Friday, December 29, 2006

Chad Pennington / Chris Burke (Corky) separated at birth?

Bill Simmons wrote the following after watching the Christmas night Jets - Dolphins game, which, if you didn't see it, was one of the most boring NFL games on record. Two of the announcers, Tony Kornheiser & Joe Theismann spent 80% of the game bashing the Jets QB.

On an unrelated note, if there's a hell -- and I'm pretty sure there is -- part of the eternal sentence of damnation should involve an ongoing conversation between Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser about Chad Pennington's arm strength. Good golly. The only person who enjoyed that Christmas night broadcast was Tiki Barber's TV agent.

Here is the thing about that commentary. It was incredibly annoying. It did drain enjoyment from what was an already mediocre football game. However, it was 90% accurate. The Jets would probably be finishing the season 12-4 if they had a quarterback with a cannon for an arm. Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery have evolved into an elite receiving tandem despite Pennington, not because of him. Not to mention Pennington routinely hangs his receivers out to dry. In a four play span during Monday night's game he got two of his receivers absolutely obliterated by Dolphins defenders by throwing little floater passes instead of rocketing the ball into his receiver's arms. At one point I remarked that Pennington was going to get someone killed. About 5 seconds later the phone rang. No Wife answered it and the first words out of No Brother's mouth were, "Pennington is going to get somebody killed." She made some comment about us sharing a brain, but if you watched that game you know the New York Jets are not going to win a super bowl with Chad Pennington at the quarterback position. The main point being, he had no choice but to throw the floater passes because the words "rocket arm" and Chad Pennington are mutually exclusive.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Does homeowner's insurance cover this???

When searching for a house in Georgia we had a lot of fexibility. We had a small bi-level in NJ and because we lived in a fairly deisrable neighborhood with good schools, when we sold the house we received a significant premium over what we paid for it.

This allowed us to get a house that would probably be worth close to 800K+ if we had purchased it in NJ and if it was in a more desirable locale than Sussex County where we resided (Mendham, Livingston, etc) it would be worth well over a million dollars. However, since we are living in Georgia we payed a good deal less than we sold our little house in NJ for.

One of the reasons I loved our house in NJ is because there was an actual river running through our backyard and I really enjoyed looking out the kitchen window and seeing the river or spending time on the deck and enjoying the view and the sound of the gently rushing water.

Here in Georgia, everything is broken down by subdivision and since we have children, living on a lake was pretty much out of the question. However, the house we decided on has a koi pond. We found this pretty appealing. The pond is located right outside the kitchen windows and when they are open you can hear the little waterfall that splashes into the pond. Also, when you look out the window you have a great view of the fish swimming around and I found myself routinely looking out at the fish. The first summer we were here there were frogs that had taken up residence in the pond as well and this was amazing.

There were two frogs and they would sleep in the waterfall, apparently enjoying the water rushing over them constantly. On very sunny days they would sun themselves on the rocks that the pond was built out of and routinely dive into the pond for a swim. I remember one day sitting at the kitchen window for over 30 minutes, just enjoying the little frogs playing in the water as the koi swam around them. They didn't return this summer and I really missed them.

Yesterday was Christmas here in Georgia and the weather was miserable. It was cold and dank and fairly depressing. No Dog of Consequence was kept inside as the weather was not conducive to his usual days of lazing around the backyard and sunning himself on our deck. I only bring up No Dog, because if he had been outside yesterday, the tragedy I am about to describe might never have happened.

No Family of Consequence was hanging around the living room as presents were opened and holiday merriment was enjoyed. However, No Baby, butt wiggling. as he crawled made a beeline for the kitchen. He was quickly scooped up by Mommy who let out a loud, "Oh my G-d!" followed by an equally loud, "Holy Crap!" I quickly got up from the couch to see what was happening and as I did I noticed a very large bird flying away. Apparently I missed the carnage.

It was a gigantic heron and it ate all of our koi. All of them. Gone. The waterfall continues to gently splash into the now empty pond and I feel like I was a bystander to a bad Discovery Channel documentary.

Mature koi cost between $30 and $100 apiece. So yesterday's birdy buffet cost me between $500 and $1500 worth of fish. My question remains, can I put in a homeowner's claim?

No 1 of Consequence

Thursday, December 21, 2006

John Corzine, friend of gay Americans

Today the governor of the great state of NJ signed a bill that effectively allows gays to marry. I applaud New Jersey for its progressiveness and hope the rest of the United States will get its collective head out of its ass and stop one of the last forms of legal discrimination.

Read some of my thoughts about New Jersey and Jim McGreevey's homosexuality here.

Read some of my thoughts about homosexuality in general here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More baseball. Yes, I know it is December

I read this very sad article about Mark McGwire last week and wanted to wrtie about it, but I have been absolutely swamped at work. The article is long, but the general gist is that Mark McGwire has faded completely out of the lives of everyone he ever knew before the steroid scandal. He doesn't see his old friends from home anymore. He doesn't talk to his former teammates, agents, or coaches anymore. He lives in a gated community and plays golf and is trying to live as quiet an existence as possible.

This is only relevant because he recently became eligible for the baseball Hall of Fame. There has been great debate lately on blogs, on the radio, on ESPN etc as to whether McGwire should be elected to The Hall, whether he will be elected to The Hall and what is going on in the minds of the voters.

Most people I know don't think about this or care about this. I am not sure I particularly care either, I just hate hypocrisy when I see it. For all the talk about cheating and degrading the great game of baseball the facts seem to support that the press and MLB management knew about the steroid problem long before the ridiculous congressional hearings. They knew about it before BALCO. They knew about it before Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth's home run total. They knew about it before McGwire was humiliated in front of the nation. The press and management knew and collectively did nothing.


The 1994 baseball strike crippled the business of baseball. It alienated the fans and tarnished the game for a LOT of people. The 1995 season saw significantly depressed attendance. merchandise sales were way down, television and radio ratings were off and ownership was in a panic. Things started to come back in 1996 and 1997. Then we reached the golden summer of 1998 when baseball recaptured America's sporting heart. Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa's home run title chase became the only story of that summer. McGwire's fist pumps and Sosa's heart and finger kisses were on Sportscenter every night, in every magazine, on every newspaper. As McGwire got closer to 61 home runs the brought out Roger Maris' family to celebrate in pomp and circumstance of a sport reborn.

Sure, McGwire weighed about 65 pounds more than he did when he was a rookie and looked to be bursting out of his uniform. It was true Sammy Sosa looked like he had been inflated with an air pump. Yeah, Barry Bonds looked like a human bobble head doll. Who cared? Sportwriters wrote about the glorious romance of baseball's resurgence and the ownership breathed a collective sigh of relief as fans flooded back to the stadiums and people turned on ball games in record numbers.

Any baseball writer who wrote about the glory of the summer of 1998 who deson't vote for McGwire's candidacy is a hypocrite. Any baseball owner who talks about how steroids soiled the game are also hypocrites. That Mark McGwire has been humiliated to such a degree that he can't even talk about baseball with his neighbors is an absolute shame. It is a crime against baseball and baseball fans.

In the grand scheme of things is this important? Not remotely, but the article made me sad for the big guy.

No 1 of Consequence

Strawberry, the voice of reason.

You have truly reached a bizarro reality when Darryl Strawberry is a voice of reason. Essentially the linked article talks about how Derek Jeter needs to embrace Alex Rodriguez and make him feel welcome after his rough year last year. You can make a valid argument that A-Rod is making 25 million dollars and he should stop his girly crying and play up to his abilities. However, I tend to believe that we are all human beings and even those seemingly above it all can be affected by significant negativity in their surroundings.

I also heard an insider story that A-Rod showed up at Jeter's house and basically begged forgiveness for the 2001 article in Esquire that caused friction between them to begin with and was turned away.

A-Rod was quoted as saying: "Jeter's been blessed with great talent around him. He's never had to lead. He can just go and play and have fun. And he hits second -- that's totally different than third and fourth in a lineup. You go into New York, you wanna stop Bernie [Williams] and [Paul] O'Neill. You never say, 'Don't let Derek beat you.' He's never your concern."

Competitors like Derek Jeter have egos the size of small planets. They aren't going to take something like that lightly. Especially when the guy doing the talking has never won jack squat in a team environment. Rodriguez has been a significant individual achiever in his career, but his teams have done nothing in the playoffs. Hang on, I feel myself meandering off point here.

My point is this, Strawberry is correct, Jeter needs to let it go. He needs to publicly step to the microphone and say something to the effect of, "Alex Rodridguez is one of the greatest individual performers in baseball history. He has shown himself to be a great team mate and contributor to the New York Yankees. His selflessness in switching to 3rd base when he arrived in NY is evidence of his commitment to the continuing greatness of the Yankees franchise and to our incredible fans. I am proud to call him my teammate and proud to run out on to that field next to him every day. What's past is past, the only future that matters is bringing the 2007 World Series championship to New York and paying back our loyal fans for their tremendous support."

Then, he needs to act like he meant it. No one will boo A-Rod again. A-Rod will hit about 75 home runs and drive in 150 and the Yankees will win the World Series, which is all that matters. Leadership by work ethic and example are all well and good. Sometimes you need to lead with your words. This is definitely one of those times.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Unintentional Comedic Moments in Parenting

This is a story of a boy and a mask. I have been a dad for a long time now and if there is one thing that is absolutely awesome about being a parent aside from the unconditional acceptance and love, it is the kids will absolutely make you cry laughing at least once a week.

My middle son, six year old bundle of energy that he is, received this Darth Vader voice changing mask for Chanukah. Now while my six year old is a gigantic bundle of energy you have to understand he is not the largest of lads. He isn't very tall and he is super skinny.

Why is that particularly relevant?

It isn't, but when the kid wears his Darth Vader mask he looks like Rick Moranis from Spaceballs. This, if you are unaware, is high comedy all by itself.

The mask is far too big for the little guy's head. He looks like he could fall over at any moment when he is wearing it. Also, I am 99% certain he can't see a damned thing while he has it on his head.

Saturday morning he was bopping all over the house, making Darth Vader's breathing noise into the microphone that contains the voice synthesizer. I hear him bound up the stairs, thump down the hall, thump back down the hall, and start back down the stairs. Curiously the trip down the stairs is going a lot more slowly than the trip up. All of a sudden there is a great crash at the bottom of the stairs and I hear molded plastic hit hardwood.

Then, moments later, from down the hall, Darth Vader's deep childlike voice booms out:

"I'm OK!"

I am still laughing about it.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The NFL, Tivo, and me.

After absolutely taking it to Green Bay on Dec 2. The Jets reverted to their regular pathetic under achievinig form this past Sunday. However, there was one ray of sunshine about this game. It is the first time I have ever watched a sporting event that was either completely or partially recorded with Tivo. I coach youth basketball on the weekends and this week's game fell during the Jets sad performance against the bills. I set my Tivo to record the game and went about my business.

You never realize how much wasted time there is during an NFL game. The walking around, the incessant commercial breaks, the unbelievable amount of time in between plays. Tivo gets rid of all of that. I walked in the door to my house about midway through the second quarter and by halftime I caught up with the live action. It was awesome.

I have so much I want write about and NO time right now. I promise more content soon.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

J - E - T - S Jets Jets Jets?

The Jets won on Sunday, absolutely blasting the Green Bay Packers on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. The victory brought the Jets record on the season to a surreal 7 wins and 5 losses. ESPN's headline was The Jets improbable run continues. If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that my own prediction for the Jets success this year was that there would be none. In fact, after looking at the Jets schedule I predicted the Jets would be 4-12 at best. No Brother of Consequence had them at a pathetic 6-10 and No Dad of Consequence, who doesn't use the schedule to make his predictions picked them to go his usual 2-14.

There have been a couple of moments this season that have led me to believe that these might not be the "same old Jets." The fact that the Jets did not collapse against the Packers. Despite playing an appalling 3rd quarter which saw the Packers score 10 points and appear to regain momentum while the Jets fell over themselves, the Jets regained their footing in the 4th and really focused, putting the game away.

Against the Texans, Chad Pennington took a serious hit. It appeared that he landed on his surgically repaired shoulder in such a way that NoBro called me immediately and we were both of the opinion that he was done. He has had two surgeries on that shoulder and the blow looked really bad. To our surprise Pennington picked himself up off the turf and jogged over to the sidelines. He waved his arms in the air, pumping up the crowd which was invariably thinking the same things we were.

"At least he can raise his arm," said NoBro, who promptly hung up.

Both critical incidents that in other years would have spelled doom for the Jets season.
Another bright spot has been the fact that the Jets seem to have found a good running back combo with Cedric Houston carrying the load, Leon Washington as a change of pace back and Kevin Barlow carrying the ball in short yardage situations.

Some things to be worried about if you are a Jets fan:

- 0 pass rush. You can't win playoff games if you can't pressure the quarterback. It is a major problem that a defensive back leads the team in sacks.

- Ahman Green absolutely shredded us. If the Packers had gotten a lead and could have run the ball at all we would have been dead. Every time they gave him the ball he rushed for about 15 yards. 14 carries for 102 yards. Giving up 7.25+ yards a carry is not winning football.

- Pennington missed some wide open receivers. Justin Mchowever you spell his last name beat Charles Woodson badly and Pennington under threw the ball which allowed Woodson to catch up and make a good defensive play on it. All you heard Phil Simms talking about was that Woodson's speed has come back and he was able to close on McCairens when the video clearly showed that the ball was under thrown and McCairens had to slow way down and wait for the ball.

The good news is we don't play a team with a .500 record the rest of the season although a loss to the Dolphins on Christmas night is a mortal lock and it would be just like the Jets to blow the last game of the season against the hapless Raiders to miss the playoffs.

No 1 of Consequence