Friday, December 22, 2006

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown...

Merry Christmas to all from the Commish family!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Twas the week before Xmas...

Quick poker content: Full Tilt continues to be a profitable little site for me. Between HORSE SnGs and the 18-seat $20/30 SnGs, I've been steadily building (and withdrawing) funds at about a $200-300 per month basis. Wifey is totally on board with the poker now, though she is claiming domain over the funds because of some wife-imagined rule of "lost spousal time".

I satellited into the Sunday HORSE $40K tournament last week. Donked off my money in LHE to Michael Craig (yes, that Michael Craig) with a set on the turn that made his straight. I didn't put him on the straight initially and probably should have just check-called on the river after we capped it on the turn, but I brain-farted my way out in 20-something place.

- The 49ers are still alive for the NFC West title! Show of hands, who thought we'd be saying this after week 15?

- During the company Xmas party/casino night, I was shuffling my chips absently when someone commented "Watch that guy, he's a serious gambler." We had four guys openly counting into a four-deck shoe and all quadrupled our stakes. Of course, Karma dictated that we didn't win shit in the raffle, but it was a good opportunity to practice my card-counting and chip-shuffling.

- On the Dugglebogey/FTP snafu - Dugs is calling it a “hack”, which would imply that the system was compromised somehow to give someone access to his (relatively) meager account. In reality, this is a “leak”, similar to those laptop thefts where passwords and credit card information are pulled from a stolen computer. If he is using the same password for all his accounts (blogger, poker sites, porn, whatever), it’s likely that an admin or desk drone at one of those sites swiped the password.

- My kids are using "pwned" as a verb wayyyy too much (pronounced 'poned'). I guess the influence of the internet slang has reached the junior highs.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I’m not a big conspiracy theorist. I usually ascribe people’s behavior to spur-of-the-moment bad judgment or just plain stupidity, but the refereeing in the Saints-49ers game yesterday was impossibly skewed in favor of the Saints.

Listen, I get it. New Orleans suffered a big-ass disaster last year. We all feel bad for the city. Even I sent money to relief efforts (which I’ve done exactly twice in 40+ years, for 9/11 and for Katrina).

But let’s not start handing them football games or overturning calls because the fans might get upset. No less than SIX crucial calls went against the 49ers, two of them had to be overturned to ensure the Saints would get the victory.

1. Pass interference in the first quarter – Alex Smith underthrew Antonio Bryant along the left sideline. The Saints DB turned to find the ball, and blocked Bryant’s path to the ball. The official correctly threw the flag for pass interference. Mike Carey (who is becoming the Don Denkinger of the NFL) came over, reminded the official that they were in New Orleans, pointed out the crowd reaction to the replay which was egregiously shown on the JumboTron, and picked up the flag. Asshole.

2. Reggie Bush = Rob Lyttle = Ben Rothlisberger. None of these guys need the ball to score touchdowns. Two of Bush’s touchdowns were scored when he extended the ball out trying to reach the goal line and got it punched away. One of the fumbles was recovered by the 49ers, the other went out of bounds around the one-yard line. Yeah, he’s an exciting back, but he should still have the fucking ball in his GRASP to score.

3. One play turned the game. 14-10 Saints. The 49ers had just recovered a surprise onside kick and had all the momentum. Antonio Bryant ran a deep dig at around 15 yards. Mike McKenzie (is he still around?) chucked him (penalty, unless you’re playing in a city that recently suffered a hurricane and floods). Bryant fell down (admittedly weak, but may have been trying to draw the penalty). McKenzie dove over him and picked the ball off. He appeared to clip Bryant while diving over him to catch the ball, meaning he should be marked down at around midfield. Again, the “NFL disaster relief rule” comes into effect and the play continued. McKenzie gets up and dances down the left sideline and cutting back at the ten, may or may not get clipped by Alex Smith. On his way down to the ground, he bobbles the ball, losing it completely when he hits the turf. The 49ers recover and the referees decide the play was too exciting to rule against the downtrodden Saints, and make a quintuply bad ruling.

a. No Pass Interference or Illegal Contact – Not horrible, but certainly arguable. Contact was made with Bryant. Whether or not he should have fallen is debatable.
b. Not down by contact at midfield – Partially Nolan’s fault for not making this call on the spot. If McKenzie didn’t touch Bryant while flying over the top, he should be in Cirque de Soleil.
c. Out of bounds? – From the spotty camera work, McKenzie comes awfully close to stepping on the line around the 20. Again, this is borderline.
d. Down by contact? – Again, the initial ruling was that Alex Smith whiffed, and Mike Carey overruled the official after looking at the instant replay of the flooding in the French Quarter.
e. Fumble? – Watch the replay. He’s losing control of the ball AS HE FALLS, which is why it popped out when he hit the ground. Even if Alex Smith clipped his foot, it should still be a fumble! Again, this is ignored for the sake of the children made homeless by the hurricane.

I’m not saying the 49ers would’ve won the game, but it’s irritating to have the referees taking such an active role in GIVING the game to the Saints. Once the first pass interference was waved off because of fan reaction to the instant replay, I knew the game would be biased in favor of the Saints.

I guess the NFL really wants the “feel-good story of the year” to make the playoffs this year.