Am I ready for some football?

I have gotten back into watching football after not having done so for the last couple of years. I have always found it entertaining, but the number of times play is stopped for commercial break is a tad out of hand at this point. I don’t want to waste my time trying to tape the game (yeah, I am one of those guys that still can’t work his VCR. Build a pc from components sure, but that VCR is some pretty advanced technology), so I would just flip to the games and watch them in passing.

The biggest reason that I gave up on watching is because I happen to be (well I was) a Dallas fan. It all started on January 3, 1983 when I watched Tony Dorsett run the ball 99 yards for a touchdown against Minnesota. It should be noted that Minnesota actually won that game 31-27, but I was all of 8 years old at the time and thought Tony Dorsett was God. Then as I began playing the game myself, Dallas continued to field some great teams. When I was in high school, Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith, and Michael Irvin were just beginning to shine, and would eventually go on to win a few championships. Of course Jay Novacek never got the credit he deserved for his contribution to the team. Without the threat of the pass to the tight end, the field would never have opened up for Irvin to make such great plays. Ditto for Daryl Johnston, who was responsible for knocking open holes for Emmitt to run through. And you knew when he got the ball, no matter what stadium they were playing in, the crowd would all chant “Moose!”. That was the team I followed.

Unfortunately those halcyon days couldn’t last forever. Michael Irvin got arrested for drug charges in 1996 (and several other times since. can they all be unfounded?), Jimmy Johnson was carrying around a gun at the airport. Elsewhere in the league, players were being arrested for murder, and I just kind of got sick of the off field crap. It is difficult to watch the game and forget about all the crap these people do off the field, especially so when the commentators are talking about it constantly. Being a gifted athlete doesn’t give them the right to do whatever the fuck they want, but they sure seem to think it does. For a guy who would have given anything to be gifted enough to play at that level, watching them so foolishly piss away chunks of their career was maddening. So I just kind of quit watching.

This year I have began following the games again. The only reason for this is that Hoyazo set up a Yahoo! Pick ’em league. I had never heard of this, but I like the concept, at least as far as the way he has it set up. During the first week, I thought that the point spread counted and made my picks accordingly. The point spread actually didn’t count, so I got hammered on that. Thankfully, the worst week will be stripped from the overall score, so I am still in pretty good shape, now that I know the rules (learn to read, dumbass). Since the point spread doesn’t matter, picking the winners is considerably easier, but you have these confidence points that come into play for your score. That is where the fun part is.

There are at least 14 games every week, and you have to assign confidence to your pick on every one of them. If there are 14 games, you get every number from 1-14 to assign to each game for the week, using each number only once. Whoever gets the highest score wins. In a 14 game week, there are 105 possible points (14+13+12+11+10+9+8+7+6+5+4+3+2+1=105), so you better be pretty confident about the games that you assign your highest numbers to. And since we are all degenerates, we have added a small wager to the season totals just to keep it interesting. It only takes me five or ten minutes to plug in my picks and numbers for the week, and it gives me a team to root for in games that I would otherwise not care about in any way.

This week, which I am considering my first week since I totally fucked up the first week when I didn’t read the damn rules, I did pretty well. I only picked 5 underdogs on the week, and Minnesota, San Francisco, and the New York Giants all came through for me -two of them in overtime. I picked Green Bay to win, just because they were at home and I didn’t think they could lose two straight at Lambeau. Of course I was only sure enough to put 2 points on it. I also picked the Jets to win, even though the Patriots were favored by a touchdown, which was probably a poor choice. The worst was Miami getting beat at home. I had picked them to win and put 11 points on it, then they went on to lose it by ten. It wasn’t really even that close, they just got it handed to them.

This gives me an excuse to watch the games, and it sure is a lot more fun when you feel like you have something on the line. Of course what I have on the line amounts to about 4 cents per game over the season, but when the game starts it sure feels like a lot more.

Suns lose! Suns lose!

I am not a basketball fan by any means. I did enjoy watching the game back in the late ’80’s – early ’90’s when it seemed that every game ended with a score of 135-131, usually on some miraculous buzzer beater. The last decade has been boring as hell for basketball. If the Jordan era was the era of big offense, the last decade has been the era of big defense. I suppose that from a purely technical standpoint the defensive play is a lot better. Technically better doesn’t equate to more fun to watch though; a well executed half court press pales in comparison to an offensive fast break that is capped off with an alley-oop dunk. These plays are still made, of course, but they are usually just in the garbage portion of the game when one team has already benched all of their starters and back-ups, leaving you reaching for the team roster to see if the guys now on the court are actually even on the team.

Growing up in Oregon, basketball was the one professional sport that our state actually had a team in. But rather than support them, I actively hated them. It was my (misguided) belief that if we didn’t have the stupid basketball team we would be able to have a football team, and football was always my favorite sport. Since I felt a need to hate the Trailblazers (and what a ridiculous name that is), I needed to choose someone from their conference to root for. My mother lived in Arizona at the time so I picked the suns, and at a damn good time.

Shortly after I started following the Suns they started what would become their “glory days”. Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle (the fact that I can spell that name is a testament to how much I respect the guy), Danny Ainge, Kevin Johnson, Cedric Ceballos, (what was his first name) Dumas, and others went on a tear that ultimately ended with them losing in the NBA finals to none other than Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls (for my money that was the greatest NBA finals of all time, of course I have only actually watched about four of them so I might not be the best judge. But one game in that series went to triple overtime, and it seemed like they were scoring about 150 points each every game -though a quick google search just revealed that the games were much lower scoring that I remember them).

Perhaps I am a bit cynical, but I really think that so much of the game now is about posing for the sake of posing that the game is virtually unwatchable. The latest high school draft pick needs to get himself a good poster shot that really showcases his signature pair of high-tops. The game, the score, the technique be damned, he needs a good panoramic photo doing a dunk over some nameless white guy in a game that he will ultimately lose 100-47 because he doesn’t know what defense is -and I mean that quite literally. He has really never played defense since he has always stood at half court waiting for one of his teammates to pass him the ball; he has a new 720 Tomahawk slam to try out, after all.

But I digress.

After the run of success that the Suns enjoyed in the early ’90’s, they went on a dry spell for about a decade. In that time there wasn’t a single person here in AZ that was actively following them, and if they claim they were they are dirty liars. As recently as midway through this season, sports commentators here in the valley were all talking about how the Suns were going to fall apart and miss the playoffs completely. Not just one or two of the sports commentators or the fans either, this was everyone. That talk didn’t stop until the Suns had actually clinched the playoff berth, and even then most of the talk was about how they would fall apart in the first round.

I really wouldn’t have cared one bit about whether the Suns won or lost, were it not for the fact that Kobe Bryant said (and I must paraphrase since I can’t find the actual quote) that it was good that they drew the Suns in the first round because they were the weakest of the top four teams (which I didn’t disagree with one bit, but I’ll be damned if I wanted to see that smug fuck win after that statement). I thought that my hatred of the Lakers would be done with once Mr. Ass-Bulldozer O’Neal left (how many thousands of people did he knock down with his huge ass and never draw a foul? He would just back into them and push until they fell over, hell it was Shaq, that was all he could do), but apparently I also hate Kobe (and all rapists for that matter. Before you send me that flaming email, I do know that he was not convicted. I also know that he was not acquitted. The fact that his accuser would not testify doesn’t mean that he didn’t do it; if he really didn’t do it he would never have paid her “and undisclosed sum” in an out of court civil settlement.) So I wanted the Suns to win the first round, just because I hate Kobe and his smug, rape-anyone-I-want-to attitude.

What I was getting really sick of, though, was they way every sportscaster in the state of Arizona was trying to make it seem as though they had been behind the Suns all year; knew they were going to the playoffs; never doubted that they would come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Lakers. I know Arizona is a republican state, but we aren’t all that stupid. You can tell the same lie a billion times and it won’t become the truth (George W. Bush would be well served to learn that lesson), and, like it or not, you are on tape saying exactly the opposite thing.

I will use a local radio station as an example (because I know they have audio on their website, you could actually download some of the stuff from earlier this year to hear them dogging the Suns). 98 KUPD had been ripping on the Suns since the very beginning of the season. They were saying things like “well, this is a throwaway season since they don’t stand a chance with Stoudemire on the D.L.” and “Nash is an old man, he has a retirement home in Phoenix”. While the second one may have been said jokingly (at least partially), it was clear that the DJ’s had made up their mind that the Suns sucked outright and had no chance of making the playoffs.

Fast forward to the start of the playoffs.

“I knew the Suns were going to make it. This is the strongest team they have put on the court since the ’93 finals.” When asked point blank about what they said earlier in the season, the DJ’s went into evasive maneuvers, saying things like, “I never said they weren’t going to make the playoffs, I just said that Nash would have to have a standout year and someone would need to make up for the lack of Stoudemire’s 25 ppg.” Which was such utter bullshit that it was laughable. I know that there is a bandwagon that forms when a team starts winning, but can’t they at least be honest enough with themselves to admit that they are just jumping onto it? Apparently not.

To end this how it started: Suns lose! Suns lose! And not a moment too soon. If I had to hear someone say “Sun-sational” one more time, I was likely to climb a clock tower and take target practice on anyone in a Suns T-shirt.

Daddy needs a new shirt

Sometimes I just remember things. Often they are good things, sometimes they are bad things, sometimes they are funny things. No matter what kind of thing it is that I happen to remember, I generally remember it fondly, regardless of whether it seemed so at the time. Such seems to be the case with life. Every memory has played some role in making me who I am today, so I guess I should just embrace them. And share them with you.

The year was 1987. I was in the seventh grade. I was nerdy even by seventh grade standards. I had to do something to try to pull the focus away from my nerdiness, and sports was what I chose. I had played football throughout the sixth grade, and went on to play again in the seventh grade, but I had never wrestled or played basketball, both of which I gave a try in the seventh grade.

Wrestling is one sport that I really don’t think I was cut out for. While I was pretty good at faking the theatrical moves I had seen on Friday night wrestling, it turns out that I really sucked at actual wrestling. When I joined the team I was automatically the best in my weight class, since I was the only one in my weight class, that meant that I would have to represent the school in that weight class at every event ( I never actually made it to a single meet ). It was only a week or so into practice that I simply gave up on the sport. I had to spar with a guy that was in the weight class below me, since there was no one else in my class, and he pinned me in less than five seconds. He wasn’t even the best in his weight class either. Knowing that I would have to face the best guy in the weight class at every meet pretty much sealed it for me, I was not a wrestler. I quit the team, and I am not ashamed of it, relieved is more accurate.

I didn’t take to basketball very well either, but I didn’t give up. When I started playing the only thing I knew about the game was that you had to make the ball go through the hoop. I didn’t know the rules about traveling, key violations, I didn’t know anything, but I kept at it. I never got good at though.

Our coach had a really cruel thing that he did at the end of each practice; He would make us run lines (run to quarter court and touch the line, then run back to the baseline, then to half court, then to the baseline, then to three quarter court, then to baseline, then to opposite baseline and back to baseline) then call a player’s name. That player had to shoot a free throw. If he made the free throw we were done running lines, if he missed we did another set. I dreaded the times when he would call my name.

Some of the guys on the team were really good at shooting free throws; Paul Lakin, Chris Schofield, Brandon (can’t remember his last name), and a couple of guys whose faces I remember but their names are long forgotten. They could probably make it seventy percent of the time or better, which was really pretty good considering we were all only twelve or thirteen. When they would get the call it usually meant that we wouldn’t have to run many lines. When my name came up, not so much.

I was far and away the worst shot on the team, not just for free throws either, I just outright sucked at the game. I usually knew when it was going to be my name called, as the coach would call me only if we had twenty minutes or so of practice time left, since he knew I would probably never make it. Indeed, there were a couple of times where he had to call on someone else after we had run a dozen or so sets of lines since I had yet to make it and the parents were already showing up to pick up their kids. I was just that bad a shot.

In the entire season (which was capped by a first round tournament loss; A loss where the coach never substituted for the starting five guys, leaving the other six or eight of us on the bench the entire game. That is horrible coaching at a level when the game is more for fun than competition) I actually only made one basket. I was probably only in each game for two minutes or so anyway, even then it was just long enough to let another guy get a drink or something. When I was in one of the games I happened to be standing near the basket when a guy with the ball approached me. I stripped the ball from him and took off down the court. I was so concerned with not making an ass of myself that I was concentrating more on the floor and the ball than what was in front of me, I sure didn’t want to doink it out of bounds off of my own foot. I only looked up when my entire team, the crowd, the majority of the other team -hell the entire world, really- screamed “shoot it”. I looked up to see the backboard directly above and I was still moving forward, soon to be out of bounds. I threw that sucker up into the air with all the force my wimpy little arms could muster. Then I started heading for the bench.

It was almost surreal the cheer that I heard when the ball actually went in. I don’t know if there really was a cheer or if I imagined it, either way it doesn’t really matter. I had finally made a basket, my only one ever in competitive basketball. The coach motioned for me to go back on defense, something he had never really done, made a motion towards me that is. I fell back on defense right next to our cheerleading squad, where Angie Ross gave me a huge thumbs up (she was a girl who it seems had a bit of a crush on me at the time). With a head about the size Jupiter I took my position next to the key; where I was promptly burned by a guy about 1/3 my size in a moment that he probably remembers as fondly as I remember my only basket. Yes, I really sucked at basketball… Good times.

Our basketball team had some pretty ugly uniforms. It’s not that they didn’t match, more that they matched at some point but through years of neglect had managed to make it so they covered every conceivable hue of the color green. Our other jerseys were white with green lettering, but didn’t have the same numbers on them, since many had been lost over the years. The coach wanted us to have something that matched when we went onto the court, and had worked out a deal with a t-shirt shop called “The Put-on”, where we would each get a t-shirt with the team logo on the front and our first initial and last name on the back. The price for these beauties was $5.

Without going into a lot of detail here, I will just say that we didn’t have the $5 to spend on such things as basketball t-shirts when we were more concerned with making sure we had food and other such necessities. My mother assured me that she could come up with the money but I really didn’t want to burden her with that, especially since she had to buy me a special pair of shoes to play with (we played on the High School court, had to have non-marking soles and couldn’t be street shoes). I really wanted to get that shirt myself.

By some coincidence there was a fundraiser going on at the school where you had to get people to give you money for some annoying little fuzzy balls (no, seriously. They all had little eye-balls, some were dressed up with hats or glasses and stuff. They were roughly the size of a quarter, only spherical). I got people to shell out money for the little fuzzy balls, but not nearly as much as the other kids (since their parents would always take a few to start them off). Thankfully I had all that I needed to be a part of the assembly contest regarding the little fuzzy fuckers.

(Honestly my memory of exactly how that worked is a bit fuzzy. It might have been that we got the little fuzzy balls for so much money in donations, as I remember a lot of kids were collecting them. I know that I never had any, or maybe I did have some but had to trade them in to participate in the contest. I don’t know, it really is fuzzy. I know that it involved donations and fuzzy balls, and it all ended with the contest during the assembly).

The contest, of course, was all about basketball. The way the contest worked was that for each x number of dollars you raised you got one shot. Shoot a lay-in and you win $1 in cold, hard cash. Free throw for $5, top of the key was 10, three-point line was 15, that circle just outside of half court was 20 and half court was 50. I remember only two shots from the whole contest, one of them was because a guy actually hit the half court shot and the crowd went apeshit. The other one was my own.

I stood there at the free throw line, staring at the $5 bill laying on the ground in front of me (no shit, they actually had the money laying on the court and you got to pick it up if you made the shot). I had seen people bounce the ball a couple of times before taking the shot so that is what I did. I wasn’t really concentrating much on the shot, I was wondering if I would be able to grab the money and make it to the door without being caught. Better judgment eventually won out. I looked at the basket for a few seconds wondering why it was so hard to put the damn ball into it. Then, without an ounce of preparation, I hucked the ball at the basket (hucked isn’t really the word for it, but I can’t find a verb that accurately describes the motion that I used to propel the ball so ‘huck’ will have to do).

Much to my amazement, as well as the rest of the entire student body, the ball actually went in. I stood there dazed for a minute, probably literally, then grabbed the money and ran… Directly to the coach, who was sitting in the front row of the bleachers. I gave him that $5 with a sense of accomplishment that I don’t remember ever having felt before. I actually won something!

When the t-shirts arrived I was the happiest kid on earth, well, until I looked at the back and saw that they had mistakenly put “B. Burgess” on it. The coach covered the little bar to make it look like a ‘D’, but the damage was already done. Even though I got a replacement shirt within a week, everyone on the team called me Bonnie for the remainder of the season. But you know what? I really didn’t care. They all bought their shirts, I had to win mine.

Football fun

Living in the Phoenix area can really suck the enjoyment out of football. At least if you happen to be the type that like to root for the home team. I don’t really give a rat’s ass about the Cardinals though, I have always been a Cowboys fan. That began to change about the time that the receivers were featured more often on the 5 o’clock news for drug possession than yardage.

Prior to this morning I had watched less than one complete half of a game all season. The matchups have just sucked all year. Not that today’s matchups should have been any better. My viewing options were the 4-9 Cardinals @ 2-11 Texans, or the 8-5 Chargers @ undefeated Indy. I wouldn’t have watched either of them except I happened to check the scores at the half to see that the Cardinals were losing (as always) but Indy was down 13-0 as well. I had to watch the second half of that one.

I have an irrational hatred for Peyton Manning, there is absolutely no logical reason why (thus it is irrational, though all hatred is irrational when it comes down to it). My beef with Manning is that he isn’t that good. His dad was one of the best to ever play the game, and had to do it with one of the shittiest teams ever. Peyton got into a damn good college program based more on his lineage than his talent, has always been surrounded by excellent players and has never really had to prove himself. He manages to throw up some tremendous numbers because he has one of the best running backs in the game, a great offensive line, as well as a couple of receivers that seem to have sticky tape for hands. Hooray for Peyton.

The very second the game actually matters though he folds like a cheap suit. Once he reaches the playoffs he looks like he is straight out of a High School JV team. He just can’t win when it matters. His QB rating drops like a stone in big games, yet everyone still seems to think he is great. Perhaps someday he will be but he sure as hell isn’t now. It kind of reminds me of something that Shaquille O’neal said prior to the Lakers run, he said that he had won championships at every level “Except college and the Pros”. Probably at least 25% of the US population could make that same statement.

So it was that I watched the second half of the game today hoping beyond hope that San Diego could put a stop to Indy’s undefeated season. They did, but it seemed they were trying to give it to Indy several times. Brees threw an interception and fumbled in the third quarter, both resulted in Indy scores. San Diego committed so many fouls that I lost count, though I do know that they got fouls on three consecutive plays at one point. If not for their defense, and a couple of clutch plays late, San Diego would have given it to Indy just with the penalties. Thankfully they managed to hang on and make a couple of huge plays when they needed to.

That all being said, I have to say that I took away from the game a sliver of respect for Manning. I don’t know that he was ever upright to watch one of his receivers make the catch. The Charger’s defense just seemed to walk through Indy’s offensive line at will and made Manning pay for every pass he completed. Not baby taps either, we’re talking pound him to the turf/sandwich him hits. He stood in there and took it, and still managed to complete some pretty amazing passes. Though the passes wouldn’t have been amazing were it not for his receivers ability to turn on a dime and chase down the ball. Even the part of me that irrationally hates Manning was feeling a bit sorry for the guy by the end of it.

That was a very entertaining game to watch, in the fourth quarter especially. I can’t remember being that emotionally involved in a game in a long time, which is saying something since I don’t actually like either of the teams involved. I just wanted San Diego to win so badly because I don’t think Indy has any right to go undefeated. If Joe Montana couldn’t do it with the best 49ers team, if Marino couldn’t do it with the best Dolphins team, if Staubuch couldn’t do it with the best cowboys team, if Namath couldn’t do it with the best Jets team, well you get the idea, then certainly Manning has no business doing it with the Colts.

I guess I should mention that I think people put way to much stock in every quarterback. Take the 49ers for example. Montana was out, Steve Young was in, everyone said there was no way anyone could compare to Montana, but Young had the same group around him and was able to go quickly from rookie to champion. My beloved Cowboys had quite a run in the ’90s with Troy Aikman at the helm, but they also had Michael Irvin, Emmit Smith, Moose Johnston, Jay Novacek, and one of the best offensive lines in the history of the game. More recently, the Cardinals sent Jake Plummer to Denver since he seemed to be pretty inept as a QB, but, the second he got somewhere with a running back, an offensive line, a tight end and a couple of receivers he is looking like pro bowl material. Which is why Peyton’s dad (Archie) was such a great QB, he got all of his numbers playing with an expansion team and never won anything.

Put Peyton Manning on the Texans team and see if he can continue to produce the numbers he is now, then, then I tell you, I will give up my irrational hatred of him. For now I was happy to see his bid for an undefeated season dashed, and eagerly await his forthcoming playoff meltdown.

(libation) Free baseball tickets

This is going to be the first time that I have tried to defend myself when I actually know there is no defense… Since I know that going in you would think that I wouldn’t argue it… Damn this blogger script for making posting so simple…

My wife works for a company, I will call it Widgets Inc. That company owns large shares in every damn building in the Phoenix area, or it seems like it anyway. Occasionally they give away their tickets to events through a raffle, such as the V.I.P seating that she won to Ozzfest a couple of years ago, several times she won the “suite tickets” to baseball games (free food, free beer). All good stuff.

This time she won the same suite tickets to the baseball game, nix the alcohol. There is no free beer at the game. You have to watch it, second by second, sober, or likely buy a few beers as the game slowly unfolds…It is slow… The food is still free, the tickets were free, the parking is free. I don’t think I really have much of a bitching leg to stand on, but, come on, Baseball without beer? Might as well be figure skating.

BCS; Survivor

Just when I was starting to get back into a semi-regular posting schedule, basketball happened. I had completely forgotten about the College Basketball tournament (the brackets as my wife and many others call them) right until my wife got home earlier than expected on Wednesday. It turns out that since the ‘brackets’ had bumped Survivor from Thrusday to Wednesday, the wife was not nearly as inclined to ride her horse on Wednesday. That is, sure she loves to ride the Horses, but when that interferes with Survivor, Fuck ’em.

I am no better than the wife when it comes to revolving my schedule around that silly show. I didn’t even get to complete my daily surfing activities before it was time to go and watch the show. I know that is not such a big deal since I can visit a website at any time, day or night, while her horse riding activities don’t share the always available quality. But, It did screw up my day a little bit. Damn those Collegiate Athletes!

I really don’t care for college basketball at all, of course I really don’t care about the NBA either, so I suppose that isn’t all that surprising. I do like that they have a playoff system in place for the NCAA, however I really think that the system they use for basketball is at once too inviting and not inviting enough. I am not completely sure of the logistics involved, but what I do know is that in any given year there are teams who should have a legitimate shot at the national title that end up playing in the (secondary) NIT competition. As I say, I don’t follow college basketball so I don’t really know why it ends up this way. I would speculate that they are trying to make sure that they don’t end up with too many teams from a specific conference in the ‘Big Dance’, since, like everything else, this is all about money and too many colleges from a specific region would likely sour the viewing audience, thus leading to less revenue from advertisers. That is all speculation of course.

It is pretty sick of me to bitch about the way the NCAA handles this tournament though, since I really do enjoy college football. NCAA football, of course, has absolutely no playoff system. The national champion every year is picked by a combination of Coaches votes and a computer model that sends teams to face each other in the BCS. I would link to something to try to make sense of this all, were there anything on the face of the earth that could make sense of it. There is no playoff system at all in college football, the ‘Bowls’ (be it the Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, etc.) are alternated every year in respect to which one is hosting the actual title game. The teams that go to each of the ‘Bowls’ is somehow chosen by a computer. One of the many problems with that approach is the “Margin of Victory” category (which is one of the weighted categories in the BCS model). So, if your team is up by 24 points in the fourth quarter and you just try to run out the clock, you may be screwed later by a team that continues to humiliate the other team for the duration of the game. The computer can’t factor in humility.

I am going to try to piece together a scenario to prove the inherent flaws with the BCS right now. Bear in mind that people have been doing this for years and we have yet to see a change in the way it is handled. All information I am about to present is fictional and for the sole purpose of making the fallacy that the BCS is fair more obvious. I am going to use the teams Florida, Arizona and Texas in general terms and not related to any team from any of those states.

Let’s pretend that Texas has only won 3 games in a season. They have a mediocre offense, but a pretty darn good defense. Further, we must pretend that Arizona has an amazing offense, but a useless defense, while Florida has an amazing defense, but a useless offense. Now I have to pretend that both Arizona and Florida played Texas, and for the sake of this post I am going to say that they both won the game. The Arizona vs. Texas matchup (in my scenario) is going to end with Arizona’s amazing offense beating the Texas defense pretty handily, but, the useless defense of Arizona allows Texas to get some easy points. I’ll call it 37-24 just in case you are nitpicky, so a 13 point win. When Florida plays Texas (in my scenario) it is going to end with Florida’s offense unable to score against the mediocre Texas defense, while Texas can’t score against Florida either. The points that are scored are all on defense or special teams. I’ll call this one 16-7, so a 9 point win. What we learn from this is that, for one team, their offense alone won the game, while, for the other team, their defense alone won the game. If Arizona never plays Florida how do you really know which team is better? The computers will tell you that Arizona is better since they won by 13, but, the same computer is going to tell you that Florida is better since they only gave up 7 points. (not that playing a worthless team really matters all that much in the grand scheme of the BCS, I was just trying to explain it in a logical manner.)

If there were any type of a playoff system in college football the majority of the variables would be sorted out on the field. Of course the second anyone tries to modify the system to a playoff format there will be teams that want to be involved, regardless of the fact that they simply don’t have the players to win big games against good teams. I do understand that football is a sport that is a bit more draining than basketball; not a game that the players can play two days in a row. Yet, somewhere in my mind, I have to wonder why they don’t have all of the teams that have ‘Bowl Bids’ set into a playoff format. It would add a game or two to some of the teams’ schedules, but only the winning teams. That would also result in a lot more revenue for the colleges, with the extra ticket sales. Not to mention giving NFL scouts more opportunities to see all of the top players.

Perhaps the NCAA enjoys the controversy in college football since it allows many teams to believe that they were really the national champions?

• Survivor was what I really wanted to talk about today. It turns out that someone over at the studio had read my latest bitch about the show and bought a Time Machine, then went back in time to alter the episodes that they already had on tape. Sure, it is possible that they just realized it was all getting a bit too predictable, but what would be my stake in that?

The latest episode of Survivor featured yet another loss by the “Ulong” team. This one was a bit different though, for two reasons. The first reason is that both teams were going to have to vote out a player, the second is that I have never seen (in my survivor watching history) a team so easily and adamantly agree on voting someone. The guy that the strong tribe (Koror) was going to vote out has been obvious since day one, however they had never lost an immunity challenge so they never had to think about it. There was a twist, as there always is, that made it so Koror got to give immunity to a single player from Ulong. The winner of immunity was the guy that everyone in Ulong was going to vote off. So, instead, they voted off the only player on their team that excelled at anything…Survival of the weakest I guess.

I really have to hand it to Survivor, they took an impossible situation and made a nice spin out of it. Unfortunately the teams are now at 8 and 4. If they merge the first four to go are pretty obvious. Yet, the team dynamic is so precious to the game (at least to ratings) that I don’t know if they should try to screw it all up.

Half of me thinks that they should let the losers continue to lose. The losing tribe has shown over and over that they don’t really want to win. Perhaps, this time, they will let them all just get voted out. The other half of me wants them to mix up the tribes. Some of the alliances on Koror are getting pretty strong, strong enough that they may never break. If they mix up the tribes at this point, the are doing it only a couple of votes from the merge. If they leave the one team to kill itself it will be a whole new game. The other team has already shown, on several occasions, that they don’t really want to win. I really think that the best way to shake up the game right now is to leave them alone.

The people in the game are expecting a merge so much that they never stop to think about what would happen if they never merge. Which would lead pretty nicely into the winning tribe having to vote out people that they have very strong alliances with. Hell, with one team having only four people, while the other has eight (and they would have been 9 strong were it not for one screwy challenge), I am not entirely sure if the other team really should have the salvation of the merge. Of course with the one team doubling them in numbers it probably doesn’t matter anyway.

My vote is going heftly to the “no merge” theory. That would make for a much more interesting game.

It is possible that they would allow the losing tribe to pick two of the people from the winning tribe (or try to redistribute the members and end with the same result), but I really think the losers have chosen to lose. It was their choice to vote out the most athletic and intelligent players first. This is their Titanic, they should go down with it.

Survivor; Oddity at work; Hockey

An early day off at work today has made it possible for me to go ahead and throw up a post. Of course I could have thrown up a post over any of the past several days, but you wouldn’t have wanted to read it. That would be because it was all about computer problems, all week. Since my last post the computer problems have been virtually resolved on my Mother-in-Law’s PC, while the problems on the PC at work simply got worse. This was due directly to the fact that the boss ordered a brand new Dell PC, but he ordered it with a flat panel monitor, while he was planning to use his 19″ CRT monitor with the system. Without going into a lot of detail, I will just say that it took me many hours, over several days, to get that to work. What is more is that he is expecting that the flat panel monitor will work on the old pc, which is certainly not going to happen, but that will be a story for a different day. I am just tired of talking about PC’s at this point.

• Survivor, however, is on the block to be hacked at today.

Survivor is one of the only shows that gets myself and my wife to sit down together to watch the teevee (though I didn’t watch the first season, I have been a fan ever since). The bitch that I am having about the show currently is that it is a bit stale at this point. It is certainly true that the interaction between all of the players is the most interesting part of the game, hell it is really the only reason that you should be watching the show at all. The problem is that they have gotten to the point where they spend so much time showing the ridiculous challenges that they don’t show enough of the interaction of the players.

This season, for instance, one team has won damn near every single challenge. As a direct result of that it never shows what that team’s day to day dynamic looks like, while it spends a hell of a lot of time focused on the losing team. Net result: I know the names of everyone on the losing team and can identify them by their faces, the winning team…Not so much.

My wife and I do enjoy rooting against the losing team every week, but that can only take the experience about so far. They really need to quit doing such elaborate challenges and get back to showing a lot more of the interaction of the players, which was what made the show so popular in the first place. Imagine if they were to nix about half of the reward challenge time and replaced it with personal interaction, be it for the winning or losing tribe, it would make you feel far more emotionally involved in the show, regardless of whether the interactions really matter in the grand scheme of the game.

I certainly don’t want them to take the challenges out of the material that they air, I simply want them to show only the pertinent parts of the challenges. If one player really excells at a particular event, by all means show it, but, if it is a dead heat, do we really need to watch twenty minutes of people doing the same thing over and over? Especially when you consider that every player is making deals with every other player; deals that will be broken at the drop of a hat. They need to get back to the team dynamic or their ratings will continue to slide. It might only be my opinion, but, I bet if you were to poll 100 people that are not watching survivor this season (after having watched previous seasons), they would probably share my sentiment.

• Now for some strange happenings at work.

There is a nameless young lady where I work (yes, of course, she actually does have a name, but even if I did know what it was I would not put it here), who had rather a strange experience the other day. It seems she received two phone calls, about a minute apart, one from a man and one from a woman, who were both telling her that her car had been hit by another car in the parking lot. As luck would have it, I happened to be right outside the doors as the second call (the one from the man) came in, and was able to say defenitively that the guy on the pay phone was not the guy that made the second call (not that that really matters).

She ran outside to check her car only to find that it had not been in a collision, instead it had rather a morbid gift stuffed into the door handle. That morbid gift was a female undergarment, with attached feminine hygiene product, which was stained with the blood of some female (or at least I assume it was the blood of some female, I am not a detective). There was an attached note that said, “Please leave me yours. In the same place. P.S. you have a really nice ass.” Again, not being a detective, I can only speculate, but I would think that likely the note was not left by a woman. It is my guess that it was some sort of a sick prank that some of her peers came up with just to freak her out, and it worked in spades.

The police were called, the panties and feminine hygiene product were taken in as evidence. The girl moved her car to the front of the store (where she could actually see it), and she was really, really freaked out for the remainder of the day. She was fine by the next morning though, which leads me to wonder if whoever had perpetrated the prank had come clean. That, of course, is something that sixteen-year-old-peer etiquite would never be allowed to be discussed. The situation seems to be resolved, so, I guess it was the crack investigating team….That or the prankster told her about it and didn’t want to get into legal trouble.

• Did you know that the entire Hockey season has been cancelled? I know only because I occasionally watch the sport, and then I only watch it when my local team (the Phoenix Coyotes) are doing well.

The only reason that I bring this whole subject up is because the players are holding out for better contracts, while the owners of most of the teams are losing tons of money every year. Hockey is a really popular sport in Canada, as well as on the eastern seabord of the U.S., but they simply don’t fill enough arenas often enough to substantiate higher contracts. The market for Hockey is simply not as large as the market for the three major U.S. sports (being Football, Baseball and Basketball).

Here is a simple test: Name five hockey players that have ever lived.

I can come up with five off the top of my head. Brett Hull, Bobby Hull, Wayne Gretzky, Jeremy Roenick, and (pardon the name butchering) Mario Lemieux. Could you do it? Beyond that, a new test. Name five current players in the NHL.

Umm…ehhh…umm…Is Patrick Roy still playing? What about Pavel Bure? Did Wayne Gretzky ever father a child? Did Gordie Howe’s DNA get used to clone him? Where is Nikolai Khababulin, is he still playing? Do you see a forming pattern here? (The reference to Khababulin was only because he used to be a coyote, the other names popped into mind because they actually were playing last I knew. Meaning only Roy and Bure, all cloning aside.)

For sake of comparison I am going to tell you five current players from each of the three major U.S. sports. Please note that the names may be butchered since I am not going to go and spellcheck the names.
NFL: Warren Dunn, Marshall Faulk, Donnie Abraham, Fred Smoot, Aeneas Williams. (I left out Quarterbacks on that one since everyone knows the Quarterbacks).
MLB: Derek Jeter, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio. (I ignored pitchers on this one, since that would have been far too easy).
NBA: Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Vince Carter, Steve Nash. (This one I could have done fifty players, but I really don’t like basketball all that much and I didn’t want to focus on my home team).

I am able to easily name five players from the other major U.S. sports, while I can’t come up with a single, definitiive, name in Hockey. I think that this would imply that Hockey is simply not as popular as the other sports. I would then argue that sincce the ssport is not all that popular, the money should be split between the owners and the players. If the owners are making tons of cash while the players are in poverty, that is wrong. By that same metric, if the players are making millions of dollars while the owners are losing money that is also wrong. That all being said, when is the last time that MLB or NFL or NBA cancelled an entire season??? The answer is, of course, never. No other major, U.S., sports league has ever cancelled a season. There have been portions of seasons missing on lots of occasions, but, no season had/has ever been cancelled…Untill now…

The unfortunate downfall of the logic on this one is that no one who never watched Hockey previously is goinng to start watching it . Those who have never seen Hockey are more likely to think that the players are demanding too much money for a service that doesn’t reaklly pay off.

My logic here is pretty tough to quantify, but that is only becasue it is pretty tough to find a hockey fan in the middle of Arizona.

Red Sox Series and Dogma

I have again been quite lacking in the supposed ‘daily update’ department of late. I could likely have banged something out over the last couple of days just for the sake of making a post, but it would have been pretty poor even by my meager standards. Who knew I had standards?

• So it turns out that the Red Sox really did win the world series and lift the ‘Curse of the Bambino’. That is great and all, I am very happy to see someone other than the Yankees take it home this year. I think a lot of the baseball fans in the U.S. are the same way. There were a few quotes in the news articles about the Red Sox win, however, that really make me think the people in Boston may be a bit delusional, if not clinically insane:

All the psychic pain doesn’t just disappear in one day. On Thursday, some Red Sox fans were cautious, and even irrational, about accepting their good fortune. Several said they read the sports pages first thing to make sure the win actually happened. Gilligan looked in another section of the paper.
“I checked the obituaries to make sure I was still alive,” he said.

Okay, I know it has been a while, but come on! I understand that his statement was likely not meant as fact (though with the rabid BoSox fans one can never know), but it is just not that big a deal. Beating the Yankees after being down 3-0 in the previous series was a big deal, as it had NEVER happened. Not by any team in the entire history of professional baseball. Yet, the BoSox fans wait until they sweep another team in the ‘World Series’ to start to express their disbelief? Was the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ so much a part of life in Boston that they really, truly believed that the Sox were never going to win it again?

Of course I only bring this up since it makes it seem possible that my beloved Cubs will be able to rid themselves of the ‘Curse of the Goat’. That will be entirely necessary if they are to avoid the plan that I laid out in a previous post, and fulfill my prophecy of winning the World Series in 2007. The significance of which is that they would be the only sporting team to ever go exactly a century between title wins. I am a Cubs fan, we have to have goals too.

• I took in the movie Dogma over the weekend. It was released in 1999 and I have somehow just never found the time to watch it. Sure they play it on lots of networks at this point, but it is the type of movie that you really have to see without censorship to truly appreciate. I really loved the movie and plan to watch it at least once more just to make sure that I didn’t miss any of the innuendo. It is wonderful to have an open mind. I am not even going to go into a ‘psuedo-review’ of this one though, as there are other people that have done it so much better than I could ever hope to.

Here is the CAP Alert guy with his ‘Full Review’ of the movie. You will either laugh or cry, depending on your particular faith, but it is definite must read material when researching a movie such as this. It is not my intention to rip on anybody for being really small minded and simple, but (there is always a ‘but’) this guy fell off of his rocker a long time ago and is only still rocking in his own head, if you get my drift. The only thing that keeps him out of the mental hospital, likely, is that there are a lot of people that think just like he does. Scary thought, considering that one of the two presidential candidates share in his beliefs. I have no proof of his sanity, or lack thereof, but I do have a single quote from his review of the Dogma movie:

Since the release of Dogma in 1999 it has apparently served well the appetites of the unbelievers and of the situational and conditional Christian — those who are Christian only when and where it suits them. By deeper inspection of the letters of the many who claim to be Christian have told me they found “deeper insight” and “spiritual fulfillment” in Dogma, they each have only been apparently duped into questioning and doubting not only God’s Word but God Himself; into thinking it is good to question everything. What a dilemma! While it is good to question most worldly things to avoid being deceived, one must assume deception is the goal. God has no plan or goal to deceive us in any way. Thus, the promotion of free-thinking by Dogma targeted at the Gospel and His Word cheapens for the gullible and uninformed their perception of God AND His Word.

So, then, it is really good to question everything on earth. Yet, it is not good to question everything on earth. You should only question the things that are not by the hand of God…Oh, I get it. So it is okay to question whether the pizza really had double pepperoni, but it is not okay to question whether God looked on and watched a child die in agony. It is okay to question why there is not more World Support for the thousands of people who die in underdeveloped countries every year, yet, it is not okay to question God’s plan for whatever is left of them when ,and if, they finally make it to heaven.

Mankind has tried to use religion to explain everything since the beginning of time. Don’t you think it is just about time that we start to live for now?

The whole “worshipping god” thing has pushed us further back in technology (and any other race ever constructed) than we would be if we just finally gave up on religion.

I guess God, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and lots of other figures who never existed, in reality, will laugh when I come to greet them. It is a choice that I have made.

Note to parents out there. Don’t try to tell your kids that all of these mythical beings exist, then tell them that they don’t exist…Except God…

Well, at least my parents went the extra mile and never killed any of us. They also killed all of the ‘mysterious gift bringer’ myths by the time I was twelve. I don’t know if either of them had the cajones to take a stance on whether or not there was a ‘God’, but I think mom did a better job of dispelling myths about it. By the time I was 12 I knew that there was no one looking out for me, what I did/said was it. That all worked out well, as I did grow up. Religion is only Myth in my mind.

Site stats; ALCS

My infrequent posting pattern continues, some may even say that it is becoming the norm. I dunno, I would like to think that there were pressing, real-life issues that kept me from posting, but no, nothing like that at all. You see I got caught up in another one of those silly Club Pogo challenges. The challenges are little more than a digital pissing contest, but I just can’t stand the thought of failing at any challenge that I begin. The problem with that is that I often start challenges (in life as well as that game site) that involve games/things that I am not very good at, or at least not familiar enough with to try.

This time, the game ‘Dominoes’ was the source of my problems over the last few days. It turns out that there is a use to them beyond just lining them up and knocking them down. Which is good, I suppose, as I always wondered why they went to all the trouble of putting numbers on them if their only purpose was to be stood on end and knocked over. Actually, I have played dominoes in the past, used to be passable at it, but the version that they offer on that website doesn’t use the same rules that I played by. In fact, a quick look at shows that there are at least 68 different domino games. Of course I know how to play exactly one of them, which was very different than the online version that I was offered as a challenge.

If I were able to take the hours that I spent trying to win those 65 games and funnel them into a good cause, I likely would have gotten a lot more Diablo playing done. I did win the 65 games in the challenge, albeit only an hour before the expiration of the challenge. Considering that they give you seven full days to do each challenge I would say that I cut it pretty close.

• While perusing my site statistics today I noticed a couple of interesting search strings that resulted in hits. Those particular searches were for ‘free sixteen porn picture’ and ‘watch free little girl porn’ (both without quotations, of course). I will readily admit that I changed the title of my page to say, “Still Porn Free”, as a ruse to see if I could get a few hits just because it had the words free and porn in it. I never had any idea that it would result in pedophiles clicking through to my page. Curiosity drove me to do a Yahoo search for those exact strings and I found the reason why.

When I ran a search for the first string (free sixteen porn picture), I was indeed near the top of the list. What is worse is that the quote about the first fifteen words of the header, then quote a little snippet from somewhere on the page that contained one of the search terms. The actual part from my page that was quoted said, “I know that it really did sound fresh, but I was also about sixteen, and I didn’t really know anything about anything …”. Now I was talking about a writer at that point, yet I could see how that particular line could be taken out of context. So Mr. (or Ms.) pedophile was thinking that it was a child getting fresh with someone…I can accept that, a simple misunderstanding.

The second search string really has me baffled. I did searches on Yahoo and Google for ‘watch free little girl porn’, and my site does indeed come up. Unfortunately, for porn seekers, the ‘watch’ in question is a wristwatch. It is even stated in the little description of the site that Mr. (or Ms.) pedophile clicked through to get to my page. What I wonder is, did they really think that ‘Armitron’ and ‘Rolex’ were code words for child porn? I don’t know, I think that said person was just clicking through every link looking for a picture of a naked child, and man that is sick.

I have been trying to get my father’s side of the family to let me put a directory, on this site, that has all of the photos and history we can find about our ancestors. I thought that it would be a great way to get names and photos out to try to find some other branches of the family tree. One of my Aunts had misgivings about posting that on the internet, and I wondered why. Now I know. The last thing that you ever want to think about is the possibility that there is some sicko, somewhere, looking at an old, black and white photo of your mother bathing you in the sink…And jerking off…That is just wrong.

• In sports news, what the hell is going on in baseball?

I grew up in Oregon, and as such we didn’t have a local baseball team to root for. What we did have was a WGN station on our local cable service. I became a Cubs fan, since that was what we had. When I moved to Arizona, and shortly after the Diamondbacks became a franchise, I rooted for them as well. The Diamondbacks did win a world series in my lifetime, while I still somehow doubt that the Cubs ever will. Last year it was a possibility that the Cubs and the Red Sox could have met in the World Series, but no one ever really thought that was going to happen since Boston has the curse of the Bambino and Chicago has the curse of the goat (sorry for the sparse info link there, gotta get back to the game).

Unless the Red Sox find a way to fuck up a seven run lead in the seventh inning, they will be the first baseball team to ever come back from being down 3-0 and win the series. Of course the Yankees and Redsox are only playing the ALCS and the winner must go on to play the winner of the NLCS series, but I would venture to say that whoever wins this game will win it all (which is not much of a venture statistically).

This all meshes nicely with my theory that the Cubs are going to be the first professional sports team to go exactly a century between championships. Look for them to be on the first platform in 2007, go Cubbies! This talk is a bit premature, as the game is still on. Probably in the seventh inning stretch judging by the sounds of it. Still, happy thoughts.

The problem with baseball, as everyone except pretty die-hard Yankee fans know, is that there is absolutely no equality in the game. Every other major sport puts limitations on how much you can spend to make the ‘ultimate team’. The Lakers (in the NBA) have done a great job of winning within those constraints, as did the previous San Francisco and Dallas dynasties (in the NFL) of years past. I don’t follow hockey closely enough to make a reference there, but it seems that the teams are basically pretty evenly matched (within reason).

The Yankee’s are able to buy every ‘free-agent’, every year, and give them more money than anyone else ever could. I do understand that the Yankees also make the most money, but come on. The Yankees will regularly have half of the top 10 highest players on their team, while the worst teams will have a couple of decent players, but no one that really stands out. It is not because the shitty teams don’t want to win, not that they don’t want to be competitive, it is just that the Yankees have more money. Speaking of that, You have to have a bit of respect for Curt Schilling who chose to go to the Red Sox to try to dethrone the Yankees in the American League, after having beat the Yankees in the World Series with the Diamondbacks. That is a hatred/desire to dethrone a team that I have yet to see in any athlete.

Seriously, though, I am going to go watch the end of this game…I think we may be seeing history here…

Olympics; Puppy

There is not a lot to say about the news these days. There is the Repuclican National Convention going on in New York City, the 2004 Olympics going on in Athens, of which the American public can watch about 10% of, and that is only when there is an American competitor actually fares well in said event. While it would be nice to actually watch the competition in the Olympic games, it loses something in the chopped up, American highlight type shit that you get to watch here in the states. Considering that none of the events play live on our National Networks, I would rather just not watch it at all.

A friend told me, recently, that they have live streaming video coming from the Olympic games. I am not sure if that is true or not, what I am sure of is that I am crutched by a 56k internet connection and not likely to watch every fifth frame of a video while still considering it “live”. Isn’t that supposed to be some of the glory of the Olympics? You see the people (from any random country) who perform their chosen sport the best? Our media, in the U.S.A., obscures that by only showing events where the U.S.A. athletes perform well, then they fill the time by telling stories of the “hard up-bringing” that the athletes had to overcome to achieve their Olympic dreams. Sure, that does make for a great movie, but what I want to see is the competition.

If the American gymnast totally fucks up, breaks a leg or something, I want to see, at the very least, the medal winners’ performances. This (the Olympic games) is the only venue where people from all countries can compete against each other on an equal footing. Yet, once the U.S.A. is out of the running, the media just seems to shift to a personal story of tragedy that left that particular person without a Mother and Father, which, in turn, made him/her want to compete in the Olympics. I swear that the media is using some formula similar to this…

Yet, my bitch today is not even related to the Olympics. More related to something that I noticed, and tested a few times, regarding computer opponents in actual games.

It is Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I was stopped just as I started yesterday’s bitching, by a puppy (well, full-grown dog that is smaller than the average full-grown dog of it’s breed). That would be our puppy Zelda, who was so angered/whiny when big brother dog went for a walk with mom that I finally just caved in and followed behind them. I originally had hopes of catching up to them before we reached the park, but there was an issue with the fact that Zelda was so excited and jumpy that it was difficult to get the harness on to her.

If you are not a dog owner, especially the owner of rather large dogs, you really need to know about the harness before you do get a dog. The normal way that idiots (most dog owners) walk their large dogs is to use a ‘choke chain’ (I linked there to an article about the disabilities that such collars could cause for a good reason). A ‘Choke Chain’ could be used to great effect by an experienced dog trainer, yet the device is regulary used by any jack-ass who has a dog.

There actually are ways to train a dog on your own, ways that do not involve asphyxiation and broken necks. The easiest way is through positive reinforcement, you know a simple little treat you give the puppy when it does the vocal command. It is not an exact science, nor is it immediate, but it does teach the dog that rewards will be given for performing certain tasks. As time goes on the rewards get smaller, no longer a chewy treat, just a little tummy rub or the such, but the dog will still respond to the vocal command and perform the task.

The unfortunate thing is that any person, who can show a photo ID, can get a pet. That is if they try to get them from a rescue shelter, there aren’t any laws governing who can take a puppy or kitten that they find three houses over. While cats come out of the womb pretty much ‘litter box broken’, it takes some time for a puppy to realize that it is supposed to do the majority of its bathroom duties outside. The little puppy might not understand that you left the pile of Newspapers in the corner so that he would ‘do his business’ on it, but if you show the dog the place that he did pee, then put him on the newspapers, he/she will soon learn that the papers are there for their peeing purposes. After a bit of time, say two weeks if you have a puppy that was just weaned, those papers will get so close to the door that the only time there will be pee anywhere but on the papers is when the dog gets a bit too excited.

Once the dog is ‘house-broken’, a process which could take between a couple of weeks and a couple of years, depending on your level of interaction with him/her, the rest is easy. There is no need for a ‘Choke Chain’, all you need is “Mr. Newspaper”. At least 80-90% of the time, you never have to swing ‘Mr. Newspaper’, you just have to roll it up and look at the puppy. Sure fear tactics are bad and everything, but would you rather all but kill your new puppy with a choke chain, or have it fear a rolled up newspaper?

My/Our dogs are far from perfect, Warlock will chase anything that makes a reflection, while Zelda will bark at any other dog that gets near Warlock. We try to teach them using the command/treat method, and while neither one of them is perfect about following the commands, and neither one would be trusted in a room alone with a child, they are pretty obedient dogs. There has NEVER been a ‘Choke Chain’ on either of these dogs (well, once when Warlock was young, but it lasted only a day or two). We do love our dogs, hell, they are basically our children, there is no way that I would try to strangle a human, why would I do it to a canine?

We (my wife and I) are doing this with larger breed dogs. Warlock has to weigh 60 pounds or so, while Zelda is a very fierce 35 or so pounds. I think that absolute obedience might be impossible, at the very least it is only possible through an obedience school that knows how to correctly use a ‘Choke Chain’. We are not going to be using the ‘Choke Chain’ though, since they have these Harnesses that you can buy pretty cheap.

You just have to remember that you do outweigh the dog by at least a hundred pounds. You certainly don’t have to choke the dog to get obedience, and if you do you don’t deserve to have a pet…Or a child, for that matter.