Monday, March 31, 2008


Marlins open up the season at home this afternoon against the New York Mets at 4PM.

Here are the lineups:

SS Jose Reyes
2B Luis Castillo
3B David Wright
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
RF Angel Pagan
LF Ryan Church
C Brian Schneider
LHP Johan Santana

SS Hanley Ramirez
2B Dan Uggla
1B Mike Jacobs
LF Josh Willingham
3B Jorge Cantu
CF Cody Ross
RF Luis Gonzalez
C Matt Treanor
LHP Mark Hendrickson

Prediction: Marlins 5, Mets 3
hey, it's Opening Day, hope springs eternal

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dear Shaq,

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An open letter to former Heat center Shaquille O'Neal, in lieu of these comments he made to the Boston Globe:

I love playing for this coach and I love playing with these guys," said
O'Neal yesterday. "We have professionals who know what to do. No one is
me to play with Chris Quinn or Ricky Davis. I'm actually on a

Dear Shaq,

I say this with all due respect. Please shut the fuck up.
When you left LA and came to Miami, I chalked up your churlishness to them wronging you, to the situation with Kobe, to them not giving you your exhorbitant extension and thereby disrespecting what you did for them. You came here, and were a model citizen for the first season. You finished 2nd in MVP voting, then ragged on the winner, remember him? Your current teammate Steve Nash.

I kept my mouth shut and still cheered for you even when you disrespected Stan Van Gundy and weakened his position in the locker room and made it so uncomfortable for him that it strained his marriage (reportedly) and forced him to resign from a team he led to the playoffs his first two years, and was a Dwyane Wade rib injury away from going to the Finals.

I was shocked the Heat gave you a 5 year contract for $100 million, even as you played it off as taking a hometown discount. I mean you were obviously on the decline, but that money was also for services rendered, you brought relevancy to Miami, no one can deny that

I didn't complain when your numbers were abysmal in the Finals because Wade bailed your increasingly broken body out time and time again. You were The Big Decoy in that series and I made rationalizations why you scored less than half of your career scoring average and were 3rd on the team in scoring behind Antoine Frigging Walker.

It was obvious that your theory of turning it on when it matters poisoned the Heat locker room. Not that you were the sole reason, but the Heat became incredibly satiated after winning the ring, and the blowout loss to the opening game against the Bulls set the tone for the entire 2007 season.

When the going got tough, you got complaining. Ouch my hip. Oh, my knees. You stopped trying for rebounds. You were unable to finish around the basket. When Wade was playing hurt, you were mailing it in. For $20 million a year.

So what did the Heat do for you? Merely send your ass to the team who at the time had the best record in the West. Did Riley or Wade or anyone else air dirty laundry on you? Did anyone explicitly say what the fans suspected? That you didn't care? That your injuries weren't severe enough to impair you as much as you acted (and were proven true, since you suddenly became healthy and spry in Phoenix?) NO. They were classy. They wished you well. They said all the right things.

Even now, weeks later, when your team is on a roll, when the Heat is down to playing D-League fodder and yes, Chris Quinn & Ricky Davis, no one was blaming you for this abomination of a year. It was out of sight, out of mind. The papers and sports talk stations never mentioned you. So why did you feel the need to come out and throw former teammates under the bus? Why did you go out of your way to insult Pat Riley who kissed your ass so much he needs chapstick and who walked on eggshells so not to upset your delicate ego and surprisingly fragile self image? The Heat KNOW they made a Faustian deal to win the 2006 title -- they sold their soul to the devil to get that ring -- in the $100 million in guaranteed money they knew you would deserve less and less as the years went on, in having to massage your ego even at the expense of subverting Wade's true status as leader of the team, they put a phony face on to their fans who they made buy 3 year guarantees for season tickets.

If you played with the heart and hustle of Chris Quinn, you know, you're displaying almost as much for your NEW team as Quinn does for your old one, or if you played every game this season without complaint like Ricky Davis has, the Heat would not have traded you this season and they probably would not be a team contending for the #1 overall pick.

You're a superstar. More than a superstar, a legend. More than a legend, a bona fide international icon that transcends your sport. I don't say this lightly, but SHUT THE FUCK UP. As an ambassador to the world, you have NO RIGHT throwing any players under the bus. Were you wrong in your assessment of the team's plight or construction, no. But you ARE wrong to open your mouth about it.

Everyone loved the childlike joy you brought to the city. It seems you also brought the snide self centered point of view of a spoiled brat as well.

From a former fan and someone who held you with respect,


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Marlins Opening Day Roster

For some reason, I am still a baseball fan, and still a Marlins fan... opening day means Hope Springs Eternal, and everyone has a shot to win it all. With next Monday being the Marlins' opener, here is my prediction as to how the roster breaks down.

Starting Lineup:
1) Hanley Ramirez, SS
2) Dan Uggla, 2B
3) Jeremy Hermida, RF
4) Josh Willingham, LF
5) Mike Jacobs, 1B
6) Jorge Cantu, 3B
7) Cody Ross, CF
8) Matt Treanor, C

Starting 5: Mark Hendrickson (L), Rick VandenHurk (R), Andrew Miller (L), Scott Olsen (L), Chris Volstad (R)

Bullpen: Kevin Gregg (R), Matt Lindstrom (R), Taylor Tankersley (L), Renyel Pinto (L), Justin Miller (R), Lee Gardner (R), Logan Kensing (R)

Bench: Mike Rabelo (C), Jason Wood (1B/3b), Luis Gonzalez (OF), Alfredo Amezega (IF/OF), Robert Andino (IF/PR)

to the minors but could be early callups: Dallas McPherson, Cameron Maybin, Brent Badenhop, Ricky Nolasco

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lost recap: " Meet Kevin Johnson"

Almost Live Blog of the Michael/Ben storyline before the opening credits...

Ben convinces his daughter Alex, Karl, & Danielle to go to another Dharma station, "The Temple" which is a safehouse where "The Others" are - Ben convinces them they will be safe from the Boat People when the invasion happens. Also, maybe he wants her to go to The Temple since it's Purim?

Sayid & Desmond corner "Kevin Johnson" aka Michael and force him to tell them WTF he is doing on the ship... lucky for us, he speaks in flashbacks.

we see Michael in a dilapidated apartment in New York writing a note. He has the short hair so we know this is post-Island Michael (or we think we know). He is upset about something. He gets in his car (a 70s era piece of crap). The radio is on and I believe the song was "Getting Better Every Day" by Mama Cass, who sang the song when we met Desmond "Make Your Own Kind of Music". I wonder if Michael is going to choke on a ham sandwich? Michael pins the note to his chest and drives away. Michael is driving super fast down an alley, says "I'm sorry" and crashes purposefully into a building. He is unconscious and/or dead.


We come back to find Michael in a hospital bed, tubes in his nose, monitors going off. He is groaning, there is a comatose man next to him. A nurse comes in and Michael asks how badly is he hurt... Michael opens his eyes... and the nurse is LIBBY. (Hurley's girl on the island who Michael whacked in the hatch along with Ana Lucia). She has a hideous haircut like Sandra Bernhard.

Michael screams and Libby isn't there anymore. A new nurse comes in, tells him he is lucky to be alive, that the EMTs found him in a wrecked car without ID and a suicide note pinned to his chest. She asks if he wants to tell her his name, he doesn't answer. She asks if he would like her to call Walt. He looks at her quizically (like "how the hell do you know Walt, bee-yotch?") and she says the suicide note was made out to "Walt".

Cut to Michael knocking on a door. His momma answers. She is a large woman. Somewhere between Florida from Good Times and the mother from What's Happening in size. She won't let him see Walt. Lucky for us that she reminds him in an expository way - it seems he dropped Walt off at her house for safety and he went on his way. She wants to know where they were when they said his plane wrecked and he should be dead. She wants to know why they need to have assumed names. She wants to know why Walt won't talk to her but cries in his sleep? Michael tells her to tell Walt that he loves him. As he slinks away all depressed, he sees Walt looking at him from the upstairs window.

Michael goes into a pawn shop and swaps the rolex he took from Jin for a gun with bullets. Michael ducks into an alley way and loads the gun. He puts the gun to his head and is about to pull the trigger when he is interrupted by someone asking him for the time. He says no and the guy says "Come on, Michael". He steps out of the shadows and it's Tom from the Others -- Ben's right hand man, the guy who stole Walt the first time, the guy Sawyer killed on the beach. Michael gives him the "WTF" look.


Michael goes to shoot Tom, Tom slaps his arm away, they trade punches but Tom gets the upperhand by grabbing the gun and aiming it at Michael. Michael asks him to shoot. He asks Tom "how did you find me?" and Tom replies "we're the ones that let you off the island, you didn't think we'd keep tabs?" Michael asks what Tom wants, and Tom tells him "your help". Michael asks "why would I help the SOB who kidnapped my son?" and Tom replies "we gave him back to you in one piece, you're the one that lost him". Something dawns on Tom and he says "you told him didn't you? you couldn't carry the guilt of what you did to those two women [Ana Lucia and Libby] all by yourself so you shared it with a 10 year old kid... is that why you want to kill yourself Michael? Because of the way he looks at you now? Because he knows you're a murderer?" Tom tells Michael that he can't kill himself. (Not that he is forbidden, he physically CAN'T, the island isn't through with him. He tells Michael he is in the penthouse of the Hotel Earle.

Cut to Michael in his apartment, with the gun to his head. The TV is on and a gameshow is heard. It asks this question as Michael is summoning the courage to pull the trigger.. "Who is the author of Slaughterhouse-Five"... a contestant chimes in... "Is it Kurt Vonnegut?"...Michael pulls the trigger and nothing question on the TV: "What is the name of the book's protagonist?"... Michael opens the chamber to the gun and all 6 bullets are in there...

sidenote: Slaughterhouse-Five is summarized in Wikipedia like this:
Slaughterhouse-Five spans the life of a man who has "come unstuck in time." It is the story of Billy Pilgrim experiencing different time periods of his life, most notably his experience in World War II and his relationship with his family. The book is a series of seemingly random happenings that, in combination, present the thematic elements of the novel in an unraveling order.

as Michael looks at the gun, the game show on TV is interrupted by a news bulletin: the wreckage of the doomed flight Oceanic 815 has been found in that trench, the reporter says it is too far to be retrieved, even the black box is probably beyond salvage.

Cut to Michael knocking on the penthouse door to see Tom and "Arturo". Seems they are a little more than friends, ifyaknowwhatImean (Not that there's anything wrong with that). They kiss. Tom is gay. Did we know that? I don't think we knew that. Did Arturo remind anyone else of Mr. Weed from "Family Guy"? ... 'I am making eggs, with the peppers from last night...ha ha ha... oh, stop feelming me monkey, I don't have my face on!"

Tom dispatches Arturo to step aside and get some air so he can talk to Michael. Tom tells Michael that he doesn't get to the mainland often and when he does he likes to indulge himself. Michael asks why the plane was found on the bottom of the ocean. Tom tells him that Widmore staged it, he doesn't want anyone to find the plane or the island except him. He shows Michael pictures and documents that show Widmore exumed 324 corpses from Thailand, bought a 777, and placed them in the fake plane and had it sunk at sea. He tells Michael the only way he can redeem himself for killing Ana Lucia and Libby is to save his fellow islanders from Widmore, who wants to kill them all. He sets Michael up with a passport and papers and says there is a job waiting for him on the boat as "Kevin Johnson". He is to kill everyone on board before they have the chances to kill the Losties. Of course, Michael doesn't care that these folks have perfectly forged passports for him, but that the documents he shows from Widmore must be the real McCoys, right?


Michael is on the dock and checks in with Naomi (now dead) as Kevin Johnson. She tells him there is a crate waiting for him from someone and she'll have it sent to his quarters. He meets Minkowski (now dead), and shakes his hand. He walks by Miles Strom who says "your real name isn't Kevin..."... Michael looks at him and Miles says "don't worry, 80% of the people here are lying about something"...

Michael's cellphone rings, it's Tom on the other line. Tom asks Michael if he is getting cold feet -- he reminds Michael that he is there to save his friends on the island. In a day or two, open the crate he sent and do the deal.
On the deck, Michael meets helicopter pilot Frank Lapidus, who tells Michael he thinks that the Oceanic 815 crash was faked and he is on the trip because the owner of the boat, Charles Widmore believes him also, and that he wants to find some of the survivors. Michael looks at his crate but is reluctant to open it. We see him next swabbing the deck and hears machine gun fire. He investigates and finds some guys skeet shooting using an Uzi (or is that uzing an uzi?) Michael asks why they have machine guns if this is a rescue mission, and the guy with the gun tells him to go mop something. Michael decides these guys aren't up to any good and goes into his crate. There is a briefcase. It's a buh... no, not a buh, a bomb. He sets the detonator to go off in 10 seconds and is prepared to meet his maker....Liby appears to him again and tells him not to do it... as it winds down to 0, nothing happens except a flag pops up, kind of like when a bang flag pops up in the cartoons when you think Bugs Bunny is about to be shot. The flag says "NOT YET".


Minkowski comes and tells Michael that he has a call from the mainland... he says "It's Walt and he really needs to talk to you".. Michael picks up the call and its not Walt, its one Benjamin Linus. Ben tells Michael that he doesn't want him blowing up the boat because Ben doesn't kill innocent people. He is trying to prove to Michael that he isn't a monster like Widmore. (Uhh..didn't Ben gas the Dharma people????).. he tells Michael to compile a list of names of every person on the boat and when he calls again he will give Ben the list, then disable the radio and the engine, that the boat will then never be able to reach the island. He tells Ben he'd do it, and Ben tells him to consider himself one of the good guys.

Cut back to modern time, Sayid says "you're telling me you work for Benjamin Linus?", Michael says Yes.... Sayid then gives Michael a hammerlock (whats next, noogies?) and pushes him into the captain's office. Sayid tells the Captain that this isn't "Kevin Johnson" that he is a fellow passenger from Oceanic 815, he is the sabateur, and his name is Michael Dawson and he is a traitor.

CUT TO Danielle, Alex, and Karl in the jungle going to the Temple (it is Purim after all). They decide to stop and drink. Karl tells Alex "he has a bad feeling about this"... (uh oh... 5 minutes to retirement for Karl, methinks)... he thinks Ben is playing them... Alex tells him that she doesn't like taking orders from her dad either, but she knows he doesn't want her getting hurt... hmm.. seems Karl's water bottle has sprung a leak about the size of a bullet hole... and oops, his chest has too.. Alex wigs out over his dead body and Danielle tries to pull her away to safety... they are behind a tree hiding from the snipers... Danielle tells her daughter that she loves her very much...and on three they are going to make a run for it... 1......2.....thunk... Danielle takes a bullet and is dead. Alex holds her hands up and surrenders, yelling out "I'M BEN'S DAUGHTER!"... cut to LOST title screen.

I think it's pretty obvious that Ben set the trap to get Karl and Danielle out of the picture. No more episodes until April 24th.

Muppets for President?

This is pretty funny.

I am not sure which nominee pairing is better, Mitt Romney and Guy Smiley? Or Chris Dodd and Link Hogthrob? Maybe Ron Paul and Beaker?

Bob & David from Mr. Show reuniting!

if you were a fan of the warped comedy of Bob Odenkirk & David Cross of "Mr Show", you'll be happy to read this: HBO gave the go ahead for their new venture called "David's Situation". You may remember my early blog post about my sincere love for Arrested Development, and Cross' portrayal of Tobias is fucking LEGENDARY. Mr. Show could probably be described as experimental comedy, it was brilliantly out there. It was sketch comedy, but turned 90 degrees. I guess it could be considered a way more "out there" version of Monty Python's Flying Circus or The Kids in the Hall. If you notice, early seasons had an unknown Jack Black and Sarah Silverman in the cast.

Here is the EW article

As if rumors of an Arrested Development movie weren't a thrilling enough prospect, there's more potential comedic brilliance on the horizon: The stars of the 1995-98 HBO comedy series Mr. Show with Bob and David — Bob Odenkirk and David Cross (pictured) — are reuniting for a new TV project. Cross has announced on the pair's joint website (alert: NSFW language) that this May, now that the pilot they wrote has been picked up, the duo will begin shooting their new HBO series. Reportedly, it's titled David's Situation and will be produced in a sitcom format, including "ad breaks" (which they'll write and shoot themselves, presumably with — because otherwise what's the point, right? — their trademark warped humor.) In his post, Cross also says each episode will shoot in front of an audience of about 150, and he emphasizes how excited he and Odenkirk are to work together again, declaring, "it's really strong and important to the health of America."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tiger = Clutch

I watched this live on Sunday, luckily I happened to be flipping the channels just before this putt attempt. He needed a birdie on 18 to win the tournament, he was 9 under, tied with Bart Bryant who already was in the clubhouse. He had a 24 foot putt for the win, he hadn't made any putt longer than 18 feet all tournament long (0 for 21). Here's what happened if you missed it. Is he the greatest winner ever, in any sport?

Heather Mills awarded $48.6 million from Paul McCartney

She had asked for $250 million, but when she got to court, her lawyer told her she didn't have a leg to stand on. Ba-dum-cha!


LONDON -- Paul McCartney was ordered Monday to pay Heather Mills $48.6 million to settle their divorce.

A document released by the Family Court said the judge awarded Mills a lump sum of $33 million plus the assets she currently holds worth $15.6 million.

"I'm so, so happy with this," Mills told reporters following the closed hearing.

The court also ruled that the couple's 4-year-old daughter Beatrice should receive a "periodical payments order" of $70,000 per annum. On top of that, McCartney will pay for the child's nanny and school fees.

"I'm so glad it's over," Mills said at her impromptu news conference.

"It was an incredible result in the end to secure mine and my daughter's future and that of all the charities that I obviously plan on helping and making a difference with -- because you know it has been my life for 20 years," she said.

McCartney left the court without making any statement.

While pleased with the financial settlement, Mills intends to appeal to prevent publication of the details of the settlement for the couple's daughter.

McCartney, 65, and Mills, 40, went to court last month to decide on Mills' share of his fortune, which had been estimated at as much as $1.6 billion.

Judge Hugh Bennett, however, found that the total value of all of McCartney's assets, including his business assets, was about $800 million.

Mills said the settlement vindicated her decision to fire her lawyers. The legal fees, she said, instead "could easily go to charity."

"Obviously the court do not want a litigant in person to do well, it's against everything that they ever wish, so when they write the judgment up they're never going to make it look in favor," she said.

"But all of you that have researched know that it was always going to be a figure between 20 and 30 million (pounds), Paul was offering a lot less than that, which you'll see in the judgment, and very much last minute to put me and Beatrice sadly through this ... incredibly sad."

Mills had sought almost $250 million, while McCartney had said she should receive $31.6 million, including her own assets, which the court assessed at $15.6 million.

She had harsh words for McCartney's lawyer, Fiona Shackleton, who was well known for representing Prince Charles in his divorce from Princess Diana.

"She has called me many, many names before even meeting me when I was in a wheelchair," said Mills.

The settlement has been a long time coming for the couple, who separated two years ago, after four years of marriage. At the time they said the parting was "amicable" and insisted "both of us still care about each other very much."

But the split has grown fractious since McCartney filed for divorce alleging his wife's "unreasonable behavior."

Mills -- a former model whose left leg was amputated below the knee after a motorcycle accident in 1993 -- claimed McCartney had failed to protect her and their daughter from slander, death threats and other abuse, and accused the media of persecuting her. In November, Mills said she had been "treated worse than a murderer or a pedophile," despite years of work for land mine victims and animal welfare charities.

McCartney met Mills in 1999, the year after the death from breast cancer of his first wife, Linda. That marriage was one of rock's most enduring unions, and produced three children, including fashion designer Stella McCartney.

Mills and McCartney married at an Irish castle in June 2002, amid rumors the former Beatle's children disapproved of their new stepmother. The couple's daughter was born the following year*.

Female Mike Tyson

courtesy of ESPN's Bill Simmons, this gives new meaning to the phrase "going down"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

HBO Miniseries: John Adams Parts I & II

Tonight was the debut of the new miniseries produced by Tom Hanks and the team that did the excellent "From the Earth to the Moon" and "Band of Brothers". "John Adams" followed proudly in their footsteps. Very well done, and such an awesome cast, made up mainly of "character actors" and "that guys" (as in - "I love that guy!" - even if you don't know his/her name) - Paul Giamatti is Adams, Laura Linney is Abigail Adams, David Morse as George Washington, Tom Wilkinson as Ben Franklin and Zelko Ivanec.

Episode 1 was kind of an introduction to John & Abigail - it established Adams in 1770 as a husband, father, lawyer and farmer at the beginning of the revolution.
We see the things that most of us forgot from high school social studies - things that drove the colonists towards independence - like the tea tax, taxation without representation, the quartering act, stuff like that. It ends with John Adams being sent to the 1st Continental Congress.

Episode 2 was him at the Congress, and trying to convince the other colonies to declare independence. We see the Declaration being written and we meet Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson. It was a little more draggy than episode one, but it still was good.

I urge you all to watch it, I am sure it will be replayed 100 times next week.

One thing, I kept expecting Giamatti to burst out with "King George IS THE MUTHAFUCKING ANTI-CHRIST! W-ENNNNNNN-B-C!"

Mr. Marlin to retire

One of the classiest athletes EVER in any sport in South Florida is about to retire. Jeff Conine, who was an expansion draft pick in 1993 went on to become arguably the most beloved Marlin, is going to sign a 1 day contract with the Fish and be honored in a ceremony before opening day. The most exciting play I ever saw in person was Edgar Renteria's World Series winning hit in 1997, because of what it meant. The BEST play I ever saw in person was in the 2003 playoffs against San Francisco when Niner threw JT Snow out at the plate (Pudge Rodriguez held on to the ball after the collision) to end the series. If this play happened in the World Series instead of the first round of the playoffs, it might have been known as the best play to end a playoff game in baseball history. LINK TO ARTICLE

Conine to retire a Marlin 03/16/2008 1:29 PM ET By Joe Frisaro / VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Fittingly, Mr. Marlin will ultimately retire as a Marlin. According to a source, Jeff Conine, one of the most popular players in Florida history, will sign a one-day contract on March 28, and then retire as a member of the Marlins. Nicknamed "Mr. Marlin," the 41-year-old was a member of the team's inaugural roster, and he enjoyed two stints with the organization. A versatile performer who mostly played first base and the outfield, he was a vital part of the franchise's World Series titles in 1997 and 2003. Conine, who resides year-round in South Florida in Weston, is scheduled to sign his one-day contract March 28, when the Marlins play an exhibition game against the Yankees at Dolphin Stadium. The team also plans on honoring Conine during an on-field ceremony before their March 31 season opener against the Mets. The Marlins, however, are not planning on retiring Conine's number. He actually wore two. From 1993-97, he donned No. 19. When he returned in a trade from the Orioles on Aug. 31, 2003, he was given No. 18. He remained with the Marlins through 2005. Conine is currently training for an Ironman triathlon competition, which is consuming much of his time these days. The team is leaving open the option of bringing Conine back to the organization in an advisory capacity. Conine enjoyed a 17-year big league career, breaking in with the Royals in 1990. He also played for the Marlins, Orioles, Phillies and Reds before he finished up last year with the Mets. Respected for his hard-nosed style of play and his professionalism, Conine finished with a .285 career batting average. He added 214 home runs and 1,071 RBIs. Conine ranks among the Marlins' leaders in a number of categories. He is second in team history in games played (1,014), total hits (1,005), singles (688), RBIs (553) and total bases (1,579). He is the franchise leader in grand slams with six.

SNL: Jonah Hill

pretty meh episode, but this sketch made me LOL. Jonah Hill plays a schticky 6 year old trying to hook his father up with some fellow patrons of Benihana. He plays it like a borscht belt comedian, and as everyone knows I am a big fan of schticky jewish comedians. Is this thing on? Hello? Is this a blog audience or an oil painting? On another note, Kristin Wiig's Target Lady needs to die. Now.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rock Out With Your Mock Out 2b

Here is Mel Kiper's Mock Draft, updated about 10 days ago. I see the Fins taking one of the Longs or Gholston #1.


Kiper's First-Round Projection
Name Team Player School
1 Miami Dolphins Chris Long, DE Virginia
2 St. Louis Rams Glenn Dorsey, DT LSU
3 Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan, QB Boston College
4 Oakland Raiders *Darren McFadden, RB Arkansas
5 Kansas City Chiefs Jake Long, OT Michigan
6 New York Jets *Vernon Gholston, DE Ohio St.
7 New England Patriots (from SF) Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Tennessee St.
8 Baltimore Ravens Sedrick Ellis, DT USC
9 Cincinnati Bengals *Phillip Merling, DE Clemson
10 New Orleans Saints Leodis McKelvin, CB Troy
11 Buffalo Bills *Malcolm Kelly, WR Oklahoma
12 Denver Broncos *Ryan Clady, OT Boise St.
13 Carolina Panthers *Derrick Harvey, DE Florida
14 Chicago Bears Chris Williams, OT Vanderbilt
15 Detroit Lions *Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois
16 Arizona Cardinals Keith Rivers, LB USC
17 Minnesota Vikings *Calais Campbell, DE Miami
18 Houston Texans *Jonathan Stewart, RB Oregon
19 Philadelphia Eagles Jeff Otah, OT Pittsburgh
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers *DeSean Jackson, WR California
21 Washington Redskins *Aqib Talib, CB Kansas
22 Dallas Cowboys (from CLE) *Felix Jones, RB Arkansas
23 Pittsburgh Steelers *Branden Albert, OG Virginia
24 Tennessee Titans *Jerod Mayo, LB Tennessee
25 Seattle Seahawks *Devin Thomas, WR Michigan State
26 Jacksonville Jaguars Kentwan Balmer, DT North Carolina
27 San Diego Chargers *Justin King, CB Penn State
28 Dallas Cowboys *Brandon Flowers, CB Virginia Tech
29 San Francisco 49ers (from IND) Gosder Cherilus, OT Boston College
30 Green Bay Packers Mike Jenkins, CB South Florida
31 New England Patriots Forfeited pick
32 New York Giants *Kenny Phillips, S Miami

Rock Out With Your Mock Out 2a

Here is McShay's latest mock from ESPN's Scouts, Inc. He still has the Dolphins taking Boston College QB Matt Ryan #1 overall. I don't see it.

1. Miami Dolphins -- Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Record: 1-15 | Needs: CB, OT, QB, WR, DE, S, LB
Previous mock selection: Same
Yes, I'm well aware that DE Chris Long has become the trendy selection for the Dolphins at No. 1 overall. Although Chris Long is certainly worthy -- as is OT Jake Long -- I'm sticking with Matt Ryan until more definitive information becomes available regarding Miami's assessment of John Beck as its potential franchise quarterback moving forward.

2. St. Louis Rams -- Chris Long, DE, Virginia
Record: 3-13 | Needs: DE, WR, C/G, OLB, CB
Previous mock selection: Same
Chris Long has to be the Rams' best-case scenario at No. 2 overall. Long is not a prototypical edge-rusher, but he's a disruptive force in all facets of the game. He possesses rare versatility and a motor that never quits. Long would be an excellent complement at left end opposite the speedy Leonard Little, who recently reworked his contract.

3. Atlanta Falcons -- Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Record: 4-12 | Needs: QB, DT, OT, G, TE
Previous mock selection: Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Ryan should be the Falcons' selection if he's available. If not, it will be a difficult decision between Dorsey and Jake Long. The team has needs at both positions, as well as many others, so it really can't go wrong in that regard. Assuming Dorsey gets a clean bill of health, he seems to be the direction the team is headed. Dorsey is the type of impact defender the Falcons are looking to build their defense around.

4. Oakland Raiders -- Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
Record: 4-12 | Needs: DT/DE, WR, OT, G/C, OLB
Previous mock selection: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
The re-signing of Tommy Kelly gives the Raiders two good defensive linemen -- with Derrick Burgess being the other -- but the ideal plan is to play Kelly at end. Retaining Kelly certainly frees the team up to go in a different direction with this pick (RB Darren McFadden), but it does not eliminate Ellis (or Dorsey, if available) from the discussion. Ellis, who notched 58 tackles and 8.5 sacks as a senior at USC, could solve many problems for this unit.

5. Kansas City Chiefs -- Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Record: 4-12 | Needs: OT, CB, QB, G/C, WR, RB
Previous mock selection: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
The Chiefs' 2008 draft pretty much hinges on Long's availability at No. 5. Needless to say, this is the dream scenario for Executive VP/Assistant GM Carl Peterson, head coach Herm Edwards and the rest of Kansas City front office.

6. New York Jets -- Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Record: 4-12 | Needs: DE, CB, WR, LB, RB
Projected pick: Same
The Jets have spent a bundle of cash targeting needs in free agency, which frees the organization from being handcuffed to any particular position with this pick. Arguments can be made for and against both McFadden and DE/OLB Vernon Gholston. From my perspective, Gholston's recent workout times might have sent his draft stock soaring but on film he disappears in too many games. He flashes elite talent and belongs in the top 10, but I could not rationalize taking him ahead of McFadden if needs are not a driving force in the equation.

7. N.E. Patriots (from 5-11 S.F.) -- Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State
Record: 16-0 | Needs: ILB, CB, OLB, ROT/G, S
Previous mock selection: Same
Gholston would seem like a natural fit as an outside linebacker in the Patriots' 3-4 scheme. Assuming Gholston is ready to contribute immediately, Mike Vrabel could move back to inside linebacker in order to stabilize the interior.

8. Baltimore Ravens -- Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Record: 5-11 | Needs: QB, CB, OT, OLB/DE, WR
Previous mock selection: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
The Ravens are one of the wild cards in the top 10. They will take the best available talent even if he doesn't fit a need, and odds are none of the available players at their need positions will be worthy of the eighth overall pick. An argument could be made for one of the top cornerback prospects here, but Clady carries a better grade, in my opinion, than any corner in this class, and he possesses the combination of size and feet to potentially take over for perennial Pro Bowler Jonathan Ogden.

9. Cincinnati Bengals -- Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
Record: 7-9 | Needs: DT, TE, LB, S, DE
Previous mock selection: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
The team is starving for defensive playmakers. Defensive tackle is the Bengals' biggest need, but there's no DT prospect worth selecting here if Dorsey and Ellis are off the board. The Bengals are unsettled at outside linebacker and Rivers has emerged as far-and-away the top prospect at that position in the 2008 class. He is a complete linebacker with a very good combination of size, quickness, power and toughness. He also plays with an excellent motor and could quickly emerge as a much-needed leader for this unit.

10. New Orleans Saints -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tenn. St.
Record: 6-9 | Needs: CB, DT, TE, LB, WR
Previous mock selection: Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the fastest rising prospects in the 2008 class right now. The small-school product stood up to the big boys at the Senior Bowl, and then wowed scouts a few weeks later with one of the smoothest workouts of any DB at the combine.

11. Buffalo Bills -- Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
Record: 7-9 | Needs: WR, CB, TE, DE, OT/OG
Previous mock selection: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
The Bills need a big receiver but there's enough depth in this year's class to address that need later. The wise play with the 11th pick is to secure an elite cover corner like McKelvin, who also brings explosive return ability to the table, and then go after a big, playmaking wideout like Indiana's James Hardy in Round 2.

12. Denver Broncos -- Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
Record: 7-9 | Needs: DT, OT, LB, WR, CB/RS
Previous mock selection: Same
The Broncos ranked 28th in scoring defense and 30th in rushing defense last year, which explains the free-agent additions of linebacker Boss Bailey and safeties Marquand Manuel and Marlon McCree. Finding an upgrade at defensive tackle is the next priority, but Dorsey and Ellis are off the board and it's too early to take North Carolina's Kentwan Balmer. The Broncos can at least use the pick to solidify the offensive line with Williams, then target a DT like Auburn's Pat Sims in Round 2.

13. Carolina Panthers -- Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
Record: 7-9 | Needs: ROT, FS, WR, TE, RB, DE
Previous mock selection: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
Otah, a massive right tackle prospect with loads of potential, is ideally suited for Carolina's power-running game. The Nigerian-born, 339-pounder could potentially serve as the final piece to a Panthers' offensive line attempting to shuffle all five starting spots after last year's injury-riddled season. Defensive ends Derrick Harvey and Phillip Merling are also possibilities with this pick.

14. Chicago Bears -- Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
Record: 7-9 | Needs: OT, QB, RB, OG, WR
Previous mock selection: Same
Local product or not, spending a first-round pick on a running back for the second time in four years would be a tough pill to swallow. But the Bears have done nothing to address the situation during free agency, and the well has run dry at this point when it comes to top offensive tackle talent. In addition to his size, burst and versatility, Mendenhall would provide a level of toughness that the Chicago ground game lacked with Cedric Benson as the primary ball-carrier in 2007.

15. Detroit Lions -- Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
Record: 7-9 | Needs: ROT, LB, RB, DT, DE
Projected pick: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
This is a tough scenario for the Lions, who would like to add one of the top four offensive tackles in the draft. And although Oregon's Jonathan Stewart would be an upgrade at running back, the team doesn't appear headed in that direction after inking a one-year with Tatum Bell, who will compete with Kevin Jones and Brian Calhoun for carries. Instead, Harvey seems like a sensible choice. He is not as explosive as his former teammate Jarvis Moss, who was selected 17th overall by the Broncos last year, but Harvey is a more complete player who should eventually emerge as an impact every-down starter in the NFL. And he would immediately upgrade Detroit's mediocre crop of defensive ends that includes Jared DeVries and Dewayne White.

16. Arizona Cardinals -- Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
Record: 8-8 | Needs: CB (FS), RB, LOT, DE, WR
Previous mock selection: Same
It would be tough to pass on Stewart here because his versatility and big-play potential would complement current RB Edgerrin James very well. The 2008 running back crop is extremely deep, however. So the smart play is to grab one of the premier defensive backs before the well dries up at that position. Talib tends to gamble a bit, but teams have to like his versatility and playmaking skills as a 6-foot-1, 202-pound cornerback, return man and occasional wide receiver.

17. Minnesota Vikings -- Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
Record: 8-8 | Needs: DE, CB, WR, QB, OT/OG
Previous mock selection: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
Merling has an outstanding combination of size, quickness and power, which would make him a good fit in a rotation that includes Ray Edwards and Brian Robison in Minnesota.

18. Houston Texans -- Jonathan Stewart*, RB, Oregon
Record: 8-8 | Needs: CB, RB, LOT, S, DE
Previous mock selection: Same
Houston has spent its last five first round picks on the defensive side of the ball -- and it could easily be six of the Texans opt for a cornerback like Mike Jenkins -- but Stewart is too talented to pass on considering Houston's current running back situation. Aging veteran Ahman Green is best suited in a rotation at this point in his career while Darius Walker and Chris Taylor are nothing more than solid reserves. Stewart has the bulk, burst and versatility to immediately emerge as a difference-maker in the No. 2 role, while also providing a boost in the kickoff return game.

19. Philadelphia Eagles -- Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
Record: 8-8 | Needs: WR, S, LB, OT/OG, DE
Previous mock selection: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
The Eagles have steered away from first-round receivers since the Freddie Mitchell fiasco, but they have struck out during free agency and may have the pick of the litter come April 26th. Kelly has yet to workout due to a lingering hamstring injury, which could certainly cause him to slip if it's not completely healed by draft weekend. But assuming he's healthy, Kelly is a fluid athlete with outstanding size and arguably the strongest hands of any receiver in this class.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- DeSean Jackson, WR/RS, California
Record: 9-7 | Needs: WR (RS), CB, LOT, DT, DE
Previous mock selection: Same
Sure, Jackson has limitations at 5-10, 169 pounds, but he's the fastest and most dangerous open-field weapon this class has to offer. If Jackson gets with a creative offensive coach like Tampa's Jon Gruden at the next level, he could emerge as versatile home run threat

21. Washington Redskins -- Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
Record: 9-7 | Needs: WR, S, DE, OT, DT
Previous mock selection: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
The Redskins top priority is to add a playmaker at wide receiver. There projects to be a run of wide receivers in the bottom half of the first round, so the Redskins should get involved here before they get shut out. Sweed has been bothered by a nagging wrist injury but has an impressive blend of speed and size.

22. Dallas Cowboys (from 10-6 CLE) -- Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
Record: 13-3 | Needs: CB, WR, RB, NT, G/C
Previous mock selection: Same
Assuming owner Jerry Jones doesn't package picks to trade up, expect Dallas to use its two picks to address needs at corner, receiver, offensive tackle and possibly running back. Jenkins' combination of size, speed and athleticism is outstanding and his recognition skills continue to improve each season. Jenkins also brings versatility to the table with his ability to play some safety and chip in on returns if necessary.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Branden Albert, G, Virginia
Record: 10-6 | Needs: OC, OT, OG, DE (3-4), WR
Previous mock selection: Same
The Steelers are expected to invest multiple draft picks on offensive linemen. Albert is a massive guard with good feet and a finisher's mentality. Although most of his experience is at guard, he has the frame to give it a try at tackle if a team should so choose.

24. Tennessee Titans -- Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
Record: 10-6 | Needs: WR, DT, CB, G/C, LB
Previous mock selection: Early Doucet, WR, LSU
Titans QB Vince Young still needs lots of polishing as a passer and needs at least one perimeter weapon -- and no, Justin McCareins does not count. Considering Tennessee's recent draft trends, though, Young shouldn't hold his breath on Day 1. The last time Tennessee drafted a receiver in the first two rounds was 2003 (Tyrone Calico, second round) and the team hasn't spent a first-round selection on a wideout since Kevin Dyson in 1998. Balmer is a fast-rising prospect with very good size, power and quickness. He would be a nice complement to Albert Haynesworth on the inside.

25. Seattle Seahawks -- Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue
Record: 10-6 | Needs: TE, WR, DT, OL, RB
Previous mock selection: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
Keller and USC's Fred Davis are neck-and-neck atop the tight-end board. Davis is a bigger, more complete prospect with very good overall athleticism, but Keller takes it to another level in terms of overall explosiveness. Keller will never be a good in-line blocker but very few H-backs display his potential to create mismatches in the passing game. Seattle is looking for a playmaker at that position, so don't be surprised if Keller sneaks off the board late in Round 1.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
Record: 11-5 | Needs: DE, DT, DC/SS, OL, OLB
Previous mock selection: Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
The Jaguars hope they addressed their wide receiver issues in free agency with the additions of Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson, which leaves the defensive line as the team's top draft priority early on.

27. San Diego Chargers -- Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
Record: 11-5 | Needs: ROT, CB (No. 3), RB, S, NT
Previous mock selection: Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
Offensive tackle is a strong possibility, especially with Cherilus still on the board, but the team lost its nickel corner in free agency and Flowers would be a good fit in that role. His stock is slipping due to poor workout numbers, but Flowers is a smooth cover corner with very good ball skills and instincts, which is why I think his production will end up far exceeding his draft value.

28. Dallas Cowboys -- Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
Record: 13-3 | Needs: CB, WR, RB, NT, OG/OC
Previous mock selection: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
If Jerry Jones can't strike a deal to move up, he could settle for Jones, the other first-round running back prospect from Arkansas. The better value, however, would be at wide receiver with either Thomas or Manningham. Despite his lack of ideal game experience, Thomas is higher on many boards because he's such a dynamic open-field runner for his size, both after the catch and in the return game.

29. S.F. 49ers (from 13-3 IND) -- Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
Record: 5-11 | Needs: WR, OT, OLB, OG/OC, CB
Previous mock selection: James Hardy, WR, Indiana
Wide receiver is a need, but the 49ers can find a comparable prospect and better value early in Round 2. Cherilus is a right tackle prospect who struggled a bit playing on the left side as a senior. If he ends up in San Francisco he would move back to his more natural spot on the right side and allow the more athletic Joe Staley to move to left tackle.

30. Green Bay Packers -- Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
Record: 13-3 | Needs: CB, OT, S, TE, PT
Previous mock selection: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
The Packers would rather draft a cornerback, but they would settle for the top safety prospect in this year's weak crop. Phillips has the natural athleticism and can be a powerful hitter for his size. However, he needs good coaching to change his inconsistent ways.

31. New England. Patriots -- Pick forfeited
Record: 16-0 | Needs: ILB, CB, OLB, OL depth
Previous mock selection: Same
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 -- Jerod Mayo, OLB, Tennessee
Record: 10-6 | Needs: OLB, S, CB, OG/OT, DT
Previous mock selection: Dan Connor, LB, Penn State
The Giants are in need of a legitimate upgrade at linebacker and Mayo possesses just the type of athleticism and versatility to find a nice niche within this unit.

Todd McShay is the director of college football scouting for Scouts Inc. He has been evaluating prospects for the NFL draft since 1998.

Party Like its 1999

So we reached 2000 unique hits to the blog today (from 2000 different ISPs); overall we have had 2800 hits (that includes repeat customers). Remember you can subscribe to the blog feed by clicking on that orange icon on the top right of the screen.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Dark Knight trailer

I am a HUGE fan of Batman Begins, and I think this trailer for the sequel looks really strong (once you set aside your uneasiness watching Heath Ledger). I'd put Batman Begins up as one of the best superhero movies of all time, with X-Men 2, Spiderman, and Superman II (because of General Zod, not because of the Saran Wrap S that Superman has out of nowhere). I think Doc Octopus' manboobs brings Spidey 2 down a notch.

Screen Cap of Jin's gravestone

the date on the tombstone is 11/27/74 to 9/22/2004 (the date of the Oceanic crash). So there are several scenarios in my opinion. A) The grave was set up by the Koreans after it was confirmed Sun & Jin were killed on the flight. 2) The Oceanic 6 are covering up how Jin actually died or C) Jin isn't actually dead, he is left back on the island with the other survivors.
I think we shouldn't gloss over the fact that Hurley was glad none of the others came to see the baby. We do know that Kate can't leave the state of California. Jack probably feels guilt, the same reason he can't see Aaron is the same reason he can't face Sun.
I am guessing the other tombstone is Sun's birthdate.
Props to Mr. Evans for providing the picture

Thursday, March 13, 2008

In reference to my cork soaker reference in the LOST thread


an SNL sketch that goes under the radar


ok, I am going to try live blogging best I can...

Opens on the ship, Frank the helicopter pilot brings food to Desmond and Sayid who are being held prisoner. Desmond affirms he feels better (presumably from finding his constant). They are being held because they escaped from the sick bay two episodes ago, they thought Frank left the door open for them (he didn't). It was presumably Ben's mole.

Jin & Sun are alone on the beach. Jin wants to discuss baby names, Sun thinks it's back luck. Jin says if it's a girl he wants to name it Yi Jeoh (uh oh, I think this is the Korean LOST equivalent of a buddy cop movie having the black cop being 1 day from retirement when a dangerous assignment comes up). Flashforward to Sun in a hotel room or apartment in Korea putting makeup on. She is very preggo, having contractions and calls 9-1-1. So she is presumably one of the Oceanic 6!

Jin is in Korea wearing a suit...he is in a toy store with tense music playing. He is looking for....a panda. He has to go to the hospital with it! He doesn't seem too happy. Wait, I think that was a dream. Sun wakes him up.

Jack and Kate return to the beach. Kate tells them the story of Charlotte knocking her out and stopping the gas. Sun asks if they are going to rescue them, Kate sounds skeptical.

Back on the ship with Dez and Sayid. A note falls through a crack in the door. Sayid now thinks it's worth telling Dez about Ben's mole (3 days they've been together and now he brings it up?). The note says "DON'T TRUST THE CAPTAIN"

Sun introduces herself to Daniel, tells him she is 2 months preggo. She asks if he is here to rescue them. He doesn't respond right away. "The thing's not really my call". She says "thank you" and leaves him.

Sun tells Jin he needs to do as she says and not ask questions - she wants him to get 2 days worth of food. He asks why and she tells him they are going to Locke's camp. Cut to commercial.

Sun is rummaging through Juliet's things when Juliet discovers her. Sun is looking for prenatal vitamins. Juliet guesses that she is leaving camp, since Sun still had 20 vitamins left from last batch. Juliet reminds Sun that Locke doesn't want to leave the island and that pregnant women die if they stay on the island. Sun doesn't quite believe that, saying Claire's baby is fine. She tells Juliet that she doesn't trust her.

Flashforward Sun in the hospital not doing well with the contractions. The nurses confirmed she is one of the Oceanic 6. Her regular OB is out at a conference and the new doc orders something for the pain. He examines her, she is concered about the baby and the doc says it is in distress but he doesn't know why. (ISLAND SICKNESS?) She wants him to call her husband. Jin is on the phone with someone at the hospital, but someone bumps into him as he is about to get into a cab, breaking his cell phone, stealing the taxi and the panda.

Jin runs back to the store for a panda (Uh, your wife and baby are in trouble, enough with the plush animals). There are no more pandas except one on hold. He wants that panda and gives the guy a lot of Korean ben franklins.

Back to "present" on the island, Kate draws them a map to Locke. She tells them that she HAS to tell Jack but not until they get a head start. Juliet interupts and tells Jin that his wife will die if she doesn't get off the island in 3 weeks. Jin isn't impressed and they start to leave despite Juliet's protest. Juliet tells Jin that Sun had an affair (DOH). Jin says "what!?". Juliet says Sun thought the baby was another man's. Sun slaps Juliet. Jin gets pissed and walks away. (CUT TO COMMERCIAL)

Cut to Sun and Jin on the beach, Sun trying to explain, Jin doesnt want to look at her. Jin walks away. Bernard is here (yay! I like him), he wants to go fishing with Jin but notices they are fighting. Jin says to come anyway. They are fishing in Fredo Corleone's rowboat.. Bernard reminds him that they are the only 2 married guys on the island. He reveals Rose having cancer and that she is better now that she is on the island. He is surprised his wife didn't go with Locke because she stays healthy if she is on the island. But Locke is a murderer, and that he believes in karma - bad things happen to people who are bad, good happens to the good. As if on cue and like they need to slap you over the head with the symbolism, they reel in a big fish. Bernard says Jin has good karma (When I retire from the force, me and the missus are going to buy a little bed and breakfast in the mountains, it'll be nice.)

Back to the boat. The captain wants to see Dez & Sayid. They go to the top deck and the helicopter is missing. The doctor explains Lapidus had to "run an errand" to the island. Regina, who was guarding Dez & Sayid in the locked room calmly jumps off the ship wrapped in heavy chains. No one is helping her except Dez and Sayid are wigging out trying to help. The crew does nothing and the captain comes out tells them to do nothing. He asks if they have any questions for him. CUT TO COMMERCIAL.

Captain asks our boys what he can do for them. They want to know WTF is going on. He says that some of his crew are going a little batty due to the close proximity to the island. A sabateur broke their engine, they can't leave the area. He says his orders are from Charles Widmore. Dez is like Wtf? Capt says "oh yeah, you know him!" Cap shows Sayid the black box from oceanic flight 815, thanks to Widmore's many resources. It was salvaged from the bottom of the ocean along with all 324 dead passengers. He confirms the wreckage was staged. The captain asks who has the resources to do such an elaborate thing? Also, where did they get 324 dead bodies? He kind of hints that its not Widmore doing it, the captain says this is why they are here to get Benjamin Linus (alluding that Ben set this shit up).

Back to Sun, she is alone on the beach when Juliet comes over. "I'm sorry, I had to stop you any way I could". She tells Sun that she NEEDS to get off this island. She doesn't know if the boat is the answer or not but at least its something. She tells Juliet what illness she is in for. That she and her baby will be dead in 4 weeks. Flash forward to Sun in the hospital, she needs a C-section; Jin hasn't shown up yet. The baby is crowning, too late for the c-section. She is pushing and the baby is born. It's a girl.

Back to "present day" on the ship. The ship doctor/baby sitter tells them the captain is forthwright, just don't piss him off. He takes them to their new quarters, saying it is on the quiet part of the ship. Sayid says the ship isn't moving to which the doc replies "if you say so". The room is roach infested with a giant blood stain. The doctor orders a crew member down the hall - "Johnson" to clean the room. Johnson is Michael. They pretend like they don't know him. He is introduced as Kevin Johnson now, #7 for your Phoenix Suns.

Jin comes back to Sun's tent. She was worried he had left her. She wants to explain, he says it doesn't matter - he knows what man he used to be. He doesn't blame her because he used to be a cork soaker and drove her to it. He forgives her. He says he'll go to Locke's camp, she explains Juliet convinced her they need to leave. He says "I'll do whatever it takes to protect you and the baby". He asks if the baby is his, she says yes. They cry. She swears it's his. He says she will never lose him. (5 minutes to retirement and I've never taken my gun from its holster!)

Flashforward to Jin running through the hospital with the giant stuffed panda. It's not for Sun (here is the LOST Swerve). Jin is there as a representative for Paik Automotive to present the ambassador a gift for his new grandson. This is a flashback to Jin before they went on Oceanic 815.

Sun opens the door to her apartment, the doorbell is ringing and Hurley is there in a suit. He asks if anyone else is coming, she says no, he says "good!". He wants to see the new baby. He says the baby looks just like Jin. Hurley says they should go see Jin...and Jin is at a cemetery... in a grave. Sun tells the grave marker that he was right it was a girl. She tells him she was calling out for him in the delivery room. She presents Ji Yeon to him, the name he wanted. She tells him she misses him so much. Cut to "LOST" title screen.

The HOLY Village People

Now THIS is a great commercial.

Here is the transcription of what they're saying:
Be warned holy land
of the hi definition
go out and erase this "toeivah" (sin)

Oy Vey, the "toeivah" is here
He said Oy Vey
now the detail's so clear
YES brought HD
Groise Tate (Father in heaven) please help
It's a "broch" this HD on YES

Gevald it's Sedom and Gemorah
HDTV it's against the torah
HDTV oy voi voi voi
Now the shikses look well
you will all go to hell
Or in Hebrew Yishmor HoKel (g-d save us)

Cause the HD is now on YES

Tonight is LOST Thursday

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

bad American Idol performances

inspired by my friend John Stevens, here is his performance, often called the worst of all time on American Idol -- honestly, it wasn't as bad as Christy or David A from last night

Here's the link, for some reason it won't let me embed it in the blog

Best & Worst from American Idol last night

they had the luxury of having the Lennon & McCartney catalog for the first time. Being a YUGE Beatles fan, I didn't have my hopes up. Here was my favorite performance from last night, Carly the Tattoo Girl singing perhaps my LEAST favorite Beatles song, "Come Together"

Other notables (click the links to see the you tube versions) were Chikezie singing "She's a Woman" (I thought his was a little overrated, more sizzle than steak, the whole didn't equal the sum of its parts, but it was HIS best to date),
David Cook doing "Eleanor Rigby",
(he SO wants to be Daughtry, but he is like a Daughtry-lite), and
Brooke singing "Let It Be", simply and organically (like Whole Foods Market without the ridiculous price markup) while playing the piano.

Perhaps the worst top 12 performance in AI history was done by Kristy Lee Cook, whose Square Dancing version of "8 Days A Week" may have had Paul McCartney looking in the phone book for Mark David Chapman's phone number. I know the judges encouraged her to do the country thing, and it is a good idea to corner that market, but it would have been a better to do a slow country ballad version. I was waiting for her to break out "Grab Yer Partner, doe-see-doe, spin her round and round you go!" Just awful. See For Yourself.

Other notably crappy performances: Surprisingly golden boy David Archuleta sucked ass bigtime. In his vignette he admitted to not knowing much about McCartney & Lennon (WHAT THE HELL?) but was excited because he was VERY familiar with Stevie Wonder's version of "We Can Work It Out" (WHAT THE FUCK?), then proceeded to DO Stevie's version, while forgetting words, singing off key, and generally displaying that although he might be the presumptive winner so were Rudy Giuliani & Hillary Clinton at one point. I don't know if he choked in front of a large live crowd, but his might have been the worst technical performance of the entire competition. Kristy sucked but it was because of how she arranged the song, at least she didn't forget words.

The other truly bad performance was from local homegirl Remiele, who did such a lifeless, soul-less interpretation of maybe my favorite Beatles song "In My Life", you'd have thought she had taken some downers from the giant medicine bottle known as Paula's purse.

My prediction: Bottom 3: Kristy, Remiele, & Syesha
Remiele (whose version was so rice cakish) goes home but any of those 3 could be the one. Syesha was 1st AND boring, usually a bad combination.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Conan's Simpson's gig

I was wondering which episodes of the Simpsons Conan O'Brien wrote, and here is what I found:

"New Kid on the Block" - the one where Bart develops a crush for his new neighbor (played by Sara Gilbert) who breaks his heart. Notable for the phony phone call to Moe's for "Amanda Huggenkiss" and "Ivana Tinkle"

"Marge vs the Monorail" - one of my favorite Simpsons episodes of all time...
it has the late, great Phil Hartman has a Music Man-like huckster who sells Springfield that they need a monorail. Guest starts Leonard Nimoy(who Mayor Quimby asks if he was one of the Little Rascals, and Barney says "May the Force be With You!". Also had Homer singing the Flintstone song "Simpson, Homer Simpson, he's the greatest guy in history... from the town of Springfield, he's about to hit a chestnut tree! AH!"

also has the eminently quotable line "Donuts... is there anything they CAN'T do?"

"Homer Goes to College" - where the Nuclear Regulatory Commission tells Burns that Homer's job requires a college degree, and he goes back to school. Homer acts like he's in Animal House and is tutored by 3 nerds who he in return tries to de-nerd. Has the great line "I am so smart! I am so smart! SMRT, I mean S-M-A-R-T!"

He also is a cowriter on Treehouse of Horrors III & IV, The Front (where Abe Simpson is Bart & Lisa's ghost writer when they write for Itchy & Scratchy), "Brother from the Same Planet" (where Bart feels neglected by Homer and gets a Big Brother mentor, and Homer retaliates by getting a kid from a 3rd world country to adopt), "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" (with Homer, Skinner, Barney & Apu being a grammy winning barbershop quarter - "BABY ON BOARD")

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Will Arnett is a comedy genius

here is further proof:
props to tessai for the find
warning: bad language - not safe for work or if the kids are around (earmuffs)

"I'm going to impregnate your mouth!"

"Oh, I can't believe my dick barfed that much!"

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Of course THIS makes the Tecmo thing look like amateur hour

Quite simply the most memorable sports moment of my childhood, maybe the most memorable moment of my childhood, period - Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, when the New York Mets improbably came back in their final at bat with 2 outs to force a game 7 against the Red Sox. The "Bill Buckner" play. This reenactment must have taken this guy days to film, and the highlight of course is the play by play by the perfect Vin Scully. I could swear Joe Garagiola was the color commentator for this game, I don't think he says more than 2 words in this entire half inning. The game this was created on was one of my favorites on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, RBI Baseball.

The Helmet Catch - Tecmo Style

someone has too much time on their hands to recreate this, for my money the greatest play in Super Bowl history... Eli Manning to David Tyree putting the NY Giants over the New England Patriots.

as anyone from my generation knows, there is no better video game athlete EVER than Tecmo Bo Jackson. Best defensive player? LT. It also had the benefit of having Cap Boso.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Separated at Birth?

American Idol Finalist.... Jason Castro...

...and ruiner of George Lucas' street cred, Jar-Jar Binks????

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Good Luck Patrick Swayze

sad story on him below, pancreatic cancer is one of the worst ones to be diagnosed with, it is almost always fatal rather quickly

South Florida
Patrick Swayze diagnosed
with pancreatic cancer
By Lizzy Nielsen

Actor Patrick Swayze has
been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a statement from the actor's reps said.
Swayze's physician Dr. George Fisher states, "Patrick has a very limited
amount of disease and he appears to be responding well to treatment thus far.
All of the reports stating the timeframe of his prognosis and his physical side
effects are absolutely untrue. We are considerably more optimistic."
He has
been continuing with his regular schedule, which includes upcoming projects, the
statement said.
It was widely reported on the Internet Wednesday that Swayze
was in dire condition, couldn't eat solid food and only had a few weeks to live.
Swayze, 55, rose to fame in 1987 in the summer love classic "Dirty Dancing,"
and got a Golden Globe Nomination for his portrayal of Demi Moore's murdered
love in 'Ghost.' Swayze has been married to Lisa Niemi since 1975.
American Cancer Society says that only 23 percent of patients diagnosed with
pancreatic cancer are alive after one year.

I know he'll always be remembered for Dirty Dancing & Ghost, but to me this is the best thing he ever put on tape. I believe this was Chris Farley's debut episode of SNL:

this guy kicked ass on American Idol last night

and somewhere... a blind girl was sculpting a clay bust of him that didn't resemble him at all

David Cook, redoing Lionel Richie's "Hello"

by contrast, Luke Menard "performed" "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham which might have been arguably the worst performance in Idol history

Parcells theory: Bigger is Better

I thought I'd share this great column from Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News focusing on the Miami Dolphins free agency strategy-- the columnist is a pro football hall of fame writer, and it shows. Really good insight you don't see in most papers or even ESPN or in any sport.


Bigger is better: Parcells beefs up Dolphins' roster

Jeff Ireland may be the general manager of the Miami Dolphins. But the thumbprints of Bill Parcells are all over the rebuilding of the Dolphins.

Parcells likes big people. He coached teams in New York that won Super Bowls by controlling the line of scrimmage. His Giants were gigantic on the offensive front and physically intimidating at the point of attack on defense.

When Parcells was allowed to "buy the groceries" for New England and the New York Jets in the 1990s and Dallas in the 2000s, he built playoff contenders with size up front.

As the director of football operations of the Dolphins, Parcells spent the opening week of free agency collecting players who can physically match up with the New England Patriots in the AFC East. He signed seven players and traded for an eighth. The one common denominator is size.

Six of his additions are blockers and tacklers. Even the two skill players Parcells added have size – 6-4, 220-pound quarterback Josh McCown and 6-4, 218-pound wide receiver Ernest Wilford.

The Dolphins acquired 310-pound nose tackle Jason Ferguson from the Cowboys in an effort to shore up their run defense.
The rest of the newcomers will make the Dolphins more formidable in the trenches. He acquired nose tackle Jason Ferguson in a trade with the Cowboys. He goes 6-3, 310 pounds. Fellow defensive tackle Randy Starks (Tennessee) goes 6-3, 312, and linebackers Charlie Anderson (Houston) 6-4, 245 and Reggie Torbor (NY Giants) 6-2, 250. Parcells expects them to toughen up the NFL's worst run defense.

The Dolphins also signed 6-4, 300-pound guard Justin Smiley (San Francisco) and 6-5, 265-pound blocking tight end Sean Ryan (Jets). Parcells expects them to help build a backbone for the NFL's 23rd-ranked rushing offense.

The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets stole the headlines on the opening weekend of free agency with lavish contracts to big-name players. The Eagles gave $57 million to Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel and the Jets $40 million to Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca.

But Parcells bought in bulk and the Dolphins will be better off for it come December.

Tony Romo II?
I liked Miami's signing of McCown. It's always puzzled me why this league hasn't embraced a quarterback with his skills.

McCown has spent six seasons in the NFL on some wretched teams at Arizona (2002 to '05), Detroit (2006) and Oakland (2007), posting a 12-19 record as a starting quarterback. That's a pedestrian .387 winning percentage in his 31 career starts. But his teams managed to win only 23.1 percent of the 65 games he did not start over those six seasons. So he can elevate the level of play by his team.

In the final game of the 2003 season, his 5-10 Cardinals hosted 9-6 Minnesota in a game the Vikings needed to win to clinch a playoff spot. McCown fired a 28-yard TD pass to Nate Poole in a fourth-and-25 situation as time expired to upset the Vikings, 18-17. So he can make the clutch play.

When the Lions wouldn't give McCown snaps at quarterback in 2006, he helped out in practice as a wide receiver – and even caught a pair of passes in a game against New England. So McCown is a willing team player.

McCown threw for 394 yards against Carolina and its top-three defense in a 2005 game and 313 yards against Detroit in the 2007 season opener. He also beat Denver with three touchdown passes last season. So he has the arm to win in this league.

Yet his teams have always shoved an older, more experienced player in his path to the field: Kurt Warner at Arizona, Jon Kitna at Detroit and Daunte Culpepper at Oakland. Maybe the Dolphins will finally give McCown his chance – and maybe Parcells has come up with another Tony Romo.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

ok, since I posted that Boner story

I can't get the Growing Pains theme out of my head...


According to my online girlfriend, Lesley Abravanel from the Miami Herald, here is who was dining at my favorite restaurant in Miami last Friday. It's kind of arousing to picture Anna Kournikova eating the kobe hot dog:

Kate Hudson, dining with stylist-to-the-stars Oribe. At a nearby table,
David Letterman bandleader and sidekick Paul Schaeffer. But nothing compared to
last Friday night at the star studded steakhouse: at one table, the King of
Jordan, with at least 30 secret service agents and bodyguards; nearby, LL Cool
J, with his own posse of bodyguards; a table over, Enrique Iglesias and Anna
Kournikova and sprinkled throughout the restaurant, Alonzo Mourning, Jeremy
Shockey and Mike Piazza.

Boner Goes to Prison


I think the most important thing in this article is that Boner Stabbone is Chekov's son! Did anyone know this already?

Welcome to Beijing, Calif.
Attorney argues city violated First Amendment by detaining Rose Parade protester

By Joe Piasecki 02/28/2008

Immediately following his arrest and nearly 10-hour detention by Pasadena police on New Year's Day, actor and filmmaker Andrew Koenig told this newspaper his decision to step out in front of a controversial Rose Parade float was, if not the easiest way to express his views, the absolute right thing to do.
"I broke a law, but I didn't commit a crime," said Koenig, regarding the few seconds he had spent holding up a political sign before being hustled away by police.

On Monday, attorney and former Pasadena Mayor Bill Paparian will be making a similar argument in Pasadena Superior Court. He will try to convince a judge that by prosecuting Koenig - ironically, under a law Paparian helped create in 1992 - the city violated his right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Best known for his role as the colorful Richard "Boner" Stabone on TV's "Growing Pains," Koenig is also an activist for victims of military aggression in far-off Burma, which is ruled by a dictatorship propped up by the People's Republic of China.

In July, Koenig and his famous father Walter Koenig, who played Lt. Pavel Chekov in the "Star Trek" television and movie series, traveled to the region with the human rights group US Campaign for Burma to film some of the refugees who had been driven from their homes by ongoing violence.

At about the same time, numerous human rights groups and victims of Chinese government oppression began widespread protests against plans for a float celebrating China and the upcoming Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Koenig, a Venice resident who was not involved in those efforts until New Year's Day, held a sign that read "China: Free Burma" and was the only demonstrator arrested along the parade route.

For giving his cause a few seconds in the spotlight, city prosecutors initially charged Koenig with interfering with a special event, a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Last month, that charge was reduced to an infraction for walking between parade entries, which carries no jail time and a maximum penalty of $100. But Paparian - who in the months leading up to the parade joined activists in decrying the float as glossing over China's dismal human rights record and oppression of political and religious dissidents - says Koenig has already paid too great a price for the incident.

"Holding Andrew the way they did, long after the parade until seven at night, that wasn't right. Andrew's freedom was taken away from him and his right to express himself as an American citizen was denied on a day when this city was supposed to celebrate what this country is all about," said Paparian.

To prove his contention that the ordinance approved by city leaders primarily to prevent spectators from throwing tortillas and spraying Silly String along the parade route is being misused to stifle free speech, Paparian has issued subpoenas to current Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and city Human Relations Commission Chair Ken Hardy.

Hardy was the primary author of a September commission report that detailed public hearings about the float controversy and recommended that City Council members send a statement against human rights abuses to Pasadena's Chinese sister city, an administrative district of Beijing called Xicheng.

Bogaard was a vocal supporter of the float who encouraged its creation, voted on the commission's recommendations and participated in negotiations with activists for a pre-parade human rights event that police ultimately rejected for security reasons. He is being asked to bring a tape recording of those negotiations, as well as a 2004 memorandum of understanding with Xicheng officials that pledged support for Chinese participation in the 2008 Rose Parade.

"After first calling upon its own Human Relations Commission for recommendations and then rejecting those recommendations, the city of Pasadena then proceeded to disallow any public protest, making Andrew Koenig's simple act of holding up a sign that read ‘China: Free Burma' in front of the Beijing Olympic float inevitable," reads part of Paparian's motion to dismiss the charge against Koenig on First Amendment grounds.

Bogaard had little to say about his subpoena, except that he had asked for advice from the city attorney but had not yet heard back from her.

Because City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris also serves as city prosecutor, this sets up an unusual situation where a witness in a case is not only essentially the prosecutor's boss, but also potentially turning to that prosecutor for advice relating to the case.

Bagneris said Monday that she was not personally involved in the case, and that two separate attorneys in her office would be handling the criminal prosecution of Koenig and offering advice to Bogaard.

Paparian received notice late Tuesday that the city was contesting Bogaard's subpoena, arguing he doesn't have the tape or documents in question.

Deputy City Prosecutor Connie Orozco, who is handling the Koenig case, could not be reached.

The ordinance preventing interference with a special event, according to documents obtained from the city, was designed to protect public safety by keeping people out of the way of animals and vehicles. Tortilla-throwing and the spraying of Silly String were also made illegal to prevent littering, property damage (Silly String adheres to vehicle surfaces and must be steam-cleaned from sidewalks and buildings) and potential slip-and-fall injuries.

An agenda report drafted to explain the ordinance before it was passed by the council, then known as the Board of City Directors, also speaks to free speech concerns.

"To reconcile the right of free speech and protest with need to provide for safety and security of parade participants and spectators ... the proposed ordinance addressing interference with an event is narrowly drawn to prohibit only those actions which threaten injury to parade spectators or participants," it reads.

Paparian, who according to city records introduced the motion to approve the ordinance, said Koenig's action posed no danger.

"It's unfortunate that the sister-city relationship did not serve its original purpose, which was to help a city in China become more like the United States. Instead, the opposite has happened. Pasadena has become more like Beijing when it comes to people expressing themselves," said Paparian. "They created this controversy and ended up managing it how China would."

On Saturday, Koenig and Paparian are expected to speak at a fundraising event for the US Campaign for Burma that will be hosted by Anjelica Huston at the Hyatt West Hollywood hotel. For more information, visit

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Some Good Political Stuff on SNL last night

First, another debate with Hillary vs Obama... Will Forte plays Brian Williams and Darrell Hammond does a good Tim Russert

then, Sen. Clinton herself has an editorial response. Is it me or does Hillary show more personality and charm in this 90 second bit than she has in the previous 16 years she has been on the national scene combined? If she was like this the entire campaign she might have had a shot.

the great Robert Smigel had a cartoon on how Obama deals with Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton

and finally Rudy Giuliani is on Weekend Update to discuss his failed campaign. I think a Point/Counterpoint segment with the real Hillary, ala Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin would have been better: "Hillary, you ignorant slut!"

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Jason Taylor going to an NFC team imminent?

Omar Kelly says in his blog that he hears JT can be going to an NFC team "soon"

I heard through the grapevine (unsubstantiated but juicy) that they were offered a 2 & 4 from the Packers and a 2 & 3 from Minnesota.

The Vikings have #47 & #73 (overall) in rounds 2 & 3

the Fins would then have: (overall) #1, 32, 47, 57, 64, 73, 96 out of the first 100 picks in the draft. That's pretty tempting. Maybe someone comes through with a low 1 & 3 for JT, or better 2&3 who knows?

Rock Out With Your Mock Out

Here's ESPN insider Todd McShay's latest mock, from a free preview of ESPN insider (LINK). I would be shocked (not as shocked as hearing Ted Ginn's name called last year) if Ryan is the pick at 1. I think it will be one of the Longs. He has Brohm dropping out of the 1st, I could see the Fins take him at the first pick in the 2nd round, or trading with someone who wants him there.

1. Miami Dolphins -- Matt Ryan, QB, Boston CollegeRecord: 1-15 Needs: OL, DT, LB, CB, QBPrevious mock selection: SameThe odds are good that Miami will be stuck with this pick. After all, no pick in the top seven has been dealt since the 2004 draft. This pick should come down to three players: Ryan, OT Jake Long and DE Chris Long. By no means am I convinced that Ryan is the pick. In fact, if the Dolphins do not sign a tackle in free agency, then Jake Long becomes the logical choice. However, until there's word from Dolphins camp that John Beck is the quarterback of the future, Ryan makes the most sense. Ryan has all the physical tools of a franchise quarterback and -- more importantly -- he possesses rare intangibles.

2. St. Louis Rams -- Chris Long, DE, VirginiaRecord: 3-13 Needs: DE, OT/G, CB, OLB, WRPrevious mock selection: SameIf the Rams draft Jake Long, there's a good chance they would have to move him to right tackle or guard for the next couple of seasons while perennial Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Pace finishes out his career. Paying that type of money for a guard is a tough pill to swallow. Dorsey and fellow DT Sedrick Ellis have been mentioned with this pick, but the team has blown a lot of money on the defensive line in recent years and shouldn't push its luck after scoring with Adam Carriker a year ago.
While nothing seems to fit perfectly here, Chris Long makes the most sense. Long is not a prototypical edge rusher, but he's a dominant playmaker with rare versatility and a motor that never quits. He can serve as a good complement at left end opposite the speedy Leonard Little, who recently reworked his contract.

3. Atlanta Falcons -- Jake Long, OT, MichiganRecord: 4-12 Needs: QB, OT, DT, RB, SPrevious mock selection: Darren McFadden, RB, ArkansasRyan should be the Falcons' selection if he's available. If not, it will be a difficult decision between McFadden, Dorsey and Jake Long. The team has needs at all three positions, but upgrading its offensive line is most pressing and Long is without question the safest choice.

4. Oakland Raiders -- Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSURecord: 4-12 Needs: OT, DT, WR, DE, RBPrevious mock selection: SameThe Raiders are financially strapped and will not want to dish out top-five money one year after selecting QB JaMarcus Russell with the top overall pick. If McFadden is still on the board, don't count out a blockbuster trade by owner Al Davis, since Cowboys owner and Arkansas alum Jerry Jones already has made his interest known.
Retaining Tommy Kelly gives the Raiders two good defensive linemen, and while that certainly frees the team up to go in a different direction with this pick (McFadden?), it does not eliminate Dorsey or Ellis from the discussion. Assuming he is cleared medically by team doctors, Dorsey is rated higher than Ellis and should be the pick. He could provide the type of interior disruption the Raiders' defense was lacking a year ago.

5. Kansas City Chiefs -- Ryan Clady, OT, Boise StateRecord: 4-12 Needs: LOT, G, CB, DE, CPrevious mock selection: Jake Long, OT, MichiganThe Chiefs' No. 1 priority this offseason should be solidifying their offensive front. However, with Jake Long off the board in this scenario, Kansas City is faced with the unenviable decision of drafting need versus value. Clady is not a top-five prospect, nor is any other tackle in this class for that matter. The team ideally would like to trade down and still get Clady, Chris Williams or Jeff Otah, which is a possibility considering McFadden, Ellis and DE/OLB Vernon Gholston are still on the board. If stuck at No. 5, though, the assumption is Kansas City will draft the highest-rated tackle on its board.

6. New York Jets -- Darren McFadden, RB, ArkansasRecord: 4-12 Needs: NT, WR, LB, G, RB Projected pick: SameMcFadden is the value pick, Gholston is the need pick. If presented with this opportunity, the Jets should take a page out of the Vikings' book and pull the trigger on McFadden. While he's not a yard-churning bell cow like Peterson, McFadden is an elite athlete with the size, home run speed and versatility to significantly upgrade the Jets' tired offense from last season.

7. N.E. Patriots (from 5-11 San Francisco) -- Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio StateRecord: 18-1 Needs: LB, CB, DS, OL, RBPrevious mock selection: Leodis McKelvin, CB, TroyThe Patriots would like to inject some youth at linebacker, which is why Gholston makes so much sense with this pick. Gholston is a bit inconsistent, but he also is one of the premier pass-rushers in the 2008 class and fits perfectly as a rush linebacker in the Pats' 3-4 scheme.
If Gholston is off the board and New England can't trade out, the next priority is to find a replacement for Asante Samuel, a free agent who can't be franchised for a second consecutive year.

8. Baltimore Ravens -- Leodis McKelvin, CB, TroyRecord: 5-11 Needs: QB, CB, LOT, ILB, DE/OLBPrevious mock selection: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USCUnless Ryan slips, Baltimore will need to wait at least a round to address its seemingly endless need for an upgrade at quarterback. Ellis is not an ideal fit for its defensive scheme and wouldn't fill a need position, but in this scenario he is a strong possibility for a Ravens organization that is among the league's most disciplined when it comes to drafting for value.
With all that in mind, McKelvin makes the best match. He is the most natural cover corner this class has to offer and he also can provide competition for Yamon Figurs in the return game.

9. Cincinnati Bengals -- Sedrick Ellis, DT, USCRecord: 7-9 Needs: DT, TE, DE, LB, OTPrevious mock selection: Derrick Harvey, DE, FloridaEllis falling to pick No. 9 has to rank among the best-case scenarios for coach Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. The team is starving for defensive playmakers, especially along the front. Ellis, who notched 58 tackles and 8.5 sacks as a senior at USC, could solve many problems for this unit.

10. New Orleans Saints -- Keith Rivers, LB, USCRecord: 6-9 Needs: CB, LB, TE, DT, CPrevious mock selection: Mike Jenkins, CB, South FloridaCornerback and linebacker are the Saints biggest areas of need and Rivers is the best athlete available at those positions. Rivers is a complete linebacker with a very good combination of size, quickness, power and toughness. He also plays with an excellent motor and could quickly emerge as a much-needed leader for the Saints defense.

11. Buffalo Bills -- Malcolm Kelly, WR, OklahomaRecord: 7-9 Needs: WR, DT, CB, LB, TEPrevious mock selection: SameKelly is the type of big receiver the Bills need to add to their roster as a complement to Lee Evans. Kelly is unusually fluid for a bigger wideout and he might have the strongest hands of any player in the 2008 draft.

12. Denver Broncos -- Chris Williams, OT, VanderbiltRecord: 7-9 Needs: DT, OT, MLB, S, WRPrevious mock selection: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise StateWilliams still needs to get stronger and play with more of a mean streak, but he is one of the fastest rising players in this class because of his combination of size, mobility and intelligence. Williams would be a fine fit in Denver's zone-blocking scheme.

13. Carolina Panthers -- Derrick Harvey, DE, FloridaRecord: 7-9 Needs: OT, DE, WR, DS, DTPrevious mock selection: Chris Williams, OT, VanderbiltInstead of drafting a young signal-caller who would need time to develop, look for the Panthers to bring in veteran competition for Matt Moore, who showed some signs late in the season.
Drafting a defensive end like Harvey is a much wiser decision. Harvey is not as explosive as his former college teammate, Jarvis Moss, who was selected 17th overall by the Broncos last year. However, Harvey is a more complete player and should quickly emerge as an impact every-down starter in the NFL.

14. Chicago Bears -- Rashard Mendenhall, RB, IllinoisRecord: 7-9 Needs: QB, OL, RB, DT, SPrevious mock selection: Brian Brohm, QB, LouisvilleOffensive tackle is certainly a possibility, especially with Clady, Williams and Otah all emerging as solid first-rounds prospects behind Jake Long. However, if Clady and Williams are off the board, don't be surprised if GM Jerry Angelo takes advantage of this year's talented crop of running backs by selecting either Mendenhall or Jonathan Stewart with this pick. Either would provide more explosiveness and versatility than the team has seen from current starter Cedric Benson.

15. Detroit Lions -- Jeff Otah, OT, PittsburghRecord: 7-9 Needs: OT, G, CB, S, DEProjected pick: Aqib Talib, CB, KansasThe Lions' secondary is undermanned and would welcome the services of Talib or Mike Jenkins with this pick. However, the run on offensive tackles is nearing its end and Otah is the type of mauling right tackle this unit needs in order to raise its level of physicality in 2008.

16. Arizona Cardinals -- Aqib Talib, CB, KansasRecord: 8-8 Needs: CB, OLB, TE, RB, DEPrevious mock selection: Rahard Mendenhall, RB, IllinoisThe Cardinals' most pressing need is at cornerback, and the team would have a couple of strong prospects to choose from in Talib and Jenkins. Talib tends to gamble too much and his footwork needs some polishing, but many teams love the potential they see from this 6-foot-1, 202-pound playmaker with 4.4 speed.

17. Minnesota Vikings -- Limas Sweed, WR, TexasRecord: 8-8 Needs: DE, S, WR, QB, TEPrevious mock selection: DeSean Jackson, WR/RS, CaliforniaBelieve it or not, Minnesota still is in the market for help at wide receiver and defensive end, despite investing first- or second-round picks in the past four drafts on WRs Troy Williamson (2005) and Sidney Rice (2007) and DEs Kenechi Udeze (2004) and Erasmus James (2005).
DE Phillip Merling would be a strong consideration, but he doesn't project as a pass-rushing difference-maker, which is what the Vikings need. Sweed, on the other hand, has the potential to develop into the big, playmaking wideout the team has been looking for since Randy Moss left town. Sweed could emerge as the premier talent from this year's receiver class so long as a nagging wrist injury is behind him.

18. Houston Texans -- Jonathan Stewart*, RB, OregonRecord: 8-8 Needs: CB, RB, S, LOT, DEPrevious mock selection: SameThe Texans need a featured back to go along with QB Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson, and Stewart has the bulk, burst and versatility to quickly fill that role. He also could offer a boost in the kickoff return game.

19. Philadelphia Eagles -- Phillip Merling, DE, ClemsonRecord: 8-8 Needs: WR, DE, S, OT/G, MLBPrevious mock selection: Phillip Merling, DE, MiamiEagles OTs Jon Runyan and William Thomas aren't getting any younger, so Otah would be a possibility here if he were available. The Eagles are also in search of a home run threat at wide receiver, so don't count out Jackson, either. However, Merling has an outstanding combination of size, quickness and power that would make him a good fit opposite wide end Trent Cole in Philadelphia.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- DeSean Jackson, WR/RS, CaliforniaRecord: 9-7 Needs: WR, CB, RB, QB, CPrevious mock selection: Mario Manningham, WR, MichiganSure, Jackson has limitations at just 5-foot-10 and 169 pounds. But he's the fastest and most dangerous open-field weapon this class has to offer. If Jackson gets with a creative offensive coach like Jon Gruden at the next level he could emerge as versatile home run threat.

21. Washington Redskins -- Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan StateRecord: 9-7 Needs: WR, S, DE, OT, CBPrevious mock selection: Phillip Merling, DE, ClemsonThe Redskins' top priority is adding a playmaking receiver to the roster. There projects to be a run of wide receivers in the bottom half of the first round, so the Redskins should get involved here before they get shut out. Thomas might not have the ideal size Washington is looking for, but he's a well-built wide out with strong hands and excellent run-after-catch ability.

22. Dallas Cowboys (from 10-6 Cleveland) -- Mike Jenkins, CB, South FloridaRecord: 13-3 Needs: CB, WR, OT, RB, ILBPrevious mock selection: Sam Baker, OT, USCAssuming owner Jerry Jones doesn't package picks to trade up, expect Dallas to use its two picks to address needs at corner, receiver, offensive tackle and possibly running back. Jenkins' combination of size, speed and athleticism is outstanding and his recognition skills continue to improve each season. Jenkins also brings versatility to the table as a cornerback who can also play some safety and chip in on returns if necessary.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Branden Albert, G, VirginiaRecord: 10-6 Needs: C, OT, DE (3-4), RB, GPrevious mock selection: Jeff Otah, OT, PittsburghThe Steelers could use two of their first three picks on offensive linemen. Albert is a massive guard with good feet and a finishers' mentality. While most of his experience is at guard, Albert has the frame to give it a try at tackle in the NFL if a team should so choose.

24. Tennessee Titans -- Early Doucet, WR, LSURecord: 10-6 Needs: WR, DE, DT, CB, CPrevious mock selection: Limas Sweed, WR, TexasThe Titans need to draft a legitimate weapon for QB Vince Young to target in the passing attack. While Doucet lacks ideal deep speed, he is a quick, well-built receiver with reliable hands and proven run-after-catch ability.

25. Seattle Seahawks -- Kentwan Balmer, DT, North CarolinaRecord: 10-6 Needs: ROT, DT, RB, TE, GPrevious mock selection: SameIt is unlikely current Seattle starting RB Shaun Alexander will ever return to his 2005 MVP form, and backup Maurice Morris has proved to be at his best when limited to a complementary role. However, with McFadden, Stewart and Mendenhall all off the board, look for the Seahawks to go in a different direction here. Balmer is a fast-rising prospect with very good size, power and quickness. He would be a welcomed addition to Seattle's thin interior defensive line.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Mario Manningham, WR, MichiganRecord: 11-5 Needs: DE, WR, CB, SS, OLPrevious mock selection: Early Doucet, WR, LSUThe Jaguars should use this pick on the best available receiver or pass-rusher. Auburn DE/OLB Quentin Groves would be a possibility after he blazed a 4.5-second 40-yard dash at the combine. However, Manningham is a better option. He inevitably will slip following his marginal 40 times at the combine, but Manningham is one of the rare receivers who lack elite physical tools but simply know how to separate and make big plays. He could be a steal this late.

27. San Diego Chargers -- Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston CollegeRecord: 11-5 Needs: ROT, NT, S, CB, RBPrevious mock selection: SameThe Chargers can select the best available athlete if they want to, but the right side of their offensive line could use an upgrade, and Cherilus projects as a solid starting right tackle in the NFL. Cherilus' stock is on the rise following his impressive showing at the Senior Bowl.

28. Dallas Cowboys -- Felix Jones, RB, ArkansasRecord: 13-3 Needs: CB, WR, OT, RB, DSPrevious mock selection: SameIf owner Jerry Jones can't strike a deal for McFadden, he could settle for Arkansas' other first-round running back prospect. Jones is a speedster who could complement current Dallas RB Marion Barber well and provide a home run threat in the return game.

29. S.F. 49ers (from 13-3 Indianapolis) -- James Hardy*, WR, IndianaRecord: 5-11 Needs: WR, OT, OLB, DE, QBPrevious mock selection: SameThe 49ers need a playmaker at wide receiver to take the attention away from TE Vernon Davis and pressure off QB Alex Smith. Hardy comes with some baggage and he needs some polishing, but no receiver in this class possesses a more imposing combination of size and natural athleticism.

30. Green Bay Packers -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tenn. St.Record: 13-3 Needs: CB, OT, S, TE, PTPrevious mock selection: SamePackers QB Brett Favre certainly would welcome the addition of a tight end like USC's Fred Davis, who can stretch the seam and generate yards after the catch. However, the team has a more pressing need in the defensive secondary, and Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the fastest-rising prospects in the 2008 class right now. The small-school product proved capable of playing with the big boys at the Senior Bowl, where he demonstrated outstanding versatility and athleticism playing both free safety and cornerback throughout the week.

31. N.E. Patriots -- Pick forfeitedRecord: 16-0 Needs: ILB, CB, OLB, OL depthPrevious mock selection: SameThe 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 -- Dan Connor, LB, Penn StateRecord: 10-6 Needs: LB, OT, S, WR, CBPrevious mock selection: Keith Rivers, OLB, USCThe Giants are in need of an immediate and legitimate upgrade at linebacker, and Connor is instinctive and athletic enough to contribute immediately on the inside or the weak side.
Todd McShay is the director of college football scouting for Scouts Inc. He has been evaluating prospects for the NFL draft since 1998.