Archive for January, 2008

Ronaldinho, I’m not

January 9, 2008

From Thursday’s Dispatch…

It’s been a while. But rumors that spider webs have taken over my keyboard are exaggerated.
Let’s hit a few topics, while I’m still awake.

New technology, new challenges

I’ve taken the plunge. Thanks to my lovely wife, I’m now the proud owner of a PlayStation 3 and, I must say, it’s a whole different world from what I’d gotten used to with the PS2.
I bought a copy of “FIFA 08” to go with my new console, feeling confident that my many hours on the PS2 version of that title would prepare me for the rigors of playing the higher tech version online.
Boy, was I wrong.
It took me about 10 games to realize that I was playing a different game. The speed burst button was different, as was the tackle button. And, breaking down a computer’s tactics is much easier than trying to adjust to a host of human foes from across the globe.
So the losses starting piling up like firewood, testing a half-resolution to improve the quality of my language in regards to reacting to video games. I was scoring goals at a rate more suitable to a drunken pub team in Derbyshire than the five-star clubs I was playing with.
Needless to say, my early 3-30 record made me a popular invite on the FIFA 08 boards. But, after consulting the manual and more than a few Internet sources, my form began to improve.
Goals began coming, the defense tightened up and, as I sit here, I’m 52-66.
Still an easy mark for 12-year-old wizards from Italy, but at least I’m not embarrassing myself anymore.

BCS mess

Speaking of embarrassment – real and imagined – is anyone else sick to death of the Bowl Championship Series?
At the end of a season, there should be no doubt as to who the best team is. A champion should emerge, weeding out the pretenders to the crown.
What we get instead is sheer lunacy. LSU rocks a mediocre Ohio State team; USC dresses down another not-so-Big 10 team in Illinois and Georgia and West Virginia romp in two more games. That’s four teams with an argument for the elusive “No. 1 spot.”
It’s silly. University presidents need to get off the stick and give us a playoff. If the Rose Bowl, Big 10 and Pac 10 don’t want to change their traditions – leave them out.
I’d hate to do without USC, but I wouldn’t miss the lumbering schools from the Midwest much.


I honestly don’t know to what to make of the Clemens thing. The whole deal has a cloak-and-dagger feel to it. First, Brian McNamee claims he injected the hurler with hGh and steroids in the Mitchell Report, then Clemens releases a statement denying ever being injected with anything, then he says he was injected with B12 and lidocaine and finally decides to sue McNamee for defamation while airing a 17-minute phone conversation between himself and his former trainer which said absolutely nothing.
Confused yet?
If I could back up a minute, why would anyone get shot up with a dental anesthetic? It’s not like you can run out to Walgreens and pick some up.
Aside from that, my care factor on this story is pretty low. As far as I’m concerned, baseball had a steroid era. Everyone who played from the mid 90s to 2003 is suspect in my book. So, take the numbers and awards generated in those years, apply the proper perspective and move on.
We’ll all be a lot happier.


How I voted – ncpreps poll (week 2)

January 8, 2008


1. Mount Airy
2. North Edgecombe
3. Cherryville
4. Hendersonville
5. Thomasville
6. Dixon
8. Trask
9. Albemarle
10. Hayesville

1. Smoky Mountain
2. Graham
3. Richlands
4. Clinton
5. West Bladen
6. West Caldwell
7. Shelby
8. Cummings
9. Northwood
10. Bessemer City

1. Northern Vance
2. Concord
3. Trinity
4. Dudley
5. Kinston
6. High Point Andrews
7. Jacksonville
8. D.H. Conley
9. East Rowan
10. Hickory

1. New Hanover
2. Mount Tabor
3. Vance
4. Pinecrest
5. Terry Sanford
6. McDowell
7. Clayton
8. Middle Creek
9. Ashbrook
10. Myers Park

1. East Bladen
2. Bishop McGuinness
3. East Surry
4. Weldon
5. Williamston
6. Hiwassee Dam
7. Chatham Central
8. Louisburg
9. Union
10. Pender

1. Graham
2. Shelby
3. North Stanly
4. East Davidson
5. Forest Hills
6 First Flight
7. Smoky Mountain
8. Pasquotank
9. North Surry
10. Salisbury

1. Beddingfield
2. Forestview
3. Hickory
4. T.C. Roberson
5. South Central
6. Western Harnett
7. Statesville
8. Concord
9. Hunter Huss
10. Rockingham County

1. Wakefield
2. Grimsley
3. Hillside
4. South View
5. West Charlotte
6. Garner
7. McDowell
8. Millbrook
9. Northwest Guilford
10. Westover