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Archive for December, 2006

CNN coverage of Holiday Travel…

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

A few funny stories from CNN that I thought I’d share for the holidays…

Drunk passenger slaps Air Marshal. Even I’ve never been drunk enough to slap someone.
Moron flies to Sidney, Montana instead of Sydney, Australia. Well, at least we know it’s not just us Americans who are bad at geography.

Oh the Beemanity!

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Let us take a break from our discussion on college football and turn our attention to bees.  Yes, bees.  Ever thought about how honey is made?  Yeah, it is kind of gross.

Fortunately, this post is not concerned with honey.  It is about bees.  More specifically, it is about bees, fire and explosions.  Enjoy.

Bellotti’s Reaction

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Oregon Ducks Head Coach Mike Bellotti, on last night’s loss to BYU:

“Both quarterbacks took a very long time to get started,” Bellotti said. “We didn’t find a way to get them in rhythm.”

And coach Gary Crowton:

“I was very disappointed we didn’t get anything going early, which would have taken pressure off the other side of the ball,” said offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, the former BYU head coach. “We weren’t in a rhythm as a team. Offensively, when the quarterbacks are making good, quick decisions and everybody is on the same page as that quarterback, the offense is in a real good flow and good rhythm, and we weren’t in that today.

Neither Quarterback could establish a rhythm because both were being asked to do just that. Well coached football teams resolve their Quarterback controversies, not allow them to fester and grow.

Update: As one would expect, Every Day Should Be Saturday has a great summary of the game.

Political Censorship

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

You don’t see me linking to the New York Times very often, but this is worth reading.

It’s Time to Fire People

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

This was it. This was the last straw.

Mediocrity is one thing– Ducks fans are used to that, and it doesn’t bother us as much as it would at a school that actually takes pride in its athletic programs– but Mike Bellotti has allowed this team to regress to the point where they’re just plain bad. The Ducks were beat by a Mountain West team by 30 points. And it wasn’t even that close. Oregon was out-coached and out-played in just about every aspect of the game, despite having two high-priced coordinators and one of the most talented rosters in the Pac-10.

The players looked unprepared and unmotivated. The coaches appeared confused. Maybe they thought the Ducks were playing Portland State again. Maybe the paint on the new helmets released some sort of intoxicant upon contact. Or maybe it was a late Wednesday night at Sheri’s Ranch. Whatever the case, they seemed only mildly aware that there was a football game taking place in which they were supposed to participate.

The offensive playcalling was particularly awful– I wouldn’t trust Gary Crowton to teach a newborn how to cry. This is the second year in a row where his high school junior varsity gimmick offensive schemes have been routinely exposed by teams with real, live coaches. Here’s a goddamn pro-tip, Crowton: When your Wide Receivers and Running Backs are far superior athletically than the other team’s defensive backs, you throw the fucking ball deep. You don’t call quick screens, you don’t call quick outs, and you don’t run the option with a quarterback who’s been sitting on the sidelines. You throw the ball deep like your quarterback is Sexy Rexy. Or hell, you have two very good Running Backs. Line up in the I and pound the ball down their throats.

Gimmick offenses are often used by teams with glaring positional weaknesses like slow Wide Receivers, a porous offensive line, or a low-quality Running Back. Teams with superior talent like the Ducks shouldn’t ever have to resort to permanent gimmicks– they should be able to outrun or outbruise teams like BYU. Gimmick offenses wouldn’t be gimmicks if they actually worked on a regular basis against competent teams.

And speaking of superior talent, the immense talents of both Dennis Dixon and (gasp) Brady Leaf has been utterly wasted by Bellotti and Crowton. Both of these quarterbacks would have been good enough to start for all but two Pac-10 teams this year. But Bellotti never committed to just one of them as he should (and any competent coach would) have. In the two bowl games of their era he has played roulette with the position, virtually guaranteeing that every drive would be helmed by a quarterback deprived of rhythm and confidence. It’s as if he’s been coaching to not hurt either Quarterback’s feelings.

Basically, it’s time for a change when your team hasn’t won a bowl game in four years and has been outscored 56-140 in the last four games of the season. Mike Bellotti appears to have lost the ability to prepare, motivate, and make adjustments to his team. At the very least, Crowton should be fired and the Defensive Coordinator position evaluated. Losing isn’t good, but it is tolerable if your team plays superior opponents or remains competitive throughout games. Losing because your coaching staff is unprepared and befuddled is absolutely unacceptable for any self-respecting collegiate program. This is why coaches like Larry Coker and Walt Harris are fired, not patted on the back and asked to try a lil’ bit harder next year. The administration must take action during the offseason if they want Oregon to be known as something more than “that team with the horrible day-glow uniforms,” because getting blown out by religious teams from garbage conferences isn’t exactly going to help bring in donors or recruits.

Edit: “Embarrasing” seems to be the operative word as far as this game’s concerned.

Are You Ready for Some…. Dancing?

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Tonight’s game between Oregon and BYU should be… uh… well… hopefully better than last year’s Holiday Bowl, right?

The Ducks haven’t won a bowl game since Joey Harrington was quarterback. Given the fact that BYU is a Mountain West team and that the Ducks have as much talent as any Pac-10 team not named “USC,” they have any excuse to not end the losing streak right here and now. But hey, even if they lose it won’t be as embarrassing as what they’ll likely be wearing.

Anyway, things should be pretty heated on the field, at least after Tuesday’s altercation between members of both teams:

What was supposed to be a light-hearted and spirited pep rally for BYU and Oregon and their fans came within a whisker of turning ugly Tuesday night at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas.
While a BYU captain was giving a short speech on a stage above both teams, which were facing each other, several BYU players started doing the Haka, a traditional Maori war dance. The Cougars do the Haka as a team on the field before every game.
An Oregon player of Polynesian descent apparently took exception to the dance. He jumped over a metal barrier separating the teams and shoved a BYU player. A minor fracas ensued, although no punches were thrown.
Security personnel and BYU team officials were able to separate the players, and nobody was injured or detained for questioning.
“One of their guys jumped onto our side, but nothing really happened,” said BYU lineman Jake Kuresa. “Just a lot of shoving and mouthing off. Luckily, guys kept their cool.”

I didn’t even know dancing was legal in Utah, to be honest.

It Looks Like the Aftermath of an El Dorado Bender

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

I really don’t know what to say about the Ducks’ new helmets. Call me a traditionalist, but I missed the old UO logo when the University switched to the newer “O.” Now, just when I’ve accepted the newer logo, they pull this shit.

Well, hopefully the new helmets will motivate the team to play some good football in Las Vegas next week because, as Jordan Kent puts it in the R-G article, “We have to make sure we show up for the bowl game and deliver because they’ll look ridiculous if we don’t play right.”

OC Alum gets Weekly Standard Cover Story

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Our distinguished alumnus Mark Hemingway has the Weekly Standard’s cover story this week, on Blackwater USA and the rise of private military contractors. From a tour of Blackwater’s giant training facility, to interviews with it’s top executives, to the history of private military contractors, this fantastic piece has it all. Particularly interesting is the possibility of private military contracter involvement in Darfur and other humanitarian missions. Great work, Mark… thanks for proving that the Commentator can be a stepping stone to bigger things than just a liver transplant!

**Update** Link to the story via the picture.

Fun with Scammers

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Everyone gets those annoying “We have untold millions in a Nigerian bank, and all we need is a kind westerner to help us out” scam emails… not everyone writes back. The Barrister Jubril Project (Hat tip: Volokh Conspiracy) shows us that these emails can be your ticket to hours of fun, fucking with the bastards who prey on idiots. Some of my favorite moments:

“What a lot of wine 30% of 42 million will buy! You see, Dr. Suleman, my colleagues and I at the JCI are great connisseurs of some of the finer fortified wines: Thunderbird, Wild Irish Rose, MD 20/20 and the like. Oh, but it is a drain on the pocketbook! With our share of the funds from this transaction our humble Journal can begin constriction of our long-dreamt-of fortified wine cellar! Just imagine the delight my colleagues and I will experience when we can sample a bottle of Tunderbird not out of paper bags in the parking lot but rather in the damp, musty regions of the earth! There will be many parties in which the Thunderbird and Velveeta flow freely.”

also…

“So, in a nutshell, here’s the deal: you pay 10% of the $26,000 upfront to release these funds or you don’t see a dime. You have 48 hours to respond to my proposal, at which time I will be out of the country, immune from prosecution.
Best regards,
L. Ron. Hubbard, President, First National Bank of Paltryville”

Keep in mind, these gems were written by the “target” of of the Nigerian scam, in parts of an epic correspondance with the crooks. The website has a number of different hilarious approaches to the many variations of the Nigerian or 419 scam, including responses from “Body By Jake” and the touching handwritten note from “Joey” who endorses a fake charity by scrawling “thanks to this money I can have all the Old English Hi-Gravite Malt Likker I want.” Classic.

I Am Eagerly Awaiting the Insurgent’s Coverage of This Animal Indignity

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Via BoingBoing:’Squirrels to be given contraceptives

SQUIRRELS are to be given contraceptives in a project approved by Scottish ministers, The Scotsman has learned.

The Executive has agreed to fund research into immuno-contraception for Scotland’s grey squirrel population.
Click to learn more…

Ministers want to know if contraception can be given to squirrels safely and effectively and whether this could solve the problem of the rapidly expanding grey squirrel population and the declining red squirrel one.

I, for one, hope the program expands to include our fair campus. The grey squirrels have had an unfair nut-hoarding advantage for far too long!

Liberaltarians?

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Are Democrats now the lesser of two evils for Libertarians? CATO Institute Senior fellow and the director of its Center for Trade Policy Studies Brink Lindsey weighs in with a recent article he wrote for New Republic. You can also hear a recent NPR interview with Lindsey here.

That Certainly Put Me In The Mood For Cake.

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Okay, I just had perhaps the most surreal experience I’ve had since I moved out of Eugene. I’m sitting downstairs, watching Good Eats as is my wont, and a Sara Lee commercial comes on and plays the “Happy Happy Joy Joy” song from Ren & Stimpy. What the hell? It was just the chorus, but…no. You’ve broken my mind, Sara Lee. Broken. My mind.

Before Facebook, People Would Just Yell At Each Other In The Street

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

This is pretty spectacular. I didn’t see what prompted the initial outrage, and I’m not particularly interested in it one way or the other. (However, statements like

We oppose this group because it lists sexual positions that resemble sexual assault and rape.

are a bit puzzling without additional context, and suggest that this group might just be the usual overwrought nonsense.)

However, the ensuing discussion is hysterically funny, as various frat brothers show up to defend themselves with wildly varying levels of success. By the fifth page people are saying things like this:

It would be just as appropriate for me to say all opponents of rape and violence are close-minded and stereotypical as it is for you to judge me and other fraternity members based on stereotypes you hold.

One of the many, many dozens of awesome things about this statement is that the dude has unwittingly divided the two sides into “opponents of rape and violence” on the one hand, and “fraternity members” on the other.

(See also: the guy whose attempt to make nice and smooth things over includes the phrase “trifling whores.”)

UPDATE: Oh, and here’s an entry for Oppressive Typo of the Year:

I will dismantle this group when I feel that there has been an appropriate dialogue that has repaired what I feel to be a fractured community. Thanks again for taking the group down; now, what are your ideas for rebuilding cummunity?

Not quite as good/bad as the time the ODE ran a headline about “raising awareness for sexual assault,” but close.

Commentator Field Trip: Apocalypto

Monday, December 4th, 2006

This Friday, the staff and fans of the Oregon Commentator are invited to a field trip to Mel Gibson’s new movie, Apocalypto. We will be attending the 10:25 pm showing at Cinemark 17 in Springfield, and we encourage anyone interested in enriching their worldview with the wisdom of Mel to attend. The event is strictly BYOF (Bring Your Own Flask), and judging from Mel’s recent work, you will definately need it. Remember, nothing puts ones personal struggles into perspective like the whacked-out visions of neurotic, alcoholic, bat-shit crazy Hollywood stars… and after all, Mel is the reason for the season.

Don’t Drink The Kool Aid

Monday, December 4th, 2006

After locking staff into the office at 319 EMU for the weekend, we finally have a brand spanking new issue. Don’t Drink The Kool Aid pays homage to the recent growth of fiscal responsibility in the ASUO with the first Black and White issue of the year. In it, we break down all the myths and madness surrounding the current benchmark debates, and go line by line through the budget to help the PFC make it in under their 2.5% benchmark. For everyone who finds the ASUO immature and amateurish (in other words, everyone), we have an interview with Bill Harbaugh, about his alternate diversity plan and his ethical complaints against Dave Frohnmayer. Oh yeah, and we prove that Dave Frohnmayer lied through his well-preserved teeth in the Daily Emerald. Plus, Leeper tries to get DPS Director Tom Hicks to comment on the recent tasing at UCLA, the return of Not Worthy, and all the usual madness.

As always, please enjoy the Commentator responsibly.