Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Football Time

West Virginia high school football begins tomorrow. College football kinda began tonight and the real stuff starts Saturday. West Virginia football begins at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. So, it's time for some predictions. I'm tired, so nothing much except for predictions that don't mean anything...

East Fairmont 24 - Elkins 21 - I've said it before, I'll say it again: East Fairmont always beats Elkins. I don't know just always happens. If East goes 1-9, they'll beat Elkins. Sorry Tigers...

West Fairmont 31 - RCB 16 - RCB has never turned into the football powerhouse they should be. West Fairmont should be pretty good this year.

University 34 - North Marion 12 - The losing streak is definitely not ending in Week 1.

Morgantown 27 - Morgantown 24 - This should be a good game. Morgantown was definitely down last year. Don't expect them to be there long.

Alabama 27 - Clemson 17 - Welcome to Alabama, Coach Saban!

Utah 32 - Michigan 28 - Welcome to Michigan, Coach Rodriguez!

West Virginia 56 - Villanova 13 - And, lastly, welcome home Coach Stewart!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shock on First Day of Football

Shock. Confusion. Dismay. Anger. All words that could describe the atmosphere following the shocking outcome of Saturday's game as West Virginia faced Division I FCS (formerly Division II) opponent Villanova. The #8 Mountaineers struggled down the stretch and couldn't score at the end of the game when it mattered most and lost to the Wildcats 17-14.

"Dagggummit," said new WVU head coach Bill Stewart. "I just don't know what happened out there. Pat's injury hurt us but we're playing a Division II team for goodness sake. Probably shouldn't lose those."

Senior quarterback Pat White was injured early in the second quarter while attempting a punt return and never returned to the game.

"It seemed like a good idea," White said following the game. "I'm fast and tough. I can return a punt if I want to. Who's going to tell me no? I should be fine before the East Carolina, thankfully."

The Mountaineers quickly exhausted the depth chart as starting running back Noel Devine was called out on a family emergency, backup QB Jarrett Brown went to the hospital with Pat White and the first team defense was at King Family Restaurant.

"It was Villanova. And we were hungry," said Reed Williams. "They play Division II football at Villanova. I honestly thought it was another scrimmage. You mean that really counts?"

The loss reminded many of Michigan's loss to Appalachian State last year. Which is ironic considering who is at Michigan now.

"Those things happen. They wouldn't have happened if West Virginia had given me what I had earned but, hey, I'm happy to be a Wolverine for the rest of my days," said the Coach that will not be named.

The Mountaineers had high hopes for a BCS title game coming into the season. That would seem far-fetched at this point in the season.

"Well, I guess it's back to the drawing board," Coach Stewart said in the post-game interview. "I just can't believe the defense didn't show up. Literally, they weren't there. I guess they went to King's Family Restaurant and had the buffett. I mean, it's a good buffett but there's football to play. It's pretty disappointing. I was hungry too but there was a game."

Disappointing might be putting it mildly for Mountaineer fans who paid a substantial increase in tickets to see a Mountaineer squad that is supposed to challenge for a national title.

"Are you kidding me?" said one Mountaineer fan who didn't want to be identified. "I spent my kid's college money to watch the Mountaineers and they lost to Villanova. I think I'm going to be sick."

It was an ugly scene in Morgantown on Saturday night as Mountaineer fans took to the street demanding some satisfaction. None was to be found though, so they just went home. The Mountaineers try to get back on track next Saturday as they travel to Greenville, NC to face East Carolina. Hopefully the defense makes the trip and Pat White decides to play quarterback. Only time will tell what longterm damage has been done to this one-time national contender.


This was satire. I don't want WVU to lose. They won't lose. I was just bored. (But can you imagine the absolute outpouring of disgruntled fans if they did. It would pale in comparison to what I typed...)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Erase Five Bands

Kinda interesting to see and hear what bands people would erase from history. It sounds pretty simple...pick five bands you really hate and erase them. But when I got to thinking about it, I realized that it was very, very difficult to pick only five. I'm going to go through some bands that just missed the cut...and, don't get mad, I even own CDs from some of these groups...I'm just not sure it's necessary.

There's a whole genre of new rock out there that I can't stand. The group "Type O Negative" epitomizes this music. I could look beyond the heaviness of the rock if it weren't for all the screaming. There's actually a little musicality there but I can't stand screaming and growling in music. Sing the song with some god-given talent...don't just yell in a microphone. Not all their songs are like that either...just had to make some though. I would erase all those bands if I could.

I could probably also do without all the artists like Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, etc., but it's not worth the effort to put them on the list. Also, dump Country music all's basically turned into pop music anyway so I'm not sure why it remains its own genre (except for the lyrics...) And I could do without a lot of one-hit wonder groups, especially the dance ones like Los Del Rio, Rednex, Quad City DJs and Toni Basil.

Anyway, here goes:

Kid Rock
Metallica - Yeah, I cannot stand Metallica. Get over it.
U2 - This is not the greatest band ever.
New Bon Jovi - A country album? Are you serious?
Aerosmith - One the '90s hit, this band sucked. "Crazy," "Cryin'" -- how about pukin'.

So, those are 5 "artists" I would definitely erase if I could. There are far more that I would put on the chopping block but those five are pretty good. Popular and poor, in my not so humble opinion.

Feel free to keep contributing your ideas. I was surprised to see Nirvana on a couple lists...but, hey, to each his or her own, right?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Stolen from

Yes, I'm borrowing this from Fark...answer if you want. Or don't...I just don't have any opinions this morning:

You get to erase 5 bands from music history. Who do you choose?

Submit your answers and I'll give mine on Monday probably.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lower Drinking Age?

I don't know that I even want to get into this one too deep. 100 university presidents recently came out in favor of lowering the legal drinking age from 21 to 18. Their argument in support of a lower drinking age is the abundance of binge drinking on college campuses. By lowering the drinking age, students won't "binge" because, well, they'll have easier access to alcohol. If you have access, you won't feel like you need to drink excessively when alcohol is available. Opponents say that lowering the drinking age won't end binge drinking, will make alcohol more accessible to younger people and will increase drunk driving.

Honestly, I don't have much of an opinion either way. The fact is that the legal drinking age isn't enforced rigorously at this point so changing the age doesn't matter. Even with all the regulations in place, people under 21 can still walk into a liquor store and buy whatever they want without hassle. Police could easily track underage parties and bust them up but they choose to look the other way. If no one enforces the laws that are currently on the books, then what makes the difference on whether the age is 21, 29 or 12. Lowering the age is not going to prevent binge drinking. Only education of the dangers will make any difference. But, as Obama said, these decisions are "above my pay grade."

More disconcerting to me, and receiving less attention, is the recent report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. The report states that nineteen percent of teenagers found it easier to purchase prescription drugs than cigarettes, beer or marijuana, compared with 13 percent a year ago. A quarter of the teens said it is easiest to buy marijuana, with 43 percent of 17-year-olds saying they could buy the drug in less than an hour.

Why is this not receiving the attention it deserves? There is a serious drug problem in this country and the accessibility for high school students (and younger) has never been higher. Lowering the drinking age is a distraction from the real problems facing our culture. The abuse of prescription pills and other drugs is real and it's happening everywhere and no one will recognize the problem. Some counties in West Virginia have stated planned initiatives for addressing the issue but it's too little. Some people act as though it's not a real issue because, hey, doctors prescribe these drugs so how bad can it be?

School officials need to work with police to begin addresses these problems now. They're already out of control...allowing them to build will make it impossible to ever change. Students are not afraid of getting caught because no one is attempting to catch them. Without even the fear of punishment, why would anyone ever change their ways? Do students have to die before people local officials will admit there is an issue? Give it time and it will happen. It's a shame we have to wait that long.

Anyway, got off on a tangent there a bit...but, really, it's all related in some way. Hopefully someone will address these issues sooner than later.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Phelps Effect

Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals. That's pretty impressive. So he's a national celebrity now, which is cool. And he'll come back to the States to a hero's welcome, which he deserves. But, honestly, 2 months from now will it really matter? Sure, he'll always be able to do a television commericial or two and years from now he'll show up at the Olympics and everyone will be impressed (Hello, Mary Lou...) but, let's face it, it's swimming.

I'm not saying anything bad about swimming. Everyone can swim but not at a competitive level. It's a very demanding sport. But it's not going to translate into everyone deciding to swim. Phelps can't impact the sport of swimming like Lance Armstrong impacted cycling or Tiger Woods impacted golf. Everyone can buy a bicycle and go for a ride and everyone can buy some clubs and give it a go but not everyone can, or will, hop in a pool. What I'm saying is that the long-term effects of Phelps' amazing feats will pale in comparison to those of Woods and Armstrong.

Does it really matter? No. Phelps will still be a millionaire many times over and will always have loving fans. But don't pretend like Phelps is going to make millions of swimmers out of the American populace. Just isn't going to happen. Just isn't the right sport.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Jonas Desk

Well, I just returned from a week out of the office and fully anticipated the worst. I figured I would have to spend my first 3 hours back trying to clean up the mess that was left for me. Would it be cups half full of water? My office full of balloons? Or maybe worse?

To my surprise, I was able to get in my office this morning and the damage was, thankfully, minimal. I now have the Jonas Brothers desk...which was clever and well executed. The inconvenience is just minimal enough that I haven't bothered to remove it yet but the embarassment I feel from everyone who sees it is just enough to make it very annoying. It will take a good half hour or so to remove the packing tape that is holding down the pictures and I haven't found the time or will to start cutting yet. So, on the scale of good office pranks, it ranks pretty high in my opinion. Here are the pictures for your enjoyment:

Pretty funny if you ask me. Of course, I question why someone would be able to so quickly find so many pictures of the Jonas Brothers. Perhaps the assailant is a member of the Jonas Brothers fan club? Yeah, that's probably it. Regardless, it was funny and it really livens up my office...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympics or Gasoline

What do you think Americans are more excited about: Olympic medals or lower gas prices? My money goes on the gas prices. Driving through Bridgeport Friday, I noticed gas is down to $3.66 and is expected to drop to $3.50 by the end of the month. Sixty-cents off per gallon, which will save me about $10.00 per fill-up. That's not chump-change...adds up to $40.00 in savings per month. Which is nice. Who would have guessed oil would eventually drop and the dollar would strengthen? Oh, that's right, me.

As for the Olympics, they're sometimes entertaining. There's a lot of boring sports...and a lot of sports that the United States doesn't really care about. NBC's coverage might be a little over the top and, in case I don't remember, Tiki Barber is a horrible, horrible reporter. I caught him on TV this morning and he was just absolutely horrendous. The US leads in overall medal count but the Chinese lead in gold. The track stuff is still to come though and that's where the US will probably dominate. Or they should at least. I'm not sure how much average Americans are watching...obviously NBC has spent a ton of money on this spectacle and I'll be anxious to see the final results for them. I know I'm watching more than I really want to.

In other news, we're only 2-weeks from football season for the Mountaineers. On August 30th, WVU will host the football powerhouse of Villanova. If the Mountaineers win by less than 40, it will be an upset. This should be an interesting year considering the firepower in the backfield of White and Devine. If White has some receivers and has improved his accuracy, it could be a long year for defenders. The 2 out-of-conference games against Colorado and Auburn could be huge stumbling blocks. If the stars align, it could be a special season. I'm not counting any chickens yet though...lots of tough tests before the season is over.

Lastly, keep an eye on the Georgia/Russia saga going on. For some reason, it hasn't garnered much attention but it should. If you're worried about what a hiccup in Middle East oil could do to this country, imagine making the Russians mad and them turning off the tap. Russia produces nearly 9.4 million barrels per day while Iran produces 4 million barrels per day. Of course, Russia cannot afford to lower their production as it is really their only means of keeping their economy afloat but if the US plays hardball, don't be surprised if they play the oil card. So, maybe low prices are just temporary? Sure hope not...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Brett Favre / Olympics / Etc.

First, I am so disappointed that Brett Favre was traded to the J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets. I was really hoping he'd stick around Green Bay for a few weeks and make everyone miserable and then decide to retire again. Some people will always blame the Green Bay administration for the Favre debacle but I think Favre is truly to blame. He's been this way for years and only now do people see that he has to be the center of attention. He might have a good season in New York. I don't think he will...but, one thing is for sure, it will be entertaining.

The Olympics start this evening. Talk about a debacle. Obviously the Chinese are coming under some pretty harsh criticism already for attempting to control the media's coverage of the Olympics and restricting Internet access. What did you expect from a Communist country that has a severe human rights issue? The funniest thing to me though is that more people are focusing on China's environmental issues than their human rights issues. In some people's minds abusing the environment is a far worse crime than actually abusing people. That is sad to me.

Some people might look at this as a chance for China to make improvements. I see just the opposite. If the world is willing to stand by and watch China oppress its citizens and actually reward the country for such behavior, why would they ever change? Make no mistake about it, China is the future of tyranny in the world. A scary, scary world.

Lastly, I'll be out of town for a week. So, I apologize in advance for not keeping up...but, hey, I'm a busy person. Sometimes.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Losers in Green Bay

Brett Favre is now unretired. Wow. Once again Favre proved that he cares about only one thing and that is Brett Favre. Again he held the Packer organization hostage and, again, the Packer organization bowed to him. Princess Favre proved himself the prima donna I always knew he was and several others have now seen the light.

So, Favre is going to compete for a start spot with the Packers. Let's see how that plays out. If Favre wins, he continues to hold the Packers organization hostage, like always. He'll complain about McCarthy and the ownership and continue to poison the franchise by undermining the staff and, well, be Favre-like. And then, when he does actually leave, he'll leave them in shambles because they'll have a backup quarterback whose confidence is completely broken by the fact he was beat out by a retired quarterback.

Oh, but if Rodgers wins the starting job...well, it doesn't get much better. How about the first game that Rodgers would start that breaks Favre's consecutive start streak? Imagine the crying that John Madden will do if that occurs. The obligatory shots of Favre sitting on the bench following every Rodger's incomplete pass or interception. And don't forget the Favre apologists will be out there trying to pressue the Pack to start Favre and floating the theory that Favre is only on the bench to punish him for coming out of retirement. How could any quarterback thrive in that environment?

Either way, this thing has been a debacle and it has not been fair to Aaron Rodgers or the Green Bay Packers. If Favre was half the team player he proclaims to be, he would have remained in retirement and not caused all this grief for an organization that gave him everything. But, like I've said countless times, Brett Favre only cares about Brett Favre.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Traumatic Experience at Sams

Headed up Sam's way last evening to purchase some chips and water (seriously, just chips and water) and had a very poor time of it. First, let's talk about Eastpointe Plaza. Is there any worse area to try in which to drive in and out? On my way in, I could see traffic was backed up all the way to Kroger. The stoplights to get in and out of the area are poor, at best. And given the way most people drive, nothing goes smoothly up that way. I wanted to go down towards Anmoore to leave but I couldn't get turned left. The car in front of me couldn't pull the trigger and I sat there for 5 minutes, counting the number of times I could have made the turn. Finally she gave up and turned right and within 10-seconds I hda made the left turn.

Anyway, back to Sams. Arrived and nearly got hit by some other Sams patron who apparently didn't understand that only the right lane turns right. As they cut me off, I patiently waited. I knew it was coming...but that didn't mean I liked it...but I tried to be nice about it. After waiting for all the people leaving Sams to waddle across the walk area, I was finally able to park.

I entered the store and grabbed a buggy. Or three to be more exact. I spent the next 30 seconds or so trying to separate the buggies from themselves. I finally ended up with one buggy that only had one bad wheel. Not too shabby. For the next 15 minutes I maneuvered my way around carts and buggies and people who are either too lazy or too stupid to clear the aisle. At one point, I tried to squeeze between two rather robust people who both decided to move towards the center and proceeded to crush me between their carts. After lying unconscious on the ground for 5-minutes, I got up and retrieved my water and sun chips. I threw in a can of nuts just for good measure.

Now it was time for the dreaded checkout. I proceeded to the "shortest" line, which contained only 83 people. Or maybe it was 7 people with enough groceries for 83. Apparently one of the Sams workers saw me with my can 'o nuts and chips and took pity on me as she opened a new line and invited me over. God bless that lady. I was home free...or it would seem. But I had to now navigate my way to the exit. With buggy obstacles lining the way, I cut through the tables that no one was sitting at to try to escape. But, alas, I was cut off at the pass by two double-decker buggies running side-by-side with two sssslllllloooooowwwww drivers moving them down. I was trapped. So, I slowly walked behind them until we reached the final destination...the receipt checker guy.

Now, first of all, why do you really need the receipt checker guy? I've never really seen a receipt checker go through every item to mark them off. It seems pretty useless. Well, until last night that was. Apparently this receipt checker thought these behemoths of shopping might be trying to smuggle out a roast or something because he proceeded to check through both buggies while I stood there in awe of the fact someone is actually checking through the buggies. After a good 2 minutes of searching, he was satisfied that they were not taking anything and allowed them to proceed through the exit. I was next and, since I had a whopping 5 items, he quickly moved me out the door.

I departed the shopping center where I was nearly plowed over in the same walk area that I had so patiently waited for other patrons to cross earlier. I returned to my vehicle where I placed my newly purchased goodies securely in the trunk. I then proceeded to return my three-wheeled grocery chariot to the store as the nearest cart return was a good mile away. And then I left Sams, which was obviously the best part. Just another trip to Sams really. It could have been worse though...I could have gone to Wal-Mart.