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Archive for December, 2006

Sunday, December 31st 2006

Rose Bowl Live

I’m heading out to my semi-second home, Los Angeles for the Rose Bowl tomorrow morning.

Follow the Rose Bowl at Scott Wolf’s live blog or my own live posts from the Rose Bowl back here at From Medskool.

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Saturday, December 30th 2006

Rose Bowl Sim (Part Deux)

Last year, NCAA 06 was eerily accurate in predicting the national championship game.

It predicted a USC turnover (although not on downs) inside of just a few minutes to go when they were up by five. It predicted a brilliant Vince Young led go ahead drive, leaving mere seconds on the clock.

In anycase I thought I would let NCAA 07 have a shot at predicting this year’s Rose Bowl of USC v. Michigan. Here’s a summary of how EA Sport’s engine thinks this gridiron battle will go:

It is a semi-sloppy defensive slugfest perforated with big plays. Surprisingly, as many pundits predict. There are three turnovers in the first quarter alone. However, both Manningham and Steve Smith shine with 50+ yard touchdown grabs before half time.

The running room for Washington (Gable and Moody don’t make an appearance) is negligible. Hart has more success (better than 4 ypc).

The third quarter is disastrous for USC and John David Booty. He has two interceptions leading to 14 points for the Wolverines.

And so it is with Michigan inside the 20 yard line, at the start of the fourth quarter, trailing by 11 that the Trojan defense finds itself. Taylor Mays picks off a Henne pass in the end zone, and Booty tries to expunge his interceptions by driving down the field and leading Smith beautifully with a 37-yard touchdown pass.

After the two point conversion (to make it a 3 point game) both teams go three and out, and Booty gets the ball back with just under two minutes to go. He drives the Trojans down the field and Smith catches his third touchdown to take a four point lead with just under half a minute to go.

Michigan fails on fourth down the next drive and the game is sealed.

Both QBs have been harassed all day. Surprisingly, as Rivals predicted, Henne is sacked five times by the Trojans blitzing schemes and Booty doesn’t fare much better against Woodley.

USC 25 – Michigan 21

If it lends any credibility to NCAA 07′s prediction AccuScore has “predicted” all of the bowls for ESPN, and thinks USC is a slight favorite in the Rose Bowl. They think USC 23 – Michigan 22.

And an NCAA 06 “playoff” simulation on Scout.com has USC beating Michigan for the national championship.

Saturday, December 30th 2006

Preview: Michigan


In My Opinion The Best Bowl Game. I Agree Trev (Hopefully)

Repent! The end is nigh near for the Trojans! A quick glance at the media coverage of the Rose Bowl and you find a dandy of a ratio of perspective-to-substance pieces.

“What does the Rose Bowl mean to the Trojans?! To a ‘gipped’ Michigan team?!” Is a Trojan loss the first sign of the Trojans morphing into something else; other than the looming giant of this decade of college football?

Despite what the ESPN commercials may be implying, when people do care about the Rose Bowl…

I’ve covered the past seven BCS title games, involving a whole lot of press conferences and media days, and I can tell you the amount of media at this thing was about a tenth that of a national championship game. Instead of squeezing my way into a pack of 40 reporters surrounding the coach or star player, it was basically me and two other writers interviewing Pete Carroll and Lloyd Carr. The overall mood could be described in one word: mellow.

It isn’t for the talent on the field. Which is shameful. Both from the media and the fans (compare to, say, the Sugar Bowl).

Fan’s USC “exhaustion,” the fact both teams are at least slightly disappointed to be here, and just a general plaize towards the bowl season (sorry but Florida – Ohio State is NOT USC – Texas). All could be contributors to the mood in Pasadena and the mood towards the going ons in Pasadena.

But as Trev Alberts said in the video above, this will probably be the best BCS game. USC faces an incredible challenge which will define the next couple of years for them. Are they up for it?

I will tell you one thing, we got this going for us over Michigan (H/T Fanblogs):


Hot?


Or Not?

Michigan Offense v. USC Defense

Of the attention paid to the X & Os this is the match up getting the least coverage. The most boring matchup. USC’s defense, supposedly the keystone of this Trojan team, has struggled some this year. Michigan’s offense is at times boring, but personally I think it scary for this Trojan’s defense.

Rivals doesn’t agree with that assessment,

The Wolverines are hardly a juggernaut on offense. They are not very explosive. They have a great playmaker in wide out Mario Manningham and a solid back in Michael Hart. Still, they tend to be a run heavy team, even when they line up in pass formations. They only gained more than 400 yards once all season, against a hapless Minnesota defense. They passed for less than 200 yards seven times.

Taking the time to call Manningham a “playmaker” is like calling an armored Humvee an SUV.


The .30 Is A Must Have For The Trip To Soccer Practice

In any case Michigan’s offense definitely has some big play potential and while I have no doubt that Hart will get the ball early, you can expect Carr to take some shots down field, especially if the run is working well.


That Mario Bros. Theme Song Is Annoying

Now, no one denies that Michigan is a rush heavy team. Those big plays come off the love off play action. Check out some of Michigan’s passing game,

[I]f Michigan can establish the line of scrimmage with the run…then that sets up Henne with the play-action pass, which he has been golden with all year getting the ball to receivers Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington and Steve Breaston. It’s going to be essential for Michigan to initiate its offense by establishing the run, which will it sets up their play-action and eat up clock, keeping USC off the field.

And that Michigan offensive line, so “key” to establishing the run, is big (there’s that word associated with those corn fed boys of the Big 10) and talented.

USC will need to put four on the line more often and get rid of that “elephant” crap that Cushing has played all year. I give the Michigan offensive line more credit that Rivals does,

Michigan has faced three teams in the top 25 in rush defense: Penn State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. In those games, they averaged 3.5, 4.3, and 2.8 yards per carry. They only had success against Ohio State, and part of the reason for that was that the Buckeyes played to defend the pass when they got the two TD lead.

This is a Trojan’s team, which I will grant has been pretty good stopping the run, especially against the talented run teams we faced. Our lack of pressure on passing downs was surprising this year (with Ellis and Jackson both returning), and about a third of the way through the season we started blitzing more. But Michigan is not without its misdirection talents, and if in this zone blocking scheme we come after Hart and Henne consistently you may find the Trojan linebackers blowing right past the Michigan back on draws and counters and such.

With so much of the passing game coming off play action, I find fault with Rivals’ contention that,

What would concern me if I was a Michigan fan is that the Wolverines run an inordinate amount of deep drops, the seven step variety. With a quarterback that isn’t exactly the most fleet of foot, that could spell trouble. The Trojans have done a lot of blitzing this season, and if they can disguise it to keep Henne from audibilizing, they could take advantage of his deficiency. After a slow start, USC totalled 12 sacks in the last four games, and all four of those opponents were short drop teams.

This is an aggressive USC defense. And so we’re back at the beginning – if Michigan establishes the run, then that play action will do a good job negating the Trojan rush…even against a “deep drop” team.

The feel good story of the Trojan’s year, must not get confused and caught up on play action.

Before his senior year, Mays began narrowing his potential college choices. Washington was in the mix because of location and his father’s connection. Ultimately, though, it came down to Michigan and USC.

Mays, a Charles Woodson fan, was leaning toward attending Michigan, the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner’s alma mater, after a trip to Ann Arbor in the summer of 2005.

But when he visited a USC practice during training camp he became enamored of the Trojans. His father had played for the Minnesota Vikings when a young Carroll was a member of Bud Grant’s staff, and Stafford Mays remembered the energy and fun the coach brought to the game.

Taylor Mays, however, said a challenge from Athletic Director Mike Garrett closed the deal.

“He said, ‘If you’re scared of competition, if you’re scared you’re going to get lost in the shuffle, don’t come here because competition only brings out the best,’ ” Mays recalled. “That turned it over for me. In my mind I said, ‘All right. I’m coming here.’ “

Hart has the speed, even against the the Trojans, to get to the edge, and so the corners as well must know when he has the ball and when to come up in run support.

But despite all these general points and babbling, as usual, as I’ve stated, it comes down to the offensive line. Michigan must establish the run (which they are completely capable of doing). If Pete/Holt stick with a four down front and have drawn up some run blitzes and the Trojan linebackers do well in support (which they should excel at), then this USC defense can give the Wolverine offense trouble.

USC Offense v. Michigan Defense

This is where the words are (when they’re not talking about how Michigan was robbed or USC is the next Miami). The #1 rushing defense, the #6 scoring defense going against…well, an offense that is less prolific by the numbers than that. So why is this a game? Because Michigan’s secondary is more than just their “weakest link,” they’re pretty bad. And USC’s strength, the thing that should make handing the ball off an after thought, is at wide receiver.

The Michigan secondary is “holey” enough that it even has mild mannered Steve Smith doing the slightest bit of trash talking,

“The other corner, No. 14, he’s a good player, but I don’t know, we feel like we can make some plays on him,” Smith said of Trent. “The safeties, if they’re starters, they have to be good, but we feel like we can make some plays in the secondary.”

Smith was asked if he liked what he saw in terms of defensive weaknesses when he watched Michigan’s film of the Ohio State game.

“Definitely, watching the game film you get excited about some of the big plays you think you can make,” Smith said. “They pose (throw) some good players against us, but we also feel like we can expose them in areas. They’ve got great team speed, but they play really safe, but I think they’re vulnerable, too.”

Personally, I wish he hadn’t said that (as if we need to get the talented Wolverines bulletin board material), but Booty tries to make up for the comments,

“Steve’s taken advantage of a lot of guys this year all throughout the season,” Booty said. “I think all (Michigan’s) defensive players are solid guys. I don’t see a weak link anywhere.

“They play good defense. Every single guy I’ve seen them put out there has played well, always in the right place at the right time. We know they’re very good, and they’re going to challenge us every way possible. They had several weeks to prepare for us so I’m sure we’re going to see things we haven’t seen on film.”

The Wolverine secondary knows it is the “weak” spot on an otherwise impeccable defensive unit. A unit which has truly been the keystone of this Michigan team (despite having Henne and Hart).

Michigan defenders said they have spent the past few weeks reviewing footwork and basic technique. They also have worked on avoiding the blown assignments that hurt them against Ohio State.

“We played out of character in that game,” English said. “We’ve addressed it, and we’ve moved on.”

I wish I could be more creative. I wish I could predict something few others saw coming. But truly, I think the keys to this matchup are the same one’s that everyone is spouting. Even if the Michigan secondary plays lights out there will be plays to be had by Jarrett and Smith (and Fred Davis and Turner and…).

The questions everyone is asking:

  • Will John David Booty have time to find them?
  • And will the running game be able to do enough that the Wolverines have to respect it?

Rivals nails it,

The Wolverines are big and fast, and they run a confusing style of defense, much like UCLA did. However, they are not as good in the secondary as UCLA is, and if the Trojans can get the ball out on time, they can make some plays through the air as Ohio State did. It is going to be very tough to run the ball though, and I suspect that if USC wins the game, they will finish with a similar number of rushing yards as they did in the 2004 Rose Bowl.

The key offensively will be to come out throwing as Ohio State did. Michigan, after facing teams like Wisconsin and Penn State that are more conservative were not prepared for the barrage of passing they saw in the first half at the Horseshoe. USC can duplicate this, but they need better play from their offensive tackles than they got in the last game.

There is one thing to like about the match up, despite this nice article contending otherwise, guys like Woodley (the nation’s Lombardi winner) are not speed guys (at about ~4.75). At least not speed guys like Davis was for UCLA, who gave left tackle Sam Baker fits.

This offensive line, despite its doubters, is a fine unit. They won’t be able to contain this Michigan defensive front. No team can. They need only to give Booty enough time.

And the offensive game plan must be to make that “enough” time as little as possible. Short routes (where USC’s big recievers – Davis, Jarrett, Turner – can use their bodies against smaller Michigan corners) will open up big plays later in the game.

CJ Gable and Moody cannot dance around in the back field. That has been a fault, but a typical one for such a young corp of running backs, all year. The big play is not to be had on the ground. Our depth (although we’re still coming back from being banged up) at running back must be used to an advantage. Slug Michigan up a little bit. Yes they’re bigger, but even this front seven doesn’t like fresh legs driving into them play after play.

All these backs need to do is push for those 2 yards and keep the Michigan line backers (and Woodley) honest to give Booty that much more time. Precious, precious time in the pocket.

“You don’t see that type of size in our conference,” USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said, referring to the Michigan defense and the Pacific-10, respectively. “Our conference is more of a speed conference, not as big and physical. We don’t play a lot of great front sevens. That’s just been the Pac-10 for a long time, and you see that in the [NFL] draft, too. There’s not a lot of D-linemen that come from the Pac-10.”

Woodley will be there Monday, as will tackle Alan Branch, All-Americans both. They are the biggest reason that Michigan finished second in sacks per game at 3.42, which adds up to 41 for the regular season.

Booty, as talented as he is, is not Smith, who didn’t stand still for the Wolverines or any other defense.

“If he was a scrambler, we’d probably still blitz him,” Michigan outside linebacker Shawn Crable said of Booty. “I won’t say that it [standing in the pocket] makes it easier, because he’s a good quarterback, but when someone is standing back there, that’s where he’s at. I think he’s a good quarterback and I’m looking forward to playing him.”

Michigan’s defense will come out playing hard. I have no expectations that 40+ days off will dull them. I expect the opposite.

But that U-M-Ohio State game shaped new perceptions and revisited a few old ones. U-M’s defense, so fierce under first-year coordinator Ron English, was shredded for 503 yards and 42 points by Heisman winner Troy Smith and the Buckeyes. The numbers stick to the Wolverines like scarlet-and-gray letters, threatening to redefine their defining season.

There’s only one way to get rid of the stain, and the Wolverines know it. Of all the things U-M wouldn’t mind showing in the Rose Bowl, re-establishing the power of its defense ranks as high as any, especially against a dynamic USC offense.

As bad as that day was for Michigan…


…Booty Can’t Move Like This

And so on both sides of the ball, for both teams it comes down to their offensive lines. For Michigan: can they establish the run. For USC: can they protect John David Booty (long enough).

Other Stuff

What USC has done is impressive. They lost far more in total talent than, say, the other participant in last year’s national championship game. And yet they find themselves in a fifth straight BCS bowl (instead of squeaking off an Alamobowl victory).

But they ended their season by blowing a chance to cement their certain immortality.

Meanwhile, Michigan is clearly the second best team in the country, and yet were robbed of a shot at a national title (well, I don’t think ‘robbed’ but they probably see it that way).

Have the Trojans started to ebb, not to peak again any time soon?

[T]here are some internal concerns about whether the USC program is on the brink of a downward spiral.

Let us be honest, for all his talent and success, Carroll has never proven himself adept at building up a team’s ego (and even performance on the field) coming off such devastating losses. He’s never had to. Plenty of Hall of Fame coaches’ have their flaws (minor in comparison to their accomplishments). If “rebounding” is truly a talent (or even a true verb in this context) is it something Pete possesses?

That remains to be answered.

Can he convince this younger generation of players who EXPECT to win, of what it takes to actually win. Because the group before them actually earned this pinnacle, they’ve only inherited it.

[I]t would become a very long offseason if the Trojans can’t stand up to Michigan. This is a crossroads game for USC. The Trojans must finish this season off on a strong beat. They have to snuff out any lingering doubt that grew from the UCLA debacle, which was indicative of a very un-Trojan-like season.

“I don’t think we have to prove it to other people, I think we have to prove it to ourselves,” conceded Booty. “It’s all about us and we want to get this taste out of our mouths and get back on the winning track. We’re really not trying to prove anything to anybody else.”

“It’s almost like it’s something you have to do,” added Jarrett. “You have to be forced to move on and look past that and I think if you sit and dwell on it, history is going to repeat itself. That is what we’ve done. We had that week off to get over it, and then we went back to work. We’re over that loss and we’ve been focusing on Michigan ever since and we’re ready to play.”

It is all coming to a boiling point, or so the media sees it. USC has had its off the field troubles (Yahoo! plans a new Reggie Bush expose on the eve of the Rose Bowl). And it is certainly feeling the pressure of its past success on the field.

USC however isn’t one to hog all the pressure. The death of a legendary coach, the snubbing by the BCS, the fact that this Wolverine team’s marquee players have never beaten Ohio State or won a bowl game. It is all there for Michigan as well.

This Rose Bowl–which, in past years, would be universally hailed as a glorious Big Ten-Pac-10 matchup, just the way Mother Nature intended–has now become a very strange football creature, an emotional cocktail of the highest order. USC, frankly, has been reduced to a sideshow. All the attention, all the tears, all the hopes, all the longings, all the points of confusion, all the competing tensions, are on the Michigan side of the aisle. It’s just the way it is.

This is potentially a battle for #1 (next year). Something, I truly believe, USC’s ego needs. The immediate future success of this Trojan program depends on a victory in the Rose Bowl.

USC wins, and I’ll buy my tickets for next year’s National Championship right away (pending dreadful probation). USC loses, and I’m making plans for the Holiday Bowl (or worse).

I think USC is up to the challenge…
USC 23 – Michigan 14

[Forde’s Predictions]
[Mandel’s Predictions]
[Mandel: Thoughts On The Rose Bowl]

Saturday, December 30th 2006

Space Uninteresting, Back To The iPod & TiVo

From Slashdot comes a link to this story about the younger generations disinterest in space,

Young Americans have high levels of apathy about NASA’s new vision of sending astronauts back to the moon by 2017 and eventually on to Mars, recent surveys show.

Concerned about this lack of interest, NASA’s image-makers are taking a hard look at how to win over the young generation — media-saturated teens and 20-somethings growing up on YouTube and Google and largely indifferent to manned space flight.

“If you’re going to do a space exploration program that lasts 40 years, if you just do the math, those are the guys that are going to carry the tax burden,” said Mary Lynne Dittmar, president of a Houston company that surveyed young people about the space program.

The 2004 and 2006 surveys by Dittmar Associates Inc. revealed high levels of indifference among 18- to 25-year-olds toward manned trips to the moon and Mars.

As Dittmar said, these statistics are depressing and bad news for long range space exploration. This generation (my generation) just needs too much of a ‘WOW’ factor I suppose. I’d like to be able to say they’re socially conscious enough that they have legitimate complaints about money being denied from welfare programs in favor of the ‘frivolity’ of manned space flight. Not that I in any way agree with that statement, but at least it would imply that they’re simply not too busy with their PS3s.

Then again, there will always be morons like this,

Ali Kuwait, 19, who is studying civil engineering at Brevard Community College, said he recently watched a clip on YouTube that made a convincing case that NASA’s moon landings between 1969 and 1972 were faked.

Repeating an old myth that NASA has not been able to kill, Kuwait said: “The moon thing was not real.”

No reasoning, no true argument why he believes such, just an unshaking suspicion of NASA for…well, no reason at all. You’re training great critical thinkers Brevard Community College.

Saturday, December 30th 2006

Less Sitcks, More Protection


Owwwww!

Are British pharmaceuticals on the verge of a vaccine for all influenza A infections?

Described as the ‘holy grail’ of flu vaccines, it would protect against all strains of influenza A – the virus behind both bird flu and the nastiest outbreaks of winter flu.

Just a couple of injections could give long-lasting immunity – unlike the current vaccine which has to be given every year.

The brainchild of scientists at Cambridge biotech firm Acambis, working with Belgian researchers, the vaccine will be tested on humans for the first time in the next few months.

The piece provides a balanced view however,

He added: “If you get a M2 vaccine which protects against the whole caboodle in the same vaccine, the possibilities are huge.”

But, others cautioned that there is no guarantee that the jabs would be as effective in humans as it has been in animals.

Virologist Professor Ian Jones, of the University of Reading, said: “It is an encouraging technique which may have a role to play but it is too soon to assume that it will translate into a universal vaccine in the human population.”

Dr Ron Cutler, an infectious diseases expert from the University of East London, said: “Continual protection would be a tremendous advantage against flu.”

He cautioned however, that there is no guarantee that the M2 protein will not mutate in the future – meaning the jab will have to be regularly reformulated.

The M2 protein is what is targeted by some influenza antivirals (but not the famous Tamiflu which is an NA inhibitor). The protein is necessary in the “uncoating” of the virus once it infects cells. Unfortunately for antivirals which target this protein the protein definitely mutates. How much it would have to mutate for the body’s antibodies against it not to recognize the protein anymore I have no idea.

Saturday, December 30th 2006

Defining Intellectual Property Rights

The thinking goes that when you take someone’s idea or creative creation you aren’t depriving them of anything. You didn’t steal a physical copy of that song, you didn’t take the actual pill that is constructed from the drug formula, you didn’t steal an actual copy of that book.

Typical, and ex pouted again in this British Medical Journal editorial,

Intellectual property differs from other property—restricting its use is inefficient as it costs nothing for another person to use it. Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president, put it more poetically than modern economists (who refer to “zero marginal costs” and “non-rivalrous consumption”) when he said that knowledge is like a candle, when one candle lights another it does not diminish from the light of the first. Using knowledge to help someone does not prevent that knowledge from helping others. Intellectual property rights, however, enable one person or company to have exclusive control of the use of a particular piece of knowledge, thereby creating monopoly power. Monopolies distort the economy. Restricting the use of medical knowledge not only affects economic efficiency, but also life itself.

Their solution is you don’t own what you create. So where does the incentive to create come from?

A medical prize fund provides an alternative. Such a fund would give large rewards for cures or vaccines for diseases like malaria that affect millions, and smaller rewards for drugs that are similar to existing ones, with perhaps slightly different side effects. The intellectual property would be available to generic drug companies. The power of competitive markets would ensure a wide distribution at the lowest possible price, unlike the current system, which uses monopoly power, with its high prices and limited usage.

The prizes could be funded by governments in advanced industrial countries. For diseases that affect the developed world, governments are already paying as part of the health care they provide for their citizens. For diseases that affect developing countries, the funding could be part of development assistance. Money spent in this way might do as much to improve the wellbeing of people in the developing world—and even their productivity—as any other that they are given.

The trouble is, intellectual property is not something we should just legislate. You inherently own your creations or you don’t. We all know plagiarism is wrong. But the distinctions attempted between copying, say, someone’s book and a drug formula are futile attempts to justify an end. I’ve heard them, and they are not sound logic on their own, but merely convoluted reasoning followed through with a conclusion already in mind. There is no distinction between copying one or the other. So hold fast to your belief about intellectual property for the common good, but don’t delude yourself into thinking you can distinguish the rights of “authors” in one “medium” from another.

I think it is sound that these prize funds could promote public good. We could do much to sacrifice rights to promote common good. The forceful redistribution of wealth to narrow the wealth gap, forceful redistribution of land. Don’t get all up in a wad, I’m not calling denying IP rights some form of convoluted Communism. But the argument that the common good can usurp the rights of individuals is one that is often not spelled out in full.

For instance, in this particular editorial it does an incredibly poor job of laying out the argument that property rights are of so little value that the common good easily trumps them. That is a fundamental question that every author should be trying to answer and every reader should be asking themselves and yet often it is left out as merely an obvious conclusion (‘no duh!’) that the reader will surely agree with the author on.

Just try to summarize in your mind when it is really acceptable to deny rights to individuals for the betterment of “most.”

Saturday, December 30th 2006

British Paper Of Repute Fails To Overreact

An interesting story about Muslims refusing to use alcohol based hand cleaners in hospitals, but let’s just take the tabloid source for what it is (an hysterical overreaction typically).

[S]ome Muslims refuse to use the hand cleansers on religious grounds because they contain alcohol.

Health watchdogs are so concerned they intend to meet with NHS bosses in the New Year to try and hammer out a solution.

NHS care assistant Theresa Poupa, 46, became aware of the situation while visiting a sick cousin at the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green.

She said: “I could not believe it – the signs are large enough and clear enough but they just took no notice and walked straight onto the ward.

“I was there almost every day for three weeks and I saw it repeated dozens and dozens of times. When I raised the matter with the nursing staff they just shrugged and said that Muslims were refusing to use the gel because it contained alcohol.

“They said they couldn’t force visitors to use the gel and I understand that — but I was astonished that anyone who didn’t wash their hands was allowed onto a ward.

“I know the dangers that bugs like MRSA can cause. They kill hundreds of patients a year.”

MRSA and other superbugs are scary enough to cause some pharmacologists and microbiologists to declare an impending end to the era of antibiotics, but still antecedal stories as news is the not the province of true journalism.

H/T Little Green Footballs

Friday, December 29th 2006

Bruins Continue Spiral Into Ninth Circle

Hehe. Losers.

Typical Bruins responses:

“Well, we beat the Trojans, what does that make them?”

We’re playing in our fifth straight BCS bowl, you cheer for a team that let Jeff Bowden run up forty-four points on them. That was the day and you were the team. It was settled on the field and those Bruins players deserve their due credit. But nine out of ten days, you’re still a second rate team coached by a second rate coach.

Or:

“Well the season is still a success because we dashed USC’s hopes.”

No matter how many times you say something like, ‘Well, at least we beat (Rival X), so the season was a success.’ the glass is NOT half full.

If that was all that mattered, then you’d only play those rivalry games. I’m sorry but those 6 loses and a trip to (and loss in) the Emerald Bowl…yeah, that all actually happened. The season did not consist merely of a victory over the University of Southern California. Have fun in Karl Dorrell hell next year. As a Trojan fan, I’m booking my national championship game tickets NOW.

Sunday, December 24th 2006

Happy Holidays

With Christmas, and some travel, until I post again on the other side of the new year I wish everyone a happy holidays.


Nothing Says Christmas Like A Christmas Tree Composed Of Fractals

Sunday, December 24th 2006

Bird Flu In Egypt


Bird Flu Tours The Pyramids

In February Bird Flu made an appearance in Egypt (he was doing some late night gigs in Cairo…)
Now however, sadly, it has claimed its eighth victim in that country.

The woman was part of an extended family of 33 living in a single house in a village near the town of Zifta in Gharbiya province, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Cairo, and was the third family member diagnosed with bird flu in 24 hours.

Earlier on Sunday, Bushra confirmed that two siblings from the same house, a brother, 26, and sister, 15, had the virus.

Just 8,0999,982 to go. Wow, I’m going to have to ask for a lot of forgiveness for that callous comment. But its true, why are we publicizing these ridiculous figures on the number of deaths if and when and if the right conditions follow a flu pandemic? Is this really news? Does this really inform us of anything accurately? Or is it just scare headlines so you flip to that page of the paper or click on the link?