Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Air Adept

I discovered a very interesting concept recently while doing a bit of reading online. It revolves around the concept of an Elemental Adept in Astrology. Before discussing the concept, we should review the following points.

  • None of my major planets are in any of the three air signs.
  • I have just one minor asteroid, Ceres, in Gemini.
  • None of my immediate family members have a sun sign of Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius.
  • My maternal grandmother and my aunt Salome are the only two members of my family who had air signs. My grandmother was a Gemini. My aunt is a Libra. My grandmother died when I was still relatively young. I have had comparatively little contact with my aunt Salome, as she lives in Ecuador.
  • Until recently, I have had relatively few people around me who were air sign people. Now, suddenly, most of the guys around me in the MIS/IT Department are air sign guys. This is not a bad thing. I am very comfortable with this group.

So what does all that mean? Well, there is a funny little thing about all this… This has to do with the astrological concept of an Adept. Those who have Zero (0) major planets in a given element are said to be Adepts in that element. I have no major planets in the air signs. I am, therefore, an Air Adept. If you have no planets in the Earth signs, as is the case with my Brother, you are an Earth Adept.

Okay, fine, so what does that mean? It means that I mastered the skills, nature and character of the air element in my past lives. The 7 Masters of fate, sitting in the Akashic Record Library, wish to guide me away from the air I know so well. They are pushing me to master another element in this lifetime. The temptation to do the same old thing has been removed in this lifetime. Since I have 5 major power planets in Earth signs (Virgo and Taurus), I would presume that my new challenge is the Earth. Presumably, my brother has mastered the Earth, and is being pushed in a different direction this time around.

Hummmmmm… Sounds strange, eh? Hold on. It gets even stranger and more interesting than that. To quote the Astrological Dictionary:

“An adept has highly evolved traits, skills, or expressions in the element that is missing from their birth chart, presumably because those abilities have already been mastered. Adepts are able to pass the energy of their mastered elements to other people, but not to themselves unless they have made the other elements conscious as well in their own lives.” [The Total Idiots Guide: Astrological Dictionary, Page 3]

The really interesting thing about that is that I found myself in pretty strong accord with many of the things I read about the three air signs. This was not true with the fire or water signs. Interestingly, I have found the many descriptions of the three water signs to be the most distasteful and repugnant descriptions I’ve read. Of all the descriptions of all 12 constellations/signs the ones I find most attractive, winsome, appealing and interesting are the descriptions of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. I would rank the three air signs from last to first in terms of my personal preference: Aquarius, Libra and Gemini; Aquarius being my favorite.

Now for the riddle: Virgos ain’t supposed to feel that way. We’re not supposed to find Water repugnant and Air attractive. We are supposed to find Water winsome and Air tiresome. Virgo and Aquarius are not supposed to match up well in a romantic or sexual sense. Most Virgos score low against Aquarius, and visa-versa. Not me, baby. I do not score low. I have some infrared Grill romance scores versus Aquarius. Scores over 400 are not uncommon for me. I have some approaching 500. This is bizarre because Virgo is supposed to be a cold sign, and Aquarius is supposed to be sub-zero. Why so much heat between generally incompatible—and cold—signs?

Just to thicken the riddle a bit, almost all Virgos score highest against Capricorn and Taurus. My Capricorn and Taurus scores are far from my best. I score better against Virgo than either Capricorn or Taurus. I like Capricorns, but they don’t seem to like me. I think Taurus girls are usually drop-dead sexy, but I have never dated one. Virgos are supposed to score high against three water signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, with Pisces being the best of the three for Virgo. My scores are indicative of that generalization, and I have dated Pisces girls, but I am far from comfortable with this fact

Now if you sit back and think about the legend and lore of the zodiac for 20 minutes, all of this might make some sense out of the riddles of my chart. If I am an air adept, I am supposed to be able to pass the energy and skills of my mastered elements on to other people; for instance, Aquarius women. They should feel something they recognize in me. Further, I should have a strong sense of familiarity with them. Moreover, if I have mastered the air, I should prefer the most highly evolved air signs over the less developed air signs. This means Aquarius first, Libra second, Gemini last.

Conversely, this helps to explain why I find the descriptions of the three water signs repugnant, and read those pages with disdain. According to the many descriptions I have read, water is about the triumph of emotion and feeling over and against logic and evidence. The proposition that emotion should trump reason not only seems false to me, but incredibly dangerous. Still, I do know emotional foolhardy buffoons who subscribe to this bad philosophy. I see it every time a political street mob forms somewhere in the world and executes a riots.

Are you saying high-emotion threatens social order? Yep, high emotion threatens order. It is a disorderly, wild, irrational thing.

It is said that water people coined the term “emotional intelligence”, a phrase I consider to be an oxymoron. Emotion is not intelligence, and should not be confused with it. You feel with the lower reptilian brain, with lots of help from your endocrine system. Emotion is supplied by the most ancient and primitive components of the brain. Intelligence is supplied by the cerebral cortex, the latest and most modern component of the human brain. You should not confuse emotion and intelligence any more than you confuse fire and ice.

Incidentally, Dr. Freud tells us that the intellectual component of the brain, or the cerebral cortex is engaged in a constant struggle with the animal drives of the lower brain. But I digress…

The concept of the Air Adept helps to explain why I am leery of Scorpio and Pisces, when I should not be. Generally speaking, I am fine with Cancer. The nice, cool, cold, logical, mathematical, precise, dispassionate character of the air does not mix well with the high-emotionalism of the water. Ergo, I find water signs the least trustworthy and most suspect of the dirty dozen. The more developed you are in the direction of Emotional Intelligence, the less likely I am to view you as solid or reliable.

This concept would also help explain why Capricorns and Taurus don’t find me to be particularly compelling company. If I come off Airy, they would find me abstract, boring, pedantic, and a trifle cold. Earth people do maintain a stone-face in ordinary life, but they can be very warm in the right (homey) setting. On the other hand, my fellow cerebral Virgos just might (and usually do) find me to be pretty interesting company.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Week 11 Performance, and Week 12 Predictions

No need to boast about a 12-3 record last week. The record speaks for itself. It was my best week ever.

In all honesty it was an easy week of match-ups. There were only a couple of difficult choices on the board. Further, things are becoming clearer as we go along.

Now how about this week? There are very difficult choices on the board this week. I had a heck of a head ache, requiring 220mg of Naproxen and 650MG of time release Tylenol, by the time I got done with this board.

Saints v Cowboys is the most difficult choice on the board. Tallent-wise, it seems to be an even match. Moment-wise... who knows? Health-wise, who is better and worse off? Dallas has homefield advantage but I have serious problems picking them against the world champs. I doubt they will pull it off. New Orleans certainly has the better QB in this match, and in a tie breaker situation I will choose the better QB.

Redskins v Vikings is another maddening choice of two lousy teams who are not contenders. Do you think that the Vikings will get up and win one for themselves and their new coach? Do you think the Redskins will build on their momentum of last week. Both of these teams are poor and inconsistent. Toss a coin, pick one and know you are likely to be wrong.

I don't want to talk about the Dolphins and Raiders. The Dolphins are a great disappointment to me and they are down to their 3rd string QB. I'll take the Raiders based on home-field advantage.

Now the Rams and Broncos are truly a maddening matchup. The Broncos are poor, but the Rams aren't much better. The Rams don't win on the road, but the Broncos are having big trouble at home. Madness... sheer madness. As a true hommer, I will take my Rams. For the objective out there: Toss a coin and know you are likely to be wrong.

The Colts v Chargers is close but not all that close. I think the Colts are the much better team. With that said. Norv has had their number several times over the past several years. Ultimately, I don't think you want to play Peyton in his house after a stinging defeat to the Patriots. I think the Chargers are going to take an ass-whupping, with special motivational thanks going to the Patriots.

Now we have the worst match of the day: 49ers v Cardinals. It is a match-up of NFC West cellar dwellers. Ultimately, I think the 49ers are a bit better, and if they loose, heads are going to roll. If the players lay-down, consider it a vote against Mike Singletary.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What about our 2010 rookie quarterback crop?

So how the hell are our young quarterbacks doing this year anyhow?

It is not my style to comment so much and so often about Quarterbacks. The position is overrated to the point of demigodhood by most media people. I categorically reject all the delusions of godhood. I still believe in the team concept. With that said, you know I got deeply ensconced in the in rather vigorous quarterback debate during the 2010 draft cycle. I had a lot to say about quarterbacks earlier this year. I said it early and often.

There were a couple reasons for this great exception to policy. First, a couple of kids I loved watching in college just happened to be graduating last year. Those kids were Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy. Second of all, my Rams were known to be in the market for a new Quarterback, and I was hoping to impact that process.

There was also the matter of the Notre Dame alumni try to force Jimmy Clausen on the Rams, but I will downplay that matter.

We all know how the story played out. Billy Devaney took Sam Bradford over my strenuous objections. Josh McDaniels selected Tim Tebow in the first round. Jimmy Clausen slid to the middle of the 2nd round where he was selected by the Panthers. Quarterback guru Mike Holmgren absconded with Colt McCoy in the 3rd round.

So how are the kids doing? Well... it's interesting.

I've had ring-side seats for the dawn of the Sam Bradford era, and the kid looks a hell of a lot better than I thought he was. We all knew he was a highly accurate passer in college. However, I did not expect him to be quite the same after the surgery.

It turns out that he's better. As we all know, he spent months after his shoulder surgery in the weight room, mostly working on his lower-body. I have heard many quarterbacks say that arm-strength is the most over-rated aspect of the quarterback's toolkit. Most of your throwing velocity comes from hip torque and torso twist. Well, if that be the case, it might explain why Sam seems to be throwing harder and faster than ever. He definitely torques his hips when he throws. It might also explain why he has greater running speed than I remember.

I hate to make Jinxy statements, and I don't want to over-sell the truth, but... Ehmmm… Let's put it this way. Several sanguine Ram fans on the Bleacher Report site were pretty adamant that our team nailed the best QB to come out of college in the past 3 or 4 seasons. Let's just say, I'm almost sold on that proposition. I don't think it is a controversial statement to say that Sam has had the best rookie campaign of any of these young kids. There's been enough there to shock a guy like me.

But then there is Colt McCoy. I remember being dismayed when I heard Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network downgrading Colt, painting him as a bust pick. Mike believed that McCoy just didn't have the sort of arm that was necessary to succeed in this league. I though that was a very strange statement coming from a guy who calls himself a disciple of Bill Walsh.

I knew Mike Lombardi's statements about McCoy were pure bullshit. He must not watched McCoy much during his four years at Texas. The kid is a pure winner, and more Joe Montana than Joe Montana. I am sure Bill Walsh would have had a flaming hard-on for Colt if he was still involved in football during the 2010 draft.

Just as sure as I am sitting here, I know that Mike Holmgren recognized those traits in McCoy, and that's why Mr. President drafted him in Cleveland. That's why Mr. President came down from the president's booth and began working with McCoy personally during training camp. I think this is why McCoy has given the Browns a competency at QB that they haven't had in ages. Just keep watching Colt. Everything is going to be just fine in Cleveland.

One of the bleak spots of the 2010 NFL Campaign for me, personally, has been the Tim Tebow story in Denver. As you know, Tim has seen very limited action. The good news is that he’s been fantastic on the 5 or 6 plays they have let him run. The bad news is that he has only run 5 or 6 plays this season. This has been a great disappointment to me.

McDaniels seems to be replaying the 1980 Joe Montana campaign script for Tim Tebow. They send him on in carefully selected situations where he can score touchdowns. The key is to build his self confidence and the team's confidence in him.

Unfortunately, the Broncos are a foundering ship. It is unlikely they will finish 8-8 for the 3rd straight season. It is more likely they will fall down to something 6-10. There have been rumblings inside Denver that owner Pat Bowlen will not guarantee McDaniel's job in 2011. Due to the pending lockout, Bowlen may not make an immediate change in 2011, but then again he just might.

Certainly, McDaniel's has made a lot of terrible pseudo-Patriot moves. He was close to the top of my shit-list until the moment he selected Tim Tebow. I was down against Josh to the uttermost farthing until the moment he selected Tim Tebow. Any guy smart enough to select Tebow can't be all bad. Not all bad, but probably 90% bad. If he gets fired, we'll have to say he earned his ticked on the first thing smoking out of town.

But what happens to Tim Tebow if Josh McDaniels gets the sack? This is the question that has plagued my worried mind. Certainly, few in the NFL were committed to Tebow as a Quarterback in 2010. McDaniels was one of those few. Unless someone like Jon Gruden is selected as the next HC of the Broncos, I don't know what Tim's fate will be.

Lately, one of the vogue trends in NFL Football is to allow any new HC to "pick his people." This means blowing up the ship, both offensively and defensively and reconstructing things according to the vision of perfection you subscribe to as a coach. It doesn't matter if the present talent crop is good, bad or indifferent. As a new HC, you have the right to blow up the ship and start all over again. If this happens, Tim could become a casualty of organizational politics.

Certainly, if you get a run-of-the-mill candidate off the coaching retred cycle, said coaching candidate may not favor Tim Tebow. Many of these fellows don't like southpaws. Many more dislike QBs who make plays outside of the pocket with their feet. Personally, I love them, but that makes me a member of the minority report. The majority report says that guys like Steve Young, Michael Vick and Tim Tebow ain't no damn good to God or this country. St. Vince Lombardi would not approve.

It would really suck if Tim Tebow failed to make it in this league through no fault of his own, but because of the vicissitudes of organizational politics.

Finally, have the case of Jimmy Clausen. This guy may have the odd distinction of being the most advocated draft pick in Notre Dame Alumni history. In the run up to the draft, the Notre Dame forensics team was working 24/7 on his behalf advocating his case. The ferocity they brought to the table surprised me.

To this day, I believe that getting Jimmy picked high was a linchpin of Notre Dame's 2010 (and beyond) recruitment strategy. Needless to say, things haven't work out as they hoped they would.

What I can't understand is why the NFL establishment bought into the Notre Dame Forensics argument. IMHO, there was no part of the eyeball test that Clausen passed during the scoutting process. I never saw what they claimed to see in the kid. I never even suspected he would be mentioned as a serious NFL QB candidate during his three years at Notre Dame.

It shocked the shit out of me when some advocates suggested the Rams would take him with the absolute #1. I acted to crush that theory as quickly as possible. I was only partially successful. Quite a controversey arose. I got the rep of being a Clausen hater, and an Anti-Catholic, anti-Notre Dame guy on the Bleacher Report.

Before continuing, I should mention that I bare no personal grudge against Clausen. It would suit me just fine if he turned out to be a success with the Panthers. I just didn't want my team attempting to rebuild around him. I believed, and still do, that he's going to go bust. My Rams could not afford to take that plunge.

To this day, I seriously doubt he is an NFL quarterback. Certainly, better candidates than Clausen have gone bust. Still, for his sake and the sake of the Panthers, I wish him luck. It looks like he is going to need it.

Clausen did not win the starting job straight out of boot camp in 2010. This fact surprised many. Nat Moore performed very poorly coming out of the gate. After a few weeks, be it of injury or lack of performance, Clausen got his first start. The results were not good. During one game, he had a QB rating of ZERO after the first half of play.

Clausen got the hook quickly, and Nat Moore because the starter again. I have family living in North Carrolina, and they told me that the Panther fans went into an immediate funk, believing the organization made another mistake drafting Clausen. Even a detractor such as me was surprised at the speed of this write-off. Lately, it has become fashionable for the local media to ask John Fox why he didn't take Colt McCoy.


Guess what? It ain't over yet. Moore gets hurt, and Clausen gets another chance. The second time around, he looks good until he gets hammered by Aquib Talibe on the final offensive play of the game against the Bucs. Thus ends the second act of Clausen's rookie campaign. We'll see if he gets a third strike as a rookie. The news today indicates that he will probably start week 12.

I once called out Michael Lombardi, a McCoy detractor and a Clausen advocate, telling him I would crawl to Ravenna Italy on my arthritic knees if Clausen ever became any kind of NFL Quarterback. So far I am not worried out that pledge.

Die Coaches! DIE!

So today is the first day of Sagittarius season, and we find a bunch of coaches on the hot seat or in flames. Sagittarius is the 3rd and final fire sign of the Zodiac. Scorpio was shake out season, and now comes the fire.

Wade Phillips was the first to go in the 2010 season, and Brad Childress has become the second. Rumor has it that John Fox and Mike Singletary are in a foot race to determine who #3 and #4 will be. That ain't all. Gary Kubiak and Josh McDaniels are suffering from 1st degree burns on their arses. The we have Norv Turner in San Diego...

Either Norv Turner or Josh McDaniels will finish this evening's game with strong 2nd degree burns on his arse. They should call this Monday Night matchup "The Hotseat Bowl". Kinda like sitting on the throne after eatting pile of Chili peppers, it's going to burn when the truth comes out. If Norv-ember continues, that will be McDaniels . If it doesn't Norv will need a shot of Norv-icane to kill the burning sensation.

Awe... it's hard out here for a pimp.

I am talking about a Holicost of the coaches. 7 of the 32 coaches we began 2010 with are in heaps of trouble. Two have already been fired in-season. More are likely to follow. More will be fired at the end of the year.

For my money, the most inexplicable of these cases is Mike Singletary, followed by Gary Kubiak. We all conviced--fan and foe alike--that the 49ers would enjoy a cup-cake walk to the NFC West title in 2010.

Well, a funny thing happened... The 49ers have been competitive in many games, but they have also been blown out several times. Yesterday, they were shutout and blown out by Tampa. Some say that was the final straw.

Rumor has it that the York family is currently mulling over it's options... I happen to know that they don't have anybody left on staff who can run that rabble if they fire Singletary. Ergo, it would be a very bad move to fire him in-season.

Then again, the York family is directly responsible for a long sequence of bad decisions that ruined the once proud 49er franchise. It would not be out of character for them to do something stupid.

John Fox is coaching one of the least talented and most injured teams in the league. Their real problem is an absolute fucking idiot of a GM who continues to turn 1st round picks into 2nd round picks, and 2nd rounders into 3rd rounders. That is a magic trick and fool can do, but why would you want too? Of course he only performs these tricks after extending the contracts of QBs he will soon release anyhow. He only does that when he isn't busy allowing franchise players like Julias Peppers to get away without any compensation. Cock sucker...

Unfortunately, John Fox is going to pay the ultimate price for all of this GM folly. Oh well, life's a bitch and then you die. Sometimes you get a raw deal.

You know, for every case of a failing coach, there seems to be a GM who is worse. Is Norv Turner the problem, or is it A.J. Smith? Is Josh McDaniels the problem or is it Brian Xanders? Just what is the case?

Let's not forget about Ken Weisenhunt, whose Arizona Cardinals are experiencing a catastrophic collapse this season... Now there are even some rumblings surrounding Jeff Fisher in the Music City!

We may see a 25% turnover in head coaches between 2010 and 2011.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Week 10 results, Week 11 Predictions

I had a terrible week last week. The worst ever at 6-7. If had posted early, it would have been 7-7, but that is nothing special.

I was going to give you a prediction on the Bears v Dolphins, but it is far too late in the day for that. We're getting to the end of the 3rd quarter, so it's way too late for a prediction. No bets are accepted after kick-off.

The Ravens v Panthers is a massacre already. The Vikings are a sinking dragon ship. I'll take the Packers. The Texans are in a free-fall. I'll take the Jets. The Bills v Bengals is one of those maddening choices where two turds are bumping into each other at the bottom of the toilet bowl. I'll take the Bengals.

The Browns v Jaguars actually constitutes an intriguing matchup. The Jags are one of the most unpredictable and inconsistent teams around. They are not very talented, but they have good key players in Jones-Drew and Garrard. On any given Sunday, they are an upset threat. The problem is that they are mostly moribund; they are stagnant in a mediocre position. They don't get better, they don't get worse. The Browns, on the other hand, are an exciting young team on the rise. I like 'em. I believe they have a bright future ahead of them. Next year, they should contend. I'm taking the Browns.

The Redskins v Titans is another matchup of wanna-be contenders who aren't. The Skins' defense is categorically broken. It was a solid defense last season. In his most foolish decision ever, Mike Shanahan fires his defensive coordinator, and changes the defense to a 3-4, just because he likes it better. Stupid, very stupid. Their 59-point flame out at the hands of the Eagles was a direct consequence of this stupid decision. Worse, I think the Eagles handed a very nice Blueprint for victory to the Titans. Certainly, Vince Young can run and throw deep. Certainly, Randy Moss has a lot of speed and can stretch the field. I expect the Titans to pile-on the misery for Washington. It may not be 59-28, but it should be 38-10.

Cowboys and Lions should prove interesting. The Cowboys seem resurgent, but they have no Romo. The Lions are young, good, and hungry, but they have no Stafford. Neither team has its starting QB. Both are in heaps of trouble. Ultimately, I expect the Cowboys to win this, but it should prove interesting.

Steelers v Raiders is formerly classic match, that died completely, and is now becoming somewhat interesting again. This is a strange one for several reasons. The Raiders & Steelers met last year and should not play each other for a minimum of 2 years. Further they met in Pittsburgh last year, meaning the game should be in Oakland this year. Once again, somebody at NFL HQ is smoking Sherms and experiencing intense brain damage. This happened before in the Rams v Redskins series 2008 & 2009. The game itself is hard to handicap because the Steelers are struggling now that Ben Roethlisberger is back at the helm, and the Raiders are actually leading the AFC West right now. I think the Steelers are not what they are cracked up to be, but you don't want to play them in Pittsburgh after a humiliating loss the Patriots

One of the several reasons the Rams' loss to the 49ers stunk is that it pretty well blew our chances finish at .500. We are now below .500 and facing our toughest opponent in the Falcons. Winning our first road game last week would have compensated for our {highly probable} loss to the Falcons this. It is now very likely that we will go 2 games below .500 at 4-6. The Rams play best at home. It's plausible to suggest that this just might be a trap game for the Falcons. With that said, I believe the Rams' chances of winning are remote. At this stage it is very reasonable to suggest that the Falcons will be the 2010-2011 NFC Champs. We gave the future champs pure-hell in 2009, but we still lost that game. Even if this is a trap for the Falcons, and even if we given them pure hell for four quarters, it is still likely that they will pull it out in the end. Further, our Rams are having problems with OL injuries and pass protection again. I hope I turn out wrong, but I cannot rationally pick the Rams, in this game, at this point.

Of course, the big game 'everybody is looking forward too' is the Patriots and Colts. They seem to play each other every single season, regardless of the fact that this is a flagrant violation of division scheduling rules. You don't think this might be a money thing, do you? I don't think this year's edition of the rivalry is that important. I wouldn't put money on either team's chances of visiting the Super Bowl in Feb 2011. The Colts are an indoor turf team. They are not the same team in cold weather and on grass. The Patriots' home field is an advantage in this case. For this reason, I make the Patriots a one point favorite... but just barely.

Finally, we have the Giants and Eagles. I like the Giants a lot. I would expect them to rebound hard from the loss last week. I still like their chances of reaching the Super Bowl. However, they are going to have problems out-scoring the Eagles in this game. In my estimation, this is the closest game on the entire board; even tighter than the Colts and Patriots. This game can go either way. I want to say pick'em, but I will favor the Eagles due to the Giants' OL injury problems.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It sucks to be a Ram fan today

Yesterday was very disappointing for Ram fans every where. You must understand that the 49ers are #1 on the bad-fags in Rams' encyclopedia. They are the most hated enemy on our hit-list. What do you call 53 dead 49ers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start. Back in the 1980s, I used to pray that God would send the big San Andres Earthquake so that Joe Montana and Jerry could go to hell together, along with the rest of the San Francisco bay area.

Are you getting the picture? Good. Let's continue.

The loss was bad on several levels. We missed another opportunity to win a close game. We missed another opportunity to assert a winning record. We missed another opportunity to take over a clear-cut leadership in the NFC West.

Clearly, we just aren't ready for that yet. Our weakness at the WR position is the absolute reason why we are not ready for that yet. Clearly, the Rams had problems punching the football into the endzone all day long. It was most devastating at the very end of the game when Sam Bradford drove us deep into redzone, with just a few ticks remaining. We just could not punch it in. We had to kick a game tying field goal instead of scoring a game winning touchdown. We should have ended the affair right there, but we could not.

Why not? Let me tell you why.

Terry Bradshaw used to say that there is nothing worse than throwing against a zone defense when you are a scant 1-yard away from the goal line. When you put 4 or 5 lightning-quick defensive backs into a compressed box like that, you are much more likely to throw an interception than a touchdown pass.

In that situation--at chest level--you don't have a window to throw through. Rather you have a 45 micron fracture in the fabric of time for just 0.45 milliseconds. Naturally, you can't squeeze a football through that kinda space-time. Either you have a big physical receiver who can leap, or you try to punch it in on the ground.

Clearly, the 49ers knew we did not have that kind of receiver. Ergo, they threw all their resources into stopping Steven Jackson. Given the time on the clock, we couldn't take many cracks at the endzone with Steven Jackson. Guess what? The outcome was not in our favor.

Now, let's play a hypothetical little game. Suppose in some hypothetical alternate universe, the Rams had had a pair of 1st round choices in the 2010 draft. Suppose Billy Devaney decided to take Sam Bradford with the top pick and the marvelous Dez Bryant with other pick.

Now let's fast-forward to those crucial moments at the end of the 49er game yesterday. What happens now? Sam throws a high, but highly accurate, strike at Dez at the goal line. Dez goes up and gets it, falling forward into the endzone. We win. The end. Dez probably would have done it with greater ease than the touchdown he got against the Giants yesterday. Frankly, it probably would not have come down to such a situation, as we would have scored more points throughout the game.

Sam doesn't have a receiver like Dez Bryant to throw to. Many good quarterbacks do. It is pretty clear to me that the lack of deadly receiver cost us another close game.

Former Seahawks coach Jim Mora Junior called us out on this subject at the end of the 2010 draft. I totally agreed with him. He prophesied that the lack of decent receiver threats would be the Rams undoing in 2010. It looks like he is turning out to be right about that. I thought our weakness at the offensive line would be the death of us first, but I certainly hated the receiver situation also. As it turns out, the line is firming up pretty well.

I'm pissed the Devaney passed on Seyi Ajirotutu. You know I pointed him out to the team. I wrote Seyi up as one of my favorite college football players in the 2010 draft. Look at how well he is doing with the Chargers! Imagine how much better off we would we be if had squandered a late 7th round pick on the kid. We could have had him as a free agent also, but its tough to out-romance the Chargers.

In the 2011 draft, priority A#1 for the Rams has to be the Wide Receiver position. Now, if a true Kellen Winslow clone is available, I could be convinced to go with a tight end, however I doubt that will be the case. In all likelihood, we need to find a wide receiver.

With that said, what are the prospects for a receiver-hungry football team in the 2011 draft? According to CBS Sports, the prospects are not all that good. They have three WR listed in their top 50. None of them are higher than the #31 position.

Under-classmen have not declared yet, but given the possibility of lock-out and/or rookie salary cap we are faced with, I doubt many of kids will want to declare in 2011. Given the number of under-classmen who came out last year, and the scant few who may declare this year, 2011 could be a truly horrid draft.

[My ass bleeds for the Patriot fans.]

So who are the top 10 receiver prospects according to CBS Sports?
1. Leonard Hankerson The University of Miami 6-3 208
2. Jerrel Jernigan Troy State 5-9 185
3. Ronald Johnson USC 5-11 190
4. Niles Paul Nebraska 6-1 220
5. Titus Young Boise State 5-11 170
6. Austin Petitis Boise State 6-3 201
7. Dwayne Harris East Carolina 5-10 205
8. Derrell Johnson-Koulianos Iowa 6-0 200
9. Greg Little North Carlonia 6-2 220
10. Cecil Shorts III Mount Union 6-0 190

I only know three of the names on that list: Leonard Hankerson, Ronald Johnson, and Niles Paul. Regrettably, I have not seen much Boise State lately. I intend to check them out soon. The only guys on this list I can actually vouch for are Leonard Hankerson and Niles Paul.

The only guy I really want to build around is Leonard Hankerson. I mentioned him once before when I was commenting on the Randy Moss mess. I do like Niles Paul, and I would like to see him in a Ram uniform, but his DUI in 2009 might affect his status with Billy Devaney. Devaney has been criticized by NFL analyst Jamie Dukes for building the all-humanitarian, saintly choir-boy team. Personally, I would take him.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Week 9 Results, Week 10 Predictions

I had another so-so week last week going 8-5. I suppose you can make money in Vegas at that level, but I never better. True Virgos don't gamble. I strive for accuracy. I am still looking for that elusive perfect week where I call them all down the line.

This week is full of difficult choices. I can see a lot of different scenarios in this weeks matchups. Texans v Jaguars is one of the most maddening choices on the board. Right next to it is the terrible match between the Cardinals and Seahawks. Those are truly no-win propositions.

Of course, the game I am looking forward to the most is the Rams at 49ers. This is our first opportunity to defeat them in some time, and it is our first opportunity to post a winning record past mid-season in a very long time.

Memo to Sam Bradford: The very best birthday present to you can serve yourself is a victory over the 49ers. Understand that they are the most hated enemy in the lexicon of despised Ram foes. We hate them with every fiber of our being. Kurt Warner cemented himself with Ram fans by busting up the 49ers in his first try. Do the same and most all doubters will be silenced. Lock those pinchers on them and sting them good, Scorpio. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

For the Rams, 4 is a magic number

So the bye-week went extremely well for the Rams. Without firing a shot, the Rams are now in sole possession of 1st place in the NFC West. How so? We hold a head-to-head victory of Seattle 20-3. We have an equal conference, and better non-conference record.

We are also ahead of them on net points. The Seahawks are at -51, and we are at -1. The net points figure tells much about the seasons these two teams are having. The Seahawks have been getting blown up lately. The Rams have been fighting a lot of close battles.

The has been much talk inside Ram Nation about a certain collection of simulation computers that project our Rams as the eventual winner of the NFC. We have the best stats of any team in the division. Offense, defense, and special teams, we have the lead pretty well across the board.

The evening, Fran Charles of the NFL Network presented both the AFC and NFC playoff pictures. If they stopped the season today, the Rams are 4th seed in the NFC Tournament. It's all rather shocking if you ask me. Very hard to believe, but we just might make a run at the playoffs.

Four is a magic number. We are 4-4. The NFC West is the 4th and lowest division in the NFC standings. We are the 4th seed, as of today. We also need to go on a 4 game winning streak, but we should do it one game at a time.

This will all be for naught if we don't get that next one against the 49ers. It is imperative that we take them down.

Week 8 Record, Week 9 Predictions

So last week was pretty decent, but not as good as it could have been. I now wonder why I selected the Texans over the Colts. It must have been the injury report. I finished with a record of 8-5.

This week seems like a pretty easy set of choices. Only a few games made me sweat. Ravens v Dolphins, Vikings v Cardinals, and Texans v Chargers all caused me to break a sweat. The biggest challenge on the board is Colts v Eagles matchup. I don’t think the Raiders v Chiefs is as big a challenge as some people say it is. I’m taking the Eagles because of home field advantage. I am taking the Chiefs because I believe the Raiders are tricking us.

I slept very little this week, and that lack of sleep led to fatigue during these picks. That fatigue is the one and only reason I lack some confidence in the difficult picks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

So they had an election yesterday...?

Ah, jeezee... look at the news this morning. It's all about who won the election... I guess they must have held an election yesterday. I was busy yesterday making my last pot of stew before gastric bypass, ergo I didn't notice. Not that I would have anyhow, mind you. I TiVo everything I possibly can so I can fast-forward through all the commercials. This is especially true with political commercials. I will also hit the mute button on my remote to ensure I don't get a blast of any of that rubbish.

It would seem that the Democrats took one hell of an ass-whipping last night. Everywhere except California that is. I scoff at those who are celebrating and mourning this morning.

I want to make one thing perfectly clear: The Fact that the Republicans won last night only means that Walmart took the lead in the market this Christmas season. The fact that the Democrats lost only means that Target is running behind Walmart this season. You should greet that news with little or no emotional attachments. I don't care. Neither should you. Either way, you will get similar products at similar prices. Target and Walmart pretend to be different. It is to laugh. Next season it will flip again: Target will lead Walmart. At that time, you'll get similar products at similar prices also.

For those of you naive fools who believe that the U.S. has a conservative and a progressive party, I have tough news for you: You're absolutely and completely wrong. I mean you are 100% wrong with a 100% chance of being 100% wrong and a ZERO PERCENT (0%) chance of being even 1% right. The USA has no conservative party. The USA has no progressive party.

The Target and Walmart parties shook hands long ago, agreeing to a duopoly. They agreed to play roles on stage. You pretend to be conservative. I will pretend to be progressive. We all know none of this is real. We are just actors on stage pretending to be engaged in a dramatic battle. This is just a stage play. The heroes and villains are actually best buddies backstage. They drink and fuck together all the time.

What we have in these United States of America is two wholly-owned subsidiaries of International Conglomerate America. Their sole purpose is to pump unlimited amounts of corporate welfare into the very largest of big-businesses found in this country. Regardless of whether Target or Walmart hold the majority, this is the one and only true agenda: pump unlimited amounts of corporate welfare into the very largest of big businesses.

Understand the meaning of Dave's law: US Democracy is nothing more than an exercise in the organized looting of the public sector by the private sector. That is all it is. That is what it is. Only this and nothing more. A politician has but one true function in life: Charge up the American credit cards just as high as they will go and stuff that money into the very largest of big businesses. This is their function regardless of whether Target or Walmart won the election.

If you happen to be one of the drippy musical hippies I see crying in their Starbucks cups this morning, I want you all to know you are the most abjectly pitiful fellows in the entire universe this morning. You shed tears for absolutely no reason. You have been tricked into believing that you just lost something, when nothing of the kind has happened. Target no longer controls the House. So what? You should shed tears because you tricked into believing that somebody actually represents your interests in this political process. It is not so.

The same goes double for your (true) conservatives who are walking on sunshine this morning. Let me get this straight, you think you actually won something last night? Nope, you did not. Shake off the illusions, bubba! Everything is going to keep going the way it is going until the 3rd economic bubble bursts. When the United States Treasury Bill bubble bursts, the U.S. Dollar will collapse, a mighty blast of economic hell will be unleashed, and a military dictator will come into power. That autocratic dictator will reflate the currency by introducing a new eBuck, or some new currency of that kind.

Of course that means that biggest corps will be ruined. Tough shit. A dictator doesn't need your money or approval to do what he does. His political power will blossom from the barrel of a gun. If you don’t like it, you can line up against the wall and face the firing squad. Better think twice before you challenge this dude. US/Nato 5.56mm rounds really, really hurt when they hit you. As I have mentioned before, I am keeping a close watch on several current and former 4-star generals to see which one of them might make a move when the big crisis strikes.

I haven't participated in a single election process since 2000, and I do not intend to at any point in the foreseeable future. I do not intend to tacitly endorse the process or the outcomes by participating in it. This is a bad no-win game. The only way to win is not to play. Our ‘democracy’ is a programmatic non-fit for our needs in this new economic era.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Chili-Moss Scandal

The happiest guy in the world right now is Mike Shanahan. He is jumping for joy that the Chili-Moss scandal has eclipsed the Sun, nearly blotted out his benching of Donovan McNabb in an otherwise winnable game.

Right now I am shaking my head and chuckling. So this is how it all ends, aye Chili? A memo to the Viking organization: The next time you would like to simply discard a 3rd round pick for no particular reason, please give my Rams a call. We could use another 3rd rounder. You just might draft another Joe Montana with a pick like that.

I have disliked Chili several years now. Why? Because I have hated the way responds to being on the hot seat. Clearly, Chili has been very sensitive to all suggestions that he is on the hotseat. He has been moved to action by most of these suggestions, and not good actions either. Rather than sticking to a logical and scientific program of team building, he has been blow around the field by every gust of media wind. He has made a lot of dysfunctional, short-term, short-sighted decisions as a result of this perceived pressure.

Chasing an old man like Favre all over the planet? Letting him skip training camp and practice? Starting the dude when he is clearly wounded as hell? Making a trade for dysfunctional dude like Moss? I just don't like it. Now the moment Moss appears to be critical of Chili, he reverses his field and cuts Moss. Jesus Christ! You want to talk about a paranoid move?!?! Stupid…

I don't like the way Chili responds to pressure. Have some balls and deal with the heat. Chuck Noll would have just kept right on drilling his boys on the fundamentals. Don Shula would not altered course as a result of the hot seat. Even the professor Bill Walsh would have sacked up and dealt with it. In short, Chili just doesn't act like one of the greats. He's got no pipe and humming bird sack, as Jim Rome used to say.

Being sensitive to every little comment about your job status and taking one short-sighted decision after another to cling to your job (like monkey clinging to a sparkly little fake jewel) is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. You are not going to make good, solid, sound combat maneuvers if you are being motivated in this way.

Clearly, the 2010 season is the breakdown phase of the Childress-Viking epoch. As Michael Lombardi suggests, that epoch might come to a close as soon as Tuesday afternoon. For the good of the Vikings, I hope so. Why does anyone suspect this? Because Chili has roster rights written into his contract. He can add and cut players as he pleases without consulting senior management. He said he was going to waive Moss this morning. It didn't happen this afternoon. Apparently, Chili is in some hot water with the high command. I think his job is in maximum jeopardy right now.

I am no kind of Viking fan, but I have friends who are. It is difficult watching these guys suffer in state similar too the one I lived through when the Rams hired Scott Linehan. Linehan was another one of these clingy, short-sighted, defensively-postured coaches who was worried about his job. You all know how that ended. It was an all out-disaster. It was the death of the Greatest Show on Turf.

All of this feels a hell of a lot like the end of Scott Linehan. For those who don't know, Linehan lost the Rams by benching Bulger, trying to release Torry Holt, and alienating his defensive coordinator Jim Hasslet. All of these were exceedingly stupid moves at the time, and they were motivated by Linehan's fear of the Ax. He was responding to suggestions that he had lost control of the team and was on the hot-seat for a lack of performance. When Linehan attempted to release Holt, the Axman dropped the edge on his neck, and it was over. We may see the very same scenario playout with Childress in the next 24 hours.