Monthly Archives: September 2002

CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Lots new today: I

CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Lots new today: I have added links to several of my past writings at the lower left-hand corner of this blog (the red part). Also, after a weeks-long blogger snafu, all of the archives since May have finally been restored. Enjoy, and don’t forget to comment.

THIS JUST IN: Adding to

THIS JUST IN: Adding to the Vikings’ woes that I posted about 20 minutes ago, Randy Moss has been arrested after a JR Rider-like incident in which he hit a female traffic control agent with his car and subsequently pushed her half a block down a street in downtown Minneapolis. Judging by the length of city blocks in Minneapolis, Moss almost certainly pushed her further than 16 yards, which is what he gained on a mere four catches in Sunday’s loss to Carolina.
Moss is currently being held on suspicion of assault with a dangerous weapon, and will likely be charged with second-degree assault on Wednesday. Now if you were the Vikings, would you post bail? Neither would I.


PURPLE PEOPLE EATEN: I’ve always been one to caution against trashing one’s own team publicly, but it must be said: the Minnesota Vikings suck. Everything that could’ve possibly gone wrong this season has, all of which has manifested itself in an 0-3 start. And it’s going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets better.
The team has a horrible owner (Red McCombs, who has Minnesota on constant alert that he’s about to whisk the team off to LA or San Antonio) and a coach who never should’ve been hired (Mike Tice, who got the job on the basis of acting as McCombs’ locker-room narc during the last year of the Dennis Green era -even though he was merely tight ends coach- and is best known as the guy who taunted tackle Korey Stringer about his weight mere hours before the lineman died from heat exhaustion.) The team’s gross salary cap mismanagement has resulted in a severe depletion of both their offensive line and their entire defense; the Vikings haven’t even been able to sign their first-round draft choice, tackle Bryant MacKinnie, who could be providing much-needed blocking help.
But worst of all, the Vikings made the decision to base the entire direction of their offense on Randy Moss, who behaves more like a six-year-old than an NFL superstar. How can a professional franchise be so afraid of a man who must get the ball a certain amount of time, lest he whine about it and decide to go home? And when he does get the ball that much, he still cries, and the team loses all its games to boot? Haven’t we learned from recent world events that appeasement never works? And adding insult to insult, the Vikings’ only unblemished asset going into the season, quarterback Daunte Culpepper, has played like an amateur, throwing four interceptions in Sunday’s loss to Carolina and even getting into a sideline skirmish with Moss.
Tice is looking a lot like the second coming of Les Steckel, the coach who took over the Vikings for a year in 1984 and went 3-13 before he was fired. How in the world could this team hire Tice when a proven coach with ties to Minnesota (Tony Dungy) was available? And when the team has a huge, very public lawsuit pending by Stringer’s widow, shouldn’t Mike Tice (who is named in the suit) have been the last person to consider as their new head coach? McCombs is apparently emulating his baseball counterpart Carl Pohlad’s strategy from throughout the ’90s- when you’re pushing for a new stadium, the best thing you can do is give off the impression that you’re failing miserably in your current situation.
When a team is horrible for a long period of time (like the Arizona Cardinals, LA Clippers, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, etc.) the problem is usually trickled from ownership on down. While the Vikings are only in the second year of their down cycle, their organization is in such disarray, from top to bottom, that’s it hard to imagine them emerging from their funk anytime soon. Especially not as long as Randy Moss is on the team.
All I can say is, thank God for the Twins.


WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH DUNLEAVY?: Steve Dunleavy, the New York Post’s perpetually half-in-the-bag columnist, must’ve hit the sauce even harder than usual when he wrote Monday’s column, in which he lamented that his best buddy in the world, Charles Schwarz, is going back to jail. Schwarz, you see, was one of the four cops accused in the Abner Louima sexual assault of 1997; after two trials he was convicted of participating in the assault. Then this year he was briefly freed before getting re-indicted (and re-convicted), this time for perjury, and was about to be brought to trial a fourth time on two other charges when he reached a plea bargain with prosecutors last week in which he will likely serve 33 months of a five-year sentence. All the while, Dunleavy has been Schwarz’s most ardent backer; after all, the boozy old Aussie never met a rogue cop he didn’t love.
In his column Dunleavy wants to make sure everyone knows that Schwarz isn’t a coward and isn’t a rat, because “Schwarz made no deal- the deal was [made by] prosecutor Alan Vinegrad.” So since the deal was initiated by Vinegrad, Schwarz wasn’t part of it and is thus absolved of responsibility for it? BOTH SIDES made the deal, you numbscull! That’s why it’s called a deal!
Now I’m in no position to judge Schwarz’s innocence or guilt, but what is Dunleavy doing praising the defendant’s wherewithal when he agreed to serve five more years for a crime he says he didn’t commit? He ends the column with “true to his code as a former Marine, Chuck never cracked – Semper Fi.” But wouldn’t “not cracking” have entailed fighting the charges and refusing to accept any plea deal at all?
The problem with Dunleavy’s columns is usually that they’re off morally (like when he claimed that John Gotti was a great man “’cause he didn’t steal people’s money like Enron did”); this time, it’s his logic that’s completely wrong. I don’t know if it’s senility or alcoholism, but it might be time for his editors to step in and suggest retirement. Besides, with Gotti dead and Skakel and Schwarz both in the can, Dunleavy’s running out of things to write about.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I was struggling to write another novel, but I had nothing to say. I still don’t have anything to say, but I’ve since learned that that’s not really a problem. No one has anything to say, but we’ve got to do something when we’re not sleeping.” -Jonathan Ames


THE EMMY OF MY EMMY IS MY FRIEND: I only saw the second half of last night’s Emmy Awards, as prior to that I was laying my eyes upon the twin wonderment that is “The Sopranos” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I generally agree with most of the decisions on the major awards (great that Michael Chiklis won Best Actor for “The Shield”; he’s a damn good actor on a damn good show) with the glaring exception of Outstanding Drama Series. Seeing as how “The West Wing” delivered by the far the weakest of its three seasons, punctuated by that insulting and condescending “terrorism” episode/lecture, how it could overtake the amazing “Six Feet Under” is beyond me- especially since “Six”‘s second season was much better than its first, when it managed to beat “West Wing” for the award. I would’ve even been happy if “Law & Order” had won, especially considering that its terrorism-based season finale was the best episode of any television series all of last year. At any rate, when Aaron Sorkin created “West Wing” in 1999 I bet he never guessed he’d be accepting an Emmy Award from presenter Rudy Giuiliani.
PS: Speaking of “The Sopranos,” I like everyone else have been amazed by the first two episodes of Sopranos IV. However, I am a little bit confused about the timeline, since the show took 18 months off on its production schedule. The third season seemed to incapsulate Meadow’s freshman year at Columbia, and since it aired from March-May of 2001 I assumed the timeline of the season was from the fall of 2000 until the spring of 2001. There were, after all, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Super Bowl-themed episodes at midseason of Season 3. So now Meadow is about to start her sophomore year, so you’d think it would be September of 2001. BUT, that was of course when 9/11 occurred, and we know from current dialogue that 9/11 and the Enron scandal have both already happened, so it must be August or September 2002. Where’d that extra year go? Must be the same logic that explains how James Bond is the same age now as he was in 1964.