- Kanye’s beautiful fantasy
Monday, November 29th, 2010
After multiple revisits, I’ve come to the conclusion that Kanye West’s new album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is probably one of the best albums of the year.
MBDTF is, I believe, what Kanye was trying to achieve with “808s & Heartbreak.” Both albums are something that I have not heard before, but MBDTF has a little extra something — possibly arrogance — that the emotional ball of vulnerability that is 808s lacked.
His new album is more of a journey that is missing a bit of coherence. But the trip is well worth taking.
Two singles “Power” and “Runaway” appear to be an artist’s reflection of self. Kanye West has an unique perspective when he looks at himself in a mirror.
He knows what his faults are, and he doesn’t have a problem putting himself out there to a beat. How he handles himself in interviews, when he’s not performing, is a whole different matter.
The dude might be a little crazy and conflicted inside, but I would recommend this album to just about everybody.Share
- Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Broke Thursday
Monday, November 29th, 2010
First, it was Black Friday.
Now it’s Cyber Monday.
What’s next — Goofy Tuesday? Broke Thursday?
They are saying 212 million Americans shopped in stores or online during the three-day Black Friday weekend. Total spending was $45 billion.
That averages out to $365.34 per person.
Now 106.9 million are predicted to celebrate Cyber Monday by taking advantage of online sales today.
That means about 100 million will max out their credit cards and declare bankruptcy sometime in January.
I am not included in any of those numbers.
Thank you, Lord, for giving me a brain.Share
- Caseyj1966 wins last “Sack Zach” shirt
Monday, November 29th, 2010
Well, just as I expected, a bunch of people got all seven games right this week. Caseyj1966 was the winner based on the tiebreaker.
Casey, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll hook you up with a shirt.
We’ll still do “Sack Zach” until the season ends, but this was the last week to win a shirt. There’s just too few games left.
I picked against Rider last week, hoping to catch a game up on AreaFootballFan. Since the Raiders won, it looks like AreaFootballFan wrapped up the overall title. He will get some goodies coming his way soon (if he holds on. Maybe he’ll make some bad picks until then).
Here are the overall standings:
AreaFootballFan — 165Share
OldWildcat — 157
- Heading to the big pitch to cover soccer
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
I am head to Louisville next week to cover soccer.
Yep, you read right — to cover SOCCER.
You might think that strange since I have pretty much been a soccer hater my whole life and have never covered a single MSU soccer game.
But things change. And so do people.
That soccer hating stuff is in my rear view mirror. Even so, when I have gone out to watch MSU play a few times this year, people act surprised to see me.
“Are you lost?”
I hear that quite a lot.
Although I have softened to soccer, there are still a lot of things I would like to see changed about the sport.
Just a few tweaks like maybe putting shoulder pads on the players. Have a quarterback taking snaps and throwing to wide receivers. Let the defense make tackles.
I had other choices about what I wanted to do next week. I could have covered MSU basketball, high school football playoffs, the Big 12 football championship, MSU football in a bowl game.
But I chose soccer.
The main reason is there is a feeling inside me that says MSU is going to win its first national championship. And I want to be there to cover it when it happens.
Of course, that feeling might just be gas.
I had a similar feeling last year when the MSU basketball team went to Springfield, Mass., for the Elite Eight.
I still believe Grant McCasland will win a national title at MSU.
I just think Doug Elder will do it first.Share
- AreaFootballFan, Pete2701 get 10 right in Sack Zach
Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Well, it was another tough week for me in “Sack Zach”, as I only got 8 of 11 games right. I thought surely all of our 11-man teams wouldn’t win this week, and I was dead wrong.
I was correct about one thing — I got the tiebreaker on the money. So I got that going for me, which is nice.
AreaFootballFan and Pete2701 both got 10 of 11 correct. AreaFootballFan won the tiebreaker, but since he just got a shirt and he’s about to win the grand prize (more on that later), Pete2701 — email me at email@example.com and I’ll hook you up with the shirt.
As far as season stadings go, AreaFootballFan took a two-game lead on me, which will be hard to overcome at this stage. This upcoming week won’t be the last “Sack Zach” week, but it may be the last chance to win a shirt depending how many teams we have left.
Here are season totals:
1) AreaFootballFan — 158
2) Me — 156
3) Rcc — 152
4) OldWildcat — 151Share
- Who are we? Who, who, who, who?
Monday, November 22nd, 2010
My friend Marty McBride sent me an e-mail last week asking:
Who are we?
Included was a capsule preview of Saturday’s Rider vs. El Paso Andress game that had appeared in an El Paso newspaper.
It said that Andress would be playing the Rider Coyotes.
Listed as head coach of the Rider Coyotes is Scott Ponder.
All newspapers make mistakes, but calling Rider the Coyotes would be like calling Texas A&M the Longhorns or the University of Texas the Sooners.
And Ponder left Rider way back in early June, so there is really no excuse for screwing that up.
I know El Paso is in a time zone one hour behind us.
But high school football-wise, this Texas border town is decades behind the rest of the state.
Journalism-wise, it also has some catching up to do.
So does Topeka, Kansas.
A recent story in the Topeka Capital-Journal about the upcoming Kanza Bowl said Midwestern State University is in Wichita Fails, Texas.Share
- This week’s predictions
Friday, November 19th, 2010
I’m back to making predictions this week, and these area playoff games aren’t easy to decipher.
Among the seven 11-man games, there’s one that will be a rout, two that I feel pretty good about the outcome and four that are flat-out toss-ups.
Let’s look at each:
Windthorst vs. McCamey — A prime example of how the Class A playoffs are watered down. McCamey actually won a playoff game, but it still has a sub-.500 record and shouldn’t be any match for the Trojans. I expect Windthorst to be up by 4-5 touchdowns by halftime.
PRETTY GOOD FEELINGS
Rider vs. EP Andress — Check out Nick Gholson’s column in Saturday’s paper for the reason I feel this game won’t be close. This Rider team isn’t as explosive as the two previous that crushed El Paso schools, but I still like the Raiders to win by double digits.
Archer City vs. Bronte — The Wildcats appear to be getting back on track after a 47-0 whipping last week. Bronte will be a tough opponent, but I think Archer City is really focused (and really wants to play Windthorst again) and takes care of business.
Seymour vs. Clarendon – I feel pretty good about the Panthers, but I think Clarendon isn’t a team to take lightly. If Seymour doesn’t win, it will be because of a huge day from Clarendon’s QB — Johnny Gaines. Seymour just has too much offense in this one.
Holliday vs. Stanton – I can see this being low-scoring. It’s hard to say how good Holliday is only because I think its district wasn’t very good. The good thing is the Eagles killed its 3-2A DIv. I competition and had a bye this week. Both teams are probably better on defense, but the best offensive player will be Holliday’s Tyler Cole. He is the difference in the game.
Munday vs. Iraan – I like the Moguls to advance to the regional finals if they win this game. I’m prediciting just the opposite in the Holliday game — I think this will be high-scoring. I think Iraan will have success throwing the ball, but I think Iraan hasn’t seen an offense as potent as Munday’s. Against the two toughest teams it played, Munday lost decently in both. They’re a pretty good team, but I’m siding with Iraan.
Quanah vs. Sundown – Not sure why, but I like Sundown. It beat a pretty good New Deal team. I don’t think Quanah could have done that, so I’m going with Sundown. But a Quanah win wouldn’t surprise me.Share
- Quick thoughts from last week
Friday, November 19th, 2010
Here are some of my thoughts from last week:
* I made it pretty clear in my column, but I thought neither school should be proud of 88-24. IP took some cheap shots (which have since been taken down on Youtube) but Brownwood shouldn’t have run up the score like that.
* Huge win for Seymour — the Panthers had the toughest first-round opponent. One tough regional game down, three to go.
* Not really a ton of surprises — I picked every Texas playoff game right in the paper. Maybe this week will offer a “wow” score or two.
* Henrietta really missed out by losing to Alvord in the season finale. The Bearcats lost to Hamilton 6-0 in a bi-district game that looked like was painful to watch offense-wise. But Alvord rolled over Hico. The Bearcats would be playing this week if they had beaten Alvord.
* I know it ended five rounds earlier than last year, but Graham has nothing to be ashamed of. The Steers’ 28-21 loss to Snyder in OT looked like a tough way to go down (although not as tough as last year).Share
- Wrong Ron was AL manager of the year
Thursday, November 18th, 2010
No manager in the American League did his job better than Ron Washington this season.
But when the votes were counted, the wrong Ron was named AL manager of the year.
That’s because the only thing that counts is the regular season. Votes have to be turned in before the playoffs begin.
The Twins’ Ron Gardenhire — not the Rangers’ Ron Washington — won the award for winning the AL Central Division and having a record seven games better than last year. Washington’s team won the AL West but improved just three games.
So Gardenhire got 16 first place votes and 108 points. Washington finished second with 10 first place votes and 81 points.
Since it was reported that Gardenhire was the only one listed on all 28 ballots, that means some of the voters didn’t even what Washington did was worthy of a mention.
Please, somebody take the vote away from these idiots.
Gardenhire had finished second in five other seasons, so he probably deserves to be honored.
But if Major League Baseball didn’t rush the vote, Washington would have been an easy winner.
Why only count the regular season? Why not wait until the end of the World Series before voting?
The Twins lasted just three games in the postseason. They were swept out of the playoffs by the Yankees in the divisional series.
The Rangers beat the AL East champion Rays in their divisional series, came back and knocked off the mighty Yankees for the AL championship and made it to the first World Series in franchise history.
Like I said before, no American League manager did a better job than Ron Washington did this season.
He is certainly my manager of the year.Share
- Latest “Sack Zach” results
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Well, we’ve got the first week of the playoffs in the book. And we had two perfect prediction lists.
One was CPriddy0 — who won Sack Zach based on the tiebreaker. The other was me. Somehow, I knew calling almost every single coach for the playoff capsules would pay off.
Full disclosure here though — I was in the hospital for most of the week for the birth of our second child (Camryn Leigh came in 8 pounds, 4 ounces on the 9th) and when I checked to see if the games were up Wednesday, they weren’t yet.
I didn’t get a chance to pick Thursday’s games before kickoff, but I had made my picks in the paper already — so I went with those after the games had kicked off. Considering I’ve talked all year about how 6-3A would probably get swept and I knew Roscoe had no chance against Munday, I figured y’all would understand.
Since I hit every game, I’m back to being in pretty good shape in the season-long standings. This week, I think there are tons of toss-ups, so if anyone goes perfect, I’ll be very impressed. Here are the season standings:
1t. Me — 148
1t. AreaFootballFan — 148
3. Rcc — 145
4. OldWildcat — 143
5. Keystoner — 138Share
- Vick is now the best QB in the NFL
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
For some strange reason, the Washington Redskins gave Donovan McNabb a five-year $78 million contract extension on Monday.
I don’t exactly know what all that means, but I am smart enough to know that McNabb is way overpaid.
Don’t believe me? Ask the football fans in Philadelphia.
Do you think they were missing McNabb on Monday night?
The Eagles’ 59-28 humiliation of the Redskins shows us just how smart one team is and just how stupid the other is.
And it doesn’t take a football genius to figure out who’s who.
Once upon a time, like barely a year ago, Michael Vick walked out of prison a free agent after serving 19 months on a dogfighting charge. Any NFL team could have had him, but only the Eagles took a chance.
And today they have the best quarterback in the league.
Yes, you read right. Michael Vick is the best quarterback in the NFL.
He accounted for 207 yards and 28 points on Monday night — in the first quarter.
By the time this one was over, Vick had completed 20 of 28 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns and had also run eight times for 80 yards and two TDs.
I don’t pay much attention to anything that comes out of Albert Haynesworth’s mouth, but what the Redskins’ goofy defensive lineman said after last night’s game pretty much sums up Vick’s worth.
“All the 31 other teams need to save their money and go for Michael Vick because he was awesome,” Haynesworth said.
Last year Vick earned $1.65 million as backup to McNabb, and his $12.5 million salary.
Your Dallas Cowboys paid Jon Kitna $4 million to back up Tony Romo.
So, Jerry Jones, do you still think you’re a great general manager?Share
- Garrett now the only undefeated head coach the Cowboys have ever had
Monday, November 15th, 2010
After going oh for 2 last week, I may be talking to myself right now.
I definitely understand if you have lost faith in my predictions.
But if you still listening, I have three college games I think are good bets this week.
The first is Iowa State giving up 2 points at Colorado.
He is now just 269 wins short of Tom Landry.
Two Super Bowl wins shy of both Landry and Jimmy Johnson.
But Jason Garrett is as of right now the only undefeated head coach the Dallas Cowboys have ever had.
Who would have thunk it?
The New York Giants were leading the NFC East. They had won five straight games, one of those a 41-35 decision over the Cowboys at Jerry World three weeks ago.
The Cowboys were the laughing stock of the NFL. They quit on their last head coach and got him fired. Garrett — who had never been a head coach — had three practices to get this loser ready to play the division leader.
The Giants also had the top defense in the NFL, and the Cowboys were starting a slow, immobile backup quarterback who hadn’t won a start since two days before Christmas three years ago
The bookies made it Giants minus 14 points.
Most thought that wasn’t enough.
Then at one time early in Sunday’s game, both starting cornerbacks were out of the game.
And I’m betting most Cowboy fans had never heard of Bryan McCann. A year ago at this time, McCann was playing football just down the road at SMU.
The free agent rookie, however, made a name for himself when he intercepted Eli Manning and returned it 101 yards for a touchdown.
That slow backup quarterback throws for 327 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cowboys win 33-20.
Jerry Jones called it simply called it “a feel good.”
And really that’s all it was. Just one win.
But after watching this team play so crappy for the first half of the season, it felt like they had just won a Super Bowl.
At least now there is some hope for what seemed just two days ago seemed so hopeless.Share
- Rangers can offer Lee more than Yankees
Thursday, November 11th, 2010
I, like most of you, would like to see the Rangers re-sign Cliff Lee.
But I don’t think they should beg the guy to stay in Texas.
Just offer him a six-year $120 million contract.
That, to me, is certainly a fair price for a 32-year-old pitcher.
Two years ago, the Yankees gave C.C. Sabbathia a seven-year deal worth $161 million. They will probably offer Lee a similar deal.
But the Rangers have more than money to offer.
First, New York has a state income tax and Texas doesn’t. So knock about seven percent off what the Yankees will pay to see what Lee really gets. Sabbathia’s state tax bill is roughly $11 million.
Second, signing with the Rangers mean playing for a team whose president was one of the best pitchers in baseball history. Would you rather play for Nolan Ryan or Randy Levine.? A great pitcher or lawyer? And although Levine is president of the Yankees, there are five people named Steinbrenner ahead of him on the totem pole.
Third, Lee’s wife Kristen said that she was spat on and cussed out by Yankees’ fans when the Rangers were playing postseason games in New York. Are these the kind of fans you want to call your own?
Fourth, Lee is from Arkansas. Does Texas or New York best fit his lifestyle?
And last but not least, if Lee stays with the Rangers, he will be playing for the defending AL champion next year.
The Rangers have a lot going for them that Brian Cashman probably didn’t mention when he had his “meet and greet” with Lee, his wife and his agent on a trip to Little Rock on Wednesday.
Cashman? Isn’t it appropriate that the guy making deals for the Yankees is named CASHman?
If Lee just wants to be a baseball whore who signs with the guy offering the most cash, the Rangers will have to wave goodbye and go spend that $120 million on some good young arms.
And when Lee comes back to Texas wearing pinstripes next season, he will be booed louder than A-Rod. But no one will spit on him or his wife. That’s just not our style.Share
- If Garrett flops, who’s next Cowboys coach?
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
In the Dallas Cowboys’ first 29 years, they had one head coach.
In the last 22 years under Jerry Jones, they have had seven.
Hopefully, things work out with Jason Garrett. He’s a good guy.
But is he the right guy for these Cowboys?
Garrett has never been a head coach at any level. The only guy to come to the Cowboys with that weak a resume’ was Dave Campo.
So that and the fact that Garrett is inheriting a team of gutless quitters tell me that he might now hold this job very long.
If not, who would be your choice to become the next Cowboys head coach?
Bill Cowher has to be high on the list. He took the Steelers to two Super Bowls and won one.
Brian Billick also has to be up there. He won a Super Bowl with the Ravens.
Jon Gruden is another guy with a Super Bowl ring. But the one he won in Tampa Bay was with a team that Tony Dungy had put together.
Of this group, I put Dungy 1, Cowher 2, Billick 3 and Gruden 4.
Jerry could also go with one of his former assistants who are still in the league.
Three of them — Sean Payton, Tony Sparano and Todd Haley — are head coaches.
Mike Zimmer, the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati, was a successful Cowboys assistant.
Then there is Les Miles — one a tight end coach for the Cowboys — who has won a national championship at LSU.
Payton and Haley would be excellent choices, but I am not sure either would leave where they are to come and take orders from Jerry Jones.
Not interested in college coaches. If I were, Mike Leach might be intriguing.
So, if Garrett is a flop, who does Jerry turn to?
How about Jimmy Johnson?
Wouldn’t that be fun?Share
- Cowboys quit on their coach, themselves and you
Monday, November 8th, 2010
Somebody needs to be held accountable for these quitters.
It won’t be the quitters. They never are.
In sports, it’s always when the bus breaks down, you shoot the bus driver.
And Wade Phillips is driving this bus, which was last seen flying off a cliff somewhere near Green Bay.
These overpaid, underachieving, priceless Cowboys just embarrassed themselves in prime time.
I am not sure if this is THE MOST embarrassing game in the 50-year history of the Dallas Cowboys — but it is certainly in the top 2.
Opening night in Washington was bad. The following week at home against the Bears pretty much sucked.
We thought this team had been fixed after the win at Houston right before bye week. The next game, at home against the Titans, showed us it wasn’t.
Then they lose in Minnesota. Down goes Romo in a home loss to the Giants and suffer a really ugly loss to the stinking Jaguars back at Jerry World the very next week.
At that time, it looked like things couldn’t get any worse.
But it did last night in Green Bay.
Losing is forgivable. Cowboy fans still love that brave team that battled it out against the Packers in the Ice Bowl 43 long years ago.
But what happened on that very same field last night is not forgivable.
You don’t quit on your teammates. You don’t quit on your coach. You don’t quit on your fans.
If Jerry Jones fired all the quitters, there wouldn’t be 22 players around to lose to the Giants next week.
And he can’t fire the owner or general manager who assembled this POS.
So go shoot the guy driving the bus.
- Sack Zach results and other blog info
Monday, November 8th, 2010
This week’s Sack Zach winner is OldWildcat again — he got 13 of 14 right, missing only the Archer City game.
I got 11 right — missing Alvord, Archer City and Nocona.
It’s a close race in the overall standings. Maybe a couple weeks of playoffs will help clear things up. The season total is as follows:
1) AreaFootballFan — 134
2t.) Me — 132
2t) Rcc — 132
4) Keystoner — 130
5) OldWildcat — 129
I’d love to recap last weekend and talk about this upcoming week’s games, but my wife is set to give birth to our second child on Tuesday morning. I’m neck deep into playoff preview stuff, stats, final district standings, etc. and so I won’t have time to do so before or the first couple days after little Camryn Leigh is born.
So the next blog by yours truly won’t come until next weekend when I recap the first round of the playoffs. Thanks for understanding!Share
- Denton is in the playoffs!
Saturday, November 6th, 2010
Denton High School, kind of the Hirschi of Class 4A the past several years, is in the playoffs.
Not a slight to Hirschi as much as to say that the Broncos go through some of the same problems competing in their city for players that the Huskies do here in Wichita Falls. The numbers have favored Rider and to some extent WFHS.
But the Broncos gutted it out and made the playoffs. Ealier this year they pulled out a win they probably shouldn’t have, rallying past Little Elm 16-15 in the final three minutes. Nobody told the Broncos to quit so they kept playing and pulled out the win.
That one win kept them alive for fourth place in this awful District 4-4A. All they had to do was beat The Colony on Friday night. Problem is, the Cougars are probably the fourth-best team in the district behind Ryan, Rider and Lake Dallas.
But The Colony couldn’t make the playoffs itself so was only playing for Little Elm’s hopes. It sounds like the Cougars did show up and play hard, even taking a lead late in the fourth quarter, but Denton pulled out a 28-25 victory to take fourth place and earn a playoff spot.
My friend Keith Hall, the former head coach at Vernon, is back in the playoffs as a Denton defensive assistant. Go Broncos!Share
Friday, November 5th, 2010
There’s still some games that have huge playoff implications on Friday.
I don’t need to waste my time telling you Rider will beat WFHS or Graham will beat Hirschi, so instead let’s look at the games that matter and my picks in those ones.
6-3A — Burkburnett at Bowie
The winner is in, the loser is out. The Jackrabbits are coming off a 45-13 loss to Iowa Park that wasn’t even that close. Coach Castles said he never even talked to his team about the game once it was over, and surely the Jackrabbits will be fired up playing in front of the home crowd. I just don’t think Bowie’s defense will do enough to hold the Bulldogs in check. Burkburnett by 13.
3-2A Div. II — Henrietta at Alvord; City View at Nocona
Alvord, Jacksboro and City View are all in the mix for the last playoff spot. Alvord wins, and it is in. Unless Jacksboro pulls off a major upset of Holliday, then if Alvord loses, all City View must do is win to advance off the points tiebreaker. I thin City View wins, although it will be a close game. The Mustangs are without one of their best players — Fernando Moore — who quit the team last week. Henrietta does have something to play for — second place and an easier bi-district game — and it is really tough against the run. I like the Bearcats in a close game.
4-A Div. I — Olney vs. Stamford
Real simple — Olney must win by 11 to make the playoffs, which would knock Stamford out and give Seymour the district’s No. 2 seed and a harder playoff route. But it’s not going to happen. Stamford rolls.
8-A Div. II — Archer City at Munday
This is for second place in district. Not sure on Dee Paul’s status (he left the Windthorst game last week with a hamstring injury), but the Moguls will need him to win. I like Archer City by just a bit in this one — the Trojans had lots of success running the ball, and I think AC will too. But who knows — Munday could roll in this one.Share
- ‘Doc’ Kable made 2 special deliveries
Thursday, November 4th, 2010
I had known him for the last 34 years but never knew his first name.
To me, he was simply “Doc.”
I didn’t know until I read his obit today that Doc’s real name was Dr. Warren T. Kable Jr.
Yet he played an important role in my life.
He delivered both of my kids.
“Doc” was there at the Wichita General Hospital on Jan. 7, 1976 to bring my son, Thomas, into this world.
He was also there on Jan. 23, 1979 to give me my daughter Christy.
Christy didn’t arrive until after suppertime that day.
So I had to rush from the hospital to D.L. Ligon Coliseum to catch the MSU basketball game that night. And so did Doc. We ran into each other at the door.
Doc was a big MSU fan and always sat on the floor near the home team’s bench.
Thanks to the bond I shared with him, Doc and I became “handshake and hello” friends there for 34 years.
He also loved golf and sometimes we ran into each other on the course.
“Doc” died yesterday. His obit said he is survived by two sons, 11 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Not to mention all of those other children he delivered to us proud mamas and papas.Share
- Marijuana goes 0-for-4 on Election Day
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Baseball fans in San Francisco were smoking dope in the stands during the first two games of the World Series.
A good friend of mine, who was there covering those two games, said he didn’t see people in the crowd passing joints, but he definitely could smell it.
A week later California voted down the legalization of marijuana.
Proposition 19, which would have legalized up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older, only got 44 percent of the vote.
If Californians aren’t willing to legalize weed, Texans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for it to happen here.
California wasn’t the only state to say no to marijuana.
Oregon, the most liberal of the 50 states on this issue, tried to establish a dispensary system to support medical marijuana patients, but 58 percent of the voters said no.
South Dakota tried to become the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana. Only 35 percent supported that effort.
And in Arizona, Proposition 203, which would allow people with severe pain to be able to use pot, failed by the narrow margin of 50.25 percent to 49.25 percent.
So marijuana went 0-for-4 on Election Day.
Sounds like Rangers batters in the World Series.Share