Monday, August 30, 2010

18 Game Season

It seems all but a certainty at this point that the NFL owners are going to switch to an 18 game season in 2012.  Obviously the owners favor this because it means more money for them, however it doesn't seem like a good idea to me.  It's hard enough to keep players healthy for 16 games, and adding two more seems to me that it will have more negatives than positives.  I think there will be an increase in injuries and careers will be shortened not to mention that getting to the post season will be more about who has roster depth than who has the best players and team work.  Not to mention that with 2 extra games all of the current records will become meaningless.  I don't see this as providing a better product for NFL fans but rather a diluting of the current game.

The other issue is that adding 2 regular season games presumably means cutting 2 preseason games.  This means that developing and evaluating young players becomes that much more difficult.  Without this playing time, it's not just possible but likely that future stars will not get the opportunity to make it on a final roster.  Would players like Tom Brady and Kurt Warner who began their careers as back ups have made it into the league without adequate playing time to learn their trade and showcase their skills?  What future pro bowlers and hall of famers will we be denied because of a shortened preseason.  Granted, preseason games are less interesting for fans since the outcome isn't important, but a better solution would be for greedy owners to charge lower ticket prices for preseason games instead.  Charging full price for exhibition games seems to me to be a bigger point of contention for fans than the number of games. 

From what I've read, the players' union is opposed to the expanded regular season so with any luck they will have the leverage to put this bad idea out to pasture.  In the end though, I fear that they will be bought off with more money and expanded rosters.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed though that this isn't as imminent as it seems. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In The News

Actual headline:  Woman recovering from "Blackberry thumb" surgery

According to the article, a woman who spent 12 hours a day texting people on her iPhone developed pain and inflammation serious enough that it required surgery to correct.  Why this isn't called "iPhone thumb" I'll never know, but it seems kind of obvious to me that if you are repeating some activity to the point of pain that you should stop.  Apparently that isn't obvious to everyone though.  The woman said the texting was for her job, but I have a hard time imagining that a job would require that.  If you are communicating that frequently with people wouldn't you invest in a computer or at least something with a keyboard at some point?  At any rate that doesn't sound like a job for me.

No Crying In Baseball

I watched more of the Little League World Series the last few days and unfortunately today Auburn's run came to an end.  They were ahead of Pearland, TX for the better part of 5 innings before coming unglued in the last inning and a half and losing 7-5.  It was a nice run while it lasted, nice work guys.  But the one thing I learned from watching is that somebody needs to remind these kids that there's no crying in baseball.  There should be a placard in the dugout or something.  Granted it's been a while since I was 13 so my memory may not be entirely reliable but I don't remember crying that much at that age.  Kids would get hit by a pitch and cry.  They would make an error and cry.  They would bump into another player and both would cry.  These kids cried at the drop of a hat.  It was kind of shameful and they really need Tom Hanks out there yelling at them every time they cry.  Hell, I destroyed my knee and didn't even feel the urge to cry.  I don't know at what age crying is no longer the natural response to pain, but I could have sworn it was before 13.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Little League World Series

I've never been all that interested in the Little League World Series, but for some reason I have been really enjoying watching the games the last couple days.  I would even go so far as to say I was excited to see Auburn come from behind to beat Minnesota.  I am disappointed, however not surprised, that none of the Auburn kids listed a Mariner as their favorite player.  One kid said Ken Griffey Jr but that's as close as anybody got.  Anyway, good luck to the Auburn kids and I hope they continue to win.

What I found even more interesting while flipping around today was that the Junior Softball World Series was also televised.  But that's not the surprising part.  It turns out that it was being played just about 3 miles down the road from me in Kirkland.  I'm in no shape to go this year, but if it's there again next year I would enjoy attending a game or two.  I watched as the girls from Puerto Rico won a close game against the girls from Tampa, FL.  It appeared to be high school aged girls.  I'm not sure how much of an award it is for girls from Florida and Puerto Rico to get to go to Kirkland, but congratulations anyway.

Yes or No

Every so often you hear about doctors operating on the wrong body part - the left shoulder needs surgery but they operate on the right shoulder by mistake or something along those lines.  Well, I'm here to tell you that a fool proof system has been developed to make sure that doesn't happen.  It involves a sharpie.  Please forgive the quality of photography, it's the best I could do taking pictures of my own knees with the added level of difficulty of being heavily medicated.

As you can plainly see, it works like a charm.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Drinking & Driving

The Scots have come up with a compelling argument in favor of drinking and driving.  After 2 years, researchers at Napier University have filed a patent for a new biofuel based on the biproducts of manufacturing whiskey.  This fuel can be used directly in gas powered engines with no modifications, however the creators see it more likely being blended with oil based petrolium in a 5-10% mix to reduce the use of oil.  Unlike other biofuels, whiskey biproducts already exist and require no additional growing, which is appealing to environmentalists who fear the consequences of land being repurposed to grow other biofuels.  According to Richard Dixon, the Scotland director of WWF, "Whisky-powered cars could help Scotland avoid having to use those forest-trashing biofuels."

At the moment I don't see a down side to this, so next time you're knocking back a few shots of whiskey, know that you're doing it to save the environment.  Let's all have a toast for the planet.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Useless Trivia

Every day, more money is printed for the game Monopoly than for the U.S. Treasury.  The company that owns monopoly, Parker Brothers, prints about 50 billion dollars of Monopoly money every year.That works out as 15,140 dollars of Monopoly in each Monopoly set.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Christian Okoye

Thanks to the Chuckman for bringing back memories of Christian Okoye.  He was one of the most incredible power backs I've ever seen.  I had to look up some videos of him on youtube to re-live the glory.  I found a nice documentary about him that is about 8 minutes long.

Not to mention one of the greatest hits in NFL history when he met up with Steve Atwater on Monday Night Football.

We won't see any hits like that tonight in the Seahawks first game of the preseason, but with the way baseball season has gone, football season couldn't get here soon enough.

Early Retirement

I saw the surprising news today that San Francisco 49ers running back Glen Coffee unexpectedly retired today after just one year in the NFL.  As an Alabama fan I always liked Coffee and hoped that the Seahawks would draft him, but it turns out it's a good thing they didn't.  Coffee didn't have any injury problems, the article I read stated that he told the team that his heart simply wasn't in football - that dating back to college he didn't really enjoy playing.  I guess I could see that but he's still walking out on more money than he'll ever make doing anything else.  I doubt he made enough to retire after just on season.

With 2008 first round pick Kentwan Palmer also missing from camp, there's speculation that it's an issue with coach Mike Singletary - that players are dissatisfied with him - but that's a little hard for me to believe.  I've also seen speculation that Coffee may be heading into the ministry.  I don't know anything about his personal life so I have no idea how plausible this theory is.  Whatever the reason, I'm very surprised.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Post Surgery Update

I'm still alive, albeit barely.  The surgery ended up lasting 6.5 hours instead of the 5 that was estimated and I don't know what they did to me in that extra hour and a half but I have been pretty miserable since.  I've been home for about 24 hours now and am beginning to feel better but still am experiencing a lot of pain.  I had a femural block that is supposed to block the nerves going to my whole right leg.  It isn't supposed to block all of the pain but it must have been blocking a lot because when it started to wear off this morning I was really in bad shape.  The pain has subsided some since then to a more manageable level thank God.  In addition to feeling like my leg had been crushed, I continue to have an unpleasant sore throat.  The anaesthesiologist stuck a hose down my throat while I was under and in addition to drying it out, I suspect scratched it up a fair amount as well.  It remains painful to try to eat or drink anything.  To top it off, for several hours yesterday my right arm was killing me, which the doctor attributed to 7 hours of wearing a blood pressure cuff.  Thankfully that is now approaching normal.

I don't know if it's because of the pain or the medication but I've gotten hardly any sleep.  I feel very tired but can't sleep for more than half an hour or so at a time.  I am really hoping to be able to get some sleep tonight and hopefully wake up in the morning with less pain.  A few other quick notes:  this is my second surgery and both times I have felt deeply resentful of the nurse who woke me up.  When I am really groggy and all I want to do is sleep, harassing me to get me up and out of the office doesn't endear you to me.  The operating room had blood stains on the floor and as they wheeled me in I felt like I was about to make my appearance in the next Saw sequel or some other torture porn flic.  The way I've felt since being wheeled out of the OR I'm not sure I wasn't tortured.  The doctor was very pleased with how the surgery went, although I suspect they say that to everybody regardless of how it goes.  Still I hope he was being honest.  He took some before and after pictures with the arthroscope and if I can get a copy of them I might post them.  He showed them to my parents while I was in the recovery room but I haven't seen them yet.  I have next to no appetite so far and don't know how long that will continue but at least it means less agitation getting up to go to the bathroom.  For the record, trying to crutch my way into the bathroom while I'm whacked out on narcotics isn't a lot of fun.

In unrelated news, the Perseid meteor showers have been making an appearance this week, and tonight at 10:00 they are expected to be their most spectacular.  I'm not planning on getting up to see them, so go out and view them on my behalf.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Surgery Tomorrow

Well, tomorrow at 9:00 am is the big day.  After getting an MRI it turns out that my knee is worse than originally thought - 3 of the 4 ligaments are torn.  The orthopedist that the hospital had referred me to said that the surgery would be more complicated than he anticipated and referred me to a sports medicine specialist.  Now it looks like I'm getting 3 new (actually used - from a cadaver) ligaments for my birthday this year.  A few weeks ago that would not have been high on my wish list, but how quickly things can change. 

As of now I have pretty ambivalent feelings about the surgery.  On the one hand, I'll never be able to walk again without it, but on the other it is pretty major surgery with a lot of risks involved not to mention that I'll be in pain for weeks if not months afterward.  The closer it gets, the more nervous I'm getting.  So, any Christians I appreciate your prayers, everybody else I appreciate any well wishes.  I'm going to be in surgery for 5 hours.  They tell me it will be 4-6 weeks of crutches after that and 9-12 months before I can start jogging and 2-3 years before I'm fully recovered. It's going to be a long, unpleasant recovery.

I have the same injury that Daunte Culpepper suffered in 2005.  Since that more or less ended his career, it looks like I'll never be able to throw an accurate pass again.  I guess I'll have to start looking for sports which involve more standing still in the future.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Initial Diagnosis

I just got home from the orthopedist.  I haven't had an MRI yet, but after poking at me, bending and twisting my knee, and generally doing things to make me hurt, he told me that I have a completely torn ACL and MCL.  There may be damage to the cartilage and meniscus too but I won't know for sure until after the MRI.  So it looks like surgery for me later this week followed by a few months of rehab.  If all goes well in 6 months I might be able to start running again.  All in all, it's a worse diagnosis than I had expected, but the good news is that they gave me a brace which is way more comfortable and which allows me to bend my knee.  It also means I can now reach my toes and will be able to tie my shoes, drive, etc.

In completely unrelated news, a new study in monkey antagonism has found that monkeys hate flying squirrels.  The report from prominent monkey annoyance experts could pave the way for advanced methods of enraging monkeys.  I am currently enraged at my high school guidance counselor for not informing me that this is a field I could have gone into.  I guess this is why they will eventually rise up and enslave humanity as foretold in Planet of the Apes.