Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sprint Cup: The Chase - Race 8: For the Competition Finding Enough Rattlesnakes and Texas Steer Might Not Be Enough to Stop Johnson

RACE: Dickies 500
PLACE: Texas Motor Speedway
DATE: Sunday, November 2, 2008
TIME: 3:00 pm. EST

Sure there’s still a Chase going on. Jimmie Johnson hasn’t locked up anything and some drivers haven’t been mathematically eliminated. Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Jeff Burton are still in the running. However, Edwards is behind by 183 points, Biffle by 185, and Burton by 218. That means Edwards needs to gain 61 points a race, Biffle – 62 points, and Burton – 73 points to pull even. As such, if Edwards or Biffle were to win all three races, Johnson would need to have an average finish of around 14th or lower depending on laps led to pull even. Translation, all Jimmie Johnson needs to do is average a top 10 finish for three races, he’s got his championship.

Johnson’s a pretty sharp driver at keeping out of trouble on the race track and Hendricks equipment doesn’t usually blow up, so from any perspective, it’s hard to imagine Johnson could have enough bad luck not to win the title. Only a wreck or serious mechanical failure that would throw him to a finish close to the bottom could really open things up for the other contenders, but considering how quickly Kyle Busch fell from the top to the bottom and how dominant he had been, anything is possible.

Meanwhile, cars will run qualifying laps for starting position as there is virtually no chance for rain this weekend. This might help brighten fortunes for some of the teams near the bottom securing better positions for where they’ll be locked in by owner’s poins entering next year.

NFL Week 9: Grinding to the Halfway Point

Baltimore at Cleveland (-2)
Regardless of what kind of season the Ravens are having, their trip to Cleveland always proves to be one of the most difficult stops of all their road games each season. Do they see how Baltimore fans react the few times the Indianapolis Colts come to Baltimore? It’s the same thing when the Ravens, the Cleveland Browns until 1995, return to the Mistake by the Lake, where tossing milk bones at the opposing team is seen as socially acceptable behavior. It’s drilled into the Browns if not by their organization but by their fans and local sports media, this is the one game above all they must win as a matter of pride. As such, the Ravens had better be ready. The Ravens have the talent to beat the Browns especially given the chaotic state of Cleveland’s offense.

New York Jets at Buffalo (-6)
Nothing like a little taste of winning to forget the past. The Jets have already won as many games as last year, but the fans are restless expecting more as recent performance from QB Brett Favre has been slipping apparently because of an injury he’s trying to “tough out.” Buffalo has been one of the surprise teams so far this year and should prevail against the Jets.

Jacksonville (-7 ½) at Cincinnati
Cincinnati is a team in free fall. If Ocho Cinco is still carrying on, nobody is paying attention. Some are speculating they could accomplish what Miami failed to do, finishing 0-16. While they could well pickup a win in spite of themselves, it won’t be this weekend when the Jags come to town.

Houston at Minnesota (-5)
This is a must win for Minnesota needing to tally up victories to remain in the hunt for winning their division. Houston is pulling things together and getting stronger, but they will fall short in the Humphrey Dome.

Detroit at Chicago (-13)
Detroit flounders aimlessly looking for leadership after the architect of their horrible performance has been cut loose. The Bears can practically go on cruise control to win this one.

Tampa Bay (-8) at Kansas City
Enjoy the KC barbeque and feasting on the hapless Chiefs. The Buccaneers have this one in the bag.

Arizona (-3) at St. Louis
St. Louis is getting stronger under new leadership, but while their future looks brighter, a blast from their past, their former franchise who split town will prevail.

Green Bay at Tennessee (-5.5)
Only over confidence could do in the Titans in this game. This will not be an easy victory, but the Titans’ dominant defense should prevail over Green Bay’s rebuilding offense.

Miami at Denver (- 3 ½)
Here’s a battle between the over-achievers and the under-achievers. While Denver should win this game their tendency to lose focus and play sloppy defense could kill them if they’re not up for this game. The home crowd needs to keep their boys focused or else.

Dallas at New York Giants (-8)
The Dallas Soap Opera heads to New York where everything gets amplified and made bigger than life. Their sluggish defense, unhappy and unfocused offense, miserable play by their stand-in quarterback, and increasingly questionable status of their head coach will be just as loud as the Giants fans screaming from the stands. Winning this game on Sunday will further legitimize the Giants as the top team in the NFC.

Philadelphia (-7) at Seattle
The Eagles split town so the Phillies fans can celebrate to the max. Nevertheless, going cross country should be a nice weekend outing for Donovan McNabb and company who will come home with Starbucks Coffee, demo copies of Microsoft Windows Vista, and a sure victory.

Atlanta (-3) at Oakland
Keep Oakland off guard and victory is for sure. While Oakland’s talent matures, their game plan and preparation makes them easy prey for a team that studies their moves and exploits their weaknesses as the Ravens proved last week. Atlanta should make their west coast hiatus a winner.

New England at Indianapolis (-5 ½)
When looking over the 2008 season, this would have been seen as one of the biggest games of the year, the battle for possible home field advantage through out the playoffs. Who would expect that at this point, a playoff berth is nothing for certain for both teams, though New England is in first place in their weakened condition despite their three division contenders showing much more strength this year. For Indianapolis, they’re fighting for their chances to make the playoffs even as a wild card, They’re four games out in the loss column for their division. Overtaking the Titans is almost impossible. Three teams are ahead of them for Wild Card spots while four other teams share their 3-4 mark. While this doesn’t look good for their season, this Sunday, they should be able to snake out a win against New England if Peyton Manning is on top of his game. The Colts have much more at stake for sure.

Pittsburgh at Washington (-1.5)
This will be a fascinating game as Washington has proven themselves much stronger than expected and while Pittsburgh sits atop the AFC North, they have shown weaknesses that can be exploited. This could be the toughest defense Washington has faced so far, but given Washington’s ability to excel on both sides of the ball, if they play a good, consistent game, they can beat the Steelers. We’d call this game a toss-up but given we’re next door neighbors to DC and would love a little support beating our division rival, HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!!

We’ll talk about the seaon at the half way point next week once all 32 teams have completed their “byes” and have all completed eight games.

NCAA Football: The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun!!!

It's week ten and it's homecoming time at campuses across the land. See Buffy waive at the crowd during the ceremonies. Hip-hip-hooray!!! Meanwhile, there are some hot games this weekend none better than deep in the heart of Texas where #1 Texas visits #8 Texas Tech.

Here's our games this week:

Air Force (-8) at Army
Here's a game for the Generals to debate, but for those who want to consider whether a good air attack or grinding it out on the ground is the secret to victory in war and football, in either case, it's all about talent, and the Air Force Falcons have an edge in pigskins this year.

Northwestern at Minnesota (17) -7
Here's a close from the Big Ten. Northwestern visits Minnesota who is slightly favored to prevail. Our gaze in the crystal ball says Minnesota will edge Northwestern.

Florida (8) -6 1/2 at Georgia (6)
Florida has been one nasty team this year eliminating all comers to their cozy little alligator's nest in the swamp; however, this weekend, they travel north to the Peach State where the Georgia Bulldogs will be ready wanting to live up to the preseaon hype that had them as a possible #1 seed. This game will be a violent struggle where every yard counts. We see the Dogs frisking the Lizards by about a field goal.

Miami at Virginia -2
Given that Virginia upset Maryland, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech all teams that have drifted in and out of the Top 25 and leading their division, were it not for a fluke, a loss to Duke, they'd surely be a top 20 team. Miami was a team that was supposed to get stronger as the year progressed, but they've not developed much momentum. This game looks like a good bet for the Cavaliers.

Florida State (16) at Georgia Tech -2
Florida State has shown some improvement over the course of the season while Georgia Tech is smarting from Virginia's whacking. This game puts the season on the line Yellow Jackets who should prevail on their home turf.

Texas (1) -3 1/2 at Texas Tech (7)
Oh those rattlesnakes and armadillos will be dancing in the streets in the Lone Star State as two undefeated teams fight for bragging rights for Texas supremacy. If Texas Tech wins, that would knock Tech out of the National Title contest. Furthermore, as an undefeated team having beat the number one team, where should they be seeded in the BCS picture. However, Texas is far more resourcesful with a tougher offense. Hoping to be wrong, but this one belongs to Texas.

World Series Aftermath

Bad ideas, tinkering, media-mania....

A few years back, Major League Baseball decided to make the All Star gamae mean something. Home field advantage for the World Series would be granted to the team whose league won the All Star Game that year.

Let's be honest, has that made the All Star Game more intense? Hardly, it all depends on the play on the field and how seriously the managers for eaach league take the game. Get the right managers squaring off, we get a ballgame; otherwise, we get a beauty contest for media gawkers.

If alternating between leagues each year isn't the best approach, then home team advantage should go to the team that has the best winning record still standing when the series begins. Keep it simple. Through the playoffs, the best records host -- none of this garbage where teams from the same division can't face each other in the first round. When it gets to the World Series, the team with the best overall record at that point, hosts.

It would be nice to see the first round extended to seven games. The problem is that would extend the season at least three days deeper into November. Starting the season earlier would not be a good idea either. Still, for the regular season, the scheduling gods could do a better job trying to get early April games scheduled for warmer climates and indoor stadiums.

Here's the big one, the sports media is hot with suggestions that the World Series should be played in a warm weather neutral site rather than the home cities of the two contenders. Buster Olney, Skip Bayless, and Peter Gammons have all weighed in on this option being desirable.

FORGET IT!!! Why should the hometown fans who have supported the team for an entire seaon not have the joy of celebrating the World Series in their city? It works for the NFL as the Super Bowl is a one game gala. However, for starters, playing seven games in a distant stadium would be a logistics nightmare. Suppose the World Series were held in Houston. Would the Houston fans with visitors from the contending teams be able to fill the stadium for up to seven games? What about the hotel space, the travel, and other considerations? A number of the warm weather cities don't have a record for great ticket sales to begin with.

Would these media geeks think that fans from cities like St. Louis, Philadelphia, Detroit, or Cleveland, as examples, could just take the time off work and spend thousands of dollars for such an extravaganza?

Truthfully, the only people who truly benefit from this idea are the media itself. The media elite don't want to travel to the smaller market cities with fewer elegant hotels, exotic restaurants, and gawdy nightlife. No, they'd prefer playing in the resort cities or big media centers that cater to their tastes.

Besides that, do they honestly think that baseball fans would stand for (new) Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park being left vacant when the championship is being determined.

Granted baseball is a much more climate sensitive sport than Football, but if fans will bundle up and pack stadia with 60-70,000 screaming fans for playoff action in January in much colder weather, what's with a few games in late October and November when real cold weather is a fluke to begin with. In most northern markets, the weather at the end of October is not that different than early April.

God is the 10th man when the players take the field, afterall. Weather is one more element that comes into play as what will happen with the game. Since there is no location in the United States that faces monsoons, rain can be dealt with. The problem isn't the rain but how the authorities deal with it. Game five should have been stopped sooner. The problem is the prospects of making up rules on the fly if the game were stopped with Philadelphia ahead. It wouldn't look good for the Phillies getting the win after the game becomes official after 4 1/2 innings. While it is understandable to make provisions for making a shortened game count during the regular season as rainouts and suspended games put enough strain on rescheduling as it is now, but the post season is a little different. What's important is that the policy be clearly understood ahead of time, and that was not true this year.

Make the ruling that all post season games must be complete nine innings games and be done with it. This isn't a complicated matter, but the authorities and media have done miracles to make a simple game unbelievably complex.

Yes, even for the World Series, it's root, root, root for the home team....

Philadelphia Phillies Beat Weather, Politics, and the Rays to Win World Series!

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies for winning their first World Series since 1980. In between, the Phillies went to the World Series to be crushed by the Baltimore Orioles in a series where many of their veterans were pretty much playing for their last hoorah. The Phillies had few homegrown talents other than Mike Schmidt, but guys like Steve Carlton, Pete Rose, and Joe Morgan were nearing the end, as was Jim Palmer whose victory as relief pitcher gave him the distinction of being the only pitcher to post wins in three different decades. Philadelphia returned to the World Series in 1993 with one of the wildest cast of characters ever to be assembled: John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra, and Darren Daulton. They might have looked more like the company softball team, but were a very fun team to watch with a young Curt Schilling as their ace. All that pleasure was shot down in the Skydome by a game winning walk-off homerun creating the memorable image of Joe Carter leaping for joy as he rounded the bases for the home team.

This year’s Phillies like last year’s team didn’t look like a for certain playoff team as in both seasons, the New York Mets were supposed to win the National League East both years. Lead by perhaps the most dominant homerun slugger in baseball, Ryan Howard, clutch starting pitching from Cole Hamel with even old-timer, Jaime Moyer pitching to a 16-7 record at 46 years old, and an absolute fail-safe stopper, Brad Lidge who pitched to a stellar 1.95 ERA converting 41 out of 41 save opportunities. His mark combined with excellent setup work from the bullpen gave the Phillies virtually automatic victories when leading in the late innings. Their success was also bolstered by the New York Mets collapse though not quite as dramatic in 2008 as 2007. While they got blown out in the first round of the playoffs in 2007, they clobbered the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers en route to facing one of the greatest Cinderella teams in the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays.

Despite the Rays amazing transformation from being the division doormat since they entered the league in 1998, the prospect of watching post season baseball in Tropicana Field which looks like a dreary old warehouse even on a small conventional television was not inviting. Nevertheless, the Rays obliterated the White Sox in the first round of the playoffs and immediately took charge of the Red Sox before the Beaners fought to even up the series forcing a dramatic 7th game that belonged to the Florida boys.

Thus two seemingly unlikely teams to be title contenders in April fought for the trophy in October. The guys from the City of Brotherly Love and Cheesesteaks went right to work winning game one in the Florida warehouse, lost the second game, setting the stage for three games in their ballpark which in just four seasons has established itself as perhaps the most homerun crazy ballpark in all the offspring of Orioles Park at Camden Yards. While the games were pretty tame games on offense in Florida, the third game in Philadelphia tipped off what could be in store. Game four turned into a homerun hitting contest that the Phillies lead by Ryan Howard hitting back-to-back homeruns dominated setting the stage for the highly controversial 4th game.

Game 4 of the 2008 World Series began in cold, damp conditions with the threat of heavy rain and wind setting in later. Hopes were there would be enough time to get the game in before Mother Nature took over. Such would not be the case as by the fourth inning, the rainfall was heavy while the temperature dropped and wind increased. The Phils stepped out to a two run lead in their first at bat while Tampa scored a run in top of the 4th just as the wild weather was kicking into high gear. Quickly, the infield dirt and pitchers’ mound became messy and water started to puddle up. Pitchers had trouble keeping their cleats clean and maintain sure footing on the mound. Why the game was being continued seemed crazier with each at bat; however, if play were suspended, once the home team got its at bat in the top of the 4th with a lead, it would be an official game and Philadelphia would have won the game and the whole series at that point.

The farce played out before the baseball audience tuned in around the world. The game continued with an uneasy air of impending disaster as some horrible miscue or player injury seemed inevitable. Yet play continued into the top of the 6th when it seemed like the Commissioner’s dream came true when shortstop Sonny Rollins could not execute what would have been a routine play allowing Tampa to score. The instant Tampa posted the last out, the tarps were hauled out on the field and the game was suspended as baseball fans wondered how the “commish” would respond. The game would be resumed in Philadelphia when weather condition were acceptable even if it took until “Thanksgiving.” Tuesday’s weather was equally dreadful delaying play yet another day when game six, if needed was scheduled to be played in St. Petersburg.

Despite the cold and a brisk breeze, the Phillies picked up play in the bottom of the sixth promptly scoring a run en route to a 4-3. This game was delayed 30 minutes by a much more ominous and threatening storm, 30 minutes of Barack Obama, buying network time to celebrate his extreme vanity and further flaunt his enormous ego as “The One” is important enough to bump the World Series. One can only imagine how much cussing and fuming there was at many sports bars if that charade was broadcast for the bar patrons to see.

Thankfully, despite the delays, the Phillies took care of business on their home field winning four out of five games making the return trip to Florida.

Let the hot stove season begin!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Support Working America

Barack Obama urges everyone to ask their boss or professor for Tuesday off so each American can spend the day working to help his presidential campaign. While surely we'd hope that our employers would show us a little leeway to work voting into our schedule, this is one more example of Obama's brash overconfidence and total disconnect from the world of work. The best way for the economy to be strong is for people to show up and do their jobs to the best of their ability not passing out leaflets and making phone calls to support a candidate who'd glady take their money and give it to somebody else if he thinks they make too much.

Part of Obama's lack of experience is never holding a conventional wage earning job of any kind in his life. He's never been involved in any profit making operation and hasn't a clue what that reality is all about.

Naturally, that he has never had any management experieence is one of the primary factors which disqualifies him from the Presidency.

Don't let your vote do to America what the Soviet Union never could accomplish -- the destruction of the free enterprise system as we know it and your rights as a wage earner and property owner.

Remember America was founded in part from what evolved out of a tax revolt in Boston. From those origins came the Declaration of Independence which defined our basic freedoms and what the purpose of government is. Years later, the Constituion set forth the rule of law and what our rights are under that law.

Given Obama's attitude toward taxes and the court system, it's easy to see his contempt for the principles on which our republic was founded. His intellectual treason cannot be tolerated.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Housing Meltdown Shouldn't Be a Big Surprise...

Our elected leaders knew about what was going on with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack but chose to do nothing. Remember, Chris Dodd, the chairman of the committee responsible for oversight in this matter received a sweatheart loan from Countrywide, one of the struggling lenders. Further, he has benefited from receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from Fannie and Freddie. Who's second on the list? Barrack Obama. Obama did not take advantage of this system for his house. Instead, he brokered a very slick loan from convicted felon and long-time Obama confidant, Tony Rezko.

Watch this video and see your elected leaders in action. Where was the news media when this was going on? Why didn't the Republicans on the committee scream murder and demand public knowledge of this mess?

One has to think some of what is destroying our economy today could have been avoided had these loathesome bastards on Capitol Hill had done their jobs.

By the way, these hearings were held in 2004.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama/Biden: Continued Intolerance of Criticism

This is far from the worst example of how the Obama campaign has dealt with its critics. Quite a long trail of actions against media that doesn't report the Obama campaign through rose colored lenses has been piling up since early in the primaries whether it involves trying to get broadcasts cancelled, threats of boycotts and action against advertisers, and just a simple tirade of insults such as the frequently barbs against Syndicated Talk Show Host and Fox News Debater, Sean Hannity.

For all the talk of the Bush/Chaney administration being intolerant of dissent, where's there ever been ANY documentation. It's not like Laura Bush had an FBI file of administration critics like Hilary Clinton did. The only thing the administration has ever done is write asking for retractions of false coverage or to tell the rest of the story when news programs editted out key information to slant the message from the story.

Not since Richard Nixon has a presidential figure been so hostile toward criticism as Barack Obama. You can bet the so called "Fairness Doctrine" that will censor conservative voices on radio will be a shoe-in unless somehow the Senate can filbuster it in the next congress.

Here's the tale of an interview of Joe Biden where the interviewer pressed very hard on Obama's response to "Joe the Plumber" and what that message means.

Whether it's a matter of trying to criminalize some forms of expression as "hate speech" totally contrary to the first amendment, the political sanitizing of language through political correctness, or the attempts to intimidate alternative news sources through sources like "Media Matters" which professes to correct conservative lies when in fact it generally misquotes or cuts from context items that they can create provocative snippets designed to rally their forces against their critics.

The bottom line is, Obama and his crew of thugs does not want the truth about his background or his real intention to be public knowledge.

Barack Obama is an anti-American, ultra-left wing socialist intolerant of traditional American values that he isn't able to reinterpret to prop up his intent to destroy the conventional social and economic order that has given us our rich standard of living and freedom for which we fought Communism for most of the 20th century to keep from subverting the cries of freedom around the world.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sprint Cup: The Chase - Race 7: Georgia On My Mind

Hot ‘Lanta
RACE: Pep Boys Auto 500
PLACE: Atlanta Motor Speedway
DATE: Sunday, October 26, 2008
TIME: 1:00 PM
WEATHER: 67F, Sunny
It could be a "Rainy Night in Georgia" as the field of 45 entrants attempt to qualify for Sunday's Pep Boys Auto 500 yielding the possibility of yet another race where starting position will be determined by points in which case the #02 Joe Gibbs ride for Joey Legano and the #40 Chip Gannasi car for Bryan Clauson would be eliminated. Conditions look fan friendly for Sunday's race with at least a truck race to cure the track.

Is there really much left to say? While Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle still have the numbers to capture the championship, they need to finish atop the leader board and hope for a little bad luck for the #48 ride to have a realistic chance to win with just four races to go. All of the remaining tracks are good ones for Jimmie Johnson regardless of how well the other contenders have performed at those locations. Johnson can aim for top five finishes and pretty much rest assured the championship is his. He’s a smart driver who knows how to stay out of trouble and one three mile and a half tracks and one one mile track, it’s a lot easier than short tracks or where cars wind up in big drafting packs like Talladega. Of course, things were looking bright for Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards whose first taste of misfortune was mechanical failure from Gibbs and Roush racing not prone to equipment failure. Hendricks equipment is pretty much rock solid but how many times has Jeff Gordon had trouble this year?

So there’s still hope for someone else to break through and take the cup, but it’s not a good bet. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the pack, little has changed as far as which rides are locking into the top 35 for next season.

Can you believe this? It’s hard to believe some teams still think they can fiddle with the car setup specifications with the “car of tomorrow” and get away with it. Yet another team has been severely sanctioned for messing with the setup using lighter, thinner sheet metal than mandated. The #83 Red Bull team driven by Brian Vickers has been docked 150 drivers’ and owners points while Kevin Hamlin, and the car chief, Craig Smokstad, have been suspended indefinitely. Additionally, Hamlin has been issued a $150,000 fine. While many may argue NASCAR has taken away way too much wiggle room for teams’ technical operations to explore for the best competitive setup, they have clearly stated the rules and indicated the consequences for those who fail to comply. Still, every few races another story arises where teams have clearly pushed their luck with illegal setup issues. How would Dale Inman and Richard Petty have fared in today’s world?

Mike Waltrip joins Richard Petty as the only driver with 1000 starts in NASCAR competition. This includes “Mikey’s” Nationwide/Busch/Grand National and Craftsman Truck races in addition to “Cup” races. Still, aside from winning the Winston for the Wood Brothers, the only points events Waltrip has won are four restrictor plate races for DEI, two Daytona 500’s, one Pepsi 400, and a race at Talladega. As pathetic as his operation looked last year, year two with Toyota looks much more solid including top 10 finishes.
One final note, Bill Elliot will fire up the #21 (legendary) Wood Brothers Ford for what could be his last race at his home track. In an interview on ESPN this week, Elliot all but indicated this is his final season in any regular roll. What a wonderful fellow to have dominated the "most popular" driver's rating for years having won the Championship in 1988, setting the record speed ever in a NASCAR racer at 212 MPH, and winning the Winston Million. Who could forget his roll in the famous 1992 race ending the season at Atlanta. Elliot won the race. Alan Kulwicki won the championship in his famous "Underbird." It was Richard Petty's final race and Jeff Gordon's first. God speed, Awesome Bill from Dawsonville!

NCAA Football: Time to Salute a Legend

Who would ever imagine that Joe Paterno would still be coaching much less be in a solid position to contend for the BCS Championship. At 81 years old, some considered “Pops” old before some of his players were born! The coach who holds the record for the most wins and bowl appearances has his Nittany Lions undefeated facing their biggest hurdle en route to an undefeated season as they travel to Columbus, Ohio to face Ohio State.

Here are the games we’re following this weekend.

Texas Tech #8 at Kansas #23 (-2)
Lots of the hoopla this year focuses on the Big 12 as two of its powerhouses face off in Kansas. Texas Tech is on a hot streak. Look for them to dominate this game.

Boston College at North Carolina (-3)
Doesn’t it still seem strange to think of Boston College as part of the ACC? If you’re from down in Tobacco Road, it used to be the University of Maryland was that team way up north, but you can ride from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area to College Park in a morning’s bus ride just a stone’s throw across the Potomac, but Boston? Virginia Tech and Miami make great fits with the ACC with ready-made rivalries, but Boston College? They were brought in for the mighty television dollar to lock the New England sports market into the ACC package with their strong football program and solid basketball team. Welcome to Dixie fellows! North Carolina is on the move with its football program after years of languishing near the bottom. UNC actually cracked the Top 25 until Virginia crashed their party. Carolina will be ready for the Boston boys and win this one.

Oklahoma State #6 at Texas #1 (-13)
Need more evidence that this is the Big 12’s big year? Look at this, the nation’s current #1 team hosts the #6 team that has been red hot in recent weeks. Texas has done nothing so far to suggest it is not worthy of its number one seed so especially playing on home turf, they should win this game with a good fight.

Virginia at Georgia Tech #18 (-12 ½)
Virginia has made quite a reputation playing gate crasher this fall in their upset wins against Maryland and Virginia. For them to do the same, they’re climbing up the ladder a step facing Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech is a little more seasoned than the two previous upset victims and should fend off the Cavaliers, but the 12 ½ point spread could be in jeopardy.

Virginia Tech at Florida State #25 (-4 ½)
Speaking of coaching legends, Bobby Bowden still rules Seminole nation. His top ranked program has come on hard times the last few years but is making positive steps toward regaining some of its clout this year; however, Beamer Ball is for real, and Virginia Tech is ready to show it’s ready for a little respect as they play spoiler knocking Florida State out of the rankings by winning this game.

Penn State #3 (-2 ½) at Ohio State #9
While many talk of the decline of the Big Ten, one would hardly know that viewing what’s at stake in Columbus this weekend. Granted Michigan heads the list of Big Ten schools rebuilding their program, but here are two top ten teams ready to battle. This will be the game that tests if Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions are legit. If they beat Ohio State on their own turf, how can anyone not argue they deserve a shot at Texas in January (assuming Texas doesn’t get knocked off by a tough conference rival.)

NFL Week 8: A Little Bit of Everything and More for an Explosive Week of Football

Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys and a Jolly Good Show Across the Big Pond

The New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys have signed a joint concessionaire contract for both teams’ new stadiums. Dallas moves into its new facility next season. How ironic that the two teams that have an uncanny knack for soap opera theatrics and hogging the national spotlight should finally find some way to officially join together.

Meanwhile “down on the ranch” things keep getting crazier in “Big D.” As far as we know rumors that Owner Jerry Jones has demanded Head Coach Wade Phillips to order a pair of pruning shears to remove Quarterback Tony Romo’s pinky have proven so far to be false though talk of the college senior who opted to sacrifice his minor digit to continue playing has gotten pretty loud in Irving, Texas. Romo announced he will be out for the next few games on Michael Irvin’s radio program. Meanwhile, orders did come from Jerry Jones that Wade Phillips will now call plays on defense. More false rumors, Cowboys’ cheerleaders have not been spotted wearing shoulder pads, not yet anyway! Pac Man Jones remains on indefinite suspension and has apparently checked into an alcohol/substance abuse rehabilitation center in an undisclosed location far from deep in the heart of Texas. Terrell Owens is still behaving himself as newcomer, Roy Williams, not to be confused with the legendary North Carolina basketball coach will be playing a greater role on offense assuming the flimsy offensive line can protect the stand-in quarterback.

San Diego and New Orleans will be playing in London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday, part of a new tradition in its second year to play one regular season game for our pals in jolly old London town. While it certainly is good publicity and helps extend NFL marketing to Great Britain, it surely cannot be of any help for two teams expected to lead their divisions that have been struggling so far this year. With the demise of NFL Europe, now they must settle for one game of the real deal over there.

Baltimore Ravens, all-pro retired offensive lineman, will be honored with his name being immortalized in the Ravens “Ring of Honor” at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. This is perhaps the first honor to go to the Ravens’ first draft pick en route to a certain spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Ogden’s departure leaves only Ray Lewis and Kicker, Matt Stover, who came in the franchise move from Cleveland, as the remaining original Ravens while Ray Lewis’s future with the team has become the subject of much hot talk as he, Bart Scott, and Terrell Suggs will all be seeking new contracts, and the unforgiving NFL salary cap will make it virtually impossible for the team to retain all three and have room for other roster moves. Meanwhile, who knows what’s going on between Chris McAllister and coach, John Harbaugh. For all McAllister’s talent, he does seem to be lost in space on some plays. Harbaugh insists it was not a dress code violation that lead to his not starting last Sunday in Miami.

Here’s what’s on tap with this week’s games. We picked ten out of fourteen last week though sucked miserably against the spread, all the more reason not to gamble on football boys and girls.

Oakland at Baltimore (-7)
Defensive coordinators Rob and Rex Ryan square off against each other in a game that should be the Ravens if they play a smart game and don’t turn the ball over. Oakland is still a pretty sickly team but there is talent on that roster that can pull embarrassing upsets for teams that aren’t ready.

San Diego (-3) plays New Orleans in London
New Orleans is technically the home team so does that mean Cajun flavored fish and chips or some Jambalaya stuffed in a meat pie? Yummy! San Diego should prevail though both teams have been underachievers this year.

Washington (-7 1/2) at Detroit
The Redskins will attack Fort Detroit like Chief Pontiac never could have dreamed of. Easy call for Washington.

Buffalo (1 ½) at Miami
Miami is showing signs of life while Buffalo is the Cinderella surprise in the AFC this year. Still, if Baltimore could dominate Miami the way they did last week down in South Florida, the Bills should do the same.

Kansas City at New York Jets (-13)
Brett Favre sure is getting a good taste of being in the media spotlight in New York isn’t he? He’ll lead the Jets to victory over the floundering Chiefs.

Arizona at Carolina (-4 ½)
This is an important game for both teams who need to prove they are deserving division leaders and playoff contenders for the rest of the reason. While Arizona could win their division by default, the challenge is tougher for Carolina in the South. This game is a tough call but the Panthers should pull this one out. It will be tough.

Tampa Bay at Dallas (2 ½)
We’re calling for the upset. Tampa Bay will take advantage of the mass confusion and lack of team discipline that dominates the Chicken Ranch these days.

St. Louis at New England (-7)
St. Louis is showing new power after a needed coaching change, but heading to Foxboro despite the Patriots’ missing captain on offense will not bring the Goats a win. The Patriots should prevail.

Atlanta at Philadelphia (-9)
Now’s the time for Philadelphia to take advantage of Dallas’s fumbling and bumbling. Yes, Atlanta is much improved and one of the real surprises so far this year, but Philadelphia has too much talent as across the parking lot the Phillies will be playing Tampa Bay in the World Series that night. Fun times in Phillie, huh folks?

Cincinnati at Houston (-10)
The Bengals will just sink deeper and deeper into oblivion as Houston starts to pull things together after a disruptive start to the season.

Cleveland at Jacksonville (-7)
Which Jacksonville will show up? If they are on top of their game they will beat the Browns for sure, but Cleveland can rise up against an unprepared team. Beware!

New York Giants at Pittsburgh (-3)
This could be the most fun game of the weekend. The Giants have had their way until they completely fell to pieces against the lowly San Francisco 49er’s last weekend. Pittsburgh is a tough place to play and with a monstrous defense, they will prevail in a slugfest on the river in Steel Town.

Seattle at San Francisco (-5)
Seattle’s coach has called his team the worst team he’s ever coached. The San Francisco 49er’s were lousy enough to get their coach, Mike Nolan, fired. Mike Singletary, the heart of the Chicago Bears killer defense of the late 1980’s takes charge to lead the “Niners” to victory over the totally confused Starbucks Boogers.

Indianapolis at Tennessee (-4)
Perhaps the week is saving the best for last as Indianapolis visits Nashville (yeehaw) for Monday Night Football. Given the Colts erratic play so far this year and weak run defense going up against the mighty defense and smart offense of Jeff Fisher’s Titans, the Colts will have to overcome everything that has pulled them down from the top to prevail. It’s a tough call, but let’s go with the Titans.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Malicious Distortion by CNN: Chances Are If You Vote For Obama, You Don't Know the Truth About This Campaign

How Low Can It Go? CNN Ambushes Palin With Misleading Insinuation

Here’s a segment from a recent CNN interview of Sarah Palin.

GRIFFIN: Governor, you've been mocked in the press, the press has been pretty hard on you, the Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above.

PALIN: Who wrote that one?

GRIFFIN: That was in the National Review. I don't have the author.

PALIN: I'd like to talk to that person.

The author was, in fact, distinguished National Review writer, Byron York, who actually wrote:

Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or — or, well, all of the above. Palin, the governor of Alaska, has faced more criticism than any vice-presidential candidate since 1988, when Democrats and the press tore into Dan Quayle. In fact, Palin may have it even worse than Quayle, since she's taking flak not only from Democrats and the press but from some conservative opinion leaders as well.

CNN used a technique that has become standard operating procedure by the left-wing attack media and the Obama campaign to skillfully lift words spoken out of context to suit their purpose and then run with the vicious distortion as if it were true. In this instance, Byron York was commenting about the press coverage slamming Palin, yet only a small portion of his commentary was yanked out of context to fulfill the sinister purpose to mislead Governor Palin in this interview.

If voters listen to the accusations from the Obama campaign, the lying socialist pig, the democratic candidate, Barack Obama, himself, you’d have some very different ideas about some important things John McCain discussed.

In frequent stump speeches spewing insults and putdowns of the distinguished senator, Obama frequently quotes McCain’s works, “…the fundamentals of the economy are strong….” not giving the full context in which McCain was discussing what was wrong with the economy but that our work force and some other “fundamentals” were strong despite the impending crisis.

Likewise, how often have we heard, the master distortionist, Obama, state matter of factly, that “John McCain is okay with our war in Iraq lasting for at least 100 years?” In fact, McCain was discussing the broad context of what the aftermath of US military actions brings about allowing us to establish spheres of influence such as our bases in South Korea and Germany, strategic centers of power vital for national and world security.

How often has the press set the record straight on how Barack Obama has used material out of context to misconstrue the meaning of what John McCain was explaining in a thoughtful through way?

Clearly, very little because as this dreadful episode of what CNN, the press is playing the same game. Their aim is not to report the news but to make the news. The activist left-wing media is gushing to have Barack Obama and all the extreme left wing ideals and socialist policies he embraces succeed. How they look forward to being part of history to report on the great accomplishment of the United States electing its first African American president while ignoring completely the long list of dangers and total lack of qualifications the candidate Obama represents.

Anyone who does his or her homework will quickly become hip to what’s going on with the media and the Obama campaign. Sadly, what gives most voters motivation to go beyond the conventional readily available news sources like NBC, CBS, ABC or their local newspapers for their news coverage? If the public goes deeper and watches cable news, MSNBC is the most extreme of all news sources spare some newspapers. CNN often does a professional job reporting but they have jumped off into ideological grandstanding and manipulative reporting way too often. As such, CNN is not a trustworthy news source. Beyond that, the public has talk radio. Many talk show reporters offer valid perspectives but they are not journalists. They are entertainers. Their programming is opinion driven. There is a wealth of good information on the Internet, but there is also a lot of trash. Who certifies the validity of Internet sources and Blogs such as the one you’re reading right now.

We pull no punches and excuse us if we use some graphic language in discussing the treachery the Obama campaign and left-wing extremists represent, but standard objective reportage does not provide language choices that provide the sense of outrage and passion to communicate the horrors of what is happening right before our eyes. We make no apologies for being judgmental. To do an honest job telling the truth requires us to do so. Should you not believe Obama and his supporters are socialists or even communists, read the Communist Manifesto, it’s readily available on line.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biden Warns of Terror Attacks, That Obama Would Be "Tested" if Elected

Joe the Senator Makes Strong Case of Possible Terror Should Obama Win Election

Isn’t it interesting how little the news media covers the travels of Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential nominee? The story that follows provides one of the most compelling reasons not to vote for Obama especially when one considers Obama would deal with such a possibility. Ironically, as significant as these remarks from Senator Biden are, NBC chose not to report them even though their correspondent Andrea Mitchell reported on other remarks from this rally, held in Seattle, Washington.

"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy." "I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,"

"And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."In the course of this talk, Biden suggested that problems could arise from sources ranging from the Middle East to Russia. Then Biden then went on to translate these possibilities into political as well as dollars and cents terms.
"Gird your loins. We're gonna win with your help, God willing, we're gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It's like cleaning the Augean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than – think about it, literally, think about it – this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets. This is a systemic problem we have with this economy."

Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. He went on to note that Russia tested John Kennedy’s resolve when it staged missiles in Cuba. We can also look at the Iranian revolution during Jimmy Carter’s regime where the American Embassy was besieged and its diplomats held hostage for the balance of his administration. These terrorists understood the implications what a Reagan administration would mean to them. The hostages were freed the morning Reagan was inaugurated President.

Take an honest look at the situation, those who would exploit the United States testing our security and might would see Barack Obama as a pushover compared to John McCain whose reputation and accomplishments tell them they’d be dealing with certain destruction for their actions should they test his resolve.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Joe the Plumber Episode" Proves Once and For All Communist Roots of Obama's Political Beliefs

Barack Obama shares his socialist vision with "Joe the Plumber"

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher is an ordinary guy. When Barack Obama came to his community in Ohio, he decided he should attend the campaign visit to become better informed about the candidates. Wurzelbacher has saved his money and expressed his interest in buying the company that employs him. Part of his decision making process is to understand the full extent of his financial commitments including what possible tax liabilities he might face. Buying the plumbing company might put him in the $250,000 range which would, as stated frequently, put him over the threshold for higher taxes under the Obama economic and tax plan. When given the opportunity, Mr. Wurzelbacher, “Joe the Plumber,” was acknowledged by the candidate and given the opportunity to question.

"Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?..... "more and more for fulfilling the American dream."

Obama responded, "It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too. My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Is this the kind of CHANGE patriotic American’s would HOPE for? Where in a free society is it government’s responsibility to “spread the wealth around.” In classic economic terms, a private middle class citizen is exploring the opportunity to own his own business as a private citizen in a free enterprise system. Our Republic was founded in part on a conflict involving taxation without representation as citizens of Boston rebelled against a levy on tea imposed by the British colonial government, hence the famous “Boston Tea Party.”

Under what economic theory is the free enterprise system seen as evil and the middle class villainized (the hated bourgeoisies)? The Communist system, of course is the answer, and today’s citizens would be well served to review the historic document which paved the way for so much oppression, suffering, and death in the 20th Century. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels is a scathing attack on the development of the growth of the middle class and free market economy developing in Europe, the United States, and around the world, as the last remnants of the feudal system where royalty was at the top, then there were layers of privileged elite, the dukes, duchesses, earls, counts, countesses, lords, and ladies all titles which identified members of the chosen families as part of the ruling class. Beneath them was a small middle class of shop owners and service providers, but the bulk of the population was the peasant class. With the emergence of democracy and the industrial revolution, Marx saw the power distributed in the upper realms of the middle class who subverted the working class into economic submission. The bourgeoisies were the “haves” and the proletariats were the “have not’s.” All struggle was, in essence, class struggle between those who controlled the means of production and those who labored to produce those products.

How revealing it is to read the Communist Manifesto in 2008 and see how much of its ideology is at the heart of what makes up Barack Obama’s vision of society, and the concept of class warfare as manipulated by the Democratic party comes directly from Marxist dogma.

Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, understood Marxism, when they became politically active in the 1960’s. Their political goals went beyond that of civil rights and stopping the Vietnam War. They sought the destruction of the American system as it existed to be overthrown and replaced by a classless society where the means of production would belong to the state and private property would not exist.

It is chilling to read the writings of Marx and Engels see how much modern liberalism, the philosophy of the far left, the views articulated by groups like, The Daily KOs, and Media Matters reflect their beliefs. Further, the corruption and destruction of traditional values, the sanctity of the family, and all forms of spiritual expression were clearly articulated in the Manifesto itself.

Perhaps more chilling was how Marx and Engels recognized by infiltrating the press and the institutions of learning would be essential to help indoctrinate society into a socialist point of view.

It’s all there, plain to see in the document of world communism itself. Look through Barack Obama’s past associates and see how many of them were committed Marxists on a wide range of issues. Further, the Liberation Theology espoused by Jeremiah Wright is essentially the imposition of Marxist social and economic theory over a radicalized form of Christianity the essence of which was so clearly stated in Wright’s speeches last spring and in the video clips from his showmanship at his Chicago church.

Our society’s vision was established by the “Declaration of Independence” which established:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The articulation of government which follows is that of a limited government to secure these goals.

In socialist society as stated by Marx, there is no individual freedom, instead, basic justice is based on the concept of:

From each according to his ability. To each according to his need.

In other words, it’s okay to “spread the wealth around. It’s good for everybody.”

Another aspect of Marxism is that their ideology is so reverent that no morality or human decency governs the spread of their control. In the pursuit of Communist revolution there is no recognition of a “Creator” who has granted us rights and responsibilities. Instead, to the devoted Marxist revolutionary, the end justifies the means. The hundreds of thousands who died as Mao Tse Tung marched east to control the Chinese mainland was absolutely justified in the context of communist teaching.

Besides the Democratic party, where is extreme left wing thinking promoted? Take a look at the news media, the college campus, and labor unions. The end justifies the means. As such, the Democratic party supports labor’s desire to eliminate secret ballots in union elections so members can be ridiculed and coerced if their vote doesn’t conform to the party line.

Small businesses like “Plumber Joe’s” are of no interest to the radical left. Of what good is entrepreneurshio? Why should an individual decide how he thinks he can best contribute to society? Maybe the state thinks his talents would be better served elsewhere. Besides that, might small businesses like his threaten larger unionized plumbing operations?

For right now, Obama will give lip service to some aspects of small business creation, but nothing reveals his inner political philosophy better than his assertion that his government is best suited for deciding where “Plumber Joe’s” money should go. The government can decide how much is too much and it’s perfectly okay to transfer one person’s earning to anothers.

Okay, enough of the intellectual documentation. Wake up and realize Barack Obama is a goddamned communist. He sure is not an American constitutionalist. Once again, I do question Mr. Obama’s patriotism. To believe in socialism is to believe in the destruction of the amazing society that grew out of the principles signed off by a dedicated group of visionary patriots in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. Out of the carefully crafted vision of mankind and its relationship to government, the Declaration of Independence set the framework for what would become the United States of America. Years later, many of these same men would contribute to the United States Constitution and its first ten amendments we know of as the Bill of Rights.

Piss on the heritage and vote for Obama. You are hereby compelled to do everything you can in the next couple weeks to ensure there is no way Barack Obama will seize control of our government and have us living in Obama-Nation. This could be the most important decision of your life.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sprint Cup: The Chase, Race 6 -- The Blue Ridge Blow Out!

RACE: TUMS Quick Pak 500
PLACE: Martinsville Speedway
DATE: Sunday, October 19, 2008
TIME: 1:00 pm
TV: ABC, WMAR-TV, Channel 2
WEATHER: 58F, Sunny

When fans look at “The Chase” schedule, the real mixers, the tracks that tend to produce the wildest results that impact the standings are Dover for its high banks, concrete surface, and super fast action; Talladega for its 2.66 mile length, the high speeds brought down to earth (literally) with restrictor plates, which can bunch up the field leading to the “big one,” a huge multicar wreck that collects many of the contenders; and finally, the next stop, Martinsville, where typical short track bump and grind along with a relatively flat surface featuring turns that attach two drag strips requiring drivers to apply the brakes at the end of each straightaway, burning up the brakes and surrounding components. creates a war of attrition eliminating many cars before 500 laps are completed. Looking at the Chase tracks, another feature that stands out is that there are four mile and a half super speedways all pretty similar in design, as such these tracks promote a strategy where drivers conserve their cars, work to maintain track position, sneak in opportunistic laps lead for a quick five points, saving their gear for some serious racing toward the end. These tracks would tend to favor experienced drivers who could at very least plat it safe and get in the top ten and with the right moves be positioned for the all important top five finishes that win championships.

Charlotte turned out to be quite the murderer’s row for the championship aspirations of a few of the top contenders. First, Carl Edwards has been hovering around the lead at the top of the standings until last Saturday night when electrical problems required substantial work behind the wall leading Edwards to 33rd finishing position, knocking him back to 4th place, 168 points down with five races to catch up. Dale Earnhardt’s 36th spot, didn’t lower his rank, but put him completely out of any hope of a championship at 354 points from the top.

Going into Martinsville, the contenders will line up in order by owner’s points. Jimmie Johnson takes the pole with 2nd place contender, Jeff Burton in 2nd, 69 points back, and Greg Biffle in 3rd, 86 points back. One of those three drivers will win the championship. Furthermore, Jimmie Johnson has been very successful at Martinsville and is good at racing conservatively, saving his equipment to be in striking position in the late part of the race able to knock off the top competitors one by one first crossing into top five territory then closing in on the win.

There’s no avoiding traffic at Martinsville. Within a matter of minutes, leaders start lapping the lesser competitors with 43 cars mixing it up with just a half mile distance around the track. Very little equipment finishes the race without getting pretty torn up. Harry Gant won a Martinsville race with practically all the front sheet metal removed. There’s a little bit of demolition derby embedded in this competition for the grandfather’s clock.

This is the second race in a row and the eighth race of the year where qualifying was rained out forcing the field to line up by owner’s points. While this system seems unfair, what are the other possibilities? If there were 50 cars signed up to qualify and there was a random lottery for the 43 starting spots, imagine the uproar if for instance, the points leader, Jimmie Johnson, were eliminated from the field. When considering the various possibilities, although going by current standings is far from ideal, it does less harm than other options. Where this hurts is down toward the bottom where teams are attempting to lock in to the top 35 in owners’ points. Right now, there are two teams that have a chance of moving up into the top 35 and about five times that could fall out. Lining up by owner’s points favors the status-quo and does not give teams the benefit of racing for starting position to possibly a more competitive advantage for the race. At least with owner’s standings as the criteria, teams are starting with a position they’ve earned through their progress over the course of the season. The worst kick in the pants is a situation where qualifying starts and then is rained out. During the 2007 season, Boris Said was sitting on the pole until late in qualifying the field, bad weather set in, and that day’s results were scrubbed. Despite having posting a time that could have put on the pole or way up front, he missed the show. All this begs the question if there should be some other kind of method that the current qualifying system to determine starting positions. Any ideas?

Celebrate as your favorite driver suits up and gets ready to compete in Martinsville. In the modern era of huge 1 1/2 and 2 mile tracks located in major markets, Martinsville is still small town Americana where winners are awarded a hometown grandfather clock as a trophy and the Martinsville Hot Dog sold as the concessions is a cultural phenomenon unto itself. The hot dog served with loads of catsup, mustard, raw onions, chili, and cole slaw served on wax paper is an absolute staple to the NASCAR purist who will scream murder at any variation from the time honored preparation. There was hell to pay when ISC purchased the track from local ownership, and gasp, fans were served a Martinsville doggie in a styrofoam package and were to add their own condiments.

How wonderful it is that something so folksy is still a part of a major sport. The NFL has Lambeau Field. Baseball has Wrigley Field, and NASCAR still has Martinsville

NFL Week 7: Teams Assess Progress and Regroup for Where 2008 Season Will Lead Them

Whoa Alice, what's with all the malice in Dallas? Not since the world was abuzz about who shot JR has there been a sleazier soap opera in Dallas than what their football team provides in nightly installments on ESPN and the NFL Network. Temperamental problem child, Terrell Owens is behaving himself. Quarterback, Tony Romo, has an injured pinkie that was supposed to keep him out for four weeks. However, just as Romo's digital distress became news came the tale of Mesa State Senior Trevor Wikre who could have had surgery to fix his diminutive digit and face the end of his season or have it chopped off and continue playing, the hardy Guard gladly sacrificed his fallen finger. Word hit the Cowboys clubhouse at about the same time Pacman Jones got his butt busted once again, and rumor has it Jerry Jones was chasing his millionaire manly man boy toy for singing star Jessica Simpson around the locker room with a pair of anvil pruners. Soon Romo was playing a little toss with the fellahs and now plans to start on Sunday. No point in going into details, but as expected, Pacman Jones is suspended, status unknown. He got in a fight with one of the bodyguards assigned to monitor his every move, but even that didn't help this sociopathic heap of excrement under a helmet. To help calm things down, the Cowboys traded for receiver, Roy Williams, giving the team two players named Roy Williams. Will Jones try to hire the UNC basketball coach to supplement his staff too? Anything is possible in Dallas, though their probability of heading to the Super Bowl seems a lot less likely now than it did three weeks ago. When did a team ever lose in overtime on a blocked punt? When that happens, you know there's some might bad karma aon the loose!

Baltimore at Miami (3 1/2)

South Florida has been rough on the Ravens, but if their defense can keep Chad Pennington under control, they should win convincingly.

San Diego at Buffalo (pick 'em)

The odds makers want no part of this one. Buffalo has been the team not expected to do much who has looked red hot so far this year aside from an embarassing loss to Arizona in week 5. Meanwhile, San Diego's season is another one of those "woulda, coulda, shoulda" stories all too often. On paper, the Chargers look like the better team, but having to play an early game in the Eastern time zone, the Bills will outlast the Bolts.

Pittsburgh (9 1/2) at Cincinnati

It will be so quiet in Paul Brown Stadium, the Cincinnati crowd will be able to hear the laughter echoing down the Ohio River Valley reverberating from Pittsburgh were the "terrible towel" gang will be living it up in their living rooms and local pubs. This is a massacre in the makings unless the Steelers try to rest some of their banged up starters.

Tennessee (-8) at Kansas City

The Chiefs will feel a lot like the Wicked Witch of the West's sister did when Dorothy landed her house right on top of her in the Wizard of Oz. Given the Kansas City football team has a cowardly lion as running back, a tin man for wide receiver, and scarecrow for quarterback, the Titans should be able to easily prevail over the chaotic mess in Kansas City.

New Orleans at Carolina (-3)

If New Orleans could get its offense playing up to expectations, they'd win this game. This is one heck of a tough call as both teams are good one week, and confused the next. Carolina is deeper and has more tools than New Orleans. A field goal margin is probably right on the moneey.

Minnesota at Chicago (-3)

The Bears should be able to handily devour the Vikings. They should easily beat the spread and then some.

San Francisco at New York Giants (-10.5)

After their embarassing loss on Monday Night Football to Cleveland, the Joisey Giants should have learned their lesson on not taking a lesser team seriously. They won't let this game slip by after their recent fiasco on the shores of Lake Erie.

Dallas (-7) at St Louis

Yikes, all eyes will be on the 'Boys to see how much the ongoing soap opera affects play on the field. The real issue is Tony Romo's pinky. If he can pass effectively and keep control of the ball, the Rams should offer little resistance. There's too much talent on the Dallas Cowboys to let this one slip away.

Detroit at Houston (-9)

How will Matt Millen's departure trickle down to the bench and help the Lions' players respond with a little hope and enthusiasm? They certainly gave the Minnesota Vikings all they could handle last week. Meanwhile, Houston just barely beat Miami after a tough loss in week five against the Colts where they had the game under control until some last minute magic from Payton Manning handed them a brutal last minute loss. Regardless, Houston has more punch and power in their game than Detroit could ever dream of. Houston will win with ease!

Cleveland at Washington (-7 1/2)

The Redskins are favored but they were also favored against a more miserable St. Louis Rams, almost a two touchdown favorite, but wound up losing by 2 points. The folks in DC suggest that, honest injun, the Skins simply did not get up for their competition giving the Rams a chance to pull the upset. Cleveland will be a tougher competitor and is beginning to show some of the kind of performance that had them rated so highly earlier in the season. Get serious and play all out, Washington dominates the game. Otherwise, they could have a monster on their hands.

Indianapolis (-1) at Green Bay

This is a tough game to call as neither team has played up to full strength so far this season. If Indy plays with the intensity they beat Baltimore, Green Bay should fall easily. Green Bay is capable of exploiting the Colts' defense, but can their defense handle Payton Manning and his buddies? We'll pick Indianapolis to pull this one out.

New York Jets (-3) at Oakland

As long as Brett Favre keeps his offense focused, they'll destroy Oakland. Oakland's ability to pull the rare upset will be tougher as the season wears on. This win will help keep the Jets in the mix for the AFC East's lead with New England's season sidelined by Tom Brady's knee surgery.

Seattle at Tampa Bay (-10 1/2)

Travelling from the great North West to the Florida Gulf Coast, the shoddy, lackluster play of the Seahawks will be tested against the up and coming Buccaneers. As long as "Chuckie" has his boys up for the task, they'll take care of the Starbucks Boogie Men with ease.

Denver at New England (-3)

New England is still looking for the right winning formula to keep them strong enough to advance in January with their leader sidelind. Despite this tremendous void in the Patriots' game plan, they play smart and take advantage of every miscue their opponents provide them. Jay Cutler and the Denver offense must control the ball and avoid giving New England a short field to play with. Denver should get the lead early and then hold off the Patriots. The Pats don't have all the tricks to fall back on with their leader out of action. Keep an eye on special teams. This is where New England could drive Denver crazy. However, Denver will be up for this game and if they play up to their ability, this game is theres.

NCAA Football: As Temperatures Begin to Chill -- Rivalries Heat Up

The first chill of fall hits much of the country this weekend as the big conference showdowns and some fine Top 25 matchups heat things up. We’re following six games this weekend. Here they are.

First, ACC upstart, Wake Forest, visits conference rival Maryland as a one point favorite. They’ll be a wake in the forest when Maryland with its nasty defense prevails for the win. In other ACC action, George Tech visits a disoriented Clemson having just fired its coach. In the wake of this confusion, Tech is favored by 2 ½ points and should prevail.

In the SEC, #22 Vanderbilt visits Georgia #10. Georgia is favored by 14 ½ points and will likely prevail. Georgia has too many weapons to not clobber Vanderbilt, an SEC program on the rise.

Action is hot in the Big 12 this weekend. First #16 Kansas visits #4 Oklahoma down 20 points by the Vegas guys. Kansas will be the spread, but Oklahoma will want to come back after last week’s loss to Texas and win the game.

#11 Missouri visits #1 Texas who is only favored by 6 points. Texas will take care of business in this game on both counts.

Finally, in the Big Ten, #12 Ohio State visits East Lansing to face #20 Michigan State. This one belongs to the Buckeyes who will be tuning up to try to provide the big bump in Pops Paterno’s trek to an undefeated season.