Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Beautiful Poem

Maria Shriver (who knows something about personal loss and tragedy) recited this poem at Tim Russert's memorial on MSNBC this afternoon. As someone myself who knows something about personal losses, I found it very moving and comforting.

The Little Ship

I stood watching as the little ship sailed out to sea. The setting sun tinted his white sails with a golden light, and as he disappeared from sight a voice at my side whispered, "He is gone".

But the sea was a narrow one. On the farther shore a little band of friends had gathered to watch and wait in happy expectation. Suddenly they caught sight of the tiny sail and, at the very moment when my companion had whispered, "He is gone" a glad shout went up in joyous welcome, "Here he comes!"

Peter Gammons honors Bo Diddley

I thought this was pretty cool - ESPN's Peter Gammons performs "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" in the style (and to honor) Bo Diddley... notice the "Bo Diddley Beat", the rhythm guitar (1..2..3...1.2) that Peter starts the song with. He influenced many bands such as the Rolling Stones ("Not Fade Away"), U2 ("Desire"), George Michael ("Faith") and the 80s bubblegum song "I Want Candy"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Great Russert Video

found this on Deadspin - this is a promotional video for Boston College that Mr. Russert did with his son, the basketball team, and a great cameo from NBA player (and ex BC'er) Jared Dudley.

I know he was a devout Catholic, but Tim Russert was a mensch.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rest in Peace, Tim Russert

A great man died yesterday, suddenly, sadly. I admit I am a political junkie, and have watched Meet The Press for probably 10 years, and can't imagine having this important election without him. Russert projected family values and the perspective of the common man, even though he was uncommon in the humanity, gravitas, fairness, and intelligence he brought to broadcast journalism. Someone will fill his shoes on Meet The Press, maybe David Gregory, maybe someone else, but no one will be able to get the politicians and important decision makers to answer the tough questions like he could, no one will be able to hold their feet to the fire and not make them feel like they were being barbecued like he could. His only agenda was getting the truth out and holding people accountable.

The coverage on the cable news channels, to me, has been unprecedented. His death is being covered like that of kings and presidents. It is hard to think of any other journalist that would make Fox News or CNN have wall to wall coverage for a competitor like this.

RIP, Mr. Russert

Tom Brokaw breaks the news to the country:

Chuck Todd, a young disciple of Russert reacts hard to the news:

CBS' Bob Schieffer, a competitor of Russerts, comes on MSNBC at 3am in the morning Paris time (where Bob is) to discuss the death:

John McCain reacts, McCain was on "Meet the Press" fifty-two times:

Barack Obama reacts:

Andrea Mitchell tears up:

Matt Lauer classily says goodbye:

Russert's iconic TV moment - "Florida, Florida, Florida". The dry erase board is now in the Smithsonian.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

John Denver sang it...

"almost heaven..... West Virginia.... Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River..."

Jon Stewart proves it...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm guessing Dolly Parton isn't too happy with this

but Howard Stern gave her some publicity for her new audio book...

warning: graphic language (to say the least!)

at least this isn't as bad a hatchet job as some of the American Idol contestants did to her songs a few weeks ago..

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hey Unknown Comic, dust off that brown paper bag

according to Yahoo, Comedy Central is bringing back "The Gong Show", the iconically cheesy game show I remember from my early childhood. While the old version was created and hosted by Chuck Barris, this new version will be hosted by the hilarious Dave Atell.

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The gong is back.

Comedy Central has green-lighted an updated version of the 1970s talent show, ordering eight half-hour episodes of "The Gong Show With Dave Attell," to premiere July 17.

The series will feature offbeat acts judged by a panel of three revolving celebrity judges. A talent search is under way.

Attell hosted four seasons of Comedy Central's "Insomniac With Dave Attell" and recently appeared in his own standup special on HBO.

"Dave is the perfect guy to host this series," said Lauren Corrao, president of original programming and development at the cabler. "His dry, comedic wit paired with the outspoken personalities of our celebrity judges and the outrageous acts will create a fresh take on the famed series."

Holly Jacobs, senior vice president syndication and reality at Sony, called "Gong Show" an "iconic" format that will now be introduced to a new generation of viewers.

Added Attell: "Stars will be made; feelings will be hurt."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lost Live Blog: "Cabin Fever"

Opening scene... 1950s girl dancing to "Everyday" by Buddy Holly (I think?), "Emily" having an argument with her mother about going out with a man twice her age... she runs into the street and is hit by a car. She is being wheeled through a hospital when she tells the nurse she's 6 months pregnant... she's now in labor and delivers a boy...he gets put in an incubator, and is name is John (Locke?)

cut to Locke, Hurley, and Ben in the jungle looking for Jacob's cabin... they are... LOST. Locke decides they'll make camp for the night. Hurley asks what happens when the freighter guys come back. Locke says he doesn't know. Cut to Desmond on the freighter sleeping on a cot. Sayid wakes him up to tell him the helicopter is back. The doctor checks on one of the injured soldiers and Keamy tells him a smoke monster ripped his guts out. Keamy points a gun at the captain and tells the captain that he "gave him up". That (Ben) knew all about Keamy's history. Cut to Keamy & the captain finding Michael on the freighter, and they hurt him and ask him if he gave Ben the info. Michael says yes. (Real smart). Martin goes to shoot him but is out of bullets. The captain says don't kill him, Michael is the only one who knows how to fix the engine. Keamy asks how does he know this? The captain says it's because Michael was the one who broke them.

LOST swoosh logo (commercial break)

Locke awakes in the hjungle to a chopping noise. He looks around and Hurley and Ben are still sleeping.... he finds a guy in a Dharma initiative jumpsuit knocking down a tree. He tells John his name is "Horace" who is building a place for him and "the mrs". He explains sometimes they need a break from the DI (Dharma Initiative).

-tangent: I can't hear the Dharma Initiative without thinking of the charming Jenna Elfman, and if she is still as cute as she was in that movie where Ben Stiller plays the rabbi and Ed Norton plays the priest... also I must check to see if the Harlem Choir's version of "Ayn Kelohanu" is on itunes

Horace tells John he probably isn't making sense, because he's been dead for 12 years. Horace tells Locke he has to find him (Horace) and when he does he'll find Jacob. Jacob has been waiting for Locke a long time. John wakes up with the Lost iconic eye camera shot. Ben is watching John. Ben tells Locke he used to have dreams too.

Cut to the 1950s hospital. The nurse calls her Mrs. Locke, and that John is the youngest preemie to ever make it in the hospital. Calls him a miracle baby. Locke's mother tells the nurse she is unable to hold the baby, and runs out of the room crying. There's a man watching the scene, and it's Ben's right hand man Richard. Richard is always the same age in every flashback, he's immortal or a time traveller or something.

cut to Locke, Ben, and Hurley back on the trail trying to find Jacob's cabin and presumably Horace. By the way, I just looked up the Roman poet "Horace", he's the cat who came up with "Carpe Diem" (translated: Seize the Day), Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (It is Sweet & Fitting to Die for One's Country), and Aurea Mediocritas (The Golden Mean).

Hurley has a theory why they are the only ones who can see the cabin: it's because they are the craziest. Locke decides they are going to make a sidetrip before finding the cabin. He asks Hurley if he ever wondered whatever happened to the Dharma Initiative people. Ben gets a "zoinks" look on his face (remember Ben massacred them all). Locke takes them to the mass grave he was in when Ben shot him at the end of last season. Hurley asks what happened to them... Locke points to Ben and says "he did".


Back in the 1950s...Immortal Richard is in a house to visit little John playing backgammon. He tells John he runs a school for kids who are "special" and John might be one of then. Richard notices a drawing on the wall and asks little John if he drew it, it looks like the smoke monster killing someone.

Richard pulls out some objects and asks Richard to look at them and think about them. They are a baseball mitt, a comic book, a book of laws, a vial of dirt, a hunting knife, a compass..

he asks John what of these object belong to him.. little John asks "to keep?", and Richard says "no, which of these belong to you...already". Little John takes the knife. Richard says "it doesn't", packs up and leaves. He tells John's mother that he isn't ready for their special school and exits.

Back at the gravesite, Ben tells Hurley he didn't kill the Dharma people, it wasn't his decision, it was their leader's. Hurley says "I thought you were their leader" and Ben says "not always". John is in the gravesite and finds Horace's skeleton (the jumpsuit had his name on it). In the jumpsuit he finds blueprints for the cabin and tells them that Horace was building it.

Back on the freighter, Lapidus tells the Captain and Keamy that the other soldier died. The doc couldn't help him. Keamy tells Lapidus to gas up the chopper, they are going back to the island. The captain tells Keamy while he was gone the crew was showing signs of some sort of mental sickness and that Keamy may be affected by the same thing. He takes the key from the captain and enters the office. They are going to open a safe. They find a protocol that says where Ben is going, and that Widmore is a smart man. Keamy says they are going to torch the island and they know the only safe place Ben could go to. The captain tells Sayid & Desmond to hide in the pantry. Sayid says hiding is pointless, he wants the life raft to go back to the island and ferry the people to safety. The captain seemingly agrees and tells them to go to the raft in 10 minutes.

Back to Locke, Ben, and Hurley. It wasn't blueprints, it's a map to the cabin. Locke tells Hurley he can leave and go back to the beach. He tells Hurley he thought he needed him to find the cabin and now feels bad because he forced him at gun point. Hurley declines and opts to stay with Ben & Locke.

Cut to John in high school, he is locked in a school locker and banging to get out. A teacher lets him out and all the cheerleaders are laughing at him. The teacher tells him he got a call from a Dr. Alpert (Richard) who wants him to come to Science Camp. John says he's not a nerdy scientist, the teacher tells him he can't be the prom king or a superhero, he is a scientist to be. Puberty John tells the teacher off and leaves.

Lapidus goes to Michael (who is hurt and locked in a room) and asks why he didn't tell Lapidus he was a survivor of Flight 815. Michael says "you wouldn't have believed me" and Lapidus says "I told you I am the only person in the world who thinks the crash was a hoax, and you didn't think I'd believe you?". Michael says Lapidus' boss put the plane there. Michael tells him Keamy is going to kill everyone on the island and not to fly him back. Lapidus leaves and we see Keamy strapping a radio or some sort of device to his arm.

The captain tells the Sayid and Dez to follow the heading that Faraday says is the only safeway back. Dez says he can't go back with Sayid, he has been on the island for 3 years and that he'll never set foot on it again. Not when Penny is coming for him. Sayid says he'll be back with the first batch of Oceanic survivors ASAP.

The freighter is called Kahana, by the way.

Sayid motors on the life raft towards the island.

Cut to the jungle at night, with Ben, Locke, and Hurley looking for the cabin. Ben says all the things that happened to him, his spinal tumor, his daughter's death HAD to happen to him, they were his destiny, and that Locke will soon see that being chosen has consequences. "Destiny is a fickle bitch" says Ben.

Hurley finds the cabin. Cut to Locke a few years ago in a rehab center trying to relearn how to walk. His orderly tells him not to give up. Locke scoffs and says his spine was crushed. The orderly says he survived an 8 story fall out of a building and that's a miracle. We see the orderly's face and it's Abadon, the bald black guy who sees Hurley in the first episode of this season, who employed Naomi (he also played the narc cop on Oz)... He asks Locke if he believes in miracles, Locke says no, and he says you should, I had one happen to me. He wheels Locke to a flight of stairs and tells him he needs to go on a "walkabout". Locke says he can't, he's a cripple. Abadon tells Locke he went on one and found out who he was. Locke sarcastically replies "an orderly", and Abadon says "I am more than an orderly, John". He tells Locke when he's ready he'll listed to what he's saying... and then when they meet each other again, Locke will owe him one.

Cut to the freighter where Keamy and his men are gathering guns and weapons to go back to the island. One of Keamy's men says to the doctor "the morse code I got on the beach said the doctor washed up with his throat slashed, isn't that weird?".. the doctor says "well I'm the doctor"..

Lapidus refuses to take Keamy back to the island, and Keamy slashes the doctor's throat to change Frank's mind. The captain fires a shot towards Keamy. Keamy shoots the captain. Frank agrees to fly them. He turns on his satellite phone and hides it and flies them away.


Back on the beach, Juliet admonishes Jack for leaving his tent (from the surgery last week). They hear the chopper. They see the chopper and it flies past them. Jack's sat phone is beeping and sees it flying away from them. He thinks the guys on the chopper want them to follow.

Cut to Ben, Hurley, and Locke. Ben tells Locke he isn't going in the cabin. The island wanted him to get sick and Locke to get well, and its Locke's turn now. Hurley says he isn't going in either. Ben wishes him luck. Locke approaches the cabin and lights a lamp. Someone is in the rocking chair (I think). Locke asks him if he is Jacob, the chair answers no and says he can speak on Jacob's behalf. It's Christian (Jack's father). Locke sits down with him. "You know why I am here" asks John. "Yeah, sure" says Christian. "Do you?". Locke says "I'm here because I was chosen to be". Christian says "that's absolutely right". Locke looks over and sees Claire in the room. He asks what she's doing there, she says "I'm fine, I'm with (Christian)." Shit, this is getting good.

Locke asks what Claire is doing there and where the baby is. Christian says the baby is fine, he is where he needs to be. CHristian tells John not to tell anyone Claire is there with them. John asks why not and Christian says the men from the boat will be back soon and it won't matter, and tells John to ask the one question that matters. Locke asks "how do I save the island"? An almost imperceptible smile comes across Claire's face when John asks that.

Cut to Hurley and Ben outside the cabin. Hurley takes out a candy bar and gives Ben half. They see Locke emerge from the cabin and he approaches them. Ben asks "did he tell you what we're supposed to do?". Locke says yes, and tells Ben he wants them to move the island.


I'm Ron Burgandy?

this practical joke that Ernie Johnson played on Charles Barkley is pretty hilarious..

New LOST on tonight

I will attempt the live blog thing again tonight, if I can
this season has been pretty strong, IMO

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I'm Back!

sorry for the hiatus, chalk it up to lack of inspiration coupled in with moving out of my house and feeling displaced.

Over the weekend I was at dinner with my friends and we got on the discussion of the late, great George Harrison, how underrated he is, especially compared to John & Paul. He kind of always gets short shrift, but he was so accomplished as a song writer/singer/musician. Some of the songs he wrote for the Beatles include some of the Fab Four's most beautiful, in my opinion: "All Things Must Pass", "Here Comes The Sun", "Something", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". He was the first Beatle to have a solo hit after the breakup, with "My Sweet Lord", "All Things Must Pass", "What Is Life", & "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)"

Here is a tribute from the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, with George's Travelling Wilbury bandmates Tom Petty & Jeff Lynne performing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". The young man playing guitar behind Petty is George's lookalike son, Dhani. Halfway through Prince comes out and does the guitar solo originally done by Eric Clapton for The White Album.

here is Paul McCartney's heartfelt tribute to George from a concert they had in his honor after he passed

Here is "Here Comes The Sun", with a video someone put together for YouTube

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fox News Explains the Angry Pirate

Jason Taylor reiterates trade demands

According to Jason Cole (ex Dolphin beat writer for 2 papers before becoming a national football writer for Yahoo sports), Jason Taylor has once again politely asked the Dolphins for a trade to a contending team. Taylor is one of the top performers on "Dancing with the Stars" and aims to be a Hollywood star once he decides he has had enough football. He could retire if the Fins DON'T trade him. He wants to pattern himself after another former Miami area football player, Dwayne
"The Rock" Johnson and become an action star.

The Fins SHOULD trade him for a high pick this year. If JT guarantees to his new team that he will (at least) honor his final two year contract, then a team on the cusp of going all the way, and need a defensive stud to push them over the top SHOULD give up a low 1st round pick.

The Cowboys have TWO first rounders, #22 from Cleveland and their own #28. The Jacksonville Jaguars gave the Patriots a run for their money last year and have the same blueprint the Giants have - strong running game, very good caretaker QB, and a nice defense. The Jags have strong d-tackles but imagine putting JT on their front line? They have to be considered VERY dangerous at that point, and they have the #26 pick.

here is Cole's article

"Dolphins have decision to make on Taylor
By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
15 hours, 43 minutes ago

It is time for Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga to listen to Jason Taylor.

In October 2007, when the Dolphins were in London for their game against the New York Giants, Huizenga opened the door for Taylor and then-teammate Zach Thomas to leave the team at season’s end, if either so chose.

”That’s really more up to them,” Huizenga said at the time about the possibility of either Pro Bowl player being traded. “When the season is over we’ll see how they feel about that. The trade deadline has passed so there’s no sense discussing something that can’t happen. But those guys aren’t bashful. If they want to talk about it after the season, we’ll talk to them.”

Of course, a lot has happened to the Dolphins since then. Huizenga hired Bill Parcells to be the vice president of football operations. The Dolphins finished the season at 1-15 and Parcells went about gutting the coaching and personnel staffs. In addition, Thomas was released by the team after a concussion-filled season and because of a high salary.

Taylor remains a Dolphin, but that’s not what he wants. Publicly, Taylor is putting a big smile on everything and saying all the right things. However, he has told the team that he’d like to take Huizenga up on the owner’s offer, according to multiple sources close to the player.

The Dolphins declined comment on the situation Friday, but if they refuse to accommodate Taylor’s request prior to the beginning of the NFL draft on April 26, Miami could be looking at a repeat of NFL history come July.

In July 1966, Cleveland running back Jim Brown, easily the greatest player of his generation and maybe the best player in NFL history, received an order from then-Browns owner Art Modell to report to training camp immediately.

Brown, a man who has butted heads with the norms of society plenty of times, was working on the movie “The Dirty Dozen.” After nine seasons, seven years of topping 1,000 yards (in 12-game seasons his first four years, no less), winning three Most Valuable Player awards and a Rookie of the Year award, Brown responded to Modell’s demands by scribbling his retirement letter on a piece of paper.

Fast forward 42 years and here’s what the Dolphins could be looking at: Either they trade Taylor now or he could start his acting career a couple of years early.

Taylor hasn’t made any threats or demands on the Dolphins and he won’t. He has politely told the team he wants out. Taylor, who will be 34 when the Dolphins open next season and has two years left on his contract, knows the Dolphins are more than two years from competing.

The league’s defensive player of the year in 2006 and Man of the Year last season, Taylor also wants to win a Super Bowl. However, he knows it’s an extreme long shot to happen in Miami at this point. Fact is, there’s only so much time left and so little talent on the Miami roster.

There are also other things Taylor wants in his life, which is why he moved his family to Los Angeles at least temporarily this offseason to participate on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” where he stands a great chance to win.

For those who haven’t noticed, Taylor is working extraordinarily hard on this show. Like any great athlete, he’s competing hard and he refuses to be embarrassed. Moreover, Taylor is a showman. He has undeniable presence on television and he’s competing for his next career.

In fact, pick up a copy of the April 14 edition of US Weekly and check out the feature titled “TV’s New Top 10 Dream Men.” In the article, Taylor is referred to as a “humble hunk” and that “his physique rivals a Greek statue.” Of the 10 men featured, Taylor was the only one to pose sans shirt.

Two years ago, Taylor took acting lessons from Marc Durso of the Act True school in South Florida.

“He was excellent as a student,” Durso said. “He took it very seriously and was very open to learning the skills. He basically said to me, ‘teach me this, I want to know how to do it.’”

Apparently, Taylor has his eyes wide open to a Hollywood career. He could ultimately make a lot more money and gain a lot more fame in a hurry by making movies rather than chasing quarterbacks, particularly if chasing quarterbacks is really in vain.

Now, the Dolphins may believe this is all a big bluff by Taylor, who has said in radio interviews that he’ll come back to the team. Parcells, reacting to a Yahoo! Sports report in early March that Taylor and the franchise would part ways before the draft, told the Miami Herald: “The only way Jason Taylor doesn’t play for the Dolphins in 2008 is if he retires.” That faintly sounded like a Modellian dare.

If Taylor is adamant about leaving and Miami refuses to trade him, then the Dolphins face the possibility of an April Fool’s Day prank turning into reality. While Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland was at the NFL owner’s meeting on April 1,, a website that lives to rake the muck, ran a story about Taylor quitting football to become a professional dancer.

Ireland bought it, initially, and hurriedly grabbed his cell phone to check the story. If the Dolphins aren’t careful, they could be checking another such headline come July. This would be in some publication like Variety and will say something to the effect that Taylor has signed to do a movie for as much money as he can make in a year of football.

Or as one of Taylor’s friends put it: “Things are happening fast for Jason out in Los Angeles. The Dolphins don’t understand that world and what’s available if Jason really wants to pursue that.”

That’s why the Dolphins should not rule out the possibility of a trade. There are plenty of teams that could use Taylor, such as the Browns, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and even the New York Giants (depending on whether Michael Strahan retires).

One team personnel executive, who has already asked the Dolphins about a trade for Taylor, said recently: “They can easily get something for him. Come on, this is Jason Taylor. Really, they really should trade him. That team isn’t going to be any good for at least two years, probably more.”

What is Taylor worth? Some teams like to throw around second- and third-round picks. But the reality is that Taylor, if he’s committed to playing for two more years, is worth as much as a low first-round pick. Would Jacksonville, which has the No. 26 overall pick and is in good position to compete for a title, and Philadelphia, which has the No. 19 pick and competes in the same division with the Super Bowl champion Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, swap their first-round positions for a proven veteran like Taylor? Who knows?

Bottom line: If the Dolphins don’t soften their stance, the only place they might see Taylor soon is in a movie theater. "

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

right in the beanbag!

Chris Rock & Steven Wright swap

Rock out with Your Mock Out IV

Here is ESPN's Todd McShay's latest mock draft

The seventh version of Scouts Inc.'s mock draft is a bit different than its predecessors. Rather than simply projecting a pick and how he fits with a particular team, we're examining scenarios that could confront each team and how those circumstances would impact their thinking.

For instance, what happens to the rest of the top five if the Dolphins can get an agreement in place with OT Jake Long? How would things snowball if DE Chris Long ends up in Oakland? We're still making projected picks, but this time we're taking a closer look at how the effect of those picks would cascade down the first round.

Things are still fluid but this is our best take on how Round 1 would play out if the draft were held today:

1. Miami Dolphins -- Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Record: 1-15 Needs: OT, CB, WR, QB, G
Scenario 1: The Dolphins would like to trade down for multiple picks, but finding a trade partner is highly unlikely at this point.
Scenario 2: Select Long, with the priority on having a deal in place prior to draft day.
Scenario 3: DE/OLB Vernon Gholston and DT Glenn Dorsey are also in the picture, while DE Chris Long and QB Matt Ryan do not appear to be on the short list.

2. St. Louis Rams -- Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Record: 3-13 Needs: DE, DT, WR, C, OLB, OT
Scenario 1: If Jake Long is the first overall pick the team will face a tough decision between Dorsey and Chris Long.
Scenario 2: Jake Long is a possibility if he's available, but with perennial Pro Bowl OT Orlando Pace returning to health opposite former first-round right tackle Alex Barron, it makes more sense to address the defensive line.

3. Atlanta Falcons -- Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Record: 4-12 Needs: QB, DT, OT, G, TE

Scenario 1: Expect Dorsey to be the pick if he's still on the board.
Scenario 2: If Dorsey is gone, Ryan is the no-brainer selection. And for the record, I think Ryan is the right choice no matter what.
Scenario 3: In the unlikely possibility that Ryan and Dorsey are the first two picks, Jake Long would be the Falcons' selection.

4. Oakland Raiders -- Chris Long, DE, Virginia
Record: 4-12 Needs: DE/DT, OT/G, SLB, WR, RB
Scenario 1: The Raiders' dream scenario -- the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long -- slipping to the fourth pick is definitely a likely scenario.
Scenario 2: If Chris Long is gone then RB Darren McFadden becomes the pick. Owner Al Davis is in love with McFadden's speed and envisions a young, explosive backfield that features McFadden and last year's No. 1 overall pick, QB JaMarcus Russell.
Scenario 3: If Long and McFadden are off the board the Raiders would look to bolster the defensive front with the top available prospect from the group of Dorsey, Gholston and DT Sedrick Ellis.

5. Kansas City Chiefs -- Branden Albert, OT/G, Virginia
Record: 4-12 Needs: OT, CB, DT, G, C, WR, QB
Scenario 1: If Jake Long somehow falls this far, he's the pick.
Scenario 2: Trade back and acquire more picks to better address a slew of needs.
Scenario 3: As much as it pains me to admit it, Mel Kiper's info on this pick seems to be accurate. It feels like a reach to me but the Chiefs evidently think enough of Albert to take him if they are stuck here.
Scenario 4: The Chiefs could also consider Ryan, Dorsey or Ellis.

6. New York Jets -- Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Record: 4-12 Needs: DE, CB, WR, FS, ILB, RB
Scenario 1: Though running back isn't a top need, McFadden is the versatile and explosive weapon the Jets' offense has been missing for years.
Scenario 2: If McFadden is off the board Gholston is the pick. The Jets could use his pass rushing ability to take some pressure off OLB Calvin Pace, who came over in free agency.
Scenario 3: If both McFadden and Gholston are off the board the Jets will scramble to try to find a trade partner.

7. N.E. Patriots (from 5-11 S.F.) -- Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
Record: 16-0 Needs: ILB, OLB, CB, ROT, TE
Scenario 1: The Patriots will try to trade to out of this pick because they're unlikely to get good value at their positions of need. With that in mind, they are hoping Ellis and/or Ryan slip this far in order to drive up the value of the pick.
Scenario 2: New England could upgrade over Nick Kaczur at right tackle by selecting Albert if he's available. Albert is skyrocketing up draft boards and is talented enough to push for immediate playing time.
Scenario 3: Don't be surprised if the Patriots ignore need and take Ellis if he's still available. He would represent the best value.
Scenario 4: Gholston is the final option, but I feel he is overrated at this point and the Patriots rarely reach.

8. Baltimore Ravens -- Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State
Record: 5-11 Needs: CB, QB, LOT, OLB, DE, ILB
Scenario 1: The ideal situation is Ryan slipping and allowing the Ravens to address their quarterback woes.
Scenario 2: Keep an eye on Ellis. The team is reportedly very high on him and he would be a great value even though he doesn't fill a pressing need.
Scenario 3: If Ryan and Ellis are both gone the Ravens will shop this pick aggressively.
Scenario 4: If they can't get one of their top two players and are unable to trade out, the Ravens would then look at Gholston, Albert and CB Leodis McKelvin, in that order.

9. Cincinnati Bengals -- Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Record: 7-9 Needs: NT, DE, LB, WR, C
Scenario 1: If Ellis is on the board at this point he is surely the pick. In fact, Cincinnati reportedly likes him so much that it could move up a spot or two to get him.
Scenario 2: If Ellis isn't available the Bengals will look to trade back because there would not be a player on the board representing great value at their positions of need.
Scenario 3: If Cincinnati is stuck here with Ellis is off the board the possibilities include Clady, OLB Keith Rivers and DE Derrick Harvey.

10. New Orleans Saints -- Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
Record: 6-9 Needs: CB, DT, LB, TE, ROT, S
Scenario 1: The Saints would love to get Ellis so there's a strong possibility they will join the Bengals in trying to move up.
Scenario 2: If a trade doesn't happen Rivers would fill a need and offer too good a value to pass up.
Scenario 3: While taking any corner at this point is a reach, the Saints are in desperate need of help at the position so McKelvin, South Florida's Mike Jenkins, and Tennessee State's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are also possibilities.

11. Buffalo Bills -- Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
Record: 7-9 Needs: WR, TE, CB, DE, FS
Scenario 1: Wide receiver is the top need and the word on the street is the Bills will reach for Thomas if they can't make a deal to trade back a few spots.
Scenario 2: Cornerback is a possibility and McKelvin and Jenkins seem like the best fits if the Bills go that route.
Scenario 3: While it doesn't seem like a pressing need, don't be surprised if the Bills end up pulling the trigger on Harvey. With Anthony Hargrove suspended for the 2008 season and Al Wallace expected to depart through free agency, Buffalo needs help at end.

12. Denver Broncos -- Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
Record: 7-9 Needs: OT, WR, DT, MLB, S
Scenario 1: Denver is in need of a defensive tackle after finishing 30th against the run last year and with a substantial dropoff in talent after Ellis and Dorsey, the Broncos are yet another team that could look trade up.
Scenario 2: If the Broncos are unable to get Dorsey or Ellis they should look to address the offensive tackle position. While Pittsburgh's Jeff Otah ranks slightly higher than Williams, Williams makes more sense here because he moves his feet better than Otah and is a better fit for Denver's zone blocking scheme.
Scenario 3: RB Rashard Mendenhall and LB Jerod Mayo are darkhorse picks.

13. Carolina Panthers -- Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
Record: 7-9 Needs: ROT, FS, DE, RB, TE
Scenario 1: Harvey is flying up draft boards following a superb on-campus workout and the Panthers need a young insurance policy at the position. Carolina signed free agent Tyler Brayton but Julius Peppers, who is entering the final year of his contract, is coming off his worst season as a pro and aging veteran Mike Rucker is contemplating retirement.
Scenario 2: Right tackle is also a pressing need for the Panthers so Otah is a possibility as well.
Scenario 3: Carolina made DeShaun Foster a cap casualty and he has since signed with San Francisco, leaving DeAngelo Williams and free-agent signing LaBrandon Toefield to compete for the starting job at this point. Considering Williams has averaged 9.1 caries per game over his first two seasons and Toefield has appeared in just six games over the past two years, Mendenhall would make some sense.

14. Chicago Bears -- Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
Record: 7-9 Needs: OT, QB, RB, WR, G
Scenario 1: With both starters north of 30 and a glaring lack of depth behind them, Chicago needs help at offensive tackle and Otah would be a good fit for the scheme. Otah is big, strong and quick enough to quickly develop into an excellent drive-blocker.
Scenario 2: If Mendenhall is available, the Bears will have to consider taking him because the power back would be a great fit for their scheme. And if he slips to them and none of the top five offensive linemen are still on the board, Mendenhall becomes the obvious choice.
Scenario 3: Louisville QB Brian Brohm is another possibility but would be a reach here, so it's likely Chicago will wait to address that position.

15. Detroit Lions -- Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
Record: 7-9 Needs: RB, DE, OT, LB, DT
Scenario 1: Kalimba Edwards never lived up to expectations after signing a lucrative contract in 2006 and the Lions made him a cap casualty this offseason, so they are in the market for an end who can provide some pressure off the edge. Harvey doesn't have elite top-end speed but he's quick and athletic for his size and has the potential to develop into a productive edge rusher.
Scenario 2: If Harvey is off the board Mendenhall becomes the best choice. He would give Detroit the physical runner it currently lacks.
Scenario 3: Offensive tackle is a possibility should any of the top five prospects fall this far.
Scenario 4: Mayo is a consideration as well as the Lions have need at linebacker.

16. Arizona Cardinals -- Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
Record: 8-8 Needs: CB, FS, RB, LOT, WR, S
Scenario 1: Arizona needs to bolster its defensive backfield and the good news for the Cardinals is that they can take the best available safety or corner because Antrel Rolle can line up at either position. Should McKelvin be off the board, Rodgers-Cromartie would be their guy as he has the versatility to move to safety should he struggle early on at corner.
Scenario 2: Jenkins has that same versatility and we rank him just below Rodgers-Cromartie, so he is also a candidate.
Scenario 3: The Cardinals are looking for a back who can complement RB Edgerrin James, and because Arkansas' Felix Jones would be a reach and Oregon's Jonathan Stewart is coming off toe surgery, there is an outside chance Arizona would trade up in an effort to get Mendenhall.

17. Minnesota Vikings -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tenn. St.
Record: 8-8 Needs: DE, QB, OT, CB, WR
Scenario 1: The ideal situation is for Harvey to fall this far and fill Minnesota's biggest need.
Scenario 2: If Harvey isn't available then Rodgers-Cromartie makes sense because the Vikings could stand to add another corner. Plus, he would be a good value here.
Scenario 3: Minnesota takes the best available athlete.

18. Houston Texans -- Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
Record: 8-8 Needs: CB, LOT, DE, G, C, S
Scenario 1: According to this scenario, there will be a run on corners in the middle of the first round and Houston would love to see one of the top three fall into its lap. Jenkins has the tools to develop into a No. 1 corner and fill the Texans' most pressing need.
Scenario 2: If the top four corners are gone Houston should look to trade out.
Scenario 3: If the Texans don't get a corner and can't trade out then RBs Jones and Stewart would be options.

19. Philadelphia Eagles -- Jerod Mayo, OLB, Tennessee
Record: 8-8 Needs: S, WR, LB, OT, G, DE
Scenario 1: Philadelphia puts a high premium on offensive linemen in the early rounds, so if any of the offensive linemen listed above slip the Eagles will make that move.
Scenario 2: Omar Gaither is expected to move outside after the departure of Takeo Spikes, leaving a void on the inside. Mayo is capable of filling that need and giving Philadelphia an insurance policy. Plus, he's is versatile enough to move outside should Gaither struggle there.
Scenario 3: The Eagles haven't drafted a receiver in the first round since taking Freddie Mitchell in 2001, but Thomas is an intriguing possibility if available because he has the tools to develop into a No. 1 wideout.
Scenario 4: Miami S Kenny Phillips is admittedly a reach, but there's a chance the Eagles could take him here because they need help at safety and Phillips is the clear No. 1 in a weak safety class.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
Record: 9-7 Needs: WR, LOT, QB, CB, DT
Scenario 1: WR Joey Galloway continues to produce but is 36 years old, and on the other side the 32-year-old Ike Hilliard has already lost a step. Making matters worse, Michael Clayton has struggled since his outstanding rookie season in 2004 so Tampa Bay needs an infusion of youth and talent at receiver. Thomas, who has a rare blend of size and speed, has steadily risen up draft boards over the last year and has experience in a West Coast scheme, making him the right choice here.
Scenario 2: If Thomas is gone, as is the case in this scenario, the Bucs could take the next-best receiver on their board, perhaps DeSean Jackson.
Scenario 3: Cornerback is a secondary need and Talib would be a good value at this late point in the first round.

21. Washington Redskins -- Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
Record: 9-7 Needs: WR, S, DE, OL, CB
Scenario 1: Washington is likely hoping that Thomas lasts this long because the Redskins need a No.1 who's big enough to hold his ground against physical coverage and is fast enough to stretch the field.
Scenario 2: If the Redskins decide they can fill their need at receiver in the second round, Clemson DE Phillip Merling is an alternative.
Scenario 3: Finally, if the other two scenarios don't pan out WR James Hardy has the size and speed Washington is looking for, though he's not as fluid in his routes as Thomas.

22. Dallas Cowboys (from 10-6 CLE) -- Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
Record: 13-3 Needs: CB, WR, RB, OT, S
Scenario 1: Cornerback should still a priority even if the team does complete a trade for Pacman Jones, but unless one of the top four corners slides this far the Cowboys likely won't pull the trigger.
Scenario 2: Dallas is not expected to make a blockbuster trade in order to pick McFadden, but Jones would fill the need for a speedy complement to the more physical Marion Barber.
Scenario 3: Dallas could also select the best available receiver here.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
Record: 10-6 Needs: DE (3-4), OT, WR, G, FS
Scenario 1: Balmer lined up at defensive tackle at North Carolina but is also an excellent fit at defensive end in a 3-4-scheme. Injuries limited 32-year-old Aaron Smith to 11 games last year and the Steelers' run defense struggled without him. Balmer could push Brett Keisel for the starting job opposite Smith this year, allowing Keisel to provide excellent depth as the No. 3.
Scenario 2: After defensive end, offensive tackle is Pittsburgh's greatest need so Boston College's Gosder Cherilus is another option, though he would be a reach here.
Scenario 3: Pittsburgh could also select the best available receiver here.

24. Tennessee Titans -- DeSean Jackson, WR, California
Record: 10-6 Needs: WR, DE, DT, CB, OLB
Scenario 1: Tennessee should jump on Balmer if he gets past Pittsburgh because he would immediately challenge for a starting job alongside Pro Bowl DT Albert Haynesworth.
Scenario 2: The Titans have an abundance of size at receiver but lack ideal explosiveness and have some problems separating from coverage when running routes underneath. Jackson has the burst to get open quickly and the run-after-catch ability to turn an underneath completion into a long gain. In addition, getting him would give an average punt return unit a boost.
Scenario 3: Merling is another possibility, as Tennessee will probably look to address the defensive end spot in the first three rounds.

25. Seattle Seahawks -- Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
Record: 10-6 Needs: TE, WR, DT, OL, S
Scenario 1: Bobby Engram led the team with 94 catches last year but is 35 years old, Nate Burleson remains inconsistent and Deion Branch tore the ACL in his left knee in the Seahawks' playoff loss to Green Bay. In other words, Seattle needs help at receiver and Sweed would be a great pick this late in the first round.
Scenario 2: Efforts to draft a tight end who can be a featured weapon in the passing game have come up short, so the Seahawks signed Jeb Putzier in the offseason. However, Putzier has struggled the past three seasons so Seattle could still take either Purdue TE Dustin Keller or USC TE Fred Davis here.
Scenario 3: Safeties Brian Russell, Mike Green and Omare Lowe are all on the wrong side of 30 so Seattle could infuse some youth there. Phillips is by far the best available safety in a weak class and would fill that need.
Scenario 4: Balmer would also be a consideration if he slips.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
Record: 11-5 Needs: DE, DT, SS, OT, WR
Scenario 1: The Jaguars need help along the defensive front and Campbell is the best available defensive lineman in this scenario.
Scenario 2: Jacksonville could also stand to upgrade over Tony Pashos at right tackle, making Cherilus an option.
Scenario 3: Phillips is a possibility for the Jags as well.

27. San Diego Chargers -- Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
Record: 11-5 Needs: ROT, S, RB, NT, CB
Scenario 1: San Diego clearly needs a right tackle, but value clearly trumps need in this case. Stewart's toe surgery has caused his stock to drop but he has great speed and size. He would be an excellent replacement for free agent departure Michael Turner and he wouldn't have to carry a punishing load as the backup to LaDainian Tomlinson.
Scenario 2: If the Chargers don't take Stewart, Cherilus is the logical pick.
Scenario 3: ILB Dan Connor is also a possibility.

28. Dallas Cowboys -- James Hardy, WR, Indiana
Record: 13-3 Needs: WR, CB, RB, G, C, QB, NT
Scenario 1: After filling their need at running back earlier in the first round the Cowboys would love to address cornerback here, but a trade for Pacman Jones and/or a lack of value at corner at this point would mean a receiver makes more sense.
Scenario 2: The Cowboys could also use this pick on CB Brandon Flowers.

29. San Francisco 49ers (from 13-3 IND) -- Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
Record: 5-11 Needs: ROT, OLB, WR, OL, QB, CB
Scenario 1: San Francisco did well to get OTJoe Staley in the first round last year, but Jonas Jennings has had problems staying healthy and doesn't appear to be the answer at left tackle. The 49ers can move Staley and his quick feet to the left side and then plug Cherilus in on the right, where he has the size and quickness to make an immediate impact.
Scenario 2: If Cherilus isn't available expect San Francisco to address wide receiver needs, possibly with Malcolm Kelly.

30. Green Bay Packers -- Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
Record: 13-3 Needs: CB, S, OT, TE, QB
Scenario 1: CBs Charles Woodson and Al Harris are both on the downsides of their careers and there is no heir apparent behind them, so Green Bay needs to inject youth and talent at corner. Flowers lacks ideal speed, but doesn't make a lot of mistakes and is comfortable jamming receivers at the line, making him a good fit for the Packers' scheme.
Scenario 2: Safety is also a pressing need, so don't be surprised to see Green Bay take Phillips if Flowers comes off the board earlier than expected.

31. New England Patriots -- Pick forfeited
Record: 16-0 Needs: ILB, CB, OLB, OL
The Patriots lost this pick as part of the penalty handed down for illegally taping Jets coaches from the sideline in Week 1.

32. New York Giants -- Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
Record: 10-6 Needs: S, OLB, CB, WR, G, , DT
Scenario 1: Phillips makes sense here because the Giants need help at safety after losing Gibril Wilson to free agency and they aren't going to find much value at safety in the later rounds.
Scenario 2: Connor would be a good choice as well because he would offer solid value at one of the Giants' positions of need.
Todd McShay is the director of college football scouting for Scouts Inc. He has been evaluating prospects for the NFL draft since 1998. Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench also contributed to this report

Monday, April 14, 2008

Movie Review: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

I am a big Apatow fan, but on first viewing this was not so hot... however I have a feeling that it has good rewatchability factor once it hits cable. Highlights include Jenna Fischer and Kristin Wiig as his wives, and this scene below with Jack Black (Paul McCartney), Paul Rudd (John Lennon), Justin Long aka the Mac Guy (George Harrison), and Jason Schwartzman (Ringo Starr) as the Beatles. I think it's Mooj from the 40 yo Virgin as the Maharishi. My favorite line of the scene is John's new "mantra"

It Would Have Been Enough!

Happy Passover Everyone
This is NOT safe for work, but may be the funniest thing I have seen on youtube EVER. This nice lady has a message for the members of AEPi.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Kristen Wiig slays me

She is really one of the funniest female comedians to come along in a while -- her combination of physical comedy, delivery, facial expressions, you name it, puts her, in my mind, up there with the Carol Burnetts and Gilda Radners in the comedy pantheon. Here are some sketches of her from SNL. That all being said, Target Lady does have to die.

Jamie Lee Curtis having too many Activia yogurts

Nervous Travel Correspondent doing TV for the first time

Christopher Walken plans a surprise party

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Caption This Picture

I'll go first:
"I got to store these nuts for winter!"

Friday, April 11, 2008

"Bat" Mitzvah

according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, when Ryan Braun and Gabe Kapler of the Brewers hit back to back homeruns this week, it may have been the first time that Jewish ballplayers have accomplished this feat.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I-Dull Gives Back

I'll save you 3 hours of your life, and post the only worthwhile parts of the Idol Gives Back telethon

Teri Hatcher & The Band From TV (guitarist the plumber guy from Desperate Housewives, drummer Greg Grunberg aka Officer Matt Parkman from Heroes, and violinist Dr. Chase from House) covered Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats"... the best thing Teri has done since "Soap Dish"

Carrie did a cover of George Michael's "Praying for Time", she does a nice job that kid

Fergie joined Heart for their version of "Barracuda". The years have not been kind to the Wilson sisters... Ann looks like Sweetums from the Muppet Show and Nancy now resembles Rocky Dennis. If that's too obscure a reference, sue me, google it. They did kick ass on this though.

Miami Herald: Fins open negotiations with Jake Long's agent


"Dolphins negotiating for Jake Long as No. 1 pick

The Miami Dolphins could soon be off the clock.

The Dolphins have formally begun contract negotiations with agent Tom Condon about the prospect of selecting former Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long as the first overall selection in this year's draft.

Condon, who also represents Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, was in South Florida early this week to negotiate specifically on behalf of Long at the request of the team, The Miami Herald has learned.

The Dolphins would like to have a contract in place with their first pick before the draft on April 26, which would allow them to avoid a potentially ugly holdout like the one that took place in Oakland last year upon the Raiders' selection of quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

Miami is still intrigued by Virginia defensive end Chris Long, but no in-person talks between Chris Long's agent and Miami are believed to have taken place to date. However, the Dolphins are believed to be happy with quarterback John Beck, and they are not considering Ryan as an option with the first pick.

The latest meeting between Condon and the team doesn't necessarily mean the Dolphins have made their final decision to select Jake Long over Chris Long, but it is certainly a major step in that direction.

By selecting Jake Long, the Dolphins would fill a gaping hole along their offensive line. Vernon Carey is currently slated as the starter at left tackle, but selecting Jake Long would potentially allow the team to move Carey back to his more natural position on the right side of the line."

Naysayers complain that he isn't a left tackle, or is better suited to right tackle in the pros... I say... bullshit. One, he is a beast. Two, he played left tackle the last two years for a major program and dominated there. Three, EVEN IF he plays right tackle, do you know who plays right tackle for the Fins right now? NO ONE. They have VOID on their depth chart. I think he does play left tackle in the pros, and Vernon Carey goes back to his natural right tackle slot, but even if he "only" turns out to be a pro bowl right tackle (which is what his detractors see in him - you hear he'd be a pro bowl RT and a solid but not pro bowl LT), isn't it nice to have a pro bowl right tackle locked in to this line that has been in flux for 10 years or so? Also, Tony Sparano made his bones (while you were banging cheerleaders)as an O-Line coach for Parcells. I think he knows O-Linemen and they would be pretty comfortable in Jake to offer him the #1 money. Also, it could be a smoke screen or an attempt to get Chris Long's dollar amount down, they can negotiate against each other to make sure they get the best price and the player in on time.

Here is Scouts, Inc (ESPN's) profile:

Jake Long
OT (6'7", 313, 5.219) MICHIGAN

Scouts Grade: 98

Flags: (D: DURABILITY) Player that can't stay healthy
View by: Player NCAA School Position NFL Team Flag All Ranked Players NFL Draft History
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Strengths: An experienced, technically sound OT prospect with great size-potential. Is versatile; has experience at left and right tackle and could play either/both in the NFL. Also has proven capable of performing at a high level in power-run scheme and new zone-blocking scheme. Possesses excellent height, adequate bulk and the frame to get bigger if necessary. He has a massive wingspan with long arms and big hands. A natural knee-bender; he gets set quickly in pass pro, plays with good body lean and rarely gets caught lunging. He shuffles his feet quickly and can get back inside to defend double move. Uses long arms and powerful punch to jar defenders and run them wide as pass rushers. Shows excellent awareness in pass pro; consistently gives inside help and does an great job of picking up stunts, twists and blitzes. He takes very good angles as a run blocker. Has adapted very well zone-blocking and shows the mobility to execute in a similar scheme in the NFL. He has good upper-and-lower body strength as a run blocker. Also works hard to sustain and shows a good mean streak. Great intangibles. A leader and hard worker on-and-off the field. Good student in the classroom and intelligence carries over to the field, where he picks up techniques, schemes and assignments quickly.

Weaknesses: Lacks elite mobility for an elite OT prospect. Has enough quickness and balance to perform at a high level in the NFL, but he is not as nimble as former top OT prospects such as Orlando Pace (Rams), Jonathan Ogden (Ravens), D'Brickashaw Ferguson (Jets) and Joe Thomas (Browns). Had some trouble versus Ohio State DE Vernon Gholston's elite speed rushers. Durability is somewhat of a concern after he missed the first seven games of the 2005 season with an ankle/foot injury.

Overall: Long was redshirted in 2003. In his first active season at Michigan (2004), he appeared in 12 games, starting the last 10 at right tackle, and was selected to the Freshman All-America team. As a sophomore in 2005, played five games (four starts) at right tackle. He moved to left tackle in 2006, and went on to start all 26 of the Wolverines' games over his final two seasons. He was a first team All-America selection and the Big Ten Lineman of the Year in each of his last two seasons. Long missed the first seven games of 2005 while recovering from spring shoulder surgery and suffering from foot and ankle injuries. Long has outstanding experience to go along with his massive frame, above-average quickness for his size, a powerful upper body (37 reps), long arms (35.6 inches) and big hands (11 inches). He is not as athletic as last year's top tackle prospect Joe Thomas (Browns), but Long has more than enough range to effectively protect the quarterback's blindside in the NFL and he's bigger, stronger and more physical than Thomas was coming out of school. One year later, Long grades out slightly lower than Thomas (No. 3 overall in 2007) but he could actually come off the board earlier in what projects to be a weaker class.

Previously on LOST...

John McCain, you are one class act

here is an excerpt from a new book on McCain coming out next month:


The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter, which will arrive in bookstores next month, reports an angry exchange between McCain and his wife that happened in full view of aides and reporters during a 1992 campaign stop. An advance copy of the book was obtained by RAW STORY.

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.

What emotion prevails? Comedy at him using the word trollop? Or embarrassed for her that he called his wife a cunt in front of reporters?

Conan casts the morning talk show Made for TV movie

he is inspired by Kathy Lee Gifford's return to morning TV...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kung POW

great video of a Taiwanese baseball player assaulting an umpire who (correctly) called him out... I think he calls it... the "Quart of Blood" technique

Paul McCartney writes a beautiful essay on the 10 yr anniversary of his wife's death

I am a huge Beatles fan, and when I saw McCartney in concert in Miami a few years ago it was actually a moving experience. He was great. Read this essay he wrote about his late wife Linda who died in 1998 from breast cancer. It really saddens me that he had made that mistake of marrying that gold digging ho-bag Heather Mills who took him to the cleaners for over $100 million.

Below are some of the photos Linda took that Paul references in his essay.

"Sir Paul McCartney on Linda
Linda was very down to earth. She taught me to relax. Her priorities were private rather than public. She didn’t go on television to ingratiate herself. She was just very funny, very smart and very talented

So much of my life with Linda, and our family, was spent just hanging out either at home or on holiday. The picture on this page is just a simple holiday snap. It was just one of those shots, a photograph of me in Jamaica relaxing in the afternoon. As a photographer, Linda had the freedom to take great family snapshots. She had that knack: when she was taking pictures, she managed to get us all to ignore her, totally.

She could take pictures of pretty much anything and we knew that we could trust her. We knew she’d only take pictures of stuff that she thought was worthy and not too private.

We were made to feel at home. I suppose we were, after all. When I first met her, I realised that as a photographer she was very sympathetic. It’s now 10 years since she died and probably 40 years since we first met. I can still recall our first meeting. It was at a London club, the Bag O’ Nails, when Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames were playing one night. Across a crowded room, as they say, our eyes met and the violins started playing – but they were drowned out by, of all people, Georgie Fame. Another northerner.

There was an immediate attraction between us. As she was leaving – she was with the group the Animals, whom she’d been photographing – I saw an obvious opportunity. I said: “My name’s Paul. What’s yours?” I think she probably recognised me.

It was so corny, but I told the kids later that, had it not been for that moment, none of them would be here. Later that night, we went on together to another club, the Speakeasy. It was our first date and I remember I heard Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale for the first time. It became our song.

Although Linda knew lots of top musicians – she’d worked as a photographer on the first issue of Rolling Stone – she was always very down to earth. In the 1960s we often travelled around by Tube. I took a picture of her one early afternoon. The carriage was completely empty and she wanted to shoot pictures of me.

She was always very beautiful. That picture of Linda on the Tube shows her perfectly: beautiful hands, absolutely no make-up, just the structure of the face. The argyle socks that everyone used to make fun of. She had two pairs and used to wear a red one with a green one. She was a very natural girl, naturally blonde. It was a very casual look. That’s how the two of us went around in those days – down into the Tube, and I shot a couple of pictures of her and she shot a couple of me. Soon after the Tube picture was taken I broke up with the Beatles, which was a horrendous thing for me. Linda was very matter of fact, very down to earth – two of the attributes I really needed at the time. And also she was a woman. Until then I’d felt I’d been dating girls – well, except maybe one or two. Linda was genuinely a woman. She had a five-year-old child and I was genuinely impressed by the way she handled herself in life. She just knew how to do it. I found that very impressive. It’s funny, but a lot of singers and bands these days are more down to earth than you might think. I actually went to dinner one evening with my daughter Stella and Madonna, who showed up on her own. We offered her a lift home and she said: “No, I want to walk home.” You think people wouldn’t want to do that, but they do. I go shopping, I go to the cinema, I do a lot of things like that because it’s a good balance for me between that and the high-profile stuff.

Even at the height of the Beatles era and the screaming fans, I would still go to gigs on the Tube. There was a ring of theatres on the outskirts of London in places like Walthamstow and Finsbury Park and we used to play all of them. I would just take the Tube into the suburbs and walk into the theatre. I remember one night a group of screaming fans recognised me walking along the street on my way to the gig. I always tried to say: “Wait, calm down.” It was a kind of brotherly attitude, like I was their older brother. I’d say: “Hello, girls, what do you want?” I’d just take control. They’d reply: “We want your autograph.” I’d say: “Okay, here’s the deal. If we all walk quietly to the theatre, we’ll chat and I’ll do them. We’ll have a great experience, but if there’s any screaming I won’t.” I cut a deal with them and it worked.

Linda didn’t take a lot of pictures of the Beatles, but she made the most of the opportunity when she was in the studio, usually at Abbey Road. She was very sensitive about not interrupting. She had this knack of not getting in the way. She had this great style where she would sit in the corner and just pull out her camera and take a couple of snaps and put it away. What I love about the shot of John and me is that it shows the great working relationship we had. It was a joy to work with John, particularly when we were writing and organising, as we were in this picture. I can’t recall exactly what we were doing – maybe a lyric, maybe a running order, maybe the medley on Abbey Road. At some point we had to organise what song would go where. I just love the joy of that picture – it’s beautifully composed. There were also the difficulties of the period – which show up in the film Let It Be – which I think have overshadowed the truth. It was a very heavy period. But this picture shows it wasn’t all like that. There was some light. And that’s how I remember our working relationship. Even though there were some tough moments, this was a great friendship.

Faced with the pressure of being married to a Beatle, Linda often wanted to get out of the city.

We would go on visits to places like Cliveden, where Linda photographed me with Heather, Linda’s daughter, who became our daughter. She always called me Dad. It is an interesting shot. I knew Cliveden from making the film Help! – we shot a sequence where we’d used the house, pretending it was Buckingham Palace. I’m not sure the Queen would have allowed that. I’d been out there with the Beatles and we met Lord Astor and he was on his last legs.

I remember him offering us all oxygen. He was saying: “Do you want a bit?” I think we did have a quick whiff.

I knew that Cliveden would be a nice day out for Linda, Heather and me. When we went for a drive, Linda always wanted to get lost. I had an in-built panic about being lost. I always want to know where London is. I don’t want to get to, say, Staines and not know my way back. We would go down to the most obscure places, have a great time, find a little tearoom or a riverbank. She taught me little things like that, to relax and be down to earth. It was very valuable to me then, a great part of the healing process after the Beatles broke up. She adored the country and loved taking photographs there. The picture on the opening spread was taken in Scotland on our farm, in 1982, when we were spending a lot of time there. That’s my Scottish dressing gown – it was itchy on the skin but it’s the one I wore.

My task was to walk from one end of the fence to the other and back, which I did until it got a bit rickety and it became a bit of a health hazard. What I think is fabulous about this picture is that it is one of those moments in time that someone like Cartier-Bresson specialised in. There are famous pictures that Cartier-Bresson took that showed someone jumping over a puddle in the road – it’s that “you’re there!” look. Then you have this lovely figure of Stella just crouching down in the foreground. And then you’ve got the dog perfectly pointing, a little labrador called Poppy, and then you’ve got me balancing. It’s quite amazing.

Linda was a very natural woman. She loved the fresh air and the freedom and the privacy of the countryside. During the break-up of the Beatles we spent quite a long time in Scotland – three to four months. Normally it would just be a two-week holiday. We loved it up there. It was the end of nowhere.

Our farm is in Campbeltown and I still go there with the family. The men in the picture were known by Linda and me as the Old Biddies. They were retired. They used to hang out in their macs and their Andy Capp caps and sit around and have a chat. Later I think someone put a bench there for them. We used to always see them when we went into town to get some groceries. She’d take snaps and there are quite a lot of photographs that are now quite historical. In 30 years, places change. We’ve got pictures of babies, bonny wee bairns who are now great, grown-up farmers.

And the Campbeltown museum has some of Linda’s pictures for that very reason – they’ve become historical. I love the raincoats. Those old guys are all just country types, retired with their sticks. There is some great atmosphere in that photograph. Linda was very fond of the Old Biddies.

One great thing about Linda was that she was able to mix with anyone. Her father was a well-known lawyer. He had been to Harvard and had a very successful practice and lived in an apartment in Park Avenue, a very posh address, with a stunning art collection. She could live in that world, she was very at ease there. But also she could communicate very easily with people on the street. She had a very easy manner. In the 1960s and 70s the press over here didn’t get it – simply because she’d become my girlfriend and then my wife.

She didn’t go on TV and say “This is who I am – hello” and try to ingratiate herself. We didn’t need to do that – it was our life, not theirs. We were too busy living it. When anybody came to the house and met her, they thought she was fantastic. She was just a great person to hang out with: very funny, very smart and very talented. She could just as easily talk to a local postman as a New York art dealer.

It takes time for people to get to know you, especially if you don’t work at it – and she didn’t work at it. Time is the essential factor. People would come round to dinner with us, people like Twiggy and Joanna Lumley. Linda would occasionally do interviews and people would gradually get to know her. The word just got out that she was just a really cool lady. People would say about her: “She’s nothing like the image.” Her priorities were private rather than public, and that’s why it took a bit of time.

For me, probably the saddest and most haunting photograph in this collection is the self-portrait she took in 1997, not long before she died in 1998, in Francis Bacon’s studio in South Kensington. Linda was a great art lover. She had studied art at college in Arizona and her father had a phenomenal collection. So she’d grown up with great art. She admired Francis Bacon greatly and had an opportunity through a friend to photograph his studio after he died. We knew the people who looked after his studio. It was going – the entire contents – to Dublin. She went along and took some pictures. This one is a classic. With the cracked mirror it’s particularly eerie. It is a very strange but powerful picture. I’m not sure, but that looks like somebody’s death mask on the right of the picture.

At the time, she knew she was ill, but she’d had chemo and her hair was growing back. I thought at the time it was a very chic look. She didn’t know she was dying. I’m not actually sure she ever knew she was dying. You have a decision to make as a family as to whether you tell someone and the doctors leave it to you, the immediate family.

I talked it over with the doctor and he said: “I don’t think she would want to know. She is such a strong, forward-thinking lady and such a positive girl that I don’t think it would do any good.” She was fighting right up to the end.

Even on the day before she died, she was out on horseback. She loved riding so much. Sometimes she’d get up on her a horse and I’d say: “You don’t want to get down, do you?” She preferred it up there than on the ground.

An exhibition of Linda McCartney’s photographs will open at the James Hyman Gallery, 5 Savile Row, London W1, on April 25. The show is the result of a three-year collaboration between Sir Paul, Mary McCartney and James Hyman. Limited-edition platinum prints are available from the gallery. Visit "

Monday, April 7, 2008

He's just a Love Machine

this is pretty amazing... UCLA behemoth Kevin Love effortlessly sinks shots from half court, 3/4ths court and full court

Man Punches Police Horse

TAMPA -- (AP) -- Police say a Lakeland man has been arrested after he punched a police horse in the rear end.

A Tampa Police Department report says Carl Coward, 24, balled his fist and punched the horse in the right rear hip area as the officer and horse were clearing an area in Ybor City at 3:15 a.m. Sunday.

A jail official says Coward was charged with offenses against police animals and has been released from jail on $500 bond. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney.

The report doesn't say whether the horse was seriously injured.

Luckily, has obtained exclusive video of this heinous act.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I Hate Every Ape I see, from Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z

Charlton Heston died today at age 83.

Yes, he was a tremendous overactor, but he was in some of the most memorable movies in cinema history... The 10 Commandments... Ben-Hur... The Greatest Story Ever Told...and of course Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, and the zenith of his career, Wayne's World 2. Later in his life, he became a staunch gun advocate and president of the NRA. Hey, no one's perfect. RIP, Mr. Heston.

I give you the pinnacle cinematic moments of his career:

I guess they got their rifle back.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Christopher Walken is hosting SNL this weekend

in honor of this, I give you the infamous "More Cowbell" sketch

From Crackle: SNL Blue Oyster Cult

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ric Flair tribute: what happened after RAW went off the air

here is someone's camera phone footage of what happened after RAW went off the air -- Undertaker came out and genuflected before Flair, classy touch, and then Vince McMahon quickly came out to no music or self promotion and embraced Flair and celebrated with him.

A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

The great Ira Winderman had an interesting story in his blog...

Last night the injured Miami Heat All Stars - Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning, Shawn Marion, Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc spoke to fans who were deciding to buy season tickets for next season.

Apparently one of the fans asked Wade who he hopes the Heat selects in the NBA draft...

Something particularly interesting did come out of having
inactive players hawk season tickets at a phone bank during halftime.
Asked by a potential customer about his preference for the
Heat's lottery pick, Dwyane Wade said he couldn't comment because the player was
still in the NCAA Tournament.
And Wade also knew he couldn't mention an
underclassman yet to commit to the draft.
But at least we now know that Wade
wants Memphis freshman point guard Derrick Rose, should the Heat have the
choice, because Michael Beasley most definitely is not still alive in the
Now we'll see how much clout Wade has in such matters, should
the Heat land the top overall pick.
Wade-Rose could arguably become the top
backcourt, at least of the future, in the Eastern Conference

Now I am not a regular college basketball fan, I did watch many games in the tournament however. Unfortunately Michael Beasley, the concensus #1 pick by most got eliminated early. I have mainly seen him on SportsCenter highlights. I did see several of Derrick Rom not a se's games, and I have to say he definitely has the "it" factor. He reminds me of a point guard version of Wade - unselfish, athletic, takes it to the hole, long arms, wiling to take over when needed. I just didn't get the same "it" factor from when I have seen Beasley. Not to say he won't be a great pro, I could be (and probably am) dead wrong.

I have seen Beasley compared all over the web from players as varied as Derrick Coleman, Carmelo Anthony & Glenn Robinson. Just about every mock draft, from Chad Ford on ESPN to my boy Jonathan Givony at the fantastic to has him #1. Common NBA thinking says all things being equal, take the big guy over the smaller guy. I am just reminded of 2005 when the Hawks took Marvin Williams at #2 over both Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Or 2006 when Andrea Bargnani, Adam Morrison, and Shelden Williams went ahead of Brandon Roy & Rudy Gay.

Even go back to Glenn Robinson draft where he went #1 overall ahead of Jason Kidd. People are enamored with size, thus you have teams drooling over the potential of a Darko Milicic or Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Kwame Brown & Stromile Swift. I realize Beasley has put up numbers as a freshman on a team with little else, and there IS something to be said about that.

I for one am hoping the Heat get the #2 pick and the decision is easier for them, but I hope if they get #1 they take the guy they think will be the better pro and not who the world thinks should go #1. Besides, between Marion & Haslem they have the forward spots covered. Point guard is a glaring hole and a Rose-Wade back court would be tantalizing.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rock Out With Your Mock Out IIIA

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Mel Kiper chimes in with his latest mock, and he has the Miami Dolphins taking Michigan OT Jake Long. When you notice Tony Sparano told the Sun Sentinel that right now their right tackle is "void" and left guard is Drew Mormino, taking Jake Long #1 doesn't seem too bad. They can opt to play him at RT to start his career and keep Carey at LT with the intention of eventually flip flopping them when Jake gets his feet wet, or start Long at LT from the start and move Carey back to the right side.

Kiper makes a good point about signability. With no clear cut #1, the Fins do have leverage when negotiating with their top candidates, Jake or Chris Long, perhaps Dorsey or less likely Ryan to see who signs cheapest and before the draft.

Look for Parcells to draft lineman with No. 1 overall pick
By Mel Kiper Jr.
Updated: April 1, 2008

For the third time in as many mock drafts, I'm projecting someone new to go No. 1 overall. My initial mock draft had LSU DT Glenn Dorsey going first, then I had Virginia DE Chris Long going No. 1.

Now it's Michigan OT Jake Long's turn to reside atop the draft board

But whether it's Dorsey, Chris Long or Jake Long, one thing's for certain: Miami executive vice president of football operations Bill Parcells wants to take a lineman with the No. 1 overall pick. Also, the one word you can expect to hear a lot leading up to the draft is sign-ability. All indications are Parcells will draft the player who he can sign and get into camp

Two other notable changes from my last mock draft deal with the emergence of Virginia offensive lineman Branden Albert and Boston College QB Matt Ryan.

Albert was a guard at Virginia, but he did play two games at left tackle. His individual workouts have been phenomenal and Albert has convinced teams he can play left tackle in the NFL. I have him going No. 5 to the Chiefs, and they aren't going to draft him that high to play guard.

As for Ryan, if Miami, Atlanta and Kansas City all pass on this year's No. 1 quarterback prospect, the Baltimore Ravens would love to see him on the board when it's their turn to pick. One thing to watch on draft day: I'm hearing if the Falcons pass on Ryan, they might try and trade back into the first round (Atlanta owns two second-round picks) in an attempt to get Delaware QB Joe Flacco.

The three new names appearing on my mock draft are: Purdue TE Dustin Keller; USC DE Lawrence Jackson; and Arkansas St. safety Tyrell Johnson. Oklahoma WR Malcolm Kelly and Miami's Calais Campbell and Kenny Phillips dropped out of the first round.

My final mock draft will appear on the eve of the NFL draft, April 25.

* denotes underclassman
Kiper's First-Round Projection
No. Team Player School
1 Miami Dolphins Jake Long, OT Michigan
2 St. Louis Rams Chris Long, DE Virginia
3 Atlanta Falcons Glenn Dorsey, DT LSU
4 Oakland Raiders *Darren McFadden, RB Arkansas
5 Kansas City Chiefs *Branden Albert, OT/G Virginia
6 New York Jets *Vernon Gholston, DE Ohio St.
7 New England Patriots (from SF) *Aqib Talib, CB Kansas
8 Baltimore Ravens Matt Ryan, QB Boston College
9 Cincinnati Bengals Sedrick Ellis, DT USC
10 New Orleans Saints Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Tennessee St.
11 Buffalo Bills *Derrick Harvey, DE Florida
12 Denver Broncos Keith Rivers, LB USC
13 Carolina Panthers *Ryan Clady, OT Boise St.
14 Chicago Bears Chris Williams, OT Vanderbilt
15 Detroit Lions *Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois
16 Arizona Cardinals Leodis McKelvin, CB Troy
17 Minnesota Vikings *Phillip Merling, DE Clemson
18 Houston Texans *Jonathan Stewart, RB Oregon
19 Philadelphia Eagles Jeff Otah, OT Pittsburgh
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Jenkins, CB South Florida
21 Washington Redskins *Devin Thomas, WR Michigan St.
22 Dallas Cowboys (from CLE) *Felix Jones, RB Arkansas
23 Pittsburgh Steelers Kentwan Balmer, DT North Carolina
24 Tennessee Titans *DeSean Jackson, WR California
25 Seattle Seahawks Dustin Keller, TE Purdue
26 Jacksonville Jaguars Lawrence Jackson, DE USC
27 San Diego Chargers Gosder Cherilus, OT Boston College
28 Dallas Cowboys *Justin King, CB Penn St.
29 San Francisco 49ers (from IND) *Jerod Mayo, LB Tennessee
30 Green Bay Packers *Brandon Flowers, CB Virginia Tech
31 New England Patriots Forfeited pick
32 New York Giants Tyrell Johnson, S Arkansas St.