March 24, 2007

Bracket Busted?

I'm sure we've all seen that every website and corporation on Earth offers $1,000,000 or so for a perfect bracket. I checked Yahoo's leaderboard, and three people are tied with first, all three missing a first rounder and two second rounders.

If ever there was going to be a perfect bracket, this would be the year. There were very few upsets, and no totally unpredictable ones. It's so bad that 5s beating 4s, like Butler over Maryland and USC over Texas, are considered some of the bigger upsets of the tourney.

If you're in a bracket pool, this is crunch time. With so many high seeds getting through, each Elite 8 game is a legitimate toss-up. I had 7 of 8 Elite 8 teams, only missing UNC, and Kansas' loss tonight to UCLA effectively eliminates me because so many people have so many right.

And Dook sucks. The women needed one FT to tie and two to win this afternoon and got zero.

March 23, 2007

Josh McRoberts Ruins Our Credibility

An alien civilization is deciding what to do with us in August of this year. They already have advance scout teams in place trying to learn about the world's cultures, especially those of the United States. If it decides it respects us, we all live and they go elsewhere. If it finds us weak, we will all be destroyed.

They've paid special attention to "basketball", especially with March Madness going on. They determined it seemed like a simple game, and reflective of a culture that has achieved a great level of security and leisure. Then they read that Duke sophomore Josh McRoberts had declared his eligibility for the NBA Draft, and was projected to be a mid- to late-first round pick. The aliens were confused by the notion that a big, slow, heartless player would be one of the top 20 to 30 available young basketball players in the world. They realized there were only two possible explanations: 1) The Earth has so few coordinated tall people that anything remotely resembling one is exalted as an elite basketball player; or 2) The world's market economy fails due to non-market factors, such as constant ESPN/Dickie V coverage and white skin. Either way, the alien scouts decided we are not worth preserving.

We are scheduled for demolition on August 1 so the aliens can complete their interstellar bypass.

March 22, 2007

The Tao of Tecmo

This really hit home for me. The Chiefs were always my team in Tecmo Super Bowl. I've always thought that Christian Okoye deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, regardless of how good he was in real life.

Clay Travis has 46 life lessons he learned from playing Tecmo Super Bowl. My favorites:

  • Greed is good. Feel free to run Christian Okoye until the Nigerian government criticizes you for your wanton lack of consideration for his health.

  • Occasionally players are going to charge into the stands and create a maelstrom of turmoil. This was why when the Indiana Pacers took on the Detroit Pistons fans I was unmoved. I'd seen it all before on a Tecmo Super Bowl out-pattern that ended in the fourth row.

  • Thou shalt not peek at another man's controller during play selection.

  • Everyone is happy when they leave the hospital ... even more so when they leave wearing a football uniform replete with pads.

  • No matter how fast you are, somebody really slow will catch you from behind if they never stop running.

  • Pushing the reset button during a season is not cheating. Even if you're losing at the time of the reset. Indeed in today's globalized economy, shifting one's direction and starting anew is an integral and vital life skill. God bless you Tecmo Super Bowl for teaching these precepts of 21st-century economics to me when I was so young.

And if you're questioning Okoye's dominance in Tecmo, just watch this:

Workplace Humor

Let's say you work in a law firm and you get a new criminal defense client, Mr. Petta. The following exchanges might occur:

  1. Get your briefs ready, the Petta file is really heating up.
  2. The Petta file is getting too big for that box.
  3. "The Petta file is really overflowing." "Yeah, last I saw it was really stuffed."
  4. I really need to get my hands on that Petta file.
  5. Can you merge the Petta file and the Franco file?
  6. "Have you seen the Petta file?" "It's over by the computer."
  7. I need you to punch holes in this so it's ready for the Petta file.
  8. Get me the Petta file! I'm going to have to work real hard to get him off.
  9. We need just the right motion or that Petta file might as well be burned.
  10. I'd like to get a few licks in on the Petta file before I go home for the night.

Feel free to add your own. Authorship of the above claimed by J-Red and DR.

A New Ultimate Dagger...

So... Baltimore Sun reports that The Virgin Festival is returning to Pimlico on August 4-5. Your headlining bands:

1) The Police
2) Smashing Pumpkins
3) Beastie Boys

So holy crap, this is one of the most incredible concerts in the area in a really long time featuring three of my all-time top-10 rock bands. I am all about this concert. But wait... the fiancee's best friend is getting married on August 4. The fiancee is in the wedding.

Translation: No concert for me!!!


I am very, very, very bitter right now. I may or may not get over this within the next month.

For the Love of One's Team

So my boy J-Red who I love dearly (in a non-Brokeback sense) and who I spent many a Maryland game with and many a game of Spades and many hours talking and living sports with is trying to draw me out into a debate about the Redskins. And don't get me wrong J-Red, you're making some extremely valid points. But here's the thing... I don't care to fight back. You can have an entire page full of anti-Redskins posts and it's not worth it to me to fight back. So the point of this is not to try to discourage J-Red from posting anti-Redskins stuff because I know there's no point to that and because I like the open dialogue on here! The point of this is to explain why you won't really see much more critique of J-Red's comments about the 'Skins on here from me, despite my huge Redskin fandom.

When you hate a team like J-Red hates the Redskins (and I think I know why but I'm still not entirely sure for the exact cause of such angst), or like I hate Duke Basketball, you're constantly searching for fuel to feed that hatred. The worst thing ever would be for that hatred to fade away. You become like Winston in George Orwell's 1984 during the "Two Minutes of Hate" trying to constantly digest and process additional reasons to become incensed not only at that team, but how anybody could ever support that team. And like I said, I understand J-Red's feelings about doing this for the 'Skins because I'm the exact same way about Duke (except for that bullshit rape case and I hope Nifong gets disbarred and sued for every penny for malicious prosecution and his claims of immunity fail).

But when you have unconditional love for a team, here my love for the Redskins, it doesn't really matter what you keep getting thrown at you. It just becomes like a hum in the background. I know that people hate on them. I have my own issues with them and how they are managed and coached. But I'm not going to try to defend them because it's not worth it to me. In the end, I'm going to love the team no matter what. I've loved them for 22 years of my 26 year-old life now, and I'm not going to stop. I've loved them through two Super Bowl wins in my fanhood, and one when I was two young to be a fan. I can appreciate the validity of critiques of the team like J-Red has eloquently made. But I also don't really think I need to expend the energy or the research to prepare defenses to these critiques because to me, as a lovelorn fan of that team, it doesn't matter. So yeah, as a fan of the 'Skins, I called Archuleta some names. And I think that if he had the same performance on the field for J-Red's beloved Ravens during a failure of a season which fortunately for J-Red the Ravens didn't have to experience, J-Red would've said similar things. And these feelings about the team that you love and the players on that team can't always be supported by Elias Sports Bureau. But it's what's in my heart.

I think that attachment to one's team is really one of the more interesting psychological aspects of sport. Read A Season with Verona by Tim Parks for a really good read about this subject.

March 21, 2007

More Adam Archuleta Defense!

Can you tell that I can't wait for the NFL season?

I know I've posted on this extensively, but I'm still upset about how Archuleta was treated. Jeremy called the boy names. "Head case" and "washed up"??? How do you figure? He took his benching, which was wholly undeserved, like a man. I don't see the "head case" allegation from anything he did or said.

As for "washed up", he's 29 with only 6 years (5.5 considering last year) experience. He plays strong safety and he can still hit like a man. Today (Wed. Mar. 21) on the John Riggins Show, his agent Gary Wichard, who is not a Rosenhaus type btw, said they were told by the Skins that Archuleta would blitz (5.5 sacks in 2005) and would be used in run support. The agent said "it was a lot of money, but not an inappropriate amount given that they said they would be using Adam's talents." He gets into place and he's playing 25 yards downfield. The Bears were the only other suitor, and they quickly gave up after the Skins bid them out of the water. Too bad too, the Bears only made the Super Bowl.

Perhaps the following comments are more indicative of the problems at Redskins Park. Archuleta was despondent, "had a gun to his head", according to his agent, when he got benched. When the team continued to struggle after his benching, Adam got his confidence back. He realized it wasn't really him like Gregg Williams tried to make it seem.

Yeah, he's a real head case. I didn't use to worry about the Skins fans, but now that they're
drinking the burgundy Kool-Aid I'm getting more and more worried.

Is it like North Korea? Are they so beaten down that they accept what the Grand Poobah tells them? Did Daniel Snyder shoot a 18 in his first time golfing?

Idol Watch - Stephanie Gone

I'm not trying to say that I'm a genius (though I am), or an expert on American Idol (am that too), but how about the following published-for-the-world-to-see Idol prognostications:

(3/8/07) She has the unfortunate position of being the third-best in her genre. LaKisha and Melinda killed, and DialIdol has them in front by miles. How many power-song R&B; fans are out there who voted for Stephanie too?

(3/14/07, a week early) Stephanie's going home tonight, so you had better really enjoy the other three.

(3/21/07, today) I disagree about Blake. He's getting on my nerves. I think he needs to sing more Keane and Morrissey.I'd love to see Gina Glockenspiel go. She gets on my nerves more than Sanjaya. I'm sure someone undeserving like Stephanie actually will though. My predicted bottom three: Gina, Stephanie, and Phil.

Yeah, so I missed on Gina and Phil, but I've been predicting Stephanie's early exit for a bit now.

Pinch your nose and sing an *NSYNC song. That's Chris Richardson. No, I'm not surprised he was in the cellar this week.

Archuleta Wasn't the Mole

Since Archuleta has been universally "outed" as the mole for the November 26, 2006, Tom Friend insider story for now that he has been traded, I thought I should share some common sense with the Redskins Nation. I know, waste of time, but here it is anyway.

1) Tom Friend said the source had been with the team for years (Perhaps a smokescreeen by Friend?).

2) The source buried the Skins DB Coach, Steven Jackson (no relation to the talented one) in the article.

3) Shawn Springs has been outed by many insiders as the source.

4) Shawn Springs was hurt early in the season and basically came into a loser situation once he could play.

5) According to Kevin Shehan (spelling?) on the John Riggins Show today, Archuleta's agent buried Steven Jackson back in December 2006.

6) The source was/is unhappy about the state of affairs at Redskins Park.

Most Redskins fans, idiots that they are, assume Archuleta was the source. He wasn't. Shawn Springs was the source. This is clear.

The evidence against Archuleta is that a) He was pissed and b) His agent dissed Steven Jackson the Lesser in December. The following passage is instructive:

"Cause and effect" as Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) said, "are two sides of one fact .. [like the] seed and fruit they can never be severed." Further, "the effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre-exists in the means, the fruit in the seed." So it follows that it is next to useless to deal with just the effect; at best one will get the briefest of relief. "The cause being taken away, the effect is removed." (Latin proverb.)

Cause can equal effect, but effect is rarely reliable when attempting to determine cause.

Archuleta is a hard-hitting SS who came into a bad situation in Washington. He's a killer, a headhunter, Rodney Harrison with less reknown. If you accept the Skins apologists' point of view, you must accept that Archuleta became upset more than 3 weeks after finding the bench, then sought out Tom Friend, or at least succumbed to his journalistic wiles, and spilled the beans. Then, later, his agent exacerbated the situation by dumping on Steven Jackson the Lesser to a radio producer. Seems unlikely, huh?

What actually happened? Shawn Springs, pissed off that he missed the early part of the season and had to come into a crappy scheme late in the season, a scheme that would diminish his importance late in his career, a player who had spent multiple seasons in D.C. and in fact grew up there, spoke to Redskins nut Tom Friend. Things got out of hand and Springs was destroyed in the locker room. Think it's a coincidence they went out and got Freddy "All Mouth No Game" Smoot?

Archuleta, who had been on the bench for over a month at that point, let his agent talk to the burgeoning John Riggins Show's producer. That show is owned and operated by Danny Snyder. Archuleta's agent did what any agent would do. He piled on the guy, Steven Jackson the Lesser, who was a reliable excuse for his client's dropoff in performance. Someone sold Steven Jackson the Lesser down the river, and Archuleta's agent wisely piled on. That's it. End of story. Archuleta had jackshit to do with the Friend article.

If you believe Archuleta had anything to do with the Friend article, you have to believe one of the following: a) Archuleta's an idiot; b) Archuleta planned to retire; c) Archuleta liked being known as a locker room cancer; d) Steven Jackson the Lesser is so little thought of that Archuleta could get away with it or e) Archuleta was so frustrated that he whined to the first person who'd listen.

It's great that Skins fans like to think that the cancer is gone. In truth, this is the culmination of yet another move that makes the Skins look like a horrible team to work/play for, but a great place to cash in as the career winds down. I can almost see Deion, Bruce Smith, Andre Carter, etc. etc. nodding as I type it.

JeMarcus Russell to the Skins?!?!

This is from Bayou Buzz, a LSU website of questionable credibility, but it would still be HILARIOUS:

It's still too early to tell where former LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell will end up in the NFL draft, but word is the Redskins are taking a keen interest in the Manning Quarterback Award winner.

According to a source with intimate knowledge of the situation, Redskins owners Dan Snyder has become enamored with the idea of drafting Russell, which has in turn fueled speculation Washington could be targeting Oakland's No. 1 pick in a trade scenario. The trade could involve Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell, the Redskins' first-round pick in 2005, getting dealt to another team, or to the Raiders as part of a package to move up in the draft.

Raiders new coach Lane Kiffin said at the LSU Pro Day last week his team was going to explore trading the No. 1 pick.

Russell has personal works scheduled with Oakland, Washington, Detroit and Cleveland.

Cleveland general manager met Russell seven years ago. Savage, like Russell, is from Mobile.

"I saw JaMarcus when he was 14 in a camp at Mobile," said Savage. "That arm strength from a kid 14 that was 6-4 and 185 pounds then. I told Ozzie Newsome (Ravens general manager) that year I saw JaMarcus that he had to see this kid. I wish we could draft him now and stash him away."

Here's the link.

Idol Recap

Alright, so before I hit up any of the performances, let's just talk about "crying girl." At first I thought she was just scared of Sanjaya. Then, I realized that maybe she was brilliant... while American Idol as a show tried to recreate the British Invasion with 6 above-average singers, 1 mediocre singer, and 3 great singers, this girl would play the part of the girls who shrieked, fainted, and sobbed whenever The Beatles or Herman's Hermits stepped onto the stage. But seriously, don't you think that if that girl is at all normal enough to get married someday, that's going to be the first tape that the parents pull out to embarrass the hell out of her in front of her fiancee? It's kind of like if you happened to be on a local high school quiz show and weighed about 50 pounds more than you do now and had three chins and somewhat of a pre-pubescent voice. But I wouldn't know anything about that...

On to brief comments about the performances... I actually loved Gina's version of Paint it Black, but that's because I like the song, I like her, and I thought that Simon was way too harsh on her given that nobody, NOBODY can pull off a Stones song the true way it should be sung. She gave it her own spin which was fine with me. Haley definitely is going for the non-talent based vote and she has mine with the outfit she was wearing last night. But talent-wise, she did turn in a stronger performance than we're used to seeing. Does she really have a fiancee or is she trying to avoid stalkers?? Sanjaya was his normal off-tune stuff although my viewing partner thought that he was better last night than in the past (of course this is all relative and of course, I would have far preferred to see his sister onstage given that I forgot that she had some "talent" of her own until they showed her in the audience). I actually get excited to watch him when I hear he's coming in the same way I get excited to be in traffic for 45 minutes because I know there's a horrible accident on the other side of the road and can survive the 45 minutes knowing that at some point I'll get to see the carnage.

I thought, unlike the judges, that Blake Lewis' beatbox shtick was HORRID, but he'll survive. As will Chris Richardson because way too much of the country likes Justin Timberlake. Speaking of, I think the kid could turn Amazing Grace into a high-pitched, breathy, JT-sounding disaster. Lakisha is starting to be in some serious danger. She's got a booming voice, but she can't find her legs (not a weight joke). She's gotta find her style, songs that fit her, and stick with it. Not an enviable position to be the one-time front-runner, think you're safe, then suddenly be in trouble.

Chris Sligh, who we all know for sure now is a Jesus freak based upon his attendance at Bob Jones University (nice pull two weeks ago J-Red), gave a strong showing. Melinda (who made herself look like she was 50 and has to fire her stylist) is safe after proving that she really is that nice and proving again that she really can sing. But the big news is that Jordin Sparks is my new favorite to win Season 6. She looks cute, perky, could be a Gap girl, and showed off AMAZING vocals last night in her song. She is marketable and talented, which is the perfect mix.

In danger of getting cut: Stephanie, who absolutely flopped in her song. She's better than that, but I do agree with the judges that she looks tired and sings tired, and who can blame her... those contestants basically turn into Indentured Servants when they're in Hollywood. Phil Stacey I thought did a good job, but he's also in danger tonight just because there's so little that's actually redeeming about him.

Prediction as to bottom 3 tonight without cheating and looking at Stephanie, Phil, Gina.

Adam Archuleta

I'm pretty annoyed by all the Archuleta bashing that has been done by Redskins fans for the past year. Here are the vital stats:

After playing his college ball at Arizona St., where he played LB and DB, he was drafted with the 20th pick in 2001 by the St. Louis Rams (1+ years after their Super Bowl and brilliant Trung Canidate pick with the last selection of the 2000 1st Round. I wonder who else was brilliant enough to give Trung a shot....). For reference, the Redskins snatched Rod Gardner off the board with the 16th pick and the Ravens were forced to settle with little-known TE Todd Heap with the 31st. Some guy named Reggie Wayne went 30th. But I digress...

Archuleta was a servicable SS in St. Louis for 5 years. His games played and tackle numbers are as follows:

2001 - 13, 56 tackles
2002 - 16, 116 tackles
2003 - 13, 79 tackles
2004 - 16, 88 tackles
2005 - 14, 70 tackles
2006 - 16, 60 tackles (Redskins)

Yes, your Washington Redskins of Landover looked at those average SS stats, and decided he was a superstar, and paid him more than any other safety (See previous post about awful franchises driving salaries sky-high at the detriment of veterans). So much so he became a feature jersey for fans to purchase. What else were they going to wear? Brunell? Sean Taylor's prison jumpsuit?

So his numbers did go down last year with the Redskins, but he also rarely played late in the season. What's more, tackles are doled out by the team. It is well known that defensive coaches often give more credited tackles to their favorite players. Gregg Williams decided he hated Adam Archuleta early on last year. Was it because he actually hated Archuleta? No, it was because he realized his LBs sucked, Archuleta was going to get exposed as a strong-tackling, average pass-defending SS (which is to say, a SS), and Archuleta got paid so much money that he needed a scape goat when things inevitably went bad. What was the alternative? Actually point out that Sean Taylor couldn't cover a Pop Warner kid?

Bram Weinstein, of Snyder's organ Triple X ESPN Radio, sat through tape of a Redskins game in which Archuleta was credited with, if I remember correctly, 2 tackles. Bram counted 8 total. Archuleta got shafted in D.C. See Westbrook, Brian; Arrington, LaVar; Davis, Stephen; Green, Darryl.

So what of this Bears signing? He's actually getting paid what he deserves. He's going back to a coach that knows how to use him. The Bears spent a 7th rounder just to make sure THEY got him when he re-entered free agency after the Redskins cut him. This isn't rocket science folks. The Skins didn't pull off the deal of the century here. They vastly overpaid for the same talent Archuleta showed in St. Louis. Now the Bears get him at his true value, and he'll be great platooning with the very good but injury-prone Mike Brown. It might look like the Bears bailed the Skins out, but I have a feeling the Bears were looking out for their own run at repeating as NFC Champs.

And Jeremy's right. You won't see any Bears #40 Archuleta jerseys on E-bay or anywhere else next year. I doubt Gale Sayers will permit the Bears to un-retire it.

March 20, 2007

Klosterman on Steroids

Again, Chuck Klosterman delivers the goods with an article on performance enhancing drugs. I've always been a bit conflicted about how to react to the suspicion that so many athletes are doping. I'd like to see a level playing field where athletes don't have to take drugs (with potential long term damages) just to compete. But at the same time, detection is problematic to say the least, as is the question of where to draw the line. When you start prohibiting dietary supplements and requiring every athlete to be a nutritionist, things get a bit too complicated for my liking.

Klosterman compares athletes on steroids to the Beatles on LSD, an argument I don't find particularly convincing. He does manage to raise some interesting points regarding what we condone in terms of drug use among athletes, musicians, and the general public. I'm still not sure exactly where to draw the line and how to handle doping in sports, but the article definitely made me think. As always, Klosterman is a must read.

There's a Sucker Born Every Minute


Bears to pay Archuleta $8.1 million over three years
Lovie Smith, who was Adam Archuleta's defensive coordinator in St. Louis, has been trying to acquire the safety since becoming the head coach in Chicago. On Tuesday, the Bears completed a trade with the Redskins for the 29-year-old. Chicago gave up a 2007 draft choice, believed to be in the sixth round. After five seasons in St. Louis, Archuleta struggled in his first season with the Redskins in 2006 and was scheduled to be a backup this season in Washington. To complete this complicated deal, the Bears had to rework Archuleta's contract. He had a guaranteed $5 million option bonus due last week, but with hopes of getting a trade, Archuleta delayed the execution of that payout until Wednesday. Faced with the deadline, everyone worked on getting a deal done. The Bears will pay Archuleta $8.1 million over the next three years. The Redskins rid themselves of his $25 million contract. A total of $5 million of Archuleta's new deal in Chicago is guaranteed. The Bears were looking for a playmaker at the safety position. Smith created defenses involving Archuleta when they were in St. Louis. In Chicago, Archuleta will have more opportunities to make plays at the line of scrimmage.

React: So we get another much-needed draft pick (albeit in the Tom Brady round), and get to cut loose Archuleta who was a head case and washed up, AND we get $25 million of cap space? This is the greatest Redskins news in about two years. I suppose that's not saying too much. But my favorite line is Lovie Smith has been trying to get Archuleta "since becoming head coach of Chicago." Does that include last year when we all saw how painfully awful #40 was? Listen, when fans at FedEx are mocking other fans who are wearing the Archuleta jersey, you know the guy just is no good. So congratulations Bears!!! I look for a #40 Bears jersey to be in the outlet in about 10 months.

Discussion Point

Since we have another two days til the tourney picks back up, we should talk some meaningless offseason football.

The Redskins and Steelers will win a combined 10 games next year. Discuss.


So I was watching the Today Show this morning and saw Matt Lauer's hard-hitting interview with the Governor of California. And I couldn't help myself thinking... say you're big-time Hollywood producer Chris Columbus. The year is 1996. You're driving home from the premiere of your sure-to-be Christmas blockbuster Jingle All The Way, starring Sinbad, Phil Hartman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. You're speeding along the Pacific Coast Highway in your Lamborghini toward your Malibu mansion and suddenly you lose control, flip a few times and go off a cliff. Eleven years later, you miraculously wake up from your coma. You turn on the TV, and see that your former English-mangling movie star bodybuilder is now the twice-elected Governor of your State. Do you pull the plug on your life support machine?

The End of an Era

The prison in Jessup, MD is now officially closed. That doesn't matter much for most people, but I know I'll be a lot less nervous when the helicopters are circling overhead.

March 19, 2007

Long Post-Weekend Post

A rambling post with thoughts from over this weekend... and be sure to watch the video below under the thread "THE GREATEST VIDEO EVER" because it truly is...

I) Damn, this tournament has been pretty dull. No Cinderellas, no big storylines. The ACC has decided to tank and rough up my brackets. Thank you VA Tech, UVA, and Terps, for all kicking my ass this weekend. But I've got 7 of my Elite 8 still alive, all of my Final 4, and I'm still in good shape for the moment in all my pools. I really am looking forward to the possibility now of a G'Town-UNC matchup. It'll be interesting to see the G'Town bigs try to guard Hansbrough.

II) Terps, Terps, Terps. Likewise I am not all that hurt by the loss. It's not entirely unexpected, if I'd done my brackets with my head and not my heart I would've had the Terps lose to Butler. That doesn't mean that I didn't almost get in a fight at the place I was watching it with the dumbass Xavier fans who decided to taunt our table of Terp fans because they were still there bitter about their loss. These guys mocked the Terps and said that the "Mid Atlantic Conference" couldn't beat a small conference team. Way to show your basketball knowledge. But anyway, Butler played exactly the kind of basketball we expected and exactly the kind of basketball that tormented us all year long. We actually did have good outside perimeter defense, it's just hard to defend Butler shooters jacking it up from 6 feet beyond the arc. I thank Mike, DJ, Ekene, and the other seniors for getting us back in the Big Dance. It sure made this time of year much more enjoyable.

III) Never eat a chicken salad sandwich after 10 beers. Seriously, just don't. No matter how good it looks or sounds on the menu when you're drunk and starving. It will make for the most nauseating Metro ride home EVER.

IV) I would like to thank the good folks at the Maryland Dep't of Transportation for not watching the weather on Friday and realizing we were under a Winter Weather Advisory. When we got an inch of sleet and nobody decided to do anything to Rockville Pike, it was pretty much like driving in something roughly the consistency of a Slurpee. But 82 degrees Wednesday to 25 degrees Friday. Nothing like March in Maryland.

V) There is something truly wonderful about finding a great Chinese restaurant. One that is cheap, gives big portions, and that tastes awesome. And that doesn't serve dog instead of chicken. But seriously, it's the kind of thing you want to keep secret so it doesn't get too popular. Kind of like when my favorite BYOB Thai restaurant in Federal Hill and my favorite Mexican restaurant in Upper Fells Point got written up in City Paper and before I knew it everything on the menu was jacked up by 50% and the service sucked and I had to wait for a table. But seriously... Thai Arroy and Arcos are money regardless. Not giving away my Chinese place though.

VI) Hooray Nationals! Dmitri Young at first base to start the season! And this just in... due to contractual restraints and Dmitri's 12-step program, beer will not be sold to any patrons sitting in sections 105-115 along the first base line.

VII) What in God's name are we still doing in Iraq? Sorry to make this all political, but J-Red snuck in a political post. Seriously... we're now four years in and can anybody justify this war anymore with any semblance of logic? We stay, we're hated more, and the country continues on a path of "sectarian violence" (doublespeak for Civil War). We leave, and the country falls into Civil War anyway, but thousands of young Marines and Army infantrymen don't come home with PTSD and/or missing limbs. Nice job war planning. Really... well done. I think Vinny Cerrato must be behind the scenes at the Pentagon.

VIII) Cal Ripken, Jr. Respect.

IX) Elite 8 picks (at number 9): UNC, GTown, Ohio State, A&M;, Pitt (even though my bracket says UCLA, they've been playing like shit), Kansas, Oregon, Florida. The Salukis could give Kansas a real run for their money though.

X) Two sets of refs that will not be working the Elite 8: the guys who didn't call an intentional foul against Greg Oden (what should have been a call); the guys who called a charge on DJ Strawberry (what should have been a no call).


More effective than a ticket...

D.C. Voting Rights

Sorry sports fans, time for a sidebar.

Presently, there is a bill working its way through Congress which would grant the District of Columbia a voting Representative in Congress, as well as add a fourth seat for the State of Utah (District of Columbia Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act of 2006 (D.C. VRA), H.R. 5388). The District currently has a “delegate”, Eleanor Holmes Norton, who may debate and speak on the House floor, but may not vote. Since the D.C. Representative would almost certainly always be a Democrat, the only way to make the bill appetizing politically was to throw strongly Republican Utah a bone.

The bill is, in its current form, unconstitutional. Art. I, s. 2 states:
The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second
year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall
have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of
the state legislature

Note that Representatives must be chosen “by the people of the several states”. The District is not a state, and is not treated as a state when reading the Constitution. As such, voters in the District are not eligible to elect a Representative.

There are ways to constitutionally grant House representation to the citizens living in the District:

  • Congress has the authority to declare that the District is a state. This will never happen for a billion reasons, the most political of which being that the District would then also be entitled to two Democratic Senators.
  • Congress can give the District back to Maryland. This can actually be done without Maryland’s or the District’s consent. Congress can simply cancel the land grant it accepted a couple of centuries ago. This would not be a popular move in the District or in Maryland. See the Wikipedia article on “retrocession”.
  • Congress and the States can amend the Constitution to give D.C. a Representative. This seems feasible, but it requires either two-thirds of both Houses of Congress to propose an amendment or two-thirds of the state legislatures applying for a constitutional convention. Then once an amendment is agreed upon, it must be ratified by three-fourths of the States (presently 38) to become valid. I don’t know that the movement has that kind of support.
  • Congress and the States can amend the Constitution to make D.C. residents citizens of Maryland for the purposes of Congressional representation. This gives D.C. residents full representation rights in that they would have both a Representative (D.C.’s 500,000 residents would qualify it as its own Congressional District) and representation through Maryland’s two Senators. The biggest problem with this plan is that I came up with it and thus far it has not achieved much momentum.
And now...reasons why D.C. residents don't deserve the right to vote anyway:

1) Marion Barry

2) Marion Barry post-prison

3) Marion Barry, Ward 8 Councilmember

4) The Nationals-MLB fiasco

5) Half of D.C. residents vote whereever they're actually from anyway

6) D.C. voted for Mondale

7) Without the sexy "Taxation without Representation" license plates, no one would ever renew their tags in D.C.

Feel free to add your own...

More Terps Reactions

Paul from Powerline has a great follow-up on the Terps' loss. I agree with everything he says, especially the part about it being a tough but not embarrassing loss.

I also think he makes a good point regarding how this year's team will be remembered. I would only add that I will always remember this year's team for the heart they've shown over the past few months. When the season looked all but over, they didn't give up, but instead touched off one of the great regular season runs in Maryland history. In many of the games during that stretch (UNC, Miami, Davidson, and Butler immediately come to mind), the team faced late game deficits, but never quit. The whole team (and especially Gary) should be proud of the way they played this season.

March 18, 2007

Formula 1 Australian GP Wrap-up

This is the first of what I hope will become a regular feature following each round of the Formula 1 season.

This week was the opening race in Australia. Lots of drivers changed teams, most
notably Kimi Raikkonen to Ferarri and defending World Champion Fernando Alonso to McLaren.

Raikkonen dominated from the checkered flag and won going away.

Some thoughts on the race:

  • The new Hondas are hideous. They have an ugly Earth-themed paint job to raise awareness for environmental issues or some crap like that. Yeah, the best way to save the planet is to plaster a slogan on a mobile billboard that burns through quite a lot of fuel in a couple hours. Oh, and to get that (very expensive) mobile billboard to each race, you'll need to fly several tons of equipment to various points around the world. Honestly, I don't give a shit about saving the planet, but this whole Honda thing seems ridiculous.

  • Oh, I nearly forgot to mention, the new Hondas suck. Barrichello (who is a very good driver) and Button (who sometimes is a decent driver) both looked totally outclassed by most of the field, including the Toyotas and the BMWs.

  • The new Jenson Button is Lewis Hamilton from Great Britain. He's a rookie this year, and he's awesome. He's also not bad looking (Ladies... are you listening?). I don't think anyone is questioning that he'll be a media superstar in the UK in short order.

  • The world championship this year is probably going to be a two man show between Raikkonen and Alonso. Hamilton may compete, but he's probably too young and inexperienced to be a factor this year. It will be interesting to see just how good the McLarens are and if they're quick enough to compete with the Ferarris as the season progresses. Keep in mind that Kimi has been plagued by reliability issues throughout his career. This year we should find out how much of that was his driving style and how much was the car itself. If the latter, Alonso may be in for some late-lap surprises.

  • Felipe Massa sucks. I don't know how he could possibly be considered Ferarri's #1 driver, but I think it's a safe bet that Raikkonen will emasculate him over the course of the season.

  • I absolutely love the Speed Channel announcing crew. They're one of my favorite TV crews in any sport. More on this as the season progresses, but for now I'll just say that they make it feel like they're in your living room watching the race with you.


I'm not that upset that we (Maryland) lost, but not getting a shot off with 0.8 left down three is going to eat at me for a while. It was a well-played game all around, but Butler executed their half court better than we did and they hit a lot of threes.