Friday, September 17, 2004

Commentary- NASCAR Nextel Cup Chase

The "Race" has begun. Ten drivers, ten races, one championship on the line. To get here was one challenge for some, but the tightrope act begins in Loudon, NH. One slip, and you may be done.

Here are the ten drivers: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, and Ryan Newman.

I will provide my commentary on each. I hope that you enjoy the ride!:

1. Jeff Gordon- The odds-on favorite. Four-time Cup winner. Almost always wins when he is in the pole position. The driver you love to hate. Has been a contender practically every year he has been in the series. Very intelligent about the tracks and car set-ups. Rarely gets involved in crashes, or makes very costly mistakes. However, he has had some engine futility as of late, as well as his mentor/teammate. That could come back to snakebite both if they have not rectified it. I am sure that the folks at Hendrick Motorsports have it under control.

Overall, my gut feeling tells me that he will fall just a little short.

2. Jimmie Johnson- Last year's bridesmaid. Points leader for much of the season, and one of the most consistent drivers. Has one of the upcoming crew chiefs in Chad Knaus. If they can forget the last four weeks, they could win it. He will definitely win a Nextel Cup in the next three years.

3. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.- The fan favorite. Has been up in the Top 5 practically all season. His goal was to win it all this year. Started off great by winning two of the first five races, including the Daytona 500. If driver and crew are running on all cylinders like they did early in the season, his mission will be accomplished.

4. Tony Stewart- 2002 Cup winner. One of only a few drivers that can picked to win each week because he is successful at all track types. (Jeff Gordon falls under this category.) One of the best second-half drivers. I would not be surprised if he wins it again.

5. Matt Kenseth- Last year's Cup winner, despite winning only one race. "Mr. Consistentcy". Usually starts in the back, but usually winds up in the Top 10 when the checkered flag is dropped. Low-key as far as media coverage goes. Rarely beats himself, him and crew chief Robbie Reiser make great pit stop decisions, and think way ahead. The points system was established based on consistency, which compliments him very well. Will be there to the end.

6. Elliott Sadler- First time at the dance. Has a teammate there has been there before in Dale Jarrett. I am sure that DJ will be an advisor for him. This is his best year to date. Really has nothing to lose. Longshot to win.

7. Kurt Busch- "The Heel", if the fans had to pick one. Has been successful on all track types. Very talented driver. One of the "Young Guns", he will be a force to be reckoned with sooner than later.

8. Mark Martin- The sentimental favorite. Four-time bridesmaid. A NASCAR legend, in my book. May be his last chance. I would love to see him win it. The Viagra Ford team has worked very hard to get here. Realizing the sense of urgency, they will rally to get him there. Should that happen, it will probably rank up there with the late Dale Earnhardt winning the Daytona 500 in 1998.

9. Jeremy Mayfield- Last week's win at Richmond put him in. I am sure that his owner, Ray Evernham, will help him as far as focus goes, since he won three Cup championships with Jeff Gordon. I do not think that he has a shot to win it all, unless Ray Evernham has a more hands-on approach, along with coach (and former Cup winner) Bill Elliott.

10. Ryan Newman- One of the most intelligent drivers in the garage. Engineering degree, along with his crew. If Matt Kenseth is "The Tortoise", then Ryan Newman could play "The Hare". One of the best track qualifiers in the series. Very tremendous potential. Downside- he and crew chief Matt Borland take too many chances. Some work, some don't. Free swingers like that usually fall short at the end.

If I had to pick a winner with a gun to my head, I would pick ... TONY STEWART. Even though I am a Dale, Jr. fan, Tony Stewart's past record, to me, puts him at the top of my list. I figure that Gordon, Johnson, "Junior", and Kenseth to round out the Top 5 somehow. I would not be surprised if martin is in the mix.

As Bill Weber says, the countdown has now hit zero. Sit back back and enjoy "The Chase For The Cup".

Thursday, September 16, 2004

"Philled to the Brim" (9/16/04)- Items...

Time for another installment of "Philled to the Brim". the ground rules have been explained earlier. Please refer to the archives, if necessary.

Note: I originally wrote this at my second job back on July 31.

Items That Irk Me:

1. "Silent DJ's"- You tend to occur this hindrance on the late and overnight shifts. Either the station is too cheap to pit an actual human being behind the mike, or is the talent pool that small? You keep hearing the station ID over and over when there would normallybe a voice telling the time weather, etc. What is funny in this situation is when the track skips, or there is a pregnant pause. As long as I have a regular radio, I will always to a station that has an actual warm-blooded body vibrating his vocal chords into the stratosphere, and back into my speakers.

The exceptions: satellite radio, and stations under a new format. I will cut them a break for a little bit.

While I am on the topic of radio stations, how can you call yourselves "The NEW..." when you have playing the same musical genre for the last three years. This novel nugget should have been clubbed over everyone's head by now- DROP IT, dammit!

2. "Aggressive drivers on the way home"- It is after five, and the asshole behind you is honking because you did not flinch when the contact play was executed. You especially get this on Friday. Hey, dumbass- we all have the same destination in mind- HOME! Wait your turn like the rest of us! By the way, your tail light is out. I hope you get pulled over and ticketed for both a moving violation and aggressive driving- YOU DESERVE IT, FATASS!

3. People who blatently do not use spell check when sending e-mail. It is okay to let one slip by now and then, but you need to draw the line. Take advantage for what it is there for.

It could be worse- Grammar check.

4. People who interrupt others while talking- and don't apologize. Every now and then, we all cut off someone by mistake. Others are blatant. Where are manners these days?

5. The words, "I'm Sorry."- I will cover both ends on this one.

a) not saying it when appropriate- I hate it when people fail to apologize when they have done wrong, especially when they know it. Swallow your pride and fess up. you will feel much better at the end.

b) saying it too much- This can be just as bad. There are instances when saying those two words are just not good enough. Some people over time feel that just saying it to me will give them imunity. NOT ALWAYS THE CASE! Always explain yourself, for that things will pass over more quickly.

That is all for this edition of "Philled to the Brim". Take care until next time.


Laura Ingraham's Weekly E-Blast, 9/14/04

Hello folks,
I have been a busy boy lately. I just got this on Wednesday in my e-mail. Since I am such a nice guy, I wanted to pass it along to you. Enjoy this, and the weblog.


Bill's Comment: I really do not have much to add. After reading it, maybe you will see why "Hannity & Colmes" is NUMBER ONE on Fox News Channel. Ms. Laura Ingraham ("my radio girlfriend") sets the table very well.:
Laura's Weekly E-Blast
September 14, 2004

Who's Looking Out For You?

There are a lot of amazing elements to the CBS/National Guard document story: CBS's initial "how-dare-these-internet-bloggers-question-us!" hubris, Dan Rather's refusal to see the writing on the wall, and Kerry's supporters' sheer stupidity in fueling this story in the first place. But when "no spin"-meister Bill O'Reilly chose to weigh in, it wasn't what you might have expected--namely, Bill didn't blast the elites at Viacom who are allowing the story to fester due their failure to take responsibility for the fishy documents. Instead, O'Reilly took the occasion to blast "right wing conservative talk show hosts" for pushing the story of the memos. "Because of the internet, everything has changed," he lamented, "It's just nuts."

But to millions of Americans, who listen to talk radio, scan the internet, and watch cable news, even more "nuts" were the days when the television news world was dominated by the likes of CBS, NBC and ABC. In those "good old days" Walter, Dan, Peter and Tom were the gatekeepers. And if we little people had problems with the bias, or with the stories that were never covered, well, it was just too bad. In those days, we little people didn't have folks like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, and enterprising bloggers holding the elites' feet to the fire when they needed it.

"Believe me, I know Dan Rather. In just a self-interest arena, someone like Rather or O'Reilly or Brokaw," O'Reilly insisted, "We're not going to do anything fraudulent, because our careers would just go-POOF!" Of course by that logic, none of the top execs at Enron or Tyco could possibly be guilty of any wrongdoing either because their careers would just go POOF! Ditto for any politician accused of wrongdoing.

Who knows why O'Reilly, once an elite-buster extraordinaire, seems to be in the middle of an extreme image makeover. Maybe it's more fun to shoot the breeze with P. Diddy than it is to shine the light on CBS. Maybe you get cooler cocktail party invites when you dismiss the Swift Boat Vets as bitter partisans. Maybe the seductive pull of the New York elite media was just too much for him. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure-Fox News, talk radio, and internet news sites have broken through by challenging the elites, not by becoming like the elites.

Newsweek, The Washington Post, and the Dallas Morning News are all covering the CBS/National Guard documents story largely because of the work of ambitious bloggers who did the initial leg work. Yes, talk radio listeners want to hear the latest on this. Why is that disturbing to some? Who is to say that this story is any less legitimate than 24/7 hurricane coverage? Broadcast networks demand accountability-as they rightly should-from the Bush Administration in its handling of Iraq, the economy, and even the President's National Guard Service. So why do they resist the public holding them accountable in their reporting?

The network dinosaurs won't admit it, but they prefer those "good old days" when they were the only game in town. It was much easier when they reported and you listened. You can't blame them for being bitter, really. They know their days are numbered. We don't need them anymore. And this infuriates them. Tom Brokaw, in a speech to the National Press Club, targeted "right wing radio" as "jingoistic." Peter Jennings has made no secret of his own disdain for this brave new media culture. All those people out there, listening to talk radio, and wearing flag lapel pins! What is this country coming to?

O'Reilly has chosen an odd moment in history to embrace the old media. We were tired of their arrogance twenty years ago and it's no more charming today. And we don't plan on ceding their monopoly back to them. Conservatives in 1964, 1974 and 1984 were just as frustrated with liberalism as they are today, but the difference is, back then they had no media outlets where their views were heard. Now they are.

Power to the People.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Phillips Philes Phlashback: President George W. Bush Salutes NYC First Responders On September 14, 2001

Source: The White House "President Bush Salutes Heroes in New York"
September 14, 2004

4:40 P.M. EDT

CROWD: U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. I want you all to know --

Q Can't hear you.

THE PRESIDENT: I can't talk any louder. (Laughter.)

I want you all to know that America today -- that America today is on bended knee in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. This nation stands with the good people of New York City, and New Jersey and Connecticut, as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens.

Q I can't hear you.

THE PRESIDENT: I can hear you. (Applause.) I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. (Applause.) And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. (Applause.)

CROWD: U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

THE PRESIDENT: The nation sends its love and compassion to everybody who is here. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for making the nation proud. And may God bless America. (Applause.)

CROWD: U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

(The President waves small American flag.) (Applause.)

END 4:43 P.M. EDT