Saturday, July 31, 2004

Danny Williams

Danny Williams, victor of last night's fight against Mike Tyson Posted by Hello

This is just a picture of the heavyweight contender who defeated Mike Tyson. Honestly, he's not that interesting of a guy and doesn't really merit much more discussion. While he deserves credit for tonight's accomplishment, he will be little more than a historical footnote relating to Mike Tyson's final demise from boxing.

Tyson Toasted

Former Heavyweight Champion, Mike Tyson, during the 4th Round of his bout against Danny Williams Posted by Hello

by Taylor Sias (photo courtesy of

Last evening, the career of Mike Tyson took another monumental hit as he was KO’d by former British Heavyweight Champion Danny Williams. The bout officially was terminated at 2:51 in the 4th Round, following a relentless assault by the 9-1 underdog, Williams. Tyson was thoroughly dazed by the more aggressive than expected Brit. Unable to beat the ten-second count, referee Dennis Alfred formally declared an end to the contest.

From the beginning, this partisan Louisville crowd favored Mr. Tyson. The reception was the same as when a prime Mike Tyson was blowing through opponent after opponent with stunning ease. Tyson appeared unusually calm through the introductions and referee instructions. Crisp left hooks and uppercuts in the opening stanza had Williams visibly shaken. The first round was characterized by strategic holding from the British pugilist. There were moments where it looked like Williams was headed straight for the territory of Julius Francis and Lou Savarese. Fortunately for Williams, he survived the first round and was able to regroup in his corner. In what may or may not have been a factor in the fight’s result, Tyson did twist his left knee during the final seconds of the round.

The second round yielded better results for Williams. While Tyson clearly was winning the rounds, Williams was able to make some headway. One punch early in the round stunned Tyson momentarily. Also, Williams began to work Tyson’s body in earnest beginning this round. More importantly, it was becoming clear that the case for Tyson’s continued success in the ring was rather specious. Tyson was landing with quality shots, but Williams was never forced to the canvas.

Round three was even more competitive, except for the two point deductions from Williams. The judges scored the round 10-7 for Mr. Tyson, but the bout was becoming more competitive and Williams was on the verge of taking control. An unintentional clash of heads yielded a cut under Tyson’s right eye. The doctor was summoned to investigate and concluded the fight could continue.
The bout turned disastrous for Tyson midway through the fourth round. At this stage, Williams had completely seized control of the pace. Williams relentlessly attacked Tyson to the head and body. Tyson was thoroughly beaten and unable to protect himself from further aggression. Finally, Tyson’s body conceded to the punishment and fell to the canvas at Freedom Hall. Tyson was unable to beat a mysteriously lengthy ten-second count. Tyson did reach his feet, but only after Alfred reached the count of ten. Williams had unexpectedly handed Tyson the fifth loss of his professional career.

Tyson had nothing to say after the bout. Manager Shelly Finkel mentioned to Jim Gray that Tyson had injured his knee. Trainer Freddie Roach mentioned the real possibility that he would encourage Tyson to retire. Williams, on the other hand, was ecstatic. He proposed to his girlfriend, who accepted this gesture. As admirably as he performed this evening, tonight was not about Danny Williams.

The details of this boxing contest are relatively meaningless. A 38 year-old warrior could not muster up the energy to dispose of an unheralded heavyweight contender. Williams showed tremendous heart and resolve, withstanding nearly twelve minutes of punishment from Tyson. A lot of fighter would not have been able to pull out this victory. For that, Williams deserves praise and will certainly reap the financial rewards. Williams will likely never ascend to the notoriety that he achieved Friday night. Hopefully, he’ll get some deserved paychecks against prominent heavyweights. Certainly he’ll be welcomed as a hero back in his home of Great Britain. But this evening was about the probable end of the career of Mike Tyson.

Whether Tyson retires is not the question to be asked. Financial obligations may force Tyson’s teams come up with creative ideas to market his continued career. It is reported that Tyson is in debt up to about $30 million. He needed these seven upcoming fights to pay off his many creditors. When the PPV buys return, we’ll see how much magic Tyson had left in his arsenal. Could Tyson still draw an audience fighting an unknown fighter? Whatever he sold tonight, it will likely be less if he ever does fight again. Tyson did not provide any extracurricular high jinks for public gawking. In fact, he fought admirably and put on a fantastic show. Tyson demonstrated tremendous heart in giving as good as he was taking for nearly four rounds. And in many cases, his effort would have been satisfactory enough to ensure victory. The problem for Tyson is that Williams was not a premiere fighter. FOX Sports Net’s Max Kellerman assessed Williams as a Top-20 contender. There are still Top 50 and Top 100 guys that Tyson could annihilate. The question is about the public’s willingness to follow Tyson’s travels any further. It appears that the blueprint for defeating Tyson was followed perfectly by Williams. Take punishment and hold on for dear life. Once the fight progresses, Tyson will fade and is prime for the taking. After tonight, it is hard to envision Tyson competing for a title belt even in this historically weak era.

There was much sadness emanating from my living room last night. I was very happy for Danny Williams. Typically, I pull for the underdog in this type of contest. He deserves the credit and adulation for his effort tonight. On the other hand, Tyson was unquestionably beaten. There was no doubt that Tyson was the inferior fighter. As Tim and I watched him muster the strength to get off that canvas, we knew that Tyson’s career was effectively over. It didn’t matter whether it happened in ten seconds or three rounds down the road. The Mike Tyson of the 1980’s was nowhere to be seen tonight. In fact, that Mike Tyson left us in January of 1990 in Tokyo. Deep down, I yearned for Tyson to reach a comparable level of success. We knew Tyson would never be the same, but he could at least summon enough to dispose of the mediocre Danny Williams. In no other sport is the end so painful to witness. Seeing Willie Mays stumble around Center Field was regrettable, but it cannot compare to the sight of Tyson, bleeding from his eye, unable to make it to his feet for the ten-count. Mays, nor any athletes in other sports, put themselves in grave danger by continuing past the point that they should. Tyson was literally beaten up this evening. If he decides to continue for financial reasons, a repeat of this will happen sooner or later. Unfortunately, the beatings could get worse and result in an even more damaged Mike Tyson. But for Tyson, he knows no other way. No credible endorser will want to be associated with the embattled former champ. There are other options, like K-1, that could be comparably lucrative.

Finally, the feeling I have about Tyson tonight may not be logical. Many people view him as a rapist and a downright loathsome individual. All of that might be true. Still, Tyson was an American original and this defeat might bring to an end a 20-year public obsession with Michael Gerard Tyson.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Correct me if I'm wrong

Cate Edwards, introducing her mother Elizabeth Edwards at tonight's DNC in Boston Posted by Hello

A few people at DU mentioned tonight that Cate Edwards looked exactly like Jackie Kennedy tonight. It does look like that outfit comes right out of the 1960's. On a broader note, I am impressed by both the Kerry and Edwards families. Elizabeth, like her husband, was also a lawyer. She practiced up until the '90's until Edwards was elected to the U.S. Senate.  Cate recently graduated from Harvard.

Or maybe I just figured out how to post pictures and am posting a bit too frequently this morning.

The infamous "Get A Brain! Morans" guy

I'm George W. Bush, and I approved this misspelled protest sign. Posted by Hello

Sen. John Edwards

Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee John Edwards Posted by Hello]

Tonight, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for Vice President. As expected, he gave a fine speech that highlighted the Kerry/Edwards plan for America. The only awkward moment of the night came when Edwards promised to destroy the Al-Qaeda network. While Edwards is certainly capable of backing up his words, it did not seem typical of his normally sunny demeanor.

Edwards is not on the ticket for his foreign policy experience. He does have experience on the Intelligence committee in the Senate. His only responsibility on this issue is to prove he's competent to take over President were John Kerry infirmed. Edwards role is to highlight the domestic issues. He did an eloquent job of speaking about middle-class families and even those Americans living in poverty. This was a refreshing speech by a new, energized leader. Most politicans talk a lot about the middle class, but rarely about those citizens who are impoverished.

Edwards has the credential to back up his populist economic message. Unlike Kerry, Edwards had the good judgment to vote against the North American Free Trade Agreement. While Kerry will focus on his war record, Edwards will appeal to those who have suffered under the Bush economy.

In Edwards, we see how image does matter more than issues in politics. There were dozens of more qualified VP candidates than Edwards. However, Edwards was chosen because of the image he presents to America. Edwards is fresh and optimistic, whereas Cheney is aging and dogmatic.  Edwards is the charasmatic member of the Kerry/Edwards ticket. A Kerry/Gephardt ticket would have been too boring for most to handle.

Finally, I love that pic of Edwards. You see his smiling face and the optimism he has for this country. He could be our new Bill Clinton, except without the marital indiscretions. If the Kerry/Edwards ticket is successful, Edwards would be the frontrunner for President in 2012. If Kerry does lose this year, Edwards would still be the prohibitive leader for the 2008 nomination.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

John Kerry Nominated!

by Taylor Sias

At  11:37 EDT in Boston, John Kerry was officially nominated by the Democratic Party for President in 2004.

In a move clearly designed to demonstrate Ohio's importance to Sen. Kerry's electoral strategy, the state of Minnesota deferred voting and allowed Ohio to officially be the state to coronate Kerry's nomination. Former Sen. John Glenn announced that all 150 delegates from Ohio had pledged their support to Kerry, officially giving him the 2,162 delegates needed to nominate.

Kerry will finish the night with an overwhelming majority of the delegates having pledged their support for his nomination. As they are finishing the Roll Call, Kerry has 2391 delegates and only 31 pledged to other primary candidates.

Tomorrow night, Democratic nominee John Kerry will address the Convention shortly after 10:00.

The last few days

I haven’t been as expedient updating for the last few days. For that, I apologize. The better part of my days has been spent watching the Democratic National Convention. There have been many great speeches given. If you want to see any of them, visit I’ll refrain from going into more detail, mainly because it would take pages and pages to write about everything. This Convention shows the depth of talent that the Democratic Party is blessed with, both from the past and in the present. The only long-lasting effect of this campaign will come Thursday night when Sen. Kerry gives his acceptance speech. It is crucial for Kerry to give many Americans a positive first impression of him and his life’s story.

I’ve also tried to take up billiards, once again. After the Convention finished at Midnight last night, Tim and I went to shoot some pool at a place on Northlake Boulevard. Much to my surprise, we were not mugged in the process. The surroundings were much more amiable than those of the adjacent Adult Video Warehouse. Again today, I returned to the more accommodating setting of Kiss Shot Billiards in Jupiter. I’m working on a few aspects of my game. I want to focus primarily on my short game. I need to shore up those easy shots if I can advance to more challenging terrain. Cue ball management is another vital skill that must be perfected. So much more can be done if one can, with some precision, determine where the cue ball will rest after the shot is completed. At the level I play at, distance shooting is very mediocre, at best. Take care of the routine and then worry about more complex endeavors.

I want to write some more news and feature stories when I get the chance. Compiling my last Dolphins entry was time consuming and tiring. I spent about four hours perfecting and editing that piece of work. I decided to take it easy for the next few days in light of that undertaking. I’ll certainly have more to say about the Dolphins as preseason and training camp approach its kickoff


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Dolphin Dysfunction

Note: if you haven't already, take a second to sign up with the Miami Herald online. I use them as sourced material often throughout this report, and likely more often as the season begins. It is free of charge.

by Taylor Sias

(December 15, 2003) By even the coach’s admission, the 2003 Miami Dolphins football season was unsuccessful. On a calm Monday night in South Florida, Donovan McNabb and the visiting Philadelphia Eagles effectively terminated the Dolphins season. In what was a must-win contest, the Dolphins were beaten by a score of 34-27.

After the effects of a beer bottle beaning wore off, I was surprisingly content with the Dolphins performance. Surely, with a second straight season of missing the playoffs, there would be major changes after the season. There was no doubt in my mind that Coach Dave Wannstedt would be fired immediately after the season-ending game versus the rival New York Jets. As expected, many head coaches were let go after Week 17 of the NFL season. Dick Jauron was gone from Chicago, and Dave McInnis was termined by Arizona. Much to by bemusement, the Head Coach in Miami still retained his employment. 

(December 28, 2003) Sitting through a meaningless season-ender against the Jets, I discussed with my friend the possibilities for next season. As the first half neared its close, I was assured that we’d see the firing made official Monday morning. Something strange happened as the game approached the two-minute warning. On my headphones, WJNO’s Howard David was reporting breaking news about the Dolphins coaching situation. I turned to Eric and was eagerly awaiting the right moment to inform him of Wanny’s demise. Unfortunately, that moment never came. Dejected, I made him privy to this latest development. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that Wannstedt would not only be retained as coach, but also given a contract extension. The only positive was that former Saints G.M. Randy Muller was reportedly coming to town as General Manager of the Dolphins.

The Dolphins went on to win that game versus the Jets, giving Wannstedt a feather in his cap. Ardent defenders, notably the Miami Herald’s Dan LeBatard, could factually claim that Wannstedt had three ten-win seasons during his four years overall with the club. His supporters conveniently forget that he has only one postseason victory, which was a come from behind effort versus the Indianapolis Colts in the 2001 Wild Card Round of the playoffs. Nevertheless, putting aside my disagreement with his coaching philosophy, Wannstedt could no longer practice his putrid executive skills anymore. A number of well-respected individuals were under consideration to be brought in to Miami. The Randy Mueller rumors quickly subsided and were replaced by thoughts of former Packers G.M. Ron Wolf being hired by management.

(January 12, 2004) Sadly, none of that ever happened. Guess who was eventually hired, on January 12, to be the team’s G.M. It was none other than long-time Wannstedt crony and ally, Rick Spielman.

The former Vice President of the franchise, Rick Spielman, was promoted to the position of General Manager. To the best of my knowledge, Spielman is a far-superior executive to Mr. Wannstedt. Of course, that’s like saying Ronald Reagan was a better President than George W. Bush. Both suck horrendously, but at least Reagan was semi-competent. Spielman had actually advised the team to pick Anquan Boldin in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Instead, Wannstedt picked Tennessee LB and future criminal defendant Eddy Moore. Boldin went on to have a superb rookie season, catching 101 passes and 8 TD’s. Moore didn’t play for a single game for the Dolphins because of injury. My criticism is not an indictment on Mr. Moore. Despite his injuries and trouble with the law, Moore could easily be a solid contributor to the Dolphins. However, they missed a golden opportunity to bring in the local product Boldin, who had graduated from Pahokee High School only 3 years before and went to Florida State University. This was an error of grave proportions. The team was already stacked at the linebacker position, already having acquired Junior Seau in the off-season. Depth at WR was very slim. Chris Chambers is a solid first-option, but our second starter was the abysmal Darrius Thompson, formerly of the Washington Redskins. Thompson did improve in the second half of the season, but only ended up with 26 catches for the season. The third option, WR James McKnight, only caught 23 balls. I’m not a math major, but even the two combined don’t come close to Boldin’s 100 + receptions in 2003.

Sorry, I just have to take a brief break. I’m already approaching 2 pages on my Microsoft Word document, and I’ve barely touched on the most egregious offenses. It’s 3:30 am now. I imagine it’ll take me until dawn to hit all the main points. This is so awful, I might even have to make it a multiple part series. It’s not even just Wannstedt. It’s Spielman, it’s Huizenga, and it’s derelict players. Let me continue with further complaints about the 2003 off-season.

Any fan of the Dolphins could notice how horrendous the Offensive Line was last season. Mid-season games versus the Titans, and more noticeably the Colts, were lost because of OL ineptitude. I don’t wish to put the blame on embattled Left Tackle Wade Smith. By all accounts, he is a very nice man. He answered the media admirably after his failure against Dwight Freeney led to the Dolphins loss to Indianapolis in their Week 9 encounter. Mr. Smith could not be expected to take on the likes of Freeney and the Titans Jevon Kearse. Only a few short years ago, Smith was playing Tight End with the University of Memphis. But Wannstedt expected a rookie third round draft pick to protect an already weak QB’s blind side. The Dolphins could have acquired free agents Wayne Gandy or Kyle Turley during that off-season. Instead, they decided to go with a rookie LT and a banged up offensive guards. That’s the type of quality decision-making you get from the team’s personnel guy, Dave Wannstedt.

On that same day, the Dolphins hired former QB Dan Marino to be their Senior Vice President of Football Operations.

(February 4, 2004) To this day, I’m not exactly sure what that title means, or if anybody replaced Marino when he quit three weeks later.

At the time, I was very critical of the decision to bring in Marino and elevate Spielman. There is no doubt that Rick Spielman was a longtime loyalist to Wannstedt from their days together in Chicago. Even with Spielman formally being the boss, Wanny would still have considerable clout in the decision making process. It was little more than a feeble attempt to convince fans that change had taken place when none actually had. Marino had no experience as a NFL executive. I believe that Marino would have served as little more than a figurehead. Marino, the former Republican QB of the team, is a beloved figure in South Florida. However, few details were given about his job description. I pondered as to whether we’d see Don Shula return to work as an usher at the Pro. Many fans on talk radio were not buying this decision, either. Instead of bringing in a winner like Ron Wolf, we were stuck with the same old status quo. On February 4, Marino decided to quit his post and return to the studio booth with CBS and HBO. In reality, his decision to resign probably has little effect on the day-to-day dealings of the team. It was only the beginning of a large number of problems to hit the Dolphins this 2004 off-season.

(January, exact date unknown) Injured second-year linebacker Eddy Moore is knocked out in a bar room brawl. Still searching for a more detailed account.

(January 26, 2004) On January 26, Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner left the Dolphins to become the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders.

Not that this was all that bad for the Dolphins, though. Turner’s offense was very poor during his two years with the team. Of course, he wasn’t given that much to work with. He had Ricky Williams and not much else. Dolphins fans know that the team hasn’t had an offense since the last days of the Shula Administration.

Later that January 26 day, the Dolphins promoted Running backs coach Joel Collier to Offensive Coordinator.

(February 21, 2004) The Dolphins decided to go in a different direction at QB, trading for Eagles QB A.J. Feeley. He is best known for starting four games in Philadelphia in 2002 when Donovan McNabb was injured. Feeley did not take a snap for all of 2003.

Shortly thereafter, inscumbent QB Jay Fiedler takes a pay cut and remains with the team. As of today, the QB competition is still ongoing. This is an absolute disgrace. A second round pick is very valuable in the NFL. The team expects at least 3-5 years of production from a high draft pick. But a funny thing happened when Feeley started taking snaps during mini-camp. It was discovered that he’s not particularly very good at football. This is what one local writer wrote about the Feeley/Fiedler saga back in May:

“While Feeley is a ways from passing incumbent starter Jay Fiedler for the starting job, his grasp and translation of the offense is coming quickly.”

As training camp now approaches, it’s very much feasible that Jay Fiedler will be the starting QB on opening day versus the Tennessee Titans. The Dolphins could have acquired any number of veteran QB’s, such as Jeff Garcia, Jon Kitna, Kerry Collins, or Mark Brunell. I’m not saying that any of these guys are long-term solutions. But they give a much more stable short-term future than an untested and unproven Feeley. Maybe Feeley will turn out to be another Tom Brady. More likely, it’ll be Akili Smith or David Klingler.

(February 25, 2004) Newly acquired CB Will Poole is arrested and charged with DUI.
(Exact Date unverified, but before May) Collier’s tenure as coordinator lasted all of a few weeks. He claims that health reasons led him to quit, but this is amid reports that internal tension caused him to quit the post. Collier is once again the RB coach for Miami. Now, the Dolphins O-Coordinator is the much-esteemed Chris Foerster. I consider myself a loyal Dolphins fan, but I have literally nothing to say about Foerster, other than he’s a step down from Turner, Chan Gailey, or even Joel Collier.

They chose Foerster, who has no coordinating experiencing. The team has not only one, but two former coordinators currently on staff. They are QB Coach Marc Trestman and WR Coach Jerry Sullivan. I’m wondering when Huizenga decides to bring in Mike Shula to run the offense.

I can’t find all the specific dates, but here’s a piece from the Herald documenting the saga of Collier and crew.

(April 19, 2004) Oronde Gadsden was arrsted in the early morning hours for DUI and driving without a valid license. During this arrest, it was discovered that Gadsden had two other outstanding warrants.

(May 14, 2004) Back in mid-May, it was only a minor inconvenience when Ricky Williams tested positive for marijuana.

He would have to pay a hefty $650,000 fine. Still, for only his second violation, the league would not suspend him from play. I, along with other fans, got a chuckle out of this violation. I have little problem with recreational marijuana use. I figured that Ricky would appeal the fine and it would have no significant consequences for the season. Little did I know how important the hippie-lettuce was in the grand scheme of Ricky Williams’ life.

(May 25, 2004) Former starting FS Brock Marion was arrested for filing a fraudelent insurance claim and grand theft (over $20,000).

(June 3, 2004) LB Junior Seau makes this comment at a team function. "We are a unit that cares. ... I would say love and everybody would say, 'You're a faggot,' but I'm not." After all these years in the spotlight, how clueless could Junior be? He eventually apologizes for the remark.

(June 29, 2004) In another unfortunate happening, emerging TE Randy McMichael was arrested in late June on charges of assaulting his pregnant wife.

Innocent until proven guilty, but just another negative occurrence during this bizarre off-season.

(July 9, 2004) Zach Thomas had to undergo surgery for torn cartilage in his left knee. This will force him to miss part of training camp and the pre-season.

Of course, injuries cannot always be helped. However, this does show that the window of opportunity may be slowly closing. Many of the top members of this defense are approaching 30 years of age. Even with Ricky, this defense could probably only survive intact for a few more years. The team struggled badly last year when Tommy Hendricks had to replace Thomas at the Middle Linebacker position.

(July 15, 2004) In a complete shock, Ricky Williams decides to retire from the NFL.

I doubt I have to go much into the details, considering how fresh the story is. The Dolphins will feel the implications for years to come. The team gave up two first round picks for the loose-cannon back. A 1st Rounder should give a team 5-7 years of quality production. With the Dolphins poor draft history (Recall Yatil Green, John Avery, etc.), it might not have mattered much. Still, at least they would have had a chance. Now, they have no first round pick and no running game. The best we can hope for is Stacy Mack, James Stewart, or Dorsey Levens. Wannstedt will probably try a running back by committee, praying that Travis Minor, Leonard Henry, or Sammie Morris show something during training camp.

This might be the only time that I feel the least bit sorry for Dave Wannstedt. By all accounts, he tried to reach out to Williams during his two years in Miami. I know Ricky has problems, but overall he seems like a selfish individual. We have Dan LeBatard out there presenting Ricky in a sympathetic light. Ricky Williams himself won’t even talk face-to-face to the media, or even Coach Wannstedt. Whatever problems he may have, he should have the testicular fortitude to tell his teammates and coaches to their faces. I won’t go on too much about Williams, since I’ve already posted one of my commentaries on this sorry saga.

(Ongoing) Finally, we have the dispute between Defensive End Adawale Ogunleye. Before last week, it was safe to say that Ogunleye would remain a Dolphin for this year. Things have changed, though. He might have to be used as bait to acquire Onterrio Smith from the Vikings or Anthony Thomas of Chicago.

I think I’ve covered all my bases. I can’t envision a worse off-season for this Dolphins team. Some of it is just bad luck. A lot of it comes down to shitty work by Huizenga and everyone else on the chain of command. It will be interesting to see how this season develops. Before this latest setback, I expected another 10- win season. Now, it’s conceivable to see this team finishing below .500. Will Wannstedt get a reprieve if the team fails? Or will Huizenga finally decide it’s time for change? With the season one month away, we still have no idea who will be starting at QB. I’m sure the team will desperately hope that Williams decides to un-retire. Personally, I never want to see Williams in a Dolphins uniform again. But the reality of the situation is that Williams is a great talent, and Miami would probably take him back if he so desired. The drug testing is another story, something I don’t know about in complete detail.

It’s amazing how much has changed in such a short period of time. Last December, Dolphins ownership had a clear choice to make. Most fans were displeased with the direction the team was taking. I think most people thought change was necessary. What we got was like the public being dissatisfied with George W. Bush and then replacing him with Dick Cheney. There was an ever so-slight change in direction. Most astute fans realized the fraud that was perpetrated upon the public. Despite the claims of Dan LeBatard, these decisions did nothing to further the cause of this football franchise. The off-season has continually gotten worse, culminating with the bombshell that was leveled in the early morning hours last Sunday. Fans kept optimism that the team would be better this year. Despite our rational core, we still held out the childlike hope for a Cinderella season in 2004. Now, the crushing reality has hit home for fans of this proud franchise. It likely won’t be one bad season. The foundation on which this team was built has been dismantled. If things go as badly as expected, the dissolution of this team will further break apart next off-season.

Dave Wannstedt will surely put a positive spin on this dreadful scenario. The man does have an optimism that I admire. Unfortunately, he has little basis for his grand predictions. Last year, he famously predicted that the Dolphins would lead the league in second half rushing. That never came close to fruition. He’ll say that he has full confidence in Travis Minor. Of course, he’s as dismayed as we are. We’ll see that trademark optimism, only tempered by the site of another inexplicable Jay Fiedler INT. We’ll watch with chagrin as he walks off the field with that signature look of disillusionment. He’ll be smiling right as he walks out of South Florida sometime next year or the year after. Don’t feel badly for Wanny, though. With his record, someone, somewhere will pick him up. He will be able to put “food on his family” for many years to come.

This off-season of folly and betrayal mercifully comes to an end this week. Training camp will begin and I will be in my seats for each regular season affair in 2004. I am nothing if not loyal to this team. I’ll meet old friends and console each other as we share in the common football experience. We’ll certainly see great plays and even perhaps a marvelous victory or two. If nothing else, I might be able to leave Pro Player Stadium this December without disappointment. For the last two years, the team had so much promise, yet yielded so few accomplishments. This year’s team will be fortunate to compete for a playoff berth. My ultimate hope is to eventually see a fundamental change in this team’s structure. A complete devastation might open the owner’s eyes and convince him to orchestrate the sorely needed overhaul of this fallen franchise.

Monday, July 26, 2004

"Priorities"? LOL!

The George W. Bush re-election campaign has bombarded the airwaves with a new attack ad, titled “Priorities”, that has been airing for three weeks. The main point of this advertisement is to insinuate that Kerry does not share the values of mainstream Americans. The funny thing is that no reference is made to the values of Mr. Bush. The only judgments made are about those of Sen. Kerry.

At this point in the campaign, it is vitally important to challenge all the false and/or misleading assertions leveled against our Democratic nominee. Whether or not you are pleased with the primary results, it is time to forcefully support Kerry. Despite certain problems that I have with Kerry’s platform, I agree with him more than I would any Republican running. This post is part of a larger effort to set the record straight about Sen. Kerry and his record. On the streets and in your community, you will hear people utter untruths and mischaracterize the positions of our nominee. This morning, I focus on this ad of national prominence, disgracefully labeled “Priorities”.

In case you haven’t seen the ad, or are unclear of the specifics, I have included the text from the television spot.

I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.

Leadership means choosing priorities. While campaigning, John Kerry has missed over two thirds of all votes.

Missed a vote to lower health-care costs by reducing frivolous lawsuits against doctors.

Missed a vote to fund our troops in combat.

Yet, Kerry found time to vote against the Laci Peterson law that protects pregnant women from violence.

Kerry has priorities. Are they yours?

The Bush campaign is telling the truth about his absences from the United States Senate. It is true that Kerry, along with Edwards, has missed a number of votes. Some have suggested that Kerry should resign his Senate seat while seeking the Presidency. In an ideal world, that might be a practical suggestion. However, the Governor of Massachusetts is Republican Mitt Romney. Were Kerry to resign today, a Republican of Romney’s choosing would fill that seat. With the Senate so evenly divided, there is no way that the Democrats could allow the seat to go GOP.

Bush/Cheney 2004 has taken claimed that Kerry missed a vote to “fund our troops in combat”. First, his vote has absolutely zero impact on the troops well being. The bills he missed were passed by votes of 95-0 and 97-0. Were Kerry’s vote necessary for passage or failure of the bill, he would have assuredly attended to cast his tally. There are more boring specifics on the bill and its amendments, but it’s really not worth the time to discuss. The fact of the matter is that his missed vote proves nothing about his priorities. All it shows is that Kerry has been very busy over the past few months campaigning for President of the United States. He is assuredly not sitting at home eating popcorn and watching the Red Sox.

Another claim is that he missed a vote “to lower health-care costs”. Like I discussed in the last paragraph, his vote did not matter. The bill fell far short of passage. The only argument Republicans have is that he likely would have opposed the measure, as most Democrats did. However, there was no proof that this proposed bill would have even lowered costs. Most of these votes were procedural. The Bush/Cheney team is exploiting the American people’s lack of knowledge when it comes to Congressional business.

Finally, we have the insidious exploitation on the Laci Peterson name. This was purely an attempt by the Republicans to attach Bush’s name to a sympathetic victim of crime. The ad is true in that Kerry did vote against the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act”. This bill was more about advancing the pro-life agenda than it was protecting unborn children. The objective was to give the fetus the same rights as a living human being. Essentially, Kerry and the Democrats were unwilling to go along with that terminology. Kerry voted in favor of a similar bill, the “Motherhood Pregnancy Act”, which used a different wording. Finally, the law would only be in effect on federal grounds, such as a military base or government building. This would not benefit the average Jane Q. Public.

In conclusion, this ad is laughably easy to refute. Sen. Kerry has nothing to be ashamed of. If the public listens for even a minute, they would likely understand his rational for voting the way he did.

 See for additional details.

More romantic musings

I’m expecting that my entry last week provoked my loyal readers to hit the clubs and get laid. That’s how profound my ruminations were, at least in my own deluded mind.

Contrary to what moral souls might think, there is nothing inherently illicit about pornography. The same can be said for prostitution, though that’s not the issue for today. A significant amount of pre-teens and teenagers get their first glimpse of sex through these pornographic exhibitions. I worry that this might be a bad thing. These initial impressions of sex can be indelible. Therefore, youngsters may not be viewing an accurate portrait of reality. It’s like watching an NBA game and believing that’s how most ballplayers perform. There’s a reason professional athletes make millions, and there’s also a reason why porn actors and actresses get the big bucks. Most of them are PROFESSIONALS. 99 % of the public is unlikely to live up to that pinnacle of sexual acuity. Everything from duration of activity to member size is distorted by the actions in pornographic films. Pornography is a perfectly natural and legitimate business. I just wish consumers were more educated about the performances they watch in these videos and DVD’s.

This leads into my second, and likely my last main point. I see a great amount of sexual timidity in young men. Most everyone has some general idea of “what goes where”. The degree to which sexual activity is actually understood varies. I’d say that most young men have only a vague idea of what the hell they’re doing. And a great amount of that is likely derived from the aforementioned pornographic films. On rare occasions, a young gentleman will find a mentor of sorts. I’ve found, or at least read, that some women like to act as tutors for sexually inexperienced guys. I can’t help but think about scenes from the original American Pie with Stiffler’s Mom. I’m beginning to meander a bit off my main focus with that cinematic reference. The biggest fear I notice is that guys are terrified that they will screw up when a relaxing moment becomes the right moment. That’s why I believe the ideal sexual connection is between individuals with comparable levels of experience. Preferably, the two will have an emotional bond as well. That way both participants, equally hesitant and anxious, will be able to work together to forge a sexual compatibility.

Next time, I would like to delve into the issue of prostitution. The American view of prostitution is unnecessarily draconian, IMO. Well, I’ll leave it at that for this installment. For more astute analysis, please see any of the other million web pages on the subject.


Selfish Ricky shows breakaway speed. by Dave George

Into next week, I plan to post various articles detailing the saga of Ricky Williams' retirement from the NFL. Since only a few people frequent my blog, I am going to play loose with copyright. Ideally, it is best to post only 10 %, or 4 paragraphs from published work.

Everybody's saying all the right things today at Miami Dolphins camp, still holding out hope that Ricky Williams may yet get back in touch with his masculine side and return to training camp as if this whole bizarre "retirement" announcement never happened.

My immediate reaction, or at least what I'm saying now in the wake of a hearty defibrillator jolt or two, is good riddance.

The Dolphins missed the playoffs in both of the seasons Williams was here and, by gum, they can do it again without him. If that sounds too flippant for so devastating a development in franchise history,  consider this:

Ricky was so selfish about his decision, and so squeamish in its declaration, he didn't even stop by to tell Dave Wannstedt about it in person. He called the coach's cellphone Friday, one week before the opening of training camp, and may already have been out of town when the call was placed. How much more convenient it would have been, of course, if Wannstedt hadn't picked up, if Ricky could simply have left a message.

Bye, guys. Heart's just not in it anymore. Sure you'll understand. Oh, and tell all those season-ticket holders it's only a game. They'll still love me just for being me, right? Oops, the signal's starting to break up. Take it easy.

Easy. What a joke. The only easy way out for the Dolphins now would be if every other player in the NFL decided simultaneously to take a year off, travel the world, spend a little of that hard-earned money. Failing that, Miami must go to work in September with an offense built entirely around a ghost. Scary stuff, but right now I'm willing to bet that the reaction among most fans is fury, not fear.

Run, Ricky, run, halfway around the world, where people care as little about the Dolphins as you do. Freedom, in this case, is just another word for getting lost. Somewhere way out there, around the bend.

"Everybody has got to make up their own mind," Wannstedt said Sunday, "what they believe, what's in their heart."

A benign and politically correct response, that one is, from a coach who's still praying for a miraculous restoration of his roster. Wayne Huizenga's first flash might have been slightly different, considering his signature is the one on Williams' $3.5 million contract for the 2004 season. The Dolphins get that money back, but there is no comparable talent in which to invest it.

The timing of Ricky's revelation is too late to put Miami in the running for big backs like Eddie George and Antowain Smith, both of whom recently signed with other teams.
The timing, for that matter, was so self-indulgent and childish that it brings to mind a little boy sneaking away from the bus stop to play hooky on the first day of school because he just hasn't had enough of summer.

Jim Brown, the Cleveland Browns Hall of Famer who walked away from the NFL in his prime to pursue an acting career, probably wouldn't see it that way. A South Beach resident, he has in the past year become one of Ricky's few close friends, and quite possibly an adviser, too.

There are many others who will applaud Ricky's bold move, quitting football at 27, taking the great wealth he has earned in a brutal sport and doing what he pleases with it. His social anxiety disorder can't have made the superstar life comfortable at all times. Shaving those beloved dreadlocks a few months back was a blatant move toward gaining more anonymity in public places. What a puzzle we have here, a poet in a piledriver's body, a painfully shy man who nonetheless agreed to appear in a white wedding dress five years ago to sell a silly photo theme on the cover of a sports magazine.

Maybe something as simple as an adjustment in medication would solve this current mystery, but after this, what could the Dolphins ever confidently expect from Ricky again? One more positive test for marijuana use, for instance, and he's due for a four-game suspension under the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Believe it or not, the Dolphins were hit harder than this by a running back's surprise departure 30 years ago. Larry Csonka, Miami's Super Bowl MVP and the offensive star of a Dolphins team that won back-to-back NFL championships, shocked Don Shula by signing with the upstart World Football League. Zonk, also 27 at the time, improved his salary from $60,000 with the Dolphins to $1.4 million with the Memphis Southmen. Took Paul Warfield and Jim Kiick with him, too. Fans didn't like it, but they got it. Who wouldn't?

This wild Ricky ride is so much different. "Different," as a matter of fact, is the generous tag he's always worn, as a soft-spoken NCAA record-setter at the University of Texas, as Mike Ditka's one-man team in New Orleans and, most recently, as the loner around which the Miami locker room has been constructed.

Nothing to do now but start rebuilding with more familiar material. It will be a much tougher task and will take much longer, but that gaping hole Ricky has left must be packed with something stouter.

Foolish to wish for Williams' return. Unlike Ricky, the Dolphins can't afford to live in a fantasy world.

Sunday, July 25, 2004


If the reports are correct, we can expect to see Ricky Williams’ retirement from the NFL made official early next week. I would like to believe otherwise, but I am not in denial. Williams will file his retirement papers as he cravenly begins his travels abroad to Asia. That means it’s unlikely we’ll even see Ricky’s face on television. He will not have to answer to the teammates and fans he has so callously betrayed.

There are a few ways to look at this. If Ricky Williams did indeed just make his thoughts public this weekend, then he is a coward and a disgrace. I would not be offended if Ricky Williams had decided in March that he did not want to continue with football. Obviously, I would have been disappointed. It’s not easy to pick up someone, even in March, with the ability of Ricky Williams. Miami could have made a run at Bengals RB Corey Dillon were they aware of his ruminations. Had Ricky, even one week ago, declared this, Miami would have surely been willing to overpay for the aging Eddie George. Now, the best Miami can hope for is that Travis Minor fulfills the promise that he showed as a backup running back. In fact, this whole offense is about promise. Fans have to believe that both QB A.J. Feeley and Travis Minor will perform to levels they have not achieved as of yet.

If he does decide to retire, Williams will go down as the most hated man in South Florida sports history. He’ll be worse than rivals like Jim Kelly or Andre Reed. At least they were not traitors. Williams has an obligation as a professional and a human being to play this season. This isn’t just about his life. It’s about the 55 other players, coaches, and fans who have a vested interest in the success of this franchise. Williams’ absence basically ends any hopes the Dolphins may have had of competing for a championship this year. Our hopes are crippled for the future as well. Williams cost the Dolphins two first round draft picks. They were not a high price to pay considering Williams’ on the field successes. But in hindsight, two good seasons does not equal two first round draft picks.

There is one other way to look at this, though. Last night, I was contemplating whether or not Wannstedt and Spielman had any advanced knowledge of this impending decision. Reports stated that this retirement was months in the making. We don’t know the particulars about whom were involved in the decision making process. Had the Dolphins known there was even the possibility of this retirement, they would have been criminally negligent not to pursue other available options. I hope that this team was not so derelict as to deny even the possibility that Williams would choose this option. has an interesting piece of commentary up this morning. Since I’m already a season ticket holder, I wasn’t aware that yesterday was another “Select-a-Seat” day. If the Dolphins knew about this a few days earlier and kept their mouths shut until after Saturday, it would be an atrocity. All these fans eagerly anticipating another 1500 + yard season, only to have their hopes devastated in the early morning hours of Sunday. I understand that unexpected things happen in all sports. I wouldn’t demand my money back if the team was totally in the dark. But if they sinistrously withheld this information from the public, they would be guilty of perpetrating a fraud on this community.

It’s a shame what Ricky Williams has done to the sports atmosphere in South Florida. Just a week ago, Miami was on top of the sports world. With O’Neal arriving with the Heat, the NBA Franchise is considered an immediate title contender. The underdog Marlins are still only 3 games out of 1st place in the National League East. Even with Wannstedt returning as coach, people had hopes for an AFC East title. Now, these hopes are diminished. The team could nonetheless be decent this year. If this group bands together and has a solid mentality, winning this division is still possible. Unfortunately, much of this is grounded in hope and not based in reality. 8-8 sounds more like it.

Stunning, unfathomable . . . are you KIDDING??? by Greg Cote

I'm too shocked to say much else at the moment.  But for now, here's some comments by the Miami Herald's Greg Cote. Of course, I'll be back with extensive commentary tomorrow.

The Dolphins' offseason turned Saturday from merely the worst and most chaotic in the NFL to perhaps the worst and most chaotic in the history of professional sports.

Ricky Williams retired.

Are you KIDDING?

The team's major offensive weapon retired -- just like that.

In his prime.

And on the doorstep of training camp.

Are you !@#$ing SERIOUS?

You know how the Heat suddenly acquiring Shaquille O'Neal produced a civic love-in and made confetti fly? Sort of like when the Marlins silenced Yankee Stadium to win the World Series last fall?

This is the stone-cold opposite.

This is the news so stunning as to be nearly unfathomable.

This is the news that sends an earthquake across the NFL, changing Vegas odds, reshaping perceptions and raising champagne toasts across the AFC East and among every upcoming opponent.

Saturday happened to be the Dolphins' ''Select-a-Seat'' day, by the way. Had fans known what Williams was in the process of making official to the team, ''Select-a-Method-of-Suicide'' might have been more appropriate.

You want to believe this is just Ricky being Ricky. You want to hope it's just Ricky the free spirit and the iconoclast making an emotional decision about which he'll change his mind in a week or two.

And that could happen, yes.

But you shouldn't bet on that any more than you should bet on the Dolphins' Super Bowl hopes now that the team's offensive focal point has chosen to make himself, well . . . disappear.

The notion that his heart no longer was in football has been fermenting in Williams for a few months, evidently sparked by his solo, soul-searching journey across Australia. This is not a snap decision.

So we must presume this is final -- that Williams, after two splendid seasons as the Dolphins' workhorse running back, is simply done, vanished in his prime.


The emotional reaction to that decision is wildly conflicted. Has to be.

Part of you wants to applaud Williams for standing so singularly apart from the crowd, for purely following his heart. This part of you wants to say, ``Good for you, Ricky!''

That's so simple, though. So simple, when his actions, and the timing of them, have made everything so complicated.

Williams should not be doing this -- not now.

That's what keeps pulsing like ugly neon.


Williams should not be running out on his teammates and on the dreams of so many fans with training camp just a few days away.

Can a man's decision seem so noble and so selfish all at once?

Can we wish Williams all of the inner peace that apparently has eluded him and at the same time damn him for leaving an entire franchise in the lurch?

Had Williams made his intentions firmly known even a week ago, the team could have scrambled to somehow replace him. Eddie George, released by Tennessee for salary-cap reasons, briefly was available before Dallas scooped him up. Earlier in the offseason Corey Dillon was available.

Now? Now there isn't much the Dolphins can do.

Coach Dave Wannstedt is furious.

You know what? He has a right to be.

This is unprecedented, or at least lost to recent memory.
Pat Riley resigned as Heat coach on the eve of last NBA season, and that was sudden, and shocking, but different. The Heat had a coach ready to step in. And coaches don't matter as much as star players.


Williams retiring is more akin to Peyton Manning quitting the Colts tomorrow. Williams' role on this team is -- was -- that integral, that huge.

We are supposed to think now that Travis Minor plugs into Williams' starter's role and that everything will be fine.

We are supposed to hope that this somehow might actually make the Dolphins better, because less reliance on one back might open up the passing game.

Any such optimism is pretty far-fetched at the moment.

All we can know for sure is that the onus on Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley just got monstrously larger. One of them had better emerge not just as a capable starter but as a force to lead this offense.

No form of sugarcoating is working here right now.

Ricky Williams quitting on the Dolphins -- now, like this -- is a lightning bolt of a sporting disaster.

Report: Ricky Williams Retires!

Dan LeBatard of ESPN and the Miami Herald reported early Sunday morning that Dolphins RB Ricky Williams plans to retire from the NFL.

I'll reserve any further comments until this story is confirmed. If it is indeed accurate, this will be heartbreaking for fans of the Miami Dolphins.

Full commentary will follow in the coming day(s).

Update: Here is a link to the Herald Story:


DNC Preview Part I

As most politically savvy readers are aware of, Monday is the first night of the 2004 Democratic National Convention. This year, it is being held at the Fleet Center in Boston. This will be particularly memorable considering that Massachusetts is the home state of presumptive nominee John Kerry.

I encourage everyone to watch at least some of this Convention. I’ll cede that the Convention has lost much of its importance. The last memorable Convention was in 1980 when Ronald Reagan considered naming former President Gerald Ford as his running mate. When the dust settled, Reagan ended up choosing George H.W. Bush. The modern primary system typically yields an unquestioned nominee. In the old days, delegates would go into smoky rooms and contemplate the party’s ticket and platform. Today, the Convention is more of a formality. Nevertheless, it can provide for some memorable moments.

Viewers should probably watch C-SPAN or PBS if they want full, uninterrupted coverage. If punditry is your thing, MSNBC or CNN might be the choice. The networks will air one hour each at 10:00 on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Monday night will be highlighted by two former Presidents and one another that should be President today. Former Presidents Carter and Clinton will give speeches, along with former Vice President and 2000 Election victor Al Gore. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will be on stage to introduce her husband, the former President. Other notable speakers include DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, Rep. Kendrick Meek of Florida, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. In all, 14 speakers will present on Monday night. I’m watching to see what kind of speech Gore will deliver. Will it be the type of scathing address he’s given at functions? Or will we see the Gore that ran for President? The talking heads will be quick to rip him apart if he gives a fiery address. I predict that the DLC will force him to give a mundane, uninspiring speech.

Tuesday will not have the star-power of Monday’s address, but it’s still makes for great viewing. Ron Reagan will speak for about seven minutes on the issue of stem-cell research. Don’t expect to hear him get too political, though. Reagan cares deeply about this issue and won’t waste his time on partisan politics. Massachusetts’ Senior Senator, Edward Kennedy, will give an address as well. Kennedy is always one to motivate the Democratic base. I give Kennedy much credit for helping Kerry win January’s Iowa caucuses. Twenty-four years after his last Presidential run, Kennedy is still revered by Democrats and Progressives. Governor Howard Dean is speaking, as well. See my comments about Gore, and replace “Gore” with “Dean”. Should be interesting to say the least. The keynote speaker of the Convention is Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama. Theresa Heinz-Kerry, wife of the presumptive nominee, is scheduled to speak. Her son Chris will also be on stage. The rest of the cast that evening consists of former Presidential candidates and Congressional speakers. Among them are Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Rep. Richard Gephardt, former Ambassador Carol Moseley-Braun, and Rep. Mike Honda.

That’s it for the first two days of the DNC. Tomorrow, I’ll report about Wednesday and Thursday’s festivities. The highlights of those two days are the acceptance speeches of Sen. Kerry as nominee and Sen. John Edwards as his running mate.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Not much to report

Today was a fairly uneventful Saturday. I ended up sleeping until about 2:00, since I hadn’t fallen asleep until 7:00 am. I took a trip to Costco around 4:00 to pick up Gary’s new eyeglasses. During that trip, I drove Tim up to the Juno Beach pier. I did catch some of the Red Sox/Yankees game. Game time was originally scheduled for 3:00. For a while, it looked like the game would be postponed. Around 3:50, FOX reported that first pitch would be at 4:00. There were many lead changes until the 9th when Bill Mueller hit the game winning HR off Mariano Rivera. With the 11-10 victory, Boston is currently 8.5 games back of division leading New York. The division race is almost assuredly complete, but Boston is still tied for the Wild Card. I cannot wait for another Sox/Yanks ALCS. Today may have been a turning point for this Red Sox team. Schilling and Martinez give them a very formidable 1-2 punch in any playoff series. Preferably, they should pick up a decent 3rd starter. Derek Lowe has been a terrible disappointment this year. Boston cannot allow Randy Johnson to be traded to NY. If that happens, it will be a near fatal blow for the Sox.

This evening, I just sat around on the computer and watched some boxing. I didn’t really feel like doing much tonight. I’ll end up watching some of my DVD’s or taped TV programs a little later. I tape a lot of shows during the week and usually watch them all at once during the early hours of the morning. 


Quick clarification re: LePore

I was going to post this under comments, but I realize that few people read any follow-up replies. One poster asked whether I meant to imply that LePore was complicit in electoral fraud. I do not wish to accuse her of this activity. I believe LePore is not competent to serve in this position any longer. I wish she had taken a stronger stand against the misdeeds of Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush. However, I have no evidence that suggests she was in cahoots with Harris & Co.

As partisan as this sounds, I do want a Democrat counting the votes. Theoretically, the job should be non-partisan. But reality as it is dictates that this is not always possible. If I have a choice between a Democrat and a Republican/Independent, I will choose the Democrat as long as he appears competent. There are some other connections between LePore and the GOP, but I've not researched it well enough to draw legitimate conclusions.

I urge voters to reject Theresa LePore on August 31. She demonstrated a lack of foresight, leading to the disastrous month that followed November 7. It left a real bad taste in my mouth, leading to my decision to oppose her re-election and support Dr. Anderson.


Quarterdeck Part II

Tonight, we made a return visit to the Quarterdeck Restaurant in Jupiter (see previous post titled “Quarterdeck” for background info). Overall, the experience was much better this time around. Gary, Tim, and I met Larry and his friend Mike at the bar. As we walk in, we notice that Jody was once again behind the bar. He came up and spoke to Gary. Jody apologized for what happened on Monday and promised to make things better. He did deliver. Four pitchers of beer and three margaritas came to a total of $21. It probably should have cost somewhere around $35.

The restaurant was totally packed on this Friday night. Larry was his usual demonstrative self. He enjoys getting completely wasted and getting hyper. Mike was smashed as well. He tried to hook up with a deaf forty something lady. At the end of the evening, he went home without a romantic conquest. A creepy gentleman greeted Larry’s friend Megan. At first, we thought she knew the man. After a while, we realized that he was a complete stranger. Harmless, but odd nonetheless. At 2:00, Gary and I drove home. I was the designated driver for the evening.

Gary is always the most amusing individual to watch. All night, he is gawking at the suggestively dressed young ladies. I fear that he can be too blatant. I have no problem with looking. Hell, I was engaging in some of that myself. My objective was to curtail some of his more obvious perversion. The sad thing is that he could probably hook up with some of them if he so desired.

Gary is very much superior to myself in such social situations. That’s one thing I do admire about him. He can go anywhere at any time and strike up a conversation easily. Going out with Gary is more like going out with a friend than a parent. I consider him on of my very best friends. He’s an absolute joy to go places with. He’s able to fit in with any crowd. For the most part, he’s very responsible. I like to joke about him and the younger ladies, but he’s really just having some clean fun. We don’t even have to say anything. When some of the ripe meat walks by, all we do is look at one another and smile.

The rest of the crew got back to Larry’s a half hour later. Gary and myself walked over to see how everyone was. Much to my surprise, I learned that an early morning of chiefing was on the agenda. Gary initially expressed some concern about me being on the premises during this activity. Reluctantly, I told Gary that it was okay. In the end, I make the decision about my own actions. I had no desire to participate in the proceedings. I was unsure what to make of the situation. Honestly, I had never been around this substance. As the first puff was taken by Megan, I could feel myself becoming light-headed. Fortunately, that feeling subsided after a few moments. The subsequent exhalations did not have any effect on me. I was reminded of the fragrance smelled at a Jimmy Buffett concert a few years back. I was surprised that Gary declined to join the festivities. He’s told me that he quit ten years ago. I would not have been bothered had he decided to partake in the circle. I was eagerly awaiting the sort of playful banter seen frequently on television’s “That 70’s Show”. Unfortunately, most of the participants were still acting coherently. Larry was acting completely silly, but that was likely because of the booze.

Around 4:00, I learned that I would have to drive Megan to her house in the Gardens. Gary arranged for Tim to ride along. I might be paranoid, but I’m reluctant to drive alone with any female. The legal ramifications make it preferable to have another present. A guy could be accused of a wide variety of misconducts in this situation, at 4:00 in the morning. As we were driving along Donald Ross, I was instructed to pull over. Megan began to vomit outside of the Hyundai. That took about five minutes to resolve. The drive continued and we arrived at her house some minutes later. The trip was further delayed when we got stuck waiting for the train to cross. It appears everyone made it home safe from this trip.

The highlight of the evening had to be my encounter with the crippy. I’ve never had the urge to engage in this activity. If I had wanted to, I’m sure I would have been allowed to join the fun. My story would have been much more interesting had Gary actually engaged in the activity. Seeing Gary in that state would have provided for many comic hijinks. Alas, we’ll have to settle for this comparatively tame and uneventful tale. Actually, it would have been hilarious had Megan and me been riding alone and she make some sort of sexual overtures. Considering her state, I’m ashamed to say that the thought did cross my mind. They were probably smart to bring in some additional supervision. In the very remote possibility that an overture were to be made, I believe I would have rebuffed them. At least I hope I would have made the correct decision.

That’s it for now. As we approach 6:00 am, I plan to read a copy of my “Sports Illustrated” and go to sleep. I realize that I have been negligent on my “Candidate of the Day” feature as of late. I would like to give a shout out to Cynthia McKinney, who won the Democratic primary in Georgia’s 4th Congressional District on Tuesday. This is vindication for her, as she was voted out in the 2002 Elections. Considering her district is safe Democratic, she’ll very likely return to Congress next January. I’m considering whether or not to give an endorsement for Florida’s Democratic Senate primary. I try to refrain from endorsing in primaries. However, since this is my home state, I feel like I owe the reader my views on this particular race. I intend to formally endorse former Education Secretary Betty Castor.

As for the status of my blog, I’ve cut back a little bit the past few days. I want to keep myself relatively fresh. My plan is either to do one extended entry, as I did today, or a number of smaller posts. My objective as always is to write more about personal events and focus less on things like politics. I look forward to reporting on my experiences once football season starts in September. I imagine football and the elections will comprise most of my writing for the rest of 2004. My college semester will likely be another source of inspiration. Tweaking is a large part of creating the optimal blogging experience.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Excellent site for college students

My friend showed me this site a while back.

I decided to take another look at it tonight. I went back and gave some props to teachers who I felt deserved them. I wouldn't give someone a scathing review unless they really deserved it. If you have the time, it's a good site to look at before registering. I only wish there were more reviews. It's hard to tell too much from only a few entries.

Even if it doesn't help you registration-wise, I found it to be a fairly interesting site.

Also, I found this related site.

This one is not as frequently visited. I couldn't find a Dwyer teacher with more than 3 entries. I did add Ms. Friday to the list, but my comments are awaiting approval. I wanted to start one for Mary Colon, but I'm afraid my commentary would be rejected. My plan was to simply write "She's  a bitch, Mrs. Colon, she's a b-b-b-b-b-b-i-t-c-h!"

I have strayed

Here is a link to my second blog. I don't plan to post much on it, for now. I basically registered so I could add comments to other Live Journals. I didn't realize that I'd have my own free acount.

I might decide to post there from time to time. I want to see what site offers the best advantages.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Candidate of the Day: Dr. Arthur Anderson

The infamous Theresa LePore, who came into national prominence in November 2000, is up for re-election on August 31 in Palm Beach County. My decision to back her opponent does not stem from any lingering bitterness over 2000. I accept that many people, LePore included, made an error designing the Butterfly Ballot.

Her loyalty to the Democratic Party and the voters is very questionable. To begin with, she was originally registered as a Republican. She switched to Democrat when she held the title of Elections Supervisor. After 2000, she once again switched to Independent affiliation. This race is theoretically nonpartisan, but her party affiliation does have an impact on my vote.

Ms. LePore has been absent on pressing issues related to vote security. Why isn’t Theresa LePore tireless in her criticism of Bush’s fraud in 2000? 60,000 voters were erroneously listed as felons. That certainly is something to be addressed by the Supervisor of Elections. Even after we’ve learned about the risk of electronic voting, she still refuses to support a full paper trail. Many in Florida, notably Rep. Robert Wexler, have supported giving the voter some sort of receipt after voting into the electronic machines. The current system would not allow for any sort of manual recount. In the case of another close election, it would be optimal for there to be some sort of physical evidence.

I’ve researched her opponent Arthur Anderson in the past few weeks. By all indications, he will be well qualified to serve as Supervisor. He’s widely known in PBC from his tenure on the School Board during the ‘80’s and 90’s. He is also a doctor and served as a professor at Florida Atlantic University. He has garnered the support of Rep. Wexler along with Gov. Dean’s Democracy for America organization.

Anderson stands a great chance of winning this election on August 31. Activist Democrats, who comprise a big portion of the primary electorate, tend to be fervent in their support of Dr. Anderson. The Senate primary is held the same day, meaning that many angry Democratic partisans will be at the polls. This might spell trouble for LePore, who is disliked by many of these voters.

I am looking forward to this election next month. Hopefully, this will be the first step in slaying the ghost of Election 2000.

Right-Wing Enemy Number #1- Linda Ronstadt

First, we had the Dixie Chicks. Then there was the latest hoopla over Whoopi Goldberg’s comments. Now, the latest target of right-wing demagoguery is singer Linda Ronstadt. I know very little about the music of Ms. Ronstadt. I remember her more as the girlfriend of former California Governor and Presidential candidate Jerry Brown. Anyways, last weekend she had a performance at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas.

Evidently, she dedicated one of her songs to “Fahrenheit 9/11” filmmaker Michael Moore. I’m not aware that she gave any additional political comments. She just mentioned his name and wanted to give him some props. It seemed like an innocent enough gesture. I’ve heard singers dedicate performances to various people, including celebrities. Anyways, the fundie right-wingers in the crowd would have nothing to do with her. They started a ruckus and demanded the Aladdin give them their money back. Eventually, the hotel ejected Ronstadt from the premises, without allowing her even to go back to her room.

This is just another case of fake outrage on the part of conservatives. It is no secret that the performer generally subscribes to a liberal set of beliefs. They act like she has committed an act of treason by opposing King George II. It seems rather ridiculous to behave in this manner. I do respect their right to free speech. They certainly have the right to behave how they did. However, it seems rather ridiculous and petty. I have a hard time seeing liberals behaving the same way if the roles were reversed. Say Toby Keith or Lee Greenwood dedicated one of their patriotic (Nazi) hymns to George W. Bush or Michael Savage. It might make me less receptive to their music, but I would never wreak havoc and demand my money back.

Finally, the Aladdin said that they were not in the business of politics. This is the common explanation by the likes of country radio and Slim Fast. Of course, Vegas is not in the business of politics. On the contrary, they’re in the business of getting people drunk and taking their mortgage money (Thanks to Bill Maher for that joke). I would agree with them if she used her concert time to profess her views. That does not appear to be the case. She made a comment that might have lasted a whole five seconds. It certainly does not warrant the extreme action taken by the Aladdin. Not that it matters, since I am not rich, but I will boycott the Aladdin Hotel if I visit Las Vegas in the future.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Billy O'Reilly's gonna be PISSED

It appears that the rapper Jadakiss has made written a new song that criticizes Bush for 9/11.
Excerpt from article:

But seven words in his new song "Why" -- "Why did Bush knock down the towers?" -- has gotten Jadakiss the most mainstream attention, and criticism, of his career.
"It caught the ear of white America," he said proudly during a phone interview with The Associated Press. "It's a good thing. No matter what you do, somebody's not going to like it, but for the most part, most people love the song."

(End of excerpt)

I’m actually laughing after reading the article. I hadn’t read that particular article until I searched for it on Google. I was just joking that I thought O’Reilly would be pissed. Well, only a few paragraphs in, I read this:


Not everyone loves it. Bill O'Reilly called Jadakiss a "smear merchant" this week, and some radio stations have edited out the line in the song, in which Jadakiss talks about perceived injustices, conspiracies and problems affecting the world. MTV says it is playing an edited version of the video, as it was sent by his label, Interscope.

(End of excerpt)

It seems like our old friend Splotchy Bill has taken umbrage with a rap artist. First, it was Ludacris. He called on his many radio and television to boycott Pepsi products over their hiring of Mr. Ludacris. Eventually Ludacris was let go by Pepsi.

More recently, he called on his legion of fans to boycott FOX television over their decision to air the program “Method and Red”. I’m not making this stuff up. What is it with O’Reilly and his obsession with rappers? I understand that rap isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Personally, I’m no fan of rap music. Nevertheless, I don’t understand the scorn that is heaped upon them by middle-aged conservatives.

Honestly, I am sick of the sanctimony that comes out of Bill O’Reilly’s mouth every night on his program. I won’t delve too much into him, as most people see him for who he is. O’Reilly is a conservative, albeit more moderate than the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity, masquerading as a “fair and balanced”, unbiased journalist.When it’s all said and done, I’m mildly amused by O’Reilly. He gets on someone’s case and badgers him or her for months. He’s taken to berating these relatively inconsequential rap artists on a consistent basis. All Bill needs is the hood and he’d be all set.

The Braves are in 1st!

After a difficult first half, the Atlanta Braves have finally made it into first place in the National League East. I, for one, could not be happier. I’ve been a fan of the Atlanta Braves since 1990 when I saw them at the stadium in West Palm Beach, since taken over by religious nuts. I consider myself a fan of the Marlins as well. I rooted for the Marlins early on, but I was not fond of their championship team in 1997. I like the Marlins being the underdog like they were last year. I like this year’s Atlanta team precisely because they are the underdog again. Of course, the Braves still have a lofty almost $90 million, which is still in the Top 10. Still, this team overcame a lot of adversity. They lost Javier Lopez, Gary Sheffield, Vinny Castilla, and Greg Maddux in the off-season. Everyone counted out the team at the beginning of this year.
I believe this division will remain very close. Philadelphia is probably the most talented team. They’ve got two stars in Bobby Abreu and Jim Thome. Billy Wagner is one of the best closers in the National League. Philadelphia will be haunted by their inability to beat the Florida Marlins. They have 13 games left against Florida. This year, Philly is 0-6 versus the Marlins. Philadelphia self-destructed last September, going 2-4 against Florida. I like the Marlins to get back on track. Tonight, they came back to win 6-5 against the New York Mets. This leaves them 3 games back of Atlanta. They need to acquire one extra bat to add into the lineup. Much of their hopes depends on getting Beckett completely healthy. A rotation of Beckett, Carl Pavano, and Brad Penny will be very tough to beat in November. Dontrelle Willis can be counted on sometimes, but is not always reliable. I’m still not sold on the Mets. I predict that they finish 4th.

Monday, July 19, 2004


Tonight, we continued celebrating Tim’s birthday by going to the Quarterdeck Restaurant in Jupiter. Around 8:00, Tim, Larry, Leyland, and I went up there to shoot a few games of pool. Actually, they shot the billiards. I pretty much watched them this evening. Gary and my Mom came up a little later in the evening. I will go on the record tonight in giving an endorsement against the Quarterdeck. The service and food was substandard. To begin with, one of the burgers was cooked way too done. The French fries came out cool as the other side of the pillow. There was absolutely no prompt service either. The waiter simply sat the food on the bar and made us deliver it to the table ourselves. After they got home, Gary called the Management and complained. Fortunately they gave him a $40 bar tab for next time he attends. I doubt he’ll eat there, but $40 can buy a decent amount of liquor.
To go along with the food and service, there was some extracurricular controversy. If you read last night’s installment, then you’re aware of the altercation/cell-phone assault between Tim and Loren. Well, somehow she found out that we were frequenting the Quarterdeck tonight. She began calling Larry’s cell phone and moments later she was outside of the restaurant. AFAIK, there was not as much hostility tonight. Eventually, Tim and Loren went to the gazebo out back and conversed. He was none too happy. He wanted to enjoy his birthday with relative calm. Someone needs to ensure that no further disruptions take place at our house. The officer last night was concerned that they had to come over to our house five times because of her in the last few months. If this keeps on transpiring, someone will spend the night in the pokey.
 Well, that’s the story there. We still had a decent time. Larry and Leyland are both really nice guys. Tim is as well. The Quarterdeck, or as I like to call it “Quarterdick” might be exiting our rotation of restaurants very shortly.

Just a little about me

After reading through a friend’s online journal, I came up with a decent idea for a posting. I realize that I never really gave a formal introduction of myself. If you’ve been reading, you might be able to guess my interests and stuff. Still, it’s nice to have some of this stuff all in one place. Here goes:
Name: Taylor Sias (Duh!)
Birthday: June 19, 1984
Born: West Palm Beach, Florida
Residence: Jupiter, Florida
Parents: Ann and Robert Sias
Siblings: Gerald and Randy Sias (half-brothers), Troy Winslow (recently discovered half-brother)
Other family: Gary and Timothy Fultz
Significant Other: None
Height: 6’0 ½”
Weight: 200 pounds
Education: Graduated William T. Dwyer High School (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) in 2002. Have attended Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach Community College. Destination for upcoming terms undecided.

Favorite Color: Red 
Car I Drive: 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage (blue)
Favorite Singers/Bands: Michelle Branch, Matchbox Twenty, Vanessa Carlton, U2, John Mayer, Jimmy Buffett, Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks, Avril Lavigne, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, and many more
Least Favorite Artists: Creed, Nickelback, Toby Keith, Britney Spears, and Amy Grant
Favorite Television Programs: 24, The O.C., Everybody Loves Raymond, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The West Wing, and One Life to Live
Favorite Movies: Anything by Michael Moore, The Girl Next Door, 50 First Dates, Austin Powers 1 & 2, The Good Girl
Political Party, Philosophy: Progressive Democrat
Admired Politicians: Gov. Howard Dean, former Attorney General Janet Reno, Sen. Paul Wellstone, Sen. Bob Graham, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Newspapers: The New York Times, The Palm Beach Post
Favorite Sports Teams: Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox
Least Favorite Sports Teams: New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys.
Favorite Athletes: Ricky Williams, Zach Thomas, Dwayne Wade, Dontrelle Willis
Notable interests: Watching sports, politics, billiards, poker, racquetball, reading, watching TV.
Food: Steak and Baked Potato
Sure there’s more, but I don’t want to go into overkill.

Jupiter’s Finest visits once again

For about the 6th time in the past few months, Heather Street was graced by the presence of the Jupiter Police Department. Tonight’s squabble came on the celebration of Tim’s 23rd Birthday. Things were going very well early in the evening. Me, Tim, Gary, and my Mom were all having a nice dinner consisting of cheeseburgers and French fries. Around 9:30, we began receiving multiple phone calls from Tim’s upset girlfriend, Loren. We ignored the first half dozen phone calls. After we couldn’t take the excessive inquiries, Tim and Gary tried to settle things down. For the proceeding hours, there were a few more phone conversations, most ending with abruptness. Finally, a little after midnight, Loren came up to our residence. She began crying and was acting in an aggressive manner. I could hear her bellows from my bedroom where I was engaging in some web surfing. Evidently, one of the neighbors was disturbed and decided to call the Jupiter authorities. A few moments later, three police cars arrived in front of our home. By this time, most of the conversation was civil. Tim recognized one of the officers from last nights’ assault at Spanky’s Bar & Grill on Indiantown Road. As an aside, Tim was originally accused in that incident, but corroborative witnesses quickly cleared his name. This whole ordeal lasted all of twenty minutes. The police basically told Loren to leave and instructed Tim not to see or call her until tomorrow. I doubt that we will encounter any more unrest, for now.
Briefly, I’ll mention some unrelated thoughts about Tim’s birthday. Even though birthdays are supposed to be a celebration, sometimes they make one think about where their life is headed. Tim’s had a number of difficulties, many of which he is culpable for, since his mother died about ten years ago. He probably spent three years in various penal institutions in his late teens and early twenties. His life is headed more in the right direction now, but he still has a tough road to hoe. Without even an equivalency degree, it’s difficult to get a real good job. We, or more specifically I, are trying to help him get his GED. He does have some things going for him. Despite his academic failures, he is a very intelligent individual. He does not have the look of someone who’s spent time in prison. The regrettable aspect of this whole birthday week is discovering how few of his family members care about him. Basically, he only has my Mom, Gary, and me for support. His girlfriend does a lot for him, but she also causes him a lot of stress. A schism in his family has left him with little support from grandparents, aunts, etc. I’ll admit that he wasn’t always the best kid, but I couldn’t imagine my family not being there for me. Sadly, I don’t believe his family would be there for him if he needed it. I’m very blessed with my great family. We’re a small family, but I could count on any one of them if I ever needed it.

Sunday, July 18, 2004


It is that time once again to broach a subject that can be very controversial, at least with me. I really hope my post doesn’t offend any person or person(s) who might have been involved in circumstances that I may mention. I have absolutely no hard feelings towards anyone who expresses doubt or chagrin over my decisions. In some ways, I think they raise important points. I believe they were and are trying to do me a favor, not cause me any discomfort.
My initial impression of alcohol was an abhorrent one. I watched alcohol play a pivotal role in the dissolution of my early family life. I do not wish to blame the alcohol itself for everything that happened. Addiction, on a larger scale, led to the downfall more than the sauce. Addiction manifests itself in other sinister ways, such as gambling. People who are addicted to alcohol often times have generally addictive personalities. They can’t play one hand of cards, drink one bear, or eat just one Lays potato chip. It may be entirely irrational, but I fear that I’ll have one drink or one drunken experience and I won’t be able to stop. Like I said, it’s probably not a fear based in reality. I mention these experiences because first impressions mean something, and my first encounter with the subject was very unpleasant.
At the crux of the debate are the judgments made about alcohol and more importantly users of the drug. Honestly, I don’t believe that there is any right or wrong behavior. The non-drinker is not morally superior to the drinker, or vice versa. I will ignore the legalities of underage drinking, as I believe the laws are antiquated. If 18 year-old men can fight in a hegemonistic war for national profits, why can’t he or she purchase an adult beverage? Almost everybody does drugs on a daily basis. Most people consume caffeine in their soda pop. A minority take mind-altering substances, myself included at one time. The point is that no superiority or inferiority should be taken by one’s alcohol preferences.
I’ve come to realize that my actions were at the root of the controversy over this issue. I don’t think it’s that my friends objected to me being a non-drinker. My conclusion is that they believe everyone, as long as they are able to without experiencing health ramifications, should have the experience of intoxication at least once in their lives. I will cede that they have a good point. Like it or not, alcohol is a major component of our society. I still don’t believe that getting drunk is a good idea. I think I would be comfortable with drinking short of becoming intoxicated. I’ve concluded that it’s not healthy to have such an irrational fear of anything, like I may have developed with alcohol.
So, I’ve tried to examine how to deal with this in the future. Turning it into a big deal is not the way to handle things. That only makes me look irrational and borderline paranoid. I think most people can accept one’s decision one way or the other. I might decide to drink once or twice. Then I can legitimately say that I’ve tried it and draw further conclusions later. Although non-drinkers are in the minority, there isn’t any true stigma against them. It’s a personal choice that matters little to people. In actuality, being the nondrinker can be a good thing, providing a group the needed designated driver.

Quick FYI

I was fiddling with the settings a moment ago. I was able to make a revision that allows anyone, not just registered members of, to post comments. Hope this works.

Watch me reach 10,000 words total for my blog

Nearing the end of my first week of blogging, I discovered that I was fast approaching 10,000 words written. As of this post, I’m about 117 words short of that total. To reach the 10,000 word mark, I’ll make one or two short comments about my experience so far. I’ve enjoyed the couple of hours that I put into writing this week. Hopefully I won’t run out of stuff to talk about. I’m trying to allocate my resources. To draw things out, I might occasionally post some classic material from my archives. It looks like I’m just about there. Let me conclude this piece of drivel right now. Right now. Right now. Right now. Done.

Candidate of the Day: Jeff Seemann

Those of you familiar with DU might remember Mr. Seemann as Angry White Democrat, or AWD for short. Seemann is no longer a member of the DU community for reasons that are disputed on both sides of the debate. I will not use this space to endorse any version of the story that led to Seamann’s dismissal from the site. I am grateful that I came across Seamann during his stay at DU.
His candidacy is about as grassroots based as you can get. He’s done a fantastic job of getting help from old DU friends, along with members of boards like Seemann is featured in William Rivers Pitt’s book, “The Greatest Sedition is Silence”. Seemann was the man who was hassled at a George W. Bush speaking engagement at THE Ohio State University. Seemann’s only crime was turning his back when the President delivered his remarks. For the sake of his young daughter, who was at his side during the ordeal, Seemann dropped his protests for that day. Fortunately, he has continued to serve as a tireless advocate for liberal causes. He was an organizer of the Canton anti-war demonstrations leading up to the Iraq War. He won his party’s nomination for Congress uncontested.
Seemann’s opponent in the 16th District of Ohio is Ralph Regula. Rep. Regula has served in Congress for coming up on 32 years. He won reelection easily in 2002 since the Democratic Party offered up little opposition. His opponent was a truck driver who barely put together an actual campaign. Even with such little organization, the Democrat won almost 30 %. Seemann, a committed campaigner, has the promise to make this an actual race in 2004.

Take a look at his website, listed below. In addition, Seemann can occasionally found at the political message board.