Archive for December, 2008

NFL 2008–Week 16 Recap

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Sunday night is the first night of Hanukkah. Yet before the festival of lights begins, there is no better way to begin the holiday than with a ginormous heaping of NFL Football with everything on the line. Former Minnesota Vikings standout John Randall is not Jewish, but his words ring through December and cross all lines of humanity.

This is when the Big Dogs come out.

So light a candle, or 8, and get ready for some football and an ever crystallizing playoff picture.

In addition, enjoy an article that I only wish I could have written, from another obsessed NFL fan.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars was the Thursday night game. This aerial show had each team gain about 400 yards. The Jaguars have long since been eliminated while the Colts have won 7 straight. Yet the Jaguars got off to the fast start when David Garrard hit Dennis Northcutt for a 28 yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead only 4 minutes into the game. After an Indy punt, The Jaguars took over at their own 7. Garrard led a ridiculous 93 yard, 15 play drive that gobbled up 9 1/2 minutes of clock. Garrard, who runs the quarterback draw to perfection, ran the final 2 yards to give the Jaguars a 14-0 second quarter Jaguars lead.

Midway through the second quarter, Peyton Manning finally got going, hitting Reggie Wayne for a 41 yard touchdown pass to pull the Colts to within 14-7. On the next Colts drive, Manning drive the team in position to score, but on 3rd and 1 from the Jacksonville 9, Dominic Rhodes was blown up in the backfield for a 2 yard loss. Adam Viniatieri came in for a 30 yard field goal, and the kick was blocked. With only one minute left in the half, Garrard took over at the Jacksonville 20 and got the job done. Maurice Jones-Drew picked up 15 yards, Garrard hit Lewis for 12 yards, Northcutt for 9 more, and Walker for another 12 to set up a Josh Scobee 44 yard field goal to make it 17-7 Jaguars at intermission.

The Colts took the second half kickoff and rapidly marched 75 yards. Manning hit Rhodes from 10 yards out to make it a 17-14 game. Yet the Jaguars continued to bleed the clock and keep Manning off the field. A 14 play, 8 minute drive covered 76 yards. A 2 yard run by Owens had the Jaguars leading 24-14 entering the final quarter. Manning responded with an 81 yard drive that 11 plays and 5 minutes. A 33 yard pass from Manning to Dallas Clark got the drive going. Manning hit Wayne for a pair of 15 yard gains and Robinson for a 13 yarder. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Manning hit Clark to to pull the Colts to within 24-21 with 12 1/2 minutes remaining.

After a Jacksonville punt, the Colts took over at their own 21. Manning moved the team to a 3rd and 1 at the Jacksonville 27, but again could not convert as Simpson came up short. Vinatieri came through from 46 yards out tie tie the game 24-24 with 6 1/2 minutes left.

Garrard, who had played well the entire game, had a nightmarish 4th quarter. 3 separate blunders doomed Jacksonville. With 5 minutes left, Garrard was intercepted by Keyvan Ratcliffe, who returned the pick 35 yards for a touchdown to give the Colts the 7 point lead. On the next drive, Garrard hit Wrightster for a 27 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 4 from the Indy 34, Garrard was sacked for a 16 yard loss, forcing a punt.

Yet this game also exposed a weakness for the Colts, Trying to ice the game with 2:45 left, they failed to convert on 3rd and 1 for the 3rd time. Rhodes lost a yard, and the Colts punted. Jacksonville had one last shot with 2 1/2 minutes left from their own 10. Garrard hit Northcutt for 12 yards and Jones-Drew for 17 more to reach the Jacksonville 39 at the 2 minute warning. Passes to Northcutt of 15 and 6 yards followed by a 22 yard gain to Williams had the Jaguars at the Indy 17 with 48 seconds left. With 17 seconds left, the Jaguars were 7 yards away. An incomplete pass left 12 ticks. With no timeouts, the Jagaurs had time for 3 plays. Garrard took a sack, and the clock ran out for a crushing ending for the home team.

The Jaguars will regroup next year. The Colts continue to show resilience, winning 8 straight. Coach Tony Dungy became the very first coach in NFL history to reach the playoffs 10 straight seasons, 3 with Tampa Bay and 7 with Indy. The Colts are locked into the # 5 playoff seed. 31-24 Colts

Baltimore Ravens @ Dallas Cowboys was the Saturday night game. The final game ever at Texas Stadium featured a pair of 9-5 teams in the hunt for playoff spots. With Dallas legends in attendance and Tom Landry smiling from above, the first half was a defensive slugfest, which is unsurprising given the opponent.

From midfield, going for the long ball, Tony Romo was intercepted 2 minutes into the game by Ed Reed. Yet Disaster struck the Ravens. Starting from their own 8, Joe Flacco was hit and fumbled. Dallas recovered at the 4, and Teshard Choice ran it in from 2 yards out to put the Cowboys up 7-0 only 4 minutes into the game. The Cowboys were dreadful for the next 26 minutes, with Tony Romo having a nightmarish first half.

Flacco then mounted a 10 play drive lasting almost 5 minutes. The drive bogged down at the 7 yard line, and the Ravens settled for a field goal to trail 7-3 after the first quarter. In the second quarter after a punt, the Ravens began at the Dallas 46. Although the 10 play drive again drove deep, Flacco took a sack on 3rd and goal from the 5. Another field goal had the Ravens within 7-6. With only 43 seconds left in the half, the Cowboys faced 3rd and 2 from their own 37. Romo again went deep, and again Ed Reed had the interception. Reed returned it 30 yards to midfield. In only 27 seconds, Flacco hit Willis McGahee for 20 yards, and a 13 yard McGahee run set up Matt Stover’s 3rd field goal and a 9-7 Ravens lead at halftime.

An ugly third quarter saw both teams misfiring on all cylinders. Romo missed a wide open bomb that ended up in a punt instead of a touchdown. The Ravens then began with another short field at the Dallas 37. Baltimore tried to fumble the ball back, but Dallas defenders insisted on trying to pick the ball up rather tha fall on it. After Flacco missed a wide open Derrick Mason, the Ravens lined up for their 4th field goal. Yet Jim Harbaugh called a fake, and it worked to perfection. The 9 yard gain on 4th and 6 set up a 13 yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Mason to put the Ravens up 16-7 after three quarters.

Dallas took over at their own 32 and mounted a 12 play, 6 1/2 minute drive. Yet on 3rd and 1 from the Baltimore 16, the pitchout was bobbled and eventually fumbled out of bounds for a one yard loss. Dallas settled for a field goal to close to within 16-10 with 11 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.

Yet Flacco stayed poised the whole game, forgetting he is a rookie. Taking over at the Baltimore 28, Flacco bled 5 minutes off of the clock in a 10 play drive helped along by a defensive personal foul. Stover did nail his 4th field goal with 6 1/2 minutes left to put the Ravens up 19-10. With 4 1/2 minutes left Romo hit Jason Witten for a 35 yard gain, followed by a juggling 15 yard completion to Patrick Crayton to set up first and goal. Romo hit Terrell Owens for the 7 yard score to make it 19-17.

With 3:50 left and all their timeouts, Dallas kicked deep. Baltimore fumbled the kickoff but was lucky enough to recover. From their own 21, Willis McGahee shocked the entire state of Texas by breaking right through the middle and racing 79 yards for the touchdown to give the Ravens the 26-17 lead. The Cowboys took their turn to fumble the ensuing kickoff, but recovered it.

With 3 1/2 minutes left, Romo fired rapidly, hitting Crayton for 25 yards and Owens for 20 more. Romo hit Witten for the final 21 yards to make it 26-24. 1:37 remained, and since the Cowboys still had all 3 timeouts, Wade Philips decided to kick it deep rather than go for the onsides kick. The Ravens took over at their own 18, and all the Cowboys needed was one big stop. As shocking as McGahee’s run was on the previous series, there was no way it could happen twice.

Except it did. Fullback McClain, of all people, barreled over several defenders, got some blocks, and rumbled 82 yards for the touchdown. It was the longest run against the Cowboys in the history of Texas Stadium, and it finally put the game away. The Ravens improved to 10-5 with the win. If they win next week, they are guaranteed a playoff spot. Dallas at 9-6 no longer controls its own destiny, needing other teams to lose to make the playoffs. 33-24 Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns–For some reason this game was played. Not an even an appearance by Joe the Plumber would have made it worth watching. In the first quarter, Ken Dorsey completed a 50 yard touchdown pass to Hall. Unfortunately for Browns Quarterback Dorsey, Hall plays for the Bengals. In the second quarter, Fitzpatrick led a 12 play, 89 yard drive for the Bengals that ate up 8 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 7 from the Cleveland 20, Fitzpatrick hit Travis Henry for the touchdown. The rest of the game was scoreless, and both of these teams are worthless. 14-0 Bengals

New Orleans Saints @ Detroit Lions–The following article explains why the Lions must go 0-16. I predicted the Lions to win a couple of weeks ago at home to Minnesota, and they almost did. I again predicted the Lions to win today. The Saints are eliminated at 7-7 and may be demoralized enough for a desperate Lions team to get it done. It is one thing to be just another bad team. It is another to be the worst team in history. In 1980, it was the Saints that started 0-14 before beating the Jets.

From the opening kickoff, my prediction looked pathetic, and so did the Lions. Green returned the kickoff 60 yards to set up the Saints at the Detroit 41. Robert Meachem ran an end run 20 yards to put the Saints up 7-0. After a 43 yard tying touchdown pass from Orlovsky to Calvin Johnson was nullified by a penalty, the Lions punted. The Saints began their next drive at their own 3 yard line. Drew Brees led a staggering 17 play, 97 yard drive that took 8 ½ minutes of clock. Deuce McAllister got the drive going with an 18 yard run. Short runs with a pair of 11 yard passes from Brees to Marquis Colston led to McAllister scoring on 3rd and goal from the 2 to give the Saints the 14-0 lead.

The Lions then took over at their own 15, and Orlovsky drove them 85 yards. Passes of 16 and 28 yards to Calvin Johnson had the Lions at the 5 yard line. On 4th and goal from the 3, Orlovsky threw incomplete, yet defensive pass interference gave the Lions new life. This is what the Lions need to score touchdowns, as Smith scored from one yard out to make it a 14-7 game.

The rest was all Saints. Brees needed 5 minutes and 11 plays to move the Saints 80 yards. A 29 yard run by Thomas eventually led to a 1 yard run by Bell to put the Saints up 21-7. After a punt, the Saints took over at their own 45. On 3rd an6 from the Detroit 40, Bres hit Devry Henderson for 32 yards down to the 8. Thomas ran it in from 2 yards out to give the Saints the 28-7 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Brees hit Henderson on a 64 yard pass to set up Brees hitting Marquis Colston from 6 yards out to make it 35-7. After a punt, Brees hit Colston for 17 yards out and Miller for 21 yards, finishing the drive with a 3 yard toss to Colston to end the scoring after a scoreless final quarter.

The Saints at 8-7 are eliminated from playoff contention, while the Lions became the first team to start the season 0-15 and the second team to lose 15 straight in a season. Carolina won their season opener a few years back and nothing else. Detroit is at Green Bay next week in their final attempt to avoid being the first team in history to go 0-16. The 1976 Bucs are watching and waiting. 42-7 Saints

Arizona Cardinals @ New England Patriots–Arizona raced to a 7-3 record in an awful division, but have since lost 3 of 4. They have clinched their division. New England came in locked in a 3 way tie for first place in theirs at 9-5. New England came in locked in a 3 way tie for first place in theirs at 9-5. Wes Welker returned a punt 28 yards as the Patriots began their first drive at the Arizona 33 in a snowstorm that was most unwelcome for the visiting desert team. Lamont Jordan plunged over from 1 yard out to give the Patriots the 7-0 lead. Another punt had the Patriots starting at their own 45. Sammy Morris rambled 42 yards to the Arizona 14, setting up Lamont Jordan, who carried 9, 2, and 3 yards for the score to put the Patriots up 14-0.

In the second quarter the Patriots began a drive at midfield. After backing up a couple yards, Matt Cassel hit Jabar Gaffney for 37 yards and then tossed a 15 yard touchdown to Kevin Faulk to make it 21-0 Patriots. Arizona finally got a drive going, but on 4th and 1 from the New England 31, Kurt Warner fired incomplete. Cassel drove the Patriots 69 yards in 12 plays over 5 ½ minutes. An 11 yard touchdown pass from Cassel to Welker made it 28-0. New England added a field goal to lead 31-0 at halftime.

On the first play of the third quarter, Cassell threw a 76 yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss to make it 38-0, rendering any further coverage of this game long past unnecessary. The Cardinals mounted a furious rally after falling behind by 47 points, but they fell 40 points short. The 8-7 Cardinals long since clinched the # 4 seed, but have lost 4 of 5. The Patriots at 10-5 can win their division, or miss the playoffs entirely based on action next week. 47-7 Patriots

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans–This could be a preview of athe AFC Title Game, and the NFL would love it. A pair of hardnosed teams that can run and play tenacious defense. The 12-2 Titans would lock up home field throughout the playoffs with a win. The Steelers with a win would claim the top seed by winning next week. Either way, both of these teams are the top two seeds with first round byes. The suspense is whether everything runs through Nashville or freezing cold Pittsburgh.

The teams traded field position as the Steelers eventually took over at the Tennessee 42. Ben Roethlisberger hit Hines Ward for 26 yards down to the 16, and Willie Parker ran another 13 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 3. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 7, Roethlisberger got belted y a pair of defenders while trying to run for the touchdown. He fumbled, and the Titans recovered to keep the game scoreless.

The field position battle eventually shifted, allowing the Titans to start a drive at the Pittsburgh 41. Justin McAareins picked up 13 yards to set up a field goal and a 3-0 Titans lead in the second quarter. On Pittsburgh’s next drive, from their own 40, Roethlisberger was sacked, and fumbled again. Starting from the Pittsburgh 39, Kerry Collins on 3rd an 5 threw a 34 yard touchdown pass to Justin Gage to put the Titans up 10-0.

The Steelers got going, as Roethlisberger drove the team 80 yards in 10 plays over 6 minutes. A 31 yard diving catch by Santonio Holmes for the touchdown had the Steelers within 10-7. With 1:53 left in the half, the Titans faced 4th and 3 at the Pittsburgh 37. Jeff Fisher went conservative and punted rather than try a 54 yard field goal in a game where points were expected to come at a premium. It almost proved costly as Roethlisberger drove the Steelers from their own 14 to the Tennessee 15. Nevertheless, Josh Reed missed the 33 yard field goal to keep the game 10-7 at halftime.

After an exchange of punts to start the second half, the Steelers took over at their own 38. Big Ben hit Homes for 20 yards and Hines Ward for a pair of 21 yarders, as the Steelers took a 14-10 lead. Kerry Collins, who all year has stayed under the radar, led the Titans 79 yards in 11 plays. On 3rd and 20 from the Pittsburgh 40, Collins hit McAreins for 19 yards. On 4th and 1 from the 21, Chris Johnson ran all the way for the score to give the Titans the 17-14 lead.

Big Ben was intercepted on the next Steelers drive, the third turnover against non for the Titans. Griffin  returned it 32 yards to the Pittsburgh 37. Jeff Fisher, who was criticized last week for passing up a field goal with red hot Rob Bironas to gamble on 4th down, a move that cost the Titans the game, kept gambling on 4th down in this game. On 4th and 3 from the Steelers 30, Collins hit Gage for 17 yards. On 4th and 1 from the 4, the Titans lined up for a field goal. Yet unsportsmanlike conduct on the Steelers led to an automatic first down. It was a killer penalty, as Lendale White ran it in from 2 yards out on the first play of the 4th quarter to put the Titans up 24-14.

Both defenses clamped down in the 4th quarter, which was fine for Tennessee since they had the lead. With seconds left in the game, Big Ben was intercepted by Griffin, who returned it 83 yards for the exclamation point touchdown. The score did not reflect a hard fought game, but 4 turnovers did the Steelers in. The 13-2 Titans locked up home field throughout the playoffs, while the 11-4 Steelers have the second seed and the other first round bye. 31-14 Titans

San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams–These teams have long since been eliminated. The 49ers are fighting hard for Mike Singletary, While Jim Haslett has not been able to keep the Rams competitive, although they almost won last week against dreadful Seattle. A 3-3 tie was broken with just over one minute left in the half when Marc Bulger hit Burton for a 30 yard touchdown. Sean Hill was then intercepted at the Rams 32. Bulger hit Darby for 25 yards, setting up a field goal and a 13-3 Rams lead at the break.

A 15 play, 8 minute drive reached the San Francisco 4, but the Rams again settled for a field goal and a 16-3 lead with 11 ½ minutes remaining in the game. After an exchange of punts, the 49ers took over at their own 20 with 7 minutes left. Hill fired pass after pass, and his 3 yard touchdown to former Ram and future Hall of Famer Isaac Bruce had the 49ers within 16-10 with 4 minutes left.

The Rams went 3 and out, and the 49ers took over with 2 ½ minutes left at their own 33. A sack had them at their own 26 at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 4 from the 39, Hill hit Johnson for 13 yards to the St. Louis 48. On the next play Hill fired the 48 yard touchdown pass to Morgan to give the 49ers the lead with 1:22 remaining. With 22 seconds remaining, Bulger had the Rams at the San Francisco 49ers 48. One more first down meant a game attempting field goal for the win. Instead, Bulger was intercepted, and the 2-13 Rams had blown another one after leading by 13 late. 17-16 49ers

Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs–The Dolphins at 9-5 are in a 3 way tie for their division lead, while the Chiefs are long since eliminated, and demoralized after blowing a 21-3 lead last week. They gave up 2 touchdowns in the final 75 seconds and then missed a field goal on the final play. After 20 years, President Carl Peterson resigned.

The whole team should have resigned based on the opening of the game. Patrick Cobbs returned the opening kickoff 60 yards to the Kansas City 31. On the first play from scrimmage, Ted Ginn took an end around all the way for the score to put the Dolphins up 7-0 seconds into the game. Tyler Thigpen then threw an interception at the Miami 27 that was returned 55 yards by Goodman, setting up a field goal and a 10-0 Miami lead. Starting at the Kansas City 35, a 25 yard run by Larry Johnson ignited the Chiefs, and Thigpen hit Darling for a 33 yard touchdown pass to make it a 10-7 game.

The Dolphins reached the Chiefs 39 on their next drive before having to punt. After a touchback, Thigpen led the team 80 yards in 17 plays, taking 8 minutes off the clock. On 4th and 5 from the Miami 29, Herm Edwards decided to go for it, and Thigpen hit Dwanyne Bowe for 12 yards. On 4th and 1 from the 8, Edwards decided to go fir it again, and Thigpen hit Gonzalez for the score to put the Chiefs up 14-10.
The lead was short lived as the Dolphins took over at their own 28. Ronnie Brown ran for 18 yards and Ricky Williams picked up another 13, with a defensive personal foul tacking on more yards. Chad Pennington hit Martin for the 11 yard touchdown to give the Dolphins the 17-14 lead.

Kansas City needed one minute go back in front. From the 23, Thigpen hit Charles for a 75 yard gain down to the 2 yard line. Larry Johnson scored on the next play as the Chiefs led 21-17. The pinball machine continued as the Dolphins took over at their own 34. From their own 46, Pennington hit Ginn for gains of 18 and 13 sandwiched around a 9 yarder to Bess. A 14 yard pass to Fasano completed the drive and had Miami up 24-21.

With only 2:16 left in the half, the Chiefs took over at their own 5 yard line. They gained 2 yards at the 2 minute warning, looking to run out the clock. Yet they ran a lot more, as Johnson picked up 14 yards, and Thigpen hit Darling for 32 yards. Thigpen then ran himself 27 yards to the Miami 8 yard line, and ran it again himself on the next play for the touchdown. The Chiefs led 28-24 at the break, and the aerial show continued.

The Chiefs took the opening kickoff and drove over 6 minutes to a first and goal. Yet the drive stalled and a field goal had them up 31-24. Yet Miami came right back. Operating out of the wildcat, the direct snap to Ronnie Brown was handed off to Patrick Cobbs, who raced 44 yards down to the Kansas City 4 yard line. Ricky Williams scored on the next play to tie the game 31-31.

A fast paced game was finally slowed down when the Dolphins took over with 12:41 remaining in the game and mounted an 85 yard, 13 play drive that lasted 8 ½ minutes. With 4 minutes left, Pennington hit Fasano for a 14 yard touchdown pass as Miami regained the lead. On 4th and 1 from their own 26, forced to go for it, Thigpen was sacked.

The Chiefs got the ball back with 1:45 left at their own 7 after Ricky Williams was ruled to have fumbled even though he was clearly down. Nevertheless, Thigpen was intercepted, and the Dolphins had survived. Miami improved to 10-5 after being 1-15 a year ago. They can still win the division, but can also miss the playoffs entirely. 38-31 Dolphins

San Diego Chargers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers The 6-8 Chargers under Norvelous Norv Turner can actually win their wretched division with a Denver collapse. The Buccaneers at 9-5 are in the playoff hunt by trailing Carolina by 2 games in the division.

On the first Tampa Bay Drive, Antonio Bryant fumbled in San Diego territory, allowing the Chargers to start at their own 41. Philip Rivers hit Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson for a pair of 15 yard completions before finally hitting Brandon Manomalieuna for the 11 yard score to put the Chargers up 7-0. Yet Smith returned the ensuing short kickoff 72 yards to the San Diego 11. Askew ran it in from 1 yard out to tie the game 7-7.

The Chargers took over at their own 31, and Ladanian Tomlinson began the drive by running 13 yards. Rivers then hit Jackson for 18 yards and Tomlinson for 22 yards, leading to a 3rd and 11 from the 15. Rivers rolled out and hit Hates for the touchdown to give the Chargers the 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Rivers then drove the Chargers from their own 15 to the Tampa Bay 9 over 12 plays and 6 ½ minutes. The Chargers settled for a field goal and a 17-7 lead. With 17 seconds left in the half the Buccaneers closed it to 17-10 with a 48 yard field goal. That should have been it, but Darren Sproles returned the kickoff to the San Diego 36. Rivers hit Jackson for 25 yards, and Nate Kaeting drilled a 57 yard field goal to give San Diego the 20-10 halftime lead.

Jeff Garcia got going in the second half, taking the Buccaneers 78 yards in 13 plays, using half the quarter. A pair of 17 yard passes to Clayton and Bryant set up Garcia from the 18. He ran it himself for 11 yards, and then again for the final 7 to get the Bucs to within 20-17. After San Diego used only one minute to go 3 and out, Garcia threw a 71 yard touchdown pass to Bryant to put the Buccaneers up 24-20 after 3 quarters.

Rivers then led a 63 yard drive over 11 plays and 5 minutes. On the first play of the fourth quarter, facing 3rd and goal at the 5, Rivers hit Gates for the touchdown to put the Chargers up 27-24. One minute later Garcia was intercepted, setting up the Chargers at the Tampa Bay 37. The Chargers failed to capitalized, but an exchange of punts had San Diego at the Tampa Bay 46. 3 plays later, Rivers hit Sproles for a 32 yard touchdown to give the Chargers a 34-24 lead midway through the 4th quarter.

With 3 minutes left, Garcia had a pass tipped and intercepted by Antoine Cason, who returned it 59 yards to ice the game. The Chargers were once 4-8, but at 7-8, had to wait for the results of the Denver game. A Denver win would eliminate them while a Denver loss would set up a division showdown between the teams next week. The Buccaneers at 9-6 are still in the hunt but need help to make the playoffs. 41-24 Chargers

Buffalo Bills @ Denver Broncos The Bills are eliminated thanks to a shocking loss at the Jets last week, while the 8-6 Broncos can clinch the division and the # 4 seed with a win at home. The Broncos made it look easy early on as Cutler tossed a 30 yard pass to Jackson, and then Cutler ran it in himself the final 2 yards to put Denver up 7-0. On their next couple drives, Denver moved to the Buffalo 5 and 12, respectively. On both drives they settled for field goals and a 13-0 second quarter lead that looked like a Denver route.

Midway through the second quarter Buffalo reached the red zone and kicked a field goal of their own. Denver then reached the Buffalo 36, but a 54 yard field goal attempt was no good. Taking over at their own 44, Trent Edwards worked the short field, and Marshawn Lynch ran it in from 2 yards out with only seconds left in the half to pull the Bills to within 13-10 at the break.

In the third quarter Ryan Lindell nailed the tying field goal from 49 yards out and a chip shot for the lead after a Buffalo drive fell short in the red zone, a problem for both teams all day. Yet the Bills led 16-13. Denver took over at their own 16, and Cutler quickly fired 24 and 23 yard passes to Graham. A pair of 12 yarders went to Marshall and Brandon Stokely. Cutler again finished the drive himself from 6 yards out, as the Broncos led 20-16 after three quarters.

From the Buffalo 32, Edwards hit Jackson for a 65 yard gain down to the Denver 3. Edwards then hit Johnson for the score to put the Bills back in front 23-20 with 13 minutes left. Cutler needed only 2 minutes to tie the game, as he hit Tony Scheffler for a 36 yard gain to set up the field goal at 23-23 with 11 minutes left.

A 30 yard kickoff return had the Bills starting at the Denver 45. Edwards hit Reed for gains of 16 and 11. Jackson then ran for 10 yards and then for the 8 yard score to put the Bills up by 7 only 2 minutes after Denver tied it. 9 minutes remained.

Cutler shredded Buffalo throughout the game, but after moving Denver from their own 24 to the Buffalo 15, he blundered. Cutler was intercepted at the one yard line by Kavika Mitchell with 5 ½ minutes left. Denver got the ball back at their own 39 with 3 ½ minutes left. With 1:16 left, Denver had reached the Buffalo 20. Yet passes on 3rd and 5 and 4th and 5 to Brandon Stokely were incomplete, and Buffalo held.

Buffalo is eliminated at 7-8, while Denver at 8-7 has a clear scenario. They are at 7-8 San Diego next week. The winner wins the division and grabs the # 4 seed while the loser is eliminated. Despite outgaining Buffalo 523 to 275, with 259 yards passing by Cutler, Denver failed for the second straight week to wrap up the division. 30-23 Broncos

New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks It has been a miserable final season for the Walrus, aka Mike Holmgren. The Seahawks are playing out the string while the Jets remain in a 3 way tie at 9-5 for their division lead. The Jets won the sequel to the Miracle at the Meadowlands last week at Buffalo, preventing a 3 game skid and keeping their season hopeful.

The Jets took the opening kickoff and Brett Favre moved them from the 20 on 13 plays over 7 minutes. Yet on 4th and 1 from the Seattle 2 in a game with snow coming down, Eric Mangini went conservative and kicked the field goal to put the Jets up 3-0. Seattle wasted an opportunity in the second quarter by fumbling at the Jets 5 yard line. Late in the half Seattle began a drive at the Jets 40. Seneca Wallace tossed a 2 yard touchdown to Carlson with 30 seconds left in the half to put Seattle up 7-3.

In the third quarter Wallace led a 13 play, 7minute drive that led to a field goal and a 10-3 Seahawks lead entering the final quarter. The Jets could not mount any offense, and with 3 minutes left, facing 4th and 2 at their own 20, Favre fired incomplete. Seattle kicked a field goal, and Favre threw an interception to end things.

After the game, Favre and his former Coach Mike Holmgren shared a lengthy hug. The Seattle fans, despite having a 4-11 team, held up signs thanking Holmgren for his decade run. The Walrus is retiring after next week. As for the Jets, the loss drops them to 9-6, one game behind both New England Miami. The Jets host Miami next week. They could still win the division, but may be out of the playoff picture altogether. Since road wins over Tennessee and New England, the Jets have lost 3 of 4, needing a miracle last week to get that win. 13-3 Seahawks

Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders The Texans shocked Tennessee to improve to 7-7 while the Raiders are 3-11. They became the first team in NFL history to lose 11 games in at least 6 straight seasons. Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders The Texans shocked Tennessee to improve to 7-7 while the Raiders are 3-11. They became the first team in NFL history to lose 11 games in at least 6 straight seasons. The Texans came in riding a 4 game winning streak to a 7-7 record in search of their first winning season. For more on the game of the day, go to

The much maligned Oakland offense looked very sharp at times in this game. A 64 yard drive to start the game had JaMarcus Russell firing 21 yards to Zach Miller and 10 yards to Darren McFadden, completing the drive with a 20 yard touchdown pass to Schilens to put the Raiders up 7-0. The Texans took over at their own 29, and Matt Schaub quickly passed to Daniels for gains of 20 and 35 yards. Walter then ran 13 yards out, setting up a Leach touchdown from the one to tie the game 7-7.

On the next Oakland Drive, Russell again led the Raiders down the field. However, on 3rd and 1 from the Houston 14, the Raiders lost a yard and settled for a field goal. Credit Coach Cable for still being willing to call trick plays despite one that blew up a few weeks back. A perfectly executed surprise onsides kick by Sebastian Janikowski had the Raiders on the move again. Yet again the drive stalled when the Raiders could not convert on 3rd and 2 from the Houston 12. Seabass hit another short field goal to put the Raiders up 13-7 after the first quarter.

The Texans took over at their own 10 and drove 12 plays over 5 minutes. Kris Brown nailed a 53 yard field goal to close the Texans to within 13-10. After a punt, the Texans took over on their own 19. From the 21, Schaub threw a 65 yard pass to Leach to the Oakland 14. Yet on 3rd and 1 from the 5, Steve Slaton lost a yard. Another field goal tied the game 13-13.

With 38 seconds left in the half, the Raiders took over at their own 42 after a squib kick. With 11 seconds left, the Raiders were at the Houston 44, and they still had a timeout. A 61 yard field goal is makeable for Seabass, but a few yards on the ground would have helped matters. An incomplete pass left 7 seconds. Russell then hit Johnny Lee Higgins for a 23 yard gain, but he rolled out of the pocket to do it, and the clock ran out. It was brain dead football at its Oakland finest, as the teams stayed tied at the half.

The Raiders began their first drive of the second half at their own 27, and stayed on the ground. Justin Fargas picked up gains of 11 and 8, while Darren McFadden picked up gains of 11 and 14. Russell then hit Higgins for the 29 yard touchdown pass to put the Raiders up 20-13. The Texans punted, and Higgins set a new Raiders record by returning the punt for a touchdown for the 3rd time this season. Previous returns were 93 and 89 yards, while this one went for 80 yards. The Raiders were in command 27-13 after 3 quarters. Yet the Raiders have trouble finishing games.

From their own 20, the Texans began the 4th quarter by moving the ball over 12 plays and 5 minutes. On 2nd and goal from the 7, a personal foul was called, but shockingly enough, it was not against the Raiders. The offensive blunder forced the Texans to settle for a field goal, cutting the gap to 11 points with 10 minutes left.

Instead of running the ball, Russell went back to pass, was hit, and fumbled. The Texans began at the Oakland 14. On 3rd and inches form the 5, Schaub threw incomplete. Gary Kubiak decided to go for it, yet on 4th and inches the Texans threw again, and Schaub was again incomplete. The Raiders held after their only turnover of the day, as 8 minutes remained.

With 4 ½ minutes left the Texans got the ball back on the Oakland 40. Schaub was promptly intercepted by Chris Johnson, who has played outstanding since Deangelo Hall was released. The defense made one final statement by sacking Schaub on the game’s final play. The Texans fell to 7-8, and still have not had a winning season. The Raiders improved to 4-11, and again showed flashes of hope for next year. 27-16 Raiders

Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings A pair of 9-5 teams are battling for playoff spots, with the Vikings in position to win their division. Atlanta trails Carolina by 2 games. The Falcons took the opening kickoff and moved 74 yards on 12 plays over 6 minutes. Michael Turner crashed in from one yard out to put the Falcons up 7-0. The Vikings answered with a 90 yard drive over 12 plays and 7 minutes. Tarvaris Jackson hit Vincent Shiancoe for a 21 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

A fumble on a punt was one of 7…yes 7…fumbles on the day for the Vikings. They lost 4 of them. Starting at the Minnesota 22, Matt Ryan hit Jerrius Norwood from 8 yards out to put the Falcons up 14-7 in the second quarter. Late in the half, another Minnesota fumble set up Atlanta at the Minnesota 46. The Falcons reached the 3 yard line but had to settle for a field goal and a 17-7 halftime lead.

Midway through the third quarter the Falcons began a drive just shy of midfield. Ryan hit Jenkins for 22 yards, and Turner ripped off a 13 yard run to set up a Matt Ryan scramble from the 5. Ryan actually fumbled at the 1, but his teammate Blaylock recovered in the end zone for a 24-7 Falcons lead entering the last quarter.

The Vikings mounted a furious rally in the final quarter. A 12 play, 6 minute drive reached the 7 yard line, but on 3rd down Jackson was sacked. The field goal had the Vikings within 24-10 with 11 ½ minutes remaining.With 6 minutes left, Jackson rapidly moved the Vikings 82 yards over 12 plays, hitting Shiancoe from 17 yards out. The Vikings were within 7 with 3:14 left. The Vikings got the ball back with 2:14 left at their own 33. With 56 seconds left, facing 4th and 16 at their own 41, the Vikings turned it over on downs.
The Falcons at 10-5 are moving forward, while the Vikings at 9-6 are only ½ game above the Bears in the division. Chicago plays Monday night. First year quarterback and coach? No problem. Vick who? 24-17 Falcons

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins If only Philly had beaten Cincy instead of tying them, they would be 9-5. Instead, at 8-5-1, they need to win and get help to sneak into the playoffs. After starting 6-2, the Redskins at 7-7 are eliminated. A defensive slugfested was broken when a 16 play, 8 ½ minute drive led to a field goal and a 3-0 Redskins lead at intermission.

A game with no offense required defense to extend the scoring. In the 3rd quarter, Donovan McNabb was hit, fumbled, and the Redskins recovered at the Philadelphia 18. On 3rd and goal at the 1, Clinton Portis broke through to put the Redskins up 10-0. McNabb drove the Eagles deep on their next drive, but bogged down at the 4 yard line. A field goal had the Eagles within 10-3.

With 3:48 left in the game, the Eagles began their final drive at their own 9 yard line. At the 2 minute warning, Philly had reached their own 35. McNabb had the Eagles at the Washington 40 with 57 seconds left. After a completion to Smith, the Eagles faced 3rd and 10 at the Washington 29 with 34 seconds left. On 4th and 4, McNabb converted, and spiked the ball at the Washington 18 with 12 seconds left. The Eagles were out of timeouts, but 12 seconds should have been enough for 2 plays.

McNabb went back to pass, found Brown, who caught it at the goal line before being met by Fred Smoot and Landry on defense. After further review, in the great tradition of the Al Pacino movie “Any Given Sunday,” the Eagles came up inches short. The Redskins, out of the playoff picture, survived to move to 8-7 under rookie Coach Jim Zorn. The Eagles at 8-6-1 are still in it, but need help thanks to that blasted tie against Cincy. Somewhere Baltimore was still cursing the controversial call ending the Pittsburgh game. This time the officials got it right, to the chagrin of Andy Reid. 10-3 Redskins

Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants was the Sunday night game As night fell in New York, the Jewish community lit candles for Hanukkah as all of New York lit a candle for the Giants. After starting 11-1, they lost 2 straight. The Panthers also came in at 11-3. The bottom line is this could be the NFC Title game. The winner of this game locks up the # 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Giants moved down the field on their opening drive over 5 ½ minutes. Eli Manning hit Dominic Hixon for a 40 yard gain down to the Carolina 18. The drive stalled at the 14, and the Giants settled for a field goal to lead 3-0. Jake Delhomme brought the Panthers right back, hooking up with Steve Smith for a 35 yard gain to set up Deangelo Williams from 13 yards out to put the Panthers up 7-3 after the first quarter.

The Giants then mounted a 13 play, 7 ½ minute drive. Brandon Jacobs got the ball at the 2 yard line, bulled straight ahead into a Carolina wall, and eventually had the longest short yardage touchdown run since Mike Alstott. The Battering Ram Jacobs had the Giants up 10-7. The Panthers then took over at their own 34 and moved 66 yards in 10 plays over 5 ½ minutes. Delhomme completed passes of 15 yards to Stewart and 11 yards to King. Williams ran for 16 more, and finished off the drive from 5 yards out to put the Panthers back on top 14-10.

When the Giants failed to convert on 3rd and 1 from their own 29, the game saw its first punt. The Panthers took over at their own 35. Delhomme then went deep to Muhsin Muhammad for 60 yards down to the Giants 5 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Williams scored to put the Panthers up 21-10 with 5 minutes left in the half. After an exchange of punts, the Giants took over at their own 45 with 1:39 remaining. Ward rumbled 34 yards to the Carolina 21, but then the drive bogged down. A field goal had the Giants within 21-13 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Giants mounted an 84 yard drive that took 8 plays and 8 ½ minutes. On 3rd and 10 from the 16, Manning hit Kevin Boss for 11 yards. From the Giants 45, Ward gained 22 yards to the Carolina 33. Eli Manning hit Amani Toomer for 13 yards and Hedgecock for another 12 to reach the 8 yard line. On 3rd and goal form the 4, Manning hit Boss for the touchdown. Tom Coughlin opted to kick the extra point rather than go for the game tying 2 point conversion with an entire quarter to play. The Panthers led 21-20 entering the fourth quarter.

The Panthers took over at their own 37. On 3rd and 9 from the Giants 49, Delhomme hit Jarrett for 19 yards. On the next play Williams broke through for a 30 yard touchdown run to put the Panthers up 28-20 with 13 minutes left in the game.

With 9 ½ minutes remaining, the Giants punted, and Jeff Feagles put it out of bounds at the Carolina one. Carolina went nowhere and punted the ball back, as the Giants took over at the Carolina 44 with 7 minutes left.

On 3rd and 3 from the 37, Manning hit Toomer for 15 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the 17, Manning hit Boss for 12 yards down to the 5. In this cleanly played game, neither team had a first half penalty. The Giants had a couple penalties in the second half, but the very first Carolina penalty was a defensive pass interference call in the end zone. It was the first defensive pass interference call against the Panthers all season. Brandon Jacobs barreled in. Manning faked to Jacobs and threw the 2 point conversion pass to Hixon to tie the game 28-28 with 3 ½ minutes left.

The Panthers began at their own 38, and Delhomme moved them to the Giants 37. A first down run was nullified by Carolina’s second penalty of the game, holding. With 12 seconds left, John Kasay lined up for a 50 yard field goal with unpredictable winds. For all the marbles and home field, the kick was no good, just wide left. It was only fitting that the game of the year would go to overtime. The Giants won the toss.

Both teams punted on their opening drive, and the Giants took over on their own 13. One play determined the entire game when Ward broke through for a 51 yard gain on the ground to the Carolina 36. On 3rd and 7 from the 33, Ward picked up another 14 yards to the 19 against an exhausted Carolina defense. Ward then picked up another 17 yards to the 2. Ward finished with 215 yards on 15 carries. Brandon Jacobs got the ball, and bringing back visions of Rodney Hampton, refused to go down, barreling over the Carolina defense to make it past the goal line.

The Giants finished the game with 301 yards rushing, their highest total since 1959. While this was not the greatest game ever played, it was a nice game to see on the 50th anniversary of that game. The Giants at 12-3 locked up home field throughout the playoffs. The Panthers at 11-4 can clinch the # 2 seed and a 1st round bye next week with a win at New Orleans. Yet if they lose and Atlanta wins, Atlanta gets the division and the # 2 seed while the Panthers would get the # 5 seed. The NFL should hope these teams meet again in the playoffs. 34-28 Giants, OT

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears is the Monday night game. The 8-6 Bears are one game out of the division lead, while the 5-9 Packers are eliminated and privately lamenting Brett Favre possibly leading the Jets to the playoffs.

Week 17 does not have any games on Thursday, Saturday, or Monday. All 16 games are on Sunday. This Saturday I will display all the possible playoff permutations and combinations.

Week 17 will end the NFL regular Season as the 8th and final night of Hanukkah ends. Well done NFL!


Let there be light Saturday

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Although Hanukkah, aka the Festival of Lights, does not start until Sunday evening, at this point I am begging for light. Between a power failure that fried my power supply and several hours without internet access, I am starting to have homicidal visions towards the imaginary culrits messing with my computer.

The internet did not exist in my world until 1997, and yet it seems that virtually everything I do requires that it work. So at this point I am asking God and everybody else to respect the law as described by rock group Slade. Yes the guys who brought brilliant lyrics such as “See the chameleon, lying there in the sun, all things to everyone, run runaway” are in my thoughts as every electrical device in my existence simultaneously goes haywire. The title to that album is “Keep your hands off my power supply.”

Now for some linkage.

Edwin Leap has been nominated for a medical blog award. My blog just makes people ill. His helps them get better I suppose!

Kishore Jets writes intelligently about politics and economics from a fairly non-partisan point of view.

For politics with a humorous bent, check out

John Kodak sent me some fun from the troops. Taking a riff from Jeff Foxworthy of course.

“You May Be A Taliban If . . .

Our troops in Afghanistan prove they’ve retained their sense of humor with the following ‘

1.   You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.
2.   You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes.
3.   You have more wives than teeth.
4.   You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon ‘unclean.’
5.   You think vests come in two styles:  bullet-proof and suicide.
6.   You can’t think of anyone you HAVEN’T declared Jihad against.
7.   You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
8.   You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
9.   You’ve often uttered the phrase, ‘I love what you’ve done with your cave.’
10. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least one.
11. You bathe at least monthly whether necessary or not.
12. You have a crush on your neighbor’s goat.”

Tsofah offers us the Christmas-Hanukkah connection.

My old boss is recommending the movie “Defiance.” Defiance is the story of the Bielski brothers, and it is a heck of a tale. Also, my boss’s best friend is Mr. Bielski’s son, so there is a personal connection. I have spoken to the younger Mr. Bielski on the phone many times, and it is an honor that his father’s story is being told. The Bielskis saved 1200 Jews from the Germans.

Gary Graham has a book out entitled, “Acting and other flying lessons.”

Renee from “American Truckers at War” did a post about shopping security.

Another nice guy is Jeff at Silver Republican. Check out his site on Townhall.

Well all, the office holiday party is hours away, so hopefully the Cowboys and the Ravens do not go into overtime.

Sunday will be a rewarding day of religion, aka NFL Football, followed by my other religion, Judaism, in the ritual of lighting Hanukkah candles.

Another friend of mine starts her new job at the Make a Wish Foundation. All I know is those kids with cancer force me to put things in perspective, and I hate doing that. After all, it is not easy to tell a child with cancer that the world is unfair because my internet has not been working.

I still plan on complaining, just not in front of them.

Hanukkah approaches. Let there be light. Happy Saturday.


Amalgamation Friday

Friday, December 19th, 2008

A power failure fried my computer. I therefore admit right off the bat that I am typed this column with a hatred of many people on this Earth, with the LA Department of Water and Power and the make of my computer at the top of the list.

Nevertheless, a hastily cobbled collection of thoughts regarding various issues in the news today will hopefully make for an amalgamation that only Alka Seltzer could fix.

Right of the bat, conservatives lost a longtime leader at the Heritage Foundation. Paul Weyrich is no longer with us. Rest in peace.

Now on to the issues.

Be Gay and Shut Up Part II–This was going to be my entire column, but other issues should be given short shrift. The gay community, which still cannot get over the fact that they won the election, is still enraged. Given how angry liberals are in general even when they win elections, imagine how insufferable they would be if they lost. Oh wait, the last 8 years are an accurate reflection.

Now the left wing gay community is enraged that Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church (Not to be confused with Saddleback Ranch, which makes a fine steak for all people, atheists included.) will be doing the invocation at the inauguration. To the gay community, I ask a simple question…

So the heck what????????

Rick Warren will not be setting policy. He will be giving a 2-3 minute speech praying for Barack Obama and for America…that is it. This has nothing to do with gay anything.

Enough already. If Obama were to select somebody to head up the Department of Health and Human Services that was anti-gay, that would be serious. If his nominee for Surgeon General was anti-gay, that would be a major issue. One can even make a weaker case that the Secretary of Defense could be a point of concern based on the issue of gays in the military.

However, does anybody care if the Secretary of Transportation or Agriculture held views that are anathema to the gay community?

(Past held views is separate from the future. If the new Agriculture Secretary would make an anti-gay speech today, they should be fired.)

Rick Warren is a Pastor who happens to be an evangelical Christian. On top of that, he is one of the few evangelicals that deviates from the right wing evangelicals. He does care about abortion, but he also talks openly about fighting poverty. This is a perfect example of Obama trying to reach out. If anything, it is a bread crumb to evangelicals, as if a 5 minute speech will affect policy in any way. It will not.

I am tired of hearing about gays saying how Christians are a bunch of intolerant bigots when there is plenty of bigotry an hostility directed at these Christians by “tolerant” gays.

Everybody has to knock it off on both sides. The economy needs fixing, and the War on Terror is entering a critical phase. To spend one minute arguing about an invocation speech by a good man that does not possess hatred in his heart is nuts.

Also, the gay community again might wish to appeal to moderates by presenting a more moderate image. Most gay people are normal, mainstream individuals. They are not freaks. Yet many Americans picture drag queens running around yelling, “We’re here, we’re queer.” The gay community needs the guys from “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” to give their own community an image makeover. All the goodness of their cause will be ignored if they do not get better public relations people. In fact, in that sense gays are exactly like republicans.

They need to focus on important issues, and not antagonize an incoming President that in general supports them on most issues.

Now on to other issues with rapid fire.

Liberals cackling with glee over a fellow throwing his shoes at President Bush might want to keep in mind that Dana Perino was injured in the incident. Do liberal care? Of course not. I only wish that the shoe throwing incident had happened in the United States so that the Secret Service would have beaten the life out of the person. Had an American thrown a shoe at a foreign leader there would be mass apologies for the behavior of the “ugly American.”

This was a disrespectful act that could have caused serious harm, and in the same way pies being thrown at Ann Coulter go uncriticized because she in Ann Coulter, wait until the…and I hate to use these words…the shoe is on the other foot. Try throeing shoes at Obama and see what happens.

In Middle East news, Palestinians are firing rockets into Sderot and killing innocent Israelis. Palestinians are the scourge of the Earth, and I pray that Obama drops this idiotic notion that his charisma alone, which I confess is abundant, can solve the problem. Israel needs to obliterate the Palestinian terrorists. They need to bring Bibi Netanyahu back into power, and let him proceed with zero interference.

While Palestinians are the scourge of the globe, in America we have Al Franken. I truly believe there will be a special place in Hades for this monster. Like many left wing bullies, he is trying to steal an election. When democrats claim that they want to count all the votes, what they really mean is they want to count until they take the lead, and then stop. It is like the child that scores the go ahead run and then tries to quit.

Al Franken will represent Minnesota with all the honor and dignity of the Arab that threw shoes at the President. I only hope that sales of a Franken rebuttal book “Al Franken is a Buck Tooth Moron” take off.

Liberals have gotten to the point that they truly do not care about qualifications. As long as the person despises conservatives, they are part of the club.

With Al Franken in Minnesota not being bad enough, New York is still trying to bring Caroline Kennedy into the long since devalued club of Senators. Today she showed her political courage by sitting down with Al Sharpton. Perhaps they talked about what really happened to Tawan Brawley, or why Jewish businesses burned down with agitation from Sharpton lighting the fuse. One article compared Caroline Kennedy positively to Princess Leah. Women wonder why I sometimes advocate repealing the 19th Amendment. Between Hillary Clinton and Caroline Kennedy being slobbered over while a fine human being like Sarah Palin gets skewered, the 19th Amendment and feminism in general should be obliterated faster than Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.

On the subject of useless women that think they matter, Nancy Pelosi is trying to talk tough with Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama. They are going to slap her harder than the late Gangsta Rapper Ol’ Dirty B@stard used to slap his bizzatches and hos. Granted they will do it politically, but somebody needs to let the San Francisco Pelosiraptor know that she is irrelevant.

Presidents succeed in passing legislation when they let their own side know that the President is driving the train. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush understood this. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were weaklings. Clinton let Dick Gephardt push him around.

Obama should privately let Pelosi know that if the democrats fail, Pelosi will be out as Speaker in 2010, but he will still be in power. Newt Gingrich replaced Gephardt as speaker, but Clinton rebounded and kept his job. Obama has 4 years to work with. Pelosi has 2, and people make up their minds after one year. If he tells her to yap like puppy a dog, she will do it. What are feminists going to do, get angry? Have they ever not been angry? The day they are happy it will be front page news. They are worse than gays in 2008, always angry even when their own side is in power.

It all does tie in together.

Yeah I admit it. I am bitter. My computer is fried. More money down the d@mn drain. At least I will get a government bailout. Oh wait, I am a productive member of society. Never mind.


From Community Organizers to Socialites

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

A former Governor of a large state that maintained 70% popularity through most of his tenure would be considered an easy choice as a Presidential candidate. Yet sometimes events that are totally outside of the potential candidate’s control get in the way. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right, but it is what it is.

Despite being one of the best Governors in America, Jeb Bush of Florida will most likely be not be President. Republicans rave over him. Conservatives love him. He is married to a Latina, and has strong relations with the Latina community.

Yet his last name is Bush. In an ideal world, people are judged on their own merits. In the real world, the company we keep, including at the dinner table on holidays, does matter.

Jeb was actually the one initially groomed to be President. He was the most conservative, and a better speaker than his brother. What cost him a shot at the Presidency was his first Senate campaign in 1994. Running against the unbeaten and powerful Lawton Chiles, Jeb lost 51%-49%. In an incredibly classy display, he hugged Chiles after the election. In 1998, Jeb swept to victory as Chiles retired unbeaten. Yet by 2000, George W. Bush was already in his second term. Jeb did not have enough tenure (back when that mattered). So George W. Bush became President, and succeed or fail, Jeb was done.

Americans do not like dynasties. We are not aristocrats. We want our politicians to earn the job.

Some will say that Barack Obama did not earn the job. His resume is thin, his qualifications are lacking, and most people still do not know what a community organizer actually does. Al Sharpton is one, and his job remains a mystery to me.

Yet Barack Obama did earn the job. He won the election. The voters spoke, and that ends the discussion.

This brings us to Hillary Clinton. She keeps claiming she has 35 years of experience. She graduated law school at age 25, and then eventually turned 60. Her only skill besides abrasiveness seems to be resume padding. Given that she is old enough to remember Jimmy Carter, perhaps it should be called resume inflation. Critics stated that she had no business being a Senator.

As much as I agreed with the critics at the time, she won the election. That closes that discussion.

Now Obama has tapped Hillary to be Secretary of State. She is again in my mind totally unqualified. Her life has been focusing on domestic policy, not foreign policy.

Yet again, I am also a believer in Presidential prerogative. The President can pick anybody he likes. This should be the case. Bruising confirmation battles should be based on issues of malfeasance, not ideological bigotry. Anybody complaining about how Hillary is treated should refer back to John Ashcroft.

(On a cynical note, let Hillary be Secretary of State. During a time of War, the Secretary of State is a useless symbolic figurehead that holds tea parties while the adults led by the Secretary of Defense do real work.)

One question remains, with regards to qualifications.

Where the heck do we draw the line?

With democrats, the line is at the bottom. The evidence comes in the form of Caroline Kennedy. Her real name is actually Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, but let’s see that on placards.

Caroline Kennedy is a “Socialite.” She is famous for being famous. She is from a wealthy and powerful family. So what? So was Lizzie Grubman.

(In all fairness, Lizzie Grubman is more similar to Ted Kennedy for obvious reasons.)

Caroline Kennedy does not have anything in her background to suggest that she is a bad person. Nobody is implying that she has a wicked heart. Apparently she has done good things with her life. She donates to cultural causes such as the opera. She does fundraising for various charities, including charities involving children. While she had the world handed to her on a silver platter, as a republican I am fine with that. Unlike most useless beneficiaries of inherited wealth, Caroline Kennedy seems to have contributed positively to society.

That does not make her qualified to be a government official, unless she wants to start by being an employee at the DMV.

Barack Obama lacked experience, but he proved himself on the campaign trail. Caroline Kennedy wants to be handed the job. New York Governor David Paterson is the only person with a vote. He is against it, but is facing intense pressure. He should have the guts to appoint somebody that actually deserves the job.

This is America. The American dream still exists. Forget Barack Obama for a second. His story is powerful enough. Look at New York Governor David Paterson. Not only is he black, but he is also blind. True, he became Governor by default, but he earned his victories in the legislature before working his way up to Lieutenant Governor. I disagree with him on most issues, but admire his career trajectory.

Another person that I disagree with on every issue is New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey. She wanted to run for the Senate seat vacated by the respected late Daniel Moynihan. She was pushed aside for Hillary Clinton. Now she is being pushed aside again. Are democrats allergic to people of substance? Nita Lowey is qualified.

What is it about the Kennedy family that they continue to be lionized despite any noticeable skills?

JFK was an average Senator. He was an average President that has reached mythic stature for no other reason than he died tragically at too young an age. He is no different than Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, or Kurt Cobain. He was a celebrity leader that did not produce any notable achievements. He had grand designs, such as putting a man on the moon. Yet those were words. His deeds were minimal.

LBJ actually did things as President. This is because he had the qualifications to understand and work the process. He was shrewd where JFK was naive.

Yet if JFK contributed little, RFK contributed even less. His record as a Senator was totally void of anything distinguishing.

Being a Senator is hard work. Average Senators take photo ops. Good Senators actually draft bills, and read them in their agonizingly long entirety.

Ted Kennedy may not be much on the humanity scale. However, once he realized he would never be President, he devoted his career to actually doing the real work that the Senate entails.

Caroline Kennedy was a member of the lucky sperm club. Her qualifications for the job are nil.

I will be the first person to admit that resumes are not everything. On paper, nobody in the modern era was more “qualified” to be President than George Herbert Walker Bush. His resume sparkled. Ronald Reagan was Governor of California. This is legitimate experience, but on paper Mr. Reagan’s resume is less impressive than that of his successor. Yet historians rank President Reagan in the Top 5, while President George HW Bush is rated as an average President.

Yet does that mean Americans should turn into riverboat gamblers, rolling the dice on everybody? Americans rolled the dice on Barack Obama due to their frustrations with the economy. This has nothing to do with individual Senate seats already controlled by democrats.

Senate seats are now available in Delaware, Illinois, and New York. In Delaware the buzz is about Joe Biden’s son. As for Illinois, that is a mess. The only positive to come out of the Blagojevich scandal is that Jesse Jackson Jr. will not be getting the job. Yet the top politico going after the Governor is Ms. Madigan. Her father wants his daughter to have the seat.

When does this stop?

Liberals have been carping about President George W. Bush being a child of privilege that inherited the job. What the heck do they think of Caroline Kennedy? Dubya ran Texas. Mrs. Kennedy Schlossberg is perfectly qualified to break up a fight between the forces of Avery Fisher Hall and the army behind Alice Tully Hall.

I am now fully prepared to encourage Jeb Bush to achieve whatever office he chooses. After all, he has held real jobs in the past.

As for the democrats, they may talk about the future, but they are still running on the tired exhaust fumes of the 1960s.

Enough with the Kennedys.


More Detroit Nonsense From (Eugene) Washington

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Bad ideas can be found everywhere, but Washington, DC, offers a disproportionate share of them.

Eugene, a city in Oregon, has been guilty of terrible ideas as well.

When combining a problem spot on the West coast with a nightmarish failure of a city on the East coast, we get a synthesis of bad ideas in the form of Eugene Washington. He grew up to write for the Washington Post, no stranger to dreadful trains of thought.

Eugene Washington has done his best Johnny Cochran impersonation. He has looked at the situation involving the Detroit automakers. He wants us to “forget the evidence.”

Below is his entire logic defying piece on why the business equivalents of Old Yeller should not meet the same fate.

It is one thing to be completely unaware of a situation. It is quite another to analyze the problem perfectly, and then discount it. Mr. Washington starts out by blaming republicans for Detroit’s failure. That’s fine. He’s a partisan, and so am I.

“Lemmings don’t really hurl themselves off a cliff to reduce their numbers. That sort of behavior is seen only among Republicans in the Senate, who gave us a demonstration when they torpedoed legislation to bail out the auto industry.”

The only thing that should be thrown off the cliff are General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is standing up for common sense. He has motives just as we all do, but it does not change the fact that his being against any bailout for Detroit is the ethical position. Those wanting to save Detroit are the lemmings.

“To state the obvious, no one is eager to use hard-earned taxpayer dollars to bail out the bozos of Detroit.”

Exactly Mr. Washington. Leave it at that, and you are the first genius at the Washington Post.

“Our domestic auto industry has been thoroughly outthought and outhustled by the foreign competition, and no infusion of public funds is likely to change this established pattern.”

Yes, Mr. Washington. Now leave it alone. You truly have the ability to be right, even from the left.

“It may be that General Motors, Chrysler and Ford are lumbering, Jurassic beasts that deserve their looming extinction.”

Precisely. If I did not know Mr. Washington was one sentence away (I cheated and peeked at the rest of the article.) from an inane conclusion, I would actually think he made perfect sense.

“Only a free-market fundamentalist, a lunatic or a Senate Republican — perhaps I’m being redundant — would conclude that now is the moment to hasten Detroit’s demise.”

Wow. Only a pompous liberal gasbag could come up with that stunningly brilliant analysis. To get so many things wrong in such a short sentence truly takes talentlessness in abundance.

The term “free market fundamentalist” is ridiculous. I love when liberal reporters that would never dare use such a term appropriately, such as in Islamic fundamentalism, feel free to compare those that believe in capitalism to lunatics.

Those Senate republican fundamentalists, why they are just crazy. I mean they support radical ideas such as letting companies that destroyed themselves not be bailed out by taxpayers that did nothing wrong. That is just crazy. After all, any normal person knows that pathetic businesses should be rewarded with more money so they can fail on a grander scale.

Mr. Washington freely admits that the auto companies are sinking ships, yet he ignores his own analysis.

“Even if the Big Three deserve to die, they shouldn’t die now. Economic theory notwithstanding…”

Economic theory notwithstanding? Eugene Washington wants all the facts to be thrown out the window. It is not like he fails to see the problem. He clearly states several fabulous reasons to support the Bob Corker point of view. Perhaps he is schizophrenic. He is arguing with himself.

When he finally gets to why he wants the automakers to survive, it has nothing to do with the companies. He is simply a union shill. How dare the unions be asked to make more concessions? The companies are going down the drain, but the unions should never be asked to contribute.

“I do recall lectures from some Republicans in the Senate about how inadvisable it is for government to meddle in the workings of the free market. In my book, renegotiating labor contracts qualifies as meddling.”

Even for a liberal working at the Washington Compost, that is blatantly dishonest. The companies want money. They are asking for the help. Try being a child, asking your parents for money, and refusing to tell them what you need the money for. Try seeing if you get more money with less oversight. That is fantasy land. Try getting seed money from a venture capitalist without a viable business plan.

I have said that we should let these companies go bankrupt. However, if they want my tax dollars, they had d@mn well better offer me a business plan that shows they are capable of turning it around. To give them money to “give them more time” does nothing but waste money and time.

It is the liberals in Congress that are meddling. They want to force companies that are losing billions to create hideous “green” cars so that the environmentalists will be happy. How about the companies be allowed to build cars that will actually be profitable? Does anybody look at a Toyota Prius besides me and think, “That is one ugly car.”? The thing is hideous. Should more people care about hybrids? Perhaps, but that is a value judgment. By forcing political correctness on car companies as we did with mortgage lenders is a violation of what companies are about.

If Milton Friedman were alive today, he would slap some people silly.

Congress is letting their political agenda get in the way of what a corporation is supposed to do…make money. There is nothing in any corporate charter that requires a company be socially responsible. Social responsibility is desirable, but firms are not charities.

The obligation of a car company is to sell cars that the public will buy. Period. Promises to promote socially responsible cars that the public will reject will only lead to more bankruptcy.

Yet this is not just a product problem. It is a service problem. I remember when my father bought a Toyota. The service was excellent, and this was after he had already made the purchase. Customer satisfaction surveys matter when companies actually listen to the results.

What makes this so painful is that the Japanese learned their management techniques from us! They acted like us, and we stopped acting like us. It is the height of sheer folly to think that a slogan such as “Buy American,” will tug at patriotic heartstrings to overlook that other countries are offering better products and better service.

Americans have the finest human capital in the world, but in the auto industry, we are failing. No amount of money will fix the problem without massive restructuring. That means deep cuts in worker bees, middle management, upper management, and anywhere else I may have missed.

Wanting the automakers to go bankrupt is not the same as wanting them to fail. Let me repeat this for those who want to play the “cold heartless republican” card vs. the liberal “compassion” card.

Wanting the companies to go bankrupt does not mean wanting them to fail.

I do not want the companies to blow up. I want their business models to blow up.

It is ironic that the same liberals that claim that big companies cannot be trusted want to just give money to companies that are just saying, “trust me.”

No. I don’t trust them. Decades of failure leads me to believe that the next course of action is failure.

I want to force these companies to make the tough decisions necessary to survive in the long run.

We cannot let sentimentality cloud logical reasoning. I do not want to see people out of work, especially around the holidays. This is a terrible thing. I have been there. I know that pain. I will never forget it. However, a bailout would not be a lifeline. It would be a Congressional death grip.

Flip the situation around. Forget a struggling company. Picture a healthy company that wants government money for some new innovation. They can take the money and be subjected to restrictions. Or, they can get the money on their own, and have freedom.

When times are tough for me economically, I would rather chew my arm off than ask my parents for help. They are good people, but I don’t want the oversight. I don’t need the lectures. I would rather have the dignity and the ability to tell them, “My money, my life, my decisions.”

My dad can then say, “Fine, you want to be an idiot, it’s your life. Do what you want.”

Those words are music to my ears.

No amount of money is worth giving up control. That includes marrying the boss’s daughter, or selling your firm to another firm and expecting to stay in power.

If the automakers dig themselves out of the hole they made themselves, without help from politicians, they will have significantly more freedom in the long run. They can then go to Congress, as profitable firms, and say, “You want green cars? Well we make money now. Get in the car business yourself. We know what we are doing. We got this far without you.”

They can’t say that now. If politicians “help” the automakers, then the automakers will forever be in their debt. Congress will then be allowed to be as compassionate as the local Mafia Kingpin who wants to collect on his “favor.”

The only hope the auto companies have of surviving is fixing this themselves. If they fail, then somebody else will take over. Capitalism works. Somebody has to make cars. Southern states are already figuring this out. Detroit needs to change or die.

Eugene Washington knows this. He just can’t bring himself to admit that social engineering does not override the need to be a successful business.

This nonsense of politicians telling businesses in Detroit that bad deeds are their own reward must cease.

Let these companies restructure.

Otherwise, the automakers will be back in several months, hat in hand, with the financial time bomb ready to explode with much more violence.


Ideological Bigotry Part XIX–More Violence Against Conservatives

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Once again ideological bigotry has reared its ugly left wing hydra-head.

For those not clear, being a liberal does not make one an ideological bigot. I know plenty of decent and thoughtful liberals.

Unfortunately, I know too many more disgusting ones. The decent ones do not denounce the vile ones. Silence is acquiescence.

Several days ago a left wing hate site decided to attack my column. I had never heard of the site, and curiosity got the better of me.

(I have decided not to post the link since I have no desire to increase their traffic. If they want to increase my traffic, they have to abide by the rules of normal civilized people.)

I believe in civilized and respectful discussion. My blog bans hate speech, personal attacks, and profanity. If something slips through, I certainly try to improve on this front. My blog is my home, and friendly guests of all stripes are welcome.

When I went on this left wing site, I was very friendly, as is my nature. My genial approach was met with verbal abuse. I even mentioned that my girlfriend is a liberal and an Obama supporter.

I was not shocked by the comments, but I still fail to grasp why the left  simply refuses to drop the hatred. My lord, they won the election and they are still miserable.

I brought up the point that many liberals have more rage towards President Bush than they do towards Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden. They initially tried to dispute this as an attack on their patriotism. So I asked them that if this statement was wrong, why were they so vocal in their criticism of President Bush in comparison?

They pointed out that they pay his salary, and since Osama is not an American employee, they are less vocal. This flimsy argument does not change the fact that a little outrage towards bloodthirsty murderers would be appropriate. They then point out that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are bloodthirsty murderers.

Where does the world find these people? How many illegal drugs did their parents take in combination to produce such amalgamations of rage, frothing, and indifference, all at the wrong time?

Before getting to President Bush and Governor Palin, below are some rantings I received.

“So I think one may note, without fear of a Godwin violation, that people like Tygrrrr are like the cheerers-on of the Spanish fascist insurrection, thrilling from a safe distance behind the front (or from another country altogether) to their heroes’ acts of mass murder, rape, torture and expropriation — or, as the franquistas and their priestly enablers liked to call it, redención cristiana.”

Actually Saddam Hussein was the one who raped and tortured people. I was against Saddam. Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy have been accused of rape. George W. Bush has not.

“‘I don’t hate anybody,’ Eric said, as he advocated the genocide of more than a million people.

Eric, nobody gives a (redacted) about your imaginary ‘contest’ with liberals. Face it: you’re a featherweight. You’re being cited by Roy because of your chilling naivete and as I pointed out above, your brutish callousness.

Thank you, come again, you moron.
Chris Vosburg”

I redacted the curse words myself. I have no right to tell them act with dignity on their own blog, but that does not mean I have to devalue mine.

I researched this Chris Vosburg fellow, and found a career left wing agitator. Mr. Vosburg even expressed to me how proud he was to take on the police given that he was against the war.

When the police defend themselves, I will sleep easily. After all, the police are less threatening to a decent society than this fellow. Why would a man hurl curses and insults at a total stranger? I just do not see this as something good human beings do.

“Let’s be fair, Tigger has a point. I spend hours every day talking (redacted) about George W. Bush, but I can’t even remember the last time I bothered to remind someone that Osama Bin Laden is one evil (redacted). What is wrong with me?”

I would say virtually everything. Here is a priceless gem.

“Again, like most people who aren’t right-wing bloggers or talk-radio hosts, I try not to hold on to anger unless I can channel it in some productive direction.”

Productive direction? What the heck would left wing basket cases know about productive channeling of anger?

Let me say this again. The democrats won the election. George W. Bush is leaving office. Leftists are still angry. When Obama, Pelosi, Frank, and Reid tear each other to bits, the left will still blame George W. Bush. They remain angry at everybody except terrorists. It’s all Bush’s fault.

These leftists repeatedly referred to me as “Tigger,” because when one has no grasp of facts, insults come in the form of childish mockery. Making fun of my screen name is what they call “rebuttals.” They had other nicknames for me, but my mother reads my blog.

“Do me a favor, in lieu of writing further about the rat’s maze you call your ‘thoughts:’ Go to Iraq. Visit a graveyard. Lean down close to any or all of the fresh graves dug there, so the dead can reach up and punch you in the nose. Thanks!”

These are liberals. Their parents must be proud.

Yet the worst comment was when I mentioned that my girlfriend, a liberal Obama supporter, was on a plane that day that had “concerns.” I was worried for her safety. The response was telling.

“It isn’t called a girlfriend when you pay her $50 per hour.”

These are liberals.

I have every right to link all liberals to this type of behavior because the “decent” ones don’t condemn it. When I say condemn it, I do not mean telling me it bothers them. That is easy. I mean telling other leftists to their face that they should stop. Stopping should not be because it is “unhelpful,” but because it does nothing to do help the world. It is wrong.

This is not about Chris Vosburg. Society has already weeded him out. What concerns me is what happens when words take the next step. The next step is violence.

Preisdent Bush recently had a pair of shoes thrown at him in Iraq. Forgetting that the left would cry racism if this was done to Obama, this shoe throwing incident is no joke.

What if it was not shoes? What if it was a smoke bomb or a cherry bomb?

Do liberals not see how far things can go when people do not say “enough”?

Does anybody think throwing things is a reasonable form of protest?

Where do liberals think this Iraqi learned such behavior? He certainly would never have thrown shoes at Saddam!

The shoe throwing incident justifies the invasion of Iraq. We gave them freedom. Now they need to learn limits. Perhaps if leftists acted civilized, the President would not have to duck and cover. They did not have to throw the shoe. They are just cheering the hooliganism at full insane strength.

The President could be murdered by a deranged political agitator. At what point are those on the left going to say that venom has gone too far?

The left is not stopping with words. Words foment violence. Just ask Sarah Palin.

Her church just got burned down. Now if this was a black Church in Chicago, such as Obama’s church, the entire world would be singing “We shall overcome.”

Why is the burning of Sarah Palin’s church not evoking the same sympathy?

Read the left wing blogs to find out why violence directed at sending a message to Sarah Palin is acceptable.

There are only two solutions. Either liberals reign in their lunatic fringe…or the other option…conservatives get into the gutter with them.

Do conservatives have to take these leftists and savagely beat them within an inch of their lives to get them to shut up? There is no constitutional right to incite riots, whether gay, black, Arab, or any other “aggrieved” group.

This is not about freedom of speech anymore. It is about the right to be safe without fear of being terrorized. If a leftist thinks they can key my car or try to do me physical harm, you’re d@mn right that is not going to go unpunished.

I hate comparing liberals to terrorists, but they both believe that kindness is weakness. Dialogue does not work with many of them. They seek and destroy.

How many republicans are throwing objects at liberals, or cheering when somebody does it? How many conservatives throw pies at liberal speakers? How many liberal speakers get shouted down? How many liberals have their property torched?

Freedom of speech is not absolute. At some point, people get tired of being bullied. If liberals do not cease fomenting violence, they may find themselves the victim of fiercer violence.

Just to clarify, this is not about the left wing hate site that went after me. Those are words.

When the President is being assaulted…yes assaulted…and the Governor of Alaska is being sent a “message,” as left wing blogs cheer and celebrate…something has gone terribly wrong.

The violence against conservatives for existing and breathing air needs to stop.

Otherwise, when enraged conservatives strike back with fury, I will sit back and do nothing.

Actually such violence would not happen. We are better than that.

The evidence speaks for itself. It is the only thing that ever causes liberals to be silent.


Save the Nation, Bust the Union

Monday, December 15th, 2008

For those that care about American workers in 2008, it is time to start busting unions.

It is time to take people that claim they care about the little guy and make sure that they are exposed for being the cheating, lying, stealing thugs that they are.

There was a time in American history when unions were essential. Like Old Yeller, most unions need to be taken out back.

Unions survive by convincing enough people that hating a union is the same as hating the American worker.

I love the American worker. I am one. I hate unions. Unions hate the American worker.

My industry does not have a union. I could be fired at any moment. I have no security. If that is good enough for me, it should be good enough for other workers.

Am I happy that I have no security? Of course not. However, I have freedom to negotiate my own pay. I have negotiated poorly when lacking confidence, and I have negotiated well when holding a stronger set of cards.

Unions used to represent about 33% of American workers. Now they represent less than 10%. So why is this the case?

Because non-union workers understand that they can get a better deal without a union. 90% of workers have rejected unions. Just because 10% of American prefer the horse and buggy does not mean that the remaining 90% of Americans should be subjected to favorable treatment for horse and buggy owners desperate to protect their dying brand.

Horse and buggies were replaced by automobiles, which brings us back to unions.

If unions were allowed to have more power, Cyrus McCormick would never seen the reaper make it to the marketplace, as Eli Whitney and his cotton gin would still be king of the archaic devices.

The second worst union in America is the United Autoworkers Union. The UAW has helped drive the Detroit automakers into the ground.

Make no mistake about it. The CEOs of Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors should be given the financial equivalent of hanging in the town square. Perhaps men driving horse and buggies can have the CEOs of these firms drawn and quartered.

Yet right now the firms are trying to stave off bankruptcy. The UAW is blocking the deal.

The UAW says that workers have given enough, and that management needs to give more. Earth to Unions: Without managers, nobody exists to run the company and pay the workers.

Labor costs and health care benefits are killing these companies. Yet Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, where unions have less power, are part of the new breed of auto industry in America that has a chance at success.

Debate is raging on Capitol Hill over whether or not to bail out the automakers. As I have repeatedly stated, these companies should be allowed to burn to the ground.

Some say that without a bailout, the companies will go bankrupt and the workers will be displaced.

Let me explain this so those with good hearts and feeble minds can grasp this. Offering a bailout without forcing radical changes to a failing business structure rewards that business structure. It encourages status quo. This will only delay a ticking time bomb. The workers will be displaced anyway, and it will be worse. It is better to take strong medicine now and have a chance at survival than have to take more painful medicine later on. Congress is offering a bandaid for a patient that needs a tourniquet.

The CEOs are trying to stave off bankruptcy. Forget it. Go bankrupt. The airlines went bankrupt, and they survived. Bankruptcy is Chapter 11 restructuring. Chapter 7 liquidation is not being discussed.

Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were allowed to crash and burn. The automakers deserve nothing less.

It costs $25 an hour more for an American company to make an automobile as opposed to a Japanese car. Americans have been led to believe that better pay for workers at the expense of companies is a good thing. All it does is rob Peter to pay Paul and Mary. The higher costs are passed on to American consumer, so that the coal miner, mill worker, and cooper smelter pay more. AFter all, as long as union bosses get paid, who cares of ordinary people get sticker shock?

People who worship at the altar of Samuel Gompers need to realize that the union model is failing. It is crippling the very workers it claims to help.

Liberals will retort that conservatives just want to go back to the days of forcing workers to work 80 hour weeks with no overtime and hazardous safety conditions. This is nonsense. Liberals cannot accept the fact that what may have been necessary in 1932 is not necessarily needed in 2008. This is why I use a calculator as opposed to an abacus.

Times have changed, and unions remain inflexible. One example of this was the California 40 hour work week. The rule for a long time was that anything over 8 hours in one day was overtime. Governor Pete Wilson changed the law to make overtime kick in at 40 hours per week.

The change was fabulous for working people. They could work four 10 hour days and have three day weekends every week. They could work three 12 hour days. This was not punishment. Some people want to work more than eight hours because they have things they want to get done.

Gray Davis then came to California and returned the eight hour workday. As a manager, I had to kick secretaries out of the office because the firm did not approve overtime, and labor laws require we make them leave.

I am an exempt employee. If I want to leave a couple of hours early or take a long lunch, I can just stay later on another day, take an abbreviated lunch, or come in on a Saturday. My boss just wants the work to get done. Unfortunately, entry level employees do not have this flexibility. If they want to schedule an appointment to see their doctor or pick their child up from school early, they lose that pay.

Nice job, unions. Way to help workers.

As I said, the second worst Union in America is the UAW. The very worst union, the scourge of the Earth, are the teachers unions.

My parents were good teachers. Thanks to their union, they were locked into a dreadful system.

For those truly wanting to destroy public schools and ruin the lives of schoolchildren, support your local teachers union.

If unions were so honest, why do they need to lie, cheat and steal to win? My parents had money taken out of their paychecks involuntarily as “dues.” These “dues” were used on political activities, such as voting for liberal democrats, who would then return kickbacks to the unions. The cycle of corruption was compulsory.

My parents do not liberals in power. Why should they have their money taken to support political activity they disagree with? That is stealing.

If joining a union was optional, that would be one thing. Putting a gun to somebody’s head and telling them it is for their own good is more than a tad unseemly.

A proposition on the ballot in California several years ago would have banned union dues from being used for political activities without the written consent of the employee. The unions defeated the proposition by spending millions of dollars, money that they took from workers against their will. People like my parents paid for a campaign they emotionally fought against for the very reason they were fighting!

Liberals try to claim that corporations giving to republicans is the same thing, but this is a lie. Corporations have shareholders, and people can sell their shares. Try leaving a union.

Now unions want card check legislation to eliminate the secret ballot. This truly will make unions even more corrupt. After all, when a sweaty 300 pound man named Tiny is holding a lead pipe and telling you that your decision is optional, the word “optional” takes on new meaning.

If Unions get card check legislation, they will harass and intimidate workers. This will empower union bosses, which as we all know, destroys companies.

The answer is not to break American workers. The answer is to break their jailers. It is time to take the worst unions, and bust them into little pieces.

Congress needs to fire everybody involved with the Detroit automakers. The CEOs must go, and the unions must be blown to kingdom come. The Unions will not voluntarily offer anything, so it must be pried form their avaricious hands.

It is time for these companies to be forced into bankruptcy. Otherwise, these companies should keep doing what they are doing, and eventually destroy themselves until there is nothing left.

I am fine with this, provided that not $1 of my taxes contributes to it.

I have never had a union backing me, and I somehow existed. Others should do the same.


NFL 2008–Week 15 Recap

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

As the weather gets colder by the week, the intensity level gets hotter. To quote 2008 Hall of Fame Finalist John Randall, “This is when the big dogs come out.”

New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears was the Thursday night game. The 2006 season saw a pair of teams overachieve and reach the NFC Title game, where Chicago broke open a close game in the second half at home and advanced to the Super Bowl. These teams fell sharply backwards in 2007, and faced off in 2008 with identical 7-6 records. The loser would be almost certainly on the brink of playoff elimination.

This game did feature points on the board despite virtually no offense in the first half. Three big plays led to points despite little offensive success. Devon Hester still returns punts, but his new wide receiver duties have led to Lovie Smith removing him from kickoff returns. The rest of the league cannot breathe easy because the new kickoff return man Daniel Manning is also talented. Manning returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to put the Bears up 7-0 only 12 seconds into the game.

Later on, a Saints punt had the Bears starting on their own one yard line. Kyle Orton fumbled the snap, and the Saints recovered. The gift turnover set up the touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Thomas to tie the game. The Bears retook the lead when a 3rd and 13 from the New Orleans 44 led to a deep pass to Devon Hester. The pass was incomplete, but defensive pass interference had the Bears at the 5 yard line. Matt Forte ran it in from the one to put the Bears back up 14-7. After a punt, the Bears took over at the New Orleans 42 with 3 minutes left in the half. Orton ran it in himself from 6 yards out to give the Bears a 21-7 halftime lead.

The Saints took the second half kickoff, and Brees led the Saints to a 4th and 1 at the Chicago 10. Brees picked up the first down, but on the next play he was intercepted in the end zone to waste a 6 1/2 minute drive. 4 minutes later Orton was intercepted. Thomas then ripped off a 42 yard run to pull the Saints within 21-14. After a Chicago punt, Brees led a 14 play, 8 1/2  minute drive that broke down in the red zone. A field goal pulled the Saints to within 21-17 with 9 minutes left.

The game was just getting red hot in terms of excitement. The Bears were forced to punt from their own 47 with 7 minutes left. Lovie Smith gambled on a fake punt that didn’t work. The pass was thrown into double coverage, but still almost caught. A great defensive play prevented the trick play from succeeding. The Saints then faced a critical 4th and one from the Chicago 38. For some reason Sean Payton decided to call a pitchout rather than bull straight ahead. The play lost 5 yards. Yet the Bears gave the ball right back when Orton was intercepted again.

On 3rd and 15 from the Chicago 36, Brees hit Marquis Colston for 22 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the 11, Brees hit Colston for the touchdown. The Saints led 24-21 with 3 minutes left. The Bears began at their own 30, and Orton hit Hester for 20 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 5 form the New Orleans 45, Orton hit Hester for 9 yards. With 19 seconds remaining, the Bears faced 3rd and 1 at the New Orleans 16. The Bears converted but could not get past the 9 yard line. A field goal as time expired sent the game into overtime tied 24-24.

The Bears won the coin toss in overtime and Orton again went deep for Hester. For the second time in the game, Hester’s speed forced a desperation defensive pass interference penalty. 3rd and 7 from the Chicago 47 was now 1st and 10 from the Saints 15. Orton tooka  knee on 1st down to center the ball, and on 2nd down the field goal ended this fine football game. The Bears moved to 8-6, 1/2 game behind Minnesota. New Orleans fell to 7-7, and despite Brees shredding the league in passing, the Saints are on life support. 27-24 Bears, OT

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons–The 9-4 Buccaneers, trailing division leader Carolina by one game, faced their second consecutive division road game against the 8-5 Falcons in a game with major playoff implications. After a punt, the Falcons had golden field position at the Tampa Bay 34. The short field only led to a field goal. After another punt, Atlanta took over at their own 28. Matt Ryan hit Ronny White for a 30 yard gain to the Tampa Bay 42. Michael Turner ripped off an 18 yard run, and capped off the drive from one yard out to give the Falcons a 10-0 lead.

With 1:15 left in the half, the Buccaneers finally got going. With Brian Griese in for Jeff Garcia, the Bucs took over at their own 33. A 14 yard pass to Bryant was followed by a 20 yard pass to Clayton down to the Atlanta 33. Griese hot Bryant for 12 yards, and then 20 yards for the touchdown to get the Buccaneers within 10-7 at the half.

In the third quarter, the Falcons began celebrating when Ryan appeared to hit Rader for a 27 yard touchdown pass. The ball did come out after the catch. Tampa Bay challenged the call, and it was ruled that the ball was ripped out at the one yard line before Rader broke the plane. Instead of a touchdown, it was a fumble and a touchback. The defenses took over, but the last 4 minutes of the 4th quarter saw plenty of action.

Facing 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 30, the Buccaneers faced a costly delay of game penalty. After failing to convert, a 53 yard field goal attempt by Matt Bryant was no good. All the Falcons had to do was wind down the clock. Yet after going 3 and out, Buccaneers crashed through and blocked the punt. Taking over at the Atlanta 22, the Buccaneers were at the 9 yard line with 1:44 left. They went from a chance to win to 3rd and 28 at the 30 and long field goal range. Warrick Dunn picked up 10 yards, and Bryant redeemed himself to tie the game 10-10 and send it into overtime.

The Buccaneers got the ball first in overtime, but on 3rd and 8 from their own 37, Griese was sacked for a 13 yard loss. The Falcons took over at their own 29. 11 plays and 6 1/2 minutes later, the Falcons were in position. From the Tampa Bay 35, Michaelt Turner ran 17 yards to set up Jason Elam for a 34 yard field goal. Elam drilled it, and the Falcons survived this barefisted slobberknocker. Both teams are 9-5, trailing Carolina. 13-10 Falcons, OT

Washington Redskins @ Cincinnati Bengals–The Bengals have won only one game all year, while the Redskins have faded to the cliff of playoff elimination after a promising start. A Washington fumble one minute into the game set the Bengals up at the Washington 41. From the 15, Ryan Fitzpatrick ran 14 yards, and then ran the final yard on the next play to give the Bengals a 7-0 lead. Later in the quarter the Bengals took over at their own 6. After moving forwards and backwards, they faced 2nd and 19 at their own 8. Fitzpatrick then hit Cedric Benson on a swing pass that went for 79 yards to the Washington 13. Fitzpatrick hit Chris Henry for a 12 yard touchdown pass as the Bengals led 14-0.

In the second quarter the Bengals added a field goal to lead 17-0. Then the game changed. An exchange of punts had the Redskins starting at the Cincinnati 40. On 3rd and 1 from the 16, Betts picked up the first down. On 3rd and 4 form the 10, Jason Campbell hit Santana Moss for the score to make it 17-7. After a punt, Campbell led the Redskins from their own 24 and mounted a 12 play drive. Yet the drive stalled at the Cincinnati 5 yard line, and the Redskins settled for a field goal and a 17-10 game at the break.

The Redskins began their first possession of the second half at their own 12 yard line. Campbell led a 7 minute drive, and on 2nd and goal from the 1, Sellers was ruled to have scored. The Bengals successfully challenged that the ball did not break the plane. On 3rd and goal from the , Sellers leapt over the top and got rocked backwards. The whistle did not blow the play dead, and Sellers stretched the ball out to again try and break the plane. It was ripped out of his hands for a fumble in the end zone and a Bengals touchback.

With 9 1/2 minutes left, The Bengals took over at their own 32 and mounted a 16 play drive that ate over 7 minutes off of the clock. The drive ended in a field goal that had the Bengals up 20-10 with 2:20 remaining. Most games would be over at that point, but these are the Bengals. Cartwright returned the kickoff 87 yards to the Cincinnati 13. The Redskins went nowhere, and settled for a field goal. The onsides kick went out of bounds, and with the Redskins out of timeouts, Fitzpatrick took 3 kneels. The Redskins fell to 7-7, and are all but eliminated. 20-13 Bengals.

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans–The Texans are eliminated, while the Titans with a win would clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. A 3-3 game in the second quarter was changed when Matt Schaub hit Andre Johnson for a 65 yard gain. Schaub hit Johnson for the 13 yard touchdown to put the Texans up 10-3. The Titans drove deep late in the half but settled for another field goal as the Texans led 10-6 at halftime.

This game was a defensive bonelock. Rob Bironas hit his 3rd field goal of the game to have the Titans within 10-9. The Texans then mounted an 18 play, 9 minute drive that produced nothing but disappointment when Kris Brown shanked a 26 yard field goal attempt. Early in the 4th quarter, the Texans drove deep again, but again could not reach the end zone. Brown made a 24 yard field goal to give the Texans a 13-9 lead with 12 minutes left. With 5 1/2 minutes left, Bironas nailed his 4th field goal to get the Titans within one point.

The Titans got the ball back at their own 17 with 4 minutes remaining. Despite struggling all game, Kerry Collins hit Justin Gage for 34 yards to the Houston 49. At the 2 minute warning, the Titans had 4th and 3 at the Houston 32. All they had to do was bring in Rob Bironas for his 5th field goal attempt. 49 yards is long, but Bironas holds the NFL record for 8 field goals in one game, against the Texans of all teams. He was 4 for 4 in this game. Yet for some bizarre reason, Jeff Fisher decided to go for it.

This was not an attempt to get Houston to jump offsides. Fisher went for it, and Collins went for the end zone incomplete. On the next play, STevel Slaton rambled 32 yards for the Texans to the Tennessee 34. Had he stayed in bounds, the game would have ended. Despite the long run, going to the sidelines gave Tennessee hope. It did not matter. On 3rd and 8 from the 32, Slaton picked up 12 yards. Houston ran out the clock. Tennessee dropped to 12-2. Jeff Fisher might be the best coach in football, but even the very best can go brain dead once every 15 years. Unless Bironas was injured, giving a kicker who has nailed kicks from 60 a try from 49 would be the only sensible decision. The Titans maintain the best record in the AFC despite the loss. 13-12 Texans

Green Bay Packers @ Jacksonville Jaguars–Before the season this was supposed to be a matchup of teams with the potential to go deep in the playoffs. Instead a pair of teams are playing out the string took the field. David Garrard began the game leading the Jaguars 73 yards in 12 plays over 7 minutes. Garrard hit Dennis Northcutt for the 30 yard touchdown to give the Jaguars the 7-0 lead. Aaron Rodgers took over for the Packer at their own 17 and drove them deep over 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. However, Green Bay got no closer than the 4 yard line, and settled for a field goal.

In the second quarter, after a Jacksonville punt, Green Bay took over at their own 41 and moved the distance over 6 minutes and 10 plays. After a roughing the passer penalty, Rodgers hit Greg Jennings for 11 yards, and then went back to Jennings for the 4 yard touchdown to give Green Bay the 10-7 lead. With 4 minutes left in the half, Rodgers and the Packers took over at their own 20. Rodgers hit Donald Driver for 24 yards and 40 yards to Jones. Yet the drive stalled at the 5 yard line, so a field goal had Green bay up 13-7 at intermission.

A scoreless third quarter had Ryan Grant fail to convert on 2nd and 1 and 3rd and 1 from the Jacksonville 44. On the first play of the 4th quarter, Mike McCarthy gambled on 4th and 1, and Kuhns hit a brick wall. The Jaguars took over, and on 3rd and 18 from the Green Bay 49, Garrard hit Northcutt to set up 4th and 1 at the Green Bay 32. Jack Del Rio gambled as well, and Garrard picked up 4 yards on the quarterback draw. Garrard hit Maurice Jones-Drew from 14 yards out to give the Jaguars the 14-13 lead with 11 minutes left.

The Packers came back, and needed 5 minutes to retake the lead. Rodgers hit Jones for a 34 yard gain from the Green Bay 33 to the Jacksonville 33. With 5 1/2 minutes left, a field goal had Green Bay in front 16-14. David Garrard needed one play to change the momentum. From the Jacksonville 20, Garrard hit Northcutt for 41 yards down to the Green Bay 39. Jones-Drew ran 15 more yards. On 3rd and 4 from the 18, Garrard ran the quarterback draw again, for 14 yards down to the 4. Garrard fumbled, but was lucky enough to quickly fall on the ball to avoid being the goat. Jones-Drew ran it in from 2 yards out to put the Jaguars up 4 points after a failed 2 point conversion. 1:56 remained, but Rodgers was intercepted with 46 seconds left to snuff out any comeback. Both teams are 5-9 and looking to next year. 20-16 Jaguars

San Francisco 49ers @ Miami Dolphins–The Dolphins came in 8-5 in a 3 way tie for the division lead. The 49ers are eliminated but playing hard for new Coach Mike Singletary. Chad Pennington threw a 61 yard bomb to Martin to give the Dolphins the 7-0 advantage. Leading 7-3 in the second quarter, a 27 yard punt return had the Dolphins starting at the San Francisco 34. Pennington hit Joey Haynos from 19 yards out to give the Dolphins a 14-3 lead at halftime.

The Miami offense did nothing in the second half, and the defense did just enough. In the 3rd quarter, the 49ers mounted a 16 play 7 1/2 minute drive that moved from the San Francisco 13 to the Miami 5. The 49ers could not crack the end zone, and a field goal made it 14-6. The 4th quarter was instant replay. The 49ers had a 13 play, 7 minute drive that began at the San Francisco 21 and bogged down at the Miami 10. Another field goal had the 49ers within 5 points with 9 1/2 minutes left. With 2:41 left, a 49 yard field goal for Miami hit the crossbar. With one minute left, Sean Hill had the 49ers facing 4th and 10 at the Miami 21. They turned it over on downs. The Dolphins spectacular turnaround from 1-15 has them at 9-5 and still in a  3 way tie for the division lead. 14-9 Dolphins

Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams–Even Bitter division rivalry games fail to be compelling when both teams are 2-11. Nevertheless, the Rams scored first in the misery bowl when Marc Bulger hit Torry Holt for a 31 yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 Rams lead. Later in the quarter Jed Babineaux picked up a St. Louis fumble and returned it 24 yards for the score to tie the game 7-7.

As the second quarter began, the Rams rook over at their own 3 yard line. Bulger led a staggering 18 play drive that consumed 97 yards and 8 1/2 minutes of clock. On 3rd and 15 from their own 28, Bulger hit Holt for 20 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Seattle 43, Stephen Johnson picked up 14 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the Seattle 23, Bulger hit Holt for 5 yards. Jackson ran it in from 6 yards out to complete the marathon drive and put the Rams on top 14-7. A Seneca Wallace fumble had the Rams at the Seattle 21, but the Rams settled for a field goal and a 17-7 lead.

Seattle had a pair of drives lead to field goals to make it a 17-13 game after 3 quarters. The Rams mounted a 13 play, 8 1/2 minute drive that led to a field goal of their own to lead 20-13 with 11 minutes left in the game. After a punt, Seattle took over at their own 20 with 8 minutes left. Seneca Wallace hit Koren Robinson for 21 yards. From the St. Louis 49, Wallace fired 37 yards to Bobby Engram down to the 12. TJ Duckett scored from one yard out to tie the game 20-20 with 2:47 left.

The Rams fired incomplete passes and punted, using up only 37 seconds. With 2:10 left Seattle took over at their own 32. With 54 seconds left, the Seahawks were at their own 46. Wallace went deep to Deon Branch for 45 yards down to the 9 yard line. The Rams could not stop the clock, and Olindo Mare nailed the field goal as time expired. Jim Haslett deserves better, and at least the Walrus Mike Holmgren got his 3rd win of the year. 23-20 Seahawks

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets–The Jets have lost two straight to drop into a 3 way tie for the division lead with Buffalo all but eliminated. Brett Favre went right to work, hitting Laverneous Coles for 22 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 1 from the Buffalo 41, Favre ran himself for 27 yards. A Richardson 12 yard run set up Thomas Jones from 2 yards out to put the Jets up 7-0. After a Buffalo field goal, Favre hit Coles for 20 yards to the Buffalo 42. Favre hit Baker for 19 yards, and then hit Jerricho Cotchery for the 11 yard touchdown pass to give the Jets a 14-3 lead.

In the second quarter, Favre was intercepted, setting up the Bills at the New York 37. JP Losman ran it in from 8 yards out 5 minutes later to pull the Bills to within 14-10. A 56 yard punt return by Parrish had the Bills starting at the Jets 24 on their next possession. After a 14 yard run by Marshawn Lynch, Losman hit Johnson for a 2 yard touchdown pass to put the Bills in front 17-14. The Jets came right back, as the always dangerous Leon Washington broke another one. This time it was not a kickoff return, but a 47 yard run up the middle. While 1/2 of his normal distance on scores, the touchdown had the Jets back on top 21-17.

The Bills kicked a field goal in the 3rd quarter, while the Jets added a field goal of their own to lead 24-20 with 13 1/2 minutes remaining. For the Jets, it was bittersweet since an interception of Losman at the Buffalo 20 did not produce a touchdown. With 8:45 left, Losman began firing at will. He hit Fine for 11 yards, Reed for gains of 14 and 11, and Evans for 8 more down to the New York 20. Switching to the ground game, Marshawn Lynch picked up 9 and Jackson ran the final 11 to give the Bills a 27-24 lead with 5 1/2 minutes left.

Leon Washington returned the kickoff 43 yards to midfield, but the Jets went nowhere and punted. Buffalo took over at their own 10. All they needed to do was run the ball. At that moment Dick Jauron decided to repeat the Miracle at the Meadowlands. That play is a curse for the Giants, but was a blessing for the Jets. From the Buffalo 27, with 2:06 remaining, Losman was sacked at the 16. He fumbled, and the ball was picked up by Shaun Ellis at the Buffalo 11. Ellis rumbled the 11 yards for the go ahead score in front of a shocked Buffalo team.

On the next series, Losman was intercepted on the first play. Taking over at the Buffalo 33, that should have ended things. Yet on 4th and 2 from the Buffalo 25, Mike Mangini inexplicably decided to go for it rather than kick the 42 yard field goal. The Bills held, and had 1:17 to work wth. On the game”s final play, Losman’s hail; mary from midfield was intercepted in the end zone. The Bills are all eliminated after starting 5-1, while the Jets were moments away from a 3 game losing skid and a punishing New York media. Instead the Jets are 9-5 and still in a 3 way tie for 1st place in the divison. 31-27 Jets

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs–Norvelous Norv Turner and the underachieving Chargers faced the long since eliminated Chiefs. After a San Diego punt, Tyler Thigpen led the Chiefs on a 96 yard drive that took 15 plays and 8 minutes. Thigpen hit Bowe for 5 yards on 3rd and 3 from their own 11. On 3rd and 4 from the 38, Thigpen continued the drive by running 5 yards himself. Larry Johnson picked up the first down on 3rd and 1 from the 48. From the San Diego 23, Thigpen hit Tony Gonzalez down to the 4. A halfback option pass from Johnson to Gonzalez put the Chiefs up 7-0.

Kansas city wasted 2 golden opportunities in the second quarter. On 4th and 1 from the San Diego 16, Herm Edwards opted for the 34 yard field goal, which was no good. Later on, from tSan Diego 5 yard line, Thigpen was intercepted in the end zone. Yet a San Diego fumble had the Chiefs starting at their own 46. A defensive pass interference call was followed by a 21 yard pass from Thigpen to Bowe at the San Diego 5. On 3rd and goal, Thigpen hit Bowe from 1 yard out to give the Chiefs a 14-0 lead. San Diego kicked a field goal just before the half ended.

In the third quarter, Philip Rivers was intercepted by Patrick Surtain at the San Diego 47. Surtain returned it to the 3 yard line, and Thigpen ran it up the middle on a quarterback draw for the score to put the Chiefs up 21-3. The Chargers finally got goingon their next drive, as Rivers led the team 65 yards in 10 plays. Rivers completed passes to Chris Chambers and Jacob Hester for 18 and 13 yards respectively, setting up Ladanian Tomlinson from 6 yards out to pull the Chargers to within 21-10.

The Chargers had the ball at their own 11 with 5 minutes left knowing a loss would end their season. Rivers rapidly led an 89 yard drive in 15 plays. A 4 yard touchdown pass to Floyd made it 21-16. The 2 point conversion failed, and only 1:19 remained. The Chargers needed an onsides kick and anouther touchdown, basically meaning they were done. They got the onsides kick. From their own 39, Rivers went deep to Vincent Jackson for 42 yards down to the Kansas City 19. 55 seconds remained. On 3rd and 1 from the 10, Rivers hit Jackson for the touchdown with 36 seconds remaining. The 2 point conversion again failed, but the Chargers led by a point.

Norvelous Norv Turner decided to squib kick the kickoff so that the Chiefs would have good field position and a chance to win it. On 3rd and 5 form the San Diego 49, with 15 seconds remaining, Thigpen completed a pass to the 37. The Chargers tried to prevent the referee from spotting the ball, and were penalized a critical 5 yards. With one second left, the Chiefs had a 50 yard field goal attempt. It was no good, and the Chiefs had blown an 11 point lead with 90 seconds remaining to a Norv Turner coached team. The Chargers improved to 6-8, and still have a chance to win their horrible divison. 22-21 Chargers

Detroit Lions @ Indianapolis Colts–The Colts came in winning 6 straight while the Lions are trying to get one win this season to stave off ignominy and have one of the biggest upsets in pro football history. Peyton Manning took the Colts 78 yards in 14 plays over 7 1/2 minutes. A 20 yard pass from Manning to Reggie Wayne led to Dominic Rhodes running it in from one yard out to put the Colts up 7-0. The Lions punted, but the Colts fumbled the punt, leading to a Detroit field goal.

In the second quarter, starting at their own 44, a defensive pass interference penalty had the Colts on the move. From the Detroit 22, Manning hit Rhodes for 17 yards. Simpson ran it in from 2 yards out to give the Colts a 14-3 lead. The Lions hung tough, as Orlovsky hit a pair of 33 yard passes. The first one went to Gaines, and the next one went to Calvin Johnson for the touchdown to pull the Lions to within 14-10. Yet leaving 3 1/2 minutes for Peyton Manning is just asking for another touchdown. The Lions did not ask for it, but Manning gave it anyway. An 18 yard pass from Manning to Dallas Clark had the Colts at the Detroit 34 at the 2 minute warning. From the 27, Manning hit Clark for a 24 yard gain down to the 3, and then hit Clark for the touchdown to give the Colts a 21-10 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Colts fumbled deep in their own territory, setting up Detroit at the Indy 21. Yet the Lions could only muster a field goal, making it a 21-13 game. Later in the quarter, the Lions began a drive at their own 9 yard line. Orlovsky moved the team methodically. On 3rd and 3 from the Detroit 38, Kevin Smith picked up 4 yards. Orlovsky hit Calvin Johnson for 33 yards down to the Indy 25. A 9 yard pass to SMith was followed by a 12 yard Smith run to the 4 yard line. Smith ran it in from one yard out, and Orlovsky hit Fitzsimmons for the 2 point conversion. The Lions had a chance to shock the football world by tying the game 21-21 with 13 minutes remaining.

The Colts took over at their own 12, and Manning simply fired at will. He hit Rhodes for 8 yards, Marvin Harrison for 12 more, and Clark for 11. From the Detroit 40, Manning went deep to Reggie Wayne for a 39 yard gain down to the one. Rhodes plowed through to put the Colts up 28-21 with 8 1/2 minutes left.

After a punt, The Colts took over at their own 20 with 5 1/2 minutes left. From the Indy 38, Manning hit Clark for a 31 yard gain down to the Detroit 31. With 1:16 remaining, the key play came on 3rd and 6 from the 14. Simpson fumbled the ball, and the Lions appeared to have one last chance for a miracle. However, 0-13 teams do not get breaks. Despite Detroit players all over the ball, the Colts somehow retained possession. A field goal with 44 seconds left iced it. The Colts at 10-4 have won 7 straight, while the 0-14 Lions have 2 chances to avoid eternal shame. 31-21 Colts

Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals–A pair of 8-5 teams battled. The Vikings came in leading their division by half a game, while the Cardinals had clinched theirs. Yet this game was a blowout from the start. 4 minutes into the game, Bernard Berrian returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown to put the Vikings up 7-0. Tarvaris Jackson then hit Berrian for a 41 yard touchdown to make it 14-0. An Arizona fumble had Minnesota starting at the Arizona 23. Jackson hit Rice from 6 yards out to have the Vikings cruising at 21-0 after the opening quarter. In the second quarter Jackson led a 12 play, 91 yard drive that took 7 minutes. Jackson hit Chester Taylor to have the Vikings rolling 28-0 at halftime.

One minute into the second half, Kurt Warner hit Urban for a 50 yard touchdown pass to make it 28-7. A field goal attempt by Ryan Longwell to make it 31-7 was instead blocked and returned for a touchdown 68 yard by Hood. The Cardinals were within 28-14. Yet The Vikings came right back, and Jackson hit Wade for a 59 yard touchdown pass. The 4th quarter was scoreless, as the Vikings maintained a 1 game lead in their division. The Cardinals, despite being in the playoffs, have lose 4 of 4 since a 7-3 start. 35-14 Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens–The 10-3 Steelers took on the 9-4 Ravens with 1st place in the AFC North on the line and the Steelers still with an outside shot at home field throughout the playoffs with the Tennessee loss earlier in the day. As expected, a pair of defenses known for beating the hell out of teams beat the hell out of each other. 4 trips inside the 10 yard line led to 4 field goals, with the Ravens getting 3 of them for a 9-3 lead after 3 quarters. With 9 1/2 minutes left, Pittsburgh added another field goal to trail 9-6.

With 3 1/2 minutes left, Pittsburgh took over at their own 8. Ben Roethliosberger hit Hines ward for a pair of 13 yard completions to the 34. A 16 yarder to Nate Washington had Pittsburgh at midfield at the 2 minute warning. Passes of 9 and 24 yards to Washington had Pittsburgh at the Baltimore 14. A 10 yard pass to Ward had the Steelers at the 4 yard line with 1 minute left.

On 3rd and goal from the 4, Big Ben hit Santonio Holmes inches short of the goal line. Holmes’s feet were in the end zone, but the ball appeared short. On 4th and goal from the 1, the Steelers had a big decision to make. Then a shocker came from the refs. The call was reversed and called a touchdown in front of a shocked Baltimore crowd. The Steelers had the lead with 43 seconds left. A squib kick had the Ravens near midfield, and Joe Flacco’s desperation hail mary was intercepted in the end zone by Gay. The Steelers clinched the division and a 1st round bye. At 11-3, they travel next week to 12-2 Tennessee for what could decide home field throughout the playoffs. The Ravens at 9-5 are still in the hunt for a playoff birth. This game will be talked about for years to come due to the controversial ending. 13-9 Steelers

Denver Broncos @ Carolina Panthers–Denver took the ball at their own 39 and moved 61 yards with relative ease. Jay Cutler hit Pope for a 7 yard touchdown to put the Broncos up 7-0. Jake Delhomme came right back with passes to Steve Smith of 24, 27, and finally 15 yards for the touchdown to tie the game 7-7. Both teams tacked on a field goal to make it 10-10 after the first quarter. The rest of the game was all Carolina.

Delhomme went back to Steve Smith for completions of 38 and 16  yards, setting up Stewart from 2 yards out to put the Panthers up 17-10. With 17 seconds elft in the half, just trying to ruin out the clock deep in their own territory, Denver fumbled the ball away. Carolina kicked a gift field goal to lead 20-10 at halftime. 2 minutes into the second half, Williams ran for a 56 yard touchdown to salt the game away as the Carolina defense did the rest. Carolina at 11-3 is on track to win the division, and next week are on the road against the 11-3 Giants in a showdown with the winner getting home field in the NFC. Even at 8-6, Denver should limp to a division championship soon enough. 30-10 Panthers

New England Patriots @ Oakland Raiders–For more on the game of the day, go to

Matt Cassel lost his faher earlier in the week, playing with a heavy heart, he played like Brett Favre did when he lost his dad right before a game against the Raiders. This was bad for Oakland in a game that was effectively over after several minutes. The pouring rain in Oakalnd was a good metaphor for a once proud franchise that has washed away into ruins.

The Raiders punted, and New England started at the Oakland 40. With a short field, Cassel hit Kevin Faulk for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Patriots. The only reliable player on the Raiders, punter Shane Lechler, had an 18 yard shank that had the Patroits starting at the Oakland 35. Sammy Morris ran 15 yards and then Cassel hit Randy Moss for the 20 yard touchdown to make it 14-0. Lechler then punted 62 yards to the New England 5, forcing New England to start at their own 17. It didn’t matter. A 29 yard Sammy Morris run had N ew England up 21-0 still in the first quarter. Jamarcus Russell did hit Johnny Lee Higgins on a  slant pass that went for a 56 yard touchdown to pull the Raiders within 21-7 after the opening quarter.

Minutes later the Patriots became the first team all year to score 4 touchdowns on their first 4 drives. Cassel hit Wes Welker for a 30 yard gain to set up a 13 yard toss to Welker for the score and a 28-7 lead. The Raiders had an ounce of life when Justin Miller returned the kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-14. That life was extinguished seconds later when Ellis Hobbs returned the favor 95 yards for the score to put the Patriots up 35-14, the lead they took into the locker rooms. For some reason, the Raiders came out to play the second half.

The Patriots put the game away minutes into the second half whena  35 yard run by Sammy Morris set up Cassel’s 9 yard touchdown pass to Moss to make it 42-14. Cassel finished with 4 touchdown passes. Even when the Raiders did crack the end zone again, Sebastian Janikowski had his extra point blocked. The Patriots at 9-5 remained in a 3 way tie for 1st place in their division, while the Raiders at 3-11 are a mess. The Raiders became the 1st team in NFL history to have 6 straight seasons with at least 11 losses. This is more futility than Tampa Bay in the 1970s, Cincinnati and the Rams in the 90s, and the Lions in this century. 49-26 Patriots

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys was the Sunday night game. The 11-2 Giants, looking to move closer to home field throughout the playoffs, traveled to the 8-5 Cowboys, looking to keep on pace for the playoffs. It was a low scoring head knocker. After a scoreless opening quarter, facing 2nd and 14 from the Dallas 38, Tony Romo hit Choice for 22 yards, and then fired 34 yards to Patrick Crayton for the 7-0 Cowboys lead 90 seconds in the second quarter. The Giants responded with a field goal, and after a scoreless third quarter, Dallas led 7-3 going into the final quarter.

From the Dallas 28, Romo hit Austin for 23 yards, and then Choice ran another 23 yards to the New York 15. Romo hit Jason Witten down to the one yard line, and found Anderson for the touchdown to make it 14-3 with 12 minutes left. The Giants got back in the game with 8 1/2 minutes left when Romo was sacked in the end zone for a safety to make it 14-5. The Giants took the free kick and hit a 47 yard field goal to make it 14-8 with 6 minutes left.Desperately needing a stop, the Giants never got one. Choice burst through the middle for a 30 yard run to ice the game. At 9-5 the Cowboys are in the hunt. At 11-3, the Giants have a showdown at home next week against Carolina for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. 20-8 Cowboys

Cleveland Browns @ Philadelphia Eagles was the Monday night game. The Eagles were fighting for their playoff lives against a Cleveland team starting their 3rd string quarterback. Donovan McNabb took over for the Eagles at his own 36 and quickly went to work. Moving easily, a 14 yard touchdown pass to Curtis had the Eagles up 7-0 only 4 minutes into the game. Ken Dorsey led the Browns right back on their first drive, but bogged down at the 9 yard line. A field goal made it a 7-3 game. Philadelphia then took over at their own 43, and a 12 pl;ay, 6 minute drive stalled at the Cleveland 6 yard line. A field goal had the Eagles up 10-3 after the first quarter.

The Eagles had plenty of chances to turn the game into a blowout by halftime, but failed to capitalize. A 6 minute drive had McNabb move the ball from the Philadelphia 16 to the Cleveland 7. Andy Reid then went for a trick play out the Wildcat formation. Jackson’s direct snap pass was intercepted in the end zone. Yet Ken Dorsey was intercepted at midfield by Asanta Samuel, who raced half the field for the touchdown to have the Eagles up 17-3.

With 3 minutes left in the half, McNabb led the Eagles from their 34 to 2nd and goal at the Cleveland 1 yard line. With 9 seconds left and no timeouts, Andy Reid called a pass. McNabb was intercepted in the end zone by McDonald. McDOnald returned the ball 98 yards without scoring a touchdown. He started 5 yards deep and was finally caught at the Philadelphia 7. Philadelphia could have led 31-3 at the half, and Cleveland could have been within 17-10. Instead, the Eagles led 17-3 at intermission.

The Eagles bled the 3rd quarter dry with a 14 play, 8 minute drive that led to a field goal and a 20-3 lead. Another field goal in the 4th quarter had Philadelphia up 23-3. Dorsey was then intercepted, giving Philadelphia the ball at the Cleveland 37. Correll Buckhalter ran 27 yards, and then McNabb threw the 10 yard touchdown pass to Lewis to have the Eagles up 30-3.

Andy Reid then benched McNabb for Kevin Kolb, but this was a good benching. In mop up, Kolb did his part to make McNabb look good by throwing an interception for a touchdown to close the scoring. The score could have been 44-3, or a much closer 30-17, but in the end, the Eagles had a decisive win to stay alive for a playoff spot. 30-10 Eagles


Plug Nickel Saturday

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Some have stated that my column is not worth a plug nickel.

Leaving my family critics out of this, I will only say that while I cannot comment on nickels, I can offer a column dedicated to plugs. No, this has nothing to do with Joe Biden.

Now that the gratuitous plug joke is out of the way, a different kind of plug is the order of the day.

I receive submissions on a daily basis. I try to help people, but time does not always allow for this.

Nevertheless, below are some submissions I have received from people that I am passing on.

My friend Evan Sayet has his monthly “Right to Laugh” comedy show at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood.  The next show is on Tuesday, December 16th. I performed at the January show (unexpectedly, as a last moment fill in), and will most likely be performing at the January show. In December I will be a happy spectator.

My friend Jonathan Schanzer runs the Jewish Policy Center. Jonathan is a scholar on Middle East issues. His new book deals with the intercine warfare between Hamas and Fatah.

My friend Larry Greenfield writes about the rising Anti-Zionism on California campuses.

The Big Dog has thoughts on the current Blago scandal and Obama in general.

For those interested in donating presents to children in Iraq for the holidays, Gayle has the information.

For those wanting to send care packages to the soldiers themselves, Operation Gratitude gets the job done. This Sunday, gorgeous television mom and proud republican Patricia Heaton will be there. She played the wife on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Ben Affleck will also be there.

The wonderful people at Soldiers Angels send gifts to the troops as well. They currently have 93 Jewish military personnel that they are trying to get Hanukkah Menorahs to.

Ray Thomas has a book out entitled, “What’s Wrong in America.”

The Crawfish has a site dedicated to all things military, as the title of the blog implies.

Keith Curtis is a former Microsoft employee. While he left on good terms, he believes in “open source.” Microsoft obviously does not. His book is “After the Software Wars.” The link to the book is in the article.

Dean wants republicans to get back to their limited government conservative roots.

I wish you all a peaceful Saturday. No matter what happens today, just remember that NFL Sunday is only a day away.

Until then, remember that a nickel equals five plug pennies, one for every anniversary of the day we captured Saddam Hussein in that spider hole. You’re welcome, liberals.

This column is dedicated to the blogger Ace of Spades. I have never met or spoken with him, but that was the card Saddam was in the deck of evil.

For those who disagree with me, to quote 1980s rap group De La Soul, that is just “pure plug bull.”


From Blagobama to Blagopalooza

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Whether the scandal involving Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich ends up being known as Blagobama or Blagopalooza will be determined in time. What is important now is to watch events unfold and play out.

As some have expressed, I also have deep reservations about this man being tried and convicted in the media. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is like any other crusader. He likes his own name in the paper.

Nevertheless, this is one of the worst scandals in political history. The charges, while only allegations, are mind boggling.

I will be the first to say that the pay for play scandal regarding the vacant Illinois Senate seat, while deserving more than a shoulder shrug, is not the end all be all of badness.

What truly makes this an epic scandal is the attempt to extort money from a children’s hospital. There are some lines that people do not cross because such behavior is considered unfathomable. Blackmailing sick kids is truly one for the ages. Children are the most vulnerable of us in society, and anything that affects them negatively is viewed in a very harsh light.

Questions are now circulating around everybody from Jesse Jackson Jr. to Rahm Emanuel to even Barack Obama.

The Tygrrrr Express will not be spending time on this story unless actual events in the form of evidence merit further analysis.

Some people feel that this scandal is much ado about nothing. Wrong. An entire corrupt state is out of control, and needs to be cleaned up. O thers feel that this is going to bring down the Obama Presidency before the inauguration. I doubt it. The most likely scenario is that low level people will get ensnared, and then those waiting for the “big fish” will be disappointed. Blago will go to prison, and the news will bludgeon us with more Natalee Holloway coverage until the next political scandal is served up.

Right now the only person accused of any wrongdoing was Blago. Therefore, to even bother making accusations against anybody else would be premature.

Before getting to Barack Obama, it is important to look at the Prosecutor. Patrick Fitzgerald spent 3 years investigating a non-scandal about nothing. He pursued charges against Scooter Libby when he knew the entire time that Richard Armitage was the leaker of the Vanity Fair posing socialite and sometimes secret agent Valerie Plame. Many people to this day still cannot put aside their hatred of President Bush to admit that he was completely innocent of any wrongdoing of any kind in this matter.

If Barack Obama had anything to do with this scandal, then Blago will give him up in a heartbeat. It should not take years to find this out. Fitzgerald needs to lean hard on Blago. This will either implicate or exonerate Obama. Either way, it should be rapid. Also, if Blago implicates Obama, and turns out to be lying, additional charges should be tacked on to Blago. Fitzgerald has to put aside his own desire for a bigger fish if it conflicts with the truth.

With regards to Obama, many are trying to rush to judgment based on his being from Chicago. While I have been very tough on corrupt cities such as Chicago, I was also personally enraged when liberals tried to link President Bush to a non-scandal involving Enron simply because both were from Texas. I live in California, and was living here in 1994. Therefore, under this logic, I could be arrested for the murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

Does Chicago have what appears to be a systemic corruption problem? Absolutely. Are there honest public servants that have represented Illinois? Of course. The late bow tie wearing Senator Paul Simon was considered a man of honor and integrity. It is possible to be in that state and not be a felon.

Bringing things back to Obama, some question how Obama could have escaped Chicago free of corruption. The answer is that Barack Obama has made himself a success by offending nobody. That is the key to Obama. He is inoffensive.

My biggest criticism of Obama during the campaign was that I found him to be an empty suit that stands for nothing. I still feel that way. However, the reason why Obama has become a myth for many people is because he is whatever you want him to be. People project their own hopes and dreams onto him. In other words, just because people agree with him does not mean that he agrees with them. People who will be disappointed in him may need to check the record to see if he ever actually said anything to indicate support.

One fellow I have had the pleasure of meeting was a neighbor of the Obamas while he was a U.S. Senator from Illinois. WHile the neighbor disagreed with virtually everything Obama stood for, he found Obama to be an absolute gentleman. He emphasized to me several times that one word to describe Obama was “polite.” He would listen, nod his head, very calmly and respectfully express differing views, and continue nodding his head in agreement. This had the effect of making Obama appear to be in complete harmony with somebody that he totally disagreed with. This is clever, and perhaps manipulative, but it is certainly not a crime.

Barack Obama minded his manners in Chicago. His ambition was matched only by his politeness. Did he associate with unsavory characters? Of course. Yet he has a reputation for throwing people under the bus the minute they become a liability. That indicates to me that he is not a man who sticks around when corruption is rearing its head. Obama does not stay in one place long enough to develop good or bad habits. He uses people and then moves on. This is not an indictment of the man, despite what may seem to be an unflattering portrait. He is simply a conventional politician.

It may seem like perverse logic, but his lack of loyalty towards those who helped him along is actually less likely to make him corrupt. If anything, he wants to keep his nose clean. He is not a betrayer in the form of Judas. If anything, he simply separates loyalty from blind loyalty. To make the argument that Obama has no loyalty at all seems to be contradicted by his outward and very believable appearance as a loving husband and doting father.

One point that was made about Obama was that if he had serious skeletons in his closet, the Clintons would have absolutely found them. After all, they were not shy about engaging in the politics of personal destruction.

For those wondering why I am taking such a relaxed attitude about Obama, it is because I have no interest in fighting the campaign after the election has ended.

In my mind, Obama is not going to do anything positive or negative until after he is inaugurated. Even if he selects a cabinet member that concerns me, that is still a worry about what he might potentially do. I will wait until he actually does something that bothers me.

I do not want a cloud of scandal hanging over this man. I saw what the left did to a good, honorable man in George W. Bush. I refuse to play the revenge game.

If Barack Obama turns out to be a crook and a liar, the truth will come out. The only obligation Obama has with regards to the Blago matter is to refuse to interfere with the investigation. Personally, I do not even need him to promise to let Fitzgerald do his job. Those are words. If he stays out of the way, he has behaved appropriately.

Fitzgerald has dual obligations. He needs to get to the truth, but not become Javert trying to capture Jean Valjean. America is going through tough times, and we cannot have our entire nation paralyzed.

Clinton’s paralysis was his own fault. He actually was corrupt. He was to blame. Obama does not fall into that category yet. Our enemies cannot become emboldened because America is paralyzed by scandal.

As long as Fitzgerald and Obama behave responsibly, this will be dealt with fairly. Fitzgerald was irresponsible during the Bush Administration during a war. He cannot make the same mistake twice.

If Fitzgerald knows what the truth is, he must not pursue other avenues that may provide him more fame.

As of now, Barack Obama has not been accused of anything illegal. Until and unless that changes, Blago, if convicted, should go to jail. The book should then be closed.