Saturday, February 05, 2005

I shouldn't have let this get by

As heard on Air America last week:

"Today is Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address.

"An ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of low intelligence for prognostication, and the other involves a groundhog."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Last of the Vaqueros

When I was kid, I was a Cowboys fan. Those were the days of Roger Staubach and Bob Lilly and Drew Pearson, whom we'd impersonate at halftime when we went outside to re-enact our version of that Sunday's blowout of some hapless opponent. As I grew older, I drifted away from the 'Pokes as a favorite, mostly because I tend to root for the underdog in nearly all things.

So the Cowboys of Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson and Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin weren't so popular with me. Oh, I rooted for them, but as with most dynasties I wasn't rabid about it.

With much respect I note the retirement today of Emmitt Smith, and in this article I am reminded why I admired him, much more so than his teammates named above:

But despite his impressive statistics, he won just two major awards in 15 seasons -- NFL MVP in 1993 and the Super Bowl MVP that same season, when he rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys' 30-13 win over Buffalo in Atlanta.

He won those despite missing the first two games of that season in a contract dispute with Jones. Smith finished that regular season with perhaps his greatest game, an overtime win over the New York Giants at the Meadowlands.

The Cowboys and Giants were both 11-4. The winner got the NFC East title, home-field advantage in the playoffs and a first-round bye. The loser got a wild-card game the following week.

Smith separated his shoulder in the third quarter but returned to the game, which went into overtime tied at 13. He carried the ball on nine of the Cowboys' 11 plays in the extra period at one point raising his aching shoulder to stiff-arm Lawrence Taylor on his final run, which set up Eddie Murray's game-winning field goal.

He finished with 229 total yards and a touchdown on 32 carries and 10 receptions, the heaviest workload in team history, then spent the night in a hospital.

Had the Cowboys lost that game, Smith probably wouldn't have been able to play the following week in a wild-card game. That would have made the road much more difficult in what turned out to be the Cowboys' second of three Super Bowl victories in four seasons.

Few men set a better example on the field or off as the kind of player anyone, friend or foe, could admire. If Emmitt Smith's post-NFL career is as successful as his playing days, then he should go into the Human Being Hall of Fame as well.

Sy is getting to be such a downer

Seymour Hersh tells us just how bad it's going to get:

For me, it's just another story, but out of this comes a core of -- you know, we all deal in “macro” in Washington. On the macro, we're hopeless. We're nowhere. The press is nowhere. The congress is nowhere. The military is nowhere. Every four-star General I know is saying, “Who is going to tell them we have no clothes?” Nobody is going to do it. Everybody is afraid to tell Rumsfeld anything. That's just the way it is. It's a system built on fear. It's not lack of integrity, it's more profound than that. Because there is individual integrity. It's a system that's completely been taken over -- by cultists. Anyway, what's going to happen, I think, as the casualties mount and these stories get around, and the mothers see the cost and the fathers see the cost, as the kids come home. And the wounded ones come back, and there's wards that you will never hear about. That's wards -- you know about the terrible catastrophic injuries, but you don't know about the vegetables. There's ward after ward of vegetables because the brain injuries are so enormous. As you maybe read last week, there was a new study in one of the medical journals that the number of survivors are greater with catastrophic injuries because of their better medical treatment and the better armor they have. So you get more extreme injuries to extremities. We're going to learn more and I think you're going to see, it's going to -- it's -- I'm trying to be optimistic. We're going to see a bottom swelling from inside the ranks. You're beginning to see it. What happened with the soldiers asking those questions, you may see more of that. I'm not suggesting we're going to have mutinies, but I'm going to suggest you're going to see more dissatisfaction being expressed. Maybe that will do it. Another salvation may be the economy. It's going to go very bad, folks. You know, if you have not sold your stocks and bought property in Italy, you better do it quick. And the third thing is Europe -- Europe is not going to tolerate us much longer. The rage there is enormous. I'm talking about our old-fashioned allies. We could see something there, collective action against us. Certainly, nobody -- it's going to be an awful lot of dancing on our graves as the dollar goes bad and everybody stops buying our bonds, our credit -- our -- we're spending $2 billion a day to float the debt, and one of these days, the Japanese and the Russians, everybody is going to start buying oil in Euros instead of dollars. We're going to see enormous panic here. But he could get through that. That will be another year, and the damage he’s going to do between then and now is enormous. We’re going to have some very bad months ahead.

I need a drink. (Tonight is the weekly "Drinking Liberally" meeting -- click on the icon at the top. You're invited.)

*shakes head*

The NYT used the word 'bold' in their online headline this morning describing Bush's agenda, as revealed in last night's SOTU.

I'm so tired of that.

This guy wouldn't know bold if it kicked him in the balls.