Ricegate 2014 – Lets not lose sight of the real issue

This Ray Rice incident is getting me infuriated! Not because we are prying into the private lives of the Rices. Not because we didnt’t follow the normal protocol of sweeping it under the rug, but because some people are missing the main point behind all of this – someone did something really bad, his superiors tried to cover it up and everyone in the end got caught.  As a result, we are now trying to set a new precedent that might actually make us a morally better society.

You see, thanks to social media these days, you cannot just sweep anything under the rug.  The power today, is in the hands of the people. The common person now has a venue to voice their opinion and actually get it across, especially when the offending party knows they are doing wrong. This was the catalyst that finally helped move this terrible incident in the right direction. Rice is out and paying for his terrible actions. The NFL is taking harsh actions against other players with similar offenses. Eventually Executives will fall. You see – this is the way it should be. You get paid to play/manage a game – lots of money and then you do something stupid that hurts other people – you don’t deserve to just continue to live your dream. Yes, major corporations get away with stuff, our Government gets away with a lot, but that doesn’t make it right. We need to start somewhere and since entertainment is where people are finding roll models these days, then why not start there.

Let’s take it even further, as to why I am disgusted with this situation. Let’s pretend for a second…let’s pretend Rice does what he does. He feels terrible…the video goes to the proper authorities and those authorities, before even seeing the video are already notified by Rice that this incident happened. The authorities explain to the public that Rice made a horrible mistake and struck his wife (you’re a public figure, the public deserves that much info). They have the video, but to respect the privacy of the parties involved, they are keeping it private. As a punishment, Rice will get help and be suspended indefinitely with a minimum term of one year. The NFL then re-visits the domestic abuse policy and starts throwing the hammer down on other offenders. I bet this turns out a lot better.

Rice’s actions were bad, but the cover up and the way the League and the Ravens organization handled it were outright unacceptable. It’s becoming more and more obvious that both sides deliberately took proactive actions to cover this whole thing up. Not only that but they adamantly responded to the public with even more lies, selling out the Casino and eventually Ray Rice himself – showing in the end, their true colors of everyone for themselves.

To take it further, the icing on the cake was the personal e-mail from the Ravens Owner to all PSL Owners about how sorry they were for not being upfront and not taking the time to investigate this incident, as they should have from the start. He went on to explain in more detail the events that took place, which basically, were more lies. So not only did you lie to the public, but you lied to the very people that throw tons of money your way, wear your colors with the most pride and truly support this organization. You lied directly to our face and for that I am not sure you can be forgiven any time soon.

To those who are against the way this is being handled and think Rice received a bad deal and the Ravens did what anyone else would have done – Think if this was someone who didn’t wear your team colors or play in the NFL, the very venue we go to on Sundays to take our minds off real life problems. Think if this was an average person that did this or better yet someone who did this to your daughter – would your views change? Would you still say this was all acceptable behavior?

The pendulum needs to swing back to basics when it comes to our moral values – here is an opportunity to start moving in the right direction.

 

 

Wild Card Weekend Part II

Wild Card Weekend started off on a wild note, with the Colts making the second biggest comeback in NFL playoff history and the Saints pulling off the win on a final play FG. So how do I see today playing out?

Sunday Games:

San Diego at Cincy – being invested in the Ravens, I have the pleasure of following the AFC North a bit more than other divisions (outside the NFC East, of course). I have watched Cincy grow and become that playoff team they have wanted to be the last few years and while I am not sure they are Super Bowl worthy yet, they certainly have it in them to pull off a first round home game win. San Diego has been on a stretch winning streak to get into the playoffs, but they really didn’t impress me at home last week against a second string KC team. Cincy’s defense is better equipped to stop SD in it’s track and their offense will put enough points on the board to pull this one out easily.

SD 14, Cincy 31

San Fran at Green Bay – Aaron Rodgers is elite. He proved this against the Bears last week on a 4th and long to win the game. He will have the luxury of playing at home, where he hasn’t done so since his injury this year. With that said, SF has a much better defense and I will take a team with a good defense over a powerhouse offense any day. Look for an exciting game, but this one goes to SF.

SF 21, GB 17

Wild Card Weekend 2013 – Part I

It’s that time of the year again and if the end of the 2013 regular season is any indication to how the playoffs will play out, we are in for an exciting month of football. So how do I see this weekend panning out – well, 4 teams will be moving on, while 4 will be going home – easy enough. But…which 4 will be going where? Let’s take a look at the match-ups:

Saturday Games

Chiefs at Colts – I had the privilege of watching Andrew Luck play in the playoffs last year against the Ravens. While the Ravens ultimately beat Luck, I was impressed with how he hung in there and gave them a run for their money. When Luck was drafted over RG III, I made the comment that Luck would win a Super Bowl before RG III. The bottom line is RG III is a better athlete than Luck, but Luck is a better QB. KC has the unfortunate pleasure of being one of the better AFC teams…that is in the same division as the best AFC team. As a result, they are rewarded with the wild card team tag and will head to Indy, where I believe they will meet their match – Andrew Luck. KC is a good team, but they are primed to be taken down in the first round, despite their strong season. Not only do they have to travel to Indy as the wild card team, but they are showing signs of decline with the 2-5 weak season ending finish. Unlike the Giants and Ravens, who got hot at the end of the previous two seasons and took that streak to the Super Bowl, KC is doing the total opposite. Look for this to be a close one, but I see Indy pulling off the win and heading to the division round.

Indy – 28, KC – 24

Saints at Eagles – As a Giants fan, I am not a big fan of the Eagles, but I think they pull this one off. The Saints are clearly a better team in the Superdome and they unfortunately, won’t be playing there. One could make the argument that the Eagles are the hot team this year going into the playoffs, but I make the argument that they just played a bad Cowboys team to squeak into the playoffs. The bottom line is the Saints defense is not that great, Brees isn’t super-human in cold non-dome stadiums and I am going to give the edge to the Eagles here.

Philly – 31, NO – 28

Super Bowl

So here we are at the final pinnacle moment of the 2012 NFL Season – the Super Bowl. In some areas, they like to call it the Harbaugh Bowl. After last year, you feel like this was just something meant to be. Almost like someone up there said, wow, a brother vs. brother matchup would be kind of cool – let’s get it done. After watching the Ravens do essentially what the Giants did last year, seeing the same teams in the Championship Round, minus the team that won last year, you get a sense that there is a higher power working these scenarios. It’s like watching a reality show, wondering how much of it is staged.

After the Ravens won, virtually every analyst started calling them the winners of this year’s Super Bowl. After two weeks of hype, many have changed their opinion. Here is mine – it’s hard to believe the Ravens won’t win this one. After all, when the season began, I made note that the last 3 Super Bowl winners played the Eagles in their home opener…who played them this year – Ravens. Then you have a team that looked terrible in many games, yet found a way to win. Can you say beating Cleveland by the skin of their teeth…4th and 29 in San Diego, then 3rd and 3…31 seconds in the playoffs.

I was watching the AFC Championship game, Brady was driving down the field, trying to make a comeback when I thought, it’s only a matter of time before that moment hits where something goes the Ravens way. Where you say, yep, karma is with them. It use to always happen when the Ravens played Pittsburgh and Pitt would eventually have that moment. It happened with Giants in both Super Bowl runs. Tyree’s helmet catch, Mannigham’s 4th quarter catch, the SF returner’s fumbles. Moments after thinking this in this year’s AFC matchup, it happened…Brady threw, it bounced off a defender, went up in the air and landed perfectly in a Ravens linebacker’s hands. It was like I knew it was coming. It was at that moment, that I knew the AFC game was over before it started. Now onto the Super Bowl.

Baltimore @ San Francisco – yes, the Ravens are technically the away team, but it means little here. This should be a battle of defenses, with one trying to stop the run and the other trying to stop the long ball. I will keep this to keys to the game because honestly, this script is already written – one way or the other. There is just too much karma around this game. Ray Lewis’ final game, Randy Moss’ curtain call, a rookie QB, a once starter QB who would love a chance to take over under center and prove a point and a battle between two brothers. So, to make it simple, here are the keys:

San Francisco – run…run…run. The Ravens D is not like it was a few years ago. You can run on this crew and if you do it successfully, you will wear them down. You will also keep the ball out of Flacco’s hand, which surprisingly is key these days. Stick to the run game, get ahead and things will go well. This will also be the first time the Ravens will face a dynamic QB in awhile. I would argue Andrew Luck is the most dynamic of the three QBs the Ravens faced in the playoffs, with Brady and Manning being more pocket passers. The Ravens do well against QBs who stay in the pocket, but I would argue the one problem they had with Luck was containing him. In fact, I would argue, Luck had the most success against them overall. His passers let him down a bit – not to say they would have won, but it would have been closer. In the regular season, RGIII, the most dynamic they faced, ate the Ravens for lunch – Look for Kaep to get in on the feeding frenzy.

Ravens – two words – Long Ball. If Flacco gets time and can get it downfield early and often, he could take SF out of the game to the point where they will be forced to throw. Taking the run game away from them is key. Both the Broncos and Patriots were throwing teams and they were able to hold them off, so if they can just be successful at what they are best at – long ball, they can win the battle on both sides of the field. Also, while RGIII had success against the Ravens, they also finally hit him and took him out. The Ravens could easily do that here, but unfortunately, I am not sure what that would mean. Do you want the dynamic rookie, or the once starter who would want nothing more to come into this game and prove the biggest point of his life…

So what do I think in the end. I think we are going to find out how important it is to actually beat the Eagles in their home opener vs. just playing them. I think we are going to find out that it’s not that important.

Baltimore 28, SF – 27

Championship Weekend

Here we go…so I must admit, I bought into the Denver hype. I called the Ravens a possible X-Factor team in the Wild Card post, but I basically said hell would freeze over before they came out of Denver alive. Well, I introduce you to this year’s X-Factor team. I have personally experienced this script twice with the Giants already. A team that looks done, a team that squeaks into the playoffs and then a team that shocks the world. The Ravens have gotten healthy, hot and on track…at the right time. A team of Destiny – well, maybe, but more like a team that got it all together, at the right time. That’s what wins Super Bowls. Now onto this the Championship Games:

San Francisco @ Atlanta – I didn’t think Atlanta would beat Seattle. I am still not bought into this Atlanta team. I have San Francisco going all the way this year and I am going to stick to it. Their defense is arguably the best in the league and they have the most dynamic Quarterback out there today. Atlanta will put points up being at home, but I expect SF to come out on top.

SF – 27, Atlanta – 17

Baltimore @ Ravens – on paper, this is another easy one for New England. They should pick apart the Ravens defense and be able to run all day. The defense should also be good enough to slow the Ravens to a point where Brady can easily out match Flacco. With that said, I am not sure now that I buy into the paper matchup. Mr. X-Factor team has it all going for them, they are in a position of revenge from a game they feel was stolen from them last year and you get a sense that the script is already written for this one.

Ravens – 34, New England – 27

Playoffs 2012 – Division Round

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Wild Card Weekend is past us and here are some quick observations before getting into the Division Round.

Andrew Luck is for real. At the beginning of the season with all the RGIII hype, I made a bold prediction that as good as RGIII is Luck would win a Super Bowl first. After watching Luck first hand, I still say that is the case. While he didn’t throw a TD pass, he threw with confidence and made smart plays.

I wish a lot of the more seasoned players played with the heart of these rookies. I watch Luck and Wilson both make awesome tackles and blocks. Where most QBs would have given up on the play, I watched Luck prevent a pick 6 by chasing the Ravens D player all the way downfield. Wilson made some awesome blocks, which helped Lynch’s cause and in one case, score a TD. RGIII, while not a smart move to play, played through the pain. Again, not a smart move, but a true competitor.

I’m 4-0 in the playoffs so far…

Okay, on to the next round:

Baltimore at Denver – can Baltimore pull off an upset of unthinkable proportions in Denver this weekend – yes. Can the world end the next day – absolutely. Would I bank on either – no. I was at the Ravens game this past weekend. I saw what took place on the field first hand. While the Ravens pulled off the win, they didn’t look that impressive, especially in the first half. In fact, Indy had plenty of opportunities to put themselves in a good position to win. On the other side, the Ravens tried to give the game away a few times with fumbles and poor passing decisions. Add it all up, send it to Denver against a much better defense, an elite QB and an away venue at a high altitude, it all adds up to this one could be over at halftime. With that said, I could see the Ravens keeping this competitive for the first half or so, but unlike last week, they won’t have Luck in this game (haha – I had to say it). Eventually, Manning will get into a groove and pick this team apart like a Baltimorean picks crabs. Keep in mind, Baltimore won’t necessarily lose because Denver is the best playoff team in the mix, but more so because Baltimore is the weakest playoff team left in the mix.

Denver – 34, Baltimore – 20

Green Bay at San Francisco – this one is a tough one to call this weekend. Green Bay definitely looks better on offense and made a mockery of Minnesota last weekend. Of course, it didn’t help that Minnesota had Joe Webb as their QB, but that game isn’t much different with Ponder. I expect this to be a slow moving game at first, but I think the 49ers will eventually get the best of Green Bay’s defense. I also think San Francisco will have more success stopping Green Bay than Green Bay stopping the 49ers.

San Francisco 21, Green Bay 17

Seattle at Atlanta – what happens when you mix the X Factor team of 2012 with the Bye week blues team…you get the biggest upset of the year. Yes, I think this has upset written all over it. Seattle are the Giants and Packers of the last 2 years. They are red hot and ready to strike whoever gets in their way. Atlanta on the other hand has been on cruise control and is due to fail. Matt Ryan has a winless record in the postseason and I feel that this is a team where the bye week will work against it more than it will help. Seattle’s D, their beast like run game and their momentum will help them send the most overrated team of 2012 packing and wondering if Matt Ryan will ever win as many post season games as Tim Tebow.

Seattle 27, Atlanta 14

Houston at New England – this is probably the matchup I struggle with the most this week. Something says Houston can leave with the win this weekend. When you look at Houston on both sides of the field you wonder why they aren’t more dominating. They have one of the best RBs and WRs in the game. They have a great TE and a pretty solid defense. Then I think, they were a dominating team at the beginning of the year. Then they suffered a key injury on defense and they started to stumble a little. New England on the other hand has had some bad games, but for the most part, once again their dominate offense has lifted them into the playoffs as a top 2 seed. Although Houston looked better last week, I think the Patriots will pull this one off. I think Houston makes it close and although my gut says they win, I will stick with the safer bet. I think Foster commands the running game, keeping the ball out of Brady’s hands. I also think Houston has success in the passing game, especially Andre Johnson. This will be closer than people think, but Brady pulls off the win, sending the Patriots to Denver for a classic rematch of Manning vs. Brady…that’s unfortunately, Peyton…not Eli.

New England 31, Houston 28

Look ahead assuming everything goes as plans above:

New England at Denver – old school shoot out has Peyton heading to yet another Super Bowl. Gut check – if Houston pulls off the upset this week, they beat Denver here.

Seattle at San Francisco – sticking with the hot hand and the team with arguably the coolest uniforms in the NFL. Hawks win.

iPad 2 is Bleeding Conspiracy!

The iPad 2 has been out for less than a week now and it seems a potentially major problem has been discovered.  Many people are reporting that their iPad is experiencing “screen bleed”.   I’m not going to go into the details of screen bleed.  If you are interested, please check out this link to Gizmodo – they do a great job explaining and showing you the actual problem – http://gizmodo.com/#!5781452/the-ipad-2-is-bleeding.

The point of this post is my new conspiracy theory, which plays nicely into my previous post, where I believe an iPad 2.5 will be released this September.  If you note, one of the things I predicted that would be part of the September model was…wait for it…a new retina display!  Well, look at what we already have here with the iPad 2 – a bad display!  Wonder how widespread this issue is?  Was it just a bad batch?  Is the screen incompatible with the new chip?  Probably a long shot, but a nice transition in for Apple to say, well, we do have a minor screen problem and to mitigate the risk of it continuing to happen in the future, we have upgraded to a better improved screen! 

So what do you think now – iPad 2.5, coming this Fall, to an Apple store near you?

Super Bowl Prediction

I’ll make this simple, since I have pretty much been staking my claim from the start of the playoffs. The Packers will win this one.  

Let’s look at what happened in the Conference Championship:

The Steelers looked good against the Jets, but I wonder where the Jets defense was in the first quarter, which really set the tone for the rest of the game.  The Steelers showed that they have a decent offense to supplement the great defense. 

The Packers dominated the Bears most of the game, but many might worry that the Bears were able to stay in the game despite losing Jay Cutler.  It might also be worth noting that the Bears had to go with their 3rd string QB!  Bottom line is I think the Packers started to lie down a bit and let the Bears look a little better than they should have towards the end.  I still love the Packers as a whole with the most dynamic offense and defense combo punch.

The Super Bowl should be a pretty good game with two high power defenses playing physical football.  I expect though for the offenses to have opportunities as the defenses keep the game close.  The difference here for me is Green Bay’s offense.  I just like them better.  Big Ben is known to do well in high-profile games, but I still say Aaron Rodgers has more weapons at his disposal and if either of these defense can be beat, it’s in the air. 

24-17  Green Bay

Kindle Pixs

I just purchased a Kindle for $110 from Amazon that was on sale refurbished. So far the device looks untouched, so this seems to be a pretty good deal. Below are some pixs:

Kindle in the black box package, when you first open the box:

Front of the Kindle unit, when you open the black case, fully protected with the plastic:

Back of the Kindle:

Charger and manual:

My first review…The ASUS Eee PC Seashell PC 1201N 12.1 inch Netbook

Okay, so I am cheating a little here by posting my old review from Amazon – but really, why recreate the wheel? It’s all about efficiency!!

***The below was Originally Posted on Amazon 01/07/2010***

I am a huge gadget person and own numerous portable devices. This is the 4th laptop I have owned and it is the perfect blend of portability and performance. All of my past laptops have been Dell Inspirons 15 inch machines that have treated me well, but I wanted something that I could carry around without the hassle of it taking up my entire travel bag.

I played around with other 10.1 inch nebooks, but found them to be too small and not worth the hassle, especially since I have a Blackberry smartphone which can pretty much do everything a typical netbook can do.

I looked at the HP Mini that offered the Ion Nvidia graphic card and had a slightly bigger 11.6 screen and almost purchased that device until I saw the Asus 1201N in a website’s review. I noticed the Asus had a dual core atom and included all the upgrades of an HP 311 mini. I immediately found this Asus being sold on another vendor site (would have definitely bought from Amazon because I have never been dissatisfied with this site, but it wasn’t available yet) and purchased.

I have not regretted the decision. The dual atom processor and the ION NVIDIA graphic card means you don’t sacrifice as much functionality as you would with your typical netbook. I basically use it to do office work, light gaming and multimedia stuff like iTunes and watching movies (via web and locally) and have not been disappointed.

Below, in summary, are some of the pros and cons:

Pros:

– Outstanding screen resolution;

– high definition and crystal clear;

– perfect size – compared to the Dell mini, which is 10.1 the Asus 1201N machine is not that much bigger in size when folded, yet the screen offers a lot more view ability with 12.1 inches than a 10.1 inch screen;

– Plays multimedia pretty well. I have noticed some slowness with Hulu, but I have read this is a problem with Flash that is supposed to eventually be worked out. – Windows 7 Home Premium included. The HP Mini I was looking at had XP Home on it for the same price (assuming the other features included);

– Pretty quick loading up;

– less than a minute to fully boot and be ready to roll;

– stays pretty cool other than a small area on the left that disperses the heat;

– Various power modes you can set to balance efficiency versus performance;

– Very competitive price given HDD size and all the included features like Bluetooth and SD media reader.

Cons:

– Battery only goes for about 4.5 hours at best and takes awhile to charge (this also might be because I am using high performance mode at the least so to be fair there is a power saving mode I have not tried);

– Keyboard sometimes is a little less responsive than typical keyboard. Half keystrokes don’t necessarily work when typing quickly. This is not a big issue.

Overall, I am very satisfied with this netbook. I did quite a bit of research and was between a high power netbook like this one, a ULV (ultra low voltage), or a smaller laptop. In the end I felt this machine was the best option for the price. This machine seemed more powerful than any ULV in the same price range (when considering the ION Nvidia graphic card) and when you started going into higher price ranges, you were almost better off with a low end laptop. The battery is definitely not going to provide your typical 5-10 hrs of time other netbooks/ULVs provide, but with more performance power, you are going to sacrifice a little battery life. The way I look at it, I can always buy another battery to carry around, but I can’t just turn other netbooks into higher performance machines, when I need it.

****UPDATE****

I’ve gotten to play around with this netbook a little more since my initial review and I am happy to report that the 1080p on this unit is amazing given it is only a “netbook”. I was able to hook it up to both a 40 inch and 65 inch TV using an HDMI cable and the unit was immediately displaying on the screen in full HD without a hitch. In addition, I joined Netflixs and was able to run movies seamlessly from their Streaming Internet Movies On Demand application. Hulu is still a little choppy, but given Netflixs works great, I now have some sort of proof it is the Flash application Hulu is using and not the hardware causing any problems.