The Mole Season 5

I watch a lot of reality TV.  I have watched all of the seasons of the Mole.  I watch Survivor, the Amazing Race, American Idol, and others.  I liked the Mole when it first came out, that was until Anderson Cooper left the show.  The new host is not terrible, and God knows he is better than Ahmad Rashad, but this season seems like it is missing something, it just is not on par with the other seasons as far as the production goes.

I may be a little vain, but I consider myself to be a fairly smart guy, and my own intelligence thwarts my enjoyment of many of these shows.  TV producers are obviously not smart people for the most part, or are not nearly as smart as they think they are, or perhaps they have too much contempt for their audience.  I say this because many of these shows have a tendency to telegraph the outcome of the episode through the way that it is put together.  Survivor does a better job than it used to, but for a few seasons there in the middle, I could tell you the outcome of any episode about five minutes in.  For example, the producers love irony.  If anyone ever makes a statement like, “Boy, I’m in control now,” You can bet they will not see the next episode.

That being said, I always thought the producers of the Mole did a better job hiding who the mole was and showing other people (often willing participants) who act like the Mole on purpose.  This season they continually show people half-heartedly accusing fellow competitors of being the Mole, but a lot of the time it comes off like they are being told to say these kinds of things to the camera whether they make sense or not.

This week, they showed a couple of clips of people accusing Victoria of being suspicious and alluding to the fact that she was the Mole.  She obviously was more emotionally invested in the game and relationships with her competitors than anyone else on the show.  Including these half-hearted accusations only telegraphed the fact to the audience that she was a prime candidate to leave the show. 

This was not the best producing, but that is my point.  This season is an example of a step backward in the production value of the Mole.  The best example I can think of is that the exercises performed by the contestants on a weekly basis tend to major on physical feats rather than mental prowess.  Past seasons have included many more riddles, and opportunities for the contestants who actually use their minds to get ahead.  This kind of stuff takes a lot of work from the producers, though, and is definitely not as easy as putting a bunch of hot girls in short-shorts and letting them prance around for a full episode (though there is something to be said for that.  In fact, I vote for both).

I have debated whether or not to write a post on this now, or wait till later.  If I do wait till later, I will get no credit for the things I am about to say, but if I write it now, and am wrong, then I will look stupid.  Since, I am the administrator of this blog, I will go for it now, and if I am wrong, I will rewrite history (or erase it) later.  I think that the poor production along with the choice of a bad actress has exposed the Mole from the beginning.  Nicole is a poor actress at best.  The first episode was poorly thought out and put together.  She made decisions and comments that no rational person would make, and demonstrated inside knowledge through these decisions that put her in a position for an advantage.  The only way she does the things that she does on the first episode is if she is given information by the producers.  While I do not put anything past a group of TV producers, I do believe that it would be a legal stretch for them to provide insider information to one of the contestants.  Nicole also has made statements like, “I’ll kill you.”  This is very mole-like behavior, and her bad acting looks like someone who actually is the mole trying to act like someone who is trying to act like the mole (follow that?).  For this reason, I am going to predict now that she is the mole, and if she is, shame on her and the producers for doing an aweful job.  But, if she is not, then I’ll retract, and I’ll actually like it better.


Top 100 Creepy People 31-40

Creepy Person #40- Juliette Lewis

She is creepy in the same way that Courtney love is, except that she looks much, much dirtier.  Yuck.


Creepy Person #39- Simcha Jacobovici

This guy is otherwise known as the Naked Archeologist, though he is neither naked (thank, God) or an archaeologist.  He is creepy because he puts forth the most outlandish theories, while simply ignoring the facts and generally accepted theories in archaeology.  His ideas are almost always sensational, and often offensive to certain religions.  He presents one side of the argument, and spends the rest of his time trying every way he can to sway the person watching him, while leaving out any views or facts contrary to his own no matter how valid or strong they are.  You can find some of his handy work in the generally panned production of The Jesus Tomb, but I encourage you not to listen to a thing this creepy bastard has to say.


Creepy Person #38- Pauly Shore

Hey Bu-ddy!  He’s pretty much the whole creepy package minus the evil part.  He is the kind of creepy that can ruin a good party the moment he walks in the door.


Creepy Person #37- Tonya Harding

Novels could be written about this creepy girl.  She proved you can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl.  The dolled-up girl who went out on the ice was the same girl who had her truck-driver hubby try to break the leg of a fellow competitor, nice.  The next time America heard from her, she was doing the Paris Hilton thing, and not even getting paid for it.  The last time I saw her she was going to be fighting another celebrity on television.  Her life has been one big creepy train-wreck.


Creepy Person #36- Kathy Bates

She makes the list for scaring the sh— out of me.  He character, Annie Wilkes, in Misery, is one of the scariest characters to ever grace the screen.  After James Caan’s character hides the knife under the bed, and then wakes up to her obviously unhappy face, I literally jumped.  She definitely deserved the Oscar she received for this roll, and she is the highest rated actress to make this list simply for one roll.  Congratulations, Kathy!


Creepy Person #35- Michael Vick

Here the list begins to transition more from people who looked or acted creepy to more people who do creepy things.  What Michael Vick did to those dogs was not funny, but it was definitely creepy, and I wish him all the failure in the world for it.


Creepy Person #34- Lorena Bobbitt

In a masterful piece of cosmic irony this crazy woman married a man with the last name of Bobbitt.  Fewer things haunt the recesses of man’s mind like the specter of having a woman do to him what Lorena did to her husband.  And remember guys, she got away with it.  That gives every other woman license to do the same.  I can’t type too much more on this one, because it just makes me too darn nervous.


Creepy Person #33- Victor Vernado

Who’s he?  He is a guy who was born with a genetic advantage when it comes to playing the evil villain.  He’s albino.  As unfair and un-PC as it is, albinism is creepy.  Many of the creepiest villains in cinematic history were albinos, and do not get all judgmental, just imagine yourself in a darkened alley on a humid night alone.  You look up and see an albino looking at you.  You’ll feel the creepiness going right up your spine.


Creepy Person #32- Marv Albert

The toupee is enough, and may rate its own creepy rating, but he mainly makes it from the sexual assault charges.  It was a sordid and very creepy tale.


Creepy Person #31- Paul Ruebens-

The PeeWee Herman character was creepy enough, especially knowing that he geared his comedy toward children, but Reubens had to go and ruin his career in a most creepy manner.  If you don’t remember, he was busted in a porno theatre with his pants around his ankles loving himself as no other could.  And, if you’ve ever seen him without the PeeWee getup, you will see he is just one creepy looking guy.  Finally, having ‘Mr. Rooney’ from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off busted in his house for possessing little boy porn just put him over the creepy edge.

Top 100 Creepy People Criteria

Top 100 Creepy People 10-1

Top 100 Creepy People 21-30

Top 100 Creepy People 31-40

Top 100 Creepy People 41-50

Top 100 Creepy People 51-60

Top 100 Creepy People 61-70

Top 100 Creepy People 71-80

Top 100 Creepy People 81-90

Top 100 Creepy People 91-100






Top 100 Creepy People #41-50

Creepy Person #50- Grace Jones

If cannibalism were allowed today, Grace Jones would eat you.  She has to be the most intimidating woman on the planet, and I like most males am creeped-out by women who can kick my ass, especially women who could do it without really even trying.


Creepy Person #49- Roseanne Barr

Roseanne is sort of gross/creepy.  That voice alone is enough to make you want to put a bullet in your brainpan, and if you rent She Devil, you’ll be pleased (or completely creeped-out) with a nudie shot of her.  Yuck.


Creepy Person #48- Andy Warhol

This is another person that was suggested by a friend.  He’s creepy.  He looks creepy, and his art is weird, but recently I caught a couple of his old movies (which he directed) on one of the Showtime channels.  They were Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula.  On top of being terrible films in general, they were extremely creepy.


Creepy Person #47- Tom Ctuise

I originally had Tom Cruise at #100.  The whole Katie Holmes thing got him on the list.  He, old enough to be her father, marries her, and she disappears.  Then I remembered the whole Scientology thing, and he quickly shot up the list.  Here we have a guy who is now purported to be the head of a completely made-up religion.  This particular religion at one point attempted to infiltrate the American government (it’s true check out operation Snow White).  His new videos are legendary.  He is definitely creepy.


Creepy Person #46- Al Gore

He’s a creepy looking guy, but that is not what creeps me out.  It’s the whole attempt to change our society by pushing a made up global problem with fictitious facts and skewed numbers on a world that does not need his help, while at the same using more energy personally than some small countries.


Creepy Person #45- Carrot Top

Creepy act, creepy props, roided out, and, oh yeah, he looks like this:




Creepy Person #44- Dr Phil

“What were you thinkin’” putting Dr Phil on this list?  I have a low opinion of psychology in general, but here we have a guy who claims to want to help people, and obviously the best way to do that is to allow them to air their dirty laundry to all of America while at the same time berating them.  You might refer to this as ‘selling out’, but no, selling out would be to then endorse an online dating service as if that were a good way to meet someone and build a good relationship.  When is America going to hold it’s psychologists and counselors up to a higher standard?  They already have a 70% divorce rate (including Dr. Phil) which runs a full 15 percentage points above the national average.  Fix your own house before you come and try to fix mine, creep.


Creepy Person #43- Alice Cooper

No creepy list would be complete without a few of the creepy rockers on it.  Alice Cooper looks creepy, sings creepy, and has a creepy stage presentation.  For all of that, he comes off as some kind of nice guy whenever he is interviewed.  For this reason, he drops a few notches compared with the other creepy rockers.


Creepy Person #42- Ozzie Ozbourne

He is creepy in the same way that Alice Cooper is.  He has the creepy music, he had the creepy look, and his stage show included defecation and bat eating.  Score!  However, he has lost some of his hard creepy rocker edge in the last few years.  Not to worry though, it has been replaced be an equally creepy befuddled old man that shuffles around and talks to himself.  Drugs are indeed creepy.


Creepy Person #41- Courtney Love

She is a different kind of creepy, the nasty kind.  She is the kind of girl that could be hot when seeing her isn’t turning your stomach.  Don’t touch guys.  That stuff does not wash off.

Top 100 Creepy People Criteria

Top 100 Creepy People 10-1

Top 100 Creepy People 21-30

Top 100 Creepy People 31-40

Top 100 Creepy People 41-50

Top 100 Creepy People 51-60

Top 100 Creepy People 61-70

Top 100 Creepy People 71-80

Top 100 Creepy People 81-90

Top 100 Creepy People 91-100






Swinging a Big Bat

Global Warming theorists carry a big bat around in order to effectively beat anyone who disagrees with them.  It sometimes seems that they feel that their agenda is so important that no discussion is needed or desired, anything that supports the Global Warming agenda is good in its own right, and needs no other justification.  Take Evan Almighty (please) for example.  Here we have a movie that purports itself to be a comedy with two of the most popular stars in America today, Morgan Freeman and Steve Carell.  When I saw this movie, I was left with the impression that the director and writers felt all they had to do was include an ‘Earth friendly’ global warming theme, and people would be forced to like it.  The movie was ghastly.  I expect a comedy to have decent writing, and be funny.  This bomb had neither of the two.  It’s as if proponents of global warming think it is a ‘pretty puppy dog’ that everyone is just going to like and accept because of its inherent goodness.

This expectation of acceptance of all things green is nothing new however, Global Warning scientists have approached the whole issue with a sense of entitlement since the beginning, and I for one, am growing exceedingly tired of it.

Have you ever known a guy who was so immersed in his own ideology, surrounded by sycophants that agree with every thing he says, that he eventually loses touch with reality.  These people see no boundaries of logic, reason or propriety except for the cause that they endorse.  PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk is a great example.  PETA repeatedly makes calls for the most irrational solutions to animal issues.  They do not care about the people they damage, be it emotionally, physically or mentally, on the way to getting their desired result.  The more shocking the statement or commercial, the better they like it, and the press is only too willing to give them free air time depending on the outrageousness of the statement.

I don’t agree with or like these people, but I’ll say one thing in their defense, at least most of their funding is driven by the private sector (or at least I hope it is).  The same cannot be said for Dr. James Hansen.  This nut is also known as the ‘Father of Global Warming,’ and he works for NASA.  This means that you and I are paying for this nut to say the stupid things that he says.

I have addressed the disturbing ‘this science is settled’ mantra that comes out of the Global Warming camp in past posts.  The basic idea of this statement flies in the face of the modern scientific method.  It is egregious for any person who calls himself a scientist to get away with saying ‘science is settled.’

This guy, being the psychopath surrounded by sycophants that he is, has no boundaries in his speech.  In a recent speech, he says that “CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of the long-term consequences of continued business as usual.  In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”  It would be hard to quantify the hyperbolic nature of such a statement, but suffice it to say I think he is exaggerating a little in this statement.  First of all, as a paid employee of the US government, he places himself in the odd position of calling for some Nuremburg-like trial founded on wholly fabricated charges against some of the top executives in the world who simply disagree with his science.  And, we…are paying this guys salary?  I work for the government, and I can assure you I am not allowed to go to the press and say anything, much less something as irresponsible as this, but this is the climate that we have allowed to be created.  The holy war, crusade, political agenda, religion- whatever you want to call it- that has become the Global Warming agenda has no boundaries. 

Up to this point, anyone who has dared to question their gospel, has been dismissed and ridiculed.  Some have even lost their jobs, and now, we have the first suggestion that people who do not agree with them may actually have committed a crime.  Amazing…, talk about thought police.  Don’t these liberals know what kind of fire they are playing with here?  Are they willing to sacrifice all of the freedoms that they so easily take credit for achieving for power and control? Absolutely they are.

He also says, “Special interests have blocked the transition to our renewable energy future….”  Really, is he talking about Democrats like Hillary Clinton who repeatedly block votes to expand the use of nuclear energy, the safest, cleanest and most efficient form of energy available?  No. 

I find it odd and disingenuous that these types continue to spew their drivel using phrases like “renewable energy,” but rarely dealing with the real issue- the fact that a bunch of backward-assed ex-hippies are blocking the only practical, domestic solution for dealing with high energy costs, nuclear energy.

But to make sure that we are all in lock-step (I hate Nazi analogies, but when in Rome…), he says, “Methods are sophisticated, including funding to help shape school textbook discussions of global warming,…”  Really.  I suppose we should burn the old ones.  No, that would cause more carbon emissions.  We had better compost them.

He later states, “To cut emissions, coal-fired power plants that don’t capture carbon dioxide emissions shouldn’t be used in the United States after 2025, and should be eliminated in the rest of the world by 2030.” And that, “carbon-capture technology is still being developed and not yet cost efficient for power plants.”  So now this guy has set himself up as the arbiter of technological innovation.  It’s OK to investigate unproven and highly ineffective means of producing energy such as solar, but he immediately dismisses carbon capture coal-based technologies on the same basis.  The reason is that his motivations are social and political, not scientific or altruistic. 

It is time to start paying attention to what these people are saying, if only to put their feet to the fire.  Every day they come out with more outrageous predictions based on models that have more and more baseless starting suppositions.  The world has to hold them to their own ‘science.’  If he makes predictions like, “Earth’s atmosphere can only stay this loaded with man-made carbon dioxide for a couple more decades without changes such as mass extinction, ecosystem collapse and dramatic sea level rises,” then we must hold him to it.  When it does not happen, then we consign him to the dustbin of history as simply another false prophet and a liar.  Of s course, Global Warming theorists do not want to wait to be proven right, and we do not want to have to listen to him for the next two decades before he is proven wrong.



Reaction to Scared Straight program at El Camino High School

It has been said that “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.  If that is true, then last week you could have found the principal and the guidance counselors from El Camino High School in suburban San Diego driving steam rollers recently.

This rant will be the first under post I make under the new category, “Someone should have said, ‘No!.'”  I am dumbfounded by the frequency of articles out there that chronicle people saying and doing things that are simply stupid.  I know that there are crazy, stupid people in this world, but I have always thought that sane and rational people tended to keep them in check.  A stupid person might do something stupid, but it is much more difficult to get sane people to be complicit with stupid people.  The evidence, does not bear out this conclusion.  In case after case, I see something done that had to go through many hands before it passed on for public consumption.  In many of these cases, the complexity of the action meant that multiple persons had to be involved, but no one said, “No!”

The things I will focus on in this category are those that give a reaction like a punch to the gut when they are heard.  The decisions made by these people tend to cause an instant feeling of strong emotions, and leave the reader or listener with the question, “How could this happen?”

Of course, the best historical example of this is the Holocaust, but I do not want to bring down the room too much, and my light-hearted sarcastic style could not bear the weight of dealing with subjects that are this profound.  No, I plan to focus on people like the Austin car dealer who thought it would be a good sales tactic to use the racially derogatory term ‘wetback’ (I use this only to explain what he said, and would not use this term myself) in a TV commercial.  Someone should have said, “No!”  I am not a car dealer, an advertiser or a TV producer, so I can only imagine how many hands this went through on the way to it actually being broadcast, but I will be it was a lot.  I imagine at a minimum, 30 people saw this ad before it was ever aired from the workers at the dealership, to the advertising agency, to the director of the commercial, to the television studio where it was aired. 

Someone should have stopped this.  I find it difficult to believe that all the people agreed that this was a good decision.  For this reason, when something like this happens, those in charge- assuming they were not part of the decision making process- should investigate and determine who all signed off on it.  If there is not clear evidence that the players involved questioned what was happening, they should be let go.  Anyone with the final say, be it the person who sold the ad time at the TV station, the program director, the director of the ad for the agency or the manager of the car lot, should be terminated.  There are only three possibilities, and all are bad:

1. They actually agreed with the things said in the ad.

2. They were ignorant of the social implications involved with using these types of terms.

3. They knew better, but did not have the guts to speak up.

I don’t want people with the qualities listed above working for me.

This brings me to the article that drew my ire in this regard.  It is the story of a program instituted at El Camino High School in California.  Officials at this high school had decided that they really wanted to drive home the message that drinking and driving is bad to their students.  So they planned to keep some students out of class for a day.  The school officials then arranged for officers from the Highway Patrol to enter the classes and tell students that there friends who were not in class that day had been killed in drunk driving accidents.

I looked up the Oceanside School District and discovered that there are 30+ campuses including three high schools there.  I assume, therefore that El Camino High School is no Podunk school out in the sticks.  I used to work in a large school district, and if El Camino is anywhere close to the high schools there, they have a principal, multiple assistant principals, multiple counselors and perhaps a hundred teachers or more on staff.  Then there were the officials and officers with the highway patrol who were involved with this.  I find it hard to believe that at no point did a person say, “No, this is wrong.”

It should not be incumbent upon the students to have the maturity to explain to the entire school administration that “Death is real. Don’t play with our emotions.”  These people should know better.  In this era of school shootings and Columbine-like tragedies, schools increasingly find themselves employing grief counselors and other professionals whose job it is to care for the emotional stability of these sometimes fragile teens.  Teens are so charged up on hormones that their problems get magnified, and every issue for them can be a life-crisis. 

The officials at El Camino did not take the emotional well being of their students into account.  A girl may have broken up with her boyfriend the night before, and is wondering if life is worth living.  Or worse, what if a relative or friend of one of the students had died in a car accident in the last year, or the last week.  The logistics of attaining this type of information on all the students in the school beforehand would make it nearly impossible to pull it off and keep it a secret, so I’m assuming that it was not done, and it’s shameful.

One of the young ladies from the school said, “You feel betrayed by your teachers and administrators, these people you trust.  But, then I felt selfish for feeling that way, because, I mean, if it saves one life, it’s worth it.”  Really.  This is a liberal attitude if I’ve ever heard one.  What if one of these students is really scarred from this, kills himself/herself, or learns not to trust those who are in authority because of it?  Is it really worth it then?  No.  Good intentions do not make right.  Right is right, and wrong is wrong.  Banning alcohol all together might save one life, but does that make it worth it?  It sounds like this poor young lady has been given her specious reasoning from the officials at the school.

And, do not think they were completely unaware of the implications of their actions.  “They were traumatized, but we wanted them to be traumatized,” said guidance counselor Lori Tauber, who helped organize the shocking exercise and got dozens of students to participate. “That’s how they get the message.”  I guess we could put shock collars on them also, and drive home that message.  It might save a life, you know.  By the way, “F—” her.

It is clear that these officials knew the implications of their actions, and implemented the program anyway, but someone should have said, “No!”  What’s the solution?  Fire the administration of the school, every counselor, and principal there.  They are most culpable.  Second, a written reprimand should be given to all teachers and DPS personnel who had prior knowledge of the event or participated in the event who did not question what was being done.  The counselors should have their licenses revoked also.  And/or, you could take the suggestion of a friend of mine who saw this story, and said, “let all the students punch that principal in the face.’



A Little Much

I just finished an article about a graduation ceremony in South Carolina where people who cheered during the event were arrested.  I will admit that the details are a little sketchy, and the authors of the story did not offer a lot of information regarding the level of cheering committed (for lack of a better word) by those who were arrested.

Going on the information supplied by the reporter, I’ll come right out and say that this is ridiculous.  Having participated in two graduations and attended numerous others, I can say that I have seen my share of cheering at graduations, even some over-cheering.  I graduated with 832 people in high school, and my last name is near the end of the alphabet so I know what it is like to sit there and have to wait for a couple of hours for your name to be called.

A couple of decades ago, I saw a friend graduate from UT.  They, of course, split their graduations up into schools.  This cut the time somewhat, but as the school is huge, it still took a while.  I remember as the names were called that different areas of the stadium would erupt in a sort of unrestrained hysteria.  I chuckled to myself as I thought, “this must be what it is like at a Tourettes convention.”  I waited patiently, and cheered for my friend with the rest of his friends and family.

There are many reasons that people feel the need to cheer at the graduation of a love one.  Honestly, attaining this diploma may be the highest achievement of some of the graduates’ lives.  For some, they may be the first in their family to graduate from high school or college.  For others, their hard work has earned them a scholarship to college or a good job after college.  For the kid who got hooked on drugs and almost dropped out of school or got pregnant and went back to finish, these may be huge victories.  For some of the audience, the pride and love they feel for their loved one at this time may be overwhelming, and for those who find it hard to express their feelings in words, this may be the opportunity to let their love be known.

It seems however, the a lot of school officials have forgotten the reason for the occasion.  This is something that they are forced to do that may take hours.  They want to put on a show so they’ll feel like they have given the audience a reason to be there, but the whole reason the audience has come is to chronicle the event in their loved one’s life and to help them feel support.

I do not have a problem with certain Prohibitions during these ceremonies.  If the school officials want to ban air-horns from the proceedings, for example, that’s just fine.  These can actually damage a person’s hearing.  And, there is a limit to the celebration that one should express for their loved ones who are graduating.  Common sense would dictate that the celebration be short and sweet so as not to keep the next person’s name from being heard.

If the people who are cheering fail to restrain themselves or become a nuisance, there is remedy for that, an usher can escort them from the premises.  Some officials might say, “This plays right in their hands.  They get to act out for their loved one, and then they get to leave during the ceremony while the rest have to stay.”  I say that this is just the cost of doing business.  Their will always be a couple of asses in a crowd like this.  There is no need to compound this by becoming an ass yourself and having them put into handcuffs and taken to jail over it.

I have even more of a problem with holding the diploma of a student whose friends and relatives cheer and making them do “community service” for the school to receive it after the ceremony.  ‘F’ that.  There is no way in hell that I am doing community service for a school over something that someone else did.  This, of course, will be tested in court, and the schools will lose (and so will the taxpayers who have to foot the bill for the trial).

There is a solution to this whole problem.  Shorten the ceremony.  Cut the fat.  Allow only the principle (or the person delivering the commencement address) and the valedictorian to speak, no band concert, no salutatorian, no dramatic presentation, no singling out the top 10 for recognition,…nothing.  Then slow it down when the kids start to get their diplomas.  There is no need to treat this as a cattle call and rush them all through.  Take your time and pause between each name to give a few seconds for response.  This way everyone can get it out of their systems.  And, really, that is the reason they came in the first place.


Reaction to ESPN’s Top 10 Running Backs List

Due to hectic events, I have been a little remiss in writing lately.  I hope to make up for some of that with this hot sports opinion.


ESPN has published a list of the top running backs of all time, and it is a big steaming pile of horse s—.  You know it must be the slowest sports time of the year when they have nothing better to dredge up than the second most tired argument in sports (the first being the Pete Rose Hall of Fame argument)- the ‘who was better Emmitt or Barry’ argument.  I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that the purpose of this article is simply to create interest through ‘shock value.’


Here is a short version of the list:

Career: Upon retiring before ’66 season, the Browns’ RB was all-time leader in rushing yards (12,312), all-purpose yards (15,549) and touchdowns (126).

Career: Sudden retirement in ’99 came with the Lions’ RB trailing only Walter Payton on the all-time rushing list. Ran for more than 1,500 yards in a season five times.

Career: Played on mediocre Bears teams until late in career but retired as leading rusher (16,726) in history.

Career: Smith, who played 13 seasons for Dallas and two for Arizona, took over as all-time rushing leader in ’02. His 164 rushing touchdowns are the most in history.

Career: Knee problems forced him to retire in ’71 after seven seasons with the Bears. At 33, he was the youngest person selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Career: The Chargers’ RB has at least 1,200 rushing yards and 50 receptions in each of his first seven seasons.

Career: Began career with Indianapolis in ’94 but was traded to St. Louis in ’99 and became cornerstone of “Greatest Show on Turf.” First running back in history to lead his team in receptions in five different seasons.

Career: The Bills’ great became the first player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season when he gained 2,003 in ’73.

Credentials: One of Johnny Unitas’ key weapons for the Colts, he scored a touchdown in 18 straight regular-season appearances between ’63 and ’65.

Credentials: Reached 10,000 rushing yards in 91 games (the fastest pace in history) and rushed for 2,105 yards in ’84. Played for Rams, Colts, Falcons and Raiders.


To distance themselves from the ridiculousness of this list, they have been upfront in giving credit/assessing blame to these authors of the list Don Shula, Marv Levy, Dan Reeves, Robert Smith, Jerry Richardson, Floyd Reese, Jack Bushofsky and Emmitt Thomas.


I do not have a problem with Jim Brown being at the top of the list.  What he did during the time he was in the league, and when he did it compared with the other running backs of his era, makes his stand out above the rest on the list.


I start having problems at number two on the list.  Emmitt Smith is at number four.  I will deal with the tiring Barry/Emmitt argument first.  I do not want to hear about Barry’s self-truncated career any more.  He was a great back, but his career does not compare with Emmitt’s because he threw a fit and quit.  We do not know if he would have had a better career that Emmitt, because,… he quit.  There is no data, and it is not fair to project ‘could have been’ data to an argument such as this.  Barry should be on the list, but I put him at number five.  All of you Barry lovers need to let it go and realize that his early retirement actually hurt his legacy.


The authors of this article defend the list by saying that Walter Payton was great while playing most of his career on bad teams.  On the contrary, they spend a whole section of the article backhandedly complimenting Emmitt and explaining his position at number four as a result of the fact that he played with other stars, such as Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, together with a great offensive line who assisted in making Emmitt good.


How about this argument?  It is easier for a great running back to rack up yards on a bad team than a good team.  A bad team will place a larger part of the load on a great running back’s shoulders in order to keep from exposing the other bad parts of the offense.  On the other hand, a player like Emmitt could lose carries to other great players in his offense.  It seems worse than wrong to penalize a player for being on a great team.  The Cowboys played a #1 schedule against some of the best teams (including being in the NFC East) in the league for much of Emmitts career.  Payton and Sanders played much easier schedules in a much weaker division.  Check out Sanders’ performance in games that counted.  He could turn in a nice 25 yard performance with the season on the line.  Emmitt never did this.


Emmitt closed the deal also.  He not only set the all-time rushing record and the all-time rushing touchdowns record, he carried the Cowboys to three Superbowl victories in four years.  The article curiously gives some numbers, but does not just lay them out for consumption.  This is, of course, because the numbers do not back up the opinions espoused by the authors.  They oddly say, “Sudden retirement in ’99 came with the Lions’ RB trailing only Walter Payton on the all-time rushing list. Ran for more than 1,500 yards in a season five times”, regarding Barry Sanders.  When it comes time for the quick blurb about Emmitt it says, “Smith, who played 13 seasons for Dallas and two for Arizona, took over as all-time rushing leader in ’02. His 164 rushing touchdowns are the most in history.”  Dallas’ playoff record and Superbowl victories are not mentioned.  Of course, looking pretty as you run down the field is much more important than actually putting skins on the wall.


While I believe there is a legitimate debate near the top of the list, it begins to fall apart after Emmitt.  I am truly tired of seeing Gale Sayers at the top of these lists.  He is the biggest example of ‘good old days syndrome’ in sports.  In truth, if he had played in the last few years, we would not have even made the Hall of Fame.  His numbers compare with someone like Terrell Davis, who also had a very good short career, but does not deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.  Unfortunately, the argument that he is in the Hall of Fame is used to bolster many backs such as Davis who do not deserve to be there.


Seeing the rest of this list only underscores how difficult it is to have a great and sustained career at running back in the NFL.  Of course, Dickerson belongs on the list and much higher than #10.  He belongs in the top five in my book easily.  Compared with some of the others on the list, and listening to names that arises when the best backs of all time are listed, he may be the most underrated of the greatest running backs in the history of the game.


Even though he as a bastard and a killer, O.J. belongs on the list, and I put him at #6.  He was a undeniably the best back of his era.  Faulk probably deserve to be on the list, but he was as much a receiver as a rusher.  He changed the way the position was played, and he has his skins in the wall.  I put him at #7.


I’ really like Ladainian Tomlinson, and agree that if he continues to put up number even close to those he has so far, he may end up as the greatest back in the history of the game.  The point is, he has not done it yet, and as a result, I have to give him an incomplete, and cannot include him on the list.  He has already had one ‘career ending’ injury, and was hurt at the end of the last two seasons.  It is too early to give him a place on the list.  When I was in college, as a history major, we talked about the concept of history.  We were told that it is best not to write history until about twenty years after the fact.  This allows time for personal politics and such to wash away, and just leave the facts.  The same goes for this list.  We should at least allow the player’s career to end before evaluating it.


Lenny Moore?  Oh yeah, his name just rolls of the tongue in any conversation involving great running backs.  I find it interesting that they say his longevity, and the good job he did on a great team with other great players on the team, propelled him onto the list while these same facts seemed to hold Smith from reaching the top of the list.


Here is my list:

1. Jim Brown

2. Emmitt Smith

3. Walter Payton

4. Eric Dickerson

5. Barry Sanders

6. Marshall Faulk

7. OJ Simpson

8. Franco Harris

9. Earl Campbell (There is a big drop off to the last two places, and I might be talked into some else at these two slots).


Here are a couple of other lists for comparison, though the second is very suspect:

List 1

List 2


First Successful Family Vacation

As I mentioned in a couple of other posts, my family recently took a trip to Sea World.  My wife and I, for several reasons, have not taken a lot of vacations during out marriage, but since we have had the baby, we have begun to think it is more important to go somewhere every now and then, and expose her to a little of the world.

This year, even though she is only 22 months old, we decided to take her to Sea World in San Antonio.  I had several misgivings about the trip.  First, I was worried about the baby.  Being only 22 months, I worried about having her in the car for so long, having her in the heat for so long, whether or not she would be interested in the shows at all, and whether there would be enough to keep her interest for two days. Second, I was worried about the timing of the trip.  We planned this trip for Memorial Day weekend because my wife and I had a built-in holiday on both of our schedules.  She was able to get the Friday before off (a rarity) and so we woke up early and left for the hill country of the great state of Texas.

Being a native Texas, I decided it would be nice to use an alternate route (state Highway 281) for much of the trip.  This is actually a straighter shot at San Antonio, but it is very hilly and runs right through the hill country.  It was a very nice drive, and was made all the nicer because I thought to bring the laptop and some baby Einstein, Elmo and Disney videos along for the ride.  The baby took to this idea right away, and watched videos for much of the trip.  She only asked to get out of her seat two or three times, and did not even cry when I told her that she had to stay there.

She got very excited and silly when we arrived at the hotel, and we had some trouble getting her to go to sleep that night (she never gives us any problems going to bed, so when I say this, it is good to note that it was very little trouble).  She was just excited.

We stayed at the Fairfield Inn which is less than a mile away from the park and provides a shuttle which runs every 30 minutes.  The hotel is very new, so new in fact that it does not appear on a lot of the services on the web.  For us, it fit our budget.  The Hyatt, and Radisson Hill Country are both right there also, but were more than four times and twice as much, respectively.

The shuttle was great.  We did not have to worry about or pay for parking, and they let us off right at the gate.  When we were ready to go, we never waited more than 10 minutes.

We left on the 8:00 shuttle the first day, even though the park did not officially open until 9:00.  This allowed us the get in the gates, check out a stroller which was reserved earlier, see the sharks, and feed the Dolphins (this started at 9:00).  We had pre-purchased our tickets and printed them out at home.  At the same time we reserved a stroller which kept us from having to wait a long time in the stroller lines which were long.

After feeding the Dolphins and washing the stink of dead fish off of our hands we headed for the Shamu show on the advice of our bus driver.  He recommended that we attend the shows early, as most people crowded the rides early in the day.  This worked out for us.  In fact we went to the first Shamu show (10:00) on both days.  The first time the arena was about half full.  The second day, it was not even half full.

The first day, we sat pretty low, in the splash zone, and I have mixed feelings about this.  The good part was that the baby could really see what was going on.  She could even see the whales under water.  It was great the first time Shamu shot out of the water and my 22 month old shouted, “Wow!”  She was drawn into every part of the show, that is, until it came time to splash the audience.  We were drenched and she cried.  Once, it took us all by surprise, and she really did not like this.  Even though it was clear, the water smelled and tasted awful, and I could not shake the feeling that it was full of Shamu poo.

The second day we sat higher in the stands, and she did not cry.  I wonder, though, if she would have been drawn into the show as much at the beginning if we had sat out of the splash zone the first day.  We encountered this issue later at the Sea Lion show.  It was more of a scripted show, and our position, fairly high in the stadium, did not capture the baby’s attention at all.

One of the online tips encouraged families with small children to go to the Penguin house when the kids got tired.  This did not work out for us.  It was, indeed, cool inside this house, and there were nice benches to sit on, but when we arrived there was a loudly narrated demonstration that seemed to drone on forever.  That combined with the awful smell, torpedoed our naïve attempts to get the baby to take a nap.

When we ate at the park, it was surprisingly good.  The Barbecue was excellent, and the price was reasonable even compared straight up to barbecue places outside the park.

Later in the first day, we went to the Dolphin/Beluga whale show.  This show combined the animal stunts with divers in an artsy Cirque de Sole style.  I normally hate this sort of thing, but I’ll have to admit that the show was good, and even though we sat outside the splash zone, my daughter’s attention was kept on the action.  She liked the animals and the divers, but she especially liked the big platform-swings that the divers used to launch themselves into the water.  As a little girl who loves to swing, she was transfixed by this.

We rode the log ride, which she decided that she like by the end, but cried a little at first when the drop took her tummy.  We then went to the little kid’s part of the park.  She and my wife got on the Ferris wheel.  This was a total whip which I cannot recommend.  The line was short, but it was hot, and it took forever to load and unload each car. 

Near the Ferris wheel was a huge covered area where the floor was a soft piece of foam about a foot thick.  In this area, there were large foam shapes (some of them as big as my daughter) for the kids to play with.  She loved it so much that as we were leaving the park the next day, she asked to go back there and play one more time.

As it got hotter and more crowded the first day, we attempted to take in one of the shows.  This was a western themed animal show with all kinds of rescued animals including dogs, cats, ducks, dove, pigs, a pony, a kangaroo, a porcupine, and a skunk.  It was great for kids.  Unfortunately, my daughter was done the moment that we sat under the roof.  She went immediately to sleep.  After the show, we met the van and went back to the hotel and rested a little before dinner.

The next morning we waited to catch the 8:30 bus.  This, once again worked out as we had a better idea of what to do once we got to the park.  We attended the Shamu show, and made our way to the sea lion area.  If you go at the right time, they will allow you to feed the sea lions just like the dolphins, but the sea lions really get into it.  There are also windows in this tank that allow the little kids a better view.  My daughter loved this.

After the sea lions, we went to the water park.  A good piece of advice is, if you want to go to the water park, go early.  They only allow a certain amount of people into the water park at any time, and once it reaches the limit, the line to get in gets really long.  We walked right in.  I found a small life jacket for my daughter, and made my way to the lazy river.  We got in, and I held her and let her float in front of me.  She lasted about two minutes, and was sound asleep.  We floated for about 20 minutes around the river, and it was a good workout for me, as I was kind of squatted down the whole time.  I really enjoyed it, though.  We had lunch and a show inside the water park.  Then, we made our way to the kiddy wading pool.  This was a huge pool that was from 6 inches to a foot deep.  There was a small water slide, two other slides and a large fountain.  My daughter loved it.  We were there for well over an hour, but I think she would have stayed there all day.  She cried when we pulled her away, but we assured her that there was more fun to come.

We made our way back to the kiddy park, and stood in line to get into an area full of fountains and waterfalls for little kids.  My daughter loved this also, and even walked through the largest of the waterfalls on her own, without crying, to get to her mother.

We then raced to see the western animal show that I referenced above.  We knew exactly where to sit this time, and she loved it, and stayed awake for the whole show even though we went at the same time as the day before.

We went back and rode the teacup ride, and finished in the foam play area again.  We really did everything we planned to do, except she did not have a chance to play in the huge sand box.  She loves sand boxes.  We also did not have time to see the 3-D movies.

A couple of other things that I liked were the patriotic references (playing the National Anthem at the open of the park), and the way the park took time to recognize and thank servicemen.

On the way out, we bought a dolphin doll (my daughter sleeps with it every night) and a couple of T-shirts (for my daughter and her cousin).  She slept most of the way home, and we arrived home to a welcoming bed, and a holiday the next morning. We had an excellent time at the park, and I recommend it to anyone, even those with little children. 


Crazy Days

It has been a couple of crazy weeks.  It started with the trip to Sea World two weekends ago.  During that weekend, my uncle died and I was asked to deliver ‘the message’ at his funeral last Wednesday.  My In-laws arrived Thursday evening to assist with things because my wife was having surgery Friday morning.

We woke up at 5:45 to go to the Hospital.  This is my normal time to wake up for work, but it seemed wrong to have to wake up so early if I was not going to have to go to work.  The procedure went well, according to the doctors, and she was released at 10:30 the next morning.  It only took the nurses about five more hours to get the paperwork to us which my wife recognized as papers that had been on her chart the whole time.  Maybe it took them five hours to find a wheelchair in the hospital.

The last few days have been spent entertaining the in-laws.  They have been helpful, but the between the trip, the funeral, hosting the in-laws, the four and a half days off and a holiday over the past two weeks, the eating out has been through the roof.  This is not good for a diet.  No matter how much you attempt to make good choices on a diet, food prepared at restaurants tends to have more calories and fat (and other things that you don’t want on a diet) than foods you prepare at home.

The exercise also took a big hit over the past two week.  Walking much of the day at Sea World was good, but much of that walking was very slow, and did not compare with the pace I set when I am walking to lose weight.  I did not walk while I was preparing for the funeral either.  Honestly, I was preoccupied with trying to come up with something good to say, and calling many of my relatives for information.  The day and a half that I was actually at work this week Left me no time for exercise.  I had to clean up from being off for two days, and prepare to be off two more days.  The hospital was even worse.  I felt like I needed to be in the room giving my wife and her family as much support as I could.  This meant sitting in the same chair with only moments of walking for short distances to refill my coffee cup for two days.

I made it a point to take my family to the park on Sunday and Monday.  It was not as much fun as usual.  Normally, my wife and I park at the City Hall and walk the greenbelt to the park and back.  This ends up being about a mile and a half each way.  The baby stays interested with the scenery and we get our exercise.  She also gets to play, once we get to the park, which she loves.  This time I drove straight to the park because my wife is on light duty, and the mother-in-law cannot walk well.  This meant that I had to leave the ‘fun’ and go off to walk on my own while they entertained the baby at the park.  By the time I returned, they were all pretty much ready to go.  I did not realize how much I would miss having them along with me on the walk or how much I would miss being seeing my little girl have fun while she was at the park.

The purpose of all of this is to justify the diet numbers that I have cranked out over the past two weeks.  I put on another pound this week, but all things considered, I actually expected to gain more.  Things should be getting back to normal now, and it’s time to get serious about this again.  I took the time to prepare my lunch for this week, and I plan to make time to exercise every day.

Turning it all into a positive, I feel like I have weathered the biggest storm of the diet so far without too much damage.  I currently weigh 265 and have lost 94 pounds total.  I am 45 pounds away from my reevaulation weight of 200, and am now making a goal to reach that weight before my birthday in late October.