Sunday, April 27, 2008

day two of the draft isn't as exciting, but it's still an excuse to talk about the Bears in April

The Draft is fantastic. The Bears did what everyone thought they would do and went with an OT. Chris Williams seems to have surprised some people, given the OT's that were still on the board. I'm not going to pretend to be able to evaluate how an OT from Vanderbilt is going to fit the Bears' scheme. I know Chicago needed help up front, and they got it.

In the second round, when I thought the Bears would go after a quarterback(what with Rex Grossman having been given only a one year extension). Instead they picked up Matt Forte, a running back out of Tulane. The word on him is that he's a very fast between the tackles runner, but I don't know that he'll be any better than the other Adrian Peterson as the second runner with a still-disappointing Cedric Benson.

The third round saw the Bears go after Earl Bennett, a WR also from Vanderbilt, with the first of their two third-round picks. He's a strong route-runner who isn't afraid to get hit. He'll be great running in the middle for the Bears' signature third-and-long scenarios. So I'll call that a good pick.

There are still Kentucky's Andre Woodson and the hilariously named John David Booty that the Bears can still use later picks on, quarterback-wise that no one is very excited about but could still perhaps pan out. Or they could go with the huge gamble and take a chance on Colt Brennan in the last round or even try to sign him as an undrafted free agent. None of these options seem great for a team with so many questions at the QB position, though.

10:53 on Sunday morning, and I'm watching the third round. I think I may have a problem.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

it's draft day, and excitement is on the clock

It's not even 9am on a Saturday. Yet here I am, fully awake. Why? It's Draft Day, kids. I can't really trace back the moment where my love for NFL football compelled me to treat Draft Day like a major holiday, complete with a dorkish giddyness in the weeks before the big day, but that's where I am now.

It's become an annual tradition of sorts to have a few folks over, order some chicken wings, open a few beverages, and waste a perfectly beautiful day inside watching Mel Kiper get worked up over some team not making the pick that he's spent the last three months assuring us was the right pick for that team to make.

One day, I'm going to get a kegerator and start calling it "Draught Day" (see what I did?). For now, I have a pretty unpredictable first round to look forward to and some good folks on the way over to enjoy it with me.

Simple pleasures, you know?

Friday, April 25, 2008

for the United Methodists, it's business time

Emily Farnell is pretty much one of my favorite youth ever. She's easily passed "favorite" status and moved up the All-Star status that is bestowed on only a select few of the youth I've been lucky enough to both teach and learn from over the past decade.

One of the many things that makes her so great is that, like me, she wants to see the church in general, and the United Methodist Church specifically, be everything it's supposed to be. She's at General Conference this week, and keeping a blog about her experiences there that you should consider required reading if you're at all curious about the state of the Young Church.

I'll venture a guess that, when she's done, she'll have done me proud.

Monday, April 21, 2008

well, this frees up an evening for me


We regret to inform you that the proposed Democratic Presidential Debate scheduled for April 27 has been cancelled due to time constraints and logistical issues associated with such a large, national event.

Unwritten: "Also, the last time we let these two debate, it was an unmitigated disaster."

Believe me, Jerimee of the NC Democrats, I understand.

Friday, April 18, 2008

i'm starting to wonder if it's ethical to scalp free tickets

I didn't watch the debate between Obama and Clinton a couple of nights ago; but I have registered for tickets to a possible debate between the two at the RBC Center later this month. However, after hearing about what happened at the Philadelphia debate between the two presidential hopefuls, I may have rushed to get the tickets too quickly.

The first 63 minutes of this debate, that's one hour and three minutes for those scoring at home, were all questions about non-issues that have sprung up over the past month or so. "Elitist" comments, sniper fire, "electability*," and flag pins. The last time I sat in front of this screen and typed about the political discourse in this country, I complained that our system of picking a leader for this country would soon turn into American Idol. I may have been wrong. At least on American Idol, the three moron "moderators" constantly bring the discussion back to the core question "can you #*@%ing sing?" Neither of the moderators for the Philly debate seemed too interested in coming back to what the core question in a presidential debate should be: "how are you going to #*@%ing run the country?"

The frustrating thing is that, by all accounts, Obama and Clinton just stood there and let it run this way for 63 minutes, never once calling out these questions for the utter useless distractions that they were.

Yet neither candidate had the courage to ask the moderators to turn to those far more important issues. But some in the crowd did -- booing Gibson near the end.

The only bright spot is that maybe, just maybe, the boos from the crowd point to a desire from the American people for a substantial debate from those whom we are being asked to allow to lead this country. Or maybe it's just that the crowd completely bought into this drivel and were booing because there wasn't a question about how unconvincingly Clinton sipped from her shot of Crown Royal.

UPDATE: Here's a little something from Media Matters that further expresses how ridiculous this debate was and gives a transcript so you can appreciate just how awful the questions really were.

*By the way, the word "electability" (which isn't actually a real word) should be scratched from the English language - or at least from the Democratic party's lexicon - after the massive dropping of the ball in 2004. We had a completely inept and completely beatable George the W.(who wasn't really even elected in the first place) in the middle of a giant mess that he made in Iraq and poised to be a one term president. All we had to do was field a candidate that people could get behind. Instead, "electability" became the buzzword and we ended up with the "safe" pick of John Kerry. That worked out really well, didn't it?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

excuse me sir, but i believe that those chickens are malnourished

Some people have words or expressions they wish they could work into their everyday vocabulary. Let's be honest, so do I. I wish I could remember to call things "power rad" or occasionally refer to friends of mine as "Hoss." Heck, just watching Juno and hearing Rainn Wilson say "home skillet" made me want pull "home slice" out of of the vocabulary mothballs and get it into regular use. Unfortunately, I have failed on all fronts.

However, if I want to add little things to my life that involve multiple people, I can charge my friends with the task of helping me incorporate them. Then I can blame them when I fail to properly bring them in. So, my friends, here are things I would like to start doing - preferably in the most public and obnoxious places possible.

This is an oldie, but a goodie. At one point, Ross White and I used this one to celebrate goals at Carolina Hurricanes games. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Hungry Chickens:

Next up, also from Scrubs, I want this call-and-response to happen at least every other day until it gets old. What does come before Part B?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the 24-hour news cycle will change politics to 'american idol' within 10 years at this rate

Senators McCain and Clinton have called Senator Obama an "elitist" because he dared to suggest that people who have been crapped on may become bitter. Furthermore, they may just yet harbor resentments that they misdirect towards the wrong people. Immigrants, for example. Or perhaps they might "cling" to those things they see as the only things that haven't yet been taken from them. Guns, for example. Possibly, these people who are going through hard times will do what anyone does. That is to say that it is within the realm of possibility to think that they might pray about it.

So once again, our political discourse is reduced to debating the meaning of a soundbyte rather than what the candidates in question would actually do if elected. There is no reason to still be talking about this, and yet people are still talking about this. Since people insist on still talking about this, why don't we go with the only rational thing that can be said about it and call it my official position on the whole thing?

It's ironic that one presidential candidate could hang that label on another, said Dr. Drew Westen, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and author of "The Political Brain."

"If you think you should be president, by definition you are an elitist, only because you believe that of the 300 million people in America, you are the best person to run it," he said. "There can't be a more elitist statement than that."

Can we please take the kind of analysis and time that Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and basically any other "news" outlet have put into this and direct it towards the candidates' health care plans now? Or does not giving a crap about a candidate sipping from a shot glass or bowling a 37 make me an elitist?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

at least memphis has that ESPN montage from early in the season where they talked about "perfection"

Well. College basketball season has ended. Congrats to Kansas, who didn't need Roy Williams to win a championship. The title may just allow the Kansas faithful to sleep a little better at night if Self decides to bolt in an Oklahoma-ish direction. At least Self, unlike Roy before him, got the job done before he took off.

By the way, just for Pete Calderone, I'll comment on Roy's choice of attire. I don't give a $#!% what what he wears(see what I did there?). But if I were a Kansas guy, I'd probably be pretty angry in a few weeks when the glow of winning the national championship has faded a little bit. Actually, I probably wouldn't even bother with being angry then. Roy leaving was the best thing that could have happened to Kansas now that they have that title. After all, it's been proven time and again that Williams is always going to come up short of a national championship so long as he does his own recruiting, and I doubt he would have let Matt Doherty come in and do his recruiting for him in Kansas.

I just hope that Mack Brown shows up to a UNC football game wearing baby blue if through some miracle the Tar Heels end up in the national title picture there.

With college basketball gone and the 'Canes having blown a seemingly solid lead in the Southeast Division to miss the NHL playoffs, I have nothing really to look forward to until the NFL draft. Sure, there's the NBA hitting its playoff stretch, but I don't care. Sure, I can watch NHL teams that aren't the Hurricanes compete for the Cup, but it won't feel good knowing how the season ended. Sure, there's baseball, but I don't want to watch a game with athletes that spend 95% of each game standing around wondering if their HGH shipment arrived in the mail while they were in the club house pretending that their non-Yankees, non-Sox team will get a mention in the national media for something other than the afore-mentioned HGH shipment being found by a down-on-his-luck reporter who just may be able to blow open this whole thing and redeem not only his career, but himself.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

everyone named roy williams is a total douchebag

I know that Jay Bilas and Billy Packer think Tyler Hansbrough walks on water anyway...

Currently, Kansas is doing very well. Go Kansas.

UPDATE: Kansas is doing less well. Much, much less well. I blame Billy Packer, who declared "this game is over" about 7 minutes in.

UPDATE 2: Go to Hell, Carolina! For the record, Roy Williams has still won zero championships with his own recruits. This, of course, means that he still owes Matt Doherty a favor. Probably a dirty one.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

desperately clinging to a slim lead in the league's worst division is still better than my football and basketball teams have done this year

I was pretty sure the Carolina Hurricanes were poised to give away the Southeast Division tonight after last night's poor effort against Washington(yes, I know that the refs screwed the pooch on more than a few calls but a few calls won't make up for a three-goal loss). We haven't played well against Tampa Bay recently and we haven't played well on the second day of back-to-back games. So I was prepared for the worst.

The 'Canes responded to those expectations by skating with the urgency they needed to have last night and played a heckuva game to keep their narrow division lead. If we take care of business on Friday or the Crapitals drop the ball(or puck, if you will) against the 'Ning tomorrow(here's hoping Tampa Bay was embarrassed enough to mess the Craps up) or Florida on Saturday(here's hoping Florida will be somethinged enough after playing the 'Canes to mess the Craps up) then it's off to the playoffs.

Once in the playoffs, who knows what will happen?

I know a lot of fans in a lot of sports say that, but NHL fans get to mean it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Jesus is the source of my liberal bias, thanks for asking

My bus driver in Middle School was Ms Harding. There weren't a lot of us on that particular bus route due to I.E. Johnson being a magnet school and this group of riders being very far off from that section of Laurinburg. As such, we got a lot of time to talk. During one of these talks with my bus driver, I expressed my first Biblical opinion as it relates to politics.

It wasn't based on years of study. It was based on what I had been taught about God. Fortunately for me, I ended up being right because I had been taught about God by two parents who had based their teachings on years of study.

What that doesn't change, though, is that it was dangerous for me to base such a strong opinion on what someone else had told me I believe instead of my own study and experience.

I spent last week in Washington D.C. and New York City with 45 youth. While there, they attended seminars which (I hope) made them think about how our faith affects our political views. Each night, we broke down what we talked about. Each night, my shameless liberal bias went on display for my group of (possibly) impressionable teenagers.

I'm okay with that. They get the other viewpoint in their local churches plenty.

I did make sure to tell them that I'd be just as disappointed in them parroting the words I had without question as I would be if they were spitting out James Dobson's greatest hits. All I'm getting at is that your faith should inform your views, but that faith should be informed.