Thursday, February 10, 2005

Beavers and Ducks Has Moved

Please change your bookmarks and head to the NEW Beavers and Ducks. This will now be archives and all new stuff will appear HERE. Enjoy!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Super Thoughts (this one is long but well worth the read)

Well now that America's unofficial holiday has passed I thought I'd take a moment to express my thoughts on the game/night. I'm not a huge fan of the Superbowl since the game has become second tier to commercialism and the such but also on that same tangent the games it rarely the best game of the playoffs, let alone the season. This year it turned out a little differently since the post season games leading up to the Superbowl were unusually lacking this time around. All in all the game was entertaining and close enough to keep my attention thought for the most part it lacked exciting downfield plays. Oh man 6+ months until football again

- Root, Root, Root: Because I had no rooting interest in either team I had to find something to root for and that came in the way of "gambling". I put up $1 for two "squares" in Jeffs pool and in turn received Pats 9 Eagles 8, which I wasn't too keen on, and Pats 7 Eagles 7 which with any football game isnt a bad number to have. After the dreadfully sloppy first quarter with no points and knowing the methodical drives both teams use in scoring, I was excited at the prospect that the half could end knotted in 7, which it did. And such my fifty cent 7/7 square payed a cool 20-1 and I made $10. Yay!

- Just Enough: That is exactly what both quarterbacks did. In the case of Tom Brady it was just enough good things and in McNabb's case it was just enough bad things. This has been Brady's style for his 3+ year career and in the end its the wins that matter. Is Tom Brady great? No! Is Tom Brady good? Yes, good enough! And when it came down to it, McNabb failed under pressure. The Eagles were not a running team during the season, and that showed in the Superbowl and finally McNabb couldn't carry the team this time around. He is still a great quarterback? Better then Brady? Debateable. Brady is a product of the system and its the greatest system I have witnessed in any sport and nobody has had the ability to mimic it. The Patriots won because of Brady and his system while the Eagles lost because of McNabb.

- Superstars: Both the defenses gave up lost of yards with out giving up a lot of points, which led to both Deion Branch and Terrell Owens having field days catching the balls. Branch tied a Superbowl record with 11 receptions and over 130 yds. And was deservedly the MVP. He was my choice. While the Patriots still lack a true Superstar, ala Terrell Owens, but finally one of the Patriots receivers has emerged from the pack as a consisent guy to look to. Props for the UL guy. On the other side the media bought right into the Terrell Owens injury hype (recall I did not saying Owens would do whats best for him) and Owens actually did what I expected, minus a touchdown, but those were hard to come by for the Eagles. Owens proved why he is a top echelon wide receiver and even in the loss proved his greatness.

- Where's Corolla?: Terry McAuley and his crew were the best officiating crew over the course of the season and for that were rewarded with the SuperBowl. Congratulations on that accomplishment and it was a well officiated game. Despite having 3 challenges, Terry correctly reversed all three of the decisions from the field. That is what replay challenge is there for and it proved its use last night when the championship was on the line. I was hoping for Bill Carollo but I recall a few weeks into the season he and his crew struggled with a few calls in the Browns game and that probably cost him the Superbowl assignment. Theres always next year Bill!

- Talking Animals: While I had considered boycotting the commercialism of the Superbowl by switching away during commercials I decided that for the longest time (my lifetime at least) it has been just as integral part of the Superbowl. It would be like not having fireworks on the 4th of July. You just can't do it. For me I enjoyed only a handful of the commericals with my favorite being the SBC/Yahoo commercial with the woman "wonderin' what clothes to wear" as her husband repeats that line from "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton. Other good commercials included the Fed Ex mocking of Superbowl commercials and the Ameriquest "don't judge too soon."

- Baby You Can Do My Halftime: After last years halftime debacle, and years and years of lacking Superbowl halftimes, it was refreshing to see Sir Paul McCartney (a Brit nonetheless) perform his hits and in doing so doing it with candor. McCartney obviously knew he was on the grand stage and performed as such. Being the classic rock "buff" that I am I really loved the halftime show that actually kept me from using the restroom (which I ALWAYS do at Superbowl halftime) to watch the entire gig. Thank you, Paul!

- American Dad, yet another half hour animated comedy by Seth McFarlane (creator of Family Guy) was very funny. I recall laughing hysterically at the premier of Family Guy after the Superbowl years ago and last night the same held true. I love the concept of the show and what beats a gold fish with the brain of a German guy? Exactly. Like Family Guy, American Dad is very topical and yet I enjoyed the blatant topical humor that is often "hidden" in Family Guy. I mean God calling G.W. to tell him to quit using his name so often in his addresses. Hilarious. I can't wait until May when I can enjoy an hour of Seth McFarlane animated comedies.

- And finally to end this ENORMOUSLY long blog (sorry!) I'm going to analyze the "dynasty" term. Taking the 2 legimate dyansties of the NFL, the Dallal Cowboys from 1992-93 to 1995-96 (3 Superbowls in 4 years) and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1974-75 until 1979-80 (4 Superbowls in 6 years) I have taken a few numbers and would like to compare the newest dyansty, the 2001-02 to 2004-05 (and longer?) New England Patriots. Editors Note: While the San Fransisco 49ers won 4 Superbowls in 9 years (1981-82 to 1989-90) and dominated the 80s they are not necessarily considered a "dynasty" in the minds of most NFL guru. Also the Green Bay Packers who won the first 2 Superbowls and the 1965-66 NFL Championship are not being considered because their winning does not fall entirely into the modern era. And now the analysis and I let you decide on teh dynasty title. Though there is no doubt the Steel Curtain will never be matched.

- New England Patriots
SUPERBOWLS
- Superbowl XXXIX: Patriots 24 Eagles 21
- Superbowl XXXVIII: Patriots 32 Panthers 29
- Superbowl XXXVI: Patriots 20 Rams 17
- Average Margin of Victory: 3 pts.
- Average Points per Game: 25.3

REGULAR SEASON RECORDS DURING DYNASTY SPAN
- 2004-05: 14-2
- 2003-04: 14-2
- 2002-03: 9-7(missed playoffs)
- 2001-02: 11-5
- Overall: 48-16(.750)

- Dallas Cowboys
SUPERBOWLS
- Superbowl XXX: Cowboys 27 Steelers 17
- Superbowl XVIII: Cowboys 30 Bills 13
- Superbowl XVII: Cowboys 52 Bills 17
- Average Margin of Victory: 20.6
- Average Points per Game: 36.3

REGULAR SEASON RECORDS DURING DYNASTY SPAN
- 1995-96: 12-4
- 1994-95: 12-4(lost NFC Championship game 38-28 to 49ers)
- 1993-94: 12-4
- 1992-93: 13-3
- Overall: 49-15(.765)

- Pittsburgh Steelers
SUPERBOWLS
- Superbowl XIV: Steelers 31 LA Rams 19
- Superbowl XIII: Steelers 35 Cowboys 31
- Superbowl X: Steelers 21 Cowboys 17
- Superbowl IX: Steelers 16 Vikings 6
- Average Margin of Victory: 7.5
- Average Points per Game: 25.75

REGULAR SEASON RECORDS DURING DYNASTY SPAN
- 1979-80: 12-4
- 1978-79: 14-2
- 1977-78: 9-5* (14 game schedule/lost in Divisional Playoff game 34-21 to Broncos)
- 1976-77: 10-4 (lost in AFC Championship game 24-7 to Raiders)
- 1975-76: 12-2
- 1974-75: 10-3-1
- Overall: 67-20-1(.761)

- Notice that the Cowboys and Steelers made the playoff in their "down" year(s)

- And finally my Fantabulous Five
1) Illinois Fighting Illini
2) North Carolina Tarheels
3) Kansas Jayhawks
4) Boston College Eagles
5) Wake Forest Deamon Deacons

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Changes

- Patriots 31 Eagles 17

- Here's the deal: If the Fighting Illini finish the regular season undefeated I am dying half my hair orange and the other half blue. If anybody else wants to join me in this venture feel free but I am going to do it even without a partner.

- Beavers and Duck is almost a year old. So in celebration of one year of thoughts and stories things are going to improve. Keep your eyes peeled as Beavers and Ducks will have a new host and new look in the near future. I will continue to "blog" at the new site along with the addition of new features and such.

- By this time next weekend I will have posted some picture of the many models I have been constructing in my architecture studio.

- There are nine days until Valentine's Day. I hope you've got your sweetie something or its time to break up.

- My alma mater just announced plans for a $28 million renovation and construction that is quite intriguing. I knew there had been talks of such for some time and Will Wolford said it best when he mentioned that the school waited to announce athletic upgrades when those could be coupled with academic upgrades. Thats for sure. I know a few tenured teachers who aren't too happy that King Glaser is getting what he wants. St. Xavier will not be getting a dime of my imaginary money but in the end I think this is a necessary and great project. St. Xavier is already one the premier Catholic/private schools in the nation and these changes will definitely keep it there for a long time. The new athletic complex appears state of the art and I'd love to see some plans and renderings of what they have planned.

- That's all!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

And I Quote

Dear Gregory,

On behalf of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, we would like to congratulate you for being named to the Dean's List. This honor recognizes outstanding students who have achieved at least a 3.25 semester grade point average and also rank in the upper twenty percent of their class and curriculum. This achievement demostrates your seriousness of purpose and dedication to intellectual creative activity. We applaud your accomplishments.

Sincerely,
Kathleen F. Conlin
Dean

If they only knew!

Monday, January 31, 2005

Sports Talk

- After doing a little "number crunching" and such I am ready to release my first Fantabulous Five of Men's College Basketball. I've watched enough games, read enough articles, crunched enough numbers, and used enough common sense to pick the best five teams in the country. And so without further ado.

1) University of Illinois Fighting Illini (21-0)- While being undefeated with 21 wins Illinois managed to beat top teams that included: Gonzaga, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Iowa and Wisconsin. Of coursed mix in with those top teams were some cupcakes, but going undefeated this far into the season nowadays is unheard of. Sure Stanford and St. Josephs did such until late in the season last year, neither of those team had the team chemistry the Illini are playing with. While Luther Head is currently the MVP of the team and Big Ten, on any night Deron Williams, Dee Brown or Roger Powell can be the best player. When one of the stars has a rough game the supporting crew steps up and thats while there have been some close games as of late, the Illini have beat every opponent and look good doing it.

2) University of North Carolina Tarheels (17-2)- The Tarheels have looked on fire as of late minus a little hiccup against the very good Wake Forest. UNC started the season with a bad loss to Santa Clara and with pundits will say they were without their best player, thats part of the game and it was still a 10 point loss that the Tarheels shouldn't have incurred with the talent they have. While the did lose to ranked Wake Forest, UNC beat quality opponents in Kentucky, Maryland, and "not looking so good right now" Georgia Tech. They have a fast paced high scoring offense that is hard to stop having surpassed 100 pts six times this season, but things don't get easier as they do play in the ACC, which is the best conference in America.

3) Kansas University Jayhawks (16-1)- Every team plays a bad game and its obvious that for the Jayhawks that game was against a hot shooting Villanova Wildcats (who entered the rankings this week). For the two weeks leading up to the Villanova game the Jayhawks were "squeaking" out victories against not so great teams, but a win is a win. They beat Georgia Tech, won at Rupp Arena (a tough feat for any team) and manhandled Texas over the weekend. Things seems to be clicking for Kansas now and while a loss is never good, the Jayhawks responded to the Villanova loss and are on top of their game. Tough matchups await in the Big 12.

4) Duke University Blue Devils (16-1)- The Blue Devils have played one of the easiest schedules to date of Top 25 teams having only beat a ranked opponent in Michigan State. Everyone is praising Coach K as a great coach (which he is and has been for years) in particular this year though look at the roster and he is playing 5 McDonalds All Americans. Of course they have to play as a team which is where Coach K comes into the equation but the talent is obviously there but losing at home to Maryland is a tough one to swallow and a their schedule is insanely end heavy with huge matchups still to come in the final weeks of the season.

5) Boston College Eagles (18-0)- Like the Blue Devils the Eagles really haven't had too many top opponents minus a victory at Connecticut and a win against the now ever fading Mountaineers. I'm not going to deny them what they deserve though because just as with Illinois too many things can go wrong and a loss occur. Its happened to every team except the Eagles and the Fighting Illini. The talent is there and some great Big East matchups still loom so we will see the true toughness and ability of this team now, more then we did in its first 18 games.

Look for an updated Fantabulous Five every Monday until Selection Sunday.

- Its finally Superbowl week and Ive had enough of all the Superbowl Hype. No the Patriots are not a dynasty. Not yet atleast. But do they really have to win the Superbowl this year for us to really appreciate what they have done the past 4 years. Sure 3 Superbowls out of 4 in this day in age...hell any day in age is quite the accomplishment. I hate the Patriots and I forward you to someone I possibly hate just as much, Skip Bayless, as he describes basically exactly how I feel about the whole Dynasty talk and Brady-Montana talk.

I know this gets just as old as the dynasty talk, but the Patriots are the epitome of TEAM. Say what you want about the players but this team has NO SUPERSTAR. Brady is quality and a great quarterback but thats mainly because of the guys around him. And none of those guys around him are great. Collectively they are the best in the leauge but individually their #1 reciever is behind quite a few #2 recievers and wouldn't be a reciever you pick if you got just 1 WR to start a team around. The defense has been the tops of the league this entire span but their isnt just one guy. Hell they have the top defense in the league and its makeshift. Its been makeshift for longer then this season but its gotten so much more attention when WR Troy Brown being playing defensive back.

The Patriots are doing as well as they have been because as a collection there is nothing better out there. Coaches included. And that is why the most interesting part of this dynasty talk is that no matter win or loss this Sunday, the dynasty ends Sunday. Charlie Wiess is headed to Notre Dame to try his luck there and Romeo Crennel is headed to Cleveland to revive the Browns. As coordinators they are the best in the league. As head coaches...well we'll have to wait and see. And as for as Belichick. Well he failed miserably as coach of the Browns without his right hand men. So the story really starts Sunday, not ends.

As far as who wins on Sunday. The Patriots. Why would I pick any different. I just told you they were the best collection or team that the NFL has seen in over a decade (but even the Cowboys had SUPERSTARS...Aikman, Smith, Irvin, Lett). Is it going to be classic? I doubt it. High scoring? I hope so but these are some of the top defenses in the league. Commercial as hell? You better believe it, it is the Superbowl. Dynasty? I don't get payed so I'll leave that to the "talking heads" to decide. Remarkable? Without a doubt. Go ahead and chalk up Brady and Vinaterri for Canton and maybe just maybe they can do a bust of the whole team and put the 2001 - 2005 Patriots in the Hall of Fame.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Ramblings

  • 20-0 And Loving It- The Fighting Illini remain 1 of only 2 undefeated teams in the country and its great. While there are still grumblings that the Illini are not garnering all the respect they deserve (even from me), its hard to deny the fact that most people are no longer seeing this team as a "fluke". The makings for this season started late last season after running off ten straight Big Ten wins before an eventual loss to Duke in the NCAA Tournament. "Experts" failed to notice it early in the season ranking us 7th to start the season but as of the latest poll the Illini were one vote shy of being the unanimous #1 team. I'm not a huge college basketball buff but its a whole lot of fun watching "your" team have such success on the court. I'm not about to proclaim we are going to manage an undefeated season own our way to the National Championship, nor am I going to say a loss is the end of the line for us. Going undefeated would be sweet, but in the end, like all sports, its the National Championship that matters in the win. Twenty and counting.
  • Two Weeks Is Too Long- Please join me in petitioning Paul Tagliabue and the NFL to move the Superbowl back so that it occurs the Sunday following the Conference Championship games. Not only was the Superbowl meant to be played in January but giving the "talking heads" 2 weeks to predict, guess, suspect, yell, and such about ONE game is entirely too long. I love the NFL. Its my little baby and even I don't want to hear this much "crap" about the game, the teams, the players, the field, the halftime show, and anything else they like to think goes with the Superbowl. A perfect example is the TO situation and his injury. Everybody in their right mind thinks they know what TO should do, even though only TO knows and that Andy Reid ultimately has the final say. In my mind TO should do what he wants after he has been informed of the possible damage and career ending possibilities that could occur if his recovering ankle were to take a hit. He is the only one who knows if he will be able to be effective but ultimately make him totally responsible and make him sign on the dotted line so that the Eagles or the NFL will not be liable to pay him his remaining salary or bonus if something unfortunate were to occur and not allow TO to continue playing football. It's the Superbowl and that doesnt happen all too often for players.
  • I Guess This Is Growing Up- I flipped through my guide/handbook of life and there was no warning of this, but apparently 2nd semester sophomore year is when "school" really starts. Its not only me being an architecture student but most of my friends are also facing great loads of work and less free time. No longer do I have the hours and hours of free time to do what I want, but just hours of free time. It's not a complaint but I guess this is life. Its more of a balancing of time act then actually not having enough time. I do have enough time but I have to go do work when I am motivated or I know it will never get done. I'm still trying to adjust to the new schedule but I should have that down by the end of the next week. In my architecture studio I have had 5 class and by Monday will have my fifth model do. Its nothing elaborate but cutting cardboard and assembling it not matter how simple the tasks takes a handful of hours. Its not labourious and I actually love being in the working with the cardboard and creating new designs. Its getting to the studio that is the hard part. All my other classes are relatively simple and don't require excessive work so in the end I will survive.
  • Where's The Music- For those of you keeping tabs you realize that my Top 100 songs were going to be published last Saturday but that didn't happen but don't fret as the list is just around the corner. I didn't think the first week back at school would be as busy as it turned out to be and I haven't been able to get down all the subtle details and such in the list. So stay tuned and sure enough the list will be available.
  • Tennis Anyone- I am a sports buff but even with me most of time tennis eludes me. I don't understand the want to watch 3+ hours of hitting a ball with a racket over a net. Sure there are spectacular and athletic plays through out, but its a long time to watch to see a few cool plays. But I will admit that from Tuesday 11PM until Wednesday 11PM I witnessed the end of 3 spectacular matches. All three matches were in final set tiebreakers that ended 9-7, 10-8, and 9-7 respectively. What fun but also enough tennis for the year.
  • Well thats alot to read so I'll end with that. I'll try to update more regularly so the blogs don't get too long. Please come back!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Could You Take My Picture Cuz I Won't Remember

For my birthday I received a digital camera and no longer will my drunk amnesia or Alzheimers be a problem. I got my first use of it Friday and it's a fun new "toy" to play with it. And like with every new "toy" I'm sure I over used it on the first occassion, but hey, there are a lot of neat little things it can do and I want to try them all out. There is no doubt I'll be using this on a regular basis and that means there are bound to be some great (both quality-wise and content-wise) pictures. Here's a little sample of picture that Keith took of me and Raiche. Be sure to check out all my photos (atleast the ones I do post...haha) at Photobucket and Webshots. Let me know which web album you like best and based on the feedback I'll decide which one to use, since you all are the ones who are going to be viewing them.

Hosted by Photobucket.com

Enjoy and be sure to give me some feedback on the two web albums!