Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cycling is Corrupt and Hypocritical

     Pardon me for being cynical, but the Lance Armstrong story can not possibly be so simple.  Organized cycling would like you and me to believe that there was just one bad guy in the sport, namely Lance Armstrong, and now that we have proof that he used performance enhancing drugs, the rightful winners will be recognized.

     The fact of the matter is, however, that despite hundreds if not thousands of tests, there was no test result indicating that he used PED.  The same with Marion Jones, the jailed  olympic sprinter.  She never failed a drug test, but instead was convicted by testimony.  The conclusion is obvious:  the athletes know how to defeat the test.  Evidently  they have masking agents or some other way to completely defeat these tests.  THE TESTS DO NOT WORK.   

    People who get caught do something stupid, like forgetting to use the stuff that removes traces from urine.  The evidence says that if you are careful, you can enjoy at least a decade with frequent testing and not get caught.  

    Since that is true, it is very hard to believe that the second place finisher is any more clean than Lance Amrstrong.  Or the third place finisher, or the fourth or fifth.  Why not take PEDs, if the chances of getting caught are very very small?

    Do you believe that ten of Lance Armstrong's teammates decided to turn him simply because they are brave and honest?  No, it makes more sense to believe that they were threatened with going to jail if they didn't out him, because THEY WERE DOING IT TOO.  

    However, organized cycling does not want to admit that it is 100% corrupt.  Instead, they are trying to promote the fiction that there was only one person  of significance who ever cheated with performance enhancing drugs, namely Lance Armstrong, and the rest are all innocent and play by the rules.  

    I'm inclined to believe that virtually all of the top 1000 cyclists, and probably most of the high school kids who raced, used PEDs of one form or another.  Why wouldn't they use them, if there is a way to avoid detection, and you can't win without doing it because everyone else is?

   That is the reason why they are going on this witch hunt.  They would like to blame the entire doping scandal on Lance Armstrong, rather than admitting that all of the athletes are doing the same stuff.   Well, the whole thing is disgusting and a farce.  If you're going to throw the book at Lance Armstrong, fine.  Let him go to jail.  But let's also put the next top 1000 cyclists in jail because they did they same stuff.  And let's put the officials in charge of cycling in jail for a much longer time because they are willfully lying about the extent of the problem and in effect protecting the huge number of people who dope in order to blame the whole scandal on one person.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Positive Cleveland Browns Analysis!

    Some of my fellow Browns fans say I have been too harsh on the Browns.  That is not true.  I do think that the team has been at a disadvantage because of financial problems in the ownership, and now that they have a new owner, things are going to get better.  For 2012, they are definitely in the top 5 of football teams in Ohio, right behind the Bengals, Ohio State Buckeyes, UC Bearcats and Miami Redhawks.  

   Some of you object to my prediction that the Browns will draft a quarterback in the first round next year in order to replace the aging Brandon Weeden, who will be stuck as the number two quarterback, while Seneca Wallace finishes the year as the number one quarterback.

   Well, we seem on course for that to happen, as we now understand the Browns strategy of drafting offensive position players this year in order to pump up the value of the franchise and prepare it for sale.  When they have to play games, however, it will become all too apparent the Browns just don't have enough talent.  
   Nevertheless, I've decided to be a good sport and issue some story lines to make my faithful readers (and there are probably about ten of you out there) happy.  Here we go:

   Number One:  The Browns can easily afford to give up a 4th, 5th and 7th round pick to move up one spot in the first round for Trent Richardson, and they won't miss a number 2 in 2013 for a  wide recieiver with a drug history, because the Browns are so deep that only future Hall of Famers have a chance to make their roster.  

This Cleveland Browns fan is literally crying with joy at the news that the Browns were able to trade four draft picks for Trent Richardson.

   Number Two:  AFC Central Quarterbacks Roethlisberger, Flacco and Dalton  have combined for 21 playoff games, including 6 AFC Championship Games and 3 Super Bowls.  But we think that being a minor league baseball pitcher like Brandon Weeden was actually better preparation!

   Number Three:  After the Browns' Peyton Hillis totalled 1654 yards from scrimmage in 2010, we think the Browns are vastly improved by getting rid of him!

A jubilant Browns fan celebrates the departure of Peyton Hillis.

   Number Four:  After finishing 4-12, the Browns were smart not to sign any free agents, because their roster is just LOADED with TALENT!

   Number Five:  The Browns rebuilding program is going so well, it is not necessary to add payroll.  Spending way under the salary cap is the logical move for a team in this position!

  Number Six:  The Browns have an excellent training program, and losing two regulars during training should not be a concern, especially since their spectacular depth will cover the loss of Phil Taylor and Chris Gocong.  

   A Cleveland Browns fan, intimidating James Harrison of the Steelers!  Take that!

     Number 7:  Goldman Sachs will place bets on the Browns with Las Vegas rather than investing in their usual stocks and bonds, because it is so certain that the Browns will win this year. 

     Number 8:  The Browns are developing a more sophisticated offense than any other team in the league, thanks to he ingenious Brad Childress, who was Brett Favre's favorite coach.   

 Brad Childress explains how his new offensive schemes are certain to eclipse his achievements with Brett Favre and the Vikings.  

     Number 9:  Then there's Pat Shurmur, who helped the St Louis Rams score the 26th most points in the NFL in 2010 as their offensive coordinator.  With this kind of brilliant record, he is just the guy to lead the Browns on their Super Bowl charge in 2012!    

Browns fans are giddy, anticipating a return to the playoffs in 2012.

     Number 10:  The Browns biggest advantage is stability, with Mike Holmgren, Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmur all expected to stay for long careers in Cleveland.  
    So there you have it, faithful fans.  Ten positive story lines about the Cleveland Browns.  There is no reason to be anything but optimistic for the upcoming season.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Born to Run

     I think Born to Run (the Emmylou Harris version, not be be confused with the song of the same name by Bruce Springstein) could be a really good song for someone. 


Some 30 years ago, Emmylou Harris cut a version that crested at number 3 in the Country Western Charts.  

There's nothing wrong with Number 3, but I always thought that it could be a much better song.  

First of all, I wish that they had had a fiddle player for this song, preferably the lead singer.  Instead, they kind of use the electric bass player to carry the song as a rockabilly lead, which is an odd choice.  To me it just doesn't work. 

Another problem is that the "Hot Band" isn't really all that hot, at least not for this song.  To me they look like they are bored, and just playing to collect a paycheck.  They just don't look like they are having fun. They seem to be looking at the floor, and they rarely smile or show any emotion at all.  I think if I were playing with Emmylou Harris I would go absolutely nuts (in fact, after 30 years Emmylou is still a babe, and yes I am ready to quit my day job and tour with her at any time!), but you just don't see any reaction from this band despite their obvious talent.

That said, it is a great song with a fantastic melody, and interesting lyrics that  tell the story of an untamed "bad girl." This is pretty much announced in the second line "No man is master to me, I ain't that kind."  Yikes! 
I think I know someone from the Morgantown musical scene who could really take this song to the next level.   Not that I am any kind of expert, but I think it could be a hit.

Born to Run

Well I never did crawl and I never did toe that line
No man is a master to me I ain't that kind
I just put on my traveling shoes
If you wanna win you just can't lose 

the time
Or stay behind
Well I was born to run
To get ahead of the rest
And all that I wanted was to be the best
Just to feel free and be someone
I was born to be fast I was born to run

Well I take the chances sometimes I've made mistakes
But you don't get nothing unless you take the breaks
Living as dangerous as dynamite
Sure makes you feel nervous but it makes you feel alright
Makes you feel alright
Well I was born to run
To get ahead of the rest
And all that I wanted was to be the best
Just to feel free and be someone
I was born to be fast I was born to run

Nobody's gonna make me do things their way
By the time you figure it out it's yesterday
Well it comes to he who waits I'm told
But I don't need it when I'm old and gray
Yea I want it today
Well I was born to run
To get ahead of the rest
And all that I wanted was to be the best
Just to feel free and be someone
I was born to be fast I was born to run