Saturday, October 28, 2006

Cocktail Party 2006: Same Old Story

Week 9 Useless Predictions

Clemson -4 @ Virginia Tech
Loss. Va. Tech 24-7 Clemson

Wake Forest -9 @ North Carolina
Loss. North Carolina 17-24 Wake Forest

BYU -9 @ Air Force
Win. Air Force 14-33 BYU

Tennessee -3.5 @ South Carolina
Win. South Carolina 24-31 Tennessee

Fuck it: Florida -13.5 v. Georgia - if we do get rolled, then this will be one good thing. If we win, then I'll happily take the loss.
Loss. Florida 21-14 Georgia. Of course.

Totals: 2-3 (40%) Pas Bon
YTD: 27-27-2 (50%) Pas Bon aussi

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Rose Cocktail Party By Any Other Name

Mike Adams can crusade all he wants (and create giant family tailgating zones while taking massive contributions from and publicly honoring alcohol distributors).

CBS & ESPN can accede to their request.

Others can come up with clever substitute names.

But Georgia-Florida is The Cocktail Party and will always be referred to here as such. Actually, it's The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party but I have always called it simply The Cocktail Party and will continue to do so.

When this game becomes a contest between Liberty
& Oral Roberts then I'll stop calling it the Cocktail Party.

Oh, and if Mikey Adams or anyone else thinks that daring not to speak the name of the event is in any way going to reduce the amount of drunkenness/level of partying than he, like me last night, is clearly baked. Will this phrase be uttered once in Jacksonville this weekend?

Person 1: "Damn, Phil, you are fucked up. You better cut back/stop drinking because Mike Adams is 'trying to preach realistic moderation' and disassociate this weekend from drunkenness."
Person 2: "Damn, you're right Steve. Give me an O'Douls and a Poland Spring 1 liter"

Not calling it The Cocktail Party will do about as much to curb drinking this weekend as the using term "collateral damage" will to bringing murdered innocent civilians back to life. In other words: not a damn thing.

Everyone knows that UGA is 2-14 against The Gators in the last 16 years, which pretty much coincides with my time as a Dawg (freshman class of 92). I was there in 92 for the heartbreak. I was there in the rain in 93 for the Anthone Lott soul crusher. I was there in the swamp in 94 for the start-to-finish asskicking. I was there in Sanford in 95 for the only first time an opponent hung half a hundred on a Georgia team between the hedges. I was there countless other times for depressing beatings, and of course I was not there in 97 thanks to my employment in another school's athletic department and in 2004 when I was in Vegas. So like many post-1990 Dawgs I damn near expect for Georgia to find a way to lose to Florida every year, and realistically accept when others refer to them as our "big brother" who regularly doles out beatings to our little punk ass, especially in a year when we barely sneak past Colorado, Ole Miss, and Miss. State and lose at home to Vandy. For shit's sake we went 1-2 against the fucking Zooker.

This pretty much encapsulates The Cocktail Party
I became a Bulldog. Lucy is even in blue and
Charlie Brown is in (almost) red & black.

The one point of pride that we can hold on to is that we are still 36-26-2 all time against those damn Gators. So amazingly enough, although they have picked up a net 12 games on us in the last 16 years, the would still need to win the next 10 games against us in a row just to draw level in the series. That really shows how much they were our bitches pre-1990, when we batted .739 (34-12-2) against them over an 86 year span before they turned the tide and batted .875 on us over the last 16 years. So keep it up Gators, you are still 10 wins in a row shy of being our historical equal.

That being said, I haven't written much about it this week because I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that we are staring at yet another loss. If 92-93 and 2002-2005 were the "I really think we will win because we are better" years and 94-2001 were the "yes we are massive underdogs but my youthful exuberance and slight myopia make me believe that we can beat the Evil Gators" years, then this year is the "this one has been chalked up as an L for a long while, I'm OK with it, and anything better than a fairly substantial loss will be gravy" year.

I'll still watch, root, and hope for the upset but it's hard to see us playing them close. Their D is nasty; our O is not very good and turnover-y as well. Their O is not great but fairly good; our D is very poor. I would think that Georgia would need to be +2 or 3 in turnovers and maybe have some other fluky shit happen like a KR or PR TD or a pick 6 or whatnot in order to have a chance to win at the end.

If we win then I'll be as happy as anyone, but a loss won't be the soul-crushing depression-fest of Auburn 05, Florida 02, or the like.

I get the sense that most of the Dawg Nation feels the same way. But let's be honest - after 2 beers on Saturday all that realism will go out the window and we'll all be believers again.

Prediction: Georgia 13-38 Florida

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Am I baked?

Clemson is only -4 at Va Tech tomorrow night? Did Spiller and Davis both break legs? Is Mike Vick playing for VT? WTF?

Seems like the taking-candy-from-a-baby bet of the year.

The craziest thing is that it opened at -5 and has gone DOWN since Sunday night.

Forget the transitive property (Clem rolled GT, GT rolled VT at VT), because CFB isn't quite that simple. But if you have watched these two teams play this year one thing is clear: Clemson is very good, and VT is not; VT has played 2 teams this year with a pulse (GT, BC) and hot drilled by both. My man Ron Burgundy would say "it's science".

So yeah, I am to Clemson -4 what the housewife in Napoleon Dynamite is to the ship-in-a -bottle that comes with the 32 piece set: "I want that".

The rest of the Week 9 Useless Picks later.


What. The. Fuck?

(now formerly) #1 offense in the country: NINE 3 & outs, SEVEN 1st downs, 166 total yards?

This isn't the pre-November meltdown VT D of years gone by, but apparently last night it was.

Apparently I wasn't the only one baked out of my tree - the Clemson offense and coaching staff appeared to be as well. I imagine their bus up to Blacksburg resembled a Cheech & Chong or Dazed & Confused van - clouded out.

Whatever, dude. Shut up and puff, puff, pass...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Arsenal Joga Bonito Wednesday:
Current Events Edition

I did miss a good weekend of proper footy while on my weekend excursion. Sunday alone had Reading-Arsenal, Manchester United-Liverpool, and El Classico over in Spain: Real Madrid-Barcelona.

Arsenal destroyed Reading by 4 goals to nil while (apparently from all that I have read and seen) playing their best Arsenal Joga Bonito since the golden years of 2002-2004. In honor of this new team full of kids playing flawless beautiful Wengerball, the highlights of this match will serve as this week's AJBW. Enjoy.

Props, too, to the traveling Gooners for being so loud

Hopefully they can keep it going this weekend against Everton. In those other matches ManUtd beat The Pool 2-0 and Real Madrid gave European Champion and 2 time defending La Liga champion Barcelona a 2-0 thumping, their 2nd loss in 5 days. When is the last time Barcelona lost 2 matches in a row? Methinks they miss Eto'o alot more than they thought they would - just goes to show how special a striker he is, and I for one just hope that he can come back and play at that level again, as he is only 24 years old and should have the 4 best years of his career ahead of him if he can get his knee back to 100%.

Lake Tahoe Griswold Family Weekend

Weekend at Lake Tahoe was great, save for the 5 hours it took to get up there on Friday afternoon even though I left the city at 2 p.m. (the Bay area can go toe-to-toe with any US city when it comes to traffic, especially on I-80 between SF & Sac). The frustration that abounds when it takes 5 hours to go 185 miles was abated by the sheer joy of late-afternoon Chick-Fil-A. Things got better, as I arrived just in time to see my niece & nephew before they went to bed (everyone else went up earlier on Friday).

Note the 10ft tall PVC poles to help you find & shovel/plow
your driveway in the winter. Yeah, it snows that much.

We stayed at a great cabin in Truckee, which is just east of the famed Donner Pass near the northwest corner of the lake (Lake Tahoe map). Saturday morning Dad made breakfast, and then we all piled in a Dodge Durango and went for a drive. We went to Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics, to scope it out, stopped off at a playground for some fun time, then cruised down the west side of the lake to Emerald Bay, where we got out, walked around, and took some photos. Beautiful day, perfect weather, amazing views.

Emerald Bay, Southwest corner of the lake

Video of view from Emerald Bay.

There is already snow on the top of Heavenly Mtn. which immediately triggered the skiing synapses in the old brain; it will be upon us soon enough. FYI the top of Heavenly is 10,000 feet while the lake level is about 6,000 feet.

As Uncle Luke would say: "Ski season comin', ski season comin'..."

Back home for kiddie nap time, caught the 2nd half of UT-Bama, ND-UCLA, Michigan-Iowa, and Cal-UW, and learned that UGA had barely escaped against Mighty Mississippi State. Then "dinner" (will I eat dinner at the insanely early time of 5.45 when I have small kids? Probably I suppose. Will my sister laugh her ass off? Most definitely), the 2nd half of the C.J. Spiller show, then off to bed.

Sunday Mom, Dad & I went exploring again while my sister & her family stayed closer to home due to nap scheduling. We went and checked out Northstar at Tahoe, then cruised over to Incline Village, parked at the Hyatt casino and did some exploring on foot: casino, restaurants, beach, dock, etc.

End of dock at Incline Village. Stress must
checked in the coat room before entering.

Video of view from Incline Village

Incline Village is the most upscale town up at Lake Tahoe that I have seen; a place to drop the extra cash to take your special someone on a special occasion. Perfect weather again, and the views are such that you could sit all day just looking at the lake & mountains while pondering life.

Self-portrait in 12 feet of water. Kanu. 2006.

We cruised back and stopped at a place called Gar Woods to eat lunch on their back deck, which is literally right on the lake. This restaurant is home of the heretofore unheard of but apparently world famous "Wet Woody", of which we did not partake but sounded totally hardcore - I lost track after the waitress rattled off the first 10 ingredients, but apparently it tastes "just like tropical fruit punch, only better". The views were again stunning and soothing, and the food and beer was excellent - could have sat there all day.

A happy hour, indeed.

Video of view from Gar Woods deck

Back to the pad, then we all went to a rec center and went swimming and partook of 3 different outdoor jacuzzi's that resembled the porridge of the 3 little bears: warm, warmer, and warmest. Returned home, family dinner, then I left for SF at 8.30 p.m. hoping to make it back in 3.5 hours. For once there was no traffic and I cruised home in 2.45, which made me ecstatic as well as retroactively frustrated that it took 5 to get up there on Friday. It's a much easier drive in the mountains without snow and ice and chains on your tires that limit you to 30 mph as well.

This summer was the 2nd in a row that I kicked myself for not getting up to Tahoe to explore. Thanks to Mom & Dad's visit and the family weekend, I finally got to experience it outside of winter. This was actually a great time to go, because the summer crowds were gone, the winter crowds have yet to arrive and the weather was still excellent: 60s and sunny during the day and 30s at night. I will definitely be back up there next summer more than once, and I've already found about 5 specific things that I want to do or check out. If you haven't been, I highly recommend that you add it to your list. This place, Yosemite, and Big Sur are 3 of the prettiest places you will ever see.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Weekend: Mother Nature 1, College Football 0 Edition

No CFB for Kanu this weekend; I'm off to the north shore of Tahoe for a Griswold family weekend. All things considered it is a pretty good weekend to give up football for, you know, spending QT with your family, as the slate of games is relatively uninspiring. Georgia did their part by not even being on TV at all.

The best part of all? I get to eat Chick-Fil-A today. Don't think I haven't been dreaming about it all week...

Forgive me Truett for I have sinned;
it has been 4 months since my last #1 Combo meal
with extra pickle Value-sized with a sweet tea.

Hopefully I can stockpile enough serenity and inner peace from the beautiful blue waters of Lake Tahoe this weekend to help me get through the turn-back-the-clock-to-1998 asskicking to come next Saturday at the hands of the Gators.

Peaceful, serene, beautiful, and inspiring:
it's everything that Georgia football currently isn't.

Arsenal have a tricky match away to Reading, who have shown that they can go toe to toe with even the big boys of the Prem. Full points please.

Oh, and if you only do one thing this weekend, be sure to stop over at EDSBS and listen to and/or download the Lee Corso "Love TKO" Slo Jam remix as performed by Orson Swindle. It is a thing of pure beauty.

Y'all have a great weekend.

Week 8 Useless Predictions

YTD: 23-21-2 (52.2%)

Texas -4.5 @ Nebraska

Loss. Nebraska 20-22 Texas

Wisconsin -6 @ Purdue
Win. Purdue 3-24 Purdue

Baylor -3.5 v Kansas
Loss. Baylor 36-35 Kansas

Tennessee -11 v. Alabama
Loss. Tennessee 16-13 Alabama

Clemson -7.5 v. Georgia Tech
Win. Clemson 31-7 Georgia Tech

Solon's much more researched picks for week 8 can be found here. Happy Action.

Totals: 2-3 (40%)
YTD: 25-24-2 (51%)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Arsenal Joga Bonito Wednesday:
Arsene Wenger Man-Crush Edition

So Arsenal lost their Champions League match away to CSKA Moscow 1-0 on a free kick where Mad Jens was seriously screened and basically had no chance. Henry scored a perfectly legitimate goal to equalize at the end, but not only was it wrongly disallowed by the referee, he even booked TH14 for an intentional handball. Afterwards he was not pleased. A SEC Football level of refereeing mistake which cost Arsenal a point and gave CSKA Moscow an extra two. Arsenal didn't play very well in the cold weather and bad pitch, it was like they never really got going. To be fair CSKA played very well, and playing in their stadium is no joke apparently; hopefully Arsenal can win the return match in the friendly confines of their new home in 2 weeks and reassert themselves as group leaders.

All of the other big boys won, and Chel$ea beat Barca 1-0 on a great piece of skill from Didier Drogba in an otherwise disappointing match. Barca looked like they really miss Eto'o, and Ronaldinho played as poorly as I have ever seen him play.

Last week marked Arsene Wenger's 10 year anniversay at Arsenal Football Club, so this week's AJBW celebrates his 10 years in charge of the club. There's also a BBC piece on his tenure here. He may very well be my favorite person in sport, and for my money he is the best manager in the world, period. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

ADITLOPS: A Day In The Life Of Phil Steele

Phil Steele. Women want him. Men want to be him. Simply put he is the Chuck Norris of the world where college football, in-depth analysis, and gambling live as one. The only man on earth who picked 1-10 Kent to win the MAC East this year (hmmm... where are they again?). By no means is this meant to disrespect or belittle him, it's purpose is quite the opposite: to celebrate and pay homage to the unmeasurable awesomeness that is Phil Steele. Enjoy.

Will handicap circles around your ass.
In his sleep.

click here for English translation

OS, LFW as my AC didn't go off. That's 3X this year after going a perfect 240-0 LY. 3 sets of my traffic rankings said that I would still make it in OT, but 2 ACCs on the I-15 did me in. INT'D 2 new SECs to replace outgoing Stacy (#1 DC, Citibank), who avg. 22 MPD and 98 ESHPY while still managing to always get the coffee just right - she will be missed. Susan is a VHT (PS#4) who put up great numbers in HS (75 WPM, 25 MPD) but will likely RS as Tracy (PS#66, 2005 JUCO SOY) has more experience and will be a solid TA while Susan is groomed to be the SEC OTF.

Reviewed LW's game tapes for a few hours, then had Tracy order TO from Quiznos. HBC on W, NT, combo meal with CRD & DC. AL it was off to the CC for my WGM with Jim Feist. He's a 6 HDCP and I'm a 10, so I stroke on the 1-4 HDCP holes. LW he won 1up in the last hole after a 3P by YT. Feist dominated the 1H with a 6-1 FH edge, 7-2 GIR edge, BTB birdies and only 10 putts!!! I was blocking everything to the right and hit 3 OB. I was 4DN at the turn and 8 of my 9 power rankings had me GMAW. So what happened on the BN? I simply went out and dominated the 2H, with 6 FH, 7 GIR, 12 putts, and even a HIO on the par 3 13th!!! By the 17th tee I was 2UP and dormi, and I closed him out with a CI from the LR. An amazing SU win and 2&1 frontdoor cover!!!

WH and CU for my 1D with Theresa. She is VHT - of the 486 women on BTW 26-40 within 50 MI of my ZC she is PS#3. We met for DDD at Cafe HOF, a late Zagat's Power Sweep 4 Star Key Selection. Dinner was VG, although my BBQAS was a bit UC. AD our drinking O overwhelmed the bartender's patchwork D as we drank 8 T&Ts in 60 MIN!! In the BR I calculated that 7 of my 8 power rankings called for me to get a long GK with 2 sets having me getting to 2B. I took her home IAC and walked her THD. I played aggressive O and easily broke down her Kiss D. We had a LDMOS, and then she asked if I wanted to come upstairs for a NC, but then suddenly her RM/DC appeared. What happened next? Her RM simply came out and dominated with an amazing CB, then grabbed Theresa, whisked her inside, and bid me GN. Although I completely dominated TOP, I was unable to break down her AA CB D.

A VTL both SU & ATS; I just have to hope that I can regroup and comeback strong NW. At least our 16 MIN MOS went OVER the 9 MIN O/U, so I did have a WT in my wallet. I TAC home and PO OTC, dreaming of the backdoor cover...

The day this comes out is like Christmas morning.

  • English Translation
    Over Slept, Late For Work as my Alarm Clock didn't go off. That's 3 Times this year after going a perfect 240-0 Last Year. 3 sets of my traffic rankings said that I would still make it in On Time, but 2 ACCidents on the I-15 did me in. INTervieweD 2 new SECretaries to replace outgoing Stacy (#1 Draft Choice, Citibank), who avg. 22 Memos Per Day and 98 Emergency Situations Handled Per Year while still managing to always get the coffee just right - she will be missed. Susan is a Very Highly Touted (Phil Steele ranked #4) who put up great numbers in High School (75 Words Per Minute, 25 Memos Per Day) but will likely RedShirt as Tracy (Phil Steele ranked #66, 2005 JUnior COllege Secretary Of the Year) has more experience and will be a solid Travel Arranger while Susan is groomed to be the SECretary Of The Future.

    Reviewed Last Week's game tapes for a few hours, then had Tracy order Take Out from Quiznos. Honey Bourbon Chicken on Wheat, No Tomato, combo meal with Cool Ranch Doritos & Diet Coke. After Lunch it was off to the Country Club for my Weekly Golf Match with Jim Feist. He's a 6 HanDiCaP and I'm a 10, so I stroke on the 1-4 HanDiCaP holes. Last Week he won 1up on the18th after a 3-Putt by Yours Truly. Feist dominated the 1st Half with a 6-1 Fairways Hit edge, 7-2 Greens In Regulation edge, Back To Back birdies and only 10 putts!!! I was blocking everything to the right and hit 3 Out of Bounds. I was 4 DowN at the turn and 8 of my 9 power rankings had me Getting My Ass Whipped. So what happened on the Back Nine? I simply went out and dominated the 2nd Half, with 6 Fairways Hit, 7 Greens In Regulation, 12 putts, and even a Hole-In-One on the par 3 13th!!! By the 17th tee I was 2UP and dormi, and I closed him out with a Chip In from the Left Rough. An amazing Straight Up win and 2&1 frontdoor cover!!!

    Went Home and Cleaned Up for my 1st Date with Theresa. She is Very Highly Touted - of the 486 women on BeTWeen 26-40 within 50 MIles of my Zip Code she is Phil Steele ranked #3. We met for Dinner, Drinks, and Dancing at Cafe Hall Of Fame, a late Zagat's Power Sweep 4 Star Key Selection. Dinner was Very Good, although my Bar-B-Que Atlantic Salmon was a bit UnderCooked. After Dinner our drinking Offense overwhelmed the bartender's patchwork Defense as we drank 8 Tanqueray & Tonics in 60 MINutes!! In the BathRoom I calculated that 7 of my 8 power rankings called for me to get a long Goodnight Kiss with 2 sets having me getting to 2nd Base. I took her home In A Cab and walked her To Her Door. I played aggressive Offense and easily broke down her Kiss Defense. We had a Long, Drunken Make-Out Session, and then she asked if I wanted to come upstairs for a Night Cap, but then suddenly her RoomMate/Defensive Coordinator appeared. What happened next? Her Room Mate simply came out and dominated with an amazing Cock Block, then grabbed Theresa, whisked her inside, and bid me Good Night. Although I completely dominated Time Of Possession, I was unable to break down her All-American Cock Block Defense.

    A Very Tough Loss both Straight Up & Against The Spread; I just have to hope that I can regroup and comeback strong Next Week. At least our 16 MINute Make-Out Session went OVER the 9 MINute Over/Under, so I did have a Winning Ticket in my wallet. I Took A Cab home and Passed Out On The Couch, dreaming of the backdoor cover...
  • When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong:
    Life Imitates Art Edition

    Ever seen the Vernon Franklin episode of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" on Chappelle Show? Bummed out that Chappelle Show no longer exists, and wishing you could see a "new" episode of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" because it was your favorite skit?

    Vernon Franklin, file photo.

    Then you are in luck, because it played out in real life on Saturday night as it happens. Like most people who watched the YouTube video of the Miami-FIU brawl on Friday night, I stopped watching after about 1 minute when the melee proper subsided and there was just silence and people standing around. Big mistake on my part, but thanks to Swindle I went back and gave it another look. Watch it again and fast forward to the 1:45 mark to hear CSS color commentator, former Miami Hurricane wide receiver from the thug life days, pregnant fiance batterer, goat of one of the greatest college football plays of all time, and all around great guy Lamar Thomas. What you will hear is his own personal version of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong."

    Yes, just like Vernon Franklin, Lamar Thomas was fired yesterday by CSS. Word on the street is that he is thinking about hosting a Player Hater's Ball in Miami for New Year's Eve.

    TiVo Alert: Once In A Lifetime

    Once In A Lifetime
    Wednesday, October 18
    ESPN. 8-10 p.m. EST

    This past summer a small, independent movie chronicling the rapid rise and fall of the New York Cosmos called Once In A Lifetime was released, and I went and watched it one day after work. It was outstanding, so I was naturally suprised to find that ESPN was somehow involved, until I read somewhere that they didn't sign on until after the film had been made, which explains why it is so good and not on par with Playmakers, Brain Dennehey doing Bob Knight, or 3. It is well done and worth watching, and the soundtrack is super-disco-tastic. Hell, there is one completely insane black and white highlight of Pele that alone makes the movie worth watching.

    Pele plays to a packed stadium. In America.

    Anyhow, ESPN is re-airing the movie tomorrow night from 8-10 p.m. EST. I highly recommend checking it out. Although Pele didn't participate in the film, Beckenbauer, Alberto, Chinaglia, and the rest did; excellent interviews from the major palyers on and off the field give a great behind the scenes account. The story of the Warner exec who funded the team and the signing of the best player in the world to a nothing league (Pele) are particularly interesting, and seeing 80,000 people at a soccer match in Giants Stadium in 1977 is just flat out trippy. And after hearing the bombast of Chinaglia, you might not be suprised to hear that he is involved in the latest in an interminable series of Italian soccer scandals.

    I don't think that you have to be a soccer freak to like this movie; I think any fan of sport in general, especially the business of sports and sociology of sports, will find this movie interesting and enjoyable.

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    All Some Things Footie

    So Theo Walcott, fresh off his Arsenal Joga Bonito Wednesday appearance, was given his first career start for Arsenal on Saturday at the tender age of 17. Although he didn't score, he didn't disappoint, and Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners against Sir Elton John's club for their 6th win on the trot.

    Arsenal 3-0 Watford.
    Jordan Stewart (og 33)
    Thierry Henry (43)
    Emmanuel Adebayor (67)

    BBC Match Of The Day Highlights (8:14)

    Theo Walcott: starter

    Next up is a trip to Russia to face CSKA Moscow on Tuesday in Match Day 3 of the 2006-07 Champions League. Travelling to Russia is always tricky, but better now than in February. CSKA Moscow are no joke - they won the UEFA Cup in 2005 and have some good players, including the wonderfully named Brasilian striker Vagner Love. A win would just about wrap up qualification to the knockout stage, but a draw would be a fine result as well, as Arsneal currently top the group with 6 points from 2 matches while CSKA are 2nd with a win and a draw.

    In other Match Day 3 action, pointless and last place Inter Milan are in damn-near-must-win territory at home against Spartak Moscow, and Real Madrid could stand to step it up as well away to Steaua Bucharest, but they might be looking forward to El Classico this weekend against arch-rivals Barcelona. Speaking of Barca, they will feature in THE game of Match Day 3 in London in "Chel$ea-Barcelona: Episode III, Chapter I", which of course will be a tense affair after all that happened in Chel$ea-Barcelona Episode I 2 years ago and Chel$ea-Barcelona Episode II last year. Should be good stuff - Forca Barca.

    SE9: Get well soon

    Also speaking of Barca, I forgot to mention that last month my favorite Barca player, Samuel Eto'o, wrecked his knee and will be out for about 6 months. Totally sucks for him - here's hoping for a speedy and full recovery for one of the best strikers in the world.

    Another thing I forgot from the last round of the Champions League is Peter Crouch's amazing bicycle kick goal for Liverpool. Simply stated, a 6'7" dude should not be able to do that. If you don't believe me, take a look at this absolutely bizarre picture:

    Looks out-of-this-world unnatural, like an octopus
    falling out of a tree

    Lastly, FC RedStripes played their first match of the new season on Sunday, and this Kanu managed to miss an even easier sitter than his epic miss in the summer season. Although it was a 7-a-side/small field/small goal , it was damn near as bad as the legendary miss by the real Kanu. Fortunately it did not come back to bite me in the arse as Red Stripes held on for a 1-0 win. Hooray Beer!

    Bernardini, Lava Man, Invasor Still On Pace
    For Epic Showdown in The Classic

    Bernardini: Freak or mortal?
    The next Super Horse or just a very good horse
    that hasn't faced stellar competition yet?
    (I'm leaning toward freak)

    I totally forgot to post this last week, but a week ago was the last weekend of prep races leading up to the $5 million Breeders Cup Classic on November 4th. Potential superhorse Bernardini was to have a huge showdown with Invasor, but Invasor picked up a light injury that forced him to miss the race and just train up to the BC Classic. So no big threat, but it was still his first time running against older horses. Even so, he is so dominant right now that only 3 horses even entered against him, and they all knew they were running for 2nd place money. Do you remember back when Michael Johnson would be so far ahead in the 200 meters that he would literally pull up and job the last 30 meters to the finish line, not in a preliminary heat but in the final? That is what this looked like. Bernardini looked like he was out for a light morning jog and he still ran away with it easily to notch his 6th straight dominating win. Castellano didn't even need to bring his whip along for the ride (damn, when was the last time he used it -the Preakness?). Next stop is the big one, the Breeders' Cup Classic, where he will face the best of the best and prove one and for all if he is the Super Horse that many feel he is.

    Invasor (R) winning the Whitney Handicap

    Out West, Lava Man won the Goodwood at Santa Anita fairly easily against a pretty good field, finishing 2 1/4 lengths in front of my Derby horse Brother Derek to win his 7th race in a row. Lava Man is right on pace for the huge showdown with Bernardini in the Classic. Throw in Invasor, and you have 3 great horses who have dominated their competition all year but have yet to face each other (lightly raced 3 year old Discreet Cat may be just as good as these three, but his handlers are being cautious with him and will not jump all the way up for the Classic) .

    Lava Man is straight representin' the West Coast

    This Breeders' Cup classic has more of a Clash Of The Titans feel to it than any I can remember in recent history. Throw in a bunch of other really good horses as well and it should be the best race of the year.

    Breeders' Cup Classic: November 4th, 5:20 p.m. Churchill Downs. If you haul ass, you could catch the sure to be on JP at 12:30 Georgia-Kentucky game in Lexington and still make to to CD by post time. Better yet watch the game from the clubhouse and watch all of the best horses from around the world in all the BC races.

    Week 7 Random Observations

    As stupid as many think UGA defensive coordinator Willie Martinez is, Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter, trailing USC 21-28 and facing with 4th and long from his own end with 1:30 left and 2 timeouts, PUNTED the ball away to SC, who proceeded to run the clock out via a run and then victory formation . I guess that new clock change rule that has so massively changed the end of games failed to make it into ASU's preseason PowerPoint presentation (but he apparently did watch that Georgia-BC Music City Bowl a few years back where Richt punted with I believe 0:53 left).

    Maybe that bad call against Florida was the SEC Inept Officiating Karma (sponsored by Golden Flake) coming back and biting them in the arse for their win against Vandy last year, where a damn near unstoppable Cutler was a last minute 2 point conversion from defeating Florida when they were flagged for excessive celebration that was nowhere near excessive celebration, so they had to kick a 35 yard extra point instead and lost in OT. Of course the bad call against Florida did not explicitly cost them the game: they would have attempted a go ahead FG on 4th down with a kicker who is pretty dodgy, and even if they made it they would have been up by 2 with 8 minutes still to play, but you get my drift (and gratuitous Golden Flake - The Official Potato Chip of the SEC reference).

    I noticed lots of lazy analysis late Saturday night that Auburn made a bunch of adjustments and outfought the gators to get the win. Wilber flat out dropped the ball, that O-Lineman decided it would be cool to play D-Line for one play and tackle him a Tiger/Plainsman/WarEagle in the end zone, Leak "fumbled" of his own accord, and then threw an utterly shitty pass that got picked, and of course the last play had absolutely nothing to do with Auburn doing anything especially well. Plain & simple Auburn played well but not great and was gifted a win by the fuckups of the Gators, who only allowed12 points from the Auburn offense but still managed to lose 27-17 . That being said they will both still beat our ass.

    The Cal game not being on TV us just flat out ridiculous. A top 10 team on the road against a tough Washington State team that was 1 play from knocking off #2 two weeks ago. Not only was the game not on national TV or even ESPN Gameplan (who among others showed Western Michigan-Northern Illinois, Fresno-Hawaii, Troy-Louisiana-Monroe, Miami-Florida International), it wasn't even on in the Bay Area where I live. An absolute joke- equal blame to TV and to the PAC10 for having negotiated such a weak TV contract.

    Cal will win out, beat USC at USC, finish 11-1, and still get no respect east of The Rockies because of their utter destruction at hands of Tennessee, moreso if the Vols lose more games. Unless they beat the loser of the Ohio State-Michigan game by 2 touchdowns in the Rose Bowl (if that is really how the Big 11 plays out).

    Let the ESPN hype machine begin! Ohio State-Michigan is "the game of the century!!!" even know it is a month out and neither team is 11-0 quite yet. Expect Shelly Smith to start covering this story this week.

    The John L Smith Meltdown Of The Week goes to formerly 15th ranked Iowa: up 21-7 against the Indiana team that lost 59-0 to Wisconsin a few weeks back, they pulled a nice John L and lost outright to the Hoosiers 31-28.

    How far Miami have fallen. It's one thing to come out of the tunnel in fatigues or get into a pregame brawl in a #1 vs. #2 clash of the titans matchup, but a prison riot melee against Florida International (whom you were only beating 7-0 halfway through the 3rd quarter)? It's like the low point of some metal band in True Hollywood Story. If only supreme idiot Kellen "I'm a soldier!" Winslow, Jr, was still at "Da U" then it all would have been worth it just to hear his post game comments.

    With the new clock rules, will anyone shoot par this year? If you don't cross-dorkify your CFB with golf: will any team score 72 points in a game, or even 70 for that matter? It happened a few handfuls a year in seasons past, but I believe the closest anyone has come this season is Hawaii this past Saturday when they travelled up to Fresno State Country Club and turned in a nice little 4-under 68.

    Saw The Departed last night. Of course I am biased against any movie set in Boston with real Bostonians (Matt Damon, Maahky Maahk) doing the chowd accent instead of the tortured attempts at it by non-Bostonian actors (see Vera Farmiga in this movie, Clooney and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in A Perfect Storm, etc.) , but it's great - go see it.

    Saturday, October 14, 2006

    We Just Lost to Bobby Navin R. Johnson

    "Johnson! Navin! R! I'm somebody now!"

    For those not in the know, Bobby Navin R. Johnson is the inventor of the Opti-Grab head coach of Vandy.

    Never seen them together at a party, have you?

    Fucking Vandy. Not even last year's Vandy, with NFL draft pick Jay Cutler at QB, the one that beat Tennessee and arguably should have beat Florida (by the way, where is the utter and extreme ineptitude of the SEC Officials to prevent an embarrassing home loss to Vandy when you need it? Unfortunately they were working this game instead). This year's Vandy - no Cutler, lost to Ole Miss, only wins were at home against Tennessee State and Temple. But Vandy nonetheless. 0-53 in their last 53 games against ranked teams Vandy. I was there in 1994 when we lost to Vandy on homecoming, and I'm just glad that I didn't "come home" to Sanford Stadium today.

    You can't even say it was a fluke. If it wasn't for Vandy suddenly remembering that they were Vandy and gifting us that pick six as well as a 5 yard punt from their own end of the field (that we did nothing with, unless running that inside draw play on 3rd & 11 and then missing a field goal qualifies as "something"), the game would have been over well before the last :02.

    "Hey! Guess what? You are our 8th customer today!
    the first ranked team to lose to us in 53 games! You won a free oven mitt!"

    At least we have an defense oven mitt.

    There's not much to say - we're just not good. People will bitch about Lumpkin's fumble, conservative plays, settling for short FGs, inside draws on 3rd and 11, and not having a good play to run on a key 2 point conversion - all valid. But make no mistake - our defense lost this game, not our offense. Everyone knew all year that our offense was shaky and was not what would win games for us. Our D was supposed to be stellar, our bread and butter that we could rely on to get us through as the offense slowly came along and cobbled enough together to get results. But the D has been exposed as a total joke. Absolutely no pressure on the QB despite two supposedly great ends (is this because the DTs are that terrible?), poor tackling, and a complete inability to prevent receivers from being flat out wide open, or at least having a DB turn their head towards the ball to knock it down. Again. I have not seen defense this bad since the 94-95 Goff years. We couldn't stop Vandy over and over again when our supposedly great D needed to, it's as simple as that. At this point perhaps the most remarkable thing about our team this year has nothing to do with the UT or Vandy games; it is that we played so well and shut out South Carolina in their house.

    I guess the only silver lining is that thanks to Adrian Peterson's freak injury, the Gators implosion, Iowa coming from 21-7 up to lose outright to Indiana, and the melee in Miami, our stinging loss was suppressed down to about the 5th or 6th "story" of the day.

    Actually , the real silver lining is that going into today we all realized that we just weren't very good, so as disappoinitng and embarrassing as this is, it is not the unexpected, soul-crushing kick in the nuts that say the 4th-and-10 concession and last minute loss to Auburn was last year, when we were really good with the expectations to match.

    At this point it is hard to see any way that we beat Florida or Auburn, and Tech is maybe 50/50. Hopefully we can get past Miss. State and Kentucky, but with this O and this D, you can't even take those as a given at this point. 7-5 looks like a distinct possibility, and it is not unconceiveable that we don't even do that well.

    As frustrating as this is, Georgia is my team for better or for worse, and I will support them when they are great and when they are shit. Having said that, I do think that it was pretty shitbird of the Georgia fans today who booed 18-21 year old kids. Not very classy. For some reason this seems very different to me than booing an NFL team of extremely well paid professional players. Even if you were booing the coaching decisions and not the kids, it's a shitty message to send to the kids that you will turn on them as soon as things are not going well at all.

    Anyhow, hopefully we can get our heads out of our asses before next week's game, which thankfully will not be on TV.

    So conrats to you Navin R. Johnson and your fighting 'Dores, I can't really say that you didn't deserve to win.

    Week 7 Useless Predictions

    Purdue -8 @ Northwestern
    Win. Northwestern 10-31 Purdue

    Wisconsin -8 v. Minnesota
    Win. Wisconsin 48-12 Minnesota

    Iowa -20 @ Indiana
    Loss. Indiana 31-28 Iowa

    Wake Forest +3 @ NC State
    Win. NC State 23-25 Wake Forest

    Maryland -3 @ Virginia
    Loss. Virginia 26-28 Maryland

    Florida -2.5 @Auburn
    Loss. Auburn 27-17 Florida

    Cal -8 @ Wazzu
    Win. Wazzu 3-21 Cal

    FSU -22.5 @Duke
    Win. Duke 24-51 FSU

    Washington -9 v. Oregon State
    Loss. Washington 17-27 Oregon State

    Arizona -3.5 @ Stanford
    Win. Stanford 7-20 Arizona

    Baylor +28 @ Texas
    Loss. Texas 63-31 Baylor

    Totals: 6-5.
    Pretty damn disappointing to finish 6-5 after being 6-2, especially the way Baylor got beat, and the Gators, too. Damn.

    YTD: 23-21-2 (52.2%)
    Can't seem to stop treading water, which sucks. But I suppose it's better than losing big - basically at this point I'm playing for free.

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Euro 2008: Strange Things Are Afoot
    At The Circle K

    Euro 2008 Qualifying Standings (top 2 in each group qualify)

    England, after a disappointing, listless 0-0 draw at home to Macedonia on Saturday, were outplayed and embarrassed 0-2 away to Croatia on Tuesday night. Apparently they were thoroughly outplayed and did not produce a shot on goal until the 91st minute. Adding insult to injury, they conceded one of the more embarrassing own goals that you will ever see.

    The funniest part is of course Borat's face on the advertising board as the ball slowly drifts into the net. The 2nd funniest part is McLaren - what is he writing ever so calmly? Although there are still 8 matches remaining, Engerland will need to sort it out if they are to qualify - they are playing very poorly at the moment.

    In group B Scotland beat France 1-0 in Saturday, thier biggest win in forever and a day, leaving them top of the group with 3 wins from 3 matches. They lost yesterday in Ukraine, but if they can somehow keep up their suprisingly good form then this group could get wacky. IF, and it is still a big if at this point, Scotland could somehow finish in the top 2, then that would mean that 2 0f 3 from Italy, France, and Ukraine would not qualify - that's a quarterfinalist and the 2 finalists from World Cup 2006. It still early enough that in all likelihood Scotland will eventually fade and leave the other 3 to battle for the 2 spots, but you never know.

    There was another shocker on Saturday: Ireland not only losing but getting shellacked by Cyprus 5-2. Yes, Cyrpus. The same Cyprus that lost 6-1 to Slovakia and then 3-1 to currently awful Wales yesterday. Ireland will need a miracle at this point to chellenge Germany and Czech republic for the 2 qualifying spots.

    Lastly, Spain lost their 2nd match in a row 2-0 to Sweden. Not nearly as embarrassing as last time out where they lost 3-2 to Northern Ireland, but they are in a bit of a funk and will need to step it up in order to qualify - their slow start means that their margin for error is now rather small.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    AJBW: Young Theo, The Future

    Young Theo Walcott is only 17. Earlier this year, he scored on his full debut for the England Under 21 National Team after being controversially selected to the England World Cup Squad (although he never saw the field thanks to the genius named Sven).

    He is getting into the Arsenal side here and there (always difficult on a team that sent 16 full internationals to the World Cup this summer), and when he does he is showing in glimpses that he may very well live up to the enormous hype which precedes him.

    Last night in the Under 21 European Championship qualifier 2nd leg in Germany, Theo came on with 13 minutes to go in a tie that England led 1-0 and was very much in the balance. By full time it was 3-0 Engerland thanks to 2 goals from the 17 year old wunderkind. It only seems a matter of time before he opens his Arsenal account. Anyhow, these two goals are your Arsenal Joga Bonito Wednesday offering. Enjoy.

    Another young phenom named TW.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Week 6 Random Observations

    The loss of Coutu won't be too bad for UGA on field goals, as Andy Bailey is a solid replacement, but the dropoff on kickoffs looks like it will be severe. I'm pretty sure the new kid only got 1 to the endzone all night, and just barely at that. Two or three different times the Tennessee returner caught the kickoff at his 15 yard line, which just isn't cutting it in major college football. Get that kid to the buffet, stat.

    I read somewhere that before Ole Miss UGA had not had a punt blocked since 1999, and now it has happened 3 times in 2 games. WTF?

    I knew it was a fool's errand to bet on The Zooker. When they were up 25-7 I was thinking "if anyone can screw this up, it's Zook." Sure enough, they came from way ahead to lose outright 32-34. Hopefully I will never be stupid enough to bet on him again.

    Both Zook and UGA came from ahead to lose, but both of those leads were late in the 2nd quarter. The real John L Smith Meltdown Of The Week came courtesy of Wake Forest. They were up 17-3 starting the 4th quarter. Not only that, they were kicking a field goal to go up 20-3 when Clemson blocked it, returned it for a TD, and went on a 24-0 run to hand Wake a 17-27 home loss.

    I never thought this could happen, but thanks to Cal busting out the bright yellow, Oregon played a game in which their uniforms were more normal and pleasing to the eye than their opponent. It actually made the game tricky to watch, because at first glance all night you thought the teams were each other; after watching Oregon in the bright yellow for the last few years it gave the game a serious bizarro-world feel.

    Welcome to bizarro world.

    Speaking of the Cal game, I have been amazed by under-the-radar uber WR stud DeSean Jackson of Cal for some time. Only a sophomore, he now has 18 touchdowns in 17 games played at Cal (15 receiving, 3 punt returns). He is every bit as good as Calvin Johnson, Ginn, Jr, Jarrett, or anyone else, but gets relatively little hype. He's not even the most hyped WR in the PAC 10 (Jarrett, SC), but methinks he is the best.

    A good while after the Georgia game was over on Saturday night, I saw on the ticker NTEX 22 FLA INT'L 22 6OT and that the game was still in progress. I thought "wow, they must have been like 3-3 at the end of regulation". I looked online only to find out that regulation ended 16-16, and that the two teams had only managed to kick 4 FGs between them in 12 overtime possessions. Wacky. The MeanJoeGreenes went on to win 25-22 in the 7th overtime in which the teams failed to score at all in 9 of their 14 overtime possessions. Each kicker missed 4 field goals in the overtime alone. This has to be the wackiest, craziest, most bizarre game in CFB since the OT rule was instituted. Too bad it wasn't on GamePlan.

    Does Arkansas practice on a practice field or out in the street? For the 2nd week in a row Houston Nutt used a play not seen outside of a 4th grade after school sandlot game. Last week against Alabama was this little beauty, which he tried not in the first quarter but in the last two minutes of a tie game. Then against Auburn he drew this one up on the palm of his hand. I can see Nutt presiding over the Razorbacks practice in the streets of Fayetteville, yelling "CAR!" occasionally and having everyone stop and go to the side of the road until the car passes. Between the trick plays, the punter's crazy prekick pose and Houston Nutt's general nuttiness, it's hard not to pull for the Razorbacks.

    The Razorbacks yogini punter.

    At this point it may seem unlikely, but if at any point during the Cocktail Party Georgia somehow gets ahead of Florida, I hope our players will be smart enough NOT to taunt the Gators with the mock Gator Chomp. A Tennessee player did it when they were up on Florida in the 4th quarter and went on to lose. An Alabama player did it when they went up on Florida, and they went on to lose. Not to be outdone, an LSU dude did it yet again on Saturday when they were ahead, and they went on to lose. As much as hate them and their chomp, please do not mock it, as it seems when you do, you do so at your own peril.

    Monday, October 9, 2006

    The Houston Nutt Call Of The Week,
    Brought To You By The Chronic

    Official corporate sponsor of Houston Nutt's Call of the Week

    In Fayetteville yesterday, Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt picks up the phone, starts dialing, and says "let me call this old coach...".

    In Auburn, Alabama, Tommy Tuberville sits at his desk in his office, hears cell phone ring, and picks it up:

    Tuberville: "Allo?"

    Nutt: "W'sup?"

    Tuberville: "Nothing, what you doin'?"

    Nutt: "Nothing, just kickin' it."

    Tuberville: "{something indistinguishable}"

    Nutt: "Nah. What you going to do today?"

    Tuberville: "Uggh, look at some game film, maybe get meet with some of my coaches for supper. Why, w'sup?"

    Nutt: "Hey, did what's they name get after you yesterday?"

    Tuberville: "Who?"


    Saturday, October 7, 2006

    That Part About Our D being Really Good?
    Uggh, Nevermind.

    Well that went from fantasy to nightmare pretty quickly: outscored 44-9 after staking ourselves to a 24-7 lead shortly before halftime, and watching another hated orange team join Spurrier's 1995 Gators as the only 2 teams to ever hang half a hundred on us in Sanford Stadium. I hope Doug was at the game or at a pub, or else methinks he will be spending tomorrow at Home Depot buying all new appliances for his pad.

    From this...

    You know when you have a dream that is so intense that you would swear it was real? Well, that was like having one of those dreams, involving you and 3 of the chicas from Republica Deportiva, and suddenly waking up to a bucket of cold water thrown on your face and looking up to see Owen's mom from Throw Momma From The Train standing over you and yelling at you to get your lazy ass up and take out the trash. this: "Owen! Finish The Drill!"

    Question Of The Day

    Sugar Bowl loss to WVU: Defense's inability to tackle::
    Tonight's loss to UT: ___________

    A) Defense's inablilty to prevent a UT receiver from being wide open
    B) Defense's inability to get any pressure on UT QB Ainge
    C) Defense's inability to rest for more than 4 minutes in the 2nd half thanks to the offense's ineptitude
    D) All of the above

    It looks like we were a paper tiger after all. Tennessee played really well, especially Ainge. There's not much you can say other than they beat our ass, and to have a little class and congratulate them on a job well done.

    I'm just thankful that I am not stuck in traffic right now on 316 listening to the 5th Quarter Show as Bubba from White County bitches about how we would have won if only Joe T had been pulled for Stafford earlier.

    For you members of the Optimist Club:

    - No drops! (and 5 really, really good catches)
    - I'm glad we won the recruiting war for Southerland; he may be our best offensive player right now
    - Andy Bailey made both FGs, so his confidence is not shattered (not sure if we can say the same about our D)
    - Auburn lost at home to Nutty Arkansas
    - The Yankees were eliminated today

    That's all I can be bothered to write tonight. More later.

    Friday, October 6, 2006

    Fleet Week: Like The Van Halen "Dreams" Video, Hold The Cheese, Add A Big Slice Of Amazing

    All pictures and videos were taken October 8 2005.

    It's Fleet Week this week in SF, which is highlighted by an airshow over the bay featuring the Blue Angels on Saturday & Sunday. Yesterday and today they did their practice runs, and I have to tell you it is surreal and trippy to be in the office, out on the street, or in your apartment when this occurs. The sound of the sonic boom that the Blue Angels make literally sounds like the building that you are in is about to get blown to smithereens by a missle- it's very trippy. You know that it is coming but for a second or two it still sounds like you are about to meet your maker and it freaks you out a little. The building shakes a bit, car alarms go off form the noise vibration, and you can feel it in your body.

    View of the bay from the rooftop (8 Oct 2005)

    Today I had to cover the 6-3 shift so I got home just in time to go up on the rooftop and watch the Blue Angels get their practice on. I had almost forgotten how incredible watching them is. Even though is it a good bit cloudy & foggy today, it was still amazing. Makes today one of those days where you don't question why you are paying crazy rent to live in SF but rather you are reminded that you are doing exactly the right thing.

    Landlords, fire marshalls, and insurance companies
    will all be nervous this weekend.

    My rooftop is a great spot because you have a 330 degree view of the city and the bay, and the rooftops of all the apartment buildings are full of spectators. The speed at which these planes travel and maneuver, the noise they make, and the fact that several times they fly less than 500 feet right over my bldg. is just awesome. To see this at an airshow in a field somewhere is cool enough, but to see it against the backdrop of the city and bay is surreal and amazing, especially how low and close they fly to buildings, the water, and the bridges, not to mention each other.

    Solo run over the GGB.

    The NIMBYs flood the Mayor's office with noise complaints, and the uber-lefties complain in disgust about the cradle of US liberalism glorifying/paying tribute to the military industrial complex, but personally I love it.

    Yes, they're upside down.

    I sure hope the weather is good this weekend; last year it was perfect both days. Saturday especially was a contender for Day of the Year 2005. Mom was in town, in the morning we went up to the bridge , then up to the Marin Headlands, then down to Sausalito for brunch, and finally back to my pad. Jim Beam stopped by and we watched #5 Georgia hobnail boot #8 Tennessee for the 3rd time a row at Neyland stadium by the score of 27-14, then up to the rooftop to enjoy the amazing air show on a beautiful sunny 75 degree day.

    C5 (I think?) circles around the Transamerica Bldg.

    They have Fleet Week on this weekend every year, so if you ever are planning a trip to SF this is a wonderful weekend to come out; in the year and a half I have lived here this may very well be the coolest thing I have seen. Anyhow, here are some pics from last year as well as a couple of videos I shot which is of average quality- my camera goes in and out of focus with moving objects at a distance, and those planes are hard as hell to track, especially after 2 souvenir cup Beam & Cokes during the UT-Georgia game (ignore the dorky, rambling commentary by Kanu & Jimmy Beam btw).

    Golden Gate Bridge...

    ...past Angel Island and over Alcatraz...


    ...over to the Bay Bridge. All in about 40 seconds.

    Now that I've written this, we'll probably have inside-of-the-milk-jug fog all weekend.

    Useless Predictions, Week 6

    For Solon's Week 6 picks, as well as his defense against the haters who do not understand the difference between gambling and punditry, clicquez ici.

    After my brilliant 0-6 start, I finally got into the black last week, 15-12-2 (55.5%). More of the same, please. Wazzu & Penn State didn't move after all, but the Buffs are up to -5 so I'm glad I hit that one on Sunday. I hate that I have all favorites this week, not to mention the fact that I have a bet on the fucking Zooker (rationalization: no way, it's a bet on Juice), but it is what it is.

    Wisconsin -21 v. Northwestern
    Win. Wisconsin 41-9 Northwestern

    Illinios -8 v. Indiana
    Loss. Illinois 32-34 Indiana

    Alabama -28 v. Dook
    Loss. Alabama 30-14 Dook

    Wazzu -3.5 @ Oregon State
    Win. Oregon State 6-13 Wazzu

    Penn State -3 @ Minnesota
    Loss. Minnesota 27-28 Penn State (OT)

    Colorado -3.5 v. Baylor
    Loss. Colorado 31-34 Baylor (3OT)

    I think Tennessee has good value even at -2.5, but it is too much of a mindfuck to ever bet on another team against Georgia when that team is a favorite, and the last thing I need with this game is additional stress.

    Best of luck to you and your action.

    Total: 2-4

    YTD: 17-16-2 (51.5%)

    Wednesday, October 4, 2006


    This week's Arsenal Joga Bonito Wednesday? It has to be Robin Van Persie, fresh off his wondergoal from the weekend. Plus it gives me a chance to throw up this picture I took outside Highbury in March.

    RVP10: One of a kind.

    We ran into this total nutter who not only went to Madrid for the match at the Bernabeu but bought a Madrid Robinho jersey and then tricked it out in homage to RVP.

    Anyhow, here it is. Enjoy.

    If some dude rapping in French isn't your thing, then you might prefer this one.

    Tuesday, October 3, 2006

    Southerland's Recruiting Visit and Other Random Thoughts From Week 5

    While Doug was thinking of Office Space lines during our extremely underwhelming win over mighty Ole Miss on Saturday night, I was thinking about how Brannan Southerland was suddenly the centerpiece of our offense. I can only imagine his recruiting trip a few years back, as he, his parents, coach Garner and coach Richt sat in the Southerland family living room over sweet tea and peach cobbler...

    I envision Richt telling young Brannan that he wants him to come to Georgia because in a few years, if he can get shaky enough play from the QB position and receivers who drop lots of passes, he would like to make the fullback the centerpiece of the offense. The parents look skeptical, but Richt insists in his wholehearted, honest way. Southerland says he's interested because he would like to go somewhere that features the FB prominently, like Navy or Air Force or even Georgia Southern. Richt confidently looks him in the eye and says "they may all give you the ball on obvious short yardage situations and in the goal line offense, just as we will. But when they come to this very living room next week, son, I want you to ask them: will they also run draw plays to you on 3rd and 18? Because that is what we are trying to do, son, and we would like you to be a part of it." Fast forward a few years to last Saturday night and I bet his parents were sitting on the couch chuckling "Damn if he wasn't true to his word. Good man, coach Richt."

    Centerpiece of our offense

    At least we had Uncle Ron, who was class as usual. How class? Well in addition to the usual top shelf announcing, he called a game of his alma mater, a massive underdog who was actually hanging with a top 10 team at home, and getting some pretty poor officiating decisions going against them, yet unless you already knew he was an Ole Miss guy you never would have known until late in the 4th where they showed his yearbook picture. I imagine that the toughest thing for an announcer to do is to remain unbiased and objective during a game involving a team that he has any emotional attachment to, but Franklin pulled it off. Contrast this to Herbstreit doing an Ohio State game and you appreciate uncle Ron even more.

    Georgia just isn't that good. The defense is really good and the offense is really bad. After 5 weeks the suprise thusfar is how well we played against South Carolina. Are we the worst 5-0 team in the country? I don't know, but even if we are it's better than being the best 3-2 team in the country. That being said it looks entirely possible that we could lose to all 4 of our big rivals this year (UT, UF, Aub, GT). I think at this point I would be extremely happy with a split against those 4 and holding serve against the Kentucky's and Vandy's of the world to finish 10-2. At this point, 9-3 or 8-4 look like more of a possibility if you look at it realistically. Although I still think Joe T can do the job if he can remain healthy and the coaches actually give him a chance to succeed.

    Other random thoughts from Saturday:

    Did anyone else catch NCAA president Myles Brand getting interviewed on the sidelines of one of the early games (I think it was Mizzou-Colorado, but I'm not 100%, as I was keeping up with 4 games on 2 TVs at the time)? The sideline reporter asked him about the new rule change involving the clock and speeding up play, and he said something like

    we've heard from some coaches who don't like it, but as far as the fans we don't know how they feel about it. At the end of the year we'll look at it blah blah blah

    That is as close to a paraphrase as I can recall but he definitely said that they did not know how fans felt about it. So what universe does he live in where he thinks there is even a possibility that fans would be anything other than not pleased about each and every football game containing 10-15% less football while fundamentally altering the game? What a douchebag.

    Bowl season started early this year as Saturday had The Ineptitude Bowl presented by The US Plan for Postwar Iraq. John L. Smith's Michigan State achieved a new level of embarrassment, which is saying alot considering their various and sundry epic meltdowns over the past few years, by losing to The Zooker. As 26 point favorites. At home. Some racking of the brain could not come up with a matchup of 2 current coaches that could match these two in terms of haplessness. What about an all-time matchup? Goff-Zook maybe? It would be pretty hard to beat 1990 Ray Goff Georgia vs. 2005 Ron Zook Illinois.

    "Well, Loran, our boys showed a lot of character" and
    "We just got taken behind the woodshed, today, Loran"

    will forever be stuck in my brain.

    I still cannot believe this genius went 2-1 against Georgia.

    What the hell is going on with the Gator Chomp? A few weeks back I saw the Iowa fans doing it en masse during the Iowa-Iowa State game, then on Saturday I saw the Washington State fans doing it during the WSU-USC game. The Gator chomp has what, exactly, to do with a Hawkeye or Cougar? Don't make no sense...

    After 2 down weeks, this week brings a festivus of good games (on paper at least) our way. Joe T's ankle cannot heal fast enough.