Wednesday, June 27, 2012

FFHL NFL OFF-SEASON UPDATES


FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER

Hello Football Fans,
Attached are a few tidbits on the NFL and some other miscellaneous stuff to help fill up the summer. College news and more summer updates will be forthcoming.
Enjoy,
The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL

This time of year, any football news except arrests and courtroom drama is good news, right?  For most of you, American football trumps the ongoing Euro2012 soccer championship.  No matter how skilled those futbol players are, a final outcome of 1-0 for a game just doesn’t cut it.  They also need to at least add instant replay on determining goals, so when a team miraculously puts the ball into the net it should count as one point (Croatia was robbed of a goal – England won 1-0).

This letter is related to the NFL.  I will send out a separate letter on preliminary college happenings.  As the season approaches in August, I’ll kick out another letter with rules changes and coaching changes, etc. for both NFL and college.
Many of you are asking, who is the favorite to win the Super Bowl this year (Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Sunday February 3rd).  Following is some preliminary info in that regard.

“OVER/UNDERS” FOR EACH NFL TEAM

Before the season starts, you can make a bet on whether your team will win more or less than a certain number of games (called an “over/under” bet).  For example, Pittsburgh’s number is 10, and you can bet whether the Steelers will win more than or less than 10 of their 16 regular season games.

Following is a list of all of the team’s over/under for the 2012 season (left column) as of 5/25/12 from Cantor Gaming (these numbers have changed somewhat, but it gives you the idea of how teams were expected to do as of that date).  And for a comparison, the next column is Pro Football Weekly’s projections of the regular season records, and then MGM Resorts International’s Race & Sports odds (as of May 1st) to win the Super Bowl:

                    CANTOR      PFW             MGM “TO WIN
                    OVR/UND     RECORD      SUPER BOWL” ODDS

GB                12      12-4                       9-2
NE                12      12-4                       6-1
HOU             10      10-6                       8-1
PHI               10      10-6                       8-1
NOR             10      10-6                       10-1
PIT                10      10-6                       12-1
BAL              10      10-6                       8-1
SF                 10      12-4                       6-1
DEN              9.5     9-7                         8-1
NYG             9.5     10-6                       12-1
DET               9.5     9-7                         10-1
SD                 9        8-8                         22-1
ATL               9        10-6                       30-1
CHI               8.5     10-6                       10-1
DAL              8.5     8-8                         10-1
NYJ               8.5     7-9                         15-1
KC                8        9-7                         35-1
CIN              7.5     8-8                         35-1
CAR             7.5     8-8                         30-1
MIA              7.5     4-12                       40-1
TEN              7        8-8                         40-1
BUF              7        8-8                         40-1
SEA              7        7-9                         30-1
OAK            7        6-10                       25-1
AZ                7        7-9                         40-1
WSH             6.5     7-9                         30-1
STL               6        4-12                       50-1
TB                 6        4-12                       60-1
MIN              6        4-12                       30-1
CLE              5.5     6-10                       80-1  
IND              5.5     4-12                       75-1
JAX              5.5     5-11                       100-1

For you gamblers out there, keep in mind that the over/under numbers change based on the amount of money bet on each side. As an example, as of 5/25/12 the Philadelphia Eagles over/under was 10, but you had to bet $13.50 to win $10 (that is, PHI would be listed in Vegas as “Over -135”, whereas the normal straight-up bet would be $11 to win $10.  That means bettors on average liked Philly (at that time) to go “over” and for the Eagles to have an 11-5 record or better for the regular season.  Another example was Atlanta with an over/under of 9, listed at “Over +105”, meaning that you could bet the “over” with $10 to win $10.50 [$20.50 payback minus $10 original bet].  This meant, roughly at the time, that more money was being wagered by “under” bettors, who projected Atlanta would have an 8-8 record or worse this regular season.

Based on Pro Football Weekly’s projections, Miami would be a great “under” bet, and so would St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota.  PFW likes San Francisco the best to go “over”, followed closely by Chicago to also go “over”.

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS
                                       
                                                  PFW Projections     Lindy’s Projections          Fugitive (me)

NFC Division Winners               PHI;GB;NOR;SF     same as PFW                   PHI;CHI;ATL;SF
AFC Division Winners               NE;BAL;HOU;DEN  same as PFW                   NE;PIT;HOU;SD
Wild Card Teams                      NYG;CHI;KC;PIT     NYG;CHI;PIT;TEN          DET;GB;BAL;CIN
Super Bowl                               SF over NE             HOU over SF                    PHI over NE




NFL PRO BOWL
It has been decided (by an optimistic and/or delusional group of fellows) that there will be a Pro Bowl following the 2012 season.  It will be played in Hawaii on January 27, 2013, the weekend after the Conference Championship games and before the Super Bowl game.
The league (“NFL” ownership/management) was supposedly against it, but the NFLPA-Players Association was for it.  I hope this ends my commentary concerning a yawner “exhibition” game.  Can any amount of marketing bring this to life?  I have faith in the TV-watching public that the game will be discontinued after this year because of low TV ratings.

NFL SALARY CAP
I don’t particularly care to talk about this subject either, but this little-known provision of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is interesting.  For 2013, the league will impose a salary floor that will require each team to spend, on average, at least 89% of the salary CAP annually on players.  Teams in violation could lose draft picks and be fined up to $6.5MM.

If this provision would have been in effect in 2011, about 1/3 of the NFL teams would have had to spend significantly more in order to reach the floor;  KC and JAX were $30MM under the CAP last year.

In advance of this new CBA provision, Tampa Bay decided to ramp up their spending early.  The Bucs had total payroll of $93MM last year (2011), and spent $103MM on two free agents this offseason in WR Vincent Jackson and OG Carl Nicks.

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE
The AFL has had its share of labor problems this year, with a couple of stop-and-start strikes and a recent plan for a management-imposed lockout.  The league just announced in mid-June that the two sides settled on a new CBA.

Playoff Picture

National Conference
San Antonio Talons (11-3) are two games ahead of Chicago Rush (9-5) for the Central Division title.
Arizona Rattlers (11-3) are 1.5 games ahead of Utah Blaze (10-5) for the Western Division title.

American Conference
Philadelphia Soul has clinched the Eastern Division and a playoff spot.
The Southern Division has no team above .500, with Jacksonville Sharks and New Orleans VooDoo at 7-7 and Georgia Force at 7-8 in contention for the division title and a playoff spot.

Two non-division winners from each conference get wild card berths in the 8-team playoffs.

Championship
The Arena Bowl XXV championship game is scheduled for Friday, August 10th in the New Orleans Arena.

UNITED FOOTBALL LEAGUE (UFL)
This league is defunct, and won’t be revived if the “new” United States Football League takes off.
USFL
I have no updates on this since last letter in May.
This league should be structured to support the NFL, similar to baseball’s minor leagues.
More later.


FOOTBALL QUIZ QUESTIONS

QUESTION #1:
Which NFL team has made the playoffs each of the last four years?
Amazingly, there’s only ONE team that has accomplished this feat.
HINT:  The answer is not Indianapolis, who went a miserable 2-14 last year and missed the playoffs.  Your answer is narrowed down to 31 teams.

QUESTION #2:
Which NFL team has the longest playoff drought, twelve years without a playoff berth?
HINT:  Detroit (1999) and Houston (since inception, 2002) both made the playoffs last year to break their long absences from the post-season.  And it’s not the New York Giants, who won the Super Bowl last year. So the answer is narrowed down to 29 teams.










ANSWER #1:
Baltimore Ravens

ANSWER #2:
Buffalo Bills

WEEKEND WARRIORS


ANOTHER ROAD TRIP

Temecula, CA – You might think that with such a rocking weekend as was had last week (see last story) that I’d want to return to the crime of the scene, aka The Vault and the BMBCO watering hole. With the return of DI, another celebrated old school punk band to the Vault for an encore performance, I could chill and coast through the weekend. I think most folks my age would spend the day on the porch receiving guests on their birthday weekend also and it is my birthday on Friday. But not me. For the revolution doesn’t sleep.

While people attend the usual music happenings in Old Towns around So Cali this weekend, the folks who care about what you put into your mouth, food-wise, are rallying to rock into the upcoming media/propaganda war against bio-tech giant, the GMO-Salmon folks at Monsanto, are rocking out to the southern Cali leg of The Human Revolution Yes On Labeling tour. I’ll be catching up to the party and my friend John Diaz, the tennis playing no-GMOs activist that I met at Occupy LA. John caught the band last night at The Mint on Pico in LA


Friday June 29th 9pm @
Grateful Fridays
BARDOT
Tickets are $11 before 10pm and $22 after.

Saturday June 30th @



Sunday July 1st Huntington Beach Fire Rings 3pm-9pm
Cost is FREE

The US and Canada stand out for not requiring such disclosure or protection even though polls show that 90% of Americans believe they have a right to know whether the food they eat contains GMOs. Is there a point where corruption becomes treason?
In the US Farm Bill, which was voted on last week, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Barbara Boxer(D-CA) added an amendment which would give statesthe authority to require clear labels on any food or beverage containing GMOs. It was voted down 73-26. "It was opposed by virtually every major food corporation in the country," says Sanders.  Find out how your Senators voted at the end of this report.
In the past year, 36 GMO labeling bills have been introduced in Vermont, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia.
It came close to passing in Vermont and Connecticut, but the legislature backed off when Monsanto threatened to sue them on the basis that states don't have the right to make that decision. The failed Farm Bill amendment would have clarified that. Food labels are already required to list more than 3,000 ingredients ranging from high-fructose corn syrup to transfats.
The blatant agency capture [plutocracy] of the country by trans-national corporations is a cornerstone protest of the American Occupy Movement. The Right2Know Movement is coming from the ‘citizen’s right to know’ and health/children’s safety sector of society. Same money trail but different signposts is all.
A referendum to label GMOs in California will be on the November ballot and there's a move to get a referendum on Oregon's ballot. It's already getting pushback from industry:
A corporate front group, the American Council on Science and Health, issued a release this week claiming that mandatory GMO labeling is "wholly unnecessary, from either an environmental or a health perspective." Not only have extensive assessments found GM crops to be safe, they say, but labeling would drive up the price of food, while stirring up unjustifiedfear and confusion among the general public. Kraft, Monsanto, the chemicaland pharmaceutical industries are major funder$.
Meanwhile, India's government will require products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to carry a "GM" tag as of January, 2013, reports the Times of India bringing the total number of countries to 51.
  Is your Senator bought and paid for by the Food Industry? The Nays are.

(All emphasis - Ed)

Monday, June 25, 2012

RUSSO ROCKS THE VAULT AND THE VAULT ROCKS BACK


THE RETURN OF ‘THE DUDE’

Temecula, CA – Welcome to the cross-over, music fans who have come from The Vault Concerts magazine to the full story here of why this was a legendary night. To make this ‘cross-over event’ special, only those who subscribe to the Vault Mag know Scott Russo’s exact quote about the show. For the rest of you, here are my criteria of what makes a legendary night at The Vault better than a night at the opera. As this is a recurring phenomenon, I have the checklist in my breast pocket.

The weather being perfect is a no-brainer and this is a part of southern California having a Mediterranean climate, so in the scene, it starts out at a place, the pre-show party at Black Market Brewing Co. or BMBCO.

The party was full as many in the crowd were tied in to the bands appearing at The Vault. 3 old friends later I had a new favorite beer maid, a raven-haired Sicilian named Jenni. But the night was just starting. While in the presence of Strike Twelve, who should I hear but ‘The Dude’, the number one fan of the band, see archives. I hadn’t heard from ‘The Dude’ since shortly before she had gotten preggos. Now a wedding is planned for September and the young little baby wanted to come to the show with her roller derby mama, who I know as ‘The Dude’.

Meanwhile at the Vault, Monkeys In Space was killing it. How do I know since I was crawling distance away being a social butterfly? The second thing that makes for a legendary night is swagga my nigga. With the night’s total at 4 CDs [meaning that I have music from everyone on the card] and 3 new band shirts [(2) appropriately for the upcoming political GMO festival weekend, TBA], I had a haul.

Sederra played a solid set as the Vault crowd filled in to the seven band set line-up. Devocean was next and they too rocked it in a set that seemed much too short but added to the total electricity building the night.
“I’m surprised that Ivan has us playing after Devocean,” said Matt, (guitar. Vox) before he, Joe (bass, vox), Dan (drums), and Andy (lead guitar hero and Joe’s brother) of Strike Twelve took the stage. The local punk band delivered a stellar set that made me as proud, knowing them for as long as I have, as if one of them had gone to college and become a doctor. Oh wait, one of them did. But that’s not scene news. Scene news is that the band has a new CD planned for release soon.

Strike Twelve has been around since the scene started. They played a host of shows at Madlins that at times were hardly more than band practice, but the charm, wit, and ‘Aw shucks’ attitude plus some of the catchiest ‘jingo punk rock’ you ever heard made them a hometown staple. Later on when they hit the road, playing in places like Long Beach, a spunky depressed manic girl wondering what to do with her life chanced upon a Strike Twelve bar show. That one night turned the life of the young girl who was in high school at the time, around, and ‘The Dude’ became a STfan for life.

Rolling in the wake of Strike Twelve was Versus The World, the tour mates with Unwritten Law. VTW is a four piece made up of members from Ataris and Lagwagon. Versus The Worldreconvened in 2010 and began writing and recording their long awaited follow-up which they wrapped in early 2012. Soon after, the band inked a deal with Viking Funeral Records, a label imprint started by Ken Seaton of Hardline Entertainment and Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge along with Kevin Zinger of Suburban Noize Records. Produced by Thom Flowers (The Ataris) at Playback Recording and Orange Whip studios in Santa Barbara, mixed by Ian MacGregor (All American Rejects, Katy Perry) and mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins. The band is touring in promotion of the upcoming 7/31 release of VTW’s Drink, Sing, Live, Love CD. Another solid set that fused elements of post-hardcore, pop-punk and rock but you could feel the room temperature rising and the pressure building for the headliner, Unwritten Law.

From the moment UL hit the stage in their area debut you could tell the band from southern California who rolls in the company of Suburban Noise Records roustabout Mickey Avalon and sells out the Belly Up, was there to take no prisoners, SRH fashion. The nearly packed house rocked out right from the start and the band took notice. Though I have seen it before, it is still a thrill to watch a band realize that the audience is nothing but fans that know your songs and came to the show for you, pumped

The rest of the night was a blur of face-melting, fist-pumping American rock music fury in a passion pit tug of war. Touring in support of the latest CD* release, Swan, Unwritten Law dug deep into their library of titles to further excite and satisfy the crowd. The band has a number of songs that have charted on Billboard’s Modern Rock countdown. From the last time I saw the band and this, I can tell you that the CDs are easy on the ears but the live shows blow your face off.
Catch them live soon!

(* - The Vault’s Alex Pappas co-engineer)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

MAKING A LAWFUL NOISE


A DOUBLE BARREL VAULT WEEKEND

Temecula, CA – It hasn’t happened in a while but once again The Vault is providing a live music maximum underground entertainment two-day extravaganza.

Friday kick starts the weekend with a Red Hot Chili Peppers/Primus Tribute show featuring Red Not Chili Peppers and Mr. Krinkle, respectively. Also on the bill are BLOODTYPE G (prog/rap/rock), INDICA ROOTS (reggae, mon), with newcomers MORBID CURIOSITY, OVERDOSE AMERICA, and FUNKY MONKS.

Saturday the headliners are UNWRITTEN LAW b/w VERSUS THE WORLD  (Members of Lagwagon & The Ataris), both out on tour. Support and openers are STRIKE TWELVE (local punks), DEVOCEAN (these guys are all over town rocking), newcomers SEDERRA, and MONKEYS IN SPACE.

Remember: “Live Music is your best entertainment value”- Bucky Montgomery

HER LAST FATHER’S DAY


Temecula, CA – While most of us were enjoying a pleasant Father’s Day, a young 22-year old quietly slipped away from this world to the next, due to heroin, whose use is on the rise among young people. The reported cause of this illegal drug increase is the rise in use of prescription pain medications that are derived from opiates. Heroin is an opiate and legally used morphine comes from the same source, poppies from Myanmar or Afghanistan.

Opiates do 3 things. They desensitize the nervous system and turn up the libido. In short, the pain goes away and you feel sexy. You detach from the physical world of being and a floaty feeling ensues. This comes about because opiates are extreme muscle relaxers. The danger from opiates is for this reason since your heart is a big muscle. Too much relaxation and your heart just stops like a clock. Your body slips down and your spirit watches it happen. You have now separated from the mortal coil of life. If it is your time, then you are dead, if not, you return to your body aware that you dodged a silver bullet.

Some people fall through the cracks when they use heroin. An aunt of mine who shot ‘dope’ aka morphine, ‘nodded off’ [an extended brain fart] and caught herself on fire with her cigarette. A majority of drug users also smoke cigarettes (the real gateway). Not feeling any pain can work against you when your cigarette burns down and you don’t react to it. My aunt became disfigured like ‘Two-Face’ [Batman] only not as grotesque. She would wear a scarf always after that showing only her beautiful facial side. Roughly five years later she OD’d and I will always wonder if it was accidental, for she was never the same after the burn.

Some people are lucky. A friend of mine years ago was at a party of young hipster people and someone passed him some heroin probably to snort. He was told what it was. I have to assume that he wasn’t born under a rock since he came from a middle class family. He was at the crossroads and he made a choice. He said to himself, ‘WTF’. However before he could use the drug some passing individual smacked the ‘H’ from his hand and said, “You don’t need to do that shit.” He never even saw who it was. When he related the story to me I told him that his guardian angel had saved him.

While I don’t know the particular circumstances about the 22 year old girl’s passing, I posted a story about a 20 year old who OD’d called Hillbilly Heroin a couple of years ago (see Archives). The story came direct from the girl’s mother, a friend of mine. Gently searching the story through the grief, it came to light that although mom had had her ‘party days’ she and her husband never sat down to have ‘the talk’ about drugs. That talk would include what drugs to do and not do, past experiences, and a brush up via feedback on what the locals are currently up to.

It is shocking whenever a talented artist dies of some sort of drug overdose but it hurts when it happens to someone so young as 20 or 22. So much promise. Many times those closest will feel blame or guilt but at least half the fault lies with a system that promotes a pill for everything, sanctions personal products that kill or maim [cigarettes – ‘grandfathered in’ George W. Bush], and has performed secret experiments of its own population (and others) under everypresident except JFK, all on yourdime.

RIP, the valley’s latest victim, caught up and taken so young. Enjoy your time off, root for the good people that you knew her in this valley, and know that you are sincerely missed by more folks than you know. Ciao, ciao, till we see you again.