Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dodger Blue A Grand Idea

The Los Angeles Dodgers could be heading down a path to bring Joe Torre to Chavez Ravine.

The ironic part is that he would replace Grady Little, who had a good season last year at 88-74, but who was managing the Red Sox when Aaron Boone hit the homer to send the Yankees to the World Series in 03. He was fired and then the Red Sox won the World Series the next season. LA Times Columnist Bill Plaschke says it's fine to go after Torre, just wrong to do this to Little.

I will say this much, should the Dodgers be bold enough to make this move, they might as well clean house and fire GM Ned Coletti and bring in Walt Jocketty to run the club.

Teaming Jocketty and Torre will bring the Dodgers to the elite part of the National League quickly and keep them there often.

Supposedly Don Mattingly would be Torre's bench coach in LA - imagine how weird he will look in that uniform. Only way it would be better is if they got to the World Series and beat the Yankees.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Great Promotion In Boston....

I bought a couch from these guys when I was in college.... just classic!

Jordan's rebate has Sox fans sitting pretty - from the Associated Press

When Marty Rodweller uses a $2,000 windfall to either remodel her bathroom or take a trip to Ireland next spring, she'll be thanking the Boston Red Sox.

The 53-year-old academic counselor from Danvers was preparing today to send an application for a rebate on a mattress and bed frame she bought last spring from Jordan's Furniture.

The chain ran a promotion offering full rebates if the Red Sox were to win this year's World Series -- a statistical long shot that came true Sunday night when Boston beat the Colorado Rockies in a sweep.

Rodweller decided to go to bed before Game 4 ended and the Red Sox clinched. When she couldn't sleep, she returned to watch the game's final hour-and-a-half.

She didn't have trouble nodding off the second time, though, knowing she could expect to see her $2,000 rebate check in a few weeks.

"Because they won, I slept like a baby," she said. "Now, I can't decide if I'm going to spend the money on the bathroom or a trip to Ireland next spring."

Rodweller said she bought the bed because she needed it, not out of any premonition that the Red Sox would win it all for the second time in four years. But because of the Jordan's promotion, "I followed the team more closely than I usually do," she said.

The four-store chain promised free sofas, chairs, dining tables and beds to customers who bought between March 7 and April 16 if the Red Sox won the championship. Jordan's took about 30,000 orders during the promotion.

Chief Executive Eliot Tatelman hasn't disclosed how much the rebates would total, but he won't have to pay it all. He bought an insurance policy to cover the losses.

Twice In A Lifetime

Wow.

It took 86 years to get one World Series for Boston, now they have two in four years.

Seriously - wow.

What's scary is that the core of this team, along with the rookies, set the franchise up to win a couple of more of these things. Anyone wanting to see what one of the best sports sections in the world does great go to the Boston Globe.

Check out Curt Schilling's blog today - just awesome that he did this last night.

The one thing Theo Epstein needs to do is sign Mike Lowell. Whatever he wants - there's no question he is a leader, great clubhouse guy and a very good baseball player. It was Lowell that hit behind David Ortiz when Manny Ramirez got hurt and his defense was just awesome.

As great a night as it was, wouldn't you know that Alex Rodriguez couldn't let the Red Sox have their moment without being an absolute jackass.

To start, why couldn't he show up and accept his award from Hank Aaron? Is he too good for Hank? Is he busier than Hank? Prince Fielder made it Alex, where the hell were you?

As if that wasn't bad enough, somewhere in the middle of the game, all of a sudden ARod (or is it AHole?) and Scott Boras decide to tell the media that he is opting out of his contract. They didn't even take the time to let the Yankees know this, but the media in Denver all knew it. ESPN's Buster Olney wrote about ARod trying to upstage the World Series.

It is the second time he tried to screw the Red Sox. He turned them down for the Yankees last time and since then the Red Sox have won two World Series. The Yankees haven't. Now he goes into the great abyss known as either San Francisco, Chicago or Anaheim. Buyer beware before you spend 30 million on the new Mr. April - Dustin Pedroia has a World Series ring ... what does ARod have?

Money - that's it ... and with all of it he still can't buy the ring or a hit when it really counts!

FYI - Terry Francona is 8-0 in World Series games. Not horrible.

Here's a question for you college football fans. Georgia coach Mark Richt yelled at his team after beating Vandy for jumping up and down on the 50-yard line logo. Why then was it OK for him to tell his team that they better get a celebration penalty on the first score? The double standard is embarrassing for a man who is supposed to be setting the tone. This wasn't setting tone - this was obnoxious - the team still takes too many stupid penalties and beats Florida once or twice a decade. He is lucky they won because people would have been on him for this if he had lost - they should still be on him.

For those of you who like the New York Football Giants - they we 6-2 last season and ended the year 8-8. Don't get too happy with 6-2 this year either - bye week and then hosting Dallas. If they win that game, I will reconsider my pessimistic state of mind. That said, I still don't like Tom Coughlin!!!!

Video Killed the Radio Star....

But this is why you don't do this!!!!

AMY FISCHER'S SEXY VIDEO

LONG ISLAND LOLITA TAPE IN PORN DISTRIBUTOR'S HANDS
By DAVID K. LI, NY POST


The world soon could be seeing more of the Long Island Lolita - a lot more.

A sex tape of Amy Fisher and her husband, Lou Bellera, is in the hands of a Los Angeles porn distributor, and the onetime teen temptress isn't happy about it, her former business partner said yesterday.

Fisher and her husband apparently made the tape earlier this year, before they filed for divorce, according to David Krieff, a TV executive who has produced reunion specials with Fisher, her ex-lover Joey Buttafuoco and Buttafuoco's ex-wife, Mary Jo Buttafuoco.

But in the time Fisher and her hubby were in Splitsville, Bellera hawked the tape to L.A. smut peddler Red Light District Video, which is expected to start selling their steamy footage next month.

"I was told she was a willing participant at the time it was made, as a private video with her husband," Krieff said.

It wasn't until August that Fisher, who has since reconciled with Bellera, learned of the Red Light deal and wants to stop the video's release.

"She's disgusted," Krieff said. "I'm disgusted by it, too, the whole genre. I can't believe in the United States of America things like this can be released.

"I feel bad for Amy and Lou," Krieff added. "I think they were having a fight and he made a bad decision that's coming back to haunt them now."

A spokesman for Red Light was not available for comment last night.

The company, based in the San Fernando Valley, the porn-biz hotbed outside Los Angeles, is best known for its dealing in celebrity flesh.

It has pushed sex tapes of hotel heiress Paris Hilton ("1 Night in Paris"), professional wrestler Chyna ("1 Night in Chyna") and even former child actor Dustin Diamond - best known for "Saved by the Bell."

Reached at his home in L.A., Buttafuoco was stunned by the revelation and said he hopes Fisher and her husband can work through this.

"If there's such a tape, that's between and Amy and Lou," he told The Post.

The onetime illegal lovebirds dated briefly again this past spring in New York after both their spouses filed for separation.

Buttafuoco said he enjoyed reconnecting with Fisher, and hashing out their complicated past.
"I wish her nothing but the best and all that life has to offer to her," said Buttafuoco, 51.
Their affair made for scandalous headlines in 1992 when then-17-year-old Fisher shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco in the face at her home in Massapequa.

Fisher served seven years in prison for the shooting. Joey served four months behind bars for statutory rape.

Two years ago, Buttafuoco stormed out of an "Entertainment Tonight" meeting with Fisher and cursed at her.

This past spring, they briefly rekindled relationship before both went back to their current spouses

Classic Comedy Video

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Five Stages of Drinking....Classic!

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Bad video quality - but it's the sound you have to hear... classic comedy from Larry Miller.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Delta Does It Again

Well - back at Hartsfield and heading to Orlando for two days of shooting at Red Lobster. First trip since we added Benji to the house - see how that all goes....

Standing at A-18 waiting for my 767 to take me down to the Big O and I look at the upgrade list. There are 24 seats - surely I would have a fighters chance, right?

Not only are there no seats available to upgrade, BUT I am still number 24 on the list to upgrade.

Huh? If it weren't Delta, it would make no sense.

They never cease to amaze me and make me laugh at them every time I fly them.

Great night for the Red Sox. Josh Beckett is just unreal. When he has the curveball going - he's unhittable. Huge game tonight - if Curt Schilling wins, Big Papi can take the next two games off and rest his knee with no DH.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's Not Always About Size/Measurement

Two great stories today that are about the same thing, only different.

SI's John Donovan talks about how Dustin Pedroia may be little, but don't ever count him out.

Today's New York Times talks about how to figure out site hits and why it matters and to whom it matters.

By the way - going to a bris today for a Yankee fans boy ... ya know I am wearing the Red Sox kippah! Sure it will go over well.

Blackhawks On The Rise

OK - besides the obvious reason of Bill Wirtz passing away, the Hawks have a bright future with some of the young guys already on the squad. Last year's top pick Patrick Kane looks good, but the third pick from a few years ago, Jonathan Toews, is sick.

Check out his 2nd NHL goal. Now if the Hawks can just put their games on local television - they might make it to the 21st century.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Philly TV Anchor Muffs It

This is just absolutely classic! Love live television with stupid people!

New Fantasy Football Guru's

OK - check out two friends, Gil and Jordan doing their thing talking about fantasy football.

For two knuckleheads in Atlanta, they ain't bad at all.

This Is What We Call A Good Dog!


Dog-Gone Great Deal!

Vick's Sugarloaf estate on market for $4.5 million
By Richard Eldredge, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Benched Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has listed his lakefront Sugarloaf Country Club estate on the market for $4.5 million.

According to a listing posted at Realtor.com, the Duluth property has seven bedrooms and 8.5 baths and has an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $23,206.

According to Gwinnett County property records, Vick purchased the home at 2927 Darlington Run in April of 2005 for $3.7 million.

His yearly tax bill on the 1.5-acre estate? $26,720.


The funnier part is that I am sure Bob Hartley's house will be for sale there soon as well. If you wait until June, might be one more from the Thrashers organization you can get as well.

Curse of the Thrashers

The Curse of the Bambino is probably the most famous curse in sports. However in Atlanta, we have the Curse of the Groin.

It started in 1999 for the Atlanta Thrashers, when their first goalie, Damian Rhodes, had groin injuries all season for the Thrashers. It seems as every goaltender since has had issues, some with groin and some with many various injuries.

Now the Thrashers have a legitimate top-notch goalie in Kari Lehtonen and he has an injured groin and has been placed on the injured reserve list. Great timing Kari, the team is on a hot streak of one in a row.

Dell No Longer in Hell

Happy Friday!

Great story from Business Week on Dell (our client) and what they have gone through with "Dell Hell" and Jeff Jarvis – so much has turned around that the story is written by Jeff as well.

Enjoy.

Bullish on Rutgers

Found one of my former collegues at SI.com now covers South Florida football. Here's Greg's blog from last night's loss to Rutgers.

My former boss there, Danny Greenberg, is the publisher of LA Sports and Fitness Magazine.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Day In Blueland

I am sitting at home and watching the Atlanta Thrashers first game without Bob Hartley and they are up 3-0 halfway through the game on the New York Rangers.

Two thoughts as I watch this - first and foremost, these players are actually playing the game they are being paid to play tonight. The look like a real hockey team, one that we haven't seen for the first few weeks of this season. The only thing they haven't done is fight. Where have you guys been? You are supposed to be professionals, aren't you? You played to get the coach fired, you accomplished it. Now play like the way you are for the rest of the season and maybe, just maybe you can get back in it.

While things look good, Kari Lehtonen reinjured his groin. There was great video from the SportsSouth broadcast of trainer Craig Brewer telling Don Waddell on the bench about the injury. Waddell rolls his eyes in the back of his head in total disbelief ... but he has seen this song before with his first goaltender Damian Rhodes.

The second thought is this, how come everyone but Don Waddell knew that Bob Hartley should have been fired when they were swept out of the playoffs? It was so obvious to everyone that watched this team except the guy who put it together. On top of which, you need to see the press conference where Waddell talks about the firing and how he believes this year's team is better than last years. And he said it with a straight face! Just classic.

Joe Says No To Yankees

In one of the greatest sports days in a long, long time ... Joe Torre finally told the class bully to kiss his butt! Torre has turned down a one year deal for $5 million dollars.

As is customarily - Torre gets one of my favorite lines.... "GOOD FOR HIM!!!!!"

This guy has been one of the best, if not the best, managers in baseball for the last 12 years and the Yankees have screwed with him for the last time. I am willing to bet that he is more upset about the terms of the contract than the money. Rumor is that they wanted him to fire some coaches, including pitching coach Ron Guidry

The problem sounds familiar to what is happening with the Atlanta Thrashers, except Torre has won. His teams have made the playoffs for over a decade. It is NOT his fault that Carl Pavano was signed to a boatload of money and never panned out. It is not his fault ARod couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat come October. If Torre goes, then GM Brian Cashman should be right next to him. Mind you, I don't think either one should be fired, but you cannot do one without the other.

This now makes two great baseball men sitting out there for an organization to grab in GM Walt Jocketty and now Torre. Could they meet somewhere to work to build a winner? Would be fun to watch them build something together.

The irony is that 30 years ago tonight, Reginald Martinez Jackson swung three times and hit three home runs versus the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the 77 World Series. Man, I know I am getting old when I can remember these kinds of things like they were yesterday. May take the Yankees 30 years to get back to glory like this now that Torre is gone.

Question now is, who else will follow Joe out the door? Don Mattingly is staying quiet, but he will be the front runner for the job. Good luck Donnie Baseball - a tad hotter in the top seat on the bench.

Dreaming Of Getting Away

Check out this microsite called Take Back Your Vacation - from our client Bahama Breeze. Makes me want to hit the beach with a nice drink.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Half Empty, Half Full?

After last night's 4-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, Bob Hartley has been fired by the Atlanta Thrashers.

As usual I watched as this team showed absolutely no heart at all in the loss. I hate saying those words, but when your captain Bobby Holik gets nailed by Jason Smith and NO ONE, not even Holik goes after him, what do you say?

Hartley lost this team last season when they were swept out of the playoffs. Now he has lost his job.

The million dollar question is how long does Don Waddell have? And the bigger question is which one of these so-called owners of the Atlanta Spirit has any hockey knowledge to make the right replacement for Don if they saw fit to fire him? Rutherford? Michael? Bruce? C'mon boys - sell the team to people who care about something other than themselves and their egos.

Last season, right after the Keith Tkachuk trade, I was in an elevator with some folks and Rutherford Seydel. He was talking to folks about the trade and taking partial credit for it. If that's the case, you should get blame for it as well, dontcha think? This ownership group is an embarrasing mess and it's not going to get any better anytime soon.

Jeff Schultz of the AJC talks about how the wrong man was fired in his column. And he points out some of the other expansion teams and how well they have done in the time the Thrashers have been around. SI's Alan Muir agrees with Schultz on Waddell not being without blame. Where there's smoke...???

The best thing Don has going for him is ownership - they are cutting costs every which way (including the intern program...I mean how bad is it when interns are let go!) and having to pay a new GM while paying Don may not make fiscal sense to them. But hey, that division banner sure is pretty in the rafters, isn't it? The one move they can make that would be prudent both from the financial and hockey smarts world would be to hire Thrashers color commentator on television, Darren Eliot.

There are many names out there, but the one name I have heard is Pat Quinn. Not sure I like it, but he has had success in the league. John Anderson of the Chicago Wolves would make sense as he has worked with the young kids already.

I say we put together a group called Caps 4 Da Cup - let's go root for the Washington Capitals... best uniforms going and Alexander Ovechkin! Road trip!!!! We're comin' Nate..

New Site To See

Check out my buddy Joe Rizzo's (I swear, his real name!) website about the International Fight League. It's wild and wacky and totally different from anything you have seen or heard. But hey, he's from Jersey - Route 4 and 17 area known as Paramus.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Things Not To Do During DUI Test

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That's What I Call A "Wicked Pissa!"

Baylor considering disciplinary action against Baylor assistant - Associated Press

WACO, Texas -- Baylor athletic department officials said they are considering disciplinary action against an assistant football coach cited for urinating on the bar at a tavern.

Eric Schnupp, Baylor's offensive line/tight ends coach, was not arrested but was issued a citation at 2:20 a.m. Sunday for disorderly conduct-reckless exposure at Scruffy Murphy's, Waco police spokesman Steve Anderson said.

The citation is a Class C misdemeanor carrying a $258 fine, according to Waco Municipal Court.
Bartender Danny Severe said in Tuesday's editions of the Waco Tribune-Herald that the incident happened around closing time and that Schnupp apparently thought no one was watching him as employees were moving patrons out of the building.


Severe said an employee witnessed Schnupp urinating on the bar, and a manager told police officers who were there for an unrelated matter.

Severe said Schnupp had taken several shots of hard liquor, most bought for him by other people.

Schnupp had traveled with the team to Lawrence, Kan., where the Bears lost to Kansas 58-10 Saturday afternoon. The team was back in Waco by 9 p.m.

Baylor associate athletic director Nick Joos did not immediately return calls Tuesday to The Associated Press. But Joos told the Tribune-Herald that discipline would be handled internally.
"I can tell you that coach [Guy] Morriss is taking this issue very seriously," Joos said, declining to say what disciplinary measures are being considered.


Schnupp, in his first year as a coach at the world's largest Baptist university, played football for the University of Miami from 1995-2000 and previously coached at West Texas A&M.

Shameless Plug For Solid Client Who Gets It

Check out Dell2Dell - a great blog for Dell customers to talk or vent or whatever they want to do. Some great video of Michael Dell on the blog as well as great conversations. So if you have a Dell - you should know about this and check it out.

Dell is a GCI client.

Vick Woes Continue

Wachovia Bank sues Vick over business loan

By Mike Morris, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wachovia Bank has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has defaulted on a $1.3 million loan for a wine store.

According to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Oct. 2, the bank loaned Vick, partner Gerald Frank Jenkins and Atlantic Wine & Package LLC the money on May 23, 2006, and that a default exists "when a material adverse change has occurred in the business or prospects of Defendant Vick, financial or otherwise, as determined by the bank in its sole discretion."

Vick and Jenkins opened Atlantic Wine & Spirits, and the adjoining Tasting Room restaurant, on Camp Creek Parkway in East Point last March.

The suit claims that Atlantic Wine has defaulted by failing to make monthly payments of principal and interest, and that Vick's obligations "are impaired due to recent events involving Defendant Vick."

Wachovia said in the suit that Vick, Jenkins and Atlantic Wine & Package owe $937,907.61 in principal, along with interest and fees that totaled $1,876.60 on Oct. 2.

The suit also claims that Atlantic Wine has multiple checking accounts with Wachovia, and that two of those accounts were overdrawn by a total of $34,680.85.

Wachovia is at least the third bank to file suit against Vick since his indictment earlier this year on federal charges relating to dogfighting.

Royal Bank of Canada claimed Vick defaulted on a $2.3 million loan, while 1st Source Bank of South Bend, Ind., claimed Vick hasn't repaid a $2 million loan.

Rocky Mountain Way

Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio are trying to pick a song all morning for the improbable.

Is it Rocky Mountain High? Is it Gonna Fly Now, the theme from Rocky? Is it Crocodile Rock?

Whatever is chosen it is for the most absurd thing to happen in a long, long time in sports. The Colorado Rockies, who have won 21 out of 22 games, are going to the World Series.

Seriously.

No one in their right mind would have picked this 30 days ago and if you had gone to Vegas you would have gotten unreal odds for this one.

The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News have great stories about the Rockies. But the best story of all of this is Todd Helton. He was going to be traded according to some stories, but it never happened and he was doomed to a life in Colorado. Where the pitchers go to die like Mike Hampton. Now Helton, like John Elway was, gets rewarded at age 34 with his first trip to the World Series.

Not bad for a Tennessee quarterback turned first basemen. Hey, maybe they can play Rocky Top for him.

Here We Go Again

OK, so the Giants are 4-2. Big deal. I don't understand why everyone is getting all happy and excited? Didn't we do this same thing last season?

Look, I like Eli and I like the things going on with the team at this point. That being said, let's see what happens come the end of the year. If we pull another losing streak into the playoffs and lose the first game, it's NOT good enough. Sorry.

We need to take care of business and keep getting better. And while it's nice to beat the Atlanta's and Miami's of the league - it's not a big feat. We are supposed to beat those teams. When will we beat the better teams in the league to prove we belong? If not, then this is all smoke and mirrors again.

Tim Smith of the NY Daily News writes about how the Giants must learn from last year as well.

So 6-2 at the break would be nice, but it ain't real yet.

MySpace isn't just for kids

Check out who is on MySpace these days with her Nobel Prize. Great piece from the NY Times.

The New Advertising Outlet: Your Life

Great New York Times story on one of our clients, Nike.

Quote of the week from Trevor Edwards, Nike's corporate vice president for global brand and category management on Nike + website.
“It’s a very different way to connect with consumers. “People are coming into it on average three times a week. So we’re not having to go to them.”

Monday, October 15, 2007

Issues For Big Red

Just when you thought things looked bright in Lincoln, Nebraska, the world is going crazy again.

Check out these websites committed to destroying the staff in place:

Save The Program and Fire The Stooges

Has no one learned from Rich Brooks and Kentucky? What an absolute joke these boosters are. I think we should eliminate boosters to begin with ... they do nothing but cause problems.

Joke of the Day

Do you know what kind of battery can beat Michigan?

I-AA (as in Appy State!)

Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!

Lee Elia Tirade - Chicago Cubs - 4/29/83

Classic moment in Cubs history ... sometimes we all feel like doing this ... but we don't.

By the way ... be careful, Elia uses bad language. It's classic though.

Need I say more.....


Rocktober Continues in Colorado

Growing up in New Jersey in the 70s and 80s, I was fortunate to grow up listening 102.7 WNEW-FM on the radio. You know, the thing we listened to before we had satellite radio? I am sure you listened once or twice, no?

Anyway, legendary disc jockey Scott Muni used to talk about all the great concerts that would go on in the month of Rocktober. But nothing that used to come to the Tri-State Area can top what is going on in the Rocky Mountains right now with the Colorado Rockies.

Have you seen the last three weeks of the NL playoffs? They have won 20 of 21 games and haven't lost a playoff game. As they proved last night, neither rain nor sleet nor dead of night will stop the Rocks from making their first ever World Series.

Woody Paige of the Denver Post writes about what one more win will mean to everyone in Colorado. Dave Krieger of the Rocky Mountain News talks about this historic run the Rocks are on.

Last night the hero was Yorvit Torrealba, the catcher for the Rocks, but the double play ball was just as big a hero for them last night. The first three innings of the game, they had three double plays. Just insane.

Actually, I think the grounds crew at Coors Field are just as valuable as anyone. I am not sure how they got through that game without anyone slipping and falling to change the course of the game. Weather was a mess and those fans are nuts to sit there, but I understand them.

This just in, Tom Brady is pretty good. Imagine if he had any wide receivers over the beginning of his career?

George Steinbrenner is stepping back from control of the Yankees and giving his kids the power to make decisions. Let me tell you this, I believe that George can do that as much as I believe that Elvis is living in Nashville.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Heading for Another History Lesson

Yogi Berra was known to say, "it's deja vu all over again."

After seeing the first BCS standings, I think he's absolutely right and the clowns who run the BCS are just flat out wrong.

How in all that is right are the Ohio State Buckeyes ranked first in the BCS? Who in the heck have they beaten to earn that right?

They are 7-0 and have beaten one ranked team in 23rd ranked Purdue. I didn't know that you get full marks for beating Akron, Kent State and Youngstown State. Now you may get the Ohio championship, but not a top ranking.

Isn't this the same team that fooled everyone last year to get to the title game? Didn't work out so well when they had to play a "real" team in Florida and it won't work out for them this year either.

The Big Ten is an average to bad football conference and has been for a bunch of years. They don't belong with the other top conferences at this point in time. Not to say from time-to-time they don't have top teams ... but it has been a while.

If I was a betting man, I would bet South Florida, Boston College, LSU, Oklahoma and Kentucky would kick the Buckeyes around the field.

Heck, I think Hawaii would give them a good game.

This is why the rankings and BCS are flawed and only a playoff will solve this issue. But then again, I have been saying that as long as Yogi has been around.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Five for Fighting

No, I am not speaking of the band... more the gloves dropping on the rink.

Five years ago I was a small part of launching Inside College Hockey - the best college hockey site on the web.

It was started by Mike Eidlebus and Nate Ewell and it's taken on a life of it's own and done well. The funny part, as Mike recalls, is that the designer, Mike Weaver, was trying to make the Atlanta Thrashers hockey club as a defenseman while launching the site. Classic stuff.

Could always use more advertising, so if you are looking for space on the web to show off your products or company, email me and let me know you are interested.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Story of the Day

From FoxNews.com
Austrian Man Shoots Colleague, Slices off Penis in 'Honor Killing'

VIENNA, Austria — Austrian authorities said Thursday they arrested an elderly Turkish-born man suspected of fatally shooting a younger Turkish associate and slicing off the victim's penis in what investigators called an "honor killing."

Police in the town of Wimpassing in the province of Lower Austria made the arrest shortly after the Wednesday night slaying, and said the suspect — described only as a 76-year-old native Turk — did not resist.

Officials said witnesses claimed the man allegedly shot the victim, a 58-year-old Turkish-born man, in the street with a shotgun at point-blank range and then cut off his penis with a knife, leaving him to bleed to death.

Two teams of surgeons worked at the scene to save the man but were unable to revive him, authorities said.

Investigators believe the suspect apparently was jealous that the younger man had flirted with his wife, and had sought him out as "a question of honor," said Franz Polzer, head of the region's criminal investigations office.

Honor killings, driven by the view that a family's honor is paramount, are an ancient tradition associated with Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq and Iran as well as tribal areas in Pakistan and some Arab societies.

The suspect initially fled into a nearby house after the slaying, but witnesses alerted police to his location and he walked out and surrendered shortly thereafter, Polzer said.

Police said the man appeared to have purchased the shotgun earlier on Wednesday. They said he had disposed of the knife, but that officers recovered the weapon after searching the area.
It was the first known attack of its kind in Austria, which is home to about 200,000 Turks — Europe's third-largest Turkish expatriate population after Germany and France.


But so-called honor killings have occurred elsewhere in Europe:
— In August, a federal court in Germany ordered a retrial for two brothers acquitted of fatally shooting their sister —an attack that prosecutors said was meant to punish the Turkish-German woman for her Western lifestyle.


— In Britain in July, the father and uncle of an Iraqi Kurd woman who was murdered for falling in love with the wrong man were sentenced to life in prison for ordering the killing.

— In 2006, a Danish court sentenced a Pakistani man to life imprisonment for ordering the slaying of his 19-year-old daughter, who was gunned down two days after her wedding because her family allegedly disapproved of her choice of husband.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Red Lobster's Chef LaDuke

Here's another great NY Giants fan! We talk about Eli all the time. Check out his salmon and scallops.

Red Lobster's Chef Mickler

Here's Darryl cooking up something he grew up eating on the Gulf Coast!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Vick Fun Never Ends

From the AP:

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons are entitled to recover nearly $20 million in bonus money paid to disgraced quarterback Michael Vick , an arbitrator ruled Tuesday. The players' union vowed to appeal.

Stephen B. Burbank, the University of Pennsylvania law professor and special master who led last week's arbitration hearing, sided with the team after hearing from Falcons president and general manager Rich McKay and attorneys from the NFL Players Association, which represented Vick.

The Falcons argued that Vick, who pleaded guilty to federal charges for his role in a long-running dogfighting operation, knew he was in violation of the contract when he signed a $130 million deal in December 2004.

The team said he used proceeds from the contract to fund his illicit activities and sought the repayment of $19,970,000 in bonuses he was paid out of a total of $22.5 million in 2005 and '06.

Any money the Falcons recover from Vick would be credited to its future salary cap, a huge step in recovering from the loss of the team's franchise player. Atlanta (1-4) is off to a dismal start with Joey Harrington at quarterback.

"We are certainly pleased with today's ruling," the Falcons said in a statement. "It is the first step in a process that our club has undertaken in an attempt to recoup significant salary cap space that will allow us to continue to build our football team today and in future years."

Vick was suspended indefinitely without pay by the NFL after entering into his plea agreement. He also lost millions in lucrative endorsement deals.

"We have reviewed the decision handed down by Special Master Stephen Burbank and believe it is incorrect," the NFLPA said in a statement. "We will now appeal his ruling."

The case now goes to U.S. District Court Judge David Doty in Minneapolis, who still has jurisdiction over the antitrust suit filed by players following the 1987 strike.

That's just great - now there's only one problem for the Falcons... what if Vick doesn't have the money? Odds are he doesn't have the cash and I am sure he has, if he has ANY smart people around him, hidden what he has left somewhere "off-shore."

It's just never going to end and when it does, no one is still left a better person because of it.

Miriam and Benji watching Cars


Line Of The Day ...

Comes from my pal Jeff Schultz at the AJC:

"Nike announced it will not try to recoup millions in endorsement fees from disgraced gold medalist Marion Jones. But the Falcons have asked her for $22 million."

Absolutely classic.

Open Letter To George

Dear Mr. Steinbrenner,

We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Trust me, it hurts us more than it hurts you because we wanted to see the Red Sox beat you.

But the real reason I am writing you is to beg you to follow through on your promise and fire Joe Torre.

Obviously he is the reason your pitching is horrible. It's his fault that you spent some absurd money on Carl Pavano (by the way, how's that working for you?). It's also his fault that the highest paid man in baseball can't hit in the clutch in the playoffs. Was that Paul Byrd that beat you last night??? Could have had him for a smidge less and he's healthy.

So absolutely fire him and keep Brian Cashman. Seriously, he's a great general manager. Heck with that payroll, I think many of us can do the same thing he has done without Torre.

And by the way, when you fire Torre, say goodbye to all the free agents that were interested in the Yanks. Also bid farewell to a bunch of your own guys who are now on the open market.

I am sure you can get a good manager to take Torre's place. What's Stump Merril up to these days???

You may read Mike Lupica's column in today's N.Y. Daily News that the magic is gone from Torre's Yankees and that's fine, but seriously, is it really HIS fault?

Thanks again from a grateful (Red Sox) nation for your absolute stupidity and arrogance. It helps us sleep very well.

Be well and enjoy Tampa and your little boats or whatever you do.

Jon

P.S. - Love you Tribe!!!!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Lessons Learned Again

So, here's the question of the day for Lou Pinella: how many pitches will Carlos Zambrano throw today in Game 4?

Answer - ZERO!!!!!

When you are in a five game series, you do as Herman Edwards once told us, "you play to win the game!"

Say whatever you want about how great the Cubs bullpen had been - if you top starter can't throw 100 pitches in game one of a series and come back on three days rest - isn't there an issue???

Arizona is a good, young team - heck Micah Owens didn't even pitch yet.....and he's maybe their best pinch hitter off the bench as well.

I think that the Colorado Rockies are going to beat the Diamondbacks in six games, they are just on fire.

Another great week of college football - just insane games. LSU is now the unanimous top dog and Cal looks like a solid two, everything else is up in the air.

Did Tennessee just score again on Georgia???? Or was that Northwestern lighting up Michigan State again??? Nice defense, both of you.

John David Booty isn't as good as his predecessors. Showed it last night against Stanford. Hey Cal - the Big Game just got bigger with that win.

The big question in Atlanta is when will Bob Hartley be fired? The Thrash are 0-2 and didn't look good against Tampa Bay last night. If I am a betting man, I put the over under at 12 games. Don Waddell can't let this get too far out of hand. Plus now that Dany Heatley's contract is done, makes getting Marian Hossa deal
a tad more interesting.

And speaking of interesting, we are taking Benjamin home today. Fun, fun, fun at the Barkan house!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Boy Oh Boy...

Talk about turning my world upside down.... what do you do with one of these boy things? I only have girls and I know how to deal with them, have to figure this out .... but man is it cool.

Abbie came to the hospital yesterday and held her brother - it was great, she was in heaven. However, when I called to tell her about Benjamin yesterday (she was the first call for the record) she screamed when she heard it was a boy and dropped the phone. Once she calmed down, all was well, but man was that funny.

Everyone is doing well. Sorry haven't had time to download pics... left my camera cord at home. Odds are we will be home tomorrow with Benjamin. If I get a chance later, I will shoot some pics on the blog. We should be home in time for Benji to watch his first Giants-Jets game. Ya know Papa Neil will be in heaven for that one.

Got to see the bugs in Cleveland and another big win. Plus who doesn't love Manny?? Only down side is that Lou Pinella cost the Cubs the series by yanking Carlos Zambrano after 85 pitches. Hey Lou - win one before worrying about the fourth game.

Now I have a boy to share all of this craziness with... just wild.

Speaking of which, here is the laugh of the day ... at Northside Hospital, which is known as the baby factory, because they deliver more babies than anywhere else in the country. Anyway, we were looking for the Soap Network to watch Beverly Hills 90210 reruns, and they don't have the Soap Network on here. CSpan and all sports channels but no Soap Network in a place called the Women's Center. Is it me or does that make no sense? I mean if they don't watch the Soap Network here, where will they?

New Chefs Blog Video Casts

Hey - go to Red Lobster's chef's blog and check out the two new videos with Michael LaDuke and Darryl Mickler. These guys are awesome people and even better cooks.

Two new recipes that you can make at home await you. They are GCI clients, but they are more than just clients to us.

Friday, October 05, 2007

And The Answer Is....

As Cookie Monster and Grover sing on Sesame Street, the Barkan Family is now fuzzy and BLUE!

Abbie, Miriam, Elizabeth and Jon are proud to welcome Benjamin Leffler Barkan to their clan.

He came in at 12:55 pm at 4 lbs. 15 oz and 18.5 in long.Mom and Benji are doing well.Look forward to all of you meeting him soon. Pics to follow.

Love to all,
Jon

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dying Professor's Last Lecture

An incredible story that makes you appreciate life. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Boss is Back on the Road

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are back in the saddle and where they belong on the road.

He's already played four shows and check out the set list. Only problem is that he isn't coming to Atlanta on this first leg. Total garbage!

When he gets here ya know I will be waiting!

Braves say goodbye to Andruw

OK, so Andruw Jones wants $20 million dollars a year for 5-years.

I think that's great if he can get it and I am sure he will get it. If he falls short, he has only Scott Boras to blame.

But the one thing I am happy about today is that the Atlanta Braves said no. They didn't say no to Andruw - they said no to the insane money that someone that hit .222 shouldn't be asking for.

In today's AJC - Terence Moore says that the Braves are making a bad move. When he thinks it's bad, that usually means that it's the right move.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Story of the Day

PETA says Vick took, passed course on preventing animal cruelty
By Wright Thompson, ESPN.com

Michael Vick recently accepted an invitation from PETA and attended an eight-hour course on animal cruelty at the group's Virginia headquarters, according to the animal-rights group.

PETA assistant director Dan Shannon said when Vick completed the course, he was given material to take home and study. Shannon said Vick returned to the offices on a later day to take a test on the things he'd learned, which he passed. Though PETA officials are still pressing for jail time for Vick, Shannon did say everyone was impressed with the seriousness with which Vick approached his classes.

"He seemed nervous at first," Shannon said, "but he seemed really interested."

Vick's attorneys were not immediately available to comment on PETA's account of Vick's attending the class. The NFL also did not immediately return a call for comment.

Vick, the disgraced Atlanta Falcons quarterback, faces up to five years in prison and awaits sentencing after pleading guilty in a federal dogfighting case. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10. He recently was ordered confined to his Virginia home after testing positive for marijuana -- a violation of the conditions of his release while awaiting sentencing. The urine sample was submitted Sept. 13, according to federal court records.

Vick also has been indicted on state charges of beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs and engaging in or promoting dogfighting. Each felony is punishable by up to five years in prison. His arraignment on those charges is set for Oct. 3.

Vick's representatives were first approached by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. After an initial exploratory meeting involving Vick, Newkirk and Shannon, the quarterback agreed to attend a class, which he did on Sept. 18, PETA said.

According to PETA, Vick's day was specifically planned for him, and it focused on animal protection and empathy. First, he was given an overview of animal protection, then a session that laid out the scientific evidence for animals' ability to feel happiness, sadness and pain.
In the initial meeting, PETA said Vick had mentioned wanting to speak to school children, so he was shown the program they normally do at schools. He saw police training tapes that describe links between violence toward animals and violence toward humans. An entire session was based on Christian teachings about the treatment of animals.

"He seemed to get the most out of that," Shannon said. "He was blown away by how much the Bible had to say about animals."

Because of the impact PETA officials think the course had on Vick, Shannon sent a letter on Tuesday to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to make a similar course mandatory for all NFL players.

Sen. Shelby floor statement about Mayer Mitchell

Want to know more about my trip to Mobile and why I went? Check out these two floor statements on the Senate floor about Bubba Mitchell:

Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to Mayer Mitchell, a great American and human being who passed away on Wednesday, September 26, 2007. A highly successful businessman and remarkable philanthropist, Mayer Mitchell was a personal friend, and along with the entire city of Mobile, I mourn his passing.

Mayer was born in New Orleans in 1933 and grew up in Mobile, AL. He earned his bachelor of science degree in economics at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance in 1953. He then served as an Army first lieutenant in Korea, earning a commendation ribbon with medal pendant for meritorious service.

Returning home to Mobile with his wife Arlene in 1958, Mayer founded, with his brother Abe, the Mitchell Company, a commercial and residential real estate development firm. He went on to serve as its chairman and chief executive officer for the next three decades, selling his interest in the Mitchell Company in 1986.

The company's final total under the oversight of the Mitchell brothers was remarkable, with 25,000 single family homes, 20,000 apartments and 175 shopping centers built throughout the Southeast.

In fact, the current Mitchell Company that descended from a partnership of Mayer and his brother remains the largest private firm in Mobile and is among the top 40 in Alabama. Mayer's business success earned him an induction into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2006.

Mayer Mitchell leaves a legacy of tremendous philanthropy, touching the lives of many residents of south Alabama. Mayer was a tireless proponent of education and health care, serving more than 32 years on the University of South Alabama's Board of Trustees, including a term as chairman.

He was awarded the University of South Alabama's National Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 2005 and an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2007.

The Mitchell family's philanthropy reached all aspects of the campus at the University of South Alabama, from business and medicine to athletics. Mayer will forever be remembered as a legendary figure in the growth of the University. The Mitchell Cancer Institute, the Mitchell College of Business and the Mitchell Center sports and performance complex, proudly bear the family name.

To date, the Mitchell family holds the distinction of having contributed more than any other single family to a public university in Alabama State history.

The Mitchell Cancer Institute alone is a powerful legacy, providing state-of-the-art cancer care to people throughout the gulf coast region. Mayer always explained his deep commitment to cancer treatment through a personal connection. At the age of 36, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease and was given 6 months to live. After 2 years of treatments, Mayer made an extraordinary recovery.

This victory not only shaped his life, but shaped the future of the Mobile region as well. He never forgot that he had to leave Mobile for his own cancer treatment in Rochester, NY, and he vowed to make certain Mobile had its own cancer center in the future.

This experience shaped his generosity and will to persevere in the form of improved quality of health care for every resident in south Alabama.

Although Mayer Mitchell and his family were critical to the tremendous growth of the University of South Alabama, this was not the only object of Mayer's patronage.

A strong friend to Israel , he served a term as president of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and served on the board of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Jewish Seminary of America, which awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Mayer supported several other schools and numerous social and religious organizations. His philanthropic service included work with Alabama Power Company, Wright School, Bishop State Community College, Leukemia Society of America, USA Foundation, AmSouth Bank, Altus Bank, Mobile Area United Way, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Mobile Jewish Welfare Fund, Mobile Federation of Jewish Charities, Mobile County Real Estate Association, Archives of American Art, Anti-Defamation League and the Banc Corporation.

His honors include: Jewish Welfare Fund Man of the Year, Outstanding Young Men of America, Prichard Honorary Citizen of the Year, Mobile County Realtor of the Year, and numerous high honors from the Boy's Club of Mobile, Bishop State Community College, University of Rochester, New Orleans Chapter of Hadassah, Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, Mobile Kiwanis Club and the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association.

Mayer is loved and will be missed by his wife of 54 years, Arlene; his son Richard; his three daughters, Melinda Wertheim, Joy Grodnick and Lisa Bukstein; and eight grandchildren.

He was an inspiration to many and will be remembered for his dedication and many contributions to Mobile and the University of South Alabama.

I ask the entire Senate to join me in recognizing and honoring the life of Mayer Mitchell.

Sen. Sessions floor statement

Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I thank my colleague Senator Shelby for recalling the remarkable facts of the life of Mayer Bubba Mitchell, one of Mobile's great citizens, a national leader, as well as a local leader, someone who has friends throughout the country and the world.

It is remarkable, the extent of his reach and impact. He had a clear vision. He wanted his life to be a life that made the world a better place. He worked at that. He had a strong will to do that. Senator Shelby and I were talking about that this morning. It was remarkable. He had an ability to get things accomplished. To me, one of his most remarkable characteristics was the fact that he could have many different activities going on, but he always seemed to complete each one of them and get it done successfully.

At a final AIPAC banquet he attended, realizing it would be his last--it was recalled at his funeral service Friday--he asked these questions about himself but really applying to others. I think it would apply to all of us in the Senate. Knowing that he would not be back, he asked: Have I done enough? Have I done my best? Have I made a difference? All of us ought to ask those questions more and would probably be better performers when we do.

His wonderful partner Arlene is such a fabulous person, so well liked, a former Mobilian of the year. She is so gracious. His son Richard spoke so movingly at his memorial service. His son-in-law Jimmy Grodnick likewise, married to his wonderful daughter Joy, made remarks. His grandchildren read from the Talmud such wonderful passages that reflected his values. His brother Abe, who has been a partner in business and in so many of these activities, told me afterwards it wasn't over. He still had things he wanted to do and he would continue to work at them. I know that is exactly what Mayer would have liked.

The business school I visited at the University of South Alabama is so well endowed by the Mitchell family. The athletics center, the Mitchell Center, is where his memorial service was held, the sports complex. And perhaps in the long term, the greatest financial investment he and his family made is in the Mitchell Cancer Center that will be a place for research as well as treatment of those who have suffered with cancer, because he felt so blessed, having been allowed to survive what many said at the time was a fatal disease.

So many people came from all over the country to that service, it was really remarkable, including the Republican leader in the Senate, MITCH MCCONNELL, who himself came down and was an honorary pallbearer. He was on a first-name basis with Presidents. Indeed, I am aware that President Bush called him twice in recent months. Foreign leaders, Senators, and Congressmen were on a first-name basis with him. His life is a testament to what can happen when a person focuses his life on making a positive difference in the world and living a good life. He accomplished those things. Probably outside of a public official, he was on a first-name basis with more Senators than maybe any other person in our country. There may be some others, but not many would know as many and be as well respected as he was over the years.

I appreciate the opportunity to make these remarks. Not only did he serve on the board, chairman of the board of the University of South Alabama for 32 years, he gave hours and hours of his time and attention and ideas and ability to making that the great university it is. So he not only gave money, he gave of his time and of himself to make it the great university it is. Gordon Moulton, the president, certainly reflected that in his remarks.

I thank the Chair and Senator Shelby for his excellent remarks and yield the floor.

Howard Kohr tribute to Mayer Mitchell

One of the more inspiring people in my life is Howard Kohr, AIPAC's Executive Director. He's a great man, motivator and speaker. He was one of the people chosen to speak at Bubba Mitchell's funeral and I have to tell you, he was incredible.

Bubba was one of his mentors and reading this speech doesn't do it justice, but it needs to be read to understand both men. Enjoy.

Arlene, I cannot begin without expressing the deep love and affection that we all have for you. Throughout your life – and in particular in this past year – which I know was especially trying -- you have been an “eshet hayil” – a true woman of valor. Having known you and Bubba so long and having spent so much time with both of you, I know that you feel blessed to have had a life with Bubba -- but, Arlene, it was equally a blessing for Bubba to have you.

To you Arlene, and to you, Abe – his partner and best friend Fannie, Ann -- and to Joy, Melinda, Richard, Lisa, and the entire family I want you to know that I consider this to be one of the great honors of my life to be asked to speak and pay tribute to your husband, brother, father, and grandfather.

You know, I spent a lot of time walking the halls of Congress with Bubba. Often, after an election, I would introduce some of the new members of Congress. Inevitably, a few of them would call me a day or two later and ask if I could get them back in touch with the Mayor of Mobile. I would laugh and let them know that they had met the Mayer from Mobile, not the Mayor of Mobile. But, as you can imagine, after just one more meeting, as the bonds of friendship began to take hold, he became to them what he was to all of us – Bubba. And, once you had Bubba in your life, you knew you had something special.

Bubba was a planner.

He had a clear idea of how things should be and a discipline that allowed him to realize his vision. It was in that spirit that he called me last spring when he heard that his good friend the Republican Leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, would be the keynote speaker at AIPAC’s Annual Policy Conference in Washington. He wanted to be sure that he would be able to introduce the Senator – who honors us with his presence here today -- I of course agreed, because you just did that when Bubba called. However, as important as providing a proper introduction for his friend Mitch was, this time Bubba had more he wanted to say. He said, “Howard, I’m not feeling too well and for all I know this could be my last conference, and I have something I want to say.”

He began his remarks at the conference that evening with a simple question. Bubba asked: “Have I made a difference?” He went on: “It is a question that many of us ask ourselves, particularly as we advance in age. For me,” Bubba said, “it is a question that has become persistent – and the answer more important – in a year of personal health difficulties.”

If you were there that night you know that in asking that question Bubba wasn’t really speaking about himself. He was holding himself up as a standard bearer of the pro-Israel movement in America – he was asking everyone if we have done enough. In challenging himself he was challenging us -- to make the most of the opportunities that God has given us and realize that we have a sacred obligation to ourselves and to each other.

It was vintage Bubba: Make yourself the example. Challenge others to follow.

Bubba was a humble and wise man.

Despite his many accomplishments, Bubba was a man of great humility. In a world of politics, where it is so easy to become cynical or jaded, Bubba remained respectful and grateful for the opportunity to play a role in history. He never lost his sense of awe.

How many times did he put his arm around one of us at a particular historic moment or in a place of renown and remind us to appreciate that moment -- to remember how blessed we are to live in America and to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities we are afforded.

It was September of 1991. Bubba and I were about to meet with the President of the United States in the Oval Office – we were there to ask him not to link urgently needed loan guarantees for Russian immigrants to Israeli politics and policies. We knew it would not be an easy conversation to have.

In the moments before we headed to the White House, Bubba told me, “You have to get yourself ready for this. And to do that, you have to do two things. You have to spend time to realize the awesome power of this office. And then you have to not be intimated by it.”

Bubba was not one to dish out advice that he himself did not live by. And a few hours later I listened as he spoke truth to power, respectfully, carefully, but clearly. I listened as he made his case, relaying to the President in detail about his own parent’s exodus out of Russia, fleeing persecution and pogroms. “Mr. President,” he said, “this is not an abstraction for me. This is deeply personal. Mr. President, you have an historic opportunity to make things different for the next generation.”

The son of Russian immigrants, the man from Mobile was always able to say and do what he felt was the right thing -- because he believed so passionately that he—and each of us still -- has a critical role to play to ensure the future of the Jewish people, of America and of Israel.

And so he reached out to governors and members of Congress, presidents and prime ministers to better his state, his country and our world – to improve all our lives. For Bubba Mitchell, life wasn’t only about him or his needs. It was about stepping beyond himself to something far greater. Bubba showed us that our actions can have meaning and our lives can be significant as long as we never shy away from speaking the truth or doing the right thing.

Bubba was a man of quiet courage.

Many in politics attempt to persuade with the belief that volume and bravado are the key to making a point. But Bubba understood that a few wise words, softly spoken, always trumped the loud chatter. Yes, he was quiet, his manner was all southern charm and understatement -- but he was doggedly determined to get results…

…and he was stunningly effective.

Bubba had the ear of presidents and prime ministers, and they too would seek him out for information, counsel and clarity. It is no surprise therefore, that in Bubba’s last days, President Bush, the Prime Minister of Israel, senators and members of Congress, and countless elected officials—many of whom are honored guests with us today -- called him to thank him for devoting his life’s work to his community, his country and our world. And it is no surprise that each of them thanked him for his unfailing friendship.

Bubba was a man of action.

He realized that we live in a time of miraculous promise, but also real danger for America, for Israel, and the Jewish people. He understood the stakes and the consequences if leadership was lacking.

When something needed to be done, he did it. And when something else needed to happen, he stepped forward yet again. And again and again. The cumulative effect of his life’s work was profound. Bubba built and sustained friendships with literally dozens and dozens of elected officials and decision makers that directly deepened the quality and strength of the relationship between Israel and the United States.

Bubba was a leader.

I had a conversation yesterday with a veteran member of the House of Representatives whom I had called to inform of Bubba’s passing. This member said something that I have been reflecting on ever since – something that says so much about who Bubba was to all of us. She said, “you know when I got into politics I had a simple goal – gain the respect of Bubba Mitchell. Because I knew that if I had his respect everyone else would follow.” The degree of respect that others had for Bubba can be measured in many ways. But the fact that over 25 current and former members of AIPAC’s national Board traveled from across the country to be here today is a remarkable tribute to his leadership.

It is very important to me that his 8 grandchildren hear what I have to say. You should know that for the last 25 years at AIPAC there was no higher praise -- and no greater reward -- than to have your grandfather tell me or one of my colleagues or one of our fellow Board members in that soft-spoken way of his -- that he was proud of us.

Last March Bubba wondered out loud in front of 6,000 friends if his life had had meaning – if he had made a difference. Well today we gather here to pay tribute – to celebrate the life of someone whose accomplishments are so many, so varied, and so valued that his legacy rises to something greater than mere difference making. Bubba’s difference deserves its own category – Bubba was a Jewish hero. Through his actions – through his courage, generosity, leadership, determination, and wisdom -- he came to define what it meant to be a Jewish leader in America in this century. He enriched all our lives -- he took care of his family, he made Alabama better, he made America stronger, and Israel safer.

As with so many others in this room, Bubba was my mentor, my teacher, my friend – my hero. How lucky I have been, how lucky we all have been -- to know and to love Bubba.

So Bubba, I think we can all answer your question now.

You made quite a difference.

Your memory will forever be a blessing. And we pledge to you that our continued work will be your lasting legacy.


Unreal Ending for Vick's Dogs

What families want these "killer" dogs near their children??? Is Brittney getting one???

From CNN.com -

All but one of the dogs seized in the Michael Vick dog fighting case will be placed with families or put in a "sanctuary," where they will interact with people to overcome their fear and lack of socialization, according to court order filed Monday.

Michael Vick pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy charges related to dog fighting.

One of the 49 seized dogs "has a history biting humans" and will be euthanized, according to a motion filed in Virginia in U.S. District Court.


U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg said the dog -- identified as number 2621 -- "exhibited intense aggression to humans to the point where the evaluation could not safely be completed."

The recommendation came more than a month after the court ordered the dogs evaluated by U.S. Department of Agriculture contractors.

Last month a team of animal behavior experts selected by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals analyzed the dogs, and then recommended whether they were best suited with families, trained as police dogs, placed in a sanctuary or euthanized.

Federal authorities anticipate recommending a guardian be appointed to oversee the placement of the other dogs.

Vick pleaded guilty in August to federal conspiracy charges related to dog fighting on his property in Surry County, Virginia. He is to be sentenced on the federal charges on December 10.

Last month, a federal judge tightened restrictions on Vick after he tested positive for marijuana use. The suspended Atlanta Falcons player must submit to any method of drug testing required by the pretrial services officer or the supervising officer.

He must participate in substance abuse therapy and mental health counseling if the pretrial services officer or supervising officer orders that.

Vick was also ordered to stay home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. He is to be electronically monitored during that time.

Vick also faces state charges related to dog fighting. He will be arraigned on state charges on October 3 in a Virginia court.

What should they do?

Story today in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on an 85-year old man who is an accused Nazi guard. He came to the U.S. in 1955 and hid that he was in the Nazi army.

What should the U.S. do with him? Does deporting him and his wife change anything? I would rather that you find out as much information from him as possible and see if we can learn anything we didn't know before he forgets all of it.

October is Rocktober in baseball

What a great way to start the baseball postseason.

I actually stayed up and watched Trevor Hoffman implode in Denver. The all-time leader in saved after the game did the right thing and took the blame for the loss. If you haven't seen the video of him post game, see it and see how a true professional handles himself in a tough, tough situation for sure.

Darn shame that most of the Mets didn't do that after their collapse. Willie Randolph didn't throw his players under the bus and David Wright said it start in the clubhouse. Problem is that all of them should take the hit and suck it up.

Got a great email from the Mets.com that they sent to all their fans:

Dear Mets Fan: All of us at the Mets are bitterly disappointed in failing to achieve our collective goal of building upon last year's success. We did not meet our organization's expectations -- or yours. Everyone at Shea feels the same range of emotions as you -- our loyal fans -- and we know we have let you down. We wanted to thank you for your record-breaking support of our team this year. Equally important, Ownership will continue its commitment in providing the resources necessary to field a championship team. Omar will be meeting with Ownership shortly to present his plan on addressing our shortcomings so that we can achieve our goal of winning championships in 2008 and beyond. You deserve better results. Many thanks again for your record-breaking support.

Omar is meeting with ownership to present his plan? Seriously? Can you present a plan for not blowing a seven game lead with 17? And if he had it why didn't he share it with the team WHILE it was going through it?

Should be a solid postseason. Never one to lack picking winners ... I like the Indians and Red Sox in the AL and the Cubs and Phils in the NL.