Monday, April 30, 2007

Misc. Football Thoughts, Some Eagles, Some Not

A few things football crossed my mind today as I surfed about ESPN.com and SI.com and PFT, still amazed at the speed with which the Fiber Optic-line transfers data. I mean if I click a page, the entire thing just slams open....its awesome...

For instance, we download quite a few TV shows via iTunes. Our big test, how fast would the latest two episodes of Stargate SG-1 (both about 500Mb) download with the new light-speed access. Normally a TV-show download would take several hours (2-3 minimum, even though we had the local DSL, the line would hiccup quite a bit, sometimes 4 hours).

Now? Whew, talk about speed. Both shows downloaded simultaneously in under 15 minutes. They were sync'd up with the our AppleTV 20 minutes after she clicked on them to download. WOW. If you have the chance to get F.O. cable installed folks and you use the Internet a lot like we do. Its worth looking into folks.

A few non-Eagles thoughts:
- Can the Falcons have any MORE injury problems this off-season. I mean, I dislike the Dirty Birds as much as the next guy, but jeeze-louise, First Demorrio Williams tears his pectoral muscle working out, and now DT Rod Coleman ruptures his quadriceps in a boating accident? Maybe the football are exacting some sort of retribution on the Falcons for not disciplining Michael Vick. Who knows, but that's two key defenders who probably won't be anywhere near 100% by Sept. (Both will miss almost the entire off-season).

- Are the Giants really that hard-up for LBers that they'd move a pretty decent DE, Kiwanuka to OLBer? Wow....I mean, that's it odd. Hey, I know of a linebacker who just became available:
(ed. nice segue)

- Goodbye Mr. Air Banjo!
That's right. The Eagles released Dhani Jones. Ok, time for fairness. He was NOT the lone cause of our collective angst regarding the defense last year. He simply wasn't good. He didn't make any plays, and when the D needed someone to step-up, time and again, it was someone else (usually Dawkins, or Lito, and sometimes OG). The bow-tie experiment lasted a year longer than it legitimately should have.

And what infuriated many observers was the goofy little guitar strum he'd do after making even a routine play. Like tackling the opposing ball-carrier when he runs to your side is cause for celebration. Speaking of which, I never, and I mean NEVER really liked that celebration. I am huge fan, and get so pumped up watching the games (usually am hoarse afterwards, etc). With that in mind, I am usually incredibly forgiving towards the things that Eagles players might do [yup, I got a kick out of MEO's TD celebrations, still get a kick out McNabb's dances, etc]. And I tell you what, when I see Dawk make a big play, I am as apt to roar out a yell and fist pump as anyone. But whenever I saw Dhani strum that banjo, I paused, and would say to myself, damn, that's fucking gay, dude....why's he gotta do that? (not that there's anything wrong with that :)

Hopefully, his youth football running-mate Jerome McDougal will soon be following him to the unemployment line. Kudos to both of the men for stepping up and helping out children off the field. I just wish y'all had given us a little more to cheer about ON it. Oh, well, it didn't work out, we don't hate you, but we sure as hell aren't sorry to see you go. Bye bye!

Giving the Kol. a Chance

Ok, so its no secret that I hate the fact the Eagles spent their first pick in the 2007 NFL draft on a quarterback. I simply cannot understand the logic, and no amount of "best player on the board" crap is going to convince me otherwise.

Kevin Kolb (pronounced Kobb, as in Corn on the -), however, is not the villain. He did not chose himself, and while I may call him Kernel Kolb (corn has kernels, colonel is a military rank, get it? {ed.: we got it doofus, now move on}) now and again, it doesn't mean I am not prepared to give the man a fair shake.

Check out this blog/video for an intro. to the Eagles new QB (courtesy Houston Chronicle.com).

Listen to an interview/podcast


I will say this for the guy, he says the right things, seems humble, and genuinely interested in playing for the Birds. All pluses....(now if only we'd taken him AFTER taking a DB....). I think there are going to be quite a few new Eagles fans down in Houston (after all, who else are they going to root for, the Texans? HA!)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Day 2 - Eagles Get "Nasti"

Ok, the post-QB-selection has begun to wear off, and while I still cannot fathom the logic, I can say this, the Eagles may have mystified the phaithful with their first selection, they did not neglect the team overall.

Day 2 brought four potential players. 2 DBs, 1 TE and 1 FB. With their first pick (5th round) the Eagles selected C.J. Gaddis a CB/S from Clemson. (hmmm, is it too much to ask that the first player we've taken from Clemson since Brian Dawkins could someday be his replacement?). Anyway....

The best news of the day. The Eagles draft Nate Ilaoa, nickname: Nasti, from UH, my former "hometown" school.
Check out these clips.

or this catch and run


If he can translate his game to the NFL, current FB Thomas Tapeh is going to be on the unemployment line....

Simply Indefensible

Try as I might, I simply cannot fathom the reasoning behind the Eagles early draft “Strategy” as I use that term very loosely. What’s all the more frustrating is that I woke up at 0100 to watch the frickin’ draft, waited for hours and hours, only to see the Birds blow the big one.

For those of you are unaware a small recap: The Eagles held the #26 pick overall. I believe that with the top 7 DBs all off the board by the time their pick arose, that they decided to trade down. They found a partner in, of all teams, the Dallas Cowboys.

The trade: Cowboys receive Pick #26 (Rd 1)

Eagles receive, (Browns/Cowboys Pick #36 (Rd 2), Cowboys Pick #87 (Rd 3), Cowboys Pick #15x (Rd 5). In essence receiving the 3 choices for their #1 slot at 26. Not bad. Not a stunner of a deal. About equal value for both teams, with “equal value” being a relative term entirely dependent on the selections made by the respective teams.

Dallas chose Purdue DE Anthony Spencer, delaying the wait for the Phaithful by hours after an already arduous 5-6 hour wait until the pick 26.

Finally the Eagles were on the clock, and nearly all the players we might have targeted at #26 were still on the board (exceptions, LB Posluszny, TE Greg Olsen, DT Alan Branch).

And with the 36th selection the Eagles select (drum roll Clark): Kevin Kolb (pronounced Cobb) – QB, Houston.

WHAT THE FUCK!!???

We wait for hours and hours and hours, with plenty of depth needs in the secondary and LB corps, and the Eagles draft a goddamn fucking QUARTERBACK???? You’re shittin’ me right? This is the second inexplicable decision in-a-row for the Coaching Staff. The first ended the 2006 season with a lame-ass punt, the next could hamstring the Birds ability to find a valuable secondary help because we chose a guy nobody had ever heard of?

This is another case of the coaching staff outsmarting itself. YES, both the Lions and Dolphins chose a QB shortly after the Eagles. BUT THOSE TEAMS NEED QBs, we DON’T! Moreover, who gives a flying fuck if one of them might’ve chosen “Kernel Kolb”??? Not me that’s for sure.

I have yet to hear an adequate reason why a QB was chosen, and I ain't buying the "best player on the board" bullshit. Unless this guy can cover a WR across the middle, he ain't going to be helping the current group of players win a championship. Moreover, I have yet to hear a good reason why we chose a guy that we could quite easily have chosen in round 3 or even in a move up in round 4. I just have to shake my head about this one fellas. Its a real disappointment.

What about the rest of the draft?
Pick #57 DE – Victor Abiamiri – Notre Dame. Ok, Getting a young DE isn’t a problem for me. I guess the jury will have to decide, cause he’s going to get compared to Spencer from Day 1.

Pick #87 OLB – Steward Bradley – Nebraska. Well I was happy to see the Eagles try and find another LB to develop. Can this guy step right in and play? Maybe. The Eagles are wide open at LB. Again, the Birds passed on Poz and waited to grab this guy. Hope the gamble pays off.

Pick #90 RB – Tony Hunt – Penn State. FINALLY, a pick that I truly cheered. After we lost out on Brian Leonard (which I thought was dumb, btw), I was hoping and hoping we wouldn’t waste another Day 1 pick on some distant future team. I think we all wanted a contributor, and Hunt, Hunt has a chance to be one. This guy runs tough, if he makes the transition, we’re going to have a tough, tough, ground game.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

No Connection! Here or at the Draft

More extensive draft analysis/reaction later. My much touted "upgrade" to Fiber optic cable isn't going so well....Our router won't connect to the modem at all, and I think we didn't get some necessary set-up from Heronet our ISP.....The only reason I am online now is because my wireless found another network, so I am borrowing a bit of bandwidth.

But not much, and I am going to log off. Just wanted to account for my sudden disappearance/odd lack of comment on this stupefying first day of the draft for the Eagles

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Draft is here!

Well as Satur-DAY turns to dusk here Japan, the day is just dawning all along the eastern seaboard. And since its the last Saturday of April that can only mean one thing - its the NFL Draft! Don't ask me why I am excited. I mean no one is going to be paying ME anything today. And while teams' fans might salivating at the prospect of having Calvin Johnson or Adrian Peterson on their team, the finance guys (and some veteran players) will be groaning under the weight of the demands on these unproven players.

Boning a top 10 pick has always had consequences. However, never more so than today as the first half-dozen guys will get millions upon millions in guaranteed money without ever having taken a snap. Now, I know, boo-hoo the billionaire owners have to share some of the wealth. I am not saying it wrong, just getting a little out-of-whack. I mean, chances are pretty dang good that two of the top 5-6 players are going to be mediocre at best - for whatever reason. And their teams are going to be saddled with them for years until the cap-hit for cutting them becomes manageable. That's why I like were the Eagles are. Signing a guy in the Top 30 is a whole different story than trying to sign a Top 10 guy.

One final reiteration of my prediction: no names just positions: 2 DB, 1LB, 1DE, 1RB, 1 wildcard (perhaps TE, OL, WR). I also think a few players could be moved, including RB Ryan Moats. The Eagles will try and dump guys like Dhani Jones and Jerome McDougal, but I don't see many buyers for their meager services.....

Well, the good news is AFN is going to carry 8 hours of ESPN draft coverage. The bad news, it starts at 1am local time, so I need to take a nap and have the coffee ready, cause its going to be a long day Sunday. Just as the coverage ends, the phone company guys will be here to install our fiber optic cable.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

75 Years of Eagles Football

One note before I get in the Eagles 75th anniversary. This line by Peter King, which I know I've thought many times in the past week, but never got around to posting (ed. which is why he's the syndicated Sportswriter dumbass): "I think we need to remember two things as draft-mania ratchets up in the next 48 hours: Half of these first-day picks will be total washouts after three years. That's not me throwing a wet blanket on your fun; it's historical fact."

Well anyway, the draft is not today's focus. Nope. Even though I am definitely getting psyched about it (though I may experience some interruption cause the guys will be out to install our new fiber-optic cable on Sunday morning (which is right in the middle of Day 1 for me). Today's focus is just what the Title says: the Eagles doing a fine job of celebrating 75 years as a franchise.

Go here to visit the Eagles Virtual Museum.
There is a slick, awesome intro video, downloadable .pdfs for all-time rosters, etc. Its really top-notch.

The only thing I don't really dig. The throwback uniforms. The Eagles decided to go with the very first uniforms:O.K. so (as dug up by Rodman) the Eagles are debuting the uniforms against the Lions this year, and in their very first HOME game they ever played, they played the franchise that would eventually become the Detroit Lions. So they chose their very first uniforms.

Sjoebarry elaborates: "Midway through the 1931 season, Philadelphia's representative in the NFL, the Frankford Yellow Jackets, went bankrupt and ceased operations. After more than a year of searching for a suitable replacement, the NFL awarded the dormant franchise to a syndicate headed by former Yellow Jackets owners Bert Bell and Lud Wray, in exchange for an entry fee of $2,500. Drawing inspiration from the insignia of the centerpiece of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, the National Recovery Act, Bell and Wray named the new franchise the Philadelphia Eagles. (Neither the Eagles nor the NFL officially regard the two franchises as the same, citing the aforementioned period of dormancy; furthermore, almost no Yellow Jackets players were on the Eagles' first roster. Some observers, however, believe the two teams should be treated as one.) The Eagles, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the defunct Cincinnati Reds, joined the NFL as expansion teams."

But that doesn't mean I have to like them.
When I think of the Eagles, I don't think baby blue and gold
I don't bleed blue and gold
I BLEED GREEN

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Domicile

I've been here in Japan for a number of months now without ever appropriately introducing the place we in which we live. Now I cannot say that I've got a top of world-class photos to share with you all. But, I will share some of the photos I finally downloaded of our place.
Above it the view of our house (it extends to the next house to the right of the picture). Entrance is gained via the garage. Inside it the family truckster, a Nissan Stagea (all sorts of car brands out here in Japan that you never hear of in the states). The good news, the sun rises in the East (duh) - which is to the left in the photo, so, there is very little direct sunlight on our bedroom (the window pictured is our "Master Suite" - ahem) in the morning. And trust me when the GD sun is rising at 0400, that is a good thing. Below: how to know its our house, look for the dachshund sign in the window
Below: our alley. For reference, I turned to my right after taking the first shot, and snapped a photo of the alley. Its an intermingled community. Our next door neighbors, with whom I've only ever really exchanged a few greetings, grunts and nods, are Japanese. But many on the street are not. (note the car sticking out on the right front. That is mine, its a Toyota Carina and I know, you've never heard of that brand either). It spend most of its time in our car port about 20 feet or so down the alley.
Below: a view of the cloudy sky and our "view" from standing in the garage and looking the "other" way in the alley. Note the incredibly sturdy fence we have to ensure that nothing falls into the sunken rice field between us and the Nissan dealership (the blue building). Also note that "McMansions" have crossed the pond. Its actually a very recognizable landmark here in Misawa (the giant gated mansion - there's only one)....The owner has quite the car collection as well. Could be the local Pachinko baron.

Well that's it for now. Next up, the Eagles have a cool new website to celebrate their 75th anniversary and some god-awful fugly throwback uniforms to go along with it. That'll be posted soon. And after that, its bath time for the doggies and maybe some interior shots.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What Are the Eagles going to do on Draft Day?

Well, with the draft just a few days away, I imagine it high time I start plugging in my .02. My opinions are scattered about various threads on various message boards, but here, I'll inject the finer points.

- I've said this over and over, but it bears repeating. The Eagles' move in FA/trades have sent them up to take the best player available - regardless of position - if they choose to stand pat and use their #26 selection.
- I believe the Eagles will choose a defensive player, unless all their top-tier defenders are gone someone really unexpected is there at #26...(don't ask who that might be....)
- I also believe that not all their top-tier guys will be gone. Why? Because the Eagles could easily use a LB, DB, or a DE and its highly unlikely that every single guy in the top 3 at DE, LB, CB and S will be gone at #26 - someone they like will be there.
- With only 6 picks, I think moving up in the draft is unlikely (so does GM Tom Hecket, btw), unless the other teams accepts players/lower draft pick, rather than the usual #2 pick it takes. (why - I think the Eagles want to come out of Saturday with 3 guys who have a chance to play a role on a team that intends to win it all and wing out some projects and see if they can't score another Trent Cole on day 2.
- Trading down will not be easy, but it'd be easier than moving up. Perhaps if there is an abundance of DB still left on the board when the Eagles come up at #26, they can do a deal with a team that wants leapfrog past a rival (say the Patriots, as folks eye their rapid succession #1 picks in the 20s with envy) and score a player they think Belichick wants (just as an example). Heck, it could be the Colts wanting to make sure they get the LB they want or something. Either way, opportunities exist....
- I think that barring moves, Day 1 will net the Eagles 2 Def/1 Off player(s). What positions? 1 DB, 1 LB and 1 RB. I know that's a safe course to predict. And it might not be right. But I think given the long-term needs, it'd be good. It is also quite possible that the Eagles will not chose a LB at all, and select 2 DBs or 1 DB and 1 DE.
- I think that the above variations are entirely dependent on the status of the draft board. Anyone who has watched prior drafts know that little spurts happen, where teams looking for say, DB help, start seeing a couple of guys go off the board, and think, shit, we better our DB before they're all gone, viola, instant run, and 3-4 of the dudes are gone from choices 15-24....The draft is totally unpredictable. That is why I like it.

Finally since everyone seems confounded unless you actually list some players. I would be more than happy if the Eagles were to draft: DBs: Reggie Nelson, Michael Griffin, Darrelle Revis, Aaron Ross. LBs: Poz, Willis, Timmons. DL: Carriker (simply because he's BIG, and BIG DE are not a bad thing to have), Spencer, maybe even Moss from Miami at #26.

Yeah yeah yeah, no need to leave a message telling me who won't be there at #26. I would be STUNNED if Willis or Revis or Carriker were around. The other I think we have a legit shot at drafting, if the draft falls the right(?) way.

Other random sports thoughts:
- Wouldn't it be cool to have guys like CJ or Okoye on that list...yup...but then again, if the price is having a Redskins-type year of futility, I'll pass
- If the right guys is there (and the other "more" right are all gone) I wouldn't be surprised if the Eagles picked a DE (Andy love him his linemen)
- They couldn't possibly pick a WR? Could they?
- Break out of the 6 picks: 2 DB, 1 DE, 1 LB, 1 RB, 1 wildcard (depends on how day 2 shakes out). - I'd look for the Eagles to add another couple of Undrafted FA OL. They do well picking up undrafted lineman a) {sometimes better than the drafted one}, and b) it'll keep the guys on the roster hungry. Competition is good.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Phucking Phillies and For the Love of God, something "football" happen....

The the pre-draft doldrums are killing me. There is no Eagles news and there isn't a team out there doing squat in the week before the draft. DAMN! We're stuck in this endless "we need a LB" or "we need a Big RB" or "this mock draft has us taking a WR!" loop.

And don't even get me started on the Phucking Phillies....how in the ever-loving hell can that team, with those players, be this f'ing pathetic? After all their talk, and being a chic pick to be a legit playoff contender they are 4-11 and the bona-fide worst team in baseball. Oh good lord. I really feel for the folks suffering through that crapola. I refuse. Don't confuse this with rooting against them. I would like for the team to do well, for other fans' sakes, not my own. Even if they do well, I will not jump on the bandwagon, cause I've lost interest in the marathon baseball season (of course for the Phillies, they keep starting each season like James Caan's writer in Misery, tied to the bed with a madwoman breaking their ankles).

Perhaps if the idiot owners had chosen Jim Leyland (who, by the way, was hired by the Detroit Tigers after the Phillies took a place and promptly resurrected a perennial door-mat and guided them to the World f-ing Series) instead of good ole Cholly, the Phillies might look like a team actually prepared to compete in games. Instead they're a can't hit-can't pitch laughingstock - AGAIN - who've buried themselves, their post-season hopes, and any chance of a cool, dreamy summer for the city's dwindling number of baseball fans by the end of April....

Women Like Porn?

MSN and Esquire are running this series "Things you don't know women." A variety of women have created their own personal Top 10 lists. In my own personal "everquest" to discern the mystery that is female, I took it upon myself to read this "for the rest of us" and try and find the choicest bits to share:

Alyssa Milano was pretty funny (ed. take chance to insert photo, dummy)
Good thinkin'

Well anyway, I thought that she flashed a pretty decent sense of humor, so I figured I'd repost some of her points:
1. Women are innately self-conscious. This is not a choice; it's a gender-wide condition. On a bad day, I look in the mirror and see my ten-pound-heavier alter ego. Her name is Bertha. On a really bad day, Bertha sees her two-hundred-pound-heavier alter ego. Her name is Brian Dennehy. (I asked the oracle, probably true was the confirmation)

3. Women like porn, too. We just hate it when you hide the porn. (REALLY? but I imagine having my desktop screens savers be an endless stream of XXX would grow old...maybe)

4. Women remember everything . Don't believe me? Ask your girlfriend where you met. (my wife is a perfect example)

6. No matter how much your woman loves you, there are going to be three to seven days each month when she wants you dead.

7. We think it's weird when you watch sports and concentrate to help your team. (Blasphemy!)

8. "Hey, Melissa, who's the boss?" Not a good pickup line. "Hey, Phoebe, where'd you park your broomstick?" Not a good pickup line. "Hey, Alyssa, you look 250 pounds lighter than Brian Dennehy in that dress." Surprisingly good pickup line.

Charlayne Woodard (no, I've never heard of her either) has a few practical tips for guys:

3. We love a well-groomed man. Hair sticking out of the ears and nose is a turnoff. Also, long nails belong on pimps.

4. We hate it when you're talking to us on the phone and typing on your computer at the same time. No, we don't like that at all.

5. We don't consider the ear an erogenous zone.

Cheryl Hines (nope sorry, unknown) also has some funny lines. Like this one,
5.
Every time we get a bikini wax, a little bit of our soul is ripped out. But you know how it feels: You go through the same thing when you get your back waxed. . . . Oh, wait a second, wrong magazine. You don't know how it feels.

Check out the links to see the entire list. And if you think this entire post was just one big excuse for me to post more Alyssa Milano photos...damn, you just might be right, so why stop at one?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Gratuitous Boob Shot and Other Things

Well, as a vaGiants troll so kindly pointed out, there is an error on the All-Bust Starting Offense.
This photo is NOT Jessica Biel, its Nikki Cox:
What this means, (besides, of course, the chagrin for trusting the label on the download and not my eyes....lousy Internet) is that I've found the captain of my DEFENSE! (oh captain, my captain). Moreover, to keep up the gratuity, I should offer up a replacement shot of the fine Ms. Biel. So here ya go:
So you see troll, Eagles fans adapt and overcome, for the benefit of ALL.

Now, speaking of the Birds. There hasn't been much going on in footballdom lately. NovaCare has been fairly silent. For instance, Spuds's latest article with GM Tom Heckert is about how the Eagles are positioned to take the best player available in the NFL draft.

This is hardly earth-shattering news. I mean, the Birds have address nearly every hole on the team in some way, shape or form. Cog players like Quintin Mikell, Juqua Thomas, Correll Buckhalter and AJ Feeley were resigned. Kevin Curtis was signed to address the departure of Donte Stallworth. The trade with the Bills brought us a needed LB in Takeo Spikes AND a #3 QB in Kelly Holcomb. Montae Reagor gives us another DT and hopefully provides some better veteran leadership (though Bunkley's development is still crucial).

So who are the Eagles going to draft? No mocks here. While an entertaining diversion now and again, mock drafts are hopelessly useless predictors of the actual outcome of the draft. I've posted the gist of the aforementioned article many times on the Philly boards. The Eagles can go multiple ways with the #26 pick. If the top LBs are gone, we can get a top tier safety or CB, its unlikely that all the best DBs will be gone, but on the off-chance that they are, then that means some other position should have a really good players left (LB, DE, RB, TE, whatever).....Next weekend is going to be fun. I wonder what time I have to get up?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Micc's "All Bust" Team (Offense)

Now for a little irreverence. The sports sites and message board are abuzz with talk of the upcoming NFL Draft. And after weeks of fawning, we've reached the stage at which the writers run out of superlatives and begin tweaking their earlier exuberance. This, I am dubbing, "Bust Week" when every major sports site: from SI, to ESPN (oops most of the articles are for "Insiders" so please pardon this outsider), to FoxSports and beyond amps up the cautionary tales, and, in addition to the endless streams of "updated" mock drafts, begins to label some guys as reaches or potential busts, etc, etc.

Well Jaws on Philly.com (no, not THAT Jaws, this one...) began a thread dubbed the "All Bust Team" that was initially populated mostly with the ultra-jugged porn starlets from the 80s (Christy Canyon, Wendy Whoppers, etc). And that got me thinking. Who would make my "All Bust Team".

The ground rules:
- no super-boobs (girls with Triple-E and all that need not apply, I don't like boobs that tip the girls over)
- all natural, to my knowledge none of the members have undergone any "performance enhancements"; if I am in error please let me know
- its my list, deal with it. These are the racks that snap your eyes away from theirs. It isn't a list of who's got the biggest, it isn't a list of the who the hottest girls are (cause if it was, there'd be some ladies on there who are more proportionate), its a list of the some of the best current "busts", its not an all-time squad (though there will be some honorable mentions)

With that out of the way onto the lineup!:

Lets start "in the trenches", with my 5-girl, Offensive Line. But don't think of these girls as hogs, or anything crude, The O-line is the foundation of the team, and these girls got busts that can stand up with the breast of them.

RT - Eva Mendes (actress/model) a feminine stalwart, I couldn't remember her name right away, but she's got a package that is hard to forget. Not a bad way to start the line.
RG - Morgan Webb (from TV's G4 Network - a gamer girl! Yowza!)
C - Mariah Carey (singer)

LG - Scarlett Johannsen (film star, bod that just doesn't quit) she also looks good as a brunette.
LT - Salma Hayek - (film star) - she can anchor any line imaginable.
Running Backs (2) - these girls are the work-horses of the team, and they also have bods that'll keep the fellas "running back" for more) The prerequisites: women in fantastic condition to anchor a twin-attack that can threaten to break a game wide open on anytime they touch the ball.

Jessica Alba (actress) - Whether she's simply "Fantastic", or "Dark", long-haired or short, blonde or brunette, this girl has got the moves to go all the way. Her secret weapon, distracting defenses with a see-thru dress.
she also gets two pics to showcase her versatility:
In keeping with my luscious twins motif: joining Jessica Alba in the backfield is another Jessica.

Jessica Biel (actress) - Holy SMOKES, fellas, this is one athletic girl! Her secret backfield weapon, a monster TONGUE that makes defensive minds wander and day-dream.
A true two-way player, Biel draws attention both covered:
and uncovered:
For more of this versatile threat. Go here.

Wide Receivers/Tight-Ends (3) No lewd comments. Those jokes are older than dirt. These knockouts have a variety of skills and played a wide variety of roles. All are solid contributor, and breakaway threats in their own rite.

Alyssa Milano (actress) - An original Halliwell sister, Alyssa doesn't need magic to make plays on the field. But that rack is bewitching nonetheless. Long hair or short (my preference for her) she is definitely a play-maker on my team.
For more of this beauty, just ask men or go here.

Catherine Bell (actress) - Most guys went "ten-hut" for JAG, when that show graced the airwaves. Now she'll definitely command the attention of the opposing teams' corners (and safeties, and linebackers, and lineman, and coaches, and refs....)
She gets a bonus pic for being in (and out of) uniform.
Monica Bellucci (actress). Talk about sultry. She melts opposing players from the sidelines. Cool off girl! A real renaissance woman, This Italian bombshell can "go long" with the best of them.
She gets two just for being Italian...woohoo...
For more, go here. or here, or even here.

Finally, no team would be complete without a Quarterback.
And the QB for my team, is going to be a true-All American: Jessica Simpson!
Actress and all American beauty. Jessica's got it going on, and this blonde bombshell can definitely lead this team to victory. I've come across some places saying she's been "enhanced" if anyone knows the truth...well...I may just break my rules for her. She can be sweet, sultry, innocent, decadent, goofy or just plain hot.
Need more Jessica? Go here.
Well that's its folks, my starting 11.
Think I erred in my judgment? Tough shit. Its my team. But feel free to nominate All-Time Hall of Famers, or girls for the Defensive side of the ball.

"Remember Me"

I wanted to share this.
As well as my personal thanks to all those who serve, past, present and future. Most especially my wife and all my friends who served and are still serving (Angela, Deleon, Lori, Bruner, Justin, Rob, Craig, Dooley, Eric, Bill, Redford, Beeker, Bean, Z, Stocking, Mei Ling, Dan, Anya, Nate, Gene, Monte, Mike C., Woody, all the "majors", Paul, Kevin, Yoshi, dang, this list could go on and on)

It's five minutes, but it well worth your time. My appreciation to the creators.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cat Massage

This gives new meaning to "pussy-whipped", man that dog has it good...

Virgina Tech Massacre

My heart goes out the students, parents, professors, employees at Virgina Tech. Damn, that was a helluva thing to hear about when the alarm went off this morning. 33 total dead so far, including the gunman according to the press conference they just had. I cannot imagine the feeling of dread those countless parents and loved ones of the students must have gone/are still going through....God Bless.

I tell you what though. Was watching CNN and this student, Jamal Albarghouti, had a Nokia Cellphone and took video, (he's talking to CNN right now, so I got his name right) and wow..you know, it makes you think. In this day and age, technology gives us all the chance to be eyewitnesses to things. I mean there are some memorable, tragic shooting events in U.S. History (Luby's cafeteria in TX, the UT bell-tower sniper, the McDonalds tank thing in San Diego, Xerox shootings in Hawaii, to say nothing of school shootings), but very, very few have on-the-ground accounts like this young man provided.

Watch the video. This motha' runs TOWARDS the gunfire! My hats off to him, if he's not a journalism major, he should be. He's got the 'nads for it. Brave lad.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Where did the day go?

Man, the alarm went off at 0400 this morning (cause the wife is on day shift for the next couple of weeks) and even though it took a while to roll out of bed (when you crash at midnight and the clock-radio starts blaring country at 4 in the morning, it can take a while to come to your senses) I've been pretty dang busy today.

Talked with my bud, Scott, who's chilling in Colorado (note: he doesn't blog much). Whipped some UEF ass in the my latest game, Supreme Commander (the game is a lot cooler than the title would lead you to believe). Bugged over to the Eagles boards to see what was what. Went into base to get a crapload of stuff done, including a good long workout. Then I came back with a few rentals in hand and watched Altered this afternoon while having a late lunch.

Altered is quite good. Made by the director of the Blair Witch Project, it sets four guys who were "abducted" 15 years ago, against a lethal alien, who for reasons that I won't go into here, they do not want to kill (it has no such problems). Reasonably well done, it goes shoestring most of the way. No fancy set or locales, just some backwoods ramshackle place that the protagonist has built in order to isolate himself from a town that thinks he a whack-job and to hide from any aliens that might want to return to look his up (he got the full monty treatment up in the spaceship, a few of the others didn't).

Anyway, I enjoyed it. And after that, wow, if was past 16:30, so its past 18:30 and my wife should be coming back from work any time. Her plan is to pass out right away, and I gotta admit, I am a little tired. I just wonder where the time went? Whew. Well. There isn't much else going on here in Japan. We're getting as drenched as the East Coast. Been raining for 4 days straight. I am half-expecting to see a little Japanese Noah leading pairs of animals down the street.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Schedule's Out - Looking Ahead at the 2007 Season

Well everyone, you gotta hand it to the NFL. They sure know how to string out the off-season. A week after the Superbowl officially ends the season, we get the ProBowl. Two weeks later, its the Scouting Combine, followed shortly thereafter by the opening of FA in the beginning of March. Then there would appear to be a large hole until the NFL draft in late April. But have no fear. First week of April brings out the formal 2007 schedule, which gives we addicted plenty of material gnaw on between the incessant mock drafts and "he's still unsigned!" chatter.

Now I know the schedule came out a few days ago, AND that I'm behind the power curve on having my say about it. But so what? None of you are coming here for the bleeding edge news, what-happened-10-minutes-ago news on the 'Boids....so let's get to it:

Preface: There will be no win/loss predictions accompanying this schedule breakdown. Why? Besides the fact that they ridiculous at this point, I fully believe that the Eagles can win every game on their schedule. They are a good team. Does that mean I am saying 16-0....don't be silly...but I will set out some of the basic presumptions that I will be using:

- "any given Sunday" applies - The Eagles are capable of beating any opponent
- Most often the Eagles greatest enemy in games is themselves
- That said, at least twice this year, the team will barely show up or won't show up at all (for those of you seeking references: the game vs Tampa Bay, where the Birds slept walk through about 3 qtrs of the game vs a lousy opponent, came storming back and then lost on a 62-yd-never-shoulda-happened-FG; also see: the lackluster I'd-rather-be-in-Vegas showing against the Jags, a 13-3 bore-fest from last year.)
- The Eagles will also lose at least twice even if they play a strong game simply because the other team was/did a combo of the following: 1) was the better team that day no matter what; 1a) got all the right "bounces" (better to be lucky than good - ask the Patriots); 2) made fewer mistakes; or 3) capitalized aggressively on whatever mistakes the Eagles did make

That said: onto the games (Ed. - FINALLY, windbag)

9 Sep - Week 1 - At Green Bay Packers: opening the season vs the Pack should be a blessing. Why, because there has been a lot of turnover in Cheeseland this off-season. The Pack became a competitive team in the latter half of 2006. Best to hit them early before they gel

17 Sep - Week 2 - Washington Redskins: hmmm, division games are always tough. This should be no exception but I gotta like the Eagle at home on Monday Night football. Hopefully we can send the 4skins spinning into an early 0-2 hole....

23 Sep - Week 3 - Detroit Lions: Next in the Linc slink the Lions. The only problem with facing this conglomeration of under-achievers is whether or not they're 0-2 going into the game. Regardless, the Eagles should roll the Lions no matter what.

30 Sep - Week 4 - At NY Giants: Ok, so a quick trip up the Jersey turnpike to the swamp-o-lands for a Prime Time match-up on NBC Sunday Night football (hmm, a second prime time game with Philly vs a division opponent). That's fine, though I wonder what the Tiki-less Giants will look like...

7 Oct - Week 5 - BYE: Alright, its not TOO Early, and you never know when the BYE week will be needed....it usually seems to be the right time though...

14 Oct - Week 6 - At NY Jets: cripes, deja vu time, back to the swamp. But this time we face a regular pre-season foe the Jets. Dang it, they got Thomas Jones too. Hmmmm. Still the Birds are tough to face coming off the bye week. I don't envy NY fans.

21 Oct - Week 7 - Chicago Bears: well at least we get the Bears at home for a nationally televised late Sunday afternoon game. Hopefully they will be firmly entrenched in the post-Superbowl hang-over.

28 Oct - Week 8 - At Minnesota Vikings: what you our quad-corps of games vs the NFC North will be over in the first seven games? The way I see it, the Eagles better make some hay in this part of schedule.

4 Nov - Week 9 - Dallas Cowboys: Return of MEO Part Duex on National TV, NBC Sunday Night Football. It comes a month later in the schedule than last year, and marks the second time we start a division series at home. The Eagles need to ring up the Boys here in their 3rd nationally televised NFC East match-up. Holy smokes...that the first 3 games as in the bright lights....The Eagles are very good in these games...that bodes well.

11 Nov - Week 10 - At Wash. Redskins. Trap game.

18 Nov - Week 11 - Miami Dolphins. The 'Fins at home. Two games-in-a-row on Sunday at 1pm EST. Is this some kind of trick? I wonder who their QB will be?

25 Nov - Week 12 - At New England Patriots. The Birds 4th and final Prime Time game (pending Flex scheduling). Tough one. In NE? Yikes....This is where some early wins could really take the pressure off.

2 Dec - Week 13 - Seattle Seahawks. HA. Good. our one potential really long road-trip, and it doesn't happen. The Seahags get to fly cross-country and play in an early game. That plays to our favor, but it doesn't guarantee a damn thing.

9 Dec - Week 14 - NY Giants. What's this? Two home games in-a-row? Happens twice this year, first in Sep and then in early Dec. Hopefully we can use this as a springboard, cause December is NOT an easy slate for the Birds.

16 Dec - Week 15 - At Dallas Cowboys. Well its not a Christmas weekend game (that would've been grand) but this could certainly get Eagles fans in a jolly mood for the holidays! Hopefully the Birds will not be in too giving a frame of mind.

23 Dec - Week 16 - At New Orleans. Hmm, depending on the rankings, this one could have flex scheduling potential...could...I think 4 national games it pretty dang good. I doubt the Birds get dialed a 5th time, but its possible....

30 Dec - Week 17 - Buffalo Bills. Talk about anti-climatic....(please don't prove me wrong). The final game of the year in a non-conference game? That is weird. Hopefully the Birds can "represent" and kick some AFC tail to set the stage for a SuperBowl run.

So what do I see: what everyone else does. The potential for a strong double-digit win season if everyone comes back strong and healthy. Or a mediocre 7 to 9 win season if the Birds get too cocky and don't take their earlier, weaker opponents seriously enough.

The good news: the Birds longest road trip this year is to Dallas! How nice is that? Their AFC road trips are to NY and Foxboro Mass. Not too shabby either as far as travel goes. (Better than flying to Miami). No three-game road-trip versus division opponents (though that worked out pretty well last year didn't it?)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Happy Birthday D.J.

Well, its April 13th here in Japan and the day after my wedding anniversary can only mean one thing! - It's D.J.'s birthday! That's right, the "Dude" is 5. Wow....can't believe its been four years since I got "deej" for our third wedding anniversary:


Myspace Comments

Yes that's right, we've had him for four years, not five. He spent the first 10 months of his life with another family. He was going to be a purebred showdog, but...well, go to his page to check out the rest of his story.
Sorry we haven't found a woman for you yet, and there's no doggie bakery here in Misawa to get you any special treats. But I will post a older photo of him enjoying what had been a traditional birthday cupcake: Before:During:

After:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me

Well its my 7th wedding anniversary (feels like only 1 dog year dearest)....


Myspace Comments

I decided to forego the traditional or contemporary gifts this year. Mostly because they're stupid. I mean wool or copper. Or a Deskset???

you got to be kidding me.
You see I got the coolest wife around - her idea of the perfect gift for us - APPLE TV, which is, in her words: "Awesome-o". How can I top that?

IT WORKS, IT WORKS!

Joy of joys! After procrastinating for two days, distraught that my newly "fixed" computer (which cost me a bundle to ship to the states and back) was not actually fixed....

First, the computer hard-drive appeared blank. OH SHIT! I thought Alienware had reneged on their word and wiped my hard drive. AUGH. But no, they hadn't connect my old HDDs, they had only installed a 3rd 160 GB Hard drive and gotten the computer running on that one. Well lo' and behold, guess what else went on the fritz....one of the two nVidia 512Mb 7900 GTXs...the powerhouses that make my rig scream through any game on the market. Turns out, somehow, strangely, the first card in my SLI went buggy. So a great tech at Alienware named Max, talked me through the diagnosis on the why the GUI had gone to shit. Once we figured that out. I switched to second card, which runs fine, and switched out from SLI-mode to single card mode (yes you do need to flip a little card on the motherboard to do that).

However that was not the only problem. The computer would not boot up, it didn't recognize the Raid 0 Array of my twin 160GB Seagate HDDs. SO, we had to bust out the Microsoft XP Pro Recovery disk, pressed F8 to enter the boot menu, and clicked on the Boot from CD option. Pop goes the command prompt, and the type Fixboot C and create a new boot section. Then we did a thorough check disk. At this point the tech says. Hey, this is going to take about an hour. When its over, type EXIT, and everything should work. If it doesn't....well, guess what that would mean? Ding, ding, ding - complete wipe-out restore, re-installation of the OS, everything. Oh no, no please.

So after an agonizing wait that the check disk function ran. I got the show: scanned for errors, found some and repaired them.
I type E-X-I-T and press enter, and hold my breath.

And seconds later I see the XP loading page, and the little blue scroll bar starts humming across. Cross fingers - say a pray - and up pops the WELCOME SCREEN! I let out a small whoot, but we're not there yet you see....I click my name: and its the moment of truth....dreading a flash to a black screen and the cyclical reboot.....

Disaster AVERTED! - I see the glorious twin Jedi figure of Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda looking pissed and wielding lightsabers (part of the Star Wars theme that came with my Alienware Rig) - and desktop is there. All the shortcuts, everything, just like I'd left that fateful night two months ago before Valentine's Day.

Quick as a flash I check My Computer and click on the C-drive properties...YES, 300 GBs, about 100 used....its all there. Oh but what's this, a prompt from Windows telling me I need to reboot to save the changes....AUGH, I just got this working, what if the reboot get hosed up. I'm finally in, I cannot waste this chance - I snatch my Lacie external fire-wire drive and plug it in (small prayer)....instant recognition, just like always. Click over to program files. Bam. Find iTunes. Click. Pow. Copy over to the External drive. Go-go-go, no time to waste. About a half-hour later the 50 GB worth of iTunes stuff and more is safely stored on the External drive. Whew....

ok NOW, I can reboot and viola! Things work perfectly. Just like they should.

Long story a bit lonber - I connected all my peripherals. The fantastic little HP Officejet, the webcam, the wireless internet, all the external HDDs (we have 3 right now), my Razer mouse.....and everything works. It just works. Isn't that great or what? Now I can finally install and play Half Life 2, Episode 1, which my wife got me for Valentine's Day, and which was the game in my hand as a sauntered into the home office on that fateful V-Day (only to be tortured by a cyclic reboot and insane beeping from the computer). Moreover, there's Supreme Commander and Command and Conquer 3 (gotta choose which), so there Planet Earth that needs to be took over....sigh...where to begin....oh yeah...with this blog I guess.

Monday, April 09, 2007

An Axis + Allies Weekend and some computer trouble

Whew!
It doesn't seem like that long, but I guess I didn't post the past couple of days. How unusual.

So what's been going on? First things first, if you like board games or really immersive table-top games - go here and check out Boardgamegeek.com for pictures and review of just about everything you can think or remember from your youth, plus find listing of places to buy them or where to shop online. Its pretty cool. You don't have to register - I didn't - yet ;)

Not much real good happened this weekend - depressing things actually - I finally got my computer back after much time and expense and its still not fixed right.....I've put off the dreaded tech support phone call for a day and half now....its going to be painful folks...let me tell you. So, no Supreme Commander or Command and Conquer 3 just yet for you intrepid gaijin. DAMMIT! The old rig can't even dream of running such a game, but my Star Wars rig....with twin nVidia 512Mb GTX 7900s....OH....its rarin' to go....too bad the GD thing doesn't WORK....AUGH....I'll tell you what, Alienware has a very, VERY slim chance of retaining my future business.

I also had a chance to play the newest version of an old table-top classic Axis and Allies. Man, the basic game is the same, but they've really altered the Eastern Front between Germany and Russia. Wow....it really changes the changes the game. There's a lot of other subtle little changes as well. (Like the Sahara desert is impassable, which keeps the Germany AFRIKA Corps bottled up in North Africa, and there are more sea zones, making ship movement a bit slower in places. And a very welcome British naval presence in India and Australia) Well long story short, I went to the local game night, planning to play some Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition. But there was a new guy there and we talked for a bit and decided to try and get in two games...OOPS....the game went a little slow and we wound up just playing one - A&A. For those of you that don't know anything about the game feel free to skip this part: It was me and the game owner (Charles) as the Allies. He professed his competence with America, so I took Russia and Britain, while the other players Kirk and his son Tristan played the Axis powers - Germany and Japan. It really became a battle between Kirk and I, because Charles did very little to help the allied cause. I kept carrying the water, holding the tough Germans and Japanese off, hoping that America would enter the fray quickly (heck my Aussie submariners - yes you read that right, Britain starts with a submarine in Australia now - took out the Japanese sub in the Solomons, and then sunk a fully loaded Japanese carrier with an instant death sneak attack the next round - Brilliant - the Brits did more to hamper the Japanese in the Pacific than the U.S.!) Charles did help in a couple of spots. But I tell you what, it was Britain that pulled out the victory, with almost no help, other than the Russo-German meatgrinder that was the Ukraine - Russian and Germany armies, tanks and planes went there to die, and die they did, by the hordes.....It kept the pressure off the U.K. though, and actually me to start open up a western front quite early in the game. ah...the good old days of battling out WWII on a board game. Man, I hadn't played that game in YEARS! Years I tell you, and I hadn't lost "it".

Friday, April 06, 2007

Keys for the Eagles in 2007

A post on the Eagles board at Philly.com got me thinking. What are the keys to the Eagles season in 2007. Having spent so much time debating the fine point of the Eagles off-season moves (with more coming re- the Draft) what can I speculate about regarding what needs to happen to the team to contend for a chance to be in playing in Arizona in Feb.

Overall Team Key #1 - First and foremost, the Eagles need Donovan back. Coming off a torn ACL is never easy and while Carson Palmer did very well last year, he didn't find his QB groove for a little while. That might work in Cincinnati, but Eagles phans need to remember this come September; he probably won't be 100% back and rarin' to go, no matter what the press clippings say. That isn't to say he won't play, or that we should go with A.J. (though I think he could get us by for a few weeks). But make no mistake, this team will not contend without its QB1. If McNabb can stay healthy and get stronger as the season goes on, we'll be fine.

Which leads me to Offensive Key #1 - balance. In order to lighten the burden the team usually heaps on McNabb's shoulders (and keep him upright), the Eagles need to run the ball. I think Reid's commitment to letting Marty Mornhigwheg call the plays suggests this will be the case but we cannot expect to call on McNabb to pass 45-50 times a game 3-4-5 weeks in a row and expect good results.

Offensive Key #2 - Working in a young, new Big Back. I know the Eagles re-signed Buck for another two years, and I know that Westbrook is actually fairly underrated at getting those tough yards (we don't seem to use him enough), but getting a bruiser complement to WB and Buck, someone who can catch the ball too, but somehow who lay the wood to an opponent from either the FB or RB position would be nice, and would really help us maintain that balance (see point 1).

Offensive Key #3 - Production by Curtis/Brown, maturation by Baskett and Avant. I know a lot of folks wanted to see Donte' Stallworth stick around for a while. So did I. But Kevin Curtis is not a bad replacement - or at least he doesn't appear to be. They both got blazing speed, and while Donte' is bigger, Kevin has got better hands. They both can make the tough catch in traffic, I just think that Curtis has a slight edge in making the reception. We'll see sometimes Donovan's passes aren't the easiest things to catch - Curtis will have some adjusting to do. As for Reggie. He had his best game with Stallworth out of the line-up, so while a lot of folks considered DS our Top WR - Reggie's not that far off. If he continues to step-up, he will be a complete and consistent threat at WR. Our second year men, Hank Baskett and Jason Avant should be fine. I don't anticipate that the Eagles will draft a WR, and I'd love to see HB continues to blossom. He came outta nowhere last year and did very well. I still stay Hank's acquisition is the best thing Billy McMullen ever did for this team (we traded BM to Minnesota for the undrafted Hank Baskett)....If Avant can force his way onto the field as a reliable possession/slot guy, it could portend the ends of Greg Lewis' tenure with the team (or maybe not).

Overall Team Key #2 - the second or third d'uh already in this post: Improved Play by the Defense. Ok, quit groaning and don't second guess your decision to click on over here, this key has a point - it leads into the section on individual defense points on which the Eagles need to improve:
Defense Key #1 - Improved play by the defensive tackles. Cole, Kearse, Lito and Dawk might get the lions share of the attention, but its the boys in the middle of the D-Line that set the tone (or don't as was the case too often last year). JJ's defensive style it predicated on technique and speed, not matching size on size as many of us would like to see. But I tell you what, the play of Bunkley, Patterson, Reagor, Ramsey and Rayburn (our present core of DTs) will go a long, LONG way to deciding the overall effectiveness of the Eagles defense. It will make or break our D. If the DTs don't command attention, it reduces the effectiveness of our speed-rushing ends, and too often allows opposing teams to get a lineman on our backers....NOT GOOD...it also plays into...

Defense Key #2 - Restoring the DL-rotation. The Birds D was at its best last year, early on, when we had a very effective 8-man rotation going. The Giants game turned on its head, and the Birds lost Jevon to a season ending injury in O.T. BAM - thing went downhill fast after that...this goes hand-in-hand with DT improvement, but it factors in the need for Kearse to come back healthy (he was injured very early in the season, and should be back to form quicker than McNabb) and for Howard to not disappear in the second half of the season. A lot depends on 4 linemen (Kearse, Howard, Bunkley and Ramsey) who for various reasons, were not available or did not produce as much as expected last season.

Key #3 - Weighing-In. There are some playing weight concerns for some on the Def. Foremost in my mind - Sean Considine. It was painfully obvious after seeing some decent-sized to big back lead cleat marks on his chest, that Strong Safety run support was a little much for his current playing weight. Considine can hit, and he's got good tackling technique, and I like him (unlike a lot of others), but he's not in the same class of hitters like Michael Lewis was for the Birds. A lot of us expect the Eagles to address the safety position early in the draft. And its true. getting a real-live young hitting play-making would be very nice, but SC could be counted on to provide stability/run support in nickel packages, etc, and if he can add a little bulk w/o losing speed, then I think that'll help the D absorb the losses we've had on the back-line. The second weighty issues concerns Trotter, who admitted to not being in the greatest playing shape year. If he can trim off some excess weight, that'll make the banging his knees take a little easier. Also, if the rotation is going, and the DTs play better, he can do what he does best - play downhill. Early in series. Then in obvious pass situation, we can rest him.

Key #4 - Dawkins staying ageless and Lito staying healthy. Lito and Dawk are the two cornerstones of our defensive backfield. While Sheldon, Michael Lewis and Considine all chimed in occasionally last year - our two most consistent play-makers on D were Lito Sheppard and Brian Dawkins. PERIOD. If either one is missing for any significant period of time, our D is going to suffer next year - no doubt in my mind. Which is why the team needs to fine Dawk's long-term replacement this year. I know Brian will play thru the next 2 years of his contract, but waiting until next year to find a safety is stretching it a bit in my opinion.

Overall Team Goal #3 - Improved Special Teams. (ok another d'uh moment). I'm talking all the way around. Better coverage, better kicking, better RETURNS.
Question #1 - Will the Eagles find an answer to their return game woes at the feet of either Jeremy Bloom or Bethel Johnson. Both have the jets, but I'm not sure how much experience either has at punt returns...we need someone for both, and unless we happen to score a DB with return skills in the draft.....The Eagles have been missing a return game for two seasons now (ever since the loss of JR Reed between the '04/'05 seasons). Mahe was fairly reliable, but unspectacular and never a threat to break one all the way.
Question #2 - Can Aussie wonder Saverio Rocca displace Dirk Johnson. Dirk (great name by the way) flashed goodness in 2005, and pedestrian mediocrity in 2006. Rocca is a massive Australian rules footballer who can boom kicks 60-70 yard. He is simply a phenom in AFB and has been an icon there for 15 years. Now at 33, he wants to jump across the pond. Heck this guy could be kicking for us for the next 5-6 years. Personally, I really hope he can make the adjustment to the American game. I wanna see the Roc boot the rock out da Linc!

American Idol, The Phillies and Pelosi Oh My!

You know, I swore I would never get sucked into American Idol. And for the longest time, I've been successful at watching the early shows, cause it is truly hilarious watching all the dipshits who think they have talent and then tuning out until the either, the next season, or at most the finale. But this year is different. I'm actually tracking the show (thanks to TiVo) and paying a modicum of attention. For instance, this week, I listened to the show from my home office while it played on the TV in the living room. I cannot say why. Honestly, maybe it just that I've been able to watch many of the shows with my wife, and that we'll argue/critique the performances.

I did stumble across this great article about American Idol from this week's TIME.
Its actually one of the best articles about Idol I've read.
And I can't believe Sanjaya is still on the show. Heck he wasn't even in the bottom 3 the past two weeks!

Next up: What the hell is up with the Phillies? I thought they were supposed to be good this year. I heard all this talk about them (not that I pay much attention to baseball chatter), and read Jimmy Rollins little "we're the team to beat" spiel. So what happens...the bullpen falls apart two nights in a row, the hitters start cold, and all the talk about the team understanding the necessity of rolling - if not hot - start goes down the friggin' drain with a season opening sweep at the hands of the Braves....way to go fellas.....and don't plead with the fans to "stay with us" as described by Sam Donnellon - just friggin' win and you don't need to worry about hearing E-A-G-L-E-S chants at the ballpark.

Finally, I'm not sure what the hub-bub about Nancy Pelosi's Middle East trip is all about...IHT (the international arm of the NYT) talks about the President criticizing the trip, and I've seen a lot of comments about it, pro and con. But while a lot of the media concentrates on the brouhaha, they don't talk about the other delegations that have talked with Syria the past, or heck even the present. Yes, Pelosi outranks them all. But I don't see that as particularly damaging to our cause. I think the Republicans just don't want to see the nation highest-ranking Democrat going out and possibly not following the administration's lead. In that sense, I can see how a reasonable argument could be made, IF, afterwards, her actions demonstrably undermined the U.S. - AND NO, simply going and talking does not qualify in my mind. We talk with everyone. Whether we want to acknowledge that or not. If Chris Hill can represent the President in talks with Kim Kye Gwan (who represents North Korean despot Kim Jong-il) in Beijing, then I think the country will survive a few moments of sweet talk between Nancy Pelosi and President/King Assad of Syria.

Media Matters is chronicling the criticism, legit and facetious, of the Pelosi trip. Mostly they take the media to task for misrepresenting the trip and not being equally critical of a Republican entourages' trip to Syria.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

There's goes THAT Secret

If they didn't know it already, its a decent bet that the Chinese now possess classified information on the U.S. Aegis radar/defense system. Why? Our good buddies the Japanese, specifically a Japanese naval NCO.

Some blurbs: Kanagawa Prefectural Police found floppy disks containing data on the Aegis destroyer's radar system and transmission frequencies in the home of a Maritime Self-Defense Force sailor during a probe of his Chinese wife on suspicion of violating the immigration law, investigative sources said Friday. As the petty officer second class is not in a position that gives him access to Aegis data, police suspect another MSDF member gave him the information, the sources said. OK, so this doesn't PROVE much. But you know what....Military planners can no longer rely on the idea that the secret of Aegis is safe. Now, I know, most of the time they do not on rely on such information, nobody PLANS around that. But I tell you what, a huge advantage enjoyed by the U.S. Navy would go bye-bye should any adversary obtain the technical specs and then devise a way to defeat the system. (sigh).

OH, and I left out a different lurid detail. Evidently the secret data was leaked because Japanese Petty officers were swapping porn files at work.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Some Random Thoughts about the Eagles and other things

Ok, I wanted to start today by relaying this information I got in an email from Grassfire: the addresses for Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, the two border agent punished (wrongly IMO) for shooting a Mexican drug-runner. A drug-runner who was not only promised immunity for his "testimony" but also, like the mongrel, turned around and sued the U.S. government. You know, only in America - with our twisted fucked-up legal system - could a fucking criminal not only go scott-free, be used to imprison the agents who sought to arrest him, AND then sue!

If you're outraged, then I encourage you to read the stories for yourself, decide for yourself and then if want go here and sign the online petition. Anyway, regardless of whether that link generates anything, I would like to relay the addresses for the two former agents:
Jose Compean #58080180
FCI Elkton
P.O. Box 10
Lisbon, OH 44432

Ignacio Ramos #58079-180
FCI Yazoo City Medium Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 5888

Yazoo City, MS 39194
Those addresses must be precise or else the facilities will not deliver the letter.

OK, with that off my chest, let talk some Eagles.
The "big" news today is that FA safety Mike Doss canceled his scheduled visit because he signed with the Minnesota Vikings (the first stop on his "tour").

YAWN.
If you're anything like me, that's very underwhelming news. Would the Eagles have signed him if he actually came to NovaCare. Well considering he signed a 1yr-$1mill/deal its certainly possible. But honestly, does it really matter? The Eagles need to look long-term and find a successor to Brian Dawkins. That translates into taking a safety on Day 1, not signing a dude coming off a major knee injury (torn ACL) who is looking for a 1yr-prove-he-can-still-play deal so that might be able to cash-in in 2008.

Other notable notes, this blurb from Don Banks - Inside the NFL column on SI. Talking about all the trades this off-season:
"It seemed like just a couple years back, nobody traded," Eagles head coach Andy Reid said at last week's NFL annual meeting in Phoenix. "And then people talked about how nobody's trading, and all of a sudden everybody's trading. (The Spikes deal) worked for us because we wanted to get a veteran linebacker or two...We thought that was important for us."

O.K. that could be read a couple of ways - but lets have some fun with this. The pursuit of Ryan Fowler was serious and would not have precluded the Spikes Deal (I think it might've to be honest). If the Eagles possibly are still seeking to bring in a second vet LB - Let me chime the Ike Reese gong again. Even so, I think the Birds will wait until AFTER the draft to make any more moves. They'll see what areas they were able to address, and if LB or DB depth is still an issue, perhaps another vet signing will occur before the May mini-camp.

A Wrestlemania Surprise from TiVo

First things first,
I haven't watched the WWF, er WWE, in a long time. I enjoyed Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock years ago (I think we got the Wrestlemania PPV at our house in 2000). But I lost interest. I remember the WWF primarily from the 80s, watching guys like Hulk Hogan, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Andre the Giant on Saturday mornings (11am, Channel 29, all you from Philly in the 80s should remember).

Well anyway, I woke up this morning and when I went to check out my TiVo, lo' and behold there is a entry for Wrestlemania 23. Then I remembered. The WWE provided FREE broadcasts to the Armed Forced Network. Not live mind you, but the next day. But who cares? I mean, I don't even think I'll watch the whole thing, I scanned through some of it during my lunch break (working from home has its bennies) and I saw a hilarious ladder match, and some dudes I didn't recognize do a flying body smash on some midget dressed up like a lephrecaun. Anyway, I just thought it was cool. There are a lot of wrestling fans, and plenty in the military (I don't count myself as one anymore, but its good for the occasional laugh), and that is nice thing for Vince McMahon to do for the troops.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Working from Home

Well I've got a bit of work lately from my old contracting company. It lets me work from my "home office/Eagles shrine" here in Japan for my old/new boss back in Hawaii.

I've really put the pedal to the metal this past week, and as such, having been posting a lot less on the forums and here. Whew. I tell you what, put in 12 hours today. Unreal, I am so sick of looking at this HDTV (that I use as my monitor). I had my coffee, breakfast, and dinner right here in front of the computer as I banged away on a project. About the only thing I got done - other than a shitload of work - was taking the boys for a walk.

I want to finish this project tomorrow, and I have a car (oil change for the Stagea) appt. and I definitely need to hit the gym as well. So I probably won't start until the afternoon (was click-clackin' away at 0800 today, didn't call a halt until 2230. Yeah I know that's 14.5 hours, but I DID take some breaks - I'm not that stupid.

The work will slacken after this week, and I will definitely have something to talk about if the Eagles 2nd visit with FA Safety Mike Doss actually occurs (he slated to go to Minnesota today, and Philly on Wednesday. He might never makes the trip - if Minn. is smart).

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Thinking Ahead about the Birds

hmm, I've been tossing around a few ideas about what to write about the Eagles.

I think I'll start with some musing about what the roster might look like next year. You see, I understand the reasoning behind the Eagles roster composition last year. But this year things are a little different (no dual-role 3rd TE/Longsnapper, no Reno, an acknowledged need to address glaring depth needs on D to name just a few).

Lets start with the an overlooked item: the loss of TE/LongSnapper Mike Bartrum. Sorry to say the quiet, steady professionalism of our 3rd string TE is probably gone, as Bartrum's injury looks like its going to force him into retirement (at least that was the earl prognosis, and I haven't heard anything positive since). That leaves us with Jon Dorenbos as our Long-snapper, but here's the thing, that is all he does. So we're going to have to retain 3 specialists, Kicker - David Akers, Punter - Rocca or Dirk J. and Dorenbos - Long-snapper. That leaves 50 roster slots open.

How would I break them down/see them shaking out at this point? Well, lets baseline this with two assumptions: the Eagles do not acquire any more veteran players (via trade, FA, etc) and that the Eagles' draft brings them 6 picks (for my basis here: 1 DL, 1 LB, 2 DB, 1 RB, 1 TE)

Now lets begin with the obvious 25 men per side of the ball
Offense:
OL (10) - this assume no draftees, no ufas rising up to make the squad, I think the Eagles could return the same 10 guys as last year and do very well for themselves.
QB (3) - McNabb, AJ, Holcomb (in that order)
RB (3) - Westbrook, Buckhalter, a big young back in the draft (what about Moats?)
FB (1) - Tapeh, or a big young back from the draft
WR (6) - Curtis, Reggie B, Baskett, Avant, GLew, and either Bloom or Bethel Johnson
TE (2) - LJ and Schobel (note the absence of the drafted TE, let it be for now)

Defense
DL (10) - I think 5 DEs & 5 DTs are about right. The Top 8 I expect to see on the roster: Kearse, Howard, Cole and Juqua at DE, Reagor, Patterson, Bunkley and Ramsey at DT. The other two spots are flexible, either could be draft picks and/or some combination of Rayburn, McDougle (I cannot believe I just typed that) or assorted SEPTA turnstiles.
LB (7) - Seven LBs is more than the Eagles normally carry. Still, with the need for depth, I can see them (in a 25/25 set) perhaps making room. 3 guys I fully expect to see in Eagles uniforms (2 guaranteed): Takeo Spikes (g), Jeremiah Trotter, Omar Gaither (g). The other 4 would be made up of: Gocong, Tank Daniels, Matt McCoy, Dhani Jones, draft pick. If we use a decent pick for a LB prospect, the competition at LB during camp will be intense.
DB (8) - I debated a 6 LB/9 DB set for a bit, but figure it this way: 4 S, 4 CB is fairly safe. Since I am predicating this on drafting two DBs, it mean that someone (Joselio Hanson most likely) will be out of a job back there (another reason 9 DBs is a decent way to go).
4 CBs: Lito, Sheldon, Will James are set: drafted CB vs Hanson for #4 slot
4 S: Dawk, Mikell, Considine and drafted S

Roster Squeezes: in this scenario, we have a decent one at the Off Skill Positions: 4 Backs, 6 WRs and 2 TEs wouldn't leave room for any drafted Skill positions other than (potentially) a big back. It mean sayonara Ryan Moats for sure (unless Tapeh gets the ax). I have the Birds carrying 6 WR (last year it was 5, but Mahe was the 5th back/PR). With the KR/PR coming from the WR corps I decided to bump the roster group up to 6. If it stays at 5, I would think that means bad things for Greg Lewis.

Further problems at TE, just 2 TEs seems unrealistic for Andy Reid, but Bartrum was our #3 for years, and I don't think we can trot Dorenbos out there...And if we draft one, like I think we could.....yikes....this is where the squeeze might come into play regarding whether or not we really kept 10 each across the lines. I do realize right now that extra spot is being alotted to the LB Corps, and the Eagles could very well keep just 6 there, but if they do, I think they'd do it to keep 9 DBs....

Anyway, that how I see things panning out at this point. Lots of interesting possibilities with the draft just a few weeks away. Is there anything I've missed?