Monday, December 03, 2007

thoughts on this beautiful Monday

At the plate: boy, do I hate the BCS. Granted, it's better than the "old way"--but it is so far from ideal. The commissioners of the NCAA should be ashamed that at this point every year they're left reading from the same script, something along the lines of "we did as good as we could and we're happy with how it turned out". Newsflash: the fans of the game--the casual fans like me who don't really have a horse in the game since CU can't play defense--they aren't happy (and I'm not even going to address some of the fans that had a vested interest in this year's debacle, like Missouri and Georgia). Championships should be decided on the field, and should have very very little to do with computers and sports writers. How the NCAA keeps blowing this year in and year out. . .well, I'll tell you one thing: it's educational. Rarely is such blatant corporate greed on display for all to see. Take that, college athletic "purists".

On deck: the "blueprint" to beat the Patriots. I've heard a lot of talk this week of how the Eagles near-miss last week provided a "blueprint" on how to compete with the Pats--and I'm left wanting. Blueprint? How about a good aggressive D with a solid, run-oriented offense that has the ability to go vertical every once in a while--which isn't a blueprint as much as it is EVERY COACH'S DESIRE! I'm watching the MNF game right now (by the way, is there any better booth guy than Jaworski?), and it's tied 17-17 going into the 4th quarter. Wow, two straight weeks in a row that the Pats have been played tight by teams not exactly having their best seasons--maybe the Pats are fallible after all? Ummm, no. While I'm not ready to write them in for 19-0, I am going to say that they are easily the best team in football. That famous "blueprint" resulted in the Pats scoring ONLY 31 points--and that's not normally a recipe for success. In fact, I don't recall hearing Andy Reid singing praises from on-high becuase the Pats "only" dropped a 30-spot on his Eagles. . .in Philadelphia. . .on primetime TV. But I digress: certainly, there are teams out there that can put up points on the Pat D (the Ravens just scored another TD. 24 points--by the RAVENS!), but I'm willing to bet come playoff time there isn't going to be a lot of scoring for New England's opponents. In other words, it is still New England's Super Bowl to lose. Of course, last year it was San Diego's Super Bowl to lose. . .and they did. I can hope, right? (UPDATE: Game just ended, 27-24 in favor of the Pats. Again, close. . .but not enough)

In the hole: the NIE. A lot of political talk today about the National Intelligence Estimate released to the public. Listen, it comes down to this: we still don't KNOW squat. The intelligence gurus will say that as recently as 2003 the Iranians were involved in nuclear weapon development, but that in 2003 they stopped that development for some period of time--some UNDETERMINED period of mind (although the NIE does say with moderate confidence that the program hadn't been restarted as of the middle of 2007).

But here's the kicker: the intelligence world is only slightly more confident (moderate-to-high) that the mullahs don't CURRENTLY have a nuclear weapon than they are confident (moderate) that the program that would produce that weapon hasn't restarted as of the middle of this year--you know, a good 6 months ago or so.

And keep in mind: just one nuclear weapon in the hands of the Iranian government would be disastrous.

And please keep this in mind: this is all from an intelligence community that was exposed as. . .ummm. . ."wanting" as recently as 4 years ago. You know, the same time period that they think the mullahs stopped working their nuclear weapons program.

I'd think caution is the more prudent course of action here.

Cleanup: the dynamics of Iowa certainly have changed recently, eh? Let me just say this: Romney's scheduled "Mormon speech" is getting a lot of play so far this week, and I believe the consensus is that it is an act of desperation. I'm not going to go that far--in fact, I'm going to say it's an act of someone who wants to keep his plan afloat. Listen, Huckabee is appealing to Iowa pollsters for only one reason: he wears his faith on his sleeve. He isn't conservative fiscally; he doesn't have an organization to envy in the state; I mean, what has he offered? I'll tell you what--he isn't a slick operator. And that means something to midwestern folks. Romney is so polished that even his most passionate moments seem somewhat disingenuous. So I can understand the caucus-goer that is undersold on Romney right now, and I think the best way for Romney to get them back is to try to appeal to them through the faith channel. I don't think it's a ploy, mind you--Romney is genuine in his faith. In fact, if he's like most Mormons I know, he's at his most "real" when he is discussing his faith and what it means to him.

I'm pretty sure that Romney would've been happy to never go down this road--but here he is, rounding in on the final lap before the key caucus date (key to his campaign, at least), and he needs to do something to make sure all his hard work pays off.

How ironic that Romney might be getting punished for being such a good politician.


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