Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Election is Over

I haven't posted one of these in a few years, so pardon me if I am rusty.  But, I just have a lot of say about this election (and, don't take it personally -- even when I say everyone and all, it doesn't necessarily mean everyone -- and here it goes:

It's over folks.  The election is over.  For everyone complaining and gloating, guess what?  It's over.  Whether you supported Romney or Obama, it doesn't matter now.  Move on.  Get over it.  You cannot determine tomorrow or next week or even next year whether this choice was correct or not.  Ten years from now history will tell us whether the choice made on Tuesday was correct or not.  Until then, do what Americans have done since the founding of this great country, go back to work.

The reactions have been stunning to me.  Companies laying off workers?  Businesses threatening to close?  That's not the United States of America I know.  How can anyone say what the future holds?  Putting a worker on the unemployment line over the looming threat of potential costs?  That's asinine.  That is not the American way.  Not at all.  When the odds are stacked against you, you work harder and make it happen.  You don't quit.

But America has changed.  And you cannot lay the blame at the foot of the President.  Or George Bush.  Or Bill Clinton.  No.  You lay it at the feet of Americans.  Every individual who has the "me first" attitude.  Every selfish person who looks out for their own needs ahead of the needs anyone else.  I have seen parents who put their own wants for alcohol or cigarettes or drugs ahead of the needs of their children.  I have seen teenagers put their own wants ahead of the needs of their peers.  I have seen adults lie and cheat and steal from their neighbors.  Not because of a need but because of a want.  Not because they are hungry but because they are jealous.  Not because they don't have, but because they don't want anyone else to have.

America has become the land of the gluttons.  Everyone wants everything and they want it now.  And they don't want to work for it, it should be handed to them.  Instant gratification.  We have become the land of easy.  We don't manufacture much of anything any more.  We have become a service-oriented country with paperwork our main product.  Shuffling emails, sending letters -- that's the work of America.  Building something?  Not so much anymore.  That's all overseas.  China is making computers.  We just learn how to use them.  You can't build anything in America anymore.  Insurance, liability, labor costs and the lazy American worker will make sure you can't afford to.  I could build computers with a workforce -- but I cannot build them as cheaply as China.  I can't build a car as cheaply as China.  I can't mine coal as cheaply as China.  And since we have priced ourselves out of the world market, real production goes to China.

If America wants to survive, and it always does, then we have to find a way to come together and create the America we should want.  A country where people work hard together, build together, compete together and prosper together.  And we should look out for our neighbors, friends and families.  We should put the needs of others ahead of our wants.  Help those down on their luck.  But that also means hard work.  The "me first" mentality is why we are in the mess we are in -- not because of this election.  Americans have become selfish.  And the only way to fix that is to change -- not at the polls but in your hearts.  Until then, everything will remain status quo.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kniceley Assaults Coach?

The "35th State" Blog and the Dominion Post are both reporting that Fairmont Police are investigating an alleged incident between Times-West Virginian editor Andy Kniceley and a Fairmont State University coach. Kniceley allegedly assaulted the coach because Kniceley's son was not getting enough playing time. According to the 35th State Blog, FSU plans to file charges against Kniceley.

Obviously, the Times-West Virginian has had no reporting of any incident. But what would you expect? The Times remains a small-time rag newspaper that reports only what they want the reader to consume. If you have the right connections and contact the right people, they will sweep a news story under the rug. Just look at the Daily Log...I know for a fact that certain people should have appeared in the Log but, due to the right words, those folks' names failed to appear. It will be interesting to see how the Times moves forward if FSU does indeed file charges.

In other news, the West Virginia Watchdog is doing great work tracking Obama's stimulus money and the jobs "created" in West Virginia districts that don't even exist. It is definitely worth the time to read the full story and find out how numbers are being skewed to justify the pork stimulus bill.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Football Predictions

We'll just get right down to it, shall we:

Bridgeport 42 - North Marion 13: Well, I must say I was impressed by the fortitude the Indians showed last week when they hosted Fairmont Senior. I'm not sure the Polar Bears played their best football but it doesn't matter now. Bridgeport completes an undefeated regular season.

Alabama 19 - LSU 14: Will Alabama find an offense that can score touchdowns? Will LSU find a way to get around this Alabama defense? This should be a heckuva game in Bama country.

Ohio State 24 - Penn State 17: I have some doubts about Penn State now. Ohio State has struggled but I think Jim Tressell and Terrelle Pryor figure out a way to beat the Nittany Lions and ruin PSU's chance for a BCS bowl.

Cincinnati 35 - UConn 17: It's been a bad couple weeks for Connecticut and it's just going to get worse. At least this one won't come down to a last minute heartbreaker like the last two. Cincy is winning the Big East.

And finally,

West Fairmont 56 - East Fairmont 13: Could West Fairmont put 100 on the board this Friday at East-West? Possibly but doubtful. Coming off the disappointing loss at Bridgeport, the Polar Bears assert their dominance early and cruise to a victory over the Bees.

West Virginia 34 - Louisville 21: I don't know about this Mountaineer team. Just when I think they've turned the corner, they look inept against South Florida. The only salvation is that Louisville is just plain horrible. The real test is the 3 games following this game at Mountaineer Field.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Weekend of Football

Oh, some exciting football this weekend. Including the dreaded Friday night WVU game. I really hate Friday night Mountaineer games because of the interference with high school football. I really wanted to go to the Bridgeport / Fairmont Sr. matchup Friday but guess I will skip it to watch WVU hopefully beat South Florida. So without further hesitation, some good matchups this weekend:

Fairmont Senior 35 - Bridgeport 24: I like the Polar Bears. They've played a rather challenging schedule that includes Morgantown and University. Bridgeport. Well, Bridgeport sits #4 in the state but might be propped up a bit by an easy schedule. It's worth nothing that South Charleston with one loss is actually ahead of the Indians because of the Indians weak schedule. I like Fairmont.

North Marion 13 - Elkins 6: North Marion grabs their 4th and final win of the season at Elkins on Friday (they play Bridgeport next week.) Finishing 4-6 sounds a lot better than their 1-9 record last season. Elkins has a lot of work to do before next year.

University 28 - Morgantown 24: Morgantown really needs this win to secure their spot in the playoffs. University really wants homefield for the first playoff round again this season. The Mohawk Bowl will be an exciting one with University squeaking out a victory. Morgantown will be the final team to make the 2009 playoffs.

USC 35 - Oregon 20: The Ducks have come a long way since losing to Boise State and the "punch heard 'round the world." But USC is still USC and they win the big ones. They might lose to Washington but they don't lose to top opponents. Add to this the fact that the Trojans are feeling a little disrespected by the polls and you have a USC victory.

Oklahoma State 20 - Texas 17: Oh, it's the big upset. Okie State without Dez Bryant and being looked down on plays the role of spoiler against Colt McCoy and the Longhorns. Mike Gundy finds a way to win this one for two reasons: 1) He's a man. 2) He's 40.

And, lastly,

West Virginia 42 - South Florida 24: I don't know that South Florida is really all that good this year. They had the benefit of a weak schedule to inflate their standing and now that standing is being exposed. Florida State isn't very good and that's their big win. WVU still has a great shot at the Big East crown and this game isn't going to stop them. Of course, it is South Florida on a Friday night so anything could happen but I like WVU. But I can promise you this: If WVU turns the ball over 5 times, they'll lose. Ball protection is key to this game.

And there you have it. Feel free to wager all you want...these are locks.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Football Picks

Another weekend quickly approaches which means it's time to discuss the winners and losers in this week's game of skill and luck known as football.

Fairmont Sr. 35 - Wheeling Park 17: This is a down year for Wheeling Park. Currently at 1-7 and on a 7 game losing streak, the Patriots won't get any relief this weekend. Since Park has such a dismal schedule, the win wont' necessarily help the Polar Bears in the polls but it will still be a victory. The big game is next week when Fairmont visits Bridgeport.

North Marion 24 - Nicholas County 21: An upset? Yep. I said before that once North Marion learned to win, they could easily win 3 in a row. And they did against Buckhannon, Preston and East. Playing Morgantown was tough but the Huskies can bounce back this week. The Grizzlies are shooting for the playoffs but North pulls off the upset and will finish the year 5-5.

Morgantown 38 - John Marshall 21: Morgantown beats bad teams and loses to good teams. Luckily for the Mohigans, John Marshall isn't very good this year. The Mohigans roll as they try to make the 16 team field for the state playoffs.

Penn State 17 - Michigan 14: Close game but as long as JoePa survives, Penn State will win. The Penn State defense clamps down on a "healthy" Tate Forcier and grinds out a victory in the Big House.

Alabama 32 - Tennessee 18: Lane Kiffin someday might be a great coach. Right now, he's just got a big mouth. Alabama's offense actually finds some rhythm and Saban and crew easily handle the Volunteers.

And then there's these two games:

East Fairmont 20 - Buckhannon-Upshur 16: It's going to be a rainy night in Buckhannon tomorrow and the raindrops will mix with the Buckaneers tears as the Bees find a way to win in a close one. I predicted 3-7 for the Bees and they need to win this game to make my prediction come true.

WVU 38 - UConn 24: This really could go either way. If WVU has cured their turnover problems, they can easily handle the Huskies. If WVU turns the ball over a few times, it could go the other way fast. Expect an inspired UConn team following the death of Jasper Howard. If WVU opens the door, UConn walks away with a win. Another rainy game...

Vikings 31 - Pittsburgh 17: I hate to predict a Brett Favre victory but Pittsburgh has really not shown me much that makes me believe they can win this game. Adrian Peterson is scorching defenses and the Vikings defense is good. The fact this game is in Pittsburgh could make a difference but I'd put my money on Minnesota.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's the Football, Stupid

Get your bets's the winners (and losers) this week:

Fairmont Senior 45 - Elkins 17: FSHS wins big and still drops to #2 in the state? Sometimes there's no justice. But that's a number. One or two doesn't matter...finishing in the Top 2 will give them homefield throughout the playoffs. The Polar Bears destroy an undermanned Elkins squad.

Morgantown 24 - Brooke 20: Big upset. Brooke is the #1 team in the state and safely in the playoffs while Morgantown is fighting to stay in the playoff hunt. This would be a huge win for Morgantown on the road if they can actually pull it off.

Cincinnati 28 - South Florida 21: Big East matchup between the two undefeated teams on Thursday night. Good game. Cincinnati has too much fire power for South Florida but you have to admit that USF's determination since the loss of Grothe has been impressive. The Bearcats win as they defend their Big East crown.

Oklahoma 35 - Texas 24: There's a rumor out that Colt McCoy might be injured. Mack Brown says there's no truth to it. Either way, Oklahoma pulls a huge upset and rights their ship. Bob Stoops wins the big, non-bowl games and this is no different. Oklahoma comes in with a chip on their shoulder and finds a way to stop the Longhorns' offense and wins this game.

USC 42 - Notre Dame 17: The demise of the Trojans has been greatly exaggerated. This is still one of the best defenses in the country and look for Matt Barkley to find his rhythm against the "lucky" Irish. Notre Dame has just been squeaking by opponents to create buzz for this matchup. The buzz dies quickly in South Bend this weekend.

And three games that I actually care about:

Steelers 24 - Browns 9: I don't know if Pittsburgh has righted the ship or not but it doesn't matter against the Browns. Cleveland is bad. Real bad. If Pittsburgh even shows up for the game, they win. That's how bad Cleveland is.

East Fairmont 14 - Preston 6: Can East Fairmont score 2 touchdowns? Maybe. They actually performed decently against RCB last week. If they can bring some of that momentum into this game, they should squeak by the Knights. Rain and snow are in the forecast so expect a low scoring affair.

WVU 52 - Marshall 24: West Virginia outmans the Thundering Herd just about everywhere. The attempts to build up this game as some great rivalry will be squashed early and often in this game. Noel Devine runs up a good 200+ yards and WVU doesn't turn the ball over and squishes Marshall in their preparation for the Big East schedule.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"You Don't Pay Taxes!"

When Mayor Matt Delligatti said the road levy should not fall behind other levies the voters will be con­sidering this year, Debbie Seifrit shot back with "You don't pay taxes". Delligatti does not pay property taxes because he lives with his parents except when he is staying in Morgantown. And Seifrit is right. It is easy for someone who doesn't pay taxes to say "let's pass a levy."

When do you think the last time was that Jay Rockefeller personally wrote out a check to the IRS? Ever? What about Bob Byrd? Harry Reid? Alan Mollohan? These people are isolated from everyday life. It's easy to pass tax increases on the rich and poor as long as you're not footing the bill. It's easy to say "give health care of everyone" when you pass those costs along to the "rich" and "big business."

I digress...I'll write more on that at a later date. Back to the Fairmont levy argument. The Fairmont City Council passed a resolution to place a road repaving/repairing levy on the May 2010 ballot. The Marion County Library and Marion-Fairmont Transit Authority will also have levies on the 2010 ballot and it's possile the Marion County Board of Education may attempt another bond measure in the near future.

"Under a draft proposal gen­erated by city staff, a proper­ty owner whose property is assessed at $100,000 could pay an additional $75 a year. Homeowners who qualify under the homestead act — senior citizens and disabled people — could pay $50 more in taxes on a home assessed at $100,000. Commercial property owners would pay $150 more in taxes for property assessed at $100,000." - Times-West Virginian

With water prices soaring in the city and the increasing economic pressure, will the citizens of Fairmont be willing to stomach yet another levy? Will seeing 3 or 4 levies on the same ballot turn off voters who will reject all of them? And why is this levy necessary? The citizens of Fairmont, Marion County and West Virginia are already being taxed to death for education, roads, health care, unemployment, government officials and other items of which we may or may not benefit. And with the specter of universal health care taxing looming, who can blame citizens for being wary of another tax?

Debbie Seifrit, I applaud you for standing up for the taxpayers and raising a concern about yet another property tax on the citizens of Fairmont. More people need to stand up for the American taxpayer and show the ways that taxes are creating the dispair in this country. Robbing from everyday citizens is not creating a utopian society. Quite the opposite.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Coal Hypocrisy

I was struck today by an article I read in which Senator Jay Rockefeller and Representative Nick Rahall called upon Massey Energy to help move Marsh Fork Elementary School away from a coal processing plant. The article struck of such hypocrisy from the Senator and Representative that I had to laugh.

It amazes me that politicians from this state call upon the coal industry, or energy industry in general, to perform charitable deeds while attempting to put these industries out of business. They are essentially robbing these companies with one hand while begging for a donation with the other. With cap-and-trade and additional EPA penalties threatening all the coal industries in West Virginia, how can anyone expect them to make large contributions to charity? These companies are fighting for survival. The taxes on the energy industry is outrageous and new proposed taxes are being introduced everyday.

Massey Energy has a long history of charitable work. In May 2008, Massey donated more than $1 million to create a scholarship fund for college and post-graduate scholarships to help students from Central Appalachia communities pursue engineering and health care degrees. Massey Energy has donated a total of $80,000 to the struggling town of Cedar Grove. The town will use $75,000 to finish building a new park in the center of town, and the remaining $5,000 for athletic activities for middle school children and field trips for the grade school children.

That's only two examples of the charity work that Massey has done. There are several additional examples of the work Massey has done with charities. The same can be said with the other energy companies in the state. And yet the government continually attempts to punish these companies and undermine their ability to do charity work. How can a company that can't turn a profit continue to fund charitable events? It's not possible.

Oh, and for the record, the Senator and Representative were incorrect in their misrepresentation of Massey's position on a new Marsh Fork Elementary. Massey is willing to work with the Raleigh County BOE. The BOE hasn't decided to if they are pursuing a new Marsh Fork yet and will meet tonight to decide.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Nobel Peace Fraud

The Nobel Peace Prize has long come under attack for some recipients who may not necessarily deserve the award, such as Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and, obviously, Mother Teresa. But the awarding of the prize to Barack Obama is a curious choice. The President has been in office less than a year and has no single significant achievement towards peace.

Sure, the President campaigned on the promise to open dialog and has promised an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has promised deals to decrease nuclear arms. He has also promised to turn around the economy, give everyone health care and to personally massage my feet. None of this has come to fruition yet. And yet the Nobel Peace Prize Committee felt it necessary to award their Prize on the bluster of a man who has no accomplishments.

While talking of peace, Obama has had internal discussions of increasing the war on Afghanistan, which may include incursions into Pakistan. While promising direct dialog with Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the administration is looking at options to strategically bomb locations in Iran.

No, this award isn't truly about peace. The left-leaning organization awarded this President the Nobel Peace Prize because he isn't George W. Bush and because he has been on a USA apology tour. The hope is that by awarding Obama for denigrating the United States, he will be encouraged to continue the practice. By making the US weaker, Obama is receiving the support of the world. At the end of the day, that Prize and million dollars is little consolation to the weakening position of this country in the world.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Amazing Football Predictions

Missed last week but I will not miss two weeks in a row. So, without further hesitation, here is some football predictions for this week:

Fairmont Senior 42 - Buckhannon - 13: Fairmont Senior has the opportunity to be the #1 seed in the state high school playoffs. I don't anticipate Buckhannon being able to trip up the Polar Bears this week. Good teams win the ones they are supposed to win and FSHS rolls at home on their way to an NCAC crown.

Morgantown 34 - North Marion 13: The Huskies have a few good wins this season but they are not ready to deal with a team like Morgantown. The Mohigans are fighting to get into the playoffs this year and they should take care of business at home this week.

Florida 24 - LSU 20: With Tebow or without Tebow, Florida finds a way to win. John Brantley is at Florida for a reason: He's a good quarterback. And Florida can win regardless of who leads the charge. LSU is somewhat overrated, especially considering their lack of offensive production. They got lucky last week. Not so lucky this week.

Steelers 24 - Lions 9: Pittsburgh has some issues but not nearly as many as Detroit. Whether Polamolu returns this week or not, Pittsburgh easily handles the Lions.

Robert C. Byrd 38 - East Fairmont 6: The loss to North Marion pretty much ended any dreams of a playoff berth for East. And this Thursday night game just screams blowout. RCB lost to cross-county rival Bridgeport last week and will be looking to roll up some big numbers at East-West Stadium to help their playoff hopes. RCB wins big.

West Virginia 45 - Syracuse 17: Shouldn't be much of a game. Especially if Syracuse commits seven turnovers this week. However, West Virginia could match them if they're not careful. WVU has to fix the turnover issue this week and next before they start facing teams that can beat them. USF, Cincy, Rutgers and Pitt remain the big tests for WVU. Marshall and Syracuse are the easy ones.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Quick Look at the NFL (Pt. 2)(

With four games down, you can get a pretty good idea where this NFL season is going for most of the teams in the league. So, here's a quick rundown of teams in the AFC and where I see them going.

American Football Conference

New York Jets (3-1): Dirty Sanchez is playing like a franchise quarterback and the Jets may challenge the Patriots for AFC East supremacy. Unfortunately for the Jets, if it's a close race, their last 2 games are against the Colts and Bengals.

New England Patriot (3-1): Looking at New England's schedule, it would be shocking if they don't get 11 wins. The Jets, Colts and Broncos are their biggest challenges. The showdown is November 22 against the Jets.

Miami Dolphins (1-3): Not what everyone expected this year. Pennington is hurt and Pat White hasn't brought much to the team. White may be obsolete with the recent arrival of Thigpen. Bottom feeding in the AFC again.

Buffalo Bills (1-3): Dick Jauron will likely lose his job after this season. The Bills 1-point loss to the Patriots looks like an abomination as they had to another losing season.

Baltimore Ravens (3-1): The Ravens may turn out to be the best team in the AFC this year. A great defense and a developing offense that looks better every game. Should win the AFC North barring injuries.

Cincinnati (3-1): How can you tell? It's a team that could beat Baltimore for the AFC North crown or could collapse and lose the next 12 games. They already have a huge win over Pittsburgh. A second date on November 15th could determine the final team in the playoffs from the AFC.

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2): A Super Bowl hangover? Maybe. The loss of Troy Polamolu hurt the defense and the Steelers running game is non-existent. In the competitive AFC, 11 wins might not even make the playoffs. And 11 wins will not win the AFC North. An ultra-difficult schedule will make it a hard season for Pittsburgh to make a run at a repeat.

Cleveland Browns (0-4): Will Eric Magini make it to Year 2? Will Cleveland win a game? Those are the main questions out of the Browns.

Indianapolis Colts (4-0): Payton Manning doing what he does best: win. This team plays New England on November 15th followed by Baltimore on November 22nd. Come out with 2 wins and they control the AFC.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2): Nothing spectacular here...

Houston Texans (2-2): See Jacksonville. A good team but you have to be a great team to compete in the AFC.

Tennessee Titans (0-4): Will Jeff Fisher pack it in after this year? Will this team play Vince Young this year? Titans are underachieving after last year's run.

Denver Broncos (4-0): No one would have guessed the Broncos would still be undefeated but here they are controlling the AFC West. Unfortunately, they'll stumble and end up losing the AFC West to:

San Diego Charges (2-2): A disappointing start but they get a chance to jump right back into the race on October 19th when they host Denver for Monday Night Football.

Oakland Raiders (1-3): JaMarcus Russell is not a long term solution for their quarterback problems. Get a new quarterback in there now and tell your coach to stop punching people.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-4): Is it 2011 yet?

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Quick Look at the NFL

With four games down, you can get a pretty good idea where this NFL season is going for most of the teams in the league. So, here's a quick rundown of teams in the NFC and where I see them going. I'll get to the AFC tomorrow.

National Football Conference

NY Giants (4-0): Look to be on track for another good playoff run. Eli does what he needs to do to win football games. Some tough games down the stretch but they win the NFC East.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-1): Quarterback controversy before the end of the season. As Michael Vick improves, watch for Eagles' fans to demand him become the starter. All the ingredients for an implosion before the end of the year that will cost Andy Reid his job. No playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys (2-2): Tony Romo is feeling the pressure and not stepping up. The Denver game was a microcosm of the Cowboys problems. Plenty of opportunities but not enough execution. No playoffs.

Washington Redskins (2-2): A team with a bloated budget but little to show for it. Might sneak into the playoffs but they haven't proved anything yet.

Minnesota Vikings (3-0): I hate to say it, but the Vikings could be the best team in the NFC. Favre isn't making mistakes and they have a good defense and solid offensive line. Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the NFL. If Favre can refrain from throwing to the wrong team, should be a good year. Tonight's game vs. Green Bay will tell a lot about where this team is going.

Chicago Bears (3-1): Will be battling with Minnesota for supremacy in the NFC North. Should make the playoffs.

Green Bay Packers (2-1): A good team that will be left out because they have to deal with Chicago and Minnesota. But a solid showing despite missing the playoffs.

Detroit Lions (1-3): They have their win. Good for them!

New Orleans Saints (4-0): Drew Brees is a great quarterback. And they have the advantage of being in a division with Carolina and Tampa Bay. They easily win the NFC South.

Atlanta Falcons (2-1): Solid but not great. Matt Ryan is a good quarterback. Unfortunately for Altanta, their schedule doesn't give them much of a chance.

Carolina Panthers (0-3): Battling with Tampa Bay for the worst team in the NFC South. Their first pillow fight is on October 18th.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4): See Carolina.

San Francisco 49ers (3-1): Will surprisingly win the NFC West. It's amazing what Mike Singletary has accomplished. They don't even need Michael Crabtree.

Arizona Cardinals (1-2): A very disappointing season after making it to the Super Bowl last year. Too much drama on this team to win.

Seattle Seahawks (1-3): When your quarterback is Seneca Wallace, things can't be going too well. No playoffs in Seattle.

St. Louis Rams (0-4): This is the team that has the best chance to go 0-16 this year. Bulger probably needs to pack it in and, chances are, he has. The Rams will probably stick with Boller, who really isn't much better. Too many problems to be successful.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


I forgot, or neglected, to make predictions this week. But it's already been interesting with West Virginia's attempt to literally fumble a game to Colorado, Fairmont Senior's double-overtime victory over NCAC foe University and East Fairmont's last minute loss at North Marion.

First up, West Virginia and the serious case of fumble-itis that has struck the team. Ten, count them, 10 turnovers in the last 2 games. Nothing alters the course of a game faster than turnovers. It cost West Virginia the game at Auburn and nearly cost them the game versus Colorado. If Colorado had a field goal kicker and took an early lead, it could have changed the playcalling and seriously affected the rest of the game. Luckily for WVU, they never fell behind and overcame serious problems with the ball.

If they do not remedy the turnover issue soon, it will cost them more games this year. Syracuse sounds like an easy game but with Paulus as QB, they have a shot at beating the Mountaineers. He won't panic in a "big game" because of this experience at Duke and, if WVU's offense gives them enough opportunities, the Orange will score. Bill Stewart must find a way to make Brown protect the ball and the other WVU players need to secure the football. WVU got lucky with Colorado...the talent WVU had far surpassed the Buffalos. The same can't be said when they play Cincinnati, USF, Pitt or Rutgers.

East Fairmont's early season woes have gotten worse. Between injuries and general lack of confidence, the Bees find themselves in a 5-game losing streak. It doesn't look promising to break that streak this week when RCB comes to town for a Thursday night Homecoming game. East Fairmont's offense did generate nearly 200 yards in offense but the Bees struggled with 3 interceptions and couldn't move the ball consistently against the Huskies. East Fairmont's lone score came on an interception return for a touchdown. On the flipside, I predicted that North Marion had confidence and knew how to win since their first victory and now they are on a 3-game winning streak. Probably not playoff ready but a team on the rebound. If they really want to prove North Marion is back, they have their opportunity next week when they visit Morgantown.

And, lastly, the team I predicted to win the NCAC is now in the driver's seat following their double-overtime victory over previously unbeaten University. Fairmont Senior made a huge defensive stop to beat the #4 Hawks and will remain the No. 1 team in WV High School football this week. The Polar Bears toughest tests have been passed with wins against RCB, Morgantown and University. The schedule is favorable for Fairmont to win out. Wheeling Park is down this year so the biggest test remains the Oct. 23 showdown against Bridgeport. Fairmont Senior has a good shot at ending the season as the #1 team in the state barring a mental lapse.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Chicago LOSES Olympics

Being the prohibitive favorite and having the President of the United States actually present wasn't enough to win the 2016 Summer Olympics for Chicago. It wasn't even enough to get them out of the first round. What does this say?

Well, first, the United States Olympics Committee obviously has some issues. They've made some people mad and those people have gotten even by eliminating the United States' best Olympic package ever. USOC has had some run-ins with the International Olympic Committee and, obviously, the IOC has gotten even.

Second, President Obama has to be embarrassed by this turn of events. To send Michelle out for most of the week and appear in person and still lose has to sting. Most people, including myself, didn't believe he would attend in person unless he knew it was in the bag. US President's don't like uncertainty...someone on his staff was obviously incorrect.

And, lastly, there's still a lot of resentment towards the United States out there. The "Era of Good Feelings" that Obama has supposedly brought with him wasn't enough to bring the Olympics here in 2016.

It will be interesting to see how Obama responds to this turn of events. In the midst of lowering approval ratings, higher unemployment, economic downturn, health care uncertainty and Afghanistan confusion, Obama desparately needed a victory somewhere. That's why he went to Copenhagen. He needs a win. Instead, he gets to come home without the Olympics and try to piece together a health care bill that it has become increasing obvious that no one wants. I guess it could be worse...he could be David Letterman.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gambling Lines for This Week

I went 5-2 last week thanks to a disappointing showing by both Pittsburgh and West Virginia. I knew better than to pick WVU but Pittsburgh? Come on.

Anyway, without further adieu, I give you this week's winner...and losers:

North Marion 17 - Preston 13: Once a team learns how to win, it's impossible to stop them. Of course, it helps if they're playing Preston. North Marion follows their win over Buckhannon with a win over Preston in Kingwood. A winning streak for the Huskies!

Morgantown 38 - Buckhannon 6: I'm not sure Buckhannon has an offense. And Morgantown proved last week that they do, indeed, have a defense. I'm still in shock over East Fairmont's NEGATIVE 11 yards in total offense last week. Morgantown rolls.

University 45 - Hedgesville 17: I don't know much about Hedgesville but I know University is good. Real good. They continue to win this week.

Florida State 31 - South Florida 17: Grothe is out of the season and the Bulls will falter without him. Florida State showed they can score with their blowout win over BYU. South Florida's quick defense keeps this close but there's no real chance for South Florida to win this game.

Miami 38 - Virginia Tech 35: Virginia Tech got LUCKY last week. Bo Pelini needs to re-evaluate his defense. But not so lucky this week. Randy Shannon has turned the corner in the Miami program and they play with "swagger." So, Miami goes up to Blacksburg and steals one.

And, the two games that are my big picks since WVU is off until Thursday:

Steelers 24 - Cincinnati 13: Still the Bungles. I don't care if they did make the playoffs a couple years ago. Pittsburgh needs the victory to get the bad taste of the Chicago defeat outta their mouths. Jeff Reed...make a field goal dude. Seriously.

Bridgeport 42 - East Fairmont 7: Well, at least they break their scoreless drought. Two games in a row without a point sounds pretty bad. East scores but Bridgeport wins easily.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Windows 7

I started last week setting up the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and trying to get everything up and running for successful deployments. I just completed my first successful deployment of Windows 7 that includes all of our applications, settings and joins the domain and is ready for a user to sit down and use. And I must admit I'm pretty excited about that fact. When we had our consultants here last year setting up Vista, it took them 3 months to accomplish a task that took me 1 week. I'm not saying I'm smarter, probably just not as thorough.

Anyway, Windows 7 holds a lot of promise for us. The 2-3 test machines we gave to use with Windows 7 Beta have received positive reviews. We are probably 2-3 weeks away from getting a test group together to begin testing the OS. The speed is the #1 reason we are anxiously awaiting moving away from Vista. But until we have actual everyday users beating on the OS and apps, I can't say we're 100% moving towards an immediate implementation.

My goal is to begin running a dual environment by next year. New machines will come with Windows 7 while we continue to support our Vista environment. But I am happy to be moving away from Vista with breakneck speed. Unless we hit a major snag, Windows Vista will be completely eliminated in our user environment by 2011. What a horrible experiment our Windows Vista time has been. Welcome Windows 7!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend Roundup

Here are just a few observations from the weekend:
  • You can't expect to win very many games when you turn the ball over 6 times.
  • What was Jarrett Brown thinking when he threw it into a crowd of people at the line of scrimmage? Twice?
  • How do you go an entire game and gain NEGATIVE 11 yards? I knew Morgantown would win but I never thought East would go backwards. Not even a first down by penalty. Wow.
  • I was very close to making the 11-hour trek to Auburn. How happy am I considering the loss and rain?
  • RCB beat Liberty 76-0. Congratulations?
  • Why does Mickey Andrews (Florida State) always look like he's trying to eat his own face?
  • It is never acceptable for an announcer to not know what down it is, how many yards the team needs for a first down or how many yards were just gained on the play.
  • Announcers should not try to use "hip" phrases. Watching the Nebraska/Virginia Tech game, they tried to say someone was a "balla" except it came out "he is a baller." And they used the word "baller" five times. No, you're not cool. Announce the game.
  • Monte Kiffin is a defensive genius. Monte Kiffin is a defensive genius. Monte Kiffin is a defensive genius. OKAY...I get it: Monte Kiffin is a defensive genius.
  • Beamerball, Beamerball, Beamerball, Beamerball. That's not Beamerball. That is Beamerball. It's called Special Teams. Move on.
  • Oregon. Being different is cool. But being ugly is still just being ugly. Green, gray and white. Mr. Blackwell is turning in his grave.
  • Quit cross-selling other sports. College football analysts should not be talking about NASCAR since it absolutely obvious they have no idea of what they are talking. Stop it.
  • Notre Dame is NOT an elite team. Notre Dame is NOT a BCS bowl deserving team. They have the benefit of not playing in a conference. They would be at the bottom of the SEC or Big 12 South. And middle of the road everywhere else. Just because they get to play (and maybe beat) Nevada, Purdue, Washington, Washington State, Navy, Stanford and UConn doesn't give them a claim to a major bowl game. Play some real teams on the road. The Irish play 8 home games. Notre Dame deserves the same consideration that BYU, Utah, Boise State and TCU get. And maybe less because those teams are willing to go on the road and play real opponents. Other than USC and Michigan, the "Fighting" Irish won't play a ranked team unless Pittsburgh somehow moves into the Top 25. Pitiful and disgraceful that Notre Dame gets the reverence they don't deserve.
  • Tim Tebow is amazing. I don't care what anyone says. The guy is just simply amazing.
  • What is it about USC and horrible teams? Why can USC go to the Horseshoe and beat Ohio State but they can't beat Washington? It makes no sense. Pete Carroll?
  • Virginia Tech got lucky. Bo Pelini needs to be looking at his defensive coordinator and asking some serious questions.
  • BYU beating Oklahoma was a bit of a fluke really. I guess Florida State proved a big way.
  • How much do you think Louisville fans would pay to get Bobby Petrino back? Louisville fell into the black hole when Bobby left. Professor Krang can't do anything.
  • Syracuse wins! Syracuse wins! How bad do the Northwestern fans feel?

That's just a few random observations from the weekend that I can remember. I had a few more but Jarrett Brown gave them to Auburn.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get Out Your Wallets...

You can't beat these predictions:

Fairmont Senior 117 - Preston 4: I kid, I kid. But I do believe the Polar Bears could score 100 on Preston if they really tried. More likely it will be 42 - 13. West is playing good football and if they can put together a strong 4 quarters, Preston will be begging to hop on the bus and get back to Kingwood. Of course, Fairmont is coming off an emotional win over Morgantown so this could be a letdown and close. But Fairmont Senior still rolls.

North Marion 23 - Buck-Up 21: Yes, North Marion wins. They showed life against RCB last week and they get a victory this week. And North Marion could turn the corner and put together a few victories...especially with Preston and...ummm, East on the schedule.

University 35 - Elkins 6: Elkins beat Preston but they have no shot against University. The Hawks and the Polar Bears are on a collison course for superiority in the NCAC this year.

Virginia Tech 27 - Nebraska 24: This game is at Lane Stadium which is why Virginia Tech wins. The Hokies are a good team and Nebraska still is out in the woods somewhere. Virginia Tech should win...but it's gonna be close.

Steelers 24 - Bears 21: Without Polamalu, this game becomes scary. Pittsburgh needs to find a running game and an offensive line that can at least protect Big Ben on half the plays. If Roethlisberger goes down, it could be an ugly season. Charlie Batch, anyone?

And now, the big picks:

Morgantown 31 - East Fairmont 3: Morgantown is seeking some revenge for last week's loss to Fairmont Senior. And the Mohigans have struggled. But no one has struggled more than the East Fairmont offense. Maybe East sneaks into Pony Lewis Field and shocks the Mohigans...but I just don't see any way that is possible.

West Virginia 24 - Auburn 23: I just can't bet against WVU and Jarrett Brown. WVU will try to lose but somehow Brown will lead them to victory. If they can win this game, the WVU season begins to look very bright.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Football Roundup

Well, finished last week 6-1 on my predictions. ELKINS WINS, ELKINS WINS. What a disappointment for Preston. I thougth they were going to be decent. Maybe not. And, just like I said, RCB/North Marion was close. North had the victory in sight...only to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Most impressive? West Fairmont over Morgantown. I went to the game and arrived early in the 2nd quarter. Morgantown was already winning 14-0 and West couldn't do anything. I don't know what happened at halftime but the Polar Bears came out fired up and put up 31 unanswered points. Sets up an epic Fairmont Sr. / University matchup for the NCAC. At least that's they way I see it right now.

Happiest moment? Michigan beats Notre Dame. I don't care about the Rich Rodriguez thing. I wanted Notre Dame to lose and it happened. Michigan isn't going to go undefeated this year. Notre Dame has enough cupcakes on the schedule to win 9 games. But what a great loss this was. I just hope Lou Holtz cried at the end of the game.

West Virginia did their best to lose to East Carolina but Jarrett Brown just wouldn't let it happen. How many punts can you fumble? If WVU thinks they're going to drive into Auburn and just beat the Tigers because they have a first-year coach, they better think again. Auburn is improved and playing well.

Should be interesting...we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What Happened To...

If you know me, you know I love music. All day, everyday, that's what I do at work. I pick an artist or two, or perhaps a collection, and I listen. Non-stop music. And for the past 3 weeks, it has been nothing but non-stop Beatles. I think I'll move on next week...maybe.

Anyway, I was trying to think of some of the groups that were "popular" or that I liked in the 90s and what happened to them. Some of these groups I liked...some, well, not so much. But here we go:
  1. Nirvana. Nevermind came out in 1991 and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" became a big hit the fall of that year. Kurt Cobain took his life on April 8, 1994 ending the band. Courtney Love and the members of the band fought as both tried to gain control of the Nirvana legacy. Now you can find Cobain on Guitar Hero 5. I'm not sure that's what he would have wanted but Love needs money. Anyway, the death of Cobain led Grohl to make:
  2. Foo Fighters. This is one of my favorite groups then and now. I think the Foo Fighters ability to make great songs that cross-over to "pop" hits is unbelievable. They never lose their rock edge but can make radio-friendly songs. Foo Fighters was released in 1995 and is good but The Colour and Shape, released in 1997, remains one of my favorites albums. To everyone's benefit, the Foo Fighters are still out there making music.
  3. Celine Dion. Yeah, I know...this is about bands, or people, who were successful in the 90s. Not necessarily my favorites. Dion burst on the scene with "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" in 1990 and wailed out "My Heart Will Go On" in 1998. After a break from music, Dion peformed in Las Vegas from 2003-2007 and raked in over $400 million. She's back in the studio and producing music again. Yay?
  4. Whitney Houston. Whitney took the success she found in the '80s and kept it going in the 90s. 4 Number 1 hits been 1990 and 1995, including the unavoidable "I Will Always Love You" from the Bodyguard. It was unavoidable. Believe me, I tried to avoid it. After a marriage to Bobby Brown and a spiral into drug addiction, it looks like Houston is ready for a comeback. She just released a new album on August 31. We'll see...
  5. Pearl Jam. Just like Nirvana, Pearl Jam showed up in 1991 with the release of Ten. "Alive," "Even Flow," "Jeremy," etc., you can listen to those songs today and they sound just as good as they did nearly 20 years ago. The group continues to rock and release new works today. And tour. One of the hardest working acts out there.
  6. Oasis. (What's the Story) Morning Glory came out in 1995 and sounded a whole lot like The Beatles. "Wonderwall," "Champagne Supernova," "Don't Look Back in Anger," were all great songs and they quickly gained a foothold in the states. And they they kinda disappeared. They were still making music but you never knew if the Gallagher Brothers were still together in a band or not. I didn't pay much attention until Dig Your Soul was released this year. And then, shortly thereafter, Noel quit. The band is still together but there's too much wierdness there to start getting into them. But, they still released some awesome music.

Well, that's 6 groups/people. That's enough for today. I will pick up and continue at another time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

People of Walmart

If you haven't seen it yet, you definitely need to go visit I had recent read an article about it online but forgot to check it out. Thankfully, someone reminded me today about it and I visited the site and had a good laugh.

The scary thing is that nothing on the site is actually shocking. Walking into the Wal-Mart in Fairmont or Clarksburg, I could easily see 90% of the people in these pictures. Wal-Mart brings out such a wide cross-section of society that you see a little bit of everything. And it is the most frustrating place in the world. I go out of my way to avoid going there but considering it is the mecca of everything, it is almost too convenient (and cheap) not to go occassionally. And I always leave vowing never to return.

Anyway, check out the site and enjoy the pictures. I spent a good hour or so going through everyone. And was glad I did.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Place Your Bets...if you're brave

Time for some predictions for this weekend in football action. Some good games...some not so good games; I just picked out the ones that intrigued me and here's some winners (and losers):
  • Fairmont Senior 27 - Morgantown 20. Maybe it's an upset. Maybe not. If Fairmont Senior is going to challenge for another NCAC crown, this is the year. The Polar Bears are scoring at will and Morgantown hasn't been nearly as productive. I like Fairmont in this one.
  • Robert C. Byrd 21 - North Marion 18. It's another long year for the Huskies. I wish I had better news for the folks in Rachel but I just don't see them beating RCB but they could keep it close. RCB is a perennial underachiever.
  • Preston 24 - Elkins 6. Poor Elkins. Circle October 30. That is when Elkins hosts North Marion. That could be a game for the ages...
  • Michigan 28 - Notre Dame 24. A big upset? Not really. Notre Dame, despite what Lou Holtz thinks, has not turned the corner. Sure, they shutout Nevada but they're playing at the Big House and I really think Rich Rod has found a QB. Huge win towards turning the Wolverines program.
  • USC 42 - Ohio State 28. Freshman quarterback? No problem. At the Horseshoe? No problem. USC is a better team than Ohio State and Matt Barkley is a better quarterback than Terrelle Pryor. The Trojans roll over the Buckeyes.

And the two games that really matter:

  • Nicholas County 30 - East Fairmont 20. I hate picking against my team but East Fairmont struggled against University. And by struggling, I mean was completely inept. Perhaps they find a way to turn it around this week and put some points on the board. I don't know much about the Grizzlies other than their victory over Buckhannon last week but Nicholas County has slowly been building over the past few years. The Bees may struggle on the road...
  • WVU 27 - East Carolina 24. Scary game. Skip Holtz has been building a program while Bill Stewart has been napping. West Virginia has to find a way to put the ball in the endzone and not settle for field goals. Kick coverage and containment of Pinkney will decide this game. I nearly picked ECU for the upset but I just couldn't make myself do it...but I won't be surprised if it happens. West Virginia wins thanks to the home field advantage.

And that's it for the weekend of September 11th. Happy Patriots Day and best of luck on your betting. If you win, split it with me. If you lose, hey, you shouldn't gamble.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Weekend Wrapup

I went 5-2 on the predictions this week but was pretty far off on some scores. Miami beating Florida State is a real shocker to me. I think Bobby Bowden sufferred a bit of a Bill Stewart moment down the stretch, failing to call a timeout and letting the clock run down to 19 seconds before Miami called a timeout. Had FSU acted quicker on a timeout, they possibly could have gotten 4 plays instead of 3. The other one I missed was the emotional victory Bridgeport gained over Wheeling Park.

Oklahoma losing Sam Bradford for a few weeks and then losing to BYU has to be the biggest shocker of Week One. As much as I dislike OU, I hate to see them lose Bradford and lose the game that way. But BYU won and OU is going to have to run the table to have a shot at winning a national championship.

Another shock was how easily Cincinnati dismantled Rutgers. I really thought Schiano would have the Scarlet Knights ready to play from the outset this year. Instead, it looks like another slow start in New Jersey. If Pike continues to play that well, Cincy has to be the favorite to repeat as Big East champ.

Some other observations:
  • I was actually glad to see Michigan find a QB and gain a convincing victory over Western Michigan. I really hope they beat Notre Dame this weekend...but that's a tall order.
  • Ohio State may have played the most uninspired football I have ever seen against Navy. Perhaps they're looking at that looming date with USC.
  • USC didn't have much trouble getting their new QB acclimated to the game. No one in the Pac-10 can touch USC. If they can avoid beating themselves, they should easily run the table.
  • Alabama and Florida in the SEC Championship Game again.

I think that covers it for today.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Instant Analysis: West Virginia's First Game

You can't stay undefeated if you lose your first game. That's what I expect Bill Stewart to say in his press conference when discussing WVU's 33-20 victory over FCS school Liberty. It's a victory and WVU is 1-0. Whether the final score was 70-0 or 3-2, WVU would still be 1-0 if their score was the greater number. That's what I would expect Lou Holtz to say if he talked about WVU. But inside the numbers of the game, you can't feel real great about what happened on Mountaineer Field on Saturday.

The defense gave up 20 points and nearly 300 yards to a team that plays in the Big South. This is a team that is going to play West Virginia Wesleyan this year. Early in the game it appeared the Flames were going to be able to match WVU score-for-score. Thankfully, the defense settled in and made a few stops but the game was never fully in hand until a late Flames turnover. Linebacker play was solid but the secondary seemed suspect. There were a few plays where Brandon Hogan was clearly beat but the Flames QB didn't have the ability to get the ball to the open receiver. A better quarterback would have made some plays against a defense that played rather conservatively.

Another area of disappointment was kick coverage. Mike Brown averaged nearly 36 yards per kick return on 3 returns and Aldreakis Allen averaged 23 yards on his 2 returns. Considering this was a special point of emphasis for WVU, it was rather disheartening to see the team plagued with the same problems. On a positive note, Tyler Bitancurt and Scott Kozlowski both kicked well.

On offense, Jarrett Brown threw the ball well and didn't make any egregious errors that could have made this game interesting. I was happy to see Tyler Urban catching the ball downfield. I think the team made a special point of trying to get a vertical game going instead of simply relying on bubble screens and simple crossing routes. Throwing vertically can open the field up for Devine to make some spectacular plays.

Speaking of Noel Devine, I thought he played well. Still a bit too much east/west running but he was looking for holes and not trying to make every carry be a homerun. Brown also tucked the ball when it was appropriate but continued to look upfield until he was forced to run. Lots of yards...unfortunately, not able to punch in touchdowns and had to settle for field goals which was a bit disappointing.

Overally, it was a good win and a good way to start the season. The real tests begin next week when ECU comes to town. WVU will need to play better defensively to stop Pat Pinkney and extract revenge for last year's debacle down in Greenville. And I'll be anxious to see how the WVU offense executes against a real FBS opponent. And, naturally, something must be down about the atrocity known as the WVU kick coverage. Should be interesting. Then again, it always is.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Place Your Bets...NOW

It's football season and, despite the fact I missed Week One predictions, it's time for me to predict the winners and losers for some games this week. Get out your wallets and put down money on these winners:

  • Fairmont Senior 49 - North Marion 13. North Marion might be improved this year but the Polar Bears are stacked. FSHS, Morgantown and University are going to be fighting for the NCAC crown this year...don't look for North Marion to derail the Polar Bears plans.

  • Morgantown 41 - Elkins 6. Elkins doesn't really have an offense. Elkins defense isn't all that great either. Morgantown could put up 70 but I think they'll call off the dogs early. Morgantown easily rebounds from the Week One loss.

  • Wheeling Park 28 - Bridgeport 17. This is going to be an emotional game for Bridgeport considering their recent loss of a player. But Wheeling Park is just too good. Expect a large crowd supporting the Indians but it won't be enough to overcome the firepower of WPHS. I wish the Indians the best, though.

  • Alabama 24 - Virginia Tech 20. What a great opening season game. That is unless you're Frank Beamer or Nick Saban. Both teams come in with great expectations and both could have their seasons shattered in Week One. Quarterback play for Alabama is key. Game is in Blacksburg but Alabama's defense finds a way to get the victory.

  • Florida State 31 - Miami 21. Randy Shannon has to turn the Hurricanes around in a hurry but it's not going to happen in this Week One matchup against Florida State. FSU looks like they could compete for the ACC crown and Miami is still a season away.

and the two games I care most about:

  • University 27 - East Fairmont 13. I'm concerned about the lack of a running game from the Bees against Elkins. And I'm not sure the Elkins offense really tested the Bees. This is the real test for East...if they can find a way to stay competitive with University, it might be a good season. If the Hawks just blow them out of the water...well, we'll see what happens.

  • West Virginia 52 - Liberty 6. WVU needs to come out and make a statement in this game. It's Liberty for goodness sake. If WVU can't put up 50 and hold them below 10, there's something wrong. This is a cakewalk...the only question is how easy it will be.

There you have your bets today.