Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding-A Poem

The Kate and Wills Were Cute,

The Aston Martin Was Great!

God Bless the Queen,

The Beckham's Were Seen!

Pippa Was Hot!

Beatrice and Eugenie Were Not.

The Prince's Looked Regal,
Most of England Had the Hunch...

But the Shame of the Day Was,
No Invite for Cap'n Crunch?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why Women Like Big Guys!

I'm trying to lose some weight so I decided to enroll in Weight Watchers a few weeks ago. I used the program several years ago with good success. Thinking I will randomly toss in my progress on this blog, could help me hold myself more accountable.

But enough about that.

I found this article on interesting/weird/helpful kind of. At the least it is pretty humorous for me. Wonder if my wife Tammy (married 24 years and counting) feels this way about me.

Here's the article:

Why Women Like Big Guys

Now for my take:

- You Make Her Feel Safe: Big guys scare off threats. Me? Last time I was in a fight was 5th grade and I sprained my wrist on the first punch.

- You're the "better man" she swore she'd date next time: Translation? Big guys are desperate, and will do anything to get a hot girl, or any girl for that matter.

- She'll assume you'll go the extra mile: Yeah, if we don't get too tired.

- She's not scrutinizing your looks as closely as you're scrutinizing hers: Studies show that physical attractiveness is not number 1 on women's priority list of what they want in a partner. Whew! Glad that's been cleared up.

- She may view you as a good provider: Love this one! Your extra pounds may subconsciously hint to a women, "I can't get to the gym because I'm too busy making money." YES!

- She can relax, without worrying that her scheming friend will nab you: This one is a real ego inflater! Bah, bah, bahhhhhhh....

- You may remind her of her Dad: Now I'm going to have this stuck in my head the next time I try to get lucky.

- She sees your potential: Yep, I've got a lot of upside. No one has a higher ceiling than me!

- You make her feel petite: Time to go shopping in the misses and teens section!

- You know how to live: Being overweight can connote a man is "enjoying fine food because he is enjoying life". That's right. Next time I'm watching TV with my Ruffles and HeluvaGood I will remind my wife of that.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Kirk Herbstreit-Harsh Words for Ohio State Football Fans

Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN College Football Analyst and former Ohio State Quarterback had some pretty harsh words for Ohio State and it's fan base in the wake of the "notice of allegations" sent to Ohio State from the NCAA today.

Here's the full report from

A couple of quotes from Kirk:

"The Ohio State fan base blindly is supporting Ohio State and Jim Tressel. It's almost gotten to the point that he beats Michigan, he wins 10 games, he goes to BCS bowl games, they'll support him no matter what he does as far as the fan base.
"If this would have happened to John Cooper [Herbstreit's coach], not only would they have fired him, they would have actually lined it up and had a firing squad and fired him."
“quit recruiting players like Maurice Clarett and Terrelle Pryor.” 
Kirk Herbstreit and his family recently moved away from Columbus as he had decided that if he was going to be objective as a college football analyst, including being critical of his Alma mater, he wouldn't subject he and his family to the vocal minority of Ohio State fans who just couldn't understand that.

“Nobody loves Ohio State more than me,” said Herbstreit, a former Buckeyes quarterback. “I still have a picture of Woody Hayes and my dad (Jim, a former OSU player) in my office, and nobody will do more than I do for the university behind the scenes. But I’ve got a job to do, and I’m going to continue to be fair and objective. To continue to have to defend myself and my family in regards to my love and devotion to Ohio State is unfair.”
“From a sports perspective, this is rough,” he said. “I love Ohio State. Love the Blue Jackets. Love the Reds. Those are my hobbies. I don’t like moving. I love living here. I don’t want to leave. But I just can’t do this anymore. I really can’t keep going like this.
“Eighty to ninety percent of the Ohio State fans are great. It’s the vocal minority that make it rough. They probably represent only 5 to 10 percent of the fan base, but they are relentless.”

Kirk is right in his evaluation of the situation at Ohio State. Jim Tressel, believing he was protecting his players. But the players have also made bad choices. When you recruit players of questionable character, you will pay the price.
But, as I noted in my previous post on regarding this subject-who cares? It's big time college football, and winning is the goal. Ohio State and Jim Tressel are no better or worse than any other major college football coach or program.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Major League Soccer Power Rankings, Week 6, 4/24/11

My Major League Soccer Week 6 Power Rankings:
Real Salt Lake #1, Week 6 (2nd Straight Week)

Week 6 Power Rankings (wins-losses-draws) UP or DOWN from last week:

1)   Real Salt Lake, Western Conference (4-0-0) 12 points
Didn't play an MLS match this week, but form looked very good in 1st leg of CONCACAF Finals.

2)   LA Galaxy, Western Conference (4-1-3) 15 points UP
Have the best form in last 5 matches of any team in MLS.

3)   Philadelphia Union, Eastern Conference (3-1-1) 10 points DOWN
Didn't play this past week, but decided to move the Galaxy ahead of them due to Galaxy's head to head win against them on April 2nd.

4)   Seattle Sounders FC, Western Conference (2-2-3) 9 points UP
Took the 2nd largest jump in the rankings of any team this week. Big away win against Colorado, but can they recover from the loss of Steve Zakuani?

5)   New York Red Bulls, Eastern Conference (3-1-2) 11 points UP
The Red Bull offense is coming together.

6)   Houston Dynamo, Eastern Conference (2-1-3) 9 points DOWN

7)   Columbus Crew, Eastern Conference (2-1-3) 9 points DOWN
Good news? 5 game unbeaten streak. Bad news? Not scoring goals.

8)   Portland Timbers, Western Conference (2-3-1) 7 points

9)   Colorado Rapids, Western Conference (3-3-0) 9 points DOWN
3 teams dropped five spots in this weeks rankings. Colorado dropped due to home loss versus the Sounders.

10) FC Dallas, Western Conference (2-3-1) 7 points UP
Big win at Vancouver. But the loss of David Ferreira will impact future results.

11) Chivas USA, Western Conference (1-2-3) 6 points UP
Away win at San Jose earns Chivas the biggest jump in the rankings this week.

12) New England Revolution, Eastern Conference (2-2-3) 9 points

13) San Jose Earthquakes, Western Conference (1-3-2) 5 points

14) D.C. United, Eastern Conference (2-3-1) 7 points DOWN
A critical home loss against rivals New York Red Bulls drops DC this week.

15) Sporting Kansas City, Eastern Conference (1-3-1) 4 points

16) Toronto FC, Eastern Conference (1-2-4) 7 points DOWN
Currently on a very poor run of form.

17) Chicago Fire, Eastern Conference (1-3-2) 5 points DOWN

18) Vancouver Whitecaps, Western Conference (1-3-3) 6 points DOWN
Expansion Whitecaps won their first match of the season, 0 wins, 3 losses and 3 draws since.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

More Gamesmanship From The Cardinals' Tony La Russa

Last night's (4/22/11) game between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals was a complete debacle. The Reds lost 4-2, which was bad enough. But the real controversy was how the St. Louis Cardinals handled the storms that were rolling through the area and caused an over 2 hour delay of the game.

The game started on time. After Drew Stubbs drew a walk and one pitch was thrown to Brandon Phillips, the game was halted for 2 hours and 10 minutes due to very heavy rains.

Why was the game started? After the delay Dusty Baker chose not to pitch the scheduled starter, Edinson Volquez as he had already warmed up once. Matt Maloney ended up getting the start.

Tony La Russa, He Invented Baseball!
Listening to today's Reds broadcast on 700 WLW, Marty Brennaman, Reds Hall of Fame play-by-play man, reported that many people in the Reds camp are not happy, placing the responsibility firmly on Cardinals' Manager Tony La Russa, who may have withheld weather information from the umpires and the Reds. Marty also commented he had never seen anything like it in 38 years of covering baseball. This is all conjecture on Marty's part, but John Fay, beat writer for the Reds at the Cincinnati Enquirer is also suspicious. So is Dusty Baker.

My take? This is a typical Tony La Russa move. But what would you expect from the smartest man in baseball? He invented the game didn't he? He can also decide when and how to report the weather.

Here's La Russa's comments on the subject, vague as usual:

"The information that we had is the same information the Reds had," La Russa said on Saturday. "They said there was a window of 45 minutes to an hour, and C.J. [St. Louis traveling secretary C.J. Cherre] talked to two different people with the Reds and said, 'Look, they're not going to start their guy when we're only going to play a short amount of time.' There was a big enough window where you get ... You just don't want to burn the starter.
"Around 6:40, 6:45, they said, 'Look, we're going to start on time.' I said, 'Well, we're going to start Batista, and 'C.J. be sure and let them know that's what we're going to do.'"

Guilty as charged, your Honor!

Coverage on the Reds official website:

John Fay's blog on on the subject:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Major League Soccer Power Rankings, Week 5, 4/18/11

Major League Soccer has just finished Matchweek 5, with all but two of the teams having played at least five matches. Real Salt Lake and Sporting KC have played 4 matches.

Time for me to introduce my MLS Power Rankings. At this point in the season, I think I have a pretty good idea of how the league is sorting out, so I'm going to share my thoughts on a weekly basis. My rankings combine overall season performance along with current form, so it's my attempt to show the 18 teams as I currently see them.

Real Salt Lake #1, Week 5

Week 5 Power Rankings (wins-losses-draws):

1)   Real Salt Lake, Western Conference (4-0-0) 12 points
2)   Philadelphia Union, Eastern Conference (3-1-1) 10 points
3)   LA Galaxy, Western Conference (3-1-3) 12 points
4)   Colorado Rapids, Western Conference (3-2-0) 9 points
5)   Houston Dynamo, Eastern Conference (2-1-2) 8 points
6)   Columbus Crew, Eastern Conference (2-1-2) 8 points
7)   New York Red Bulls, Eastern Conference (2-1-2) 8 points
8)   Portland Timbers, Western Conference (2-2-1) 7 points
9)   D.C. United, Eastern Conference (2-2-1) 7 points
10) Seattle Sounders FC, Western Conference (1-2-3) 6 points
11) Toronto FC, Eastern Conference (1-2-3) 6 points
12) New England Revolution, Eastern Conference (1-2-3) 6 points
13) San Jose Earthquakes, Western Conference (1-2-2) 5 points
14) FC Dallas, Western Conference (1-3-1) 4 points
15) Sporting Kansas City, Eastern Conference (1-2-1) 4 points
16) Chicago Fire, Eastern Conference (1-3-1) 4 points
17) Vancouver Whitecaps, Western Conference (1-2-3) 6 points
18) Chivas USA, Western Conference (0-2-3) 3 points

A few comments:

- Real Salt Lake continues to dominate.
- The Portland Timbers are the biggest early season surprise. Two big victories this week earned them the 8th spot in my rankings.
-Sporting KC is the biggest early season disappointment. Their first home game can't come soon enough.
-The Chicago Fire started the season well, but have since gone into a 3 game tailspin.

Remember, the CONCACAF Champions League Finals begin this Wednesday, April 20th. The game is on Fox Soccer Channel, 8pm MST, 10pm EST. On Twitter, use the #MLS4RSL hashtag and support Real Salt Lake!

Mountain Time

Reds' Mike Leake Arrested

I'll let the Cincinnati Enquirer take care of the reporting on this.

I just like the mugshot. Geez Mike, 6 t-shirts worth a total of $59.88 from Macy's?!?! Don't you make $425,000 per year?
Mike Leake's Mug Shot 4/18/11 Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Cincinnati, Ohio

Hope he doesn't miss a start...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Columbus Crew 1, Sporting KC 0 (4/16/11)

My wife Tammy, my youngest son Michael and my daughter Mallory joined me and 7,695 of my closest friends who braved the horrible weather last night to watch our Columbus Crew get a very good victory over Sporting KC, 1-0.

Check that. My wife and daughter sat in the Upper 90 club (no longer the best kept secret at Crew Stadium) and watched the match on TV, while my son Michael and I braved the elements and stood on the Upper 90 club's porch and watched. I drive from Cincinnati for every match, so if I'm going to make the effort to drive up, I'm going to stand in the crappy weather.

OK, I was standing under a canopy.

Robbie Rogers and Eddie Gaven Celebrating Robbie's Goal ( Josh Couper/Skyler Schmitt)
This was the 4th straight shutout for the Crew's defense. Sporting KC entered the match as one of the highest scoring teams in the MLS. Once again, the Crew's central defense of Julius James and Chad Marshall led the way with solid goalkeeping from William Hesmer.

Coach Robert Warzycha started Emilio Renteria up top, with Eddie Gaven right underneath him rather than at his traditional outside midfield position. Dilly Duka went the full 90 minutes and earned an assist on Robbie Rogers' second half goal. I give coach Warzycha a lot of credit for conjuring up this inspired line-up. It definitely worked.

Man of the Match? Robbie Rogers, both for his goal and his outstanding midfield play. He continues to play well following his benching in the Crew's first match of the year. Coach Warzycha obviously knew how to light a fire under Robbie.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Hill, Written by Brian Sell

The subject of this short piece might be familiar to the 40-50 somethings who grew up in Cincinnati, or went to University of Cincinnati. Written by my son Brian.

The Hill

The hill across the street was most likely manmade. Stone walls cut into the facing side at different levels and depths, their own faces now covered with amateur graffiti. Shaved flat at the top, it now was a mess of stones and dirt. Weeds and a few small tufts of grass battled for their lives in a pointless fight. Three impressively tall piles of bricks were gathered in one corner. The bricks flowed off their piles across most of the area, spilling down the side of the hill.

A few small walls did still stand, doing their best “roman ruin.” One corner of the previous structure looked fairly sturdy. The bricks standing strong and proud for their fallen brothers, sticking together as long as possible. It was a picture into the past. A past that stretched out from the hill, claimed great by stories told through the generations who’ve stayed. “A different place,” they’d say. The one’s who kept with the times used semi-current slang to support their fight. “It was off-the-chain, man. No joke, dude. The place was killer. Every night was raging.”

The picture blurred. The ruins, now an eyesore. The slightly-off slang convinced none of the young. Every year fewer believed the stories they barely bared to listen to. It was wasted space. Former members jumped ship.

“Who needs ‘em!”

A time forgotten by the majority, overrun by years. “Wipe it,” they say, stripping everything for nothing, no trade-backs. Memories sold into a parking lot.

The nest of a past culture, left to waste in a drawn-out death. Obsolete times drawing painful final breaths, waiting to be suffocated under a layer of tar.

For some more of Brian's writing: Sell Your Soul

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Best Soccer Club Atmosphere I Have Ever Seen in the U.S.-Portland Timbers of the MLS!

Last night (April 14, 2011) one of the two new expansion clubs in Major League Soccer, the Portland Timbers, had their home debut. They opened their new/renovated stadium, Jeld-Wen Field. The game was broadcast on ESPN2 at 11pm EST, so I had to DVR it. But I did make sure to catch the opening couple of minutes.

The Timbers took a very prudent approach to their home stadium. The field originally opened in 1926 and has been used by the local minor league baseball team, the Portland Beavers, and the Portland State Football team.

The stadium also has soccer tradition. It was the home of the old NASL (North American Soccer League) Portland Timbers from 1975-1982 and hosted the NASL Championship Game between the New York Cosmos and Seattle Sounders in 1977. That game was historic as it was Pele's final professional match.

After a $31 million dollar renovation, the field opened last night with the Portland Timbers hosting the Chicago Fire. I still have to watch the game on the DVR, but the Timbers won 4-2, sending their fans (18,627 to be exact) including their supporters group, the Timbers Army, home very happy.

The field looked great on TV. Possibly the best atmosphere I have ever seen for a US based soccer club, rivaling the best of the European clubs. The Timbers Army was very well organized, singing and chanting in unison.

The best part of last night's match for me was the decision that Portland Timbers' management made regarding the National Anthem. Rather than bringing in a celebrity to sing the Star-Spangled Banner, the decision was made to have the Timbers Army sing it. A brilliant move, and possibly the best rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner I have ever heard. Check it out!

ADDED:I forgot to mention that the Portland Timbers may have started the best tradition in the MLS when celebrating a home goal. After every goal, the Timbers mascot, Timber Joey, brings out his chain saw and cuts a slice off of a huge log.

After the game the goal scorer is presented with the slice to commemorate his goal!

Steve Sirk, who has contributed articles for the Columbus Crew's website, had a great tweet last night about the tradition:

 Steve Sirk 

How far MLS has come, part 22567...1996: "Sorry, drums can be used as weapons. No entry!" 2011: "Fully functional chain saw? No problem!"

Here is Timber Joey after the first goal last night:

Portland Timbers Celebrate Their Big Win! (Craig Mitchelldyer,

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Random Stuff

Just a few random things tonight:

- It's been fun watching my son Michael play Lacrosse for his high school this Spring. I forgot how cool a game Lacrosse is.

-Here's my current DVR list: Survivor, The Middle, Modern Family, Archer (might be the best show on TV right now), Top Chef Masters, CBS Sunday Morning, The Amazing Race

-Current Podcasts I am listening to (soccer heavy): The Massive Report (Columbus Crew), ExtraTime Radio (MLS), SI Soccer Podcast, WNYC's Radiolab

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Real Salt Lake Advances to CONCACAF Champions League Final!

Real Salt Lake just finished the second leg of their semi-final match-up with Saprissa of Costa Rica, advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League Final 3-2 on aggregate.

This is a big deal for the MLS! Real Salt Lake is the first MLS club to make it to the finals!

They will have to wait till tomorrow night to see who they will be playing. Two Mexican clubs, Cruz Azul and Monterrey will be playing the second leg of their semi-final match-up. Monterrey won the first leg 2-1.

Congratulations Real Salt Lake!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Review-The Devil's Dictionary (Originally Published 1911) by Ambrose Bierce, Illustrated by Ralph Steadman

Ambrose Bierce
Ambrose Bierce was a very interesting guy. Born in Ohio in 1842, Mr. Bierce fought in the Civil War, was a writer, a journalist and a social critic.

On a recent visit to New Orleans with my wife Tammy, my Brother Tim and my Sister-in-Law Cindy I discovered a great little bookstore called Faulkner House Books in Pirates Alley in the French Quarter.

A book immediately caught my eye as I entered the bookstore. Probably because I immediately recognized the cover illustration as the work of Ralph Steadman (probably best known for his illustrations in Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"). The Devil's Dictionary (this version being published in 2003) is a compilation of Ambrose Bierce's own definitions of particular English words, meant to lampoon the social and political norms of his day. He had published these definitions in various newspaper columns he had written, and they proved to be very popular at the time

The original edition of the book was published in 1911, two years before Ambrose Bierce decided, at the age of 71, to go to Mexico to observe the revolutionary war going on there. He was never seen again. I am going to have to find a biography of Mr. Bierce, as his life is the stuff of legend. In addition, the stories of his involvement with the powerful newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst would also be an interesting read.

The Devil's Dictionary is a short and very funny book. Many of the definitions in the book are as effective in lampooning society today as they were over 100 years ago. Ralph Steadman's illustrations enhance the book even further, putting an creative exclamation point on many of the entries in the book.

Some of my favorite entries:

Influence, n. In politics, a visionary quo given in exchange for a substantial quid.

Piano, n. A parlor utensil for subduing the impenitent visitor. It is operated by depressing the keys of the machine and the spirits of the audience.

Faulkner House Books' Sign, French Quarter, New Orleans
Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. 

The Devil's Dictionary is one of those wonderful "finds" that makes exploring bookstores so very worthwhile.

The Devil's DictionaryThe Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I reviewed this on my blog Jiresell Thoughts on April 5th, 2011

View all my reviews

Monday, April 4, 2011

UConn Wins the Men's NCAA Basketball Championship

Congratulations to the University of Connecticut. Basketball is a game of momentum and they had it. Big East Tournament Champions and now NCAA Champions. Eleven wins in four weeks.

If only Butler could have made a basket. I don't think I have ever seen a team colder than Butler was tonight. Their field goal percentage tonight? 18.8%

Not a well played game. It was like watching two garbage trucks hit one another...all you have left is a pile of garbage.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Butler-For The Win!

Picking Butler tonight. Primarily because I think they are the better team. But I also think Jim Calhoun, UConn's coach, is an arrogant buffoon and a cheater. Can't root for that guy.

Go Bulldogs!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Blackberry Addiction Got Me in the Cincinnati Enquirer!

Not in a bad way-DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE!

After attending Opening Day at Great American Ballpark, I saw a Tweet from the Cincinnati Enquirer asking for people to respond if they were annoyed with cell phone coverage in the ballpark.

I responded, and now I am newsworthy! Click the link below:

Stadiums rush to improve cell phone reception

Big Win! Columbus Crew 2, FC Dallas 0-April 1st, 2011

Last night's game was big for the Columbus Crew. After last week's disappointing draw with a weakened New York Red Bull side, the Crew came back in a big way with a 2-0 victory against FC Dallas.

Eddie Gaven Down the Sideline (Josh Couper,
The Crew dominated possession in the first half against a very strong FC Dallas side. Eddie Gaven, my man of the match (I had made that decision even before his goal in 2nd half stoppage time) played with an intensity we have come to expect from him, with outstanding runs down the right-hand side. In my stupidity I dropped Eddie Gaven from my FC Manager fantasy team Going to have to correct that.

Also, for the third game in a row, Robbie Rogers played very well as Eddie Gaven's complement on the left side, earning an assist on Gaven's goal.

This was the second clean sheet in a row for the Crew. William Hesmer had to make several saves and the back line of Rich Balchan, Chad Marshall, Julius James and Sebastian Miranda held off a strong offensive push by the FC Dallas front line, although much of that push in the 2nd half was due to give-aways by the Crew's defense (see below). Even though the Crew had a one man advantage for almost 57 minutes after Jackson Goncalves of FC Dallas was ejected for a second caution, the 2nd half was a 50/50 affair, with the outcome never until Gaven scored the Crew's 2nd goal in stoppage time.

I like the line-up the Crew started with last night. It was the same as the match against the Red Bull last Saturday, essentially a 4-2-2-1-1. The same personnel started, with the only change being Miranda and Balchan switching sides. The Crew created plenty of chances, although they still struggle getting off quality shots in the penalty box. But first order of priority is to stop the other team from scoring, and the Crew are accomplished that.

A few other thoughts:

- The defense, especially James and Balchan, gave the ball away much too often in the second half. This allowed FC Dallas to continue to aggressively counter-attack.

- The return of Emilio Renteria was huge for the Crew. His energy and drive provided a real spark in the second half.

- FC Dallas started Ruben Luna, one of their home-grown signees and a graduate of their US Soccer Development Academy program team. Last time I saw Ruben Luna was against my son Michael's Development Academy team last Fall. Kind of cool.

Big win for the Crew!