The Colts Surrendered

The Jets beat the undefeated Colts.  Can you believe it?  While the victory keeps the Jets in the playoff hunt, it was not an impressive win – certainly nothing at all like their 1969 Superbowl III thrashing of the Colts.  In my view, it was an embarrassing win.  True, the Jets had a lot on the line and played with a purpose.  However, the Colts had very little to lose, except Peyton Manning.  Yes, the players wanted to stay undefeated and accomplish what few teams have ever done before, but the coaching staff apparently did not share the same goal.  Did you see Peyton Manning’s face?  He looked incredulous at being pulled out of the game and looked on in utter disgust as his offense sputtered without him.  In fact, I will go on record, for whatever it is worth, and I suspect not much, that the coaching staff wanted the Colts to lose the game.  I think they feared that the team would become overconfident and lose in the playoffs or as happened with the Patriots, lose in the Superbowl.   They wanted to humble the players.  And I guess they worried that Peyton might get hurt.   And watching the backup quarterback play, I can understand their concerns.

If the Jets beat the Bengals next week, they’ll make the playoffs, but it must come as a big disappointment to them to know that Indianapolis surrendered the game in the third quarter by pulling some of their starters including one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game.   The NFL ought to fine the Colts and give a refund to all the fans who attended the game.

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What’s in a Name? – A look at the US Senate

I thought I’d have a look at the names of U.S. Senators to see if I could find some hidden talents, perhaps even some presidential hopefuls for 2012.  Some names are simply interesting and deserving of comment.

Evan Bayh.  I have some nicknames for the Democrat from Indiana. I wonder if the Senator ever coached a basketball team that got a first round Bayh.  If he were ever defeated, I can hear the Republican chants…”na na na na hey, hey, good Bayh”.  And if Senator Bayh were to run for president, it might be a disaster if the Republicans latched onto to this:  Evan “walk on” Bayh.

Max Baucus.  I can’t resist this one, and I know it’s a little silly, but hey… Montana Senator Max Baucus, with whom do you caucus?

Christopher (Kit) Bond.  Great name.  Fittingly, the Republican from Missouri is on the subcommittee for Financial Services.   President Obama values bipartisan governance, so why not give Mr. Bond a shot at Treasury Secretary?  If his name were James, he’d no doubt have a bright future with the CIA.

Chuck Grassley the Republican from the state of Iowa has an organic name, which reminds me of feed and being from a farming state, he should be considered for a post at the Agriculture Department.  One of his crowning achievements is support for legislation that objected to the classification of manure as a hazardous substance.

Judd Gregg. Republican from New Hampshire.  I just like the name.  It’s one of those names that could go either way.  Gregg Judd, Judd Gregg.  You could even subtract a g, and a d, and it’d still work out – Greg Jud, Jud Greg.

Herb Kohl.  Say, hasn’t he written a lot of progressive books on education?  I have two of them:  36 Children and Open Classroom.  He also published a review of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of Hope, another book I own.  I didn’t know Herbert Kohl was the Democratic Senator from the good state of Wisconsin.  President Obama, make this man Education Secretary.

Arlen Specter.  The Republican turned Democrat from PA is an Attorney by trade, right?  With a name like Specter, I’d think he could serve quite admirably in the Office of Inspector General.  He could have been an understudy for Eddie Marson who plays Inspector Lastrade (and for all I know he was) in the upcoming Sherlock Holmes film in theatres near you on Christmas Day, 2009.  And if the acting gig doesn’t work out, he just might become the next NFL Commissioner, much to the chagrin of Coach Bill Belichick.

And I submit that Obama will have stiff competition in 2012 from Democrat Jon “test the waters” Tester, from Montana and the dark horse from Rhode Island, Sheldon Whitehouse. 

Pondering Technology

Around 1985, technology really took off.  If you took a walk around any college campus, you’d have seen practically everyone with a Walkman and over the ear headphones.  Instead of enjoying music together, people were turning inward and grooving by themselves.  The days of the communal jambox and record parties are over.  Though turntables are making a comeback, portable technology has reigned supreme since the mid 80’s. Today, I own a SanDisk mp3 player with 512MB of storage, enough for maybe 100 songs.   My cell phone stores more with its 2GB SD card.  The new iPod classic at 160GB has more storage space than my desktop PC and can  hold somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 songs.

In the 80’s, Polaroid and Kodak cameras were popular point and shoot options.  In 1984, I bought a Kodak disc camera.  Remember those?  I think I bought it in Germany and took a couple of “rolls” of film while on vacation in Europe.  It took pretty good photos.   I bought a Fuji FinePix digital camera in 2002 and it was a top of the line 2 megapixel camera and all the camera I could afford.  It came with a 16MB XD picture card as I recall, enough for about 50 photos or so.   I still have it and have resisted the urge to upgrade.  By the way, my 2 mp cellphone camera takes photos of comparable quality and considerably better quality video.  Most digital cameras on the market today are 10 mp or better.  The 12. 2 mp Fuji FinePix A220 sells for half what I paid for the 1st generation 2 mp version of the popular Fuji model.

Around 1983, personal computers hit the market.  By 1986, PCs began to replace the typewriter.  When I was a graduate student in 1986, I bought my first computer, a Leading Edge with a monochrome monitor and no internal hard drive.  The thing had two floppy disk drives.   I bought a dot matrix printer to go along with it.   In 1999, I bought a little Diamond Mako hand-held computer – smaller than a laptop, and a little bigger than a smart phone.    The keyboard was nice.  It had an agenda, a to do list, e-mail and internet capability, a word processor and spreadsheet, calculator and address book with 16MB of storage space.  The problem with it was that it could not keep a charge and each time my battery drained, my data drained with it.

I love new technology, but feel the need to resist the frequent upgrade temptations.  The thing is, I know most electronic products are planned with obsolescence in mind.  The only way I can fight back is to hold on to what I buy until it stops working or until it becomes so dated that it is no longer practical to own.  Except for our stereo and TVs (we still have a mono 19″ color Panasonic) we upgrade our stuff every 6 years or so.  We must have been the last family to buy a CD player and maybe the second to last to buy a DVD player.  And after our central idiot box caught fire, we bought a flat screen HD TV replacement and joined the new millennium.

One day, a Blue-Ray.

BAMA Should Win SEC Title

Here’s why Alabama will win the SEC Football Championship:

  1. Better Mascot.  Alligators are slow and primitive.  Gators become even more sluggish during bouts of Crimson (Red) Tide.  One severe outbreak could wipe the species off the planet.
  2. Home Field Advantage.  Tuscaloosa is closer to Atalanta than Gainesville.
  3. Coaches.  “Pope” Urban Meyer vs. Nick Saban.   Nick Saban is just a better football name in my opinion.  Sounds rugged and warlike.
  4. Famous Alabamans:  Jessie Owens, Lionel Hampton, Sun Ra, Bart Star, Jimmy Buffet, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and Jim (Gomer) Neighbors.  Famous Floridians:  Jed Bush.
  5. Tradition:  Edge to ‘Bama.  Steve Spurrier put Florida football on the map both as a player and coach, but his persona reminds me a little of Yosemite Sam.  Hall of Famer Paul Bear Bryant former Alabama coach won 6 national championships with the Crimson Tide and is one of the winningest coaches of all time.

Prediction for the SEC Championship in Atlanta today:  ALA 31 – FLA 24.