Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Top 5 QBs, RBs, WRs Now

This list takes more into account than one pass, one game, or even one season. But it's not a list one the best who happen to be active. It also isn't a prediction of what will happen either. Injuries are not ignored. The previous list was posted on February 6, 2012.

David (Previous Rank) - Mike
1. Tom Brady (1) - Aaron Rodgers (1)
2. Aaron Rodgers (2) - Tom Brady (2)
3. Peyton Manning (NR) - Peyton Manning (NR)
4. Drew Brees (3) - Drew Brees (3)
5. Joe Flacco (NR) - Matt Ryan (NR)

Running Backs
David (Previous Rank) - Mike
1. Adrian Peterson (1) - Adrian Peterson (4)
2. Arian Foster (3) - Marshawn Lynch (NR)
3. Jamaal Charles (NR) - Jamaal Charles (NR)
4. Marshawn Lynch (NR) - Doug Martin (NR)
5. Alfred Morris (NR) - Alfred Morris (NR)

Wide Receivers
David (Previous Rank) - Mike
1. Calvin Johnson (1) - Calvin Johnson (1)
2. Andre Johnson (NR) - Brandon Marshall (NR)
3. Reggie Wayne (NR) - A.J. Green (NR)
4. Wes Welker (5) - Andre Johnson (NR)
5. Roddy White (3) - Larry Fitzgerald (2)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Knicks Lack of Energy Contributes to Loss Against Clippers

Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton were the only two bright spots against a balanced Clippers team. The Knicks came home to New York a day later than expected because of snow, but the Clippers had similar travel issues and were forced to play an early game, a daunting task for a west coast team.

But the Knicks were the team to show an ebb in terms of energy. Anthony had 42 points and Felton added 20, but the Knicks struggled from beyond the arc and turned the ball over. In fact, the Knicks committed more than twice as many turnovers than made threes. The Clippers shot over 50%. This was made all the worse because Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups saw limited minutes.

Paul add 25 points. Jamal Crawford, a former Knicks, scored 27 off the bench. Blake Griffin added some stellar dunks as part of his 17 points. The Knicks are a deep team, but so are the Clippers. Only Los Angeles showed their depth on this day.

The Knicks trailed virtually the entire game and lost 102-88. The Knicks are now 32-17.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Knicks Sweep Wolves

The Knicks took the lead early against the Timberwolves in a physical game in Minnesota. Carmelo Anthony was fantastic, scoring 36 points and 9 rebounds. Luke Ridnour caught fire in the third quarter and the Wolves raced out to a double digit lead.

But Minnesota didn't have the maturity to hold on. The Knicks stormed back in the fourth and Minnesota never had a chance even though the score was close. The Knicks held all the momentum. The Knicks had three men score in double figures off the bench- Amar'e Stoudemire, J.R. Smith, and Steve Novak- which is indicative of their depth.

The Knicks have been winning of late even though New York hasn't been shooting the three ball well. The Knicks won 100-94 to move to 32-16.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Knicks Get Revenge Over Celtics

On January 24, the Knicks traveled to Boston to face the Celtics for the first time since the Carmelo Anthony incident with Kevin Garnett. Anthony and the Knicks struggled to shoot early. The Celtics weren't any better. The game stayed sloppy and close throughout the first quarter. Boston took a comfortable lead in the middle of the second quarter, but the Knicks managed to come back and take a slight half time lead.

Rajon Rondo posted a triple double, but didn't have a whole lot of help. Paul Pierce added 22 points, but shot poorly. Anthony recovered from his poor first half performance and took over the game He ended 28 points. Amar'e Stoudemire added 15 points and 9 rebounds. Jason Kidd and Iman Shumpert both scored in double figures. J.R. Smith was ice cold and Steve Novak hardly played.

Marv Albert accused the Celtics organization of pumping in crowd noise to bolster an otherwise indifferent crowd. The fake crowd noise may have propelled the Celtics back from a ten point  fourth quarter deficit to threaten late. But they came up short as Pierce turned the ball over with the clock winding down.

The Knicks won 89-96 to advance to 26-14.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

From Israel Home

We were told to be int he lobby of the hotel at 6:45 am because we needed to be at the airport 3 hours before our 11;20 am flight and it would take one hour for the sherut to take us to Ben Gurion airport. So I figured we needed to be in the lobby at 6:45 as a precaution for when our sherut left at 7. Whoops. The receptionist, a young woman, knocked on our door and said we needed to get a move on. My girlfriend apologized and the woman responded, "Don't be sorry, I just hope the driver waits for you."

A gruff and grizzled middle aged man was not happy that we were late. He was screaming at me as I threw our baggage into the back of the sherut. I ran back to get my girlfriend, whose scooter was acting up. I pushed it fast, but whenever it went too fast, it would lock up. And this was happening as we were attempting to cross a busy street!

When the driver saw the scooter, he began to whine and moan that he wasn't told we were bringing this. I disassembled the scooter and fit it neatly in with no problem. It took up less room than our other two bags. We made our way to the airport. No other passengers complained about being late and we made it around the green mountains to Ben Gurion without a problem. When I unloaded the sherut (with no help from the driver), he tried to demand an extra 50 shekels for the scooter. I gave him 6 extra. We agreed the other could go fuck himself.

Once there, we tried to go through security, but we told to go to the ticket counter. A young dolled up woman who was new to her position came and escorted us around a hellacious maze of security. We were given our boarding passes and then taken to a security desk where they searched our checked bag. The checked bag had our VAT refund, but we forgot to take out the receipts before the bag was checked.

After our bag was checked, we were taken to a special staff only security gate. There, a small while bearded man eyed me. He stood beside a large brown skinned bald man. It looked like they were straight out of a action comedy movie starring Charlie Day and Ving Rhames. They asked us the same personal questions that we were asked at the ticket counter and at the baggage check in.

And we were sent back to the baggage check in place where they searched our carry on luggage and my girlfriend's scooter. This took a while. Next to us, a woman and the security guard joked about the number of bags of bomba she had stuffed into her bag. She said there was no bomba in the U.S., but the guard vehemently disagreed. She settled for arguing that there was no bomba in Denver and the guard tacitly conceded.

We were then escorted by a posse of four to a back security room where the scooter was thoroughly examined. Three more people joined our posse. One was a supervisor who kept shriveling up her face and shaking her head ominously. After another extended period where we showed them how to disassemble the scooter and some more of the same personal questions, we were permitted to go back to the baggage security check in spot. There, we packed up our carry on luggage and headed on our way with only the original young dolled up woman by our side, who kept apologizing for the rigmarole we were put through, and another security agent.

We were then led back to the staff security check in and met Charlie Day and Ving Rhames again. Charlie had promised me that once we came back we would be let straight through, but now Charlie was back tracking. I stared resolutely into his eyes, challenging him. He questioned us as to our security procedure. Ving finally cut off the process and said we could go. Charlie tried to protest, but Ving won the day. The original lady pointed towards our gate and apologized once more, hopefully now sufficiently inspired to change the Israeli security system.

We pre-boarded without a problem and made the arduous 12 hour journey to Newark. I watched Argo and Pineapple Express in addition to a ton of sitcoms. We got to Newark and cut the customs line because of my girlfriend's scooter. We chatted amicably with the customs official and scooped up our checked bag. We then dumped the bag right back off and navigated through the labyrinth that is the Newark airport. Our flight home to DC was slightly delayed. I slept for about twenty minutes on the plane. One man was very unhappy that he couldn't stow his bag on board (it simply didn't fit) and was determined to take out his frustration on the flight attendant.

We got our checked bag again, the scooter cooperated, and we took the metro back to my girlfriend's apartment. It was about 10;40. The total journey took nearly 23 hours.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Last Night in Jerusalem

While we were waiting for the elevator to take us to breakfast, a very tall couple ran into us. We are quite short. After breakfast we walked through thee Machaneh Yehuda market which are a bunch of stalls facing each other. We ran into the tall couple there too.

Then we took the tram to Damascus Gate. We had trouble finding the accessible route down to the gate. I made a dry run first. Then I came back and lifted my girlfriend's scooter over some bumps and tried to steady it as we went down the bumpy ramps. The scooter didn't react well to the ramps or the bumpy road inside the claustrophobic souks. The scooter shut down. I pushed it to the holy Jesus church. It's a cold and cavernous building.

I then pushed the scooter through the souk and up the bumpy ramps. Most people were nice enough to get out of the way. One young Arab guy slammed into the steering handle bars and the scooter crashed into him. Then he got upset, but his friend apologized. I yelled at him to be careful and he got heated, but his friend pacified him.

We tried to make it around East Jerusalem, but the scooter had other plans. East Jerusalem is like a different country. It's majority Arab and the signs are in Arabic. People walk in the street and the curbs are high. I saw two men who were very angry in the short time I was there. The money changer was ranting about Yisrael and a man screamed at his wife and then slammed the car door when he left. The wife was still in the car laughing.

We fly back to the U.S. tomorrow. We tried to change more money for a taxi to the airport but a money changer on tbe cirner of Jafda Road near Jaffa Center gave me a shit rate and then had the nerve to yell at me about it.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Yad Vashem

We took the tram to Mount Herzl and then asked where Yad Vashem was located. We made our way to it we realized we had to stop and there was a huge flight of stairs. So back tracked and went on the lower level. The museum is quite powerful. It traces from the rise of the Nazis and the relationship of each European country with its Jews. The museum focuses on the negative as the righteous gentile and Denmark and Bulgaria- two countries that saved most of their Jews- did not get much attention.

Both my girlfriend and I saw the museum as a call to action. The implicit cause is the state of Israel because after you leave the history portion of the museum, you come out upon a stunning view of Jerusalem. Israelu flags are strategically placed outside the museum as well.

We took the tram near our hostel and my girlfriend backed her scooter a few inches to leave the tram. Some jackass decided he couldn't wait and cut right behind her. The scooter ran up his leg and nearly tipped. I yelled at him.

We walked around King George Street and by Mamilla mall. We ate sliders and bought gummies. Then we had gelato. Jerusalem has some huge dogs.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Western Wall and the Super Bowl

We woke up and ate the hostel's spartan breakfast. At the communal tables there were your typical backpacking stereotypes, the old Brits, the lanky sleepy Europeans, and the American know-it-all girls. I guess we were the PDA couple who isolated themselves and made snarky comments about the others.

Then, we meandered our way from the hostel to the Old City. We first walked through the Armenian Quarter which things like an Armenian art store and an Armenian coffee shop. Then we walked around the Jewish Quarter but never found a path to the Western Wall that didn't involve stairs. We later took the inner perimeter road to and the outer perimeter road from the Wall. Both are accessible, but you have to be in the road for parts.

We took a nap during the day to prepare to stay up late to watch the Super Bowl. I had chicken shwarma for both of my meals. After the second one, we marched to the Western Wall. I had always wanted to go there and stick a note inside. To actual be in its presence and touch it moved me to tears. I just stood next to it leaning on it for a while. My girlfriend had trouble getting near it as he had to muscle her way to touch it because the women's side is much smaller than the men's.

We went to the holiest place in Judaism on the holiest day in America. On the way back, a man veered his van into a parking and ran after us. He wanted to ask my girlfriend about her scooter and how we got it into Israel.

Then we went to Mike's Place to watch the Super Bowl because some Europeans were watching movies in the hostel's tv room. Turnovers were the story. The 49ers turned the ball over and gad two stupid penalties in the first half. Kaepernick struggled. Jacoby Jones made an incredible catch, got up without being touched, and zigzagged into the end zone. To start the second half, Jones ran back the opening kickoff in the longest play in Super Bowl history. That's when the power went out. 36 minutes later, the Ravens' Ravens'momentum had vanished. They began turning the ball over and making dumb penalties. Kaepernick snapped out of his slump and Flacco entered into one.

But the Ravens held off just enough to win 34-29. Two more field goals and a legendary goalline stand helped the Ravens capture their second Super Bowl. We walked back to the hotel as the sun came up.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

To Jerusalem

The sun finally made an appearance in Tel Aviv on Saturday. We took a stroll on the beach and put our feet in the Mediterranean Sea. My girlfriend fell in when the tide shifted. We searched an Indian restaurant for lunch but the one we had pegged was clothed. A number of people where around the sea, but far fewer roamed inland during Shabbat. We were surprised just how much was closed in secular Tel Aviv on Shabbat.

Then we strolled along the boardwalk type thing by the sea and watched the sun disappear behind the horizon. We ate overpriced Indian for dinner. We grabbed our luggage from the hotel and walked to the bus station. There are people of many different ethnicities around the bus station. I noticed Ethiopians tend to have jobs such as busboys, cleaning ladies, and security guards.

A nice young man in a yarmulke helped me load up our luggage onto the bus to Jerusalem. We made it in 50 minutes and took a quite saunter besides the tracks of the tram until we got to our hostel. In the aftermath of Shabbat, the streets were so quiet. We noticed, from the few people who were out, that people are far more religious over here.

Last year at the end of Passover when I said next year in Jerusalem was the first time I was actually telling the truth.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Shabbat in Tel Aviv

The rain held off in the morning and early afternoon. I saw a homeless man sleeping on the street outside of the shwarma place on Allenby. He had a mattress and three pillows. I also saw a guy dressed in a gold cape and another dressed as robin hood.

We saw exercise equipment on the beach. Between that and all the parks, Tel Aviv is impressive. We made it back to the hotel before the hard rain and brutal winds hit. Everyday we've been in the room, the cleaning people knick the door. We scream, "No!" and they come in anyway.

We walked around tonight in search of dinner. We knew places would be closed for Shabbat. But the combination of Shabbat and the weather made. Tel Aviv a virtual ghost town.