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The Donnybrook
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Mmmmmmmm...Smells Like Progress!

It just gets worse and worse...
The United States has expanded its force in Iraq to 140,000 troops, the most since January and 13,000 more than five weeks ago, the Pentagon said on Thursday, amid relentless violence in Baghdad and elsewhere.

This follows July's decision by commanders to augment the U.S. military presence in Baghdad to try to curb escalating sectarian violence that has heightened concern about all-out civil war in Iraq.

As American troops continue to fight a tenacious insurgency nearly 3 1/2 years into the war, U.S. military deaths in Iraq reached at least 62 in August -- increasing from 43 in July and ending three straight monthly declines.

August's total still was about average for a war in which about 64 U.S. troops have died per month. There have been 2,635 U.S. military deaths since war began in March 2003, and another 19,773 troops have been wounded in action, the Pentagon said.
Check out the rather insulting way the Maine National Guard is helping children of Guardsmen and women cope with their loved ones' extended stays in Iraq...

The Ultimate Super Bowl Tournament

When I’m up late at night waiting to feed my daughter these are the things I think of. What would happen if all 40 super bowl winners met in a tournament? In my mind, this is what would happen. Keep in mind this is just my mind and opinions will vary. Matchups were selected at random. Also, 24 teams got first-round byes at random, leaving just eight first-round match-ups. Something else to keep in mind is that since it’s random you could have some darkhorses advance deep and some legendary teams exit early if they end up playing each other. For example, since it’s a random draw the 85 Bears could end up playing the 72 Dolphins in one of the early rounds. I’ll post the first-round matchup results today and hopefully will have time to do another round today or sometime in the near future. Let’s get it on...

First Round

2000 Ravens (12-4) vs. 1994 49ERS (13-3): Talk about defense vs. offense. The Ravens allowed the fewest points in a 16-game season and allowed just one offensive touchdown in four playoff wins. They were as ferocious as they come with Ray Lewis leading a nasty charge. The offense, though, ranked 14th and was led by Trent Dilfer whose job was simply not to lose the game. The Niners spent their money wisely in 94, signing defensive studs like Deion Sanders and Ken Norton. That helped them rank sixth in defense. And the offense was out of this world. Steve Young set what was then a record for passing efficiency, threw for 35 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. Jerry Rice was at this best, catching 112 passes and the running game hummed with Ricky Watters running behind William Floyd who had a sensational rookie season. The Niners scored 505 points and put up 44, 38 and 49 in their three playoff wins while ending the Cowboys bid for a 3-peat.

OUTCOME: 49ERS 24, Ravens 10. Ravens defense was dominant but this offense was a machine and the Ravens would have to do some damage offensively which I doubt would happen.

1988 49ERS (10-6) vs. 2002 Buccaneers (12-4): Winning percentage wise, the 88 Niners are the worst super bowl champion ever, going 10-6. But the Niners were firing at the right time, overcoming a 6-5 start, destroying the Vikings and Bears in the playoffs by 25 points each and then edging the Bengals, who had the league’s best record, 20-16 on Joe Montana’s famous 92-yard last-minute touchdown drive. Montana was banged up in 88 and not surprisingly he’s return to health coincided with the Niners late-season success. Rice played hurt throughout the season so Roger Craig carried them at times, rushing for more than 1,500 yards. The defense was also solid, ranking eighth in the league. The Buccaneers mirrored the Ravens with their defensive prowess, allowing just 196 points, but this was an underrated offensive team as well. Brad Johnson threw 22 touchdowns and just six interceptions, while Keyshawn Johnson, Keenan McCardell and Joe Jurevicius formed a nice receiving trio.

OUTCOME: Call this a minor upset, but I’ll go with the Bucs 20-17 as they bottle up Craig.

1969 Chiefs (11-3) vs. 2001 Patriots (11-5): The Chiefs finished second in their division to the Raiders but beet the Raiders in Oakland for the final AFL championship. The Patriots came out of nowhere as Tom Brady filled in for an injured Drew Bledsoe and created one of the great cinderealla stories in NFL history. The Chiefs were tough on both sides of the ball, ranking No. 2 in offense and No. 1 on defense. Hank Stram created an innovative offense led by Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson and quality running backs and receivers like Mike Garrett and Otis Taylor. The defense was nasty with five players making the pro bowl. That unit allowed just 20 points in three playoff games. The Chiefs were a few plays from going 14-0, losing three games by 12 points. The Patriots started 0-2 and 5-5 before winning their last nine games and shocking the heavily favored Rams in the super bowl as Brady’s legend was born. This was the weakest of the Patriots three championship teams but they still ranked No. 6 in offense and defense. Brady was efficient while Antowain Smith had his best year and Troy Brown became a 1,000-yard receiver.

OUTCOME: Chiefs 21, Patriots 10. The Patriots were tough but the Chiefs have too much on both sides of the ball in this one.

1995 Cowboys (12-4) vs. 1975 Steelers (12-2): Even in super bowl tournaments these two end up playing each other. Great rivalry between two five-time winners. This was Dallas’s last hurrah but what a team it was. They ranked third in offense and defense and sent 10 players to the Pro Bowl. Emmitt Smith had his best year, running for 1,773 yards and a then-record 25 touchdowns. Troy Aikman threw just seven interceptions in 432 attempts, Michael Irvin had 1,603 yards and 10 touchdowns and the offensive line blew up opposing d-lines. The Steelers repeated as champions, ranking fifth in offense and second in defense. They sent 11 players to the pro bowl. Franco Harris rushed for over 1,200 yards while Lynn Swann caught 11 touchdowns. The defense was brutal for opponents, holding seven of them to single digits.

OUTCOME: Steve Sabol will probably be mad at me but I’m going with Dallas here, 20-14. I think their offensive line was dominant and would be able to give Aikman enough time to pass and Smith enough time to run while its defense would frustrate Bradshaw into some costly mistakes.

1981 49ERS (13-3) vs. 1967 Packers (9-4-1): This was the start of the Niners dynasty and the end of the Packers. The Niners came out of nowhere after a 6-10 finish to record the best record in the league and defeat the Bengals in the Super Bowl. The Packers struggled at times, but finished 9-4-1 despite losing Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor in the offseason. The Niners had difficulty running the ball but Joe Montana’s play and Bill Walsh’s innovative game plans helped them rank seventh in the league. The defense really carried the Niners, though, finishing second in the league and allowing just 250 points. Dwight Clark and Freddie Solomon were a nice receiver tandem with Clark topping 1,000 yards and Solomon 900 yards. The Packers lost their last two regular-season games but recovered in time, defeating the Rams and then the Cowboys in the famous Ice Bowl before hammering the Raiders in Super Bowl II. The defense ranked third but the offense slipped to No. 9. Bart Starr had a rough year, throwing 9 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. With Taylor and Hornung gone, Donny Anderson, Ben Wilson and Jim Grabowski became the featured backs and each rushed for more than 400 yards while Boyd Dowler and Carroll Dale combined for more than 1,500 receiving yards.

OUTCOME: This is a tough one but I’ll go with the youthful Niners to frustrate Starr and the Packers enough to pull the upset. I’ll say Niners 23, Packers 17.

1973 Dolphins (12-2) vs. 1979 Steelers (12-4): While the 72 Dolphins went undefeated, the 73 team might have been even better. Their defense was outstanding, allowing just 150 points and the offense ranked fifth while featuring a vicious running game. Larry Czonka and Mercury Morris combined for nearly 2,000 rushing yards while Bob Griese threw 17 touchdowns. Paul Warfield stretched defenses and caught 11 touchdowns. The defense held seven teams to single digits and then allowed just 33 points in three playoff games. This was the end of the line for the Steelers who lost 35-7 to the Chargers in the regular season and survived scares from the Oilers and Rams in the AFC Championship and Super Bowl. Franco Harris again topped 1,000 yards while Terry Bradshaw threw for 26 touchdowns and 3,724 yards...although he did throw 25 interceptions. The defense was still good but not dominant, allowing four teams to top 30 points.

OUTCOME: Dolphins 24, Steelers 10. The Dolphins would grind the ball out and keep Bradshaw Inc. off the field for long stretches.

1987 Redskins (11-4) vs. 1971 Cowboys (11-3): The Redskins blitzed the Broncos 42-10 in the Super Bowl but won two nailbiters in the NFC playoffs, rallying from 14 down to beat the Bears 21-17 and stopping the Vikings at the goal line in the final minute of the NFC championship and winning, 17-10. Washington actually was 8-4 since three of its wins came during the strike via replacement players. Still, this was a solid team that put up a lot of points. Doug Williams replaced Jay Schroeder as the starter and combined those two threw for 23 touchdowns in just 12 games. George Rogers and Kelvin Bryant formed an nice backfield duo although it was rookie Timmy Smith who rushed for more than 200 yards in the super bowl. Gary Clark, Art Monk and Ricky Sanders were a potent receiving trio and the Hogs were outstanding up front and the defense was underrated but solid. The Cowboys ranked first in offense and seventh in defense. They dominated the Dolphins in the super bowl, holding them to a record-low three points. That unit also allowed just 18 points in three playoff games. Roger Staubach split time with Craig Morton but was outstanding, throwing for 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Duane Thomas, Calvin Hill and Duane Thomas formed a three-headed monster backfield while Lance Alworth and Bob Hayes were as tough to cover as they came back then.

OUTCOME: The Redskins hang tough, but I think Staubach would have his way. Call it Cowboys 28, Redskins 17.

1977 Cowboys (12-2) vs. 1983 Raiders (12-4): It’s Doomsday vs. The Silver and Black. As nasty as the Cowboys defense was it ranked just eighth that year. Still, players like Randy White, Harvey Martin, Ed Too Tall Jones and Charlie Waters could make life miserable for opposing offenses as evidenced by them allowing just 23 postseason points. Staubach was solid as usual while rookie Tony Dorsett burst onto the scene and rushed for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns. I think people forget how good the Raiders were in 83. Remember, they beat the defending champion Redskins 38-9 in the super bowl and people were talking about how the Redskins might be the best offense ever after scoring a then-record 500+points. The Raiders ambushed three straight playoff opponents, winning 106-33. Eight players made the pro bowl. Marcus Allen ignited the offense, rushing for 1,014 yards and nine touchdowns. He gained a then-record 191 yards in the super bowl. Jim Plunkett handled most of the quarterbacking but Marc Wilson also saw some time and combined they threw for 28 touchdowns.

OUTCOME: I think this might be considered an upset but I don’t think the Raiders get enough respect and I think they win this one, 17-14.

Here is the Field of 32 and the Second-Round Matchups
Note: I will try to keep updating this in the coming days

1994 49ERS vs. 1972 Dolphins
2002 Buccaneers vs. 1978 Steelers
1969 Chiefs vs. 1986 Giants
1995 Cowboys vs. 1980 Raiders
1981 49ERS vs. 2004 Patriots
1973 Dolphins vs. 2005 Steelers
1971 Cowboys vs. 1999 Rams
1983 Raiders vs. 1993 Cowboys
1985 Bears vs. 1998 Broncos
1992 Cowboys vs. 1966 Packers
1991 Redskins vs. 1974 Steelers
1968 Jets vs. 1982 Redskins
1976 Raiders vs. 2003 Patriots
1989 49ERS vs. 1996 Packers
1984 49ERS vs. 1990 Giants
1970 Colts vs. 1997 Broncos

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
What A Difference 10 Years Makes...

If you see me in the year 2016 stammering and spitting out sentence fragments like a busted Speak & Spell, please shoot me in the face...

An Interesting Side Project...

Tom from Election Predictions, a terrific site that tracks polling and predictions for all of this year's House, Senate, and Governor's races, has invited me to contribute on a weekly basis.

I'll be posting polling information and the occasional opinion piece.

Tom is up in Pennsylvania, a.k.a. the place to be for exciting political races in 2006, so he's got a decent read on the pulse of this year's election season.

Check out the site. Tom does great work and presents it in a very intuitive and interesting way...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Eagles Snag Donte' Stallworth: Good Thing Or Very Good Thing?

I'm still up in the air, but I'm inclined to think that any improvement to the Eagles' receiver corps can only be a very good thing...

Monday, August 28, 2006
A Great Show Gets Its Due...

Maybe one of my oddest personality quirks is that I love watching award shows.

I enjoy the red carpet action and making fun of celebrities with my wife. It's just good fun, if not really, REALLY effeminate. Sue me.

It was great to see "The Office" win for best comedy series. While it's not as good as it's British inspiration, it's still the best show on TV right now.

A few other notes: Conan O'Brien absolutely killed as host last night. When will he get the credit he deserves?...Anyone that tells you that Evangeline Lilly wasn't the best dressed last night is lying...Apparently, last night was "Cleavage Night" at the Emmys...

Are You Happy Now, Stapleface???

He hasn't played a single down for you, and already Terrell Owens is starting shit with your team brass.

Have a fun year, Madame!

Saturday, August 26, 2006
Where's the Justice?...

Here are two lines of two former NFL Wide Receivers...

a. 336 catches, 5,462 yards, 51 touchdowns, never had 1,000 yards, best season: 61 catches for 880 yards, only twice 50 or more catches

b. 940 catches, 12,721 yards, 68 touchdowns, five 1,000-yard seasons, 6 seasons over 70 catches

Care to guess which line belongs to an NFL Hall of Famer?

If you guessed b, you all logic says you are right but logic does not seem to count with the NFL Hall of Fame voters because the answer is a.

The a. line belongs to Lynn Swann while the b line belongs to Art Monk who inexplicably is not in the Hall of Fame. Monk not being in the Hall of Fame makes about as much sense as giving Mike Tyson a Nobel Peace Prize.

Look at what the guy did during his career. Not only was he steady, but for a few years in the mid 80s he was the game’s best receiver. He was the first person to catch 900 passes and in 1984, he broke the single-season record for catches with 106. Before Jerry Rice came along, Monk also held the record for most consecutive games with at least one catch at 183. That means he was good enough to get open in over 100 straight games and catch a pass. As of now, he has more catches than any other receiver in the Hall of Fame? And yet he is not a Hall of Famer? Talk about a crime.

Hey, I like Lynn Swann and he was a clutch receiver but to put him in the Hall of Fame and leave Monk out is a travesty. Listen, I understand that numbers alone should not be the only barometer for a person earning Hall of Fame status. If a person does not have lofty numbers I can understand them still getting in if they were steady for a long time or if they always delivered in the clutch or if they were at least dominant for a few years.

Let’s examine Swann’s case. Obviously, his career numbers are hardly Hall of Fame material. He does not even rank in the top 50 in any major category. Granted, he played in a different era but the bottom line is he did not even come close to being a major producer long enough to warrant Hall of Fame status. The guy only played nine years. His rookie year he caught 11 balls and his last two he was not a factor. So the guy had six decent years, but not six eye-popping years.

Okay, you say, but he was outstanding in Super Bowls. No argument here on that one. He had two 100-yard super bowl games and caught a touchdown pass in three games as well. And everyone knows about the amazing catches he made in Super Bowl X when he won MVP. But if they’re going to put players in the Hall of Fame for great super bowl performances alone then they might as well let guys like Doug Williams, Timmy Smith and Jim Plunkett in.

Here’s something else to chew on. Terrell Davis is up for the Hall of Fame this year and a lot of talk that I hear is that he will not get in. I agree with that because as dominant as he was for a few years he didn’t do it long enough. However, using the Swann theory he should get in because unlike Swann, Davis did dominate, did consistently post big numbers and also excelled in big games. In fact, Davis rushed for over 100 yards in his last 7 playoff games. Still, Davis likely will not get in and Swann will.

But I’m getting off the subject. Let’s get back to Art Monk.

Now as his numbers above show, Monk was much more steady for a longer period of time than Swann. However, as regular readers on here know it’s not so much with me as how much you produce as when you produce (that’s why I always prefer a guy like Tom Brady to Peyton Manning, although Manning is a Hall of Famer because he meets the criteria of putting up outstanding numbers for a long period of time unlike Swann did).

But Monk answers the bell there as well since he played on three Redskins teams that won super bowls and four that reached the super bowl. He also had a 100-yard game in Super Bowl XXVI. Like Swann’s Steelers, the Redskins consistently won when he played. And unlike Swann, Monk did not play with a team that had the most dominant defense and he did not play with a Hall of Fame quarterback. In fact, Monk put up solid numbers on three world championship teams that were led by three different quarterbacks, Joe Theismann, Williams and Mark Rypien...three guys that will never whiff the Hall of Fame. So Monk shatters the criteria while Swann comes up short and yet Swann is in and Monk is out.

Where’s the justice?

Here’s the bottom line. One can make all the excuses they want about Monk. They can say he wasn’t dominant or that he wasn’t as feared as other receivers of his time. They can debate his greatness and things of that nature. But what it comes down to is you have to measure him against the other receivers in the Hall and when you do that, it is clear that Monk belongs.

Here are two other names to think about: Steve Largent and Charlie Joiner. These two guys held the receptions record before Monk. Both are in the Hall of Fame. Largent was a great receiver who put up some darn good numbers like Monk. But unlike Monk, Largent led the Seahawks to one division championship and was part of teams that won three playoff games during his career. He made it to the AFC championship just once as well, in 1983.

Then there’s Joiner who played for 18 years and was never higher than third in receptions or yards. The case a lot of people make against Monk is that he was steady but not great (even though he broke the single-season record for receptions). Yet Joiner is in the Hall and Monk isn’t.

This is a sham and each year these idiot voters do not check Monk’s name the Hall loses more and more credibility and talk of politics becomes more rampant. Think about it. Swann and Largent were regarded as great people and they always seemed to do interviews. Monk also has been a great person in his community, doing wonderful charity work, but he shied away from interviews and the spotlight.

Makes one wonder if he’s now being blacklisted by those same people.

I would like to think that the voters are not that petty but as the years go by and Monk continues to get snubbed it looks more and more as if that could be the case.

Do the right thing next year, voters. Put Art Monk in the Hall of Fame and salvage your credibility.

Friday, August 25, 2006
How I Know For Sure That "Invincible" Is About A Philadelphia Eagle...

Our hero, Vince Papale's team goes 4-10.

Philly sports stories just don't end in championships terribly often. Art imitates life, I suppose.

That being said, I cannot wait to see this thing.

The reviews look good. Mark Wahlberg has gone from a joke in my mind to one of my favorite actors. Greg Kinnear looks like he really got into the role of Dick Vermeil, and they even enlisted the guy that played Grama in "Rounders". Seems like a recipe for success.

We'll see tonight!

UPDATE: Bill Simmons has come out of what seems like a yearlong funk and written one of his three greatest columns ever.

It's a masterpiece about a road trip he and his buddies took to Lambeau Field in beautiful Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Transcendant stuff, to be sure. Here's my favorite part:
We've passed at least 10 signs for cheese-related stores or foods so far. You have to hand it to Wisconsin: The people here have listened to every health-related study from the past 25 years -- watch out for fried foods, butter and cheese, beware of heavy beer, make sure you eat enough vegetables and fruit, try to exercise as much as possible -- and basically said, "You know what? If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I love Wisconsin.
Please read it all...

Has Racism Gone Mainstream...Again?

The evidence is piling up all around us:

--Rush Limbaugh's replacement refers to "gooks in Vietnam".

--Mel Gibson channels the spirit of his father.

--Pat Buchanan goes on the Today Show and warns against the evils posed to America by non-white "invaders".

--Sen. George Allen, a likely Republican presidential candidate in 2008 calls an Indian-American member of Democrat Jim Webb's campaign "macaca" twice. Macaca means "monkey", by the way.

--Andrew Young, a vital member of the civil rights movement and former Democratic mayor of Atlanta, was fired from his job with Wal-Mart (why he worked there, I have no idea) after accusing Jewish, Arab, and Korean store-owners of ripping off black neighborhoods.

--Tramm Hudson, a Republican candidate for Congress in Florida commented that "blacks are not the greatest swimmers or may not even know how to swim." Rush Limbaugh, predictably, makes a similar comment about a week later.

--Ann Coulter states that Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who is black, "would not have a job that didn't involve wearing a paper hat" if it weren't for affirmative action.

To these examples, you can add any number of anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner, anti-Arab, or anti-Muslim remarks being tossed around under the guise of sane political discourse and being aired on supposedly respectable media outlets.

Is this where we're going? Is racism acceptable again?

Sadly, from where I'm sitting, it appears so...

P.S. I just realized that all the examples I cited above have occurred within the last month...

P.P.S. Jack Cafferty properly laced into some of the office-seeking Republicans that have put their racist feet in their mouths recently...

What's In A Name?

You've probably noticed the subtle changes to the site from yesterday.

First, I must thank Tony for coming through once again and creating some truly hilarious banner designs. This one nearly put me on the floor.

I've come to realize that the focus of this blog is changing from primarily politics to primarily, well, other stuff. Hence, no more "Political" in the title. We'll still talk politics, but it won't be the main focus of the blog.

Also, I'm not the only contributor anymore. Dr. Masse is on board, and pretty soon we'll (fingers crossed) have at least one more regular contributor bringing in the good stuff. Hence, no more "Brian's" in the title.

So, here we are at The Donnybrook. More fun, more focused, all the Donny and twice the Brook.

Strap in, kids!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006
You'd Be Pissed Off Too If You Lived In A Soulless Plastic Jungle...

This makes so much sense to me...
Welcome to Orlando, the City Wrathful, where stress soars and rage runs

The news that Men's Health magazine has ranked Orlando the angriest of 100 major U.S. cities has some locals hot and bothered -- kind of.


Three other Florida cities were in the top 10: St. Petersburg, Miami and Jacksonville. Tampa was 12th. The coolest heads prevailed in Manchester, N.H.; Bangor, Maine; and Fargo, N.D., all in chilly climates.
Get ready to douse your drawers at this next comment, which may be the very embodiment of the word "denial":

Orlando lawyer Dennis Salvagio couldn't believe it when heard about the ranking."How can they say that of a city as beautiful as ours?" Salvagio asked.

"Haven't these people been to New York City?"

This guy's got it: Orlando obviously has it all on NYC.

Who needs actual culture when you can slap giant mouse ears on everything in sight and watch the money flow in?

Who needs quality neighborhood restaurants when you can have every pre-fab shit-sucking chain restaurant under the sun crammed into a 90 mile area?

Who needs temperate weather when you can watch your skin turn bright red by merely stepping outside to water your lawn?

Who needs the Empire State Building when you've got the glorious SunTrust Center?

Who Are The American Beatles?

I'll go with The Eagles, but I'm not 100% confident in the pick.

Regardless, Guns N' Roses would almost definitely be the American Rolling Stones...

You're The Best...Around!!!

Anyone else think that the Cobra Kai guy with the blonde afro (Dutch) could not only beat Daniel-San to death, but go after Mr. Miyagi and beat his ass, too? If that guy wasn't in "The Lost Boys", he definitely should've been.

For a fun side game, try to count how many times in this three minute clip Elisabeth Shue does the little "biting my lower lip because I'm psyched about dating a skinny little nobody with feathered hair" move...

UPDATE: Holy shit! The guy that played Dutch is Steve McQueen's kid! Why am I yelling?!?!

Keepers Are In...Where Do I Go From Here?

Allow me to set the scene:

Draft day is next Wednesday, 12-team league, one keeper per team, I'm picking 2nd overall thanks to a transcendant 3-10-1 finish a year ago.

Here's the list of keepers:
Ronnie Brown
Donovan McNabb
Steven Jackson
Corey Dillon
Peyton Manning
LaMont Jordon
Larry Johnson
Shaun Alexander
Tiki Barber
LaDainian Tomlinson
Edgerrin James
Clinton Portis
Presumably, the top picks will include Rudi Johnson, Cadillac Williams, Steve Smith, maybe Brian Westbrook, and Willis McGahee.

So here's the question: Who are the two best RB's remaining?

P.S. If I can get Rudi, I think I'm taking him.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Earth: What A Dopey Name For A Planet!

Every other planet gets a cool name derived from some menacing Roman deity. We get another word for dirt.

It doesn't have to be that way. What would you call Earth if you had the power?

I'm going with "Jackrabbit Slim's"...

Isn't This A Little High For Steven Jackson?

Thanks to AntSports, these are the top 12 running backs as they've been chosen using their drafting software.
1. Larry Johnson
2. Shaun Alexander
3. LaDainian Tomlinson
4. Tiki Barber
5. Clinton Portis
6. Steven Jackson
7. Edgerrin James
8. Ronnie Brown
9. LaMont Jordan
10. Rudi Johnson
11. Carnell Williams
12. Brian Westbrook
Don't get me wrong. The guy's obviously talented, but what caused him to go from "new #1 guy in St. Louis" to "6th most coveted RB in the NFL" in the space of one offseason???

Wherein I Recommit Myself To This Blog...

I'll admit it. I've been dogging it. I'm not proud of it.

Somewhere over the last few weeks, I lost a little bit of the drive that (I hope) makes this blog interesting. The bickering and bitching in the comment threads finally got to me, and I just lost interest.

But today is a new day.

No more fighting, no more snarky bullshit from me or the commenters. It's just been exhausting.

I'm looking to have fun, talk politics, sports, and entertainment, and do so in a constructive way that brings in opposing viewpoints in a respectful and interesting way.

So, to my regular readers, I apologize for phoning it in for a week or so. Even though you're not paying me, I feel I owe you better since you've bothered to stop by regularly.

Thanks so much for doing that. It means a lot to me.

With that, it's time to get back to work...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

For You Folks That Remember Albums...

PSoTD has a very cool game for you to play...

Friday, August 18, 2006
Sonny Bono Didn't Bounce This Little When He Hit The Tree...

From the Carpetbagger Report...
The conventional wisdom was so widely believed, there hardly seemed any point in questioning it. The alleged terrorist plot would be a political boon for the Bush White House, the timing would hurt Democrats, and the story had the ability to completely reshape the last 12 weeks of the campaign cycle.

Since the story captured the nation's attention, however, seven national polls have been conducted. If there was a bump for Bush, it's hiding well.

* Zogby: the president's job approval rating dropped from 36% to 34%.

* Gallup: his approval rating fell from 40% to 37%.

* CBS News: the president's support remained flat at 36%.

* Newsweek: Bush's approval rating improved to 38% from 35%.

* Fox News: the president's support remained flat at 36%.

* AP/Ipsos: his approval rating fell from 36% to 33%.

* Harris: the president's support remained flat at 34%.
Keep on bouncing for another 3 months, Mr. President!

Rock N' Roll Trivia Quiz...

Let's have a little fun on a cloudy Friday morning.

Feel free to pony up some of your own questions, as long as they're not too obvious.

Standard quiz rules apply: No Google, Wikipedia, or various other searches.

1. How old was Jimi Hendrix when he died in 1970? --27 years old

2. What is Slash's real name? --Saul Hudson

3. Which classic rock band had a lead guitarist named Buck Dharma? --Blue Oyster Cult

4. Which of the following guitar players DID NOT play with The Yardbirds? Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page. --Ritchie Blackmore

5. Which song by The Kinks tells the story of a guy who accidentally hooks up with another guy? --"Lola"

6. Which song by The Who contains the following lyric: "I have hours only lonely, my love is vengeance that's never free." --"Behind Blue Eyes"

7. Which band once featured Chevy Chase on the drums? --Steely Dan

Best of luck!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Was Anyone Else Completely Addicted To This Game???

P.S. A few of my other childhood video game addictions included The Legend Of Zelda, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden (1 & 2), and Bionic Commando.

Old school rules...


Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Bruno Kirby, RIP...

A great character actor who had one hell of a run playing alongside some of Hollywood's greatest.

If you needed a semi-tough Italian guy to play second fiddle to Pacino, DeNiro or Brando, he always rose to the occasion.

So let's open it up to you guys: What was your favorite Bruno Kirby performance?

My favorite is his rather small part in "This Is Spinal Tap" where he plays an annoyed NYC limo driver who calls the boys in the band "fuckin' limeys". Hilarious part.

He was also excellent in the very underrated "The Freshman".

Well done, sir...

Republican Joe Scarborough Asks An Intriguing Question...

Check out his research here...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
While We're At It, Can We Combine The Dakotas?

Or at least, contract the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Kansas City Royals?
Despite being the farthest planet from Earth in our solar system, Pluto has come under attack from astronomers and may be about to lose its status in the battle.

Some 3,000 astronomers and scientists from around the world are meeting in Prague to decide whether Pluto, discovered in 1930, measures up to the definition of a planet.

In defining for the first time what exactly a planet is, the International Astronomers Union (IAU) may be forced to downgrade Pluto's status, or add as many as 14 others.

Such a decision would send shockwaves through the scientific community, instantly outdate textbooks, and cause educators to re-teach the basics of our solar system.
Couldn't hurt...Right?

"V For Vendetta" Is A Fantastic Flick...

A very interesting look at how a frightened society can devolve into totalitarianism, and how difficult the struggle for freedom can be...

Who Knew Lips And Assholes Could Be So Damn Dangerous???

What an absolutely terrifying headline, and it didn't even come from the Middle East or the Bush administration...
Hot Dogs May Cause Genetic Mutations

Everyone knows hot dogs aren't exactly healthy for you, but in a new study chemists find they may contain DNA-mutating compounds that might boost one's risk for cancer.

Scientists note there is an up to 240-fold variation in levels of these chemicals across different brands.

"One could try and find out what the difference in manufacturing techniques are between the brands, and if it's decided these things are a hazard, one could change the manufacturing methods," researcher Sidney Mirvish, a chemist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, told LiveScience.
If this information is true, Takeru Kobayashi should look like the Brundle fly in about five years...

Monday, August 14, 2006
What Song Do You Want To Hear When You're Dying?

Be it by natural causes or some horrible accident, what musical accompaniment would you choose to carry you to the angels?

I'll go with "Who Wants To Live Forever" by Queen. Aside from the way-too-obvious thematic parallels, this song just sounds like music to die to.

A strong second place goes to John Cale's version of "Hallelujah". Third, to Sarah McLachlan's "Angel", a song that has a 43% chance of making me weep whenever I hear it.

Bring it everybody, and make sure it's good because once it's done, you're dead, MF'er!!!

Friday, August 11, 2006
2nd To Last: That's Fucking Scary...

It's oddball statistics like this that make make me even more nervous about the future of this country.
A comparison of peoples' views in 34 countries finds that the United States ranks near the bottom when it comes to public acceptance of evolution. Only Turkey ranked lower.

Among the factors contributing to America's low score are poor understanding of biology, especially genetics, the politicization of science and the literal interpretation of the Bible by a small but vocal group of American Christians, the researchers say.
Get ready for a truly chilling thought:
“American Protestantism is more fundamentalist than anybody except perhaps the Islamic fundamentalist, which is why Turkey and we are so close,” said study co-author Jon Miller of Michigan State University.


Politics is also contributing to America's widespread confusion about evolution, the researchers say. Major political parties in the United States are more willing to make opposition to evolution a prominent part of their campaigns to garner conservative votes—something that does not happen in Europe or Japan.

Miller says that it makes about as much sense for politicians to oppose evolution in their campaigns as it is for them to advocate that the Earth is flat and promise to pass legislation saying so if elected to office.

"You can pass any law you want but it won't change the shape of the Earth," Miller told LiveScience.
With that, have a very fun weekend...

Continued Threat From Terrorists = Good News

At least, that's what Republicans think.

What they conveniently forget is that the Bush Administration's lack of focus in the war on terror has ensured that the masterminds of 9/11 will be around to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the 3,000+ deaths they caused.

But, alas, they've got elections to win...
"I'd rather be talking about this than all of the other things that Congress hasn't done well," one Republican congressional aide told AFP on condition of anonymity because of possible reprisals.

"Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won't "look as appealing" under the circumstances.
In a related note, Joe Lieberman is echoing Dick Cheney and copying entire pages out of the GOP playbook...

Thursday, August 10, 2006
The Genius Of Ron Bennington, Part 178,234...

I'm sorry to keep bringing it up, but if you haven't checked out Ron & Fez on XM Satellite Radio, you're really missing out.

Ronnie cut loose with this pearl of wisdom when they were talking about time travel yesterday:
"If I went back in time, I would take a lighter with me and tell everyone I'm God. Then I'd say 'Hey, its me, and I brought a piece of the sun with me. Who wants to learn how to give a blow job?'"
Download this clip for a great introduction to the boys. It's a heartwarming look at racial tensions in America...

"You never come home at night because you're out romancing..."

When's Eddie gonna start singing again?

Man, this video had it all! Eddie Murphy before he hit the shitter, Rick James, Rick James' hair, Rick James' mannerisms, women wearing shoulder pads, a blonde guitar player with his chest exposed and the obligatory studio tech paying way too much attention to "the levels".

This may be as close to a perfect video as we mere mortals can ever hope to create...

Wednesday, August 9, 2006
They Don't Get That Much Time Off In Europe...

After roughly 104 weekend days, 8 holidays, and 15 vacation days, I'll work about 238 days in 2006.

I don't mention this to pat myself on the back, but rather to draw a stunning comparison.

The Republican-led Congress, comprised of elected officals that many of us have voted for, is on pace to work less than 100 days this year.

Allow me to repeat that in a way that really drives the point home: Should you get elected to the House of Representatives, one of the many perks you'll enjoy will be roughly NINE MONTHS OFF EACH YEAR.

This must be yet another comical side effect of turning control of the federal government over to people who hate and/or don't believe in the federal government.

More here...

Anyone Else Totally Geeking Out About "Invincible"?

It looks formulaic as hell, but when did that become a crime?

Congrats To Ned Lamont And Hank Johnson...

...and big fat boos to Joe Lieberman for showing his ass while losing and disrespecting the will of his party's voters, and to Cynthia McKinney for being, well, Cynthia McKinney.

Lieberman, a three-term incumbent with the backing of his party's elite, is embarrassing himself by trying to spin his loss to Ned Lamont as a moral victory.

That is just so sad.

Oh, and almost forgotten in all the Lamont-Lieberman to-do, was the fact that a conservative nutjob ousted a moderate Republican congressman in Michigan yesterday.

Those Republicans do so love their ideological purity...

UPDATE: Here's a great explanation for Lieberman's loss from Josh Marshall...
Yes, Iraq was the issue that crushed Lieberman in the Democratic party. And the blogs were the vehicle that helped that latent but pervasive disgruntlement among Connecticut Democrats become aware of itself. But Joe Lieberman succumbed to a political ailment (common to long-serving senators) that would have been as recognizable to Daniel Webster and Henry Clay as it was to so many 21st century bloggers: He got his head lost in the clouds of national politics and lost touch with his constituents.
It's the same reason John Edwards' popularity waned in North Carolina during the lead-up to the 2004 Presidential election, and the same reason Liddy Dole's stature in North Carolina is waning as well...

2nd UPDATE: 60% of Americans now oppose the war in Iraq. I guess Joe Lieberman wasn't trying to "bring the Democratic Party back to the mainstream" after all...

Tuesday, August 8, 2006
"Soda" Vs. "Coke" Vs. "Pop"...

Apparently, it is a regional thing.

Tell Me Honestly...

Who got the worst of this deal?

Alabama Uses "Idols" For New State Slogan...

I got my hands on a few submissions that didn't quite make the cut:

Alabama: Katrina Wouldn't Even Come Here

Alabama: Red State, Redder Necks

Alabama: At Least We're Not Oklahoma

Alabama: Family Reunion = Speed Dating

Alabama: Next Time, Try Tennessee

Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) Is A Paranoid Dope...

The Congressman from the district I grew up in is a frightened boob. He and his campaign are terrified of an 18-year-old Eagle Scout who may, in fact be the sum of all fears.
A campaign staffer for U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-7, of Thornbury, called police Friday to report protesters outside of the Republican congressman's campaign office.

When the responding officer arrived, he found 18-year-old Ross Doppelt standing there. Alone.

Doppelt, a lifelong Haverford resident and campaign volunteer for Weldon's opponent, Democrat Joe Sestak, said he had shown up for what was publicized as an endorsement announcement.

"I just wanted to hear what they had to say," said the Eagle Scout and National Merit Commended Scholar...
Click here to see a picture of this holy terror, but be forewarned: If you find Beeker scary, you might pull a Curt Weldon yourself and shit your pants.

Democrat Joe Sestak is looking to send Weldon to the funny farm once and for all. Give him some love...

Monday, August 7, 2006
Sea Cow Looks For Action In The Big Apple...

He was probably just cruising for trannies.
In the heat of summer, all sorts of tourists head north to cooler climes. This year, a manatee has joined the crowd, cruising past the nightclubs of Manhattan and continuing north.

The massive animal has been spotted in the Hudson River at least three times in the last week — first off the Chelsea and Harlem sections of Manhattan, then to the north in Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County.

“It was gigantic,” said Randy Shull, who said he spotted the unusual visitor Sunday afternoon while boating at Kingsland Point Park in Sleepy Hollow. “When we saw it surface, its back was just mammoth.”

Last month, trackers saw the manatee as it swam north, first near Delaware, then Maryland, then New Jersey. By Saturday, it was seen in Manhattan.
To learn more about our meaty-breasted pals from the ocean, listen to Dr. Jim Gaffigan...

Another Abramoff-Tainted Republican Tucks His Tail Between His Legs And Runs Like Hell...

And he's a flip-flopper, to boot.
Entangled in the scandals involving former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, embattled U.S. Rep. Robert Ney is ending his re-election bid.

Although Ney had vowed to stay in the race even if he is indicted, the Ohio Republican decided last week to bow out. He said he has informed House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, of the decision.
Democrat Zack Space will be taking Ney's seat in the fall.

Check him out...

Defenses Around The NFL, Be Afraid...

It's been a long time since Donovan McNabb has looked this fit.

Friday, August 4, 2006
There's Only 3 Weeks Until My Fantasy Draft...

Since the NFL preseason gets underway this weekend with the soon-to-be-returning-to-glory Philadelphia Eagles facing the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night, it's time to start thinking fantasy.

My Philadelphia Vipers got cornholed to the tune of a 3-11 record last year, so it's revenge time.

Who will be the fantasy studs this year?

Who will be the duds?

Who will be the surprises?

Is Reggie Bush worth a 1st round pick?

Let's hear from you fine folks. And please don't bring me sage advice like "You're gonna want Shaun Alexander on your squad this year!". We're all better than that.

For my part, I expect Rudi Johnson to go from "Solid #2 Fantasy RB" to "Top 5 In The League RB" this year, so long as enough of his teammates avoid jail time...

Should I Be Happy Or Pissed?

I'm torn, really.

A week ago, the Phillies management basically gave up on the season by dealing a few of their best players prior to the trade deadline.

Luckily, the Phillies players had no desire to give up on the season.

Since the deal that sent Bobby Abreu to the Yankees, the Phils are 6-1, including a just-completed sweep on the road of the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals, and are now a mere 2 1/2 games out of the Wild Card lead.

Oh, and Chase Utley is making a run at Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak. He's now at 35 games and counting.

So should I be happy that the Phils are playing as well as they have all season, or should I be pissed that their management tossed two valuable weapons overboard while the team was only 6 games out of a playoff spot?

For now, I'll just be happy that the Phillies players are doing all the right things, even if the team's management has rarely returned the favor...

Senate Dems Stop Paris Hilton Tax Giveaway Dead In Its Tracks...

Bill Frist and the Republican majority in the Senate tried to hold Democrats hostage by tying a long-overdue increase in the federal minimum wage to a costly estate tax giveaway.

It didn't work...
Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked legislation tying the first minimum wage increase in almost a decade to a decrease in the federal estate tax, denying Republicans a legislative victory as lawmakers head into a crucial month of campaigning before the November elections.

Republican backers of the measure, dubbed the trifecta for its three chief elements, fell 4 votes short of the 60 needed to cut off debate. Democrats had argued that it was a bad bargain to exchange a $2.10 wage increase for struggling workers for a costly tax cut for the country’s wealthiest families.
Kudos to Republicans Lincoln Chafee and George Voinovich for doing the right thing...

Thursday, August 3, 2006
GOP Coward Tom DeLay Has To Stay On The Ballot...

His cutting-and-running from his seat in Congress due his indictment and bad poll numbers should go over really well the voters in his district.

Nick Lampson's job just got a little easier.
A federal appeals court panel on Thursday refused to let Texas Republicans replace Tom DeLay's name on the November congressional ballot.

The finding upheld a July ruling by a federal judge that the ballot must list DeLay, who won a March primary before resigning from Congress on June 9. He now lives in Virginia but is awaiting trial in Texas state court on money laundering and conspiracy charges alleging that illegal corporate cash helped pay for legislative campaigns in 2002.
There seems to be alot of Republican chickenshits running for Congress this year...

Why Is Personal Wealth Only Brought Up When A Democrat Is Running For Something?

This is something I've noticed over the last several years, especially during the 2004 Presidential election.

Democrats that have been successful in business and have amassed personal wealth (John Edwards, Jon Corzine, and now Ned Lamont) are constantly referred to as "millionaires" or "wealthy" in a way that makes it seem like that is a bad thing and/or their only distinguishing characteristic.

I can recall George W. Bush and Dick Cheney repeatedly referring to their 2004 opponents, John Kerry and John Edwards as "millionaires" in a very negative way, as if they aren't both swimming in rivers of cash themselves.

So tell me, why is personal wealth only brought up about Democratic candidates?

Further Proof That I Have An 8-Year-Old's Sense Of Humor...

Thank you Tony, for finding this.

Captain Obvious's Headline Of The Day...

Why even bother writing this???
Heavy People May Collapse More In Heat

Obese people face a higher risk of passing out — or worse — during heat waves, some health experts say.

Layers of fat make it extra difficult for a body to dissipate heat, or to move to a cool location. Add in diabetic dehydration and other conditions common in the obese, and it's a recipe for trouble.
I look forward to the AP's dissertation next week about people tend to get rained on more often if they're outdoors...

Wednesday, August 2, 2006
I Only Get To Pick Five???

Well, I've been tagged by my buddy Tony/PusBoy/Baizetown with a challenge to share Five Weird Things About Myself.

This is the first time I've played along with one of these internet chains, so bear with me here:

1. If I'm in a room, the door to that room must be completely open or completely closed. No in between. It sounds innocuous, but it's really annoying.

I can remember the license plate number from every car I've ever driven and ever car my grandmother drove when I was growing up. I'm also one of the few people I know that knows his driver's license number by heart.

I have an almost psychotic fear of having my hair messed up. Don't judge me.

4. I think Bad Company was better after Paul Rodgers split.

5. I don't find Halle Berry the least bit attractive. Sue me.

Now it's my turn. The next to be tagged:




Random John


The Flat Earth Society Takes A (s)Hit In Kansas...

It's good to see the voters of Kansas make such an "evolved" decision.
Conservative Republicans who approved classroom standards that called evolution into question lost control of the state Board of Education in Tuesday's primary election.

Five of the 10 seats on the board were up for election in the primary, the latest skirmish in a seesawing battle between faith and science that has opened Kansas up to international ridicule.

Last November, the Board of Education’s 6-to-4 conservative Republican majority rewrote testing standards for public schools to incorporate language supported by advocates of intelligent design, which holds that life is so complex it must have been created by some kind of higher power. The new standards say that some aspects of evolution are contradicted by scientific evidence.
I apologize if anyone was grossed out by my horrible use of a pun in the first line of this piece. In retrospect, it even gave me the twinge in my taint...

Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Throw Those Devil Horns For Me, My Babies!

Be sure to throw 'em suburban-style for Mr. Ronnie James Dio...

Wrong Al-Jazeerah, You Dummies...

The A-bomb tried to hit me with this piece that allegedly proved that the Arab al-Jazeera network was cheering Democrat Bob Casey in his efforts to unseat holy roller Republican Rick Santorum.

Knee-jerk conservatives all over the U.S. breathlessly forwarded this to their liberal friends as evidence that the Democratic Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda.

Even stupid Lil' Ricky couldn't resist bringing it up while talking to the Long Island Mole Man.

One problem: Wrong al-Jazeerah.
The Web site was not related to the Arabic TV network based in the Middle East - spelled al-Jazeera, no "h".

The goal of al-Jazeerah, according to its Web site, is to "promote cross-cultural understanding between people all over the world." It's based in Dalton, Ga., not Qatar.
Check your facts, righties!!!

UPDATE: Lil' Ricky is so worried about getting steamrolled by Bob Casey that he and his Republican supporters are financing a Green Party candidate to run in the November election.

That's a chickenshit, right there...


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