(View of Boston from the Bunker Hill Monument)
Two weeks later, but wanted to get it all down. It was a fantastic trip, one that I'll probably never forget.
Flew up early on Saturday and from Logan Int'l we took a water taxi across Boston Harbor down to Quincy, which apparently is pronounced with like 14 Zs.
There, we toured the USS Salem. The Salem is a heavy cruiser, now out of commission. My Father was on a virtually identical ship during the Vietnam War, and getting to see the ship in person and place into context many of the stories we'd heard... well, it was really spectacular.
(Salem, view from the stern)
The ship is larger than I'd thought. In fact, the three ships (Salem, Des Moines and my father's ship, the Newport News) were the largest cruisers ever launched. Also, the teak deck was something I didn't expect.
I felt pretty claustrophobic in the gun turrets, especially when hearing that 10 crewmembers were in there at the same time.
The Bridge was really cool too. Classic Dad story on how they were bringing the ship into port in Casablanca and there were pretty much a million small little boats in the way, and my Dad was on the bridge basically steering. He tells the Captain about all of the ships (normally you mark and announce each contact ship and receive orders on how to avoid them) and gets the perfect response, "Thank you, Lieutenant. Miss them."
Everything about the tour was amazing, considering how it put everything I'd heard over the last few decades into context. I really felt incredibly proud of my Dad and was really glad we saw it.
After the tour we went to our hotel (after I got us lost on the Green Line) and then headed back out. Had dinner that night at Legal Sea Food just southwest of Boston Common. Yeah, I need to eat more Clam Chowder. Just a solid meal all around. Plus we ate with one of my Dad's best friends who was running in the Marathon on Monday. Good times. After dinner we ended up in Cambridge trying to find a bar. Strangely, we must've gone the wrong way, because we walked for several blocks without finding a single bar, but passing like 9 ice cream shops. That brings up two important facts I've determined about Boston: 1) It's the most ice-creamingest city I've ever been to. The longest line I saw all weekend was outside a Cold Stone Creamery, and it was right next door to two bars and a nice restaurant right near Boston Common. 2) There's no excuse for us walking that far without finding a bar in Cambridge. No college town should have more than a single block without a source of alcohol. Just unacceptable. Also, we took the red line train up there, and that's the train that'll get you to MIT and Harvard. I feel comfortable calling that train (about 10 PM on a Saturday) the most intellectual and nerdiest train in the history of trains. A few Guinnesseseseses later, and we were heading back to the hotel to get some rest before the next day, sure to be a marathon of its own.
Sunday morning we got up a little early, caught some buses and trains and headed down toward Fenway Park in anticipation of the afternoon game against the Mariners. When I first suggested we head up early and mill around, have lunch beforehand, even I didn't think it'd be that crowded by the time we got there. Well, we arrived around the park about 10:45 AM and there were tons of people hanging out, rolling into bars, shopping in the souvenir stores, scalping, etc. It was more than 3 hours before the game, on Easter Sunday, and comparable to about 20 minutes before a big Braves' game. Crazy. Walked around a little, then headed into Boston Beer Works for lunch and a few brews. Food was pretty good, but the way the crowd filled in was unreal. By 12:30 the bar was 4 deep all the way around. Packed. And everyone had a jersey of some ilk on. Papi was probably the most common, but lots of Youkilis too.
About 1 we headed into the park. Descriptions devolve into cliches, but it's really a great place. Just feels like it was meant for baseball. Everything in its right place. But more than the history and the coolness of the park, it's just really a good place to watch a game. Every seat is close to the field. You're jammed in some, and there are obstructed views, but you feel like a part of the game too. Just awesome.
(Our View of the field, with Papi about to miss)
There are a million things about Fenway I liked, and nothing I didn't. The fans are every bit as great as everyone says. They're into the game more than they probably should be. Seriously, we're talking about a game on April 16th, and on a one strike foul ball the whole crowd is screaming for the ball to make the seats. Plus, Wily Mo Pena made two terrible plays in the field. Late in the game he makes a catch on a lazy, routine fly and the crowd gives him a boisterous standing ovation. Great sarcasm.
Other things I liked: the beer on draft came in three types, Bud, Bud Light and Guinness; they have aisle vendors selling hot dogs with a Batman-type utility belt with condiments; I bought peanuts and the vendor threw them at me about 30 rows away, was off a little and I had to make a decent stretch, over my unaware Dad and brother, who flinched nicely (and I got a few nice catches from the crowd) - I think they don't let the vendors do that at Turner Field anymore.
Basically, Fenway was the best ballpark I've been to (I'm now up to 7 I think). I think it's better than Wrigley, but I reserve the right to revisit. AT&T Park in San Fran has a lot to live up to.
After the game we stopped in a bar to let the crowd on the trains disperse, and then we ended up near Harvard again later that night, where we continued drinking and met up with Darkness. Nice evening, and I think I consumed more alcohol than should've been allowed on an Easter Sunday.
Monday was Patriots Day, and we got up and checked out relatively early. We decided to do the tourist stuff and walk the Freedom Trail, then go watch some of the Marathon. The Freedom Trail was actually really interesting, and served to give us a decent bit of exercise (and get Sunday's beer out of our systems).
(Statue of Paul Revere, Old North Church on the far left)
The walk wasn't too strenuous, and I recommend it. The older cemeteries were something you definitely don't see very often.
We crossed the bridge over to Charlestown, saw (couldn't board - not open on Patriots Day(?)) the USS Constitution. Then we hiked up the hill, and all the way to the top of the Bunker Hill monument. Great view of the harbor and the whole city, from Cambridge and Fenway, all the way to the Harbor.
Then we took the train back over to the Back Bay area to see the Marathon's finish. We kind of walked the last mile or so of the course, seeing racers at the end. Tons of respect for them, but I saw only one or two people actually happy. Everyone was just completely wiped out. Just nuts. But walking the end of the course also gave me another taste of how great Boston sports fans are. People were going nuts the whole time, drinking and having fun. And these weren't just friends and family of runners - they were locals just there for the scene. Fantastic.
(Finish Line of the Marathon)
All in all, it was a great trip. I really think, and it may not come across in this post, that we got a good feel for the city, especially riding on buses and trains and just seeing people around Fenway and the marathon. I got a real sense of history, from a national standpoint, and from a family standpoint. And we had fun. It was a great weekend.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
(View of Boston from the Bunker Hill Monument)
Posted by LD at 12:37 PM
Last year I live blogged most of the first round, and it was excruciating. This year it seemed to move faster, but that might be just because I wasn't watching the whole time.
So now a few short thoughts...
1) Texans passing on Bush: My take on this is not as biting as others might think. First off, there's a lot of unknowns here. We don't know what Bush's salary demands were. We don't know how Kubiak would have used Bush. Second, I think Bush is a spectacular talent, but he also has the problem of square peg/round hole for the NFL offenses. Bush might be the guy to change the game entirely, and the kind of talent that forces an OC to completely alter a gameplan. But I don't think he's an every-down workhorse back, or at least he isn't if he wants to stay the same weight and avoid injury. Kubiak and the Texans may have looked at their existing personnel and the planned offense and thought that Bush just isn't a perfect fit, but that it's close because he's that good. Now, if he asked for a salary that would throw everything askew (and I think the Williams contract looks more than reasonable for a first pick, a steal if he's a Julius Peppers-type), then I definitely don't blame the Texans for passing on him. A guy who affects 15-20 plays a game just isn't worth 10-15% of the salary cap. And while I hope this isn't the case, for some reason Bush looks like a huge injury risk to me, because of his size and his reliance on cutbacks (often blind cutbacks - with faster pursuers). Now, you can't predict that, and you can't draft scared of that, but it's just a gut feeling. And a sure way to cripple a season is to commit 10% of the cap to a guy who can't play. We've seen it in Atlanta twice recently (Jamal Anderson in '99, Vick in '03). So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that Williams is a safer pick, maybe, in that he fits an existing system probably better, meshes with existing personnel better, and comes at a much more palatable price.
2) A differing view on Bush... I guess I have differing views on how the draft should work. The paragraph above is I suppose my realistic viewpoint. But then I'll also have an idealistic viewpoint. If there were no existing systems, rosters or anything else, and you're simply drafting the best player available and then you'll work your system around him, then I'd have a very different view of passing on Bush. In fact, under the idealist analysis, I'd say the draft should've gone Bush first, Vince Young second, and then a huge mix of people. And I understand the people saying that Bush is good enough to change your game. And my final take on this is that I'm glad and not glad that Bush was drafted by the Saints - glad in that I'll get to see him play the Falcons twice this year, not glad because he'll play the Falsons twice this year.
3) I love Tennessee's first two picks. I think LenDale White puts Chris Brown on the bench by the third game.
4) The Arizona Cardinals have actually drafted pretty well the last few years, and this year looks awesome. Seriously, their offense is getting scary. Leinart, Edgerrin James, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and now Leonard Pope (HUGE steal)? Targets and weapons. Add Duece Lutui (who I think will be a Pro Bowler someday) and risk-with-big-reward Gabe Watson and you've got what looks like a great draft.
5) The Bills are going to take some lumps from their first two rounds, but their later picks kind of make up for it. Youboty and Simpson are good mid-rounders.
6) The Eagles probably are right behind the Cardinals in terms of great drafting. I think Bunkley was good value at the top, Justice and Jean-Gilles were hilariously good steals. Those two could be 10 year starters in the NFL. Jason Avant could be a starter too. Great value here.
7) I kind of like the Lions' picks. Calhoun should press Jones, believe it or not.
8) How many damn picks do the Packers have? I like the Will Blackmon pick and the Abdul Hodge pick late though. I'm not as crazy about Hawk as most, though.
9) Aside from the Mario Williams pick, which will be the only thing anyone considers in rating this draft, the Texans look like big winners. DeMeco Ryans I think was one of the best LBs in the draft, seriously. Eric Winston was a steal where they got him.
10) I like Addai, and I'll always be a fan of Dawgs, but I shake my head at the Colts' picks. Jennings just won't be able to cover the tall receivers. And I think LenDale White should've been the pick at RB. I also don't understand the Dolphins', Jags', Bucs' and Chargers' (aside from McNeil - who is a stud).
11) The Falcons: I think this is a pretty good draft for them, even though they have limited picks. I think they got a top-20 talent deep in the second round in Jimmy Williams, and I'm certain he'll play a lot this coming year. Norwood will make an impact this year too, on special teams. Throw in two other starters that they got out of trading picks, one of whom is a Pro Bowler, and you've got a spectacular draft for this year, and a good one for the next few. It shows that the Falcons know that a window for making the jump is pretty small, and you have to take advantage of the opportunities when you can. I'm not sure there's another team in the NFC that should be considered a favorite (maybe Carolina). Should be a very exciting year in Atlanta (and deserved, compared to this last year).
Posted by LD at 11:48 AM
Sunday, April 23, 2006
This is from a few weeks ago, but I wanted to add a bit.
Apparently, after the Masters, Tiger Woods got into a little trouble for saying he played like "a spazz". The British tabloid press jumed on it because evidently spazz isn't PC in Britain (somehow akin to "retarded").
If it offended people, that's unfortunate, and Tiger apologized for the use of the word. No big deal.
The thing that bothers me though, is that the British tabloid press was the group who made a big deal out of it. If there's a group on earth that shouldn't be in the political correctness enforcement business, it's them.
Why do I have strong feelings about this, at least enough to post about it? Well, in 1997 I studied abroad in England. And I was over there during the British Open, held that year at Royal Troon and won by Justin Leonard. Tiger finished 12 shots back, and his pedestrian first two rounds kept him out of contention. But on Saturday, he shot the low round of the tournament - a 64, charging him toward the top of the leaderboard. It was a pretty stellar round, and the British press focused on it for their Sunday back pages. I know this because I was on trains all day on that Sunday, returning to Oxford from Conwy, Wales.
What does that 1997 Open have to do with this? Well, the bold, 2 inch size font headlines kind of surprised me.
"THAT BOLD BLACK MAGIC"
Far be it for me to cry hypocrisy, but seems to me that the tabloid press is using stereotypical terms to describe someone's golf playing. Much like they were complaining about Tiger doing.
The Dagger can back me up on all relevant details. He was there.
Posted by LD at 4:52 PM
On the flight back from Boston (and a full recap, with pictures is coming, maybe this week), the Wrangler swore Lee Corso was sitting in first class. I didn't see him, and I wonder why Corso would be going from Boston to Atlanta - he doesn't seem the marathon running type, but I guess he could've been doing some research on BC for next year. Or maybe he was in Bristol and flew out of Logan instead of one of the 12 other airports around there.
But back to the point...
As tradition requires, last weekend was the Boston Marathon. And since Atlanta's a major air hub, the flight to and from Boston was filled with marathoners. Which was awesome, since I had a middle seat coming back. Marathoners, in general, aren't fatasses. So there was a good amount of room on the flight.
I sat next to a guy who totally deserves mention here, and probably in a million other media outlets too.
His name was Chuck Engle. His personal site is HERE. Go and take a look. He's a professional long-distance runner and finished 355th in the Boston Marathon (in a quick 2:48). That alone is amazing. But his real accomplishment is ongoing.
He wants to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks this year, all of which under ar certain timeframe.
That's right: 1 marathon a week. On Patriot's Day, it was his 16th marathon of the year. He actually had run two marathons that weekend (he finished second in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday, same time). He had won 8 of the 16 marathons he'd run. Just incredible.
I can't imagine running one marathon. I can't imagine how long it must take to recuperate after just one marathon. I can't imagine how tough it must be to add in all the travel stress. I just walked around Boston and got drunk, and I'm still exhausted from last weekend. This guy's running marathons week after week after week.
And he seemed like a really nice guy too. Didn't brag about his accomplishments, and kind of reluctantly discussed his schedule and goals only after I prodded him. He seemed genuinely flattered that I was interested in what he's doing, and I probably should've been more effusive in praise.
What he's doing is pretty incredible. Also, he's using the marathon tour to get the word out for St. Jude Hospital in Memphis. I think it's great. He's set a goal for himself and now he's doing it. And I hope he stays healthy and can complete the whole thing. Hopefully he'll come to Atlanta for the marathon around Thanksgiving. I'm rooting for him.
So track his progress here.
Posted by LD at 4:33 PM
1) Derailed: Kind of predictable, kind of entertaining. I'll probably watch anything Owen and Cassel do. Or Xzibit. Aniston is teh lame, though. Lots of plot holes, but not too bad. One of the things about it is that every scene seems to forget everything that comes before that - it just kind of rambles forward. That's odd for a twisty thriller. Fired, but not a bad rental.
2) Walk the Line: I didn't like it much. If Witherspoon and Phoenix had different names (even with the same performances), this would have been a CBS Sunday Night movie. The music is good, but you can listen to a Cash greatest hits album and come away with almost as much. There were probably only about one or two scenes that I liked (the first Sun session, and... ummm...). The natural comparison is to Ray, which is significantly better, but I'd also compare it, unfavorably, to Hustle and Flow. A better movie could've been made out of this story. This one was kind of lazy. Fired.
3) Good Night and Good Luck: Exceptional acting, but this movie needed about 20 more minutes, and to get rid of the musical interludes, which added nothing. Strathairn's performance is pretty spectacular. It's just odd - I liked a lot of this movie, but there are pretty significant flaws in the movie. Example, any focus on the Downey-Clarkson relationship was unneeded. At the same time, the Hollenbeck subplot deserved more. I feel I'm overcriticizing, since I actually liked this a good deal. But the flaws keep it from attaining really superb status. Steak knives.
4) Jarhead: Dude, read the book. While the film doesn't fuck up anything too terribly, and the cinematography of the scenes in Iraq was very very good (as if we should expect anything less from Deakins), the problem was context. The book does a remarkable job of putting every emotion, every reaction, everything in its proper, personal context. The film just doesn't do as good a job of it, mostly because it's a natural filter (the film is Mendes' take on personal thoughts). Plus, one of my favorite, and one of the most important, scenes in the book didn't make the film (barfight). The acting was all good and stuff, but the totality left me wanting more. The book is a cadillac. The movie is fired.
5) Elizabethtown: Not good. Too much of a vanity project, it seemed, and, like so many vanity projects, it could've used someone telling Crowe "No" on about a hundred things. The big problem is that there are 3 (or more) movies going on, and none of them work all mixed together like this. Family tragedy, personal reflection on failure, quirky romantic comedy, road movie, rambling on fathers and sons, song of the south, etc. Too much going on. Had Crowe taken out about half of the stories he was trying to tell, maybe this is salvagable. As is, it's a mess. Plus, about 15 minutes is spent watching non sequitur clips of "the best conversation evah!", which was excruciating. Yes, I've had those conversations. When I was 15. I felt like an idiot afterwards. And I'm embarassed for myself, but I can't imagine why anyone else would give a shit. Also, the soundtrack kind of sucked. Like, lame ass Dave FM bullshit that would make me change the station. Fired.
6) A History of Violence: The Lady warned me that this was one of the worst movies she'd seen in years. Glad I don't listen too much. I liked it a lot, actually. It's simpler than I thought it'd be, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The acting was very good. I can understand why it might not be for everyone, but it worked for me. Some sequences really did feel like a comic book film done right (and I didn't know it was a graphic novel beforehand, but I could sense it). Steak knives.
7) Nine Queens: I've been waiting for a movie that really got me fired up for quite some time, and here it is. Highly, highly recommended. Smart, but doesn't annoy you by acting all smart. Definitely leaves you excited about the next minute. See this movie. I don't want to say too much about it, because it'll ruin the surprises. Cadillac.
8) The Salton Sea: Upon high recommendations from others. Not sure how good it is, actually. It definitely felt like the director has some of that Tarantino-wannabe disease. But it's also pretty interesting and well-enough acted. The camera tricks were intrusive, and it would've benefitted from a grittier look. I thought the jazz stuff was pretty out-of-place, though the rest of the music was good enough. Kilmer, Sarsgaard and D'Onofrio were excellent. It kept my interest, and was bordering on great at times, but there also were spells of "get to the point". I'm right on the fence between fired and knives, but I lean toward fired.
9) The Forgotten: Yeah, this pretty much sucked. Nothing else to it. A couple of slight freak-outs, but it's really just a rejected X-Files script. Moore is better than this. Fired.
10) Constantine: I think this was better than it had any business being. The special effects were actually pretty good. Reeves didn't bother me like he's prone to. Oddly, I kind of want to see it again to get a better grip on it. After The Forgotten, though, I don't have much tolerance for movies where people get sucked away into thin air. Fired for now, but it's closer than you'd think, and I might revise this later.
11) Tootsie: No, I'd never seen this before. They don't really make many movies like this anymore, and I don't really have a problem with that. It's an adult comedy, but the adults have adult problems and shit, which doesn't work well (to me) as a template for comedy. It reminded me of Something's Gotta Give more than Some Like It Hot, which is a very bad thing. It's all about neuroses and people dicking over other people, in the guise of a screwball comedy. Now, I don't have a problem with neuroses or people dicking other people over, but at least be honest about it. If you want to make a screwball comedy, make one. This didn't work for me at all. Plus, Dorothy was about as far from attractive as possible. Thankfully they made all of her would-be suitors drunks. Fired.
Posted by LD at 3:27 PM
As many of you may know, I'm heading to San Francisco next month.
I'm really excited about one thing in particular. The Lady and I last week ordered tickets for a Giants game, which means we'll get to see what looks like the nicest new stadium. Occurred the other day that there's an outside chance at another awesome thing happening.
Barry Bonds hit his first home run of the season yesterday. He's currently at 709 for the season, leaving him just 5 home runs shy of Babe Ruth's mark of 714. The game we're going to is Friday, May 26th. They have 30 games between now and then. Bonds has sucked so far this year, but who knows if he'll suddenly get back his power. If he does, pitchers will likely stop giving him anything to hit, even moreso than they already are.
So if he averages one homer every 6 games, we might be there on the night he moves into second place. Not a very good chance, but you never know.
UPDATE: Five dudes were ejected in tonight's game (in which Bonds did not homer). The Giants and Rockies exchanged beanballs. Tensions were high. And when is the very next time these two division rivals meet? That'd be May 26th. As if I wasn't already excited enough, now there's the chance of violence. Awesome.
Posted by LD at 3:17 PM
Somewhere over the last few weeks, Dawg Sports has raised the issue of Chick-Fil-A on Sundays, since Kyle knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who has a source that can get you some of that deliciousness on a Sunday. Perhaps Kyle King is the Georgia Bulldog version of Huggy Bear, or perhaps being the Mayor just comes with certain perks.
Kyle King: illiterate, tax cheating, wife swapping, pot smoking spend-o-crat
But back to the point. For the rest of us plebeians, Chick-Fil-A is forbidden fruit. And there is no greater desire than that for a chicken biscuit when one is hungover after a day of football watching and drinking. In fact, The General used to say, in so many words, that he would always know it was Sunday based on how much he wanted Chick-Fil-A. But we can't get it.
So then we were thinking a month or so ago... What about that Chick-Fil-A charity golf tournament down in Stockbridge? They have to serve C-F-A there. And they finish on Sunday. So the question is thus: would you be willing to sit through several hours of women's golf for the ability to eat Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday?
Personally, I lean towards no. Turns out, it's a moot point, since Chick-Fil-A no longer sponsors the LPGA tournament in Stockbridge. Now some orange juice company sponsors it. And there's no doubt that if the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl were on a Sunday, anyone with a brain would go.
Posted by LD at 2:53 PM
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Had a perfect Nick Esasky photo, but I lost it. Dirtiest 'stache ever. I called it "Perfect Panama City" and the Lady's friend thought I said "Perfect Panamosity", which I've determined is a great description of 'stachitude. A great duster has a certain level of Panamosity.
But anyway, here's today's...
Posted by LD at 10:30 PM
Thursday, April 13, 2006
And now a host of things bouncing around my head but not full-post deserving (or at least I don't have the time to get into it all).
1) Dominique Wilkins was elected to the basketball hall of fame. Deserving as hell, and he was tremendously screwed over last year, as I wrote about here. I feel bad that he now has to share this day with such spotlight hogs as Barkley and Auriemma. Last year would've been perfect for his tremendous accomplishments to be given the attention they deserve.
2) I missed the G-Day game and Bloggerpalooza. And now it's been so long I don't remember what I was doing instead. I remember it raining. I haven't even watched the CSS replay of it. Have to tell you, I can't stand watching these things. I think they're painfully boring. I don't learn anything from them (and what appears to be something to learn usually ends up being something that didn't mean much at all, like Ronnie Powell dominating). And pretty much the whole time I scared to death that someone's ACL is about to explode. Nothing against guys who like it, just it ain't for me. That said, I do want to meet y'all other writers. Perhaps I'll be the one to organize it. More to come.
3) Here's the thing: House pulled a tick out of Harriet the Spy's hoo-hah last week. This week he told his superior that her breasts were not the same size (and her reaction was absolutely priceless). It is the only medical show I have ever watched, and probably ever will. You are missing hilarity if you aren't watching.
4) CFR has written a few things about LenDale White lately that have made me kind of think oddly. I have kind of an odd meta thought about it, and believe me, this isn't critical. In the college football quadrant of the blogosphere, we all sort of wear several hats, or maybe we don't. Some football bloggers are for the most part purely team bloggers, like the SB Nation guys at BON or Kyle at Dawg Sports. Some are general football bloggers who have transparent and publicly stated personal favorites (like EDSBS or SMQ). Some are just bloggers who happen to write a lot about football (Doug at HJS is a good example). Then there are the guys out in LA (CFR and HP). Both of them seem to give the appearance of being general college football focused, almost like a mainstream media outlet, but both probably have a particular team that they follow most closely. I don't think one way is any better or worse than another. People can write about whatever they want, and I surely like it when people write about something they follow closely. I like to think I'm somewhere between the transparent general blogger and the just blogger who writes about football a lot. But also I can see someone dropping by once in a while and missing the (what I think is obvious) UGA bias. Back to the point, CFR's been kind of defensive about LenDale White's supposed draft status falling lately. And it's a little odd to me. I've been reading RA for almost a year now, and normally it seemed like he was actively trying to be unbiased, as in that's his editorial judgment - and he's done a good job at it too, especially with his exceptional skills at story aggregation and linking. I've always thought he's had some kind of a personal support for USC and the Pac-10, but I don't know him either, and for a while it seemed like he could've been just covering the top team. But the recent stuff about White has seemed more personal. And don't get me wrong, I've felt the same way about my own favorite dawg players. I haven't really thought this all through, and I know I'm kind of rambling. I guess what I'm trying to say is that as a reader, I like it when I know the personal biases of the writer, but then again, the words themselves should really stand alone. I don't think every writer needs to have a disclaimer right there saying something like "Hey, I'm an Ole Miss fan", and I definitely think that bloggers can be and are objective (not to be hatin' too much, but if you want unobjective team thoughts, check out the message board swamp). I guess I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here, so I'll just say it. I guess it just seems like lately CFR's personal views have come through a little more, and it's surprised me a little. But at the same time, I don't disagree with his LenDale White analysis either. I think White is a hell of a back and much better prepared for the bruising "between the tackles" running that most NFL teams demand from backs. Moreso than Bush, who may completely change the game, but like Michael Vick, might also be limited by vanilla offenses. Moreso than DeAngelo Williams, because I think he's got more mileage on his body. I think White, in some ways because of NFL circumstances more than pure talent, may end up the most successful of the flash position USC players to be drafted (Justice might tear shit up and Duce might be a 15 year starter too). So yeah. I guess what I'm saying is that I think CFR is right about LenDale White, but I also sense kind of a shift in how he's writing (which isn't a bad thing, but I think it's kind of worth writing about). Also, if it seems like I'm playing gotcha or picking a fight with RA, it's just bad writing and not what I mean to say.
5) I seriously think the Hawks should try to convince the Suns into taking their owed First rounder this year. Especially if Noah stays out of the draft. Say the Hawks pick where they'll finish (probably 4th). Now assume LaMarcus Aldridge, Tyrus Thomas, and Andreas Bargnani go 1,2,3 in some order, and McRoberts stays at Duke (as he probably should). The Hawks at 4 might be stuck with Adam Morrison or Rudy Gay, both of which play positions where the Hawks have 95 players on the roster already, or they'd reach for a center or point guard. I suppose they could trade the pick down and still get a point guard. Or they could give up the pick and be able to have lottery pick next year (and you just know that unless Ben Wallace joins the Hawks (right...) they'll be picking in the lottery again next year. And next year's lottery could have Joakim Noah, Josh McRoberts, Al Horford, Greg Oden, Corey Brewer, Kevin Durant, Daniel Gibson, Julian Wright, Brandan Wright, Jordan Farmar, Tyler Hansbrough, and probably a few guys like Tyrus Thomas who come out of nowhere. 2007 is shaping up to be a monster draft, and 2006 is looking like 3 Kings and a bunch of Jokers. Find a way, Billy. Hang on to the 2007 pick.
6) The Rolling Stones singing about Rice Krispies. Awesome. (via Altercation over --->)
7) Stewart Mandel writes about how West Virginia is now a team to pay attention to. Lord. My dog, who yesterday ate a pile of those caterpillar looking pollen thingies and who hasn't been able to figure out how to walk through a swinging door, could write this crap. Not a single thought in this column is something that hadn't been thought by dozens, if not hundreds, of people during the first quarter of the Sugar Bowl. Something new, please.
8) I'll be in Boston this weekend, so no updates here.
9) The Lady and I are heading to San Francisco for a short vacation around Memorial Day. Anything y'all can tell me that we need to do?
10) And finally... the title of this post refers to the fantastic line by Master Shake in the Happy Time Harry episode, which I annoyed the Lady to no end with by interrupting Katharine McPhee's performance on Tuesday night. She sang the love theme from Highlander on American Idol. Wrap your head around that. 40 million Americans were watching with baited breath while some saucy strumpet was singing a twenty year old song about the sadness of being immortal and dueling with swords and shit. The modern world is an odd place.
Posted by LD at 9:50 PM
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
So Florida beat UCLA for the title last night, and looked pretty much unstoppable in doing so. I think in this case, the best team in the nation won the title, but for further discussion, see Dawg Sports.
As for my theory on shooting in Domes, I'm not sure how much it held water. Florida clearly had the best frontcourt in the final four, but I think I may want to tweak things a little. It seemed like the better defensive teams won, and I think that may be because good defenses alter shots. Altering shots in an environment like a dome has a significant effect on opponent's field goal percentage. The reason, I think, is that the dome already places a stress on shooting, so good defense exponentially troubles shooters. It's just a theory, but I think there is anecdotal evidence. And that also reminds me...
Yesterday morning on 790 The Zone, the mayhem crew interviewed George Mason coach Jim Larranaga. They asked him if he was disappointed with play or why he thought they didn't play as well as they could've. The very first reason he gave was "the atmosphere in the dome". While he didn't reference shooting background specifically (though Mike Bell did refer to that in a later discussion), he did mention that they hadn't played in an environment like that all year (while Florida had the previous weekend). He also talked about how the crowd in a dome isn't as excited and active. I hadn't really considered that, and I can see it. Before anyone imputes sour grapes or excuses in Larranaga, he really said the main thing was that Florida was really good (which I think was the main reason they lost). Talent should show through in the end, but I still think the dome thing might have some effect. I'll look for that next year.
Finally, something totally useless...
I was thinking the other day about how odd it would be, if Florida won, that the SEC would have the only two teams in the country to end the season with a win. The thought is that every team either loses in the NCAA Tournament, the NIT, or they didn't get into either post season tournament and lost in their conference tournament (if they didn't lose in their conference tournament, they would've gotten into the NCAA and lost there). But the more I thought I about it, I remembered that the Ivy League doesn't have a tournament (the Pac-10 didn't a few years ago, either). Plus, not every conference includes every team in its conference (the Big East, most notably), which is something I'm not all that crazy about. Plus, there are still some independent teams.
So it turns out that there are 11 teams which have a current winning streak though the SEC teams have the longest:
Florida: 11 games (last loss at Alabama Feb. 26th)
South Carolina: 5 games (last loss to Florida March 12th)
Texas A & M - Corpus Christi: 5 games (Independent, last loss at Houston Feb. 7th)
Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne: 3 games (Independent, last loss at North Dakota State Feb.20th)
Nicholls State: 1 game (Southland Conference, last loss at Lamar March 1st)
Utah Valley State: 2 games (Independent, last loss to Idaho State Feb. 21st)
Princeton: 2 games (Ivy League, last loss at Brown March 3rd)
Cornell: 2 games (Ivy League, last loss to Brown Feb. 25th)
South Florida: 1 game, which broke a 17 game losing streak! (Big East, last loss to UConn March 1st)
Harvard: 1 game (Ivy League, last loss to Cornell March 3rd)
Wagner: 1 game (Northeast Conference, last loss to LIU-Brooklyn Feb. 24th)
And that I'm certain intrigued exactly none of you.
Posted by LD at 9:27 PM
Saturday, April 01, 2006
This will be my last post here at the CHQoSAG. Thanks so much to all my readers and to everyone who has inspired me into writing.
I have decided to accept an offer from ESPN to write for one of their shows and author an online column. The show is in its infancy, and I cannot tell you much about it due to confidentiality agreements. The most I can tell you is that it will be related to college football, will feature Lou Holtz, Beano Cook and Lee Corso, will appear on Tuesday Evenings (tentatively) and will focus on "roundtable" discussions on the top rated teams and players. The first segment "Where the Polls Are Right" will be a weekly review of the poll movement. The second segment, "The Best of the Best" will focus on Notre Dame, USC, Oklahoma and Ohio State's previous week's games. Frequently Kirk Herbstreit will appear to provide his insight on recruiting, namely how great Florida and Ohio State are doing at it. "What's on Matt Sanchez's iPod?" will be the weekly fourth segment. The fifth segment, "Tommy Tuberville is Utterly INSANE!!!", will focus on why people who question the infinite wisdom and all-knowing genius of ESPN are just ignorant, toothless rednecks. Finally, the three wise men of college football will get together and discuss how the top team would have competed against the Army juggernaut team of 1944, the Yale 1909 team, and the greatest of all, the USC 2005 team. I couldn't be more excited to be a part of the college football media and really become a part of the opinion-influencing industry.
Take that back, I could be more excited: which I am, about the online column. I'll be writing a weekly recap of all the insightful things Chris, Kirk, Lee and Desmond say on College Gameday. The tentative title: "That's Why They're The Experts!" That'll come out every week on Monday. The rest of the week, I'll have chat sessions defending everything they say and another weekly column/mailbag tentatively titled "Why Trev Alberts and All You Idiots With Message Boards or 'Blogs' Are Retarded". That's going to be the best.
So thanks again and goodbye. It's been a good year, though I can't say I can stand by anything I've written over that. Oh, and you might want to grab screencaps of my archives, because they'll be gone by Monday. Thanks again to all the bloggers, commenters, readers, etc. Without you all I never would've been noticed and given the opportunity to sell out so hilariously.
Thanks, and good luck to all of you, suckers.
Posted by LD at 11:06 AM