Saturday, February 09, 2008

That Mitchell and Webb Look

New (to America) sketch comedy show on BBC America Friday night. Brilliant, witty, insane. Pythonesque. Loved it.

Very sad segment on "Bill Moyers Journal" about a new movie, "Taxi to the Dark Side". Hard to begin even talking about the crimes and offenses against God, law, and human decency by the present Administration without sounding like a babbling idiot.

"We don't torture."
-Dick Cheney

One of the most laughable, damnable lies of a monstrous, criminally negligent band of evildoers.

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Bit of a Wash

Another fascinating Dan Carlin's Common Sense today.

First item was the notion that 1979 was the key year whose repercussions are still being felt today. Abdication of the Shah? Russian invasion of Afghanistan? Saddam gains power in Iraq? Mujaheddin armed by the CIA?

Powerful idea.

Second item is the notion that the obesity/diabetes epidemic, in the end, may save the government money by killing off people (like, for example, me) early.

More big news from the NBA, as the Big Aristotle heads out west in return for Shawn Marion. I'm a little surprised Miami got away with this, as Shaq is clearly on the downside. I guess Phoenix figures they can get 20-25 good minutes out of him, and his toughness and size will help them get past Timmy.

I don't see it. Tim is too mobile to be all that bothered by Shaq. Sure, he's death in the low post, but Tim will shoot 15 footers over him all night long.

It's a great deal for Miami, as they get out from under an onerous contract, and they have a fighting chance in a year or two to resign Wade and actually put a team around him.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Slippery Rock

February 4, 2008

So, the Patriots lost.

I’m actually more hurt than I thought I would be. It’s more the lack of symmetry to it-the game was laying out almost the way you thought it would be. You have to like your chances, with a lead, giving Eli Manning the ball in his own end and saying, “OK, son, beat us.” Play that game 50 times and I think the Pats win it 40. The win would have been so perfect, so elegant in an almost mathematical way. 19-0, perfect season from the new dynasty, the smartest kids on the block, the new school football mixing strategy and scouting and numbers in a sabermetric way.

Of course, Manning did beat us, plain and simple, lucky or not, he did. That Tyree pass was unearthly.

One of the worst things about this loss is that it will bring out the worst in sports fans, all the manure about “heart” and “desire” and “hard work” and all that crapola. Not that such things don’t exist, just that they aren’t nearly as important as people think. The Giants didn’t have more heart than Matt Light, Dan Koppen, and Steven Neal, they had more speed. More speed and more talent beats more heart.

And not that the Patriots weren’t trying or took New York lightly or cracked under the pressure or any of that stuff, either. To play football at that level requires enormous effort and desire and heart and will, no matter what team you are on. The Giants made some key plays, including one miraculous, immortal one, and the Patriots made a few mistakes. One game doesn’t mean they’re the best.

If you use that logic, anyone who beat the Giants during the season, including the Eagles, are even better. The old Slippery Rock fallacy lives again.

The Slippery Rock fallacy comes from a sports book I read once when I was very young, something about “Illustrated Sports Facts” or something. It had a series of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” style factoids illustrated with some crudely drawn cartoons. One of the stories was a newspaper story that was supposedly written in the 1950s, arguing that, because Slippery Rock, a tiny NAIA school, beat Team A in football, who beat Team B, who beat Team C, who beat Team D, who beat Team E, and on, and on, and on, until you end the chain on someone who beat the National Champion. Therefore, the writer concluded, Slippery Rock should be the National Champion.

Now it’s baseball season, plus the Terminator show is on again tonight.

Summer Whateverhername is, the girl Terminator, is absolutely gorgeous.

More fighting with the wife last night. Oh goody. Does she ever stop to think that maybe being awake from 7am until 2am the next morning may impair one's alertness? Of course not.

I hate life.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

17-14 Giants

Well, Mr. Burress' prediction is looking a little better.


I am stunned.

Could it be? The biggest upset of all time? Amazing.

Eli Manning just led his team down the field, late, against the best team in the league, in the biggest game of his life.

Incomplete. Second Down.

Sack of Brady. Third Down. It is looking black.

Third and Twenty. Wow.

Fourth and Twenty. Last chance of Last chances.

Incomplete. The Dream is Over.


Stunned. I am more hurt than I really thought I would be.

They played a hell of a game. Amazing.

I never thought it was even possible.

I guess that's why they play the games, huh?

Still breathing

Giants need a touchdown.

On an amazing play, Manning escapes the rush, somehow, then flings a 36 yarder to Tyree for a first down. Unreal.

On the next play, Manning is sacked at the 25. 2nd and 11.

What a game this has turned out to be.

Another flutterball by Manning-incomplete. More pressure from the Patriots rush.

3rd and 11.

45 seconds left.

Completion to Steve Smith for a first down along the sideline.

39 seconds.




Ray Ventronne JACKS the Giant kick returner, Hixon, at the 17. First and ten New York.

Complete to Toomer, first down.

Manning overthrows Burress.

Well, Mr. Prediction, one catch? Nice work.

Manning overthrows Burress again.

Rush is getting to Manning all of a sudden.

I have to admit, Manning gave them a chance to win, no question.

Complete to Toomer. JUST short of a first down.

Going for it-fourth and one. Wow. Gutty. They have to do it-punting would be silly.

Jacobs run-first down.

Manning hauled down by Thomas-5 yards.

It all comes down to this....

3rd and goal, 7 yards to go for yet another comeback and a perfect season.


A simple little in route-cornerback Corey Webster one and one on Moss, he stumbles and falls, bingo!



New England ball on their own 20, still down 10-7.

This Will Ferrell ABA movie looks awesome.

Complete to Welker for 5.

Complete to Moss for a first down.

Maroney run for 9.

Complete to Welker for a first down.

Like a machine, this guy. If they score here, that's got to break the Giants into pieces.

Complete to Faulk for 4.

Complete to Welker for a first down.

Rollin, rollin, rollin...

I had to start my story again, because I managed to lose the previous draft. It's coming out a little tighter this time, though.

Incomplete pass.

Complete, First down, Moss.

The Giants front line is worn out.

Complete to Faulk inside the Giants 10.

3:12 to go, first and goal from the 8. This has to be killing you if you are a Giants fan.

I've been there.

Brady over throws Moss, then underthrows Welker. 3rd and goal.

Oh boy.

Giant Steps?

Giants ball. You can expect a heavy dose of running here.

Jacobs run-1 yard.

Manning incomplete pass. Flushed from the pocket, Manning misses a chance to float the ball to Burress for a big gain.

Completion to Toomer-7 yards.

Fourth down. GREAT series for New England. Wow.

The March Begins?

17 yards to Moss-first down.

Screen to Welker-3 yards.

Somehow, that push on the pass rush they were getting earlier is missing.

Incomplete pass to Moss.

Tom Petty was an odd halftime choice-a good one, but I don't see how the kids are supposed to relate to him.

Incomplete pass-fourth down.

Wow. This is getting tight for New England. If the Giants win this game, it is one of the greatest upsets ever. EVER.

History in the making?

Odds are, Tom Brady and the Pats still have one miracle left in the ol' bag of tricks. But time is growing short, oh cursed spite.

11:00 to play. Giants 10, Patriots 7.