Monday, November 23, 2009

Ten Things JJ Thinks He Thinks

This week marks Thanksgiving week which is one of the better weeks in the calendar year. I know a lot of people will be traveling to different locales this week so travel safely and as my grandpa used to say, I hope you get there and back without accident, breakdown, inconvenience and embarrassment. Be sure to go to Z in my non football thoughts to read a great story on a wild Thanksgiving traveling experience. Furthermore, after reading my third thought of the week which discusses things I am thankful for I will be giving out a homework assignment. Please complete by sometime next Sunday night if at all possible. Let's get this thing started.

1. Georgia Thoughts
I have no idea where to begin on this game but I think we can call it a Coxtastrophe. That might be a little harsh but so is life. On the way back from Athens Saturday night I began thinking about what I was going to write about. I was probably going to talk about how dominant we were in the first half of the game and even when UK was coming back I never thought we were going to lose. I was also going to mention that it was Bryan Evans last game in Sanford Stadium so all should not be considered a loss.  However, I decided to wake up Sunday morning and go to David Hale's Bulldog Blog and I see this quote from Mark Richt and I literally lost my mind for a few minutes. The following is from Hale who covers UGA for the Macon and Columbus papers and he is one of the best in the business. Here’s what Richt had to say about the decision to squib kick following Georgia’s lone second-half touchdown: “We actually kicked the ball extremely well last week — high, where we wanted it placed — and we still struggled. So we have a lot of respect for Auburn, but Kentucky’s kick return team is the best in the SEC. They just do a superb job. So we were trying to create a little doubt, trying to get the ball where we could pop it up and maybe get it somewhere around the 30, 35. That’s not anything to brag about, but we feel it’s better than kicking it deep to this guy.” By the way Kentucky's return team is ranked 7th in the SEC.

That quote says everything you want to know about what is wrong with Georgia and why it seems we have started to loss games late when we used to win them. Does Richt not know he coaches for the UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA and that he has had top 10 recruiting classes the last 5-6 years? Does Richt not know he is playing the University of Kentucky and while talented and well coached they do not have the overall talent that UGA posseses. I touched on this attitude a few weeks ago (October 26th email) in my Ten Things when I gave my three core issues with UGA. My second issue was UGA's lack of transparent meritocracy and this is what I wrote.  Sports is the ultimate meritocracy. The best move up. The weak move down. When the meritocracy breaks down within a program so that friendships, past relationships and/or seniority within the coaching staff or depth chart are favored over excellence or pursuit of excellence, everything falls apart. Urban Meyer and Pete Carroll have a relentless pursuit of merit among their players and coaches. If you're not good enough, you don't play or you move on. Knowshon Moreno would never redshirt for Pete Carroll. Bacarri Rambo would never be second string for Nick Saban, and our kick coverage would never be so un-special under Urban Meyer...not for this long. This week Alabama plays Friday afternoon and Florida plays Saturday afternoon on CBS. Watch how both of these coaches coach their team with an attack mentality on every play. Nobody plays scared, neither coach will insert a backup QB to fair catch a punt, and look at how many starters are playing special teams and by starters I mean All-Americans like Julio Jones.

 As I continued my Sunday afternoon in shock of what I read and wrote hours earlier I visited The Senators blog and basically we had the same thoughts on Richt and where UGA is at as a program. (He even used Hale's quote). This is his take on the same situation; these coaches are so worried about preventing the worst case scenario from happening that it’s affected their ability to get their players to perform up to the level of their talent.  It’s why we saw Kentucky return men catching the ball with no Georgia players within ten or fifteen yards of them.  It’s why Mike Bobo runs the ball on second and ten, over and over again, even in the face of a defense like last night’s that’s committed to stacking the box to stuff the run.  It’s why Martinez plays a soft zone, even if that means leaving the middle of the field open as a standing invitation to a quarterback.

Basically this program needs some new blood to give it another shot of life and Richt has made the right decision every time the program has been at some sort of crossroad so one can only think that he will continue to make these correct decisions on getting some new blood into the program. I should also clarify my statements that by new blood I mean some changes on the defensive side of the ball. I am very happy with Bobo his call for a toss sweep on the goal line withstanding.  He continues to give us an offense that scores in the twenties game after game and this is without the help of a defense giving the offense turnovers. When was the last time UGA has had a short field to work with?

Also, I give $250 a year to UGA for the right to purchase season tickets and another $250 to purchase the season tickets. Simmons who I share the season tickets with donates the same $500. Everyone else in that stadium donates that same amount at bare minimum and majority probably donate more. Is it to much to ask for a scoreboard that does not malfunction and a microphone for the referees that is clear enough so I can understand what he is saying?  You think Texas or Florida or USC has problems with their scoreboard? If they do it only happens once not three times like it has happened at Sanford Stadium this year.

No chance I get close to North Avenue on Saturday. For one I hate 99% their fans as they suck as people. If you do not agree visit this site. The 1% would be my cousin that currently attends that school and my good buddies Wes Withrow and Les Collins who are Tech fans and somewhat decent people. I probably should include the Mayor on that list. I should mention that I haven't talked to my cousin since July despite him living three miles from me. Second, they have a coach who has an attack mentality on every play and you better believe if he can gets a chance next Saturday to put the hammer down against UGA he will do so with the biggest smile on his face.

2. Colts Thoughts
I will begin the Colts thoughts the same way I have done many times when discussing the Dawgs earlier this season, A win is a win is a win. While they should have probably lost their last three games they somehow have found a way to win them all (Thanks to Belichick and Ed Reed). While I believe it is way to early to call the Colts a team of destiny, any team to start 10-0 and to win the way they have won is pretty special. If you were to tell me that in each of the last two games that Manning were to throw two picks in each game and Dallas Clark was going to only catch one ball on Sunday, I would have figured they would have gone 1-1 at best but to go 2-0 is truly spectacular. On a side note the one catch by Clark on Sunday was nothing short of spectacular.

Like two yeas ago when the Colts made their Super Bowl run a lot of credit needs to be given to the much maligned Colts defense. Despite missing three starters to season ending injuries the Colts keep doing what they do and winning football games. Even more special was the fact that Manning's two interceptions Sunday gave the Ravens a short field a both times the Ravens had to settle for field goals. In fact the Colts defense was able to hold the Ravens offense to five field goals in a true bend don't break fashion. Even more impression was the goal line stand when the Colts stopped the Ravens three times from inside the one before forcing a short field goal. By the way the Colts are up four with six game to play on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The future looks good as the Colts have another tough trip this week to Houston before back to back home games against the Titans and Broncos. Home field advantage looks like a lock as of now but it is important to get Anthony Gonzalez and Kelvin Hayden before the playoffs.

3. Things In The Sports World I Which I Give Thanks
It seems every year around this time some hack will put together a list of what he/she is thankful for. I could get into a sappy list about how thankful I am for my family, friends and my one year old car Allie but no one would enjoy that sappiness. In that same vein I would appreciate if everyone were to send me an email with things in the Sports World that you are thankful. Do not forget your homework assignment and without further ado here is my list.

 JJ's Thankful List-It should be noted that this is not in any particular order
1. Sports Illustrated being delivered every Wednesday and their great cast of writers that include Tom Verducci, Jon Heyman, Seth Davis, Stewart Mandel, Joe Posnanski, Andy Staples and probably the best feature writer in the business S.L. Price.
2. I purposefully left off Peter King on the above because I am such a huge fan of his Monday Morning Quarterback and his concept of "Ten Things I Think I Think" are totally stolen by me.
3. Athens, Ga on a Saturday or any day that the football, basketball, baseball or any other team competes.
4. Wild Card Weekend, Divisional Weekend and Conference Championship Sunday in the NFL...does it get better than this?
5. USC Song Girls
6. Growing up in Georgia and listening to voices such as Larry Munson, Skip Caray, Ernie Johnson and Pete Van Wieren 'paint the picture' for my favorite teams.
7. NFL Sunday Ticket
8. The National Anthem before any contest and God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch. On a side note I love attending games with teams from Canada and hearing O' Canada. I still think our National Anthem is better.
9. Introductions before NBA Games. Two memorable intros that stand out to me include the Bulls intro from when they had it rolling in the late 90's. The second one that stands out is from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Staples Center. Just as an fyi, the Lakers intro is the coolest one I have scene in person (they drop a circular curtain from the rafters).
10. Friday Night Fireworks at Turner Field.
11. A Saturday watching college football at the MGM Grand followed by a Sunday at the Las Vegas Hilton
12.The College World Series, one of the best sporting events to attend in person in my opinion.
13. The fact I can remember watching baseball games in the following stadiums...Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Turner Field, Tropicana Stadium, RFK Stadium, Nationals Ballpark, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Ballpark, Old Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Citi Field, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Great American Ballpark, Safeco Field, and PNC Park. Just a side note I saw a football game inside Dolphins Stadium and I do not know if that counts as I am not sure if I will make it a point to get to Miami to watch a baseball game before the Marlins open their new stadium in April 2012 on the site of the former Orange Bowl. On a side note how did I not talk my grandparents into making the 166 mile drive from their house in Melbourne, Fl to what was then known as Joe Robbie Stadium?
14. Dave O'Brien's Braves Beat Blog on, I especially enjoy his spring training stories the best.
15. The positive things ESPN has given sports-SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, HD Programming,
16. March Madness and Bracketology
17. MLB Network
18. Leaving work right at 500 and going to watch batting practice by myself or select friends that really enjoy watching both teams put in some serious work.
19.Gate giveaways
20. All the college football bowl games between Christmas and New Years Day.
21. The Olympics
22. Bob Costas interviewing anyone
23. Sunday Night football on NBC. From Olbermann and DP with highlights to Dungy and Harrison with commentary. Do not forget Peter King with news from around the league and the game broadcast with Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth.
24. College football fight songs
25. Vern Lundquist and Gary Danielson doing SEC football on CBS.
26. Bill Raftery screaming any of the following; Onions! With a kiss! Man to Man! Strong... to the goal! A little pirouette, and they said this was a beer town! There's a little lingerie on the deck! When you're sleepless in Seattle, why not get a little kiss? (Start at the :55 second mark)

4. Bowl Projections-Please note if your bowl is played before Christmas I am not going to give it a projection. Yes their are way to many Bowl Games and this is by far one of the most difficult tasks I have completed. Just as an fyi I have Clemson upsetting Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship game but Georgia Tech still getting an at-large BCS Bowl bid.

Little Caesars Pizza-Detroit 12/26

Northern Illinois vs Iowa St

Meineke Car Care-Charlotte 12/26

Miami vs West Virginia

Emerald-San Francisco 12/26

Stanford vs Utah

Gaylord Hotels Music City-Nashville 12/27
Georgia vs. Florida St

AdvoCare V100 Independence-Shreveport 12/28

Auburn vs Oklahoma

EagleBank-Washington DC 12/29

East Carolina vs Middle Tenn St.

Champs Sports-Orlando 12/29

Boston College vs Northwestern

Roady's Humanitarian-Boise 12/30

UCLA vs Idaho

Pacific Life Holiday-San Diego 12/30

USC vs Oklahoma St.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces-Ft. Worth 12/31

SMU vs Air Force

Brut Sun- El Paso 12/31

Missouri vs Oregon St

Texas- Houston 12/31

Texas A&M vs Navy

Insight- Tempe 12/31

Iowa St vs Minnesota

Chick-fil-A- Atlanta 12/31

North Carolina vs Tennessee

Outback-Tampa 1/1

Kentucky vs Wisconsin

Capital One-Orlando 1/1                 
Ole Miss vs Penn St

Konica Minolta Gator J'ville 1/1
Virginia Tech vs Pittsburgh

Rose Bowl Pasadena 1/1
Oregon vs Ohio St

Sugar- New Orleans 1/1
Alabama vs Cincinnati

International- Toronto 1/2
Rutgers vs Temple Birmingham 1/2
South Carolina vs South Florida

AT&T Cotton - Dallas 1/2
Nebraska vs LSU

Liberty - Memphis 1/2
Arkansas vs Houston

Valero Alamo - San Antonio 1/2

 Michigan St vs Texas Tech

Tostitos Fiesta - Phoenix 1/4
Georgia Tech vs Boise St

FedEx Orange- Miami 1/5
Clemson vs Iowa

GMAC- Mobile 1/6
Central Michigan vs Notre Dame

National Championship Game -Pasadena 1/7  
Florida vs Texas


5. MLB Thoughts
  a. Great read by Joe Posnanski as he gives out his Least Valuable Player awards. Great comment on Brad Lidge, he absolutely fascinates me -- he's like the Frank Sinatra of closers. You know how Sinatra said that he had an "over acute capacity for sadness as well as elation." Lidge has been either unreasonably great like he was in 2004, 2005 and 2008, or virtually unpitchable like he was last year and in 2006.
  b. Another nugget from the same story discusses Milton Bradley. I love this story. A scout once told me that Bradley is the only high school player he ever scouted who hit a home run and did not have a single teammate come out to congratulate him.
  c. There are a lot of old players that are free agents this offseason. I wonder how many of these guys are able to get jobs this winter? Look at this list Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Sheffield, Jermaine Dye, Carlos Delgado, Cliff Floyd, Jason Giambi, Garret Anderson, Kevin Millar, Mark Loretta, and Mike Sweeney.
  d. How bad is this free agent pitching class? Carl Pavano might be the second best free agent pitcher.
  e. How about this random stat, Since 2000, there have been 10 seasons in which a pitcher had 200 innings and walked under 30 batters. Free agent Joel Pineiro joined the control group this season, issuing 27 walks in 214 innings. David Wells is on the top of this group, having issued just 20 walks in 213 innings in 2003. Brad Radke appears on the list four times.
  f. Would you laugh at me if I told you Henry Blanco is better player and catcher than Red Sox captain Jason Varitek? Blanco in 67 games hit .235, had an OBP of .320 and an OPS of .703. Tek hit .209, had an OBP of .313 and an OPS of .703. The difference between the two? Tek threw out 16 of 124 base stealers for a 13 percent rate, while Blanco was 18 of 45 for a 40 percent rate. Still laughing at me?
  g. I would be surprised if Lowe or Vazquez gets traded before Roy Halladay. Might as well let the Yankees or Red Sox get desperate after one misses out on Halladay.
  h. Free Agency started this week and look for Matt Holiday and Jason Bay to sign first (but not quickly) to set the market for every other free agent outfielder.
  i. Great read from NY Times on the lack of spending by the New York Mets in this summer's amateur draft. We have heard rumors about Mets owners losing money with Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme so it is only natural to wonder if the lack of spending is related and if it will handcuff them this off-season.
  j. I am very intrigued if this story is true, I do not think it is but still intrigued nonetheless. 

6. What I read this week
A couple of smaller articles to look at this week. The first one comes from my good buddy and future legal adviser Dan who sent me this story from the NY Times. It discusses the new trend of younger men dating older women. By the way Ben Franklin might have been the first cougar chaser when in 1785 he wrote in his “Old Mistresses Apologue” that in all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. I guess those are words to live by.

The second article comes from the Boston Globe and looks at the Pilgrims and how in fact they came and settled first in Provinctown, Ma before moving to Plymouth, Ma a year later. Much of the discussion surrounds the fact most people in America think the Pilgrims came straight to Plymouth which is incorrect. However, the Pilgrims might have known what modern day Provincetown would have become and decided to get the hell out of dodge.

7. Football Thoughts of the week
a. I wish someone could have explained the Panthers play calling to me on Thursday night. Why do they allow Jake Delhomme to throw the ball 42 times and only give DeAngelo Williams 13 carries? By the way Williams had 122 yards on the 13 carries. Carolina, you are a running team...RUN THE BALL.
b. Of all the great running backs in Dolphins history Ricky Williams has the team record for 100-yard rushing games with 22.
c. I continue to be amazed that I learn something new every time I watch Football Night in America on Sunday nights. Great insight as always by Dungy.
d. I know his team got beat by 17 points, but that was a stylish sweatervest Rex Ryan wore Sunday in Foxboro.
e. My good buddy Andrew Walters and myself continue to be the only survivors left in our survivor pool. Cincinnati at home against Cleveland looks like my pick for next week.
f. The Falcons continue to struggle on the road as they lost their 4th consecutive road game. Good news Falcons fans, 4 of your last 6 games are at home and your two road games are at the struggling Jets and the awful Bucs.
g. This is probably one of the more crazier stats you will ever see, before the Giants home win on Sunday versus the Falcons, the last 12 meetings between the teams, dating to 1981, were won by the road team.
h. The 6-4 Jacksonville Jaguars have quietly found themselves in the AFC playoff race. In fact if the season were to end right now they would be the 5th seed in the AFC. If they can win at San Francisco on Sunday they have three big home games in a row against the Texans, Dolphins and Colts to start the month of December.
i. For the Jaguars Mike Sims-Walker has now caught a receiving touchdowns in three straight games and Maurice Jones-Drew has now scored a TD in five straight games.
j. Not a lot has gone right for the Broncos since their Bye week as they have lost four straight. They might want to look at their defense which has allowed 29.3 points per game during their four-game losing streak after allowing 11.0 points in their first six games.
k. What a bad loss by the Bengals on the road at Oakland. They are still in the drivers seat for the AFC North but could have started making plans for a bye week in the playoffs if they were able to win Sunday. What makes Oakland's win crazier is that the Raiders scored 10 points in the fourth quarter after scoring a combined 6 fourth-quarter points in their previous seven games. By the way all 10 points were scored within the last minute of the game.
l. How bout Matthew Stafford becoming the youngest to throw five or more touchdowns in a single game in modern NFL history.It should be noted that Stafford is 420 days younger than Dan Marino when Marino threw 5 td's in 1984. We could talk about this game forever but because it is the Lions and the Browns we will not.
m. Georgia Southern fired coach Chris Hatcher Saturday night and while I am not as close to the program as a lot of my friends I believe they need to go back to their roots and the triple option. A couple of names to look at include Giff Smith who is currently GaTech's recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach. Smith is a graduate of Georgia Southern and has been an assistant at GSU and Navy. Another name is current GaTech QB coach Brian Bohannon who is a UGA grad that played under Ray Goff. It should be mentioned that he has been coaching under Paul Johnson for more than a decade. The last name I will throw out is Ivin Jasper who is currently the Navy offensive coordinator. Jasper is a Hawaii graduate, but coached with Johnson at Georgia Southern and Navy. Something tells me they would go after Smith then Bohannnon. Am I missing a potential candidate?
n. Speaking of coaching changes all signs point to Notre Dame making a change in the leadership of their football program. A couple of names that I fill would be perfect fits for the Irish include; Urban Meyer, Brian Kelly, and Paul Johnson. By the way I do not think they go the NFL route again with someone like Mike Shanahan or John Gruden.
p. How thankful is Terrelle Pryor that he choose Ohio St over Michigan? On the same hand would Michigan be in a better place if Pryor decided to attend college in Ann Arbor? You want to know how to make people forgive you for a couple of BCS blowouts? Go8-1 against Michigan, including the current six game win streak.
q. I still think Michigan has to keep Rich Rodriguez for one more season. The reasons include the fact that a lot of freshmen and sophomores are playing for Michigan so he should be given a chance to finish what he has started. Second, good luck getting a big name coach with your AD scheduled to retire next September. The head coach-ad relationship is one to not take lightly.
r. Credit needs to go to Chip Kelly for the work he has done at Oregon this season. Is their a more improved team from week 1 to the current?
s. Did anyone know that Northwestern went 9-3 last season and they are 8-4 this season? I did not, and this is the first time the Wildcats have won 8 games or more in back to back games since 95 and 96.
t. What a win for Randy Edsall and his U-U-U-UCONN team. The last time the Huskies won a game this season they lost a teammate hours later. It has had to be a very tough 6 weeks for this team and the way Edsall has kept them together has been quite remarkable. This is without a doubt the biggest win in UCONN's history and hopefully the Huskies can win one of their final two home games against Syracuse or South Florida to become bowl eligible.
u. It should be mentioned that Kentucky won football games at Auburn and at UGA this season. The UGA win in Athens was their first since 1977. The question for Big Blue this weekend becomes can they beat Tennessee for the first time since 1984?
v. JJ's 5 Heisman Candidates
 1. CJ Spiller- In my opinion he does more for his team than anyone else. If he is special in two weeks against GaTech in the ACC Championship he might become the first Heisman winner in school history.
 2. Tim Tebow- It may be his to lose in the eyes of many voters. Very intrigued about his upcoming match-up versus the Crimson Tide.
 3. Mark Ingram-Despite Auburn RB Ben Tate claiming that he was the best RB in state last week, look for Ingram to be special in the Iron Bowl against a Tigers defense that can not stop the run.
 4. Colt McCoy- This is what you are supposed to do on Senior Day, McCoy threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns on 32 of 41 passing. He also rushed for 29 yards.
 5. Case Keenum- Another 400 yard passing game puts him right back in the conversation. I feel sorry for whatever SEC team has to play him in the Liberty Bowl.

8. JJ's College Top 5
 1. Florida- Senior Day for Tim Tebow against the hated Seminoles. I would love for Mickey Andrews to pull something out of his hat one more time.
 2. Alabama- I know it was only Chattanooga but Bama's defense held the Mocs to 85 total yards, forcing three turnovers in the process.
 3. Texas- According to my brother who has been in Austin the last week all the talk has been about Pasadena, something tells me Mack Brown will not let his team lose focus against A&M or in the Big XII title game.
 4. TCU- The last time TCU was 11-0 was 1938. By the way the Horned Frogs won the National Championship that season.
 5. Cincinnati- Bye week this week before finishing up against Illinois this Friday and on the road against Pitt the 5th of December.

9. JJ's Pro Top 5
 1. Indianapolis Colts-A win is a win is a win
 2. New Orleans Saints-The last NFC team to start 10-0? The 1991 Redskins who beat the Falcons in the playoffs on the way to winning the Super Bowl.
 3. Minnesota Vikings- Like an Evan Williams ad somethings do get better with age. The 40 year old QB completed 22 of 25 passes for 213 yards and 4 scores.
 4. New England Patriots-The Wes Welker-Randy Moss receiver in football might be the toughest to game plan against.
 5. San Diego Chargers- The Chargers become the new member to this group that has been ever changing this season. The AFC West is now theirs to lose.

10. Non Football Thoughts of the week
a. How amazing is Faith Hill? Here is a video clip of her doing the musical intro to Sunday Night Football from earlier this season.
b. I definitely was AWESOME this weekend.
c. 40 Million views on Youtube can not be wrong. By the way this song was also played in Sanford Stadium Saturday night.
d. 60 Minutes was outstanding a thought provoking like always Sunday Night.Who would have thought that last year Medicare paid out $50 Billion for doctors and hospital bills during the last two months of patients lives. That number is more than the budgets of both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Education. Lots of issues brought up in this story and I can clearly see the arguments for everyone involved.
e. The good doctor saw this story and thought it was well done and he agreed with a majority of the points in the story.
f. Speaking of the good doctor he is owed congratulations for being accepted as a resident in Pediatrics to Memorial Hospital in Savannah starting in July.
g. I finished reading Bowls, Polls and Tattered Souls this week. While the book is couple of years old it was very intriguing look at some of the insane ways College Football does business. Look for a book report in the next few weeks.
h. Speaking of book reports, last week the Book Club group finished A Race Like No Other: 26.2 miles through the streets of New York so another book report is due.
i. I am about 6 weeks behind in my reading of Sports Illustrated, hopefully I can catch up this week and hopefully I will have some articles of the week type reading in these issues.
j. Back to 60 Minutes for a second, James Cameron might be one of the smartest, creative, and driven movie makers in the show business. Great feature on him and his new movie . Cameron by the way has also directed Titanic, Terminator and Aquaman (just kidding on Aquaman as it is an Entourage joke for those who do not know). Cameron also gave us some insight when he shared with 60 Minute correspondent Morley Shafer that the studio wanted OJ Simpson to star in Terminator not Arnold Schwarzenegger. I think we are all in agreement that we are glad Cameron won that argument.

k. With a apologies to the roomdawg, I went ahead and watched the season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Spoiler alert SKIP TO letter O if you did not watch last night.
l. I thought this was one of the better seasons in the past few seasons and the Seinfeld story arc made me realize how much I loved Seinfeld and to steal the words from Jerry, that show (Seinfeld) was truly 'iconic.' This quote from The Newark Star-Ledger is spot on; "as a "Seinfeld" fan, I feel like I finally got all I needed to see of Jerry and friends. As a "Curb" fan, I'm still hungry for a lot more of Jerry with Larry, if that's what either of these men want to do with their lives."
m. While the topic of tipping is often a common theme on 'Curb' I laugh every time it gets worked into an episode.
n. "Do you respect wood?" If you saw the episode you would laugh.

o. The Office continues to be average and I agree with co-worker Dan who says they seem to be making a mockery out of Michael Scott. He is nowhere like the first couple of seasons where he just did some dumb things but he was not over the top.
p. I said earlier this season that more Kevin=more laughs, but we seem to have been getting less and less of Kevin.
q. I did love when Jim finally stepped up and moved Ryan's cube into a storage closet. By the way I have never liked Ryan's role on the show.
r. You might not agree but I feel right now that Community and 30 Rock are better than 'The Office.'
s. I know you are not supposed to talk bad about the dead but how did Michael Jackson win awards last night at the American Music Awards? I did not know he had put out any new music.
t. I have one extra movie screening pass to Matt Damon's and Morgan Freeman's new movie Invictus. Click here for a trailor. By the way the flick is directed by Clint Eastwood who aint nothing but the man. Movie looks real good.
u. Last week I learned that being sick sucks and you think you will spend a nice day watching television at the house only to find out that there is nothing on during the day. I also learned that in the future I should stick with ESPNEWS instead of deciding the best movie that is on HBO, Showtime, or Starz that way I do not get stuck watching Bride Wars on a Tuesday afternoon.
v. Seriously there was nothing else on television worth watching.
w. By the way great job by TMAC Saturday afternoon as I was struggling with some Bubba Burgers on the grill. My grill skills are embarrassing. I might need to ask for this book for Christmas.
x. Speaking of Christmas gifts, for those of you that like to wake up early on Friday morning here is a website for you.
y. This week begins the whirlwind Holiday season where the next 6 weeks will fly by, take time to enjoy life some good company, good food, good friends and good holiday cheer. By the way, the roomdawg and myself along with a few other people will be having a Christmakuh party on the rooftop December 12th. We have yet to get a guarantee from the North Pole but signs point to Santa making an appearance.

Z. Here is a Thanksgiving travel story from 2005 when I was living in NYC that you might find as a real life Planes, Trains, and Automobiles adventure (warning: adult language in that hilarious video clip). The journey begins around 430-500 the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving when I leave my place in Astoria and head to my lawyer friend Dan's apartment that was on the Upper East Side. I should mention I was carrying my travel bag which was a carry-on sized wheel bag I got at the 2004 College World Series and two Juniors Cheesecakes. For those who do not know about Junior's Cheesecake, click the link. I got to Dan's without any mishap or embarrassment just the inconvenience of having to ride the Subway with multiple NY'ers jealous of your Juniors Cheesecake. Dan and I watch some Mike and the Mad Dog before departing for Madison Square Garden to watch the preseason NIT college basketball games. The first game was a very disinterested Duke team struggling to beat the Drexel Dragons. The nightcap was a Memphis blowout of UCLA, that was made interesting thanks to the fact we moved down about 5 rows behind UCLA's cheerleaders. There was no cheerleader effect in play this night. It needs to be mentioned that despite Memphis's blowout win this night, UCLA returned the favor four months later in Regional Finals and advanced to the Final Four. After the game we returned to Dan's place, where he packs a small bag and we ended up hurrying up to 125th Street to catch the Metro North to Scarsdale as we did not think we had enough time to go to Grand Central Station which is at 42nd Street to catch the train. It needs to mentioned that the train ride to Westchester Co. was filled with a crowd that had come into the City to have a good time doing whatever young people do. Furthermore, their were a few people on the train were worried about making curfew, sucks for them to still be in high school.

When we arrived in Scarsdale, Dan was somehow able to talk one of his good buddies to leave the party he was at to pick us up, drop Dan off at his house and then take me to the Airport in what I think was an opposite direction of where he was going. I get dropped off at Westchester International Airport about 2:00 am Thanksgiving morning, go into the terminal and take a nap and watch it snow before checking in around 500 am for my 600 departure.By the way I forgot to mention that when we arrived at the Scarsdale Metro North Station it was snowing heavily much to the surprise of Dan and myself. The Scarsdale train station is located about 25 miles north of midtown Manhattan and when we were in the City we had no signs of snow or rain. After checking my bag, (I did not feel like carrying my bag plus the cheesecake, plus it was a time and place in our history when you could check a bag for free) we boarded on time for what would be a close to an on-time departure. Before I go any further I must tell you my flight plans for what I though would be this Thanksgiving morning. I was scheduled to leave the Westchester Airport about 6:15 Thursday morning, fly to Cleveland where I would have about 40 minutes to change planes and then fly to my final destination of Greeneville/Spartanburg (GSP). I would be scheduled to land around 1045 and my dad would pick me up and we would drive about an hour and half home for Thanksgiving dinner.

Like I said before we were close to an on time departure from Westchester and the only reason we did not leave right on time was the fact that our plane had to be de-iced before taking off. This was the first time that I remembered being de-iced before a flight and I thought it was a pretty unique experience. For all you southern boys here is a video of the de-icing process. The plane takes off for Cleveland and I head off to dream land. I wake up when we are about 20 minutes out and I check my watch. I notice that because we are heading into such a strong head wind it was going to be tough to make the connection but the flight attendant said the pilot had called ahead and asked for Cleveland to hold some of our connecting flights. All is well as we prepare to land. As were are landing in very low viability and heavy wind that is shaking the plane around I notice that we are flying over the runway at a pretty high elevation and I think to myself I hope this is the worlds longest runway or we got no chance of landing, we do not land as the pilot pulls up and gets back into line to land again. As we are back in line to land again they close the Cleveland Airport due to the snow and the pilot tells us that in stead of circling we will now head to Detroit because we are running out of gas. We land in Detroit get fueled up and wait for the Cleveland Airport to reopen so we can take off. Since the flight is not considered complete the airline will not let anyone off the plane which bothers alot of people but I am sitting in the front row and could care less. One person on the plane had a final destination of Detroit so the airline let him off the plane and his trip home for turkey dinner was cut short by a couple of hours. Good for him.

While stuck on the ground in Detroit I strike up a conversation with the people around me, I found out that the lady behind me as well as the couple across the aisle all have a final destination of GSP. Who would have thought the Westchester-Greenville/Spartanburg route was so popular. It needs to be mentioned that everyone on the plane was starting to get hungry and a lot of people were wanting to get in on the Junior's Cheesecake. Thank the good lord that before it got anymore serious the Cleveland Airport reopened and we made the 30 minute flight across Lake Erie. By the way I also make a couple of calls to my Dad to let him know I am not going to be to GSP anytime soon. I felt bad for him becaus ehere he is waiting by himself on thanksgiving for his son to land about an hour and half from the house. With it being Thanksgiving there was no mall or store open for him to go hang out in. I also call my mom who is less than thrilled and my buddy Brice who like me thinks the whole story and situation is funny and will make a great story on a blog someday.

Of course when we landed the flight to GSP is long gone and it is basically a race to the customer service counter for hopefully a new flight to GSP. After getting out power walked to the counter by the older lady behind me I get to the airport counter and I am rebooked to GSP. It should be mentioned that the Customer Service representatives working for Continental this Thanksgiving morning were real pleasant (hint the sarcasm). To get to GSP I have to wait about an hour in Cleveland before taking a puddle jumper to Cincinnati where I would switch to a regular sized plane for the hour and fifteen minute flight. The rest of the flights go smoothly except for the fact that we had to takeoff in Cleveland in this type of plane in a heavy snowstorm. You better believe the wind threw us around as were taking off from Cleveland. 

I finally land in GSP around 430 get to my parents place around 600 where they have held Thanksgiving dinner for me (which I still to this day think was ridiculous). I have never seen a group of people so happy to see me because they now got to eat. However, the Juniors Cheesecakes were a big hit and I was soon forgiven for being 6 hours late.

In order to please my mom I will never make travel plans through Cleveland again. It should be mentioned that the forecast for Turkey Day in Cleveland is 40% chance of showers and a high temperature of 48 degrees.

Text of the week
Matt Millan is the retarded brother of John Madden. How does Bob Papa not choke him out with his hideous tie? 

Co-worker Dan to me while watching his Dolphins beat the Panthers 

Quote of the week
"If I wanted to build something for your birthday, I couldn't build anything better than that."

Co-worker Dan to me as we were returning from lunch. What he will build will stay between us.

Quote of the week 2
"Google image search In-N-Out Burger, its like food porn."

Me to Co-worker Dan and Bj when we were discussing In-N-Out Burger. A place I need to visit.

Again Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Here is Adam Sandler with the Thanksgiving Song. Do not forget your homework and maybe some cardio sometime this week in preparations for Thursday's feast.


  1. Thought T. from the football thoughts of the week hits close to home for this Husky fan. The post-game interview that Randy Edsall had brings me back to a comment made by Coach a few weeks ago. Something to the effect of, "I would let my child play for Randy Edsall any day of the week."

    Go UCONN.

  2. SHEP - Party in the USA is by far the most popular song in ANY bar. This is true of Athens, Statesboro, and the lagest clubs in Phoenix. Ive seen some great reactions by the female patrons when this song comes on. Put your hands up for that.