November 2003 Archives

Strange Bedfellows

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Being a lifetime Michigan fan, normally I would like nothing more than to pound aOSU into rubble, then bounce the rubble. As appealing as that prospect sounds, that is not Michigan's best case scenario. That would be this - and it would probably send the Wolverines to New Orleans rather than Pasadena:

  • TCU loses, removing a BCS distraction. OK, we already got that one.
  • USC loses to either 6-5 UCLA or 7-3 Oregon State. That would drop USC below Michigan in the polls, maybe below them in the computer rankings, and add a point for the loss. Likelihood: quite possible.
  • LSU loses to Ole Miss. See above. Likelihood: Possible.
  • Texas loses to 4-7 Texas A&M. Likelihood: not much. You've always got a chance in a rivalry game, but Texas' last minute victory over Texas Tech on the 15th really hurt - that was a golden opportunity for Michigan to gain ground.
  • After beating LSU, Ole Miss loses at Mississippi State but wins the SEC Championship (over either Tennessee or Georgia) Likelihood: Miracle Required. Mississippi State is one of the worst major conference teams in the country. But, hey, it's a rivalry game, it's on the road, and it would be after (hypothetically) the biggest Ole Miss win in my lifetime, so you never know...
  • U-M opponents (Big Ten except Wisconsin and Penn State, ND, Oregon, Central Michigan, Houston) win out to help Michigan's strength of schedule.
  • Now here's the key: Michigan needs to beat aOSU by as little as possible. This will minimize aOSU's drop in the BCS rankings and maximize Michigan's Quality Win number. Since by BCS order, none of the computer rankings account for margin of victory, Michigan wouldn't be hurt there. A close win wouldn't hurt them in the polls, since the #5 team beating the #4 team won't be caught by a lower-ranked team, regardless of the margin. It would also help if Purdue could somehow work its way back into the BCS top ten.
There are alternate scenarios involving either USC or LSU (but not both!) taking care of business and OU getting punked by K-State in the Big 12 Championship, but that's even more rickety than the house of cards I've already built.

Oh, who am I kidding? Go Blue! Bounce That Rubble!

Update: BCS expert Jerry Palm thinks it's less complicated than that: if U-M wins and USC and LSU lose at all, Michigan goes to #2 unless Georgia wins out (including the SEC Championship).

Dog's Breakfast

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I am way behind in my TV viewing. I just saw the Threat Matrix episode that aired October 4, about an Ebola-like epidemic in Amarillo and the team's attempts to control it. The entry vector was a Basenji dog imported from Africa, and Patient Zero was a baggage handler at the airport. At the time, I thought "Well, here comes the outrage from Basenji advocate groups!" I would have expected them to make up some fake breed (like, say, the "West African Jackalope Hound"), so as not to piss off any real dog owners. Apparently, no Basenji owners watch Threat Matrix, as there's no mention of the episode here, here, or here (how disappointing - no signs of a flame war between the and the factions!).

All The Pieces Are In Place

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Executive Summary: Michigan took care of business Saturday, torching Northwestern 41-10. aOSU held up their end of the deal (in true Suckeye fashion, without an offensive TD), beating Purdue 16-13 in OT. It's all set up: Michigan vs. aOSU in Ann Arbor this Saturday; winner gets the outright Big Ten title and (at worst) a Rose Bowl bid. Just the way God intended.


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This is my PENTACON convention report (shock! horror! I'm actually doing one!). If you're not a gamer, then none of this will interest you. If you don't play RoboRally, Circus Imperium, Rail Baron, Chez Geek, or Star Munchkin, this probably won't interest you. If you do play one or more of the above games, be advised that I will wax long-winded about the triumphs and tragedies I experienced last weekend, so you've been warned.

Stupid Editing Tricks

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All week, Survivor teased us with previews strongly hinting at a conspiracy against Rupert. The whole first half of the ep was nothing but different subgroups (including Rupert's Bitches) discussing how to take him down (um, by voting against him) and when to do it (like, now!). So when the Immunity Challenge comes up and it's one of those designed to take down a frontrunner (no matter how many questions you get right, you can't stop anybody else from moving you one step closer to elimination), I thought it was all over for everybody's favorite pirate. Lo and behold, NOBODY TOUCHED HIM until the very end, by which time it was too late and he won anyway!

This season is showing every sign of being a boat race, with the lazy-ass Morgans getting rolled up over the next three episodes (Lil last), with a possible pause to make a move on Burton. CBS is editing their asses off to make the show look more interesting than how the reality played out. And the only chance I see for them to stop Rupert is a rebellion immediately after they dump Burton, because nobody's going to stop him in the traditional 'stand in one place as long as you can' final immunity challenge.

Emboldened by my relative success in calling The Amazing Race's order of finish, here's my prediction for the remaining eliminations:

  • Tijuana
  • Invisible Girl
  • Barton
  • Lil
  • Sandra
  • Christa
with Rupert beating John in the final. As annoying as John is, I see him lasting until the very end playing the Keith Famie role - of everybody still left, who would you want to be up against in the final vote?


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Nothing for the next few days, as I'll be attending PENTACON. Maybe I'll do a post-mortem when I get back on Sunday night. Don't hold your breath, though - I say that every year.

Another Liberal Who Doesn't Get It

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In opining about CBS's decision to shunt the hack job on President Reagan off to Showtime, Barbra Streisand demonstrates that she has no clue what censorship is:

"This is censorship, pure and simple. Well, maybe not all that pure. Censorship never is. Due to their experience with the restrictive English government, the framers of our constitution specifically included a ban on prior restraint in the First Amendment, which is an attempt to stop information from getting out there before the public has a chance to see it at all - exactly what is going on in this case."
It actually is pure and simple, but it's bottom-line business logic, not censorship. One more time for the clinically thick dimwits in Hollywood: UNLESS THE GOVERNMENT DOES IT, IT ISN'T CENSORSHIP! Babs actually recognizes this, after a fashion, but fails to connect it properly. Then she continues describing the color of the sky in her world:
"Of course, CBS as a company has the legal right to make decisions about what they do and do not air. However, these important decisions should be based on artistic integrity rather than an attempt to appease a small group of vocal dissidents."
Where do I begin on this one? Let's start with the 'don't appease the dissidents' line. I reserve the right to call 'bullshit' on Streisand the next time some broadcast company caves to a demand by ACT-UP, PETA, or some other extremist group with virtually no consistency, unless she stands up in defense of the company. Of course, she won't. Second, "these important decisions should be based on artistic integrity?" Has she ever actually watched television? I guarantee you that no broadcast network (except PBS, whose business model consists of welfare and begging) gives a rat's ass about 'artistic integrity' as long as the ratings are there and the advertisers keep writing the checks.

And that's where the bottom-line business logic comes in. CBS boss Les Moonves, a self-described liberal democrat, personally cancelled the plan for CBS to air the movie. Now ponder these two questions:

  • If Moonves had been pressured by the Government not to air the series, don't you think he'd say so? Bush Administration as scapegoat - what an opportunity! (In that case, it would be censorship.)
  • If he really thought the movie was unfair to Reagan, why air it anywhere? Why not spike it as a goodwill gesture to President Reagan and his family?
Answers: Censorship wasn't the issue, nor was there any real sense of fairness involved. Moonves semi-cancelled the movie because he thought CBS had a very real chance of losing money on it, either in the short term or the long term (or both).

Update: Steve_in_Corona pointed out that the left has already pressured stations not to air a show, and thus no more Dr. Laura. Sooooooo... Babs, I call BULLSHIT!

Against Michigan, They Just Call Him "John L Smith"

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Sure, with MSU's 7-1 start, Spartan coach John L. Smith had picked up the nickname John WWWWWWW-L Smith, but let's not forget that he was hired to beat Michigan and he's now 0-1 in that department. Memo to Spartanfan: this is a bigger game for MSU than for U-M. Both Notre Damn (bageled AGAIN this week! At home, no less! I think Touchdown Jesus was signalling 'Surrender!') and aOSU are bigger rivalries.

Chris Perry paid cash for every one of the 219 yards he gained Saturday; as far as I could tell, he never stepped out of bounds and he got hit hard on just about every carry. I suspected at the time that one of the reasons he got so many carries (besides the fact that MSU couldn't stop him) was that he'd have the bye week to rest; indeed, running backs coach Fred Jackson said as much:

"'He's always asking for 40 carries, and this is when he needed to carry 40 times,' running backs coach Fred Jackson said. 'I did not think he would carry 50 times, but since we had the bye week coming up I thought it would be OK.'"
I'm just glad he didn't fumble the ball - tired backs have the tendency to do that at the most inopportune times.

It's a shame that the final score doesn't reflect how much Michigan dominated that game - MSU only had two plays of any consequence: the long touchdown pass and the sack/fumble return. The latter happened when Michigan tried the same counter-bootleg they used for Mignery's TD pass - the same counter-bootleg that Brian Griese used about a hundred times during the '97 season (in fact, I'm pretty sure that all three Rose Bowl TDs were off that play). I wonder if State read the play in advance, or just happened to guess right on pretty much their only blitz of the day. Carr took some heat for the call, but I'm glad he tried that play - it shows he was going for the 'kill shot' that Michigan traditionally seems to have trouble delivering. My biggest regret is that now he may be less likely to go for a kill shot in the future.

I never put a whole lot of faith in the importance of a balanced offense, but the last two weeks has shown me the light. Neither Purdue nor MSU could afford to commit their defense to stopping half the attack for fear of the other half, and they ended up getting killed both ways. It's like Mr. Miyagi said in The Karate Kid:

"Man walk on road. Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk down middle, sooner or later, get squished just like grape."

It's clear now that Michigan has two teams: the one that played against Oregon, Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota (first three quarters), and the one that played against everybody else. All they have to do is make sure that first team misses the bus, and they'll be fine.

I've never heard anybody called out quite like this before. Chevalier James R. Reese of the Knights Templar, Grand Prior of the United States:

"Not only that, but to prove to the entire world that you [Osama Bin Laden] are a coward and an infidel, this Knight Templar challenges you to single combat in the sands of Pakistan. I challenge you to meet me with scimitar or sword, to be pitted against myself and a holy sword consecrated to our Order-a sword that was forged to destroy evil. Here's the deal: if I win, Al Qaeda is disbanded-forever. If you win, then you can set the head of a Knight Templar on a pike outside your tent, and you can claim that you slew the chief of all Crusaders in the United States."
I didn't think they even existed anymore.

Well, they don't, at least as students of the Crusades know them. From their FAQ:

"In 1118 A.D., nineteen years after the successful Crusade, these Poor Fellow Soldiers of Jesus Christ, as they termed themselves, were officially recognized and sanctioned and were given for their headquarters, a building on Mount Moriah, the site of the former Temple of King Solomon. Consequently, they became known as the Knights of the Temple, or Knights Templar.

. . .

It is a matter of history that the warriors who fought for Christianity as Knights Templar had their vicissitudes with more downs than ups on the battlefield through the centuries. However, their wealth and their prestige remained undiminished. on the contrary their treasury became too large to escape the notice of some financially embarrassed rulers, especially Philip the Fair, King of France.

Philip the Fair with Pope Clement (who Philip pretty well influenced) arranged for Convocation of the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques DeMolay, and his officers at Paris. The Convocation was held, but Grand Master DeMolay and his officers never left, at least not with their lives. In 1314 Jacques DeMolay was burned at the stake for alleged heresy and dozens of other accusations; all Knight Templar wealth was seized and Templary 'moved underground.'

. . .

To simplify the story without attempting to elaborate or quote various researchers, all we know is that when Templary emerged in the early 1700's it was a part of Freemasonry. THERE IS NO PROOF OF DIRECT CONNECTION BETWEEN THE ANCIENT ORDER AND THE MODERN ORDER KNOWN TO DAY AS THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR ."
Of course, that's just what they want you to think.

So How'd It End?

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A couple of you have asked how my son's football team's playoff game went. Sadly, they lost. Happily, they played tough, leading 8-6 at halftime and only losing 14-8 to the eventual city champions (the same team that thrashed them by twenty-plus points in the season opener). I'm proud of the way my son stuck with it when it looked like there was no hope, and happy that they were able to turn things around in the second half of the year.


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This page is an archive of entries from November 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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