Archive for November, 2005

Tribute to Chris Manderino

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Every once in a while a Cal football player comes along who deserves far more recognition than he gets, deserves more playing time and to be handed the ball more, yet he remains the ultimate team player. These class acts are few and far between. This Saturday we lose one of those class acts in Chris Manderino.

This guy was a great athlete as a freshman and has only gotten better every year. He runs great routes out of the backfield, has great hands, and if I need 2 yards up the middle, I’d hand it to Manderino every time. Additionally, he’s a great blocker. Cal has had great success running the ball for the last few years having a 1000 yard rusher in each of Manderino’s 4 years as fullback. I’m not an expert on stats, but somehow I doubt that’s ever happened before. Additionally, somehow I doubt that it’s a coincidence.

So let’s all raise a glass, or a cold one if you prefer, to one of Cal’s best kept secrets and class acts: Chris Manderino. Everyone in Berkeley will miss you. We wish you the best of luck and hope some NFL team is lucky enough to have you.


Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Jesus Christ! Save us! Have mercy on us ALL!

This article is the lead article right now on the San Francisco Chronicle’s homepage. It highlights an organization called Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. The title of their organization properly sums up the goal of the organzation: The extinction of the human race.

I don’t think I’ve read an article that made my blood boil more than this one in a LONG time. Even Mark Morford’s overly sexualized screeds don’t provoke me as much as this one did.

Included in the article full of blantent lies are the following blood boiling statements:

1. That the UN thinks that we’re having a population explosion. Actually, the UN thinks that the world population is going to peak in 2050 or so and is then headed for a disasterous decline. The article even quotes the UN Study that says this, but only points out the peak population (projected) in 2050 as 9.1 billion. Talk about dishonest! There is no mention in the article that the 9.1 figure is a peak and that we’re headed towards decline. It’s quoted in the “the world just keeps growing, 9.1 billion by 2050!” style.

2. The aticle directly contradicts itself regarding the goals of this organization. To quote, “It’s obvious that the intentional creation of another [human being] by anyone anywhere can’t be justified today.” (emphasis mine) says the founder of the organization who later is paraphrased as saying “In many ways, the idea of reducing the world’s population is as much about human quality of life as it is about the health of the planet.” HELLO!?! Do you have a stinking brain cell working in you! You’re arguing for the EXTINCTION of humanity. You are NOT arguing for population reduction. Hell, as referenced in the article, you’re slogan is “May we live long and die out”.

3. Also stated in the article “Knight takes care to point out that VHEMT isn’t anti-child.” YES YOU ARE! That’s EXACTLY what you are saying: “reproducing would bump you up into the Hummer-driver category.” as you say in the article. And we all know that you’re the type of person who thinks that anyone who drives a Hummer is pure evil.

As a cover for their “we don’t hate kids” crap, they talk about the benefits of adoption or to use his words: “In light of the number of species going extinct because of our increase, and the tens of thousands of children dying every day from preventable causes, there’s just no good reason to have a child,” adds Knight. “We have to ignore all those children to create another one. It’s like saying, ‘Well, they just don’t matter.’ But they do matter: They’re all children in the human family.”

See, this is a PERFECT example of a person seeing a GLIMMER of truth and explioting to an extreme that does a disservice to all of humanity. What do I think of when I think of people who choose not to have children and instead spend their whole lives helping others, mostly children? Why but of course I think of nuns. What else would I think of, being Catholic? Many orders of religious were setup for the sole purpose of helping the less fortunate. These are people who are willing to forgo a ‘normal’ life to live a life of service helping others.

But what do those who do not know God do when faced with the same realization?

They call for the extinction of the human race while telling us that they’re not anti-child.

That’s IT! Expect a fisk about this post in the next day or two…

Is it time for two blogs?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

OK, I know that my blog traffic is minimal at best so creating two blogs doesn’t seem like a great idea on the surface. However, I’m thinking that I write about two VERY different topics. I write about my Catholic faith and the way I see the world as a result of that faith and I write about Cal football. Should I be splitting this into two separate blogs?

The reason this comes to mind is that although most of my posting to date has been Cal related, I’ve been thinking of upping my level of Catholic blogging. I want to write more reflections on the scripture of the day again. I don’t want this to put off those who come to my blog for Cal info.

So here’s a quick survey for all of my readers:

1. Would you visit my blog more often it it was more focused on the subject you’re interested in?
2. Do you think there would be some who wouldn’t visit if the two subjects continued to be intermixed?
3. For those who would be or might be interested in both sides, would having two blogs be a big inconvenience, or do you use an RSS reader?

Thank you to all who take the time to answer…

Updated metrics for Pac-10 games

Monday, November 14th, 2005

Well, I voted against Cal for the first time all season and it was a good thing I did! It was the only thing that saved me from a losing weekend. The only game I really blew badly was the Washington vs. Arizona game. Washington laid the wood to Arizona and the Arizona offense apparantly went back into hiding. For that game my MVD was 42 because, although the winner won by 17 like I predicted, it was the other team. Ugh! Other than that, I missed the Stanford vs OSU game but called it about right: a close game with scores in the mid 20’s. I just picked the wrong team to win.

OK, so here are the updated numbers:

-Winning Percentage: 70.2% (down from 71.4% last week)
-MVD: 14.6 (down (that’s good) from 14.7 last week with additions of 7, 42 (ouch!), 7, 8 and 8)
-TPD: 15.5 (down (that’s good) from 16.0 past week with additions of 21, 0, 15, 12 and 6)

Tune in later in the week for my rivalry weekend predictions.

Bears game wrap up

Monday, November 14th, 2005

Boy, THAT was painful. That said, I want to start off with the positives: Defense!

Our defense did a REALLY good job, all things considered. No one rushed for 100 yards, which is HUGE against the Lendale White/Reggie Bush combo. Also, every single yard that USC got was earned. There were only 2 or 3 25+ yards plays and nothing where a small play was broken into a big play. Cal forced a lot of 3rd downs. The only downside is that there were a lot of 3rd and shorts. But USC punted 4 times and this is one of those rare teams that can go multiple games without needing a punter. Finally, it did all of this even though Cal turned the ball over 6 times and let USC have nearly 37 minutes with the football.

Compare this performance against Notre Dame’s, the only other team to really keep them in check (34 points (a missed extra point is the difference): Reggie Bush rushed for 160 yards and 3 TD’s with a couple of long runs. Notre Dame also managed to keep the ball out of USC hands with a time of possession in the low 20’s (from memory).

So I was VERY happy with the defense. They did a great job against a VERY good team. My guess is that if Cal had held onto the ball and kept USC’s time of possession in the 20’s, USC’s final score would have been in the low to mid 20’s. For a team that is just one TD over their previous games from averaging 50 points a game, that’s pretty impressive.

Now onto the bad part. There is only one way to say this:


This guys is a horrible quarterback. His fundamentals are OK when there is no pressure, but that’s the extent of it. He makes horrible decisions, gets rattled easily, doesn’t handle the pass rush pressure well, and when he isn’t throwing “ill advised” throws, often throws passes that are best described as wounded ducks. If this weren’t enough, his biggest flaw of all is that he isn’t a big game QB. Ayoob is at his best when the game doesn’t matter. In those moments where everything is on the line, you can count on him blowing it for the team.

I was amazed that our run game was still able to get 180+ yards today including a 6.7 yard per carry average by Lynch. These guys had no running room because USC knew that the Cal passing game was a joke today. The only reason they didn’t put 11 guys in the box to stop the run was to make the game challenging for themselves.

I was one of those fans cheering for backup QB Levy to take the field in the 4th quarter. Ayoob has had his chance, I wanted Levy to get one. The guy looked reasonably sharp in his one other appearance at the beginning of the season. He looked pretty darned good in his two drives against USC. He was 4 for 4 and also knew when to run out of the pocket. In fairness, USC had it’s backups in and was playing prevent defense. However, Levy understood this and took advantage of what he was given. His passes were sharp, he made good decisions (the main thing I remember from his other appearance) and had very good composure.

The big question is who to start for the Big Game next week at Stanford. I must admit that I’m split. It is one thing to come in and do mop up duty a couple times in the season. It’s another thing entirely to start. I really don’t know Levy’s readiness, so I will defer to Tedford’s knowlege. I think he’s going to make the decision that is best for the team. My gut says start Ayoob and if he looks like he’s crumbling, switch to Levy post haste.

Pac-10 picks

Friday, November 11th, 2005

It’s that time of the week again. Time for me to prognosticate!

USC 42, Cal 24: For the first time this year, I’m picking cal to lose, and it’s not even close. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be screaming my head off from kickoff until it doesn’t matter any more cheering for the Bears, but the facts are the fact and the fact is that the Bears stink right now without a QB in sight.

Washington 17, Arizona 35: Boy, if there was ever a case where switching QB’s made a difference, Arizona is it. How else do you explain going from losing 16-20 to Stanford to beating UCLA 52-14? Washington continue to be able to break out of the low 20’s in score. The turned around Arizona team wins this one walking away.

Stanford 24, OSU 28: Stanford, Stanford, Stanford. What do you do with this team. The team loses to UC Davis, then beats ASU later in the season. The following week they take undefeated UCLA to the brink. Maybe Stanford isn’t that bad, eh? Well no. ASU is on the traditional Sun Devil slide as sunset gets earlier and earlier. UCLA was shown to be a bunch of posers last week by Arizona. Nope, Stanford is a mediocre team and are going to be suprised by a slightly better mediocre OSU team, who after all, is playing at home.

ASU 33, UCLA 35: UCLA will be out to prove something this week. ASU will continue their slide. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Oregon 35, WaZoo 24: A week ago I was unsure whether Oregon was going to be able to go up to the frozen potato patch and win a night game, particularly after losing their starting QB for the season and without a run game to speak of. After seeing both of the backup QB’s last week (why couldn’t Cal get one of those?) and seeing their game unaffected by the bad weather, I’m confident that Oregon will go up there and take care of business against a team with a six game losing streak who are no longer bowl eligible.

OK, that’s all she wrote folks. Tune in on Monday for updated metrics!

Updated metrics for Pac-10 games

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

Well, not my best week again, but I’m glad to be wrong about the UCLA game. And the Cal game… I should have been right, if Cal actually decided to bring a QB.

In any case, here are the updated metrics:
-Winning Percentage: 71.4% (down from 72.9% last week)
-MVD: 14.7 (up (that’s bad) from 14.5 last week with additions of 11, 8, 49 (ouch!), 0, 12)
-TPD: 16.0 (up (that’s bad) from 15.2 past week with additions of 5, 36, 7, 20, 28)

Tune in tomorrow for predictions for this weekend!

Bears game wrapup

Sunday, November 6th, 2005

I was at a wedding today, so I Tivo’ed the game. I managed to make it home without blowing the game result. As much as it was painful to watch the end of the game, I ‘m glad I did because I’m sure the wrapup articles will do a horrible job explaining what happened (as always).

This game came down to one thing: the lack of a QB on Cal. How is it we’ve got the 8 game veteran playing at QB and the never played a down before today QB for Oregon is the one who looks like the experienced one? Ayoob messed up so many ways:

-Threw 2 inexcuable interceptions, both as the Bears were driving and likely to get points. (the third wasn’t his fault)
-Fumbled the ball deep in our own territory giving the Ducks a free touchdown.
-Missed 4 long throws to open recievers who could have walked into the endzone if he had hit them.
-Missed a WIDE open (and I mean WWW… III… DDD… EEE…) reciever on 4th down in overtime.

Just about everyone else on the team did their job fairly well, but Ayoob sunk the team.

The reality is that this guy doesn’t have what it takes. His accuracy sucks, particularly deep down the field and when he’s running. He doesn’t have the mental poise to know when to throw and when to hold on to the ball. Although the interceptions are the more obvious case (where he should have held on to the ball), the reality is that he more often is too hesitant and doesn’t throw the ball at times when he has an open receiver.

The reality is that with a good QB, Cal is undefeated right now and next week’s USC game would be HUGE. As it stands, the question is whether Cal has a hope for the upset.

Finally, a big congradulations to Arizona for beating UCLA. Somebody FINALLY showed the world just how much of a poser UCLA. They should have lost to Cal and Stanford but because both teams joked, UCLA was considered a “great comeback team”. BS, they’ve just been lucky to play lots of teams that choke.

California proposition endorsements

Friday, November 4th, 2005

As I promised about a month ago, I’m going to endorse one side or the other of all of the propositions. I’ll be giving those endorsements and the reasons for them in 8 sequential posts today.

But before I get to the actual endorsements I want to make sure everyone is aware of my philosophy on propositions. I believe that for the majority of cases, laws should be written by the legislature. After all, that is their job. Propositions, to me, are kind of like a single issue recall of the entire legislature. The right to recall elected officials is an important right, but one that should not be taken lightly or used frivilously. Since I view propositions as a type of recall, I’ll only vote for a measure if the issue has been seriously mistreated by the legislature and deserves the weight of a single issue recall. Said differently: when in doubt, I vote no on all propositions.

With that in mind, read the below posts (and remember to vote next Tuesday!):

Proposition 73: Parental Notification

Friday, November 4th, 2005

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an opponent of abortion “rights”. This measure is being attacked along those lines: you’re either for abortion “rights” or your not, pick a side and vote on this issue. But abortion is not completely a black and white issue. I’m fully willing to allow abortions for life-threatening reasons. In 99% of all cases where the mother dies during a pregnancy, the baby dies too (not that this was hard to figure out). Allowing a mother to kill a baby who is going to die anyway to save their own life is reasonable enough.

Similarly on the other side of the equation, even if one stands for abortion “rights”, one has to accept that it is a serious decision and not one that should be taken lightly. Children have a tendancy to do that, take too lightly serious decisions. The reality is that a 16 year old can’t get a flu shot without their parents CONSENT. All prop. 73 is asking is that abortion clinics NOTIFY the parents (i.e. the parents can’t even stop the child from going through with it because they don’t need to give consent). The main excuse thrown out there is that there are children who have abusive parents, who couldn’t tell their parents without risking further abuse. In my opinion, this is a stupid argument for a number of reasons:

1. There is a provision in the law to allow children to get a judicial bypass.
2. Despite arguments against reason #1 about it being a too complicated process for the child to get a judicial bypass, I guarantee you that clinics like planned parenthood will help children through the process (to the point of abusing it by knowing the judges who will grant the bypass even when it shouldn’t be).
3. The child doesn’t have to notify the parents, the clinic does that. This allows the child to have physical separation if needed.
4. This state has some of the most comprehensive child abuse laws in the world. If a parent is abusing a child, these laws already exist to protect them.
5. This is a corner case affecting a VERY small percentage of children.

The reality is that most children who don’t want to talk to their parents, don’t want to talk to them because they don’t want to face the music regarding the choices in their lives. We shouldn’t give children that choice. Parents should be involved in these decisions. Notifying parents so that they can talk to their children (and remember that is all this proposition does, it does NOT require parental consent) about this choice, is the right thing to do.

My endorsement: YES on prop. 73