28 October 2008

Something to think about.

I briefly considered adding this as the end of my Two Link Tuesday post, but it didn't seem to fit thematically, so I decided to publish it separately.

I would like to throw out a link to this article by SportsIllustrated's Arash Markazi detailing a meeting he had with John Wooden shortly after the former UCLA coach's 98th birthday.

There was a prayer that Wooden apparently says every night that really stood out to me, and that I felt I should highlight here.

The years have left their imprint -- on my hands and on my face -- erect no longer is my walk and slower is my pace. But there is no fear within my heart because I am growing old; I only wish I had more time to better serve my Lord. When I've gone to him in prayer he has brought me inner peace, and soon my cares and worries and other problems cease. He's helped me in so many ways, he's never let me down, why should I fear the future when soon I could be near his ground. Though I know down here my time is short, there is endless time up there and he will forgive and keep me forever in his love and care.


Beyond the somewhat hokey rhyming, I hope that, if and when I reach Wooden's age, I can view my own life and death with that kind of grace.

Have a great day, everyone.

Two Link Tuesday: Terry Tate Overload

Because I'm tired, and gratuitous violence makes me laugh.

Warning: contains some language. And not the fuzzy kind, or the kind that one would use in a business setting, either.



Cut the cheese?! I'm lactose intolerant!


25 October 2008

Back-to-back consecutively

The Gator game isn't on network TV, which makes me sad... so I'm listening to it on the radio while I do my homework.

The Gators' defense and special teams are dominating right now, and UF has blocked UK's last two punts (and scored on the next play in each case).

Which leads me to one of the saddest quotes I've ever heard, this one from one of the commentators on 620 AM (WDAE) immediately following the second block:

"and I've never seen that before in my life, two consecutive punt blocks on successive series."

As opposed to... two consecutive punt blocks, six series apart?

NCAA Football Picks - 10.25.2008

So it's been an eventful couple of weeks: I wrote essays, ate food, slept, and played sports. Sports like football and basketball.

And it's going to be a more eventful couple of weeks. You know why? MY SENIOR RESEARCH PROJECT IS DUE!!! 30 PAGES OF INTENSE GENIUS!!! AHHH!!! AHHH!!! Seriously, though, things are going to be busy. Like, more busy than they already are.

Picks! Brought to you today by Lobster Cola... because I'm feeling goofy, and I still remember MVP Baseball 2001.

Florida -23 against Kentucky
I don't know why - I've been writing about labor supply theory all morning.
Also, it's Kentucky. Against Florida. It's Kentucky. Against a team that beat LSU by 30 points.
Prediction: Florida 51, Kentucky 21

Vanderbilt -10 against Duke
Because, even though Duke is better than they used to be, they're still Duke... wait... I could say the same thing about Vanderbilt. LOGIC?! WE DON'T NEED YOUR STINKIN' LOGIC!! One academic school beats another academic school.
Prediction: Vanderbilt sqrt(361), Duke 3!

LSU -2.5 against Georgia
How many times have I said that I don't trust Matt Stafford? (Answer: several.) How many times has he proved me right? (Answer: less than several.) How many times will I keep saying it? (Answer: at least twice more.) I don't trust Matt Stafford, particularly against a very solid LSU defense.
Prediction: Bayou Bengals 30, Carchasers 26

Ole Miss +4 against Arkansas
'ware the Rebels! Or something. Irrelevance, thy name is THE ENTIRE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI. And also THE ENTIRE STATE OF ARKANSAS. You see what I did there?
Prediction: Ole Miss 19, Arkansas 17. Lusitania!

Mississippi State -11.5 against Middle Tennessee State
(insert generic prediction here to cover up the fact that I don't really care about either team)
Prediction: Carchasers part deux 26, Nom de Duke Ripoffs 14

Alabama -5.5 against Tennessee
Two good defenses, one good offense. I'll let you guess which offense I think is good, but here's a hint: it isn't the team whose fans sing Rocky Top over and over.
Prediction: Alabama 9th prime, Tennessee 6th prime

Out-of-Conference Pick:
Ohio State +2.5 against Penn State

Terrelle Pryor is a big, fast dude. Really, that's the entire basis for this pick. I'm pretty sure that Penn State is otherwise superior on both sides of the ball, but Pryor is going to make up for the Buckeyes' shortcomings.
Prediction: Poisonous Fruit 31, Overly Localized Felines 27

21 October 2008

Two Link Tuesday: Rays Win ALCS... by Joga-ing Bonito

Two videos for you today, each of which makes me smile in its own way.

First off: The Tampa Bay Rays are going to the World Series! Whooo! Thus: I think it only right that we look at the celebration. My two favorite parts: Carl Crawford vaulting into the pile at 0:20 and the drunk guys in the upper deck at 0:37.



Second: I really have nothing else to go with that first video, so I'm just going to throw a really fun little Nike ad out there for y'all.



Have a great day, everybody! I certainly intend to!

20 October 2008

My Take on the World Series

When the Rays made it to the playoffs, I resolved that I wouldn't write anything about them here.

Given that this is a sports blog and I am a Rays supporter (I love them only slightly less than I do the Atlanta Braves), it may seem odd that I chose not to write about Tampa Bay's first playoffs trip ever. Here's the thing: I've had this nagging sensation that if I wrote or said anything about the Rays, their season would fall apart and they would suddenly, despite already being in the playoffs, find themselves back in last place.

I clung to my vow through the divisional round.

I clung to it through the ALCS.

And then the Rays made it to the World Series... and I had no fewer than (and possibly more than) eleven people ask me for my prediction.

Still, I clung to my vow.

With all that said - I'm not going to make a pick for the series. Rest assured, though, I'll be cheering for the Rays with, if not all, then a good 38.1% of my heart, and I hope that y'all are all doing the same.

18 October 2008

NCAA Football PIcks - 10.18.2008

Before I begin, a non-sports-related YouTube clip for all y'all lovers of music who happen to read this blog. I suggest that you enjoy it while reading the rest of the post:

On to the picks! Odds, as always, from USA Today.

Vanderbilt +15 against Georgia
The Commodores have fallen. And when the Commodores fall, they tend to keep falling for a long time. Then again - this Vandy team is good at creating turnovers, and I don't have a lot of faith in Matthew Stafford.
Prediction: Georgia 31, Vanderbilt 20

Alabama -13.5 against Ole Miss
Can the Tide be stopped? Yes, they can. Can the Tide be stopped by Ole Miss? Yes, they can. Will the Tide be stopped by Ole Miss? I don't think that they will. Look for Bama to control the clock and grind it out.
Prediction: Alabama 27, Ole Miss 10

Arkansas +11.5 against Kentucky
I don't believe in the Wildcats. I don't believe in the Razorbacks. By those two statements, of course, I'm declaring that I disbelieve in the existence of either team. I don't have much faith in the quality of Arkansas or Kentucky, either - which means I'm picking a close game.
Prediction: Kentucky 28, Arkansas 26

Mississippi State +8.5 against Tennessee
How bad are the Vols? They're so bad that old milk curls its figurative nose at them. They're so bad that The Matrix: Revolutions finds them repulsive. They're so bad that Michael Jackson wrote a song about them. Wow - that's pretty bad.
Prediction: Mississippi State 16, Tennessee 12

LSU -3.5 against South Carolina
The Tigers lost by 30 last week. But they're playing South Carolina! Let me say that again: They're playing South Carolina!
Prediction: LSU 41, South Carolina 24

Missouri +7 against Texas
I firmly believe that the Tigers' Chase Daniel-led and Jeremy Maclin-infused offense can keep the Tigers within a touchdown. I don't firmly believe in Colt McCoy - his name is just way too Texas-y. Also, he's got such a slender build that I don't believe he can take the Tebow-esque pounding he's receiving every week.
Prediction: Missouri 48, Texas 45

Last Week: 2-5 (I blame it on Bush)
Season: 23-28 (I blame it on Bush Sr.)

14 October 2008

Two Link Tuesday: We Got Commercialism

Happy Two Link Tuesday, everybody! I'm working off of five hours of sleep here, thanks to turning in a chunk of my senior research this morning, but that doesn't mean I can't be both chipper and eloquent, right? Right?


Okay then. On to the links!

We're going with a postapocalyptic pseudoindustrial theme today. So where better to start than with a Nike commercial? (I know, I know, easy on the social commentary). It's a bunch of guys playing soccer in what looks eerily like the lobby from The Matrix.


Second video! You know what goes well with one bizarrely militaristic sports advertisement? You guessed it - another bizarrely militaristic sports advertisement, from a company that is in direct competition with the first!


Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

11 October 2008

NCAA Football Picks - 10.11.2008

So this is my last distraction before I go and take the GRE at noon. Let's make it a good one, eh?

And before you ask: no, I'm not Canadian.

Kentucky -1 against South Carolina
Last week, Kentucky really impressed me in their close loss against Alabama. South Carolina impressed me less in their win over Ole Miss.
Prediction: Kentucky 27, South Carolina 23

Vanderbilt -1 against Mississippi State
The Commodores beat Auburn last week. It wasn't a fluke - this is a quality team that might have a legitimate shot to challenge for the SEC East *splutter/cough* excuse me, I think I just shot coffee out of my nose. IT BURNS!!!! But, really, Vanderbilt's pretty solid.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 19, Mississippi State 15

Tennessee +13 against Georgia
I have a tough time believing that the Vols are really as bad as they've looked so far this season... and I have a tough time believing that they can't slow down the Bulldogs enough to keep this within two touchdowns.
Prediction: Georgia 31, Tennessee 20

Arkansas +19 against Auburn
War Eagle! Except they just fired their offensive coordinator and scrapped the offensive scheme they spent their whole offseason learning. Look for Auburn to run the ball and control the clock.
Prediction: Auburn 17, Arkansas 13

LSU +4 against Florida
When Tigers defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois said that the LSU defense would be looking to knock Tim Tebow out of the game, all of Gator Nation snarled just a little bit. Look for 91,000 screaming drunk guys to be the difference in the game - I'm predicting a false start penalty will derail the Tigers' would-be game-winning drive.
Prediction: Florida 34, LSU 32

Out-of-Conference Pick:
Oklahoma -6.5 against Texas

Ever since Cedric Benson burned me - twice in a row - in fantasy football drafts, I've had a tough time bringing myself to pick the Longhorns in any game. In a game like this one, where I genuinely believe they're outclassed, I'm not even going to try.
Prediction: Oklahoma 38, Texas 28

Wisconsin +4.5 against Penn State
Look for the Badgers to bludgeon the Nittany Lions into submission by running the ball up the middle over and over and over and over... by the end of the day, we'll all be asleep, and Wisconsin will pull out the close win.
Prediction: Wisconsin 20, Penn State 16

Last Week: 3-3 (cue the sound of one hand waving diffidently)
Season: 21-23 (cue the sound of one hand waving more diffidently)

07 October 2008

Two Link Tuesday: Reggie and Shaq

It's been said (although I couldn't tell you by whom) that life is about dichotomies. Light and dark. Yin and yang.

Reggie Bush and Shaquille O'Neal.

With that in mind, we at 90% Mental bring you this latest version of Two Link Tuesday.

The first video is, I think, especially fitting in light of Reggie Bush's heroics last night... heroics that cost me a victory in one of my six fantasy football leagues... heroics that cost me a perfect record for the week.

The second video is an old favorite of mine, and forms a nice counterpoint to the unrestrained viciousness of the first. This is Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard at the 2007 NBA All-Star game.

Have a great day, everybody!

04 October 2008

NCAA Football Picks - 10.04.2008

Hey y'all -

Last week was one of the weirder ones I've ever had in terms of my picks. I got a couple of games really, really wrong - see TCU vs. Oklahoma and Florida vs. Ole Miss - and then a couple of games really, really wright (as in Wilbur and Orville) - see Alabama vs. Georgia and Auburn vs. Tennessee.

This week, we'll se if we can have more of the good picks and fewer of the bad ones. Vague enough for ya? (and yes, that was a completely gratuitous Sarah Palin joke. Ooh... burn...) Odds from USA Today.

Florida -22 against Arkansas
The Gators last week suffered a loss to Ole Miss. While the loss itself shouldn't have been totally shocking (in retrospect), given how tightly the Rebels always play UF, the way that the Gators self-destructed in that game was, and still is, completely inexplicable. UF won't self-destruct this week... and Arkansas will pay.
Prediction: UF 41, Arkansas 13

South Carolina +2 against Ole Miss
I'm taking a chance here; South Carolina is a less-than-inspiring 2-7-1 against the spread in their last 10 games. Here's my logic, though: Ole Miss is coming off of a huge, emotional win against UF. South Carolina is coming off of a disappointing win against UAB. South Carolina's going to be angry. Ole Miss is going to be suffering a little bit of a letdown.
Prediction: South Carolina 24, Ole Miss 20

Alabama -16.5 against Kentucky
Look out for this game! Both of these teams are undefeated - Kentucky may be more solid than was initially thought (you like how I left that in the passive and avoided saying who thought it?). Still - Alabama looks really, really good. Let's ride it for a little bit, eh?
Prediction: Alabama 30, Kentucky 12

Auburn -3.5 against Vanderbilt
Is it really possible that a Vanderbilt game is one of the biggest of the week? Wow. Still, I think the magical interlude that the Commodores have been enjoying will end here. Auburn's offense has been struggling - but when the Tigers start to struggle, they go back to basics: running the football and playing good defense. Vandy relies on forcing turnovers - and it's a lot harder to force turnovers when the ball is being pounded down your throat than when it's floating through the air.
Prediction: Auburn 27, Vanderbilt 17

Out-of-Conference Pick:
Ohio State -2.5 against Wisconsin
The Buckeyes are healthy again, and they've finally settled on a quarterback. More importantly, they've settled on the right quarterback. Wisconsin will keep this game close, but won't be able to pull it out.
Prediction: Ohio State 18, Wisconsin 13

Out-of-Conference Pick:
Oregon +16.5 against Southern Cal
I've just got a feeling about this game... I don't know why. I feel like Oregon will, at the very least, keep this contest close... oh, what the heck, why not.
Prediction: Oregon 31, Southern Cal 29

Last Week: 3-5 (as I said, a weird week)
Season: 18-20 (not where it should be)