Monday, November 30, 2009

Keith Ballard Does Something Very Few Have Ever Tried: He Knocks Out His Own Goalie

This video would actually be a lot funnier if Tomas Vokoun was not taken off the ice on a stretcher.

Ouch. While the situation is certainly a funny one, I certainly feel bad for Vokoun and wish a speedy recovery for him. I can only imagine how painful that was. Ballard obviously did not see Vokoun or anyone for that matter right in his stick's line of path, but that's what happens when you don't pay attention to what is around you. Good thing there was not a forward wearing less protection than Vokoun, otherwise that situation could have gotten real ugly real fast.

Chip Caray Will Have To Take His Fisting Elsewhere

Very very very sad news coming out of Turner Broadcasting today. I'm not sure if there is any other way to tell you this so I will just have to break it to you and hoped you can bare what I have to tell you without breaking down. Chip Caray will no longer be working at TBS.

Wait? You're NOT upset about this??? Via the New York Times

Chip Caray’s tenure as TBS’s lead major league baseball announcer ended Monday when he and the cable network agreed to part ways.

Caray’s high-volume style was mixed with a penchant for bad play calls, embellishments and factual errors. His best known incident occurred during the American League Central Division tie breaker between the Twins and the Tigers in October. He called an obvious lineout this way: “Line drive. Base hit. Caught out there. The runner tags. Throw to the plate. On target. And in time! A double play!”

In a memo sent to company employees, David Levy, the president of Turner Sports, wrote on Monday: “Since the end of this year’s M.L.B. playoffs, we’ve had several discussions with Chip Caray regarding 2010 and beyond. Both sides have agreed that now is the right time for Turner Sports and Chip to move ahead on different paths.”

Caray had some time left on his contract with Turner, where he also called Braves games on the Peachtree TV cable network. Levy said the company was looking at a “number of candidates” to replace Caray at both positions.
One more time with passion.......FISTED!!!!!!!!!!!!

We'll miss you, Chip. And your horrible calls.

For whenever there is a line drive basehit that is caught out there resulting in a double play, we know that your spirit will be in the booth calling it.

Ireland Is Not Done Fighting For It's Spot In The World Cup

Those pesky Irish just will not go away. After being denied a re-match with the French, the Irish have resorted to requesting that Sepp Blatter and FIFA just let them in the World Cup as a 33rd team. Somehow, I think this request will fall on even more deaf ears than the rematch did. Via the Associated Press

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says that the Irish have written to soccer's world governing body asking to be let into the 2010 tournament in South Africa because of Henry's handball.

Henry handled the ball before setting up William Gallas for the tying goal Nov. 18 that put France into the World Cup at the expense of Ireland.

FIFA has already rejected a call by the Irish for a replay.

Blatter told a conference in Johannesburg that the Irish asked: ``Can we be team No. 33 at the World Cup?''

FIFA will discuss the request at a meeting of its executive committee Wednesday.
While I am in sympathy of the Irish cause, I am shocked that FIFA would even want to further discuss a request, seeing as the obvious thought is what on earth kind of precedent would this set? That if you get a bad call in the World Cup qualifying and if you complain enough, you too can be a World Cup team?

They may entertain the thought, but I would be dropped dead shocked if they bring it up and 5-minutes later they burst out in laughter at such a notion. How on earth would a 33-team World Cup work to begin with? I mean if Chile ended up being pulled out then I can sort of see how you could give that spot to Ireland and everything would be hunky dorry (although I'm sure Costa Rica and Ecuador would have a beef or 2 with that). But for FIFA to throw the rule book right out the window, put Ireland in the World Cup, and make this a 33-team tournament would create more problems and perhaps even bigger problems than just a missed offsides and a missed handball that led to a World Cup clinching goal.

College Football Announcing Schedule Week 14

Seeing as this is the biggest week in college football (and personally my favorite), I decided to put up the announcing schedule even though AA will surely do the same later in the week. Besides, I have a somewhat funny situation that I want to bring up. (all times eastern)

Thursday December 3

PAC-10 Championship: Oregon State @ Oregon 9:00 (ESPN - Chris Fowler, Craig James, and Jesse Palmer, SR: Erin Andrews)

Friday December 4

MAC Championship: Central Michigan vs. Ohio 8:00 (ESPN2 - Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore)

Saturday December 5

Big East Championship: Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh 12:00 (ABC - Sean McDonough and Matt Millen, SR: Holly Rowe)
West Virginia @ Rutgers 12:00 (ESPN - Dave Pasch, Bob Griese, and Chris Spielman)
Conference USA Championship: Houston @ East Carolina 12:00 (ESPN2 - Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham)
Fresno State @ Illinois 12:30 (BTN - Wayne Larrivee and Chris Martin, SR: Charissa Thompson)
San Jose State @ Louisiana Tech 2:00 (ESPN+ - Trey Bender and Jay Taylor) (Will Air on CST and MASN)
New Mexico State @ Boise State 3:00 (KTVB - Mark Johnson and Tom Scott, SR: Justin Corr)
Arizona @ USC 3:30 (ABC - Mike Patrick and Craig James, SR: Heather Cox)
SEC Championship: Florida vs. Alabama 4:00 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, SR: Tracy Wolfson)
California @ Washington 6:30 (CSN California+ - Jim Kozimor and Mike Pawlaski, SR: Christine Nubla) (FSN Washington - Tom Glasgow and Mack Strong, SR: Jen Mueller)
Big XII Championship: Nebraksa vs. Texas 8:00 (ABC - Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit, SR: Lisa Salters)
ACC Championship: Georgia Tech vs. Clemson 8:00 (ESPN - Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge, SR: Erin Andrews)
South Florida @ Connecticut 8:00 (ESPN2 - Mark Jones and Bob Davie)
Wisconsin @ Hawaii 11:30 (ESPN2 - Terry Gannon and David Norrie)

Saturday December 12

Army vs. Navy 2:30 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, SR: Tracy Wolfson)

The point I want to make is that the Army-Navy game was pushed back this year and everyone was hailing how this is the way things should be. Well, we have a problem. Army is 5-6. They do not play again until the Army-Navy game. If they win, they will be bowl eligible and in the EagleBank Bowl. If they lose, they will not be bowl eligible. Therefore, we will not know the EagleBank Bowl until 7 days after all the other bowls are announced. While it is initially scheduled for ACC #8 to take on C-USA or Army, the ACC won't be getting an 8th team so chances are that game will be C-USA vs. Army or if Army loses, a MAC team.

It's amazing how even when college football decided to do something right it ends up going wrong. Incredible.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Perhaps The Greatest Finish To A Championship Game In The History Of Professional Championship Games

I know that not everyone was watching the CFL Grey Cup championship game, but if you were, you were privileged to one of the greatest finishes that you will ever see in your life.

The Montreal Alouettes were down by 16 in the 4th quarter of tonight's Grey Cup. However they came back with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 8. They got the defensive stop, got the ball back, and scored again. However, this time they missed the 2-point conversion and it was down to the last few minutes of the game. They got the ball back with around 1-minute remaining. They were able to drive down the field and get into field range trailing by 2. A miss would mean that the Saskatchewan Roughriders would win the 97th Grey Cup. A make would mean that the Montreal Alouettes would win their 2nd Grey Cup of the decade in 5 attempts.

What happened next will never be forgotten in Saskatchewan, Montreal, Quebec, and all of Canada.

Unbelievable. The Roughriders thought they had it won but that 13th man on the field will forever haunt their dreams. I can only imagine being in the shoes of that guy that was on the field that was not supposed to be. I would seriously think about keeping an extra eye or 2 on him in the next coming days. The backlash he faces from his teammates and more importantly the fans may not be that pretty.

Also, can you imagine being a Roughrider fan watching that? If that were my Eagles losing a Super Bowl that way, I would probably be literally physically ill for a week. I'm not sure if you can blame Roughrider fans if they have the same sensation.

Congrats to the Montreal Alouettes. They never led in that game until that point and they never gave up despite how grim it looked at times for them in that 4th quarter. Simply incredible.

Pete Carroll Is Not A Fan Of You Calling A Timeout When He Is Taking A Knee

With 50 seconds left and down by 14 points, UCLA failed to convert a 4th down thus sealing a 21-7 victory for USC. As Matt Barkley took his first knee, Rick Neuheisel called a timeout perhaps to fight to the last whistle for his kids or just to get under the skin of Pete Carroll. If the latter was the case, then mission accomplished. While the timeout is not on the video, Carroll's response to that timeout and the aftermath of it all is.

Simply classless. While I can see the justification for the timeout, Carroll had no business throwing that hail mary TD pass to rub it in or what not especially after he cried foul when Jim Harbaugh and Stanford did the exact same thing to him. What a classless hypocrite Carroll is.

And then UCLA took it far by marching out on the field like that and while my amygdala would have enjoyed a good SoCal brawl, it would have been a black mark on college football that never would have been forgotten and forever looked down upon.

Oh well. All I can tell USC, USC fans, and Pete Carroll is have a fun trip to the Emerald Bowl! May the Emerald Nuts be extra nutty for you guys. Or something.

Week 12 Live Blog

is over at Keith's Sports Journal today. I'm still not sure of what my plans are for the morning and how I'm watching/listening to the game, but I will join you once I get in. Whenever that may be.


Friday, November 27, 2009

JP Losman Is Now A Championship Quarterback

How is that possible you ask? JP Losman, believe it or not, is the star quarterback of the Las Vegas Locomotives (abbreviated Locos). The Locos just won the first ever UFL championship.

So here it is. The game-winning Vegas field goal in overtime that gave Losman a Super Bowl ring as filmed live from a fan sitting in Sam Boyd Stadium.


And quite possibly the last. While the league considered this an experimental year, I think the horrid attendance to the games has spoken and the experiment has failed.

Besides, this league just gave JP Losman a championship ring. Forget everything else, isn't that mere fact alone enough to consider the league a failure?

How Could We Have Forgotten?

The UFL played their championship game today!!! Who could have forgotten this?

The game is currently in the 3rd quarter with the Florida Tuskers leading the Las Vegas Locos 7-3. The real reason for this post: to laugh in bewilderment at the jerseys the teams are wearing.

Simply embarrassing.

And the UFL wonders why attendance in any stadium has not gotten above 20,000 with the lows being hardly 5,000 fans.

I think it is safe to say the idea that everyone knew would be a failure has in fact failed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving All!

I guess I would be remiss if I did not put up a happy Thanksgiving post of some sort. I hope everyone has a wonderful time with their families and gobble down on turkey or whatever your family tradition is on Thanksgiving. Thanks to my page-a-day calendar, here are certain tips that you should follow for an optimal Thanksgiving.

  • "Consider attaching the fork to your wrist, like a child with mittens. There is a lot of food, and it's always good to have a utensil handy. If traveling through a metal detector, make sure it's a plastic fork."
  • "When a fight over old issues erupts, pull out the video camera and record it. When family members ask what you're doing, say that you want to record it so that next year instead of having the fight, you can all just watch it."
  • "If you're setting up holiday decorations, make sure you don't accidentally stick your tongue in a lightbulb socket."
  • "Ettiquette experts say it's not cool to bring your laptop to the dinner table, even if you want to share Thanksgiving with your Facebook and My Space friends." (Editor's note: And in our case, Twitter followers)
  • "If you're coming home from college and your parents are control freaks, remember that they really don't have any control over you most of the year. Control yourself and give them a few days to pretend."
  • "If you have to lie down in bed to keep eating because sitting at the table takes too much energy, you should stop eating."
  • "When sharing what you're thankful about, don't say, 'I'm thankful I only have to be home for three days. I forget how much this place sucked. Please pass the cranberry sauce. Mmmm, delish!'"
Happy Thanksgiving to all and may the Lions and Packers not put me (and America) to sleep, may the Raiders beat the Cowboys, and may the Broncos miraculously bounce back and beat the Giants.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meet The Philadelphia Union

Lost in the mix today of schedules and Allen Iverson's retirement (I seriously doubt that there is a blogger in this world that got a post on that up before I did) was the fact that today was the day of the expansion draft for the newest team in MLS, the Philadelphia Union. Here are the players that were selected by Peter Nowak and the Philadelphia Union. Ladies and gentlemen, the 10 latest members of the Philadelphia Union (and their former team)!

Brad Knighton (New England Revolution)

Jordan Harvey (Colorado Rapids)
Dave Myrie (Chicago Fire)
Shavar Thomas (Chivas USA)

Andrew Jacobsen (D.C. United)
Stefani Miglioranzi (LA Galaxy)
Shea Salinas (San Jose Earthquakes)
Nick Zimmerman (New York Red Bulls)

Alejandro Moreno (Columbus Crew)
Sebastien Le Toux (Seattle Sounders FC)

There are rumors going around that the Union have traded for goalkeeper Chirs Seitz for money allocations. And while it is unlikely that many of these players drafted will eventually be starting, it appears as if the Union have a good start and are saving some money to sign a big name or a big foreign player or something.

These will revealed a few days ago, but instead of googling Philadelphia Union and finding hideout predicitons people made, check out what the actual kits for the Union will like.


Now if those are not totally awesome soccer jersies then I'm not sure what is. The blue and gold really work together like this and I can't wait to see them in action on the field.

Only 4 months away until the Union kick off in their first game. Jungite Aut Perite!

BREAKING NEWS: Allen Iverson Retires

Stephen A. Smith just reported on 97.5 The Fanatic with Mike Missanelli that Allen Iverson is going to retire from the game of basketball. I'll have more as details become available.

While I await for some quotes and what not to post, I guess I'll offer my 2 cents.

Darn I was hoping the Sixers would bring him back! A 1-year contract with AI would have been awesome and would have gotten people in Philly interested in the NBA again. But alas, this is AI's decision and I wish the best little man to ever play the game of basketball all the best in the future.

He may not have too many fans in Detroit, Denver, and Memphis, but Philly fans will always remember and always love AI. Here's hoping that one day not too far away he will at the very least he will sign a 1-day contract with the team and the city that loved him so he can officially retire a Sixer.

Did he get the NBA title he so badly wanted? No. Will he end up in the basketball Hall of Fame one day? You betcha.

Your Division I FCS First Round Schedule

I have nothing to do today so I have decided to make this college football day here at FARN!. I've already got the Week 13 schedule up for the FBS, and now I will put up the FCS Schedule. Why am I doing this, you ask? Because it is the first round of a college football playoffs, that's why! I am hoping that will do what they have done in the past for lesser sporting events and put up at the very least a radio stream so I can follow the games, especially seeing as one of the participants just so happens to be my Villanova Wildcats. In fact, the 'Cats are the 2nd highest seeded team in the whole tournament. All first round games are on this Saturday, so I encourage you to sit back, relax, and enjoy and now without further ado, here is your schedule! (all times PM eastern)

Holy Cross @ Villanova 12:00
South Carolina State @ Appalachian State 12:00
Weber State @ William & Mary 1:00
Elon @ Richmond 1:00
South Dakota State @ Montana 2:00
Eastern Illinois @ Southern Illinois 2:00
New Hampshire @ McNeese State 3:00
Eastern Washington @ Stephen F. Austin 3:00

You can click here to check out the brackets if you want to. Even if you are not familiar with any of these football teams, one thing is for sure, there is nothing more exciting than a win or go home playoff football game, regardless of the level of play.

Your College Football Week 13 Announcing Schedule

AA must be taking an early Thanksgiving break. Seeing as he has not put up the Week 13 college football announcing schedule, I'll put one up instead. I know I don't get his traffic, but it will give Keith something to link to and myself something to refer to instead of navigating the506 forums and the constantly moving threads. (all times eastern)

Thursday November 26

Texas @ Texas A&M 8:00 (ESPN - Chris Fowler, Craig James, and Jesse Palmer, SR: Erin Andrews)

Friday November 27

Rutgers @ Louisville 11:00 AM (ESPN2 - Eric Collins and Brock Huard)
Temple @ Ohio 11:00 AM (ESPNU - Trey Bender and Tom Luginbill)
Illinois @ Cincinnati 12:00 PM (ABC - Dave Pasch, Bob Griese, and Chris Spielman)
Northern Illinois @ Central Michigan 1:00 (ESPN360 - Dave Weekley and Je'Rod Cherry)
Wyoming @ Colorado State 2:00 (mtn - James Bates, Todd Christensen, SR: Roger Bailey and Natalie Vickers)
Toledo @ Bowling Green 2:00 (Buckeye Cable - Greg Franke and Tom Cole)
Alabama @ Auburn 2:30 (CBS - Craig Bolerjack and Steve Beuerlein)
Nebraska @ Colorado 3:30 (ABC - Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham)
Memphis @ Tulsa 3:30 (CBS College Sports - Dave Ryan and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila)
Pittsburgh @ West Virginia 7:00 (ESPN2 - Mark Jones and Bob Davie)
Nevada @ Boise State 10:15 (ESPN2 - Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore)

Saturday November 28

Clemson @ South Carolina 12:00 PM (ESPN - Bob Wischusen and Brian Griese)
North Carolina @ North Carolina State 12:00 PM (ESPN2 - Pam Ward and Ray Bentley)
Mississippi @ Mississippi State 12:00 PM (SEC Network - Dave Neal and Andre Ware, SR: Cara Capuano)
Syracuse @ Connecticut 12:00 PM (Big East Network - Mike Gleason, John Congemi, SR: Quint Kessenich)
Wake Forest @ Duke 12:00 PM (Raycom - Tim Brant and Rick "Doc" Walker, SR: Mike Hogewood)
Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma 12:30 (FSN - Bill Land and Dave Lapham, SR: Jim Knox)
New Mexico @ TCU 1:00 (mtn - Ari Wolfe and Blaine Fowler, SR: Amanda Mazey and Cash Sirois)
Southern Mississippi @ East Carolina 1:30 (CBS College Sports - Tom Hart and Aaron Taylor)
Central Florida @ UAB 1:30 (Bright House - Drew Fellios and Mark Royals, SR: Dave Baumann)
Marshall @ UTEP 3:00 (WSAZ - Keith Morehouse and Mike Bartrum)
Tulane @ Southern Methodist 3:00 (Time Warner-Metrosports - CJ Martin and Bruce Wiseman)
Florida State @ Florida 3:30 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, SR: Tracy Wolfson)
Arizona @ Arizona State 3:30 (ABC - Terry Gannon and David Norrie)
Missouri @ Kansas 3:30 (ABC - Dave Lamont and JC Pearson)
Miami @ South Florida 3:30 (ABC - Mike Patrick and Craig James, SR: Heather Cox)
Virginia Tech @ Virginia 3:30 (ABC - Clay Matvick and David Diaz-Infante)
Boston College @ Maryland 3:30 (ESPNU - Todd Harris and Tom Luginbill)
Middle Tennessee @ Louisiana-Monroe 3:30 (Sun Belt TV - Todd Kalas and Derek Rackley)
Utah @ BYU 5:00 (mtn - James Bates and Todd Chirstensen, SR: Tody Christensen and Sammy Linebaugh)
Utah State @ Idaho 5:00 (ESPN+ - Trey Bender and Jay Taylor)
Texas Tech vs. Baylor 6:00 (FSN - Dan McLaughlin and Gary Reasons, SR: Emily Jones)
Washington State @ Washington 6:30 (FSN Northwest - Tom Glasgow and Mack Strong, SR: Jen Mueller and Jason Stiles)
Arkansas @ LSU 7:00 (ESPN - Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge, SR: Erin Andrews)
Tennessee @ Kentucky 7:30 (ESPNU - Eric Collins and Brock Huard)
Notre Dame @ Stanford 8:00 (ABC - Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit, SR: Lisa Salters)
Georgia @ Georgia Tech 8:00 (ABC - Sean McDonough and Matt Millen, SR: Holly Rowe)
New Mexico State @ San Jose State (Aggie Vision - Joe Cerny and Danny Knee)
Rice @ Houston 8:00 (CSS - Matt Stewart and Chuck Oliver, SRL Allison Williams)
San Diego State @ UNLV 9:00 (mtn - Tom Neverett and Robert Griffith, SR: Molly Sullivan)
UCLA @ USC 10:00 (FSN - Barry Tompkins and Petros Papadakis, SR: Michael Eaves)
Navy @ Hawaii 10:30 (ESPNU - Carter Blackburn and Charles Arbuckle)

What are they doing, turning Pammy into an ACC announcer? I know there are no Big 10 games this week, but this seems like the umpteenth week in a row she has worked an ACC game.

And just as an aside, I am surprised to see Chris Spielman back in the booth already. He'll certainly be there with a heavy heart, but I am sure that Stefanie would have wanted him to move on and I guess we can't grieve forever, right?

For those curious like I was, the Oregon-Oregon State PAC-10 Championship game is Thursday, December 3. For sure, that will be one heck of a huge football game.

Happy, Happy Birthday From Fire Andy Reid Now To You, I Wish It Was My Birthday So I Can Party Too

Happy birthday Donovan McNabb!

33-years old and still going strong in the NFL. Happy birthday, Donovan, don't party too hard tonight as you've got a lot of turkey to eat tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Few Blurbs For The Night

Tonight is one of those nights where there are lots of little things going but no one huge thing for a full post (Justice only got a full post because of how far he's come from that debacle against the Giants; don't get me wrong, he's not great, but going from dreadful to good and solid is a win in my books and deserving of a little more dough). So instead of putting up 5 posts on 5 little things, I'll combine them into one post and you can comment as you want on any of them.

First of them, the Phillies made their first move of the free agency. They have replaced Eric Bruntlett. The Phillies new utility man is Juan Castro. I think this is the part where I'm supposed to get excited or something. Anyways, to say he is an upgrade over Mr. Triple Play and the man who scored 2-game winning runs in the 2008 World Series is a pretty accurate statement. For those that don't follow the Phillies and are wondering how Juan Castro can be an upgrade, the answer is simple, outside of those pinch-running World Series runs and getting a triple play only because the Mets are horrible base-runners and he was in the right place at the right time, he is one of the most useless utility players in the history of baseball. When he's not kicking balls and making errors, he is hitting below .200 at the plate and making a complete ass of himself in the process. I'm not sure how much better Castro will be and I'm not sure he'll be much better, but for goodness sakes, they can't get any worse than Bruntlett. In fact, Bruntlett's so bad that he inspired a group of people to create a Fire Eric Bruntlett blog.

Onto the Eagles. Their 4th round draft pick in the 2008 draft can officially say that he did not play one snap for the team that drafted him. The Eagles released CB Jack Ikegwuonu who was placed on injured reserve in 2008 and did not help his cause by being caught with a bong during his time on IR and being useless during the 2009 pre-season. In his place, the Eagles signed career practice squadder Gregory Pope. Seriously, since being drafted in 2007, he's been on a practice squad for half of the teams in the league. Okay, so that may be a slight exaggeration, but apparently the Eagles like him better. The irony of the Eagles being desperate at cornerback was that at the start of the year, the depth they had was incredible, but a Joselio Hanson 4-game suspension for steroids and a Ellis Hobbs placement on IR, and the Eagles are relying on Dimitri Patterson a whole lot more than they ever thought they would. And I don't think there is a person in America that will forgive him for what he did on Sunday night. What did he do, you ask? Really? Is your memory that bad? He was the one who pantsed Devin Hester! And with Sheldon Brown's hamstring and Asante Samuel's stinger, we may be seeing a lot more of Patterson in the upcoming games, especially seeing as the next game is an epic battle with Jason Campbell and the Redskins. I guess worst case scenario if none of them are better, you put Macho Harris back at corner and start Sean Jones at full safety.

Danny Briere has been suspended for 2 games for a cheap late hit on Avalanche defenseman Scott Hannan. First a fight in San Jose and now a late hit suspension, the finesse Briere is now turning into something else. And as a Flyers fan, I love it! There are several reasons why I love the Flyers, but one of the tops has to be that we are a douche bag physical hockey team, you all know it, you all hate it, and as Flyers fans, that only fuels us. It's quite awesome. Congrats on your suspension, Danny! Welcome to the club!

And lastly, my thoughts on the Sixers. I posted the same roundabout thoughts numerous times in the comments section at Keith's Sports Journal, but something has got to be done with this team. They are not necessarily a rebuilding young team, yet, they are nowhere near contenders for anything other a very low playoff seed and that's only because they have the incredible ability to beat the New Jersey Nets! And all teams that play at that level. Whenever they play someone better than them, they get their asses handed to them. It really is pathetic and yet, nothing is being done to try to take this team to the next level. Elton Brand can officially be considered a bust, Andre Iguodala is not a franchise player, and Eddie Jordan's Princeton offense takes a whole lot more than the Sixers have. And instead of drafting someone that can make an immediate impact and change, which is what they badly need, they draft Jrue Holiday, somebody who was known not to be ready to make an immediate impact on any NBA team. That statement is holding true thus far as he has seen very little playing time in the 1st 11 games of the season. Not to mention that their attendance is laughable. The Wachovia Center is literally half empty during Sixers home games. And before you start blaming the economy, people have had no problem shoeing out money to see the Flyers. I'd be more than happy to see them take Iverson back as a bench player because what's a playoff run if they can't even put people in their seats. Suffice to say, at this point, the Sixers are going nowhere and they are getting there way too fast.

Eagles Do What Would Have Been Unthinkable A Few Years Ago

I think we all remember the Sunday Night Football debacle in 2007 against the New York Giants where McNabb was sacked 12 times, 6 of which were off of Winston Justice. At that point, we all figured that Reid's 2nd round draft pick in the 2006 draft was a complete bust. Well, not so fast, Justice has started every game this year and it turns out that he's pretty decent. So decent in fact that the Eagles have given him a contract extension which includes a $6 million signing bonus. From

Justice's deal is worth $18.15 million, including a $6 million signing bonus, a league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The team announced the deal on Tuesday. Justice could have become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

A second-round pick in 2006, Justice has started every game this season when Shawn Andrews was placed on IR after Justice started only one in his first three years in the NFL. He replaced Shawn Andrews, who didn't take a snap and was placed on injured reserve with a season-ending back injury.
And yet to think that this is the right move to make. The guy was in his 2nd year, too young, and going up against Osi Umenyiora in that game, his first NFL start, so I'm not sure we can really blame him that much for what happened, but regardless, after that game and well into that next year, he was chastised for that and was the butt of most jokes around these parts. Now he's turned his game around and in my view, he has earned that extension. Let's hope he continues to improve and does not regress at all.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Your Week 12 NFL Schedule

Week 12 is upon us and we still don't know much about the NFC playoffs other than the fact that the Saints and Vikings will be getting 1st round byes in the NFC barring a titanic collapse. And really, Pittsburgh? Now Charlie Batch is hurt and you are thinking of starting Dennis Dixon? Do yourselves a favor and sign Jeff Garcia. That being said, onto your Week 12 NFL Schedule (all times eastern) (Note: I'll be home with NFL Sunday Ticket and the RedZone Channel, returning to Bloom sometime during the late games or FNIA, so aside from a few sporadic comments during commercial or halftime, I won't be around for the live blog as I'll be with my family and I don't like computer distractions when watching it with them; I'll just run to it during commercials)

Thanksgiving Day Football
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions 12:30 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman)
Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys 4:15 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms)

Thursday Night Football
New York Giants @ Denver Broncos 8:20 (NFL-Network - Bob Papa and Matt Millen)

Map of who gets what CBS game

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans 1:00 (CBS - Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills 1:00 (CBS - Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker)
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Rich Gannon)

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 (CBS - Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts)
Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Francisco 49ers 4:05 (CBS - Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots)

Map of who gets what Fox early game

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 (Fox - Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 (Fox - Dick Stockton and Charles Davis)
Carolina Panthers @ New York Jets 1:00 (Fox - Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick)
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams 1:00 (Fox - Ron Pitts and John Lynch)

Map of who gets what Fox late game

Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings 4:15 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman)
Arizona Cardinals @ Tennesee Titans 4:15 (Fox - Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan)

Sunday Night Football
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens 8:20 (NBC - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth)

Monday Night Football
New England Patriots @ New Orleans Saints 8:30 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

Just for shiggles, if I were to be at Bloom this week, the games that I would get would be Cincy-Cleveland and KC-SD on CBS (yes, it's another week with my 2 CBS affiliates showing different games) and my Fox games would be the obvious Eagles-Skins and Vikings-Bears.

Oh, and can I just say that I feel horrible for you, America. The Eagles-Deadskins game is the main early game for all of America. As if once in Monday Night Football was not enough, now a lot of the country, especially those with only later CBS games, will be forced to watch that garbage of a game. My dearest sympathies to you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Eagles Win, Cutler Throws Crucial Primetime INT, And Hester Bears All In A Sunday Night Clusterfuck

First of all, whether you were at AA/12SD with me or at The O Files for that live blog, or just plain sat through that SNF game, congradulations, you are a man among men and you deserve to be saluted.

Secondly, wow. If Jay Cutler was not awful, that game would have been a route the other way. But somehow, someway, despite an early quick 10-0 start the Eagles fell asleep in the 2nd and 3rd quarter before waking up just in time to compete in a 4th quarter shoot out. By the way, whenever the Eagles jump up 10-0 like that, you can guarantee they will loll in the middle quarters of the game, allowing the other team to take the lead, although most of the time, the end result is a valiant fightback that falls short. Anyway, this time it was a shootout and the Eagles outdueled the Bears.

It's no secret that the big secret of the Eagles was DeSean Jackson. Once he was making plays, the Eagles offense was moving. People say that the Eagles offense relied on Westbrook making plays. Not anymore. It's DJax now. When he gets the ball, good things happen (unless he fumbles the ball or spikes it at the 1-yard line), when he is not getting the ball, the Eagles look like the Browns against any defense not from Detroit.

He got the ball in the 4th quarter. The Eagles won the game with a rare 4th quarter comeback. That's their first successful one in quite awhile although I still have not discovered their last under 2-minute victory. This TD came well before the 2-minute warning, the defense was just able to hold stout and in the end, knew that one of the very inevitable unavoidable truths will happen. Just like you can count on the sun rising every morning in the east, you can count on Jay Cutler throwing an interception in crucial prime time games.

It was not pretty, but it was a win. And now the Eagles will play the Washington Redskins next Sunday, which sadly, I will not be around for (sorry Al) except for maybe a comment here or there during commercial (I like watching the Eagles with my family sans distractions of a CPU). That should be a win, although with the way the Eagles have played down to some opponents (see 1st Redskins game despite the win and Raiders game), you never know.

Anyway, enough about the Eagles, instead, I will leave you with Devin Hester, with great aid of Dimitri Patterson, showing Jay Cutler how he really feels about his horrible passes.

Scorched in my retina forever. I wonder if this means that Devin Hester will get offered a role in Bubble Butt Barbeque 3?


Week 11 Live Blog

Is at The O Files. Come join us, why don't you?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Wow. Ever since crapping the bed against the Chargers, Andy Reid has seriously, thorough no doing of his own, had the best week ever. First Bill Belichick's infamous 4th down call inside his own territory against Indy that cost the Pats the game, and now, believe it or not, Les Miles has successfully trumped that idiocy!

So here is the situation. It is 3rd and 19. LSU attempts a screen pass that gets blown up for a loss of 7 setting up 4th and 26 with 26 seconds left. Les Miles then inexplicably lets the clock wind down to 9 seconds before calling LSU's final timeout. What happens next is simply unbelieveable. And the call by Verne Lundquist one of the funniest end-of-game calls you will ever hear.

Really??? Spike the ball with 1 second left??? How dumb can you be? That FG may not be guaranteed to be off in time, but you have to have them ready to run out there so they can at least have the chance. The wasting of the clock after 3rd down before the last timeout, the not having your FG team ready in case of a 4th down completion for a 1st down and not a touchdown, as what happened, and then spiking the ball with 1 second left is completely hilarious.

That "MY GOSH!" may become my new phrase in the live blog whenever I'm pissed off at Andy Reid. Unbelieveable. That may be the funniest end of a game I have ever seen.

UConn Wins One For Jazz

After 3 excruciatingly rough losses following the loss of their teammate Jasper Howard, UConn finally won a game and they did so on the biggest of scales. It was not easy though. With a chance to win it in regulation, Notre Dame fumbled the ball and UConn recovered it. A big Dixon gain put them in field goal range. However, the FG with 3 seconds left was shanked and it went to overtime. After trading touchdowns in the first OT, UConn was able to hold ND to a field goal in the 2nd overtime. UConn then got the ball and a chance to respond. This was for Jazz.

Simply an incredible finish and while that may be the end of Charlie Weis' tenure in South Bend, the story of the day and of the game has to be UConn, finally winning a game since the death of Jasper Howard. Despite the tough last-second losses the past 3 games, they never gave up. Despite missing a game-winning field goal, they never gave up. And they persevered. And finally tonight, they prevailed. That is what heart is all about. Congrats to UConn. They deversve it.

As does Notre Dame. They deserve this as well.

FYI, as soon as the Randy Edsell interview is up on YouTube, I'll add it as an update. It will put a smile on your face and maybe even a lump in your throat.

Update: Here's a local news broadcast showing highlights of the game with an abridged version of the Edsell interview, but it's better than nothing, I guess. If the full version comes up, I will surely put that here instead.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flyers-Sharks Live Blog

49er16 is a Sharks fan. I'm a Flyers fan. This live blog is going to be a pure love fest, right?

Meet Your 2009 BCS Announcers!

Both Fox and ABC have decided to release their BCS announcers and I must say, there are definitley some surprises. I know that I normally save posts like these for when the whole schedule is released but seeing as I have a few quips and snarky comments, I'll post them with today's official release.

Rose Bowl - January 1 (ABC, Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit)
Allstate Sugar Bowl - January 1 (Fox - Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick)
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - January 4 (Fox - Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan)
FedEx Orange Bowl - January 5 (Fox - Dick Stockton and Charles Davis)
BCS National Championship Game - January 7 (ABC - Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit)

Fox has obviously decided to stick with their NFL pairings instead of reuniting the dreadful pairing of Brennaman and Mangina, but they may have instead created a whole new monster the likes of which this country has never seen before.

Dick Stockton is calling a BCS Game! As if he was not senile enough in an NFL booth, he is now going to be on the call of a college game, where surely the slight rule varifications will drive him to a greater depth of senility in the booth the likes of which this world has never seen before. Add to the fact that once again he is working with Charles Davis (And His Mangina) and the awfulness could reach epic heights.

That being said, isn't it sad when there is a list of 4 PbP announcers and the best one out of the 4 is Brent Musburger??? And isn't it even sadder when of the 3 Fox PbP guys, the best one is Sam Rosen? If Rosen can get a grasp of the college game, then there is a chance that he could overtake Musburger has the best PbP guy on the list. As far as analysts go, there is no doubt that Herbie will just blow all of the Fox guys away. End of story.

FOX and ABC release BCS bowl game announcers (Awful Announcing)

Scott Niedermayer's Stick Causes Fights

Having been to many a hockey game in my life, I can say that it is always a good time to see who gets named the star of the game and then seeing that player skate on the ice for a few seconds and wave to everyone. That being said, never in my life did I think that anything could ever go horribly wrong with it. Well, it turns out I'm wrong. Last night, after being named the star of the game, the classy veteran captain of the Anaheim Ducks, Scott Neidermayer thought it would be a good idea to and his hockey stick to a little girl in the audience. Good idea, terrible execution. Watch as the little girl does not exactly get the stick, but rather, 2 guys who, with the aid of lots of alcohol, channel their inner hockey player and get into a fight over the stick.

Good times! You gotta love Neidermayer's reaction to the whole thing as well. Helpless to do anything, he stood there and saw the whole thing.

In fact, during an interview, he was even asked a question about the sudden instabrawl that broke out.

Somehow I don't think that little girl will ever get that stick. What a shame as it was a really nice and classy gesture from Neidermayer that just went horribly and yet, very hilariously awry.

VIDEO: Fight breaks out over Neidermayer's stick (SB Nation)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

RIP Stefanie Spielman

Wow. What a rough day for college football, first the passing of Uga VII and now Chris Spielman's wife, Stefanie, has passed away as well. She died of the breast cancer that gripped her and the public, especially those in Ohio and the Columbus area at first in 1998. Here is the story as told by Central Ohio's 10TV.

In 1998, at 31, a biopsy confirmed [Stefanie Spielman's] fears, that she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the couple began their battle.

Without hesitation, Chris Spielman put his career on hold with the NFL's Buffalo Bills to be at his wife's side.

"For me, to leave (Stefanie) in Columbus and go play football in Buffalo would be against everything I stood for," Chris Spielman said.

"It meant the world to me," Stefanie Spielman said. "That's been the hardest part -- seeing him give up what he loves -- the best, for me."

The Spielmans said that they had two options when they learned about the cancer. The first was to quit. The second was to come out and fight the disease.

The couple fought with determination and a deep love.

Even talk show host Oprah Winfrey was moved by their story.

"You are about to hear an extraordinary story of love and devotion," Winfrey said at the start of her show. "What a man. What a woman."

Stefanie Spielman's story inspired others, 10TV's Andrea Cambern reported.

"Stefanie's Champions" would honor those, like Chris Spielman, who go above and beyond to help a friend or loved one get through a difficult time and care for a cancer patient.

One year after her breast cancer diagnosis, the Spielman's life was back on track.

"It feels like our life has gotten back to normal," she said. "That's how it's always been. (Chris has) been the one in the limelight and we've been there to support him, to love him, to cheer him on."

Doctors said there were no signs of the cancer and Chris planned to return to the NFL.

"It's so exciting for me and very emotional for me because I feel like we've been given a second chance," Stefanie Spielman said.

She did not let up. Her goal to raise money and awareness seemed to intensify with the second chance. Stefanie would run in the Race For The Cure and walk with college students.

"At the college level, I don't think (students) think about breast cancer but this is proof that they do," she said.

More good news came for the family. Macy Lynn Spielman was born.

She was the third of four children.

By all accounts, the Spielmans had taken on cancer and won. But in 2001, a serious setback occurred when a spot was found in Stefanie's lungs.

"We're going to fight this and do the best we can and we'll be together, no matter what," Chris Spielman said.

Cancer is a formidable foe. It sleeps and then surfaces before the battle begins again.

Chris Spielman was back on full duty as Stefanie's champion.

"Stefanie has shown me (that) this is an opportunity to make a difference again," Chris Spielman said. "I don't know why (and) don't want to ask why but this is an opportunity to make a difference again."

The Spielmans raised even more money for research and programs at The James, more than $6.5 million to date.

They visited the research labs at Ohio State to see exactly where donations would go. Stefanie saw firsthand how the money raised would help her and others battling the disease.

The battle continued for years, Cambern reported.

The last time that 10TV News sat down with Stefanie Spielman was in November 2008, when 10TV News anchorwoman Heather Pick died of the disease. The two were close friends. Stefanie spoke about Heather but it was clear that the sentiments were hers, too.

"Sometimes (Heather) felt it was a blessing to have a disease that put our mortality right in your face and let you live life in a different way (while) fully understanding that we're only here on earth for a certain amount of time and enjoying it and never taking anything for granted," Stefanie Spielman said.

Chris Spielman stood by himself at this year's Stefanie's Champions event. His love and life partner was not well enough to be by his side.

She was by his side, though, when Chris was recognized at Ohio Stadium on Sept. 5 during halftime of Ohio State's season opener. The crowd and his wife cheered his accomplishments, both on and off the field.

"Not many people get a chance to recognize their mission in life and Stefanie's mission has obviously been to be a proponent for breast cancer research," Chris Spielman said. "So this has been and certainly will continue to be an honorable quest we're on."
We may think that Chris Spielman is an awful analyst, but there is no doubt that him, Stefanie, and his whole family are incredible human beings and something that we should all aspire to live up to.

RIP Stefanie.


I'm not a huge fan of Georgia football, but the UGAs are probably the best live mascots there are. And sadly for Georgia, they will be moving on to the 8th. Uga VII has sadly passed away from a heart attack. From The Atlanta Journal Constitution

The cause of death was an apparent heart attack, longtime sideline reporter Loran Smith told the AJC.

"Uga has gone the way of all great bulldogs....up in the sky," Smith said.

Uga VII, named "Loran's Best" after the announcer, made his sideline debut on Aug. 30, 2008 in the Bulldogs' game vs. Georgia Southern. He compiled a record of 16-7 during his tenure, the shortest for any in the Uga family.

Since 1956, the University of Georgia's mascot has come from a line of solid-white English bulldogs named Uga, owned by Sonny and Cecelia Seiler of Savannah.

"We are all in a state of shock," Sonny Seiler said. "We had no warning whatsoever."

There will be no live mascot at Georgia¹s game on Saturday but a wreath will be placed on Uga VII¹s doghouse on the north sideline.
Oof. No word yet if the Seilers have an Uga VIII lined up, but that certainly is a touching gesture that the University of Georgia will have this Saturday.


Matthew Fleishman Does Not Take Kindly To Spelling A Name Differently

Ah yes, sometimes editors are enemies, and sometimes they are our best friends, exposing writers for who they really are and unintentionally humiliating them in the process. This is one of those latter cases.

We all remember back in the summer before the tradeline, right? Then we all know that the Blue Jays were asking several players from the Phillies for Roy Halladay, one of them being outfielder Dominic Brown.

Well, it turns out that technically there is no Dominic Brown on the Phillies. No, he was not traded and no this was not an imagined player. The media made a gigantic blunder. They had been spelling his name wrong the whole time! It's not the traditional Dominic Brown, but the correct spelling is Domonic Brown. This happened a few months ago.

So why am I bringing it up now?

Meet Matthew Fleishman of the Bucks Local News. He penned an article today on the Phillies hot stove. I don't know if any of you know this, but when writers want to denote something to the editors for an explanation that is not to be published they open up a parenthees and start a statement with *NFP:, which is short for Not For Publication. In said article Fleishman had one of these notes. It accidentally got published in the article. Now Fleishman is an apology to Domonic Brown. Why is that, you ask? While the actual article has since been taken down, Big League Stew managed to get a screenshot before it was.

So Domonic is an idiot because his parents spelled his name differently? I see....

To Fleishman's credit, he has issued an apology stating that "The only idiot in this case is me" but sometimes, it is best to get those notes to the editor in sticky note form, personal message thru Facebook, flat-out telling him, or just claim that idiots in the media have been spelling his name wrong the whole time, not Domonic himself.


Phillies hot stove is heating up (Bucks Local News)

Tim Lincecum Is An Inspiration To Weed Smokers Everywhere

Forget steroids, if you want to win a Cy Young in the NL, you go straight for the hard stuff, you go for the weed.

Congrats to the 2009 Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum.

Update: I had every intention of adding 49er16's pic earlier, but Blogger was being a bitch and not letting me upload pics, so the post came out as a little mean-spirited. I was simply joking around. If it makes you feel any better, I have 2 frozen internet windows that have not been shut down yet because I've been too lazy to restart my computer.

My sincerest congrats to Tim Lincecum winning his 2nd straight Cy Young. The right guy definitley won.

Since When Is Quintin Mikell Cole Hamels In A Clever Disguise?

Remember when Cole Hamels said after Game 3 of the World Series that he could not wait for the season to end? Well, let's play the Philadelphia Eagles version of this game and I give you it's star: Quintin Mikell!

Personally, I really like Mikell as a strong safety. If ever there was a guy on this team that could change the momentum of the game with one tackle, it is Mikell as his hits have to be right up there with Brian Dawkins' in terms of ferocity. That being said, the confidence he has in his team to go all the way this year is simply resounding. And by simply resounding, I mean no confidence at all. This screenshot is from Eagles Beat Reporter, Brian Seltzer's Twitter account. I understand that this is a big game and all, but saying that this game is your Super Bowl basically says that you are not getting to the Super Bowl when realistically, when the Eagles are on the game, they have to be considered one of the top 3 teams in the NFC. Their playoff hopes are without a doubt in great jeopardy, but this is just one regular season game, not a Super Bowl.

If the Eagles lose, they'll at worst only be 2 games out of the division. That's not out of the playoffs, that's not out of the wildcard, and that's not out of the Super Bowl. At the same time, momentum wise, those playoff hopes would be on life support. Despite the lack of success the Eagles have had on SNF, surely they can beat a team that's been even worse in primetime this year, right? So maybe Quintin is going with the pessimistic realism that I mastered during the World Series. It may not be that he does not believe his team can win the Super Bowl, it's that without a win, there may not be any reason to believe the Eagles will be in the Super Bowl.

If that makes any sense....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Your 32 FIFA World Cup Teams

It's official! With Uruguay's thrilling victory over Costa Rica, we now know all 32 teams that will be in the FIFA World Cup. Seeing as the list has gotten too big here are the teams broken down by soccer confederation.

AFC (Asia): Australia, Japan, South Korea, North Korea

ACF (Africa): South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

CONCACAF (North America, Central America, and Caribbean): United States, Mexico, Honduras

CONMEBOL (South America): Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay

OFC (Oceania): New Zealand

UEFA (Europe): Denmark, Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany, Spain, England, Serbia, Italy, The Netherlands, France, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia

The teams that are in each pot will be released on November 20 with the new FIFA rankings and the actual groups (along with the schedule of games) will be announced on December 4.

Before we get to it, here are a few of my random thoughts of the World Cup teams and what I look to see.

North Korea. Politically probably the most controversial nation in the World Cup, North Korea as of now is the lowest ranked team to qualify and from the looks of what I read, that will not change in a couple days. And while in all likelihood, they will not meet up with the United States, anytime they play a western team, the political stories could get rather interesting. Although the unintelligible intellectual masturbation that would come from tWWL on the politics of such a matchup would certainly ruin a lot of interest from a lot of people. You're ESPN, stay out of politics and political breakdowns.

Can an African team make a run at things? For the first time ever, the World Cup is in Africa, but the country hosting it is not exactly an African soccer powerhouse. At the same time, though, the Ivory Coast is in it. If I were to pick an African team to do some damage, I would pick the Ivory Coast with Didier Drogba, espeically with the Cote d'Ivoire gets put in the right group. Then things could get real interesting.

How will the U.S. do? Is Bob Bradley really Andy Reid in disguise? That team is so inconsistent under Bradley that I really don't see the U.S. doing much damage this year. If they end up in a weaker group, I could possibly see them getting to the Round of 16, but I would be really shocked if they get any farther than that.

Today was not a good day for Russian teams. Both Russia and the Ukraine lost their aggregates today and both are not in the World Cup, which sort of disappoints me as for me, the Russians are an incredibly fun team to watch and my great great grandfather came to the United States from Kiev, then a part of Russia, now a part of Ukraine. At the same time, congrats to Slovenia on the huge upset and while the Swedes were unable to get in (thus rendering useless my Ibrahimovic Inter Milan jersey for the World Cup), Denmark is in. I've been in Denmark and Copenhagen is truly a magnificent and beautiful city.

And with Thierry Henry's Hand of God goal earlier today, the 06 World Cup runner-ups are dancing once again. I don't know what it is, but I just have a bad feeling about the French in the World Cup this year.

Like I said, the pots will be announced on Friday, November 20. While that is just the set up for the seeding, it will provide 2 weeks worth of fodder and talk before the group stage

La Main de Dieu

It is quite safe to say that today's Ireland-France World Cup qualifying was slightly controversial.

How controversial, you ask? Well, the winning eventual clinching goal for the French in extra time consisted of a missed offsides call and the Hand of Thierry Henry God striking down on the Irish.

That game would go on to end up tied at 1, thus securing a World Cup birth to the French due to the fact that they won 1-0 in Dublin 4 days ago. You don't have to a math major to know that that means that France wins the aggregate 2-1 and Les Bleus will be going to l'Afrique Sud.

Once the Uruguay-Costa Rica game ends, I'll have a list up of your 32 World Cup teams.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The FARNies!

Happy 1-year anniversary to my blog! I am celebrating it by live blogging over at KSJ ESPN's Midnight Madness. Oh, and studying for an exam as well. Yeah, forgot about that part. Anyways, here is myself heaping praise upon myself boring my readers to tears because I can't control my own ego are your winners!

The best live blog goes to.......

Other! List in comments section!

Well, only one was listed, and seeing as I think it's still active, I'll link to it anyway, ladies and gentlemen, the mun2 Mexico-USA live blog open thread!

I miss Guadelupe.

And now the reward for best rant.

In a somewhat surprising no contest. The winner is........

My rant after the Deadskins loss!

This weekend was the absolute perfect weekend. Perfect. Everything went beautifully. Beautifully. This was gonna be it. The week where Philadelphia magic once again happened. Everything was so beautifully laid out.

Too beautifully laid out. It was too easy. Everything was there and now it's come and gone. Dallas got humiliated the last game at Texas Stadium, Tampa Bay lost. Yeah, the Bucs lost! That's what the Eagles needed. This was going to be the greatest day in Philadelphia sports since Wednesday, October 29, 2008! All the Eagles needed to do was beat the Redskins. The measly Redskins who have been laying a turds in their last 6 games.........

The Eagles were the ones who laid the turd. It was all nice and polished as well. When the Eagles knew that they could win out and get in the playoffs with a Tampa loss, what happened? I, I'm speechless. HOW IN THE BLUE HELL DO YOU PLAY LIKE THAT WHEN YOU KNOW THAT ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS WIN OUT?!?!?!

The Detroit Lions, despite being 0-15 and getting blown out by New Orleans, looked like a more competent football team. No wait, I take that back. The Detroit Lions' offense was more competent than the Eagles' offense.

Eagles fan couldn't have been happier with the play of the defense. Time after time the Redskins would get the ball at midfield and time and time again the Skins went 3-and out. At least half of the team showed up. At least half of the team wanted to win. At least half of the team cared.

Cared. That's the keyword. Where was the passion from the offense? Where? What happened? There was no life. Balls were dropped left and right and right and left. McNabb constantly threw behind his receivers. It's as if they were going through the motions. Like they didn't want to be there.

And they couldn't have been happier with where they ended up playing! Look, not everyone can end up in sunny, 70 degree, Tampa Bay, but did they not realize how lucky they were! Teams ended up playing in snow. The weather in Kansas City was 10 degrees. The kickoff temperature tonight in Chicago is 5 degrees! 5 DEGREES! FAHRENHEIT! Comparitively speaking, the weather last night in Landover, MD was 41 degrees at kickoff.

So what was the problem then? Why? Why play like garbage in the game you need most? Why throw away everything you got back after tying the Bengals and getting creamed by the Redskins? Why? Somebody please tell me why.

As much as I want to start the "FIRE ANDY REID!" chant for abandoning the run in the second half, the offense was just as futile in the 1st half when they were running the ball. But alas, we all know Andy Reid. That being said, though, he's not off the hook. I don't even need to watch his press conferences to know what he said. I'm sure it was something along the lines of, "It was my fault." or "I have to do a better job at getting our team prepared." or "We got outplayed by a better team" or "I was really craving a cheesesteak at the time and couldn't concentrate."

Okay, that last one was meant as a joke. But what happened last night was not a joke? Do you really expect, Coach Reid, that you can please Philadelphians with that kind of performance. Do can you, sir, honestly be proud of yourself? Can you be proud of the Eagles? Do you honestly feel, sir, that the Eagles gave it 100% last night. And lastly, and maybe most important of all, can you, Coach Andrew Walter Reid, look yourself in the mirror and not be ashamed of yourself? If you can, then you should never coach another game in the NFL again.
I honestly think that was the most pissed I ever was over a result while doing this blog, so in a way, I'm happy it won. Of course, we all know how that whole scenario turned out, but good grief that Week 16 game was pathetic to watch.

Moving on to posts less about me.

The best moment of porn goes to.........

A 3-WAY TIE!!!!!!!!!!

Ernie "Keep Fucking That Chicken" Arnastos, Super Bowl porn in Tuscon, Arizona, and the Hurricane fan are all winners! So now, sit back, relax, and if you're into this kind of stuff, get hard! (don't worry; nothing is R or X-rated)

Good stuff.

And now for a real moment of TMI, I actually saw the unedited Super Bowl porn clip and frankly, I am yet to figure out how that guy got that job. The porn industry must be on a tiny decline, if you know what I mean.

And now an award we can all relate too, the douche bag of the year award! This award is for not only being a douche but for having douchiness on top of the already douchy douchiness that you possess. And your winner is........

Keith Olbermann!

Kidding. Obviously. Not even the infamous, deplorable Olbermann comes anywhere close on the level of douchiness as the obvious winner (although not as obvious as I thought it would be, which was unanimous)........

Officer Robert Powell.

As a reminder, watch this again.

As much as I bash Olbermann, Fuckface Jones, and Cowherd here, not even them combined come close to the level of douchiness of Powell.

And lastly, the most prostegious award of them all: The Golden Mic. The winner of the Golden Mic Award is..........


The parity was too much and she eeked out a victory 2-1-1-1.

Well, those are your FARNies for the year. And while not up for any award, I leave with what I personally feel is the overall video of the year.

9 months later and I still have not gotten an answer to the simple question of what.......the..........hell?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Your Week 11 NFL Schedule

I'm going to type this one up very quick as I've got a basketball game to live blog in 20 minutes. We're over at KSJ and somehow we'll try to go a good portion of the night and afternoon.

Thursday Night Football
Miami Dolphins @ Carolina Panthers 8:20 (NFL Network - Bob Papa and Matt Millen)

Map of who gets what Fox game

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys 1:00 (Fox - Joe Buck and Troy Aikman)
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants 1:00 (Fox - Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, and Tony Siragusa)
Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings 1:00 (Fox - Dick Stockton and Charles Davis)
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 (Fox - Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan)

Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams 4:05 (Fox - Ron Pitts and John Lynch)

Map of who gets what early CBS game

Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 (CBS - Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Rich Gannon)
Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions 1:00 (CBS - Don Criqui and Randy Cross)
Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 (CBS - Bill Macatee and Steve Beuerlein)

Map of who gets what CBS late game

New York Jets @ New England Patriots 4:15 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Phil Simms)
San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos 4:15 (CBS - Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts)
Cincinnati Bengals @ Oakland Raiders 4:15 (CBS - Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots)

Sunday Night Football
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears 8:20 (NBC - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth)

Monday Night Football
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans 8:30 (ESPN - Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden)

49er16 And I Are Going To Attempt The Improbable

Well, him more than I. We are currently working out plans to live blog all of Midnight Madness tonight. We're going to be setting up shop over at midnight where I'll take the reigns for UCLA-Cal State Fullerton. Come join me if you like staying up late.

Me, I'll proceed to go to bed, go to class, join you for 35 minutes from 10:50 to 11:25 when I'll have to go to a meeting with a professor followed by lunch with my friend and a brief study session for an upcoming exam tomorrow. After that, my times will be more flexible and I will be in and out for the rest of the day.

2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification (UPDATED FOR THE LAST TIME - 11/18)

So I have decided to take up the unenviable task of documenting the last few stages of World Cup qualification. I have listed below the current standings for each confederation's World Cup qualification competition, if you will. And in case you are not familiar with what is needed to qualify in each confederation (because each is different with each getting a different amount into the FIFA World Cup I will try to have a link up on the side of the blog so that you can check it whenever and hopefully I will be on top of this and update it after every game is played (I can't guarantee you immediate updating; it may take me a day or 2 or so)). Also linked at the bottom for your conveinence is the standings pages on both Wiki and the FIFA website (I link Wiki as well because the FIFA site uses the European system of dating, which is not the same as ours; i.e. instead of today being 3/30/09, in Europe and on the site it is written as 30/3/09.) Listed below are each confederation and the amount of points each team has in its respective group (if there are multiples); click on the links for more info!
Note: Teams with a line through them have been eliminated. Example
Note: Teams in bold have advanced to the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) As a result of defeating Saudi Arabia in a 2-match series, Bahrain has advanced to a playoff with OFC champion, New Zealand. The winner of this 2-game series will advance to the 2010 FIFA World Cup

New Zealand wins the aggregate 1-0 over Bahrain to advance to World Cup.

Confederation of African Football (CAF) (The winner of each of the 5 groups will advance to the World Cup) As a result of it being the host nation, South Africa has automatically qualified for the World Cup)

Group 1
Cameroon - 13 points
Gabon - 9 points
Togo -85 points
Morocco - 3 points

Group B
Nigeria - 12 points
Tunisia - 11 points
Mozambique - 7 points
Kenya - 3 points

Group C
Algeria - 13 points
Egypt - 13 points
Zambia - 5 points
Rwanda - 2 point

Group D
Ghana - 13 points
Benin - 10 points
Mali - 9 points
Sudan - 1 point

Group E
Cote d'Ivoire - 16 points
Burkina Faso - 12 points
Malawi - 4 points
Guinea - 3 points

CONCACAF and CONMEBOL (As a result of coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively in CONCACAF, the United States, Mexico, and Honduras have qualified for the World Cup out of CONCACAF. As a result of coming in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place respectively, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina have qualified for the World Cup out of CONMEBOL. The 4th place team in CONCACAF, Costa Rica will not face the 5th place team in CONMEBOL, Uruguay in a home and home playoff series with the team achieving the greater aggregate score advancing to the World Cup)

Next game day: November 18:
Costa Rica vs. Uruguay (Uruguay wins the aggregate 2-1)

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) (The top 8 second place teams have advanced to a playoffs. These playoffs will be a home and home series with the winner of each individual series advancing to the World Cup)

Next game day: November 18
Republic of Ireland vs. France (France wins the aggregate 2-1)
Portugal vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina (Portugal wins the aggregate 2-0)
Greece vs. Ukraine (Greece wins the aggregate 1-0)
Russia vs. Slovenia (Slovenia wins the aggregate 2-2 via road goals).

Teams that have qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup:
South Africa
Korea Republic (a.k.a. South Korea)
Korea DPR (a.k.a. North Korea)
Cote d'Ivoire
United States
New Zealand

Standings on on the other confederation links to see the other standings)
Standings on Wiki

Colts Comeback To Beat Pats As Bill Belichick Makes Andy Reid Look Like Bill Walsh

That, my friends, is a statement that I never thought I would write. Ever. In a million years.

But alas, it happened. If you don't know the story by now, then welcome back from the rock that you just spent the last hour or 2 or under and let me fill you in.

The Patriots were up by 6 with 2:30 left with the ball at their own 30. They call a timeout. They ran a first play handoff for no gain. Timeout Indy. 2nd and 10 a pass to Welker over the middle. Timeout Indy, 1 remaining. 3rd down a pass to the sidelines nearly picked off and incomplete. 2:11 to go. The Pats then call their last timeout. The Patriots then decide to do the inexplicable, line up as if they were going for a 4th down. Okay, maybe this is an offsides draw or something (although the Pats have no timeouts; they might have been willing to take the delay of game) but no. They snap it. The pass to Faulk........and this happened.....

Caught but short of the marker. Pats fans everywhere are screaming that Faulk had that but in my view, he was bobbling all the way to the ground. And even if I am wrong and that should have been a first down, for all the calls that the Pats get and screw other teams with, this is karma giving them a big ole bite on the backside (reading all the Pats fans complain about the officiating is PRICELESS HILARITY). Regardless, no replay review because the play happened before the 2-minute warning. So surely the Hoodie can challenge as Michaels alluded to, but one thing, HOODY WASTED THE LAST TIMEOUT ALREADY!!!!! (sidenote: No one bothered to correct Michaels as he made that mistake on the other side of the warning). Manning now has the ball at the New England 33 with 1-timeout and 2-minutes to work with. Was there ever a doubt in anyone's mind that this would end up happening, despite the fact that Manning was not having his best game?

Manning to Reggie Wayne for the touchdown!!!!

Pats would get the ball with the time remaining and would attempt what appeared to be a hook and ladder type play, although there is no way to be sure as the execution of it was every bit of awful as you can imagine.

Bill Belichick going for it to begin with though makes no sense whatsoever. Even if they do convert, there is still the 2-minute warning and the Colts still do have a timeout so the Pats can't just run out the clock with a conversion. Colts could still hold, give Manning the ball back with 30 or so seconds left, and even though there would be no timeouts, that would not be a gimme for the Pats. You can't say that with every NFL QB, but with Manning and as quick and efficient as he can work, it's certainly a possibility. The best move would be to trust your defense to force Indy to drive the entire length of the field. As mentioned above, Manning was not having his best game and the New England D was making a lot of plays. With all the talk about Belichick having confidence in his offense, you have to have confidence in your defense to force that stop or else there ain't no way in hell the Pats will even come close to the Super Bowl this year.

I must say, though, I feel bad for the Jets. The Hoodie will surely hang 77 on them after the questionning and criticism that he gets this week.

And as if the hilarity of it all was not enough, watch as Bill Belichick's security guard misplaces some of his aggression, which in this case will also be known as shoving down a camera man!

Suck it New England. You deserve this.

Update: To preserve this moment forever on this blog (the YouTubes will be down soon enough), here's a link to highlights courtesy of

Sunday, November 15, 2009

On Anniversary Of The Week I Started This Blog, Andy Reid Reminds Me Why I Did

McNabb had 450 yards.

Jason Avant has a break out game.

The Eagles got a pair of redzone TDs.

Surely they won the game, right?

Not so fast. Thanks to horrible coaching by the master of it, Andy Reid truly did win the Battle of Inept Coaching. Being way too passive early in the game including not running a QB sneak during a 3-play series of down and goal at the 1 and then not going for it on 4th down despite never losing yeards combined with early failed redzone conversions and other field goal attempts when the Eagles should have gone for it on 4th down resulted in the loss.

Make no mistake about it, they deserved to lose that game. But make no mistake about it, they damn sure should have won it. The Chargers and Norv got completely passive on defense at the end of the game by playing a soft zone instead of bringing what was effective in the first couple of drives when the Eagles could not move the ball for the life of them.

Reid blew what would have been two critical timeouts in the 2nd half. And while the offense eventually got a rhythm, the Eagles 4-minute defense is just deplorable. They could not get the stop last week against Dallas and they failed to do so again until much too late this week against San Diego. As much as I hate to say it, the Eagles really do miss Jim Johnson.

Another thing they need to do: avoid penalites. Penalties killed so many drives that game it is not even funny. Bad discipline will kill you each and every single time, especially when you play as inconsistent as the Eagles like to do.

Just a terrible coaching performance by Reid wasting a stellar performance by Jason Avant who channeled his inner Miles Austin and a very good performance by Donovan McNabb who despite early struggles, threw for 450 yards and did not make any major mistakes.

NFL Week 10 Live Blog

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ye Olde Captain Responds To The Brent Celek Controversy

We all remember the Brent Celek-guerrilla ad campaign-Captain Morgan controversy from a few weeks ago, right? Well, in this exclusive video the Captain made for Blogs With Balls, for the first time since the TD, the Captain has spoken. Here are his words.

There's not arguing with those words from Ye Olde Captain. And wait, was that a challenge to do it anyway that I heard at the end? Good stuff and frankly, I would like to see someone try it this Sunday, although I'd prefer that person not to be an Eagle in case Goddell's big penalty just so happens to be a suspension.

Westbrook To Play This Sunday At San Diego

One of the big questions coming into the San Diego game was whether or not Brian Westbrook will be able to plahy or not. It looks like the we have an answer and that answer is yes. From

Westbrook, who also has been bothered by a sore ankle, practiced twice this week. He deemed himself ready to go Friday before the team left for its flight to California.

"I'm feeling a lot better," Westbrook said. "I'm ready to go."

Westbrook, already limited much of this season with knee and ankle injuries, suffered the concussion when he took a knee to the head in the Eagles' Oct. 26 win over the Washington Redskins.

Westbrook sat out one game and practiced last week before Philadelphia's game against Dallas, but ended up sitting out because of a headache. Reid said there should not be a similar problem this week.

In the five games Westbrook has played this season, he has split time in the backfield with rookie running back LeSean McCoy, the team's second-round draft pick from Pitt. For the season, Westbrook has carried the ball 41 times for 197 yards, an average of 4.8 yards per carry, and has scored one touchdown. His longest run was 25 yards against Oakland. He has also caught 17 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.

Asked what Westbrook was listed for Sunday's game, Eagles coach Andy Reid said, "Playing."
While he is officially listed as probable, by the looks of things there is no way he's not playing.

Despite that, though, I have mixed feelings about Westbrook. For one, I think he is the most overrated player on the Eagles. ESPN, Fox, and CBS like to talk about how critical he is to this team, and frankly, now that Shady McCoy is here, I don't see it. He is explosive on the screen pass (although if executed right, very many a running back can be explosive on the screen) and he is a really good blocker, which frankly, is the only skill that Westbrook has that Shady does not have. It also helps Shady's cause that I see him being an effective 30-carry a game back whereas with Westbrook, if he gets 15 carries in the game, chances are he'll go down with an injury his 16th. Now if Andy Reid really wants to get creative with the run game, what he can do is a New York Giants circa 2008 with an Earth, Wind, and Fire combination with Weaver, Westbrook, and Shady, but a 3-headed monster requires that Andy Reid stick with at minimum a balanced attack and we all know Reid's history with that. Shady would get most of the workload, Westbrook can get 5 carries to the outside and a bunch of screen passes, and Church Van Weaver can get the yards up the middle on 2nd and short and 3rd and short. This is the first time in his entire tenure at the Eagles that Andy Reid had a competent running full back who can get the yards up the middle, and from the way he has given him the ball in the past few games, that is something that Reid likes a lot.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Countdown with JFein

I've teased this on Twitter and I teased this earlier today, and now, you will finally see it. This may be one of the greatest things that I have ever done in my sports blogging career, even though it does not have much to do with sports. It's my first podcast ever and I will use it to parody Keith Olbermann and Countdown! You guys don't know how long I've wanted to do this for.

Regardless, whether you are an Olbermann fan or not a fan, I am hopeful that you will find this funny. It is a parody that's not meant to be taken too seriously nor is it in any way shape or form, a representation of my personal political views. The fact that I bring up an issue in someway in this satirical piece of Keith Olbermann, does in no way representat my actual stance on the issue, whether I be for what I am saying or against what I am saying.

I rehearsed this a bunch and pretty much know it inside and out, but everytime I play back the Musto part, I can't help but crack up. Not that all the inside jokes and jabs and sarcastic ironies are not funny, but Musto gets me everytime. And yes, that whole 11 minutes and 30 seconds was my voice and only my voice.

And I don't know about you, but personally I think my Keith Olbermann doing Tad Baxter as Bill O'Reilly was spot on if you ask me.

Happy TWLOHA Day

I'm hopefully working on a great comedy piece that you will probably either absolute love or despise profusely. I will try to get it up either tonight or early tomorrowm however, it is using a technology and the aid of a website that I have never used before on this computer, so if I can't get that to work, then all my work would have been in vain. No big deal about that though, I've had a blast writing it.

Anyways, this post is something much more serious than that. Today, as maybe some of you may but most of you probably don't know, is TWLOHA day. TWLOHA (pronounced like "aloha" only with a TW in front of it) stands for To Write Love On Her Arms and is a chartiy and a non-profit movement "dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery". I found out about the group earlier this year from someone I went to high school with. She is actually the one responsible for getting a TWLOHA chapter at Bloom and is thus the current president. But anyways, she kept putting links up about it on Facebook, and having never heard of it before, I checked all them out and found myself enthralled with the idea and concept of the group. While luckily, neither I nor my family nor my circuit of really close friends have ever been affected by depression, self-injury, addiction, and suicide, there are people who have and as a future educator, I am (sadly) probably going to encounter a few who have and (even more sadly) a few who themselves suffer from it. I joined the group with the most sincere intentions of educating myself in helping others as I have no course in college that deals with helping people get help who have these kinds of problems. I'm not a therapist and I will never claim to be, however if I can be around and establish a support system in which I can send my future students to that need help, it will make all the difference in the world to me.

I am typing it now, because as mentioned in the title, today is TWLOHA Day. While I wish I could give you an explanation as to why thbat day is November 13, frankly, I can't. It is not something that the group itself came up with, according to the founder in a blog post today, but rather, just one of those things that just happened. I wish I could give you more, but frankly, I can't and I'm not sure if there is anyone out there who can.

Regardless, tomorrow the BU Chapter of TWLOHA is hosting a benefit show that I will proudly be working from 3:30 to midnight. We have a bunch of local bands coming to play. The concert itself is designed to raise awareness about the aforementioned issues that TWLOHA promotes. I am greatly looking forward to it and will probably be having a great time.

I have posted below the story of the founding of TWLOHA as told by the founder of the group, himself.

(Warning: there is some explicit content in here as well as some strong religious references. These are not my words nor do they necessarily represent my religious views and beliefs).

Renee is 19. When I meet her, cocaine is fresh in her system. She hasn't slept in 36 hours and she won't for another 24. It is a familiar blur of coke, pot, pills and alcohol. She has agreed to meet us, to listen and to let us pray. We ask Renee to come with us, to leave this broken night. She says she'll go to rehab tomorrow, but she isn't ready now. It is too great a change. We pray and say goodbye and it is hard to leave without her.

She has known such great pain; haunted dreams as a child, the near-constant presence of evil ever since. She has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide. Her arms remember razor blades, fifty scars that speak of self-inflicted wounds. Six hours after I meet her, she is feeling trapped, two groups of "friends" offering opposite ideas. Everyone is asleep. The sun is rising. She drinks long from a bottle of liquor, takes a razor blade from the table and locks herself in the bathroom. She cuts herself, using the blade to write "FUCK UP" large across her left forearm.

The nurse at the treatment center finds the wound several hours later. The center has no detox, names her too great a risk, and does not accept her. For the next five days, she is ours to love. We become her hospital and the possibility of healing fills our living room with life. It is unspoken and there are only a few of us, but we will be her church, the body of Christ coming alive to meet her needs, to write love on her arms.

She is full of contrast, more alive and closer to death than anyone I've known, like a Johnny Cash song or some theatre star. She owns attitude and humor beyond her 19 years, and when she tells me her story, she is humble and quiet and kind, shaped by the pain of a hundred lifetimes. I sit privileged but breaking as she shares. Her life has been so dark yet there is some soft hope in her words, and on consecutive evenings, I watch the prettiest girls in the room tell her that she's beautiful. I think it's God reminding her.

I've never walked this road, but I decide that if we're going to run a five-day rehab, it is going to be the coolest in the country. It is going to be rock and roll. We start with the basics; lots of fun, too much Starbucks and way too many cigarettes

Thursday night she is in the balcony for Band Marino, Orlando's finest. They are indie-folk-fabulous, a movement disguised as a circus. She loves them and she smiles when I point out the A&R man from Atlantic Europe, in town from London just to catch this show.

She is in good seats when the Magic beat the Sonics the next night, screaming like a lifelong fan with every Dwight Howard dunk. On the way home, we stop for more coffee and books, Blue Like Jazz and (Anne Lamott's) Travelling Mercies.

On Saturday, the Taste of Chaos tour is in town and I'm not even sure we can get in, but doors do open and minutes after parking, we are on stage for Thrice, one of her favorite bands. She stands ten feet from the drummer, smiling constantly. It is a bright moment there in the music, as light and rain collide above the stage. It feels like healing. It is certainly hope.

Sunday night is church and many gather after the service to pray for Renee, this her last night before entering rehab. Some are strangers but all are friends tonight. The prayers move from broken to bold, all encouraging. We're talking to God but I think as much, we're talking to her, telling her she's loved, saying she does not go alone. One among us knows her best. Ryan sits in the corner strumming an acoustic guitar, singing songs she's inspired.

After church our house fills with friends, there for a few more moments before goodbye. Everyone has some gift for her, some note or hug or piece of encouragement. She pulls me aside and tells me she would like to give me something. I smile surprised, wondering what it could be. We walk through the crowded living room, to the garage and her stuff.

She hands me her last razor blade, tells me it is the one she used to cut her arm and her last lines of cocaine five nights before. She's had it with her ever since, shares that tonight will be the hardest night and she shouldn't have it. I hold it carefully, thank her and know instantly that this moment, this gift, will stay with me. It hits me to wonder if this great feeling is what Christ knows when we surrender our broken hearts, when we trade death for life.

As we arrive at the treatment center, she finishes: "The stars are always there but we miss them in the dirt and clouds. We miss them in the storms. Tell them to remember hope. We have hope."
This story occured a few years. Renee is still sober.

Rescue is possible. Love is the movement.