Thursday, November 30, 2006

You Tube Thursday

Let's get straight to the videos. They're all safe for work, but I wouldn't crank the volume on the Lebowski.


  • I don't have a problem with hunting, but sometimes the kid is just too young.
  • This sort of thing must be porn for rappers.
  • This one has a touch of bare man ass at the end, but it's an interesting twist on Jackass.
  • Ever think about bungee jumping in your front yard?
  • Recreate the Big Lebowski with a Nintendo Wii? Here you go.
  • No wonder Al Sharpton and Jessee Jackson weren't happy with Kramer's apology. Somebody's going to hell for this one.
  • If you want to kill some time at work, MSN has posted the first five episodes of Arrested Development.

If those aren't enough, here are some articles:

Don't forget to get your picks in to Big Ern.

Have a nice day.

Fite

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Great Debate

I'm slammed at work and totally devoid of a good idea for today's article, so you know what that means....Let's Debate.

Here's the question: If you had to pick one active NFL player to start a team, who would it be? I had this conversation with a buddy the other day and it turned out to be very entertaining, so I expect nothing less here. And, for reasons they can explain, I fully expect Fish to make a passionate argument for Larry Johnson and Hansyhunglo to do the same for L.T. This should be fun.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Looking Behind the Curtain

Let’s start this week with a question: When is a nine win season and a conference division championship less than acceptable? The answer, of course, is when the combined record of the nine teams you beat is 44 – 62 and 18 of those wins came from two teams (Va. Tech and Maryland), when only three of those teams finished the regular season with a winning record (and, one of those is 6-5 with a game to play), when only three of the teams on your schedule were ranked at the time you played them (Notre Dame, Va. Tech, and Clemson) and you only beat one of them (Va. Tech), when only two of the teams on your schedule finished the regular season ranked (Notre Dame and Va. Tech), when you give up over 300 yards rushing in a humiliating nationally televised loss at Clemson when your team clearly quit after three quarters, and finally, when you lost your sixth straight game to your bitter rival because of the ineptitude of your quarterback and head coach. That, my friends, is win a nine win season and a conference division championship is less than acceptable.

If you remember, I started the college football season with a scathing article discussing why the Notre Dame loss was further proof that Chan Gailey should not be the head coach at Georgia Tech (http://atlantawad.blogspot.com/2006/09/new-seasonsame-pain.html#comments). Since that time, the Jackets won three games against inferior competition at home (Samford, Troy, & UVA), and then they went on the road and blew out Va. Tech. The Va. Tech win was something we had seen before in the Gailey era…a huge upset on the road against a big time program. The week following Va. Tech, however, was something we hadn’t seen before. Against what we would learn was a pretty decent Maryland team, the Jackets managed to rally in the fourth quarter and, for the first time in the Gailey era, avoided a let down following a huge win. In retrospect, it was the Maryland game that seduced us all, myself included. We all looked at this win as proof that this year’s version of the Jackets was different than all the previous Gailey teams. The truth is, like countless other members of an abusive relationship before us, we saw and believed what we wanted to. Even after the nationally televised humiliation at Clemson, we chose to fixate on the fact that we were still in the driver’s seat to win the Coastal Division. Hell, we even managed to convince ourselves that the Miami game was a “huge” game and a “defining” win, even though we were well aware that this was the worst version of the ‘Canes we have probably ever seen and they had quit on their coach weeks before. For God’s sake, we even chose to turn a blind eye to the fact that we only managed to score seven points against one of the worst teams in Division I-A football, UNC. Finally, however, this past Saturday, we ran out of blind eyes, and were forced to face the brutal truth: Coastal Division Championship or not, 9 wins or not, we weren’t any better this season than we have been for the past five seasons. Instead, we just had the good fortune of feasting on inferior competition and winning our traditional game that we probably shouldn’t win.

Look, I’m the first person to admit that I’m a glass half empty sort of guy. And, I also realize that it’s really easy to write about the shortcomings of other people, and it is way too easy to write articles about how coaches should be fired. Trust me when I tell you that I take no joy in it. Remember, I lived through Coach Cremins’ last days at Georgia Tech and I still remember verbatim every word Mark Bradley and the irresponsible journalists at the AJC wrote in the days and weeks leading up to his resignation. I hated every word, and I’m sure that there are people that would read this article and feel the same way about me that I felt about Bradley and Company back in 2000. All that being said, if you go back and read the article I wrote after the Notre Dame game, and then you go re-read the first paragraph of this article, I just don’t know how you can argue with a straight face that this season, or any season of the Gailey era, is satisfactory. Gailey’s most fatal flaw is his marriage to Reggie Ball. And, when you think about it, it was only appropriate that Ball had what might be the worst game of his career on the biggest stage this past Saturday. I mean, I don’t care how big an apologists you are for this guy, but you can’t make any excuse for a 6 – 21 performance with two picks and a fumble that went back to the house. Not to mention, this was the third straight year that Reggie Ball had the ball in his hands with less than two minutes to play and a chance to tie or beat UGA and this was the third straight year he failed. That’s right, he failed. And, that is no coincidence. He and Gailey’s failures have far outweighed and outshined the accomplishments.

The major goal of any Georgia Tech coach should be to beat UGA. End of story. Well, Gailey is 0-5 against UGA. So, let me ask you this…if you had one main objective at your job and you fucked it up five times in a row, do you think you would still have a job? No matter what happens this Saturday in Jacksonville, it won’t make up for the UGA loss. I wish that wasn’t true, but it is. If you are a Tech fan and you feel differently, you clearly weren’t born and raised in Georgia. And no, 11-3 and an Orange Bowl victory won’t change my opinion of Gailey and the current state of our program.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, thanks to the efforts of new recruiting coordinator, Giff Smith, and our top notch facilities (all of which are the product of the insistence and success of Coach O’Leary), we are bringing in what may be the best recruiting class in Tech history. I don’t want Chan Gailey coaching these guys. I want Greg Schiano, Charlie Strong, or Brian Van Gorder. I want a young and energetic guy with a hunger to win EVERY game. And yes, in case you are wondering, I think Greg Schiano would much rather come to Georgia Tech than Miami. We have better facilities, more money, and more promise than Miami. In short, Georgia Tech is a better job than Miami. You know why most people probably think this is an insane comment? Because, Miami is the kind of place that fires coaches that win 80% of their games and a national championship when it becomes clear that he can no longer compete for national championships. In other words, because Miami expects more from itself, everybody else expects more from them. Perception is reality. Fire Gailey after this season, sign Schiano, and the rest of the country will take notice…in a hurry. Keep Gailey, maybe even win the Orange Bowl, and go 7 -5 next year, and nothing changes. All you are left with is another sign in the south end zone and a potentially endless string of losses to UGA. I know that to some of you the idea of firing a coach after his best season seems absurd, but all I can say is that sometimes you have to do something unconventional in the short term to hit it big for the long term. Isn’t that what the American entrepreneurial spirit is all about?

Okay, I’ve said my piece. I started the season by saying the same thing. Somewhere in the middle, I was seduced into thinking I may have been wrong. After Saturday, however, I realized that I wasn’t wrong after all. Usually, I hate being wrong, but this time, I really wish I was.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Feast of Football Picks

Since it’s the day before Thanksgiving, I’m pretty sure nobody is going to be reading today. Therefore, I won’t waste your time with any introductions or pleasantries. Here’s the picks:

COLLEGE

1) Miami +4 vs. BC - Let’s win one for the Coker!

2) A&M +13 @ Texas – too many points in a rivalry game, especially when you consider that K. State just kicked Texas’ ass.

3) Arkansas PICK vs. LSU - Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy….PIG… .GO HOGS!

4) Tulsa -16 vs. Tulane - Tulane is HORRIBLE.

5) Colorado +14.5 @ Nebraska

6) Oregon St. -3 vs. Oregon - Anybody else find it weird that two teams from Oregon play “The Civil War”. Seems like a little too much for a game that nobody outside of Corvallis or Eugene really cares about.

7) UConn +3.5 vs. Cincinnati - You can spell letdown B-E-A-R-C-A-T-S.

8) Florida -9.5 @ FSU - If I thought FSU had any pride I’d jump all over these points, but they don’t. It’s over in Tallahassee. And, I’m not losing any sleep over that.

9) UNC -7 @ Duke - Carolina is playing better since the firing of Bunting, and Duke sucks. That’s the kind of keen analysis you can’t find anyplace except the WAD.

10) Clemson -5 vs. South Carolina - Clemson runs for 300 yards in this one.

11) Va. Tech -17 vs. UVA – Va. Tech has played as well as anybody in the country over the past six weeks, and don’t be fooled by UVA’s win over a Miami team that embarrasses itself every time it steps on the field (yes, I realize I picked Miami to win this week), UVA is atrocious. I think Va. Tech puts up a HUGE win this weekend and cruises into a nice bowl and another 10 win season.

12) WVU -20.5 vs. S. Florida – One last chance to impress the voters.

13) Kansas +7 @ Missouri - I have nothing to say here…it just looks good to me.

14) UCF -2.5 vs. UAB – George O’Leary doesn’t go 3-9.

15) Oklahoma -6 @ OSU - Two words: Bob Stoops. Bet against him at your own risk.

16) Georgia Tech +2 @ UGA - I can’t talk rationally about this game. But, I will say this: If we lose this game, I couldn’t care less about what happens next week in Jacksonville. Hell, if we win this game, I couldn't care less about what happens next week in Jacksonville. Chan Gailey MUST beat UGA, end of story. The season is defined by this game.

17) Arizona -3.5 vs. ASU - Hey, Mike Stoops has the same DNA as Bob Stoops. That’s got to mean something.

18) East Carolina +3 @ N.C. State - What better way for the Chest to go out than another embarrassing home loss!

19) Maryland -1.5 vs. Wake - What a showdown game! After Miami beats BC, this one will be for the right to face Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship game. Somebody please remove all the sharp objects from John Swofford’s (ACC Commissioner) office.

20) N.D. +7 @ USC - I’ve just got a bad feeling about this one. All I’m saying is we need to have the riot police in Ann Arbor on full alert.

21) Hawaii vs. Purdue OVER 75 - This one is for Stats. Go Rainbow Warriors!


NFL

1) Detroit +3 vs. Miami - Hey, it’s the Lions on Thanksgiving…it’s tradition to lose money betting on them.

2) Dallas -11 vs. Tampa - First, Tony Romo gets the starting job. Now, he’s getting to know Jessica Simpson in the Biblical sense. No way I’m betting against him!

3) K.C. -1 vs. Denver - This should be a great game to watch for all 177 people that actually get the NFL Network. Putting games on the NFL Network is a total I’m Keith Hernandez move by the NFL. You don’t have the NFL Network? Tough shit. Go get it. Way to put the fans first Tags!

4) Arizona +6.5 @ Minn. - I’m sick of picking the Vikes and losing.

5) Carolina -4 @ Washington - I hate picking against home dogs except, of course, when they have clearly already begun their offseason.

6) Cincy -3 @ Cleveland - I hate picking against home dogs except, of course, when Ocho Cinco is involved.

7) Houston +6 @ N.Y.J. - I hate the Jets.

8) Jacksonville -3 @ Buffalo - I hate picking against home dogs except, of course, when J.P. Losman is involved and the coach of the favorite wears a suit on the sideline.

9) Atlanta -3 vs. N.O. - This is a MUST win for the Falcons. On the bright side, if they lose, at least we can hear Jim Mora talk about how we are going to keep fighting and how great it is to have your back to the wall. He’s a tool and a terrible coach. I said it.

10) Pittsburgh +3 @ Baltimore - The Steelers are looking a little frisky these days, and there is just no way this Ravens team can possibly go 9-2, right?

11) San Diego -13.5 vs. Oakland - L.T. might shatter ever fantasy football record this weekend.

12) New England -3 vs. Chicago - Who did the Bears piss off to have three straight road games in New York and Boston in November? When you looked at this stretch, at NYG, at NYJ, and NE, you would have said that 2-1 would have been realistic, but 3-0 nearly impossible. Well, the Bears are 2-0 so far. I’m not betting on the nearly impossible.

13) NYG -3 @ Tenn - I hate picking against home dogs except, of course, when the favorite has 7 of its best 12 players out due to injury. I’m a screwed up dude.

14) Indy -9 vs. Philly (LOCK OF THE WEEK) - Indy at home, coming off its first loss, playing against the 2006 version of Jeff Garcia! If this was the 2003 version of Jeff Garcia, I might feel differently, but as it stands, I think this is the most absurdly out of whack line I’ve seen all season. So, of course, you should probably take Philly and the points.


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. If you are traveling, I wish you safe travels. If you are flying, I wish you great patience. The estimates are that 5 million people will be flying this Holiday, and 1.7 million of them will be passing through Hartsfield. Sounds like Hell on Earth to me!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

WAD Rankings

1) Ohio State (#1 AP, #1 USA Today, #1 BCS) - What more can you say? Nobody can argue with the Buckeyes at #1.

2) Michigan (#2 AP, #3 USA Today, #2 BCS) - So, the number 2 team in the country goes on the road to the number 1 team and comes out on the short end of an epic three point loss. I’m pretty sure that means that they are AT LEAST the second best team in the country.

3) Arkansas (#5 AP, # 5 USA Today, #6 BCS) - No other one loss team sports the resume the Hogs do. Only one loss and it came to USC in the first game of the year. Since then, they have run through the SEC undefeated and looked dominant at Auburn and at home against Tennessee. With the Bayou Bengals calling on Saturday and a date with the Gators in SEC Championship Game, the Hogs have a lot of work left to do. If they make it through December 2 undefeated, that’s the only way I will be okay without an OSU/Michigan rematch.

4) USC (#3 AP, #2 USA Today, #3 BCS) – I don’t love the Trojans, but I like them better than any of the remaining one loss teams. They have too many athletes for Notre Dame, and I just don’t think the Urban Meyer offense stands up against athletic defenses. For example, in their marquee games this year they have mustered only 21 points at UT, 23 at home against LSU despite 5 LSU turnovers, 17 in their loss to Auburn, 21 against UGA (only 14 offensive), 25 against Vanderbilt, and only 17 against South Carolina. So, to justify USC’s ranking, I just gave you all the reasons why Florida shouldn’t be ranked above them. I’m not sure that’s exactly a resounding endorsement for the Trojans.

5) Florida (#4 AP, #4 USA Today, #4 BCS) - Well, they aren’t as good as USC, but they are better than Notre Dame, and they are probably better than West Virginia. So, they are #5. Got to love that logic.

6) West Virginia (#7 AP, #7 USA Today, #7 BCS) – Look, I know they blew it at Louisville. I mean, they laid an egg. No doubt about it. But, the fact remains that they have some of the quickest and fastest ball carriers you have ever seen. Consequently, their offense is nearly unstoppable. I really like this team, and I think they can beat anybody in the country on any given night. But, the fact remains that they probably aren’t better than the five teams I have ranked ahead of them.

7) Wisconsin (#10 AP, #9 USA Today, #8 BCS) - I haven’t actually seen the Badgers play one play this season, but I’m doing all I can to delay Notre Dame as long as possible.

8) LSU (#9 AP, #8 USA Today, #10 BCS) - That’s right, I’m putting a two loss team ahead of Notre Dame. I did it. Here’s the deal: Yes, they struggled against Ole Miss this weekend, but LSU is a damn good football team. They’ve lost two games, one at Auburn, and one at Florida. There’s no shame in that. Plus, answer this question: If LSU played Notre Dame on a neutral field, do you think Notre Dame would beat them? Yea, me neither.

9) Notre Dame (#6 AP, #6 USA Today, #5 BCS) - Alright, I owe you an explanation of why I’m hating on the Irish so much. Listen, I know they have a great offense, but the fact of the matter is that they have a terrible secondary, and they have only played three teams all year that have had the ability to exploit that: 1) Georgia Tech; 2) Michigan State; and 3) Michigan. Well, Tech could have done it, but the whole 5’6” quarterback with no discernible touch got in the way. Michigan State actually did it, but because they are Michigan State, they still found a way to lose. And, Michigan was the only team on the Irish’s schedule that was actually equipped to exploit their secondary and competent enough to pull it off. And, ultimately, when it comes down to it, I saw this team with my own two eyes, and I saw Maryland with my own two eyes, and Notre Dame is not much better than Maryland. Therefore, I think they are lucky to be ranked this high.

10) Oklahoma (#13 AP, #14 USA Today, #15 BCS) – Would you want to play the Sooners right now? I don’t think Louisville, Boise State, Auburn, Rutgers, or even Texas would want a piece of Stoops’ boys right now. Plus, don’t forget that the Sooners have actually only lost one game this season. The Oregon game wasn’t as much a loss as it was a felony.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday Musings

Let me start the week off by apologizing for my poor performance on The WAD last week. I mean, my first week back from vacation and no new rankings, no college or NFL picks, and not so much as a peep after Tuesday. Well, on the bright side, if I have ever wronged you, or if you have ever wished bad things upon me (it’s okay, you aren’t alone), you can take comfort in the knowledge that I had one of the most heinous and debilitating stomach viruses/bacteria/parasites you can imagine last week. To put it in perspective, it was probably the third worst stomach battle of my life. If you know me well, you know that’s saying something. At any rate, I’m functioning at about 80% right now, I’m well on the road to recovery, and I’m anxious to make up for sub-par showing with a strong week. So, let’s get it started with some musings:


  • The aforementioned health issues actually kept me away from Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday as the Jackets closed out their home schedule. It really hurt to miss this game because it was Reggie Ball’s last ever game on the Flats, and I have waited four very long years for that moment!

  • The Michigan/Ohio State game didn’t live up to the hype…it surpassed the hype. It was as exciting a game as I’ve seen all season. Granted, at no point did I ever really believe that Michigan was going to win the game (Troy Smith was just too sharp and the home crowd was just too much), but I was still thoroughly entertained by every play. Now that it’s over, the voters and the computers have to ask themselves one simple question (okay, I know that computers can’t actually ask themselves questions): Is the goal of the BCS to match the two best teams in the country in the National Championship Game? If the answer is yes, then I think the Buckeyes and Wolverines clearly have to face off again. Going into the game, however, I was adamantly opposed to the idea of a rematch. My fear was that it wouldn’t make any sense to have one team win on Saturday and then turn around and lose 51 days later and be left with nothing. Well, that fear is still prevalent, but the fact of the matter is that the two best teams faced off in Columbus on Saturday, and the home team won by three points. Does that mean they are definitively better than the Wolverines? I don’t think so. In fact, if the game had been played in Ann Arbor, I’m inclined to think that it would have come out the other way. So, let’s tee it up on a neutral field and find out who’s number 1. Not to mention, unless Arkansas runs the table, I’m just not buying that any other team out there has a convincing argument that they are more deserving of a spot in Glendale than the Wolverines.

  • If you were the AD at Miami, would you have even let Larry Coker on the plane home from Charlottesville? That is a simply unforgivable loss. Let the Spurrier/Richt/Schiano rumors begin!

  • Has anybody in the country done a better coaching job than Bob Stoops this season? How do you lose your starting quarterback on the eve of the season and your all world tailback midway through the season and still end up with what is going to be at least a 10 win season? You wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and see Bob Stoops staring back at you and then you go piss excellence. That’s how you do it.

  • Which quarterback is going to be the first to assassinate somebody, John David Booty or John Parker Wilson?

  • Here’s the world we live in: Tony Romo out duels Peyton Manning, Brett Favre gets shut out in a showdown game at Lambeau, the Dolphins won a game with negative rushing yards, and Joe Gibbs might be doing the worst coaching job in the NFL! Next thing you know Steve McNair is going to be the quarterback of an 8-2 team.

  • Either Greg Knapp or Mike Vick has to go right now, and Mike Vick makes $130 million, so if I was Mr. Knapp I would start polishing up the resume.

  • I’m actually watching the Broncos/Chargers game as I’m writing this, and I just keep asking myself one question: How good is Mike Shannahan that he can win this much with Jake Plummer at quarterback? Or, maybe the better question is how inept are the other coaches in the league that they can’t find a way to beat Jake Plummer?

  • I really feel bad for D.F. McNabb…I really do. I mean, sure, I did just go out and buy a Titans jersey out of a deep feeling of appreciation, but I do feel bad.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hoggin' with Fite

We'll start the day with my take on yesterday's great debate. Why didn't I post yesterday? Document review. All the lawyers reading this know the hell that I've been in. This will continue for the next few weeks. There's a dungeon that I go to every morning, and it's stacked high with boxes. I read for 8 - 10 hours, then I go home. No phone, no internet, no reason to live.

USC v. Arkansas? I'll go hoggin' with the Nutt. I don't care that USC beat Arkansas, they didn't beat the same team that's playing now. Different QB, different RB, several key players missing. To top it off, IT'S THE FIRST GAME OF THE YEAR. Crazy things happen in week 1. Furthermore, college scores don't really indicate the relative ability of two teams. In the college game it's really easy for the wheels to come off, then the rout is on. When OU beat texas 63-14 and 65-13 we were not 50 points better than Texas. Yes we were better, but the margin is misleading. That's how I feel about USC. They were better that day but not by 36 points.

Now that we've established who was better in week 1, does that mean a damn thing now? Of course not. These teams have been going in opposite directions all season. Arkansas started slow, but with personnel changes they have been improving week after week. The Hogs loss to USC and their two closest games (against Vandy and Alabama) were all during the first month of the season. Over their last 6 games the Hogs have won by an average of 27.5 points, including wins over Auburn and Tennessee.

USC, on the other hand, has been regressing. They've had close games, beating Washington by 6, Washington State by 6, and awesome Arizona State by 7. And Oregon State laid the smack down.

Let's go Hoggin'.


Here's some clips:

Rolling Stone has posted an interview with Mr. Popularity himself.

Somebody finally did what we all wanted to as teenagers.

Let's hug it out.

Here's an update on Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.

Happy Birthday Oklahoma.

This defense attorney should be shot.

If you get the chance, check out this report on football coachs' salaries.


Have a nice day.

Fite

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Great Debate

Okay, I've been itching to get to some BCS debate, and today is the first of what I'm sure will be several weeks worth of bitching, moaning, and debating. Here's the question, go and run with it:

If Arkansas runs the table by beating LSU and winning the SEC Title Game over Florida, should/will they jump over Rutgers, Notre Dame, USC, and the loser of the Ohio St./Michigan game for a shot at the national title?

Remember, this is a team that has 1 loss ( the season opener against USC), and since then has thumped Auburn at Auburn, won at South Carolina, beaten Tennessee at home, and would have two more wins over top 10 opponents heading into the clubhouse. I'm not trying to influence your decision, I'm just giving you the facts.

Let's hear from the experts of the WAD Nation!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Valuable Experience

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s good to be back. My little jaunt to Eastern Europe was fantastic, educational, and relaxing. Thanks to everybody, especially Fish, Fite, and Stats, for keeping things rolling in my absence. Now, I’m back with a vengeance. I leave the country and when I come back the BCS is in total shambles, Mike Vick and the Falcons are falling apart, UGA loses to Kentucky then thumps Auburn at Jordan-Hare, Rutgers wins a landmark game, The Hawks have the second best record in the Eastern Conference, UNC finally found Mack Brown’s replacement and hired Butch Davis (which, by the way, will only intensify the Mark Richt to Miami rumors – I don’t think he’s going anywhere, but brace yourself Bulldog Nation, it could be a stressful month or so). In other words, a lot happened in my absence, and we’ve got a lot to talk about in the days and weeks ahead. As usual this time of year, you can probably expect college football and the NFL to dominate the discussion, but we have to keep an eye on this constantly developing Hawks’ story. I’m telling you, I’m a believer. Then again, I haven’t seen them play a minute yet, so I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about.

This morning, however, before delving back into the world of sports, I want to do something that I very seldom do, I want to discuss a very serious non-sports issue. Specifically, I want to briefly discuss one of the most humbling, horrifying, gut wrenching, and ultimately important experiences of my life. I’m referring to my trip last week to the Concentration Camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, about an hour outside of Krakow, Poland. As a preliminary matter, I have to admit that I am very intimidated by the prospect of writing about this experience. Honestly, this is a topic suited for a much more accomplished and eloquent writer than myself. Names like David McCullough and Steven Ambrose come to mind, and let’s not kid each other, some guy that blogs under the name, The WAD, isn’t anywhere near that category. That being said, I feel its important for me to write about this experience, and I hope that comes across in the words below, and I apologize for any injustice to the topic arising from my deficiencies as a writer.

First, let me provide you with a brief history of Auschwitz/Birkenau. At its inception in June of 1940, it was, in fact, a concentration/work camp. A place where the Nazis exiled their enemies, mainly Polish and Soviet prisoners of war, and forced them to work inhumane hours to build supplies to aid the Nazi army. Make no mistake about it, the motto over the gate, “Arbeit Mact frei” (Work makes one free) couldn’t have been farther from the truth. The people that were initially brought to Auschwitz, as with all the other concentration camps, never had a chance for freedom. Instead, they were actually worked to death. Around October of 1941, however, the Nazis took the horror of Auschwitz to even more unspeakable levels when they opened another camp less than 3 kms. from Auschwitz known as Birkenau (Auschwitz II). Birkenau was no concentration camp. It was an extermination camp. From October 1941 until the camp was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945, approximately 1.3 million people (the vast majority of them were Jews) were brought to Birkenau, and approximately 1.1 million were exterminated. Most of these 1.1 million were exterminated within minutes or hours of their arrival in the gas chambers, but some were still forced to work the camp and ultimately either succumbed to the labors or the firing squad.

So, those are the basic facts of Auschwitz. I’m pretty certain that you’ve all heard them before, as I had, and you may be asking yourself, why I have felt compelled to write about this. Well, the answer is rather simple: There are very few times in your life that you can say with an absolute certainty that you will never forget exactly how you felt and exactly what thoughts were running through your mind at a particular moment. Thus far in my life, I can say that for a few moments, specifically, when the Challenger exploded, September 11, 2001, and when I got the news of the death of certain friends and family. So, as you can see, I’m talking about transcendent moments. Well, my five hours at Auschwitz is now a part of this list.

Yes, through the years, I have read and heard the facts I recited above. I have heard the horrifying numbers that 6 million Jews fell victim to Hitler’s evil, I have seen documentaries on The History Channel, I’ve read “The Diary of Ann Frank”, and I’ve seen “Schindler’s List”. But, not until I stood on those grounds, not until I viewed with my own two eyes the horrifying barracks, the gas chamber, the railroad tracks that millions of people traveled to their deaths, the hundreds of thousands of locks of human hair still preserved on the grounds, and the suitcases of those that were exterminated, did I really understand the magnitude of what happened in those years when Hitler pursued what he deemed the solution to the Jewish Question. As I walked the grounds, I couldn’t control my thoughts and emotions. One minute, as I viewed all the inhumanity, I found myself wondering how there could actually be a God that could allow something like this to happen. Then, in the next moment, I would think of the 7,500 prisoners that survived until liberation, and I found myself realizing that only with the protection of the hand of God could someone survive this horror. In short, Auschwitz made me question my faith in God, while simultaneously reaffirming that very same faith. I know that probably doesn’t make sense, and this is where a more eloquent writer could do a better job of articulating what I am trying to say, but I just can’t think of a better way to say it.

As a child and a young man, I was a pretty optimistic person that focused on the positives and the opportunities this world provides. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become somewhat jaded. I find myself fixating more on the negatives and the hassles of the world and allowing them to control the direction of my life. In other words, I never stop anymore and think about how good I have it, I only think about how much better I wish I had it. Well, I’m not going to be so bold as to proclaim that I am a changed man after my visit to Auschwitz. What I will say, however, is that I am a more aware man. I have seen with my own two eyes how horrible and disastrous life can be, and the next time I start to complain about something in my life, I hope I have the presence of mind to stop and reflect on my memories of Auschwitz and remember how blessed and easy my life is. The people that died at Auschwitz were unwitting heroes, but heroes nonetheless, and I hope to draw on the memories of those heroes when necessary as I shape my life from this point forward.

As I said above, I had read all the facts about Auschwitz and the Holocaust before. I studied them briefly in high school, and even a little in college. But, I’m ashamed to admit that while the raw figures staggered and horrified me in the brief moments I studied the Holocaust, they never affected me on a personal and meaningful level. Well, for me, it took a trip to Poland to be properly affected. For the rest of you, while I would definitely encourage everyone to make the pilgrimage to Auschwitz, I hope it doesn’t take that. That is why I felt compelled to write this article. I truly felt that I had an obligation to share these thoughts with you, and if the affect this experience had on me is apparent to even just one of you, then I will be prouder of this article than anything else I have ever written.

Thanks for your indulgence today, and I promise we’ll get back to the fun and games tomorrow.

Friday, November 10, 2006

For Informational Purposes Only

We're all sad that the WAD is gone. On the upside, now we might actually get some competent gambling advice. As the WAD's V.P. of Degenerate Advice, Stats has decided to drop a little knowledge. You might as well call your bookie and read this article to him, Stats is 2-0 on the week and it only gets better from here.

Because the WAD is travelling Europe with a hot blonde (aka Bobby Cremins),I'm stepping in to throw out some "you need your head examined if you take this advice" picks. Sorry, but I could only make college picks, because trying to pick a NFL game gives me the same feeling as getting dealt a 16 against a 10. You know you'll have to get ridiculously lucky to win.

GT -13.5 @ UNC
Webster's defines idiocy as "taking Georgia Tech in a must-win game laying double digits on the road against a far inferior opponent" but I don'tcare, UNC couldn't beat the Sigma Chi intramural flag football team. If they played this game 10 times, Tech would win by 15, 20, 25, 14, 7, 3, -7, 24, 17, and 21. So that 10 second analysis concludes Tech has a 70% chance to cover here.

Wyoming @ BYU o47
This game just screams we're going the fuck over. This has got to be the most exciting event in weeks for the people of Provo and Laramie. The only question is, what will be higher, the number of points BYU puts up, or the average number of tickets bought by each family in attendance. Watch the fireworks, take this one to the bank, and celebrate afterward with your favorite non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverage.

Utah St @ Nevada -29
If UNC is the Sigma Chi intramural A team, Utah State is the BFD version where everyone gets drunk, dresses up in clown suits, and runs to the car and leaves with 5 minutes left in the game. Nevada with the pistol offense names the score here.

TxTech @ Oklahoma o53
No explanation necessary. This one's a WAD tradition. Though I really think the Red Raiders will score as often as the Oakland Raiders in this one.

FSU -7 vs Wake Forest
I know Wake isn't the typical Wake this year, but it's still Wake at Florida State. Isn't the average spread in this situation over the last 15 years about -37.5? All respect to Wake, but as Cube said, yo betta check yoself befo yo wreck yo self.

Boise @ SJSU o58
Don't look now but SJSU, just a year or two removed from the holding the title of worst team in the nation, is 6-2 and looking to go bowling. I'm not calling an outright win here at home for Tomey's thugs againstBCS-bound Boise (yes, they are), but SJSU can score some points. Boise should score about double or triple that, though, and this one is goin ova.

Hawaii -40 vs La Tech
Yes, another WAC play. If you haven't been staying up until 3 A.M. Eastern time to catch the team formerly known as the Rainbow Warriors (now just Warriors), June Jones and Jerry Glanville's troops have been absolutely thrashing opponents lately, especially on the island. QB Colt Brennan is supposedly a real top NFL prospect, and this team is strong at all positions. La Tech got thrashed in Clemson, and this game could go very similar. Hawaii might throw up 65+ here.

Rutgers +6.5 vs L'Ville
Do you believe in Miracles? How could you not jump on this bandwagon? Louisville coming off a huge win, on the road, against the nastiest D they've played all season.

Wisconsin +1 @ Iowa
Iowa just lost to Northwestern. Enough said. Actually, there is more to be said. They got their ass KICKED byNorthwestern. Ok, move on.

Central Florida +1.5 @ Memphis
Memphis is awful, and UCF has the best coach in college football. Ok, maybe not. The 2nd best coach behind Maryland.

Air Force +11.5 vs ND
Just because betting against ND is so fun. Air Force is pesky enough to keep this one close at home. Hopefully it will be 20 degrees in a snowstorm.

New Mexico State +11.5 @ Fresno State
Fresno State sucks so bad, they'd be ecstatic over a 3 pt victory here. NMSU should throw the ball 50+ times and keep it close.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The WAD Speaks

I was going to post an e-mail from our fearless leader that I thought everybody would enjoy, but he has apparently logged on from some Polish Internet Cafe and removed it - oh well. Tune in tomorrow for Stats' college football picks, and be sure to send Rob your lock of the week.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Testicular Fortitude

Every so often coaches make decisions that define them. Bob Stoops made two last Saturday.

Last weekend OU got up on Texas A&M 14-3 in the first quarter. After scoring our second touchdown, Stoops called for an onside kick. Brilliant. Nobody saw it coming, and we almost recovered. Ultimately, A&M took the short field and scored a touchdown. The onside failed, but Stoops had sent his message - we're here to win.

Fast forward to the fourth quarter, OU leading 17-10. After an OU fumble, A&M has 3rd and goal from the 2 with 8:00 remaining. Most coaches would have handed the ball to Javorskie Lane twice and tried tie the game. Those of you who don't follow Big XII ball might not know that Lane is an over 300 lb running back (despite his 265 listed weight) that is nearly impossible to stop. He's scored a TD in every game this year.

What did Dennis "shrunken scrot" Franchione do? Called a pass (incomplete) then took the points. This decision was somewhat defensible, but A&M would still need a TD to win. But the way OU's defense was playing A&M wasn't likely to get that close again.

OU fumbled again, and A&M got the ball in Sooner territory. Once again the Sooner defense held, and A&M had 4th and 6 at the OU 22. There was 3:28 remaining, and A&M only had one timeout. Coach Fran decided to hike up his skirt and kick another field goal (which, from 39 yards is no gimmie). They made it, and pulled within 1.

At this point, you have to think A&M would try the onside. With only one timeout left and an offense that is based on the running game, time was running out. Of course they kicked it deep, and OU took over.

A&M's defense held, and OU was faced with 4th and inches on the Sooner 29 with 1:30 left. Stoops considered punting, but then decided to go ahead and get the first down and win the game. OU made the first down on a qb sneak (and would have gotten it in any event, A&M had their famous 12th man on the field [sub-sub comment: how well coached is a team with 12 men on the field coming out of a timeout on the biggest play of the season?]).

As OU was lining up on 4th down, the commentators asked "how many coaches in America would go for this?" I don't know the answer to that, but I'm glad Stoops is one of them.



Here are a few quick thoughts/links for those of you who couldn't care less about OU:

Yesterday was the 15 year anniversary of My Ass Got Infected Coach's announcement he had a slight case of the HIV. I'm happy for Magic as an individual, surviving this long. On the other hand, I think it has sent a dangerous message to kids: AIDS can be managed, it's something you can control. We all know that's not the case, but as long as Magic looks healthy there will be people that don't treat the disease with the respect it deserves.

Miami defensive lineman Bryan Pata was killed last night. Pata is the second Hurricane shot this year, and things seem out of control in South Beach. Maybe the things that have happend this season aren't all Coker's fault, but change has to start at the top.

Don't look now, but your Oklahoma City Hornets are 4-0.

Here's something you don't see every day.

If you're looking for Britney's divorce petition, click here.

My church never ran ads like this.


That's all for now, I've got to prepare for a hearing at 2:00 today. I've got a decent chance of getting a guy thrown in jail (money line currenly at -120).


Have a nice day,

Fite

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Caption Time




























Courtesy of Big Ern.

Monday, November 06, 2006

1-7!!!!

So, Prague is great. Beautiful old city. Lots of great culture. Went straight from a concert featuring Mozart, Bach, and Vivaldi to a sportsbar featuring double Jim Beam's and The Skins vs. Cowboys. Very good times. I've got a lot to say about this place, mostly very good, but it will have to wait until later this week. As for now, my traveling companion, is asking questions like, "how long do you think you are going to be?" Considering that I've spent the past hour checking all my fantasy teams and various pick 'em ventures, I think she has a fair point, so I'll just leave you with this hard and fast rule: It's only okay to go 1-7 on your NFL picks when you are out of the Country! 1 and f'ing 7! Are you kidding me? Oh well, I'll see if I can't get past this and somehow find a way to enjoy the rest of my day. There are castles and boat tours in my future. How can that not be fun?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

For Informational Purposes Only

First things first this morning….I’m taking a vacation. After 26 straight months of constant worrying about billing hours, drafting briefs, answering discovery, and of course, my personal favorite, reviewing documents…I’m taking some time off. I’m hopping on a plane and heading across the pond for ten days in Eastern Europe. I’m going to take in the sights, sounds, and history of Prague and Krakow. Not to worry, however, The WAD will still be here in my absence. I’ve given the keys to Fite and Fisher, and they have free reign to post new material any time they want. And, anybody whose got anything they want to share, send it their way and they can decide whether to post it or not. In addition, I’m pretty sure I will find an internet cafĂ© from time to time, and I will take the time to give updates on my travels and experiences. Can you imagine what I could possibly write without constant access to SportsCenter, 82games.com, Bill Simmons, Peter King, and worst of all, my DVR? Yea, me neither. But, I’m pretty sure it will be entertaining? I mean, just the sight of me trying to find a place in Prague that has ESPNU to watch the Tech/N.C. State game at 3 a.m. Sunday morning should be entertaining, right?

Before I head across the pond, I have one last piece of business to attend to…this week’s picks. As always, if you take my advice, you should probably have your head examined:

COLLEGE

1) Boise State -22 v. Fresno State - Remember last year when Fresno State came within an eyelash and a Reggie Bush miracle of upsetting then #1 USC? Well, they’ve gone 1-9 since then. BSU is 9-1 over the same period. I’ll take the Broncos.

2) West Virginia +1 @ Louisville - I think the Mountaineers are the real deal. I can’t say the same for Louisville.

3) Virginia +12.5 @ FSU - With the wheels coming off like they have in Tallahassee, how in the world can you not take more than 10 points against them?

4) Maryland +17 @ Clemson - I can’t figure either one of these teams out, so I’m taking the points.

5) Wisconsin -7 vs. Penn St. – The Badgers struggled last week, but they are seven points better than Penn St.

6) Texas Tech vs. Baylor OVER 57 - no turning back now!

7) Indiana +6 @ Minnesota - In case you hadn’t noticed, Indiana isn’t completely horrible this season, but Minnesota, on the other hand, is atrocious. I’ll take the 6.

8) Navy -11 @ Duke - Duke sucks. Need I say more?

9) UGA -7 @ Kentucky - UGA is due for a breakout. They showed some signs in the second half against Florida, and I see no reason why they should struggle with a terrible Kentucky team.

10) Auburn -31 vs. Arkansas State - give me one reason you think Arkansas State can stay within 31 points in this game? Really, I’m waiting…

11) Tennessee +3 vs. LSU - This is an absolute must win for both teams, and it should be a war. But, I can’t imagine how LSU, with Les Miles at the helm, is favored at UT.

12) USC -28.5 @ Stanford - Let the march to the 2007 National Championship begin!

13) Texas -17 vs. Oklahoma St. - Look for the Horns to pick up where they left off in the second half against Texas Tech.

14) Va. Tech -2.5 @ Miami - After the Clemson win, we know that Va. Tech still has pride. We can’t say the same for the ‘Canes.

15) Cal -17 vs. UCLA – The Bruins are still reeling from the near miss in South Bend, and Cal needs to erase the bad taste of the Washington game out of their mouth.


NFL

1) Atlanta -5 @ Detroit - Are you serious? Has anybody been paying attention to what Mike Vick and the Falcons’ offense has been doing recently?

2) Cincinnati +3 @ Baltimore – The Bengals can’t afford to lose this game. The Ravens can. Therefore, the Bengals are the pick. That’s how it works in the NFL.

3) Dallas -3 @ Washington – Romo! Romo! Romo!

4) N.Y.G. -13.5 vs. Houston – Good team/bad team. What choice do you have?

5) Chicago -13.5 vs. Miami - See #4 above.

6) San Diego -12.5 vs. Cleveland - See #4 & #5 above.

7) Denver +3 @ Pittsburgh - Roethlisberger is still playing quarterback for the Steelers, right?

8) New England -3 vs. Indy - Brady vs. Peyton in Prime Time. I can’t say no to the Pats. I just can’t quit them.


Enjoy your weekend everybody. Hold down the fort for me while I’m gone, and I’ll be sure to check in from the other side of the world!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

WAD Rankings Week #3

Another week…another version of The WAD Rankings:

1) Ohio State (#1 AP, #1 USA Today, Previously #1 WAD) - Still no signs of weakness.

2) Michigan (#2 AP, #2 USA Today, Previously #2 WAD) - Predictable workmanlike effort against Northwestern in tough weather conditions. They are just counting the days until the showdown in the Horseshoe. And, with any luck they will have their most lethal weapon, Mario Manningham, back in a week or two.

3) West Virginia (#3 AP, #3 USA Today, Previously #3 WAD) - It all comes down to this Thursday night for the ‘Neers. Unfortunately for them, winning might not be enough. They may need to win impressively.

4) Tennessee (#8 AP, #8 USA Today, Previously #4 WAD) - Another week and another impressive win for the Vols. Any time Fulmer beats Spurrier it’s a big deal. Couple that with the fact that they once again dominated the fourth quarter in an extremely hostile environment, and I just continue to be impressed by the Vols.

5) Texas (#4 AP, #4 USA Today, Previously #8 WAD) - On the surface, a four point win at a rather pedestrian Texas Tech might not look that impressive, but when you consider the fact that the Horns came back from 21 down in a hostile environment, made two huge defensive stops late in the 4th quarter, and the young Colt McCoy fully came of age in the second half, you have to be impressed. At least more impressed than any of the teams I previously had ranked ahead of them.

6) Auburn (#6 AP, #6 USA Today, Previously #5 WAD) - They struggled mightily at Ole Miss a week after Ole Miss got humiliated by Arkansas. Not to mention, Ole Miss was playing without half its defensive and offensive lines. They deserved to fall, and they would have fallen further if Florida had given me any reason to rank them above the Tigers.

7) Florida (#7 AP, #7 USA Today, Previously #6 WAD) – They were less than impressive against UGA, and every week that goes by makes me continue to wonder if they have enough offense to be considered a great team. I’d drop them further if I had another team to put ahead of them.

8) Arkansas (#12 AP, #12 USA Today, Previously #10 WAD) - With Clemson and SC losing, and with the Hogs doing what they were supposed to do against UL Monroe, they’ve got to move up. Right now, the Hogs are 7-1 with one of the most impressive wins of the year, at Auburn. Arakansas’ November presents a huge test for the Hogs, but it also poses a huge opportunity. With games at South Carolina, at Tennessee, and home against LSU, if the Hogs somehow run the table, they could end up being the cream of the one loss crop when all is said and done.

9) Louisville (#5 AP, #5 USA Today, Previously unranked by The WAD) – I just don’t have a choice. I mean, they are undefeated after 8 games, right? We’ll find out Thursday night whether they belong here or not.

10) Notre Dame (#11 AP, #10 USA Today, Previously unranked by The WAD) – Again, with Clemson and SC losing, somebody had to take their places. And, as many doubts as I have about the Irish, the fact of the matter is that they played a decent Navy team and dismantled them. I would have loved to put Cal in this spot, but they didn’t play, so the last memory I have of them is their struggle against Washington. And, I just can’t justify putting Rutgers, Boise State, LSU, Boston College, or Wisconsin in this spot, so the Irish get it out of default.

The Best of the Rest:

11) Cal

12) Wisconsin

13) LSU

14) Clemson

15) Boston College

16) Boise State

17) Rutgers