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NYBrian120 Blog

4 months ago today....I had something to say.

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I'm sorry for that ^. I've been away for 4 months and I need to get back into the swing of coming up with a half-creative blog title.

But wow...has it been 4 months? Exactly 4 months, actually. That's totally coincidental...I was bored here this afternoon and just thought of my tv.com account and how many cobwebs were probably covering it.

Anyway, how is everyone? Anything cool happen since mid-May? I did a couple of things over the summer, went to Vermont for a half a week with like all 30-something members of my family and had a great time in this huge house out in the middle of a bunch of farmland. We're thinking about maybe going down South somewhere next summer since we have some family that lives in Virginia and North Carolina and it would be easier for them since they always have to come up to NY/Long Island to see anyone. Add that to three different high school graduation parties that we'll be having next summer, and it should be some good times in June/July/August. Really looking forward to it.

It wasn't all good since I was gone though. About two-and-a-half weeks ago, my little 11-year-old cousin went to the hospital with symptoms of meningitis. I didn't really know too much about the disease before this, so I did what every American does and went to WebMD to edjumacate myself. Needless to say, I was a bit distraught. I got the text from my brother at around 3:30 pm on a Thursday, and I was getting ready to go to a 4:00 class. I never left my room for the rest of the day. Not for class, for dinner, for anything. If you knew my cousin, you'd probably understand my emotions. She's this spunky little thing with a big heart and a lovable personality. She's cute to the point where everyone still feels like she's 5. I even get caught up in some of the "kiddy" things she does sometimes and she's always fun to be around. So of course everyone is beside themselves when they hear about this. Add to all of this that she's had trouble staying healthy all her life because she's pretty skinny, and everyone in my family of atheists is praying for her to make it through this. I won't lie, I was crying for a little while. I couldn't deal with not ever seeing her again, with her being just a memory and never being able to grow older and live a long, healthy life. I know a few of you on here have dealt with some unbearable loss in your lives--let me just say that I might have, just maybe, got a glimpse of what that may feel like, and I admire you all for being able to make it through something like that.

It was in the days before Labor Day Weekend, so I went home and everyone but my brother up in Plattsburgh went down to LI to see her and be with everybody. My poor aunt, who's dealt with so much loss in her life already (four miscarriages and a close friend who committed suicide to name a few), was breaking down. No one in that damn hospital seemed to know what was wrong with her for days, and the spinal tap that you do to determine whether or not the patient has meninigitis, well...the resident did it wrong the first time, and those things put you in a tremendous amount of pain. And to hear her crying (while coughing that sickly-sounding cough) because she can't even drink water and "they're taking everything away from me"....it was bad. Like you-feel-guilty-just-for-breathing bad. My mom's pretty strong and I don't see her cry too much, but she couldn't handle it. My cousin was throwing up violently when she first got to the hospital and had a severe headache, so this child went through way too much for an 11-year-old girl. And the doctors, as I said, seemed clueless for the first almost-week. First, they said meninigitis was likely, then they said it was a severe sinus infcetion, then it was a staph infection. Finally, they settled on a combination of the latter two. They gave her some strong antibiotics, and she's out of the hospital now. But she apparently made a comment upon returning home, something along the lines of wondering if this would be the last time she would come from the hospital. I guess she's seeing a child psychologist about it. But it makes me numb to hear about something like that. Why can't she just be able to live a normal life like her friends of the same age? Why has she had to deal with all this crap? She's the least deserving person that I know to have to endure as much as she has. I just hope that she's still the same kid that makes all of us smile so much.

I'll try (seriously) to be on here more. With the start of fall, I have the NFL to talk about again, so that's always fun, right? ;) And I'm back in college of course, so there will be stuff to talk about I'm sure. Until then though, I bid thee adieu. Whatever that means.

"Everybody's got a boat upon the ocean...

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...not everybody's sailing out to sea."

I'll admit, this is addicting and makes for an easy way out of coming up with your own creative blog title.

Just in case any of you haven't read Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows yet and want to at some point (what exactly are you waiting for if so?), this is a...

***SPOILER ALERT***

Two years (I wanna say about two years) after it came out, I finished the last Harry Potter book yesterday. I don't know how many of you (if any of you) read the books, but I liked them all and had read the first six all sort of right around when each had come out, but I had never gotten the seventh because I just never got around to it. That and I don't usually spend money on a lot of things. But when I saw it in a Borders up in Plattsburgh when we were visiting my bro for Easter, I felt compelled to get it. I didn't start reading it till about a week after I got it, and combined it probably took me about 5-6 days to finish it (I read it off-and-on). Having finished it, I have to say I was really surprised that there wasn't as much death and sadness as had been advertised (or as I had been expecting). A few supporting characters died, but I was half-expecting Ron and Hermione to die bravely for Harry in some way or something like that, or maybe even Harry dying along with Voldemort. And the ending was really cheesy, showing how, in nineteen years, Harry would marry Ginny and have three kids: James, Lily, and Albus (really? You couldn't have come up with names more original than that?) and Ron would marry Hermione and have two kids: Hugo and Rose. Anywho, it was a happy ending that seemed too predictable, but overall it was pretty good. My cousin said she hated it so much that it turned her off from the entire series, which is saying something, as I'm pretty sure it was one of her favorites at one time. Anyone else read it and find themselves asking, that's it?

My first day of work at the supermarket was tonight. It was actually scheduled to be tomorrow, but they needed me to cover a shift, so I worked for 5 hours. I don't know if any of you remember from last fall about a girl I liked and was at one point trying to get with, and then found out she had kind of a messed up life and was making some bad decisions and all that $hit...well, I don't know if I ever said anything, but she works there too. And since I had tried to avoid talking to her altogether since this past winter when I made the decision to break off ties with her, I knew going in that this was going to be awkward. I'll admit, me ignoring most of her texts for a few months was a huge d!ck move, but I felt like it was the only way of conveying the message of "I don't want to talk to you anymore" without actually saying it. Apparently, some people can't take a clue.

I was relieved to find out she wasn't working tonight, so I wasn't so tense for the first few hours or so. That is, until I was coming through to the front end through the bottle closet, and there she was. Except, she was checking out and had her back to me, so I slid out of there pretty quick. I felt stupid about it, but I really just wanna move on from her, and having her see me and try to strike up a conversation with me doesn't really condone that. I went outside to collect some carts, and I was half-looking for her car to make sure I wasn't near it when she left, so I sort of hung out in the cart corrals (which have roofs low enough where my face can be hidden) when she came out. I saw her leave, so I calmed down a little and resumed by menial job. I actually spent a good while literally scrubbing down kid carts (they have these seats in them that look like cars and apparently they were dirty) tonight. Anyway, an hour or so later, I go to the front podium area to see when my break is, and I turn the corner, and there she is, getting her schedule for the week. She looked right at me.

I was amiable enough and said the usual "Hey, what's up?" and we talked for a little, mostly about work this summer and how we were both pretty loaded with work. It never went beyond that, and I was pretty glad about that. She left, and I went back to whatever the hell I was doing. I was worried about her asking me about "us" and all that crap, and since I'm still not ready to talk about with her (I don't know that I ever will be), I was cool with it. We talked like two friends, nothing more. If that's what comes out of all this, fine. I won't kick and scream about it. She's kinda cool, but I've heard her stories. I'm not going back there again. I don't need to deal with that.

So I go to clock out when I'm done and I figured I'd pick up some ice cream and gum while I was there. I went to one register, but the lady there had WIC checks (for those who aren't familiar, it's one of those welfare programs to allow mothers with little to spend to buy basics such as milk, juice, and cereal for their kids), and these checks are take a while to go through and get them all straightened out, so I go to another register that didn't have such a huge wait. I go up to the girl and she rings me out, and then when she hands me my stuff, she just, out of nowhere, tells me, "[girl I'm avoiding] loves you."

I stood there for about ten seconds, with no clue what to say. I didn't even know this girl at the register and didn't know she knew that other girl either. It was so casual the way she said it too, like it was nothing and shouldn't have unnerved me the way it did. I guess I was just dumbfounded. I don't even think I made a coherent response to the girl. She added, "Not in a weird way." Maybe because she saw the look on my face. Instead of answering her, I just kinda said goodnight and left the store and spent most of the ride home shaking my head and sighing. I'm not even sure if I should believe this person, but I feel like I'm just accepting it as truth. Why would they tell me something like that? Am I naive about this? I really hope so, because I really just wish that all this hadn't happened between me and this girl. I went too far before I knew what I was getting into, and now I'm paying for it.

If there's one thing I'm confident in in all this, it's that I don't want to be with this girl. There are too many reasons why it won't work and why I'll regret it forever if I do. I'm not even attracted to her like I was when I first met her. I feel like she must have caught me at a depserate time. In a perfect world, she would have stayed in Massachusetts (she temporarily moved there when the $hit at home just got to be too much, but supposedly it's better now...I'll give it a few months) and I would never have seen her again. I'm ready to move on. I want to. So when I don't always reply to her texts or lie and say I have plans when she wants to hang out does she not understand? Why would she still have feelings for me after having not seen me for months or really even talked to me? I know she told me about how she hooked up with a guy at some point (which, before anyone says anything, I'm totally cool with and am hoping for so that she can move on like I'm trying to). I know I'm the type to kinda sit around and think about stuff and people from the past for a while, but even I can learn to forget about something that I've had virtually no contact with for months. I feel like I can't tell her flat out that I don't want to be with you and then have to say why. But short of that, there doesn't seem to be anything I can do. And I am not going to deal with this crap all summer at work. If my internship was paid (oh how I wish), I would quit my job at the supermarket on the spot. But it's not, and I can't. I can't run and hide from her forever, and I understand that. I guess if I manage to get a girlfriend then that would send a message, but I'm not getting into a relationship just to get out of another one (if you can even call it that). My best hope right now is that I can ignore her long enough and eventually she'll get tired of it and move on. But I have a feeling that could be a ways away. Oh well.

Sorry I dumped that on you guys. As I've said before, this blog is my way of getting stuff out that I'm not always comfortable talking about with people.

I should probably go to bed now. By the way, I have work tomorrow 3-7, and she's working 6-9 I think, and she'll be just two registers down from me. Great...another hour of awkward, half-assed, forced conversation just to get through 60 minutes. This place keeps getting better and better....See ya around.

"As I dream about movies...

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...they won't make of me when I'm dead."

Just a line from probably my current favorite song. No need to play the guessing game to try and figure it out; I just figured I should start off my first blog in almost 3 months with something completely unoriginal.

So yeah. I'm not really sure why I haven't blogged in so long. I mean, it's not like more of nothing started happening back in February and that I've had less time to rant aimlessly or droll on about the NFL offseason (I actually have another blog for that but I don't even use it really at all anyway). Finals were done yesterday, and if all else works out, I'll have a Masters in two years. I also had an internship interview Friday for the NYSDOT (unpaid unfortunately) and that went pretty well. But in between all that, I was busy getting laid on a weekly basis and recently took up regular drinking and smoking a joint every once in a while. Yes, that last one was a horrible pretention and you should all know me better than that. I'd be the moron who couldn't put the condom on correctly even if I was completely sober and flaccid at the same time (not really, but you get my point).

Do you ever spend those lonely nights going back and revisiting those old things you were hooked on as a kid? I know about a year or so ago my brother and I found some of those first Pokemon episodes and started watching them, and it's amazing how even still you get the goosebumps when Ash first catches his Caterpie, but now you're old enough to marvel at his stupidity when he sends it into battle against a Pidgeotto. Anyway, I (used to) enjoy the Sonic the Hedgehog video games back when GameCube was 50% of my life. I didn't get into it until about high school actually, so I never played anything before Adventure 2: Battle, but that quickly became a favorite of mine. I liked most of the characters and even wrote my college essay on how I felt like I had a lot in common with Knuckles the Echidna, my favorite character. Anyway, I had heard that they had made an anime series a few years ago called Sonic X, and it was based on a few of the games and had some original ideas to it. I started searching for it one night and found a few episodes and, as a 4Kids animated cartoon, you're expecting the immature themes and cheesy dialogue, and there was plenty of that. But still, I found myself going back and trying to find more episodes. Maybe it's because it's something I feel like I never got to see when I was younger and more into the whole Sonic thing. It's a lot like the Pokemon series (I say that because I feel like most of you can relate more to that) in that it's very corny at times but can be fun to watch if you're feeling about 10 or so years younger than you actually are. I feel like most people would privately admit (maybe only to themselves) that there's still an affection for those kinds of things that we never really let go (music is another one that I have). But because we live in a world where you're viewed as "weak" or "immature" if you still publicly like those things, people shy away from them in the open. I don't know, maybe I'm just hopeful and pretending that I'm not the only loser who still watches an episode of Sonic X every once in a while XD.

Hopefully I'll be on the site a little more often now that school's out till August 31st, but the internship and by supermarket job that just won't go away might keep me busy enough. It's not that I "moved on" or anything stupid like that. I just have almost nothing to talk about almost all the time, except when the NFL is going on, at which point I can't shut up about it. I'm even trying to get the scoop from rookie friggin' minicamps this weekend. I'll just chalk that one up to hardcore fan dedication and pretend that I do have a life outside of watching football ;). Anyway, I gotta go watch the martial arts tournament episode of Sonic X. Not really, but I'm kinda tired. Well...maybe just this once ;). Catch ya later.

Everything They Do

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I don't know if any of you actually watch Family Guy anymore, but I managed to catch the latest episode online Monday. If you haven't seen it, don't worry, you didn't miss much. But one joke they did was Stewie making a music video for his new love interest, Susie (Joe and Bonnie's newborn who was finally born after all these seasons). Anyway, it was to the song Everything I Do (I Do It For You) by Bryan Adams. Now I'm gonna be honest, I like that song. I know it's incredibly cheesy and made almost solely for use as a wedding song, but if I had a girlfriend, I would play that song to her if I knew how to play the piano or guitar and I would sing it to her if I could sing without cracking my own voice.

But I didn't mind all that much when I saw Stewie doing the parody of the song on the show. Yeah, it went on far too long (everything but the first verse I think). But it was at least a shake-your-head funny kind of moment for ten seconds, which is about all I can ask for from Family Guy at this point. Maybe it was because I knew the song. Whatever. But what does bother me is when I go to watch an actual video of the song on YouTube and there are pages and pages of comments on it made in the last few days, all of them mentioning how they saw it on Family Guy or how Family Guy's version was better or, my favorite, that this song is now only famous because of Family Guy.

I understand that Family Guy has this ability to revive old pop culture articles and make them popular again with the younger generations because they saw the show use it in a joke. But the way some people think, it's as if NO ONE knew these songs/movies/actors even existed until Family Guy used them to make people laugh (or sigh when they're supposed to laugh). Don't be ignorant and desecrate these songs or movies or whatever they might be by putting Family Guy above them and saying that it was only because of Family Guy that everyone even knows about it. Believe it or not, a lot of people don't shut themselves out to everything besides Family Guy and actually know about pop culture without Family Guy feeding it to them in some twisted way. And actually, you (and Seth MacFarlane) can thank Bryan Adams and the Trashmen and any other artists that Family Guy "makes popular". If it weren't for these people who produce songs or movies didn't make things that "no one's ever heard of", Family Guy (your source of pop culture if you believe in those idiotic ideas) would not exist. So you should go ahead and put Everything I Do above Family Guy, unless you hold a belief that the world, in fact, created God, as opposed to the opposite (for the record, I don't believe in either, but it sounded like a good metaphor when I thought of it 30 seconds ago). And I thought I lived in a shell....

Isn't it pathetic that I'm blogging about some comments on YouTube, probably made by some 15- year-old whose never even heard of Bryan Adams? Oh well. I should probably get back to my HW. Later.

Not quite legal, but no longer a teen

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As cool as it is to turn 20 years old today (the 9th in case this doesn't make the midnight deadline(EDIT: It didn't)), what does it really mean? The start of a new decade in my life, I guess.

So now that the NFL season is officially over, let's take a look back at my predictions for the season.

AFC:

East:

1. Miami Dolphins (11-5, Seed 3): I'm just as shocked as everyone else. What a great turnaround for them.

2. New England Patriots (11-5): I'm not exactly crying because they missed the playoffs due to tie-breakers, but still impressive considering who they didn't have.

3. New York Jets (9-7): Those poor, ignorant fools at ESPN....who called it? Maybe now you guys will get off Favre's jock strap.

4. Buffalo Bills (7-9): Next time I over-hype a team without a winning record since 2004, stop me.

North:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4, Seed 2, Won Super Bowl XLIII): Congrats to Blitzburgh for their sixth ring. I underestimated these guys at the start of the season.

2. Baltimore Ravens (11-5, Seed 6): Another surprise (though not quite as much) of a turnaround from a struggling '07 campaign.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1): I saw this one coming, but didn't expect Palmer to only play four games all season.

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12): Thank God I got off that pre-season bandwagon with some credibility intact.

South:

1. Tennessee Titans (13-3, Seed 1): Impressive season from a team that didn't look that way going in. But does Collins come back?

2. Indianapolis Colts (12-4, Seed 5): The king fell from his perch this season after five years of division dominance. Still, another great year from Peyton Manning.

3. Houston Texans (8-8): Started weak but finished relatively well. This could be one of those playoff sleeper teams if Schaub could just stay healthy for a full season.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11): I had Jack Del Rio pegged as the AFC's Pro Bowl coach (meaning they would lose the AFC Championship game). Unfortunately, I have to swallow this one.

West:

1. San Diego Chargers (8-8, Seed 4): My pre-season Super Bowl champions. I actually (somehow)had a shot at it holding up, but it died in western Pennsylvania.

2. Denver Broncos (8-8): Had the division lead all season until the last week. Now tell me why Mike Shanahan shouldn't have been fired.

3. Oakland Raiders (5-11): In typical current Raiders fashion, they suck. How much longer will these guys be a punch line in the NFL?

4. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): This division just keeps getting better. Oh well, they could have been the Lions instead.

NFC:

East:

1. New York Giants (12-4, Seed 1): I had that same standing as my original prediction. Too bad they couldn't do anything meaningful with it.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1, Seed 6): One half of an NFC Championship game featuring two 9-win teams. I'd like to think the G-Men make them pay next year for the divisional round game.

3. Dallas Cowboys (9-7): I'm still laughing....

4. Washington Redskins (8-8): I love how teams like this exceeded my low expectations quite admirably early on, only to try their damnedest to fulfill my predictions down the stretch.

North:

1. Minnesota Vikings (10-6, Seed 3): Someone eventually stepped forward and won this division. But unfortunately it was the team with Tarvaris Jackson at QB.

2. Chicago Bears (9-7): When you're fighting for your playoff lives against the Texans and come up short, I have no sympathy for you.

3. Green Bay Packers (6-10): So because of unusual injury and other defensive problems, Aaron Rodgers did not do as good a job as Brett Favre would have done? Gimme a break.

4. Detroit Lions (0-However many games they played): All has been said that needs to be said about this team. God help them.

South:

1. Carolina Panthers (12-4, Seed 2): I had a feeling Delhomme's return would mean something for them. Just didn't know it would eventually mean an embarrassing playoff loss.

2. Atlanta Falcons (11-5, Seed 5): Another feel-good story. But can they do it again next year?

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7): Jon Gruden took Tony Dungy's team to a Super Bowl victory, and then failed to win a playoff game the rest of his seven-year tenure. Coincidence?

4. New Orleans Saints (8-8): Someone needs to remind Sean Payton that you need at least a respectable defense to make it anywhere in this league.

West:

1. Arizona Cardinals (9-7, Seed 4): If only they could have come to Giants Stadium for the NFC Championship game. Oh well. Nice play down the stretch from the whole team.

2. San Francisco 49ers (7-9): Impressive finish under Mike Singletary, but still work to do in the offseason.

3. Seattle Seahawks (4-12): What a way for Mike Holmgren to go out. Sort of fell back into the mediocrity (putting it nicely) of the division as a whole.

4. St. Louis Rams (2-14): Just when you thought it couldn't get much worse for them after last year. Perhaps Spags can fix what ails them.

Speaking of football (and my birthday) my mom gave me a written promise that next season we would go to a Giants game. I'm already pumped for it. Hopefully it will be earlier in the year so that it isn't unbearably cold out, and the Giants of late seem to do better in the beginning of the year anyway. Definitely looking forward to that.

Well I should be going to bed soon. See you guys around.

$1.5 million b!tch

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I'm not gonna waste my time talking about the Giants this time. I'm upset that they lost, but I'm also looking at it in retrospect. I challenge anyone to tell me they had the Giants going 12-4 and winning the NFC's No. 1 seed after losing Strahan, Osi, Shockey, and later Plax. But they finally hit a road block and now they have to bounce back next year. Oh well. GO CARDS!!! :lol:

So as most of you know, there's an economic crisis persisting in our world. In response to that, our university decided to cut 98 jobs. While this seems like a necessary step, it looks a lot worse when you see that our university president, the sixth highest paid individual at her position in our country, does not take a pay cut, and she makes $1,500,000. There's a petition going around the campus, which I already signed. This has obviously been going in a lot of other places, but it's still disgusting to hear about it on your own college campus. We continue to fund the Clinton Foundation and send money to Kenya among other things, but our president can't take a f*cking pay cut from her $1.5 mil salary? I'd love to see how she justifies this....

Anyway, that's it for this blog. I just wanted to vent that a little. Oh and I am back at college, in case you didn't figure that out. Break was enjoyable but far too short, even if it was a month. Oh well. The countdown till summer break begins. Catch ya later.

Black Monday

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First off, I hope everyone had a great holiday (or will, depending on your worship, time zone, etc). We made our usual trip down to the Island to celebrate Christmas with my mom's family. I didn't ask for much and didn't get much, although I did get a new cell phone (Voyager). I got it more for the QWERTY keyboard than anything else since I can't be bothered will all the other crap it comes with, until of course I actually play around with it. My life doesn't revolve around my phone, but it's still nice to get a new one after a few years. Other than that just a new winter jacket, some Giants paraphernalia, and clothes. I had a good time down there. Now I get to look forward to summer....

Anyway, the NFL regular season is over. So that means today is Black Monday--the day on which coaches around the league are shown the door after poor performances if their team's ownership deems such action necessary. Three coaches were fired today, and I wasn't surprised with any of them. Not even Mangini being canned by the Jets.

I know it isn't Mangini's fault entirely, but he made several questionable decisions throughout the season. A lot of people will point to Favre's decline in the last five games (2 TDs and 9 INTs) as the key reason why the Jets floundered. And I'm right there with those people. Favre even said himself that his shoulder has been ailing him for a few weeks. So what is the logical thing to do during the game? I'll give you a hint: the Jets had the AFC's leading rusher in their backfield, plus another back who provided numerous big plays whenever he got his hands on the ball. That, to me, is the biggest reason why I felt Mangini failed this season and deserved to go. When you ask a 39-year-old QB who has struggled with a sore shoulder the last month to throw 40 times in a game when you are never down by more than a touchdown all game long, tell me why you deserve to keep your job as a head coach. When you hand the ball off to Thomas Jones only 10 times all game against the Dolphins, tell me why you deserve to keep your job as a head coach. When your defense (the aspect of the game in which you specialize) falls apart down the stretch with big names like Kris Jenkins, Calvin Pace, Ty Law, etc., tell me why you deserve to keep your job as a head coach. I don't care that the guy had two winning seasons in three years with the Jets. His overall record was a losing one, and this season ended with the feeling of failure. Tannenbaum deserves some heat as well for kicking Pennington to the curb like a rusty tin can, not even stopping to think who might pick him up (just maybe the guy who drafted him in the first place, the guy who's running the football operations for a division rival team, the guy who's well-known for bringing in his own former players and coaches to bring success to that team). Well C-H-A-D, Chad, Chad, Chad got the last laugh on those fools. And now how are they going to be able to move forward after spending all that money last year on veteran players who are nearing the end of their peak? I saw this coming, and I remember Al saying it to; the Jets won't make the playoffs, even with Favre under center. I refuse to believe that any team that goes out and tries to buy their way into contention will go very far. Not only that, but I can't root for teams like that. It would make rooting for the Giants very hard for me if they reverted to that kind of management. All that does is raise expectations to unecessary levels. Look at the Yankees. If they don't win the World Series this year, I guarantee either Joe Girardi or Brian Cashman (or both) will be fired. Cashman probably more deservingly, Girardi maybe not so much. But when you buy that much talent, you damn well better win it all. Instead of wasting money to continue to mire yourself in failure after failure, why not try the old farm system/draft? That's how almost every champion team has been built. Look at the Patriots. Much as I hate them, they have done a Hell of a job personnel-wise. They don't make flashy free agent moves or spend huge amounts of money on players just because they have big names. They draft very well and concentrate on their depth. They worked hard for their dynasty and didn't become the envy of the NFL over night. The Giants have taken on a similar approach and have found great success with it thus far. I don't know what it's going to take to get through to owners and GMs that building your own team with your own young talent is the foundation for success, not buying the biggest names in the sport and throwing them together without a care in the world for team chemistry. It's great for fantasy sports, but they're fantasy for a reason.

Somehow I started talking about Mangini and ended up ranting about franchises trying to buy championships. About the other two coaches who got fired, I think everyone who followed the NFL at all knew Crennel was as good as gone in Cleveland and that Marinelli would never keep his job after failing to win a game all season long. I'm sure more are to come. In the AFC East, I wouldn't be surprise to see Dick Jauron of the Bills go. He's had, what, four consecutive 7-9 seasons as a head coach? That shows absolutely no improvement by his team, and Ralph Wilson would truly have to be a senile old man to keep Jauron around. In the AFC North, one would think Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati should be let go, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him stay. Carson Palmer was out for all but four games I think, and the Bengals' defense was supposedly making strides towards the end of the year. In the AFC South, Jack Del Rio down in Jacksonville surely had a miserable season after huge expectations mounted for the Jaguars after their success last year. He's probably safe, but on a short leash. In the AFC West, I can still see Norv Turner losing his job in San Diego if the Chargers are one-and-done. Someone pointed out that the longer Turner stays as a head coach for teams, the worse they have been. Remember, San Diego still finished the season 8-8. Herm Edwards is probably gone in Kansas City, where a new GM will have to take over, and new GMs like to bring in their own coaches most of the time. Tom Cable might have an outside chance of keeping his job in Oakland, as the Raiders showed they had a heartbeat later in the season. But Al Davis is unpredictable and insane, so you never know. Over in the NFC East, you'd think Wade Phillips in Dallas would be out, but Jerry Jones continues his tradition of refusing to admit his own mistakes and insists he intends to keep Phillips as his head coach. I think it's more because the man who was supposed to succeed Phillips, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, seems to have lost his magic touch this season. The Cowboys look like a team that has no discipline whatsoever. They regularly have about 10+ penalties in a game, their offense turns the ball over as if it doesn't matter, Tony Romo sent the punting unit off the field Sunday against the Eagles and all Phillips could do was stand there with a dumb look on his face, and players like Owens, Crayton, Williams, Pacman, etc. carry themselves as if they're kings of the mountain and never take responsibility for themselves. I don't think Dallas will change until Jerry Jones takes his hands of the steering wheel and gives the keys to someone who's sober enough to drive this runaway vehicle (and those chances came and went with Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells). Andy Reid in Philadelphia will probably stay, and I think a victory at Minnesota next week would seal that. Jim Zorn in Washington sounds like he's safe, but that team crashed hard in the second half of the season and Jason Campbell looks as clueless as ever. In the NFC North, Brad Childress may in fact be out if Minnesota goes one-and-done, but I wouldn't bet money on it. In the NFC West, Jim Haslett appears to almost certainly be out in St. Louis, and Mike Holmgren in Seattle has already said for about a year that he will take a sabbatical next season.

I figure while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and try to call the games this weekend. The 2009 NFL playoffs kick off with Atlanta @ Arizona on Saturday at 4:30 ET. A lot of people think Atlanta will come away with a win here, but Arizona is tough at home. The Cardinals are going to throw the ball and score points--that much you can't really stop. The Falcons need to get pressure on Warner from the front seven. On offense, Atlanta can't get away from running the ball with Michael Turner. I know Matt Ryan has done very well this season, but you can't expect him to keep up with Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin. If the Falcons offense is efficient and keeps the ball out of Warner's hands, then they have a great chance. Atlanta has the momentum, and there's something special about this team. SCORE: ATL 27, ARI 20

The second game on Saturday is Indianapolis @ San Diego at 8:30 ET. This is a game between arguably the two hottest teams in the league right now, and certainly in the AFC. Peyton Manning will almost certainly get the MVP award this season and the Colts have won 9 in a row to finish 12-4. But San Diego has been Peyton Manning's bane in the playoffs (and regular season lately), so it could be interesting. I expect this game to be a shootout since both teams have high-powered offenses and inconsistent defenses. But the Colts are finding ways to win in any game and are rolling. The Chargers are too, but I feel like this is where they meet their end. After all, no 8-8 team should ever win the division while a team goes 11-5 in another and misses the playoffs. SCORE: IND 31, SD 21

The game on Sunday at 1:00 ET features Baltimore @ Miami. I think Miami is a remarkable story. What they've been able to do this year is tremendous and no one could have expected this. Chad Pennington has given the team life and Parcells has instilled a winning culture in Miami. But the Ravens in my mind are a better team. Their defense is very physical and hard to decipher. Plus, the Ravens have already been here this season and proved why they can win this game. Baltimore is a more established team. SCORE: BAL 17, MIA 14

Finally, the 4:30 ET game will be Philadelphia @ Minnesota. Philly is coming off a ridiculous blowout of the Cowboys, and that has given this team all the momentum they need. But I know the Eagles (from playing them twice a year), and I can almost guarantee they won't play another game like that. Remember, this team went 9-6-1 and lost (and tied) some pretty bad games. I know they've been on a roll lately and have come back from 5-5-1, but they've been inconsistent on the road this season. I think Minnesota's run defense shuts down Westbrook and forces McNabb to air it out. However, I also expect Tarvaris Jackson to be rattled. This chess match between student and master (Childress v. Reid) will be a low-scoring close game, but the Vikings at home prevail. SCORE: MIN 10, PHI 6

Well I think I've filled enough blogspace for tonight. Happy New Year everyone. See ya around.

It's been such a long time...

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No that wasn't a lyric-title from Boston's "Foreplay/Long Time". I seriously haven't blogged in over a month.

Haven't had much to blog about, and frankly I've just been too busy to sit down and force out an opinion on some random subject, although I have found time to stay involved in things like the NFL sports threads here on TV.com, but that's just single posts as compared to long and drawn out blogs. For the record, school is winding down for me. I have this week left of classes before a week with 3 finals, so I may not get a chance to blog again until I get home again.

I'm sorry if you were hoping for anything other than ANOTHER blog about the Giants, but this blog is my venue for getting out my opinion in a way just short of talking to the wall in front of me. But this blog isn't necessarily about the Giants in a football sense; this is more about pyschological stuff and people's reactions to an incident at the Latin Quarters nightclub in Manhattan. If you haven't heard about it yet, you can find it pretty quickly on espn.com or any other major football site. I won't rehash the whole story.

Of course I'm upset with Burress. This is a guy who couldn't have had it any better as far as a football career goes. He caught the game-winning TD in the Super Bowl last year, he was elevated to hero status for the way he played through an ankle injury all year long (among shoulder, thumb, knee and whatever-else-you-can-think-of injuries at various points). He signed a contract extension hours before opening kickoff that amounted to 5 years for $35 million. And he wasn't even doing too much this year (don't tell me about the run-first strategy having an affect on that; he's certainly had his opportunities, and a true #1 receiver can play well against that much attention that he was getting). So why the sudden urge to f*ck that all up?

Because "that's what makes Plaxico Plaxico." Apparently Manny Ramirez's strategy has become (or has been for a while) popular among star athletes who are far too gifted for their own good. The funny (hilarious, actually) thing is that he ACKNOWLEDGES that he has pretty much been his own worst enemy. He knows he has time management issues. He knows he is not a leader on the Giants' team. He knows he is not the most responsible individual you'll ever meet. But it's all good; in his eyes, it's the price you pay for his services. Funny, thought the Giants took care of that part when they gave him all that money.

Help him? Of course not. Why would HE need help? It's YOU who needs HIS help. Don't try to guide him to fit your rules. He can take care of himself, and by his own rules. He doesn't need to be with the team during the offseason; he's already good enough to make the roster, plus he's already got the money. Besides, he's got more important things than his job to worry about. The multi-millionaire has to personally make sure his not-yet-2-year-old son is taken to school. A pre-scheduled treatment session? Why would he need to go to a mandated session if his injury was feeling OK? All these rules, man...just let Plaxico do what he does and everything will take care of itself. It doesn't matter what happens off-the-field, that's not what he's paid for. All he needs to worry about is being there on Sundays.

No more. He played his last Sunday almost two weeks ago against Arizona, and fittingly enough (although under certain circumstance because of a hamstring injury), he did nothing. No contribution at all (again, only on three plays, but follow me on this). And the Giants won. Eli won. He won on a day when Arizona stuffed the box with extra defenders and dared him to beat them without his #1 receiver. So he did. And the team hasn't looked back.

I've said it already multiple times; I hope Burress is convicted and serves jail time. Fines haven't done anything to dent his arrogance. Suspensions haven't worked for his irresponsibility. So how about a fine, suspension, and the possibility of jail time? If he comes out of that with the same old attitude of "not gonna let it affect me", I will probably cry a little inside. I'll be mourning the death of what could have been a tremendous talent but instead will be a lax, irresponsible, arrogant, selfish individual who will constantly find ways to blow some of the greatest opportunities that many of us dream of.

I was actually planning to talk more about Mayor Mike Bloomberg's response to all of this. I agree with the man in just about everything he says, but he's making this far too personal for a public official. He sounds like an executive with serious authority that can challenge the ruling of the NFL in this matter. The fact is that he's only a mayor, and he's making comments that could have the defense request that the trial be conducted out of the state for fear of Bloomberg's influence over the ruling. But I do agree that if Burress is not prosecuted if found guilty, than a mockery will have been made of the judicial system.

The Giants put him on the NFI list (in short, you're done for the season based on some non-football injury). I would like to think that he will be gone after the season. If he was single-handedly winning any games this year, then maybe I'd think differently. Maybe. But he hasn't been doing much this year. The Giants' offense starts with the run. They have the receivers that fit the mold of a run-first team that passes when it needs to. They have survived without people that have meant far more to this team then Burress ever has or ever will. The Giants are being doubted once again because they have lost yet another star player. If the recent past is any indication, I see no reason why they should miss a beat. Nor will I excuse them if they do. If they lose it will not be because they don't have Burress. It will be because of execution.

I think I've exhausted all I wanted to with this whole thing. I'll probably be around some time before Christmas. Until then "...I think I should be going." Later.

The g@ys will marry your children that aren't killed by the government....

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Is that the kind of country you want to live in? If you're a real American like Joe the Plumber, Tom the Teacher, Frank the Firefighter, Mark the Milkman, Donna the Dentist, Mike the Mayor, Matt the Mechanic, Nancy the Nurse, Larry the Cable Guy, or Bob the Builder, you're like me: you don't want some foreign black, Muslim, America-hating, socialistic terrorist running these great United States. Now's not the time to cut-and-run. Now's not the time to experiment with wild tax raises for more than 4.9999999 percent of our citizens. Now's not the time to expand health care expenditures when we have much more important things going on in the world, like the war in Iraq. Now's not the time to abandon our troops by bringing them home. Now's not the time to worry about petty things of the past like the Keating Five whatever and so on, but what about that Bill Ayers guy? Now is not the time to be pal-ing around with terrorists who would seek to destroy our highest-held values, but a time to appreciate the words of wisdom of our beloved Christian leaders, such as Reverend John Hagee. Now is not the time to worry about the myth of global warming while our great industries are suffering under huge energy costs. Now is not the time to question the experience of the executive leader of the great state of Alaska, but instead we must ask how some no-name senator has the power and courage to not blink in the face of great danger. Now is not the time for elitist thinking from those underhanded corrupted Harvardites. Now is not the time for Barack Hussein Osama bin Laden. Vote John McCain on November 4th, and America will keep on its steady, sturdy path of glory and fortune.

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So how'd you like my Halloween costume? ;)

In NFL news, how 'bout them Giants? The game played out much like I figured it would in Pittsburgh: terrific defense on both sides, and one offense came through in the clutch in the 4th quarter when they needed to. I hope I don't have to deflect criticisms concerning a certain safety that was scored, because those two points were not the difference in the game, and the Giants were getting the ball about where they did after the free kick anyway. I still can't believe we kept the Steelers' pass rush completely silent in their own place. Not so much going for us in the ground game (or any offense for the first three quarters), and seeing as the Giants pretty much started on average in Pittsburgh territory during the first half, coming away with only FGs was pretty frustrating. I still hold that Jacobs got in on the 4th and inches (after they called it back), but from the sidelines apparently they couldn't tell (why didn't they have an aerial shot?). The defense was lights out (except for a 30+ yard TD run and a 60+ yard TD pass), getting 5 sacks, 4 INTs, and plenty of pressure on Roethlisberger. This game won't settle any debate over which QB is better, because Ben was obviously playing with a shaky pass protection unit in front of him and he was missing Santonio Holmes and Willie Parker. Back to Manning though. It continues to amaze me how clutch this guy can be in the 4th quarter when it counts. On 4th and 1, Manning calls a timeout because he doesn't like what he sees on the defense. He comes back in, only to come to the conclusion that the play they were going to run had no chance of working, so he tried to call a timeout again, but NFL rules prohibit doing this, so he simply let the play clock wind down and took a delay of game penalty. At this point, every Giants fan is likely screaming at the TV, wondering what the f*ck Manning is doing out there. So now it's 4th and 6. You're against the Pittsburgh defense (best in the league). You're dealing with the Heinz Field crowd noise at its loudest. And in one snap (and with a split second of time bought by Derrick Ward's block of James Harrison), you drop back to pass and find Amani Toomer on a perfect throw and excellent catch by a reliable veteran receiver. Now you're first and goal inside the Steelers 5-yd line and Heinz Field is stunned (as is Pittsburgh's defense). This is becoming like the life and times of Eli Manning. Just when all hope is lost (and I gave up hope at least once in that game), Manning pulls something out of his @ss that just makes you wonder if you're watching some scripted cliche sports movie. He is not the most gifted QB to ever play (and isn't even right now in the current generation of QBs), but when given the opportunity, this guy performs in the 4th quarter like only some of the greats have done. With the game on the line, there is no one (not even Tom "Terrific" Brady) that I would rather have with the ball in his hands than Eli Manning.

So what to expect when the Cowpies come to the swamps Sunday afternoon? A lot of Marion Barber, a few passes to Witten, more Barber, a handful of throws to Owens, and more Barber. Let's face it: Brad Johnson is not going 50 yards down the field with Owens or Williams. And with Witten being a game-time decision, he obviously won't be at 100%, leaving Johnson less to work with. On defense, the Cowboys have a secondary without Terrence Newman, Adam Jones, Roy Williams (the safety), and maybe Anthony Henry. And it's not like this defense has played very well overall this year. But I know some how, some way, the Giants will find a way to keep Dallas around, even with seemingly half the Cowboys' starting line-up on the sideline. The game at Pittsburgh last Sunday was physically demanding and may still be felt this Sunday, and the Giants rarely bury a team that they're supposed to throttle. Plus, this is an NFC East game. I foresee a battle of the bruising RBs with Jacobs gaining the upper hand with the Giants' O-Line doing a better job than that of the Cowboys (which is also missing starting guard Kyle Kosier). Above all else, the Giants need to avoid the temptation to simply throw it up into the middle of the field against a young and inexperienced Dallas secondary, which could get going if you give them opportunities. Stick with Jacobs and Ward and mix in some passes. Don't turn the ball over. The only way the Giants lose this game is if they make mistakes. Dallas is desperate right now and will come out aggressive, so it's important to keep them honest. Stuff the line of scrimmage and force Brad Johnson to go deep. Impose your will on a lesser team. I sound repetitive right now, but you'd be surprised how easily the Giants can keep a lesser team in the game. Enough 4th quarter wins for a little while. Let's just win every quarter against a team we have no business losing to at this point.

Well I'm fresh out of blog material (right now). It's been a hectic few weeks here at school lately, but I suppose a lot of it is my own doing. Oh well. See you when I see you.

Black and Blue

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Is it sad that after almost two weeks without a blog that I have nothing else to talk about other than the much-anticpated Week 7 matchup between the Giants and Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday? Not really. If you're a true fan of the game, these are the kinds of matchups you would pay to see.

I didn't comment on the Cleveland game (if you even call it a game...) since I've exhausted my feelings in other venues, and the San Fran game last week was what it was. But two games in a row the Giants offense (and particularly Manning) has looked subpar and lacking of the big play. The defense picked it up against the Niners, but they didn't have a choice going up against the team that was allowing more sacks and commiting more turnovers than anyone else in the league. Still, the numbers aren't bad overall. The Giants are a good team, but it is a little disconcerting seeing them being pushed to the brink lately against teams because of their own incosistency or whatever other reason. But those two games are in the past. If you listen to me long enough on that topic I'll start going on about how the G-Men should be 6-0....

The Giants and Steelers meet only once every four years (unless they meet in the Super Bowl at any time between then). Yet these two franchises are connected in several ways and share many similar traits that add to the intrigue of this game. Both have successful histories dating back to at least the 1930s. The Mara family, which has owned the Giants since their inception, and the Rooney family, which has held the same title of the Steelers since their founding, are very close (and, I believe, are in-laws in some way). Both teams pride themselves on the same style of football: tough, physical, and punishing. They both strive to be dominating on defense while using a power-running game to control the tempo on offense. You know, the way football was meant to be played. Between the two are 12 league championships (the Giants have 3 Super Bowls and 4 NFL titles from the pre-Super Bowl era, while the Steelers have 5 Super Bowl titles). The Steelers clearly recognize the significant subplots of this game, particularly the historical ones, because they're going to be wearing their old alternate uniforms (the yellow helmets, white pants, etc.). It truly will have the feel of one of those old classic matchups of two storied franchises going head-to-head for potential NFL supremacy.

In more modern history, these teams remain connected through people such as Plaxico Burress, who played with the Steelers from 2000-2004 before joining the Giants as a free agent in 2005. And everyone knows about the 2004 NFL draft, where Manning was taken first overall by the Chargers (who traded him to the Giants for Philip Rivers) and Ben Roethlisberger was taken 11th overall by the Steelers. Since then, both young QBs have led their teams to a Super Bowl win. Ironically, both were road playoff runs because of their wild-card standings.

So while some people will watch the game while trying to compare Manning to Roethlisberger, others may be more interested to see how Burress performs in his first return to Heinz Field since 2004. Some may be intrigued with the No. 2 offense (Giants) going up against the No. 1 defense (Steelers) in the NFL. More specfically, the Giants league-leading rushing attack against the Steelers 2nd-ranked run defense. Us Giants fans will be looking forward to exploiting some weaknesses along the Steelers O-Line, while Steelers fans want to see their team add to its league-leading 25 sacks. Some already have the Super Bowl in mind and are predicting this matchup to be a preview of the game down in Tampa on Feb 1. While that would be epic, I won't go that far. In fact, I won't be surprised if neither team gets to the Super Bowl , but that's for another blog.

IMO, the Steelers are playing better football than the Giants right now. Neither team has had much of a true test yet, so this matchup comes at a great time during the season for both teams. But the Giants offense needs to get into rhythm in the Steel City, as hard as that may sound, because their schedule gets no easier at almost any point during the season. They know if they play like the way they played against San Fran last week, they're going to get beat (they've admitted it). If the defense can stop Parker and Moore and get to Roethlisberger, it will give the Giants offense more opportunities. If not, it's going to be another long day on the road for New York. The Giants are 3 point underdogs last I checked, and I think that's about where they should be. Until they beat a team like Pittsburgh, they can't be expected to win before the game even starts. I would be surprised if either team managed to score more than 20 points. Hopefully Manning can work some of his 4th quarter heroics late in the game to secure a win. A close loss would not be horrible for the Giants, but a loss is a loss, and there could be plenty of them later on against more quality opponents. Basically, they need to play near-perfect football in order to win in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers wear black and the Giants where blue (although the Giants will be in their road white jerseys, but you know what I mean). But I think it's safe to say we'll see both colors along both sidelines once this game is done.

With that said, GO G-MEN!