Monday, December 29, 2008

Tonight! Men's Basketball @ Villa "Vanilla" Nova

The men's basketball team(5-5) opens Big 5 play tonight against #15 Villanova at the Pavilion.

Villanova has already been victorious in their games against the other Big 5 members, so they are playing for the Big 5 title.

Tonight will also be the debut of Temple frosh Juan Fernandez, fresh off his graduation in and immigration from Argentina. However, Dunphy played down the impact he will have for the first week or two until he gets use to the system.

The game is "nationally" televised in ESPNU, meaning it will be seen by about 5 people in 2 bars across the nation.

Luckily, the game will be broadcast on Just go there and hit contrl+f for find, then type in temple.

Go Owls!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

The C&W will be taking X-mas eve and Christmas day off.

In the meantime, have a great holiday and be safe!

you know you love it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Grades are up

Grades are up! Or at least they've started to put them up.


Monday, December 22, 2008

From Heroes to Zeroes

The men's basketball team looked awful in tonight's game against Long Beach State. The Owls were 6 point favorites coming in, but dropped the game 76-71. The Owls were plagued by turnovers, fouls, and a 2-15 shooting start for Dionte Christmas. The Owls rallied way late off a couple of Christmas 3's to make it a 3 point game with 7 ticks left, but it was all for nothing as the Owls fell 76-71. This leaves the team at 5-5, with a 2 game losing streak, going into Monday's game against Villanova.

Can anybody say inconsistent?

Fortunately, the women's team managed to pull off a slight upset by winning at Ball State 78-73 to improve to 6-4.

Daily Sports Update: B-ball Teams at it Again...But sorry, no TV this time

Today, both the men's and women's basketball teams are in action for the second time in three days.

The men's team (5-4) is in Long Beach, California to take on the Long Beach State 49ers (4-6). The Owls are looking to bounce back from a difficult, tiring loss at Kansas and hopefully are well rested and focused for this game. The 49ers are 3-1 at home this year, but the lone loss came as a part of their current 4 game losing streak. If they are to break the skid and beat the favored Owls, they will need help from their senior guard Donovan Morris, who leads the team with 16.5 points per game. The game, scheduled to start at 9:05 Eastern, will not be televised but can be heard on the radio on 1210 AM WPHT

The women's team (5-4) travels to Indiana to take on MAC opponent Ball State (6-3). Ball St. is favored in this one, coming off a strong win over Western Kentucky, who had been garnering some votes in the national ranking polls.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Slow Day: Crime Report for your Entertainment

Since most of us are probably pretty bored on our first Sunday of break, here are the highlights of the most recent crime report(Dec. 9) for Temple's campus.

Check out crime on your street by using the crime map.

Funniest Report:
"Hardwick Hall
Contractor reported an unknown person took a money bag with an unknown amount of change from his unattended cart between 1:40 p.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 1."
So many questions... Are the persons usually known? Why was he carrying around a money bag? And it was filled with change? What's with the cart? Was this person too scared to say change purse?

Biggest Trend: Bicycle theft

Six bikes got snagged this time around, plus an extra tire.

Scariest Report:

Dec. 4
1875 N. 12th St.
Student reported an unknown male harassed her at 2 p.m. Dec. 4. No injury
Unknown males harassing people on campus. Never cool.

Snow Day

Philadelphia and Temple's campus got their fair share of wintry mix today. Things are looking like they'll clear up by Christmas though, as per's regional forecast, which, by the way, needs a skyline update with the Comcast building. So for any straggling students planning to go home before Christmas, looks like Tuesday or Wednesday is your best bet.

Also, keep an eye out for how the city will handle clearing the roads, since Mayor Nutter announced that there will be no snow removal for under a foot of snow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rough Day for Temple B-ball teams

The Temple men's basketball team fell to the now 8-2 defending NCAA champions Kansas Jayhawks today. Despite Christmas matching his average with 21 points, the team couldn't contribute enough to pull out a win. The Owls played Kansas tough through the first 30 minutes of the game, before falling behind by double digits. Sergio Olmos had a bad game, missing a number of shots inside, and the entire team looked tired towards the end after their plane landed in Kansas at 1:30 am due to weather delays. The squad will look to rebound in California against Long Beach State on Monday.

In addition, the women's team lost to Villanova 65-56 despite 26 points from Shaqwedia Wallace.

Daily Sports Update: Men's B-ball at Kansas

The Temple men's basketball team(5-3) plays last year's NCAA champions Kansas Jayhawks (7-2) at 2:30 on Saturday. The game is going to be on ESPN2 so check it out if you can. Kansas was ranked 25th in the nation last week but fell off after they lost to UMASS. They are also 84-6 in their Allen Fieldhouse under their current head coach, including a 29 game win streak. It won't be an easy win.

Also, the women's team is at city rival Vanillanova at 1.

Students living in Yorktown escape eviction

Temple students who are living in Yorktown and were served eviction notices caught a lucky break the other day, as reported by Basically, the landlords involved are taking the city to court, which nullifies the eviction notices until May 30th-after the spring semester is over. Good news for the 60 houses involved. As for leases next year..... watch out.

Hey's Yorktown. Thanks WHYY!

For those who didn't know, 60 some Yorktown houses rented by Temple students were served eviction notices earlier in the semester. Yorktown is the neighborhood between Oxford and Girard and 13th street to 10th street. Basically, community residents got fed up with Temple students in their community and pressured Darrell Clarke, our city council rep, and therefore the city itself to start enforcing a law from 2005 that says students can't live there. Check out the article.

Break officially begins..break-ins to follow shortly.

Holiday break officially began today until the 20th of January. Hooray. Hopefully we all remembered to lock our doors. From the recent theft article from the Temple News:

"The economy is funny,” Bittenbender said. “When the economy is bad, property crime is up.” In the 22nd, 23rd and 26th police districts– burglary and theft, for example – are on the rise."

Yes, those would be our districts. So here's the best of luck to all of us coming back to school with all of our belongings still belonging to us. Here's a short, pretty obvious safety checklist by local landlord Templetown. Who knows, maybe you forgot something.

Cherry and What? Back and Better

As is obviously seen for past readers, the blog is back and has undergone some revamps. Not just in a name, or visually, but also in format as well. From now on posts will be shorter, quicker clips so that lots of information can be added and read more quickly. The Cherry and What will be more comprehensive in topics, but less in depth and narrative. Thanks and hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Temple Basketball...Oh yea, there was a reason I went to Temple!

Sorry for the long delay since last Thursday, took the weekend off to relax.

Several weeks ago I posted about how Temple's football team came from behind to beat Ohio in the 4th quarter, injecting a bit of life into my hopeless spirit. Well, the following week I think God was angry at himself for falling asleep at the switch and smited ye olde football team by having Navy score 20 points in the 4th quarter to come from behind to beat Temple. Stick a fork in 'em.

Also, for the past 2 weeks I've had a ridiculously insatiable appetite. No, not metaphorically, I've been hungry as heeck and couldn't figure out why. Well, I'm convinced that it was case of the munchies after coming off the high of the Phillies winning the championship. And now I'm wondering what's next. Enter Temple University Basketball Season.

Tip off is this Friday at 3 against East Tennessee State(who?) in first round of the 8-team Charleston Classic tournament. ETS reached the semifinals of the Southern Conference last year, and will be our first test of the season. What's the Southern Conference you may be wondering? And the answer is: who knows? Temple has started awfully slow the past 2 years, including going 1-2 and losing after being up by 25 in last year's Puerto Rican Tip off. The field in this year's tournament is particularly weak, and the only other nationally known team is Clemson, on the other side of the bracket.

Temple has a promising squad this year, with the pluses being a number of capable big men, some decent depth, and Dionte Christmas returning for his senior season. Lavoy Allen and Sergio Olmos proved to be a formidable duo in the paint towards the end of last year, and having another year under their belts should only show further improvement. Michael Eric, a 6'9"red shirt freshman who was forced to sit last year due to NCAA rules, is set to play and the inside word says he is going to make a huge impact immediately.

It was just announced that Junior Ryan Brooks will be starting this year. Brooks had an inconsistent season last year, going through a cycle of hot and cold streaks. However, it always seemed like he found his stroke at the right times, including good performances in the A-10 tournament and against Michigan State in the NCAAs. It will mainly be his performance, and those of some of the bench players, needed to combat the loss of do-everything Mark Tyndale. This includes sophomore Martavis Kee and freshman Scootie Randall for some scoring off the bench, and some solid minutes from sophomore big man Craig Williams. Another possible contributor is freshman guard T.J. DiLeo, although some believe that he will not be ready to play at this level yet.

Dionte Christmas is possibly the greatest strength of the team as he returns for his last season as an Owl. Christmas will have plenty to play for, as he tries to increase his draft stock and become the first player in history to lead the A-10 in scoring for three consecutive seasons. Christmas is a great 3 shooter to have this year, as the newly extended three point line plays to his advantage. A good portion of 3-point shooters will have difficulty adjusting to the new distance, but Christmas has demonstrated his ability to shoot from pro range in the past. That being said, Christmas is the only proven player on the team who can put up 20+ a game, besides possibly Brooks, and if the depth of the team can't contribute numbers to replace Tyndale, a great burden will be placed on Christmas. He has not done well in the past when teams focused their defense on him.

There are a few negatives to this team as well. The first, as you may have guessed, is the loss of Mark Tyndale. Tyndale was the most valuable player for the team last year, as his stat sheet-filling, play making, hardworking style last year was often overshadowed by Christmas' numbers. Many of the good looks Christmas, Brooks, and graduate sniper Chris Clark got last year were only created by Tyndale driving the lane and drawing defenders. As previously stated, his production will only be replaced by a collective effort of the new depth to the team.

Another big question mark is at the guard position, which is what many of the sports junkies and pundits have been hitting Temple with. The starting guard is still a question mark between Junior Luis Guzman and Senior Semaj Inge. Both players have shown ability, especially with ball handling and defense, but both lacked consistency and shooting. Odds are that if neither can solidify themselves as a consistent, effective guard by mid-season, coach Dunphy will use freshman Juan Fernandez after he arrives over the holidays.

Fernandez is one of the best players to come out of Argentina and South America this past year. Argentina, for those who don't know, is one of the best international basketball countries. He played on their under-18 national team this past year, and they put a hurting on the U.S. team in the finals. Yes, that means Fernandez was driving around, shooting over, and generally kicking ass against guys who are now going to the likes of Duke, UNC, Kansas, etc. He is also a 6'4" guard, and is described as Pepé Sanchez with a jump shot. An exciting recruit to say the least. Besides giving Sergio Olmos somebody to talk to in Spanish, Fernandez also offers the chance for a true, skilled point guard. However, Argentina graduates students in October, so he won't be enrolled at Temple until the second semester, causing him to miss half the season. Dunphy has to decide whether to potentially forfeit a redshirt season for half a year of playing. As stated, this will probably hinge on whether or not Temple is successful with the guards they have. Fernandez, if he lives to his potential, might not be here for four years anyways.

Temple's schedule offers a number of interesting points. First of all, they won't be playing at home very much. Temple's schedule shows 19 away games to 11 at home, not including post season play. The home schedule is highlighted by Tennessee on December 13 and Saint Joe's on March 5th. Their away schedule is highlighted by a trip to Penn State and Kansas. They also play a number of away games in the city, including St Joe's, Nova, La Salle, and UPenn. Their non-conference schedule is pretty weak, playing against a number of MAC opponents and other schmucks, including Lafayette and Long Beach State.

While this is weak sauce compared to their gauntlet non conference schedules of the past, it gives Temple the ability to run up their record. Temple would have a pretty good at large chance if they went 11-3 in non conference with a win over one or more of Clemson, Tennessee, and Kansas, and were a number of games over .500 in the conference with a top 3 finish.( 11-3 NC) +(11-5 C)= 22-8 with a shitload of away wins and a win(s) over Clemson/Tennessee/Kansas/St Joes/Xavier going into A-10. Not a lock, but not too shabby.

That being said, if Temple coughs up too many games early against poor teams, which they've been prone to do, and doesn't pull out a big win against a tough non-conference opponent, which they have not been prone to do, they're going to need to kick ass in the A-10 again to have a shot at the dance.

We shall see. Go Owls!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Night...Robbed Again!

8 years ago, Al Gore's bid for the Presidency ended when his request for a recount in Florida went all the way to the Supreme Court and was unjustifiably shot down. Many say Gore was robbed of the election. Last night, Barack Obama became the first African American man in history to be elected President of the United States. In the ensuing celebrations, I was robbed at gun point. I think it speaks volumes about the importance of this election when I say that of the two nights, I'll take the 2008 robbery any day of the week.

I think it was pretty clear from the start that Obama was heavily favored in this election. Given the past 8 years, the democrats probably could have ran Chelsea Clinton or dragged Jimmy Carter up there again and won. The polls leading up to election day showed Obama clearly in the lead, and a telling sign was how the polls actually widened the day before the race, when they usually tighten up. So, it came to no great surprise to anyone when Barack Obama won in a landslide. More important for me however, was this article.

"Turnout among 18- to 29-year-olds increased by 6 percent over 2004, said the youth-registration movement Rock the Vote, using McDonald's data. That's 4 million more young voters than in 2004."

McDonald's does polling data now? Can't wait til they replace the 99 billion served with 4 Million new Voters Voted.

But anyways, that's a good thing. We'll see if Obama can keep the youth into politics over his presidency.

But anyways, onto the ensuing celebrations. Immediately after Harry Kalas...I mean CNN announced the win, I ran out into the streets to see who was out. The celebratory gunshots probably should have been my first warning. But who cares, to city hall! Walking down Broad Street, you could tell there was something a bit different in the air than when the Phillies won, and I'm not just talking gun smoke. Instead of thousands of drunk college kids making their way down, this was jubilant locals with tears coming down their eyes.

This was people in hummer's with 18-inch rims leaning out the windows with Obama signs, smiling and waving to everyone in sight. This was black, white, hispanic, and everything else. It may not have been as large as the Phillies win, but it sure felt more significant. For a moment, I didn't feel like a college kid, a white kid, or even a Philadelphian. I was one of the 63 million Americans Barack Obama had won over with his pledge for change and hope, and one of billions of people around the world who could see a brighter day for America.

That was, until about Girard and Broad, where my friend and I were approached by a young man who displayed a gun and demanded our wallets. After hesitating for a second and actually pulling the wallet away from his outstretched hand like a mean older brother pretending to give his little brother a piece of candy, I relinquished the wallet and watched him run off. Really?? What's Obama's policy on intercity crime?

Go figure, but this makes it obvious that Obama's election, both with its possibilities of combating crime through ending poverty, and breaking down racial barriers in the United States, has a long way to go. Or maybe he was just a McCain supporter releasing his frustrations by robbing Obama supporters. Somehow, I doubt it.

But press on we did to Center City, because I wasn't about to let being robbed at gunpoint spoil my night. Thankfully, the asshole didn't bother to check to see if I had a $300 dollar camera in my pocket, which, I did. What a n00b. Here are some video scenes from center city:

After this, my night really began to spiral downwards. I faced a long walk back up Broad Street, and for some reason a number of people along the way thought my name was "Whitey," or even a full name, "Fuck You Whitey." I had to double check to make sure I wasn't holding a McCain sign. Nope, Obama. Oh well, maybe in another four years.

From there I went to the police station, and for the second time in a month ended up at central investigation on about 20th and Vine, where I filled out a report and looked at mugshots for about 2 hours. In the meantime, three other Temple students came in, all had been robbed by... dun dun dun..a man matching my guys description at Broad and Girard. I'm no criminal justice major, but they probably should have thought about sending a unit over there.

So I finally got to bed at about 4 am. I laid there; tired, hungry, and walletless. I fell asleep with a smile on my face. Barack Obama will be our new President.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Update

I attempted to pull an all-nighter last night and stay up to be the first to vote when the polls opened at 7. Well, I made it as far as 4 o' clock before calling it quits. I figured if I got up at 6:30 and went to my poll, which is right across the street, I would be one of the first ones there.

Wrong! When I arrived at 6:45 the line of people was about 40 people long. The line was a collection of people: African Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, students, elderly people, Muslims, and Christians. As I was waiting in line the people around me were all discussing how excited they were.

Once inside, the poll workers seemed immediately frazzled. A woman who appeared to be in charge of the operation exclaimed "22 years I ain't ever seen this." She then began barking at two individuals who must have been election observers, as she told them to stop peering over the shoulders of the election workers. I'm not quite sure what she was worried they would do, but apparently there are problems in Philly today with Republican poll observers being illegally thrown out.

Regardless of these controversies, my experience with the polls is a good sign for Barack Obama.

Poll watchers

The Line

Might wanna double check her ID


Go Vote

Today is election day. If you can vote, you better do it. Here are my top 7 personal reasons to vote:

1. Because you're American. America was founded on the principles of democracy, rule by the people. Sure, it wasn't perfect like the history books said it was. But it certainly gave people the freedom to change it and amend the constitution as our society progressed. However, none of that would have occurred without people stepping up to their civic duty and voting.

2. Because people have died and are still dying for your freedom. Did you have fun watching the Phillies win the World Series? Did you have fun Halloween weekend? Do you enjoy not being oppressed? These priveledges didn't come without a lot of bloodshed by Americans and to this day are only being protected from a big bad world by the men and women in our military. I think you owe it to them to carefully consider who gets the power to put them in harm's way

3. Because you live in Philadelphia, and we need to carry on the tradition. Want to stick it to New York, Chicago, Miami, and L.A.? We are a battle ground state and Philadelphia and its suburbs are at the heart of the battle. Sure New York, you got 11 million people. But we have the Phillies and the greatest influence of any major city in the presidential election. There is a reason that the liberty bell is here.

4. Because waiting in line to vote is an infinitely more rewarding experience than sitting on Facebook for two hours. Oh, Jimmy and Jenna broke up? That's cool, I just helped decide the most powerful person in the world.

5. Because this election REALLY IS important as hell. In case you hadn't noticed, America is hurting. Across the board, from the economy, to corruption, to our wars overseas, to our civil liberties, we are in danger. I don't know if you buy into the Roman Empire formula (corruption, over stretched forces, wealth gap) but I do and we are scarily close to the state of the empire before collapse. The world is changing rapidly, and America's place in it will be decided in the next 4 years. I don't know about you, but I want to make sure I put a leader in there that will keep us on top, and not fall into the pack.

6. Because your vote is the great equalizer. Michael Nutter, Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann, Karl Rove, Madonna, Chase Utley, Oprah, Matt Damon, George Bush, and you. We all get one vote. You can cancel out your parent's vote. You can cancel out your annoyingly liberal professor's vote. Those talking heads on TV? Cancel their vote. The bully who pushed you off the monkey bars in 3rd grade? Well, he probably isn't voting. But you get the idea.

7. Because if you don't everything that goes wrong in the next 4 years is completely on you, and anything that goes right is no thanks to you. If 501 more people rolled out of bed and voted in Florida in 2000, just put away their ipods or magazines and went out and voted, George Bush would not have been president. Thanks, assholes. Don't be one of them. It's a group effort, and it starts with you.

If you're not sure who to vote for, here is the best, most honest article comparing them I have seen to date.

My endorsement: Barack Obama, for several reasons. First, we need a change. George Bush and his administration messed up. The Republican party, including John McCain, stood by him as it went down the drain. Guess what party stood against him the most? The democrats. The Republicans were wrong, and the democrats were right. It's as simple as that.
I also do not believe the inexperience argument. Bush's administration was an all star team when it came to having experienced people in the cabinet. From Rumsfeld to Condi to Cheney, they all had a long background in politics. However, they lacked judgement. I trust Obama's intelligence and judgement over McCain's. McCain said he was reading Alan Greenspan's book to learn about the economy. Alan Greenspan just admitted that the free market economy doesn't work as well as he thought it did, leading to our current economic plight.
John McCain stood there in Eastern Europe and honestly did not know Czechoslovakia was no longer a country, and they laughed at him. These blunders are just unacceptable for a president of the United States.
Most importantly, Obama is just the right man for the job. In an increasingly globalized world, we need the respect of foreign countries or we will fall behind. Not only is Obama favored in all but five countries around the world , but also has a better grasp of how to deal with new players through diplomacy, as opposed to McCain's hawkish view of every power rival as a military threat.
Obama also presents the country with an opportunity to hope. Many people mock this slogan, and I can see where they are coming from. Any numb skull can stand in front of a crowd and make them believe in something with fancy words. But what tangible change is there to offer? This is one of the great debates with FDR. Republicans say all of his social programs and the new deal did nothing to bring America out of the great depression, that she was saved in a way by the great war.
Democrats remember that FDR helped the country get through those difficult times with his fireside chats and his pledge to help every American put food on the table. Of course middle and upper class Americans scoff at this hope thing. However, it isn't for them, it's for the individuals working 4 jobs to keep food on the table and their family insured. It's for the family who lost their home and moved into an apartment. If you don't think America will benefit from a leader who encourages people to pick their chins up and think about future improvement instead of past failures, you're not paying close enough attention.

Go Vote.

Craziest week of all time..almost over!

So I remembered today that I started writing a blog. Whoops. The past week has been so eventful that it was hard to remember to eat so much as write a blog. The Phillies are the world fucking champions. The whole story behind that is a beautiful thing.

On a personal note, the Phillies have done nothing but kick ass for me this year. Before the season even began, I bet my New York Yankee-loving friend $10 the Phillies would beat them in the World Series. I lost $10 dollars, but that is of no fault of the Phillies. In my 10 regular season appearances, I went 9-1, including Werth's 8 rbi game and Pat Burrell's game-winning extra inning shot. Thanks guys. By the time they got to the playoffs, I was skeptical, but knew we had the right kind of team to win it. You've got deserving veterans in Pat Burrell, who was booed for years, Jamie Moyer, who grew up 20 miles away dreaming about the World Series, and Geoff Jenkins, a man who's onetime promising career seemed to be drifting away.

You've got the young guys, Hamels at 24, Howard not much older. You have the leaders in Chase "Fucking" Utley and Jimmy Rollins, and the role players in Dobbs, Stairs, and Lidge. Every name in this line-up had their moment in the post season, everyone contributed a piece to the puzzle. Now they are World Champions.

On another note, Philadelphia is buzzing. The celebrations were amazing. Unfortunately, my broken finger hindered me from going as nuts and climbing as many things as usual, but it was kind of nice for a change to see the madness from sidelines. I still came away with some freebies ;-). I watched the parade from 30 feet up in a tree next to City Hall. Watching that parade go by and hearing the deafening roar of 1 million people is something I don't anticipate ever forgetting.

Oh yea, then there was Halloween. The scene was fantastic at Temple this weekend, with the week's buzz carrying over into Friday and Saturday nights. I don't think there was a single person without a smile on their face, except for the occasional beers-and-tears girl. Just walking around Philadelphia over the week and weekend proved what a Championship can do for a city. The joy stretched across racial and economic boundaries, and I noticed a lot more friendly hellos and high-fives between individuals who usually would pass by each other without muttering a word.

As if all that isn't enough, the election is tomorrow(today). But I'll put that two cents in a seperate post.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So, I don't know much about baseball

My predictions for the World Series were proved terribly wrong in Thursday's game. I had tagged Brett Myers and Ryan Howard as the keys to the series. Well, Myers turned in decent start with 4 runs (3 earned) in 7 innings, and Howard did as well going 2-5 with a double and a walk. And the Phillies lost.

There isn't really a big secret with the Phils. What were they over the first two games, 1-22 with runners in scoring position? You're not going to win a series like that. The promising thing is that they had 22 runners in scoring position. We just aren't coming up with the clutch hits. Also, we look terrible in the DH spot. It says something when neither Coste nor Dobbs can come up with anything and Bruntlett has to hit it out of the park. I suddenly regret giving Utley the MVP for the NLCS... I'm missing Victorino and his 6 rbis and have a great appreciation for that over Utley's stat-sheet filling production.

Once again, nothing too insightful, I'm no sports writer. Hopefully, the guys can get it together at Citizen's Bank. As one of them said, it's like a 5 game series with homefield advantage. I like that thinking. However, I am scared shitless of Moyer tonight. We shall see, go Phillies, and thank you for reading.

Lewis Black, "Let them eat cake"

I took a train out of Philly yesterday to see comedian Lewis Black in my hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania. First of all, a quick tip for anyone taking a train at 30th street station. The line for boarding was honestly about 200 people long, and as I followed it, winding around corners and pillars, I guess the lady walking next to me noticed my increasing annoyance. She gave me a subtle "follow me" and led me to an elevator. I gathered that she was a frequent traveler, and knew that an elevator goes down and boards people before everybody else. Bottom line: locate the nearest elevator to your stair, wait for someone in a wheelchair, and walk behind them like you know what you're doing.

On another note, trains are freakin' awesome. With the new, lower price of gas it costs about a dollar more per gallon than driving. (if you usually use 3 gallons of gas to drive home, that would be 9 bucks, a train ticket would cost 12) For that price you get to sleep, or look out at the scenery and get to feel all cool riding the train, plus it's better for the environment.

But anyways, Lewis Black. It was everything I hoped it would be. I know many people aren't huge fans of Black. Many don't like his angry, heart-attack-at-any-moment style, swearing, or left-leaning opinions. If you ask me, I think it's perfect given the current state of politics and government in this country.

One of my favorite parts was when I think Black actually became enraged, beyond what his normal shtick is. He was talking about how there is so much material nowadays, it becomes difficult for him to even make jokes. His point: which McCain campaign worker makes the most money? Answer: Sarah Palin's make-up artists, at $22,000 for two week's pay. "That's half of what Joe the Plumber makes in a year!!" Couple that with Black nearly ripping his already disheveled coat off, and I was rolling pretty hard.

Black also went on to rail against everything from iPhones (don't tell me we can't get alternative energy in 10 years, I can get a million vaginas on this iPhone in one second) to aging (don't tell me turning 60 is the new 40, 60 is fucking old. There is nothing wrong with immortality, I'll get new friends)

However, the laugh of the night came when Black was talking about his parents, in a non-political portion of his routine. He was talking about how one of his performances was in the Poconos, and his 83-year-old parents were coming along. They were put up in two rooms in what were essentially, love shacks. "All there was in these shacks were places to the bed, in the tub, in the jacuzzi, in the giant martini... All there was in the fridge was some small, free food...My parents, being children of the depression, loved free food and found some in the fridge...all there was was a bowl of strawberries, and a bowl of whipped mom asked what the whipped cream was for...and my 83-year-old dad, without missing a beat, responded 'it's for my balls'"

That's Lewis Black; enraged, foul-mouthed, with a mix of 15-year-old masturbation jokes and 60-year-old life jokes. In my opinion, totally worth a Friday night.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Phillies win game 1. Or, thank god for Cole Hamels.

As I said in my previous post on the NLCS, Cole Hamels is the man. Hamels basically carried our team through 7 innings in last night's 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. By the way, since when did they drop the "Devil" from "Devil Rays?" Apparently, it happened last winter. I hope that there isn't divine intervention in the "Rays" season or we could be screwed. Anyways, Hamels easily gets the game ball and is the leading man for playoffs MVP.

However, last night's game is no cause for celebration. Ryan Howard, the key player for the Phils in this series, looked terrible. No hits, three strike-outs, and a number of bad plays on the defensive end. Luckily Utley got us on the board early with his 2 run homerun in the first, but we are going to need some slugging from Howard to keep pace. I don't expect the Rays 3-4-5 hitters to go 0-12 for the rest of the series, especially going against Myers and Moyer. The Phillies also left too many players stranded, including at least 3 leadoff base runners by my count. I'm not quite calling this game a steal because the Rays didn't show up offensively either, but Cole Hamels had a lot to do about that.

On another note, my predictions about the DH not being an issue are at this point, inaccurate. Thanks a lot Coste. Coste, being our only right handed hitter off the bench, really needs to perform better than he did last night. Give him another chance against a lefty, but if he doesn't improve, try your luck with Stairs.

Not anything too insightful, just my two cents. The real question will be how Brett Myers performs in a foreign stadium tonight, and if Ryan Howard can deliver some support. Go Phillies and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just when you think it couldn't get any worse...It doesn't.

The Temple football team came from behind to win a game in the 4th quarter? You have got to be kidding me. Standing in the parking lot of the Linc before the game, I was huddled near a grill anxiously awaiting a hotdog to fill my empty stomach and provide some warm solace from the chilly night. As I dropped the hotdog on the ground with a muttered curse, I looked up at the Linc and wondered what the hell I was doing there.

Temple's football team was coming into this game with a 2-5 record, near the pits of a laughable Mid-American conference, and had broken whatever heart I had for the team several times already. Three one-possession losses, all coming on the final play of the game? An offense that struggles to put up more points than I have fingers? A defense that can't stop anything until the other team reaches the red zone, then goes "oh shit" and sometimes makes a big play? You can understand why I was not overwhelmingly enthused.

But there was hope! The game was "nationally televised" on ESPN2, playmaking QB Adam DiMichele was back from his shoulder injury, and at the very least the game was for a good cause in fighting breast cancer. With these things in mind, I got myself a fresh hotdog and made my way into the stadium. Inside the gates I was greeted by grouchy employees thundersticks!?! Now things were really looking up. I made my way to a seat and, full of hope, looked at the scoreboard : Ohio 10, Temple zilch. As that 10 point deficit slowly sank in, I felt one of my thundersticks deflate in my hand. Oh, the irony. I looked around the stadium to gauge the atmosphere of the fans, and to see how the requested "pink-out" was going. That's strange, I thought to myself, why is everyone wearing white? Then I remembered my partial color blindness, and my heart sank even further. Cold, still kind of hungry, and now slightly sad, I again wondered what the hell I was doing there.

I sat for a bit, watched DiMichele get sacked a few times, watched as the fans booed at half time, and for a bit, stared at my shoes. Before too long I realized that we had gained about 5 yards in a quarter and a half. That's like a yard every 4 minutes. One bright spot was the peewee football scrimmage for the halftime show. One little tyke broke a tackle and ran for a 15 yard touchdown. Hey kid, ever wanted to play for the Temple Owls? The basketball team was also sitting right across the aisle from me, reminding me that there is a point to being a Temple sports fan. I watched about 5 three-and-outs in the 3rd quarter, banged my thunder sticks in protest, and left.

Upon arrival into the warmth of my bedroom on Temple's campus, my night improved. I played some Halo 3. I read a few articles out of my favorite magazine. I pet my cat a few times, still kind of bitter about her breaking my finger. After a while I remembered the Temple game, and for fun, checked the score. Your final: Temple Owls 14, Ohio Bobcats 10. What the hell.

Apparently, RB Kee-ayre Griffin sprang loose with a 37-yard run that setup a touchdown with 10:53 left in the game to make the score 10-7 Ohio. Then, the Owls had a shot to tie the game but missed a 25 yard field goal. Hey, that's the Temple I know. Apparently, Ohio QB Boo Jackson had money on the Owls, as he muffed a handoff on the first play of the following possession, and gave Temple the ball back with about 5 to play. A few minutes later, TE Steve Maneri caught the game-winning pass. Wow, am I a schmuck. Just when Temple football and my faith in it couldn't get any worse, it gets better. And I wasn't there to see it.

Forget the fact that the game was the laughing stock of the ESPN posters. ("Some high school football games are better than this one," "THE MARCHING BAND IS RUSHING THE FIELD," "Was his name really Boo?") Temple football just got one back from this season, and gave its fans an exciting win. We're one game out of first place in the MAC east and have a showdown with first-place Akron looming on the horizon. We're in striking distance of a dramatic turn around to a .500 season. DiMichele is back, and although his stats sucked, he led the charge to a magical ending. Barring the fact that ESPN may very well have rigged this game, this was an exciting win.

Sure it's not #3 Penn State vs #12 Michigan. Sure it's still only 3-5. Sure it's the Mid-American Conference. But it is my school's football team, and it is an exciting win. I apologize to Golden and the team for cutting out early. Go Owls, and thank you for reading.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fightin' Phils


Those are scenes from Temple University and Center City, respectively, after last Wednesday's National League pennant-clinching win. Obviously, I think we're all a bit excited. Just a few thoughts on that series, Charlie Manuel, and the upcoming Series.

I was pretty close with my predictions of key players for Phillies in the NLCS. I said Brett Myers for pitching, and while Cole Hamels got the MVP nod, Myers' 3 RBI performance saved his average pitching in Game 2. I don't think a loss in that game would have been as big as a series changer as Game 4 would have been, but going back to LA 1-1 could have been dangerous. I picked Chase Utley for offense, and watching him throughout the series, I was impressed. Here is a great link by someone who took the time to really crunch the numbers on Utley. Basically, "Chase hit .353, his on-base percentage was .522, [and] slugging percentage was .647, [all] tops of any Phillie with over six at-bats... No Phillie had more walks, hits, doubles, homeruns, total bases, or runs scored."

Pretty good performance, not to mention some outstanding plays on defense. Victorino had 6 RBIs to Utley's 3, but nobody filled up the stat sheet like Chase.

So now some thoughts on the World Series. Once again, I put the pitching key on Brett Myers. Cole Hamels deserves all the recognition, but he is the Phillies number 1 and we can expect him to keep us in any game. Brett Myers, on the other hand, is the big question mark. I don't see us winning this series in 5, which means Brett will be pitching twice. Additionally, if Manuel doesn't mess with the rotation, he will be pitching both starts in Florida, and his number are much worse away than at Citizen's Bank (something like 3.00/6.00 era and 8-5/3-8 splits). If Cole Hamels gets 2 wins, Myers 1, I like our chances of picking up one win in Moyer's 2 starts and Blanton's 1.

Which reminds me, I don't like what Charlie is doing by not messing with the rotation. I understand his angle of consistency and that without Moyer's 16 wins we wouldn't be here, but screw that it's the World Series. Myers has been much worse on the road, and Moyer has looked like crap recently while Blanton has shined. If you pitched Hamels, Blanton, Myers, Moyer, Hamels, Blanton, Myers, you would get a Myers home game, only one scary Moyer start, two promising Blanton games, and if necessary an absolute bulldog in Brett Myers for a potential game 7. Please prove me wrong Charlie.

Offensively, it is time for Ryan Howard to wake up. I gave him more credit than others for his recent performance, since his rare hits and plays have been clutch. However, with the Rays smacking 16 dingers in the ALCS, we need his power offense to match. One thing we do have over the Rays is more power throughout our lineup, but they have been scary recently by putting up 8 or 9 run games against good Red Sox pitching. We've been getting by on everyone else stepping up for him and Rollins, but I think we're going to need him to earn that 10 mil to keep pace in this series. Also, I think the DH issue actually goes to our advantage. We have a proven DH in Stairs, and I could see Burrell and Dobbs both doing well there too, with their defensive counterparts playing the field. In Citizen's bank, Hamels and Moyer have been known to get some hits in on occasion. I would throw Myers in there as well now, but he won't be playing at Citizen's Bank.

Overall, I think we're a good match for the Rays. I feel as though everything that they do well, we do just a little bit better (except batting averages and starting pitching). However, our power can compensate for that difference, as long as Howard chips in and we keep getting some key smacks from our personnel. I do think this pitching rotation will be a problem, but I'm still optimistic considering how we've fought this year. Go Phillies and thanks for reading.