Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gisele Bündchen's Husband's Balls AND French TV spanks Fox News

Did you seriously think I was going to let something as wonderful as this go by without comment?  Long story short:  Somehow the footballs used by the New England Patriots in last week's final playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts lost air pressure.  This is a big deal because a deflated ball is a ball that is easier to catch and throw.  The QB can get a better grip on it when he throws and whoever catches it also can more easily grip it.  Famed, very, very rich and very, very beautiful supermodel Gisele Bündchen's husband, the very, very rich and very, very beautiful Tom Brady, is at the center of the controversy because allegedly he is the most logical person to have taken air from the balls.  More mysterious still, the balls seemed to gain pressure in the second half of the game.

1.  If the ball is found to have been tampered with, the result of the game will not be reversed.  The Pats will still have royally creamed the Colts' corn and they will still go to the Super Bowl.  If anything, they may lose future draft picks.  NFL season and post-season rules differ wildly it seems.

2.  Dear god in heaven, Tom Brady is a fine, fine, fine, fine specimen.  He's tall, handsome, and is very passionate about how he selects a game football, which he abbreviates.

3.  Balls deflate then reinflate thereby proving that the New England Patriots control all things related to the physical sciences in Boston during game play.

4.  I don't know if they cheated, I don't know who cheated, I don't know why they would want to cheat; I just want Tom Brady to talk about balls some more.

Below is a "deflategate" clip:



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Fox News is not a news station.  It's a cable channel manned by people who say things they probably don't mean at all but they get paid well and have so many commercial sponsors that they keep saying outrageous crap so they can keep making money.  Their "journalists" like Christmas in Vermont; they enjoy fine shoes and clothes; they like April in Paris (but they probably don't go all the hell around Paris on the Metro or by bus, which is something I do, sometimes by accident, usually on purpose).

The whole thing about various parts of Paris being as bad as Iraq or Afghanistan is outrageous, dangerous, and, really, defamation.  The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, talks of suing Fox.  (Yes, please!)  The French TV show, Le Petit Journal, took to the the streets of Paris in its own way.  I am officially in love with Le Petit Journal.



Merci.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I won't get fooled again

Chicago's many fans of the Bears are rejoicing because there is a new head coach -- John Fox, who has taken the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl -- and there is a new general manager -- Ryan Pace, who started as a very young college graduate with the New Orleans Saints organization.  There is already much speculation about how soon the Bears will be going to the Super Bowl again.  People are happy!  Joyous!  Delighted!

Hold your horses, I say.  We still have Jay Cutler as our number one QB.

Maybe Mr. Fox can make a silk purse out of Jay's ear of sow, but I am so wary about all this that I just can't be so elated.

So these points:

1.  Phil Emery did the stanky bad deal of the century when he extended Jay for so many years with a guarantee for two years.  (Jay's agent?  Really very bright, that one.)

2.  Marc Trestman was not a very good fit with the Bears.

3.  It will be a building year.  (I am weary of building years.)

4.  Jay Cutler is not now nor will he ever be an elite quarterback.  This means he will not be one next year either.  I'm just sayin'.  Maybe John Fox can get an offense that features Jay's strengths but that remains to be seen.  Hell, the schedule isn't even out yet.

I am cautiously, guardedly optimistic, wary, and, if I give it too much thought, oddly tense about it all.  But I won't be fooled by false hope again.  And yet I say Go Bears!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Here's where

The Paris march against terror earlier today started from the Statue of the Republic -- whose name is Marianne -- at the Place de la République.  According to Le Figaro, 3.7 million people turned out for the rally in the capital, including 40 world leaders who walked arm in arm.  To encourage people to attend, subway rides in Paris were free.  (Bus rides might also have been free, but with 3.7 million people clogging the streets, would you want to be on a bus?)  In Lyon, 300,000 turned out; 150,000 in Toulouse; 100,000 in Bordeaux; 60,000 in Marseilles; 115,000 in Rennes; 100,000 in Grenoble; the list goes on.  In just the provinces, 2.5 million people turned out to march against terror.  The population of France is 66 million.  At least 10 percent of the population -- all religions represented -- turned out to say they were against terror.

Here is the Statue of the Republic, taken on that one November vacation day when it didn't rain. Allons enfants de la Patrie, etc.

Marianne, from behind, Place de la République, Paris

Sunday, January 4, 2015

It's been a while

Yes, it's been a while since I yakked on and on about the Bears but it's the new year and the topic needs to be put to rest for the rest of the season.  Why?  The playoff season's just getting started, you might say.  Not for the Bears it isn't.  This year they plumbed the depths of sucking.  The Bears are known for their defensive line.  The defensive line bit.  The offensive line, on the other hand, brought out at least three real stars -- Kyle Long, Kyle Fuller, and Alshon Jeffery.  Jay Cutler, much reviled by me, has proven himself to be as poor a prospect as I've been saying he is.  The coach, Marc Trestman, so popular and successful in the Canadian Football League, was a flop.  The general manager, Phil Emery was a flop because he brought in Trestman and gave Jay Cutler such an impossibly-good-for-Jay-bad-for-the-Bears contract (seven years, $126 million, with three seasons of guarantees) that the Bears can't really get rid of Jay.  They were fired the day after the regular season was over.

Marc Trestman really seems like this nice, soft-spoken man.  If a nice, soft-spoken man can't get the team to work with him and each other, then there's no room for him in the NFL.  Jay Cutler can't go because, honestly, who would they get?  A quarterback position is very hard to fill as there are not that many great quarterbacks lying around.  QBs come out of college and often tank.  I think we need to find a coach who can work with Jay's few strengths (which are not getting rid of the ball, throwing the ball accurately many yards in the direction of the goalpost, and finding the wide receiver at all).  Phil Emery, well, dude, you screwed your own pooch.  When I heard the deal you negotiated with Jay last year, where Jay was getting so, so much money and a guarantee of much of the loot, I thought whoever did that deal must be out of his mind.  Phil, you were out of your mind!  Where would Jay go?  Who would want him?  Nowhere, man, and no one.  Jay should've paid the Bears to be a quarterback.  True, there's not a lot of choice but maybe  no one would choose him and the Bears could've turned a tidy little profit.

For Bears fans, the true believers, this is a very exciting time.  All fans look to Hallas Hall to see what George McCaskey and Ted Phillips do with advice of Ernie Accorsi, whom they hired as a consultant via the NFL Career Development Advisory Panel.  We do know that Virginia McCaskey, age 91, is pissed off with mediocrity.  Unlike Mrs. McCaskey, I have no monetary gain from the success or failure of the team and I see her point.  Except they're not mediocre -- they have just sucked. 

So it's another "building year."  I am sick of "building years."  Fingers crossed that this time they get it a little closer to right.