Monday, January 31, 2005

Song quote of the day
Crash ... into me--Dave Matthews

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Iraq elections underway
Lets say a quick prayer and have faith in the Iraqi people. It can work.
Mike's got the latest. It sounds as though the people have spoken, and the terrorists will lose again. It's another step. And don't think the oppressed people in Iran haven't taken notice.
Lets pray for the best.

Vitamin Z's Magnificent 7: Best Browns coaches
In honor of the Browns coaching "search," here is my list of the best Browns coaches.
1. Paul Brown
2. Blanton Collier
3. Sam Rutigliano
4. Marty Schottenheimer
5. Bud Carson
6. Bill Belichick
7. Forest Gregg

The anti-smoker
I have never smoked, never wanted to smoke, and am for anything that cripples the tobacco industry.
But Jim Rome's take on smoking makes me look like a moderate on the issue.
Still, I wouldn't rule out moving to California.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Song quote of the day
Take a load of Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And you put the load right on me--The Band

I was going to write a column about the Patriots (and former Browns coach) Bill Belichick, but my old co-worker Erik Cassano beat me to it.
It's a good thing, because Erik summed it up better than I ever could have.
I was a co-worker with Erik at our college's paper, but I have to admit to being a pretty big fan of his work.
He has started a blog, which features the column on Cleveland's former fearless leader. Check it out here.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

If the Browns don't hire Romeo Crennel at this point, it will be a massive failure. What worries me is that it has gotten to the point where Romeo HAS to be the guy. If he should for some reason change his mind about being Cleveland's coach, then what?
They better hire Crennel.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Coach Carter
According to my sports weekly, Gary Carter is managing the Mets A team with hopes of being a major league manager in two years. If he manages the Indians or Reds, I will drop my support for those two teams, permanently, despite nearly 20 years of loyal support.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Johnny Carson
He retired when I was 12, and despite a few tapes that I have watched at my friends' house, I can't say that I really knew much about him or his humor.
But, watching the various and numbered tributes, one cannot deny his influence. David Letterman makes me laugh, and I can only assume that without Johnny Carson, there would be no David Letterman. Or Jay Leno, Arsenio Hall, Craig Kilborn, Conan O'Brien, and a number of others who failed to imitate him.
My best memories of the man himself came when I was six. I was spending Christmas in Florida with my grandma. I only knew how late it was when I'd hear those two famous words:
At which point I knew to be quiet, because if my dad knew I was still up, there may be trouble.
Rest in peace, Mr. Carson.

Song quote of the day
Temptation hides right behind that door
so what you wanna go and open it for--The Band

Monday, January 24, 2005

Blog Advisory
All family members of Zach, as well as those who still think of him as a right-thinking gentlemen, are advised not to read the next line:

Now wait, which side is the one that wasn't playing fair Nov. 2? I wonder if Jesse Jackson will get involved in this.
This does not mean that either side is good or bad. It just means that one side isn't nearly the saints that some of them claim.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Van the Man
Do you think Van Morrison would have been a member of Bruce Springsteen's tour a few months ago? Here's an interesting quote from an interview in 1973:
"I think a musician who gets involved in politics is way out of his depth. Unless it's somebody like Pete Seeger who really knows what he's talking about. I think most of them can't cut it. Guys like Pete Seeger have been through all that and that's why they can talk about it. I think it's terrible for musicians to use their position to influence people like that. They don't have any right."

No wonder he's the President's favorite musician.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Song quote of the day
I been up tight and made a mess
but I'll clean it up myself I guess
Oh the sweet smell of success
Handle me with care--The Traveling Wilburies

Michael Moore Hates America, Part 1,000
Some weeks after the election, I had a conversation with a confidante who up to that point in his life had shared every little detail with me.
"Who did you vote for?" I asked, only half -wanting to know.
"I'm not telling you," he said. "I will not give you the satisfaction either way."
So yes, "my guy" won. My confidant is a right-thinking (in spirit, not ideology) man with opinions that are both Republican and Democrat.
I think most of us are all-around politically. We are conservative on some issues, liberal on others, and usually voting on a the ones that mean the most to us.
Back to the story. A few weeks after that, my confidant let me know that he wasn't crazy about Bush or Kerry. He then mentioned something that Bush had done that he had disagreed with.
"Ok," I said. "But I, for one, am satisfied that if nothing else, Michael Moore cannot claim victory."
"That IS satisfying," the man said.
Michael Moore is the only filmmaker that I have ever loathed. I don't know the man, but I dislike his presentation and his sloppy (sort of) fact grabbing so much that I could not help but be drawn to a film with the title "Michael Moore Hates America."
In this blog, I have mentioned the film before, first in June and then later. I wrote that I wondered what Ebert would give the movie if he saw it, and what type of filmmaker Mike Wilson would turn out to be.
I haven't seen the film, so I don't know the answers.
But I do know that the film received the coveted "Two Thumbs Up" from Ebert and Roeper.
I have been searching for a review from Ebert, but so far have been unsuccessful.
Now I really want to see this movie.
For other reviews, look here.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Another Opinion
Yes, many of the performers in The Last Waltz seem tired and perhaps mired in depression. I wrote last week that I found this to be the best rockumentary that I had seen, and I meant it.
Roger Ebert sees it differently. I see the film as a collection of great performers at the top of their game. Dr. John, for instance, can't stop smiling, and Ronnie Hawkins can't stop grinning during a gritty performance.
But Ebert writes about the pain and frustration he sees.
Maybe I am more of a music guy than a film guy. Certainly, Ebert is more qualified to discuss films. But the negativity he gets from the film is something I didn't get. Maybe that's because I love the music so much. But I have a hard time describing Muddy Waters as on "Auto Pilot."
I know that most of the performers were high on drugs during the film. But the performances seemed to really click. Maybe that's why I like it so much.

I got into journalism ...
For stories like this.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Vitamin Z's Favorite songs: At this moment
1. Caravan- Van Morrison
2. Like a Full Forced Gale--Van Morrison
3. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down-- The Band
4. Brown Sugar--The Rolling Stones
5. Hurt--Johnny Cash
6. Heart of Gold--Neil Young
7. Instant Karma--John Lennon
8. Let's Get it On-Marvin Gaye
9. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters--Elton John
10. Like a Rolling Stone-Bob Dylan
11. Rocky Mountain High--John Denver
12. My Maria--B.W Stephenson
13. Louisiana --Randy Newman
14. Keep me in your heart for a while--Warren Zevon
15. Moondance--Van Morrison
16. Penny Lane--The Beatles
17. Tiny Dancer--Elton John
18. Born in the USA--Bruce Springsteen
19. Changes--David Bowie
20. The Way You Look Tonight--Frank Sinatra

Howard Dean
You know why the scream was so funny? Because it was unique enough on its own that it could never be made to sound more outrageous than it was. It's so funny on its own.
Dana Carvey made a living exaggerating Bush 41's over-enunciation and "1000 points of light." If you actually hear Bush speak though, there is a major difference between the way he talked and the way Carvey sounds.
In Dean's case however, any impersonation would run the risk of underplaying the ridiculousness of the soundbite.
But remember, it wasn't the scream that doomed Howard Dean. America could forgive something like that if he seemed like the right candidate.
Howard Dean wasn't.
Still, it doesn't bother me that Dean will only be remembered as the guy who burned out on a cold night in January. If he hadn't done that, he wouldn't be remembered, period.

It's been a year

Happy Anniversary Howard.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Kosar-Roethlisberger column
My latest work at 210 West can be found here.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Song quote of the day
Nobody knows you
When your down and out
In your pocket, not one penny
as for your friends, you don't have any-- Eric Clapton

Sunday, January 16, 2005

"Now, schools is starting, girlfriends are back, girls you want to be your girlfriends are back and girls you don't want to be your girlfriend are back. So it is a less total basketball environment."--Dan Dakich, BGSU basketball coach.*

I miss college.
*Hat tip, Andy Barch

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Tsunami Relief
This is an interesting and thoughtful use of a blog. I have already commented, and I suggest you do too.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Post Holiday Aggression
By Andy Barch
Greetings, I hope you and yours had a terrific holiday season, even though it did end almost two weeks ago. I’m a lot like the guy who allegedly recorded Jose Canseco run a 4.3 40-yard dash, timing has never been my thing.
Speaking of Canseco, when is this New York Times Best Selling book of his coming out? Did he decide to stop the publication once Barry Bonds admitted to using an undetectable steroid? Either that or Canseco thought that he wouldn’t be able to compete with Triple H’s fitness guide or Mick Foley’s pop up comic book.
Randy Johnson got his first taste of the New York spotlight when he and a member of Yankee security had to verbally and moderately physically dispose of a cameraman who would not leave him alone. This is funny, according to Johnson told the cameraman “don’t get in my face and don’t talk back to me.” Now that’s a great way to begin at your new place of employment.
Oh New York, New York. Secretly you’ve got to wonder if the Big Unit regrets his decision. Now he has to cut his mullet, he’s got to shave his moustache, and he has to respond respectfully to reporters. Who does Steinbrenner want this guy to be? Shawn Bradley? Take away the Unit’s ‘stache, his mullet and his attitude, and he’s got about as going for him as Bradley.
From one Randy to the next, not only does Randy Moss walk off the field before the game is over in Washington while his team still has a chance to win, not only does he tell Jimmy Johnson in an interview later in the week that he was wrong but he’d do it again, but now he does a “mock” mooning to the crowd at Lambeau.
You have to wonder if this guy will ever learn his lesson. I’m tired of all the excuses, this guy is classless and he is a complete disgrace to the game. This is one of those guys you’d love to see play back in the era of Dick “Night Train” Lane, Butkus, Nitchske and my man Bitter Chuck Bednarik. Not only would Bednarik decleat Moss, he’d DECAPITATE him.
Speaking of the mooning, where in the hell are we going with these end zone celebrations? First we have group celebrations, then we have cell phones, then we have sharpies, now we have a “mock moon?”
My question is what comes next? Will a receiver pull a fan out of the crowd or a cheerleader and give us a “mock intercourse session?” Will we soon have to pay 50 cents per session for these like a freaking peep show? This is getting a bit ridiculous.
Its funny how Gene Washington moderately fines receivers for their end zone celebrations, yet he financially rapes defensive backs for their hits, which had been historically routine on wide receivers.
There needs to be another man with as much power as Washington who makes these kinds of decisions. A guy like…oh I don’t know RONNIE LOTT, or hell, make it interesting, throw Chuck Cecil in there, but lets get some balance because right now defensive players are becoming defenseless.
I appreciate the time, enjoy the chorus of boo’s that will surround Ashley Simpson’s next embarrassing karaoke performance, oops, I mean concert.
One last thing before I go, two thumbs up to my man Shawn Respert for winning his battle with cancer, and for doing it with such class. So many people labeled him a bust coming out of Michigan State, but nobody knew about his condition because he kept it under wraps.
You talk about a class guy, they dont get any classier than Respert. Not only did he handle the situation correctly, and not only did he beat cancer, but he bitch slapped it right in its face and kicked it square in the genitals.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Backing Buck
I don't care what the columnists say. Joe Buck was absolutly right. Randy Moss' act was sick, and I am glad that someone said it.
And Buck is the best play-by-play man on Fox. For him not to call the game would have been disgusting.

Sounding off
Here are a few thoughts after a late night:
-Juan Gonzalez is a no-brainer for the Indians. The man might miss 25 games (as he did in 2001) but who cares if he adds 25 home runs to the lineup? What exactly do the Indians have to lose here? Nothing. In my opinion, this is what the lineup will look like, barring any injuries:
1B Ben Broussard
2B Ronnie Belliard
SS Jhonny Paralta
3B Aaron Boone
LF Casey Blake
CF Coco Crisp
RF Juan Gonzalez
C Victor Martinez
DH Travis Hafner
Call me crazy, but I like this lineup.
- So, I guess I am not the only one to make It's a Wonderful Life references on my blog. Personally (regarding Mike's Jan. 11 observation) I see a stronger resemblence between Michael Chertoff and G.Gordon Liddy, which would also have to be a downside.
-I forgot to do this last week, but I just want to wish my friends Scott and Jessica the very best. Congratulations.
-I would rate Terry Robiskie's chances at retaining the Browns head coaching job at about 10 percent. Don't get me wrong, I am a Terry guy, and I think he deserves the job. But I think the Browns have their hearts set on Romeo Crennel, Ray Childress or Russ Grimm. I hope Terry gets it though, because I think he may be able to make it work.
-Baseball has implemented a new steroid policy. Next year, Barry Bonds will lead the NL in homers--with 13.
-I would just like to say that the Denny Crane character on Boston Legal may be the best one on television right now, except for Jack Bauer. Is anyone else getting a Republican vibe from the show this year?
Regarding Monday's episode, when Jack robs a mini-mart to hold a terrorist in place, Nihar Vasavada and myself had the same thought:
Why not just flatten his tire?
Actually, there is a strong resemblence between Denny Crane and Nihar Vasavada, come to think of it.
There Nihar, I mentioned your name twice, are you pleased? :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Song quote of the day
I came in with my best friend Jim
Here I am trying to steal you away from him
If I don't do it, somebody else will
If I don't do it, somebody else will--Dr. John

Monday, January 10, 2005

Moss and Relativism
Now, I love the guys on PTI, and I have also played the "it's all relative" card.
I don't care. What Randy Moss did on Sunday after scoring a touchdown was the act of an immature, crass fool.
It was wrong. Period. I don't care what the networks do on the other 364 days of the year.
Was it wrong?
End of argument.

CBS fires four over National Guard Story
Yes, the verdict is finally in. But, let's look inside the story for a line that caught my attention:
"[the panel] cannot conclude that a political agenda at '60 Minutes Wednesday' drove either the timing of the airing of the segment or its content."

I'm sorry, I don't buy that at all. If you use your journalism skills, there has to be something in there that says: "Wait a minute, are you sure we have enough here?"
The fact that the seasoned producers failed to do that shows me that they wanted the story to be true. Then, even after it was disproved, they continued to cling to it like a big briefcase in the deep ocean.
Did they want to believe the story so badly that it would overcome their need for personal credibility? My answer would be yes, and that is a bias, an agenda.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Panel: Wild Card EditionSaturday, Jan. 8
The Panel:
Aaron Rund: Separated at birth: Mike Tice
Andy Barch: WWE wrestler in training
Joel Hammond: Developing a southern accent
Nihar Vasavada: Needs a bere and beard to be Dr. Nihar
Phil Prusa: A traveling man
Vivek Vasavada: Has an excellent generating plant
Curtis A.: Van Wilder of the Panel
Zach: Second career as stupid name giver
4:30 p.m. on ABC
St. Louis at Seattle
Aaron: Seattle
Andy: St. Louis
Joel: St. Louis
Phil: St. Louis
Nihar: St. Louis
Vivek: Seattle
Curtis A.: St. Louis
Zach: St. Louis

8:00 p.m. on ABC
N.Y. Jets at San Diego Sunday, Jan. 9
Aaron: San Diego
Andy: New York
Joel: San Diego
Phil: San Diego
Nihar: San Diego
Vivek: San Diego
Curtis: San Diego
Zach: New York

1:00 p.m. on CBS
Denver at Indianapolis
Aaron: Indianaopolis
Joel: Indianapolis
Andy: Indianapolis
Nihar: Indianapolis
Phil: Indianapolis
Zach: Indianapolis

4:30 p.m. on FOX
Minnesota at Green Bay
Aaron: Green Bay
Andy: Green Bay
Joel: Green Bay
Nihar: Green Bay
Phil: Green Bay
Curtis: Green Bay
Zach: Green Bay

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Last Waltz
You know what amazes me about the Band? Their ability to play and play well with a multitude of artists, whether it be Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters or Neil Diamond.
If you haven't seen The Last Waltz, see it. The music is great, and the performers are on.
OK, I didn't get the poetry, but that's a minor qualm.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Kid Rock at the inauguration
Well, I certainly have no problem with this. South Park Republicans need to be included in the next four years.
As for the whole "vulgarity" issue, just have Kid perform "Lonely Road of Faith" and everything will be fine.
My biggest problem with the Republican agenda is the censorship/religious right philosophy. I don't like those that make decisions for me, and I don't agree with those who believe there is only one way into heaven
Yet I am still conservative on a lot of issues, as I'm sure Kid Rock is. And it sure beats Ricky Martin.
And here's a note to the rest of the country: Social moderates voted for Bush too, and it had nothing to do with gay marriage bans or religion.
Basically, the social moderate wing of the conservative side is still out there.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Phil Savage is supposedly going to be offered the Browns GM job today. Before everyone talks about the Ravens' success, I would like to point out that they were 9-7 this season and failed to make the playoffs, and were ousted by the Titans in the first round last season.
Yes, it is better than 5-11 and 4-12. Much better.
- Matt Sussman is closing up shop at his blog. I find it ironic that his last post was "Where'd everyone go?" and then he promptly disappeared. When he does relocate, I will post the address on my roster.
- Yes, people are still questioning the election. Has Jesse Jackson ever BEEN to Ohio before this? Probably in 1988, ok. Here's my question: If John Kerry had been elected by 119,000 votes, and the same "irregularities" were reported, would Jackson be in Ohio? No.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Gilbert buys Cavs
Great. Now all he needs to do is re-sign LeBron James.
-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? That may be the worst name of a team since ... no, that is the worst name ever.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

I must admit I have never seen the show. But watching ESPN this week, where they show the Alias commercial 1,000 times in an hour, makes me hate it.
And that stupid Lenny Kravitz song hammers it home.
"I know ... she's a little lady ..."
Ummmm ... what?
-Since I moved last week, I was without cable or internet. Because of this, I have suspended the picks through week 15.
We will start up again in the playoffs.