The View From Wisconsin
Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
According to the AP report, "Players had finished listening to coach Mike Nolan address them in a postgame meeting when Herrion collapsed. Medics administered CPR on him and took him to an ambulance that rushed him to a nearby hospital.
"About three hours later, 49ers spokesman Aaron Salkin confirmed that Herrion had been pronounced dead. The cause of death was not immediately known."
This is incredibly sad, for any sports fan. The Niners have had the "year from hell" in 2005, with the issues regarding their PR director and other various malestroms of controversy surrounding the team. To have this happen, in a pre-season game, is just devastating.
My heart goes out to the Niners organization and its players and coaches.
Friday, August 19, 2005
The other day, as she was laying on the table behind my desk, getting petted, I noticed something on her left foreleg.
It looked like she had either licked her fur off, or had either scraped or bit herself. I called the vet, and I took her in this morning.
After some spitting, hissing, fur samples, two shots and two liquid dropper meds later, I still don't really know what the problem is.
The vet suggested that it could be an allergic reaction to her diet - possibly something with the treats we give her. The seafood treats may have had something in them that is making her allergic, which caused her to lick or bite herself.
The fur samples were to try to determine if she may have contracted ringworm. Meanwhile, they gave her an antibiotic shot and gave us two liquid meds (Lincocin Aquadrops and Pedia-pred) to give her, on the assumption that this is an allergy.
It's also possible that she got into a scrape trying to jump in/out of a close space in our home. She likes to sneak into closets and hide, and (to paraphrase Toby Keith) she's not as young as she once was.
The total bill for this little escapade - the first time we've had to do this since we got her - was $198.
We paid, I think, only $50 for her back in 1996. That's about $62 now, but still.
Her opinion, I think, is that she's worth it.
I love my cat. I have to keep saying that.
She's been lazing around today, still groggy from the shots she got.
I don't blame her.
The "SEW" principle is a very simple one, one that has helped sports recover from the darkest depths and the most precipitous times. It is the simplest form of capitalism (and I'm not talking about being a follower of Alex Ovechkin and his teammates in DC).
The principle is: If you don't buy it, Someone Else Will.
If you're not the one going out and buying Predators season tickets, someone else will buy your ticket.
If your network doesn't plunk down at least $60 million for your cable TV rights, some other network will - and maybe even more.
If a team doesn't pay beau coup bucks for a star player, some other team will.
It's the beauty of living in a free-market society - and the NHL is benefitting from it.
I'll bet that, by the end of the 2006 season, OLN will have the highest ratings for NHL games than any other show on its network - and maybe even higher than Poker Night on ESPN.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Anyways, on with the countdown:
- The Crew finally got off the schneid today, handily beating the Reds 8-3. In a bit of a pyhrric victory, they gained a game on the Cardinals in the Central Division "race" when the latter lost to the Cubbies. Too bad that "race" was over back in June.
- Looks like I'm headed back to digital-less cable for a while; as cable companies are wont to do, they raised my rates after my "introductory period" ended back in late May. As it is, due to my lack of a suitable raise from our wonderful state government, digital cable is a luxury I can't live with at the moment.
- Unfortunately, with gas prices being the way they are, I don't think travelling anywhere beyond a 10-mile radius from home is livable luxury, either. So much for any plans I had for vacation.
- The hot topic of conversation in Nashville right now is whether or not the other big-name we brought in over the last few years, one Steve Sullivan, might be willing to switch over from the wing to center. Granted, he'd be centering one high-powered line between Paul Kariya and Scott Walker, but it's very much likely that his point total would decrease - at least in 2005-06.
- That game Thursday night up in Lambeau was a comedy of errors. If you're looking for a kicker in your fantasy draft, might I suggest you NOT pick up the Chargers' Nate Kaeding. Three straight times the Bolts moved down the field, and three straight shanks. Think he might still have that playoff FG miss against the Jets still on his mind?
- Bertuzzi has been reinstated by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Think that game on October 22 against the 'Lanche might have some bad blood? I bet Don Cherry is already drooling at the thought of covering that game for HNIC.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
- Most, if not all, movement stops on game day.
- The number of sick calls on gameday increase proportionally.
- All other sports teams fall off the face of the earth (Badgers, Brewers, Bucks, etc).
- The sea of green and gold apparel will be prevalent for the next 22-plus weeks.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I see that housing costs are rising faster than pay raises. No duh - my lender jacked up my monthly payment by over $40, mostly because my municipality is jacking up its tax levies. Good thing I can take private Mortgage insurance off of my payment now.
The NHL has been offered $100 mil by Comcast's OLN Network to take over the league's cable broadcast rights. ESPN has the right to match, but they were seeking a deal worth only $30 mil, according to sources. Bettman and company would be foolish not to take it at this point.
Speaking of the NHL, teams will have new looks when they hit the ice this fall. Reebok is now the exclusive manufacturer of NHL sweaters in place of CCM, and they are going to sport a few changes. First, some of the v-neck sweaters will have the NHL logo at the valley of the neck. Second, the shoulders will have a new third-logo design; the Preds sweaters will have the skull logo instead of the old N-tower logo. Not sure if I'm keen on this change, but I understand the reasoning.
The Packer Flu will probably be out in full force on Friday and Saturday, once again. It seems like workplaces come to a screeching halt when they Packers play, even when it's the preseason. It's sad, to a point. I'm just glad I'm on vacation.
On the card collecting front: I made a recent purchase of a wax box of 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards at a bargain price of $4 from a local dealer. Unfortunately, as I opened the first pack, I realized that this wasn't going to be a good thing. See, the dealer bought the boxes as part of an estate deal, and apparently these boxes had been stored in a garage. A hot, humid garage. Bubble gum doesn't like heat or humidity. Guess what the cards in these packs looked like? Yep - crapola. On the good side, I did return to the dealer and showed him the damage, and he gave me two new boxes of different sets for my trouble. I'm going to go over the cards during my vacation next week, to see if any of them are salvageable. The insert cards - which were all facing the bubble gum slab - are beyond repair. Goo Gone doesn't even budge the gum.
An update on the Palmeiro observation... obviously, since the drug suspension was announced, a lot of negative press has been foisted on people. I suspect that the BBWAA will come down hard on Raffi when he's first eligible for the HOF, be that in 2010 or whenever. However, I don't think we can keep him out of the Hall forever - 'roids or not.
Time for bed...
Friday, August 05, 2005
- Paul Kariya is a Predator. I thought for sure I would never hear myself say that. PAUL KARIYA IS A NASHVILLE PREDATOR. That just sounds so good.
- Something even better: the Brewers have finally hit the .500 mark. Let's hope they can keep it up and stay above it from here out. As long as they don't play like that first game in New York, I think they can do it.
- I still wonder if Snape was up to something... I have a feeling he will be a large part of the last installment of the Harry Potter series.
- Lee Mazzilli is gone as part of the complete and total collapse of the Orioles since the All-Star Break. I have a hunch that the Palmeiro suspension was known to the Orioles players a long time before we all knew about it - hence the slide. Boy, things just went South for them in a hurry.
- Most interesting TV moment of the week: The History Channel had a history of breakfast cereal, covering the uniquely American meal from the first bits of granola to today's modern breakfast cereals.
- A card update: I am now the proud possessor of 500 different card sets, from 1952 to today. My latest "pull" (as they say in the collection business) was a Duke Snider Ebbetts Field seat relic card from the 2005 Topps Heritage Baseball set. The 500th different set was an Upper Deck Mini Jerseys set - an interesting card set that includes a mini baseball jersey in each pack. They aren't huge, by any means (6 1/4" from sleeve to sleeve, and 4" from top to hem), but they're interesting as collectibles. From the two packs I bought, I got a Yankees Randy Johnson jersey and a "throwback" flannel Pirates Roberto Clemente jersey. I have to use two 20-card holders to display them, but they're interesting enough.
- Your state government in action: I have yet to get my miniscule pay raise in effect on my paycheck, but sure as shooting, the state has already taken out the first of my premiums for health insurance. Taking my money appears to be more important to my employer than it does giving it to me.
- The state has been good to me in another way, however: as part of their Home User program, Microsoft allows employees of companies holding a license for Office 2003 to purchase the software at a drastically reduced price (essentially cost of shipping and packaging). Though I'm not keen on some of the time restrictions (it's only good through 2007) and the software is only valid as long as I'm an employee with the state, it's a pretty good deal - considering that Office 2003 Professional is over $200 on the street.