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Monday, September 29, 2008

Terrell Owens/Celebrity Plane Crash

Just a week after Terrell Owens earned heavy praise for a team-first performance at Green Bay, he's resorted to being, well, himself.

He threw some blocks, sprinted downfield to throw a key block during a teammate's long touchdown run and also hustled across the field to make the tackle on an interception return. That was in a key road win on primetime television at fellow NFC power Green Bay. Great for him.

But in Sunday's loss to Washington, Owens caught seven balls, then complained after the game that that wasn't enough. Seven catches for 71 yards projects to 112 catches and 1,136 yards over a season. Those are Pro-Bowl numbers, especially if your name is Terrell Owens and you wear a blue star on your silver helmet. How do you complain about that?

Too, TO also got two carries on weak gadget plays. In his 13th season, perhaps he would have been better served to block on those plays for speedy teammate Miles Austin, who clearly has better wheels.

And Pro-Bowl quarterback Tony Romo threw to Owens on nearly a dozen other occasions. Romo certainly made a couple of poor throws, but on other occasions, Owens didn't get open, ran a loose route and definitely alligator-armed a quick slant that fell incomplete in the second half because a defender was poised to re-arrange Owens' rib cage.

If you want to earn those big dollars, experience the privelege of being a superstar on the NFL's most storied franchise and be able to run your mouth as freely as you do, don't short-arm makeable catches.

Whatever points he earned in Green Bay last week he gave back in the home team's clubhouse moments after Sunday's loss. And for that he needs to be on the Celebrity Plane Crash.

Which celebrity would you add?


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Catching Up: College Football

I started to write this post on Friday, but ended up getting pretty busy and couldn't finish it. My point, however, that USC will still play in the national championship game was only enforced further with what happened in college football over the weekend.

It's funny that so many writers and experts spent Friday saying USC just played its way out of a national title shot.

How quickly we've forgotten a little thing called the 2007 college football season. Did it not show us that anything can happen on any given weekend?

USC delivered a thorough dismantling of Ohio State on Sept. 13, and as impressive as the Trojans looked then, they still hadn't shed their reputation as one of those teams that at least once each season, it might beat itself by not showing up for a game against a far lesser opponent.

What has happened in the last few weeks (and looking ahead) leaves me with one serious question: Which scenario below earns you more respect?

+ Beating an elite team like Ohio State, then collapsing against a weak conference foe 12 days later?

+ Losing only to that elite team, then blowing through a mediocre conference schedule and ending the season with just that one loss to the national powerhouse?

SEC screamers cry, "We beat the heck out of each other every week." What league doesn't?

Sure that conference has been the best in the country for several years, but is that unique? Isn't college football, like everything else in sports and even in life, cyclical? Maybe in five years the Big 10 or the Big 12 or the Big East will be where the SEC is now.

I've never seen anything in sports as ridiculous as Mississippi fans barking at Ohio State fans, at an NIT semifinal basketball game here in New York last March, that the SEC is superior.

I repeat: Mississipi. And basketball.

I'll never forget when the Red Sox won the World Series last year and couldn't stop chanting "American League East, American League East, American League East."

And if SEC people want to go beyond the last few years, then I'll go ahead and do that too. I remember when Ohio State won three Fiesta Bowls in four years, one of which was the national championship. Could it possibly be coincidental that in the last two seasons, the Buckeyes just faced better, more inspired teams twice in 365 days and national television cameras happened to be rolling? Maybe not, but does the statement "Ohio State sucks" sound more reasonable? That's what the tremendously obnoxious USC fans pelted my small group and me with at the game in Los Angeles two weeks ago.

Remember, only one team other than USC has played in three national championship games in the BCS era. It's the team from Columbus. And as bad as this idea sounds, it could very well play in a fourth one in January. I don't like OSU's chances, but mathematically it is very possible.

When SEC clowns said last year that OSU didn't play anyone of merit last year, those fans were right. But OSU's team was built for 2008, not 2007, and the Buckeyes yet still avoided -- for the most part -- the upsets to inferior conference foes that plagued teams from the SEC and every other league. That's called not choking. That's called showing up. That's called beating the teams you're supposed to beat.

And lastly, don't rip Ohio State for its non-conference schedule. Keep in mind that once Jim Tressel moved to Columbus, the Buckeyes added home-and-home series with Texas and USC, and in the near future have Oklahoma, California and Miami on the docket. That game at Washington last year was part of a home-and-home agreement settled before Tressel took over, so long ago that when it was scheduled, the Huskies were still among the national elite.

So this rant sounds more like a rah-rah session for Ohio State, but it's more of a shut-the-hell-up to SEC fans. Mississippi should not have won at Florida Saturday. And Alabama should not have embarrassed Georgia in Athens. Alabama is good for sure, and I'd love to see the Tide keep rolling, but I don't think it will happen.

I think either Oklahoma or Missouri will play for the title, and it could be against USC, LSU, or even, yup, Ohio State. But who knows? If we learned one thing last year, it's that every week, upsets happen, the BCS standings endure a jolt and predictions look more and more ridiculous.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clay Aiken Shocker

Clay Aiken announced this week that he's gay.

In other news, 2+2=4.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dickish And Douchey

I meant to put this up last week . . .

I used to watch "The Daily Show" religiously, back when Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, Ed Helms and Rob Corddry were cutting their teeth. That was seriously one of the most talented casts in television history, comparable to some of those 1970s and 1980s SNL lineups.

Anyway, here's a funny story on Helms in last week's New York Magazine.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Busy Day

What a busy day, yet I don't feel like I've done anything. Here's the recap:

+ Learned the reasoning behind some journalists being arrested and others not arrested at the RNC: St. Paul Assistant Police Chief said, "There was a gap in communication." Nice. Thanks for the update, @schmadigan.

+ Finalized a $440 order to have eight matted enlargements framed. This dude at a frame shop cut me an excellent deal. I have a photography show in Cincinnati next week, and I've now moved on to dreading the shipping costs. More details on the show in a day or two.

+ Because I'll be in Cincinnati, I was asked to speak to some journalism students at my alma mater. More details on that coming shortly as well.

+ You know those Biscoff biscuits some airlines serve to you on shorter flights? I've kept one of those wrappers lying around my clutter collection for five years, but was just reminded of it on a recent flight. The order of 100 twin-wrapped packets arrived today. These things are good.

+ I've admitted here before that I'm not above self-promotion, but it's still weird to write a full-on press release about yourself. Now I'm trying to get some media for both events next week.

+ The evite replies for Sept. 27 are filling out nicely. If you live in New York, please act accordingly.

+ After what will no doubt be a stressful two days in Cincinnati next week, it is my intention to be overserved at John Boel's OSU-Wisconsin watching event on Sat., Oct. 4.

+ I cannot stop clearing my throat.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

LA Trip, September 2008

I found a new free slideshow tool, so just wanted to show a few pictures of my LA trip last week. We've got the Santa Monica bubbles, Kim Kardashian, my sister Missy, Malibu and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Enjoy:

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Everyone Loves Bubbles

In Santa Monica last weekend, I met a man who is a part-time bubbler. Yup.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Last Call: Summer Photography Sale

This is your final chance to contribute to the Summer Photography Sale. Click here for details on this oustanding offer that ends Friday.


Kim And Me

I'm not a celeb-stalker; but I played one in Los Angeles on Sunday.

I won't say I'm above stargazing, but I don't seek it out. Big sis Missy came down from San Francisco to hang for the day yesterday, and after some beach time in Malibu, we made a trade. She wanted to do some celeb-watching in exchange for driving me downtown so I could shoot the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

We hadn't even parked the car near the trendy restaurant The Ivy and already, we were onto something.

We'd just turned the corner and saw a handful of photographers gathered outside some store. So we parked the car and I grabbed my cameras.

By the time we emerged from the parking garage, the gathering had migrated toward a MAC cosmetics joint, and that's where we thought we saw the lovely and talentless Kim Kardashian. A few minutes later, sure enough, out she came.

I did get caught up in it, and wouldn't you know it, while backpedaling (and shooting) in flip flops, I eventually backed into a baby stroller. After the mom gave me a look I WILL NEVER FORGET, I offered a sincere apology, then turned around to face Ms. Kardashian, who looked me straight in the eye and asked firmly, "Are you serious?"

I hightailed it out of there with big sis and can't remember ever feeling so embarrassed.

And in case you've been reading about my LA trip overall, let's recap: couldn't get a rental car, got violated on several cab fares, Ohio State got drilled, Kim Kardashian lit me up and then, of course, my 10:30 p.m. flight last night didn't leave until closer to midnight.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Green and Clean

I like hotels that do their part to protect the environment. Here at The Custom, there's a note in the bathroom asking me to hang my towel on a specific hook to indicate I don't need new towels. I did so, after I took a 20-minute shower.

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Review: My LA Trip

I arrived at LAX Thursday night and immediately the visit got off to a bad start.

Here's a little background:

Two weeks ago in Denver I realized that my Kentucky driver's license was going to expire on Aug. 30. I wasn't able to get to the License Bureau to get a New York license until just a few days ago. And when I got there I was told I'd need either a birth certificate or a passport.

I don't typically keep a birth certificate handy, and my passport expired in April. So I ordered a birth certificate and I should have it next week.

But try renting a car in Los Angeles with an expired Kentucky license. It doesn't happen.

So after taking shuttles and cabs, then meeting some folks as planned at Santa Monica's very cool World Cafe, I got home close to 1 a.m. local time, which means I was awake for pretty much 24 straight hours.

Anyway, cabbing it all over town is OK to do in New York, but here in LA, the meter advances almost as rapidly as that national debt ticker I've seen a time or two.

OK, since I couldn't get around conveniently, I figured the highlight of my day would be when I checked out of my hotel and into another one Friday afternoon.

Along the way, however, I stumbled across the Big Blue Bus, which is an excellent public transit on LA's west side. Instead of another $40 cab ride, I got in there for a buck and it didn't take much longer than the cab would have.

I got to Main Street and the sun finally came out. As I made my way to my friend Alison's women's clothing store, Monki, I passed O'Brien's Pub, the front patio of which was packed with Ohio State people. So I stopped and said hello for a few minutes, then got a call from colleague Todd who said he'd pick me up from there shortly and we'd go meet colleague Susan for a happy-hour drink at Hal's just a few blocks away in Venice.

I came back to my hotel, which is very cool, by the way. It's called The Custom, and is quite hip and modern. Each room has a different theme; mine is dogs. Yup, there's a Best-In-Show type ribbon pinned to the lampshade, a comforter with a dog motif and the latest copy of "Bark" magazine on my bedside table.

If you're traveling alone, this place is more than adequate; room and bathroom are a bit smallish, so not really family friendly. It's considered a boutique hotel, but I got a good price, so I don't feel like I'm trying to be fabulous.

After I came back from happy hour, I went to the hotel bar, where there's a pretty cool pool, but it was all out-of-towners. You could tell because there wasn't that I-need-to-be-glam vibe you can spot at some LA joints.

I met a couple people and we decided to try the bar across the street. The bartender went to high school two blocks away from where I live now in New York. And there were plenty of Ohioans on the set who are here for the OSU-USC game, so we had lots to talk about.

OK, now I'm up, watching ESPN's College GameDay, not feeling great about OSU's chances, but looking forward to catching up with old friends John and Amy and seeing the game.

I think it's time for the Big Blue Bus.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

The Night I Got Arrested

Many of you might have spent Thursday night watching John McCain formally accept his nomination for GOP presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

As it was happening, I was sitting on a bridge, waiting to be handcuffed, arrested, transported and fingerprinted, then booked on a charge of unlawful assembly.

>> Read More (Video included)

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Arrest Update

I don't think I seek out attention too terribly, but I have no problem admitting that I enjoy it when it comes my way.

What's happened in the last 12 hours, however, is nothing that I would ever hope for.

Many of you know now that I was arrested Thursday night while shooting a protest in St. Paul, site of this week's Republican National Convention. I know that because as I sat at the airport restaurant -- how does a slow-roasted pork sandwich get served in two minutes? -- and checked email over lunch a short time ago, I had to fight back tears because so many of you took a minute out of your day to wish me well and express your hope that I was OK. Thank you so much.

So when I'm not catching up on sleep, watching Ohio State and loaning my apartment to a friend for her end-of-summer party, I hope to get you all caught up this weekend with what really happened. There might be some things I cannot yet write about, and/or pictures/videos I might not be able to post. But I promise you'll see some new stuff in the next couple days, including my mug shot in which I'm smiling.

And thanks also to those who've almost served as a personal clipping service. Immediately below is the story that's on the MyFox network, but below that are some other referrals that friends have sent in today.

+ MyFox

+ CarlosMiller.com


+ Freemarketnews.com

+ Pegasus News

+ Political Crier

+ StopBigMedia.com

+ TVSpy.com

+ What Would Lincoln Do?

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I Got Arrested

Read all about it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

RNC Update

Hello from St. Paul. So far the highlight has been being in the thick of Monday's protests that led to violence, shattered storefront windows, pepper spray and arrests.

I have a bunch of still shots and some video of that day and much more. I also added three updates to my blog today, including another Karl Rove entry. Here you go:

+ RNC section

+ My Convention blog

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