Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Minka Kelly named the sexist woman in the world by Esquire Magazine



So my dear friends at the Bleacher Report sent me an update this morning, as they do every morning, and one of the headlines indicated that Derek Jeter's girlfriend/fiancée was named the sexist woman alive by Esquire Magazine.

"Oh, that's interesting", I thought, "Just who is this girl?"

It turns out that this is Minka Kelly. I hate to tell you this, especially in view of the material I am about to cover, but I have only ever seen Minka in one movie. The Roomate was that movie. No offense to Miss Kelly, but that was an egregiously obnoxiously wretched catastrastroke. It was offal. I mocked this movie as the Cupcake Wars implementation of Single White Female.

It wasn't Minka's fault. I want the asshole who green-lighted this project to step up and kiss the gunners daughter. It's his fault. We will flay every square inch of his skin off with one of my dullest knives.

Folks, I hate to brag and I hate to boast, but Derek Jeter better hope I never meet his girlfriend. I will take her away from him, and I don't need a hundred million dollars to do it. I have pure raw sex appeal working for me.

You see, Minka is a Cancer. I am a Virgo. There is a lot more to charts than that, but suffice it to say that I can clean-whip Derek Jeter in this battle. He doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell. I mean zip, zero, ziltch, nada, nothing.

Derek is also a Cancer. Astrological incest is not usually recommended. There are situations where you can get away with it, but usually the chemistry just isn't that good between two individuals of the same sign. Take it from me. I have few super matchups with Virgo, but they they are very few and very far between. It is like that for all of us.

Let's take a look at the specific synastry numbers, folks:
Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly
Category Totals
1. Romantic and Sexual Attraction: 0
2. Similarity of Interests and Temperament: 229
3. Mutual Success and High Achievement: 191
4. Problem Solving, Communication, and Mutual Understanding: 67
5. Mutual Kindness, Friendliness, Pleasantness, and Peace: 80
6. Aggressiveness, Competition, Power, Success, or Violence: 54
7. Adventurousness, Surprises, Disturbances: 39
8. Shared Creativity, Imagination, and Inspiration: 54

Read it and see the truth. This adds fuel to the fire which holds that their relationship is just a media contrivance. We all know that Derek Jeter is no one-woman man. He is one of the legendary pussy-bandits in the history of New York City. I know that is saying an awful lot, but he can back that up. Many say his exploits far exceed those of Tiger Woods.
The two of them, like so many stars before them, may want to be seen in public together because it is good press for both.

Now, let's have a good look my scores versus Minka Kelly:

David A. Leon and Minka Kelly
Category Totals
1. Romantic and Sexual Attraction: 252
2. Similarity of Interests and Temperament: 257
3. Mutual Success and High Achievement: 30
4. Problem Solving, Communication, and Mutual Understanding: 298
5. Mutual Kindness, Friendliness, Pleasantness, and Peace: 50
6. Aggressiveness, Competition, Power, Success, or Violence: 278
7. Adventurousness, Surprises, Disturbances: 204
8. Shared Creativity, Imagination, and Inspiration: 238

As you can clearly see, I destroy Jeter in every category across the board, save two:
  1. Mutual success and high achievement.
  2. Pleasantness and Peace
I believe the first score is reasonable. I doubt I can add anything to her career potential. I am sure he brings more to that table. The second is questionable. I am a pretty amiable guy. It would be interesting to delve into the reasons behind that score. The high disturbance score might be the answer there. External agitation might spoil things.

Do I agree with that sexual attraction score? Yeah, it seems reasonable to me. She could well be a 252. Remember, anything over 150 is considered extremely strong. This is 168% of extremely strong. I could see myself flipping out over her, if I had a shot at her. What is more interesting is that this score suggests it would be reciprocal.

One pro astrologer who work on this application told me "the score is determined by the least interested party." Even if Minka is the least interested party, the score is 252.

You see folks, Cancer and Virgo go together better than Cancer and Cancer. I win, if I get a chance.

Now I can hear the chorus of doubters out there saying "Wait, ain't you the 44 year old dude who just had Gastric Bypass."

Yep that's me, and I just went inside 279. I am 51 pounds down with 48 to go. I am more than half way to the destination. Interesting things are already starting to happen. I don't want to go into any details, but there have been some interesting signs that certain females in my world are beginning to take up positions in the market. Its as if they are looking for a put option.

Over the course of my life, many have told me that I have a pretty good looking face on top of some pretty broad shoulders. If I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times "Just lose some weight, and the women will come-on to your fairly directly. They won't beat around the bush, and you won't have to work at it."

Of course, this is not why I had the surgery. Crippling pain was what forced it. I would never have chosen this path if pure physical pain hadn't forced my hand.

Just three days ago, one of my fellow programmers at work was noticing how much weight I have lost since surgery. He asked me how much. I told him. He was stunned by the number.

"That fast!" he said "How soon will you reach your target weight?"

"June the 16th" I replied, although a subsequent visit to the doctor's office forced me to revise my estimate to July 8th. It's a long story.

We were both tired. It was the end of a very long day. We were both yawning. As my buddy yawned, he looked out across the empty farm of cubical were all the data entry girls sit during the day.

"Man, when I think of what might go on around here in June..." he said. He didn't finish the sentence.

I laughed like hell. I told my brother and my dad that story, and they both laughed like hell also. The funny thing is that they think the same thing.

Don't laugh. I'm getting there, and I have special advantages now. I have inside knowledge.



Monday, March 28, 2011

Sucker Punch is a catastrastroke

Zack Snyder's 15 minutes just might be over. He made a spectacular debut with 300, and it's been pretty much downhill since then. His career is perishing on the rocks of his unhealthy obsession with crappy graphic novels put out by DC Comics. If he doesn't get over this obsession, it's going to be all over, real quick like.

I don't want to mislead you in anyway: Sucker Punch is an unmitigated, unadulterated cinematic catastrophe. The only good thing I can say about it is this: They honed in on their target audience very sharply. I am sure that this movie will inspire every sex worker who has ever been committed to an insane asylum. There may be 20 or 30 girls living in the San Fernando Valley who will love this movie.

What about for you an me? Well... not so much.

I told my aunt that takes a heck of a lot of hallucinogenics to write a graphic novel like Sucker Punch.

"You don't seriously think they used hallucinogenics while writing it, do you?" she asked.

"Oh yes I do. I really do. I am sure magic mushrooms, peyote, Salvia-A, and plenty of LSD were involved in the production process. There is no other way to explain a chain-reaction of such bad ideas. There is no other explanation of how they could look at this pile of shit and think it was genius."

Folks, I want to level with you. I was a big fan of DC comics when I was a kid. I read everything they published. I stopped when I turned 14. This was a full decade before the graphic novel movement if of 1990s. My brother was reading comics during that epoch of history, and he collected many graphic novels. Some of the better ones, such as The Sandman, he passed over to me. I had little time for that stuff. I was finishing my degree at UCLA.

Later, as I started my career, and began to have free time and zero disposable income. I tried to read a few of these graphic novels for entertainment during that time. I found most of the 'books' to be rubbish. Pseudo intellectual, pseudo artistic, pseudo political, pseudo relevant, pseudo hip; they were mostly bullshit drivel. These were failed attempts by poor artists to try and achieve something great.

Probably the worst of them all was The Watchmen. I couldn't stop laughing when I heard Time Magazine elected this piece of shit to their top 100 books of all time. That was the end of their street cred. I now wipe my ass with Time Magazine. That's all it's good for now.

Regrettably, Zach Snyder doesn't agree with me. Evidently, he is deeply inspired by this drivel. He picked a good one in 300 to kick off his career. Then came The Watchmen. I consider that an epic failure. Now we have Sucker Punch. This is a catastrastroke.

The failure is not in the implementation. Rather, it is the inception. The story ideas themselves are crap. You can't polish a turd. No matter how well directed, a bad story is a bad story. If it ain't any good on the pages of the screenplay, it won't be any good on the screen.

The pitty is that Zach is a very talented director with very poor taste in material.

Interesting news about our top two receivers in the 2011 draft

So, on today's Path to the Draft, Mike Mayock gave us a very interesting piece about B.J. Green and Julio Jones. You can see it here.

The upshot it this: The stocks are fluctuating, as draft stocks are wont to do. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly clear that Julio Jones may fit the needs of both the Bengals and Browns better than B.J. Green. This according to the theory that you need big, physical receivers if you want to run the West Coast Offensive with authority.

Incidentally, both Ohio teams will be running the WCO this season. As we all know, Mike Holmgren hired Pat Shurmur explicitly for this purpose. Jay Gruden, brother of Jon Gruden, is the new offensive coordinator of the Bengals. Like his brother, he is a major advocate of the WCO.

To paraphrase Mike Mayock: B.J. Green is the more gifted natural receiver and play maker, but if the draft were held today, Julio Jones would go first.

Right now, the Bengals are prominently displaying just two young Wide Receivers on the front page of their website. Those would be Julio Jones and Jon Baldwin; the two biggest and most physical receivers in the 2011 draft.

President Holmgren is being much more careful not to telegraph his punch in any obvious position on the Browns' website. I think he is the smarter guy.

So what does this mean to Ram-fans everywhere? A flip-flop of receiver positions is no tragedy. Rather, it is an opportunity. It will be less expensive to move up and catch our falling star now. As you know, I'm pretty sweet on Green. I think we need to go Green. I believe he will have the much sweeter chemistry with Sam Bradford.

Mind you, I will still be happy if we somehow manage to kidnap Julio Jones, but I still think B.J. is a bigger game-changer, play-maker. I think he can turn the tide of battle when the breaks are beating our boys.




Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jimmy Clausen, Mike Lombardi and Me



My position on Clausen in 2010

A year ago, I was one of Jimmy Clausen’s most outspoken detractors. I went back and read a few of my blog posts in prep for this one, and I cringe at some of the ruthless, crushing, brutal statements I laid down. I was brutally honest. I had reason to be.

Those were desperate times. My Rams had hit the bottom of the barrel. The organization was going to change QBs, and that meant choosing a new QB somewhere in the 2010 draft. We all knew that. There was a loud and vocal Notre Dame contingent in the Midwest who were adamant that the Rams needed to select Jimmy Clausen #1 in the draft. Mel Kiper Jr. was pouring fuel on that fire. I had to stomp out the fire.

It wasn’t personal. I don’t hate the kid. I wish him success now that he is in the league. I just didn’t want my team to take him. Why? Well… I was pretty sure he was going to go bust for all the reasons I spelled out in detail. We were already in the shithouse. We could not afford to lose 5 years and another HQ regime on a busted #1 pick. The catastrophe had to be averted.

Mike Lombardi’s position on Clausen in 2010

A year ago, Mike Lombardi was pretty damn positive on Jimmy Clausen. Like many, he loved the fact that Clausen played under center for the ‘legendary’ (wft?) Charlie Weis. Like many, Lombardi suspected that Clausen might be the most pro-ready QB. Like so many, Lombardi felt that Clausen had fallen into a nearly ideal situation in Carolina. He was with a good team that had a solid running game, a good offensive line, and a good defense. Clausen was ostensibly the QB best setup for success in 2010. Or so they all said…

Well, here we are…

What a difference a single year makes. My Rams are no longer 1-15 but 7-9. The Panthers are no longer 8-8 but 2-14. We gained 6 wins. They lost 6 more games. We took Sam Bradford (over my objections) and they took Clausen (over my objections). The Panthers are drafting #1. We are drafting #14. What a remarkable flip-flop of positions.

My, my, my how everyone’s positions on Clausen have changed!

Mike Lombardi’s position on Clausen in 2011

Lombardi, like everybody else, seems to have completely written off Clausen after a just few starts in 2010. Yes, it was ugly. It was even more ugly than I suggested. Lombardi and everybody else has some justification for the quick flip-flop of position.

Now you see Lombardi advocating the notion that Carolina must draft Blaine Gabbert with the top pick in this 2011 Draft.

My position on Clausen in 2011

You have no idea how awkward I feel writing the following paragraph. Were I any other guy, I would probably be crowing about how right I was, and how wrong everybody else was. I would pound my chest about how I took a stand against the draft experts and won. Granted, I sorta did a little bit of that here, but this is not what I have sat down to write.

My position on Clausen in 2011 is… eh… ah… er… give him another chance.

WHAT?

Yep.

NO!

Yep.

NO FUCKING WAY???

Yes way. Let me make the following points and I’ll just leave it at that.

Reasons for not drafting a QB and giving Clausen a chance in 2011

  1. You hardly gave Clausen a chance in 2011
  2. Having drafted this kid, you are morally obligated to give this kid something vaguely resembling an even break.
  3. The whole team clearly suffered a massive breakdown this season.
  4. This wasn’t exactly Clausen’s fault.
  5. You didn’t get better results with Nat Moore.
  6. One of the best reasons why Clausen is going bust now lies in the fact that he came out as a true 21 year old junior. Junior QBs go bust at a 90% rate in the NFL.
  7. Lombardi is counseling you to take another 21 year old true junior.
  8. Do you want another thin-dime of a chance with your #1 pick in 2011?
  9. While I do believe Blaine Gabbert is a heck of a lot better than Clausen, I am still not sold on this guy, especially as the #1 pick overall.
  10. I think the odds are perilously high that you will compound the bust of one true junior QB with another true Junior QB. The cost of this bust will be vastly higher.
  11. If you are smart, you’ll trade down with the Bengals, get a 2nd round pick. Then you should select Patrick Peterson and Christian Ponder or (maybe) Jake Locker.
  12. Even if Ponder is the guy you start by the end of the season, you may develop Clausen into a salable commodity in 2011. Get something back for him.
I must say I am a little annoyed…

I’ve been mentioning Mike Lombardi quite a bit lately. Although I like the guy, he annoys me tremendously with his advocacy of the QB position. Setting aside the concrete fact that the only good QB is a dead QB, it seems that Lombardi’s sole mission on Path to the Draft is to convince as many teams to take QBs as high in the first round as possible.

I am not nearly so sanguine about taking a QB in the draft. Knowing full well that you bare a 70% chance of going bust in a best-case scenario, this is not a gamble you take lightly. You don’t gamble like this every year, unless you are a crazy fool. You should be especially careful of gambling like this when you are stuck in the shithole. If you miss here, you are fucked for 5 years, and it will probably sink the current administration.

Just remember what Billy Devaney said to Marshall Faulk “When I drafted this kid, I had to pack-up my office. If he gets hurt, I’m going to be fired.” Draft one at your mortal risk.

Now… once again, I feel a little funny writing that last paragraph. Why? Well… you see, my Rams seem to be the latest primary beneficiaries of drafting a top-end QB. Yes, I know this is true. It is very good not need a QB, especially this year. The future looks bright for my Rams, and this is because we have a rising franchise QB. Thought I fought the hell out of him, Devaney turned out to be right, and I was wrong.

I want to say it one more time, so I make it perfectly clear: None of the QBs in this draft are strong enough to carry the weight of Sam Bradford’s jockstrap. I don’t feel particularly great about any of the QB prospects in this draft. Last year, I liked three of them, but not necessarily for my Rams.

Don’t let anybody deceive you: 2011 is a much worse year for QBs than 2010. There are a lot of absolutely sensational athletes in this draft; possibly the best we’ve ever seen. I don’t know if there is so much as one franchise QB in this draft. If there is, he probably isn’t one of the guys they are looking at in the 1st round.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So why do you think Carson Palmer isn't retired?

Memo to the skeptical: I want you to spell out a rational and factual argument that might somehow suggest that Carson Palmer isn't absolutely and completely done in the NFL. I bet you can't do it.

I will go on the record and tell you flat-out-cold: Carson Palmer is done-and-done as a player in the NFL. I mean absolutely and completely done. You will not see him throw the football again in the NFL. Palmer's statistical body of work is now complete. You won't ever seen the numbers budge by so much as a single digit.

I am really, really, really annoyed by speculations regarding where Carson Palmer is going to play football in 2011. What manner of horse-shit is this? You might as well speculate about how many Angels can dance on the head of pin, or how long Santa Clause will sit on top of the Sun before his ass will burn.

FYI: It's either going to be in his big SoCal back yard or on the local playgrounds at the park. It won't be on an NFL Football field.

Frankly, you guys are just being rock-heads who refuse to accept the situation in it's full truth. You chose to confuse a completely clear-cut picture with your own doubts that are unfounded.

Let me explain something to you and try to make it completely clear for you: Carson Palmer has been in sharp decline over the past several seasons. He has been showing diminishing returns ever since he had the so-called "Tommy John" surgery. He has a hardcore medical reason for his decline. This is definitely not the young Carson. There isn't much reason to believe he's going to get better. At this stage, you don't get a year better. You get a year older.

Those who believe the media hype have simply blinded themselves to this fact, choosing to blame the receiver corp or the coaching staff or the ownership... It just ain't so. It is Carson.

Carson's motivation is plain and clear: He doesn't want to continue playing in decline. It is embarrassing, and it is ruining his once sterling reputation. If he plays again, he will want to attempt a full comeback. This comeback is in great doubt and very sketchy.

One thing is for certain: It cannot happen in Sin-si-Nasty. That franchise is a perpetual basket case, and a bush-league organization. Forget about them. They are only motivated by the balance sheet. The comeback can only happen if Carson gets into the right situation. This would probably mean the Vikings.

Even if Mike Brown were to have a major born-again turn-around (bloody unlikely), and actually agree to trade Carson, Carson might not be willing to play for the Cardinals or the Redskins. He may not believe these are good situations where he can make a comeback, and have a good 2nd act in his career.

I want to leave you with the immortal words of Ocho Cinco on the ESPN Weekend special. Carson not only put his house in Cincinnati up for sale, it has already sold. The house not only sold, but he moved out a month ago. Where did he go? To some unspecified neighborhood in SoCal. Esteban believes Carson is absolutely and completely done in a Bengal uniform.

So should you.

In accordance with these facts, you need to make some adjustments to you television programming:
  1. No more speculation on where Carson Palmer will play in 2011. The answer is already known. The answer is nowhere.
  2. No more Mock drafts showing the Bengals selecting B.J. Green. It ain't going to happen folks. They are going to go QB.
  3. No more speculative on how Mike Brown might smooth things out with Carson Palmer. The answer is already known. It ain't going to happen.

The Mocks of 2011 suggest a great rivalry

So, my friends at the Bleacher Report sent me a morning NFL update, as they always do, and this one contained about 50th Mock Draft I've seen this season. What did it indicate?

Well, there were two points of interest for me in this and numerous other mocks:
  1. The 49ers select Patrick Peterson, CB LSU
  2. The Rams select Julio Jones, WR Alabama
That has been one of the premier street-fights in NCAA football over the past three seasons. If the Mocks are correct. It will continue and intensify in the Pro ranks. We'll see these two beat on each other twice per year for God knows how long.

The reasoning is pretty simple in both cases. In Peterson's case, the reasoning goes like this:
  1. Patrick Peterson is possibly the best athlete in the draft
  2. Corners are undervalued, and never go that high.
  3. He made a 9 on his Wonderlic, sliding him down a bit
  4. The NFL is about to tamper with his value as a returner
  5. Ergo Patrick Peterson slides to 7 where the 49ers cannot pass
In the case of Julio Jones, the reasoning goes like this:
  1. Julio blew up the combine
  2. Julio either broke his foot at the combine, or before the combine (accounts vary). While this makes his performance all the more amazing, he now has a medical red-flag. Minor though it may be, it will not be ignored.
  3. Julio is the clear #2 WR behind B.J. Green
  4. Julio dropped some passes in college. Shame, shame.
  5. The top 10 is jammed with teams that need QBs and defense.
  6. There is only one very likely spot in the top 10 where a WR will go (Cleveland)
  7. Julio is likely to slide to 14 where the Rams have a desperate need.
Of course, there are exceptions to this pattern. Some think Peterson will go as high as #1. I think that is bloody unlikely; wishful thinking really. It's either QB or DT for the Panthers. Forget everything else. Nobody else is truly in the running.

Some think the Washington Redskins will select Julio Jones at the #10 spot. I think that is bloody unlikely; trade stimulus talk to be frank with you. I think some Redskin fans are signalling this to see if they can pimp the Rams for some picks.

Why do I say that about the Skins? I'll give you two reasons. Few, if any NFL insiders think the Skins will select an offensive player in this years draft. Shanahan has a serious political problem and liability on his hands. He inherited a good 4-3 defense. He arbitrarily blew up the ship and went 3-4 when he did not need too. His defense is now at the bottom of the barrel. This literally spoiled the honey moon. Shanahan created some very, very, very angry Redskin fans with this one move. If that defense doesn't get up off the carpet and show some life in 2011, Shanahan could be in some danger.

I will bet you dollars to donuts that the Redskins go defense in 2011. I'll bet they do it in a big way. As Mike Lombardi says, they have a 3-4 defense, and they do not have 3-4 personnel. This is the Redskins' most serious problem. It's even worse than their QB situation, which is now sitting at #2 slot. Only after this can we begin to discus the subject of a WR. Julio Jones at #10? Nope.

Can you imagine Patrick Peterson and Julio Jones in the NFC West, playing for bitter rivals? One thing is for sure: This would be good for business.


Monday, March 21, 2011

The 2011 Wonderlics

Intro

As you well know, I have written about the Wonderlic Cognitive Inventory several times. For the benefit of those who do not know, this is a standardized intelligence test that has been around since the 1930s. It is the only IQ test the NFL relies upon for evaluating its prospects. This test is considered most important vis-à-vis quarterbacks.

Some four days ago, leaks began to surface about who scored what in the most recent round of NFL Combine Wonderlics. Let’s just say that there were some big surprises.

The Most Notable Scores

1. Greg McElroy, QB Alabama 43

2. Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri 42

3. Anthony Castonzo, OT Boston College 41

4. Danny Watkins, OT/OG Baylor (via Canada) 40

5. Scott Tolzien, QB Wisconsin 38

6. Steve Schilling, OG Michigan 35

7. Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska 35

8. Julius Thomas, TE Portland State 35

9. Christian Ponder, QB Florida State 35

10. Ricky Stanzi, QB Iowa 30

11. Ryan Mallett, QB Arkansas 26

12. Cam Newton, QB Auburn 21

13. Jake Locker, QB Washington 20

14. Julio Jones, WR Alabama 15

15. B.J. Green, WR Georgia 9 or 10 {disputed}

16. Patrick Peterson 9

The Cossacks are Chuckling

Boy, this is some interesting material! If you have been following path to the draft, let’s just call this disruptive and disturbing. How so? Let me count the ways…

Greg McElroy is not really on anybody’s prospect list but he just busted the high score on the Wonderlic. This puts him in squarely in the Ryan Fitzpatrick zone. He might make it, despite being a low draft pick or a non-pick.

Blaine Gabbert may have just solidified his claim on the #1 pick in the draft. Prior to the leak of the test scores, many important voices (Mike Mayock) were already touting Gabbert as the #1 QB and possibly the #1 pick. That big score is usually interpreted by GMs as meaning “Super Bowl Material”. If the Panthers pass, the Bengals won’t. Gabbert goes no lower than #4 unless he gets into a car accident (God forbid). I want to warn you that Alex Smith once had a giant Wonderlic score like this. It didn’t stop him from going bust. I think Gabbert is considerably better than Smith, but I am still skeptical.

Despite being a heavy legged waist bender, Castonzo is ranked by many as the top lineman in the draft. Not by me. I say Pouncey is #1. Still, Castonzo has impressed everybody with his character and intelligence. His Wonderlic ain’t going to hurt him any. Herm Edwards says that offensive linemen are usually the smartest guys on the team. I am sure there are teams that aim for this goal, and plan to keep it that way. Castonzo is going to continue to be a factor.

Danny Watkins is an interesting case. He is a 27 year old Canadian kid who stands 6-4 and weighs in at 310. He is an intriguing candidate, but there are disputes about him. Most believe he is well past his growing spurt, so he is as big and strong as he is going to get. If you like him as-is, take him. If you want him to get stronger… well… maybe not. His IQ is going to help him out.

Scott Tolzien is in a similar boat as McElroy. Many do not regard him as a prospect, but he just helped himself.

Steve Schilling has been flying under the radar. I have not yet heard his name mentioned on ESPN or the NFL Network. He just got noticed.

Now we come to one of the great disruptions of the test: Prince Amukamara 35, Patrick Peterson 9. That’s a blowout victory. It resembles the score of Super Bowl 18. For those who don’t know Patrick Peterson is ranked by some as the top prospect in the draft, and certainly the top CB. Amukamara is the runner-up in the #2 corner, and a top 20 pick. The disparity in scores here is bound to faction the league. Defensive coaches who believe in instinct will certainly continue to extol Peterson. They will blow off the Wonderlic scores. DCs who love smart players are going to move Amukamara way up their boards. There are sizable factions on both sides of the instinct/intelligence question in the NFL.

Julius Thomas is a very small college tight end who was on nobody’s radar screen. He just got noticed. I would bet that somebody wants to interview him now. If the Big Tuna were still in the league, he would be interviewing this kid.

Christian Ponder has been slowly but surely creeping up everybody’s draft board. With a score 1 point lower than Sam Bradford’s last year, he just helped himself tremendously. He’s got one of those Super Bowl capable scores, and I guarantee that several important people now view him as a franchise QB. Although it looks doubtful, he may yet go in the 1st round, and ahead of Ryan Mallet. The kid has no significant negatives on his record.

Ricky Stanzi is another guy who just got noticed.

Now we come to another one of those interesting score in the test! Ryan Mallet is one of the hottest buzz guys in the 2011 draft… for good reasons and for bad. A famous St. Louis sports writer declared Ryan Mallet left Michigan because he was seriously addicted to several illegal substances at the time. Reportedly, he still has a drug habit, although it might just be marijuana. At the moment these claims have not been substantiated. Mallet has not tested positive to anything yet. He claims he is drug free. There are many who are in love with his arm, his accuracy, and the fact that he played under center. He reminds me of something between Drew Bledsoe and Jim Everett, but with sketchy aspects to him. 25 is the average score of an NFL QB. Mallet is 1 point higher than that, but his score is considerably lower than his competitors. 28 is considered the minimum score for a Super Bowl capable QB. Mallet is 2 points shy of this mark. Ryan’s score of 26 is going to microwave this debate.

Cam Newton scored 21 on his Wonderlic. While this is not a terrible score (like Vince Young’s 9) it is 3 points lower than Tim Tebow, and 2 points lower than Jimmy Clausen last year. When Tebow and Clausen scored their 24 and 23 point last year, howls went up from many league sources. It was not well received. This is because 25 is average, and 28 is the start of the sweetness zone. Those who love Cam are going to label the Wonderlic culturally biased, and they will take heart in the fact that his score is 233% of Vince Young’s. I will bet you dollars to donuts that there are experts in the league who now rate Christian Ponder higher than Cam Newton.

And now we come to a tragic case. It would seem my favorite QB prospect, Jake Locker, scored a 20 on this test. This just might be the death of his 1st round hopes. If you are one of the many out there wondering how Jake just fell out of the 1st round last week, look no further than this score. It’s 5 points below average, 4 points below Tebow, 3 below Clausen, and 1 behind Newton. It looks like a bottom of the barrel score. I don’t understand this. He does not strike me as a 20 guy. He must have had a bad day, or got off to a poor start. This kid is a Gemini, and he should be a smart guy. I continue to believe he will be a hell of a QB for the Seattle Seahawks. The hometown folks love him and believe in him, and sometimes that’s all it takes.

And now we come to the other big disruption brought to you by Mr. Wonderlic. B.J. Green capped his bad combine by making a 9 on his Wonderlic test. I still remember the NFL SoundFX clip where Warren Sapp was poking fun at Akili Smith for scoring a 9 on his Wonderlic. The QB killer regards this as a bad score. Mr. Green's response to this charge was that he actually scored a 10. Okay… Ad meanwhile, his SEC rival Julio Jones tacked down a 15. This is not a terrific score either, but it underscores the fact that Julio mastered B.J.’s ass at the 2011 NFL Combine.

It should be understood that the Wonderlic is not so heavily emphasized in the case of Wide Receivers. This is strange, because the WR is the other half of the passing combo, and it is considered the second most difficult NFL position to master for kids coming out of college. It stands to reason that good intelligence can help shorten that learning curve. I, myself, keep wondering how many signs NFL GMs and draft experts will ignore before the move Julio ahead of B.J. on the draft charts. Several may have already quietly done so, and not told.

I eagerly look forward to seeing which one of these of these two young men goes first in the draft. I continue to believe B.J. would have the better chemistry with Sam Bradford, but you have to love everything we are seeing these days about Julio Jones. Heads we win, tails we win.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The first day of spring means it's Aries season



For those who don't know, March 20th is the Vernal or Spring Equinox. This means that tomorrow is the first day of Spring. Traditionally, the Equinox means that we have exactly 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. This 'taint necessarily so. It depends on your north/south Latitude. For instance, in my Dad's home city of Quito Ecuador, they always have 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. The city sits directly on the Earth's equator.

Now we have dreaded Aries season. Traditionally, this has not been a bad time for me. Aside from some spring allergies, this is usually a good time of year, pre-occupied by the NFL Draft. We will see the birthdays of a large number of NFL Greats not the least of whom are John Madden, Bill Bellichick, Peyton Manning, and the Rams' own Chris Long. There are many others.

This year, I am wary. In theory, my hottest sexual/romantic match is an Aries woman, born on 4/13/1979. We have an insane 538 score together. There are reasons for this. My moon is in Aries. My Venus and Mars are in Leo. There is plenty of fire under my hood. I am somewhat concerned that I might meet this 32 year old whirling dervish sometime in the next 60 days.

My physical transformation is proceeding pretty well. My weight is down to 284, which may not impress, but this does not tell the whole story. My lean mass has not only held, it has increased somewhat. According to the latest composition tests, I have 191 pounds of lean mass.

This surprised my doctors somethin' fierce. They expected losses of lean muscle and bone density. So far, it's going the other way. This is a testimony to how hard I am working now on various and sundry workout gear.

My buddy Gabriel was rather stunned when he saw me this past Saturday morning. He hadn't seen me since before the surgery. He said I look a hell of a lot different. I guess loosing 47 pounds of pure fat while putting 1 pound of lean on will do that to you.

So what if I were to run into an available instance of Ms. 4/13/1979 around and about her 32nd birthday? I shutter to think...

Earth and Fire do not mix well. In particularly, Virgo and Aries are a poor match. Aries is know for its temper. Believe me, I know. My mom is an Aries and she had the ability to explode. Unfortunately, I do too, and I detest it with a passion. You see, Virgo men (and women) simply will not put up with high intensity emotional outbursts, tantrums, drama, venting matches, etc. In a perfect world, there would be none of that. Utterly inferior people cannot contain or control their emotions. We won't have it. We just don't put up with it.

We like to be calm, cool, collected, dispassionate, reasoned, analytical, sensible, logical, pragmatic. This is in keeping with our Mercurial nature. Whilst on the topic of Mercury, it would seem that we Virgo men have the reputation for being Mercurial in another way: We are world class dumpers. A chick can be in with us solid, and one temper tantrum later, she is out. I mean all the way out. Forget about it. Done and done. I told you, we just won't put up with that shit.

There are other reasons. Aries is the sign of the War Chieftain. They make good football coaches because they can be extremely bossy. Aries women often wind up wearing the pants in the family. Some Virgos like to be dominated. Not me baby. I won't have it. I simply will not put up with that shit.

Aries tend to be wild and passionate folk. They are aggressive, with a fairly instant ignition when it comes to sex drive. Virgo is not like that. Consider the hermit and the virgin imagery. We cautious, careful, conservative. We don't jump quick. We need time to consider the ramifications of hanging around with an Aries, pardon the pun. We take awhile to make up our minds.

There are other factors at play.

I have been attracted to several Aries women in my lifetime. There was a big one named Michelle in 1996. No good has ever come of it. There were a significant number of negative consequences resulting from each of these cases. Looking back on it, the best thing I can say about these happenings is that they were monumental wastes of time, energy, talent, money and effort. Squandered effort.

With that said, you may understand why I am negative to ambivalent about meeting up with a 4/13/1979 female in this season. In a best case scenario, it would be another quick failure with a lot of negatives flowing out of it. In a worst case scenario, it would become something semi-long term that is poorly conceived and doomed from inception. There you would find much wasted time effort and distraction from real and achievable goals. With a score of 538, I am inclined to think it would be the worst case scenario.

It's cool to have an Aries buddy, or an Aries next to you on the D-Line, but a wife? That is a Ram of a different color.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Time to get serious about the draft

Intro

I’ve had a lot of things on plate lately, metaphorically, but not literally. This busy-state has kept me from writing about the NFL Draft as much as I would normally. The inspiration to write hasn’t been stimulated much by the talent-level in this draft.

Let me level with you folks out there: 2011 cannot compare to 2010. This draft class is way below the draft class of 2010. 2010 was one of those rare moments when a full crop of great players arrived. Many experts described 2010 as the best draft year since the legendary class of 1983. 2011 is nothing special. The crop of 2011 is basically a run-of-the-mill bunch. Even that statement might give these guys too much credit.

Still, good-crop, bad-crop, or mediocre crop, it’s time to get serious about this draft. Let me begin my series with a quick summary of my thoughts about

My General Conclusions about the 2011 Draft

1. The class of 2011 is nowhere near as good as the crop of 2010.

2. This is particularly bad Quarterback class. None of these guys are strong enough to carry the weight of Sam Bradford’s jockstrap. I think the top two ranked QB in 2011 would have been a 2nd rounders in 2010. These guys are destined to become over-bought, over-priced disappointments. That’s the best-case scenario. Of all these guys, the only kid I really like is Jake Locker. I especially like the fact that I can have him in the 2nd round. He’s a good bargain at that price.

3. This is an atrocious year for offensive linemen. Only Mike Pouncey is worthy of being selected in the first round. Several more will probably be taken in the 1st round due scarcity-inflation, but this is not a good thing. Many of these guys will become over-bought, over-priced disappointments. Just remember Mike Mayock’s key term: heavy-legged waist-benders with little upper-body strength. They’re generally on the skinny side also. If you want a good offensive lineman, you better get Mike Pouncey in the 1st round. Mike could be an alternative for the Rams at the #14 slot.

4. This is a very bad year for tight ends. Not a single one is expected to go in the 1st round. We’ll see if any happen to go in the 2nd round. If I was going to take one, it might be Jordan Cameron (not to be confused with Cameron Jordan of Cal Berkeley) of the USC Trojans later on in the 4th or 5th round.

5. This is a bad year for running backs. I see only one young man in this draft (Mark Ingram) who should have a career of significance in the NFL. I don’t see many others who will become factors in the NFL. None of these guys are home-run hitters or game changers like C.J. Spiller, Jahvid Best, or even (my favorite) Dexter McCluster. A little schmoe named Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State) is the most elusive guy in this class, but I see him as a situational specialist. Kendall might be a 3rd rounder.

6. This is a pretty good year for Wide Receivers, and better than 2010. This is one of the few bright spots in the class of 2011. There could be two or three deadly receivers: B.J. Green, Julio Jones, and Leonard Hankerson. Both B.J. Green and Julio Jones compare well with Dez Bryant of the 2010 draft. They are better than Demaryius Thomas. This is a very good year to be in need of a Receiver.

7. This is a good year for defensive linemen. It’s a better year for defensive ends than defensive tackles. By no means is this class as good as last year’s crop. None of these guys are as good as Gerald McCoy. None of them are strong enough to carry the weight of Ndamukong Suh’s jockstrap. Still, if you need some defensive line help, you should be able to find some this year.

8. The Linebackers in this crop are pretty good. Last year, Rolando McClain (Raiders) was the first LB off the board followed by Sean Weatherspoon (Falcons). I think it is safe to say both of those guys were disappointing. I think Von Miller is far better than either of these two. I would be willing to argue that my fellow Bruin Akeem Ayers is better also. Akeem Ayers just might be an alternative for the Rams at #14.

9. The corners in this year’s crop are better than last year’s, but this is mostly because of Patrick Peterson, and the weakness of last year’s crop. I’m not too sweet on this crop. If you need one, you better go up top and get the big-dog.

10. The safeties in this year’s crop are not very close to those of 2010. Eric Berry and Earl Thomas were both vastly superior to this year’s crop. Still, I like Rahim Moore of UCLA and DeAndre McDaniel of Clemson in 2nd round of this draft. In the 2nd round, I think they can both deliver good value.

11. Marcell Dareus is probably the best over-all athlete in this draft. After him, the prospects at DT fall-off rapidly. Nick Fairley is the second coming of Ohio State’s Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson. Big Daddy was a Bengal bust back in 1994.

12. Von Miller & Patrick Peterson are in a dead-heat for the 2nd overall athlete sweepstakes. I am going to lean towards Von Miller because my Rams are need of a Linebacker, and I like what I see. Still, there is very little chance my team might get a crack at Von Miller, even if they trade up.

13. B.J. Green is the #4 guy on my board. It gets very messy after that.

Summary for Ram fans

I see three potential players the Rams might look at for the #14 pick:

  1. Julio Jones, WR Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Mike Pouncey, G/C Florida Gators
  3. Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA Bruins

In the second round, I think we are looking for Leonard Hankerson (WR Miami Hurricanes) or Rahim Moore (FS UCLA Bruins)

Rule the air, Niggah

I just bought an HTC Thunderbolt yesterday

My buddy Clay informed me earlier this week that Verizon would be releasing its first dual-core Android cellphone this week. This is the HTC Thunderbolt. Although I was (then) a customer of T-Mobile, I knew I was going to make the move to Verizon. Why?

· The T-Mobile Droid Pyramid is not set to arrive until sometime in May

· That’s provided they can hit their ship dates, which is a big IF.

· Pyramid will be a whopper, but T-Mobile offers nothing special in terms of extra content services.

· For reasons that will be made clear below, I am sure that I would be low-man on the totem pole to get a Pyramid when T-Mobile does ship them.

· Verizon, like DirectTV, has an exclusive on NFL content.

· If you want NFL-Mobile, and the NFL RedZone, you have to have Verizon.

· Being the total NFL-junkie that I am, you know that I have to have NFL-Mobile.

My trip the Verizon store

I am blessed to be less than one mile away from the Westfield mall here in Canoga Park. This is a very nice mall, which aside from other things, contains about 10 different cellphone vendors and networks. Ergo, getting the new Thunderbolt from Verizon should be as simple as driving 1 mile. Was it that simple? Well… almost.

I arrived at the Verizon store wearing my Sam Bradford #8 jersey in white, and was almost immediately approached by a customer service representative.

“Is it possible to get a Thunderbolt, or are you all sold-out yet?” I asked

“We’re sold out. Would this be for a new account or an upgrade to an existing account?” He asked.

“This would be a new account. I’m currently with T-Mobile.” I showed him my old cellphone.

“Come over here for a minute.” He directed me to the back of the store.

“We have two Thunderbolts in the back room here. They are supposed to be reserved for new accounts only. I just turned down two existing customers, and they haven’t left the store yet. Just give me a minute or two we’ll hook you up.”

There you have it folks. We have proof positive that stealing sheep is more important than keeping sheep. All cellphone companies want to grow by adding new accounts. They also want to damage competitors by taking away customers. All I had to do was show them my T-Mobile cellphone, and I was assured of getting one of the last two Thunderbolts in the store. I’m sure I’m not going to get anyone in trouble here because I this policy decision was taken at a fairly high level in the firm. I am sure that T-Mobile’s policy is similar or identical.

A minute or two passed, my salesman retired to the back room, and returned carrying a black box with a subdued Thunderbolt embossed on it. It turns out that the setup of one of these phones is rather complicated. It took about 45 minutes. To get one of these things going, you need to do all of the following:

1. Do the credit app and credit check

2. Pay the money

3. Open the box, unpack the gear

4. Request your new phone number

5. Add the 4G card

6. Add the SIM card

7. Add the 32GB flash card

8. Insert the half-charged battery

9. Apply the screen protector.

10. Put on the silicone phone cover

11. Enter you Gmail account

12. Set up voice mail

13. Transfer all you phone & contact information from the old phone to the new

14. You’ll set up facebook if you have it (I don’t)

15. You’ll set up Twitter if you have it (I don’t)

16. You’ll set up picazza.google.com if you have it (I don’t)

17. You’ll set up Yahoo instant messenger if you have it (I don’t)

18. Go through a few tutorials

We did all that over the course about 45 minutes. It turns out that my salesman was quite a Ram fan, and he wanted to talk Rams during the course of this process. This surprised me because he was a very young guy, certainly not more than 24. I doubted he could remember when the Rams last played in Anaheim some 17 years ago. It turns out that his dad and his granddad were all Ram fans and they passed the legacy on. Evidently, grandpa once made the team as a special teams guy back in the 1960s. Of course, we talked about Julio Jones.

This is still more proof that the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area has not forgotten about the Rams. There is still a legacy here.

Once we got everything setup, my new buddy slapped me on the shoulder and said “Rule the air, niggah!” This was a very politically incorrect salute, so I naturally loved it. You know I shit upon all things related to political correctness. Incidentally, just in case you were wondering, my sales rep was (is) a black guy.

I guess this means I have officially made it. I am now BBA (black by association).

First impressions

Right now I am pretty impressed with this device. When you sit down and meditate on the question of what you might want to see in a mobile PDA device, my laundry list of features is pretty well taken care of by the default apps in this phone. There’s a place for everything, and everything works pretty well.

My only little complaint is that I have a 32GB SD-Card, and that is as far as it can go. My salesman told me that it just might be able to work with a 64GB card, but it has not been cleared for a 64GB card. I’ll have to look into it.

How fast is it?

Throughout the setup process, my rep kept commenting about how fast this unit was. Each step he had to run through was pretty quick responsive. The phone was responsive. He kept mentioning how much longer each step took on a single-core Android phone.

I, myself, never had an Android phone before this one, so I will never know the speed (or lack thereof) of an older single-core model. What I can say is that this little machine is pretty responsive. When I tell it to open an app, it opens quickly. When I tell it to switch back to the home desktop, it does so immediately. When I open the custom feature settings, it’s there. Everything seems to move along quickly, without any significant delays.

I guess this is what they mean by blazing fast.

It doesn’t surprise me that the new dual cores are considered so much faster than the older single cores. At the root of this new PDA sensation is the Linux operating system. This is an open-source, free, copyleft collection of software packages from an assortment of volunteer organizations in this world. It is a version of Unix. More importantly, it is a fully pre-emptive multi-tasking version of Unix. The kernel has a very nice scheduler.

This means the Android phone should make immediate use of that second core, and it should speed things up quite a bit.

What I mean by speed

How does this little Thunderbolt compare to a modern Desktop computer? If you want to talk about pure horsepower, the answer is “Not Well”. To borrow an expression from the NFL Draft scouts, it’s quicker than fast. On the other hand, desktops are faster than quick. What do I mean by that?

The desktop computer world is dying from a pestilence of confirmations, warnings, user notifications, restrictions, and User Access Control. Every single fucking time you want to do something on either the Mac OSX or Windows 7, it seems that you will be confronted with a message that says something like:

  • Oh NO! You just pushed close button! Are you really sure you would like to close this application at this time?
  • Oh hell! You just changed one byte of data on this document! You haven’t saved it yet! You should really save your changes before closing!
  • Oh crap! You are going to do something really powerful like back up your data! Are you really sure you want to do that at this time?
  • Oh shit! In order to move data outside of your user directory structure, you are going to have to have administrative rights!
  • Oh crap! You just issued the order to shut down the computer! Are you really sure you want to do that? If so, every single app you have open will flash up at you that you haven’t save changes, and this will prevent the shutdown.
  • If you choose to shut down the computer without saving meaningless changes to meaningless bits, each app that was forced to shut down (without saving) will bitch at you about an improper shutdown the next time you launch it.
  • Worse still, many software packages feel the need to pop up confirmations that simple common tasks were accomplished successfully. You will be forced to click “OK” on endless numbers of “Done” or “Success” message boxes.

· What we are talking about here is a pathological pattern of software development here that presumes we are all incompetent in the handling of important data, and attempts to protect every responsible adult from the consequences of his own decisions. This is an absolutely bass-ackward approach to writing software that must be stopped.

For the good of all mankind, the dummy-wrap software pattern must be destroyed. The only concrete result of dummy-wrapping is performance degradation. You are slowing people down. You are not helping them. You are creating an uncooperative tool, not a helpful one.

One of the main things I very much like about the Android operating system is that I have not yet seen such a warning from the Thunderbolt. When I want to open an app, it opens. When I want to leave, I leave. When I want to shutdown, it shuts down. This is a uber-popular consumer device folks. It’s made for the masses of dummies out there.

Android’s success constitutes proof positive that the pathetic pattern of dummy-wrapping described above is absolutely unnecessary and can dispensed with without difficulties. Indeed, the result of destroying this bad-pattern is a great increase in nimbleness and quickness. Despite the fact that this Droid is no match (in terms of pure horsepower) for my desktop, I seem to be able to accomplish common tasks much more quickly with my Droid than my desktop.

Microsoft and Apple better sit up and take notice. Dummy-wrapping everything is going to get you killed. Maybe it scored you some points in the past, maybe not. One thing is for sure: A dummy-wrap approach is going to cost you big time now.

It’s app time!

So, it is time for me to find some Android apps. I need to get the good stuff. Of course, this means Netflix and NFL Mobile. We’ll see what else I can haul down.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's time for your Cam Newton update!

Psyche! No way!

We're not going to play that game here. Just not interested in this topic. Who is anyway? Only Rich Eisen of the NFL Network, that's who.

Rich, this ain't Tim Tebow. Get off this topic. This is not the most transcendent athlete of this draft.