Super Bowl: The Movie

31 01 2010

Today begins the week where all of us football fans (and non-fans) will be blitzed with all sorts of stories and angles about the Super Bowl, from stories about the superstars to features on the cousin of the gardner’s ex-wife who bumped into a former equipment manager for the Arizona Cardinals who once saw the Saints and Colts’ locker rooms.
Just for fun, if the Super Bowl were a movie, who would you cast to be in it?
Here’s a couple of my choices.

Colts QB Peyton Manning

Played by The Janitor from “Scrubs.”

Saints QB Drew Brees

Played by Luke Wilson

Colts WR Reggie Wayne

Played by WWE wrestler Kofi Kingston

Saints RB/KR Reggie Bush

Played by actor Omar Epps

Colts center Jeff Saturday

Played by Al Borland from “Home Improvement”

Saints head coach Sean Payton

Played by Ralphie from “A Christmas Story”

And finally, Colts head coach Jim Caldwell

Played by Nein Nunb, interim co-pilot of the Millenium Falcon

Feel free to add your choices.





Saints alive!

28 01 2010

No, this isn’t about the upcoming Super Bowl, although that’s probably a more interesting topic. Instead, it’s my main impression of President Barack Obama’s first-ever State of Union address. If you missed it, you can read the full text of the speech by clicking HERE.
There wasn’t really anything surprising from Obama’s speech, mainly a repeat of the same talking points we’ve heard several times.
What struck me as mildly disturbing, however, is how the president points to government, particularly the federal government, as being the solution to everyone’s problems. What struck me as majorly disturbing was Nancy Pelosi clapping like a seal everytime the president cleared his throat.
Basically, what I heard was this:
Need a job? The government can get one for you.
Can’t afford college? The government can pay for it.
Can’t afford health care? The government can provide it for you.
Trouble paying the mortgage? The government will pay it for you.
Whatever happened to personal responsibility? If Obama’s plans come to fruition, what will happen to personal ambition to succeed?
I don’t think THIS is what the founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the U.S. Constitution.
In fact, government, at any level, tends to screw things up when it gets involved anyway. But the president is looking for government to be the savior of the United States. Not a good thing.
* I’ve also heard a lot of people talking about how good of an orator President Obama is, and how he delievers a good speech. Can’t argue there. During the 2008 presidential campaign, I was at an event at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and stood 15 feet away from Obama when he was a senator in a tough primary contest. He’s an excellent public speaker.
But being able to deliver a good speech doesn’t make one an effective leader.
Know who else were considered to be fantastic public speakers? Adolf Hitler. Benito Moussolini. Josef Stalin. Mao Tse-Tung. How’d they work out for the countries they led?
It’s important to listen to the words. It’s more important to watch what they do. I’m not saying Obama is looking to be a dictator or anything like that, but there are times when the words don’t match the actions.
* Getting away from bashing Obama completely, I will say I liked his emphasis on improving local community colleges. I know a lot of people look at their community colleges as glorified high schools, and if you’re one of those people, I’d encourage you to look again.
Many of these institutions have top-notch programs and are offering courses comparable to what you’d find in a four-year school.
Community college has also become an option for many students who can’t afford to head straight to a four-year school after high school. I think the president was on the money when he highlighted the need to strengthen these institutions.
* I noticed at least seven instances where Obama used the word “Washington” not in a geographic sense, but in the pejorative. He’s right when he says the American people are fed up with what’s happening in our nation’s capital. However, the president should realize he’s also a part of the establishment there.





The let’s hire the worst coach out there edition championship round picks

20 01 2010

Before I get into this week’s picks, as a lifelong Bills fan, I am absolutely stunned that Buffalo hired Chan Gailey to be its next head coach. This guy wasn’t even good enough to be an assistant in Kansas City. Yes, we are now looking to cast-offs from the Chiefs for leadership. Ugh.
No that’s not a picture of Chan. I’m just trying to convince myself there have been worse coaches.
Anyhoo, on to this week’s NFL conference championship picks.

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts: Don’t look now, but the Jets seem to be for real, having knocked off two division champions to get to this point. The team is playing at a high-level of confidence thanks to head coach Rex Ryan. The runners run, and the defense looks like it can stop anyone. QB Mark Sanchez looks more poised than a rookie should, although he’s got a little ways to go before he can be considered one of the premiere quarterbacks in the NFL. The Colts have a premiere quarterback in Peyton Manning, who won his fourth MVP award. But the Colts aren’t just Manning. Their defense is a little underrated, making mincemeat of Baltimore’s offense in the divisional round. Manning also has a talented batch of receivers to throw two, which makes up for the lack of running game. I think the Jets can win this game, but in the end, experience has to count for something, and Manning and Co. have been here before. I’ll have to go with the Colts in a close one, 23-20.


Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints: These have been the best two teams in the NFC, although both stumbled into the postseason. Still, the Vikes and Saints proved why they were the top two seeds last weekend, with New Orleans crushing the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota punching the Dallas Cowboys in the mouth. This is an interesting matchup, with the Saints relying on their high-powered passing attack and big-play defense, while the Vikings pound you with their running attack on offense and a brutal defense. Minnesota also has a quarterback you may have heard of, some dude by the name of Brett Favre, who against Dallas reminded me of some guy named Brett who used to be a great QB for the Green Bay Packers. However, I’m going with the Saints in this one, because of the home-field advantage and that it seems like New Orleans has that “it” factor some teams have to get to the Super Bowl. New Orleans 30-Minnesota 24.

Last week: 1-3 Overall: 4-4





Giving the finger

18 01 2010

I am a big fan of the Nintendo Wii gaming system, particularly because of the interactive game play. However, it appears there are hazards to playing certain games, as evidenced by my sprained finger shown above.
I was playing a game this morning with my youngest daughter, and part of the game requires the player to move the game controller in an upward motion. Of course, I didn’t realize where I was standing, and I wound up smashing my hand into a low-hanging light fixture. Sheesh.
I don’t know what’s more embarassing: getting an injury playing the Wii, or the fact that I was specifically playing a figure skating game.





Benny sez

17 01 2010

“But, (to use a Piece of common Sense) our Geese are but Geese tho’ we may think ’em Swans; and Truth will be Truth tho’ it sometimes prove mortifying and distasteful.”





Giving the face a rest

14 01 2010

I love social networking sites. I also hate them at the same time.
That’s why, for at least a little while, I’m taking a self-imposed break from Facebook and the like (not Twitter since I do not, nor will I ever, become a Twit).
Sites like Facebook are great because they are a great way to reconnect with people you would otherwise not meet up with in real life.
Unfortunately, it also allows you to use it as a sounding board, and every once in awhile, I wind up using Facebook as my therapy couch, sometimes posting without thinking and coming off sounding like a total fruitcake.
Of course, Facebook or not, that last sentiment is probably debatable anyway.
So therefore, it’s time to take a break. There are plenty of other things to do … like concentrate on this blog and my “professional” site, The Venner Vox, which you should totally check out (I never pass up on a chance to plug that site).





The divisional round picks, the “man, I’ll always be second-best” edition

13 01 2010

OK, what an interesting chair-gripping dud of a Wild Card weekend it was in the NFL. Except for the Packers-Cardinals epic on Sunday night, most of the games were flat-out stinkers, and I’d call them unwatchable except I really did like seing New England get their butts handed to them.

Onto the divisional round picks:

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints. With apologies to Terrell Owens, but this is the game for you to get your popcorn ready. Two high-powered offenses that can score from anywhere on the field get ready to lock horns. The Saints looked to be poised to run through the entire NFL regular schedule until their bid for unbeaten status was derailed by Dallas, and New Orleans finished on a three-game losing streak. You never know what the Cardinals will do, although Arizona looks to be just as strong as they were en route to last year’s surprising run to the Super Bowl. Saints QB Drew Brees is as good as any quarterback in the league, but few do it better than Cardinals QB Kurt Warner in the post-season. I look for the Cardinals to win this one, 34-28.

Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts. Don’t let the end of Indy’s regular season fool you; this team is good. Very good. There’s a reason why Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning won his record 4th NFL MVP award this year – because he’s the best. However, Baltimore for some reason seems to turn it up a notch in the playoffs even when they stumble and bumble through the regular season. Just ask New England, a team that got punched in the mouth by the Ravens at home, where the Patriots hadn’t lost a playoff game since 1978. However, the Colts are at home, a tough place to play, and have more weapons. That’s why I like the Colts to win, although it will be a tough contest, 21-16.

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings. Tough game to call. Dallas right now is playing the best football of any team in still alive, having closed out the regular season with two shutout wins over division rivals and literally kicking the snot out of Philadelphia in the wild-card round. The “best” label could have been applied to the Vikings at the beginning of the season because they played at a high level at every aspect of the game, but they’ve slid back a bit. Like the Colts, the Vikes are very tough at home. However, I can’t pick against Dallas right now, and I think they’ll win, 27-23, and praying that someone on the Cowboys’ D puts Minnesota QB Brett Favre into retirement for good.

New York Jets at San Diego Chargers. As a Bills fan, I am required by law to officially hate the J-E-T-S, but as a football fan, I absolutely love the way they play defense and the way they run the ball. San Diego is the hottest team in the AFC as they are on an 11-game win streak. The Chargers are also on a mission, having been considered to be Super Bowl contenders for the past few years, and they know their window is closing. The Jets will prove to be a very tough opponent for San Diego, but I think the Chargers will prevail, 23-16.

Last week: 3-1; Overall: 3-1