Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Fly, Little Birdy, Fly!

I knew cattle could catch some major air when they wanted to, but apparently the bullfight fans in Mexico didn't, judging by this video. "Little Birdy" leapt over the wall and into the stands where he gored at least one woman and injured others. Those skills would be appreciated in a rodeo, but not in the bullfighting world: a fight participant went into the stands and killed LB with his sword. The show resumed half an hour later.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The List - "Haag's 13"???

"You're either in or you're out, right now."

Those were the words that should have been on the invitation to the 2006 Tecmo Super Bowl (TSB) Tourney. Wow! I realized I might need to use two Nintendo's, but am I going to have to have the tourney at two site locations? This many people in one house...one living room...one bedroom? I guess we will have to use 3 bedrooms with 3 nintendo's and, oh yeah, 3 tecmo games. The rooms I have. I'm lacking one Nintendo and one game. Without further ado, here is the up-to-the-minute list, as of 12:05 am:

1. Craig Emmert - first one in
2. Nathan Fritz
3. Ryan King - my girlfriends brother
4. Tyler Brandel - 9 years old
5. Kevin Schott
6. Aaron Barrigar
7. Rick Parrott
8. Brad Speirs - Jason's brother
9. Jason Speirs - Brad's brother
10. Jason Pierce - The Las Vegas favorite (whooped me 3 times over Christmas break)
11. Derek Dodge - I'll explain later
12. The Host

Matt Ross - no word yet. Left a message on his cell at 10 pm Jan. 30.
John D'Arcy - "No." Rumor has it, he says "I don't think I can play." If I put the pressure on him that we already have 12 playing, I can hopefully put the guilt trip on him.

I wouldn't be surprised if we have 14 in the tourney.

Oh, Derek Dodge. Think back with me. Back. No, way back. Further yet. Senior year. 1999. Mrs. Tuckey's government class. Second hour. No, not Nicolette, Katie, Marissa, Mandy Board, etc. And no, not Sarah with her missing toes that Steve made fun of. There was a short time period that Derek Dodge came into Mrs. Tuckey's class for about 1-2 weeks where he did some history/government/supreme court stuff. I am inviting him because I attend the New Creation Community Church in Caro in order to play on their basketball and volleyball team. Derek goes to the church and plays on one of the volleyball teams. He played last year and so I've known him for a year now. I asked him since he is 28 if he remembers Tecmo Super Bowl. He claimed he was pretty good, so I figured he'd be good for an invite. Well, last week I started putting things together: he teaches in Caro, in the high school, in the histroy/social studies field..."So that's who you are. You were at Cass City when I was a senior." (How do I really remember? It's because I was a jerk when he came and was rude one day and apologized to Mrs. Tuckey.) So, do I expect anyone else to remember him...Nope.

Back to the Tourney. I'm glad I'm an experienced hand at filling out brackets. If we have 12 players, that requires 23 games for a champion. If we have 14 like I'm now shooting for, that would be 27 games. If we start at 7pm, use 3 tv's, play 9 games in one hour (1 game = 20 min...3 games at one time...3 x 3 = 9 games in one hour), we should have a champion in 3 hours (27 games divided by 9 gpr [games per hour] = 3 hours).

I guess it's safe to say...there are some fans of Tecmo Super Bowl.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Highly Recommended: Ong-Bak

I recently restarted my Netflix membership. It's a pretty cheap way to be able to see lots of movies, especially ones that you couldn't find at you local video store. I had remembered reading somewhere, and hearing from my brother, that Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (trailer here) might be a pretty decent martial arts film, so I put it in my queue. I watched it this weekend. Then I watched it again. The martial arts action is breathtaking. I don't think I've ever seen such an impressive display of physical prowess. Tony Jaa is, quite simply, the man. I guarantee you've never seen anything like it. First, you've probably never seen the martial art of Muay Thai, which looks much different than what you've seen in Matrix clones. It's fast and brutal. Second, as the advertising is fond of pointing out, there are no wires and no CG. This is amazing stuff. Check it out.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Shark Vs. Octopus

Have you ever wondered what a fight between a shark and an octopus would look like? Of course you have. You can see one here. That's one creepy octopus.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Happy Winter-een-mas!

Winter-een-mas starts today and runs through the 31st. Don't know what WEMas is? Get the explanation here. Basically, it's a week to celebrate video games. So now you have an excuse to play. Play an extra game for me as I'll be out of town and away from any video game system until Friday.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Fantasy Baseball '06

Does anyone want to play this year? I know the enthusiasm the past two years for the game has been a little low. Sign-up on Yahoo will start in early February, so sometime within the next 3 weeks or so. If we have enough guys, is there anything we want to do different? A prize or trophy? Rules changes? Feedback would be appreciated.

Detroit Baseball Photos

A picture is worth a thousand words. So, if you want to see thousands of words worth of Detroit baseball history, check out these galleries at the Detroit News web site. They've got photos like this one of Kirk Gibson:

Or this one featuring player-manager Mickey Cochrane and the Babe:

You can also purchase these photos. A 5x7 will run you $12, an 8x10 $30, and, if you've got lots of room, you can get a 20x30 for $90.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

This Time

The Lions ended their search for a coach today, and maybe this time things will work out better. Millen has chosen Rod Marinelli who was the Tampa Bay defensive line and assistant head coach. I can't say I'm terribly excited, but there's not a hire I can think of that would have excited me. Apparently he is expected to be a tough, disciplined coach, as you would expect from a DL guy and a Vietnam veteran. My favorite quote from the press conference:

There’s skill in hitting (in football); how to bend your knees, hand placement, blocking, footwork, all those things. And you have to play this game low to be good. It’s a low man’s game. It’s a game of hips when you tackle, not push and shove. When you’re standing up all the time, you lose that leverage and you lose that toughness in terms of running the game. That’s how I’m going to sell it because I have to explain to them that this is why I’m doing this. This is what I believe and I’ve been successful at it. I’ll put the film on for you. That’s all I can do. You will be great football players when you work and you believe in the pad level and those things. Is it always fun? No, but winning is. It’s not like I am taking these guys to Junction City and getting after them (laughter). I just believe in skill, the development of skill. You have to be hard, and along with being hard is being smart, and I am that.

I can get behind a coach that says "it's a low man's game." Can the Lions?

UPDATE: Here's Albom's take on the new guy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This Is A Heart Attack

You know how you've watched your team make a critical mistake in a game and thought you were going to have a heart attack? This guy knows the feeling. For real. He had a heart attack right after Jerome Bettis fumbled in the game versus the Colts. He's in the hospital recovering, saying: "The Steelers won the game and I'm still alive, so I guess I'm doing pretty good."

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Tecmo tourney, coming to you

Adam, I was checking out some Tecmo Super Bowl websites and next weekend is a TSB tourney in North Branch...Minnesota! Check it out here. Good luck.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Detroit Sports Legends

Who are they? I'm curious as to what other people's opinions are. I'm thinking of just guys who played for Detroit teams, though Michigan sports legends is another interesting question. What do you think a guy has to do to deserve the title? A championship would be a place to start, but you obviously can't leave a guy like Barry off the list. And not every notable player on a championship team would really qualify. Guys who I think probably qualify, not an exhaustive list and in no particular order:

1. Barry Sanders
2. Steve Yzerman
3. Brendan Shanahan
4. Isiah Thomas
5. Joe Dumars
6. Alan Trammell
7. Kirk Gibson
8. Lou Whitaker
9. Ben Wallace (Might not be there yet.)

Old School
1. Tigers Hall of Famers: Ty Cobb, Al Kaline, Sparky Anderson, etc.
2. Gordie Howe

What do you think? I'm sure I missed people. Are all those guys deserving, or are some of them only great because they helped win a championship?

Are You Ready For Some...Baseball?

It's that time of year again. MLB has released the 2006 baseball schedule and our favorite weekend is perfect for a Twins - World Series Champion White Sox showdown August 18, 19 and 20. You can check out the Twins' schedule in August back a few words ago in this sentence. I'm in favor of the Friday 7:10 pm game. Any objections from you, Matt?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

QB Decisions

Scout.com has this article up about choices facing the Lions at QB. It mentions 3 other potential QBs if Joey is sent packing: Billy Volek, David Garrard (who I've mentioned here), and Josh McCown. Assuming Harrington is done with the Lions, I'm a big fan of acquiring Volek or Garrard. They are certainly at the top of the list looking for a potential breakout player at the position. Apparently the Lions have expressed interest in Volek. Let's hope they can make a good move.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Club Foot

You've probably heard this song by Kasabian even if you didn't realize it. It's been showing up in commercials and TV bumpers lately due to an insanely catchy riff. I first noticed it in the trailer for Serenity. Anyway, I've found two places to download it: here at Insound for a 160 kbps mp3 of the album version or a 192 kbps mp3 live version here at the band's website (there's a little language at the beginning of the live version). I prefer the crunchier live version myself.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Instant Replay

I'm watchng the Giants-Panthers game and I'm thinking just how superior the Big Ten's replay system is to the NFL's. Jeremy Shockey caught a pass and as he was tackled the ball came out. Carolina recovered. The live view on the TV made it look like he was down, but replay showed the ball was clearly ripped out before he was down. After conferring for a while, the refs ruled down by contact. This meant it could not be challenged. Luckily, the Giants punted on the drive and it made no difference. In the Big Ten this would have been automatically reviewed and the Panthers would have had the ball, significantly changing the momentum of the game. Now the bowl season showed us that a replay system is only as good as the people running it, or in the case of the national championship game of how well the equipment is working, but it seems unfathomable to me that the NFL leaves such uncertainty in the playoffs.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

It Begins

It's the time of the year when rumors about the NFL draft start circulating. They're already starting, as this report from Chris Mortensen of ESPN shows. Apparently, the Texans will take Reggie Bush with the 1st pick, even if Vince Young enters. This would leave Leinart and Young to likely be selected by the Saints and Titans. The highest profile picks would be gone before #5.

What does this mean for the Lions? Well, if you're hoping the team will snag Young or Leinaet, you're likely to be disappointed unless they make a monster move up. It also means that Titans' backup Billy Volek might be available. With the Lions likey to need multiple QBs, I think picking up an experienced backup who may have the talent to be a starter would be a great idea. So, don't expect to see it happen.

Wallpaper 1-7-06

This week's wallpaper: Cable, Deadpool, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.


I haven't seen Spielberg's newest movie, and I don't intend to. However, I've read a lot about it. Mona Charen sums up everything I've thought regarding the movie, and then some. She also does it much better than I ever could have. A quote:

During the opening credits, the audience is informed that the film is “inspired by real events.” That could mean anything — but movie audiences probably will not parse the words with lawyerly care. They will read it in the context of a film that offers generous servings of verisimilitude.

Check it out if you're interested.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Futurama Returns?

Good news, everyone! This report at Variety claims that Futurama may be making a return to television after its last new episode aired in August '03. This is being fueled by DVD sales and ratings on Cartoon Network, same as happened to the Family Guy. Also, the show is awesome. It was created by Matt Groening who you obviously recognize from The Simpsons. But Futurama is better than either of those other shows. There are many reasons for this, but the most obvious is Bender, a "foul-mouthed, drinking, smoking, shoplifting, misanthropic robot." In honor of this news, let's sing the "Bender is Great Song": "I'm so great. Great, great, great. Bender is great. Great, great..."

Team 88

Steelers star and ABC sideline reporter Lynn Swann had declared that he is running for governor of Pennsylvania. He would be the first black governor of Pennsylvania if he was to win. He will be seeking the Republican nomination for governor, so expect many to accuse Swann of not being really black. This would be his first time running for public office. It will be interesting to see how his campaign plays out. You can check out the campaign site here.


You know, I really hated that title when I saw others use it going into the Rose Bowl last night. But it was appropriate as Vince Young was the brightest star in Texas's 41-38 victory over defending champ USC, piling up 467 yds of total offense. My thoughts:

1. It's a shame that whenever I think about this great game, the first thing I'll remember is poor officiating. I expect better from a Big Ten crew. The call on Young's pitch that resulted in a TD was clearly wrong, his knee was obviously down. USA Today reports that a monitor malfunction stopped the officials from reviewing the play. In that game, you find a way to make the right call, whatever it takes. It's inexcusable to do otherwise. In the fourth quarter Keith Jackson pointed out that the clock ran after a pass was caught and taken out of bounds. By my count 27 seconds ran off the clock (I recorded the game on my computer). Do you think USC would have liked 27 more seconds in that game? USC can't blame the loss on these mistakes as they made far too many themselves, but they certainly leave a bad taste in my mouth.

2. USC was arrogant. They played the whole first half and much of the second as if they didn't really believe they could be beaten. They should have kicked the FG in the first half; I think the 4th and 2 call in the 4th quarter was wrong but at least defensible. Reggie Bush made possibly the most boneheaded play I've ever seen when he tried to pitch it. I wouldn't even to that on NCAA Football, unless it was by accident. USC also showed why they needed so many comeback wins this year: the defense was very average. That was one of the most horrendous displays of tackling in a championship game ever. Do you really think you can arm tackle Vince Young?

3. I was not a believer in Vince Young. I'm not ready to vote him into the NFL Hall of Fame as Mack Brown was, but I'll admit he might be able to get there. I don't think I've ever seen a player dominate a game the way he did last night. He was unstoppable. If I was selecting a franchise quarterback in the draft I'd probably still pick Leinart, but now I wouldn't be disappointed to see my team select Young.

4. Memo those talking about trading all your picks to get Reggie Bush: he's just a man. He might be a great player, but "transcendant"? I think not.

5. I don't think this is the end of USC and the rise of a Texas dynasty. There's just too much parity in college football for another team to dominate as happened in the '50s and '60s. I don't think we'll even see a repeat champion in the next 5 years.

6. Did the game live up to the hype? My first impression was no, it was too sloppy and I thought many of the mistakes took away from the great performances. But many others are saying it was as good as the hype. I'll have to think about it more.

If you missed any of the BCS games, you can catch them this weekend on ESPN Classic.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


You see, we're on the internet, and although I only expect a small handful of people to read this blog, others do happen across it from time to time. Searches on blogger for news can lead you here pretty easily. So others are watching. Might be a good thing to remember.

Who is Cosmorok?

Some guy named "Grant" with blog name "Cosmorok" commented on your Pistons report. Who is he and where did he come from?

Also, great job jinxing the Pistons so they could lose to the Cavs. (I expected them to lose that game anyway. After rolling by the Spurs and Heat, they are bound to lose a tough road game eventually.)

Monday, January 02, 2006

The "Spread"

When you listen to college football commentators, do you ever get the feeling that they have no idea what a "spread" offense really is? They often talk as if Texas Tech, Michigan State, Ohio State, and West Virginia all use the same playbook. They seem to think of it as some sort of pass-happy offense that runs the option fairly often. In reality, all "spread" signifies is that the offense spreads the field horizontally so they can stretch the field vertically. It's a philosophy that can be implemented many different ways. Saying a spread offense is run by a team gives you some idea of the plays they run, but if you want to accurately describe the offense there's much more to be said. I wish commentators would understand this.

Also, I've noticed a side effect of playing many hours of NCAA football: you recognize every team's fight song. I don't mean just Notre Dame and Ohio State, those are obvious for a Spartan fan. I mean Georgia, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Alabama, etc. I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse.

Looking for a Job?

Well, there's a few vacancies in the NFL. There are now 7 coaching vacancies. That's right, we're approaching a 25% turnover rate for NFL coaches. You can check out the list here.

More Innovation from Ford

Ford has been advertising the Ford Fusion as "more innovation from Ford." Here's a pic:

Gosh, that front end looks familiar. Where have I seen it before? Oh, yeah:

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. One thing it is certainly not, however, is innovation.

Unofficial Top 20 Draft Order

From Scout.com, the unofficial top 20 draft order for the 2006 NFL draft:

1 Houston 2-14 0
2 New Orleans 3-13
3 Tennessee 4-12
4 N.Y. Jets 4 12
5 Green Bay 4 12
6 San Francisco 4 12
7 Oakland 4 12
8 Buffalo 5 11
9 Detroit 5 11
10 Arizona 5 11
11 St. Louis 5 10
12 Cleveland 6 10
13 Baltimore 6 10
14 Philadelphia 6 10
15 Atlanta 8 8
16 Miami 9 7
17 Minnesota 9 7
18 San Diego 9 7
19 Dallas 9 6
20 Kansas City 10 6

Wallpaper 1-2-06

I thought I'd start a semi-regular feature: my current wallpaper. Today is Daredevil and Luke Cage.

NFL Roundup

The NFL began the new year by wrapping up the season with a slate of largely meaningless games. Some were memorable. Jake Delhomme got cheeky. Doug Flutie converted the first drop kick since 1941. The Texans secured the 1st pick in the 2006 draft. Shaun Alexander set the season touchdown record at 28. And the Lions lost.

You can see the final standings here. I don't have the team strength of schedules, so I can only tell you the first five picks in the draft: Texans, Saints, Titans, Jets, and Packers. The Lions will be somewhere between 8 and 10.

As for the Lions, you can read Mike O'Hara's breakdown of the team going into the offseason here. The short version: there's a lot of work to do.