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

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Endorsements

I will be voting this afternoon, but I thought it would be a good idea to come clean. Even though I have been posting reasons to vote Republican lately, I am actually going to vote Libertarian in most races, because I am not happy with the GOP either.

Truth be told, I expect the Republicans to sweep most of the offices in Georgia. What I would like to see is the Libertarians get more votes than the Democrats. THAT would be impressive.

Without further ado, my endorsements:

GOVERNOR: I expect Sonny Perdue to win easily. He has been a decent governor. He is a status quo candidate, and that is not too bad in Georgia.

As for Democrat Mark Taylor, does anyone know what he stands for? Me neither. I am not sure I want to find out either.

But my vote is going to Libertarian Garrett Michael Hayes. He is going to try to end the state income tax. How can you not like that? (For those of you out-of-staters, Georgia has a sales tax and an ad valorem tax too.)

LT. GOVERNOR: Libertarian Allen Buckley. Check out this list of primary beliefs from his website:
-The private sector is more efficient than public sector
-Separation of church and state
-Competition is good
-Government should exist only to serve the people, by handling things of common benefit that cannot be done efficiently on an individual basis (e.g., police services)
-Eminent domain needs to be restricted to traditional government needs
-Open government is essential
-Entitlements are not good
-Parents should be responsible for taking care of their children
-Protection of the environment
-A reasonable immigration policy should be enforced, primarily by significantly penalizing employers that hire illegal immigrants
-Fiscal Responsibility is a MUST

Hard to argue with that.

SECRETARY OF STATE: This is the one race where the Libertarians lost me. When you go to Kevin Madsen's website, there is a link which says "The Issues". Click on that, and you get a page which says "Vote For Kevin, He's the Best Man for the Job!". It is difficult for me to take a candidate like that seriously.

So my vote is going to Karen Handel. I like her plan for reforming our election process:
-Establishing a Truly Centralized, Fully-Integrated Voter Registration System.
-Providing uniformity in the voter registration and identification qualifications.
-Ensuring that only U.S. Citizens are participating in our elections.
-Providing for a practical approach for Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, audits and software.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is the only race you will see me supporting a Democrat. Thurbert Baker has been a "tough on crime" A.G. for Georgia, and he deserves re-election.

COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE: I have one issue which NONE of the three candidates have offered solutions: What are they going to do about kudzu? Maybe next election...

In the meantime, my vote goes to Libertarian Jack Cashin. All three candidates look the same, but Cashin is the only one proposing bringing horse racing to Georgia. I would love to see that.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Sorry folks, but I have to send Republican Nathan Deal back to Congress. His only opponent is Democrat John Bradbury, who just strikes me as an anti-war radical.


PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: The first one which restricts the use of Eminent Domain is a no-brainer. Vote yes.

The second one is a bit iffy:
"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the tradition of fishing and hunting and the taking of fish and wildlife shall be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good?"

Truthfully, I do not see that this issue is important enough to amend the State Constitution. I am voting no.

I am wondering why the third one is even on the ballot:
"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide for special motor vehicle license plates and dedicate the revenue from such plates for stated purposes, including dedications for the ultimate use of agencies, funds, or nonprofit corporations where it is found that there will be a benefit to the state?"

Considering this is entirely optional, I cannot think of a reason not to support it. If people want to buy the plates, more power to them. Vote yes.

"Shall the Act be approved
which expands the ad valorem tax exemption for agricultural products and equipment to include certain additional farm equipment held under a lease purchase agreement?

I am against the ad valorem tax anyway. But if we have to have it, EVERYONE should suffer under it. I am voting no.

"Shall the Act be approved which expands the advalorem tax exemption for veterans organizations to include certain additional nonprofit veterans organizations which refurbish and operate historic military aircraft for educational purposes?"

If I won't support it for farmers, why would I support it for aircraft refurbishing? This one gets a "hell no".

"Shall the Act be approved which grants an exception from ad valorem
taxation on property owned by a charitable institution which generates income when that income is used exclusively for the operation of such charitable institution?

One more time: No.

"Shall the Act be approved which provides a homestead exemption for senior citizens in an amount equal to the actual levy for state ad valorem tax purposes on the homestead?"

No no no no no. Let's get rid of the tax, not exempt everything from it.

"Shall the Act be approved which provides a homestead exemption for the full value of the homestead with respect to all ad valorem taxes for the unremarried surviving spouse of a peace officer or firefighter who was killed in the line of duty?"

Awww...They are tugging on my heart strings. My answer is still no.

"Shall the Act be approved
which provides that, with respect to base year assessed value homestead exemptions, the surviving spouse of a deceased spouse who has been granted such a homestead exemption, shall receive that exemption at the same base year valuation that applied to the deceased spouse so long as that surviving spouse continues to occupy the home as a residence and homestead?

In the immortal words of Count Basie, "One mo' once": NO!

DAWSON COUNTY SPECIAL ELECTION: Welcome to the 21st century Dawson County. "Shall the issuance of licenses for the package sale of distilled spirits be approved?"


Sometimes I have to remind myself where I live. Silly questions like this give me a swift kick in the head.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why to vote Republican - Part 2

If you are still on the fence about whom to vote for tomorrow, check out this editorial by Orson Scott Card.

The Worst Player in the NFL

My daughter threw me a curveball question yesterday: Who is the worst player in the NFL?

My first thought was guys like Brett Favre, who have played past their prime, or Daunte Culpepper, who came back from injury too soon. But if you dig really deep, you can find worse players than these two. For example:

QB Joey Harrington: Don't read too much into him beating the Bears yesterday. Sure he had three touchdown passes, but they were all "short field" touchdowns. Even with those stats, his QB Rating is still lower than Culpepper's (77.0 to 64.6). The only two quarterbacks rated lower are Vince Young and Andrew Walter, both first year starters.

RB Ron Dayne: What can you say about a running back who cannot even start for Denver? How about the added insult of not being able to maintain the starting RB job in Houston? With 3.0 yards/carry and no touchdowns, Dayne is fully capable of keeping the bench warm.

WR Alvis Whitted: Only the Raiders would still employ this guy. While Whitted is one of the fastest players in the NFL, he also has hands like bricks. Backup Ronald Curry has more catches than Whitted (14 to 10).

OLT Robert Gallery: Speaking of the Raiders, how can we forget the offensive lineman who is looking more like Tony Mandarich than Tony Boselli? Actually, comparing Gallery to Mandarich is an insult to Mandarich. If the Raiders put a sack of potatoes on the field, it would slow down pass rushers more.

LB LaVar Arrington: Even though he is on injured reserve now, he was clearly nothing special before his injury. In six games played, he managed 14 tackles and 1 sack. There may be worse linebackers, but no one is more overrated.

I would have to pick Ron Dayne as the worst of the worst. In his prime, he was mediocre. Now he is just pathetic.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A little bloggy love

I need to send a little bloggy love out to two bloggers.

First, Myrhaf is back! He took a break from blogging, but his return to it is quite welcomed. He is still one of the smartest bloggers I ever read. Do yourself a favor and read him regularly.

Second, I would like to give a great big welcome to Freshly Mugged (aka Chip from Georgia). From what I have read so far, it looks like I will be visiting his blog regularly too.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Message to John Kerry

I am just glad the soldiers used a language Kerry can understand.

Pick the NFL Winners - Week 9

Sorry I missed posting last week's "pick the winners", but real life kept me too busy. (I know, lame excuse)

Feel free to post your own picks in the comments, and I will post the winner next week. What do you win? Hmmm...where is that moldy fruitcake I got for Christmas last year...

Anyway, here are my picks for this week (my pick in red):

Atlanta at Detroit: Think this is a trap game? I don't think the Lions are good enough to trap anyone. At best, the Lions make it close and lose at the end.

Cincinnati at Baltimore: This should be the second best game of the week (see Indy-New England for the best). In a game that could go either way, take the Ravens. Better defense playing at home.

Dallas at Washington: Meredith vs. Jurgenson. Staubach vs. Theismann. Romo vs. Brunell. Not quite the same ring to it, aye? Regardless, it should still be good. This will also be a good test for Romo.

Green Bay at Buffalo: In this matchup of great college teams, I will go with the ACC school.

Houston at N.Y. Giants: Do you even need to ask?

Kansas City at St. Louis: The Chiefs are 3-0 against NFC West teams this year. Can you say 4-0?

Miami at Chicago: Hey Dolphin fans! Remember 1985, when the Dolphins played the greatest Bear team of all time on a Monday night, giving the Bears their only loss that year? Sometimes, history does NOT repeat itself.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay: Can the Saints win without Reggie Bush? Even though they should, I cannot say I feel confident in this pick.

Tennessee at Jacksonville: Only because the Jags are at home.

Minnesota at San Francisco: The Patriots just showed the rest of the NFL how to put a butt-whoopin' on the Vikings.

Cleveland at San Diego: A lot closer than it looks on paper. I pick the Bolts to pull out a squeaker.

Denver at Pittsburgh: Those "terrible towels" could be crying towels before this one is over.

Indianapolis at New England: The game of the week. The Patriots have looked good lately, while the Colts have holes. It is never a good thing to go up against a Belichick team with holes for him to exploit.

Oakland at Seattle: Most weeks, I would not take the Raiders to beat the Hawks. But here is the equation: (No Hasselbeck) + (No Alexander) = (No win). Just make it three wins in a row baby!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Thought for the day

Is superstition merely our attempt to make a reasonable guess about the algorithm of the universe?