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dbPoweramp Comes to the Mac!

As some of you know, I recently switched from a PC laptop (Toshiba) to a MacBook Pro. I love the machine, I'm getting used to the differences, and eventually I'll know the ins and outs on this box as well as I did on the Windows side.

One of the challenges, though, of switching platforms is replacing software. Some things are easy (Office to Office is fairly straightforward), some things are harder (Quicken Mac is a shell of Quicken Windows).

Then there are those special pieces of software that you just come to rely on, and that you miss on the new platform. One of those for me was dbPoweramp. It's a multi-faceted audio tool, but my main use for it was ripping an entire CD and adding it to my music collection. Imagine my happiness, then, to find out that dbPoweramp Converter is doing an open beta for the Mac!

Click to read more ...


Are We Really Shooting Worse?

Lots of people are saying this is one of the worst-shooting teams of recent memory. I know it seems that way, especially last weekend - but let's look at some data and not trust our lying eyes.

So, using the great site Sports Reference, I pulled down game stats for the past five seasons. I then did some analysis.

Click to read more ...


Can A Loss Be A Win?

My wife and I traveled to a funeral on Saturday, and listened to the game on the way back to Louisville from Dayton. We were able to pick up the game at halftime, and listened to the end. And while I was disappointed in the loss, I have to say:

Outside of the score, this was a win for Louisville.

Click to read more ...


I'm Back

After many months away from all my sites, after many months of combining work with campaigning, after many months of doing no writing except for campaign blurbs and publicity pieces, I am very pleased and excited to share this important news:

I’m back.

Click to read more ...


Reflections on Louisville-Kentucky

It's the return of the Monday Morning Quarterback series, and what better way to start than by looking back at the 20th Anniversay Edition of the Governor's Cup (and yes, we know how to spell "Governor"). Let's get to it!

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Kentucky Got Petrinoed

Yes folks, it's a new verb: "Petrinoed." It's what happens when you play a team coached by Bobby Petrino, and you're not ready for it. You get Petrinoed.

What are the signs that you are being, or have been, Petrinoed?

Click to read more ...


Hypocrisy at Texas A&M

Johnny Football is in the news again. But this time, as Paul Harvey used to say, there's the rest of the story.

Johnny Manziel, the Heisman-winning quarterback at Texas A&M, is accused of signing memorabilia for cash, which is clearly against NCAA rules. Allegedly, the NCAA is looking into the accusations, and could decide to suspend Manziel from playing in the coming season.

The NCAA rules are clear, and if Manziel actually did sign items for payment, he knew he was breaking the rules. What strikes me about this story, though, is the blatant hypocrisy exhibited by Texas A&M. From one of many news stories reporting on this:

The value of Manziel is clear in the memorabilia and appearance market: Independent merchandiser Aggieland Outfitters recently auctioned off six helmets signed by Manziel and Texas A&M's other Heisman Trophy winner, John David Crow, for $81,000. Texas A&M's booster organization, the 12th Man Foundation, sold a table for six, where Manziel and Crow will sit at the team's Kickoff Dinner later this month, for $20,000. (emphasis added)

So -- it's against the rules for a college football player to make money off his abilities while in school, but it's perfectly okay for the school to make even more money off the player? The school can grab 20 large ones from some sap of a fan, but Manziel gets busted for signing his name?

Manziel may wind up punished in some way by the NCAA. If that happens, I hope they go after the school and the booster organization as well. And if they don't, I hope Manziel sues them over the double standard, and brings the hypocrisy into the open. It's time for this double standard to end.


Gout, Food Allergies, Nitrates, and Cherries

As some of you know, I have suffered from occasional attacks of gout for years. They range from a day or two of a little pain and swelling, to full-blown, can't-walk, feel-like-a-migraine-in-my-foot attacks that last a week or longer.

My first attack came out of the blue many years ago, and when I tried to figure out what had caused it, the only unusual thing I could think of was that I had eaten an entire box of Hot-N-Spicy Cheezits. That wasn't too unusual -- I LOVE Cheezits, and I love the HNS kind especially. This time, though, I had really chowed down on them ... and a day or so later, I was dying from the pain.

I told my doctor about the Cheezits, and he looked at me like I was nuts. So, I figured I WAS nuts, and gave up on the Cheezits theory. Till it happened again.

Click to read more ...


Are Coaches Responsible for Their Players' Actions?

So today we learn that Urban Myer has suspended one of his players for three games following an alleged assault on a woman at a nightclub. Interestingly, the woman decided not to press charges, and the video evidence is relatively inconclusive. Even more interestingly, Myer's decision came after the case was dropped by the police.

So why did Myer issue the suspension anyway? And is there a larger issue here?

Click to read more ...


Saturday Geek: eM Client -- an Outlook alternative

For a long time, I have been frustrated with Outlook's lack of a unified inbox. There are workarounds, including automating a custom search (really, MS? I have to write a macro for this?), but even Outlook 2013 still is missing this basic feature.

Now, however, with all the various online sites I support, having to open each inbox separately (and remember to check them all) had just gotten to be too much. So, I went looking for an alternative.

Most people recommended Thunderbird by Mozilla (the same good people who bring you Firefox), but in the middle of one thread someone touted eM Client. Since I'd never heard of it, I decided to check it out -- and I'm glad I did.

Click to read more ...


Whistling in the Dark about UK

I think most Louisville fans are whistling in the dark about UK basketball next year.
You keep hear them talking about "they're too young" and "they don't have leadership" and "too many egos." And I think it's wishful thinking.

Click to read more ...


Dear Sports: Welcome to the 21st Century

"I'm gay."

A short, declarative sentence. A sentence said, in other contexts, many times a day. A sentence that most of us are no longer shocked by.

And yet, with that sentence, the sports world finally entered the 21st century.

Click to read more ...


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

If you know me, you already know what this is about. It's about being a college basketball fan in March. It's about March Madness.

It's about filling out brackets. Not "a bracket" -- BRACKETS. One for your favorite team to win it all (no matter how improbable). One for what you think is going to happen. And one filled with upsets, just for fun. Who knows? Maybe you win the Bracket Challenge on ESPN ($10,000!) or the office pool. Or you just get to rub it in with your friends and even a few so-called friends.

It's about

Click to read more ...


A Tainted Investigation

Most of us have watched enough law-and-order television that we understand the concept of "tainted evidence." If the blood stains were accidentally (or intentionally) mixed with someone else's blood, they are tainted and must be thrown out as evidence. If a confession was obtained through coercion, it is tainted and must be thrown out.

Is it possible for a prosecution team to screw up so often and so badly that instead of throwing out just the tainted evidence, the judge throws out the entire case? IANAL, but I assume that can happen.

It's not criminal law, and it's not your standard judge and jury, but the NCAA case against Miami is so badly tainted at this point, it should be thrown out -- by the NCAA itself.

Getting your main evidence from a convicted criminal with a grudge against the institution certainly shows a lack of judgment on the part of the NCAA. Using that criminal's lawyer to ask the questions shows an amazing lack of judgment. Firing the head of the enforcement unit, but proceeding headlong with the case regardless, shows an even more amazing level of hubris.

The NCAA has kept the University of Miami twisting in the wind for years, while it tries to piece together a case. Meanwhile, the University has self-imposed a number of penalities, and most of the coaches involved in whatever took place have moved to other schools. There is nothing to be gained by raising the curtain on the amateurish production that is the NCAA's case.

It is time for the NCAA to show the same level of humility that it expects athletes and coaches to show. It is time for the NCAA to admit it completely botched this investigation, accept Miami's self-imposed sanctions, and close the book on this chapter.


NSD == No Serious Determiner

OK, so the title is a stretch. Trying to come up with a decent alternative acronym on the fly that also relates to the point of your post requires more thought and coffee than I've got right now.

But, the basic point is still valid: As far as I'm concerned, National Signing Day has become a giant hypefest with very little real meaning.

For years, we have heard how so-and-so is a four-star recruit, or even - OMG!! a FIVE-STAR coming to OUR TEAM! We have heard how this team's recruiting class is ranked first, or fifth, or 37th, or 85th. (Actually, if the class is rated 85th, we don't hear anything, because the athletic department unplugs the phones, turns off the lights, and pulls the blinds.)

And you know what? In the long run, it doesn't matter. Not all five-star recruits become five-star players. Not all two-star recruits become also-rans. The schools with the top recruiting classes don't automatically get handed the championship trophy a year later. As the PTI guys say, that's why you play the games.

I'm also frankly offended by the hype. We put some 17-year-old on national television just so he can announce which football team he's going to play for -- not the college, necessarily, just the team, because that's all that matters -- and then we wonder why he gets the big head and becomes a "problem." I suppose you could see it as a reverse character test: if we give you everything in the world, can you still remain humble and grounded and teachable?

Don't get me wrong -- I understand the importance of recruiting. I just think we have blown it way, way out of proportion, to the point that 40-year-old men are groveling before 17-year-olds who haven't voted, paid taxes, or worked a full-time job. And then we put the whole thing on television, and moan or celebrate because that kid chose our school (really, just our team) or not.

So, I'll read the National Signing Day stories, and scan the ratings. Then, I'll make the same final comment I make every year when this happens: "Get back to me when they play an actual down."