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East Coast Braces for Blizzard

Sending good thoughts to all in the path of the blizzard about to hit the East Coast.

If you are there, please keep us updated and let us know how you are doing. And don't forget to get candles. To remind you, here's "Light My Candle" from the final performance of "Rent."

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Marvin Miller, RIP

A giant passes.

Marvin Miller, RIP.

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Done Deal: NFL Refs to Return Thursday

Good news for football fans. The lockout has ended. A deal has been struck and the NFL referees will return starting tomorrow night.

According to reports, the pension issue was resolved with the existing defined-benefit plan remaining in place for five years until the officials are rolled over into a 401(k) plan.

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Pandemonium at the NFL

I don't watch football, but my Twitter feed is filled with tweets about a bad call during Monday night football that cost the Green Bay Packers the game against the Seattle Seahawks. Sounds like it might be the final straw, as the bad calls have become routine with this season's use of stand-in referees for the usual ones, who have been locked out in a labor dispute.

Everyone seems to agree the stand-in refs, who come from college and minor league teams are unqualified (I see lots of comparisons being made to substitute teachers).

This recap by an LA Times sports writer seems typical of the post-game ranting going on in MediaLand.

If I understand what happened correctly (and I probably don't, since the articles are all filled with game terms that are so completely foreign to me, I might as well be reading Greek) it boils down to this: It was the end of the game. Someone threw something called a "desperation pass" , which others call a Hail Mary Pass, to the end zone. The pass was caught by two people, one from each team. Many people thought the Packers' guy intercepted the pass, but when the refs came out, one called it a touchdown for Seattle. Another ref saw it differently and called it a "touchback", and there was a review. The review, which took 10 minutes, concluded the ref calling a touchdown for Seattle was right. Both teams were called back so Seattle could kick for the extra point. Seattle won the game. Even haters of Green Bay are saying Green Bay got robbed. [More..]

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The Da Vinci Code Lives!


A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'”

Dan Brown proven effing right! In all seriousness, pretty interesting. Though I had to ignore this admonition:

Dr. King said she wants nothing to do with the Code or its author: “At least, don’t say this proves Dan Brown was right.”

Sorry, I could not resist.

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Neil Armstrong, First Man On Moon, Passes Away


Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step on to the moon. The modest man who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter million miles away has died. He was 82.

Rest in peace.

Update (TL): Video added, at 2:57 seconds in, you can see Neil Armstrong step on the moon and say, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

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The Games Begin: 2012 Olympics

Opening ceremonies will be replayed on NBC tonight. Here's a recap from Reuters.

Who are you expecting to soar? What are the most anticipated events?

Here's a thread to talk about the Olympics.

Update: Absurd decision by NBC to make the opening portion of its Olympic coverage about security and the problems. Plus too many commercials and too much commentary. I'm already done watching -- 8 minutes.

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Junior Seau Apparently Takes Own Life

Boston Globe:

Junior Seau, a 43-year old 12-time NFL Pro Bowl linebacker, was found dead today in his home, the result of a gunshot wound, police confirmed. Police are investigating the shooting at the Oceanside, Calif., residence of the former New England Patriot and San Diego Chargers football star as a suicide. Police confirmed that Seau was found by his girlfriend at his beachfront home with a gunshot wound to his chest.

While the article references the suicide of Dave Duerson, regular readers know that I was a high school teammate of Andre Waters, the former Eagle, who also took his own life. The implications of an NFL career are believed to be related.

Condolences to the Seau family, and some hard thinking about professional football is in order.

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My Nephew Graduates High School

My nephew, who suffers from autism, graduates from high school this year. His determination, and that of his parents and his sister, has filled me with admiration. The University of Missouri newspaper, The Missourian, wrote about it:

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Rush Limbaugh, Ozzie Guillen and the First Amendment

So Ozzie Guillen said some stuff about Fidel Castro. Who cares what Ozzie Guillen says about Fidel Castro, right? I don't. But Ozzie Guillen is the manager of the Miami Marlins. So it's fair to say the Marlins care.

People in Miami aren't happy about what Ozzie Guillen said about Fidel Castro. That means the Marlins can't be too happy. Ozzie is having a press conference tomorrow to, no doubt, apologize and explain that in fact, he hates Fidel Castro and does not respect him. I don't care about that either. But people in Miami do. So the Marlins care too.


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The Demise of The Black Caddy

Interesting New York Times story:

At the 76th Masters this week, there will be no club caddies required; only two black caddies started the season with regular jobs on the PGA Tour and one has since been fired. The great black caddies of the past, who carried the bags for Gene Sarazen and Jack Nicklaus and the game’s other greats, are dead or well into the back nine of their lives.

For a variety of reasons, no new generation has taken the bags from them. Caddying, once perceived as a menial job, has become a vocation for the college-educated and failed professionals who are lured by the astronomical purses driven by Woods’s immense popularity. In 1996, the year Woods turned pro, the PGA Tour purses averaged $1.47 million. This year, they average $6.20 million.

Yes, there is very good money in being a caddy of the professional golf tours now. I think we need not look for more in terms of explanations. If there was good money in picking fruit, there would be a disappearance of the Latino fruit picker. Yes, I am calling white privilege.

Speaking for me only

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Connecticut Rabbi: Tebow Success Could Lead To Persecution of Non-Christians

Wait, what?

If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.

The rabbi, Josh Hammerman of Temple Beth El in Stamford, appears to claim to be a progressive. I claim he is an idiot.

Speaking for me only

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That is all.

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NBA Players File Antitrust Suits Against NBA

Two suits, one in Minnesota (good NFL case law there) and one in California:

The initial lawsuit was filed in Minneapolis. Minnesota’s Anthony Tolliver, Detroit’s Ben Gordon, free agent Caron Butler and Derrick Williams, who was chosen by the Timberwolves with the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, were named as plaintiffs.

A second suit was filed in California. Plaintiffs include New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, free agent Leon Powe and Kawhi Leonard, a rookie who was acquired by San Antonio during the 2011 draft.

I liked what David Boies, attorney for the players, said:

"If you’re in a poker game, and you run a bluff, and the bluff works, you’re a hero. If someone calls your bluff, you lose. I think the owners overplayed their hand," Boies said. "They did a terrific job of taking a very hard line and pushing the players to make concession after concession after concession, but greed is not only a terrible thing — it’s a dangerous thing."

This situation interests me, so expect a lot of coverage.

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Epic Collapse

The Red Sox have fallen down and they are not getting up. What an epic collapse.

Yanks face the Tigers starting tomorrow.

Go Yanks! And Go Gators!

Open Thread.

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