Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ranking the NFL - Week 16

This week, the rankings will be centered on those teams which are still alive in the playoff chase.

RAVENS: As evidenced by their win over Pittsburgh, the Ravens are still playing for the first week bye in the playoffs. Woe be to Buffalo this week (or any week during the Winter season).

CHARGERS: As if the Chargers don't have enough offensive weapons already, wide receiver Vincent Jackson is starting to come on during the last month of this season. With 5 catches for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Seahawks, Jackson had a statement game. If he can stay healthy, Jackson will become one of the premier receivers in the NFL over the next few years.

PATRIOTS: You have to admire the Patriots for not falling into the Jacksonville trap. They played the Jags tough. The Pats look playoff-ready.

BEARS: Brian Griese finally got to a meaningless game.

SAINTS: The Saints are still the most dangerous team in the NFC. They are still young, but they play with a lot of heart. My gut feeling is they will do well in the playoffs.

TITANS: Six wins in a row? Their last loss came to Baltimore? If the Titans make it to the playoffs, call them "Cinderella".

EAGLES: How good are the Eagles? In the last three games, they have beaten all three of their divisional opponents. On the road. In December. Can you say "clutch"?

COWBOYS: What the heck was that? If the Cowboys beat the Eagles, they clinch the division. The Cowboys are pretenders.

BRONCOS: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I love games in Denver in December, don't you?

COLTS: I like it when I make the prediction of Tony Dungy being fired after this season, only to see the Colts come out and stink up the place against the Texans. Keep up the good work Tony. You're making me look like a genius.

BENGALS: Does the name "Brad St. Louis" mean anything to you? He might end up with his namesake after he botched the long snap that cost the Bengals the game against Denver.

CHIEFS: You have to love the K.C.-Jacksonville game this weekend. Lose, and they are out of the playoffs. Win, and they have to wait and see what happens in other games. One of the few week 17 games with some drama.

JAGUARS: I know the Jacksonville fans are down on David Gerrard after he fumbled away the game against New England. But the Jags are really a more dangerous team with Gerrard. If not for him, we wouldn't even be talking about a close game with New England.

GIANTS: The Giants coaching staff has pulled off a maneuver worthy of "The Three Stooges": Tom Coughlin has replaced offensive coordinator John Hufnagel as offensive play caller with QB coach Kevin Gilbride. Much like replacing Curly with Shemp, expect the hilarity to continue. As I have pointed out in two previous posts about Hufnagel and Gilbride, neither of these clowns should be allowed anywhere near an offense.

PANTHERS: Only 10 points against Atlanta? That is NOT playoff-calibre.

JETS: If the playoffs started today, the Jets would either be in Indianapolis or New England. Can you say "one and done"?

FALCONS: They need to beat or tie the Eagles in Philly in order to have a chance to make it to the playoffs. Jim Mora, I hope you have your desk cleaned out.

SEAHAWKS: Here is a hypothetical scenario for you: If Seattle loses to Tampa Bay this week, they will be 8-8. While they have already clinched the NFC West, they would NOT EVEN be a wild card team in the AFC.

RAMS: It is scary to think this team is still in the playoff hunt. The Rams are the proverbial equivalent of the ugly girl in the corner at the school dance. She is hoping some of the pretty girls will drop dead or get sick or just leave, so some of the cute boys will ask her to dance. Sadly for Ram fans, the dance would be called off if the NFL were that desperate.

Pick the NFL Winners - Week 16 Results

Sorry for the light blogging this week, but I'm on vacation!

Anyway, the results from last week's "Pick the NFL Winners" are:

joe gibbs - 9
David Stefanini - 8
Robert A. George - 8
EdMcGon - 7
J. Mark English - 6

In the only game that someone named "Joe Gibbs" won this week, Joe Gibbs is our winner!

By the way, if you followed his advice and "bet the house" on the Redskins this week, I can only hope you don't live in a cold climate.

This will be the last "Pick the NFL Winners" for the season, but we will be back next week with a very special "Pick the NFL Playoffs".

R.I.P. Gerald Ford

Things are more like they are now than they have ever been.” - Gerald Ford

When I read the above quote from Ford, I was reminded of a quote from my Uncle Pat:
"I feel more like I do now than I did a little while ago." - Pat Patton

They don't make pithy sayings like they used to.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Best Packer Quarterback

When I did my post about "The Best Quarterback of All Time" back in September, I was not expecting to still be getting comments on it in December, but I am.

One thing that struck me in the comments was people claiming Brett Favre as the best of all time. But I don't even consider him the best Green Bay Packer quarterback. That would be Bart Starr.

Using the same criteria I used to determine the best quarterback of all time, Starr is very close to Favre, even considering the different eras in which they each played. Starr's numbers are on the left, with Favre's numbers as of last season:

Completion Percentage: 57.4% vs. 61.5%
Average Gain per Attempt: 7.85 vs. 7.04
Touchdown Percentage: 4.8% vs. 5.2%
Interception Percentage: 4.4% vs. 3.4%
NFL/Super Bowl Championships: 5 vs. 1
Average Rushing Yards per Carry: 5.3 vs. 3.5
Passer Rating: 80.5 vs. 86.0

Those are similar numbers considering the different passing nature of the eras involved. The yards per pass attempt explain a lot. In Starr's era, the passes were generally thrown farther than in the "west coast" era of Favre. This also explains why Favre's completion percentage was higher, although Starr's 57% completion percentage was the NFL career record when Starr retired. Finally, with Starr typically throwing the ball farther than Favre, Starr naturally threw more interceptions per attempt.

But for a true comparison on game management, let's add fumbles to interceptions per game. Favre turned the ball over 1.57 times per game. Starr turned the ball over 0.93 times per game.

But the number that stands out is the championships, where Starr holds a 5-1 advantage. Adding in the facts that Starr was a better runner and game manager than Favre, and Starr is clearly the better Packer quarterback.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Christmas Angel

My boss emailed me the following story. We don't know who wrote it originally, but it is a true Christmas classic. Enjoy:

Christmas Story for people having a bad day....

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce
toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the
pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which
stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that
three of them were about to give birth and two others had
jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the
floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys
were scattered. So, frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of
apple cider and a shot of rum.

When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all
the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally
dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces
all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice
had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom, just then the doorbell
rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there
stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a
lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to
stick it?"

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rosie vs. Trump

It is not often you will see me take an interest in a verbal spat between two celebrities, but the war of words between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump is too intriguing for me to ignore.

The whole thing started with the recent Tara Conner scandal, where a 20 year old Miss USA pageant winner goes out drinking in New York. Yawn.

Trump owns the pageant, so he decided to forgive Conner's indiscretion and let her keep her crown. Considering Trump's own personal indiscretions of the past, the least we can say is he is NOT a hypocrite.

Regardless, Rosie O'Donnell decided to go off on him during her show, "The View", which was aired Wednesday:
"[He] left the first wife – had an affair. [He] had kids both times, but he's the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America. Donald, sit and spin, my friend."

Rosie went on to compare Trump to a "snake-oil salesman on Little House On The Prairie. This is not a self-made man." She also said he went bankrupt, which Trump correctly denied. (Back in the 90's, Trump threatened personal bankruptcy before his creditors arranged a financial bailout. However, his business did file bankruptcy.)

Trump fired back:
"You can't make false statements. Rosie will rue the words she said. I'll most likely sue her for making those false statements – and it'll be fun. Rosie's a loser. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie."

I won't go into the "who's right/who's wrong" aspect of this. Rosie said some things about Trump which were true, and she also said some things which were technically inaccurate. But I also think she was unnecessarily spiteful and mean to Trump.

While Trump is not "Mr. Warm and Fuzzy", he is a successful businessman who has seen his share of ups and downs. Trump should be applauded for what he has accomplished over the years. He has made mistakes, but he has also overcome them.

One can question his personal ethics, but at least Trump is not holding other people to standards which he does not hold himself. As for his business ethics, he is no Ken Lay, which is good. He has made many bad business decisions, but also many good ones. Considering his current wealth, it is safe to say his good decisions have outweighed his bad ones.

So why attack Trump? I caught some footage of the show over at, but I couldn't tell if Rosie was saying ANYTHING about Tara Conner. It seemed like more of a rant against Trump. Her point seemed to be "how dare Trump sit in judgment of anyone". However, considering Trump owns the "Miss USA" franchise, isn't he ultimately responsible for it? If not Trump, then who?

The truth is Rosie has no clue about business, nor does she want to understand it (as evidenced by her history of business failures, which you can see in her Wiki). She sees "Donald Trump the man", conveniently ignoring "Donald Trump the businessman". A businessman has responsibilities, which is a concept foreign to Rosie's liberal elitism.

When Trump "forgives" Tara Conner, he is not "absolving her of sin". He is making a conscious business decision that Conner's personal activities have not damaged his business.

By tearing into Trump, Rosie is, in effect, saying "how dare he make a business decision about one of his employees".

For me, the whole Rosie vs. Trump situation comes down to liberal elitism vs. capitalism. While Rosie used some truths in her arguments, the fact she was attacking Trump in this situation proves her stupidity.

(Hat tip to for the quotes)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pick the NFL Winners - Week 16

As usual, we are not picking the Thursday game, so everyone has time to get their picks in before Saturday. But aside from a few cheeseheads and Tarvaris Jackson's mother, does anyone really care about the game between the Packers and Vikings? I think not.

All for pride, no money.

Here are the picks from last week's co-winner, yours truly (my picks in red):

Kansas City at Oakland: The Raiders proved last week that they are mailing it in.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh: The only issue here is whether the Ravens decide to coast into the playoffs. All things being equal (and they never are), the Ravens should win easily.
Carolina at Atlanta: The last time these teams met, Steve Smith was not playing. This could get ugly.
Chicago at Detroit: Da Bears should be able to sleepwalk to a victory in this one.
Indianapolis at Houston: The scheduling gods are brutal. Forcing the Texans to play the Colts twice in a year?
New England at Jacksonville: While I still think New England is better than Jacksonville, the Jags have a tendency to upset better teams (and then lose to a lousy team next week).
New Orleans at N.Y. Giants: Remember after Hurricane Katrina, when the Saints played their "home game" against the Giants, in the Meadowlands? I wonder if that memory of that will get the Saints up for this game.
Tampa Bay at Cleveland: If you have to watch a game between two teams not going to the playoffs, this is the one to watch. Whichever one of these teams wins is the one to watch for improvement next year.
Tennessee at Buffalo: The battle of the also-rans.
Washington at St. Louis: This is a pick-em.
Arizona at San Francisco: The only reason to watch this game is Frank Gore. Aside from LT, Gore is the best running back in the NFL.
Cincinnati at Denver: If you can only watch one game this weekend, I recommend this one. Well, maybe the Philly-Dallas game too.
San Diego at Seattle: Will Phil Rivers show up, or does it even matter? With LT running the ball, the Chargers could stick a uniform on John Hadl.
Philadelphia at Dallas: Are the Eagles for real?
N.Y. Jets at Miami: Much like most people in New York, the Jets are going to Miami for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ranking the NFL - Week 15

RAVENS: The Ravens got a little scare when Steve McNair got hurt. Even though they still won with Kyle Boller, it was only Cleveland they beat. If this were the playoffs, and the other team were the Chargers, Boller doesn't win.

CHARGERS: In all the LT hoopla, did anyone notice that Phil Rivers stunk up the place? Just in case you missed it, Rivers was 8-23, 97 passing yards, and 2 interceptions. That is NOT playoff caliber.

BEARS: I bet Rex Grossman (339 passing yards and 2 touchdowns) wishes he could play the Buccaneers every week.

COWBOYS: The ONLY way Terrell Owens returns to Dallas next year is IF the Cowboys win the Super Bowl. This is a good team, but that is still a BIG "if".

COLTS: If the Colts don't make it to the Super Bowl, and they won't, what happens? Tony Dungy gets fired. Who replaces him? Monte Kiffin, the Buccaneers defensive coordinator. It makes perfect sense. This team needs a great defensive coach, and Kiffin is one of the best. Kiffin is also the master of the "cover two" defense, which the Colts run (poorly).

BENGALS: I hate to admit it, but I found myself agreeing with Joe Theismann at the end of the Colts-Bengals game: The Bengals ran too much too early in that game. Carson Palmer seemed out of sync the entire game.

SAINTS: Just when we are ready to beatify the Saints as the best in the NFC, they go and lose to the Redskins. The Media was beating up the Colts last week for their run defense (or lack thereof), but they need to look at the Saints, after giving up 161 rushing yards to a team whose best running back is Ladell Betts.

PATRIOTS: The Texans were the proverbial bug on New England's windshield this week.

BRONCOS: Don't read too much into the fact that Jay Cutler looked better than Matt Leinart in the Broncos-Cardinals game. Remember the defenses each of them had to face.

CHIEFS: R.I.P. Lamar Hunt.

PANTHERS: The Panthers better get Jake Delhomme back soon. Their playoff chances are starting to look like an old litter box.

STEELERS: Just when you think it is safe to be a Steelers fan, winning five of their last six...[cue the theme from "Jaws"]...they get Baltimore this week.

TITANS: Have you noticed no one is talking about Jeff Fisher being fired anymore?

EAGLES: I am beginning to wonder if the Eagles will go farther in the playoffs with Jeff Garcia instead of Donovan McNabb. This is not to say that McNabb is a bad quarterback, just that Garcia seems to run this offense just a bit more efficiently.

REDSKINS: Is this team showing us something for next year, or is their win over the Saints just a mirage?

GIANTS: They have won one out of their last six games. To you Giant fans out there, even if they manage to squeak into the playoffs, do you REALLY want to see them humiliate themselves on a playoff stage?

BILLS: Since their bye week, Buffalo has lost to two teams: Indianapolis and San Diego. They have beaten their other five opponents. But unless they can pull off an upset in the last two games against Tennessee and Baltimore, this will be as high as they go in the rankings. Until next year...

JAGUARS: Even though the Jags are firmly in the Wild Card race, I cannot say they should be. A team that is only 2-4 in their own division does not deserve a playoff berth.

DOLPHINS: Miami's combined scores from the last two weeks: 21-21. They beat New England 21-0, then lost to Buffalo 21-0.

BROWNS: The Browns-Bucs game this weekend is actually an intriguing matchup of underachieving teams with tough schedules.

JETS: This team does NOT deserve to be in the playoffs. Especially not in the AFC.

FALCONS: Jim Mora's "joke" about leaving the Falcons to coach the University of Washington was received by Atlanta fans with a collective "don't let the door hit you on the way out".

BUCCANEERS: The scheduling gods have no mercy on the Bucs. Even when they get an easy game like Cleveland this coming weekend, they have to actually play in Cleveland. As a Raider fan, I can't stand the Bucs, but even I am starting to feel sorry for them. Sort of.

VIKINGS: You know things are bad when quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is getting playing time.

49ERS: If the 49ers win out, and the Seahawks lose their next two games, the 49ers will win the division. The Seahawks next two opponents are San Diego at home and Tampa Bay on the road. On the other hand, the 49ers should beat Arizona this week, but Denver next week will be the make or break game. I won't predict the 49ers over Denver, but I will say the 49ers deserve a playoff berth more than the underachieving Seahawks.

SEAHAWKS: This is a playoff team? I think not. They will lose their next two games to give the 49ers a shot at the playoffs.

RAMS: Steven Jackson's combined rushing and receiving stats: 370 rushing attempts plus receptions, 1916 combined yards, and 10 touchdowns. That is the end of the good news for the Rams.

Ok, no more comments on these teams. They are just bad. Deal with it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Christmas Thought

"Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected." - Jimmy Cannon

During this holiday season, please keep this thought in mind. If you know anyone at all who is without, or separated from, their family and friends this Christmas, invite them over.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rating the Rookie Quarterbacks

Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Jay Cutler has only played two games so far this year, but the results have been pretty good for a first year NFL quarterback, especially considering they came against two strong defenses in Seattle and San Diego.

So how do Cutler's first two games (27-51, 331 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions) stack up against the first two games of the other three rookie quarterbacks starting this season? Better than Vince Young (24-50, 218 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions), but worse than Matt Leinart (46-77, 485 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception) or Bruce Gradkowski (45-75, 409 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception).

However, the real flaw with Cutler has been fumbles. In two games, he has fumbled five times, only recovering one of them. Of the other rookies, Vince Young came closest with two fumbles in his first two games (recovering neither of them).

Speaking of Young, while he might make the highlight films more often, it has actually been Matt Leinart who has been the most productive of the rookie quarterbacks. With 56.2% of passes completed, 2171 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 2 lost fumbles, and a 73.9 passer rating, Leinart is the not-so-shining star of this group.

But rookie quarterbacks, take some consolation in Peyton Manning's rookie numbers: 56.7% completed, 3739 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 28 interceptions, 3 fumbles lost, and a 71.2 passer rating.

But if you REALLY want to feel better, take a look at Hall of Famer, 4-time Super Bowl Champion and 2-time Super Bowl MVP Terry Bradshaw's rookie numbers: 38.1% completed, 1410 passing yards, 6 touchdowns, 24 interceptions, 3 fumbles lost, and a 30.4 passer rating.

What does all this prove? That rookie quarterback statistics are overrated.

(Hat tip to and

R.I.P. Peter Boyle

"Whatever we lose, we'll get back." - Peter Boyle

I hope you were right Peter. You will be missed.

(Hat tip to

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pick the NFL Winners - Week 15

Sorry about last week folks. It was a busy one.

But back by popular request (ok, one person asked about it), we are picking up with our usual "pick the NFL winners". Only your pride is at stake, since I will announce the winners and losers next week. We will NOT be picking the Thursday night games, in order to give people plenty of time to get their picks done.

Without further ado, my picks in red:

Dallas at Atlanta: Even though Atlanta's defense is getting healthy, I cannot see them putting a can of whoopass on Dallas like New Orleans did.

Cleveland at Baltimore: In real life, what do ravens do to brownies?

Detroit at Green Bay: Expect a lot of frozen paws on the Lambeau tundra.

Houston at New England: They say everything is bigger in Texas. But when you take them to New England, they get REALLY small.

Jacksonville at Tennessee: Both of these teams are coming off huge wins. After losing to Houston twice this year, I just don't see the Jags taking the Titans lightly, even though the Jags already beat them once.

Miami at Buffalo: Another tough game. Take the healthier Bills team at home.

N.Y. Jets at Minnesota: Intriguing matchup of two teams that started strong but have recently cooled off. While the Vikes still have the best run defense in the NFL, the Jets strength is passing. The matchups work for the Jets.

Pittsburgh at Carolina: If Delhomme plays, the Cats win.

Tampa Bay at Chicago: Wouldn't it be cool if the Bucs won this game? Then Gruden woke up...

Washington at New Orleans: The Skins don't have a prayer in this one.

Denver at Arizona: Welcome to the Jay Cutler "coming out" party.

Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants: I have a hunch that Jeff Garcia has the Giants defense for lunch.

St. Louis at Oakland: The Battle of (previously) Los Angeles teams. If the Raiders are going to beat anyone, it will be the Rams. Assuming the Raiders don't mail it in...

Kansas City at San Diego: Payback for the Bolts.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis: Carson Palmer has been studying Peyton Manning for a few years. I bet Palmer has had this game circled since the schedule came out.

UPDATE: There are THREE winners this week:

EdMcGon - 10
David Stefanini - 10
J. Mark English - 10

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ranking the NFL - Week 14

RAVENS: The best team in the NFL. San Diego and Chicago may have better records, but they also have flaws not present with Baltimore. Chicago cannot win a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman. San Diego has already lost to Baltimore.

CHARGERS: Add in one more factor for the Chargers: No Schottenheimer-coached team has ever been to a Super Bowl. Although I will add this is the best team Schottenheimer has EVER had.

BEARS: Time to give "Da Bears" some love. Grossman was not bad against the Rams. If he can play that way every week, they have a great shot at making it to the Super Bowl, although I still cannot see them beating either the Ravens or Chargers.

SAINTS: It is easy to tell who the Media wants representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. While I can appreciate the urge to see New Orleans doing well, I like this team for all the offensive weapons they have. Adding Reggie Bush to this team was a sin.

COWBOYS: The Saints exposed Tony Romo, just when the Media was ready to anoint him the next "Peyton Manning". Although I do have to wonder if Terrell Owens' birthday party last week was a distraction.

BENGALS: Another week, another DWI (Deltha O'Neal). At this rate, we may have to call Marvin Lewis "Scarface".

PATRIOTS: Shutout by Miami? At least it should put a temporary halt to the "watch out for New England in the playoffs" chorus.

COLTS: Their run defense is ready for the glue factory.

BRONCOS: Look on the bright side, Jay Cutler: You get Arizona this week. Truth be told, Denver did not look that bad against San Diego. They just got steamrolled by the "LT for MVP" train.

CHIEFS: How do you evaluate a team that gets rolled like a drunken bum by the best team in the NFL (Baltimore)? Now they get to play the second best team in the NFL (San Diego). The bad news is they beat San Diego earlier this year. Remember the old saying about paybacks...

PANTHERS: I'll give the Panthers a pass this week. Having to start Chris Weinke is a valid excuse for losing.

SEAHAWKS: How does a team beat Denver one week, then lose to Arizona the following week? Anyone who thinks the Seahawks are going back to the Super Bowl this year better wake up and smell the birds burning.

TITANS: When asked what he was thinking when he ran for a 39-yard touchdown to beat the Texans in overtime, Vince Young said, "...I felt like my mom was chasing me with a belt."

GIANTS: The G-men are getting healthy at the right time. Or is it a case of too little, too late? They might beat the Eagles this week, but I cannot see them beating the Saints in two weeks.

JAGUARS: Don't ignore the Jaguars running game. Against the Colts, Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew looked like Barry Sanders and Walter Payton.

DOLPHINS: The Dolphins still have issues, but it is clear their defense knows Tom Brady all too well. Definitely better than Brady would like.

STEELERS: Just when you think you will never hear Frenchy Fuqua's name outside of an old NFL Films movie, Willie Parker goes and breaks Fuqua's team rushing record (set in 1970). With all the great running backs the Steelers have had over the years, it is amazing this record has lasted as long as it has.

BROWNS: Is anyone giving odds on the Browns drafting a quarterback next year? The only way they don't draft a quarterback is if they either trade for one or sign a free agent.

BILLS: Note to Anonymous, who suggested I had the Bills and the Jets rated too low: You were right on one count.

JETS: I cannot believe I had to defend ranking this team below Cleveland last week.

FALCONS: Unfortunately for the Falcons, they get Dallas on Saturday night. And Terrell Owens' birthday was LAST week.

BUCCANEERS: Next stop on "The Jon Gruden Farewell Tour": Chicago.

EAGLES: Donovan who?

REDSKINS: I love the rumors about the Redskins trading Clinton Portis after this season. The Iraq Study Group's recommendations on Israel have a better chance of happening.

VIKINGS: I see the Vikings won their "homecoming game". It was nice of the Lions to let them play it in Detroit.

RAMS: If you want to know what is wrong with the Rams, it is their defense, which gives up a league leading 5.8 yards per play.

CARDINALS: Arizona is quietly becoming respectable. They have won three of their last four, with (GASP!) the Seahawks as their latest victims. If they beat Denver this weekend...

PACKERS: Brett Favre, don't think beating up on the 49ers means you can play another 10 years. Unfortunately, with games against Detroit and Minnesota coming up, you might sincerely think so before the end of the season.

49ERS: Just when you think Frisco is improving, they lose to Green Bay. They made Brett Favre look 10 years younger.

TEXANS: You have to feel sorry for the Texans. Previously, they were getting beat over the head with "how can you pick Mario Williams before Reggie Bush?". Now they get "how can you pick Mario Williams before Vince Young?". With their game against New England this week, will we hear "how can you pick Mario Williams before Laurence Maroney?"

RAIDERS: Moss? Moss? Has anyone seen Randy "Ferris Buehler" Moss?

LIONS: I have heard that Matt Millen's job future is tied to Rod Marinelli's success. Unfortunately for Marinelli, his job future is tied to the success of Millen's draft picks.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Daily Dose of "Pearls before Swine"

Is it just me, or does Rat appeal to the little cynic in all of us?

(Hat tip to

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Defending the NFL Rankings

I appreciate critics. They keep me on my toes.

In my Week 13 NFL Rankings, I received an anonymous comment:
These rankings are laughable. 49ers and Browns average with the Jets? Buccaneers better than the Bills? Do you watch football?

Legitimate questions (except for the "do you watch football?", but I will let that one slide).

So how can the 5-7 49ers and the 4-9 Browns be ranked alongside the 7-5 Jets? Quite simply, who have the Jets beaten? Tennessee (5-7), Buffalo (5-7), Miami (5-7), Detroit (2-10), New England (9-3), Houston (4-8), and Green Bay (4-8). Except for New England, that is a lot of mediocre competition. It should also be noted that the Jets lost to New England the first time they played this year, so it is actually a split series.

Who have the Browns beaten? Oakland (2-10), N.Y. Jets (7-5), Atlanta (6-6), and Kansas City (7-5). When you consider the worst team Cleveland lost to was the Steelers (6-7), and the worst team the Jets lost to was Cleveland (4-8), then they deserve to be ranked closely, at least on paper. With the Browns win over the Jets, that puts them at least one slot above the Jets.

Who have the 49ers beaten? St. Louis (5-7), Oakland (2-10), Minnesota (5-7), Detroit (2-10), and Seattle (8-4). While the 49ers are comparable to the Jets, I must confess that ranking them ahead of the Jets was a subjective move on my part based on what I have seen of both of them this year. The Jets strike me as a team with a mixture of aging (read: over-the-hill) talent and young talent. The 49ers are almost ALL young talent. The difference is the 49ers have the more talented young players. When the 49ers click on all cylinders, they rock. When the Jets click on all cylinders, they get it done.

Within the specific groupings (Elite, Good, Average, and Bad), I confess there is a certain amount of subjectivity, although I do try to use as much objective criteria as possible. However, between the groupings, I try to keep it on an objective level.

With that in mind, let us look at the Bucs (3-9) and the Bills (5-7). The Bucs have beaten Cincinnati (7-5), Philadelphia (6-6), and Washington (4-8). The Bills have beaten Miami (5-7), Minnesota (5-7), Green Bay (4-8), Houston (4-8), and Jacksonville (7-5). The rankings of both these teams come down to the best teams both have beaten: Cincinnati and Jacksonville.

The Bengals are a good team getting better as the season has progressed. Their victory over the Ravens (9-3) showed they are for real. On the other hand, the Jags are floundering. The best team they beat was the Drew Bledsoe-led Cowboys (8-4), and that was the first game of the year. I think it is safe to say the Jags would lose to the Romo-led Cowboys.

Would the Bucs beat the Bengals if they played again? I would say no, but I also would not have expected them to beat the Bengals the last time.

Another thing to consider between the Bucs and the Bills is to whom they both have lost. For the Bucs, the list is impressive: Baltimore (9-3), Atlanta (6-6), Carolina-twice (6-6), New Orleans-twice (8-4), N.Y. Giants (6-6), Dallas (with Romo, 8-4), and Pittsburgh (6-7). As for the Bills: New England-twice (9-3), N.Y. Jets (7-5), Chicago (10-2), Detroit (2-10), Indianapolis (10-2), and San Diego (10-2). While they both have had tough schedules, the killer for Buffalo was the Detroit loss. How can you take any team seriously when they lose to 2-win Detroit?

I stand firmly behind my ranking of Tampa Bay above Buffalo. However, I will grant you that I might have been a bit harsh putting the Jets below the 49ers, but not the Browns. Regardless, all three teams are merely "average" teams, and I stand firmly behind that categorization.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Iraq Study Group Report

My thoughts on the Iraq Study Group's Report:


In the Executive Summary, one of the Group's recommendations is:
Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively.

The first thing that leaped out of the page at me was "their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq". Exactly what interest is that?

If you read the report itself, it seems to contradict the Executive Summary on this point:
U.S., Iraqi, and international officials also commented on the range of tensions between the United States and Iran, including Iran's nuclear program, Iran's support for terrorism, Iran's influence in Lebanon and the region, and Iran's influence in Iraq. Iran appears content for the U.S. military to be tied down in Iraq, a position that limits U.S. options in addressing Iran's nuclear program and allows Iran leverage over stability in Iraq. Proposed talks between Iran and the United States about the situation in Iraq have not taken place. One Iraqi official told us: "Iran is negotiating with the United States in the streets of Baghdad."

...Like Iran, Syria is content to see the United States tied down in Iraq.

Back to the original question: How is the U.S. supposed to "engage them constructively"?

This is where the "New Diplomatic Offensive" comes into play.


Catchy phrase. What it means is use diplomacy to get all of Iraq's neighbors to create a "Support Group" to work towards a stable Iraq. (For the complete detail, read pages 50-58 of the report).

While the Iraq Study Group (ISG) came up with some intriguing negotiation "carrots" for dealing with Iran and Syria (page 51), I question whether Iran and Syria will see them that way. Especially when we get to recommendations 13-17, which have the U.S. getting more involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The Syrians will especially like recommendation 15 (pages 56-57), which is a list of things we should demand from them.


The Isaeli part of the "New Diplomatic Offensive" is probably the weakest part. It is filled with great ideas that never worked in the past. How many politicians and diplomats have tried to solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue? Fortunately, they did not give weightings to the importance of each recommendation, otherwise the Israeli recommendations would have to be given a "pie in the sky" rating.


Much to the chagrin of the peacenik moonbat fringe on the Left, which has been saying for years that Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism, the ISG Report says:
Iraq cannot be addressed effectively in isolation from other major regional issues, interests, and unresolved conflicts. To put it simply, all key issues in the Middle East -- the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq, Iran, the need for political and economic reforms, and extremism and terrorism -- are inextricably linked.

I guess it is safe to assume the moonbats will ignore the ISG Report since it doesn't match their world view.

There is also more bad news for John Kerry and Jim Webb. The ISG Report says an immediate withdrawal is a bad idea:
The near-term results would be a significant power vacuum, greater human suffering, regional destabilization, and a threat to the global economy. Al Qaeda would depict our withdrawal as a historic victory. If we leave and Iraq descends into chaos, the long-range consequences could eventually require the United States to return.

Finally, the ultimate insult is saved for Nancy Pelosi. Just a week ago, San Fran Nan had this to say about one of President Bush's comments referring to Al Qaeda in Iraq: "But the 9/11 Commission dismissed that notion a long time ago and I feel sad that the president is resorting to it again." The ISG Report explicitly refers to an Al Qaeda presence in Iraq, performing acts of terrorism there. (On a side note, the 9/11 Commission did NOT dismiss the notion like Pelosi said.)


The ISG Report also says "staying the course" is a bad idea, as well as sending more troops (pages 38-39). Neither of these ideas solve the sectarian strife in Iraq.


Finally, the ISG Report (page 39) rejects splitting Iraq into three regions:
Because Iraq's population is not neatly separated, regional boundaries cannot be easily drawn...A rapid devolution could result in mass population movements, collapse of the Iraqi security forces, strengthening of militias, ethnic cleansing, destabilization of neighboring states, or attempts by neighboring states to dominate Iraqi regions.

The report does add that if the situation were to move in this direction, then the U.S. should "manage the situation" to avoid negative consequences (i.e. ethnic cleansing).


There is a long portion of the ISG Report dedicated to actions that need to be taken inside Iraq. Most of it is fairly common sense, which surprises me that more of it has not already been implemented. Things such as the Iraqi government negotiating with the various sectarian groups ("Hello?! McFly!").

There is also a good idea about setting milestones for the Iraqi government. If their government does not accomplish certain goals by certain milestones, the U.S. could withdraw certain amounts of support, such as economic or military support.


On pages 76-77 of the ISG Report is a section entitled "Restoring the U.S. Military". If anyone thinks Donald Rumsfeld didn't screw over the military, this section puts a big exclamation point on that fact:
The U.S. Military has a long tradition of strong partnership between the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense and the uniformed services. Both have long benefited from a relationship in which the civilian leadership exercises control with the advantage of fully candid professional advice, and the military serves loyally with the understanding that its advice has been heard and valued. That tradition has frayed, and civil-military relations need to be repaired.


One of the most brilliant ideas from the ISG Report is to utilize the U.S. Department of Justice to train the Iraqi police forces (pages 81-83).


There are some other sections in the ISG Report dealing with subjects such as economics and intelligence gathering. If you want to read them, help yourself, but they are not particularly interesting or earth shattering compared to the rest of the Report.


The "New Diplomatic Offensive" is a bit too idealistic for my tastes. If Condi Rice can pull this one off, give her the Nobel Peace Prize for the next ten years.

That said, I like the ISG Report overall. It has a lot of good ideas which make you wonder what our country has been doing over in Iraq the last three years.

As Captain Picard would say, "Make it so."

(Hat tip to Robert George over at Ragged Thots for posting the links to the Washington Post copy of the Executive Summary and the report itself)

Hope for Islam

Are you familiar with the name Jamal Miftah? He is a Muslim from Pakistan who is currently living in the United States. He wrote a letter to the editor of the Tulsa World. Below is the text of that letter (taken from Neal Boortz's website):
Because of lack of knowledge of Islam, Muslim youth are misguided into believing by the so-called champions of the cause of Islam that the current spate of killings and barbarism, which has no equal in the recent civilized history, is jihad in the name of Islam. They are incited, in the name of Islam, to commit heinous crimes not pardonable by any religion and strictly forbidden in Islam....

Even mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. and around the world have become tools in [Al-Qaeda's] hands and are used for collecting funds for their criminal acts. Half of the funds collected go into the pockets of their local agents and the rest are sent to these thugs.

They are the reason for branding the peaceful religion of Islam as terrorism. The result, therefore, is in the form of Danish cartoons and remarks/reference by the Pope.

I appeal to the Muslim youth in particular and Muslims of the world in general to rise up and start jihad against the killers of humanity and help the civilized world to bring these culprits to justice and prove that Islam is not a religion of hatred and aggression.

I appeal to the Muslim clerics around the world that, rather than issuing empty fatwas condemning suicide bombing, they should issue a fatwa for the death of such scoundrels and barbarians who have taken more than 4,267 lives of innocent people in the name of Islam and have carried out more than 24 terrorist attacks on civilian installations throughout the world. This does not include the chilling number of deaths because of such activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is well over 250,000.

I appeal to al-Zawahri and his band of thugs to hand themselves over to justice and stop spreading evil and killing innocent humans around the world in the name of Islam. Their time is limited and Muslims of the world will soon rise against them to apprehend them and bring them to justice.

Just when you see something like this, then the other shoe drops: Mifta was banned from his mosque for this. Fortunately, he was reinstated after a small Media firestorm over this (the full story here), but it still leaves a bad taste that he would have been banned in the first place, and whether the mosque reinstated him just to get the Media off their backs.

In the interest of fairness, according to a Tulsa World article:
Mosque spokeswoman Sheryl Siddiqui said the matter should have been quietly resolved, but because of the media and the Internet, "It's had such legs."

The story was carried by local television and radio stations and spread nationwide on the Internet.

"This was not about the article; it was about a disturbance in the mosque," she said. "We agree with most of his article, except the one statement that American mosques support terrorists.

"Our mosque does not, and I don't know of any that do," she said.

Even if you only consider that part of Miftah's letter, is that reasonable cause for banning him from the mosque? It is not like mosques in other countries have not had links to terrorists: the London train bombers had links to radicals through a mosque (link here). Perhaps Miftah should not have mentioned the U.S. mosques specifically?

Frankly, this is a smokescreen to avoid the main thrust of Miftah's letter, which is that Muslims should be condemning terrorism, to the point of issuing fatwas "for the death of such scoundrels and barbarians". Muslims should surround and support Miftah.

Neal Boortz said it best:
Now there is one Muslim I would be proud to have as a neighbor and count as a friend.

Thanks to Jamal Miftah, I have hope for Islam.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ranking the NFL - Week 13

We have reached the time of year when teams start playing differently: Some teams play better than they have been, while others start playing worse. How else do you explain the Colts losing to the Titans?

RAVENS: Splitting the series with the Bengals is more of a positive sign for the Bengals than a negative sign for the Ravens. However, the Colts loss leaves the Ravens as the best team in the NFL by default. Their victory over the Chargers earlier this year looms large.

CHARGERS: A test of character for a good team is to win close games against bad teams like Buffalo. On the road. In December.

COWBOYS: I'm a believer. With Tony Romo as their starting QB, the Boys are 5-1. I won't call them "elite", but they are clearly the best team in the NFC.

COLTS: I don't think anyone really believes the Titans are better than the Colts. However, I think the Colts' loss shows they have some glaring weaknesses.

PATRIOTS: This week Detroit. Next week Joey Harrington. Somewhere, the scheduling gods are having a chuckle.

BENGALS: Splitting games with the Ravens is a positive sign that the Bengals are coming around. Of course, they face their toughest test this weekend against the Raiders. I have heard the NFL is arranging special security for this game: They will need to protect the fans from all the prisoners on the field.

BEARS: I get a laugh from all the pundits who think the Bears should start Brian Griese instead of Rex Grossman. As a longtime Raider fan, Griese was my favorite Denver quarterback. No matter how close the game was, Griese always found a way to choke against the Raiders. I am not saying Grossman is great, but I am saying Griese will break your heart (unless you are rooting for the Bears' opponent).

SEAHAWKS: It is a bad sign when your defense gives up two touchdown passes to a rookie quarterback in his first NFL game. Seattle won, but I wouldn't smoke a cigar over it.

BRONCOS: Jay Cutler looked like a rookie. But have faith Denver fans. He showed some potential. Next year is looking better. You didn't honestly think Shanahan switched to Cutler because he thought Cutler gave them a "better chance to win this year"?

SAINTS: ARGH! I can't do it! Reggie Bush against the 49ers, 168 total yards and 4 touchdowns. Mario Williams against the hapless Raiders' offensive line, 2 tackles and no sacks. I bet the Texans are hoping Bush blows out a knee soon.

CHIEFS: Will the real Kansas City team please stand up? Was it the "Chiefs" team that beat the Broncos last week, or the "Chefs" team that lost to the Brownies this week? It doesn't get any easier for them in the next two weeks, as they have the two best teams in football coming up, with the Ravens followed by the Chargers.

PANTHERS: The Panthers are now 0-3 against the NFC East, with the Giants coming up this weekend. I am beginning to wonder if I didn't give Jake Delhomme too much credit in my recent "Best of the Worst Quarterbacks" post.

TITANS: To all the so-called football geniuses who thought, and still think, Vince Young would/will never be a great NFL quarterback, I say: Eat his dust. I predict by his fifth season, if not sooner, he will be considered among the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. Ask the Eagles, Giants, and Colts what they think of Young.

GIANTS: It looked like the Giants got a major dose of Pepto Romo. Even though the final score was close, the Giants did not deserve to win.

49ERS: The 49ers game was sort of like the 2000 Presidential Election. Although the final score of 34-10 didn't leave room for (Frank) Gore to ask for a recount against (Reggie) Bush.

STEELERS: These guys are still playing? I thought they had already conceded the rest of the season. Although the Buccaneers are just bad enough to have told Pittsburgh, "no thanks, YOU take the win."

BROWNS: Just when I am about to write this team off, they pull off a huge win over the Chiefs. Romeo Crennel, you da man! This team looked ready to implode after being shut out by the Bengals last week, but Crennel pulled them together this week.

JETS: Against teams that begin with a "C", the Jets are 0-2 (Chicago and Cleveland). Against the rest of the NFL, the Jets are 7-3. Fortunately, they are not scheduled to play Cincinnati this year.

FALCONS: Don't feel so good about the win over the Skins. Over the last five weeks, the Dirty Birds are 1-4.

BUCCANEERS: Tampa Bay has won three games this year, by a combined total of 6 points. Oakland has won two games by a combined total of 20 points. How did these two teams make it to the Super Bowl a couple of years ago?

REDSKINS: The 2007 NFL Preseason has come early to Washington.

JAGUARS: I liked what I saw from quarterback David Gerrard. If the Jags could surround him with some talent, especially at wide receiver, he could be very good, although I don't see him becoming great.

EAGLES: Maybe Jeff Garcia isn't so bad after all?

DOLPHINS: On the losing side of the Jags-Dolphins game, Joey Harrington looked ok, but the Dolphins definitely missed Ronnie Brown.

VIKINGS: With one win in the last six games (against Arizona), "YO HO!" is becoming "yoohoo".

RAMS: Speaking of teams mailing it in...I know the Cardinals are not respectable, but you would think the Rams would actually make an appearance. Losing 34-20 means they sent St. Louis University.

BILLS: On the bright side...oh heck, there is no bright side. Just because the Bills played a close game with the Chargers doesn't make them suck any less.

PACKERS: In the post-game press conference, after getting plastered by the Jets 38-10, Brett Favre said he didn't know what happened. Brett, I will tell you what happened: You got old and the Packers got too young.

TEXANS: In a game otherwise know as "The Reggie Bush Consolation Prize", the Texans beat the Raiders.

RAIDERS: In the Brady Quinn Sweepstakes, the Raiders are running neck-and-neck with Detroit at 2-10. Thank you Houston!

CARDINALS: If someone lays down on the road in front of you, and you floor it as you drive over them, does that really mean your car is running well? After the Cards beat the Rams, QB Matt Leinart said the Cards were getting better. Riiiiight...

LIONS: Ask the average fan who handles personnel decisions for the Lions, and everyone will say Matt Millen. Now ask them who does it for the Patriots, and you will most likely get a collective shrug. Yet who is better at it? If you said Scott Pioli, you are either a football lunatic like me, or a Patriots fan. Regardless, let us give praise where it is due, since the Pats beat the Lions. Mr. Pioli, you are doing a darned fine job.

UPDATED: With the results from the Monday Night game.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Best of the Worst Quarterbacks

You are the owner of an expansion NFL team. The football gods have smiled on you, and said you can have any quarterback from any NFL team, with two important stipulations: the quarterback's passer rating must be below 80, and no rookie quarterbacks. That leaves you with the following choices:
1. Steve McNair - 79.9
2. Byron Leftwich - 79.0
3. Jake Delhomme - 78.7
4. Brett Favre - 78.1
5. Matt Hasselbeck - 77.7
6. Rex Grossman - 77.6
7. Brad Johnson - 77.3
8. Daunte Culpepper - 77.0
9. Eli Manning - 76.0
10. Ben Roethlisberger - 72.3
11. Michael Vick - 72.1
12. Joey Harrington - 71.6
13. Jake Plummer - 70.5
14. Charlie Frye - 69.5

Steve McNair would be the obvious choice for any team, EXCEPT an expansion team. For this scenario, you would want a young quarterback who can peak when the team peaks. McNair, in his 12th season, is on the downside of his career. If he is lucky, he may have 2-3 seasons left in him.

I certainly would not want anyone who is a statue in the pocket, like Byron Leftwich. Expansion teams are notorious for giving up a lot of sacks. Leftwich would get killed.

For the same reason, Daunte Culpepper gets excluded. Since his knee injury last year, his mobility has been missing. Until we can be sure he will get it back, he would be a bad choice for this team.

Age has to be considered also. Guys like Brett Favre and Brad Johnson won't be around much longer.

We can also exclude guys who have proven they cannot get it done: Charlie Frye, Jake Plummer, Joey Harrington, and Michael Vick.

As Clint Eastwood once said, "I know what you're thinking...". Vick gets excluded because he will NEVER win a championship in the NFL. Vick is a "me first" player. While I like confidence in quarterbacks, even arrogance sometimes, selfish quarterbacks never succeed. Jim Mora was right: Vick is a coach killer.

As for the other young quarterbacks, Roethlisberger makes me wonder if he has lost the fire in his belly. You can say the Steelers as a team got over-confident after the Super Bowl. However, a true team leader would have rallied them. I see Roethlisberger as a product of the system, not a quarterback who made the rest of the team better.

Eli Manning might be a good choice IF you have a good quarterback coach (Kevin Gilbride ain't it). Eli is not, nor will he ever be, Peyton.

Rex Grossman has too long an injury history to make me comfortable putting him on an expansion team.

That leaves us the two experienced quarterbacks with strong histories, Jake Delhomme and Matt Hasselbeck. I lean towards Hasselbeck only because he spreads the ball around more. Delhomme seems to need a lot of talent around him, while Hasselbeck can work with what you give him.

As an owner of an expansion franchise, take Matt Hasselbeck, but draft a good young quarterback to sit behind him and learn the game.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rudy vs. Barack in 2008?

According to a survey by Quinnipiac University, when asked about their feelings toward certain political figures, people rated Rudy Giuliani and Barack Obama higher than anyone else. Could this be an omen for the 2008 presidential election?

One thing working against Obama is his percentage of people who don't know enough about him to rate him, 41%. By comparison, Giuliani's "unknowns" were only 9%.

If Obama can generate a lot of positive PR (which should not be too difficult with the liberal Media), he might even knock Hillary Clinton from her perch.

Below is a listing of potential candidates, with the "unknown" rating in parentheses (I am excluding other political figures who cannot or have no announced intentions to run, such as Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Nancy Pelosi):
1) Rudolph Giuliani - 64.2. (9)
2) Sen. Barack Obama 58.8 (41)
3) Sen. John McCain 57.7 (12)
7) NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg - 51.1 (44)
8) John Edwards - 49.9 (20)
9) Sen. Hillary Clinton - 49 (1)
10) N.M. Gov. Bill Richardson - 47.7 (65)
11) Sen. Joseph Biden 47 (52)
13) Gov. Mitt Romney - 45.9 (64)
14) Former VP Al Gore - 44.9 (3)
16) Sen. Evan Bayh - 43.3 (75)
17) Newt Gingrich - 42 (15)
20) Sen. John Kerry - 39.6 (5)

Don't count McCain out. He certainly put in a good showing, even if he was only third.

As for Hillary, she is in an awful position. Unless she can change the way a lot of people already view her, she will lose the middle to any of the GOP candidates. Obama could possibly steal the Democrats from her.

If the 2008 presidential campaign were a horse race, I would say Giuliani vs. McCain is too close to call yet for the GOP nomination. For the Democratic nomination, I would say Obama has an early lead over Clinton, but we don't know how he will do on the long track of presidential politics.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pick the NFL Winners - Turkey Day Results

And the winner of the First Annual Turkey Day Picks award is...(ok, I made that up):

EdMcGon - 3
David Stefanini - 2
Tom - 2
Robert A. George - 2
J. Mark English - 1

I guess that makes me a true turkey among giblets!

I'm not sure if that's a good thing...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ranking the NFL - Week 12

COLTS: Edgerrin who? Joseph Addai just showed how expendable James was in the Colts offensive scheme. Now if they only had a Peyton Manning on defense...

RAVENS: The Ravens are starting to look like a Super Bowl contender. What they did to Pittsburgh was just ugly. Right now, the Ravens might be better than the Colts.

CHARGERS: I personally consider it a good sign that the Chargers can take the Raiders lightly and still win.

BRONCOS: Paging Dr. Cutler...

PATRIOTS: The Pats are the snake in the grass in the AFC playoff picture.

BEARS: Rex Grossman is NOT the quarterback who is taking the Bears to a Super Bowl victory. If the Bears make it to the Super Bowl, they will probably get stomped.

SEAHAWKS: vs. Green Bay tonight.

BENGALS: Made the Browns black and blue.

SAINTS: The Saints brought their whole team. The Falcons brought Mike Vick. 11-1 odds seems kind of unfair, doesn't it? In the Falcons defense, they only lost 31-13. Pretty good with those odds.

CHIEFS: If the Chiefs had not lost to the Broncos earlier this year, I might read more into their win over Denver. Frankly, I was not impressed with the way the Chiefs played.

COWBOYS: Assuming they don't self-destruct, the Cowboys are poised to move up in the rankings. But they have to beat a team better than the Bucs to do it.

PANTHERS: The loss to the Skins is a head-scratcher. It looks like the Skins defense shut down the Panthers. Not a good sign for a potential playoff team.

GIANTS: The G-men aren't very good right now. Coughlin and Manning are both on the hot seat. While injuries have contributed, they really haven't beaten any great teams. The best team they beat was Dallas back in Tony Romo's premiere, a relief appearance. Next week, they get a full dose of Romo.

49ERS: Frank Gore will be a top 5 pick in fantasy leagues next year. He is THAT good.

STEELERS: It seems like years ago when this team won the Super Bowl. They certainly didn't look like a defending Super Bowl champ against the Ravens.

BROWNS: This team is sad to me, and I don't mean just their record. Just when they start to look like they might be turning a corner this year, they lay an egg against the Bengals. Now they are also starting to implode. Truly a shame.

JETS: Only bin Laden could think of a fate worse than holding millions of New Yorkers hostage to a Jets-Texans game.

FALCONS: Jim Mora's dad was right. Mike Vick IS a "coach killer".

BUCCANEERS: Rumor has it that Gruden is sending out job "feelers", much like he did when he was at Oakland. This is probably good, because the way the Bucs are playing, Gruden might not be there for long.

REDSKINS: To Jason Campbell's credit, he avoided most rookie mistakes and let the Redskins defense beat the Panthers. However, I hesitate to call this a turning point for the Skins.

RAMS: Splitting the series with the 49ers was nice. The five game losing streak they had prior to that was not so nice.

DOLPHINS: Joey Harrington, in his best Darth Vader voice: "Matt Millen, who's your daddy?"

TITANS: Vince Young already is what Mike Vick will NEVER be: a team leader. Granted, Young doesn't have Vick's shifty moves, but Young is no slouch running the ball. Plus Young has the leadership intangible that eludes Vick.

VIKINGS: Many years ago, they used to send people to Arizona for their allergies. Now, they send NFL teams like the Vikes there for wins.

JAGUARS: How do you beat the Giants one week, then lose to the Bills the next week?

EAGLES: Jeff Garcia did ok, but this team's lack of talent really shows without McNabb.

BILLS: After the Bills beat the Jags, you can almost imagine Jack del Rio screaming, "KHAAAAAN!". Seriously though, this team is improving, having won their last two games and three of their last four, with their only loss coming to Indy by one point.

PACKERS: vs. Seattle tonight.

TEXANS: I think the Texans went into "maybe next year" mode about two minutes after the last NFL draft.

RAIDERS: Even though they lost, the Raiders looked half decent against the Chargers. On the bright side, they get Houston next week.

CARDINALS: Beating the Cardinals is like having a job at McDonald's on your resume. It may not hurt you, but it doesn't exactly enhance your resume either.

LIONS: How many Fords does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. They keep waiting in the dark for Matt Millen to do it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pick the NFL Winners - Week 11 Results & Turkey Day Picks

I guess I ought to announce last week's winner, aye? Drumroll please...

David Stefanini - 11
J. Mark English - 10 (and Mark kicks himself for forgetting to pick the Dallas-Indy winner)
Tom - 9
Robert A. George - 9
EdMcGon - 7

Since I got my butt handed to me, we are going to try a simple exercise this week: Pick the winners of the three Thanksgiving Day games. My picks are in red:

Miami at Detroit: "The Revenge of Joey Harrington".
Tampa Bay at Dallas: Wouldn't you really like to see a movie with cowboys against pirates? Of course, it might be kind of lopsided, since the cowboys would just shoot the pirates. Therefore, take the Cowboys. How is that for in-depth football analysis?
Denver at Kansas City: One of these days, Jake Plummer's interceptions are going to kill the Broncos. Oh wait, that was last week against the Chargers. Well, take the Chiefs anyway.

NFL Jokes of the day

How many Cincinnati Bengals does it take to screw in a light bulb?
One to steal it, one to screw it in, and Chad Johnson to say, "Why didn't you let me do it?"

How many Oakland Raiders does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A LOT! Randy Moss keeps dropping them.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ranking the NFL - Week 11

With the short week upon us, and all the upsets yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and do my rankings today.

Due to the Colts' loss yesterday, there will be no "almost elite" category.

COLTS: For the Colts, I have to consider the loss to Dallas a fluke. Does anyone honestly think Peyton Manning will look like that two weeks in a row?

CHARGERS: The Chargers should be called "Team 1A" among the "elite". Beating the Broncos IN Denver is a monster win. Anyone up for a Chargers-Colts AFC Championship?

BRONCOS: Which of the following three quarterbacks has the best chance to win the AFC Championship: Peyton Manning, Phil Rivers, or Jake Plummer? If you said Plummer, you lose, just like the Broncos will.

RAVENS: The Ravens simply out-classed the Falcons. Even without Ray Lewis, the Baltimore defense was just too much. Did I mention their offense isn't too bad either?

BEARS: Looking back, I have to wonder if their loss to the Dolphins was a fluke. But only scoring 10 points on the Jets doesn't exactly restore my faith in this team.

SEAHAWKS: Last week, I called this team the strongest contender in the NFC. I just want to know who spiked my coffee? Better yet, who spiked their Gatorade?

GIANTS: Tonight vs. the Jaguars.

PATRIOTS: If the Packers played the Patriots every week, there would be no talk of Favre coming back next year. There might even be some comments about him retiring immediately.

BENGALS: The Cincinnati World-Beaters showed up against the Saints, as opposed to the Cincinnati Wife-Beaters, that normally show up...

PANTHERS: Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, and Chad Johnson might get all the headlines, but Steve Smith is actually the best wide receiver in the NFL. Smith is the only one I look at and say that guy actually makes his team better than they are.

SAINTS: The Saints must have thought Chad Johnson had lost a step. 190 yards and 3 touchdowns later, the Saints realized they were wrong.

CHIEFS: The Chiefs get a real test this week at home against the Broncos on Thursday night. If you have watched the NFL Network at all over the last 6 months, then I am sure you know about this game. They have run ads for it every chance they had.

COWBOYS: HUGE win for Dallas. This is quite a different team with Tony Romo at quarterback. Playoffs? Super Bowl? Not out of the question in the weak NFC.

49ERS: They beat SEATTLE? I knew they were getting better, but still...

STEELERS: Even though the Steelers have been playing the Browns regularly for what seems like the past half century, how many of their matches have been classic? It always seems like one or the other of them is dominant at the same time the other one is mired in a slump. Yesterday's game was as close to classic as these two teams usually get, and it wasn't classic.

BROWNS: Over the last 7 weeks, the Browns have a pattern: Lose one, win one. They lost yesterday, so that means they will beat Cincinnati next week. Riiiiight.

JETS: They held the Bears to 10 points! Which was 10 more than the Jets scored...

FALCONS: The only "birds" here are swans, as in the "swan song" of Jim Mora. For a team that looked innovative earlier this year, they just look flat now.

BUCCANEERS: In spite of the numbers, I like Bruce Gradkowski. As rookie quarterbacks go, one touchdown and two interceptions against a solid Carolina defense is not bad at all.

JAGUARS: Tonight vs. the Giants.

EAGLES: Anyone see the irony of Donovan McNabb going down with an injury and being replaced by Jeff Garcia? (think Terrell Owens)

RAMS: Ram Fans, don't feel bad. Yes, you were shutout by Carolina. But consider the alternative: What if you kept Mike Martz? Look at Detroit, with only 185 points scored this season, vs. the Rams with 202. Just call me a little ray of sunshine today...

REDSKINS: Welcome to the NFL Jason Campbell. By the way, you won't have Clinton Portis to hand off to for the rest of the season. Have fun!

DOLPHINS: Joey Harrington, the next Dan Marino. You can stop laughing now. Really. The Dolphins are 3-0 with Harrington under center since their bye week, having beaten Chicago, Kansas City, and Minnesota. The Dolphins almost have their heads above water...

VIKINGS: Since their loss to the Patriots 4 weeks ago, the Vikes can't seem to get a break.

TITANS: If the Titans let Jeff Fisher go after this season, they are idiots. Their win over the Eagles shows this team is starting to come around. Fisher has done a world-class job of coaching a team with limited talent.

PACKERS: This is the Packer team I have come to expect. Nothing like a New England reality check of 35-0.

BILLS: You can almost hear the Bills fans chanting, "WE'RE BETTER THAN HOUSTON!".

TEXANS: Just when I think the Texans are starting to play a little better, they lose to the Bills. So how is that Mario Williams pick coming along? Two tackles against the Bills. So THAT'S why they had the first pick in the draft!

RAIDERS: Who could the Raiders trade Randy Moss to? Hello, Matt Millen...

CARDINALS: Do you think Dennis Green is feeling the job security after they beat Detroit?

LIONS: Let the Matt Millen job watch begin. Or is that continue?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pick the NFL Winners - Week 11

Time to pick the winners again in this week's NFL games. Feel free to post your picks in the comments. No money, just bragging rights. My picks are in red:

Atlanta at Baltimore: Quoth the Raven, "Not in my house!".

Buffalo at Houston: An intriguing matchup, even if neither of them is any good.

Chicago at N.Y. Jets: A Bear trap.

Cincinnati at New Orleans: If I have to pick a winner, I will take the Saints, but this one is a toss-up.

Minnesota at Miami: Time for the Dolphins to come back to Earth.

New England at Green Bay: If Green Bay wins, I will eat cheese. Not that I wouldn't eat cheese anyway...

Oakland at Kansas City: At least the Chiefs won't have to worry about covering Randy Moss, since he is depressed. Not that the Chiefs have a whole lot to worry about going into this game.

Pittsburgh at Cleveland: The Brownies prove their true value in this game. The Brownies ARE the better team here.

St. Louis at Carolina: The Rams cannot beat the Seahawks. You don't think they have a chance against the Panthers, do you?

Tennessee at Philadelphia: Gotta love the Titans in this trap game.

Washington at Tampa Bay: Welcome to the NFL Jason Campbell. Unfortunately for you, the rookie quarterback on the other side will get the win.

Detroit at Arizona: The question here is who will NOT lose? Both of these teams would lose against nearly anyone else. I will take the Lions to look past this game to their annual Turkey Day game. Of course, when the Lions are playing, EVERY day is Turkey Day!

Seattle at San Francisco: Not even close.

Indianapolis at Dallas: If Indy gets surprised by anyone, it will NOT be Dallas.

San Diego at Denver: The game of the week. I have to go with Denver at home, especially with Shawne Merriman still out on suspension.

N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville: A loooooong night for the Jags.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ranking the NFL - Week 10

COLTS: Squeaking by Buffalo is a bit worrisome. But a win is a win is a win. And the Colts have won all of them.

BRONCOS: Here come the Chargers.

CHARGERS: Watch Phil Rivers. He is slowly moving into the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady class of NFL quarterbacks. He is THAT good.

RAVENS: The Ravens, without Ray Lewis, slipped by the Titans. Now they have to go against the Falcons with Lewis listed as questionable again. If Mike Vick shows up, this could be an interesting game to watch.

SEAHAWKS: Welcome back Shaun Alexander (and maybe Matt Hasselbeck). While you were out, the Hawks built up a two-game division lead. At this point, the Birdies are clearly the strongest contender in the NFC.

BEARS: I admit it: I was too rough on the Bears last week, knocking them down to "average". They did a number on the G-men.

GIANTS: No Toomer. No Strahan. No win.

PATRIOTS: Someone complained that I had the Patriots rated below the Saints. Does the loss to the Jets explain why? Regardless, I have to rate them above the Saints this week.

BENGALS: I still like the Bengals, but I am completely confused as to what is wrong with this team. It could be all the parole officers interfering with practices.

PANTHERS: If Steve Smith is on the field, healthy or not, the Panthers are dangerous.

SAINTS: After losing to Pittsburgh, it is clear the Saints ain't. Their loss to the Panthers drops them to here.

CHIEFS: Will the real Chiefs please stand up? They beat the Chargers and Seahawks, but lose to the Dolphins. Do you think that loss could be why Trent Green is coming back this week?

BROWNS: The MOST underrated team in the NFL. Romeo Crennel has this team playing as a unit now, not unlike the Patriots. However, the Browns still don't have the talent of a team like the Patriots. But at least they are moving in the right direction. Definitely a team to watch for next year.

JETS: Splitting the Patriots series is a good sign, but not enough to push them beyond the "average" category.

FALCONS: The Dirty Birds are still too inconsistent to be a contender, as they proved against Cleveland.

EAGLES: The Eagles better not look past the Titans this week. Even though the Eagles have the Colts next week, the Titans could easily beat the Eagles if they take the Titans lightly.

COWBOYS: Speaking of Indianapolis, Dallas will have their hands full this week. Even in Dallas, I cannot see the Cowboys beating the Colts.

BUCCANEERS: In spite of the numbers, I like Bruce Gradkowski. As rookie quarterbacks go, one touchdown and two interceptions against a solid Carolina defense is not bad at all.

JAGUARS: Is it just me, or does it look like the Jags are practicing for next year? How do they lose to Houston twice?

STEELERS: Their win over the Saints was more of a commentary on how overrated the Saints were. Granted the Steelers played a good game, but they still have not won two games in a row yet this year. Do I even need to remind anyone that the Raiders beat the Steelers?

RAMS: At least they made a game of it against the Seahawks. They are slowly dropping into "wait until next year" mode.

VIKINGS: The Vikes are another head-scratching team. They beat the Panthers and Seahawks, but lose to the Bills, 49ers, and Packers.

REDSKINS: Welcome to the NFL Jason Campbell. By the way, you won't have Clinton Portis to hand off to for the rest of the season. Have fun!

DOLPHINS: Who lit a fire under this team? In two weeks, they beat both the Bears and the Chiefs. Before that, the best team they could beat was the Titans. Look at these losses: Bills, Texans, and Packers.

49ERS: For you fantasy footballers out there, get Frank Gore. He is the next Marshall Faulk. Even on a bad team like the 49ers, Gore rocks.

LIONS: Ouch! A loss to the 49ers last week. If they cannot beat the Cardinals this week, they need to just go ahead and fire Matt Millen.

PACKERS: Please tell me the Packers are NOT serious about bringing Brett Favre back next year? Granted, Favre is playing better this year than last year. But he is still NOT the old Favre. He is just old.

TEXANS: Beating the Jags shows this team is starting to come around...sort of.

BILLS: You didn't honestly expect them to beat the Colts, did you?

TITANS: Does anyone really care about Albert Haynesworth coming back? What he did was wrong, but it is hard for me to get up much ire over a second rate defensive lineman. He did his suspension. If he does it again, the NFL should ban him for life. Period.

RAIDERS: Boo hoo. Randy Moss isn't happy, so he's dropping passes. The Raiders need to drop him.

CARDINALS: The Cardinals are the one reason I can feel good about being a Raider fan. There IS a worse team, with a worse owner, than the Raiders. Al Davis could be in a coma and still run the Raiders better than Bill Bidwill.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Affirmative Action

"Affirmative action is also an embarrassment for minorities who do not need or want to be measured by a lower standard. A black female student I taught in 1993 summed it up best by saying that although she had been admitted to college on the basis of outstanding grades and test scores, no one believed her. Whites just assumed she was there because of affirmative action. Once a class of people is given credit for something its members did not achieve, individuals in that class forfeit credit for the things they actually did." - Mike Adams

In other words, affirmative action does NOT solve the problem of racism. It adds to it, with the implication that the beneficiaries of affirmative action are somehow incapable of great accomplishments without a little help.

By the way, I recommend Mike Adams' editorial today, which is where the quote above is from.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pick the NFL Winners - Week 10 Results

The early results are in, and they are decisive (especially because tonight's game is irrelevant, since we all picked Carolina). Mark English romped!

J. Mark English - 13
EdMcGon - 7
David Stefanini - 7

Even though Mark's Giants got chewed up by "Da Bears", Mark can take consolation that he at least picked that game correctly, along with a whole lot more.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

R.I.P. Jack Palance

Jack Palance's death holds a special meaning to me. Palance is the only actor to have ever given me a nightmare.

Palance made his career as a bad guy. In a career that spanned 50 years (1954-2004), his most memorable roles were either bad guys (Shane), or good guys with a VERY dark side (City Slickers).

But Palance's role which will always be engraved in my mind was Dracula. Maybe it was because I was only 8 years old when I saw it, and had a nightmare that very night. Regardless, he built a home in my subconscious which meant fear to me.

Ironically, when I saw Palance in Batman many years later, I found him scarier as mob boss Carl Grissom than Jack Nicholson's Joker. Subjectively, I always felt it was miscasting to have Palance play a secondary bad guy to Nicholson. Sure, Nicholson is a better actor, and has done some wonderful bad guys over the years, even better than Palance. But Palance just SCARES me.

I recognize it is completely irrational for me to feel this way. But the 8 year old boy in me who ran screaming from a vampire doesn't think of it as irrational.

Rest in peace Mr. Palance. You have my respect...and my fear.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Key to Eternal Happiness

Truer words were never spoken.

(Hat tip to Pearls Before Swine, the greatest cartoon in circulation today)

Pick the NFL Winners - Week 10

You folks know the drill. Pick the most games right for bragging rights. No money here. If you want money for picking games right, get a bookie.

As usual, this will be cross-posted on Politics and Pigskins, American Legends, and Ragged Thots.

Now for the picks of our returning co-champion. Oh yeah, that's me! (My picks are in red):

Baltimore at Tennessee: Suuuuure Tennessee could win. And the governor of Iowa could be our next president.

Buffalo at Indianapolis: This one has all the makings of a trap game. But you won't see me betting on it.

Cleveland at Atlanta: THIS is a tough one. Cleveland is playing for pride. We still haven't figured out what Atlanta is playing for.

Green Bay at Minnesota: The "Brett Favre Farewell Tour (Good riddance!)" continues. The Vikings should bounce back after the stinker they had last week against San Fran.

Houston at Jacksonville: Houston might make this close, but the Jags should still win.

Kansas City at Miami: The Fish come back to Earth this week against the best team in Missouri.

N.Y. Jets at New England: The Pats will be hungry after losing to the Little Horsies last week.

San Diego at Cincinnati: Just a guess, but without Shawne Merriman, I think the Bolts have a harder time putting pressure on Carson Palmer. Without pressure, the Bengals have a field day on San Diego.

San Francisco at Detroit: This should be a fun game to watch, although I suspect Detroit will bring a touch more offense.

Washington at Philadelphia: Time for Washington's usual post-Dallas week letdown.

Denver at Oakland: If I had to pick one sure thing this week, this is it.

Dallas at Arizona: Arizona might give Dallas some fits. Or Arizona might get stomped. Either way, they lose.

New Orleans at Pittsburgh: When the Saints, come marching in...Pittsburgh is mailing it in this year, and the Saints are not a team to try that against.

St. Louis at Seattle: I call the Seahawks in a squeaker.

Chicago at N.Y. Giants: On paper, this looks like a great game. In reality, the Giants are going to stomp the Bears.

Tampa Bay at Carolina: The Panthers have had two weeks to prepare for the Bucs. They only needed one.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ranking the NFL - Week 9

COLTS: Beating New England is always impressive. The only question remaining is: Can the Colts look this good in January?

BRONCOS: The last victim was Pittsburgh. The next victim is Oakland. The next real test comes against the Chargers in two weeks.

SAINTS: The NFC Champs this year? Could be.

CHARGERS: Without Shawne Merriman this week, they will have a real test against the Bengals.

PATRIOTS: Can't blame them for losing to the best team in football right now. Although Tom Brady throwing 4 picks is rather out of character.

SEAHAWKS: The Sea Birdies brought the Raiders back to Earth. Nine times.

RAVENS: I have to hand it to the Ravens. They have that fear factor going for them. You can tell teams just don't want to play them. Cincinnati looked SCARED.

GIANTS: Yawn. They beat Houston. They just might beat the Bears too.

BENGALS: The NFL has figured out how to beat the Bengals. Just give Carson Palmer a few love taps on the knees, and he folds like a chair.

PANTHERS: Bye week.

CHIEFS: The best team in Missouri.

BEARS: "Da Bears" take a HUGE nosedive this week. Considering the best team they beat was Seattle, and they lost to the Dolphins, that tells me this team was a mirage.

FALCONS: Will the real Mike Vick please stand up? Yes, that was him against Detroit.

EAGLES: Bye week.

COWBOYS: I would not read too much into their loss to the Skins. They beat the Skins soundly at home earlier this season (27-10), but only barely lost to them in Washington (22-19).

BUCCANEERS: I think Al Davis had a hand in deciding the Bucs' schedule this year. The Giants two weeks ago, the Saints last week, and the Panthers coming up? Somebody get Gruden an aspirin...

JAGUARS: Welcome to the David Gerrard era in Jacksonville. Of course, if they don't make the playoffs, this era may not last past this season.

STEELERS: Maybe next year...

RAMS: The worst team in Missouri.

VIKINGS: Losing to the 49ers was not a good sign. If they don't pick it up this week against the Pack, this ranking may be too generous.

REDSKINS: Now that they have the big win out of their system, expect the Skins to return to their losing ways this week against Philly.

BROWNS: The Brownies gave the Chargers a small scare. VERY small.

JETS: Bye week.

DOLPHINS: The Fish are still bad, even after beating up the Bears. They just are not AS bad.

LIONS: I will give the Lions credit for looking better than the Falcons. They might even win their next couple of games with their easy schedule (49ers, Cardinals, and Dolphins). But I expect them to return to Earth in week 13, vs. the Patriots.

49ERS: Even though I thought Frisco would beat the Vikings, the most impressive part of it was holding the Vikes to 3 points. Their best defensive performance of the year.

BILLS: Beating up on Green Bay is a sign of...nothing.

TITANS: I still find it hard to believe the rumors about Tennessee letting Jeff Fisher go after this year. Have they LOOKED at this team? I have seen JV teams with more talent.

TEXANS: Got to give the Texans credit for giving the G-men a scare. That and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee.

RAIDERS: The Hawks thumped the Raiders like a Democrat over a scandal-ridden Republican.

PACKERS: According to Brett Favre, this was supposed to be the best Packer team on which he ever played. I never realized how bad those Packer teams in the 90's must have been, if they couldn't even beat this year's Bills.

CARDINALS: On the bright side, the Cards didn't lose this week. Yes, they had a bye week.

Pick the NFL Winners - Week 9 Results

And the winner last week was...*drumroll*...a tie!

EdMcGon - 9
David - 9

Mark English - 8
Tom - 6
Robert George - 6

It figures I cannot win one outright.
(grumble grumble friggin' Cowboys grumble grumble)

I will post this coming week's contest tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rummy ginned is reporting "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down".

My first thought is it's about time.

Don't get me wrong: I fully support both the War on Islamofascism (aka the "War on Terror") and the War in Iraq. But Rumsfeld has made enough goofs that he needs to be put out to pasture. We need someone with a military background as defense secretary. Rummy ain't it.

I wonder if we could talk Norman Schwarzkopf out of retirement?

UPDATE: Now I am reading that former CIA Director Robert Gates is going to replace Rumsfeld. Another former buddy of Bush's dad. Another guy with no real military experience.

If Bush keeps this up, I may have to start agreeing with the moonbats about his intelligence.

Thoughts on the election results

Even though I voted for a lot of Libertarians, and none of them won, I still feel good about the results from yesterday's election.

GOVERNOR: I was glad to see Governor Sonny Perdue win re-election. He has been a decent governor, so he earned it.

There is another way to look at it though: Think of all those poor states out there that just elected Democratic governors. Now that they have taken the first step on the path to socialism, Georgia should see more business coming our way. Thanks folks!

SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: Congratulations to David Chastain. His 5.1%, and 99,000 plus votes, as a Libertarian candidate was higher than any other Libertarian in a statewide race.

Even though incumbent Republican Kathy Cox won easily with 59% of the vote, this should be considered a gentle nudge to her. Kathy has done well, but she could do better.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: One of the few races where I voted for the winner, incumbent Democrat Thurbert Baker.

When I hear the liberal Media moan about Harold Ford losing because a black man cannot win in the South, I immediately think of Thurbert Baker, who quietly does an outstanding job and keeps getting re-elected. Baker doesn't have Ford's "playboy" image.

A black man CAN win in the South. He just has to be competent. Not that competency is important to the liberal Media.

EMINENT DOMAIN: As libertarian PSC candidate Kevin Cherry pointed out yesterday, the eminent domain amendment really doesn't restrict the government much, but I was still glad to see it pass. This just means we have to keep pounding the state government for more eminent domain protection.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER: The two PSC positions up for election had some strong showings for Libertarians, with one of the positions possibly going to a run-off election. Both Paul MacGregor and Kevin Cherry pulled in the second and third most totals of any Libertarian candidate in the state. Keep trying guys.

GENERAL COMMENTS: Libertarians need to make some inroads in local politics. Frankly, I see too many local politicians going unopposed. Maybe local politics isn't glamorous, but you have to pay your dues. Show the electorate that you can get the job done on a small scale, and then they will trust you with a bigger scale.

This was a perfect election for Libertarians to get a foothold, and they blew it.

"All politics is local." - Thomas P. O'Neill