August 31, 2004

If you've given up on network TV should check out Tuesdays from 9-10 on NBC. Father of the Pride, the endlessly hyped computer animated series, debuted last night, and it was excellent. Scrubs follows, and while I don't know if I'm sold on the addition of Heather Graham as yet another beautiful but dizty doctor, it's still the best show on television.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

RNC Day 1

I didn’t watch much of the Convention yesterday. After two weeks of the TV blaring Olympics in the background, both the Mrs. and I enjoyed a night off. I did catch John McCain and Rudy Guiliani. McCain’s speech was mellow and dignified, but also somewhat flat. He only picked up when ripping on Michael Moore, which was fun to watch but seemed out of place with the rest of his speech, and when he talked about those in the armed forces. It was as good as could be expected though; despite what he said last night, John McCain is no fan of the President. Rudy’s speech was more fun. It was probably a tad long, but still enjoyable. When it clicked, it had a wonderful conversational feel. Very emotional too, especially when dealing with 9/11. Rudy also got off the best line of the night, the riff on Edwards’ “Two Americas”. Monday was my night at the RNC; two men I believe would make far superior Presidents than either of the actual candidates, telling me that Dubya is where it’s at. It was also a preview of 2008, as both of these men will most likely run for the Republican nomination. I don’t know if either will make it though, are these two beholden enough to the evangelical wing of the party?

Posted by Frinklin at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2004

Clips on the Olympics

Makes a disturbing amount of sense, don't it?

Posted by Frinklin at 07:04 PM | Comments (0)

How did made-up countries do in the Olympics?

First seen at Tegan's, a must read for comic-book fans, Olympic fans or both.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

The Olympics are over. Where will I go for my heartwarming personal stories and occasional tape-delayed sports action?

The Athens games went off far slicker than I thought they would, better than anyone outside of Greece expected, I’d bet. Some final thoughts:

-On NBC’s primetime coverage we saw swimming, gymnastics, track, diving or volleyball approximately 85% of the time. This did not leave room for much else. Add to that Jimmy Roberts’ nightly inspiration, and we have an awful lot of sports not covered anywhere other than the late-night/early-morning ghetto. Would it have killed us to change that? I mean, must we see the Gymnastic Gala for crying out loud? Carly Patterson did the same floor routine four times, in the team, individual all-around, individual event and gala. Did we need to see the damned thing all FOUR times?

-Speaking of Carly… No matter how much NBC tried to shove her down our throats, she just isn’t that interesting. In fact, she’s the blandest girl I can imagine. Especially when you compare her to her teammates, like Mohini Bhardwarj, who was left off the 1996 and 2000 teams, and ended up taking a job delivering pizzas to pay for her training, or Tarin Humphrey and Courtney Kupets, both of whom came back from nasty injuries.

-Since we’re on gymnastics, I’d best cover the Paul Hamm Gold/Non-Gold story. I dunno. I mean, I laugh at people who say Hamm should give up his medal to prove Americans are nice people. He didn’t go to Athens to be nice, he went to win. And he did, sorta. You had to expect something like to happen. Problems with judges are part of being a subjective sport as opposed to an objective one. Did the Korean guy get screwed? Yeah, he did. Could you redo all the judging and come up with an entirely different result? Probably. I also dislike the two gold medals idea. Sorry folks, sports are a zero-sum business. I win, you lose or you win and I lose.

-The most exciting thing I saw during the Olympics was not the Men’s 100-meter run, nor was it the Men’s 200-meter freestyle relay in swimming. It was the Gold medal game in women’s handball. I’m serious. I caught this during an insomnia spell on Saturday night. It was Denmark over South Korea in double overtime. It really seemed to exemplify the Olympics to me: a sport that American’s don’t give a damn about (if they even know it exists) and two teams giving absolutely everything on the court.

-Marion Jones goes medal-less. I got no problem with that. The Mrs. Frinklin and I came to the conclusion that she’s a nice enough person with seriously bad taste in friends.

-Loudy Tourky is just about the best name ever.

-I really wish NBC weren't so damned USA-centric. I don't know about everyone else, but watching Fani Halkia win the Women's 400M hurdles or Hicham El-Guerrouj win the 1500M and 8000M runs was as exciting as watching Justin Gatlin win the 100M or Shawn Crawford win the 200M.

-The most impressive team performance in the Olympics was the US Women's softball team (51-1!!!), but a close second was the US Men's 4X400M relay team. It was like Secretariat at the end. It was a very classy move of Jeremey Wariner not to run the anchor.

-The Bejing portion of the Closing Ceremony was cool.

-The Winter Olympics are still better…

Posted by Frinklin at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

The GOP running amuck in NYC

Well, the GOP convention starts in New York today. It is really two conventions, the one inside and the far more interesting one outside. Something my Democratic friends should remember: every time they show a protest on TV, the President’s chances go up just a tad. Americans, middle of the road Americans, they great “undecideds” do not like protesters. They find them self-indulgent and seriously self-righteous. Most American, those who haven’t made up their mind already, don’t think that Bush has launched us into an illegal war of conquest and imperialism in Iraq, most don’t believe that the Patriot Act is one step away from a police state, and nobody really believes that your genitals would make a better President. And that goes double for the morons who invade the GOP delegates’ private lives, and threaten to bother them in their hotels.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2004

Goddamn Typos!

I swear, people must think I'm a complete idiot. I've had to edit out 4 different typos today, including three in the Dream Team piece.

Seriously folks, I just can't spell. I am, in the words of Homer Simpson, "S-M-R-T".

Posted by Frinklin at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2004

It's Barry Bonds, it has to be.

For those who persist in saying that Adrian Beltre or Scott Rolen or whomever is the NL NVP, remember this from Gammons column this morning:

On Aug. 27, the difference in OPS between Barry Bonds and Adrian Beltre was one point less than the difference between Beltre and Rey Sanchez.

I know he's a jackass, but he's the best player in baseball, and no one is even close. If any voter picks anyone other than Barry, they are an idiot.

For the record, as of ESPN's stats right now, Bonds is .361 ahead of Beltre in OPS, .389 ahead of Rolen.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:01 PM | Comments (4)

Goodnight Nightmare Team

The US Men's Basketball team pulls out the Bronze. I was actually rooting for Lithuania here. Does that make me a traitor?

Of all the things that drive me crazy about this Sorta-Dream Team, what bothers me most is how easy it would have been for them to win. Two players, that's all it takes. Two guys who wouldn't sell many jerseys, but would have meant more wins.

Player 1-Tayshaun Prince and his Amazing Length would have given this team the one-on-one D to stop opposing wing players who got all crazy against us. Mr. Prince, say hello to Mr. Genobli.

Player 2-Brent Barry would have hit every single one of those open threes these chuckleheads missed. He's also good off the dribble, unlike most outside specialists, and could serve as a point guard in a pinch.

Lastly, to whomever is running the Supersonics right now, please please please find a way to get this guy in Seattle?

Posted by Frinklin at 01:58 PM | Comments (6)

A genius idea from Slate

To hell with Greco-Roman, let the WWE into the Olympics. What's more exciting: Rulon Gardener vs. some Iranian guy, or Hulk Hogan vs. The Iron Sheik for the gold?

Posted by Frinklin at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2004

Yoda Farts

This is either a very funny joke on hardcore Star Wars fanboys, or further proof that George Lucas has lost his mind. The link is here...

To those too lazy, this is what it says:

Okay. Here's how the scene was described to me. The setting... Tattooine (sic). Yoda and Chewbacca are together when the Clonetroopers are ordered to kill the Jedi. What does Yoda do? He grabs some mud, smears it on his face, jumps on Chewbacca's back, acts all stupid like his first appearance in Empire Strikes Back, and pretends to be Chewie's pet.

To further the deception, he farts. Yes, you read that right: Yoda farts.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:09 PM | Comments (3)

Let's play some Football! AFC West

1-Denver Broncos
For better or worse, this is Jake Plummer’s team now. With the trade of Clinton Portis to the Redskins, and no clear favorite among sawed-off Quentin Griffin, ageing vet Garrison Hearst and young speedster Tatum Bell, the Broncos will relay more on the pass than in recent years. To accomplish this they need Plummer to stay healthy and effective, and the young receivers Ashley Lelie and Darius Watts need to step up. The line will be closely watched, as for the first time in years, coach Alex Gibbs is gone, now the line coach in Atlanta.

Young and deep on the line, young and speedy at linebacker, and adding quality pieces in the secondary, Denver thinks this is championship-caliber defense. They may well be right. The line will feature All-Pro Trevor Pryce and a cast of young talents like Reggie Hayward and Monsanto Pope, but losing end Bertrand Berry to the Cardinals will hurt. Al Wilson is the only returnee at linebacker; Jayshon Sykes’ll join him and rookie stud DJ Williams. And in the secondary Denver adds longtime Buccaneer great John Lynch, and All-Pro CB Champ Bailey.

Someday Mike Shanahan will win a playoff game without John Elway. It hasn’t happened yet, but it should this year. The offense is good and the defense could be spectacular. This is New England’s biggest challenger in the AFC.

2-Kansas City Chiefs
Has there ever been a team with such a good passing offense with such lousy wideouts? Once you get past RB Priest Holmes and TE Tony Gonzalez, who might be the best in the NFL at their respective positions, you see names like Johnnie Morton, Eddie Kennison and Marc Boerigter. Not exactly, Joiner and Jefferson, Rice and Taylor or the Marks Brothers are they? Still QB Trent Green finds a way to get it done, and this offense can pile up points when it is working. Injuries hitting Green, Holmes or Gonzalez would be catastrophic.

This part…Not so good. Chief fans joined their rival Denver Bronco fans in running defensive coordinator Greg Robinson out on a rail, to be replaced by former KC head coach Gunther Cunningham. Cunningham’s first order of business was dumping Robinson’s read-and-react schemes for more aggression and more blitzing. The players appreciate this, but do they have the talent to pull it off? In a word, no. There is talent along the line, with youngsters Jimmy Wilkerson, Ryan Sims and draftee Junior Siavii joining vets Vonnie Holliday and Eric Hicks, but little production. The linebackers are young and athletic as well, especially Scott Fujita and Mike Maslowski, but again, there is very little actual production. The best part of the D is the secondary, led by Eric Warfield and Dexter McCleon, two accomplished corners. They should survive in one-on-one coverage.

Who knows? KC should be good, could be great, but could be terrible if anything were to happen to the offensive cornerstones. The defense should be better under Cunningham, and if they continue to score points at the rate they did last year, they will qualify as a wild card.

3-Oakland Raiders
New coach Norv Turner’s offense works best with a big-armed pocket passer, able to stretch the field to open up holes for the running game, which is why Oakland signed QB Kerry Collins after the Giants released him. Rich Gannon, still a fine quarterback at the end of a good career is singularly unequipped to run this off…. Oh, Gannon is still starting. Well that makes no sense. No offense to Gannon, but he needs to be with a team that runs the West Coast. He has never been able to throw particularly deep, and at 38, the odds are long that he will improve much. The other most important position in Turner’s offense, tailback, will feature a grab bag of players: Tyrone Wheatley, Justin Fargas, Amos Zereoue, and Troy Hambrick will contend for carries. The Raiders cut ties with WR Tim Brown, leaving only one aged wideout left, the still productive Jerry Rice. He’s joined by an interesting collection of younger talent, led by Jerry Porter. The offensive line will be helped by mega-prospect Robert Gallery, providing his injury woes in the pre-season cease.

Along the line, Oakland managed to get better, but not any younger, considering the big (literally and figuratively) pickups are Ted Washington and Warren Sapp. That would be 668 pounds and 24 years experience between them. At linebacker, Bill Romanowski is gone, replaced by free-agent Dewayne Rudd, who should do fine, provided he keeps his helmet on. The team will miss Romo’s intensity, but not his foolish penalties and diminishing speed. Charles Woodson has agreed to end his holdout, and he and Phillip Buchanan form a good tandem at corner.

What is it with this team? They were awful last year: old, slow, and prone to stupid mistakes. Instead of tearing down and accepting the need to rebuild, they patch a couple holes with fading veterans, start a possibly awful quarterback controversy and hire a coach with no record of success. If it weren’t for the Chargers in this division, the Raider would be locks for last place. Luckily for them….

4-San Diego Chargers
LaDanian Tomlinson is the best running back football. He has to be, rushing for 1,600 yards behind this line. The Chargers best lineman, center Jason Ball, a second-year undrafted free agent is currently holding out; this leaves names like Roman Oben, Courtney Van Buren, and the oft-injured Toniu Fonoti. As anyone who pays attention to the NFL knows, the QB situation is a mess, with Philip Rivers finally signing. What boggles my mind is why Rivers was a better bet than tackle Robert Gallery. Rivers and Drew Brees are the same player: young, astonishingly productive in college, brainy, not particularly good at throwing deep and with slight physical issues they will have to overcome to make it in the NFL. With Brees it’s his height. With Rivers, it’s his unorthodox throwing motion. So why have the Bolts given up on Brees? Easy, Marty doesn’t like him.

Of course, Marty won’t be coaching next year, but who gives a damn about that.

The defense isn’t much better. San Diego will operate out of a 3-4 this season; unfortunately the best DT on the roster is Jamal Williams, who isn’t a nose tackle type. The best bet for the nose is rookie Igor Olshansky. They are marginally better at linebacker. Ben Leber is a good young backer, and Donnie Edwards is one the better ILB in the league. The young secondary is the best unit, and best hope for the future. Both corners, Quinton Jammer and Sammy Davis, are big and fast. They, along with second-year safety Terrence Kiel give hope for the future.

God, this is a bad team. The odds are at least even they end up with the first pick in the 2005 draft. Rivers will start sometime this year, sooner rather than later, but he’ll be easy meat behind the Bolts awful line. Marty Schottenheimer is gone, probably before the season ends. To make matter worse, the rumor is that new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips would be next in line. Good, cuz you know he hasn’t proven to be a miserable failure as a head coach.

Oh wait, yes he has.

Previously: AFC East, AFC South, AFC North

Posted by Frinklin at 07:42 PM | Comments (1)

August 25, 2004

Let's play some Football! AFC North

1-Baltimore Ravens
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the Ravens are good at on offense. Last year, Jamal Lewis rushed for over 2,000 yards, and the collection of quarterbacks (Kyle Boller, Anthony Wright, and newcomer Kordell Stewart) were terrible. Still, Coach Brian Billick has faith in Boller though, and he should improve with a year’s experience and better health. Still, that is an awful lot of faith in Boller. As someone who watched him throughout his college career, I was rather stunned he was thought of so highly. He had one good season in college, and three terrible ones. The Ravens are attempting to surround Boller with a good supporting class, led by Lewis, TE Todd Heap, and a good line. They still need help at WR, beyond the talented but raw Devard Darling. Everything is lost if Lewis doesn’t get his legal troubles taken care of.

The Ravens play a 3-4, based on serious speed and talent at linebacker. On the inside, we find Ray Lewis, merely the best linebacker of his generation, and the underrated Ed Hartwell. On the outside, the Ravens attack defenses with Peter Boulware, Terrell Suggs and Adalius Thomas, all three of which are fast and versatile enough to swing down to the DE position. Along the line, Baltimore is a tad undersized for a 3-4, but quick. In the secondary, they are talented but not especially deep. The starting corners, Chris McAlister and Gary Baxter, are spectacular, but Baltimore is thin enough to be wooing Deion Sanders to be their nickleback.

If this was 1965, and a passing attack was completely necessary to win in the NFL, this team might well be the favorite in the AFC. Unfortunately, Boller will need to improve a great deal for this team to go deep in the playoffs. Every other element is there, including coaching. Brian Billick may be the most unlikable man in the NFL, but you cannot argue his results.

2-Cincinnati Bengals
Jon Kitna, 2003 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, led the Bengals to an 8-8 record, and passed for over 3,000 yards,
then lost his job to Carson Palmer right after the season ended. It is not entirely about money either. There is reasonable concern in Cincy that Kitna had a career year, and that’s probably true. The move to Palmer makes sense, but might not pan out until 2005. Palmer was a slow starter at USC, and might not adapt quickly to the NFL game. Whoever is at QB will have some weapons to work with. WR Chad Johnson had a spectacular season, and Peter Warrick has settled in as second option. Rudi Johnson will take over for the traded Corey Dillion at tailback.

There are more holes here than on the offense. The Bengals attempted to fill some with free agents. DT Daryl Gardener was signed to solidify the middle of the D-line. This is a so-so bet, as the big tackle hasn’t been healthy or particularly enthused the past couple seasons. Cincy also signed former Buc Nate Webster to play middle linebacker. Webster, an undersized but speedy ‘backer, will shove Kevin Hardy outside. These two, teaming with returnee Brian Simmons, could give the Bengals a quality unit. Staying healthy is the key. In the secondary, Cincinnati acquired Bronco cast-off Deltha O’Neal. O’Neal, a great athlete who lost his confidence in Denver, will start, probably across from Tory James.

This is the most even of the AFC Divisions. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to see any of these four teams in the playoffs or jockeying for an early draft pick. The Bengals will need Palmer to play well, especially early. It would be difficult for this team if he stumbled and Marvin Lewis had to call Kitna off the bench. On defense, they need to improve against the run. They were 25th in the NFL last year.

3-Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers drafted Ben Roethlisberger with an eye on replacing Tommy Maddox in 2005. This season should belong to Tommy, who, despite a rough year last year, is still one of the more inexplicable comebacks in NFL history. Maddox still has excellent receivers to throw to; few teams go three deep better than Hines Ward, Plaxico Burress, and Antwaan Randle-El. The Bus should be parked a little more this season, as Pittsburgh signed Duce Staley away from Philadelphia, and he should be the feature back. The line needs work, though there are few guards as steady as Alan Faneca.

Since switching to the 3-4, the Steelers have been known for their linebackers. That isn’t quite the case no, as ends Kimo von Oelhoffen and Aaron Smith, along with Pro-Bowl NT Casey Hampton out-produced the linebackers. This led to longtime Steeler Jason Gildon being cut, replaced by special-teamer Clark Haggans will replace him. Both Joey Porter and Kendrell Bell have to up their production to avoid the same fate. Speaking of which, the secondary lost former starters Brent Alexander and Dewayne Washington; both were cut, to be replaced by Chris Hope and Deshea Townsend.

The Steelers are in flux right now, rebuilding, but seemingly unwilling to break up the entire team. Coach Bill Cowher would be in serious trouble if he worked for a different franchise. The Rooney family, with only two coaches since 1969, treasure stability, and renewed his contract just this week.

4-Cleveland Browns
The Tim Couch Error is over, and it didn’t come soon enough for Brown fans, which never warmed to him. He’s replaced by former 49er Pro-Bowler Jeff Garcia. Garcia, a gritty overachiever, seems to fit in with Cleveland fans far more than Couch ever could. The problems surrounding the QB return though, as Cleveland doesn’t have a Terrell Owens of it’s own. Andre Davis and Quincy Morgan often show flashes of talent, but are inconsistent. Super rookie Kellen Winslow will help. William Green returns from off the field issues to battle Lee Suggs for the tailback job. Suggs is more instinctual runner, but Green has more speed.

The defensive line features three top draft picks in ends Courtney Brown and Kenard Lang, and tackle Gerard Warren. Only Lang has lived up to his potential: both Brown and Warren have seriously underachieved. Both will face competition for their jobs from less-talented overachievers like Ebenezer Ekuban and Michael Myers. The situation is better at linebacker, as all three starters return. Ben Taylor, Andra Davis and Kevin Bentley return a year after being pressed into starting jobs. In the secondary, Cleveland is solid, but sorely lacking in impact players.

This team took a huge step backwards. Obtaining Garcia should help somewhat, but they still face serious questions along both lines and at wide receiver. Butch Davis needs to show improvement to keep his job. New owner Michael Lerner has already shown to have less patience than his late father.

Previously: AFC East, AFC South

Posted by Frinklin at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2004

Why I hate Olympic Coverage on NBC

It's gone beyond the usual: always sappy, sometimes maudlin bits on the atheletes, blatant homerisms, and making sure EVERYTHING is tape-delayed. Those I've learned to handle. This is the 6th Olympics they've done the same way, It's not going to changee. But when they ignore a potentially career-threating injury during an event they televise, that's when they go to far. I had to find this in Slate: Russian gymnast Alexei Bondarenko fell twice during the vault competition and injured his spine. He was taken to a local hospital and is doing well, but NBC NEVER MENTIONED IT, skipping directly to the next competitor. And as Slate mentioned, this wasn't some no-name Eastern European with an unpronouceable name. Bondarenko has his own profile page on the NBC Olympic official site. The bio of course, hasn't been updated to mention his frightning injury.

What an absolute fucking joke.

Posted by Frinklin at 11:20 PM | Comments (1)

Make Umpires into Judges...

I’ve been watching this mess with Olympic Gymnastics, and I think this collection of sorta-kinda sports has the right idea. Let’s bring the judges to all sports. Instead of tangible results, let’s base everything on opinions. If Barry Bonds hits a homerun with the bases loaded, the umps should judge it on height, distance and speed. Maybe it was a weak shot down the line, it may have a starting value of 4 runs, but due to several deductions, this Grand Slam is only worth 3.785 runs.

Peyton Manning throws the fade to Reggie Wayne in the end zone; Wayne juggles it before making the catch… that’s a .2 of a deduction, plus an additional .5 deduction for not “sticking the landing”. I’m sorry, that touchdown is only worth 5.3 points. But don’t worry; Mike Vanderjagt will be attempting the extra-point from 45 yards out, for a start value of 1.2 points.

This idea is magic, I tell you.

Posted by Frinklin at 10:20 PM | Comments (1)

One Quick Question...

Why is it, in a country at war abroad, with a multitude of problems at home, the presidential election is all about what happened 35 freakin' years ago?

Just wanted to ask...

Posted by Frinklin at 10:02 PM | Comments (2)

The Bolts and Philip Rivers

So, the Chargers end up losing out on their franchise QB for 2 preseason games and 29 practices. In the end, he gets a little less than what he wanted in guaranteed money, San Diego has to give some makeable bonuses. Was worth it fellas?

Posted by Frinklin at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

Let's play some Football! AFC South

1-Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning leads the AFC’s best offense. Throwing to Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, and handing off to Edge James and Dominic Rhodes, Peyton has an almost embarrassing number of options. The line is good too, though they lack big-name players.

Now here there are some problems. The defensive line, until proven otherwise, consists of stud DE Dwight Freeney and a collection of mediocrities. The Colts have to replace yet another young starter at linebacker, and MLB Rob Morris has been injured or ineffectual or both his entire career. In the secondary, Indy will be ridiculously young, possibly starting 3 second-year players along with undersized rookie SS Bob Sanders, who is still inexplicably holding out.

The Colts will have to outscore opponents, and considering the wealth of talent they have on offense, they should do it. Look for a tight battle down the stretch with Tennessee for the division crown, with the loser in the wild card round. Indianapolis will not be a true title contender until the defense stiffens though. The young but talented secondary will have to grow up quickly, facing Steve McNair and up-and-comers Byron Leftwich and David Carr.

2-Tennessee Titans
It will look odd not seeing Eddie George or Frank Wycheck on this team. Losing those veterans will hurt, but not as much as the loss of Justin McCareins at wideout. Both George and Wycheck have been slowing down the last couple of seasons, while McCareins has continued to improve. Now it will be up to Drew Bennett and Tyrone Calico to lessen the pressure on Derrick Mason. Steve McNair is one of the best quarterbacks in football, and without question the toughest. Chris Brown will attempt to replace George, and running behind a massive offensive line, just may do it.

The Freak is gone. Jevon Kearse joined the Eagles as a free agent, and to be frank, the Titans are not that concerned. Kearse is a great player at times, but his injuries and inconsistency drove Coach Jeff Fisher crazy. The bigger loss is DT Robaire Smith, who signed with division rival Houston. To compensate they drafted three ends in the first four rounds, and switched Kevin Carter inside. The line would be far better if the talented but lazy Albert Haynseworth could play up to his potential. Keith Bullock leads a fine group of linebackers, and the secondary is excellent, led by corner Samari Rolle. Look for third-year man Lamont Thompson to supplant aging Lance Schulters at SS.

As long as McNair stays healthy, this is a team with Super Bowl aspirations. The window is beginning to close though, and the Titans will need to replace some parts. Look for a dogfight with Indy, then a quick exit from the playoffs. If the young D-Line grows up quickly though, seeing this team in Jacksonville in February isn’t out of the question.

3-Jacksonville Jaguars
With the drafting of stud WR Reggie Williams, Jacksonville has assembled a nice offense around second-year QB Byron Leftwich. Williams will spend this season learning from veteran Jimmy Smith, and then take over as the primary target in 2005. The Jags also sport some impressive depth at tailback (considering Fred Taylor’s injury record, they’ll need it), with rookie Greg Jones and second-year man LaBrandon Toefield, plus an improving offensive line.

Jacksonville is strong along the middle of the line, with tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson finally living up to their high-draft status, but empty on the ends, with Hugh Douglas struggling to avoid the “bust” label, and a gaping whole following the release of Tony Brackens. They do sport a talented group of linebackers, small and fast in the Jimmy Johnson-mold, led by ex-Colt Mike Peterson. The secondary has been overhauled, but remains strong at safety and iffy at corner.

The Jags are an up and coming team, but one with enough questions to keep it from seriously contending this season. What kind of sophomore slump will Leftwich have? Will Taylor stay healthy? Do Smith and Douglas have anything left in the tank? Most importantly, what kind of coach will Jack Del Rio be? He had an up and down first season, committing an embarrassing gaffe with the tree stump motivational tool, where All-Pro punter Chris Hanson nearly severed his foot. Del Rio also seems to lack confidence in his staff, publicly confronting offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. He hired Musgrave, a Bill Walsh disciple, and instructed him to install the West Coast Offense. He did, and halfway through the season, Del Rio complained that the team didn’t play ball control. Hey Jack, you been paying attention the last 20 years?

4-Houston Texans
David Carr is now in his third year, and has shown definite improvement. The Texans are beginning to surround Carr with talent too, starting with two second-year players, WR Andre Johnson and RB Domanick Davis, both of whom had fine rookie seasons. To go anywhere this year, Houston needs someone to step up and take pressure of Johnson. Neither Jabar Gaffney nor Corey Bradford has done the job.

The Texans run a 3-4 defense, and they have the linebackers to pull it off, led by ILB Jamie Sharper and Jay Foreman, both whom turned in excellent seasons. They’re joined this year by first-rounder Jason Babin, who played DE in college at Western Michigan. The line is a bit of a mess, but help is on the way, as the Texans signed DE Robaire Smith away from Tennessee. The other two spots are up in the air, with NT Seth Payne and DE Gary Walker are both coming off injuries. In the secondary, rookie Dunta Robinson joins Pro Bowler Aaron Glenn. Robinson, a physical specimen wasn’t much of a playmaker in college, and is a lot more raw than people realize.

The Texans are on the way up. A lot depends on Carr’s continued grown, and health along the defensive line. Figure on 6-8 wins.

Previously: AFC East

Posted by Frinklin at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2004

KotOR II -New Planet

More info is up on the official site concerning Telos. Some terrific new screenshots too.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

Well, they certainly are orange and white

I didn't realize these existed when I did the Fashion Show on College Football. Check out Tennessee's hideous "throwback" uniform.

Via RammerJammer.

And who knew there was an entire website about sports uniforms? Good God, look how many updates to check out!

Posted by Frinklin at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

Uh-Oh for Seahawk Fans

Chad Brown broke his left leg in practice today, and will miss at least 3-4 weeks. With backup DD Lewis hurting as well, this makes Seattle really thin at linebacker.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

Let's play some Football! AFC East

Now that we’re done with the College predictions, lets move on to the NFL. These are harder, since other than abour 4 teams at the top and 4 teams at the bottom, everyone in the NFL could finish anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6. That’s parity for you.

AFC East

Up until about a month ago, the East looked like a competitive division, with the Dolphins battling the Patriots for the division crown, with the Jets and Bills fighting to stay out of last. Now, with the sudden disintegration of the Dolphins offense, this seems like New England and the three dwarves.

1-New England Patriots
All you really need to know about Tom Brady is that he’s 16-1 as a starter in games decided by a touchdown or less. He has masterful control of coordinator Charlie Weis’ offense, one that is just as likely to throw 50 times or 15. With the inclusion of RB Corey Dillion and the continuing maturation of a talented group of wideouts, the Pats will continue to score in bunches.

New England is even better on defense, if that’s possible. Head coach Bill Belicheck and DC Romeo Crennel run a flexible scheme that identifies each opponent’s weakness and attacks it mercilessly. Defensive lineman Richard Seymour, with three years and two Super Bowls under his belt, might be the best defensive player in football right now

The Patriots could win as many as 13-14 games, and are an even-money favorite to make it three out of four Super Bowls.

2-Miami Dolphins
The Fins made it an off-season priority to improve their feckless offense, picking up QB AJ Feeley from the Eagles, and WR David Boston from the Chargers. Then the roof fell in. First star tailback Ricky Williams retired, to find himself, smoke a ton of weed, or play for the Raiders, or perhaps a combination of all three. Then Boston blew out his knee. Then Feeley really, really stunk. Then the gaping hole at WR caused Miami to trade young stud DL Adewale Ogunleye for the good-but-not-great Marty Booker.

Oh yeah, the O-line is completely rebuilt, and could start two rookies.

Things are much better here, if MLB Zach Thomas can get healthy, and someone along the DL can take advantage of Jason Taylor being double and triple teamed. The secondary is one of the best in football, though CB Sam Madison has not played up to expectations the last couple of years. This will be a very trying year for the Dolphins D: they know they have very little margin for error.

It could be a disaster for Miami this season, as more and more Dave Wannstedt has the look of a Dead Coach Walking. Best-case scenario has Feeley improving enough to be trusted with the offense, and the defense being sold enough to take the team to 9-7 and a Wild Card. It is more likely the team finishes with seven or fewer wins.

3-New York Jets
This is Chad Pennington’s team completely now, as Curtis Martin continues to slow down. Pennington is custom built for the West Coast Offense, though coordinator Paul Hackett drives Jet fans up the wall with his play calling sometimes. The Jets finally replaced LaveranuesColes, signing free-agent Justin McCairens from Tennessee. It will be switch for him, as the West Coast offense will require him to go over the middle, instead running sideline fly patterns.

Head Coach Herman Edwards takes a big risk this year, hiring Ravens DB coach Donnie Henderson to install an attacking, Baltimore style defensive instead of the Cover 2 that Edwards cut his teeth on while at Tampa Bay. The new D will work if the four former first round draft picks manning the D-Line (John Abraham, Shaun Ellis, Bryan Thomas and Dewayne Robertson) play to their potential.

The Jets will show signs of growth this year, but fall short. Expect a .500 year, and a ton of pressure on Edwards in 2005.

4-Buffalo Bills
The Bills offense consists of Travis Henry and very little else at this point. And Henry, the best tailback nobody ever talks about, is looking over his shoulder at the very rusty Willis McGahee. If McGahee starts this season for any reason other than a Henry injury, it’s to try and make the team look less stupid for wasting a number 1 pick. Drew Bledsoe was totally beaten down last season, and may not have anything left in the tank. The drafting of Lee Evans, who should lessen the pressure on Eric Moulds, and shove JR Reed to the slot where he belongs, will help him. The offensive line seriously underachieved last season, and new line coach Jim McNally should help.

In the middle of the line, the Bills will be old and large, after signing Sam Adams (31 years, 335 pounds) joining Pat Williams (32 years, 315 pounds). On the edges, they have speed in Aaron Schobel, but opposite of him, in Phil Hanson’s old spot, there is a collection of nobodies. The Bills due feature a fantastic linebacker corps, led by Takeo Spikes, who features one of the best football names ever. In the secondary, the Bills replace a young All-Pro corner (Antoine Winfield) with an old All-Pro corner (Troy Vincent). As good as Vincent has been, this isn’t a good swap.

I don’t get the Bills right now. They keep talking like this is a team a few steps away from the playoffs, then stupidly sent a 2nd and a 5th round pick to move up for JP Losman, who won’t be ready for 2 years at the earliest. The lost 10 games last year, yet owner Ralph Wilson has talked about “no excuses” this year. Admittedly, this team is at least 1-2 wins better without Gregg Williams, who was totally overmatched as a head coach, but it still isn’t that great a team.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:18 PM | Comments (3)

August 21, 2004


Here in the deep boonies in which the Mrs. and I live there is a deli. It's not much as deli's go, but it sure beats anything else near. Anyway, the Mrs. and I decided to get sandwiches as our little neighborhood deli tonight. This takes some planning, as for some inexplicable reason this place closes at 7:00 on a Saturday night. I left promptly at 6:35, arrived at 20 minutes till, and found the damned place closed.

Closed 15 minutes early on me, the bastards. Unless somebody died, there isn't any reason for this.


Posted by Frinklin at 07:57 PM | Comments (0)

Sometimes these stupid quizes are dead-on

Take the What High School
Stereotype Are You?

Found at: All Things Jennifer

Posted by Frinklin at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

The Goofiest Search I've ever gotten

"Japanese Anime School Uniforms under $100.00 online"

What the hell?

Posted by Frinklin at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2004

Let’s Play Some Football! SEC Version

Let’s Play Some Football! SEC Version

The Original Power Conference has fallen down a bit, not because of any real weakness, but because other conferences are following their example. Still, the SEC does return a Co-National Champion in LSU, and a worthy competitor this season in Georgia. The leagues other glamour programs, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida, all face serious questions, and there is movement in the bottom of the league too, as Mississippi State hired the SEC’s first black head football coach, and Vanderbilt is showing signs of life under Paul Johnson.

1-Georgia Bulldogs

The Dawgs are a serious National Championship contender, and they should be, as Mark Richt returns boatloads of talent, led by QB David Greene and DE David Pollack. They did take a crippling loss during summer camp, as heralded tailback Kregg Lumpkin tore up his knee. That will put more pressure on Greene, and his cadre of talented but enigmatic receivers, led by senior Fred Gibson

2-Florida Gators

You would think that an 8-4 season and a win over the eventual National Champion would give Ron Zook a little wiggle room. You would be wrong. Now that it is generally accepted the Gators have a lot of talent, albeit young and inexperienced, plus the unemployment of the Head Ball Coach, Zook is under considerable pressue. What can his young team do to save his job? Win, early and often. Talents such as QB Chris Leak might be able to do it, but Zook and his staff have to improve their game-day coaching.

3-Tennessee Volunteers

The Volunteers have been shaky the last couple of years, and now they face life without Casey Clausen. The only player with a win at QB on the roster is James Banks, and while he doesn’t seem to admit it, he makes a far superior wide receiver. The candidates include Chris Leak’s older brother CJ and LSU refugee Rick Clausen. Since neither seems to be a copy of their more talented siblings, the door could be open to a true freshman. The running game should be fine, behind Cedric Houston and the so-far disappointing Gerald Riggs Jr. Pencil in the Vols to win a game they shouldn’t, lose a couple they shouldn’t and collapse in whatever non-BCS bowl they end up in.

4-South Carolina Gamecocks

Lou Holtz can be a bit of bastard, can’t he? If you disagree, just ask his son Skip. Junior Holtz was the offensive coordinator and heir to the throne, but after watching the Gamecocks struggle with the spread offense, Senior Holtz fired four assistants, stripped Skippy of his OC duties, and reinstalled a throwback I-formation and plans to put the game in the hands of tailbacks Demetris Summers and Cory Boyd. That is a good idea, since both are talented, and USC has nothing at quarterback.

5-Vanderbilt Commodores

Raise your hand if you know the second best quarterback in the SEC is a Commodore. He’s Jay Cutler, a junior who is dangerous with both his arm and his legs. Big and durable, Cutler leads and improving offense, which, combined with a bend-but-don’t break defense could lead Vandy to 3-4 wins. For this team, that’s and improvement.

6-Kentucky Wildcats

The Round Mound of Touchdown is gone, and all fans of goofy nicknames will miss him. As will most Wildcat fans, as Jared Lorenzen was never dull. Rich Brooks’ team now goes to Shane Boyd, QB of the future for the last 3-4 years. Boyd, now a senior, has played both running back and wideout, but now moves back to QB. He has some depth at receiver to work with, though steady senior Tommy Cook may miss the entire season with injuries. The defensive line is talented, led by end Vincent “Sweet Pea” Burns, but Kentucky has no running game and little on the O-line. That will doom them to a miserable season.

1-LSU Tigers

Okay, so maybe Nick Saban WAS worth all the money the Tigers gave him to leave Michigan State, and continue to give in hopes he won’t bolt to the NFL. A program that long thought itself much more important than it actually was is now defending National Champion. They return a lot too, especially on defense and in the running game. They do need a quarterback to emerge, with the favorite being senior Marcus Randall, but don’t count out freshman Ja’Marcus Russell. Whoever ends up at QB will do a lot of handing off to LSU’s fleet of quality backs: Joseph Addai, Justin Vincent, and Shyrone Carey.

2-Alabama Crimson Tide

It’s been a fun few years for the Tide, hasn’t it? This year should be better, provided Coach Mike Shula stays away from schools based in Texas, Florida strip-clubs, and his own secretary. The Tide will benefit from a year of stability, and a soft non-conference schedule. With a year in Shula’s passing game, QB Brodie Croyle could have a big season provided his injured shoulder is fully healed and someone from his distinctly smurf-like wideout corps, where nobody in the two-deeps is over 6-0, steps up Alabama could surprise some people, but only if Shula’s game decisions improve and the team stays healthy. With the recent probation showing on the depth chart, an injury or two could doom this team.

3-Auburn Tigers

This time last year, everybody loved the Tigers. Mentioned as a BSC team and a darkhorse National Champion possibility, the Tigers stumbled out of the gate last year, as they were shellacked by USC and Georgia Tech, and never recovered. Add the bizarre courtship of Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino, the attempted and botched firing of current Coach Tommy Tuberville, and you have a very forgettable year for the Tigers, who seem to be hell-bent on self-destruction. The pity of all this is the team on the field should be good. Auburn sports nearly as much running back talent as LSU with Carnell “Cadillac” Williams and Ronnie Brown, and an established QB in Jason Campbell. On defense, they need to replace a sterling group of linebackers.

4-Ole Miss Rebels
Did they make a sequel to the song Eli’s Coming? If they did, it probably did not mention Michael Spurlock, who has to replace Eli. Spurlock, an undersized but nifty junior, has a tall order, but the rest of Rebels seem ready to step up. Vashon Pearson is the Rebs best returning runner, but junior Brandon Jacobs could overshadow him if fully recovered from injury. They continue to improve defensivly as well, as a long-standing problem with bulk on the D-Line seems to be lessening. Ole Miss also benefits from having the best special teams in the conference, led by kicker Jonathon Nicholls, last year’s Groza Award winner.

5-Arkansas Razorbacks
Well, if your going to only have one returning starter on offense, it might as well be the QB. This is what Coach Houston Nutt is staring at for the 2004 season, as QB Matt Jones is the only returnee on offense. He might even see time at WR, since that is where the 6-6 running specialist is probably best suited for in the NFL, with freshman Robert Johnson taking over. The Hogs to return two quality tailbacks in DeCori Birmingham and De’Arrius Howard, but only one start on the offensive line. That belongs to Jr OT Zac Tubbs. On defense, Arkansas returns a lot along the front seven, but will be very young in the secondary.

6-Mississippi State Bulldogs
After being bypassed by his alma mater, Sylvester Croom gets the opportunity to make history with MSU. He has a long way to go though, as the Bulldogs don’t return much talent, and are facing possible NCAA sanctions. MSU will switch to the run-based version of the West Coast offence the Green Bay Packers run, and a pressure-based defense. It will take time, but Croom will have something here.

SEC Champion: Georgia Bulldogs

Previously: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12 ,Non-BCS Conferences, PAC-10

Posted by Frinklin at 08:26 PM | Comments (1)

August 19, 2004

Damnit Fred...

...Now your're just pissing me off.

I want to be quoted by a famous sports columnist. I guess the closest who would qualify would be Bill Plashke, but he's just annoying.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2004

I'm jealous, I'll admit it

Fred hung out with Tom Boswell of the Washington Post. That's pretty cool. Let us know when you meet Kornheiser and Wilbon.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

Frinklin’s Fashion Show- The NATIONAL! FOOTBALL! LEAGUE! Volume 2

NFC East
1-New York Giants
These are the best of the throwback style jerseys as far as I’m concerned. A few years ago, the Giants got rid off their blandly futuristic version and brought these back: classic color scheme, classic “NY” logo, and the best road jerseys in football.

2-Dallas Cowboys
The original futuristic uniform has aged pretty well, though the Cowboys should stick to the white jersey as much as possible, the dark uni has never quite worked right. The helmet is an icon both in football and in America in general.

3-Philadelphia Eagles
A team that was desperately in need of a uniform upgrade got one a few years ago, and the results have been decidedly mixed. The main color was changed from a light Kelly green to a dark forest green, and while it looks good, it doesn’t really look like the Eagles. The increasing use of black, culminating in these ridiculous alternate uniforms is a strike against them too.

4-Washington Redskins
To get this out of the way: Yes, I think the “Redskin” moniker is incredibly racist. I have no problem with Indians, Warriors, various tribal names, Fighting Irish or what-have-you. Now, I’m not a member of any of those said groups, so maybe they have problems I don’t. Really though, isn’t Redskin just plain offensive? Is it conceivable that in 2004 we have a major sports franchise named after a racial epithet? As for the uniforms, they are okay but bland. Washington’s best look is the home reds with white pants. I do give them credit for having a dignified logo. The name is awful, but they don’t compound the problem with something like Cleveland’s red-faced Chief Wahoo. I do like the old-school uniforms they wore in 2002.

NFC South
1-New Orleans Saints
The Saints are the best of a lousy lot. The black and gold color scheme works together, and they fleur-de-lys logo is both traditional and slick, much like the city itself. The Saints do best when they don’t get too fancy: Black jersey, gold pants at home, white jersey and black pants on the road. Please, none of this gold jersey and black pants or black on black mess.

2-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After two decades of being the Gayest Pirates Ever, the Buccaneers have now settled into their tough and manly look of pewter and orangeish-red. Yeah, great big improvement people. First, the shade of orange and/or red is hideous, and the pewter is well… Can’t you go for silver? The helmets are cool, and the redone logo is one of the best in football, but those colors just do not work.

Bring back the Creamsicles!

3-Carolina Panthers
Let’s see here: black logo on silver helmet, black jersey, silver pants and black stripe. Now where have I seen that before? Of all the many lawsuits that Al Davis throws at the NFL, this one might have the most merit, as the Panthers shamelessly swiped the Raiders look. Now they did add a splash of overly bright Carolina blue, and an awful bright alternate jersey. So Panther fans you have a choice: derivative or ugly?

4-Altanta Falcons
For years, the glory years of Steve Bartkowski and William Anderson, the Falcons had fine red uniforms and red helmets. Then Hurricane Glanville came along and changed the Falcons to black jerseys with black helmets…with black logo. Nahh, we’re not trying to be trendy. Anyway, after a dozen years of that look that I shamefully, secretly liked, the Falcons came out with their current monstrosities. It’s quite easy to see that Atlanta’s design teams like stripes. Lots and lots of stripes. Black stripes, red stripes and white stripes. Horizontal stripes, vertical stripes and diagonal stripes. They also are positively Diamonbackian in their need for possible combinations. Right now, the Falcons can throw out black on white, black on black, red on white, red on black, white on white and white on black jersey/pants combos. Please, just stop it! The Falcons encapsulate everything that’s wrong with NFL jerseys right now.

NFC North
1-Chicago Bears
When it’s easy to see the team’s best player from 40 years ago wearing the current uniform, it’s usually a good thing. It would be easy to see Dick Butkus or Gale Sayers wearing today’s Bear uniform. It features the same iconic “C” logo, same colors (though the team has alternated between calling it black or dark navy blue). The Bears have tweaked it of course, and played around with dark pants and an alternate Orange jersey. Neither are necessary, the Bears look is classic.

2-Detroit Lions
Last year the Lions updated yet another classic NFL look. It went well, but with a giant red (or rather, black) flag. The Lions kept their beautiful light blue and silver color scheme, and distinctive leaping lion logo, but they added black. It isn’t much, just black stripes on the sleeve and outline of the numbers, but its enough to raise the hackles on my neck. Not this year, maybe not next, but sometime in the next 3-4 years you’ll see an alternate black jersey, available at the NFL shop for the low, low price of $159.99.

3-Green Bay Packers
Speaking of classic, much of the above can be said for the Packers as well. They have an iconic logo, classic color scheme, and not too much of a stretch to see Jim Taylor in today’s green and gold. Therein lies the rub: green and gold is a serious personal judgment call. Some people love it, some hate it. If you like green and gold, you’ll probably like the Packers uniforms’ If not… Personally, I like green and gold if done well (GB, Seattle Supersonics uniforms) and hate if done poorly (nearly everything Oregon-related).

4-Minnesota Vikings
How great is it that all four teams in the NFC North have the same basic look they had when Minnesota joined the league? This look is again distinctive, but doesn’t work quite as well in my eyes. The purple is a good start, but I feel that purple needs a stronger second color than white, like gold or silver. I have never been a fan of the horned helmet either. Still, much better than most.

NFC West
1-San Francisco 49ers
This is a difficult division to judge, since none of these teams do everything right or everything wrong. All have potential, but few live up to it. The 49ers probably come the closest, with an updated version of their classic look. The logo and colors are tweaked but still similar, though I think they could use a downturn on the brightness button for both the red and gold.

2-Seattle Seahawks
The ‘Hawks could have great uniforms. They have some of the elements: killer logo, nice basic color scheme (I really like the Seahawk Blue), and terrific road uniforms. They just go overboard on the blue. The home uniform should be a blue jersey, white pants and blue helmet, but due to some problems with the white pants when they first adopted the look, the team ended up using the blue pants instead. For some inexplicable reason, this has stuck, and the Seahawks have adopted this monochrome look full-time. The blue helmet plus blue jersey plus blue pants equals waaaay too much blue. Equally inexplicably, they sometimes abandon their best look, the road whites with blue pants in favor of an all-white look. The original plan was to use silver helmets with the home uniforms, which I think would have been incredibly cool, but the No Fun League had to step in and stipulate that teams couldn’t have separate home and road helmets. Therefore, the Seahawks had the fans vote, and the blue helmet won in a landslide. I’d love to see the team ignore that, bring back silver helmets and silver pants with the Seahawk Blue jersey. It would look much better than the current monochrome.

3-St. Louis Rams
Like the Seahawks and 49ers, this is a team with elements of a good uniform, but it’s not all there. Really, the Rams shouldn’t have changed from the old LA blue and yellow to the navy and gold they currently sport. The navy pants don’t’ work either. They have kept one of the most recognizable helmets in football.

4-Arizona Cardinals
Bland, but not really ugly, the Cardinals get downgraded for not really trying in any manner to adapt to their current city. Other than the occasional appearance of the Arizona state flag and some pretty slick red pants, the Cardinals are still wearing the same uniforms they did in St. Louis. While I like tradition, there’s also something to be said for adapting to new surroundings.

Best NFC Uniforms
1. New York Giants
2. Chicago Bears
3. Detroit Lions
Alternate-Washington Redskins

Worst NFC Uniforms
1. Atlanta Falcons
2. Carolina Panthers
3. Minnesota Vikings
Alternate-Philadelphia Eagles

Previously: The AFC, College Best and Worst

Posted by Frinklin at 08:04 PM | Comments (3)

August 17, 2004

If you ever doubt how stupid people can be

...check out Ringwood's finding at IMDB. It's there, scroll down to the Bull Durham qoute.

Yes, that is an actual review.

Posted by Frinklin at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

Oh, yeah, the Hawks were on too

Yes, I did actually watch the entire preseason Seattle-Green Bay game. Why? Because I'm a bit of a dork really. The "Hawks looked good last night, though it was hard to be impressed with the run defense: Ahman Green had his way with them when he was in. Most impressive was Seneca Wallace (14-26, 135 yds).

Better get crackin' there Brock.

Also nice to hear Pat Summerall again, wasn't it?

Posted by Frinklin at 07:27 PM | Comments (0)

Uh-Oh for Knights Of the Old Republic on PC

Reason 1,112 why everyone hates Microsoft: when they finally release the long awaited Service Pack for Windows XP, they will curtail the use of lots of games and other programs. This includes the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Now, I've heard it both ways so far: some say that this glitch will only effect the auto-update feature for KotOR. Which, honestly is no big deal, since Bioware has already stated they're done patching the game. However, there is also a train of thought that says this Dis-Service pack will kill the program entirely.

More updates to follow....hopefully...

Posted by Frinklin at 07:23 PM | Comments (0)

Random Olympic Thoughts

-For those who think the Equestrian events are dull (and when talking about Dressage, they’re right) you should check out the second portion of three-day eventing. It’s the Cross Country ride, which is an obstacle course for horses. Far more enjoyable than Dressage, but having all the horses go at once like a NASCAR race might be even more exciting.

-One of the Frinklin household’s favorite Olympic play at home games is Gay/Not Gay. Quite simple really, just take the more stereotypical sports like men’s gymnastics or women’s softball and guess away! Remember to pay special attention to how your subject celebrates success and/or commiserates failure.

-I’ve been watching these games, and I’m struck at how advanced conditioning has become. I look at athletes such as the male gymnasts or the women’s beach volleyball players, and then look at the Mrs. Frinklin and myself and wonder if we are even in the same species anymore. When I say this I’m thinking of American gymnast Jason Gatson and his He-Man arms or volleyballer Kerri Walsh’s inhumanly flat stomach.

-I find myself rooting more and more for former Communist block countries. It used to be that I rooted against them, because they were Communist, and with every victory for Communism a thousand kittens die. It’s hard to root against them now, especially when you see things like Svetlana Khorkina and her coach basically keeping the Russian gymnastics program going. Is it just me and the Mrs, or does Svetlana look like the saddest woman alive?

-If anyone doubted the number of empty seats we've been seeing on the telecasts, just know this: according to the LA Times this morning, only 3 million of a possible 5.5 million event tickets were sold. And what is this about Greece being on holiday the entire month of August? If no one has to work, why the hell aren't they at the games?

Posted by Frinklin at 03:26 PM | Comments (1)

August 15, 2004

The Nightmare Team Strikes

Well, for the first time since switching to NBA players, the US Men's Olympic basketball team went down in defeat.

By 19 points

To Puerto Freakin' Rico.

It's just sad really. Can we have a do over and come up with a different team. Maybe one with more then 3 guys who actually know how to play the damned game?

Just a thought.

Posted by Frinklin at 02:28 PM | Comments (4)

August 14, 2004

KotOR II Update

Some quick Knights of the Old Republic 2 info: Gamespot has a Q&A session with Obsidian Entertainment's Feargus Urquhart. Some is KotOR related, but it also covers the upcoming Neverwinter Nights 2.

On a less happy note, the recent layoffs at LucasArts reportedly included staffers involved in the early stages of KotOR 3.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

Light it!


Nikolaos Kaklamanakis sparks the world's largest doobie.

Posted by Frinklin at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2004

The Olympics

Well, the Opening Ceremonies are tonight. Actually, they were today, but thanks to the glory of recorded video, we will see them in prime time. Thank you NBC, we mustn’t see anything that isn’t already packaged. I’m not much of a Summer Olympics person, I vastly prefer the Winter. I like that the Winter Olympics are still manageable size. It’s also where you find the sports the Frinklin enjoys and does himself, like skiing, hockey and ice-dancing.

Umm…nevermind that last one.

Anyway, since the Mrs. Frinklin is more of Summer Olympics person, they will be on our TV pretty much constantly for the next 2 weeks. Especially for any all Equestrian events. Yep, my wife and her sister are Horse People. One of these events coming up is Dressage. This was my wife’s specialty when she rode. I have not the faintest idea what these people and their horses are trying to accomplish, but it is like the World Series to the Missus.

I’ll use a little story to explain how seriously my wife takes this. We had been dating for about 2 months at this point, and she came to see me after attending some horse-related activity. She was very excited, because either her horse or her sister’s horse (I can’t remember which) had done successful “extensions.” Now, I had no clue what these were, so I asked her about them. My wife, jumped out of bed (had I forgotten to mention that’s where we were?), and began thrusting her arms at odd angles in a stiff, oddly syncopated manner. I tried not to burst out laughing, but I failed, and then-girlfriend was deeply embarrassed. She shouldn’t have been though, it was unbelievably cute. When I want to make my wife feel like a goof, I still ask her what extensions look like.

Oh, and I got an email from my best friend throughout my high school and college years. It seems he has finagled a way to go to the damned Olympics. How he accomplished this is beyond me, since he has been perpetually short of money since I first met him, which was (Good Lord, has it been this long?) 12 years ago. How does this happen?

Posted by Frinklin at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)

The Frinklin House Rules

As readers of the Mrs. Frinklin’s blog are aware, we have few rules in our marriage. Oh, the usual man/wife rules apply. For instance, it’s always my job to get Hershey Kisses whenever she needs them. We also have a couple very special rules, which the Mrs. has spelled out here (the No-Murder rule) and here (the No Eating People at the Reception Rule). I am okay and in fact agree wholeheartedly with these additional rules. Well, the Mrs. Frinklin added a new one this morning. It’s the No Having Gay Sex at Work rule. Apparently there are now special restrictions on exactly whom I can start an affair with. There currently is no No Having Straight Sex at Work rule, so we may have to discuss that as well.

Obviously, this stems from the oddball Governor McGreevey of New Jersey affair. For those paying no attention at all, the Gov came out of the closet yesterday. It seems that he was having a homosexual affair with an employee of the state, had to transfer said employee, and after attempting to blackmail the Governor, he then filed a sexual harassment suit. Now, the reason for transferring seems pretty cut and dry. Initially the Gov named this guy New Jersey’s Secretary of Homeland Defense. Unfortunately, due to his Israeli citizenship, he did not qualify for the clearance needed. Therefore, they transferred him. Why this qualifies as sexual harassment is beyond me. Anyway, the Gov’s press conference announcing this was a thing of beauty. I especially loved his wife, with her frozen mixture of horror and pride on her face. You also have to love that he made sure we knew he was a “Gay American” as if coming out of the closet could also turn you Portuguese or Indonesian.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:05 PM | Comments (3)

August 12, 2004

Let’s Play Some Football! PAC-10 Version

Here we go, back to the big kids. Actually, this conference has one really big kid and nine others racing to catch up. USC has reestablished itself as the dominant power in the conference and no one is close. The major obstacle for the Trojans this year should be Cal, as Coach Jeff Tedford returns a powerhouse passing attack, and just enough running and defense to be effective. The Oregon schools could be good, but both have holes that need filling. Everyone else could squeeze into a lower-tier bowl, or fall into oblivion. This conference really needs UCLA and Washington to return to form.

1. USC Trojans
All you really need to know about the Trojans is that the three best running backs in the PAC-10 (Reggie Bush, Herschel Dennis and LenDale White) ALL play for them. They also have the best offensive line, best defensive line, best linebackers and best secondary. Their special teams are good, and Bush is capable of breathtaking returns.

God how I hate them.

2. California Golden Bears
If it were not for USC’s sudden, and considering it came under Pete Carroll, inexplicable return to greatness, the Bears would be next in line to be the traditionally awful PAC-10 team that finally makes it to the Rose Bowl. Now it becomes a guessing game. What happens first, Tedford takes the team to the Promised Land, or a bigger and better program (or even the NFL) takes Tedford away? My guess is on the latter, unless the UC-Berkeley athletic department comes through on promises to improve the program. On the field, the Bears run a version of Oregon’s offense, and run it well. QB Aaron Rogers and wideouts Geoff McArthur and Jonathon Makonnen are dangerous.

3. Oregon State Beavers
This year the Beavers’ hopes will rise and fall with QB Derek Anderson, just like they have the last few years. Anderson has had the same season twice in succession: He kills the bad teams and gets eaten alive by good ones. That will have to change, especially since RB Steven Jackson isn’t around to bail him out. The defense is good, especially in the secondary, which is lead by senior safety Mitch Meeuwson and Soph CB Brandon Browner, defending PAC-10 freshman of the year.

4. Oregon Ducks
It’s been a frustrating two years for the Ducks and their fans. The team has looked very good at times (see the upset win against Michigan last year) and terrible at times as well (the first game after Michigan, OU was crushed at home by WSU). Unless they show improvement, especially running the ball and defending the pass, expect more of the same. There are some very talented players on the squad, especially DL Haloti Ngata. Now that QB Kellen Clemens is the definite starter, he’ll need to step up.

5. Washington State Cougars
At this point, in the PAC-10, you can throw the teams in a blender and whatever order they come out is possible. It is easy to see each of these, with a couple exceptions, anywhere from the Holiday Bowl to 2-9. Following the most successful three years in school history, WAZZU is retrenching a bit. The talent is there, but it is very young, with only six returning starters. First order of business will be settling on a quarterback. Sophomore Josh Swogger is currently listed as the starter, but the coaching staff seems to really like RS freshman Alex Brink and his Gesser-like skill set.

6. Washington Huskies
This is a pivotal season for the Huskies, as the program seems to be on the verge of collapsing. After back-to-back late-season collapses, a total changeover in administration, and the looming Neuheisel mess, Coach Keith Gilbertson seem to have little leeway this season. On the field, the Huskies have some very talented players, but also have gaps, especially along the lines. They also need to settle on a QB. Junior Casey Paus is the passer, Soph Isaiah Stanback the runner, and freshman Carl Bonnell seems to be a mixture of the two. Paus did play well last year subbing for Cody Pickett, leading the team to a blowout win over Oregon

7. Arizona State Sun Devils
Dirk Koetter, after a disappointing 2003, seems to be on the hot seat. The Sun Devils closed 2002 with a flourish, giving Kansas State all they could handle in the Holiday Bowl. That was expected to carry over, but it didn’t, and ASU fell flat. This team still has a lot going for it, especially QB Andrew Walter running Koetter’s sophisticated passing game. Still, this team has always seemed less than the sum of it’s parts recently, and if that doesn’t change soon, Koetter could be out of a job.

8. UCLA Bruins
Speaking of out a job… Karl Dorell is in a tough position. The Bruins struggled down the stretch last year, especially on offense, climaxing in a putrid performance in the Silicon Valley Classic loss to Fresno State. Dorrell fired offensive coordinator Steve Axman, replacing him with former Idaho coach Tom Cable. The Bruins will continue to run a version of the West Coast Offense, but they will certainly need improvement, especially from QB Drew Olson. UCLA took a bit of a risk when hiring Dorrell, who had no head-coaching experience, and little time as a coordinator. He has not gotten off to a good start, and chasing off quality players like Tyler Ebell, Tab Perry and Matt Moore won’t help.

9. Arizona Wildcats
The Wildcats are starting over, again. The John Mackovic experiment was a disaster, so they try this time with Mike Stoops. Formerly the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma under his brother Bob, Stoops comes highly regarded, and wasted little time reestablishing discipline in a program that clearly broke down under Mackovic. He has much work to do, however. The overall talent level of this team isn’t great. He does have an okay offense, led by RB Mike Bell and an adequate corps of receivers. Defensively the ‘Cats will be on their third system in three years. Expect some stumbles along the way.

10. Stanford Cardinal
Buddy Teevens made a quick mess during his stay in Tulane, and he seems to be doing it again. The Cardinal are far behind the rest of the league talent-wise, even Arizona has a better 2-deep lineup. Teeven’s complicated offense, a version of the Fun ‘n’ Gun has not taken hold here, and defensively they were a mess last year. They do return 14 starters, so they should be better if only due to experience. The Cardinal starts with four home games, and they must get off to a quick start. An early collapse would doom their chances, and probably Teeven’s job as well.

Previously: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12 ,Non-BCS Conferences

Posted by Frinklin at 05:31 PM | Comments (1)

August 11, 2004

Sportscenter Old School

I’ve been watching Sportscenter Old School this week, and I’ve noticed just how much it makes me dislike the current SC. This week the logo, graphics and music have all been downplayed, and the old-school announcers have been refreshingly free of hackneyed catchphrases. How much fun was it to see Bob Ley and Charley Steiner on again? Is there any chance we can just keep going?

Now, not all has been perfect. Crag Kilborn returned to remind everyone what a condescending jerk he was, and they stuck poor Gayle Gardner with Stuart Scott of all people. Did you see the fist-tap greeting her gave her yesterday? Look, Stu, I know you have a rep and all, and Gayle was cool enough to be the first woman on Sportscenter, but remember she’s a middle-aged white woman, don’t make her do that. And tonight Greg Gumbel returns, which is good. He returns with Chris Berman, who hasn’t been funny in about 13 years. Biggest flaw? Look, I don’t care how difficult the relationship still is, but damnit, Keith Olberman needs to be here. Yeah, he’s a great big jerk, but without him, the show as we know it might not exist.

That might not be a bad thing…

Posted by Frinklin at 05:12 PM | Comments (1)

August 10, 2004

Frinklin’s Fashion Show- The NATIONAL! FOOTBALL! LEAGUE! Volume 1

Think of this as a sequel to the Best of College Football uniforms. All rankings are purely subjective, though if you disagree you are almost certainly wrong.

AFC East
1-New York Jets
It took the J-E-T-S JETS-JETS-JETS nearly 30 years to figure out their best uniform had been abandoned in the 1970’s. The current look, a throwback to the Joe Namath years, is slick and distinctive. It also beats the hell out of those bland 80’s greens.

2-Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins, while often ridiculed for somewhat less than ferocious mascot, perfectly fit the area in which they play. It’s hard not to get a tropical vibe when you see the aqua uniforms and white helmets. They’ve been experimenting lately: adding the all-aqua look and the alternate orange uniform. They shouldn’t, what they have works.

3-New England Patriots
According to the New England Patriots, red, white and blue is perfectly acceptable for the Stars and Stripes or Captain America, but just not good enough for the Super Bowl champions. Yep, the Patriots have upgraded to Navy, Silver and Crimson, and if Captain America were a happening, with-it fellow, he would do it too. As for the uniforms themselves, they’re okay. Nothing particularly special, and ten years down the line the Flying Elvis helmet is still goofy. The all-silver alternate is awful.

4-Buffalo Bills
Still, the Patriots look better then this mess. The Bills switched to a darker blue a couple years ago, and decided to add some odd shapes and stripes, because hell, Buffalo is dull, it can use some perking up. The overall look is awful, topped by the most ridiculous uniform piece in the NFL: the mismatched stripes. Yep, when the Bills wear their blue pants with the blue jerseys, the stripes up the side don’t match. The pants have a thin red stripe with tiny white and silver stripes on either side; the jersey has a solid red stripe. That is all you need to know about these uniforms.

AFC South

1-Tennessee Titans
These are probably the best looking of the new-school NFL uniforms, unless we’re talking of the dark blue pants and light blue jerseys, less said about them the better. The look is distinctive and modern without being goofy or too jarring. The different colored shoulders work, and the helmet logo, while rightfully derided as a flying thumbtack, is at least memorable. Still, the team wimped out when renaming them the Titans: the Tuxedos or Hound Dogs work better, and would be a hell of a lot cooler. How “Titanic” is Nashville anyway?

2-Houston Texans
The Texans might be a bit on the bland side, but the Texans have a clean and functional look. This is another team that does almost-red, white and blue, though they’re closer than either the Pats or Bills. I like the steer head logo too; cool and instantly recognizable. Almost as important: the Texans do the alternate jersey right. It is the same as the blue, just red. Not to garish, not too goofy.

3-Jacksonville Jaguars
Speaking of garish and goofy… Actually, the Jags have a nice basic uniform: the greenish teal jersey with white pants and black helmet look good. They just go overboard on the alternates. Is anything uglier than the teal jersey-black pants combo? Maybe the black on black on black is. As anyone who has read my previous Fashion Shows, know: I hate the overuse of black in sports uniforms, and you can’t do much worse than these.

4-Indianpolis Colts
Then there are the Colts, a 180-degree turn away from Jacksonville. These unis are almost offensively bland. We have lots and lots of white, some blue and a couple stripes: that is it. I like tradition, I like it a lot, but this goes too far. Jacksonville finishes ahead due to better base jerseys.

AFC North
1-Pittsburgh Steelers
Now these are uniforms: good use of color scheme, easily recognizable, and (most important) a name and logo that strongly identifies with the city. The Steelers get extra points for the inexplicable but cool fact the logo is only on one side of the helmet. Pittsburgh also manages to look both traditional and modern. A-Plus uniforms.

2-Cleveland Browns
There admittedly isn’t much you can do with Browns, but the name and look of this team fit the working class city they inhabit. Notice when the team was reborn in 1999 there was no talk of updating the uniforms in any way. Still, the uniforms are dull to anyone who is not a diehard Brown fan. They also have a misguided orange alternate uniform. Here’s an idea: resurrect the nearly forgotten Brownie.

3-Cincinnati Bengals
From the department of full disclosure: When I was eight, I loved the tiger stripes. So much so, I persuaded my parents to buy me a Ken Anderson jersey and helmet in time for the 1981 Super Bowl. I was heartbroken by the evil of Joe Montana, and in a couple years the hometown Seahawks hired Chuck Knox, drafted Curt Warner, and my loyalties drifted there. My love the tiger stripes has waned, as I got older, though it may be the most distinctive look in sports. The uniforms are tweaked a bit this year. The look better, but it is all about the stripes. If you like them, you love these uniforms. If you don’t….

4-Baltimore Ravens
Quoth the Raven, “Why the hell am I wearing purple?” Considering that this team used to be the Browns, and the city followed the Colts for decades, you would think that the Ravens would trend toward conservative and traditional. You’d be very, very wrong. Vibrant purple jerseys, black helmet and white pants with a giant black stripe down the side is what you get. Add in the ever-changing Raven logo and you have awful, ugly uniforms.

AFC West
1-Oakland Raiders
This is the Silver and Black, the original and still the best bad guy jersey in sports. Every team that has added black to its uniform in the last 20 years is ripping off the Raiders. Plain black jerseys, silver pants, silver helmets and the coolest logo on the planet. And no, I’m most definitely not a Raiders apologist. In fact, I hate them. But I appreciate a kick-ass uniform

2-San Diego Chargers
If the Spanos family had any brains, the Bolts would have the best uniforms in sports. Those would be the alternate throwback mid-60’s uniform that everyone loves. Well everyone loves them except for Alex Spanos, the Chargers’ clueless owner. He much prefers the dark blue togs they currently sport. There isn’t anything wrong with those, other than they are a tad bland, but really, don’t enough teams (Patriots, Bills, Texans, Titans, Broncos, Cowboys, Rams) wear dark blue?

3-Kansas City Chiefs
These fall into vast middle ground between good and bad. The Chiefs uniforms are too bright for my taste, but there isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with them. KC strives to have the same kind of iconic look about them as Cleveland or Pittsburgh, but I think they fall a little short of the mark.

4-Denver Broncos
Now these people had an iconic look about them. Remember the Orange Crush? The Bronco’s had some of the most distinctive uniforms on the planet, but they junked them for these current Nike togs. The current unis, while initially recognizable, have lst their luster quickly. It isn’t Denver’s fault that this look spurred on the oddball stripes movement, but once it started, the Broncos lost a little bit with every new uniform. It would be easy to get back though, just resurrect the old uniforms. At least they have an orange alternate.

Don’t you love that I don’t like Cleveland’s orange but I do Denver? A touch hypocritical, but I don’t care.

AFC Best
3-New York Jets
Alternate-San Diego Chargers

AFC Worst
1-Buffalo Bills
2-Baltimore Ravens
3-New England Patriots
Alternate-Jacksonville Jaguars

Posted by Frinklin at 06:31 PM | Comments (7)

August 09, 2004

Happy Birthday Mrs. Frinklin

Tomorrow, August the 10th is the Mrs. Frinklin's Birthday. Everyone stop by Both Hands v2 and wish her a happy one, k?

Posted by Frinklin at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

LA Times on Kerry on Iraq

The LA Times this morning has a very interesting story in the front section. It is on John Kerry’s Amazing Invisible Super-Secret Plan on Iraq. It’s basically what Bush has been doing the last few months (attempting to internationalize and pull US troops out), but Kerry says he’d be better at it. The Times disagrees and points out that support for war is at just about zero in Germany and France, and portions of our coalition of the somewhat willing is already beginning to break apart. The Ukraine, which is 3rd on the number of troops list with just over 1500, is preparing for pullout. An unnamed Kerry source mentions that certain European governments have sent back channel motions to the Kerry/Edwards people that they would be willing to help a Kerry Administration. This sounds ridiculously like Kerry’s earlier claim that “unnamed foreign governments” are rooting for him to beat Bush.

We’re two weeks from the Democratic Convention, and I still have not heard any reasons to vote for Kerry beyond the Not-GW Bush factor or Vietnam.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

Let’s Play Some Football! Non-BCS Version

All right, so I am cutting a corner. I have lumped all the non-BSC conferences together, so sue me. I think the world can go on. Was anybody really wondering how I thought Middle Tennessee would do this year?

Conference USA
This is a conference in serious flux due to the Big East’s meltdown. This is the last year in C-USA for Louisville, Cincinnati (who head to the Big East), TCU (the Mountain West) and Army (Independent). Replacing them next year will be Rice, SMU, UTEP, Tulsa, Marshall and Central Florida. For 2004, the Cardinals are the class of the league, led by QB Stefan Lefors, and Coach Bobby Petrino. Memphis and TCU could make a run at Louisville, with the always-dangerous Southern Miss lurking behind them.

1. Louisville Cardinals
2. Memphis Tigers
3. Texas Christian Horned Frogs
4. Southern Miss Golden Eagles
5. South Florida Bulls
6. Houston Cougars
7. Alabama-Birmingham Blazers
8. Cincinnati Bearcats
9. Tulane Green Wave
10. East Carolina Pirates
11. Army Cadets

Mid-American Conference
This could be a down year for the MAC, especially after last year, when Toledo, Miami, Bowling Green and Northern Illinois made the Top-20 at one point. Still, this is a dangerous conference. Toledo and Marshall are the favorites, with Miami and BGSU close behind. It will be a rough year for the Herd and Central Florida, as the rest of the league would love to send them off in pain.

1. Marshall Thundering Herd
2. Miami (OH) RedHawks
3. Central Florida Golden Knights
4. Akron Zips
5. Kent State Golden Flashes
6. Ohio Bobcats
7. Buffalo Bulls

1. Toledo Rockets
2. Bowling Green Falcons
3. Northern Illinois Huskies
4. Western Michigan Broncos
5. Central Michigan Chippewas
6. Ball State Cardinals
7. Eastern Michigan Eagles

Mountain West Conference
The best of the non-BCS conferences resides here. Utah, under second-year coach Urban Meyer is a possible top-10 team. The MWC has become a defensive league; with the Utes, SDSU and Colorado State all sporting fine D’s. The Aztecs are recruiting well, and could suprise.

1. Utah Utes
2. San Diego State Aztecs
3. New Mexico Lobos
4. Colorado State Rams
5. Air Force Falcons
6. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
7. Bringham Young Cougars
8. Wyoming Cowboys

Sun Belt
This widespread league, stretching from Tennessee to Idaho is also in flux. After this season, New Mexico State and Utah State leave for the WAC, and two young programs, Florida Atlantic and Florida International join. As has been the case the past few years, North Texas is the class of the league. The Mean Green are due for their third consecutive New Orleans Bowl.

1. North Texas State Mean Green
2. New Mexico State Aggies
3. Troy State Trojans
4. Utah State Aggies
5. Arkansas State Indians
6. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
7. Louisiana-Monroe Indians
8. Louisiana-Lafayette Raging Cajuns
9. Idaho Vandals

Western Athletic Conference
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the WAC is a conference in flux. This is the last year of the non-Western WAC, as SMU, Rice, Tulsa and UTEP are leaving for C-USA. In their place will be New Mexico State and Utah State. This year, it’s the same big two as the last couple years: Boise State and Fresno State are the class of this league, with Hawaii and quickly-improving Tulsa not far behind.

1. Boise State Broncos
2. Fresno State Bulldogs
3. Hawaii Warriors
4. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
5. Rice Owls
6. UTEP Miners
7. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
8. Nevada Wolfpack
9. SMU Mustangs
10. San Jose State Spartans

Previously: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12

Posted by Frinklin at 06:49 PM | Comments (3)

August 08, 2004

Richard can sleep well tonight.. and so can fanboys across the land

Jack Black has dispelled rumours of the Green Lantern movie.


Posted by Frinklin at 10:57 PM | Comments (2)

August 06, 2004

Josh Phelps was available??

What the hell? The Jays tried to slip Josh Phelps through waivers, but the Indians tagged him and convinced Toronto to trade him for Triple-A slugger Eric Crozier. Who in Seattle was asleep at the wheel here? If we're going for a Youth Movement, wouldn't Phelps look okay in a compass rose hat?

Posted by Frinklin at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

Walker to the Cards, and the end of the Mike Myers Era

Huh.. it would seem that St. Louis is pretty serious this year, as they acquire Larry Walker from the Rockies for minor league pitcher Jason Burch and 2 PTBNLs. This will move Reggie Sanders to left, with Walker in right, flanking Jim Edmonds. Hell of an outfield if it can stay healthy. And this helps the Rox too, it gives Matt Holliday a chance to take over RF, and gets them out from under a terrible deal.

In Beloved M's news, the Mike Myers Era is over, as he heads to the BoSox for well.. nothing really, either a PTBNL or cash considerations. Didn't they hold him out of deals near the deadline because they would get more now? How little did other teams offer? Up to take his roster spot is Cha Baek.

Update: D'oh... I stupidly assumed that the Cards would pick up most of the contract. Nope, the Rox are still on the hook for $9 mill of the $17 million left on the deal.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

NFL Training Camps

It’s early August, so the Chargers must be screwed up. The team is now down to Drew Brees, Cleo Lemon and Joe Germaine at QB. Number 1 pick Phillip Rivers, whom the team assumed would be starting soon, possibly at the start of the season, is the only top-5 pick holding out. Number 3 QB Doug Flutie just had arthroscopic knee surgery and is out for 2-4 weeks, probably all of the preseason. Now, the Chargers are excellent at the holdout game. Their last two premium first rounders, Quentin Jammer and LaDanian Tomlinson, both held out. Tomlinson missed all but one game of the preseason, and Jammer missed the first game of the regular season. The kicker? Both men ended up signing at their asking prices. That’s right, the Bolts are so smart they cost their picks weeks of development time and don’t save any money either. Brilliant ain’t it?

Picking Rivers was a mistake in my book anyway. Nothing against him, I think he has a good chance at becoming an effective NFL QB. He probably won’t be a great star, but a fine player nonetheless. His upside is maybe a little better then they guy he’s expected to replace, Brees. So why did the Chargers invest a top-5 pick in Rivers? Simple, Marty Schottenheimer has given up on Brees completely. Brees was terrible last year, but he is playing behind a line that is utterly and completely terrible, and with wideouts who are not much better. All you need to know about San Diego’s receivers is that they signed Kevin Dyson as an upgrade. Oh, and the odds that Marty will still be coaching here next year? Pretty slim. Makes perfect sense not to draft the best offensive tackle of the last few years and work on salvaging Brees’ career, and then spend the entire summer with the new QB at home because of a pointless holdout. I’m really thankful I’m not one of the Charger faithful. I follow them for the same reason I follow the Well-Liked Padres: they’re available. These people make the Ken Behring Era Seahawks look like savants.

Speaking of the Seahawks, we now have both TSN and SI’s Peter King forecasting Seahawk Blue Super Bowls. I don’t like that. I mean, I do like the recognition for the Well-Loved (but often justifiably ignored) Seahawks, but not this much recognition. I want people to keep talking about the Rams and Packers and Eagles, not the ‘Hawks. I don’t ever want to start as a favorite.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:31 PM | Comments (1)

August 05, 2004

From the Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow Category

A petition we can all support....

Found Via Little Miss Attila

Posted by Frinklin at 10:15 PM | Comments (3)


I’m actually interested in the possibility of Alan Keyes taking on Barack Obama for the Illinois Senate seat. I’m not very fond of the carpet-bagging aspect of it: I did not like when Hilary Clinton miraculously became a New Yorker in 2000, and it would be a bit disturbing if Keyes did the same. What does excite me is the idea that we could have a race between two well-spoken, intelligent, rational men who occupy the polar opposites on most issues. This possibility, the chance for reasonable and interesting political discussion, especially during a Presidential campaign where it will be severely lacking, is something this country would benefit from.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:55 PM | Comments (1)

August 04, 2004

The Dream Team?

Bill Simmons really, really hates this version of the Dream Team. Seeings as they just lost to Italy, I don't blame him.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Blogaversary Fred!

And congratulations on the WIERDEST blogaversary post ever.

Posted by Frinklin at 08:13 PM | Comments (1)

Let's play some Football! Big 12 Version

Let’s Play Some Football! Big 12 Version

The Frinklin College Football preview continues on, hitting the Big 12 this time around. The Big 12 is a bit weaker this year. While Oklahoma and Texas should be top-10 teams at minimum, the other contenders (Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska) all show some significant holes.

North Division

1. Missouri Tigers
Gary Pinkel’s rebuilding of the Tigers continues. This is a good team, a possible breakout team, but could very well be overrated going into the season. Brad Smith is an exciting player, but needs to improve his passing to join the elite quarterbacks. It doesn’t help he has little at receiver. Defensively they need to improve, and they should.

2. Kansas State Wildcats
After a huge win in the Big 12 Championship, the Wildcats seemed to sleep through part of the Fiesta Bowl. That isn’t a good sign for a team facing life without Ell Roberson. The QB should be Dylan Meier, but the offense will run through Darren Sproles, a Barry Sanders impersonator who should contend for the Heisman.

3. Nebraska Cornhuskers
The Bill Callahan begins in Lincoln, as Frank Solich’s 9-3 record wasn’t good enough. So they hired a guy who when 4-12. It makes perfect sense in some alternate universe, I imagine. Despite that, Callahan’s hiring has been well received by the faithful, and his move to the West Coast Offense has begun. Unfortunately, for the Big Red, you need a QB to play the WCO, and all the Huskers have are guys recruited to play the option. The Black Shirts will have to carry this team for a while, despite having their third defense coordinator in as many years.

4. Colorado Buffaloes
After an off-season filled with turmoil, Gary Barnett returns to coach his collection of rapists and thugs.

Oh, I’m sorry; he’s been sorta exonerated hasn’t he? Anyway, the Buffs are an okay team, after doing a 180-last year. Colorado was a running team recently, with Chris Brown and company, but last year the running game failed. To compensate, Colorado switched to a passing attack led by ex-baseballer Joel Klatt. Klatt is back, but his receiver corps is bare. Defensively the Buffs have a new coordinator, as Mike Hankwitz returns with his attacking style.

In addition, the chances are slim of any kickers being raped.

5. Kansas Jayhawks
Mark Mangino managed to squeeze the ‘Hawks into a bowl ahead of schedule, but don’t look for a repeat. Kansas is still a couple good recruiting classes away from being solid mid-level Big 12 team. They are headed in the right direction though.

6. Iowa State Cyclones
On the other hand, Dan Carney’s rebuilding project stalled without Seneca Wallace last year, as the Cyclones flailed on offense. This year, with heralded redshirt Bret Myer, a Brad Smith clone taking over, ISU should score some points. The defense still needs upgrading.

South Division

1. Oklahoma Sooners
After a couple months of being compared with the best teams in college history, the Sooners fell with a resounding thud last season. It will be interesting to see how well they react. Lucky for Sooner fans they still have tons of talent, and Mike Stoops, the best coach in college football. Jason White returns for what could be a seriously anticlimactic senior year.

2. Texas Longhorns
It could suck to be Mack Brown this year. As always, the problem with Texas isn’t talent, it’s desire and coaching. Brown has now lost six in a row to Oklahoma, including last year’s laugher. Texas fans are rapidly losing patience, and being flattened by a less-heralded WSU in the Holiday Bowl did not help. To add to his worries he now has to deal with a possible quarterback controversy, featuring the mega-talented recruit who can’t seem to get it together and the less talented, but smarter guy who seems to rally the team behind him. Sound familiar?

3. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The divide between second and third in this division remains a chasm, despite Mike Leach’s best efforts. He has the Red Raiders humming, and it shouldn’t be too long before they start knocking on the door. This year’s worry is replacing BJ Symons at quarterback, but last year Raider fans worried about replacing Kliff Kingsbury. It’s all about the system in Lubbock. This team will score, and the defense, led by DE Adell Duckett, is better than you think.

4. Texas A&M Aggies
Dennis Franchione’s rebuilding of the Aggies continues; A&M has a nice starting lineup led by WR Terence Murphy, RB Courtney Lewis and safety Jaxson Appel, but little depth. Reggie McNeal, the undisputed QB now that Dustin Long has transferred needs to start living up to the hype. A brutal schedule will not help matters.

5. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Les Miles has done wonders with this program, after years in the doldrums. The Cowboys should take a bit of step back this year though, losing QB Josh Fields, WR Rashaun Woods and RB Tatum Bell, the nucleus of a fine offense. Miles has to choose between two talented freshman quarterbacks in Robbie Reid and Donavon Woods, in order to form the next one.

6. Baylor Bears
The Bears overpaid for Coach Guy Morriss last year, but they had too, as Waco is turning into a graveyard since joining the Big 12. First Morriss has to settle on a quarterback, after juggling between Aaron Karas and Shawn Bell. Both return this year, plus Juco transfer Dane King. The defense, a blitz happy version of the 4-2-5, features two quality players in DE Khari Long and WLB Justin Crooks. The hope this year is fewer blowout losses. After that they can worry about wins and bowls and such.

Overall Big 12 Champion: Oklahoma Sooners
ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12 ,Non-BCS Conferences, PAC-10, SEC

Posted by Frinklin at 08:11 PM | Comments (1)

August 03, 2004

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer Update

One of the best books I've read in sometime, Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey into Fan Mania goes on sale tomorrow. If you're a college football fan, you should buy it. Even better, the author's blog is up and running too. Check it out.

Posted by Frinklin at 05:59 PM | Comments (2)

August 02, 2004

Trade Deadline

Eventually, like tomorrow I think I'll have my trade deadline review up and ready. In the meantime, read Fred's take. He mercilessly mocks the Mariners. Good Lad, Fred is.

Posted by Frinklin at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)

Giant Size X-Review: All New , All Different, All to easy to ignore

Maybe this should be a monthly thing instead of weekly, since I haven’t done one in so damned long. Anyway, the X-Books were pretty weak this month. Play along at home, k?

Uncanny X-Men # 446
There is a fine line between a nice feeling of nostalgia and a not-so-nice feeling of staleness. After a good start, this issue takes UXM towards the not-so-nice side. Do not get me wrong, this is a well-plotted and beautifully drawn X-Men story. It just isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. In fact, halfway through I realized I have read the story before. About 15 years ago when Malice was introduced, Claremont did an issue where Malice took control of Storm, and the ending, even with the dramatic pulling off of the head-thingy (in this case it was a choker), was exactly the same. If I were a more conscientious person I would look up the issue, but I’m not.

Ultimate X-Men #49
This issue is a nice wrap-up to the unimportant Mr. Sinister storyline. As with the previous issues, what works here is necessarily the action or main plot, but the character interaction. Brian Vaughn has a nice ear for these characters, and it really shines through. I especially like the use of Dazzler, actually doing something other than partying or acting like a snot. Her reaction to Rogue and Angel debating morality is priceless. I hope Vaughn gets a chance with this title, but his run is still scheduled to end with the Bryan Singer Presents nonsense.

District X #3
The best book to come out of Reload continues to impress. This intricately plotted book looks at the more mundane side of being a mutant, and does so believably. I especially like the multiple characters, which proves rather emphatically that this is not a Bishop solo book. Would that the guys picking covers knew that, as each cover so far has been very Bish-centric, and with a lot more blown up things than the book actually has.

X-Men #159
This is where the month starts going off the rails. Chuck Austen seems to be trying to go out as he came in: with inexplicably bad storytelling. It’s difficult to contemplate where to start on this issue. Let’s see: Havok’s powers counteract Xorn’s for no apparent reason other than Austen couldn’t think of a better way to stop the world from ending; During said world-threatening situation Iceman and Juggernaut decide this is the best time for a pissing contest and get in a fight; the eight unnamed Chinese guys decide that the X-Men really are trying to save the world, but instead of helping they just show them where to go; really the list is endless. Moreover, for love of God, can we please take mopey, pretty Jay Guthrie and whiney, ugly Sammy Paare and shunt them off to Junior X-Men where they belong?

You also have to wonder who came up with this roster. If you have a very powerful mutant showing signs of increasing instability, it is always the best thing to put her on the team with the guy who left her at the altar. That’s showing leadership. For decades, Polaris has been portrayed as the normal-girl mutant. The girl who, despite being really hot, having green hair and being able to move pickup trucks with her mind, you could strike up a conversation with at a bookstore. Not anymore, Lorna Dane is now a couple sausage links away from having the Insanity Slam at Dennys. Add to that her ex-boyfriend, just coming out of a coma and several years in an alternate universe, THE Hot characters of 1993 (Rogue and Gambit), the seriously pissy Iceman, ex-villain Juggernaut and there you go: the most dysfunctional X-Team ever. Oh yeah, Wolverine too, he has to be everywhere. You never know if people are going to forget he exists, he only appears in 17 monthly titles.

New X-Men: Academy X #3
God, this issue was so bad it made my teeth hurt. Lousy title and all, the former New Mutants stumble on. Another new artist is on the way, Randy Green lasted two whole issues. The fill-in work this month is courtesy of Staz Johnson, usually a perfectly acceptable artist. He must have been rushed, because the art here is awful, full of odd perspectives and distorted figures. The story is not much better, and there is no excuse for that. After issue #2, where the Hellions seemed reasonable teens, this issue goes the other way, and the Hellions are obviously the Bad Kids, led by a Draco Malfoy of their very own. Well, except for Jay Guthrie who flies off to annoy us in X-Men.

The writers (Christina Weir and Nunzio DiFillipi, who people tell me are better than this claptrap) also throw in an easy to predict, paint my numbers romance angle with Hellion and Winddancer. The return of the kid who melts people, now charmingly codenamed “Wither” , which sounds more like a Calvin Klein perfume than a X-Man name; Wolfsbane fooling around with a student, and Mirage letting us know that, once again, she gave up being an X-Man to look after these kiddies. You have to wonder if Dani is kinda slow, since both Scott and Emma are X-Men, have Jr. teams they handle, and run the entire damn school. We are now three issues into the new version, plus a years worth of the previous title, and this title has yet to prove it should be published. That is not a good sign.

Excalibur #3
I might as well get all the suck-ass titles out of the way at once. This is still an interesting idea, that of the two titans of X-Men lore (Xavier and Magneto) rebuilding the mutant homeland; unfortunately, the execution grows more flailing every issue. This issue starts with Xavier, Magneto and Callisto enjoying a little domestic bliss. Magneto is a fine cook, ya know. Then, Xavier is attacked by an Omega-Sentinel, but it’s only in his mind, as his subconscious appearing as Moira MacTaggert explains to him. After getting rid of the Omega Sentinel, it turns out X was receiving a mental connection from another telepath, the Professor gives this humdinger of a Claremont line-I couldn't fight back, I couldn't escape. The agony wouldn't end. I was Prometheus on the rock, being forever torn to pieces by Zues's eagles and reborn, to die again and again and again.

Do people like that actually talk like that in Chris’ world?

After that, we’re off to bland character hell, a vacation spot in Chris Claremont’s universe. We meet Hack, Purge, and… oh hell, I don’t know who they are. It is a bunch of mutant children; they end up on a great big plane with the Magistrates (where the hell have they been?). They fight, the plane cracks open and everybody falls out. Magneto and the Professor go to investigate, and we get a moderately amusing scene of Wicked and Freakshow (the previously established bland-character hell environs) dodging plane parts, then we end with them attacked by said Magistrates.

That is as coherent as it gets…

Astonishing X-Men #3
This is much, much better. AXM continues to gather momentum with another sterling issue. Like Ultimate, this book and its quality is predicated on the writer’s grasp of his characters. Whedon gets the X-Men, far more than Austen ever did, and more than Claremont does now. Witness Kitty’s impassioned but obviously rehearsed speech in the beginning, and the young mutant’s priceless rejoinder, “Ms. Pryde, are you #@* retarded?” Equally good is the heat of Logan’s anger and Beast’s anguish at his current condition. It isn’t forced, it feels real. Other highlights are Scott’s visit with Nick Fury; it is tense edgy, almost an emotional standoff. Again, it feels right, SHIELD is not the X-Men’s pals, and they shouldn’t be portrayed as such.

Not everything works, of course, Ord of Breakworld is so far an uninspiring, bland villain, and Dr. Rao is showing signs of being the clichéd scientist who sacrifices her ideals for what she feels is the greater good. The twist at the end piqued my interest to say the very least. As for the art, what can be said? Cassidy is at the top of his game. It’s the best X-Men art in years, probably since Jim Lee’s heyday.

Posted by Frinklin at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

National Picnic Day

I was tearing off the weekend days from my Get Fuzzy 2004 Scratch-A-Day Calendar, and I noticed that in parts of Australia, today is Picnic Day. This is a brilliant idea. Can we steal it? Imagine how much better off we all would be if we took a couple of days each year, shut down the country and all had a picnic. I’m sure that isn’t how it’s done in Australia, but how cool would it be if it was

Posted by Frinklin at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2004



Well, I decided $19.99 was just too good a deal to pass up. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I'm obsessed with both football and video games. When they combine I'm usually all over it. My choice in NFL games has always been Madden. I own two on the X-Box and 1 on the original Playstation, but when ESPN lowered the price of its Sega NFL game to 20 bucks, and released it a month before EA, I had to give it a shot. In fact I picked mine up at Target for the ridiculous price of $15.88. Sixteen bucks for an X-Box game that's only been out for a week. Can't beat that.

Imagine my suprise when it turned out to be a terrific game too. The graphics are superb, and the endless ESPN references, while occasionally over-the-top, give an amazing depth to the game. I mean really, what NFL gamer hasn't wanted Chris Berman to do a hightlight package based on a game you've played? The only quibble I have? With the ESPN machine behind them, why couldn't Mike Patrick, Joe Theisman and Paul Maguire done the voices? And why in heavens name are the announcers actors? Yep, the in-game announcers don't exsist. It's inexplicable.

Still a great game, and an unbeatable value.

Posted by Frinklin at 01:33 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack