Friday, August 31, 2007

Football preview

There are only two football teams that really matter so I thought I would take a moment to look at their chances this year.

First up is the Cyclones. I guess I'm a little late on the preview part of it since they played (and lost) their first game against Kent State. I followed some of the action on Gametracker and read the Register's coverage and it doesn't look pretty. It seemed like they played pretty well in the first half. JJ Bass had 106 yards rushing and a touchdown in his debut game and at one point Meyer was something like 12-15 passing. The defense had given up 9 points but hadn't given up too many yards. Then the second half happened.

It started out great as the coach apparently reminded Meyer or his offensive coordinator that that Todd Blythe guy might be kind of good and he caught three passes including the touchdown on the opening six play drive. Kent State responded by scoring and a Meyer interception allowed them another easy six right after that and it was all over. Bass only got a few more carries, Meyer was horrible (2 INTs, 1 fumble, 14-23 with 148 yards), dumb penalties, and a defense that couldn't get a stop to save a life pretty much sealed their fate.

So, what does that tell us? Well, it reinforces my belief that they weren't going to be any good this year anyway. For all of the success he had McCarney seems to have left some pretty serious problems that will take some time to fix. And that's not to say that there won't be some successes this year but I'm having trouble seeing where those will come from (not losing to UNI?). It's really frustrating that with so much experience Meyer still makes those types of mistakes and it's even more frustrating that they still forget about Blythe for long stretches of the game. But, how can I bitch too much when it's the new coach's first game?

On to a team with prospects almost as dim. Your Kansas City Chiefs who have looked absolutely brutal in a preseason they've turned into a circus. It seems everyone in the organization and the fans wanted Brodie Croyle to step up and win the QB job. Take our lumps this year developing a QB of our own and get back to winning playoff games. Unfortunately he sucked. Big time. So big that Damon Huard was given the job despite looking pretty subpar himself and battling and injury for most of the preseason.

I would say that this sequence almost sums up Croyle's preseason. They're playing the Dolphins and he makes a really nice throw for a TD to make everyone feel good. Then the next drive he throws across the field from his back foot for one of the ugliest floaters you've ever seen. Picked off. I say it almost sums it up because the TD pass was pretty much the only time he's looked good.

They have scored a grand total of 32 points (and that includes a fumble return) and maybe 1 TD that wasn't total garbage time. They have been brutal, Jim. The defense was actually supposed to be a strength for this team and they've shown signs of being pretty good and also shown signs that they're still the same poor tackling, slow unit they've been in the past.

Last year Jordan Black earned himself the nickname I-65 for offering pass rushers and express route to the QB from his tackle position. Well, until Damion McIntosh comes back Will Svitek is offering a bullet train trip. I'm not sure I've ever seen an offensive lineman get abused like he did. I hope he doesn't have any kids and if he does that they weren't watching that.

So, where does all of this leave me? Kind of sad I guess. Although maybe my expectations are so low that I can't be disappointed. In a way that's sort of liberating, right? I guess when you're used to your teams crushing your heart when you expect the most out of them it's not so bad to not expect anything.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More family values hypocrisy

Shockingly another Republican politician has found himself on the wrong side of the bathroom stall, so to speak. This time it was Idaho Senator Larry Craig who decided to make the most of his layover by trying to get some hot gay sex in the Minneapolis airport men's room.

This Florida columnist offers some sage advice on how to avoid these crazy mixups.
Lesson No. 1: If a guy is in an adjoining stall, it's probably not a good idea to knock and then step into the guy's stall.

This was one of Allen's major social faux pas. Generally, the rule is one guy per stall, except for heart attacks. And even that's a borderline call.

Allen explained that his visit to the undercover officer's stall was to ask "if he's all right."

Allen said he was just checking because there was lightning in the area.

Lesson No. 2: When in doubt, assume that the guy in the next stall hasn't been struck by lightning.

If there isn't a hole in the ceiling, the smell of charred flesh or a deafening ringing in your ears, it's safe to assume that a lightning bolt hasn't crashed into the next stall. So there's no need for a visit.

Lesson No. 3: Limit your "wide stance" tendencies while using a stall in a public restroom.

You should make every effort to keep your shoes on your side of the invisible line that separates your stall from the adjoining stall, especially when it's being occupied by another man.

Craig explained that some of the misunderstanding in his case came from the "wide stance" he takes in a public stall.

The undercover officer in the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport restroom, while sitting in the adjoining stall, noted that Craig's shoe had crossed the line.

"Craig tapped his toes and moved his foot closer to my foot ..." the officer's report said. "The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area."

This innocent stretching of your leg so that you're inadvertently playing footsie with the stranger in the next stall can obviously lead to an undercover cop jumping to conclusions. Especially when coupled with a violation of Lesson No. 4.

Lesson No. 4: Don't stick your hand under the divider and wiggle your fingers at the stranger in the next stall.

He might think you've been struck by lightning.

Rumors about Craig's sexuality have dogged him ever since he was first elected to Washington and called a press conference to announce that he never had sex with any of his pages before anyone had actually, you know, accused him of doing that. He was the only Congressman to ever issue such a denial before or after the story came out in the media.

It's really sad that there is still so much bias against gays that guys like Craig or Haggard or Foley can't just be gay without resorting to breaking the law. But, possibly the saddest things about Craig's story is that he apparently isn't very good at finding fellow anonymous sex seekers. Here's what the Idaho Statesman had to say:
One man, who was considering pledging with Craig's fraternity at the U of I in 1967, said Craig took him to his room and made what the man said he took to be an invitation to sex. Responding to that allegation in May, Craig said, "I don't hit on any men."

Another man said that in November 1994 Craig "cruised" him at the REI store in Boise. The man, who is gay, told the Statesman that Craig stared at him in a sexually inviting way and followed him around REI for a half-hour. Said Craig: "Once again, I'm not gay, and I don't cruise, and I don't hit on men. I have no idea how he drew that conclusion. A smile? Here is one thing I do out in public: I make eye contact, I smile at people, they recognize me, they say, ‘Oh, hi, Senator.' Or, ‘Do I know you?'

"I've been in this business 27 years in the public eye here. I don't go around anywhere hitting on men, and by God, if I did, I wouldn't do it in Boise, Idaho! Jiminy!"....

Personally I think he should have just gone with the "why do all these homosexuals keep sucking my cock?" defense.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

The infamous right-wing extremists

I generally try to stay out of the abortion debate because it's such a complex issue but, being as I lack a uterus, I generally believe it's not really my place to decide moral issues for others.

There are certainly those that don't feel that way. In fact, they feel a need to enforce their own morality on everyone else.
Eighty six anti-abortion groups have committed to opposing all forms of contraception. Among the groups are Right to Life of Kansas, Pro-Life Ohio, the Life League of New Mexico, North Dakota Right to Life, Connecticut Right to Life, California Right to Life, and the Delaware Pro-life Coalition. However, few of these state's media outlets are covering the groups' opposition to contraception--no matter how eager the groups are to display their extreme agenda. Thus the public doesn't know that their elected officials are pandering to anti-birth control forces in order to secure these groups' support. Yet these groups and their unpopular and dangerous agenda escape notice. Because of this, we'll wake up one day to discover that almost half the candidates running for president are opposed to contraception. Maybe tomorrow?

It just boggles my mind that these supposedly pro-life assholes will also be opposed to all forms of contraception. Hello, McFly! Using a condom will prevent more abortions! Isn't that your goal? Obviously it's not, because their goal is to prevent anyone but those that are married from having sex and then only if they don't enjoy it.

Let's see what the Republicans have to say about the issue:
Mr. Romney's code, deciphered, meant, "I, like you, hope to reclassify the most commonly used forms of contraceptives as abortions." In fact, he told the crowd, he already had some practice redefining contraception: "I vetoed a so-called emergency contraception bill that gave young girls abortive drugs without prescription or parental consent."

Presidential hopeful Sen. Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, beefed up his anti-contraception resume by co-sponsoring a bill to de-fund the nation's largest contraception provider, Planned Parenthood, by excluding it from Title X family planning for the poor. Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain's campaign officials boast he has "consistently voted against taxpayer-funded contraception programs." And Mr. McCain reports that his adviser on sexual-health matters is Sen. Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who leads campaigns claiming condoms are unsafe and opposing emergency contraception.

Another presidential candidate, Rep. Tom Tancredo, like Mr. Romney, has ventured far into the "contraception-is-abortion" territory. According to Mr. Tancredo, a Colorado Republican, emergency contraception "cheapens human life and simply uses a woman's body to dispose of the child instead of a doctor." By the same logic, so do the birth control pill, the contraceptive patch, the IUD, the NuvaRing, and the Depo-Provera shot - which, it's worth noting, together account for 40 percent of the birth control American women use.

These people are either wackos or pandering to the wackos. Either way we've got to keep them out of office. These people will not rest until they roll back the clock to the 50's or whatever other supposedly idyllic time they like to imagine. And I truly believe that applies to racial matters as well. For many examples check out Paul Krugman's devastating editorial in today's NY Times on the Republicans' racist "tendancies." Since you have to pay for the online version I'll type out the two money paragraphs:
And if you look at the success of the G.O.P. since it was taken over by movement conservatives, they had very little to do with public opposition to taxes, moral values, perceived strength on national security, or any of the other explanations usually offered. To an almost embarrassing extent, they all come down to just five words: southern whites starting voting Republican.

In fact, I suspect that the underlying importance of race to the Republican base is the reason Rudy Giuliani remains the front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination, despite his serial adultery and his past record as a social liberal. Never mind moral values: what really matters to the base is that Mr. Giuliani comes across as an authoritarian, willing in particular to crack down on you-know-who.

It frustrates me that the true face of this party is so often ignored or explained away by our media. These people want to ban birth control pills! This is a battle that seemed to be over nearly half a decade ago and they're still trying to fight it, even if they have to do it covertly because most of the country would recoil in horror if they saw the truth.

Oh, and speaking of guys like Sam Brownback, I recently took a quiz to match up my beliefs with the various presidential candidates. Here were my results:
Dennis Kucinich 93.42 %
Bill Richardson 82.89 %
John Edwards 79.74 %
Chris Dodd 76.84 %
Barack Obama 76.58 %
Hillary Clinton 74.47 %
Joe Biden 70.26 %
Sam Brownback 46.32 %
Ron Paul 42.89 %
Rudy Guiliani 37.63 %
John McCain 34.47 %
Mitt Romney 26.58 %
Mike Huckabee 26.32 %
Tom Tancredo 22.63 %
Duncan Hunter 17.89 %
Fred Thompson 14.74 %

I fully expected Kucinich to be at the top for me but Bill Richardson in second kind of surprised me. I've been somewhat impressed with him but he always struck me as a little more conservative than maybe I gave him credit for.

The other shock was the fact that I agreed more with Sam Brownback than any of the other R's. Looking through his answers he's opposed to the death penalty, believes global warming is being caused by humans (yet another position where the standard GOP belief is way out of the mainstream), is opposed to many of Bush's spy programs, and opposes Bush's escalation in Iraq. It kind of boggles my mind that he's nuts when it comes to just about everything else.

I'm most glad that I agreed least with Fred Thompson since I can't stand that old bag of crap. If anyone wants to take it I'd be interested in seeing some of your scores. If not that's fine too, you bunch of Republican-coddling sellouts with your fat paychecks...

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Double take

I was just studying in my kitchen while I listened to my local public radio station. The 8:00 news came on and one of the news items was about how Bush was in Minnesota today for a fundraiser and do some stuff with the bridge collapse. Following that they cut to a clip of Bush saying, "The fundamental question is, Will the government respond to the demands of the people? And, if the government doesn't demand _ or respond to the demands of the people, they will replace the government."

"Yes...yes!", I thought. "Does he really mean it? Our government is not responding to the demands of the people as this bridge collapse is one of the more poignant examples. I can't believe that he would actually recognize this and the fact that his party will fade away as people realize that his brand of partisanship above country has real world consequences and that he might actually do something for the good of this country by repudiating some of his most heinous beliefs..."

I was just getting really excited about what all of this meant when he finished the quote by adding, "That's up to the Iraqis to make that decision, not American politicians."

Wha? Iraqis? My confusion was interrupted by the news anchor's explanation, "Well, uh, obviously that was the wrong clip."

Ah, of course. I should have known better. The GOP will always be number one for men like Bush and Rove and I shouldn't be so naive as to expect that they might actually admit that they've failed and abandoned this country that, for some reason, chose them to lead it. But, then again, he's still right even if he doesn't choose to apply that notion to our country. The people have demands and it's painfully clear that they can't (or more accurately won't) meet them and they will continue to be punished at the polls.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Steven Seagal: Delusional Has-Been

Haven't seen Steven Seagal lately? You're not alone.
Not long ago, Steven Seagal was one of the best-paid action stars in Hollywood. The martial arts master played crime-busting anti-heroes in films that generated more than $1 billion in ticket and DVD sales during the 1990s.

Now he appears in low-budget productions that go straight to video.

Seagal says he knows why: Five years ago, he was implicated in a plot to frighten two journalists out of writing unflattering stories about him and his former business partner.

Are you serious? What a fucking loser. I mean that. Steven Seagal is a FUCKING LOSER! I've never liked that no talent ass clown and I'm pretty sure I only know one group of people that did and they're all related. He was a horrible actor that couldn't even do realistic stunts that played the same part in countless ridiculous movies that all had the same plot. Some evil people are trying to do some ridiculously evil deed and Steven just happens to be in the right place to kick some ass all the way until justice is done. God bless America.

Now, to be fair, he has never been found guilty or even been charged with anything.
Seagal and the alleged plot to intimidate journalists became a footnote. The actor was never charged, and federal authorities have privately told reporters they have no persuasive evidence against him. But the FBI has never publicly cleared him.

Seagal said the publicity has been devastating to his career. He wants an apology.

"False FBI accusations fueled thousands of articles saying that I terrorize journalists and associate with the Mafia," Seagal, 56, said recently in his first public comments on the case. "These kinds of inflammatory allegations scare studio heads and independent producers -- and kill careers."

But wouldn't terrorizing evil journalists be more like his movie character than just sniveling and whining and blaming the FBI when America finally realized you suck? Have some pride, man.

Let's rip on him some more.
"This controversy made the studios very nervous," said longtime Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman. "Let's be honest: Steven Seagal was no Harrison Ford when this happened. But these accusations certainly hastened his decline."

Buuuuurn. I would say he wasn't even a homeless man's Charles Bronson when this happened but that's just me.

Here's what it boils down to for me. I don't know if he's guilty or innocent or if it's because of this or that that has caused him to stop making high-budget movies but all I know is that I want it to continue.

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Cyclone Football

I was on the official Cyclone athletics website looking for a basketball schedule and came across this intriguing contest. Apparently they are unveiling new football uniforms for the 2008 season and are allowing fans to vote for the helmet. The unis are quite a bit different from what they've been in the past. They're going with a more traditional "cardinal and gold" as opposed to the basic "red and yellow" they've had recently.

As any Cyclone football fan can tell you there's been a surprising number of uniform designs in the last several years. Some of them would look more at home in a Heart of America league junior high game than Division I college and others have been ok. Not surprisingly my favorites were the ones that they basically stole from the Chiefs. It made it easier for me to not get confused when cheering while drunk. The one staple throughout that period was what can best be summed up by a little phrase the really drunk guy from my German class said about a hundred times during a game against Iowa. "At least we don't wear yellow pants!"

Well, these new pants are gold, but still... I think I can get over that because it is a classy look and almost makes me think we could play like USC if I squint hard enough and drink a beer or ten before the game.

Let's take a look at the three helmets. We'll start with the script "Cyclones" along the side.

Definitely an old-school look. I've seen that logo around quite a bit but why bring something back from the absolute worst times in Cyclone football history? Plus no one will be able to read it from more than five feet away.

Next is "ISU" in block letters.

Not a bad design and it will definitely show up from far away.

The final design is this one, I'll call "I-State."

I've always felt that they should make more use of "State" and although I'm not exactly sure I've ever heard anyone refer to the team as "I-State" the "I" back there works for me. It's somewhat similar to the Mississippi State or Idaho logos but still fairly different. Plus it sounds like iPod or iPhone so that has to count for something, right?

Overall, I think I'm leaning toward the "State" but I wouldn't complain about the "ISU." "Cyclones" finishes a distant third.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

I like squirrels too

If you ever wanted to see a montage of every time Mark Trail featured squirrels, well, you're in luck. I think my favorite is the "surprised squirrel" on the left side. He works in so many situations.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Rudy takes us back to 1984

This quote from Rudy Giuliani was in a profile of him from a Colorado newspaper detailing his many fascist tenancies. Here's how he views that great Republican talking point, "freedom."
"Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

Freedom is about authority? I really thought freedom was slavery, ignorance was strength, and war was peace. Maybe only in the Republican party...

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Not my first reaction

A Republican state legislator in Florida was recently arrested for soliciting sex in a park restroom and his defense is, well, unusual to say the least. We'll start at the beginning.
Three undercover officers said they were staking out a nearby condo hoping to catch a burglar when Allen entered a park bathroom at about 3:30 p.m.

The officers, who didn't recognize the seven-year legislator, said they thought he was behaving suspiciously and thought that he was looking for a sexual partner, according to the reports released by the Brevard-Seminole State Attorney's Office.

In a written statement released Thursday, Titusville Officer Danny Kavanaugh recalled entering the restroom twice and said he was drying his hands in a stall when Allen peered over the stall door.

After peering over the stall a second time, Allen pushed open the door and joined Kavanaugh inside, the officer wrote. Allen muttered " 'hi,' " and then said, " 'this is kind of a public place, isn't it,' " the report said.

The officer said he asked Allen about going somewhere else and that the legislator suggested going "across the bridge, it's quieter over there."

"Well look, man, I'm trying to make some money; you think you can hook me up with 20 bucks?" Kavanaugh asked Allen.

The officer said Allen responded, "Sure, I can do that, but this place is too public."

Then Kavanaugh said he told Allen, "I wanna know what I gotta do for 20 bucks before we leave.' " He said Allen replied: "I don't know what you're into."

According to Kavanaugh's statement, the officer said, "do you want just [oral sex]?" and Allen replied, "I was thinking you would want one."

The officer said he then asked Allen, "but you'll still give me the 20 bucks for that... and that the legislator said, "yeah, I wouldn't argue with that."

After the officer identified himself and arrested the legislator he first went for the "do you know who I am?" card.
When Allen was being placed in a marked patrol car, he asked whether "it would help" if he was a state legislator, according to a police report. The officer replied, "No."

As Jim Rome says, if you have to say it, it's not going to help. After this didn't work he decided to go this route:
"This was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park," Allen, who is white, told police in a taped statement after his arrest. Allen said he feared he "was about to be a statistic" and would have said anything just to get away.

Wow, it's a two-fer. A hypocritical "family values" politician and a racist to boot.

But, really, isn't that every white man's reaction when faced with the terrifying situation of black men hanging out with each other in public (oh no!!!)? Start peaking into bathroom stalls and then waving twenties around and offering to give them head?

Allen received a 92% rating from the Christian Coalition for for his support of their campaign to legislate morality for everyone else.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Greatest of All-time

There's obviously been a lot of controversy around Barry Bonds as he is about to break the all-time home run record. I think you can certainly make a case for him being the best baseball player ever. Of course the steroids issue matters to a lot of people but I think you have to ignore that to a certain degree because of the fact that many of the players busted for steroids have been pitchers.

This led me to think about the greatest all-around athlete. People like Bo Jackson, an all-star in two sports, or Jim Thorpe, a professional football, baseball, and basketball player in addition to Olympic Gold Medalist. However, I maintain that Buddy, aka "Air Bud" is the greatest ever.

You may be familiar with some of the films about his domination of nearly every popular sport in the western world. There's "Air Bud", "Air Bud: Golden Receiver", "Air Bud: World Pup", "Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch", "Air Bud: Spikes Back", and "Air Buddies". Even more exciting is the fact that there are plans for "Air Bud: Aussie Rules" (about rugby, NOT Aussie Rules football as the name might suggest) and "Air Bud: The Big Puck" (not to be confused with the upcoming bestiality flick knock-off "Bare Bud: The Big..." well, I think you get the idea). I had no clue that dogs could skate but that's just a testament to his athleticism. How many athletes can say they have excelled at basketball, football, soccer, baseball, volleyball, rugby, and hockey? Not only that but produce a litter of puppies that are all exceptional athletes and CAN TALK!

Now, I'm not saying these movies are perfect as there are obviously some glaring plot holes. For example, I'm willing to believe that there are no rules against a dog playing on a junior high basketball team and the same league might forget to make a rule for football the following year, although I wonder if there aren't rules that this dog has to attend class or something? I don't know, maybe not. Dexter Manley played four years at Oklahoma State and he couldn't even read.

My biggest problem is that Buddy is a male dog yet he plays for the U.S. women's national team in a game against Norway. Surely FIFA has some sort of rule about this, right? Apparently not.

Of course, I'd be remiss to mention Buddy's athletic conquests without also bringing up the tragedy that often seems to stalk him at every turn. Every time he takes up a new sport there is always some evil dogcatcher or evil scientist or evil small-time crooks looking to kidnap him or his puppies in order to make a quick buck.

Here's to you, Air Bud. You'll always be top dog to me.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I'll tell you who stole the torch...it's that damn Sasquatch


A Chinese man who calls himself King Kong has launched a campaign to convince Chinese officials to allow him to carry the Olympic torch.
"The Olympics belong to everyone - the common people and those with abnormalities included," Yu Zhenhuan said.

"First I am a celebrity, inside and outside of China. Secondly, I think my experience in coping with a disfigurement ties in with the notion of the Olympic spirit."

Hair covers 96 per cent of Mr Yu's body.

I can't help but feel that he would make a worthy candidate if it weren't for the fact that he's not the world's hairiest man.
He may be surpassed only by a pair of Mexican brothers, Victor "Larry" and Gabriel "Danny" Ramos Gomez, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having 98 per cent hair cover.

Heck, I think the East German women even had this guy beat. Ah, well, I still would like to see this big hairball running. I just hope he doesn't use too much hairspray that day...

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