Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Just a few things.
I try to dislike the guy, I really do. He always, always leaves the Lions delicately wiping dust off of their mouthpieces in the NFC North when playoff time rolls around. I try to dislike the fans. They're insane, numerous, and extremely vocal. GO PACK GO, etc.
I just can't do it.
At the end of the day, I just plain like the Green Bay Packers. I like Brett Favre, with his endless litany of brave, rising-above-life's-trials-and-tribulations games. He's sort of the original Curt Schilling in that regard. His father died. The next day he went out an emotional wreck, played, and won. His wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. He took her to her first chemotherapy session, then goes out and plays tonight. He gets injured, he goes out the next week and plays.
I like his ridiculously strong arm, which lets him throw the ball so hard that he's been known to break the fingers of his receivers. He's said that if the ball isn't going to be caught by his own guys he doesn't want anyone on the other team to be able to catch it either.
I like Al Harris, with so much hair coming out the back of his helmet that you can't even see the name on his jersey. I like Ahman Green, and the fact that a guy with the last name 'Green' is the top running back for Green Bay. I like Najeh Davenport stepping up when Green goes out hurt and making his own name known. I like Bubba Franks, who for some obscure reason always seems like the perfect Wisconsin player to me. Maybe it's something in the name. It just makes me think of midwestern towns and wholesome cheeses and Sunday afternoons on the football field.*
I like the Lambeau Leap, where a Packer hoists himself into the stands behind the endzone and into the arms of ecstatic fans. I like the Packers uniforms, with that classic, simple green and yellow design with the crisp, clean, instantly recognizable (first sign of great graphic design) helmet logo. I like Lambeau Field, which may not necessarily get worse weather than Foxboro or Denver or Buffalo, but always seems to have more fans there the worse the weather gets. I even, god help me, like the fans themselves. I get a kick out of the cheeseheads, I admire their tenacity, mild insanity, and the way that they show up in droves at every single Packers game, no matter where in the country it's being played. Dedication-wise, you can definitely draw some parallels to Red Sox fans.
I like how they came back from 1-4 to win 6 straight and set themselves up in a tie at the top of the NFC North. Even if my Big Cats aren't in it, you have to admire them.
So, hey, congrats on 200 consecutive starts, Favre. Lord only knows how you did it. It's one thing to do it in baseball, but it's quite another to do it in a game where people regularly charge at you as hard as they can with the ultimate goal of separating your head from your shoulders.
Also, the Rams looked like last night's dorm food, hastily reheated for tomorrow's lunch, where it's doomed to sit untouched in its steel bin, slowly congealing around the edges until someone finally takes pity on it and throws it out. Did I call that or did I call that?
Doug Mirabelli seems like a cert to resign with the Sox at this point. This is good. If we can manage to secure a guy who's probably good enough to start on some other team, I'll rest a little easier. Of course, it would be much better if we could secure both Mirabelli and Varitek, but this is better than nothing.
The Boston Red Sox are Sports Illustrated's Sportsmen of the Year. Score. Can't wait to pick this one up when it comes out. Hopefully there will be many previously unreleased photos in this issue, since I'm suffering greatly without regular fresh photographic input from the Sox. *twitch*
Oh, and to close the night, I leave you with some AMAZINGLY AMAZING HOLY FREAKING CATS EXCITING NEWS.
JOHN NAVARRE WILL BE STARTING FOR THE CARDINALS IN SUNDAY'S GAME. AGAINST THE LIONS. THIS COMING SUNDAY.
I don't think I can properly articulate how this makes me feel. I always get a little thrill when I see a former Michigan player starting in the NFL, but to see a guy playing that I actually watched in college... OK. Deep breath. Tom Brady is the pride of this school (in the athletic sense, anyways), but he was gone before I got here. I mean, I was at Navarre's senior year Ohio State game. I freaking RUSHED THE SAME FIELD THAT THIS GUY WAS ON AT THE TIME. I stood in those cold metal stands and I cheered him and groaned over him and discussed him with other Michigan students over lunch and dinner and drawing critiques.
And now he's starting. The first Michigan player of MY Michigan era that I will get to see on TV, in an NFL uniform, throwing an NFL football. It's exciting, it's making me painfully happy and irrationally proud. And, my god, his first starting game will be against Detroit, which is probaly the only thing that would have guaranteed that the game would be on in Michigan. Fate? Why yes indeed.
Of course, I think he's going to utterly crash and burn in his first start as an NFL quarterback behind a Cardinals offensive line that isn't exactly magnificent, but whatever. It doesn't matter. If he loses, that means the Lions win, and I'm happy. If he wins, that means our Michigan man wins and the Lions do exactly what we expect of them at this point. It's a win-win situation (about which I will still find some way to be bitter at the end, but a wee bit of my heart will be happy in any event).
Tom Brady chatting with John Navarre before the Cardinals/Patriots game earlier this year. Navarre wasn't playing, but Brady went over to talk to him because Wolverines stick together and Brady is a classy guy whom I love to tiny little blue-and-maize pieces. Patriots won, obviously, but if this picture doesn't warm your heart, make you go "Squee!" and send you off to bed a happy camper, there's something seriously the matter with you.
Or you're an Ohio State fan. In which case I implore you to return to your cabbage-scented state and stop giving the midwest such a bad name.** Thank you, and good night.
*OK, OK, I know that he's from California and went to school in Miami (of Florida, not Ohio), but still. Isn't that just the perfect midwestern name?
**No offense meant to Beth. You didn't go there, so you get the benefit of the doubt. But some things will just never change. :)
Monday, November 29, 2004
I watched three football games today. The first was the Eagles versus the Giants in ManningMarkII Fest the Second. The highlight was the postgame interview, which featured Eli Manning in a truly hideous shirt with mussed hair that made him look drunk. Delight.
The actual highlights were as follows. MMII made a couple of sick nasty throws to Jamaar Taylor. Of course, one was followed immediately by an interception, but the throws in and of themselves were pretty damn impressive. Donovan McNabb moonwalking after his touchdown run was a fine sight. All the shots of Tiki Barber with his helmet off were highlights. Uh. Yeah. Not that that has anything to do with the game, really, but the guy is attractive. And the fact that there are two of them (his twin brother Ronde plays cornerback for the Bucs) just makes it that much more awesome.
The first half was a bit slow for both teams. TO was shut down, and McNabb seemed to have lots of time in the pocket but no one to throw it to. MMII kept doing things like throwing interceptions when he was trying to throw it away, or having the ball slide out of the hands of his running back on a simple hand-off. He was also sacked quite often, but that didn't change in the second half. I find it ironic that he's gotten slapped around like a baseball in the vicinity of ARod's limp wrist in his two starts with the Giants, but he didn't want to play for the Chargers (who initially drafted him and then traded him) because he was afraid that their offensive line wasn't good enough to protect him.
With this victory the Eagles become the first team in the NFL this season to secure a playoff berth, by winning the NFC East. Because the NFC East is a crappy division, and Philly is the only 10-1 team in the entire NFC (the Patriots and Steelers are both 10-1 in the AFC).
Your Former Wolverines of the Game are Amani Tommer (Giants), Dhani Jones (Eagles), and Jon Runyan (Eagles).
The second game I watched was the Patriots/Ravens mud-slinger. It started up with a montage of Pats fans in ponchos and Pats players jumping around in the precipitation, with 'I'm only happy when it rains' playing in the background. It was ace. Props to the CBS crew, they did good.
I have some scrawled notes here that I jotted down during the game. They say things like 'Randall Gay interception (!!)', 'OMG they called Brady a running threat!', 'loud in Gillette, how come Ford couldn't do that?', 'Dillon strongarms w/ best of them', 'muddy field, muddy ball, muddy everyone', 'Vinatieri has golden foot again tonight', 'Pats doing typical rxnary thing', and 'Pats get record'.
Those should all be pretty self-explanatory except for, perhaps, the last two. The 'typical rxnary thing' is referring to the fact that the first half was almost all defense, with a score of 3-3 going into halftime. The Patriots don't play 'preemptive' football, where they go out and score a ridiculous number of points and blow out their opponents. They play reactionary football, where they match their opponent step for step and do just what they have to do to win. This is why so many of their games are won by small margins, and this is also why they keep on winning. It doesn't matter who they're playing, because, as a reactionary team, they change their tactics for each opponent.
The Ravens play a mean defense, so the Patriots matched their defense. They didn't really open up the offense until the second half, where they saw that they needed to start securing the game.
The second one (Pats get record) is referring to the fact that the Patriots scored first today, and have now scored first in their last 16 regular season games, which is the NFL record. They were previously tied at 15 with the Dolphins. It seems like everything with the Patriots is a record these days.
Tedy Bruschi had two huge plays: one big, key tackle and the play where he sacked Kyle Boller and knocked the ball loose for an eventual Patriots pickup and touchdown. I love Tedy Bruschi. This is something that cannot be said enough, like saying 'Boston Red Sox-- 2004 World Champions'. The more you say it the more true and sweet it gets.
Your Former Wolverines of the Game are Tom Brady (Patriots) and Ty Law (Patriots). The Ravens don't have any former Michigan players on their team, and therefore truly did deserve to lose.
The third game was the Raiders/Broncos snow-fest. You know it's winter when they're playing football in the snow at Mile High Stadium. I was actually getting cold just from watching the game. One of the Denver fans was holding up a sign that said 'Brrrrrrr-oncos', and that looked pretty accurate.
The Raiders had 5,624 penalties in the first half, which was in keeping with their reputation as a generally mean, lawless team. There were a lot of interceptions, including one series in the second half where Kerry Collins threw an interception, and on the very next play Jake Plummer inexplicably aired out the ball for another interception that gave the ball right back to the Raiders. It was impossible to tell if this was just universal quarterback ineptitude or if it was a result of the cold and the snow.
Champ Bailey, despite being a very good player, was inexplicably lit up by the Raiders for a couple of big completions and some points. This is unconnected to anything, so it gets its own paragraph. I just thought it warranted mentioning.
The game was pretty close, with both teams making ridiculous runs at the endzone in the end of the game, and the Raiders won by virtue of being the last team to score. It was essentially a grudge match for Oakland, since with a 4-7 record in the AFC they're pretty much not going to the playoffs, but they hate the Broncos with the fiery passion of a hundred thousand terrifyingly costumed fans.
This could end up being a spoiler for Denver, though, because it drops them to 7-4 behind the 8-3 Chargers, whom they play next week. If they had won this they would have been right in the thick of things, while this loss makes next week's game a definite must-win for them.
Your Former Wolverines of the Game are Tyrone Wheatley (Raiders), Charles Woodson (Raiders), and Jeremy LeSueur (Broncos-he was on the injured reserve for this game).
The Dolphins have achieved the dubious distinction of being 'the best of the worst' teams in the NFL, by beating the 1-9 San Francisco 49ers to raise their own 1-9 record to the lofty heights of 2-9, while the Niners sink into the ignominy of 1-10. I think Jason Taylor (one of the hottest men in football, just as a side note) summed it up best when he said, after the game, "Thank god we got the win, but we're not going to overreact. We're 2-9."
Apparently (and I'm getting some of this from the Miami Herald, but I think you have to register to read their articles) both teams exited the field at halftime to boos from the crowd. The score at that point was 7-3 in Miami's favor (the game was in 'Frisco).
AJ Feeley made a bid for the Gutsiest Yet Probably Most Ultimately Useless Performance by a Quarterback this year by coming back into the game and playing with a dislocated finger. They showed the injury as a highlight, and you could see the finger plainly out of place, Feeley's face contorting in pain. It happened on his third passing attempt. The first two attempts had seen him getting hit hard and nearly knocked out of the game by the Niners. When he came back in, after trainers popped his finger more-or-less back into place, he threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Chris Chambers.
Hey, it's rare that Miami has something to celebrate. So leave me alone while I savor Feeley's performance and use its shiny glow to dull the horror of the Lions game.
I wouldn't be a football fan if I somehow failed to mention the Browns/Bengals game. The two teams combined for 106 points, making it the second highest scoring game in NFL history. Kelly Holcomb, the Cleveland quarterback, threw for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns, but the Browns still lost 48-58.
You might assume that, in such a ridiculously high-scoring game, there was no defense. There was defense. But all the notable defense came in the form of interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. There was, by all accounts, very little 'normal' defense. Cincy is 5-6 and Cleveland is 3-8, both in the AFC North behind the 10-1 Steelers and the 7-4 Ravens, so there's essentially no chance of either team going to the playoffs, but it certainly was an exciting game nonetheless.
Of course, it was also an aesthetically horrifying game, as the orange-helmted Browns faced off against the newly emboldened and over-striped Bengals. We did get to see the nice midfield tiger again, though.
I'm kind of sad that the Jaguars lost, and not just because I now have a simmering resentment for the Colts, born of their sound thumping of Detroit on Thanksgiving. I like Byron Leftwich, dammit. The fact that he had to lose to the hated Six Monarchs* just makes it worse.
The Steelers won again, which is a situation that every Patriots fan should keep a nervous eye on. Of course, they won against the Redskins, who might be 3-8 but suck every bit as much as the Fins do, so you might have to take this win with a grain of salt.
The Chargers won again. I can feel the Drew Brees bandwagon sucking me in. 'Believe!' it squeals, powder-blue wheels spinning hypnotically. 'We really are this good! You know you want to join us... join us... join us...' I'm resisting so far, but it's getting harder with every successive week.
The Panthers beat the Buccaneers today. Jake Delhomme actually looked something like a real quarterback for this one. Amazing. And here we all were, ready to write off last year as a fluke and send him right back to NFL Europe. I guess we have to keep him for a while now. However, if I have to hear Chris Berman say 'Daylight come and you gotta Delhomme' one more time I'm going to be very irritable. It was maybe funny the first couple of times, Boomer, but it is now just annoying. Also, Julius Peppers had a frelling amazing game... intercepting, running, blocking field goals, scoring touchdowns. Phew.
Bledsoe and the Bills beat the living daylights out of a reeling Seahawks team. I said before that Hasselbeck might be washed up for the second half of this season, and the Seahawks do indeed have the appearance of nosediving team. Nice to see Bledsoe looking a bit like his old self, though. I always root for the guy except when he's playing the Pats. I did love him when we had him, and while I wholeheartedly embrace the Brady era, I felt really bad for him at the time and I still like to see him win.
OK, I wasn't intending to do so, but what the heck, I'll comment on all of tonight's games.
The Texans trounced the Titans, and that's rather a lot of Ts. Despite the fact that Steve McNair looked really good early and had some good plays, the much drooled-over David Carr led Houston to victory. People have been calling Carr the Tom Brady of the future, only they're referring to his attractiveness, not his play.
The Saints, another team that has a better record than the Fins while actually on the same level of suckitude, nearly pulled off an upset against Michael 'Fleet-foot' Vick and the Falcons. Didn't happen, because Michael Vick is Michael Vick and when you think you've got him tackled he dances around and away and throws a touchdown pass. This is one bandwagon that I definitely have gotten on. I still think he's not the quarterback to end all quarterbacks, but the guy can move like no one else in the league, and his arm is good enough to outpass a lot of other QBs (*cough*JoeyHarrington*cough*). On a positive note for N'awlins, Aaron Brooks threw two interceptions but at least didn't make the evening highlights for a spectacularly bad throw (i.e. backwards, to no one, or forwards, directly into the arms of a confused opponent). This is progress for the Saints.
The Jets beat the Cardinals, but I still can't count Arizona out of it. They're in the NFC West behind the previously mentioned reeling Seahawks team and a very lukewarm Rams club, so I think they still have a shot. I could be completely full of crap on this, but as of right now I'm saying it: do not count the Cardinals out of the playoffs with a 4-7 record right now. However, Emmit Smith left the game after what looked like a perfectly normal tackle and didn't return. I've no idea what that was about.
And that's all of today's games. Wow. I am the football machine.
On a completely unrelated note, I spent the vast majority of this afternoon and evening (Sunday, that is) working on this one drawing.
I have no idea why I suddenly got a mad compulsion to draw this guy, and then to color him on the computer, which is a long and fiddly process even with a pen tablet. You can see a larger image of the figure here, which better shows the madly obsessive coloring I did on him.
He's sort of a redesign of a preexisting character I have lying around. But, as I said, I have absolutely no idea why I absolutely had to draw him, and had to spend so much time on him. It was weird. I got the urge to draw, to draw this, and there was no refusing it. I could have been getting ahead in my bio reading, I could have been writing a paper for art lecture, I could have been paying closer attention to the football games, I could have gone across the hall and harassed the Halo guys. But I had to draw this. No idea why. None.
Oh well. Who am I to deny the little voices in my head? Hopefully there will be baseball news shortly. Mirabelli is supposed to be resigned by the Sox by Monday (so, er, later today) but I'll wait for the official announcement to post all the recent Red Sox goodies. Until the next, mes amis.
*The Vikings. You know. Six Monarchs, VI Kings. Nickname shamelessly gacked from the Detroit sports message boards.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
First things first.
The second installment of Three Chicks Talk Football is up, so click the banner and check it out.
Upsetting things second.
Thanksgiving day has come and gone, and we all know what this means. It means turkey and stuffing and carrot cake and other foodstuffs that will make you temporarily forget the horror of dorm food and microwave noodles. It means hanging out with family and watching your little cousins beat the crap out of your brother in after-dinner 'football' games. It means watching the Michigan high school football championships on TV (at least, if you're in Michigan).
More pertinently, it means that it is time to watch the Lions and the Cowboys play at home on Thanksgiving day.
The night before the game was Michigan's first real snow of the year, which meant that when we went out to the car in the morning we found it encased in a shroud of icy snow-crust. This had to be chipped off the windows so that the car could be rendered driveable. It was cold and a bit of a miserable way to start off, although watching everyone in the family try to chip away at the windshield with fingers and plastic scrapers was sort of funny. In retrospect we should have known right then that the weather was foreshadowing the Lions' performance: frozen stiff.
At the time, however, we remained blissfully unaware of our impending doom, so we cheerfully swung out onto the highway and into Detroit. Lunch was consumed at Plaka's, a Coney Island in Greektown. The place was absolutely mobbed with people in for the football game, including a few Colts fans and a woman wearing a stuffed lion head as a hat (with the mane coming down as though it was her hair). For those of you who are unfamiliar with the phenomenon, Coney Islands are little restaurants that are known for selling completely vile things called coney dogs. These are hotdogs slathered in chili or shredded meatbits. It's very much a midwestern thing, and probably goes a long way towards explaining why Detroit is the fattest city in the US.
The food dispensed with, we walked down to Ford Field, gamely shielding our ears from the freezing cold air and looking at the vehicles of the numerous parking lot tailgaters to see if any of them had cool, Lions-themed cars. Later in the game the big video board in the stadium would show a happy tailgater cooking a whole turkey in a deep-frying vat, but we did not, alas, get to see this culinary marvel in person.
Before kickoff the Lions honored three of their former players: Lem Barney, Billy Sims, and Barry Sanders. All three wore the number 20 for the Lions, and all three totally kicked ass in their respective days. We certainly could have used them on the field on Thursday, but unfortunately they shucked their jerseys before the game started.
Lem Barney played defensive back for the Lions from 1967-1977. He had 10 interceptions in his rookie season, and 56 interceptions for his career. He played in 7 Pro Bowls and was voted All-Pro three times. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Billy Sims played running back for the Lions from 1980-1984, when a severe knee injury ended his career. Over that short time he accrued 5,106 yards and 42 touchdowns rushing, 2,072 yards and 47 touchdowns as a receiver. He played in three Pro Bowls.
Barry Sanders played running back for the Lions 1989-1998. He had 15,269 rushing yards and 109 career touchdowns, 99 of which were rushing touchdowns. He was the first person to ever rush for more than 1,000 yards in each of his 10 years with the Lions. He played in all 10 Pro Bowls of his NFL career. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was, to put it simply, the shit. He's been called the most electrifying running back to ever play. If you don't know who Barry Sanders is you don't know football.
left to right: Billy Sims, Lem Barney, Barry Sanders-- The Roaring 20s!
Sadly, this feel-good nostalgia had to end sometime, and the game had to start. First, of course, we had to have the national anthem and a pathetically choreographed crowd event that involved everyone holding up colored cards to make stars and stripes around the stadium. Even this mildly cheesy horror paled in comparison to the upcoming slaughter.
It was, as my mother pointed out the next morning in an attempt to make us feel like we hadn't wasted a day of our lives, a truly historic game. It was historic in the sense that it was the worst Thanksgiving day loss ever suffered by the Lions. Hallelujah.
The entire game was mostly summed up in two occurrences. One of the stadium vendors was going up and down the rows, shouting, "Peanuts, beer, soda!" A fan jokingly called out, "Hey, selling any defense?" Pretty much everyone within hearing range got a groan and a commiserative chuckle out of that.
The other thing that truly summed up the whole mess was when the play clock broke going into the second half. The referee flipped on his little microphone and said, "Would you please reset the play clock to such-and-such a time," but nothing happened. Then we all realized that the downs were wrong too. The entire thing had frozen. It turned on and off for a while as the players milled about on the field, waiting for the thing to be fixed. After a bit the referee announced that time would be kept on the field. Disgusted, I got up to get snacks with my mother. The clock was fixed by the time we got back, but it really was just a sad state of affairs at that point.
As for individual players... sigh. I have to say that Peyton Manning's constant audibling is about 5,000 times more annoying in person than it is on TV. When you're watching him do it from the comfort of your own home (or dorm room) you think it's kind of cool and pretty impressive. When you're at a game where he's doing it you start to feel like a Pistons fan and just want to chuck a cup at his helmet. It was probably made more annoying because the crowd was so quickly demoralized that they weren't making much noise, and crowd noise is one thing that can really throw off a quarterback who relies heavily on audibles.
Harrington was very inconsistent. We had some good runs down the field early on, where he would have one good, long pass or Kevin Jones would have one good, long run to give us excellent field position. But he just couldn't finish. Passes into the endzone went uncaught, and we had to settle for field goals when we should have had touchdowns. It was frustrating, and apparently Coach Mariucci was frustrated too, because the second half saw backup quarterback Mike McMahon getting some throwaway playing time. He came out to enormous cheers from the crowd, although, as the post-game radio show announcers pointed out, "The most popular guy in the world is a backup quarterback... especially in this town."
Kevin Jones looked like he was on track to have a pretty decent game, but in the second half he suddenly wasn't on the field. I have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation for this, but then again I haven't been searching around for articles because I don't really want to relive the agony just yet.
Ford Field started emptying in the third quarter, and by the fourth quarter the place was emptier than I have ever seen it. There were less people there than there are when we show up an hour early. It was pretty sad, but also kind of fun. Everyone who stayed was either a Colts fan or a Lions fan adopting a wry sort of gallows-humor. A small group of people a couple of sections over from us tried to start a wave with almost no one in the stands... another small group of about 10 or 15 people belted out a series of loud chants all by themselves... people cheered and clapped ironically when something mundanely good happened for the Lions, like a completed pass. As I said-- gallows-humor.
Anyways, I've got up the photos from the game, such as they are, so give those a gander if you are so inclined.
The score, by the by, was 41-9. Just in case I hadn't made that clear.
There was not much to be thankful for in this game, but I tried very hard to come up with some good tidbits, so you shall be subjected to them.
Things to Be Thankful For in the Lions Game
-We didn't punt once in the first half. Of course, we turned the ball over twice, but still.
-Rory (the Lions mascot) knocking down the coffee cup, donut, and bagel to win the Dunkin' Donuts race himself.
-A fan getting on the big screen because he was holding up a sign that read, "Give the cameraman a raise! Go Lions!"
-Eating Dippin' Dots in the third quarter. I love those things. Frozen pellets of ice cream-like goodness.
-Not watching the game on TV, so I didn't have to see closeups of The Joey Harrington Face. You know. That face he makes when things aren't going well, where his forehead crumples up and his eyebrows contract and he looks really cute but utterly confused and lost and maybe about to cry. I'm dead certain that he was making it during this game, but without TV closeups I didn't have to see it and feel worse than I already did.
-Getting to jeer at the Colts every time they sent the ball out of bounds on a kickoff rather than risk giving it to Eddie Drummond. Bloody cowards.
-Watching an enormously overweight man in complete pilgrim attire singing along with the stadium sound system.
-Hearing the former Michigan players get cheered when they were announced at the start of the game, even the ones on the Colts. Because this state loves Wolverine football that much.
-The Roaring 20s.
-Being inside, and getting to sit down for most of the game. A nice relaxing break from Michigan games.
-During the United Way halftime show, watching a video of various football players helping small children through the United Way. This was made awesome when Joey Harrington came up and the stadium started booing. Boo for small children! Boo for charity! It was ace.
-Getting free Lions car flags on the way out of Ford Field.
-Listening to the bitter, bitter postgame radio show. Highlights include an insane female caller yelling, "Where yo' run at now? Where yo speed at?"; Mooch stubbornly insisting, "I thought we had a good first half," while the radio announcers burst out laughing; all of Mooch's soundbites interspersed with the 'Brilliant!' clip from those Guinness beer ads; the following radio announcer exchange- "Now, I like McMahon a lot... Sean [other radio show host] has accused me of being McMahon's lover..." "Are you?" "No."
And that's about it. Oh, except for the fact that Eddie Drummond (whom I recently called 'the only reason to watch the Lions play') fractured his shoulder blade in the second half and will probably be out for the rest of year. There goes any chance of us scoring more than three points at a time for the remainder of the season.
To close, have a couple of articles that are both kind of old, but I just realized I forgot to post links to them when they were new. They're still both pretty darn awesome.
Firstly, we have the heartwarming tale of two Michigan State football players being arrested for setting off homemade bombs. That noise you hear is the sound of the entire city of Ann Arbor sighing in vindicated satisfaction. We always knew they were delinquent hick yokels out there in East Lansing, but it's so very gratifying to be proven right.
Secondly we have a hilarious article from NYYFans about how to talk to your children about the Red Sox World Series victory if you are a Yankee fan. Funny even if you're not really a baseball fan. Most of the articles on NYYFan are extremely poorly written, so this was something of a surprise. Read it.
I'm off to watch the Boise St./Nevada game, simply because there's a slight chance that it will have some bearing on the BCS. I don't pretend to understand the system, but I can pretend to understand when other people say things like 'if Boise State wins big tonight, they could force their way into the top 6 and a guaranteed bowl bid depending on what the voters think'.
edit: I just realized this entry is pretty poorly written, but it's hard to be funny/coherent about this game. Sorry. My sarcastic bitterness should be back on track as soon as my caffeine intake gets back up and as soon as I get to read the highlights of tomorrow's Miami/San Francisco game. Two 1-9 teams going at it! I know that I'm pretty pissed that it won't be on TV here. I mean, blimey, what's not to love?
edit again: Just popping up to mention that I absolutely love the Western Athletic Conference ads that they play during WAC games. Techno music thumping, WAC in official collegiate font on the screen, deep male voice intoning, "The Western... Athletics Conference... where actions... count!" It almost makes the Big 10 'fans, please, behave yourselves' ads look like a quality campaign.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Gabe Kapler has signed with the Yomiuri Giants, a Japanese baseball team. So he'll be playing there next year.
Kapler wasn't going to be a starter in Boston, barring injuries, but he was great bench player for us. He was an awesome team player who didn't complain about being returned to the bench when Trot Nixon got healthy. By all accounts he's an extremely smart guy (especially in that club of 'idiots') and a real class act. Who didn't enjoy watching him beat the snot out of The Shame of Worchester, Yankee pitcher Tanyon Sturtze, during the fateful Yankees/Red Sox brawl? And, you know, he's only the Hottest Jew in Professional Sports. Perhaps most importantly, he was One of the 25, one of the players who won the World Series for the Red Sox. And that's worth a whole heck of a lot these days.
So, good luck next year, Gabe! You'll be missed.
And so the offseason exodus begins.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
I'm not mad or anything, honest. Hee hee. They never should have given me Photoshop.
As you may or may not have guessed from this, Michigan is going to the Rose Bowl for the 18th time (the most of any Big 10 school). Yes, we lost to Ohio State, but Iowa did the world a favor and beat Wisconsin, so we share the Big 10 title with the Hawkeyes and were rocketed into bowl glory despite the loss. The Buckeyes don't even matter, in the end. Yes, it would have been nice to beat them, especially in their own sordid, scandal-ridden horsesshoe stadium, but who cares? We beat Michigan State. We're going to the Rose Bowl. We have the senior standout Braylon Edwards, and the freshman phenoms Hart and Henne. We are the Maize and Blue, the Michigan f-ing Wolverines.
We all remember what happened in the Rose Bowl last year, but that doesn't matter either. Just getting to the bowl will suffice.
I think we all owe the Black an' Yellow a very, very serious 'thank you' for knocking off the Badgers. If they hadn't sent Wisconsin packing, their stripey red behinds would be heading to the Rose Bowl instead of our much more pleasantly clad shiny yellow ones. Iowa, you guys rock. Although if I had to hear one more announcer comparing Drew Tate (the Hawkeye quarterback, a little guy listed at 6 feet and change but probably shorter than that) to Doug Flutie, I might have broken something expensive.
It looks like we're slated to play Cal in Pasedena. I don't know much of anything about the team, although I will doubtless pick something up between now and New Year's Day.
Utah, America's Cinderalla Team of the Season, beat their arch enemies from BYU (the Mormon Wonders! I kid, they're actually the Cougars) tonight to finish their perfect 11-0 season and secure themselves a spot in the BCS standings. Everyone is all a-flutter, because it would be the first time that a non-BCS conference team would play in a BCS bowl, but Utah is just that good. Congrats to those guys, they definitely deserve it. I do not believe, like the announcers did, that this was 'comparable to the Red Sox winning the World Series', but it's a very big deal in college-football-land, and it's a big deal in Utah. Good luck in your bowl game, Utes. It's probably going to be the Fiesta Bowl, and it might be against BC without their starting quarterback, so you could have some mighty good times ahead.
I still don't understand how Boise State can be 11-0 and be ranked below a bunch of teams. It's either because their schedule was pretty weak or because their field is that eye-twisting shade of blue (I believe it's the only field in college football that is not actually green). Regardless, they had a heck of a season too.
The Florida Gators just upset Florida State. Ron Zook, the sitting-duck coach who was coaching his last game for the Gators, got grabbed by two of his players who settled him onto their padded shoulders and carried him onto the field. In the postgame interview his eyes were redrimmed and his voice hoarse. It's the first time in 17 years that Florida has beaten FSU at FSU. Just throwing this all out there.
Yes, I saw the Pistons/Pacers brawl. I couldn't care less about basketball, and normally wouldn't even bother to watch the game, but the Pistons are huge out here, and some of my hallmates roped me into watching the game with them. It was, for lack of a better word, disgusting.
For those who have not seen the footage, this is what happened: Ben Wallace (Pistons) went up for a basket and was fouled from behind by Ron Artest (Pacers). It was a pretty hard foul, but not unreasonably hard. Big Ben was already upset because the Pistons were losing at home, the Pacers were acting like they had won with 45 seconds still on the clock, and he overreacted to the foul by shoving Artest in the face. The two went at it, other players and staff members hurried up to restrain them, etc.
After a few minutes it looked like the whole thing had been brought under control. Wallace was being more or less restrained, and Artest was lying down on the scorer's table, attempting to ignore everything and cool down. Suddenly a cup full of liquid came flying out of the stands and hit Artest on the head. Artest went absolutely nuts, rolled off the table and jumped into the stands, charging up to where he thought the cup came from and decking a fan (video evidence later showed that he actually went after the wrong guy). Another Pacer, Jackson, jumped up into the stands to defend Artest and attack some other violent fans.
The whole thing just got worse from there. Fans were throwing punches, players were throwing punches, players were trying to get other players out of the stands, fans got onto the court and started punching people, utter chaos. When the Pacers finally started getting shunted off the court and into the lockerrooms, the fans threw beer, soda, and popcorn on them as they went into the tunnel. At one point the video showed a woman holding a full soda bottle, deliberating, then hurling it down onto the players.
Suspensions have been issued for Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, and Jermaine O'Neal of the Pacers and Ben Wallace of the Pistons.
It was shameful for both teams, and extremely shameful for the Detroit fans. Way to go, Detroit. Way to convince the rest of the nation that they're totally right when they consider you the crappiest, most riot-prone city in the US.
This isn't why I don't like basketball, but it sure doesn't make me want to watch it.
Wild and exciting things are happening in the field of fan football commentary. Well, not really. See, All-baseball.com does this thing where they have fans of different baseball teams hold email exchanges during baseball season. They ask each other questions, have discussions, whatever. It's usually pretty interesting and educational for all.
The thinking was, why not do this with football? And with ladies? That should be awesome, right?
Yes. Yes, it is awesome.
The ladies are: your very own Feline Anarchist, going by my sports blogging name- Boston Fan in Michigan. I'm mostly providing the Lions fan perspective for the purposes of this thing, although we're all talking about all teams. I also will probably throw in college football references, just because every chance I get to laud my Michigan Wolverines is a chance I will leap upon and utterly smother.
Meredith of Sass-a-thon, a Philadelphia Eagles fan who lives in Texas and is a Red Sox fan (we all 'know' each other through the Red Sox blogosphere. Yes, there is a Red Sox blogosphere. And just when you thought things on here couldn't possibly get any geekier). She's smart and funny and likes TO, but then again we all have our little quirks at the end of the day.
Beth of Cursed to First, the tried-and-true Boston fan who provides the main Patriots commentary. Her writing makes me get all teary-eyed, because never shall my humble prose rise to that vaunted level. She's also sort of running this entire debacle, and it was her idea in the first place.
Anyways, the first installment is up! It's good stuff. You should go read it right this very moment. Football. Girls. Girls talking about football. I know this is wild and exciting stuff for some of you, so head on over. Click the banner. Designed, incidentally, by yours truly.
Just because I spent so much time thinking about this, I'm going to repost part of it in here. One of the questions for this installment was to name who you thought was going to the playoffs. I don't think I have any surprises here, but it'll be interesting to see how many I get right.
Feline Anarchist Playoff Predictions! Complete with snide commentary. Enjoy.
*AFC East: Patriots. The Pats would have won it in any event, but the Jets would have made it interesting with Chad Pennington. Without him they're in trouble.
*AFC North: Steelers. Cincy could make a run, but not enough to knock off Pitt. Baltimore can't win with only defense. This might be the division with the worst uniforms... the hideously overstriped Bengals, the black leggings of the Ravens, the overall color scheme of the unfortunate Browns. The Steelers deserve to win it because of that, if nothing else.
*AFC South: Colts. They're tied with the Jaguars right now, but you have to believe that Indy will pull ahead even with a defense that's flimsier than A-Rod's protestations of heterosexuality. If you could merge the Indy offense with the Baltimore defense the world would be agape at the sight of the resulting team. But the Patriots would still beat them.
*AFC West: Chargers. I just don't see the Broncos outplaying them, if only because the Chargers seem to have good momentum right now (they've won three in a row). If they continue wearing those powder-blue uniforms I just might join the rest of America and get on the Drew Brees bandwagon.
*AFC Wildcard: Toss-up. I'm going to go for the upset and say Bengals, even though Chad Johnson is a TO-wannabe. Jaguars are going to have trouble with Leftwich out. I had the Ravens at first, but I just looked at their upcoming schedule and they have New England, Pittsburgh, and Indy ON THE ROAD. Look for the Ravens to crash and burn in the upcoming weeks.
*NFC East: Eagles. Barring a major breakdown of team dynamics they're not going to be caught in that division.
*NFC North: Packers. This is the most exciting division in football, and I'm not just saying that because the Lions are in it. The Packers and Vikings are 5-4, while the Lions and Bears are 4-5. The phrase 'on any given Sunday' was made for these guys. With Randy Moss out, I say Favre leads the Packers to the top of it. You can never count the Bears out, though, especially as they're on a 3-game winning streak right now.
*NFC South: Falcons. Michael Vick is overrated, but being 7-2 in a relatively crappy division is not.
*NFC West: Cardinals. I just have a feeling about the Cardinals. If you're not from Arizona, can you name anyone on the Cardinals? Yet they're 4-5 and have won their last 2. It's perfectly possible that Hasselbeck is washed up for the season anyways, and the Rams I object to on principle because they signed Jeff Fucking Smoker, former Michigan State quarterback, and proof that State really is a school full of the drug-addicted back-town dregs of humanity.
*NFC Wildcard: Lions. Uh. Because. RESTORE THE ROAR! If not the Lions, maybe the Bears. I always have this nagging sense about the Bears. This weird, sort of upwelling thing, like they're always just about to cut loose and unleash their fury upon the NFL, but not quite yet. Most people call this constipation, but I call it a feeling that the Bears might still be in the playoffs race.
Thems the picks. Seriously, go read the rest of it, it's good stuff. I'm honored to be able to write in the same arena as these sports-savvy, word-wise women. Hopefully my linguistic butchery won't bring down the tone too much :).
I definitely didn't notice that Helene had posted this. But there's a happy Red Sox conversation up here. Ha ha. Excellent.
Not much Sox news going around. There's a guy on SoSH who says that the Sox added some of their big minor league prospects to their 40-man roster (Juan Cedeno, Manny Delcarmen, Luis Mendoza, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Kelly Shoppach, and Chris Smith, in case you follow the Boston minors and know who these guys are). I haven't seen much confirmation of this, but it's interesting if true. Shoppach is the catcher we've been grooming, and Ramirez is the shortstop we've been bringing along, so this could have some minor impact on the Varitek and Cabrera situations. We could be preparing ourselves for the possibility that these guys won't be back. I hope they will be, but we'll see.
Carl Pavano did visit with the Sox and Curt Schilling. I guess no solid contracts were discussed, but Pavano was supposedly favorably impressed by the whole thing.
If we manage to pry one of the Big 3 out of Oakland, I'd want it to be Tim Hudson. I don't like Barry Zito. Hudson seems like he'd be a good fit, though. I guess it's pretty unlikely that we'll get him, but one never knows.
I don't want Randy Johnson on the Yankees. I don't care how old he is, the guy's inhuman. He's like a machine. I'm convinced that normal pitcher age restrictions just don't apply to him.
Still sick. Urgh. I cleaned my room today, since it was definitely looking like a paper-eating monster had vomited all over the place (an analogy that Pam called 'completely gross', but it suited the state of the place). I finally hung up all those Red Sox newspapers, I put some new stuff up on my door, I put the triangles back where they couldn't jab anyone in the foot, I threw out several pounds of miscellaneous stuff. It does make me feel a little better to not be living in a complete pigsty anymore, but in the end I'm still hacking and wheezing.
I guess that's mostly it until the football orgy tomorrow. It looks like Lions/Vikings at 1 (someone... please... kill me now), some game or other at 4 (I'm not sure which ones we'll be getting out here), Packers/Texans at 8:30 (is it really asking too much for both the Vikings and the Packers to lose tomorrow?), and Patriots/Chiefs for Monday Night Football. I'm very happy about all the Monday Night Football slots that the Pats are getting, because I wouldn't get to see them much otherwise.
Thanksgiving is coming up, and we all know what that means. It means I don't have lab on Tuesday, which is such a big relief that there are no words for it. It means that I head out to Southfield and the Land of Real Food on Wednesday. It means that I GET TO GO TO FORD FIELD AND A REAL FRIKKING FOOTBALL GAME ON THURSDAY. Yeah, Turkey Day football in Detroit never fails to get me riled up. I know we're playing the Colts. I know I should prepare myself to be disappointed. But hey, last year Green Bay didn't suck and we beat them on Thanksgiving. Anything could happen.
If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stroke my Joey Harrington jersey in rabid anticipation until Nate walks in and freaks out on me. Again. Hey, the first time I was just squeegeeing rubber cements balls off of a foamcore cube, it really didn't warrant his startled reaction.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Tigers fans and Royals fans taking shots at each other's offseason prospects from the safety of their own boards.
Sometimes you just have to lean back, close your eyes, and cackle like a loon. Wow. Every time I get upset at the thought of possibly losing Varitek or Pedro or Cabby or whomever, I should just head over to the Tigers board and scroll through it. It's time to admit it, Red Sox fans-- our problems are nothing compared to these poor guys. Sometimes I forget that teams like the Royals even exist, but blimey, the thought of their plight sure does make me feel secure and happy.
*wipes tears of unexpected joy from eyes*
Yes, Pedro talked to the Yankees. But he also spoke with the Sox. And we supposedly had a chat with Pavano, although no news yet on how/if that went off. Tigers picked up closer Troy Percival, which I suppose means that they'll be looking to unload Urbina, he of the kidnapped mother.
In other news, I am hideously, murderously sick. The Cold of Death, seemingly. Blinding headaches, nasal passages that seem to have solidified, throat in a constant state of fiery agony, mysterious pain in the back of my neck. O joy. For the record I dragged my miserable carcass to all three of my classes today. And for those of you in weeny programs who only have one hour classes, those three classes translate into 6 glorious hours (one 3-hour studio and two one-and-a-half-hour lectures). Toss in two hours of transit, and you have a happy fun jolly good day to be sick. I guess I can say 'thank god it wasn't Tuesday', since that's my 9am-9:30pm day. But I'm still not happy about it.
We have to read a book called Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, for art lecture. Everything we've read in there so far has been pretty much what one would expect-- architecture books, utter wank written by overpaid Harvard professors who don't even know how to cite their sources, a treatise on the sociological importance of pink plastic flamingos. So I was a bit shocked when I picked up Snow Crash and started digging into it.
It's a sci-fi novel. It reads like someone combined the general storylines and atmospheres of Tron and Bladerunner, and had the thing drafted by Philip K. Dick in full A Scanner Darkly mode. I don't really know what to say. I blew through the entire 468-page behemoth in two nights, because it was so morbidly fascinating. It gets sort of preachy and dull in the middle when it goes into a huge religio-techno spin that is, now that I think about it, very much a Philip K. Dick kind of thing. Maybe even an Orson Scott Card kind of thing, though the book does read more like Dick... i.e. you finish it and feel like you just took a blow to the base of your skull. It's relatively well-written. After a while you even get over the fact that the main character is named (no kidding) Hiro Protagonist.
But. What does any of this have to do with my art lecture class? I am completely, utterly at a loss here. It's a very nice sci-fi book, with some pseudo-science facts thrown in, some religion thrown in, some social commentary thrown in, and some humor thrown in. But it does not seem to intersect with the (admittedly vague) subject areas covered by our class or, indeed, by anything at all in the art school.
Then again, the entire class firmly believes that the professor comes in to all the lectures drunk (hair mussed, staggering slightly, slurred speech) while he claims to have some kind of chronic ear infection, so who knows. It's the art school. Anything makes sense.
Lastly: it was in the 60s outside today. Didn't even need a jacket. This was possibly the only thing that made me able to go to classes in my morass of illness.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Pedro, please don't leave.
Who would Manny bobble with?
(Yup, I've been busy. The best highlight video in the history of the world emerged onto the web. I watched it about 30 times in one night. Then I went through, took a bunch of screenshots, and made gifs out of some of it. I'll put up a page with the rest of them at some point in the near future.)
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Spray painted Johnny Damons showing up in New York! This is amazing. More of this sort of thing. And it gives me all sorts of ideas... *eyes the numerous cans of spray paint sitting innocently in the corner*
Apparently Gary Sheffield of the MFYankees was being blackmailed by a pseudo-minister who claimed to have tapes of his wife having sex with another woman and R. Kelly. I say 'apparently' because it's being reported by the New York Post, which isn't exactly the most reliable of newspapers.
When I first read the story, I was shocked to find myself 100% sympathetic to the Sheffields. A Yankee! A Yankee who hasn't even forced a kind of extremely grudging respect, as Jeter has done. A Yankee who essentially called our precious 2004 Red Sox a bunch of punks right before we shoved those words down his choking throat. And I can't even muster up a laugh at his misfortune?
It took me a bit (the bus ride from north to central campus) to figure out why this was so. See, if it was Gary Sheffield himself being implicated in a sex scandal, I would be crowing with glee. The hilarity! Even if it wasn't true, it would still be a cause for rejoicing and laughter. But this thing is dragging his family into the mess, and that's just not cool. It would be one thing to attack just the ballplayer... obviously, in this case, it would still be very much an illegal activity, but Boston fans could point and laugh about it. Attacking the ballplayer through his family is both illegal and incredibly unfunny. After all, it's not as though his wife was the one to take dodgy steroids or to make inflammatory remarks about the Sox.
The only good bit is the response from the R. Kelly camp. "Since we haven't seen the tape, we can neither confirm nor deny that it is in fact Mr. Kelly. We can, however, confirm that no one is suggesting the tape depicts anything but the activities of consenting adults."
Awesome. R. Kelly may or may not have had videotaped orgies, but we assure America that there was no kiddy fiddling involved!* Thank you, music industry, for salvaging what was otherwise a pretty upsetting story.
The rest of this I wrote last night, but Blogger had a fit, as is its wont. So here you are.
Pedro Martinez met with George Steinbrenner today. I don't really want to think about it.
I understand that, if offered more money and years elsewhere, Pedro can and probably should move on. It would just be awful to see him come get his championship ring in Yankee garb, and it would be awful to see him finish up his storied career there.
And this on top of the fact that the 'Tek prospects look grim...
Let's put it this way. I have four images currently all made up on my computer, set to be posted. Farewell images, if you will. I'm willing to bet that I have to use at least one of them, but I'm hoping to avoid it. Never had I hoped so fervently that something I made will never have to see the light of day.
I walked into the bathroom in the middle of the day today (around 4:30, I'd guess) and was greeted by the loud, slightly tinny strains of a country/western song. It was, to say the least, disconcerting. Apparently one of my hallmates has a shower radio, which she tunes to country music. Why anyone in the dorms would have a shower radio is quite inexplicable, and why anyone in the world would voluntarily listen to country music is perhaps more so.
In lieu of an actual blog, have a couple of art stuffs.
We're removing the chondrocraniums of our sharks in lab. It's an agonizing process that involves scraping the thing off layer by layer with a scalpel. I guess I had assumed that the cartilage would be really almost as hard as bone and we could just crack it open, but this stuff has the general consistency of frozen butter. We're trying to reveal the brain, cranial and optic nerves, and semi-circular canals of the shark. I think that Taneesha (lab partner) and I did tolerably well, except that we seem to have obliterated the semi-circular canals. This is apparently par for the course for labs. You're trying to expose something that's thin, tubular, and translucently whitish that's buried in a mass of stuff that's translucently whitish.
Yeah. So I drew the shark head cavity. That's the brain you see in the middle, with the eyes on either side of it. Yup. It reminded me yet again why I hate drawing in pencil. Bloody smudging.
The other art stuff (and I'm using the term 'art' very loosely here) serves as proof that our evening art lectures are absolutely, perfectly useless. We had an hour and a half of lecture, and these were what my notes looked like at the end of it. I'm fairly certain I fell asleep sometime in the middle of class, which explains why there aren't more doodles. Obviously I colored it on the computer when I got home and scanned it in, not while I was still in class.
The stuff at the bottom with the chair and the rhinocerous and the words saying 'Le Corbusier hearts Rhino' were the result of our professor regaling us with a long and meandering soliloquy on the great love that (architect and industrial designer) Le Corbusier would have had for digital programs such as Rhino. I don't know, it was funny at the time.
The bit right under that (Hooray! Gratuitous BPL sighting!) was because one of the slides the professor used today was of his 'favorite public building'. Yup, it was the Boston Public Library. Chalk one up for the ol' Beantown. Er. Yeah. As I said, it's not the most educational of classes.
Rumors flying everywhere, including one that says Doug Mirabelli, backup catcher for the Red Sox, is buying a house in Detroit. What the dickens, people? Is this fact? Why would Mirabelli go to the Tigers just to be a backup again (because I HIGHLY doubt that the Tigers are trading away Pudge)? Someone explain it to me, please.
Gah, brain too tired for such strenuous thoughts. Goodnight, kids.
*This is going to bring me a ton of hits from really disturbing searches, isn't it? Sigh.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I think we all knew this was coming.
The Cowboys continue their slide into ignominy with a loss to FlappingGums Owens and the Philadelphia Eagles. Owens had three (count 'em! three! the announcers certainly did!) touchdown receptions, and three different touchdown dances. On the first one he did a weird little shuffle that looked like something he did because he couldn't think of anything better, although it's almost certain that it was entirely premeditated. On the second one he marched up to the Cowboys helmet painted in the endzone, planted himself in the middle of the blue star, and spread his arms in a christ-like gesture. Meep. For the third one he settled for the less directly cruel alternative of dunking the ball over the goalposts.
Sigh. Owens is one of those guys. You know the ones. The guys you hate to watch on another team. But if they were on your team, you know you would love them. Their inflammatory antics in the endzone become spirited and endearing when they're one of your own boys. You have to give FlappingGums credit for his creativity and the sheer amusement value of his game. "God is good, he put me in a situation here tonight... and I let numbah 5 [quarterback Donovan McNabb] and the offensive line give me some time..." Not exactly Curt Schilling, but at least TO didn't allude to past murder trials of his opponents this time.
McNabb, by the by, was not to be overshadowed. He had an incredible play, where he should have been sacked two or three seconds into it, broke the tackle, scrambled left, scrambled right, scrambled all around the entire damn backfield, and fourteen seconds later chucked the ball 60 yards down the field. For a completion. Because his receivers had so much faith in him that they never stopped running. I've never seen anything like it. Never. After the game the interviewer asked him what he was thinking during that play, and he said, "Please don't tackle me."
Bill Parcells press conference. Oh, this should be classic tonight.
"I'm not giving you any soundbites tonight." "I don't even know who caught the touchdowns, to tell the truth." "That good enough? You want something else? What do you want me to do, make something up? You're looking for your soundbite now. Alright. That's it." And then he stalks off the podium, pouchy eyes flashing an icy Cowboy blue, white hair bristling menacingly. I think Bill Parcells is going to go back into the lockerroom right now, grab Vinny Testaverde by his jockstrap, and slowly flay him to death with a pair of specially sharpened cleats while the rest of the team is forced to sit and watch. Then maybe he'll yell a little, to let off some more of his tremendous rage. Then perhaps more flaying.
An interesting Cowboys note. Their website is perhaps the worst webdesign in the NFL. Utterly unreadable, bad font choices, bad color choices, information buried inexplicably in weird places. Perhaps it's a reflection of their season.
Next week you might want to watch the Giants play the Falcons, if you can get them on TV. The game's at 4:15 next Sunday. The reason this is a game to see? Kurt Warner has been benched, and Eli Manning is making his first start. Warner's been sacked up and down the field, and the offensive line certainly isn't changing, so there's a chance that ManningMark2 will get a little roughed up. In any event, it should be interesting.
Mark Brunell of the Washington Redskins has been benched, which puts in Patrick Ramsey. But really, does anyone care?
If Parcells disposes of Testaverde in a sanguinary manner tonight, it might mean some starts for backup QB Drew Henson. That's right, Drew Henson, University of Michigan... student. No, he didn't graduate. He left after his junior year to play, not football, but baseball. Professional baseball. Can you see where this is going? He played with (insert sinister music here) the New York Yankees. He doesn't seem to have played much, since he broke his hand, but I think he was a third baseman. I have no idea what to make of this kid. Good? Evil? Time will tell.
What is going on here? Matt Millen, GM of the Detroit Lions, is interacting with Joey Harrington, but beyond that the image is open to speculation. Is he begging him to have a good game? Encouraging him? Blessing him? Having a man-love moment? Attempting to strangle him?
Depending on whether that shot was taken before or after the game, any one of those is an viable possibility.
We can all agree that, regardless of what's actually going on there, Harrington looks positively melting. Tom Brady hasn't quite got the 'smoking hot quarterback' market cornered yet. Joey Harrington. Mmmyup. Now the kid just needs to learn how to THROW THE DAMN FOOTBALL.
This evening my digital teacher was having 'office hours': you go and get extra help with whatever projects you happen to be working on. Maya is a program that you can work with for years and still not know all of its features. This was the program they used to make Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, fercrissakes. I think it's understandable that I have a less-than-perfect comprehension of it. Heck, the teachers don't even know it in its entirety.
Office hours were held in the State St. Espresso Royale coffee shop. Because no one likes going to north campus unless they absolutely have to, because they have free internet, and because coffee is our friend.
One of the other digital teachers gave us a long intro speech today before class started. It was boring and, for the most part, incomprehensible. We were, however, treated to a bit of this woman's biography. And what a treat it was! She had been in the army during Vietnam, then came back to the US and went into the circus. And now she's teaching digital classes at Michigan. I have no idea how they find these teachers.
Ah, and I got into a tiff with one of the kids working the lunch line in the dorm today. I had my Brady jersey on, and he was wearing a Steelers hat. As I came up he said, "Hey, you really a Pats fan?" "Yup!" I replied, eyeing the food with an sadly jaded gaze. "Best team in football (pointing to his hat)! Guess who beat the Pats? That's right, the STEELERS! Best team in football, best team!"
"Uh huh. Right," I said while heading out into the main dining room, having bypassed all the warm food and resigning myself to yet another salad. "That's why we've won 23 of our last 24 games."
As I walked out I could hear one of the older lunch ladies whacking the Steelers kid with what sounded suspiciously like a ladle and shrilly admonishing him to "Take off dat damn hat! You puttin' people off der food!"
As it happened, the food had managed to put me off all on its own, but it was still worth a chuckle.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Now, this is why we watch and love the Patriots, isn't it?
Curt Schilling coming out onto the field in a little cart, with crutches and a Patriots jersey on. Johnny Damon on the sidelines, grinning with bearish good nature and giving an interview to the ESPN reporter, during which he said something about, "...you know, the big guys, like Ortiz and Manny and Mark Bellhorn..."! Oh, I did dissolve into gleeful incoherence at that, I most assuredly did. Johnny Damon putting Bellhorn in his list of the 'big guys' will have me grinning at inappropriate times all day tomorrow.
Oh, and, you know, there's the football team.
You have a whole team of guys who are, on their own, small fish. Wee fish. Veritable minnows in the great freshwater lake of football. Guys who were picked up in the late rounds of their respective drafts (Tom Brady was picked up in the 6th round, recall). Guys who were undrafted free agents that no one else wanted. Guys who were signed off the practice squad mere days or weeks ago (and if anyone makes a snide comparison to David 'Circus' Kircus, I will go into a killing rage). A quarterback who, while undeniably solid, just does not put up the gaudy Peyton-Manning-esque numbers one would expect from the leader of a team that's won 23 of its last 24 games.
That's because the Patriots don't play as Peyton-Manning-and-Marvin-Harrison-and-Edgerrin-James. They don't play as Ben-Roethlisberger-and-Hines-Ward-and-Jerome-Bettis. They don't play as Donovan-McNabb-and-Terrell-Owens. I mean, can you imagine this team just being Tom Brady, David Patten, and Corey Dillon? They wouldn't win.
What about Troy Brown, an offensive player who the Pats have playing defense in recent games (he got an interception today, by the by... a ball thrown by Drew Bledsoe, who had passed plenty of times to Brown when they were both on the offensive side of the Pats)? What about Tedy Bruschi, the fireplug defenseman who always seems to get the interception (he had one tonight) or the tackle when we need it? What about Mike Vrabel, who can catch a touchdown pass as easily as he can break one up? What about Adam Vinatieri, Mr. Clutch himself? And so on down the line. Do we even have a number one receiver? It seems like Brady throws to everyone... Patten? Sure. Givens? Sure. Fauria? Sure. Bethel Johnson? Go for it. You can go through the entire Patriots roster and name player after player, and each one is as integral to the team as the last.
Ty Law and Tyrone Poole are both out with injuries. That's both Patriots cornerbacks. So what do they do? They just plug in the next guys on the depth chart, and it works out fine. Whoever needs to step up, steps up. It's the way of the Patriots and the way of Bill Belichik, starting from the time when Drew Bledsoe went down with a horrific injury and a fresh-faced kid from the University of Michigan stepped firmly onto the field, as prepared to run a team as any hardened veteran. You can spout 'Roethlisberger' at me as much as you like, but until he's proven himself season after season, with a team made up of backups and average players who have nothing in common except for their tenacity and love of football I simply will not be able to put him in the same category as Brady.
Plus, Roethlisberger went to a weeny school. Miami of Ohio, pfft. Does Michigan not crush them every time they play them? Fercrissakes. They can't even have a proper name, everyone thinks they're in Florida. And come on, the Redhawks? Way to be totally uncreative, guys. The only way you could make that lamer would be to call yourselves the Wildcats.
Speaking of which...
Michigan 42, Northwestern 20. Hail to the Victors Valiant, Hail to the conqu'ring heroes, Hail Hail to Michigan, the leaders and best! Hail to the Victors Valiant, Hail to the conqu'ring heroes, Hail Hail to Michigan, the Champions of the West! and so on.
Now, in all fairness to Northwestern, the lopsided score isn't quite representative of the game. The first half was awful for Michigan. No one who is not on the team will ever know what Lloyd Carr said to them at halftime, but whatever it was could probably be sold as a recording for huge money. The second half saw the Wolverines come storming out in a frenzy of MichaelHartBraylonEdwardsChadHenneMarlonJacksonSteveBreastonespeciallySteveBreaston.
Once the scoring frenzy of the second half was underway, I was able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the way our team ran the ball. Most of the running came from freshman phenom Michael Hart, and the slick junior Steve Breaston. Hart is short, solid, and runs like his center of gravity is somewhere down around his ankles. He plants his feet harder than anyone on the field, but always seems to be able to pick them up faster than anyone else. When defensive players try to bring him down, it looks like they're trying to rip up an outgrowth of the field, so tenaciously does he adhere to it. His head tucked down between his shoulder pads, his shoulder pads bent down to his waist, one is forcefully reminded of the tortoise who won the race (only without the whole 'slow' bit).
Steve Breaston, however, is all long legs and long arms. He barely seems to be on the field when he runs. Even when both feet are down he looks like he's seconds away from becoming airborne. Hart plows through linemen, while Breaston skips and skims around them. Plodding secondaries look like they're on a different speed than he is. He catches the ball and just goes with it. On punt returns he is deadly, and the only way opposing teams can stop him is if they concentrate all their attention on him (Michigan State did this well, unfortunately).
Steve Breaston (15) on the left, Michael Hart (20) on the right.
Michigan State beat the previously undefeated Wisconsin Badgers later in the day, which means that there is no longer an undefeated team in the Big 10 conference. Michigan, however, is undefeated in Big 10 play (the only game we lost was Notre Dame, who are independent), while Wisconsin now has one loss in the Big 10... how this affects things I cannot pretend to know. I don't think that updated BCS standings are out yet, but this should move Michigan up a little. It was mighty strange to be rooting for the Spartans, let me assure you, but they certainly did us a big favor. Michigan does not play Wisconsin at any point during the regular season.
Yes, I did watch the Lions today. They sucked. They completely sucked. Our defense was actually pretty good, making some hardline stops on the Jags and holding them off at some key moments. We had great field position multiple times because Jacksonville was forced to turn the ball over on downs. It mattered not. Our offense was abysmal. Harrington looked more like a backup than actual backup David Garrard (who started for the Jags, usual quarterback Byron Leftwich is hurt) did. When poor Joey did make a good pass, his receivers dropped it.
The only, and I do mean only spot of light came in the attractively mustachioed form of Eddie Drummond. He ran a punt back for a touchdown, and mere minutes later did the exact same thing to send the game into overtime. An ultimately fruitless overtime, but the game would have been extremely pathetic if it wasn't for the blue-and-silver-clad legs of Drummond.
The whole game was summed up when, some 20 minutes after it had ended, George poked his head into my room. He looked about as gloomy as a person can look when they're wearing a goofy striped soccer shirt. "Did you see that?" he inquired in truly sepulchral tones. I affirmed that I had done so, and that I had not seen anything good. "I know. I know. I..."-- here he gestured sort of helplessly-- "I live and die by this team, you know? And they just..." Then he looked at the ground and, honest to gosh, scuffed the carpet with his shoe.
If you saw this and didn't just have your heart break in sympathy for the kid, you're either dead or a heartless person (*cough*Yankee fan*cough*).
I agreed that it was absolutely horrible, and assured him that I understood exactly how he felt. Take any true, die-hard Red Sox fan you know, and imagine them following the Lions the same way they follow the Sox. What can you say? Next year will be our year? Keep the Faith? Believe? Restore the Roar?
A lot of bad teams won today... the Arizona Cardinals, the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints (who among us did not gape in horrified fascination when Aaron Brooks, their quarterback, threw the ball 20 yards backwards to absolutely no one last week?), the Chicago Bears. Heck, maybe Miami would've won, if they hadn't had a bye week. Pity the Lions couldn't step up and share the wealth.
Just as a side note, the Packers today played beautifully against the Randy-Moss-less Vikings. Favre looked like his old self, causing the announcers to heap praise upon him and completely forget that his team has stunk lately. I'm not sure why Favre makes people do this... even when he's bad, he's good in the eyes of reporters. A mystery. It was a pretty game to watch, in any event.
Oh, and you can all put those rumors of Omar Vizquel on the Sox to rest. He's signed with the Giants.
Has anyone else seen that commercial where they merge Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson into one person called the 'Rocket Unit'. For one thing, am I the only one who finds this name extremely dirty? And am I also the only one completely creeped out by the resulting mutant pitcher? It's scary!
And as a final note, Hummer continues their streak of having awesome commercials. I still would never want the car, but damn if those aren't some amazing ads. Those, and the NFL channel ads, where they have the players in fake TV shows and all that. After watching an entire game on FOX and being subjected to 'House' and 'The Simple Life' spots, clever sports ads and slick car ads are a very welcome change.
On that commercially-oriented note, I bid you goodnight.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
STRESS. What with all my classes trying to cram in as many huge tests and projects as they can before Thanksgiving, the increasingly worrying housing situation, the fact that Northwestern is just good enough to make me fret about the game tomorrow (later today), and a pressing need to wash my sheets, I really don't need to hear that Scott Bora$ is not only demanding 5 years and $50 million for Jason Varitek, he'd like a no-trade clause tossed in there too.
The Sox will never take on 'Tek for 5 years (they'd do 3, with a small chance at 4), and they have an actual policy about not giving anyone no-trade clauses (smart, in the long run... what if we'd been stuck with Nomar?). So unless Bora$ decides to somewhat dampen his enthusiasm for the art of creating insane and unwieldy contracts, 'Tek will not be back next season. *insert pathetic whimper here*
I really, really hope that someone puts their foot down and we manage to get 'Tek back. But, if not, I guess it's not the end of the world. The Sox are rumored to have made some passes at Brian Schneider of the Montreal Expos/Washington Whatevers. He is, by most accounts, a pretty good catcher. Not nearly up to 'Tek in terms of offensive production or endurance, but not an unreasonable replacement, if one has to be found.
Rumors abound, actually. The Sox are said to have made overtures of friendliness to Oakland, with a eye for Tim Hudson, which were gently rebuffed. It's been whispered that we're preparing for a second assault, but this time with Barry Zito in mind. The Yankees seem to want pitching badly, particularly left handed pitching, to the point where they're perfectly willing to overpay significantly for it. The Tigers also need pitching badly, to the point where they'll actually consider hometown boy Derek Lowe, despite his regular season woes. They're also apparently looking at Matt Clement, whose endearingly awkward looks bear a more than passing resemblance to the goofily lovable countenance of Bronson Arroyo.
The only actual movement (by Boston, anyhow) so far is the signing of left handed pitcher Billy Traber. We picked him up on waivers from the Indians. This past season he was in rehab for surgery on his elbow, and I imagine that we'll play him in Pawtucket (triple-A) this season with a thought of bringing him along for 2006. But we'll see. Right now pretty much all I know about the guy is that he's kinda cute.
As there's Michigan football tomorrow to be seen, I ought to depart. But hey, it's apparently snowing in Providence and Vermont already, so it must be winter! Time for all college students to perish of stress. Time for the wily college students to alleviate that stress by spending a fruitful couple of hours doodling in Illustrator. This came out somewhat better than I had expected, but the subject matter is so lovely that it's really rather hard to ruin it entirely.
Johnny Damon has his knit hat on. Yup. Definitely winter.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Just a quick one today, folks. I'm actually aiming to get a few hours of sleep tonight (by a few I mean, literally, 3 or 4).
My lab partner didn't show up until an hour into the lab today. It would have been fine if she just didn't show up at all, because I was working with Sean and Chris quite happily on their cat up until she walked in. When she flounced in, fashionably unseasonal jeans jacket on her arm, I was forced to dig out our cat and start over from scratch. An hour into the lab. Because we couldn't have her missing out on any info, now could we? I was steaming mad, which really is not a good frame of mind to be in when you're trying to delicately scrape away fascia with a very sharp scalpel. It was quite unavoidable at that point, though.
I find that it's making me grit my teeth just to think about it.
I've been on a bit of a bio overload lately. Monday was lecture in the afternoon for an hour, then a study session at night for two. Tuesday was lab for three hours, and lots of studying. Tomorrow (today) is the test. Meep. I wish I could spend the morning studying for it, since there are still a few areas I'm rather shaky on, but I have digital in the morning, and you can't skip those classes or the teachers send swarms of Ann Arbor red squirrels, hyped up on Terra chips fed to them by students around campus, to surge through your door and strip the flesh from your brittle art student bones. Nothing will be left behind except for a small pile of bony ash and the crumpled pages of the biology book you were attempting to read at the time, trampled in the haste of a hundred little skittering feet. No kidding, I have been threatened with this before.
Light pollution preliminary presentations are slated for Thursday, so I'll be sure to let you all know how that goes. Some people appear to have sculptures with sound elements and embedded video screens all set to go, but on the other hand some people seem to have a grand total of 5 photographs to show. I've got a slideshow of about 90, 95 photos, and if I'm lucky that will be sufficient. If not-- State Street next!
I suppose that's about all, as I really ought to go to sleep. Sleep has been elusive these past few days. I'm not entirely sure why, as I haven't even had coffee in a while, so my caffeine intake should have gone way down (the Dr. Pepper intake has gone up, but surely that has less caffeine?). In any event, one last smidgen of a thought.
Anyone else get chills seeing this?
Roger Clemens and David Ortiz on the same team (the all-star team currently playing in Japan).
Monday, November 08, 2004
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
At 1:30 this morning, after having written and posted this entry several hours earlier, I learned via ESPN and the Miami Herald (no link, because I think you have to register to see their articles) that Dave Wannstedt, coach of the Dolphins for 5 seasons, is expected to resign Tuesday (today, or tomorrow, depending on how you count your days). The Dolphins currently have a record of 1-8, so it's not unexpected, but cripes guys, couldn't you at least wait until the bye week? Is it really going to make that a big difference in your season right now? You're pretty much not going to the playoffs, I fail to see how it would hurt to have Wannstedt finish this up instead of being forced out in the middle of it all.
Besides, it's not as though it's entirely his fault. I mean, Ricky Williams wasn't his fault. The quarterback situation could possibly have been managed better, but it's not his fault he doesn't have anyone on the team who can actually throw. It's not his fault the rest of the offense stunk like 3-month-old salmon left out in the sun. There's only so much the guy could do with what he was given.
Anyways, bye Dave. We'll miss you.*
"I am worn out right now, to be honest with you. [I'm] just drained from the game and putting everything we have into the game. You go four years and win over 10 games a year and it's taken for granted. We did not play any harder when we were winning 10 and 11 a year, I promise you that. We did not play harder than we did today. That's what rips your heart out. It's tough.'' --Dave Wannstedt, coach of the Miami Dolphins, after losing 24-23 to Arizona on Sunday.
That pretty much sums up the Dolphins right now. They're unwatchable. They have two quarterbacks sharing time, when it's clear to the world that one would probably suck a tiny bit less if a decision was made to stick with him (this may now be a moot point, as Jay Fiedler was obliging enough to get his shoulder knocked out of line in Sunday's game).
They have penalties dogging them like ravenous dobermans (getting pinned with unsportsmanlike conduct for kicking a ball because you're mad about the 15-yard penalty someone else on your team just got? Way to go, guys! Smart! 15 wasn't enough, better make that a 30-YARD PENALTY).
They have a coach who may or may not be out on his ass shortly after their bye week, and they have the delinquent specter of Ricky Williams hanging over them, blowing marijuana smoke and burned-up dollar bills in their faces.
It is, as Wannstedt says, just draining. It wears you out. You actually can't watch them anymore. You stare at the postgame pictures of a lone Dolphin receiver getting pancaked by a hundred thousand Cardinals, and all you can think is, 'Man, are those Cardinal uniforms new? I don't remember those pant stripes. And I thought they were a different shade of red.' Seriously. There's nothing else you can do. With all possible respect to my mother, the native Dolphins fan, I'm announcing it here: this team is dangerously pathetic.
The Lions loss I refuse to blame on them. Like last week, at least they looked like a football team on the field. Even when they were down you always had the sense that they could come back, unlike the Dolphins, for whom even a lead has the air of a train speeding up to reach the spot where the tracks go over the cliff sooner. Well. Maybe the Lions didn't look great, or even good. But at least they didn't look useless. Roy Williams is clearly still working on a sore ankle, which hobbled him and limited him to only one really spectacular one-handed, how-the-dickens-did-he-pull-in-that-one kind of catch. Poor Nick Harris, our punter, probably had the workout of a lifetime, since it seemed as though every other minute he was gamely trotting out onto the field again.
The Freep is pretty down on the Lions for Sunday's game, and I guess if you take into account the fact that we were 4-3 going into this, while the 'skins were 2-5, it doesn't look all that pretty. It doesn't bode well that we were the team Clinton Portis was finally able to open up against. Still. Still. There were flashes of brilliance. And if they weren't flashes of brilliance, they were at least flashes of something somewhat above complete mediocrity.
To borrow a bit from Red Sox Nation, when it comes to the Lions, I Still Believe. A perfectly objective person might find plenty of reasons to dump this team faster than a steamy baked potato, but I scoff in the face of such rationality. NEVER! If not this year, the next.
Alan Grant, one of the Snap Judgement guys over at ESPN, firmly states: "'...and this at the risk of offending our homoerotically sensitive fans in middle America: Detroit's Joey Harrington owes that one-hand-catching, making-up-for-the-absence-of- Charles Rogers, rookie phenom, Roy Williams, some big time manly affection." I agree. Obviously Roy has been a big part of this season. But you have to give Joey some credit on his own. There were a lot of passes yesterday that should have been caught by receivers and weren't.
It goes without saying that I'll be rooting for the Colts when they take on the Vikings at Indy later tonight.
The record stands, by the by. Bill Simmons picked the Lions to win again. And again they lost. It's true, the only way they can win is when Bill is sending hate waves their way. STOP PRETENDING TO LIKE JOEY, BILL. YOU ARE ONLY CAUSING US PAIN. Fascinatingly, he also picked the Dolphins to beat the Cardinals, and the Rams to beat the Patriots.
Oh, and in case you've been living in a football-free zone for the past week or so, ESPN and (parent company) ABC have been doing 19 days of football. They have one columnist forcing himself to watch them all, eat chips and salsa, and write about it. The day of the Michigan/Michigan State game he gave it a passing mention, but chose to concentrate his column instead on the other horrible games that were televised that day. This struck me as a bit of an injustice. So I dashed him off an email to that effect, thinking 'Eh. What the heck.'
Shockingly, he apparently read it. I know this because he printed it in the bottom of his next column. Score! I got on ESPN! I got on ESPN! Sort of. I'm the Boston Fan in Michigan, in case you're a bit slow in the gray matter.
(And if it seems like I'm a bit heavy on the ESPN writers here... well, I'm a bit heavy on the ESPN writers. They are, by and large, funny, especially the Page 2 team. I enjoy that in a sportswriter. So sue me.)
The Patriots game redeemed my faith in football for the week. This was a team that had me tearing out my hair in loss and confusion last week (why did it have to be the insufferable Steelers, WHY?). By the middle of the week I had art students nudging me in the halls and slyly saying, "Hey, how 'bout those Pats?" in the hopes of seeing me blow up (the Red Sox stuff got me a bit of a... reputation). They were surprised and, no doubt, disappointed to see me shrug, slightly bitter but perfectly calm, and say, "Hey, we don't have to be undefeated to go the playoffs." Yes, by this Sunday I was back in a pretty normal frame of mind about New England. I was a bit nervous, to be sure, but whatever happened wasn't going to be the end of the world.
Then, of course, the Patriots decide to go and show everyone exactly why that winning streak was not a fluke.
We're a team that's been utterly decimated by injuries. We're a team who had just been slaughtered the week before. We're a team that had a guy named Earthwind Moreland (I'm not even kidding, he's really on the team) playing. So what did we do?
We had Mike Vrabel, a very good defensive linebacker, catch a touchdown pass as an offensive receiver. We had Troy Brown, a wide receiver (that's offense, mind you) playing cornerback, even though he had barely even practiced on defense before. We had Adam Vinatieri, the kicker, the Bloody Frikking Kicker, throw (throw!) a touchdown pass. We had one college student dropping her digital-class-required three-button-mouse on the floor and squealing in pure, unadulterated glee.
Anything else you want about that game you'll have to get over at Cursed to First because a) I need to pick this up later, I have a bio study session I should have left for 5 minutes ago and b) she really said it all, and anything else I attempt to say about this game pales in comparison to how she puts it. Just go read, you lazy curs.
In Sox news, Manny appears to be having hamstring trouble again. Worrying. Worrying. Schilling is supposed to get surgery on Tuesday (that's tomorrow, mind you). No word on the Varitek front, which could mean anything at all. David Ortiz hit a 514 foot homerun in Japan a few nights ago. Apparently it was so impressive that both his teammates and the Japanese team came out of the dugouts to watch its path.
The Red Sox and Major League Baseball are offering a $5 card that declares the holder to be an 'official' member of Red Sox Nation. People are not, from what I've seen, taking it especially well. Personally speaking I wouldn't bother with it unless I had some knowledge that it was going towards keeping 'Tek in town. Otherwise I might as well fire up Photoshop and make my own.
I have returned from the vast, unchartered regions of the Natural Science building, having survived the bio study session and a brave but ill-advised trot around half the campus. You see, I knew that by the time I got out of bio the dorms would have stopped serving dinner, and I didn't much feel like microwave noodles, so I needed to pick up foodstuffs somewhere. I also knew that I ought to take some more photos for my art lecture project (light pollution). In my dubious wisdom, I decided that the thing to do would be to saunter down South U. after leaving bio, take shots along the way, go to Subway, and then take shots on the way from there to my dorm.
This noble plan I executed forthwith, having taken into account the time (late enough to be quite dark out, and early enough that I'd get back in plenty of time for Monday Night Football) and the distance (reasonable) but not, alas, the temperature (below freezing and most emphatically not reasonable, especially with a light jacket and no scarf).
I did get some good shots, at least.
In other news, Les McClaine was running a guest artist contest. It essentially boiled down to an underhanded attempt to get a bunch of people to give him fanart of his characters, but they're fun characters to draw so no one was complaining. Heh. Naturally I scrawled one out and sent it along. You can see them all here, if you are so inclined.
And now, if you'll pardon me, there is football to be watched, biology to be studied, art project bits to be fiddled with. Good eve, all.
*Sort of. But, in any event, you always hate to see a coach run out like this, especially when it's not all his fault by a long shot.