I’m Sorry, But Misinformation Is The Only Information We Have

Caught some news that frankly was not a surprise.  The manner in which I heard of it was not a surprise either.  The story, that I initially got from Media Matters, was about a study from the University of Maryland, and was about misinformation and the 2010 election.  It showed widespread misinformation in the electorate.  The media matters story framed it as Fox being a bunch of lying assholes.  While that is probably true, let’s not point the finger just at them. There was also misinformation on the left as well.  The study does show that the least misinformed (not exactly the same thing as the most informed) on a host of particular subjects were those who either got their news from PBS, NPR or MSNBC.

People who watched any of these news sources were less misinformed about the effects of Stimulus legislation,  stimulus tax cuts, the positive effects of the Health care bill on the deficit, the state of the economy, climate change, the Birthplace of the President, and who is responsible for Tarp legislation. 

Fox News watchers were less misinformed about division of Democrats on Tarp legislation and foreign money financing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s funding of Republicans.

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Propaganda does not aim to elevate man, but to make him serve.

Through the myth it creates, propaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge, susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one-sided, and precluding any divergence. This myth becomes so powerful that it invades every arena of consciousness, leaving no faculty or motivation intact. It stimulates in the individual a feeling of exclusiveness, and produces a biased attitude.

Jacques Ellul, Propaganda

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Viddy of the day:  A first for me,  a foreign language viddy.  This one is apparently from a movie/documentary titled “The Betrayal of Technology”  with philosopher/ sociologist Jacques Ellul. In French, with English subtitles.  Part I of VI.  Really good stuff.

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The study then went one step further and made a rather pointed statement.  Fox viewers were 12% more likely to incorrectly believe that the Stimulus caused job loss than those that did not.  Fox viewers were 14% more likely to incorrectly think that the stimulus bill did not contain tax cuts.  Fox viewers were 31% more likely to incorrectly believe that economists think that the health care law will worsen the deficit.  Fox viewers were 31% more likely to be unclear about the Presidents place of birth.

BTW, just FYI, he was born on the big island Hawaii. 

What caught my eye, and what really didn’t get a mention in ANY of the news stories that I read about this is the general level of misinformation in the electorate. 

Apparently, “We the People” are on a successful I.Q. reduction program. 

Even on subjects where those NPR/PBS/MSNBC viewers are supposed to do much better than FOX viewers, the numbers are not always pretty. The viewers of Public Broadcasting and MSNBC were more often correct than their FOX counterparts, but they also got it wrong a fair amount of the time. 

32% of everyday MSNBC viewers thought the AUTO bailout happened ONLY under President Obama, compared to 56% of Fox viewers.  This despite the fact that the bailout hearings began and were held in the 110th congress, and it’s first incarnation, $17,900,000,000 worth of bailout, was passed while Bush was in office. I remember MSNBC covering this daily.  Hell, I covered this daily.  How people who watch the network do not remember is just… stupid.

Hell, 22% of regular watchers of Public broadcasting aren’t sure if the President was born in the United States!  I can see the fox viewers being misinformed, they have Glenn Beck, that pathological liar on the payroll for criminy sakes, but PBS viewers?  Seriously?

The people apparently have heads like a sieve, which explains Fox’ Ratings, if nothing else. 

Good lord. We are DOOMED.

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That’s it for me, America.  Go to sleep, I’ll write to you tomorrow.

We Haven’t Forgotten Ya, Dubya

The great thing about being the only species that makes a distinction between right and wrong is that we can make up the rules for ourselves as we go along.  

Douglas Adams, Last chance to see  

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I was actually thinking about doing a Debunking Propaganda III, and attacking the Hitler references that are so prevalent in society today.  I decided against, at least for tonight, because there is a lot of minutiae to that particular logical fallacy that needs to be looked at, and probably needs either it’s own series of articles, or at the very least more time to put the article together than I have at hand right now.  Arguments about fallacies of irrelevance and petitio principii, and talk of attempting to place guilt by association upon other people takes time, time I will take.  

Just not now.  

The “Debunking” series will continue soon.  But tonight I go elsewhere with this day’s article, about an interesting poll result I read about.  

Links and a viddy first.  

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Friday’s links:  

Republicans fundraising rivals democrats for midterm congressional races  

Rubio spent most of what he raised  

U.S. Senate race: Reid takes lead on Angle; new poll shows republican losing support among every voter group  

How to go from sedentary to running in five easy steps  

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Viddy of the day, from the fine people at TED; with Dan Ariely, talking about cheating and stealing, from March 9, 2009.  Good stuff.  You can ignore the last two minutes of the video, those last 2 minutes are a long commercial.  

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What can we know? What are we all? Poor silly half-brained things peering out at the infinite, with the aspirations of angels and the instincts of beasts.  

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Stark Munro Letters  

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IT’S STILL DUBYA’S FAULT.  Ok, now that I have your attention, let me make a statement to you.  In a news article out in bloomberg today there was a story that referenced a poll that basically said IT’S STILL DUBYA’S FAULT.  

We haven't forgotten

 

The poll out early today said that Americans find that Dubya is more to blame for unemployment, illegal immigration, Afghanistan and even the budget deficit. Fifty one percent of people said that President Obama has handled The Gulf oil spill better than Dubya handled hurricane Katrina.  The percentage of blame assigned in this poll as far as the deficit goes is actually fairly close, 32% of the respondents said that Bush was to blame for it, with 24% saying it’s Obama’s fault.  President Obama gets the credit for the increases in the stock market, by 15 percentage points.  

There are a great many more numbers in the article, click here to read it.  The article implies a number of things.  One, the most obvious, is that people have not forgotten what happened in the previous administration.  Two, President Obama, while he is not necessarily the scapegoat for all of America’s problems, clearly does not have that much more leeway as far as some of these issues go.   

The reason should be self evident, nearly 1 in 4 Americans blaming him for the deficit despite the fact that he walked into office with an over $10,000,000,000,000 deficit.  The stimulus, while effective, has been unpopular, due largely to (ahem) the negative propaganda about it, because too many people have argued that the jobs created, and the things done, are simply not enough. Saved over 3 million jobs, but it hasn’t been enough.  

Go fig.  

The other takeaway is that the President really is doing  pretty damn well.  With a war that most people think of as a lost cause in Afghanistan, with a deficit that we have had to run through the roof just to keep pace with all the economic issues surrounding the recession, which still isn’t over(not that anyone was expecting it to be over by now, no one credible has ever said that), with the single greatest environmental disaster ever unfolding before our eyes, we still think our President is better than the last guy to hold office.  

Which is frankly, pretty damned incredible.   

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Don’t buy the negative hype, things are going to get better. Catch ya later, America.

Help Re-Name This Site!

Read the story, then vote in the poll below!

I have been watching and listening to news, sports, business, all sorts of different things for years on end.  And no business, sports franchise, or tv show survives long without someone or something coming along and changing something.  Teams change their uniforms, so as to get new attention (and more money) and hope that change leads to a new direction in the teams fortunes.  The NHL does this annually, and usually a few baseball and football teams do the same thing.  Networks do it.  They alter the name of their network, Sci-Fi becoming SyFy comes to mind, or  altering their logo, MTV losing the words “Music Television” from their logo being a recent example.

Other examples include Blackwater becoming Xe, in order to “Re-brand“, or Comcast re-branding as Xfinity, or Conservatism re-branding as “Tea Party Patriots”. 

Last week The Rachel Maddow show had a contest to rename the “Filibuster”  She got THOUSANDS of suggestions.  I put a few in myself,  “Senatorial Death Punch” was one of them, it got a few votes.  The winner was “The Tarantino”, and much as I like my suggestion, the Tarantino IS pretty damn good, because “IT KILLS BILLS”  Funny, witty, good stuff.  Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, inspired by Ms. Maddow, is trying the Re-naming game, only this time trying to get people to suggest a new name for the “Budget Reconciliation Process

I’m not doing that one, but for a very good reason.  In order to comment, and leave a suggestion, you have to sign up for the Washington post.  I remember signing up for it a while ago.  I don’t remember the password, and don’t want TWO Washington post accounts. If I do find it, or remember it, I’ll sign on and do it, but there will be no second account with my name on it.

I say all that to say this.  I am feeling like there is some kind of a change necessary here, and I think some “Re-branding” here sounds like a helluva plan.  Also I have to tell you that I have been inspired by Ms. Maddow, just as much as Mr. Klein was.  So now is the time where YOU come into the picture.  I have a few suggestions, but you need not go with any of them.  If you have a better idea than anything in the poll, drop me a comment and let me know!

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That’s about it for me.  Enjoy!

Today’s Nuggets, via wikiquote:  The sponsor may be viewed as a potentate with a strong influence over currents of thought in our society, exercised mainly through television […] It has tended to displace or overwhelm other influences such as newspapers, school, church, grandpa, grandma. It has become the definer and transmitter of society’s values.  Eric Barnouw

It is wrong to think that belief in freedom always leads to victory; we must always be prepared for it to lead to defeat. If we choose freedom, then we must be prepared to perish along with it.  Karl Popper

Anagram: Phillies – Yankees/ Yep, He’s Snail-like

     As I flip between the Eagles – Redskins game, MSNBC programming, Battleplan on the military channel, and C-Span, with Rep. Louie Gohmert speaking, I find myself thinking on the upcoming World Series. My read on this is really pretty simple.

     It’s gonna be a tight series.

     There is strong pitching on both sides of this equation.  There is strong hitting on both sides as well.  Let’s start with pitching.  Watch a Yankee viddy, showing nothing but walk off wins.  I’m not a big fan of the music in the 1st half, but this isn’t about the music. The Yankee – Phillies highlight begins at the 2:26 mark.

     Cliff Lee has been outstanding in  these playoffs, giving up just 2 runs and 14 hits in 24.1 innings for 2 wins and 1 no-decision, and Pedro Martinez is well known to the Yankees and the Yankee faithful from his years in Boston.  He is a tough and motivated pitcher… though it must be admitted that the Yankees seemed to get the better of him in the end most days, and he has seen better days.  Cole Hamels has been the exception for the Phils, and has not been the same guy he was last year by any stretch of the imagination.  His pitching in the postseason has Cbpark1been less than spectacular, 11 earned runs and 20 hits in 14.2 innings, and he has gone less than 7 innings in each of his last 5 starts , and hasn’t had a game where he has given up less than 2 runs since he faced the Nationals on September 17th.

     C.C. Sabathia has been nearly as impressive as Lee, and has done much to push back against the thought that he wasn’t a big game pitcher, giving up 17 hits and 3 runs in 22.2 innings on his way to getting 3 wins, including a game 4 win in the alcs on 3 days rest.  A.J. Burnett had, prior to his  start in game 5, settled down after a somewhat shaky year.  That game 5 start saw him come out shaky and give up 4 runs in the first, settle down, then give up a walk and a single in the 7th, then watch the bullpen crumble and let those baserunners in.  9 runs in 18 innings looks bad, but most in New York think that 1st inning was an anomaly.  Andy Pettitte. What can you say? The man is clutch. The most post-season wins in baseball history, and he showed the Angels and the Twins how it’s done, posting a 2.37 postseason ERA this year, and shut down the Angels to win the American League Championship finale.

800px-Marianorivera052508-1      The Bullpen? There are only 2 words to say here.  Mariano Rivera.  Both bullpens have been serviceable with a few notable performances specifically from Phil Coke and David Robertson in limited work from the Yankee Bullpen and  Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre from Philly.  That said, Mariano however, is still Mariano.  The Sandman has a career 1.69 era vs. the Phils, and has only given up one run in 10.2 innings during these playoffs.  And that run came on a bloop single that ran just over the head of Robinson Cano.

     Brad Lidge from the Phillies has done his best to put a disastrous year behind him, and so far has done that well, with 3 saves and no earned runs so far.  But the problem with that statement is the last two words.  So far.  The question running through most Phillys fans minds at this point would probably be ” How long can Lidge keep this up?”  The Phillys hope that he can, but doubts remain.  We’ll see what happens when he faces the heart of the Yankees order.

     Hitting is more problematic, for both teams.  The Phillies have a gargantuan hitter in Ryan Howard, the Yankees have their answer in Alex Rodriguez.  Both teams have guys who simply aren’t hitting, with Phillies Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez  joining New Yorks Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher on the suck list.  But there is one common denominator, despite the holes.  There is a LOT of power in these lineups.

     The Yankees were #1 in the league in Homers with 244, The Phillies were 4th with 224.   The Yankees had 881 RBI’s, good for 1st overall, while the phillies were 4th with 788 RBI’s.  There is, despite all the excellent pitching in this series, the potential for some EXPLOSIVE run scoring.  If ever there was a world series that had the capacity to break the record for most runs scored, both in a series and in a single game, this is it.

     The difference in this series may well be plate discipline.  Here the Yankees have a commanding advantage.  The Yankees as a team struck out only 1014 times this year, 4th fewest in baseball,  while walking 663 times, which is the MLB’S best mark in that category.  The Phillies cannot match the Yankees there.

     But then again those numbers are regular season, so to be fair, we’ll also look at postseason numbers as well.  Both teams have hit 14 home runs,  The Phillies have 9 more RBI’s than the Yankees, but the Yankees are #2 in RBI’s for the postseason.  Both teams are hitting equally well, They Yankees hitting .262 to the Phillies .261.  Both teams struck out about the same amount, which is surprising, seeing the Yankees had Melky Yankees_logoCabrera and Nick Swisher striking out like they were paid to do exactly that. The Yankees struck out 68 times so far this post season, to the Phillies 63.

     The Phillies also faced the Rockies In Coors field, and the Dodgers served up some gopher balls.  The Yankees faced much tougher competition all the way through, even with the series sweep of the Twins.

     I told you all of that to tell you this.  I think all these things, while important, miss one thing.  This is as much about heart as anything.  And both of these teams have heart, but New York’s is stronger.  Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte have been the heart and soul of this team for years and have each been among the best players this league has seen at their respective positions.  Jimmy Rollins is good, Ryan Howard is good, Chase Utley is good.  But this phillies team has nothing to match these 4.

     Nothing.   Yankees in 6.

     A second viddy. This one from Keith Olbermann tonight.  It has some politics in it, so for those of you allergic to that, disregard the first 80 seconds of it.  The bit you baseball fans want to watch is the #1 best person in the world.  It is a simple analysis of Ryan Howard, one well worth a second look and second thought.  Viddy changed when i found the original was taken down.  My apologies. Done on 11/9/09.

 

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That’s it from here.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via wikiquote:  If you don’t have outstanding relief pitching, you might as well piss on the fire and call the dogs.  Whitey Herzog

I walk into the clubhouse and it’s like walking into the Mayo Clinic. We have four doctors, three therapists and five trainers. Back when I broke in, we had one trainer who carried a bottle of rubbing alcohol and by the seventh inning he had drunk it all.   Tommy Lasorda

God watches over drunks and third baseman.   Leo Durocher

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard for all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.   George Orwell

Anagram: Ice Cold Predictions/ Odd Icicle Inspector

    You’ve read the best predictions of the most knowledgeable writers and prognosticators on the upcoming NHL season.  You’ve listened to

gimme da puck!

gimme da puck!

NHL Live and all the hockey talk you could cram into you’re almost semi busy day.  You’ve looked online to read TSN’s 30 teams in 30 days, and NHL.com’s 30 teams in 15 days.  You are jam packed with hockey knowledge.

      You’ve drafted your fantasy team, giggled at the guy who drafted Semyon Varlamov in the 9th round, and then giggled again as you drafted The Bulin Wall in the 10th, enjoyed watching Zach Parise fall into your lap when the guy ahead of you inexplicably picked Corey Perry 4th, and laughed your ass off at the noob who drafted Marian Hossa .

    You know your hockey… Kinda.  Hossa’ll be back.

    So now you are here to read the predictions of a man who called the Super Bowl…err… wrong sport.  I picked the Red Wings to win it all last year, but I goofed even bigger and picked the Penguins to lose in the first round to the Flyers.  Ah well, no one gets them all right, and I’m the proof.  Time to give you my view of the upcoming NHL 2009-2010 season. So without further adieu….

     2009-2010’s WILDLY INACCURATE NHL PREDICTIONS!

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         Eastern Conference/Atlantic division:   DEVILS/ PENS/ FLYERS/ RANGERS/ ISLANDERS   Those F****** Devils will win the Division,  The Pens will finish One game behind the Devils, thanks to a lucky Islanders team beating the Pens on Long Island in the final game of the year, and the Flyers will finish in third in the division, eighth in the eastern conference, just beating out the Rangers by winning both ends of a home and home against the Rangers to end the season.  Heads will roll at the Garden, and Gaborik and Lundqvist will just not be enough.  The Islanders will, despite the memorable finish, not do much for Jonathan Tavares or Dwayne Roloson and finish two points ahead of the second worst team  in the NHL and the worst in the eastern conference, the Atlanta Thrashers.

     Eastern Conference/ Northeast division:  BRUINS/  CANADIENS/ SABRES/ SENATORS/ MAPLE LEAFS   Snow will fall in July in Florida. The Southern United States will turn Democratic. Glenn Beck will admit to being a flaming Liberal.  The Toronto Maple Leafs will make the Playoffs.  All astounding predictions.  All of them WRONG.  The Bruins will run away with the Division, with the Canadiens close behind, but fifth overall in conference, with Buffalo a few points ahead of the Flyers to finish 7th overall, and third in the division.  The Leafs…poor leafs, so close and yet so far.  They will have the playoffs in their grasp, but lose their last 5 games and finish just out of contention.  Toronto will howl with rage, and fall from third in the division to 5th, finishing a few points behind the Ottawa Senators, who will play hard but will simply not have enough this year.  Two tough teams will hit some tough luck.  Better luck next year.

     Eastern Conference/ Southeast Division:  CAPITALS/ HURRICANES/ PANTHERS/ LIGHTNING/ THRASHERS   Alexander the Great, along with the rest of the Caps will run away with the Division and the Conference, and finish with the best record in the NHL.  The Hurricanes will finish several games behind but in the Playoffs.  Florida and Tampa will fight hard but simply not have enough to make the playoffs, and Atlanta will just plain suck.  Ilya Kovalchuk will not have enough to carry this team to the promised land…or even mediocrity. 

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     Western Conference/ Central Division:  RED WINGS/ PREDATORS/ BLACKHAWKS/ BLUES/ BLUE JACKETS   Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and ROY candidate Justin Abdelkader will shoot their way to the top of the conference and division, with little competition from second place Nashville, who will finish with 6 more wins this year than last,  and will go from being in last place and out of the playoffs last year to second in the division this year.  The Blackhawks will just make the playoffs, despite the sometime shoddy goaltending of Cristobal Huet.  The Blues and the Jackets will play hard but just not have enough to get past the competition and will both just miss the playoffs, both losing tough ones in their last few games of the year.

  

Clarence Campbell with the Stanley Cup in 1957

Clarence Campbell with the Stanley Cup in 1957

 Western Conference/ Northwest Division:  CANUCKS/ FLAMES/ OILERS/ WILD/ AVALANCHE   Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver A**holes will run away with the Northwest, and miss the Western conference #2 spot by only a few points.  The Flames will ride the Goalie pads of Miikka Kiprusoff to a respectable 2nd place finish.  The Oilers will surprise a great many people and actually make the Playoffs this year, thanks in large part to outstanding clutch goal scoring from Ales Hemsky, and amazingly strong defense in front of the net.  The Wild will just miss the playoffs, despite outstanding netminding from Nik Backstrom, there just won’t be enough offense.  Colorado… they will be the Cleveland Browns of the NHL, they’ll suck but at least they won’t be the worst.  Their lack of offense will make up for their lack of defense.

   Western Conference/ Pacific Division:   SHARKS/ DUCKS/ STARS/ KINGS/ COYOTES   Dany Heatley will vie for the scoring title(but lose to Ovechkin) and will carry the Sharks to another division win with the help of Vezina trophy contender Evgeni Nabokov, while the Ducks will ride sticks of Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf to a second second place finish in the division.  The Stars will make a run but ultimately come up short, and while the Kings will finish several points back, the Coyotes will finish with a whimper, with the worst record in the NHL, hurt as much by their inability to score as by their inability to work out a way to stay in the desert.

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     In Short the Conferences will Finish Like this: 

   Eastern Conference          1:  Washington Capitals      2:  Boston Bruins     3:  New Jersey Devils  4: Pittsburgh Penguins  5: Montreal Canadiens 6: Carolina Hurricanes  7: Buffalo Sabres   8: Philadelphia Flyers  / 9: New York Rangers  10: Ottawa Senators  11:  Florida Panthers  12:  Toronto Maple Leafs  13: Tampa Bay Lightning  14:  New York Islanders  15: Atlanta Thrashers

    Western Conference         1:  Detroit Red Wings  2:  San Jose Sharks  3: Vancouver Canucks  4: Calgary Flames  5:  Nashville Predators  6: Anaheim Ducks  7: Chicago Blackhawks  8:  Edmonton Oilers / 9:  Minnesota Wild  10: Dallas Stars  11: Saint Louis Blues  12: Los Angeles Kings  13: Colombus Blue Jackets  14: Colorado Avalanche  15: Phoenix Coyotes 

    Hope these crappy picks gave you a giggle.  That’s it from here! G’night, Hockey Fans! …. Oh BTW, you remember when I wrote at the beginning of this that you giggled at that guy who Drafted Varlamov in the 9th round?  Well…that was me.   Missed out on Pekka Rinne and needed a third goalie. I didn’t know he’d lose the starting spot to Theodore!(who as of now is the Caps starting goalie)  Oops!  LOL.  L8r!

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Today’s Nuggets, Via Wikiquote:  You can’t just stand and say to yourself, ‘OK, right now I’m the best. That’s it. No more working.’ If you’re a good player you have to be working harder and harder. This is not just my goal, it’s my team goal. We can improve more and we can probably be even better than last year. My dream is to be the best.   Alexander Ovechkin

Management wins Stanley Cups. Players can only do their best. You’ve got to bring the right ingredients to make a Stanley Cup winner and if the manager is not doing his job, the players can only do so much. You produce and do what’s right, but if you don’t have the talent there, you’re not going to win many games.   Andy Bathgate

Individual records are nice to get, but before the season starts, you want to play to win the Stanley Cup!   Guy Lafleur

Anagram: Instigator Penalty/ Patiently Roasting

     Ladies and gentlemen, It’s time for some fun with sports predictions.  This time around, it’s the NHL First round I’m going to be hitting.

     Eastern Conference First. 

     Boston Bruins(1) Vs. Montreal Canadiens(8):  Last year these two teams met in the first round but the situations were reversed, with the Bruins being the 8 seed.  As I recall I picked the Habs in 4.  Didn’t work out quite that way. The Bruins pushed them to 7 before losing to the Flyers in 5.  The Bruins are a much better even strength team than are the habs, and the goaltending for the bruins is also better than the goaltending in Montreal.  Tim Thomas was perhaps the best goalie in the league this year in most every way, with one notable exception, which i will speak on later (Det Vs CBJ) and it will be this that will be the difference.  

     Bruins in 5.

    Washington Capitals(2) Vs. New York Rangers(7):  The Capitals are head and shoulders a better offensive team than the Rangers,  the Blue-new-york-rangers-logoshirts power play has been anemic in comparison to the Caps, who average more than 1 PP goal per game, and the Caps have scored 68 more goals and 163 more total points than the Rangers, but the Rangers have one effective countermeasure they can throw up against this offensive juggernaut.  They call him “The King”.    Henrik Lundqvist has kept every game between these two teams close, the Rangers winning the last one 5-4(ot) winning despite being out-shot by the caps.  But for all that King Henrik can control a game and keep a game close regardless of the talent on the other team, the offense in Washington is, I think too much for these Rangers.  Much as I hate to say it…

      Capitals in 6.

     New Jersey Devils(3) Vs. Carolina Hurricanes(6):  This one looks tight on paper.  Both teams can score, both teams can play great defense and both teams have goaltenders that have won the Stanley cup.  But there is where things start to shift a bit.  Martin Brodeur is perhaps the greatest goaltender in NHL history(fans of Patrick Roy and Terry Sawchuk might disagree), and even though the Hurricanes beat the Devils in the season series 3-1, and there are few places where either team is really head and shoulders above the other team, I’m going to say this one’s gonna be a rout.  A Fresh Brodeur can beat anyone, and Marty is fresh. 

     Devils in 4.

    Pittsburgh Penguins(4) Vs. Philadelphia Flyers(5):  The Flyers could have had home ice here, but lost to the New York Rangers on home ice and gave that important home ice advantage away to the Pens.  The Flyers lost the Season series 4-2.  There have been questions about the Flyers goaltending, with neither one really being dominant, both having a not quite spectacular 2.76 GAA for the year.  And the Penguins have these Phenoms, Crosby and Malkin.  It won’t matter though.  There is talent in Philly, and they are gonna come out angry over losing home ice and that will translate to early success.  This Flyers team has offensive talent of their own.  Carter, Gagne, Richards, Hartnell, Lupul, Knuble.  This group will carry the Flyers past the Pens here in the First round. 

     Flyers in 7.

    Next up, Western Conference:

    San Jose Sharks(1) Vs.  Anaheim Ducks(8):  The Sharks just don’t produce in the postseason, or at least they haven’t.  Joe Thornton has been hung with the tag as perennial playoff underachiever, I actually read that on TSN.  I think this is the year Joe and the Sharks get off the schneid.  With Evgeni Nabokov being the Outstanding goalie he is, and the strong and balanced attack the sharks have, I just don’t see the ducks getting past them.

       Sharks in 5.

462px-rick_nash   Detroit Red Wings(2) Vs. Columbus Blue Jackets(7):  The Jackets have never been in the playoffs.  Ever. But Steve Mason stood on his head, nailing it down for his team with a league leading 10 shutouts this year, and doing it on a team that is very much short on scoring, with only 3 scorers over 20 goals on the year.  On the other hand, The Red Wings have 4 scorers with over 30 goals, and the Red Wings scored 69 more goals and 208 total points more than the Blue Jackets.  But there is a hole in the Red Wings armor, one which i think can be exploited,  Goal-tending.  Chris Osgood has been erratic, in March he got his Ass handed to him by this Blue Jackets team 8-2, and then came back and shut them out a week later, and Chris was 2-2-1 while giving up 13 goals to non playoff teams in his last 5 games.  Something tells me The Wings are looking past this opponent, something no team should do. 

       Blue Jackets in 7.

       Vancouver Canucks(3) Vs. St. Louis Blues(6):  John Davidson deserves Kudos for the bang-up job he’s done in rebuilding the once clearly broken Blues franchise.  And the possible Return of Mighty Mite Paul Kariya brings additional firepower to the blues.  Brad Boyes and Keith Tkachuk are going to do all they can to make a serious run in these playoffs.  It won’t be enough.  Roberto Luongo and the Sedin twins, with a little help from Pavol Demitra, should more than be able to handle the feisty but overmatched Blues.  Maybe next year, J.D.

     Canucks in 5.

     Chicago Blackhawks(4) Vs. Calgary Flames:  Miikka Kiprusoff could be the Hardest working man in the NHL, with 76 starts in 82 games this year in net.  And with Mike Cammallari and super-sniper Jarome Iginla leading the teams offense, this team has the strength and the guns to go far in the playoffs.  But standing in their way is a young tough bunch of Blackhawks, led on offense by Marty Havlat, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane.  But the Big name here is in Goal.  The Bulin Wall is Back.  After three sub-par years, he has finally found his groove, and that spells trouble for the Flames.

       Blackhawks in 6.

    Politics, news, quotes, and other such love tomorrow.  Catch Ya Later. One final shot o hockey from your favorite Rhino.  Enjoy!

Anagram: Melodramatics/ Immolate Cards

       Back to the NFL. First up, a Viddy.  This video is so dumb I had to put it in.  Football, Retardo Montalban style.  I heard the music, “Let’s get retarded“, and knew that this viddy was destined to be part of this blog.   

    Before I give you my picks for the games in question lets look at how not to pick football winners, AKA look at how I catching_position_1fared last week.  Let me tell you, It could have been worse…not much worse mind you, I did get 1 game right, but I got my ass handed to me in the other three games. 

    Game 1.  Titans v. Ravens.  My Call: Titans 17, Ravens 14  Actual Score: Ravens 13, Titans 10. WRONG. I called the tight defensive matchup.  But then again a six year old could have done that, i’m sure several thousand did.  I also said it was going to be low scoring.  Queue the six year old again.  But at least I got the spread right.  3 points.  Those 6 year olds can kiss my ass.

   Game 2. Cardinals V. Panthers.  My Call: Panthers 31,  Cardinals 27.  Actual score: Cardinals 33, Panthers13.  WRONG.   Not even those overhyped 6 year olds saw this coming. The only thing you could say I had close was the Cardinals score.  The Panthers just weren’t there offensively… or the Cards D got dramatically better since I saw them last.  I said D’angelo Williams was going to run all over the Cards.  Ummm…Nope.  Said he would get 150 Yards on the ground and 3 TD’s.  Nope. The Cards stuffed him.  69 total yards, no TD’s.   The Cardinals lit the Panthers up. Dayum and other such statements.

   Game 3.  Giants V. Eagles.  My Call:  Giants 27, Eagles 21.  Actual Score: Eagles 23, Giants 11. WRONG. The Giants O was not present in this game, at all.  In part due to the game plan. They ran Jacobs around the edges of the Eagles defense.  13 of the 19 times he rushed the ball he rushed to the right, 6 times to the left.  Which means what? No running up the gut.  270 pound running back whose strength is pounding the ball up the middle, and he didn’t slam it down the middle once.  11 of those runs were for 3 or less yards.  THAT is stupid game planning by the Giants.  Eli Manning was less than spectacular, 2 INT’s…Underwhelming all in all.  The Defense held up their end of the bargain, keeping the Eagles to 276 total yards of offense, but the Inept Giants O stuck a fork in their hopes for a repeat in the Superbowl. As much as I hate to say it, the better team won.  Dammit.

    Game 4. Pittsburgh V. SanDiego. My Call: Steelers 26, Chargers 24.   Actual Score: Steelers 35, Chargers 24.  GOT ONE!!!  The Steelers shut down the Chargers.  Completely.  if not a touchdown in garbage time, this game would have been a laugher.  Philip Rivers did what he could, but it wasn’t enough.  The Steelers held the Chargers to 15 yards on the ground.  15.  Ouch.  I thought Darren Sproles, he of three hundred yards of total offense V. the Colts would play better.  If not for the garbage time TD, though, he was completely held in check, by the Pittsburgh Defense.

     Onto The Predictions.

Bow to The Kicker!

Bow to The Kicker!

     Game One: In a meeting earlier this year on thanksgiving weekend, The Eagles beat the Cardinals. Beat is the word. 48 – 20.   437 yards of offense, 177 more than the Cards could muster, despite Boldin and Fitzgerald in the lineup.  The Eagles unleashed Brian Westbrook on them, 110 yards on the ground and 2 TD’S and 2 more td receptions. The Eagles D Contained the Cards run game, holding them to a mere 25 yards on the ground. I am expecting a similar game from both teams, though I do expect the Cards D to play stronger than they did that day in late November.  Final Score: Eagles 34, Cards 24

     Game Two:  Beating an opponent 3 times in a season is a notoriously difficult thing to do. The Steelers have beaten Ravens in both their meeting this year.  Both games though, were close.   A three point Steeler win on week 15, scoring the games only TD with less than a miute left to go in the game, and a week 4 matchup that went to ot.  These guys LIKE beating the shit out of each other, and that is what you are going to see Sunday evening.  This is going to be a war.  The Steelers will pound the ball, and throw when they have to.  Same with the Ravens.  The Ravens will play Stifling Defense.  Ditto the Steelers.  Ben Toothlessburger will have just a little more on the ball, and that will make all the difference.  Being at home will help.  Final Score:  Steelers 21, Ravens 17.

    That’s it from here. Politics, Quotes, and the Usual suspects when I can get to it. Later!