Thursday, September 30, 2004

"The Defining event of this campaign"--Tom Brokaw
-Well, at least the news media isn't over dramatizing this thing.
-"They will remain silent"--well, we'll see.
-God, Kerry doesn't even answer the first question. He starts by thanking Florida.
-Bush didn't either, for the record. This is going to be fun.

-So far, no questions answered directly.
-Kerry looks to have lost his tan.
-Kerry is mentioning miliatry leaders? How about Tommie Franks?
-12 minutes till Senator Kerry mentions his military service. That's a new record I think.

-Bush mistakenly called Bin Laden Saddam Hussein. Someone is going to have a field day.

The two candidates had me losing my sanity, so I made a few calls. As I said, I know who I'm voting for. Still, a call to someone close to me had me worried.
"Kerry's kicking his ass," the person said. I was worried that was coming accross too, since I am watching these things without the slightest bit of objectivity and a fair amount of paranoia.
I made another phone call to some one else special to me, who told me to stop watching the debates because they were driving me nuts. It's true. Kerry was making me crazy with his remarks about Bush "ignoring" the United Nations. If he didn't ignore them, he should have. The United Nations is a pretty corrupt organization (see, oil for food) and has more loopholes in its resolutions than a Don King boxing contract.
Bush's stammering also annoyed me. I kept thinking, "spit it out!" But I know that's just the way he communicates.
So I am now watching the Navy vs. Air Force football game on espn. Now there are some likely voters.

Debates and where the heck I've been
Well I had to rebuild my template again, this time causing a blank screen for those who wanted to access it. It'll take me a little while to put the links back up and maintain the symmetry of the blog, but I will, along with some small, cosmetic changes.
-Everyone has been comparing the debates to joint press conferences, and as I result, I am very unenthused about them. Plus, as someone who has made his decision, it's not like it has any effect on me how the debates go. I think most people will be watching for validation, not confirmation. I realize that's the way it always is, with the fringe few percent making up the decision, but it just gives me less reason to watch.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Panel: Week Three results
1. Vivek Vasavada 10-4 (26-19)
1. Phil Prusa 10-4 (28-17)
2. Joel Hammond 9-5 (24-21)
3. Aaron Rund 8-6 (31-13)
4. Nihar Vasavada 7-7 (25-20)
4. Curtis A. 7-7 (23-22)
4. Zach 7-7 (26-19)
* Andy Barch (bye week) 17-14

-How does someone pick the Chargers over San Diego in Mile High and still get a share of the week three win?

-Congratulations to Vivek and Phil for being superior this week.

-Aaron's two week winning streak has ended, but he still has the overall lead, with Phil edging up.

-Everyone misfired on Houston's win and Tennessee's loss.

Song quote of the day
I don't really hate you
I don't care what you do
We were made for each other
me and you--Peter Gabriel

Sunday, September 26, 2004

General NFL Thoughts
-Have the Browns jumped the shark already? What an awful display.
-Someone on ESPN radio referred to Terrell Owens as Randy Moss. No reason to explain the silliness.
-The Chiefs have started 0-3, giving solace to Browns fans everywhere.
-I have yet to see how everyone did this week. But I proclaim that I won't pick the Browns the rest of the season.

The Panel: Week Three
Aaron Rund: BGRSO broadcaster
Andy Barch: Charlston Alleycats broadcaster
Joel Hammond: Sportswriter
Phil Prusa: Professor of the Gridiron
Vivek "Watergate does not bother me" Vasavada: Nixon Apologist
Nihar Vasavada: Friends with Doogie Howser
Curtis A: Browns expert

Houston 0-2-0 at Kansas City 0-2-0 at 1 p.m.
Aaron: KC
Joel: KC
Curtis: KC
Vivek: Chiefs
Nihar: KC
Zach: KC

Philadelphia 2-0-0 at Detroit 2-0-0 at 1 p.m.
Aaron: Philly
Joel: Philly
Curtis: Philadelphia
Vivek: Eagles
Nihar: Philadelphia
Zach: Eagles

Baltimore 1-1-0 at Cincinnati 1-1-0 at 1 p.m.
Aaron: Cincinnati
Joel: Cincy
Curtis: Baltimore
Vivek: Ravens
Nihar: Bengals
Zach: Bengals

Arizona 0-2-0 at Atlanta 2-0-0 at 1 p.m.
Aaron: Atlanta
Joel: Atlanta
Curtis: Atlanta
Vivek: Falcons
Nihar: Atlanta
Zach: Arizona

Jacksonville 2-0-0 at Tennessee 1-1-0 at 1 p.m.
Aaron: Tennessee
Joel: Tennessee
Curtis: Tennessee
Vivek: Titans
Nihar: Tennessee
Zach: Tennessee

New Orleans 1-1-0 at St. Louis 1-1-0 at 1 p.m.
Aaron: St. Louis
Joel: New Orleans
Phil: RAMS
Curtis: Rams
Vivek: Saints
Nihar: St. Louis
Zach: Rams

Cleveland 1-1-0 at NY Giants 1-1-0 at 1 p.m.
Aaron: Giants
Joel: Cleveland
Curtis: Browns
Vivek: Browns
Nihar: Browns
Zach: Browns

Chicago 1-1-0 at Minnesota 1-1-0 at 1 p.m.
Aaron: Minnesota
Joel: Minnesota
Curtis: Minnesota
Vivek: Vikings
Nihar: Minnesota
Zach: Minnesota

Pittsburgh 1-1-0 at Miami 0-2-0 at 8:30 p.m.
Aaron: Pittsburgh
Joel: Pittsburgh
Phil: Steelers
Curtis: Pittsburgh
Vivek: Pittsburgh
Zach: Pittsburgh

San Diego 1-1-0 at Denver 1-1-0 at 4:05 p.m.
Aaron: Denver
Joel: Denver
Curtis: Denver
Vivek: Chargers
Nihar: Denver
Zach: Denver

San Francisco 0-2-0 at Seattle 2-0-0 at 4:15 p.m.
Aaron: Seattle
Joel: Seattle
Curtis: Seattle
Vivek: Seahawks
Nihar: Seattle
Zach: Seattle

Green Bay 1-1-0 at Indianapolis 1-1-0 at 4:15 p.m.
Aaron: Green Bay
Joel: Green Bay
Curtis: Green Bay
Vivek: Colts
Nihar: Green Bay
Zach: Colts

Tampa Bay 0-2-0 at Oakland 1-1-0 at 8:30 p.m.
Aaron: Oakland
Joel: Oakland
Curtis: Oakland
Vivek: Raiders
Nihar: Oakland
Zach: Oakland

Dallas 1-1-0 at Washington 1-1-0 at 9 p.m.
Aaron: Washington
Joel: Dallas
Curtis: Washington
Vivek: Cowboys
Nihar: Washington
Zach: Washington

Alex Berenson needs sensitivity courses
The New York Times may have crossed the line of sensitivity in an article written by Alex Berenson. The article, carried in Sunday's Plain Dealer, is about the rising homicide rates in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The PD uses the headline "Baghdad Homicide Rate Soars Since the Fall of Saddam Hussein". Fair enough.
But the lede to Berenson's article is somewhat disturbing:
Business is booming at the Baghdad morgue.
I am surprised that this ran as it was, in that the author never looked at it and said, "Maybe this is too extreme."
The story, which talks about how rare "murders" were before the fall of one of the most horrific men on the face of the earth, states that an average of about 20-25 bodies are brought in every day to the Baghdad morgue.
A tragedy to be sure, but the lede seems to treat this as something less than serious. Forget the fact that Hussein was brutal, forget any political tie in. I just think the "business is booming line" is a bit callous considering that these people who are killed have families and loved ones. I wonder how Berenson and those at the Times would feel if it was one of their loved ones that had been killed.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Is it just me?
-Or does Christopher Hitchens look a lot like Robert Palmer? And is he right a lot?
-Is Tim Russert the country's best and most unbiased journalist?
-The war on drugs a complete waste of time and money?
-the Browns lose way more games than they should?

Friday, September 24, 2004

I shall reveal you
-As some of you may know, a Kenton couple appeared this week on Extreme Makeovers. This gave our county a slight bit of notoriety on the national tv circuit.
Then, today as I was leaving to go to a game, I saw one of the most indescribeable things I had ever seen. It was a car that was literally falling apart. Its exterior was out of something you'd see on an inner city wall, with all sorts of graffity on it. The only readable phrase was "Pimp my Ride," which I assume is in reference to the MTV show, where mechanics take a beat up sled and turn it into a sort of "Bond-Car" for today's unmotivated youth.
I was thinking however that "Pimp My Ride" is just a very basic, somewhat crude way of saying "Update" or "Makeover."
Really, "Extreme Makeover" could be called "Pimp my Wife."
I'm not sure what my point was with all this. It's 3:40 in the morning.

Song Quote of the Day
I still want to be by your side
just to help me dry the tears that I cried
and I'm sure gonna give you a try
and if you want I'll try to love again--Cat Stevens

Fire in the hole
General Friday thoughts
-I am continually amused that some people are trying to link Cat Stevens to terrorism, rather than just calling it a mistake to not allow him into the country. He is a conservative muslim, but does that really make him a threat? He hasn't committed any crime, so it doesn't make sense to me.
Everyone, when talking about Cat, seems to point to a case 15 years ago, when he supposedly "condoned" the Ayatollah's call for the murder of author Salman Rushdie. But I believe that is a misconception, as if you look at what he said at the time, he didn't "condone" the call. He merely clarified why some in the muslim faith were calling for it. He explained what was said in the Koran, while not saying "this is correct."
Or maybe I give Cat more rope because I like his music. Even if he doesn't

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I love Elton John's music as much as anyone, and have always been impressed with his wit and modesty in interviews.
But I wouldn't send him on an international press tour any time soon.
That's anger.

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: Best Cat Stevens songs
1. Wild World
2. Longer Boats
3. Hard headed woman
4. Peace Train
5. Sitting
6. The Wind
7. Moonshadow

Song quote of the day
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're trying to wash us away
They're trying to wash us away--Randy Newman

Ray "Big Bossman" Traylor passes away
In some sad news, Ray Traylor, best known as the Big Bossman in the WWF, has passed away at the age of 42. The cause is unknown at this time.
Bossman was one of my favorite wrestlers in the early 1990s, and even his return in 1998 to the WWF provided some good moments. What is sad is that Traylor was reportedly one of the nicest guys in the business, but like so many others, died way too young.
Rest in peace, Mr. Traylor.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Song quote of the day
You know I've seen a lot of what the world can do
and it's breaking my heart in two
cause I never want to see you sad girl
Don't be a bad girl--Cat Stevens

Just Around the Corner
- Some things you just need to smile about. Not that the Cat Stevens situation is really one of them, but I wonder how many people, when reading about his situation, went out to a record store and bought an album of his. I am playing my Cat Stevens CD as I write this.

-My friend Nick and I discussed the weirdness of the whole thing, both certain that Yussef Islam (spelling) is no threat to our national security. Yes, there will be mishaps in this system, and they are played out greater when a celebrity (or at least former celebrity) is involved.

-The problem of course, is that this will become a joke on the national scale. But what can be done? My joke was "Gee, looks like Cat's being followed by more than a Moon Shadow." But what happens when this system DOES catch someone that has evil intentions? Is it worth it? I have no idea.

-Despite this, I believe Yussef is a peaceful man, despite some opinions to the contrary 15 years ago, and I am sure this was a bad, forgettable experience for him. Sometimes I wish he was still writing, because he was so good, but that's neither here nor there.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: NFL Power Rankings: post week 2
1. Philadelphia
2. New England
3. Seattle
4. Indianapolis
5. Carolina
6. Green Bay
7. Minnesota

The Panel: Week 2 standings
1. Aaron Rund: 11-5 (23-8)
2. Andy Barch: 9-7 (17-14)
2. Nihar Vasavada: 9-7 (18-13)
2. Zach: 9-7 (19-12)
3. Phil Prusa: 8-8 (18-13)
3. Vivek Vasavada: 8-8 (16-15)
4. Joel Hammond: 6-10 (15-16)
4. Curtis A.: 6-10 (16-15)

-Aaron is still the undisputed winner after two weeks, congrats to him.
-Andy was the only one to pick the Jags over Denver, I was the only one to pick the Giants.
-We all missed on the Bears-Packers game, but then so did everyone else.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Winslow out 6-8 weeks
Actually, that's the best case scenerio after the way it sounded yesterday (I listened to the final two minutes on the radio.) Still, this is SO Cleveland.
...And Courtney Brown is out for the year. Great.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Panel
It's week two, but the panel remains in tact. The participants:
Aaron Rund: BGRSO football announcer
Andy Barch: Charleston Alleycats Announcer
Joel Hammond: Sportwriter
Phil Prusa: Professor of Picks
Nihar: Real Doctor
Vivek Vasavada: Richard Nixon Aide, NFL expert
Curtis A.: Browns expert, may or may not be related to Vitamin Z

Carolina at Kansas City, 1:00 pm
Andy: KC
Joel: KC
Nihar: KC
V: Panthers
Curtis: Chiefs
Zach: Chiefs

Denver at Jacksonville, 1:00 pm
Aaron: Denver
Andy: Jacksonville
Joel: Broncos
Nihar: Denver
V: Denver
Curtis: Denver
Zach: Denver

Houston at Detroit, 1:00 pm
Andy: Detroit
Joel: Detroit
Nihar: Houston
V: Texans
Curtis: Houston
Zach: Lions

Indianapolis at Tennessee, 1:00 pm
Aaron: Indianapolis
Andy: Indy
Joel: Tennessee
Nihar: Indy
V: Titans
Curtis: Titans
Zach: Titans

Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 1:00 pm
Aaron: Baltimore
Andy: Pittsburgh
Joel: Steelers
Nihar: Baltimore
V: Pittsburgh
Curtis: Baltimore
Zach: Baltimore

San Francisco at New Orleans, 1:00 pm
Aaron:New Orleans
Andy: New Orleans
Joel: 49ers
Nihar: New Orleans
V: Saints
Curtis: NO
Zach: Saints

Chicago at Green Bay at 1:00 p.m.
Aaron:Green Bay
Andy: Green Bay
Joel: Green Bay
Nihar: GB
V: Packers
Curtis: GB
Zach: Packers

St. Louis at Atlanta, 1:00 pm
Aaron: Atlanta
Andy: St. Louis
Joel: Rammies
Nihar: Rams
V: Rams
Curtis: Atlanta
Zach: Rams

Washington at N.Y. Giants, 1:00 pm
Aaron: Washington
Andy: Washington
Joel: Redskins
Nihar: Washington
V: Redskins
Curtis: Washington
Zach: Giants

Seattle at Tampa Bay, 4:05 pm
Aaron: Seattle
Andy: Seattle
Joel: Seattle
Nihar: Seattle
V: Seahawks
Curtis: TB
Zach: Tampa Bay

Buffalo at Oakland, 4:15 pm
Joel: Oakland
Nihar: Oakland
V: Bills
Curtis: Oakland
Zach: Oakland

Cleveland at Dallas, 4:15 pm
Aaron: Cleveland
Andy: Dallas
Joel: Dallas
Nihar: Cleveland
V: Cowboys
Curtis: Browns
Zach: Browns

New England at Arizona, 4:15 pm
Aaron: New England
Andy: Arizona
Joel: Cardinals
Nihar: NE
V: Patriots
Curtis: NE
Zach: Patriots

N.Y. Jets at San Diego, 4:15 pm
Aaron: Jets
Andy: Jets
Joel: Jets
Nihar: NY
V: Jets
Curtis: Jets
Zach: Jets

Miami at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m.
Aaron: Cincinnati
Andy: Cincy
Joel: Bengals
Nihar: Cincinnati
V: Bengals
Curtis: Miami
Zach: Bengals

Monday Night

Minnesota at Philadelphia, 9:00
Aaron: Minnesota
Andy: Philly
Joel: Vikes
Nihar: Philadelphia
V: Eagles
Curtis: Minnesota
Zach: Eagles

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Bonds hits 700
Barry Bonds hit his 700th home run last night. Still, he can hit 800 and will never be able to outrun the questions about his late career power surge.
That is the problem. With baseball's weak as ever steroid policy, we will never know if Bonds is clean, even if he is.
Therefore, his record is forever clouded in a sea of question. I certainly have my doubts about the legitimacy of Bonds--and Sosa and McGwire for that matter. But since there is no proof, and likely never will be, this period in baseball will be looked upon with a mental asterisk.
And that's a shame.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Friday Night Blues
OK, I hate to dwell on this polling thing, but how can two polls be 13 points apart? If I had to guess, I would say that in reality, the president has a lead of about seven or eight points. Most promisingly for the president is the lead he has developed in "swing" states such as Ohio and Missouri.
I guess the polls are up to question, but we may only know who is going to win in November, and no earlier.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Song quote of the day
Nobody knows me
Nobody understands
These little people were good to me
Oh I want to shake some hands
Line em up--James Taylor

Ovation has a documentary on Dusty Springfield on. Have I mentioned how much I love Ovation?

This makes me laugh. Hard.

Rather Strange Times
Above all of the discussion, let me say this about Rathergate:
I don't care about what happened 25 years ago. George Bush's national guard record is of no consequence to me. The Kerry Swift Boat situation means just as little.
Because we as human beings have yet to build a time machine, and until we do, we have an inability to go back and not only change the past, but see how it actually happened. History is not only written by the winners, it is written by the clouded perception of memory.
We have two men running for president, and I would hope that the election will focus on the future and not the past.
Did it matter to the electorate that Bill Clinton dodged the draft? I would argue no, considering he was elected twice, both times against decorated war heroes.
Why do we care this year?
Critics argue that Bush is a war time president and thus should have had war experience. In order for that to work, one would have to argue that someone needs battle experience to be president. When elected, a president may be forced with a regrettable but necessary decision of war. That could happen to any president in any era.
Should he choose not to go to war based on the fact that he was not fighting in a war?
I have the luxury of being able to have this perspective. I'm sure the scars of those who are against Bush and Kerry over their military service are deep and lasting.
I understand why it matters to them.
But I believe that George Bush has already been president for four years, and that's what he should be judged on. John Kerry has been in the senate for much longer, and that's what he should be judged on.
America needs to remain strong right now, but these discussions are framing the debate where it doesn't need to be framed.
It's the future, not the past. Let's talk about that.

BGSU Player dies
Bowling Green State University student Aaron Richardson, who was one of nine individuals to join the BGSU football team as a walk-on today, passed away at Wood County Hospital after falling ill during the first 10 minutes of Wednesday's practice.
"The University is reviewing the circumstances surrounding Aaron's passing," said BGSU Vice-President for Student Affairs Ed Whipple. "This tragedy has saddened our entire University."
A freshman, Richardson is a native of Sandusky and attended Perkins High School where he became the first boys athlete from PHS to compete at the Ohio High School State Championships in four events last June.
"This is a sad day for our University community and our thoughts and prayers go out to Aaron's family and friends," said BGSU Athletic Director Paul Krebs.

My heart goes out to his family, friends and teammates.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Voting for Joe
Some guy from Central Ohio named Joe Shriner is running for president.
Of the United States.
Of America.
No, I don't really know anything about him either, but he has been campaigning on the backroads of America. He sounds "Jeffersonian."
It is interesting for some reason, although I am not entirely sure why.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Yeah ...
Can a republican Browns fan still vote for a man who said this?
Bush returned the favor.
"I'm proud to be introduced by the man who led 'The Drive,"' (President Bush) said.
John Elway is supporting Bush, and I have so many problems with that. Next I'll hear Gary Carter is a republican.

Note: This whole post is designed for humerous purposes.

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: NFL Power Rankings, post week one
1. Philadelphia
2. New England
3. Minnesota
4. Green Bay
5. Indianapolis
6. Carolina
7. Denver

Michael Moore Hates America Premiers
And from the sounds of things, it did pretty well. Of course, it was a conservative film festival, which I guess is the equivilant of Michael Moore in Cannes.
It will be interesting to see what--if any reviews the film gets in the mainstream.
Roger Ebert gave Farenheit 9-11 a very positive review, and has insisted he puts political views aside when judging a film. We shall see, although I believe this is director Mike Wilson's first film, so Ebert may have more problems with it than the politics.

Week One Panel Results
1. Aaron Rund:12-3
2. Phil Prusa:10-5
2. Curtis A.: 10-5
2. Zach:10-5
3.Nihar Vasavada:9-6
3.Joel Hammond: 9-6
4.Vivek Vasavada:8-7
4. Andy Barch: 8-7

Congratulations to Aaron Rund, who won by a full game over the rest of us. So these are the standings after week one.

-The downfall and the rise seem to be contingent on two games. The two panelists who picked the Browns finished very well. Rund stands out because he picked the Browns AND the Redskins, which he admitted at the time were somewhat "homer" picks for him. The moral I guess is to stand by your team.

-All eight panelists misfired on Houston-San Diego

Monday, September 13, 2004

Great moments in post-college existence
Coach: "You know, you are becoming my worst nightmare,"

Sure, it was in jest, but still ...

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: Best Browns wins (1999-present)
1. 2002 vs. Falcons
2. 2001 vs. Ravens
3. 2004 vs. Ravens
3. 2001 at Ravens
5. 1999 at Steelers
6. 2002 at Jacksonville
7. 1999 at Saints

Song quote of the day
Now I don't mind chopping wood
and I don't care if the money's no good
you take what you can and you leave the rest
but they never should have taken the very best--The Band

Still excited
Twenty-one hours later and I'm still excited about the Browns. And the national media is giving the Browns win more coverage than I can ever remember. Check out this story on as well as a front page story on sportsline.

-Roger Brown is reporting that Mike Hegan's future as the Indians radio announcer is clouded in question. If they let him go, that will one more reason to avoid the team's radio broadcasts.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Browns 20, Ravens 3
SWEET! I haven't enjoyed a Sunday this much since the last time the Browns beat Baltimore at home. Thanks to Nick for hanging with me in BG this week.

Scary Story
This is really sad, and scary.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Good Luck
To my buddy and panelist Aaron Rund, who will be announcing tonight's BG game. Go Falcons!

Occupational Hazard
Two things happened of note today at a volleyball game I was covering.
-The first was that before the match began, I was working with my camera when I was blindsided by a volleyball. The ball hit me just above the jaw and was coming at a fast enough velocity to shake me up a little bit. So much so that the coach of the team I was covering asked about my condition following the game. My first physical battle scar in covering sports.

-The second was that as the coach was lending money to his son before his interview with me, he asked me, "Do you have kids?"
Speaking of blindsides. I still AM the one borrowing money from my parents, and I sometimes forget I am even physically capable of having a child.
But then I remember I am 24 and not 14 anymore.

Three Years
"We will never forgive. Never forget. Never excuse."--Actor Ron Silver at the Republican Convention.

In some ways September 11, 2001 feels like more than three years ago, in some ways it feels like far less. It was a day that showed all of us who and what heroes really were. It was a day that showed us the evil that lurks in the hearts of some. And it showed us once again how the worst of tragedies can bring out the best in people.
What I occasionally forget is how scary the day was and how we didn't really know if more was coming.
It is a day to remember the innocent, the heroic, the selfless who lost their lives on that day. It is also a good time to remember the brave men and women fighting overseas and defending our country.
Thanks to all of them.
We will never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Prusa Power: NFL Preview
My friend Phil Prusa provides the inside track on the NFL season. Take it away Phil!:

Time to take a look at how I see each team finishing out the year. How will your favorite team fare? Find out from a guy that has absolutely no authority on the matter! By the way, was there ever a better opening game than Thursday (which completely slipped my mind or I would have done this earlier)? My projected record for each team is in ( )
Wildcard - *


Patriots (11-5)
Bill Belicheck has been a head coach in the NFL for 10 years, yet has never been to the playoffs in back to back seasons. That streak ends in 2004. New England starts the season as a clear favorite to go back to the Super Bowl

Jets (8-8)
Outside Chad Pennington, there just isn't a lot on this team to distinct itself. And yes, Pennington is the team. When he got hurt in the preseason last year, the team fell apart.

Bills (7-9)
This season might be Drew Bledsoe's last hurrah. Was anyone else scratching their head when Willis McGahee demanded a trade if he wasnt named the #1 running back for the Bills? For those keeping score, McGahee has not played an official NFL down to date.

Dolphins (6-10)
Let's see....Ricky Williams retires unexpectedly, David Boston is signed to solve the wide receiver issue and he's injured and out for the year, and Dan Marino is hired for a front office job and leaves a few weeks later. Am I leaving anything out? What the....HURRICANES?!?!
This is going to be a rough year...


Ravens (9-7)
As always, this team will rely on the defense...which is not a bad idea considering Jonathon Ogdon has a bum leg, Kyle Boller has yet to prove being a first round draft pick, and Jamal Lewis has that little legal issue he's got to deal with.

Bengals (7-9)
Carson Palmer might expirence a few growing pains in his first year on the field, but he'll be fine. I'd be more worried about their pass defense, their run defense, and pretty much any defense that supposedly stops the opposing offense.

Browns (6-10)
Time for the defensive line to carry it's weight as there are 3 first round draft picks (Brown, Warren, Lang) on it. Everyone raves about the drafting of Kellen Winslow Jr, but I think the best signing this team made was fullback Terrelle Smith.

Steelers (6-10)
Good: Pittsburgh is re-dedicating their focus to running the football. Bad: The defense is still as soft as wet tissue paper. Joey Porter had on off year in 2003...time to see if he has fully recovered from the gunshot wound he suffered.


Titans (12-4)
Personally, I don't think there has been any team as under-rated than Tennessee. Head coach Jeff Fisher consistantly has this team in the playoffs. This could be the final year for this team to hit the Super Bowl before the window closes on them.

* Colts (11-5)
Could be the last year of the trio of Manning, James, and Harrison. Could snag the divisional title from the Titans, but defense will be a concern in the playoffs.

Jaguars (8-8)
Not sure when this team became the cinderella pick for the Super Bowl, but in the same division with the Titans and Colts, they'll be hard pressed just to make a .500 record. The Hugh Douglas experiment lasted a whopping year before he got cut....symbolizing the bad decisions the club has made on personal as of late.

Texans (7-9)
Could possibly finish in 3rd place this year in their division. Defense will be the key to their success but QB David Carr has to make the next step in his development. Looks like 2005 is the year they will target for contention.


Chiefs (11-5)
Same situation the Colts are in....offense will power them to the playoffs but the defense keeps them out of the Super Bowl. Much has been made with new defense coodinater Gunther Cunningham, but he has pretty much the same players from last year.

* Broncos (10-5)
Loss of running back Mike Anderson hurts this team, as does question marks in the wide receiver corps. Still should be able to make the playoffs though.

Raiders (8-8)
After the disaster that was 2003, Raiders need more than one offseason to reload. Still too old to realistically contend this year.

Chargers (4-12)
Maybe the Manning family was on to something refusing to have Eli play in San Diego. Even with a 2,000 yard rushing season by LaDainian Tomlinson, this team would be lucky to win 6 games tops.


Eagles (11-5)
They got Javon Kearse and Terrell Owens, but it seems like the Eagles are desperate to get over the hump. Kearse has a history of injury problems, and Owens gets to the playoffs, but doesn't do all that much once he's there.

Cowboys (9-7)
Bill Parcells always does better with his team the 2nd year he's there. Problem is the 2004
Cowboys could be better than last year's team and still miss the playoffs. And a 40-year old Vince Testaverde as your QB doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Giants (6-10)
Last year, the Giants opened the season with dreams of the Super Bowl. This is with an eventual rookie QB at the helm and a new head caoch, New York just wants to survive the season.

Redskins (5-11)
Rumors that owner Dan Synder tries to lure Lawrence Taylor and Stephen Baker out of retirement are completely unfounded at this point.


Packers (11-5)
One thing for Tim Couch not to make this team. It's something else if he can't beat out career clipboard holder Doug Peterson for the #2 QB. Still, as long as Bret Farve is around, Green Bay will contend.

* Vikings (10-6)
Offense is there for contention, but I daresay that no team chokes more in the big game than Minnesota. Ask Cardinal fans about that.

Lions (6-10)
Don't laugh, but the Lions could be a scoring machine this year. Joey Harrington has to justify his first round draft status (which has been hard to do his first two years in the NFL with a bad Detroit team) and the Lions must learn to win on the road.

Bears (4-12)
Lovie Smith may prove to be a great NFL head coach. But he just doesn't have the talent on the roster this year to do much of anything this year.


Saints (10-6)
Here it is: my season upset special. Saints have fiddled with the .500 with the past few years. Now it's time for Aaron Brooks to get over the hump and lead this team to the playoffs. Having Deuce McAllister and Joe Horn helps his cause.

Panthers (9-7)
I like Carolina and their defense style of football. But the questions on the offensive line (including up to 4 new possible starters), keeps me from picking them to have a repeat season. The Panthers lived dangerously on the edge last year and might finally fall off it.

Falcons (8-8)
Michael Vick could very well be the most exciting player in the NFL, which is Atlanta's curse. If he goes down, so do the Falcons. Too many question marks in the defense make it hard to see this squad contend for the playoffs.

Buccaneers (7-9)
Things have not gone well for coach Jon Gruden since his first year with Tampa Bay when the Bucs won the Super Bowl. Since then, questions have formed as to whether or not is was Gruden or former coach Tony Dungy who should get the credit. This year, it would be tough for any head coach to win with this squad.


Rams (11-5)
My least confident pick for a division winner. I'm banking on the offense to carry them this year, but even with Orlando Pace ending his holdout, the offensive line is a big question mark for the season.

* Seahawks (10-6)
A big bandwagon team for 2004, but Seattle has a brutal start to the season where they could start 0-2 or 1-3. That would be a tough hole for any team to get out of.

49ers (6-10)
Look at the bright side...Barry Bonds is going for another MVP award this year from the San Francisco Giants...

Cardinals (3-13)
Too many injuries in the offseason and too little talent is not the best combination to have this year. Probably a good thing that the new stadium for Arizona doesn't open until 2006. Dennis Green's prediction of playoffs seem a tad immature.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Panel: Week One NFL:
The Panel:
Aaron Rund: BGRSO announcer
Joel Hammond: Former BG News Sports editor
Vivek Vasavada: Richard Nixon fanatic/NFL expert
Nihar Vasavada: NFL Expert/A REAL doctor
Andy Barch: Voice of Charleston Alleycats
Phil Prusa: Professor of the gridiron
Curtis A.: Browns expert
Indianapolis vs. New England
This game will be omitted because of the time constraints involved.
Tennessee vs. Miami, 1 p.m.
Aaron Rund: Miami
Andy Barch: Miami
Joel Hammond: Tennessee
Vivek "Vegas Vic" Vasavada: Titans
Nihar Vasavada: Tennessee
Phil: Tennessee
Curtis: Tennessee
Zach: Tennessee
The final word: I'm a little surprised so many took the Dolphins, given their offseason of woe.

Arizona at St. Louis, 1 p.m.
Rund: St. Louis
Barch: St. Louis
Hammond: St. Louis
Vegas Vic: Rams
Phil: Rams
Curtis: Jets
Zach: Rams
The final word: The easist game on the schedule to pick, no question.

Cincinnati at New York Jets, 1 p.m.
Barch: Jets
Vegas Vic: Bengals
Nihar: NYJ
Phil: JETS
Curtis: Jets
Zach: Jets
The final word:
Mark my words: Cincinnati is going to have a poor season. Still, both teams are a bit of an uncertainty, and that is reflected here.

Jacksonville at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Rund: Jacksonville
Barch: Buffalo
Vegas Vic: Bills
Nihar: Jacksonville
Curtis: Bills
Zach: Buffalo
The final word:
The panel favors Buffalo.

San Diego at Houston, 1 p.m.
Rund: Houston
Barch: Houston
Hammond: Houston
Vegas Vic: Texans
Nihar: HOU
Curtis: Houston
Zach: Houston

The final word: Boy, nobody thinks much of the Chargers, do they?

Tampa Bay at Washington, 1 p.m.
Rund: Washington
Hammond: Tampa Bay
Vegas Vic: Washington
Phil: Buccaneers
Curtis: Washington
Zach: Tampa Bay
The final word:
Why do so many people think Joe Gibbs is gonna save a messed up franchise?

Atlanta at San Francisco, 4 p.m.
Rund: Atlanta
Andy Barch: San Francisco
Vegas Vic: Atlanta
Nihar: Atlanta
Phil: Falcons
Curtis: San Francisco
Zach: Atlanta
The final word:
Only Andy and Curtis see a 49er win. Anyone want to bet Erickson is the first coach to end up working as an extra on the OC?

New York Giants at Philadelphia, 4:15
Hammond: Philly
Vic: Eagles
Nihar: Philly
Phil: Philadelphia
Curtis: Philadelphia
Zach: Philadelphia
The final word:
Another unanimous vote.

Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Rund: Cleveland
Barch: Baltimore
Hammond: Baltimore
Vic: Ravens
Nihar: Baltimore
Curtis: Cleveland
Zach: Baltimore
The final word:
How on earth are the Browns only three point underdogs?

Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m.
Rund: Detroit
Barch: Detroit
Hammond: Detroit
Curtis: Chicago
Zach: Chicago
The final word:
Are the Bears really that bad?

Oakland at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Rund: Pittsburgh
Barch: Oakland
Hammond: Pittsburgh
Vic: Raiders
Curtis: Pittsburgh
Zach: Pittsburgh
The final word:
Roethlisberger will be over Maddux's shoulder all season.

Seattle at New Orleans at 4:15 p.m.
Rund: Seattle
Barch: Seattle
Hammond: Seattle
Vic: Seattle
Phil: Seattle
Curtis: New Orleans
The Final word: Lots of group-think here.

Dallas at Minnesota at 4:15 p.m.
Rund: Minnesota
Barch: Dallas
Hammond: Minnesota
Vic: Vikings
Curtis: Minnesota
Zach: Dallas
The final word: Bill Parcells second season, with considerably higher expectations

Kansas City at Denver at 8:30 p.m.
Barch: KC
Hammond:Kansas City
Vic: Kansas City
Nihar: Kansas City
Phil Broncos
Zach: Denver
The final word:
Rivalries prove hard to call.

Monday night
Green Bay at Carolina at 9 p.m.
Barch: GB
Nihar: Carolina
Curtis: Carolina
Zach: Carolina

The final word: Boy I wonder if Tim Couch will see any action. Oh wait.

Matt Leblanc gets a shot on his own. Now everyone knows that I'm a big Friends fan, but I really do believe that the show was carried by the Joey character in its last four seasons.
At any rate, I hope it works, but I don't know if the writing will be enough to sustain it. The writing is why Frasier worked, to the point where it developed its own identity completely apart from Cheers. I doubt Joey will accomplish that, but we'll see.
So, will it go the way of Frasier or Sheriff Lobo? I think it'll last three years--the loyalty of Friends fans will sustain it that long. Beyond that, who knows.

Well THAT certainly wasn't anything special. The other characters in the show couldn't be less interesting. Ugh.

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: Favorite all time TV shows
1. The Job
2. The Simpsons
3. Friends
4. Seinfeld
5. Cheers
6. Sports Night
7. Bob Newhart

Song quote of the day
All the girls walk by
dressed up for each other--Van Morrison

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Panel is coming
Forget everyone else. If you are an NFL junkie like myself, Vitamin Z will be the place to go to get insights into the week in the NFL. First, Phil Prusa is penning a preview for the NFL season. Phil has every NFL draft since 1992 on tape, so his opinions mean something.
Second, tomorrow will see the debut of The Panel, a group of NFL experts with picks on all of the NFL games. The panel is made up of some of the smartest football commentators in the region, and NOT, as has been reported, just a number of my friends and relatives.
The Panel debuts tomorrow. This is the place for the NFL in the blogosphere.

Song quote of the day
When I want to get away
I drive off in my car
but whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are--Peter Gabriel

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hey now, there's a Republican I'd never vote for. And Pat Buchanan was on Hardball, complaining about "neo-conservatives." It's amazing how civil Chris Mathews was with him, considering how hard he is on everyone else.
Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: Republicans I'd never vote for
1. Pat Buchanan
2. Alan Keyes
3. Trent Lott
4. Strom Thurmond (I didn't say living)
5. Donald Rumsfeld (He just scares me for some reason)
6. Richard Nixon
7. G. Gordon Liddy

So Rasmussen shows no lead for Bush, while Newsweek and Time show big leads. Confused? So was I. Luckily, Rasmussen explains the differences. What it comes down to is a four or five point lead for the president. But I can't predict the winner, not that I ever would. Why?

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: Top seven reasons why Zach doesn't make predictions about things he cares about

1. 1997: after game two: We have this world series locked up man.
2. 1989: with three seconds to go: Not even Jordan Can put a good shot up in three seconds.
3. 1987: 98 yards? John Elway? HA! Superbowl here we come.
4. 1992: Bill Clinton? President? Sure, and Zell Miller will address the REPUBLICAN Convention in 12 years!
5. 2003: Gary Carter is not a hall of famer, and even the sheep in New York can see that.
6. 1998: Bernie Kosar, Carmen Policy and Al Lerner. No way this can fail.
7. 1998: This Brittany Spears thing won't last.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Mia Hamm a hero?
Those commercials with everyone thanking Mia Hamm upsets me. Role models are not athletes, athletes are not heroes. Teachers are heroes, soldiers are heroes, firefighters are heroes.
Parents are heroes.
My parents are my heroes.

Song quote of the day
My life has changed in so many ways
I don't know who to trust anymore
There's a shadow running through my days
Like a begger going from door to door--Neil Young

Vitamin Z's Magnificent Seven: Top NFL teams (Pre-Week One)
1. New England Patriots
2. Philadelphia Eagles
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Carolina Panthers
5. Green Bay Packers
6. Kansas City Chiefs
7. Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, September 05, 2004

BG football
The Bowling Green football team will always be my team, and the players on the team will always be my guys. It's the school that I graduated from, the school that I love, the school that I miss.
Still, a work commitment prevented me from following the BG-Oklahoma game, and I could only really here second-hand what occured yesterday. Still, looking at the numbers, I am optimistic that:
-Omar Jacobs, while not Josh Harris, will be a very effective player in the Falcon system.
-That BG hasn't lost the ability to play tough against the best teams in the country.
-That the Falcons, after being left for dead just over three years ago, will have another eight to nine win season and the program will continue to gain much deserved national recognition, which should in turn help future recruiting.
-The MAC is, once again up for grabs.
Anyway, the journey begins now.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Coon dog races
OK, here's how I figure it.
Step one: They release the hounds on a mile long chase after a raccoon. The raccoon is protected in some kind of box.

Step two: They chase the raccoon to a pole, where the raccoon then is released and runs up the pole.

Step three: The first dog to reach the pole is declared the winner. The first dog to bark at the perched raccoon is also considered a winner.

Do I have this right?

I have been told that this weekend-long event is what Hardin County and Kenton in particular are most known for. Having met some people and walked around with my friend and co-worker Dan, I have come to two indisputable conclusions:

1. These people like their guns.
2. These people like their tattoos.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. But to quote Randy Newman:
I seen so many things I ain't never seen before
I'm so scared, I don't wanna see no more

We didn't have this stuff in Cleveland. It's definitely a change.

Move over
You'd think that a player like Kevin Brown, who has been injured countless times in his 15 year career, would be a little more careful. But last night, Brown pulled a Gus Frerotte, punching out a wall during a game and breaking his hand. Boy, THIS will make George Steinbrenner happy. Tom Petty also did this after a recording session, and they had to rebuild his hand with screws.
Congratulations Mr. Brown. A great career, but now I'll think about a man who voluntarily broke his own hand while his team was in a pennant race.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: Best hard rock bands
1. Rolling Stones
2. Led Zeppelin
3. The Who
4. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
5. The Band
6. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
7. Jimi Hendrix and the Experience
*Beatles are omitted for being more than a rock band, but a transcendental musical force.
Play them up enough?

My thoughts and prayers go out to our neighbors in Florida, the victims in Russia, and our former president.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

George Pataki and the bad combover
Here's a tip to men everywhere. Growing long hair around the bald spot does not make it look like you have hair. It makes you look bad.

Tommy Franks
His speech was sincere, if a bit stoic. However, Tommy Franks was even more impressive in a PBS interview, where he seemed far more comfortable there. Maybe because he knew a 100th of the people were watching. But he came accross honestly and strongly, with a major degree of class and candor.

From No. 1 to not even No. 3
From CBS Sportsline:
The Packers have been discussing the possibility of keeping only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. In that scenario, Tim Couch, Craig Nall and undrafted rookie Scott McBrien would be cut.
-- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

So basically, Couch is struggling to be kept on as a number three quarterback, despite making over a million this year. Hey, the situation is identical to Akili Smith's last season. All those waiting for Tim Couch to become great may need to finally give it up.
My prediction is that Couch will not make the Green Bay final roster.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Cheney and Miller
I will not criticize Zell Miller's speech for fear that he will come to Ohio and beat the ever loving heck out of me. His most powerful section to me was when he laid on the line all the votes against the military by John Kerry.He was a little tougher than maybe he needed to be -- but let me also say that everyone who saw the speech will remember it. Whether it's for good or bad reasons, only time will tell. I still think McCain's speech is and has been the highlite of the convention.

In what preverse world is it where Dick Cheney can be seen as the nice guy of two people? Cheney is a terrific speaker, but more than that, he was the perfect finish in style to counter the angry tone of Miller. He was the History teacher with a stern tone but a good sense of humor. He was at his best tonight.

One more night to go.

Ronald Reagan is the best president in my lifetime, in my opinion. But I came away tonight impressed with both of his sons, Michael and Ron. Michael introduced a tribute to his father at the RNC, which in my opinion was very touching. What was particularly nice is that Michael and the Republicans focused on the legacy of his father, never once saying, "and George Bush embodies my father, so vote for him." From reading his columns, I know he's a Bush supporter, but he kept that out of his speech and tribute.
I was watching MSNBC and then there was analysis by Ron Reagan, who is working as an analyst. I thought Ron, who is the political opposite of his half-brother, has done a very nice job as an analyst, and came across pretty well as being independent.
Good job, in my opinion.

Mike Wilbon is back, which is like sunshine returning after a hurricane. Call it Hurricane Bayliss.

Song quote of the day
Childhood Living
it's easy to do
the things you wanted
I bought them for you--Rolling Stones