Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Troy Polamalu's Hair...

...is now worth more than almost anything most people own. Lloyds of London wrote up a policy for Troy Polamalu's recognizable mane, more than doubling the worth of his endorsement under child company Head & Shoulders shampoo.

It's definitely not the first (or last) crazy insurance policy. Everything from toenails to chest hair have been insured. Polamalu is the first NFL player to insure their hair. It's covered for the entire season. That means if he finds his hands in possession of the football, and someone decides to yank him down by those long locks and rips out a good bulk of his scalp-cover, he'll be given a hefty and healthy return on his benefits.

I'm almost intrigued to see what other oddball coverage he has on his hair, and if even trimming potential split-ends could result in personal damages and not cover his policy. Surely this story will be made into far more than it's worth (not as though it's already not worth far too much), and nothing will ever have to come up with it... but it sure is an overly interesting situation.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Uncommon Sense Pt. I

2010! We’re just about 2/3 of the way finished with this year. We’re just under 66% of the 365(¼) days in our year. And we’re at a point in human history where we’ve mastered and become dependent as a majority on technology. We’re also as far removed from our instincts as possible.

In today’s world, it’s wrong to dish out your own punishment and behead a man for committing crime against you and your children. It has become despicable to challenge a man to a duel (no, not the shooting kind… the kind where you glovesmack a motherfucker). It’s now considered lewd, vulgar, immoral, perverted, and doggish to have sexual thoughts of someone of the opposite sex (it’s always been in the wrong to have gay thoughts, whether I agree with that or not is irrelevant so don’t get mad at me, continue your parades and fights against those who do believe that way, who am I to hide reality from the readers and not enlighten the ignorant?).

The point I will be making is that not only is it human instinct to do these things… it’s been a mission by the planet to rid humanity of their basic survival instincts. In today’s world, even scouts get ignored by the Chief in Arms, the President… that has completely limited the support these individuals are due to receive.

I do not condone cheating, so let us first get that out of the way. However, when a man sees a woman, he is eyeing her up to determine whether she would be fit to reproduce for him. This is not a perverse action (it has been scientifically proven that women decide within 5 minutes of meeting a man whether she would ever have sexual intercourse with him or not) rather, it’s an action of survival, and uncontrollable (well, we thought) human instinct. Women, law, and government have all made it out to be immoral (and almost criminal) for a man to grow (yes… innuendo) an attraction (yes, hard-on) to a woman when he sees her out and about. Women on the other-hand, make it all the easier for a man to grow (yes… innuendo) an attraction (yes, hard-on) to them… by displaying in full glory their curves, cleavage, legs (in a miniskirt damn near up to the point of) witnessing vagina (err… love) at first sight.

Now to breakdown the mindstate of a man when witnessing one of these deviant goddesses… (see what I did there? An insult followed by a compliment!). Cleavage determines for a man whether the woman would be fit to nurture his child, providing it with enough nourishment to grow strong and healthy (yes, even you binder-chested slu… err… females). Hips suggest to a man that you would be able to carry his seed not only safely, but comfortably so as not to produce a child with any defects. Your ass suggests… well… I’m not sure really, but it’s very nice to look at with the evolution of the female figure… ass is incredible during sex.

We’re so far into our line of life that every woman on this planet could attract any man. You’re one in a long line of females in your family, one of the furthest along. You’ve got what none of your ancestors had before you in evolution. Men recognize these things subconsciously and grow (yes… innuendo) an attraction (yes, hard-on) to you.

Now on to technology – we’re fucked. Government is still granting us the right to hunt, but the thrill is still being extremely limited year after year. Hunting should be an experience where the males of a tribe (or family) go out for a few days and teach their children the rules of nature and the ways of survival. A kill should be celebrated over a feast of that kill. If electricity were to be taken from us, the world would go to shit. People would not know how to go find their own food, hunting. Other people would kill you for hunting on “their” territory.

So I say unto you, do the wise and noble thing! Let a man grow his attraction to a woman and not be judged as a perverted dog (no men, don’t take advantage and grope or rape women). Let us hunt and bond! And let the world continue to grow on its natural path, because that’s the way we got here in the first place! A man should be allowed to be a man!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mike Shanahan's Impact

When Mike Shanahan was hired to be the Washington Redskins’ new head coach in February of this year, he brought about a change to the organization, and it’s aura that we Redskins’ fans had prayed for (even through the second stint of Joe Gibbs). There was change to be made on the field, and change to be made off the field. Much of this change has gone, not unnoticed but unspoken rather. The world surrounding the Redskins has heard solely about rift between Mike Shanahan and Albert Haynesworth (which I will get to here shortly).

Mike Shanahan brought with him Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett. Haslett’s arrival meant the retirement of Greg Blache, and in the same breath, the retirement of the Redskins 4-3 defense. Haslett’s scheme is built around the 3-4, an overly aggressive scheme, which brings about exotic blitzes, coverage, and a violent knack for hitting the ball carrier. Haslett brought with him the passion the defense lacked in their chess-match scheme run under Blache. They now focus on wrapping up, and having a teammate come in and strip at the football to try and force fumbles.

Shanahan also brought with him, son Kyle, from the Houston Texans. Kyle Shanahan ran his father’s offense with some tweaks while he was in Houston, and the team finished 1st overall in passing offense last season. With Mike Shanahan’s mastery of the run-game and his son’s developed understanding of a high-powered passing-offense, the Redskins hope to find success in both categories to hopefully become as powerful as the Colts, Patriots, and Saints.

Shanahan also brought about a new attitude for players, and a no-superstar policy. This meant that the rumored Clinton Portis calling his own practice schedule was no more. There are to be no egos on the team. Nobody is more important than the next man.

Enter the drama of Albert Haynesworth vs. Mike Shanahan. Haynesworth was unhappy due to miscommunication over his role in the defense. He was reportedly told that as a Nose Tackle, he would not be a sack machine; he would eat up blocks to create sacks for the linebackers. Haynesworth requested a trade, which the team was unwilling to give him after paying him his $21 million check that he cashed straight away. Haynesworth held out of OTA’s and mandatory practices while he worked with his personal trainer. He showed up to training camp carrying 30 fewer pounds of bulk to his frame… an obvious showing of moving to the 3-4 DE spot rather than playing Nose Tackle. Haynesworth was not in condition enough to pass tests or stay healthy for 9 days of training camp.

He finally passed the test and earned the right to practice, and found himself working with the second-team defense primarily as nose-tackle. After the first regular-season game, Haynesworth was buying into the scheme, acknowledging that his new role in the defense is exactly what he’s wanted to do in the scheme. Then came an illness that the team described as “just a headache” which caused him to miss most of the week’s practice. Haynesworth would go on to play in the second preseason game again with the backup defense in the third quarter, and after the game criticized the team for downplaying his illness, and questioning his role declaring he was better than backup in a preseason game.

After a silent meeting with Mike Shanahan and team leaders, Haynesworth appeared to be buying in again. He practiced well all week, and played in Friday night’s game against the New York Jets. He spent the bulk of his snaps at DE with the first team, and while he made a few mistakes, he played with intensity that he’s lacked with the team in the past. After the game, Haynesworth was quoted as saying:

“I'm going over for dinner to his house, probably tonight, we'll sit, have a cigar and talk. What I said last week is behind me. I don't even remember what I said.”  ... “That's what they wanted to do this week, so I practiced a lot at end to get a feel for it; I still got a lot of work to do.”

It sounds like Haynesworth is trying to make up with Mike Shanahan. It’s still unknown what was said in their meeting last weekend, but both insist they’re on common ground. Even if things are bad, keeping it in-house between the two of them definitely keeps everything easy on the team, and nobody can deny that Haynesworth appeared happy to be playing with the first-team defense.

What I want to focus on though is, whether or not Shanahan wanted this to go down, he’s genius enough to know he needed it. Not only to prove his point to his team, fans, and Mr. Snyder; but to find himself in a controversial battle which will either end with him cutting or trading Albert Haynesworth or making Albert buy in and stick it out and play up to his potential for the Redskins. It’s a win-win all over for Shanahan, and one has to wonder if he hasn’t played a few cards against his own favor in order to win in the bigger picture. If he is testing his team, Haynesworth, and the fans, he’s as masterful a coach as any, and well on his way to doing great things with and for the Washington Redskins.

Afterthoughts: NY Jets vs. Washington Redskins

I was really impressed with the Redskins performance last night, overall. There were some poor throws, some critical dropped passes, and a couple bad performances along the offensive line (see snap to Grossman on the safety).

Defensively, the Redskins played brilliant football. Every man was responsible for his gap. Playing against the #1 rushing offense in football from a season ago, to see the Redskins play their gaps, and attack at the line with the free man was a thing of beauty. On LaDanian Tomlinson's long rush play, LaRon Landry botched his tackle with a bad angle on LT's cut-back in that zone-blocking scheme. Our front-7 did their job, and the corners got out and made the play downfield (which they didn't do well last season). Landry knew the bulk of that run was his fault. The team strapped down and limited those mistakes the rest of the game.

Coverage was strong, and the team didn't allow many yards after the catch. A lot of "exotic" blitzes for a preseason game, but still rather vanilla. Good to see that the overload paid off, a couple sacks, and forcing some horrible throws.

DeAngelo Hall's interception shows not only how comfortable he is in this defense, but with his teammates in this defense. Hall focused on his duties on the play, recognized his zone was covering two men, and had confidence in his safety help over the top. He was able to read both routes and keep his eyes locked on Sanchez's eyes, and jumped the underneath route and brought the ball out from inside to 10 to the 43.

It's obvious the team still has work to do in all facets, and we shouldn't be anywhere near as comfortable as say, the Colts, going into the last week of preseason and starting the regular season in primetime against the Dallas Cowboys; but there's enough to show that we're fully capable of being that go-get-'em team and have plenty of opportunity to be successful immediately.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You May Be Asking Yourself...

"So, what are we going to do tonight, Brain?" The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try and take over the world! I've sat by long enough with these ideas, yet never putting them in motion. It's time to get the ball rolling. Floor the pedal. It's time to make those moves I preach need to be made in order to find success in this here writing thing.

"So Brain, how are we going to do that?"

My plans will not be foiled any longer. ESPN, NFL, Yahoo!, MSN... you're all on my hit-list. I'm going to find my way to work for one of you, and the rest will be sucking my toes begging me to join forces with you. Pinky, tonight... I unleash my greatest plan yet... tonight, I take the initiative.

"Well gee, Brain. Don't you think you should tell me so I can't screw it up?"

I would, but this time, you're not going to spoil my adventure. This time, I go to war alone. This time, nothing foils my plate!

Okay, but seriously. For everyone wondering why I chose Pinky and the Brain, whose plans never work... taking over the world has never worked... and usually because some idiotic thing happens where your own side screws it up for you. And also, there have never been two characters with greater initiative (okay, maybe one since Pinky was never all there) than a mouse in a cage in a lab... who wanted nothing more than to take over not just the lab which is all the world he knew... but that entire planet under the moonlit sky outside that 2x4 ft. window in that lab.

I look out of my cage, and I see a room, and I see a window on one of the walls in that room. Beyond that window, I see a world so vast, that control of it must mean some form of empowerment. Now, now... don't worry. I don't have a Hitler bone in my body. I'm not looking to Dr. Evil the planet. I'm looking for people to listen to the voice (or text) of a generation. I will conquer the world of media. I will have athletes and celebrities alike following my Twitter, and blowing up my phone and email trying to conduct interviews with me.

Hey, if celebrities are doing everything they can to land themselves on Mr. Skin (who was just a guy like any guy sitting around on a couch with enough cash to start a website which would attract every person with the smallest ounce of perversion towards the celebrities of this planet and their bodies, and become a worldwide phenomenon and have his site talked about IN the movies which would have scenes featured on his site anyways)... surely I can be one of those people who get every celebrity and athlete waiting in line to be interviewed by me. All I need is a sweet-ass cartoon version of me (hell, even see Matt Terl from the Redskins Blog) and to get the ball rolling.

"But he's got nude celebrities to offer, what have you got?"

Pinky, shutup before I send you back to your cage! Wait... how did you get out? Wh.. what are you doing next to that? Pi... PINKY! DON'T TOUCH THAT! YOU'LL RUIN EVERYTH...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Washington Redskins Defense

I said a year ago here on the blog that, the Redskins with the draft of Brian Orakpo seemed to be hoping to land a coach (whom at the time I believed was Bill Cowher) who would transition them towards the 3-4 defense. Former Defensive Coordinator Greg Blache had used a few 3-4 formations each year, but that percentage was very slim. When the season ended, and Zorn was gone... I waited and waited to hear about the Redskins grabbing Cowher. They instead brought in Mike Shanahan, and he brought with him, Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett.

At that very moment, the world knew the Redskins would be transforming their defense to a more physical, less and ready-to-react version of the 3-4, with hints of the 4-3 still spiced in. Haslett played it down, not wanting to call it an all-out 3-4 defense, but the basis of his entire scheme revolves around the 3-4.

Where it gets scary for opposing offenses is you just took a great defense, and are now putting them in position to make plays to their strengths and find themselves on the path to a top 3 defense.

Carlos Rogers has always been one of my favorite man-to-man defenders. He's shut down some of the best year-in and year-out. When coaches became unhappy with him in his "no-jam" role... he became unhappy with them for the poor utilization of his talents. Sure he's had some of the unluckiest hands on the team, but he's never been in position to just let the ball come to him, he's usually tied up knowing the ball will be placed perfectly, and have to hit the receiver to jar the ball loose rather than have it land in his lap. Haslett has fallen in love with Rogers this offseason, and knows he can play him the way Gregg Williams did, and have him looked at as one of the better corners in the league. Hall has been asked to get more physical which isn't strength he's displayed before, but with the pressure the front-7 will create, he's got every opportunity to play his ball-hawking style.

Another member of the defense whom Haslett has fallen head over heels for, is LaRon Landry. The Safety has been out of position ever since mid-season of his rookie year, when he was asked to break out of the long-tenured plans to play Free Safety following the death of then All-Pro Safety Sean Taylor. Landry knew he needed to play, and made the transition. At times it was smooth, other times it was rough, but Landry's only complaint was that he likes to bust heads and be in the mix, which is what he was drafted to be and his natural fit. He gets to be that this year. No more sitting back waiting for Brandon Jacobs to find him backpedaling... he's going to be headhunting (hopefully not literally because we don't need any stupid penalties or fines, he's already done those to put himself on the map) everyone, and able to come full-force and speed to the ballcarriers.

Now that my prediction has come full-circle, we find ourselves wondering and guessing what this defense will look like. Several weeks without Kareem Moore should give Doughty and Horton a new chance to reprove themselves to coaches (though it was believed all of our safeties would play significant time in rotation). The DB's are expected to get back to a very strong point this season, and the front seven will be sick.

The verdict is still out on the offense, but defensively, we'll give the offense plenty of opportunities to flash.

Sidney Rice Has Surgery

Now the Vikings look even more vulnerable than they did before Favre returned, and they've GOT #4 there.

Favre and Rice were both injured in last year's NFC Championship loss vs. the New Orleans Saints. Rice opted against offseason surgery. He's been on the Physically Unable to Perform list this offseason, and running drills and routes on the sideline, unable to go full speed because he "feels a little pain".

He finally decided to have the surgery, which will keep him out through the first six weeks of the regular season. Fellow wideout Percy Harvin is suffering from a scary spell which is believed to be related to his migraines and although he's a threat to be a big-time contributor when healthy, nobody knows how healthy he will be at any given snap. The Vikings are left with a familiar face for Favre... but an unfamiliar face to the league the past few years, in Javon Walker. It's not a foregone conclusion, but the odds highly favor Rice and Harvin are both significantly better than Walker.

Sorry Adrian Peterson, but it looks like you're going to have to be the workload for the Vikings, because the passing game really isn't going to exist.

Every Cloud...

...has a silver lining. From some of my earliest memories, this is a lesson that stands out, and usually true. And from the literal standpoint, always true. But what I've found is, even the people who preach this in their own favor refuse to believe it with another person's situation.

Because of people's judgment, I've found my own cloud has no silver lining in the perception of others. My mistakes may have made impossible the ability to live the life which most suits, and benefits me. Because of my grades in school, I'm forced to find a more difficult way in which to go spend my life the way that appeals to me.

When I was in school, my at-home life was very troubled, in every sense of the word. Without going too into detail for everyone, I lost sleep, peace, and wasn't the center of attention to my parents when I most needed to be. Yet nobody did anything they needed to do in order to help resolve the issues. Now everyone will tell me that I'm the person who should have sucked it up and done something about it... not only did I try, but in the same light... a child under 16 is not fit to make their own decisions.

When I attempted to reach out to people, they pointed my problems towards general health physicians who found nothing wrong with my health, obviously. When I attempted to pour my heart out to my school counselor and asked her for answers, I was told that isn't the job... all a student can do with a counselor is vent and then the discussion is left in confidence.

My outlet? Writing, and hanging out with friends. If school was going to abandon me, I was going to abandon school, and while I may live to regret that in other people's eyes, I'll never live to regret that decision and would never go back and change it. Not that school helped or did their job in the classroom anyways. Even my grandfather, who was a professor, understood my qualm with school.

I refused to accept the fact that I had to go to school on Monday and learn everything, and do exercises for homework. And then Tuesday, we'd review... and do more homework to review. And Wednesday and Thursday the same. Schools don't teach people, or train people to learn and think. Schools give you some information, and with repetition, try to drill that minuscule amount of information, because students in America are too sensitive to be called failures, and because they weren't taught to learn, study, or think... weren't able to learn on the same level as everyone else. When I was placed in an AP class I excelled, but because I hadn't committed to the dumbed down classes, I was held out of AP classes in every subject.

But I went to class on Mondays... learned the information. I wouldn't touch homework, and did very little Tuesday-Thursday. Again, my situation at home didn't help matters either, they really hindered my awareness and focus. It was almost everything I could do to sit and focus on Mondays to learn what was on the board. On Friday, I'd show up, and take a test which I generally passed because I was able to retain the info from Monday. But because I wasn't on the same "learning" curve as the rest of my classes, it was assumed I cheated... even though the rest of the class was scoring lower on tests, and teachers were watching me just the same as everyone. When you're called a cheater because you're able to retain info in a way that others cannot, it really dampens the cloth of potential.

I did enough to finally get by and graduate from High School, but nowhere near enough to find myself able to go to college. This is what helped me to find the most important person in my own life... and also what is holding me back from getting to be with her.

I refuse to change my stance in that I was abandoned in almost every facet of my own life... and I refuse to not defend myself until the day that I die with pure facts and statistics. I shouldn't have to make up for people abandoning me. I can assure you that anyone who has ever conversed with me knows I'm definitely intelligent enough to prove I did enough in school, and even knew more than what school was teaching me. And now that the at-home issues have been resolved, I'm in a much better way to handle my future endeavors. From 16-18, you adopt new responsibilities and climb to another level of trust and ability to make your own decisions. The same from 18-21. And even more from 21-25. I have changed in knowing if I went to school now, I'd excel. But because of my past and judgment and nobody wanting to hear a word of it, I find myself being restrained from exceeding. What school taught me is that if you follow the system and "just get by" you're alright... and that there are no factors in life to prevent a person from following the system... and that because I was healthy, I wasn't in shape to visit a psychiatrist in order to properly be diagnosed for my situation.

But trust me when I say every cloud has a silver lining.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ban High Fructose Corn Syrup!

And visit their blog, HERE.

Because these guys say so! And because I've blogged about it before...

The more support we get, the better. And the healthier the all of us will be! Europe itself is proof that HFCS is horrid. The only people out of shape over there are tourists (usually American). So follow, support, and help us convert back to sugar!

So When I Started This Thing...

...my goal was to post almost daily. Failed.

My goal was to blog about sports regularly. Failed.

My goal was to blog about my book. Mega-fail.

Well today, I reconcile all that... as I start blogging daily, for sure. *Check - this one counts for today!*

In the sports world, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan reportedly spoke with Albert Haynesworth, though would not disclose the information regarding how the chat went. Teammates were quoted as saying Albert is on board. Starting Free Safety (although Haslett strongly proclaims there is no free or strong safety, just left and right) Kareem Moore is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after having a minor surgery on his strained/sprained knee. Reed Doughty and Christ Horton will compete for the starting job while Moore is out. One would assume Moore would have to fight to re-earn his starting spot upon returning from injury, but surely should have done enough to maintain a roster spot on the team.

Lastly, my book hasn't been touched in a while due to the events which have taken place recently. I did sit down and read into a bit of what I've got, and re-impressed myself, so mood-permitting, I will hopefully start writing again.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why You're Bitches...

...this is the first installment of my age-old rant series. I'm bringing it here to the blog, because the most important person in my life suggested I do so >_>. So here goes... nothing?

Today's targets, while very unoriginal and basic, also come to mind with... well... nothing unoriginal (according to Yahoo! and every other news/opinion outlet in the media). Well, perhaps some of you will feel that my thoughts and remarks will be disrespectful, incorrect, and perhaps a little over the top; but if you find yourself taking that kind of offense to my comments <--- that is Why You're Bitches.

Now, Barack Obama, Iran, and Stephen Strasburg, let me tell you Why You're Bitches.

Mr. President, while I acknowledge you've broken barriers and crossed footbridges with missing planks and all that other great, chipper, exciting, motivational shit you've done - you still aren't the man. In fact, you aren't much of anything sensational, even the great talker (teleprompter reader) that we thought you were. Standing on the beach where your experts discovered had very minimal oil-exposure does not permit you to tell the people that it is oil-free and safe to visit the shore-line attractions of the great south of the United States of America. In fact, you spending a matter of 4 trips to the Gulf during the oil leak didn't make you the expert you suggested you were for doing so. You, along with all of the people who did everything they could to defend you and continue to show a complete lack of respect and interest in the southern states of this great nation, are hypocritical bigots. If George Bush could be blamed for what happened to the Gulf Shore during Hurricane Katrina, not one person who felt that way for a second in their life could stand by and not suggest that you are to blame, not only for the mess of the oil and the poor response, but for the spill itself. I took great pride in knowing we finally had a President who could break racial barriers, and had hope that you wouldn't fail us. But the miserable "I haven't read or seen but know full well" shenanigans you've pulled, have really compromised my respect or hope that you could be even slightly successful. As a wise man in a movie once said, "I once had full confidence in a fart and I shit my pants." Well, I stand here today knowing it would take a roll of toilet paper as long as every $1 bill you've spent, to wipe our ass of the residual feces. And it would take a toilet large enough to hold every gallon of oil spilled into the gulf, to flush you, the biggest piece of shit, to an embarrassing footnote in the history books of the United States of America.

Iran, Iran... and I drank some Gatorade G-Series to replenish myself from this dehydrating, ongoing, dry topic. You've got yourself a nuclear plant, and you're using it for "positive nuclear energy". I'm fully support the prospect of nuclear energy, and would vote with full confidence in it for the United States, or any other nation in the world... but once again, "I once had full confidence in a fart and I shit my pants." I don't understand how or why you, Iran, would believe in the safety of this plant. Acknowledge that you house terrorists (not that every nation doesn't) and have since put this entire planet at risk. If one man can imitate that which Adolf Hitler attempted... with the money of a man like Bin Laden... bought out the most credible scientists and hijacked the plant, they could create anything they wanted. If I, a man in America on a blog with absolutely no interest in seeing the world at war or coming to an end, could realize the intense possibility of these events happening... some dastardly bastard out there could surely think up a way to fill in the holes in the idea I just put forth (and not based off of reading this post for the idea) and master it and actually make it happen. I mean, Hell... we knew of the possibility of something like 9/11 happening, yet it still happened anyways, because someone was able to sit and actually plan it out. So Iran, do us all a favor... break down that infernal machine before someone breaks down atoms in an inferno!

Stephen Strasburg - where, oh where do I begin? You're a phenom. Incredible. You've got Cy Young written all over you. You're (hopefully) going to win Washington a World Series, or two... or dreaming... 3+. I have an incredible respect for you, your ability, and what you mean to the DMV... but I'll be damned if I didn't just witness you pitch yourself out of contention for us this season. When Skip Bayless told us on First Take that you would probably be a kid who threw his arm out... I sat here thinking "Hell no, this kid is the ultimate pitcher and will be to pitching what Michael Phelps is to swiming". Well, you proved Skip Bayless right by throwing that arm out. The fact that you've injured it twice in the last half-season, also really worries me. But I hope you have a full, speedy recovery and come in and win the Nationals a World Series sooner, rather than later. But for the time being...

...this is Why You're Bitches!

Brain Cells vs. Star Wars

More precisely, Star Wars Episode V... when Luke is attacked by the Wampa and lost in the snowy desert of Hoth.

My uncle, yesterday having a few beers at a friend's place for a little get-together, reminded me of something my father used to say. His reference was towards a character he knew "back-in-the-day" that was a little off. A friend, Andy, had concluded that the man had two brain cells, because it takes one to be lost, and one to collide with it and have a thought. *Pardon if I've slaughtered it at all. If I have, who the Hell cares besides my uncle? He'll come in, correct it (humorously I might add) in a comment, and we'll all be far better off and no further along than prior anyways having read his brilliant comment >_>!*

My father always insisted, "I've got at least two brain cells... one got lost, and the other got lost looking for it." It took me until yesterday to find a parallel in film (albeit not perfect, but good enough). Anyone not familiar with Star Wars (damn you chumps!) need only know of the aforementioned attack on Luke after he wandered off to investigate what he thought was a meteor, when he was attacked. Han Solo abandoned his departure of the island in hopes to pay off his debt, to go search for Luke. Luke had escaped from the Wampa's cave with his Jedi Mind Trick, and ventured out into a blizzard, collapsing. Han finds Luke half-conscious, and rescues him... but is now lost himself. The trip back would be far too dangerous, they must wait for a pilot to find and pick them up the following morning.

Now I'm not suggesting one of my father's two brain-cells were attacked by a Wampa and lost in a blizzard, while the other is knight in bad-ass-vest Han Solo... but perhaps my father's able to do Jedi Mind Tricks (since his focus is very limited due to the lack of other brain cells) like that idiot Luke Skywalker.

Here's hoping I never have to see my father in ballerina pants, cowboy boots, and a Gi >_>.

Thoughts On Redskins vs. Ravens

Not a great performance by any measure. Several players made some key plays, but several players made nothing. But I have to chalk it up to building some character. We looked like a team with a hand tied behind it's back vs. a gang of ruthless savages... which was somewhat expected.

Now, I'm no member of the coaching staff, and you never want to see 0 touchdowns put up by your team in a game, but I also believe that our preseason gameplan is nothing of indication as to what to expect come time for the regular season. There's no way Mike Shanahan is giving any opposing team enough footage to study yet... especially considering we open the regular season, Sunday Night prime-time Football, against our greatest rival - The Dallas Cowboys. The element of surprise is key.

I've seen very little of this Chris Cooley/Fred Davis on the field at the same time gameplan that the Shanahan's have hinted at, and I see a defense still trying to staple down their timing with their aggressiveness.

I'm not, however, indicating that we didn't get our asses kicked. So many opportunities got left on the field tonight, and so many opportunities got ripped right from our grasp. Poor tackling, poor passing, poor route-running, poor blocking... but it gives us something on tape to study the wrong, and seek improvement. It's very difficult to fix that which you cannot diagnose.

So while I refuse to take the route of saying, "it doesn't matter, it's just the preseason", I must say, it doesn't matter, it's the preseason... and we've got time to diagnose and treat our problems.

As far as Albert Haynesworth... how do the back-strapless sandals tend to go? Flip... flop... flip... flop.......... STOP this seesaw trash!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Redskins vs. Ravens

Pre-season game tonight, 4th time in 5 years the two teams have faced.

Last year Baltimore ran over the Skins while Washington laid a goose-egg.

This year, the feeling is different with both teams. The Ravens add another dimension to a high-powered offense with a solid receiving corps, particularly my most underrated player in the league, Anquan Boldin, and wily veteran Dante Stallworth. The passing game struggled in recent years due to lack of depth at the position. Behind Derrick Mason, the group was in a constant state of flux, also hurting the group was the oft-injured Todd Heap, who is as dynamic a threat receiving as most Tight End's in the game. This year, bolstering the group has made Baltimore seemingly a juggernaut on paper, and if the receivers can contribute even to 75% of their usual prowess, the offense will be that juggernaut.

The Redskins, however, have a new attitude they've not had since Joe Gibbs... and perhaps since Gibbs' first run as Head Coach, rather than his last. Shanahan has brought a positive atmosphere to the Burgundy and Gold, and now this "on paper they belong in the Super Bowl" team could hopefully live up to that potential on-field. There are still questions in pass-protection, but McNabb's ability to scramble pretty much negates a lot of those weaknesses... and at wide receiver, where young talent continues to not rise above seemingly-mediocre talent in front of them. But the fact that there are two outstanding pass-catching Tight Ends in Chris Cooley and Fred Davis, and Santana Moss wherever Kyle Shanahan wants him to line up, really should make it easier for the receivers lined up opposite to post solid numbers. Young Terrence Austin and Brandon Banks stand a very good shot at coming up on the roster given their solid camps and versatile talents. Defensively, Washington might be better than the top-10 team of 9 of the last 10 years... which gives the offense a huge boost to their chances.

Tonight, the Redskins face a test... of a playoff "lock" in Baltimore. Tonight, we truly start to see what this team is made of. Tonight, Washington Redskins must be Braves on the Warpath... and fight, for ole D.C.!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Louisiana Journey (Part II)

Over the course of the next couple of months, a few trips to a local neurologist, and another diagnosis, the stay had definitely begun to prolong. My grandfather was now being treated for Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. His treatment was plasmapheresis (plasma exchange) and extensive physical therapy.

During this time, my uncle and I were working down in Hackberry, LA on a couple monster decks. And when I say monster decks, I mean it. These decks stood all of 10 feet high (give or take a few inches) and in the intense heat, finding shade was barely enough to settle it. Needless to say, in three weeks, we knocked 'em out and that was that. I still need to get pictures of the decks, something I need to discuss with my uncle.

In the meantime, the first round of my grandfather's IV went fairly well, and with the physical therapy, he showed improvement in his strength, and stamina, but after two weeks, we needed more, as we hit the wall that they suggested we might run into. Another round of the plasmapheresis was prescribed, and we waited to receive the medicine. Within an hour of the first day of the second round, we noticed something was wrong.

My grandfather had started feeling congested, and became significantly weaker than what he had been prior to the first IV treatment. This later proved to be a sign of things to come, yet we had absolutely no clue about this.

In June, we found ourselves on our way in to Houston to visit a specialist. My uncle Pat tagged along, and we made it to our hotel right across the street from Reliant Stadium. We were also around some incredible restaurants, which pleased my uncle Pat and I greatly. It was also fun riding around in the Charger, seeing the Houston Texans practice bubble, and being in a true big city again (Lake Charles doesn't quite cut it when it comes to consideration of a city.

The checkup of my grandfather ended up being fairly pointless. We were asked to return in 3 months time for a followup. We returned home with no further answers (except for the burden which was placed on my uncle's shoulders being given a prediction and asked to keep it a secret because the doctor ***feared my grandmother couldn't handle the news).

***My grandfather, in 1983, had a cerebral aneurysm which was considered inoperable. My grandmother waited for the day when the aneurysm would burst, resulting in my grandfather's death. Thankfully a doctor (who's name I should know but is slipping my mind at the moment) clipped it in a very risky procedure, that was successful. However, my grandfather suffered a stroke leaving him paralyzed on the left side of his body. My grandmother helped see him back to a recovery, and a return to professorship at American University.

Within two weeks of us being back in Louisiana from Houston, my grandfather ended up in the hospital from malnutrition, low oxygen, and dehydration. The doctors in Houston had failed to recognize or inform us that my grandfather was only two weeks away from hospitalization...

Some Thoughts On The NFL

First of all, it was nice to see that 42-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills by my Skins last week. I thought it was an impressive performance all around, particularly on defense. They say defenses are usually ahead, but Buffalo is still running a familiar offense and a new defense themselves, and it didn't stop us from turning it on. Albeit, it was nowhere near a perfect game, or great enough to get it done in the regular season, it was impressive. Haynesworth buying into the 3-4 gives me a lot of hope, because love him or hate him, he IS a force when he's on the field. Brandon Banks' punt return TD was amazing, particularly because Santana Moss has been our only substantial punt returner the last half-decade, and he hasn't returned enough to be considered part-time punt returner. I have faith in this kid Banks becoming a force in football. Loved the DC shout to Wizards' PG Wall with the dance.

Continuing on my Redskins - I've wondered for the longest why other teams' Wide Receivers don't tend to suffer from hamstring injuries as our players do. It really confuses me how the hamstring on every tenured Redskin receiver happens to flare up with some issue or injury. The most recent being Malcolm Kelly, whom had high hopes of building a great chemistry with Donovan McNabb after Hell Week. Based on physical ability, Kelly should be among some of the best in the game, and his height gives him greater advantage. While I had All-Pro hopes for the giant third-year receiver, this injury has left me, fellow fans, and I'm sure coaches and teammates questioning if Kelly would ever get it right. Here's hoping for a miracle, because it seems that's what it will take at this point.

Anyone who caught Monday Night Football on ESPN saw just why the preseason games can be entertaining. Sure we hate to see talent evaluated, because it means a reduced effort and the games are meaningless in the race to the Super Bowl as far as wins and losses are concerned. But they do serve a purpose, to build the teams that could go to the Super Bowl, hopefully finding that beaming young talent (seek no further than Monday Night's performance by Giants' wide-out Cruz) that could be the superstar your team has long needed. But the point of Monday Night's reference for me - Eli Manning's head-wound. Sure it was a complete freak accident, and it could have, and should have been avoided. But injuries are always of that mold. And it stands to show, anyone can get hurt at anytime, and Eli Manning, a star QB who (albeit nothing of his brother's mold) is still rising to an elite level... playing in a "meaningless" game, still put it all on the line. I loved the toughness. He recognized the situation, and while it wouldn't have been frowned upon for him to lay and require a timeout and on-field evaluation... he toughed it out, went to the sideline under his own power, and showed he's got what the toughest of the sport have... resolve and determination.

I despise the Giants as much as the Eagles and Patriots, only less than the Cowboys, but I respect Eli Manning for his on-field ability, his dry humor, and now his toughness. My hat is off to you Eli... because those stitches require you don't wear one for at least the healing process.

Other notables this preseason:

Cowboys offense - shocking. Terrible, terrible performances.

CJ Spiller - incredible. You may not be everything CJ2k is, but damn if you won't come close.

Brett Favre - legendary. Whether he needs the cash or not, what he's slated to make is genius. And with the team he's got, he'll shine again just like last year. Vikings instantly back in 3 favored to win the NFC.

Percy Harvin - headache. This kid is talented, tough, brave... but these migraines must be a headache for the Vikings management. I pray for the kid to find some form of control, and hopefully longevity and health in the sport and life. I understand they don't exactly have a solution, but they need to do something to limit his risk, and reap the rewards he can bring them.

Thank God football is back!

Just An Update...

...sorry I've been absent. Stress, and possibly illness, has run it's course with me over the last two and a half weeks. *Knock on wood* I think it's safe to say I'm starting to recover, but last time I thought that, I ended up going to the doctor to be sure I was alright enough to not be laid up in a hospital bed with a drip.

Needless to say, it HAS been an interesting two weeks (not just the illness). The first week was spent dealing with loss, but trying to enjoy myself and the surrounding of family (which I'll get to later). The past week and a half, I've spent with my aunt, uncle, and their two children. I have to take this time out to thank them for their hospitality, and whether they know it or not, giving me the honor of loafing around a bit while I try to recover from whatever it is/was that's truly bugging me. So much can be said about how they're only doing what family is supposed to do (something I personally believe I know all about)... but even still, I PERSONALLY know family who wouldn't go out on a limb (or paved ground even) to loan a family member a bottle of water (not that family should even loan, they should just give with blessing).

So I'm forever grateful to my uncle sticking to his word about keeping me comfortable in his own home until I leave Louisiana. He's not once griped at me for drinking all the 7-Up, or his water, hogging the television or taking up space and restricting some of his everyday privacy. And in the same light, forever grateful to my aunt for the same.

It's been a real treat though, to spend time with my (soon-to-be) 3 year old, and 1 month and some change, cousins. Through the last 18 months, I've seen the elder quite a bit, but not as much as 10-minutes apart should be seen... due to the situation in which I was brought here. I've had fun seeing him in his everyday demeanor, and feel great in knowing that the "baby"-"evil" genius is WELL on his way to taking over the world.

The younger does everything a 1 month old does... nothing special but everything spectacular... and I've enjoyed my time spent burping him, feeding him, having him fall asleep on my shoulder. It's been an incredible way to consume my mind and thought process and help me to relax and enjoy the things I may have been taking for granted.

I'll add to the blog again soon (hopefully tomorrow) and want you all to know that I am doing alright considering.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Louisiana Journey (Part I)

The journey started (or re-started for the sake of continuance of the relationship between my grandparents and I) on March 1st, 2009. A few days earlier, I had discussed with my aunt a plan to make my way to Louisiana in order to help take care of my sick grandfather. From what we knew at that point, he had been suffering from the results of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, presumably from a trip to another of my aunt’s wedding in North Carolina the summer before.

The aunt calling me down tells it as though I had been in some sort of indecisiveness towards coming down, which is untrue. I was skeptical about my situation with the girl I was in love with and how my relationship would pan out with even more distance between the two of us. I wasn’t skeptical about my traveling to help.

So March 1st rolls around, my bags are packed, and my stomach is in knots. It would only be the second time in my life that I had been on a plane, and the first time being alone on one. My father drove me to the Baltimore Washington International airport in Baltimore, and my best friend Rene tagged along to see me off at the gates. There was a snowstorm approaching the area that would hold off for my flight to take off and get over. There were some flurries on the way to the airport. We walked in, found the correct section, and talked for a few minutes to kill some time. After I hugged the two of them, I continued through security and waited for my boarding call.

The flight went okay; I spent the majority of the time listening to Black Label Society on my iPod. Through several hours of pretty severe turbulence, the plane landed safely at George Bush International in Houston. I had to get to the next terminal to make my way to Lake Charles from Houston. I struggled finding my way through the airport, one of the things I most feared about my travelling this trip alone. I managed to get to the terminal I needed to be at, and sat down with a cup of Coca Cola and a splitting headache from the turbulence on the flight. My flight changed gates and was slightly delayed, but when it arrived, I got on a small jet. I had to duck to get in and walk through this one. That was not fun at all.

I sat next to this guy who wanted to talk the entire way. I just wanted to eat my bag of pretzels, have another Coke, and go about my way with my iPod on. I found this flight to be far more comfortable, and it went faster than they had predicted. I landed in Lake Charles at about 8:30 local time, and stepped off the plane on the runway (the terminal had been closed due to damage from the hurricanes which had previously ravaged the area) and met my uncle Pat at the gate.

We stopped by CVS for me to grab a few of the necessities and then continued on to my grandparent’s house. I walked in the door and gave them each a hug and kiss and got settled in, and ready for bed. My jetlag was brutal, and they decided to go to bed early so I knew what to expect with my grandfather’s condition – she followed him to bed with his body belt. I went to bed expecting a recovery.

To be continued…

The Haynesworth Saga

For anyone who is unaware with the Albert Haynesworth situation in the Washington, DC area, I must wonder for the sake of when Armageddon occurs... where is the rock you've been living under?

Haynesworth finally passed his conditioning test, apparently in a fairly impressive time. It sounds to me as though they've gotten Haynesworth in, as Shanahan has so aptly defined as, "football shape".

I took great interest in the fact that Haynesworth was in camp... even after failing the first two attempts at the sprint. I'll allow the injury excuse for missing several days on the basis that, Haynesworth sat and studied the defense. Throughout the offseason, Shanahan made it a very clear that what he worried about wasn't the setbacks Haynesworth could and probably would suffer physically, because he's a phenomenal athlete; but rather that he was worried about the mental lack Haynesworth would surely show when appearing for team activities.

Haynesworth played some catch-up mentally for a week and some change... and has now passed his conditioning test. Now all that needs to be done is displaying the physical aspect on top of the mental aspect of reading the assignment... something which I'm sure Haynesworth is fully capable of doing.

When it comes down to it, Haynesworth is going to need to have an absolutely incredible year. It could turn out that he works out his differences here, becomes the monster he's supposed to be, and stays on with Washington for the long-run (after all, as I've pointed out before, more than half of the league now runs a base 3-4 defense, and that number is expected to increase), or Haynesworth does not reconcile but understands he needs to impress to find another team willing to take a chance on him, and he'll want money. Regardless of how you look at the situation, Haynesworth's only choice is to play, and play great. Barring severe indisputable injury, Haynesworth cannot play this season on the sidelines because of pain. He needs to anchor the defense from whatever position he ends up playing.

And don't expect to see Haynesworth played to anything but his strengths... which means expect big of the $100M man, because he's got no choice but to not let you down.

The Saga continues...