Archive for August, 2011

NFL 2011 Preseason–Week 2 Raiders Recap

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

For those of you looking for information on the Kim Kardashian wedding, if you are over 18 you should be beaten to death or sterilized. Do not reproduce since idiocy is exponential. After burning through football players, at least she married some basketball guy to spare the NFL from ever having her associating with it. This concludes the Kardashain wedding report. Now on to football.

The Raiders traveled across the Bay to play the hated San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 of the 2011 NFL Preseason.

Last week the Raiders showed some promise in a loss, but one interesting blunder had the Raiders kicking off to start both halves. Getting the coin toss wrong will not be acceptable in the regular season. What also will not be acceptable will be giving up 1st downs on 3rd and long.

Yet much maligned Alex Smith completed a 3rd and 11 pass for 12 yards. Nahmdi Asomugha is no longer with the Raiders. This is not going to be an excuse. We have the players we have, and they are expected to get the job done. They did not get the job done early on as the 49ers moved the ball with ease. Yet despite having the ball for over 9 1/2 minutes to start the game, the 49ers were unable to punch it in. On 3rd and goal from the 3, the 49ers tried to run laterally and went nowhere. The chip shot 20 yard field goal never happened as the snap was fumbled. The punter then turned into Garo Yepremian, and his wild throw before getting belted was intercepted by Rolando McClain.

The defense and special teams came up big but the offense began pathetically. On 3rd and 6, Jason Campbell threw a short pass to absolutely nobody. Darrius Heyward-Bey ran straight and apparently Campbell was expecting a corner route.

The 49ers made it look easy on their second drive as Alex Smith found Josh Morgan for a long gain. A run had the 49ers at the Oakland 15, but it was nullified by holding. On the next to last play of the opening quarter, with the 49ers having all of the momentum, Smith was intercepted by Matt Shaughnessy.

The final play of the quarter had Campbell complete a pass for the only first down of the quarter for The Raiders. They had 16 yards of total offense, most of it on that one play since they only had it for 3 minutes. Yet despite being totally outplayed, Campbell found a rhythm, and a perfect throw into double coverage was caught by Heyward-Bey at the 49ers 4 yard line.

This is where Hue Jackson shows why the Raiders have improved in terms of play calling. He faked a run up the middle and had Campbell roll out. Yet Campbell got tentative and was upended for no gain. Michael Bush got very little, and Marcel Reese could not bang it in. On 4th and goal at the 2, Jackson decided to go for it. After all, this is preseason. Campbell was sacked at the 5. In the regular season it would have been a field goal, but nevertheless the game remained scoreless.

The 49ers continued to make it look easy on offense with Dixon gaining 15 on the ground and a 3rd and 4 being converted on the ground. A deep ball from Smith to Braylon Edwards had the 49ers at the Oakland 22. The 38 yard gain was against the second team defense, but again, excuses are not acceptable. The 49ers bogged down at the 5 yard line when a running play went nowhere. A 23 yard kick this time was good, and the kicker was David Akers. The Philadelphia Eagles were gobbling up free agents but let him go after 12 years. The 49ers led 3-0 with under 5 minutes left in the half.

A long completion from Campbell to Heyward-Bey plus a barrel of 7 yards up the middle by Michael Bush had the Raiders past midfield. Yet Campbell tends to hold on to the ball longer than other quarterbacks, and another sack had Campbell on the ground. With Bruce Gradkowski traded to the Cincinnati Bengals, the remaining quarterbacks were Kyle Boller and Trent Edwards. Last week Boller was the backup and Edwards 3rd string, but this time it was Edwards who came in as the backup. Edwards immediately hit Bush for 12 yards at the 2 minute warning, setting up 3rd and 1 at the 49ers 38. Edwards snuck across for the 1st down. Edwards hit newly acquired tight end Kevin Boss for 14 yards down to the 12. Consecutive holding penalties set up 1st and 30. Edwards then threw a duck into coverage and was intercepted, as the 49ers led 3-0 at halftime of a game neither team wanted to win.

The Raiders got the ball to start the second half, and in another surprise Kyle Boller came in. Edwards barely had gotten into the game, and was out of it. Boller did complete a 3rd and long pass for a first down, but holding nullified it and the Raiders punted. Colin Kapernak came in for the 49ers at quarterback, as Alex Smith was done for the night.

The 49ers were dominating statistically but not on the scoreboard. That changed when Kendall Hunter took a handoff and raced 53 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders were lifeless on offense, and now trailing 10-0. With star kick returner Jacoby Ford out with an injury, another phenom named Denarius Moore took a kickoff deep in the end zone and returned it 48 yards. A dropped pass led to a miserable 3 and out series as the Raiders punted.

The Raiders held on defense and got the ball back with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. Boller found Derrick Hagan for 14 yards as the Raiders crossed midfield again. Yet on 3rd and 1 from the 49ers 40, a run up the middle resulted in a brutal collision and one yard loss. Jackson decided to go for it on 4th and 2, but Boller was intercepted as the Raiders ineptitude on offense continued.

With their punter injured earlier in the game on the botched field goal attempt, placekicker David Akers was doing the punting. With less than one minute left in the third quarter, an Akers punt was blocked. The Raiders took over at their own 45. A well executed screen pass went for 17 yards to the 49ers 29. The drive stalled, but when Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 46 yard field goal, the Raiders were finally on the board down 10-3 with 12 1/2 minutes left in the game.

Yet the defense could not hold as Kapernak led a time consuming drive, mostly on the ground. He kept handing off, and the chains kept moving. With 4 minutes to go, a 3rd and 1 run inside the 10 led to another first down. Oman ran it in from 6 yards out to end any suspense in what was a hideous game from start to finish.

Jim Harbaugh got the win, while Hue Jackson is 0-2 and looking for his first preseason win as a head coach. The Raiders on paper have a good coaching staff stocked with former Raider greats, from Steve Wisniewski to Greg Biekert to Rod Woodson to Willie Brown. Al Saunders is one of the most respected offensive coordinators in the league. Yet while Hugh Jackson is talking a very good game, the results are not very promising so far.

San Francisco 49ers 17, Oakland Raiders 3.

Vacation Saturday

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Today I am going to be lazier than Barack Obama. I am going to accomplish nothing and declare the day a complete success just because I said so.

Today is Vacation Saturday.

I would go to Martha’s Vineyard but those people do nothing for me.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming was a possibility but this is a one day break so there is no time to fly there and back.

So I will vacation today in Los Angeles. I might shuffle some papers around so that I look busy. In reality I will just move them from side to side.

I will also eat lunch and dinner, and maybe even watch some football.

Some will say that it is irresponsible of me to ignore the rest of the world while chaos is ensuing, but if Barack Obama can be useless and irrelevant than so can I.

So continue to take a break inbetween taking breaks Mr. President. Enjoy your vacation from whatever it is you do. After all, you work so incredibly hard looking busy and making speeches.

If it is good enough for you it is good enough for me.

So for those who have a problem with me taking a break today, get over it.

Back tomorrow.


Governor Romney, I’m getting the bucket

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Governor Romney, winning the White House is like winning the Super Bowl.

I am getting the bucket ready.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Meeting Rick Perry

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

I recently met Texas Governor Rick Perry in Iowa.


Meeting Sarah Palin

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

It finally happened. I met former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.


2011 Iowa Straw Poll Recap

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Thursday was the Iowa GOP debate. Friday was the State Fair. Saturday was the straw poll. I was there for all of it. Here is the recap.


Election 2012: Iowa 2011 Debate Recap

Monday, August 15th, 2011

The 2011 Iowa Fox News Debate is now in the vault.


NFL 2011 Preseason: Week 1 Raiders Recap

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

The wait is finally over. After 6 long months intensified by an NFL Lockout, real football in pads with men hitting each other is back.

The 2011 preseason officially began on Thursday August 11th, due to the Hall of Fame Game several days earlier being canceled.

The Oakland Raiders began their preseason by hosting the Arizona Cardinals. In news only I care about, my roommate is a Cardinals fan. Also, after 7 straight seasons of going 5-11 or worse, the Raiders went 8-8 last year. They would have been 9-7 except they lost 24-23 to the Cardinals when Sebastian Janikowski shanked a 32 yard field goal as time expired.

While the Raiders appeared on the upswing, they have a rock hard schedule to start the regular season. As for the Cardinals, they are a mess only two years after reaching the Super Bowl. Apparently a Hall of Fame quarterback does make a difference.

The Cardinals began with newly acquired Kevin Kolb taking over. Kolb did convert a 3rd and 10 by running for 15 yards, but the Cardinals punted after that. The Raiders took over at their own 31 and Al Davis had to be smiling when coach Hue Jackson decided to have Jason Campbell go bombs away on the very first play. It was incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant a 40 yard gain. An incompletion on 3rd and 2 set up Seabass for a 39 yard field goal. Seabass connected and the Raiders led 3-0.

On the next series the Cardinals took over on their own 14 and Kolb led them down the field. On 2nd and 2 Kolb went deep to Larry Fitzgerald for a 43 yard gain. After a false start, Kolb hit Fitzgerald again for 17 more. Beanie Wells gained 15 to set up 1st and goal at the 8. Wells gained 5 more and another 2, but on 3rd and goal from the 1 Wells was stopped. Ken Whisenhunt decided to go for it, and on 4th and goal at the 1 Wells ran up the middle and got nailed by a Silver and Black wall.

The Cardinals would not have their starters in on offense after that, so let’s give the Raiders 1st stringers some credit. They led 3-0 after the opening quarter thanks to a fantastic goal line stand.

From the one, Campbell led the Raiders slowly down the field. On 3rd and 2 Michael Bush gained 7. Campbell hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for 13, and on 3rd and 5 from the Oakland 34, Campbell found Miller for 6. On 3rd and 12 Campbell went deep and found Moore for 26 yards. The drive would stall, and on 4th and 8 from the Arizona 34, a 51 yard field goal was well within the range of Seabass. Yet a killer false start penalty instead led to a Shane Lechler punt.

In the second quarter the Cardinals punted, and Kyle Boller came in at quarterback from the Oakland 34. A strong ground game mixed in with efficient passes finally bogged down at the Arizona 7. Seabass nailed the 25 yarder to have the Raiders up 6-0.

With 6 1/2 minutes left in the half Ike Skelton was leading the Cardinals in place of Kolb, and he moved the Cardinals 75 yards. With 30 seconds left in the half, and 18 yard touchdown pass to Williams had the Cardinals up 7-6 at the half.

Skelton would lead the Cardinals to a 38 yard Jay Feely field goal early in the third quarter to have Arizona up 10-6. Trent Edwards came in at quarterback for the Raiders. From the Oakland 28, he looked good, hitting Bodiford for gains of 15 and 10. From the Arizona 47, Edwards went deep to Hagan for a 42 yard gain and 1st and goal at the 5. Yet the drive stalled again, and on 4th and goal at the 3 Hue Jackson had Sebass nail the 21 yard chip shot to get the Raiders within 10-9.

After an exchange of punts, the first miscue of the game occurred when the Cardinals fumbled a punt deep in their own territory. The Raiders needed only one play as Edwards hit Ausberry for the 18 yard touchdown. The 2 point conversion failed but the Raiders led 15-10.

Bartel came in at quarterback for the Cardinals and immediately impressed from the Arizona 27. After a defensive penalty, from the Arizona 48, Bartel hit Sampson for 41 yards to the Oakland 11. On 3rd and 7 Bartel hit Housler for the 8 yard touchdown. In a regular season game a 2 point conversion would make sense, but Ken Whisenhunt opted for the one pointer and the Cardinals led 17-15.

In the fourth quarter the Cardinals reached the Oakland 28, but penalties killed the drive and Arizona punted with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Raiders began at their own 10 and Edwards moved them all the way to the Arizona 27. Yet this time the Raiders suffered penalties back 12 yards. With 2 1/2 minutes remaining, Seabass was brought in for a 57 yard field goal attempt. The Polish Cannon drilled it, and the Raiders led 18-17.

The Cardinals took over at their own 32, and Hall came in at quarterback. While the Raiders did have all of their backups in on defense, Hall made it look way too easy. He hit Williams for 12 and Stuckey for 20. With 50 seconds left in regulation, Arizona faced 3rd and 2 from the Oakland 28. The winning field goal attempt was well within range. Instead, Hall found Williams, who took it all the way for the touchdown. Again, Coach Whisenhunt opted for the one pointer when it would absolutely be a 2 point conversion try in the regular season. Yet rather than practice those tries, the one pointers had the Cardinals up by 6.

Edwards fired deep a few times, all incomplete, and the Cardinals had the win. Yet both of these teams showed some sparks from the starters and some entertainment when the backups came in.

Week 1 preseason 2011 is in the books, and the Raiders will make their adjustments.

Cardinals 24, Raiders 18.


Warrant Saturday: Farewell Jani Lane

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Today was going to be a jovial day where I shared the best of life. Yet sometimes events overtake everything else, and it is with deep sadness that today finds me in mourning.

One of my favorite rock bands of all time was Warrant. The 1980s featured many “glam rock” bands, and Warrant was one of the best. Sadly, at age 47, Warrant lead singer Jani Lane has died. Initial reports are that his death was alcohol related.

While this story of rockers dying young happens far too frequently, Jani Lane’s music really meant something to me. I grew up in the 1980s, and loved all of those bands.

I even struck up a friendship with a guy named Howard who worked at the local record store back in the early 1990s on Ventura Blvd in Los Angeles. I lost touch with Howard years ago, but he and Jani were very close. My condolences on the loss of your friend, Howard.

Jani was also a huge fan of the National Football League, and remained forever loyal to his beloved Cleveland Browns. In one of his albums he thanked “Browns fans everywhere.”

I met Jani Lane back in 1993. I was working at a gift store making $5 an hour. I was 21 years old when he walked in, at the peak of his fame. He was a really nice guy and I was star struck. I thought he was the biggest rocker in the world. I told him I had wanted to meet him since I was 19.

I was supposed to go see the “Blood, Sweat and Beers” tour with Warrant, Trixter, and Firehouse. I had the ticket, but did not even own a car back then. My ride flaked, and I missed the concert.

Warrant was about big hair, high falsetto, and lust fueled videos. Yet Jani Lane knew what he was. He never made himself out to be a revolutionary force in music. He was just the lead singer and partier in a great party band. He often referred to the lead guitarist as, “my favorite slut on guitar, Erik Turner.”

The one thing about Warrant was that some of their songs were great stories. Jani Lane said his grandfather was a great storyteller, and Jani could tell a story in song.

“I saw red” was a passionate ballad about a man who walks in on his woman and finds her with another man.

“I saw red when I opened up the door…

I saw red, my heart just spilled on to the floor…

I didn’t need to see his face…

I saw yours…I saw red and then I closed the door…

I don’t think I’m going to love you any more.”

His best hit in my opinion was a tale of rape and murder in a small town called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” A young boy and his uncle see a corrupt sheriff commit the deed. The boy wants to fight for justice but the uncle says keep quiet.

“Oh my God Tom, who are we gonna tell…

The sheriff he belongs in a prison cell…

Keep your mouth shut that’s what we’re gonna do…

Unless you wanna wind up in the wishing well too…

I know a secret down in Uncle Tom’s cabin…

I know a secret that I just can’t tell…

I know a secret down in Uncle Tom’s cabin…

I know who put the bodies in the wishing well.”

In the end of a brilliant music video, the Uncle decides to fight for justice, and the sheriff kills him in a firefight. The bad guy wins. The young boy escaped and lives, haunted with the truth he cannot tell to anybody.

Jani Lane had a dark side in his writing in his later years as the glam rock era faded and tastes changed. A song called “Ultraphobic” was a tale of unrequited love.

“All the kings horses and all the kings men…

Could not put my heart back together again…

Smashed into pieces and cast to the wind…

I’ll have to start all over…all over again…

Been shot down…broken in pieces…all over the ground…

Been shot down…totally speechless…can’t make a sound.”

Yet the heart of Warrant will always be that of a sex crazed party band.

In concert they were introduced as “the horniest band in the world.”

The official “Warrant hello sign” was Jani Lane taking two fingers and putting them in a letter “V” arond his mouth with his tongue hanging out to symbolize a man putting his mouth on a woman’s (redacted).

“V-action” was slang I used for that activity, and it was inspired by Jani Lane.

The first album “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich” was fun, but their second album “Cherry Pie” was even better. The lead track was about a man having sex with a woman when her father walks in on them.

“In walked her daddy standing 6 ft 4…

Singing ‘ain’t gonna swing with my daughter no more…’

She’s my cherry pie…

Cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise…

Tastes so good, makes a grown man cry…

Sweet cherry pie.”

Jani Lane was twice divorced, and his first wife was the model in the “Cherry Pie” video.

Warrant’s third album did not have commercial success, but the first single off the “Dog Eat Dog” album was “Machine Gun,” and it was quite good.

“Well, my heart is pounding like a big bass drum…

Excited at the thought I might get me some…

Licking off my fingers, squeezing off my tongue…

Love you little baby like a m-m-m-machine gun.”

Jani Lane had a sense of humor. When Al Gore’s ex-wife Tipper led a campaign against explicit lyrics in music, Jani added a one minute track on one of his albums entitled “Ode to Tipper Gore.” It just featured him cursing with an occasional phrase he used to scream in his concerts.

“All right, I want all of you to scream the hair off of your nuts!”

Like I said, when I was 19 I thought he was the coolest guy on the planet.

20 years later I am just sad that a man who brought me so much joy has left us all far too soon.

Farewell Jani Lane. You will be missed.


Iowa Overload–Tales from the Trail

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Today will be the epitome of a short shrift Friday.

Last night was the GOP debate. It is much easier to liveblog these debates when I am not sitting in the theatre watching it live. I scribbled until my hand nearly fell off, and will recap the debate soon enough when people stop caring.

Pawlenty and Gingrich were fiery, Romney and Bachmann were polished, Cain was funny, Santorum was passionate and heartfelt, Huntsman was there, and Ron Paul was even more nuts than usual. Paul supporters are now officially the barbarians at the gate. Savage animals, they totally disrupted the debate and yelled out while other candidates were speaking. They do Dr. Paul a disservice with their behavior.

Tomorrow is the straw poll. I am ready. This is like the Super Bowl of politics.

In the last few days I have spoken in front of Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty, and got to see Michele Bachmann as well. I got invited to a dinner with Mitt Romney but could not go. There are so many events throughout the state and doing a fraction of them is possible.

At the debate I met RNC Chair Reince Priebus and later that night Sean Hannity.

A group called Strong America Now is making a big splash this weekend.

Friday is my day to visit the Iowa State Fair. I will be eating fried everything on a stick and recovering when I get home to Los Angeles.

Anyway, I am on Iowa Overload, so until I can recap the debate and straw poll, here is a quick tail from the campaign trail.

I spoke Tuesday evening in Webster County. After I spoke came Herman Cain and then Tim Pawlenty to wrap it up.

Governor Pawlenty showed up and stayed in the back by the door while Cain was still speaking. Pawlenty was his usual friendly self, and greeted me graciously (I spoke in front of him three weeks ago in Iowa in Story County). Pawlenty ordered his staff to stay quiet so as not to disrupt Mr. Cain.

(I wish Ron Paul would learn from this.)

Cain was equally polite. He saw Pawlenty and then told the audience he would take one last question and then wrap it up so as not to delay Pawlenty. Pawlenty playfully raised his hand, and Cain jokingly said, “I’m not going to call on you!”

The room laughed, and when Cain came to the door to exit, he and Pawlenty greeted each other very kindly. They both laughed as Cain said he could not call on Pawlenty. Pawlenty said, “I had a great question. I wanted to know when you were done because it was my turn to speak.”

They both laughed heartily and shared vigorous handshakes and a sincere hug.

The media made it out to be a conflict, but Cain quickly dispelled that notion by stating that they were joking with each other.

Cain and Pawlenty are not in direct conflict. So other candidates might not be so warm with each other.

Nevertheless, it was good to see that in the rough and tumble world of politics, mutual admiration and respect can develop between two men who each know that they are both working very hard around the state.

Ironically, Cain speaks loudly and passionately. The media calls him bombastic. Pawlenty is calm and low key, so the media labels him boring.

This is nonsense on both counts. The media simply hates conservatives who speak at all.

What I saw was two incredibly likable men with respect for the process of running for president.

So to Cain and Pawlenty, it was a classy display by a pair of good men.

That is this Friday’s tail from the trail.