superbowl commercials preview

for all of you superbowl commercial junkies like me, here are 33 commercials for you to watch one day early. enjoy.

my wife will not be happy

My wife (who hails from Lubbock) will not be happy about this:

The NCAA put Texas Tech on two years of probation Friday for a series of recruiting violations, saying 16 coaches or assistants sent nearly 1,000 impermissible text messages to football, softball and golf prospects.

I, for one, am happy about it. And I’ll be even happier when Mike Leach successfully sues Tech for terminating him and Tech has to pay him what he would have made as their coach. Yes, I know some of the violations took place while Leach was coach, but this is what Tech gets for firing the best thing that’s happened to Lubbock since Buddy Holly.

enough of this! we need a bcs (blog championship series) to determine the best biblioblogs

College Football Bowl Championship Series

College Football Bowl Championship Series

I despise the Bowl Championship Series. Hate it! Why aren’t #4 Stanford (PAC-10) and #5 Wisconsin (Big Ten) playing in the Rose Bowl where a PAC-10 representative traditionally plays a Big Ten team? What is Stanford doing playing AP #12 Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl? If a PAC-10 team, Oregon, is playing in the national championship game, why wouldn’t the Rose Bowl folks choose the next best PAC-10 (and coincidentally, the #4 team in the nation) team for the Rose Bowl? Why isn’t #3 TCU playing BCS #6 Ohio State or BCS #7 Oklahoma? In fact, why doesn’t undefeated TCU have a shot at the title game like undefeated Oregon and Auburn? And why must I watch Oklahoma destroy play unranked Connecticut? (Yes, I know about the guaranteed BCS bowl games for certain conference champions, but that’s another problem entirely.)

Here’s my idea. The top four teams should play in a playoff using existing bowl games. This keeps the existing bowl boards happy because they each get their local advertising and revenue bowl, yet it allows for a playoff that could eliminate problems like we have this year with 3 undefeated teams.

For instance, the Fiesta Bowl could pit BCS #1 Auburn vs. BCS #4 Wisconsin, and the Orange Bowl could pit BCS #2 Oregon vs. BCS #3 TCU. Then, and only then, would the two winners of the two BCS bowl games play in a real BCS championship game. The other bowls could continue to do their own thing and make their money. This simple addition of a mini-playoff to the existing BCS system would at least allow us to clear up things like TCU being undefeated, but not playing in the championship game, while adding a minimum of extra games (precisely one!).

Biblioblogger Championship Series

Biblioblogger Championship Series (Mashup by Robert R. Cargill)

But all of this got me thinking about the recent barrage of polls attempting to rank the top biblioblogs on the web. There’s the Biblioblogger 10, the Biblioblog Top 20, the Biblioblog Top 50, the Jouissance-meter, the West Poll, the Linville Method, the Rhythm Method, and so on. I got to thinking that we have the same problem that college football had before the creation of the BCS. Then it struck me: we should create our own BCS (Blogger or Biblioblogger Championship Series).

I mean, if we’re going to have a number of completely arbitrary polls and rankings with different criteria and methodologies to produce a dozen different top blogger rankings, we might as well have a BCS (Blogger Championship Series) of our own to blame it on. That way, we can at least have an argument over how to determine the top blogs instead of arguing which blog is better. Like the BCS, we’ll be no closer to determining an actual number one, but we’ll at least have something to blame for it.

The BCS computation is based upon the Harris Poll, the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, and a number of other polls. Therefore, we’d, of course, need all of the polls listed above. Some polls can be rankings as voted by other bloggers. Other polls can be the results of readers and critics. Additionally, we’ll need a metric to measure best W-L record (number of blog posts), strength of schedule (quality of blog posts), and some magic constant multiplier to make everything come out just right. (My vote is for 42.)

Blog Championship Series

Blog Championship Series (Mashup by Robert R. Cargill)

I believe if we do this right, we can have the same amount of disagreement and confusion we have now, but we could blame it on the system and not on each other.

I need help, however, putting together the proper formula for determining the best blog. Any ideas can be left in the comments below.

god does not make you catch or drop passes

Steve Johnson Tweetand that’s all i have to say about that. it’s just as much nonsense for steve johnson to blame god for dropping a pass as it is to thank him for catching one. god doesn’t care if you catch or drop a pass. and if you believe that, you’ve got one screwed up, me first theology. seriously, it is good to feel ‘blessed’ that you were able to have success on an athletic field, but what happens when you lose? did god abandon you? did he like the other team better? did they pray harder?

johnson tweeted:

“I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…”

if you’re going to employ this kind of ‘us vs. them’ mentality toward god, then it must be maintained in defeat as well, where we see it much less. at least steve johnson maintained a consistent, albeit flawed, theology. besides shifting responsibility and blame away from himself, by blaming god for dropping a pass, johnson is simply playing out the other side of this ‘god blessed me with a great game’ mentality. if god causes you to win or have success in a game, he must be responsible for your loss and/or defeat.

it is this capitalistic, success-driven, health-and-wealth gospel that is plaguing christianity.

god wants you to act like a professional. he doesn’t care if you can catch a ball or not.

cleveland fans respond to lebron james’ nike ad

LeBenedict James is quickly learning that history does not remember traitors well. In an effort to improve LeBron’s image (and protect their shoe selling investment), Nike has produced a new ad that is intended to make Mr. James’ decision appear a little less traitorous.

But sports fans do not remember defectors well. Look at Brett Favre and Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens – all the best in the business in their respective sports at one time or another, but who left their original teams via free agency after not delivering what they had promised. (Granted Brett Favre won a Super Bowl, but he still tarnished his legacy by playing elsewhere…oh, and by text messaging.)

On the other end of the spectrum, you have Cal Ripkin, Jr., John Elway, Ted Williams, Mike Schmidt, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, Mickey Mantle, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, etc.- all who have played their entire careers for the same team and who have been rewarded with loyal fans.

There are, of course, cases like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky, who played with other teams later in their careers, but that was after bringing multiple championships to their original team. LeBron has done no such thing.

So, now that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner has responded, the fans of Cleveland have responded with an ad of their own. Enjoy.

(HT: JW)

a-rod finally helps texas reach the world series

i love this story from the onion. as a red sox fan, i couldn’t help it. :D

ARLINGTON, TX—Ten years after signing a record $252 million contract to play baseball in Texas, third baseman Alex Rodriguez finally delivered for the Rangers by leading the franchise to its first-ever World Series. “A-Rod came up big for us this entire series, all the way up until the last out,” Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters during a postgame press conference, saying that the Rangers would have had no chance of beating the New York Yankees without Rodriguez’s remarkable performance at the plate. “It was a long time coming, but you have to give the guy credit. He was the Rangers’ MVP, no question.” Washington added that seeing Rodriguez take Texas to the World Series was one thing, but A-Rod almost single-handedly beating the Yankees was “extra sweet.”

i love it!

how not to respond as the president of a franchise

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert

this will either go down in history as ‘the curse’ of basketball, akin to the curse that followed the trade of babe ruth to the yankees, or, it will be the beginning of an apology tomorrow.

cleveland cavaliers owner dan gilbert has responded to lebron james’ decision to leave for the miami heat.

you must read this. wow!


Dear Cleveland, all of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers supporters wherever you may be tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several-day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: “I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA Championship before the self-titled former ‘king’ wins one.”

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our homegrown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland. Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day…

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue…

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

what to name your next child

God's Gift AchiuwaMeet God’s gift to basketball: God’s Gift Achiuwa. That’s his name: “God’s Gift Achiuwa.” And just like all of God’s gifts, he can dunk!

I guess it’s not unlike some other divinely-inspired names like Benyamin Netanyahu (“God has given the son of his right hand”) or Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (“Quickly Spoil becomes plunder” or something likened unto that, cf. Isa 8:1-4), or World B. Free.

I wish him the best. If his play can back up the national attention his name has brought him, perhaps the NBA can bestow upon him some of its gifts (read: ca$h!). But hopefully he’ll avoid the kinds of gifts that got USC into trouble.

how gay is gay enough?

North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliancenews of a peculiar lawsuit caught my attention this afternoon. according to the article:

Three bisexual men are suing a national gay-athletic organization, saying they were discriminated against during the Gay Softball World Series held in the Seattle area two years ago.

The three Bay Area men say the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance in essence deemed them not gay enough to participate in the series.

the problem is that the league is set up for gay athletes. banning non-gay athletes from the league is a form of discrimination based upon sexual preference. while the league does allow for two straight players to play on each team, the limitation of players based upon sexual preference appears to be a curb against teams who might recruit ‘ringers,’ that is, players who are exceptionally skilled at softball, but who may have no other affiliation with the group. (this happens a lot in church softball leagues, where teams will field a team full of exceptional softball players who may have never set foot in the sponsoring church, but there’s really no way to stop it. do league officials or members of the other team ask their opponents to quote bible verses to prove that they are actually christians? and does the ability to quote scripture make one a christian? church leagues usually leave the enforcement of team membership to each team. but i digress…)

there is really no way to stop a straight ringer from saying, ‘yep, i’m gay’ and then playing on the team. so, to prevent teams from fielding teams of ringers, and to preserve the gay nature of the league, the league put a limit on the number of straight players a team can have. i am guessing that the allowance for any straight players at all was itself a concession to avoid accusations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation while gay advocacy groups are lobbying hard for same-sex marriage around the country.

but this raises another question: how does one test for appropriate level of ‘homosexuality’? is not a man having sexual encounters with another man (among other encounters with women) homosexual and therefore gay? and how does one test for gayness? apparently, the league had a way. according to the article:

Each of the three plaintiffs was called into a conference room in front of more than 25 people, and was asked “personal and intrusive questions” about his sexual attractions and desires, purportedly to determine if the player was heterosexual or gay, the lawsuit alleges.

Gay softballouch. i can just see the right latching onto this as an example of a gay organization using a litmus test to determine one’s level of gayness, so that one can either be granted or denied benefits and access to something. sound familiar? it’s the very this that gay advocacy groups are arguing against in states with pending same-sex marriage legislation.

the lawsuit is even more interesting because it is not three straight players attempting to play in the league, but three bisexual players. three bisexual men were apparently prohibited from playing because as bisexuals, they apparently weren’t gay enough. i’m not sure if ucla’s lesbian gay bisexual transgender (lgbt) campus resource center would buy that argument. while some draw a distinction between the two, most consider bisexual to be at least a subset of homosexual. ask the question: how is bisexual not gay? if the definition of bisexual is a person who has sexual attraction to or sexual encounters with members of both sexes, and a homosexual is a person that has sexual attraction to or sexual encounters with members of the same sex, then by definition, bisexuals should be considered gay. all squares are also rectangles, etc.

so, as ridiculous as this lawsuit may sound at first, it will actually be a problem for the league, as well as for gay advocacy groups. again, how does one determine if one is gay? and why should sexual orientation be a determining factor for eligibility in a softball league?

the plaintifs realize the absurdity of the league’s rules and are therefore challenging them. they wanted to travel and play in the tournament, but couldn’t because of their sexual orientation. even if the league is a private league, they will lose because the league take’s advertising and solicit sponsorships. besides, imagine a ‘straights only’ softball league. would that stand up in court? would there be protests?

here’s what will happen: the plaintiffs will win this case. the north american gay amateur athletic alliance should immediately settle this case, apologize, fly the three men to wherever they want to go, let them play, and change their rules. in a world where even gender is being challenged (girls can now play little league and boys can play softball), and where the olympics and women’s sports leagues are encountering issues of transgender and hermaphroditic/intersexual competitors, it seems a ‘gay’ softball league will lose in court every time.

this lawsuit is bigger than softball: same-sex marriage equality is at stake and this case will be used to argue against allowing gay marriage. this case could cause irreparable damage to legitimate efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. opponents of same-sex marriage will tout this case as discrimination against others by homosexuals, and this will not help the cause.

the leagues rules are bad. settle the case, change the rules, apologize, and move on. besides, why not let straight men show support for gay rights by playing in a gay softball league? if straight men are willing to play in a ‘gay softball league,’ then let them. it’s a form of support for the cause and a sign of the straight man’s comfort with his own masculinity. if men who neither have breasts or cancer can walk in a breast cancer walk, why not let straight men play in a gay softball league?

here’s fox news’ attempt at being funny.

my 2010 ncaa men’s hoop bracket

Cargill's 2010 NCAA Men's Hoop Bracketsince some consider march madness a religion, i figure i can share my bracket publicly, so that i’m on record.

ucla did not make the tourney, so this year doesn’t count ;-) btw, the hardest one i had to decide was #5 butler vs. #12 utep. i really think utep can surprise folks, but i chose butler. we’ll see. kansas should win.

click the image to see the bracket (and ridicule my picks).

have a nice day.

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