Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog


Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Kean and Hamilton on Meet the Press.

It's quite obvious that the 9/11 Commissioners as well as the Washington establishment are not pleased at all about a hold-up in the House of Representatives that threatens to kill the Intelligence Reform Act that would consolidate all of the intelligence agencies under the control of a new Intelligence Director.

So, 9/11 Commission chair and vice-chairs Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton were on Meet the Press with Tim Russert yesterday with their tried-and-true stump speeches.

Yesterday the chairs took aim at Sensenbrenner's provisions in particular by opposing Sensenbrenner's insistence on making driver's licenses for illegal aliens illegal. 

MR. KEAN:  We've recommended uniform systems and driver's licenses in our recommendations.  We haven't recommended the specific one that Congressman Sensenbrenner wants.  But we're very reluctant to see that whole bill held up just by this one provision.  I mean, we recognize that he wants this very, very badly.  But to hold up every single one of these other provisions to make the American people safer for this one provision or two provisions, to me doesn't make any sense.  He can put it in a separate bill.  We have no position on it under the commission because we didn't consider it.  So I just hope that he will let this bill go forward and then let us look at these provisions and maybe we'll support them as well as everybody else.

MR. HAMILTON:  It is important to have national standards on driver's licenses, passports and other identification documents.  There isn't any doubt that the hijackers use the state driver's licenses to get by a lot of checkpoints.  So standards are important here.  But the fundamental question--we can put national standards in--but whether or not, for example, you issue a driver's license, that's a state matter and ought to be resolved by the state.  And the question Congressman Sensenbrenner raises, don't give driver's licenses to illegal aliens, I think is a valid question.  It needs to be debated.  It should not be resolved, I think, in this bill.  But it should be in the future, and it certainly ought not to hang up literally hundreds of provisions, hundreds of provisions in this bill, including, for example, facilitating emergency responders' work, including improvements in American foreign policy, including border security improvements, aviation security.  We ought not to hang all of that up on a disputed provision in the immigration side.

Kean's reaction doesn't surprise me, as he is a former governor of New Jersey and has a more leftist edge in his outlook.  Hamilton's does.  To try to blazenly dismiss the importance of identification as an access tool for terrorists and illegal aliens that are breaking the laws of our country is reprehensible.

The question that should be asked to Kean and Hamilton is why wasn't this placed into their reform structure?  As Kean stated, the Commission agreed that the driver's license requirements need to be reformed, and had proposed them.  Hence, why didn't they request that those recommendations are added into the current bill?  It sounds like the Commission is interested in political lobbying rather than coming up with needed reform.

And Hamilton's reaction is especially disappointing as he infers that states should have the right to grant access to driver's licenses to those who break federal law.  To claim it would be a "national standard" is ridiculous.  That would be relevant if we were talking about U.S. citizens that were abiding federal law.  But the federal government, particularly the White House, a right and responsibility to enforce laws created by Congress as well as protect our borders from terrorist threats.

As I've stated before, the Senate, the President, and the 9/11 Commission are more interested in candy-coating this in order to make it look like they've done something rather than championing and implementing true reform that could go a long way in protecting the populace.  Sensenbrenner on Rush Limbaugh's show last week stated that the 9/11 hijackers possessed over 60 driver's licenses from five states, and all of them were illegal in accordance to those states' laws.  If the states won't do their job, what's stopping the federal government from taking care of their responsibility?

Here's what Sensenbrenner had to say on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday (via NewsMax):
"The 19 murderers on Sept. 11 got 63 separate legally issued driver's licenses from five states. They used those to open bank accounts and to get on the plane."

Sensenbrenner warned that unless the terrorist loophole was closed, U.S. law enforcement wouldn't be able to prevent another 9/11-style attack.

"The 9/11 Commission specifically recommended that aliens who are here on temporary visas, which were the 9/11 murderers, have their driver's licenses expire on the date of the expiration of their visas," he noted.

"What's wrong with having a uniform national standard to apply to driver's licenses so that people who want to commit terrorist attacks can't game the system?" the Wisconsin Republican asked. "What good is reorganizing intelligence if we don't have homeland security?"

It does no good.  Kean and Hamilton both know it.  But they will stubbornly hold on in an attempt to add on to their 15 minutes.  How dare Sensenbrenner and Hunter oppose the high and mighty Commission???

Sensenbrenner and Hunter, I say again...stand your ground and don't give in.

Posted at 12:51 am by Expertise
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Sunday, November 28, 2004
College Football and NFL picks.

First, let's talk about college for a minute.  I've been watching some of the games over the weekend, and I've watched some here and there over the season.

First of all, the BCS.  They need to take the "C" out of that acronym, because it's nothing but BS.  After a lousy end to the season last with with USC and LSU being co-national champions, it looks as if they are set to do it all over again this year.

USC, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Utah are still undefeated, with everyone except Utah going into their conference championship game.  Cal-Berkeley is right behind them, with USC giving them their only loss by 6 points.  Louisville's only loss was to Miami by three.

However, add the ACC and the Big East into the mix.  The ACC Championship game will pit Miami vs. Virginia Tech.  The Big East Championship now has a four-way tie with Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia.  Boston College was taken out of contention for a BCS spot by being blown out by Syracuse today.  If Pittsburgh loses to South Florida next week, the Orangemen get a chance at a BCS spot.

But that's neither here nor there.  The fact is that NONE of the Big East deserves a BCS spot.  Boston College had the conference's highest rank at 17th in the AP.  Boston College is 8-3 this year.  Syracuse is 6-5.  Giving either team a BCS bid would be a complete embarrassment.

The problem is automatic bids.  It's tolerable in March Madness, but that's because there are 64 teams, and I think half of them are at-large bids.  But the BCS only has three bowls going to six teams.  Four of those spots goes to the conference champions of the ACC, Big 12, Pac-10, Big East, SEC, and Big-10.  That's not right, particularly when there are teams that have to fight and claw their way into a BCS bid, like Utah.  There's no way you can convince me that the Big East champion - or Virginia Tech in the ACC if they beat Miami, or Tennessee if they upset Auburn - should win a BCS bid.  Is the NCAA ready to weather the storm if 6-5 Syracuse gets a BCS bid?  They're going to think Florida only got a couple of showers compared to the firestorms they'll get.

Sooner or later the NCAA will have to hear the catcalls and change the system to a playoff tournament postseason.  I don't see any reason why the NCAA can't give 14 teams the chance for a postseason, with the top two teams getting byes in the first round and allow the bowl committees to get the proceeds from each playoff game at their respective stadium.  And then eliminate this automatic bid nonsense.  If these teams are as good as their conferences supposedly are then there's no need to give them an automatic bid. 

NFL:  Well, this will be a very interesting week, with the season coming down the stretch and a handfull of big matchups this week.  On Thanksgiving Day we watched the best and the worst as Peyton Manning put on a show, throwing for six touches against slumping Detroit and getting within eight of Dan Marino passing touchdown season record with five weeks to go. 

Meanwhile, the Cowboys and the Bears stunk it up in the first half, with both offenses being absolutely terrible.  Eventually, Dallas did show some promise in the future with Julius Jones having a 100+ yd rushing day, which helped lead them to the win. Lovie Smith has a lot of work to do with that Bears team.

Here are my picks:

on Thursday I picked Indianapolis and Dallas to win, so I'm 2-0.

Sunday:

Carolina over Tampa Bay

Cincinnatti over Cleveland

Tennessee over Houston

Kansas City over San Diego (Tomlinson has groin problems; might not play)

Minnesota over Jacksonville

Philly over the Giants

Pittsburgh over Washington

Atlanta over New Orleans

BALTIMORE OVER NEW ENGLAND (that's right.  You heard me)

Jets over Arizona

San Francisco over Miami

Seattle over Buffalo

Denver over Oakland

And Monday night:  Rams over Packers

Key games to watch are Baltimore/New England (as if I needed to say that), Philly/Giants, Minn/Jacksonville, and Seattle/Buffalo.  San Francisco/Miami is the Toilet Bowl game as both only have one win for the season.

This will probably be my roughest week of the season.  Most of these matchups could go either way.

Posted at 12:32 am by Expertise
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Friday, November 26, 2004
The real idiots.

This will be published on NorthernArc over the weekend.

As soon as John Kerry conceded the election, the self-righteousness of the left sprang forth to insult every Bush voter in the country.  Talk about secession, inbreeding, and intelligence became normal talking points when the left would discuss the election.  By the end of the day, a graphic was being passed around on the internet where the Canada/U.S. boundary had been moved further south to add all of the states Kerry won.  The northern country was named "The United States of Canada".  The Southern one, which comprised of the Bush states, was named "Jesusland".

That's normal for them, because they can't admit to how wrong they were throughout this election.  Instead of actually looking within to see what put you in this predicament, always assign blame to others.  After all, leftists have always been good at placing accountability someone other than themselves.

Continuing with their childlike temper-tantrum, average IQ statistics of every state in the nation were being passed around, where the states Kerry won had a higher IQ than most of the states that Bush carried.  Thus, it reminded me of watching an episode of Dexter's Laboratory on Cartoon Network way back, where Dexter starts yelling at his sister, Dee Dee: "You're STOOOPAAD!!"

But in this case, it's the left that's making themselves look "STOOPAD".  Had they actually took the time to think about what they're saying, and do just a little bit more reading - they're calling themselves stupid as well.

Anyone that looks at statistics knows you can't broadbrush the whole group by targeting a majority within a minority of the group and think that's going to provide an accurate analysis.  Leftists are taking the IQ's of the whole population within the state - IQ's and all - and are trying to use that to say the majority of the VOTING populace, which is a much smaller group, is stupid, and that's why they voted for Bush.

But Bush didn't get 100% of the vote in any state he won.  Indeed; most of the voters in the Southern states - where Bush swept the whole region, and tend to be at the bottom of the statistics table - are registered Democrats.  The next time you see someone touting the "stupid" statistic, ask them whether they feel their Democratic Kerry brethern are stupid as well.  Then ask them why have Democrats dominated the state and local legislatures of those states even to this very day.

Knowing leftists as well as I'm sure I do, they'll retort that those aren't leftists, or even moderates.  That's when it's really time to make them sweat:  ask them why the three Democratic presidents after John Kennedy's election in 1960 have been Southerners, and automatically leaders of their party.  It should be fun to see them stumble.

And precisely when did the South become stupid?  After all, the South as been a Democratic stronghold since Thomas Jefferson won the presidency in 1804 (although Jefferson called himself and his followers "Republicans" back then, before Andrew Jackson took the helm and started calling them Democrats).  Despite Republicans' attempts at a "Southern stragedy" during Nixon's runs for president in 68 and 72, Democrat Jimmy Carter still carried every Southern state on his way to winning the Presidency in 1976.  Was the South stupid during all of this time?  When Democrats had an eight-seat advantage in the Southern states in 1994, were they stupid then?  Precisely when did they become stupid?

Leftists are only showing their ignorance when they try to use statistics like these, not the supposed ignorance of others.

Posted at 06:06 pm by Expertise
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Thursday, November 25, 2004
Turkey Day

I'm not going to say much - mainly because it's the middle of the night (I'm a vampire) and I'm on a janky, archaic computer with a measley dial-up connection.

But I will say this...be thankful for what you have.

Everyone experiences hardships.  Everyone goes through something that it seems as if mountains will have to move in order for things to work out.  But always remember that no matter what you're going through, someone else has had harder problems, and they can overcome it.  So can you.  The only question is if or when you are going to do it.

Just like anyone else in this world, there are alot of things that I would go back and do over again if I had the chance.  Sometimes I lay at night thinking about it.  But then I remember so-and-so with the drug problem....or so-and-so with the three kids that has child support breathing down his neck...or this one that's about to lose their house...I simply feel fortunate that I am able to turn things around when need be.  Others don't have that opportunity.

All day tomorrow, I will be fortunate enough to be able to eat dinner at my mom's house, then go to about three other homes, pig out, watch football, and spend time with relatives.  Millions of people tomorrow will do the same things I'm going to do, but there are billions more that can't.  Consider yourself blessed - even for one day - to be able do the things you enjoy.

That is the heart of Thanksgiving.  See ya around.

Posted at 04:27 am by Expertise
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Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Quote of the week.

By Jonah Goldberg from National Review:

But Kerry left out another area where the status quo was to be extended by another Bush term: The president can do nothing right.

This has been a constant theme of the last four years. When Bush was allegedly acting unilaterally (Iraq), he was denounced for not being multilateral. When he was multilateral (North Korea), he was denounced for not being unilateral. When Europeans are excluded, that's bad (again, allegedly Iraq); when Europeans are allowed to take the lead (Iran), that's bad, too. When Bush "outsourced" the war in Afghanistan by using non-American troops, that was a monumental mistake, according to Kerry and others. When we didn't outsource the war in Iraq, that was a monumental mistake as well. And so on.

Is there a such thing as being "too" right?  If so, Goldberg is too right to a tee as he takes on the President's critics on Porter Goss's reformation of the CIA.  Read it when you get a chance.

I think I'll write about Democratic Party contradictions in my column at NorthernArc this week.

Posted at 04:10 am by Expertise
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Sensenbrenner and Hunter, stand firm and don't back down.

Over the weekend, the media started whooping and hollering about the House of Representatives voting down the Intelligence Reform bill that would have consolidated all of the intelligence agencies under one umbrella.  The media tries to claim that it's a "turf war", saying the House is trying to protect the status quo and standing firm against change.

Don't be fooled by what they are telling you.  The truth is that the Senate wants to try to candy-coat true reform, and provisions that the House has asked for that would really go a long way to protect this country against terrorist aggression.

The two leading this supposed rebellion against the wishes of the 9/11 families and the President is Congressmen James Sensenbrenner from Wisconsin, who is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; and Duncan Hunter from California, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.  And as Brendan Miniter explains, there are a few central issues that the Senate needs to get straight:

The Washington Post identified the "conservatives" in the House as the bad guys. Meanwhile others claim certain House members were simply doing the Pentagon's bidding. Give it a few days, and we'll likely hear that it was actually Halliburton that was behind the curtain all along. But make no mistake, this bill died in House-Senate conference over a central policy issue: whether the military should take the lead in fighting the war on terror. More than a few Beltway insiders don't see Iraq as part of that war and anyway would rather the Marines and special-ops guys take a back seat to the CIA and other clandestine services--a view reflected in the reforms pushed by the Senate.

It's real simple, folks; should the War on Terror be ran by the people who are actually fighting it and trying to kill these people that have them in the crosshairs or should the bureaucrats in Washington do it?  Considering the problems in the CIA as of late as they have been engaging in a power struggle with the president and the numerous times bureaucratic control failed in the years leading to 9/11, there is no question that it's time for the people who are in the war and have their lives on the line to control the war.  That's what the Pentagon is there for.

Another great statement by Miniter:

Before we get too far into the details--and there are a lot of details that have not been widely reported but will nonetheless make you cringe--let's pause for a moment to consider the politics. Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat, responded to a reporter's question this way: "If there is another major terrorist attack on our soil--and sadly, there will likely be one--we will have only ourselves to blame. Congress had a chance to protect America, and Congress failed." She's hardly alone. This seems to be part of a new Democratic offensive.

This strategy is a dangerous one for America. Talking down American power and misleading our enemies into believing that an attack could damage the political party that is most vigorously pursuing the war on terror-- la Spain--invites disaster. What Osama bin Laden needs to understand is that his is a hopeless cause destined to leave him a broken and humiliated man.

Minter's right; the media and the Democrats are now going to put on the shell of foreign policy strength; something that they've never been concerned about in the last 40 years.  If a terrorist attack happens again, they will point fingers at the Republicans.  They still live - even after this year's disasterous election - with the belief that whatever is bad for America will be good for the Democratic Party.

Also, another hilarious notion is the lamenting of "Rebellious Republicans", when it was just last week that the media and the Democrats were complaining about the controversy over Senator Arlen Specter.  In that case, they were complaining because moderates were supposedly being pushed out through party line.  However, this week, they're complaining that the party line isn't being enforced.  Take the Democratic Leadership Council's statement on Monday:

It's time for Bush...to make it clear that he, not James Sensenbrenner or Duncan Hunter (the two House committee potentates who are opposing intelligence reform) -- or for that matter, Tom DeLay or Donald Rumsfeld -- is the leader of his party. It's time for him to spend some political capital in the pursuit of national security, and to make some heads roll within his own administration if the safety of the American people continues to be subordinated to self-interested bureaucratic turf wars.

In other words, go to Hunter and Sensenbrenner, smack them around, and tell them who's boss.  But after seeing what Sensenbrenner had to say on Rush Limbaugh's show today, I don't think he's intimidated by either the President or the Senate:

SENSENBRENNER: Well, after the supporters of this bad deal trashed both Duncan Hunter and me on every Sunday morning talking heads shows -- neither of us, by the way, were invited to defend ourselves -- it's obvious that the positions have hardened. Neither Duncan nor I are going to give in on our provisions which we believe are extremely important to protect America and particularly to give our war fighters in combat the proper intelligence that they need. And we have been standing together on this issue. I think that we do need to reform our intelligence community. That's a given. But if the people who receive the intelligence, whether it's law enforcement or the war fighters in combat, do not have the laws and the procedures to be able to use that intelligence, the good intelligence isn't really going to help anybody much at all.

Sensenbrenner was excellent in this interview with Limbaugh today.  And he, Hunter, nor any of the other Republicans should back down at all. 

Now there are other provisions that the Senate has their panties in a bunch about.  Two of them are the driver's license ban and the asylum ban.  The driver's license ban would make it illegal for any illegal immigrant to be able to obtain a license anywhere in this country.  That's the one I REALLY want to pass.  And Sensenbrenner has made it clear that he isn't going to bulge on that provision:

RUSH: Congressman, where do we stand on this now? This is obviously a dead issue during this session of Congress, is that true?

SENSENBRENNER: The leadership would like to have more negotiations going on before we get back here on December the 6th. I am absolutely insistent that the driver's license provision stay in the bill. We need tough standards. We need to deny driver's licenses to illegal aliens, and I think the proof in the pudding on that is that the 19 September 11th hijackers --

RUSH: Yeah.

SENSENBRENNER: -- ended up getting 63 validly issued driver's licenses from several states.

HELL YES.  It's about time someone did something about it.  In fact, in Michelle Malkin's book "Invasion", one of the biggest things that struck me is how easily the terrorists were able to obtain the kinds of information and access that you'd think only the residents of that state or the citizens of the U.S. would be able to get, yet these guys were able to use a very complex illegal immigration black market racket in Virginia to get all they needed to get around the country and then some.  The fact that North Carolina made it legal for terrorists to do the same thing really pisses me off to no end.

The asylum ban would make it harder for people seeking to come to this country to declare political asylum, and Sensenbrenner gave a good explanation by this needs to be implemented:

The Senate rejected any change in the asylum law, and once again, yesterday, they were shown to be wrong because there were 26 people that were indicted for gaming the asylum and driver's licenses law in order to document 1900 illegal immigrants from Indonesia.

The truth is, the facts are with Sensenbrenner and Hunter, NOT the President nor the supposed moderate Republicans that are trying to pander to a Latino community that wants to place political power at the expense of national security and weakened law enforcement.

Someone needs to tell the 9/11 Commission and the families that their 15 minutes of fame passed by over the summer.  They are not elected officials, and we elected people to Congress to pass laws.  And I don't know of any article or amendment in the Constitution that states that Congress should blindly pass any law or resolution simply because a supposed bipartisan commission claims it is the right thing to do. 

I never thought consolidating the intelligence agencies under one director was a good idea anyway.  I didn't think the Republicans would place a halt to such an idea, but I'm glad Sensenbrenner and Hunter need to continue to stand their ground.

Keep on keeping on.

Posted at 01:52 am by Expertise
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Tuesday, November 23, 2004
NFL wrapup.

A solid week, albeit there was only a couple of hot games, and those weren't supposed to be as good as they were.

Minnesota, New England, and Pittsburgh almost blew it.  Pittsburgh and New England pulled it out, and it took a 12-point turnaround in the 4th for Minnesota to pull out the win. All three showed a bit of weakness in their games this week.

Atlanta almost blew it too, all in the face of a rookie quarterback's first start.  If Algee Crumpler wasn't on that field Atlanta would probably be 6-4 rather than 8-2.  But even 6-4 is more than enough to win the NFC South and get a playoff spot, as it looks as if no other team in that division will make it to .500.

Speaking of the South, I don't know what Charles Robinson has been smoking, but he needs to get off of it.  Saying the 4-6 Bucs will contend for the last playoff spot?  I don't think so.  Blowing out the Niners isn't impressive, and more than likely they'll probably split the games between the Panthers, and lose to Atlanta and San Diego.  That's nine losses right there.

Right now, I got the byes in the NFC going to Philly and Atlanta, with GB, Minnesota, Seattle, and the Rams getting the wild cards.  But that could change if the Giants pull off the upset in Philly.

In the AFC, it looks like Pittsburgh and New England with the byes, and Baltimore, Denver, San Diego, Indy gettin the wild cards.  I don't see that changing anytime soon.  The Jets will be done once they hit December.

Turkey day will be boring, as the Colts should feast on the Lions, but a half assed game between the Cows and the Bears.  If Parcells loses that game, don't expect him back next year.  But the biggest game of the week will be New England/Baltimore.  The Ravens better bring their A-game for that one.  Kyle Boller better play his best game on Sunday.

I thought Carolina/San Francisco about two years ago would be this year's Toilet Bowl matchup.  I was wrong.  It's this week's Miami/San Francisco matchup.  Both teams are 1-9 and Miami just lost Jay Fiedler for the season.  Let's hope CBS doesn't decide to make that the nationwide game.

Posted at 11:31 pm by Expertise
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Sunday, November 21, 2004
Artest gone for season, Jackson gets 30, O'Neal 25, Wallace 6 and Anthony Johnson 5.

The NBA announced moments ago that Ron Artest has been suspended for the rest of the season.

Stephen Jackson received a 30 game suspension, Jermaine O'Neal 25 games, Ben Wallace of the Pistons received 6 games and Pacers' guard Anthony Johnson got 5 (why, I'm not sure about yet).

Also, four players received a one-game suspension:  Pacers' guard Reggie Miller (who was injured and on the bench), and Detroit's Chauncey Billips, Elden Campbell, and Derrick Coleman.

Last night when there were rumors of Artest only getting 30 and Jackson and O'Neal getting 20 with Wallace getting five, I thought that was too excessive.  But now it's even worse than that.  The NBA is way too excessive with these suspensions and I can guarantee you that the NBA Players' Association will send this into arbitration to get appealed.

In my opinion, Artest should have only gotten 20 games, with Jackson and O'Neal getting 10.  The fans at courtside started that incident, not those guys.  I understand the reasoning behind Artest being punished, but that could have been done with less time and could have been done without scarring the whole Pacers franchise. 

All David Stern has done with this incident has made the Pistons' attempts of a NBA championship repeat that much easier.  Hell; Detroit fans have been rewarded by this incident, not punished.

But hey; maybe this will give the Charlotte Bobcats their second win.  They play the Pistons tonight.

Posted at 06:28 pm by Expertise
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NFL picks.

This won't be a big week, as there really isn't any high-profile matchups.  Expect the favorites to cruise for the most part.

anyways, here are my picks this week:

Baltimore over Dallas

St. Louis over Buffalo

Carolina over Arizona

Indy over Chicago

Steelers over Cincinnatti

Jets over Cleveland

Jacksonville over Tennessee

Minnesota over Detroit

New Orleans over Denver

Tampa over San Fran

Chargers over Oakland

Seattle over Miami

Giants over Atlanta (that's my upset)

Philly over Washington

Houston over Green Bay

and Monday Night:  Pats over KC

Games to watch are Houston/GB, NO/Denver (both need a win), Atlanta/Giants (Atlanta will make the playoffs easily, but Giants need a win and Eli Manning gets his first start), and possibly Balt/Dallas for the simple fact that the Ravens' O sucks just enough to keep Dallas in that one throughout. 

They'll be some alright games, and I'm sure one of the top tier teams will slack off and come close to getting upsetted, but it doesn't look good on paper for this week.  Let's hope I do better than my 8-6 record from last week.

Posted at 06:22 am by Expertise
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Saturday, November 20, 2004
Artest, Jackson, and O'Neal clean house on Detroit fans.


Wow.

Just...wow.

If you haven't heard, one of the wildest altercations in sports history happened Friday night.

It started with only 45 seconds left in the Pistons-Pacers game.  Ron Artest fouls Ben Wallace as Wallace was driving to the lane.  Wallace takes exception to that and shoves the hell out of Artest.

Players and officials immediately start breaking it up before it becomes a full blown fight.  Artest, to his credit, actually backs up and doesn't try to fight.  In fact, Artest - the NBA's wild child that snaps like a power keg - lays down on the scoring table, which was hilarious. 

But nobody could have imagined what was to happen next.  While lying on the table, a fan throws a cup of beer and hits Artest.

That did set Artest off.  And before anyone could blink, Artest was in the stands trying to make that fan a part of one of the arena chairs, bashing the guy's head into one of those seats.  And other guy walked in the melee and threw ANOTHER beer, and was immediately mollywhopped by Pacers forward Stephen Jackson.

The only problem is, that wasn't the guy that actually hit Artest with the beer.  The one that did was the one with the cap and jersey on in the picture.  He tried along with arena security and both teams to pull Artest off of the guy, and once they had done that, cheap-shotted Artest with rabbit punches in the back of the head.

It turned into a very ugly situation, with Pacers players fighting with Pistons fans anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.  Everybody's trying to subdue Artest before he killed someone, Jackson is trying to beat everyone's asses in the building, and even Pacers big man Jermaine O'Neal came out of nowhere with a sliding overhand right on a fan who was trying to fight Artest on the court.

All in all, a great substitute for Friday Night Fights.  All of these guys have potential to be wrestlers after their NBA careers are over.  I'm sure Vince McMahon is drooling at the prospects (and it is quite ironic that earlier this month the Pistons came out during the introduction of their home opener each wearing a replica of Ric Flair's World Heavyweight Championship gold belt.  Maybe they should have given those to the Pacers).

This is probably an all new low for the behavior of sports fans.  Detroit gets absolutely no respect for what went down Friday night.  And what makes it worse is that a number of them ended up getting tagged by Artest, Jackson, and O'Neal.

Suspensions?  Oh you can bet on it.  We might even see someone gone for the rest of the year.  You can bet those four will be suspended as well a couple of others.  Right now, I see Stephen Jackson being MIA for the most games, but they might get Artest worse because of Artest's past history of getting into altercations.  Wallace will be suspended for about three games, and O'Neal will get a game as well.

UPDATEThe NBA has indefinitely suspended Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O'Neal, and Ben Wallace pending a further investigation into Friday night's incident.

This was the correct thing to do by the NBA.  Actually, I wished they had did it a few hours after the fight.  But it does show that they are on top of things and all parties involved will be found and punished.

And hopefully they find the fans behind this and have them banned from all Detroit games, as well have criminal charges filed against them.

Posted at 01:46 am by Expertise
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