Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why I’m voting for Obama

Heading to the polls to cast my vote for President Obama. There are many reasons I’ve chosen him, but here are the top 5.  Agree or disagree, but please vote!!!!!  

1. I believe that people like me with pre-existing conditions deserve high quality and affordable healthcare that can’t be taken away if we get sick. I believe the Affordable Care Act is the only way to do that without bankrupting the insurance industry. 
 
2. I believe that my female friends deserve to make their own decisions about their body and am disgusted by the Republican Party’s attempts, this cycle to redefine rape and, in the official party platform, to ban abortions with no exceptions. 
 
3. After watching the debates, countless speeches and interviews and reading the economic plans of both Obama and Romney I, quite simply, trust Obama more to keep us on a path to recovery in a balanced and thoughtful way that is fair.  In addition, I believe that Obama has tried to do more but has been faced with a Congress with no interest in compromise and more focused on getting rid of Obama than making the Country better. 
 
4. I believe my gay and lesbian friends deserve to marry who they love and deserve to serve their country honestly. I believe women deserve equal pay for equal work. I believe these are basic rights and I can’t vote for someone who disagrees with me on that. 
 
5. I believe it’s hard to know what a person will actually do when elected. Therefore I believe in voting based on a candidate’s integrity, your ability to trust they are working for you and on their core convictions. I have absolutely no idea who the real Mitt Romney is and it worries me how easily he changes positions to suit his ambitions. 
 
Bonus: I believe that Chris Christie and Mayor Bloomberg are telling the truth when they say the President has done a great job after Sandy. How you respond under pressure says something about you and I believe the President is a thoughtful leader who doesn’t allow knee-jerk reactions to determine policy. 
I believe this has made a difference in allowing him to bring our troops home responsibly and be more deliberate in our foreign policy. 
 
I believe President Obama is not a perfect President. But I believe he is significantly more honest than Governor Romney and, for the reasons outlined above, he will have my vote today. I don’t believe  this s choice between the lesser of two evils. I believe in this President, appreciate what he has done, appreciate his willingness to talk about the details of his plans, and trust in his vision for the country. 
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Let’s learn something

I was watching Meet the Press at the gym yesterday (yeah, I’m that guy) and heard something that gave me pause.  Moderator David Gregory had top surrogates from the Romney and Obama campaigns – NH Senator Kelly Ayotte and MA Governor Deval Patrick respectively – on the show and closed the interview by asking about education.  Specifically, in regards to education, he wanted to know if the panelists believe that we have “moved beyond this union– pro-union, anti-union debate in this political discourse?”  Governor Patrick chose to respond by touting the achievements of students in Massachusetts, while commenting that MA is the most unionized state in the country.  Senator Ayotte responded by saying “…obviously Governor Romney believes kids first, unions last.”   And that comment is what caused me to pause my elliptical machine pedaling.

Education comments

Kids first, unions last.  It’s a line that, if delivered in front of the right audience at a political rally, would bring raucous applause and an extended ovation.   Unions.  It’s a dirty word in America today and that breaks my heart.  You know what she is actually saying?  She’s actually saying that Governor Romney believes kids come first and teachers come last.  Teachers come last.  Not investors.  Not reporters.  Not politicians or policy makers.  Nope.  For Romney and Ayotte all of those people, and anyone else I may have left out, come before teachers.  That attitude is, at best, ignorant and, at worst, a pathetic attempt to demonize some of the most important people in our society.

Her comments imply that, in education policy, teachers should have the least important voice.   She couldn’t be more wrong.  Teachers are the ones in the classroom every day, working with our nation’s children.  They are the ones who inspire, who educate, who support students in their formative years.  And they are the ones who are constantly asked to do more – educating more students, teaching more information – with declining resources.  They are the ones who KNOW what they need in order to be successful and, yet, somehow Senator Ayotte and, according to her, Governor Romney don’t value their voices.   Students, teachers, parents, educational experts.  Those are the groups that should have the most important voice at the table – not ignorant politicians who think teachers are the problem.  Not ignorant politicians who are fine with more tax cuts, even if it means less revenue for our schools.  That’s viewpoint is not only short-sighted, but detrimental to America’s ability to compete on the world stage.

Teacher’s voices aren’t valued because they are a part of the dreaded union.  Those on the right are so quick to assume unions are the problem and, I submit, that attitude betrays a remarkable lack of appreciation for the history of this great nation.  Let’s not forget that unions were formed to protect the rights of individual workers against business owners and governmental whims.  Unions are responsible for things like the weekend, ending child labor in America, fairer wages and more.  So why is a teacher’s union so important?  That particular union plays a crucial role in ensuring, despite all the tax cuts and increased defense spending, there is still money for education. That particular union plays a crucial role in ensuring people aren’t forced to choose between making a living wage and helping prepare the next generation for success.  That particular union has a remarkable wealth of knowledge about best practices when it comes to education – knowledge that should be embraced, listened to and respected.

Looking back on my educational experience, I know how fortunate I was.  I remember  classrooms that weren’t overcrowded.  I remember having my own text books and not having to share a desk.  I remember my school being clean, safe and I remember not having to learn hungry.  And I remember teachers who cared – who went above and beyond to help me, to inspire me to succeed.  But not all educational experiences are like mine.  All districts across this country have teachers who care.  But not all have the resources to do the things we know are critical for student success.  Rather than attack those teachers who are trying to do more with less, let’s honor them.  Let’s respect them.  Let’s listen to them and let’s give them the resources they need.  Money isn’t the only answer but it shouldn’t be that, just because I grew up in a wealthy suburb, my educational experience should be so vastly different from my peers in other areas.

To the teachers who have made such a difference in my life, I say thank you.  To my friends who have chosen to spend their career in education, I say thank you.  To the millions of teachers around the country who constantly find new ways to inspire, I say thank you.  To Senator Ayotte and Governor Romney, I suggest you stop talking and start listening.  Listen to those who have dedicated their career to building the future American workforce.  Listen to the parents who have seen, first-hand, the lasting impact a teacher can have.  Listen to the students who have become inspired by a teacher and, as a result, are now pursuing a career in engineering or math.    You just might learn something.

Funny, I don’t feel like a victim

I don’t feel like one but, according to Mitt Romney, I am.  By now you have, no doubt, heard about the infamous video that’s all over the internet of Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney.  Apparently the Governor was secretly recorded while speaking at a fundraising event in Florida on May 17th and his comments have raised a lot of eyebrows.

Here is the video from the fundraiser as released by the website Mother Jones.

The key quote I want to focus on from the Governor is the following:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Since the video has been made public, the Romney campaign has made a number of statements in response.  Here are a sampling:

“Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work. Mitt Romney’s plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs.” – Romney Campaign Statement

“I think he has to not apologize. … What he said is probably what he thinks.” – Donald Trump

“I am sure I can state it more clearly and effectively than I did in a setting like that…I am talking about a political process of drawing people in my campaign. … My campaign is about helping people take more responsibility…This is ultimately a question about the direction of the country. Do you believe in a government-centered society that provides more and more benefits? Or do you believe instead in a free-enterprise society where people are able to pursue their dreams?”  – Mitt Romney

Lots of explaining away the remarks, but no backing down.  Romney also added this his remarks were “off the cuff” which, rather than help explain, makes it even more clear these statements reflect his true and honest view of the country.  Trump is right.   Based on the response to the video being made public, it’s clear that the only regret on the part of Romney is that his statements were not as “eloquent” as they could have been.   That, my friends, is a good thing.

Too often we are forced to analyze candidates based on what we think they believe based on carefully scripted public statements and, of course, their actions – actions which, too often, are explained away by a spokesperson.  Here we have a candidate who has clearly articulated how he views the country and those who may not vote for him.  But it goes beyond that – it’s impactful because it doesn’t introduce a new idea.  We have always suspected this is how Romney views  the electorate, so these statements are serve as more of a confirmation than anything else

Beyond that, however, there are 3 reasons this gaffe (if one can even call it that) won’t be going away.

1. He’s wrong

In the video, Romney says that those who don’t pay any income tax won’t support him.  But a quick look at the map, below, shows just how wrong that is.  Look at the 10 states with the highest percentage of people not paying income tax – almost all Republican states (8 of the 10 have Republican Governors).  On the flip side, those with the lowest percentages tend to skew Democratic.

 

2. Who is Romney counting in the 47%?  Who is he leaving out?

The other point here is that, while it is true about 47% of Americans don’t pay income tax, the majority of those do pay other taxes (state, federal payroll etc…).   The percentage of Americans, according to the Tax Policy Center, that really don’t pay any Federal taxes is closer to 18%.   Most of those are elderly living on social security or extremely low-income families.  If you remove the elderly from the math, you are left with about 8% of the population – the majority of whom don’t have jobs and are living on other income (alimony,  child support etc…)  So, according to the non-partisan tax policy center, the percentage of the population not paying Federal taxes, and making more than $20K annually, but below the threshold for tax liability based on household size and other factors, is closer to 1%.  Of course, some of what makes up that 1% may well be the roughly 3,000 people who, despite making $2,178,866+ in 2011 – some of whom may have been in the room when Romney made his pronouncement – pay no federal income taxes.  Are they victims and irredeemable?

3. What does being reliant on the Government actually mean?

This is the crux of the issue with what Romney said.  He is deriding a significant portion of the population for being reliant on Government support.  But does that mean?  Is it reliance to take advantage of tax breaks to purchase a home?  Is it reliance for a Veteran take advantage of the GI Bill to get education?  Is it reliance to have student loans?  Is it reliance to use roads the Government paid for paving?  Is it reliance to expect a tax deduction for making a contribution to charity?  Is it reliance to deduct childcare expenses?  Is it reliance to call 911 in an emergency?

These questions are relevant because, so far, we don’t know what Mitt Romney would cut in order to balance out the giant tax cut he is proposing.  He has said time and time again that any tax cuts would be “revenue neutral” and offset by closing loopholes and ending certain tax breaks.  What he hasn’t said is which ones he is eyeing.  Given these comments, it is safe to assume that the loopholes he would close are the ones that “moochers” like me use.  That would be things like the aforementioned student loans, the mortgage interest tax break and others.  It might be cutting even more from Medicare and, while repealing the Affordable Care Act, it might mean the promised replacement (which he also refuses to talk about) would be something more akin to a privatized system.

So what does this all mean?  Well, to Governor Romney, it appears that tax breaks for the wealthy are right and proper, but “loopholes” that allow middle and lower class people to have an opportunity to succeed leads to entitlement.  Governor Romney’s assertion that those lower income people think they are entitled to things like food and housing suggests a society that has no responsibility for helping those less fortunate.  His callous writing off of these people as folks who he will never be able to reach suggest this is a man who should not be running for President.  It suggests a society where it is truly every person for themselves.  That’s not the country Ronald Reagan imagined and it’s not the America I believe in.  Reagan’s 1986 tax reforms, thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit, took an estimated (according to his administration) 6 million low income people off the tax rolls – to him that wasn’t a problem, but the right thing to do.  In today’s Republican party that idea would seem to be a non-starter.  Romney called the EITC a “sweeping victory for fairness…perhaps the biggest anti-poverty program in our history.”  Quite the difference from how Romney sees the low-income population.  Reagan clearly cared.  Romney said “My job is not to worry about those people. ”

I’ll let conservative columnist David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, have the final word.  While he acknowledges Romney’s points about an “entitlement state growing at an unsustainable rate” he takes great issue with what Romney said and how he said it.  He lists several misconceptions that Romney must hold given the comments and says:

“The Republican Party, and apparently Mitt Romney, too, has shifted over toward a much more hyperindividualistic and atomistic social view — from the Reaganesque language of common citizenship to the libertarian language of makers and takers. There’s no way the country will trust the Republican Party to reform the welfare state if that party doesn’t have a basic commitment to provide a safety net for those who suffer for no fault of their own.”

NFL Predictions

For the record, here are my predictions:

AFC East – New England Patriots (terrible division, except Buffalo, and Brady and co. are just too good)

AFC West – Denver Broncos (Peyton Manning is a winner and, if he stays healthy, this team will be good)

AFC South –  Houston Texans (Would have won the AFC last year if Schaub hadn’t gotten hurt.)

AFC North – Baltimore Ravens (The offense has finally caught up to the defense)

Wild Cards – Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders

 

NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles (No more dream team talk.  Just good, solid football and a healthy? Vick)

NFC West – San Francisco 49ers (No, not because of Randy Moss.  Smith is a good QB and it’s the best defense in football)

NFC South – Carolina Panthers (I believe in Cam Newton.  And I think the defense is going to be sneaky good.  Plus, I think the Saints are going to start fast, but then fade)

NFC North – Green Bay Packers (Can’t pick against the best QB in football)

Wild Cards – New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions

 

AFC Champion – Head says Texans, heart says Patriots.  Head wins.

NFC Champion – Head and heart both say Packers.  That was easy.

 

Super Bowl Champion – Green Bay Packers

Happy Opening Day!!

Well it is finally here and we are all ready.  The stadiums are ready, the crowds are getting fired up, the players have memorized the playbook and the officials…well, they are at home.  But we have replacement officials and I’m so excited about the NFL returning that I almost don’t care.   Hey, it’ll just make us all think we are watching the actual NBA officials.  What’s a penalty?  No one knows!

To celebrate the first game of the NFL season tonight (Cowboys 27 Giants 24 in case you were wondering) I give you my newly updated rules for watching football with friends.  Earlier versions of this list have been blown up and hung next to TVs, been posted in a college bar in Madison, NJ and emailed to literally dozens of people.  I believe in these rules, and I stand by them.  If you disagree, please don’t invite me over and just go back to rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs.  No, it’s not going to be your year!

1. Don’t talk communicate with a non-football fan significant other.

If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend, more power to you. If they want to watch the game with you and your friends, that is more than acceptable (see rule 7). However, you must not spend valuable game-viewing time talking to them on the phone, tweeting them, emailing them, texting them, instagraming them (is that a thing?), facebooking them etc… You can wait a few hours.  I don’t care how hot they are or how excited you are about what they are promising you for after the game.   If you must check in with your love, do NOT ever do it during game action, replays or between play commentary.  And, seriously, for the sake of all of us, leave the room.

2. Don’t gloat too much if your team is winning.

You are watching the game with friends. Friends. It is important to stay friends after the game is over. In order for that to happen you must not gloat if your team is beating your friend’s team. It is fine, even expected, to cheer and be happy. Some needling is perfectly acceptable, but there is a line. You must find that line for yourself, but there is a line. It is important to note that the line will change if, earlier in the game or season, your friend crossed the line in his or her behavior toward you. If that has occurred, all bets are off.  I’m looking at you Jets fans.  You may start strong…oh, who am I kidding, no you won’t.

3. Don’t come late.

This should be a no-brainer. The game starts at 1 p.m., not 1:20. Show up on time or, better yet, show up early and get yourself emotionally prepared for the game.  I had a theater director who once said to me “If you are early, you are on time.  If you are on time, you are late.  If you are late, you’re fired.”  Showing up late without a valid reason is simply uncalled for, selfish and distracting. Just don’t do it.

4. Don’t block the TV for any reason.

The TV is the most important object in the room. It must be treated as such. If you must get up, do not cross in front of the TV. If you must and, by must, I mean there is absolutely no other option, get down on your belly and crawl. DO NOT BLOCK THE GAME! EVER! It is never funny, never amusing and always upsetting.

5. Go to the bathroom during commercials. You have two minutes. Use them wisely.

On that same subject, you should not be leaving your seat until there is an appropriate break in the action. Commercial breaks are two minutes long. This is plenty of time to take care of any business. If the game has begun before you make it back to your seat, stand by the door. Do not try to crawl over your friends or make them move. You have been neglectful and you must wait.  Or, better yet, make up for it by getting us all a beer.

6. Do not discuss other subjects.

You may need to plan a study group. You may want to tell all about the fabulous time you had the night before or that hot date you have tonight. Great! We want to hear it! (Well, maybe not the study group part.) But, for all of our sakes, wait until after the game! Don’t make us choose between your story and the game. I promise, you will lose out every time.  Wait until after the game. If it must be told, it can be told during halftime.

7. No PDA!

I would think this goes without saying, but, more often than you’d think, it doesn’t. As I said earlier, if your significant other, or really close friend, wants to watch the game with you and your friends, that is fine. But there will be no cuddling. No massages. No hand holding. Nothing. You are here to watch the game, and you must never allow something to take you out of that state. Hugging after a great play is OK (chest bumping is preferred). But sustained cuddling has no place in the viewing room.

8. Switching to other games is fine…anything else is a no-no.

Commercials are becoming more and more insipid and harder to watch. Therefore, I am revising my NFL Red Zone rule. I used to think that NFL Red Zone should not be watched while your team is playing.  It’s a perfect way to spend the other non-home team game hours, but that’s it.  Now, however, I have decided to allow it during commercials of the chosen game.  But there are consequences to this shift.  The remote control holder has enormous responsibility to ensure you don’t miss a moment of your game.  That means having your finger on the “last” button and timing things to the minute.  Some of us have perfected that skill and I implore you to not underestimate that power of the remote control timing.

9. If someone has a lucky seat, respect that.

I rode the left seat on my friend’s couch all the way to a Super Bowl Championship for the Patriots in 2004.   During this entire period my hold on that seat was respected and, while I would never claim the Pats won because of that respect, it sure didn’t hurt.  Now, the lucky seat does not carry over into the new season but, for a playoff run, it is crucial.

10. Fantasy players may not be cheered for when they’re against your team.

Look, we all have fantasy teams, and we all want them to win. Checking the box scores to see how your players do is fine. But cheering for a play against your team because it was made by a player on your fantasy team is inexcusable. DO NOT DO IT! Let’s say I am watching an Panthers-Patriots game, and I have Cam Newton on my fantasy team. When Newton throws for his second TD pass of the game or makes a ridiculous run, I will be upset, and nothing but upset. I have been known to bench players who will be playing the Patriots in the upcoming week, thus avoiding any temptation.  But, even if you don’t bench them, make sure you are not being pulled to root for them.

And the most important rule of watching football?

Enjoy the game.  Let’s have a great season!!

 

I’m disgusted

I love football.  Despite the comments I may have made after the last super bowl, it is my favorite sport to watch and I’m already looking forward to the new season beginning.  As proof of how obsessed I am, I will admit to watching hours of live NFL Combine coverage on the NFL Network.  I subscribe to Red Zone, watch as many games as I can, and read tons of articles about the league and players.  However, the league I love is at a crossroads.  We are about to learn the character of the NFL and how serious they are about making the game safe, competitive and fair. 

As you probably know, Gregg Williams (current Defensive Coordinator for the Rams) is in New York today to meet with NFL investigators who are looking into pay-for-performance funds he administered while a coach with the Saints, Redskins, Bills and Titans.  These funds are strictly against NFL rules, because they violate the salary cap but, what makes it worse, is that players could, allegedly, earn money by injuring their opponents.  Not beating them, not outplaying them, but injuring them.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look at this ESPN article which sums it up. 

As despicable as this is, I do feel a bit bad for Williams and the other folks who were a part of these “bounty” funds.  I have no doubt that many, if not most, NFL teams have something like this.  And, truth be told, this is coming out at the worst possible time given the renewed focus from the league on keeping players safe.  The NFL HAS to make an example of the Saints and the players/coaches who were involved and send the message that this type of behavior can not be tolerated.  And, if other teams are found to have had similar programs, I hope they are punished in the same way.  When push comes to shove, this isn’t just about sending a message to current NFL players.  This is about the league making a stand and telling kids all over the world who dream of playing on Sunday afternoons that fair play is crucial and cheaters don’t win.  The NFL has the chance to show that anyone who engages in this sort-of conduct – player, coach or owner – will be held accountable.

That is why, in my opinion, anything less than a full season suspension for Gregg Williams, would be a travesty.  Commish, Roger Goodell, has become very good at punishing players for flagrant hits and other offenses and now he can make the point that those in suits can be just as culpable.  If not for the fact that, apparently, Williams has been very cooperative with the investigation, I would have suggested a lifetime ban.  That said, the facts as we know them (he’s done this with at least 3 teams over the course of 7 years) certainly do encourage lifetime ban to be in the conversation.

As for the others involved, I do believe that fines and suspensions, along with loss of draft picks, is appropriate.  Without knowing all the details of who knew/did what, it’s hard to know for sure what is deserved.  But you can bet the whole NFL community – fans, players, alumni, prospects, advertisers, coaches, employees etc… – will be watching closely to see if all the rhetoric about safety is for real or if it was all just a well-done and convincing PR stunt.  Is that fair?  Probably not.  But then again, neither paying players to injure their opponents.  That’s not just against the rules, it is borderline criminal.

The midterms are here! The midterms are here!

Can you believe I haven’t posted since July?  Shameful is the only word I can use to describe my blog silence.  Thank you to all of you who have emailed me asking for new posts (Mom) and those hearty souls who have been checking my blog every day just hoping for something new.  I can’t promise a post every day, but I can promise I will post more than once every 4 months.

Ok, with the midterms tomorrow, I know you are dying to know who I am voting for.  Rather than just tell you, I will reveal my choices Randy Moss style.  That is, I will ask myself questions and then answer them.

Q: Mr. Weisman.  Who are you going to vote for in the Governor’s race?

A: Great question.  For me, this is not a hard choice.  I will be voting for Deval Patrick and Timothy Murray and am looking forward to 4 more years of their leadership.  The fact is, the state is on the mend.  The most recent jobs report was not what we hoped it would be, but overall, Massachusetts has recovered faster than the nation.  Even in the midst of the downturn, Governor Patrick passed significant reform measure – including ethics, transportation, lobbying and pension – and was responsible for the largest land conservation initiative in the history of the Commonwealth.  Under his leadership, Massachusetts implemented the landmark health reform bill and pushed laws and policies to curb rising costs.  Beacon Hill has been more accessible and transparent under Governor Patrick and, despite some early missteps, he has been a really strong and good Governor.  Above all, however, Governor Patrick exemplifies the qualities we are always looking for in our politicians – he listens, is able to connect, truly cares, isn’t afraid of taking a tough stand and is honest.  We are a better state for his leadership and, if given another 4 years, what we will accomplish together will be truly special.

I encourage you to vote for Deval Patrick and Timothy Murray.

Q: Interesting stuff.  What a wise man you are.  How about in the treasurers race?  Grossman or Polito?

A: Thank you for the kind words.  This one is easy.  I am so excited to be supporting Steve Grossman for state treasurer.  Throughout his entire career in both the private and public sector, Grossman has demonstrated his intelligence, commitment and business savvy.  However, he has also demonstrated an understanding of how his actions will affect the community and he takes special care to ensure that impact is a positive one.  As treasurer, I know he will have the best interests of his constituents – all of them – at heart and will make decisions that will be the best ones for the Commonwealth and not his donors. 

Q: Congress?

A: Well I am supporting John Tierney in his race against Bill Hudak for the Congressional seat in the 6th district (where I live).  Congressman Tierney and I agree on many issues and I trust him to do what is best for his district and for the USA. 

Q: Auditor?

A: I am supporting Mary Connaughton.  I really like her independence from her time on the Turnpike board
and I was really turned off by Suzanne Bump claiming two houses as her primary residence and then, rather than apologize right way when it came out, claiming that she was in the right.  In addition, she has also has been really slow to collect legally mandated voter information

George Steinbrenner

I had another post ready to go today but that can wait.  The AP and other news outlets are reporting that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner suffered a massive heart attack this morning and has passed away.  Details are not yet known, but they don’t matter – the fact remains that baseball has lost a giant today and the game will never be the same.

Now, as you all well-know, I am a huge Red Sox fan which, by definition, means I hate the Yankees.  And, for my entire life, no one embodied the Yankee mentality like Mr. Steinbrenner.  He was a hands-on and tough leader who tolerated less than winning.  Each year he did whatever he had to do to ensure his team would be the best and, when they didn’t win, he was ruthless in figuring out how to make them better.   When getting better meant spending more, he did it.  The Yankees payroll was far and away the largest in the league but, for Steinbrenner, when it came to putting forth the best possible product, money did not stand in the way and his fans were the beneficiaries. 

At its core, sports is about entertainment (see James, Lebron) and for so many years there was no entertainer in sports quite like George Steinbrenner.  Always willing to mock himself and get a laugh at his own expense, Steinbrenner helped make the Yankee – Red Sox rivalry that I grew up with such fun.  There is no question that he made me a bigger Red Sox fan and our World Series Championship in 2004 was made so much more sweeter by the fact that we beat George.  How fitting that today is the All-Star Game – the day when the league pauses to honor the greatest players.  George Steinbrenner changed the game of baseball and, tonight, when the whole league is together, we will have the opportunity to say thank you.

The day has come…

At 9:00 tonight the King will, once and for all, reveal where he will be playing basketball for the next several years.  He will let us know which team will have the honor of paying him millions of dollars for his services.  Although I still feel that he will end up back on the Cavs, several athletes have tweeted in the past day that he will end up with the New York Knicks. However in the past few hours more and more reports have him going to Miami to play with Wade and Bosh. One can’t help but wonder if these “sources”are really Lebron’s people trying to throw is all off.

I may be in the minority at this point but I still think Lebron is staying in Cleveland. He wants to be a legend and nothing says legend likm sticking around and helping your hometeam win. Of course the fact that the Cavs have done next to nothing to improve their team doesn’t bode well for my prediction but we will see. And if he does join Miami he can win multiple times but he won’t be in the same league as Bird, MJ or Russell. Those guys made the players around them better. They didn’t flee to play with other superstars.

Here we go.

Also this was my first post from the BlackBerry wordpress App. Hope it looks good!

You know a sporting event is going on too long when…

An animal predicting the winner is the top story of the day in a major paper.  Just saying.

For what it’s worth (and, trust me, it isn’t worth much) here are my predictions for the semi-finals and final. 

Uruguay 1 Netherlands 4

The Dutch have really looked strong and I don’t expect a letdown after the huge win against Brazil.  They might have the most individual talent on their team, but find a way to have all these talented players work together.  Ask the 2002 USA Men’s basketball team what it’s like to manage a team of superstars.  But they seem to have put it all together and that will make for a very long afternoon for Uruguay.  Why 4 goals? Why not.

Germany 3 Spain 2

This is going to be a great game.  I’m a self-identified soccer novice and really have no idea what I’m talking about.  But even I know this is going to be a great game.  These are two soccer powerhouses (right?) who are playing at the top of their game right now.  But, as good as Spain has looked, I just don’t see any way that Germany will lose. 

So, based on this, if you are planning to put forth your own guesses, I would suggest taking Uruguay and Spain.  Enjoy the games!