Sunday, December 23, 2007

i'll take what i can get

When your favorite NFL team is eliminated from playoff contention, there's not much left to do but wait for the draft. That is, of course, unless you can take comfort in knowing you have a season sweep against the dirty, cheating Packers. Thanks to the Bears, the road to the Super Bowl goes through the home of the dirty, cheating Cowboys instead of the afore-mentioned dirty, cheating Packers.

Oh, and Favre chucking two more picks is always a good time. Especially when one of them is run back for 85 yards by all-universe football player Brian Urlacher. Good times from a football season that hasn't produced many of those.

Friday, December 21, 2007

i've calmed down enough to try to write about this

Last week, I finally saw Jesus Camp. I'll skip the general outrage over what those people are making my faith into and get to three specific things that still stick with me.

1. When "speaking in tongues," everyone sounded more like they were speaking ComedyWorks/Sportz-styled gibberish. I don't like the idea of making fun of the way that any non-scientologist expresses his or her faith. I suppose quiet reflection and personal prayer aren't for everyone. Yet, whenever I sit in a room full of folks who prefer to express their faith in this manner, it tends to turn into a "my tongues are louder than your tongues" contest. I'm always uncomfortable when someone makes a showy prayer in any language, real or otherwise.

2. The only thing that really surprised me in this movie was how blatantly political some of the "preachers" were. I'm not talking about the crazy anti-choice guy, even. I'm talking about praying for a cardboard cutout of Bush the W(I have doubts about the same camp praying over a William Jefferson Clinton cardboard cutout that way). I'm talking about prayer for the nomination of an evil judge. I'm talking about teaching kids that the dirty liberals want to steal God from them. And I'm talking about how they don't even try to disguise how political it all is. Bad form.

3. The leader of the titular Jesus Camp, while showing all the ways in which she dumbs down the Christian Faith for her campers, basically tells us that her impression is that the young people don't want to think or read; they just want to be told what to do. And here's my main issue. She basically admits that this branch of crazy doesn't encourage any study or thought about that book that they put so much stock in. This is why they think the world is 6,000 years old and that the rapture is more than a plot device for a Kirk Cameron movie. I'd be less concerned, but the idea that people are idiots that won't respond to anything but the simplest message has slimed its way into more than just Pentecostal, Pentecostal Baptist, and Pentecostal Freewill Holiness Baptist churches. It's found its way into the United Methodist church, and that makes me very sad.

If anyone knows how I can take the direction of the church away from these people, I'd be happy to listen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

one sad part is how i'm not even surprised anymore

Up next in the "Atrocities from Iraq" department? The cover up of a gang rape by Haliburton, probably with the aid of the US government. This is, of course, just the latest example of how the contractors we've set loose out there operate outside of any law.

This happened two years ago. Who knows what other horrors Bush's stupid war has unleashed. We'll probably be finding out for years to come.

Monday, December 10, 2007

chapter 14: wherein the Bears listen to me

Some quarterback got himself sentenced today, but that's not the big news. The biggest QB news to come across the wire today is that former rookie sensation Kyle Orton will be the Bears' starter come Monday night.

It's been a dismal season. The best team in football is the Patriots, a team I am entirely sick of hearing about. Compound that with how I'm sick of hearing about the Red Sox and the Celtics, and you've got a pretty rotten go of it. In the NFC, the two powers are the dirty cheating Packers and the dirty criminal Cowboys(I know it's been a while, but still...). I'm looking at a playoff chase that features teams I don't like in The Bucs, The New York Football Giants, The Vikings, The Jaguars, The Steelers, and a few more that I don't actively dislike but don't particularly care about either.

I've been begging for a reason to care about the remainder of the season. Kyle Orton will do for at least one Monday Night.

Monday, December 3, 2007

my annual bowl championship series outrage, 2007 edition

NC State's losing aside, this was a pretty entertaining college football season. We had 7 different teams at number two in the BCS standings, and even more when you look at the opening weeks of college football when LSU and USC stuttered out of the gate before there were "official" standings. The closing weeks of college football's regular season produced no stand-out team and ended with an incredible whimper. New teams that no one ever would have considered were, at one point or another, getting a sniff at actually playing for a championship. This sounds like the kind of thing that a playoff was built for.

Instead, we get Ohio State vs. LSU in the national championship game. Woo.

What this basically proves is that some guy who called in to some sports radio show was right when he offered up the following scenario: "You're a college football player. You wake up before dark in August for practice. You go to class. You go to a late afternoon practice. When you go to bed, you're tired and sore. Then you take a look at the sweats you tossed into the corner. And if the name of the school on those sweats isn't one of the 6 schools that it's already been decided are the real contenders before one football game in the season has even kicked off, you'd better be doing all of it for the love of the game because there's zero chance you're doing it for a championship.

I watch enough ESPN and listen to enough sports talk radio to know what the people who like the BCS have to say.

But Ben, we have a playoff's called the regular season!

I don't know of a lot of playoffs where you can lose some playoff games and still play for the championship. Yet we have a one-loss team and a two-loss team right there. I mean, maybe the playoff is double(or triple) elimination. But then, there are a lot of teams out there that lost one or two of their "playoff games" that are settling for some bowl sponsored by a snack chip or a restaurant chain rather than playing with the big kids.

As a matter of fact, the only team that won all of their "playoff games" was Hawaii. Their reward? Not playing for a championship.

But Ben, Hawaii had a lousy strength of schedule and plays in a weak conference!

Well, let's take a look at BCS darling Ohio State. Here's what a strong schedule looks like, apparently. Load up on cupcakes and a conference more overrated than a biopic during Oscar season, eke out a close win over an unranked Michigan State team, and lose to Illinois. Never play a team ranked in the top 20 in the country. Play a non-conference schedule that includes Washington, the last-place team in the Pac 10; Akron and Kent State, the bottom two teams in the Mid-American Conference’s East Division; and Youngstown State, which plays in a conference far weaker than Hawaii's WAC. That makes for the 43rd strongest schedule.

Granted, Hawaii beat up a lot of cupcakes. Granted, Hawaii played in a weak conference. Granted, Hawaii's strength of schedule was 111. But you can only play who came on your schedule, as defenders of Ohio State's schedule will say without even a trace of irony in their voices.

But Ben, schools make their own schedules. Hawaii could have upped themselves from 111 if they wanted.

Well, they can try. But no one wants that game on their schedule if they're one of the big kids. They have nothing to win. A win is just a win over a cupcake team in a weak conference. And a loss is an important "playoff loss." Hawaii did try to up their strength of schedule. Michigan(yes I know that it turns out that Michigan wouldn't have done that much to help the ol' SoS) was going to be on the schedule, but ended up dumping this "trap game" in favor of a game with Appalachian State. That worked out real well for them, and probably made it that much harder for the Hawaiis and Boise States of the sport to get on any BCS school's schedule anytime even remotely soon.

But Ben, you can't really be suggesting Hawaii deserves to be named one of the top two teams in the country, can you?

Maybe not. But they're definitely the only undefeated "Bowl Subdivision" team, and definitely one of the top 8. Which is all I'm really asking for in a playoff. Not a huge 65-team field, 8 teams over three weekends. They deserve a shot, and this would be the way to get one.

But Ben, they're student athletes! You can't take them out of class for that long!

Bite me. It's two extra weeks for 2 teams and one extra week for 2 more. The kids that play for the big schools aren't real students. They were brought to those schools for football. If they get an education out of it, bonus, but it's not why they're really there. And the small schools that actually do have students that happen to play football? College is about experiences, and for those kids, there probably won't be a more educational experience than living through the media circus that would undoubtedly surround the championship game.

But Ben, this is the way it is and no amount of blogging from you or anyone else is going to change it. Deal with Ohio State or LSU being named national champion.

Yeah? Not if I refuse to acknowledge it and get enough people behind me. The precious BCS once did such a lousy job that national champion LSU was ignored while people claimed that non-championship game winner USC was proclaimed champion by the entire sports media. A playoff would have fixed that mess, by the way.

I do agree that no amount of blogging or bitching will change the BCS from what it is to something that works. So with that in mind, thanks for reading all of this. But it was for nothing. Just like everyone else's sports blog.

Friday, November 16, 2007

sometimes i miss spending 6 hours a day on crazy left wing radio

If you can get power through some of the bits(not all of them, some of them are genuinely amusing), then take a listen to John Fugelsang saying many of the same things I do about what the far right has done to my faith. I harp on this a lot, but it's really nice to hear it from someone else every now and again just to confirm that not everyone who holds my religious beliefs is a total evil whack job. The best moment?

I view Jesus the way I view Elvis, I love the guy but the fan clubs freak me out.

As a bonus, he even throws in a nice list that covers a lot of my reservations about Hillary Clinton. A good listen. Mostly. Skip the first quarter of this or so for the best results.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


So Barry Bonds has been indicted on federal perjury and obstruction of justice charges as it relates to his testimony that he never knowingly used any "performance enhancing drugs." As I watch ESPN's breaking news coverage on it right now, I'm taken aback by a couple of things.

First there's the fact that sports are in a place where ESPN thought it would be prudent to hire a legal analyst to be ready to speak on things at a moment's notice. Furthermore, it's totally surreal that I'm hearing someone on ESPN use Scooter Libby's conviction as an example of what's going on with a baseball player.

The other thing, and I hate to bring up old stuff, is that the President of These Here United States has already released a response to the indictment when the news broke less than 30 minutes ago. That means that the indictment of a baseball player got a quicker response than airplanes flying into the World Trade Towers and the levees in New Orleans breaking.

I'll be over here picking my jaw up off of the ground, and possibly adding more to this post later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Voting Machine - a classic entry retold

I thought that I had lost all evidence that I ever did this when my last computer and a previous blog came up with a sudden case of death. During my time in Benson, NC, I would routinely drive my lawn mower down the road to a convenience store after taking care of the lawn on a hot day for a refreshing beverage. When I noticed that, for the 2004 election, my polling place was just a few doors down from that convenience store, I decided that I would also take my mower to vote. Hence, the Voting Machine.

My Voting Machine showing off where my vote was going, I was off...

Now, the route I took to the convenience store was on a nice, mostly untraveled section of Benson where I could ride into a side entrance to the store(which faced the much more-traveled Highway 301). Getting to my polling place involved taking a left turn off of that untraveled road into four lanes of Highway 301.

My strategy was to wait for a lull in traffic coming from my left and boogie down 301 on the wrong side of the road in 5th gear into the next parking lot and wait until I could repeat the process. Finally, I got to my polling spot. First order of business, play hide & seek among the campaign signs with the Voting Machine.

Then it was time to find parking. Fortunately, I found a spot nice and close to the door. An older woman who had just cast her vote looked squarely at the Kerry/Edwards sign on the Voting Machine and asked "What are those doing on that. She wasn't surprised to see the mower in the parking lot, just the support the mower showed for a candidate that wasn't a rare combination of arrogant, evil, and incompetent.

Voting completed, I drove the mower back home. I was going the correct way on Highway 301 heading back home, which made for an easier trip but irritated the hell out of the few drivers unfortunate enough to get behind me before I could get to the convenience store parking lot. Once home, I drove the Voting Machine into the creepy shed behind my house to wait for the next election. Of course, by the time that came around, I was no longer living in a house with a yard I needed to take care of and my dad had taken custody of the voting machine.

Still, one day, I hope to be able to bring it out of retirement.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

more reasons to hate commonwealthers

A New York Times piece from yesterday asked the question "Are the Red Sox Ready to Become the Yankees?" The problem is, they already have.

How much did they pay just to see if they could pay DiceK? What about the rest of their glutted payroll? Just between last season and the current one, they went from being $74 million behind the Yankees to $43 million behind. From a $17 million in front of the #3 spender to a whopping $30 million over one offseason. That also adds up to being more than $100 million more than the bottom 5 spenders.

Or what about the treatment of JD Drew, who's taken a massive beating from Boston fans for not living up to his contract that's worth more than the entire Tampa Bay Devil Rays lineup?

What about overcrowding of the Red Sox bandwagon on a level that no one's seen for a baseball team since...wait for it...the Yankees?

Of course, there's also the fact that any goodwill from those who didn't run out to buy a Red Sox cap in their favorite color your underdog status gave the Sox prior to the '04 series has been replaced by a total resentment of the Boston fan's overinflated sense of entitlement previously seen only from the fans in...can you guess?...New York.

So yeah, the Yankees aren't the only evil empire out there, are they?

Go Rockies.

Friday, October 19, 2007

carrot top is a prop comic, too

Chad Johnson, my favorite non-Torry Holt and/or non-Chicago Bear receiver and man who's faster than a horse, has decided that he's done with the end zone celebrations until the Bengals stop sucking. Good for him. As it stands, I hate precalculated end zone celebrations unless they're the currently illegal ones that happen between teammates or entire teams. I concede that I'll never be rid of them(at least props were banned), but I do think that Johnson's on the right track here. There's a time and a place, and I think that some players need to understand that.

So here are some rules that I think should be adopted.

1. The Chad Johnson Rule - If you're team is at less than .500 after the first 4 weeks of play you do not celebrate any scores. There's nothing sadder than seeing a member of a 2-7 football team jubilantly celebrate the touchdown that brings the score to 7-7 in the first quarter knowing that this team will still probably lose the game on their way to a 3-13 record and a number one draft pick. It just looks like he's saying "Yay! I did something right!"

-The Spoiler Exception - If you're playing for a futile team that is by some miracle beating one of a handful of teams in the league that no one shuts up about(this season we're looking at New England, Dallas, and Indianapolis), you may celebrate each and every touchdown in any fashion you see fit until you're losing by two scores or more(see rule #2)

-The Rivalry Exception - Some teams, it feels good to beat no matter how poorly your season is going. If a Redskins team that's 3-9 goes up on a Dallas team that's 10-2, I won't at all begrudge some celebrating from those 'Skins.

2. The We're Beating the Spread Rule - If your team is still down by more than one possession after your score, you do not dance/taunt/celebrate in any fashion. Give the ball to the ref, you've still got plenty of score to make up.

-The Roy Williams Addendum - If celebrating a touchdown when you're still down by more than 8 points afterward is wrong, celebrating a first down when you're down by a million points just proves once again that everyone named Roy Williams is a total d-bag.

3. The Bill Grammatica Rule - Never celebrate a field goal. You had to settle for 3.

The Adam Vinatieri Exception - If it's a game-winner as the clock expires, go nuts.

4. The T.O. Rule - Lots of guys would get called on this. Stop pre-planning the end zone dances. I know that there are guys in the NFL who lie awake at night thinking of what might get them some extra time on a highlight reel. Steve Smith, Chad Johnson, and too many others have laid down some truly asinine dances this way and my fear is still that they'll be hiring choreographers sooner rather than later.

The Ickey Shuffle Exception - If you do a dance that strikes a chord with the fans of the team you play for, you may repeat that dance until the local AM sports radio callers in that town begin to turn on the dance en masse.

The Changing a Football's Diaper is the Dumbest Thing I've Ever Seen Addendum - If you use something from the game as a prop beyond spiking the football(which, by the way, I'm more than okay with), your team is penalized 30 points and the ball. Honestly. Using your towel to pretend to be a waiter? I spent some time in the food service industry, and there's nothing celebratory about standing by a table while someone berates you for bringing them exactly what they ordered.

The Joe Horn Hasn't Been Talked About Again Since That Day Addendum - If you bring an external prop, your team is penalized their next three games. And the ball.

The Teams Win Championships Exception - Remember the Mile High Salute from Denver? Remember the Bob and Weave from St. Louis? Remember the grenade thing the Ravens used to do? Team celebrations. Those are awesome and I think they need to be allowed back into the game. I'd much prefer that to some grand-standing idiot with a prop hidden in his sock.

5. The New York Football Giants are Lame but Not as Much as the New York Basketball Knicks Rule, or the Isaiah Thomas Sucks at Life Rule - Never celebrate a football play by imitating a sport that the team in the city you represent has been horrible at for years.

I should be the NFL's commissioner. You can guarantee I wouldn't be thinking about a Super Bowl in London.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

clock's ticking

In the wake of the House's failure to override Bush's stupid, evil veto I'm compelled to reprint some quotes from a previous entry by Rev. Jim Wallis(his book is fascinating) and Rev. William Barber to drive home part of the reason I find the Republicans who voted against this to be entirely reprehensible.

If you want to be protected by the right wing and you're a child, you have to stay unborn as long as possible.

There is no debate that if you read the Bible, you're supposed to care for the poor.

So now that we've established that the political right is full of douchebags who don't understand the faith they exploited to get elected, let me address the Democrats.

You're in trouble. If you'd spent more time trying to make the SCHIP expansion happen and less time pretending to be surprised that Rush Limbaugh said something stupid and offensive without thinking about it, you may have had a chance. I know, you'll say that they started it with the resolution about's ad. So what? They don't control the House of the Senate. They don't have the votes to do anything but waste your time with nonsense. You're supposed to be better and you're supposed to get things done.

As of right now, your defining moments are wasting time with a pointless discussion about who hates the troops more and and a strongly worded non-binding resolution. This isn't what you were put in office to do. My advice is to stop wasting time and start getting the votes you need to do the things you have to get done.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

mostly, we talked about aquaman and condoms...but not how they relate to one another

With Congress looking for the votes to override Bush's insane veto for SCHIP on the 18th, I decided to take further action than just posting Daily Show clips on a blog that no one reads. So I found myself spending my Tuesday evening taking part in a demonstration in front of the NC Republican party headquarters.

I stumbled upon a small pocket of folks holding signs that seemed as uncertain as I was about whether or not we should be seen having a good time while trying to get a rather urgent message out. After we decided that, yes, it was okay, we went about the business of interpreting the reactions from passing cars. There were a few things we noticed.

One was that no one gives a honk of disagreement. If you're honking, you support the cause. This is an interesting deviation from the normal honking of your horn, which announces that the driver in front of you has just performed a vehicular maneuver generally reserved for jackasses that can't drive. It was nice.

Next, was that you could get a pretty good idea of someone's age by the reaction from the car. If you pumped your fist and/or yelled supportive things out the window of your car, you were pretty young. If you gave a thumbs up(the most common reaction), you were young-to-middle-aged. If you flashed a peace sign, you were pretty old. If you flashed a black power sign, you were pretty old and black.

All of those positive reactions, it should be pointed out, were done with one hand on the steering wheel of the cars they were driving. The one overtly negative reaction we got was a double middle finger from one particularly angry driver who obviously hates poor children. We couldn't help but notice that in order to double flip us off, he needed to leave both hands off of the wheel for an extended period of time. This is just more proof that you're either 1) not thinking in the long term or 2) a complete moron if you oppose the SCHIP expansion.

I tell you all of that to tell you this: you can have a great time acting on your conscience. I totally did. Also, conservatives are bad at driving(which is sad because they drive such nice cars).

By the by, Bob Etheridge is being a pretty lousy Democrat/human being and not planning to vote for an override(David Price is, advantage Durham) of Bush's idiot veto. So if he's your Representative(or even if he's not), you can call to tell him to grow a set and do what's right by calling his Washington office(202-225-4531) or his Raleigh office(919-829-9122).

UPDATE: Good news from the organizer:

Page 5B of today's N&O reports that Bob Etheridge will vote for the SCHIP expansion!!! "After careful consideration, I have decided to vote to override the president's veto."

Way to go, Bob.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

favre ties record, loses game

Brett Favre tied the record for MOST CAREER INTERCEPTIONS in a failed comeback attempt against my beloved Chicago Bears, who I never said should give up on this season. Never. Said. It.

Friday, October 5, 2007

george, have you even read the Bible?

Once again, I find it easier to let someone else explain why I'm upset with W.

George, I just need to go ahead and point something out to you. You see, George, for all that you believe in private health care, private health care has zero...I repeat ZERO interest in helping anyone. They want to make money. So we can therefore assume that private health care has LESS THAN ZERO interest in helping a child who cannot afford their services.

Of course this isn't your problem, is it George? As far as you're concerned the poor are only poor because they want to be. I might even tune into whack-job right wing talk radio today to see if anyone can explain what "Poor kids first" even means.

In the meantime, there's also this...which is all kinds of entertaining in the face of tragedy.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

but marqué en infériorité numérique

Last night, with football currently slowly killing me inside between the performances of the injury-depleted Chicago Bears and the, um, something-depleted NC State Wolfpack, I was very much looking forward to the start of a hockey season with a Carolina Hurricanes team that I think is going to do a lot of scoring and winning.

Of course, being poor means that I'm watching the game from my couch. Also, because someone hates me and has either a tremendous amount of hatred for either the team or its fans, the Hurricanes were the only team whose opening game wasn't televised in its own market. Fortunately, there was a free preview of NHL center ice. Unfortunately, the game was against Montreal so the broadcast was in French.

I was determined to watch me some hockey, though, so I let the game get about 30 minutes ahead so I'd at least be able to fast forward through the French commercials(the DVR is the best invention ever) and plopped myself down on the couch.

Andi gave up on trying to identify what was going on based on her high school French classes about halfway through the first period and instead scoured the interweb for and index of hockey terms in French. The term for short-handed goal is entirely unimaginative. Stupid French.

While the 'Canes did lose in OT, I at least saw a lot of positives in the game that get me excited for the season to come. That's more than I can say for what the Bears and the Wolfpack have shown me in the young football season. Is it basketball time yet?

Monday, October 1, 2007


I may regret this declaration later, but 4 weeks into the NFL season I'm declaring my beloved Chicago Bears finished. Some people will tell me that this is premature. They'll tell me that, in the NFC, no one is really out until they've been mathematically eliminated.

To these folks, I'll say that the Chicago defense was out 6 starters this past weekend, the O-line is having trouble with the basics of blocking, Cedric Benson still has a whole heckuva lot to prove, they gave up 34 points to Detroit in one quarter, and then there's that whole trend with Super Bowl losers not doing so hot in the following season working against them.

This is why I'm doing a complete 180 of my complete 180 on the starting QB status of Rex Grossman. You see, Rex is in a contract year. No one is going to pretend that Brian Griese is a long-term answer to the quarterback question(especially since 2 red zone INT's and one pick-6 aren't any better than Rex's productivity). The Bears clearly don't think of Former Rookie Sensation Kyle Orton as the future.

All of this is to say that the Bears need to give Grossman the next 12 games to either prove he's their man or give them their biggest job for what's already shaping up to be a busy offseason. Go ahead and do it Chicago. At this point, I don't think you actually have that much to lose by doing so.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

keep 'em on a leash

We've been having a problem with mascots, of late. There has been an aggressiveness in them that, while still adorable and full of team spirit, may end up endangering the lives of others. By now, we've all seen this:

And this is overtly dirty assault still fresh on our memories from only a week ago(give or take, I have no concept of time anymore):

Now I'm sure you'll tell me that the second guy had it coming. And I'm sure you'll tell me that it's not our place to end mascot-on-mascot violence. The problem is, it was all started by the non-mascot community. I'm not just talking about how they learned it from watching us(they did...mascot see, mascot do). I'm talking about a real, live, flesh and blood human being sewed the seeds of this mascot discontent a while back.

Remember the Harvey the Hound Incident? What seemed like an innocuous mauling of a beloved mascot was but a step down the path to rogue mascottery.

That's merely an example. The fact is that Mascot abuse has had a long and storied history in our culture, and only now are we beginning to see the results of the way we've treated those who would use their animal features to keep us entertained during breaks in game time action.

So when you attend a sporting event in the future and a seemingly cheerful(they always smile, even when the teams they represent are down by a million points) animal, colonial, devil, or whatever begins to pummel you remember that it's not random violence; it's comeuppance.

(by the way, is it sour grapes to point out that the Clemson Tigers' mascot does the wussiest push-ups I've ever seen...including mine?")

Friday, September 21, 2007

i still miss him on sportscenter

It's my fault. I accidentally found myself listening to Sean Hannity yesterday. I was set to break out the angry bloggage but fortunately, Keith Olbermann wrapped up most of my response to the Bush points that Hannity was parroting in that broadcast. So I'll just show you this:

I also wanted to add that some research done this morning shows that all of the Republican talking heads ignored their party filibustering a measure to restore habeas corpus(remember Republicans whining about getting "an up or down vote?" They don't either) so they could tell us all how the Democrats were beholden to, even trotting out the "poor Joe Lieberman" chestnut again.

So being beholden to the NRA, Exxon, and the people(James Dobson and friends) that have turned my faith into a hateful, xenophobic fringe group is long as you're sure to "stand up" to MoveOn. Got it.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

NFL preview '07

My mother-in-law recently came into possession of a football signed by Buffalo Bills quarterback JP Losman. She doesn't really care about the whole football deal, and none of the actual Bills fans in the family seemed to care about having it either. No problem, though, she thought she'd just give it to a charity auction. The football, signed by the current starting quarterback of a team that is plastered all over the region, received no bids. Not. One. Poor JP Losman; if he ever found out about that, it'd probably sting his ego pretty bad.

With that out of the way, allow me begin my annual-ish breakdown of what I think the NFL is going to do this year. Since I just told a JP Losman story, why not start with the division that JP will be quarterbacking his losses in...

AFC East

This one seems pretty easy. On paper, New England should run away with this division and be a favorite to return to the Super Bowl. Again. But take another look.

The Jets were a team on the rise last season, and made some moves(including grabbing Thomas Jones) to get even better. They're definitely good enough for the playoffs and may give New England some competition.

The Dolphins were nearly everyone's preseason darlings last year based on Daunte Culpepper's signing. That didn't work out too well for them, but Trent Green is another proven winner coming into a talented team. A new coach and a poor draft will probably hold them back from being everything they should be, but they could be dangerous.

Speaking of dangerous, the Buffalo Bills have potential. If they can get some good run blocking and keep any more injuries off of the defensive side of the ball, they might make some noise. Not playoff noise, I don't think, but enough noise to mess up the season of one of three teams whose fans have high expectations. Bills fans shouldn't expect much though, because Buffalo has a hellish schedule.

Again, it looks like New England should win this, but there are some volatile pieces in this thing. Randy Moss, of course, could cause problems. Sure, they got Corey Dillon to behave, but Randy Moss is a far different animal than Corey Dillon. It also might be interesting to see what happens to a Tom Brady with some baby mama drama on top of finding his typical magic missing in last seasons' playoffs. I'm picking New England to win this division, but I won't be surprised to see them not.

So let's call it:

1. New England Patriots
2. New York Jets
3. Miami Dolphins
4. Buffalo Bills


So, my story from yesterday isn't as interesting as I thought. It seems the JP Losman football never made it to the auction. So the fact that there's a signed JP Losman football at my in-laws' place was not the result of no bids. It was the result of being so insignificant that they flat-out forgot to take it to the auction. I apologize for the error.

Let's keep the previews rolling...

AFC South

This division is pretty interesting. You have the defending Super Bowl champs, a team that always seems like they're one piece or break away from being elite, a team with an outstanding young quarterback, and the Houston Texans.

Now that the Colts have finally broken through, Jacksonville is my team that I will always expect more from than they end up delivering. Maybe it's because I've had a man-crush on Jack Del Rio since his time as the Carolina Panthers' defensive coordinator. Maybe it's because I've wanted Byron Leftwich to do great things since I saw him being carried by his linemen so he could finish a comeback against Akron with a broken shin. Maybe it's that if Leftwich goes down with another injury, we know his backup is competent. But my expectations for this team are officially loftier than they should be.

The Colts themselves, I fully expect to be the Colts. There are a few questions around a Rhodes-less running game, but not enough for me to write this team off. I'd like to pick the Jags to finish over the Colts, but I just don't see it happening.

The Texans continued to beef up their defense this offseason and snagged a new quarterback. What I haven't heard word one about was any change to their offensive line. It doesn't matter who your QB is if you have no line. It doesn't matter how good your defense is if your offense can only manage 3-and-out. I will be looking to see if Mario Williams can stay healthy and play like a #1 pick and hoping for the best.

The Titans made some noise towards the end of last season, but lost too many pieces to keep it rolling on the offensive side of the ball and didn't fill nearly enough of their holes on the defensive side of the ball to put it together. This team just feels like a mess. As for Vince Young, he's going to be great in the league one day...but this year is just going to be a miserable. If the Madden Curse holds this year, it may be an act of mercy to sideline him.

So as much as I think the Jags could be potentially great, I'm going with:

1. Indianapolis Colts
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Houston Texans
4. Tennessee Titans


Jen Crocker(now Bakane, but that doesn't roll off the tongue properly) kept me from giving up on football during those years when the Bears were, let's say, a sub-average team. If they were out of contention and I had lived hard on Saturday night, it didn't matter. Jen would call Sunday morning and inform me that I would be going to watch football with her.

So off we'd go. We'd order some drinks and Jen would convince me that, between the two of us, we could totally put down 50 wings. And I'd fall for it every time. She'd eat five and decide she was full. Well into the 4 o'clock game, I would still be choking down wings while Jen egged me on. Good times.

For the upcoming football season, Jen will be living in Colorado, and that is sad. There is football in Colorado, though, and they play in the...

AFC West

This one is tough. Except for last place. That's pretty easy to predict.

Oakland struck me as possibly dangerous a month-and-a-half ago. They're bringing back a defense that was actually pretty good and were adding Dominic Rhodes to the running game. There were rumors of bringing Daunte Culpepper on board and they had a heckuva 1st round draft pick who promised to be NFL-ready early. Of course, then they couldn't sign their heckuva 1st round draft pick. Then I remembered what a disaster Culpepper was in Miami last year. Then Lane Kiffin sported health problems similar to Joe Paterno. The problem with that being that Paterno is a million years old to Kiffin's 32. It's going to be another long season, Oakland fans.

In Kansas City, Larry Johnson isn't happy. In Kansas City, the defense stinks. In Kansas City, they have no receivers and lost quality offensive linemen. In Kansas City, they're really high on Brodie Croyle. At least they'll be better than the Raiders.

I had Denver in the Super Bowl as a wild card last year at this time. I still have them making noise as they have all the right pieces back in place this year plus some. How fast Jay Cutler finishes growing up this season is going to be the difference between winning the division and a wild card spot. Either way, expect to see the Broncos come playoff time.

Ah yes, the Chargers. This team is pure talent. Talent every which way. Lots and lots of talent. They were a headbutt away from a meaningful playoff run last season, so naturally they fire their coach and replace him with...Norv Turner?!?! The chargers have too much talent not to make the playoffs, but with Norv in charge, sorry San Diego, no Super Bowls in your future.

Actually, I've just talked myself into switching first and second place in this division so it looks like:

1. Denver Broncos
2. San Diego Chargers
3. Kansas City Chiefs
4. Oakland Raiders


You don't think that the upcoming football season excites people? Last Night at The Worx, I found myself discussing football with Wade. One by one, people overheard their favorite football word and came to join in. The weeks prior to football season are sometimes the most exciting part of the whole year. For some folks, like Dolphins fan Javovi, it's the only part of the year where he can convince himself that his team has a shot at the playoffs. It's also the only time of the year where he can try to convince himself that Miami didn't have a craptacular draft.

Anyway, here are some predictions for 100% of Ohio's teams...

AFC North

The highlight of everyone's draft was watching Brady Quinn gracefully fall to pick number 22. He won people over by keeping cool. After that? He lost them again by not understanding that he went at pick number 22 and holding out for top 10 pick money. But he still might be a pretty alright NFL quarterback. But we won't see him taking any real snaps until Cleveland has been eliminated from the playoffs. And they will be. And pretty early, too. There are still too many holes in that team.

Pittsburgh has a reasonable amount of talent and a new coach. They're good everywhere, but great nowhere. That formula proved to be pretty flawed last season, and I think they'll be just outside of the playoff conversation this season too.

Over in Cincinnati, there's lots of jail time to go around on that team. Fortunately, a certain Mr. Mexico and a certain PacMan made some mistakes that have overshadowed the Bengals problems. They might be able to use that to get a grip and remember that they're a team with Carson Palmer(on his way to being a great QB), Chad Johnson(wideout that's faster than a horse), and a defense that led the league in takeaways only two seasons ago.

Even if Cincinnati gets it together, though, it won't be enough to take this division from Baltimore. Willis McGahee has come to town and will actually be running behind some blockers, which should make the Ravens' running game more than dangerous. Steve McNair seems to be healthy, and Kyle Boller is serviceable should the worst happen. The Baltimore defense is the Baltimore defense. This is a monster team that, by all rights, should run rough shod over the AFC.

1. Baltimore Ravens
2. Cincinnati Bengals
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Cleveland Browns


NFC East

Lots going on here, but this division isn't going see much of a power struggle, as only one team seems to have it all.

The poor, poor Redskins are a mess of players that Dan Snyder knew had posters when he was 12 years old. Under Snyder's direction, they've abandoned the draft for too many years and given Joe Gibbs virtually nothing to work with. Between that and the whispers that Gibbs is out of touch, I don't expect a great year for the 'Skins.

On the other side of the talent scale, there's the Cowboys. Loaded down with talent on both sides of the ball, the Cowboys are also saddled with a new coach that doesn't impress me and a Tony Romo that's going to be trying too hard to prove himself after the way his last season ended. In the end, they'll be talented enough to finish second in this division, but outside of the playoffs.

We also have the Giants, who have a shaky defense that is likely going to end up shakier by the time Strahan makes up his mind. They have a overrated players and a missing link in the running game on the offensive side of the ball. Oh, and none of the players like their coach. Bad year for the Giants.

Donovan F. McNabb has gone on record as saying that it's now or never for the Eagles. Everyone seems healthy going in, and injury has been the team's biggest detractor in recent history. Call me an idiot, but I'm banking that this year everyone stays healthy and the Eagles find themselves deep in the playoffs since McNabb is going to be emphasizing desperation, which may be just what they need.

Your final standings will look like this...

1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Dallas Cowboys
3. New York Football Giants
4. Washington Redskins


I thought I might try to watch a little bit of the preseason game featuring the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Football Giants last night, hoping to try to enjoy some football. Since it was a preseason game, though, I was expecting the bare minimum for excitement. I didn't even get that, though, as the game had to be stopped for a penalty or, even worse, an injury every minute-and-a-half. Ugly stuff.

I fully expect the talking heads on Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, and all other shows centered around yelling about sports to condemn the useless preseason using the 6 injuries from this game as an illustration of why it's awful. I'm going to preemptively agree with them now to save myself the trouble of doing it later this afternoon.

And now a preview for a division that's gone to the dogs...

NFC South

A division that I've expected to make moves towards becoming the cream of the NFL crop over the past few years, I now humbly suggest that this division will be a one horse race by mid season. The only question is, which horse?

Atlanta's troubles are easy enough. They've been inconsistent -nay, erratic- over the past couple of seasons. They got a new coach and traded the best backup in the NFL away to show confidence in Mike Vick. I don't need to tell you how that decision is playing out for them. Well, they've also lost another one. Even if I thought that Atlanta had the talent to possibly overcome the QB problem, it just feels like a cloud of doom is hanging over this team.

I expected pretty large things from Tampa last season, and then Cadillac Williams managed less than 800 yards on the ground and their Quarterback situation got hilarious. Garcia may settle the QB problem, but he may not. I think they mostly had an o-line problem that they haven't even come close to fixing. Garcia is good, but he's no miracle worker.

The Panthers played last season with an obscene amount of injuries, particularly in their offensive line and their running back. I wonder if this year won't be a repeat as John Fox loves to grind teams down with the run. If the Panthers stay healthy, they could be dangerous. If not, expect more people to start turning on the good but overrated Jake Delhomme. Personally, I'm curious to see what David Carr can do with more than half-a-second to get rid of the football anyway.

The real question in New Orleans is "was last season a fluke?" I'm thinking Drew Breeze is the real deal, Reggie Bush is going to be almost as good as people said he was going to be, and coach Sean Payton is on his way to being an all-time great. I might be wrong, and the Saints might fade away this season like some other one it wonder teams. I don't see why they would, though.

So from the South, let's call it:

1. New Orleans Saints
2. Carolina Panthers
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Atlanta Falcons


So there's this commercial that keeps bothering me. It's a Nike commercial that features LaDainian Tomlinson running roughshod over the Bears' defense. Looking for something to put on the official website, some folks with the Chicago Bears organization asked some of the players about it, and they pretty much think about the commercial the same way I do.

Asked for his review of the final product, [Tommie] Harris said: "I didn't like it. I'll fix it when we play against them." Asked if his teammates had discussed it, the two-time Pro Bowler added: "We don't entertain foolishness. We don't even talk about it."

When approached by a reporter, Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher claimed he hadn't seen the commercial.

Reporter: What do you think of the commercial with LaDainian Tomlinson?
Urlacher: I haven't seen it. What happens?
Reporter: He shreds the Bears defense for a touchdown.
Urlacher: Wow. It must be a video game. Is it a video game?
Reporter: No, it's not a video game. It's a commercial.
Urlacher: How did he do the last time we played them? Look at the stats. See how he did.

For the record, the Bears held Tomlinson to 61 yards on 16 carries in a 20-7 win at Soldier Field on Nov. 2, 2003. They would certainly love a repeat performance against the reigning NFL MVP, who set a league record with 31 touchdowns while rushing for 1,815 yards in 2006.

Has it really been that long since we played San Diego? Wow. I fear Tomlinson is better now and has more backup than he did then. Still, I'm pretty sure he'll only rush for 2 yards total against us this season. Yep. That's the ticket. Feel my confidence. The Chargers' coach sucks.

I have no sensible transition for a preview of the...

NFC West

So the rundown goes like this:

Seattle is bringing back pretty much their entire underrated team from last season, and everyone seems healthy(especially at QB and HB). Also working in their favor? Everyone is looking at Chicago and Philly, so they'll still be off the radar. The only thing keeping them out of a first round bye come playoff time is the talent on the other three teams in this division.

Arizona has the talent to make waves. They also have a rookie coach, a team that entirely lacked a killer instinct last season, some holes in their lines, and a "culture of losing" that I'm starting to buy into no matter how many times I tell myself that's silly. Still, if they get rolling, look out.

San Francisco has the pieces, but will spend too much of the year making them fit together to do any major damage until it's too late. They'll be unbelievably hot come about week 15, but that will just translate to "too little, too late" this season and an undue amount of excitement for the '08 season.

St. Louis scares me, and I'm probably all kinds of dumb for picking them to finish last in this division. I just think they'll need an overhaul to be relevant to the playoff hunt again while I see San Fran and Arizona as teams on the rise. I doubt Marc Bulger more and more each season. It may just be left over spite for Kurt Warner, though.

1. Seattle Seahawks
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. St. Louis Rams


Well, this is supposed to be the big finale. This is where I usually announce that the Bears will win the NFC North en route to winning the Super Bowl. I just don't know if I can do it this year, and it's JMatt's fault. He thought it would be a good idea to gather around the obligatory preseason "Super Bowl rematch" with some wings. The wings were a great idea. The game?

My confidence in the Bears is shattered. Why? Rex Grossman, who I have defended relentlessly, put the ball on the ground 3 times in one quarter. Two times because he couldn't handle the snap. A pro quarterback. Two times. In one quarter. Couldn't. Handle. The. Snap. I kept thinking of this exchange from Sports Night:

Casey: They're going to cut Santori.

Natalie: The place-kicker?

Casey: He's made eight field goal attempts in three games and has connected on a grand total of none of them.

Elliot: Oh, I've met him, he's a good guy.

Casey: He can't kick.

Natalie: He is a good guy.

Casey: He can't kick.


Elliot: I saw him kick in practice.

Casey: At this level, they pretty much want you to be able to kick in a game.

At this level, they pretty much want you to be able to hold onto the football immediately after the snap in a game Rex. I can already feel myself being one of those jerks calling for Brian Greise or Former Rookie Sensation Kyle Orton(who led his team to a bye in the playoffs only to find himself at #3 on the depth chart...ouch...I understand why...but ouch) to get in the game after every flub. And from the looks of things, there are going to be lots from Rex whether his name means "King" or not.

The Bears still will come out on top, though, in the...


NFC North

Look, the Bears are going to win this division. No matter how many snaps Rex mishandles and no matter how many INT's he tosses, the Bears are going to win this division based on their defense(so long as Briggs lets someone drive for him), their opponents' healthy fear of Devin Hester, and the fact that every other team in the division is terrible.

Minnesota is not impressive, aside from the looming threat of Adrian Peterson. Tarvaris Jackson is somewhat less imposing. Their defense will be good enough to keep Detroit and Green Bay in the bottom half of this division, but that's still not saying much.

After a loss to the Bears last season where the Lions only managed 6 points, Detroit's Roy Williams actually uttered the phrase "it's a joke how close we came to scoring 40 points," proving once again the total douche baggery of anyone named Roy Williams. Why do I bring that up? Because John Kitna's promise that Detroit will win at least 10 games this season is just as silly. John Kitna can maybe give me that after he's actually QB'ed a team to 10 wins, but for now it's just a ridiculous statement. Especially with how uninspiring the seemingly can't-miss receiver Calvin Johnson was in the preseason.

Brett Favre is surrounded by young guys in Green Bay, but won't admit to anything even resembling rebuilding. Denial is only good for last place in any division, Brett.

1. Chicago Bears
2. Minnesota Vikings
3. Detroit Lions
4. Green Bay Packers



Wild card weekend: Colts def. Chargers, Broncos def. Jaguars
AFC Semi's: Broncos def. Patriots, Ravens def. Colts
AFC Championship: Ravens def. Broncos

Now here, for the first time since I started blogging, is an NFC picture that doesn't have the Bears in the Super Bowl:

Wild card weekend: Bears def. Cowboys, Seahawks def. Panthers
NFC Semi's: Eagles def. Seahawks, Saints def. Bears
NFC Championship: Eagles def. Saints

So, we'll have two teams I have no interest in seeing win the Super Bowl battling it out. This only means I can pay more attention to Wade's chili. Your final score?

Ravens 23, Eagles 10

Sunday, September 2, 2007

well, that certainly stung

I'm in beautiful Western New York, where the trees have started to change colors, for the wedding of one of Andi's college friends. This morning, I ate breakfast with some of her college crowd in downtown Ellicottville. One of the options was a breakfast burrito that looked powerfully delicious in its menu description. It seemed a manly option, much more manly than the eggs benedict option that I was also flirting with.

In the end, I went with the eggs benedict because my alma mater's football team managed to lose to the University of Central Florida. When your BCS conference school loses its opener to UCF, you just don't feel manly enough to deserve a menu option that goes by a name like "Burrito Bomb."

Thursday, August 9, 2007

uncle chuck

Another tale from ACS. This one comes from my time served as co-host of the talent show this year. In the midst of expressions of faith, shows of talent, and explosions of "hey, look at me!" from the ACS'ers in front of a couple hundred of their closest friends, it was my job to stand in front of the curtain and stall while setups were changed and keep the troops entertained.

I had been on a pretty good tear rotating with co-host James when I had to stall for longer than I wanted to and launched a series of clunkers that left the crowd silent. I got backstage, where Ken Hall patted me on the back and said "you cloud always tell some Chuck Norris jokes."

Those jokes' time has passed, though. However, the theme of the week had been the title of a hymn written by Methodist legend Charles Wesley, who had been called "Uncle Chuck" during worship on more than a few occasions. I had my idea, and began scribbling down some facts about Uncle Chuck Wesley. Here they are for those of you who, like newest all-star Emily Farnell, consider yourselves Methodist nerds:

"How Great Thou Art" is actually about Uncle Chuck's hobby as a sculptor.

There isn't an instrument that can measure the ratings of Wesley: Georgia Ranger.

Chuck Wesley has 1,000 tongues...and sings with all of them.

Uncle Chuck urges us to Rejoice the Lord is King. Why RE-joice? Because Uncle Chuck already joiced it.

Uncle Chuck Wesley wrote between 6,000 and 8,000 hymns, the pilot for "Two-and-a-half Men," and produced "Flavor of Love."

Methodists don't laugh, we Chuckle.

Uncle Chuck wrote half of the Methodist hymnal and the 8th Harry Potter book.

Behind 1,000 of Uncle Chuck's hymns are another 1,000 hymns.

Uncle Chuck wrote the perfect song...twice.

Chuck Wesley is so awesome that we named all of our bathrooms after his brother John.

Uncle Chuck Wesley's tears can cure Baptists...but Uncle Chuck never cries.

...and the crowd went wild.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I go to work with my iPod nowadays. It's a Nano, so it holds a little shy of 1000 songs.

I can't believe how hard it was to narrow the playlist down to just 941 songs. Nine hundred and forty-one. We're not talking about having to pick out my fifteen favorite songs. We're not even talking about having to pick my 15 favorite albums(which, now that I've typed that out loud, might be a more difficult task). Nope. I'm saying I had trouble filling out a list of the top 941 songs I have.

Tough decisions had to be made. Especially when it came down to which dated pop songs would make it onto my work mix. If I only liked them because I find them nostalgically hilarious, they're out. If some part of me deep down actually likes the song, they're in. So "Poison" by Bel Biv DeVoe is out(mostly a favorite dated pop song of mine for the line "never trust a big butt and a smile," which has to be one of the top 10 lines in song history), but "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls is in. Don't you dare judge me.

With the playlist set(until I break down and admit that I totally dig Lily Allen and must have some of her songs), I happily set things to shuffle and get cracking on my workday activity. About an hour before lunch every day, I face the same internal struggle.

There is one of my 941 favorite songs that I absolutely have to hear right now. I haven't heard it yet in this cycle of songs, so I know it's waiting to be played eventually. So I look up and see that there are 730 songs left. I face a dilemma. I could just find the song I want to hear, play it, and go about my business. That, however, would violate the sanctity of the shuffle.

The shuffle is important because I want to make it all the way through the playlist without skipping. I must make it through. I'm driven to make it through by the same kind of messed up OCD that makes it okay for me to live in a filthy house as long as my comic books are properly stored and catalogued.

Still, the need to hear The Mountain Goats' cover of "The Sign" consumes me. It's taken me so long to get this far into the shuffle due to my previous need to hear the alternate lyrics version of Guns n' Roses' "Don't Cry" wrecking things last go-around.

Eventually, instant gratification wins. For one shining moment, this song has risen above my other 940 favorite songs. Then comes the realization that I've broken the shuffle yet again.

WIth a sigh, I start over as the count reads "1 of 941" across the top thinking "This time I'm going to make it."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

okay, square one was pretty awesome

But I'm mostly upset that I wasn't the one who wrote this song. It's more brilliant now than it was when I was in third grade.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

[insert "head" pun here]

Well, most of you will find this nerdy and useless. Unfortunately for most of you, I can think of more than 2 people who will be entertained by Super-Villain MODOK interviewing Brian Reed. The first question:

Brian Reed, please describe your head. Use as much detail as possible.

MODOK is the wave of the future. Eat your heart out Barbara Walters.

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UPDATE: MODOK is back with another interview as well as a link to his blog!!! It's more head-tastic awesomeness from everyone's favorite giant-brained villain. I am officially going to purchase the hell out of Marvel Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's 11.

FURTHER UPDATE: Marvel Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's 11 was entirely disappointing. Giving MODOK the same hard luck with the ladies story that motivates every old villain that hasn't been assigned motivation outside of "evil" isn't going to attract me to this title.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

i'm not sure that "nerd" covers it

Been missing my insight lately? I have too. But there are more important things to do. Allow me to tell you what those are in a round-about way with this parable...

It was the summer of 2002. I had finished college, but had not yet graduated into anything resembling responsibility. I was making what money I needed waiting tables as a 10-to-4 job, which left plenty of time for whatever nonsense I decided to dedicate myself to. One particularly beautiful morning, that nonsense was hockey.

I don't recall the specifics, but I do know that there was a loose puck followed by a stick between my legs. I hit the ground shoulder-first. After sitting on the bench for a while and being mocked for being a pansy about my injury, I finished the game in goal(I didn't do so badly, either). The shoulder still hurt, but I didn't think much of it.

One shower later, I was in Durham for a Destroy All Monsters practice. One scene we did, in particular, stands out. It wasn't very good or very funny, but we did paint...a lot. The mimed brush strokes still bothered my shoulder; but I had fallen on it, so that was to be expected.

Having completed our practicing, we hopped in Ross' car and went to Apex to watch Summerslam. Jeremy Krevat welcomed me with a beer. I gladly accepted the offer, popped the top and raised the drink to my mouth...and experienced a considerable amount of pain. Only now was I worried.

I decided that I'd be going to see a doctor the next morning. Doctor visits were not a part of my life then(as they are now that my body is finding new and exciting ways to betray me), which caused the following thought to creep up on me: "Ben, you've finished college, but not yet graduated into anything resembling responsibility."

That's when I made the fateful call to my mother.

"Hey Mom, am I insured?"

The answer was no, and the diagnosis was a separated shoulder. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but it's coming up on 5 years since that night and I only recently got renters' insurance. You know, so if the house burns down I'm not left asking "Hey Andi, are we insured?"

As it turns out, part of the items that would be covered under our new policy are my comic books. In order to make sure that they're covered, though, I've been told I need to keep a detailed list of what I have. Hence, my free time in front of a computer has not been spent blogging but rather adding to this work in progress. Tonight, I have come to the conclusion that the only thing I can do that would possibly be dorkier than cataloging comics online is blogging about cataloging comics online. Check.

Fear not, loyal readers, you'll not be without me for much longer. If Andi can stand another night of me going through my comics and remarking to myself about each book as I inspect and log it, it should be wrapped up in the next few evenings or at least rather soon-ish. I know. I can't wait, either.

For the record, I'm enjoying this process more than I should be.

Friday, March 23, 2007

last chance

Tonight is my last improv show as an unmarried man. This officially ends the daydream I once had of emerging from downtown Raleigh up to my elbows in improv groupies.

Ladies, this also means that, after tonight, if you're the girl in the front row I flirt with in slow-motion, when you start thinking to yourself "my goodness, what a ruggedly handsome man...perhaps I should counter this obvious but still charming bit with a serious offer to spend a night with me at the old Brownstone" as you always do if you're the lucky one that receives this treatment that what you're considering is no longer just trying to tempt me to cheat on my girlfriend. It will be adultery that you'll be fantasizing about on the way home.

Clearly, I want no part of being an adult. So let me be the first to suggest you turn your post-improv lust on this man:

That is, if you haven't already...

Saturday, February 3, 2007

i know what clothing article i'll be requesting come Christmas

Sometimes I can be a faithless tool. I get it from my dad. There were many times in my youth when I recall my father skipping out on watching Duke's basketball games vs. Carolina because he couldn't stand the thought of losing to them. He'd go to his office, and my brothers and I would call him with updates. So this afternoon, I became my father. I avoided watching State's game vs. Carolina and what happened?

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Sidney Lowe's NC State Wolfpack, fueled by Sidney's stunning red blazer, beat the hated UNC Tarholes.

Some things I love about actually having a coach on the sidelines of our basketball games.

1. Beating UNC - Speaks for itself, really.

2. Adjustments - The biggest reason for State's losses this season? Defense. So what did my boys do? They worked on defense, beating VT and the 'Heels by coming up with big defensive stops when they most needed to(I'm taking little brother to the stars Zack Moser's word on it for the UNC game, but know it for sure in the VT game). Something isn't working during a game? Lowe calls time-out and they actually fix the problem. It's incredible.

3. Emotion - I get the sense that Sidney Lowe actually cares whether or not we win the game. I see it on the sideline, I hear it in his interviews, and I see it passed along to the team. The last fella just never acted like winning was the least bit important.

4. That striking red blazer. Really, I can't say enough about it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

fair and balanced

Sportswriters sometimes make me want to drop something heavy on my head.

In a game that had me going back and forth between being overcome with joy and suicidal, Rex Grossman had a solid(if not very good) game where his only INT wasn't his fault. Sure, he lost a fumble trying to get himself out of a jam, but his overall game was good enough to win a game that came down to whose offense could get the job done one more time. So what does Rex get from the sportswriters? A backseat to the kicker.

"Two swings of the foot by Robbie Gould were all the Chicago Bears needed to offset any shortcomings in Rex Grossman's arm."

21-of-38 for 282 yards including the beautiful touchdown pass to Berrian and we're talking about Rex's arm's shortcomings? What's a guy have to do to get some respect?

Apparently, he has to toss 3 INT's and finish with two passing yards less than Grossman...because Tom Brady had that stat line. His press?

"Crafty Brady fuels Pats' comeback win over Chargers"

That's after he needed a miracle fumble of one of those three picks and an insane head-butt to pull off his win. Apparently, though, it was still all Tom Brady who won that game after building 6 orphanages, ending world hunger, and solving the Iraq problem.

At least over the next week people will be talking about Manning vs. Brady too much to talk about all the different ways that Grossman will blow it against the Saints. I really hope the Colts win with a last-second FG from Vinatieri. Also, the Bears really need to beat the Saints. I'm not sure I can stand the thought of a commentary team sporting misty eyes and talking about how a Saints win will make it so Katrina never happened.

Go Bears.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

2006 recap/2007 forecast

Going by the pattern established in last year's wrap up entry, what I learned in 2006 on a month-by-month basis.

January: I learned I need to be better at prioritizing my life.
February: I learned that there's no such thing as a sure thing.
March: I learned(or, rather, continued to learn) that Herb Sendek was useless.
April: I learned that Joey Greene and I don't look so much alike anymore, but he still loves the Archers of Loaf.
May: I learned that improv should never feel like a chore.
June: I learned that the Carolina Hurricanes are the Stanley Cup Champions!
July: I learned that I'm horrible at keeping secrets, especially where engagments are concerned.
August: I learned that Pacific Air flight 121 is filled with deadly snakes!
September: I learned that planning a wedding is much like planning a circus.
October: I learned that a big drink isn't just good, it's sonic good.
November: I learned that I can go back.
December: I learned that I'm marrying into a heckuva family.

How did last year's preview pan out?

- I lost weight, got back in reasonable shape. Then I gained it back and got back into a round shape.
- I failed to get into grad school. I regrouped and reapplied.
- I kept my soul-crushing job for much longer than anticipated, but I also made use of the benefits.
- I quit DSI citing my lack of purpose and fun. I rejoined Comedy Worx and seem well on my way to regaining both.
- I proposed to Andi, thusly further committing myself to making sure she's happy.
- I did some writing, but not very good writing.

So what's up in '07?

- There's a wedding in April. That'll be pretty neat.
- There's the chance that I'll actually be in school and moving towards a job that I'll feel good about having.
- There's my renewed commitment to being less fat and in better shape.
- I'm going to do more writing. Better writing. This blog, among other things I've written, is littered with misspellings and typos. I possibly could have lived with the simpler ones, but it's tougher to swallow some of the more horrid errors like there/their/they're flubs and who's/whose mistakes. I didn't even know I was capable of such foolishness until I started checking out old entries. I appologize to certain readers that I know started bleeding from the eyes upon seeing those little wonders.
- I'm going to branch out from the standard Comedy Worx shortform show one way or the other.

So hey, if all goes well I'll have a rather busy and productive 2007. We'll see how that goes...