31 October 2007

Happy Halloween Brutus

Everyone complains when there are dominant teams in college football and the outcome of the season seems predetermined. Now everyone is complaining that there are too many teams in with a shout to be in the BCS or even the National Championship Game. Why is this a problem other than that minor inconvenience of good teams never playing each other at a crucial point in the season/postseason to determine a champion?

A playoff may not be a panacea but the soul butter from the college presidents and bowl committees about history and tradition is hypocritical indeed when 2 1/2 months after college football ends the NCAA basketball tournament begins and suddenly many of those same people profess their love for a system where games and not polls decide a champion and big programs/conferences accept upsets as part of the landscape.

As of this writing Ohio State have been sleepwalking for two months and have awakened to find themselves atop the polls. This year's trip to Ann Arbor will be even more harrowing one given the stakes and the probable momentum built up by the Wolverines who will have admirably salvaged their season by then. There is plenty of precedent for a Buckeye season ruined by a pratfall at Michigan Stadium.

Let's assume OSU wins out. The folks in New Orleans are praying that no undefeated teams emerge from the Pac-10. Let's assume also that BC loses and that the SEC champion has only one loss. A one-loss LSU team would be a dream come true giving the Tigers a virtual home game and an absolutely insane buildup to the NCG. Then again, ask Georgia about those virtual home games like the Sugar Bowl against West Virginia that was played in Atlanta.

The problem for Ohio State is that they probably can beat anybody EXCEPT an SEC team. LSU wouldn't run the score up like Florida last year but would certainly provide the strongest possible opposition. Like so many teams in the top 10 or 25 OSU's season essentially begins now and even if they finish with a perfect mark at least some questions about their overall quality will be answered.

It seems mad that a program of LSU's caliber could lose two quality coaches in the space of four years but the cards are stacked against them. Once upon a time John Cooper became irresistible to Ohio State when his Arizona State team defeated Michigan in the Rose Bowl. With Lloyd Carr all but certain to step down Les Miles could write his own ticket back to Ann Arbor with a win over the Buckeyes in the NCG. He even SOUNDS like Bo Schembechler in his interviews - it's uncanny. For all the quality of the SEC programs the fierce competition manifests itself in some ugly ways, particularly unbridled criticism of coaches who bring home 9-3 records or better each year.

30 October 2007

Jol Be Sorry

I am hardly a Tottenham Hotspur supporter but still have a great deal of sympathy for them in their seemingly ceaseless quest to be a "big club."

Unfortunately big and small clubs alike are all too prone to hit the panic button. I echo the comments of many when I say THFC have sacked the best manager they've had in ages. They have written off this season intentionally or otherwise. Perhaps they fancy their new man is another Rafa Benitez but he likely will be just another Spanish hothead who will be good entertainment value even though the results will not improve greatly.

Good luck to Jol who handled the speculation and questions as best he could.

29 October 2007

You're going to agree or your not.

With the billions that have been spent on education why can't a huge number of graduates from the last two decades manage to use contractions properly?

What is so difficult about recognizing that an apostrophe (') takes the place of a letter, word and/or space? Moreover, what is so difficult about teaching and remembering it?

A recent billboard advertised
Beach Living At It's Finest
which means that at least three people (a copywriter, an editor/boss/publisher and an advertising sales rep) but probably more let this error pass undetected or unchanged. Renting a billboard can't be cheap. The folks doing the advertising may never know that their little typo is costing them potential customers - the kind with disposable income who justifiably avoid doing business with those who can't manage to use a single little apostrophe correctly.

The you're/your battle seems to be hopeless especially among the U21s.
Your just jealous, I hear them saying. Perhaps I am, but not of their usage.

Big Brother Australia/UK 2007 Review

Aleisha was the deserving winner of BBAUS2007. Her closeness with Emma provided her a much-needed emotional security blanket in the early going but Emma's departure allowed the public and the housemates to focus solely on Aleisha and all of her wonderful qualities.

Almost every housemate declares "I'm just going to be myself" then enters the BB house and proceeds to do completely the opposite. Aleisha never made such a pronouncement but succeeded in being herself and was rightfully rewarded. Future HMs should take note especially if they expect to win although it's doubtful they will.

BBUK2007 was a mixed bag. The females-only approach for the first week or seemed so obvious one wonders why they didn't try it before. No manipulation by BB was necessary; there was always going to be conflict with tetchy characters like Charley and Nicky in the mix.

The arrival and makeup of the male contingent was over-egged with predetermined alpha male Ziggy providing a focal point for most of the next few weeks. Chanelle was fetching but very vulnerable despite her bravado and Ziggy played her like a violin intentionally or unintentionally.

The twins - Sam and Amanda. Still don't know what quite to make of it all. Can two people sharing one personality really be that non-confrontational and sweet? Unlike 99% of housemates they simply shut down whenever a row broke out. Was it fear? immaturity? avoidance? On balance they were mostly good value and a breath of fresh air given all the streetwise tarts that have been a part of BBUK over the years. I would have backed them to win from the first day but sadly it didn't come to pass. I hope they have their post-BB fun (can't a hit factory at least give them an original song to sing?) and make a few bob then manage to go back to their apparently idyllic lives. The "Telepathic Twins" segment was funny and fascinating.

Winner Brian was likeable enough but he never managed to perfect his thick-but-sweet act to my satisfaction. Brian became a hero to many when he managed to silence a stunned Charley for a few moments in his first few days. He was good value in the Diary Room and his anti-SLOP rant is an all-time BB laugh for me....It's out of order!!!

These will be uncertain months for fans of BBAUS and BBUK. The UK edition has lost its freshness and the usual approach of throwing borderline psychopaths into a room and waiting for the claws to come out has to change or the audience will decline even more.

As many know Kris Noble the executive producer of the Australia series has departed. Was he pushed or did he jump? The recently-and-regrettably departed Gretel assured everyone during the finale that there would be a BBAUS2008 but the evidence is lacking so far.

Here we go

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
-George Bernard Shaw

I suppose the first post is the most difficult since it's expected to be profound, original and shake the Internet to its core with insight.

As the title suggests I don't expect to achieve any of those goals straight away but I'll get there eventually.

Greetings to those who may be reading these words and on to more substantive posts...