Friday, November 7, 2008

VIRGINIA TECH 23, #23 MARYLAND 13

Darren Evans #32 and Virginia Tech spent 12 days hearing about an offense that fans blamed for the team's struggles in a wide-open ACC.

If your quarterbacks are hurt (wink, wink) and your young receiving core isn’t too sure-handed then run the ball and play good D. That approach has worked for the Hokies all during the Beamer era, and it worked well last night. Oddly enough, the VT special teams, normally a staple, continue to be inconsistent.

The Evans powered running game suggests the basic offensive problems are solved while confirming what we already know – you can’t believe what coaches say about injuries (see item below).

Evans ran for a school-record 253 yards and a touchdown and the Hokies played stout defense to continue their Thursday night mastery with a 23-13 victory over No. 23 Maryland.

We knew the Terps were in tough soup when they drove the length of the field on their opening drive only to come away empty-handed. It was all Hokies from there.

ESPN Fast Facts

• The Hokies improved to 3-0 against Maryland since joining the ACC in 2004 and ended their two-game losing streak.

• Virginia Tech tailback Darren Evans rushed for a school-record 253 yards, his first career 100-yard rushing game.

• The Terrapins ran for minus-12 yards on 18 carries. Their previous low this season had been 79 yards against Virginia. Maryland is now 3-0 against ranked teams this season and 3-3 vs. unranked teams.

(AP Photos/Don Petersen)

WHEN QUESTIONABLE REALLY MEANS PROBABLE

Oh…Well now, that explains it...

So, as was clearly documented here and elsewhere,yesterday, TAH picked the Terps to go into Lane Stadium and upset the Hokies on thier favorite night of football. We did so based on the simple fact that we were lead to believe that the top two Hokie QBs were "questionable."
Foolishly, we thought "questionable" meant whether or not a player played not "how much" a player would play. With a young offensive line with several bad games under their size 42-48 belts, and a running game which has suffered from a variety of key injuries and suspensions/dismissals, it seemed logical that without a top-notch QB, the home team was in trouble. Not to mention that simple fact that Tech also has a bunch of young receivers who have some issues with the primary objective (read: they can’t catch.)

Which brings us to a little something we like to call “Coachspeak.” Simply put, you’d think we would have that figured out by now.

Well....Noooooooo.

What coach says: “I’m not interested in (fill-in-the-blank) job. What Coach means: “I’m interviewing tomorrow.”

What coach says: “(Fill-in-the-blank) is our starting QB.” What Coach means: “I’m gonna bench him as fast as I can.”

You’ve heard it all before, and so have we. So how did we get snookered this go 'round?

Basically, we failed to properly interpret what Beamer and the VT football folks were saying about their injured QBs and who was/wasn’t likely to play. We would suggest that they weren’t entirely forthcoming, and, for some unknown reason, we weren't clever enought to notice.

It went like this:

MONDAY: From ESPN’s Heather Dinich who speaks directly to the ACC coaches during the week -- Just a quick update. Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor have both been limited in practice this week and remain a game-time decision for Thursday night's game against Maryland, a school spokesman said Monday.

Fair enough – game time decision.

TUESDAY: Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer just said at his weekly press conference that both Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon are "getting some work" in practice this week and they'll both be listed as questionable for this week's game. He reiterated that the team and staff have confidence in Cory Holt if they need him. "We'll see how they are at game time," Beamer said.

On that same day Randy King of the Roanoke Times predicted it would be Glennon, and he then confirmed that on his blog at 7 pm last night.

WEDNESDAY: “Seniors Sean Glennon and Cory Holt are the two most likely to start, a source within the program said today.

It is also possible that two quarterbacks will be used against Maryland.”


Which, ultimately, is exactly what happened. However, the Hokies never upgraded either QB to "probable" which now seems rather obvious.

Perhaps, we should have paid a bit more attention to the line…It opened at Tech -3.5, and fell to -2.5…by game time it was back to -3 and that simply would not have made sense with the third and fourth QBs leading them against a ranked opponent…

SITUATION, LESS SMOKE: When all the smoke cleared, the Hokies ran 72 plays. Corey Holt #12 took ZERO snaps. Fourth-string QB Greg Boone #8 (who claims he can throw the ball 80 yards!) got three (maybe four?) snaps in the VT version of the Mustang Offense, and Glennon, who started, took the snap on 68 offensive plays. And he played VERY well.

Not bad for a guy who was “questionable.”
Score this one: Error, TAH.

(Photos from AP Photo by Phil Coale. HokieSports.com - without permission. Hey, what did you expect? We tried. Doug Benc/Getty Images)

SATURDAY FOOTBALL

Saturday, Nov 8th

GEORGIA TECH @ NORTH CAROLINA (-4), 12:00 PM, Chapel Hill, N.C., TV: RAYCOM (XM190/Sirius212)

VIRGINIA @ WAKE FOREST (-3.5), 3:30 PM, Winston-Salem, N.C., TV: ESPNU (XM191/Sirius212)

NC STATE @ DUKE (-3.5), 3:30 PM, Durham, N.C., TV: ESPN360 (XM190/Sirius211)

CLEMSON @ FLORIDA STATE (-4), 3:30 PM, Tallahassee, Fla., TV: ABC/ESPN (XM192/Sirius211)

NOTRE DAME @ BOSTON COLLEGE (-3.5), 8:00 PM, Chestnut Hill, Mass., TV: ESPN (XM 191)
(Line courtesy of Americasline.com and is, as always, for recreational and informational purposes only.)

THREE SEMINOLES SUSPENDED FOR CLEMSON GAME

Guess who's laughing?

FSU head coach Bobby Bowden said wide receivers Bert Reed and Jarmon Fortson and linebacker Nigel Carr will not play this weekend for the No. 22 Seminoles (6-2). He said they were being disciplined for "not meeting their responsibilities." He did not elaborate.

Reed was suspended before the Oct. 25 game against Virginia Tech for violating the university's class attendance policy.

"It's a shame," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said. "They're still young. They'll learn and we'll keep teaching them and keep disciplining them."

Reed, a redshirt freshman, has caught 15 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns this season. Fortson has five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. Carr has seen limited action this season.

(Photo by Pat Little/AP Photo)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Bobby Bowden said he and his wife will enjoy the FUS v. Clemson game this weekend more now that one of the Bowdens won't have to lose. Tommy Bowden had beaten his father in four of the past five games.

"We like that," Bobby Bowden said. "When Tommy and I play, she can't win. One of us is going to get beat. Plus, I didn't like it either, because I don't like it when he beats me, and when I beat him, I feel for him. I am so happy. It is the first time in 10 years I don't have to worry about Tommy being on the other side whippin' me, or me whippin' him."

DOUG FLUTIE STATUE UNVEILED TODAY

Dan Davis: Here's your ballgame, folks, as Flutie takes the snap...He drops straight back...has some time...Now he scrambles away from one hit...looks...uncorks a deep one for the end zone...Phelan is down there...

Gino Cappelletti: Oh, he got it!

Davis: Did he get it?

Cappelletti: He got it!

Davis: Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown, Boston College! He did it! He did it! Flutie did it...He hit Phelan in the end zone...Touchdown!

Cappelletti: I don't believe it!

Davis: Oh, my goodness!

-The transcription of the WRKO-AM broadcast of the 1984 Boston College-Miami game.


Boston College will unveil a life-sized, bronze statue of Doug Flutie outside gate D of Alumni Stadium at 2 p.m. on Friday.

"This statue is a fitting tribute to the man who made Boston College football a household name," BC athletics director Gene DeFilippo said in a statement released by the school. "Doug played a huge role in the history of Boston College athletics. We're thrilled that he will be honored permanently outside Alumni Stadium." The statue depicts Flutie about to release his famous "Hail Mary" pass at Miami in 1984.

The Boston College athletics department commissioned renowned sculptor Harry Weber for the design and construction of the statue. Weber has prominent sculptures at 10 different professional and amateur stadiums as well as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

In 1984, Flutie became the first player in Boston College history to win the Heisman Trophy. It capped an unbelievable 9-2 season that included the astounding victory over Miami, a win over Houston in the Cotton Bowl and a No. 5 national ranking. He finished his career as BC's all-time leading passer with 10,579 yards.

(Photos courtesy of Boston College & Getty Images)

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO…

HMMM…

Is Div. 1AA #1 JMU really better than either Maryland or Virginia Tech?

According to Jeff Sagarin, they are. Jeff who?

Sagarin is an American sports statistician well-known for his development of a methodology for ranking and rating sports teams in a variety of sports. His ratings have been a regular feature in the USA Today sports sections since 1985, have been used by the Bowl Championship Series since its inception.

Sagarin received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Indiana University in 1983, so he’s a brainiac.

He offers two rating systems, each of which gives each team a certain number of points. One system, "Elo chess," is presumably based on the Elo rating system used internationally to rank chess players. This system uses only wins and losses, with no reference to the victory margin.

The other system, "Predictor," takes victory margin into account. For that system, the difference in two teams' rating scores is meant to predict the margin of victory for the stronger team at a neutral venue.

For both systems, teams gain higher ratings within the Sagarin system by winning games against stronger opponents, factoring in such things as home-venue advantage. For the Predictor system, margin of victory (or defeat) factors in also, but a law of diminishing returns is applied.

Therefore, a football team that wins a game by a margin of 7-6 is rewarded less than a team that defeats the same opponent under the same circumstances 21-7, but a team that wins a game by a margin of 35-0 receives similar ratings to a team that defeats the same opponent 70-0.

Got that?

So, with that in mind here’s how the ACC stacks up this week. The top 10 is pretty obvious: Penn State, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Texas Tech, USC, Oklahoma, OK State, Boise State and Georgia. The first ACC team is UNC at #16…

Here’s the rest of the field: Miami (19), Georgia Tech (23), Florida State (24), Duke (26) – huh?, Wake Forest (28), Virginia (33), JMU (40), Virginia Tech (41), Boston College (51), Clemson (54), Maryland (55) and N.C. State (95).

VIDEO OF THE DAY

LAME DUCK DOG BITES MEMBER OF LIBERAL ELITE MEDIA…Well, you had to see this coming, didn’tcha?

Talk about a biting critique of the press. It seems President Bush's dog Barney wasn't much in the mood for chit chat during his walk outside the White House on Thursday. So when Reuters reporter Jon Decker reached down to pet the Scottish terrier, the Barnster snapped at him and bit Decker's right index finger. Reporter April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks happened to capture the moment on video.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

NEXT STOP, VEGAS

TAH has made its debut in the Raleigh News & Observer’s ACC Now Pick Six game. Each week an exalted guest prognosticator such as yours-TAH-truly is invited to take on the News & Observer ACC experts Caulton Tudor and J.P. Giglio.

Here are this week’s games and TAH’s picks as well as the link:
http://blogs.newsobserver.com/accnow/pick-six-week-11

MARYLAND @ VIRGINIA TECH (-3) – While the Hokies are tough at home and TAH loves Beamer, the QB situation is too problematic to defeat a Terp team that loves to win games they aren't supposed to win. PICK: Terps

GEORGIA TECH @ NORTH CAROLINA (-4) – Call me a homer. Call me an optimist. Call me both…PICK: Heels

N.C. STATE @ DUKE – The Pack will summon some season-saving pride and upset(?) the Blue Devils. Besides, we can't pick Duke to win an ACC game just yet. Maybe next year. PICK: Wolfpack

VIRGINIA @ WAKE FOREST (-4.5) – The Deacons have to win this game, so they will. This will get the Groh Must Go crowd all revved up again, and here in Old Dominion, while the sentiment is insanely illogical, it is entertaining…Well, not so much if you're Coach Groh, but you get the point. PICK: Wake

ALABAMA (-3) @ LSU – The Saban Bowl will be a nasty affair, but the Tide has too many weapons, right Frankee? PICK: BAMA

OKLAHOMA STATE @ TEXAS TECH (-3) – While raised on Texas Longhorn football and somewhat displeased with recent events down Lubbock way last weekend, as an ACC aficionado we know bad offense when we see it…and Texas Tech does not qualify in any way shape or form. PICK: Texas Tech

(Line courtesy of Americasline.com and purely for recreational purposes only)

KRANKY

Coach K is mad.

And the reigning Olympic champ isn’t peeved at his boys, he’s mad at the fans. Oh well, you gotta start somewhere.

Evidently, the Dookies took on Lenoir-Rhyne University last night. And let’s be clear, it’s not a college, it’s a university – already been corrected on that one. Needless to say, Lenoir-Rhyne (Bears, 1,600 students, Hickory, NC) was no match for K’s boys losing 95-42.

But it wasn’t the game that upset Krzcufhvnd5ski. While Cameron seats 9,314 (more than the population of Wasilla, Alaska), several hundred seats were empty against the Bears. And K was not happy about his season ticket holders taking a night off in November, during football season for an EXHIBITION game.

"We played well, but there was something a little bit missing," Krzyzewski said. "The same thing with the crowd. We should remind all our Duke fans that we start our season on Monday and every game counts, and if you're not going to come, let us know and we'll sell the seats."

Krznmkg4wski called out the Duke students several years ago for not showing up. He thanked the student Wednesday for being there.

"We should not have an empty seat in Cameron," Krzfgkmx6ski said. "That's the way it is. I know I can sell them. I'll go sell them. If you're not coming, I'll go sell them."

(Ticket stand photo by TAH, shocking, we know...Game photo by Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)

HANSBROUGH UNANIMOUS ALL-AMERICA SELECTION

It's no surprise Tyler Hansbrough made The Associated Press' preseason All-America team -- this is his record third straight year as its leading vote-getter. For the first time, however, the North Carolina forward was a unanimous selection.

Joining Hansbrough on the team Monday were UCLA guard Darren Collison, also a repeat from last year's preseason team, Davidson guard Stephen Curry, Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody and Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin.

Hansbrough, a 6-foot-9 senior and the reigning national player of the year, was placed on all 72 ballots by the same media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Hansbrough missed being a unanimous pick last season by one vote, and he fell seven votes short as a sophomore.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

STILL UNBEATEN…#17 Ball State keeps rolling along defeating Northern Ilinois (the Shivering Illini) 45-14 last night.

Here, Ball State quarterback Nate Davis, right, gets away from Northern Illinois lineman Mike Krause in the first quarter.

(AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

FOOTBALL THURSDAY

The M.A.S.H. BOWL

MARYLAND @ VIRGINIA TECH (-2.5), 7:30 PM, Blacksburg, Va., TV: ESPN (XM 190/191) – while the Hokies may well be without their two top players at QB, the Terps injury report is lengthy:
Out for Season: Kevin Barnes (shoulder), Tyler Bowen (leg), Kevin Dorsey (foot), Dominique Herald (knee), Paul Lariviere (knee), Ben Pooler (knee), Richard Taylor (knee), Joe Vellano (shoulder). Out: Louis Berman (leg), Cameron Chism (leg), Kyle Sappington (leg), LaQuan Williams (leg), Doubtful: Matt Furstenburg (leg), Jordan Steffy (hand). Questionable: Scott Burley (leg), Mack Frost (leg), Cory Jackson (leg), Adrian Moten (wrist), Dave Philistin (shoulder) and Da'Rel Scott (shoulder).

In addition to Taylor and Glennon, the Hokies also list Steven Friday (ankle) as probable and Barrett Mears (ankle) and Lorenzo Williams (knee) as out. Evidently, Frank doesn’t feel the need to disclose quite as much injury info as Ralph does.

(Photo by AP Photo by Phil Coale)

SPEAKING OF RALPH

The boys over at “ACC Football Report – Manic-Depressive Observations on Atlantic Coast Conference Football” provided us with some before and after photos of the Fridge.

Here is what they had to say:

To make jokes would be juvenile, and just way too easy. But sweet mother of pearl, it's been a hard 24 years for Ralph.
The man was fairly buff and athletic back in '83 (and gloriously mustachioed as well), while today he's just....very, very, very not buff and athletic (but thankfully clean-shaven).

And let's keep in mind that Fridge has looked like his "Now" picture for over 10 years, so his change in appearance really happened over about a 10-15 year span.

Fascinating, but troubling.

Ditto.

CUTCLIFFE, DAVIS OUT OF RUNNING FOR TENNESSEE JOB?

Now we can’t imagine anybody would want to be the next coach of either Clemson or Tennessee as both have similar unrealistic expectations when it comes to their rightful place in the college football universe. Of course, we don’t know why anybody would want to coach the Oakland Raiders, yet somebody does…

Yesterday, Duke coach David Cutcliffe quashed any speculation about him returning to Knoxville to replace his good friend and former boss, while ex-Miami and Cleveland Browns coach Butch Davis said he's staying at North Carolina.

"I'm at Duke, staying at Duke," Cutcliffe said Tuesday.

Cutcliffe twice served on Tennessee's staff and spent eight years as the Volunteers' offensive coordinator. He came to Duke last December after a two-year stint in Knoxville and has called Fulmer "the best football coach I've ever been associated with."

Cutcliffe said he was being proactive because he spoke to recruits who said other coaches had told them that he was headed to the Volunteers.

Davis said he is committed to building No. 19 North Carolina's program, even though his name has come up as a possible candidate for the opening at Tennessee.

Asked directly about the Tennessee job after practice Tuesday, Davis said, "The long and short of it is, the administration and I are completely and firmly committed to building a championship football program at North Carolina. My family and I are very happy in Chapel Hill."

Davis has guided the Tar Heels (6-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) into the national rankings for the second time this season, and they are bowl-eligible for the first time since 2004.

(Photos from AP Photo by Gerry Broome and Getty Images)

ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OFFENSIVE BACK -- C.J. Spiller, Clemson, Running Back, 5-11, 190, Jr., Lake Butler, Fla. Spiller had 242 all-purpose yards to lead the way in Clemson's 27-21 win over Boston College. The junior had six receptions out of the backfield for 105 yards, a Clemson record for reception yards by a running back in a single game. Spiller also had 8 carries for 55 yards, a 64-yard kickoff return that changed the momentum of the game in the fourth period and led to Clemson's winning touchdown.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN -- Thomas Austin, Clemson, OG/C, 6-3, 295, Jr. Camden, S.C.Austin graded 82 percent with five knockdowns and did not allow a sack in playing two different positions in Clemson's win over Boston College. Austin had started the first seven games at center, he moved to left guard for the Boston College game. Austin played all 69 snaps, 60 at guard and nine at center in the victory.

CO-DEFENSIVE LINEMAN -- Boo Robinson, Wake Forest, DL, 6-2, 325, R-Jr., Monroe, La. Robinson led all of Wake's defensive linemen with nine tackles including two solos and seven assists in the Deacon's 33-30 overtime win over Duke. Robinson also recorded a tackle for loss of one yard. Wake's defensive front held the Blue Devils to 112 yards rushing in the win.

Michael Johnson #93, Georgia Tech, DE, 6-7, 260, Sr., Selma, Ala.Johnson sacked Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder for a loss of 10 yards and forced a fumble in the process in Georgia Tech's 31-28 win over 16th ranked Florida State. The Yellow Jackets recovered the fumble and went on to score a touchdown on the next possession.

DEFENSIVE BACK -- Alphonso Smith #2, Wake Forest, CB, 5-9, 190, R-Sr., Pahokee, Fla. Smith had two interceptions, a blocked punt and a pair of tackles in Wake Forest's 33-30 overtime win over Duke. Smith's first interception of the day came with 12:44 remaining in the third quarter and led to a touchdown that gave Wake Forest a 19-7 lead. His second interception came in overtime and sealed the Deacon win. Smith's blocked punt came with 1:59 to play in the first quarter and went out of the end zone for a safety to give Wake Forest a 9-7 lead. Smith is now second all-time in the ACC in career interceptions with 19, one shy of the league record.

SPECIALIST -- Shane Popham #14, Wake Forest, PK, 5-11, 192, R-Fr., Crestview Hills, Ky. Popham, a redshirt freshman, booted a career-high three field goals and scored 11 points in Wake Forest's 33-30 win over Duke. Popham hit from 24 and 44 yards in regulation and added a 28-yarder in overtime to provide Wake Forest's winning points.

ROOKIE -- Jacory Harris #12, Miami, Quarterback, 6-4, 185, Fr., Miami, FL. Harris rallied the Hurricanes on the road at Virginia throwing two touchdowns -- a game-tying TD in the final minutes of regulation and the go-head score in overtime as Miami defeated the Cavaliers, 24-17, in overtime. He completed 12-of-21 passes (57.1 percent) for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

(Spiller - AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, Johnson - LensEffects, Smith, Popham - Chuck Liddy/News & Observer, Harris – AP Photos)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES...? Football legend Diego Maradona has been officially confirmed as the new coach of the Argentina national side. And, here, he looks a wee bit surprised!

Julio Grondona, the president of the Argentinian Football Association, made the much-anticipated announcement in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.

Maradona's first match in charge wil be a friendly against Scotland in Glasgow on November 19.

He then faces a tougher task in making sure Argentina qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals from the South American group.

"It's an honor," Maradona said.

(Photo by Getty Images)
BOSS HOG...President Bill Clinton.
(Photo by David Burnett/Sports Illustrated)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

THE GIPPER…President Ronald Reagan.

(Photo by Lane Stewart/Sports Illustrated)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

THE SWARM…Georgia Tech fans last weekend.

What happened to the "J" guy?

(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

HOOS HOUSE…? New York Jets offensive lineman Nick Mangold (l) and D'Brickashaw Ferguson (r - who played for the Wahoos) cooked with the host of Food Network's "Big Daddy's House," Aaron McCargo, Jr. in Mangold's kitchen for a spot to air on YES network's "SportsLife NYC."

(Photo by Nancy Katz/YES Network)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR NIGHT WAS BAD

As good fortune would have it, Mrs. TAH secured 14th row tix to The Who concert last night at Verizon Center thus relieving us of having to witness our beloved Redskins demise at the hands of those nasty boys from Steeltown. Other than the game, and maybe just a twinge of a hangover, the evening was a complete success.

Not so much for some folks at FedEx field. You know how when you go into the stadium you always notice that some folks leave thier grill on the ground under or near their car? They don't seemed to concerned about the whole FIRE, heat, hot embers, FIRE, gas, car, explosion, FIRE, engulfed in flames, insurance claim, FIRE, no ride home (did we mention FIRE) relationship.

Well, now they care!

According to Dan Steinberg over at D.C. Sports Blog:

Your night was probably bad, but have a bit of perspective: some people's night was probably worse. Like, here's one scenario that would be worse: leaving work early, getting caught in eyebrow-tearing traffic, watching your team get smashed on its much-anticipated Monday Night football stage, watching your stadium fill up with towel-waiving infidels, watching them celebrate as you creep out, and then leaving all that behind and going back to the parking lot to drive to some random exurb for another day of work and finding a burnt, smoking, smelly shell of death-like metal where your car used to be.

And then trying to figure out how the hell you're getting back to Cumberland from Landover at 12:15 a.m. on a Monday night. And cursing the day you decided to go to this game instead of staying home and watching from your couch in your underwear with your car safely out in the drive and the Doritos Collisions within reach.

If you didn't hear, eight cars were heavily damaged in a parking lot fire last night. The cause was unclear, foul play was not suspected, and damages were estimated at $100,000.

By the time I got to the scene, the flames were gone, and the trucks were trying to figure out how best to load these skeletons. "Burnt to a crisp," one bystander noted. The official people on hand said no one could comment about anything.

But at least something Redskins related was on fire, right?

POLITICAL FOOTBALL

Dear Mr. Snyder:

Not only did the Skins PUKE all over their shoes in last night’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, they also failed to keep pace with the division leading New York Giants and virtually assured Barack Obama the presidency.

Politics aside, what did we learn? The Steelers may be the second best team in the AFC after the undefeated Titans, and, like it or not, the Giants (who beat said Steelers last week) are pretty DAMN GOOD by comparison.

The Redskins are a much improved team under Jay-Z, but they need to play well to beat GOOD teams. They aren’t Brady Patriotesque – they can’t play badly and win. Penalties, sacks and turnovers will doom them every time.

One last thing – there is talk around about Carlos Rogers having a All-Pro season. We say no based on one aspect of his game alone. You simply can’t be an All-Pro cornerback if you can’t CATCH. Everybody in Rogers’ line of work gets beat. That comes with the territory. But when the opposing QB throws you the ball, you have to catch it and make him pay.

Last night Rogers dropped another interception that should have been caught and returned for a touchdown. With nine games played, we’ve LOST COUNT of how many he’s muffed.

All that aside, enjoy the week off and get ready to kick the Cowboys’ pansy A**ES!

THE SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF

…or thank God, it’s Election Day.

Ever notice how when most folks tell you a story they will point out that there are two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere between the two?

Ever notice how that never happens in partisan politics?

Every four years, the citizens of our great nation suffer from the “suspension of disbelief.” If it’s party rhetoric, we embrace it. We don’t care what either candidate really says, we just care about what our party’s version of the “truth” really is.

Hard core Republicans say Obama is a friend of terrorists and the most liberal member of Congress who will no doubt doom our great nation.

Card carrying Democrats say John McCain will do nothing but continue the failing policies of President Bush, and if something happens to him a crazy right-wing woman with a $150,000 wardrobe who used to be the major of a town (Wasilla, Alaska, 2000 census count population 5,469) smaller than Cameron Indoor Stadium (population 9,314) will be president and that will, no doubt…anybody? Yep, you got it -- doom our great nation.

Liberals love thier NPR - you know, it's "public" so it has to be fair and balanced. Conservatives love Fox News - you know, it's so fair and balanced they feel compelled to use the tag line "fair and balanced." Each would have you believe that everyone is lying to you except...them. Which, of course, is unbelievable. Or, at least is should be.

Yes whether it’s friends, family, co-workers, bosses, kids, newscasters, celebrities or sports stars -- across the board we tend not to believe EVERY WORD that comes out of their mouths. But, when it comes to politicians – our politicians (whichever side you’re on) – we drink the propaganda Kool-Aid with unbridled enthusiasm to get them into office. Once their there, a healthy dose of skepticism seems to reappear. Does John McCain really love ABBA?

How can everything we encounter every day lead to some skepticism on the part of almost everybody with exception being hard-core partisan politics where we are told by the party leadership and mouthpieces what we are to believe? And, amazingly enough, millions do. People you know. Smart people. Go figure.

In this election cycle, almost everyone in the nation seems to believe both candidates will cut taxes while spending zillions on two wars and solving any number of other problems. While the GOP condemns all Democrats as “tax and spend” liberals, it appears that that their counter strategy has been “borrow and spend.” We all know, you can’t cut taxes and spend more. Yet, every election cycle we buy in. It so popular that now the Democrats are even promising to do it! That's crazy talk.

The bottom line is this…Dems will vote for change and for the first time in a very long time they have a viable candidate. Republicans will cling to the status quo claiming as bad as it is, Obama will make things worse.
Many will say “I voted my wallet.” Since 2000, Gas prices have doubled, unemployment is up 52%, the real estate market is woefully depressed, wall street is a mess, the mortgage banking industry is in crisis, we owe China and Japan zillions of dollars, the deficit has doubled and we are bogged down in two incredibly expensive foreign wars with no meaningful conclusions in sight.

And yet, partisan Republicans don’t seem to think all of that is bad for their wallets?

On the other side of the aisle, Democrats have been out of power for so long they hardly get blamed for anything anymore. Who doesn't miss making fun of Bill Clinton? Many of them think the 10% of the population that pays 60% of our nation’s taxes should pay more and that government can fix everything by throwing money at it. Of course, many of them also think George Bush went to war in Iraq to enrich his wealthy Republican friends who own Halliburton

No wonder foreigners think we’re crazy.

Now, if you haven’t yet done so, go vote.

SPEAKING OF UNBELIEVABLE

Enter John Daly.

We didn’t pounce on this story when it came out last week as we figured it would only get better after it “breathed” for a little while.

Sho’nuff! We wuz right!

Here’s the opening salvo of info from Devil Ball Golf’s Jay Busbee:

REALLY, WHY CAN’T JOHN DALY TAKE A 2 A.M. NAP AT HOOTERS?
Word filtering out of North Carolina is that everyone's favorite beer-drinking golfer (or is that golfing beer-drinker?), John Daly, was a guest of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) police department earlier this week. Seems Mr. Daly drank so much at a Hooters that he passed out and required emergency medical workers' help to wake up.

I know. John Daly, drinking beer in a Hooters. I can't believe it either, but here we are.
According to a police report, Daly "appeared extremely intoxicated and uncooperative." He apparently refused to go to a hospital, and was later asked to hit the bricks by the restaurant. The police stuck him in the Forsyth County Law Enforcement Detention Center for a 24-hour dryout.

But, wait it get’s better.
Daly comes to his own defense (probably because no one else with any sense would) saying he was just asleep with his eyes open and the whole incident was blown out of proportion (like his golf swing).

The boys over at Deadspin put it like this:

Daly is frustrated by this latest public spectacle, and feels particularly misunderstood this time around, saying that the whole situation could have been avoided had the friends he was traveling with only known that he was just sleeping with his eyes open and in no need of dire medical assistance.

"The bus driver called 911 because my eyes were open," Daly said. "I said, 'What's going on?' He said, 'We thought you were dead.' Anybody who knows me ... when I'm tired, I sleep with my eyes open. They know it takes awhile to wake me up."

Daly doesn't deny that he had a few drinks that evening, but hates the perception that he was tossed out of Hooters like some portly, drunk washed-up golfer. And he also hates that Hooters is going to take a PR hit because of this incident: "I've never had an incident at Hooters. I hate that their name is brought into it this way. They'll probably have to terminate me because of the negative publicity."

Wagers? Anybody?

Didn’t think so...

WHY THINGS ARE

So while we are explaining how things do/don’t work, here’s our take on what’s wrong with football at Virginia.

No, it’s not Al "Must Go" Groh, and there isn’t a Zima joke buried in there…

This one comes straight from the Sports Department at Wahoo U.

http://www.virginiasportstv.com/?v=1878&f=.mov&KEY=&DB_OEM_ID=17800&DB_LANG

...and if that's not enough, check out the absolute proof that college kids still smoke pot:

http://www.virginiasportstv.com/?v=1875&f=.mov

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK

Well…only if you live in Maryland.

The University of Maryland is, of course, a state school supported by state tax dollars. Last Friday night, head football coach Ralph Friedgen decided to travel 40 miles from College Park to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute where #3 Dunbar was taking on #15 Edmonson to visit some prime recruits.

But Ralph decided to forego the usual gas guzzling SUV and decided to show the kids on both teams just how serious Fridge & Co. are about recruiting a few of them.

He arrived in a helicopter. (...and somehow nobody got a photo!)

Friedgen said it was a perfect night for football. “Cold and crisp. Under the lights.”

He didn’t mention that is was also a perfect night to nuke a chunk of his travel budget taking a chopper all the way from College Park to Baltimore…

Nice, Ralph, NICE!

(Baltimore Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron / October 31, 2008)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

PHOTO FINISH…The Australian horse Viewed (top) wins The Melbourne Cup by a nose from English horse Bauer.

Viewed gave legendary Australian trainer Bart Cummings his 12th Melbourne Cup with a thrilling photo finish victory in the 3200-metre (two miles) race at Flemington to win the $3.3 million first prize.

And, as parties go, it's BIG.

(Photos by STR/AFP/Getty Images and William West/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

THE COLOR PURPLE…Serbian player Jelena Jankovic returns to her compatriot Ana Ivanovic during their season-ending WTA Championships tennis match in Doha on November 4, 2008. Jankovic won the match 6-3, 6-4.

Qatar is hosting the Women's Masters Tennis Championship for the first time in the Middle East.

Not being terribly familiar with the color of grass, they have no idea what the traditional tennis court is meant to look like.

(Photo by Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

IF OBAMA WINS…I’m leaving. Just kidding. Or maybe not.

Phil Mickelson of the US writes his name using Chinese characters at a press event before the HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai.

Mickelson said Tuesday he was not yet ready to join the European Tour but expected he eventually would as he reshaped his career with a focus on more international tournaments (and, no doubt, to duck President Obama’s tax increases).

(Photo by AFP)

Monday, November 3, 2008

THE REDSKIN RULE

The boys over at D.C. Sports Blog reminded us today about the "Redskin Rule."

If you believe in history and strange, possibly-but-possibly-not-meaningless patterns, the most reliable predictor of presidential elections is the outcome of the Redskins' final home game before an election.

When the Redskins win their last home game before a presidential election, the incumbent party holds on to control of the White House. When the Redskins lose their last home game before the election, the out-of-power party takes over. Works every time, all the way back to the franchise's first game in Washington in 1937.

"My favorite thing about the Redskins Rule is that the Redskins aren't permanently assigned to a political party," Elias Sports Bureau's Steve Hirdt said. "They're shifting fortunes."

Then, there's this: "As it currently stands, the Redskins Rule has been a more reliable indication than the popular vote itself," Hirdt said.

It's true. The popular vote is 16-for-17 and the Redskins Rule is 17-for-17, if you're talking about "The 2.0 version," as Hirdt calls it.

Oh, right. Forgot to mention that the Redskins Rule was amended after 2004's deciding game, when the Redskins lost to the Packers, 28-14, which meant that a John Kerry presidency was imminent.

"After that, we had to go back and see what the Redskins Rule really meant," Hirdt said. And so, as it were, he "re-stated" the Rule: If the Redskins win their last home game prior to a presidential election, then the party that won the popular vote in the previous election would win the White House, and vice versa. Since the popular vote went to Al Gore in 2000, the Rule made sense again...

So if you are wondering why Obama is hanging out with Steeler's Coach Mike Tomlin and waving a Steelers' Terrible Towel, now you know...

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