Saturday, October 3, 2009
Jimmie Johnson has many in the NASCAR world saying, “oh no, here we go again” as the all-time leader in Chase wins (15) is running as good as ever in his quest for a fourth straight title. At Kansas this week, you had better brace yourself, because Johnson is dialed in.
He had a dominant first session Saturday with the fastest lap time by a large margin along with the top average speed, a sign that he’ll be tough to chase down late if doesn’t encounter any issues on the track. During happy hour, he laid down the fastest lap at 172.983 mph early in the session and continued on with his great average times which were second best while running 47 laps.
Johnson won this race last season and has a total of five top-10 finishes in his seven career starts. He brought his chassis from the last Atlanta race where he started third but finished 36th after suffering a broken axle. The car was brand new for that race and Johnson was fastest in the more relevant practice prior to the race. He’s only 10 points from points leader Mark Martin, and much to the dismay of many, it’s possible he could take the lead for good this week.
LSU +3 @ Georgia: This line is low because of the devalued opinion of LSU based on last weeks struggle at Mississippi State where LSU won 30-26. The Tigers have a big game at home against Florida that everyone has circled and there is a thought that they’ll be looking ahead and not coming in focused. They also have the pressure of being a top-5 team now which has turned bad for five other teams this season. All past trends, including Les Miles poor record as a road underdog (0-3) in SEC play, make it a tough position for LSU. This is why LSU will win this week, if that makes any sense.
Cal +5 vs. USC: USC is in a tough position here. After winning ugly late against the Buckeyes, the young Trojans have struggled to recapture the same type of Championship mentality in their last two games against Washington and Washington State. Cal just got embarrassed by Oregon, but should be better in this match despite going 1-7 against Pete Carroll. This isn’t the same USC squad of years past. Their Freshman QB play has been awful this year other than one late drive in Columbus. Jahvid Best will continue his Heisman run with a great day against a good defense.
UCLA +5 @ Stanford: The Bruins are the only undefeated team in the PAC-10 and have won five straight over Stanford. Rick Neuheisel has something brewing in Westwood and the defense will carry them to victory this week. A great money line play with an under rated UCLA squad.
Syracuse +6 vs. South Florida: This is a perfect let down spot for the Bulls after their huge win at Florida State last week. Cuse QB Greg Paulus has put up 35 points in back to back games and the Carrierdome should provide a hungry atmosphere for a win. A good money line play this week, but getting six in what should be a close game is even better.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Have a safe and great week end all. Cheers2All
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The fateful morning Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold embarked on what may only be termed as the deadliest massacre for an American high school, I readied notes for my next class: Language Arts. We were to read an ancient Chinese tale about a magic cricket who, when making music, kept the evil spirits helplessly at bay. It was just after 11am April 20th, 1999. Little did anyone across the country realize what was about to take place. Regardless of specific demographics, wherever you happened to be at the time, whatever you happened to be doing, who would ever be the same? Students. Parents. Grandparents. Faculty.
Strangers from as many different backgrounds forced to face each other in the dark alley of the night.
Why had this happened?
I had been living up the street from my girlfriend who later agreed to be my wife. Later that evening in April, 1999, it must have been after ten, I sprinted 7 houses down through the vague clouds of darkness with burning tears streaming down. We sat in her bedroom, my head slumped in her lap, wondering just to what depths the human animal would descend...and for what~!
I shook and shuddered like starched linen in a twister, heaving uncontrollably. 24 injured. 15 students dead including a teacher, with millions of other lives forever changed. All in less than an hour! 11:19 am - 12:08 pm.
Now whatever your stance regarding gun control and/or video games, bullying, or medication, lets agree to just one thing: every individual deserves a fair chance in society.
If we ken agree to this we may part as friends.
"Life is a candle before the wind" -Japanese proverb
That's right race fans. NASCAR clicks its heels three times and returns to Kansas for two of this week's featured races.
Before we get to this week's races, however, I'd like your honest thoughts on last week's "Build Your Own" format. There are a few more weekends this season where there will be at least four races, and sometimes it's not easy trying to decide which races to choose.
Now on to this week's races:
First up is the NASCAR Nationwide race from Kansas Speedway; the green flag drops Saturday 10/3 at 3:46pm ET. You may not pick the same driver for both the Nationwide and the Cup races.
The second race is the F1 Japanese Grand Prix; the green flag drops Sunday 10/4 at 1:00am ET.
The last race is the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Kansas Speedway; the green flag drops Sunday 10/4 at 2:16pm ET.
Good luck, and let's go racing.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The doctor responded, "I’m sorry. We did all we could, but your husband didn’t make it."
Margaret looked to the heavens and asked, "Why do race car drivers have to die? Doesn’t God care about the sport anymore? Where were you, God, when my husband needed you?"
The doctor asked, "Would you like some time alone with your husband? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he’s transported to the mortuary."
Margaret asked the nurse to stay with her while she said goodbye to her husband. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick hair.
"Would you like to take his driving suit home?" the nurse asked. Margaret nodded yes.
The nurse took what was left of the driving suit, put it in a plastic bag, and handed it to Margaret.
The drive home was even more difficult knowing that her husband would no longer be by her side, and that she would spend the rest of her life wondering why this had to happen to her husband, of all people.
It has been 10 years since that unforgettable night, a night that started out like any other typical Saturday night of racing at Irwindale Speedway.
But what was about to unfold before the night was over is not only a fan's worst nightmare, but also the families who were involved.
NASCAR racing is, and always will be, a very dangerous sport no matter what level or class is racing.
Just this season alone we have seen some of the most spectacular crashes that could have easily had the same outcome, but because modern technology took over, drivers were able to walk away.
Now, while taking the time to look at how technically advanced these specially-prepared race cars are built, it's easy to see just how dangerous the sport really is at first glance.
From the twisted metal steel that makes up the roll cage, to the six-point racing harness, along with the carbon fiber seat that holds the driver snuggly in place.
These are just a few of the safety features that are very noticeable, along with the rest of the equipment that goes into building some of the safest race cars that are out on the track today.
The NASCAR R&D team spends countless hours testing, designing, and carefully looking for any flaws that might have been missed, while at the same time giving the drivers the comfort of knowing that no expense has been spared when it comes to their safety.
But not even all of these safety features would be enough to allow Keith Cowherd to come home to his family after what should have been a normal night of fun and excitement.
For those race fans that were in the stands, they never expected to witness the death of a driver who was only doing what he enjoyed on the weekends.
As for his family, it was a very somber moment, as well as a very emotional one, especially not knowing if their loved one would survive the horrible wreck.
The suspense was thick enough that you could cut it with a knife, as the safety team tried furiously to extract Cowherd from the mangled wreckage.
After all, short track racing on a Saturday night is meant to be fun and exciting, but there is always that element of danger that is lurking lap after lap.
And it's usually that element, along with the thrill of watching a driver push the limits that can only be pushed on these tracks that keeps fans coming back for more.
The accident happened when Cowherd and Shawn Davidson, who were running sixth and seventh at the time, became entangled with one another. Davidson’s truck hit the outside wall, where it caught fire instantly, while Cowherd's truck slammed into the infield wall.
Davidson climbed out of his truck on his own power, and collapsed on the track.
Cowherd, who needed to be removed from his truck, would not be so lucky, and he would be pronounced dead an hour later.
The noise that came from the initial impact was enough to make your skin crawl, and it was one the worst silent, but deadly booms that was heard around the track.
The accident sent what was left of the crowd of 5,254 into a stunned silence, as the remaining 42 laps of the race were canceled.
Death is one of the most unexplainable, unpredictable, and one the biggest unknown mysteries that we will never get an answer to. Death doesn’t play favorites, has no feelings, and has no concept of age, gender, or nationality.
Death can strike at any time, and it usually strikes within a moment's notice. Death has no remorse as far as who is next on the list, and it will continue to be one of the biggest mysteries known to man because of its element of surprise.
While driving home that night, I looked over at my 16-year-old daughter, and thought back to how uncertain and how surreal our lives really are.
The hardest part was explaining to her that, in the twinkling of an eye, it could all come to an abrupt halt, just as it had done a couple of hours earlier.
Death came down and took the life of a husband, father, son, and a fellow race car driver. And whatever death's claim to fame is, that fame came with a lot of pain, grief, and of course the biggest unanswered question, "Why him?”
NASCAR racing will continue to bring us fans the element of surprise, and with each surprise will also be the dangers that go along with it.
Each and every driver knows beforehand that death can come knocking on his or her door at anytime, and it will continue to have its way as long as there are those who choose to challenge it.
But even then, how many times have you actually thought about the families whose loved ones are out there risking their lives for our enjoyment?
A life that is so precious to those around them, but yet they put it all behind to seek out one of life’s many challenges.
Keith Cowherd was one of those who chose to take on that challenge, but unfortunately he paid the ultimate the price.
R.I.P. Keith Cowherd, and the rest of the drivers who also chose the same route while paying the same price.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Washington Redskins: what in the HELL was THAT? Losing to the Detroit LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLions??? Inexcusable and unforgivable. The Redskins' awful 9-7 win over a putrid St. Louis Rams team was a harbinger of things to come. Jim Zorn needs to go. To be touted as a possible playoff team and to lose to a team that was on a 19-game losing streak? The Redskins need to get thrown under, then have the Bus back up over them, then get thrown under again. Then the process needs to be repeated over and over.
Oakland Raiders: I have found a team even more pathetic than the Washington Redskins. That was a pathetic effort put forth by the Silver and Black at home. I figured that they would lose to the Broncos, but put forth a spirited effort. Instead, JaMarcus Russell was putrid, the defense couldn't stop anybody, and they made Kyle Orton look like Dan Marino in his prime. The QBs behind Russell are dreck. Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye? You've GOT to be KIDDING me!!! You SHOULD be automatically motivated to play against a division rival. But the Raiders were flat. Because the Raiders were that flat, they get thrown under the Bus.
Cleveland Browns: yet another putrid effort by a putrid team. I figured they would lose to the Baltimore Ravens, but at least put forth a BETTER effort. At least they don't have QB issues, unlike the Raiders. But they have coaching and talent issues. Eric Mangini fined a player just over $1,700 for leaving a $3 bar tab at the team's hotel last week. It's getting ugly in Cleveland, and it's going to be a LONG winter. For their "effort", the Browns get thrown under the Bus.
St. Louis Rams: this team could go 0-16. They are that bad. At least they did manage to score two TDs in their loss to Green Bay. But they still got blown out. At home, no less. Steve Spagnuolo should weed out the players that don't want to play and CUT THEM. Then he should replace them with ones that WANT to play. The Rams get thrown under the Bus.
The Fan that Caught Matt Carson’s first MLB HR: the Oakland A’s outfielder was ecstatic about hitting his first MLB home run recently. That is, until he learned that the fan that caught it DEMANDED NO LESS than $10,000 for the ball. What a greedy bastard. Fan, you’re a real PRICK. It may be the only HR that Carson ever hits in the big leagues, and you’re trying to shake him and the A’s down? Looks like you learned from the best: Al $harpton and Je$$e Jack$on. Fan, you and the other shakedown artists and frauds ALL go under the Bus.
Los Angeles Dodgers: even though they clinched a playoff berth, losing two of three to the Pittsburgh Pirates is embarrassing. Particularly when you allow FOUR runs in the bottom of the ninth to the Pirates. That will get you thrown under the Bus every single time.
California Golden Bears: for a team that was touted to possibly overtake the USC Trojans for the Pac-10 title, they laid a putrid egg against the Oregon Ducks. Yecccccch. Once again, they disappoint, right on cue. For that, the Golden Bears get thrown under the Bus.
Those are my nominees for the week. Feel free to come in with yours.
FRIENDS DUE TO AN UNEXPECTED TURN OF EVENTS THIS WEEKEND THERE WILL BE NO HOT OR NOT. THE CITY OF LAWTON, WHERE I AM EMPLOYEED, PUTS ON AN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVIAL EVERY YEAR ON THIS WEEKEND.
WE DRAW ABOUT 30,000 PEOPLE IN 3 DAYS AND THIS MORNING AT 10:00 I WAS CALLED INTO WORK DUE TO SOME EMPLOYEES NOT BEING ABLE TO WORK DUE TO SICKNESS. I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO CONTACT ONE OF YOU TO GET TO COVER IT, BUT 15 MINUTES TO GET FROM MY HOUSE TO THE FESTIVIAL SITE AND BE READY TO WORK DOESN'T LEAVE MUCH TIME FOR ANYTHING ELSE.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO READ AND ENJOY MY RAMBLINGS I CAN ONLY SAY I AM SORRY, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T CARE FOR MY WRITING, YIPPEE, YOU GET A WEEK OFF.
I WOULD ASK ONE THING FROM EACH OF YOU TONIGHT, WHEN YOU HIT YOUR KNEES NO MATTER WHO YOU PRAY TO OR GIVE THANKS TO, TELL THEM THANK YOU FOR THE FACT THAT JOEY LAGANO CAME THRU THE WRECK WITH ALL PARTS ATTACHED.
THAT'S MY OPINION - WHAT'S YOURS