Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NFL and Other Thoughts

Between Vince Young, the Pats squeaking one out against the Colts, and Brad Childress being fired much too late, the alternate working title for the NFL Postmortem this week would have been 'Drama Queens'.

-  Let's tackle Vince Young first (Get it?  Tackle?  Football?).  Here is VY's last season and a half.

Last season Young gets hurt, disappears, and the Titans put out an Amber Alert on him when he goes missing.  There is seemingly legitimate concern that Young could be suicidal.  He's found safe (although there is some confusion regarding whether he had a loaded gun with him) and he later comments to the papers that he was never suicidal and doesn't know what the big deal is.

Over the summer, Young is the centerpiece of an ESPN the Magazine article about how he's turned the corner, is relaxed and more centered than ever.  He celebrates his new 'centeredness' by brawling for seemingly no good reason with security guards or bouncers at a nightclub (or something).  All of this is caught on film.

Now Sunday arrives and Young, in what seems like an angry tirade, throws his jersey (and possibly shoulder pads) into the crowd after being booed by his home fans and being told he wouldn't be re-entering the game by Jeff Fisher.  Young explains that he was simply handing his jersey to the daughter of a Titans' executive but that hardly meshes with his post game tirade to Fisher when he reportedly walks out on his team and his coach.

And, conveniently, of course, he is now out for the remainder of the season because he needs thumb surgery.

Look, I can't claim to know what Vince Young is like, but all evidence points to him being one of the following:

A:  Severely immature
B:  Pampered since the day he was born
C:  Battling some intense emotional issues that have yet to be addressed
D:  All of the above

If the Titans are smart, they get Young into counselling and make him keep at it until next season starts.  Whatever is going on there needs to be addressed before things spiral out of control.  Maybe Young will refuse, but let's hope he views this as an opportunity rather than an insult.

-  Brad Childress finally paid the ultimate price for riding the coat tails of an aging, egotistical, deluded, interception happy quarterback.  Frankly, this is way over due.  When anyone creates sympathy for Randy Moss (and, yes, Childress handled that terribly considering what Favre puts him through) there is a serious problem.

-  Two of my proudest moments of the football season occurred this past weekend.  I stuck with Ryan Fitzpatrick over Kyle Orton in fantasy and - in a packed bar no less - called the Peyton Manning game ending interception just before it happened.  Love looking smart because it happens so infrequently.

-  Do the Manning brothers practice that 'What the fuck just happened?' shrug?  You know that two arms out  and hands up when they've just thrown an interception?  Is it hereditary?  Anyone know if Archie Manning did it during his playing days?  Was glad to see the Peyton 'unsnap the helmet in disgust' move return Sunday, as well.  Always enjoy that.

-  When you are a parent all sense of self worth and ego are destroyed as soon as your child learns to speak. My youngest son comes up to me, pats my belly and says 'You need to go back to the gym, daddy'.  Fuckin' kids!

-  He is correct, however, as I have been slacking since I broke my toes back in August.  Nowhere near what I was a few years ago, but I'm taking this long Thanksgiving break to get my ass back in gear.  Ass, you have been warned.  You, too, gut.

-  My oldest son wants one thing and one thing only this Christmas:  A cell phone.  Wifey and I have been going back and forth about this since his birthday in June when he asked for the same thing.  He's 10 years old going on 20, so I think he'll be responsible enough with it, I just don't want to spend a fortune on something that he'll probably lose or break before he turns 11.

-  I am in a pickle - a conundrum even - about what to do with Miles Austin.  On one hand he's been putting up decent numbers with Kitna.  On the other he caught 2 passes for a grand total of 7 yards against Detroit, but both were touchdowns.  He's no longer the prime deep threat with Dez Bryant's coming out party still in full swing.  Still, how do I justify starting Austin when he's been targeted only five times in the past two weeks?  It's feast of famine with him, I guess.

-  Can we all agree that Philly is the best team in the NFC?  I actually think they may be the best team in the entire NFL.  They can run, pass, improvise with Vick, and play defense with the best of them.  Going to be tough to take them down.  Good thing Andy Reid is still there to blow the next playoff game.

-  Hey, you think the new Vikings coach will give the ball to Adrian Peterson more often?  Maybe taking the ball out of Favre's hands and putting it into Peterson's would be a good idea.

-  Would it surprise anyone if Favre suddenly went on a tear and didn't throw another interception for the rest of the year?  It's no secret he didn't like Childress, so maybe his play this year was a perverted way to get rid of him.  Nah, chances are Favre just sucks.

-  I would like to thank Apple for once again completely fucking me over with iTunes.  I changed computers because my last one shit the bed.  Since I couldn't 'deauthorize' the iTunesiPod dies, I'm not getting another one.  I'm getting a standard MP3 player and getting out from Apple's thumb for good.  Fuck you, Jobs!

-  Why is everyone so up in arms about this airport security?  I've gone through one of those body scanners with no hesitation and no ill effects.  In fact I got a lovely smile from the female attendant.  For those of you who feel violated or ashamed take the fucking train or drive.  Just don't fly.  This way you won't feel uncomfortable and I won't have pissy people in my way.  It's win - win.

I have a feeling this is - once again - a small but vocal minority making waves about an issue the rest of us couldn't give two shits about.  But, if by some twist of fate, these people really are against this and need to fly, I have a suggestion.  One airplane per day, in every airport around the country will have absolutely no security screening at all.  Just walking through the metal detectors is the extent of it.  No pat downs, no body scans, no back ground checks.

If these people really don't want to deal with the aggravation they can join all the other people on that plane.  I wonder how many would actually get on that plane.

I, for one, just want to go where I need to without worrying about getting blown out of the sky.  For that, I will gladly stand still for 5 seconds to confirm the size of my junk and that I have no explosives shoved up my ass.

-  I've recently switched over to using Google Chrome for my web browser and can't praise it enough.  It's faster, more stable and cleaner than Internet Explorer (which seems to crash on nearly every site I visit now).  How can Microsoft screw up something as simple as web browsing?

-  Word is it the Tigers are going to sign Victor Martinez.  You know what?  I could care less.  He seemed like a decent enough guy and was ok with the bat, but why would you sign a catcher that can't throw any runners out and goes through long slumps throughout the season?  Be curious to see how much he soaked Detroit for.  No big loss for the Sox here.

-  While we're on the subject, anyone else excited to see the Yankees over pay for Cliff Lee?  Should be happening any minute now.

-  Apparently, Joe Paterno is going to coach until he dies in the middle of a game.  My question is who has been waiting in the wings for Papa Joe to finally retire only to be sitting in the same spot for the past 70 years. That has to be frustrating.


Let's wrap this up with some Thanksgiving wishes:

DA, continue on your path to happiness and don't let that new number you arrive at tomorrow bother you.  You still look fab, I'm sure.

Jum, here's hoping the Jayhawks rebound from the dismal showing in last year's March Madness.  That and the Chiefs fire Todd Haley so you can enjoy a live NFL playoff game this season.

10 and wife, cram in as much sleep and sex as you can before your new family member arrives.

Bigs, with Childress gone I can now only hope Favre's arm comes flying off in a bloody, yet satisfying end to his bloated career.  Oh, and 2011 will be the year of the Twins.  I'm calling it now.

Trib, get back on the blogging bandwagon, will ya?  I'll have some new music to discuss next week, as well.

French, sorry dude, but the link to your dormant blog comes down today.  When you hit nearly a year without a new entry, you've depleted even my false sense of hope.  Hope things are well.

AR, I'll be getting that new music to you as soon as I can.  Promise!!!

Everyone else, thanks for reading and have a great weekend.  Rest assured I'll be drunk more than half the time.  That's what happens when I spend a lot of time with family.

Today's distraction:  Allow me to introduce you to DESTRUTOTRUCK!!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Booby Trapped

Here is how the computer situation works in my house:

I get a new computer from work - usually a laptop.  My old laptop filters down to Wifey who - by this point - is in dire need of an upgrade.  In this case her old laptop, which was my old OLD laptop, was so excruciatingly slow I would scream at it in frustration.

Enter my current new laptop with Windows 7 and lightning fast speed.  Exit my old one.  Since I'm handy with technical gizmos, I managed to get Windows 7 on my old one and it's running fabulously.  Everyone is happy.

But, as is often the case, nothing is ever simple.  In this particular case Wifey has approximately two billion digital pictures on her old one that needed to be transferred.   This project was also hampered by Wifey's inability to answer seeming simple questions.  For example 'Well, where are the pictures on the old laptop?'

'I dunno, I just open up the Kodak software and there they are!'

I should point out that Wifey tends to get defensive about things she doesn't know.  As if my simply asking the question is an accusation.  Keep this in mind later in this story.

Off I go searching for the photos.  For a while she had me convinced they were actually incorporated into the Kodak software. 'Wait, did you put them on the internet?  Maybe you just need to login to the Kodak site and they'll be available to you again?'

'Maybe, I don't remember.'

'Do you remember uploading them?'

'No, I didn't put them on the internet because you told me never to do that.'

Note:  I tell her not to put pictures up on Facebook as well, but she throws things up there willy nilly.

Anyway, I spend a few minutes tracking down the pictures, plug in my USB drive to copy them and open up the folder in which they reside.  They're organized by date and equal about 4 gazillion gigabytes.  It might be time to buy her a server to hold all this shit.

I start the copy process and notice - much to my surprise and confusion - a pair of breasts staring me in the face. I double take, blink a few times, rub my eyes, open only to see the same two tits still there.  Yes, they are my wife's.  When you see a set of honkers every day for fifteen years, you know them like the back of your hand.

There was no doubt these were a picture of Wifey's boobs.  Besides, the necklace I gave her for Christmas a few years ago was plainly visible.

As you can imagine, several scenarios jump to mind.

Is she having an affair?  Was this taken for the boyfriend?

Was she attempting to send the pic to me?  She's not the most technological savvy person in the world so maybe she got stuck after the initial 'take the picture and get it on the computer' part?

Was this for medical reasons?

While the other photos copy I debate the wisdom of confronting her.  It is her laptop, after all and she doesn't take to questioning very well.  Besides, do I really want the answers to what I'm about to ask?

Fuck yeah, I do.

The copying finishes, I motion Wifey over and ask simply 'Uh?????' while pointing at her naked chest.

She turns bright red and exclaims 'Shit, I thought I had deleted that!' which really didn't help my frame of mind.  She continues to tell me that Oprah had a show on boobs (my words, not hers) and she suggested that every woman take a photo of their own tits so they can take a good look at them.  Wifey explained to me why this was suggested, but I was staring at bare breasts and only half understood what the point was.

Besides, Oprah, why a picture?  We have these things called mirrors and they've worked very well for centuries.  Not like women's breasts are on their backs!  If they were, men would invest more time into slow dancing.

Some lessons learned:

1:  Wifey will do anything Oprah tells her to do.  This frightens me more than the possibility of her having an affair with some strange, disease ridden dude.  I am now terrified that Oprah's last show will be a command for women to murder every man on the face of the planet.  Men, start taking up arms.

2:  My eldest son could have been traumatized off women forever if things went differently.  He had been sharing the laptop with Wifey for playing games online and could have very easily seen this picture.

3:  I have to admit, I was disappointed the picture wasn't for me.

4:  Wifey still has a nice rack even after two kids and 40 years on earth.

Sadly, I tried talking her into letting me use it for the background on my phone but she was having none of it.

Pity.


Today's distraction:  I just spent the last two days playing my way through this game.  It's called Blosics 2 and it will make the holiday slow season much more tolerable.

Enjoy your weekends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beer and Innovation

Last week, while enjoying some deliciously refreshing ice cold beer, a co worker and I had a debate about what we would consider the greatest inventions of our lifetimes.
 
I should point out that we are both over 40 so we decided to include anything invented since 1970.  Nice round number. 

You think that would be easy, right?  Oh, hell no.  The first item on the list provoked more passionate discussion than I would have ever thought.  I’ll leave that item until the end. 

Here is the list:

Personal Computer/Internet:  I argued that we need to include these two as one since each is so much more powerful than they ever would be alone.   Sure it’s great to have a computer to print things and create fancy pictures, but without the internet how much use would a PC really be?  I would say 70% of computer work now involves surfing the internet.  Be it for fun, research, software, or help with some problem, I – for one – am on the internet most of the time I’m on a computer.

The internet is self explanatory as it wouldn’t even exist if the personal computer didn’t come along first. 
I also think the internet will outlive the PC.  With the improvements in smart phones and faster wireless we’re already seeing laptops, Droids, iPads and whatever new gizmo being released next week take over the market share. 


Wireless Communication:  Ties into the item above and is making life so much more convenient.  I just bought a wireless keyboard/mouse combo (typing on it now), have wireless all over my house and have tied into more free (and pay for) wireless hotspots than I care to admit.  Cables be gone!!


GPS:  Some of the people didn’t agree with this one, but I can attest that once you get a GPS unit and it saves you from driving all over hell and back just once, you’ll be sold.  This is especially true in the Boston area. 


Hybrid Technology/Electric Car:  My buddy offered the Hybrid engines as an option, which resulted in an electric car fanatic piping up and arguing that since the electric car came first and ushered in the Hybrid age it should get top billing.  He rattled off stories and facts and I tuned his pompous ass out after a while, but he made a good point even if I don’t know how accurate he was.  I’ll just put them both together to avoid offending any hippies reading.   Hippies can read, right?


Foamy Soap:  My innocent little ‘I love foamy soap; has to be the best invention of my lifetime’ upon returning from the men’s room is what kicked off this ridiculous conversation.  I stand by that statement however.  Leaves no slimy residue after rinsing and actually decreases water use since it washes right off and – as my sons have proven – you don’t even need to water up before you lather.  Really, what’s better than this?


DVR:  This device has become so incorporated into my life that I don’t even know when shows are on any more.  I just hit the ‘My Programs’ button and see what’s waiting for me.  If you can record two programs at once, even better.  Especially since my two favorite shows (Good Wife and Detroit 187) are on at the same time.  It also allows me to keep up with programs I normally wouldn’t stay up for or Wifey doesn’t want to sit through with me.  Like ‘The Walking Dead’ or ‘Boardwalk Empire’.  I love you, DVR.  More than you’ll ever know (because you’re an inanimate object).


HDTV:  I remember back when MTV still played music Aerosmith played an unplugged concert and proudly announced that they were broadcasting the performance in High Definition.  Unfortunately, no sets back then were equipped to see HD transmissions so the technology was met with a collective shrug. 

No longer.  Now every sporting event and television show is HD and it is – quite simply – spectacular.  To the point that going to actual game pales with staying in your warm (or air conditioned) home while drinking cheap, ice cold beer.


And now for the most controversial item on the list. 

Cell Phone:  Granted this is one fancy and time saving device.  Frankly, not one of us can imagine life without one.  With the advancements in smartphones, they’re becoming even more indispensable.  But, one gentleman argued and it is an argument I agree with, they are also creating a generation that is having trouble communicating or showing proper manners in general society.  There is a girl at work who brings her phone to lunch, sits at our table, and spends half her time texting her boyfriend rather than taking part in the conversation. 

Not only do I find it annoying, it’s disrespectful to everyone around her.   On more than one occasion she has focused her attention on her phone in the middle of someone talking to her.  Fucking RUDE!

This doesn’t even take into account the obnoxiously loud talkers or the ones the refuse to end an obviously inane conversation while ordering a coffee or those that set their ring tones at top volume with an annoying song or…..

…yeah, I could go on, but I’ll stop there. 

   Or, more accurately, the cell phone itself is a great invention, it’s just that people are stupid and suck in general. 


Today’s distraction:  A very cool art project that is also promoting sea life.  I find some of these disturbing and wonder if that’s the point. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 10 Postmortem

I got my ass handed to me in a variety of ways yesterday. 

Both my fantasy teams are in the process of getting crushed.  Again!

I’m in an office pool in which all we need to do is pick the winners of each game.  The spread isn’t even involved.  I got so killed in it yesterday that I dropped from 5th to 15th place in one day.  I even picked against the Pats thinking they had been exposed in Cleveland last weekend. 

Thought the Vikings would manhandle the Bears.

Thought the Titans would kill the Dolphins.

Thought the Cowboys would continue quitting on the season.

Thought Denver sucking would be verified against the Chiefs.  This was doubly troubling as I had Orton sitting 
on my fantasy bench while watching him throw 3 touchdowns in the first quarter. 

Thought for sure Detroit was going to end their road losing streak against the Bills.

Thought Seattle on the road was the easiest team to pick against the entire day. 

So what did I learn yesterday?   Frankly, I’m not entirely sure.  Let’s run through it and see what we come up with. 

-  If ever there was a statement game, the Patriots shoving 39 points up the Steelers’ collective arses would certainly be the one.  Even I was shocked how easily Brady picked apart that defense.  So the question now is:  Have the Pats set the table on how to beat this Pittsburgh team?  Or was this just a bad week?

What was learned:  Wes Welker can be productive without a deep threat on the same team and someone should have played Gronkowski at tight end on their fantasy team. 


-  I was torn watching the Bills – Lions game.  On one side the Bills deserved a win.  On the other, is this Lions team really deserving of the longest road losing streak in NFL history?

What was learned:  Calvin Johnson may be the best receiver in the game right now and Fitzpatrick won’t put up very good numbers when his running back does what he wants against a porous defense.  Something I really should have known before playing him. 


-  Bears 27 – Vikings 13. 

What was learned:  Several things –

1:  Peterson would be in the running for MVP if Favre wasn’t killing his chances with his LVP performance.

2:  The Bears have to be the worst 6 – 3 team in NFL history.  There is no close second place. 

3:  If ever a look summed up an entire season, it was Mike Martz’s reaction to Cutler throwing in interception in the end zone.  See if you can look it up on Youtube and have a good laugh.  You’re welcome. 

4:  The Vikings have officially quit on Childress.

5:  Cutler is still terrible.  He’s a younger version of the current incarnation of Brett Favre.


-  How in holy hell did Santonio Holmes break free for the game winning touchdown against the Browns?  How? There was only 16 seconds left before a stupid tie became official and the Browns secondary totally botched the coverage and tackle.  Mangini has to be disgusted in how that ended. 

What was learned:  Not much, really.  Sanchez still has moments of greatness followed by moments of suckitude that makes you wonder if he’ll ever put it together. 


-  Watched the ending of the Jaguars – Texans and had to keep rewinding it to watch it over and over.  Just fantastic. 

What was learned:  That even when Houston’s secondary makes the perfect play it will still result in a touchdown for the opposition. 


-  Is there something with the Miami grass that needs to be addressed?  Not one but two of the Dolphin quarterbacks were seemingly lost to season ending injuries in the same game.  And they finally won their first home game all season.  Are there toxins floating around?  Should someone perform an exorcism?

What was learned:  Nothing!  Still can’t figure either one of these teams out. 


-  Not only have I revoked my Coach of the Year nomination for Todd Haley, but I am now convinced he’s trying to destroy his own team.  Two weeks after totally nearly 250 yards, Jamaal Charles has been given a total of 24 carries over two games.  How does this make sense in any universe?  90 percent of the time Charles touches the ball, something good happens. 

This trend was particularly annoying when the Chiefs had a first down and about 2 yards to go for a touchdown.  So, let’s do the math here. 

Two yards to go.  Four tries to get there.  You own the top ranked run offense in the entire NFL (or did until recently).  You are playing the second worst run defense in the entire NFL.  You also possess one of the most dynamic and difficult to tackle runners.  What would you do?

Thomas Jones run for no gain.  Another Thomas Jones run for no gain.  Here’s where I think ‘They’ll put Charles in now to finish this off’.  Nope, incomplete pass attempt from the half yard line (you really have to see this play call to see how ridiculous it was.  Cassel was half a foot from the goal line when he let go of the ball).

Now HERE is where Charles comes in, right?  Going for it on fourth down?  Nope, they go for it with some dude named Battle.  Stuffed at the goal line. 

What we learned:  The Chiefs are regressing at a shocking rate and may not win another game this season unless Haley and his staff stop getting fancy and just go with what works.  This is a perfect example of statistics not telling the entire story.  Cassel – by all indications – had a great day on the score sheet.  But he looked terrible a lot of the time; missing open receivers, taking bad sacks at the worst time.  Granted a lot of this was dictated by the lopsided score, but it’s tough to win when you force throws and go away from your strengths. 


-  Considering how the rest of the day was going, it sure looked like the Bengals were going to test the Colts.  Then Carson Palmer remembered who he was.

What was learned:  Other that if you are depending on Pierre Garcon for fantasy production in any way, you are truly fucked, not much. 


-  Was Dallas whooping the Giants a collective ‘Fuck You’ to Wade Phillips?  I say yes. 

What was learned:  Dallas can actually try and Dez Bryant is going to be a beast next season. 


Fantasy aside:  My five receivers are Danny Amendola, Steve Johnson, Miles Austin, Pierre Garcon and Lance Moore.  Since we use a flex spot (RB or WR), I can use three of them at one time.  Here’s the crazy thing:  At the start of the year I thought I was in good shape with Austin and Garcon as my every week starters.  Now I’m seriously considering Amendola and Johnson as my guys.  Garcon has had one good game all year and Austin has been useless since week 4.  He had good numbers yesterday, but only because he caught a touchdown.  Otherwise he was only thrown to twice all game.  

Would anyone have thought that Steve Johnson and Danny (aka WHO??!!) Amendola would be more viable fantasy options than Garcon and Austin?  This just proves fantasy if gambling in its truest form.  Nobody can predict anything.   


-  Don’t look now but San Fran is 3 – 6, in a shitty division that is still wide open and could legitimately pull a playoff spot out of their asses before everything settles down. 

What we learned:  Since we all knew the NFC West was a shit division, nothing at all. 


Stat of the Week:  If the season ended today, the 7 – 2 Patriots would travel to Oakland to play the 5 – 4 Raiders in the first round of the playoffs. 

Today’s distraction:  Random, strange shots from Google Streets.  Somehow the Volkswagen Bus burning in the street is poetic.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Catchup or Katsup?

Apologies for my lack of entries.  There are several factors for why I haven't had much time to write.  Shall we count the ways?  Oh, we fucking shall, my friends.

1:  I've been sick as a dog since last Thursday.  Not sure if it's old age or more potent viruses (I say the latter), but colds and flu's just don't go away like they used to.  Normally I would be fully recovered after 2 or 3 days.  Lately it's been 4 or 5 or 6 days before I start feeling normal* again.

* Normal in this case involves normal for me.  Not normal for the rest of the human population.

2:  Since it's near the end of the year, but before the start of the holiday season, work has been kicking my ass up and down the corridors of my office.  Seriously, why does everything suddenly need to be completed in less than 24 hours?  What happened that everything needs to be done in warp speed?

I know the answer to that, by the way:  Email.  Since everyone has adopted email and Blackberries/iPhones/Droids your company and friends now expect to be in constant communication with you at ALL FUCKING TIMES!  Have you ever waited to respond to a text from a friend for more than an hour?  They act like you've slapped their mother in front of the rest of their family.  Nothing personal, friends, I just can't be at your beckoning 24 hours a day.

3:  Our furnace suddenly started vomiting ink black smoke into our house and out of our chimney.  Our house looked like a turn of the century factory until I turned off the heat.  Have you ever smelled burning oil?  It's not a good smell.  It makes you feel nauseous and toxic for days.  Since I have two children under the age of eleven, I thought it would be a good idea to get this fixed as soon as possible.

4:  We just refinanced our house at the ridiculously low rate of 4.3%.  We had done that five years ago at 5.8% and never thought we would get the rate low enough to make it worth our while.  Live and learn.  We wound up refinancing for 80 grand less than our house is worth, paid off our kitchen remodel loan AND have enough to pay off a few other things.

Like say a new furnace.

5:  Daylight savings time ended and - for reasons I can never explain - it takes me weeks to recover.  Yes, I know I gain an hour of sleep but I still lose energy and motivation for weeks following the change.  Maybe it's never seeing the sun or that fact that the temperature is 30 degrees colder than I've been used to for the past six months.  Perhaps it has nothing to do with DST and more to do with my annual winter depression.

Seriously, fuck winter.  I hate it.

Still, I always make time for my loyal readers.  Which reminds me, DA, we're over due for our monthly call.  Huh, that sounds strangely like a euphemism for pregnancy.  'My monthly call is over due, but don't tell anyone until I'm absolutely sure!'

Some random thoughts to carry you through.  Since I didn't have time for the Week 9 Postmortem, I'll include some football thoughts.

-  Last year my company replaced our CIO with some new, hip, cool, younger, highly educated CIO.  This new, hip, cool, younger, highly educated CIO just announced that he's outsourcing a majority of our department.  Well, fuck you, too.  Not sure how exactly this will affect me, but the signs aren't good.  Time to check out Monster and get my resume together.

-  Two Sundays ago Jamaal Charles combined for nearly 250 yards; most of those (180 or so) were rushing.  Heading into week nine against the 28th ranked rushing defense of the Oakland Raiders I thought to myself 'Holy shit!  Charles could top 200 yards on these guys!'  I was excited, I'll admit it.  What do the Chief coaches do?  They run plays for Charles 10 times.  Yeah, as in TEN.  Ten rushing attempts for the guy that went wild the week before.

Needless to say the Chiefs and my fantasy team went down in flames.  I officially revoke my Coach of the Year nomination for Todd Haley.  What's really frustrating is Charles still averaged over 5 yards a carry in the game.

-  My ten year old had basketball tryouts last Monday and Tuesday and - at the risk of sounding like an obnoxious, boastful parent - I couldn't have been more proud.  He aced all the drills, seemed to have fun and scored two baskets in the scrimmages.  Even better he spaced things out properly and didn't force any shots.  He had one that he held back because he was tightly guarded.

So what happens?  He doesn't make the team.  Which is fine.  It was his first time trying out and I had warned him that it's tough making it your first time.  Coaches don't really know you, you're running the try out drills the first time, etc.

What isn't fine is hearing who did make the team.  Including two boys who couldn't dribble to save their lives and another that shot the ball every single time he touched it.  I can't stress this enough, he shot (and shot it badly) every...single...time.  Including one moment where he was on the right wing at nearly NBA three point range.  If the ball hit his hands, he launched it.  I kept thinking of 'Seinfeld' and 'the chucker'.

You can say this is fatherly bias all you want, but his 10 year old friend who did make the team said to him the next weekend 'How did those guys make the team and you didn't?  Those guys are terrible!'  If a ten year old can see a problem with the team, why can't the coaches?

Because those kids were related to the coach.  That's why.  As I said to another mother 'If that's the case, why even have try outs?'

-  Wifey told ten year old he didn't make the team on Friday.  He was PISSED and seems to have inherited his father's passive aggressive tendencies.  He disappeared into the playroom to play XBox for a bit.  When he emerged an hour later he told me 'I was playing my war game and pretending all the people I was shooting were the coaches.'

Well then.

-  My biggest challenge as a father is holding back my own anger regarding injustices such as this.  I'm trying to install good sportsmanship into both my boys but it's difficult when you know things are unfair.  While I put a good face on the basketball try outs, I unleashed with Wifey as soon as they were in bed.  F-bombs were flying and things were very close to getting ugly.  Granted, it's just a sport, but he DESERVED to be on that team.  I'll get over it soon.  Promise.

-  Can't say I'm terribly surprised the Patriots lost to Cleveland.  Seems like they've been winning with smoke and mirrors.

-  I'm currently 1 - 1 with Ryan Fitzpatrick as my starting QB.  I would have won last week if Pierre Garcon had more that 2 catches Sunday night.  What a joke.  Four different Colt receivers had at least ten catches.  FOUR!  The one guy I have on my fantasy team - the number two receiver on one of the most offensive minded teams in the NFL - had two.

-  On a gamble I started Jonathan Stewart thinking he would kick ass after his Week 8 lackluster performance.  In the first quarter he had 30 yards and I was looking like a genius.  Concussion, out for the rest of the game and this week.  Insert frown face here.

-  Text from my buddy on Sunday: 'Why do I play fantasy?  It's not fun.  I am not having fun'

-  If you haven't caught up on 'The Walking Dead' I strongly suggest you do.  Only two episodes in and it's already on my list of the best shows of the year.  Fair warning:  It's violent as hell but there is a method to it's madness.  Love the twist that there is some shadow of the person left in the zombies and many are begging to be killed (or re-killed as the case may be).

- I can't be the only one enjoying the Cowboy implosion, right?

- Would it be the ultimate F-You to the Yankees if the Red Sox managed to sign Derek Jeter away from them?  It would definitely top the Yanks signing Johnny Damon, that's for sure.  By a hundred fold.

That said, I wouldn't want him in Boston for the price they'd have to pay.

-  Cliff Lee may be another issue.  He's in his early thirties and conventional wisdom says you'll be over paying for his services for too many years.  However, someone like Lee who currently has no major health issues and keeps himself in very good shape could easily pitch until he's 40.  Right?  Would a five year deal at 20 million per be THAT much of a gamble?

- Prediction:  Papelbon will not be with the Red Sox in 2011.

Signing off for now.  Let's touch base later in the week, ok?


Today's distraction:  Dude makes his own Iron Man outfits and wears them around.  These are pretty cool, actually and, since my youngest went as War Machine on Halloween, this one is for him.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Week 8 Postmortem

Approximately halfway through the season and we’re starting to see the first signs of teams fraying, if not outright imploding.

The Vikings give up a third round pick for Randy Moss; a trade that is universally praised by ‘experts’ around the globe as ‘just what Brett Favre and Minnesota needs'. He is released four games later.

This same Vikings team has a forty year old quarterback with a fractured ankle, cut chin and public penis yet head coach Brad Childress refuses to make a decision on who will start for his own team. This begs the question of who is really coaching Minnesota: Childress or Favre’s starting streak?

The Redskins lost to the lowly Lions which prompted head coach Mike Shanahan to label Donovan McNabb ‘out of shape’ while into the minds of Eagle fans everywhere pops the ‘Dry Heave Super Bowl’

The Jets, coming off a bye week no less, looked so atrocious offensively I couldn’t help but wonder if they practiced at all the last two weeks. Combined with week one versus the Ravens, there may be an Achilles Heel to this New York team.

Meanwhile…

St Louis is getting better by the week (although, granted it was Carolina).

Detroit is gelling both defensively and offensively.

Kansas City has the most potent rushing attack in the NFL.

The Colts plug nobodies into crucial positions and roll along like the machine they are.

The Raiders look to be an offensive juggernaut.

The Patriots have quietly accumulated the best record in the league while going back to Belichick-ball: Scrubs and castoffs from other teams thriving in a ‘hell, let’s see if this will work’ scheme.

The defending champs finally showed up in their most impressive win of the season.

And still we’re no closer to figuring out what the holy hell is going on this season. I, for one, am enjoying every minute of it.

Let’s get to it.

- I started this season figuring Buffalo would not win a game. I know they’re still 0 – 7, but their last two games (on the road versus Ravens and Chiefs) have been impressive. They can still be run all over, but that they’re in games until the final whistle says a lot about the toughness this team is showing. They may even win 2 or 3 games if this keeps up.

By the way, Chief coaches, when you’re lead rusher is approaching 200 yards on the day don’t start putting the game in the hands of Matt Cassel. Charles and Thomas were running at will, yet when the game was close, you stopped running and decided to pass nearly every down. Go with what works.

- The Dallas defense played team ball on Sunday. By allowing David Garrard to run amok (and become a fantasy star), they’ve taken all the attention away from the Cowboy offense. That was so nice of them.

The Wade Phillips ‘retirement’ watch is officially on.

- My fantasy philosophy is to draft a top QB and his favorite receiver. Not once all summer did I ever think ‘Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson’. Never. They combined for 313 yards and seven touchdowns. I suck.

- Was anyone else delighted to see Rex Grossman back in action? I couldn’t believe he was still on a roster. Watch him light it up the rest of the year.

- If it weren’t for last week’s Chicago – Washington game, the Packers – Jets would go down as the most disgraceful example of football this year. Again I ask, why is everyone so in love with Mark Sanchez?

- It certainly looks like St Louis is taking the ‘dink and dunk’ approach to passing. Bradford is going a great job spreading things around (four different receivers were targeted at least 6 times), but when you complete 25 passes for 191 yards it seems as if a deep threat is missing.

And hello Randy Moss.

- It only took 8 weeks for the ‘slow start’ to finally wear off San Diego. This is a team, by the way, that would benefit greatly from Moss. Can you imagine them getting Moss plus Vincent Jackson back for the second half? Holy shit!

- Our idea of promoting the NFL in Europe is to send Denver and San Francisco over there to play?

- I always thought Troy Smith would make a decent QB way back when he started off with the Ravens. Injuries played a major role in his lack of playing time, but where has he been up until now? He played well again Sunday. Let’s hope he stays healthy so we can see what kind of player he can be.

- What the hell happens to Seattle when they go on the road? Do they need original Starbucks coffee to function properly? Do they book uncomfortable hotel beds? Do they just party it up at every city instead of practicing? Seriously, I need to know this stuff.

- That Houston victory over the Colts seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

- How does baseball work in Texas? They have the Houston Astros in the National League with the Texas Rangers in the AL. Does everyone in Texas automatically root for the Rangers? The team name does cover the entire state. Are Houston fans allowed to root for two teams? I would wonder the same thing about the Florida Marlins but they don’t seem to have any fans.

- I’ve always been a bit bewildered why Favre doesn’t utilize Adrian Peterson more in the passing game. I thought it may have to do with Peterson’s habit of fumbling the ball (bad hands?) then thought that Favre just likes the glory of throwing it deep. Usually Peterson will fake block, then slip into the flat and be WIIIIDE open in the middle of the field. Favre never threw to him consistently until Sunday. This makes me wonder if Favre’s limited mobility made him perform more like a quarter back instead of BRETT FAVRE!!!!!!!!!

Also makes me wonder if Favre would be better if he just pocketed his ego and played how he used to. But we all know that isn’t possible any longer.

- Don’t look now but Tampa Bay is 5 – 2. TAMPA BAY! This entire season is fucked up.


Stat of the Week: The Miami Dolphins are 4 – 0 on the road and 0 – 3 at home.


Today’s distraction: How to delete your account for real on many popular websites. If you are a Facebook user (Facebooker??) check out how difficult it is. I’ve railed on about that site before, but keep this information in the back of your mind when posting things up there.