Saturday, October 31, 2009


To get just a bit of Halloween flavor into the blog today, here's a link to twenty movie villain pumpkin carvings. One of my favorites:

Much more at the link. (Hat tip: Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner)

Bad Calls

Earlier in the week I said: "I don't think there's been any intent behind the bad calls, at MSU or elsewhere, just stupidity." Watching the Iowa-Indiana game this afternoon, I might have to rethink that. The officials seem to be doing all they can to make sure the Hoosiers don't pull off the upset.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tecmo Oddities

Steelers 14
Browns 7

Start of 4th quarter. Browns ball on the Browns 10 yd line. 4th and 20.
Result...THEY WENT FOR IT! What in the world was the computer thinking? You are only down by a TD with a full quarter to go! And it's 4th and 20.

Steelers v Oilers:
Houston attempted a 68 yd FG, hit the upright and ricocheted in. I don't know if I've ever seen a team attempt a FG beyond 55, let alone make one beyond 50.

Later that day...
Steelers v Bengals
Bengals decided AGAINST kicking a 50 yd FG.

Bills finished the regular season 17-3 (they played 5 games in week 1). They only lost to themselves and me. So, after the first week, they were 14-1.

Lions and Washington made the playoffs with 8-7 records (15 games).

Atlanta finished 1-15.

Playoffs - Wildcard
Raiders 77
Oilers 68

Bo Jackson: 23-697 yds, 11 TD's.

Playoffs - Division Championship
Raiders v Bills

Bo Jackson had 3 fumbles while his "Physical Condition" was "Excellent." When his condition is "Excellent," his ball control is "94." How does someone fumble 3 times when their ball control is 94? How does someone fumble when their name is Bo Jackson? He's BO freakin' JACKSON!

Super Bowl
Steelers 35
49ers 20

Gave up a 70 yd INT return for TD to David Waymer. Probably the first ever "Pick-6" I've ever given up, let alone 70 yds.

Redskins Were No Better

Rome Take: 10/27/09

Hard to imagine why the Redskins didn’t hang 50 on Philly with their new ‘bingo-caller’ in the booth. I thought Sherm Lewis ripping the play calling duties from Jim Zorn would turn the ‘Skins into the Saints. I thought dialing up B-9 was a great call in the red-zone. And that G-57 really caught the Eagles off guard on 3rd and long. Just like riding a bike, ehh, Vinny Cerrato. Sure it’s not.

In fact, now would be a pretty good time, Vinny to get on your bike, with Jim Zorn on the handle bars and ride towards I-95 and right out of town. This isn’t on Lewis. This is on the ‘Skins for calling Lewis. What was he supposed to do when they called? Not pick up the phone. Say no when they offered him the job? Like, “Hey, Sherm, what do you say you come up here and call some plays?” “Oh, I don’t know, Vin. I’ve got a couple of huge bingo games to call Tuesday night and a few meals on wheels to get out Wednesday morning. Yes!! When do I start?”

Bad news for Lewis, though because that Chris Cooley ping pong ball isn’t coming out of the hopper now that he has a broken ankle. Quarterback Jason Campbell said, quote: “Losing Chris is big.” No it’s not. I mean, it would be on any other team in the league, but not yours. Because you guys aren’t going anywhere anyway, and you probably won’t even know he’s gone.

Besides, are you even still the starting quarterback, J.C.? The Raiders think you guys are dysfunctional and are laughing at you. I tell you what’s not funny…the cruel and inhumane treatment of Jim Zorn. The only thing more humiliating then ripping his play-calling duties and letting him twist, is trying to break his will to get him to quit so you don’t have to pay him. He’s not going to quit and hand over to you what’s left of his manhood, Dan. So do the right thing, admit the mistake, scratch him a check and start over. Again.


Is there some contractual thing between ESPN and the NFL and other TV networks? Why is it that won't show MNF highlights? How come it seems "Sportscenter Highlight of the Night" on is from non-ESPN games? Another example is from the MLB playoffs. Some games would contain highlights on, others would just be the story.

Bottle Rocket Propelled Squirrel

I don't spend a lot of time reading fantasy columns, but this quote from Brad Evans on the Chicago offensive line is gold:

Though center Olin Kreutz has played at a respectable level, the right side has been equally deplorable. Based on the lack of chemistry at the bookends, not even a bottle rocket propelled squirrel could burst through the holes generated by the underachieving unit.

The rest of the article is here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reasonable Cause

The NCAA told the University of Michigan yesterday that there is "reasonable cause to believe that major violations have occurred" in the football program. This is a long way from determining UM is guilty, but there will be an actual investigation.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


After seeing some real horsesh*t personal foul calls the last few weeks, here's a question: Is the Big Ten becoming a league for pansies? Jeremy Ware made a hit that made me sit up and say "Nice hit!" No thought for even a second that it might be a penalty. If I'm on the sidelines I'm slapping him on the back telling what a good play it was. Then the refs throw a flag after the guy has been on the ground for a minute. That's garbage. If the conference isn't going to let the players play hard, then maybe it really is as awful as the critics say.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


You can check out the actual video here, embedding is disabled (which is stupid) on that one. I had to do a double-take during the video because the drummer looks so much like Kid Loe.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fantasy Tecmo


Raiders 70
Bengals 56

Bo Jackson: 26 attempts - 689 yds, 9 TD's.

If you are wondering where the 10th TD came from, it was the last play of the game, an onside kick after the Bengals scored a TD. The onside was picked up and returned for a TD.

Pretty much the strategy was let the opponent score ASAP. "Return" the kickoff by running backward to the 1-yd line and going out of bounds. Give the ball to Adrian Peterson...errr...Jackson and score. Then kick an onside kick and hope the opponent recovers, and, if possible, score a TD. If not, let them score ASAP and do the process all over again.

Fantasy Points: 123


Chiefs 63
Seahawks 40

Christian Okoye: 29 carries, 717 yds, 9 TD

Same strategy as before.

Fantasy Points: 126

I'd like to do another game with Jackson excellent. I think I can break 800 yds.

Monday, October 19, 2009


So, who's all broken up that the Shock are leaving town?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

For the Birds

Not Cool

I know it's hard to get an NFL coaching job, but why would Jim Zorn put up with the front office bringing Sherm Lewis out of retirement then "strongly suggesting" that he take over the play-calling? That's crap. Just quit, it's not like everyone doesn't already know Snyder's a world-class moron.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Want to hear something strange? Well, I sold some tickets on Stubhub last night. That's not strange, but the name on the shipping label made me do a double-take. What was that name? Nathan Fritz. From Michigan, but obviously not CC. Still, made for a weird moment.

While I'm thinking of it, the coolest name I've seen on a shipping label I've printed? Justice Ross, which we should put on Matt's list of names to use for a son (along with Rock).

Tecmo Time!

It's been a long, long time...but I'm back on the habit of a little Tecmo Super Bowl. I'm currently halfway through a season with the Steelers. I thought I'd share a recent game and also how the game has been "holding up."

October (1-10?), 2009:

Pittsburgh v New England

Final Score: 65-7

This was probably one of my biggest days ever, offensively and defensively. Here are the stats:

1 Fumble Recovery
1 Safety
1 Defensive TD
7 points allowed
2? sacks (didn't count those)

Three of my 5 INT's were returned inside the 10 yard line, one for a TD! I think in all my years of playing Tecmo, that may have only been my SECOND INT returned for a TD. I was tackled on the 8 and 3 yard line on the other two big INTs.

If we were playing Fantasy Football, Pittsburgh would have had at least 26 points.

Other games:
In the first game of the season, Dwight Stone took his one and only kickoff to the "house." In the next game, first kickoff of the game, Dwight Stone gets tackled at the 50 yard line. Done. Injured. First time he's tackled all year...injured. And, he didn't come back until 2 or 3 games later. Side note: In his absence, the new kick returner also scored a kickoff TD.

The Game Itself:
When I first fired up the game again, it had already been reset and all I had to do was pick my team to get going into week 1. As it was simulating through the games, I noticed one of the scoreboards of the games on the screen said "Buffalo v Buffalo." So, I stopped it from simulating and looked at the week 1 schedule. Sure enough, Buffalo played Buffalo. Not only that, but Buffalo already played earlier in the week against Miami. Then, not only that, but later in the week 1 schedule, Buffalo v Buffalo again! So, after the first week of games, Buffalo's record was 3-2. (Their record is now 13-3 because they lost to me.) So, obviously since Buffalo played so many games in week 1, somebody must have been left out. Yup, Washington v Detroit and Seattle v Rams (or whomever it was).

There are numerous other gliches in the game:
1. Christian Okoye has 512 Punt Return yards on 0 returns.
2. Emmitt Smith has 256 Punt Return yards also on 0 returns.
3. Ottis Anderson has 256 Punt Return yards on 21 returns.
None of these guys are the teams Punt Returner. Literally! If you look at the starting roster, there not listed as the PR.

4. Some teams' QB plays all the positions. For example, Grogan for NE was also one of the RB's and the Kick and Punt returner. Rypien for Washington was the entire WR cast and special teams.

Oh, when Buffalo played Buffalo, Thurman Thomas and Jaime Mueller got injured. But, they were on different Buffalo teams, so when I played Buffalo the next week, Thomas was injured, but Mueller was healthy.

There are a few other stats messed up too. It seems as if when the season was reset, 3 teams fell through the cracks and none of their stats were reset.

I've also noticed that Bo Jackson is currently in "Excellent" condition for his next game. I think I'll become the Raiders for a few games.

Out of the Basement

Actually I'm in the basement, that is where the computer is. However, as Rome likes to call vacation being in the "basement," I've been having some major computer problems (all I had to do was borrow Barrigar's 150 GB external drive so I could restore my computer) for the last month so I haven't held up my end of the contract of posting. If I want to reach any of my contract incentives, I've got to make 27 more posts by the end of the year. And, Caro won't let me create posts on the blog. Buttholes.

How do you like them apples?

Check out this story. The State of Michigan is apparently strrrrruuuugggglllinnngg during these wonderful ecomomic times. They have predicted they will have to cut from many major areas. So, what did the Huron County commissioners do? Basically said, if you don't give us what is supposed to come from the State, then we're not giving you what is supposed to go to the State.

“This Board of Commissioners of Huron County intends to explore every legal means of withholding, dollar for dollar, any payment due to the State of Michigan where the state has withheld payments to the County of Huron that are mandated,” Tuesday’s resolution states.

MAN'S GAME, Jenny!

That's so funny I forgot to laugh

If you haven't heard, or you weren't paying attention during the Super Bowl commercials, Jay Leno is no longer doing "The Tonight Show" and now has his own show called, you guessed it, "The Jay Leno Show" at 10pm, still on NBC.

Early on in September when it debuted (sp?), I tried to catch some of the show. One night during the first or second week, Jay was calling out his first guest. Pee Wee Herman. WHOM?!?! I know what you're thinking: "Haag, you mean Paul Reubens, right?" No, Paul Reubens actually came out in character as Pee Wee Herman. Annoying voice and all.

I really had hoped this guy fell off the face of the earth. The world was a better place when he was not in the news. It's been, what, 15 years since anyone's really heard of him? Did anyone care? Not me. The guy looked and sounded exactly the same like he'd been doing the old bit all along. He doesn't even look a day older.

But my biggest problem is with Jay Leno. Jay, you have a brand new show. You are Jay freakin' Leno. Please tell me you have something more to offer than Pee Wee Herman. Your FIRST guest?!?! FIRST? What, was David Spade not available? Was Howie Mandel busy with some game show? Arsenio Hall didn't want any of this action? Please tell me you aren't pinning your hopes in the second week to Pee Wee Herman. You've got to have someone lined up better than him, right?


Attention to..."I know you are but what am I," "If you love it why don't you marry it," "That's my name, don't wear it out," "'Can I go to the bathroom?' 'I don't know, can you?,'" "That's so funny I forgot to laugh."

We all missed you guys.



Obama Address

SNL Skit

Friday, October 16, 2009

MLB needs Instant Replay

Another Rome Take

I know, I know, Major League umpires have one of the toughest gigs in all of sports. They must, because it seems like they butcher a key call every single night in the playoffs! But if you’re looking MLB to expand their use of instant replay, Commissioner Bud Selig says you’re barking up the wrong tree: “I’m quite satisfied the way things are. We need to do a little more work, clean up some things. But do I think we need more replay? No. Baseball is not the kind of that game that can have interminable delays.” Ehhhhhhhhh! Wrong again, Commissioner.

Because if there’s one thing we all know about baseball, it’s how crisp and tight the game is. The next postseason game that you play in under four hours…will probably be the first!

I wouldn’t be too concerned about any interminable delays. Instead, concern yourself with the players deciding postseason games and not the umpires. And there’s nothing more played and more tired than the argument the human element is important. Yeah, right up until the second it costs someone a playoff game or series. The human element is important, but not nearly as important as getting the call right. Having HD, every angle imaginable, and super slo-mo means never having to miss a call. Instant replay has worked flawlessly on home runs, just expand the list of reviewable plays to close calls on the bases, fair and foul balls. And whether a batter is hit by a pitch or not. And leave judgment calls alone!

There’s no clock in baseball. No one cares if the slowest game ever takes another 5 or 7 minutes, but we all care about some ump butchering a call costing someone a game. Join the rest of us in the 21st century…Bud. You have the technology, use it!

Oakland Raiders are like a scrimmage

Recent Rome Take

Don’t be surprised if the New York Giants look especially sharp against New Orleans this weekend. After all, they are benefitting from an extra week of practice. Sure, the schedule says they played the Raiders last Sunday, but Giants’ linebacker Antonio Pierce says it was nothing more than a glorified walk-through: “I don’t like knocking teams, but right now they’re struggling. We’re playing the game the other day and honestly, it felt like a scrimmage, like a practice. It felt like we were going against our offense as far as tempo.” First of all, beginning a statement with, “I don’t like knocking teams, but …” is like starting one with “no disrespect intended, but…” someone is about to be disrespected. And, an NFL team is about to be knocked! And the Raiders just were.

And he’s right! Raider week has become a bye week. That game had all the familiar signs of a practice or a scrimmage. The Giants’ number one’s got their reps in, then beat it out of there and watched from the sideline. They played to a thud instead of live tackling. All that was missing was JaMarcus Russell rocking a red jersey and simulating the Q.B. of the upcoming opponent!

The Raiders front 7 may as well have been holding blocking pads for the Giants O-line. Or better yet this Sunday, raider coach Tom Cable (if he’s free on his recognizance) should just line up a blocking sled on the line of scrimmage and make the Eagle’s O-line drive that off the ball. And then he can put the “Blaster” at the linebacker level! And then some tires to run through back in the secondary.

Trust me, any of those obstacles would have provided more resistance than anyone in the silver and black did against the Giants Sunday.

Look, I really don’t like knocking teams, but if opponents are accusing the Raiders of being nothing more than a scout team in Week 5, imagine how awesome the next three months are going to be!!! It’s going to the point where the Raider game is my most important game every Sunday. I can’t wait for the flex schedule to kick in, so we can watch their scrimmages on Monday night.

Back to the Beginning (Mario Kart Song) (Live)

House of Heroes


I think Jay Nordlinger from National Review Online sums up everything I have left to say on Rush and the NFL:

Frankly, I’m so angry about this, I’m not sure I should write about it. I’m even a little shaken, and perhaps you are, too. Let me be blunt: The effort to keep Rush Limbaugh from participating in a bid on a football team was disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. For many years now, we have witnessed an attempt to banish Rush to the margins of American life. To make him a pariah in our society, a non-person. In recent times, this effort has been led by the White House itself. The Left at large is portraying Rush as unfit to be part-owner of a football team, or to do much else in American life. This is why I was pleased when he was named, just the other day, a judge in the Miss America contest: It was evidence that the effort to ostracize Rush was failing. The anathematization of him was not complete. But, after this football thing, as I have said, I find myself a little shaken. Like you, quite possibly, I have read newspapers from front to back for many years. And the news — or at least opinion journalism — is my business. It takes a hell of a lot to shake me. Most things are yawny, even when they’re evil. But this Rush-NFL thing has shaken me, just a bit.

Also, it's a shame Wilbon was one of the people attacking Rush, though at least he did admit when he used a fake quote on PTI. It doesn't surprise me at all the Drew Sharp was.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Umpires? We don't need no stinkin'...

The Wall Street Journal has an article up about baseball and umpires, triggered by the blown call on Joe Mauer's 11th-inning "foul" hit against the Yankees. It poses a question I wondered about myself this week: why isn't technology used more in the MLB? For example, here's an excerpt:

Mike Port, vice president of umpiring for MLB, says that when it comes to calling balls and strikes, the umpires are about 95% accurate. But here's the interesting part: The Pitch-f/x system's ball and strike calls are very near 100% accurate.

Bud Selig says "the human element is vital to baseball." Why? What's so great about 5% error? I'm not saying umpires should be completely replaced with technology, but baseball, unlike, say, football, is made up of many calls that are simply "in" or "out," ones and zeros. A computer can handle that, and do it really well. A foul ball, a strike or ball, these are simple things that don't need to be missed. Leave the judgment calls to the umpires, but let computers handle the digital stuff.

Monday, October 12, 2009


UM punter Zoltan Mesko won Big Ten special teams player of the week for this week. I was disappointed by this, because when I saw the headline I was really hoping he won for best name in college football.

Say Hello To The Bad Guy

Big, bad Rush Limbaugh's declaration that he is part of an ownership group that hopes to buy the Rams has the NFLPA executive director, Al Sharpton, and left wing sportswriters stamping their collective feet at the idea of Rush being a (partial) NFL owner. Here's the reason: Rush is an incredibly popular conservative. That's it. The Left hates Rush, everything else is just window-dressing. Page 2's Jeff MacGregor demonstrates this well as he describes Rush as drawing on "populist anger", "keeping folks preoccupied with their hurts and resentments", and "peddling blame". Which just goes to show that, like most of Rush's critics, he has no clue what he's talking about. Rush is whatever he needs to be so the Left can feel righteous.

Now, the one thing you're going to hear a lot about is the McNabb comment, so here it is to refresh your memory:

Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.

This is interesting because I just heard a commentator say yesterday how important it was the McNabb had a good game, otherwise the fans might clamor for Kevin Kolb to start. If you remember, there was never any real discussion of the actual point made (I'm open to correction on this point, but I certainly don't remember seeing any). ESPN and sportswriters were offended at the suggestion that they aren't impartial arbiters of sport and didn't want to discuss how they might influence the opinions of fans. Plus he said "black", so that set off all the PC meters. You'll notice we don't talk about McNabb being overrated anymore, because he failed to win the Super Bowl and is down the list of "elite" QBs. So, maybe Rush was right.

Like he usually is.

Sunday, October 11, 2009



This Dilbert strip made me think of work:

Not Funny

I have to say, it's a joke that local NFL game is over, there's no other game on, the Cowboys and Chiefs are in OT, and Fox says contractually they can't switch to that game. Here's a news flash: that doesn't make me more likely to go out and buy DirecTV, it makes me more likely to quit watching the NFL.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Why Wait?

If Obama can win the Nobel Peace Prize for the whole 10 days he was in office before the deadline, then I think we should probably award Michael Crabtree the NFL Rookie of the Year award. After all, experts thought he was the best WR in the draft. Do you really need to know more?

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski was "upset" with Miguel Cabrera after his night of binge drinking that left him with a blood alcohol level of .26 and potentially buzzed for a critical game. You think?

Sunday, October 04, 2009


The Tigers managed to not quite blow it today, so they will play the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday at the Metrodome. There's nothing like October baseball... indoors.

Since I referenced it in the title:


Supporting breast cancer awareness is a worthy cause, but does it make much sense for the NFL to be pushing it? The audience must be at least 60% male. The pink gloves, hats, etc look pretty silly too. I'm not sure who they're scoring points with, but it's not their normal viewers.

Also, to further the point about commercials in NFL games, it took 4:25 from when the Lions scored their second TD for the Bears to get their next offensive snap. There was approximately 20 seconds of time in there for the kickoff.