Sunday, October 24, 2010

Welcome to Bracketville, Exhibition Season Editon

Coach’s mantra: Better good freshmen than mediocre seniors.

Tennessee’s Scotty Hopson is the final Top-10 national recruit from Scout.com’s Class of 2009 rankings who is not in the NBA.

Pitt returns five of last season’s top six scorers. The last time Pitt went to the Final Four was 1940-1941. Last year Coach Jamie Dixon tied the NCAA coaching record for most wins in his first seven years.

Quote: “If the NCAA had been in charge of Normandy, we would’ve attacked Greece and given our soldiers all the wrong ammunition.”—Bob Knight.

During the last four years, Butler has been ranked in the AP Top 25 for all but ten weeks.

Miami has just one senior on the roster…Adrian Thomas.

San Diego State returns all five starters from last season’s team.

Duke may or may not win another title this season—odds are against them, just like they are against everyone else—but it’s going to be a fun bunch to watch.

An overlooked positive for teams having juniors and seniors playing together for a while is that they not only know their own system, they know the systems of their conference foes as well.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Curmudgeon in the Wry 488

Sunday, October 17, 2010---996 Words---Average Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 9 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)

Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.

Virtually free of original ideas.

Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.

Often wrong…never in doubt.

Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.

A Grumpy Old Man Production.

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Rave: Arthur Godfrey

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Reading: “American Assassin” by Vince Flynn.

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On the Hi Fi: “Fred Astaire Rarities”

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Under rated: Yvonne DeCarlo.

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I miss: Lena Horne, Myrna Loy, Willie Miranda.

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Quote: “After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.”---Anon.

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Rave: Bobby Cox deserved the final salute, the accolades and the respect. As the Giants were celebrating at the center of Turner Field, the crowd started chanting, “Bobby! Bobby!” And the retiring leader sadly came out of the dugout to acknowledge the fans and then the boisterous Giants did baseball proud; they stood and applauded for Bobby Cox. That’s class!

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Hmmm: The tabloids are far better when Lindsay Lohan is not doing time.

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In case you missed it: Apple is the second largest corporation in the world in terms of market capitalization…and is catching up with #1 (Exxon). It could pass Exxon this winter as the iPad is this year’s most coveted gift. It’s at the top of my list.

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Rant: The new Parker/Spitzer TV show on CNN takes bad to a new level.

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Rave: Author Elmore Leonard celebrated his 85th birthday and released his latest novel (“Djibouti”) on Tuesday, October 12th.

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Hmmm: Raise your hand if you are shocked with the Sports Illustrated story about an ex-sports agent who says he gave money to college athletes.

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History 101: Last January, obama declared, “Jobs must be our number one focus in 2010.” Since that time, more than 2.5 million Americans have lost their jobs. Some focus!

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Rant: The popping of champagne corks ought to be reserved for the World Series winner. Teams haven’t won anything while advancing thru the playoffs.

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Oops: A Wisconsin company printed and shipped a 2011 Cleveland Cavaliers calendar featuring a cover shot of LeBron James just before James bailed on the Cavs for Miami. The company’s name? Perfect Timing, Inc.

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Hmmm: There were many times during the Braves/Giants playoff series that was certain the game would be decided by a penalty kick.

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Rave: In his six-year career with the Baltimore Colts, Alan Ameche had zero fumbles in 966 carries and pass receptions.

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Truism: There is plenty of free cheese in the mousetrap.

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Rave: Show me a meeting that ends early and I’ll show you a bunch of happy people.

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Meeting axiom: Pretend to be smart, even when you are clueless. Don’t worry if you are making it up as you go along. Most others are too.

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Quote: "Fathom the odd hypocrisy that the government wants every citizen to prove they are insured, but people don't have to prove they are citizens". ~ Ben Stein

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Hmmm: Facebook? Twitter? Kurt Vonnegut was correct a generation ago when he said your entire life is like junior high. It never changes.

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Rave: “The Glades” on A&E has been renewed for a second season. Like “Burn Notice,” it shows off the wonderful scenery of Florida. It’s character driven, has lots of cat and mouse plots and two terrific leads. It cannot return soon enough for me.

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Quote: “Liberals claim they want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”—William F. Buckley, Jr.

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Rave: With the passing of Joe Sobran, we lost an incredible wordsmith. He came up with this headline parodying the NY Times: "New York Destroyed by Earthquake; Women and Minorities Hit Hardest."

On our democracy: "Your chances of meeting an IRS agent are far greater than your chances of meeting anyone you voted for."

On Obama: "Nor has he said anything memorable -- not even a single aphorism over this long campaign. And the title of his book 'The Audacity of Hope' -- what on earth does that mean? He is always hinting at a substance that is never disclosed to us. He seems to live by raising vague aspirations he never fulfills."

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Hmmm: Why were they called The Three Musketeers when they fought with swords rather than muskets?

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Truism: If your opponent combines good intentions with stupidity, it is impossible to outthink him.

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Hmmm: Turn of the century (19th to 20th) economist and social scientist, Thorstein Veblen, coined the phrase “versatility of convictions.” Many of today’s experienced politicians exhibit that trait…starting with Florida’s weather vane, Charlie Crist.

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Didjaknow: Legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg earned both a Masters and Doctorate degree at Indiana University. Currently, a play he has written (“Coach: The Untold Story of College basketball Legend Al McGuire”) is now being performed on the road.

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Quote: “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”---Marine Corp saying.

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Truism: Congresses do two things best: nothing and overreact.

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Geography 101: Miami? A place where 1,000 different nationalities get together and give each other the finger on I-95.

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Hmmm: Where do all the missing pens go?

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Quote: “Is obama so disconnected from the American public, so emotionally tone-deaf, that he fails to understand that Americans despise glory hounds and appreciate good sportsmanship, whether it’s on the sports field or in the Oval Office?”—Burt Prelutsky.

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Truism: If life was truly fair, Elvis would still be alive and his impersonators would be dead.

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Never Forget: Everyone works for the sales department.

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If you can read this, thank a teacher.

If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.

If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.

That is all.

As you were.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Curmudgeon in the Wry 487

Monday, October 04, 2010---918 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 43 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)

Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.

Virtually free of original ideas.

Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.

Often wrong…never in doubt.

Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.

A Grumpy Old Man Production.

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Rave: Stuart Varney.

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Reading: “Cold Is The Grave” by Peter Robinson.

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On the Hi Fi: “It’s De Lovely, The Authentic Cole Porter Collection.”

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Under rated: Joan Blondell.

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I miss: Minnie Minoso, Dick Powell, Lena Horne.

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Rant: 35 College Bowl Games are on tap this season. Looks like you’ll see a number of 5-7 teams in the postseason, making their alumni very proud.

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Hmmm: Rutgers, of all schools, is making noise in the early signings in the college basketball recruiting wars.

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Truism: There are two sides in the education debate: the teachers’ unions and those who want to help children succeed.

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Didjaknow: The 1970 World Series (known as the Brooks Robinson Invitational to some of us) was the last Series to be played entirely during the daytime.

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Hmmm: Do they call it a remote because when you use it, there is nothing remotely interesting on the tube?

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Rant: Looks like LeBron James intends to give his critics as much ammunition as it takes to alienate everybody outside of South Florida. What a moron.

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Quote: “Nearly every issue the president embraces polls against him, often at a 3-1 margin, Cap and trade, amnesty, state-run health care, more bailouts, takeovers, deficits, taxes and the national debt. His vision is the same as that of the EU circa 1990---one that even Europe now rejects as a failure.”---Victor Davis Hanson.

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Rant: Lotteries are a tax on the stupid.

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Stats: The San Francisco Giants finished September with a 1.78 team ERA, the lowest for any club in any month of 20 or more games since the Indians had a 1.42 ERA in May 1968. Luis Tiant, Sonny Siebert and Sam McDowell each made at least six starts for Cleveland that month.

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Rant: There ought to be a nationwide standard for the Club Sandwich. It should always have three pieces of toast (no Kaiser roll, etc.), be cut into triangles and the proper ingredients. No options!

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Rave: All of Ron Gardenhire’s 800-plus career victories have come managing the Twins.

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Quote: Commenting on the Roger Clemens mess, Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck said, “Isn’t it a great to live in a country where the penalty for lying to a congressman can be up to 30 years, but the penalty far a congressman lying to you is another two years in office.”

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Rant: Pennant races were better before the wildcard.

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R.I.P.: Tony Curtis may have gained as much notoriety from his six marriages as the nearly 100 movies he made.

He was such a major pop culture figure of the 1950s and 1960s, that he was referred to a number of time in various “Leave It to Beaver” episodes.

My favorite Tony Curtis movies are: “Sweet Smell of Success,” “Spartacus” and “The Vikings.”

He possessed a huge acting range…having experienced triumphs in just about every film genre.

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Hmm: The idea to schedule the Red Sox/Yankees three game series to end the season must have seemed like a great idea at one time.

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Rave: Boston’s David Ortiz has twelve walk-off home runs in his career…only Mickey Mantle has more

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Rant: Even with an 8:00 PM start this season, the World Series starts and ends far too late. Even worse, some playoff games start at 9:37 PM. The Eastern Time Zone is the toughest place to live if you are a sports fan who has to get up early.

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Hmmm: What were the odds that the team that plays on a blue field in Idaho, of all places, would become one of the powers in college football?

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RIP: I was saddened by the death of Stephen J. Cannell. Not only did he create over 40 different TV shows in the 1970s and 80s…he did it while overcoming dyslexia.

He was the first to mix humor and crime fighting…injecting wittiness at unexpected times. Jim Rockford is truly an icon of pop culture.

His heroes often were screw-ups, who won out because the bad guys were also screw-ups, but without a strong work ethic.

He wrote 16 books…the Shane Scully series being a particular favorite of mine.

His visits to the Imus in the Morning show were always a treat.

His iconic “typewriter” logo will be missed.

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Rave: The Tampa Bay Rays are the best story in baseball…a small market team with a manageable payroll…heading back to the playoffs after being in the World Series two years ago. They deserve better fan support. Only 12,000 showed up at the Trop on a night when they were trying to clinch the playoff spot.

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Quote: “The past is never over, it’s not even past.”—William Faulkner.

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Didjaknow: Only one MLB pitcher hit two grand slams in the same game. On 7/3/66, Tony Cloninger of the Braves pulled it off. In 213 bases loaded situations, Oriole great Jim Palmer never gave up a grand slam.

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If you can read this, thank a teacher.

If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.

If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.

That is all.

As you were.