Trip to Daytona pt. 1

December 16th, 2004

Things got off to a bad start Friday afternoon as I began my excursion. I had a 7pm flight so I did the smart thing and left work at 4 in hopes of making decent time by hopefully beating the traffic. This plan was met with construction and bumper to bumper traffic.

I was thrilled.

Good thing I left early, however. I eventually made my way into the airport and found out that the gate from which I was set to depart was the furthest away from where I came in. I can use the exercise so I hoofed it to the gate and see "NY, La Guardia" on the monitor. Now last time I had checked New York was not on the way from Detroit to Orlando, but maybe they moved it. My gate was moved to right next to where I entered the airport. I make the trek back and wait in line to ask for my exit row seat.

Upon my asking, the woman behind the counter tells me that there are no empty seats available period, including exit row. She says she will write down my seat number and let me know if anything comes kind of her. Much to my surprise I was soon paged back to the counter. She hands me a new boarding pass marked "01 B". My only guess here is that there were openings in first class and they were trying to fit standby passengers on the flight. Why not bump and existing passenger to first class and let someone standby take his seat in economy? I like it.

This was only my second experience in first class and my first on this particular airline. As it turns out, this airline likes to flood your body with booze. Who knew?

Full story »

First Snow.

December 15th, 2004

Now, I know I am late with this post. I have been relatively busy recently. There is my excuse.

That aside, I managed to grab my camera on the morning of December the first before I headed off to work and took a few shots of my "first snow".

Ok, having lived in Michigan for the better part of my short life and in Pennsylvania for the rest, I've been through a snow fall or two. It even snowed the night before Thanksgiving, just three weeks ago. The snow flakes on the morning of December 1 were the first while I was living at my condo*.

The pictures are of the gazebo located right next to my building. When I opened my garage I thought it looked nice in the morning snow and decided to capture the moment. Sure it's lost on you all, but it was nice for me, so BACK OFF! I am still adjusting to this whole "owning my own home" thing. Please, be patient with me.

(*Due to my ankle injury I could not drive and had moved back in with my parents for about three weeks time which included the day of the earlier snow fall.)

December 8th, 2004
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
- Ronald E. Osborn

NFL Week 13.

December 8th, 2004

I'm going to get to the good stuff early this week so you can skip the rest if you so feel the need. You're welcome in advance.

The team to beat this year is the Philadelphia Eagles. What happened against the Steelers a few weeks ago to give the 'Birds their only loss of the season is certainly an anomaly. Say all you want about record numbers for Peyton Manning folks, I'll take Andy Reid's corps. What is the x-factor? Defense. Indianapolis may have the "Edge" on offense, but in a head to head match up I like Philadelphia. The only question becomes: Will the Eagles simply beat themselves in the NFC Championship? Give McNabb two out of the three Stokley/Wayne/Harrison to accompany TO and we'll again say goodbye to current record holders.

Are the Atlanta Falcons officially the most overrated 9-3 team? Blanked by the Bucs? They have serious Jekyll and Hyde issues in Atlanta that might need some attention from the front office. Is it chemistry? Do they not like each other? Would moving a few players around make a team that's rough around the edges play more cohesively? More consistently? I think it is safe to expect an early exit by the Falcons from the playoffs this year.

I continue to support the program in San Diego as they keep rolling, but I just cannot see them being too successful this post season. To me the Chargers are just a good mediocre team beating mediocre good teams right now. As much as I would rather see them play in February in the place of Colts/Pats, I won't hold my breath.

I look at the success some rookie quarterbacks have had in this league recently (Ben Roethlisberger/Chocolate Krenzel this year, David Carr a few years ago) and I like to think I can look forward to some rookie success by a new Lions quarterback next season. I'm sorry Joey, it is time I went public. Yes, you won in Arizona this week. Yes sometimes they simply drop the passes (Roy Williams), but you just seem preoccupied up there, buddy. Love life got you down? 90% of the women in Detroit would have your children. AND, if you start winning 90% of the men would too! What can we do? I am afraid it is entirely out of our control and we're forced to wait out your contract.

Sorry, I need a moment....

Ok, I'm better now.

So other than that no two teams combined for over 100 points, does that make week 13 a disappointment?

And wouldn't you know it: We finally had an exciting Monday Night game. What is a shame, however, is that the game sucked until 85% of the viewing audience gave up on it and went to bed. Go figure.

December 7th, 2004
Books are the quietest and most constant friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
- Charles W. Eliot

New England Patriots

December 3rd, 2004

It has been called into question why I leave the New England Patriots out of my week end comments. I want to set the record straight that the only reason they are excluded is because they are boring.

I wrote that they beat the record for wins, I wrote that they were beaten by the Pittsburgh Giant-killers. I feel as though I mentioned that they have a potent passing offense that holds threat of the "big play" more than any other offense in the league.

I leave them out the rest of the time because they are not flashy. They don't do any fun end-zone dances. Their games do not get exciting in the last few minutes. They are not a part of games with 13 touchdowns scored. They are quiet. They go out and win. I do give them that, but they do it with no style. I refuse to say they look good doin' it.

This may seem like an endorsement for the team in disguise, but understand it is not. Many people look at the characteristics listed above in a positive fashion. Many say that they are signs of winners, of championship ball clubs. So what.

I am a Detroit Lions fan through and through. I need flashy. My team will not make the playoffs this season. Please put teams together who will be fun to watch. The New England Patriots...are...BORING.

NFL Week 12.

December 2nd, 2004

There was more action in week 12, which is nice to see. I will admit, however, that my attention on football this past Sunday was lessened after the "Thursday Incident."

I think it is safe to say that I jinxed the Lions. It was my "Any Given Thursday" post that was intended to motivate the team, not demoralize them. It will be nice to be in the record books with Peyton Manning as one of the teams to help pad his stats...

Imagine eight weeks ago. You look at the upcoming schedule and you see Buffalo at Seattle. How many points do you favor Seattle by? 408?
Bills 38 - Seahawks 9.

Monday night Mark Bulger went 35-53 for 447 yards with 2 touchdowns. Brett Favre (in his record 200th consecutive start) was 18-27 for 215 and 3tds. Those numbers do not portray a 45-17 shellacking that the Rams took at the hand of the Packers. I do not like the Packers, but I do have a tremendous amount of respect for how Favre leads his team.

It was nice of Denver to play host to the Snow Bowl on Sunday as conditions were a little...precipitous. As the Broncos have rolled through this season, they hit a road block in the form of visiting Oakland Raiders. If anyone saw the catch Jerry Porter made over his outside shoulder at the end of the first half then you can share in my desire to see that in a highlight reel.

Congrats to those Dolphins down in Miami for winning their second game against a San Francisco team that could not have tried harder to lose. 4 fumbles? Did Tim Rattay start Miami's defense in his fantasy league this week?

In week 12 the real winners were the fans. I forget now which player it was, but I would like to thank whoever it was for celebrating his touchdown by parking it like it was hot.

I guess I can close with a comment on Cleveland v. Cincinnati. Not a big game. Not much happened aside from the 13 touchdowns and five field goals. Cleveland scored 48 points and gained 462 yards, and lost. I don't even know where to start...

I would also like to thank Jeremy Shockey for making himself look like an idiot again by catching 2 passes for 31 yards. His 26 yard catch was followed by a flapping of his arms as if he was Terrell Owens. Jeremy, don't taunt the team that is kicking your [expletive deleted]!

And can I say how perturbed I am for not being able to find a shot of Shockey mid-flap?!?!

Any Given Thursday

November 25th, 2004

There is a special aura surrounding Thanksgiving Day football. Consider, for example, the nation's biggest college football rivalry: Michigan and Ohio State. No matter the personnel, no matter the records of wins and losses, no matter the location, this game will always be competitive. Either team always has a chance to win. It is magical. Follow me, if you will, to the NFL. There is one such situation that is as magical as stated above, and that is the Detroit Lions playing on Thanksgiving. Detroit could be in the midst of a 2-14 season, they could be on their way to 6-10, but you can never count them out on Turkey Day. This is how it is. This is tradition.

Today, this needs to be explained to Joey Harrington. He is yet to realize today is a special day. He will be gifted beyond his ability today and needs to capitalize. The Lions face the most high powered offense in the NFL today as they match up with the Indianapolis Colts.

For a win today, the Lions need to come to play. I hope Joey buys into the tradition and leaves last week and previous weeks behind him and walks into Ford Field today a man possessed. If only we could give you our confidence in this team for one game to let you understand.

Today is not about NFC vs. AFC. Today is not about Super Bowl favorites vs. a team vying for a good draft pick. Today is about sheer emotion. Today is about Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving, the Lions come to play.

NFL Week 11.

November 25th, 2004

Another boring week of football. Maybe it's just me. I'll admit I'm ready for this season to be over. Perhaps I am just that excited about hoops, who knows? Anyway, down to business.

There were really no big surprises this week, maybe that is what is making these games unfun to watch. Of course, if Peyton Manning continues to play as he's been playing thus far, consider most if not all single season QB records shattered.

I guess there were two things that slightly stand out of the pack from this week.

-The Buffalo Bills are winning games. After starting the season as competition with the Miami Dolphins for bottom feeder of the year, the Bills have found a rhythm. Kudos to Willis McGahee for sparking this offense.

-Bill Parcells gave us our first taste of former Michigan Wolverine quarterback Drew Henson. After only a few weeks prior when Parcells said he would not start Henson since he was still yet to give up on this season, look for Henson to start in week 12. Infer from that what you will.

I cannot say enough about Eddie Drummond. This could be because his kick/punt return choreography overshadows all other news reported on the rest of the Detroit Lions, it could also be because he has emerged as one of, if not the single best return man in the league. Drummond was untouched this week as he took the opening kick off against the Vikes to the house (Lions lost).

Make a Wish

November 24th, 2004

An annual offer made to our employees is this: for $2 a day, you can "dress down" each day from Monday until the end of December (20 days in total). Fridays are already casual days here, so they are not paid for by the employees. All proceeds from this program go to charity.

A memo went around yesterday indicating we had the chance to vote for two charities to be the recipients of this year's donations.

What little I know about charities, my favorite was picked as one of the two. My $40 will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.