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Entries from February 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Thoughts on Mark Martin's race schedule and NFL Free Agency...

A random connection of disconnected thoughts... It's Tue. We all know this. There's very little going on around here right now but, I figured I'd chime in and add more clutter to an already messy innernest.

I watched the California race off and on last Sunday. We were having a birthday party for our kids so I did not get to see very much of it. I did see the last 30 laps or so however and I was happy to see Kenseth get the win. He is one of my favorite drivers and I always like to see him do well.

A top 5 finish for Mark Martin has him at the top of the points standings for the moment and I've read several stories speculating on whether or not Martin will run a full schedule if he remains within striking distance of a championship...

First off, it's only two races, so I think it's safe to say, there will probably be some changes at the top of the standings over the next few weeks. I would wait a little while and see if Martin remains consistent and stays in the top five before wondering if he is going to run the full set of races. If we get to say, May, and Martin is still hanging around in the top 3 or 4 spots, it might be time to start wondering what he's going to do.

Personally I would love to see him race in every event and contend for that elusive championship, but right now I think it's too early to be asking these kinds of questions.

Second, and I know this comes off as a little mean, but it's Mark Martin. He is always hanging around the top of the points standings and Martin finishes in the top ten consistently almost every season, so I am not so sure that where he is in the points is necessarily going to be a factor to him when deciding whether to race or not.

Martin is non-committal about what he is going to do and seems to be taking things week to week and that is pretty cool actually. Mark has always been a very intense driver. It is good to see him take a step back and simply race for the enjoyment of it. As for his race schedule plans, we'll just have to wait and see what happens...

--

The NFL Free Agency Free For All starts this weekend. There will be lots of talk about this player and that player going here there and everywhere around the league. I generally ignore the free agency rumor mill because it's all just a bunch of speculation anyway. As an example, I have read articles that have The Patriots' tight end Daniel Graham going to Jacksonville, Arizona, Cincy and Denver. Nobody really knows what's going on with players and teams until something actually happens, so as far as the NFL goes, for now I'll step back, wait for the free agency dust to settle and see who's a Patriot when it's over.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I am a complete idiot...

Yes, I hear what you are saying, 'we know that already.' Ha ha. Very funny.

I did something really, really, REALLY stupid today and I would love to kick my own ass. If it was possible I would do it.

I accidentally erased some very important files on my computer this morning and of course, have NO BACKUP.

I am such an idiot.

I was looking for a picture on my computer and I noticed a folder in my documents folder. It turns out this folder was empty so I trashed it. Here's where I messed up. I accidentally had put the WHOLE, ENTIRE documents folder in the trash and then proceeded to empty it.

What should have taken just a second to delete a little empty folder all of a sudden caused a rapidly moving progress bar to open up saying that thousands of files were being deleted ...

'What the?? .. OH SHHITTTT!!!'

I canceled the trash before it completed being emptied so I did not lose the whole documents folder, but I lost a lot of pretty important files.

My only consolation is that I thankfully did not lose our pictures folder. We have been using nothing but the digital camera for years now and if we were to lose those photos, years of family pictures, kids growing up, vacation photos and other priceless, irreplaceable images would be gone.

Making me feel even more foolish, I've had a firewire drive sitting in my desk drawer, just waiting to be used for backups, and I've never done it. Needless to say, I immediately plugged in the drive and did a quick and dirty backup of all my files by simply copying them over. A 10 minute job that could have saved me a lot of problems and frustration. Too little too late.

Take this as a warning my friends, don't let this happen to you. Back your stuff up!! Even if it involves manually copying your files over to a backup drive, if you are not doing this regularly, this is something you need to get on the ball and start doing.

I had heard this advice many times myself and always was like, 'yup, I need to do that,' but I never did. Like I said, I even had a firewire drive in my desk just waiting to be used. Now I am sorry.

Don't be an idiot like me you guys. Back up your stuff now. Don't wait till it is too late like I did.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Various Pats / Sox related thoughts... (and a snowblower fight story!)

Corey Dillon is no longer a Patriot. He has asked to be released by the team and The Pats have granted him his wish. He may or may not retire, depending on what kind of offer / opportunity he gets from other teams. Apparently he feels that he still has enough gas in the tank to carry the load as a number one running back. Based on his numbers with The Patriots the last few years, I am not so sure about that, although last season I thought he was very productive and was under-used by The Patriots... Hopefully he does not go to an AFC East team, or some other big AFC rival, but I would not be surprised if he did, since that is how things always seem to work with players that leave The Patriots.

Wherever Dillon winds up, I wish him the best. When he was still on the Bengals I used to always think how cool it would be to have him in a New England uniform and then when it actually happened, I was psyched. I appreciated the effort and the work that Corey put in when he was on the team and I never fell for any of the crap that the local press tried to shove down our throats about him being a bad person or whatever. The Pats helped Dillon escape from what was, at the time anyway, a perennial loser in Cincy, formerly known as NFL Siberia, and in turn Dillon helped the Pats win a Superbowl. Things worked out quite nicely.

Best of luck Corey (except when facing The Patriots of course).

--

Well it looks like I will have soon have something else in common with Tom Brady besides the fact that we are both men and both really like football. Yes, it's true. In case you haven't heard, our man Tom is about to join The Daddy Club. All I will say about this 'story' is this: I now have to find a new millionaire-playboy-superbowl champion-aw shucks-seems like a regular guy like me but also dates super-models and plays for my #1 favorite team-athlete to live vicariously through. Damn. Do you know how hard it is to find a guy like that?? It's not easy. It's easier to find a white whale or a white elephant or a koala bear or something. I don't think it can be done actually. I mean, who out there in the sports world can offer what Brady formerly had to offer as an imaginary double life? Nobody, that's who. Who am I supposed to live vicariously through now? Petyon Manning? Phhht!! Yeah right!!

--

The Sox are not going to offer Curt Shilling a contract for 2008 and will allow him to become a free agent after this season. My thoughts on this subject are somewhat cloudy because I happen to have a huge man-crush on The Shil. Shilling is the fucking balls dude. I fully fucking love that guy (in a very masculine, manly way of course) so it goes without saying I'd like to see him finish things out as a Red Sox.

Of course, I can understand the Red Sox side of things too. He has been injured (mainly due to his risking his baseball future for our sakes in 2004, I might add) and is getting up there in age at 40 years young, so in that vein I can see why the Sox would want to wait and see how things pan out this season before signing any kind of guaranteed contract for future years.

And it is still possible that The Sox could work out a deal with Shilling after the season ends as well, provided he has a good year, etc etc. I read the article about him basically brushing off Sox owner John Henry as he tried to approach Shil during spring training by speeding up his pace and walking away too quickly for The Henry to keep up and have a conversation with him. On one hand I thought it was funny. Classic Shilling. On the other hand, it was not funny, if you know what I mean, because Shilling is obviously annoyed by the situation.

Whatever. We've got a long baseball season in front of us for things to play out in so we'll see what happens when it's over. I just hope that if Shilling has a good year, he does not hold this against The Sox when he becomes a free agent. Hopefully he doesn't decide to pay The Sox back for their wait and see attitude by donning the hated pinstripes in 2008... That would fully hella suck...

--

Manny is being Manny again. What? No way!! How dare he show up for Spring Training late, just like he does every year!! Yup. Yawn. This is a story? I've noticed the press is doing their best to try and stir us up about Manny's annual 'late to Spring Training because of [insert reason here]'. Thankfully this time around it does not appear to be working. Seems like most folks have finally learned to ignore the flailing of the sportswriters on this subject. Yay! You can fully count me in on the 'Manny Rules and can show up to camp whenever he feels like it' side of things.

The Dugout had a really funny post on this subject by the way... Good for a Friday laugh.

--

Well I think that basically about covers things here... Oh, yeah I forgot. I woke up this morning to the glory of a snow covered winters morn today... and then cursed every last flake as I went out to shovel. I hate snow. All snow. Any snow. Hate it.

This last storm was pretty mild. Couple inches, not too heavy. I was not expecting a problem getting cleared out today. SO I'm out there with my snow-blower, and things are working fine. The Airens is chugging along and I'm just mindlessly going up and down the driveway. I was actually thinking to myself that even though I hate snow and I hate shoveling and snow-blowing, I am very, very thankful and glad that I have a snowblower, because manually shoveling the driveway really, really sucks. So even though my snow blower has generally been a pain in the ass and has needed several repairs over the years, as well as temporarily serving as a comfy nest for some mice (fuckers), I was still extremely appreciative and thankful for it's presence.

Just as I was thinking these nice, happy thoughts about my finicky snowblower, I noticed that the chute that the snow comes shooting out of was kind of wiggly and loose.

'Hmmm. That's kind of odd,' I thought. 'I have not seen that before. I'll have to check that out when I'm done...'

I got to the end of the driveway, turned around to go back up, turned the crank to swivel the snow chute over to the other direction and, 'CLANG!!' The shute fucking fell right the fuck off the snowblower and landed on the ground.

WHAT THE FUCK!!!

So now I'm pissed. 'You stupid snowblower!' I yelled to no one in particular.

I took a minute to calm down and then proceeded to scour the driveway and the street for the little nut and bolt that held the chute onto the snowblower and had apparently come loose and fallen out somewhere while I was walking up and down the driveway. I actually said a short prayer to God in Heaven to help me be patient and calm and to help me to find the little pieces in all this snow and ice. It took several minutes but, YES!! There is the nut. Found it!!

Now I needed to find the screw. That should be easier. The nut was really little, so if I found that, I should be able to find the screw, right? Plus it should not be too far from where the chute fell off... Well not so fast because I had a a hell of a time finding that little screw. I was almost ready to throw in the towel and see if I could scrounge up a replacement from the box of assorted screws that I have on my workbench in my basement when I found it. YES! Thank you God! Big ups to you for your help! You are THE MAN! (or the being, or whatever God is...)

I put the chute back together and finished clearing the driveway. As I was putting the snowblower away, I noticed the chute was loose again. 'I bet there was a lock-washer on there and now that's gone,' I said to myself. 'Well there's no way I'm gonna find that.'

Down to the basement I went to get my box of assorted nuts and bolts and washers. I was in luck again because I had one single lock-washer that fit just right on the screw. Woo-hoo! Somebody really was watching out for me today. I put the thing back together and tightened it all up. I checked all the other nuts and bolts on the ornery machine while I was at it because I did not want to have to do this again.

They don't have to deal with this kind of thing in St. Thomas I bet...

Slayer show, Providence R.I....

It was a Friday night ahead of a long weekend. I left work at the magic hour of 5 o’clock and headed south for Providence R.I. I was going to a club called Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel to see Satan’s favorite band, Slayer.

Providence was a good hour and a half away and as I drove down I listened to the classic Slayer albums, ‘Seasons In the Abyss’ and ‘Reign In Blood’. This would be my first time seeing Slayer live and I was wondering what to expect at the show tonight and what the crowd would be like. Would it be a bunch of guys standing there banging their heads, or a mosh pit frenzy?

The drive down to Providence was relatively easy. It’s pretty much a straight shot southbound and down. Rt 495, down past Foxboro Stadium, home of The New England Patriots, and on to Rt 95 into Providence.

As I drove down I noted that the traffic on the other side of the highway, heading Northbound, was backed up for several miles, undoubtedly due to the fantastic driving skills of one of my fellow Massholeachusetts drivers. I was sure glad not to be caught in that mess...

Once I reached Providence, the traffic got thick. Time to start paying attention and take a glance at the directions. I came to the exit and merged over. There was a stop light at the end of the ramp, so it was backed up all the way onto the highway. Brilliant.

The directions called for me to exit the highway, take a left and then take my next left. Ok, no problem. I followed the directions and found myself, much to my surprise, back on the highway, heading in the opposite direction of where I wanted to be.

What the?? DAMMIT!

I got off the highway at the next exit and back-tracked my way back to where I was supposed to be, passing several fabulous Providence night-spots along the way, such as The Foxy Lady and various other Gentleman’s Clubs, of which there are a great many in Providence…

Mental note for the next time I come here: ignore the directions. Take the SECOND left.

After this slight detour and two full hours after leaving work, I had reached my destination. There is a parking garage conveniently located one street down from the club, so I drove down a side street, ignoring various suggestions from various traffic signals, as all of my fellow drivers were doing, and pulled into the garage.

In the alleyway next to the club, there is a fantastic little place called Murphy’s Deli and Bar. This is my kind of place and I was looking forward to hitting this spot for a little refreshment before heading into the show.

Murphy’s is not too big, not super crowded, is dimly lit and has lots of Patriots, Red Sox and Bruins paraphernalia on the walls. Oh yea and there is a great beer selection and an awesome bowl of chili too.

I settled in on a barstool and ordered a shot of Jack and a Smithwick’s. I quickly downed both and ordered another round of the same, along with a bowl of chili. Cheese and onions on top? Definitely.

I downed the second shot of Jack and then took my time with the beer and chili, relaxing and watching some kooky celebrity basketball tournament on the TV that hung over the bar.

After finishing up and settling my tab, I walked over to Lupo’s. It was a cold night and I had left my jacket in the car. Expecting to be jammed, pushed and packed in with hundreds of other people, I wanted to be wearing the minimal amount of apparel, without having to freeze my ass off at the same time. The club was only a short walk up the street so I was not exposed to the freezing temperatures for very long.

As I entered the club I took everything out of my pockets, keys and a wallet. The less stuff you’ve got, the easier it is for everybody. I got my wristband and headed inside.

As I entered, the second band of the night, Unearth, was already playing, but they had just recently started, so I did not miss too much. I have never heard Unearth before and did not realize they were from Boston until I walked over to check out the merch and saw a shirt that said ‘BOSTON FUCKIN METAL’ written in big white letters.

While I was over there I checked out the Slayer merch. I thought about maybe buying a shirt, but starting at $35 bucks, that was too rich for my blood. I don’t need a $35 dollar t-shirt.

Lupo’s is set up in kind of a tiered arrangement, with each level heading down till you are eventually at the floor. I stood on the top tier and watched Unearth play. I thought they were a pretty good band. Even though I did not know any of their tunes, I thought several of them were pretty good and the band played with a lot of energy.

The singer seemed to have the ability to actually sing a bit and did not just sound like cookie monster with guitars, which seems to be the big thing these days (Heh. I just said ‘these days’. Yeah I’m old. Get off my lawn).

The guitar players would occasionally do a few antics like spin their guitar around their back, and every so often, some guy would appear out of nowhere up on the stage holding a beer funnel for one of the band members to chug. Kinda goofy but whatever. The lead guitar player seemed to have quite a lot of technical ability and the whole band seemed to be having a good time, which was infectious to the crowd.

I decided Unearth was a pretty good band, worthy of checking out after the show… And they were local, from Boston, and touring with Slayer, so that was cool.

After Unearth’s set, it was time to wait around for Slayer. I headed over to the bar, got a Sam Adams and started to make my way to the tier just above the floor to watch the crew set up for Slayer. It did not take very long and I had just reached the bottom of my plastic beer cup when the lights came down and Slayer walked out onto the stage.

The stage setup for Slayer was minimal. There was a backdrop with a picture of their latest album, ‘Christ Illusion’ and a few red and green lights that would swivel around to give things that Slaytanic look, and that was it. The rest was all Slayer and that was all that was necessary.

The band mixed in a good number of the new songs as well as the older ones that I am familiar with such as War Ensemble, Dead Skin Mask and Raining Blood (from a lacerated sky, bleeding it’s horror… fuck yeah).

Slayer was relentless and the intensity of their playing seemed to ratchet up a notch every time they started in on a new tune. It was like a ball rolling down hill that just kept gaining momentum. With each song, Tom Araya’s vocals seemed to grow stronger and stronger and guitar players Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman traded off between laying down viciously fast riffs along with ranging, piercing solos, intermixed with powerful, heavy bridges that would momentarily slow the pace and churn things up a little before jumping back into the raw speed. Dave Lombardo laid down the foundation with his precise, insanely fast drumming and the whole band played together without missing a trick.

Slayer would play each tune at a frenetic pace and hit each of the stops perfectly. I was extremely impressed with how well the band played together as a singlular force…

Of course, I did not just stand there and analyze what was going on up on stage. I was right down near the floor, only one level up, and the pushing and shoving was moving me down to the main floor area. I did not resist it and allowed the flow carry me down.

I was on the right hand side of the floor, right where guitarist Kerry King was playing. King is bald, save for the tattoos on his skull, and has a long beard that was bundled tightly together. From where I was located, I could see King, Tom Araya on vocals and bass and Dave Lombardo on the drums. I got occasional glimpses of second guitar player, Jeff Hanneman, off to the left.

Once I was on the floor I was sucked into the pit and pretty much just went with the flow of it, shoving and getting shoved. Occasionally there would be too many people on top of me so I’d swing my elbows, along with a bit of emphatic shoving, and clear people off.

Although the pit was certainly wild and frantic, people were flying all over the place, it was not completely out of hand. People were surfing the crowd and falling on their asses. I helped a few guys up off the floor, as well as a few others up over peoples heads. The code, as I call it, was being followed for the most part, though I did get a gut punch from one younger guy that showed a look of surprise and pain when I paid it back in return along with a good shove.

Don’t fuck with the old guys.

I did not surf. Ernie don’t surf.

Between songs, Slayer would stop and Tom Araya would look around, smile and banter with the crowd. He seemed to like the response and often had a smile on his face. Other songs the band played included Seasons In the Abyss and Spirit in Black. There were of course, many more that I did not know, not that it mattered. They all fully kicked ass.

At one point Araya asked the crowd, ‘Do you wanna die?’ The loud response of ‘YEAH!’ put a smile on his face and he asked again, ‘DO YOU WANNA DIE?’

YEAHHH!

During this brief interaction I could not help but think that the people yelling in the affirmative either had no idea what their reply meant, or they were fully and completely aware of the meaning of their reply. I also happened to look around in this moment and take in Lupo’s in general. It’s an old theater, like a lot of places. I looked up, and up over the ornately decorated stage, is a painting of an angel, looking down and smiling on the happenings below. I could not help but find the scene to be somewhat humorous and a little ironic too.

And with that Slayer launched into, as Araya emphasized with his introduction, Post-MORTEM. This tune fully kicked things into another gear and the crowd responded in kind.

Slayer ended the night with everybody’s favorite, Angel of Death. When the show was over, the band lingered on the stage throwing picks and drum-sticks out to the crowd. I was still right near Kerry King. He threw a few picks in my vicinity but I did not catch any. Of course, I was not going out of my way to get one either. I did not think it was worth it to climb on top of someone just to get a guitar pick.

Once King had thrown out his last pick, he held out his left arm and pointed slowly and emphatically to each word of the tattoo that covered the underside of his forearm, “God Hates Us All”.

And with that, the show was over. Time to head back to the car and head home. I had seen an incredible show. In fact, I would tell my Wife the next day that I thought it was the best metal show I had ever seen. It was not the loudest, the pit was not the craziest, but as far as the band and the music and the experience, I felt it was the best. Hail Slayer.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sad news, Celts great Dennis Johnson has passed away...

I just read the news that Dennis Johnson, former Celtics great, has passed away.

I was extremely surprised and at the same time, very saddened to learn of Johnson's passing. He was only 52 years old. Damn.

DJ was one of my favorite players on The Celtics back in the 80's. I can remember well watching him and the other Celtics greats as a teenager back during the Celts championship years, and I can still hear Johnny Most screaming Johnson's name with excitement after DJ had pulled off a spectacular play.

It's a sad day for Celtics fans. RIP Dennis Johnson.

NASCAR: My Cup drivers for 2007...

Now that Daytona's out of the way and over with, here are the Cup drivers that I'll be backing for the remainder of the season:

Dale Jr.
Matt Kenseth
Kevin Harvick
Anybody but Kurt Busch

Sentimental Faves:
*Mark Martin (when he races)
Jeff Burton
Bobby Labonte

*Martin is not going to run a full schedule this year but we'll see what that means... I'm sure he will skip out on a few races here and there. The annual caution flag fest at Bristol is one that immediately comes to mind... I'm sure the number of races that Martin runs will depend on how well he does week to week and how happy or frustrated he becomes as the schedule rolls on...

Final thoughts on Daytona:
The commercials for The Daytona 500 are 10 times funnier than the commercials for The Superbowl. My favorite ad was the one with Dale Jr being chased across the desert by 'Crazy Mutant Desert Guys,' a-la The Road Warrior. The crazy mutant desert guys were after Dale because they thought he had beer in his car... Very funny.

Speaking of commercials, perhaps it would be a good idea for FOX to show the races in delayed mode. That way when something happens on the track during a commercial, as it inevitably does several times during each race, we viewers don't have to miss the action.

Dumb idea or sheer genius? (Don't answer that... Unless you are going with genius that is.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Because I need to post something...

'Sup you-all. Posting is light this week. Had a long weekend and was not too into being on the computer, ya know? Plus it's been busy around here. Lots of birthdays this time of year.

I've also been dealing with a medical issue and that has been taking up a lot of my time. Don't worry, it's nothing bad, but I have had to spend a lot of time on the phone with medical insurance companies so that I can get this problem taken care of.

Seems my old plan expired and I never got the cards for my company's new plan due to an address mix up, so in the meantime I have not been able get a prescription for the medicine that will eliminate this issue.

Anyway, it's all taken care of now and that's probably more info than you really want to know anyway...

For those of you who have asked, (and thanks a lot for your interest by the way), look for my story about the Slayer show I recently attended to appear this Friday. I'll be cross posting it with my Slaytanic friends over at Faster Than the World.

I think tomorrow is, what, Thursday? I'm all mixed up this week because it is a short week. All day I kept thinking that today was Thursday. But it wasn't. It was Wednesday...

My Wife and Kids are taking off on a trip tomorrow so I will be home alone for two nights. What the hell am I going to do with myself? I have no idea. I'm thinking I might need to make a list of things to do, otherwise, I'll sit around and do nothing at all, flip through TV channels and waste time on the computer.

I'm thinking maybe this would be a good time for me to paint the scoreboard on the Green Monster I've built in my basement...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Daytona 500: SOOO Upset that Mark Martin lost that race!!

I watched most of the Daytona 500 today and overall I thought it was a good race. Not too many cautions and good racing in general with several lead changes.

I was glad to see Kurt Busch get knocked out early in the race, since I can't stand him, though it was too bad that Tony Stewart also went out with him.

There are not too many drivers that I honestly dislike these days, I don't even mind Jeff Gordon anymore, but Kurt Busch is a dick. I can't really put it any plainer than that... Other than that I have no strong opinions about him. (heh.)

As the laps at Daytona wound down, I was on the edge of my seat. Thanks to a combination of luck and skill, here was my main driver, Mark Martin, leading at the end of the race! I was counting down the laps to the finish, 30 laps.. 20... 10!

I have not felt that kind of tension and excitement since the last time The Patriots played in a Superbowl. At some points I had to leave the room because I was so wound up. I was afraid if I watched too much I might put some kind of jinx on Martin's chances to win, so I would get up, walk away for a few minutes and then come back to check and see if he was still in front.

Mark Martin has been my favorite driver for as long as I have been watching racing, and here he was leading the race in the final laps of The Daytona 500, a race that he has never won in over 20 years of racing..

As the race got down to under 10 laps to go, it looked to be all but certain that Mark was finally going to win his FIRST Daytona 500, but then, of course, there was the inevitable spinout, wreck and caution flag in the last few laps of the race, bringing out the yellow flag and setting up the green, white, checkered finish.

Martin got a good jump at the start when the green flag dropped, and as the white flag flew, he was still in the lead. One lap to go and he was holding onto the bottom of the track heading for the finish line. I thought for sure he had that win, I felt my heart starting to rise in anticipation of seeing him finally get it, BUT THEN, (FUCK!!), out of nowhere Kevin Harvick made a run on the outside, and was able to catch up with Martin.

As the two cars came down the final stretch heading for the checkered, Harvick was able to nose his car out to the front and took the win. He won the race by the nose of his car, literally about a foot in front of Mark Martin.

God DAMN IT!!

I was (and remain) so frikkin' disappointed, I can't even tell you. It felt just as bad as watching any Patriots or Red Sox playoff loss.

I really feel bad for Mark Martin. Damn I thought he had that Daytona 500 win in his grasp. Over 20 years of trying and there it was right in front of him, and then to lose it by a foot. A FOOT! Damn damn damn. Crushing. That is the only word I can think of to describe it.

I actually like Kevin Harvick, and if it were anybody else that he had beaten, I would be happy for him, but in this case, I can't feel glad to see him to get this win.

Dammit. So close, but... 'That's Racin'

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Who I'm rooting for at Daytona...

I don't follow NASCAR racing as closely as I used to, but I am still a fan of the sport (yes, it's a sport) and The Daytona 500 is one of the biggest races of the year. Some say it is THE biggest race of the year. It is certainly the most hyped, that is for sure...

Here's who I'm rooting for at The Daytona 500 tomorrow:
Dale Jr.
Matt Kenseth
Kevin Harvick
Carl Edwards
Ryan Newman

Sentimental Favs:
Mark Martin
Bobby Labonte
Jeff Burton
Ricky Rudd
Sterling Marlin

I hope it will be a good race without a lot of wrecks and caution flags. With restrictor plate racing there is always a chance for 'The Big One' happening, but hopefully it will be a clean, safe and exciting race. Should be fun to watch..

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Slayer Friday...

Hey what's up internets? Happy Friday. Hope you're having a good one. This is going to be a long weekend for me because Monday is a company holiday, so I am looking forward to that.

Tonight I'm heading down to Providence R.I. to go see Satan's favorite band, Slayer, play at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel. I've been in kind of a low, somewhat bad mood for the last few days, so I'm hoping this show tonight will help to break me out of it and provide a bit of a release for me. It should be interesting and fun.

The last time I was at Lupo's was in 2005 to see Danzig. During that show, Glenn did a special 'Misfits Reunion' set that featured The Misfits' guitar player, Doyle. When Danzig broke into the old Misfits stuff the entire place went berserk.That show was probably the wildest show I have ever been to. It might have been the loudest as well, as my ears were ringing for about a week afterwards..

I am curious to see what the Slayer crowd is going to be like, if it is going to be complete mosh-pit insanity or more of a stand there and bang your head type scene. Either way, I am looking forward to it.

Driving down to R.I. is kind of a haul from where I am, it's over an hour, but the chance to see Slayer play in a small club is too much to pass up. I am probably not what you would categorize as a 'gigantically huge' Slayer fan, I don't own every one of their albums or know the words to every song, but they are a great band and that is enough for me.

I checked out some reviews of their recent shows and it looks like there are plenty of songs in their set list that I will know. It should be a good time and that is the bottom line.

I'm planning on hitting Murphy's Deli & Bar for some chili and a beer or two before the show. I went there the last time I was in Providence and thought it was a great little spot. Lots of good, thick beers on tap and good food as well.

Expect an update on the show at some point later on this weekend...

Dunks' sausage maple cheddar: a review...

I tried Dunkins' new Sausage Maple Cheddar Sammitch for the second time today and I have to give it an overall rating of one thumb up. I think it is a good sammitch, but it is not super-fantastic. After trying it for the first time last week and not being overly impressed I decided to give it another shot, so this week I tried it again to see if my feelings had changed.

The first time I tried the Maple Cheddar sammich, I had it on a wheat bagel instead of the standard croissant. Thinking that maybe the wheat bagel was too bland for this salty-sweet sammitch, this time around I tried it on an onion bagel to see if it would be any better.

It turns out my thoughts about this sammitch are pretty much the same as they were last week: ok but not great.. I like the regular sausage egg and cheese sammitch better. There you go.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day Snow Storm Day...

Happy Valentines Day internets. Hope you're having a good one. It is snowing outside and the weather is generally rotten around here today.

After hearing the forecast calling for snow and sleet throughout the day today, I decided to pick up the flowers for my Wife after work last night, so Valentines came a little early to my house. I also got some Valentines balloons for the kids and they were very excited about those.

Balloons are very, very exciting, dontcha know? Not only do they float in the air, but you can also bop people with them, right on the head even, and that's fun.

I generally dislike Valentines Day, mainly because I don't like having things forced on me, and also because it is not a real holiday. It's a manufactured greeting card holiday. Everyone knows this of course, but like sheep, we follow along with the Valentines Day charade anyway. I buy flowers for my Wife all year round, so I know how much a bunch of roses cost and I can't help but feel somewhat annoyed when the same flowers that I know were $16 last week are now $35 this week. But, I went out and met my societal Valentines obligations. I went out and got the flowers and the cards, etc etc etc.

Every year at Valentines Day, my Wife tells me, 'don't get me anything'. I am not foolish enough to believe that, so every year we play a little Valentines Day game. She says, 'don't get me anything, flowers are too expensive'. I then go out and buy over-priced roses for her. She tells me I shouldn't have, smiles and gives me a hug. The flowers make her happy and I like hugs, so it's not such a bad game, really.

Even though I don't necessarily like it, I play along with the greeting card company's scheme. My Wife likes to get flowers and I like to see her happy, and the kids get all excited about making Valentines cards and handing them out to their friends at school, so I guess the bottom line is, Valentines Day makes them happy and they have fun with it and in the end that is all that really matters to me.

As far as this winter weather goes, I don't like it. I was really starting to believe that I was going to make it through the whole winter without having to use the snowblower. We came close! But, at the same time, we're half-way through February and this is the first snow-blower worthy storm of the year, so I can't complain about it too much. If I only have to run the snow-blower once this year, that is still a pretty good winter as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, and I took The Red Sox ball-cap off the bed-post this morning... Some internal clock went off today that said it was time to start switching over to Red Sox baseball mode. I think it might have been a reaction to the snow coming down outside my windows. I needed a reminder that Spring, and everything that comes with it, is only about a month away.

Plus, pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training down in Ft. Myers FL this week and that has me excited. I'm looking forward to some Red Sox baseball.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Some great band names I thought up. Don't steal these you damn musicians!

The other day while driving to work I kinda zoned out and started thinking about band names. The next thing I know, I was off the high-way and I was at work. Ever have that happen? It's like, where did that time go? Was I in hyper-space??

Anyway, here are a few of the names I came up with while I was in 'The Driving Zone':

Clarence and the Entourage of the Insane
Draw
RSN-2B
4 Chords and a Cloud of Dust
Kirk's Mistress
Burnouts
Recreational Beer Drinkers
Satan's Watercooler
Cover 2
The Infield Shift
Cyclophone
Zombified Pirates of Death (outlaw country band, obviously)

Let me know which ones you like, or add your own. No stealing, you bastard musicians. I know how you are...

Monday, February 12, 2007

I want a job involving race cars...

This past weekend I watched a TV show about Michael Waltrip's brand-new NASCAR racing team. It was a really good show that gave a bit of an inside look at what kind of work goes into building a new NASCAR racing team. One of the main segments of the program showed how the team's engineers and drivers go about building and testing their race cars.

I commented to my Wife about how cool that must be to have a job like that. 'Where did I go wrong?' I asked, 'I could be testing RACE-CARS!'

'I don't know if I would really want you testing race cars,' she replied.

Imagine: your JOB is to build race cars and then hang out at the track and test them. You tweak spoilers and air dams and try out different configurations on the car to see if it shaves a point or two off of your lap-time, then you go back to the shop, and try to make an even better, faster race car.

Imagine: that's what you do every day. For 'work'.

Obviously I fucked up on my job track somewhere down the line.

Things we learned from The Pro Bowl and some interesting NFL dates...

Now that the Pro-Bowl is over and done with, football is really, really finished for the year. It's over Johnny... IT'S OVER! For the next few months we will have absolute zippola for football related action, unless you are one of those rare-breed of die-hards that follow arena football, just to get your fix.

Personally, I don't watch arena football, just like I don't drink non-alcoholic beer or diet soda. It's the real thing or nothing as far as I'm concerned.

There are a few NFL dates of interest over the next few months:

Feb 21: NFL Combine, a.k.a. Team Meat Market Weekend: The Combine is extremely interesting. The players that attend are designated with a number, and that number is marked on various parts of their bodies, arms, legs, etc, using some type of ink, I'm guessing it's magic marker, and they are video-taped in mug-shot like fashion. The players are then herded around from test to test, some physical, some mental, almost like cattle. Thankfully the players are not actually branded during the NFL Combine.

March 2: Free Agency begins: The salary cap is going up again this year so it should be very interesting to see which teams hold the line on excessive salary (The Patriots) and which ones cave in and pay out butt-loads of money to anybody and everybody (The Redskins).

March 19: Off-season training can begin: Thank god. Time for players to start getting ready for the season.

April 28: NFL Draft: I will fully admit, I am not a draft-nik. I have absolutely no idea who any of these college players are. The only thing I care about on draft day is finding out what positions The Patriots have filled with their picks. Then I wait for my Patriots Football Weekly mag to arrive and tell me all about them.

To close things out, here are some things we learned at the Pro-Bowl this year:

- Having the Pro-Bowl on Sat night = Bad Idea.
To be honest with you, I didn't even know the Pro-Bowl was on last Saturday. For some reason, I thought it was going to be played on Sunday, until I was clicking around on the TV Saturday night and noticed the game was on. I watched for a few minutes to see if I could catch a glimpse of Bill Belichick's elusive smile, then my Wife chimed in, 'We're not watching this are we? Don't we have a movie or something?'

Then on Sunday, I was jonesing for some kind of Football all day and there was nothing, nothing! The NFL should have played the Pro-Bowl game on Sunday afternoon. That's when we needed a football fix.

- Playing in the pro bowl =  Bad Idea.
Like I said the other day, I want to see Patriots players chosen for the Pro-Bowl, I just don't want to see them actually play in the game. How do you think Saints fans feel about QB Drew Brees screwing up his elbow while playing in a completely meaningless exhibition game?

Here's my advice for the players in the NFL: don't play in the Pro Bowl. If you are selected, get your picture taken with the hula-girls and get a tan. When the game starts, jiggle your elbow and pretend you've hurt your arm like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack. "Oh, my arm! It's broken!!"

- Bill Belichick = nice guy.
Wow. How about this? After being painted by the main stream sports media as the biggest meanie in the NFL for the last few weeks, the AFC All-Stars finally got to meet Bill Belichick in person and they learned that he is really a pretty nice guy who is actually into coaching football and not so much into providing sound-bytes and good quotes for the media. No wonder the press has it out for Belichick. Damn him and his winning ways.

Note to the sports press: Terrell Owens is available for any controversy inducing questions you might have this off-season.

(And just in the nick of time, today is Truck Day!)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fidgety without football...

I'm very fidgety today. I'm not sure why. All day long I've been doing little stuff around the house, small chores that need to be taken care of, and all day long I've had this funny feeling like there is something I should be doing, but I can't remember what it is or put my finger on it. Something is missing.

This odd feeling has been growing all day, and now that it is mid-afternoon, I've just realized what that missing thing is:

Football.

This is when I would normally be watching football, but there is no football this weekend. And I have no idea what to do with myself.

I don't like it.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Various subjects of dubious interest...

Yesterday on my way to work, I was riding behind a boxy, gray colored, piece of shit Buick. What made the car noticeable to me was the bumper-sticker which said 'I ass'. I found that to be quite humorous and frankly I couldn't agree more. I mean really, who doesn't ass?

--

Wednesday night was the first time in several nights that my Wife and I have gotten an, almost, full night's sleep. We were only woken up once by the baby, who was crying because she is teething, a perfectly normal reason to be awakened in the middle of the night.

My big kids however, have found many, non-normal reasons to wake us up at around 2:30 AM. Recent examples include:

- Needs a band-aid. (At 2:30 in the morning? Why? WHY???)

- A certain toy is missing from their room. (Why are you looking for a toy, any toy, at 2:30 in the morning??)

- Needs some chap-stick (I don't know what to say about this one...)

- Worried about the invitations for their upcoming birthday party. (Again, I'm speechless here.)

- Needs a tissue (JUST GET ONE!)

- Letting us know they need to go to the bathroom (Just GO! No need to make an announcement.)

- It's too dark (WHAT!??)

--

Over the next few weeks, there are a bunch of good concerts in the area. Next week I am going to see Slayer, and the following week, I am probably going to go see Killswitch Engage. I have not decided, but since my Wife and Kids are going on a trip, and I have nothing else to do that night except sit around at home alone, I will probably go. If I'm going to be alone, I may as well do it in the company of others, banging their heads wildly to music that my Mom totally hates.

In March, I've got tickets to see George Strait and later in the month, both Clutch and Fu Manchu are coming to the area. The only problem with that is that Clutch and Fu Manchu are both playing in the same week, so I'll have to pick which band I want to see. I'd love to see both, but I can't do two shows in one week. I'll probably go see Fu Manchu because it's on a Thursday, as opposed to Clutch, who is playing on a Monday.

--

One of my many domestic duties is to function as taker-carer of all left-over dinner foods. A lot of times, after a few nights, there is a little bit everything but not a lot of any one thing left in the fridge and it is my job to eliminate this stuff. This usually results in strange food combinations, at least according to my Wife, that is. Meatloaf and Spaghetti-O's for example, with mixed veggies. Perfectly tasty, but when I tell her what I'm having she tells me I'm nuts. That is when I remind her of her love of the 'taco sandwich', which at one time she thought I was crazy to eat, but now loves.

(A taco sandwich is like a grilled cheese, but with left-over taco meat in there with the cheese. One word: AWESOME.)

Yesterday's left-over food combo was one of the strangest ones yet: spaghetti and kielbasa. Even I think that one's a little weird but, spaghetti = good and kielbasa = good, so therefore spaghetti + kielbasa fully = good.

Finally, I'm over at Faster Than the World today, trying to figure out what to do on Sundays now that football season is over. Head over, have some fun and leave some ideas for me.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

SHOCKER: Tony Massarotti still annoying!

I know, there I go, using sensationalism again. I cant help it. It's addictive and fun! No wonder the main stream press uses it so much...

Yesterday it was mini-reward day so we went out for an afternoon Dunkins coffee run. The guy who was driving had the radio tuned to WEEI out of Boston, which is the one of the local, sports-talk radio stations, although it could probably be better described as the 'sports-yelling station' since all anybody does on there is try to make their point by shouting over one another as loudly as possible, therefore making any of the intended discussion completely unintelligible. But I digress...

As we were driving, I noticed that one of the guests on the show was Boston Herald sports columnist, Tony Massarotti, who, it turns out, is still very annoying to listen to.. Shocking!

Then again, that's not so shocking..

(Have a great day!)

Killing time while waiting for Truck Day...

As I mentioned earlier, now that Football is over and done with, there's a definitive void in interesting stuff to talk about right now. Once The Pats were eliminated from the playoffs, most Patriots fans, who usually double as Red Sox fans, immediately started looking forward to Truck Day and Spring Training.

I myself am still wearing my Pats hat. I can't turn this football thing off and switch gears into Red Sox mode like flicking a light switch. It's something that has to happen gradually and I am still fully in Patriots Football Mode. Eventually though, one of these days, probably around the time that The Truck heads down to Fort Myers, FL, I'll decide to take the Sox cap off of the bed post and put The Pats cap in it's place, but not just yet.

In the meantime, we've got The Pro-Bowl this weekend, which generally holds next to zero interest for me. I find a couple of the skills competitions to be minorly (is that a word?) interesting, like the kicker competition, QB accuracy, longest throw, fastest runner, that sort of thing. I don't really care about the outcome of any of the events, it is just something that has to do with football so I watch it.

As far as the Pro-Bowl game itself goes, I really could care less about it. I don't even think the players care that much about it to be honest. I would imagine they are just happy to be there. Personally, I like it when Patriots players are selected to the Pro-Bowl and then decide not to play. Why risk getting some freak injury playing in a completely meaningless Pro-Bowl game? I think Patriots Pro-Bowlers should go, soak up the sun, hang out and enjoy the honor of being selected, but decline to actually participate in the game. Two words: Robert Edwards. Nuff said.

One interesting twist to this year's Pro-Bowl is that Pats coach, Bill Belichick, will be scouting the AFC's Pro-Bowl players, I mean, um... COACHING the Pro-Bowl this year. I find this to be quite intriguing. Talk about letting the fox into the hen-house. Coach B gets to spend a week watching and evaluating how players from The Patriots' AFC rivals, such as the Colts and Chargers, go about preparing for a game, and learning about them, whoops! I did it again! I mean, WORKING with them, first hand.

Ok, yeah, it's the Pro-Bowl, so is Belichick going to be able to gain substantial amounts of info that could carry over into the regular season just from coaching an exhibition game? Probably not, but, any sneaky little nuggets of information that he can glean from working with the AFC Pro-Bowlers for a week could potentially be useful somewhere down the line. Cue the spy music...

While we are on the subject of Belichick, I would just like to say that I am really tired of all the negative talk about him lately, whether he is a classy individual or not classy, a good hand-shaker or a bad hand-shaker... What a bunch of nonsense. This is football, not celebrity gossip. Coach Belichick is not the most media-friendly guy, we are all well aware of this, but just because he does not like to play grab-ass with the press, does that make him a bad guy? Not in my mind, no, but it does make him an easy target for a vindictive main-stream sports media.

Let's just make this clear: Coach Belichick is THE BALLS. Thank you.

GO PATS

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Weight loss update...

We are officially in the Dead Zone of sports which, for the most part, leaves me very little to talk about. The Pats are beginning their off-season preparation to make another run at The Superbowl, The Daytona 500 is not for... actually when is the Daytona 500? Is it this weekend? I don't even know, so there you go with that... shows you how much I am paying attention to NASCAR these days... The Red Sox have not started yet and the Bruins and Celtics are both about as bad as I can ever remember them being in my lifetime. So, without further adieu, a weight loss update on my never ending battle with fat. Try to contain your excitement.

As a reminder, the goal is 155 (or less). Currently, I'm around 165. I've been doing so-so with the exercise. I have been lifting and walking consistently, five days a week during my lunch breaks, but I have hardly gotten up at all to walk in the mornings before work. The main reason / excuse for that is that I am woken up almost every night by somebody, (last night I was woken up at 2:30 AM because someone needed some chap-stick, don't ask why because I don't know,) so when 5:30 AM rolls around, I just can't seem to drag myself up out of bed. I'm going to keep at it though and try and get into that groove. If I can just get a few nights of decent sleep it might happen. I am also sure that once the weather turns more hospitable, I.E. not 10 degrees and near-total darkness, it will be easier for me to get up, as I will then be able to start going outside for my walks again. I hate using the treadmill. Very, very boring, though I do get to watch NESN SportsDesk...

Eating wise, I have also been so-so. Portion control has been pretty decent, but I have been eating a lot more junk than I should, mainly on weekends, when I have beer and pretzels or chips and salsa and stuff like that at night while we watch a movie or something. That is an area that can also use some improvement.

Basically I am maintaining where I'm at. The weight is not really going up or down. I'm just stuck. I grade my first month's effort at a C+ and I'll try to make some headway in February...

I'll probably do one of these exciting updates a month. I know this is probably not the most scintillating reading but it can't be all fireworks and bad language around here all the time...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl thoughts as the game winds down...

Some quick, random Superbowl thoughts:

- As we get into the 4th quarter, I have to say this has been a pretty good Superbowl. Kinda sloppy at times but overall, an enjoyable game.

- With The Colts currently holding a five point lead, The Bears chances are starting to run out. The clock is going to become the enemy for them very soon. If The Colts put up another TD, to go up by two scores, that could be the end for The Bears. So far Chicago has kept it close, but I don't know if their somewhat anemic offense is going to be able to come back from a two score deficit. We'll see what happens...

- I am totally unimpressed by the ads in this years game. I have not seen one really good one yet. The only one that made me chuckle so far has been the one with the office workers doing battle while covered with post-it notes and wearing note-book binders on their heads.

- It feels weird that The Patriots are not in this game. It is actually hard to believe that this is now two Superbowls in a row without The Patriots playing in it. Granted, they were a whisker away from getting in... That just goes to show you how far this team has come. It is simply expected that The Patriots will compete for the Superbowl Championship every year. That is really cool, in a strange yet awesome sort of way...

- I did not watch the half-time show. I chose to do the dishes instead. I don't feel like I missed anything.

- The Colts just scored another TD. That's it. This game is now, for all intents and purposes, over. Looks like Golden Boy Manning will get his ring. Why does that bother me so much? I honestly don't know. Tom Brady has 3 rings and The Patriots have won three Superbowls, so what do I care if Manning wins this Superbowl or not? It in no way diminishes my own team's accomplishments.

I don't know. I don't understand it myself. It just bugs me, that's all. Call it a personality flaw I guess...

Ok. Back to the game...

Update:

- I ate a LOT of guacamole dip during the course of this game..

- Colts win. Time to go empty the dishwasher. Pitchers and catchers in a week and a half...

GO PATS

Happy Superbowl!!

Hello interweb friends! Happy Superbowl!!

I hope everybody out there is enjoying Superbowl Sunday.

Aside from an occasional twinge over the fact that my beloved New England Patriots were literally one first down away from playing in this game tonight, I am having a good day. I had fully envisioned a Pats / Bears Superbowl rematch at the start of the season. Damn we came close...

Well, just because my team did not make it to The Big Game, that does not mean I am not enjoying it. Like I wrote in an earlier post, The Superbowl rules.

I watched almost all of the NFL Films Superbowl Shows today, even Superbowl 31 and 20, painful as it was. I started watching them at around 5 AM. Now before you think I am completely insane, I had to be up with the baby, so we watched some NFL Films Superbowl goodness together.

I watched the Superbowl 36 recap and got a little misty as Adam's game winning kick went through the uprights. I choked back a few happy tears at the end there, just like I do every year. I can't help myself.

We've got a great Superbowl Spread today. Sam Adams, Newcastle, Miller Lite, guacamoli/chili/sour cream/cheese, various chips and dips, bbq mini-weiners, boneless buffalo chicken, Jack Daniels, cheese sticks, and a bunch of other goodies.


A good time is being had.

I'm looking forward to the game in a few hours. I've heard the weather might be kind of rainy and windy down in Miami for the game and I'm hoping this will help swing some advantages over to The Bears.

Defense wins championships. I hope the Bears D will be up to the challenge and their offense can play efficient and mistake free.

Hope everybody out there is having fun and staying safe. Enjoy the Superbowl and go Bears!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Dammit. Tippett denied call to the Hall

The word has come down and former Patriots strong-side linebacker Andre Tippett was not elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. Tippett made the cut down to ten finalists, but in the end he was denied entry into the Hall.

I was really hoping that Andre would get the call to the Hall today. It would have been nice to have another Patriots player enshrined in the Hall of Fame and I think Tippett was a very deserving candidate. Although it was certainly cool that he made it this far in the selection process, it was a dissapointment to learn that he did not make the final cut. Unfortunately this was not his year.

On the annoying side, former Dallas wide receiver Michael Irvin DID make the cut and was elected to the Hall of Fame today. That bothers me.. It really gets under my skin that Irvin got in while Tippett did not. In my opinion, Tippett is as much of, if not more of a worthy candidate than Michael 'gimme a line' Irvin is.

My memory may be little hazy but I don't have any recollection of Andre Tippett ever being arrested for drugs or anything else for that matter. I did a quick google search and did not find any mention of Tippett having run ins with the law. Do the same for Irvin and see what you get...

But I'm just a biased Patriots fan so what do I know?

GO PATS

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Superbowl SHOCKER!! I'm rooting for The Bears...

Check that out. See what I did there? That is called sensationalism! It's a writing technique that makes you want to click and read more about the Superbowl SHOCKER!!

Did it work? Did I get-cha? Ha ha. That was fun.

Ok. So yeah, I'm rooting for The Bears to win The Superbowl this Sunday. If you've read this website before, it's really not that shocking, I know.

What might come as a shock, is that for about 15 seconds, believe it or not, I actually considered rooting for The Colts, just so we could put everybody at ESPN and the NFL out of their misery and let them see their golden boy finally win the big game. I figured maybe if Manning finally wins The Superbowl, those guys might be able to relax and move on to somebody else to fawn over.

It seems to me that the national media football experts are very pent up when it comes to their golden boy Manning. They've had Manning blue balls for a long time now. They need release.. Why not let them get what they want and be happy? But then the vindictive part of me thought, you know what? Fuck that. Fuck Manning, fuck ESPN and fuck all the national media people who have had such a hard-on for Manning for the last nine years. I hope The Colts lose the Superbowl and I hope Manning is compared to Dan Marino for the rest of his career.

Yup sometimes I can be a dick like that.

To be honest though, the bottom line is that I am really looking forward to the game on Sunday and I hope it will be an exciting Superbowl and not a boring blow-out. The Superbowl rules dude. It is one of the best holidays (yes, it IS as holiday) and I really don't care who wins it as long as it is a good game. Now admittedly, I don't particularly want to see Manning get a ring, but if he does finally do it, then good for him. If The Superbowl is a good, exciting game, and not a snooze-fest runaway win for either team, I will be happy. And if the Colts do win, I will not be pissed off. I might feel a little bit of stomach churn having to watch New England's regional hero, Adam Vinatieri, raise The Lombardy Trophy over his head as an Indianapolis Colt, but if that is what happens then The Colts organization will have earned it fair and square. I will give credit where credit is due and I will be happy for the fans of Indianapolis.

I am not one of those people who is going to boycott watching The Superbowl just because their team is not in it. How can you not love an entire day dedicated to football, buffalo wings and beer, no matter who is playing? If you're one of those people who is not going to watch the game because you don't particularly like one of the teams that are playing, you need to get over it and have fun. It's a game and it's the last football game you're going to see until August rolls around so you may as well enjoy it!

As far as predicting the outcome of the Superbowl, even though I will be rooting for them, I kind of doubt that The Bears will be able to win this one. I think their defense is going to wind up spending way too much time on the field and will eventually become too tired to hold back The Colts' offense. Over the course of the game, Indy is going to put up too many points for The Bears to overcome and I don't see The Bears offense being able to keep pace with Indy for 60 minutes. I would love to see The Bears pull off an upset, a-la The Patriots vs. The Rams in Superbowl 36, but I don't see it happening.

Then again, you never know. If the Bears can create some turnovers and take advantage of any opportunities that Indy gives them, we might be surprised.

We'll have to wait till Sunday night to find out what happens.

Good luck to both teams. It should be a good game. Like I've said, I'll be rooting for The Bears, but there remains a small, nagging part of me that wouldn't mind seeing The Colts finally win it. Rooting against Indy every year is getting to be too much effort. Sustained hate over a long period gets to be hard work after a while and it's not like I hate The Colts the way I hate The Oakland Raiders or The NY Yankees. There was a time, prior to Manning's arrival, when I used to actually like The Colts.

How's this for a shocker: if Indy does come away with the win, Peyton Manning might actually earn a little bit of this football fan's respect. Just a smidge. It could happen. Shocking, I know.

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