Archive for November, 2009

My Conference Call with Senator Mike Johanns

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I had the pleasure recently of participating in a blogger conference call with Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns.

http://tygrrrrexpress.com/2009/04/ideological-bigotry-my-book-is-now-available/

The call was dedicated to defeating the monstrosity that is the Obama healthcare overhaul.

With that, I present some common sense from Nebraska in the form of Senator Johanns.

“Harry Reid says that the new bill is new, better, and slimmed down. It is just more of the same.”

“This is a multi-trillion dollar bill. It increases costs 2.5 trillion dollars over 10 years.”

“There are historic tax increases in this bill totaling nearly half a trillion dolllars. This bill contains 493.6 billion dollars in new taxes.”

“There is a Medicare payroll tax of 1.95%.”

“Even cosmetic surgery, Reid wants to tax that.”

(Insert Pelosiraptor joke here.)

“There are 28 billion dollars of taxes on employers who do not choose a government approved plan.”

“The plan tries to reduce the deficit by delaying benefits. This is gimmicky.”

“The Democrats are on such a spending spree.”

“Whether pro-choice or pro-life, do the people want government financing of abortions? The polls say no.”

“The Reid bill guts the Stupak language. There will be a whole new era of government provided and government paid for abortions.”

“This has to be stopped now because there are not 60 pro-life Senators. We will never get the Stupak language back in if this passes. Right now we do not need 60. We need 41. We have 40. We need one principled Democratic Senator.”

I aksed the Senator a pair of questions, one serious and one lighthearted.

“Senator, is Khalid Sheik Mohammed covered under this plan?”

The Senator was very matter of fact.

“This bill is such poor policy that it collapses on its own. With regards to illegal immigrants, the sponsors say they are uncovered but there is not money for verification. We can say no to covering them but if you don’t do ID verification then you don’t know. Without strong verification, the rest is meaningless, and there is no impact whatsoever.”

Another blogger asked about whether any Democrats would go along with the GOP filibuster.

“I don’t know where they are going to land. Some articles say they are uncomfortable, but other articles say they will fall in line. i read what you read. I just don’t know where they will land.”

I asked the Senator about a bipartisan approach.

“Senator, what are your thoughts on a bipartisan approach that contains a provision for ideological rationing? If the bill passes, and rationing needs to occur, we give conservatives and opponents of the bill Cadillac plans while giving liberals and supporters of the bill rationed care.”

The Senator is totally committed to defeating this bill, and he made that clear in no uncertain terms.

“This is bad policy for the nation. It doesn’t do what the President promised. This won’t bend the cost curve. The American people are sophisticated. They are not buying this. Medicare costs will go up, and premiums will be raised. This is an attempt to drive an ideological agenda. Obama says one thing and the CBO says another. They used gimmicks to get below the magic number of 900 billion dollars.”

I would like to thank Senator Mike Johanns for his time and his dedication and commitment.

One does not need a PHD to understand how awful this bill is. One just needs to have common sense, which apparently in Nebraska is possessed and practiced in abundance without government help.

eric

NFL 2009–Week 12 Recap

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Five straight days of football…Happy Thanksgiving weekend indeed.

At 6pm this evening I am performing at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal Citywalk as part of Evan Sayet’s “Right to Laugh” series.

http://www.evansayet.com

Now on to football.

Between three games on Thursday while gobbling Turkey and fattening up on the appropriately named stuffing, NFL Sunday and Monday night are just icing on the cake, or whip creme on the pie. Saturday has college games, and the only thing keeping this from being perfect is that the Friday after Thanksgiving no longer contains the Oklahoma vs Nebraska game. Oh well.

Time to relax, make sure nobody else is around, open the top button, wear a long t-shirt so nobody sees I opened the top button, and get down to football.

For those that do not know, another professional football league played this year besides the NFL. No, not the Canadian Football League. I think the Montreal Allouettes are going to the Grey Cup, which leads football fans in America to ask what an Allouette is, and why anybody should care about the CFL unless the conversation is about Warren Moon and Doug Flutie. Yes, The Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers are thrilling.

Not since the XFL brought Tmmy Maddox some fame has a professional football league passed by with such little fanfare. The United Football League (UFL) just played a six game season, and the Las Vegas Locomotives defeated the Florida Tuskers 20-17 in overtime for the championship.

http://www.fanhouse.com/2009/11/27/locos-win-ufls-first-ever-title/

In further news, Al Pacino led the Miami Sharks to a pair of Pantheon Cups.

One bright spot for the UFL (not to be confused with the United States Football League, aka USFL, which brought us the Oakland Invaders, LA Exrpess, Boston Breakers, and Oklahoma Outlaws), was that the winning coach was Jim Fassell. It still stuns me that the Raiders have not hired him in the past. Another UFL Coach, Dennis Green, would also be a great fit for the Raiders. Yet this championship belongs to Jim Fassell, and I hope owners with terrible teams give him a serious look.

Now onto the National Football League.

In 1990, a pair of 10-0 teams both went down in flames in Week 11. I am going to make a pair of bold predictions, knowing that I am “often wrong, but never in doubt.”

Prediction # 1: Both 10-0 teams get shocked today. The Colts have been scraping buy the last few weeks, including barely surviving the Texans. As for the Saints, the Patriots outplayed the Colts, and Darth Vader, aka Bill Bellichick the Hoodie, is devising schemes to give fellow Bill Parcells protege Sean Payton fits.

Prediction # 2: Neither 10-0 team reaches the Super Bowl. In the NFC, in the beginning of the year, I had the Cowboys and the Vikings. I still think the Vikings are the best, and the Cowboys, while underachievers, are loaded from a talent standpoint. Romo also has something to prove. Either of these teams can beat the Saints. In the AFC, I had the Patriots and the Titans. Ok, I missed the mark on Tennessee, but I still think the Colts desperately want to avoid New England in the playoffs. They also want to avoid San Diego, and any team fearing San Diego should not play in a Super Bowl.

With that comes the Week 12 NFL Recap.

Green By Packers @ Detroit Lions was the morning Thanksgiving game. Rarely does a 2-8 team begin a game to cheering throngs, but the Lions won a thriller last Sunday in courageous fashion with Matthew Stafford showing the heart of…well, a Lion actually. The win only 96 hours ago is an instant classic. Even more impressive is that Matthew Stafford played today after getting leveled last week.

The game began with the Lions feeding off of the emotion. The Packers fumbled the opening kickoff, and the Lions quickly began at the Green Bay 20. Stafford, far from 100%, found Calvin Johnson on a 3 yard touchdown pass. Johnson, who is also playing hurt, made a great catch to have the Lions up 7-0. The Packes moved the ball on their opening drive, but Mason Crosby missed a field goal. After a Detroit punt, Aaron Rodgers went deep to Donald Driver for a 68 yard bomb. Rodgers then found Donald Lee for the 5 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

In the second quarter Rodgers found Greg Jennings for a 33 yard completion as the Packers moved in again. However, the drive bogged down at the 3 yard line. Crosby nailed the 20 yard chip shot as the Packers led 10-7 with 6 minutes left in the half. Stafford was then intercepted, and the Packers had golden field position. Yet again after driving deep, the Detroit defense clamped down. A 25 yard field goal had the Packers up 13-7 with one minute left in the half in a game they were dominating statistically. On the last play of the half, Jim Schwartz decided against a 62 yard field goal attempt. From the Green Bay 45, Stafford scrambled around just like the end of last week. Yet for all the maneuvers, this time the ball never left Stafford’s hand as he was sacked from the blind side just before his release.

Early in the third quarter the Packers faced 4th and 2 from the Detroit 36. Mike McCarthy decided to go for it rather than try the long field goal. Rodgers was sacked on a blind side blitz and the Lions recovered. The Lions went 3 and out, and the Packers took over at their own 9. Rodgers went deep again to Driver, who hauled it in again for a 46 yard gain. Rodgers continued to put on a clinic, playing pitch and catch with Driver. A 7 yard connection had the Packers up 20-7. Desperately trying to get back in the game, Jim Schwartz had Jason Hanson try a 54 yard field goal late in the third quarter. The kick missed wide right. Rodgers then tossed a shovel pass to Ryan Grant that went for 27 yards, followed by a 21 yard touchdown pass to James Jones as the Packers led 27-7.

Early in the fourth quarter the Lions showed signs of life when Stafford hit Dennis Northcutt for a 47 yard gain. Yet from the one yard line, rather than even try to run it in, the Lions had Stafford operate out of the shotgun. Three straight incomplete passes later, and the Packers had the goal line stand.

The Lions thought they had another ray of hope when Ryan Grant was tackled in the end zone and fumbled the ball for an apparent touchdown. The play was challenged and ruled a safety, a 5 point differential. Detroit did take the free kick past midfield, but had to settle for a field goal and a 27-12 game. The Lions finished the game with 6 turnovers, 4 interceptions by Stafford. Rodgers finished with 348 yards passing and no picks. Stafford’s final pick was returned for a touchdown by Charles Woodson to complete the scoring. The Lions will improve, and have talent. They just lost to a better team today. 34-12 Packers

Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys was the Thanksgiving afternoon game. For more on the game of the day, go to http://www.justblogbaby.com

The Raiders had a dramatic come from behind win four days ago against Cincy, while the Cowboys had one of the ugliest wins in team history against Washington. The Raiders began this game with Bruce Gradkowski completing a 17 yard pass to Darren McFadden, but the drive stalled and Shane Lechler punted. He did not hit the scoreboard in the Jerry Jones metropolis. Tony Romo came back and completed a 48 yard pass to Miles Austin, but penalties killed the drive. They punted, and the Raiders took over inside their 10 yard line. Justin Fargas ripped off a 21 yard gain, but in a game where both teams had big plays early, drives were not sustained.

With 3 minutes left in the opening quarter, the Cowboys began with a Wildcat formation that totally caught the Raiders off guard. Tashard Choice took the direct snap for a 66 yard gain to the Oakland 10. However, the Silver and Black have hung tough on defense for much of this year, and after pushing the Cowboys backward, a 36 yard field goal by Nick Folk in the final minute of the quarter broke the puntfest and had Dallas up 3-0.

In the second quarter, after an Oakland punt, Dallas took over on their own 11. Facing 3rd and 11, Romo found Jason Witten, who made the first down by less than half the football. That kept the drive going, and Felix Jones then burst through the middle for a 46 yard touchdown run to instantly put the Cowboys up 10-0. After another Raiders punt, Romo hit Marion Barber on a swing pass, and Barber took it 42 yards. Yet again the Cowboys wasted an opportunity when Nick Folk doinked the 49 yard field goal attempt off the upright. Despite being totally outplayed, the Raiders were still in it.

That changed late in the half as the Raiders had no answers for Miles Austin, who had 130 receiving yards in the first half alone. A 10 yard touchdown pass from Romo to Austin occurred only because Austin faked out the entire defense. With 30 seconds left in the half, the Raiders trailed 17-0. The last play of the half featured an aborted Hail Mary attempt where Gradkowski was sacked and fumbled.

The Cowboys looked to end the game quickly when Romo hit Witten for a 38 yard gain on the first play of the third quarter. Yet again the defense stepped up, sacked Romo, and forced a punt. The defense, as has been the case for the last 7 years, was begging the offense to do something, anything. The Raiders did not cross midfield in the first half.

In the third quarter, on 3rd and 3, Gradkowski hit Zach Miller for a gain of 27. On the next play Gradkowski hit Louis Murphy, who was either just over the pileon or at the one yard line. It didn’t matter as a personal foul chop block on Robert Gallery. Yet on 1st and 25 from the Dallas 40, Gradkowski hit Zach Miller, who made a leaping catch for a 12 yard gain. Gradkowski then scrambled for 20 yards. On 2nd and goal from the 5, Gradkowski hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for the receiver’s first NFL touchdown. The 11 play, 88 yard, 7 minute drive had the Raiders within 17-7 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. The Raiders defense held, but a punt pinned the offense back at their own 5. Three plays later, as the third quarter ended, the Raiders set up to punt.

Dallas took over a few yards shy of midfield, and Romo quickly hit Witten for a 44 yard gain, with help from some awful tackling. Romo then hit Roy Williams for the 6 yard touchdown to put the Cowboys up 24-7 only a couple of minutes into the fourth quarter. The remainder of the game was uneventful and anti-climactic. The Raiders reached 4th and 6 at the Dallas 18 during garbagetime, but decided to go for it, turning it over on downs. Time will tell if the win last week was an aberration or a building block. Today was a tough loss on the road 4 days after a grueling win against a team that is well on their way to the playoffs. Dallas is 8-3 and playing like it. 24-7 Cowboys

New York Giants @ Denver Broncos was the Thanksgiving evening game. This was the survival bowl as Tom Coughlin and Josh McDaniels have to figure out if their teams are contenders or pretenders. The Broncos started 6-0 before dropping four straight to come in at 6-4. The Giants started 5-0 before dropping four straight. They broke their slide last week to also come in at 6-4.

A sluggish first quarter had Prater kick a field goal to put the Broncos up 3-0. Prater added another one in the second quarter to have Denver up 6-0 in this less than scintillating game. Midway through the second quarter, the Giants fumbled. From the New York 40, Kyle Orton went deep to Brandon Marshall, who made a spectacular one handed catch for a 30 yard gain down to the 10. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Noshon Moreno banged it in to have the Broncos up 13-0. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half Prater made his third field goal as Osi Yumenioura screamed at anyone in sight with the Broncos up 16-0.

The Giants cracked the scoreboard in the third quarter with a pair of field goals, including a 52 yarder just before the quarter ended. Yet with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Kyle Orton hit Brandon Stokely for a 10 yard touchdown pass to put the game out of reach. For those who desperately wanted one more field goal, Denver added one. The Broncos have temporarily stopped the bleeding, while the Giants may be seeing their season slipping away. 26-6 Broncos

Miami Dolphins     @      Buffalo Bills–Miami moved down the field early, but when Pat White came in for a Wildcat snap, he was intercepted in the end zone. Buffalo added to the offensive excitement of this meaningless game when Ryan Lindell missed a 54 yard field goal. In the second quarter the Dolphins got on the board first when Chad Henne hit Ryan Hartline for a short touchdown as the Dolphins led 7-0. The Bills tied the game 7-7, but again, nobody cared.

In the third quarter Henne hit Hartline for a 20 yard gain down to the one yard line, setting up Ricky Williams on the ground as the Dolphins led 14-7. Early in the fourth quarter te Bills tied the game 14-14 when Fred Davis ran in a short touchdown. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the game, rather than punt and play field position, the new Bills Coach decided to take a big gamble. Ryan Lindell was brought in for a 56 yard field goal. Lindell drilled it, and the Bills led 17-14. With 2 1/2 minutes left, Henne was intercepted, setting up a touchdown bomb from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Terrell Owens, who failed to drop it and complain. The catch put the game out reach, although Jackson added an exclamation point touchdown on the ground to make the game seem much more lopsided that what it was. 31-14 Bills

Carolina  Panthers   @      N.Y. Jets–Jake Delhomme had a pass bounce off Steve Smith’s leg and into the arms of Darrelle Revis, who plays defense for the Jets. Revis returned the pass 67 yards for a score to put the Jets up 7-0. An opportunity for the Jets to pad the lead was missed when Jay Feeley missed  a 48 yard field goal. John Kasay made a 40 yard field goal in the second quarter to have the Panthers within 7-3. With less than one minute left in the half Thomas Jones plowed in from 5 yards out as the Jets led 14-3.

The Jets missed a chance to possibly put the game away when Justin Keller fumbled at the goal line and the Panthers recovered. The entire stadium held their breath when Mark Sanchez went out of the game with an injured leg after a routine tackle. Kelly Clemens came in the game. Sanchez did return to throw his second interception so that Jake Delhomme did not have all the fun, throwing three of his own in the first half. Delhomme did hit Steve Smith for a short touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but on further review the call was challenged successfully. Smith did not have full control. The Panthers settled for another field goal and a 14-6 game. Feeley nailed a 47 yard field goal with 3:40 remaining in the game to lock up the ugly victory. Jake Delhomme added his fourth interception for bad measure. 17-6 Jets

Cleveland Browns     @      Cincinnati Bengals–Shockingly enough, teams that normally play an incredibly dull game stayed true to form and played a dull game early on. A field goal had the Bengals up 3-0. With one minute left in the half Carson Palmer hit Foschi for a short touchdown pass as the Bengals led 10-0. The Bengals got the ball back, and on the last play of the half, Carson Palmer was the victim of a horsecollar tackle. For the second week in a row, the Browns gave the opponent one last chance. Dwayne Rudd was not blamed for this either. Instead of the half ending, Shane Graham nailed a 53 yard field goal as the Browns led 13-0 at halftime. For some reason the second half was played.

Brady Quinn scrambled for a 9 yard gain in the third quarter to get the Browns to within 13-7. Palmer brought the Bengals right back, although another stalled drive led to another field goal. This game was as awful as expected, but the Bengals improved to 8-3 while the Browns prepared to fold for the right to select Tim Tebow. 16-7 Bengals

Indianapolis Colts     @      Houston Texans–The Texans got off to a hot start, and a short touchdown pass had them up 7-0. Chris Brown then ran it in from 3 yards out as the Texans had a 14-0 lead, determined to make up for the near upset they lost the last time these teams faced off. Early in the second quarter, Peyton Manning was then hit as he threw, resulting in an interception. The Texans had the ball at the Indy 40. Matt Schaub went deep to Andre Johnson, who appeared to have a touchdown pass until the ball came out when he hit the ground. Much maligned Kris Brown barely made the field goal, but the Texans led 17-0.

The Colts finally woke up, as Manning led a 5 minute, 74 yard drive. A  9 yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon, who made a juggling catch, had the Colts within 17-7 with 6 minutes left in the half. The Texans did not let up, and another field goal had the Texans up 20-7 with one minute left in the half. Manning was intercepted again as the teams went to the locker room.

Indy have been the Cardiac Colts all year, and Manning immediately led off the second half with a drive that led to a short touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne as the Colts closed to within 20-14. The Colts got the ball back, and decided to go for it on 4th and 1 at their own 40. Joseph Addai appeared stopped on an off tackle run, but a great second effort barely did the job. Yet the drive was wasted when Matt Stover had a short field goal partially blocked 90 seconds into the fourth quarter.

The Colts got the ball back deep in their own territory, and Manning went right to work. After Joseph Addai nearly got blasted hanging onto a short reception, Manning calmly tossed a 31 yard completion. After a defensive pass interference call, Manning hit Dallas Clark for an 8 yard touchdown. The Colts had again come all the way back, and led 21-20 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the game. Seconds later, disaster struck for the Texans. Schaub threw a pass into the flat, and Clint Sessions picked it off and raced 27 yards to put the Colts up 28-20. With 4 1/2 minutes left in the game, Schaub had the ball knocked out of his hand, and the Colts recovered the fumble. Desperately needing a stop, the Texans folded on defense as Chad Simpson barreled through 4 terrible tackles for a 23 yard touchdown to get the Colts up 35-20.

The Texans did score a touchdown with 18 seconds left when Matt Schaub hit Jacoby Jones.A well executed onsides kick gave the Texans a chance, but Tamme smartly slapped it out of bounds for the Colts to end any suspense.

The Texans fell to 5-6 under Gary Kubiak, and may have to run the table to have a chance at their first playoff birth. They led 17-0 as the Colts looked more like the Cots, sleepwalking through the first half. Yet the slumbering giant woke up, and even though the Texans led 20-7, and even 20-14 with 9 minutes left, it did not matter. The Colts did not get to 11-0 under Jim Caldwell by stopping after 51 minutes. Also, with a full 5 weeks remaining, the Colts clinched their division. 11 playoff spots remain. 35-27 Colts

Tampa Bay Buccaneers     @      Atlanta Falcons–Early in the game Matt Ryan went out of the game with an injured foot. Chris Redman came in at quarterback. After a scoreless first quarter, a field goal from 45 yards out put the Falcons on the board first 3-0. In the second quarter Redman had a shovel pass turn into a 22 yard touchdown as the Falcons led 10-0. Josh Freeman responded, going deep to Antonio Bryant for a 38 yard gain. Freeman went deep to Bryant again for a 45 yard touchdown. Bryant appeared down by contact inside the 5 yard line, but Mike Smith did not challenge the call as the Buccaneers were within 10-7. The Falcons were out of timeouts and this time it cost them dearly. The Bucs added a field goal late in the half as the game was tied 10-10.

In the third quarter Lynch blocked a punt, setting up the Buccaneers at the Atlanta 8. Cadillac Williams did the rest as the Buccaneers led 17-10. Redman brought the Falcons back, but the drive stalled in the red zone and a 37 yard Jason Elam field goal had the Falcons within 17-13. On the first play of the fourth quarter, a punt pinned the Falcons at their own one yard line. Mike Smith challenged that it was a touchback. The call stood, and the Falcons had lost a timeout.

Midway through the fourth quarter the Falcons faced a 4th and 4 and the Tampa 34. Mike Smith decided to go for it rather than try a 51 yard field goal with a kicker that had missed from closer. The Falcons converted, setting up a shorter attempt for Elam. He missed again anyway with 6 1/2 minutes left, and the Falcons still trailed by 4 points. With 2 1/2 minutes left it was the Buccaneers that had a chance to expand the lead with a 51 yard field goal of their own. The kick barely missed, and in a game neither team wanted to win, the Falcons had another shot.

Redman found Tony Gonzalez at the Tampa 35 and Jenkins at the 25. For those wondering about the vaunted Tampa Defense, John Lynch and Warren Sapp are retired, Derrick Brooks was cut, Monte Kiffin coaches the defense for his son in College at Tennessee, and Jon Gruden is in the Monday Night Football booth. Redmonds hit Gonzalez at the 10 yard line with 49 seconds remaining. On 3rd and goal form the 10, Redmonds threw incomplete, but defensive holding set up 1st and goal at the 5 with 36 seconds left. On 4th and goal from the 5 with 26 seconds left, Raheem Morris took the final Tampa timeout. Redman hit Roddy White for the touchdown with 23 seconds left. At least the Bucs had a timeout left. Oh no wait, they didn’t because they decided to ice the quarterback, which nobody does. Speaking of ice, Redman may not be Matty Ice, but he was the hero for the day. 20-17 Falcons

Washington Redskins     @      Philadelphia Eagles–Andy Reid went to his bag of tricks early with a surprise onsides kick to start the game. It did not work, and the Redskins began at the Philly 23. Jason Campbell ran it in from one yard out to have the Redskins leading 7-0. Donovan McNabb brought the Eagles right back down the field, and on 4th and goal from the 1, Andy Reid decided to go for it. McNabb threw a touchdown pass, but offensive holding negated the play. The Eagles settled for a David Akers field goal as the Eagles trailed 7-3.

Later in the quarter Deshean Jackson took a punt 29 yards to give the Eagles the ball past midfield. For those who have not followed the Eagles for the last decade, the Eagles should either punt on 3rd and 1 or take a deliberate delay of game penalty since they are terrible in short yardage. This time Michael Vick came in out of the shotgun, and failed to pick up the first down. On 4th and inches Reid went for it, and Weaver summersaulted over the top and barely made it. The Eagles are better in space, and McNabb went deep to Deshean Jackson for a 35 yard touchdown as the Eagles led 10-7. Campbell came right, and a 5 yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss had the Redskins up 14-10.

The Eagles drove within the Washington 10 yard line late in the half, but another penalty forced the Eagles into another field goal attempt, as they trailed 14-13 rather than taking the lead. Philly then got the ball back, and McNabb led them in range again. Akers nailed his third kick as the Eagles led 16-14 at halftime.

In the third quarter Campbell found Devon Thomas on 3rd and 7 for a 35 yard gain as the Redskins were at the Eagles 15. From the 11, Campbell found Fred Davis to put the Redskins back in front 21-16 in this topsy-turvy game. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, McNabb was hit as he threw the ball, resulting in an interception that had the Redskins at the Philly 23. They got not further than the 8, and a short field goal had the Redskins up 24-16. McNabb brought the Eagles back right away, with a 46 yard completion to Jason Avant. With 7 1/2 minutes left in the game, buckly banged it in on 3rd and goal from the one, which may have been the first time in 10 years the Eagles did this. The Eagles took a timeout before the  point conversion. McCoy took a shovel pass and appeared to lose yards, but somehow kept his balance and made it in the end zone to tie the game 24-24.

The Eagles got the ball back and McNabb slowly bled the clock. At the 2 minute warning, the Eagles were in the driver’s seat at the Washington 13. With 1:52 left, Akers kicked a short field goal as the Eagles had the lead again. The Redskins took over took over at their own 16. On 4th and 1 from the 25, Campbell fired incomplete before getting hit. He stayed down and the Redskins were done. It was not pretty, but little about Philadelphia is. They won. 27-24 Eagles

Seattle Seahawks     @      St. Louis Rams–Relatives of the players on both teams cared about this game. Well, some of the relatives anyway. Seattle struck first with a touchdown, but Kyle Boller in place of Marc Bulger brought the Rams back with a short touchdown pass to tie the game 7-7. With less than 2 minutes in the half, the Rams decided to go for it in Seattle territory. Boller threw  a pass into traffic that was batted up in the air, and intercepted for a 64 yard touchdown by Josh Lewis as the Seahawks led 14-7. Just before the half, a 55 yard field goal was drilled to get the Rams to within 14-10.

In the third quarter Boller had the Rams near the red zone, which is Channel 703 on my tv set. Boller went to the end zone and was then intercepted by Jordan Babineaux for the touchback. The Seahawks responded by reaching the Rams 12 before settling for the chip shot Jason Elam field goal and a 17-10 lead. Seattle got the ball back, and seconds into the fourth quarter Justin Forsett had his second touchdown of the day as the Seahawks led 24-10 and the misery that is the Rams continued. Another Forsett run set up a field goal as the Seahawks were coasting 27-10. The Rams scored a touchdown during garbage time, which is not a metaphor for their entire season. They literally scored late. 27-17 Seahawks

Kansas City Chiefs     @      San Diego Chargers–The Chiefs are horrendous while the Chargers are Norvelous. Yet somehow Norv Turner has the Chargers in first place thanks to another Denver collapse that had nothing to do with the Chargers. The Chargers scored a touchdown first, but then Matt Cassel led the Chiefs 91 yards for the tying touchdown. In the second quarter Ladanian Tomlinson scored from one yard out to put the Chargers back in front 14-7. At that point the Chiefs just self-destructed. Cassel went to throw a pass and had the ball slip out backwards without being touched. It was plucked out of the air for a gift Chargers touchdown as they led 28-7.

In the third quarter the pattern continued as the fourth Chiefs turnover led to another short field and the fifth Chargers touchdown, as Tomlinson got it done from a few yards out on the ground to have the Chargers in a rout 35-7. Early in the fourth quarter the Chargers thought they had another touchdown, but Tomlinson fumbled at the goal line. Apparently the Chargers were only mildly disappointed, since they were already up 38-14. A near sack of Cassel led to an intentional grounding call as the safety had the Chargers up 40-14. Nate Kaeding added to the blowout. 43-14 Chargers

Jacksonville Jaguars     @      San Francisco 49ers–Jack Del Rio and Mike SIngletary both know defense, but on this day it was SIngletary who had his guys clamp down. Alex Smith is slowly trying to revive his career, a common theme among the late games. Joe Nedney helped Smith out with a field goal to put the 49ers up 3-0. A rollout bootleg by Alex Smith led to a 2 yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis to make it 10-0. Too many good games require that this game be given the short shrift it deserves as the second half would have cured insomnia. Neither of these teams is consistent, as the 49ers got to 5-6 and the Jaguars fell to 6-5 with the loss. 20-3 49ers

Arizona Cardinals   @     Tennessee Titans–Kurt Warner was out with a concussion, replaced with Pop Warner Matt Leinart. Kerry Collins has lost his job to Vince Young, who has redeemed himself. Leinart is trying to do the same. The Titans have won 4 straight under Young after an 0-6 start, as Jeff Fisher remains one of the best coaches in football. Ken Whisenhunt has his NFC defending champs cruising in first place in the NFC Worst. No, this was not the Rose Bowl, as the USC vs Texas game showed how easy it is to waste potential in the NFL. A pair of field goals had the Titans up 6-0 late in the second quarter of this sluggish contest. At the 2 minute warning the Cardinals kicked a field goal to get within 6-3.

Late in the third quarter in a game with all defense, Chris Johnson broke through and raced for an 85 yard touchdown run that all of a sudden had the Titans up 13-3. A game with no big plays had two of them back to back as Larod Stephens reutrned the ensuing kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown and the Cardinals were right back in it at 13-10. It was the first such return against the Titans in 10 years.

In the fourth quarter the Cardinals got the ball back, and Leinart calmly led the Cardinals on an 80 yard drive. With 12 1/2 minute left in the game, Tim Hightower bowled over people, stayed upright, and found the end zone on a tough 10 yard run to put the Cardinals in the lead 17-13. With 6 minutes left, the Cardinals faced 4th and 1 at the Titans 40. Ken Whisenhunt decided not to gamble, and a perfect punt with even better coverage had the Titans starting at their own 2.

On 3rd down, Young tossed a 22 yard pass for a first down. He then went deep to Britt for a 50 yard gain. Yet Britt got up without being touched, tried to gain more, got belted by Roger-Cromartie, and fumbled it away. With 5 minutes left, the first turnover of the game allowed the Cardinals to dodge a bullet. The Cardinals put the excitement back into punting, as a 64 yard punt was downed at the one yard line. Tennessee had 2 timeouts left, and 2 1/2 minutes remained.

On 4th and 4 from their own 6, forced to go for it, Young completed the first down. Young’s next pass was deflected and caught for a miracle 19 yard reception. With 1:09 left the Titans were at their own 38. Young then hit Jared Cook at midfield. On 4th and 4 from the Arizona 44, Young hit Hawkins at the Arizona 31 with 37 seconds left. Another Young completion had 1st and goal at the 9 with 21 seconds left. The Titans still had their 2 timeouts, while the Cardinals took one on defense. With 6 seconds left, for the 3rd time on the drive, 4th down awaited. 4th and goal from the 10 had the Titans taking their final timeout. Before the play could get underway Arizona took another timeout as well.

Young stepped back, scrambled a bit, fired high in the end zone, and the miracle was answered for the touchdown by Kenny Britt, who redeemed himself from the earlier fumble when it counted most. The 18 play, 99 yard drive made the Titans the first team to start 0-6 to get to 5-6 under Jeff Fisher. Matt Leinart could have been forgiven for thinking that this was the Rose Bowl all over again. He goes back to the bench as Kurt Warner remained stunned on the sidelines. Vince Young finished 27 of 43 for 387 yards. The Cardinals still lead their division, but on this day Tennessee won another game that will be an instant classic. It may not be the Music City Adelphia Miracle, but it was a thriller. 20-17 Titans

Chicago Bears   @   Minnesota Vikings–Brett Favre had the Vikings on the move early, but Adrian Peterson coughed it up to the Bears. After a scoreless first quarter, the first play of the second quarter saw Favre throw his 500th touchdown pass, a 15 yard toss to Percy Harvin. Jay Cutler brought the Bears back quickly, hitting Johhny Knox for a 24 yard score to tie the game 7-7. After the Vikings took a 14-7 lead on a 10 yard touchdown pass from Favre to Chester Taylor, the Bears fumbled the ensuing kickoff. This led to a field goal and a 17-7 Vikings lead. Minnesota got the ball back again, and with 15 seconds in the half Favre hit Vincent Shiancoe for touchdown pass 501. Favre  moved the Vikings 70 yards in only 40 seconds to take a 24-7 lead into the locker rooms.

The Bears got a jolt right out of the gate to second half as Johnny Knox returned the kickoff for an apparent 85 yard touchdown. There were no flags, but he was ruled out of bounds at the Minnesota 8 yard line. The Bears destroyed themselves with back to back sacks of Cutler. The 38 yard Robbie Gould field goal had the Vikings still leading 24-10. Midway through the quarter the Vikings added a field goal of their own form 38 yards out and they reextended the lead to 27-10.

Despite Brett Favre playing at a high level, Brad Childress, who is bald, continues to be a ruthless taskmaster. Apparently Favre was not good enough, because he was benched again despite 392 yards passing. Apparently anything less than 400 is not good enough for Childress. Favre did not seem to mind, since he was laughing. Tarvaris Jackson is becoming an expert at mopup work in blowouts as the 10-1 Vikings are rolling in big fashion. 36-10 Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers     @      Baltimore Ravens was the Sunday night game. This game was why we watch football. The last time these teams met in the AFC Title Game last year, they slugged it out blow for blow until the end. This year they trail several teams in the conference, and neither one is even leading the division. Yet the rematch of these teams is in three weeks, and it is already anticipated. One major storyline was that Ben Roethlisberger was out with a concussion. Dennis Dixon started his first game at quarterback. This game was exactly what was expected, an old school, old time, good old fashioned head knocker.

The game got off to a perfect start for the Ravens as Pittsburgh went 3 and out and the Ravens took over at their own 27. Joe Flacco immediately put on a clinic, hitting Washington for 15, and Mark Clayton for gains of 20 and 12. Ray Rice than ripped off a 19 yard gain to the 4 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Willis McGahee banged it in to put the Ravens up 7-0. The defenses then hunkered down, but less than one minute into the second quarter, Dixon threw his first NFL touchdown pass, a 33 yard beauty to Santonio Holmes, to tie the game 7-7.

The defenses again took over until just under 3 minutes remained in the half.  The Ravens took over at their own 11 a minute earlier, and faced a 1st and 15 at their own 30. Flacco went deep to Clayton for a 54 yard bomb to the Pittsburgh 16.  2 plays later Flacco hit Derrick Mason from 10 yards out with 1:45 left in the half to give the Ravens the 14-7 lead. After converting 3rd and 9 from their own 26, the Steelers had the ball at their own 40 on the last play of the half. In a very curious coaching decision by Mike Tomlin, he chose an off tackle run rather than a Hail Mary with his rookie quarterback, as the teams went to the locker room.

The third quarter was all defense. The game was about field position, and Pittsburgh had one possession that began at midfield, leading to a field goal. The Ravens still led 14-10 entering the fourth quarter. Flacco led the Ravens from their own 20 to the Pittsburgh 34, but on 4th down John Harbaugh decided to punt rather than try the 52 yard field goal. The Ravens got the ball back, and with 12 1/2 minutes left in the game, the Ravens faced 2nd and 7 at the Pittsburgh 38. In a game that was mistake free, the Ravens blundered first. Flacco was sacked and fumbled, allowing the Steelers to start at their own 46.

On 3rd and 1 front he Baltimore 45, Dixon picked up a tough 2 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Pittsburgh 24, Dixon made a name for himself. He rolled out, got a good block, and ran the ball himself 24 yards for the touchdown in front of a shocked Baltimore crowd. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and the rest of vaunted Baltimore defense had given up the big play, and with 6 1/2 minutes left, the Steelers had a 17-14 lead on the road.

The Ravens took over at their own 10, and Flacco went right to work. He hit Mason for 11 yards and Clayton for 20 more. Penalties hurt the Ravens, as they faced 3rd and 22 at their own 29 with 4 minutes left and 2 timeouts. Flacco hit Mason for 17 yards, and with 3 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Ravens faced 4th and 5 at their own 46 and prepared to punt. Then everything changed when Harbaugh called a timeout.

The punt made sense before the timeout, but once the Ravens burned their second timeout, at that point they had to go for it. Flacco hit Ray Rice for a first down, and the Steelers had their defensive breakdown as several missed tackles later, Rice had a 44 yard gain down to the Pittsburgh 10. Yet when it mattered most, the defending champions stepped up big, and the Ravens got no further than the 6 yard line. With 1:56 left, Billy Cundiff kicked the short field goal to tie the game 17-17.

The Steelers went 3 and out, and the Ravens got the ball back with 1:17 left at their own 29 and no timeouts. With 25 seconds remaining, Flacco had the Ravens facing 3rd and 9 at the Pittsburgh 34. Chaos then ensued. Flacco was sacked, fumbled, and a mad scramble had the Ravens recovering. The clock was ticking, and Cundiff ran onto the field to try a 56 yard field goal. The Ravens got the ball snapped just before the gun, and Cundiff’s kick was dead center, but 3 yards short. If ever a game deserved overtime, this game was it.

Before overtime started, Al Michaels showed why he is the best in the business. A+ football games are enhanced with A+ commentary. Michaels pointed out that had Cundiff made his field goal at the end of regulation, it would have been a debacle for the league. Although the Ravens recovered the fumble before the kick, they recovered it 4 yards ahead of where Flacco was sacked. Due to the Holy Roller in the 1970s made famous by Ken Stabler, 4th down fumbled on offense go back to the spot of the fumble unless the person who fumbled it recovered it himself. Since Flacco did not recover the ball, the field goal attempt should have been 59 or 60 yards, not 56. The league dodged a public relations nightmare when Cundiff came up short.

One other commentary from me is that those who complain that both teams should be guaranteed one shot with the ball on offense miss the whole point of sudden death. If defenses would do their jobs, it would not be an issue. These defenses were up to the challenge. The Steelers punted, the Ravens went 3 and out and punted, and Pittsburgh began their second drive in overtime at their own 45. In a game dedicated to a pair of phenomenal defenses, it made sense that the defense would have last word.

On 3rd and 5 from midfield, Dixon was intercepted by another rookie, Paul Kruger. It was a heartbreaking moment for Dixon in his very first game, especially since he had played well throughout the game. Kruger simply made a great grab, and rumbled to the Pittsburgh 28. At that point it was obvious that Flacco was not going to throw another pass. Ray Rice carried the ball 4 straight times. On 2nd and 4 from the 9, Flacco took a knee to perfectly position the ball in the center of the field. From 29 yards, Cundiff nailed it, and the Ravens had the victory. Both teams are in the playoff hunt, and the rematch to this game cannot happen soon enough. Again, this fine game is why football is played. 20-17 Ravens, OT

New England Patriots      @      New Orleans Saints was the Monday night game. The Bill Parcells coaching tree is alive and well, as the Saints have gone from feel good story to potential Super Bowl winners while the evil empire, run by the Prince of Darkness wearing the Hoodie, Bill Bellichick, are as dangerous as ever. The points were expected to occur often with Drew Brees and Tom Brady at the helm, and they did.

Brees brought the Saints to the New England 12 early on, but they had to settle for a John Carney field goal when Sean Payton decided not to gamble on 4th and 1. It might have been the only time they did that as the Saints led 3-0. Brady came back and led a 14 play, 80 yard drive that ate up over 7 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 1 from the 4, Lawrence Maroney was stuffed. Bellichick decided to go for it, and Maroney ran it to give the Patriots the 7-3 lead.

Brees put on a clinic in the second quarter. After a Brady interception had the Saints at their own 41, Brees hit Pierre Thomas for an 18 yard touchdown to give the Saints the 10-7 lead. The Patriots did not keep up in this track meet, and the Saints took over at their own 25. Brees needed one play on what might have been the worst blown coverage in New England this decade. A wide open Devry Henderson could have crawled to the end zone, as the 75 yard touchdown pass had the Saints up 17-7.

Brady came back and hit Aiken for a 33 yard gain on an 11 play drive that stalled at the New Orleans 18. On 4th and 3 the field goal had the Patriots within 17-10. Brees simply came back with a 25 yard pass to Thomas followed by a 38 yard touchdown pass to Robert Meacham to give the Saints a 24-10 lead. On the last play of the half the Patriots missed a field goal.

On the first play of the third quarter Lawrence Maroney fumbled and Cedric Ellis recovered for the Saints. Ellis then tried to run with the ball. Every slow, lumbering guy needs to remember to just fall on the d@mn ball. Ellis perhaps forgot the New England playoff game against San Diego that cost Marty Schottenheimer is job. Ellis fumbled the ball back, and the Patriots capitalized. Brady hit Randy Moss for a 47 yard gain, setting up Maroney from 2 yards to close the gap to 24-17. One play was all Brees needed again, as a 68 yard pass to Marquis Colston set up a 2 yard toss to Dinkins as the Saints were back up 31-17.

Brady came right back and moved the Patriots from their own 18 to a 4th and 4 from the 10. Bellichick decided to go fir it, and Brady’s pass to Moss was well defended and batted away as New England turned it over on downs. In the fourth quarter Brees hit Colston for a 20 yard score. Yes, the Saints did miss a field goal later on, but it did not matter. For the first time in a long time, Bellichick had no answers, especially on defense. With 5 1/2 minutes left, Brady and Moss were pulled from the game. It looked like Bellichick quit, but perhaps he just wanted to keep his stars healthy. Brees finished 18 for 23 for 371 yards and 5 touchdown passes. New England is 0-4 on the road and 7-4 overall. The Saints are 11-0, and looking like a pinball machine on offense. 38-17 Saints

eric

Law and Order Nonsense Saturday

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

For those of you who skip this column, do not worry about missing anything. Apparently America is closed for a few days because of the holidays.

Today is Nonsense Saturday, because that is all that I see around me.

Therefore, I offer a combination of disjointed thoughts on a few issues that range from whatever constitutes opposite ends of a range.

First of all, only in America could an entire news cycle be dedicated to a professional athlete having a driving accident that might possibly involve something but might not.

If ever a story deserved short shrift, this non-story is it. Here is my input.

Tiger Woods is the perfect spokesperson for golf. He is colossally boring, and so is golf. He is a great golfer, which does not make him remotely interesting. Somewhere out there a guy exists who manufactures ball bearings better than anybody else. Hooray. Tiger Woods is as far from the Dos Equis guy on the interesting scale as our President is. Being boring is not a crime. Elevating boring people to interesting status is a waste. Stay thirsty, my friends.

One news story that actually is serious is being treated like a childhood prank. A scheming bimbo desperate to be seen as relevant crashed a White House party and managed to meet the President.

No, not Katie Couric, that ideologically bigoted slutty dancer shaking her badonkadonk while turning her nose up at other women. The other one. If this event had any more useless wannabe flesh candy, it would be the Clinton White House.

As for Mr. and Mrs. Salahi, waterboard them. Or beat the heck out of them in a private room. Burn them with cigarettes if need be. Just do something.

This was not a harmless prank akin to toilet papering somebody’s yard. This was a serious security breach. I don’t have to have voted for President Obama to pray for his safety. The idea that he was not in danger is ludicrous. Anybody that ever breaches his security potentially puts his life in danger.

In private, I hope he bangs his fist on the table and demands that heads roll, whether it be resignations or more. What if this couple had anthrax or something else that would not be picked up by metal detectors?

They wanted to be on a reality show. I say make them America’s Most Wanted.

It was funny when Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson became Wedding Crashers. The Salahis are not funny. They are criminals.

I would spend more time on this but America is asleep from either Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, or Nonsense Saturday. It would not be the first time one of my columns put people to sleep.

Too many people think Law and Order is just a television show.

Which leads me into my next random segue in the great tradition of Larry King Live, an oxymoron if there ever was one (Thank you Evan Sayet for that joke).

Why is Law and Order so d@mn predictable?

I can save you all 20 years of watching this once solid program that is now just liberal blather. Here are a couple things that sum up the show.

First of all, if there are four suspects, three of them are white, and the fourth one is black, the black guy is automatically innocent. There is no way he did it. For those who do not know, the American crime statistics are wrong. 95% of all violent crime is committed by rich, white, Republican, investment bankers.

Folks, Wall Street has its share of greed, but men in navy blue suits with red and blue diagonal neckties are not out murdering people. For those who want to say that they are killing society metaphorically, this show is about murders in the literal sense. Minorities are victims, as corporate white executives bludgeon minorities on the street during their three martini lunch breaks.

More importantly, the level of the crime is predetermined by the number of Powerful Bald White Guys (PBWGs) barking orders.

PBWG Level 1 usually involves the phrase “One Police Plaza is all over my @ss!” Then the guy storms off.

PBWG Level 2 has another guy show up with his military uniform on with all of his medals. He growls, “The Mayor is all over my @ss!”

PBWG Level 3 is like Defcon Highest Level. At that point it gets kicked up to the Governor (Donald Shalvoy is an Eliot Spitzer character played brilliantly by Tom Everett Scott, a Tom Hanks lookalike, only balder.) or Fred Thompson.

Law and Order worked when Sam Waterston, aka arrogant liberal gasbag Jack McCoy, was the number two guy. He would get bombastic, and Fred Thompson’s Arthur Branch would calmly, and I am paraphrasing, say “sit your liberal @ss down McCoy.”

Even when the boss was a liberal, Stephen Hill as Adam Schiff was great. His answer to everything was “Make it go away. Offer him a deal.” McCoy would ramble on, and Schiff would remind him was that his job was to put away bad guys, not save the world.

Now McCoy is like any other raging liberal with unchecked power.

Without Fred Thompson, Angie Harmon, or even Dennis Farina doing his tough guy Chicago cop routine, the show is just another left wing program. They should just bring in Dixie Carter and rename it “Designing Women.”

No wait, I take that back. May those ladies never be on my tv again.

Some of you may think that Julia Sugarbaker is not worth discussing today. Oh, and Tiger Woods is?

What the heck should I discuss? I live in a country where Saturdays are dedicated to commercials about a “Snuggie” for dogs. Anybody who bought that or bottled water for their dogs on Black Friday should face black and blue Saturday for spending this money when others are hurting.

Sunday is football and on Monday politics returns. Those days cannot come soon enough.

Some of you think I have a masterful ability to say so much and say so little.

No, that would be our current President and Vice President. At least I don’t pretend to be important.

For them, every day is Nonsense Saturday.

eric

Green Bay      @      Detroit

(Green Bay by  10, they win but fail to cover)

Oakland      @      Dallas

(Dallas  by  13.5, they win but fail to cover)

N.Y. Giants      @      Denver

(N.Y. Giants by   6.5, they win but fail to cover)

Miami      @      Buffalo

(Miami by   3, they cover)

Carolina      @      N.Y. Jets

(N.Y. Jets by  3, upset special, Carolina wins outright)

Cleveland      @      Cincinnati

(Cincinnati  by  14, they cover)

Arizona      @      Tennessee

(Tennessee by  1, they cover)

Indianapolis      @      Houston

(Indianapolis  by  3, upset special, Houston wins outright)

Chicago      @      Minnesota

(Minnesota by  11, they cover)

Tampa Bay      @      Atlanta

(Atlanta  by  12, they win but fail to cover)

Washington      @      Philadelphia

(Philadelphia  by  9, they win but fail to cover)

Seattle      @      St. Louis

(Seattle by  3, they cover)

Kansas City      @      San Diego

(San Diego  by  13.5, they win but fail to cover)

Jacksonville      @      San Francisco

(San Francisco  by  3, upset special, Jacksonville wins outright)

Pittsburgh      @      Baltimore

(Baltimore by  2.5, they cover)

New England      @      New Orleans

(New Orleans by   3, upset special, New England wins outright)

eric

Black Friday

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Like many of you, I enjoyed a good Swanson dinner derivative yesterday and watched 9 hours of football plus highlights, or in the case of the Raiders, lowlights.

Thanksgiving Thursday is in the bag, and now it is time for Black Friday 2009.

That reminds me, I really hate it when I try to write a column and I keep getting interrupted. Anyway, the interruption is not your concern. It has already passed for now. Back to Black Friday.

(Not to be confused with “Back in Black Friday,” a pre-weekend party ritual involving lots of rock group ACDC and people in short skirts. Sadly, it is men, and they are kilts.)

I am so sick and tired of these politically correct holidays. Look, having a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. is fine. Black history month is fine, although I have no idea why February was chosen instead of January. Wouldn’t it make sense to have MLK Day be during black history month?

The truth behind that is that racist white politicians made a deal with black leaders, a sort of compromise. February used to be 31 days. To balance the lunar calendar with the solar calendar, three days needed to be eliminated from the calendar. The compromise gave February as black history month, but February was reduced from 31 to 28 days.

Yet at some point Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson need to stop meddling. Do we really need another million man march today? This whole black Friday thing is just another feel good ebonics type…

Wait, hold on one second. Somebody just slipped me a piece of paper. Well now, this is embarrassing. Apparently black Friday has nothing to do with race or politics.

Ok, so black Friday obviously deals with Wall Street. Can we all stop whining about the stock market? Trading is always light the day after Thanksgiving, so even a market drop today really should not be overanalyzed. Stocks go up, stocks go down. Stop being glued to CNBC. It’s not like CNBC is the NFL Network or ESPN. Get lives.

Oh no, another interruption and another piece of paper. Apparently those reading the front page of the Wall Street Journal can just skip and go to the editorial pages. Black Friday has nothing to do with the stock market or any financial matter.

Ok, in sports news, today is Silver and Black Friday. I would like to congratulate the Oakland Raiders on a spectacular victory. The ticker tape parade is in order. It is about time the team started winning and…

Sheesh, can a guy write a sports column without being bothered. Well apparently another note scribbled in crayon has confirmed that the Raiders lost again, and that black Friday is not happening in Oakland or anywhere else due to anything sports related.

So if it is not about sports, politics, or business, then a certain individual who is not even close to being well rounded is unaware of black Friday.

That’s it. It is historical. We are back in the dark ages. Some people worry about bird or swine flu. We should be worrying about the resurgence of the Bubonic plague. Oh lord, I knew we should have quarantined those kids today. Now they will be sick all weekend. I am not an expert on medicine but…

You know, these notes are beginning to make me feel like I don’t know what I am talking about, even more way off base than usual.

I can’t stand the hassle of trying to write this column. I need peace and quiet away from everybody. I need a place where I can be by myself.

That’s it. I can go to the mall. After all, Thanksgiving is over, people are back at work, and the stores should be empty.

Hey, who and where is the person throwing spitballs at me? Oh, they are big notes. Hmm, apparently black Friday is about soccer moms killing each other over some Furby, Elmo, Garbage Patch Kid, or other toy that is to be given at another holiday celebrating peace and love.

(In a tangent even irrelevant for this column, one hilarious guys t-shirt I saw had a downward pointing arrow with a sign that said, “Tickle THIS Elmo.”)

Do they call it black Friday because the women give each other black eyes when fighting over the last toy?

If only there was a solution.

Actually, there is. Forget swine flu. The only pork product of today is pig Latin. The word “be,” as in “to be or not to be,” in pig Latin is pronounced “eBay.”

I don’t even have to leave my condo today. Heck, I can eat my lunch, watch more football highlights, buy sports stuff, and…well whatever else it is that people do.

I think I will take a nap. Off to close the shades, close my eyes, and block out all of the interruptions and distractions.

Now THAT is black Friday I can believe in.

Now shut the heck up Elmo. I am trying to sleep.

eric

Solitary Confinement Thanksgiving 2009

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

After weeks of traveling, the Tygrrrr Express is spending Thanksgiving 2009 in solitary confinement in my Los Angeles condo. Please do not cry for me Argentina. I am fine. One set of friends had me over for a pre-Thanksgiving meal last week, and another set of friends did the same this past Tuesday. I had offers to go places this year, but I could use the rest. It is health for people to be comfortable in their own skin.

My parents never celebrated holidays, so a Swanson dinner is just fine. I can catch up on paperwork and plan the rest of my year and 2010.

Actually, this is my favorite time of year because it is the only time with five straight days of football. In addition to Thursday with the Lions and Cowboys, the regular games on Sunday and Monday night, and college games on Saturday, even Friday offers fare. Growing up was the annual Oklahoma vs Nebraska game. I miss that game. I have never been to either state, but I rooted for Nebraska because Tom Osborne was the good guy while Barry Switzer was the outlaw.

This Thanksgiving has the Green Bay Packers at the Detroit Lions at 9:30am, The Oakland Raiders at the Dallas Cowboys at 1:15pm, and the New York Giants at the Denver Broncos at 5:20pm. The Raiders game is another reason I am in solitary confinement. They have won one game in a row, and I do not want to be around children if I have to say bad words.

Before getting to those that I am thankful to know, the list only contains people who have helped me regarding my career as a blogger, author, and public speaker. So if you are a family member or longtime friend, let it go. Chances are I like you.

Since most of you have no idea who these people are that I am thanking, that is at the end. With that, I am now offering my (barely) annual updated list of what I am…and am not…thankful for.

Surely I can put aside partisan griping on this holiday. No, that is what Yom Kippur is for. Rather than give you something that flows, I feel you all deserve nothing less on this holiday than disjointed musings.

I am thankful that I belong to a rich religion in Judaism that has 6000 years of traditions.

I am not thankful for the fact that a bunch of crazy Arabs in the Middle East think they will get 72 virgins for blowing Jews up. Oh, and I wish we had the oil.

As awful as the Raiders are, I am thankful it is football season.

I am not thankful for the fact that I still get bored between February and September, mainly because baseball is boring. I say give the NFL players a month off, and have a second season.

I am thankful for the fact that any woman would want to sleep with me, and that enough have…well not enough ever, but enough for this moment.

I am not thankful for the fact that no woman I have ever dated has developed laryngitis. Can a guy watch the game in peace?

I am thankful for Republican Jewish brunettes.

I am not thankful for the fact that their Republican upbringing often involves being taught about chastity, abstinence, and other issues that make religious people zealots. It is also tragic that the women that want to get buck wild are liberal outside of the bedroom as well, and again, refuse to come down with laryngitis.

I am thankful to live in Los Angeles, where the weather is gorgeous, and the jacuzzi water is perfect year round.

I am not thankful for the fact that Los Angeles is the plastic capital of the world, where women visit my jacuzzi year round only because my dad is a movie producer (actually he is a retired schoolteacher, but mercenaries beget mercenaries).

I am thankful for the fact that I live in America, the greatest nation on Earth.

I am not thankful for the fact that half the population loves America not for what it is, but for what they want it to be. Their prescriptions may have us fleeing to Mexico for a better quality of life in a generation.

I am thankful for the fact that a guy with screws loose who has unhealthy fascinations with Susan Boyle and Monique from Showtime at the Apollo can become a successful blogger, author, and public speaker

I am not thankful for the fact that this country has sunk so low on the lowest common denominator scale that people would spend one minute of their life reading about some blogger that has unhealthy fascinations with Susan Boyle and Monique from Showtime at the Apollo.

I am thankful that in America, anybody can become President, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity.

I am not thankful for the fact that so many guilty white liberals will vote for empty suits whose only noticeable quality is their race, gender or ethnicity.

I am thankful that I understand the beauty behind Thanksgiving, and how it represents the spirit of harmony and the resilience of the American spirit.

I am not thankful that I live in a nation where public schools are declining so rapidly that in 20 years they might not know what this holiday is about.

I am thankful for the fact that I am free to practice my religion, even though I am not Christian.

I am not thankful for the fact that Christmas starts two months in advance, and that the day after Thanksgiving, mothers who preach about peace and love will be trying to kill each other with shopping carts to get the last Elmo, Furby, Garbage Patch Kid, or whatever toy the toy stores tell these sheep to buy.

I am thankful that Ebay and Craigslist allow me to avoid the malls altogether.

I am not thankful for the fact that hot women in their 20s have to go to the mall, rather than just try on their miniskirts in front of my home mirror, with a rose in their teeth, and my teeth through their miniskirts.

I am thankful that America has the military force to blow up nations like Iran and Syria that could use a good @sskicking.

I am not thankful for the fact that bombing these nations into the stone age will not improve them because they are already there.

I am thankful that circumstances have led to a holiday that is marked by sleeping in late, watching football, eating meat, getting stuffed, and then going back to sleep. Heck, we even have a food that is named after the concept of getting stuffed, aka stuffing.

I would like to thank God, my family, my friends, and my readers, for indulging me. I have a platform, and I am grateful that I am still liked even though I have never once used this platform responsibly or in a way that would improve society.

Happy Politically Incorrect Overindulgent Eating Meat and Watching Football Day!

eric

The following people have led to the Tygrrrr Express as a full time existence.

Greg Neyman, aka the Hat, showed me in 1997 what the internet was. This led to eBay and Jdate, where I do most of my pleasure shopping.

Lara Berman in March of 2007 convinced me emphatically that I should become a blogger. Had she not been a Republican Jewish brunette, I may have ignored her insistence. She is still hot.

Jamie Krasnoo, who over a decade earlier built my first computer, taught me about WordPress, where setting up a blog was so easy that even a caveman could do it. Yeah, I know. I should shave.

Mark Harvey, a blogger himself known as Snooper, was the first person to read my blog and ask me for permission to copy my words onto his blog with proper credit. I had about 10 hits a day at that point, and it told me that somebody out there read me.

Micky2 is a guy living in Hawaii. I have never met him, but he became my first regular reader who did not know me in real life. He agrees with me on most issues, but more importantly he told me that I made a difference in my life. He definitely made a difference in mine. I now have many readers, but he was the first.

Jersey McJones became my first contrarian. I disagree with him on most issues, and he rips into my arguments on most days. Yet make no mistake about. Contrarians are good for America. He keeps me on my toes, which forces me to try and strengthen my own arguments. I have many critics, but he was the first.

In real life, my friendships are long term. It is humbling to know that when readers come to my site, whether publicly or privately, they stick around.

Susan Duclos, aka Spree, had me be a guest blogger on her site, increasing my readership.

Larry Greenfield in 2004 was Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. I met him at a party, and he got me involved with the RJC, which has led to lifelong friendships across America. I initially joined to meet Republican Jewish brunettes, but began caring about issues. In 2007 Larry put me on a panel in San Francisco with Richard Baehr and Thomas Lifson of American Thinker. That was my first public political speech.

Georgette Gelbard told me that I had a future as a public speaker. I never worked with her, but her enthusiasm got me excited about speaking more.That day she introduced me to Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, and that Wekend I also met Cinnamon Stillwell. Both of them have helped me add serious blogging work as a counterbalance to my more lighthearted fare, while making a difference in the Jewish community.

Georgette also got me invited to Restoration Weekend, put on by David Horowitz and his Freedom Center. I met Ward Connerly at that event.

Doris Ohayon worked in Larry’s office at the RJC. She has been an amazing friend. Except for relatives and Nancy Reagan, no woman has my respect as much as Doris. She asked me to be the person to introduce Andrew Breitbart at an event. I would also like to thank Andrew Breitbart for the opportunity to blog at Big Hollywood. That really increased my readership.

The biggest spike in traffic I ever had by far came from Matt Drunk at the Drunk Report, a brilliant satire of the Drudge Report. I am beyond thankful for his link.

Larry Greenfield introduced me to radio host Hugh Hewitt. After vetting me for about a year, Hugh Hewitt linked to one of my columns, and had me as a guest on my radio show.

Through Larry I met conservative comedian Evan Sayet, who does a national “Right to Laugh” series of conservative comedians. He took a chance on me to do a ten minute set, and now I am a regular.

Klara Bergman got me my first paid speech, a 10 minute undercard to the Thousand Oaks Republican Women’s Federated. Rosemary Licata was the President of that group, and she gave the approval.

Chad Everson of the Grizzly Groundswell and Doug of the Stix Blog convinced me to cover the 2008 GOP Convention in Minneapolis as a blogger. I met tons of people that weekend, including radio host Armstrong Williams, who had me on as a guest. Oh, and me, Chad, and Doug slept in a sportsbar that week. It was awesome.

In April of 2009, my book, “Ideological Bigotry,” was published. Armstrong Williams and Ward Connerly wrote the endorsements on the back.

Celeste Greig of the Reseda-Tarzana Republican Women’s Federated gave me my first attempt to speak as a headliner of an event. This was in May of 2009.

In the Summer of 2009, the Simi Valley Republican Women’s Federated had their Golden Anniversary Gala at the Reagan Library. Sarah Palin was going to speak, and then it was announced that she would not. President Peggy Sadler and Vice President Patricia Saraceno took a chance on a virtual unknown in front of hundreds of people. That speech launched me.

Richard Baehr and Thomas Lifson offered kind words about me to radio host Dennis Miller, resulting in me being a guest on his show.

Jay Hoffman introduced me to Sean Hannity and other Fox News muckety mucks. We shall see. It was great of him to do so.

My boss, knowing how much I loved my job and public speaking, gave me his full encouragement to try and succeed full time as a public speaker. While I still consider myself a stockbrokerage professional, after 15 years, in September of 2009, I decided to become a full time public speaker.

I began traveling anywhere and everywhere, speaking to large groups of several hundred such as at the Reagan Library, and small groups such as one chapter of the Republican Women’s Federated in San Diego. It was me and ten ladies sitting around the table. They were delightful. I sold six books, and one of the women was on the county, which led to more speeches. I will not turn down small groups.

I traveled all throughout California, but wanted to go national. The Republican Jewish Coalition sent me to Chicago with encouragement of RIchard Baehr, Ventura County with support of Mitch Silberman, Ls Vegas and Reno with support from Leo Bletnitsky and Don Kaplan, and Arizona with support from Amy Laff.

I even got to meet Stevie Rivenbark, who is the current Miss Wilmington, and a top ten finisher in the Miss North Carolina pageant. I got to go to the 2009 National Young Republican Conference in Indianapolis, making new friendships and lining more YR events nationwide. I also struck of friendships with the College Republicans as well.

Sydelle Rothstein introduced me to radio host Elise Richmond, who has had me on her show.

Through Larry Greenfield and Evan Sayet I met Gary Aminoff, the Vice Chair of the California Republican Party. Through Celeste Greig I met Jane Barnett, the Chairwoman of the CRP. Through Evan Sayet I met Vladimir Cymbal. Val has told many people about my book. Val also helped me get to Indian Wells for the 2009 Spring CRP Convention, where I made many contacts.

At Indian Wells, I met Don Genhart, the Prince of Palm Desert. Don is the Dos Equis Guy without the Beard. He knows everybody, and they all find him fascinating. He has introduced me to many people.

Woody Woodrum and Ari David have both had me emcee kickoff events for them. Being the first speaker at a new organization or event is a thrill.

Finally, on November 13th, 2009, I was flown to Galveston, Texas, to speak to the 2009 Texas Federation of Republican Women’s entire state convention. I am so thankful for TFRW President Toni Ann Dashiell for taking a major chance on somebody unknown in Texas who lived in the People’s Republic of Los Angeles. I sold 100 books that weekend. When I got home, I looked in the mirror, and realized that I really can do this.

I met Scott Gluck through Doris Ohayon. He has me as an RJC Guest blogger. No matter where I go, I want my Republican Jewish identity to be a major part of everything.

Only 11 weeks after beginning to speak publicly full time, I now have plenty more speeches in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida, and beyond coming up.

I have even been an undercard several times to Chuck DeVore, who hopefully will be the next U.S. Senator from California. He and his wife Diane are great. Being his opening act allowed me to open for Jim Rutledge, who is running for Senate in Maryland.

On December 16th, 2009, I speak at the Marin County GOP holiday party near San Francisco.

The Bay area contains dear friends Lisa and Bob Cohen, and David Blumberg. I met them through the RJC.

Yet beyond this, San Francisco matters for two reasons. First of all, that is where I had my very first speech two years ago. I actually have fans now. They tell me that they saw me at that first speech.

Secondly, I am the undercard at this event. The headliner is Tom Del Beccaro, the Vice Chairman of the Republican Party and most likely the next Chairman. In Indian Wells, he introduced me to Greg Poulos, who treated me with much kindness. I met Tom Del Beccaro at that first San Francisco speech through Larry Greenfield.

This incredibly small world really does tie together.

So as I enjoy the solace and solitude of a quiet Thanksgiving at home while watching football, I feel truly blessed. I am not alone. I have so many friends and supporters who believe in me.

Also, that is before getting to those long time friends and loved ones that could care less about politics but care about me. They are too numerous to mention, but I am the luckiest guy on this planet.

Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

eric

This column was written under protest

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

My column today was written under protest. It can be found at the Republican Jewish Coalition site.

http://www.rjchq.org/Blog/blogdetail.aspx?id=33711e1d-b218-4ef8-b68c-ff4ee03cac5c

eric

Meeting Gil Hofman

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

I had the pleasure recently of meeting and listening to Jerusalem Post Chief Political Correspondent Gil Hofman.

http://www.jpost.com/

Mr. Hofman has inside access to the top politicians in Israel, and is respected throughout the country as a fair, honest and tough correspondent.

The event took place at USC Hillel.

http://www.uschillel.org

Mr. Hofman was interested in presenting a non-partisan but informative analysis of Israeli attitudes toward present Obama and other issues. Israeli opinion is not monolithic, nor is it static. It has been in the shape of an arc. Analysis and dissection of his remarks is fair, but he was interested in a descriptive presentation where we drew our own conclusions.

With that, I present the words of Gil Hofman.

“I am often referred to as the ‘most optimistic man in Israel.’ Then again, I am only 32 years old.”

“I moved to Israel from Chicago because Chicago politics is too clean for me.”

“In Israel, there was curiosity. Chicago to them used to be Al Capone. Then it became Michael Jordan. Now it is about Barack Obama.”

“Israelis were excited at first because he was new. People would give me messages in Hebrew to give to him. I would say that he did not speak Hebrew. They would say ‘Just give it to Rahm.’”

“Now when thinking about Chicago, Israelis laugh about the Olympics. AMerica lost to naked dancing people from Rio De Janiero.”

“Israel believes in peace in the Middle East the same way we believe in the Messiah, in the same way that people in Chicago believe the Cubs will win the World Series, in the same way we in Israel believe that Jerusalem will get the Olympics.”

“Following Israeli politicians is like following my children, ages three and one. It is about cleaning up messes.”

“We have had so many historic elections lately, not just in America and Israel. Elections have taken place in Lebanon and Iran. Technically, those were elections. January 20th brings Palestinian elections.”

“The United States and Israel went in opposite ideological directions for similar reasons. Americans are tired of what they perceive as a failed war, so they swung to the left. Israelis are tired of what they see as a failed peace process, so they swung to the right.”

“At the start of the 2008 campaign, Israelis looked at Obama and did not understand why Americans wanted an inexperienced guy.”

“Near the end of the campaign Obama was referred to as a ‘Mavrik.’ Mavrik is similar to the word maverick we kept hearing during the campaign, but mavrik actually means ‘shiny, brilliant, and cool.’”

“When Benjamin Netanyahu met George Mitchell, Bibi gave Mitchell a baseball from the inaugural season of the Israeli Baseball League. He knew that Mitchell was a big baseball fan. Mitchell asked him why the ball was blue. Bibi responded that ‘We make everything hard here.’”

“What causes problems between allies is not disagreements but surprises.”

“At their May meeting, Obama sprung a surprise on Netanyahu regarding settlements, breaking prior agreements.”

“Obama thought that this would soften Palestinians. It didn’t. It hardened them. Palestinians set new preconditions. They and the United States went backwards. Israelis went forward with the peace process.”

“1.7% of the West Bank is populated by Jews.”

“Obama then lost more support in Israel with the Cairo speech.”

“It started out positive. He said ‘Don’t throw Israel under the bus.’ He spoke of the ‘unbreakable bond.’ He spoke of womens’ rights, and Muslims helping each other. This was all positive.”

“Then he started with ‘on the other hand.’ WHen he said that ‘Palestinians suffered too,’ Israelis cringed. This is because Israelis feel bad, but not guilt, over Palestinian suffering. They brought it upon themselves.”

“A proposal was originally made to have Jerusalem under the auspices of five states, that being Israel, the Palestinians, the United States, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Palestinians said no.”

“Obama then made it out that Israelw as created from European guilt. This is wrong.”

“Israel is not about 1948 C.E. (A.D.). It is about 1948 B.C.E. (B.C.). Abraham was born, and Jews have been Israel ever since all but 200 years. We spent 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in Babylonia, and then made some wrong turns.”

“Palestinians deny the Jewish people, Jewish history, and Jewish sovereignty anywhere and everywhere.”

“After the Cairo speech, a poll was taken in June of 2009 asking Israelis about Obama’s views toward Israel. 40% said he was neutral, 50% said he was Pro-Palestinian, and 6% siad he was Pro-Israel.”

“in a subsequent poll, the 6% dropped to 4%. The margin of error was 4 1/2%, which means that those not yet born objected to Obama.”

“Obama then had two meetings with the Saudis, asking them to recognize Israel. They said no. At that moment Obama had nothing.”

“Bibi constantly uses the word reciprocity. This allows him to stay on his track because he has said that Israel has done enough, and that the Palestinians must do their part.”

“The final straw was when Obama was seen in the Oval Office with his shoes on the table talking on the telephone with Bibi. In the Middle East, that is seen as disrespectful. Remember when that one reporter threw his shoes. Circulating that picture was seen as a gesture to humiliate Netanyahu.”

“Obama realized how he was perceived in Israel. Determined to repair this image he then circulated a different picture. Obama put his arm on Bibi’s shoulder in front of Mahmoud Abbas. This was seen as a Obama telling Netanyahu that he supported him. Israelis liked this.”

“In New York, the words ‘real peace’ were used, as opposed to just a piece of paper. There were no preconditions. That was another positive step.”

“In discussing settlements, Israel was asked to show ‘restraint.’ This was different from ‘cessation.’ Israel showed restraint for six years. This was again positive language.”

“Obama also planned on attending the Yitzchak Rabin Yartzeight (memorial) in Tel Aviv. He made plans to speak to the Jewish Federation in Washington, DC.”

“Then U.S. and Israel planned joint military exercises, and the United States helped Israel with a sophisticated radar system for Israel to defend itself against Iran.”

“Obama dislikes deadlines. He prefers ‘reassessment.’”

“There are political, economic, and military approaches to Iran.”

“The international economic crisis lowered gas prices , and combining that with sanctions could work. Netanyahu believes this can be successful even without Russia, China, and the United Nations.”

“Like any Israeli, I hope for the best and pray for the worst.”

“When given secrets, I tell my dog. If secrets break out, I ask my dog what happened.”

“Netanyahu believes that preventing a nuclear Iran will increase the chances of a successful peace process. Obama dismissed this viewpoint.”

“Israel then captured an Iranian ship with tons of explosives meant for Hamas and Hezbollah.”

“A Rosh Hashanah poll asked Israelis if they felt that the next year would be better. 28% said no, 11% had no opinion, and 61% said yes. I hope and pray they are right.”

“Muslim growth in Europe is actually good for Israel because it worries Europe.”

“A side note about Rahm Emanuel…his dad is my kids’ pediatrician.”

“Netanyahu was raised in Philadelphia. His chief of staff is from Los Angeles.”

“Those who are surprised why Rahm Emanuel has not stood up for Israel should understand that Rahm was a member of Meretz, a far left party outside the mainstream of Israeli politics. Rahm has meretz views. Bibi’s coalition left out the extremes on the left and the right, yet Meretz is still represented by Rahm.

“Avi Lieberman has been investigated for the last 13 years. This is good and bad for Bibi.”

“Netanyahu is pursuing a Berlin Wall strategy, with Gaza on one side and the West Bank on the other.”

“Palestinians want a homeland. They are emigrating from Detroit to Ramallah.”

“In the United States, Obama’s popularity fell while Netanyahu’s popularity rose in one year. Now that is change.”

I asked Gil Hofman one question, and he was blount in his answer.

“Mr. Hofman, has it entered into Netanyahu’s calculation that the penalty for defying Barack Obama is absolutely nothing?”

Mr. Hofman indicated that this was indeed part off the equation.

I would like to thank Gil Hofman for offering a fascinating perspective on the high hopes Israelis had for Obama, how those hopes plummeted, and how on the surface, there appears to be some recovery.

For now I maintain a very healthy skepticism as to whether his “change” was sincere or just poll driven. As with everything else, time will tell.

eric

Texas Republican Women–Galvanized in Galveston

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I recently had the pleasure of attending and speaking to the Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) at their 2009 biennial convention in Galveston, Texas.

http://www.tfrw.org/

I have spoken to many RWF chapters. I have even spoken at the county level. Yet to address an entire state convention of such a prestigious organization was an honor and a privilege.

I would like to thank Toni Ann Dashiell for taking a chance on some guy living in California. I called her out of the blue, and she did her due diligence, vetting me thoroughly. Mrs. Dashiell is the President of the TFRW, although her term ends at the end of this calendar year. Rebecca Bradford is the incoming President. Along with Mrs. Dashiell, outgoing First Vice President Rebecca Williamson also treated me with kindness.

I had been to Dallas once and Houston once, but had never been to Galveston. What little I saw, I loved. The San Luis Resort where I stayed was pure paradise. I highly recommend it for anyone.

http://www.sanluisresort.com/

A lovely Friday evening mixer was followed by an even lovelier Saturday evening gala dinner. Texas Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Controller Susan Combs, and many other notables were in attendance throughout the weekend. Attorney General Greg Abbott was particularly inspiring. Physically, he is confined to a wheelchair, but emotionally he lifted everybody in the room. He amused the crowd with stories of how his daughter creatively works his wheelchair into Halloween costumes.

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/

I spoke to Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst for a couple of minutes, and delivered a simple message.

“Mr. Dewhurst, I’m not a Texan. I live in the People’s Republic of California. Everything you have heard about our state is true. It is completely dysfunctional. We have liberals holding the state hostage. You have conservative governance. I am pleading with you, please don’t let what happened to my home happen to your state.”

He assured me that there was no way that would happen. Texans understand concepts such as creating a climate where businesses can actually do business. They know what has happened to California.

In addition to elected officials, party leaders keep Texas on the right track. For those who want to see strong leaders in charge, Cathie Adams is the Chairwoman of the Texas Republican Party.

http://www.texasgop.org/

The convention itself had something for everybody. Several workshops provided a variety of speakers. Workshops on healthcare, climate change, and diversity in the GOP were all providing fresh policy perspectives meant to counter the conventional lack of wisdom. I had the honor of being the other workshop, which was a comedic presentation from a conservative viewpoint.

If somebody would have told me I could wish for anything, I would ask them to airlift me, drop me off at a convention center, and have me land in a room with hundreds of cheering Republican women who appreciated football and red meat.

Ladies from Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Galveston, and all over Texas welcomed me into their state and their hearts. I have made friends I will have for life, and have been extended several invitations to come back to virtually every nook and cranny of the Lone Star State. My goal is to accept every invitation.

As for the ladies of the TFRW, from the President on down to each attendee, it was obvious even to a fellow from California why Texas is a functional state. Men may hold the top offices, but they don’t get elected without the ladies licking envelopes, making phone calls, and of course, holding fundraisers and writing checks. Even the ladies of modest means took great pride in knitting sweaters and blankets for the troops.

It was put in perspective for me when one woman pointed to some of the ladies and told me that, “When President George Herbert Walker Bush enters the room, these ladies call him George.”

That was a reminder to myself that while there was plenty of fun, there were plenty of responsibilities, and these ladies expect things done right. I did my job, and was treated well for it.

The ladies bought copies of my book, and I happily signed copies until my shoulder was ready to fall off.

At the gala dinner, an electrified crowd celebrated the Republican women of Texas. Incoming National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) President Sue Lynch was in attendance. Actress Janine Turner of “Northern Exposure” and “Friday Night Lights” spoke about her experiences.

While I am used to pledging allegiance to the American flag at Republican functions, each event also had people pledging allegiance to the state flag of Texas. Californians might seriously wish to consider adding this ritual at their own state events.

After the gala ended, one of the ladies in the room looked at me eyeing the stage and inquired, “You want to meet Janine Turner, don’t you?”

I looked at her and said, “I want to meet Sue Lynch. Janine Turner is not the President of the NFRW.”

The woman laughed, and introduced me to Mrs. Lynch. I promised to work hard for her nationwide.

Later that evening, by sheer coincidence near the elevator, I did meet Mrs. Turner and her daughter. They were just as kind and thoughtful as everybody else I met.

The best way to understand the ladies at this conference is to understand their work ethic.

The slogan of the Republican Women’s Federated is 5W.

“When Women Work, We win.”

These ladies are an inspiration. More importantly, they were inspired at this conference.

We were all Galvanized in Galveston.

As the 2010 elections get closer, there is palpable energy and optimism.

I know I will do my part. There is no doubt that the ladies of the TFRW will do their part.

Besides, one year after the 2010 elections is another major event. The TFRW have their 2011 biennial convention in Fort Worth.

It will be tons of fun, but for now there is plenty of work to do. It was an honor to kick off the 2010 campaign with some of the finest women in America, the ladies of the TFRW.

eric

NFL 2009–Week 11 Recap

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Finally after several weeks on the road I get to enjoy an NFL Sunday at home with the guys.

Yet before there can be an NFL Sunday, a Slamathon Saturday was in order. My coed touch football team Kiss Da Baby, formerly known as Slamathon, began the week with some controversy.

Our team captain Scott announced that despite being defending champs, our team was called out by the other team. Why would they be trashtalking? I suspected something was amiss.

I called out our captain by email, stating that he was manufacturing enemies to get us motivated. Michael Jordan used to do this after the Bulls had beaten everyone. He would claim the Knicks were disrespecting him, even though they were crying in their locker rooms insisting they did not say anything.

Captain Scott showed the email we received. It was insulting. We were out for blood. Our theme for the week was Rubik’s Cube, where everybody wore multicolors and exchanged them. I made it clear that pink underwear was not to be worn by the men unless it was a laundry mishap.

While I am a role player on a great team, technically I scored the winning points. Leading 20-6, I caught the pass for the 2 point conversion to make it 22-6 at halftime. In the second half I dropped a pass due to blindness. I was wearing shades, and in the fourth quarter the sun had gone down. Some players lose the ball in the sun. I lost it in the blackness. Nevertheless, we held on 34-20. My 2 point conversion adds to the legend that is in my own mind.

After the game I asked Scott which player sent the offending email. He confessed that I was the only player on the team that figured it out, even though I did not stick to my convictions. He made it all up. He Michael Jordaned us. In my case, it worked. I was ready to rip off limbs.

Thanksgiving is not until later in the week, but what I am thankful for right now is watching football at home. I am even more thankful that several weeks after badly played blowouts, this week brought a ton of thrilling finishes.

Enough hyperbole. Let’s get down to football.

Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers was the Thursday night game. I truly believe the NFL Network drew the short straw because the matchup of two teams in separate conferences does not offer any rivalry or compelling storyline. Nevertheless, both defenses were laying the lumber in what turned out to be an exciting football game.

Jake Delhomme got the Panthers on the board early with a 12 play, 5 1/2 minute drive that bogged down at the 7 yard line. The John Kasay field goal had Carolina up 3-0, but the defenses stiffened after that. Both teams failed to pick up 3rd and 1 at their own 41, and punted. In the second quarter the Dolphins got going. Chad Henne led an 81 play drive over 5 1/2 minutes, capping the drive off with a 14 yard touchdown pass to Ricky Williams as the Dolphins led 7-3. Late in the half a punt return had Miami starting a drive at the Carolina 29. Ricky Williams ran it in from one yard out from a Wildcat snap as the Dolphins led 14-3 at the intermission.

In the third quarter a 50 yard run by Deangelo Williams was wasted when Delhomme was intercepted at the Miami 4 yard line. The Panthers moved to the Miami 8 yard line but settled for another field goal to pull within 14-6 less than a minute into the fourth quarter. When Miami chewed up 7 minutes over 11 plays, the field goal that put them up 17-6 midway through the fourth quarter appeared to end the game. Instead these teams were just getting started. 52 minutes of grinding was followed by 8 minutes of excitement.

The Panthers came to life on offense as Delhomme hit Steve Smith for a 27 yard touchdown where Smith made a ridiculous one handed catch. The 2 point conversion had the Panthers within 17-14 with over 5 minutes to play. Miami then faced 3rd and 12 at their own 39, but the Panthers could not stop them as Henne hit Bess for 15 yards. On the next play Ricky Williams broke through for a 46 yard touchdown run that had Miami up 24-14 with 4 minutes left. Again, the game seemed over, and again it was not.

Delhomme moved the Panthers 50 yards, and a 48 yard field goal had the Panthers within 7 points with 1:41 left. The onsides kick failed, and Miami had the ball at the Carolina 35 with 1:41 left fully prepared to end it. With 44 seconds left, facing 4th and 3 from the 28, Tony Sparano decided to go for it rather than risk a field goal block. A successful kick would have iced it. The Panthers held. Delhomme hit Barnridge for gains of 29 and 17 yards, and one final Hail Mary from the Miami 26 fell incomplete as this time the Dolphins finally ended it. John Fox had a team that fought to the end, but fell short at home. 24-17 Dolphins

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys–A scoreless first quarter led to a thrilling 45 yard Shawn Suisham field goal as the Redskins led 3-0 against an underachieving Dallas team trying not to lose twice on the road to an inferior team. Dallas missed a field goal late in the half to prevent this awful game from being tied. A scoreless third quarter led to another thrilling Shawn Suisham field goal as the Redskins led 6-0 with 11 1/2 minutes left in this awful game. With 7 minutes left, Suisham was brought in for a 50 yard field goal attempt to ice things. He missed, and the Cowboys had good field position. Was there any doubt that an incredibly bad Washington team would find a way to lose? No.

Despite a miserable game, Tony Romo hit Patrick Crayton with 2:41 left to take a 7-6 led. Despite a good game, Jason Campbell was intercepted with 1:46 left to continue the misery of the Jim Zorn era under Daniel Snyder. As for Jerry Jones, 1.2 billion dollars into a stadium should inspire better play. The win allowed Wade Phillips and the entire team not to be deported to Gitmo. The Cowboys are at home on Thanksgiving to Oakland, but despite being 7-3, nothing comes easy for this team. 7-6 Cowboys

Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions–A pair of 1-8 teams played because the NFL refused to cancel this game. A 3-3 tie was broken when Brady Quinn threw a 59 yard touchdown pass to put the Browns up 10-3. Quinn came back and threw a 40 yard touchdown pass to Chauncey Stuckey to make it 17-3. Matthew Stafford completed a deep ball, but it was to Wright, who plays defense for the Browns. The 44 yard return inside the 10 yard line set up Quinn’s third touchdown pass of the opening quarter as the Browns became the greatest 1-8 team in history to throttle an even more woeful team that somehow won a game, with a 24-3 Cleveland lead. The four yard touchdown toss went to Joshua Cribbs. Yet these are still the Browns.

Brown came back for Detroit, as a 26 yard touchdown run closed the gap to 24-10. In the second quarter Stafford found Kevin Smith, who is not the guy who made the movie “Clerks.” The 25 yard touchdown had the Lions within 24-17. Apparently these teams forgot that awful teams should not put on exciting games, but the Lions came all the way back and tied the game 24-24 when Stafford went deep to Calvin Johnson for a 75 yard touchdown pass. Just before the half Cleveland retook the lead as the 51 point aerial circus closed the half with the Browns up 27-24.

In the third quarter Stafford led Detroit down the field, with a 1 yard touchdown pass to Heller putting the Lions on top 31-27. In the fourth quarter of a game that slowed considerably, Stafford gave up a safety as the Browns closed to within 31-29. Later in the quarter Joshua Cribbs barreled over tacklers down to the one yard line. Quinn Hit Michael Gaines on 3rd and goal to complete  14 play, 7 minute drive that covered 75 yards. The 2 point conversion with 6 minutes left had the Browns up 37-31.

Yes, both of these teams are awful. It does not change the fact that this was one of the great games this year, with one of the most exciting and inspirational finishes in some time. A game like this is why people watch football, and why any football game is better than the best of any other sport.

Good football was not played the next couple of minutes as Phil Dawson kicked the ball out of bounds. Yet Stafford went for all the marbles and was intercepted in the end zone with 3:40 left to play. The Browns ended up punting, and with 1:46 left, the Lions took over at their own 12. Stafford hit Johnson for gains of 13 and 17 to the Detroit 46 with 45 seconds remaining. 11 yard passes to Pettigrew and Heller set the Lions up at the Cleveland 32 with 8 seconds remaining. Then all heck broke loose on what was expected to be the final play.

Stafford scrambled all over the place, turning into the second coming of Fran Tarkenton. Stafford got belted as soon as he threw the Hail Mary. As he lay motionless on the ground, the ball was intercepted in the end zone and Cleveland celebrated the win. Yet there was a flag on the play. Dwayne Rudd no longer plays for the Browns, and nobody took their helmet off. The hit on Stafford was legal. There was no roughing the passer. Yet defensive pass interference in the end zone was called. Are you kidding me? That never gets called. Apparently it does. The Lions were given one untimed down from the one yard line. Except Stafford could barely hobble.

With everything on the line, Dante Culpepper was brought in for one play without any preparation. Anything from a fumbled snap to heroics would await him. Yet a timeout was called, and when play resumed, a gimp Stafford hobbled onto the field. One play, no time, and one yard to go. The only thing missing was Burt Reynolds. Stafford took the snap, and rather than hand it off, fired to the end zone where Pettigrew caught it between defenders. Stafford clutched his shoulder in agony and hobbled off the field again. A missed extra point would have meant overtime, but Jason Hansen completed the miracle comeback.

I will say it again. This is why we watch football. This is what we learn from football. Brady Quinn threw 4 touchdown passes and over 300 yards. Rookie Matthew Stafford, brought in to save an entire franchise, passed for 422 yards and 5 touchdowns, with the final yard being just enough. The Lions battled back from down 21 points early on. Speculation about Eric Mangini and Jim Schwartz can wait. This was simply a fine football game. It did not have the significance of the Indy vs New England thriller, but it was every bit as exciting a game from start to finish. 38-37 Lions

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers–This game mattered in 1998 as a pair of mediocre teams squared off. Green Bay is coming off a shocking win of Dallas, the other team form the 1990s. On 4th and inches from the Green Bay 29, Mike Singletary opted for the field goal and a 3-0 49ers lead. The Packers added a pair of field goals of their own to lead 6-3 early in the second quarter. Green Bay then turned the game into a blowout in the second quarter.

Aaron Rodgers hit Greg Jennings on a 64 yard touchdown pass to put the packers up 13-3. Rodgers then led a 10 play, 81 yard drive that took almost 5 minutes, with a 7 yard toss to Nelson making it a 20-3 game. Green Bay added a field goal before the half to make it 23-3 in a game that was more lopsided than even the score indicated. Yet the second half featured a dramatic comeback.

Alex Smith drove the 49ers in the third quarter to a 4th and 2 at the Packers 28, where an incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs. Yet the next time the 49ers had the ball, a 38 yard touchdown pass from Smith to Michael Crabtree made it a 23-10 game. In the fourth quarter a Green Bay punt had the 49ers starting at their own 2 yard line, where Smith was promptly intercepted. Ryan Grant ran it in from one yard out as the Packers led 30-10 with 11 minutes remaining. Yet this game was far from over.

A 76 yard kickoff return by Morgan was followed by a 3rd and 10 Smith pass to Vernon Davis for a 24 yard touchdown to make it 30-17 only 30 seconds later. The Packers went 3 and out when Aaron Rodgers was sacked on 3rd and 2. The 49ers took over at their own 17 with 8 1/2 minutes left. A facemask followed by a 20 yard pass t Isaac Bruce had the 49ers at midfield. A 35 yard completion to Crabtree set up a 10 yard touchdown pass to Frank Gore as the 49ers were within 6 points with a full 6 minutes left.

Yet the Packers took over at their own 9, and never gave the ball back. Rodgers completed a critical 5 yard pass on 3rd and 4 from the Green Bay 15. Despite no Steve Young, Troy Aikman, or Brett Favre, who oh by the way still plays, this game was still more exciting in the end than it was for three quarters. 30-24 Packers

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs–An interesting statistic is that the defending champion Steelers had given up either a special teams return or defensive return of a touchdown in seven straight games. Despite playing the pathetic Chiefs, the streak continued when Charles returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown with help from terrible tackling to put the Chiefs up 7-0. Reality then set in. After a Pittsburgh field goal, Big Ben ROethlisberger heated up, finding Hines Ward for an 8 yard touchdown and connection and Heath Miller for a 10 yard score to put the Steelers up 17-7 at halftime.

In the third quarter Matt Cassel hit Pope to get the Chiefs to within 17-14 on a 21 yard touchdown pass. Big Ben led Pittsburgh right back, when one play turned the game. Roethlisberger was intercepted in he end zone by a slow, lumbering Studebaker. Jason Studebaker, like his namesake, ran out of gas after a 94 yard interception return inside the Pittsburgh 10. Rashaard Mendenhall raced down the field to prevent the score. It made the difference as the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal and a 17-17 tie.

Early in the fourth quarter Roethlisberger hit Mendenhall for an 8 yard touchdown to put the Steelers back in front 24-17. Yet Cassel brought the Chiefs back with a 91 yard drive that culminated in a 2 yard pass to Charles. The Steelers had dominated statistically, but the game was tied 24-24 with 5 minutes remaining. Neither team could move the ball and he teams went to overtime.

The Steelers took over on their 20, and only 2 minutes into overtime, Roethlisberger ad the Steelers facing 2nd and 3 at the Kansas City 49. Roethlisberger at that point was 32 of 42 for 398 yards and 3 touchdown passes. Yet he did not top 400. On the next play he was sacked for a 1 yard loss. Even worse, offensive holding was called. Even much worse than that, Roethlisberger  took an accidental knee to the head. He was knocked out of the game. He watched from the sidelines as Charlie Batch came into a game in overtime after having no reps in practice with the starters. Mike Tomlin preaches toughness, and now the team had to hunker down.

Batch calmly completed a 17 yard pass to Santonio Holmes for a first down. The Steelers then faced 3rd and 2 from the Chiefs 35. This was long field goal range. Mewelde Moore got the ball on a sweep and lost 3 yards. Running East and West in that situation is awful play calling. Run North and South. Yes, I know, Tomlin has a Super Bowl ring and players have to execute. From the 38, Tomlin played field position and punted, resulting in a touchback. On 3rd and 5 from the 35, a short pass from Cassel to Chris Chambers ended up becoming a 61 yard gain all the way down to the Pittsburgh 4 yard line. Todd Haley took no chances, and on first down Ryan Succop kicked the 22 yard field goal to win it.

Losing a tough one last week does not excuse losing against a bad team this week. Also, Kansas City winning last week did not forecast this week. Pittsburgh hopes Big Ben is healthy. As Chris Berman tells us after games like this…”That’s why they play the games.” 27-24 Chiefs, OT

Atlanta Falcons at NY Giants–A 38 yard field goal had the Giants up 3-0 as they tried to snap a 4 game losing streak against an Atlanta team that has been unimpressive on the road. The Giants defense looked like a team on a losing skid when backup running back Snelling barreled in for a 12 yard touchdown to put the Falcons up 7-3. The Giants did retake the lead 10-7 on a touchdown to Kevin Boss, and Atlanta missed an opportunity when a 35 yard field goal attempt was shanked. The Giants capitalized as Eli Manning moved Big Blue right down the field. On 3rd and 3 from the Atlanta 5, Manning hit Boss again for a touchdown with 18 seconds left in the half as the Giants led 17-7.

In the third quarter the running backs displayed attitude as Snelling ran it in from one yard out for the Falcons, and battering ram Brandon Jacobs responded with a 2 yard score of his own as the Giants led 24-14. Matt Ryan then led a staggering 18 play, 70 yard drive that bogged down at the 7 yard line. Jason Elam kicked a field goal to get the Falcons within 24-17. Yet Manning came right back and led the Giants 79 yards in almost 5 minutes, with a 3 yard touchdown pass to Hedgecock giving the Giants a 31-17 lead.

However, losing streaks do not end easily, and Matty Ice kept the Falcons in it. Ryan led a 12 play, 65 yard drive that ate up 6 minutes, with a 4 yard touchdown pass to Weems getting Atlanta within 31-24. The Giants failed to salt the game away, and Ryan led another 12 play drive that covered 76 yards. With under 30 seconds remaining, Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for an 11 yard score to tie the game 31-31. Overtime awaited.

Eli Manning went to work in the extra period, and with workmanlike efficiency, moved the Giants into field goal range. Lawrence Tynes from 36 yards out did his job, and the Giants under Tom Coughlin have finally stopped the bleeding. As for the Falcons, they fought hard, but their season is in jeopardy. 34-31 Giants, OT

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers–The 9-0 Saints traveled to play the 1-8 Buccaneers. Early on Josh Freeman hit michael Clayton for an 18 yard touchdown pass as the 1976 Bucs…oh wait, this team won a  game…the 2009 Bucs…led 7-0 over the unbeaten Saints. Reality then set in. Drew Brees tossed touchdown passes of 8 and 10 yards sandwiched around a field goal to have the Saints up 17-7.

A fumble in the third quarter by Freeman led to Brees hitting David Thomas for an 11 yard touchdown as the Saints coasted at 24-7. Bell ran it in from 3 yards out to put the Saints up 31-7. This did not make up for their losing to the Bucs in 1977 to end the 0-26 streak, but it got the 2009 Saints to 10-0. The Saints love Sean Payton, while the Bucs miss Jon Gruden. If the Glazer family needs to find him, he is in the Monday Night Football booth. As for the Saints, they are clicking on all cylinders. 38-7 Saints

Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars–Dick Jauron has been fired, leaving only Norvelous Norv Turner as coaches that somehow survive. A game that mattered little was played anyway, and the teams traded field goals early on. Midway through the second quarter, with Buffalo leading 6-3, Maurice Jones-Drew banged it in from 3 yards out to put the Jaguars up 10-6. Buffalo added a third field goal to pull to within 10-9 at intermission.

In the third quarter from their own goal line shadow, a deep bomb to Terrell Owens went for a 98 yard touchdown pass. Owens then demanded a new contract or a trade. The 2 point conversion failed, which can never be blamed on Dick Jauron ever again, as the Bills led 15-10. The defenses took over, although the Jaguars moved to the red zone with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the game. David Garrard was then hit and fumbled, ending the drive. Buffalo went 3 and out, and the Jaguars took over at their own 32 with 6 minutes left. Garrard hit Sims-Walker for 12 yards and Torry Holt for gains of 15 and 6. A 20 yard completion to Sims-Walker led to a critical 3rd and 2 at the Buffalo 4 at the 2 minute warning. Jones-Drew picked up just enough. Jones-Drew lost a yard from the one, but Garrard hit Sims-Walker from the 3 for the score. The 2 point conversion had the Jaguars up by a field goal with 56 seconds left.

With 26 seconds left, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw high for Terrell Owens. Owens had it bounce off his hands that have dropped so many passes over the years, resulting in an interception to end the game. The throw was off, although T.O. will most likely blame the media or the Federal Reserve. Oh no wait, those are Ron Paul supporters, who invited me to a rally today as if I would miss an NFL Sunday at home. It was ugly, but Jack Del Rio tells his guys to play hard nosed and keep chopping wood. Today they did. 18-15 Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens–John Harbaugh decided to rely on his defense early on despite an injured Terrell Suggs, deferring the opening kickoff. It almost worked, but on 3rd and 12 Peyton Manning went deep to Reggie Wayne for 55 yards. Manning then found Dallas Clark, who made a ridiculous one handed grab on an overthrown ball for a 7 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Colts lead. The Ravens came back with a Billy Cundiff field goal, an interception of Manning, and another Cundiff field goal to pull within 7-6.

Manning went deep and was intercepted again, this time by Ed Reed, and with 5 minutes left in the half a third Cundiff field goal had the Ravens leading 9-7. Jim Caldwell then benched Manning. No, of course not. The field general brought the Colts right down the field again, and Joseph Addai ran it in from 5 yards out to give the Colts the 14-9 lead with 1:23 left in the half. That was enough time for Joe Flacco and Billy Cundiff, as a fourth field goal sent the teams to the locker rooms with the Colts clinging to a 14-12 lead.

The Colts turned it over a third time in the third quarter, but came away unscathed when Cundiff, who had made 4 field goals, missed his 5th try, a chip shot that was hooked wide. Yet the Ravens got the ball back, and with 10 minutes remaining, Cundiff connected to put the Ravens up 15-14. The Ravens did reach the one yard line, but Gary Bracken lasted the Baltimore running backs in the opposite direction. Manning then brought the Colts down the field, and it was Indy that had retaken the lead with a field goal at 17-15 with 7 minutes left.

Flacco came back again, and with 3 minutes left, the Ravens were in the red zone.Yet the go ahead field goal attempt never happened as the mistake free Ravens finally turned the ball over as Flacco was intercepted by everywhere defender Gary Bracken with 2:42 to play.

Both teams had all of their timeouts. John Harbaugh blundered even worse by calling a timeout before challenging a 3rd and 1 conversion by the Colts. The challenge lost, but worse was that because he called a timeout before the challenge, both timeouts were lost. The Colts eventually punted with 30 seconds left, when veteran and future hall of famer Ed Reed made one tragic mistake. Trying to make something happen, he lateraled the punt return to nobody, and the Colts recovered. Jim Caldwell and his team are 10-0, the first time since 1990 that two teams are 10-0. The Ravens lost another heartbreaker. 17-15 Colts

Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings–Brett Favre was playing, which is why anybody cared about this game. It would have been more compelling had the Walrus Mike Holmgren still been coaching. Yet Matt Hasselbeck was back and playing against his former mentor again. A scoreless first quarter gave way to Favre tossing a 23 yard touchdown pass to Percy Harvin to put the Vikings up 7-0. With 5 minutes left in the half, Favre found Vincent Shiancoe on a short slant pass for another touchdown as the Vikings led 14-0. Seattle fumbled the ensuing kickoff, as Favre hit Bernard Berrian for a 3 yard otuchdown to put the Vikings up 21-0 with one minute left in the half.

In the third quarter Favre threw his fourth touchdown pass, a gorgeous rainbow to Sidney Rice, who caught it between defenders to put the Vikings on cruise control at 28-0. The Seahawks finished with a total of 4 yards rushing. Speaking of 4, that may touchdown passes were thrown by the guy wearing that jersey. Favre, who apparently at age 40 is no longer good, was benched. Apparently Brad Childress, who is bald, is too much of a taskmaster. Not even four touchdowns, 22 of 25 passing, and a 9-1 record was good enough. Tarvaris Jackson got to play. 35-9 Vikings

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams–The Rams have not been the smae since Kurt Warner was thrown under the bus for Marc Bulger. The Cardinals are the defending NFC Champions. The Rams are as awful as they were before Warner showed up a decade ago. The Greatest Show in the Desert looked to lambaste the team no longer the Greatest Show on Turf.

A 40 yard field goal had the Rams up 3-0, but then the Cardinals went to work. Warner quickly moved the Cardinals 87 yards, with a 5 yard toss to Anquon Boldin putting the Cardinals up 7-3. The Cardinals got the ball back, and Warner moved them even further, taking them 90 yards. An 11 yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald had the Cardinals up 14-3. The Cardinals then tried a short drive, going only 78 yards. Wells ran it in from one yard out to make this scrimmage a 21-3 Cardinals lead.

One criticism of the Cardinals is that they go to sleep and try to coast to the end of games. In this case it was injury, as Kurt Warner got knocked out of the game with a concussion. Kurt Warner was replaced with Pop Warner, aka Matt Leinart. In the third quarter a long drive by the Rams stalled at the 3 yard line. A field goal had the Rams within 21-6. In the fourth quarter a 12 play drive led to a one yard run by Stephen Jackson. The Rams were within 21-13 with plenty of time left. Yet plenty of time was not enough as Bulger got knocked around to the very end. The Cardinals did just enough to win for Ken Whisenhunt, as Leinart failed to lose the game. Luckily for the Cardinals, who are praying for Warner’s speedy recovery, the Rams are what we thought they were. 21-13 Cardinals

New York Jets at New England Patriots–Early this season Rex Ryan was a genius, Mark Sanchez was in the hall of fame, and the 3-0 Jets had a swagger by beating the Patriots. The Jets were the new bullies on the block. Then reality set in as the Jets lost 5 of 6 before limping into New England. Bill Bellichick, fresh off of stinging criticism for singlehandedly letting his arrogance blow the game to Indy, once again had a rallying cry for his players to circle the wagons. Circle they did.

The Patriots outgained the Jets 264-29 and in first downs 16-2. Lee Bodden returned a Sanchez interception 53 yards for a score to put the Patriots up 7-0 early on. Tom Brady then hit Randy Moss for a  4yard touchdown to complete a 76 yard drive to give the Patriots a 14-0 lead. In the second quarter Lawrence Maroney ran it in from 2 yards out to make it 21-0. Brady led the Patriots 10 plays over 5 minutes to cover 44 yards, as a Stephen Gostowski kicked a 26 yard field goal to make it 24-0.

With everything going right for the Patriots, the Jets got a couple of breaks. A blocked punt was returned 4 yards for a score to get the Jets on the board. Although New England came right back, a missed field goal before the half left the door ever so slightly open as the Patriots led 24-7.

In the third quarter, Sanchez hit Jerricho Cotcherry for a 29 yard touchdown to close the gap to 24-14. Yet Sanchez finished 8 for 21 for 136 yards and 4 interceptions. Tom Brady finished 28 of 41 for 310 yards. Lawrence Maroney ran it in from one yard out to turn out the lights as New England increased their stranglehold on the division. 31-14 Patriots

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders–For more on the game of the day, go to http://www.justblogbaby.com

Despite a miserable existence for the Silver and Black that began with Dexter Jackson in the Super Bowl, a very slim ray of hope appeared in the form of Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback. JaMarcus Russell, who wears the jersey # 2 because that is how he plays, has finally been benched by Tom Cable and forced to hold a clipboard. Had he done that the first time without a lengthy holdout, he might be a better player today in terms of a complete bust. Gradkowski is no superstar, but he can be a game manager. As for Marvin Lewis, he held the team together through lean years, and last week a big win on the road over Pittsburgh put them in the division lead at 7-2.

The game began in typical Raiders fashion. Carson Palmer led the Bengals 78 yards in 14 plays over a ridiculous 9 1/2 minutes. Palmer took it in himself from one yard out to make it 7-0 Bengals. In the second quarter Palmer led a 68 yard drive that took 5 minutes. Palmer again ran it in from one yard out as the Bengals led 14-0 in what appeared to be another blowout. Yet this time the Raiders hung tough. Bruce Gradkowski led a 71 yard drive, and a 10 yard touchdown pass to Zach Miller had the Raiders within 14-7. The Raiders got the ball back late in the half, but a 57 yard field goal attempt by Sebastian Janikowski was no good.

The Raiders kept scrapping in the third quarter, and a 10 play, 5 minute drive led to a 52 yard field goal by Seabass, who nailed this one to make it 14-10. The Raiders had a breakdown on defense when Scott took a short pass made a pair of defenders miss like Keystone Cops, and took it 61 yards to the Oakland 19. On 3rd down an incomplete pass appeared to end the drive. Yet a roughing the passer call on Stanford Routt gave the Bengals new life. I have been very critical of Routt, and still maintain that he is a major weak link for our secondary. He makes way too many mistakes. Yet for once, Routt redeemed himself. On 3rd and goal from the one, Palmer tried play action. Routt was not fooled, and he sacked Palmer for an 18 yard loss. Even more amazing was that Shane Graham missed the 37 yard field goal.

Even more amazing than all of this was the fact that the most penalized team of the decades were playing nearly flawless football. The Routt penalty was the first flag on the Raiders all game. You read that correctly. It is possible to compete when not making mental mistakes.

The Raiders had all the momentum, and Gradkowski had them on the move again. Yet again, the offense self-destructed. Michael Bush has been playing well this year, but after a solid run he got leveled, fumbled the ball, and saw the Bengals return it 38 yards to the Oakland 13. Again the SIlver and Black were combining solid defense with awful offense. Again the defense stepped up, and on 3rd and 5 from the 7, Stanford Routt perfectly defended a pass as the Bengals were forced to try a chip shot field goal. Graham connected, and the Bengals led 17-10 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

The Raider punted on their next possession, and while the Raiders were stuffing the Cincinnati running game, they could not get off of the field on 3rd down. On the last play of the 3rd quarter, on 3rd and 12 from their own 24, Palmer hit Laverneous Coles for a 40 yard gain to the Oakland 36. On 3rd and 10 Palmer hit Caldwell for 12 yards. Yet from the 14 yard line, the Bengals fumbled and the Raiders pounced on it. 11 1/2 minutes remained and the Raiders had life.

Gradkowksi moved the Raiders to their own 47, but on 3rd and 1 Justin Fargas got stuffed. Tom Cable ignored the booing of the crowd and had Shane Lechler punt. Lechler did his job, and the Benglas began at their own 10. The Oakland defense knocked them backwards, and the Raiders took over at the Bengals 43 with 6 minutes left and a golden opportunity. Gold quickly turned to ashes as Gradkowski was hit as he threw, resulting in an interception. Even worse, Cable this time did let emotion get to him, as he unsuccessfully challenged an obvious pick, costing the Raiders a timeout.

The Bengals moved the ball and bled some time, but on 3rd and 4 from near midfield, a pass was well defender. The Bengals punted for a touchback, and the Raiders had one last shot from their own 20 with 2:12 remaining and 2 timeouts plus the 2 minute warning. An ounce of life from this anemic offense would reward an inspired defense.

Darren McFadden picked up 6 yards at the 2 minute warning, and Gradkowski hit Zach Miller for a 19 yard gain to the Oakland 45. On 3rd and 1, McFadden just barely picked up the first down. 3 straight incomplete passes to Chaz Schillens resulted in 2 near interceptions and a 4th and 10 at the Cincinnati 45. Everything came down to one play. Last week at home, a deep pass bounced off the receiver and was intercepted. Not this time. Gradkowski went to Schillens for a 4th straight time, and the 16 yard completion kept the drive alive. With 41 seconds left from the Cincy 29, Gradkowski fired deep to Louis Murphy. Murphy made a leaping catch at the one yard line, and out-muscled the defender the final yard, just stretching the ball over the goal line. With 33 seconds left, Seabass kicked the extra point and the game was tied 17-17.

Overtime never happened as the Raiders truly showed more heart than they have in some time. Andre Caldwell got nailed on the ensuing kickoff and coughed it up. Myers recovered the fumble at the Cincinnati 17. Gradkowski positioned the ball perfectly on three straight plays to force the Bengals to use their timeouts. Seabass nailed the 33 yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining. From the Cincinnati 43, Palmer heaved a Hail Mary that was intercepted by Nahmdi Asomugha. The Raiders had completed the stunning upset. This will either be an aberration or a building block, and hopefully JaMarcus Russell will use this time on the bench to relearn the game as Vince Young and Alex Smith have done. For now Bruce Gradkowski has earned his place in Raiders history. 20-17 Raiders

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos–After a 6-0 start under Josh McDaniels, the Broncos are reeling. Only in the once proud and now pathetic AFC Worst division could Norvelous Norv Turner be in the playoff hunt. Now that Dick Jauron has been fired, Turner is clearly the most overrated coach to still be employed.

Philip Rivers drove the Chargers down the field 69 yards, hitting Naanee for a 2 yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0 Chargers. In the second quarter the Chargers simply hogged the ball. Rivers led drives of 11 plays and 7 minutes, and another 5 1/2 minute drive. A pair of Nate Kaeding field goals had the Chargers up 13-0 at halftime. Denver finally got on the board with a field goal in the third quarter, but a LaDanian Tomlinson 1 yard touchdown run had the Chargers romping at 20-3.

The rest of the game featured the Chargers driving deep into Denver territory. They faced 4th and 3 at the 10 and kicked a field goal. Later on they faced 4th and goal at the 1, and Norv Turner opted for the field goal. Finally they faced 4th and 1 at the 8. This time they went for it, and Tolbert scored the touchdown with 34 seconds remaining. Nate Kaeding had the extra point blocked, which would have mattered had Denver not been down by 3 scores. The Broncos have lost 4 straight, the 6-0 start a distant memory. The 7-3 Chargers are in first place. Norvelous Norv Turner is a genius. 32-3 Chargers

Philadelphia Eagles  at Chicago Bears was the Sunday night game. A pair of teams fighting for survival slugged it out. The first quarter was all Eagles. Donovan McNabb led a 68 yard drive that led to a 25 yard David Akers field goal and a 76 yard drive that culminated in a 13 yard touchdown pass to Avant as the Eagles led 10-0. The second quarter was all Bears, but they did not crack the end zone. 3 field goals by Robbie Gould, a 45 yarder and a pair of 28 yarders, had the Bears within 10-9 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Gould’s 4th field goal, a 49 yarder, had the Bears leading 12-10. Yet despite little production since the opening quarter, one play was all the Eagles needed to reassert themselves. McNabb went deep to Deshean Jackson, who hauled in the 48 yard touchdown bomb as the Eagles led 17-12. Jay Cutler, who leads the league in interceptions, brought the Bears right back. He hit Davis for a 15 yard touchdown pass as the Bears led 20-17 entering the final quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter a Philadelphia fumble set the Bears up at the Philly 36. Yet after failing to pick up a first down, Robby Gould’s 5th field goal attempt was blocked as the score remained unchanged with 11 minutes in regulation. The Eagles capitalized, as McNabb led them 62 yards in 11 plays. Deshean Jackson ran it in from 11 yards out as the Eagles retook the lead 24-20 with5 1/2 minutes remaining.

To add a homoerotic moment to what is already a game of guys in tight pants slapping each other on the hides, an Eagles defender tackled Devon Hester by pulling his pants down, as his full moon shined on this Chicago night. Yet while bare-@ssed cheerleaders bring a positive to the game, bare-@ssed players are not why tivo was invented. The game continued, and Jay Cutler fired a pass that was batted up into the air and intercepted. The Eagles are back in a first place tie, while the Bears are 4-6 and on the brink of elimination. McNabb, classy as ever, had a warm exchange with Jay Cutler that he kept private. 24-20 Eagles

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans was the Monday night game. The subplots were many. The old Houston Oilers vs the new Houston Titans. Vince Young coming back as the opponent to the place where he was  a hero in college and still had some fans. A Tennessee team that had won three straight after starting 0-6 vs a Houston team that was 5-4 for the first time, despite losing a heartbreaker to Indy 20-17 on a missed Kris Brown field goal at the gun. Beyond all the subplots was a fine football game. Vince Young only passed for 166 yards, but he ran for 73 more. Chris Johnson ran for 151 yards. Matt Schaub passed for 305 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and neither quarterback was intercepted.

A field position game had the Texans beginning their second drive at the Tennessee 36. With the short field, Schaub tossed a 3 yard touchdown pass to Steve Slaton as the Texans led 7-0. In the second quarter Vince Young led an 80 yard drive that ended with a 13 yard touchdown pass to Britt to tie the game 7-7. Field position continued to favor the Texans, and from their own 42, Schaub hit Casey for 32 yards to set up a 12 yard touchdown to Andre Johnson as the Texans again led 14-7 with 4 minutes left in the half. Young brought the Titans right back, and a 36 yard pass to Chris Johnson set upa  one yard touchdown run by Lendale White that had the game tied 14-14 with 50 seconds left in the half.

In the third quarter Schaub led the Texans from their own 16 to the Tennessee 31. After failing to convert on 3rd and 4, Kris Brown missed a 49 yard field goal. Starting at their own 40, Young led the Titans in 10 plays and 5 minutes to the Houston 30. Yet a 3rd and 5 play lost 2 yards. Rob Bironas, who once made 8 field goals in one game against Houston, made his 50 yard field goal as the Titans led 17-14. Schaub came right back with a 49 yard pass to Johnson that set up 1st and goal at the 8. The Texans moved no further, and Brown hit the chip shot to tie the game 17-17 on the final play of the third quarter.

Young led the Titans from their own 33 to the Houston 31, but with 10 minutes left, it was Bironas that missed a 49 yard field goal as the game remained tied. The defenses hunkered down, and the Titans took over at their own 6 yard line with 2:52 remaining in the game. A horsecollar penalty on defense followed by a 22 yard Johnson run had the Titans at their own 41 at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 3 from the 48, Young scrambled for 12 yards. With 52 seconds left in the game, Bironas came in for a 53 yard field goal to break the tie. He nailed it, the Titans led, but they may have scored too early as Gary Kubiak smartly had the Texans use their timeouts to have one last shot.

With 44 seconds left, the Texans began at their own 38 as Jeff Fisher went for a squib kick rather than kick it deep. This was puzzling given that so much time remained. Schaub hit Anderson for gains of 11 and 14 yards to the Titans 37 with 21 seconds left. With 6 second left Kris Brown came in for the game tying 49 yard field goal. For the second time in 3 weeks, with everything on the line, Brown was no good. For the second time in 3 weeks, the Texans had lost by the exact same score. The Texans are 5-5, and Jeff Fisher, only a few weeks removed from a 59-0 debacle, has seen his team win 4 straight to get to 4-6. This game was tied at the half and after three quarters, and was dead even until the final play. 20-17 Titans

eric

Yummy Bouncie Medical Saturday

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

There comes a time when a man has to do the right thing for the wrong reasons.

I have decided to become a champion of women’s rights.

The Democratic party, which for decades has been pretending that it cares about women, has decided to take them back to the dark ages of…well, whenever that was.

A liberal wack job in Florida got elected to Congress by claiming what most liberals claim, that most Republicans simply want people to die.

At least the Democrats are now willing to tell women that they can go ahead and drop dead.

The issue deals with those phenomenal God made creations known as yummy bouncies. When not thinking of hamburgers and football, my attention turns to one of the loveliest aspects of the human female.

(The woman below is as titillating as she is married. How unfair. She is a Republican Jewish brunette. Also, it is impossible to discuss this topic without the word titillating.)

http://www.fitsnews.com/2009/10/30/drunk-sluts-get-breast-cancer/

Breast cancer kills women. Early detection saves lives. In the first sign of rationing health care and death panels, women are being told, with regards to prevention, in the immortal words of Gilda Radner as Roseanne Rosannadanna, “Never mind.”

What possible reason could the government have for telling women to forget about breast cancer before age 50 and to get tested every other year instead of every year?

(Harry Reid said something in a press conference that I am deliberately and completely taking out of context because it sounds hilarious.

“We have plenty of provisions for women. We are going to make them better on the floor.”

Wow, who knew that C-Span was turning into the Playboy Channel?)

What is it about saving lives that is so objectionable?

More importantly, why should I care?

Because I like yummy bouncies, and if women shouted out that they loved my (redacted) and wanted them to be preserved and healthy, I would be appreciative.

Some guys take yummy bouncies for granted. I don’t. The bottom line is we do not appreciate what we have, or are allowed to temporarily have, if it is taken away from us.

I recently got to play with a girl’s yummy bouncies. They were awesome. Even though we did not make it as a couple, I thanked her for the recreational game of volleyball.

Now could I do this if she no longer had them? Of course not.

Now some women will think I am a male chauvinist oinker looking for an excuse to talk about women’s yummy bouncies.

To these women, they should shut up and be grateful that I am talking about this subject, because beneath all the sophomoric lusting is the fact that women will die if they do not get educated on the facts.

Tom Green once wrote a song dedicated to men called, “Play with your balls, or else you’ll get cancer.” If that gets people to spend intimate moments with themselves in the name of medicine, I say keep singing.

So, ladies, even if I never reap the benefits of getting to see, touch, or taste, make sure to rub and bounce those things for your own sake.

Do it for yourselves. You want to live.

If you won’t do it for yourselves, do it for me.

For those of you who will be on Spring Break in Florida, I look forward to seeing you happy, jiggly, bouncy…and most importantly, alive and healthy.

No need to thank me for this public service announcement. The pleasure is all mine.

Happy Yummy Bouncie Medical Saturday

eric

Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

Atlanta Falcons at NY Giants

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens

Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams

NY Jets at New England Patriots

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

Philadelphia Eagles  at Chicago Bears

eric