Penn State's Blue/White Game Springs Forth Worries

I didn't see the Blue/White Game, but according to several reports, no-one's talking up the prospects for the 2010 team after seeing the first really public performance of the players.

First of all, there seem to be worries about the quarterback position. Kevin Newsome, who looks as though he's going to the starting quarterback this year (but then again, Paul Jones and Matt McGloin could get the roles), was apparently awful from a throwing and rushing perspective, and suddenly the big-time recruit could end up being a big-time charlie.

My biggest memory of Newsome from the 2009 season wasn't one of his touchdown runs, but when he was not allowed to return to the field by Joe Paterno for a wee while after he took his helmet off during a drive and then walked into the huddle. Sad, isn't it?

People also once again hate the offensive line, who once again couldn't stop a darned thing. "It wasn't awful, it was just far from good" said the Lion's Den, before waxing lyrical about Paul Jones' quarterbacking skills.

Maybe it was Penn State's yet again incredible defense, maybe it was a joke scrimmage, maybe it was because they were thinking ahead to the 2011 NFL Draft and the possibilities of a professional career, or maybe they'd had a couple of brewskis before the game - we don't know. But then again, isn't that how the OL played most of last year, too.

There are also worries at receiver, after passes were dropped. We at the VFA aren't too bothered about dropped passes in a scrimmage, but if Derek Moye drops one in the endzone with the score 16-14 Alabama with no time on the clock in September, we'll throw something out of the window.

Will Georgia have a good quarterback this year?

Right, first of all, we know that there will be somebody standing in the huddle, ready to take orders from the offensive co-ordinator at Sanford Stadium.

The options aren't too pretty:

1) Aaron Murray - If you're considered worse than Joe Cox - who sucked last year - then if you're a UGA fan, you'd be worried about Murray. My friends on campus tell me that the universal reaction to Murray has been: "He's not the second coming of Matt Stafford, but he might beat a crappy school. Bottom line: we need a Matt Stafford or a DJ Shockley. We have AJ Green - we need someone to throw him the ball."

2) Huston Mason - He's the only other quarterback on scholarship, apparently.

That's because.....

1) By all accounts Logan Gray wants out. He's got two years left on this scholarship, and Georgia coach Mark Richt doesn't see him passing Murray for the top spot. But then again, if you're considered worse-than-the-man-who-was-considered-worse-than-Joe-Cox, then welcome to Division I-AA, Logan!

2) Zach Mettenberger has been thrown out of school for underage drinking issues (as well as other stuff). Nice one, Zach!

If Murray proves the Georgia fans wrong, life's going to fun in Athens this fun. If not, all hail a guy called Mason - unless Gray stays, of course.

Chocolate Sales

To the tween aged girls who came to my house yesterday selling chocolate bars and chocolate covered almonds:

I got the distinct feeling that when I told you I didn't have any cash on me that you somehow didn't believe me.

Did you happen to notice that big belly that I'm packing around? That is a license to eat chocolate. And since Easter is long gone, so is all the chocolate my daughter picked up from the Easter bunny and various relatives. When you knocked on my door, there was NO chocolate in this house and hadn't been for a while. It's actually been a fairly rough situation where I've been forced to snack on healthy granola bars just because of the thin layer of chocolate drizzled across the top of them.

I should tell you that your offer to make change for any large bills I may have had would have been unnecessary should I have had any large bills because I would have bought a large bill's worth of whatever you were selling.

I even asked if you would take VISA. You girls really should take VISA. Nobody carries cash anymore. (Do they?). If you could take VISA my house may very well have been the last one you needed to stop at.

Did you not find it pathetic when I got my wallet out and poured out the 3 dimes, 4 pennies, 6 nickles and desperately counted them out hoping they'd magically add up to the $3 dollars you were charging per box of delicousness? What about when I sat down on the floor and emptied the contents of my purse out hoping to find some unaccounted for change???

I even asked if you could come back in a few minutes and I would run to the bank machine. Oh girls, I wanted that chocolate baaaaad.

In fact, you should feel lucky that you made it off my porch without getting mugged! Do you know how hard it was for me to allow you to leave after you waved that case of chocolates in front of my nose??? It was all I could do not to rip you off and push you down my stairs.

Did you not see the look of desperation in my eyes?

Ok then on second thought, maybe I got it wrong. Maybe you did believe me that I didn't have money after all and what I saw in your speedy retreat was actually fear...

Oh and yes... *ahem* ...and I am a community minded individual and I am happy to support your sports team or dance class or street gang or whatever it might be you were trying to raise money for. I like to say that I will always support the young kids selling chocolate because one day my kids will probably be out there doing the same and I would hope people would support them too. (That and I really want some chocolate.)


Last year the Canucks started off so strong in the playoffs - giving us all a huge amount of hope - only to go bust in the second round, breaking my heart.

This year, things are right now not looking so great already, and we're only in the first round. This concerns me deeply.

Can I share a little secret with you? I have this secret fantasy that the Canucks will go all the way this year - they will play in the Stanley Cup final, winning the cup for the first time ever. And just after they score the winning goal - I will be so happy and excited that I will go into labour and my son will be born on that very same day, and his birthday will be even more special than it already was going to be.

Sounds great, no?

Hey, taking my due date into account it COULD happen.

Anyways, we're hoping Ruby can bring the Canucks a little luck tonight when they play game #4. She's all geared up and ready to watch the game. And should the goaltending be somewhat questionable (again), she has been practicing with her dad every day and she thinks she might even be ready to stand between the pipes on Friday night when the Canucks return to Vancouver for game #5.
Undeniably dance and song around here. Benefit production "Fame, Fortune and Dreams" at the Bankhead for Agape Village. Today, an encore performance for the Senior Center.

Sometimes it's hard to write a blog post

Sometimes nothing notable or exciting happens for a while, the Universe just doesn't give you any potential blog post material. But even then, if you are on your blog game you can usually fudge your way through even the smallest of events, creating something out of almost nothing. Sometimes you're just tired or worn down or busy and your brain isn't capable of creating anything noteworthy. Sometimes you are so mentally drained that the most killer blog post could walk up and smack you in the face and you just sigh and go sit on the couch and eat potato chips.

Sometimes it just seems like too much work to even type one sentence.

But if you let it go too long the space between posts gets longer and longer and before you know it it's been too long and getting back on the blog horse just seems too hard and maybe you give up.

This is my post to stay in the game.

Once again, the NCAA football gods really pull it off...

On the first Thursday of the NCAA season, you won't be able to wear black make-up, start your special teams in a wedge block, or taunt  your opponent if you score.

There's no truth to the rumour that from the start of the 2011 season, all college football players will have to have an immaculate high school record, and universities will be fined if a football player misses a team meeting from the death of his grandmother. There's also no truth that every game will now have the NCAA logo with the slogan: "Big Brother Is Watching You", either.

While we can understand the wedge blocking rule - we don't want anyone to get injured or killed out there - the eye make-up? Really? What difference does it truly make? Is it going to change the world?

And don't get me onto the taunting. The VFA was at the Georgia-LSU game in 2010 in Sanford Stadium for one of the biggest piece-of-crap calls in NCAA history, involving AJ Green, a great touchdown catch, and a celebration that was called "taunting". It eventually cost Georgia the game.

First of all, what is considered taunting? Is diving over a defender considered taunting, if the wide receiver is the size of PSU giant receiver Derek Moye and the cornerback could star as 'Grumpy' in Snow White & Seven Dwarves? Is celebrating in an endzone taunting? If so, then every player in college football is dead. Is smiling in the end-zone after scoring? What happens in the last second of the National Championship Game, when you go absolutely crazy to your female cheerleader buddies, only to look up and there's a sea of opposition fans? Is the ref going to blow up the play and cancel out your points? Seriously?

Secondly, how is it going to be reinforced? Which school is going to be made an example of? Will Ohio State get one in the Horseshoe, or Florida in the Swamp? Or will away schools be punished? Let's say Penn State actually scores a touchdown in Tuscaloosa, and celebrates in the end-zone. Can they expect a flag? Or can fans live in fear of their team scoring on an away trip to an SEC school, for fear that 100,000 people will start screaming "flag", knowing full well that the SEC officials - who had one of their worst years on record in 2009 - may well throw that yellow flag and change the game.

Thanks, NCAA, you've taken just a little bit more fun out of a fun game. That's what college football is, right? Fun?

Now, I'm off to practice my moonwalk.

Giselle...The costumes, forms, patterns make for beautiful imagery. 

Ballet Company's Firebird...more to come after I shoot the Jazz company dress rehearsal this afternoon. More at:

Pittsburgh: Why Not Go For Big Tim?

Last time I looked, the Pittsburgh Steelers were having a fair amount of problems at quarterback.

We know why: Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes might not play this year because of seperate assault charges.

But get this: if Pittsburgh Steelers fans want someone for the future- and they aren't in love with either Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon, could they go worse than proven winner Tim Tebow?

Yes - we know that in previous articles we've talked up Jacksonville (the logical choice for the T-Man), but why not the black and gold?

First of all, he's great out of the pocket - like Big Ben. He'll be able to take a sack or two (Pittsburgh's offensive linesmen aren't getting any younger), and I'll bet that he'll make better decisions with the ball than Big Ben did, who kept the ball far, far, far too long when getting his ass kicked by opponents' defenses.

Secondly, he's accurate. See his SEC numbers for guidance.

Thirdly, he's a winner. See his two National Title wins for guidance.

Fourthly, he'll behave himself. See his reputation around Gainsville for guidance. The VFA met a guy down in Florida Keys who's a bartender at UF who said: "I saw Tim Tebow come into my bar once in the two years I served. He was there for 10 minutes, had an iced water, and then left." And you don't have to worry about him in the off-season: he'll probably be doing mission stuff. Pittsburgh fans need a role model again - so why not Tebow?

Welcome back, baseball

Welcome back, sweet baseball.

We pray from Seattle to Florida and from Toronto to Texas to you to give us the elixir of October success.

Over the next few months we’ll fall back in love with our stadiums, from the Green Monster at Fenway to the Green Monster Ivy at Wrigley. We’ll hope to see a player fall up the hill in Houston, fall over the fence in Arizona, or crash headlong into a superstar at Yankee.

We can’t wait to rehash our conversations at the park. Would Alex Rodriguez or Manny Ramirez ever get into our all-time hitters team? Will Joe Mauer be the best catcher of all-time? Who’s going to be a better pitcher at the end of their career – Roy Halladay or Nolan Freakin’ Ryan? Frankly, I’m rooting for Ryan. There’s no rumor he’s thinking of coming back, by the way.

Well, one thing’s for certain, Halladay hasn’t yet hit a batter in the face in the same way that Nolan Ryan got Robin Ventura back in the day. Ventura must still regret rushing the mount. We can only hope for a Prince Fielder vs Carlos Zambrano fight – it’ll be like the battle of King Kong on the mount, live from Miller Park. The smart money’s on Fielder, by the way. On that point, can you imagine the headlines if Hideki Matsui went looking for blood? “Godzilla takes [add team here]” you can see the Times say.

Speaking of blood, we’ll talk about some of the best fights in baseball. Can anyone top the fight between the Orioles and Yankees in 1998, when Darryl Strawberry pulled out one of the greatest punches since Mike Tyson? We’ll try and goad our bench to empty and fight, even if our team’s down 10-0 with two outs in the ninth. We’ll jump around a lot and get on the opposing hitter’s back – especially if he plays for the your hated rival.

In our minds, we’ll constantly be battling the manager, the pitcher, the batter, the fielder, the third base coach, the first base coach, the umpire and the owner for making the mistakes that cost our team a shot at the game, the division, the league, the play-offs, the World Series. And Steve Bartman, get the hell away from me.

White Sox fans will ask older folk about “Disco Demolition Night” at Comiskey, while teary-eyed Yankee and Tiger fans will recall “Stadium Demolition Night” when the owners took away the two stadiums that bore our teams’ names. “True, these are great stadiums, but they don’t hold the aura of the old places,” says your father, your uncle and your grandfather, seemingly in unison, before your grandfather starts to recall the Boys of Summer at Ebbets Field, even if the math between him living and Jackie Robinson playing doesn’t add up. I-Tune night, live from Petco Park, doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

We talk about potential Hall of Famers, and whether I’m hoping for Ken Griffey Jr to get into the Hall more than you are, and whether Barry Bonds should be in the discussion. Heck, we enjoyed the early 2000s almost as much as the Summer of ’98, when the long-ball was the talk of the bar, the town and the nation. We don’t forgive McGwire for letting us down, even though in our heart of hearts we knew that this superfreak was eating a little more than Cheerios every morning. We pray that Albert Pujols will break McGwire’s record – and we hope and pray that there’s nothing on him that we should but don’t want to know about.

And sadly, we’ll also reflect the careers where the talent seemed to outmatch the brain power. Darryl Strawberry may have won a World Series title or two, but he spent more time on the white lines than running them. Bo Jackson crushed home runs, but he got injured. How many would Griffey have had if he hadn’t gotten injured? How good would Milton Bradley have been before he lost his mind?

We can’t wait to see you again, sweet baseball, and thank you, in advance for giving us a huge set of memories: you take us out to the ball game, where we can root, root, root for the home team. Even if, at least 60 games a year, they screw up and ruin your day.

Hell, it’s better than having no baseball at all, isn’t it?

Chasing rainbows. The view of my favorite little church, here in town. So many pleasant memories. This image was made last week in my pursuit of blossoms in the early morning light. Well worth the rain...

Glorious Easter wishes to you, my friends. Here are a few images from the lighter side. :)