Pick 'em Thanksgiving edition

I told Amy this morning, after I saw her status giving thanks for secular holidays, that if we started an online petition to put Jesus back into Thanksgiving, we'd get hundreds of thousands of signatures. Anyone down?

Had a good run last week--went 12-4. I expect I'll follow that up with a wretched one here. Winners in caps.

GREEN BAY at Detroit Detroit always plays on Thanksgiving. They won on Sunday in spectacular fashion. Unfortunately, that was against a team even worse than them, and it took a miracle finish to beat them. Plus, Matthew Stafford is likely out with a shoulder injury, and... wait. Why the hell am I going into this level of detail for this crappy of a game?

Oakland at DALLAS Oakland has won three games this season, but two of them have been against Philadelphia and Cincinnati. Any chance they pull another upset? This is Dallas, but it's not December yet, when Dallas typically collapses.

NY GIANTS at Denver I have to pick the Giants here, even though if they win, every football pundit in the world on tv will talk about how awesome Eli is and how New York just knows how to win and how they're getting hot at the right time. It'll be cliché-mania. But Denver hasn't played well lately, and with a combo of a dinged up QB and a backup who was so bad that the injured starter finished the game, I don't see them doing much to stop the Giants.

Cleveland at CINCINNATI This is the equivalent of last week's Patriots-Jets game, only Cleveland isn't as good as the Jets, and the Bengals might be even more mad than the Pats. This could get ugly.

Washington at PHILADELPHIA On paper, Philly should win this game nine times out of ten. But both teams have been erratic this season, so much so that if Washington won by ten I wouldn't be surprised.

MIAMI at Buffalo Miami proved me wrong last week against Carolina. I think they're going to make a run at the playoffs this year, though I think they'll come up just short. Watch out for them next season though.

INDIANAPOLIS at Houston I'm picking Indy until there's a reason not to.

CAROLINA at New York Jets This should be the battle of two running games, and I think Carolina's is just a hair better. This ought to be an entertaining game to watch.

Seattle at ST. LOUIS How bad do I think Seattle is? St. Louis's quarterback is out and I'm still picking them. And if the NFL puts this in any markets other than St. Louis or Seattle, viewers ought to take pictures of their middle fingers and send them to the league office.

Tampa Bay at ATLANTA I must admit that I've enjoyed seeing Atlanta play badly the last few weeks, even though I've picked them more often than not. This week they should win, which would revive their flagging hopes for a playoff spot.

JACKSONVILLE at San Francisco The Jags are better than I thought, and the Niners are worse. You do the math.

Kansas City at SAN DIEGO I hope the Chiefs savored that win last week.

Chicago at MINNESOTA I would love to be wrong, not because I like Chicago, but because I'd like the Saints to have a little breathing room in the race for home field in the playoffs. Yeah, I'm looking ahead a little.

ARIZONA at Tennessee Two things. A lot was made of Warner's decision to pull himself early in last week's game after he got his bell run because he didn't feel perfect. I think the fact that his team was leading 21-3 had a bit to do with that. If the game had been close, Warner would have probably stayed in. Second, Tennessee is hot, but Arizona has been a road team this season, and I think they keep that up.

PITTSBURGH at Baltimore Big Ben also got his bell rung last week, but their backup, Charlie Batch, broke his wrist. I'm saying that I really think this game is a tossup, and it all depends on how badly Roethlisberger got kicked in the head last week. Baltimore's defense has just fallen off the cliff.

New England at NEW ORLEANS I have some papers to grade during this holiday break, but they will either be done by game time Monday, or they will be done afterward. If I were one of my students, I'd probably want my paper graded beforehand, just in case things didn't go well, but I'm a little on the risk-averse side. But if things go well, and the papers haven't been finished, well, the leftovers might look a little better is all I'm saying. If the Saints lose, well, there's always a grade-forgiveness policy. :-)

Performance Art?

Okay, this may come as a surprise to some readers, but I'm actually excited by non-traditional groups co-opting and adopting hip-hop and rap as a musical form to express themselves, even if the message they're sending is, well, if not antithetical to what hip-hop and rap originated, is at least oblique to its purposes. So it's not in the spirit of mockery of the form or the attempt that I post the following video.

Christian Side Hug from The Fathers House on Vimeo.

It would be easy for me to mock the message here as well--that there's something immoral about face-to-face hugging because of the proximity of the naughty bits when that goes on--and so I will, though gently. That's low-hanging fruit, though.

No, it's this line which really deserves the attention: "I'm a rough rider, filled up with Christ's love." If you don't know what a rough rider is, slang-wise, and if you don't feel like guessing, then you can get the down and dirty here. And it is exceedingly down and dirty.

But this isn't the first time that an evangelical group has had this sort of mixup. Remember "Two Million for Marriage" or 2M4M? Or, though only tangentially connected, the teabagger movement? Urban Dictionary isn't an obscure website, and it doesn't take a particularly dirty-minded person to come up with at least the suggestion that "rough riders" might be a euphemism for something a little salacious.

So I wonder, might these "accidents" actually be intentional? Could there be a group of moles working on the inside to make these folks look even more ridiculous than usual? Or could it just be that they're so sheltered, that they so limit contact with anyone not of their group that they really don't know what's going on in the outer world?

It's probably the latter, if it's either. The proliferation of christian schools and the evangelical university system has made it possible for fundamentalists to keep their children almost completely separated from the rest of the world--I say almost because any truly determined kid can find ways around his or her parents' limitations. And with that separation comes a lack of contact with slang and sexual euphemism, which can make for some truly hilarious communication blunders at times.

There was some talk when I was growing up of the Witnesses establishing their own school system, and members openly wondered why we didn't do it, since it would remove kids from the temptations of the secular world. The response I remember was that as adults, we would have to live in the world, so school served as a good training ground to build up our resistance to temptation. It probably worked as often as it failed, maybe a little less, and I've wondered in the now 14 years since I left the church if they've started to reconsider. I hope not. But I would be interested in what they make of the Christian Side Hug.

Some Hope

Ole Miss probably isn't the first place you think of when you hear the words "racial harmony." After all, it's in Mississippi, and the school's mascot is a delightful southern gentleman who looks a bit like Colonel Sanders, and which is named the Rebel. It's a celebration of white southern masculinity and all the racist garbage that notion entails. And yet, recently, the school's student student council voted to ban the chant "the South will rise again" from one of the school's fight songs, and when some in the student body refused to comply, the chancellor banned the band from playing the song, thus crimping the styles of young white supremacists on and off the campus

But here's the cool thing about this story. This past weekend, the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan showed up at the campus to protest what they called an attack on their "Christian, southern heritage and culture" and to prevent the student body president--who is black--from fulfilling his desire to "shape Ole Miss into yet another liberal sodomite college."

Now, you might figure that if the Klan is going to pull a supportive crowd anywhere, Mississippi might be a pretty good place to bet on. Not quite. From Deadspin:

The KKK's hour-long protest against tolerance and common sense lasted about 10 minutes before the hooded wonders were booed off Mississippi's campus.

As noted earlier, the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were peeved that their state university has banned the song "From Dixie With Love" because they actually believe the South will somehow rise again. (Mississippi: 50th in education eight years running!) So ten dudes in hoods stood on the steps of Fulton Chapel before the LSU game on Saturday and shouted things like "white power"—only no one could hear them because they were outnumbered by 250 people booing and calling them idiots and cowards.
This is not to say that the feelings expressed by the Klan had no purchase on the Ole Miss campus--the fact that the chancellor felt the need to ban the playing of "From Dixie With Love" because students wouldn't stop the chanting is proof enough that there were some sympathetic ears for the Klan's position. But it is good that such open, obnoxious, toxic racism has become so socially poisonous that it can't even garner public support for the singing of a traditional fight song. It's a tiny step in the large scale of race relations, but it's still a step.

Long day on no sleep, no real desire to blog, and a mountain of grading awaiting. I can worry about that stuff tomorrow. Tonight it's football picks, and then possibly an early night. Though knowing me, I'll be up until 2:00 screwing around with something stupid. Had a decent week last week going 10-5. Let's see if it starts a trend.

Miami at CAROLINA This already looked like a tale of two teams going in opposite directions, but with Ronnie Brown out for the rest of the year, it really looks rough for the Dolphins. Forget the Wildcat as an effective option now--a big part of the reason it worked is because there was no single person to key on. Defenses had to account for both Williams and Brown, and now--Pat White? Don't think so. This game should be close, but I think the Panthers are playing better ball now and have fewer issues to deal with.

INDIANAPOLIS at Baltimore The Colts could be in for a letdown after the big game last week with New England, but Baltimore's defense is, well, not what it used to be. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the Ravens won, but I don't think it's likely.

Cleveland at DETROIT Ugh.

Buffalo at JACKSONVILLE I don't trust the Jags, but I never pick a team that's just dumped its head coach and has made it clear that the interim guy is purely interim. There's little reason for the players to buy into a system that they know won't last.

Seattle at MINNESOTA I guess the Seahawks have a slugger's chance, but I don't see them winning this game.

NEW ORLEANS at Tampa Trap game? Given that the Saints take on the Patriots the following week, sure. But I think the Saints got their scare last week with the Rams, and the Bucs aren't sporting a former Pro-Bowl quarterback and maybe the best running back playing this year. This shouldn't be close.

Washington at DALLAS The cliché "throw away the records" comes into play here, but there's no reason this game should be close.

San Francisco at GREEN BAY Who the hell knows?

PITTSBURGH at Kansas City This should get ugly, which means, of course, that KC will win on a lsat second field goal.

Atlanta at NY GIANTS Both of these teams are reeling, and the winner will get a leg up in the move toward a wild card. The Giants still have a shot at the NFC East, while the Falcons are pretty much out of the NFC South race, but both teams need a win desperately. This could be a really good game.

ARIZONA at St. Louis Last year, I'd never have picked the Cardinals because they were horrible on the road, but this year, the Cards are road warriors. It helps that they're playing the Rams, who looked pretty good against the Saints, but the Saints defense was down 4 starters and is an okay unit at best.

NY Jets at NEW ENGLAND Everyone is saying that the Patriots will be taking out some anger on the Jets. In this case, everyone is probably right.

SAN DIEGO at Denver I hope it's a close game. I also hope I don't have to watch it.

CINCINNATI at Oakland Last year, this would have been the crummy game of the week. This year, it's still a crummy game, but only because it should be a blowout.

PHILADELPHIA at Chicago The Eagles are the up-and-downest team I've ever seen, but the Bears stink out loud it seems.

Tennessee at HOUSTON The Texans have gotten better and better as the season goes on, and if I had to guess, I think they'll be the 5 or 6 seed in the AFC, though the difference between 1 and 6 is closer than most will think come the playoffs. Vince Young comes back to earth this week.

The Golden Rule

My title is not referencing the Biblical version--treat others as you would be treated. Rather, it's the more cynical version--who's got the gold, makes the rules--and the group trying to enforce that version is the Catholic Church. Fresh off their victory in the battle over women's reproductive systems, the Catholic Church in Washington DC is now getting their gay hate on again, threatening to stop contracting with the city over administrating some of their charitable works. Professor Patrick J. Deneen of Georgetown University was asked if the city should just call the Church's bluff and find other non-profits to provide the same services. Deneen responded this way:

There may be other providers, but in many instances the grants from the District are only partial grants - the Church "leverages" those grants (including some $10 million in additional funds, much provided by donations by parishioners). There is also a network of volunteers who have longstanding commitments to the relief of the sufferings of the poor and needy. The idea that these funds - but more, these services and the religious commitment and motivation that underlies them - can be easily replaced is at best an optimistic view, at worst a dangerous wager.
In other words, nice charitable system you got there. Shame if anything were to happen to it.

And this proves two points to my mind. The first is that, contrary to what libertarians say, you can't count on private charity to step in where government will not, unless you're willing to play by the charity's rules--and in many cases, the rules of churches which run those charities. We've seen this in numerous instances overseas--churches going in to disaster areas and offering relief to people who convert and neglecting the rest. Never saw how that was a sound strategy for long term conversion, but whatever.

The second is that there is no upside to government partnering with churches to provide any sort of social services, because you can't count on them to be an honest partner. The Catholic Church here, whether it knows it or not, is making a far better case for a strict separation of church and state than any secular body ever could. And they're doing it using old-fashioned extortion. Jesus would be proud, I think.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Are there similar arrangements in states where same-sex marriage is legal? Does Massachusetts have the same religious exemption DC does, or is it stronger, more akin to what New Hampshire has? And will the dioceses in those states support their DC counterparts? I think we could see some major backlash between this and the abortion move in the House of Representatives.

It's that time of year again, when the NFL decides it is so determined to make its own cable channel successful that they put a weekly game on a channel no one carries. Brilliant marketing strategy. Fortunately, for this week at least, it's a suckfest of a game, so no one will really miss it. But it means I have to put my own picks up a day earlier, thus taking away what I would normally blog about on Friday. Damned NFL.

The shameless self-promotion: I'm this week's reader over at Linebreak and my poem at Redheaded Stepchild has the second most hits of any from this issue. Number one is the first poem--I'm near the bottom, which tells me that I rock. Or something. I like pretty much everything about that journal, by the way--the hit counter next to your poem, the philosophy that they only want to publish poems that other journals have rejected, the name of the journal, the site itself, which is clean and easy to navigate. It's a good example of what an online journal needs--it has personality, and isn't ashamed of its online-only status.

On to this week's picks. I still haven't had a week below .500 yet, but I continue to creep ever closer. Last week was 7-6--I had a brutal evening, as the only late game I got right was the Seattle win. I thought that as the season progressed, I'd get better, but the reverse has been true--steady decline, much like the amount of hair on my head. Winners are in caps.

Chicago at SAN FRANCISCO We should call this the "team which will hang in the wild card race until week 16 needing seven things to go right to get into the playoffs" bowl, because seriously, this game sucks. It's not the suckiest game on the schedule, but it's a tease because these are teams that are somewhere between mediocre and unlucky. If either one gets into the playoffs, it's probably a road game against the NFC East champion where they get smeared all over the stadium. The Niners are at home and I used to live there, so I choose them.

NEW ORLEANS at St. Louis This is the first of what should be two walkovers for the Saints--they have Tampa next week. I will still be terrified while watching it, assuming I can get it to stream on my backup computer, since my Powerbook probably won't be back from the shop yet and it won't be on tv down here. Maybe it's for the better, since my papers seem determined not to grade themselves.

Detroit at MINNESOTA This should also be a walkover, even if Favre isn't playing possum about his 40 year old hamstring.

ATLANTA at Carolina The Falcons are just a better team. Yeah, the Panthers have played better of late, and it's a division game so the records don't mean as much, but Atlanta is just the better team. Man that hurt to type.

Buffalo at TENNESSEE Believe it or not, this isn't the suckiest game of the week either, though it's close. It would be closer except that the Titans have rediscovered their running game. That could disappear again, so I'm not saying this is a lock, but these teams seem to me to be on different trajectories right now.

CINCINNATI at Pittsburgh Flip a coin here. That's what I did.

Tampa Bay at MIAMI The Fins are a team on the edge of being good--they're competitive most weeks, but they can't close out games yet. Henne is the real deal, with some experience. Tampa is where the Fins were two years ago. Hope they stay there.

Jacksonville at NEW YORK JETS Everything I wrote about Chicago-San Francisco could apply here--two marginal teams, both flawed in enormous ways, but with enough talent at key positions to make things interesting going at each other. Jets are at home, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jaguars take it.

DENVER at Washington The Broncos have taken it on the chin for the last two weeks, but that was against good teams. Washington is not a good team.

Kansas City at OAKLAND This, my friends is the suckiest game of the week, the unmovable force versus the inert object. And yet this is the game that will be on late down here in south Florida, since Fox has the Fins game at 1:00. No one outside of the Missouri/Kansas border and northern California should be subjected to this. It's cruel.

Seattle at ARIZONA Arizona's at home, which means I should pick against them, as they're 1-3 at home this year. But this is Seattle they're playing, which means what would be an otherwise easy call now blows chunks. Ugh.

Philadelphia at SAN DIEGO If the Chargers keep playing like they have been the last couple of weeks, they'll challenge Denver the rest of the way. But this is a Norv Turner team, which means logic and sense have nothing to do with the discussion.

DALLAS at Green Bay This shouldn't be close--Green Bay is not nearly as good as everyone (myself included) thought they were at the beginning of the season, and Dallas isn't as bad as I thought they were after the Giants game. So the Packers will win by 24.

New England at INDIANAPOLIS I hope this game isn't close. I hope Indy wins it by 20. Probably won't happen.

BALTIMORE at Cleveland I wonder what it feels like in Baltimore right now, to have your once-feared defense be exposed as aging and yet have a good enough offense to still keep you in games. The Saints were like that near the end of the Mora era, but the Dome Patrol, good as it was, never had the rep that the Ravens have carried for the last ten years it seems. The Ravens are looking like the odd team out in the AFC North this year, but they're not going to let Cleveland be part of the reason for that.

I Love the Cloud

I learned a long long time ago to always back up my data--I still have disks from my last PC, which I got rid of in 2003, though I have no idea why I still carry them around. Habit, I assume. I'm so conscious of it that I upgraded my Powerbook's operating system when Time Machine became available, simply because it made backing up data so much easier.

Which is why I didn't freak when I woke up Saturday morning and my Powerbook was nonresponsive. Gray screen of death. Blinking file folder with a question mark on it. Happy 41st birthday to me indeed. It's in the shop now being outfitted with a new hard drive in large part because I can't afford a new computer right now, but I'm pleased that my data is safe on my Time Machine.

Or rather, I assume it is, since I've never done a system restore using it. I'm hopeful and confident, but I won't be completely sure until I actually have it up on the screen.

But since I'm paranoid, I also keep a lot of stuff in the cloud. My poems and reviews are almost exclusively on Google Docs now, and my gradebooks as well, which is important, because even if the data on my Time Machine is safe, it's not accessible right now, and the end of the semester approacheth at a fast pace. Put simply, I'd be boned if I weren't in the cloud right now, because at least some of my students have tossed quizzes they've gotten back, not to mention essays and midterms. I'd have to reconstruct an entire semester worth of grades, which would add a triple load of suck onto an already tiring semester. I had to do that once--about 4 years ago when I dropped my laptop, the one I'm typing on now while my newer one is in the shop. Cloud computing is awesome.

You'd think that with the meager amount of blogging I've been doing of late that I'd relish the chance for two separate blog posts, but no--I'm going to combine these two. First with the promotion: new poems in Measure (complete with author's photo and .mp3 of me reading the thing) and the Waccamaw Journal.

On to the picks--I went 8-5 last week, and the longer this season goes on, the more I'm convinced that my early success was just a fluke. I might as well flip coins for some of these games, I'm convinced. Here's how I think they'll go this week. Winners in all caps.

Washington at ATLANTA When the Falcons lost to the Saints last week, it was the first time in over a year that they'd lost two games in a row. I don't see much chance of them losing three in a row, even wth Washington coming off a bye week.

Kansas City at JACKSONVILLE I'm picking the Jaguars but with absolutely no confidence. They're the kind of team that makes picking games hard, because they're consistently inconsistent. They could win or lose this game by 30 and I wouldn't be surprised either way.

GREEN BAY at Tampa Bay I suppose Josh Freeman could have the luck of the rookie starter and Tampa could steal this game--Green Bay isn't as good as a lot of the preseason folks thought they would be, after all--but I think it's more likely Freeman will get pounded pretty hard.

Houston at INDIANAPOLIS The Colts, like the Saints, are almost certain to lose a game this season, and Houston is a better team than the one which drove me out of my game-picking mind early this season, but I still like the Colts in this game.

Arizona at CHICAGO Two deeply flawed, slightly better than average teams. Chicago's at home, so I'll pick them.

Baltimore at CINCINNATI When the Ravens beat the Broncos last week, the pundits were all talking about how the Ravens were desperate for a win and so played better. I've never bought into that notion--desperate teams play poorly and give up big plays because they're taking stupid risks. Baltimore was just the better team that day. Cincy is at home and they match up better with the weaknesses in the Baltimore defense. The over in this game might be 70.

Miami at NEW ENGLAND This is my "would love to be wrong" pick. New England is getting how, and Miami is young and improving. I wouldn't be surprised to see Miami win--they're certainly good enough to compete-but New England at home is a tough game in any circumstance.

Carolina at NEW ORLEANS Carolina has some sort of insane winning streak in the Superdome, and they played well against the Cardinals last week. The Saints should win handily, but it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't. Note to Stuart Scott of ESPN: after the Monday night game, you said Saints fans were chanting "who dey say they gonna beat them Saints?" "Who dey" is the chant of the illiterate Cincinnati Bengals fans. Illiterate Saints fans chant "who dat."*

Detroit at SEATTLE No matter who wins, football loses.

Tennessee at SAN FRANCISCO "A tale of two quarterbacks" is how this will probably be pitched to the seventeen people who watch the game.

San Diego at NY GIANTS This will also be a "tale of two quarterbacks" storyline, but more people will watch it because one of the QBs is named Manning.

Dallas at PHILADELPHIA Three weeks ago, I'd never have believed these two teams would be tied at the top of the NFC East. Dallas has gotten healthy of late on some weak competition, and Philly is at home, so I'm going with them.

Pittsburgh at DENVER Should be a good game in general. Denver's at home.

* Can you imagine the grammatical train wreck if the Saints and Bengals met in the Superbowl? I can see chant-offs, t-shirts, fisticuffs. Hmmmm.

On Hating the Yankees

Last night, my friend from grad school Paul, a midwesterner who lived and worked in New York before taking his MFA and also a Yankees fan, tweeted the following: "will quietly accept that my team is reviled... and winning." I responded with "that's because Haterade is so delicious," and I think there's some truth to that, but I also think that there's more to it.

But I have to start by saying that I don't hate the Yankees--I don't feel much of anything for them, honestly. I don't carry the same passion for baseball that I do for football, and maybe even for NBA basketball. I expect a large part of that is disillusionment. Corporate baseball, which has been the model for most of my adult life, seems bent on two goals--soaking cities for all the revenue they can get, and...okay, one goal. Football has this goal as well, but their league model is a bit more socialistic on the revenue-sharing and player salary sides, so there's not as much disparity in free agent signings between small and large market teams.

If you're a baseball fan, you probably recognize where this is going, at least in part. Yankees hate is based, for many, on the notion that the Yankees, by virtue of their position as the primary team in the nation's largest city and television market, can always buy the best players and so will always factor in the championship discussion, even in the years when they don't win it. And that hate, especially if you're a small market team or if your local ownership group refuses to spend even the money it makes from revenue sharing on quality players (like the Florida Marlins, for example), has a legitimate basis, because here's your local team, sucking up valuable tax dollars (and they never generate as much as they take in--sorry) who, if they're going to win it all, has to put together a magical season to do it, while the Yankees can simply flash a bankroll and get stars to show up.

The funny part, of course, is that this is the first time since 2000 that the Yankees have won it all using that method. Other teams have done it as well--the Red Sox are no slouch in the spending department--but it's the Yankees who are reviled for it.

It's the fact that the Yankees are always in the discussion that engenders the hate--there's no similar hate for the Giants, Jets, Knicks, Islanders, Rangers or Mets, in large part because they all scuffle, some for longer periods than others--but the Yankees never do. There's this feeling that the Yankees never have to pay the full price for making a bad decision because they can always buy someone else's good eye for talent.

If only they'd go through a down period for a couple of years, we think--and by down year, we don't mean barely missing the playoffs. We mean losing 95 games. We mean being down by 15 at the All-Star break. We mean having one selection to the All-Star team, and that person getting the nod because there has to be a Yankees player on the team. If only--and this is the important part, I think--there could be a period where the discussion wasn't about them.

Because sports fans love a redemption story. We're suckers for the melodrama that sports can provide that fiction can't. There's no magic in a Yankees championship run because they're expected to be there every year.

But there's one other factor at play here--the sports media. And that was really driven home to me in 2000, which is where Paul comes back into this story. We were grad students, office-mates, first-year MFAs in northwest Arkansas, both adjusting to a new place. In my case, I was living in the largest city I'd been in since I was an infant--and that's saying something since Fayetteville was 60,000 people at the time--while Paul had moved in from New York (I believe)--a bit of culture shock for both of us, though undoubtedly more for him. As the baseball season drew to a close, Paul got more and more excited about the prospect of a subway series, and when I watched Baseball Tonight or SportsCenter, the talk was very much the same--Mets-Yankees all the time, and oh how amazing a Subway Series would be, et cetera.

I remember the day Paul told me how excited he was about the Series that year, and I think I shocked him with my reply. I said that baseball season was over, that New York had won. Admittedly, I was giving him a bit of the needle, because I knew he was a huge Yankees fan, but I really did believe that, because I didn't care about the differences between Yankees and Mets fans. It didn't matter to me.

And here's the really awesome thing about it--it didn't matter to the rest of the country either. Sportscasters were dumbfounded by the fact that tv ratings everywhere outside of New York were some of the lowest ever. It didn't matter to us--New York had won. For news media, New York is the goal--it's where you get to the top of your profession--so from that perspective, it makes perfect sense to be excited about a Subway Series. For the rest of us, meh.

The funny thing is that eventually, the Yankees will scuffle again. They have three certain future Hall-of-Famers on their roster right now in Rivera, Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, but those players are aging and will fall off, and there's no guarantee that they will be replaced with equal talent. My advice? Rebuild for a couple of years. Let the sheen wear off some. Stay down long enough for the rest of the country to see your return as a comeback story. We're sports fans. We're suckers for that stuff.

RedState, Come On Down!

Let me be among the first to welcome you to the Sunshine State, where hopefully you will interfere just as effectively in next year's Senate race as you did in the NY-23 Congressional race.

For all intents and purposes, NY-23 is a trial run for Florida. And in Florida, the conservative candidate is operating inside the GOP. If John Cornyn and the NRSC do not want to see Florida go the way of NY-23, they better stand down.
I'm serious here--I want you to do to Charlie Crist what you did to Dede Scozzafava, and worse. I want you to crush him, to destroy him, to go scorched earth on him. I want you to try to make Marco Rubio the second coming of Jesus/Reagan/Glenn Beck, and pitch him as such. Let the Florida voters hear--in the general election campaign, of course--just what Rubio stands for. Have him be loud and proud and conservative as all hell. I'll even give you a place to stay while you're down here stumping in Broward County* on your mission to give the Democrats back the seat Mel Martinez won in 2004 when Democrats pulled something similar by submarining Janet Reno in the primary.

And a few months later, I'll be celebrating the election of Kendrick Meek to the US Senate. Come on down, y'all.

* I won't. But I can point you in the direction of a nice bridge or two to camp under.

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