Monday, January 3, 2011

Ten Things JJ Thinks He Thinks

Here are the 10 Things for this first week of 2011. I will try to be more consistent in writing these in 2011, please notice the word TRY. I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season and their 2011 is off to a great start. 

1. Georgia Thoughts
I will not go into much detail here on what I think what is wrong with the Dawgs because I would be writing for days and it would take you hours to read. My biggest worry is that we drive 96 yards to not go for it on 4th and 1 from the 3 yard line in the first quarter. In my opinion if we go for it there, we pick it up and win this game without much problem. My real issue in not going for it is....if the coach does not trust his players to get a yard against UCF why would his players in return trust him or make plays for him, etc. The lack of faith is something I see all the time at UGA but I do not see when watching Bama, Auburn, LSU, FSU, GaTech or Florida play. (emphasis added)

Also what happened to the offensive line this season? By far the biggest weak link on the team. I do not care if you have Bill Walsh calling plays but he is not going to move the ball with line play like we saw all season. I have heard rumors have a feud between Bobo and offensive line coach Stacey Searls. I have no idea where the problem comes from or what it is but this issue if true has to be fixed. What makes this problem more troublesome is Searls is probably UGA's best position coach as he worked at LSU under Saban and has turned down multiple offers from Auburn and Alabama. In fact if he were fired today he would probably have multiple job offers before he could pack the first box in office.

Gentry Estes who covers the Dawgs for wrote this article and sums everything up perfect. I appreciate his perspective as Estes has covered the Alabama Crimson Tide for a couple of seasons before getting the Georgia beat.

2. NFL Thoughts
a. Halfway through the NFL season a lot of the pundits claimed the AFC was the dominant conference with more dominant teams.
b. While the AFC has the most dominant team (New England) I feel the strength of teams seeded 1-6 in the NFC is better than the 1-6 of the AFC.
c. In fact I could see any team out of the NFC except the Seahawks making the Super Bowl. However, I only see the Patriots getting out of the AFC.
d. Peyton Manning now has 46 game-winning drives in the 4th quarter or overtime in his NFL career, just one shy of Dan Marino's career record. Third on the list Favre with 43 and fourth is John Elway with 42.
e. Eric Weems became the first Falcons player with a punt return TD and kick return TD in the same season. How did Deion Sanders never do that in the same season?
f.  Matt Ryan tied Dan Marino for the most wins (33) by a starting QB in his first three seasons since 1970. Hopefully he has more post-season success than Mr. Marino did with the Phins.
g. The roomdawg is going to love this stat: The Packers have held opponents to single-digits in points six times this season. The last three times they've done that previously (1962, 1966, 1996), they won the NFL Championship (the last two, happened to be Super Bowls)
h. Among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts entering Sunday, Cutler ranked 27th in the NFL in passer rating when throwing to the left side of the field. Cutler finished the game completing just 6 of 14 passes with an 18.8 passer rating and both of his interceptions coming in that direction.
i. The Patriots entered Week 17 allowing a passer rating of 104.2 on play-action passes this season, 24th in the NFL. The Patriots play-action defense has been better against the Dolphins this season than any other team it has faced. The Dolphins finished 3 of 7 for 23 yards, an interception and a sack when using play-action Sunday.

3. Do we really need a playoff?

Late last Tuesday I received a text from my crazy brother saying, "Missouri-Iowa those are two sick teams this year that should be in playoff games fighting for a chance for something more than the bowl game they are in."  My first thought was this is the exact reason why I do not want a playoff as what reason should a 7-5 Iowa or a 10-2 Missouri have to play in a playoff. In my opinion those teams should enjoy their middle tier bowl game in Arizona. While I think the system as it is now is broken I feel a playoff per say will no fix things. If you feel different let me know and why.

This is what I would like to see happen. We take the four best teams using an improved BCS that factors some sort of human poll from the coaches, legends, and 15 writers selected by fan vote. I would also keep the computers as they help in determining strength of schedule, etc. We keep the BCS bowls and their tie-ins as is but we rotate two bowls to host a #1 vs #4 playoff game and a #2 vs #3 playoff. This year we would have had #1 Auburn play #4 Stanford in one bowl. In the second bowl we would have had #2 Oregon play #3 TCU. #5 Wisconsin and #6 Ohio State would have just missed earning a spot. Then we would take the winners of Auburn-Stanford and Oregon-TCU to play for the National Championship. The National Championship game would be played the weekend prior to the Super Bowl at the Super Bowl location. 

Here is how my 4 team playoff would have looked in years past
2009 #1 Bama vs #4 TCU, #2 Texas vs #3 Cincy...just missed #5 Florida and #6 Boise St
2008 #1 Oklahoma vs #4 Bama, #2 Florida vs #3 Texas...just missed #5 USC, #6 Utah
2007 #1 Ohio St vs #4 Oklahoma, #2 LSU vs #3 Virginia Tech...just missed #5 UGA, #6 Missouri
2006 #1 Ohio St vs #4 LSU, #2 Florida vs #3 Michigan...just missed #5 USC, #6 Louisviile
2005 #1 USC vs #4 Ohio St, #2 Texas vs #3 Penn St...just missed #5 Oregon, #6 Notre Dame, #7 UGA
2004 #1 USC vs #4 Texas, #2 Oklahoma vs #3 Auburn...just missed #5 Cal, #Utah, #7 UGA
2003 #1 Oklahoma vs #4 Michigan, #2 LSU vs #3 USC...just missed #5 Ohio St, #6 Texas
2002 #1 Miami vs #4 USC, #2 Ohio State vs #3 UGA...just missed #5 Florida, #6 Washington St
2001 #1 Miami vs #4 Oregon, #2 Nebraska vs #3 Colorado...just missed #5 Florida, #6 Tennessee
2000 #1 Oklahoma vs #4 Washington, #2 FSU vs #3 Miami...just missed #5 Va Tech, #6 Oregon St
1999 #1 FSU vs #4 Alabama, #2 Virginia Tech vs #3 Nebraska...just missed #5 Tennessee, #6 Kansas St
1998 #1 Tennessee vs #4 Ohio State, #2 FSU vs #3 Kansas St...just missed #5 UCLA, #6 Texas A&M

Notes: How fun would the 2006-2007 bowl season have been? How good has Ohio State and Oklahoma been the past 13 years. The same could be said for Texas and USC.

4. NFL Power 12 (The Playoff Teams)
1. New England Patriots- What team do you see losing to the Pats? I do not see one.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers- With a Troy Polamalu this team becomes more dangerous. They have stayed under the radar a lot this season.
3. Atlanta Falcons- I know they gave away the New Orleans game last week, this team is still very tough out at home.
4. Philadelphia Eagles- I have some questions about their defense but their offense is scary good with weapons at QB, RB, WR and TE.
5. Indianapolis Colts- With Manning they always have a chance. Last time they entered playoffs with this many questions they won the Super Bowl.
6. Baltimore Ravens- This team matches up better with the Pats than any other team in the AFC.
7. Green Bay Packers- Aaron Rodgers is better than Jay Cutler thus the higher rating
8. Chicago Bears- Does any Bear fan trust Cutler in a big spot? I would not.
9. New Orleans Saints- Drew Brees has thrown 22 int's compared to 11 last season.
10. Kansas City Chiefs- How big of a distraction will Charlie Weis be for the playoffs? Also, the BBQ in Gainseville is not as good as the que in KC. Has Weis thought about that?
11. New York Jets- Do not let the Rex Ryan hype fool you, Sanchez is banged up and the defense has some holes in it.
12. Seattle Seahawks- Do not get mad at the Hawks for being 7-9 and making the playoffs, get mad at their division for not having a 10-6 team

5. 2010 A Look Back

Favorite Travel Experiences
1. Cooperstown on a Snowy December afternoon-The tiny up-state NY village looked like a Norman Rockwell painting the afternoon I visited.
2. Frank Pepe's Pizzeria in New Haven, Ct- Quite possibly the best Pizza I have ever eaten.
3. The Yankee Clipper to Yankee Stadium-How about this A-list crew: Smoak, Shep, Ben, Todd and myself.
4. Day triping to P'burgh- My oldman, the roomdog, JoJo, Simms, and the roomdog's old roomdog fly to P'Burgh in the morning, watch the Braves and then fly home.
5. Amtrak NYC-DC...I absolutely loved the train and do not ask me why. I do have to ask, why can I not take a train from Atlanta to Athens or Augusta or Savannah?

Worst Travel Experiences
1. Flight canceled on the first leg of a roadrip in December. Never a good start.
2. A delayed flight to NYC in June coupled with the worst turbulence I have ever experienced and a screaming baby. Also the first leg of a roadtrip.
3. Sitting on a delayed flight to Denver when it is 110 degrees on the plane. Another first leg of roadtrip story.
4. Waking up early after a night at Brother Jimmy's to take the Amtrak. The act of waking up sucked, the Amtrak was awesome.
5. White Castle in the hood of Covington, Kentucky after a Friday Night Braves win. At the time a great idea. 45 minutes after we ate...AWFUL idea.

Best Movies I Saw
1. The Town- The final scene at Fenway was unreal.
2. True Grit- Every line is a classic. Jeff Bridges is the man. Matt Damon is underrated in a comedy role.
3. Inception-I can hit the 3rd level of my dreams...just saying
4. Kick-Ass-Nicholas Cage and his sailor talking 12 year old daughter as SuperHero's
5. Iron Man 2-Who does not enjoy a good superhero movie? I love them.

note: I have yet to see Social Network, 127 Hours or The Fighter so do not yell at me.

Top Concerts of the Year
1. Garth Brooks- The best concert I have ever attended and will probably ever attend. Unreal how AWESOME this was.
2. Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean- I will never forget the place breaking into the Tomahawk Chop when they recognized Bobby Cox
3. Eric Church- Pulled a lot of strings to get into this sold out show in February at Wild Bill's in Duluth. No way Wild Bill's was under Fire Capacity that night.
4. Montgomery Gentry- A post game Braves concert. I have always wanted to see these guys live and I thought they were very good.
5. Zac Brown Band- What a great way to ring in 2011.

My Favorite TV Events of 2010
1. Super Bowl-Watched this game alone on the couch because that's where I had watched all the Colts game previously that season.
2. Winter Olympics-Lindsey Vonn, an unreal Gold Medal game in hockey, a very cool Opening Ceremony with Mike Plant leading the USA athletes into the stadium.
3. 30 for 30-Who would have thought ESPN could have given us such amazing television. All the credit has to go to Bill Simmons who came up with the idea. My favorite was June 17th 1994.
4. Leverage-Think Oceans 11 but a drama series on TNT.
5. Modern Family-The best show on television in my opinion. Every line is golden. I usually laugh more the second time I watch the show.

6. 2010 A Look Back continued.......

Top Sporting Events in Person
1. Army-Navy Football- The pregame pageantry is second to no one. I will try to attend this game more often, especially now that they play on what is a very quiet college football weekend.
2. Braves Opening Day- We saw something awesome that afternoon. Hank Aaron's first pitch to Jason Heyward and then this happened.
3. Playoff Baseball returns to Atlanta-Game 3 was one of the best games I have ever witnessed and the atmosphere when Hinske hit the go-ahead home run was unreal. If we could have gotten one more out. I think about this game almost daily. (Why do I do that to myself) Then after Game 4 the Giants stopping their celebration to salute #6.
4. Practice Round Augusta National- First time on the famed course. I love how everyone talks about this place as a hallowed ground of golf when it is situated between and across from strip malls off of Washington Rd in Augusta. Nevertheless, I did not see one blade of grass, piece of pinestraw or piece of trash out of place.
5. Watching the Bobby Cox Ceremony from the Braves dugout-The more I think about it, the higher this should go on the list.

Top Sporting Events I Wish I Would Have Attended in 2010
1. Winter Olympics-If I had to choose between Summer or Winter Olympics I would attend the winter hands down.
2. Lakers-Celtics NBA finals-The NBA's marque teams battle in the finals.
3. Last College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium- So many great memories.
4. John Isner at Wimbeldon- The longest ever professional tennis match, which lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes over the course of three days.The fact that Isner went to UGA also plays a role.
5.Super Bowl- If Kendra's husband (Hank Baskett) catches an onside kick that hits him in the hands the second half and the game are totally different.

Arena's of competition that I Visited in 2010
Baseball-Turner Field, Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, Nationals Ballpark, PNC Park, Great American Ballpark, Lake Olmstead Stadium, Coolray Field, George Steinbrenner Field, Champions Stadium (Braves Spring Training)
Football-Sanford Stadium, Georgia Dome, Commonwealth Stadium, Jordan-Hare Stadium, Lincoln Financial Stadium, EverBank Field (Jacksonville)
Basketball- Stegman Coliseum, Madison Square Garden, Boston (Banknorth) Garden, Carrier Dome
Hockey-Phillips Arena
Concerts-Philips Arena, Gwinnett Center, Bridgestone Arena
Race Track-Keeneland

Note: I have a goal to attend a new Baseball stadium every year. For 2010 the new baseball stadium was Yankee Stadium. No idea what will be the new stadium in 2011 but I will figure something out. I have attended a new baseball stadium every year since 2003 when I went on my first road trip and saw Yankees-Red Sox in what was an instant classic at the old ballpark in the Bronx. In 2004 I went to Camden Yards. In 2005 I went to Fenway Park, RFK, Citizens Bank Ballpark and Shea Stadium for the first time. In 2006 my new stadium was Wrigley Field and PNC Park in Pittsburgh. (On a side note I saw more baseball this summer when I lived in the Big Apple than any summer of my life. Lots of minor league baseball, lots of Yankees and Mets) In 2007 I waited to the final weekend of the year to go to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. (Great weekend road trip with Bryson). In 2008 my new ballpark was Tropicana Field for the playoffs and the first ever game at Nationals Ballpark in our Nation's capital. In 2009 my new ballpark was Citi Field. Where will I go in 2011 for the first time?

7. 2011 A Look Forward-Part 1

January will give us the National Championship in College Football as well as the NFL Playoffs. On Wednesday January 5th MLB will announce its Hall of Fame class of 2011. College basketball will crank up the week of January 17th with such contests as Syracuse at Pitt, Mich St at Purdue, Nova at Cuse.Tennis will have its first Grand Slam Final on the 30th while the NHL will hold its All-Star game in the same building NC State plays basketball.

February starts on a Tuesday and will probably be a boring winter day. The next day it will get real. Wednesday the 2nd gives us Groundhog Day. (A great Bill Murray movie by the way). After the redneck groundhog at Stone Mountain called General Lee says 6 more weeks of winter, top high school football players will sign with their respective colleges. On a side note, Rivals will say Notre Dame has a top 5 class and they will not win more than 8 games in their 4 years at the University. The 4th of February gives us the Chinese New Year. It will be the year of the rabbit and suddenly we know the special at every Chinese restaurant weeks in advance. The NFL will play a game called the Super Bowl three days later on the 6th. On the 7th Boston will host the Beanpot tournament. The 9th will give us UNC-Duke and a Coach K love fest from Dick Vitale. Pitchers and Catchers will report on February 14th. I will probably not notice as I will be celebrating Valentine's Day with my dimepiece girlfriend...or not. The 19th I will watch the Dawgs hoops team in Knoxville before traveling to Nashville to watch Predators and Coyote play some ice hockey. On Sunday the 20th Montreal will play Calgary outdoors while the Staples Center will host the All-Star game. The following day will be a day off from work and the 80th birthday of Alka-Seltzer. Spring training baseball will start on February 25th. I will be very excited.

March also starts on a Tuesday which is considered National Sportsmanship Day. That weekend me and my Dad will travel to Florida to watch some Braves spring training in Orlando against the Mets and in Vierra against the Nationals. Fat Tuesday will be celebrated on the 8th of the month, meaning we are 40 days from Easter. Will we spring ahead in the early hours of March 13th. Later in the day on the 13th the NCAA will announce its field of 68 teams. On the 14th we will hold an auction of teams and I will fill out 12 brackets. The 14th of March is also know a Pi Day...3.14.. The 19th of March I will celebrate the 8-0th anniversary of Nevada legalizing gambling by going 10 for 10 on a parlay card. Philly will host the 83rd NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Finals on the 17-19th. On the same 3 days in Austin, TX NCAA will host the Women's College Swimming Championships. On the last day of the month will give us the start of the Baseball season. My fantasy team will be in last place. Do not worry. I forgot to mention my brother has a birthday on Thursday the 10th. Good for him.

The first full week of April will be busy with the Final Four, Masters Week and the Braves home opener on April 8th. We can not forget about the Frozen Four played in St. Paul on April 7 and 9th. The NHL will start its playoffs April 13th while the NBA will do the same on the 16th.  Taxes will be due the 15th. My former college roommate Micky Westphal will be married on the 16th. Another college roommate and fellow Heightz Boy Allen Daley will be married on the 23rd. I will not catch the garter at ether event. Good chance I do the cupid shuffle however. April 18th will give us the Boston Marathon and an mid morning baseball game at Fenway Park. I am pretty intrigued by this Patriot's Day holiday. Easter will be celebrated on the 24th.The NFL will host a draft on Thursday the 28th through Saturday the 30th.

May starts on a Sunday with the Cardinals in town playing the Braves. The 3rd of May gives us National Teacher Day. A bunch of horses will run in a circle on the 7th in my birth city (Louisville, Ky). The 8th will be Mother's Day and the 155th birthday of Coca-Cola. Damn Coke you old. May 12th is Nurses Day which is probably not as cool as it sounds. The middle of May gives us the start of inter league play when the Braves travel to Anaheim to play the Angels. May 21st will have the Preakness stakes in Baltimore. The Stanley Cup finals will start on May 28th while the Indy 500 will be ran the next day.

June begins on a Wednesday. On Thursday the NBA finals will begin as well as the Softball College World Series. The French Open will hold its Final on June 5th. The weekend of June 17-19 will be extremely busy. First their is the 111th US Open at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. That weekend also brings another round of interleague play with some interesting matchups. Baltimore and Washington get together in a battle for the beltway. In state rivals such as San Fran-Oak, Tampa-Florida, KC-St.Louis will highlight the docket. Texas will play in Atlanta and the marque series will be the Yankees playing the Cubs in Wrigley Field. I am not sure but is this the Yanks first visit to Wrigley since the Babe called his shot in the 32 World Series? Also that Sunday will be Father's Day. I almost forgot, the College World Series starts in Omaha on Saturday the 18th. So said it will not be played at Rosenblatt Stadium but TD Ameritrade Park looks gorgeous. Wimbledon will begin on the 20th while the Women's World Cup will start on the 26th in Germany. The Brewer's play in Yankee Stadium on the 28th-30th. Something tells me the roomdawg might be in the Big Apple. I will look to take a vacation sometime this month or next. If it is like anything in the past it will be legendary.

8. 2011 A Look Forward- Part 2 July starts on a Friday and that means we will have an awesome 4th of July weekend. Smoak & Goat will celebrate a birthday on the 2nd. Good for them. Wimbeldon will have its W omen's final on the 2nd and the Men on the 3rd. America will celebrate it's Independence Day on the 4th. What a great holiday. On the 6th the IOC will announce the host city of the 2018 winter games. Three finalists include Annecy (France), Munich, and Pyeongchang (South Korea). It should be noted that Munich hosted the Summer Olympics in 1972. Baseball will host its All-Star game on the 12th and I will eat Pizza and Wings. I will start reading college football magazines and buy some prime parking passes in J'ville for World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. The British Open begins on the 14th at the Royal St Georges Golf Club in Sandwhich, Kent. They say that is southeast of London. But who the hell knows. Baseball will hold induction ceremonies in Cooperstown on Sunday the 24th. ESPN will host its X Games from the 28th-31st. I will watch nothing but the MLB Network. Depending on a new CBA the NFL may or may not begin training camps late in the month.

August begins on a Monday. It will also be the 30th birthday of MTV. Thanks to MTV a guy called The Situation is a millionaire. Pro football will hold induction ceremonies on the 6th and hopefully on the 7th we have preseason football. But who the hell knows? The weekend of August 11-14 will be a big one for the city of Atlanta. The 93rd PGA Championship will be held at the Atlanta Athletic Club while the Braves will host the Chicago Cubs in a big weekend series. The Little World Series will begin on 19th and end on the 28th. The Braves are out of town from 22-29 if anyone wants to go to LLWS. The US Open in Tennis begins Flushing Meadow on the 29th. Just as an FYI Braves play Mets August 26-28. Good opportunity to mix in Braves-Mets, LLWS, and US Open. 194 miles from NYC to Willamsport if anyone is wondering.

September begins on a Thursday and the whole world will celebrate my birthday. I turn 30 and I am less than thrilled to be hitting that number. Bryson has the same birthday and the world will join in that celebration as well. The day after my birthday the Dawgs will Boise St in the UGA Dome in what will be a make or break for Mark Richt. The Braves will also host the Dodgers that weekend. Needless to say Atlanta needs to be everyone's destination on Labor Day weekend. Other top college football games on opening weekend include East Carolina against South Carolina in Charlotte and LSU versus Oregon at Jerry's World in Dallas. The NFL will open up on Thursday the 8th. The weekend gives us some decent college football with Bama at Penn St, South Carolina at UGA, BYU at Texas, Utah at Southern Cal and Notre Dame at Michigan. The 17th has the potential to be an unreal Saturday. Georgia plays Coastal Carolina which has the makings of an early afternoon game. Also that day Auburn plays in Clemson in what looks like a 745 made for ESPN game. Also on the 17th Oklahoma plays Florida State and Ohio State plays at Miami. The next weekend gives us the PGA Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. Also that weekend the Dawgs play Ole Miss so a trip to Tunica is probably on the docket. The roomdawg will celebrate a New Year on Sundown on the28th, the same day MLB's regular season ends.

October will start on a Saturday with a nice selection of College football and the start of the MLB playoffs. The NHL will begin play again on the 6th while UGA will play in Tenn on the 8th. The last two times UGA has played in Neyland Stadium it has lost by a combined score of 80-33 and I do not remember it being that close. Chicago will hold a Marathon on the 9th. It will run and probably finish in the top 10. On the 10th of October America will celebrate Columbus day while our Canadian friends will have Thanksgiving. UGA will have a bye week on the 22nd and I will sit on the coach and enjoy Auburn-LSU, Bama-UT and Southern Cal-Notre Dame. The World Series will also start earlier in the week on the 19th, so I might not have time to watch College Football on the 22nd and that will be fine. The last weekend of October gives us the Georgia-Florida football game. I have had lots of good times attending that game. I just need to see a win, that is all.

November begins on a Tuesday and Churchill Downs in my birth city will host the Breeders Cup. Also on the 6th NYC will host a Marathon. After my performance in Chicago I will probably sit this one out. Daylight Savings Time will also end that day at 2:00 a.m. Elections will be held on the 8th and Veterans Day will be on 11/11/11. Hell of a way to honor our veterans if you ask me. Auburn will visit UGA on the 12th. Hopefully we can get my buddy Todd down here for the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. On the 21st of the month we will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Rocky. It had a budget of a $1 Million. It grossed $225 Million. Safe to say that is a box office winner. On the 24th we will celebrate Thanksgiving by eating Turkey, taking naps and watching football.

December will begin on a Thursday and the first weekend gives us Championship Saturday. The ACC will be in Charlotte, Big 10 in Indy, SEC in Atlanta, Pac-10 at home field of team with the best conference record. Baseball's winter meetings will begin in Dallas on the 5th. On the 10th of the Month Army will play Navy at Fed Ex Field right outside Washington, DC in Landover, MD. That evening the Downtown Athletic Club will give AJ Green the 2011 Heisman trophy. That would be cool but very doubtful. On a side note baseball's CBA will expire on midnight the night of the 11th. Christmas falls on a Sunday this year so a majority of the NFL games will probably be played on Saturday the 24th. The real question becomes...will the New Years Bowl games be played on the 1st, or will that date be held for the NFL as New Years Day 2012 will be a Sunday? What if we have no NFL? Do we move games from 2nd to 1st if no NFL?

9. What I Read This Week

I have read tons of articles since I have last posted a Ten Things but I will TRY to keep it simple for the start of 2011. The first read come from the NY Times (where else?). The Gulf Coast Oil spill was one of the bigger news story in 2010 and the disaster all began with an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. In this story David Bartstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul examine the disaster with two distinct parts — first a blowout, then the destruction of the Horizon. On paper, experts and investigators agree, the Deepwater Horizon should have weathered this blowout. This is the story of how and why it didn’t. 

The next set of stories come from the Captain who wanted to share these three Michael Wilbon articles. We all know Wilbon from PTI and his NBA work on ESPN. However, he was a very talented journalist for the Washington Post and here are the three stories he references in his final column. (It should be noted that WIlbon left the Washington Post in early December to work for the mothership (ESPN) full time). Wilbon's first column was in 1988 and he takes on Jimmy the Greek who at the time was just fired from CBS for racially sensitive comments. For those not familiar with Jimmy the Greek there was an ESPN 30 for 30 on him this summer. The second Wilpon read was written at the NBA finals in 2006 on the 20th anniversary on the death of Len Bias. I have always heard this story as a what could have been story and love Wilpon's point of view. The third read will be introduced by Wilbon himself; my favorite enterprise assignment, one I viewed skeptically in the beginning, was going with Dave Sheinin to Los Angeles during the riots in the aftermath of the Rodney King drama in 1992 to try to find out whether there was any correlation between the decrease in funding for community programs related to sports and recreation and the increase in gang-related activity in the city. 

My favorite line in all this comes from former Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson who would return calls to Wilpon at 2:00 and ask; "Do you want to sleep, or do you want a scoop?"

10. Non Football or Baseball Thoughts
a. My December was about as AWESOME as one could get. Very productive work days followed by an 8 day roadtrip, some more productive work days, an Awesome Tacky Christmas Party in Sylvania, a trip to Nashville to see Garth Brooks and then out west to see my brother for Christmas. No wonder I have slept about 10-12 hours a night this past week.
b. Nothing big planned so far in 2011. I know I will be Athens this weekend for the UGA-Kentucky basketball game. I know I also have a trip to Nashville President's Day Weekend and a spring training trip in early March with my Dad. Do I make another spring training trip in late March with the boys or what about a spring training/opening round of the tournament trip to Tampa in mid March?
c. Congratulations need to go to reader and P.A.T. clique member TMAC for his engagement. The guy saved me many a bad snap about 12 years ago.
d. It looks like I have a couple of weddings to attend in April, nothing else on the docket as of now but that is always subject to change.
e. Speaking of my roadtrip this past December, I will post a trip recap sometime this week. Check back sometime around Thursday.
f. I got an Droid a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely love it. It fits me so much more than a blackberry ever did.
g. I absolutely love the Pandora and RadioTime aps. Nothing like listening to the Colts on a drive to Nashville or while sitting in the Denver airport waiting on your flight home.
h. If you have not watched the 24/7 on the Penguins and Capitals leading up to the Winter Classic you are missing out on some classic television. There are some great behind the scene moments from team hotels, planes, and the locker room.
i. I love the fact that the Penguins have a gameday skate every home game at 1:00 where anyone in the front office can play in a pickup hockey game.
j. Not only do I have a droid but I know have an IPOD. If anyone has some suggestions for good podcasts, Itunes, etc please let me know.
k. I am going to need to borrow some CD's so I do not spend a couple of hundred bucks on Itunes in the first month.
l. Here is to a productive, healthy and most important AWESOME 2011.

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