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All Time Atlanta Falcons 53 Man Roster

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Part of a series, previous post is here. This is updated through the 2016 season.



QB Matt Ryan
      QB Steve Bartkowski
      QB Michael Vick
      QB Chris Chandler
RB William Andrews
RB Warrick Dunn
      RB Jamal Anderson
      RB Gerald Riggs
      RB Michael Turner
WR Roddy White
WR Julio Jones
     WR Alfred Jenkins
     WR Terance Mathis
     WR Andre Rison
TE Tony Gonzalez
     TE Alge Crumpler
C Jeff Van Note
G Bill Fralic
G RC Thielemann
T Mike Kenn
T Bob Whitfield
     OL Todd McClure
     OL Justin Blalock
     OL Tyson Clabo

DE Claude Humphrey
DL Jonathan Babineaux
DE John Abraham
     DL Jeff Merrow
     DL Mike Gann
     DL Patrick Kerney
     DT Mike Lewis
     DL John Zook
     DL Chuck Smith
OLB Greg Brezina
ILB Jessie Tuggle
ILB Keith Brooking
OLB Don Hansen
    LB Tommy Nobis
    LB Fulton Kuykendall
    LB Buddy Curry
    LB Joel Williams
    LB John Rade
CB Deion Sanders
S Scott Case
S Ray Brown
CB Rolland Lawrence
    DB Bobby Butler
    DB Tom Pridemore
    DB Ken Reaves
    DB Ray Buchanan
    DB Kenny Johnson

PK Matt Bryant
P John James

QB - These guys and in this order without dispute; Matt Ryan and Chris Miller round out the top 5; Ryan's got several years before challenging Bartkowski. And those years are up.  He's number one. 

RB - Andrews, without question, is the best back in Falcon history (this is a good group).  The other 3 had very similar careers (Dunn, of course, had a Tampa career beyond this) such that they could be slotted in any order really.  Turner's running on fumes, but after 2012 he's a year away from maybe going by Riggs.   

WR - There isn't anyone close to breaking the receiver quarter either; Rison is the backup, the other three could be ordered in any way one might see fit, but as White's got more Falcon career left, I'm cool with this ranking.  After 2014, Jones is right on the edge of the list. After 2015, he's a starter.

TE - I just flipped Mitchell and Crumpler in doing this edit.  Gonzalez takes the top spot after 2013.  

OL - Good starting five and McClure, the top backup; Hinton or Dukes could take that 8th spot.

DL - Humphrey's the top Falcon DLineman; the next eight guys could largely be swapped in and out.  

LB - Tuggle and Brooking are so strong they keep Nobis on the bench; John Rade could take one of the last two spots.  

PK - Bryant is knocking on Andersen's door after 2015.

The Weekly Tendown May 22-28 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dear Internet:

I'm on deadline.  Here's Tendown 78.


1. It Gets Worse
See, this makes much more sense to me.  The Padres losing ten in a row; our having the greatest September for a pitching staff in a hundred years; Brooks Conrad giving us the Braves series; the Ross homers off Halladay; our batting around twice in a five game World Series; the .800 winning percentage in one run games this year - I don't recognize any of that.

The best catcher in San Francisco history, and the cornerstone of our future losing a leg on a home plate collision?  Yup.  That makes much more sense to me.

Dollar says we still win the division, but we can't repeat without Posey.

2. Glenn Beck's Timeline Of US History
Here's a terrific look at the history of the United States - courtesy of Simple Jack.

3. The One Article You Should Read This Week
If you know me, and you kinda do, loyal Tendown reader what's happened to this kid in Louisiana is the type of thing that will demand inclusion in this list.  His name is Damon Fowler, and for having the temerity to request his settled constitutional rights be upheld by his high school, the good Christians of his town have bared their fangs; including Fowler's parents - who threw him out of the house.

The next time you hear that its really Christians who are discriminated against in the United States - find something comparable to this story and get back to me.   In the US, if you see a vicious mob brandishing a book - it's likely to be the Bible.

4. Because Re-Reading that last Article Angered me All over Again.
Here's Stephen Hawking; smarter than both of us, and agreeing with me.

5. Erotic Church Signs
I'm still pissed so now I have to bring out the big guns.  I was hoping to keep saving this one until Christmasdown 2011.  But I'm breaking the glass.  Here's this look at sexually suggestive church signs.  Like this:


6. The ESPN Book is On My Desk
It will be probably be June before I get to it.  It's 700+ pages.  I pre-ordered before Thanksgiving.

Here's the GQ excerpt.

7. They Didn't Get a Snack in the Afternoon
That's what Fox and Friends said the Supreme Court decision upholding the order requiring California to reduce its prison population, almost twice its legally acceptable limit, was really about.  Prisoners not getting a snack in the afternoon.


Photographs like this were part of the record.

The lower court found the level of overcrowding caused an inmate to die every six or seven days.  Presumably not from lack of snacks.  Fox News.

Oh - and here's how Rush explains criticism of Sarah Palin.  Go ahead.  Click.

8. The Week in Florida
I live in Florida.

My Governor signed the new budget, cutting 600 million, much of it in aid to the poor, elderly, working class (while replacing that cut spending with increased tax breaks for corporations) and in a public signing ceremony, ejected people with "liberal looking" buttons.

My Congressman said his fellow Congressmen who are in favor of ending the war in Afghanistan should be shot.

9. I Write the Stories
4 posts this week.  My NBA finals pick is here. My athlete of the month is here. My all time NFC West 45 man roster, through which you can also get my all time Cardinals roster, is  here.

I also got in some graps - from the same ROH show over Mania weekend, a 4 star KOW v. Haas/Benjamin and a 4 ¾ star whipass Richards/Strong.

Oh - and I watched the shows like I do, the following is only for those of you who watch either Community or Cougar Town but do not watch both.  Everyone else can move to number 10.


That's Abed, which Community watchers know; earlier this season, in what may have been Community's best episode, Abed told a long story about being an extra on Cougar Town.

And this is a scene from the season finale of Cougar Town.  I yelled out "I see you Cougar Town!" as it was happening.




I see you Cougar Town. 

10. 28 Years Ago This Week
In May of 1983, this letter to the editor was published in the NY Times.

Before 1957, New York lawyers chose juries inexpensively and expeditiously by asking just one question: What baseball team do you root for?


If the juror answered, ''Yankees,'' the defense exercised a peremptory challenge. If the juror said, ''Dodgers,'' the prosecution exercised the challenge. But Giants fans were eminently acceptable to both sides, under a tacit understanding that they were the only reasonable people in town.

And this week, it was revealed that the greatest player in National League history will pay to send the children of Giants fan Brian Stow, beaten nearly to death at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, to college.  Barry decided to do this a month ago, but it wasn't revealed then, perhaps to avoid what would have been criticism that he was attempting to deflect attention away from the one count on which he was convicted in his trial.  Stow's attorney revealed it now. 

It might be, as we are continually reminded by the same sports media which voted Derrick Rose NBA MVP this season, that the only fans who really believe Bonds's records are legitimate are Giants fans, but it could be we're still the only reasonable people in town. 

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,

Jim

2011 NBA Finals Prediction.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Well, who do you think I'm picking?

These are my preseason picks.  In which I said that "Miami's absence of a defined "Alpha Dog" will surely mean LeBron will be taking his talents to a golf course come June."

Nah, I didn't say that.  I picked Miami to win the whole thing.  Go ahead, check.  I'll wait.

These are my playoff picks; now, I must admit, faced with the prospect of playing a veteran, battle tested bunch like the Celtics in round two; and then, if they did manage to escape, the best team in the East - MVP Derrick Rose and the defensive minded, deep benched Bulls caused me to revise my picks, let's say.  LeBron's not a "closer" - after all, and at game's end, you'd much rather have Rose with his hands on the ball.  It's really a battle of two different visions of what basketball is; Miami doesn't have a bench, doesn't have bigs, doesn't have a point guard - and fundamentally, their selfishness, their lack of manly courage, is what will....

Yeah, I picked the Heat to win the whole thing.  Go ahead, check.  I'll wait.

I also made posts just to specifically pick them over first the Celtics and then the Bulls.

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Dirk (and Kidd too; I'm a Pac 10 guy; the only college hoops I really pay attention to outside of March is west coast; Kidd has a game I've dug since he was a teenager). I'm a Golden St. fan, so that's always left me plenty of room to make postseason alliances; I like superstar athletes about whom the sports media spins a narrative explaining a lack of titles as a character flaw as opposed to teammate flaw or, what is often the right answer, "sometimes things just go like that."

The random nature of a single game or even a short series doesn't make for a compelling narrative, so instead we make up psychological insight "Kobe is selfish; his need to be the man, the sole reason for winning caused him to run Shaq out of town" that we then flip once proven wrong "Kobe has grown up; he's now a stone killer.  Ruthless.  The Black Mamba!"

It's Fox News level nonsense, but its how sports analysts get down; with Dirk the only remaining overt bigotry we allow becomes the explanation for his failures "Euros are soft; look at Dirk, 7 feet tall shooting jump shots; he scores a bunch of meaningless points when no one's watching; you look up and he's got 27, but they aren't impactful."

So, a title for Dirk/Kidd, even Cuban would be cool.  But not this year.  The full weight of the sports world has pinned its worldview (Bill Simmons even said something like the playoffs being a referendum on everything he believes about basketball - hey Bill, I agree) on this Miami team not winning the title.  It was a reasonable gamble - if any other team had won, for any other reason - then from Simmons all the way down, they'd proclaim victory.  They took the field - they took Kobe and Durant and the bones of Duncan and Garnett and Dwight Howard and (cough, cough) the MVP Rose and if any of them held the trophy come season's end they'd all light up victory cigars.   There are sports analysts who saw LeBron leave a city like Cleveland for a city like Miami; who saw a group of athletes clearly maneuver their way into playing together instead of having it engineered by men in corporate suites - and it was everything they hate about sports.

That type of analysis - the "stay where you're drafted, go where you're told; who do you think pays your salary; you'd be working at Burger King if not for me" analysis is everything I hate about sports.

Heat in 5.

TBOR Athlete of the Month - May, 2011 (Plus 2006 Athlete of the Year)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You can get to the previous months' winners here.

Dirk Nowitzki (Runners-up: Jose Bautista, LeBron James, Lionel Messi)

2011 is starting to come into focus; Bautista has had an unbelievable first 50 games of the baseball season; LeBron is a step away from an all-time "jam it in your face" to the entire sports world; Novak Djokovic hasn't lost a match all year, and Dirk - finally, is starting to get recognized for the gravity of his career, and he's a step away from taking that inner circle HOF leap that Garnett took when the Celtics won the chip. 

Back in 2006, the Athlete of the Year was Roger Federer. 

January -Vince Young (Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger, Roger Federer)
February - JJ Redick (Willie Parker, Shaun White, Adam Morrison)
March - Joakim Noah (Jaromir Jagr, Gerry McNamara, Tyrus Thomas)
April - Albert Pujols (Phil Mickelson, Chris Shelton, Lebron James)
May - Dirk Nowitzki (Oscar de la Hoya, Justin Gatlin, Dwyane Wade)
June - Dwyane Wade (Rafael Nadal, Bernard Hopkins, Zinedine Zidane)
July - Roger Federer (Fabio Cannavaro, Tiger Woods, Floyd Landis)
August - Tiger Woods (Chase Utley, Miguel Cabrera, Asafa Powell)
September - Maria Sharapova (Ryan Howard, Johan Santana Troy Smith)
October - Chris Carpenter (Marco Scutaro, Adrian Peterson, Jeff Suppan)
November - Ladanian Tomlinson (Chad Johnson, Troy Smith, Dwayne Jarrett)
December - Drew Brees (Reggie Bush, Greg Oden, Colt Brennan)

All Time NFC West 45 Man Roster

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Not for play actually in the NFC West, but for the current 4 franchises in the West (you can get to them here) a combination of their all-time teams. I didn't plan on doing this, but it's my 500th post for the blog.

QB Joe Montana
      QB Steve Young
      QB Jim Hart
RB Marshall Faulk
RB Joe Perry
      RB Roger Craig
      RB Hugh McElhenny
WR Jerry Rice
WR Steve Largent
      WR Isaac Bruce
      WR Torry Holt
TE Jackie Smith
      TE Brent Jones
C Randy Cross
G Tom Mack
G Charley Cowan
T Jackie Slater
T Walter Jones
     OL Orlando Pace
     OL Dan Dierdorf
     OL Bob St. Clair
DE Deacon Jones
DT Merlin Olsen
DT Leo Nomellini
DE Jack Youngblood
     DL Bryant Young
     DL Jacob Green
     DL Charlie Krueger
OLB Dave Wilcox
MLB Hacksaw Reynolds
OLB Isiah Robertson
     LB Matt Hazeltine
     LB Larry Stallings
     LB Jack Pardee
     LB Keena Turner
CB Roger Wehrli
S Ronnie Lott
S Larry Wilson
CB Jimmy Johnson
     DB Larry Wilson
     DB Aeneas Williams
     DB Eddie Meador
     DB Nolan Cromwell
PK Jeff Wilkins
P Andy Lee

All Time Cardinals 53 Man Roster

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This finishes my look at the NFC West.  You can get to the previous post here.  This is now updated through the 2016 season.



QB Jim Hart
      QB Neil Lomax
      QB Kurt Warner
      QB Charley Johnson
RB Ottis Anderson
RB Larry Centers
      RB Terry Metcalf
      RB Ollie Matson
      RB Moise Goldberg
WR Larry Fitzgerald
WR Roy Green
       WR Mel Gray
       WR Pat Tilley
       WR Anquan Boldin
TE Jackie Smith
      TE Doug Marsh
C Bob DeMarco
G Ken Gray
G Irv Goode
T Dan Dierdorf
T Luis Sharpe
     OL Eric McMillan
     OL Lyle Sendlein
     OL Tom Banks
     
DE Calais Campbell
DT Darnell Dockett
DE Freddie Joe Nunn
      DL Joe Robb    
      DL Bob Rowe
      DL Leo Sugar
      DL Eric Swann
      DL Ron Yankowski
      DL Chuck Walker
OLB Larry Stallings
ILB Dale Meinert
ILB EJ Junior
OLB Bill Koman
     LB Karlos Dansby
     LB Mark Arneson
     LB Eric Hill
     LB Ronald McKinnon
     LB Daryl Washington
CB Roger Wehrli
S Larry Wilson
S Adrian Wilson
CB Aeneas Williams
     DB Night Train Lane
     DB Patrick Peterson
     DB Jerry Stovall     
     DB Tim McDonald
     DB Pat Fischer
PK Neil Rackers
P Jerry Norton

QB - No debate over the starter and backup; Hart's the greatest Cardinal of all time; not per game - per game you'd take Lomax, for example, but the body of work outweighs everyone else pretty healthily.  The top 5 Cardinal QB of all time are rounded out with Plummer and Charley Johnson, I give Warner the nod because he made the title game, even with a historically bad conference champion.  Any of the three of them could reasonably be the third QB.  

RB - Anderson's the feature back for the all-time Cardinals; I think Centers is an easy choice to join him in the backfield, I'd be receptive to the argument that Metcalf's per game value as a Cardinal was so high that he should start.  Instead, I like Metcalf/Mitchell giving the Cards a dynamic return game.  If you thought that was duplicative, maybe...I missed Ollie Matson.   Hmmmm.  Matson was a back for the Cards - he gets the 4th spot over Stump.

WR -   Tilley beats out Boldin for the final spot in a strong squad.  

TE - Smith's easy.  Marsh is just a guy.  

OL - A surprisingly strong historical group, I guess that's, at least partially, a function of being around so long; I would have guessed before looking at it that Bostic/Dobler would at least be all time backups.  They're really not; these are the 8 men you should pick.  After 2015, Sendlein nears starting center status.

DL - All of the effort that's gone into that offensive line is missing from the defensive side.  This is not a great group.  Dockett's the best Cardinal DLineman ever, right now - you'd rather have Robb/Nunn as backups on your all time team, but here we are.  After Rowe as your top backup, there are a half dozen guys who could be placed in those last three spots. After 2013, Calais Campbell hits the starting lineup

LB - The linebackers aren't any better than the linemen - you want the historic, franchise shortcoming of the Cardinals - it's the front seven.  Larry Stallings is a legitimate starter, you don't hate the other three guys as backups.  I either asked EJ Junior or Hugh Green for his chin strap after the Shrine Game when I was a kid.  Perhaps both.  Had Karlos Dansby not left town, he would have slipped into the backup group after 2010, maybe 2011.

DB - That's a super secondary, starters and backups.  There's not much room to crack that group. Following 2012, Patrick Peterson's a season away from joining.  Following 2013, he's on the team.

PK/P Player's an easy pick - there's an opening to take the placekicking job.

The Weekly Tendown May 15-21 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dear Internet:


If you made it, congratulations.  Or condolences, if you've been left behind. Or hell, congratulations if you've been left behind; here's Tim LaHaye, who wrote those Left Behind books, saying this week that Obama and Hillary Clinton aren't Christians, they're socialists.  You can spend eternity with that dude if you're inclined.

Me - I've got links to post.  It's Tendown 77.

1. Lance Armstrong 4 Barry Bonds 0






Now, a total of 4 former teammates have told the federal government they witnessed Lance Armstrong use PEDs, or 4 more than have ever said that about Barry Bonds. The 60 Minutes story is tonight.

Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon, who had stem cells injected into his shoulder and elbow over the winter currently has an ERA of  3.16, which, at the age of 38, would be his career best mark and almost a run under his career total.  Here's his doctor:


"This is the future of sports medicine, in particular," he said. "Here it is that I got a guy back playing baseball and throwing pitches at 95 miles an hour."

Will Colon be named comeback player of the year by the same baseball writers who will then refuse to induct Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame?  Is the moral gap between the injections that Colon got, currently celebrated as "the future of sports medicine" and the injections Bonds presumably got as wide as the distinction between sports media declaring Bonds's career as illegitimate and celebrating Colon's resurgence?

2. Are You A Homo Couple or a Threesome


That's what Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell said to 3 San Francisco Giants fans when the Braves visited the World Champions last month.

(And that was before he made sexually suggestive gestures with a bat in front of 9 year old girls and threatened the girls' father.)

McDowell took a two week suspension and is now back.  There was not a negative fan reaction to McDowell upon his return.

What does it take to morally outrage the Atlanta fans?

Carlos Santana (the guitarist, not the Indians catcher who has yet to hit despite my high selection of him for my fantasy league) got booed at the Civil Rights Game in Atlanta for speaking out in favor of civil rights.

3. It Gets Better
Now, were I making the video, it would probably include shots of our losing WS in '62, '89, and '02 before, after over a half century, finally winning the World Series last year - but regardless of its content, the World Champion Giants will be the first major professional sports team to shoot an It Gets Better video. There aren't too many occasions where my sports loyalties are able to line up with my politics; big time professional sports is largely one giant corporation or rapacious billionaire against another, and I even root for USC.  So I'll take good news when it comes.

Also good - one of the suspects in the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow on opening day was arrested this morning.

The Giants, incidentally, are in first place.  And - although it apparently took a piece of the club to get him on board, Jerry West is now a Golden St. Warrior.

4. The National Surveillance State

The piece you need to read from this week is Jane Mayer's New Yorker look at Obama's war on whistleblowers.


Jack Balkin, a liberal law professor at Yale, agrees that the increase in leak prosecutions is part of a larger transformation. “We are witnessing the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state,” he says. In his view, zealous leak prosecutions are consonant with other political shifts since 9/11: the emergence of a vast new security bureaucracy, in which at least two and a half million people hold confidential, secret, or top-secret clearances; huge expenditures on electronic monitoring, along with a reinterpretation of the law in order to sanction it; and corporate partnerships with the government that have transformed the counterterrorism industry into a powerful lobbying force. Obama, Balkin says, has “systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the Bush Administration.”

5. Remember - They Don't Believe in a Free Market
When the right wing candidates for President talk about getting government out of the way of the economy - remember, they don't mean that.  They mean they want to use the power of the government to shape policies that they prefer.

Here's Kentucky - giving a 43 million dollar tax break to a Bible Themed Amusement Park.

How about 7 million dollars in the defense budget last year going to sponsor NASCAR teams - and an additional 45 million dollars in tax breaks going to race track owners.

Consider a full range of right wing tax breaks vs. budget cuts. 

6. And they Really, Really, Really Don't Believe in Small Government
Here's Rachel,  talking about what happens when the right wing controls every aspect of a state's government.  It's my state.  Florida.  Cutting unemployment benefits and giving the savings to a tax break for business, forcing welfare recipients to not only take drug tests, but pay for their own drug tests, handing over university faculty selection to right wing ideological pressure groups.


7. What's the Best Fast Food Hamburger?


Apparently - it's Shake Shack.  The only one of the three in question I have not eaten.

8. I Write the Stories
Productive week here at the old ballyard.

The latest chapter of my wrestling counterfactual. 

My currrent MLB All Star ballot.

And my 45 man all time rosters for the Rams and Seahawks

Additionally, I got in some 4 star wrestling matches this week, the two best are posted in my 2011 Match of the Year list: a 4 3/4 Daniels v. Richards from ROH in March, a 4 1/2 Devitt/Taguchi v. Richards/Romero from New Japan earlier this month, I also saw a 4 star Devitt/Taguchi v. Taka/Taichi from March, and, of all people, Sean Waltman had a 4 star match in April, against Generico in Chikara.

9. Paid.

Reality competition television isn't sports because there's an edit.  I know who the greatest baseball players ever are (and Bob Costas doesn't) regardless of who television producers would like me to believe are the best.  You can tell me Derek Jeter's the greatest; I know Alex Rodriguez is better.  Reality competition isn't that, but as close as we can come to saying so, I'd argue the most dominant reality competition performance of all time got rewarded this week.  Boston Rob's Survivor performance was like Steve Carlton in 1972; freakishly good and he deserved to endorse his million dollar check.

10. RIP


Tough week.  Harmon Killebrew.  L'il Sebastian.  Sue Sylvester's sister.  Maybe the rapture's coming a body at a time.

Randy Savage did most of his best work pre-WWF, but I don't have an encyclopedic record of those matches.  I can, however, offer this list - Randy Savage's 10 Best WWF/WCW matches:


1.       v. Steamboat WMIII
2.       v. Flair WMVIII
3.       v. Warrior WMVII
4.       v. DDP Halloween Havoc ‘97
5.       v. Hogan WMV
6.       v. Warrior SSlam  ‘92
7.       v. Flair SBrawl ’96 
8.       v. Santana ’86
9.       w/Perfect v. Flair/Ramon SSeries ‘92
10.   v. Flair Bash at the Beach ‘95



That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,

Jim

All Time Rams 53 Man Roster

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Third in a series, the previous post is here. Updated through 2016 season.



QB Norm Van Brocklin
      QB Roman Gabriel
      QB Bob Waterfield
      QB Kurt Warner
RB Marshall Faulk
RB Lawrence McCutcheon
      RB Stephen Jackson
      RB Eric Dickerson
WR Isaac Bruce
WR Torry Holt
       WR Henry Ellard
       WR Crazy Legs Hirsch
       WR Jack Snow
TE Bob Klein
       TE Billy Truax
C Doug Smith
G Tom Mack
G Charley Cowan
T Jackie Slater
T Orlando Pace
      OL Dennis Harrah
      OL Duane Putnam
      OL Tom Newberry
      OL Adam Timmerman

DE Jack Youngblood
DT Merlin Olsen
DT Larry Brooks
DE Deacon Jones
      DL Fred Dryer
      DL Lamar Lundy
      DL Leonard Little
      DL Kevin Carter
      DL Reggie Doss
OLB Isiah Robertson
MLB Hacksaw Reynolds
OLB Jack Pardee
        LB Les Richter
        LB Jim Youngblood
        LB Carl Ekern
        LB Maxie Baughan
        LB James Laurinaitis
        LB Mike Wilcher    
CB LeRoy Irvin
S Eddie Meador
S Nolan Cromwell
CB Todd Lyght
      DB Dave Elmendorff
      DB Jerry Gray
      DB Will Sherman
      DB Johnnie Johnson
      DB Clancy Williams
PK Jeff Wilkins
P Donnie Jones

QB - NVB and Gabriel were both terrific, and Gabriel played significantly more games as a Ram; NVB has enough additional per game value that he gets the starting nod.

RB - Dickerson's Ram career was shorter than you think; significantly fewer games played than the other 3 backs - he's fortunate to fend off Tank Younger for that final spot on the roster.  The close race here is for the starter next to Faulk; SJax probably gets by McCutcheon (dude could play) after the 2012 season. 

WR - I'm good with the wide receivers; Harold Jackson and JT Snow's dad can't crack what's a really solid quartet.  

TE - Not much to say about the TE spot.  They're just guys.

OL - Slater, Pace, and Mack are HOFamers - and just below are a half dozen really solid performers.  Scibelli, Saul, Iman, Pankey, and Timmerman would all be really solid backups for most of the all time franchise teams, but they all miss here.

DL - Youngblood and Deacon Jones are HOFamers and Merlin Olsen's one of the greatest defensive linemen who ever lived.  Larry Brooks is your solid 4th member of the all time line and Dryer/Lundy easy choices to come off the bench.  The 7th lineman is harder; Andy Robustelli is an all time great player, but played a hundred fewer games for the Rams than Little - John Williams and Reggie Doss had similar Ram careers a decade apart, and I wouldn't object to either taking that last spot.  Through 2015, Robert Quinn is knocking on the door. 

LB - The all time starting Ram linebackers are pretty easy selections; Hacksaw unfortunately isn't on the board as an all time Niner, but he fills the middle here.  Maxie Baughan was a much better player than any of the Ram backups, but didn't log the kind of time with the organization that the others did. 

DB - The secondary is not a strength.  You don't hate Irvin/Lyght maybe as your franchise backup corners - but the Rams have been around 70 years, how are they the top two of all time?  The starting safeties are good.  Rod Perry maybe beats out Johnson for that last spot.  

PK/P Maybe Dale Hatcher was a better punter than Waterfield, they're comparable, but it's the all time Rams team, and you take Waterfield.  Not for nothing - Donnie Jones has almost 350 punts with a 47+ average.  Two more years - and it's tough to keep him off.  Wilkins is an easy call.  

2011 MLB All Star Ballot - At the Quarter Pole

Tuesday, May 17, 2011



We're 40 games into the baseball season (meaning, my Giants have played 40 games). I'll do this again at 60 and 80 - here's the first build of my All-Star ballot.  At 80 games, I'll get every team a representative and fully fill out each league's roster.  There will be a good deal of movement between here and there.  Actually, I'm writing a draft a week before posting it, so by the time we actually get to the 40 game mark I will have had to do significant editing.

American League
C Alex Avila (Russell Martin)
1B Miguel Cabrera (Adrian Gonzalez)
2B Ben Zobrist (Howie Kendrick)
SS Asdrubal Cabrera (Jed Lowrie)
3B Kevin Youkilis (Adrian Beltre)
LF Alex Gordon (Dumbass Luke Scott)
CF Curtis Granderson (Denard Span)
RF Jose Bautista (MVP) (Matt Joyce)
SP Dan Haren (Cy)
     Jered Weaver
     James Shields
     CC Sabathia
     Edwin Jackson
     Josh Beckett
     David Price
     Michael Pineda
     Mark Buehrle  
RP David Robertson
     Jonathan Papelbon
    Jordan Walden

National League
C Ramon Hernandez (Jonathan Lucroy)
1B Joey Votto (MVP) (Gaby Sanchez)
2B Rickie Weeks (Darwin Barney)
SS Jose Reyes (Jimmy Rollins)
3B Ryan Roberts (Pablo Sandoval)
LF Matt Holliday (Ryan Braun)
CF Drew Stubbs (Cameron Maybin)
RF Lance Berkman (Carlos Beltran)
SP Roy Halladay (Cy)
      Clayton Kershaw
      Josh Johnson    
      Ian Kennedy
      Cliff Lee
      Chad Billingsley
      Shaun Marcum
      Tommy Hanson
      Matt Garza
RP Jonny Venters
      Eric O'Flaherty
      Drew Storen

All Time Seattle Seahawks 53 Man Roster

Part of a series, the previous team is here. Updated through 2016.




QB Dave Krieg
      QB Russell Wilson
      QB Matt Hasselbeck
      QB Jim Zorn
RB Shaun Alexander
RB Marshawn Lynch
      John Williams
      Curt Warner
      Chris Warren
WR Steve Largent
WR Brian Blades
      WR Darrell Jackson
      WR Joey Galloway
      WR Doug Baldwin
TE Christian Fauria
      TE Itula Mili
C Max Unger
G Chris Gray
G Edwin Bailey
T Walter Jones
T Steve August
     OL Steve Hutchinson
     OL Bryan Millard
     OL Robbie Tobeck

DE Jacob Green
DT Cortez Kennedy
DT Joe Nash
DE Jeff Bryant
    DL Michael Sinclair
    DL Brandon Mebane
    DL Tony Woods
    DL Sam Adams
    
OLB Chad Brown
MLB Bobby Wagner
OLB Keith Butler
    LB KJ Wright
    LB  Lofa Tatupu 
    LB Rufus Porter
    LB Bruce Scholtz
    LB Terry Wooden
    LB Leroy Hill
    
CB Richard Sherman
S Eugene Robinson
S Kenny Easley
CB Dave Brown
    DB Earl Thomas
    DB Kam Chancellor
    DB Marcus Trufant
    DB John Harris
    DB Patrick Hunter
    
PK Steven Hauschka
P Jon Ryan

QB - There's no dispute about who the 3 Seattle QB are; Zorn's third string largely due to his playing 20 some odd fewer games than the other two, and Krieg/Hasselbeck are in a virtual dead heat; close enough that had the Seahawks won that SB, I'd slide him into the starting job.  One more productive season in Seattle and I'm likely to flip them. After 2015, Wilson's on the team.

RB - Warner's 20 fewer games keep him solidly behind the starting running backs; Warren's pretty clearly 4th.  I don't see much argument for a replacement; had Sherman Smith another 20 games in Seattle he might be in contention for that RB4 slot. After 2014, Lynch hits the squad.

WR - Game for game; Jackson was better than Blades and solidly so - if you're drafting, take Jackson.  But fifty fewer games as a Seahawk make him the third WR, by that, I don't mean they had the same total value, but Jackson had fewer games - I mean Blades had more total value to the Seahawks, Jackson more per game value.  Bobby Engram/Joey Galloway have a similar battle for the last spot - but here, they had just about the same value, but Galloway did it in much fewer games; here, Galloway being solidly better than Engram gets him the 4th spot.  Were you to make the opposite decision based on games played, I'd understand.

OL - Jones is easily the best Seattle OL ever and headed to the HOF.  Gray/Bailey are each around a hundred fifty games in Seattle, a ton, just a ton more than Hutchinson, which pushes him to a backup slot - and those three were just better than Millard.  Another year as the starter by Sean Locklear and you could give him that last backup spot.  Blair Bush was a better player than Tobeck, but not a better Seahawk. Unger is now the best center in Seattle history.

TE- This is not exactly a position of glory in Seattle.  When you do these rosters, its funny how some positions are always subordinate for a franchise, regardless of the regime in charge.  You could throw Mike Tice in that same mix.  If you're playing poker, you'd throw these cards back.

DL - I pick 8 linemen and 8 linebackers for each team; the scheme is just dictated by where the value is for each franchise.  For the Hawks, the value is on the line; Kennedy/Nash are maybe both in the top 4 Seahawks of all time; Green and Bryant wouldn't be too far behind (top 10?  Are all 4 of these defensive linemen in the top 10 Seahawks of all time?) Sinclair is easy as the first reserve linemen - after that there's a dropoff; if you liked Tuiasosopo or Rocky Bernard ahead of either Woods or Adams, that seems reasonable. Mebane's pushed his way in; it's the greatest stretch in the history of Seahawk football and that's getting reflected here after 2014.

LB - The starting LB are really easily picks; if there are too many Seahawk fans who would make a different selection I'd be surprised.  And other than Michael Jackson, who you could swap in for any of the backups really were you inclined, the backups are pretty easy to spot too.

DB - Seattle's loaded with safeties, and the starters here are the starters and the backups are the backups.
The corners are not as strong, maybe you like Dwayne Harper for the Shawn Springs spot.  But there isn't much dispute over who starts and who comes off the bench. Update, Earl Thomas moves in after 2013 and Sherman's now a starter; after 2015 Kam Chancellor hits the squad.

PK/P - The other choice for kicker would be Todd Peterson, he and Brown had identical Seahawk careers, and both were better than Norm Johnson, who had significantly longer service.  I had Jeff Feagles as the starting punter until a second and a half ago.  After 2015, it's the current Seahawk kickers who both take the jobs.  

The Weekly Tendown May 7-14 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dear Internet:

I've had the same desktop wallpaper on every single computer I've ever owned.  It's Bobby Thomson's 1951 homer to win the pennant for the New York Giants.  I'm not a New York Giants fan, but it's the Giants, and that means its our iconic moment.

Now, my computer looks like this.



Here's Tendown 76.

1. Heat 97 Celtics 87




Here's selfish/choker/quitter/can't come through in the clutch/two superstars on one team can't win a title/ gosh/who will be the Alpha Dog come crunch time/it's better to have a team of "character" guys and scrappy role players/who do you think you are leaving Cleveland and doing it on TV/show some more humility/show some more fire/we think every sport we watch is a referendum on our view of good and evil LeBron James hitting the last ten points of a closeout game to send the Celtics home for the summer.

My preseason NBA predictions, taking the Heat to win the title are here. My playoff predictions, again picking the Heat to win the title are here.

Bulls are next.  Miami in 6.

Given that Memphis/OKC is headed for Game 7, the most likely matchup for Miami is Dallas; Rick Carlisle took some abuse this week, when he said Dirk Nowitzki is one of the 10 greatest players in NBA history.

He's not.  But it's closer than you think.

My favorite aggregate basketball statistic, at least one that is released to the public, is Win Shares, I recently did a list of the greatest Golden St Warriors of all time ranked by a combination of regular season and postseason Win Shares.

The methodology is flawed - but it ain't bad.

I've got a ranking of the top 100 NBA players of all time ready to go; I'm going to release it once the playoffs end in order to get this season's postseason to count.

But - here's a tease.

Right now - headed to the 2011 Western Conference Finals - Dirk's the 18th best player in NBA history; right between Kobe and Moses.

(His efficiency rating, incidentally, which is one of the components of Win Shares, and the best rate stat to measure productivity, is 15th best in regular season history; and despite his reputation as Eurosoftpostseasonchokingwhycan'thelifthisteamwhenitreallymatters - Dirk's playoff efficiency rating is a point higher than his regular season rating.  People who talk to you about sports on TV, no matter who they are, are almost always wrong.  People who talk to you about news on TV are almost always wrong - and there is no Rachel Maddow for sports.  Your head is filled with flat earth theory level untruths.  That's why we're here.)

Here's another tease.

Who's number one?

Not Jordan (although he is number one for efficiency; meaning, if you're drafting, you pick him - but if you're evaluating the overall career value of NBA players - he does not rank first.  You'll get the full 100 once the playoffs end, which I think is around Labor Day.)

2. I've got other lists going too.
I've started a series of compilations of each NFL franchises all time 45 man roster.  My Niner post is here. Coming up next - the Seattle Seahawks.  I'll give it a separate post this coming week, but for now - here are just the starters:


QB Dave Krieg
RB Shaun Alexander
RB John Williams
WR Steve Largent
WR Brian Blades
TE Christian Fauria
C Robbie Tobeck
G Edwin Bailey
G Chris Gray
T Walter Jones
T Steve August
DE Jacob Green
DT Cortez Kennedy
DT Joe Nash
DE Jeff Bryant
OLB Chad Brown
MLB Lofa Tatupu
OLB Keith Butler
CB Dave Brown
S Eugene Robinson
S Kenny Easley
CB Marcus Trufant
PK Josh Brown
P Jeff Feagles

3. At the Quarter Pole - The 2011 MLB All Star Teams




At the time of this writing, the World Champion San Francisco Giants are 22-17 and in first place in the NL West.  At the top of the week, you could still get paid to pick the Giants to win the division.  This, I'd suggest, was a good investment.  

Tuesday, I'll put up my first of three (at 40, 60, 80 games) All-Star ballots.  Strictly limited to 2011 regular season performance to date.  I'll make a separate post for this Tuesday, and I'll modify it to account for games through Monday.  But as of right now - here are my All Star ballots.  Starters and backups, plus 12 arms.  At 80 games (60 if I'm ambitious) I'll find out how many players are on the roster this year (too many) and give each club a representative.

American League
C Alex Avila (Russell Martin)
1B Miguel Cabrera (Adrian Gonzalez)
2B Ben Zobrist (Howie Kendrick)
SS Asdrubal Cabrera (Jed Lowrie)
3B Adrian Beltre (Wilson Betemit)
LF Alex Gordon (Dumbass Luke Scott)
CF Denard Span (Curtis Granderson)
RF Jose Bautista (MVP) (Jeff Francoeur)
SP Dan Haren (Cy)
     Jared Weaver
     David Price
     James Shields
     CC Sabathia
     Josh Beckett
     Trevor Cahill
      Felix Hernandez
     Mark Buehrle
 RP David Robertson
      Jonathan Papelbon
      Jordan Walden

National League
C Ramon Hernandez (Brian McCann)
1B Joey Votto (MVP) (Gaby Sanchez)
2B Rickie Weeks (Darwin Barney)
SS Jose Reyes (Jimmy Rollins)
3B Pablo Sandoval (Placido Polanco)
LF Matt Holliday (Ryan Braun)
CF Cameron Maybin (Drew Stubbs)
RF Lance Berkman (Andre Ethier)
SP Roy Halladay (Cy)
     Clayton Kershaw       
     Cliff Lee
     Josh Johnson
     Tim Lincecum
     Chad Billingsley 
      Cole Hamels
      Matt Garza
      Ian Kennedy
   RP Chris Resop
       Drew Storen
       Francisco Rodriguez

4. But Better Than Any of That...

As soon as it makes its way to my public library ('cause that's what my bank account allows these days) I'll be picking up:
Robert Lipsyte is in my inner circle for all-time great sportswriters.  Here's his piece on the NFL lockout.  Here's his piece about why you shouldn't vote for ex-athletes.


And to the left is his new autobiography.  I'll offer thoughts once I've read it.

I have wrestling thoughts now - I saw three four star matches this week, Hero v. Perkins from ROH in March, a 4 1/4 Wolves v. Bucks from PWG in March, and a 4 star Kings v. Steen/Tozawa from that same show.

I've been leaving main events from multiple shows in March/April; I've got 26 main event type matches left to watch; my anticipation is to get through them by mid-June.   


5. And the Only Thing You Need to Read This Week.

6. Go Get a Passport This Week
I have a passport; so the proposed new passport application isn't as daunting to me as otherwise it might be.

                                                       Because it's crazypants:  

Do you know your mother's residence one year before your birth?

The address of your mother's employer at the time of your birth?

The dates of the appointments for your mother's pre-natal care?

Every address you've lived in.  Ever.

Good luck.

7. 1918


The rumblings that the Cubs threw the 1918 World Series are increasing.

Here's the shorthand, and those who would keep PED users out of the HOF on questions of morality should consider it.  Gambling was rampant within baseball culture in this era; in the 1990s/20aughts the whispers were about steroids; in the 1970s/80s it was coke; in the 50s/60s, it was speed - in the teens and twenties - it was gambling.  If you were around clubhouses or pressboxes in 1925, superstars of the magnitude of those suspected of PED use 80 years later were being talked about in connection with dumping baseball games.  It was an open secret that probably hasn't received enough attention in the context of our current moral climate. Here's a discussion of the Ty Cobb/Tris Speaker scandal; they were exonerated at the time, but probably should not have been.  In the same way that we periodically have a discussion like "Saddam Hussein is an evil man, how can we not go to war to remove him from Iraq" - that doesn't consider all the Suhartos and Pinochets and Saddam Husseins that we kept in power with full knowledge of their evil - we have a conversation about steroids "none of these records should count, all of these careers should be excluded from history" that doesn't include the context of every single other era in baseball history having similar (or worse) stains.  

8. 2.4 million bucks an hour.
That's how much hedge fund manager John Paulsen made in 2010.


Is that the country you want to live in?

9. Hell, yes, says Mike Huckabee.  And Tell the Children
Mike Huckabee's not running for President.  He's too busy learnin' America's children right from wrong. 

10. The Survivor Finale is Tonight
Pay that man his money.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,

Jim

All Time San Francisco 49ers 53 man Roster

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You can get to every NFC Championship Game in 49er history here.

So, here's the new project - it's all time NFL rosters for each franchise.  I'm doing 53 man rosters, focusing on the total value for the career earned while playing for that particular franchise.  I'll do one for every current franchise.

Lists are current through the end of the 2016 season.

Here we go.



Let’s go ahead and fill out the all time 53 man Niners roster.

QB Joe Montana
                Steve Young
                John Brodie
                Frankie Albert
RB  Joe Perry
        Roger Craig
              Frank Gore
              Hugh McElhenny
WR Jerry Rice
       Terrell Owens
              Gene Washington
              Dwight Clark
              John Taylor
TE Brent Jones
             Vernon Davis
C Jesse Sapolu
GRandy Cross
G Guy McIntyre
T Bob St. Clair
T Harris Barton
           OL Joe Staley
           OL Steve Wallace
           OL Keith Fahnhorst
           OL Len Rohde

DE Justin Smith
DT Leo Nomellini
DT Bryant Young
DE Charlie Krueger
              DL Dana Stubblefield
              DL Michael Carter
              DL Dwaine Board
              DL Tommy Hart
              DL Cedric Hardman
OLB  Dave Wilcox
MLB Patrick Willis
OLB  Charles Haley
             LB Keena Turner
             LB Matt Hazeltine
             LB NaVorro Bowman
             LB Ken Norton
             LB Willie Harper
             LB Mike Walter
CB Jimmy Johnson
S Ronnie Lott
S Dwight Hicks
CB Eric Wright
            DB Merton Hanks
            DB Don Griffin
             DB Tim McDonald
            DB Abe Woodson
            DB Mel Phillips
PK Ray Wersching
P Andy Lee

Notes:
QB – Obviously, with 3 QB in my top 5 Niners all time, there isn’t any question at all who should make the all time Niner roster, and no question about the order.  I still have Joe as the greatest QB ever, and Steve’s in the top 10. Tittle makes the top 20 all time Niners and Jeff Garcia would be in the all time top 50. 

RB – Perry’s the lead back over Roger, largely due to so many more seasons in SF.  McElhenny has about half of Roger’s carries as a Niner, so there’s a solid drop to the third back.  Willard’s extra time in SF allows him to hold off Hearst and Gore; if Gore can get/stay healthy he probably goes by him if there’s a full season in 2011. After 2012 I readjusted, Roger into the starting lineup.

WR – Jerry’s the greatest football player in the history of Earth.  Owens had better numbers across the board than everyone else; if you said Wilson should start opposite Jerry after making an adjustment for era, I don’t hate you for that.  Dwight’s a little more than Washington and JT, and no one else is in the conversation. After 2012 I readjusted, Wilson out altogether. 

TE – No one’s close to Brent; Francis edges out Kwalick – VD has a good 2 years before he’s in that discussion. VD became the backup after 2011.  

OL – 4 of the starting linemen on the all time team make the top 25; Fred Quillan loses to Sapolu as starting center and then, along with Guy McIntrye, just loses out to Rohde for that last lineman spot on the roster.  St Clair’s our best ever linemen and an all time great; Cross and Fahnhorst form the backbone of the line.  I like bringing Barton off the bench to fill in both at tackle and guard, but if you started him inside instead of Bosley that would make sense.

DL – Nomellini’s an all time great, and BY joins him in the top 10 all time Niners.  You bring in Michael Carter to play the run and add Stubblefield for depth; that seems pretty noncontroversial.  Krueger’s an easy choice – you might pick Haley, who I have as a pass rush specialist backing up at outside linebacker, starting on the other side, but the linebacker who doesn’t make the team because Haley got his spot isn’t as good as whichever of Board/Hart/Hardman we’d have to leave off.  I’m starting Hardman, but your mileage may vary.

I don’t have another lineman I’d consider in that group. After 2012, Smith became a backup.  And after 2013, the starter.  

LB – Wilcox is our best ever linebacker pretty solidly; I often think of he and St Clair in the same vein.  Hazeltine just beats out Keena for the other outside starting spot, and with Turner and Haley rotating in I feel pretty good about that quartet of outside backers.  I originally had Norton holding off Willis for the starting job in the middle, but that just would have been until after 2011 when there wouldn’t be any kind of argument between the two.  If Willis stays healthy and stays in San Francisco, he’s headed for the all time top 10.  I guess Willie Harper would be my pick if we wanted to move Haley to starting defensive end and we had to cut Hart.  That’s a defensible choice.  And now that's what I've done, deciding that every team I do this for will have 7 linemen and 7 linebackers.  Everyone gets the same roster composition. After 2013, Willis is the best LB ever.  

DB – Johnson and Lott are hall of famers; Lott’s the greatest safety who ever lived.  Spots get tighter after that; you’d prefer Wright as a third corner ideally – but there’s just no one else with a good case to play opposite Johnson.  I love me some Tim McDonald – particularly with Hicks/Hanks as backup safeties.  You’ve got to have Woodson to return kicks – but you really don’t need Phillips as a third safety in place of another cover corner.  Okay, so I replaced Mel Phillips with Don Griffin, and that solves that problem. 

K/P – I originally had Davis doing both jobs to give me another roster spot, but that’s cheating, and Andy Lee’s worthy.     And now, I've taken Davis off entirely to add Wersching.  

The Weekly Tendown May 1-7 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dear Internet:

I've picked up some contract work with a quick turnaround time; it's more work than the relatively small paycheck should warrant, but my hope is it will open a door for me.

How does that impact you?

Tendown gets even more link-y, probably through the end of June.  I have thoughts, serious, sexy thoughts, but time isn't going to permit my developing too many of them for a couple of months.

Here's Tendown 75.

1. We Killed a Man in Abbottabad Just to Watch Him Die


The guy I most agreed with about the killing of bin Laden?

Milwaukee Bucks guard Chris Douglas-Roberts.

(Coincidentally, I've found Serge Ibaka particularly perceptive about abortion.  Who knew?)



Veteran Tendown readers will know of my scholarly interest in sports as forum for political expression, as there really isn't another arena of American life where the numbers of people gather together as do they to watch a sporting event.  When they stand for the national anthem, or, since September 11, for God Bless America in the 7th inning at many baseball stadiums - that's political expression.

Sunday night, whether at the Mets/Phillies game or the WWE pay per view event Extreme Rules, tens of thousands of Americans reacted to bin Laden's death the way they'd react to an American winning a significant international sporting event; were I to say "where are you most likely to hear a chant of 'U-S-A'?" your response would be in some type of sports arena.

So, my initial processing of bin Laden's death was through that prism - as I watched shots of Americans in the streets celebrating as if their team had just won an NBA Title.   I recoiled a little bit - it seemed to trivialize human life; not bin Laden's so much as the hundreds of thousands of dead Middle Eastern civilians who are casualties of our post 9-11 wars.

There's a moral complicity to our response to 9-11; from the erosion of all of our civil liberties, to the lack of due process given to terror suspects, to our killing of civilians that I don't believe most of us grapple with in any sort of meaningful way.  Our response feels to me as an exercise of naked power - unconstrained by any sense of the United States being a principled nation of laws and not of men.

I don't see a lot of nuance in those U-S-A chants.  That's a hard boat for me to get on.

Douglas-Roberts didn't say that exactly, it's twitter after all - but he and Pittsburgh Steeler Rashard Mendenhall didn't join the rush of athletes who celebrated bin Laden's death, and for that they got crushed,  both for the substance of their thoughts and for having the temerity to express an anti-establishment political opinion.  And that's a note I play whenever germane - a vast majority of sports fans say something like "sports and politics shouldn't mix" - but they'll say that when yelling at you to take off your hat during the Star Spangled Banner.  Sports fans, sports media, sports leagues, sports corporate partners - almost all will say "don't mix sports and politics" and almost all actually mean "don't mix sports and progressive politics."

Mendenhall didn't just say "why are we cheering this" - he added a variation of "9-11 was an inside job" - and presumably it was that lack of critical thinking that cost him his job endorsing Champion apparel.  Mendenhall's wrong about 9-11, in the way that, in a piece last week, ESPN.com referenced Orioles outfielder Luke Scott's mistaken view that Obama was not born in the United States - the author, Amy Nelson's, "take" on Scott's demonstratively false belief was:

Scott is certainly not alone in those views, and he received a lot of support for expressing his opinion. But negative reaction cascaded, too, with some bloggers saying that evidence Obama was born in Hawaii is overwhelming...

You say tomato, Luke Scott says Obama's not an American, it's really just a matter of opinion.

Twitter, as a forum, received the lion's share of the blame for Mendenhall's reaction - it fosters immediacy and thoughtlessness, don't you know.  There wasn't a single Mendenhall discussion I heard all week that didn't involve some variation of "its twitters fault."

But what about the sports stadium as forum?  Does it foster quiet reflection about the magnitude of our times or groupthink/jingo/instant emotional explosion?  Would a U-S-A chant exist absent a culture so awash in sports?  Do college kids take to the streets to wave the American flag if championship celebrations didn't exist to ape?

I don't really have a beef with people who felt an emotional surge of pride or pleasure or whatever it was upon news of the killing of bin Laden.  It wasn't my reaction, and I question a little what percentage of that celebration was genuine belief that an evildoer had been brought to justice and what percentage was just an excuse to burn some cars in Los Angeles (I'm mixing the sports championship metaphor here, but you pick up what I'm laying down).  I prefer trials to not-trials; the actual events of the capture of bin Laden seem to be...evolving, let's say, but it would not surprise me if, back in days when calling waterboarding torture was a non-partisan issue, we would consider this a straight up execution.

And I don't do the wave outside the death-house door.  Not with the number of bodies stacking up inside.

2. Meanwhile, on Fox...


Don't ever change.

3. These Two Things I Know Are True
A. If A Republican Were In Office When Bin Laden Was Killed, the Right Wing Would be Doing an Unprecedented Victory Lap, And They'd Wave their Fist In Your Face as it Happened.  There Would Be No Level of Triumphalism Too Brazen.

B. If You Criticized That Republican President In Any Way In the Immediate Reaches of bin Laden being Killed - You Would Be Accused of Treason.

Somehow, they think Obama's doing too much celebrating by announcing it in a speech; that Obama is removing flags at ground zero; that his going to ground zero was disgusting, obscene, and grotesque; an example of Obama "pounding his chest"; and a national tragedy; that the only reason he approved the raid on bin Laden's home is to get votes; that the announcement was timed to screw Donald Trump;  that the real credit should have gone to the guy who ignored the "bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside US" memo and then said he didn't pay bin Laden much thought anymore.

That's in the week after bin Laden was killed.  Not a year later.  Or a month.  In the same week.

One more - if bin Laden's killed in 2003 - and Bill Clinton refuses George Bush's invitation to ground zero - what would the response have been?

Okay, one more - if the military operation fails, and the news this week was "Military Strike to Take Out bin Laden is failure" - would the right wing say "Obama didn't really have anything to do with that."  Or would he be Jimmy Carter when the attempt to free the hostages failed?  Come on.  Lets be honest. At least all they said about Carter was that he was incompetent - they would have called Obama incompetent, they would have demanded his resignation, and they would have hinted he had done it intentionally.

9-11 happened during a Republican administration and bin Laden was killed in a Democratic one.  The budget was balanced during a Democratic administration and the deficit exploded during a Republican one. 

But they will continue to say, as if an article of faith, that Republicans are obviously, naturally superior on foreign policy and economic security.  And the mainstream media will take that claim seriously.  "Some bloggers say the evidence is overwhelming the Republicans aren't really fiscally responsible..."

4. Some Video
Here's Greenwald and almost always wrong, but at least reasonably so, David Frum on the bin Laden killing; and here's Keith. Yay, Keith!

5. Meanwhile, in Florida
Down where I live, the unemployment rate is still over 11%.

Naturally, the right wing just passed a bill to cut unemployment benefits.

Why?

"It sends a very strong message to the business community that Florida is one of the most business-friendly states in the country," said Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, the bill's sponsor.


Well, there you go.

6. Unrelated to that Entirely...
Profits at Top US Corporations Up 81% in 2010!

If only that socialist Obama wasn't punitively taxing American corporations, they'd be able to unleash the power of the marketplace and create new jobs.

7. Let Me Speak For All of My Nerd Brethren
Hot famous women - you don't need to do any of this.

8. My Real Quick Reality Competition Update


A. Soul Daddy was an easy pick.  Let's see - who will they give the restaurant to, the rich guy who they keep saying doesn't seem to care a whole lot - or the guy who keeps crying about his kids everytime he talks about being a role model for everyone in Detroit.  But they gotta have fried chicken on the menu.  You can't start off as a chicken and waffles restaurant and then wind up without fried chicken on the menu.  It's madness.


B. The most likely outcome this week is that Haley goes home.  But for my money, she's been the clear top contestant for about a month.  I'm as surprised as you are.  Go Haley.


C. If Boston Rob makes the finals, he wins Survivor.  He's dominated this season in an all encompassing fashion; if Probst stopped the challenge next Thursday and said "look, everyone, Rob's decided every eviction, outlasted Russell by a month, built a six person alliance that thoroughly wiped out the opposing tribe after the merge, and has a hidden immunity idol that not even his closest friends know about - we're just going to call it here and give him the cash" I can't imagine what the opposing argument might be. Rooting against Rob this year is like rooting against Jordan in the '96 Finals; the guy went 72-10, just give him his goddamn trophy.

Additionally, the WWE PPV had two four star matches Sunday, Punk v. Orton and Christian v. Del Rio.  It was a terrific show; their best PPV in recent memory.  Additional 4 star matches I saw this week - a 4 1/4 NOAH tag from March, Marufuji/Aoki v. Ogawa/Marvin, and my second favorite match of the year so far, Yuji v. Tanaka from the March Zero1 anniversary show, 4 3/4 stars.

9. Christian Revisionism
Every year, a Republican congressmen from Virginia issues a resolution for a "spiritual heritage" week; every year, it is entirely full of crap.

10. Happy 80th Birthday.




Happy 80th Birthday to the second greatest player in the history of the National League (and the second greatest player in the history of the San Francisco Giants).  Hopefully one day there will be a similar statue for the greatest National Leaguer who ever lived. 

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,

Jim

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