I commented a week or two ago on whether McNabb was done yet and on whether the Eagles were done yet.

Let me now reverse the order of commentary. First, previously, I pointed out that the Eagles are still technically in the playoff hunt. Now, after being schooled and brutally beaten around by Baltimore in a 36-7 crushing, the second worst defeat of the entire Andy Reid coaching era ever, sending Asante Samuel and several other Eagles to the bench hurt or injured, and giving Kevin Kolb a case of happy feet and nightmares of Ray Lewis he likely will be reliving for the next couple of months, the Eagles still, at 5-5-1, technically have a shot at the playoffs, but they would have to just about run the table and win their last five games to do it and go 10-5-1; I no longer see the 9-6-1 scenario working for them because Atlanta and New Orleans are both striving for a wild card while Washington and Dallas are also striving for a wild card; and only two of those four teams can get in. Philly would have to beat the Giants, Washington and Dallas, and also beat Arizona at home this Thursday, as well as win their other game, in order to win out. I just don’t see it happening at this point.

There are three reasons. First, Asante Samuel is hurt. He’s been key to the Eagles coverage all year. Lito Shepard made a terrible coverage mistake that led to a long touchdown that blew the game open in the third quarter, a mistake that Samuel would not have made. The Eagles cannot expect Lito Shepard to be the player he once was. He should be cut after the season is over. The Eagles need a healthy Asante Samuel, and they need to bring in a reasonable backup who can still play and who is mentally able to come in off the bench. Lito cost his team seven points on Sunday.

Second, Brian Westbrook is hurt, it’s obvious, and the team should just sit him out at this point so he doesn’t sustain a career-ending injury. He’s not helping the team, and the team should help him by keeping him out. It would be better to have Westbrook fully healthy for Dallas or Washington than to waste him hurt against Arizona. But without Westbrook healthy, this offense can’t work. In the alternative, the Eagles do have a couple of running backs they can run out there. Buckhalter is also hurt (messed up again by the Baltimore defense, assassins all) so anything might be good. Why not try the kickoff return guy at running back? What do you have to lose? He’s certainly fast.

Third, Donovan McNabb is now in a prolonged slump, and Kevin Kolb is not the answer. According to pro-football reference.com, in 2006, McNabb’s QB rating was 95.5; in 2007, his QB rating was 89.9; but this year, in 2006, after the last two horrible games, his QB rating has tailed off to 81.1 for the season. McNabb’s Career QB rating is 85.3, which he was at approximately, before the last two games; but now he’s substantially below his career QB rating for the season. That means, officially, McNabb is having a season worse than an average Donovan McNabb year. In other words, if Donovan McNabb were having an average year, he wouldn’t be as bad as this.

The only other year he had a rating this bad was 2003, when he had a rating of 79.6, but still went 12-4. But he lost the NFC championship game, and you know the rest. The only other two years he was 81 or lower were his first two years in the league. So this is McNabb playing badly.

Kevin Kolb is not the answer at this point either, he threw a wounded duck on first and goal from the one foot line that was returned for a TD 108 yards the other way. If the eagles score there, it’s 22-14 and a game. With the interception TD return, it’s 29-7 and no game at all. That was a bonehead play.

Best thing would be for the Eagles to make a change to AJ Feeley for the rest of the season, and let Kolb take some reps in the second half of games where it doesn’t matter, where the eagles have already lost or they’ve already won.

Topic II – Is McNabb Done? At this point, I will reverse what I said two weeks ago, and say he’s done.

1) McNabb turned 32 years old today. His birthday is November 26, 1976. He was already 23 years old when he came into the league in 1999, so he’s a bit older than you think.

2) McNabb hasn’t made the pro bowl since 2004. He made the pro bowl every year from 2000-2004, but hasn’t made a pro bowl since.

3) McNabb’s only QB rating year over 100 was in 2004, when he hooked up with Terrell Owens, and achieved a QB rating of 104.7 and threw for 31 TDs and just 8 interceptions, almost twice the average number of TDs McNabb normally throws. Also, the Eagles went 13-2 and got to the Super Bowl, where they almost beat the Patriots.

4) Should the Eagles have paid and kept TO after the 2004 season? The answer to this is so painfully obvious, I shouldn’t have to say it. The answer is an unqualified, obviously yes. First, McNabb is NOT an outstanding QB. His average QB rating is 85, not 100. It was only in combination with TO that McNabb starting putting up gaudy numbers. Worse still, when TO left, it was to go to Dallas, where for three years now, TO has been putting up numbers for an NFC East Division Rival. On the same day that McNabb had a 14 QB rating and was pulled in Baltimore, TO, who is close to 40 years old, had 214 receiving yards and several TDs for Dallas in their win. TO is OLDER than McNabb and still not close to done. We should have given the money to TO and cut McNabb, not kept McNabb and cut TO.

5) McNabb has been sacked 316 times in his career. That is 2d all time among active QBs, and 27th on the alltime list of QBs, to put that number in perspective. The fact is, McNabb, because he throws so much in the Andy Reid system, and runs so much, takes an enormous number of hits to the head and sacks. McNabb has been sacked far more than any other QB in the NFL. There’s only one active QB who has been sacked as many times as McNabb or as often as McNabb and still lived to play until age 40, and that’s Brett Favre, who has been sacked 460 times through 18 seasons in the NFL.

The next set of active guys who have been sacked 300 times or more have all lost time to injury; Kerry Collins, 36 years old, 311 sacks, Jon Kitna, 36 years old, 302 sacks.

Next is Daunte Culpepper, who at age 31 has been sacked 279 times, and he missed a year in the league and is barely hanging on in Detroit. The number of times he’s been sacked perhaps explains his demise as a QB. He and McNabb started in the league together.

The rest of the list of QB’s who have been sacked 200 times or more are David Carr, Trent Green, Brad Johnson, Matt Hasselback, Marc Bulger, Kurt Warner, Gus Frerotte, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. It’s interesting that Tom Brady got hurt just as he reached the 203 sack milestone.

see http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/pass_sacked_active.htm

6) McNabb has no running game and is forced to pass and be sacked all the time. The Andy Reid conception of offense dictates that there is no running game, even if the Eagles have a huge lead, McNabb has to throw, and consequently he exposes his QB, McNabb, to endless sacks and injury from defensive players.

7) What has been the toll of 316 career sacks on Donovan McNabb? What is the toll of 316 punches to a prizefighter to the head? What happens to all prizefighters when they have been hit in the head long enough? They eventually suffer what the Romans called dementia pugilistica, or a delirium of fighting–basically, brain damage from all the blows to the head.

Is there any evidence that Donovan McNabb may have suffered brain damage from all these sacks and is making poorer choices than he used to on the field? Sure there are. We heard it just a week ago. He claimed he didn’t know the overtime rule in the NFL. Now, a lot of sportswriters in town claimed that this was evidence the QB was stupid. But McNabb isn’t stupid–he debated in high school, he’s articulate, has done plenty of commercials, and is considered very bright, and finished his college degree. But it is evidence of brain damage–after all, a person who was thinking straight wouldn’t admit such a fact to the media.

Then, consider all the recent press conferences where McNabb’s aspect appears neutral or disengaged. While I’m not a neurologist or psychiatrist, his mood seems strangely disengaged for someone who is supposed to be excited about winning and playing football.

Finally, look at his onfield play. He’s been making some bad throws on 3d and 4th down. At times he doesn’t seem to know what the clock is or what the situation is on the field as time is running out. In the early part of his career, McNabb ran the two minute drill like a master. He’d march down the field and take care of business. Now he walks back to the huddle slowly like he’s not sure where he is at times.

I suspect a thorough neurological examination will demonstrate that Donovan McNabb, even if he hasn’t suffered expressly the kinds of concussions that derailed Troy Aikman’s career, has by being sacked 316 times, suffered extensive damage to the brain that has affected his reasoning and other skills.

8) The decline in McNabb’s performance this year bears out this theory. Moreover, decline in athletic performance skills often occur after the age of 28–when an athlete normally peaks. In McNabb’s case, he was a pro bowl QB from 2000-2004–from ages 22-27 inclusive–and has been maintaining a pace for a couple of years after that, but now since age 30, has had steady decline for two years.

I would predict that along with the trauma of head injury, this decline will continue.

9) McNabb, contrary to everyone’s thinking, will never again be an effective QB in the National Football League, in Chicago or anywhere else. I think this season is his last hurrah.

10) However, McNabb was the best there for a long time, he was great at times, and his accomplishments were many, and legendary. he led the Eagles to four straight NFC East Division crowns, to three consecutive NFC Conference Finals, and to a Super Bowl. 2004 was one of the most exciting years of football every witnessed in this town.

I’m only sorry that the press, ownership and management didn’t do more to properly compensate Terrell Owens, a great athlete clearly headed for the Hall of Fame. We had him here, tasted greatness, and then let it walk away to Dallas for a song. Had TO stayed here with McNabb, all of McNabb’s weaknesses would have been hidden for a long, long time.

We could have used a power running back, by the way, too.

–art kyriazis, philly/south jersey
HOME OF THE WORLD CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 2008

On a cold, windswept day at Harvard Coliseum, the 125th edition of what is known only as “The Game” unfolded last Saturday between ultimate college football rivals Harvard and Yale.

The weather conditions were brutally fine for smashmouth football; twenty degrees fahrenheit with a wind chill of minus twenty, but a bright and sunny day, and a sell-out crowd.

I had been scheduled to go up to Boston and attend, but the sudden snowstorm in Philadelphia (eight inches on Friday) kept me at home, where I watched the game with my family on the cable station VERSUS.

In a hard-hitting contest, Harvard took an early 7-0 lead, after a long opening drive in the first quarter, and then stunned the stadium by kicking an onsides kick, which they recovered. They then continued on offense for almost all of the first quarter, wearing down the Yale Defense. The Yale Defense, I believe, although they played valiantly, had to be gassed during the rest of the first half from that long first quarter. But Yale gave up no points and played valiant defense, and made Harvard give up the ball.

Yale and Harvard then held on in what soon became a defensive battle. As Harvard alum and 40th Reunion attendee TOMMY LEE JONES looked on from the stands live and in person, the Harvard team repelled Yale’s every advance, until Yale got close on one occasion, only to stop Yale from getting a touchdown within the ten yardline.

When Yale kicked however, they missed the field goal. Harvard likewise drove deep into Yale territory, but Harvard, too, missed the field goal due to the winds swirling and howling about the stadium.

Finally, on a drive later in the game, Harvard penetrated deep into Yale territory. It seemed they would get a touchdown, but did not. Finally, they succeeded in kicking the field goal after two prior failures and making it a 10-0 game, and thus a two score game.

Yale was yet valiant, penetrating again deep into harvard territory, but the game was finally decided when the Yale QB, on a goal-line stand that lasted six plays within the Harvard five yard line, on the seventh play, was rushed and tackled from behind and sacked, the ball coming loose in a fumble, and Harvard recovered the ball, and was then able to run out the clock with approximately three minutes left.

Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was the order of the day as Harvard, Sweet Harvard, emerged victorious from the historic scrum.

But to paraphrase the great Grantland Rice, it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game, and after the epic contest was over, both teams exchanged handshakes in what can only be considered a great act of gentlemanliness and sportsmanship. Both teams played well and valiantly, and we can be proud that our nations’ finest universities are producing such fine athletes and minds.

–art kyriazis, proud harvard alum, Ivy League Football Champions 2008
philadelphia/south jersey
HOME OF THE WORLD CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 2008

Psychedelia Reborn
author: Arthur Athanasios Kyriazis

originally posted at:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/carpuzi

Syd the Karaoke Kid is a tremendous tour-de-force, an album which reminds us of the Kinks in their 1966 glory, with “Waterloo Sunset” and “You Really Got me Now” type tunes throughout. Syd also pays homage to Sixties Garage Punk like the 13th Floor Elevators; to the Blues of Chicago; and to LA Psychedelia, like the Doors. What an Album, and what a tremendous accomplishment for Syd Arthur!!!

John Kapelos aka “Syd the Karaoke Kid”

1 Syd, the Karaoke Kid
2 There’s Always a Girl
3 The Record Store
4 Seven Ways From Sunday
5 When the Drum Machine Was King
6 Inimitable Spin
7 Years
8 Find Myself
9 1974
10 Yeah Dan
11 The Invention
12 Syd, Reprise
13 When Beautiful People Do Ugly Things
14 The Starlet
15 Let’s Split
16 The Record Store Pt ii
17 Looking For Love
18 When the Drum Machine Was King – Finale

Syd Arthur
Syd, The Karaoke Kid

© 1997 carpuzi muzi (634479187032)

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The premiere disc from actor John Kapelos’ alter ego, Syd Arthur co-produced by Wings drummer Denny Seiwell. This wildly eclectic cd reflects Kapelos’ remarkable range of Jazz, Rock, Brazillian, Cajun, Big Band, Folk and 60’s Rock.

this is a superb cd!

Johnny Kapelos is an acclaimed actor and musician, and a former star of the second city improvisational theater of Chicago, as well as one cool right on dude. He also plays a mean bass guitar and can rock the blues all night long. check out http://www.karpuzi.com

–art kyriazis philly/south jersey
Home of the world champion philadelphia phillies

posted at Baseball Musings

http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/006907.php

June 11, 2004
Rolen vs. Schmidt

Reader Arthur Kyriazis saw this Bill Conlin article comparing Scott Rolen with Mike Schmidt and disagrees with Conlin’s conclusion that Rolen, with the glove and bat, is the better third baseman.

Arthur writes:

That said, I differ with him [Bill Conlin] on his thesis of June 2 [2004] that Rolen is comparable to Schmidt. Mr. Conlin is correct in stating that numerically, Mr. Rolen’s statistics appear, on the surface, comparable to Mr. Schmidt’s. Batting Average, On base Percentage and Slugging Percentage all appear comparable to Schmidt, at the 9 year point of Rolen’s career to Schmidt’s. Also, Rolen this year is having a breakout year.

However, there are substantial weaknesses in the argument. Conlin notes that Rolen has substantially fewer homeruns. Rolen has 182 compared to Schmidt’s 282. That may not seem like much, but that only projects to an average of 21 HRs per year, and thus if Rolen’s career only last until he is 36, Rolen will only hit 324 home runs. Even if he makes it to age 40, he will only barely make it to 400 home runs, compared with Schmidt’s 548, so Rolen has little or no chance at the magic 500 mark. Many 3rd baseman with comparable slugging statistics to Rolen, like Ron Santo or Darrell Evans, who have failed to get 3,000 hits or 500 home runs, have failed to enter the hall of fame later on.

A good argument. However, I disagree with Art’s methodology in trying to prove this (emphasis added):

Because Rolen plays in a league where the average runs per game is 5.00 and the average home runs per game is about 1.50. He plays in a league where Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire hit 65-73 HRs per year, and have slugging averages in .600s, .700s and .800s. Rolen plays in a league where home runs come easy, runs come easy, where Coors Field and Arizona’s home field and other home fields are easy to hit at, and where batting averages, slugging averages and on base percentages are inflated.

Compare that with Schmidt’s era. >from 1974-88, when Schmidt played, those numbers were 4.10 runs per >game and home runs per game were about .65/ game. Schmidt would lead the league in HRs with 38, 40, 45 or 48 HRs. Now the league leader has 73, 66, 48, 70, huge numbers, numbers you didn’t see in Schmidt’s era. The most Home Runs hit in the NL during Schmidt’s entire career was George Foster with 52 in the late 70s, and that was considered a monstrous number at the time.

To properly compare Schmidt and Rolen, you either have to multiply Rolen’s numbers by 4.10/5.00 or .80 to make Rolen’s numbers into 1970s/80s numbers, or you have to multiply Schmidt’s numbers by 5/4.10 or about 1.25 to make them into 1990s/2003 numbers.

No. Runs are not linear in the various stats, because there are a finite number of outs. So it’s not as simple as just multiplying HR or Hits by a particular factor. But we do have a simple number for comparing careers, win shares. Here’s a list of the two players through age 28.
Share at Age Schmidt Rolen
21 0 2
22 1 29
23 10 30
24 39 15
25 28 18
26 35 29
27 33 28
28 23 25
Total 169 176

So given that Rolen was good at a younger age, he’s ahead of Schmidt. But once Schmidt became great, he did a much better job of staying at a high level consistently. There’s a long way to go to Rolen’s career; a long way to go before we can truly say he’s better than Schmidt. He’ll need to put together a few seasons above 30 win shares for that to happen.

Posted by David Pinto at 08:04 PM | Players | TrackBack (0)

Well, that’s what I posted then.

Of course, since then, we know what happened. Scott Rolen has only had one great season since then. In 2005, he put up this line:

2005: BA-OBA-SA: .235 .323 .383
that was playing 56 games and hitting just 5 home runs. Eric Bruntlett has had better seasons.

in 2006, scott rolen had a scott rolen year, hitting 22 homer and knocking the stuffing out of the ball, helping the cards to win the world series. However, he got into a bitter fight with Tony LaRussa that led LaRussa eventually to trade Rolen to Toronto. Worse, it was publicized and the entire world series telecase became about Rolen sulking in the dugout over LaRussa’s treatment of him. Rolen came off as big baby pouting over the manager not kissing up to him. I’m certain I and everyone else was pretty disgusted at Rolen’s juvenile behavior; of course we in Philly had seen it before, when Rolen acted out against Terry Francona and later against Larry Bowa.

In 2007, Rolen put up this line:

2007: BA-OBA-SA: .265 .331 .398
That was hitting 8 homers in 112 games. Not much like Mike Schmidt, eh? Rocco Baldelli puts up better numbers. So does Joe Crede, for that matter.

After that less than great season, his second bad year out of three, LaRussa shipped Rolen and his bellyaching to Toronto–the second time in his career Rolen had been traded at his own insistence. He was traded in 2002 from the Phils to St. Louis. Less than five years later, he was traded again. Is Scott Rolen a talented player who is a clubhouse cancer? You be the judge. Rolen had better not unpack his bags in Toronto.

In 2008, Rolen had a better year, but his numbers were not overwhelming:

2008: BA-OBA-SA: .262 .349 .431
moreover, Rolen only hit 11 homers in more than 400 at bats. Again, Rolen is hitting more like Joe Crede than Scott Rolen.

To be honest, Troy Glaus had a lot better year with St. Louis.

And, to answer Dave Pinto’s question, there is little doubt, now that Rolen is turning 35 and has had three bad years in the last four, that Rolen is NOT going to have the kind of great years in his 30s that Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt had in his 30s, so we will not expect Rolen to collect as many win shares or MVP awards as Mike Schmidt. To the contrary, Rolen is in a sharp decline phase, and may be out of baseball shortly.

Rolen has had a nice career, most of it for the Phillies, some of it for the Cardinals. He was fortunate to win a title.

The Phillies farm system has produced three of the best power hitting third basement in baseball history–Dick Allen, Mike Schmidt and Scott Rolen–in the past fifty years. Two of them, Rolen and Schmidt, certainly rank as among the best glove men ever to play the position.

Having said that, Mike Schmidt continues to remain far the superior player to Scott Rolen in every way. For one thing, Schmidt won eight consecutive NL home run titles. And Schmidt hit more than 500 homers–something Rolen will not get close to.

And Schmidt won the MVP three times as well as MVP of the world series.

I rest my case. Schmidt v. Rolen, edge to Schmidt.

–art kyriazis, philly/south jersey
HOME OF THE WORLD CHAMPION PHILLIES

Well, they’re World champions until October 2009.

All hail the Phillies.

And they played the year before last with Utley out a month and last year with Rollins out a month.

Now we know Utley played on a bad hip and may be out until at least June of 2009.

so the Phils need to replace two things;

1) the Power productions from Utley’s bat and
2) the fielding of Utley’s glove, including all the double plays he turns at 2b and ss with Rollins.

One player the Phils are looking at is Raul Ibanez of the Mariners. Ibanez is a good power hitter, and even though he’s 36, he’s had several good years in a row. Ibanez is not a good leftfielder, but he can knock the stuffing out of the ball. He’s hit 20 or more homers each of the last four years and 30 or more doubles each of the those years, and that was in a poor hitters part in seattle. His On Base Averages are around .360 and his slugging averages are between .480 and .550 in those years. He’s just a big time hitter. In citizens bank park, Ibanez could easily hit 35 or 40 homers.

So signing Ibanez for left field, if Utley will be out, would replace Utley’s big bat for a while.

Another option would be to sign Adam Dunn. Dunn is an excellent slugger. He is extremely consistent–he’s hit 40 or more homers at least six years in a row, and also drawn 120 walks a season in each of those seasons, which means his on base percentage is close to .400 while his slugging average is over .500 in all those seasons, despite his batting average being below .250 and his strikeouts being in the 150 range. At Citizens Bank Park, Dunn could expect to hit 50 or 60 homers.

Now to 2d base. Eric Bruntlett, i know, is everyone’s hero, and he replaced jimmy rollins for a month. Defensively, Bruntlett is ok–he plays league average or slightly better. And he can certainly play second base. But offensively, he’s very weak–he plays only 55% of league average. That’s basically a hole in your lineup. Bruntlett is so weak a hitter that he’s basically like another pitcher hitting in your lineup.

The Phillies just released Tad Iguchi, a 2d baseman. Was this a wise move? Let’s examine Tad Iguchi’s offensive and defensive numbers, since he replaced Chase Utley for a month in 2007. Well, the statistics say that Tad Iguchi did a GREAT job replacing Utley in 2007–Iguchi hit .304, with an on base average of .361 and a slugging average of .442.

That was at least 5% better than league average–compared to Bruntlett last year, who was way below league average offensively.

Next, on the defensive side, Iguchi was substantially above league average in fielding range and in in fielding the 2nd base position.

So why not bring back Tad Iguchi? After all, the Phillies will have an additional spot on the roster. Utley will be on the disabled list. Iguchi can come in and play 2d base until Utley comes back. Iguchi gives you both offense and defense. He’s a righthanded hitter with some speed who is an excellent bunter and can hit behind the runner if he’s hitting second behind Rollings, or 7th behind Victorino.

Finally, Iguchi, like Aaron Rowand, was a member of the 2005 championship White Sox. He’s a winner and knows how to win. With Iguchi, you’re replacing Utley, a winner, with Iguchi, a winner.

A couple of other points. If you’re going to bring in a lefthanded bat to play the outfield in left, and abandon the Pat Burrell right handed bat strategy, then you need to let Matt Stairs go and pick up a righthanded pinch-hitter who can come in and pinch-hit in late innings. Jayson Werth, Victorino and Carlos Ruiz and the the other righties on the Phillies will see more lefties, while Howard and Ibanez will see lefties.

It may be that in this configuration, Howard should bat third, Werth 4th, Ibanez 5th, Iguchi 2d, Rollins 1st, Victorino 6th, etc.

At any rate, these are some thoughts. Also, with utley on the shelf, it might be a good idea to see how the rookie or new pitchers are doing and how some of the newer farm players can play until utley can come back. basically, there’s no pressure on this team until utley returns.

It’s an interesting window for the phils.

–art kyriazis, philly/south jersey
HOME OF THE WORLD CHAMPION PHILLIES

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that Harvard will beat Yale this weekend at Harvard Stadium, and also Harvard will find itself with a share of the Ivy League title for the second year in a row.

Ironically, November 22, 2008 also marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of our former Harvard graduate and president John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

Go Crimson!

art kyriazis, philly/south jersey
HOME OF THE WORLD CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was the quarterback for Harvard the year that Harvard went undefeated and untied during the early half of this decade, and who has had a respectable career as a pro quarterback primarily as a backup in St. Louis and some other teams, has been playing quarterback for Cincinnati while Carson Palmer was hurt.

On Sunday, November 16, 2008, against an Eagles defense that sacked him six times and pressured him or hurried him at least twenty other times, Fitzpatrick managed to hang in there and lead the 1-8 Bengals to a tie against the heavily favored Philadelphia Eagles. At the very end of overtime, Fitzpatrick led the Bengals on a game-winning drive down the field, and left his field-goal kicker with a makeable 46-yard field goal attempt to win the game with approximately ten seconds left in overtime, which the field-goal kicker missed slightly to the right by about five feet.

Although a lot of people are going to say that McNabb and the Eagles lost this game, here at the Sophist, we believe there are two sides to every question. Consequently, I’m going to take the other point of view and say that Ryan Fitzpatrick, former Harvard QB and an Ivy League champion almost every year he started for the Crimson, was the real winner on Sunday. Against one of the league’s best defenses, he made some great throws and hung in there all day. He gets my game ball.

Incidentally, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bengals gave the Steelers a tough game for at least a half before losing in the second half, and that was on a short week on the road playing at pittsburgh. Nor did Rothlisberger play much better than McNabb. Pittsburgh’s running game also had trouble against Cincinnati.

Bottom line: this means that Harvard football won twice in one weekend. You don’t see that happen all that often anymore!

Look for Ryan Fitzpatrick to run for political office when his playing days are done…….

–art kyriazis, philly/south jersey
HOME OF THE WORLD SERIES CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

It was one of the most famous games every played in college football history—the famous 29-29 tie between Harvard and Yale in November of 1968. Down by sixteen points with less than two minutes to go, against unbeated and untied Yale (with Brian Dowling and Calvin Hill), Harvard (with Tommy Lee Jones) managed to score a touchdown, then scored a two point converstion, then kicked the onsides kick.

Then with less than a minute, Harvard recovered a fumble by a Yale player named Bradford Lee (later a professor at Harvard and now at the Naval War College in Rhode Island), Harvard recovered the ball, and scored another TD and another two point conversion to miraculously tie the game as time ran out.

The next day the Harvard Crimson headline ran its famous headline, “Harvard beats Yale 29-29.”

It should be noted here that “Brian Dowling” was the model for the famous “B.D.” the helmeted football player in Gary Trudeau’s long running comic strip Doonesbury, although neither Doonesbury nor its core charaters have aged well. Doonesbury’s best character was probably “Uncle Duke”, based expressly on the late Hunter S. Thompson, but with Thomson’s death, the character had to end. The cartoon has meandered since then, and many graphic artists are much more hip and contemporary these days.

It must be nice to be married to Jane Pauley, though.

Now, according to the New York Times and other major web sources, this movie will debut Friday this weekend, and the events of that game have been dramatized in a what has become a major documentary film.

The principals of the game have been interviewed along intercutting of rare footage of the game and of the time period.

This should be one really neat film, if for no other reason than that Tommy Lee Jones, who played in the game and was an all-Ivy League linebacker, will clearly be one of the people featured in the film.

Director Rafferty, a Harvard grad, has done an excellent job with this film, which recaptures an innocent time of our past, and also recaptures a simpler spirit of athletic endeavor and competition. In that sense he refreshes us all and recalls the poem “To an Athlete Dying Young,” in that youth and the competition are for many of us the high point of memories of a lifetime.

Go see this film. Harvard wins in the end, 29-29. Ode to Joy!!!!!

–art kyriazis, philly/south jersey
HOME OF THE WORLD CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

In a game with huge Ivy League title implications, Harvard defeated Penn over the weekend at Penn’s Franklin Field on Saturday, November 15. Penn outgained the Crimson almost 2-1 in overall yardage, but turnovers hurt the Quakers and Harvard made some big plays and got some big stops; a crucial missed field goal of about thirty yards also hurt the Quakers badly in the final tally. It was the second straight time that Harvard has won as a visitor at Franklin Field (they also won in 2006); prior to winning these past two contests, Harvard had not won a football game on the road at Franklin Field for approximately twenty years and change. This is certainly the start of an unusual trend. Also, it makes Penn-Cornell next week just a rivalry game, while Harvard-Yale, “The Game”, is now loaded with Ivy League title implications.

Minor Observation: Harvard never lost to Yale during the Lawrence Summers Presidency. No other Harvard President went undefeated to Yale during his Presidency in the Game.

–art kyriazis, philly/south jersey
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According to website reports, the remains and final resting place of Polish Scientist and Astronomer Copernicus, have been located in Poland.

Copernicus, as we all remember, was the renaissance source of the heliocentric theory of the solar system which was further developed and confirmed experimentally by Galileo, Kepler and Newton.

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-world/20081120/EU.Poland.Copernicus/

quotation from website:

WARSAW, Poland — Researchers said Thursday they have identified the remains of Nicolaus Copernicus by comparing DNA from a skeleton and hair retrieved from one of the 16th-century astronomer’s books. The findings could put an end to centuries of speculation about the exact resting spot of Copernicus, a priest and astronomer whose theories identified the Sun, not the Earth, as the center of the universe.

Polish archaeologist Jerzy Gassowski told a news conference that forensic facial reconstruction of the skull, missing the lower jaw, his team found in 2005 buried in a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Frombork, Poland, bears striking resemblance to existing portraits of Copernicus.

(end quotation).

Well, you have to really dig that discovery! kind of sent me into orbit…
Not to be confused with “orbitz.com”…

–art kyriazis, philly/south jersey
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