Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Conform and be dull

1) Did anybody notice that in the span of about three months the 10-year note went from yielding over 5% to 4.56% yesterday? Due to an assortment of reasons, I've pretty much ignored my bond portfolio since I took the comps, and boy if I wasn't in for a shock when I did. Look at the freaking yield curve. There is definitely not a lot of confidence out there, especially with the 5 year. This is one wacky economy.

2) So why does it seem the Pats can never beat the fucking Broncos? I mean, I've hated them since John "I'm a bitch and won't play for Baltimore" Elway was engineering his last-minute magic in the superbowl, bring the deficit under 50 points with like 20 minutes to play, and I think the Pats have beaten them twice since then. I don't get it. With one exception in each case, the last 5 years or so have played out like some NFL version of Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Broncos alway beat the Pats, the Pats always beat the Colts, and the Colts always beat the Broncos. It annoys the hell out of me, because I hate Denver so much.

3) And another thing, what is up with the refereeing in the NFL? Granted, I didn't expect much from the douche-bag in the Pats-Broncos game since he blatantly hates the Patriots (for evidence, see his diatribe at Brady in Miami at the beginning of overtime when he switched what was heads and tails on the coin toss). I never expect him to ref a Pats game fairly. But it does seem like, in the Pats-Broncos, Pats-Jets, and Cinci-Pittsburgh game (the three games I have watched live this year) that the referees are going nuts. Apparently roughing the quarterback is any hit that occurs when the quartback is about to think about throwing the ball, a reciever can get a defensive pass-interference penalty by just putting his arm on a defender (especially if his name is Asante Samuel), and offensive linemen stopped holding entirely.

Look, I'm not there on the field, and I get the benefit of replay, but if a defender is about to hit a quarterback/make a tackle and then a lineman is engaging that defender from the side and he is completely out of the play, that usually isn't organic.

If the quarterback has a man in his face as he releases the ball, it isn't roughing the passer if the guy hits him. Neither is it roughing the passer if the player is hit from behind by a lineman, hits into the QB's thigh, and slides down to his ankle. It also isn't roughing the passer if the lineman breathes in his general direction or reaches his hand out at him from behind the line off scrimmage.

And pass interference at this point is absolutely ridiculous. It is called inconsistently, irrationally, and often times on the wrong player. Maybe it is worse for the Pats because of their reputation, or maybe it is just my jaded view thinking it is, but half the time it is called on the defense it occurs because the offensive player initiated the contact. The refs need to remember that the defenders don't know which route the receiver is running, and if he is at the point where the ball is being thrown to, that isn't a penalty. If the receiver touches the defender and the defender pushes his arm away, that is a penalty on the offense.

Honestly, the refereeing is so bad, particularly in the passing game, that I almost don't want to watch the NFL anymore. And I mean this about non-Pats related games as well (though obviously I watch more Pats games than non-pats games), but I just feel cheated when drives are kept alive or teams handed 1st-and-goals by referees. I feel like I didn't watch a game as much as I watched a script, an extravagant WWE match that favors passing touchdowns without receptions, quarterbacks who throw with impunity and can hold onto the ball until the Rapture comes without fear of being hit because they know that their linemen will just hold the rushers and cut-block their legs in a consequence-free environment. And if somehow he does get hit, well, that's a free 15-yards from the yellow flag, a small price to pay to orchestrate a scoring drive by penalty. Hell, why throw a 10-yard out that can be intercepted when you can get 15 yards on a roughing the passer penalty?

Is this really the game I love? Really? Fuck!

4) The Resident Female and I, as well as the Lynchpin, all watched Heroes and Studio 60 last night, and we were surprisingly pleased by both. It seems that NBC's mad push at relevance seems to have paid at least some early dividends. I'm not saying their back to Seinfeld, Friends, ER, TGIF heyday just yet, but they seem to have a few shows with some promise going. I'm as shocked as you.

5) Deion Branch. Okay, this annoys me. Granted, I don't think BB was particularly forgiving in the whole showdown, but the Pats did offer him a fair contract (actually, they offered him 3 of them). But we did need him. Sure, receiver is not the place that a team should dump a large portion of its salary cap, especially one with the offensive philosophy of the Pats, but still. Reche Caldwell? Troy Brown in his 14th season? Okay, I like Doug Gabriel and Chad Jackson, but I don't think they have much this year. But the unintended consequence from this whole thing is that Brady now looks like he was just pistol whipped and forced to watch his dog get run over repeatedly. And can you blame him? The guy takes the hometown discount in order to leave some money for his teammates, and they all end up leaving in no small part because of management. Sure, Givens got overpaid, and Branch probably got more than he should have, but this still stinks.

6) Here are my least favorite teams in all of sports:

10. Texas Rangers - Tom Hicks and his "we're talking about trading A-Rod for Manny as a way to replace Nomar" bullshit earned them a place on this list, especially since he wanted the Sox to pick up more than 125% of that ridiculous contracted that he paid an extra $100mm for. Jackass.
9. Houston Astros - Roger Clemens can chew on the back of my ass. And what drunken southern hick thought it was a good idea to put a hill, complete with a flag pole, in the fucking outfield? Why stop there? Did they nix the idea to have a bunch of tires in the basepath so that the runner needs to step in each one on the way home? Or a moat around the pitcher's mound? "Hey, let's be the only 3-D field in the majors, and toss in a massive metal pole sticking out of the ground just for good measure. " Fucking Texas.
8. Toronto Blue Jays - Now that Hillenbrand is gone, I don't reallly dislike them so much as I just fear them. The Sox can't seem to ever pitch well against these guys.
7. Indianapolis Colts - They will remain on this list until 1) Peyton Manning stops doing those crappy commercials, 2) Jim Irsay moves them back to Baltimore, and 3) They put Jim Harbaugh back at starting QB.
6. Baltimore Orioles - Just something about them drives me nuts.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers - Honestly, if Joey Porter doesn't shut up, somebody is going to pop a cap in his ass. Oh, right.
4. New York Jets - Maybe they slid a place or two because they have blown huge donkey goats for a few years, but there is just something about these division rivals that makes my skin crawl. Even if it is a priviledge to write about and be lectured by Chad Pennington.
3. Broncos - When your blocking scheme is to ruin the livelihood of defensive linemen, you make the top 3 on general principle.
2. Canadiens - Flop, flop, flop! Zee Great White North: where it is like soccer on ice!
1. Yankees - Despite what Rocco and Guido from Jersey say, they are pure, unadulterated evil. It's like the rich kid who is a fuck up, but it doesn't matter because daddy will buy them success, then tries to convince you that they are classy and hard-workers. If classy means paying gaudy and ridiculous amounts of money for a bunch of players who have admitted to either taking steroids or smelling like chilled grapefruit, then I don't ever want to be classy.


At 3:58 PM, September 28, 2006, Anonymous Dorf said...

Regarding the chilled grapefruit comment:

"Derek Jeter will launch a fragrance in conjunction with Avon this fall. 'Driven' is a fresh fougère, blended from top notes of grapefruit, oakmoss and spice; middle notes of rhubarb, iced lavender, cardamom and American spearmint, and bottom notes of bamboo, pacific driftwood, wengue wood and snow musk."



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