Monthly Archives: May 2006

The New NFL

ESPN reported (ESPN Report) today that Florida governor, Jeb Bush had been approached privately about taking over for retiring NFL commish Paul Tagliabue. This sent my wheels to spining on what the NFL would be like if this actually happened. Here’s a little look into the crystal ball, my friends.

If Jeb Bush was the NFL Commissioner:

  • Players would get vouchers so they could go to any team they wanted to at any point during the season, and their salary would continue to be paid for by the team they leave.
  • Every team would only be allowed one head coach because a 1 to 53 ratio of coach to players is ideal.
  • The pre-, regular, and post-season would be played as normal. However, all 32 NFL teams would be ranked according to their performance during the pre-, regular, and post-season (much like the NFL draft, but in reverse) with the winner of the actual Super Bowl game at #1. Then all teams would have to take a standardized test. The first team in the ranking with all team members present and passing the test, would be deemed the actual Super Bowl Champions. If the winner of the actual Super Bowl game is not deemed the Super Bowl Champion, they would be given a certificate of completion.
  • All teams would be graded on how well they improved from the previous season, and revenue from the NFL would go to the teams improving the most. Therefore, if the same team who won the championship the previous year, wins again, then that team gets no revenue from the league.
  • The NFL draft order would be determined by ranking the teams on their improvement with most improved being ranked #1.
  • Revenue to buy new equipment, uniforms or improve practice facilities and stadiums would be based on team improvement as well. Therefore, some teams could not afford to buy new equipment or uniforms or make improvements to their facilities or stadiums, but will be required to perform as well as or better than the teams who do receive revenue to make said improvements if they expect to receive any revenue the following year.
  • Teams who are not deemed the Super Bowl Champions after five years will be closed, thus possibly eliminating the entire NFL in ten years.
  • Los Angeles would not get an NFL team. The next expansion team would be located in Miami (making that 2 teams for Miami) because Jeb’s wife, Columba would want it that way. Additionally, the official language of the NFL will be Spanish.

Potential good that could come from this: Coach and player salaries would be drastically reduced to well below what they are worth with no possible chance of a substantial raise in the future.

Paul Taglibue is looking better every day.

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Stay Tuned: Fall 2006

After last week’s whirlwind that was the networks’ release of their fall schedules, I give you TV Guide’s Show Grid. 7th Heaven was “resurrected,” which is good in a way as long as they tell me what Sandy said to Simon at the reception. I’ll be interested to see how they play this everyone is having twins thing, but really I just wanna know if Simon is the real father of Sandy’s baby, which doesn’t excuse Brenda Hampton for changing Martin’s “wait until I get married” character, but it will be interesting to say the least. I’m none too happy about Grey’s Anatomy, Studio 60, and Supernatural being on the same night and same timeslot. But I’m reading that NBC may consider moving Studio 60 to another night to avoid being demolished by Grey’s.

UGH…4 months is way too long to wait to see who Meredith chooses (and if Izzie really is giving up her surgical career, and if George will ever tell Callie he loves her), if the Winchester boys (and dad) live, if Ed Deline is really dead (and who Delinda marries), if Agent Gibbs is really quitting, if Lucas will make it to the bridge in time to save Nathan (and if ALL the girls are pregnant), if Robin and Ted survive the re-kindling (and if Marshall and Lily get back together), and if Lorelai really hates herself for sleeping with Christopher as much as I hate it. The countdown begins…

Kudos to all of y’all who can figure out which shows those all belong to. 🙂

Firsts and Lasts

This is my 150th post, and it’s been a little over a year since I started Leann’s Random Thoughts. I don’t know that any good has come of it, but it’s been a fun time for me to pretend I’m a writer. This past year has been an interesting one for me, and I’ve sort of stepped back recently and learned from it. Perspective is really fun to play around with every now and then.

About 5 months ago, one of my best friends, Katherine, gave birth to Nelson Bennett. (Shout out to Momma Katherine!) He quickly stole my heart, oh about 5 minutes after his birth when I first held him. It really is fun to try and see the world through his eyes. Everything is new to him even though we live quite jaded lives. Celebrating his firsts have been so much fun. He’s already cut his first tooth, he’s rolled over both ways, he’s sat up on his own, he smiles like it’s going out of style, he eats and grows at maximum speed, and he looks like an absolute angel when he’s asleep. I think that’s my favorite part: when he falls asleep in my arms. It’s getting more rare these days as he becomes more active, but it’s a feeling I absolutely cherish. Oh yeah, and to my knowledge, I believe I am still the only person who has changed his diaper multiple times who hasn’t been, shall we say, squirted. (Yep…just jinxed myself.) That’s not to say that he doesn’t give me a hard time for the rest of the diaper change. He doesn’t ever seem to like me snapping his clothes back together. He gets really impatient with me, but good grief, some of those snaps can be hard to do.

On the flip side, my mother is retiring on May 26th after 40 years of teaching. So, in the same year that I’ve been witnessing Nelson’s firsts, I’ve been privy to my mother’s lasts. I think I started really noticing it when she got to Christmas break and I realized that was her last Christmas break. Then came her last spring break, and her last time to teach “Tuck Everlasting,” and her last mid-term progress reports, and her last historical short story projects, and her last 6th grade dance, etc. The best last was the last time she had to proctor the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test–statewide standardized test for Florida students) exam, which became a source of frustration in the latter part of her career. In these last few weeks, she’s finally started to really enjoy the idea of retiring. It took us a while to get her to really want to celebrate it, but she’s come around. She’s almost finished packing up everything and giving away things to other teachers. I know it must be sad for her and that she’ll miss it terribly when August rolls around and she doesn’t have to go back. Turning in her keys the last time will probably be the hardest, but perhaps I’ll be there to hold her hand when she does. I’m headed down to celebrate her retirement at the end of next week. What she’ll do with her time after she’s retired, I don’t know, but after 40 years of standing before elementary and middle school students, she deserves the break.

It seems odd to be so proud of these two people. Nelson because I’m not blood related to him. He’s just managed to steal my heart, and I love him more than words could say. I’m just so proud of the little man that he already is. My mom because she’s my mom. She’s supposed to be proud of me, which she is to an astronomical extent. But, I didn’t think children could be proud of their parents even though this daughter definitely is. I’ve always felt blessed that she was my mother (even when I didn’t really show it), and I’ve always adored that her chosen profession was teaching. Because, really, if you think about it, my mother has spent her life in two very thankless jobs: motherhood and teaching. No mother or teacher has ever received the appreciation they so greatly deserve, yet they are responsible for our lives and our futures.

So, over the last year I’ve been blessed to learn from a precious baby boy just discovering the world and from a remarkable woman aged by the years of a career she’s loved longer than anything else in her life. Perspective Indeed.

No, Thank YOU, Mr. President

The tears started around 7:55pm on Sunday night as the final scene of the pilot episode aired. The tears continued to come and go until the scene of the airplane in the sky faded to black. There was some laughter, a great deal of smiles, and a definite appreciation and nod to 7 years of one heck of a great time.

It was interesting to me that The West Wing closed the curtains on its series run on Mother’s Day as it was my own mother who convinced me to watch this show. I hadn’t seen any of the first season’s episodes until I returned home for summer break in college. The first episode I watched was actually a rerun the week before the 1st season finale. Then, my mother and I watched the season finale together, and I predicted the assassination attempt pretty early on in that episode. From there, I watched the entire first season in reruns that summer and was hooked.

There was certainly an ebb and flow to this series, but regardless of the changing of the guard in writing and directing and the show taking a decidedly soap operatic turn mid-way through, I still loved every minute of it and never missed an episode. It was an escape from the reality of this country’s politics, and a look into what was a West Wing Utopia.

The awards and nominations abounded for this series and to that end Martin Sheen was profusely nominated but never won an Emmy. He did, however, win a Golden Globe once for his role as President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet. Allison Janney won multiple Emmy’s for her role as CJ (Claudia Jean) Craig first as a supporting actress and then as the more apt lead actress. Bradley Whitford won an Emmy for best supporting actor in his role as Deputy Chief of Staff, Joshua Lyman. John Spencer (may he rest in peace) won an Emmy for his role as Leo McGarry, Chief of Staff and best friend of the President…and to this day the only character on the show besides the First Lady who could tell the President NO and get away with it. Richard Schiff (whose character I didn’t like from about the end of the 2nd season on) also won an Emmy for his role as Toby Ziegler, the White House Communications Director and is still the only staff member to be fired from the Bartlet White House. The First Lady, Stockard Channing (Rizzo herself) won an Emmy for best supporting actress in the same year that she won a best supporting actress Emmy for her role in a television movie. The show won Emmys four times as Best Drama Series.

You will find no spoilers here even though there wasn’t much surprise in the last episode, but my favorite part was President Bartlet’s good-byes to his staff. Charlie’s (pronounced with Martin Sheen’s accent as CHAW-LEE) was probably my favorite. His relationship with the President as his personal assistant was one of the most brilliant pieces of writing I’ve ever seen. They were like a father and son who just plain understood each other. Nevermind the definite strain in the relationship with Charlie started dating the President’s daughter Zoey. 🙂

The death of Mrs. Landingham, though I’m still upset about that one, is probably one of the most well done storylines of any series I’ve ever seen. And my favorite episode to this day is the 2nd Season episode titled “The Midterms.” A religious radio talk show host called out the Bartlet White House on many issues, but in her visit to the White House for a reception, the host is met with a President who is even more fluent in the Bible than she claims to be. It’s my favorite scene when he basically pulls the carpet out from under her on everything she has claimed on her show while she remains seated on her stool in the reception room. At the end of his speech, he tells her one more thing: “In this building, when the President stands, NO BODY sits.” Causing her to jump to her feet and recognize how wrong she was. That speech still gives me chills.

But, alas, all good things must come to an end, and last night closed the door on an irreplaceable series. Even as President Bartlet was telling his staff what a pleasure it was working with them, I could only think about how the pleasure truly was all ours as viewers.

Anonymous Comments

Begin Soapbox

I have an unwritten rule about MY blog. I monitor my comments to eliminate those who choose to post a comment which happens to have nothing to do with the content or subject matter of the blog. I also don’t like Anonymous Comments. Blogger only offers the option of having Only Blogspot users post or Everyone post. And because I don’t believe in preventing those who don’t blog to post, I have no choice but to have the anonymous comment option on my blog.

So here’s my rule: anonymous comments don’t get posted on my blog regardless of subject matter because I think if you have something to say then you should own up to your opinion and be willing to put your name on it. Anonymous comments are like saying this is what I think, but I don’t want anyone to know that I’m thinking it. If you have enough confidence to believe in what you’re saying, then have enough confidence to stand behind it as well.

Don’t like it…get your own blog and tell the world all about it.

End Soapbox

ABOMINATION

Reason why I don’t watch American Idol anymore:

  • Because people like Chris Daughtry get voted off.

I stopped watching American Idol about halfway through the season that Fantasia won because Jasmine Trias was still in the competition, but if you’ve ever tried to stop watching one of the most popular television shows on the air, then you probably know that everyone around you ends up talking about it, including the morning show I listen to on the radio. So, it’s not that I actually started watching it, but it was definitely hard not to know what was going on. I watched one episode this season when my brother and sister in law were in town. I had been told about Chris’s rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted, Dead or Alive.” I had been told it was fantastic. Jon Bon Jovi even said so in an interview. So I figure if Jon gives him the endorsement then he must be good because Jon isn’t always quick to praise people covering his work. Then that one episode I saw sealed the deal. He was uncompromising. Refused to be a cookie cutter popsicle that sounds like everything else you hear on the Top 40 countdown. And that’s what I liked about him. He stood on that stage and said, “this is me, love it or hate it, I’m not willing to stand up here and sound like the next Clay Aiken, I’m only willing to stand up here and sound like the next Chris Daughtry.” I was sad to hear that he was the one who was voted off last night. He was considered the favorite to win the whole thing, and I was fine with that. All this from a show I don’t even watch. 🙂 In any case, I hope that the music industry recognizes this talent even though the voters who actually watch the show couldn’t because if Chris records an album, I’ll be first in line to purchase it. Best of luck, Chris. You deserve much more than the horrible hand that was dealt to you on Wednesday night.

A Decade of 7th Heaven

7th Heaven

When I see their happy faces,

smilin' back at me...

7th heaven

I know there's no greater feelin' than the love of family

Where can you go

When The world don't treat you right?

The answer is home!!!!!!!!!

That's the one place that you'll find,

7th heaven.

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!

7th Heaven

7th Heaven

Thanks for the memories, high blood pressure, laughter, stress, tears, annoyances, fun, aggravation, and joy the last 10 seasons have provided. I know that’s a crazy mixture of emotion, but the roller coaster lives of The Camdens were definitely more than I bargained for in 1996 when the show first started. They didn’t always get it right, right away, but they did seem to always package it nicely with a bow at the end. I’m certain that tonight’s series finale will be no different. Mondays will never be the same. You will be missed (at least by this viewer).

Loved It!

10 hours in front of the NFL Network on Saturday is exhausting, but I loved every minute of it. Sunday was a little harder to focus on because of other things going on, but I still managed to catch most of it. My favorite part had to be the crickets you could hear chirping at Matt Leinart’s table from picks 1 thru 9. He and his entire family (ne entourage) seemed to disappear and leaving one unidentifiable guy just sitting there alone. NICE!

But, who knew the draft would actually start on Friday with Mario Williams signing a contract with Houston before Paul Tagliabue ever uttered the words, “Houston Is On The Clock.” I’m impressed with Houston recognizing that they didn’t actually need a running back, but sad that Reggie Bush didn’t get to lie awake on Friday night wondering if he’d go first or not. I guess lying awake wondering if you’ll go 2nd could be just as fun.

I loved Denver trading up to get Jay Cutler. I think in the long run, he’s going to be the quarterback out of this class that gets it done and why shouldn’t he with Mike Shanahan as his coach and Jake Plummer as his teacher.

Funniest name all weekend: Ashton Youboty. It’s funny, EVERY TIME.

Here’s how the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Indianapolis Colts did this weekend.

ROLL TIDE and GO COLTS!!

ALABAMA

  1. DeMeco Ryans, OLB, Round 2, Pick 1(33), Houston
  2. Roman Harper, S, Round 2, Pick 11(43), New Orleans
  3. Brodie Croyle, QB, Round 3, Pick 21(85), Kansas City
  4. Charlie Peprah, S, Round 5, Pick 26(158), NY Giants
  5. Mark Anderson, DE, Round 5, Pick 27(159), Chicago

(Apparently cornerback, Anthony Madison agreed to a free agent contract with Pittsburgh following the draft.)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

  1. Joseph Addai, RB, Round 1, Pick 30(30), LSU
  2. Tim Jennings, CB, Round 2, Pick 30(62), GEORGIA
  3. Freddie Keiaho, OLB, Round 3, Pick 30(94), SAN DIEGO ST
  4. Michael Toudouze, OT, Round 5 30(162), TCU
  5. Charlie Johnson, OT, Round 6, Pick 30(199), OKLA ST
  6. Antoine Bethea, S, Round 6, Pick 38(207), HOWARD
  7. TJ Rushing, CB, Round 7, Pick 30(238), STANFORD

(Can anyone help me pronounce the last names of the 3rd and 4th pick? How’s a girl supposed to learn the new players on her team if she can’t even pronounce their names? It took me long enough to learn Polamalu, and he’s not even a Colt.)