Sunday, November 25, 2007


Let us not all get caught up in the epic battle of the undefeated NFL quarterbacks, New England’s Tom Brady vs. Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning that took place on the first Sunday of November. Let us not all be overwhelmed by Brent Favre’s re-writing of all the NFL passing records. And let us all not bask in Joe Montana’s Super Bowl Victories, John Elway’s final game as a champion, Dan Marino’s legend and Johnny Untias’ golden arm. There is one quarterback who stands above all of these, simply because he knew what the object of the game was: To win! No other passer won more titles than Otto Everett Graham.

Otto Graham’s record as a quarterback is remarkable. In his ten seasons with Cleveland he guided the Browns to four AAFC titles and three NFL championships. In fact, in every year Graham played, the Cleveland Browns played for the title. His 7-3 record as a starting quarterback in Championship Games is unmatched, and is the one convincing argument for Otto Graham to stand alone as the greatest NFL Quarterback.

Many of us have heard of Otto Graham, but very few of us know him. His resume before his NFL career is as impressive as any who has played the game. The former Northwestern Tailback finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 1943. After he spent his WWII obligation in the Navy, he played professional basketball for the Rochester Royals and won the National Basketball League Title in 1946.

Paul Brown signed Graham in 1946 as his quarterback to begin play in the new pro league the All-America Football Conference. The AAFC would only last four years before merging with the NFL in 1950. With Graham as the signal caller, Cleveland captured the championship in all four of those years, winning the MVP in every season but one.

Otto Graham and the Cleveland Browns won the title their first year in the National Football League. Down by one point with less than two minutes to play in the 1950 Championship Game, Graham marched the Browns sixty yards to a winning field goal and a 30-28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Cleveland would lose the next three championship games before wining in 1954 and in 1955, the last two years of Graham’s career. Three NFL MVP’s belong to Graham in his six years in the league.

The unprecedented popularity that the National Football League attainted in the sixties has glorified the successful quarterbacks who have performed on the gridiron ever since.

Although we still remember the greats of the past, we easily forget their exceptional performances and their impact on their day. With all the ways we rate quarterbacks in the modern era of pro football, such as QB rating, yards, touchdown passes, longevity, victories and Super Bowls, we forget that in the good old days all the great ones did was ‘just win baby!’ Statistics were only for the losers.

No other Quarterback reached the pinnacle as many times as Otto Graham did. In his eleven year professional sports career, counting his one year in the National Basketball League, Graham played for the title in every year, winning eight times. A winning record that can not be, and probably will never be matched!


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a politically correct elite institution that should be exposed for the joke that it truly is.

It all began in 1983 when Rolling Stone Magazine co-founder Jann Wenner started the Rock and Roll Hall Foundation, with a few other journalists from his publication. The search for a location for their museum ended up in Cleveland, after considering other cities such as Memphis, Detroit or New York City. It has been claimed by some that the Ohio city offered the best deal. Off the bat, did they go after the money? One could argue that the choice ignored the historical significance of the geography of rock and roll.

Once the museum was completed in 1995, the nonprofit organization, which can charge as much as $25,000 a table for an artist to attend the induction ceremony, set out a mission to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music' (straight from RRHOF website.) This philosophy is guided primarily from the point of view of the editors of Rolling Stone Magazine. The gross misconception of all of this is that this mission is objective. Clearly, it is not. It might as well be called Rolling Stone Magazine's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Unlike other Hall of Fames, as the ones in the sports world, where merit can be measured by statistics, getting into the RRHOF is very subjective and unfair. With the nominating process controlled by just a few people, if an artist is not liked by these elite snobs their chances of getting in are nonexistent. The Monkees dominated the pop charts with seven number one records from 1966 to 1967, and out sold the Beatles in that period. Cable music channel MTV should be grateful to the Monkees for the pioneering work they did with the music video form. Sorry to tell you Monkee fans, you can forget your entry into the hall, it will never happen. Co-founder Jann Wenner never liked your band.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame allows fans to petition to get the artist nominated. Every year the legions of Kiss fans send in tons of signatures. Journalist Dave Marsh is believed to have a major influence in the nominating process. He has said that Kiss is a substandard band. Sorry Kiss fans, you will never get in. Marsh does not like progressive rock much either, so the fans of long standing bands such as Genesis, Moody Blues and Rush will never see their bands inducted in Cleveland.

It is easy to see that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee plays favorites. The support the artists they like and pan the ones they dislike, with no regard to the fans. A few years ago they were accused of switching votes when the Dave Clark Five received more votes than Grandmaster Flash. Mr. Wenner, who was narcissisticly inducted himself in 2005 with a lifetime achievement award, switched his vote in order to get a rap act in. Surely this balancing of the musical genres happens every year.

In 1967 Rolling Stone Magazine began to cover music. I viewed the rag as a chronicle of the late sixties, and one of the symbols of the counterculture. Now, with its dominion over the RRHOF, it has turned into the elite entity that it used to rebel against. Every year, more fans who follow music are realizing that the Rolling Stone Magazine's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a joke.


"Going Bald" may have been one of the best things I have ever done!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


November 22, 2007 marks the 44th anniversary of President John Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas. There maybe no single event in American History that has fueled as much controversy and misinformation as the death of our 32nd president.

The findings of the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and fired the shots that killed the President. Unfortunately, common knowledge seems to incorrectly conclude that is not the case. Within a few hours after Kennedy’s death, conspiracy theories began to emerge. It was only natural. In the midst of the Cold War, anti-communist sediment focused on plots from the Soviet Union, Cuba or red enemies within the country. The Hollywood-like rub-out of the major suspect, Oswald shot by Jack Ruby two days later, added fuel to the conspiracy fire. It was not until after the results of the Warren Commission were published when the basic conspiracy theories began to materialize and take hold. What did not help in the public eye was the haste to get the report done before the 1964 Presidential Election. As a result, the Commission did not cross all of their “T’s” or dot all of their “I’s.” The final report left many unanswered questions, such as the issue of determining the exact second of when Oswald’s first shot was fired. It was fertile ground for the conspiracy madness to begin.

At the heart of the basic JFK conspiracy is the refusal for many in the public to conclude that a down-and-out individual would have the ability to end the life of the world’s most powerful man. Our natural reaction concludes that some mightier entity must be responsible for the crime. With all of these perceptions, the meek Oswald, and the idol Kennedy, conspiracies are easily hatched, and can be constructed as complicated as much as a president is powerful. In this process, most of the facts are twisted, ignored and buried.

Poor Lee Harvey Oswald, he is someone who most believe incapable of masterminding the assassination. It is hard to give him credit. Despite what the hundreds of JFK conspiracy books say, he was an expert marksman in the Marines, more than capable of completing the task. What nearly all the scheming accounts ignore is that the Dallas shooting was Oswald’s second attempt to end the life of someone. Army General Edwin Walker, a high profile Dallas anti-communist, a person who Oswald labeled as an enemy to his communistic beliefs, barely escaped a bullet in his house from the same rifle that killed JFK in April of 1963. Given his history, Lee Harvey Oswald had both the skill and the desire to pull off the president’s assassination.

After reading about Kennedy’s visit and seeing the route published in the local paper, noticing that the motorcade would pass by the Texas School Book Depository, Lee Harvey Oswald decided to kill Kennedy. At least, that is what I believe most likely happened. There was no grand scheme, or encompassing plan. It was just him, planning the crime the day before, and carrying in the bundled package to work on the morning of the twenty second.

The blindness of the true conspiracy believers is remarkable. When asked about his package, Oswald replied: “They are curtain rods.” Without common sense, they actually took him for his word, as they did when he spoke: “I’m just a patsy,” at a press conference at the police station. What else would a true criminal say? Overlooked in their attempts to select the data for their predetermined conclusion are the names of Alex J. Hidell and O. L. Lee. Both aliases used by Lee Harvey Oswald in the past. They want me to believe this man?

So many facts have been distorted from the events of that fateful Friday afternoon. Most notable is “The Single/Magic Bullet Theory.” This is a point many have studied, and expert analysis has concluded that one bullet did indeed pass through JFK and the Texas Governor, based on their positions at the time of the shooting. Conspiracy advocates have boldly rewritten the placements of Kennedy and Governor Connally in the limousine as evidence against the theory. This ‘magic bullet’ ended up on Connally’s left thigh, and has been claimed by the schemers as ‘pristine.’ In fact, it only looks that way when one looks at it normally. What they won’t tell you is when it is seen from the bottom, or top, it is noticeably flattened.

When all the facts add up, I believe it is easy to conclude that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I have no doubt. Someone, somewhere, somehow would have spilled the beans by now if a conspiracy existed. Over the years, many have claimed a vast government cover-up. Are you kidding! Again, someone would have said something by now, besides can the government keep a secret as well as they seem to run most things?

If you must talk of conspiracies, let us talk about the one where all those women that visited JFK’s bed were hidden from us. Let us talk about the conspiracy that prevented pictures of the president, who suffered from Addison’s Disease, in crutches and wheelchairs from the eyes of the public. Those are truer to the idea of a conspiracy than the JFK assassination ever was.


The question appears easy: Can Hillary win a red state and take the 2008 Presidential Election? As it stands now, assuming that the 2004 Presidential Electoral Map remains the same, Mrs.Clinton has all 19 blue states (plus DC) John Kerry won. Geographically, that is Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, the four states that border Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, plus all the states north of, and including, Maryland. The rest is republican red state America.

In order to win, the Senator from New York would only need to find 18 more electoral votes. That could be done in one swing with Ohio or Florida changing from blue to red.

Ohio seems the likely battleground, where George Bush won the state by only 2.11 percent. New Mexico, Iowa and Nevada also went republican by the slimmest of margins. Those states combined would add another 17 votes to the Democratic total.

A Hillary Clinton victory seems doable…or does it?

All of this assumes that Mrs. Clinton can hold all of her blue states. The GOP nominee is likely to be Rudy Guiliani or Mitt Romney, so she is in some trouble. These two republicans would put into play nearly all the New England States, which, normally, are considered safe havens for the Democrats. New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, which Kerry won by small margins, may be lost. Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts, certainly could change his state’s color to red, and Former New York City Mayor Guiliani would put his home state up for grabs. A Democrat cannot win the presidency without a blue New York, a fact that Clinton and her party may face in 2008. The democratic nominee would have to make up those losses elsewhere, and must keep the dangerous Great Lake states, like Wisconsin, which barely went to Kerry (0.38%), and Michigan (Kerry's margin of victory was less than four percent) from going red.

In my view, the 2008 red and blue map just does not add up for Hillary Clinton. With the possible exceptions of New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa and Florida, she will find it difficult to win a state from the Rocky Mountains, across the plains, to the south. That gives the Republicans an enormous head start. Depending on her opposition, her potential losses in New England and the Great Lakes appear to outweigh her expected gains. With all of these numbers, it appears likely Hillary Clinton will lose.

Obviously, the election is months away and anything can happen. But make no mistake overconfident Republicans, the New York Senator certainly can win next November, because the best thing going for her is the mainstream media in her corner rooting: "Go Hillary!"