Chicago Bears? Not So Much

Just skimmed an article that says why the Chicago Bears are going to win the NFC title.

Count me among the skeptics.

They might do it. If they do, good for them, they will have deserved it.

But I gotta see it first.


Watching Raiders Evokes Pity, Nothing Else

Earlier this afternoon I saw Stephen Jackson of the Rams run through a big ol' hole in the Oakland Raiders' defense and score easily. As he made his turn at the back of the endzone a Raiders fan threw beer at him. (I assume it was beer-it was liquid anyway) Unfortuately for those zealous Oakland fans, who deserve better, and unfortunately for football fans in general, that beverage-chucking fan may have been the most passionate opposition Jackson saw all day. The NFL really needs the Raiders to get well and it's never going to happen as long as owner Al Davis continues to think he's the smartest guy in the room. Al keeps pushing all the buttons and the Raiders just get worse and worse. And the NFL needs them to get good in the same way Major League Baseball needs the Yankees to be good. These leagues need these teams to attract publicity and emotional reaction the way lightning rods attract lightning (I guess). Whether or not the metaphor works, the point is, it's no fun to watch the Raiders if they stink so bad I don't even bother to hate them. There was a time when the Raiders inspired passion, like the Yankees do. They made the playoffs every year in a time when only 4 teams advanced from each conference. They were good, they swaggered and they, usually, beat you. You either loved 'em or hated 'em and that was good for interest in the game and the league and for TV ratings. Here in the Midwest, we generally hated them, but it doesn't matter how you felt, the important thing was that you felt something. Right now, the Raiders only inspire ridicule or pity and that's too bad. Not because I like them, cause I don't. It's too bad because the NFL doesn't have a "Yankees" team that inspires passion from almost everyone. Even though the league is properous, it'd be more fun with somebody to hate.


Finding 'Bama a Coach is a Real Bear

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez turned down Alabama on Friday, telling his players that he'll be back for his sixth season with the Mountaineers.

Alabama fired Mike Shula on Nov. 26 after the Tide went 6-6 in his fourth season and lost its fifth consecutive meeting with rival Auburn.
The Tide had also made overtures to South Carolina's Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban of the Miami Dolphins, but both high-profile coaches opted to stay put.
Then, Alabama's attention turned squarely to Rodriguez, who had both the offensive pedigree and the track record for winning the Tide wanted.
It wasn't clear who the Tide will turn to now, though the university's original wish list also included Navy's Paul Johnson, Wake Forest's Jim Grobe and possibly California's Jeff Tedford.

For the record, I have no interest in the Alabama job.


Sgt Boggs

I just heard of Sgt Boggs and read his remarks on Powerline. Here is a man. This is the kind of person who should be leading our country. Read what he says.

Lileks Spot On, Again!

The situation in the Middle East (remind me to never, ever begin a sentence that way again) deteriorates day by day as the MSM and the liberals (sorry about the redundancy), so eager for the return of those halcyon days of defeat in Vietnam, are paving the way for our defeat in Iraq. With any luck we'll soon have sit-ins at most colleges and government buildings and Chicago, Detroit and LA will be in flames.

James Lileks, in his inimitable style, explains the sausage that is being made by our diplomats:

The Bush doctrine has been dead for some time, but this was the funeral oration. I don’t believe in “rope-a-dope,” and I don’t believe in the miraculous Israeli strike, and I don’t think the momentum can be reversed. It’s as if we invaded France and spent three years getting their government back on their feet before proceeding to Berlin. Given this, the debate over the ISG’s recommendations is rather superfluous, but the report does tell you where some people’s heads have become permanently socketed. Thanks to Captain Ed, who provided the following excerpt:
• Syria’s full adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of August 2006, which provides the framework for
Lebanon to regain sovereign control over its territory.
• Syria’s full cooperation with all investigations into political assassinations in Lebanon, especially those of Rafik
Hariri and Pierre Gemayel.
• A verifiable cessation of Syrian aid to Hezbollah and the use of Syrian territory for transshipment of Iranian weapons and aid to Hezbollah. (This step would do much to solve Israel’s problem with Hezbollah.)
• Syria’s use of its influence with Hamas and Hezbollah for the release of the captured Israeli Defense Force
• A verifiable cessation of Syrian efforts to undermine the democratically elected government of Lebanon.
All conducted under the watchful eyes of Unicorns, of course. Imagine a government report on organized crime, demanding the following:
* The Mafia’s full adherance to the RICO and IRS statutes concerning independent contractors, including but not limited to Social Security contributions, FICA regulations, as well as compliance with state and federal laws concerning murder, extortion and kidnapping
* The Mafia’s full cooperation with all investigations into the deaths of Artie “Two Sheds” Palini, Ricky “The Squid” Piscatori, Jackie the Gaspipe, Tommy Shoes, and 16,302 others
* A verifiable cessation of Mafia contributions to local law enforcement officials
* The Mafia should use its influence with the Russian and Irish mobs to find out what the hell happened to that poor guy who wandered into the back room when they were all having a sit-down
* A verifiable cessation of Mafia efforts to undermine and circumvent the laws in the states of New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Chicago, as well as Nevada and portions of Kansas City which Johnny Mook swears he has no control over, but some of those hits just have his style written all over them
If those things are done, well, the price of garbage hauling in selected municipalities might decrease. But I wouldn’t count on them happening, and I certainly wouldn’t argue that we should give the Mafia Staten Island in the hopes some age-old territorial grievance will be settled for good.
Happy infamy day, by the way.

Here's Some More Christmas!

The estimable Hugh Hewitt reprints a wonderful speech given by the Most Rev. Charles Chaput at a prayer breakfast out on the Left Coast. Should be read.


It's Christmas

I have said for serveral years now that it's not Christmas until we sing "Silent Night" at church. That song, for me, is so evocative, conjuring up all the warmth and joy of the season and it lasts long enough to envelope and soothe like the steam that lazily rises from a mug of cocoa. Tonight our pastor spoke of the Incarnation and afterward we took the Lord's Supper. While the bread was passed around the pianist and the organist played "Silent Night".

I nearly wept.

Here's one of the verses:

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

And from the Bible:
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

That God would take on flesh and die for the sins of His people is mouth-shuttingly stunning.

You could nearly weep.

God? Which God?

There are a lot of brilliant minds in the world of Christendom these days and we are blessed to have them - it's one of God's mercies. Among the most lucid and challenging of these minds is John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. This article is not only food for the soul, but adds clarity to very muddled representations of the issues facing us in post-9/11 days.


Michigan Snubbed

I'm a Missouri fan. That right there should tell you that I'm used to pain, but that's not really the point because I'm not in pain. I am used to disappointment and Michigan is experiencing a boatload of that right now. What I mean to say is, I have no great love for the Wolverines or their fans - I can empathize - but, no great love from here. I don't too much care for the Big 10 (11) one way or the other, I can take it or leave it. That said, Michigan got ripped off.

Ohio State will play Florida for college football's championship.
How is a casual football fan like myself supposed to get revved up about this game? Once upon a time there was a game that I was intensely interested in. It was the Ohio St. - Michigan battle that took place a few weeks back. One ESPN radio talker called it the "game of your lifetime". What would be wrong with another game of my lifetime? What's so wrong with seeing somebody give Ohio St. a scare, huh? Maybe even beat them? Don't you want the best game? I thought we did.

However we won't see it. We're getting 'Gators instead. The Florida Gators. They just escaped Arkansas. Arkansas. They have no passing attack. One dimensional. And they hung 28 on Florida. What do you suppose the Buckeyes will do to them? Yeah. This game will be over by halftime. Somewhere in the third quarter America will looking for the remote.

Michigan, on the other hand, proved in Columbus that they can go toe-to-toe with the Buckeyes. Heck, Michigan might win the game on a neutral field. But no. Voters apparently don't want ANOTHER titantic struggle, they want variety. What a Croc.

And Michigan will beat USC, the OTHER team the voters got a crush on after Michigan lost to allegedly the best team in the country. That was right before the Bruins demonstrated they were not worthy. And Ohio St. will crush Florida. And the final poll will have the Buckeyes first and the Wolverines second.

And many will say that, It's too bad we don't have that Plus One game so number one and number two could go at it.

Don't you see? You could have already had the game you are gonna be pining for.