Saturday, December 26, 2009

Top 10 games of 2009

As the year winds down it seems like the thing to do is come up with a top 10 list recapping the year. Seeing that I have written a few consecutive posts on wedding planning I might as well go back to an old favorite of mine - sports. Below are the top 10 games yours truly saw in person.

10. Twolves - Bulls - United Center - I was in Chicago visiting a few of my friends from college and we decided to go to see a Bulls game on the day after New Year's. There were no scalpers and we ended up buying standing room only tickets. For the first half we were content sitting in the upper level, but for the 2nd half we went down to the 1st level. By the end of the game we had made ourselves all the way down to the floor seats about 10 yards away from the Bulls bench. Anyway, spending time with good friends, seeing a new arena and seeing a 102-92 Twolves victory is reason enough for this to be the 10th best sports game I went to see this year.

9. Mississippi Braves - Mobile BayBears - Trustmark Park - The game itself was pretty boring, but I enjoyed going to see a new stadium and spending time with my family. While I might be partial to Smith Wills Stadium, it is good to see minor league baseball is back in Jackson.

8. Royals - Orioles - Kauffman Stadium -A 3-2 Orioles win. - This is another one where the game itself wasn't much to write home about, but the experience of going to Kauffman Stadium more than made up for it. There isn't much better than getting some good Kansas City BBQ (Arthur Bryant's in this example) and then going to see a game (even the O's -Royals) at the K.

7. Miami - Denver - Mariucci Arena - When the college hockey tournament was announced I was pleased to find out that my alma matter was going to be heading to Minneapolis. Sure they were the 4 seed and were probably going to lose to the 1 seeded Pioneers of Denver, but I was just happy to be able to go support Miami. Anyway, my expectations were low so it was even better seeing a 4-2 victory for the Redhawks. This game led to an incredible run through the college hockey tournament that fell just a minute short of producing a national championship.

6. North Dakota St. - Kansas - Metrodome - M and my sister's side of the family got together to get me a ticket to the opening round games in Minneapolis this past year. The games were fun to see live with the best game being the first game between North Dakota St. and Kansas. NDSU isn't a very far drive away from Minneapolis and since it was their first time the tournament the Metrodome was filled with energy from all the Bison fans in the arena. Everyone was treated to a great game and a great shootout between Ben Woodside of NDSU and Sherron Collins of Kansas.

5. Orioles - Twins - Metrodome - Delmon walkoff single for a 7-6 Twins win. The Twins were at the beginning of a eventual playoff push that led to them winning the division. This game against the Orioles was a back and forth game that eventually ended up with Delmon Young singling in the game winning run in the 10th inning. I was happy to see Young's single for 2 reasons: 1) The Twins won and 2) Since this was a Tuesday game M had already informed me that we weren't staying past 10 innings. Thankfully Delmon came through in the cluth. (I can't believe I just wrote that.)

4. USM - Texas - Rosenblatt Stadium - The future best man of my wedding attended the University of Southern Mississippi and we both have an agreement in place to cheer for each others schools as long as they aren't playing each other. Well this past year USM made a very unlikely run to the College World Series and Johnny (and a lot of other USM fans) decided to drive from Mississippi to Omaha to see the Golden Eagles. Since Omaha is only a 5.5 hour drive from Minneapolis I agreed to meet him and his friends there to go see the game. The game was close, but unfortunately Texas ended up winning 7-6 on a walk-off walk in an inning where no Texas player got a hit. It was one of the worst ways you could lose. Still looking back on it it was a great game and a great time. USM did well on the field and in the stands and Rosenblatt Stadium is a great place to see a game.

3. 49ers - Vikings - Metrodome - I was able to get some upper level tickets for around $20 and I decided to with two of my friends to see Favre and the Vikings play the 2-0 49ers. I was expecting a close game, but an eventual Vikings victory. My expectations turned out to be true, but the way it ended up was something that I never could have predicted. I would never have predicted a blocked field goal returned for a TD at the end of the half by the 49ers. I would never have thought about seeing a Percy Harvin return td, where Harvin looked like he was running at a different speed. Finally, I would have never have imagined seeing Brett Favre run around like he didn't know what he was doing and then heave a 32 yard touchdown to the back of the end zone to the new Viking Greg Lewis to give the Vikings a 27-24 victory. It was a great game with an incredible ending. I don't have any pictures from the game, but you should check out the video: Brett Favre Throws Miracle TD to beat 49ers

2. Ohio St. - Iowa - Ohio Stadium - Despite living in Ohio for 4 years and dating an OSU grad I had never seen a regular season game at the Horseshoe. I decided that with the vacation time I had this year I would drive down and see the OSU - Iowa game. This was a pretty great decision in hindsight since the game turned out essentially to be the Big Ten championship game with the winner going to the Rose Bowl. My favorite parts of gameday included; tailgating with friends before hand, walking into the Shoe, talking with people who had been going to games for 40 years, the hospitality of the Buckeye fans, Brutus, seeing the winning kick and rushing the field with my friend Nicole. It was a great 27-24 Buckeye overtime victory.

1. Tigers vs. Twins - Metrodome - Game 163 - A 6-5 extra inning win for the Twins to complete an unprecedented comeback to win the division. I have written about this before, but I still can't really believe all that I saw that night. What a great game and a great moment in Twins history.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wedding Update - Marrying in the Catholic Church

M and I decided to get married in a Catholic Church, which wasn't a shocking decision since her entire immediate family is Catholic. I was raised Episcopalian, but that doesn't seem to be a deal breaker for the Catholic Church. In fact below is all you need to do to get your very own Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony:
  • M had to agree to consider the possibility of raising the kids Catholic. This seems to differ based on who you talk to since there are some people who think that in order to be married in Catholic Church you have to sign your children up for a life of a being a Catholic.

  • Pre-Cana: This is a 1.5 day pre-wedding prep session where you go over what it will be like to be married. There are a lot of gender stereotypes and lectures on the differences between men and women. If you go to class in Minnesota you will find out that the main problems that the wife has with their husband revolve around hockey and hunting. We went through this in the summer.

  • FOCUS - This is a standardized test that is designed to raise up compatibility flags. We took this on Sunday and got the results back yesterday. Randomly the person who administered the test and gave back the results just happened to one of my softball umpires.

  • Agree to have children. This isn't a specific class or something you have to sign, but it is definitely heavily implied. All that I would like to comment on right now is that I am very happy that H is in the family.

I am happy to report that M and I pass all of the requirements. We have received the certification from Pre-Cana and our standardized test came back with an acceptable compatibility score. It is really good that there were no big issues that came up, because the whole wedding thing is already well under way as you can probably tell from the wedding updates.

Not much else to report today, but I will try to get out a new post tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wedding Update - rehearsal dinner

Sometimes you see a preview for a TV show (ex. Modern Family) and you feel pretty confident that you will like it. Other times it is the reverse where after the preview you wonder how that show ever made it past the idea stage. Man vs. Food definitely fell in the 2nd category. Why would anyone want to watch a show about a guy who eats a lot of food? I don't know why I even checked it out in the first place, but it is clear that my initial assumption on that show was dead wrong. Man vs. Food is not only watchable, but something that I set my DVR to and enjoy watching with M. Something about the host Adam Richman's personality combined with the interesting local restaurants he tries out makes for a fun tv show. I am still not as interested in the final "man vs. food" eating challenge, but I do like seeing where he goes and what he tries.

With that being written I am proud to announce that on June 4th, 2010 M and I's rehearsal dinner will be at a place featured on Man vs. Food Columbus - Schmidt's. Schmidt's is a German restaurant in the aptly named German Village part of Columbus. It has been around since the 19th century and I can vouch for the food being excellent.

The only sad note on this is that my original idea of a having a BBQ challenge for the rehearsal dinner didn't work out. I tried working with City BBQ and Hoaggy (the two most well known BBQ places in the area), but I couldn't find a private room available. That made it more complicated as I was tasked to find an open place that could fit 40-50 people. I looked around, but after a few deadends I gave up and decided to go with the easier option. If I lived in Columbus I am pretty sure I could have worked out the details, but from 700 miles away it wasn't easy enough. My goal now is to have a BBQ challenge for M and I's 5 year or 10 year anniversary party.

Overall though I am very excited about Schmidt's. For those of you who read the blog let me know what kind of menu would like. There is no guarantee I will pick what you like, but still I am curious about your opinions. Below are the options:

Schmidt's Traditional German Buffet

  • Schmidt's own fresh Pork Bratwurst
  • Famous Smoked Bahama Mama
  • Garlic Knockwurst (Baked Chicken may be substituted)
  • German Potato Salad
  • Hot Sauerkraut with Pork
  • Green Beans with bacon or glazed baby carrots
  • Chunky Applesauce
  • Fresh Garden Salad
  • Rolls & Butter
  • Coffee, Tea and Iced Tea
The American Buffet
Choice of three following Entrees:
  • Roast Beef
  • Pan Roasted Turkey
  • Baked Ham
  • Meat & Cheese Lasagna
  • Vegetable Lasagna

Served with the following Sides:

  • Apple Walnut Stuffing
  • Redskin Mashed Potatoes
  • Home-style Green beans
  • Tossed Green Salad
  • Rolls & Butter
The Specialty Buffet
Includes the following Choices:
  • Choice of Three Entrees
  • Choice of Two Side Dishes
  • One pre-plated salad
  • Rolls & Butter
  • Coffee, Tea and Iced Tea
List of Entrees -
  • Pork Bratwurst
  • Bahama Mamas
  • Garlic Knockwurst
  • Cabbage Rolls
  • Basil Garlic Chicken
  • Applesauce Meatloaf
  • Marinated Chicken Breast
  • Chicken and Egg Noodles
  • Baked Atlantic Whitefish
  • Roast Beef
  • Honey Baked Ham
  • Roast Turkey
  • Roasted Pork Tenderloin
  • Meat and Cheese Lasagna
  • Vegetable Lasagna
  • Vegetable Garden Spatzel
  • Spatzel Alpine
  • Chicken Fruelin
Side Dishes
  • Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
  • Chunky Applesauce
  • Hot Sauerkraut and Pork
  • Baked Red Skin Potatoes
  • Apple Walnut Stuffing
  • Redskin Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Beans With Bacon
  • Hot German Potato Salad
  • Schmidt's Style Baked Beans
  • Sweet Slaw
  • Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
  • Cottage Cheese
  • California Blend Vegetables
  • Glazed Baby Carrots
  • Tossed Garden Salad
  • Pasta Salad
  • American Potato Salad

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wedding update

For those of you who have suffered through all of my recent sports posts here comes a streak of wedding posts. That's right. If you want to hear somebody's thoughts on the playoff contending Miami Dolphins then check out the Miami Herald. If you want to know about the Twins offseason then feel free to go to one of the following blogs - here or here. If you want to know about my talented, but disappointing fantasy teams then write me an email. If you want to know about the #1 ranked Miami Redhawk hockey team then try out what I think is the only college hockey website anywhere. This blog might as well be changed to Thoughts on Wedding Planning. Get excited.

First update - Save the Dates. We aren't doing them. There was talk about sending them out with either the Malphurs family Christmas letter or maybe even the first annual joint Christmas card, but that talk was just that. I have tried to be good about spreading the word that next June Nancy will be celebrating her quarter century birthday and M and I will be tying the knot, but just in case I missed you here is the proper forum. June 5th, 2010 is the big date. Consider this a save the date. I will even include a picture:

Stay tuned for the next update.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

4 degrees

I received a text today from my future best man in my wedding with the simple question "You cold today?" He must have seen some weather report about the bitter chill that is going through Minnesota. You see right now as I write this it is 4 degrees with a wind chill of -11. This is actually an improvement over the temperature of -2 degrees I saw reported last night. It is cold, but for someone who has been in Minnesota for 4 years and 5 winters it isn't anything new. Every year there will be a stretch of single digits or negative numbers. You don't always know when it will happen, but you know that it is as inevitable as the snow.

In Mississippi there were sweatshirt winters and in Ohio it could get pretty cold, but in Minnesota it gets really, really cold. Here are some of the things I learned about it being Minnesota cold:
  1. Your nostrils can freeze together. This is frightening, disgusting and if you are outside long enough unavoidable.
  2. Your no longer care about any semblance of fashion.
  3. The air is much thinner and running is nearly impossible. I just learned that last night as I was racing to get back to my car after the Twolves game. This "thing I learned" about the cold might just mean I am out of shape, but I choose to believe my first point.
  4. Don't underestimate the dangers of driving on the road and don't overreact. You won't be able to break or turn as easily, but the worst thing you do is start panicking.
  5. Commute = X. Commute driving in freezing, snowing weather = minimum. For those of you who forgot basic algebra that means that if your commute is 15 minutes then you should set your expectations of a commute in bad weather at 30 minutes.
  6. You would think people would be more cautious about their driving in the snow. Most are. However, some getting annoyed about how long their commute is still take the time in the car to put on their makeup (saw that today) or text. These people get in car accidents and contribute to the point above.
  7. Your two most important articles of clothing are what you put on your feet (boots preferably) and head. This is under the assumption that you have a coat to put your hands in, because otherwise you can add gloves to that list. One of the best purchases I (well my Mom) ever made were some expensive Gortex boots that I can walk through snow, ice, water and not feel a thing.
  8. If you don't wear appropriate shoes or gloves then the best thing you can do is put them in lukewarm water to thaw them out. It is kind of like thawing out frozen chicken.
  9. Minnesotans do enjoy the summer more because of the winters.
  10. Walking on a frozen lake has a feeling of dread. I can only imagine what it is like to drive a car on a frozen lake.
  11. Extremely cold days are mentally and physically exhausting. Simple things like driving to work or going to get dinner can feel like tremendous undertakings. That combined with the fact that is dark for 17 hours of the day can mean that you get a lot of sleep.
  12. A sunny day with no clouds in sight might look like a nice day from your window, but all it really means is that it is -10 degrees. In Ohio I would go months without seeing the sun in the winter, so I automatically associated sun with heat. That and the fact that the sun is supposed to provide warmth. Well in Minnesota a sunny day doesn't necessarily mean any heat and I think it can actually mean that the day is colder than expected.

Now it is off to watch the mighty Redhawks compete against Cincy in basketball on ESPN 2.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


This post has been a long time coming, but hopefully after 4 years of applying my craft I can give a detailed view on my thoughts on scalping.

When I was a kid I collected basketball cards. There wasn't much of a greater thrill than opening up a new pack of cards and seeing what treasures awaited me. I would sort out the "commons" and pull out the rookies, superstars or inserts. From those cards I would then look them up in the monthly card magazine Beckett and see what was the quoted price for the month. A 92/93 Shaq rookie card - $10. Nice. I would relay the good news to my Dad and he would always answer my enthusiasm with the question "how much could you sell the card for?" I would then say that if I went to the card shop that I could probably get half of Beckett's quoted price or in this example $5. He would calmly reply that the card was then worth $5. This was confusing to me as a kid because I could see in print that the card was listed as $10. My Dad (being the Louis Rokeyser of North Jackson) would try to explain to me about the stock market, but all of this was above my head. His overall point was that the monetary value of a good was equal to what somebody would pay for it. Simple. Right?

I bring up that flashback into my childhood because I feel like it provides good context on how I view the world of scalping. I think scalping is free market capitalism at its best and worst. How much is a game worth? It is worth what you are willing to spend. The fact that a ticket has a face value of $125 only provides a starting point of what the ticket might actually be worth. Is it a $125 ticket to Duke-UNC at Cameron or is a $125 ticket to Twolves-Raptors? I think too many people think of a sporting ticket as if it is an Ipod you would buy at Target. You are wasting money if you go to and you buy a ticket for what they are charging you. This isn't Target. You can negotiate.


This is probably the #1 stumbling block for most people who might want to buy tickets through a scalper, but instead purchase the tickets from ticketmaster or the team. Where do you go to buy tickets? There have 3 different ways that I have purchased tickets through a 3rd party:

1. Street scalpers -

Approaching the Metrodome, Target Center, Exel Center, etc I am always greeted with the familiar calls of "tickets, who needs tickets." These are almost always men (I have never once dealt with a female ticket scalper) and should be situated as close as possible to the stadium. You should see and hear them and not have to go looking for scalpers, but some markets either have very few scalpers (US Cellular Field in Chicago) or have a designated scalping zone (Miller Park in Milwaukee). My experience is that I have probably bought 80% of my scalped tickets through the street scalpers.

2. Online -

I use and would recommend that site to anyone who wants to ease into the world of scalping tickets. The website has tickets to sporting events, concerts and theater. The website is very user friendly and it guarantees your tickets. I have probably bought tickets to a dozen games using stubhub and I have not once had any type of problem. All you have to do is go to the website, click on the team you want to see and stubhub lists out all of the upcoming games. You then click on the game you want to see and out comes a list of all the tickets you can buy at different prices. This is right next to the map of the stadium, so that you can see exactly where your tickets are.

One note - the price listed is less than you will pay for the tickets since there is a 10% stubhub service fee as well as a delivery fee.

Stubhub is very easy to use, understand and buy tickets. Everything is as straight forward as it is buying tickets through ticketmaster or a team. No surprises.

3. Craig's List -

This is a new avenue that I have started using, but the site itself isn't much of a secret. You go in search for the game you want to see and then email back in forth with the seller. Yesterday I bought my first two sets of tickets from two different sellers and while it might be obvious I have to point out that this is the most risky of any of the 3 choices. For example I went to pick up my first set of tickets yesterday and I had no problem as I got my 8th row face value $125 tickets for $25 each from a nice 40 year old lady at a grocery store only 3 miles from my house. I then went to St. Paul to pick up my 1st row tickets. When I got there I met up with another nice 40 year old lady at a popular Italian restaurant and when we were making the exchange I saw the tickets were Row L and not Row 1. It turns out that the poster had listed them with a lower case l, which on Craig's List looks exactly like a 1. The price I had agreed to pay for them was $30 each because I was offering 20% of face value for what I thought were $150 tickets. Instead what ended up happening was I paid $30 each for tickets with a face value of $60 each. So to recap in the midst of an hour I paid $25 for a $125 ticket and $30 for a $60 ticket.

You can see why I think this is risky. However, the story doesn't end poorly because the lady who sold me the tickets called me back after noticing the error and is going to be sending be back $20 or $10 a ticket. I didn't want to point out that I will still be paying $20 each for tickets with a face value of $60, which means I am not getting as good of deal (33% of face) as I could probably get somewhere else. Still the lady was so nice and I applaud her for agreeing to return my $20 in the first place. She could have easily just taken the money and not looked back. I would use caution with Craig's List. There is more risk involved and as Dr. Nixon taught me in Finance with more risk you should expect more reward. The extra reward you can expect is normally cheaper prices and no additional shipping or administrative fees.

After where the next main question is How much? This is an inexact science, but really it comes down to how much you are willing to pay. You don't get bonus points in heaven (not that I know of anyway) for getting $250 tickets for $27. Also, it isn't worth ruining a good time at a game by being upset that you paid $40 when you could have got the same tickets for $30. The key to determining the price is by figuring out the interest level in the game. These are the main things I consider:

  • Home team's history - Are we talking about Alabama football or Alabama basketball? A good, quick way of checking this out is by looking at the attendance of the past few games. Something like the Packers at Lambeau is always a sell out, while the Milwaukee Bucks might normally have 60% of capacity filled.
  • Visiting team - Is LeBron in town? Is it a rivalry game? These things will increase the price of the ticket. If it is a no name team then you stand the best chance of getting an even more discounted ticket.
  • Record - When in doubt see what the record is of the home team since people normally come out to see a winner.
  • National press - Is there something that is causing the came you are going to see to lead Sportscenter?
  • Day of the year - all things equal the weekend games draw more than weekday games.
  • Time of the year - Games at the beginning of the year have a more stable pricing structure while games at the end of the year can fluctuate a lot in price depending on playoff implications.
  • Miscellaneous - Is the stadium (example - Metrodome) closing? Is a certain local hero returning?

Once you have determined how much you want to pay and where you want to buy them the next step is negotiating. The key here that I have found is that you always have to be willing to walk away from the deal unless you get what you want. For example I wanted to go see the Cavs play this year, but all lower level tickets were going for $100+ on the street, so I walked away and didn't buy any tickets. If you aren't willing to walk away and go watch the game at home or at a bar then you start the negotiation at a disadvantage. You should know what price you want to spend after figuring out the value to you and also seeing what others are paying on stubhub and you should stick to that price or hopefully go lower. If you don't get that price then walk away.

I enjoy scalping. It has allowed me to go see more games for less money and really what more can be better than that. I know the Minneapolis market and thankfully what they value (Vikings and hockey) is not the sports (basketball and baseball) that I like to go see in person. It is a perfect match and one that is served me well. That is it for now, but as I learn more about scalping I might have to go back and revise or rewrite this post.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Charlie Coles

You have to love this clip from Miami's head basketball Charlie Coles after the 2 point Kentucky loss this past week. Seriously check it out if you have 2 minutes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blog delay update

It has been a long time since I have consistently updated my blog, which I blame on a few reasons:
  1. Relay shortage at work has increased my time spent at the Well significantly.

  2. My 4 year old Apple laptop is currently not working, which means I have to go into the guest room to use the Internet. This is not convenient to someone who likes to read blogs, emails, etc while watching TV.

  3. Lots of trips/visits. New Orleans with friends, my just completed "tour of the midwest" roadtrip and also JK coming to visit hasn't given me that much time to post any of my thoughts. Not to say that the trips/visits weren't worth it, but it is the reason.

Anyway, I apologize for the lack of posts. I have thoughts on sports (Jazz, Dolphins, Duke basketball preview), wedding plans (rehearsal dinner spot, hotel, etc) and even a new debate on the purpose of college education that I need to get to, but just haven't had much time. If there is anything specific you want me to write about let me know. In the meantime I need to get ready for my trip to Iowa tomorrow for a friend's wedding.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Minnesota Twins ticket scam

Anybody who knows me even a little bit knows that I am huge Minnesota Twins fan. I go to 10-20 games a year and watch a good portion of their games on FSN. My devotion is clear in September and October when the Twins are in the playoff race as it was in 2006, 2008 and 2009. I spare no cost in terms of time or money to go see my favorite team compete in important regular season games or the postseason. In return for this cost I have been able to see two As-Twins playoff games in 2006, a tiebreaker game against Detroit this year, and also a playoff game against the Yankees. Despite the Twins going 1-3 in those games I have had a good time and I believe that it is a mark of my devotion to the Twins that I went to each one of those games.

So why am I upset? Why is the subject line "Minnesota Twins ticket scam?"

The reason being is that the Twins have $204 of my money and have no plans of returning it to me. Let me explain. When you buy playoff tickets you have to buy an entire strip to see any possible home game during that round of the playoffs. In 2006 I bought tickets to 3 games since there was a chance that there would be a game 5 in Minnesota. In 2008 I bought tickets to 2 games since there was a chance that the Twins would win their division and play the Tampa Bay Rays in the playoffs. This year I bought tickets to both possible games of the Yankees-Twins series. Everything up to this point is completely normal and doesn't anger me one bit. The fact that I had to put 6 tickets for 2 games on my credit card didn't bother me either since I was buying them for some friends and I knew they would pay me back.

What upsets me is what happened after the Yankees swept the Twins in 3 games. I held on to my ticket stubs for a little while, but after a couple of weeks I remember tossing them in the trash can. There was no point in my mind on why I should be reminded that the Twins got swept every time I came across those tickets. In plus what is the point in holding tickets to an event that never happened. This was a huge mistake. After calling the Twins ticket office I was informed that I had to mail back the game 4 tickets to get a refund. This was NOT what happened in 2006 and 2008. Both of those years my credit card was automatically credited with the equivalent amount of the unplayed game(s). I am looking at my etrade account right now and I can see the MN Twins postseason credit of $190 back on 10/8/2008. Apparently in the fine print of the tickets that I paid for this year there was the note that I had to return the tickets to get my refund.

I don't know what the Twins are trying to do (steal money to use to sign Joe Mauer) but it seems unethical to me. They change their policy on ticket refunds yet they didn't really make a big mention of that when everyone was busy buying their tickets. Wouldn't a casual mention of that make sense? Now I am busy I asking my friends to try and go through their stuff and locate these unused ticket stubs. I already know I threw mine out, so I am out at least $68, but if my friends can't find their tickets then I am out $204. I hope that the Twins are happy with that money since they basically paid that to really upset and annoy one of the true diehard Twins fans out there.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sports update

College football
It was a rare good day in Oxford, OH yesterday (first victory of the year thanks to Toledo) and an all too common bad day (losing at Auburn) for those fans back in Oxford, MS.

I keep rooting for Oregon because I want to see Boise St. in the national title game. I would love to see a Boise St. - Alabama national title game. I might even have to buy a Boise St. shirt to root against the Crimson Tide and specifically Nick Sab(t?)an. Overall it is looking like this year would be the perfect year for a playoff. Wouldn't it be great to see Florida, Alabama, TCU, Cincy, Boise St., Iowa, Oregon and Texas in an 8 team playoff? Doesn't that work out for everyone? Would there be any teams that felt like they deserved a shot over those teams? Instead we are left hoping that there are only 2 undefeated teams left to make a clear national championship game. My guess is that there is no chance that will happen and will have at least 3 undefeated teams at the end of the year.

I watched the entire 2nd half between Iowa and Indiana. I was rooting for Iowa since I want to see an undefeated Iowa come into the Horseshoe two weeks from now when I go to my first OSU football game. Indiana had started to get my sympathy when a few key questionable calls went against them in the 3rd quarter. Then IU's coach had to punt the ball on 4th and 6 down by 11 with only 5 minutes to go. All the sympathy I had for them vanished at that time because I couldn't believe that the coach was throwing in the towel so blatantly. Down 2 scores with 5 minutes to go is tough to overcome, but it is is long as you don't give the ball up to the opposing team. I wonder if the coach was trying to cover the 17.5 spread because karma paid him back as Iowa came down and scored a touchdown and secured a cover with an 18 point win.

There are 3 teams I care about this year; the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks. Why three? The Jazz are my favorite team and I like their chances with their young, but experienced team. I think that continuity in basketball is very important and one thing I like about their team is that the roster doesn't change too much. They will bring in one or two players to help the team out, but for the most part the lineup is set. Let's take a quick look at their lineup:
  • Point guard- Deron Williams - drafted by the Jazz - 4 years with the team.
  • Shooting guard - Ronnie Brewer - drafted by the Jazz - 3 years with the team.
  • Small Forward - Andrei Kirilenko - drafted by the Jazz - 8 years with the team.
  • Power Forward - Carlos Boozer - signed as a free agent - 5 years with the team.
  • Center - Memhet Okur - signed as a free agent - 5 years with the team.
Key backups
  • Paul Millsap - drafted by the Jazz - 3 years with the team
  • CJ Miles - drafted by the Jazz - 4 years with the team
  • Kyle Korver - aquired in a trade - 2 years with the team.
  • Eric Maynor - drafted by the Jazz - 1st year with the team.
The Jazz have built a team that should surprise some people and contend for the Western Conferance championship.

The Timberwolves on the other hand lack any sort of continuity and seem more focused on managing their brand (young, exciting, and hardworking) than winning in the current season. That isn't to say I don't disagree with what they are doing since it was important for them to blow things up and start over. I like their financial flexibility and how they have some young, talented players at key positions. Kevin Love and Al Jefferson should handle the post responsibilities for a the next 10 years and between Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions the point guard spot should also be taken care of for awhile. Everybody else though are fillers who stand about a 50/50 shot of even being with the team next year. This team is in a state of change as evidenced by the fact that only 5 players came back from last year. There are a lot of college teams that don't see as much player turnover as the Twolves.

The good news about that above paragraph is that tickets should be cheap and plentiful. However, when I tried to go to the Cavs game on Friday there were only 3 scalpers and nobody had lower level tickets for less than $100. I know the Cavs are one of the few bigs games up here because of LeBron, but still that made me worry about the state of scalping for the Twolves. Maybe scalpers realize that they can't make much (any?) money on Twolves games and just decided to get out of the business? There will still be sites like stubhub, but for the best deals (without the fees) it is almost always better to talk to the street scalpers. I will continue to monitor the situation, but my first thought is that there won't be as many great deals as what I got last year. Let's hope I am wrong.

Finally, why do I care about the Knicks? It isn't because my brother-in-law has an affinity for the team. It is because the Jazz get the Knicks 2010 1st round pick. Thank you Isiah Thomas for letting go of that pick for Stephon Marbury. In what has to be one of the most lopsided trades in Nba history the Jazz got two conditional first round picks (one of them being the 2010 Knicks pick), Tom Gugiotta and cash for giving up Keon Clark and Ben Handlogten. Neither Clark or Handlogten ever scored a single point for another team besides the Jazz after the trade. In fact Clark never played again and Handlogten only played 297 minutes for the Jazz in the 04-05 season after the Jazz resigned him again. How do you get a player, cash, two first round picks for nothing? Only in the NBA with their strange salary cap rules with trades could the Jazz could pull that off.

Right now the Knicks are 0-3 and with every loss the Jazz get closer to a top lottery pick.

I'm about to go to a bar to watch the Dolphins take on the Jets. I would be feeling much better about this game if the Dolphins could have won against either the Colts or the Saints. I can't shake the feeling that last year's team was blessed and this year's team is cursed. Last year's team had the easy schedule and won almost every close game. This year's team has been on the losing end of games they should have won and it just feels like that is going to be the norm for the year. I predicted 6-10 before the season and that prediction might not be too off. Still this team is fun to watch and I think they are headed in the right direction.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Miami University football

It isn't bad enough that Miami University is 0-6 this year with all of the losses this year by double digits, but to have a 1st year coach who refuses to try and win games is really disheartening. Sure the *talent level on this team is bad, which we all knew going into the season since last year's team went 2-10. Also, true is that the team is starting a 19 year old freshmen, so growing pains would be expected. Still I can't help but come to the conclusion that first year coach Mike Haywood is terrible.

*Was it only 5-6 years ago that NFL level talent was going through Oxford, OH? I mean Ben Roethlisberger is the big name who has obviously done very well for himself after leaving Miami, but there was also quality players like Jacob Bell (2004 - 5th round pick), Ryne Robinson (2007 - 4th round pick), Terna Nande (2006 - 5th round pick) and Alphonso Hodge (2005 - 5th round pick)

Why would I pick on a coach who is only halfway finished with his first year? Besides the fact that he is *0-6 (did I mention that?) and in charge of the 4th worst team according to ESPN's Bottom 10 that just happens to be last in the FBS in scoring offense. There is a simple reason that I pick on Mike Haywood and that is because he was the culprit on what has to be one of the dumbest tactical decisions in football this year. Let us set up the scenario after the asterisk.

*11 straight losses for the Redhawks. That is the 2nd longest streak in the country. Everyone in Oxford can now ironically look down at the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky.

Scenario 1
Miami is down 16-0 a little over 10 minutes to go in the game. 4th and 3 yards to go from their own 48 yard line. Why punt it? You are down two touchdowns and two two point conversations and you are near midfield. Does he realize that you need to try and score to win the game?

Scenario 2
Miami is still down 16-0, but now there is 5 minutes to go in the game. It is 4th and 13 yards to go from Miami's 19 yard line. Again, why would you punt it? You need to score at least two times and to do that you have to keep your offense on the field. There is a much better chance of you getting 4th and 13 than having Northwestern fumble the punt, which is pretty much what you are hoping to happen. This makes zero sense. It is almost like he is punting in hopes of keeping the final score close. As a Miami alum I don't care about the final score....all I care about is trying to win. I know the situation is bleak, but by punting there you are taking a 3% chance of winning the game and reducing it to 1%. That makes no sense.

After Scenario 2 happened Miami got the ball (after a Northwestern 3 and out) back with only 2 minutes and 49 seconds left. The fact that they were able to drive the ball down and score with a little over a minute left meant practically nothing since there was almost no time left on the clock. They tried an onside kick, which Northwestern recovered and quickly ran out the clock. Now if Coach Haywood would have gone for it on 4th down on one of the scenarios then maybe there would have been a chance to win the game. I certainly think 4th and 3 and 4th and 13 are much easier options than trying to get an onside kick. Basically Haywood was telling his offense that he didn't trust them to get any yards and it was best to try and just make the score respectable instead of actually trying to win. Maybe some Miami fans saw a 16-6 loss to a Big Ten opponent as an improvement? All I saw was a coach that was telling his team through his play calling that he didn't believe that they could win the game.

Coach Haywood try to win games.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Game 163

I have been meaning to write this post for a couple of days and finally I have a little bit of time to recap what an amazing game.   Just to refresh your memory the Twins beat the Tigers 6-5 in 12 innings on Tuesday to win the AL Central and complete one of the most improbable comebacks in baseball history.     You know it is a good game when you don't want to leave the ballpark after nearly 5 hours of being there.  Also, after that I went home and watched highlights of the game and then watched the complete game on DVR the next day.  There wasn't a highlight that could be shown or an article that could be written that I wouldn't want to watch or read.   

Anyway in honor of that game I will go through the top 20 moments from the game:
  1. The lineups being introduced and seeing 54,000 Twins fans waving their homer hankies.   I had been to big games (including 2 playoff games) before at the Metrodome, but I had never seen what looked like an entire stadium full of the familiar white hankies that had been first introduced in 1987 when the Twins won their first World Series.
  2. On Miguel Cabrera's 2nd at-bat the Twins fans chanted "al-coh-lic"  (in reference to his previous Friday night activities, which I have written about) and all he did was take an 0-2 pitch and crush it high and long to dead center to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.   As loud as the Metrodome was during the introductions it was just as quiet after that home run.
  3. Matt Tolbert starting the comeback with an infield single and eventually scoring on a missed pickoff play.   I don't know if the new crew is like the 2006 team, but that definitely  was a piranha like run.   
  4. Jason Kubel's home run that cut the lead to 3-2 Tigers in the 6th inning and almost started a fight in section 224.   Somebody had walked in front of a group of fans right as Kubel hit his moon shot and the fans that missed the play took exception.   I agree with the aggrieved fans that the proper baseball etiquette is to wait till the end of an at-bat or inning before walking across your row.  
  5. Nick Punto's 9 pitch at bat that resulted in a single and led to the below.
  6. Orlando Cabrera's home run in the bottom of the 7th to give the Twins a 4-3 lead.   This caused a crazy celebration that led me to high five and hug both my friends to the left and the random people to the right.  This is the first time I thought the Twins might actually win the game.   
  7. Magglio Ordonez's home run in the next half inning to tie the game 4-4.   As long and as tough as it was for the Twins to come back and get the lead it took the Tigers two pitches to tie the game back.  
  8. Joe Nathan strikes out Placido Polanco with runners on 1st and 3rd and nobody out in the 9th inning.  Polanco only struck out 7% of the time this year, so to say that was a surprise is an understatement.   All Polanco had to do was get bat on ball and he would off almost guaranteed scored  a run.
  9. Orlando Cabrera's double play on the very next batter.  I don't know what Granderson was thinking, but it was a great play by Cabrera to take advantage of that mistake.
  10. Brandon Inge's double with 2 outs in the 10th inning that scores a run and gives the Tigers a 5-4 lead.  The most frustrating thing about this run was that the runner was only on base because Jesse Crain hit Aubrey Huff on an 0-2 pitch.  
  11. Michael Cuddyer's lead off single turned triple thanks to the alligator arms of Ryan Rayburn in the 10th inning.
  12. Matt Tolbert's bleeder of a single through the middle that was thisclose to a double play, but instead resulted in a tie game and and runners on 1st and 3rd with only one out.
  13. Nick Punto was the next batter and needing only a sac fly to win the game he lined a ball that turned into a double play when Alexi Casilla was thrown out at home.   The two  frustrating things about this play was that Punto hit the ball very well (not a common occurance) and that Casilla hesitated before tagging up at 3rd.   He was thrown out by 6 inches and might have been safe if he would have made shown some basic baserunning logic.  
  14. Nick Punto's defensive play at the plate.   In the 12th inning with bases loaded and only 1 out Brandon Inge hit a ground ball in the middle of the infield and Punto made the decision that he was not going to get a double play and instead made a tough throw home to get the runner on force out.   This was a huge play because Punto had to be thinking about getting a double play and he changed his mind in mid play because he knew (correctly) that the ball was hit too slow for him to try and get both the runner at 2nd and Inge.   This one play justified Gardy's decision to keep playing Punto and Bill Smith's decision to pay a below average batter $4M this year.  
  15. Bobby Keppel strikes out Gerald Laird on a 3-2 pitch that would probably have been a ball if Laird wouldn't have swung and missed.   One of the truly overlooked heroes of the game for the Twins was Laird.   He went 0-6 with 2 strikeouts and one double play and included in those numbers was his 0-4 with runners in scoring position.   If Laird would have had even a below average game the Tigers would have won the game.   
  16. Carlos Gomez starts off the 12th with a single between the 3rd baseman and shortstop. Huge hit considering it was the leadoff batter for the inning and the fact that Gomez is Usain Bolt fast.  
  17. Michael Cuddyer moves Gomez over in an unconventional way by hitting a high chopper of a ground ball to Inge at 3rd base.  
  18. Delmon Young gets intentionally walked.   This was no a top moment because I never thought I would see the day that Delmon Young of all players would be intenionally walked.  I guess that shows you how much Jim Leyland thought of Alexi Casilla.
  19. The top moment from the game had to be the last one where Casilla hits a ground ball through hole in the right side of the infield and Carlos Gomez easily scores from 2nd.
  20. There wasn't much better than the celebration after the game.   Everyone from the fans to the players absolutely lost it in a moment of pure glee.  We stayed and cheered and sang along to "New York, New York" and  "Ain't No Stopping Us Now."   We watched the Twins players give victory laps around the field.   It was a special moment for the Twins and one that will be forever stamped in my memory.
Here are some other articles from what I consider the greatest game I have ever seen.

Jim Souhan "The Dome would not go quietly" including this great line "In a building known for pop-ups that never come down, the Twins won their final game in typically improbable fashion, with two benched best friends finally producing the game-winning run to give the victor to a journeyman reliever who contemplated retirement last winter."  
Pictures and video from the game are here.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Greatest. Game. Ever.

First pitch....54K+ cheering on on the Twins at a little past 4pm

Punto's big at bat with runners on 1st and 3rd and one out. What looked like a game winning hit ended up being a double play when Casilla was tagged out at home.

Twins win. Casilla and Gomez (who would have thought) were the heros at the end.

Very, very happy.

Final scoreboard. Notice the time (8:51pm) which is only 4 hours and 45 minutes since the first pitch.

I have to write more about the game will be hard to get all of what I am thinking into one post especiallly when the Twins play today at 5pm against the Yankees.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Game Time

From a team that was so average for so long and was known more for their crushing losses it is nice to see such a remarkable turnaround. This team has provided some signature wins and this late stretch has given them the opportunity to win the division by beating the rival Detroit Tigers at the Metrodome today. Today's game would be the signature win of the season and make this season a success regardless of what would happen against the Yankees. I am excited, but nervous. In 3.5 hours I will be sitting in the upper club cheering, yelling, praying for the Twins. After 162 games there will be one more game. Just like last year, but hopefully now with a different ending. Go Twins.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Miguel Cabrera's Blood Alcohol Content

Coming to you live from the "capital of the sports world" (according to Tony Kornheiser) I am getting ready for the big Monday Night Football game between the Vikings and Packers.   It will be nice to this game sandwiched in between two huge Twins games that yours truly has either attended or will be attending.   There will be plenty of talk by others about the Vikings-Packers game (something about some Mississippian named Favre) and plenty of talk by me on the Twins tiebreaker and possibly playoff games.   This post is not about that because an amazing story just came up this morning that needs to be discussed.

On Friday night I was watching the Twins-Royals game and was cheering against the Tigers as they eventually lost to the White Sox.   On Saturday night it was pretty much the same thing as the Twins won and the Tigers lost again to the White Sox.   Both of those events were enough for the Twins to tie the Tigers and ultimately led the tiebreaker at the Metrodome tomorrow. Both of those games for the Tigers were of ultimate importance because if the Tigers would have won just one of those games they would have been celebrating an AL Central title after yesterday's victory.   During those games the Tigers star player Miguel Cabrera went 0-8 with a key double play in Saturday's game.   Nothing much to report there since all players have had 2 straight bad games.   

And then this story broke this morning.  To recap the main points:
  • After the game on Friday Cabrera went out partying with members of the White Sox.   
  • He came home at night and got into some type of altercation with his wife.
  • His wife had to call the police at 6am and the police picked up and gave him a blood alcohol test. 
  • Cabrera blew a .26 BAC.  A .26 BAC!   This Tigers blogger wrote it best when he wrote - wrote "A .26 BAC?  That's not just buzzed.  Thats not just drunk.  That's pretty smashed."
  • I looked up a BAC chart to see how many drinks a 240 pound guy would have to drink to get a .26 BAC.  Not counting the alcohol that you "burn up" over the course of time you have been drinking Cabrerra would have had 17 drinks.  17 drinks!  At absolute minimum. That is amazing.
Why would the star player and MVP candidate have at least 17 drinks before one of the biggest games of the year?   A game that he helped proceed to lose with his lack of production in the middle of the lineup.  Not to mention the fact that .26 is in the red on the BAC chart with words "death possible" in bold.   Or the not so minor detail that he had a physical altercation so severe with his wife that his wife had to call the police on her own husband.    There are a lot of unknowns with this story (degree of the fight between the Cabrera's?  how did Cabrera get home? etc), but what is unknown is crazy enough.   17 drinks.   At a minimum.   Then he called the Tigers GM to pick up from jail.  What was he thinking?    In what other job could you get so drunk, got in a fight with your wife and be picked up by your boss on the same day as your most important meeting and still keep your job.   I thought athletes couldn't surprise me anymore until I heard this story.  Really what was Miguel Cabrera thinking?  

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ode to the Metrodome

Considering the name of this blog and my on going reviews of baseball stadiums it seems strange that I have never reviewed the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome. It isn't like the place hasn't meant much to me. In fact it might be the opposite since the place has meant so much to me during my time up in the frozen tundra. Since this weekend is the final regular season home series it is about time I wrote something about a much loathed park.

I love the Metrodome. That doesn't mean I love everything about it or that I don't understand the many complaints about the place. I do. I know the aisles are long and the seats were apparently made for jockeys for who don't want to be facing home plate. There are some things I love that other people hate (a *Metrodome double) and some things I hate that other people love (the Dome Dog). Regardless the best things about the Metrodome are that the Twins play there and the tickets are cheap. That and the fond memories of games past.

*When a player loses a fly ball in the white background of the Dome usually the batter can make it to 2nd base for a double that in any other ballpark would have been an easy out. This is most common in the day time when the sun makes the Dome's roof even more tough on outfielders. The last Metrodome double I saw was a huge Orlando Cabrera double against the Tigers two weeks ago.

I have been to at least 63 games at the Metrodome. I can say this with complete confidence because I have the ticket stubs to back it up. There have been 51 Twins games, 5 NCAA tournament game, 4 Vikings games, 2 Gophers football games and 1 Gophers-Ohio St. baseball game. I didn't see the Rolling Stones play there, but I am as aware of that fact as I am that the Metrodome is the only place that has hosted a World Series, MLB All Star Game, Super Bowl and Final Four. I didn't meet my wife there, but I have gone on many dates with my future wife there. In fact the year (2006) I fell in love with her was the year I fell in the love with the Twins. That was the year of the tapas (not topless as my Mom initially thought) restaurant and the Piranhas.

My most memorable memories of the Metrdome:
  • White Sox - Twins - 2008 - Twins sweep and take the AL Central lead with 3 games left on a dramatic comeback. I can still vividly remember Span chasing Gomez around the bases for his game tying triple.
  • Orioles - Twins - 2009 - A what at the time seemed like a pretty meaningless game ends on a Delmon Young single.
  • A's - Twins - Game 1 - 2006 - Frank Thomas. And then Frank Thomas again. Zito should give Frank Thomas part of his $126M contract that he got in part for beating Johan Santana in this game.
  • A's - Twins - Game 2 - 2006 - Tori Hunter might have won a lot of Gold Gloves, but I always remember him diving and missing what ended up being a game losing inside the park home run.
  • Yankees - Twins - 2008 - ***Long Twins/Stats tangent...feel free to skip***I am not into hyperbole, so take that into account when I write that I saw what might be the most statistically improbable event that I will ever see in my baseball watching life. Here is the situation: Twins down 3 runs with runners on 1st and 2nd and a 0 balls 2 strikes count to Delmon Young in the bottom of the 8th inning. The pitcher for the Yankees is none other than Mariano Rivera. The same Mariano Rivera who has a career 2.26 era and has given up only 60 home runs (11 in his first year) in 1089 innings pitched. In fact in 2006, 2007 and 2008 he gave up only 3, 4, 4 home runs respectively all year. That means there is about a 50 times more likely chance of Rivera getting an out than giving up a home run. Delmon Young through his career has hit 35 home runs in 1723 at bats, which means there is about a 2% chance of him hitting a home run in any one his at bats. However, remember that it is an 0-2 count, which takes all of those odds down a little bit. Anyway, Young hit an opposite field home run to tie a game that the Twins would eventually lose on an Alex Rodriguez extra inning home run.
  • Kansas - Dayton - 2009 - Cole Aldrich dominates the Fliers by recording triple double.
  • Tigers - Twins - 2009 - As previously mentioned Cabrera hits a Metrodome double that leads to a victory over Verlander that makes the AL Central race a little bit closer.
I started this post on Friday when it looked like the Twins wouldn't have much of chance of making it to the playoffs. They were 2 games behind the Tigers with only 3 games left. There was still a little hope, but a betting man would have placed a large wager on the fact that Sunday's game against the Royals would be the last Twins game at the Metrodome. Well a lot of things happened (The White Sox won 2 against the Tigers and the Twins won 2 against the Royals including beating the eventual Cy Young winner Zach Greinke) and coming in this morning the Twins were tied for first the White Sox with one game to go. A lot had changed since the beginning of this post.

My friend Brian and I joined 51,000 people at the Metrodome and we were greeted with homer hankies and also a commemorative diploma celebrating the final regular season game. At the game there was the familiar sign in the home run porch counting down the remaining games at the Metrodome. All weekend was a celebration of the last games at the Metrodome. It turns out the only 1 game left countdown and the commemorative diploma were all for the second to last regular season game. The reason being is the Twins crushed the Royals and the Tigers beat the White Sox. That means for the second straight year the Twins will play in game 163 with the winner going to the playoffs to face the Yankees.

There is still a little more magic in the Metrodome. I will be in the upper club behind home plate for the game on Tuesday. I had made my peace with the Metrodome and was thankful that my last game there was a victory over the Tigers. The Metrodome wouldn't let go. The Twins did their best and with a lot of help the season will keep going for one more day. For such a much maligned ballpark it is appropriate that it ends this way. Let the record show that the final regular season game at Yankee Stadium was a pointless 7-3 victory over Baltimore. The final regular season game at the Metrodome was a very important Twins victory that forced a tiebreaker game against the division rival Tigers at of course the Metrodome.

This final series against the Royals combined with the Monday Night Football game between the Packers and Vikings and the tiebreaker on Tuesday with the Tigers helps serve as an example my final point on this long post. While the Metrodome might not have the best looking baseball stadium (partly because it is a football stadium), but for all its faults it can never be considered irrelevant.

If you are interested below are some other articles on the Metrodome:

Monday, September 28, 2009

A long September

The winter winds came into Minnesota today and I was reminded that despite the prolonged warm weather the seasons have officially changed.   It is now time to prepare for shorter days and colder nights.   This is usually the time of the year when football starts gearing up as college teams get in their conference schedule and NFL teams start forming their identity.     September is a great month in that it ushers out summer/baseball and welcomes in football/fall.   For me it has been a long September since at the beginning of the month I had almost given up on the Twins and was excited for the AFC East defending champs to start their new season.   Now it looks like the Dolphins season is over (Pennington out for the year) and surprisingly the Twins are only 2 games back of the AL Central lead.   I guess I thought I would be following one team in late September, but I just didn't expect that one team to be the Twins.

In other news I went to the Vikings-49ers game yesterday.  I don't know if you heard or saw, but this old journeyman quarterback (3 teams in the past 3 years) with a strange last name completed a 32 yard touchdown pass to Greg Lewis with 2 seconds left in the game to give the Vikings a remarkable win.    Vikings fans were high fiving and hugging each other in euphoria rarely seen in the sports world.    Not a bad $17 I spent on the ticket to the game.  

Go Twins.  Keep the pressure on the Tigers. 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Salary and hard work

Normally I don't take the bait, but I guess yesterday I was feeling a little feisty.   The bait I am referring to is when people make Facebook posts that seem designed so that people will comment on them.   Usually they are political and from my Mississippi friends they are normally something that would make Bill O'Reilly proud.  Anyway, like I first wrote I normally just let these comments come and go because I don't care to make a scene especially on the internet.  Yesterday must have been different.   Below is the comment with all of the comments that came about because of it:

Jordan Cole Wow. Some anti-capitalist idiot on the news just asked: "why would anyone need to make more than 500k a year?" Lady, it's called hard work... And clearly you have no idea what that means. I guess we still can't fix stupid.

11 hours ago via Facebook for iPhone ·  · 
Joe J. Powell III
Joe J. Powell III
Ancient saying: Ignorance abounds. Those that care for others often choose poor tactics but have good soul. Those that have right tactic can lose their source. Best to work together and appreciate unique gifts of other.
My best! JP 
11 hours ago
Kevin Malphurs
Kevin Malphurs
Does everyone who makes over $500K work hard? Does that person who said that comment automatically not work hard? I am confused. It seems like you are making a lot of assumptions based on one comment.
11 hours ago · Delete
Jordan Cole
Jordan Cole
I have made little assumption on the matter, yet you have assumed my initial intention based on your own. I can only speak from personal experience, and everyone I know, that makes over $500k a year, works pretty damn hard for it, and has worked even harder to just get to a level to where they can be in said position. I don't know how "hard" the anti-capitalist individual works, but she clearly doesn't earn 500k a year as a PhD student (she is). As JP has indicated... I am sure her wishes are geared in the right direction, she has allowed something else to cloud her capability of logical thought in the process. If I work hard, I hope to be rewarded for doing so. If I do not work hard, I am a fool to think I should automatically receive something merely based on a "fairness" factor. These are simply my thoughts... not assumptions.
10 hours ago
Kevin Malphurs
Kevin Malphurs
I didn't assume anything, but merely was asking clarifying questions. I don't think there is as much correlation between salary and hard work as you might believe. I know plenty of people who might not make a lot of money, but work very hard and vice versa. Overall I hope we all can agree on the saying that life isn't fair.
10 hours ago · Delete
Jordan Cole
Jordan Cole
The whole "life isn't fair" argument is pretty much played out. It's moreover a question of one's own mortality. Why am I lucky? Why am I better off? Etc.

I think this particular argument is more geared towards: why did I (or not) take advantage of certain opportunities and others did not? I've worked hard to get where I am, and I will never feel bad for doing so.
10 hours ago
Curt Griffin
Curt Griffin
I just want to make 500k don't care If I have to work hard or not. I don't stepping on people to do it.... Yeah I am ass so what
10 hours ago
Andrew Balthrop
Andrew Balthrop
you have the causality backwards. efficiency wages dictate that you work hard because you are getting paid in excess of your productivity. High wages are a motivator, but it is because they make you afraid to be fired.
8 hours ago
Jon Harris
Jon Harris
Oh come now Jordan. You don't seriously believe all this fox news bullshit do you? No one is arguing against hard work, they are arguing against a broken system that makes it hard or impossible for the "hard workers" to reach those upper brackets of pay. And if this lady IS in fact stupid, well then do a google scholar search for Wage inequality and see how many educated folk out there think it is an equally large problem...and by your ASSUMPTION are also stupid.

I guess american CEOs "just work harder" than their foreign counterparts...

And those people working several jobs but still can't pay for basic human needs "just aren't working hard enough"
7 hours ago

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Random Thoughts

It has been awhile since I tried to get some random thoughts down on my blog, so let me try to address all relevant and not so relevant topics that have been floating around in my head:

  • This team is starting to grow on me.   Of course it only took the entire summer, but I am really starting to enjoy watching this completely average team.   They keep getting setbacks like Slowly's injury, Perkins/Liriano's disappearance, Morneau's injury and now Span's mild concussion.   They have responding with lineups that include players like Matt Tolbert, Nick Punto, Brendan Harris and starting pitchers like Brian Duensing.  
  • By the Twins as I write this are 3 games behind the Tigers with an 8-5 lead against the White Sox.
  • This past Saturday they finally had their signature win of the season.   Thanks to a Cabrerra  Metrodome double (are opposing teams more excited about Target Field than the Twins?) followed by a Kubel hit and another clutch Cuddyer home run the Twins treated my parents to a 6-2 victory over the Tigers ace Justin Verlander.  
  • The Twins will continue to be must see TV as long as their games behind is greater than the number of games they have left against the Tigers.  Right now it is 3 compared to 4.
  • The pro team (the Dolphins) had a unique loss yesterday on the anniversary of the Wildcat.  I could write chapters about the conservative play calling, the defense, the terrible missed holding calls and of course the missed Ted Ginn Jr. touchdown. What frustrated me most was the final 3 minutes and the Dolphins final possession.  A team could probably never run a worse 2 minute drill while still advancing the ball down the field.  
  • I partially blame the loss yesterday on poor preparation by my fellow Dolphins fan and me.  We had the plan in place to get ribs and chopped pork from Ted Cook's (the reigning BBQ champ in our minds) only to find out that Ted Cook's is closed on Monday.   Of course it has been so long since we had a Monday Night Football game to get excited about, so we didn't even consider the possibility that Ted Cook's would be closed.  
  • The college team (The Redhawks) might be the worst team in college football.  They were ranked as such last week and after a loss to one of the directional Michigans I don't see why their spot will change.  
Wedding planning
  • The current question that I am asking myself is how best to figure out how many people will actually show up at the wedding?  As a professional forecaster I am probably doing way too much analysis on the probabilities on my Wedding List excel grid.   Yes, I am that much of a dork.   
  • I don't know if I mentioned this, but M and I have picked a date, church, reception place, bridal party, dress (for her), dresses (for her bridesmaids) and are currently working on DJ and photographer.   And by working I mean I watch the Twins game and she emails people.   
  • Any ideas on entrance theme/music for the bridal party?   I want to continue with the basketball theme especially since there are 5 groomsmen and 5 bridesmaids.  
  • The BBQ idea for the rehearsal dinner is still a possibility.   I think I might have to do some convincing of key parties, but at least it is still in the running.
  • Why do people say things like "I'm not even lying, but..." or "Quite honestly?"   Really?  I am supposed to trust these people ever again after saying that?
  • Is it just that Democrats think that there is a lot of luck in the world and that Republicans think that there is little to no luck?   Does that explain each side's position on welfare, affirmative action and now this healthcare debate?   As a generalization do Republicans just believe that you get were you are because of what you do and not because of society.   The world is a just place and left to their free will people are treated fairly by the market.  If you are without healthcare or a job it is because you are either dumb or you didn't work hard and not because of any other thing.   Does that sum things up?
  • Shouldn't somebody come up with a healthy alternative to the cigarette break?  I sure would like to take a break every hour or two to talk with some fellow coworkers or friends outside.  
That's it for now.   I am going to try and forget about football for awhile and just focus on the Twins.   Let's hope for the best.