Japanese Politicians Take Over Friday Linkage

Ichiro Ozawa, possible Prime Minister of Japan, thinks Americans are “simple-minded”. His words reminded me of a description of Americans given by a fictitious Japanese Prime Minister,

They have the most violent culture in the world, yet they worship justice. They venerate making money, but their roots are found in ideals.

While we’re talking about Japanese politicos (real or imagined), Kazutaka Sangen, mayor of Taiji, has spoken out against certain people whose sole desire is to see Japanese whale hunts (like Taiji’s dolphin hunts) end.  His words seem to eliminate any room for discussion,

We will pass down the history of our ancestors to the next generation, preserve it. We have a strong sense of pride about this. So we are not going to change our plans for the town based on the criticism of foreigners.

Game. Set. Match. Way to stick up for multiculturalism Mayor Kazutaka.  Though “foreigners” doesn’t quite do justice to the word which you probably said:  gaijin.

On to the linkage…

About as a heart-warming story as you’re going to read…I understood why Bengals wideout Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco (Chad Eight Five), 85 is his number after all. You’d think with how tech-savvy Chad is, he could have plugged in “eighty-five” into Google Translate and found out that the correct Spanish translation is ochenta y cinco, not ochocinco. Oh well, at least he has his own cereal, mistranslated name and all… Mohler demolishes so-called theistic evolution…Jennifer Aniston’s latest offering flops at the box office, big surprise since she seems to want to resurrect the chest-clutching Rachel Green character in every one of her movies… Jim Furyk gets DQ’d from a PGA tournament because his cell phone alarm doesn’t go off, oops…Ever watch that Tea Party Scene in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? The masterminds who orchestrated it were the March Hare and the Mad Hatter (below). Perhaps that’s what we can call these 2 billionaires who are the masterminds behind the populist Tea Party movement…

[Photo credit:  Disney]

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Bush’s Tots

Well, it has been a month and one day since I’ve shown my face around here. Why that has been the case, I’m not sure, it’s not like there has been a lack of things to blog about.

There have been plenty but I guess no one thing was enough to drag me out of my shell until I caught the following piece cited at one of my daily haunts, Barking Carnival:

While Bush lives high, hometown scholarship reportedly runs dry

The Bush the story is about is of course, former USC great and now Super Bowl champion, Reggie Bush. Here’s Reggie getting sandwiched by Michael Huff and Aaron Ross,

With his deftness in not keeping his promises, it is obvious that Reggie is preparing for a future career in politics. How boss would it be to have Kim Kardashian as FLOTUS? Of course, Reggie might not have prayer since it’s hard to see how people are going to want another Bush at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

This post is dedicated to Reggie Bush’s obvious source of inspiration in all this, Michael Scott.

To view the episode, click here.

Texans Drop a Deuce on Opening Day

[Disclaimer: Yes I know it is only one game]

Well technically since the mascot is a bull, I guess they dropped a cow patty.

Boy, what a pathetic excuse for an NFL team the Houston Texans have been in the 8 years of their miserable existence. It seems that year in, year out we see the same story played out here in H-town. This is from last year’s opener:

The Texans Train Wreck Begins…

Every off-season the local sports radio crowd, especially on Sportsradio 610, do their best to hype up the Texans. Couldn’t be because they’re the official radio home of the Texans, could it? Nah…

Most, if not all, of the hosts have the Texans in the playoffs. To quote the always personable Jim Mora, “Playoffs?!?” In all fairness that could still happen, but hard to see with the way the team threw up all over themselves yesterday.

Every year, most of the “long-time” Texans fans in our fair city get their hopes up only to have them come crashing down in a most spectacular manner after witnessing the season opener.

Leading the idealistic charge are the grown men who paint their mugs like so many clowns and make spectacles of themselves at Reliant Stadium, as chronicled here and here:

Texans Fan

Karren Warren – Houston Chronicle

Last year it was the Steelers, yesterday it was the New York Jets, who oh by the way trotted out a rookie starting quarterback, who for now, dashed the dreams of a frustrated fan base, which actually booed the Texans during the game yesterday.

As I did last year, I’ll leave the commentary to the local experten.

One thing begs to be pointed out, it’s not that the Texans lose but how they lose and that for the past 8 years, they’ve lost for the same reasons: jittery QB play, a timidity to rushing the opposing QB and last but certainly not least, an offensive line that is allergic to protecting the quarterback.

The latter was in plain view yesterday, especially when Jets’ Nose Tackle Kris Jenkins shoved aside Texans’ center Chris Myers as if he were filled with straw.

I don’t know, maybe we all should have seen yesterday’s joke of a game coming, given what happened the day before to the mascot of the University of Virginia. The same university Texans QB Matt Schaub attended.

Matt Schaub

Karren Warren – Houston Chronicle

The position Schaub assumed above was also assumed by his alma mater’s mascot, “CavMan”, after the latter was literally thrown off his horse. Here’s the vid:

Here’s to another grand season from your Houston Texans!

Layers

I used to own NFL Quarterback Club ’99 for the N64 back in the day. Though Brett Favre graced the cover, it was then Houston Oiler Steve McNair who was the best QB in that game. Here’s an action shot of him before Bud took my beloved Oilers to Nashville,

Steve Mcnair

Getty Images

So maybe the game’s designers didn’t make ‘Air McNair’ the best passer, but he was unstoppable as a runner. If you were d’ing up on him, you had better bring the cavalry.

I remember playing with McNair’s digitized version and being able to convert 4th and long using his prodigious running abilities.

While much has been written about whether or not the circumstances of his death should ‘tarnish’ his legacy, I found the words of Houston Chronicle columnist, Richard Justice very poignant,

Listen, I don’t know what happened to Steve McNair. I don’t know what happened or why.

I just know that all of [us] live our lives in layers, that it’s hard to evaluate a living, breathing human with a single brush.

Colt McCoy Feels Kurt Warner’s Pain

First off, last night’s Super Bowl was simply amazing. It was the kind of game that us football fans pine for as a send off to a brutally long off-season. Though I was rooting for the Cardinals, major props to the Steelers on the win.

Especially to former Longhorn great, and current Pittsburgh nose tackle, Casey Hampton on winning his second ring. I actually met Mr. Hampton on Sixth Street a few years ago.

He was a mountain of a man then, and from the looks of it, he’s still growing (below).

casey-hamptonSI
If only the NFL could find me a helmet that fit…

Secondly, I’m fully aware that the college game is nothing like the pro game. There is much more (seemingly) at stake in the NFL than there is in college football, even at its highest level. So let that be established, that the NFL is vastly different than NCAA football.

This contrast is increased when one compares a regular season game (even if it’s between the #1 team and the #6 team) with the freakin’ Super Bowl, which I’m about to do.

For me, last night’s game picked a slowly-healing scab. Why?

Because I know how Arizona Cardinal fan felt at the end of the game.

I felt the same way last November 1st, when Colt McCoy drove the Longhorns the length of the field on a drive that culminated on a seemingly game-clinching touchdown against Texas Tech. Only to have the opposing QB and WR (Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, respectively) make an eye-popping play to steal the win.

The loss cost the Longhorn a shot at the national title and will long fester in the soul of Longhorn Nation. Yes, it was not the Super Bowl but that doesn’t lessen the ‘pain’.

Last night, QB Kurt Warner seemingly led his Arizona Cardinals on a seemingly game-winning drive, ending in WR Larry Fitzgerald’s clutch 64-yard TD reception.

However, as in the Texas game, there was just enough time left on the clock to allow the opposing team to craft a dramatic game-clinching drive (Roethlisberger playing Harrell to Santonio Holmes’ Crabtree).

Here is a shot of Kurt Warner after the game, the agony on his face is manifest:

80670228MH240_Super_Bowl_XLAP
Brother Colt feels my pain

An NFL Orphan’s Heart Flutters

As previously posted, yours truly is an NFL orphan. Why? Well in brief, the NFL team of my childhood and formative years, the Houston Oilers, packed up and left and became the Tennessee Titans.

This past Sunday, the local extant NFL franchise, the Houston Texans matched up against the extinct one, the Titans, at Reliant Stadium.

Strangely enough, the Texans beat the Titans at their own game (smashmouth football and defense) and pulled one out, but even stranger was the fact that I found myself rooting for the Texans.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to pledge the half-hearted allegiance I have to the Titans to Houston’s current team, but the inspired play of the Texans at least proved that this is not outside the realm of possibility.

The fact that our son, in all likelihood, will grow up a Texans fan will no doubt bury my attachment to the Titans, that and the classless and toolish comments made by a couple of sore loser Titan players after the game:

”They weren’t doing that well, but it was their Super Bowl and credit them for being the good team today” –Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan

”It’s a big win for them as an organization, (but) no matter what they do, they’ll still go home (during the) playoffs. We have a lot to look forward to.” — Titans running back LenDale White

Far easier to root for guys like Texan Wide Receiver Andre Johnson who have all the talent in the world and remain humble in victory and defeat.

Here’s a shot of Johnson scoring the game’s only touchdown,

andre-johnson

Brett Coomer: Houston Chronicle

Michael Vick’s Pay Cut

Our economy is not the strongest that much is clear. Perhaps no one has taken a bigger pay cut in the last couple of years than former Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick.

Granted, his “pay cut” was due to a rash of bad decisions he made which subsequently landed him in the clink.

According to this story, “Vick wants to play, but what team would risk it?”,

In 2006 [Vick] made nearly $15 million. Recently he reported total income of $12.89 for an entire month.

That’s $12.89 as in 12 dollars and 89 cents. This from someone who, before things went terribly bad, categorized a $1,000 check to his mother as “chump change.”

Guau… Provided my math is correct, that is a 97,000% pay cut. Ouch!

Here’s Vick making $7211/hr.

michael-vickStreeter Lecka / Getty Images

Here is an excerpt from Vick’s statement after pleading guilty to dogfighting charges,

I’m upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that’s the right thing to do as of right now.

Here’s hoping that during his time in prison was spent fruitfully in nurturing the relationship he claims to have found, though to be sure it is Jesus who found him and not the other way around.

As for his return to the NFL, why not? It’s not like dog fighting is the unforgivable sin