2/1 Pittsburgh Steelers Win Superbowl XLIII Spectacular

Kurt Warner and the Cardinals played a superb game, but an interception in the endzone that run back for a touchdown by Pittsburgh created a 14 point swing that the Cardinals could not overcome.

Still, the Cardinals were in the lead in the final minutes, only to yield to a drive by Pittsburgh that led to a last minute touchdown.

Now, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers will go down in history as the winners of Superbowl XL and the Cardinals team will fade into obscurity as the losers.

It is a sad event for Kurt Warner after he led his team for the first time in history to the Superbowl and had victory in their grasp, just to see it slip away.

But it demonstrates the winning spirit of a deserved Superbowl winner.  Congratulations Pittsburgh, you have another ring.  And thanks to both teams for one of the best Superbowls in history.

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Photo credits: Ben Liebenberg | G Newman Lowrance | NFL.com

Cardinals First Superbowl EVER!! Kurt Warner Rams Home The Victory Over Eagles!

Kurt Warner was the miracle man in 1999 and  the NFL MVP in 1999 and 2001.  He is ranked number 3 of all time in career passing rating in the entire NFL.  So it is really no surprise to see him back at the top despite the inability of management to recognize the timeless talent in this champion.

Warner was a mere backup quarterback for the Rams in 1998, having entered the NFL from the Canadian Football League, but came on to lead his team in the 1999 season, when an injury of the starting quarterback put him in the driver’s seat.  According to Wikipedia, he shocked the NFL.  “Warner completed one of the top seasons by a quarterback in NFL history by throwing for 4,353 yards with 41 touchdown passes and a completion rate of 65.1%”.

He led a basically unknown team to a stellar season and a superbowl title, making the Rams a Cinderella team in only their fourth year in Saint Louis.  The Saint Louis Rams defeated Tennessee to take the Superbowl and prove they were indeed the best team in the NFL.

Career Challenges

kurt_warnerKurt had a problem.  How do you repeat?  It isn’t easy, and the Rams were not made up of the same committed talent of the dynasty teams of the Steelers and Patriots. The defense failed them in future years, and their management did not have the commitment to win.  After two years of being in the hunt but not winning, the Rams blundered away their talent and eventually became the pathetic Saint Louis Team we see today.

Was Warner at fault? In 2002, Warner appeared to lose heart. The Rams went 0-3 and Kurt looked to have lost his spark.  Warner broke a finger and was forced to sit out much of that season giving way to the youthful and promising Marc Bulger.  Marc was indeed a great talent, but he proved that it was not Kurt that was at fault for the Rams’ failures.  Despite great play, Marc has yet to lead the Rams anywhere but to mediocity and more recently, total embarrassment.  Marc has proven that talent alone is not what leads a team.

Warner, in 2003 ended up with the Giants, and he started off winning five of seven games, but the Giants that year were rather pathetic overall.  Despite switching quarterbacks to Eli Manning in place of Warner, the team played out the rest of the season losing 6 out of 7 games.  A change in quarterbacks was not the answer for this team, and great coaching and team building is what brought the Giants to the Superbowl. Eli played well, but could Warner have once again led a superbowl team had they fixed their problems before discarding him?  We will never know.

Kurt was flipped once again, but stuck in there, signing with one of the most hopeless teams in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals. This was not where a great player goes to recover his greatness, this is a team a player goes to die quietly in obscurity.

And so it seemed.  Warner did not rise immediately to greatness.  Injuries and questionable choices by coaches in Arizona kept Warner out of the hunt until 2007.  Then, a miracle.  According to Wikipedia, “In the third game of the 2007 season against the Baltimore Ravens, Warner came off the bench to relieve an ineffective Matt Leinart during the 2nd and 4th quarters (the Ravens were leading 23-6 at the beginning of the 4th quarter). He led a furious comeback as he completed 15 passes out of 20 attempted for 258 yds and 2 TDs. This brought them to a tie game (23–23), but after a Ravens last second field goal, Arizona lost the game 26–23.”  A heartbreaker for Warner, but a sign that great things were to come for this champion.

Still, no one showed true faith in Kurt.  Everyone wrote him off.  No way this old man (age ) could win for the Cardinals, the Cardinals don’t win on their own, how could they win with a has been?  Seattle would win the west and Arizona would make a brave, but hapless, showing.

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Under Kurt’s leadership and with incredibly talented players such as Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Kenmile Boldin on offense and a defense that rose to the occasion many times during the season and shut down great teams in the playoffs when it had to be done, the Cardinals won the West with a 9-7 record and have won three straight in the playoffs against the best the NFC could muster. They beat Atlanta and then destroyed Carolina on Carolina’s home turf, 33-13.  But the Championship would certainly be a different story, right?

In the first half, Kurt and the Cardinals picked apart the Eagles.  The Eagles showed championship heart in the second half, but still fell to a Cardinal drive near the end of the fourth quarter.  After his team’s victory, Kurt said “We don’t care if others believed in us… what mattered was that we believed in ourselves!” Kurt can still lead a winning team, and it was a huge error in Saint Louis to discard him due to management’s continuous flubs.  Bulger cannot lead that team, and even in his prime best years, could not muster playoff quality.  In all due respect, Kurt has grit and you can’t find that easily.  He reminds us of Ken Stabler, another great player into his later years.

First Championship in Cardinal History

Now, the master is in the Superbowl again, and ironically, it is with the Arizona Cardinals.  The Cardinals abandoned Saint Louis for Arizona right as the Rams stepped in.  Saint Louis felt vindicated, but their owners had no clue how to maintain a strong NFL team and traded youth for experience and courage.  Now, the team that was Saint Louis’ heritage, a team with a mascot that could not even survive in Arizona, wins the NFL Championship!! The Cardinals are no longer from Saint Louis, and Saint Louis once again has one of the worst teams in the NFL.

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This is the first Championship for the Cardinals in their history.  The very first time they are stepping into the Superbowl despite being the oldest franchise in the NFL.  It is also the very first time they may just win it all. But it isn’t without the experience of a leader that has been there before.  A man with courage and commitment that knows how to win and how to lead.  A man Saint Louis, 5 years ago, was much too cardinals_arizonalogoanxious to replace.

We have heard many cliches about sports over the years, but this one plays with us to the end.  Defense does not win championships.  Offense does not win championships.  Heart wins championships.  The Cardinals have heart, and it is our hope that it leads them to Superbowl history.



Reality Television 2008 Top Ten in Entertainment

1. Celtics winning 2008 NBA Finals

The Celtics pulled it together after a disastrous 2007 by winning their 17th NBA Title!  Most key in this is that their last title was in 1986, 22 long years ago!  The disaster of the prior season also sweetened the victory after the Celtics had an 18 game losing streak and posted a horrific record of 24 wins and 58 losses in their prior season.

phelps2. Michael Phelps and the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Michael Phelps won 8 Gold Medals in the Olympics and now has to world record for most Gold Medals.  Usain Bolt destroyed all comers!  And despite obvious cheating by the Chinese women’s gymnastics team, the American Team including Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin took the most medals.  A disastrous pair of miscues by Alicia Sacramone led to a loss in the overall, but this team was possibly the best in US history.

3. Tina Fey!

We hope Tina sent Sarah Palin a huge Thank You card for providing her the perfect role to play on Saturday Night Live.  Tina didn’t even have to write the script, she pretty much used Sarah’s dialogue verbatim and had people in hysterics.

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4. Batman, The Dark Knight

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There have been many attempts to market the Batman story, but this latest series has the world captivated.  The difference a realistic feel to the characters and an actual fear of the villains.  Heath Ledger death accentuated his role as the Joker, which demonstrated that even in a comic book role, Heath was a blockbuster star.

5. Iron Man

While we did not want to have two movies in the top 10, we could not find any way to eliminate this gargantuan effort by Marvel.  Robert Downey Junior emerged in this movie to remind us of his diversity and wit despite a somewhat questionable past.  In fact, Robert’s bad boy antics enhanced his appeal in this leading role.

6. Barack Obama Victory Speech (Yes We Can!)

Obama won in grand style and gave an inspiring speech to America.  Almost every American heard this speech and even those that did not vote for Obama were moved.

7. David Cook Wins American Idol

Despite the judges insinuations to the contrary the week before, David Cook won American Idol easily with his unique approach to Rock.  This performance demonstrates an amazing ability to resurrect a performance of old and make it new and fresh.

8. Leona Lewis Bleeding Love Top Selling Hit of 2008

Leona was selected Billboard’s top new artist of 2008. She topped off 2008 with the number one selling single, Bleeding Love.

9. Mercy (Katee and Twitch)

We had to include this performance because it is the most striking dance performance we have seen.  The hypnotic music of Duffy, singing the classic “Mercy”  with a dance choreographed by Emmy Award Winner Mia Michaels places this solidly in the top 10 entertainment moments of 2008 and put Twitch on the map.

wii10. Wii

The Wii was available in 2007, but it took hold in 2008 to become the leading gaming system.  As people slowly forgot about the XBOX and Sony Playstation, they were getting in line to pay retail for this gaming wonder that demonstrated Nintendo is no pushover.

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11/30 Amazing Race, The Setup For the Grand Finale

The race last week had the Frat Boys finishing last.  Luckily for them, it was not an elimination round, but the bad news was they would have an extra task to execute (a speed bump) this week.  The first place team last week was Toni & Dallas so they got to start first.

Today’s race was through Moscow.  There were no planes, just taxis, trains and buses, which makes for a more exciting show.

First, they had to scramble for cabs to get to a submarine and find an actor that was in The Hunt for Red October.  Toni & Dallas broke out to the early lead, but by the time they made the submarine, Nick & Starr and Ken & Tina had caught up.  They were all basically neck and neck.

The Frat boys looked hopeless, well behind the pack.

They had to travel to a park and count statues to get a number, which, if correct, would get them their next clue.  The number of statues lined up with the page number of a book they would receive if they got the number right.  Each time they guessed wrong, they had to wait another ten minutes before they could guess again.

This was where Nick & Starr really took a nice lead.    They got the number correct right away and Nick found the book store pronto.  Dallas got to the book store second, but he was hopeless with the number.  Tina caught up and she didn’t have the number right either.  She eventually deduced the number and helped Dallas out even though he was on the other team.  Something Ken would scold her for later.

The Frat boys were still behind, but Dallas had lost a huge amount of time.  Still, the frat boys got a cab driver that didn’t know where he was going and took them to the wrong park.  They were really looking like toast.

Nick & Starr already got to the next park with a woman with a pony that had their clue.  They were so far out in front that only disaster could have prevented them from winning.

Dallas was now in third and looking to get back to his mother.  But then he made what could turn out to be a fatal blunder.  He had to take a cab back to meet his mother and left the passports and all their money in the cab.  They were left with no money and no passports.  They had to plead for help to get enough money to take the rides.  They also didn’t read the directions and took a train when they were supposed to take a cab to save money. That wasn’t the correct way to do things.  They were in third still, but the frat boys caught up.  Then another major blow, Dallas and Toni had to go back because they didn’t take a cab.  They would have to beg for more money and hope the speed bump the boys had to perform (a dance with a Russian dance troop) would keep them in the race.

At this point they had to take the subway or the bus to get across town and back. Only Nick & Starr chose the train.   We won’t get into too many details about the train and bus ride, but after it was done, due to jumping the wrong bus, Ken & Tina fell behind the Frat Boys, who had performed their speed bump and were in 2nd place.

Well, Nick & Starr were already finishing while the rest were still riding around on the buses.

The final leg wasn’t all that interesting, but the Frat Boys, despite the speed bump and being behind most of the race came in second.  Ken & Tina had a mild setback at the end, and had to run back and get a missed clue, but still managed third.

The lost money had been fatal to Dallas & his mom.  They didn’t even make the finish and were eliminated.

Next week is the finale.  Winner takes all!!



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Of Apple Users, Geeks, George Bush and the Politics of Digg

Are there ways to get more DIGGs?  Indeed there are.  It has been noticed that something as simple as the title can make all the difference.  Key words like “Apple” and “Geek” are often found in titles for articles with numerous DIGGs.  Even hating the right person can get you in.  Articles that attack George Bush are quite popular, even though they likely never get read.  However, that isn’t enough, and the real truth on how to get more DIGGs is rather interesting.

We have often wondered about DIGG.COM.  The reason?  It makes no statistical or logical sense that their system could work on a large scale.  DIGG started as a web site for bloggers to help find other bloggers.  A neat idea, but not a commercial one or one that could work on a large scale.   Once commercialized and popular, everything that gets “DUGG” is suspect.  And many so-called blogs now are full blown commercial web sites.  They are no longer the friendly blogs used by individuals to express themselves that they used to be.

We would expect it to be the case, given these circumstances, that as a site such as DIGG advances in popularity, a few successful blogs’ articles would repeatedly grace its top rankings and the masses would generally get ignored.  We would expect, over time, the model for getting DIGGs would change quite dramatically, and indeed it has. Our part 2 will tell you more!  If you would like us to continue our story, please DIGG this article.

DIGG buried it because they don’t want you to know.

Champion Angel Matos Kicks Referee in the Head! Jim Lampley (NBC) Gets Gold Medal Olympic Laugh! Watch it HERE!

If you are looking to laugh in the Olympics, you had to see this. Make sure to read all the way to the bottom, or you will miss it.

In the Olympic Bronze medal match for taekwondo, Angel Valodia Matos of Cuba, the 2000 Olympic Welterweight Champion, took too much time for an injury time-out and was disqualified from his match.

We are guessing he did not like being disqualified, because his response was to kick the referee in the head. Honestly, he kicked the referee…in the head!!! We figure if he kept going in the match, he may have tried to bite off his opponent’s ear, as in this famous Mike Tyson/Evander Holyfield matchup.

Angel was completely disqualified from the games. Really? Why? Jim Lampley would tell us.

NBC announcer Jim Lampley had us in hysterics. The funniest quote from the Olympics that we can remember!!! Jim said, “Matos was disqualified because… after all, it is the first rule of taekwondo, you cannot kick the referee in the head”.

Get Lampley on “Last Comic Standing”. He had us laughing harder after this comment than we did the entire last two seasons of Last Comic!!

Please check out all our Olympic Coverage From a USA Perspective!!  Many top rated articles with videos and reviews to keep you up to date on the Olympics.



Watch the short clip here!

2008 US Olympic Boxing Disgrace Leaves Gold Medal Opportunities Dehydrated

Boxing has been a heritage of the USA in Olympic games going back over 100 years.  The US statistics for medals has been staggering, delivering such amazing greats as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman.  Who watched the 1968 Olympics and does not remember George waving the American flag after winning his bout to take the Gold?!

Other American boxing champions have emerged from the Olympic stage demonstrating America’s great boxing heritage.  Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar de la Hoya, and Ray Mercer are all greats that won Gold in their respective Olympics.

We noticed this year that the coverage in the Olympic Boxing events on television was non-existant.  We couldn’t seem to find a single match being publicized on the news or on NBC’s coverage.

We decided to find out why, and we were discouraged when we did.  It was the sad performance of the US Boxing team.  We sent nine boxers to these Olympics; only one managed to medal, and that was for a Bronze. Deontay Wilder managed to get into a semi-final round against defending world champion, Italy’s Clemente Russo.  Russo outclassed Wilder easily, taking the Gold.  Three of our other boxers lost in their very first fight.

Even Rau’shee Warren lost in the flyweight class in his first bout against South Korea’s Lee Oksung.  In a close decision, Warren lost 9-8, leaving him in tears instead of on the Olympic podium.

In another case, one of our US contenders didn’t even make the ring. Gary Russell Jr. passed out before the weigh-in and was disqualified.  It was later determined he had dehydrated so much he lost consciousness. That is bad coaching, but the blame game is alive and well, and the coaches blamed Gary.  They should have been on top of Russell all the way!!  That is their job!  How could they let a boxer that has trained for years pass out and later try to explain it away as his fault??  Were the coaches too busy downing Tsingtaos? Well that would explain why they didn’t get dehydrated themselves.

Some have blamed the judging, saying that the American style of boxing is out of fashion in the Olympics.  Perhaps, but Gary didn’t even make it to the ring, and from what we could see of the matches we could dig up, the US just had no heart and no chance.

In five consecutive Olympics, the United States has won three Gold medals, a sad tally that cannot be easily explained.  Prior to that, the US boxing team had consistently delivered strong results at the Olympics.  From 1904 through 2004, US boxers have won 104 medals in boxing, more than any other country.  America’s teams had also won 48 Gold medals.  Again the most in the world!! All this despite our abysmal showing over the last 20 years.   In 1976 the US won 7, 5 Gold.  In 1984, 11, 9 Gold.  In 1988, 7.  In 2008, 1, a Bronze.

We are asking our readers for reasons.  Please comment.  Is this because the US has gotten lazy.  Is it just horrible planning and coaching?  Could the rest of the world have suddenly surpassed the entire US in boxing?  We are at a loss, and unfortunately, so are our Olympics Boxers.

Deontay Wilder, the only US contingent in Boxing who garnered Bronze in the heavyweight (91kg/201lbs) fight with Mohammed Arjaoui of Morocco .

Demetrius Andrade, the reigning welterweight (69kg/152lbs) wold champion takes loss from South Korea’s Kim JungJoo Kim

Arab-American Sadam Ali is defeated by Georgian Popescu of Romania in the Lightweight (60kg/132lbs) division. Ali was eliminated in the first round.

Shawn Estrada lost in the quarterfinals to James Degale of Great Britain in the middleweight (75kg/165lbs) division.

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Javier Molina lost in his first light welterweight (64kg/141lbs) bout against Bulgaria’s Boris Georgiev, 14-1.

Rau’shee Warren lost in his opening fight against South Korea’s Lee Oksung in the flyweight (51kg/112lbs)

Raynell Williams is defeated by Khedafi Djelkhir of France in his second fight in the featherweight (57kg/125lbs).

Luis Yanez lost to Serdamba Purevdorj of Mongolia in the light flyweight (48kg/106lbs) bout.

Gary Russell Jr didn’t even make it to fight in the bantamweight (54kg/119lbs) division as he collapsed from dehydration before the competition began.

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Top Ten Reasons Why the Chinese Cheat In Olympic Women’s Gymnastics

The question that is most often asked is why did China cheat? China cheated in the 2008 Women’s Gymnastics by sending girls well under the age of 16 to compete in Olympic gymnastics, but why?  What did China and their gymnastics team gain by cheating and lying to the remaining Olympic teams?

This article presents the top 10 reasons in reverse order of importance.

10.  Female athletes past the age of 16 are physically developed and have weight distribution that is quite different from younger gymnasts.  In some events, this provides an advantage to girls less developed. It is easier for them to perform many of the exercises. Most that have won gold are 16 or younger.

9.   Psychology has much to do with the issue.  Older athletes feel the pressure more than children who are not mature enough to possess the same feelings of pressure and stress. Younger kids worry less.  Experienced coaches know this.  Bela Karolyi, the former coach of Olympic gold  medalists Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton, was interviewed before the Chinese performed, and said, “This young Chinese team (is) using 14-15 year olds, all kids, they have no pressure…”.

8. Younger girls appear to be less prone to injury.  Whether this is because of flexibility issues or some other reason is not known. Some of these statistics can be seen here.

7. Pressure is another factor related to 9 above. For older girls there is much less of chance of repeating in the Olympics.  That makes it a much more do or die scenario.  The younger girls can look at it more as just another competition or preparation for future games taking the pressure off.

6. A nation choosing to violate the rules and enter younger girls into the Olympics allows the girls to acquire more experience in the Olympics at a younger age.  Sneaking in 12-14 year olds allows those athletes to return at 16-18 well seasoned in Olympic competition giving the team better odds of delivering winners.  Most 16 year olds in the competition will likely not be able to compete again in future Olympics due to age issues and injury, but a 12-14 year old is guaranteed, if she remains healthy, to have a solid opportunity to repeat.  Essentially, for most women gymnasts, their career is over by 18.

5. The Olympics are only once every 4 years!! Some of your best talent may never get a chance to compete.  Girls that are 15 are excluded from the Olympics.  Their probability of maintaining their level of excellence, avoiding injury and surviving as competitors given the general pressures of teen-hood for four years, and then performing in their first Olympics at 19-20 is slim.  China’s dishonesty takes advantage of all the countries that could not send girls that were within just months or days of the requirement.

4. Smaller Framed women have less of a chance of going out of bounds during floor exercises because they can execute the same move in a shorter distance.

3.  Prescreening. Some girls can perform when in practice, but cannot in the stadium.  This provides the team a chance to screen the participants prior to giving them key positions on the team for future competitions.

2. Psychological advantage.  The girls on competing teams know the other girls are cheating to take an advantage and it impacts their performances.

1. First and foremost, sneaking in underage girls widens the field of prospects considerably. If you are limited to just girls over 16, you have a much narrower field to select from.  A girl 2 months shy of the deadline, healthy and with as good a prospects as a girl only 2 months her senior cannot be considered, even if the older girl is injured or is not as talented.  China could consider everyone because they are dishonest and have no problem with cheating to get the best of their girls to the Olympics.  Many American Olympic gymnastic athletes had injuries, but because the USA follows the rules, many 15 year olds that were readily available could not take their place.  The US had to enter the all-around competition with numerous injured athletes.

Deng LinLin of China walks by Nastia Liukin and Alicia Sacramone during the Women’s Gymnastics Team Finals in Beijing, China on August 13,2008.

Conclusion

China’s cheating hurts everyone.  It is a disgrace.  And it isn’t the first time.  The Chinese were caught “red” handed in the 2000 Olympics lying to the world and got caught. It hurts all our girls that could not go and may never get the chance to go.   And every girl they cheat from other nations out of an opportunity comes at a stiff price to that country and their potential medalists.  China is not only cheating, they are stealing from those nations and participants that obey the rules.

We believe China should be suspended from the next Olympic games entirely as the truth comes out and everyone realizes that they cheated once again.