Sunday, September 24, 2006


200 years ago the average "Joe" could just walk around his town, county, and state gathering support from everyone he spoke with and get elected into office. Maybe not the Presidency right away, but it wasn't out of question for people to use such grassroots-esque methods to get their voice heard and gain a following which would vault them into the political arena. Back then being a politician wasn't just a job, but more along the lines of a service. The Framers of our constitution had intended on politicians acting as soldiers do in our military; service to our people and our country. So, what happened to all of that? Why is it now that you can have a career in politics? In reality, what do politicians do? It really all comes down to us as a people coming together for a specific purpose and cause.

The "operators" of our government aim to do one thing and that is keep the status quo. Change is bad in their eyes because the "operator's" eyes change will lead to their demise. They are a bunch of wealthy old white men who keep getting wealthier and wealthier as they stay in office and what is worse is that they don't even get wealthy from being in office! They get wealthy from being CEO's of companies that front money for them to remain in office. When anything looks daunting for them they call on the ultra-conservatives and the Christian Right to come in and preach the word of God through politics and then the whiney liberals shout at them from afar because they are too scared to go toe-to-toe with such a large entity. Hence, why we are only given, essentially, two choices for President each 4 years. the Incumbent and someone from the other party.

The problem exists due to Americans becoming too blind and naive to see that by them making a choice between two people that were CHOSEN for us to choose from really isn't making a choice at all, but rather selecting the lesser of two evils. Sure, third party candidates offer other choices for the Presidency, but in all honesty the only third party candidate to ever substantially take away votes from the Republican and the Democratic candidates was Ross Perot when he ran against Bill Clinton and George Bush (1992). It is almost like the "operator's" are dumbing down the American public. Especially the middle class, which ironically enough, happens to be the majority of America! Weird how that works...

The reason why choosing between just two candidates is bull-shit is because how can that be making a free choice? What if both candidates just suck? One of them will be elected no matter what, right? So, what happens if I want to vote for my roomate? I can, but what is the point? Just looking at this system right now, it is very contradictory to what our constitution alotts us as freedoms and rights. We have the right to vote, but only on who they say we can vote for? How does that make any sense whatsoever? How does that make us a free a democratic society? I believe that is more along the lines of drastically teetering on a Constitutional Monarchy...especially when you have families that are ALL involved in the government (Kennedy's, Bush's, etc.)

The thing that really bothers me is that when it comes time for us to briefly glance at our "choices" (if you want to call them that) we are made to feel like scum if we dont "exercise our right to vote". Campaigns from either party tell us it is our civil duty as American Citizens to go and vote. P-Diddy and a bunch of other celebrities tell us to "Vote or Die" on cable network channels and whatnot. In reality though, if either candidate leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and I choose not to vote for either because I think both of them would make terrible leaders, is that not a vote in itself? I voted to not vote. I am exercising my right to vote by not voting for candidates who I despise and were chosen for me, not by me.

It is all a political ploy. Every bit of it. They seek to only purchase votes and pander to people and make you feel Anti-American if you don't vote. The operators of our once great country have completely bastardized the political system that our terrorist fore-fathers fought and died to achieve.

I say to you all, if you feel that the candidate chosen from the Democratic Party is a loser and you feel that the candidate chosen by the Republican Party is even more of a loser, then I beseech you to exercise your rights and freedoms to be a free-thinker and NOT vote for either of them. That is a choice in itself and that is voting. Don't let political propaganda fool you into thinking that you are Anti-American if you don't exercise your right to vote. They aren't allowing us to fully exercise our rights and they haven't for quite some time, so who is really the Anti-American?

Not voting because you dislike each candidate is making just as much of a statement as voting for either of them. Why vote for someone you dislike slightly less than the other? It isn't worth it and because the operators of our government like to keep things status quo, it isn't like it is going to matter anyway.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


My roomate loves Peter Gallagher.

Just wanted to tell you all that.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Running Quarterback vs. The Pocket Quarterback

The Running Quarterback vs. The Passing Quarterback

Sports writers, journalists, scouts, and fans flocked to Virginia Tech when the swift-footed lefty QB took the field each week for the Hokies. They came from all over the land to see the jaw-dropping runs and nail-biting throws this quarterback would make. Who was this QB and why was he so fascinating?

The name: Michael Vick.

Vick is not your prototypical quarterback. Vick is faster than most running backs on any level of the game and boasts a stronger arm than most quarterbacks on any level of the game of football. That is why he was so amazing. Thats why he IS so amazing.

Like anything though, there is a catch.

When Vick was drafted in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, scouts, coaches, and fans alike truly believed that Vick was going to reinvent the position of quarterback. Now, I wouldn't exactly describe Vick's career in the NFL as reinventing the position of the QB, but I would describe his career as a "solidifying example of why mobile quarterback's just don't work past the college level."

Since 2001 Vick has completed just 52% of his passes for approximately 9,000 yards, 51 TD's, and a QB rating of approximately 74.0.

On the other hand...

Since 2001 Tom Brady has completed 61% of his passes for approximately 18,000 yards, 123 TD's, and a QB rating of approximately 88.0. Oh yea, Brady also has three Super Bowl rings and two Super Bowl MVP awards to go along with those stats.

Based on those stats alone, what style of QB do you think is more effective in the NFL?

There are many reasons as to why mobile QB's like Vick have a hard time finding success in the NFL. We will start with some obvious reasons that most people probably wouldn't think are very important, but in reality they can really make or break a QB's performance.

Vick is 6'0" and 215lbs. The average sized starting QB in the NFL is 6'2" - 6'3" and 225lbs. Those few extra inches and extra weight make a big difference when standing in the pocket and delivering a throw. It is very difficult to have good vision downfield when you are standing behind those big offensive linemen (who average nearly 6'5" in height and some reaching heights of 6'7"). Having the extra weight on you allows you to take a beating when it comes, because let's be honest here, the purpose of those bid d-linemen is to put pressure on the QB when he is attempting to make a pass; and those d-linemen will put pressure on the QB's any way they can. It is a lot easier for a d-linemen to take down a QB who is 215lbs than one who is 230lbs etc.

Think about the NFL like the very bottom part of a funnel. At the top, or the wider part, of the funnel is your college-level athletes. All 119 teams in the NCAA boast a wide variety of talent at all of the skill positions, but not everyone is as talented or as fast as everyone else. The old saying goes something like "Speed kills" and in college football, that old saying holds up very very well. Vick was able to be a one-man-show at Virginia Tech because a majority of the opponents he faced on a weekly basis were not nearly as fast as him and couldn't hold a light to his athletic capabilities. He could drop back and heave the long ball or take off running and win games with his legs. Essentially, Vick was a running back who had a decent arm.

We have seen countless examples of QB's in college who dominate their opponents because they are such dual threats with their arms and legs, but when they get to the NFL they are lost. As of late a majority of these QB's have been changing positions to the likes of Wide Receiver, Safeties, and running backs. Some of the more notable players in the NFL who have done this are Antwan Randel El who was the QB for Illinois in his college days, but now he catches balls for the Washington Redskins after winning a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a Wide Receiver. Michael Robinson was a wide receiver at Penn State and then switched to QB his junior year and helped Penn State turn around a program that was starving for big offense. Now, Robinson is on the 49er's roster as a running back. Matt Jones, now a wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars, once heaved balls for Alabama. The list goes on and on.

The main reason, the only reason really, why these hybrid-QB's fail to do much of anything outside of making Head Coaches pull their hair out is because in college a lot of people are fast, but in the NFL absolutely EVERYONE is fast. They can't rely on their escapability anymore because now they have to worry about the 250lb linebacker who can outrun them sideline to sideline every time. Why do you think no one run's the "Option-O" in the NFL anymore, but you see it still being used in college playbooks?

Before anyone looks at me and goes "What about Donovan McNabb? Or Daunte Culpepper?" let me address those two QB's very quickly. Those two QB's came in a few years before Vick started getting hype. They are incredibly mobile and have great escapability, but the main difference is that they quickly realized that the QB's who were winning championships at the pro-level were all great passing QB's. Look at the teams who have won the Super Bowls in the Past 10 years.

1996 - Dallas Cowboys, QB: Troy Aikman (HOFer)
1997 - Green Bay Packers, QB: Brett Favre (HOFer)
1998 - Denver Broncos, QB: John Elway (HOFer)
1999 - Denver Broncos, QB: John Elway (HOFer)
2000 - St. Louis Rams, QB: Kurt Warner (Possible HOFer)
2001 - Baltimore Ravens, QB: Trent Dilfer (Not HOF Material, but good passer nonetheless)
2002 - New England Patriots, QB: Tom Brady (Future HOFer)
2003 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, QB: Brad Johnson (Solid passer)
2004 - New England Patriots, QB: Tom Brady (Future HOFer)
2005 - New England Patriots, QB: Tom Brady (Future HOFer)
2006 - Pittsburgh Steelers, QB: Ben Roethlisberger (Possible Future HOFer)

Not one of those QB's could EVER be considered QB's that were mobile QB's. That's what running backs are for.

The funny thing to me is that NFL coaches and owners are still thinking that mobile QB's in the NFL can work, so they keep drafting them. Other than Vick, how many of them have really done anything as of late? Akili Smith - BUST. Charlie Ward won the Heisman and went to play basketball because he figured he would have a better pro-career there. Quincy Carter - BUST. Adrian McPhereson - BUST. Seneca Wallace - BUST.

I'm not completely saying that mobile QB's are doomed to fail in the NFL, but I will go out on a limb and say that history has proven that pocket QB's are much more effective in the NFL than mobile QB's are. So why do coaches take chances on QB's like Vince Young over Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler? I don't know, I personally wouldn't. However, I do think Vince Young is somewhat of an anomaly though. He has great escapability and a lot of speed, but I also think has has the potential to be a Daunte Culpepper/Donovan McNabb type of player, if he works hard enough to become an efficient passer in the NFL, that is.

So who is the next crop of running back's blessed with arms that coaches will take a chance on? Troy Smith from Ohio State certainly rings a bell, but he is different in that he relies on his passing game first and runs second. He will do well in the NFL. Pat White from West Virginia will probably not do well in the NFL, I see him switching positions to a WR or something of that nature.

QB's like Vick are incredible to watch in action. They are some of the finest athletes around, but being a good athlete does not make one a good NFL QB. I think Vick still has a chance, but he needs to really buckle down and focus on his passing game. He has a lot of weapons around him to throw to; especially now since the Falcons traded for WR Ashley Lelie from the Denver Broncos. Maybe Head Coach Jim Mora's game plan/scheme isn't the best suited for Vick, but that is neither here nor there. I think that Vick will have a decent career, but I can't see him winning a Super Bowl anytime soon. I definitely don't see the position of QB being reinvented to accomodate speedster's with arms. In fact, what I do see in the near future is more mobile QB's turning to other positions at college and being successful on the field because they know how to read defenses better than those who have never played QB.

Explosive athletes are great fun to watch in college and in the NFL, but history has proven over and over again that pocket QB's with patience to stand tall in the pocket and make smart throws are going to win championships in the NFL and put up more consistent and better numbers each year.