Barack Obama

Say what you like about Barack Obama in regards to policy and experience but at no time can you challenge his ability to rivet an audience, both on television and live, as he did tonight.

In regards to the now Democratic candidate, his speech not only was riveting but also answered questions his critics have been asking for months. Laying out plans and policy for his presumptive presidency was not only brilliant but perfectly delivered. Rationalization and understanding will sweep away naivety upon how he will carry out the plans.

I think of myself as an intependent and attempt with all of my ability to not attach myself in any way to the two major parties. I despise the ridiculousness of partisan politics in America and believe that it is the single biggest reason we, as Americans, see very little getting done in Washington and in our respective regions.

I hope for an election where we don't have to play a game, voting for someone who for all intensive purposes, is only out to win the election. I hate the direction the parties have taken this country in and hope for it change.

In Obama I do see a difference. But I am not naive in realizing that he is a Democrat, with a capital 'D'. Obama is a politician but has not had the 'pedigree' of a politician, as he said tonight. I respect his upbringing, his background and the initiative he has taken in his life to serve rather than gain from people.

I am a fan of John McCain, as an American and as a war hero. I am eager for a debate between these two contrasting characters. I have no idea who the protagonist is, let alone the antagonist if there is one.

I am only addressing Obama tonight because of the eloquent and dazzling speach he gave tonight. It was a speech that was planned but at the same time carried out with heart toward the American people, whom I felt he truly cares about. I saw a difference in him tonight from the others that have graced the stages in the past few years. I saw someone who has a plan, is ready to carry it out and is grateful to be in the position he is. He was a breath of fresh air for non-partisan politics and I can't wait to hear more.


How to tie a turban

Ocho Funny-o

Some choice quotes from Chad Johnson courtesy of my friend C. Trent Rosecran's blog.

I especially like the one in bold.

Thanks again Trent for the great stuff. Well, I guess I should thank Chad.

Quotes from the open locker room:

Chad Johnson was asked if he was concenred, he said no and was asked if it's just because it's preseason:

"Because it’s preseason and we don’t have all the key factors in there right now."

How long will that take?

"For us? With the factors we have? Two or three days. It’s like riding a bike, once you get on you figure it out real fast."

It was noted that the three hadn't been together on the field since the end of last season:

"That’s no different than Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie off filming a movie and they’re apart that long and when they get together they’re having kids. It’s the same when we get back on the field together, we’re going to produce."

As for his shoulder:

"It’s good. There’s nothing wrong with me. I need surgery. But there’s still nothing wrong with me."

You need surgery, you’ll have it when?

"I’m not going to have it. For what?"

You need it but you’re not going to have it?

"For what? I’ve got a season to play."

He joked that he was back to full strength because of steroids and HGH.

Johnson was also in a protective harness.

"Precaution. It makes me look sexy. I like it. I have to. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have played with this injury. Kellen Winslow, Dante Stallworth, Westbrook, maybe about 10 guys I’ve talked to, they didn’t get surgery, they played and had a successful season. So I’ll be fine."

On his challenge with Michael Phelps:

"I was playing around and he took it on himself to call me back out, which was not very smart. I’m sure we’ll have something in the works after the season ends. It’s not set. I have other things to focus on besides Phelps, like Baltimore."

He said he wanted to play Thursday:

"I asked Marvin to play Thursday, just to not to prove a point, but to show that I’m ready to go and he told me no. There’s no need. I already got hurt in one preseason game, there’s no reason for another. I will be ready for the opener and it’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be a good Ocho day."

And asked if he could re-injure his shoulder:

"The risk of it happening again isn’t much." And as he said that, he knocked on his wooden locker.


Oklahoma! songs and bad football teams

This song will not get out of my head for some reason or another.

And speaking of Oklahoma!, the performance at RCT was excellent and I can't get the music out of my head. I had only seen parts of the movie and was pleased with the performance of the actors of which all are amateur, of course. The young man playing Curly, a recent graduate of Guilford College with a degree in vocal performance, was the highlight and I'm sure he will be doing much bigger things one day soon.

In other news, I have had both my fantasy football drafts. Neither of which are any good, like last year, which should leave me to repeat my underdog performance of last year when I made the playoffs with a team highlighted by Kenny Watson and Kevin Curtis.

Speaking of football, the Cincinnati Bengals are building up to the opener and unlike everyone else, I am reserving judgment of the defense and, well offense. Bad performances are abound in the pre-season every where, even from this team, I mean this team, sorry.

The Olympics are over and although they were quite exciting highlighted by Michael Phelps, I was growing tired of the Chinese divers and their 14-year-old tumbling counterparts.

Borgman says it better than I ever could


Adam Dunn: Home Run King?

Pouring over stats and noticing the progression of Adam Dunn's career I can't help but wonder if he might have a chance at that record that in my opinion is still held by our friend Henry.

Now I know what you are saying, there is no way Adam Dunn could break the all time home run record. But I beg you to look at many factors attributing to Dunn's ever-building pile of homers.

First Dunn is only 27 years old, soon to be 28 in November. As it stands right now he has 272 HR's and will probably close the year with close to 280.

Second Dunn is working on his fifth year in a row of at least 150 games and has had only one trip to the DL at the end of last year.

Third of all the players in baseball, Dunn is one who can be predicted in Lindy's guide perfectly before every season. Dunn posts 40 HR, 100 RBI, 100 runs every year at least and you can count on him doing that for another 8 years at least.

So say in eight years Dunn's HR total will be at least 600. And he will only be 35. Now guessing from his size and how much of a liability he is on defense now, he may deteriorate faster than a smaller player. But he may not and it is not out of the question for Dunn to have over 600 HR 8 years from today.

And assuming he is a Jim Thome-DH type by then Dunn should seemingly play for a much longer time and with the way players are playing later and later into their lives (ex. Jamie Moyer) who's to say Dunn can't play into his 40's.

To think the Reds traded him now makes me a little sick if they expected him to be something he wasn't. He is without a doubt due for a big pay day and coupled with the let down of Dunn's 'attitude' the Reds were destined to not keep him.

But think about how reliable Dunn has been and yet again how consistent he has been. Consider that within a couple weeks the Reds may have traded two of the top five HR sluggers of all time.


Flapping Fish and More choice photos

Dear Fans: We Suck, Sorry

Just because everyone else on these blogs has written about it, I guess I will. Look at more here, here, here, and here.

If you didn't know, a letter was issued by Reds owner Bob Castellini and Walt Jocketty apologizing for the season of Cincinnati Reds baseball that has been like last year, and the year before and the year before, etc.

The letter screams of absurdity to me and my comrades and whats worse is the snide little comments the owner and his pawn put in the letter asking for continued support and 'patience'.

Below is said letter:

Dear Fans,

Thank you for your loyalty and support of the Cincinnati Reds. You are extremely vital to the success of the Reds, and it is important we share with you the thinking behind our recent personnel decisions.

Since taking ownership of this franchise, we have aggressively tried to improve our Major League roster for the purpose of restoring championship baseball to Cincinnati. We have sought and signed proven players. We have extended the contracts of select current players. We added Dusty Baker, a proven winning manager. And, we have capitalized on our burgeoning younger players like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto.

We had high expectations for the 2008 season. Unfortunately the team has not played up to our expectations and we have sustained injuries to key players within our starting lineup and rotation.

We opted to trade Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn at this time because we believe it provided the best outcome for the long-term success of the organization. By executing these inevitable changes now, we secured more players as part of our focus towards building a deeper, stronger inventory of young talent.

We are pleased that the trades allow Griffey and Dunn the opportunity to play for teams in tight division races. Both Ken and Adam made significant contributions to the Reds and we are extremely proud and grateful they wore the Reds uniform.

While the run production generated by these two veterans will not be quickly replaced, we chose to endure the short-term ramifications for the sake of building a strong, competitive team for 2009 and many seasons to come.

The vast majority of our 50 draft picks were signed, culminating last week with first-rounder Yonder Alonso and a pair of talented pitchers. Our expanded scouting operations also signed
Juan Duran from the Dominican Republic and Yorman Rodriguez from Venezuela, who are arguably the best amateur free agent position players from their respective countries.

As we near September, we will continue to provide valuable playing time to our young players and new acquisitions who we feel can become significant contributors at the Major League level. We ask your continued trust and patience as we build the roster that will get us back on top. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the ballpark.


Bob Castellini
President & CEO

Walt Jocketty
President of Baseball Operations & GM

Patience. Hell, if I have had patience, people that have cared longer than me must have had something much more than patience.

As much faith as I had going into this season, I soon realized that even though I wasn't happy with Griffey and Dunn, my faith was built on them. And the reason I now recognize this is that after they traded both, even though the team was under-performing already, I soon realized I had no hope for this season. Or next year, or the year after that.

Getting young players can only do so much, if they perform. And most times they do not.

In religious terms the Reds have been in purgatory for the last 13 years. They are now in Hell and are a long way from crossing the river Styx.

Once again I now see no hope for anytime soon. The team is so poorly constructed, there isn't a team in the National League I wouldn't trade straight up for, aside from Washington.

The other night, Paul Daughtery, columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer compared the Reds starting lineup to the Cubs and noted only one player in the Reds starting lineup would start in the Cubs lineup. Brandon Phillips would start over Mark DeRosa. But no one else.

That got me thinking and thinking. I thought about how in even my biased mind, I wouldn't take anyone but BP over the Cubs starters. It's sad, really sad, because even when the Cubs were bad a few years ago, they still had players to build around and money to work with.

NOW, the Reds have neither.


On Golden Pond

Is this guy unreal or what?

Six events, six gold medals and six world records.

At this point with one individual event (100 butterfly) left I don't see anything stopping him from taking home what he sought out to get.

At this point I'm in awe every time they talk about Phelps and as his name fills up talk radio across the country I know I'm not the only one who is watching. Heck even Ocho Cinco is watching but he thinks he can beat Mr. Phelps.

In other news, baseball season is over. Oh, it is still going on, well I forgot after that baseball team in Western Ohio decided to cash in their chips at Argosy before August even started.

But from death there is life and with the prospect of football on the horizon, I can rest assured the Bengals won't let me down as much as the Reds did. You expect it from them.


Fantasy Football Preview

It's football season again and more importantly its fantasy football time.

I've taken the time to pour over stats and projections, sleepers and can't miss rookies and I think I have some advice that might be beneficial to your draft no matter what type of league you are in.

The running back world has been taken over by LaDainian Tomlinson for the past few years but with an influx of talent the gap is diminishing between some of the top level backs. With the emergence of Adrian Peterson and this years version Darren McFadden along with others including Steven Jackson (Rams), Joseph Addai (Colts), Brian Westbrook (Eagles) and others, this will be an interesting year with the RB field being plentiful.

Even more plentiful may be WR with Randy Moss again leading the pack after a 23 TD year last year. Don't expect a repeat performance but with a little luck he could get near 17 again. Last year Braylon Edwards (Browns) lived up to his no. 3 overall selection out of Michigan and caught 16 TD and looks to be dangerous enough to perhaps catch 20.

Targets like Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals), Terrel Owens (Cowboys) and Reggie Wayne (Colts) are almost guaranteed studs, while Andre Johnson (Texans), Marques Colston (Saints) andBrandon Marshall (Broncos) to move up to the next level of elite receiver status.

Even the TE field is deeper than previous years with different projections coming from all over the place. The largest consensus is that Antonio Gates (Chargers) is still the top of the heap but with guys like Jason Whitten (Cowboys), Tony Gonzalez (Chiefs) and Kellen Winslow (Browns) there are more options than in previous years.

Quarterbacks remain about the same with a few exceptions including the emergence of the potent Cleveland offense and the surprise arrival of Derek Anderson, which many will pay a lot for. But with plenty of targets including newly signed Donte Stallworth the Cleveland offense has the potential to be the best in the NFL.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the only elite QB at this point with Carson Palmer (Bengals), Drew Brees (Saints) and Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) being very viable options.

As far as kickers go none should be better than Stepen Gostkowski (Patriots) but Nick Folk (Cowboys) should get plenty of opportunities.


A few guys to keep your eyes on and perhaps pay a round higher than you would normally think are below.


Ronnie Brown (Dolphins) has the potential for huge numbers but can't stay healthy. Is healthy now and poised for a big year despite lackluster team. (watch for Ricky Williams as well)

Julius Jones (Seahawks) Will probably become premier back after leaving Marion Barber III's shadow in big D. Will battle through the remainder of training camp with Maurice Morris.

Michael Turner (Falcons) Finally out of LT's shadown Turner has poster very high numbers in yards per carry forever and should be watched very closely. Could be a superstar.

Ryan Grant (Packers)
Earnest Graham (Buccaneers)
Thomas Jones (Jets)
Brandon Jackson (Packers)
Chris Perry (Bengals)


Bernard Berrian (Vikings)
Nate Burrleson (Seahawks)
Anthony Gonzalez (Colts)
D.J. Hackett (Panthers)
Jabar Gaffney (Patriots)
Jerry Porter (Jaguars)
Donte Stallworth (Browns)

Can't Miss Rookies

With all the hoopla surrounding Darren McFadden he is set up for failure even if he plays moderately well. However, there may be some sleeper options in terms of rookies and many think that McFadden might NOT even be the best rookie rusher.

Darren McFadden (Raiders) -- the backfield in Oakland will be crowded but McFadden seems to be the next heir to the bulk of carries but watch out as there are many options for the Raiders.

Johnathon Stewart (Panthers)-- Perhaps the best rookie rusher and someone that will get a large bulk of carries with the under-acheiving DeAngelo Williams alongside. Stewart is a power back and will get a lot of goal line carries.

Kevin Smith (Lions) -- Even though he went to a small school is stats were impressive (2,567 yds 30 TD, last year) and has the tools to be a rookie-of-the-year candidate.

Matt Forte (Bears) -- has the inside line at the starting job and averaged 200 yds per game last year in college.

Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers) Could be the heir apparent to a declining Willie Parker in Pittsburgh. Was a stud at Illinois last year in big games and had 19 TD.

Felix Jones (Cowboys)
Chris Johnson (Titans)
Ray Rice (Ravens)


I'm Back

So, after a long break, I'm back and ready to report.

Just wanted to let you know that I didn't forget about this.

Watch the Olympics tonight, not the Cubs game.

Phelps goes for Gold no. 2.

More to come. . .

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