Friday, January 06, 2006

Links & a Commie Rant

We've got a little something for everyone today -- the sports fans, the politicos and the admirers of absurdity. Take a gander:

I know everyone thinks the NFL is the ultimate paradigm of parity, but's Dr. Z points out in his final Power Rankings that it's just not true. Here are some interesting figures:

"This has been a decidedly NON-parity year, actually one of the best examples of that in recent history. There were more teams with very good and very bad records than teams in the middle range. The true test of a parity season is how many mediocre teams swell those middle ranks. In 1983, for instance, a real parity-lovers' season, 16, or more than half of the league's 28 teams, were so-so (7-9, 8-8 or 9-7). There were, for instance, 15 so-so's in 1995 and 2002.

Do you know how many there were this season? Five, the fewest in any season since the league went to 16 games 27 years ago. Compare that with the inordinate number of very good (12-4 or better) or very bad (4-12 or worse) clubs. There were 11. I don't want to belabor this point, but it was a year in which teams basically beat the clubs they were supposed to beat."

So the next time someone tries to talk to you about parity in football, feel free to punch them right in the tits. Seriously.

Well, here's one Congressman with a fantastic name and a stunning need for finding perspective. Rep. Ralph Regula weighs in on the Jack Abramoff scandal engulfing a Washington in recess: "I wish it hadn't happened because it's not going to help us keep our majority."

He could have feigned some semblance of an everyman reality and faked a nod to the Average Joe's plight in the face of the politically dominant corporate interests and unchecked Chicken Little social lobbies. But in the eyes of this particular Regula Joe, the Congressman is only sad when it comes to his party's pristine name being dragged through the mud by what could become the biggest scandal in Washington history.

So if you're counting at home, Tom DeLay's under indictment, Scooter Libby's under indictment, Duke Cunningham's under indictment (and he bawled like a girl at his press conference), Karl Rove's still in the crosshairs, and Bill Frist's under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The administration got busted for bribing Armstrong Williams and at least two other journalists with government money to promote failed policies, the White House allowed a gay escort (not) named Jeff Gannon to attend press corps briefings and lob softballs at the moron at the podium, and locally, the conservative Mayor of Spokane was recalled after soliciting young dudes in Internet chatrooms with the promise of government jobs.

Add to these questionable ethics violations the Abramoff scandal, which, again, could be bigger than a guy gettin' a Jewy hummer in a roundish office. Now add to all of that a ridiculous war, the squandering all of our the goodwill after 9/11, record budget and trade deficits, stagnant wages, declining test scores and the passage of more legislation written for and by people that couldn't give a shit about the regula folks. I'm sure as shit hoping to holy fucking heaven we're not dumb enough to allow the majority party to stay in power when the midterms come in November. Just like '94.

Sure, the Democrats are about as savvy as Buster Bluth and as smooth as Mr. Furley, but it's the best option we have. Personally, I say we vote 'em all out and start over with Student Council-type popularity contests. Soda machine in the cafeteria and no fucking homework, bitches. Couldn't do a worse job than these fucking morons.

--I know there have been rumors about Abraham Lincoln's hidden sexuality, but I had no idea tough guy prez Andrew Jackson could be so fruity. Zzzzzzing:

"The 'banana note' bears a bright red, green and yellow Del Monte sticker next to Andrew Jackson's portrait. The flawed bill originated at a U.S. Treasury Department printing facility in Fort Worth, but just how the fruit tag found its way onto the greenback is unknown."

--I'm a big fan of Normal, Illinois, the site of one of my favorite (and wholly underrated) Phish shows in my personal history with the band. Turns out many people are fans of the town, too, or at least the town's uncommon name:

"When he's traveling on city business, Mayor Chris Koos carries around a $50 or $100 bill that he'll hand to anyone who comes up with a joke he hasn't heard about his central Illinois town where "Welcome to Normal" signs are about geography, not a state of mind."

--I'm not quite sure if the bride's parents paid for the wedding, but I'm guessing they wanted no part of their daughter's strange decision:

"Till death do us part? An unusual wedding ceremony was held in the southern resort town of Eilat on Wednesday, as Sharon Tendler, a 41-years-old Jewish millionaire from London married her beloved Cindy, a 35-years-old dolphin..."

Slack Song of the Day: Like Jeff Johnson, I'm predicting these guys are gonna get bigger based on name recognition alone...what a smart move, naming the band Quagmire Swim Team.

I always try to get to know a band by checking out their covers first, see how they handle certain genres and how unique a spin they put on some songs: Here's Duran Duran's Girls on Film and Kansas' Carry on My Wayward Son. As for originals, here's Landmines and Landslides, Coming Back To You and Mighty Kite.


At 10:57 AM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

I've been to Normal, IL recently. I'm pretty sure the only thing to do there is think up jokes about the "Welcome to Normal" slogan on the huge water tower thing. It's flat and there's a very large highway that runs through it. That's about it.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...

One of thebig myths of sports reporting is that football is a bastion of parity while baseball is dominated by a few teams. In fact, the opposite is true.

This makes the fawning over the Patriots for having a "dynasty in the age of parity" even more annoying than it already is.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger ethan said...

buster, my second favorite bluth (to george michael of course):

the doctor said mom can't be kissed for 1 week. i said, make it 2! what do i care?!

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

I'm with you, Noonan...another misconception about basbeall is hat only a handful of teams have a chance. As of September there were something like 16 or 17 teams that had a legit shot to make it to the World Series, which is probably a greater percentage of teams than any other sport (in terms of how many make the playoffs).

Buster, so hot right now, Buster. Nobody touches George Michael's performances though.

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Alex Fritz said...

My brother in law is a detective in Normal...he was on the SWAT team for that one infamous Phish show there.

Weird times.

At 11:07 PM, Blogger John Howard said...

Where are the stories blaming that dolphin thing on gay marraige? But it looks like the dolphin was a woman too, so I guess it was a gay marraige.

At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regula Joe. Nice one, Ace.

-Mrs. TJ


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