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.


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: 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.