Archive for February, 2010

The Ultimate Super Bowl Book

Posted in books, sports with tags , , , , , on Thursday, 2010 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

If Bob McGinn hadn’t titled his new book The Ultimate Super Bowl Book, everyone would have called it that anyway.

This fantastic new book is not only a great resource full of facts and stats, it’s also very well written. It isn’t just a bunch of dates and results: it goes beyond those basics we all know and delves deep into each game and how and why it was actually won on the field.

There aren’t any glossy photos or filler in The Ultimate Super Bowl Book. McGinn doesn’t just rehash the most famous moments of only the best games. He retells the story of each and every Super Bowl through his own reviews of the game films and the fascinating interviews with the players, coaches, and assistant coaches involved in the game.

Throughout the book, McGinn also mixes in several interesting Top 10 lists as sidebars. Another great aspect of the book is the fact that he lists the entire coaching staff for each team. We all know and remember the head coaches, but seeing and recognizing countless names among the coordinators and assistants is a useful football history lesson beyond the considerable information found in the text.

It’s incredible to hear the key players and coaches recount not only the big memorable moments but also the underlying strategies and perhaps unseen plays that swung the game one way or the other. Oftentimes they sound as if the game had just been won (or lost) last week and not years or decades ago.

McGinn, a longtime sportswriter for the Green Bay Press-Gazeett and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has been a finalist for the Mccann Award for excellence in pro football writing and was selected as one of America’s Top 20 Sportswriters by Men’s Journal. His expert storytelling and game recaps make this even better than just an exhaustive Super Bowl reference book, though it serves as that too.

I can’t recommend The Ultimate Super Bowl Book highly enough, especially at just around $14 at Amazon. Also available direct from the publisher, MVP Books.

A Quick Review on How We Got Into Iraq

Posted in politics with tags , on Friday, 2010 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Andrew Joseph Stack IS a Terrorist

Posted in politics with tags , , , on Friday, 2010 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Can anyone explain to me all the hemming and hawing by both the media and government/law enforcement officials about whether to use the word “terrorism” to describe Joseph Stack’s suicide crashing of a plane into a government building?

You know damn well if his name was Mohammed Al-Something or Jheet M’Droors that it would be Terrorism. But no, this was an American white guy named Andrew Joseph Stack. Well darn if that name doesn’t sound more “Presidential” than Barack Hussein Obama.

The Associated Press reported that “Police in Austin, Texas, say the crash of a small plane into a building that houses the IRS is an isolated incident and not an act of terrorism.” Really? THE GUY PURPOSELY CRASHED A PLANE INTO A GOVERNMENT BUILDING. He also left a manifesto/note with such gems as “violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer” and “Nothing changes unless there is a body count.” How is that not terrorism?

Another news report noted, “The FBI launched an investigation and Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin on the Homeland Security Committee, said the panel will take up the issue of how to better protect buildings from attacks with planes.” Yea? We’re gonna launch an investigation and have some panel take a little gander at this all-new out-of-the-blue idea of crazies attacking buildings with planes? Cuz that hasn’t happen since this one obscure time on September 11, 2001 when planes were crashed into those tower thingies and the Penta-something. Might want to look into that…

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported this nice little backtracking from White House spokesman Robert Gibbs by saying he “initially said that the incident did not appear to be related to terrorism but later said that he meant that it appeared not to be a foreign-based plot by a group such as al-Qaeda. He declined to rule out the possibility that the crash was a case of domestic terrorism.” Yea, he declined to rule out the possibility that maybe this coulda possibly been, y’know, umm, something sorta related to that thing that only Muslims usually do. Starts with a T.

Of course, when that guy opened fire at Fort Hood, that was definitely Terrorism cuz his name was Nidal Hasan.

It’s ironic that this country’s media and government LOVE to label anything and everything Terrorism if and when it will help their ratings or their political agenda. But when it comes with a white face and a “normal” name they all scratch their heads like they’ve just seen a unicorn.

Just last week Tom Engelhardt had a great piece on our irrational fear of terrorism and then of course today Glenn Greenwald nailed this whole subject of why we’re avoiding the T-word when talking about the plane crash in Austin.

They Should Make the Day After the Super Bowl a Holiday

Posted in casual fridays, misc.blurbs, sports with tags , , on Monday, 2010 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

It’s so obvious, I’m glad I thought of it. I need to figure out a way to make money off this idea, but I’d settle for just getting the day off.

Here’s the deal: they have Washington’s Birthday or I guess now they sorta combined him with Lincoln or something and made it “Presidents Day.” Third Monday in February I think it is. And the Super Bowl that used to be played in late January, now increasingly falls out on the first few days of February. Not a huge deal, but that puts a bit further from Martin Luther King Day, and it has become a “February” event in our minds. “January football” now means Playoffs and “if you wanna be playing in February” is now a direct reference to making it to the Super Bowl.

So, you see where I’m going with this right? Presidents Day is kinda pointless anyway, right? It’s just some random Monday off. It’s not like we plan family visits or anything. And it usually isn’t really on Washington’s actual birthday, so why not move it back couple weeks and make it the first Monday in February? Like it matters. Jesus wasn’t born on December 25.

But wait…. that’s not all. I’m not proposing the day after Super Bowl be Presidents Day just for the partying factor and being able to stay up late for the game (hey, a new generation of kids/fans/consumers need to be raised, how can they watch the big game if they got school in the morning?). And it’s not to avoid calling in sick, AKA hungover.

This is actually an economic stimulus package that I implore President Obama, enthusiastic sports fan that he is, to embrace and pursue. Presidents Day is usually filled with ridiculous sales on cars and mattresses (two items that are ALWAYS on sale). They drum up these silly commercials with cartoons of Lincoln and Washington to tell us to shop for stuff. Why? Most of us just do laundry that day and wonder what might be open or closed, since it’s not really a holiday but it is. So no one shops. Wasted holiday.

So, once you move it the day after the Super Bowl, Presidents Day will be right after the day/night famous for not just football, but the fact that 10’s of millions of Americans of all demographics gather around their TV’s to WATCH THE COMMERCIALS. Personally I’m all about the game. But a LOT of people come right out and say they are “excited” for the “commercials.”

What an opportunity! Wouldn’t it be awesome if, the day after the Super Bowl, hordes of Americans were off work and school, and heading out to buy the cars and colas and countless other crappy items they saw advertised the night before!

This makes too much sense. And while it might not happen, I think it’s more likely than the NFL moving the game to Saturday. But, until then, just keep callin in sick.

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