Friday, December 30, 2011

Craction Pool Week 17 - FINALE!

Hope everyone had a cracker jack Christmas! You heard about mine, so let's move on! This week, we have our season finale of full field so make sure to splash around in the pool and have some fun. The season is too damn short, ain't it?

Once again this week, the winner will have his choice of the following...

a. Donkeybobble
b. Donk Sweatshirt
c. Personal kick in the shins!

Choose wisely, oh winner! And good luck!

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10: Jim Hardy
Week 11: Andy Korinko
Week 12: Ken Jenson
Week 13: Aaron Henderson
Week 14: Ken Gaines
Week 15: Mark Freeman
Week 16:
Week 17:

Jimmy Masterlock's took the week off, satisfied with his stellar 2011 season total of 38-24-3! He's going to rest up, and be ready to KILL the playoffs! So you guys are ON YOUR OWN for this week's craction prize!

Good luck, and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Furniture, Vomit and Records

Greetings from Christmas vacation!

Twas a year in which my wife and I bought less for each other, and I call that progress. Neither one of us wanted the pressure and stress of "wow-ing" the other with some oh-so-perfect gift - paid for, of course, by a joint bank account.

She got permission to order the new dining room table and side board. Something we had tip-toed up to purchasing a while back, before I went all "harumph" on the idea, and basically threw it back into "committee" for nearly 18 months.

Furniture is such a scam, don't get me started.

Yeah, yeah. Handcrafted. Quality materials. Unique styles and pieces. Blah, blah, blah.

They can now make a 82" DLP flat screen TV - with 3D! - for the absurd price of just $1999.

Eighty-two-f'ing-inches, bubba! Suck on that.

And for just under 2K, you almost don't even worry if it breaks. Just throw it out by the curb in a few years, and by then, they'll have a 110 inch 4D model for $1499!

A glorious, complicated, technological marvel such as that can invented, engineered, manufactured, shipped and sold - with a nice slice of retail mark up - for under 2 large, and yet, and YET, a mahogany stained slab of wood with legs and some chairs for that price is deemed unacceptable crap by my lovely bride.

Ezekiel and the settlers were making these dining room tables back in the day. This is not rocket science.

This is a scam.

One would think I could just throw a similar amount of family fundage at the missus and say "Knock yourself out! I'm sure that princely sum of money will bring home the most elegant of dining room tables, replete with comfortable chairs and a side board for our assortment of meats and cheeses!"

No. Not even close.

Ah, but ultimately I conceded that the undersized dining room table from our old residence did look puny and pathetic in our new house. So like most things in married life, you just succumb. She's happy. I'm happy. You can't take it all with you, right?

I balanced that off with a pair of Ryobi cordless tools for my arsenal. A variable speed orbital jig saw, and a 5 and 1/2 inch circular saw - with lazer!

Do I know when I will use these? No.
Do I know how I will use these? No.
Did I need these?

Listen. "Need," had nothing to do with it. I am a man. Me like tools.

At under $50 per, I brought 'em home with the outdoor lights from Home Depot (Ding! Steve Czaban Show sponsor!) and wrapped them myself.


Then just as the Christmas weekend set in, the dreaded fast-moving, highly contagious, nobody-is-getting-out-of-here-alive stomach virus arrived.

It took out, in neat progression, my 9 year old, my wife, my 12 year old, and then of course, me.

It was uncanny. Each one of us was flat on our back for a day, puking our guts out. Then about 36 hours later, back up and running. The virus would wait a day (how polite) before choosing it's next victim.

So there I was, like the last sorority girl standing in a slasher movie, just WAITING for it to come get me. It was awful. I think the knowing/not knowing suspense was worse than the day in bed feeling like two goons had beaten me with pillowcases full of oranges.

Finally, after holding off the vomit monster for a good 12 hours, my will had been broken.

To say it was like Stewie puking in The Family Guy would be an exaggeration. An exaggeration in that I was PUKING WAY HARDER THAN THAT!

The force. The creepy sounding "roar" it produced. The volume. My God.

I never cease to be in wonder of how our bodies were designed to process life sustaining food and water in ONE DIRECTION with our gastro-intestinal tract 99.999% of the time, yet still able to hit REVERSE THRUST when emergency illness dictates.

All of that soft tissue machinery, miraculously geared to allow for a violent and quick exit at a moment's notice.

A Christmas Miracle, I say.

After that, I felt about 200% better, and was able to watch Drew Brees set the single season passing mark on Monday Night Football. A great moment to witness, for an NFL player whose story is, really, too good to be true.

And please don't start selling me on how it was "much harder" in Marino's day, because of the rules, etc. etc. As Tirico and company pointed out with a graphic, Brees' passing yardage average above the league mean, is actually GREATER than Marino's when he set the record.

So how, exactly, is it "easier" now?

If the NFL is just "Full Sized Arena Football" now, as some cranks will say, then why doesn't every team just throw for 5,000 plus yards per year? I mean, doesn't everybody have a QB who completes 70% of his passes?

Geez, it's so easy to do right now. I mean, gosh. I hear all the time from fans: "You know, having a great QB just isn't that important. Anyone can throw for 350 yards a game."

I then went to sleep and woke up to read on Twitter that Jon Gruden appears headed back to the sideline. Oh, joy. No more "THIS guy" and the fake perma-snarl lecturing me on how great everybody is on MNF.

May the Christmas Miracles continue!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kim Jong Il: The Gift That Keeps Giving

Nothing like the death of a repressive, maniacal, and dysfunctional world menace, to provide days and weeks of pure comedy via the good ol' interwebs.

First, you gotta read about  successor Kim Jong Un and his earnest dream of becoming an NBA player, in the mold of his idol, Mike Jordan.
He also shares his dad's enthusiasm for sports. Kim Jong Il was an NBA fanatic, with a special love for the Jordan-era Bulls. He reportedly had a vast video library of Jordan games and, during a visit to Pyongyang in the late '90s, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright brought Kim an official NBA ball signed by Jordan. (There's a Facebook group dedicated to getting it back.) His hoop dreams even extended to making basketball a kind of adopted national pastime; a 2006 San Diego Union-Tribune story details a full-scale appropriation that includes giving the game a new scoring system: "three points for a dunk, four points for a three-pointer that does not touch the rim and eight points for a basket scored in the final three seconds. Miss a free throw, and it's minus one." The Kim Jong Il NBA connection has not gone un-Tweeted upon: "Breaking news: David Stern blocks Kim Jong IL's son as successor. For basketball reasons."
Then, you need to visit this website, dedicated to nothing but the "Dear Leader" um, looking at things.

Then, you need to take 4 minutes of your precious time, and rock out to Party Rock Anthem, ft. Kim Jong Il.

Then, we can all pray that the new kid doesn't push his pudgy little finger on the nuke button, and start WWIII!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Like A Club Pro Teeing It Up With Kim Jong Il"

Sometimes, I wish I could hit a golf ball like Tiger Woods. Or dunk a basketball like LeBron James. Or look as smashingly studly as George Clooney.

Or in this case, I wish I could write as well as Gerry Callahan.

Callahan, succinctly conveys my exact thoughts about what we saw between Tom Brady and Tim Tebow on Sunday at Mile High.

And by "exact thoughts" I really mean: "My mostly similar thoughts, but far more poorly organized and expressed."

Here's a little of Callahan's brilliance, but please give the entire column a read, and give his employing news entity their deserved page views.
It was like shoving the cute little coat-check girl up on the runway with Gisele. It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right, but it sure was revealing. Tim Tebow, the comic book hero who had led the Denver Broncos to six straight wins and inspired the nation, caught a tough break at Sports Authority Field on Sunday. 
The NFL schedule-maker put him on stage next to Tom Brady [stats], also known as God’s nephew, and just like that, Tebow looked as small and confused as one of the monkeys riding a dog at halftime. It was like a club pro teeing it up with Kim Jong Il. 
NFL quarterback might be — no, is — the toughest job in sports. It takes so much to play the position well, but two things are at the top of the list: decision making and accuracy. You’ve got to make the right decisions in a split second and you’ve got to deliver the ball on target. On Sunday in Denver, we saw Tebow do some really cool things — break tackles, run away from defenders (forward and backward). What we did not see was great decisions or many accurate throws. 
Even on the read options — part of an offense designed just for him — he sometimes read the Pats defenders like he was Snooki reading Charles Krauthammer. He looked confused, hesitant. On his critical fumble, he made the wrong read. Even on his first touchdown, he read the play incorrectly and ran into Rob Ninkovich, before using his superior strength and quickness to break away. 
As for his accuracy, Tebow was 11-for-22 for 194 yards. While playing from behind. Against the worst secondary in the NFL. Again, he threw no interceptions (just two on the year), but there is a reason for that. He takes no chances. Even on fourth down, he chose to run backward 28 yards and take a sack rather than throw one up and hope his receiver could make a play.
That is, in a nutshell, the position. Decision making. Accuracy. Period.

Oh sure, leadership, toughness, an encyclopedic memory to absorb playbooks and audibles, work ethic and God given talent are all in that mix as well.

But it's really just making a good, quick decision, and putting that brown leather missile right into a gnat's ear a split second before some 38-IQ lineman hits you like a dump truck on a Prius.

Maybe Tebow gets a lot better at THROWING the football. Maybe his COMBINATION of sorta okay throwing, and pretty damn good running, is a winning combination in the long run.

If you are the Broncos, yes, you HAVE to see "more of the movie" on this guy. Just keep your expectations low. Defensive coordinators love nothing more than to reverse engineer the latest offensive fad in the NFL, and then proceed to hunt it down week by week until it's extinct.

(Ref: see, Wildcat Offense, Run-N-Shoot, et al.)

And there's nothing wrong in rooting for the guy. He's a definite smile producer in sports, even if it's a "I can't believe this guy is getting so much hype" wry smile.

Chances are, this fad won't last. When's it's over, it'll be over. So enjoy it, while you can. And in the meantime, take a minute to appreciate the league's genuine aces at the position.

Even the ones like Brady, who have been so good, for so long, we treat them like the hot Christmas toy from last year, tucked away in a closet somewhere, taken totally for granted.

Just How "Banged Up" Is Your Favorite NFL Team?

I love it when fans, and sometimes, even coaches and players talk about how "banged up" they are.

It's like they think each and every injury to (insert key player here) is somehow unique and horrible in a way that no other team in the league can understand.

Oh, woe is us!

The excuse making is convenient for fans who choose to be delusional, or coaches who don't mind something to shift the blame on. But it's pure crap.

It's the NFL, everyone's hurt. Everyone's "banged up."

And yet, I have always wondered why nobody has come up with a decent "injury index" based on "starter games lost?"

Surely, with the absurd and complicated BCS formulas in use, some good stat nerd could whip up a nice easy shorthand statistic we can throw around to compare JUST HOW injured every team is in the NFL, at certain points of the season.

Pro Football Weekly has an annual "Injury Report", which I think is excellent. 

While it may be a rather "dry" read, when you breeze through it, you realize that your own team's injury woes may well be mild in comparison to other teams.

And then there are teams like the Bears, who lose their starting QB and starting RB within two weeks of each other. That, in theory shouldn't be a death blow, but only the very lucky, or deep, teams don't start taking on water quickly when that occurs.

Or how about Kansas City? Todd Haley is - to my eye, at least - an arrogant jackass of a coach who has never won anything. But he DID go to the playoffs last year, if that matter to anybody. So he's not exactly "incompetent."

But Haley this year lost his QB, his stud RB, his best TE, and his young stud S.

And he got fired.

Which I know, was reportedly due to personality conflicts with boss Scott Pioli. But really. Where was he going to go, with those losses to IR? The playoffs?

Of course, with Romeo Crennel now in charge, babysitting until the season is done, and with the improbable win over the Packers, guess what?

The Chiefs are NOT YET eliminated!

So I suppose I should tell them, what everyone should tell everyone else: "Shut up about your injuries, and just play."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Television. The Sweetest Slice of the NFL Revenue Pie

When the NFL players started getting itchy pants this summer as the lockout reached a critical go or no-go junction, I believed they balked at the very moment of truth where they could have thrown league owners into a full blown panic.

When you think of these last few months, and then close your eyes and imagine NO football on Sundays, it's impossible to overstate the financial carnage that would be wreaked on the owners, the TV networks, and everyone else down the line on the NFL "food chain."

Sure, the players would have lost out too. But their losses were basically fixed. Most were under contract. Many of those contracts crappy and one-sided. And while their careers are short, losing a half season or a whole season would not have been nearly the financial ruin as old men with huge stadium mortgages.

But eh, when it came down to it, the prevailing wisdom was "why bother, we are ALL going to be rich! Watch these next TV deals!"

Sure enough, the television Fort Knox doors were swung open this past week, and sure enough, the players are going to be in the chips. Especially since they now get 55% of all TV revenue, and they agreed to let owners keep more of the "local" club revenue (i.e. stadium gate).

Guess which part of the NFL pie looks tastier going forward?

Forbes laid it out this week in even more detail.
This week, the NFL announced that nine-year extensions were reached withFOX, CBS and NBC that will run through 2022. The agreements kick in at the end of this season. It has been reported that in-total, those deals alone could translate to $3 billion annually, up from $1.9 billion prior. That’s an approx. 37% increase. That doesn’t include the $1 billion annual amount paid by DirecTV for Sunday Ticket out-of-market package, or ESPN’s recent extension that increased to $1.9 billion annually. All told, each year the NFL will see television revenues that hit an eye-popping $5.9 billion. 
But it was the shrewd move by DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA that really makes the deal kick up player salaries. 
A key negotiating point that the players came in with was the minimum amount of the cap that the owners needed to spend. Instead of clubs having lower payroll, which cut margins and increased profits, the players fought for, and got, a provision by which clubs have to spend 99% of the cap in each of the first two years of the new labor deal and decreases to a lower amount over the life of the CBA. 
What does it all mean? 
With the massive boost in TV money coming in, along with a fixed amount that owners must spend on player salaries based on incoming revenues, player salaries across the board are going to skyrocket beginning next year as that 55% of television money hits the coffers in conjunction with the television rights extensions. In doing the math, just TV money translating to player salaries in the cap space comes in at approx. $3.245 billion for next season, alone.
Okay, so I'm a dummy who has now learned his lesson.

The next time any league threatens a "lock out" or "strike" or "shutdown" or whatever, I will just yawn and say "call me when you are ready for my money again."

Sure, our cable bills and DirecTV Sunday Ticket is going to skyrocket because of these deals, but what are you going to do? Not have cable? Not watch professional tackle football on Sundays?

Right. Thought so.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"All He Does Is Win..." Steve Porter Strikes Again!

Craction Pool Week 15

Last week, Ken Gaines was our winner and he had a simple request: "How about the ol' Donkey Sweatshirt (size L is all we have left kids!) instead of the rare Donkeybobble?"

Well sir, no skin of my donkey's ass! Your wish is my command!

As such, this week, the winner will have his choice of the following...

a. Donkeybobble
b. Donk Sweatshirt
c. Personal kick in the nuts!

Choose wisely, oh winner! And good luck!

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10: Jim Hardy
Week 11: Andy Korinko
Week 12: Ken Jenson
Week 13: Aaron Henderson
Week 14: Ken Gaines

Personally, I'm going to roll with Jimmy Masterlock's Picks, this week, because he IS a staggering 33-21-3!

Packers -15 at Kansas City

Panthers +7 at Texans

Raiders +2 vs. Lions

Patriots -7 at Broncos

and add onto it.. for Purposes...
Seahawks +4 at Bears
Saints -7 at Vikings

Good luck! Have fun. And tell a few friends!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can You Say.... "Awkward...."?

Sweet! Who did we get! Alright! And who did we give up?

Oh... okay. Shhh. He's right here.

<a href=';src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Kaman, Gordon react' >Video: Kaman, Gordon react</a>

FOX Sports West was with the Clippers on Wednesday as they worked with children at a Los Angeles-area elementary school before visiting airmen at Los Angeles Air Force Base. But a surprise came when the team learned All-Star guard Chris Paul was officially headed to LA, and our cameras caught DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin's reaction upon hearing the news in this exclusive video.


<a href=';src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Lob City' >Video: Lob City</a>

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Emperor Stern

I have read with great amusement the moaning, stomping, and wailing by various NBA writers, pundits, analysts and enthusiasts about David Stern's recent spiking of the Chris Paul to the LA Lakers trade.

It seems, for once in sports history, there is universal agreement on a subject.

Stern is out of control. This is unfair. The league is a joke.

Not just "consensus." But unanimity.

Given that I am in the business of arbitrating sports arguments about a wide variety of topics, I have rarely - if ever - seen a topic that has virtually nobody willing to take "the other side."

Not even Steven A. Smith or Skip Bayless seems to want to give Stern and the owners an "attaboy" on killing this trade.

So, allow me.

Good for David Stern.

Here's why.

The Players Association, had every chance to solve the issue of one team falling into ownership hands of the other 29 owners. They had this issue, and all others on the table this summer, and into the fall, when the league was in a lockout over a new CBA.

And guess what?

The players caved and settled, so they could have a season. They didn't address what to do about the New Orleans Hornets.

And now, what happened, has happened. And nobody can stop it.

Sure, they could sue. But I doubt they would win, or that it would yield a positive result in a timely fashion. You can scream about how the deal was fair, and that Stern and the owners reneged on their stated "plan" to let Dell Demps run the team "independently" within a set "budget".

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

In the end, you let the league hold this chess piece, and they are moving it around the board as they see fit. What, you didn't see this coming?

Geez. Wake up, people.

It's like the NFLPA is coming to realize on player conduct penalties as handed down by Roger GODdell. You had a chance to address this, and trim it into shape when you had the chance, and you passed.

So guess what?

You're screwed.

Now, all of this doesn't meant that I think what Stern and the owners did on the Paul trade was remotely "fair" or made sense. It was neither.

But it doesn't matter.

So stop bellyaching about not being able to cherry pick a star player from a league-owned basketball orphanage. Stern and company can lock the doors anytime they like, and they might even be doing all of this on purpose, to drive the Hornets into the ground and then contract them.

Hey, anything is possible.

Next time the league wants to take over a team and run it like a fantasy farm club, tell them "not so fast my friend."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kate Upton is "bouncy.."

.....mmmmm. Booobbbieesss.....

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Suck for Luck Chart

UPDATED as of Tuesday 12/13/11.

See this link at for a better, detailed breakdown of how ties are broken at the standings, or "top" of the draft order.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pete Morelli Is Neo: He Stops Time

Pete Morelli and his crew were able to stop time at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

The review of the Aaron Rodgers fumble/incomplete pass took about 10 minutes in real time. It felt like forever. I was running around the house and actually was able to load the fireplace with fresh wood, and start a fire from scratch - ALL WHILE they were dithering over this one play, in a game that had already been blown wide open.

As Dave Barry likes to say: "I am not making this up."

The "whoosh" from the crumpled newspaper had just engulfed my logs in a pleasing inferno, I stepped back to admire my work, then glanced over at the TV and thought: "Holy shit, they are STILL on this play?"

But alas, replay fanatics will say that nothing is more important than "getting the call right."

So what if it takes 10 minutes of watching your beer ice over in the stands? Right, things must be RIGHT! At all times. Always. And how do we know what "right" is? Well, we have RULE books, and the rules are simple, except when they are not.

And plays on the field, with the aid of 30 frames-per-second of 1080 interlaced lines of high definition video, from multiple camera angles, simply can NEVER be wrong!

Except when they are wrong. Or most people think the call is still wrong.

It only takes one referee, who has to walk to his car after the game, to make a HUMAN judgement on all those lines of resolution and still frames of video.

His opinion, vs. the world.

This is not science. There is no such thing as "conclusive evidence."

And so now, the replay system in the NFL, with its myriad of mechanisms, produces such grotesque interruptions of games, and an often oddly distorted sense of "hey, was that really fair?"

Imagine if you had to EXPLAIN the replay system to a complete football novice from another country? It would go something like this.

Replay is simple....

Either coach can challenge a call by the referees in the game.
Except holding, pass interference, personal fouls, and well, many many other things.
But you can challenge fumbles, catches, in/out of bounds and interceptions.
When the whistle blows, the play is not necessarily over.
If a guy recovers a fumble, after the whistle, and they *think* he wasn't helped by the whistle, that's okay.
You only get two challenges per game.
You can't challenge a play after the next play has been run, no matter what.
If you are RIGHT on both challenges, you get one more. But that's it, win or lose.
Losing a challenge costs you a timeout.
If you are out of timeouts, you are out of challenges.
Under 2 minutes in each half, the wise men in the booth call for challenges.
If you think they have missed a big one, too bad, you may not challenge. Ever.
All scoring plays are challenged. Except field goals that are over the top of the goalpost.
These challenges are "free" because the booth conducts them.
However, if a player is wrongly ruled to have not scored a TD, then you have to spend a challenge.
Sorry if you don't have one.
Replays can only take 90 seconds, because we gotta keep things moving.
Wait, what? Never mind. Nobody has enforced that last one in years.

Compounding this weekly nonsense, is the NFL's rash of safety related "points of emphasis." These are "rules" which are more like "guidelines" because every referee has his own "guess" as to how strict to enforce them.

Hits on QB's are the most controversial.

In the Redskins-Patriots game, QB Rex Grossman, scrambling from pressure, fading away, threw a wounded duck that was picked off. However, because DE Andre Carter dove at him as he was fading away, and grazed his legs, the play was ruled "roughing the passer."

Because once upon a time, a very popular quarterback named "Tom Brady" got hit in his leg and missed an entire season. As you recall, the league suffered massive financial losses, and almost had to cancel the Super Bowl due to lack of interest.

Oh, wait, no they didn't.

Not a goddamn thing happened bad to the league because of that. One bad thing happened to one popular player, and the NFL went and turned the rule book into something more restrictive than "date night" at the Duggar household.

So if you are a Redskins fan, you are secretly fist pumping like mad on your sofa at this call, because it was like stealing a car in broad daylight, and then watching the cop who is chasing you drive right into a train.

But alas, karma, and the NFL rulebook is a bitch, because later in the game, this same "very popular player", Tom Brady, runs for a first down, and gets his ass whomped real good because he's so damn slow, he even slides slow.

You see, if a QB slides, you can't hit him. At all. Anywhere. But if he's not YET sliding, then he's fair game. When does a "slide" begin? I don't know. Conception? Ask the Duggars.

So even though London Fletcher is one of the most straight-up, clean tackling, good-guy, anti-James Harrison linebackers the league has ever known, the referee decides he better "even things up" just a bit from the previous horseshit call.

And this referee, mind you, one Jeff Triplette, fucked up a few weeks ago by not knowing the overtime rules format for the regular season, which of course, is now DIFFERENT from the post-season. He's also a referee who blinded an offensive lineman by firing his lead-filled penalty flag into his eye.

(I seriously can't remember an NFL referee ever getting FIRED, for just plain sucking. Except for maybe the infamous Phil Luckett, who jacknifed an overtime coin-toss, requested to be demoted "back judge" and then was likely shot in the head in the Vegas desert by a league office goon. I haven't seen that beak-nosed loser in some time. Have you?)

On top of all of this, Triplette just kinda "wings it" out there on calls, quite often picking up flags, claiming there was no penalty on the play.

So after talking with a few guys on his crew while Fletcher went positively crazy in disbelief, Triplette decides he would just "wing it" one more time on this call, and claim that Fletcher had hit Brady in the HEAD with an elbow, which would, technically, be a penalty.

Replay, however, proved otherwise. Unless Tom Brady's "head" is in an area commonly referred to as your "stomach."

Oh, boy wouldn't it have been nice to challenge that one!

Ha! Guess what! You can't suckers!

Because we want these games to be RIGHT, no matter how complicated getting the calls RIGHT might be, or how long it may take. But we admit, there's only so much "right" that we can massage into a game of human error and almost comical rule book complexity.

So on the game went, when the Redskins managed to tie the game with a TD pass to Santana Moss in the final two minutes. Except there was a flag for "offensive pass interference" nullifying the score - a call about as rare as somebody being prosecuted for firing their musket in a crowded saloon.

The Columbia Broadcasting System, which was telecasting this game to the home audience, understood the gravity of this crushing judgement call, which was not reviewable by replay, and as such... decided to NEVER SHOW THE PLAY AGAIN!

The highly paid announcers also moved along briskly, hardly mentioning the call at all.




And then there was this Al Riveron abortion in the "Don't Call Us Phoenix" Cardinals game....

Friday, December 9, 2011

Craction Pool Week 14

It's CRACTION POOL TIME for December!

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10: Jim Hardy
Week 11: Andy Korinko
Week 12: Ken Jenson
Week 13: Aaron Henderson

Personally, I'm going to roll with Jimmy Masterlock's Picks, this week, because he IS a staggering 31-19-3!

Ravens -17 vs. Colts

Texans +3 at Bengals

Giants +3 at Cowboys

Patriots -9 at Redskins

and add onto it.. for Purposes...
Eagles +3 at Dolphins
Bears +4 at Broncos

Good luck! Have fun. And tell a few friends!


A cherished, and rare Donkey Bobblehead! I thought they had all been given out, but lo and behold, I uncovered a reserve stash in the basement. Hooray!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Game of Honor, Indeed

I have no personal connection to Army v. Navy. I have no immediate family members who are current or former service members. I don't know many friends or neighbors who serve either.

That said, I hold these men and women in tremendous awe.

Showtime has produced what looks like an absolutely EPIC, "Save Until I Delete" caliber documentary on the game, the nature of the service academies, and the passion that goes into this rivalry.

I've only seen the 30 minute "making of" preview, the full documentary airs December 21st, following the game on Saturday.

If this won't give you chicken-skin, nothing will. You might just be dead.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

19th Annual Bob and Brian Open Video

Okay, so this isn't the most timely of posts, but hey, I finally got the project done!

For everyone who came out to the 19th Annual Bob and Brian Open charity golf tournament, thank you once again for supporting Bob and Brian, and a great cause, the MAAC Fund.

For everyone involved, too numerous to mention here (and hell, it's been 4 months so I will inevitably forget some names) thanks for helping make this event flat out.... awesome.

PS: Next year, for the big 20th Anniversary, one word: FIREWORKS.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Don

If you like to think of Joe Paterno as a gentle, sort-of-out-of-it old man, who just liked to coach young men to play football the "right way" and live a simple life in a smallish rambler home on the outskirts of campus, well, here's another JoePa.

Joe Pa, bidnessman.

And when it comes to conflict of interest on reporting Jerry Sandusky's alleged shower rape of a 10 year old boy, well, here's some serious smoke. 

Soon we'll see if there's fire.
Paterno and three other investors — including the chairman of the charity, The Second Mile — helped secure funding to build a $125 million luxurious retirement community on Penn State property in 2002, according to the iPad newspaper The Daily. 
Paterno, 84, also had deals with charity members on a bottled-water company, a coaching Web site and a chain of convenience stores. 
Paterno, who was fired for not doing more to stop the alleged abuse, made an initial investment of $125,000 for the retirement project, which went bust. 
“From a logical standpoint, how do you have this group of people that are so intertwined with each other, and then have something like this come up, and then they not talk about it?” Jeffrey Fritz told The Daily.
Like I said a few weeks ago: I think what we find out about Joe Paterno in the coming months, will melt our heads.

Monday, December 5, 2011

This Makes Tiger's Victory Complete

Epic. A "tornado whiff", a "donkey" and making it "rain" with the bubbly in da club!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Huge Computers Decide They Want to See LSU v. Alabama One More Time!

Look, you can complain all you like. You can howl to the moon, you can humiliate the nerds with their "formulas" and the corrupt conference commissioners who manipulate the process behind the scenes.

None of it matters.

The cash matters, and that's about it.

So the BCS has produced a re-match between two teams that are - without any real argument - no worse than 1, 2 or 3 in the country.

Somebody had to lose out. Sorry, Oklahoma State.

Now, let's move onto to the bigger story. When are we going to get an actual, Division I football playoff?

Four teams, 8 teams, 16 teams. Max.

Bracket this bitch up, and let's play, right?

Well, until the financial house of cards upon which the entire "bowl system" is built, gets toppled by consumer indifference, nothing is going to change.

The system is profitable, for the people running the system.

Even though it's a complete sham for many of the schools.

The prime example is UConn last year, which took a multi-million dollar bath last January for the "priviledge" of making a BCS Bowl.

People were tweeting on Saturday about how Houston losing was going to "cost" the conference potentially $14 million in BCS revenue. Oh really? If Houston saw how many tickets the BCS would make them purchase at gunpoint, full price, they might have blown a gasket.

I'm not so sure Houston and C-USA didn't dodge a major financial bullet by missing the BCS, their wounded pride not withstanding.

I just watched Kirk Herbstreit wondering about the Virginia Tech "at large" selection for the Sugar Bowl, saying while he knows "they will bring alot of fans" he quickly added "is this what this is all about."

Duh. Yes.

Has been for about, oh, forever.

So sure, VaTech will travel their proud fan base to New Orleans after the holidays. And so will Michigan fans, thankful to be back in a meaningful bowl game again, for the first time since 2006.

And the register will ring. And nothing will change.

If you go to any of these games. If you purchase a ticket, either directly, or on the secondary market. If you get a free ticket, and pay for parking. If you do all that but ride in somebody else's car, and only buy one tiny soda at the game.

Well then, congrats. You have helped feed the beast. The system that will not die.

The system that has to resort to complex, byzantine computer formulas and flawed "human" polls, to give us ONE, little measly game of importance in the sport's "post-season."

Don't complain to me about "who got screwed." You then, are the ones giving the BCS powers the tube of lube.

This Should Explain the Whole "Honey Badger" Thing...

Every now and then, something gets really "big" on the ol' "interwebs" and yet, you, a seemingly savvy web surfer somehow "miss" it.

When it comes to LSU's insanely elusive and tough defensive back, Tyrann Mathieu - aka "The Honey Badger" - you may now just be saying: "What in the hell is THAT all about."

Well then, my friend. Sit back, and enjoy....

You tell me what's more insane: a badger that snacks on COBRAS like they are chicken wings? Or a guy who eludes top tier D1 defenders like this....

Friday, December 2, 2011

Craction Pool Week 13

It's CRACTION POOL TIME for December!

Once again, at stake this week, is a rare and mint condition, tag-still-on-it Fightin' Donkey Sweatshirt! One size fits all!


Because that's all I have left! So you'll either have to squeeze into it, lose some weight, or gift it to a smaller friend, wife, or child.

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10: Jim Hardy
Week 11: Andy Korinko
Week 12:

Personally, I'm going to roll with Jimmy Masterlock's Picks, this week, because he IS a staggering 29-17-3!

New Orleans -9 vs. Detroit

Oakland +3 at Miami

Giants +7 vs. Packers

Cincinnati +7 at Pittsburgh

and add onto it.. for Purposes...

Chicago -7 vs. Kansas City
NY Jets -3 at Washington

Good luck! Have fun. And tell a few friends!


Owl.. My... God!

A soccer player has kicked a live owl "mascot" to death.

Yep. Soccer. The beautiful game. The civilized game.

What makes this heartbreaking incident even more distressing and enraging is that Moreno purposefully approached the stunned bird lying on the field -- after being accidentally injured with the ball -- issuing a fatal blow to the owl, punting it with a powerful kick. Both opponents and team-mates looked on, watching the entire incident with disbelief. Local fans were outraged and shouted "Murderer" at the player. 
During an interview, according to Reuters, trying to apologize for his violent action, Moreno justified his sad behavior by saying "I was not trying to hurt the owl. I did it to see if it would fly. What I wanted to do was get it off the field. The kick was a product of tension on the field at the time." 
Following treatment the owl mascot appeared to be improving, but a report issued by the local press, "Triunfo", said attending veterinarian, Camilo Tapia commented that the bird "went into a state of shock and died". 
In Colombia, animal cruelty laws can punish offenders with sentences of up to three months in jail that many people are hoping Moreno will receive. Enraged local activists are also urging league officials to permanently expel Moreno from the team.
This guy should be hung from the highest limb, right next to that idiotic Toomer's Oaks tree-killer, Harvey Updyke Jr.

I'm not kidding. When it comes to birds and trees, I'm as crunchy as an Oregon granola freak.

Owls are badasses. Big, weird, creepy looking, reclusive, and they chow on live mice, rabbits, and small rodents like they were a bag of cheeze-filled Combos.

But sadly, when one is dazed and lying on the ground, they can't exactly escape a soccer goon kicking them into the 5th row of seats.

I hope this guy has the worst, most sweat-inducing Owl-nightmares for the rest of his life.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wayne Gretzky Needs to Mind His Own Damn Business!

Because he's apparently shut down 22 year old daughter Paulina Gretzky's Twitter feed.

Die, #99. Die.

This is a GROWN WOMAN, and she's clearly, very "adept" at using social media. Unlike some dot-com whores who just lift their mud-flaps to show off their coolies, Paulina has a real eye for artistic poses and techniques.

She's 22, Wayne. For cripes sake! Twenty-two!


Lucky for us, "the internet never forgets, and it's always open."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Remote Control Guaranteed to Drive You Crazy

Might just be, the worst idea ever.


Can you imagine your father, or grandfather, trying to find CNN with a freaking WAND?

You'd be better off changing the channel with a gun.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Suh Gets His Taiwanese Animation Close Up

So if Suh gets two games for just quick-stomping the arm of Packers lineman Evan Dietrick-Smith, what would the suspension be if he actually did dismember Mr. Dietrick-Smith limb-by-limb on national TV on Thanksgiving?

Four games? Six? A million?

Only twice before has an NFL player been suspended for two games, or more, for an on-field act of violence. Charles Martin for head-slamming Jim McMahon (2 games), and Albert Haynesworth for face stomping Andre Gurode (5 games). 

Methinks this was a bit harsh, but hey, it's not MY $160,000 that Roger Goodell just STOLE because he was embarassed on Thanksgiving Day over turkey.

I told the players once, I told the players repeatedly this spring and summer: "Draw a line in the sand on this suspension issue with Goodell, because the guy is out of control. You have to make this a deal breaker. Get the suspension gavel out of his hands."

They didn't listen. Or care. So now this is how it goes.

Of course, had Suh cheap-shotted somebody under the pile, or in a way that wasn't caught to clearly, or if he didn't already have a "rep" for being too rough, or if it wasn't Thanksgiving, or if Goodell wasn't so worried about the "next time" precedent....

You get the point.

The players should have said simply: "Pro football is a violent game. Sometimes, things happen. Being kicked out of games is fair. Modest fines ($20K or less) are also do-able to send a message. But we're not going to just let you steal precious paychecks in the name of 'protecting the shield.'"

All that said, Suh is a dirty bitch. Period. The rap sheet he has, is now well deserved. Very good player. Potentially great. Anger problem.

The next move, and the rest of his career is up to him.

"Where Are The Coaches In All of This?"

An excellent point by Bob Costas, and a nice tight 2-minute video essay on the stupidity of jackass wide receivers in the NFL.

Of course, it generated the usual backlash from some columnists and pundits, decrying Costas - and anyone who may agree with him - as angry old white men.


Heard that one more times than a knock knock joke.

The fact remains, however, that jackass wide receivers like Stevie Johnson almost never end up hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

Walking backwards through the decade where such numbskulls like Ocho-chango-name-o came to prominence, what team featured a loud, hey-look-at-me wideout and rode him to a title?

T.O. came close with Philly. But the cost was high the following season.
Keyshawn won with Gruden and the Bucs. But not really because of him.
Santonio Holmes was more wandering weed-head, than a jackass.

Otherwise, the best teams just have wideouts who know how to do their job, and aren't that concerned about calling attention to themselves. Guys who are catching passes from Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady understand one thing clearly: the dude throwing them tight bullets right to their fingertips 40 times a game, are the guys who will make them rich.

Better to just shut the F up, and play football.

I don't mind a quick, spontaneous celebration from a guy who scores. But anything too premeditated is juvenile at best. Or in the case of Johnson, damaging to your team's chances of winning at worst.

Cutting Johnson immediately - as Merrill Hoge suggested on ESPN - would be extreme.

But it's not like you can't get somebody to replicate what he does. Besides, are the Bills currently winning WITH him right now?


You are now free to resume calling Bob Costas - and myself - old, white, fun stealing nerds.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Maybe, The Most Glorious Fall Afternoon Ever

When I was a kid, we had a neighborhood "open space" that served as our football field.

We did not have official endzone pylons.

The end zones were the faint gravel walking track that encircled the space. One sideline was roughly defined by a concrete drainage sewer, which thankfully never killed anyone. Although it surely could have.

The other sideline was defined by a few sweatshirts plopped down by one of us kids.

The grass was anywhere from 3 to 4 inches in height, mowed on a very random basis by some entity the HOA employed for the task.

So when I decided to move way the F out to the suburban Washington D.C. countryside (note: never, ever take a fall "pumpkin" drive, or "apple picking" excursion. Events can spiral out of control...) and absorb a 56 minute door-to-door commute, I was excited to have some land to play with, and some grass to mow.

And I was especially happy that my brother-in-law Todd, the Giants fan from Jersey who lives in suburban Philly, was bringing his two similar aged sons (9 and 13) to my daughters (9 and 12) for the weekend and they wanted to play some football.

So with that in mind, I sought out the flattest chunk of grass I could find, and promptly brought the blade down to 2.5 inches. I then brought my walk mower down for a deeper scalping to define the outer boundaries of the field.

After that, it was about 24 cans of spray paint, and maybe 4-5 hours of good ol' grown-up fun.

Just making the field, would have been enough to tickle me silly inside for weeks. Having a little 3 on 3 game with my own family was even better.

But two things happened that made the day after Thanksgiving truly awesome.

One: the weather. It was unreal. I mean, insanely nice. 62 degrees, low angle late fall sunshine. Not a breath of wind.

Then something pretty nutty happened. A group of kids, perfectly aged between 8 and 14, boys and girls just came walking down the gravel road behind the house.


I am not making any of this up.

Mind you, we have a smattering of neighbors in our little swatch of western Loudoun County, but the amount of "foot traffic" on that gravel road is maybe 2 people per day. Maybe.

These kids were visiting their in-laws, about a mile up the road. And you should have seen their faces when they saw the field I had made.

So when they asked if they could play, I told them to beat it, and if they don't I would CALL THE COPS!

Ha. Kidding.

They poured over the gap in the stone fence and onto the field, and the rest of the evening was nothing short of awesome. Having daughters myself, I was thrilled that just as many girls were in the visiting group as boys.

And guess what? They were some of the best players!

I made them all pose for a trading card style photo on my NFL Shield logo. Some of them didn't want to. I would not take "no" for an answer. I told their mom and dad I would send them the pics. Being an adult, and knowing how I would KILL to have more pictures of myself as a kid, I know someday they'll enjoy the shit out of these pictures.

Now, as for the logo, how did I do it?


Excel spreadsheet.
8 x 8 grid. (each square = 2 ft.)
Download logo.
Resize to fill grid.
Bring grid to field.
Make grid with kite string and golf tees. (Tedious, but necessary).
Stare at grid, start with outline, and go from there.

Of course, a sadness came over me when I saw my in-laws leave, and the weekend drained out. I don't have friends who live close enough to play. The field is a bit small for big boys. And I'm gonna watch that sweet grid fade away from my back window as the winter sets in.

But I had that one glorious day. And I have the photos (and video) to prove it.

It was, perhaps, the best Thanksgiving ever.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Craction Pool Week 12

Ah ha! I knew that picture of Penn State's new logo would get your attention! Okay, just kidding there, Penn Staters. Relax!

It's CRACTION POOL TIME for Thanksgiving. EVEN IF you don't get your picks in before Turkey day, you can STILL enter anytime up until Sunday at 1 p.m. So get on it!

Once again, at stake this week, is a rare and mint condition, tag-still-on-it Fightin' Donkey Sweatshirt! One size fits all!


Because that's all I have left! So you'll either have to squeeze into it, lose some weight, or gift it to a smaller friend, wife, or child.

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10: Jim Hardy
Week 11:

Personally, I'm going to roll with Jimmy Masterlock's Picks, this week, because he IS a staggering 23-17-3!

Jimmy sez to "double up" on his 10-star Thanksgiving Day "Turkey Stuffer Parlay", whatever the hell that is. So take these three Jimmy Picks....

Green Bay -7 at Detroit
Miami +7 at Dallas
Baltimore -3 vs. San Francisco

and add onto it.. for Purposes...

Carolina -4 at Indianapolis
Seattle -4 vs. Washington

Good luck! Have fun. And tell a few friends!


Prepare For War!

As the boys at What Would Tyler Durden Do write...
I always suspected those god damn octopuses were working on stuff like this, trying to walk on land so they can come get us. These people should have stomped on this thing, then shook their fists and shouted at the ocean to let the octopus army know whats up. “This is what you get when you come in our world, fuckers!”
REACT: Amen. You see what the stingrays are up to, starting with the savage murder of Steve Irwin. They are not to be trifled with. And neither should the octopii.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Just Don't Have the Stomach For This

The Redskins are not likely to win the "Suck for Luck" derby.

Indy has that locked down.

So what then about the rest of the QB's who are "likely" to be available?

Well, here's the short list.

Andrew Luck

Matt Barkley
Robert Griffin III
Landry Jones

Tier two...

Brandon Weeden
Ryan Tannehill
Kirk Cousins
Case Keenum
Kellen Moore

And maybe I'm unfairly parsing out the two tiers, I just figured I'd throw out names of guys you have heard of. This CBS Sports page, has a list which was compiled, by NFL Draft Scout, whomever, or whatever they are.

Of the guys on Tier 1, it needs to be noted: they are all juniors, or redshirt juniors. Meaning any or all of them  COULD, in theory, stay in school.

Stranger things have happened. See Manning, Peyton or Tebow, Tim.

The "Suck List" in the NFL, of worse records right now... reads like this.

Colts 0-10
Vikings 2-8
Rams 2-8
Jags 3-7
Skins 3-7
Cardinals 3-7
Dolphins 3-7

Don't ask me about tiebreakers for the BOTTOM of the NFL standings. I have heard that head-to-head is not used in breaking draft position ties.

The point is this. While I want the Redskins to suck as much possible for the best chance at an elite quarterback, without having to spend additional picks  to move up, I am not going to be able to continue the overt wishing for loss after loss from here until January 2nd.

The analogy is this: if you lived with a single mother, who was about to get evicted for not making the rent, and she decides out of desperation to turn a few tricks in the bedroom to keep a roof over your head - okay, as a one time deal, do what you gotta do.

But if your mom decided, "hey, this is pretty good money" and then started bringing creepy johns in off the street for 6 weeks in a row, well, that might be a bit too much to take.

I can't take 6 weeks of active tanking for a better draft pick. I just can't.

I won't root like crazy for this team - I just don't have it in me. It's a lousy team, with lousy coaching. It has a chance to get better, and a chance to draft a QB that gives them a chance at being legitimately good.

A chance.

But who knows how the chips will fall? The Redskins, with two more "oops" wins, could end up drafting 10th!

Or, they could lose out and still finish with the 3rd overall pick. Let's say Indianapolis and Miami (the two teams in the "Suck For... " race who have the most dire need for a QB) are ahead of them.

Then let's say two of the top 4 guys (say Barkley and Jones, merely for argument sake, I have no intel or angle on that, it's just a "what if..") decide to stay in college?

You gonna then reach with the 3rd overall pick for a Tier 2 QB? Spend a fortune in future picks to move up one spot?

In general, I am okay with tanking for a pick - to an extent. If it's one or two games left in the year, and you are sitting at 3 wins, okay, fine.

But this is a bridge too far for me. The Skins will show what kind of heart they have down the stretch. I will be an interested observer. I am not going to smash any remotes if they lose.

But I've gotta put the pom-poms down for losing, because too much can happen before next April's choose-em-up in New York City.

And losing breeds losing. It's probably best if the team didn't just flatline down the stretch.

Monday, November 21, 2011

This Is Why The NFL Is Awesome!

Why tackle with just one, or two guys, when tackling with SIX guys - is perfectly legal?

And fun!

All About Eldrick

Never mind the fact that my man Jim Furyk went 5-0, and never once had to complain about his dead weight luggage of a partner, Phil Mickelson during the partnered sessions.

No, the story is about Eldrick, and will always be about him, until probably he signs up for the Senior Tour. At which time, the annoucers in the golf media will likely ask: "Could he be the first guy to win the Senior Grand Slam AND the regular Grand Slam in the same year? You know you just can't count him out."

Here's an email....
Thomas Jefferson once said to Madison, about Hamilton....for god sakes man take up your pen and cut him to pieces....

Well that’s how I feel after reading all the headlines (which you predicted) about how tiger clinched the victory for the U.S. That’s a little like saying that they guy who scored the 3rd run in a 10 to 2 baseball game "won the game". I have also read how couples has them eating crow with his pick of tiger....please I'm sick of it, and beg of you...for god sakes man take up your pen (or microphone) and cut them to pieces. Looking forward to the podcast tomorrow...

Your number one fan (although I'm not sure how exact those polls are)

Richard from the 260
Sigh. Yes indeed, "Tiger Clinches Cup" is how it goes. Freddie Vindicated. Tiger is "Back". Yada, yada.

Look, Tiger played great on Sunday. Struck it pure, and made putts. But he beat a guy who hasn't been relevant since we last saw his head melt on Saturday at Oakmont with the lead a few years ago.

He played okay the first 4 rounds, but the talk quickly devolved into how much his partners weren't helping him any. Which of course, is such a dramatic fall from the old Tiger, who would lift even a drunken 15 handicapper over his shoulder and carry him to a 5&4 victory.

In an exhibition, match play, with very wide fairways, short par-4's, wispy light rough, against just one opponent, not a field of 156, Tiger is pretty money.

But let's see him against a full field again of the world's best. You know, the kind of field he used to slay with regularity.

I think he certainly is hitting it better there days. But I doubt his lethal sniper putting will EVER come back the way it used to be.

So let me just put this out there as my official stance: I'll admit Tiger is "back" when he wins his SECOND full field stroke play event on the US Tour, in a single season.

Until then, it's just Charlie Rymer sitting in the dark waiting for golf's "Great Pumpkin" to arrive.


Photo 1: Here's a fun game! Try to find the guy in the photo who cheated on his perfect, pretty Tour wife with 87 skanky strippers and porn stars? He really blends in, so take your time.

Photo 2: Jim Furyk with his wife Tabitha. Duh. Winning.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Slutty Teacher + Crooked Cop = What Could Go Wrong?

Heidi Kaeslin, a high school teacher from Stockton, Calif., was placed on paid leave earlier this week as school authorities investigate reports that she and Richard Fields, a former Stockton police officer, managed a ring of adult websites, including teachert***** and, from a school-issued computer.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Craction Pool Week 11

At stake this week, is a rare and mint condition, tag-still-on-it Fightin' Donkey Sweatshirt! One size fits all!


Because that's all I have left! So you'll either have to squeeze into it, lose some weight, or gift it to a smaller friend, wife, or child.

All you gotta do, is dial in the PERFECT 5-way combination!

Sign up HERE, for free, and enjoy the game!

Week 1: Shawn Brandt
Week 2: Larry Haslee/Ronnie Windsor
Week 3: Eric Hucke
Week 4: John Merrill
Week 5: John Sample
Week 6: Nate Faust
Week 7: John Heibel
Week 8: Karin McAnaney
Week 9: John Goodall
Week 10:

Personally, I'm going to roll with Jimmy Masterlock's Picks, this week, because he IS a staggering 21-16-2!

and throw on top of it....

Buffalo +1 at Miami

Jimmy Sez:

Don't Think Don't Blink, Lay the Lumber PICK: SF -10 vs. Arizona Underdog PICK: WAS +8 vs. Dallas
"Run To The Smell" PICK: BAL -7 vs. Cincinnati
Lock of the Week PICK: NYG -5 vs. Philadelphia

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

We Must Protect This Statue!

Just one week into the Paterno State Child Rape Scandal, a University President, iconic football coach, and 3 others are out of their jobs.

And remember, one week ago, the Univeristy President and head football coach were furiously fighting to hold onto their jobs. Hmmm. Seems very desperate in hindsight. 

What we know NOW, is even worse than one week ago. And right now is the BEST it's ever going to be.

I predict that what we learn about Joe Paterno will flat out MELT our heads in the next 12 months. This is emerging as a full blown, coordinated cover-up, spanning over a decade, involving a crime that is second to premeditated murder.

Or maybe not. Maybe it's worse.

The image of Joe Paterno as man of integrity, a pillar of moral rectitude, and an iconic father figure to men in football pads, HAD to be defended - at all costs. Too much money, too many jobs, too many libraries, were at stake. What would become of the football records, the merchandisable trinketry in the bookstore, and all of the sugary biographies if this wasn't just contained to just Sandusky and the "best efforts" of "good men" who were "fooled like the rest of us?"

More so, Joe Paterno was NEVER going to surrender that lofty perch. Never. In his mind, he earned it. And just because Jerry Sandusky is a sick bastard, JoePa made the calculation that - no matter what - the entire weight of shame would come out of Sandusky's soul, not his.

I can see the strategy now, failed as it was, as it smolders in the rear view mirror.

JoePa (or his cronies, by proxy) convince authorities to wait until at least he breaks the win record. It times out perfectly with bye week. Allegations come down. The AG's office emphasizes that JoePa himself, is not being charged, and they have NO PLANS to charge him.

JoePa and Spanier quickly issue statements calling the allegations "troubling" - not shocking, not abhorrent, not stunning - merely "troubling." Maximum wiggle room, or so they hoped. Pretend like a) These assaults may not have even happened b) We sure were blindsided like everyone else.

The firewall was to then let the media destroy Jerry Sandusky alone. Pound him into a million shamed pieces.

JoePa and Spanier would press ahead, and let Sandusky bear society's justified rage. Hopefully, the off week would be enough to absorb the outrage, and then the following week everything would look a little bit brighter.

Every week that they could just hang in there, every week that the public could return their pathetic short attention spans to Kim Kardashian or Dancing With the Stars, worked in Paterno and Spanier's favor.

Well, that didn't quite work, did it. The rest of the country, was not like the residents of Happy Valley. Not so invested in JoePa, his legacy, or his fucking library. I am so, so, sick of hearing about that library.

The JoePa/Spanier firewall, quickly fell apart. Events and public opinion over-ran both of them with a vengeance.

By thursday.

Now we are going to get the REST of the story. All of it. From every angle. And it's going to be UGLY. It's coming out. All of it.

Wait until McQueary tells a prosecutor, in open court, what he saw that night in the showers in graphic detail. Wait until he tells what he told Paterno, EXACTLY, face to face. Wait until we find out what Paterno told HIM (this exchange, so far, is still murky) at this moment of truth.

Wait until Paterno is required to testify. Wait until he tries to explain what he did, what he did not do, and why.

It's all coming out. All of it.

What if Sandusky has a last minute bout of remorse and shame. And he pleads guilty. And from his jail cell, he lays out exactly how Paterno bought his pathetic lies, failed to follow up, and perhaps even helped cover his tracks.

I believe Joe Paterno knew, in 2002, that one phone call to police, would likely bring down Penn State football, and in large part, his perfect image. The fact that Sandusky "retired" in 1999, one year after an "incident" involving a young boy that was known to locals, but had never reached the national radar, is beyond fishy.

It's damn near unprecedented.

A 57 year old assistant coach, "retiring" underneath a 72 year old coach who kept chugging along? A guy with such credentials, that he was courted as a head coach at several other schools?

If Paterno makes that call to police in 2002, the outrage would have been enormous. The 2002 rape, was a direct result of a half-assed effort to just "quarantine" this sicko from JoePa's reputation.

Nobody really cared about quarantining the monster from other children.

The message from the 1998 incident: "You can't be on staff if you are a child molestor. Sorry."
The message from the 2002 incident: "Geezus, Jerry. Can you do this on your own time, at home, please!"

So Paterno puts up his hand and tells McQueary: "Tell it to my boss." And the bosses above him, in the most shameful charade of a game of "telephone", manage to water down the monstrous act in a way that lets everybody's gravy train on the JoePa railroad keep going.

Here's the nuclear core of this story, as reported by the Harrisburg Patriot News. The entire thing is a gut churning, rage inducing, mind-blowing read. And I remind you: we are just ONE WEEK into this story.

According to Paterno’s testimony, McQueary told the coach he had witnessed Sandusky “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature” to the boy.

Two days after the report was released, Paterno issued a statement saying he wanted to correct the impression left by the presentment.

Even though Paterno himself had told the grand jury that McQueary saw “something of a sexual nature,” Paterno said this week that he had stopped the conversation before it got too graphic. Instead, he told McQueary he would need to speak with his superior, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and with Schultz.

That meeting did not happen for 10 days.

What was said at that meeting is in dispute.

McQueary testified he told the men in specific detail exactly what he’d seen, and what he testified to before the grand jury.

Curley and Schultz say nothing criminal was described. Instead, Curley says, it was characterized as “inappropriate conduct” or “horsing around.

Schultz said it seemed like “not that serious.”

But Schultz also admitted to the grand jury that McQueary had reported seeing “inappropriate sexual conduct” between the older man and the young boy, and possibly Sandusky “inappropriately grabbing the young boy’s genitals.”

Neither man called the police. Instead, they decided to tell former President Graham Spanier.

Spanier testified that he was only told there was “horsing around” in the shower — between Sandusky and a boy. And that had made a member of Curley’s staff “uncomfortable.” Spanier told the grand jury he didn’t hear that the incident was sexual.

Spanier never asked to speak with McQueary.

Spanier signed off on their decision to ban Sandusky from bringing children from his charity, The Second Mile, into the Penn State football building.

The ban, Curley admitted, was unenforceable.

And in fact, Sandusky attended Second Mile football camps with kids on other Penn State campuses as recently as 2008.

What about The Second Mile itself? Second Mile President Jack Raykovitz was told about the incident and the ban in 2002, the report says.

Raykovitz, too, never contacted the police.

When Raykovitz testified before the grand jury, he said Curley had merely told him an employee was “uncomfortable” about seeing Sandusky in the locker room shower with a boy, but that an internal investigation revealed no wrongdoing.

“At no time was The Second Mile made aware of the very serious allegations contained in the grand jury report,” Raykovitz said in a statement after the indictments. Raykovitz’s statement said the new details “bring shock, sadness and concern,” but said they had no indication any of the alleged abuse happened within charity programs and events.

According to the grand jury, then, here is how McQueary’s eyewitness account became watered down at each stage:

McQueary: anal rape.
Paterno: something of a sexual nature.
Schultz: inappropriately grabbing of the young boy’s genitals.
Curley: inappropriate conduct or horsing around.
Spanier: conduct that made someone uncomfortable.
Raykovitz: a ban on bringing kids to the locker room.

The picture of Joe Paterno that is emerging, looks more and more like the Uncle Junior character from the Sopranos. Could such a fuzzy, innocent looking old man be a ruthless, self-absorbed boss underneath it all?

Answer: you bet.

Don't be surprised if we find out Paterno's massive influence in that town, and in that county, extended all the way up to the district attorney's office. Paterno was both loved and iconic, and ALSO a giant INDUSTRY to State College, Pennsylvania, as well.

I am well aware of the utterly bizarre Ray Gricar story, too. A guy "disappears" huh? In America? A person of influence and stature? Homeless people rarely disappear without a trace. No body parts? No corpse? No leads? No suicide note? No witnesses? No nothing?

Really? That's one helluva disappearing act.

But let's put the whole Gricar thing to the side for now. What is in front of us, is more than enough.

A recent Forbes survey had Penn State as the #3 most profitable athletic department in the country. Gross revenues of $70 million. Profits of $50 million.

Every.... damn... year.


These are the gears that will grind 10 year old boys and their inconsequential parents into hamburger meat.

As a final thought - for now, and believe me, this is not going to go away - I am a little dismayed at the over-the-top hatred for McQueary. He didn't "do nothing" as some people say. He did more than the men in power above him did, that's for sure.

He didn't call the cops, you are correct. But is it possible, that he feared the police more than anybody on that campus, especially with a crime that could threaten all that is "happy" in Happy Valley?

He did call Joe Paterno, and in many ways, that was going "right to the top" if you believed all of the wonderful things that have been said about this "wonderful" man of power, Joseph Paterno.

McQueary is going to tell his story. And I want to hear it all, first. Then I'll calibrate my scorn for him accordingly. If it turns out that McQueary's actions - while not "action hero" enough for some - end up putting Jerry Sandusky behind bars forever, isn't that enough?

What I have read in the last week about accusations like this, is that coming out and telling somebody about them is the most terrifying act of all, because of the potential, almost inevitable backlash. Polite, civil society, simply does not want to contemplate monsters the size of Jerry Sandusky.

These men don't come wearing horns and have blood dripping from their mouth. They look like the nicest neighbor on your street.

As such, people are sometimes more inclined to turn against those who speak the ugly truth, in order to maintain the pleasant lie. "The man has a million-dollar FOUNDATION to help kids! And HE's a child molestor!? How dare you." 

McQueary told his father. He told Paterno. He told Curley and Shultz.

That's alot.

Had he turned away completely that night, and never said a word, his life would be much, much easier right now. But his soul would be ravaged. 

He did the right thing. He just didn't do the PERFECT thing.

If you destroy McQueary now, before we hear his side, you play into the inevitable human calculation of the NEXT person of little power, who witnesses such a rape. 

"Wow, I just saw a guy raping a boy. But I couldn't break it up. I froze. I was terrified. I was too small. But I AM going to report it. I must. But wow, look at how they treated that guy at Penn State who did the same? He was vilified. His career was ruined. He lived with death threats, because he didn't instantly swing into "action hero" mode. Do I need this in my life? Will I ever get a good job again? Will they try to make ME the bad guy?"

Here's the most jarring excerpt from the Patriot-News Special report.

The 1998 victim's mother said the authorities leaned on HER to "think about" the accusations her son and her were making. The same Attorney General, Linda Kelly, actually praised the school for a half-action against Sandusky.

Sandusky was barred from the school as soon as this victim made allegations against him, and Kelly praised the school district for acting appropriately.

The mother has told The Patriot-News she was upset to hear the district being commended.

“They told me to go home and think about what I wanted to do, and I was not happy,” she said. “They said I needed to think about how that would impact my son if I said something like that. I went home and got [my son] and we came to [Children and Youth Services] immediately.”

If that doesn't chill you down to your socks, nothing will.