Saturday, January 30, 2010

Barack Obama at the Duke/Georgetown Game

Everyone knows that Barack Obama is a big sports fan. Everyone also knows that he is an even bigger basketball fan. I have written about it in the past. This afternoon a large contingent from the West Wing (the real one....not the TV show) made the short trek to the Verizon Center to catch Georgetown/Duke from courtside.

We see politicians and celebrities all the time pretend to be sports fans but it really is nice to see some genuine ones come along. This isn't Martha Coakley being a fake Red Sox fan. This isn't even Whoopi Goldberg pretending to be a New York Giants fan.  There is no doubt in anyone's mind that this man loves his sports.

Obama didn't show much rooting interest on the sidelines but I was fully expecting him to be rooting for the hometown Hoyas. Everyone remembers Coach K. attacking the President last year when Obama picked Duke arch rivals University of North Carolina to win it all. His personal aide, Reggie Love is a former Duke basketball player. His Communications director Dan Pfeiffer is a former Hoyas' player (didn't actually step on the court though). The President actually went to the broadcasting table to join CBS broadcasters Verne Lundquinst and Clark Kellogg for a little play by play. The President brought his funny with him too. When Kellogg mentioned his Ohio State team beating Obama's brother in law Greg Robinson, Obama quickly shot back saying that Ohio State should not be bragging about beating an Ivy League (Princeton) team! Obama also told Clark Kellogg (who he called the best color man in the business) that he was coming after his job in "three or seven years".

The President was joined at the game by Vice President Joe Biden, Personal Aide Reggie Love, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Advisor David Axelrod Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and the Vice President's son Hunter. I'm sure there were other people present too but these were the people I saw.

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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Vintage)Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and InheritanceBy the People: The Election of Barack ObamaLeading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and LifeBeyond Basketball: Coach K's Keywords for SuccessThe Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Let Obama be Obama"

Too bad all parties involved would never agree to turn this into a weekly thing because this "Q&A" session between Barack Obama and the House GOP was fascinating TV. They do it successfully across the pond with "Prime Ministers Question" and if you have ever seen it on C-Span you would agree that it is fascinating TV.

When I saw it on earlier today I thought it would be a farce. That is what we've come to expect from American political discussion. What transpired though was far from that. But, all I saw were positive talk on twitter about the event so I just had to watch it when I got home. Make sure you do the same. Obama held nothing back in going after the GOP congressmen. He took the fight straight to them on Health Care Reform and the way the GOP presented it. The decision to put this on TV was supposedly made last night....and boy did the GOP end up regretting that. He tore into House GOP for opposing the Stimulus Bill but then showing up at ribbon cutting ceremonies for projects that were a result of it. Obama actually stayed their longer then scheduled because he sensed a major political victory unfolding on National TV. How big of a success was this for Obama? Fox "News" actually left the broadcast of the event early to go to other stuff. Pathetic indeed. 

What struck me immediately is why I respect this man. I'll steal a line from the "West Wing." The best thing for Democrats and the country is to let "Obama be Obama." There is no one better in the business right now and he's proven it twice this week. I've seen the man speak in person 3 times....and yes, he's held the audience in the palm of his hands each time. 

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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Vintage)Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and InheritanceBy the People: The Election of Barack Obama

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"My President is Black"

Much has been made tonight about comments Chris Matthews made right after the State of the Union tonight. If you haven't seen the clip so first before reading on.

This is where Liberals annoy me. Did Chris Matthews use the best set of words he could have? Absolutely not. But Liberals (and minority people) on twitter just jumped all over Chris Matthews like he just lynched someone in public. People are stuck on the first part of Chris Matthews' comment....but why are they ignoring the rest of it? Why is the Left going all "Fox News" on me tonight? Yes, I did just use "Fox News" as a verb. I am a regular reader of "Talking Points Memo" but have to call them out for only putting a truncated version of the clip. Again, why go "Fox News" on us? Same goes for Think Progress too.

Really disappointed in Liberal tweeps tonight. What was a very solid speech from Obama is getting overshadowed because of this nonsense. Listen to or read his whole comment. My biggest grief tonight has been that people aren't taking the statement in context. Could Chris Matthews have used better wording? Yes. Did the Twittervese overreact? Absolutely. The feeling I get on Twitter is that about 70% of liberals aren't big fans of Chris Matthews or "Tweety" as he is widely knows for on reason or another. That dislike for him had a lot to with tonight's overreaction. If you go back and look at Chris Matthew's comments you see that he is referring to the broad nature of the speech. He even talks about the post racial America. Yet, for some reason he's a racist? Obama's speech was one where he called on both parties to grow up. Isn't it time that the public do the same?

I got about 50 messages on Twitter tonight referring to Obama as a "Black President." I got messages saying "My President is Black all the time." Thank you to those people for clearing that up...because I really had no idea! It's been a year people. We don't still need to be stuck on the fact that an African American did get elected President. I got messages saying "My President is Black." He is the President of the ENTIRE country....and not just the parts that have a minority population. Is racism still a problem in this country? Absolutely. But people (African Americans included) who continue to refer to Obama to this date as "a Black President" are part of the problem...not the solution. I don't care if the President is Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Blue, Pink or Orange, people need to stop being so defensive. He needs to be commended on the good stuff (like the speech tonight) and face heat for his failures (Health Care Reform). There is no need to grade him on a matter what side of the argument you're on. There is no reason to jump to his defense on a non-story like the comment tonight. What Chris Matthews said was a poor choice of words....not racism. I saw multiple people listing MSNBC's phone number so people would call in and complain. Really people? Everyone was attacking Chris Matthews non-stop....making him one of the top trending topics on twitter at one time yet pundits on all networks were busy spreading lies. Fox probably had about 50 outrageous comments tonight that went unnoticed because people decided to take 5 seconds out of a 3 minute statement and spin it.

Matthews did clarify his comments a little while later on MSNBC.

Everyone knows I'm a big Obama guy and make every effort to go see him speak in person every time he's in New Jersey but this stuff tonight was just aggravating. Sometimes people forget that not everything racial is racist.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conference Championship Predictions

How are up to the Conference Championship games already? Didn't the NFL season just start? I went 3-1 last week. I'm 5-3 in the playoffs.  

Really looking forward to this Colts/Jets game. The storylines are all over the place. All week we've heard stories about Super Bowl III and the impact that game had on speeding up the merger. We all know that the Jets wouldn't even be here if Colts didn't spit on the face of history and benched their guys in Week 16 allowing the Jets to come back and win the game. We've got two rookie head coaches here and one of them is going to the Super Bowl. Mark Sanchez has been solid for the Jets during this run. His job is to NOT LOSE and he's done a solid job of managing the game. I am expecting a big day for the Jets running game. I am expecting Jets rookie RB Shonn Greene to have a career day. You really can't say enough about Peyton Manning and the Colts. They win every year. With good defenses and bad. With the old core or the new one. With the old coach or the new one. I am a huge Manning fan and want Peyton to get a couple of more rings just so people will shut up about Tom Brady (Manning's better!). When all is said and done though I am going with the Jets +7.5 to pull off the big upset here

Brett Favre is back in the Conference Championship game. He's had a big year but I believe he's due for one of those 3 interception games. As great as he's been through his career we all know one of those games isn't far off. The home field advantage will prove to be really important in this one. One of the best fan bases in all of sports will be loud throughout this one. Will Reggie Bush come up big again? I expect the Vikings offense to have a lot of trouble. I am thinking of a score along the lines of 35-17. Saints -4.5 will be going to the Super Bowl. 

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

NFL Divisional Round Predictions

The Divisional Round of the playoffs are here. So I went 2-2 overall last week. That is versus the spread and straight up picking winners too. Hopefully a better week is in store. I picked the Ravens and Jets correctly last week while the Eagles and the Packers let me down.

I am going to take the Saints -7 vs Cardinals. I think the Birthday Boy ( what if Brees' Birthday was actually yesterday) will outshine Kurt Warner and send him into retirement. Saints will not only win but cover the spread comfortably taking this one 35-20.

I jumped all over the Colts for their decision to spit on history. I am a big Colts supporter and a big Peyton Manning supporter but that decision will come back to haunt the Colts today. The only way their decision gets justified is with a Super Bowl win and as much as I would like that today will be Ray Rice's day. Sure the Colts shut him down (relatively speaking) the last time they played but this is a man on a mission. This man can very well be the #1 pick overall in a lot of Fantasy Football leagues next year. I am going to take the Ravens (+6.5) outright in this one. 

So the Cowboys finally win a playoff game and the trash talking Cowboys fans have all returned (not that they ever really left). Relax folks. This team has still only won one playoff game since I was in 7th grade! Coming off the high of last week I believe they'll fall flat this week. I expect to see a big game from Adrian Peterson to carry the Viking (-3) over the Cowboys and into the NFC Championship game. 

The Jets/Chargers game is actually quiet interesting to me. Next to the Ravens/Colts this is the game I am most looking forward too. On paper you would think the Chargers should win this one big and the line at 9 points definitely reflects that but I don't think it is that simple. The Jets have a rookie QB and a rookie head coach. There is just no way they can win two playoff games this it? Can they really be in a position to host the AFC Championship Game next Sunday? We have seen this Chargers team lose a lot of big games over the years. Revis got robbed this week, he definitely should have been the "Defensive Player of the Year" and I think he proves it on Sunday. I am expecting big games from Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene. I think the Jets (+9) pull off a huge upset here.

Who are you picking? Post your picks or send them to me.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

TMZ: Leno gets hour long "Tonight Show"

According to TMZ, Leno and NBC have struck a new deal. Guess this means I won't be turning on NBC at 11:30. What a dumb move. Can't believe NBC failed this miserably with the situation. Way to make a mockery of one of the greatest franchises in TV history. Way to pick the less funny guy for a 2nd time. What a disaster.
NBC will at best be the 4th option at 11:30 for me. Conan, Colbert and Letterman are all miles ahead. I'm not even counting the fact that if those guys are having off nights....I'll put on ESPN instead. So....good riddance NBC.
P.S Can someone pass a memo to NBC saying that "Late Night" is supposed to be funny. Could they possibly pick two more more boring guys then Leno and Fallon?
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Monday, January 11, 2010

APNewsBreak: McGwire Admits Using Steroids

File this one under "Duh!" or "Obvious". Mark McGwire has admitted to steroids use. Something that some people have suspected for around two decades with him. None the less you knew this was coming once the St. Louis Cardinals hired him as a hitting coach.

Now, just think how much different his legacy would have been if he had chosen "to speak about the past" back when it mattered.

I will say once again though that I am surprised that more names haven't been released tied to steroids. I wrote about it at length during the playoffs.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

NFL Wildcard Round Predictions.

Just wanted to throw some predictions out really quick as the NFL Playoffs get underway.

I will take the Jets outright. I'll take the Eagles. I think this game comes down to a late FG. For tomorrow I am taking the Ravens with them winning outright. To wrap it up I will take the Packers.  Yes, I really do think all 4 road teams win.

I'll throw out my predictions for the rest of the playoffs too. Lets see how that works out.

Divisional Round

Ravens over Colts
Chargers over the Jets
Saints over Eagles
Packers over Vikings

Conference Championship
Chargers over Ravens
Saints over Packers

Super Bowl
Chargers over Saints.

Anyone else want to put their predictions on the record? As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Another disgrace for Pakistani Cricket

What a difference a day makes. This time last night me and Tens of millions of Pakistani Cricket fans were feeling great. We were finally on the verge of a long awaited win versus Australia. That all changed with the first hour of play today. Absolute disaster.

There is plenty of blame to go around but two people deserve the most of it.

The Captain Mohammad Yousuf needs to be held accountable for this disgrace. His disastrous decisions in the first hour of today brought Australia back into the game. Pakistan could not have entered the days play in a stronger position if they had written the script themselves but for some reason he comes out and plays as defensively as you possibly can. Just what was going through his mind at that time? What is he doing telling Umar Akmalto play defensively? Umar has been our most reliable and consistent player since he came into the team. Why would you make him change his style of play when he's had success playing the way he plays? Furthermore how can you justify that decision when your own shot selection is pathetic? I really want to root for him because he comes across as a nice guy in interviews (there are reports of him helping create a faction on the team that ousted previous captain) for the most part but he is absolutely clueless on the playing field. He's compiled a ton of runs over the years but never delivers when the team truly needs him. It just never happens. When was the last time he put his foot down and carried us to a win? What is his signature moment?

The Vice Captain Kamran Akmal is equally responsible. How many catches does he have to drop for him to be dropped from the team? How many missed stumpings? Run Outs? His bat is not a viable excuse. He simply does not score enough runs to justify a spot in the lineup because he gives up just as many runs because of all his dropped catches. The Pakistani Bowlers repeatedly have to get 4 or 5 extra outs and Kamran Akmal is a big reason why. How can anyone in charge justify the decision to keep him in the team let alone to make him Vice Captain? Give Sarfraz Ahmed a shot now!

If we never see Mohammad Yousuf or Kamran Akmal in the Pakistani team ever would still be too soon.

Do we really need Inzi 2.0 as Captain? Can we please change captains now? Bring back Younis Khan. Bring in Shahid Afridi. Anyone who doesn't want to play for Younis Khan can go home. Good riddance. I've stayed up until 2 AM every night watching this team play and this was just a disgrace

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Cory Booker is awesome

Have I ever mentioned that Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey is awesome? Yes, I believe I have.

For those who are not familiar with him, you should read up on the man. He's definitely a rising star in the Democratic Party. He will be either the next Governor from NJ or the next Senator. One way or the other you will be hearing a lot of him if you haven't already. He is without a doubt one of the finest mayors in the country. He turned down a job in the Obama White House. He has been a big part of the major transformation the the "Brick City" has taken over the past few years. He goes out on night patrol in the community with the Newark Police Department and personally sees to it that there is positive change in his Newark.

This New Year's Day he once again proved why he is not like any other politician. He went out and shoveled snow for the elderly. Is it a nice political photo-op? Sure, it could be. But honestly I hadn't seen it in any news up until I saw this CNN article. Once again a job well done Mr. Mayor. If you haven't been following the Mayor on twitter, do so now?

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Friday, January 01, 2010

From Y2K to 2010....A Decade of Madness

Wow, it is 2010 already? Where has the time gone? Wasn't it just yesterday that the world was in chaos over Y2K and impending doom as a result of evil computers? Where has the time gone?

This decade we went from chaos over Y2K to a completely digital decade. Tonight we all sent people text messages wishing them a "Happy New Year", a decade ago text messaging did not exist and most people did not have a cellphone. Highspeed internet available to the masses wasn't yet a dream realized. People still got their news from actual newspapers (I kid!). If someone had mentioned the concept of Youtube, Facebook or Twitter to us at the time we probably would have laughed in their faces.

In 2000 I was a freshman in High School. In 2000 I lived in Toronto, Canada and not Piscataway, NJ. In 2000 the Boston Red Sox were still cursed and we were sick and tired of the New York Yankees (some things just don't change!). Ten years ago Kobe and Shaq were taking over the NBA. In 2000 the New York Knicks won 50 games. In 2000 "NBA on NBC" was entertaining us every Sunday. In 2000 Ken Griffey was well on his way to being the greatest baseball player whoever lived. In 2000 no one had heard of Tom Brady. In 2000 the St. Louis Rams were on top of the NFL. In 2000 people actually liked Brett Favre. In 2000 MMA was just a bunch of thugs and nowhere mainstream.

In 2000 Gladiator was the number 1 movie winning the "Best Picture" Oscar. Russel Crowe and Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) also won Oscars. Pokemon was a major fad (I fell asleep at the theaters while taking younger cousins to go see whatever Pokemon movie was out that year). Eminem, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera were dominating the charts. American Idol, 24, Lost, Heroes, Mad Men, Survivor and NCIS didn't yet exist.

In 2000 the United States was about to elect George W. Bush as President. In 2000 Joe Lieberman was a Vice President nominee and not the punchline to a joke.  In 2000 if you had told me that an African American would be President by the end of the decade I would have laughed at you. In 2000 Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck were insane ( maybe things haven't changed much there). In 2000 Jon Stewart was still a relatively new host of "The Daily Show" and not a major force in the world of politics. In 2000 the three network news anchors were Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather.

What will the next decade bring? Any predictions? Who would've predicted the major force Twitter, Facebook, blogs and pretty much anything digital would become. By the way what are you calling this year? "Twenty Ten" or "Two Thousand Ten"?

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