Ashworth Omnibus of Knowledge

March 17, 2010 1 comment

I needed inspiration.
Queue Rocky music.

My readership has dipped below the Mendoza and Trudeau lines respectively, and I needed something to get me going again.  If my life was a movie, this part would be where Forrest Gump gets bored cutting grass and decides to start running across the country.

Tangent: Did you ever notice that Forrest Gump, low IQ and all, was good at running and that made him for life?  Running!  I need to find something basic and do it really well.  More on that later.  Forrest was also good at telling stories, but he was really bad at directions considering he was sitting within walking distance of Jenny’s apartment while telling his two hour tale.  I digress.

Recently, while I was at work I came across the word omnibus.

om-ni-bus
n.

A printed anthology of the works of one author or of writings on related subjects.
I’ve finally awoken from my Chris Webber timeout haze, and realized that the world needs my knowledge and more importantly my cutting wit, and it will be compiled here as  The Ashworth Omnibus of Knowledge (AOK).

Chapter 1 – Less is More

It’s March and that can only mean one thing: Jim Nance.  Seriously, it starts this week with the NCAA Tournament (I think they should add “of Champions” to make it have more of a Gladiator feel) brought to you by Clash of the Titans

(no kidding, Liam Neeson as Zeus is sponsoring the NCAA Tournament of Champions).  That means you will hear Jim Nance’s voice starting this week until the end of the tournament, then it’s Masters, and it will continue until the end of football next year.  We’ve only had a two month break from Jim Nance.  There are only two seasons in the calendar year: Winter and Jim Nance.  Let that sink in for a moment.  A tradition like any other: Jim Nance.
Speaking of the NCAA Tournament brought to you by Clash of the Titans, there has been a lot of talk about expanding the tournament to 96 teams in the future.  In fact, here is a Google search for 96 teams NCAA Tournament. Bad idea.  Let’s face it, at 64 teams you already have mediocre teams: Florida, Notre Dame, Wake Forest.  Don’t get me started on Duke’s region.  You’re telling me you want to add 32 more mediocre to bad teams.  You want to add Virginia Tech?  Mississippi State? We might as well have all 347 schools participate in one all-inclusive Mega-Tournament of Champions–including my Alma Mater Campbell University Fighting Camels.  No Thank you.  I don’t want to see Gaylord running the baselines.  Less is more.

By the way, every year we have to bear the rending of garments for the 3-4 teams that “deserved to get in.”  The only teams that deserve to get into the tournament are the teams that win their conference tournaments.  You want in to the Tournament of Champions, you have to win.  You don’t win, don’t feel bad that you didn’t get invited.  It’s like Johnny Cage losing to Kano, but still wanting a piece of Shang Tsung.  Get over yourself Johnny!

Speaking of  “Less is More,” Sylvester Stallone pushed his luck with Rocky V.  Then after destroying the franchise, he tried to resurrect it with Rocky Balboa.  You stopped Ivan Drago in his tracks and ended the Cold War, what more did you want to accomplish?  And was Burt Young cryogenically frozen for 16years?

On a different note,  if you’re a boxer, how do you take a role in a movie, unless you want to make money and are fine with ending your career.  It’s not the Madden curse or the SI curse…it’s worse!  It’s the Boxer-Movie Curse.  Lennox Lewis looked like he spent one too many nights at the casino at MGM Grand when he fought Rahman after filming Ocean’s Eleven, and Antonio Tarver dropped 50 pounds and lost his title after Rocky Balboa.

But the ultimate Boxer-Movie curse goes to…Dun! Dun! Dun!  Tommy Morrison after Rocky V.  Remember Tommy Gun (incidentally a hilarious porn actor name)?  Tommy Morrison went on to win two titles (over Foreman and Rudduck) but then was forced out of boxing when he tested positive for HIV.  Then he went the predictable route of going to jail for guns and drugs.  The Boxer-Movie Curse Lifetime Achievement Award goes to…Tommy Morrison.  Remember Stallone, less is more.

One of the best speeches of all time:  The Gettysburg Address. Only 269 words.

Who spoke before Abraham Lincoln?  Edward Everett.  13,607 words in 2 hours.
Never heard of the guy and  I don’t know what he said.

It’s the difference between a good comedian and a great comedian.

A good comedian can make you laugh, but a great comedian knows when to walk off and leave you wanting more.

Thus ends the Chapter 1 of the Ashworth Omnibus of Knowledge.  It wasn’t the most logical and coherent piece of work ever, but I shall hone my skills and continue to pour forth my wisdom upon the world…or at the very lease, the two people that happen to stumble across this blog on a google search.

The Omnibus of Knowledge is leaving the station.

Until next time.

T@

Categories: Uncategorized

The Ashworth Omnibus of Knowledge

I needed inspiration.
Queue Rocky music.

My readership has dipped below the Mendoza and Trudeau lines respectively, and I needed something to get me going again.  If my life was a movie, this part would be where Forrest Gump gets bored cutting grass and decides to start running across the country.

Tangent: Did you ever notice that Forrest Gump, low IQ and all, was good at running and that made him for life?  Running!  I need to find something basic and do it really well.  More on that later.  Forrest was also good at telling stories, but he was really bad at directions considering he was sitting within walking distance of Jenny’s apartment while telling his two hour tale.  I digress.

Recently, while I was at work I came across the word omnibus.

om-ni-bus
n.

A printed anthology of the works of one author or of writings on related subjects.
I’ve finally awoken from my Chris Webber timeout haze, and realized that the world needs my knowledge and more importantly my cutting wit, and it will be compiled here as  The Ashworth Omnibus of Knowledge (AOK).

Chapter 1 – Less is More

It’s March and that can only mean one thing: Jim Nance.  Seriously, it starts this week with the NCAA Tournament (I think they should add “of Champions” to make it have more of a Gladiator feel) brought to you by Clash of the Titans

(no kidding, Liam Neeson as Zeus is sponsoring the NCAA Tournament of Champions).  That means you will hear Jim Nance’s voice starting this week until the end of the tournament, then it’s Masters, and it will continue until the end of football next year.  We’ve only had a two month break from Jim Nance.  There are only two seasons in the calendar year: Winter and Jim Nance.  Let that sink in for a moment.  A tradition like any other: Jim Nance.
Speaking of the NCAA Tournament brought to you by Clash of the Titans, there has been a lot of talk about expanding the tournament to 96 teams in the future.  In fact, here is a Google search for 96 teams NCAA Tournament. Bad idea.  Let’s face it, at 64 teams you already have mediocre teams: Florida, Notre Dame, Wake Forest.  Don’t get me started on Duke’s region.  You’re telling me you want to add 32 more mediocre to bad teams.  You want to add Virginia Tech?  Mississippi State? We might as well have all 347 schools participate in one all-inclusive Mega-Tournament of Champions–including my Alma Mater Campbell University Fighting Camels.  No Thank you.  I don’t want to see Gaylord running the baselines.  Less is more.

By the way, every year we have to bear the rending of garments for the 3-4 teams that “deserved to get in.”  The only teams that deserve to get into the tournament are the teams that win their conference tournaments.  You want in to the Tournament of Champions, you have to win.  You don’t win, don’t feel bad that you didn’t get invited.  It’s like Johnny Cage losing to Kano, but still wanting a piece of Shang Tsung.  Get over yourself Johnny!

Speaking of  “Less is More,” Sylvester Stallone pushed his luck with Rocky V.  Then after destroying the franchise, he tried to resurrect it with Rocky Balboa.  You stopped Ivan Drago in his tracks and ended the Cold War, what more did you want to accomplish?  And was Burt Young cryogenically frozen for 16years?

On a different note,  if you’re a boxer, how do you take a role in a movie, unless you want to make money and are fine with ending your career.  It’s not the Madden curse or the SI curse…it’s worse!  It’s the Boxer-Movie Curse.  Lennox Lewis looked like he spent one too many nights at the casino at MGM Grand when he fought Rahman after filming Ocean’s Eleven, and Antonio Tarver dropped 50 pounds and lost his title after Rocky Balboa.

But the ultimate Boxer-Movie curse goes to…Dun! Dun! Dun!  Tommy Morrison after Rocky V.  Remember Tommy Gun (incidentally a hilarious porn actor name)?  Tommy Morrison went on to win two titles (over Foreman and Rudduck) but then was forced out of boxing when he tested positive for HIV.  Then he went the predictable route of going to jail for guns and drugs.  The Boxer-Movie Curse Lifetime Achievement Award goes to…Tommy Morrison.  Remember Stallone, less is more.

One of the best speeches of all time:  The Gettysburg Address. Only 269 words.

Who spoke before Abraham Lincoln?  Edward Everett.  13,607 words in 2 hours.
Never heard of the guy and  I don’t know what he said.

It’s the difference between a good comedian and a great comedian.

A good comedian can make you laugh, but a great comedian knows when to walk off and leave you wanting more.

Thus ends the Chapter 1 of the Ashworth Omnibus of Knowledge.  It wasn’t the most logical and coherent piece of work ever, but I shall hone my skills and continue to pour forth my wisdom upon the world…or at the very lease, the two people that happen to stumble across this blog on a google search.

The Omnibus of Knowledge is leaving the station.

Until next time.

T@

Categories: Uncategorized

A Time to Break the Silence

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I just finished reading Martin Luther King’s “A Time to Break the Silence,” a speech he gave at a meeting at Riverside Church in NYC on April 4, 1967 exactly one year before his assassination.

Usually on MLK Day you hear about the “I Have a Dream” speech or “The Mountain Top” speech or even “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”  These are all wonderful words from King, however, I wanted to read something new and challenging. If you choose to indulge, I hope it challenges you.

Several things I noticed from this speech.

1.  When you read “A Time to Break the Silence,” you’ll notice a difference in the language — it sounds different.   MLK is still the prophet and poet, but now in 1967  his tone is more urgent and ominous, which shows in his phrasing:

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today.  We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.  In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late.  Procrastination is still the thief of time.  Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity.”

No longer is freedom ringing from every village and hamlet.  You no longer get black children and white children holding hands, but King is talking about the revolution of values needed for America to be on the right side of history and change.  The booming voice that cries out with a vision of hope for a renewed America is now forewarning America about the dangers of war in Vietnam.  If you read “I See The Promised Land,”  also called “The Mountain Top” speech, you’ll pick up some of the same weariness and sullenness in the words.  It’s almost as if King knows he won’t live to see the changes he’s struggled for, if change will come at all.  He is the prophet who longs for a better society but comes to the realization that he will not get there.  He is Moses encroaching upon the Promised Land.   If “I Have a Dream” moves you, this one should disturb you.

2.  This MLK is more dangerous and socially unacceptable.  Even though protesting the war fit within MLK’s ideology, it was this speech and others in the final years of his life that alienated King from even those in his own community.  President Johnson was enfuriated with King after he came out against the war, and saw it as an insult after Johnson himself had worked with African-American leaders and Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act in 1964.  It was one thing to push for civil rights, quite another to protest the war.  He even went so far as to encourage people to become conscientious objectors to the war.  And this MLK speaks of revolution, about breaking the “thing-oriented” system of society, where nations “maintain social stability for our investment accounts.”

“These are revolutionary times.  All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born.  The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before.  The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.  We in the West must support these revolutions.  It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries.”

Harsh words.  Anti-patriotic some would say.   Nevertheless, he foresaw America as a Status-Quo keeper and not a Peacekeeper, that is, America as keeping the systems that benefit us economically and ideologically.  If we have to go to war with a country to show that we can defeat Communism, even if it destroys the nation we are trying to liberate, so be it.  MLK warned America of troubles in South America, Africa, and Asia if we didn’t re-think our values systems.  And he was right.  Now we are facing those same problems in the Middle East.    If someone were to give this speech today, he or she would be liberal, anti-patriotic, unsupportive of the troops, and un-American.  I give you Martin Luther King.

3.  My grandfather was a helicopter pilot during Vietnam, and he tells almost verbatim the political history of Vietnam that King gives in this speech, and my grandfather and MLK are worlds apart.  In other words, no matter what your political ideology, King had it right.  King saw the deadly game that America was playing by refusing to recognize Vietnamese independence and supporting French colonization, backing an authoritarian government under Ngo Dinh Diem, and ultimately leading Vietnam down the path of war.  He also saw this as a never-ending cycle unless America re-thought its values system.

“Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken — the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.  We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society.  When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

And he was right.  Look at where we are today.  I’m not implying that Iraq or Afghanistan equals Vietnam, but there are correlations.  We support one leader in the fight against one country, only to be burned later.  Then we rush in for regime change not thinking about the consequences, and we start the game all over again.  Our self interests preclude us from finding creative ways to foster peace and stability in regions throughout the world without coercion and force.

4.  King’s “Dream” is still in progress.  Almost 42 years ago King was assassinated.  Only 6 years before that the Civil Rights Act passed.  That means my parents were born into an era still marred with segregation.  It’s hard to imagine that.  Before that my grandparents were going through the depression and WWII.  And just beyond that generation lies the aftermath of the Civil War.  For some people, we’re only talking 4-5 generations removed from the Civil War.  We’re only 46 years  removed from the Civil Rights Act and only 147 years from the Emancipation Proclamation.  A century and a half seems a long time ago, but many of you have great grandfathers/mothers or great great grandfathers/mothers who lived when slavery was still legal.  And considering our country declared independence only 234 years ago and ratified its constitution 220 years ago, African-American’s have been long-suffering in their pursuit of happiness.  It was only 2 years ago in 2008, when the United States nominated and elected its first African-American President (our 44th President).  We’ve only had these 46 years, less than half a century, where African American’s have not had the yoke of slavery and segregation, and even then they’ve had to fight the status quo and systematic racism that exists even today.   And even after all that, King’s dream was about more than racial equality.  It became a dream where a revolution of values would declare “eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.”  King’s dream is still a work in progress. We are the Joshua generation to King’s dream.

I have officially broken my silence.
And now its time to break yours.  Leave your thoughts and criticisms.

T@

Categories: Uncategorized

Victory Begins Here

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

I was bored today at work and I wrote a commercial in my head.

Nike if you decide to use this idea, all I ask for is $200,000.

Fade in.
Black background w/intimate lighting.
Tiger Woods sitting on stool/chair wearing a golf shirt (not red).  No hat.
Closeup on Tiger.

“I’m not perfect.”
I always strive to be the best
But even I have bad days.”

Cue footage of Tiger shanking drives, missing putts, breaking clubs, etc.  The worst of the worst Tiger shots.
Here is a good sample

“Sometimes it gets painful.
But you have to play through.”

“And in the end, if you persevere…
This is what champions are made of…”

Fade to black.

Fade in white letters

Victory Begins Here

Nike logo.
Nike should shoot this commercial sometime in the new year and shelve it until Tiger is playing in a major on a Saturday/Sunday.  Imagine if Tiger somehow made it back to the Masters/US Open this year and was in contention.  Forget about all the insanity surrounding his life and the cornucopia of opinions about him.  If I’m a guy, a sports guy, sitting on the couch on a Sunday knowing that Tiger has a shot at a major and this commercial comes on, I’m getting chills.

Categories: Uncategorized

John Fox Should Go…and His Gum

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Banned in 49 States

I’m writing here because my other website has been censored by WordPress.  Here is the message I received:

Warning: We have a concern about some of the content on your blog. Please click here to contact us as soon as possible to resolve the issue and re-enable posting.

I’m pretty sure it was the Christmas Vacation quote that got me blacklisted.
Until  I can get the other blog off the Vatican’s banned blog list, I’ll be posting here.

Get in the Zone but not AutoZone

You’re In the Zone.
And John Fox is on the Hot Seat.

This season the Carolina Panthers are 2-4, with losses to Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, and Buffalo.  In those losses, Carolina was outscored 61 points by its opponents.

Carolina’s two wins this season are against Tampa Bay and Washington.  In those wins, Carolina outscored its opponents by only 10 points.

If St Louis, Cleveland, Tennessee, Tampa Bay, and Kansas City weren’t so bad (a combined 2-32), you could make an argument that Carolina is one of the worst teams in the league.

“Jake The Steak”

The focus at this point is on Jake Delhomme.  Consider his stats this season:

  • Jake Delhomme  106/177 59.9% 1172 yds 4 TD 13 INT 56.5 Rating

In terms of QB rating, there are only three Quarterbacks in the NFL worse than Delhomme this season:

  • Josh Johnson  63-125  50.4%  685 yds  4 TD  8 INT  50.9 Rating
  • JaMarcus Russell  74-160  46.3%  891 yds  2 TD  8 INT  47.2 Rating
  • Derek Anderson  60-137  43.8%  605 yds  2 TD  7 INT  40.6 Rating

Many Panther fans out there (a conservative estimate would be 70-80%) including myself, have been calling for Jake Delhomme to be benched, cut, or traded.  It makes sense.  He has thrown three times as many interceptions as touchdowns so far this season.  Sure he’s accurate with a 60% completion percentage but out of his other 71 throws, 13 of them (or 18.3%) are going to the other team as interceptions.

At the current rate, Delhomme is projected to throw 35 interceptions this season.  The current record is 42 interceptions held by George Blanda for Houston in 1962.  Delhomme is on a 7 game stretch (including the dreadful playoff lost to Arizona last year) of 18 interceptions and 3 fumbles.  On top of that, in Carolina’s last two playoff losses Jake Delhomme was 32-69  49.2 %  401 yds  2 TD  8 INT  1 Fumble  35.0 Rating.

Jake and the Rocky V Phase

Watching Jake Delhomme recently is like watching Rocky V.  It’s part of the franchise so you watch it, but you can’t wait for the nightmare to be over.  It’s a predictable plot.  A loveable loser comes out of nowhere, wins the title, and after all his successes he loses it all and returns to loveable loser status, except he’s not as loveable this time around. At the end you’re wondering why you wasted two hours of your life.  Jake Delhomme is in the Rocky V phase of his career.  Let’s hope he doesn’t make it to Rocky VI (aptly named Rocky Balboa in the hopes we might forget the aberration of Rocky V).  Kurt Warner is currently in the Rocky VI phase of his career and almost made it to the unheard of Rocky VII phase.

Moore or Less Feeley

The problem with benching or cutting Delhomme (the trade deadline has already passed so that Titanic has sailed) at this point is: 1) the Panthers recently signed 34 year-old Delhomme to a 5 year $42.5 million contract extension.  You don’t sign a Quarterback to that kind of contract unless he’s the guy,  the ace, the franchise player.  If they bench or cut him now, the Panthers would be saying “he’s not our guy anymore; he’s not our franchise player.”  In essence, they would be paying franchise money to a backup to hold a clipboard and wear a headset.  Even if they wanted to trade him at the end of the season, they wouldn’t get much value for him.  2)  Also, look at talent (or lack thereof) behind Delhomme on the bench:

  • A.J. Feeley  23 Games  372-665  55.9%  4070 yds  27 TD  29 INT
    69.6 Rating
  • Matt Moore  10 Games  69-122  56.6%  793 yds  3 TD  6 INT
    64.0 Rating
  • Josh McCown  47 Games  610-1058  57.7 %  6584 yds  35 TD
    40 INT  71.3 Rating

First of all, you have to eliminate McCown from the discussion because he’s on the Injured Reserve list.  Between Feeley and Moore, they have around 2 seasons worth of experience, their completion percentages are worse than Delhomme’s, they both have more interceptions than touchdowns, and while their QB ratings are better than Delhomme’s, it’s not much of an improvement.  You’re talking about replacing a former (strong emphasis on former) Pro-Bowler with an un-proven career backup.  You’d basically be saying, “our year is over and we’re looking forward to the draft.”  I’m not against that, but it’s going to be a long season watching Feeley and/or Moore getting sacked and throwing interceptions.  Meanwhile Jake Delhomme keeps cashing in those paychecks.

“He Called You Wildcat Before”

The other option is for Carolina to shift to a Wildcat (anytime I hear this word I picture Dennis Hopper, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in Speed) style offense.  The only time I’ve seen this work for the Panthers in a game situation was in 2006 against Atlanta.  Jake Delhomme was out with an injury and Chris Weinke (yes that Chris Weinke) was the backup.  Carolina rushed 52 times for 183 yards and passed 7 times for 11 yards…and won 10-7.  I could see this being folded into Carolina’s offense, but not as a solution to the Quarterback problem.   Eventually, somebody has to throw the ball and I don’t trust a running back anymore than a Quarterback who’s lost his arm, his mind and his mojo…unless that running back is Bo Jackson.  Bo knows Wildcat.

The Usual Suspects

So what is Carolina’s problem?

The consensus is Delhomme at this point as I’ve argued above.  Rocky V.  We’d love to forget it but Burt Young always had this uncanny sense of unintended comedy and so we tune in, even with commercials.  A change at Quarterback is bound to happen, but it’s unlikely to help.  For every Tom Brady and Kurt Warner, there are a million Feeleys and Moores (i.e. that Weinke).  If they go Wildcat, it will be an entertaining year which will bring a losing season, but not a first round pick.  Read below for the explanation.

Blame it on the Rain (or Hurney)

You could make an argument that the front office is to blame.  Why did they franchise Julius Peppers for 1 year $16.7 million when he probably won’t re-sign next year and when Carolina foolishly refuses to utilize him as a versatile DE/OLB?  Why did they sign 34-year-old Jake Delhomme to a 5 year $42.5 million after a 5 interception playoff loss, when you know he’s on the post-30-year-old down slope of his career?

In terms of draft picks, if you look at the draft dating back to 2002, Carolina has done relatively well in the first round: Julius Peppers, Jordan Gross, Chris Gamble, Thomas Davis, DeAngelo Williams, Jon Beason, and Jonathan Stewart.  Chris Gamble would be the weakest of the picks but he was a late first rounder.  Carolina was one of the teams that passed on Aaron Rodgers in 2005 when they drafted Thomas Davis at 14, and in 2008 Carolina drafted Jonathan Stewart at 13 and Jeff Otah at 19, while Baltimore took Joe Flacco at 18.  DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are a good running back tandem, but you have to consider that you’ve spent two first round picks for the production of one running back.

Outside the first round, Carolina has bombed.  None of the wide receivers have panned out: Walter Young, Keary Colbert, Drew Carter, and Dwayne Jarrett.  The only quarterbacks they’ve drafted since 2002 were Randy Fasani and Stefan LeFors, who never saw the light of day.  The best pick outside the first round that still plays with the Panthers, would either be Travelle Wharton or Dante Rosario.  Yeah it’s that bad.

To top it all off, Carolina didn’t have a first round pick in 2009 since they traded up in 2008 to get Jeff Otah.  Philadelphia ended up with the pick and took Jeremy Maclin.  And unless they work some trade magic, they won’t have a first round pick in 2010 since they traded up in 2009 for second round pick Everette Brown and fourth round Mike Goodson. Unless they find a diamond in the rough, a Tom Brady or Terrell Davis, 2010 could be another painful season to watch.

Carolina has made some head-scratching moves as of late.  It’s like watching a senior citizen trying to operate a computer.  It has entertainment value but you have a deep-seeded urge to take over the whole operation before something expensive gets irreparable damage.  But overall, Carolina is still talented and  great teams win with the talent they have.  A great coach can make average players good and good players great.

It’s Merely a Flesh Wound

Another argument that people throw out there is injuries. If you look at Carolina’s injury report, the players that have been injured through the season: Steve Smith, Dante Rosario, Na’il Diggs, Jonathan Stewart, Thomas Davis, Brad Hoover, and Jeff Otah and Everette Brown.  It’s part of the game.  Obviously, if half of your starters are out with injuries it’s going to create problems.  The second stringers don’t have comparable talent and the game experience.  Injuries happen to every team though.  Great teams play through injuries.  Without Tom Brady last season, the Patriots went 11-5 and would’ve made the playoffs if they had been in any other division.  Injuries aren’t the problem.

All of these factors have contributed to an abysmal start to the 2009 season, but it’s not why Carolina is playing their worst football in 8 years.

The Violet Beaureguarde Factor

My argument is the predictable but underrated argument that coaching is the problem.
This is why I think it’s time for the Panthers and John Fox (and his gum) to part ways.

In the Willy Wonka of NFL coaches, John Fox is Violet Beaureguarde.  You know John Fox has broken Violet’s gum-chewing streak.  Andy Reid is Augustus Gloop (Wade Phillips is a close second), Eric Mangini is Veruca Salt, Josh McDaniels is Mike Teevee, and Sean Payton is Charlie Bucket (with an honorable mention for Brad Childress).

Andy Reid will be sucked into the Chocolate river after trying, awkwardly and unsuccessfully, to include Michael Vick into the offense, as well as losing Brian Westbrook to injury and once again giving up on running the ball midway through the season by gorging himself on the West Coast Offense.  John Fox will become a giant blueberry after the three course dinner gum, which he will chew all season.  Course 1 is the appetizer: Jake Delhomme 4 TD 13 INT.  Course 2 is the entree: Matt Moore/A.J. Feeley.  Course 3 is the dessert: Wildcat sans-quarterback.  After this season, John Fox will be rolled out and juiced.  Eric Mangini is a bad egg and will plummet down a garbage chute into the Chocolate Golden Egg Sorting Room, but we won’t feel bad because we’re tired of his incessant whining.  Josh McDaniels will become miniaturized by Wonka-vision…it just seems fitting.  And Sean Payton, after the fizzy lifting drink experiment with Reggie Bush, returns to earth with Drew Brees to win the lifetime supply of chocolate and a sweet ride on the Wonka-vator.  I almost went with Brad Childress as Charlie Bucket, only because Brad Childress moped around all off-season waiting for his Golden Ticket.  Picking up Brett Favre at the airport would be the fizzy lifting drink experiment (a hilarious yet disturbing mental image), but I just don’t see Brad Childress giving back the everlasting gobstopper.

Back to reality.

John Fox began coaching the Panthers in 2002 and in 118 regular season games he has a 65-53 record with a .551 winning percentage.  Above .500 that’s good right?  At the end of last season he was tied at 10th with Lovie Smith and Mike McCarthy who have since passed him, and if you consider there are 9 new NFL coaches this year, that places Fox in the middle of the pack.

Out of 8 seasons with Fox as Head Coach, the Panthers have only had 3 winning seasons. In 2003 they went 11-5 and earned their first Super Bowl appearance where they lost to the New England Patriots due to poor clock management at the end of the game and a costly special teams penalty when John Kasay kicked the ball out-of-bounds.  This was one of those “Oh Crap Moments” when you look at whose coaching your team and you look at whose coaching the other team and you know your team is doomed (Rams fans we feel your pain).  In 2005, the Panthers went 11-5 and made it to the NFC Championship game where they lost to Seattle after 4 turnovers (3 INTs, 1 Fumble).  In 2008, the Panthers went 12-4 and lost in the Divisional round to Arizona after 6 turnovers (5 INTs, 1 Fumble).  That puts Fox’s playoff record at 5-3.

The problem with Carolina is that they haven’t executed their game plan.  If you look at this from a business perspective, every business has a mission statement.  The mission statement reflects who you are and how you do business.  For the Panthers, the mission statement is tough defense, by stopping the run and creating turnovers, and managing the game on offense by running the ball, gaining field position and reducing turnovers.

John Fox is an old school coach who is a defensive coordinator at heart.  If you don’t buy that, look at the defensive teams he’s coached: Steelers, Raiders, Giants.  The one exception you could make is San Diego, but still those three teams are old-school hard-nosed defensive teams where the mission statement would be to create turnovers and manage the game on offense.  If John Fox had his way the Panthers would run on every down and he’d make the other team beat them in the air.

These stats tell you everything you need to know about the Panthers this season:

  • Rushing Defense 133.2 yds/g (26th), Passing Defense 149.7 yds/g (1st), Total Defense 282.8 yds/g (4th)
  • Rushing Offense 128.7 yds/g (8th), Passing Offense 183.8 yds/g (22nd), Total Offense 312.5 yds/g (20th)
  • Passing Attempts 194, Rushing Attempts 176
  • Points Scored: 15.7 points/g  (25th)
  • Points Allowed: 24.2 points/g (23rd)
  • First Downs: 18.5/g (19th)
  • Red Zone %: 57.1 (13th)
  • Red Zone Def %: 61.1 (27th)
  • Takeaways:  Interceptions 3 (Tied 28th), Fumble Recoveries 4 (Tied 12th)
  • Giveaways:  Interceptions 14 (32nd), Fumbles 7 (Tied 25th)
  • Turnover Differential: -14 (32nd)
  • Sacks: 15 (Tied 14th)
  • Third Down Efficiency 25-75 33.3% (23rd)
  • Time of Possession 29:41 (16th)

Carolina is putrid on offense.  They’ve scored 11 touchdowns and committed 21 turnovers.  They’re lousy on third down and struggle to get first downs throughout the game.  They’re average in the red zone while getting outscored by 10 points a game, which is amazing considering the turnover margin.  On defense, Carolina has fared well considering they’re on the field for a good portion of the game.  When your offense turns the ball over twice as much as they score, it’s hard to hold your ground.  Nevertheless, the defense is giving up more rushing yards than it gains and it is middle of the pack when it comes to stopping teams on third down.  Carolina is lousy defending in the red zone and is not putting enough pressure on the other team to get turnovers: only seven all year.

It’s time for John Fox take his three course dinner gum and go.  Out of 8 seasons only 3 have been winning seasons, two embarrassing playoff losses and a Super Bowl loss that was like re-living every St Louis fans nightmare from 2002.  And to make matters worse, this season the Panthers are already 2-4, beating only Washington and Tampa Bay (two of the worst teams in the league), and Carolina is not executing its game plan.  Carolina has gotten away from it’s mission statement.  Stop the run (26th) and force turnovers (Interceptions 28th, Fumbles 12th) on defense, run the ball (8th– they actually do this well) and minimize mistakes (32nd) on offense.

You can blame Jake Delhomme all you want, and he may soon be replaced, but Carolina has lost its identity and is not executing its game plan…its mission statement.  This is not just a player problem, it’s a coaching problem, and after 8 seasons it’s time for the Panthers to roll John Fox into the juicing room.

Oompa Loompa doom-pa-da-dee
If you are wise, you’ll listen to me

Until next time.
You’re in the Zone.

Tyler

Categories: Humor, Sports

My Two Cents

I’m Tyler, and this is my 2 cents.

The subject today is sports.

If you weren’t chugging on a Budweiser and watching Nascar Sunday (I’m going to need a round of wedge, 2 right side tires, and a trackbar adjustment), you were probably sitting on your couch watching the PGA Championship, waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….wait what happened. Oh yeah, you were waiting for Tiger Woods to make his move.   He didn’t win.  And the most over-quoted stat of the weekend: Woods was previously 14 of 14 after leading the first three rounds.

Was anybody else tired of hearing all the CBS announcers create a fantasy world in which Tiger Woods would pull out the The Triforce of Power and suddenly magic his way to another Wanamaker.  It was as if there is a clause in Jim Nance’s contract that says: Section 48c, “Wherein a situation may occur when Tiger Woods is behind in a Major Tournament, in such a situation, the aforementioned  will by no means demonstrate any weakness of said participant verbally, visually, or in writing without express written consent from the PGA.”

I can just hear Jim Nance saying: “We all know what Tiger is capable of.  At any moment he could pull it out.  We’ve seen his Sunday magic in the past.  Surely he has something hidden up his sleeve today.”

Tiger didn’t lose because of the knee surgery.  He didn’t lose because he cracked under pressure.  He lost because it took him 33 putts on 18 holes.  That’s almost 2 putts on every hole…if you couldn’t do the math.  He also bogeyed two par 3s.  You don’t bogey Par 3s and win championships.  On Sunday, it was like Tiger ran into a Goomba and lost his fireball, he lost a 1 Up chasing a green mushroom down a hole, and then was offed by Bullet Bill.

Tiger is having a great year.  He won the pre-slam Slam by winning all the tournaments before the Majors.  He just needs to leave his mini-golf putter at home, or like Roy McAvoy, he needs to play an entire round with his 7 Iron.  *Snap* Give me another ball!  I’d love to see Cheech Marin as Tiger’s caddy.

Golf is based on Tiger Woods like time is based on Jesus, and so anything that happens now is BT  and AT, which sounds silly but watch a replay of the tournament Sunday, and you’ll hear a messianic tone in the announcers voices.  It’s like getting 10 years worth of comedies from Jim Carrey and then the Number 23.  What?  Jim Carrey is being serious.  This was Tiger’s Number 23 year.  He won a lot of tournaments, will probably win some more, he will be player of the year, and he will probably win the Fed Ex Cup.  And yet like Jim Carrey in a Drama, it just doesn’t sit right with us.  Extended metaphor over.  And now back to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.

By the way congratulations to Y.E. Yang, who shot a 2 under 70 with an unbelievable pitch for birdie on 14.  Second most over-quoted stat of the weekend: “Yang is trying to become the first Asian born player to win a Major tournament.”  It was an interesting tidbit the first 20 times, then after that it was overkill.  It wasn’t a miracle that he won–he just played a better round than Tiger.  And you could tell he was having a good time and that he wasn’t “feeling the pressure” the way CBS had it scripted.  If you couldn’t already tell I have issues with CBS announcers.  For a while I blacked out and was dreaming that Billy Packer was back announcing the NCAA Tounrament and trashing every ACC team other than Wake Forest.  “I don’t know why Roy Williams doesn’t go to a zone here.”  Then I woke up in horror as I realized what was happening in my REM cycle.

It was a good tournament, and I appreciate how golf has more of an international flavor (it always has, but now we have to pay attention as more international players are in contention for and winning majors).  I’m interested to see how golf will pan out in the 2016 olympics.

I’m Tyler and this was my 2 cents

Categories: Uncategorized

Christmas in July

July 19, 2009 1 comment

You’re reading that correctly.

Avoid the instinct of hitting the back button and marinate in the fact that you’re seeing the word Christmas 5 months before it actually occurs.  And now you are feeling all the joys, sorrows, and pains that come with said holiday.  The presents, the absurd amount of food, the in-laws, the 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story, and the crazy (good or bad) uncle that you can’t (but wish to) live without.

This post is double-faceted.  That is there are two facets.  Two prongs?  Double-pronged?  In other words, this post comes in two parts.

And so without much more ado about nothing,
I present to you Christmas in July, or
An Insomniac’s and Sleep Apneic’s Guide to Galaxy.

First of all, there are Christmas in July shoppers out there.  Beware!  They could be among you.  They could be loved ones, family members, husbands and wives (But not children, they like to wait until the last day, hour, minute, hell they’ll probably get your gift right before they see you so it’s probably from Walmart or your attic).  Like Jesse Spano from Saved By the Bell, these valedictorian, sudoku loving, overachievers like to stay ahead by making a list and checking it twice in the sweltering month of July.  The month that is named, aptly, after Julius Caesar.

I happened to come in contact with a certain Caesarian (double entedre) Christmas shopper today.  This summer Santa had a list of 50 things, two (two by two?) of which were DVDs: Glory and Silence of the Lambs.  She was, as previously stated, shopping for her family for Christmas.  She will have to wait for the Christmas cards, or will she?  She probably has an attic-full stored from previous years shopping along with with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.  I have grandparents so I know how that goes.  I digest…er digress.  I was able to procure both movies for her, both of which are excellent and whoever receives them I’m sorry that I’m spreading the news about your gift 5 months in advance to the world (Correction: the 5 people that read this).

And now for the second facet…prong…Caesarian story (let’s face it you thought I was going to say section, but alas, I’m the bigger person for not making that reference, and you should be ashamed for thinking that I would stoop to that level).  And this prong, facet, C-story is totally unrelated to the first.

Today, at 10:00 PM  I played a Christmas CD in Barnes and Noble.  I was tired of the in store CDs that we’ve been playing to death.  So much that the CD player eats them like Cookie Monster and spits out little CD crumbs.  Very quietly and without notice, as the Paul Potts CD came to a close I slipped in the Christmas CD.  It was a Classical/Choral take on traditional Christmas songs/hymns.  The first song, Once in Royal David’s City was nearly inaudible and sounded much like a typical Adagio, so that you can’t hear what is being played, much like a person talking in their sleep.

Soon as the choir began singing more recognizable tunes, people began to ask the questions:  Is that Christmas music?  Why are you playing Christmas music?  Christmas music in July? The rest of the staff was about to kill me.  Take a hearty portion of the Grinch, 2 parts Marv and Harry from Home Alone, a dollop of Ebenezer Scrooge, and a dash of Clark Grizwold (the part where he goes insane):

Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here.  We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

Don’t let your kids read the crossed out parts.  Oops!  Too late.   Why are your kids reading my blog anyway?  What…what’s that?  What’s a blog?  A blog.  It’s short for weblog.  Nevermind.

I did make one person happy with my late night, Messiah welcoming, Christmas caroling CD in the month of Caesar.  It was a man in our store code name Zacchaeus.  No we don’t actually call him that, I just made it up.  However, he does fit the physical description.  He is notorious for evangelizing people in our store, making customers feel uncomfortable, and being asked by our managers to stop.  We, Barnes and Noble, are the Romans.  And the Caesar joke is now complete.  I’m the Roman Centurion.  Okay now it’s complete.

He gave thanks and praise to me (which is blasphemy) for playing the CD at such an odd time of the year…July is the seventh month if we’re going by Roman standards.  By the way may I state that “dec” means 10 and December is the 12th month of the year.  Something fishy is going on here Jesus.  And don’t give me any BS about adding January (door) and Februrary (purification).

Zacchaeus thanked me profusely for my frankincense and myrrh offerings ( if you’re wondering what happened to my Gold click here) and proceeded to ask me if it was because I was a believer.  I punched 1 Peter 3:15 right in the kisser. Pow! Right in the Kisser.  Pow! Right in the Kisser.  Although I am a believer (depending on your standards), this was not my intention for playing the music.  I’m sure even Pilate would’ve liked some Christmas music now and again, and so I bring the spirit of Christmas to the biggest Grinch of them all (If this last sentence doesn’t earn me eternal damnation then give us Barabbus…I’m not sure what that means.  Okay I lie):

Your soul is an apalling dump heap overflowing
with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable
rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.

And thus was the tale of Christmas in July.
At least as best as I can recall from the fragmented shards of memories from my sea horse.
I’m sorry but all questions must be submitted in writing.
Send them to:

Billy Graham
Minneapolis, Minnesota
That’s all the address you need.

Fahoo fores dahoo dores
Welcome Christmas, Christmas day

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