Newtown Massacre
I can’t skip past this even though it’d be my preference. If you live under a rock, THIS happened last Friday. Tragic, horrible, not really words to describe the depths of that kind of evil.

Yammering on SNF caught my attention again – this time NBC switched the Patriots/49ers game to their NBCSports channel while President Obama addressed the nation. It was how Obama framed the issue that drew my ire. Two points, in my opinion, are lost in this.

First, school massacres are nothing new. What is STILL the largest school massacre in U.S. history took place in 1927. That’s right, 1927. No bullets, not even one. No semi-automatics. The short version – a guy beat his wife to death and then bombed a school, with three explosive devices. Let’s outlaw chemistry in school! Murder, even mass murder, is nothing new. There’s a halfway decent lesson to learn from the Clint Eastwood/John Malkovich movie, In The Line Of Fire. Malkovich plays a crazed assassin hell-bent on killing the President. His philosophy on why he will ultimately succeed boils down to the idea that he is prepared trade his life for that of his target. And it’s true, as long as someone is prepared to die for their cause or stated goal, whatever that may be, they increase exponentially the possibility of success. You can’t legislate away the crazy people, no matter how enticing that sounds.

Second, since Friday an estimated 85 people have died in the U.S. from drunk driving. (Based on this study and the 2010 figure for deaths per year). So if you really want to legislate something, let’s start with something that has a definitive cause and effect. Again, what happened on Friday was horrible, tragic, and a host of other things – but let’s not permit an (understandably) emotional response distort the proportion of the issue.

Cubs News
A well-documented bridesmaid to many of the bigger deals they’ve tried to consummate lately, the Cubs have been active without a lot to show for it in recent weeks. The Phillies, though, signed free agent reliever Mike Adams to a two-year $12mil deal. That’s a lot for a setup man, especially one that’s 34 (plus a 3rd year at $6.5mil vests if he makes enough appearances; he has a reasonably good chance of doing so). If you want to get rid of Carlos Marmol, I think Adams’ deal might’ve helped make that just a tiny bit easier.

NFL
A week of blowouts in the NFL. Only two games finished within single digits, two teams were blanked and lost by more than 30 points, the Seahawks put up 50 again, and the night ended with the Patriots getting bushwhacked on SNF at home. The Dallas-Pittsburgh game was easily the best (and really the only competitive matchup); Dallas won in OT. The Bears-Packers tilt was the other game that finished within 10 points, but really the Packers controlled the game and eased to a 21-13 division/playoff-clinching victory. Green Bay didn’t get any help though, the 49ers and Falcons both won and thus they remain slotted for the No. 3 seed in the NFC. The Bears will likely spend the week drafting a reorganization plan – if they miss the playoffs after starting 7-1 (and it seems likely that they will) I doubt Lovie Smith and his coaching staff will avoid the metaphorical guillotine.

Christmas: One Week Away
I’ve been to more Toys R Us stores in the last three weeks than I care to admit to – so I consider myself a bit of an expert on what’s flying off the shelves. If you’re shopping for a girl, these British Bieber’s are everywhere. I’d not really heard of them until I saw the ubiquitous dolls in Toys R Us stores everywhere. Only in the UK would multiplying Justin Bieber five times and parading around the result as a tween heartthrob megagroup sound like a good idea. One of them even wears his hair in a napsack.

If, instead, you’re searching for a boy – I’ve seen this thing everywhere. It must be the all-encompassing boy gift of the year, because when I first saw it I believe it was listed under $40. Today I see it most often listed for $60; but in some places as much as $100. How does this happen? Are we really that toy crazy at Christmas that something suddenly doubles in worth?

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