Thursday, September 28, 2006

Let's cruise

Due to mounting work demands that begin to face me as I prepare to take a Caribbean cruise with the wife next week, I must postpone the bloggery until October 11. But just to do a little forecaddying, I predict:

1) The Redskins will be killed - and I mean manhandled - by the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday. And everyone will be calling for Brunell's head on a platter, including all the columnists who fake-defended him this week (I HATE when columnists do that...they rip a player, then when the player plays well, they write something really smug like "the naysayers just don't understand the intricacies of this offense," and what not. Sports journalism is pretty much terrible these's like one big Fox News hamster wheel of contextless feather preening. It drives me so crazy, AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!)

2) A White House advisor will say "if the American People want to elect Democrats in November, that's their prerogative, but they can't come crying to us when terrorists bomb all the nursery schools."

Willie Nelson will get his own reality show.

4) I will run out of silly predictions waaaay too early. I'm just not feeling it today.

5) I will have fun on my cruise, and will look forward to resuming the tomfoolery after I get back. Good day then.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

T.O. suicide attempt...WHOA!

Yeah...I guess Terrell Owens was hospitalized for trying to OD on pain medication. Jeez...I am without speech. I have nothing to say here.

Well...except one thing. Do you think there's going to be any media coverage on this?

Police report: TO tried suicide []

Is it too early to get excited about the Wizards?

And, perhaps more importantly, are they deserving of any excitement? With the Redskins uncertain at best (sorry, the win over the University of Houston Texans didn't exactly give me Super Bowl fever), the Nats winding down a tough-but-interesting season, and all major Maryland sports in the, how do you say, toilet, there isn't much for a local sports fan like me to hang his hat on (DC United being a recent exception).

So today's story on how
the Wizards front office is looking to take the next step kind of got me excited about the upcoming season (exhibition games start in two weeks).

Donnell Taylor is one of those role
players that makes a good team even better.

Sure, we lost Jared Jeffries, but is that REALLY that big of a deal?
He wasn't happy here, so screw him. As long as we still have Gilbert and Caron Butler to build around, I like our chances. We signed white guy banger Darius Songalia and emerging defensive star DeShawn Stevenson over the offseason. Add in Antawn Jamison, Brendan "I know he's a stiff but he's still really big" Haywood, and Jarvis Hayes (if he can stay healthy) and that's a pretty solid core.

Plus, the Wizards have better role players than in previous years. Good "chemistry" guys like Michael Ruffin and the tenacious Donnell "I will rip somebody's arms off if it means I can stay on an NBA roster" Taylor have been lacking in seasons past. I especially like Taylor. That's the kind of young, hungry player they didn't care about (*coughBenWallacecough*) in previous front office regimes.

So hey, we'll see what happens. But I'm getting pumped. Now if we can just keep LeBron James away from the line while we're shooting free throws, we'll be all set.

Wizards Think Bigger

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

This HeadOn product looks great, but how do I apply it?

Ah. Apparently, you apply HeadOn directly to the forehead. Apparently, you apply HeadOn directly to the forehead. Apparently, you apply HeadOn directly to the forehead.

Sorry about that - just annoyed myself a little bit there. But I bring this up because there is shocking - shocking - news in the Post today regarding this product. According to
the Post blurb, HeadOn does not effectively treat headaches. At all. Isn't that surprising? And not only does it not work - the active ingredient could be dangerous. It's not even supposed to come in contact with human skin!

Man. I thought that swabbing one's head with "a giant tube of ChapStick," as the Post puts it, would be a sure-fire headache cure. It just looks like it's going to work. Hell, that thing could cure cancer, I thought.

But no. HeadOn - it's just snake oil. HeadOn - it's just snake oil. HeadOn - it's just snake oil.

Buy HeadOn - Apply Directly to Forehead for Migraine Relief []
Head Rub [Washington Post]
HeadOn Headache Product Potentially Dangerous [The Daily Headache]

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Why are you "in" a movie, but "on" a television show?

I dunno...just throwing it out there.

I think Summer Sanders is asexually procreating...not that I'm complaining

Have you noticed this phenomenon? Frightening and alarming, to be sure. So don't look now, and don't make any sudden movements, but Summer's Spawn are all around you. BEWARE!

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Summer Sanders. Or, as I call her, The Mother Pod.

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Primary offspring
Bonnie Bernstein

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ESPN brings in
Erin Andrews...and the march of the hot asexual clones continues unabated!

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For the latest and hottest Summer Sanders clone prototype, codename
"Jill Wagner", the time has come to branch out from the world of sports and infiltrate the larger society. "You've got to put Mercury on your list!" she cries. With a side, perhaps, "Jill," of FREAKY SCIENCE GONE AWRY???

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Son? Sorry to break it to you, but you're part macaca!

In a strange twist on one of the strangest stories of this political election season, Virginia Senator George Allen, who is running for re-election, recently heard from his 83-year-old mother that he is, in fact, part North African Jew.

"Oh my God," Allen reportedly said upon receiving the news. "You mean to tell me...that I...George part macaca????"

"Yes, I am afraid it is true," said Mrs. Allen, who decided to shield their children from the terrible truth of their macaca heritage for decades and decades. "But I feel much better having told you. And at least now, you can use this piece of information to try and demonstrate to voters that, when you called that little brown macaca a macaca, that in a way, you were calling him a brother! You were saluting one of your own, and expressing solidarity with him!"

"Yes, I think you may be right, mother," Allen responded. "Secretary whatever-your-name-is? Get the Post on the phone! I'm leaking this like a pregnant woman after a night of macaca food!"

So congratulations, Senator. Feel free to start peppering your stump speeches with "oye vey"s and "a kine hora"s and "the last time I visited my homeland of Africa" stories at your leisure. And oh, by the way...L'shana tova, senator. I hope the new year finds you well. You'll have to tell us all about your long, authentic, and very sincere observance as soon as you are back at work next week.

Allen's Mother Revealed Jewish Heritage to Him Last Month [Washington Post]
Senator Jethro, or whatever your name is, I don't think I like you [No One Appreciates Me]

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I, too, am disappointed by this military coup

President Bush today said he was "disappointed" by the miliary coup in Thailand. Let me take this opportunity to say for the record that I, too, am disappointed by this move to take over that nation. Why, not only am I disappointed, I am...well, I'm chagrined! I'm cornswaggled!

It's like this morning. I went to make a cup of coffee, and there was no low-calorie sweetener left in the bucket. What a disappointing turn of events! Then, on top of that, the maid told me she couldn't get the caviar stain out of my cummerbund. "I am very disappointed in you, Rosmerta," I said. And if all of that wasn't enough, I then find out about this bloodshed in the streets of Bangkok, and that, too, disappointed me. It's just been one of those days. Hey, I know what I'll do to perk myself up...I'll go out for Thai food.

The following football announcer phrases are hereby banned:

The following phrases are inane and overused by football announcers, and are thus banished to the cosmos:

1) "Bounce it to the outside"

2) "Terrell Owens"

2) "That pass had some mustard on it"

3) "This is what it's all about"

4) "They have some road graders on that offensive line"

5) "This team is struggling as of late"

6) "I talked to so-and-so yesterday"

7) "They have some real horses up front"

8) "They just don't have the horses up front"

9) "put the ball on the ground"

10) "So-and-so is really gonna hear about that one in the film room next week."

11) "I love Brett Favre. Sexually."

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

NBC helping me feel slightly less jealous of friends with HBO

I'm not normally much for TV shows. Not to say I don't watch TV, because everyone watches TV. Want to spot a pretentious liar? Ask someone if they watch TV, and if they say "no," you've got your liar. But for the most part, I'm more of a sports watcher than a show watcher.

Anyway, I watched the premiere of
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip last night on NBC, and what can I say, I loved it. Matthew Perry and Brad Whitford are a good foundation, Amanda Peet is smoking hot, and there seems to be fertile ground for comedy, drama, and social commentary (which, unlike the rest of the world, I think is actually a good thing). The Post review was fairly negative, but I disagree. Tom Shales said it was "more ho-hum than ho-ho," but I noticed that rather than go directly for laughs, the show tried to do things like "develop the characters" and "establish the story" in this first episode. Maybe the first episode isn't the best place to do that? Hey, I'm no high-salary TV critic.

Also this week is the season premiere of
The Office, also on NBC (I'll take that payment in cash, thanks, NBC). This is probably my favorite show on TV right now. Hilarious, believable, relatable, and affecting. What more could you want? Plus, with Jim confessing his feelings for Pam, I haven't been this emotionally involved in a romantic subplot since Kevin Arnold wooed Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. Couldya die?

So it should be good. Hey, with the way football season is shaping up so far, I could use some new TV diversions.

Not Live! Not From New York! It's 'Studio 60'... [Washington Post]
The Office [NBC]
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip [NBC]

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Mark Brunell, you're on notice

Once again, I'm stealing from Stephen Colbert. But again, with good reason. Mark Brunell, I'll get to you in a second. First, I have some semi-self-congratulatory news. Remember my Redskins post last week? In it I predicted:
Redskins drop the first two games...Players and coaches shrug and make comments along the lines of "I don't know how to explain it, we're such a talented group," and "we're staying positive."
In today's Post article on last night's loss to Dallas, we read:
Nobody in the Washington Redskins' locker room knew how to explain why they were heading home winless..."I'm still confident. I'm confident in everything we're doing," said wide receiver Santana Moss.
Once again, my wizarding abilities have shone through. But anyway, judging by Moss's constant head-shaking on the field last night, I'll assume he was kind of sort of lying about his feelings on the Skins QB play, which was dismal and abysmal. And that is why, Mr. Brunell, you are on notice.

Redskins History in Pictures: The Brunell Years.

In his quote, Moss was defending Brunell's 197 yard, zero touchdown, one interception performance. And the stats are actually BETTER than what actually happened. Let's go to the play-by-play game breakdown. Here we see that 112 of his 197 yards came in the fourth quarter, when the game was already out of reach. So for the portion of the game that was actually contested, Brunell threw for 85 yards. Eight. Fiver. He underthrew, overthrew, couldn't avoid pressure, missed open guys, and generally looked uncomfortable in the offense. Does that about sum it up? Oh, wait, there's also the fact that he can't throw a football 30 yards. The only one he threw more than 20 actually sprouted wings and started quacking in midair. If only the ball had migrated out of the stadium. Alas, it was intercepted at the goalline to kill any remaining Skins momentum. Ball game.

Unleash the Mark Brunell Deep Ball!

But of course, no quarterback change is coming. This could be because Gibbs and Brunell are brothers in the Christian Right whose on-field relationship hinges on more than what actually happens on the field. Or, it could be that we don't have other options. Todd Collins, anyone? I love the drink that bears his name. Wait, that's a Tom Collins. Okay, so Todd Collins has nothing going for him. And (alleged) QB-of-the-future Jason Campbell hasn't exactly wowed anyone.

So for now, we're stuck with this completely washed-up guy trying to convince himself he can still handle things. It's like watching an old person on their first day as a grocery store clerk, and the line is 10 deep, and some guy is insisting that shredded coconut is not technically a taxable item in this county, and a woman just started slapping her kid, and the manager is on break, and the UPC scanner just broke.

I know it's not all Brunell's fault. The O-line sucked, the secondary was repeatedly burned, and they're still without Clinton Portis. Still, a lot of it is on Brunell. His NFL career is D-U-N, done. You know it, I know it, the Redskins' opponents know it, the American people know it. The sooner something -- anything -- is done to fix it, the better. But the first step, Redskins, is admitting you have a problem.

Texas Toast [Washington Post]
In burgundy, simply undressed [Washington Times]
God Squad - Joe Gibbs, the Washington Redskiks, Mark Brunell, Champions for Christ, etc. [Washington City Paper]

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Bush: We don't want to "rewrite" the Geneva Conventions. We just want to rewrite them.

Facing a schism in his own party, and with midterm elections looming, Bush is plugging his idea for a law that would "clarify" part of the Geneva Conventions articles, so that America could continue to jail and interrogate terror suspects without access to lawyers, a day in court, the ability to review the evidence against them, etc.

And I say, have at it, Bush. Screw the fact that the world (well, the civilized part of it, anyway) has used
the Geneva Conventions as a way of humanely dealing with war prisoners and such since the end of World War II. It took Bush's razor-sharp eye for legislative and regulatory details to finally reveal this ambiguity in the statutes. Good lookin out, George. After all, a man once said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Bush has read the Geneva Conventions through 15 times.
And he has found a point in need of clarification.

Never mind that John McCain opposes this Bush proposal. McCain was only held and tortured in Vietnam for, what, five years? Now take that, and compare it to Bush's military legacy. Go ahead - compare. I'll wait. Okay, welcome back. Also, never mind that Colin Powell (*coughpussycough*) and some four-star Army general with 46 years of service (*coughgeezercough*) are opposing Bush on the grounds that America should continue to "uphold the values it was founded on," and other mealy-mouthed crap like that. You can't kowtow to these freedom lovers, Bush. After all, you've got our freedom to think about.

Bush Pushes for Terror Legislation [Washington Post]
The GOP Split on Bush [Washington Post]
Reference Guide to the Geneva Conventions [Society of Professional Journalists]
General Powell Opposes Bush Tribunals [Chicago Tribune]

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(photo credit: Dennis Cook - AP)

Maryland's craptastic!

During the first quarter of last night's manhandling of my alma mater Maryland Terrapins by the West Virginia Mountaineers, I got a little nostalgic. Because I couldn't help but harken back to my own years on campus, when the Maryland football team -- featuring such luminaries as Ken Mastrole at QB and, er, a bunch of other scrubby guys -- was really bad.

Remember that gimmick play where we
fumble the kickoff? Well now's the time
to use it. NOW!! ARE YOU READY!!

It just goes to show -- the more things change, the more they stay the same. Ahhhh, yes.

All night, the Terps looked like they were moving through water while the Mounties ran circles around them. Particularly tailback Steve Slaton, who rushed for 195 and two touches. This is kind of funny (and by "funny," I mean "maddening"), but Slaton actually wanted to go to Maryland. Terps coach Ralph Friedgen
passed on Slaton because he had already signed so many other backs (one of whom didn't qualify academically and never played a down for the Terps). This amid rumblings that Friedgen has fallen behind in the ACC recruiting battle. Ah, to be a fly on the wall for that decision. I bet it went something like this:

Scout: Well, this kid Slaton, he's fast as all hell, he's a good kid, and he grew up wanting to play for Maryland.

Friedgen: Nah, I think we're good with Lance Ball, thanks. I really like the way he stops running and braces his body before he makes contact with the line.

Scout: I don't know, Fridge...

Friedgen: Scout, let me ask you a question. Who just appeared in an Under Armour commercial?

Scout: Coach, I--


Scout: You, coach.


Scout: YOU, coach!

Friedgen: Thank you. Now go sign Lance Ball. And be quick about it - I don't want Northeastern Delaware Technical College swooping in there and snapping him up.

Okay, I'm sure it was more complicated than that, and it's easy to pick on someone in hindsight. I still love the Fridge, too, and West Virginia is a legitimately tough team this year. But come on -- what a bad miss on Slaton, and an all-around turtle egg laying under the glare of the ESPN lights last night. Between the Terps and
the Redskins, not shaping up as yet to be a good football season around the NOAM household.

(P.S. Big ups to Aaron...the wife said she saw you on the TV last night.)

Terps Cooked in Fifteen Minutes [Washington Post]
Friedgen: He missed on Slaton [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Whitney leaves Bobby - what's left to believe in?

I apologize if I'm not myself this morning. But the news that Whitney Houston has left Bobby Brown has hit me like a ton of bricks of cocaine. After all, I thought these two lovebirds were in it forever! Just Whit and Bob, against the world. Against those fools in the media, who never understood.

Your love is my love: Whitney and Bobby in happier times, just wasted with love.

They did everything they could, the jealous media and public did, to break them up. They went so far as to
accuse Bobby of cheating. But that can't be the case, haters. Oh, no, it cannot. Because where are the receipts? If Bobby was cheating on Whitney, then there would be receipts! Where are the receipts? I thought as much, vis a vis your lack of receipts. Just admit your mistake, people! Be grown-ups and admit your mistake, and your jealousy. God will forgive you!

But now that the public has won -- and CONGRATULATIONS, public, I HOPE THAT YOU ARE HAPPY -- what is left for this lonely little dreamer to believe in? What do I have left? To quote a famous Whitney line, I have nothing. Nothing. NOTHIIIIIIIIIING!!!!

Whitney Houston, Husband Split [CNN]
Bobby Brown Slams Tamala Jones 'Proposition' Accusation [FemaleFirst]

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(photo credit: Associated Press/CNN)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

George Jefferson, Baraka: Leaders We Can Trust

D.C. and Maryland (among other places) held a lot of important primary elections yesterday. And so far, it seems that the guys I like are finishing first. In the race for the top political spot in Montgomery County, Ike Leggett is leading in the democratic primary (and in Montgmery County, "Democratic Primary" actually means "General Election"), and in the D.C. mayoral primary, Adrian Fenty emerged victorious.

While I celebrate these guys for their politics, I celebrate them even more fervently for their alter egos: Sherman Hemsley and Baraka from Mortal Kombat.

Slap me some skin, baby!

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Finish Him!!!!

Fenty Prevails in Mayor's Race [Washington Post]
Leggett Ahead in Exec Race [The Gazette]

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(Leggett photo credit: Chris Rossi, The Gazette; Fenty photo credit: Bill O'Leary, The Washington Post)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Here's what's going to happen to the Redskins this season

Okay. I know it's only one week in real time, but in actuality, this Redskins season has been going on for six years now. Last night's piddling 19-16 loss to the Vikings was just a continuation of a theme from which the team only momentarily emerges for temporary bouts of success. So to that end, here is my ironclad prediction for the Washington Redskins season. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar.

1) Redskins spend offseason making sweeping coaching changes, high-fiving each other over high-profile free agent signings, reading own press clippings, and woofing about how they are definitely DEFINITELY going to the Super Bowl this year. Not trying to go. Going.

2) Season begins to much fanfare. They drop the first two games in close fashion, due to atrocious special teams, a disorganized offense, inability to stop other teams when it counts, strange and untimely penalties, and plain bad luck.

3) The losses pile up and become a losing streak, culminating with a brutally one-sided loss to a division rival or elite league team (this year, Week 5 at the Giants). Players and coaches shrug and make comments along the lines of "I don't know how to explain it, we're such a talented group," "we're just a play or two away," and "we're staying positive. It's only a matter of time before we turn this thing around."

4) Losses continue. Local and national media put out their annual midseason "What Happened To The Redskins?" pieces. Team is left for dead.

5) Team starts winning.

6) Team puts together winning streak. Fans and local media re-drink the Kool-Aid -- "They can still win the division!"

7) Team has big game that could determine whether they do, in fact, win division -- this season, Week 14 against the Eagles. Redskins lose.

8) Redskins win remaining games, talking all the while of "staying positive" and going for a wild card.

9) Team finishes 9-7 and can still get the wild card -- but they need some help! They need the Cardinals and Cowboys to lose.

10) Cardinals lose.

11) Cowboys win.

12) Despite missing the playoffs, team is "staying positive" due to late-season winning streak. "We're gonna be ready next year," says one player. "I think next year, we could do some big things."

13) Lather, rinse, repeat.

Sorry to be such a Negative Nelly, and I really hope I'm wrong. But am I the only one who feels like he's seen this movie before? Probably not. Go Skins...please make an idiot out of this fan (as you did last year) who's way too young to be such a pessimist.

Thank you,


Kicking Themselves [Washington Post]

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Trimspa: What did we get ourselves into?

Sad news today, as the son of former stripper and gold-digger Anna Nicole Smith was found dead in the Bahamas. In the CNN story:
Authorities had not determined what caused the death of Daniel Smith, whose body was found Sunday morning, said Robin Bonnema, a spokeswoman for Trimspa, the diet products company that has been endorsed by Smith.
Just a hunch, but do you suppose these kinds of statements are not exactly the reason Robin Bonnema originally hooked up with Trimspa? I wonder if the company is having some kind of closed-door meeting right now, with executives saying things like "Look, she did a lot for our profile. But two weeks ago I had to wipe her vomit off our display case at the Bradenton Fitness Expo. And I drive a Dodge Stratus! And now, Robin is giving statments to the media about the death of her son? Where do we draw the line here?"

Anna Nicole Smith wants to talk to you about your lifestyle choices.

Ah, who am I kidding. The Trimspa office is probably just a warehouse somewhere in rural Nebraska. You know where I'm talking about? That warehouse on Methlab Street? Yeah. That's a cool part of town.

Anna Nicole Smith's son dies in Bahamas [CNN]

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Lavar Arrington: the best "almost" player in the NFL

This will be my last NFL post this week (barring anything unforeseen). Well, maybe I'll post about the Redskins tomorrow. But I'll try to keep the subject matter diverse. Or maybe not.

In any case, here are five thoughts on the NFL Week One, cooked down to a fine slurry and encapsulated for easy ingestion.

1) The Texans looked great on Sunday. For one drive.

2) Ready for some inside information?
Reggie Bush - remember the name. You can thank me later. With money, preferably, but it's really up to you.

Ever hear of this guy? You will soon, my will soon.

3) I hate the Eagles, but I hate the Cowboys even more. So it was cool to see "Anti T.O." Donte Stallworth outpace T.O. in an Eagles win versus a Cowboys loss.(Did you notice his number was 18? Opposite of T.O.'s number? Man...what a mindbender.) This will be a great story until Donte remembers that he is a walking hamstring pull.

4) Good God. The Titans are awful.

5) Former Redskin and current Giants LB Lavar Arrington is the best "almost" player in the NFL. I noticed this in his five seasons with the Skins, and now NY fans will notice it, too. Invariably, a game involving Lavar will include repeated utterings of the following phrases:

a) "Quarterback X got the ball away just in time. Lavar Arrington was really bearing down on him. What a freak athlete that guy is. Anyway, first down."

b) "Nice tackle by Linebacker X. Lavar Arrington was also in the vicinity."

c) "If Running Back Y had danced around in the backfield any longer, Lavar Arrington would have gotten to him for a major loss on the play. Arrington got a couple hands on his jersey, but juuuuuust couldn't quite bring him down. Anyway, touchdown."

And that's about it. Overall, I think Lavar has a lot of intellectual and physical charisma. And I don't have a subscription to any fancy-schmancy football stat site. But I would wager dollars to donuts (whatever that means) that Arrington ranks toward the top in categories like Quarterback Hurries, Assisted Tackles, and Helmet Slaps On The Guy Who Actually Made The Play. Oh, and if you want two sacks a game after your team is out of contention, Lavar is your freakin man.
Go Skins tonight. Beat the Vikes!

Owens Can't Lift Cowboys in Opener [Washington Post]
Bush Impressive As Saints Beat Browns [Washington Post]
Stallworth's Stellar Debut Comes Without Attention-Getting Antics [Philadelphia Inquirer]

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Friday, September 08, 2006

I am a magical wizard

Fun NFL opening game last night. It took a while for the teams to get in gear (which is to be expected) but it was great once they did. Batch looked pretty good, and the Pitt D picked up right where it left off.

However, for the purposes of this conversation, that is all beside the point. Because I would now like to direct your attention to the fact that I am a genius.

I would refer you to
yesterday's post here at No One Appreciates Me. And from that post, I quote:

Prediction? Daunte throws three INTs, one of which goes for a touchdown, Willie Parker goes off for 120 yards, and I'm asleep by halftime.
So what actually happened? Let's go to the box score. Daunte throws two INTs (and came within a Troy Polomalu hair of a third), one of which was returned for a touchdown. Willie Parker went off for 128 combined yards. I did manage to stay awake for the whole game, but that's beside the point. The point is, I am a magical freaking wizard. And you must fear my powers.

Steelers Steal Opener From Dolphins [Washington Post]

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tonight...the sovereign football...ascends its autumnal throoooone

And I am quite excited. All the little sports I use to pretend to amuse myself over the summer (soccer? baseball? And what is this "golf" you speak of?) are now but a distant memory. For as the wind begins to blow from the west, and Harlequin Lady Autumn creeps in over the hills, this is when the true sports season begins, and King Football once again returns to reclaim his lordship over all his sporting underlings.

Jon Jansen is the leader of the Washington Redskins

Of course, the NFL season
kicks off tonight, with the Steelers and the Dolphins. Prediction? Daunte throws three INTs, one of which goes for a touchdown, Willie Parker goes off for 120 yards, and I'm asleep by halftime. I'm not sure why people are embracing Daunte so wholeheartedly. Sure, he has a chance to be great again, but what about last season? He threw twice as many INTs as TDs. Oh yeah, and his leg fell off after seven games. I'm not saying anything...I'm just saying.

But as you may know, my real allegiances lie with that little team called the Washington Redskins. I've been a fan since I was five. I've seen the highs, I've seen the lows. Since I moved to town, though, it's been mostly lows and creamy middles. Last year though, hopefully, was one to build on. But with no offense to speak of as yet, coupled with other nagging things like bad special teams and a chronically injured secondary, I think the hype around here is out of control. Let's focus on getting back to the playoffs again before we start talking Super Bowl. Hasn't anyone around here been paying attention the last seven years? Hype absolutely KILLS this team. They have to be under the radar, or else they self-destruct. So in that spirit, I hereby announce that I think the Redskins suck.

But still, I'm excited it's back. See you next summer, soccer. Take it easy, baseball (I'm in my roto playoffs, so I'll still be watching for a little while). Only 10 more hours now...LET'S GET IT ON!

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(Photo credit: Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post Photo)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I like this whole carelessly-compare-things-to-Nazism trend

There's a new brand of tough rhetoric taking shape in two of the nation's most respected bastions of quality rhetoric. Do I even need to say what they are? Okay, well for the record, that's The White House and the National Football League. The nature of this new rhetorical tool, you ask? Well, it basically involves comparing anyone who disagrees with you to Hitler and the Nazis, or invoking Hitler or the Nazis in order to make some larger point.

From the Aug. 31 Washington Post:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, citing passivity toward Nazi Germany before World War II, said that "many have still not learned history's lessons" and "believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased."
From the Sept. 6 Washington Post:
"Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is: Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say?"
And of course, who could forget the stinging words of spurned NFL running back Kevan Barlow, who after being traded made THIS scathing statement about his coach, former Redskins Ineptitude Coordinator Mike Nolan:
He has too much power as a first-time head coach. He walks around with a chip on his shoulder, like he's a dictator, like he's Hitler. People are scared of him. If it ain't Nolan's way, it's the highway."
I don't know about you, but I'm certainly a student of good rhetoric (I read my Plato early). And as such, I'm getting in on the ground floor with this one.

Here's an example of how this rhetoric can be used: "Hey, buddy! Not supporting the troops? Sounds like Nazi talk to me!" See what happened in that example? It's an airtight argument! I have completely neutralized my opponent's argument. There is absolutely nothing he or she can say.

And it works in so many ways. Don't like me peeing on your car? Go to hell, Hitler! You want my work completed "on deadline?" Fire up the Wermacht, Gestapo! You call this kosher pastrami? Suck it...Hitler!

See, the power of this argument is that six million people were killed by the Nazis. That's why it carries so much weight, and makes anything you compare to it seem that much stronger. This is going to revolutionize debate as we know it. Don't say you weren't warned. Because, you know, that's what the Nazis would say.

Bush Warns of Enduring Terror Threat [Washington Post]
Bush Team Casts Foes as Defeatist [Washington Post]
Barlow lashes out at Nolan [Contra Costa Times]

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back to reality

Well, it was a great few days of down time, but these back-to-reality days sometimes don't make it seem worth it. I'd say the first day after the Labor Day weekend, which signals the unofficial end of summer, start of the school year, etc., is the second worst standing date on each calendar. The absolute worst day would have to be the first day back after the New Year's break, because the holiday break is really long, and after that it's nothing but a wasteland of meaningless winter drudgery until St. Paddy's and March Madness come and save the day. Heading up the medal winners is Valentine's Day, which makes me sick even though I have a wife. I hate that day, too. Other than that, I think the calendar's pretty solid.

Anyway, this has been a particularly brutal back-to-reality day today. First of all, because it's pouring rain. My commute consists of about two miles of walking (one way) so when it's pouring rain, I am pretty much, how do you say, fucked. I am totally soaked right now. I have one of those little portable umbrellas, but when it's really coming down, I might as well be holding a wad of toilet paper over my head.

Secondly, my fellow commuters and I were harrassed by a crazy homeless woman on the train. Now, I don't want to tell the homeless beggars how to run their operations, but maybe the first day back to work after a long holiday that signals the end of most people's favorite season, early in the morning, on a very rainy day, is not the best moment to catch people at the high point of their altruism. But the lady was undeterred. And by "undeterred," I mean "agitated to that special way that only crazy people can reach."

She started out calmly enough. She tapped the sleeping woman in the seat next to me. "Miss?" she quietly implored. "Miss? I'm hungry. And I'm pregnant. I need some mooooooney. Do you have any mooooney?" Now awake and rather frightened, the girl got up and moved away. The woman moved to the next row. Oddly enough, she only approached other women. I don't know for sure whether she was pregnant, but she did smell like dirty diapers. So, you know, maybe that's something.

But as she went down to the end of the car and back, she grew progressively louder and more aggressive. "My baby gonna die without food!" she told the next woman. "How you ain't gonna help me out? That's just crazy!" Funny, I was thinking the same thing.

With her temper rising, by the time she got back to my end I expected her to be green and shouting incoherently. I was half right. "Baby daddy's a woman beater!" she yelled. And now I want someone to beat on! You girls all so pretty now!" she said. "But wait until I fuck you up! You won't be so pretty after that!" She then started stomping her feet menacingly in the general direction of some women nearby her. That was when I put my book in my bag and started clenching and unclenching my fists. She noticed and looked at me for a second (I made no eye contact) and then she moved away. So let that be a lesson to the rest of you crazy homeless pregnant women out there. Mess around with me, and your ass will get rolled on. That's just how I play it, bitches.

So she moved back to the other end of the car, where there was a tousle of wrinkling newspaper, and some shouting, some cursing, and then the woman leaving the train at the next stop. I could see her on the platform, still cursing and stamping and huffing. And that was my morning. Oh, except for the other mile I then had to walk from the train station to my office, in the aforementioned downpour. That was like the cherry on the sundae.

Anyway, back to reality! It's good to be here. Fuck.

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