Sunday, October 31, 2010

(31-10) Soundtrack To My Day

Today I'm keeping with the festive spirit. This song is my favourite Hallowe'en song. My friend last year found a website where you can put your friends heads on dancing Hallowe'en beings which was to this song.

The soundtrack to my day is Monster Mash, enjoy!

Trick Or Treat, Smell My Feet, Give Us Lots Of Treats To Eat..

Just wishing you all a very...


Hope you've all had a great weekend!

Personally I've not done much, felt too old and tired this year. Didn't help that I've been working all weekend and have had to deal with a Hallowe'en themed store, with all the spiders, witches and fake cobwebs *cringes*. It's been fun being the devil at work though.

Feel free to share your Hallowe'en stories in the comments!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

NFL Week 8 Predictions

Enigma's picks:

Washington at Detroit
Jacksonville at Dallas
Miami at Cincinnati
Buffalo at Kansas City
Carolina at St. Louis
Denver at San Francisco
Green Bay at NY Jets
Tennessee at San Diego
Tampa Bay at Arizona
Minnesota at New England
Seattle at Oakland
Pittsburgh at New Orleans
Houston at Indianapolis

Sean's Picks:

Washington at Detroit
Jacksonville at Dallas
Miami at Cincinnati
Buffalo at Kansas City
Carolina at St. Louis
Denver at San Francisco
Green Bay at NY Jets
Tennessee at San Diego
Tampa Bay at Arizona
Minnesota at New England
Seattle at Oakland
Pittsburgh at New Orleans
Houston at Indianapolis

Week 7 Prediction Results

Results prior to this week:

Enigma: 51-39
Sean: 50-40

Cincinnati < Atlanta
Washington > Chicago
St. Louis < Tampa Bay
San Francisco < Carolina
Buffalo < Baltimore
Philadelphia < Tennessee
Jacksonville < Kansas City
Pittsburgh > Miami
Cleveland > New Orleans
Arizona < Seattle
New England > San Diego
Oakland > Denver
Minnesota < Green Bay
NY Giants > Dallas

Enigma - 12/14
Sean - 10/14

That brings the total up to:

Enigma: 63-41
Sean: 60-44

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Good Day

These seem to be a rarity for me lately. I've been lonely, busy and stressed. But today was a good day.

My Dad turned 60 today. He's upset that the day is nearly over - he enjoyed himself, which is probably what makes this such a good day.

It's been a lazy day the most we've done is gone out for dinner. My sister picked a lovely French restaurant in Battersea called "Gazette". The menu itself is printed daily in newspaper form with today's date and headlines as the specials. I was impressed by it, but then again it doesn't take much. The service was excellent and the food was wonderful.

After that we went to my cousin's house - she doesn't live too far away. My sister's boyfriend and I got lost along the way, but we soon got back on track. My cousin had bought cake for my Dad and asked me to inspire her so she could write his card. We had cake and drank tea, then my other cousin turned up. She had her husband and two girls with her. Whenever I see them I can't believe how grown up and tall they are. I never really understood when adults said I'd grown a lot, but looking at them, I finally got it. My sister hadn't seen them for many years so it was a shock to her.

I sat down with the girls and we played card games, I saw them about 3 months ago maybe, and taught them 'Speed'. The eldest, who's 13, managed to beat me today. I still had an edge over the younger sister though. As a competitive person, I put the win down to being rusty, since I haven't played with my friends for a while - something I need to get on, but we've all been so busy lately.

Anyway, I suppose today is one of those days much needed days. The kind of day where you get perspective and understanding and everything makes sense. I've been stressed out over university, and I still am, but I know what's really important to me, and I know I'm lucky. I have amazing people in my life. As my family. As my friends. I think I need to be more appreciative of all that and take the rest in my stride.

For everyone who's added to the good in my day today, I love you. To everyone that will add to the good in my life, I love you too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

(26-10) Soundtrack To My Day

An old favourite of mine. I belt it out every time I hear it.

The soundtrack to my day is Wherever You Will Go - The Calling, enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

(25-10) Soundtrack To My Day

This is a song I adore. It's perfect for my mood. Too much going on, so much to do, trying to deal with it but ending up avoiding it, just wanting to spend time with someone willing to procrastinate with me.

The soundtrack to my day is Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol, enjoy!

(25/10) Daily Like And Dislike

My like for the day would be music.

My dislikes for the day would be lack of received text messages, a practical write up which isn't going anywhere, a noisy and distracting environment and the fact it took me a while to think about my like for the day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Am I Seeing This Right?!

I really think Sean is going to regret not being able to blog/tweet this NFL weekend, I'm sure he'll have a lot to say when he does come back to a computer screen.

Firstly, 4 interceptions by DeAngelo Hall. Secondly, the Browns beating the Saints. And thirdly, Raiders beating Broncos 38-7, 2 minutes prior to half time. It's all kicking off today! And that's only 3 out of the 13 games going on this game day Sunday!

I do realise everything can change within minutes in an NFL game, but still, it's a strong start for Campbell. I'm impressed. I wish I was able to have watched the Redskins or Oakland game. I watched Redskins highlights. It seemed like a slightly sloppy game from both Quarterbacks. I think the Redskins had a few lucky calls though.

Anyways, I feel weird doing this. I'll leave it for the Pro when he gets back to the blog!

Perfect Vision

I have my perfect vision back.. artificially of course. I finally picked my frames today and got my glasses made. They cost me a small fortune, far more than I expected to spend, but I intend on keeping my frames forever more. It was a mission finding ones to suit my face shape.

A lot of the frames nowadays are too narrow, both for the face and for the height of the lens. I am happy with my glasses though. I also got cover in case they break, which I can claim the money back from if I don't use it, which is handy. All in all a productive day.

(24/10) Daily Like And Dislike

My like for the day would be spending time with friends, the Redskins winning and DeAngelo Hall getting 4 interceptions.

My dislike for the day would be spending a small fortune today!

NFL Week 7 Predictions

My prediction skills have been slipping, Sean beat me once more last week. There's one point in it. I need to do better this week!

Enigma's picks:

Cincinnati at Atlanta
Washington at Chicago
St. Louis at Tampa Bay
San Francisco at Carolina
Buffalo at Baltimore
Philadelphia at Tennessee
Jacksonville at Kansas City
Pittsburgh at Miami
Cleveland at New Orleans
Arizona at Seattle
New England at San Diego
Oakland at Denver
Minnesota at Green Bay
NY Giants at Dallas

Sean's Picks:

Cincinnati at Atlanta
Washington at Chicago
St. Louis at Tampa Bay
San Francisco at Carolina
Buffalo at Baltimore
Philadelphia at Tennessee
Jacksonville at Kansas City
Pittsburgh at Miami
Cleveland at New Orleans
Arizona at Seattle
New England at San Diego
Oakland at Denver
Minnesota at Green Bay
NY Giants at Dallas

Week 6 Prediction Results

Results prior to this week:

Enigma: 44-32
Sean: 42-34

Seattle > Chicago
Miami > Green Bay
San Diego < St. Louis
Baltimore < New England
New Orleans > Tampa Bay
Detroit < NY Giants
Atlanta < Philadelphia
Cleveland < Pittsburgh
Kansas City < Houston
Oakland < San Francisco
NY Jets > Denver
Dallas < Minnesota
Indianapolis > Washington
Tennessee > Jacksonville

Enigma - 7/14
Sean - 8/14

That brings the total up to:

Enigma: 51-39
Sean: 50-40

(24-10) Soundtrack To My Day

I watched and loved this girl when she was a YouTube artist, and was really pleased when Pharrell Williams heard her and decided to make her an even bigger star. She's gorgeous, and her music video for this song has only just been released.

The soundtrack to my day is Cali, Cali, Cali - Alyssa Bernal, enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

(23/10) Daily Like And Dislike

My like for the day would be a family dinner. It's regular in my household but I never take it for granted.

My dislike for the day would be feeling helpless, zoning out and numb legs from a tiring day. I also hoped to blog something lengthier today, but I've not had the motivation. I hate that I put things off, but tomorrow I shall blog something more than a song or my likes and dislikes.

(23-10) Soundtrack To My Day

This is a song that moves me, whenever I hear it, it never fails. I'm in a slightly emotional mood at the moment, and this song has significant meaning to me today.

The soundtrack to my day is I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders, enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

(22-10) Soundtrack To My Day

I really like this band and will probably post more of their songs as the soundtrack to my day. I can't explain what it is, mainly their lyrics and the general composition of the music. I also like the emotion I get when singing this one.

The soundtrack to my day is Little Lion Man - Mumford And Sons, enjoy!

(22/10) Daily Like And Dislike

My like for the day would be spending time with friends, watching adults have fun, and Grey's Anatomy.

My dislike for the day would be trying to hold down the blog with no motivation to write and not being able to help the people I love most. I'm there for them as best as I can be, but sometimes it's not enough.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

(21-10) Soundtrack To My Day

I started singing the lyrics in my head, then rememebered what song it was.

The soundtrack to my day is Somewhere Only We Know - Keane, enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Haynesworth Would Not Have Helped Redskins vs. Colts

I’m hearing a whole lot of people suggesting Albert Haynesworth should have been playing the other night because the Redskins would have stopped the run with him… yeah, the Colts would have been the team they are and not run at all. However, Peyton Manning is better than anyone at going simply with the pass, they’ve succeeded at it for years. Manning would use short, quick passes in place of the run. The other problem is, while Albert Haynesworth may very well be in better shape and condition than he was in last year, he wouldn’t have held up with the rate at which Manning and the Colts ran their hurry-up offense.

We would have seen Albert struggling to get back to the line, and we would have seen him rolling on the ground winded while coaches are forced to burn a timeout. There surely would have been plenty of offsides penalties against the Redskins as well.

When Haynesworth proves he’s in well enough shape to play your average game, I can’t believe he’s in good enough shape to handle the task of what Peyton Manning would have done (and did do) the other night. It was evident that even our best-conditioned defensive players were struggling with fatigue, and we went very few downed-linemen because of the problems the quickness of the Colts getting to the line creates.

So yes, while Haynesworth’s presence could have eliminated the threat of the Colts running game, the yards and everything would have still been there through Manning’s short-pass, penalties, and ultimately, we could have buried ourselves with timeouts being spent unnecessarily.


The NFL and Concussions

It’s been a focal point for the National Football League the past several years; particularly becoming a focus by the NFL Player’s Association with brain trauma and healthcare benefits for retired players suffering from mental disorders due to the violent nature of the NFL.

This past weekend brought the discussion back to the forefront, as players across the NFL suffered concussions from extreme hits to the head. There are concussions in every game, every week, but this week featured more of the violent type.

In response to the hits on Eagles’ WR DeSean Jackson, Browns’ WR’s Joshua Cribbs & Mohamed Massoqui, Ravens’ TE Todd Heap and others… the NFL has been outspoken on their commitment to harsher penalties of offenders who commit blatant hits like these. There has been outcry in favor of this as we all want players to be protected and safe, but at the same time, people fear it will bring down the level of big hits (even legal) that we’ve grown to love in this game.

The NFL has made it clear that accidental hits likely won’t result in the more severe punishment, but a lot of people wonder how you can determine just how intentional some of these shots are. I still go back two years ago when the Jets were hosting the Cardinals and Anquan Boldin suffered a broken sinus cavity that required surgery after a helmet-to-helmet collision with Jets S Leonhard. Boldin leapt into the air in the endzone and Leonhard committed to his hit when Boldin was shoved from behind and the two collided. Had Boldin not been hit from behind, Leonhard probably would have connected with Boldin’s abdomen which is where players are taught to hit. Nevertheless, the hit occurred and Leonhard was suspended.

The Robinson-Jackson hit was frightening, but while you want to believe Robinson had another choice, keep in mind Jackson is one of the fastest players in the league running full speed and has his hands on the football… Robinson’s reaction was to hit. He took bad form regardless, but if he doesn’t even commit to that hit, Jackson’s almost sure to burst past the defense for a huge gain and/or touchdown. It was an ugly hit, and Robinson may have been able to do more, but this leads me to another offender this weekend, James Harrison.

As Harrison said of his hits after the game, “It’s full speed in the game” and this is the part players all over, past and present try to express. Running full speed, two players head on… you’re going to get a bunch of these. Harrison did lead with his helmet, that is evident, and he’ll need to learn from that… but what he’s expressing is that it’s not always a matter of fault, rather a matter of natural occurrence.

Then you get the clearly blatant and dangerous hit via Brandon Meriweather of the New England Patriots on Todd Heap. Heap was in the air trying to make a catch and being brought down when Meriweather launched with his helmet to the facemask of Todd Heap. Heap lay on the ground for several moments before making his way to his feet. Meriweather didn’t just show disregard for Todd Heap, but also a rule against hitting a defenseless (turned around or in the air) receiver with your helmet. While Harrison’s hits looked blatant, the do fall under the category of at full speed… Meriweather’s hit was an act of intent, and an act that should and probably will result in a suspension by the National Football League.

These are the hits the NFL needs to be strict about; players shouldn’t worry about those big hits. And if a big hit which isn’t violating any of the already stipulated rules results in a punishment, then we’ve got something about which we’ll need to discuss in depth. Until then, let’s keep football physical, but play with concern for the safety of not just your teammates, or yourself, but your opponents as well. Injuries and concussions ARE a part of the game… but if they’re the result of intentional rule-breaking hits… avoidable hits… the game isn’t good for players, coaches, owners, representatives, or fans. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Old Friends, New Friends, Family...

I know the year isn’t over yet, and plenty can still happen between now and midnight January 1st but, 2010 (minus the loss of my grandmother) has been a very incredible year for me in which I’ve found several new friends and made some very big travels.

My year started with my grandmother making good on a promise my aunt made to me (since my aunt’s a deadbeat who couldn’t do it herself) and helping me out with a very unfortunate situation. It also enabled us to be able to handle our trip in March and April. March 1st, a year after my arriving in Louisiana, we took off to Georgia; and then headed home to Maryland.

I finally got to meet my best friend’s girlfriend and I do approve. Got to meet the girlfriend of one of my other best friend’s and approved of her as well. Then we made our way to London, which will forever be a highlight of my life.

I got to meet my girlfriend’s best friend(s), the newer of them I wasn’t supposed to meet but did due to the volcano eruption, which prolonged (thankfully) the end of my trip to London. I’m happy to say I consider both of her friends to be my friends now.

The trip had it’s downpoint of course, where my grandmother came down with the initial symptoms of the cancer which would later take her life; but she didn’t refuse me any time to enjoy my trip and that’s something else I’ll always be forever thankful of.

Coming back to Louisiana was done on the basis of helping her through the loss of my grandfather; we made our way to Georgia in June for my uncle’s wedding, where I became very good friends with both his neighbor and father-in-law. It was also incredible to finally welcome my aunt into the family.

When we returned, my grandmother was up and down, we finally learned she had pancreatic cancer which had spread throughout her abdomen and metastasized to her lungs. She was okay initially… and made it past my birthday and the birth and introduction of my cousin (who was born on my grandparents’ anniversary); she loved every second of the time she got to spend with him. She was eventually hospitalized, and that pretty much closed the chapter.

I became ill the week of her death (I suppose it was greatly influenced by the stress to my nerves with what my grandmother was going through and passing, along with a bug) and that led me to end up staying with my aunt and uncle. Thanks to that, I got to spend plenty of time with my cousins, and meeting a couple more people I now consider friends of my own, whom they (my aunt in particular) had been friends with for years.

So while I know the down part of this year has really taken its toll on me… I’ve got so much to be thankful for. And to anyone who is looking for a reason to call his or her year a success; just look around. You can lose a whole lot, but I know that plenty of people, me included, don’t think enough about what they’ve gained. Take the time to write a list about the people you met (even if you only see them rarely) and consider yourself lucky and blessed to still be here given chances to continue to grow and better yourself.

*Yes, one of the friends I met through my aunt and uncle was the one to give me the idea for the blog tite…*

(18/10) Daily Like And Dislike

My like for the day would be having an amazing day - genuinely. I had a funny lecturer - yeah, we only covered 9 slides over a 3 hour period, but he told so many great stories that the content of those 9 slides will stick with me. It was like 3 hours of free stand up comedy at the expense of my fellow classmates, oh and myself actually. "People won't understand what you do, but they have skills in other areas, like, how many people in here can take out and build an engine themselves?" *puts hand up* "No love, I've seen those manicured nails, you've never even seen a spanner!".

I saw a friend who's at university in Liverpool, but came down for the weekend and another old friend who now goes to my university, but who I hadn't seen the whole time we'd been there (saw her last on my birthday). I had Subway with them - the first time I've ever had a Subway by the way, yes I know, where have I been living the past few years?! First time I went into a Subway was before the inside smoking ban was introduced in England, so it was all smokey and put me off Subway in general, the atmosphere, oddly enough, that same setting is where I had my Italian BMT, very nice I might add.

I also had a really fun practical with another lecturer I adore. I picked the best experiment to partake in, and ended up doing the best/least painful part of that experiment too!

I came home, sat down, and did some work. I'm really happy with my organisation skills lately, just need to get more work done!

My dislike(s) for the day would be.. not being able to blog as much as I'd like to. There are so many topics I want to talk about and hopefully spark a debate with my fellow writers on the blog, but I simply haven't the time.

(18-10) Soundtrack To My Day

This is a song that I heard one day that kind of stuck with me, I'd forgotten about it until I heard it the other day.

The soundtrack to my day is Cold Hard Bitch - Jet, enjoy!

Thoughts On Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Redskins

My initial breakdown is that the Colts are still the Colts (their defense is what has been susceptible this year) and the fact that we went down by as much as 10 and stuck around until the final moments of the game, is very satisfying. We’ve BEEN a team where talent alone has kept us in games like these… but this is a game we would have lost for sure in years prior; last night, we really beat ourselves.

The Redskins moved the ball very well on the ground even though Indianapolis looked to be playing more disciplined vs. the run than they had all season. Ryan Torain showed a quick elusiveness to make the first and second man miss, and then good vision and power to get where he had to go. His lack of speed is beneficial at times as it really forces his patience, and he finds some very good lanes (which I can’t figure out why Portis couldn’t see them). Torain appears to be a substantial back, and while we’ll face more physical, heavier defenses in future weeks, I thought the line did what they were supposed to do against the run last night.

The passing game really concerns me though. Starting with the line, we gave up more pressures than we should have. I think Trent Williams (with an injury) did a Hell of a job against Dwight Freeney (very often on an island) and that was very much a key to us hanging around *More on Trent later*. Armstrong played sufficient for his first appearance as a 2, he’s got some real solid hands. Moss was also fire, as usual, but after that, I’m not sure. Cooley showed poor effort at times and had some very huge drops which I’m not happy with; he ended up leaving the game with a concussion which I believe he sustained on the goalline fake-sweep play. Galloway’s routes aren’t amazing, and it seems like his timing with McNabb isn’t really there. I’m also concerned that we don’t see enough separation over the top with all of the speed we’ve got at the position. Fred Davis clearly isn’t in sync with McNabb either… I felt like he did a tremendous job away from the ball last night where McNabb could have found him a few times. I wonder if Davis is in the doghouse as well, because we know once he gets on the field, he’s a completely different person than practice shows us.

Playcalling? I was very skeptical of the Ryan Torain sweep on 3rd and 1 in the 4th quarter. There was a play that had it gone up the middle at that point in the game, it’s a sure first in my opinion. Redskins couldn’t convert on 3rd down through the air, and really struggled to establish an identity (as has been the case all season). We really need to see a more cut-throat team on 3rd downs… and power up the middle with Torain would have been the choice there. The other play that concerns me in this game was the 4th down call late in the game where McNabb went deep to Armstrong… I thought he had Armstrong open earlier than when he threw it, but he waited for that deep cut through the DB’s or something... but again, he missed the opportunity to hit Fred Davis underneath on a chip and release which could have been good for at least 20 after the catch.

Penalties – On kick coverage with Brandon Banks, you don’t need to hold… this kid is fast and elusive enough to get away from defenders and absorb contact… give him a chance. It also hurts when you back us up to the 10 every single drive… as opposed to the 25-30 where we were finishing our returns (a couple of the holds happened away from the play and had no real impact on the returns).

Defensively – there was nothing we were going to do against Peyton Manning in order to slow him down and get ourselves in position to make substitutions. Peyton Manning is the smartest coach in the NFL right now, and there really was no limiting. Collinsworth made a great point about the crowd letting Manning get his plays called which is something FedEx needs to work on… we used to be good at that… I blame the Zorn era and being unfamiliar. We need 92,000 rocking at all moments the offense isn’t on the field, and I mean ALL moments!

Run-defense was non-existent for the most part, but we committed to stopping the pass and that is what hurt us. We didn’t want down-linemen because Peyton still threw like Peyton does and rushed his no-huddle, and that would have slaughtered our defensive linemen.

Pass defense, I felt we did a little better than the yards show. Peyton does this to everyone, again… so it’s easy to just let this one go. I thought Buchanon stepped up huge when he needed to, and Carlos Rogers continued to cover very well… Hall on the other hand really upset me with his coverage… this is HIS defense, I thought? He can’t cover a 1, 2, 3, 4, OR 5… that’s very upsetting.

Special teams – Hunter Smith did a pretty good job punting the ball… coverage units were outstanding yet again. Graham Gano’s still not a good kicker but we’re not going to find any better out on the streets. It amplifies our need to just get the ball into the endzone… long-snapper actually did a good job last night, so Gano’s only got himself to blame.

Players of the Game:

Donovan McNabb – He made some bad mistakes, and took some bad steps in the pocket, but he played a hell of a game and his last TD drive was the prime example of what we’ve been missing here in DC. Jason Campbell’s had those opportunities in years past and he’d make a terrible throw late in a good drive. McNabb was picked off on 1st down to end the game… but the INT was a better play than McNabb having a horrible throw… McNabb is clutch, and plays very well when it counts… he does even early (but some others don’t show up).

Trent Williams – He’s the unsung “hero” of our night on offense in my opinion. He had a penalty and Freeney got a couple of pressures, but I’ve said since June that Freeney is the most feared defensive player in the NFL. Williams did a great job, and he studies (as evidenced by the angles of his blocks, in particular on the screen-play to Simpson). He did a great job defending a lot of Freeney’s arsenal and was left on an island maybe 95% of the night.

Ryan Torain – He performed… whether it was a bad Colts defense or not (more not, they played sound last night in getting to the ball carrier). He fought through tackles that often should have been the end and fell forward. He lost some yards on a few plays, but the only I really fault him for was the misdirection in the redzone when he took a wider cut back than he should have.

Santana Moss – He’s still the most stable piece on this offense. His route running and hands are incredible. He knows how to work zones, and he’s a guy that’s not afraid at all to go over the middle. McNabb’s been a difference maker for us, but I still believe Moss is our offensive MVP.

Mike Sellers – Mike blocked well last night on the run, and he had a huge reception where he broke off of 3 tackles and rumbled down-field in the second half. He definitely played one of his better games of the season last night, and appeared to have his hunger back.

Casey Rabach – This guy was roughneck and blue collar run blocking… he got great chips to create a hole and found himself accompanying Torain into the secondary a few times. He held up in pass-pro as well.

Brian Orakpo – He didn’t have a spectacular night… he came into the game feeling ill, an ended up playing more than he probably was told at the beginning of the night. There were still a number of holds on him that the officials just missed (one where his facemask was getting ripped around in particular). He still got his hand on the ball for a sack-fumble at one point in the game though… this man’s heart bleeds burgundy and gold.

London Fletcher – He’s not cut out to be a 3-4 ILB who can attack the line as a linemen when a lineman drops back in a zone-coverage… but he still performs and takes care of his business. His hit on Addai was crucial.

LaRon Landry – He’s still an animal, and ends up with another takeaway of his own on the fumble recovery of the aforementioned hit on Addai. He took maybe one or two bad angles on the night, but he still plays with an intensity I don’t think I’ve seen on the Redskins, even including the late Sean Taylor.

My Game Ball (even though we lost) goes to Santana Moss *see above for why*.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

NFL Week 6 Predictions

Last week Sean beat me! I need to bring it back this week..

Enigma's picks:

Seattle at Chicago
Miami at Green Bay
San Diego at St. Louis
Baltimore at New England – Pats are better offensively, but without Moss I think the Ravens will want to capitalise. Ravens have are better defensively, so I think they’ll use that to stop Tate.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Detroit at NY Giants
Atlanta at PhiladelphiaI instantly thought Eagles, but going for Falcons, they’ve been fierce since their second game.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Kansas City at Houston – I learnt the hard way to never underestimate the Texans, but I’m still going to give this to the Chiefs. They’ve shown a lot of promise against tougher teams.
Oakland at San Francisco – My gut said 49ers, but I’m remembering the team that once was, not the 2010 team. Last week I underestimated the Raiders who last year I picked to win against the toughest opponents. I’m hoping that if Campbell does have to play he’ll help continue the winning streak for Oakland.
NY Jets at Denver – Giving this to the Jets, I have a lot of faith in Sanchez and think that they’re a team to watch. I’ve underestimated Denver before, and that was against the Redskins – I got that right, I’m hoping I get this right!
Dallas at Minnesota
Indianapolis at Washington – I know to never bet against my team, I respect and am scared of Indy, but I have every faith in my Redskins.
Tennessee at Jacksonville

Sean's Picks:

Seattle at Chicago
Miami at Green Bay
San Diego at St. Louis
Baltimore at New England
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Detroit at NY Giants
Atlanta at Philadelphia
Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Kansas City at Houston
Oakland at San Francisco
NY Jets at Denver
Dallas at Minnesota
Indianapolis at Washington
Tennessee at Jacksonville

Saturday, October 16, 2010

(16-10) Soundtrack To My Day

I love this band. I love this song. Have done since I first heard it. I especially love cruising to it when I'm driving - Sean will vouch for that! It played today at work at least 3 times so I had to post it.

The soundtrack to my day is Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers, enjoy!

(16/10) Daily Like And Dislike

My like(s) for the day would be.. a busy day at work and bumping into old friends.

My dislike(s) for the day would be.. coughing, nearly losing my voice at work, having sore eyes and forgetting to press the button and missing my bus stop.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Week 5 Prediction Results

Results prior to this week:

Enigma: 37-25
Sean: 34-28

Jacksonville > Buffalo
Tampa Bay > Cincinnati
Atlanta > Cleveland
St. Louis < Detroit
Kansas City < Indianapolis
Green Bay < Washington
Chicago > Carolina
Denver < Baltimore
NY Giants > Houston
New Orleans < Arizona
San Diego < Oakland
Tennessee > Dallas
Philadelphia > San Francisco
Minnesota < NY Jets

Enigma - 7/14
Sean - 8/14

That brings the total up to:

Enigma: 44-32
Sean: 42-34

Album Time?

As of today, I’ve decided to get into a studio to record my album. I’ve spent most of my life rapping, but restricted myself to writing and freestyling… never really committing to the studio to lay anything down despite requests from friends to do so.

I’ve made no secret about the stacks upon stacks of lyric books I’ve got (well over the height of myself) covered front to back on every page… nor have I made any secret that I think I can really hold my own with anyone word for word on a track.

People can hope to expect more than just a rap album out of me, as I hope to delve into more genres than that (no, I won’t be singing any kind of r&b vocal classic)… and you can expect rock influence heavily at times; though I fully expect myself to devote more to rapping than Kid Cudi. I plan on featuring an array of artists from Maryland, and even a few I’ve been listening to on the net from around the country for some time.

Come November, I plan on hitting the studio… and hopefully handle everything I’ve needed to handle for a long time. Either I begin my journey with music, or I finally find the closure I’ve needed with it… either way, I plan on making something legit.

(15-10) Soundtrack To My Day

I heard this song for the first time today courtesy of Spotify, I realise I'm 4 months late. It wasn't a best seller when it was released - probably why it never reached my ears, but I read the story behind the song and thought that many girls can, have and will relate to it.

The soundtrack to my day is Jar of Hearts - Christina Perri, enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Washington Redskins vs. Indianapolis Colts Preview

First of all, this game is crucial for the Redskins and the Colts. Both teams want to get a little further away from .500, and one team isn’t going to do that (barring a tie). This marks the 4th high-profile quarterback the Redskins have faced this season (and the 5th considering Vick was playing at a high level this season).

The Redskins have defeated 3 playoff teams from last season… two of whom have been favored by many as the only two teams to potentially represent the NFC outside of the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings. Oh but how a weary game of parity is being played out here in the NFL this season, the football Gods once again stirring the pot. Not even the most knowledgeable of oracles could have predicted the first 5 weeks of this crazy season.

In the previous four games, the Redskins have withdrawn the superstars of those teams for either the game, or several weeks after. Andre Johnson’s ankle has been a problem since the Redskins game, Stephen Jackson’s knee has been a problem since the Redskins game, Mike Vick’s ribs have been a problem since the Redskins game, and Aaron Rodgers & Clay Matthews suffered injuries. If this is a trend that will continue, Colts playmakers need to have their heads on a swivel.

Peyton Manning’s Colts have looked very… unlike themselves, so far this season. Having lost to both the Texans and Jaguars, the Colts are 0-2 in their division. McNabb’s Redskins are 2-0 in the NFC East so far this season. The Colts have struggled to beat speed, and Manning’s weapons haven’t played a bit like their 2009-10 ways (except for Reggie Wayne and at times, Dallas Clark).

The Colts struggled last week to defeat a speedy, inexperienced, yet on-fire Kansas City Chiefs who play physical defense. Manning’s crew won’t have a terrible outing like that twice in a row, but the Redskins have become accustom to giving up yards and still finding a way to win games.

If the Redskins want to win, they’ve got to do it the way we always preach… eat up clock. The Redskins have got to run the ball as they did vs. the Eagles (or better) or else it will be a long day. McNabb is good, and the receivers proved they could show up a bit vs. Houston… but unless you’re planning on pulling out all stops like the Saints, the Colts aren’t a team to get into a shootout with.

The emergence of wideout Anthony Armstrong (or Triple A) as a deep threat is starting to keep defenses a bit more honest. The Redskins don’t get the clearance that a Randy Moss would have provided, but they sure will find a few more one-on-one looks for Santana Moss when Armstrong is on the field. The speed the Redskins have on the outside could expose the hole left by Bob Sanders as well as the run game… but I’d still rely a bit more on Torain, Williams, and Simpson in attacking the Colts.

The run game also eliminates abuse on McNabb by Freeney and Mathis and lets Jammal Brown and Trent Williams attack rather than endure a barrage. Playaction against these defenders (especially with McNabb’s accuracy on deep throws) could really be a golden opportunity… not to mention the Colts like to overpursue and tend to leave some space at times (where McNabb on a bootleg could either launch it or take off for a good chunk of yards.

The Redskins could see their redzone numbers increase, especially if Fred Davis gets the opportunities he seems to be requesting.

Defensively, this team needs to attack Manning and try to jam the better receivers to kill the timing between them and Manning. Landry should have a huge day… but Kareem Moore is going to need his big-boy gloves on to try and pull a few passes in.

Special teams? Brandon Banks should be explosive… and the Colts are notorious for letting speedy return-guys cut up their coverage units… so Banks may find the endzone this week.

But Manning is a dagger… and if you toss that dagger and don’t catch the handle or pinch the blade properly… you’re looking at being cut up yourself…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Ultimate Horror Monster

I've been waiting to publish this for a while, saved it for a rainy day... I haven't been much for writing recently (ill) but I wanted to update the blog with something and hopefully it gets some hits. It also helps that Halloween is just around the corner.

I won't be featuring any of those weak, punk ass goblins. I've narrowed this list down to just a few.

  1. Michael Myers
  2. Jason Voorhees
  3. Freddy Krueger
  4. The Leprechaun
  5. Leatherface
  6. Chuckie

These are the ultimate horror monsters. They're the most notable, recognizable names in the industry of gore. Of this list, only one character is slightly based on a real life individual, however, not many connections can be made between the two, so the aspect of realism is still slightly skewed and won't play much of a factor in this decision. 4 of the characters are real-world characters, using very little supernatural prowess in their roles. Myers and Leatherface are the only characters not overly exaggerated in order to make them more horrifying.

The first of my eliminations from this list is Chuckie. A killer doll from a transplant by mind and that bleeds the blood of the human whom possesses his body by telekinesis? The scare factor is there for children... but Chuckie isn't frightening or bad ass enough.

Next elimination is The Leprechaun. My Irish blood contributed to my belief of this horrid individual. To take a creature which isn't horrifying, and make him killer of anyone who possesses a piece of his gold? The plot was terrific. However he's a Leprechaun who can appear where and when he wants... yet good luck charms prove to be his kryptonite? Don't abandon the laws of Irish lore.

My third elimination is Jason Voorhees. The monster of Camp Crystal Lake is the all-time body count champion of horror films. Yet my problem is with his supernatural abilities. I dislike the fact that he's a zombie who cannot drown yet cannot swim... but when cast back into the water, panics and drowns. I also dislike the fact that while he's able to return film after film, it also takes him years to make his return, and his ability to regenerate is as absurd an ability as a horror monster can have.

My next elimination is Leatherface. While terrifying, the shock-horror lacks in a very big way. The fact that it could be real almost outweighs that. But we're going to eliminate him based on the fact that it was more of a gore-based action film rather than the typical horror-based potential it could have had.

So the final comes down to Freddy Krueger (perhaps the most supernatural and silly of all horror-film characters) vs. Michael Myers. And the final elimination is...


Now, this is a quality that some people have, some people don't have, and some people have too much of.

I like to think I fall into the first category, although I know when I'm feeling arrogant I fall into the last category. There are some circumstances where I fall into the middle category - I know I'm not the only one, we all have those days.

The thing that bothers me is whether this confidence, or lack of, is justified.

My thought today has been provoked by one of my friends who has a driving test looming. She won't tell anyone the exact date because of the pressure and she doesn't want everyone to know. Personally I understand that fully. The only people who knew the date of my test was my instructor, my mother and myself.

She's learning with my instructor, so I was allowed to sit in the back of the car while she had her lesson. It started off with her having a slight blonde moment - leaving the handbrake up and pulling off. This had me slightly worried that the rest of the hour would be awful, but I knew she was nervous because I was there. I was the same when my mother was in the car with me the day before my test, overcompensating - trying not to make errors, but forgetting other things as I went.

I was meant to stay quiet during the drive - something I didn't succeed with but I wasn't critisizing her, just reliving some funny moments of my own. My instructor said she doesn't remember many lessons with students but she remembered the one with my mum in the car! *embarrassed* I spent the time talking to my instructor about her children, what we were getting up to nowadays, etc. This gave my friend the chance to drive by herself without being prompted which she enjoyed. She also liked having me in the car because I gave her constructive criticism at random points when I was able to without throwing her off her driving - when we were stationary for example. I was glad she took my comments on board as I'd hate for her to dislike my presence there or resent me for any of it.

Although I passed first time round, I still got a few minors in my test and made a few small errors which could have been disastrous. I also have friends who had failed and often asked them what they slipped up on so that I know for future reference for anyone who asks me. I also remember the things my instructor had told me from her other students experiences from when I was learning. All of these things I tend to remember and advise/warn my friends about.

At the end of the hour I "flawed" her on about 3 things. They weren't even big things. Just things to watch out for. Her driving ability impressed me greatly. She pulled up into the drive, I think, relieved that she didn't make giant errors but still not 100% confident in herself.

Now driving before your test is risky, you don't want to get over confident to the point that you make stupid mistakes/kill someone. On the other hand, you don't want to be lacking confidence to the point that your leg is shaking and you can't find the bite point of the car - essential on hill starts as no road nowadays seem to actually be flat. It'd be nice for her to actually be in the middle of the two extremes though, because she has the potential to pass, first time round. I hope she's able to acknowledge her abilities and face her confidence fears because her driving ability won't let her down. Her confidence might.

(13/10) Daily Like And Dislike

My like for the day would be.. This saying
"Too often we don't realize what we have until it's gone. Too often we're too stubborn to say, 'Sorry, I was wrong.' Too often it seems we hurt the ones closest to our hearts, and we let the most foolish things tear us apart.."
I think there's a lot of truth in it.

My dislike for the day would be.. being sick still, and my head hurting :(.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Thoughts On Devin Thomas

Mr. Arrington says that Devin Thomas was not given an adequate chance to perform… so I’ll take it upon myself to set Mr. Arrington straight on a few things that he seems to be forgetting (one too many knocks to the head, there?).

Devin Thomas had a breakout year with his Michigan State Spartans and raised his draft stock considerably. Coaches however, questioned if Thomas was pro-ready based on his level of competition in college, along with his ability to play the mental side of the game of football. Vinny Cerrato and the Washington Redskins took a chance on him anyways, along with TE Fred Davis and oft-injured Malcolm Kelly.

Thomas struggled greatly in his rookie season, he wasn’t a solid route-runner, and wasn’t outstanding anywhere else on the field. Needless to say, Thomas had a very “disappointing” rookie season. Coming into his second year, Thomas again failed to impress coaches, falling to fourth on the depth chart in the preseason and regular season behind Moss, Kelly, and Randle El. Following several horrible performances by Kelly, Thomas was bumped up on the depth chart to 2 (but only because they wanted to keep ARE in the slot). Thomas struggled all season, but managed a 7-catch, 100-yard, 2 TD performance against the Saints in an overtime loss.

Mr. Arrington suggests that Thomas was the lone star on the offense at the end of the year. Untrue. Fred Davis emerged as a starting-caliber tight end… Kelly even had a strong outing to finish the season (but failed to find the endzone). Thomas didn’t emerge as trustworthy to Campbell even after his performance against the Saints.

When Shanahan took over, he eliminated the depth chart and let guys know they would earn their position on this team. Thomas ended up being buried on the depth chart at receiver, but found his way returning kicks in order to prove his worth and dedication.

Thomas ended up having a pretty solid kick-return average, but his decision making even there was still questionable. On a kick return he should have downed in the endzone vs. the Texans, Chris Cooley was flagged for an illegal block (a desperate block by Cooley who figured Thomas would follow the spotter’s rule to down it).

Let’s also look a little more closely at Thomas’ kick returns… aside from Buehller being a former safety, Thomas had no excuse for being tackled by kickers in every single one of his games. The inability to make a kicker miss is a very strong indication that you’re not really doing your job. And yes, it IS a rule of special teams that you “never let a kicker tackle you”… Thomas failed to accomplish that.

It’s also worth noting that Thomas has this attitude that he’s a playmaker; one would believe that in 12 kick returns, a playmaker would make kickers miss and take at least one to the house… he didn’t make kickers miss and didn’t take any to the house… no cutback ability… he was impatient in finding lanes.

If Thomas was everything his potential makes him out to be, we’d be talking about another Anquan Boldin or Andre Johnson… Thomas had chances… everyone has chances… Thomas never stood out above the rest and proved he deserved it. All throughout training camp, reports all suggested that Anthony Armstrong and Moss looked the best, and we didn’t hear anything about Devin Thomas looking impressive or anything.

Devin Thomas could have all the potential in the world, but draft status means nothing. There have been plenty to go undrafted that went on to brilliant careers… then there’s Devin Thomas who fits the bill of a Charles Rogers, Mike Williams, Taylor Jacobs… he’s just not cut out to be a star in this league… not yet at least. Once he learns how to make decisions, he’ll be able to apply his talents positively to be a playmaker… but until then, he’s just another bust.

(11-10) Daily Like And Dislike

My like for the day would be.. being looked after by my wonderful friends and the Redskin's winning the game yesterday.

My dislike for the day would be.. being sick with a pounding headache and unable to concentrate.

Banksy - Simpson's Introduction

Now I'm a huge fan of Banksy and his art, so I was really happy to hear he did an introduction for The Simpsons. It's controversial, slightly depressing, but awesome all the same.

If you live in the US and missed Sunday's episode then have a look, and if you live in the UK you won't be seeing this for another 10 days so have an early peek!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thoughts On Washington Redskins vs. Green Bay Packers

First of all, Donovan McNabb said today, “this one is for Albert” and that’s a sentiment I’d like to reiterate to everyone. Redskins fans have been on a rollercoaster with Albert Haynesworth, understandably so with his position with the team. Some felt more personal about Haynesworth’s situation; others just felt as though, “hey, he doesn’t want to be here, I don’t want him here.” But make no mistake about it – Albert Haynesworth is among our band of brothers. The tragic loss of his brother (again, fault is of no matter to the situation) has left a member of our Redskins family hurt, and in turn, has probably hurt more of our team.

So my game ball this week goes out to Albert Haynesworth as he deals with the loss of his brother.

Onto the game;

The opening kickoff was huge, a big stop way inside the 20… the following play (a pass to Donald Lee) resulted in Landry forcing a fumble and Kareem Moore coming up with a turnover in the third consecutive week. But a blunder on the snap on 3rd down took the Redskins out of FG range, and forced us to punt.

Green Bay pretty much had their way with us running the ball (though their average was greatly boosted by a 71 yard run by Brandon Jackson), and passing in the first half. They went up a touchdown on Rodgers pass to Lee in the redzone. After going back and forth and Green Bay getting a field goal, they kicked off the electric Brandon Banks who raced 62 yards before being shoved out of bounds; the play was called back because of an illegal block in the back by S Chris Horton.

Down 10-0 with a couple minutes left on the clock in the first half, Donovan McNabb scrambled out of the pocket, spotted Santana Moss breaking deep on his route downfield towards the sideline, and launched it deep where Moss waited with the 52-yard grab energized the Redskins. Washington settled for a field goal to go into the half down by 7.

Banks proved to be as electric as the game went on, not incredible numbers, but he energizes the crowd and teammates and his speed is blinding and his effort very much among the ranks with the best on the team.

After going down 13-3 in the third, the Redskins found their way in the 4th with a huge pass of 48 yards to Anthony Armstrong who leapt over the safety and ripped the ball out of the sky. Armstrong’s knack for finding the ball is much needed and his talents teamed up with McNabb are proving to be beneficial.

After holding the Giants, the Redskins finally got a field goal attempt and tied the game at 13. Green Bay drove into field goal position, but K Mason Crosby’s attempt bounced off the left upright and stayed out. Washington took over with 1 second left on the clock, but McNabb’s pass was intercepted and lineman Trent Williams (returning from injury) hurt his knee while covering the return.

Orakpo came up huge on third down in the Packers’ opening drive of overtime, sacking (his second on the day) Rodgers and forcing the punt. The Redskins couldn’t convert, and the Packers had good field position after a 4th down attempt failed. On 2nd and 5, Rodgers threw it under pressure from Jeremy Jarmon and the ball fell into LaRon Landry’s lap (after review he was ruled down by contact). The Redskins drove and Graham Gano’s field goal is good to end the game.

Best Performers:

Donovan McNabb – He started out ugly, was pressured all day long, but he stayed relatively comfortable in the pocket looking beat up. He fought his way through and made some huge passes when the Redskins needed them most.

Santana Moss – Moss came out and played another solid game. His routes were as crisp as they’ve looked in a while and he caught almost everything that came his way (two holds I can think of however that weren’t called).

Chris Cooley – His play all game was terrific, but his catch and broke tackles and run after the catch was a defining moment in the game which proved beneficial to keeping us in it until the end.

Anthony Armstrong – He didn’t come up with everything, but he got the huge touchdown, some big conversions (especially the diving catch on the tipped pass). This is a guy who will find himself a lock across from Moss every game before the end of the season if he keeps this up.

Rocky McIntosh – Came up huge when we needed it most, and was solid tackling (even through blocks). He also absorbed a few blocks to free up teammates to make the tackle when he could have been lost on the play and had the blocker take out the teammate upfield and free up touchdowns. Excellent play.

Brian Orakpo – I still counted too many holds that went uncalled, maybe more than past games, but Orakpo still came away with a pair of sacks (the first even had one of those holds and Brian almost gave up on the play but still made it). I’m sure he’s still not satisfied with just two sacks on the game (attribute to his heart).

Jeremy Jarmon – As unpopular a pick as this may be, Jarmon’s first action this season resulted in his contributing to the interception that helped win the game. I’m sure he also improved his standing with Haslett and coaches and will see time in the future as well.

LaRon Landry – I’ve said all season and since he was converted following the death of Sean Taylor that Landry would need to return to SS to impress, and when he did, he would prove to be one of the best in the league. Back in June, I predicted him to be #10 on my list of 20 most feared defensive players (second highest safety behind Reed) and he’s lived up and exceeded that expectation. He is who we thought he was!

Hunter Smith – Excellent job punting today, though he could have done a little better at times, he didn’t hurt us. He outkicked coverage a couple of times, but he placed the ball in good position the entire game.

Graham Gano – He had some poor kicks (though I blame the snapping) but he made the two that really counted, and that’s what matters. He could have helped us get out of the game sooner, but he showed a short memory and good focus on getting the game winner, still excellent on kickoffs.

Brandon Banks – I’ve sang his praises since we drafted him, but didn’t realize he would be THIS electric. He showed he can return kickoffs, and his heart to grab a punt in (light) traffic is unmatched in my opinion. I think it energizes our return coverage team to know this kid wants to take his chances and go… they know they have to block for him and not expect a fair catch every play… and thanks to Matt Terl over at RedskinsBlog for pointing out Banks’ nearly blocking two field goals and possibly causing the miss at the “end” of regulation.

This team still has a whole lot of growth and development ahead of them… this win wasn’t pretty at all (neither were the other 2). We’re still not out of the slump of playing down to weaker opponents or finding ways to lose games… but we’re definitely learning how to find a way to win games… and we’ll continue to grow in that area, and that’s something that excites me more than FedEx when they see Banks taunting.

We’re #1 in the NFC East, but we’re not far ahead. We’ve still got a difficult schedule ahead, and we need to find a way to make the most of these opportunities. But for now, it looks like we might be able to come out on the good side of these close games…