NFL to reemphasize the five-yard chuck rule 

Len Pasquarelli has a column about the new old rule here.

Prediction 1: It goes out the window by December.

Prediction 2: If not, defenses will start blitzing a lot more.


Out of the closet? 

Representative Ed Schrock (R-VA) is pulling the plug on his bid for a third term, citing "unspecified allegations" that have called into question his ability to govern. Notably, Schrock was a co-sponsor of the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.

The rumor is that he solicited gay sex outside of his marriage, and it started here. The AP didn't mention these rumors in its initial press release. Perhaps the author is skeptical of the rumor, though that hasn't stopped the crowd at Daily Kos from screaming about media bias during the week of the RNC.

Suppose that these rumors are true, and suppose that Schrock is in fact gay. Of course Schrock must be responsible for his own behavior...but I also have to wonder if decades of cultural homophobia (I don't like the word, but I can't think of a replacement here) might have intimidated a gay man into this sort of behavior. Sure it's shameful that Schrock lived a sham marriage for all these years, but it's also shameful that a man felt like he had to do so in order to be electable. You know, people see a man in his 40s or 50s who's never married, and they start to wonder...

Of course, maybe Schrock really married his wife in good faith. That is, he's not experiencing a crisis of sexual identity here; he's just a cheating bastard.

A vote for Nader is a vote for Nader 

A vote for Nader is a vote for somebody who's going to lose.
A vote for Nader is a half-vote for Bush, if you would otherwise have voted for Kerry and you're following baseball convention.
But a vote for Nader is not a vote for Bush.

The terrorists hate France, too 

But this time their gripe is legitimate.

France has its problems with Islamofascist elements in its own country, but whoever got the idea that banning headscarves in *public schools* would solve the problem instead of exacerbate it?



While Yang Tae-Young continues his quixotic quest for a gold medal, Brazilian runnder Vanderlei Lima reacts in a much more proper manner to a set of circumstances that is just as unfair.

Of course, leading a marathon with three miles left to go guarantees nothing, which is why Lima is not going to be awarded a duplicate gold. But the same principle is at work here -- you can't guarantee that Yang would have won the gymnastics all-around competition had he been awarded the extra 0.1 of a point at the proper time either. In both cases ill fortune (poor judging on the one hand, a psychotic fan on the other) felled a random competitior. (Well, in the marathon case, I mean random in the sense that the guy seemed to be targeting whoever was leading the marathon, and not Lima in particular.)

UPDATE: Money shot from Lima:

De Lima said he might have won the gold medal if Horan hadn't grabbed him. Though the Brazilian harbors no resentment toward Horan, he said the suspended sentence may not be enough to deter the former priest from future antics.

"This means he will probably do this again and get killed, as in Formula One, or kill someone," de Lima said.


NCAA: heartless bureaucracy and incompetent business 

Why on earth would the NCAA not want to reinstate Mike Williams? On the business side, he's a prime-time player. On the institutional side, he took summer school classes to regain his eligibility, and nobody else is going to test the NFL's rules on drafting underclassmen for the forseeable future. What does the NCAA have to gain by not reinstating him?

Cease-fire in Najaf 

On the one hand, the fighting in Najaf has stopped (for now).

On the other hand, I wonder if every two-bit cleric in Iraq has carte blanche to extort political concessions from the Iraqi government simply by rounding up a gang of fighters. I could be wrong, but it seems like Moqtada al-Sadr's popularity grew significantly while he was fighting US forces, since he was perceived as a patriot for fighting against the US. Indeed, if this were not the case, I don't think the US would have agreed to the cease-fire.


Abercrombie slags off West Virginia again 

"West Virginia: No Lifeguard at the Gene Pool" say the new shirts.

Yeah, they should talk. Abercrombie and Fitch is headquartered in Ohio.


Memo to American Olympic gold medalists 

Congratulations. But take your laurel crowns off when the national anthem is playing!

Another one from the log 

This one is downright creepy. How did my blog show up as someone's Gmail ad?


Olympics judges and officials: incompetent and corrupt 

No surprises here. Anyway, after Paul Hamm won the gold medal in the men's gymnastics all-around over Yang Tae-Young, the North Korean and South Korean judges snowballed him in his individual event competitions (though he wasn't going to medal in either).

Common sense dictates that once a score is recorded and the next scores are posted, the previous score is final, since a difference in one gymnast's score can affect the next gymnast's performance by leading him to perform more or less aggressively. There's good reason for Yang's score not to be changed.

Why must this game continue to mock me? 

I played in the BUDA Summer Club League Ultimate frisbee tournament this weekend. I committed a total of four turnovers in five games. Given that I was playing about 93% of the points in the tournament, that's a pretty good statistic. However, all of the turnovers were quite embarrassing:

- A drop on a five-foot forehand.
- A misread on a wide-open huck that ended up sinking more quickly than I thought it would; I ended up making a futile sliding bid on the disc at the end.
- A point-block at game point. I caught the first pass off the pull and sent a return pass to the original handler; my mark caught up with me and intercepted the pass.
- Another turnover on a return pass off the hitch. The other handler had his head down when I was throwing the pass. I attempted to pull it back, and the disc flew out of my hand.

Sometimes I wonder why I keep playing this game.


Bad idea 

The Iraqi soccer team is upset that President Bush is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his campaign ads.

Although I do believe, quite frankly, that some of the anger these players feel is misdirected ("freedom fighters" don't target civilians), the fact that these athletes who suffered so much under the hand of Uday Hussein aren't enamored with Bush does speak to some of our failures in Iraq. (Employing Americans for reconstruction projects instead of Iraqis while unemployment remains sky-high comes to mind.) Besides, anyone with an ounce of common sense should know not to use such flammable media in an advertisement.

Finally, America should be above mixing sports and politics now that the Cold War is over. (Well, it should have been that way as well while the Cold War was on.)


Book him, Lou. One count of being a bear, and thirty-six counts of being a drunken bear 

From CNN:

SEATTLE, Washington (Reuters) -- A black bear was found passed out at a campground in Washington state recently after guzzling down three dozen cans of a local beer, a campground worker said on Wednesday.


It turns out the bear was a bit of a beer sophisticate. He tried a mass-market Busch beer, but switched to Rainier Beer, a local ale, and stuck with it for his drinking binge.


Initiative to split electoral votes on ballot in Colorado 

Via Kos, we find out that a proposal to split Colorado's electoral votes in proportion to its popular vote is now on the ballot. The measure would be in effect for this Presidential election.

Granted, the electoral college should be abolished nationwide because it gives voters in large states more power than voters in small states. (Yeah, you heard that right. The Founding Fathers screwed up. Ask me if you want the mathematical proof.) But it should go without saying that changing the rules during the middle of the game is incredibly unfair.


I can't watch this 

It's amazing how brain-dead announcers have destroyed my enthusiasm for watching the Olympics over the last decade or so. Maybe I'll try to watch with the sound muted.

(Plus, they need to show more badminton, table tennis, fencing, etc.)


Convicted rapist wins UK lottery 

From CNN:

LONDON, England (AP) -- British Home Secretary David Blunkett said Thursday he plans to bar convicted felons from benefiting from financial windfalls while behind bars after a jailed rapist won £7 million ($12.6 million) on the national lottery.

Blunkett said that proposed legislation before parliament would force offenders who won the lottery or other wealthy criminals to contribute to a compensation fund for victims of crime.

His comments follow public outrage in Britain over the lottery win of convicted rapist Iorworth Hoare, who was on day release from his low-security prison when he bought the winning ticket on Saturday.

"There's no justice in a convicted rapist winning the lottery while his victims still suffer from what he did to them," Blunkett wrote in The Sun newspaper.

Since when is there justice in anyone winning the lottery?



What if...

Grady had pulled Pedro in the 7th inning, and Steve Bartman hadn't muffed that foul ball?


US blows cover of Pakistani al-Qaeda double agent 


But maybe people will shut up now about the President manipulating the nationwide terror level for "political gain". What the hell does that mean anyway? Unless he claims that some nebulous threat makes it necessary to disturb the November elections, what exactly does elevating the terror level do for Bush?


Tweeter Center: most obnoxious parking lot ever 

Cure performed at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, MA Saturday. Setlist:

Fascination Street
The End of the World
Inbetween Days
Just Like Heaven
Jupiter Crash
Pictures of You
Before Three
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
One Hundred Years
The Promise
Play for Today
A Forest
Going Nowhere

These days Robert Smith seems to prefer gothic dirges over the synth-pop at which he was equally adept.


Why does he bother? 

If I wanted to vote for a paranoid anti-Semitic tax cheat, I'd vote for Bobby Fischer instead of Lyndon LaRouche.


Vote for Change 

So a bunch of musicians are going to be performing concerts in the "swing states" in October in order to campaign against Bush (yes, it's more accurate to say that than to say they're campaigning for Kerry).

In a particular order that the reader can probably figure out, the roster includes

Meh. I don't mind when bands like REM express political opinions that I disagree with, because they're good musicians and they're typically clever, thoughtful and creative in expressing such views in their music. At the other end, I can't listen to Rage Against The Machine without suffering an aneurysm. And the Dixie Chicks have a ways to go before they establish the requisite credibility to pull a stunt like this.

I do remain slightly amused that artists tend to think themselves more enlightened about politics than the average American, though. Bruce has given an eloquent account of his position, though. (UPDATE: He's in the New York Times as well.)

I wonder if Charlie Daniels and Ted Nugent are planning a countertour. (UPDATE: Nugent's in today's Opinion Journal. Wow.)



If I could bring myself to like one player on the New York Yankees, it would be Hideki Matsui. If it were me though, I'd probably lose the Coldplay and find some more aggressive Beatles music. Maybe "Tomorrow Never Knows" or "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" or the "Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam" part of the Abbey Road B-side.

Stereotypically speaking, why is it that Japanese people have much better taste in pop music than other Asian people? (I have a copy of the Beatles' complete scores; the transcriptions were done by a bunch of Japanese guys. And yes, that includes "Revolution 9".)

Toby Mac figures twice in the Kansas City Royals' lineup, once as himself and once with DC Talk.

Nomar-related thought of the day 

Does anybody still mourn the loss of Drew Bledsoe?

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