January 17, 2006

Final Thoughts on the 2005 Season

So, the Redskins season has finally ended. It has ended long after most would have thought. Had you asked me last August if I would be disappointed if the Skins would have a 10-6 season, and make it to round two of the playoffs, I would have said "No, of course not!" However, now that that those circumstances actually do exist, I feel disappointed anyway.

This disappointment is not the normal sort of stomach churning, anger inducing disappointment which I had felt in some prior seasons. But this disappointment is more along the lines of the fact that shimmers of greatness were seen this season, and it is just a little upsetting that more weren't seen during the playoffs.

In addition to this redefined disappointment I feel, now there is a new sensation. And that sensation is the feeling of hope. Yes fellow Redskins fans, we have hope going into this off-season. Can you imagine if we had another deep threat, aside from Santana Moss? Maybe rehabilitated in-house David Patten can do it? Or maybe someone can be imported. Regardless of who it might be, the possibility is great. Our defense is obviously insane. We've got a not too shabby Clinton Portis on our side, and an amazing Chris Cooley. The question is not whether or not we can be a competitive team--it is how competitive are we going to be.

This is the first time in recent memory this isn't a "rebuilding year." A decent team has been built. A few modifications need to be made but we don't have an entire board that needs to be scrapped. We do need a long term quarterback, but the situation is obviously not dire.

Am I disappointed that next weekend I won't be able to don my Redskins regalia and glue myself to the TV? I sure am. But this year, going into the dark ages of months without football, I will survive not only because I know football will return on September 7, but because one of the best teams in the NFL will be rearing to go here in Washington.

January 13, 2006

Pat Robertson is insane, continued

Here's why he apologized. Genius fellow this guy is. Check out this article from Time .com: What Was Roberson Thinking.

Here's a clip:
There are plenty of possible reasons for what Robertson's spokeswoman referred to as his "apology". Belated civility, humility and public-relations savvy come to mind. Robertson may also have been heeding criticism back in the States, some of the most scathing from fellow evangelical leaders who suggested that he is now a marginal figure—despite a television audience reported to be 825,000 strong. Richard Land, a key figure in the powerful and conservative Southern Baptist Convention, pronounced himself "appalled."

But equally crucial in jump-starting the preacher's path to apology may have been a sharp response by the Israeli government and the attendant threat to his leadership in a project he has worked hard to realize. Robertson, a leader in the evangelical branch that supports Israel's existence as the fulfillment of biblical prophecies anticipating Christ's return—hence his dismay at its "division"—has many interests there. Most notably, he is collaborating with the Israeli government and a group of evangelicals to build a $50 million Evangelical "heritage center" on the Sea of Galilee. Israel was to provide the land and infrastructure for the project, leaving the funding and the center's details to the evangelicals, of whom Robertson is the best-known. The arrangement is unusual, says Zev Chafets, who is now writing a book about the relationship between Jews, evangelicals and Israel and is a former spokesman for the late premier Menachem Begin. "In the past," he notes, "Israel has been extremely reluctant to turn prime land over to Christian organizations."

January 10, 2006

Pat Robertson is insane

So according to Pat Robertson, Ariel Sharon's stroke was caused by God. Isn't wonderful for God to have a spokesman as wise as Robertson? Sometimes you wonder if he realizes what he is saying when he says it. Or if he ever realizes it.

Anyways, I read a very good blog posting today about this matter. Check it out here.

Here's a clip:

If I were God—which I’m not, but if I were—I would be pretty annoyed that Falwell and Robertson keep blaming me for everything. I would probably start unleashing all sorts of crazy stuff on the world just for spite. I’m talking never-before-seen catastrophes here. Things that would make what I did to Egypt with those ten plagues look like another fun episode of Romper Room. I would bring back Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show and give her a lifetime contract, and let her live till 402. I would turn black people into white people and white people into black people, just to shake things up. I would pee on whole cities and not wash my hands, so that whenever the Hand of God worked through your life, it would be the hand that I used to pee and didn’t wash afterwards. And I would turn cherries into little blood capsules, so that Coca Cola had to reprint its Cherry Coke labels and change the name to Coke Blood.

January 9, 2006

Marriage the Equalizer?

Here's an interesting article from USA Today.

Here's the opening:

As a happily married man, I have been troubled by the oft-stated myth that the institution of wedlock has never been central to the African-American heritage.

Unfortunately, this view has permeated the African-American community and society at large. Now, it may be single-handedly holding back blacks in their pursuit of social, economic and educational progress.

According to testimony given last fall to a Senate subcommittee by Ron Haskins of The Brookings Institution, from 1970 to 2001, the overall marriage rate declined 17% but 34% for blacks. The overall rate for out-of-wedlock births is 33% compared with 70% for blacks.

Round 2

Some offensive offense. All I can say is this: Thank you defense! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you sooo much! You guys are amazing! Hopefully Brunell, Moss, Cooley, and Portis can be just as magical in Seattle.

January 6, 2006

Ban the Ban

On Wednesday, the DC Council approved a smoking ban prohibiting smoking in restaurants and bars across the city. You can read about it here. It was an 11 to 1 vote, with Carol Schwartz the sole dissenter. The ban would immediately affect restaurants, with bars and clubs to follow next year. Thankfully, Mayor Williams has expressed some hesitation about a ban. This is despite the fact that if he goes ahead with a veto, he can be overruled. But it sure is nice to hear a sane voice every now and then. Schwartz was actually 100% correct.

Schwartz said the issue was personal choice and freedom. "Don't make me out that I like smoking, because I don't," said Schwartz, an ex-smoker. "Bar and restaurant workers have a choice of where to work, and patrons have a choice of where to patronize."

The whole exemption thing is a joke as well.

The longest debate was over whether to exempt the city's eight hookah bars, where people smoke tobacco out of a shared pipe. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) argued that hookah bars should be exempt because tobacco use is the central focus of their business.

Schwartz then jumped on Graham. "If it's all in the guise of protecting worker health, why would you want to kill off the hookah bar workers?" she said to laughs in the packed council chambers. "The hypocrisy is just astounding."

Smoking is a legal activity. I am not suggesting that all of us non-smokers should be forced to sit in clouds of smoke as we try to eat dinner. But what I am saying is that each of us has a choice. Some restaurants have chosen to go smoke free, others haven't. For those of us who have a problem with smoke, we can choose to eat at smoke-free places. For those of us who don't mind sitting in the non-smoking section , can eat at both "types" of restaurants. And if you want to smoke, you can just pick a restaurant that allows it. It is quite simple, actually.

If a restaurant that allows smoke realizes that my crossing over they can make more money, don't you think they'd do it? You bet they would. If each and every restaurant was a smoke-free environment, I wouldn't be too bothered if it was achieved naturally. We just don't need the government coming into areas that, quite honestly, they are completely unneeded.

There are three groups of people whose freedom of choice has been eliminated by the passage of this single bill: the people who eat at restaurants, those who own them, and those who work at them. I think all of us can fit into at least one of these categories. So I guess the government has just made one more choice on all of our behalves. How nice of them. I mean, what else can they spend their time and energy on? I guess everything else in DC is just great.

I truly hope that anybody who believes in personal freedom supports this ban. I mean, if you don't believe in personal freedom, that's completely cool. We are all free (thankfully) to opinion. At a time when Americans are worried about violated liberties with secret monitored telephone calls (which unless you connected with Al-Qaeda so much so that your personal phone number is in their address book and you receive calls from the middle east, you don't really need to worry), here we have the choice of restaurants publicly removed. I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free*.

*except in certain areas including restaurant type

January 2, 2006

Playoff Bound Redskins

What a great (well, outcome anyway) game for the Skins yesterday! I'm ready Saturday's game against the Bucs. Hopefully the team that showed up to beat the Cowboys and the Giants will show up!

Quite the turnaround from last season's 6-10 to this year's 10-6. Joe Gibbs has most definately (once again) done some good in Washington.

Here's an article that talks about yesterday's game. The paragraph that caused me to post it:

The hiring of Gibbs was almost analogous to the traveling salesman coming home to a filthy house and the kids spoon-feeding the family mutt peanut butter. Order needed to be restored. Gibbs returned the way he left -- a stately, bespectacled grandfather, preaching unity, resolve and just plain good sense. He weathered the first prolonged criticism of his career last season, finishing a disappointing 6-10 and raising real doubt over whether a coach in his mid-60s had completely grasped the nuances of the modern game.

Click here to read the rest.