Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fantasy MVP Week #3

Guess who's back?  If you guessed Matt Schaub, you get a cookie, as Doug Hoerth might say.  The fantasy team didn't fare well this week, mind you I had the league's fourth highest score, I just happened to play the team that had the best score.  Still,. the loss isn't this guy's fault in the least.



Saturday, September 26, 2009

If I were a betting man

Since it is Saturday and I am off, I figured I would offered my guesses, not unlike the great Karnac, for this Saturday's Top 25 college football games against the point spread.  By all means, do not use this as a gambking tool, I could easily miss each and every one of these.   

The spread is for the ranked (or higher ranked team) in case you were wondering.  Also of note, Oklahoma (#10) is off, therefore not listed and Ole Miss (#4) played Thursday night and lost.  What you have here is the remainder of the top 25.  Later today we will see just how bad I sucked.


AP Poll:

1.) Florida, 3-0 @ Kentucky 2-0 (-20) - W
2.) Texas, 3-0 vs. Texas El Paso 1-2 (-36.5) - W
3.) Alabama, 3-0 vs. Arkansas 1-1 (-17.5) - W
5.) Penn State, 3-0 vs. Iowa 3-0 (-9.5) - L
6.) California, 3-0 @ Oregon 2-1 (-6) - L
7.) LSU, 3-0 @ Mississippi State 2-1 (-13) - L
8.) Boise State, 3-0 @ Bowling Green 1-2 (-17) - W
9.) Miami (FL), 2-0 @ #11 Virginia Tech 2-1 (-3) - W
12.) USC, 2-1 vs. Washington State 1-2 (-45) - W
13.) Ohio State, 2-1 vs Illinois 1-1 (-14.5) - W
14.) Cincinnati, 3-0 vs. Fresno State 1-2 (-17.5) - L
15.) TCU, 2-0 @ Clemson 2-1 (+3) - L
16.) Oklahoma State, 2-1 vs. Grambling 2-1 (-43) - W
17.) Houston, 2-0 vs. Texas Tech 2-1 (+1.5) - W
18.) Florida State, 2-1 vs. South Florida 3-0 (-14.5) - W
19.) Brigham Young, 2-1 @ Colorado State 3-0 (-17.5) - L
20.) Kansas, 3-0 vs. Southern Mississippi 3-0 (-12.5) - L
21.) Georgia, 2-1 vs. Arizona State 2-0 (-12.5) - L
22.) North Carolina, 3-0 @ Georgia Tech 2-1 (+3) - W
23.) Michigan, 3-0 vs. Indiana 3-0 (-19) - L
24.) Washington, 2-1 @ Stanford 2-1 (+8.5) - L
25.) Nebraska, 2-1 vs. Louisiana Lafayette 2-1 (-30) - W

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nationalize this

     Since one of my more recent blog entries actually brought forth an inquiry or two about what happened, I guess it would be remiss of me not to say what in fact did happen. 

     When last we left I was asked to fill in as producer for the Bev Smith Show.  Bev's show is produced by AURN (American Urban Radio Network) in Pittsburgh, even though the studio in which it is produced is no longer actually tied to a Pittsburgh.  It is heard in a handful of markets, and Bev is listed in Talkers Magazine as one of the top 100 talk show hosts in the country. I just looked and this year she was #36, sandwiched between Michael Smerconish and Kim Komando. 

     Anyway, as I mentioned in the last entry Laurence, her producer who is recovering from a stroke, called and emailed me on Friday about the possibility of me filling in this week as Bev will be out of town doing a couple of shows from Washington DC.  I would be running the Pittsburgh studios on Wednesday for a "Best of" episode and Thursday and Friday I would be running prerecorded shows from DC.  The issue for me wasn't the time or what not, I have no problem filling in, but the G 20 summit in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday.  The studio is located directly across from the David Lawrence Convention Center, which is where the summit activities will be taking place.  As a result, much of that side of town is, for all intents and purposes, closed.  Concrete barriers, steel fencing, local, state and national law enforcement agencies, National Guard troops, the whole nine yards are being brought to bare in an effort to keep everything secure.  Because of this, I was wondering whether I would even have access to the studios.

     Well, as I told you previously as well, I placed a couple of calls in to Bev, just to make sure I would have access and what not.  She didn't call me back on Sunday,  and with me working 7am-3pm Monday, I was literally at work wondering if I was working that night.  Since I don't have a cell phone (I hate them and refuse to buy one) I had to wait until I got home to check my messages and see if anyone called.  Sure enough, Bev called, as did her other producer, Brook.  I returned Brook's call and it was exactly what I thought it would be, that in order to be in the secure zone of the G 20, I had to be credentialed, and those credentials had to be applied for three weeks in advance of the summit, so there was no way I could sit in.  Not that it matters all that much, sure I would like to do it and Brook told me there will be more remotes coming up in the near future that they may call me in for, one's where the security will be far less strict and getting across town will be a non issue.  Plus, with the travel restrictions in for the summit, many of the newsstand employees will not be coming in, meaning that I could pull a 32+ hour shift if I really want the money that bad.  I will just be camping out at the store on Thursday night, working as much as needed and then back at it on Friday.  If it is really busy I will just work straight through, if it slows down I may stop and take a nap, though I haven't figured out where yet.  I could come home and sleep in my own bed, it looks like my city buses are unaffected by the travel restrictions, but we may need bodies on site for any potential stupidity that may occur.  So far we have been left out of the nonsense, some of the protestors are in town and a few have had rallies and what not, but nothing of major consequence has happened yet. 

       Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, "And that is the rest of the story."  Now if no one minds, I am going to rest up for the big work shift ahead.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New toys come to the blog

Was playing around tonight and found a new toy at NFL.com called NFL recutter.  Basically it allows you to edit game highlights into your own video package and then gives you shareable options.  Fresh of of my first fantasy win of the season, a 127-57 shellacking of my opponent, I thought I might put together a video package of my team's MVP this week, quarterback Matt Schaub.  Enjoy!



Sunday, September 20, 2009

A call to go national?


It is Sunday morning, I am sitting here waiting for the NFL games to kick off in about an hour or so and figured I might as well blog while I am here.

I should note that I am also waiting for the phone to ring. Some of you may remember that I thought I might have a radio job offer a while back, one that I wasn't sure I wanted to take because it would have involved me taking the place of Laurence Gaines, who had a stroke, and I didn't want to get a job that way, especially since I have a boatload of respect for the work that he has done previously. Well, the good news is that Laurence is out of the hospital, recovering and rehabbing at home, so the worst case scenario thankfully never came to pass. And the worry I had over being asked to replace him was in fact misplaced, the network just needed someone to fill in for a few days on Bev Smith's show, as she was going to be on a remote. The position had been filled however, so it really was a a non issue sort of thing.

Well Friday I am putzing around on Facebook after a particularly strenuous week at work (more on that later hopefully) and there is a note in my inbox from Laurence that I am needed on Bev's show this coming week. Again it looks like they need someone to fill in for a few days, Bev is going to be in Washington DC later in the week and they need someone to keep the home fires burning. I told Laurence that I could do it, and now I am just sitting here waiting by the phone for Bev to call me back and let me know if she needs me or not. Laurence told me to assume I was hired. I wish I had that kind of authority, but there are issues that have to be worked out. First I would need access to the building, as they work on key cards, so no card, no access. What makes the situation even more problematic is that the studios are located well within the G 20 secure zone that will be in place for this week's summit, so I might have problems just getting to the studios, let alone getting in them. My other job doesn't look like it will be affected by the G 20, at least not yet, save for whatever protesting nonsense takes place, but actually getting to and from work seems to be a non issue at this point. Unless we are ordered to close it should be a normal week for us. But back to our original story, this would be a very short term gig for me, literally just a week long and most of the programming I would be working with will be prerecorded, so anyone thinking that this will be like my previous gigs with me screening calls, doing research, talking on air and what not our going to be sorely disappointed. This is going to be more of a babysitting venture, just making sure all of the stuff runs smoothly, with little to no live interaction with anyone. That being said, Bev's show is syndicated nationally, so while I will not be doing all of the stuff I normally do, I will be doing it on a much larger scale. That can't hurt the resume. But before I go putting any carts before horses here, I would like to hear from Bev to make sure all is clear on that front.

That being said, this is the week that the G 20 does come to town. Truth be told, I wish they would just stay away. Not that I have anything against them (or for them for that matter) but all of the nonsense that comes with it is just bullshit that I can live without. Half of downtown will basically be closed off, bus routes are either being cancelled or diverted, businesses are being told not to even bother opening those days and some people are being forced to use use their own personal vacation time for it, and of course there is always the possibility of some of the more radicalized protestors using the opportunity to wreak havoc and damage property. While I hope the latter doesn't happen, if it does put me on the list of hoping that the cops beat the holy living hell out of the stupid motherfuckers that do it. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. For instance, there are some websites that have places targets of opportunity on Google maps places they believe should in fact be damaged, such as Starbucks, Victoria's Secret, recruitment centers, McDonald's, etc. I am all for waterboarding, then tasering anyone that would attempt to throw a brick through a window, spray paint buildings or cars, throw objects at pedestrians and people in the street, etc. Any asskicking such an individual would get is one that would be justly deserved.

Okay, while I am here, I might as well get some updates out of the way. First, as if you didn't already notice, I had my fantasy hockey draft yesterday. Unlike last year, I opted not to run a league this time around, but just join a public league instead. I just picked a day and time that fit within my schedule and hopped in a league that drafted then. Since this is my first of hopefully many weekends off, Saturday seemed like as good a day as any to go about drafting a hockey team. As luck would have it, there were three guys that I would have jumped at the opportunity to draft, Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Instead I was selected to draft 11th out of 12 teams, meaning all of those guys would easily be off most draft boards by the time my first pick came around. Needless to say, I am not overly happy with my team. Mind you I think I only made one glaring mistake (drafting Nikolai Zherdev who opted to play in Russia this year and is thus unavailable in NHL drafts) but beyond that it was just taking a bunch of guys who I thin are talented, but not anyone that I am all like “wow, I have this guy on my roster”. Mind you I had a guy like that last year in goal tender Martin Brodeur and all he did was get hurt a couple of weeks in and miss most of the season. So maybe it is a good thing that I am not enamored with my team, though I hope the flier I took in the last round on Nikita Filatov ends up being a good move. It is a bit of a reach, but if I was going to do that, no better time than the last round.

My fantasy football team got off to a bad start, a 107-73 loss where sadly the best player I had out there was the Green Bay defense. Not that I have anything against Green Bay, but when you offensive players fail to score touchdowns (only Ryan Grant (1 TD) and Larry Fitzgerald (1 TD)) managed to find the end zone, it is going to be a long week most weeks. Not that I should feel too bad, our esteemed mayor lost his first game in the Yahoo mayor's league as well, and I did start last year 1-2, so a single loss is far from and end of the world (or season) moment for me.

Week #2 is mere moments away, and I think I am going to take a break here and watch some football. Unlike last week, I have no glog planned, which should save you some scrolling on this entry. Not that I couldn't glog, I just don't have the desire to.

Okay, I am back. Decided to try and take care of a few things and in my absense my fantasy football team has already scored more touchdowns this week after 30 minutes than they scored all of last week, with Matt Schaub hitting Andre Johnson (good for 2 TD for me) and Ryan Grant rushing for one. Not saying I will win this week, but at least I am off to a much better start.

I should note that I am blogging from the brand new, refurbished desktop. In auto lingo they would call this certified pre owned. Anyway, I had delayed taking it out of the box until last weekend when the laptop starting going all kinds of Blue Screen of Death on me. It wouldn't even boot, no matter how I wanted to start up (Safe, Last Good Configuration, Normal, etc.) the Windows screen would start like it was loading then boom, BSOD. I found a copy of XP lying around that I am trying to reformat the laptop with while I type this, but I don't know how well it will or will not work. I am very much a novice in such matters, but so far all seems to be working, I actually didn't get the BSOD, but rather it is formatting a partition on the C drive, so we shall see.

Also of note on the update front, I added another $6.46 to the change meter since it was last mentioned on these pages. That means the total is now $119.27. Hard to believe that after how much this thing didn't move during it's first few years, now I have logged almost $80 in just 9 months and change. I also found some more Coke points which I have since redeemed and picked up another free month of Pogo. I think I have half of next year now paid for and I didn't spend a dime. To make matters even better, I hopped over mysurvey.com and found that I was credited with another .50 for a mail in survey, plus I did two more that picked up another $2.35. I am over $27 dollars there now, and within 8 or 9 of getting the coffee pot I so desperately desire.

The health care debate continues to eat up much of the political airtime. I am still unsure where I fall on this issue. On one hand I get that any program on such a scale could be a bitch to pay for. On the other hand, I watch some of the politicos talk about the evils of government run healthcare and I can't seem to think they are anything but hypocrites. After all, if government health care were that bad, then why do they have it. Why aren't they out there shopping for their own plan, rather than letting the government paid for their care and if government is so bad and can't do anything, then don't you as a member of it, share in that blame? Saying that Washington and government is bad, while at the same time being a member of such a body would seem to me to be speaking directly to one's own ineptitude. If that is the case, then just what the hell are they doing there, besides being an overpaid placeholder.

Just checked on the fantasy team while typing this. I don't want to ruin what seems to be good fortune at this point by posting a score, after all, there is plenty of football left, but Matt Schaub already has three TD passes. Woohoo!

I will admit that I have no idea how long it should take for Windows XP to format on a computer, but so far the laptop is still only at 14%. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Luckily I have distractions such as this to keep me occupied.

Last week was the run up to the G 20 for the news stand. I imagine last week will be more busy than the actual G 20 will be, what with everyone being asked to take off work and many of the local schools closing down,. a large chunk of our clientele will either be unavailable or unable to come in. The best we can hope for (besides being ignored by vandalizing protestors) would be for our business to break even with the people that are coming into town to replace the ones we are losing. Ed seems to think this will be a big opportunity for us, I am not in that same boat. But he is willing to pay us extra to work those days, because many of our people will be unable to make it into town as well, so those that do show up will be rewarded somewhat. I'll take the extra cash, thank you very much. Still, it meant plenty of work last week, because a lot of our deliveries were doubled, since many suppliers will not be coming into town this week, another added bonus from having the G 20 assclowns in our metropolis. Remember a few weeks back when I said that we had our biggest delivery of Pepsi ever? Well that was crushed this Friday when they sent us 257 cases of product. Wednesday's grocery order, which I placed, and Ed said he wanted me to make sure I was overstocked on lots of goodies? Only 86 totes, usually we get maybe 30 on a big order.

Not to get all fantasy football-y on you, but my defense returned an interception for a TD. I might want to save a few of these points for a rainy day.

Still no word from Bev, I may have to try calling her again. If she doesn't get in touch with me then I am going to assume that I am not needed. And given I work all day tomorrow, if this doesn't happen today, then it just doesn't happen. Don't get me wrong,. I would love to do it, and Laurence asking me makes me want to do it more, but I already have 40 hours on the book next week, adding another 25 with a second gig and the potential problems involved with it aren't a mandatory thing on my plate.

Something that has been bothering me of recent that I haven't mentioned much here is that I am wondering if there is something wrong with my hands. I guess the problems started shortly after I went from cashier to stock person at the news stand, and there may have been a warning sign that I completely ignored. While in the basement one day, I felt a slight pop on the back of my right hand, almost like a knuckle cracking except it was located in an area where there are no joints, squarely in the middle of the back of my hand. Because nothing felt out of place, I continued to do that which it is I do, which is work. The thing is now, my hand is prone to a numbing sort of sensation, sort of like your leg gets when it falls asleep, though not quite as bad, as I can still use it, but if I spend too much time doing something, like typing for instance, it tends to act up. Now it may just be that the amount of lifting at work I do, has something to do with it, as my left hand sometimes gets the same way and I never had a popping sensation in it, and in a week, where you catch almost 500 cases of product between all of our deliveries, it just be my hand's way of saying they are sore and nothing more.

By the way,. The laptop is up to 16%, hopefully slow and steady does win the race. The other option would be slow and steady just fucks things up even more, which wouldn't be all that cool. At least I was smart enough to plug the laptop in, as this most certainly would have killed the battery.

Just saw a promo for Hell's Kitchen and in it Chef Ramsey leaves the restaurant. Hell I could have told him the group of fuck ups he has this season wouldn't be worthy of running a McDonald's, let alone a five star place. After seeing them struggle with garlic bread a few weeks back I know I wouldn't want them making me anything.

Well I went ahead and called Bev again, her number seems to go directly to voicemail. I left a message that she needed to call me back tonight, since I will be working tomorrow morning and if I don't hear anything, I really don't know if I am to show up or not. I know I am not the only back up name they have, obviously they found someone the last time someone was needed, and I don't know how much Laurence is doing with the show from home, versus what the network (AURN) people are doing in the building.

While I wait for things to develop might as well make something to eat. I am half tempted to order in, but I have blown way too much cash doing that recently. Instead I am going to go the mac and cheese route and throw some tuna in it for good measure. I still have lots to do tonight, I have been putting off laundry for way too long, I need to seriously run the vacuum and to be honest, washing a few dishes would be a good idea as well. It's either wash a few dishes or I am relegated to plastic Jeremy Mayfield cups I got from work. Not exactly fine china to be sure.

I stand by a previous assessment I once had. I know that I live in a city, a small one to be sure but a city nonetheless and that I am very close to a hospital that has a helipad, but for the number of helicopters coming in and out on a daily basis only one of two things are possible. Either everyone in this area is literally on death's door, or the hospital uses the Lifeflight helicopters simply to pad their billing.

Well the Steeler game has started, so I guess I can wrap this up. Still no phone call, so who knows what is going to happen tomorrow. The laptop is up to a whopping 18% now, leading me to believe this will be a failed endeavor on my part. I hope not, but am not encouraged at this point. Anyway, take care all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stolen Content (again) - One for the good guys

Common sense coming out of the FCC, say it is so Joe....

Official: FCC to propose 'Net neutrality' rules

  • By DANIEL LOVERING, AP Business Writer - Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:32PM EDT

The head of the FCC plans to propose new rules that would prohibit Internet service providers from interfering with the free flow of information and certain applications over their networks, an official at the agency said Saturday.

The Federal Communications Commission chairman, Julius Genachowski, will announce the proposed rules in a speech Monday at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, the official said on condition of anonymity because news of the announcement had not been formally released.

The proposals would uphold a pledge Barack Obama made during the presidential campaign to support Internet neutrality — the equal treatment of Internet traffic. That would bar Internet service providers such as Verizon Communications Inc., Comcast Corp. or AT&T Inc., from slowing or blocking certain services or content flowing through their vast networks.

Without strict rules ensuring Net neutrality, consumer watchdogs fear the communications companies could interfere with the transmission of content, such as TV shows delivered over the Internet, that compete with services the ISPs offer, like cable television.

Internet providers have opposed regulations that would inhibit the way they control their networks, arguing they need to be able to make sure applications that consume a lot of bandwidth don't slow Internet access to other users.

"This is about whether I can turn off my cable TV and watch TV over the Internet," said Dave Burstein, editor of the DSL Prime broadband industry newsletter. "Comcast cares about this because they don't want people to turn off their cable TV."

The FCC adopted four principles on Internet policy in 2005. Two years later, it said it would study the business practices of high-speed Internet providers and consider whether a principle of nondiscrimination in traffic should be added.

Burstein thinks the FCC probably will adopt a fifth principle on nondiscrimination as part of the expected new rules.

The FCC's existing net neutrality principles have focused on high-speed Internet access delivered over wireline systems. But Google Inc. and other big technology companies, as well as consumer advocacy groups, have called for rules that would require wireless networks to be similarly open to all devices and applications.

UBS analyst John Hodulik said extending the principles to the wireless arena is going to be "a bit difficult because the regulation of wireless is very different than the regulation of the wireline networks, where the FCC has played a much stronger role."

"In wireless, these companies typically have paid billions of dollars to buy licenses ... and now operate in a very independent market with absolutely no government subsidies or government involvement," he said. "So it would be a new era of regulation for what is a very competitive market."

But the rules' effectiveness "really depends on the details," Hodulik added. "These could be just relatively vague rules that prevent obvious forms of discrimination, like blocking a Web site or mowing down the packets from a competitor's service."

The FCC official declined to elaborate on the new rules, but said the agency wants to create a baseline standard for all platforms that deliver the Internet.

The proposed new rules were reported earlier by The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

"We are concerned about the unintended consequences that Net neutrality regulation would have on investments from the very industry that's helping to drive the U.S. economy," Chris Guttman-McCabe, a vice president at CTIA, a wireless trade group, told the Post.

The FCC began wading into the issue even before Genachowski became FCC chairman. Last year the FCC rebuked Comcast for blocking or delaying some forms of Internet file-sharing. Comcast agreed to stop the practice.

A spokeswoman for Philadelphia-based Comcast declined to comment on the FCC's planned announcement. A spokesman for Verizon of New York did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Stolen Content - Now you tell me.....

     The biggest non secret secret may be finally reaching its conclusion.  Two things we can learn from this, 1) Don't trust my political judgements (way back in the day I was an Edwards guy) and 2) there are no friends in politics, so it should surprise no one that Andrew Young will look to make a nickel or two here, just as it wasn't a shock when Edwards was willing to throw Young under the bus originally.  Anyway, happy contenting......

September 20, 2009

The Edwards Drama Awaits a Denouement

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The story of the spectacular rise and fall of John Edwards, with its sordid can’t-look-away dimensions, is moving slowly but deliberately to its conclusion here in North Carolina.

Mr. Edwards, the one-term senator who came close to being elected vice president in 2004 and ran a credible campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, remains largely secluded at his 100-acre estate here.

But a federal grand jury in nearby Raleigh is investigating whether any crimes were committed in connection with campaign laws in an effort to conceal his extramarital affair with a woman named Rielle Hunter. At the same time, Mr. Edwards is moving toward an abrupt reversal in his public posture; associates said in interviews that he is considering declaring that he is the father of Ms. Hunter’s 19-month-old daughter, something that he once flatly asserted in a television interview was not possible.

Friends and other associates of Mr. Edwards and his wife of 32 years, Elizabeth, say she has resisted the idea of her husband’s claiming paternity. Mrs. Edwards, who is battling cancer, “has yet to be brought around,” said one family friend, who like others spoke about the situation on the condition of anonymity, pointing to the complicated and delicate nature of the issue.

The situation may become more fraught, as people who know Ms. Hunter said she was planning to move with her daughter, Frances, from New Jersey to North Carolina in coming months.

For her grand jury appearance on Aug. 6, Ms. Hunter took her daughter to the federal courthouse in downtown Raleigh. As she walked in, she seemed to turn the girl’s face toward the local television cameras.

Ms. Hunter testified to the grand jury in detail about her relationship with Mr. Edwards, lawyers involved in the case said, as well as the benefits she was provided by his supporters after she became pregnant. Michael Crichtley, her lawyer, declined to comment.

According to people familiar with the grand jury investigation, prosecutors are considering a complicated and novel legal issue: whether payments to a candidate’s mistress to ensure her silence (and thus maintain the candidate’s viability) should be considered campaign donations and thus whether they should be reported. When Mr. Edwards was running for president, and even later when he still held out hope of a senior cabinet position in the Obama administration, two of his wealthy patrons, through a once-trusted Edwards aide, quietly provided Ms. Hunter with large financial benefits, including a new BMW and lodging, that were used to keep her out of public view.

Mr. Edwards dismissed an initial report in The National Enquirer in 2007 that he was having an affair, and the matter was largely ignored by the mainstream news media. But in July 2008, The Enquirer published an article with photographs of a clandestine meeting Mr. Edwards had with Ms. Hunter and her daughter in a Los Angeles hotel. Days later, Mr. Edwards acknowledged the affair to “Nightline” on ABC, offering contrition but insisting that the child could not be his because of the timing and brevity of their intimacy.

Wade M. Smith, a prominent Raleigh lawyer who represents Mr. Edwards, declined to comment on the paternity issue directly, but said in a statement that “there may be a statement on that subject at some point, but there is no timetable and we will see how we feel about it as events unfold.”

The notion that Mr. Edwards is the father has been reinforced by the account of Andrew Young, once a close aide to Mr. Edwards, who had signed an affidavit asserting that he was the father of Ms. Hunter’s child.

Mr. Young, who has since renounced that statement, has told publishers in a book proposal that Mr. Edwards knew all along that he was the child’s father. He said Mr. Edwards pleaded with him to accept responsibility falsely, saying that would reduce the story to one of a political aide’s infidelity.

In the proposal, which The New York Times examined, Mr. Young asserts that he assisted the affair by setting up private meetings between Mr. Edwards and Ms. Hunter. He wrote that Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.

Once the favorite son of much of North Carolina with many supporters beyond, John Edwards is now largely disdained. To many, it was not only his liaison with Ms. Hunter, but also what seemed his elaborate effort to cover up his behavior to preserve his political ambitions.

Shortly after he withdrew from the race in January 2008, Mr. Edwards and his wife were given a huge ovation when they attended a basketball game at the University of North Carolina. But a few months ago, when the couple showed up for dinner at a Chapel Hill restaurant, diners averted their eyes and stared at their plates, according to a person who was there.

At the recent Boston funeral of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Mrs. Edwards walked several steps ahead of her husband, greeting people exuberantly. Far fewer people approached Mr. Edwards, who appeared ill at ease.

Investigators are examining the benefits Ms. Hunter received from the two Edwards supporters, Fred Baron, a wealthy trial lawyer from Dallas who has since died, and Rachel Mellon, known as Bunny, a 99-year-old heiress to the Mellon fortune. Before his death, Mr. Baron said in a statement that he paid Ms. Hunter and helped move her and Mr. Young to California and other places on his own initiative, without informing Mr. Edwards. Mr. Edwards has asserted that he knew nothing of the benefits provided to Ms. Hunter by Mr. Baron or Mrs. Mellon.

In his book proposal, however, Mr. Young depicts Mr. Baron as going to great lengths to help a knowing and eager Mr. Edwards conceal from the public both his affair with Ms. Hunter and his paternity of her daughter. At one point, Mr. Young wrote, Mr. Edwards asked Mr. Baron if he could find a doctor who would falsify a DNA report.

Mr. Smith, Mr. Edwards’s lawyer, declined to comment on any of Mr. Young’s allegations. Mr. Edwards has not appeared before the grand jury.

Alex Forger, a New York lawyer who represents Mrs. Mellon, said in an interview that she had admired Mr. Edwards for his environmental views and that when told by Mr. Young that Mr. Edwards needed financial assistance for some nonpolitical purpose, she agreed to help.

“The request came from Andrew Young that the senator needed some funds for personal use,” Mr. Forger said. He said that at the time of the payments, Mrs. Mellon had not met Ms. Hunter, did not know of her and was unaware that she was the recipient of the money.

Joe Sinsheimer, a former Democratic consultant who has monitored the Edwards investigation, said it would be difficult for prosecutors to make a case because “the law probably doesn’t anticipate payments to a mistress during a campaign.”

While violations of campaign finance regulations are not necessarily crimes and may be punished by fines from the Federal Election Commission, they can also break criminal laws if there is evidence of willful deception.

The prosecutors are also examining some $114,000 paid by the Edwards campaign to Ms. Hunter for a series of short campaign videos she produced. About $14,000 of that money was paid to her well after the videos were produced, some through transfers from accounts and listed as for furniture purchases.

Ms. Hunter gave her daughter the middle name Quinn, and people who have spoken with her said its resemblance to the Latin prefix for five was to proclaim that the baby was Mr. Edwards’s fifth child. (He had four with Mrs. Edwards, the oldest of whom was killed in a car accident).

Any acknowledgment of paternity would have ramifications for Mr. Edwards, who could suffer a further blow to his credibility but could also be praised for belatedly accepting responsibility. It could also shift Ms. Hunter’s image from that of a predatory celebrity stalker (Mrs. Edwards told Oprah Winfrey that Ms. Hunter met her husband after waiting for him to come out of a New York hotel and telling him, “You’re so hot.”) to that of a mother concerned about her child’s rights.

Mrs. Edwards last month opened a furniture store called Red Window in downtown Chapel Hill, and on a recent weekday several women examined the chairs, tables and knickknacks crowded into a small space. She was not there.

People familiar with Ms. Hunter said she was planning to move soon to the Wilmington area, near where the Edwardses have a second home on an island with restricted access.

Motoko Rich contributed reporting from New York.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blunt Force Trauma 11.0 - No need to apologize

     So I am sitting down just before I go to bed, doing a little last minute online reading.  It is a bad habit of mine, trying to stay semi plugged in with what is going on out there in the real world, or what passes for it on a daily basis.  I have said previously in this blog that I am not a big fan of award shows, watching a bunch of people getting together to pat each other on the back for doing their jobs just doesn't seem to me to be a very interesting use of my time.  So last night when the big to do was happening with Taylor Swift and Kanye West on the VMAs (Video Music Awards in the vernacular), I was sitting in front of my TV watching the Packers-Bears game.  From what I was able to muster through Youtube clips and various online articles, Taylor Swift wins an award for a song or something and during her acceptance speech Kanye West gets on the stage, takes Swift's mircophone from her and proceeds to say that Beyonce should have won.  If this had been the first time West had acted like an ass in public, then I suppose it would be shocking, but with him acting like an ass is sort of like breathing for the rest of us.  Presumably if he doesn't do it, he will die from lack of attention.

       Tonight was the premier of the new (and whether it is improved remains to be seen) Jay Leno Show on NBC.  One of the guests that was scheduled to appear on said show was the same Kanye West from the night before (as though the world would really need two of him).  Now after making an ass out of one's self, who is scheduled to appear isn't necessarily who will appear, the show could cancel the guest, or the guest could opt to stay out of the public eye for a while.  But this is TV after all and we are looking for ratings, so there was no chance that Leno was going to cancel a now controversial guest, and West being the attention whore mentioned above, wasn't going to pass on another chance to be in front of a camera.

       Naturally the topic had to come up about West interrupting Swift's acceptance speech, and once again it was about West.  Sure, he came off as contrite, but the words rang hollow.  Such as when he was asked when he realized that he screwed up, his answer was '"as soon as I gave the mic back to her and she didn't keep going."   Think about that for a moment.  What he is saying is that had she continued with her speech after his interruption, then he wouldn't have thought he screwed up at all.  What, had she continued the speech, then you Mr West would be what?  A fucking hero?  Please sir, don't insult me.  Better still was how he said he feels about it now, "I'm just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else's hurt."  Excuse me, but your hurt?  This has absolutely nothing to do with your hurt, whatever the hell that is, this is just you being an ass. You are of the Maury Povich of the music industry, all fucking spectacle and no substance.  You really want to do us all a favor, save us you psuedo apologies, and just go away.  Believe it or not, the world will get along just fine without you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Kicking off the season in gloggish fashion, Steelers vs. Titans

 Okay, we are about an hour and a half until the NFL season kicks off with the Pittsburgh Steelers playing host to the Tennessee Titans. I imagine right about now they are busy with pregame festivities in Point State Park, where there is supposed to be a free concert with Tim McGraw, and the Black Eyed Peas, which I would argue is too high a price to pay for such pain to my ears. I'd much rather be here in the homestead, eating a 16” turkey sandwich and drinking iced tea while The Simpsons are on, providing the background noise to my blog.

A rather busy day at work today, made moreso because when people tell me to order lots of stuff, that tends to be exactly what happens. Ed talked to me yesterday about increasing our orders over the next week or so, because with the G 20 coming to town, nobody really knows who will and will not be delivering goods, compliments of the security perimeter that will be in place. I already know that both Pepsi and Coke will not deliver that week, instead opting to double the orders the week before. Not sure how Sledd (our grocery provider) will be approaching the delivery quandry, seeing as how they usually deliver 3 times a week. They may opt to try and send stuff early the week of, in which case I might not have a big problem with them, but if they decide to take the entire week off, then I have to make sure we have enough in stock to cover a week of no deliveries.

Today was a little busier than normal because of that very reason. I ordered over 40 totes full of groceries, plus we had a Arizona Tea delivery (70 cases) and as a added bonus, I was sent to the the other stores downtown to stock coolers. I basically ran my ass off most of the day, so much so that I didn't get out of work until an hour and a half after I was supposed to leave. Part of the problem had to do with my crew, which consisted today of just Curtis, whose uselessness is not only wearing on me, but is to the point that no one else wants him either. Usually, because of the responsibilities I carry at the store, if something needs done at one of our other stores, they will send someone else and leave me do my things. But because Curtis is so unliked, they opted for me instead. That was until the grocery order arrived and they saw the job Curtis was doing checking it in, then it was a phone call urging me to come back to make sure things were done correctly.

This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened. As a matter of fact, I yelled at him just last week for his lack of speed. Friday we had three orders coming in, a Pepsi order, a Coke order and a grocery order. Plus we were having a guy come by to take away some of the junk that is cluttering up the basement. All in all, it looked to be a busy day on its face. The thing is, we never know ahead of time when the deliveries will arrive, some times they will be spaced out, other times they will be right on top of each other. As luck would have it, Pepsi was the first to show up, and it was the largest Pepsi order I have had to handle at this point, 195 cases. So Curtis is at the top of the shoot, dropping the cases down to me to catch. Except he isn't dropping cases, he is ogling women and talking and nothing is coming down the shoot. Meanwhile I am thinking, if the next delivery shows up and I am stuck with 195 cases under my feet, I am going to be pissed. Luckily, the second delivery didn't show up right away, but still he was so slow that when we finally had all of the cases in house, rather than have him help me put it away, I sent him away and did it myself.

Because of my additional responsibilities, I went ahead and did a cigarette order for upstairs, then did an inventory for when we placed our next order later that day. Around that time Rob (t) (don't make me do the descriptions again) had showed up, though he was scheduled both to help me and to work register. As luck would have it shortly after his arrival, the junk guy came to haul rubbish. We loaded his truck down with old racks and other junk that really was just in the way more than serving any suitable purpose. Of course while we were doing this was exactly when the grocery order arrived, so I sent him away to start checking it is and Curtis and I loaded up the truck, which basically meant things went way slower than need be. By the time we got the truck loaded to haul away the first of two junk runs, I came upstairs and Rob had been pulled to the register, so I started putting away the stuff he did get checked in, and started checking in other stuff. I still hadn't got to the grocery order I had to place, but it is hard to place an order without knowing what you do and don't have, so until we could get the current order done, there was no way for me to start the next one. As I was just making progress on the order, the junk guy showed up again and it was back to the basement to load up the next truckload of trash. To make matters even better, this was the time that the Coke delivery decided to show up. Better still, he managed to spill our order through the back of his truck, so it took longer for him to unload, and he was pressed for time, as his employer wasn't going to pay him for overtime and he probably had a good hour drive ahead of him that he had to get done in less than an hour's time. And again Curtis is sending the order down the chute and again things are at a standstill till finally I couldn't take it any more and just yelled at him. Understand something, when it comes to work, I really don't give a flying fuck if you like me or not, it isn't a popularity contest, I just want to get shit done, and keeping me from doing that, or making me redo your work, are probably the two biggest ways to piss me off I can think of. Curtis's lack of speed, and knowing I still had now two orders to put away, another order yet to place and a load of junk to get rid of, and I had plenty on my plate without someone making the tortoise look like a speed demon in the 40 yard dash.

Of course I haven't been the only one to make these observations, which is why I was called away today to the other store instead of him, and then his lack of competence was why I was called back before I was completely done.

So tonight I am going to glog the Pittsburgh-Tennessee game. A little pregame stuff, the Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of a Super Bowl win last year and are the defending NFL Champions, while Tennessee is the last team that defeated the Steelers, en route to a 13-3 season last year. As a little added motivation, while defeating the Steelers last year, Tennessee running back LenDale White took it upon himself to trample on a Terrible Towel, which is almost of religious icon status around these parts. I don't take my football quite that seriously, but many around here do, so for them it is a huge insult. Oh well, to each there own I guess.

Since the game isn't underway just yet, I went ahead and started another adventure on Dungeons and Dragons. I am on my second run through of the game, this time as a half elf paladin. I haven't been as determined on this trip as the last one, just haven't had the time to tinker with it. Still, I am a level 6, and it ends at level 11 before you have to restart, so I guess I am better than halfway done.

Well, I might as well continue with the stories from work today. The grocery order ended up taking longer than it should have, mostly because I was working short handed until Rob (t) arrived, and at 3pm, when Wayne and Chris also showed up. Between the four of us, Wayne stuck with stocking the coolers, Rob (t), Chris and I managed to bang out the order in a much quicker fashion than with Curtis being around. Not only that, but unlike Curtis, we were able to talk and do it at the same time. So we joked around and still managed to get shit done, which is always a plus. I even broke into a Family Guy joke that I am sure only I got when I said “The totes, they are everywhere. They are even in my raccoon wounds.” (If somebody gets that, I may just have to award a prize or something.) Then began the philosophical discussion of tampons (How can a tampon be a “super” if there is a “super +”. Doesn't that make the “super” ones, just like, slightly better than average or something..) Yes, the mind jarring discussions that take place are indeed a sight to behold, or be heard as the case may be.

For those that were wondering if they could be part of such palaver, why yes, yes you can, as we are currently hiring. But think about what you are signing on for before filling out the application.

Once again I have managed three pages and said nothing. A skill set I am sure you all are envious of by this point. And it will only get worse once the game starts.

Speaking of which, it is 8pm so I guess it is time to click over to the pregame coverage. Usually the NFL season opener is replete with pregame festivities, and right now they are showing some of the Black Eyed Peas concert that I passed on attending earlier this evening. Just another reason not to go, I can sit and watch it from the front of my TV.

Wow, I completely ignored my D & D game, and as a result I am almost a quarter of the way through my adventure. I might want to work on my multi tasking skills, lest I end up dead, in a not so pleasant way.

Okay, I am watching a second Black Eyed Peas song and I need to make a disclaimer here. If you voice is so electronically enhanced that you sound like Tweakie from Buck Rogers, then news flash bulletin, you aren't fucking singing.

I need to take a moment before the game starts to use that word that I added to the English language a blog or so back, sucktitude. The reason why I need to use it, is that if you should look it up in the dictionary, there really needs to be a picture of the Pittsburgh Pirates next to it, who this week established the record for consecutive losing seasons by a North American professional sports franchise with 17 consecutive years. What that means is that if you gave birth to a kid here in 2002 and someone came along and gave you odds on whether your kid would first be legally allowed to drive or the baseball team would have their next winning season, you had better put your money on your kid, because he would have grown up never knowing what a winning baseball team actually was. It is important to put it in a perspective like that for the local apologists who still buy the company line that they are building for the future.


I am getting stuff done during this pregame. As well as my D & D stuff, I just added to the neverending thread, because I just finished reading “The Big Sort” by Bill Bishop. A good read, though I don't think he went quite far enough. Basically he makes the argument that Americans are opting more and more to live and socialize amongst people of their own ilk, and what that means for civilized discourse and the like. Fascinating for those that don't mind sifting through lots of footnotes and statistical data and what not. Basically the conclusion he comes to is that while people tend to cluster with those of like minds, it also tends to radicalize those groups and makes them less accepting of ideas and viewpoints for which they do not concur. The leaders of these groups tend to be the more radical ones, with people following them for fear of being left out. It often turns out that people will change their beliefs in order to fit in, rather than express a different point of view. So when people are surveyed individually, they tend to be more moderate, but as they are clustered together, those more moderate views tend to get pushed to the side. I will not get into more details, the game is about to start, but I will say that I don't think the internet helps in this regard. No matter how kooky the belief, you are a mere Google search or two away from finding a like minded jackass with which to find companionship. Really, how much benefit is there to knowing that, as well as vast amounts of porn, the internet offers idiots that buy into such nonsense such as the “9/11 Truthers”, or the “Birthers” a place to commiserate and compare like minded idiotic thoughts. The funny thing is, neither of these groups will look in the mirror to actually see how stupid they look, but they will be sure to mock each other. A pox on both their houses I say.

As Paul Harvey might intone “Page 4”.

Really, page 4 and the game hasn't even started yet. This is going to be a long night.

Okay, got the game tracker window open on Sportsline, I guess it is just about time to get this underway. Pittsburgh won the toss and will receive the opening kickoff. Stefan Logan receives the kick at his own 3 and in his first kick return as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers returns it 39 yards, out to the 42 yard line.

First two plays, a 5 yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Hines Ward and a 3 yard loss on a run by Willie Parker brings up 3rd down and 8. One incomplete pass later and we have the game's first punt, and it is a beauty, pinning the Titans back on their own 3 yard line to start their first possession.

Two plays net the Titans a total of 3 yards, Tennessee is looking at a 3rd down and 7 here, and the play goes for what looks to be a loss of two yards and two drives in, we may be looking at a defensive struggle, with teams playing more for field position than anything else.

Tennessee punts, and after a return of 11 yards, Pittsburgh will take over in Tennessee territory, starting at the Titans 43 yard line.

You guys bored yet? Hey I am just happy I haven't got stuck with some lame ass NBC promo for the upcoming fall TV season.

Pittsburgh registers the game's first first down, a quick screen pass from Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes nets 9 yards on a second and 8.

There is new wrinkle, on 2nd down and 11, Pittsburgh runs a tight end screen pass, I can't remember the last time a Pittsburgh team ran that play. Not that it mattered, on 3rd and 3 or 4, Tennessee records a sack, for a loss of 19 yards. Not only does that hurt in that it ends the drive, but the sack pushes Pittsburgh back out of field goal range and forces Pittsburgh to punt again. Maybe it is just me, but I thought that rather than take a sack in such a situation, a quarterback was supposed to throw the ball away. Bad decision on the part of Roethlisberger there, and it may have cost the Steelers 3 points.

Tennessee will start with slightly better field position, they get the ball at their own 11 this time.

First play and Chris Johnson rips off a 32 yard gain, and Troy Polamalu gets flagged for a late hit out of bounds for an additional 15 yards. One play later and its a pass to Bo Scaife the tight end, again Polamalu in coverage and again a Tennessee first down is the result.

The Tennessee drive falters and Rob Bironas is on to try a 37 yard field goal, but the kick is no good and the game remains scoreless. With Pittsburgh unable to take advantage of field position and Tennessee unable to score after a big Chris Johnson run.

Managed to update my D & D adventure during the break. Good thing to, Rashard Mendedhall gets his first carry of the season and runs smack into the guy handing him the ball. Oops!!!!

Two plays, 3 yards and on third down and an all out blitz by Tennessee gets their second sack of the game and Pittsburgh will be punting again. This could be a long night, longer than I first expected.

Pittsburgh's MVP to this point would be Daniel Sepulveda, who hits a 53 yard punt to push Tennessee back again, just when the field position battle was swinging the Titans way.

First down and Kerry Collins again finds Bo Scaife with a pass and again it is a first down for Tennessee.

After a 5 yard penalty makes it 1st and 15 and Bo Scaife has his third catch already tonight, good enough for 39 yards in all.

Tennessee again with a first down, a short pass from Collins to Justin Gage, and right now Tennessee is the better looking of the two teams, at least from an offensive standpoint, Pittsburgh hasn't mustered much with the ball. Just as I type that, Collins looks deep down field and has the pass intercepted by Troy Polamalu, who just seems to be in on almost every play for the Pittsburgh defense, both good and bad, to this point. This would be of the good variety, at least from a Pittsburgh perspective.

Okay, I asked this question on Facebook the other day and since I just saw the commercial again for Wendy's Boneless Chicken Wings I have to ask, how is a boneless wing any different than a chicken nugget?

Not that Pittsburgh did much with the interception, save for Roethlisberger throwing one of his own. So far Roethlisberger hasn't looked that good, what with taking the bad sack earlier and then this pass, which was more bad throw than great defensive play. And that kids is the end of the first quarter, and the score remains as it did at the start, Pittsburgh 0 Tennessee 0.

Tennessee picks up where they left off last quarter, Chris Johnson on a toss sweep gets about 12 yards and another Tennessee first down.

3rd down and 12, Tennessee needs to throw here but James Farrior blitzes up the middle and sacks Collins bringing about 4th down and yet another punt in this game that is starting to make the Rockettes look like they got nothing on these teams, what with all of the kicking going on.

A commercial for GE, showing a bunch of the people who make their airplanes singing “I Don't Know Much, But I Know I Love You” and I am thinking if that is what they do at work, I will opt for train travel instead.

2nd and 2 and a run by Willie Parker gets nothing. To this point Pittsburgh has run the ball 7 times for 4 yards. That my friends is the epitome of sucktitude.

Roethlisberger finds Heath Miller on third down to continue the Steeler drive and pick up a first down.

2nd down and 16 yards to go after Pittsburgh is flagged for holding twice on two consecutive plays and Roethlisberger again to the air and finds Santonio Holmes for 18 yards and a first down.

I should note that this is the first NBC telecast since they got the Sunday Night football telecasts without John Madden in the booth and all I can say to that is “Praise be to Allah and all that jazz” About time that fat ass turducken eating bastard is off of my television.

By the way, if you are wondering why I had time to type that it is because the Pittsburgh drive sputtered out again and forced them to punt. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Didn't see that coming did you?

3rd down and 6 and Collins finds former Steeler Nate Washington for a first down. Washington was one of only two Steelers who didn't come back from last year's Super Bowl champions, Pittsburgh returned 20 of 22 starters from that squad onto this year's roster.

The Tennessee drive continues as a pass to Kenny Britt nets another first down for the Titans. 3rd down and 7 and under pressure Collins again finds Bo Scaife for a first down and again Polamalu is involved, this of the negative variety, another personal foul ona facemasking call and another 15 yards for Tennessee.

Third down and 6 to go and this time Collins can't complete the pass to Justin Gage in the end zone and Rob Bironas is back on to try a field goal and the the kick is blocked by Aaron Smith and the game is still scoreless. Only my dedication to this task is keeping me from firing up a game of baseball on the PS2 right now.

Pittsburgh takes over possession and after a completed pass to Holmes for a first down we find ourselves at the two minute warning of the first half.

During the commercial break my D & D adventure ended and it was a successful adventure for Farstrum (I have no idea why I picked that name) and I will call it a night for that Facebook application.

Pittsburgh in their two minute offense here, trying to put together a drive that will result in the games first points, and Roethlisberger completes his longest pass of the game, and the Steelers longest play, hooking up with Hines Ward for 29 yards and a first down.

Crikey, I forgot just how long these glogs can be, this is page 6 now. It is probably a good thing I don't do this every day otherwise nobody would read this page anymore.

One play after the pass to Ward and Roethlisberger finds Santonio Holmes deep over the middle for 34 yards and a touchdown and finally Pittsburgh's offense seems to have gotten on track as Pittsburgh takes a 7-0 lead.

Tennessee is looking to answer back here, Kerry Collins finds Kenny Britt on a 54 yard pass play and Tennessee is in business with 54 seconds left in the first half. Where was all of this offense earlier in the game? Wherever it was, it's here now as Collins finds Justin Gage one play later and we have went from 0-0 to 7-7 in the span of less than 40 seconds.

Pittsburgh gets the ball back after the kickoff and Roethlisberger seems to have found a bit of a passing rhythm, hooking up with Heath Miller twice and Hines Ward once on this drive. But the next two plays result in an incomplete pass and a sack by Tennessee and we are down to 7 seconds left in the first half. A five yard penalty brings up 3rd down and 23 yards and Pittsburgh is left with nothing in the playbook save for a Hail Mary pass, which is intercepted on the goal line by Cortland Finnegan and nearly brought back for a touchdown the other way before he is tackled after a 77 yard return. And with that, the first half is complete with the score Pittsburgh 7, Tennessee 7.

Since Yahoo is offering live scoring this year for their fantasy football leagues, I will use the opportunity to go to the Fantasy Scoreboard and give you some updates.

Well, it turns out that neither me or my opponent has anyone playing in tonight's game, so a update on that game reads Argonauts 0 Alaska Mud Hens 0. And in the Yahoo Mayor's league, Pittsburgh's Luke Ravenstahl currently has a 8-0 in his contest, but his opponent has no one playing tonight either, whereas Mr. Ravenstahl has two players, Tennessee's Chris Johnson and Pittsburgh's Hines Ward playing in the Thursday night game.

There, I even managed to type some relative gibberish during the halftime break. And speaking of gibberish, since I did mention the Pirates and the Steelers so far in this blog, I should also mention the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were in Washington today to meet with President Obama and take the Stanley Cup to the White House.

The second half is underway, with Pittsburgh kicking to Tennessee. Of note, Troy Polamalu is not in to start the second half, he had a player roll up on his leg during the blocked field goal attempt in the first half and it is unknown whether he will return to tonight's contest.

Tennessee starts the second half with two running plays by Chris Johnson, good for 24 yards in total and another first down.

I just realized that I really don't want to read this, but at a quick glance, the number of typos I am spotting already means that a proof read will definitely be in order.

A pass from Kerry Collins to Bo Scaife and Scaife seems to have injured his knee on the tackle by James Harrison and worse for Tennessee, it looks like he fumbled the ball as well, with Keyaron Fox making the recovery, ending Tennessee's drive.

Pittsburgh starts their first possession of the second half and Willie Parker gets 7 yards on the carry and it is the longest run by Pittsburgh to this point in the game.. Yet the next two plays Parker is again given the ball and he only gets two yards total, so Pittsburgh will be forced to punt here. Cortland Finnegan to return the punt and he drops it but quickly recovers, leaving Tennessee in a deep hole, starting on their own 6 yard line.

Three plays for Tennessee lose one yard and on 4th and 11 Tennessee punts the ball back to Pittsburgh, and the Steelers will have good field position to start their second possession of this half, with the drive beginning on their own 47 yard line.

Pittsburgh gets their first first down of the second half, Roethlisberger finding Mewelde Moore on a swing pass on a 3rd and 6 play for 7 yards.

Not that it mattered much, as the drive quickly petered out, a phrase that might be better used in a montage of porn bloopers but is found here anyway, and Pittsburgh punts the ball away for the 8th time this game and the score remains tied 7-7. That's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight ah, ah ah, punts, according to Sesame Street's Count.

Tennessee converts on third down, Kerry Collins finds Justin Gage on third down and 6 and and as the third quarter approaches 3 minutes remaining and we are back to how this game started, with little scoring and lots of defense. Three plays later and Tennessee is punting again, 56 yards by Craig Hentrich after Stefan Logan failed to field the kick and Pittsburgh will start back inside their own 20, 1st and ten from the 15.

Okay, NBC promo for good comedy, then they mention Saturday Night Live in primetime. Anyone remember when that show was actually funny? Anyone at all?

A three and out by Pittsburgh, and the Steelers will punt again to start the fourth quarter, as a short pass to Hines Ward is the last play of the third quarter and after 3 down and one to go it is still Pittsburgh 7 Tennessee 7.

While we wait for the start of the 4th quarter, a movie note. I bought “The Spirit” on DVD the other day, and if there were one good thing to say about the movie, I guess it would be at least my DVD still player works. After that amount of suckage, I am surprised it didn't slit its wrists in protest.

Back in the realm of football, two 15 yards passes by Kerry Collins, one to Kenny Britt and one to Justin Gage and Tennessee is back in business from an offensive standpoint. But on a 3rd and 6, Collins passes short to Alge Crumpler and it is not enough for a first down. Bironas on again to try a field goal, and it is good from 45 yards and Tennessee has the lead 10-7.

Another GE commercial, this time it is people in their locomotive division singing “Take My Breath Away”. So much for train travel, I guess I will just walk.

Pittsburgh manages to notch what I believe to be just their second first down of this half, on a pass to Mike Wallace and a Willie Parker run. Injury timeout and I will head over to Scratchix to see if I can't win me something. Not so good, just won two tickets, far fewer than I scratched to this point.

Pittsburgh is starting to put a drive together here, from their own 29 down to the Tennessee 31 yard line so far. And just as I type that Tennessee records their fourth sack of the game, setting up a 3rd down and 12 for Pittsburgh, yet it is Roethlisberger and Holmes again hooking up for a first down and keeping the drive alive.

Third and 1 yard from the 11 yard line and for the second time this game, Pittsburgh fails to convert in a third and short situation, a problem they had last season as well. Now Jeff Reed is on to attempt a 32 yard field goal, and the kick is good, welcome back to the land of ties, it's 10-10.

Nothing new on the Scratchix front during the break. Just doesn't look like my night over there. At this rate I will probably scratch all of my tickets before the end of the game. Wait, a commercial, another chance to scratch away.

And nothing, blew through the rest of my tickets, managed to win only one. A bad night, even by Scratchix standards.

Back to the game, first down and Kerry Collins back to throw, finding Justin Gage and it is good for 11 yards and a first down.

Two incomplete passes and it is 3rd down and 10 for Tennessee. Collins looks again for Gage and the pass is incomplete and Tennessee will be forced to punt, but before that can happen, it is two minute warning time.

I know I was complaining about work earlier in the blog, actually complaining about Curtis at work earlier in the blog, but I did get some good news. It looks like starting next week I will be rid of those Sunday shifts I hate so much, as I will be moved to Monday through Friday, 7am-3pm. A schedule of the gods, if I do say so myself.

Craig Hentrich back to punt and he shanks it, good for only 28 yards. Pittsburgh's ball.

First down and Roethlisberger finds his favorite target tonight, Santonio Holmes, good for a first down. Two more completed passes, one to Hines Ward and one to Mewelde Moore and Pittsburgh is down to the Tennessee 34 yard line with just 1:03 remaining. Roethlisberger has completed his last 11 pass attempts. Roethlisberger finds Hines Ward and Ward is inside the 5 yard line but has the ball stripped and Tennesssee recovers the fumble, killing an all but certain field goal opportunity for Pittsburgh.

Tennessee takes over on their own 4 yard line and it looks like Tennessee will try to run out the clock and play for overtime. Pittsburgh is hoping that they can get the ball back, but it doesn't look like it will happen before overtime.

Hey, this is my first overtime NFL glog. Aren't you excited? I know I am thinking that I hope it doesn't go the full 15 minutes. That would be what, 4 more pages of nothing but blather? Pittsburgh wins the coin toss and they elect to receive to start the overtime period.

Holy shit, it's 11:30 already. And I know that the news will be on after this, so even if I were of the notion to watch Conan O'Brian, chances are he will not be on for at least another hour at this rate.

Good thing I stocked up on cigarettes at work today. We had these Camel specials, $2.50 off of two packs, which we were selling for $8.76 plus tax, but we were sent so many of them that the boss marked them down to $5.38. Two packs for that price, sign me up. I got four.

Pittsburgh gets the first overtime first down, Roethlisberger connects with Hines Ward for 11 yards. Ben Roethlisberger has now thrown for over 300 yards, he is at 322 to this point. Decent fantasy numbers, at least if your league doesn't penalize for interceptions, if it does, his two picks kind of cut into his value a bit. Good thing to, because Pittsburgh has got nothing from their running game tonight, just 36 yards on 23 carries.

Third and one and Pittsburgh opts to pass and there is Holmes catching his 9th pass of the game, good for a first down.

Roethlisberger throws deep over the middle and finds Mike Wallace for 22 yards and a first down at the Tennessee 15 yard line. Pittsburgh takes a time out and it looks like they will try a field goal right here to win it. And from 33 yards out Jeff Reed knocks it through and Pittsburgh wins in overtime 13-10. I will shut up now and do that proof read I am sure this needs and do the post thing I know you are looking forward to.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

10 Players I Hate More Than You


Another fantasy football post, I know I should probably knock it off, especially when I am stealing this idea from some of the guys over at Yahoo. But the page needs some new content, and lets face it, the football season is less than a week away. If I don't do this now, then when?

So, with that semi disclaimer out of the way, and me biding my time till I run out and grab some lunch this afternoon, let's get about the feature that is 10 Fantasy Players I Hate more than you.

Editors note – The rankings I am using are the average draft position over at Sportsline.com.

Clinton Portis – average draft position 23rd – This is a running back that has seen an extensive number of carries the last few years, and the second half of last year father time seemed to be rearing his ugly head. Over the last 8 games last year, Portis averaged only 3.5 yards per carry and scored only twice. Add to that Coach Jim Zorn is looking to use Ladell Betts more on third down situations, and better value can be found farther down the draft board than this.

Roy E. Williams – average draft position 43rd – I am on the outside looking in on this one, people seem to like the fact he will be the number one receiver in Dallas, as evidenced by the fact that he is getting drafted on average in the fourth round, I am just not one of them. This is a guy that couldn't get open last season when he had Terrell Owens on the other side of him and Jason Witten at tight end, I can't see how he is now magically going to start beating the double teams that #1 receivers frequently see. Not that we haven't seen Roy Williams as the primary receiver before, he was in Detroit and that worked out so well that the Lions were willing to part with him, when Calvin Johnson passed him as the Lions primamry receiver.

Brandon Marshall – average draft position 44th – Contract and behavior issues abound with this pick. Marshall wants out of Denver, so much so that he has thrown tantrums in practice. The Broncos show no sign of wanting to deal him. A marriage made in hell to be sure. Add to that fact that Kyle Orton has looked less than spectacular in the preseason, and that Denver has a few other quality wider receivers in Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley and a pass catching tight end in Tony Scheffler and taking Marshall in the 4th round of a draft (assuming a 12 team league) is a bit of a reach.

Willie Parker – average draft position 55th – The Steelers running game was not very good last year, and Parker can lose touches on both third down (to Mewelde Moore) and in goal line situations (to Rashard Mendenhall). Add to that Parker failed to rush for 1000 yards last year, averaged under 4 yards a carry (3.8) and was even worse in the red zone by a full yard (2.8 per carry) and better value can be had elsewhere.

Santonio Holmes – average draft position 60th – This is an example of a player getting a boost from his performance in the playoffs and Super Bowl, which doesn't help you during the fantasy football season. He has yet to go over 1000 yards receiving in a season, and had just 5 touchdowns last season. This isn't a case of Holmes being a bad player, or that his numbers couldn't be better than the last couple of years, just that he is going far higher than need be. Better value at this position can be found around this point in the draft (late 5th, early 6th), like Anthony Gonzalez and Eddie Royal, who are both going about a round later in most drafts.

Braylon Edwards – average draft position 63rd – Let's see, he plays on a team that can't score on offense, plays with two very unproven commodities at quarterback (Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn) and led the league in dropped passes last year. What is it I am supposed to like about this guy anyway?

Greg Olsen – average draft position 65th – This is not a matter of me coming down on Olsen's ability, as a matter of fact with Jay Cutler as the new Bears quarterback, chances are good this will be Olsen's best year yet. This is simply a matter of tight ends with similar talent getting taken after Olsen. Draft averages have the following coming after Olsen, Chris Cooley (75th), Kellen Winslow (80th), Dustin Keller (94th), Owen Daniels (96th), John Carlson (100th), and any one of them will probably post similar numbers to the ones you will get out of Olsen this year.

Cedric Benson – average draft position 78th – A former first round pick of the Bears, it shows how poorly his career has gone when his 747 rushing yards were a career high. Tack on an underwhelming yards per carry (3.5) and the fact he scored only 2 touchdowns all of last year and while you might not find another starting running back at this position in the draft (technically Ray Rice is getting drafted later), you can certainly find better value at other positions, or running backs that have a better upside coming of their team's bench (Darren Sproles, Leon Washington, Fred Jackson, Ahmad Bradshaw).

Stephen Gostkowski – average draft position 91st – I am all for drafting a kicker on a team that scores lots of points, just nowhere near this high. At best you should probably be snagging your kicker in your league's next to last, if not, last round. There will always be plenty of options to choose from, either drafting a kicker from a high scoring team, or one that has a career of being highly accurate. The drop off on actual kicker points is usually very slim, so taking one this early is little more than a wasted draft pick.

Plaxico Burress – average draft position 145th – Gee, last I checked he was going to jail. This is the absolute epitome of a wasted picked, unless you count the catches he is going to be making in his jail cell, which do not count for fantasy purposes.

Hopefully that helps for any of you that have some last minute drafting that you needed advice on. And if you didn't, I still got a blog entry out of it.

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