Archive for January, 2010

NFL 2009-2010–Non-Pro Bowl Non-Recap

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Normally today would be my Pro Bowl Recap.

Out of protest, today is my non-Pro Bowl non-Recap.

I am refusing to cover this pathetic excuse of a game. In fact, I might not even watch it.

That’s right. The world has fallen off of its axis. I am threatening to not watch a football game.

I missed a game once in 1982, but I was grounded. I cleaned my room, and have not missed a big game since.

This is not a big game.

It is bad enough that the league moved the game from Honolulu, Hawaii to Miami, Florida. I love spring break in South Beach as much as the next guy.

Making it the week before the Super Bowl is mindless.

The Colts and Saints have no players in this game.

The league is so desperate for players that my coed touch football team might be fielding a couple subs.

After all, I am a 2 time defending champion.

No Warner. No Favre. No Manning. No Brees.

No interest.

I would sooner recap the Senior Bowl then this game.

For those not into football, the Senior Bowl is high school players, not the geriatric old timers.

I could cover poker, marbles, Scrabble, dice, Boggle, Chinese Checkers, or any other things that are more of a sport than this pathetic game.

Look, I love Miami. Guys do not go to Miami to play football. They go to chase tail. Now as much as I like chasing tail, I would not want my Spring Break exploits to be broadcast on ESPN.

Then again, they are more entertaining than this stupid game.

Did I mention that this game is stupid?

Normally I rank NFL Commissioners from Pete Rozelle to Paul Tagliabue to Roger Goodell higher than Mother Theresa or the guy who cured whatever the hell he cured.

Yet even saints make mistakes.

Next year please return this game to Hawaii. Please return it to the week after the Super Bowl.

I am refusing to watch it.

Ok, for the sake of ethics, I am a football addict and I have to drive to San Diego at the same time it is on. I am tivoing it so whichever reader ruins it for me will burn in hell, which is somewhere near San Francisco.

I may do an actual recap of this game later in the week at which point you will care less than you do now.

For those amazed at my ability to spend several hundreds words saying that I am not going to say anything, it is a God given useless gift.

Oh, and as for the game, a 34-34 tie was broken with 6 minutes to go when Matt Schaub hit Antonio Gates for 17 yards to set u a 2 yard Chris Johnson run. Tony Romo brought the NFC back but was intercepted by Jackson with 2 minutes to play as the AFC defeated the NFC. 41-34 AFC

This concludes my non-Pro Bowl non-Recap.

eric

Pro Bowl Saturday 2009-2010

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Tomorrow is the Pro Bowl.

Today is just dedicated to NFL happenings.

I wish Kurt Warner had returned. His retirement is a loss for the league. He is not only a great player, but a great ambassador for the league. Based on his statistics alone, he is absolutely a first ballot hall of famer.

His retirement speech was inspiring.

The cynic in me says that he retired because he took the Cardinals as far as he could. I think that if he truly felt he could get them to the Super Bowl, he would have returned.

The Cardinals are now done. Matt Leinart will not lead them anywhere.

Maybe he is no longer the bimbo dating Paris Hilton and hanging out in the Jacuzzi with other women, but he needs to prove it.

In 2006, the Cardinals led the Bears 23-3 in the fourth quarter against the Bears on Monday Night Football. That was the game where Dennis Green had one of the all time great press conference tirades.

Before the game, Matt Leinart found a Cardinals staffer and told them to make sure that his friends Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore had their needs taken care of. This should not be what a quarterback worries about right before kickoff.

While the Cardinals have just regressed, the Oakland Raiders seem to have made some very good moves. It is hard to get excited about the Raiders given how awful the last few seasons have been, but the recent changes seem positive.

Al Davis did the right thing by Keeping Tom Cable. The big gulf between them is that Cable has given up on JaMarcus Russell and Davis has not. There are no villains in this dispute. Cable wants to win. If he plays Russell and loses he gets fired anyway. Davis gave Russell 40 million bucks. He wants to do everything he can to try and turn this kid into a winner.

Like Leinart, Russell has shown brief flashes but has been awful overall. He has lost the locker room. Bruce Gradkowski inspired the players, and Charlie Frye was better than Russell as well.

Russell is fat, slow, lazy, and may be too dumb to play the position. Dumb is a harsh word, but why sugarcoat it? He has no pocket presence. He needs to show that he cares.

Al Davis brought in Hue Jackson from the Ravens to be the quarterbacks coach. If Jackson cannot teach Russell, then get rid of him.

Davis surrounded Cable with some respected assistants. We shall see.

One team on the rise is the Jets. I loved Buddy Ryan, and am a huge Rex Ryan fan. He shows up to interviews with his big gut hanging out, his t-shirt barely able to not cover it. This is the most blue collar millionaire since John Madden. He is a throwback to the old NFL where running and defense won games.

They may take a step back next year as many teams do, but the next 5 years should be good for Jets fans. Buddy Ryan won Super Bowl III as an assistant with the Jets. Rex is good enough to get one as the top dog.

Pro Bowl weekend is fun because everybody is so relaxes, which makes for some hilarious interviews.

Jared Allen of the Vikings had the best comment regarding Brett Favre.

For those who remember, after the Vikings won the divisional round, Favre sang “Pants on the ground” and slapped Allen on the hide.

Allen has words for the man he calls Silver Fox.

“Silver Fox. We love you. Everything except my backside loves you. If you come back, I promise you that you can slap my rear end every single day.”

This brings us to the story that will dominate the offseason once the Super Bowl Ends.

Groundhog Day is not upon us yet, but Favre-watch 2010 is here.

As I have said every year, I love # 4 and hope he comes back.

Brad Childress, who is bald and Catholic, is handling the situation perfectly. He has told Brett to take as much time as he needs.

I think Favre comes back because unlike the Cardinals and Kurt Warner, the Vikings do have the talent to get to the Super Bowl next year. They outplayed the Saints, and lost due to freak occurrences.

For those who complain that Favre received special treatment by skipping training camp, life is unfair. If he is that good that he does not need it, leave him alone and keep him fresh. He went to enough training camps.

The players want him back. He played brilliantly this past season. He did not let the team down in the NFC Title Game. They let him down.

That is the past. The future sees Favre coming back for the 2010 season. I sure hope so anyway.

Time for Favre-watch 2010!

Oh yeah, and tomorrow is the Pro Bowl and next week the Colts and Saints play in the Super Bowl.

eric

Oh my lord, he is still talking

Friday, January 29th, 2010

I was going to dedicate my column today to the reappointment of Ben Bernanke.

It was absolutely the right thing to do to reconfirm him, and it boggles my mind that 30 senators failed to grasp this.

If time allows in the coming days I will elaborate.

I normally have my column prepared at night. In the morning I make sure the world has not blown up, and hit the publish button.

Today I woke up and saw that President Obama was having an exchange with house Republicans.

Initially I was pleased with this. I thought it reflected an open-mindedness on the president’s part.

Then I realized that this president has zero interest in what others think.

Listening to him lecture a pair of house Republicans who are doctors about health care is ridiculous.

Yes, he took questions. Yes, he gave answers.

Do not confuse this with actually listening.

He insisted that his health care bill was a centrist bill. This fits into the pattern of something being true simply because he says so.

When asked about his reversals on promises such as transparency, C-Span, and lobbyists, he simply said that he kept his promises.

He claimed to be in favor of clean coal. No he isn’t. He has made remarks in the past about punishing coal owners. He is not in favor of anything involving coal, oil, or nuclear power.

None of this is new. The only news is that he keeps insisting things that are just not so.

He wants us to work together, but keeps bashing his predecessor.

Why the hell should I work with him when he keeps disrespecting his predecessor? Why should he be treated better than the way he acts?

When he won the election, he kept quiet during the 10 week transition period. He was very polite. I returned that politeness. Only when he turned into a hyper-partisan perpetual campaigner did I return fire.

Republicans did not block his agenda. He had 60 Democrats in the Senate, a filibuster proof majority. It was his own party that failed to get the job done.

President George W. Bush had a 50-50 Senate and he got his agenda passed.

Barack Obama has tried to blame Republicans, Wall Street, and even the voters.

He had the “audacity” the other night to tell people that he did not explain his health care bill well enough.

He explained it ad nauseum. The people are not stupid. We saw the plan and did not like it. He keeps talking about change, but refuses to change himself.

This press conference this morning was not about reaching out or coming together. It was about him lecturing his opponents on why they need to come to the table, shut up, and do what he says.

The man just likes talking. He is mesmerized by his own voice.

Until he backs up his words with deeds, my criticism remains.

I will back President Obama when he is right. He was right to renominate Ben Bernanke. Had he fired Bernanke I would have lit into him. So yes, President Obama got that right.

He gets too much wrong, and needs to start actually listening and stop talking.

eric

Is he done talking yet?

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Tonight I am speaking to the San Bernardino Republican Assembly.

I forced myself out of patriotic duty to listen to President Obama last night.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never has a man said so much, and said and done so little.

He doesn’t get it. He won’t get it. Explaining it to him is pointless.

He started out as his typical academic professorial Dr. Spock self, giving us a history lesson when human emotion would have been more appropriate.

He talked about coming together while bashing his predecessor repeatedly.

He is open to hearing ideas from other people. Then he completely discounts them if they do not conform with his predetermined opinion.

He knows everything, we know nothing.

He did a lousy job of explaining his program. That is his excuse.

How many speeches does a guy have to give before realizing that the issue was not in the delivery, but the content?

He is still going to go through the budget line by line to eliminate programs that don’t work.

He has not found one in a year, nor will he find one next year.

He concedes that everybody hated the bank bailout, but refuses to say it was wrong.

He kept taking credit for saving us from the brink of disaster. That was Hank Paulson.

He claimed that he saved 2 million jobs, despite no metrics available to verify this ludicrous claim.

He claimed that he cut taxes. No, he didn’t. He keeps making stuff up.

He claimed that China and India are investing in clean energy.

The Chinese will pollute the entire world if it gives them a competitive advantage. They have categorically rejected the green agenda unless green means money.

He offered plenty of platitudes, because he is a walking platitude.

“It’s time to get serious about the problems that are hampering our growth.”

It’s time he got serious and killed his healthcare and cap and trade plans and for once focused on jobs.

Saying and doing are two different things.

“We need to export more goods.”

The man is a genius.

He also pretended to care about nuclear power, clean coal, and offshore drilling. Is this guy kidding?

He really believes what he says.

He claimed that we needed to remain globally competitive through trade deals. It would help if he was not a protectionist in the pocket of big labor unions.

“By the time I am done speaking, more Americans will have lost their health insurance.”

Is he done talking yet?

More importantly, will this show horse ever actually do any real work?

Nothing will come out of this speech except dead trees. I can live with that.

I would cover his final remarks, but for that, he would have to stop talking.

He will not do that because then he would have to start doing.

When arrogance meets irrelevance, that is narcissism we can believe in.

The left has nothing to say until one single policy becomes law because of him.

For the rebuttal to the speech, just listen to Sir Charles of Krauthammer from now on.

I am off to get some rest. Somebody wake me when the president’s batteries run out.

eric

Liberal Jews–The New Eunuchs

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

The Tygrrrr Express is Palm Springs bound to speak to the Palm Desert Forum Republican Club.

I will not be spending the entire day predicting what President Obama will say. I almost wrote him a heartfelt column and then stopped myself. He doesn’t listen to me because he doesn’t listen to anybody. He will do whatever he feels like doing. His critics are either evil or imbeciles. He will offer conciliatory rhetoric that will not be backed by any concrete actions. Until he says something different and then backs his words with deeds, he remains irrelevant to me.

I will carefully listen to his words, and analyze them. I will be fair with him, and wish he would finally be fair with me.

Right now I do not have time to deal with him. I have too many of my own community members that should be considered dismembers.

Liberal Jews are like eunuchs, only with less effectiveness.

Another event at Valley Beth Shalom featured rhetoric that was tough on the outside with a nice squishy marshmallow center on the inside.

The event was put on by AIPAC, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

AIPAC actually believes that mentioning the word “sanctions” over and over again actually amounts to anything worthwhile.

At this event, Henry Waxman and Brad Sherman were praised for supporting sanctions against Iran. At no time were Jon Kyl and Joe Lieberman mentioned.

It is called the Kyl-Lieberman Iran Sanctions Act for crying out loud. Heaven forbid a Republican or foreign policy hawk ever get mentioned positively.

Newt Gingrich gave the speech of a lifetime at the AIPAC Conference last year, but the only Jews getting praised are the peaceniks.

I know it is politically incorrect to criticize AIPAC, but they need to grow a pair.

Sanctions are never going to happen. China and Russia won’t allow them.

If watered down sanctions get approved, monitoring and enforcement will be a joke.

There were sanctions against Iraq. Saddam Hussein worked with the French and the U.N. to undermine them. The oil for food scandal proved the worthlessness of sanctions.

Liberals in control of AIPAC love to point to sanctions against South Africa, as if South Africa and Iran are even close to being analogous.

Sanctions against South Africa worked because the world was united. Black people were being oppressed. It was a human rights issue, and liberals love human rights. Liberal white guilt applied.

Nobody cares about dead Jews. The Holocaust proved that. The world stood by and did nothing. The world is again standing by and doing nothing.

I am glad that black people were freed from bondage. We are all creatures of God, and we all deserve human dignity. I just get frustrated when I see blacks being considered a “minority” while Jews are a “bad minority.”

Anybody thinking all minorities are equal should look at campus affirmative action policies, where Asians are being rejected en masse.

There is zero incentive for the world to prevent Iran from hitting Israel.

The idea that the the Iranians are bluffing is insane. The left has no answer to the question of what happens if the mullahs are wrong?

I am not willing to play Russian roulette with the existence of Israel.

In a war, there are only two options.

Go Roman or go home.

So what do liberal Jews do? They attack Republicans and Christians.

In the coming days I will have more to say about Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League calling Rush Limbaugh an anti-Semite.

Abe Foxman is a liberal pansy. The ADL says nice things about everybody on the left.

Limbaugh has been fantastic on Israel and Jewish issues his entire life.

Abe Foxman was the one who told Joe Lieberman in 2000 to stop talking about his religious faith on the campaign trail.

Sorry Abe, I like people feeling comfortable with belief in God. Secular zealots can put a sock in it.

Unlike Lincoln, Foxman is no honest Abe.

I am proud to be Jewish. I am also proud to be a conservative Republican. I will stanbd up when my religion or my ideology is attacked.

Until liberal Jews understand that the enemy is the mullahs and not a conservative radio host, they will remain ideologically imbecilic.

When they come for me, Abe Foxman or AIPAC will not speak up.

I pray that some Israeli doctors finally give these liberal appeasers testicle transplants really soon.

The clock is ticking.

eric

Meeting Colonel Ralph Peters

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

At the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, I recently had the honor and privilege of meeting Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters.

The event was put together by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

I recently interviewed Colonel Peters, but had never met him before. He is a hero of mine. While others talked, he was giving his blood, sweat, and tears so I may type opinions on a keyboard.

http://tygrrrrexpress.com/2009/08/my-interview-with-colonel-ralph-peters/

On military matters, he is one of the top analysts in the country in terms of access, intelligence, and piercing logical reasoning.

Politicians tell us what we want to hear. Ralph Peters tells us what we need to hear.

His recent book, “The War After Armageddon” starts out after the destruction of Israel and terrorist attacks on Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The book starts dark, gets darker, and concludes black.

Colonel Peters felt that having Jack Bauer come in and save the day would not be realistic. Colonel Peters is deliberately trying to scare the daylights out of us. This is good. We should be scared. His speech came only days after al-Qaeda in Yemen became a hot news topic and global concern.

I spoke with Colonel Peters before and after the event. A conversation with him is a crash course in military education. If there are people who know more about how to solve global conflicts than he does, I have not met these people. One thing that people may not pick up on based on his television appearances is that he is actually a very warm, friendly, and engaging person. For a man of his accomplishments, he is exceedingly humble.

My respect and praise for Colonel Peters knows no bounds. Therefore, I will say no more and let one of the best and brightest military analysts the world has ever known offer his insights on various global threats.

With that, I present the wisdom of Colonel Ralph Peters.

“It’s great to be with you. The median IQ in this room is greater than that of the intelligence community.”

“The media is fascinated with Yemen. It’s been there a long time. The media treats it like it is something new, like another planet past Pluto.”

“This is indicative of the tunnel vision displayed by the media and the intelligentsia.”

“We pay so little attention to Mexico. Most people can’t even name three past presidents of Mexico.”

“Everything that is said about Afghanistan can be said about Mexico. Mexico is a threat to our security.”

“Conservatives need to stop being like the hard left. Stop engaging in groupthink. Liberals think all war is wrong. Conservatives think every war is a good war.”

“The strategy in war should be about a positive return on investment. That is cold-blooded, but we have to ask the right questions. Will there be a positive return on our investment?”

“There are three basic questions we need to ask when deciding on war.

1) What are we trying to do?

2) Can it be done?

3) Is it worth doing?

Determining whether it is worth doing means we ask, will there be a positive return on investment? Are the risks reasonable?”

“President Obama said the right thing. He said we have to go after al-Qaeda. Yet his actions are about dealing with the Taliban.”

“The Taliban are hillbillies. I know about hillbillies. My family are hillbillies.”

“Afghanistan is so corrupt that it makes the South Vietnam governments look like models of democracy.”

“Our military is incapable of cutting losses. It’s like dumping a bad stock. They can’t do it.”

“Our military’s can-do attitude is usually a good thing. We just have trouble cutting losses.”

“The Taliban is gaining strength. Aghanis see us as occupiers.”

“We see that they are voting, but how are they really voting in their hearts after eight years?”

“We can’t get Afghans to fight for Hamid Karzai.”

“In Afghanistan, the central government was always the enemy. They take the people’s taxes, crops, sons, and even daughters.”

“Afghanistan is not a state as we know it. Then again, California is quite askance.”

“Afghanistan is an accident created where other wars ended.”

“The Taliban want the Pashtuns to have their own country.”

“I am not advocating that we help them. I am explaining their thinking. In their mind, why shouldn’t 30-35 million Pashtuns have their own country?”

“For 200 years, Afghanistan has been a losing investment. It was this way for the Russians and for everybody else.”

“I am not advocating withdrawal from Afghanistan. We need a smaller number of troops, a lighter, sleeker force that is prepared to kill al-Qaeda.”

“Teaching dental hygiene is not helpful in stopping Arab terrorists.”

“We have a Vietnam-like obsession with worthless real estate. We obsess over dirt.”

“Political correctness has seeped into our general ranks.”

“Some people say that killing terrorists just breeds more terrorists. I’ve never been threatened by dead terrorists. You want to be a martyr? Ok. After we killed Zarquai, was there a post-Zarquai rush? No.”

“There have been four great military innovations. One of them is the use of UAVs, the use of Drones.”

“Sometimes American wealth stifles innovation. Look at our enemies. Look at Vietnam. Sometimes poverty forces creativity.”

“Our military is obese. We’ve increased troop levels. We’ve become less lean, less mean, and less agile.”

“One suicide bomber is annoying. Hundreds of them are effective.”

“For those who refer to suicide bombers as homicide bombers, knock it off. They are not homicide bombers. Timothy McVeigh was a homicide bomber.”

“We still can’t defeat the roadside bombs.”

“Our enemies are willing to think in longer terms than our congressional elections.”

“The Talbian is thinking objectively. We are not.”

“The Taliban are psychotic, but they are able to analyze situations. Their techniques are brilliant and dirt cheap.”

“The U.S. military has not had one world class strategist in the last half a century.”

“The answer in war is to kill the enemy wherever you find them. The solution is not to be nice to the Germans when they are killing Jews. You kill the bad guys. You don’t take them to New York City for trial.”

In war you do three things. 1) Kill the bad guys. 2) Help the good guys. 3) Know the difference.

“The War on Terror is a zero sum game. I don’t know one al-Qaeda guy that has been converted. They are not going to become Southern Baptists.”

“In America we have a fear of lawyers. We can’t even shut down their internet sites.”

“Al-Qaeda are the enemies of law abiding Muslims. We don’t hear about them killing other Muslims.”

“Islam has always been brutal. It is spread by the sword. It is a religion of war.”

“We must find an accommodation for the peaceful Muslims, but accommodation does not mean become like Vichy France.”

“Blanket criticism of Islam is not helpful. We have to divide the extremists from the moderate Muslims.”

“There is a middle ground, which is why I get attacked on all sides. The left in America says that I want to kill everybody. The right says I am a closet Sufi. Al-Qaeda lives in an absolutist world. We shouldn’t.”

“In Afghanistan, army soldiers and marines are dying for bullsh*t. Show me the payoff.”

“The Taliban are not dying for a minimum wage. They are true believers.”

“It is a fanatical religion. Where are the Christian suicide bombers? Where are the Chasidic suicide bombers? They would dance around first and then pull the trigger.”

“Talking about religion makes DC nervous. If you subtract religion, there is no al-Qaeda.”

“The United States Army has great tacticians, but they are not paid to think. In the Army, thinking outside the box means finding a completely new way to tell the boss he was right all along.”

The extensive remarks about Afghanistan were followed by questions that led to remarks about other countries. On Pakistan, Colonel Peters offers a very bold solution that most politicians would not even consider. Again, it is easy to be brave when not spending every waking minute worried about being fired. Colonel Peters is retired. His speech is as free as it is candid and right.

“What if we abandon Pakistan? What if we just say that India can handle it?”

“My book does not have a happy ending. Having the Mossad and Jack Bauer show  up would not be helpful.”

“We need to scare people. Ahmadinejad is not one of us. He’s not from the SKull and Bones Society.”

“The Christmas bomber spoke about Allah.The United States says that they don’t know what he was talking about. We have our fantasies too.”

“If we left Pakistan in terms of support, they would have to behave. India would devour them.”

“The only thing unifying Pakistan is Islam.”

“The idea that Pakistan will work with us is nonsense. Pakistan will never behave until there are penalties for misbehavior.”

“Karzai’s family is supported by heroin. The number one drug lord in Afghanistan is Karzai’s brother.”

“The Taliban are willing to fight. The people are not willing to fight for Karzai.”

“The people will fight for religion, their family, and for turf.”

“In the Arab world, the state is the enemy.”

“In 2006 Israeli war with Hezbollah, the Israeli Defense Forces were not willing to do what it took to win. Next time they will.”

“We can’t get the Islamists to want what we want.”

“In Judo, you figure out what your opponent wants, and you judo them. The goal is not to make them want to pay California taxes. You’re going to have to figure out your budget mess another way.”

“In Iraq, religious fanatics kill each other. This is akin to ancient Jewish infighting in Israel, allowing the Romans to invade.”

“Religious Revolts are never put down by compromises. You kill the bad guys.”

“The U.S. surge gave people the courage to flip on al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was a foreign presence.”

“The Iraq approach won’t work in Afghanistan. The Taliban are the home team.”

“You have to look at what people are willing to die for.”

“You can’t nation build where there is no nation.”

“The British figured it out. You butcher and then bolt. It sounds cold, but that is what you do in war.”

“Iran is different. Arabs have no civilizations. Arabs have cultures. Persians have a civilization.”

“In warfare, you destroy the enemy and break their will.”

“We should have a force of 15,000 to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.”

“Wherever you find al-Qaeda, you kill it, whether it be in Paris or in the California legislature.”

“Bob Gates is one of the best defense secretaries of all time.”

“If airports want to be do a full body scan on me, I am fine with it. My body is old but utilitarian. However, other people would not be fine with it. People are outraged. Their scan might end up in porno shops or on the internet.”

“We can’t fight terrorism by by punishing U.S. travelers.”

“Profiling is not perfect, but it works. If it stops nine people, and one gets through, it still works.”

“With regards to Mexicans, there are two extremes. We can’t just divide the camps into full citizenship or get out. There has to be a middle ground. Stanford graduates won’t pick lettuce or change the bedsheets.”

There is no way to do justice to the message that Colonel Peters is spreading.

We can buy his books, and listen to him speak, but the key thing we must do is “get it.”

Colonel Peters had a couple of message sin his speech that he reiterated several times. This is because some things must be said over and over until every American is with the program.

We are at war. The solution is to find the bad guys and kill them.

Anything less is counterproductive.

In a world where many things make no sense, it is refreshing to be reminded that many things and people make perfect sense.

It was an honor and a privilege, Colonel Peters.

Thank you and welcome home sir.

eric

West Bank–Israel Forever, Palestine Never

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Between the AFC and NFC Title Games in football, the world bowling championships, and various other sporting events, it is tough to focus on politics on such an emotionally charged sports Monday. However, the weekend has ended and the real world must return.

Today I am speaking to the Hollywood Hilltoppers Republican Women’s Federated. After traveling all over America, it is nice to speak to people not too far from my home.

Yet far away from my home, tough talk is coming out of Israel. Given that the speaker is a conservative and not a liberal, I fully expect the tough talk to be backed up with actions.

Benjamin Netanyahu has finally and forcefully told the Palesimians to jump in the ocean.

Come to think of it, that would be a great homeland for them, given that they want to drive all the Jews there.

Palesimians want to control the West Bank. Actually, they want to control all of Israel, hence the Israeli reluctance to trust them.

Bibi made it clear where he stands.

“‘Our message is clear: We are planting here, we will stay here, we will build here, this place will be an inseparable part of the State of Israel for eternity,’ Netanyahu said in the Gush Etzion enclave.”

“For eternity” does not leave much room for ambiguity.

“The Palestinians refuse to talk with Israel until it stops all settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas it captured in a 1967 war.”

This works perfectly. If they do not wish to talk, and continue throwing rocks, then Israel has every right to destroy them.

I do not want these savages coming to the table. I want them crushed like the little rats that they are.

Some will ask, “Eric, why would you not want a peace agreement?”

Because they lie.

They have never honored any agreement they have ever made.

The worst thing that can happen for Israel is a phony peace agreement that the Palesimians violate.

Peace agreements in Israel mean that Israel unilaterally disarms and Palesimians rearm.

No more.

If the Palesimians want to live in Jordan or Egypt, fine with me. They are not taking the entire West Bank.

Like America, Israel is a nation with military might and a lack of political will when liberals are in charge.

Netanyahu sees the weak leadership of Barack Obama. He knows that he cannot count on the United States to come to his defense.

Netanyahu has a very simple message to the Palesimians…”not on my watch.”

The Palesimians have never given up terror. The notion that giving them “hope” will make them better people is ludicrous.

Some people are just bad people.

Every single time they have been given a chance to prove themselves, they have failed.

They were given Gaza. Now they kill each other there.

The Road Map stated that they were to completely cease terror. They have not.

I pray that Mr. Netanyahu has as many settlements as possible built as quickly as possible.

His pronouncement yesterday of “Israel forever” was a fabulous beginning.

Israel is at war. It seems that Bibi wants to do what liberal leaders worldwide fail to want to do.

Mr. Netanyahu wants to win.

Well done Bibi.

eric

NFL 2009-2010–Title Game Recap

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Win today, go to the Super Bowl.

If you can’t get jacked up for these games, go hide in the basement and watch the Lifetime Network.

The rest of the world can wait. Today is about football.

No waxing poetic. Not today.. Here are the Title Game recaps.

AFC Title Game—New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts—The biggest upset in football history was Super Bowl III, when Joe Namath and the Jets guaranteed victory over the Colts and backed it up. This year Rex Ryan brought his father Buddy’s brashness into Indianapolis and got a win against backups. Peyton Manning and the Colts were Super Bowl or bust. The Colts have a 21st century air attack, while the Jets prefer the stone age approach of battering ram running and hard nosed defense.

The early victory belonged to the Gang Green defense. The Colts won the toss, completed a 1st down, and then saw Manning get buried on a 3rd and 8 sack as the Colts punted. The Jets took over at their own 30 and moved the ball down the field. On 3rd and 6 Mark Sanchez found Jerricho Cotchery for a sideline 1st down. On 3rd and 1 the Jets barreled over the marker. A 20 yard pass from Sanchez to Braylon Edwards picked up 20 yards to the Colts 21. A pair of running plays lost yards to set up 3rd and 15. A short pass set up a Jay Feely 44 yard field goal attempt. It was no good and the game remained scoreless.

On the next Colts series, Manning got sacked again, as the Colts went 3 and out and punted. The Jets did the same, and a great punt had the Colts at their own 11. A 12 yard run by Donald Brown and a 27 yard completion from Manning to Pierre Garcon had the Colts on the move. On the next play Manning went deep to Garcon for a 36 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 9. The Jets held on defense as the first quarter expired. The second quarter began with Matt Stover nailing a 25 yard field goal as the Colts up 3-0.

The Jets were expected to run the ball and play defense. Sanchez was supposed to just manage the game. Instead, on play action pass, Sanchez went deep to a wide open Braylon Edwards. The 80 yard touchdown bomb stunned the home crowd and had the Jets up 7-3.  Manning brought the Colts right back. On 3rd and 5, the Jets got called for 12 men on defense. Manning then fired 25 yards to have the Colts past midfield. Joseph Addai picked up gains of 9 and 8 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the 26, Manning hit Austin Collie for 22 yards down to the 4. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Manning went for the quarterback sneak. The defense blew up the play for a 1 yard loss. On 4th and goal from the 2, Jim Caldwell went for the field goal as the Colts closed to within 7-6.

With 6 ½ minutes left in the half, Rex Ryan went to his bag of tricks. A toss to Brad Smith led to a halfback option pass. Smith played quarterback in college, and his deep ball to a wide open Jerricho Cotcherry went for 45 yards down to the 12. On 3rd and 6 from the 9, Sanchez fired a throw just before getting belted. Dustin Keller caught the touchdown pass as the Jets led 14-6 with 5 minutes left in the half.

The Colts took over and Manning handed the ball to Addai. Addai got blasted in the backfield by Calvin Pace, resulting in a fumble recovered by Jim Leonard. The Jets took over at the Indy 30. The Colts moved no further, and Feely came in for a 48 yard kick. This time he drilled it dead center as the Jets led 17-6 with 2:11 in the half. Manning came right back. An 80 yard drive in 3 passes to Collie. 18 yards, followed by a 46 yard bomb, and finally a 16 yard touchdown took 58 seconds and had the Colts within 17-13.

In the third quarter the Jets moved down the field with a combination of runs and short passes. On 4th and 7 from the Colts 35, Rex Ryan decided to have Feely try a 52 yard field goal rather than punt and play field position. The kick was no good, and the Colts took over at their own 42. 6 straight passes, the last one a swing pass to Addai, had the Colts at the Jets 15th. The 7th pass went to Garcon for a 1st and goal at the 4. The 8th pass was the touchdown to Garcon to put the Colts back on top 20-17 midway through the third quarter.

Sanchez brought the Jets back. After a penalty set up 2nd and 17, a 17 yard completion had the Jets at the Colts 46. The Jets went no further, punting the ball away. From their own 16, the Colts followed up their all passing drive by shifting back to the ground, with Addai picking up 17 yards. The rest of the drive was 3 ineffective plays and a punt. The Jets took over at their own 10 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Seconds into the fourth quarter, with the Jets facing 3rd and 6 at their own 27, Sanchez hit Cotcherry for 14 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the 43, Sanchez went for all the marbles and overthrew his receiver as the Jets punted. A touchback had the Colts at their own 20 with 12 ½ minutes left in regulation. Manning hit Reggie Wayne for 17 yards. Wayne fumbled the ball but quickly fell on it himself. A pass to Collie picked up another first down. A pass to Dallas Clark picked up another first down, and a facemask penalty moved the Colts to the Jets 19. From the 15, Manning hit Clark over the middle for the touchdown. 9 minutes still remained, but the Colts had breathing room up 27-17.

The Jets needed 2 scores to get back in the game, but got nothing on the next drive. A 3rd and 5 pass was knocked away and the Jets punted again. The Colts were not going to run out the clock. Manning got them this far by passing, so he kept passing. On 3rd and 3 from their own 40, Manning hit Garcon for a short first down. Addai then ran off an 18 yard gain to the Jets 36 as less than 5 minutes remained. An incomplete pass set up 3rd and 9 with 4:12 to play. Manning then went deep to Garcon for 23 yards down to the 12. A pair of runs set up 3rd and 8 from the 10 as the Jets took their second timeout with 3:19 to play. A running play set up 4th and 1 from the 2. Manning tried to get the Jets to jump offsides, but nobody bit. Caldwell sent out Stover, who nailed the 19 yarder to put the Colts up 30-17 with 2 ½ minutes left. Sanchez played mistake free all day, but a deflected pass was intercepted by Kelvin Hayden to seal things.

The New York media can blame the 2 missed field goals or other factors, but the fact is the better team at home won. Rex Ryan has built a team that is expected to compete over the long haul. The Jets are no longer losers. However, the one of the greatest teams of all time got to their second Super Bowl in 4 years.

In a very classy gesture by the Colts, former running back Edgerrin James was named honorary co-captain. He presented the trophy to the team after the game. Bill Polian and Tony Dungy built the team, Jim Caldwell maintained it, and Peyton Manning drives it. They really are that good. 30-17 Colts

NFC Title Game—Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints—Sean Payton and Drew Brees led the Saints to a 13-0 record before the Saints lost 3 straight to back into the top seed. Brad Childress, who is bald and Catholic, brought # 4 Brett Favre out of retirement again. The Vikings started 10-1 before stumbling down the stretch to finish 12-4. Both of these teams belted their opponent sin the divisional round to set up the showdown. In a very classy gesture, Sean Payton added Deuce McAllister back to the roster last week. His career may be done, but he is beloved by the team and the city.

The Saints were in the title game in 2006, providing a lift to a region wrecked by Hurricane Katrina. This year they want to go one step further. As for the Vikings, Brett Favre truly is the 4-Ever Man. At age 40, he wants one more shot at his second ring. 2 years ago he was one game away and lost in overtime. Yet for Minnesota, the key would be if Percy Harvin could overcome his migraines and play. Terrell Davis did it in 1997, and Harvin is just as vital to his team.

The Vikings came out throwing, with 5 straight Favre passes followed by a Percy Harvin run. More passes set up a 19 yard touchdown run by Adrian Peterson to complete the 10 play, 80 yard, 5 ½ minute drive to put the Vikings up 7-0. Drew Brees brought the Siants right back. From the Minnesota 37, a short swing pass to Pierre Thomas was followed by several mistackles and a touchdown to tie the game up 7-7 only 3 minutes later.

The Vikings appeared to go 3 and out on their next series, but a 3rd and 10 incomplete pass was nullified by offsides, and a 3rd and 5 incomplete pass was nullified by defensive holding and an automatic 1st down. Favre then hit Bernard Berrian for 15 yards to the Saints 47. A reverse was followed by a 15 yard personal foul penalty when Favre got decked after handing the ball off. From the Saints 31, two plays picked up 3 yards. 3rd and 7 from the 28, Favre hit Harvin for 19 yards to set up 1st and goal from the 9. Despite moving the ball, Favre was taking a beating early on. Every pass was followed by a hit. On 3rd and goal from the 5, Favre threaded the needle and hit Sidney Rice for the touchdown. Another 10 play drive had the Vikings led 14-7.

On the next Saints possession, a double reverse nearly turned into a major loss, although Reggie Bush managed to get back to the line of scrimmage. On 3rd and 11 Brees completed a pass one yard short of the sticks. The Saints punted, and the Vikings took over at their own 15 as the first quarter ended. The Vikings started the second quarter by going 3 and out, as the Saints took over at their own 35.

Brees went deep and hit Marquis Colston at the Minnesota 36. A pass to Thomas had the Saints at the Vikings 21. Thomas then ran it to set up 1st and goal at the 9. Brees hit Devry Henderson for the tying touchdown at 14-14. Minnesota came out from the 20 and went to the ground game this time. A 12 yard run by Chester Taylor and another 1st down run by Adrian Peterson had the Vikings at their own 47. On 3rd and 4 from the Saints 47, Favre threw incomplete and the Vikings punted with 6 minutes left in the half.

The Saints took over at their own 18. On 3rd and 1, an off-tackle run by Lionel Hamilton got blown up in the backfield as the Saints punted. Minnesota took over at their own 21 and also went 3 and out. The Saints took over at their own 33 with 3:43 left in the half. Another 3rd and 1 resulted in a pitchout to Reggie Bush, who got bottled up short of the marker. On 4th and 1 from their own 42, Brees unsuccessfully tried to draw Minnesota offsides. The Saints took a delay of game penalty at the 2 minute warning.

A dumb personal foul on the Saints occurred when the punt returned took a knee and was blasted while down. The Vikings took over at their own 32. On 3rd and 9, Favre hit Berrian for a 14 yard gain. This time on 3rd and 9 Favre threw high and incomplete.

For 28 minutes the game was turnover free. A punt to Reggie Bush turned disastrous when Bush got blasted by Frampton and fumbled the ball. The Vikings recovered to set up 1st and goal at the 10. Peterson barreled over tacklers to get to the 4. On the next play Favre handed off to Peterson. Peterson never grabbed the ball cleanly, and the fumble turned it back over to the Saints. From their own 10, the Saints ran the ball. Despite having 2 timeouts, Brad Childress for some reason decided they would be better served dying in the locker room. The teams went to the half deadlocked.

Terrible tackling allowed Courtney Roby to return the second half kickoff 61 yards to the Minnesota 37. Consecutive runs by Pierre Thomas had the Saints with 1st and goal at the Minnesota 9. Thomas raced through the middle and extended the ball just over the goal line on the next play to put the Saints up 21-14. Thomas was down a yard short, but Minnesota did not challenge the play.

After a touchback, Favre fired 13 yards to Sidney Rice. A play action pass to Vincente Shiancoe went to the Saints 40. Peterson fumbled the ball again, but Minnesota was lucky enough to recover it for a 10 yard loss. On 2nd and 20, Favre hit Shiancoe at the marker for the 1st down at the Saints 30. Chester Taylor ran it to set up 3rd and 2 from the 22. Favre went to the corner for Shiancoe, who caught it at the 2 yard line. Favre handed the ball to Peterson, who redeemed himself and banged it in to tie the game 21-21 midway through the third quarter.

The Saints went 3 and out, but the Minnesota return man took it at his own goal line rather than let it become a touchback. The Vikings started at their own 10. Peterson ran hard again, but fumbled for the third time in the game. Peterson avoided being goat of the game by outracing 3 Saints to get the ball back. From the Minnesota 32, Peterson exited and Chester Taylor got the ball. Favre got leveled on the next play, resulting in a person foul from being piledriven into the ground. With 2 minutes left in the third quarter, Favre was intercepted in the red zone. Even worse, this time he got hit high and low by 2 defenders. He had to hobble off of the field.

The Saints took over at their own 31 and ran the ball twice. A false start penalty and an incomplete pass led to a punt. The Vikings took over at their own 16. Favre had his ankle taped up and came back in the game. A handoff to Harvin picked up 14 yards. Harvin fumbled but was down. On the next play Harvin fumbled again. After several near disasters, this time the fumble was lethal. The Saints eventually recovered it at the 3 yard line. On 3rd and goal, Brees fired to Bush. It initially appeared to be 4th and goal at the one, but Sean Payton challenged the call. Brees did stretch the ball over the pileon, and on further review it was a touchdown. The Saints led 28-21 with 12 ½ minutes to play. The Vikings took over after another booming touchback.

On 2nd and 7 from the 23, Peterson spun away from tacklers, and raced down the sideline to midfield. On 3rd and 10 Favre found Berrian for a 30 yard gain down to the 20. Brett fired complete to Berrian at the 10. Berrian then got hit and Minnesota fumbled for the 6th time, losing their 3rd one. With 9 ½ minutes left, the Saints took over at their own 5.

On 3rd and 2 from the 13, it was the Saints turn to mess up when Brees fumbled the snap from center. Brees fell on it just short of the 1st down. With 8 minutes left, Sean Payton challenged that it was a 1st down. The call stood, and the Saints lost a timeout and were out of challenges. The Vikings took over at their own 43.

On 3rd and 6 Favre hit Shiancoe, who stiff armed a guy down to the Saints 37. Peterson took a handoff for 18 yards down to the Saints 19. Favre went to the end zone for Berrian. Defensive pass interference on Tracy Porter set up 1st and goal at the one. Peterson lost a yard, but took it up the middle on 2nd down as the game was tied for the 4th time at 28-28 with 5 minutes to play.

The Saints took over at their own 19. Brees fumbled again after getting stripped, but the Saints fell on it at their own 11. Despite hits, it was the 1st sack of the game by either team. On 3rd and 18, Brees fired to Henderson for 16 yards. On 4th and 2 with less than 3 minutes to go, there was no decision. The Saints punted. A booming kick had the Vikings at their own 23 with 2:37 to go.

A running play went nowhere and took the clock to the 2 minute warning.

On 3rd and 8 Favre hit Berrian, who broke a tackle and willed his way to the 1st down. On 1st and 10 at the 33, the Vikings took their 1st timeout. Favre threw a perfect pass to Sidney Rice at the Saints 47. With everone expecting a pass, Chester Taylor broke through on the ground to the Saints 33 with 1:06 to play as the Saints took their final timeout. A pair of running plays went nowhere as the Vikings took their 2nd timeout with 19 seconds to play. With everything on the line, the Vikings got called for 12 men in the huddle. This turned a potential 50 yard kick into a 55 yarder. Longwell never got the chance. On 3rd and 15, Favre rolled out, fired across the field, and was intercepted. The nightmares of 2 years ago resurfaced as the teams went to overtime.

On 3rd and 8 Favre hit Berrian, who broke a tackle and willed his way to the 1st down. On 1st and 10 at the 33, the Vikings took their 1st timeout. Favre threw a perfect pass to Sidney Rice at the Saints 47. With everone expecting a pass, Chester Taylor broke through on the ground to the Saints 33 with 1:06 to play as the Saints took their final timeout. A pair of running plays went nowhere as the Vikings took their 2nd timeout with 19 seconds to play. With everything on the line, the Vikings got called for 12 men in the huddle. This turned a potential 50 yard kick into a 55 yarder. Longwell never got the chance. On 3rd and 15, Favre rolled out, fired across the field, and was intercepted. The nightmares of 2 years ago resurfaced as the teams went to overtime.

The Saints won the toss, and Pierre Thomas returned it to the Saints 39 yard line. A pair of running plays set up 3rd and 6. An incomplete pass was nullified by defensive holding and an automatic 1st down at the Saints 48. A deep pass to Colston was nearly caught, intercepted, caught again, and intercepted again, before falling incomplete. On 3rd and 10, Brees hit Colston. Colstonw as passed the 1st down marker, but he bobbled it, and secured it short of the 1st down. On 4th and a foot from the Minnesota 43, Sean Payton decided to go for it. Pierre Thomas took a handoff and went airborne before getting knocked back. It was ruled a 1st down.

On the next play Brees went backwards, threw off his back foot, and benefitted from a pass interference call on the defense. The ball appeared uncatchable, but the Saints were at the Vikings 30. A running play lost 4 yards, but a pass to Robert Meachem set up 3rd and 3 at the Minnesota 22.  It looked like the ball hit the ground, but the call stood. An incomplete pass brought in Garret Hartley for a 40 yard field goal try with everything on the line.

The kick was drilled dead center. The Vikings were crushed. Favre was done, at least for the year. The Saints saw their owner do the Tom Benson Boogie. The New Orleans Saints are going to their very 1st Super Bowl. The ending was very controversial, but both teams had plenty of chances to win. The Saints did a slight bit more. 31-28 Saints, OT

No player should overshadow the game, but the annual Groundhog Day version of Favrewatch now begins.

Super Bowl XLIV is upon us. For the first time since the 1993 season, both # 1 seeds advanced to the Super Bowl. The argument of rest vs. rust clearly came down on the side of rest.

Next week is the Pro Bowl. In 2 weeks the Colts and the Saints play for everything.
eric

NFL Title Games–Top Seed Meltdowns

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

In two weeks, the NFL offers us the Super Bowl.

This weekend brings something that on some levels is even more exciting, the AFC and NFC Title Games.

I say more exciting because the right to get to the Super Bowl is a thrill ride.

Yet one very strange occurrence keeps happening on Title Game Sunday.

Top seeds keep losing.

Teams fight all year for home field advantage. In football, playing at home is supposed to be a bigger advantage than any other sport. For 16 years that advantage has been wasted.

In 1993, the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills were the top seeds (The Houston Oilers had the same record as the Bills, but the Oilers were the # 2 seed). The Cowboys and Bills both reached the Super Bowl with relative ease. This was the last time both top seeds made it.

Below is what has happened since, with analysis.

1994: AFC: Steelers  NFC: 49ers

The 49ers won it all. The Steelers lost in the AFC Title Game to the San Diego Chargers.

Analysis–This was a stunning upset. The Chargers started 6-0, but they were a very weak 11-5 playoff team. The 12-4 Steelers had no business losing that game. Pittsburgh led 13-3 in the fourth quarter before melting down and losing 17-13. Pittsburgh would have most likely lost in the Super Bowl, but should have gotten there.

1995: AFC: Chiefs  NFC: Cowboys

The Cowboys won it all. The Chiefs lost in the AFC Divisionals to the Colts

Analysis–As big an upset as 1994, this one was one of the very biggest. The Chiefs were 13-3, while the 4-7 Colts ran the table to get to 9-7. This is the game where Steve Bono threw 3 interceptions and Lin Elliott missed 3 field goals, none from long range. This was the game where analyst Paul Maguire said, “I hate kickers. They should be paid $50 a game. Don’t worry about Lin Elliott, because he’s not going to be a Chief next year.” The Colts won 10-7 in one of football’s all time great upsets.

1996: AFC: Broncos  NFC: Packers

The Packers won it all. The Broncos lost in the Divisionals to the Jacksonville Jaguars

Analysis–Fans kept complaining that the NFC was winning blowout Super Bowls, but part of the reason was because the AFC top seeds kept going down early. For the 3rd straight year, the AFC had a shocker. The Broncos started 12-1, rested people, and finished 13-3. The Jaguars began 4-7, ran the table to get to 9-7, and stunned the Bills in Jim Kelly’s final game. The Broncos led this game 12-0 before getting surprised. The Jaguars won 30-27 in a game that should have been a Denver coronation.

1997: AFC: Chiefs  NFC: 49ers

This year both top seeds went down. The Chiefs lost in the Divisionals to the Broncos, while the 49ers lost in the Title Game to the Packers.

Analysis: Neither of these games were a surprise. Despite the seedings, the Broncos and Packers really were the best teams.

In the AFC, the Broncos destroyed the Chiefs in Denver and lost at KC on a 55 yard Pete Stoyanovich field goal at the gun. Denver led the division most of the year and stumbled late. Yet despite being a wildcard, they had the best AFC record the year before and really were still expected to win. The 12-4 Broncos beat the 13-3 Chiefs 14-10.

In the NFC, the Packers and 49ers both were 13-3. The 49ers coasted with 8 wins in a wretched division. When they finally played a good team in KC, they lost 44-9. The Packers were the defending champions. The Packers dominated 23-10.

1998: AFC: Broncos  NFC:Vikings

The Broncos started 13-0 and ended up winning it all. The Vikings lost at home in the NFC Title Game to the Falcons.

Analysis: The Vikings beat themselves. That team with Randy Moss went 15-1. They should have blasted the Falcons into pieces. The Vikings led 20-7, and then got bored. Gary Anderson missed a field goal for the first time all season. The 1998 Vikings are one of the best teams ever not to have a ring as the Falcons won 30-27 in overtime.

1999: AFC: jaguars  NFC: Rams

The Rams won it all. The Jaguars lost in the AFC Title Game to the Titans.

Analysis: This was not a surprise. The Titans went 13-3 and the Jaguars were 14-2. Yet both Jacksonville losses were to Tennessee. The Titans trailed 14-10 at the half, but romped in the second half to win 33-14 to beat the Jaguars for the 3rd time in one season.

2000: AFC: Titans  NFC: Giants

With 3 weeks left, the Giants were 9-4 and the Vikings were 11-2. The Giants won all 3 and the Vikings collapsed for the second time in 3 years, which is why the Giants were the top seed. They made it to the Super Bowl. The 13-3 Titans lost at home to the 12-4 Ravens.

Analysis: This was not a shocker, but not expected either. The teams split the seasons series, both teams winning on the road. The Titans lost the home game when Al Del Greco missed an extra point and the winning field goal at the gun. In the playoff game, Steve McNair was injured with a late hit shot to the chest. A 10-10 4th quarter game was broken open when Al Del Greco had the go ahead field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown. Ray Lewis ripped a pass out of Eddie George’s hands to complete the 24-10 Ravens win. The Titans had the top defense in yards and the Ravens had the top defense in points. Yet the Ravens had no offense, making the win not completely expected.

2001: AFC: Steelers  NFC: Rams

The Rams got to the Super Bowl again by surviving the Buccaneers 11-6 after trailing 6-5 late. The STeelers lost in the AFC Title Game to the Patriots.

Analysis: The Patriots win was a bit of a surprise, although Pittsburgh had lost playoff games at home before. New England survived a controversial tuck rule win over the Oakland Raiders, and Tom Brady was injured during the title game. Pittsburgh had a special teams breakdown and lost 24-17 in a mildly surprising result.

2002: AFC: Oakland Raiders  NFC: Philadelphia Eagles

The Raiders got to the Super Bowl. The Eagles lost in the NFC Title Game to the Buccaneers.

Analysis: The Eagles had their bags packed for the Super Bowl. The game was the final game at Veterans Stadium, and they had crushed the Bucs 6 straight times by wide margins. The Eagles led 7-0 only one minute into the game. The Bucs did win the Super Bowl, but the title game was a major upset. The Bucs only got the bye because the Packers gave it away. This was a crazy year where Michael Vick and the Falcons shocked Brett Favre and the Packers in the snow. In an up for grabs year, the Eagles were gift wrapped  a Super Bowl trip and they gave it away, losing 27-10 to Tampa Bay.

2003: AFC: Patriots  NFC: Eagles

The Patriots won it all. The Eagles lost in the NFC Title Game for the 3rd straight year, the 2nd straight year at home. This time the Carolina Panthers took them down.

Analysis: The Philly loss a year earlier was a stunner, but this was less surprising. Donovan McNabb was injured in the game and was practically immobile. The Panthers did just enough and won 14-3.

2004: AFC: Steelers  NFC: Eagles

The Eagles finally got to the Super Bowl on their 4th try, 3rd straight try at home. The Steelers lost at home in the AFC Title Game to the Patriots.

Analysis: This was not a surprise at all. The 14-2 Patriots did lose during the year to the 15-1 Steelers, but the game was in Pittsburgh and the Patriots were injured. New England had beaten Pittsburgh in the title game 3 years earlier, and were favored in this game. Ben Roethlisberger was unbeaten as a rookie, but Tom Brady had the experience. Most people thought the defending champion Patriots were the top seed anyway, given how expected the result was. The Patriots won 41-27.

2005: AFC: Colts  NFC: Seahawks

The Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl. The Colts lost in the Divisonals to the Steelers

Analysis: This was a moderate surprise. The Steelers were 15-1 year earlier, but this year were only 7-5 before running the table to make the playoffs. The Colts started 13-0, but the entire season seemed an afterthought when Tony Dungy’s son committed suicide. The 14-2 Colts appeared flat, fell behind 21-3, got to within 21-18, and saw Mike Vanderjagt miss the tying field goal to end the game. The Colts made no excuses, but the loss of Jamie Dungy could have left them drained.

2006: AFC: Chargers  NFC: Bears

The Bears made it to the Super Bowl. The Chargers lost in the Divisionals to the Patriots.

Analysis: This was no surprise. The 14-2 Chargers could have been beaten by the Patriots, Colts or Ravens. All of them could have beaten the Bears. The Chargers were up 21-14 when they intercepted a pass, only to fumble it back on the return. The Patriots already had 3 rings, and Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri won when Nate Kaeding missed a field goal at the gun. Marty Schottenheimer was not to blame for this one. The Patriots and Colts played one of the greatest AFC Title Games in NFL History, with the Colts winning 38-34 after falling behind 21-3. The Colts won the Super Bowl, and the Chargers were an afterthought.  Most people still think the Colts and Patriots were the top 2 seeds.

2007: AFC: Patriots  NFC: Cowboys

The Patriots went 16-0 and reached the Super Bowl. The Cowboys lost in the Divisonals to the Giants.

Analysis: This was a shocker on so many levels. The 13-3 Cowboys had swept the 10-6 Giants during the regular season, but the Giants won the playoff game 21-17 when Romo was intercepted in the end zone on the final play. These playoffs featured tons of shocks. The Greatest game to never happen was the non-rematch between the Patriots and 14-2 defending champion Colts. This year the Chargers shocked the Colts 28-24 with backup Billy Volek. The biggest shock was the 10-6 Giants, who lost 38-35 at home to New England in the final week, win the Super Bowl 17-14 and end the speculation of the 2007 Patriots as the greatest team ever.

2008: AFC: Titans  NFC: Giants

Both top seeds went down in the Divisionals as the Titans lost to the Ravens and the Giants lost to the Eagles.

Neither of these results were total surprises. The Titans were 13-3, but the one team that gave them fits over the years was the Ravens. The Ravens won a slugfest 13-10. The Titans would have beaten any other AFC team. Some would say that the 13-3 Giants losing to the 9-7 Eagles was a shocker, but it was not. A few weeks earlier the Eagles beat the hell out of the Giants in New York, leading 20-7 and winning 20-14. So they had confidence that they could win on the road again. The year before the Giants were the upstarts, but as the favorites they went down.

This may have been the first time that neither top seed even reached the title games, much less the Super Bowl. The real shocker was the 9-7 Cardinals, who stunned 12-4 and Super Bowl ready Carolina (# 2 seed, but seen as the best by many) on their way to an improbable Super Bowl trip. The STeelers won it all, but it should be noted that late in the regular season, the Titans beat them up.  Pittsburgh benefited from an AFC Title game hosting Baltimore instead of at Tennessee.

So for 16 straight years, at least one top seed has lost. So what will happen in 2009?

The AFC Title Game is the 9-7 Jets @ the 14-2 Colts.

The NFC Title Game is the 12-4 Vikings @ the 13-3 Saints.

Will both top seeds finally make it?

No.

In the AFC, the Jets are a feel good story. They beat the Colts in Super Bowl III, and in the regular season this year against Curtis Painter and other backups. Yet they will need another miracle to win this one. Everybody keeps counting them out, and they keep confounding. Rex Ryan is a winner, and Mark Sanchez is inspiring to his Mexican community. They love him the way they loved Jim Plunkett and Tom Flores of the Raiders. The Jets only hope is that the Colts get too cocky and take the Jets too lightly. Peyton Manning won’t do that. He remembers past losses. The Colts would be a bigger feel good story had they not finally won it in 2006. The Colts will win easily.

In the NFC, the Vikings and Saints are happy stories. Brett Favre is trying to win it all again at age 40, 13 years after he first won it. The Vikings have never won it all, and do not want to be the 1st 5 time losers if they get there. The Saints have never been there, and are 4 years removed from Katrina. The Saints started 13-0 but lost 3 straight. The Vikings started 10-1 before going 2-3 down the stretch. This game could go either way, but the Vikings may win a shootout.

What makes this year enjoyable is that all 4 of these teams are likable. They are all heroes, with no villains.

Predictions:

AFC: Colts 31, Jets 13

NFC: Vikings 34, Saints 31

Super Bowl: Colts 34, Vikings 30

Are you ready for some Title Game football!!!!!!

Let’s get it on!

eric

Bombshell Friday

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Today is Bombshell Friday, where routine events are elevated to vitally important status.

The first event on Bombshell Friday comes from the U.S. Supreme Court. A critical campaign finance ruling has come down, and the winners were lovers of free speech.

Liberals are howling at the decision, because that is what they spend their lives doing. If liberals carping and complaining every day of their angry existence is free speech, then nobody anywhere else should be restricted.

Those against the ruling continue to trot out tired arguments about how all corporations are evil threats to democracy. These people should stop buying food, gasoline, or anything else that requires interacting with a business. They should also work for free.

The reason why leftists want to restrict corporations from participating in the political process is because corporations tend to lean to the right on economic matters. Liberals do not want anybody on the right to have any ability to speak. Unions and radicals should be allowed to run wild while conservatives are subjected to threats ranging from the Fairness Doctrine to retroactive taxation.

Campaign finance laws have been a colossal failure. All they do is force candidates to spend countless hours dialing for dollars and attending rubber chicken dinners begging for $2400.

Campaign finance laws allow self-financed billionaires like Ross Perot to spend unlimited amounts.

John McCain unilaterally surrendered as Barack Obama ignored the laws and laughed his way to the White House.

The left wants corporations to suffer while union thugs commit real crimes. From the 1996 Clinton Buddhist monastery scandal to George Soros funding hate groups like Moveon.org and criminal enterprises like ACORN, the issue is not about money. It is about defeating an opponent by any means necessary. Unions use mandatory dues that they extort from powerless members to engage in political activities that the members often don’t support. My parents were teachers. Their union engaged in what would be called stealing in any other industry.

Until the left decides to have unions voluntarily obey the law, they can sit down and be quiet about corporations. At least corporations produce things.

The process is corrupt now. By letting everybody contribute as much as they want, and then allowing for full disclosure on the internet, funds can be tracked. Many corporations will hold back due to fear of political pressure.

Besides, in the end the money is a wash. We are a divided country, and pro-lifers and pro-choicers will just cancel each other out. Pro and anti-war forces will nullify each other.

I would like to thank Blue Moon of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell for never wavering on this issue.

When liberals lost the 2000 election, they tried to abolish the electoral college. When faced with losing the Massachusetts senate seat, they kept changing the rules on how to get a replacement senator. Any day now these activists that live by the courts will advocate the abolition of the Supreme Court.

Besides, liberals should not complain about the most recent ruling. They disobey the laws anyway. They have a problem with Republicans legally engaging in a process that the left has been playing illegally for years.

I would say more, but the court decision is less intense than the hysterical leftist overreaction.

Another area of speech affected on Bombshell Friday came in the form of Air America dying. Air America can now go back to being a movie with Mel Gibson that I have never seen.

The death of Air America is another cause for celebration.

Some will dare to call me hypocritical for trumpeting free speech while celebrating the death of a radio station.

I support free speech, not hate speech. I would be happy if the Klan shut down operations as well.

Air America was vitriol. It was not about policy or entertainment. I am thrilled it is gone.

Keep in mind Air America was never banned. It simply failed in the marketplace. The marketplace is that thing that most liberals hate, because it contains corporations.

Alan Colmes may have a creepy eyebrow, but on the radio his listeners cannot tell. Ed Schultz must have some skills, because he has listeners. Leslie Marshall passed up a career as an underwear model to espouse liberal beliefs. They all competed. Air America is dead, and one can only hope that the leftist welfare child known as NPR is soon given the Old Yeller treatment.

In congressional inaction, Nancy Pelosi has backed down on Bombshell Friday. The victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts led to mass suicides at MSNBC, which will be canceled soon enough. After all, 24 hours of referring to conservatives as tea-bagging rednecks gets old to less sophisticated rubes like me who prefer something resembling a coherent idea or policy analysis.

The bombshell is that the Democrats decided not to go nuclear by banning Mr. Brown from taking his seat. The queen of blinking has blinked again. She talked a good game, but health care reform is not going to pass in its current form.

I got this one wrong. I really expected the liberals in Congress would ram this thing through. The political climate just experienced a tectonic shift. Barack Obama blamed George W. Bush, which at this point is just plain comically stupid.

I entertainment news, most entertainment industry people are still worthless parasites. The only bombshell in the late night saga is the staggering amount of money Conan O’Brien is being paid to leave NBC.

I wish I was given money since I left NBC years ago along with many other viewers.

Watching Leno and Letterman guttersnipe is fun. Conan is the most likable of the three, and anybody bashing NBC the way he has lately is fine with me. Shockingly enough, NBC is run by leftists. No wonder liberals hate corporations. They have no idea how to run them. Then again, if I was smarter I would know that Jeff Zucker’s incompetence is all George W. Bush’s fault.

The final event on Bombshell Friday deals with the battle between Arlen Specter and Michele Bachmann. Arlen Specter is an unprincipled chauvinist pig. Back when he was a Republican, liberals pointed this out during the Clarence Thomas hearings. After almost losing his next Senate race, he was effectively neutered. Now that he is a Democrat, the feminists have given him his testicles back. After all, attacking conservative women and other minority conservatives is par for the course.

Michele Bachmann is every bit a lady. Arnold Specter is no gentleman.

Yet given how typical this behavior is on the left, why is the story a bombshell?

Is it because Michele Bachmann is coming to Los Angeles?

No. Her actions are not a bombshell. She is a bombshell.

She is a smart, effective, conservative, drop dead gorgeous brunette bombshell.

(swoon…fanning self with paper fan)

I am off to go collect myself before her arrival.

I would say more but free speech does not mean stupid speech should be encouraged.

Then again, enough about Air America.

Happy Bombshell Friday.

eric