NFL: Limits and Stupidity with Colin Cowherd

I know, I know. He’s not a smart man. He acts like one. He postures like one. He speaks with the force and tone of a man who thinks before he speaks, but it’s all a front. I had the misfortune of overhearing ESPN’s bombastic Colin Cowherd’s assessment of Cam Newton after a week 2 loss vs. the defending champion Green Bay Packers. Newton threw for a rookie record 432 yards.  The finer points of the assessment were as follows:

  • He’s thrown for a ton of yards. So what! Everyone has. Look at the record book.
  • There is really nothing to see here. Keep it moving. 854 yards in 2 games by a rookie is not a big deal.
  • Andy Dalton has won a game. He’s deserving of as much attention as Newton. Wins matter most.
  • Newton is one of only 4 mediocre QB’s with more interceptions than touchdowns.
  • It’s early.

Well, it’s certainly early. With Week 3 not quite complete, the list of quarterbacks who have thrown more interceptions than touchdowns has some new names:

  • Philip Rivers
  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Josh Freeman

These are not mediocre quarterbacks…but this is what happens when miked morons like Cowherd go on uninformed rants. For what it’s worth, Newton is off that short list and now has 4 touchdown passes to match his 4 interceptions. He also has rushed for 2 touchdowns and become the first rookie to pass for 1,000 yards in his first 3 games.

As for winning games, Newton took care of that as well by leading the Panthers over the visiting Jaguars on Sunday. Dalton, for his part, remains winless in the real world. His Bengals could manage only 8 points against the San Francisco 49ers. His lone statistical win comes via an weird and absurd NFL rule that grants wins to the starting QB of the team that wins a game. If that QB plays for one down and throws a Pick 6, but his team recovers to win the game with the backup, the starter gets the win. For Dalton, it’s not much better. He was granted one of these statistical wins even though Bruce Gradkowski did the heavy lifting in Cincy’s Week 1 win over Cleveland. Dalton was knocked out with the Browns leading 14-13. He has yet to beat a real live, flesh and blood football team that plays with cleats and pads and stuff.

Andy Dalton: A Real QB in Search of A Real Win

So, what do we do with miked misinformation machines like Col(o)n Cowherd who talk crap about things they don’t understand? I suppose we just let the record speak for itself. It’s not as if his editors could actually make him WATCH the games.

The Village Idiot

2011 NFL Season: Trends, Ends, and Bends (Week 3)

When does a season really take shape? Is it in the beginning when surprising teams get off to hot starts? Is it when elite teams hit their stride and begin to pile drive the competition? Or is it late in the season when the scramble for playoff position is at full tilt? Each season is different, but I think I can say there are some things I know about the 2011 season.

  1. The Buffalo Bills are for realfinally. I’ve liked this team for several years now and they’ve been a disappointment. This team has more confidence, better offensive coaching (Chan Gailey), and more playmakers at key positions. Can they outlast the Patriots and Jets? I think they’ll have to beat one or both of them on the road to make the playoffs.
  2. The Minnesota Vikings are a mess. The entire team is playing the second half of games as if they are expecting the worst. And their fans are doing the same thing. In the first half of games this season, the Vikings have outscored the Chargers, Buccaneers and Lions by a combined score of 54-7. The second half of games has been a merciless parade of broken tackles, three-and-outs, “too smart” playcalling, and sloppy play. Leslie Frazier bears full responsibility for this. The team has the talent. He has to get inside his player’s heads and clear out the cobwebs.
  3. The Atlanta Falcons are overrated…and so is Matt Ryan. Guys who are mediocre outdoors and on the road are mediocre, period. When Michael Turner is unable to get off on the ground, the Falcons have trouble scoring and winning. Roddy White could have won that game yesterday. It’s not all on Matt when they lose, but it’s not all on him when they win — and they can’t seem to win consistently outdoors and on the road.
  4. However, the luck of the Bucs is due to run out soon. For the second consecutive week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won big games vs. conference opponents that harbor dreams of making a post-season splash. For the second consecutive week, Bucs QB Josh Freeman has thrown an interception in the end zone. That has to stop. Focus up young man and take what the defense gives you!!
  5. Cam Newton can win games. The Panthers played in a virtual monsoon for part of their game vs. Jacksonville. The Panthers have issues on their offensive line and only one professional wide receiver. Still, Newton has found a way to provide leadership and stability. For a team playing without Thomas Davis and John Beason, getting off the field on 3rd down is going to be a stiff challenge. Carolina has the toughest schedule in the entire league this season and it will get much more difficult as the year progresses.
  6. Running Mike Martz’ system requires mental toughness. I don’t believe there is a coordinator in the league that puts more pressure on his QB’s than Martz. Whether it’s calling protections with limited blocking, reading blitzes, calling audibles or making accurate and timely throws, Martz’ demands may just be too high for Jay Cutler and this group of Bears.
  7. Why did the Vikings run the ball with Toby Gerhart on 4th down vs. the Lions? Why???????
  8. The Steelers have a +/- turnover ratio of -9. This team doesn’t have the overall talent to play at that level. If that number doesn’t change, the Steelers are going to miss the playoffs. Between Roethlisberger’s fumbles, interception and missed field goal, Pittsburgh lost roughly 19 points. A game that might have been a blowout, especially given that starter Kerry Collins was knocked out, wound up as a tightly contested game that I will remember for Pierre Garcon’s dropped touchdowns as much as anything else.
  9. Before this season, the Steelers have ranked in the bottom half of turnover ratio only 6 times since 1988. Each time, they’ve missed the playoffs. This morning…they rank dead last in a league of 32 teams.
  10. The Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since 2004. That was a long time ago. What’s missing? The power running of Corey Dillon. Even before Dillon, the Pats could rely on Antowain Smith to get short yardage conversions, maintain possession and keep defenses honest. Dillon, of course, was particularly valuable in the Red Zone. When the Patriots lose, it’s because they’re throwing a few too many passes against teams that either have a slew of good DBs or they have a good pass rush or both (Bills ’11, Jets ’10, Ravens ’09, Saints ’09, Giants ’07). They don’t lose often, but when they do — that’s why.
  11. The Giants’ Victor Cruz really is that good. I know most people have never heard of this guy, but if you live in New York, you must remember his breakout performance in last year’s pre-season game vs. the New York Jets. Yeah, it was pre-season. Yeah, it was a year ago. But, Cruz showcased the savvy, strength, agility, and speed against the Eagles that he did against the Jets. He never saw the light of day behind Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon. The Giants were DEEEEEEEEEEEP at wide receiver. Cruz is just one more high-quality player at the position.
  12. Big men with bad feet. Antonio Gates. This is going to be an ongoing problem isn’t it?
  13. James Harrison is a strong man. If anyone threw Dallas Clark around like that on the street, the police would have been called hours ago.
  14. I don’t care much for Mike Shanahan. I think he definitely knows what he’s doing. Two rings bear that out. Still, I thought Washington has the pieces in place to make a run last year. The best player on that offense, when his hands cooperate, is Fred Davis. The best player on that defense, once he masters that scheme, is Brian Orakpo. That’s not a bad tandem to build around.
  15. So let me get this straight. Some people think the Eagles would be better off with a guy who couldn’t beat the lowly Seattle Seahawks. If Tarvaris Jackson can beat Kolb (as a Seahawk) and Warner (as a Viking), maybe he knows something about the Cardinals that even Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t know.
  16. Andy Dalton and Cam Newton are both 1-2, sort of. Guess what. Andy Dalton has been credited with a win he didn’t deserve. In Week 1, the Bengals beat the Browns, but Dalton was knocked from the game with his team trailing 14-13 at halftime. Dalton didn’t return to the game. The Bengals won under the leadership of Bruce Gradkowski. Dalton is 0-2 in his other starts and mustered all of 8 points vs. the San Francisco 49ers. I’m not sold.
  17. I was wrong about Matt Schaub. Maybe I don’t watch enough Texans games…maybe I do. It seems to me that Schaub almost always manages to put up big numbers (thanks to Andre Johnson and a Shanahan-based offensive system), but never does enough to win the big game. Week 1 wins at home vs. the Colts are not big wins, especially if the game is played in Houston as it was in 2010. On the road vs. the Saints — make me a believer! Couldn’t get it done. At home vs. the Ravens in ’10 — make a believer! Couldn’t get it done. Winnable games with a playoff spot on the line in 2010 — make a believer!! Couldn’t get it done!!!
  18. If your name is Matt, I’m not feeling you, unless…. Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Schaub, Matt Ryan, Matt Cassel! No thanks. Matthew Stafford! I’m buying that guy. He’s a baller. If he ever begins to go by Matt Stafford, we’re done. Matt’s come up short almost all the time. Hasselbeck is the only Matt to even win a playoff game. As highly regarded as these players are, you’d think they were setting the world on fire. Let’s put this in perspective…the four Matt’s have been in the league for a combined total of 28 years and have amassed a combined post-season record of 5-9.
  19. I was for the Raiders before I was against them. The Raiders swept the otherwise powerful AFC West in 2010. While the national media continues its infatuation with the San Diego Super Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs, the Silver & Black have quietly emerged as the team to beat once again in this division. Oakland is poised to make the post-season in 2011 if they can remain focused and out of the 9-7 morass that will get dicey if they face a tie-breaker with the Bills in late December.
  20. All I know about the Jets rush defense is that they are not nearly as good as Rex Ryan would have you believe. Call it The Kris Jenkins Effect. In last year’s Super Bowl, we saw a bit of the Cullen Jenkins Effect. Of course, it was overshadowed by the B.J. Raji Effect, but nonetheless, the Jenkins men cast a large shadow in the trenches. The Jets have been without Kris Jenkins off and on for much of the past 2 years. They have been their most formidable with Jenkins, but now it’s all catching up with them.
  • 27 – 121 – 1
  • 27 – 112
  • 32 – 234 – 4

In last year’s AFC Championship Game, Pittsburgh’s Rashard Mendenhall pounded the Jets for 121 yards on 27 time consuming carries.  The Jets were unable to overcome the Steelers running game and were forced to retool for this year. A week ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars crawled into town led by Luke McCown. En route to a 32-3 blowout, Maurice Jones-Drew was still able to scratch out 88 yards on 18 carries. The team ran for 112 yards on 27 carries in a losing effort. The writing was on the wall. Yesterday, the Raiders dispensed with any notion that the New York Jets have a stout run defense. Darren McFadden bought space in Rex’s head like a desperate shoe salesman with a web cam and a penchant for panty hose. 171 yards later, the Jets are looking for a new story to tell. They are not the bullies of the AFC. They weren’t at the end of last season and they are not at the beginning of this season. Rex has work to do and so do the men in the trenches. Kris Jenkins is not walking through that door.

On to the next.

Thomas Jefferson on Private Banks

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” – Thomas Jefferson

I wonder if that quote is legit.  I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

Erick Stakelbeck: Expert on Terrorism?

It just may be that this young man is excellent at what he does, but I have been unable to determine his CREDENTIALS.  His bio tells me nothing at all about what experience or academic training suit him for his position.  Is he merely just another voice within an insular circle of people who get told what they want to hear?  Is he an innovative voice bringing cutting edge perspectives to complicated issues?  Is he an independent thinking man who is self-trained?  Is he a journalist by formal training, by faith, by practice?  Former intelligence officer?  Special Ops?

Whatever the answer, I do find it peculiar that his own biography does not speak to his credentials.  That’s an unusual approach in an arena in which credentials are such an important aspect of the work.  “Terrorism” is a complicated business.  The analysis of it requires more than the ability to recap headlines and read teleprompters.  What do you think?

Here is the link: http://www.cbn.com/Authors/cbnnews/Erick-Stakelbeck/

Here is the bio:

Erick Stakelbeck has been a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News since 2005. He covers the global war on terror, U.S. national security, the Middle East, and the growth of radical Islam at home and abroad for the CBN News Bureau in Washington, D.C. He is also host of the Stakelbeck on Terror show on CBNNews.com.

Erick is a sought-after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, print and web media.

He produces and reports feature stories for CBN’s nationally televised news programs on issues such as Al-Qaeda’s worldwide operations; Iran’s nuclear program; the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; Hamas, Hezbollah and existential threats to Israel’s security; and Islamic radicalism in the United States and Europe. He has interviewed numerous lawmakers and international diplomats, as well as Islamic terrorists.

Erick has made hundreds of appearances as a commentator on leading national television and radio programs. His appearances include: The O’Reilly Factor, The Sean Hannity Show, Your World with Neil Cavuto, Fox Weekend Live, Fox and Friends, America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Martha McCallum, America Live with Megyn Kelly, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and a weekly segment on the Savage Nation radio show with host Michael Savage, among others.

Erick has worked as a senior writer and analyst at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a counterterrorism think tank founded by terrorism expert Steven Emerson. His articles on Islamic extremism, global terrorism and national security have appeared in the Wall Street Journal Europe, Weekly Standard, Washington Times, New York Post, New York Sun, Jerusalem Post, and National Review Online, among other publications.

He has delivered addresses at several public forums, including speeches before members of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, the Dallas Council on Foreign Relations, ACT for America and Christians United for Israel (CUFI), among others, on terrorism and Middle East-related issues.

Erick previously served as a regular contributor to both David Horowitz’s Frontpage Magazine.com website and Michelle Malkin’s HotAir.com.

Erick is a graduate of Holy Family University in Philadelphia. His blog, “Stakelbeck on Terror,” can be found at CBNNews.com.

Life Begins in the Ice Box?

The American Anthropological Association put together a website intended to demonstrate the unity of the human family with respect to the question of race.  One of the segments of the website reads as follows:

Why do some people have light skin and others have dark skin? How do scientists explain the broad spectrum of human skin color around the globe?

Skin color, one of our most visible physical features, has long been used to divide people into racial categories. Anthropologist Nina Jablonski, Ph.D. theorizes that variations in human skin are adaptive traits that correlate closely to geography and the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, not race.

“Over the course of evolution, human ancestors became bigger and more active as they moved into hot, open environments in search of food and water. In these places, one big challenge was keeping cool. The adaptation they made was to increase the number of sweat glands on their skin while at the same time reducing the amount of their body hair,” explains Jablonski. With less hair, perspiration could evaporate more easily and cool the body more efficiently. “But this less-hairy skin was a problem because it was exposed to a very strong sun, especially in lands near the equator.” Strong sun exposure damages the body. “The solution was to evolve skin that was permanently dark so as to protect against the sun’s more damaging rays.”

Now that’s just bizarre.

Koussa: Libyan Double Agent Gets to Keep Loot

Michigan State alum and probable CIA double agent Moussa Koussa has been permitted to keep his money obtained in service to the Libyan government.  Koussa may have loved East Lansing in the ’70’s, but nothing tops running Libyan intelligence while on the CIA payroll AND keeping your money while escaping prosecution.  Koussa did not announce plans to hit the French Riviera or retire to Milan, but these are safe bets.

Moussa Koussa: CIA Payroll Performer?

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration dropped financial sanctions on Monday against the top Libyan official who fled to Britain last week, saying it hoped the move would encourage other senior aides to abandon Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the country’s embattled leader.

But the decision to unfreeze bank accounts and permit business dealings with the official, Moussa Koussa, underscored the predicament his defection poses for American and British authorities, who said on Tuesday that Scottish police and prosecutors planned to interview Mr. Koussa about the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and other issues “in the next few days.”

Mr. Koussa’s close knowledge of the ruling circle, which he is believed to be sharing inside a British safe house, could be invaluable in trying to strip Colonel Qaddafi of support.

But as the longtime Libyan intelligence chief and foreign minister, Mr. Koussa is widely believed to be implicated in acts of terrorism and murder over the last three decades, including the assassination of dissidents, the training of international terrorists and the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

“He was both the left arm and the right arm of the regime, its bloodhound,” said Dirk Vandewalle, a Dartmouth professor who has studied Libya for many years.

Mr. Vandewalle recalled a dinner with friends in Libya a few years ago when one man mentioned Mr. Koussa’s name, a dangerous faux pas. “The conversation just stopped,” he said. “People switched to a different topic. Koussa was considered beyond the pale.”

Koussa, you may recall, was about the only leading Libyan government official who was not barred from international travel and subject to arrest. Qaddafi’s sons and daughter were placed under international travel restrictions and subject to arrest.

The CIA might as well take out advertising space in Times Square to broadcast their decades long affiliation with Mr. Koussa.  Of course, they will not.  They will, however, permit Western audiences to be deluded into the notion that Koussa was a “true defector,” a true believer who came around to the opinion that the game was over.  Koussa is the one, under CIA instruction, who was able to reinsert Libya into the family of nations.  He negotiated terms with European powers and Washington.  He authored the abandonment of Libya’s nuclear enterprise (which was done based on a US pledge for support which was rescinded subsequent to Tripoli’s scrapping its nuke programme).

More from the New York Times:

Brian P. Flynn, a New Yorker whose brother, J. P. Flynn, died in the Lockerbie bombing, said the lifting of sanctions on Mr. Koussa distressed him and other family members of the 270 victims. They have long believed that Mr. Koussa had a role in ordering the bombing, and Scottish prosecutors have requested access to him.

“It’s all logical in the diplomatic game they need to play,” said Mr. Flynn, vice president of Victims of Pan Am Flight 103. “But at what cost to our system of justice? He’s a mass-murder suspect.”

Administration officials hastened to say that dropping the sanctions, which were imposed on March 15, had no bearing on the investigation of any crimes that Mr. Koussa might have committed in office. The American Lockerbie investigation has never been closed, and law enforcement officials said the F.B.I. would like to talk with Mr. Koussa.

Why does the F.B.I. wish to speak with Mr. Koussa?  Could it be because the Scottish police implicated the F.B.I. in the planting of “evidence” at Lockerbie?

From the Scotsman:

A FORMER Scottish police chief has given lawyers a signed statement claiming that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated.  The retired officer – of assistant chief constable rank or higher – has testified that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people…

The officer, who was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, is supporting earlier claims by a former CIA agent that his bosses “wrote the script” to incriminate Libya…

The vital evidence that linked the bombing of Pan Am 103 to Megrahi was a tiny fragment of circuit board which investigators found in a wooded area many miles from Lockerbie months after the atrocity.

The fragment was later identified by the FBI’s Thomas Thurman as being part of a sophisticated timer device used to detonate explosives, and manufactured by the Swiss firm Mebo, which supplied it only to Libya and the East German Stasi.

At one time, Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence agent, was such a regular visitor to Mebo that he had his own office in the firm’s headquarters.

The fragment of circuit board therefore enabled Libya – and Megrahi – to be placed at the heart of the investigation. However, Thurman was later unmasked as a fraud who had given false evidence in American murder trials, and it emerged that he had little in the way of scientific qualifications.

Then, in 2003, a retired CIA officer gave a statement to Megrahi’s lawyers in which he alleged evidence had been planted.

Radioactive Japan

Fukushima Daiichi Plant, Japan

From the Los Angeles Times:

Reporting from Tokyo—

The operator of Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant said Tuesday that it had found radioactive iodine at 7.5 million times the legal limit in a seawater sample taken near the facility, and government officials imposed a new health limit for radioactivity in fish.

The reading of iodine-131 was recorded Saturday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. Another sample taken Monday found the level to be 5 million times the legal limit. The Monday samples also were found to contain radioactive cesium at 1.1 million times the legal limit.

The exact source of the radiation was not immediately clear, though Tepco has said that highly contaminated water has been leaking from a pit near the No. 2 reactor. The utility initially believed that the leak was coming from a crack, but several attempts to seal the crack failed.

If you reside in California, Oregon, Washington, Mexico, Hawaii, or anywhere else in the Pacific (or anyplace that relies on food or water from the Pacific), now would be a good time to be concerned.

 

The Universal Library

Library of Congress Reading Room

From the New York Times:

Some scholars and librarians across the country fear it may be, now that a federal judge in New York has derailed Google’s bold plan to build the world’s largest digital library and bookstore. With 15 million books scanned, Google had gotten closer to the elusive goal than anyone else.

“It is quite disappointing because there isn’t something better in the wings,” said Michael A. Keller, the university librarian at Stanford, one of the first major universities to allow Google to scan its collections.

But others, who were troubled by Google’s plan, have hailed the ruling. They see it as an opportunity to bring new urgency to a project to create a universal public library — one that, they say, would be far superior to Google’s because it would not be commercial. The project’s ambitious mission, recently described in a four-page memorandum, is to “make the cultural and scientific heritage of humanity available, free of charge, to all.”

“People feel energized,” said Robert Darnton, the director of the Harvard University Library, who recently praised the project in an opinion article in The New York Times. “This is an opportunity for those of us who care about creating a noncommercial public digital library to get on with it.”

A great idea…but remember, a day will come when a premium will be placed on candles, analog phone lines, and books.  Just remember to use the candles to read the books, not to burn them.

Right-Wing Extremists Prefer the Oral Tradition