Trash Talk – Vaya Con Dios Uno Cinco

There seems to be a disturbing trend among professional athletes involving domestic disturbances and resulting auto incidents. The issue is particularly problematic for big cats, starting with a Tiger and now having consumed a Bengal. As you undoubtedly have heard, 26-year-old Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry, the 15 to OchoCinco’s 85, has died from head injuries suffered from a fall out of the back of a pickup truck in Charlotte, N.C. Henry had a checkered past but, by all accounts, seemed to have turned a corner and been a productive and positive force for the Bengals and his nascent family. A sad and startling end to a young life.

Henry’s death adds an interesting, if morbid, layer of intrigue to Sundays Bengals/Bolts game in San Diego. Will Carson Palmer and the boys be amped up or flat? Will it matter in the face of the roll the Bolts are on? I think the Bengals will play well, but still not have enough to overcome Rivers and the suddenly resurgent LT. Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s division foe the Steelers will be hosting the Cheeseheads in the Big Ketchup Bottle. Curiously, the common assumption was that the Super Bowl team to fall off and tank this year would be the Cardinals; instead it is Pittsburgh. The Steelers need a win against the Pack to avoid their first six-game losing streak in a decade. Unfortunately, Green Bay has been getting much better offensive line play lately and Aaron Rodgers and his receivers are still red hot. The Cheesers are too much for Big Ben and the Stillers.

The best game may be tonight in a late season Saturday night tilt between the ‘Boys and the Who Dats down in the Big Easy. Drew Fookin Brees and the Bourbon Street Brawlers are still undefeated, but they have shown a few vulnerabilities of late. A win is a win though and they figure to get another one against Dallas. It is never a December to remember for Tony Romo and Wade Phillips; this should be the last one for that pairing. The Geezer and the Vikes visit the Panther den. Carolina, despite Jake Delhomme’s travails and now injury, have been playing decent ball; but not enough for this test, the Vikes should win.

If Bruce Gradkowski had not have gotten injured, I might have been inclined to take the Rayduhs over the Broncs, even at Mile High. Jamarcus Russell is effectively the taxi squad at this point and Oakland is going with Charlie Frye. That is not a recipe for success in the cold Denver December. The Pats visit TO and the Bills in a game which is only notable due to the shocking uncertainty surrounding the chemistry and strength of the once unflappable Pats. Say what you will about Bill Bels Brain Fart, they lost that game against the Peytons and have not been the same since. Tedy Bruschi was right, it did affect the mindset of the defense, which had enough issues this year to start with. Nevertheless, Tom Brady should get Randy Moss involved early and often and the Pats right the ship.

The Fish at the Titans should be a hard hitting and great game. Miami is 7-6 and still has playoff aspirations, while Tennessee is 6-7 and wants to finish out the season on a roll. Ricky Williams has been nails this year, but Tennessee has Chris Johnson. Chad Henne and Vince Young have both really come on late in the year, and both teams have good defenses. This game is a tossup and must see teevee for anybody who has it showing in their game package. Cards put another pasting on the Lions and the Chiefs have enough to overcome the hapless Brownies. Texans over the Lambs and Jets get by the Dirty Birds, who are pretty wounded with injuries to both Matt Ryan and Burner Turner. Looks like some nasty weather in Philly, which will not help the young 49ers; McNabb leads the Iggles to another win and they start preparing for the playoffs.

Here are a couple of Holiday stocking stuffers for you. Snoop Dogg visited Martha Stewart yesterday to – wait for it – cook some brownies. Seriously, you just gotta love it. Fer shizzle. Also, did you know there was an “Accidental Nudity Football League”? Me either, but I am all for that if it involves lingerie models.

Alright, that’s it for this week Wheelheads and lugnuts, Rip this joint.

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217 replies
  1. BoxTurtle says:

    I sure hope you’re right about the Chiefs, but they’re fighting the Browns curse and we need to win one more to really hurt our draft positioning. I sure hope Holmgren and the Browns come to a deal.

    Continuing on the subject of losers, back to the Iranians hacking that drone. One thing that nobody has mentioned is that the hacker saw the UNFUDGED feed. Every time the pentagon has released drone photos, they’ve been fuzzed so nobody whould how good a photo we could really take. Now the last people in the world we’d want to know that have hours of examples. Any high school graduate would know better than to send that signal in the clear. Losers.

    Boxturtle (On the plus side, I bet the detail of the photos REALLY frightened the Iranian government)

  2. skdadl says:

    I saw Gene Autry when I was a little kid. He came to sing at the Tiger Arena (ice arena — skating and hockey) in Medicine Hat, mebbe 1950? He probably sang “Rudolph” and “Frosty,” which would have been the songs I knew when I was five. He also probably sang “Ghost Riders” and “Vaya Con Dios,” but I wasn’t that sophisticated at the time so those wouldn’t have registered.

    It was summer, though — maybe late summer, but still summer — and he was the only person there who was wearing a heavy jacket. I can still see him hunching his jacket up around him onstage, me thinking to self “That poor man is cold.”

    I was so into American cowboys when I were a tad — I cannot tell you. I even knew real cowboys in Alberta, but somehow just none of them was Randolph Scott or Joel McCrea or Gene Autry. And I could go on …

    • jjjones says:

      Take a tip from Tom, go and tell yer mom, Shredded Ralston cain’t be beat….. Shre-e-e-ded Ralston for yer breakfast……

      Somebody last week said something about being a ’49er fan since (I think) Montana put on a jersey… I was in high school at Menlo when the ’49ers were the ’49ers. Remember selling parking spots in other peoples driveways for $1.00 in order to get the dough for tickets at KEZAR Stadium and watch Y.A.Tittle connect with R.C.Owens in the great Alley Oop! … Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end…
      Later, I played golf with John Brodie at the “Century Club” in Modesto started by the current owner of the ‘Bolts….at that time, Vegas would send an airplane to pick up any of that contingent that wanted to be comp’d for few days fun and games.

      I’ve been reading here for quite a while, never felt quite erudite enough, it’s an education.

      The eclectic skeptic
      JJJ

      • skdadl says:

        Take a tip from Tom, go and tell yer mom, Shredded Ralston cain’t be beat….. Shre-e-e-ded Ralston for yer breakfast…

        I had to look that up. Tom Mix! (You can hear him sing the jingle there.)

        I don’t think we had Ralston in those days up here, just Nabisco, so I wasn’t that familiar with Tom. But you made me track Ralston down, and oh my paws and whiskers, what an odd story. Did you know about Mr Edgerly and Ralstonism?

        Ralstonites were to follow strict dietary guidelines. For example, watermelons were supposed to be poisonous to Caucasians. Correct diet and proper physical exercise would help reader attain “personal magnetism”, which would give them control over the thoughts of others. Much of the physical regime demanded moving in graceful curves and arcs and walking exclusively on the balls of one’s feet. Because sudden starts and stops and sharp angular movements caused a “leakage of vital force”, Ralstonites were to even pick marbles in continuous circles. There was a proper way to bathe (dry bath), gesture, sit, stand, sleep, talk and have sex …

        … The contours of [his] estate followed Edgerly’s conviction that sudden stops and walking in straight lines would cause leakage of vital force.

        People who invent breakfast cereals often seem to be on these curious missions — see also the Kelloggs and Mr Post.

        • bmaz says:

          Heh. I have often, and I mean often, stopped, mixed a cocktail and taken a leak at the exact spot of Tom Mix’s demise. By the way, I have worked on and driven a Cord Phaeton extremely similar to the vehicle in question; very great ride.

        • freepatriot says:

          The contours of [his] estate followed Edgerly’s conviction that sudden stops and walking in straight lines would cause leakage of vital force

          how did the dude feel about fluoride ???

          I think I saw this flik

          Peter Sellers, Slim Pickins, George C Scott

          yeah, yeah, I seen it …

          • skdadl says:

            And you thought that Peter Sellers, Peter Sellers, Peter Sellers, and Stanley Kubrick were just making it up, eh?

            Blessings upon your vital bodily fluids, freep.

            • bmaz says:

              Aye, Buck Turgidson. Combine him with General James Matoon Scott and you have the Man Named Petraeus, heading to a ballot box near you soon; this is an element of my fear described @33 above.

                • bmaz says:

                  Oooh, missed this earlier. Petraeus easily. He has the jones and craven ambition for politics. McChrystal may be intellectually more dangerous, based on what info is out there, but I don’t see the raw political personality and ambition in him that I do Petraeus.

  3. scribe says:

    Ahh. Football weather in PHilly. I’m just wondering how the Iggles plan to get the stands at the Link cleared in time for the game, let alone clearing the parking lots and approach roads.

    I’d be looking for The Next Ed Rendell to be up in the uper deck betting guys they can’t hit the field with that snowball, just like the current Ed Rendell did in the infamous Dallas at Iggles Snow Bowl in the late 80s. And, remember, this being the week before Christmas it will be The Opportunity for Iggles fans to renew their vows, and Boo Santa.

    One of the less-known facts about Philly is that it might well be the single worst city in America when it comes to getting out from under a major snowfall. This is not so much a function of inefficient city services – they do try really, really hard and do their best and their best is pretty good – but is rather a function of the 1700s-based design of the city. And I’m not just talking about Center City, either. Rather, most of the city was laid out and built in the 1700s and 1800s around the horse and horse-drawn wagons. Accordingly, the generic city block not only has almost total coverage (with either brick row houses or tiny yards), but also half streets in the middle of the blocks, and quarter streets further dividng those half-blocks.

    Those quarter streets lead to the after-built garages for many of the houses, and are in almost all cases only a litle wider than the horses and wagons the quarter streets were built to acoommodate. In the older parts of the city, most of them are still paved with cobblestones.

    So to begin with, there are scads of narrow streets and no place to put all that snow.

    All that having been said, there is little to no off-street parking, and that results in both streets incapable of being plowed because of all the snowed-under cars, and entertaining parking spot combat, for those silly enough to try to venture out in their cars and expect the spot they dug out to still be vacant when they return.

    About 14 or 15 winters ago, I was dating someone in Philly when they got hit with a storm similar in magnitude to that expected for today/tomorrow. It took weeks until the main streets were truly passable, and well over a month until the side streets were open.

    So, look for the hardest of the hard-core lunatic Igglesfans to be in abundance tomorrow, and for a hail of snowballs (a) if the game goes against the Iggles and/or (b) the Santa who shows is even slightly lame-o.

    And look for signs with messages similar to the “Can’t Buy Suds” Signs proudly displayed on CBS the week following the Snow Bowl, i.e., if you’re expectng to get an alcohol-based drink at the game, you’re gonna have to bring it yourself. Tomorrow, I’d expect the Iggles to cut off the beer early, or not sell any at all.

    As to my Stillers – I’d like to think they can salvage some pride if not a playoff spot, but for whatever reason they seem to just be laying back and enjoying the glow of last year. They seem resistant to the idea that Last Year is Over and they have to prove it all over again this year. While injuries have not been kind to them this year, at least in terms of winning games this year, an argument can be made that the injuries they suffered have exposed the weaknesses – particularly mental/emotional – which were creeping in. The injuries exposed these weaknesses and therby gave them an opportunity to remedy that by replacing (or re-motivating) personnel perhaps a year ahead of when the same prolems would have been exposed in the normal course. Thus, they can start their rebuilding a year earlier and, hopefully, the decline will not be as steep nor the bottom so low as might have been otherwise.

    That’s cold comfort for one whose first reaction on seeing this was to cross mayelf and genuflect. Here’s a nice view, too.

    As for Coach Cupcake and Tony Romo, that soap opera is, as noted, slated for the same fate as te others – cancellation. Romo is going to go down into Owboys history alongsde Danny White and those no-name guys who were touted as the next great QB, were QB for a couple years here and there, and whose numbers are currently being worn by WRs and kickers.

  4. GulfCoastPirate says:

    I feel sorry for Wade Phillips. Can’t figure out how a good Houston boy got mixed up with Jones.

    I’m curious about somethng if you all will indulge me. With all the commotion in the last week over the health care bill it looks this morning as if, unless it goes down in the House, that what we see in the Senate is approximately what we get. Benjy said this morning he’ll filibuster if any drastic changes are made in the conference.

    So my question is this. How many of you are prepared to go to the mat and actively work to see Democrats defeated next November, and possibly in 2012, if this bill goes through as is? What’s that old saying about if you go after the king, then you better be sure you take him out. If everyone goes back to voting for the Democrats because they are afraid of a return to Republican rule then Rahm will be proven correct and the progressives will never be taken seriously. It’s not a very difficult question for me since I’m in Ron Paul’s district and he isn’t going to get beat. In fact, I kind of like the guy; however, I’m sure it will be a more difficult decision for some of you.

    One thing to remember, even if the Republicans take over, the mathematics of some of these problems stays the same. They will face the same problems as the Democrats do today. Whether it’s health care, financial reform or some other problem, the data shows fairly clearly what the solution must be. It’s just that the political process and the people who control both parties seems to inhibit the most logical solution.

    Just curious …………………

        • BayStateLibrul says:

          But, but, Obama/Rahma is better than McCain/Palin.
          Or as Brian McNamee done said, “It is, what it is”
          Just heard Sanders/Cardin speak, I love Bernie

        • scribe says:

          You know, there’s a real possibility that the Rethugs will take control of the House, in which event I predict that the remainder of Obama’s first (and possibly only) term, will be occupied with such niceties as an impeachment inquiry into whether, in fact, he truly is a natural-born citizen or not.

          In that event, Bugsy will have set the dubious record of being the political adviser who managed to get two different presidents impeached. And still somehow lived to tell about it.

    • freepatriot says:

      Can’t figure out how a good Houston boy got mixed up with Jones.

      Arkansas grifters are the most charming breed of grifters

      people jes can’t resist em

      I’m three generations away from my Arkie roots, an I still got a lot of that charm …

      (wink)

      • emptywheel says:

        Nah. I’m saying Jake McIntyre, Amanda Terkel, and a bunch of other good Libs’ Bills may upset our Patsies. Timmeh Russert left his part of the team to Luke who sold it away for Village cred.

        • bmaz says:

          They are certainly dressing him a little better lately, and his delivery is getting a little smoother (not much), but his content and analysis still demonstrates him to be a complete dope. It is not just that he is young; he just doesn’t seem particularly bright.

  5. emptywheel says:

    But I am quite grateful that there’s football on tonight (got to see Thursday’s game, too, which of course didn’t brighten my mood), cause rather than thinking about the corporate takeover of our government, I’m gonna make fruit cake (dried fruit, tnnot the shitty stuff), go to a 2-year old’s birthday party, and watch some football.

    • scribe says:

      I made my fruitcake the other day. It’s basically the recipe in the Fanny Farmer cookbook, less the citron (I hate citron). It makes two loaf-pan sized cakes.

      I’ve already eaten almost a whole one by myself.

      For those of you who are having oranges (or other citrus) around the house, you might consider making candied orange peel. I made that last week – y’gotta get candied fruit for fruitcake, after all – and it’s just addictive. Of course, it goes wonderfully in the fruitcake.

      In short, get the peels of three oranges. Cut them into strips about 3/8 inches wide. Simmer them in plain water for a half hour, change the water, simmer them again until they are tender, then drain them.

      Now, take a cup of sugar, three tablespoons of light Karo, and 3/4 cup of water. Put those in a covered saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves into solution. Add the strips of peel and simmer gently, covered, for a couple hours, turning the strips occasionally. Cut the heat and let it sit overnight. Come the next day, restart the heat and simmer until all or almost all the liquid has been absorbed. You’ll have some strongly flavored syrup left, which is just fine.

      Let the syrup drain from the peel (it takes a while) and save te syrup. Take a cup of sugar and spread it on a plate, then roll individual strips in the sugar until they are coated and can be handled with bare hands (Such that they won’t stick to your fingers.) Store in an airtight container.

      Take the sugar left over and toss it into the syrup, then put all that into a dish or something where you can let the remaining water evaporate out of this mix, stirring occasionally to break it up, and save it. You now have orange-flavored sugar, which goes very nicely in your oatmeal.

      Tonight, it’s football and kipferl baking – walnut and lekvar.

  6. LabDancer says:

    “Bill Bels Brain Fart”.

    We continue to disagree on this. Increasingly compelling evidence is emerging:

    [1] Bellychick has not backed off the line he drew consistently from right after the game in question through several days until put up a fence around the subject, to wit: “I thought we DID make it”, and “I still think we made it”.

    If his thunker was/is right, that clothes the blame in stripes.

    [2] The video neither establishes nor utterly refutes the possibility of a momentary initial bobble by the receiver — which if there was one would justify the near-side line judge not crediting the Pats with the spot where he was when the ball first touched his hands;

    but there’s no suggestion at all of his not being in complete control of the ball after being pushed, to paraphrase this guy, “back and to the left”:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1123478329757426695#%5D.

    while he took no more than one abbreviated stagger-step in the direction to which the Coltish defense was, to paraphrase Patrick Stewart as the Swiss banker in LA Story, attempting to “urge” him;

    yet the line judge was manifesting his internal review of this:

    resulting in the spot being another yard or so back of even that point.

    So maybe the blame should be assigned to Folsom.

    [3] Of course, you do realize that the peculiar magical attraction of the AFNL is that it’s rules do not even permit punting.

    So maybe the blame should be shared among on the antideluvian ownership.

    • emptywheel says:

      Look, whether or not you think the bobble should have been a first down, if you do, then you also have to accept that BillBel had abysmal time management in that series (and the game generally), so the loss on that ground is still his responsibility.

      • LabDancer says:

        Point taken. I think there’s also a larger point to be made on this, one that plays out throughout the system.

        The way it’s been set up for a while now, in a given year a team faces each of its divisional rivals twice, yet 4 of its regular season games will be against teams it might not have seen for up to 7 seasons &/or might not see again for up to seven more. The remaining 6 games are spread among 12 teams in the same conference but outside the same division, meaning for example that the Pats & the Colts will face each other on average every two years.

        So, to the extent a team can make long preparations for a given opponent’s style, the best investment would seem to be in planning for those within the same division [with the tie-breaker system being another factor, albeit lesser, encouraging particular attention being paid to intradivisional opponents].

        Every team, so every opponent, is unique, even within this highly conventional system — but some more so than others, and I suggest that the Colts are, if not the most unique [That title might go to the Dolphins], certainly among the most extreme intrasystemic examples of a team which marches to its own drummer, not least of course in how they’re able to work the rhythms of each game with largely autonomous on-field decision making

        [noting in passing that such was actually the Norm going back to the days of my first NFL consciousness in the late 1950s, the late Vanbrocklinsaurus deep into the Tarkentonian era, until the dominance of the strong-armed, lame-brained Bradshavians].

        My memory is that the relevant error most discussed in context was a relatively meaningless time out taken by a Pat on the field–which, even if billybelly didn’t pre-authorize, he knew about and could have & should have reflected on prior to The Call. So you’re arguing he lost control of the game as a whole and The Call is but an example of that.

        But that’s irrelevant if The Call was correct, right? And the point being mooted is whether The Call was more comparable to brainchickian genius-per-usual or gaseous matter exuded from the wrong organ.

        One more point in favor or billybelly: If he was actually aware of the phenomenon you [IMO correctly] identify, i.e. that to a large extent his side had lost control of the rhythm & timing of the particular game, then isn’t it smarter to throw all in on one call where one has a sense of control and the odds favor success AND which brings an abrupt favorable conclusion to the contest, than to spread one’s bets more thinly over the table of a contest over which one has already proven to have exerted little control in giving up control AND where the odds still favor success BUT less strongly?

        • freepatriot says:

          The way it’s been set up for a while now, in a given year a team faces each of its divisional rivals twice, yet 4 of its regular season games will be against teams it might not have seen for up to 7 seasons &/or might not see again for up to seven more. The remaining 6 games are spread among 12 teams in the same conference but outside the same division, meaning for example that the Pats & the Colts will face each other on average every two years.

          sorry, gotta correct that …

          6 games in Division (Home and Away games against the other 3 teams in Division)

          4 non-conference games (rotates every year, 4 year cycle, & all 4 division teams play the same 4 non-conference foes every year)

          4 games against all the teams in one in-conference division (rotates every year, 3 year cycle, all division teams play the same in-conference division teams)

          2 games against the remaining in-conference division teams that finished in the same place within their divisions (the 1st place team plays the two other 1st place teams from the remaining divisions, every team plays a different set of teams based on standings, 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4)

          so every team plays all the teams in the other conference once every four years, and all teams within their conference every three years

          32 is the perfect number of teams to make this system work

          • LabDancer says:

            I bow to your superior intelligence; however, I don’t see where you’ve addressed the issues. To review the bidding:

            The Thomas Cromwell of this site opened by alluding [once again] to The Call in terms which effectively castigated the individual responsible for making it as misguided, implying said individual to have received the benefit of a Conventional Wisdom [“CW”], crediting him with a level of professional perspicacity which The Call has exposed as somewhere between suspect & bogus, as well as leaving related impressions to the effect that The Call’s bogusity was so manifest as to both subsume CW and yet somehow still also rise above CW into some actual &/or greater meaning.

            My bid in response was to the effect, as well as in effect, that the proposition & its proponent both were replicating the arc of The Surge — a shockingly awesome slur in progressive spin cycles, not that it was noticed.

            Fearless Leader then jumped in with a jump shift, first casting plague on the Inns of both beagles for dwelling on whether there be essence of surginess in The Call & pointed at a more pervasive villainy within the cross-hairs of her characteristically sharp sight, suggesting The Call, regardless its Good-itude or Evil-ness, was the Hell Spawn of fatal shortcomings by Belichick in the Einsteinian dimension, including in particular the ineptness of his efforts at suspending same.

            I took that shot in the region below the knee, & it reflexively jerked up in suggesting that its truth both argued for the essential sagacity in The Call and originated in a certain systemic disorientation posed by extreme outliers – in the course of which I recited the erroneous info you’ve outed.

            [As it turned, somewhere in fog of tri-time delay, bmaz had chosen to abandon all pretense at keeping within the bounds of rationality & reason, & to throw all in on the professional game’s holy goat Not that there’s anything wrong with that, given the entire system currently appears predicated on him, & belief in his superannuated powers].

            But since, as I readily concede, you’re clearly more in tune with the fine aspects of the physical laws that pertain in the National Farve League, what say you on the merits of the points in dispute? Does The Call expose Belichick as Brilliant Bill or Washed-Up William?

            • BayStateLibrul says:

              I’m with the Dancer

              Must win, is a must win.

              ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — 4th, 2:00, Patriots 17, Bills 10: Patriots pick up a first down. Looks like that should be it for the Bills unless there is some sort of turnover.

            • emptywheel says:

              I’m going to repeat my judgments on the game.

              1) The game was lost bc the PAts twice turned the ball over in the end zone.
              2) In addition, BillBel made a big mistake in time management to set up the call
              3) I think ‘the call’ was not a horrible decision, given how badly the D was playing at the moment
              4) But the big failure, then, is in BillBel’s efforts to push his cheapskate brilliance far too far, in letting all his D leaders go

              • BayStateLibrul says:

                Twas a dicey trade made by GM Billy…

                Seymour is 30. Seymour was making $3.685 million and in the final year of his contract. Could they sign him? They secured a top-10 draftee in 2011. They were looking to the future, at the expense of the present…
                Time will tell if they made the right decision…
                I liked Bill going for it with fourth and two….
                They are the sleeper team…

              • LabDancer says:

                This is how the World of The Call ends: the same place as most of my experiments in meal preparation.

                Observation on the state of the NFL’s plan to maintain interest through to the playoffs: currently fully one quarter of the teams have won 7 games, 6 of them in the AFC at 7-7.

    • bmaz says:

      Hmmm, none of those clips seem to show the referees agreeing with you or the Pats winning the game. Guess they didn’t make it after all.

  7. bobschacht says:

    Will Carson Palmer and the boys be amped up sharp or flat?

    Given that you started your diary with a musical metaphor, I don’t know how you were able to resist the obvious musical platitude here.

    Bob in AZ

  8. bobschacht says:

    Hmm. Is there a connection between BillBel’s brain fart and Rahm Emmanuel’s brain fart on the Health Care strategy? Is ObamaRahma “going for it” rather than punting?

    Bob in AZ

  9. bmaz says:

    Well, who’d a thunk it. the University of Bo Merlot is funneling huge money to lobbyists to convince Congress not to scuttle the craven BCS. From Politico:

    College football is bringing big bucks to K Street as lawmakers take aim at dismantling the Bowl Championship Series. Lobbyists are gearing up for a Capitol Hill push after a House subcommittee last week advanced the College Football Playoff Act of 2009 to the House Energy and Commerce Committee — a powerful committee chaired by top legislator Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

    In efforts to defend the status quo, the BCS has already shelled out $70,000 on federal lobbying so far this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    The BCS has J.C. Watts Companies (run by the former congressman and former University of Oklahoma football star) handling its Capitol Hill business. And an influential Washington insider is heading the public relations strategy: former press secretary to President George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer.

    Also putting money in the game is Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which broadcasts the BCS games. News Corp. has spent nearly $3,885,000 lobbying Capitol Hill overall this year and a portion of the funds was aimed at opposing the BCS bill.

    The University of Michigan, a Big Ten school, has spent $415,000 lobbying so far this year. Purdue University has spent $515,000, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association has spent about $120,000. They are spending money to stop a separate, but similar, bill that aims to cut federal money for colleges that participate in a Division IA football season without a playoff based on the results of regular season games.

    Big Blue and Rupert Murdoch. What the hell is going on up there in Ann Arbor??

    • scribe says:

      Money, silly.

      That’s what’s going on.

      Speaking of which, I received a very nice gift in the mail today. The secretaries in the office where I used to do a lot of work (before I sold my place and moved away) got together and each tossed in $10 and got me a gift card and sent me a very nice Christmas card, too.

      I want to say something snarky – but I really don’t have to – about the lawyers who employ them, with whom I’d worked for over 15 years and who decided that stiffing me on my last bill – it’s only $600, but it’s $600 – was the way they wanted to part. No card from them….

        • scribe says:

          Actually, if I’m going to sue them it would be for infringing my copyright. The work was my original written research and analytical work, and I know they’ve copied it and distributed it.

          Moreover, the issues in a copyright suit are actually a lot clearer than in a breach of contract suit – no quibbling over anything other than did you write it, was it original, and did they pay you for it?

          These guys also avoid federal court like the plague – they don’t even have ECF filing accounts. The problem is I’d have to spend $500 to file suit and another hundred to serve it, seeing as how copyright is exclusively in federal court.

            • scribe says:

              Especially if you (like them) had no clue on how to file electronically, nor even an electronic filing account. The few times they had to do anything in federal court, I wound up having to do it for them….

              Actually, as I read the statute, statutory damages in copyright suits start at $750, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. So, a $600 bill winds up starting at $1350 ($750 +$500 filing + $100 service) even if I go pro se.

    • GulfCoastPirate says:

      Purdue is spending 515,000? They have no hope of ever winning a national championship anyway. Why would they care?

      Has anyone asked Rahm what he thinks of the BCS? By the time he gets finished it will be down to 10 schools and the rest of the schools will be required to pay those 10.

  10. bmaz says:

    Just a reminder to join Mary for The Guantanamo Lawyers over at FDL Book Salon starting in 15 minutes. You can still Trash Talk because you all are multitaskers.

  11. Mary says:

    Thanks bmaz.

    I’m trying to wrap my head around EW @9 – that there is a non *#&$ kind of fruitcake.

    Really?

    • scribe says:

      If you don’t watch it, Santa might just send you a fruitcake for Christmas. In a round can, thrown frisbee-like….

    • scribe says:

      and molasses, brown sugar, mace, cloves, cinnamon, raisins, nuts and butter… right? I add a pile o’ dates to mine, too.

    • randiego says:

      Is this one of those American sweet-as-candy, you could use it as building material fruitcakes?

      I ask because I’m a fruitcake nut, but only the English (more accurately the Australian) kind. My mom makes a boiled fruitcake every year, of which I receive one-third, since my siblings don’t eat it.

      I brought home two from Australia when I was there in October. They had just hit the shelves for christmas.

      • emptywheel says:

        I’m not sure exactly what this is–I never much cared for my mom’s old style fruit cake, but this one basically looked like a bunch of stuff I love.

        Or maybe I’m getting old.

        And for those who don’t get it, Dallas just missed an unmissable field goa.

  12. scribe says:

    Now I see the No Fun League has decided to keep the game tonight on the No Fun League Network, which I’m not about to pay for.

    And they pushed the Iggles game start back a few hours.

    Like that will help. This is Filthydelphia we’re talking about….

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, I wondered about that. How is moving it to dusk going to materially help? More time to clear the stadium of snow or something?

        • scribe says:

          Interesting bits of sports trivia relative to booing Santa in Philly: (1) the Iggles went 2-12 that year, imposing on themselves the Curse of the Browns. Had they won fewer games, they would have won the chance to draft O.J. Simpson. (2) The game – including the halftime – was broadcast by ABC. Someone thinks they may have tape of it in the archives, somewhere (assuming they hadn’t erased it or taped over it, a common practice then, when videotape was expensive and no importance attached to preserving everything for history).

  13. PJEvans says:

    I got a laugh this morning, when I saw a car with the license ‘BOYC ST8’.

    I guess I know who they root for.

  14. scribe says:

    EW – have you noticed His Bradyness now wears baseball caps with his own “TB” logo? Just like the “TW” logos on Mr. Woods’ golf caps.

    Even in post-game press conferences.

    Just saying.

    • bmaz says:

      All those logo guys Jordan, Tiger – probably Brady now too – have harems of hookers, mistresses and concubines. Of course in Brady’s marriage, unlike the other two, it isn’t the man who needed the pre-nup.

  15. scribe says:

    Kind of amusing, the big football hero being the not-economically-dominant side of that marriage. Like one of those deep-sea fishes, where the male winds up a near-vestigial appendage of the much-larger female used only for reproducing….

  16. bmaz says:

    Bart Scott Talks Trash:

    Scott uses a three-step trash-talk template. He starts with research. He scours ESPN, Google and scouting reports, which include pictures. He wants to understand the opponents he will talk to, understand what angers them, what makes them tick. He looks for police incidents, problems with wives or girlfriends, expanding stomachs, funny faces.

    To aid in his delivery, Scott watches wrestling videos, or famous trash talkers like Muhammad Ali. They taught him Step 2: mixing fact with fiction. Scott wants his barbs to be believable, but he often uses exaggerations, or lies disguised as truth, for maximum effect.

    This leads to Step 3: know your audience. The more people responding, the more the insults will sting, Scott reasoned. He especially likes when his targets’ teammates laugh.

      • freepatriot says:

        email ???

        I got an “email” now ???

        gonna have to check in to that at some point …

        I gots house guests that do facebook farming, fish bowls, and other such foolish stuff. My toobz time has been limited lately

        I waz bakin Xmas cookies (Santa has always had cloven hooves, right)

        an I’m glad the Saints lost. let goober an the colts worry about bein perfect. Nawlins wants a trophy. 18-1 will do, so long as you lose the right game (not the superbowl, for those who can’t do football math)

        • bobschacht says:

          an I’m glad the Saints lost. let goober an the colts worry about bein perfect. Nawlins wants a trophy. 18-1 will do, so long as you lose the right game (not the superbowl, for those who can’t do football math)

          What worries me is that Washington (of all teams!) may have exposed a weakness in NOLA’s defense that the ‘Boys exploited with better success. Am I imagining things, or was there such a link?

          Bob in AZ

        • randiego says:

          an I’m glad the Saints lost. let goober an the colts worry about bein perfect. Nawlins wants a trophy. 18-1 will do, so long as you lose the right game (not the superbowl, for those who can’t do football math)

          Agree with that assessment, and I’ll add: Indy is dumb if they take their foot off the gas and rest their players going into the playoffs. I hope they do.

  17. scribe says:

    Told ya. They try really hard, but even in the newly built parts of town (like the stadium complex) there’s just no place to put the snow.

    The interesting thing is that, looking at the TV maps, the national early game was supposed to be the Iggles-Niners and the national late game the Stillers-Cheesers. Now, the506 has posted updated maps in which the national early game is going to be ATL-NYJ andthe CBS map looks like my dog’s breakfast on the second go-round.

  18. scribe says:

    That’s except for you, BMAz. You and a tiny sliver of Michigan outside Detroit get to watch Lions-Cards on the early Fox game.

            • Nola Sue says:

              I’m staying in my happy place. It’s still a magical season.

              Funny thing. As a native N’Awlins girl, I’m always a die-hard Saints fan. That said, during some of those, ahem, dry seasons, I adopted as a fall-back (and for post-seasons) the team of my mother’s hometown, the place I spent many summers, yes, Dallas. (My affection for da Boys dried up like a Dallas lawn in July post-Jones.)

              Now, I live upriver in the land of the old man, where my husband grew up. Over 20+ years of our marriage, most of the Saints playoff efforts seem to have been against the Vikes and friends like to come over and watch us watch the game. :)

              But this is still a magical season. Now that perfection monkey’s off our backs. Geaux Saints!

  19. Quebecois says:

    Hey bmaz, looks liks Schu will be back with Mercedes… Should be entertaining. I wonder if he’ll feel persecuted when the young whipper snappers pass him?

    • bmaz says:

      Heh, if history is any guide, he will shunt them off the road instead. If the car is up to snuff, he will do fine; although I do not think he still has the ability to win with substandard equipment like he did with Benneton.

      • Quebecois says:

        Nice to see we agree on Schu, never will he miss an occasion to run an opponent off the track… Damon Hill knows, Villeneuve was luckier…

        • bmaz says:

          Well that has always been the dirty little secret about Schumacher hasn’t it? Not that he is consistently a dirty driver, but he has always had a healthy quotient of the old school hard nosed ethic. But consistent winners always have that go for the jugular mentality, and he has that.

          Now back to the upcoming season, I have been thinking about it a little since we started this discussion last night. I Still think it is going to come down to how good his equipment is, but if the equipment is good, I think Michael should be right in the mix. Last season’s one and two were Jenson Button and Rubens. Jenson is a nice driver and all, and I have always though Rubens was underappreciated not only for his driving ability, but his ability to bring cars home and finish consistently. That said, neither one of them are Michael Schumacher, even coming off a layoff. And Shuey has not been totally away, he has been involved in technical for Ferrari and has put plenty of seat time in sorting out the cars. Will he come out of the chute at the same level as he was in his prime, no; but let’s face it, it is not a field full of Jimmy Clarks and Aryton Sennas he will be competing against. Secondly, Schuey freaking hates Fernando Alonso (I am not real fond of the guy either) and that ought to be tremendous motivation. I think Schu considers Alonso an ass and Lewis Hamilton a dandy, and seeing him battle those two and young Vettel should make for a fantastic season.

          • Quebecois says:

            I’m not a fan of Schu, far from it, I always felt that the winning at all cost meme stuck to close to him, and his team pricipals. Look at where Briatore and Todt are today!

            And I agree with you, the car will determine if he’ll do good. Brawn proved it without a doubt last year.

            Alonso is another win at all cost puke, I could do easily with him out of the circus.

            I wish that villeneuve would get a decent ride, alas, won’t happen, he’s never been judged on his talent or driving, he was judged on his clear opinions, wich made too many folks uncomfortable. Their loss.

            That said, I hope Vettel has a good car to showcase his fantastic talent.

            • bmaz says:

              Sadly, Jaques is done I think. I always kind of liked him for his willingness to break free of the expectations and constructs every one else had for him. Schumacher is a conflicted picture. Personally, I have never felt him to be either the hero or the villain others made him out to be. But irrespective of either view, the man has some due; he is without question a great champion. He has consistently, over the course of a very long career, demonstrated the ability to win with not only superior equipment, but inferior as well. He has been able to withstand prosperity, and overcome and triumph in adversity. You don’t have to like him to have a healthy respect for who he is and what he has done. Your complaints have merit, and I kind of agree with them to at least some extent, but he is one hell of a driver and has more than earned his place among the lions even given that. You know, Fangio, Ascari, Moss and Senna also had the makeup to where, if it was you and them and only one was going to make the apex of the turn, it was damn sure going to be them and not you. That is maybe not all, but certainly part of why they won.

              • Quebecois says:

                Granted, he is one of the five best ever. I understand that motivation, I’d also fight for that apex. Senna would have never blocked the track in Monaco for qualifying…

              • sluggahjells says:

                Didn’t know you were a Formula 1 fan, a pleasant surprise.

                And yes, Villenueve best days are long gone I think, thought he would probably do okay in the IndyCar series if he ever came back here. In fact, I think he has driven in the Nationwide series if my recent memory is back.

  20. nextstopchicago says:

    It hurts to have to post in a football-related thread.

    But I just want to mention that I hope one day, EW will turn from the many important topics that hold her attention, and spend at least one post ripping Jane Perlez to shreds.

    Today’s outrage is an article in the NYTimes suggesting that the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision allowing corruption prosecutions to be reopened will hurt the reputation of civilian, democratic government and make the military more popular. She quotes unnamed “analysts.”

    Ah yes, Jane, I’m sure that the prime result of a very popular Supreme Court, feeling itself powerful enough to attack corruption in the Zardari government will be to make the military that ousted that Supreme Court more popular.

    She also manages to write a very long article about the situation without mentioning Nawaz Sharif or his party. They’re the ones who forced the reinstatement of the Justices. It seems like the Court’s wildly popular decision might be most likely to improve their standing, not that of the former dictator.

    But for Jane Perlez, it’s a zero-sum game between Bhutto’s corrupt widower and fascism. And she can’t manage to hide her sympathies for the latter.

  21. sluggahjells says:

    Will try to get the Cardinals struggling with the Lions right now.

    The Lions, without Matthew Stafford and Kevin Smith, giving the Jerkyll and Hyde Cardinals problems after being down 17-0…..it is now 17-14.

  22. freepatriot says:

    I think we made a scientific discovery here;

    on Thanksgiving, a person who had NO TURKEY, experienced the same sleepiness that turkey consumers felt

    we suspected the true source of thanksgiving sleepiness is THE DETROIT LIONS

    now, thanks to a snowstorm in Philly, we have more evidence that the problem is the lions, not the turkey

    we’ll publish our paper soon, so get that nobel prize ready …

  23. john in sacramento says:

    Of course if you want to talk about actual strategic brilliance, step into the wayback machine with me to a Monday night 36 years ago

    … As time was running out, Miami had the ball deep in their own territory. First down. Second down, Third down. Just under a minute to play and fourth down from their own 4 yard line. In what has become known as one of the most visionary coaching decisions in history, Don Shula opted to have Griese run to the back of the end zone and then out of the end zone for an intentional safety.

    Cosell: “I don’t get this at all!” Of course, he later realized what a genius Shula was. Clearly the two points meant nothing. A touchdown was required either way for Pittsburgh to win and a FG would not catch Miami. By taking the intentional safety, the Dolphins were able to kick 30 yards farther up field than their own end zone and, as a result, Pittsburgh was pinned to their own goal line where they simply ran out of time. …

  24. freepatriot says:

    THE WORD on BBBF

    the book says bil bel shoulda played Marty-ball

    with a 4 point lead you punt, and pin em deep

    Don’t let Elway Manning beat you cheap

    make him earn it

    snotty coulda won that game …

    (duckin & runnin)

    if ya go against conventional wisdom and succeed, you’re a genius. if ya go against conventional wisdom and fail, you’re an idiot. It’s a simple formula, and I can’t see how so many people screw it up

    If ya go with the conventional wisdom and win, you’re a genius. If ya go with the conventional wisdom and lose, you’re probably related to Marty …

  25. Petrocelli says:

    Boy, downtown SanDiego would look a whole lot purtier if there were mountains of Snow everywhere, like
    in the Nor’east …

    *Ducks and runs*

    • bmaz says:

      You get James Dean over there and I’m in. Heck, speaking of unfortunate car crashes, we were just gabbing about Tom Mix on Trash Talk a bit ago…..

    • freepatriot says:

      you’re seeing the weakness of the chargers

      you keep on using that word

      I think maybe that word doesn’t mean what you think it means …

      and for other “less than successful” prognosticators

      the Rayduhs beat the donkos, without Gradkowski, and without charlie frye

      the donkos let Jamarcus Russell beat em in the end

      I stand by my statement

      WORST 6 & 0 TEAM EVER

      • randiego says:

        Say this about the Bengals, their D is for real. They had Philip Rivers genuinely confused on a couple plays in the second half. I didn’t like the way the momentum was going in the game for OT, either. I think teams will watch their game film to learn how to blitz the Chargers, who are normally very good against it.

        Also, Chad Johnson, for as big as a jackass as he normally is, handled himself very well this week. He shut his mouth, and then had a hell of a game.

  26. scribe says:

    Bad Stillers showing up again.

    Fucking Steely McBeam and hisdamned kryptonite.

    Iggles game getting a little chippy and the snow in the stands has gone from fluffy powder to “Good snowball makin’ snow”. Heh. Heh. Heh.

      • scribe says:

        Ain’t just the missing Troy the Hirsute.

        Ward seems to be turning into the bottle of sour milk in the fridge. A nd the O line still stinks, to the detriment of Big Ben’s health.

        • sluggahjells says:

          O-line has always been shaky….but it is clear that the secondary, already to me not that great with Polamulu, has just been exposed further.

  27. sluggahjells says:

    Feed went out, but trying to get the Packers-Steelers late stages, as the steelers have given up the lead again.

    Aaron Rodgers to James Jones for the touchdown.

    • sluggahjells says:

      Really though, Aaron Smith was a lost, but stopping the run is not a severe problem from them as it is their cornerbacks and Ryan Clark in the middle.

      They are like the Giants without Kenny Phillips…they can’t cover with a key player in the secondary missing. And Polamulu is obviously better than Kenny Phillips.

      • freepatriot says:

        Oh, I’m here. Gettin likkered up for The Geezer!

        that’s a rather brazen admission counselor

        don’t you mean that you are exercising your rights under the 21st Amendment, and your arm …

        jes sayin, is all

      • randiego says:

        Philip Rivers is writing himself a nice little litany of 4th quarter drives to win games, ain’t he?

        Doesn’t seem so long ago that a certain someone was talking about how the Bolts didn’t have a prayer of getting back into the playoff race…

          • randiego says:

            Who said anything about January? We can talk about winning game in January if you want, but that’s not what I was talking about.

            Can you stay on topic please?

          • randiego says:

            Heh heh, don’t get too comfortable in the saddle cowboy; Norvals are slippery mounts in the make or break cold of January.

            Norv’s January record is not that bad really, but I’m pretty realistic about the Chargers chances come January (I think the team is realistic about it too). Not having to worry too much about Pittsburgh and New England helps, for sure.

            Everyone has injury problems this time of year, but the Chargers finished today’s game with the their 3rd-string center snapping the ball. Yikes.

            • freepatriot says:

              But, but, but …

              the bungles LURK, my fiend

              always remember that

              THEY LURK

              some guy told me that once, an I’m sure he was right

            • bmaz says:

              I would not write off the Bill Bel and Brady show quite yet. That said, i do like the Bolts chances; the feel of the roll they are on seems different than before even when they did well. It is quieter and steadier, and that is a good thing.

              Vikes disappointing tonight. This performance bugs me much more than the clocking by the Cards in Phoenix. The way the Cards played, they would have beaten anybody that night. And the Cards flat have that level of play in them; not consistently, but it is sure there. Carolina, on the other hand; well if the Vikings are what they are supposed to be, just should not be getting clocked. Depressing.

              • randiego says:

                I would not write off the Bill Bel and Brady show quite yet. That said, i do like the Bolts chances; the feel of the roll they are on seems different than before even when they did well. It is quieter and steadier, and that is a good thing.

                Hmmmf. You don’t sound very likkered up to me!

              • Phoenix Woman says:

                Yup. Even if by some miracle all their starters were to come back off the injured list, I’m afraid that this is going to be another year where the Vikings will post a lot of wins in the regular season yet be lucky to win a single playoff game. Super Bowl? Fugheddaboudit.

    • bmaz says:

      Cheesers turn to mold.

      By the way, there has always been a nice little F1 sect here, at least since I have been around. I grew up around an old segment of The Circus and have loved it since I was a kid. Just wait until the season starts.

  28. sluggahjells says:

    503 yards passing to save the season for Pittsburgh, and make next week’s contest against Baltimore the most crucial game of the season for basically, 7 to 8 teams.

  29. scribe says:

    Fuckin’ a: Stillers pull one out their backsides.

    At least the questions Tomlin will have to answer about that onside kick will be … mollified by the win.

    And as to Big Ben and his work habits: what’s wrong with drinkin’, hangin’ with chicks and drivin’ a motorcycle without a helmet?

    Oh, yeah. Right.

  30. freepatriot says:

    anybody seen boxturtle

    I figure he should be mourning that Brownies win by now

    Cleveland is gonna screw around and drop out of the top 10 in the draft if they ain’t careful

    and in related news, I’d like to thank rupurt murdock. Thanks to him, for the first time since March of 1987, I no longer laugh when I hear the word “Cleveland” (has anybody watched the show besides me ???)

  31. freepatriot says:

    old geezer of the north is gettin desperate

    it’s gift givin season kiddies

    Julius Peppers is tryin to help santa favre with those deliveries, btw

  32. freepatriot says:

    the geezer goes to Soldier Field next week

    so it looks like the norske mob is gonna have to win one outdoors if the geezer doesn’t want to end his career play in Philly in January

  33. bobschacht says:

    So, with NOLA going down one week, and the Vikes stumbling again, only the Bolts are riding high. But lookee here: the Iggles, Bargers, and ‘Boys are tearing it up. Have they captured the Mo?

    Is the Geezer repeating his annual December Swoon? Gee, the Vikes had a nice ride while it lasted.

    So are the Bolts next to fall?

    Bob in AZ

  34. emptywheel says:

    Jeebus. Looks like the old Geezer went to bed at the same time I did last night, well before the end of the game. What happened to him? This isn’t his scheduled December collapse is it?

    • bmaz says:

      May be; ain’t exactly butter on a roll, that’s for sure. Now, in fairness, the Vikes are 11-3 and two of those losses were to the two teams in last year’s SuperBowl. They played Pittsburgh heads up and lost a squeaker on the road. The Sunday Night game in Arizona, the Cards were on fire and would have beaten any team in the league the way they played that night. Those two really were understandable and not overly worrisome. The debacle last night against Carolina though is a whole different thing; that had a real bad feel to it. If they win the last two, or even split and play well in both and get the 2 seed and bye, they are still in fine shape. They need to get the bye and demonstrate some consistency though. Slip away from that and it will be very bad mojo. Jeebus.

      • randiego says:

        It’s a brutal game. They’re beat up physically – the depth of a roster really shows this time of year.

        But they are also beat up mentally. It’s really hard to stay sharp and focused week after week.

        I think the Vikes will be fine.

      • john in sacramento says:

        The offensive line is offensive

        Holy Shit, the pillsbury doughboy thinks they’re soft

        Bryant McKinney (LT) looks like he’s over 40; he’s slow and has poor footwork. John Sullivan (Cntr) is a 2nd year player who looks like a starry eyed rookie from the South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs. Phil Loadholt (Rookie RT) was no answer for Julius Peppers and is just as bad as McKinney (I know, most people can’t block him. But, s, he’s 6’7, 6’8 and well over 350 pounds; all he has to do is stand there and he’ll take up space). 2 out of the last 3 weeks they’ve shown absolutely no heart

        This was a 5 and 8 team they played. Five wins before last night

        They got worked by the Cards, which the last couple years isn’t as bad of an indictment as in years past, but, to be thoroughly and completely embarrassed by a 5 and 8 team is demeaning

        They got their pants pulled down, and got spanked in the middle of the field with 70,000 people in the stands and millions watching on tv

        How’s this: The Raiders could kick the Vikings ass right now thanks to the offensive line

        • bmaz says:

          Yep. Quite true. Another reason why the bye week is so critical to Minnesota, would really help them to get some health and consistency installed on the O-line.

    • freepatriot says:

      This isn’t his scheduled December collapse is it?

      naw

      that was just the Preview

      santa favre only gave one gift (mostly cuz Carolina kept the ball for most of the fourth quarter)

      I’m thinkin the geezer will be more generous in Chicago, next week end

      some people will blame it on Obama and low down Chicago political tricks

  35. freepatriot says:

    That was just bizarre beyond belief

    the first attempt was weird

    the second attempt had to be job suicide thing

    it had “I don’t want to coach here any more” written ALL OVER it

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