Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Could NFL Games Be Played in Empty Stadiums?


There are 176 soccer matches scheduled in Mexico that will be played without fans in attendance out of concerns for the flu.

I know the flu stories are overexposed. As a bit of autobiographical background, I spent six years after undergrad working in a lab studying the 1918 flu. So I have followed flu quite closely for over a decade.

In a nutshell, if you were to poll flu experts, I would wager every single one of them would tell you that the question is not whether there will be another flu pandemic, but when it will occur.

There have been previous warnings about various flu strains (usually avian flu). None of those outbreaks caused me much concern, even though some of those flu strains killed 30-50% of those infected.

This outbreak is the first one that actually concerns me. Unlike the avian flu that (in my opinion) caused unwarranted hysteria, this strain is spreading rapidly from person to person, and even if the fatality rate is low, the cumulative effects could be pretty serious.

And, I don't mean to be alarmist by any stretch. The flu could fizzle as it has before. I only mean to say that out of all the public health threats that we have faced in my lifetime, this is the first one that actually concerns me.

The 1918 flu came and went in various waves over the course of around eight to nine months. If this potential pandemic behaves similarly, we could be in for an extended period where public gatherings are intermittently cancelled. That would include sporting events like those soccer games in Mexico.

It wouldn't surprise me if some baseball games were cancelled in the next week or two. Whether we will still be talking about all of this in the fall is anybody's guess. I wouldn't bet on it, but it is certainly possible that flu will still be circulating this fall.

Of course, it goes without saying that if the NFL does play some empty stadium games, football will be pretty low on the list of things to worry about.

ADDENDUM: I give Obama a pretty tough time on this blog. The flu outbreak could turn out to be his administration's "Katrina." So far the administration seems to be doing a good job staying on top of the situation and putting preparations in place (without engaging in panicky alarmism), in contrast to the Bush administration that always seemed to be taken by surprise by crises. So there you go. Credit where it is due.
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History of First Round Defensive Tackles

Everyone is pencilling Raji in as an anchor of the defensive line for the next decade.  Out of curiosity I went back over the drafts for then ten year period between 1997 and 2006 and looked at top ten drafted defensive tackles.  There were only eight.  Of those:

  • Two were outright busts (Johnathan Sullivan, Ryan Sims); 
  • Two developed into full time starters (Dewayne Robertson, Gerard Warren). Interestingly, neither player is with the team that drafted him (or his second team which in both cases was the Broncos); and
  • Four became pro bowl players (John Henderson, Kevin Williams, Richard Seymour, Corey Simon)
Not nearly a big enough sample size to draw any actual conclusions.  But interesting.

Going outside the top ten, out of 26 first round tackles, there were 9 outright busts, 7 fulltime starters, and 10 pro bowl players.

------------------------------*
The more you know.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Vikings Help the Packers Land Clay Matthews III.

According to Brad Childress (Fist bump to PFT):

"New England was right in there. They were right behind us [with the 23rd pick]," Childress said. "No, they didn't think we'd take him [because of off-the-field] issues. Remember, they have our receivers coach there now. So they thought they could hold ... and he'd come to them.

"They were down there working him out the day after I was there. And [Harvin] wasn't supposed to tell anybody, and I was trying to pull that out of him, who that was. So, it was a little cat-and-mouse game that occurred."

Of course we all know what happened next: the Pats, embarrassed and dejected, traded down and let the Packers draft CM3

Long live Brad Childress, is this guy the mustachioed gift that keeps on giving or what?

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Everybody Calm Down.

Look. 

I'm excited about the draft (I'm almost always excited about the draft every year).

You are excited about the draft.

We are all really really excited.

Some are euphoric.  

Says Dale at Packerlounge: "It’s amazing how two days in April can push your team over the edge. The Packers are now the team to beat in the NFC North."

In fact, those that are typically most critical of Thompson seem to be the ones that are most euphoric.

Now cut it out.

Let's not get too carried away.

Here are the Packers last three top 10 draft picks:

  • Terrell Buckley
  • Jamal Reynolds
  • AJ Hawk
Two busts and a solid, unspectacular player.  

The three before that:
  • Brent Fullwood
  • Sterling Sharpe
  • Tony Mandrich
Two more epic busts and (finally) a franchise player in the mix.

Maybe Raji is the next Warren Sapp, but we'll have to wait and see.  Don't bet any money on it yet.  There are no sure things.  Ever.

When fans are fuming at what they perceive to be an awful draft, my advice is always to wait three years and revisit the draft.  When fans are totally over-the-moon, the same advice applies.

/wet blanket

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thompson Drafts Another Fullback? This can mean only one thing . . .

More fullback dive.

ADDENDUM: Quoth McCarthy, "I recall Ted coming back from LSU and Quinn Johnson was someone he was very excited about. He also has special teams value and could run the football."

Emphasis is mine.  All mine.

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A Little Payback From Belichick?

In 2006, Belichick traded away a third round pick to swap selections with the Packers in the second round.

Belichick then drafted Chad Jackson.

The Packers drafted Greg Jennings with New England's pick in the second round and Jason Spitz with New England's pick in the third round.

Advantage Ted Thompson.

From a draft perspective, Belichick clearly got the upper hand in yesterday's trade.  Who knows how the picks will pan out, but the Packers gave up almost twice as much to move up as the conventional wisdom says they should have.

The Jackson anecdote also respresents the worst-case-scenario when teams become infatuated with individual players rather than letting the draft come to them.

Because New England flopped with the Jackson pick, the Patriots had to trade for Wes Welker the following spring.  All told, the Patriots gave up two second rounders, a third rounder, and a seventh rounder to fill one wide receiver spot.  Steep price, even for a good player like Welker.

Let's hope that Thompson didn't repeat Belichick's mistake.

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Perception Versus Reality

Perception:


Reality:

Thompson's first two first round draft picks were Aaron Rodgers and AJ Hawk---not exactly "under the radar" selections.

Of course, once you get into the third-round and beyond, most of the players are going to be less heralded.

So who are all these lesser-known players that Thompson "gravitated" towards?  Harrell?  Collins?  Is that it?

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Thompson All But Confirms that Raji Was a Need Pick

McGinn quotes Thompson: "We felt he was the best pick for us."

The emphasis is all mine.

I don't know how this can be interpreted other than Thompson selected for need over value.  If Raji was the best player, then all you have to say was that Raji was the best player.  You don't have to qualify it at all.

For his part, McGinn is sticking to his story that Crabtree was the number one rated player on the Packers' draft board---no matter how Thompson is trying to spin it after the fact:

Thompson said Raji and Crabtree had the same grade on the Packers' board. That's probably a matter of semantics, but people with knowledge of the Packers' thinking said Crabtree stood far and away as their pre-eminent player.

Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with drafting for need, and there are even those who advocate for drafting based on need.

However, Thompson has sworn time and again that he drafts the best player available.  If two players are legitimately graded the same, then go ahead and pick the need (or trade back).

That's what Thompson is saying he did in this case.  

McGinn says that Thompson is spinning the truth.

Intrigue.

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Random Observations:

  • The Packers drafted two players that both watched the 2007 season from the bench.
  • The defense will field seven former first round draft picks (although one of those players will probaly be on the bench).  The offense has only one.
  • Clay Mathews (plus a fifth)  ultimately cost a second round pick, a third-round pick, and a 38-year old Brett Favre.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Transition to the 3-4

Notwithstanding all of the ridiculous posturing to the contrary back in February, its pretty obvious that Thompson did not believe he had the horses to run the 3-4 next year.

In order to put the pieces together it seems as if he broke two of his cardinal rules of drafting: 

  1. He apparently drafted need over best player available in selecting Raji over Crabtree (who reportedly was the top-rated player on Thompson's draft board).
  2. He got jittery and overpaid to trade up and draft Mathews.

Thompson is feeling the heat.  If the 3-4 turned out to be a flop, I think Thompson would have been fired after next season.  The Mathews trade in particular strikes me as panicky.

Now, not to be aNegative-Nelly---I am really excited about this defense next year.

However, if Clifton breaks down (and Rodgers is subsequently broken),  I don't have very high hopes for the season.

The switch too the 3-4 left the Packers with too many holes to fill in one offseason.  And it looks like we'll just ahve to cross our fingers on the tackle situation.

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The Mathews Trade

First the numbers.  According to the traditional draft value chart, the Packers gave up one third round pick too many to move up draft Mathews.  (I know folks quibble about the trade value chart--it certainly isn't perfect--but it is still a pretty good barometer for measuring draft-day trades. )

The Packers cam up 164 points short on the exchange.  This is equivalent to about the 21st pick in the third round.  In other words, all this being equal, the conventional wisdom is that the Packers should have only given up one third rounder to move up. 

This is a total Mike Sherman move.  Sherman would fall in love with players and do whatever it took to move up and draft them.  

And examined in isolation, Sherman was pretty successful with this strategy.   For example, Barnett and Walker both turned into good players.

The problem is that these trades should not be examined in isolation.  Over time Sherman's willingness to part with his picks resulted in a depleted roster.

Now, I don't really worry too much about Thompson getting carried away and trading away draft picks willy-nilly.

Still, I can't say that I am pumped to see Thompson abandon his philosophy of letting the "draft come to him"  in favor of putting all of his eggs in one basket.

Especially when the Packers have a serious need at offensive tackle that will not get addressed in this draft.  (Sure the Packers might draft a developmental player in the later rounds, but they already have enough of those).

Raji is to Crabtree as Vonnie Holliday is to _________?

Anyone else reminded of the 1998 draft?

That was the year that Ron Wolf drafted Vonnie Holliday and watched Randy Moss get drafted two spots later.

Holliday was a productive player for the Packers (and arguably Wolf's best first round draft pick during his tenure with the Packers).  Nevertheless, Holliday was by no means a franchise player.

Years later, Wolf lamented selecting Holliday over Moss, identifying the decision as a "big regret."

"Can't miss picks" miss all the time, so only time will tell whether Thompson made the right call or cracked under pressure.  

Crabtree sure looks like the real deal, though.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dan Savage on the Proper Definition of "Teabagging"

Dan Savage addressed the not-so-complicated issue of teabagging this morning:

The teabagger dips sack; a teabaggee receives dipped sack.


It's not that difficult to comprehend, people.

Do the cable news talking heads have the journalistic integrity to broadcast a retraction?

I doubt it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Here We Go Again.

Packer Update reports:


Extending wide receiver Greg Jennings may be a top priority, but it won’t be easy. Negotiator Russ Ball exchanged numbers with agent Eugene Parker late last month and we hear that the two sides are far apart.

From that Aaron at Cheesehead TV somehow concludes that the Packers are "lowballing" Jennings.

Huh?

We do not have nearly enough information to conclude that. The report is that the two side are far apart. We have no idea what Jennings is asking or what the Packers are offering. It is equally likely that Jennings is asking too much.

There is an unspoken assumption in Aaron's post that Jennings couldn't possibly be asking for that much more than he is worth.

However, it is definitely possible to overpay Jennings.

Fans almost always overvalue the players on their own team.

Remember the comical over-reaction when the Packers "insulted" Ryan Grant by offering him what he was worth? There was a similar fan uprising in 2005 when the Packers offered Bubba Franks a salary commensurate with his worth. The fan outrage became even more pronounced when Bubba went to the media about his hurt feelings.




I hear Packer fans assert that Jenning is a Top-3 or Top-5 receiver in the league. He isn't. Not yet. Jennings is probably only the 5-6th best receiver in the NFC. And probably only the second best receiver in the NFC North (behind Calvin Johnson).

Jennings is not Larry Fitzgerald. If he is asking for Fitzgerald money, then he needs to come down.

But all of this is way premature because we don't know how much the Packers are offering or how much Jennings is asking.

Then, again. You've got to post about something.

It's either that or grading teabagging puns.

ADDENDUM: I just noticed this great post by Dale at Packers Lounge. Needless to say, I agree.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

More Info on Paulus

Greg Paulus was on PTI last week talking about his opportunities to play football next year.  The interesting new fact that has come out is that it was the Packers that planted the idea in Paulus's head that he should give football another go.










Now, in addition to potentially signing an NFL free agent contract, he appears to have multiple opportunities to play college ball next year.


I'd be fascinated to hear the Packers' motivation for seeking him out. I'm all for thinking outside the box and assume they were evaluating whether to sign him as an undrafted free agent later this spring. To me, it's the equivalent of college basketball coaches recruiting internationally. Everyone should use every avenue available for procuring talent.

But what about Paulus made him worth the Packers' time? Do the Packers think he can be an NFL quarterback? A receiver? Is he an athlete in need of a position?

I agree.  I would love to know what the Packers were thinking.

Of course, I know there are fans that will look at this as conclusive proof that Thompson is "arrogant."  Yawn.  Whatever.

What Cable News Does Not Understand About Teabagging

WARNING: The following post contains a frank discussion of cable "news" which may not be appropriate for all readers.

This last week, the cable news media had a hearty guffaw over the act of "teabagging" in connection with its coverage of last week's demonstrations. In the process, they reveal a troubling lack of sexual literacy.

For those that do not know:




The Coop apparently does not understand the difference between "teabagging" and "being teabagged."

Why would it be hard to talk when you are teabagging? That would only be true if you somehow speak with your scrotum.

The Coop gets an F.


Next up, David Shuster:



This one is a bit tougher to grade. Schuster gets high grades for "nuts" (and "nutshell").

"Taste of teabagging" is a nice touch.

I am not particularly impressed with "whipped out" but it is also not offensive.

Then Schuster goes too far (way too far).

For starters, he makes the same mistake as The Coop in believing that teabagging involves the mouth of the teabagger (i.e., "tongue-lashing" and "lick government spending"). What is troubling, is that with just a little more effort his innuendo could have made sense. For example, just off the top of my head (see what I did there?), he could have quipped that the protesters wanted to sack government spending.

But then Schuster goes even farther and makes a series of innuendos that can only refer to fellatio and have nothing at all to do with legitimate teabagging. Just shameful.

For example, he whiffs on his closing remarks about "Dick Armey/Army." Everyone knows that teabagging refers to an act involving the scrotum , and has nothing to do with the penis.

The worst offender of all was the "full-throated" quip. That one is cringe-worthy it is so bad. How is someone supposed to put his balls down another's throat? Come on.

On balance, I have to conclude that Schuster has no idea what he is talking about. Although he does connect on a couple metaphors (even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then) his batting average is abysmal.

Schuster gets a D-.

We should be able to expect more from our news media.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Brady Quinn Trade That Wasn't

Aaron on the "debacle" that wasn't:


The sting is still fresh for me from the Cleveland debacle a few years ago. Cleveland offered its first-round pick in 2008, and offered to flip picks with the Packers in rounds two, three and four all for the 16th overall pick in 2007. Thompson opted to sit tight and take Justin Harrell.

As a preliminary matter, Cleveland's first round pick in the 2008 draft turned into the 22nd pick. Also, a first round pick in next years draft is usually treated as a second round pick in this years draft. Thus (according to the trusty trade value chart) the 22nd pick in the 2008 draft would have been worth 360 points in the 2007 draft. The 16th pick in the 2007 draft (i.e., the Packers' pick) was worth 1000 points.

1000-360= 740.

Now let's add up all the swaps.

Second Round: 550-420 = 130
Third Round: 255-190 = 65
Fourth Round: 104-70 = 34

Add 'em up: 229.

740 > 229.

Q.E.D. The Packers were much better off not to make that deal.

How much better off?

Well, 740-229 = 511.

That point total is about the equivalent of the 11th pick in the second round in the 2007 draft. Put another way, in order to make the trade worthwhile for the Packers, the Browns would have needed to offer the equivilent of a second round pick in the 2007. And, whatayaknow that's exactly what they had to fork over to the Cowboys to ultimately swing the deal. Cool, huh?

Now, let's take a peek at the deal the Cowboys actually struck with the Browns. The Cowboys received the Browns 2008 first round pick plus the Brown second round pick in 2007 outright.

The Cowboys' 22nd pick was worth 780 points.

780 - 360 = 420. This is equivalent to the 16th pick in the second round. The Cowboys received the 3rd pick in the second round. The Cowboys came out a little ahead on the deal. The Packers would have come out way behind on the deal that the Browns offered.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Buffalo News speculates about a Jason Peters trade

The Buffalo News speculates that the Bills "might be leaning toward" trading two time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters.  The Packers are identified as a potential trade partner:

Aging left tackle Chad Clifton has knee issues and is going into the final year of his contract. His replacement is not on the roster. Obtaining Peters would give the Packers the option of moving Clifton to the right side, where free agent Mark Tauscher might not return. Perhaps recently signed former Bills lineman Duke Preston can offer an endorsement.

I have read that the Bills are seeking a first and a third.  Peters also wants a mammoth deal.

As a preliminary matter, this article appears to be nothing more than speculation.  Nevertheless, would it be worth it?  

I have advocated for the Packers to take a stud left tackle in the first round. Clifton is on the decline.  All it takes is one crushing blind side hit to Rodgers for the Packers' season to go down the tubes.  I like Flynn as much as the next guy but I don't have faith that he (or Brohm) could lead this team over an extended period.

So given that I would already give up a first round pick on a left tackle, would it be worth an additional 3rd round pick to lock-in a 27 year old, 340lb, two time Pro Bowler in the prime of his career?  Given that the Packers have an extra 3rd round pick from the Favre trade, it would merit serious consideration.  If I were the hypothetical GM in Thompson's shoes, I would hypothetically pull the trigger.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Enough About Vonnie Holiday

From Packergeeks (on the Packers trying out Greg Paulus):

Actually, I must say, I don’t really mind the Pack giving a tryout to a great athlete - my concern lies in the fact that we have time to have Greg Paulus tryout but apparently little time to give a tryout to a legit veteran defensive player like Vonnie Holliday.

First things first: Holiday's extended bout of unemployment has nothing to do with Thompson (and every single other head office in the NFL) "not having enough time"to bring Holiday in for a work out.  The NFL is just not as wigwam-in-the-shorts enthusiastic about Holiday as certain Packer fans.

Is it possible that the entire NFL is deluded into some form of groupthink that blinds them from realizing the pure, nut-crunching  awesomeness of Vonnie Holiday's 33-year old bad self?

Absolutely.

We could debate whether it is "likely," but it is certainly possible that the entire NFL is asleep at the wheel (even the evil genius in Massachusetts).  

I like to apply the professional negligence standard: what would an average professional in the same line of work do under the same facts.  (For example, for medical malpractice a doctor is held to the standard of an average doctor in the same field, even if a better-than-average doctor would have done things differently.)

In this case of NFL GMs the answer is clear: an average GM would wait and see.  Maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong, but either way I am not going to piss and moan that Thompson is behaving like every other GM in the league.

Besides, Holiday may yet end up a Packer.  I suspect that Thompson and others are waiting to see how the draft shapes up before entertaining the option of signing Holiday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

We have the technology...

A couple cool entries at Cnet today.  Bionic men will soon be among us

"This is what we call a 'voluntary control system' that provides movement interpreting the wearer's intention from the biosignals in advance of the actual movement," explains Japan's Cyberdyne, which will soon begin manufacturing the cybernetic suits for about $4,200 apiece, possibly making it the first such wearable device aimed at civilians.

The company was formed by Sankai Yoshiyuki, a professor at the University of Tsukuba who is heading up research on HAL, which he says has the advantages of both robot and cyborg. Yoshiyuki says he was inspired by reading Isaac Asimov's "I Robot" as a child.

 "$4200 Man"  doesn't really have the same ring to it, though. 

Cnet also has a great recap of an episode of 60 Minutes on a DARPA project to create a bionic arm for amputees.  




Very cool.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Trying to wrap my head around enormous scales.

My 3-year old is obsessed with outer-space. So, we watch a fair number of educational shows on the universe. It sounds really obvious, but the scale of the universe is rather hard to wrap your head around. Some of my favorite facts that demonstrate the vastness of the universe:

  • It takes about 100,000 years for light to pass from one end of an average galaxy to another.
  • Yet, if each galaxy were the size of a pea, the number of galaxies would fill a basketball arena.
  • There are as many stars in the universe as grains of sand on all of Earth's beaches.

(By the way, based on all of these facts the emerging conventional wisdom is that the likelihood of intelligent civilizations elsewhere in the universe is around 100%.)

Anyhow, I feel the same way about this video as I do contemplating the vastness of space. Simply staggering.




ADDENDUM: Here is a cool depiction of what a trillion dollars looks like in $100 bills, and here is what the national debt looks like in $100 bills.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We need a new word.

So I'm reading a blog post that Humphrey "resigned" (I won't say which blog), and I immediately think: wait he resigned so soon after signing a new contract?

I'm not a complete dolt so I soon realized that the blogger meant "resign" as in "sign again" as opposed to "resign" as in "to quit." Nevertheless this word when used to mean "sign again" always throws me for a momentary loop.

There is a name for words like "resign." They are apparently called "autoantonyms" or "contronyms." (Eugene Volokh had a similar post about the use of the word "sanction" as a verb.)

These words are problematic because even though a reader can usually figure out the intended meaing from context, sometimes that is not the case. In any event, these words can be (if only momentarily) confusing, especially when one definition predominates, as I believe "to quit or step down" generally does with "resign."

I think avoidance is the best policy.

There is a really simple solutution here. When meaning "sign again" add a hyphen: re-sign.

Now, all I have to do is get everyone else on board . . . .

ADDENDUM: I just noticed that Silverstein does use the word "re-sign."

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Don't Spend It All In One Place.

The United States has pledged a whopping $50,000 to the relief efforts in Italy. Maybe we should have just sent some flowers.

Now, Italy is a wealthy country that can probably take care of itself. Nevertheless, to put it in perspective, $50,000 is the amount that Djibouti pledged to the United States for Katrina relief.

For its part, Italy pledged mainly supplies (which the U.S. let rot!) and boots-on-the-ground assistance after Katrina.

To bring it full circle, the Bush Administration was widely criticized for its pledge of $15-35 Million for tsunami relief. Admittedly, Thailand and Italy is an apples-to-oranges comparison. Still it will be interesting to see whether a similar controversy arises over the less-than-generous pledge.

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Rodgers Makes a Play

TMZ has the "story."

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Friday, April 3, 2009

25th Anniversary of the Colts Move to Indianapolis

I have often heard the story of Robert Irsay moving the Colts "in the middle of the night," but I don't think I ever really heard the full story.

Unable to negotiate an agreement with the Colts to keep them in town, Baltimore tried to emulate the bizarre accomplishment of the city of Oakland, which had earlier persuaded the California Supreme Court that to take the Oakland Raiders’ NFL franchise by eminent domain and convey it to another, more municipally favored person or entity who would promise to remain in Oakland, was not impermissible under the “public use” clause of the Constitution.

...


Anyway, Baltimore thought it could do the same thing with the Colts, but it didn’t reckon with the fact that the Colts’ management wasn’t asleep and, having learned a valuable lesson from the Raiders fiasco, was ready for the city’s move. . . .. So, as the Maryland Legislature was putting final touches in legislation that would permit the city to condemn the Colts’ NFL franchise, the Colts got ready to split. And split they did. They made secret arrangements with the Mayflower moving company, and during the night of March 29, 1984, a fleet of moving vans appeared at the Colts’ headquarters in Owings Mills, Md., loaded up and headed out. As the sun rose the next morning, the Colts were gone, lock stock and barrel, well on their way to Indianapolis, and safely out of the Maryland territorial limits.



(Man-caused tip to Ilya Somin)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Raji Tests Positive For Something

The odds of B.J. Raji being on the board when the Packers pick just went up significantly.  

The question now is: do the Packers take him if he is there.

My gut says it is just too much of a risk.  The next infraction would result in a four game suspension.  Moreover, as Florio points out anyone who takes drugs knowing that he is going to be tested has demonstrated that he either has a problem or he is insanely stupid.

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Uh-hem. Don't we mean "person" caused disasters.

NYT has an interesting article on whether the Obama administration has actually changed Bush's foreign policy or just changed the rhetoric.  Okay. 

My favorite new catch-phrase (by far) is the new term for a terrorist act: "man-caused disaster."

What a strange decision.  I understand the desire to change the tone of the discussion, but do we really need a euphemism for terrorism?  Who are we afraid of offending?

Moreover, "man-caused disaster" is a giant step back for our ability to communicate clearly.  It is much more squishy and ambiguous than "terrorist act."  Wasn't the Exxon Valdez crash a "man caused disaster"?  Aren't forest fires often "man caused disasters"?

Whatever.

I'm going to stop being so damn critical of the Obama Administration.  It only seems to cause hurt feelings among his devoted followers.




To prove that I am serious about turning over a new leaf, I have decided to assist the Obama Administration in ridding the English language of words that suggest evil actually exists.

For example, we should no longer refer to "murder."  They are "man-caused deaths."  

We also should not talk about "rape."  It's "man-caused penetration."  

There was no "genocide" in Rwanda.  It was a "man-caused population reduction."

(Man-caused tip to Althouse)




Bears Bet the Farm on Cutler

Wow.

The Bears gave up 2 first round picks, a third round pick, & Kyle Orton for Cutler and a fifth round pick.

That's quite a splash. Of course, who is he going to throw to?

I actually had to look up who the Bears top receiver was last year.  Turns out it was Devin Hester.