Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ryder Cup

It was the most awesome sporting event I have ever attended…

The crowds were great and both the Euro fans and USA fans were very well behaved and demonstrated allot of etiquette throughout the event… There was some very nice banter between the fans on the first tee that was pretty funny… I think that Golf fans in general even at event at this type are the best most respectable fans there is in sports… I am working on the Ryder Cup experience blog for a later post…


UK Football (Before Arkansas)

Game 1… The game went as expected for me… I thought that UK’s defense would lock U of L down and that they would at least get one score (they got two)… I did not expect UK to not be able to run the ball at all… Hartline managed the game really well but looked scared to death in the pocket… UK won this game on continuity alone although I think the home team should win this game every time… The reason I mention continuity is because that is U of L’s issue right now, not Coach Kragthorpe… Give him some time…

Game 2… Nothing much but the fact that UK could not score more than 38 points on a very weak opponent should have been a sign of things to come… They could not run the ball effectively in this game either... The bright spot was Randall Cobb in at Quarterback…

Game 3… Showed how bad the offense really is… The o line can pass block with the best of them but they cannot run block… I doubt this is technique and is probably a sign of talent and youth… An SEC team should romp over a Sun Belt Conference opponent especially in the running game…

Game 4… WKU… Much like game 2 but no Cobb at QB… The fact that UK offense could not run the ball against a very weak opponent was another really bad sign…

Game 5… Bama… I thought that the UK defense would show how good they were… They locked Bama down after a long run for a score to nothing… They gave up hardly any yards and only yield a field goal after the UK offense gave up a touchdown… The difference in the game was UK’s lack of a playmaker on offense…

Game 6… Major disappointment… A team that captures five turnovers should win in a romp but when you cannot generate any offense then you will not beat anyone… UK did give up two special teams touchdowns and could have won had it not been for those events… Hartline literally gave Kentucky no chance to win the game at all!!!

The stats (through game 6):

- The UK defense has only given up a total of 47 points in 6 games (when you take away the scores that are not related to the defense (turnovers by the offense and pitiful special teams play)…
- The UK offense (offensive) has only scored 47 points in four games when you throw out Western and Norfolk State… That is 11 points a game… How many more games will UK win at this clip???
- The UK defense can be credited with 21 points on touchdowns and are responsible for another couple of scores on turnovers that I am giving to the offense above… …

Even if Randall Cobb is not going to be the quarterback next year he is the best option for this year and gives this team the best option to win now and maybe next year… With Cobb at QB you can run four and give receiver sets with one or two backs… The team can run some quick options, delayed draws and counter plays for the running game… With four and five wide the defense has to play the entire field (the defense just puts eight in the box now) and if Cobb cannot find an open receiver he can turn in something positive with his feet…

Based on what former UK player, Lonnie Demerre, has said on the post game shows I believe Joker is ready to make the move to Cobb but he is getting over ruled by Brooks… I know the fans are ready for this change…

Will Cobb make freshmen mistakes??? Yes he will… Could one of those mistakes cost UK a game??? Yes they could but I also think that he gives UK a chance to win where Mike Hartline does not give UK must of a chance (I still see it that way even after last Saturday)…

Hartline is a good kid represents the university well but he does not have the potential I saw in an Andre Woodson Freshmen of sophomore even though he has better number… He can get a little better but I do not think he will get allot better… He does not have the “moxy” or the play making ability to lead this team in the SEC… Cobb is full of moxy!!!

Did I boo at the end of the game South Carolina game??? Yes I did… Loudly!!! That was a pitiful performance by both the coaches and players… The special teams’ plays hurt but Spurrier out coached Brooksy once again (Spurrier changed Quarterback’s)… I am not a person who will take or accept a three-point loss at Bama, a loss to Mississippi State or South Carolina last year in games that UK should have won or another loss to Tennessee like the last two years… There are no moral victories just victories and it is time for this program to step it up and win the games you are supposed at home and then pull the occasional upset each year…

UK should have won 8 or 9 regular season games last year after a hot start and the table was set to win 8 this year after the 4 and 0 start… Lose to Arkansas this week and I will boo LOUDLY once again… Old Brooksy is a hard head so I am sure that Hartline will be your starter and finisher (he was and played all but one series at QB)…

Throw out the probation years and Brooksy is 18 and 18 (not counting the bowl games, 4 - 8, 7 – 5, 7 - 5)… The first year should have been 7 and 5, 7 and 5 was acceptable in 2006 and last year the team should have been 9 and 3 (Beat UT, Beat Ms St, LSU cancels USC loss in a game that UK should have won)… 23 and 14 or 22 to and 15 would be outstanding!!! 18 and 18 to me is good but not approaching great even for Kentucky Football…

Since this is a transition year for UK am I being too harsh of a critic??? After seven careers starts Hartline has better sophomore numbers then Andre Woodson… To me I just do not see Andre Woodson type capabilities in Hartline… Hope I am wrong… The “Swamp” will tell a big story for this team on Saturday… Go Big Blue!!!


UK Football after Arkansas

Did I leave??? Yes… With 8:42 to go in the game I stood up and booed Rich Brooks by name, Mike Hartline by name and gave the press boss where Joker is setting a WTH is going on pose and headed for the parking lot… That was right after the 4th and 2 that we went for it and lost two yards on a pass play… To this point in the game Mike Hartline was awful!!! Looked like a statue not a quarterback… By the way he last time I left a game early was when we were losing 49 to 7 to Florida a few years ago at halftime…

My wife stayed inside and I went to the parking lot and turned on the AC/DC channel on XM… My buddy Sheets showed up and told me we should at least listen to the end of the game on the radio so I flipped it over (Sheets wife Leslie stayed also)… I know we missed a hell of an ending but after watching this offense this year I gave Kentucky no shot of winning with 8:42 to go in the game and neither did the other 35000 that left…

UK may not win another football game this year… They had to have a “miracle” finish to beat the worst team in the SEC at home… I think they will be competitive but a Mike Hartline offense is not going to beat an SEC team on the road or Georgia at home… They might be able to beat Vandy but Vandy is better then Arkansas and UK is hurting in allot of areas now with injuries… Hope I am wrong but that is what I see…

Randall Cobb showed Saturday night that he is the second best player on the team after Trevard Lindley… Let’s hope both guys are still around next year… Kentucky has to not only come back and beat Arkansas but also beat the referees who made some very poor calls during the game… Those calls also added to my frustration level, which caused me to leave early…

Was this the break out for Mike Hartline???

Coach Brooks Meter

Last year I ended the year with the meter at eight (8)…

Brooksy is criticizing me for leaving the game early and criticizing the fans in general… Let’s understand something, with eight minutes to go in the game you were losing to the worst team in the SEC and based on the offensive performance Saturday night and the previous weeks we had no chance… This is why 35000 people left the game (there is never that many people that leave early)… UK had lost its last four home SEC games dating back to last year before this game…

Remember the last time I left was 49 to 7 at halftime and so that is where this game was for me mentally… Even the announcer on TV (I watched the replay last night) did not understand why Cobb was not at Quarterback vs. Hartline… You could hear people yelling in the background to put in Cobb…

Expectations??? What is wrong with expectations??? When you start the year 4 and 0 you should take care of business at home against two down teams and damn near lost them both… Is it players??? Coaches??? Both??? Fans??? All I know is Brooks is 0 and 3 against South Carolina Spurrier and before Saturday he was 0 and 5 against Petrino (Petrino coached his very first game as a head coach against you and handed you your jock strap after the game)…

Am I satisfied with 5 and 2 this year??? Sure I am but I am also a bit disappointed that UK is not 6 and 1 at this point after a 4 and 0 start… We are at the hump Brooks, now let’s get over it…

The question I have is can a Coach Brooks team finish??? To this point by my calculations in the non probation years Coach Brooks is 4 and 19 (beat LSU at home, beat Georgia at home, beat Arkansas on the road and Arkansas at home) against the elite coaches or teams (that is teams that have either won SEC championships in the last five years, been to the SEC title game or in the case of Louisville been to a BCS bowl during the regular season and does not count games against a Kragthorpe U of L but does include Bobby Petri no U of L)… Throw out Arkansas and UK is 2 and 18 against these teams in the Brooks tenure…

Based on those numbers I say that a Brooks UK is still better then Vanderbilt by about the same margin we have always been is on equal ground with Ole Miss, Arkansas and Mississippi St and has gained little ground on UT, UF, Auburn, LSU and Georgia…

Beat UT or Florida Brooksy… Right now the meter stays at “8”…


Politics in my Blog???

This is a first and a last… I felt like it was time I weighed in on the government and politics in general… Not so much politics as just some general philosophies about life I have experienced and would like to share…

Fortunately for me I do not blame the government or other people for any of my problems or issues so I am not setting around waiting for the government or other people to fix or solve my problems or issues… The government cannot solve their own problems or issues so how the hell are they going to solve mine and only people themselves can resolve their own issues or problems at the end of the day…

If you are a person who sets around and thinks the Republicans and their agenda is better then the Democrats and their agenda then you are dead wrong… Same applies to a person who sets around and thinks that Democrats are better and their agenda is better then the Republicans… You are also wrong… I truly have deep empathy for both of you…

Life is about creating opportunity for yourself through making good decisions, being financially responsible and creating opportunities… Something that I am living proof of is that good things can happen to those people who apply themselves… When I have had periods in my life where I did not apply myself nothing good came out of it at all but when I do apply myself it is amazing what can happen…

I am not very educated beyond my high school diploma (My wife and I both are working on this is an effort to improve our standing and pretty much everything we have learned we have done on our own), come from a broken home where unfortunately I did not get allot of direction as I was becoming a young teenager and adult… Do I set around and blame my mom or dad for these circumstances??? Absolutely not… They did the best they could with the hand they were dealt and along the way they made some good decisions and bad decisions just like everyone else does… I could set around and be a victim of the bad decisions but I choose to take responsibility for myself and move forward… My family is not responsible for me nor am I responsible for my family… I can enjoy my family and not have to be responsible for them or their actions...

Another example of the philosophy of good decisions and creating positive circumstances is something I experience every day at work and is very much worth sharing… In the current area I work in there are over 800 people assigned to this business unit… Better then 40% of these people are either from Somalia or Bosnia… They are amazing people… They come to work every day, put forth the maximum effort and have very little to complain about…

There are allot of Bosnian employees who came to work at my company three to four years ago who could barely speak English. There transformation is a fantastic example of how to create opportunities for you… Many have not only learned English but are thriving in our organization and have even become supervisors and managers through hard work and dedication to themselves…

I had a great conversation with a group of the people from Somalia the other day in the break room… I asked them how they liked America, how they were adapting to the cultural changes and how they were being received by Americans in general… They all had a very consistent theme… As two of the young ladies, dressed in their full burkas said to me, “We work, we get paid, we have a nice place to live, I have a car, we can afford to buy good food for our families and everything is so covenant… We have nice roads to drive on and our kids have an opportunity to get an education…” I asked them how this compares to their homeland and one of the young gentlemen told me, “We Love America it is truly the land of opportunity… I Love my Country but we do cannot have there what we can have here…” It is nice to watch people in our work area “melting pot” function together and set a wonderful example for others to follow… They truly seem to learn allot from each other…

I agree there are allot of improvements that can be made to our country but at the end of the day it is the best model for seizing opportunity by applying yourself…

So back to politics… The thing that gets me is neither political party or their agendas is addressing what is truly wrong with government and that is fiscal responsibility… Both Republicans and Democrats have created the “debt culture” that we live in today… Until government is run like a business or like the way I run my life then it will continue to be hindrance to everyone… The math is simple… You cannot spend more then you make or disaster will continue to occur…

There is no political candidate or party who has this agenda nor will you see or hear one because that will only take money out of their pockets and the people who are lining their pockets…. Folks they are all taking back door money I do not care what any of them say and don’t be so naïve to think they are not…

Fortunately for me I run my life as both a fiscal and social responsibility philosophy and work for an organization that shares this philosophy…

First for me… I made a decision several years ago with the help of my financial advisor, Dave Ramsey, to live like no one else so I could live like no one else… Take control of my life and my finances… It is a simple plan (I learned it by listening to the free radio) where you do not spend more then you make and you do not borrow money (except for to buy a house because a house is an investment)… As for borrowing money to buy a house (because it is an investment) Dave fully supports this but has a very strict set of parameters that I followed to the letter (He calls it the baby steps)… First of all you need to save up for a 20% down payment so you do not have to pay mortgage insurance, on top of that you need six months worth of expenses in the bank as your emergency fund because “life occurs”… Also keep in mind that you will probably want to buy new furniture, etc… for your house so save for that also…

How much house can you afford??? That is where people have gone wrong in the sub-prime loan market… Dave’s plan unlike the governments and financial institutions (they say you can afford to make a payment of 38% of your gross income which is why 5% of all mortgages in the US are currently in default, you would think that number was 50% if you watch the news) is your payment with taxes and insurance should not exceed 25% of you r take home pay… By following this example you should be able to fully fund your retirement and/or your college funds if you choose to do so and still be able to live you life and even save a little money… Does it work??? I know people at all income levels that follow this philosophy and let me tell you it works and works well and puts you in complete control of your life…

My organization that I work for follows the same philosophy… They carry very little debt (we are a cash heavy company) and invest heavily in an employee pension fund in addition to supporting 401k matching contributions… Since this is a publicly traded company I can reveal some details that are also available to the public… The non-union pension fund (The reason I point to the non union fund is because the organization that manages have misused the hourly pension fund to such a level that it is no longer fully funded and will run out of money in about thirty years, sound familiar??? This fund also has government over site, sound familiar???) started out in 2007 with a balance of 12 billion dollars… At the end of 2007 after paying out all the benefits to retirees, putting in the year’s contribution for future retirees the fund had a balance of almost 14 billion dollars… Even in a down market in 2008 the fund is just below the 14 billion dollar mark and is fully funded to support the companies retirees for the next 100 plus years… What a solid example for the government to follow… Think they will do it??? LOL

Me like many other people have retirement accounts that are down this year (first time in my fourteen plus years of investing that it looks like I will finish the year with less money in my account then when I started the year)… Who is to blame??? Good old me that is who… After studying the financial climate and doing a ton of research on my own (I took a personal effort to educate myself many years ago on the workings of the stock market and investing by of course listening to Dave Ramsey but by checking out books from the library for free and reading them) in 2007 I had some choices to make… My financial advisors (Money Magazine, A good friend, An investment letter I receive and Dave Ramsey voted three to one that I should book all of my gains for the last 14 years and move them to cash accounts within my retirement fund and wait out the market until it hits the bottom, probably some point after the election, and then jump back in when everything is at the bottom and reap the long term rewards… If I would have done that then I would be up 2% for the year and maintained my double digit gains I have averaged the last fourteen years…

Now for the rest of the story… I decided I was smarter then everyone else and only did that with about 30% of my holdings so now I am down 20% for the year in my retirement accounts but on the bright side since I have solid equity in my house (not everyone’s property values are dropping folks do the research) so my net worth is only down about 8% for the year…

So now I am setting around just whining about it right??? NOT!!! I have not lost anything to this point because I have not sold anything (buy high sell low is not my philosophy)… I am educating myself as to how I can position myself for the march back up when it occurs… How??? My company offers a traditional 401k as well as Roth 401k for all employees… Like the Roth IRA in the Roth 401k you invest all of your money after you pay your taxes and the accounts grow tax-free (you will not pay gains on your money when you pull it out of these accounts when you start drawing the money out at 59.5)… So my philosophy, which this time is supported by all four of my financial advisors, is to shift my retirement investing to the Roth 401k while the prices are low and give me the best long term “bang for my buck”… Great thing is I am not sitting around waiting for some government entity to rescue me from the fire… I am trying to take advantage of down situation by taking responsibility for myself and moving forward with a plan…

Show me the plan from either political party or candidate that has a five year, ten year, fifteen year or twenty year plan of getting the government out of debt by cutting spending, getting Social Security back to a fully funded status and creating a reserve, an emergency fund or whatever you want to call it… Basically a plan like our grandparents followed their entire lives where you don’t spend more than you make, you save money each year for a rainy day and you make sure you are putting money away for when you retire… You will not see it because debt and supporting debt is how they all line their pockets… Not just Republicans, Not just democrats but also all politicians… They may be fooling you but they are not fooling me… Both of the so-called Presidential Candidates (I use that term loosely) supported a government bailout that put the country more in debt… That alone should tell you something… Until the “debt” problem in this country is resolved then social and environmental issues will take a back seat and government… Do what you can as an individual to support social and environmental issues that is what I do and I will continue to do…

Oh by the way through all of this… My wife’s company got bought out and she lost her jobs… Did we panic??? No… Did we adjust our plan??? Yes… If we do not have as much coming in you cannot have as much going out… I guess I could just go borrow some money or wait for the government to bail me out… LOL!!!

Another example of taking responsibility… My wonderful wife decided to take control of her own destiny by taking responsibility of herself and going back to school to complete her degree while she works part time… We are getting no help from the government and funding her education and my continuing education out of our own pockets… Amazing what a good plan will do for you…

This is not the first time I have given this testimonial and I hope as a reader you understand and appreciate my philosophies… Take control of your own destiny, have a plan and a back up plan… Do not put yourself at the mercy of depending on someone of some entity to take care of you our your family… If you are a young person have a plan and start planning for your future now…. Make good decisions and seek out advice… And for those of you who use the argument, “Well you do not have kids, you can do all this stuff” that is part of my plan to… Don’t have kids until you can afford to have kids… They like everything else cost money…

Point is there is plenty of opportunity out there if people will seize the moment… To seize the moment you have to make good decisions… Take responsibility for yourself and stop whining and waiting, go out make your own way… I still believe we live in the best society that breeds opportunity and I am proud to be an American even through all of our faults and problems… However, we now live in a truly global society and have a wonderful appreciation of all of the cultures of the world…
“Good things will come to those who set around and wait, but only things that are left behind by the ones who seized the moment and took control of their own destiny”…

Now To Be Clear

Just so everyone knows where I stand politically I will be writing in Bozo the Clown for President… Why???

- Cookie will be the VP
- I was always a fan of the “Grand Prize Game”
- The blue suit
- The bright red hair
- The red nose
- His cabinet will consist of clowns like Yuco, Homey D, Klinko, Rebo and Shakes but not Pogo…
- The last reason is “The Big Shoes…”

Random Thoughts

- Line of the day… When my wife got to the parking lot after the game (she gave me hell by the way for leaving and even told my mom on me) I told her the Red Sox had beaten the Rays and she said, “There is another game you did not get to see tonight…”

- I have now missed one of the greatest comebacks in UK football history and one of the greatest victories and UK football history… Maybe I should be in the parking lot vs. the stadium!!! Had good reasons for not being at either one although last Saturday is open for debate…

- You hate to see a grtty player like Dickey Lyons with a career ending injury… I also hate to see it caused by another horse collar tackle that is supposed to be 15-yard penalty… If you want to get rid of the horse collar tackle in college football then make it an automatic first and goal no matter where the team is on the field…

- I have heard people mention that the US won the Ryder because Tiger was not on the team, he takes focus away from the event and that he does not really care about the event… That is total BS!!! Tiger loves this event and loves to compete... Does having Tiger add pressure to the team??? Sure it does but that pressure is what this event is about… The US won the Ryder Cup due to the brilliance of Captain Paul Azinger and the stellar play of some Ryder Cup rookies!!!
- Why were the Angels trying to play National League Baseball and squeeze bunt against the Red Sox in the ALDS??? They play in the American League… I like Mike Scocisa as a manager and would hope he could possibly be a replacement for Larussa when he steps down in St Louis…
- Baseball should cut the regular season to 154 games and expand the LDS series to seven games… The LDS at a best of five is an injustice to the regular season just like it was when the LCS was only five games…
- I consider myself a huge baseball fan but to this point I have watched a total of about five innings of the entire playoffs… I have now watched five innings of the World Series…
- Great stat lines in the Red Sox vs. Rays game… Red Sox have not been shut out at home in the postseason since 1918 which is when they still had Babe Ruth on their roster… The other night was the first time ever in Red Sox post-season history that the Red Sox have given up eight or more runs in consecutive games (now in three games in a row)…
- Two quotes for you… A former local baketball coach from U of L made a reference on his show that one team beat the other team “like a runaway slave”… Proof that nobody listens to the show because nothing was ever said about it or all of the radio audience is racist (LOL)… The other quote is Gary Danielson referred to Dicky Lyons Junior, “He is not just a white possession receiver” during the UK vs. Bama game… Pretty funny stuff in a world of so-called political correctness…
- 101 years and counting for the Cubs…

Music

AC/DC channel… When I was teenager I wanted a radio station that played AC/DC 24 hours a day… XM now has that channel… Awesome!!! Nothing really new on the music scene… Kings of Leon has a new album out that sounds pretty good and Cold War Kids has a new one that has a few great sounding songs…