nasa. Season 6, Episode 102, 1995. Age gap: 12 years. She played the policewoman who didn't believe Jerry didn't watch Melrose Place.
27. Samantha Smith. Season 7, Episode 128, 1996. Age gap: 15 years. She gets Jerry's jacket back from the acrobats, but not before he ruins the relationship.
28. Ivana Milicevic. Season 8, Episode 147, 1997. Age gap: 20 years. Her husband tried to pimp her out to Jerry.
29. Angela Featherstone. Season 9, Episode 175, 1998. Age gap: 11 years. She was Jerry's maid, but she ended up sleeping with him.

Fame Rating: 5.
30. Gina Gallego. Season 3, Episode 32, 1992. Age gap: 5 years. She was dating the dude in the coma, but she was attracted to Jerry.
31. Melinda McGraw. Season 3, Episode 37, 1992. Age gap: 9 years. She was the hit-and-run driver that Jerry couldn't turn in because he was attracted to her.
32. Jessica Lundy. Season 4, Episode 47, 1992. Age gap: 12 years. Her laugh sounded like Elmer Fudd's.
33. Susan Walter. Season 4, Episode 60, 1993. Age gap: 9 years. The infamous Mulva.
34. Suzanne Snyder. Season 5, Episode 79, 1994. Age gap: 6-7 years. She refused to eat pie. She's also Poppie's daughter.
35. Marguerite MacIntyre. Season 6, Episode 87, 1994. Age gap: 11 years. She was Miss Rhode Island; Jerry accidentally killed her doves.
36. Rebecca Staab. Season 6, Episode 89, 1994. Age gap: 7 years. She sent Jerry a thank-you card for appearing on her telethon.
37. Elisa Löwensohn. Season 6, Episode 92, 1994. Age gap: 12 years. She played the Romanian gymnast who wasn't as weird sexually as Jerry hoped.
38. Alexandra Wentworth. Season 7, Episode 116, 1995. Age gap: 11 years. Jerry chose the Soup Nazi's soup over her.
39. Justine Miceli. Season 9, Episode 164, 1997. Age gap: 5 years. She's in the backward episode; Jerry sleeps with her even though George likes her.
40. Cindy Ambuehl. Season 9, Episode 172, 1998. Age gap: 10 years. She has a "secret tractor story."
41. Julia Campbell. Season 9, Episode 174, 1998. Age gap: 8 years. Jerry tried to break up with her but was scared of "the Lopper," so he couldn't.

Fame Rating: 4.
42. Melanie Smith. Season 5, Episodes 82, 83, 85, and 86, 1994. Age gap: 9 years. Jerry made out with her during Schindler's List.
43. Marita Geraghty. Season 6, Episode 88, 1994. Age gap: Unknown. She was dumped by Newman.
44. Renée Props. Season 6, Episode 96, 1994. Age gap: 8 years. She played Lois, so Jerry could act like Superman.
45. Jann Karam. Season 6, Episode 97, 1995. Age gap: Unknown. She was the non-laugher whom Jerry wanted to dump for her laughing roommate.
46. Kristin Bauer. Season 8, Episode 137, 1996. Age gap: 20 years. Man Hands!
47. Kathleen McClellan. Season 9, Episode 165, 1997. Age gap: Probably 15-16 years. She's always naked, and Jerry doesn't like that!

Fame Rating: 3.
48. Tracy Kolis. Season 2, Episode 6, 1991. Age gap: Unknown. Jerry wanted to dump her, but she had a "psycho-sexual" hold on him.
49. Gretchen German. Season 2, Episode 9, 1991. Age gap: Unknown. She likes the Dockers commercial that Jerry finds stupid.
50. Jennifer Lynn Campbell. Season 4, Episodes 52 and 53, 1992. Age gap: 13 years. Jerry met her on the plane, and she later thought she caught him picking his nose.
51. Kimberly Norris. Season 5, Episode 74, 1993. Age gap: Unknown. She's the Native American who is always around when Jerry does something offensive.
52. Angela Dohrmann. Season 6, Episode 90, 1994. Age gap: Unknown. Everyone thought she was Chinese because her name was Donna Chang.
53. Heather Medway. Season 6, Episode 97, 1995. Age gap: Unknown. She was the laughing roommate who almost got Jerry involved in a threesome.
54. Athena Massey. Season 7, Episode 111, 1995. Age gap: 18 years. She eats her peas one at a time, which vexes Jerry.
55. Julia Pennington. Season 9, Episode 162, 1997. Age gap: Unknown. Jerry drugs her to play with her classic toy collection.

Fame Rating: 2.
56. Lynn Clark. Season 1, Episodes 2 and 5, 1990. Age gap: Unknown. Jerry stalked her and later went on an awful weekend with her.
57. Lisa Malkiewicz. Season 4, Episode 48, 1992. Age gap: Unknown. Jerry freaked her out with his dirty talk.
58. Elena Wohl. Season 4, Episodes 63 and 64, 1993. Age gap: Unknown. She was the actress who played Elaine in the pilot.
59. Kimberly Campbell. Season 5, Episode 75, 1993. Age gap: Unknown. She has the fungus cream in her bathroom.
60. Jennifer Guthrie. Season 7, Episode 119, 1995. Age gap: 5 years. She's stocking up on sponges, so Jerry realizes she's "bad" even though he thinks she's "good."
61. Lisa Deanne. Season 7, Episode 123, 1996. Age gap: Unknown. She always wore the same outfit.
62. Dylan (Danette) Tays. Season 7, Episode 130, 1996. Age gap: Unknown. She could get whatever she wanted.
63. Kim Myers. Season 8, Episode 136, 1996. Age gap: 12 years. Kramer goes ga-ga over Jerry's girlfriend, which leads to Jerry going ga-ga.
64. Sara Rose Peterson. Season 9, Episode 158, 1997. Age gap: Unknown. Jerry pretends her belly button can talk.
65. Karen Fineman. Season 9, Episode 166, 1997. Age gap: Unknown. She looks different in different light.

Fame Rating: 1.
66. Pamela Brüll. Pilot, Episode 1, 1989. She's the woman who comes to visit Jerry, and he's not sure what's going on. She's getting married, so maybe she shouldn't count, but what the hell.
67. Berta Maria Waagfjord. Season 6, Episode 108, 1995. Age gap: Unknown. She's waiting for Jerry at the airport, and he almost misses his date.
68. Adelaide Miller. Season 6, Episode 110, 1995. Age gap: Unknown. She's Bette Miller's understudy.
69. Jennette Robbins. Season 9, Episode 168, 1998. Age gap: Unknown. She makes Jerry hold all her stuff, forcing him to get a purse.

In 180 episodes (counting clip shows and the finale), Jerry had 69 girlfriends, more or less (some he didn't actually date, but we're counting them anyway). That's slightly more than 1 girlfriend for every 3 shows, which isn't bad. I think I did a pretty good job with the Fame Ratings - you might disagree with a few (and I did change Kristin Davis, because she's more famous than I thought), but when you line them up by rank, I think it's not bad. Courteney Cox, I would argue, is definitely the most Famous of Jerry's girlfriends. Even my parents know who she is! The average age gap between Jerry and the women whose age I could find, by the way, is a shade under 11 years, which isn't too surprising.

In case you're interested in reading more about these ladies, here are the links to the season posts: Pilot, Season One, Season Two, Season Three, Season Four, Season Five, Season Six, Season Seven, Season Eight, and Season Nine.

Thanks for checking these out with me. It's been fun.

Labels: , ,


The politics of partisanship

I haven't been doing many political posts recently because I'm just tired of it all. It's vexing that people in this country are so entrenched in their opinions that it doesn't matter what the other side offers, they just don't listen. This past week General Petraeus gave his report about the situation in Iraq, but did anyone listen? Both sides have their own opinions, so it didn't matter what Petraeus said. If he had said the war is a disaster and we need to get out right away, pro-war people would have spun it their way. If he had said the victory was imminent and it will take one year to settle things, the anti-war people would have spun it their way. It simply didn't matter. That's what bugs me.

Ronald Brownstein had a nice column in the Los Angeles Times this past week. He writes: "The one point that drew agreement from Republicans and Democrats alike was that Iraq's political leaders have too often failed to transcend their narrow sectarian interests to forge compromises in the national interest." Apparently, the politicians we elect to Congress do not have much sense of irony. That's because they're idiots.

It's just too frustrating to deal with. I am anti-war, as I've mentioned many times, but I'm against it as much for the bone-headed way it was prosecuted as for the fact that it's not in our national interest. A lot of people on the right say if the liberal media had been around in the early 1940s, we wouldn't have fought World War II either, because everyone would have been so gloomy about it. Well, I disagree. In fact, if we had had the media back then that we have now, we might have known about the Holocaust even sooner, and therefore fought with more fervor. Given the way the media gets into everything these days, it's certainly possible. But even so, that war was fought with a clear purpose and with clear objectives. I've said it over and over, that if Bush had bothered to outline a plan and, more importantly, allowed Congress to declare war (which is, you know, their job), more people would have been on board. I have often said that people did not take this war seriously when it first started. With 30,000 American casualties and who knows how many Iraqis, people are starting to. That's not to say if you take the war seriously you'll automatically be against it, but you will consider your actions more carefully. If only our politicians took it as seriously as the American people seem to be doing. Maybe they should "transcend their narrow sectarian interests." But it's probably not going to happen. And more people will die.

Labels: ,


What have we learned - Week 1

I suppose after the Phillies took two out of three to stay in the playoff race and Penn State stomped on Notre Dame that it would have been too much to ask for the Eagles to play like they actually, you know, cared about winning, but I still held out hope. That being said, the NFL is back, and we must find out what we have learned. Don't listen to the "experts" - listen to some schmuck on the Internet! I'm going to track turnovers this year, because that's the only statistic that matters. If the Eagles don't turn the ball over yesterday, they win 21-3. So let's check out the games!

I wondered if Andy Reid would have learned his lesson after the end of last season, when he was kind of forced to run the ball and, surprise! the Eagles made the playoffs. Well, um, no, he didn't learn his lesson. McNabb, coming off major surgery, was back flinging it around, and he's not 100%. Meanwhile, Brian Westbrook rushed 20 times, which isn't bad, but the rest of the team (McNabb included) rushed 9 times. Westbrook averaged 4.3 yards a carry, which isn't bad, but Correll Buckhalter carried 4 times, and Tony Hunt, who last year at Penn State proved he could carry a heavy load, didn't get in the game. The Eagles need to run the ball, and they didn't, because Andy Reid is an idiot. Meanwhile, three turnovers led to 13 Green Bay points. The first poorly caught punt was one thing, but with a minute left, one timeout, and the ball coming down at your own 30-yard line, why are you even trying to catch it? Green Bay is going to down it near that spot anyway. After Lewis muffed the first punt, I didn't even want Philly to send anyone back to receive punts. Just let them drop! Of course, Nancy Boy Favre had ONE good drive, and the announcers couldn't stop slurping him. He did absolutely nothing to win that game for Green Bay, but that's all we heard about. God, I hate Nancy Boy Favre. The Eagles always seem to have weird games like this, where they're clearly better than the other team but somehow give it away (see Tampa Freakin' Bay last year), so maybe this will get it out of their system. Sheesh. RUN THE BALL, ANDY REID!!!!!!
Turnovers: Eagles 3, Packers 2. Final score: Green Bay 16, Philadelphia 13. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 1-0.

Indianapolis is pretty much in another galaxy of football, probably occupied only by New England. However, I'm not as sold on New Orleans as everyone else seems to be. They may win the division because two of the teams in it (Atlanta, Tampa) stink, but I get a "one-year wonder" vibe from them. I didn't watch any of the game, but I notice the Saints got no sacks. Teams need to sell out and try to sack Manning. It probably won't work, but that's the only way you have a chance. He and his receivers are too good.
Turnovers: Saints 3, Colts 1. Final score: Indianapolis 41, New Orleans 10. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 2-0.

You probably couldn't have paid me to watch the Denver at Buffalo game, but it turned out pretty dramatic. I did see a great call late in the game, when Denver picked up a 3rd-and-3 with a designed run by Jake Cutler - and not a draw, but a roll-out. Nicely done. I don't want McNabb to run that often, but I'm amazed they don't call one or two designed runs for him a game. Anyway, the big news out of this game is that a Bills player might be paralyzed. That sucks. I'm astonished that this happens fairly regularly in football (not too often, of course, but enough times to be noticeable), yet nobody says much about it. It's nice that the NFL is studying concussions, because this is just an amazingly violent sport.
Turnovers: Broncos 1, Bills 1. Final score: Denver 15, Buffalo 14. It's a wash.

Did anyone really think Cleveland had a chance? Really? I wasn't expecting such a big beatdown, but I didn't think the Browns would really be close. They don't even know who the quarterback is, for crying out loud! To add insult to injury, Dallas holds their first-round pick next year, so even if they suck (which they will), they won't be able to pick a decent running back like Steve Slaton or Darren McFadden. Poor Cleveland. They've never recovered from having the franchise stolen from them.
Turnovers: Browns 5, Steelers 1. Final score: Pittsburgh 34, Cleveland 7. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 3-0.

St. Louis was playing pretty well against Carolina, when suddenly they fell apart. The Rams are pretty much the same team they were last year - somewhat explosive on offense, and wildly underrated quarterback who gets no protection, and a weak defense. All of that adds up to 8-8 again. Why Marc Bulger signed a long-term deal with them instead of becoming a free agent is beyond me. They don't care about keeping him upright. Meanwhile, I watched a bit of the Panthers on offense, and although I still think Jake Delhomme is overrated (based on one season, everyone thinks he's great), they have more receivers than Steve Smith and a decent running game. If Delhomme doesn't lose them games (in the past, he seems to have some Favre in him), they could win the division, especially if I'm right and the Saints aren't as good as they were last year.
Turnovers: Panthers 2, Rams 2. Final score: Carolina 27, St. Louis 13. It's a wash.

I laughed while I was watching ESPN this morning. One of the dudes was mercilessly bashing Joey Harrington for his performance yesterday in the first game of the post-Vick era. The host asked him if the Falcons should sign Byron Leftwich, and the dude said no because the Falcons don't have a good offensive line. Yet he bashed Harrington! Guess what? No quarterback looks good without an offensive line, even someone who can get away from the rush like Vick. How can you judge Harrington when he was getting smacked around all game? Harrington didn't play great, of course, and he needs to cut down on the interceptions, as both of his were returned for touchdowns. And I think we need to stop anointing the Vikings. They got two touchdowns off turnovers and one on a broken play. They're not bad, but let's see how they do down the road with that (essentially) rookie quarterback.
Turnovers: Falcons 2, Vikings 1. Final score: Minnesota 24, Atlanta 3. Turnovers = loss? Yes, directly in this case. 4-0.

There were some people who actually thought the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets could hang with the Patriots. HA! I didn't watch much of this game, but it was like a small-time college program going against one of the big boys - they hung around as long as they could, and then the talent just took over and the Pats blew them out. I guess Jets fans cheered when Chad Pennington got hurt and Kellen Clemens came in. You stay classy, Jets fans! And for anyone slurping Randy Moss after one game, of course he's going to do well in his first game! Let's see how he does after a couple of months and he decides to stop running routes.
Turnovers: None. Final score: New England 38, New Jersey Jets 14. It's a wash. New England didn't need any turnovers, because they were just so much better.

I didn't watch ANY of the Miami-Washington game. Two lousy teams beating on each other. Blech. And then it went to overtime! Sheesh. When you have bad teams like that, the refs should just call it a tie and send everyone home. Why torture their fans any more than you have to?
Turnovers: Washington 2, Dolphins 1. Final score: Washington 16, Miami 13. Turnovers = loss? No. The Dolphins are too shitty to take advantage! 4-1.

Tennessee rushed for 282 yards. 282 YARDS!!!!! I'm still not sold on Vince Young, but he doesn't have to do anything if they're rushing for 282 yards. Good god, that's a lot. I guess teams are going to have to stack the box against them, because he still doesn't look terribly comfortable when he's going back to throw. I still have no idea why people think the Jaguars are any good. They've been overrated for about three years. They have talent, but all you have to do is smack them in the mouth and they fold like a plastic chair. Here's something odd: Dave McGinnis is the linebackers coach of the Titans. He used to coach the Arizona Cardinals. Dirk Koetter is the Offensive Coordinator of the Jaguars. He used to coach the Arizona State Sun Devils. On the radio this morning, one of the sports talk show hosts said he told McGinnis last week that if the Titans stuff the run early, Koetter would give up on it and throw all the time, because that's what he did at ASU. I'm sure McGinnis could have figured that out by himself, but is that kosher, for a "journalist" to be giving coaching tips to someone who could use them? It was really strange listening to it.
Turnovers: Titans 1, Jaguars 1. Final score: Tennessee 13, Jacksonville 10. Another wash.

Another game I completely skipped was the Kansas City-Houston tussle, but I was somewhat surprised by it. I wasn't surprised too much that KC lost, but I was a bit by Houston's dominance. I'm not the first to say it, but I wonder how the Falcons are feeling now that they let Matt Schaub go? I know Larry Johnson held out and might not have been ready, but he got only 10 carries. It was only 10-0 at halftime. I don't want the Chiefs to kill Johnson because he's a Penn Stater and I feel bad for him, but they need to ride him if they have any chance at having a good season. It's nice to see Mario Williams have a great game. It's not his fault they took him over Reggie Bush and Vince Young!
Turnovers: Chiefs 4, Texans 2. Final Score: Houston 20, Kansas City 3. Turnovers = loss? Yes, and one fumble was returned for a touchdown. 5-1.

I love how people say that Oakland has a pretty decent defense simply because teams didn't slaughter them last year. Well, when you know one touchdown will win the game, why push yourself so hard? Detroit went out and moved the ball up and down the field, and looked pretty impressive. I'm not saying they're going to win 10 games like Jon Kitna seems to think, but any road win in the NFL is good. The Raiders are just awful. It's so weird. They can't do anything right. Sebastian Janikowski missed three field goals, probably because he plays for the Raiders.
Turnovers: Raiders 3, Lions 2. Final score: Detroit 36, Oakland 21. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 6-1.

I guess Chicago's defense it still pretty darned good, but they aren't going anywhere with that offense. They got rid of Thomas Jones, and Cedric Benson does not seem ready to carry the load. And Rex Grossman is really, really, really awful. Man, he stinks. Meanwhile, the Chargers played decently enough to win, and they got some turnovers (shocking!) to shorten the field. My question for the vaunted Chicago defense: If LaDanian Tomlinson runs parallel to the line of scrimmage, why don't you KNOW he's going to throw a pass? Sheesh. Everyone in the universe knew he was throwing a pass, except for about five or six people in the Chicago secondary.
Turnovers: Bears 4, Chargers 2. Final score: San Diego 14, Chicago 3. Turnovers = loss? Yes. It would have been a bigger margin if the refs hadn't missed an obvious offsides call on a Bears fumble recovery. What morons those refs are! 7-1.

Seattle beat a Tampa team that might go 4-12 again. I didn't watch much of it, but it appeared that the only way Tampa could stop Seattle was if they let the receivers go wide open and hope they drop the ball because they were stunned at being so wide open.
Turnovers: Buccaneers 2, Seahawks 1. Final score: Seattle 20, Tampa 6. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 8-1.

I missed the entire game last night. Man, I guess I should have watched it! What we did learn was that the Giants are worse than we thought, and the Cowboys might be worse too. We also learned that the Giants' season might be over, as Brandon Jacobs got beat up and Eli Manning will be out for a month. If the Eagles get their heads out of their asses, they might win the division easily.
Turnovers: Cowboys 2, Giants 1. Final score: Dallas 45, New Jersey Giants 35. Turnovers = loss? No. 8-2.

Look at that: teams that won the turnover battle had an .800 winning percentage. That ain't bad. I wonder if you shouldn't turn the ball over in the NFL?

Meanwhile, Penn State beat up Notre Dame, which I figured they would as long as they didn't turn the ball over. They did early and Notre Dame was in the game. Once they settled down, Penn State beat them badly. I watched this game on ESPN, and I was sick by the praise heaped on Jimmy Clausen, the Notre Dame QB. Dear Lord, he didn't do anything! The only thing he did was not screw up. He certainly didn't do anything to win the game. College football continues to be topsy-turvy, as Oregon stomped on Michigan and pretty much sealed Lloyd Carr's fate, but the wildest game was probably South Florida going to Auburn and beating them. Yes, the University of South Florida. Man, that was a wild game. The Big 10 really stinks this year, by the way. Ohio State struggled to beat Akron. Wisconsin struggled (on the road, it should be noted) to beat UNLV. If Penn State can get past Michigan on the 22nd in Ann Arbor (which is going to be tough, despite the Wolverines' struggles), they might run the table. That would be nice.

Another year of football! Isn't American great?

Labels: ,


Great songs, according to me (Part 32)

It's been quite a while since I've done one of these. I know you all missed them. Anyway, before we begin, links: Parts 1-15 archive. Parts 16-30 archive. Part 31.

Now for the next ten on the list!

311. Kiss (by Prince and the Revolution on the album Parade, 1986): I don't mind that cover with Tom Jones that came out a few years after this, but the original is the best. Prince has that great falsetto, which makes the song, which has relatively innocuous lyrics, sound really dirty. The lyrics are great, too, with Prince explaining why his woman should have more going on than her looks and wealth, yet still managing to be snarky. Add that great jangly guitar and you have a classic pop song.

312. Kisses of Fire (by ABBA on the album Voulez-Vous, 1979): Voulez-Vous is ABBA's disco album (their only one, even though a lot of people think of them as a disco band), and this song is a disco masterpiece. It begins quietly, with Agnetha singing, "Lay your head on my chest so you hear every beat of my heart" and quickly builds to a crescendo with the chorus: "Kisses of fire, burning, burning; I'm at the point of no returning," which inexplicably builds even more as the chorus continues: "I've had my share of love affairs but they were nothing compared to this; I'm riding higher than the sky and there is fire in every kiss." The music is typical disco, but Agnetha's soaring vocals, which speak of the triumph of passion, make this a joyous and almost bubbly song, and lifts it above your normal disco fare.

313. Knock Me Down (by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the album Mother's Milk, 1989): Mother's Milk is by far the best Chili Peppers album (speak not to me of BloodSugarSexMagik!), even though I haven't bought any of their albums in the past ten years. I just don't see how any of them can top this, and this song is a big reason why. I assume it's about Anthony's and the band's heroin addiction, but it transcends that and become a universal song about needing love and never allowing yourself to be too distant for it. Flea's bass carries the song, obviously, but John's guitars early on keep it light and almost ethereal, and when Anthony gets to the chorus, we hear the pain in his voice when he sings, "If you see me getting mighty, if you see me getting high, knock me down ... I'm not bigger than life." The ending lyric is powerful, too: "It's so lonely when you don't even know yourself." The Peppers have made good music since this album, but not often.

314. Knowing Me, Knowing You (by ABBA on the album Arrival, 1976): When most people think of ABBA, they think of "Dancing Queen" or this song. I've never been a huge fan of the former (it did not make this list, for example), but this song is a powerful song of a relationship ending. Frida, who usually handles the ABBA songs with a bit more emotional heft to them, brings her somewhat husky alto to the haunting lyrics, and when she gets to the wonderful chorus, we feel as if we're breaking up ourselves. It's a beautiful yet depressing song, and both the lyrics and the heavy music sell it well.

315. LA (by Elliot Smith on the album Figure 8, 2000): It's hard to pick out Elliot Smith songs because they all sound so similar, but the ones I really like differ from the norm just enough to raise them up. This song, with its slightly suicidal theme (suicide, of course, has become more evident in Smith's songs after his own suicide), stays on course lyrically, but what pushes it to greatness is the slightly harder edge on the music, especially when Smith growls the chorus: "Last night I was about to throw it all away." There's a menace to the music that contradicts the melancholy lyrics, as if Smith wasn't going to "throw it all away" because he was going to kill himself, but because he was going to do damage to others. It's this ambiguity that makes the song great.

316. Lady Let it Lie (by Fish on the album Suits, 1994): Fish is quite good at these mini-story songs, with good lyrics and a bit of sentiment. He's at his best when he doesn't get overly sentimental, and in this song, in which he sings of a woman trying to escape a ragged childhood and an unpleasant life, strikes the perfect balance. The song's solid if unspectacular musical backing holds up Fish's strong lyrics: "It's hard putting down family roots when you're living in a mobile home, but there's always blood even in a rolling stone," he sings, and sums up the relationship with his lady thusly: "But surely there's something left, something worth fighting for ... Maybe we can start again, maybe give it one more try; or do we just walk away, maybe let it fade and die." As Fish has gotten older, he's become more desperate in his songs to make a relationship work despite the odds, and this is a very nice example of that kind of thinking.

317. Ladyfingers (by Luscious Jackson on the album Electric Honey, 1999): This is a nice, lush song with a slightly jazzy groove that lifts you up with fine, cheerful lyrics. It has a great couplet, "I'm so tired of my guns and my vanity, I'd like to trade them in for some sanity," that calls for understanding and love. It's a song that wants to believe in something more and almost achieves it. Despite a tinge of sadness, it soars above the banality of mediocrity. This is Luscious Jackson's last album, and it's a good one, thanks to great songs like this.

318. Last (by Nine Inch Nails on the album Broken, 1992): Trent's nasty little EP from 1992 has some great songs, and this one stands out. It begins with a great grinding guitar, and then Trent comes in with his typically snide tone, howling as if he's in great pain. The chorus adds a nice revving sound that complements the lyrics beautifully, and then Trent growls, "This isn't meant to last, this is for right now" to end the song. Trent is quite excellent at baring his soul, and when he shrieks, "My lips may promise but my heart is a whore," you know you're in the presence of genius.

319. Last Call (by the Popes on the album Holloway Boulevard, 2000): Holloway Boulevard isn't a great album, but it's a lot of fun in some ways. This song, a rousing call for dancing and drinking, is great because it just celebrates good times. It also, however, has a slight tinge of sadness, because it is, after all, the "last chance for a dance, last call for alcohol." Oh, the sadness of the last call!

320. The Last Day of Our Acquaintance (by Sinéad O'Connor on the album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, 1990): This might be O'Connor's best song. It's absolutely brilliant. We begin with a whisper, as O'Connor sings, "This is the last day of our acquaintance/I will meet you later in somebody's office/I'll talk but you won't listen to me/I know what your answer will be." We slowly gain in volume and strength, as O'Connor outlines the way the affair has gone, including the excellent line, "You used to hold my hand when the plane took off," a beautiful and telling lyric (and I always hold my wife's hand when the plane takes off!). As she loops back around to the first verse, the song suddenly explodes into powerful acoustic guitar and O'Connor's voice shifts from pain and regret to anger, and the song becomes even better. It's an astonishing song, and I love listening to it.

And there you have it. Ten more great songs, ten more ways to lose yourself in sonic goodness. Let me know what a fool I am for loving these tunes!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


My wife grew up in Minersville, Pennsylvania

Why do I write this? Well, you may have heard that Minersville is experiencing a bit of a religious revival, as the Virgin Mary has begun appearing on a garage door on one of the town's main streets. Krys's grandmother even went down there and touched it! Krys's grandmother is a hard core Catholic, but she was also the kind of person who, ten or fifteen years ago, would mock people who believed in this sort of thing. We're a bit worried about her these days if she's buying into this.

Here's a story about the phenomenon. The text is accompanied with this picture:

Yeah, I think it's a bit of a reach as well. But here's a better picture:

Uh, okay, maybe not. This is from the WNEP story. WNEP is YOUR SOURCE FOR NEWS in northeastern Pennsylvania!

You don't get a good view of it in this video, but you do get a good look at the kind of people who live in Minersville. Considering that back when Krys lived there, the county was number one in the country for alcoholism, maybe the Virgin Mary is telling these people to stop drinking so much Yuengling

I didn't pick on Miss Teen South Carolina for her answer about American education because I can sympathize with her - she's on television and probably really nervous. These people, however, are easy to pick on. I know WHY they want to believe in the Virgin Mary appearing on garage doors. It's the same reason people in the Middle Ages wanted to believe in such things: their lives on Earth are so shitty they need to believe in something better. Believe me, if you'd ever been to Minersville, you'd understand why people want to think that there's something better out there.

Krys is going back there in October to visit her family and introduce them to Norah. I hope the Virgin is still there so she can check it out!

Minersville is just to the west of Pottsville on this map, by the way. In case you're wondering.

¹ Yuengling, America's oldest brewery, does make some damned fine beer, however. So I guess I can't blame all the Polacks up there for drinking it!

Labels: , , ,