Friday, December 31, 2010
The 2010 season ends Sunday with the AFC north and central to be decided. While wild card selections, the south and west divisions are undecided for the NFC. The Patriots have all playoff advantages locked up while the Kansas City Chiefs have locked up the west. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and the New York Jets have secured playoff berths. Indianapolis or Jacksonville will join the field with the Colts in with a win or Jacksonville loss.
The NFC has Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and New Orleans secured in the playoffs. Green Bay, the New York Giants, and Tampa Bay are in contention for the final wild card berth. St. Louis battles Seattle for the west title.
Teams that had playoff berths last year that will stay home are San Diego and Cincinnati replaced by Kansas City and Pittsburgh. Minnesota, Arizona, and Dallas will not return all three teams having tremendous difficulties in 2010.
Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-9 ½)
Batman and Robin’s absence actually seemed to help the Bengals last week in defeating San Diego. The Ravens cannot take this game for granted. It could be Marvin Lewis’s last game as head coach – a sad loss against the team that earned him his Super Bowl ring as defensive coordinator.
Chicago @ Green Bay (-10)
Green Bay must win this game to clinch a wild card berth.
Pittsburgh (-6) @ Cleveland
Pittsburgh needs this win. If they lose and Baltimore wins, Baltimore jumps to the #2 seed. The chances of a Cleveland upset are slight.
Jacksonville @ Houston (-1)
Jacksonville showed no enthusiasm against the Redskins last week but should they win and Indianapolis lose, they’ll take the division. Houston should prevail.
Dallas @ Philadelphia (-6 ½)
Philadelphia’s surprising self-destruction against Minnesota playing Tuesday night gives them less time to get ready against a Cowboys’ team that can be difficult. Philadelphia needs this game to assure the NFC East title. They should win.
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans (-8)
Tampa still is technically alive for a wild card if the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers lose. For New Orleans, if Atlanta loses and they win, the Saints win their division. New Orleans should take care of business with this game.
Carolina @ Atlanta (-14 ½)
Atlanta faces a must win against a miserable opponent who has functioned as the worst team in the NFL this season. They still have to play the game and win.
Tennessee @ Indianapolis (-10)
The Colts should have little trouble nailing down yet another AFC North title beating the Titans.
St. Louis (-3) @ Seattle (Sunday Night Game)
So who wants the NFC West besides perhaps St. Louis rookie QB, Sam Bradford? If St. Louis wins and they’re the slight favorite, they’ll win their division with a lowly 8-8 record. If they lose, Seattle wins the division with a losing record, 7-9
New York Giants (-4) @ Washington
The Giants lose, they’re out. The Redskins suddenly won last week against Jacksonville, so the Skins aren’t completely dead yet but it’s hard to see them beating the Giants.
Miami @ New England (-3 ½)
Don’t expect New England to rest despite having wrapped up every conceivable advantage. Justin Bieber, uhm, Tom Brady might get some rest to ease some aches and pains. New England will prevail. They don’t play light just because they’ve clinched.
Oakland @ Kansas City (-3 ½)
KC will play their division rival as a tune up for the playoffs likely against the New York Jets next week.
Buffalo @ New York Jets (-1)
Regardless of what the Jets do, they are the 6th seed in the playoffs. Mark Sanchez is not at full strength so it will be interesting to see how Coach Rex Ryan handles the situation. Regardless, the Jets still have the slight edge.
Minnesota @ Detroit (-3)
The Brett Favre era ends with the gunslinger on the side lines with multiple injuries including a concussion. Here are two teams appearing headed in opposite directions and Detroit could finally escape the cellar next year.
San Diego (-3 ½) @ Denver
One has to wonder after last week’s loss and a poor start earlier in the year, what the fate of Norv Turner as head couch of the Chargers will be. The Chargers were a strong playoff choice at the year’s beginning. Meanwhile, Florida Gator, Tim Tebow, will continue his maturation in his second NFL start. This is a tough call. San Diego’s the stronger team, but Tebow has more energy than the NFL can imagine.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Well, we can rest assured Christine "I Am Not a Witch, I'm You" O'Donnell wasn't the stupidest candidate running for Senate -- surely South Carolina Democrat, Alvin Greene was, but as Sarah Palin's Delaware "mini-me" she cost the Republican party a rare shot for a Senator from the state and provided lots of juicy material to debase tea party followers and her party. As a candidate who reacted to many of the complaints that demonstrated she was unfit for office such as defaulting on her mortgage and legal and financial problems who'd just blow them off as she faced the same kind of problems most people face during difficult times, it should surprise no one that getting involved in a pursuit as closely watched and full of specific requirements, she'd become entangled in troubles from how she conducted her campaign.
Federal agents and prosecutors are investigating her use of campaign funds. Prosecutors are determining to what extent she used campaign money for personal expenses.
For her sake, let's hope her lawyers tell her to keep quiet and make no comments on this matter. It takes little imagination to see how she'll attempt to defend herself in public attempting to argue that the Obama administration is out to get her. They're going after her because they don't like her positions and want to shut her up. It's a very predictable script for someone so bankrupt of any positive attributes.
In truth, it would be more beneficial for the administration to encourage her to keep talking. With critics like her, the path is quite rosy for anyone she would direct her negative attention toward. Let's wait and see if Sarah Palin rushes in to give her old endorsed more lip service.
Put this in perspective and realize Christine O'Donnell's success is directly related to Sarah Palin's strong support. We must see this as one concrete example why the Republican Party and Tea Party must unload the Wasilla Wench immediately before the 2012 Presidential race heats up.
More details from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/29/AR2010122904235.html
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
More than 50% of Washington Area Kids Live in Single Parent Homes: The Washington DC Bastards You Don't Hear About
Until we insist on demonstrating behavior has consquences and certain decisions are wrong, nothing will happen. As long as schools promote values of wishy-washy political correctness that avoid addressing irresposible choices at all costs, nothing good will happen.
The answers are hard to come by but demonstrating that good choices have good consequences would be a good place to start. No welfare benefits should be granted without certain stipulations and responsibilities having to be met. Schools must stop making excuses for dystunctional homes, realize this is from where their students come, and develop educational programs and teaching strategies that will get these kids doing well in school and assimulating positive values.
In an area where big intrusive government is the prevailing industry, it's little wonder that the worst results of such government would be so obvious in the area where such nonsense is legislated into being.
We must make our government rsponsible that it ensures no child is doomed to a life of misery and perpetuating such misery to the next generation. We cannot afford maintaining such an immoral status quo.
For more information, here's data from the Washington Examiner:
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Conventional Washington wisdom suggests that if an administration wants to deliver unpopular news, do it when nobody's paying attention. Such would be the case between Christmas and New Years particularly when much of the eastern United States is dealing with digging out from a huge snow storm dumping around two feet or more of snow in the New York City area.
Given the unusually cold weather in the closing months of 2010 and the heavy snow storms, there is a cruel irony that the Obama administation seeks to go full speed ahead on pursuing global warming legislation while it has been more than hinted he'll also attempt to use the regulatory processs where the Congress might fail him as well.
Which scientific experts should one believe? Or is it I can't believe what my lying eyes see? The problem with the environmental policies emulating from the political left is that its so hard to see the true environmental issues for all the socialistic and geopolitical agendas which get imported into the process. The aim to setup global authorities which at least by treaty would have authority over national governments and that the free enterprise private economic systems are clearly in their gunsights reveals the true agenda -- redistribution of property and wealth.
Here's the current situation as reported by Fox News. Any attempt to legislate or regulate environental matters must be seen against the broader context on whether it is truly an environmental issue being dealt with in policy conistent with our constitutional republic and economic system or if it is an attempt to use the environment as a pretext to engage in eonomic and social re-engineering.
When the environmental activists start talking seriously about the pollution problems in China, destruction of the rainforest in Brazil, Africa, and elsewhere, then perhaps we see the environmental discussion moving toward the real targts. We must also consider whether the push to use American coal is not included in environmnetal scrutiny for domestic political considerations.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
With two weeks to go and wrapping around the Christmas holidays, week 15’s slate has several high impact games for teams still in playoff contention. Remarkably thus far, only one division has been decided and three additional teams have clinched playoff spots; however, it’s pretty obvious several other teams will be there minus a titanic scale meltdown.
For the record, Chicago has clinched the NFC north, while Pittsburgh (AFC north), New England (AFC east) and Atlanta (NFC south) have landed playoff berths. In the AFC, Baltimore (AFC north) and the New York Jets (AFC east) are well positioned as the wild card teams. Indianapolis has the tie breakers over Jacksonville keeping the AFC south in contention. Kansas City enjoys a one game lead over San Diego in pursuit of the AFC west.
The NFC is still wide open aside from Chicago’s feat. Either Atlanta or New Orleans as a long shot could win the NFC south. Atlanta has a two game lead. The teams go face-to-face this weekend. Philadelphia leads the New York Giants after the Giants’ shocking loss last weekend. The “Who Wants It?” sweepstakes have St Louis and Seattle tied at an embarrassing 6-8 with San Francisco still in the chase at 5-9. New Orleans is almost certainly an NFC wild card, while Green Bay, Tampa Bay and the New York Giants battle for the remaining spot. The Giants have a one game lead.
Week 15 Picks:
Games with Playoff Consequences…
Carolina @ Pittsburgh (=14 ½)
This will be a rest up and get healthy game for the Steelers. No way has Carolina had a chance in this one.
Baltimore (-3 ½) @ Cleveland
Never an easy game for the Ravens playing in the city that hates them most, they must beat Cleveland to maintain a shot at the AFC east.
Washington @ Jacksonville (-7)
The Jaguars should have little trouble keeping their playoff hopes in tact versus a miserable Redskins team piloted by journeyman QB Rex Grossman. In what was to be a turnaround year for the Burgundy and Gold has turned out to be far worse than imagined in the Nation’s Capital. Can Daniel Snyder, boy genius owner, find the maturity to have the right football men build a new team? Mike Shanahan and his boy have failed horribly as coaches.
Tennessee @ Kansas City (-5)
A must win for the Chiefs to sustain their run at the AFC west crown. With the confusion over QB’s resulting from Vince Young’s demise and Randy Moss’s situation, the Titans are too messed up to be a threat.
Seattle @ Tampa Bay (-6 ½)
Both teams are fighting for playoff spots. Tampa Bay must win to stay alive. If Seattle and St. Louis both lose, a team with NINE losses could win the division.
Minnesota @ Philadelphia (-14 ½)
The Vikings are a hurting mess as Philadelphia’s playoff run is fired up. The 2010 season has truly been the Vikings worst nightmare.
New England (-6 ½) @ Buffalo
Merely a tune up game for the playoffs for New England.
San Francisco @ St. Louis (-2 ½)
Who would believe a team with a 5-9 record meeting a division rival with a 6-8 record could be fighting for a division crown? St. Louis has the slight edge. Unbelievable.
New York Jets at Chicago (-1)
The Jets need this game a lot more than Chicago does, but can the Jets sustain the energy that defeated the Steelers? Go with “da Bears.”
Indianapolis (-3) @ Oakland
The Colts will win when the chips are down. They have to have this one to stay in the playoff hunt.
New York Giants @ Green Bay (-3)
A battle for the NFC wild card, the unpredictable Giants face a team with a head-clubbed QB who missed the last two games with a concussion. This is a tough pick but the Packers appear to have more guts than the Giants.
San Diego (-7 ½) at Cincinnati
San Diego must and should win at Cincinnati. A loss ends their hopes for the playoffs.
New Orleans @ Atlanta (-2 ½)
Not the big game it was poised to be earlier in the season, this year’s final Monday night game has New Orleans visiting Atlanta who has a two game advantage over New Orleans for the NFC south lead. Having seen how the Ravens tore apart New Orleans, Atlanta should prevail.
Wait ‘til next year division….
Dallas (-6 ½) @ Arizona
A contest on the NFL Network Christmas nights, eggnog belching fans can see Dallas beat up on the ravaged Arizona Cardinals. Put “Charlie Brown Christmas” in the DVD player.
Detroit @ Miami (-3 ½)
Miami was supposed to be a contender this year. They’ve underachieved all year. Detroit finally has a season they can build on in pursuit of their 5th win. Miami still should prevail but a Detroit upset is far from out of the question. There’s no time for slacking down by South Beach.
Houston (-2 ½) @ Denver
The 2010 season can be shown as nothing but horrible disappointments for both teams. The Texans were supposed to be a playoff contender. No one would have expected Denver to be one of the worst teams in the game. Perhaps coaching rumors will make more noise than cheers for the game as Texans’ coach, Gary Kubiak sure looks like a possible fit for where he caddied John Elway. The Texans simply have too much talent not to beat the Broncos, a team in disarray.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
When one carefully considers the issues, all the possible harms thought to exist by allowing open homosexuals from serving are based of prejudicial stereotypes of homosexuals not the way they live their lives in public. Straight America tends to equate homosexuality with the bizarre lifestyles characterized as "gay" from San Francisco or the lower east side of Manhattan as typical gay life styles not the expression of the counter cultures that exist in those communities that have a lot more to deal with social rebellion than sexual preference.
Let's get something straight, there is no place for people making sexual advances toward their fellow servicemen or women or their fellow employees in the workplace whether it is heterosexual or not. Surely, there have been plenty of fights between servicemen over someone "stealing" another soldier's girl friend or other conflicts which arise over heterosexual relationships.
Equally most important, the vast homosexual majority is very discrete about their interpersonal relationships and that they are willing to take a bullet for their country speaks much louder about what their character is made of than anything else.
While it will see little fanfare, and surely the usual blowhards in talk radio and fire breathing fundamentalists will mark this as one step closer to our culture becoming the new Sodom and Gomorrah, it marks one more step toward eliminating the last sanctioned prejudice. This is the 21st century and the time has come.
It's time for the Republican Party to quietly come to terms with the new reality and embrace it The next frontier is same sex marriage. The clock is ticking.
Despite persistent efforts by organized labor in the past two decades, the employees of BGE (Baltimore Gas and Electric), a subsidiary of Constellation Energy, have overwhelmingly voted to reject union representation. WBAL radio reports the margin was 1,135 to 304 the largest margin in related election history in the past fourteen years.
This victory for personal rights versus collectivism is a huge triumph given the climate of caving into union demands and the staunch labor support of the Obama administration. Clearly, something good is still going on at BGE and workers are increasingly aware that union membership assures nothing of value.
We applaud those employees and their wisdom. Let's hope to see more result like this in the near future elsewhere.
Don't let the door hit you on the way out...
What could better illustrate the audacity of the 111th Congress than attempt to spend $10 million on immortalizing one of their own, the absolute legendary purveyor of budgetary pork, John Murtha for whom they figured every American tax payer should divvy up and pay to fiancé a nebulous John P. Murtha foundation? Though he didn’t live to see his kind of politics rise to its finest hour, in his final days the Pennsylvania Pork Purveyor was up to his own tricks establishing himself as a great supporter of the Defense department spending Federal funds on gear and equipment for the military the Pentagon never asked for.
Waiting until the last minute to attempt to pass an omnibus spending bill, the bulk of the Federal Budget, until the very last minute, something that should have been done in September, tacking more spending on pet projects and adding more wastes of money on the continuance of the tax rates established during the Bush administration after an agreement was reached combining a two year extension with unemployment benefits with the hard reality everyone’s taxes would go up January 1 if a tax bill was not passed, they took the game to an even more grotesque level. How can there be any question that the 111th Congress has been one of the most irresponsible, corrupt, self-serving, morally bankrupt, and politically cynical elected assemblies in the history of western democracy. The Federal Budget was due October 1, 2010.
As we look at the events of the closing days of its existence trying to expedite their every last fantasy into law, it’s not hard to see what a band of hateful, loathsome bastards these pitiful excuses for political leaders truly have been. Talking about budget priorities when the mood of the country was to cut taxes and reduce Federal spending was seen as a burden they did not want to have to stand up for while running for reelection. Did taking that stance help them?
Probably not, given the huge switch over to a Republican majority in the House. The Senate would surely be two seats closer to a majority were it not for Sarah Palin’s meddling into the primary election process in Nevada and Delaware supporting unelectable Sarah Palin knockoffs over candidates who clearly had terrific odds at beating the Democrats’ candidates.
Against tremendous public sentiment to the contrary, the 111th Congress passed what is known as Obama-Care, the government take over of health care management in the United States. It didn’t matter what it took to get the bill passed, who needed to be bribed or what special provisions to satisfy a squeaky wheel Senator, the Democratic leaders would stop at nothing to ramrod through a totally ill-conceived disaster, a guaranteed failure. What better characterized their ethos than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement that they’d have to pass the bill so the public could see what’s in it?
Job one upon taking office in January, 2009 was dealing with the economy. Big bill #1 was a supposed “stimulus” package. The critical needs that would have helped lead to a better economy, helping small businesses succeed, breaking through red tape bringing corporate America to a standstill, encouraging entrepreneurship were all ignored in favor of setting up a select few new Federal government jobs that had no urgency whatsoever but even more so providing all kinds of perks and privileges for the nation’s biggest unions. What was supposed to help the unemployed proved to be mostly a goody bag of thank you presents to the special interest groups who made their ascent into office possible in the first place.
During their tenure, the unemployment rate went from somewhere in the six to seven percent range to dangerously close to ten percent. Nothing has shown that that rate should go down in the near future despite promises that the goal of the program was to keep the rate from going past eight percent.
As racking up trillions of dollars in spending, the government credit card financed by China, Saudis, and others who have no interest in looking out for the USA allowed multiplying the debt to unthinkable levels with no urgent problems solved or any great returns that would benefit the population at large.
Who could be a better poster child for the 111th Congress than freshman congressman Alan Grayson who was thankfully not reelected in November? If one were to create a historical documentary of this renegade congress, surely the obscenity laced tirades of this pitiful excuse for a human being much less political leader would have to be included including his talking board presentation of how he assessed the Republican version of health care. “The Republican health care plan for America: Don’t get sick. That’s right, don’t get sick. If have insurance, don’t get sick. If you don’t have insurance, don’t get sick. If you’re sick, don’t get sick. Republicans have a back up plan in case you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this. Die quickly. That’s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.”
Amazingly, outside of alternative media, this disgusting tirade received almost no exposition or condemnation in the mainstream media almost surely because they share his positions if they wouldn’t be as blunt as to state them so graphically. How shameful is that?
Truly, the arrogance of power and the contempt of criticism so endemic in the Democratic members of the 111th Congress are so well represented by Alan Grayson. In describing his contempt for Dick Chaney he stated he had trouble listening to Cheney … “because of the blood that drips from his teeth while he is talking… He’s just angry because the president doesn’t shoot old men in the face. But by the way, when he was done speaking, did he just then turn into a bat and fly away?”
Grayson also characterized his opposition sneering, “We’re dealing with people on the other side who are utterly unscrupulous. These are foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging, Neanderthals who know nothing but ‘no.’”
We finish with Grayson’s theater of the absurd as it so well captures the overall outlook and attitude of an entity so short in existence, just two years, whose damage to the United States will take years to turnabout.
That a group such as them would attempt to ramrod every last item on their agenda trying to create a false crisis mentality in their closing lame duck days knowing that the measures they are attempting to make law are the exact things that the public objected to and used as rational to vote against them shows their absolute arrogance and contempt to the American people the swore to defend.
We can only hope that Nancy Pelosi looks pathetic and frail attempting to assert herself as House Minority Leader in the 112th Congress. One thing’s for certain, she and her colleagues will be treated with a much higher degree of respect from the new majority party than what her leadership provided. To what extent will Harry Reid with a much slimmer majority attempt to advance the Democrat’s agenda knowing full well in 2012, there will be a much larger number of Democratic Senators up for reelection than there were in 2010?
Given their inability to escape their sense of denial over what the electorate handed them on the first Tuesday of November, they will probably continue to plunder and plod until their numbers are eliminated to the point of being little more that a mouse fart after the next election.
Now for the scary part, are the Republicans up for the challenge or will they miss the chance to cease the moment and bury this generation of Democrats for good?
For one last look at how the 111th Congress was so intellectually clueless, let's consider the words of House leader Nancy Pelosi's insight into good conditions for economic growth citing the Haiti earthquakes. Madame Speaker opined:
"I think that this can be an opportunity for a real boom economy in Haiti,"
We pray that when the big one hits California, the Pelosi estate is not spared --- for using this logic, who'd want to deprive Nancy Pelosi of golden opportunity for great economic growth potential?
Thursday, December 16, 2010
The playoff picture is in sight especially in the AFC where it would appear the field is set except maybe the AFC West. It’s just a question of who will win the division and who’d be the Wild Card in the North and the East. The NFC is still wide open. Here’s this week’s action for NFL Week 15 as we enter the new era of Brett Favre not being involved. We’ll review the games with playoff implications first.
San Francisco @ San Diego (-10)
The team that loses this game loses its shot at the playoffs and that team should be San Francisco despite San Diego can be a frustrating underachiever. This is their time of the year, though, but that didn’t keep them from losing to Oakland.
New Orleans @ Baltimore (-2)
Both teams are likely to make the playoffs but the loser of this game and forget its chances to win its division. The Ravens must play sharper defense and get better protection for its passing game if it hopes to beat the defending champs.
Kansas City @ St. Louis (Pick)
Kansas City is struggling to hold on to first place while St. Louis in the hapless NFC West is tied for first despite having a losing record. Both teams are in the hunt since each conference has a weak division. KC has been more consistent and shows more ways to win than St. Louis, so pick KC to beat St. Louis
Philadelphia @ New York Giants (-2.5)
This could be one of the toughest fights of the weekend as the Eagles and Giants fight for the NFC East title while the loser could well be the second wild card team. The Giants seem to be a little more consistent across their lineup than the Eagles who’d need a commanding game from Michael Vick to prevail. Go with New York.
Jacksonville @ Indianapolis (-5)
Here’s the fight for the AFC South. The loser of this game will most likely not only not win the division but also fall from playoff consideration since they’d have to catch either the AFC North or East second place teams, both have 9-4 records. Payton Manning’s boys have the edge.
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh (-6)
The Steelers are pretty banged up. New York’s QB, Mark Sanchez, has lost his mojo. Pittsburgh needs the win to stay atop the AFC North. The Jets need the game for any hope of being New England for the AFC East. The Jets would need a huge turnabout after losing their last two games against Pittsburgh. That’s not likely to happen. Go with Pittsburgh.
Green Bay @ New England (no odds posted)
New England will destroy Green Bay who will be without QB Aaron Rodgers. Remember, the Patriots have no conscience about running up the score when they dominate another team. Green Bay’s post season hopes could die in Massachusetts.
Atlanta (-6) @ Seattle
No threat to Atlanta who are increasingly looking like the NFC’s top team.
Denver @ Oakland (-6.5)
Oakland needs this win to keep its hopes at winning the AFC west alive. Against the disassembled Broncos, that should be a challenge they can meet.
Chicago @ Minnesota (no odds posted)
Chicago should keep its playoff status healthy as the Minnesota Vikings have completely fallen apart in the 2nd half of the season. The Vikings will use the University of Minnesota’s stadium as their home field.
Detroit @ Tampa Bay (-5.5)
Tampa will keep its slight playoff hopes alive by whacking the Lions.
The following games have no impact on the post season:
Washington @ Dallas (-6)
Washington will get slaughtered and fall to being tied for last place in the AFC East. The Burgundy and Gold’s upper management simply doesn’t have a clue how to build an NFL franchise. Head coach, Michal Shanahan has been totally ineffective bringing the team together. Once the model for organizational stability, the Redskins are in freefall with no signs of reversing the mess any time soon.
Arizona @ Carolina (-2.5)
Can anyone believe these two teams played in the NFC championship recently? Somebody’s got to win. Home cooking and no cross country travel give this to the Panthers.
Cleveland @ Cincinnati (-1.5)
Here’s a tough pick between two awful teams from Ohio. It’s Cleveland’s young, unfocused talent against a bunch of undisciplined surly vets with Cincinnati. We’ll give Cleveland the edge in the battle for the Buckeye State.
Buffalo @ Miami (-5.5)
Miami will look like a playoff team they could have been in this one.
Houston @ Tennessee (-1.5)
Houston looked brilliant wearing the Baltimore defense into chaos Monday night, but they cannot generate much on offense. We’ll give Houston the ever so slight lead.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Brett Favre’s pro football “iron man” streak is over having played an amazing 297 consecutive games. Given the wear and tear of professional football, size this up against Cal Ripken’s streak in baseball. Almost certainly, these are both feats of unbelievable commitment and intensity.
While Cal Ripken’s streak was an event worthy of national celebration, somehow Favre’s accomplishment falls short. Much of this has to do with what Favre’s story has been since leaving Green Bay, seemingly retiring at the end of the 2007 season.
After falling just a play short of guiding the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl only to fall short to the New York Giants. In early March, Favre gave his tearful farewell to the sports media. Green Bay took him at his word and prepared to have Aaron Rodgers ready to lead the team in 2008. As teams were preparing to begin training camp for the ’08 season, Favre decided retirement wasn’t such a good idea and wanted to return. The Packers wanted no part of it so for several weeks an escalating feud becoming increasingly hostile on both sides with each news cycle accelerated with Favre even dropping the suggestion that he would like to play for the archrival, Minnesota Vikings. The results were the Packers trading Favre’s contract rights to the New York Jets – a team sadly in need of leadership. Favre’s success was immediate but short-lived in New York where a series of injuries left him looking foolish to have not retired. What the media and public didn’t know was that the beloved southern boy charmer was engaged in some dirty business with a New York Jets female staffer who supposedly was sent naughty pictures by the legendary #4.
End of season, Favre supposedly retires again, but was anyone taking him seriously this time?
Favre refused to make commitments but the buzz was he was going to return to active play with the Minnesota Vikings, but when training camp began, there was no Brett Favre in camp. He still needed more convincing. He signed his deal with just one week to go before the regular season, and the 2009 season was almost all Brett Favre could dream of. The Vikings led the NFC north looking like a good bet to go to the Super Bowl. Favre led the Vikings to a strong 12-4 record, the second seed behind the eventual champions, the New Orleans Saints. The NFC championship would go to overtime perhaps because a Favre interception prevented the Vikings from being positioned for a game winning field goal. As with his last game with Green Bay, so close to the championship, but at the decisive moment – the goat, not the hero.
After the 2009 season, Favre remained vague and noncommittal on his plans. Any talk of retirement was dismissed until training camp began. What were the Vikings to do with their QB situation?
On July 28, Favre announced his intention to retire to the Vikings, but nobody thought that was his final answer. On August 18th, the local CBS station, WCCO-TV and ESPN said he’d return. A cadre of Vikings players was dispatched to Mississippi by team management to deliver the goods and the grandfather QB was back with the Vikings.
The 2010 season has been nothing short of an absolute disaster short of a few flashes of brilliance. The end result, an amazing streak, a hall of game career, 1992-2010. Cal Ripken’s streak went from 1982 to 1998 by comparison. Favre has three consecutive MVP awards from 1995-1997, eleven Pro Bowl selections and numerous longevity records.
It’s hard to imagine Brett Favre suiting up to play again. Fans will debate for a long time about how his last three years impacted his glory. Will they be seen as the mark of a relentless competitor or that of someone blinded by pride entering into a bizarre Faustian pact in an attempt to cheat father time?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
If Mr. Straus is not suitable based on where he stands on key Republican issues, that's one thing, but there is no reading through what's going on here and not see the taint of reactionary Christian sentiment that colors the whole decision making process in this matter.
Clearly, as news reports suggest, way too much attention has been drawn to the notion that Joe Straus is Jewish and that the Speaker of the Texas House should be Christian.
Somehow when one readings between the lines, one can't help but here the whispers of, "they killed our Lord and Savior" nonsense echoing in the background. There is no carrying on intelligent convrsation with such people. While they are not the Christian Equivalent of Islamic Jihad as many secular extremists suggest, such conduct speaks very poorly for a very small faction of traditional fundementalists.
While there is a general lack of morality in today's political world and the need to advocate moral behavior through out society, when it becomes self-described Christians putting the hammer down on Jews, such conduct is intolerable.
What can be done to clarify this Texas matter so that the spector of anti-Semeticism is eliminated from the decision making process?
A “Conservative” for Same Sex Marriage and Ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
This writer’s opinion on this issue has been a long time coming. As a heterosexual, homosexuality is something that will always seem strangely alien to me as I am just not wired to identify with those feelings. My outlook on homosexuality has evolved over many years being something of a gay basher in high school to increasingly developing understanding and tolerance to this, the final barrier, consenting to the notion of same sex marriage.
My first revelation was that gay bashers were far crazier than anything I could ascribe to homosexuals even the ones who engage in the bizarre San Francisco kind of conduct which is probably more a reflection on San Francisco than is it sexual preference. From there I realized I had lots of friends and fellow workers who were “gay” or “lesbians.” They were just real good folks who one would never suspect – so much for don’t ask, don’t tell. How can we exclude people willing to take a bullet for their country over an issue like this?
I fully realize there are passages in The Bible which would appear to strongly condemn homosexuality. However, often in the same passage or elsewhere there are strong condemnations against adultery, promiscuity, and other lustful behavior. So if homosexuality is so awful, where’s the passion about the other things? It might be healthy if there were much more condemnation of having children out of wedlock. Let’s remember that we are also taught, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Let’s now add a social context. What kind of “sinful” behavior clearly has negative effects on others regardless of beliefs or morals? Conduct that results in not supporting a family or the needs of a child is surely far worse than what someone does in his or her private life or with another consulting adult.
This leads to the crux of the decision. How does same sex marriage do harm to others? How would permitting such affect this writer’s life in any manner whatsoever? Meanwhile, for the participants in a same sex relationship, the bond of marriage could be the ultimate affirmation of that which those two people hold most dearly. Why should someone else destroy their pursuit of happiness as they desire to do?
The only concern that is hard to resolve is the roll of children who have homosexual parents. Would not having two committed parents have benefits over a single parent home? The only harm is the extent to which kids might be bullied by homophobic other children. Has not our culture attempted to teach tolerance of same-sex relationships? Clearly, though a lot of values are borne from the home.
There’s only one other argument that surfaces from time-to-time, if marriage can be stretched to be inclusive of more than the traditional man and woman, where does society draw the line? Could courts then rule polygamy is okay? Could adult/child relationships be rationalized? If we employ the “do no harm” standard, those concerns should be addressed. The political process can mess up anything so ultimately then the responsibility rests in the voter. Where same sex marriage has gone to the ballot, there have been mixed results.
With all these considerations in mind, while it is far from a front burner issue in this writer’s list of political issues, both same sex marriage and eliminating restrictions against homosexuals serving in the military should be realized.
There’s a dark little secret. Some people with same sex preferences are politically conservative but might possibly ally their passions elsewhere because the conservative political factions have made them unwelcome.
Our society is full of sexual hang-ups that would be better served if all of us could discuss and debate more openly and not hide behind the barriers of outmoded morality or shrouds of political correctness.
Indianapolis (-3.5) @ Tennessee
How can you go against Payton Manning at this time of the year? Nevertheless, we don't have a whole lot of confidence in this pick for the Colts.
Tampa Bay (-3) @ Washington
The Bus look like an up and coming team guided by a promising QB. The Redskins are on life support. Tampa wins.
Cleveland @ Buffalo (-1)
Ugh, two mitakes on the lake...the great Lake Erie Sewage Bowl. We're picking the Browns.
New York Giants (-3) @ Minnesota
Could this be the end of the Favre era? Truth be told, it's already over but we'll see if he starts. The Giants will win this one certainly.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-8.5)
The Bengals will be heading home face down floating down the Ohio River after this one.
Atlanta (-7) @ Carolina
The Dixie Bowl -- Atlanta wins.
New England (-3) @ Chicago
New England probably won't do to the Bears what they did to the Jets, but this will be one ass-whoopin' in Chicago.
Seattle @ San Francisco (-5)
Las Vegas seems more convinced than this writer on this one but we like Iron Mike. Pick the 'niners.
St. Louis @ New Orleans (-9)
The Saints go marching on!!!
Denver (-5.5) @ Arizona
Okay, how will the Broncos play for their new coach against a team that seems to have quit for the season?
Miami @ New York Jets (-5.5)
Jets will bounce back big time after their Monday Night ass whoopin'.
Kansas City @ San Diego (pick)
San Diego will probably squeak this one out as it's now or never for them playing at home. KC wins this one, they're as good as in as West champs.
Philadelphia (-3.5) @ Dallas
Yeow, will the new Cowboys have enough to beat an energetic Eagles team? We'll go with Philadelphia knowing this could go the other way.
Baltimore (-3) @ Houston
The Ravens are hopping mad after clobbering the Steelers only to wind up beaten in the 4th quarter. Baltimore wins!!!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The AFC post season pool is pretty much set. It’s just a matter of jockeying for position at this point.
Here’s the field:
(East) New England: 10 - 2 – Home field through out
(North) Pittsburgh: 9 - 3 – First Round Bye
(West) Kansas City: 8 – 4
(South) Jacksonville: 7 - 5
(Wild Card) New York Jets: 9 -3
(Wild Card) Baltimore: 8 – 4
In the North, the Ravens are three games ahead of Cleveland – no race there unless the Ravens can pull ahead of the Steelers to win the division. The Jets are three games up on the Miami Dolphins – same scenario as the North, but New England would go 2 – 2 for the rest of the season? Doubtful.
The race is in the AFC South. Jacksonville is one game up on the Colts and two games up on Tennessee and Houston. The Colts must get healthy. Their slaughter at the hands of Dallas showed how torn apart the Indianapolis team is. Indianapolis hosts Jacksonville in two weeks. That game could decide the division.
Who would have expected Kansas City to be playoff bound? San Diego was surging but gave up an embarrassing loss to Oakland and now stand two games back. Oakland has the tie-breakers over San Diego. Kansas City faces both San Diego and Oakland so tie-breakers could come into play if they lost both games and their competition won their remaining four games. The bottom line is if Kansas City wins three games, they’re in.
Incidentally, there are no teams beside the six teams we show seeded for the playoffs who currently hold a winning record in the AFC.
The NFC is a different matter. There are plenty of open races, but the West could really embarrass the NFL with a division leader with a losing record.
(South) Atlanta: 10 - 2 – Home field through out.
(North) Chicago: 9 – 3 – First Round Bye
(East) Philadelphia: 8 – 4
(West) Seattle: 6 – 6
(Wild Card) New Orleans: 9 – 3
(Wild Card) Green Bay: 8 – 4
Here are other contenders:
New York Giants: 8 – 4 – Wild Card or East title
Tampa Bay: 7 – 5 – Wild Card, South title (long shot)
St. Louis: 6 -6 – West title
In the NFC, all conferences are open races and two teams have a shot at the Wild Card beyond the two we show as seeded.
The Dallas Cowboys are surely the team nobody in contention wants to face. Since the dismissal of Wade Phillips, they’re winning convincingly with just one loss. Jason Garrett has the team on the move which had been a laughing stock through October. The Eagles do battle with the Cowboys twice, at Dallas, this weekend and then finish against them at home.
With four weeks to go, the AFC field looks almost set in stone. The NFC, the surest bet would appear to be Atlanta winning the south, but would anyone bet against the possibility of Green Bay overtaking the Bears if they are healthy. With two games against Dallas, and the New York Giants getting things pulled back together, the Eagles could fall. The West is total chaos. One team will win by default. With all these possibilities in play, it’s way too soon to project the final Wild Cards. Today’s first place teams could be the Wild Cards at season’s end.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Houston @ Philadelphia (-7 1/2)
It's been a steady trip downhill for Houston who was expected to perform. Philadelphia should have this home game under control.
Washington @ New York Giants (-7)
The Redskins appear to be on life support. Unlikely to see any surprises as the Giants will be large and in change.
San Francisco @ Green Bay (-9 1/2)
Green Bay is rolling along as one of the NFC's elite. No contest.
Denver @ Kansas City (-7)
Denver appears in free fall mode.
Buffalo @ Minnesota (-7)
Swamp boy Brett should have enough left in his old body to win this one.
Chicago @ Detroit (DRAW)
Chicago will win.
Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-3)
Jacksonville is one of the surprise teams of 2010 and should beat their division foes.
New Orleans (-6) @ Cincinnati
Forget the hype about New Orleans playing in cold weather. They'll make an ice sculpture out of the Cinco and Stinko show.
Atlanta (-3) @ Tampa Bay
Tampa is better than one might think but not good enough to stop Atlanta.
Oakland @ San Diego (-12 1/2)
San Diego showed what their offense can do against the Colts. At home they'll whack the Raiders.
Carolina @ Seattle (-6)
Pity the folks from Charlotte, the Panthers are about the weakest team in the game this year. Seattle can fall apart when they should win but not this time.
St. Louis (-2.5) @ Arizona
After how poor they played at home against San Francisco, they'd better show up for the Rams. They'll not have a chance without more effort.
Dallas @ Indianapolis (-5)
This game is a must win for the Colts. They're banged up and Dallas is playing better with Wade Phillips gone, but they still play well at home.
TWO BIG ONES -- The winners of these two games will probably be the AFC Championship contenders.
Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (3)
How hurt is Ben Roethlisberger? If the Ravens whack him around they win. If they don't, it could get ugly.
New York Jets @ New England (-3.5)
Both teams are 9-2. This will be a brawl between contrasting styles. New England has the edge.