Saturday, December 31, 2005

More Choking

Whatever Michigan has, it must be contagious. Both Minnesota and Northwestern blew leads to lose their bowl games yesterday, dropping the Big Ten to 0-3 in bowl competition. Now, the big bowl games are coming up yet, but it's still disappointing to see the conference represented so poorly. The only consolation is that everyone is choking. Except LSU. They just kicked butt.

Board Games

Haag's back! Actually, I played Settlers of Catan with my bible study once. I was pretty impressed. The description didn't really grab me, but it was a lot of fun. I remember doing pretty well, might even have won. It does have a major drawback though: no cybernetic monkeys. Still, I would call it one of my favorite non-traditional board games (those being Monopoly, Risk, Chess, and Checkers), right up there with Heroscape and a favorite from my childhood, Heroquest (The makers of Heroquest are involved with Heroscape, in case you're wondering).

Speaking of Board Games...


Adam, if you like Heroscape, then you'll probably like Settlers of Catan. It also contains hexagonal pieces and is a 5:1 ratio to the amount of times it takes to play one game of Risk. Very sweet game that can be easily finished under an hour. If you're a real geek in the game, you can buy upgrades to the game as well.
(UPDATE from Stack: Tried to edit this so it didn't make the above postings disappear.)

You can't spell "Alamo" without the block "M"

Hey Michigan, way to steal defeat out of the jaws of victory.

By the way, you have no excuses.

Side note: I actually wanted to see that Tight End Ecker plow into the endzone, not so Michigan could win, but just to see what the idiot officials were going to decide. Don't worry, I do have closure from the game. Each team had illegal players on the field, penalties nullify, ball game over.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Scorching


The Pistons are on a roll, winning their ninth-straight game against the Miami Heat last night, 106-101. Four players were in double figures, three of them scored over 20. The Pistons have the league's best record at 24-3. Flip Saunders has them scoring as well as playing defense. They have a goal too, just listen to Ben Wallace: "We're chasing something bigger than Miami, or anybody else. We have an opportunity to do something special. We're not worried about sending messages." Something special is right. Not only do the Pistons have a very good chance to win their second championship in 3 years, they also could enter the record books as one of the best teams of all-time.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Highly Recommended: Heroscape


Every once in a while, you find a product so cool you just have to share it with others. Heroscape is one of those products. Amazon had recommended it to me a while ago, then Andy put it in his wish list. I decided to get it for him as a "welcome to the real world" gift after he got a job (Oh, Andy got a job. Hooray!) Amazon had a decent price, and they shipped it before Christmas. Andy played it with some friends, and then we played it while I was home. The verdict: sweet.

So what's the game about, you ask? Imagine a game of Risk where you put the board together however you want. It's made up of hexagonal tiles that you can put next ot each other, or stack up to create more terrain. Then imagine that instead of abstract army pieces, you get to choose from miniatures of just about any kind of character you can imagine. Dragon? Check. Giant robot? Of course. WW2 Soldiers? Yup. Samurai? Those too. Cybernetic gorillas? Sure, if you buy the expansion set. Every character has different attributes, so there's strategy to building your team. Outcomes are decided by rolling the dice. Our game took about an hour, as opposed to the whole night you have to commit to Risk. It takes a few turns to get the feel of the game, but once you do, it's a blast. Highly Recommended.

Choke!

Some schools develop reputations that stick with them. Michigan is one of those schools. Although it is both a top-tier school and football program, everyone knows one thing for sure about the Michigan Wolverines: they choke in bowl games. Last night in the Alamo Bowl was no different as Michigan blew a lead and let Nebraska win it in the 4th quarter. Though this time, there is a little bit of controversy surrounding some of the calls. But that's no excuse. I was actually cheering for the Wolverines, both for Big Ten pride and because I've hated Nebraska since MSU played them in the Alamo Bowl two years ago. They were cheap bastards and seriously injured Drew Stanton, which significantly altered the 2004 season, costing the Spartans at least 2 games, and aftershocks were felt even into this past season. So, yeah, not a fan of the Huskers. Thanks, Michigan, even when I get behind you, you don't help me out.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Monkey is Mine!

Victory! In a hard fought game I defeated Andy to capture the 2005 Cass City Monkie Fantasy Football Championship. The final standings are as follows:

1. Clobberin' Time
2. HorribleSpaceMonkies
3. KindaHypeThatlClrARm
4. Trade teams anyone?
5. 22 Pull Sweep on 1
6. DoggiesThruTheEndzon
7. The Sunday Suckas
8. Let's go

Thanks for playing everyone, I hope we all had fun.

FF Top Scorers '05

Here are the top scorers from the fantasy football league. This will be updated weekly. * denotes current record holder.

Week 1
Top Player: Marc Bulger, 47.00 pts
Top Team: Clobberin' Time, 174.40 pts

Week 2
Top Player: Donovan McNabb, 62.20 pts*
Top Team: 22 Pull Sweep on 1, 198.40

Week 3
Top Player: Drew Bledsoe, 52.80 pts
Top Team: Clobberin' Time, 213.40 pts

Week 4
Top Player: Brett Favre, 55.50 pts
Top Team: The Sunday Suckas, 197.60 pts

Week 5
Top Player: Tom Brady, 51.10 pts
Top Team: Clobberin' Time, 221.70 pts*

Week 6
Top Player: Mark Brunell, 47.30 pts
Top Team: Clobberin' Time, 205.50 pts

Week 7
Top Player: Daunte Culpepper, 44.10 pts
Top Team: Clobberin' Time, 166.20 pts

Week 8
Top Player: Jake Plummer, 57.10 pts
Top Team: DoggiesThruTheEndzon, 212.40 pts

Week 9
Top Player: Peyton Manning, 50.50 pts
Top Team: HorribleSpaceMonkies, 182.20 pts

Week 10
Top Player: Peyton Manning, 48.10 pts
Top Team: Trade teams anyone?, 192.30 pts

Week 11
Top Player: Drew Brees, 57.80 pts
Top Team: HorribleSpaceMonkies, 194.00 pts

Week 12
Top Player: Steve McNair, 50.30 pts
Top Team: HorribleSpaceMonkies, 194.70 pts

Week 13
Top Player: Ben Roethlisberger, 50.80 pts
Top Team: HorribleSpaceMonkies, 196.00 pts

Regular Season Top Player: Donovan McNabb, 62.20 pts
Regular Season Top Team: Clobberin' Time, 221.70 pts

Playoffs
Week 14

Top Player: Drew Bledsoe, 51.20 pts
Top Team: Clobberin' Time, 213.20 pts

Week 15
Top Player: Matt Hasselbeck, 46.60 pts
Top Team: HorribleSpaceMonkies, 183.70 pts

Week 16
Top Player: Kyle Boller, 45.00 pts
Top Team: Clobberin' Time, 167.90 pts

Season Scoring Leaders (Total)
QB: Carson Palmer, 555.30 pts
RB: Shaun Alexander, 353.50 pts
WR: Steve Smith, 270.50 pts
TE: Antonio Gates, 189.00 pts
K: Neil Rackers, 159.00 pts
DB: Terrence McGee, 227.50 pts
DL: Jonathan Vilma, 163.50 pts

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Lions Suck


Yes, I know this isn't exactly news. But I read this article today, and it got me fired up a little. Here are some quotes:

"It's almost a relief to go on the road and play football," guard Damien Woody said Monday. "At least on the road, you know why they hate you."

Yeah, Woody, it's REAL hard to figure out why the fans aren't behind the Lions. Quite a mystery, maybe someone should call Scotland Yard.

Cornerback Dre' Bly is disappointed that fans haven't stuck behind the team, and was stunned by how many Lions fans wore orange Sunday at Ford Field.

"When you're at home, you expect to see blue, black and silver," Bly said. "In rough times, we don't need people bailing out on us.

"When I went out for pregame and saw that orange and black, I was disgusted."

Bly later said he understood why fans are mad and disappointed.

"We haven't given them any reason to be happy," he said.

Now, I'm not sure how I feel about Detroit fans wearing orange, but I know I'm not immediately against the idea, and I certainly understand it. Dre' (nice hyphen, by the way) says they don't need fans "bailing" on them (hmm, like he bailed on his QB?), but at least he recognizes why, to some degree at least. The Lions are totally inept, and have been for years. They aren't getting better, and the years of frustration have finally reached critical mass. That's right: we're getting a thermonuclear fan explosion. And it's about time. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

Monday, December 19, 2005

1001


Apparently ESPN does automobile coverage. I know this now because I couldn't resist clicking a link to see more of that car: the 1001-horsepower Bugatti Veyron 16.4. And I even like the color. Cars like that are going to make me REALLY miss my annual MLK Day Celebration/Auto Show visit.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Beast of the East


Russian Nikolai Valuev, nicknamed the "Beast of the East", won the World Boxing Association heavyweight title tonight. He won by majority decision over American John Ruiz. Now, I don't really care about boxing, as you probably know, so why am I mentioning this? Because this guy's giant. No, seriously: 7 feet tall, 324 lbs. He's huge. Ivan Drago from Rocky IV is a midget compared to this guy (Dolph Lundgren is 6'4". He also has a master's degree in chemical engineering. Who knew?). This guy might be just the thing to get people back into boxing. Or, it would be, if boxing wasn't a joke. But still, who can resist watching a huge guy beat on people?

Merry Christmas

I'm in a festive mood, so I thought I'd share some of the holiday-themed pictures I use for wallpaper. Here they are:




Yes, I suppose there's a bit of a theme. Merry Christmas.

Christmas Wookiee

In the tradition of bringing you Yoda on Drums and Yoda break dancing, I present Chewbacca singing "Silent Night". Remember, he'll rip your arms out of your sockets if you don't listen. Swiped from here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Keeping Score

You know how it's hard to remember how everyone places every year in our different fantasy leagues? Well, Yahoo! has the answer: Yahoo! Sports Profiles. For example, I could remember placing 1st in the fantasy baseball league in 2004, but who remembers that I placed second in our fantasy basketball league in 2000? More ammo for smack, it's great.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Protests, fur, and firing Millen

How unpopular is Matt Millen right now? A quote from Charles Robinson's column on Yahoo! sports:

There are going to be plenty of people across the league watching to see what happens in Detroit this weekend. Not only has the fan revolt against the Detroit Lions and president Matt Millen been embarrassing to the franchise, but many league insiders have been shocked by how ugly the situation has gotten.

A Detroit radio station ran a promotion to erect a pair of billboards in the city this weekend, each reading "NOT THIS MILLENIUM. … Rebuilding since '57". Fans have also organized a march and an "Orange Out" on Sunday, when the Lions play the Bengals in their home finale. And lest we forget, "Fire Millen!" chants have broken out everywhere, including Michigan and Michigan State basketball games, and a Detroit Red Wings game – in Washington, D.C.

Millen seems like a nice guy, but I don't think he survives this. When was the last time you saw Detroit fans this angry?

Ben Wallace's goggles were not cool. But Shaq's fur coat was (Sorry, couldn't find a pic). If I was Shaq, and heard complaints from PETA, here's what I would do: I'd invite them to a big press conference where I said I'd make a big donation to show how sorry I was for buying fur. Everyone would show up, and so would TV cameras. Then I'd hand out fur coats to all the PETA people. That would be a great television moment.

Dropping Daunte

Well, the fallout from the Vikings' "love boat" scandal finally hit today as four players were charged for lewd, indecent, and disorderly conduct, including QB Daunte Culpepper. Even though Culpepper had one of the best years statistically ever managed by a QB last year, as the resident expert on Minnesota I can tell you he is not popular here. Not as unpopular as Joey Harrington was at the beginning of the season, but not actually much better either. Now that he's been charged Daunte's detractors will have plenty of ammo to go after him with, especially since the team is undefeated in his absence. I think we've seen the last of Culpepper in purple.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Under Center

As I'm watching MNF, eating some coconut cream pie (I'm becoming a big fan of Mrs. Smith's), my thoughts turn to the Lions. It seems obvious that the Lions can't sit tight with their QB situation for next year. Harrington has to leave, any chances he had remaining of being successful in Detroit were pretty much wiped out by Dre' Bly's comments the other week. Jeff Garcia looks like his best days are behind him; I can't imagine a new coaching staff coming in and staking their future on him. Orlovsky might have a shot someday, but he won't be a starter next year. The Lions could draft a QB, but does anyone want to go through that again, even if they do manage to draft Leinart? I think the best way to go is to find someone who's already playing in the league. A possibility I thought of after watching PTI: David Garrard. Yes, he just signed a multi-year deal with the Jags to back-up Leftwich, but surely he'd like a shot at a starting job. He has starter talent, and he's done well whenever he's had the opportunity to play. Of course the new staff would have to convince him that the Lions will be better (not an easy task) and manage to pry him away from the Jags. Still, I know I'd feel better about him than a rookie.

Making Moves

The Tigers made their first big move of the off-season today, signing Kenny Rogers to a 2-year, $16 million deal. Rogers was 14-8 with a 3.46 ERA this past year, but of course his season will be remembered for his encounter with two TV cameramen. Anger issues aside, this seems to be a sign that the Tigers are moving in the right direction. The Tigers have also signed Todd Jones to improve their bullpen. Yes, that Todd Jones, played with Detroit from '97 to '01. Said Dombrowski of the moves: "We've become appreciably better going into next season."

Saturday, December 10, 2005

And the winner is...

Reggie Bush. Bush walked away with the Heisman tonight, his 784 first-place votes the second most in the history of the award. He finished 933 points ahead of Vince Young. This means that Bush and Leinart will become the first-ever Heisman teammates to play in a college game together when they play Texas for their 3rd-straight national championship. The competition for this award was close much of the season, but in the past couple of weeks Bush had pulled away from his competitors, so much so that I think everyone outside of Austin knew he was going to win, no matter what Mack Brown might say. This leaves only one real big question in college football: Can USC vs. Texas live up to the hype?

Friday, December 09, 2005

"I'm a bobblehead."

So says Charles Rogers. More like a knucklehead. I used to be a big fan of Chuck's. His play at MSU was amazing, despite being wasted during the years of "The One We Will Not Name." Now, he sounds like a cocky, arrogant, ass (Yes, this is my new favorite word for name-calling, well, maybe after crapweasel). Just read the way he respods to questions in that article. Pretty big talk for a guy who's played in 12 games in 3 years, and managed to get suspended under the NFL's substance abuse policy. I mean, Joe Jurevicius has had a better season then Chuck. I thought maybe all this hardship would motivate him to work harder and become the great player he can be. Instead, it's revealed character, or lack thereof.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"I'm just lucky America exists."

So says Sergei Fedorov, former Detroit Red Wing, in this news story today. You surely know about Fedorov's hockey prowess, or even his dating Anna Kournikova, but you may not know that the Wings actually had to smuggle Fedorov into the country, since the USSR wasn't big on letting hockey players go. I hadn't realized this, it's a pretty amazing story. Check it out.

Monday, December 05, 2005

More Stupidity

Last week I said that lawmakers need to keep their noses out of sports. I'm going to reiterate that point after Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, decided to call the BCS "deeply flawed" and called for a hearing that would be a comprehensive review. Now, I know that a lot of people loathe the BCS and would love a playoff, though I'm not one of them. But you can't force college football to legislate a playoff. Any system, up to and including a playoff, that could be envisioned would certainly be "flawed". This is just more stupidity out of Congress. Republicans like Joe Barton are the reason I don't donate my money to the GOP. Once again, shut up.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Happy Holidays Merry Christmas!

Here's a great article by Jonah Goldberg of NRO about the fight over Christmas in America. It includes what will surely be my favorite quote of the week: "Eat yuletide, you atheistic bastard!"

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Shut Up

Arlen Specter is an ass. Not only is he a sorry excuse for a "Republican", but he doesn't know when to mind his own business, as he proved today when he suggested that the Eagles treatment of T.O. might be an antitrust violation. First off, from a legal standpoint, that's absurd. The story even quotes an MSU law professor as saying so, which is good enough for me. Second, unless they're making bets on the performance of their home teams, like state governors often do for bowl games, I don't want to hear politicians bringing sports up while they're at work. The baseball steriod hearings proved how silly that is. So, in short, shut up Arlen.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Turn The Page

I had a rough day at work today. Long hours, plenty of stress. But, I'll still have a job tomorrow. Steve Mariucci won't. Millen said something to the effect of: "We want this team to have a chance to show what kind of team it really is." Umm, pretty sure they did that on Thursday. Of course, many people are asking why Millen still has a job. As bad as Millen's tenure has been (the Lions are the worst in the league over that stretch), I do think keeping him on is defensible. What are his huge mistakes? I heard lots of analysts saying it was a reasonable decision to draft Mike Williams this year, and they were falling all over themselves praising the 2004 draft. Harrington seemed like a good pick at the time, and it's not like David Caar has become a lights-out starter either. Still, any owner other than the Fords would fire him as well.

So who will replace Mooch? John Clayton discusses a list of possible candidates here. The consensus seems to be that the Lions need a disciplinarian head coach. Given how lackadaisical and unfocused they've played, that seems obvious. But that list? Yawn. Right now, does anyone think it will really make a difference? Let's say the Lions take Matt Leinart with the 1st pick in the 2006 draft. Would you celebrate Detroit's salvation, or pray for Leinart's soul? Yeah, that's what I thought. Might be a little cynical, but look at the football teams I've cheered for this year: the Lions and MSU. Talk about poster boys for underachieving and being unfocused. Anyway, good luck to Dick Jauron for the last five games.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. But I'm pretty sure your day wasn't as good as Ron Dayne's. Dayne had 98 yds rushing and a TD in the Broncos' OT win over the Cowboys, including a 55 yd run in OT that set up the game-winning field goal. Dayne, who won the Heisman trophy, has been widely considered a bust. Of course ending up in the Broncos' backfield can do wonders for washed-up RBs.

The Lions didn't have a good day, especially coach Steve Mariucci. After a game that players called "ugly" there are reports that he may be fired. Given how directionless the Lions looked on the field Thursday, who could blame the team for firing the coach? I was a Mooch fan, but I can't say much in his defense now. I will, however, observe that firing a coach during the season in the NFL has not historically helped a team.

UPDATE: Sportscenter's Scott Van Pelt on Joey Harrington's last series in the game, after his right tackle got hurt and taken out of the game: "It looks like you threw a squirrel out on the highway."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Davey O'Brien Award

The finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award were announced today: Matt Leinart, Vince Young, and Brady Quinn. Leinart would have to be considered the front-runner. I know, he's no Jason White, who won the last 2 years, but he's still likely to add this trophy to his case.

In other news, Mack Brown said this of Vince Young today: "I think he'll be in the NCAA Hall of Fame before he gets through, and I think he'll be in NFL Hall of Fame as well." I'll tell you one thing right now: Vince Young will not be an NFL Hall of Famer. He won't be the next McNabb, Vick, or Culpepper. It's far more likely he'll be the next Akili Smith. That's right, I said it.

Was this a good fantasy day?

One of the guys in my other football leagues had these players in his line up Sunday:

C. Palmer
C. Johnson
A. Boldin
L. Johnson
D. Clark
M. Anderson

Those 6 guys would have got him 168 points in our league. If you count the rest of his offense plus the kicker, he would have had 194 in our league. And that is JUST offense and kicker. We only use a team defense in that league. Just imagine how many point he could have racked up...

Needless to say, he's alone in first place and actually drafted most of those players, if not all of them. Not a bad draft day either I guess.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Pro Bowl

Think you know who the best players in the NFL are? Then go fill out your Pro Bowl ballot. If you're a real fan, you'll vote for linemen too and not just the pretty boys.

AmBushed

The #1 Men of Troy managed to hold off Fresno State last night, 50-42. Reggie Bush rushed for 294 yds, 2 TDs, and set an Pac 10 record with 513 all-purpose yards. The previous record of 368 was set by Anthony Davis of USC against Notre Dame in 1972. Bush is currently the #2 IA active career leader in all-purpose yards with 5,999; he trails only Deangelo Williams of Memphis who has 7,210. In case you were wondering, the NCAA record holder for all-purpose yards in a game is Emmett White of Utah State who had 578. Records aside, did Bush just win the Heisman?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Top 20 Christian Rock Songs

The other day I decided to burn a CD of my favorite Christian rock/alternative/metal songs. The criteria: "If I could only listen to one CD of Christian rock for the rest of my life, what songs would I put on it?" It was a tough question when you have as much music as I do, but I managed to cut the list to 20. 78:25 minutes of music. I'll list them in order, though the order is pretty fuzzy in my mind until the top 5 or so. I'll link each one to the CD's page on Amazon so you can check it out if you're unfamiliar. Here it is, starting with #20:

20. Honor And Integrity, Staple.
The newest song on this list. I had to include a song from Staple since Darin Keim, who went to Lakers and most of you should remember from high school, is the lead singer. Great music, better lyrics. Example: "I've tried to show the world how great a man can be, but this great man I've charaded is the farthest thing from me."

19. Chase The Sun, The O.C. Supertones.
Not a typical Supertones song because it's not really ska until at halfway through. Really catchy. Typical great Supertones lyrics.

18. Pitiful, Blindside.
I had heard Blindside before their 2002 album "Silence", but they hadn't really clicked with me. Since "Silence", they've been my favorite band. This is a cutting song about our own sin nature.

17. Might Have Ben Hur, Switchfoot.
"This one goes out to Charlton Heston." This one almost deserves to be here for the title alone. Switchfoot is a good band, but their first CD, "Legend of Chin", was amazing. The title, once you get past the pun, explains this song perfectly.

16. Flood, Jars of Clay.
One of the best-known and most notable Christian rock songs. Few songs from Christian bands make a mainstream impact, but everyone heard this song. Nothing complicated here, just some drums and acoustic guitar, but it's very effective and memorable.

15. Sleepwalking, Blindside.
Another great Blindside song, my favorite off of "Silence".

14. Dandelions, Five Iron Frenzy.
FIF is known for being pretty silly, a good example being the "These Are Not My Pants" rock opera on this CD. Not his song, which is a great metaphor about how God loves us even though we have nothing to give. "You see flowers in these weeds."

13. Breakfast, Newsboys.
"Take Me To Your Leader" is the best Newsboys album. This song is a perfect representative of that album. The tune is catchy, the lyrics are very creative: "When the toast is burned and all the milk has turned and Captain Crunch is waving farewell, when the big one finds you may this song remind you that they don't serve breakfast in Hell."

12. Life And Love And Why, Switchfoot.
Another great song off of "Legend of Chin". "Could it be true, can life new, can I be used, can I be used?"

11. Where Zero Meets 15, Five Iron Frenzy.
The first song off the first ska CD I ever bought. In my opinion "Upbeats and Beatdowns" was FIF's best effort; it had a great punk/ska sound and a great mix of humor and seriousness, which this song shows off well.

10. Return Of The Revolution, The O.C. Supertones.
The Supertones have done a couple songs that I think of as "fight" songs where they talk about spiritual warfare, encourage us to learn about our faith, and call us to the frontlines. This is the best one, especially live. "So what about you? Will you join us?"

9. Staring At A Bird, The Waiting.
This song paints a very clear mental image for me. It's kind of hard for me to explain, you'll just have to check it out.

8. Where The Sun Never Dies, Blindside.
I've already said how great Blindside is, so I'll skip that part. A song about Heaven. Even if you don't like harder music, you could probably still enjoy this one.

7. Shine, Newsboys.
One of the most notable songs in modern Christian music. From a time when the big 3 (DC Talk, Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline) had just started changing the Christian music scene. Again, very catchy riffs and amzsingly creative lyrics. Go with the original album version, not any of the remixes or re-recordings.

6. Chem 6A, Switchfoot.
Switchfoot again. A very catchy song with a great guitar riff. Less content than most of the other songs on this list, but more likely to stick in your head.

5. Lay It Down, The Benjamin Gate. This song starts with my favorite guitar riff ever. No one else sounds like the Benjamin Gate. Distorted guitars, a bit of electronica, and Adrienne Liesching's amazing voice (She sounds better just speaking with that South African accent, wow). One of the few songs that I almost always have to play twice.

4. Unite, The O.C. Supertones.
One of the best known and most popular Supertones songs. Features the first appearance of guitar riff that shows up many times in Supertones music. Another "fight" song, calling for unity: "The problem's not Hollywood, the problem's not Washington, the problem's a weak, divided church of schismed Christians." As good as the original was, the live version is that much better.

3. Lost The Plot, Newsboys.
"Once we could hear You, now our senses are shot. We've forgotten our first love, we have lost the plot." Not a typical Newsboys song, the lyrics don't show the sense of humor that you see in most of this album. It's a down song, very powerful and affecting. Possibly their best song.

2. Some Kind Of Zombie, Audio Adrenaline.
"Some Kind of Zombie" didn't sell as well as many of Audio A's other albums; I've heard it said that putting a happy cover on it and calling it "Chevette" might have made a difference, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a great CD. The song is catchy with a different sound then the other songs on the album. Another one I can't explain well, so check it out.

1. Jesus Freak, DC Talk.
I remember what I thought the first time I heard that this song was sung by DC Talk: "That's DC Talk!?!" This is not the DC Talk from "Free At Last". This is the best song off the single most important Christian rock album ever. It's to Christian music as Teen Spirit from "Nevermind" is to mainstream rock n' roll. A must own CD.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Let's play "Name That Stadium"

I hope to have more pictures added soon.

The Buck Hangs Here


You really can't tell, but it's a 5-point. Uncle Ted Nuggent would be proud.

RE: Old School Fantasy


If fantasy football was as popular when Barry was in his prime as it is now, I think he would have been one of the most debated RBs in the league. Kind of the way there was a debate about whether you should take Manning this year with the first pick, or if Priest Holmes was starting to lose it, or if Jamal Lewis was going to be back after prison and surgery. Except bigger. His electrifying play would attract lots of people, as would the crazy TD runs. However, if you look at his stats, Barry only scored more than 15 rushing TDs once in his career. That's in 153 games. In 89, Shaun Alexander has scored more than 15 rushing TDs 3 times. L.T. has done it once in 72 games. Priest Holmes did it twice 102 in his back to back 21 and 27 rushing TD seasons which were some of the best in fantasy history. There's also consistency to consider, and I doubt Sanders would have had it, because of the team around him, the way Alexander has this year or L.T. did last year. Emmit Smith probably would have been the #1 fantasy back at the time. It would be interesting to break down the stats by season and see. My guess at when he would have been taken: late 1st round. Greatest back to play the game, but only a solid fantasy play.

Steelers Starter

Tommy Maddox will start Sunday for the Steelers against the Ravens. This is the obvious choice for the Steelers, even though Maddox's last outing was horrendous. Four turnover horrendous. I would have liked to see the Steeler go with a little more imagination and flair and have Antwaan Randle El start at QB, as Michael Wilbon has been saying on PTI all week. Why not? Maybe only give him half the snaps, it would sure keep the Ravens guessing. You should remember that Randle El was the starting QB in his time at Indiana; I have a very vivid memory of him runnning and passing all over MSU at Spartan Stadium while to obnoxious IU guys sat behind me. There was almost a fight. Anyway, the Steelers had "Slash", so why not try this out? It would be fun. Hines Ward played QB in college, so there would be even more possibilities. Oh well, just have to try it in Madden myself.

Michigan geography refresher course???

Last night I was watching the local sports channels to find out how the district action is going in girls basketball so I can fill out my brackets. As I excitedly read the bottom ticker sponsored by Kessel's, I noticed a preculiar score: Sandusky 60, Dexter 33. I really can't remember if that is correct score, but that is neither here nor there. I know it can be hard to pronounce some school names or there can be a bad cell phone connection and the TV station thought you said one thing but you actually said something different, but come on. How does a person working at a TV station confuse DEXTER with DECKERVILLE. But that still isn't the point here. I know not everyone may have heard of Dexter before, but I do because I've lived a little in the Ann Arbor area to know Dexter, not only a class A school (Class C schools would never play a Class A school), is located 15 miles west of Ann Arbor off of I-94. So, I can see this happening once in awhile because not everyone knows every city in Michigan, nor does the person answering the phone at a local TV station getting paid minimum wage probably care about girls basketball and all that jazz. It must be said, however, that 30 seconds after reading the wrong team on the bottom ticker, it was changed to Deckerville.

But I still haven't given you the real kicker in the story...the bottom ticker not only said Dexter on TV 25, but TV 12 also had the same mistake! How does it happen to two TV stations? How are the scores reported so badly by the same person that both stations had it as Dexter? How can two TV station phone operators not wonder for 3 seconds what the person on the other line said..."Dexter vs Sandusky?...boy, that sure doesn't sound right, but I'll take their word for it. Man, I don't know if I should ask the person for sure on that score, because in the mid-Michigan area, I've heard of Reese, Lakers, Midland, Bay City, Caro, but Dexter? When did they join the mid-Michigan playing area? Well, it must be Dexter." From now on, I'm going to call in the Owen-Gage basketball scores and say, "Owen-Gage 54, Kalamazoo 32." I want to know what they will think first. Will they think it's improbable that O-G will play against a team so far away, or will they think it's improbable that a class D school could beat a class A school. What will they wonder first?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sunday Reflections

Some random thought on Sunday's NFL action:

- I doubt it signals a turnaround, but how great was it to see Harrington throw and Roy Williams catch 3 TDs? Now if only we could get Chuck in the endzone and off drugs, I might actually feel bad about missing so much Lions' action.

- 40-mph sustained winds at Chicago on Sunday. How cool is that? The long-snapper couldn't even get the ball to the punter in those winds. Field goals were ending up out of play, except, of course, for the one Nathan Vasher caught and took 108 yds for a record-breaking score. Why a 52-yd field goal was being attempted when the wind is gusting to 47-mph I can't even begin to explain.

- The craptacular NFC North posted 4 wins in 4 games on Sunday. Go figure.

- Did I just hear someone mention Jake Plummer for MVP?

- Shaun Alexander now has 17 TDs. He has 79 TDs in his 89-game career. Not bad.

- The Seahawks look good, but I'm not yet convinced they're better than the Panthers. Definitely not better than the Colts.

- As good as the Colts are, don't expect to see 16-0.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Old School Fantasy

If fantasy football was as popular when Barry Sanders played as it is now, how quickly would Barry be taken in the draft? #1? Top 5? Late first round? He was a guarantee to pick up 1500 yards rushing per season, but when it came to situations near the goal line, he didn't pick up those touchdowns, nor was he known to have great hands for receiving. If he was in our fantasy league, I think he'd probably be #7

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I'm Sorry

So says T.O. in a statement read today. I don't think it makes a difference, but I'll give him some credit. I don't remember Keyshawn issuing an apology when he was Keyshawned (I like that phrase). Has he actually learned something? Probably not, but at least he's saying the right things.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Lions Suck

So do the Spartans. There's not really much else to say.

Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude: to take pleasure from someone else's misfortune. I'm really feeling it now that T.O. went and got himself Keyshawned. Yes, according to Sportscenter, Keyshawn is now a verb. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy. The Eagles should have done this much sooner, like the preseason, but a least they've gotten around to making the tough decision. Owens will play again, but maybe, just maybe teams will be more aware next time. Unfortunately, this means we're sure to be exposed to Drew Rosenhaus in the coming weeks. Get out your Hazmat suits.

Why You Should Keep A Gun

Have you heard this story yet? A deer breaks into a house and the man kills the deer by breaking its neck with his bare hands. Granted, that's pretty cool, but it did take 40 minutes. A firearm would be much quicker. Or maybe a sword, though that's still messy. If you're into bludgeoning, you could go with a baseball bat. Or maybe just lock the deer in the room?

The Colts suck...in TSB

That's right, the C.O.L.T.S. (Count On Losing This Sunday) are terrible in TSB. I know, a real newsflash. I did however manage to win the Super Bowl. My final record was 14-2. I lost in week 2 to Miami and then week 16 to Buffalo, 0-34. I would have to say that was probably the worst loss ever in my career. Just to give you an example of how slow the defense is, there were a few occasions the opponent would score on the FIRST play of the game, usually a run. In fact, I gave up numerous TD runs of 80+ yards. But this is the biggest kick to the nuts: No matter what team I play with, by the end of the season, I've managed to return a kickoff for a TD. Especially if I have a team with a weak defense that will give up lots of scores allowing me more opportunities at a kickoff return. I was close, but got tackled at the 1-yd line. But that isn't the blow to the ego. It's the fact my players are so slow, I not only gave up 1 kickoff return for a TD, but 2!!! Mel Gray for the Lions and some Martin player for the freakin' New Endland-ugly uniformed-Patriots. If memory serves correct, I may have only given up one other kickoff return for a TD in my career. Now I gave up 2 in one season. Am I getting rusty?

Other fun facts on the never-ending-Colts-season:

Total Defense: 1st
Pass Defense: 1st
Rush Defense: Last

I also had a game where time was running out in the 2nd quarter and the opponent set up for a FG. I blocked the FG and the opponent recovered the ball. Since that was only 3rd down, the computer tried to set up for another FG but the clock expired as it scrolled to the "Field Goal" option.

In other non-Tecmo news, I played my dad in Chess last night and put him in Check after my second move. I don't play chess all that often, but I thinks that kinda fast.

Fantasy Football news:

In my other league (12 team league), the first place team (6-1) lost to the last place team (0-7). In that same week, my team was projected to get 56 points. My opponent was projected 92. A nice, projected, butt kicking. It turns out, I scored 84 and he scored 62. How do you like them apples?

Is it a good thing when your fantasy team only has 1 player still on the roster out of your first 10 picks?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

More Yoda

Had your fill of Yoda on drums? How about Yoda dancing instead? Not as musically enjoyable as the last post, but there's much more of the little green dude.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

RE: Fantasy Predictions

If I put on my commissioner hat and act as an impartial observer, I would have to say that Clobberin' Time, HorribleSpaceMonkies, and DoggiesThruTheEndzon are likely to be the last teams standing. I suspect one of the other teams in the league will make a late season/playoff run, probably The Sunday Suckas. The playoffs are tricky, you can rule a league all season, but one (or two) bad weeks can end it all. See the fantasy baseball league for a good example. This means I don't think I have any better than a 50/50 chance to win it all, despite already clinching a playoff berth. Anyway, the 4 teams I mentioned seem to me to have the best rosters; it's all a question of which guys have big games which weeks.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Fantasy Predictions

Let's just say it right now, it will be DoggiesThruTheEndzone in the championship game v Clobberin' Time. Adam, do you concur?

Power Rangers and Risk?

This morning I was doing my usual daily ritual of catching a little Power Rangers action while eating my cereal (Wait, did I actually just say I watched Power Rangers? What I meant was, my friend who watches the show told me...). Anyway, for the split-second I was channel surfing, more like the nanosecond it took for me to scroll through the channels from ESPN (ch. 24) to Kelly Kapowski, I mean Saved By The Bell (ch. 17), I happened to go past the Family channel on ch. 18. During the action/fighting sequence I was watching, I could hear the theme music to the computer game Risk being used as background fighting music to the show.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Yoda On Drums


Have you ever wanted to see Yoda play drums? Or Obi-Wan on the bass? Well, if your answer is yes, check out MTV2's Video Mods (Yes, I hate pointing you towards MTV anything, but this is too cool). If you want to read more about video mods, check out this Wired News article. You can also read about the two different Star Wars mods on the official Star Wars website here and here. All of it's pretty cool, though the MTV site doesn't work very well. If you just want to mess around with a flash Yoda on drums, check this out.

Mid-Season Awards

Since our fantasy football regular season is 13 weeks long week 7 marks the middle of the season. Time to hand out some awards. These are different than Pro Bowl picks, this is based completely on fantasy performance.

Top QB
Carson Palmer, 254.20 pts
Pretty good for a guy that wasn't even drafted in our league. That's right, we all had a shot to pick him up. Palmer has continued the progression he started at the end of last season and is quickly becoming a top QB. Expect more from him in the future.

Surprises: Drew Bledsoe and Mark Brunell are 2 guys that seemed washed up at the end of last season. Who would have expected them to be top10 fantasy QBs at this point in the season? Daunte Culpepper has been awful this season after putting up one of the best fantasy seasons ever last year.

Top RB
LaDainian Tomlinson, 168.80 pts
He's thrown for 2 TDs, caught another, and rushed for 10. He's the top back in the game, real or fantasy.

Surprises: Thomas Jones has been a valuable fantasy back. Kevin Jones hasn't.

Top WR
Steve Smith, 119.80 pts
Smith's re-emergence might be a surprise to some of you, though I thought it was going to happen. He was the top WR in Carolina before he got hurt and Muhammad took his spot, having a fantastic season. Why couldn't the original do the same?

Surprises: Randy Moss has not been a fantasy force. The Lions' WRs have been very mediocre.

Top TE
Antonio Gates, 68.60 pts
Gates may not be producing at quite the rate he was last year, but the Chargers aren't sneaking up on people anymore.

Surprises: Fantasy-wise, Tony Gonzales is barely better than Ernie Conwell.

Top K
Kickers don't matter. Moving on.

Top DB
Terrence McGee, 111.20 pts
You might expect Rossum here, but injuries have slowed him down. McGee claims the top spot by a significant margin.

Top DL
Zach Thomas, 84.00 pts

Vagabond
L.J. Smith, PHI TE. He's on his third fantasy team this season.

Best Move
DoggiesThruTheEndzon picking up Carson Palmer on Sept. 18th. Top QB and he didn't even cost a draft pick.

Worst Move
KindaHypeThatlClrARm dropping Antonio Gates on Sept. 23rd. He sat out the first week for a suspension and then went right back to being the Top TE. Oops.

Most Surprising Team
Trade teams anyone?, 1-6. Kevin looked to have a strong team coming into the season, but it just hasn't come together. He's scored a league-low 845.80 pts.

NES Top 10

In no particular order:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Duck Hunt
  • Tecmo Super Bowl
  • Metroid
  • Mega Man 2
  • Final Fantasy
  • Battletoads
  • Legend of Zelda
  • Contra
  • Mario 3

With the exception of Mario, I only listed what I considered to be the iconic game of the series. I just couldn't leave off the killer app that moved NES consoles so many years ago, even though 3 was a superior game.

Friday, October 28, 2005

That's it, that's the list!


Here's my NES top 10 list:

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II
9. Battletoads
8. Final Fantasy
7. Super Mario Bros. 2
6. Super Dodge Ball
5. Super C
4. Mega Man 2
3. Tecmo Super Bowl
2. Super Mario Bros. 3
1. Contra

Honorable Mention:
RBI Baseball, Duck Hunt, Kung Fu, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Double Dribble.

For more opinions check out 1UP.com's Top 15 NES games and Hidden Gems.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Eyes!

Hard on the eyes: Va. Tech's home uniforms. Are these the worst football uniforms ever? That's saying a lot, just look at the Bengals, but I don't think these work at all. One orange shoulder? A crime against all respectable football uniforms.

Easy on the eyes: Erin Andrews. Is there a more attractive sideline reporter working right now? I'm just sayin'. Plus, she does both football and baseball. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Haag's Top 10 NES Games

1. Tecmo Super Bowl
2. Contra
3. Super Mario Brothers
4. Super Mario Brothers 3
5. R.B.I. Baseball (I don't know which one, just whichever was at Adam's cottage.)
6. Super Contra
7. Tecmo Bowl
8. Little League Baseball
9. Sky Shark
10. I don't know, as you can tell. I don't own many games and once I found Tecmo Super Bowl, no need to play any other games nor buy any.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Lions Talk & Blogging

Check out this blog post from blogger "Uncle Miltie". It was on Scout.com and pretty well sums up a lot of my feelings about Sunday's Lions game. It should be noted I didn't actually see any of the game.

In other news, Haag's gone blogging crazy. Awesome. To add to the TSB stories, I'll note that the last time I played I became so frustrated that I threw the controller (careful, it's an antique!) on the floor so hard it caused the Nintendo to freeze. Yikes. Also, I'm not sure TSB is better than Contra. One of the top 5 games on the NES certainly, but better than Mad Dog and Scorpion? That's it, poll time: top 10 NES games. Discuss.

Score one for the good guys

Yes, I realize I'm going blog-posting-nuts with a gazillion blogs posted in a 1 hour time span, but I might as well while things are rolling. I'm even incorporating links and pics! But, back to the title of the post. Last Wednesday I was traveling to...a friends house around the Marlette area and a cat just so happened to run in front of my 60 mph, 22 inch rims, 14-inch treads with my dash oaked out, my twin 20's in the trunk, rollin' down the street goin' thump, thump, thump. Hey, I didn't swirve or speed up to hit the kitty cat, I just didn't swirve to miss or slow down either. Oops. Remember, have your cats squashed or vaporized. Chalk one up for the good guys.

This goes out to the Tecmo clones

I hope all the fans of Tecmo Super Bowl can appreciate this...

A few weeks ago I decided to get back into playing the best Nintendo game ever made, even better than the Contras. This is the original Nintendo gaming system. Well, last week I had one of those rare games...a close game with the computer. Side note, a few days before I played this game, I challenged a 9-year old to a game of Tecmo. I let him pick my team. He was the Giants, I was the 2nd player with the Jets. Short story, it was a bunch of crap and I lost 10-7. So, I had to play a rematch. Same teams, this time I won, 17-14. Yahoo! I beat a 9-year old!!!

September 19, 2005:
NFC Championship Game
Phoenix Cardinals v San Fransisco 49ers

We'll pick things up at halftime with the score 3-21 in favor of the bad guys. Side note, I threw an INT to Ronnie Lott (on a blitzed play) who returned it 50 yards to the house for a TD. I don't think that has ever happened to me in my illustrious Tecmo career. Bunch of crap.

3rd QT: I received the kickoff to start the second half. After driving downfield, I fumbled on the 49er 40-yd line. I forced the 49ers to punt and drove to score a quick TD. 10-21 with 1:00 remaining in 3rd quarter. After stopping the 49ers on 3 straight plays, I forced a punt just 3 seconds before the quarter ended and returned the punt to the 49er 45-yd line.

4th QT: 10-21. With good field position and plenty of game time, I unfortunately threw an INT. San Fran used the turnover for a quick TD. 10-28 with 3:55 remaining in the 4th quarter. After receiving the kickoff, I scored a quick TD on an 80-yd bomb to Ernie Jones. (I don't know who he is either.) 17-28 with 2:50 left in 4th. Forced with a decision to kick deep into the endzone and play defense for another punt or kick an onside kick and hope to recover, I chose to kick on-side and recoved the ball. I immediately scored on the next play to Ricky Proehl for a 45-yd TD pass. 24-28 with 2:12 to go. Looking like a goner, trailing 10-28, now I have new life. After a deep kickoff into the enzone to play defense, I gave up a long TD run by Roger Craig. 24-35 with 0:55 in the game remaining. Looks like I'm a goner. After a deep 49er kickoff on the 10-yd line, I threw a 90-yd TD bomb to whoelse?...Ernie Jones as the final 25 seconds expired. I lost.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Cardinals 3 0 7 21 31
49ers 7 14 0 14 35

So what did I do? Well, like any sore loser...I reset the game and kicked their butt the next time.

Update: I'm now playing a season with the Colts and I lost my second game. Dang you Jeff George. But I'm 4-1.

So Billy, what did you do this summer?

I played with fire.

In case you forgot


This is what New York used to look like.

The Day We've All Been Waiting For

For those that missed it, tonight was the WNBA lottery draw. If any of you oddsmakers were in Vegas for the weekend to get in on the action to see who would get the highly coveted #1 pick in the 2006 WNBA draft, the Minnesota Lynx won the fifth annual WNBA Draft Lottery. Click here for a complete recap of the Lottery. Make sure you are a subscriber to "Insider" so you can get all the inside scoops of your favorite WNBA teams...Dang, I didn't realize my tongue was so pointy and might punch a hole through my cheek.

Room for one more?

Looking at your list of blogs on the left side of page, how could you leave out Dave Bossick's blog? I mean, where else would I go for my complete MHSAA football playoffs bracket to fill out?

By the way Dave, stop in and see me sometime.

Sincerely,

A dentist

Sunday, October 23, 2005

"This day keeps gettin' better 'n better."

The Lions won on the field today, but lost a chunk of their roster. Kevin Johnson sustained an Achilles injury that will end his season. They also lost Shaun "Big Baby" Rogers to an MCL injury and Dre Bly to a dislocated wrist. Both of them will surely miss significant time. Ouch.

.500

The Lions, with Jeff Garcia at QB, beat Cleveland 13-10 this afternoon. Is this the start of a turnaround? Well, Garcia had a solid game, didn't turn the ball over, rushed for a TD, and managed to find rookie WR Mike Williams. However, despite 3 Cleveland turnovers, the Lions only managed 1 TD. Not the most encouraging signs for the Lions. Not to mention the questions about what to do next at QB; at 35 Garcia isn't a long-term solution. Fun times ahead.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Re: Sparty Jones

Looks like it's dog food time. Somebody get my gun.

Sparty Jones

On College Gameday they just compared the competition for the Big Ten title to a horse race. An apt analogy after looking at the standings. Just one thought: if Sparty Jones doesn't pick up the pace today, he's dog food.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Quote of the Week

A little background, if you haven't heard, Athletic Director Nathan Haag is cleaning house in the coaching department at Owen-Gage. We have an opening in Baseball, Softball, Varsity Volleyball, JV Volleyball, and JV Boys Basketball. Well, there was an interested individual who called me on the celly yesterday seeking more info on the positions:

Caller (Male): Hi, I'm calling about the volleyball positions.

AD: Yup, we have two positions open.

Caller: Yes, I was wondering what you are looking for, as experience.

AD: Preferrably someone who has coached something before, especially volleyball.

Caller: Well, I don't have any experience in coaching anything, but I have driven the bus for the volleyball team and watched all their games.

AD: Well, I've been to a lot of Michigan football games, but I don't think I could replace Lloyd Carr.

Tune in to my next post about an Instant Classic Tecmo Super Bowl game between the Phoenix Cardinals (yes, Ricky Proehl is on that team) v the 49ers for the NFC Championship.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What to do about Joey?

Is there any hope left for Joey Harrington? It seems the coaching staff has given up him, though not officially yet. Garcia is getting closer to coming back, and it's hard to believe Mariucci won't bench Joey when Jeff's ready to go. How bad is Harrington right now? Look at the NFL qualified leader passer stats here. Look at QB rating. Don't see Joey's name? Scroll down. Keep going. That's it. Almost there. At the bottom? Bingo. League-worst at 55.6. Lower than Kyle Orton or J.P. Losman. If you go by all players, it's not much better. So, is there a chance of a Brees-esque turnaround? Or is Joey Harrington the next Charlie Batch? Maybe it's a good thing he's a concert-level pianist, because he may need the work.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hull Retires

Brett Hull announced his retirement yesterday, ending a 19-year career in which he scored 741 goals, third best all-time. Only Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801) scored more than Hull. He lead the league in scoring 3 times and won two Stanley Cups, one with Dallas in '99 and, of course, with the Wings in '02. Hull said: "I am very proud of what I have accomplished in my career, but at 41, I felt that it was time to move on." I wonder if being coached by Gretzky made 41 feel older than it did before?

Ruminations on Saturday

Some thoughts on the college football action from yesterday:

1. Earlier in the season, a commentator said during one of MSU's games that State had a different attitude this season because Drew Stanton's attitude had effected the entire team. After the Michigan and Ohio State games we can be sure that was nonsense. They're still the same old mentally weak Spartans. OSU did not deserve to win that game, yet MSU still goes home with a loss. The coaches and the players can do better. Don't even get me started on that field goal.

2. Stanton is the Big Ten's best quarterback.

3. How awful was Penn State's defense on the last play of the game? You think you'd want to cover the WRs on an obvious pass play.

4. I don't know how it can be true, but Penn State is for real.

5. Going back to our discussion about polls, they're just about worthless. Penn State was ranked #8, yet was still and underdog to unranked Michigan. That was an accurate assessment doesn't matter, if you really believe a team is #8 they shouldn't be underdogs to an unranked team. If they are, don't put them at #8. It's not really that complicated.

6. How gutsy is Matt Leinart? Wow.

7. Notre Dame is for real. See #4 above.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Classic Uniforms

Adding to what was posted earlier, I'm going to list some of my favorite classic college football uniforms. I'm leaving out Big Ten teams, since with the exception of Northwestern they all wear classic unis. I'll admit Michigan deserves some special recognition for being recognizable, even if they didn't invent the helmet pattern.

No particular order:

1. USC: Like the colors, the name, and the pattern.
2. Texas: Always liked that color, Longhorns is a great monkier.
3. Notre Dame: It doesn't get much more classic than ND, unless you're...
4. Navy: ND's uniforms were originally Navy castoffs. How strange is that?

Unfavorite classics:
1. Nebraska: Hate that N.
2. LSU: Ugly letters, ugly cat.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Rise of the Robots?


In a 132-mile race across the Mojave Desert sponsored by DARPA(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), four robots managed to cross the finish line. This is especially impressive since last year when the race was run, none of the robots made it more than a few miles before being thwarted by the desert landscape. The winner gets a $2 million prize which will be used for further research. The goal: autonomous military ground vehicles. So, how far are we away from war-fighting robots? And are we prepared for their inevitable revolt?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Best Uniforms

Who has the best uniforms in college football? This question came to mind last night when, during the Syracuse vs. Connecticut game, Rece Davis said the Connecticut uniforms were awful. I happen to like them a lot, possibly because they use the same font as one of my favorite movies. Anyway, here's a look:


So what are the top 10, 20, or whatever uniforms in college football? Old or new school, classic or modern. I'll probably post more later, but I think Connecticut has one of my favorite modern uniforms.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quotes

I can't think of anything interesting to write, and I'm bored, so I'm going to post quotes from random sources as I see fit. To start with, quotes from the TV show Firefly:

Serenity, Part 1 & 2
1. Mal: "We're not gonna die. We can't die, Bendis. You know why? Because we are so...very...pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die."

2. Wash: "Everything looks good from here... (beat...playing with plastic dinosaurs over his console) Yes. Yes, this is a fertile land, and we will thrive."
(as Stegosaurus) "We will rule over all this land, and we will call it... 'This Land'."
(as T-Rex) "I think we should call it...your grave!"
(Stegosaurus) "Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"
(T-Rex) "Ha ha HA! Mine is an evil laugh...now die!"

3. Mal: "I'm in a tricky position, I guess you know. Got me a boatload of terribly strange folk making my life a little more interesting than I generally like, chief among them an Alliance mole. Likes to shoot at girls when he's nervous. Now I got to know how close the Alliance is, exactly how much you told them before Wash scrambled your call. So... I've given Jayne here the job of finding out."
Jayne: "He was non-specific as to how."
Mal: "Now you only gotta scare him."
Jayne: "Pain is scary..."
Mal: "Just do it right."

4. Simon: "I'm trying to put this as delicately as I can... How do I know you won't kill me in my sleep?"
Mal: "You don't know me, son. So let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed."
Simon: "Are you always this sentimental?"
Mal: "Had a good day."

The Train Job
1. Mal: "Well, they tell ya: never hit a man with a closed fist. But, it is on occasion hilarious."

2. Inara: (pissed) "What did I say to you about barging into my shuttle?"
Mal: "That it was manly and impulsive?"
Inara: "Yes, precisely. Only the exact phrase I used was 'don't'."

3. Mal: "Well, you're holding my mechanic in thrall. And Kaylee, what the hell's goin' on in the engine room? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?"

4. Jayne: "Time for some thrillin' heroics."

Bushwhacked
1. Zoe: "Proximity alert. Must be coming up on something."
Wash: (alarmed) "Oh my god. What can it be? We're all doomed! Who's flying this thing!?" (deadpan) "Oh right, that would be me. Back to work."

2. Jayne: "Tell you what I think. I think that fellow we ran into did everyone on board, killed them all, then decided to take a swim through space, see how fast his blood would boil out of his ears."
Wash: "You're a very 'up' person."

3. Simon: "Oh yes, he's a real beast. It's a wonder you're still alive."
Jayne: "Looked bigger when I couldn't see him."

Monday, October 03, 2005

Notre Dame, Yankees, Lakers, Cowboys, Duke, etc...they're all the same

Adam, I hear ya on that unrelated note. Not only that, but I think Sportscenters Sunday night edition (yesterday) was at least the 3rd time I've seen Sportscenter dedicate a segment of the show about how Coach Weiss made the play call in the endzone for the dying kid with cancer. It's a great story. I get that. I don't need to see it every weekend. I get it. He's dying. He has cancer. You could have thrown an INT or been sacked. I get it. You've already showed us the story, the play, the interview with the coach...last weekend! Great. Awesome. I don't need to keep hearing it. This has nothing to do with the kid. It's tragic what the boy is going through and I know that play call dedicated to him probably kept him mentally alive for a little longer. But Memo to ESPN: Stop giving blowjobs on Sportscenter to the Cowboys, Lakers, Duke, Yankees, and Notre Dame.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Trivia

Here's a "Did You Know?" for you: when was the last time brothers threw for over 250 yds and 4 TDs each on the same day? Has it ever happened before today? Peyton Manning went 20/27 for 264 and 4 TDs, Eli managed 19/35 for 296 and 4 TDs. That's unreal. Good genes.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Hail to the Victors

Okay, I have to give UM recognition for winning in OT again, 34-31. Did anyone else get the feeling no one wanted to win this game? UM gives the game away, then State gives it right back. Ugh. Michigan was much improved from the last few weeks, but I think Henne still has major question marks. He had an atrocius second half. And that was still against an MSU secondary that, frankly, sucks. Hart also ran well; UM loses the game if State doesn't give up those two long runs.

That said, MSU should have had this game. They had more opportunities to win, and they blew it. Dishing out blame:

1. Coaching staff: Poor play-calls in the 2nd half, especially near the goal line. MSU started playing conservative, and they weren't even up at that point. You're a passing team first. PASS. Play to win. Far too often this coaching staff pulls back, and the team always suffers for it. Also, the team came out tight which lead to 2 UM scores. Think maybe that made a difference? Hard to play in a 2 TD hole. Finally, if you put your kicker in a difficult position and he misses, don't blame him. And if you do and pull him, don't put him back in for OT. You've already fried his brainpan, of course he's going to miss.

2. Secondary: These guys just aren't very good. Opponents have seen how to beat MSU and they're going to be picked on constantly. Time to step it up.

3. Kicker: I put blame on the coaching staff, but you step on the field, you make the kick. No excuses (Granted, Goss isn't making any).

Coach Smith said: "It hurts real bad, and it should hurt. I hope the players feel it and I hope they don't forget the feeling." They better not forget, it just might teach them something.

On an unrelated note, is it just me or is EVERY Notre Dame game on national TV?

Free Pass

On college Gameday, Chris Fowler just said he wasn't sure the Spartans would let Kirk Herbstreit jump on the MSU bandwagon. Kirk responded by saying he had the Spartans ranked #6. Now, I'm sure Kirk has a multitude of sins in the past, not the least being a Buckeye QB, but I'll stick my hand out and pull him up on the bandwagon. He's got a free pass in my book.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Let the Wookiee Win


You know who threw out the first pitch Tuesday night at Fenway Park? Chewbacca. Yes, a wookiee. Chewie is known for his wicked fastball, and his propensity for pulling people's arms out of their sockets when he loses. See the pic in context here.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I Aim to Misbehave


Serenity comes out tomorrow. You should see it. If you haven't seen Firefly, you can catch up by ordering the DVDs of the series here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pretty In Pink

You may or may not know that, in a decades long tradition, the Iowa Hawkeyes visiting locker room is pink. This color scheme was introduced by Coach Hayden Fry, who was a psychology major and said pink "had a calming and passive effect on people." Of course, some people are now complaining about this. Specifically, an adjunct law lecturer, Erin Buzuvis. I'm sure she's not a radical feminist. She called the locker room "sexist" and "homophobic" (good old liberal standbys those). She thinks it's a "sex equality" issue. I'm not sure what women feel inequal because of the locker room. Maybe they want theirs painted pink too?

Let's get one thing straight: more than any other sport, college football is about tradition. That's why people fight tooth and nail over almost any change, no matter how cosmetic. This locker room color thing was started by the most legendary coach in Hawkeye history. I've never heard opposing teams complain. This woman is a no-name lecturer looking to make a name for herself in the feminist community by taking on the football team. Let's hope Iowa doesn't give in crazy P.C.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Scoreboard!

The Spartans have been accused of running up the score against Illinois. Yes, they threw 2 TD passes at the end of the game. But they also rushed the ball quite a bit. What can you do when you're getting 10 yards a pop? Also, guys like Hoyer can definitely benefit from the work. The offense doesn't do slow down very well, and when they do they tend to lose, though that wasn't going to be a problem against Illinois. I usually am pretty merciful in situations like that, but not this time. You don't want them to score? Then stop them. End of story.

To Drew

Drew Sharp, who I have called a "butt monkey" in the past, wrote an article today about the UM vs. MSU game. I think it needs some response.

1. "And it's Michigan State that would probably take more insecure delight out of making the Wolverines 2-3 than it would in extending its own record to 5-0."

Hey, we're the Spartans, not the Boston Red Sox. Yes, we cheer at games when we see Michigan lose. But we root for them at appropriate times, like when the Big Ten has to prove its mettle against other conferences. To be defined by your rival is to let them control you. That's not the Spartans. Beating Michigan can be a bright spot in season that are otherwise bad, but it's never enough.

2. "...gimmicky spread option attack"

He thinks this offense is gimmicky? Has he ever seen Texas Tech? The Spartans run the spread. Option? Not so much. Watch some football, you might learn something.

3. "They have the state's best playmaker in quarterback Drew Stanton, but an offense that too often makes him a target for punishment. MSU's one-man show could head straight down the drain should it lose that one man."

The Spartans have been sacked 10 times in 4 games, 2.5 sacks per game. Some of those were Hoyer, presumably. Stanton hasn't been getting hammered. And if Drew had actually seen any games, he'd notice that Drew hasn't been taking the "banzai" running approach that he had last year. He's much more of a pocket passer who can move well. Is he the key to the offense? Yes. Has he been getting punished? Nope. Also, the Spartans have been getting production from everywhere. Like true freshman Javon Ringer, or two-sport star Matt Trannon. The Spartans can survive without Stanton, though they wouldn't be putting up 600 yds of offense.

4. "Lose Stanton, and Michigan State is just smoke and mirrors."

See above. Note to Drew: Watch games, then write. It'll stop you from making a fool of yourself.

Backyard Brawl

The game is early this year. Take the names off the teams, do the analysis, and I think most experts would pick MSU, maybe even by multiple touchdowns. But this is a rivalry game and the rankings don't matter, which Michigan has found out in most of its losses to MSU. Does MSU have any excuse not to win? No. This is their chance to forge a new identity for themselves, and give Drew Stanton a real shot at the Heisman to boot. But UM is going to be very dangerous. The loss of this game will have a huge affect on the team that comes up short. Michigan isn't going to give up their season without a fight. The Spartans certainly have weaknesses that the Wolverines could exploit. It'll be interesting. Scout.com's take here.

Of Polls

College football polls don't mean what it seems like they should mean. Do they give you the teams in order of how good they are? Well, sort of. A little. Maybe. It's all a popularity contest. This is pretty obvious because you can tell what will happen to a team in the polls based on the number in front of the name of the opponent they beat. If it actually meant something, it wouldn't be so consistent. Is Michigan the 27th best team in the land? They're probably better than that. But when you've got 2 losses after week 4 and your wins are EMU and Southen Illinois, you know what the polls will do.

Notre Dame

I'd agree that the media has went a little overboard celebrating Notre Dame; I think they love the Irish a lot more than the regular football watching public. I'd chalk it up to the easy stories that all the history around the golden dome provides. My question is: "Where were all these athletes last year?" Is Charlie Weis really the difference? I had a lot of respect for Willingham and didn't think he was the problem, but it does make you think. As far as MSU's celebration at ND's 50: I'm neutral. It's cool to watch, and it's not like they have a student section there to celebrate with. But it is somewhat disrespectful. It's probably okay at ND and maybe UM, but nowhere else.

52 s

You know how in the Patriots run of greatness you sometimes watch and say: "Man, they're good, but they're also really lucky." A great example: the Patriots received 52 extra seconds on a clock error yesterday, which might have made the difference in them beating the Steelers. Maybe the Patriots could still have pulled of the game-winning drive against the Steelers' soft coverage, but you can bet Pittsburgh would much rather have had that time off the clock.

Yee-hah!

It's a Monday, so I'm sure everyone could use some cheering up. So, I give you Whiplash, the Cowboy Monkey!


Whiplash performs at rodeos and is the spokesmonkey for Taco John's, a restaurant chain in MN, among other places.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

What were they thinking?

Can anyone explain to me what the media saw in Michigan to give them a pre-season ranking of #3? I'll tell you what I saw: The defense can't handle running quarterbacks and lost the last two games of the season. Ending the year on two losses is exactly what it takes to become #3 to start the next season. What in the world kind of criteria does the media use to make their picks? Their best player on the team was drafted #4 overall. The defense gave up an average of +23 points per game. Ok, now let's recap for the pre-season rankings. Give a #3 ranking to a team who lost their best player and have a worse defense. Makes tons of sense. All I know is I hope the game on Saturday is blocked out locally because it isn't going to be pretty. Thankfully I'll be in Detroit taking a test so I won't be able to see one single snap taken. I can say this though. It's about freakin' time that for once, MSU will be favored to win, should win, has no excuse not to win, and no one will be shocked if U of M loses. In fact, it really should be taken as a "Big deal you beat Michigan" attitude. "Wow! Congratulations! By the way, Michigan sucks." We all know rankings mean jack squat. If a team can be #14 and lose to an undefeated team on the road by 3 points, it probably doesn't constitute getting kicked out of the polls. Just put them at #22 before the game starts because we know that is where they'll end up after they lose, since they have lost their first road game for the past 5 or 6 years. If they suck and now have 2 losses, they don't need to be polluting the top 25. Stick with me here and ponder this: If they do suck and you've kicked them out of the polls because they are not good, then how can you reward the previously unranked team that beat them a 9 spot jump in the polls? If Wisconsin wasn't good enough before to be in the top 25, how does beating a crapy, overrated team get you to #17 after previously being just an "Other Receiving Votes" type of team? Or, if Wisconsin is for real and is now considered to be "good" since the media chose to rank them #17, then how can a loss to a "good" team on the road by 3 points make sense to be dropped out of the polls? Isn't that basically admitting you don't know what you're talking about in college football? Was it really an upset that the badgers won? At home? Undefeated? By 3 points? Again, Michigan clearly sucks and doesn't need to be in the top 25, but let's try to get some consistency in telling us who you think is or isn't a good football team.

Props to MSU beating Notre Dame. I'm not real sure why so much love has to go to Notre Dame for their "amazing" start. Let's see, you have a new coach who was the former offensive coordinator from arguably the best dynasty of all time. Notre Dame is good? Gasp! It had to be the black coach right? The best part of the MSU-ND game had to be the slamming of the State flag in the middle of the Domers field. Was that a lack of class? I guess, but considering MSU flat out owns ND, they deserved it. If ND can't defend their home turf against MSU after 5 years, then you might as well start painting "State" in the endzones because it's obviously more their field than yours. Quit whinning about how classless it was and just beat them on your own dang field. Heck, if I was a 5th year senior and I went my whole college career beating ND, you bet your ace I'm going to celebrate at the 50-yard line. Honestly, the flagpole in the ground was the best play of the game.

Because You Demanded It

We now have ESPN's Bottomline on, well, the top of the blog. Okay, nobody demanded it, but I thought it would be cool. So, thanks to the killer html skills of The Kid, there it is. Enjoy.

Others Receiving Votes

It's not unusual for the MSU vs. UM game to be #11 against Others Receiving Votes. But it is unusual for State to be the one with the number. Michigan fell out of the Top 25 today for the first time since 1998. UM was in the rankings for 114 straight weeks and was the holder of the longest current streak, which now goes to Miami at 93 weeks. You can see the polls here.

Directional Michigan Showdown


In a game that was sure to have great meaning to some of you here, EMU beat CMU 22-20 in OT on Saturday. Ontario Sneed of the Chips ran for 122 yds, but it wasn't enough. I guess this means Haag has bragging rights over T. That would be, of course, if either of them actually followed their own team, instead of being UM fans.

Go right through for MSU


Watch the points keep growing. They certainly did on Saturday as the Spartans put up 61 against the Fighting Illini. In the process MSU set the school record for offense, 705 yds, and set a team record for TD passes (7), which also tied the Big Ten mark. Drew Stanton set the Spartan record for TD passes by throwing 5 before he sat out much of the second half. The 705 yards of offense tops the previous best of 698 vs. Purdue in 1971, State also approached this mark earlier in the season with a 685 yd effort against Kent State. MSU is averaging 594.3 yards of offense a game. Next up: Michigan, who lost the battle of the ill-tempered rodents to the Badgers Saturday night.

I have returned.

To the internet that is; I'm still in Minnesota. The cable guy, who looked like Rupert G of Late Show Fame, finally got it installed last night. For those of you who haven't been to MN, which is everyone but Andy I assume, it's a lot like Michigan, except all the roads are named Something 10 or Blank Lake Road. We had tornadoes and a nasty thunderstorm here on Wednesday, but I guess that still leaves me second to Grant and his hurricane in the bad weather department. Also, apparently the Vikings and Daunte Culpepper are now terrible since I moved here, but my departure didn't help the Lions. It's done wonders for the Spartans though. More later.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Can't Stop Rita

Well, it looks like Rita begins her onslaught today. I can already feel a change in the wind. Everything is pretty tense down here. By about 5-6am tomorrow morning is when we should be in the eye of the storm.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Brainsss...

Web time waster with zombies, the Urban Dead. Your brains may be eaten. You have been warned.

Mindless, shuffling monsters....so its Ann Arbor?

Rita,

Hi to everyone who reads this. This is my first blog so I figured I'd tell you all that it could be my last cause Eva and I are right in the path of the largest hurricane to ever hit the country. Not bad if I do say so myself. I really think that we'll be ok but you never can tell with mother nature. The city of Houston is about half evacuated by choice not force. The problem with this evacuation is that there is not enough gas in the city for that many people to travel. So people either can't go anywhere or they run out of gas on the road. It might interest some of you to know that there is not a single vacant room in any hotel or motel in the state of Texas. So yeah no where to go, nothing to go anywhere with. Yup... that's about it.

New kid on the block

Everyone welcome our new member, Grant. He needs no introduction, mainly because you know him already. He's also the farthest from CC, taking the title from Adam. Any way say "Hi Grant" or "you suck" or someting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Broken Lamps


In an event that heralds a multitude of broken lamps and bleeding siblings, Nintendo released details of the controller for their next system, code named Revolution. First, let me say before I read this I had lost almost all faith in the BIG N's ability to stay in the market. I was right, because it is totally different and could alter the way games are played compeltely. Full 3-D motion sensing. Including tilt, rotation, etc. If you can move it, it will be detected. Go to ign for more details and descriptions of its possible uses.

There are still kinks to be worked out, but I'm pumped. Some games may even use two simultaneosly. I'm sure all the baseball fans here can see the potential for baseball games, while I look for amazing sword play. Regardless, if they pull this off, it'll be cool, though roommates and end table lamps may suffer from intense gaming sessions.

For those who don't follow this stuff, Nintendo was been mum about pretty much everything, so system specs are unavailible, though it won't likely be as powerful as the Xbox360 or PS3, but that bothers me less, especially since the Rev will cost less and let you download old NES games (Tecmo forever!).

Monday, September 19, 2005

Getting your Irish up

MSU truly had a miserable performance Saturday, the only bright spot being the performance of the offense, which will go completely ignored by the media as they blather on about ND's coach. State's defence stopped the run early, but became porous late, and was utterly incapable of anything like pass defence, consistently playing 5+ yards off the reciever. The coaching staff continued their habit of trying to play a slow down game as soon as they got up by 14, which doesn't work when you run the spread. Three and out kills less time than passing. Fields, the punter, had the worst game of his career, shanking all but one punt when he usual booms them for ~60 yards. ND's QB will be talked about alot, and he had a good game, but his job was alot easier. ND's defence played well, Stanton's completions were very impressive, repeatedly threading the needle. The Spartans also had to deal with the fact that thier only player who wasn't holding the ball tight was returning kicks, everyone else knew from the Michigan tape that the Irish would try to strip it. State deserved to lose and got lucky with some turnovers, but some of the mistakes are easy to fix, if the coaches are willing.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Unbelievable Feat

Last night, the Owen-Gage JV girls basketball team scored 10 times the amount of points in the first quarter than they did on Tuesday night. They also amassed 2 1/2 times more points than they did in Tuesday's game. Imagine a normal boys basketball score of 50 points. 2 1/2 times more points would be 125 points in a game! Ahhh, but wait just one minute. I did say GIRLS basketball right? So how did they do it? By scoring ZERO points in the first quarter Tuesday night, which means they must have scored 10 points in the first quarter last night. (Wait, you can't multiply 10 times zero. Oh well.) Finishing Tuesday's game with a grand total of 12 points, they finished with a ballooned 30 points Thursday night. Ahhh, girls basketball. Gotta love it.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. Our Varsity played the final 5 minutes of the game with 4 or less players on the court. Which means later in the waining minutes they only had 3 players on the court, one being asthmatic. So, make her run down the court and back and you're basically playing with 2 girls against 5 with one dying because she can't breathe. Oh, and what did Kingston do during those 5 minutes? Yup, kept running the fast break. "Nice layup Molly!"

Signed,

A sore butt from watching 4 straight (boring) hours of girls basketball two times in one week on a wooden bench with no back support, and...rrrrrrrrrr.