Saturday, September 30, 2006

NFL Picks, Week 4

For entertainment purposes only. Picks are against the spread, straight up winners are in bold.

NY Jets (+9) over Indianapolis (W, 28-31)
Baltimore (+2.5) over San Diego (W, 17-16)
Minnesota (+1) over Buffalo (L, 12-17)
Dallas (-9) over Tennessee (W, 45-14)
Kansas City (-7) over San Francisco (W, 41-0)
New Orleans (+7) over Carolina (W, 18-21)
Atlanta (-7) over Arizona (W, 32-10)
Miami (-3.5) over Houston (L, 15-17)
St. Louis (-5.5) over Detroit (W, 41-34)
Cincinnati (-6) over New England (L, 13-38)
Jacksonville (-3) over Washington (L, 30-36)
Cleveland (-3) over Oakland (T, 24-21)
Chicago (-3) over Seattle (W, 37-6)
Philadelphia (-11) over Green Bay (W, 31-9)

Against the Spread
LAST WEEK   7- 5- 2  .571
TO DATE 26-18- 2 .587
THIS WEEK 9- 4- 1 .679
SEASON 35-22- 3 .608

Straight Up
LAST WEEK   9- 5  .643
TO DATE 30-16 .652
THIS WEEK 10- 4 .714
SEASON 40-20 .667


Friday, September 29, 2006

Mazzarella inserts himself into guv race

Leominster mayor Dean Mazzarella is back at it again. I guess it's been a while since he's been on the front page, so he dropped a dime to the Telegram and Gazette and the Sentinel and Enterprise to express concern over Deval Patrick's decade-old statements on convicted rapist Ben LaGuer's attempts to be freed.

Now, my first reaction was that the mayor is just looking for a reason to get in the papers again. Let's face it, the guy likes the publicity. No event is small enough for a presser. You may recall, he called a news conference in the spring to rebut a TV mini-series about the bird flu. But others wonder if he's trying to knock Patrick down a peg in his run against Kerry Healey. Another theory suggests that Mazzarella is providing cover for Mitt Romney's controversial appointment of Assistant DA James Lemaire to a judgeship.

Frankly, I think it's a combination of three factors:

1. Mayor Mazzarella strongly believes that LaGuer is guilty and he's genuinely concerned that a Patrick win could be a factor in the effort to overturn his conviction. Mazzarella was a rookie police officer on the Leominster police force when the victim in the case was raped and beaten and was one of the first officers on the scene. In the recent interview with the Sentinel, he remembered "looking in the back of an ambulance at someone who was beaten for 12 hours. You know, it was a pretty violent crime." I'm sure my opinion would be heavily influenced by witnessing a victim in that state of distress.

2. The mayor has decided to support Lt. Governor Healey, and he knows he has an issue that could resonate with voters. Let's face it, to anyone who doesn't read much past the headlines or the first couple of paragraphs, the idea of Patrick supporting the efforts of a convicted rapist will just reinforce Healey's attack that Patrick is "soft on crime." It doesn't really matter what the details of the case are, or the reasons behind Patrick's position a decade ago if folks won't research an issue deeply enough to understand all of the elements.

In his interview with the Sentinel the mayor said he voted for Chris Gabrieli and presented his vote as a sign of his independence (He campaigned for Romney four years ago). But it could also be that Mazzarella is lining up behind Healey, as I expect many independents in Leominster who voted for Gabrieli and Reilly will. It wouldn't shock me to find that Mazzarella is being a covert surrogate for the Healey campaign in an area of the state which could be the key to the race.

3. The Mayor sees an opportunity to increase his profile. As I mentioned previously, the Mayor likes to be in the news. Certainly because of his involvement in the case, he has an interest in the case, and as the leader of the city, he has a bully pulpit.

I think it's instructive that he called reporters from the two local papers to express his reservations about Patrick's position. If he were only worried about Patrick's statements, I'm sure he could have called Patrick privately to discuss the issue. I mean, he is the mayor of a very important city not only in the region, but to the campaign. I'm sure Patrick would have either returned his call or arranged to meet with him when he was in the area. Add to that the fact that this issue was covered in the papers a month ago during the primary and the mayor had the opportunity then to address it if he wished.

I'd say the mayor had a reason to air his concerns publicly. I'm just not sure which reason was his most important.

Update: Further demonstrating my point about basking in the limelight, Mazzarella has been hitting the Boston talk radio circuit.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Where is Rep. Flanagan's campaign?

In less than six weeks, Leominster voters will decide whether or not to send freshman state representative Jennifer Flanagan back to the state house for another term. I support Jen Flanagan, and I want her to be reelected. But I am beginning to wonder if I am more interested in her reelection than she is.

Since the end of April I have written about the race a handful of times. It's certainly not the most important thing on my mind. But at least I've been on the bandwagon. Rep. Flanagan's campaign website has not been updated since June 6. The only event on her site's "events" list is a campaign kickoff scheduled for February 26. Her biography doesn't even mention her time as a state representative among her qualifications.

Maybe she's got everything under control, but I'm skeptical.

City councilor Claire Freda, who left the Democratic Party and her seat on the Democratic State Committee in February to run against Flanagan as an independent, is as cliched as a candidate could be. She offers nothing. She officially kicked off her campaign Tuesday with these gems:
  • "I won't serve the special interest groups; I'll serve the residents of Leominster."
  • "[I'll] make Leominster a priority."
  • "As a state representative, it's my job to bring money back from the state to the city."
And my favorite:
  • "[The Democratic Party] was not the party I grew up with, Family values were falling apart."
Which essentially means "I can't get enough votes in a Democratic party, I'm bored with being a city councilor, and since I'm against gay marriage I'll run as an independent. Did I mention I'm from Leominster?"

Despite no compelling reason for her candidacy, Freda is popular enough in town that she went into September with more cash on hand than Flanagan. She only lost the Democratic primary to Flanagan by 835 votes, and if she keeps one-third of the Democrats in November, the race will be no better than a toss-up.

Essentially, Flanagan had better be prepared for a fight. She will need to make a compelling case for reelection, and frankly, I have yet to see a sign of it.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

George Allen makes me laugh

Not really. In fact I find the senator's use of racial slurs (including the recent "macaca") and his history of bigotry offensive. But Slate has decided to have a little fun at his expense with the George Allen Insult Generator. Some of these are quite funny.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Belichick for Secretary of State

Think Condoleeza Rice and the neo-cons take a hard line? Bet they haven't discussed the possibility of China dissolving in the next 11 months. Bill Belichick:
That stuff is so far in the future that I don't know if China will be there a year from now.
Now that's taking a hard line.


Staying out of jail, and other thoughts on the tonight's debate

Let me get this confession out of the way: I have driven a car with an expired registration. I think it's important to state that up front since Christy Mihos proposed tonight that driving without a license or registration should be a felony. I'll be voting against Christy since I don't want to go to jail.

Oh, and get Shonda Schilling off my TV.

In other news, tonight's debate was good for Deval Patrick. Patrick came into the night riding the momentum of a surprisingly strong victory in the Democratic primary and a stunning 64-25 lead over Kerry Healey in the first poll after the primary. I wondered if he would play it safe and defend his lead or go for the kill. He got the best of both worlds as he was able to reaffirm the positions where he is on the side of the majority, let the issues which work against him get lost in all of the crosstalk, and sit back while Christy Mihos and Grace Ross led the attack on Kerry Healey.

The only thing I heard from Patrick which was "new" (at least to me) was the charge that the Romney-Healey administration had raised "taxes and fees" by over $900 million dollars during their time in office. Frankly, that's not a lot of money and not a big deal, but it is clear that Patrick will be touting that number to try to neutralize Healey's attacks on his position.

Patrick didn't score any points against Healey, but Healey took her lumps as Ross and Mihos pounded her on essentially everything the Romney administration has done over the years. In fact, Patrick appeared pretty reasonable in agreeing with Healey on a couple of items when she would attempt to rebut an attack from the other two candidates.

Mihos especially led the charge, attacking Healey on the Big Dig and budget issues. He pounded away on leadership issues, reminding Healey that she and Romney have had four years to make the changes that she is proposing, and have failed on all accounts. As a former member of the Turnpike Authority who spoke against the excesses of the Big Dig and was fired by a Republican governor, he has credibility on the issue that the other three candidates don't have, and his command of the issue and the passion with which he discussed it were his strong points.

However that passion caused him problems when he was discussing other issues, he often lost track of his points as he spoke, repeating himself in some instances and changing subjects abruptly in others. It was as though he was so excited that he forgot what he was saying. In fact, he probably came across worse on the radio than on TV. I heard the first 10 minutes of the debate while driving home from work and had an impression of a wildly gesturing, wide-eyed lunatic. On TV, he seemed energetic but composed.

Ross surprised me a little. While she seemed disinterested through much of the first part of the debate, she was genuinely passionate and articulate when speaking about economic issues and the challenges facing urban and working families. The election won't be won or lost on those issues, and Ross doesn't have the money, organization, or personal presence to make much of a dent. But I'd be surprised if she isn't able to claim the 3% of the vote necessary to qualify the Green-Rainbow party for the ballot in 2008. In fact, I wouldn't be stunned if she finished third, ahead of Mihos.

Healey seems a little more impressive to me each time I hear her, but I think that's because my expectations for her are low. For four years, I've only seen her stand next to the attention hog that is our governor, and I think I've subconsciously assumed that it has something to do with her inability to add anything. But she's in a really tough spot. If she attacks Patrick as hard as I think she wants to, she will come across as being shrill, and it will play right into Patrick's strategy of staying above the fray. If she defends herself against the attacks of Mihos and Ross, she runs the risk of getting bogged down arguing with opponents that can't beat her. I'm not sure how she breaks out of that spot. I suppose her only chance is to attempt to bait Patrick into losing his cool, but we saw how that worked for Tom O'Reilly.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

On a more serious note...

Peek Freans are a very serious cookie.
Peek Freans.
If you're a grown-up or plan to be one, you'll know what we mean.
Peek Freans are a very serious cookie.
Peek Freans.

I was out of town on business last week and saw a box of Peek Freans. I haven't been able to get their old jingle out of my head since. Just thought I'd share.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

NFL Picks, Week 3

For entertainment purposes only. Picks are against the spread, straight up winners are in bold.

Buffalo (-5.5) over N.Y. Jets (L, 20-28)
Pittsburgh (-1.5) over Cincinnati (L, 20-28)
Jacksonville (+7) over Indianapolis (T, 14-21)
Tennessee (+11) over Miami (W, 10-13)
Washington (-4) over Houston (W, 31-15)
Chicago (-3) over Minnesota (T, 19-16)
Carolina (-3) over Tampa Bay (L, 26-24)
Green Bay (+7) over Detroit (W, 31-24)
(-6.5) over Cleveland (L, 15-14)
Arizona (-4.5) over St. Louis (L, 14-16)
Seattle (-3.5) over N.Y. Giants (W, 42-30)
Philadelphia (-6) over San Francisco (W, 38-24)
Denver (+7) over New England (W, 17-7)
New Orleans (+3.5) over Atlanta

Against the Spread
LAST WEEK  12- 4- 0  .750
19-13- 0 .594
THIS WEEK 6- 5- 2 .538
SEASON 25-18- 2 .578
Straight Up
LAST WEEK  13- 3  .813
TO DATE 21-11 .656
THIS WEEK 8- 5 .615
SEASON 29-16 .644


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Patrick sweeps the North County

I'm not surprised that Patrick won, but I'm stunned both by the margin statewide and that he carried all of Northern Worcester County, despite our reputation as being more conservative than counties to the East and West (for instance, not one town in the North County went Democratic in the 2002 general election). I would have expected the region to go for Gabrieli or Reilly. But as we look at the results, Patrick not only won across the region, he earned majorities in many of them. Here are results from the surrounding towns:

Leominster 1,904 41% 1,523 33% 1,189 26%
Bolton 401 61% 161 25% 95 14%
Clinton 829 45% 451 24% 566 31%
Fitchburg 2,084 44% 1,433 30% 1,228 26%
Lancaster 488 61% 187 23% 131 16%
Princeton 315 59% 152 28% 67 13%
Sterling 427 51% 248 30% 161 19%
I'm stunned that Lancaster of all towns went that heavily for the most progressive candidate. To give you an idea how conservative Lancaster is (comparatively), Kerry only beat Bush by two votes in 2004. In fact, Sterling went for Bush two years ago, yet a majority of today's voters went for the more liberal choice.

The question for the general election will be whether or not independents came out for Patrick and will stay with him for the general, or if the votes he received were exclusively from party activists. If it is the former, Patrick will win easily. If it is the latter, we're in for a tough fight ahead.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Deval Patrick for Governor (and the rest of my ballot)

In tomorrow's primary, I will cast my vote for Deval Patrick to be the Democratic nominee for governor, and I urge you to join me in supporting his candidacy.

I had been struggling to decide between Patrick and Chris Gabrieli, and did not settle upon Patrick until late last week. If Gabrieli were to win the nomination I would be comfortable supporting him, as he and Patrick share similar views on many of the issues, but there are a handful of reasons I am choosing Patrick:

1. Patrick has the personality and passion to lead the state in a time of crisis. When two candidates share similar platforms, leadership ability becomes magnified as a trait. I believe Patrick has it. Patrick has shown an ability to inspire his supporters, to articulate his vision for the state, and has brought a passion to the campaign that Gabrieli lacks.

2. Patrick is a Democrat and is not afraid to run as a Democrat. As the campaign has neared primary day, Gabrieli has determined that his best chance to win is to appeal to independents and conservative Democrats. His question at last Wednesday's debate asking Patrick whether or not he has taken positions in disagreement with the party platform was a disappointment. The candidates are running for the Democratic primary, and while Gabrieli and Tom Reilly emphasize their differences with the part, Patrick is unapologetic for his party affiliation and unafraid to run on Democratic values. If I wanted to elect a non-Democrat, I'd vote for Kerry Healey or Christy Mihos.

3. Patrick favors continuing in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants. I do not believe we should punish children for the choices of their parents. The state has a responsibility to provide for all of it's residents, and in order to help qualified immigrant children fulfill their potential and be contributing members of society, we should provide them with the same opportunity as their American-born peers. Gabrieli's opposition is ironic considering his reputation as an education guru of sorts, and it smacks of political opportunism.

4. Patrick is on the right side of the income tax debate. It has taken me all summer to warm to his position, as I am inclined to support an immediate income tax rollback because the voters approved the rollback as an initiative petition. While I think government by initiative petition is a bad way to do business, it is the law of the state. But I also believe that the state is not fiscally sound enough to absorb an immediate tax cut. It took all summer, but Patrick finally explained his position in terms I could agree with in the debate on Wednesday when he asked if residents would rather have $200 in your pocket, or save $500 in auto repairs because our roads and bridges are sound. He also explained that he supported the current law which provides for increases in personal exemptions and deductions before rolling back the income tax rate. Gabrieli's plan is clever, but vague.

For Lieutenant Governor, I will vote for Worcester mayor Tim Murray. Generally, I do not believe that the nominee for LG has much effect on the race, but Murray could bring enough support from Central Mass. to keep Healey from sweeping the region (60 of 61 towns in Worcester. County voted for Romney in 2002), and in a close race, that could be the difference. I also believe that Central Mass. could use a strong advocate in the executive branch. I would also be comfortable with Andrea Silbert if Murray were not to win the nomination.

Incumbent Bill Galvin will get my vote for Secretary of State. Challenger John Bonifaz is essentially a one-issue candidate, emphasizing the need for election reform. While election reform is a major issue nationwide it has rarely been a problem in our state, to Secretary Galvin's credit. I am disappointed that Galvin refused to debate his challenger, but not disappointed enough to change my vote.

I am reluctantly voting for Joe Early, Jr. for District Attorney. For nearly all of my adult life I have only voted for one republican in each election: whoever was running against retiring DA John Conte. Conte is a tired, reclusive, uncurious, uninterested, unaccountable old grump and should have retired decades ago.

I was hoping we'd have a better choice than the son of the quintessential congressional hack (Congressman Early nearly brought me to tears of laughter late one night when I caught him on C-Span defending himself against charges that he was involved in the congressional check-kiting scheme. He was pounding the lectern in the empty chamber, hollering in his Elmer Fudd affect "They'uh wunning like wats!" at his imaginary tormentors).

But it's either him or Dan Shea, a carpetbagger from Texas who came to Worcester a decade ago, made a name defending victims of the Catholic church abuse scandal, and decided to run for office. At least Early is local and has worked as Asst. DA and Asst. Attorney General.

For Governor's Council I will mark my ballot for Brian Buckley. I believe as Buckley does that lawyers should be evaluating and endorsing or rejecting the governor's choices for judgeships. That leaves two candidates: Buckley and Brian D'Andrea. D'Andrea was a protege of Matt Amorello's at the Turnpike Authority and is a hack's hack. He will not receive my vote.

I am voting for Kathleen Reynolds Daigneault for Register of Deeds. (And shouldn't that be Registrar of Deeds. Isn't the register the physical book or binder in which the deed is filed.) I do not believe this should even be an elected office, but since it is I'm voting for Daigneault. She has been a perpetual candidate in Leominster and lost in the 2004 primary race for state representative. In fact, her supporters have recycled the campaign signs form that race, and added stickers with "Register of Deeds" to the sign posts. I don't know if that is pitiful or a sign of perseverance, but it's enough to get my vote.

All of the other races are uncontested, and while I usually leave my ballot blank if a race is uncontested, I will cast a vote for incumbent State Rep. Jennifer Flanagan. She is facing a strong challenge from opportunistic former-Democrat Claire Freda in the general election and I believe it will be helpful for Flanagan to gauge the level of her support coming out of the primary.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

NFL Picks, Week 2

For entertainment purposes only. Picks are against the spread, straight up winners are in bold.

New England (-6) over N.Y. Jets (W, 24-17)
Baltimore (-12) over Oakland (W, 28-6)
Indianapolis (-13.5) over Houston (W, 43-24)
Cincinnati (-10) over Cleveland (W, 34-17)
Buffalo (+6.5) over Miami (W, 16-6)
Chicago (-8.5) over Detroit (W, 34-7)
Carolina (-1.5) over Minnesota (L, 13-16)
N.Y. Giants (+3) over Philadelphia (W, 30-24)
Atlanta (-5.5) over Tampa Bay (W, 14-3)
New Orleans (-2) over Green Bay (W, 34-27)
St. Louis (-3) over San Francisco (L, 13-20)
Seattle (-7) over Arizona (W, 21-10)
Tennessee (+11.5) over San Diego (L, 7-40)
Kansas City (+10.5) over Denver (W, 6-9)
Washington (+6) over Dallas (L, 10-27)
Jacksonville (+1.5) over Pittsburgh (W, 9-0)

Against the Spread
LAST WEEK   7- 9  .429
THIS WEEK 12- 4 .750
SEASON 19-13 .594
Straight Up
LAST WEEK   8- 8  .500
THIS WEEK 13- 3 .813
SEASON 21-11 .656


Saturday, September 16, 2006

"hot condiments cause them to be...interested in sex"

It's Saturday and you know what that means...those crazy oldsters have the Telegram and Gazette letters page all to themselves. Today's installment just might move right to the top of the list:
I wish to commend the writer of "Whole family can benefit when one member goes meatless" (Telegram & Gazette, Aug. 2). This is so true.

The famous physician, Dr. Benjamin Spock, was absolutely right when he said that children should never be given any meat. These flesh foods are stimulating to the nerves and passions. Today, children's immature bodies are deluged with meat, sugar and drugs. These items, as well as hot condiments, cause them to be whining, screaming, moody and interested in sex and their poor parents are wondering where they went wrong in raising their families.

Meat and eggs are aphrodisiacs. Eggs are very good for ridding the body of certain poisons but they should be used in moderation. Some children should not eat them at all.
Hmmmm. Benjamin Spock did write that children should have a meat- and dairy-free diet, but he certainly didn't write the rest of that. Bet I know who did.

Previous T&G Letters to the Editor:
Disgust with that nasty Francona grows
It's that dirty Francona's fault
T&G reader takes on terrorism
Worcester: the San Diego of the East
Is State Senator Barrios a Bush Crony
Rem-Dawg Debate Rages in Worcester
Jerry Remy has "lost all touch with reality"


Tom Reilly remembers he's from Springfield

Nothing brings a candidate back to his roots like the opportunity to hammer one of his opponents. Thanks to a pretty good gaffe by Chris Gabrieli, Tom Reilly has gone on the offensive to stand up for his otherwise neglected home city of Springfield.

First, Gabrieli compared Springfield to one of the most dismal, crime-ridden, downtrodden cities in America in yesterday's Globe:
The towns around Springfield are doing fine. Springfield is Detroit. It's just the city is being abandoned for the nearby suburbs, and you know, and then all those suburbs are saying, we should get 25 percent of our aid on Chapter 70 because we just should.
Hoo Boy! If that's not enough to get a Springfielder going, I don't know what is. Reilly, who hasn't lived in Springfield for decades but knows an opportunity when he sees one, was off and running, first with this response:
SPRINGFIELD --Attorney General and Springfield native Tom Reilly today demanded that Chris Gabrieli apologize to the people of Springfield for mocking the city -- Mitt Romney style -- and comparing Springfield to Detroit.

"Just because Springfield is more economically diverse than Louisburg Square doesn't mean it's a bad city or something to mock," Reilly said. "I'm proud of my home city, I believe in its future and what it needs is a Governor who cares about Springfield, not another out of touch Governor who mocks it."

"Mitt Romney infamously called Lawrence 'Kennedy Country.' Well I'm proud to call Springfield 'Reilly Country.' This is an insult to Springfield and Chris ought to publicly apologize to the people of Springfield."
Heh! A bit of a stretch to compare Gabrieli's remark to Romney's 'Kennedy Country' remark, but a decent retort nonetheless. The reilly campaign then decided to have a little fun with it, and twist the knife a bit further:
Side-by-side comparison shows Springfield is no Detroit

Chris Gabrieli today refused to publicly apologize to the people of Springfield for his remark to the Boston Globe comparing Springfield to Detroit. Gabrieli, one of the founders of a Massachusetts'think tank, might want to do some deep thinking over the final weekend of the primary before he mocks Massachusetts again.

To help, the Reilly campaign offers a side-by-side comparison for Gabrieli:
Population of 911,000 people..................................................Population 152,000
Home of the Aries K car....................................Home of the classic Indian motorcycle
Ranked the most dangerous city in America...Wasn't Dubbed "Murder City" Birthplace of Basketball
Will close 95 schools by 2009.............................Home of favorite kids author Dr. Seuss
Epicenter of the Rust Belt..................................Epicenter of the lush Pioneer Valley
16,000 houses left abandoned in 1999..................................Called the "City of Homes"
Birthplace of Kidd Rock.............Birthplace of the next Governor of Massachusetts, Tom Reilly
This probably won't add one vote to Reilly's total (certainly not mine), but it's nice to see them add a little snark to an otherwise routine campaign.


Friday, September 15, 2006

I think I've got this wind chill thing figured out

Wednesday, I wondered where the wind chill begins and the heat index ends after receiving the following update:

A Few Clouds and 61 degrees F at Fitchburg Municipal Airport, MA

Winds are West at 8 MPH. The pressure is 30.10" (1019.5 mb) and the humidity is 60%. The wind chill is 60. Last Updated on Sep 13, 11:52 am EDT.

Well wouldn't you know, a cold rainy day and night has brought the issue into clarity, even though I still think the whole thing is absurd. Over the last couple of days, I have received these updates:

Rain Fog/Mist and 65 degrees F at Fitchburg Municipal Airport, MA

Winds are Southeast at 3 MPH. The pressure is 30.06" (1018.1 mb) and the humidity is 90%. The heat index is 64. Last Updated on Sep 14, 2:52 pm EDT.

Overcast and 63 degrees F at Fitchburg Municipal Airport, MA

Winds are Northeast at 5 MPH. The pressure is 30.13" (1020.2 mb) and the humidity is 90%. The wind chill is 64. Last Updated on Sep 15, 9:52 am EDT.

So apparently, if the temperature is 65 or above, we get a "heat index" even if the index is below the actual temperature and if the temperature is 64 or below, we have to deal with the "wind chill" even if the chill is above the actual temperature.

Who decides this stuff?


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

West Winds Whip Wicked Wind Chill

I get hourly updates via the RSS feed from the National Weather Service in my Bloglines, and saw this a little after noon today:

A Few Clouds and 61 degrees F at Fitchburg Municipal Airport, MA

Winds are West at 8 MPH. The pressure is 30.10" (1019.5 mb) and the humidity is 60%. The wind chill is 60. Last Updated on Sep 13, 11:52 am EDT.

Do we really need to get a wind chill reading when it's 60? 60 seems like more "crisp." Perhaps even "cool," but definitely not "chill."

And at what point does the "wind chill" go away and the "heat index" appear?

Is the first wind chill reading of the year enough to lead channel 7 news tonight?


Game on in the Worcester 4th

I've checked in a couple of times on the race for State Representative, criticizing Claire Freda for running away from the Democratic Party in order to run as an independent (a la Joe Lieberman), and expressing some concern that the events of the summer would make it tough on Jen Flanagan as she seeks reelection.

I've expected all along that the race would be a difficult one, since Flanagan defeated Freda in the 2004 primary by only 835 votes. But things have been very very quiet through the summer. Until today:

LEOMINSTER-- City Councilor Claire M. Freda is going into the general election cycle with a larger campaign fund than her opponent, incumbent state Rep. Jennifer L. Flanagan, according to campaign finance reports filed this week.

Mrs. Freda is trying to oust Ms. Flanagan, who is finishing her first term representing the 4th Worcester District in the Legislature next year.

There is no primary election in the contest next week. Mrs. Freda withdrew from the Democratic party earlier this year and is challenging Ms. Flanagan as an independent in November. There are no other candidates for the seat on the ballot.

Mrs. Freda began the campaign with $3,121.68 in her coffers, and raised $12,695 as of this week's reporting deadline, according to finance reports. Of that $15,816.68 war chest, Mrs. Freda has spent just $452.90, leaving $15,363.78 in her account. Her expenses include printing and postage charges.

Ms. Flanagan had $11,155.29 in her campaign account at the start of the year, and has raised another $13,667 since January. Of her $24,822.29 war chest, however, she has already spent $10,737.79, leaving $14,084.50 for the remainder of the campaign.

It's never good for the incumbent when the challenger leads in cash-on-hand. That's supposed to be one of the advantages of incumbency. However, if Rep. Flanagan has been spending all of that money yet the summer has been quiet, I wonder if she's already paid for a lot of the materials she will be using over the next few weeks.

Hopefully, Flanagan is gearing up to at least update her campaign website, which appears to have been silent since spring. It would be nice to know what sort of events are coming up, why voters should cast their vote for her, etc.

Update: Interesting how the headline writers at the Telegram and the Sentinel & Enterprise take completely opposite conclusions from the same information.

Pointing to the cash on hand, the Telegram's headline reads: Freda outraises Flanagan
Pointing to the latest quarter's result, the Sentinel headlines: Flanagan edges Freda in fundraising


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

On second thought, Branch trade may not be so bad

Earlier today, I was part of a discussion online regarding whether or not Deion Branch was the best wide receiver the Patriots had seen. Others (including me) argued that Stanley Morgan was the best Patriots receiver of all time. The person arguing in favor of Branch suggested that he was the greatest based on his playoff performance.

Certainly Branch was better in the postseason than Morgan was. However, Morgan's playoff performances came on the greatest running team of all time (1978) and one of the greatest playoff running teams ever (1985). He never played in a playoff game where the team passed for 200 yards or more. Conversely, Brady has thrown for less than 200 yards only once in the playoff games he and Branch have played.

I think Stanley Morgan, like most old Patriots, is a victim of recent history. He was really really good. His first four years compare very favorably with Branch's:

MORGAN 77-80 62 144 3256 22.6 52.5 26
BRANCH 02-05 53 213 2744 12.9 51.8 14

Over that time, Morgan was responsible for 27% of his team's passing yards (12,163), while Branch only caught 17% of the Patriots' yards during his four years (15,490).

So I decided to expand my search a little, and looked for all Patriots receivers who had over 2,000 yards in their first four years as receivers. There were 12. Is it possible that Branch wasn't even the second best? Here are the stats of those players, ranked by total yards:

GLENN 1996-99 48 236 3502 14.8 73.0 15
MORGAN 1977-80 62 144 3256 22.6 52.5 26
COLCLOUGH 1960-63 56 173 2984 17.2 53.3 31
BRISBY* 1993-97 62 192 2780 14.5 44.8 12
BRANCH 2002-05 53 213 2744 12.9 51.8 14
CAPPELLETTI* 1961-64 56 152 2605 17.1 46.5 22
TIMPSON* 1991-94 63 167 2381 14.3 37.8 8
GRAHAM 1963-66 52 142 2256 15.9 43.4 15
GIVENS 2002-05 52 158 2214 14.0 42.6 12
VATAHA 1971-74 54 121 2143 17.7 39.7 16
SELLERS* 1969-72 49 110 2130 19.4 43.5 18
FRYAR 1984-87 56 124 2038 16.4 36.4 19

Notes: Brisby missed the 1996 season due to injury. Cappelletti was a K/DB in 1960 and switched to receiver in 1961. Timpson's first full season was 1991. Sellers was with Dallas in 1972, his fourth season.

Comparatively, Branch ranked 5th in total yards, 2nd in total catches, last in average yards per catch, 4th in yards per game, and 9th in touchdowns. Based on the statistics alone, one could argue that Branch is no better than the fourth best Patriots' receiver over his first four seasons.

In fact, it looks like the closest statistical match is Vincent Brisby. Now my eyes and heart tell me that Vincent Brisby couldn't carry Deion Branch's jock, but I'd suggest that Branch's production could probably be replaced, seeing as we've seen 11 other players who have done it before.

The other thing I find interesting is that of those 12 players, only two (Morgan and Fryar) had better four year stretches later in their career than in their first four years. Further, five of the players on the list didn't even make it another four years (Brisby, Graham, Timpson, Vataha, Sellers).

As much as I would have liked to see Branch stay (he was one of my favorite players), I'm not sure the Patriots made a mistake.


Monday, September 11, 2006

NFL Picks, Week 1

For entertainment purposes only. Picks are against the spread, straight up winners are in bold.

Update, Monday 10:30 pm: Wow, what a brutal week.

Pittsburgh (-1) over Miami (W, 28-17)
Atlanta (+6) over Carolina (W, 20-6)
Tampa Bay (-3) over Baltimore (L, 0-27)
New England (-9) over Buffalo (L, 19-17)
Kansas City (-3) over Cincinnati (L, 10-23)
Denver (-3.5) over St. Louis (L, 10-18)
Cleveland (-3) over New Orleans (L, 14-19)
Tennessee (-3) over New York Jets (L, 16-23)
Philadelphia (-4) over Houston (W, 24-10)
Seattle (-6) over Detroit (L, 9-6)
Chicago (-3.5) over Green Bay (W, 26-0)
Jacksonville (-2.5) over Dallas (W, 24-17)
San Francisco (+7.5) over Arizona (W, 24-31)
NY Giants (+3.5) over Indianapolis (L, 21-26)
Washington (-4.5) over Minnesota (L, 16-19)
San Diego (-3) over Oakland (W, 27-0)

vs. Spread 7-9 .438
Straight up 8-8 .500


September 11, 2001

For a time that fall, I put this newspaper front on my computer as my screen saver. It didn't help me feel any better. has other front pages from that day in their archives.


Saturday, September 9, 2006

Disgust with that nasty Francona grows

Two weeks ago, a writer to the editor of the Telegram and Gazette blamed the Red Sox failings on Terry Francona's nasty tobacco habit. His solution: hire noted tobacco pitchman Carlton Fisk.

Well, it looks like the movement is growing, as evidenced by another missive in today's paper:

Three cheers to the letter writer from Leicester (Telegram & Gazette, Aug. 28) who voiced an opinion that I have held since the Red Sox games began this season on NESN. It's an insult to Red Sox fans and viewers to watch the manager constantly chewing and spitting on TV.

If I had the capability, I would send an e-mail during every game on NESN requesting them to keep their cameras off Terry Francona. Mr. Francona also gives the impression of being impassive and completely uninterested in what is occurring on the playing field.

I also second the motion that Red Sox management should bring in Carlton Fisk or a comparable athlete and gentleman as manager.

It's time for a change.

Can Francona hold onto the support of Red Sox fans, or is it "time for a change?"

Is it time for a change?
Yes, Replace Francona with Fisk.
Yes, Replace Francona with anyone who doesn't spit.
No, Francona's great.
Mmmph, rmph, munch, *spit*, what?
Free polls from

Previous T&G Letters to the Editor:
It's that dirty Francona's fault
T&G reader takes on terrorism
Worcester: the San Diego of the East
Is State Senator Barrios a Bush Crony
Rem-Dawg Debate Rages in Worcester
Jerry Remy has "lost all touch with reality"


Friday, September 8, 2006

Thoughts on the Gubenatorial Debate

I closely watched last night's debate between the Democratic candidates for governor both because I love politics and because I have yet to decide which candidate will receive my vote on September 19th. Here's my take on the festivities...

Let me start with Tom Reilly. I was 99% sure that I would not vote for him anyway, and if any performance would bring out the tired sports cliche "110%," last night was it. As in, "I'm 110% sure I won't vote for Tom Reilly." Or, "Tom Reilly turned off 110% of the voters."

He really looked out of his league, and he was hurt by being placed in between Chris Gabrieli and Deval Patrick on the podium. It gave the effect of two intelligent adults (Gabrieli and Patrick) having a spirited conversation on the issues while the third guy (Reilly) periodically brings the conversation to a halt with a nonsensical comment that he thinks is relevant. I think we've all been in conversations like that.

His apparent strategy of attacking each of his opponents backfired too, making him appear shrill and more interested in mixing it up than discussing the issues. I thought Patrick did a fine job returning Reilly's volleys about Patrick's time at Ameriquest and his former tax problems. And Gabrieli looked fairly comfortable in ignoring Reilly's claims that Gabrieli's campaign had leaked the Marie St. Fleur story that broke yesterday morning.

The thing is, if Reilly had played it correctly, he could have used the St. Fleur controversy to his advantage. He is absolutely right that the disclosure of information from an individuals credit report is dirty on many levels. But, instead of ignoring a question about the income tax rollback and attacking Gabrieli in what could charitably called a non-sequitur, he should have waited for an appropriate moment (the next question was about St. Fleur) and condemned the leak at that time. I also think he would have been much better served to condemn the leak generically, and then use the spin room after the debate to make any specific accusations against the Gabrieli campaign.

The Attorney General also did a less than stellar job defending his record. Andy Hiller asked him a question about who he had put in jail over the Big Dig and how much money he had helped recover. Reilly should have been able to hit it out of the park by turning the question on the Republicans by pointing out that he was constrained by the contracts that Republican governors had signed limiting liability for the project's flaws. Instead, he fumbled and hemmed and hawed and eventually mentioned that he had recovered "$75 million," which caused my brother-in-law to remark "that's the best we could do on a $15 billion project?" I'm guessing there were a lot of voters who had the same reaction.

Reilly also stretched the truth later on as he tried to take credit for Jane Swift's decree that a special election to replace Congressman Joe Moakley be held as scheduled following the 9/11 attacks.

In contrast, Deval Patrick appeared to have both a command of the issues and was more positive and forward-looking than Reilly. He reiterated his opposition to lowering the state income tax, arguing that state taxpayers needed more relief from property taxes than from income taxes.

He was strong defending his record from Reilly's attacks, muting them with quick wit--or with well-rehearsed lines. Either way, he defended himself strongly without appearing shrill or defensive. When Reilly brought up a lien the government had placed on his home in 1996 for unpaid taxes, Patrick's response was "if you had shown this kind of curiosity about the Big Dig, we'd all be better off right now." When Reilly tried to saddle Patrick with responsibility for the failings of Ameriquest, Patrick responded " know perfectly well that I was brought in to be a part of that solution, I helped deliver that settlement and I am proud of that and you should be proud of it too."

Patrick also turned a question about whether or not he was too liberal into an asset, using his proposal to increase the number of police and to increase funding for drug treatment an intervention programs as an example of his willingness to do what is right for the state, whether it be a conservative or liberal position.

Not that it was completely smooth sailing for Patrick. He got into a snit with Gabrieli over whether or not UMass should receive money proposed for stem cell research over private institutions. I thought the exchange made Patrick appear more political than his opponent. And it was clear that the charge that Patrick promises more than he can deliver is his Achilles heel. When Hiller asked Patrick which programs he would cut, he sputtered and filibustered about finding efficiencies in government. Hiller followed by asking Patrick to name a time on the campaign trail that he has said no to a constituency and the candidate became more nervous, appearing visibly uncomfortable as he unconvincingly suggested he'd stood up to teachers and union workers looking for pay raises. Considering that Reilly has been taunting Patrick as "For-it-all Deval" in recent commercials and appearances, I would have thought Patrick would be more prepared for this line of questioning.

For his part, Chris Gabrieli appeared to be the most "gubenatorial" of the candidates. It may have been because he spent most of the evening above the fray as Reilly and Patrick sparred with each other. Or it may have been because he is much taller than the other candidates and just looks more like a governor. Either way, I thought he won the debate.

Gabrieli got off to a quick start by taking the question about the tax rollback and explaining his plan to spend a portion of future surpluses on local aid and tax relief. As I have written before I'm skeptical of his plan, but at least he took the opportunity to articulate a plan. Reilly ignored the question in favor of his attack over the St. Fleur story, and while Patrick reiterated that he thinks property taxes are too high, he didn't offer any sort of specific plan to deal with the issue.

That pattern revealed itself again when the issue of stem cell research was raised. Gabrieli outlined a specific plan of providing financial aid to research programs based on merit review, using Harvard University as an example. Reilly criticized the plan as a giveaway to Harvard but offered no alternative except to give the money to UMass, while Patrick tried to convince Gabrieli that money should be distributed to both public and private institutions. The discussion became pointless as the three candidates went around and around, but it played to Gabrieli's advantage because the three were arguing on how to distribute the money in Gabrieli's plan, not arguing the merits of different plans.

Gabrieli handled potential controversy deftly. He wisely did not respond to Reilly's charges about St. Fleur, twice ignoring the attacks. But more than that he appeared to be unfazed by them, neither appearing nervous or accepting of the charges. By not responding and not appearing defensive, he gave the impression that he was above the fray. Later, he was asked about the $8 million dollars of his own money he has spent on the campaign. He responded with humor--apologizing to his wife for spending that much--and followed with the best answer a wealthy candidate can give: "I'm putting everything I've got- my time, my energy, and significant personal resources because I care about this state. I don't need the job, I care about whether this state can finally get back on track."

The final debate of before the primary is Wednesday, September 13. I expect that will go a long way toward determining whether Gabrieli or Patrick will be the Democratic nominee.


Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Mapquest, 1930s style

I found a link to Google's news archive search today and let me tell you, this is an incredibly cool tool. I decided to look up "Massachusetts Route 12" in an effort to see if I could make any headway on my quest to pinpoint exactly when the old route sign in Leominster I wrote about last month was posted.

I only found one little tid bit that could help me narrow down the timeline, but the tid bit I found was fascinating. Apparently, the Fitchburg Sentinel ran a column every couple of weeks where a writer would field questions on how to drive from one place to another and respond in the newspaper with detailed directions, information on road conditions, etc. Sort of a 1930s style combination of Mapquest and the Boston Globe's Starts and Stops.

Here is a portion of the Fitchburg Sentinel's "Answers to Questions of Motorists Contemplated Tours" column of August 14, 1936 (emphasis added):
Kindly give me information on a trip from Fitchburg to Taunton, and then on to Allentown, Penn., via Bear Mt. Bridge. Where may I look for poor roads? E. S.

Going to Taunton via Worcester, you will have to detour around poor road conditions at the very outset. Leominster is now under reconstruction. Take South street out of Fitchburg, following over Merriam Avenue into the square in Leominster. There pick up Route 12 into Worcester, and from Worcester follow Route 140 to Taunton. On the latter route a bridge between Grafton and Upton is under repair, but will cause little delay.

From Taunton take U. S. Route 44 into Providence. U. S. Route 6 will take you from Providence through Willimantic, Conn., Hartford, and Danbury to Peekskill, N. Y. In Danbury you will encounter construction for about a mile on White Street, but traffic is being maintained.

Continue on Route 6 from Peekskill across Bear Mountain Bridge into Port Jervis, and on to Milford, Penn. From there follow Route 209 toward Stroudsburg to its junction with 945. Turning left there, follow 945 to Delaware Water Gap, and there pick up Route 611, which will take you into Easton. From Easton, follow Route 22 into [Allenown].
As it pertains to the old route sign, this article lends credence to my suggestion that the sign was erected sometime in the late 1930s, since the directions suggest that Route 12 through Leominster was under construction in the summer of 1936.

But even without that little item, seeing that a local newspaper was giving directions, road conditions, and other driving advice to motorists 70 years ago is fascinating. There was a real need for this at that time, as many of today's roads were just being paved, improved, and marked during this time period. I found a lot more fascinating stuff on the construction of highways in the area that I will share periodically.


Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Don't know much about history...

Hey, look. You can buy a Franklin Roosevelt action figure at for your son or daughter for Christmas! (note: Target has taken down the item, but the link will take you to a screen shot from this morning)

Here are the details:

-- Talking Action Figure has a 4 min. audio chip allowing it to speak 25 different phrases in the Presidents own Voice!

-- Figures are limited in production and include an individually numbered certificate of authenticity

-- Figures also include a biographical pamphlet that includes rare photos and a comprehensive timeline specific to each figure.

-- Figures come dressed in period correct clothing that has been hand tailored to suit the figure

-- Figure come in an attractive display box however, the figures also include a fully adjustable doll stand for displaying the figure outside of the box

That helps explain why Roosevelt was elected four times. He dressed up like Ben Franklin and everyone thought he was so adorable, they couldn't wait to vote for him!

(via the Weekly Dig.)


Monday, September 4, 2006

Jackson's three-month "birthday"

Jackson was born three months ago Saturday, here are some of the latest pictures...

Staying warm at a cookout last weekend.

Looking up. Jackson has started rolling over regularly in the last week or so.

What is it? Can't you see I'm reading?

Relaxing on his three-month "birthday."

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Is this the best we can do?

I just finished watching Meet the Press's senatorial debate between Rick Santorum (R-19th Century) and Democrat Bob Casey and I can't help but wonder, is Bob Casey the best the Democrats can come up with?

Talk about being out of his league. While nearly everything that came out of Santorum's mouth was borderline nuts, at least he sounded like he believed it. I got the impression that Bob Casey doesn't believe anything except that he's not Rick Santorum and since Santorum is a looney-toon, that will be enough.

If I lived in Pennsylvania, that would be enough for me. But I suspect there are a lot of people who would rather have someone who stands for something, even if it's offensive, than someone who looks like they stand for their own election. Perhaps it's just a matter of Casey being nervous on a national stage, but he looked like he was on tranquilizers and was only familiar with his talking points and slogans.

It's a good thing the debate was only an hour long, If it had gone on another hour, Santorum might have convinced Casey to vote for him. Polls this week put Casey 18 points ahead in the race. Perhaps he's so far ahead that he cannot lose. But if this is the Democrat who has the best chance of winning in November, I'm a whole lot less confident than I was an hour ago.


Saturday, September 2, 2006

Which NFL games will we get each week?

Welcome Boston Sports Media Watch readers. Make yourselves at home.

Every year I try to look at the NFL schedule and guess which games we will get to see on local TV week-by-week. This season, through the magic of the internet, I'm sharing this time-wasting effort with you.

Before I get to the schedule, let me explain some of the things that go into making these predictions:
  1. Either CBS (WBZ-4) or Fox (WFXT-25) will have a doubleheader each week.
  2. The Patriots must always be on local TV by league rule.
  3. If the Patriots play at home on Sunday afternoon, there must not be another game on TV at the same time, by league rule.
  4. If the Patriots are on the road on a Sunday afternoon, Fox will not show a game in the same time slot, unless they have a doubleheader that day.
  5. If the Patriots play in a national TV game (Sunday or Monday night) or have a bye, we will get the full slate of Sunday afternoon games without restriction.
  6. Early in the season, networks usually send us out-of-market games involving divisional opponents. Later in the year they will send the game most likely to affect the playoff races if an AFC East team is not threatening the Patriots.
  7. Fox usually sends us the Giants unless they are blocked by one of the rules above.
  8. The Giants and Jets never play at the same time, so one of their games will always be moved to either 4:00 or 8:15 once we get to the flex schedules.
During the last seven weeks of the season this year, the NFL is using a flexible schedule which allows NBC (WHDH-7) to choose which game will go on Sunday night, and lets CBS and Fox decide which games to move to 4:00 in order to create the best viewing matchups. Because of that, the predictions for TV games late in the season will probably be woefully inaccurate, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. For more on the rules surrounding the late-season flex schedule, see

Anyway, here we go:

Week 1
Thursday, September 7
8:30 NBC Miami at Pittsburgh
Sunday, September 10
1:00 CBS Buffalo at New England
4:15 FOX Dallas at Jacksonville
8:15 NBC Indianapolis at N.Y. Giants
Monday, September 11
7:00 ESPN Minnesota at Washington
10:15 ESPN San Diego at Oakland

Notes: Even though Fox has a doubleheader, since the Patriots are at home on CBS, Fox can only show the 4:15 game.

Week 2
Sunday, September 17
1:00 CBS Buffalo at Miami
1:00 FOX N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia
4:15 CBS New England at N.Y. Jets
8:15 NBC Washington at Dallas
Monday, September 18
8:30 ESPN Pittsburgh at Jacksonville

Notes: CBS Doubleheader. Fox could send Tampa Bay at Atlanta at 1:00 if they are hot for Michael Vick, but I think they will stay to form and send the Giants.

Week 3
Sunday, September 24
1:00 CBS Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
1:00 FOX Carolina at Tampa Bay
4:15 FOX N.Y. Giants at Seattle
8:15 NBC Denver at New England
Monday, September 25
8:30 ESPN Atlanta at New Orleans

Notes: Fox Doubleheader. Since the Patriots play the Sunday night game, we get a full slate of out-of-town games. This will be the first real test of the "rules" above, as there are four potential 1:00 games on CBS. The Bengals and Steelers is such a huge game, that it will most likely be sent to us, even though Jets-Bills or Titans-Dolphins would be possibilities because they are AFC East opponents. Jaguars-Colts is another huge game.

Week 4
Sunday, October 1
1:00 CBS Indianapolis at N.Y. Jets
1:00 FOX Minnesota at Buffalo
4:15 CBS New England at Cincinnati
8:15 NBC Seattle at Chicago
Monday, October 2
8:30 ESPN Green Bay at Philadelphia

Notes: CBS Doubleheader. The only potential change I see would be in the 1:00 Fox game. If Vince Young has taken over as Titans' starting QB, Cowboys-Titans may be the Fox game.

Week 5
Sunday, October 8
1:00 CBS Miami at New England
4:15 FOX Dallas at Philadelphia
8:15 NBC Pittsburgh at San Diego
Monday, October 9
8:30 ESPN Baltimore at Denver

Notes: Even though Fox has a doubleheader, since the Patriots are at home on CBS, Fox can only show the 4:15 game. Since Cowboys-Eagles is the only 4:15 game, there is no way I can get this one wrong!

Week 6
Sunday, October 15
1:00 CBS Cincinnati at Tampa Bay
1:00 FOX N.Y. Giants at Atlanta
4:15 CBS Miami at N.Y. Jets
8:15 NBC Oakland at Denver
Monday, October 16
8:30 ESPN Chicago at Arizona

Notes: CBS Doubleheader. Since the Patriots have a bye week, we get a full slate of out-of town games. At 1:00 on CBS, Bills-Lions will be a possibility if the Bills are off to a good start. At 4:15, Chiefs-Steelers is listed as the CBS national game and could be the choice if the Dolphins and Jets start poorly.

Week 7
Sunday, October 22
1:00 CBS New England at Buffalo
1:00 FOX Green Bay at Miami
4:15 FOX Washington at Indianapolis
Monday, October 23
8:30 ESPN N.Y. Giants at Dallas

Notes: Fox Doubleheader. Panthers-Bengals is probably Fox's big 1:00 game, but between Brett Farve and an AFC East rival, the Packers-Dolphins will be the game. No Sunday night game due to the World Series.

Week 8
Sunday, October 29
1:00 CBS Jacksonville at Philadelphia
1:00 FOX Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants
4:15 CBS Indianapolis at Denver
8:15 NBC Dallas at Carolina
Monday, October 30
8:30 ESPN New England at Minnesota

Notes: CBS Doubleheader, for what it's worth. All three of CBS's 1:00 games could be dogs, with Ravens-Saints and Texans-Titans the only other options. If the Jets set the world on fire over the first seven weeks, we could get Jets-Browns at 4:15, but Colts-Broncos is definitely the marquee game of the week.

Week 9
Sunday, November 5
1:00 CBS Miami at Chicago
1:00 FOX Dallas at Washington
4:15 CBS Denver at Pittsburgh
8:15 NBC Indianapolis at New England
Monday, November 6
8:30 ESPN Oakland at Seattle

Notes: CBS Doubleheader. No tough choices here. If Buffalo is off to a great start, Fox could give us Packers-Bills at 1:00, but most likely it will be Cowboys-Redskins.

Now it starts to get tough. From here on out (except for Christmas eve) I need to guess which game NBC will want for Sunday night, which games (if any) Fox or CBS will block, and which games Fox and CBS will move to 4:15. I'm not at all confident that I will guess correctly, since we have no idea who will be contenders and who won't, but it won't stop me from trying...

Week 10
Sunday, November 12
1:00 CBS N.Y. Jets at New England
1:00 FOX Washington at Philadelphia
4:15 FOX Chicago at N.Y. Giants
8:15 NBC Kansas City at Miami
Monday, November 13
8:30 ESPN Tampa Bay at Carolina

Notes: The best game of the week looks to be Chicago at N.Y. Giants. Fox blocks NBC from taking that game, and moves it to the 4:15 doubleheader slot. There are a handful of other games that could be interesting to NBC (Buff-Indy, GB-Minn, NO-Pitt, SD-Cincy, Den-Oak) but all of them include one team that just might not be any good, so the best bet here is Chiefs-Dolphins. CBS elects not to block since they do not have a national game this Sunday.

Week 11
Sunday, November 19
1:00 CBS New England at Green Bay
4:05 FOX Seattle at San Francisco
4:15 CBS Indianapolis at Dallas
8:15 NBC San Diego at Denver
Monday, November 20
8:30 ESPN N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville

Notes: CBS Doubleheader. Colts-Cowboys is the game of the day. CBS blocks NBC and moves the game to the 4:15 national slot. NBC takes Chargers-Broncos (If Green Bay isn't awful, Pats-Packers could be a candidate for NBC. Redskins-Bucs might also be an option). Since the Pats are on at 1:00 and Fox doesn't have the doubleheader, we're stuck with an awful 4:05 Fox game. At least the Seahawks will be OK, Lions-Cardinals is the other 4:05 Fox option.

Week 12
Thursday, November 23
12:30 CBS Miami at Detroit
4:15 FOX Tampa Bay at Dallas
8:00 NFL Denver at Kansas City
Sunday, November 26
1:00 FOX N.Y. Giants at Tennessee
1:00 CBS Pittsburgh at Baltimore
4:15 FOX Chicago at New England
8:15 NBC Carolina at Washington
Monday, November 27
8:30 ESPN Green Bay at Seattle

Notes: Thanksgiving weekend, Fox Doubleheader. Bears-Patriots looks to be the game of the week. Fox blocks it and moves it to the 4:15 national slot. CBS blocks NBC from taking Steelers-Ravens, so they settle for Panthers-Redskins.

Week 13
Thursday, November 30
8:00 NFL Baltimore at Cincinnati
Sunday, December 3
1:00 FOX Detroit at New England
4:05 CBS Jacksonville at Miami
4:15 FOX Seattle at Denver
8:15 NBC N.Y. Giants at Dallas
Monday, December 4
8:30 ESPN Carolina at Philadelphia

Notes: Fox Doubleheader. Seahawks-Broncos is the week's best game, and Fox blocks it. NBC takes Cowboys-Giants for the Sunday night game. CBS moves Jaguars-Dolphins to 4:05.

Week 14
Thursday, December 7
8:00 NFL Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Sunday, December 10
1:00 CBS New England at Miami
4:05 FOX Seattle at Arizona
4:15 CBS Denver at San Diego
8:15 NBC Indianapolis at Jacksonville
Monday, December 11
8:30 ESPN Chicago at St. Louis

Notes: CBS Doubleheader. This is a tough week to guess. Fox blocks Giants-Carolina, CBS blocks either Pats-Dolphins or Colts-Jaguars and NBC takes the other game. My guess is that CBS keeps Pats-Dolphins because of the larger markets and higher ratings, all other things being equal. CBS may move Pats-Dolphins to 4:15. If they did, Ravens-Chiefs or Raiders-Bengals would be the 1:00 game.

Week 15
Thursday, December 14
8:00 NFL San Francisco at Seattle
Saturday, December 16
8:00 NFL Dallas at Atlanta
Sunday, December 17
1:00 CBS Houston at New England
4:15 FOX Tampa Bay at Chicago
8:15 NBC Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants
Monday, December 18
8:30 ESPN Cincinnati at Indianapolis

Notes: Fox Doubleheader. Steelers-Panthers and Bucs-Bears appear to be the games of the week, and CBS and Fox block each game respectively. Not a lot else to choose from, so NBC goes with Eagles-Giants.

Week 16
Thursday, December 21
8:00 NFL Minnesota at Green Bay
Saturday, December 23
8:00 NFL Kansas City at Oakland
Sunday, December 24
1:00 CBS New England at Jacksonville
4:05 FOX Arizona at San Francisco
4:15 CBS Cincinnati at Denver
Monday, December 25
5:00 NFL Philadelphia at Dallas
8:30 ESPN N.Y. Jets at Miami

Notes: CBS Doubleheader. No flex scheduling this weekend because of the holiday. Cardinals-49ers is the only Fox game at 4:05, so that is the late game. Everyone will be watching Bengals-Broncos anyway.

Week 17
Saturday, December 30
8:00 NFL N.Y. Giants at Washington
Sunday, December 31
1:00 CBS New England at Tennessee
1:00 FOX Green Bay at Chicago
4:15 CBS Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
4:15 FOX Seattle at Tampa
8:15 NBC Miami at Indianapolis

Notes: Both CBS and Fox have a doubleheader. CBS blocks Steelers-Bengals and moves the game to 4:15. NBC chooses Dolphins-Colts because Miami is fighting for a playoff spot and Indy is fighting for home field advantage. Fox moves Seahawks-Bucs to 4:15.

Looking at the schedule, it appears we will get the Dolphins the Giants and the Cowboys 11 times each, and the Broncos 10 times. It also appears that we will see all 32 teams at least once.

Games on TV
16 New England
11 Miami
11 N.Y. Giants
11 Dallas
10 Denver
9 Indianapolis
9 Seattle
8 Philadelphia
8 Pittsburgh
8 Chicago
7 Washington
7 Jacksonville
7 Tampa Bay
6 Cincinnati
6 Green Bay
5 N.Y. Jets
5 Carolina
4 Buffalo
4 Minnesota
4 San Diego
4 Oakland
3 Atlanta
3 Baltimore
3 Arizona
3 Kansas City
3 San Francisco
2 Detroit
2 Tennessee
1 New Orleans
1 Cleveland
1 St. Louis
1 Houston



No Drumlins Copyright © 2009 Premium Blogger Dashboard Designed by SAER