Monday, July 27, 2015

LAYS OF HIS DAYS

IN THEIR WORDS, WITH THEIR FACES

Temecula, CA – Today the New York Magazine presents a still in progress project. It is the project to bring the personal stories to light of the women drugged/raped by Bill Cosby who have come forward so far. For this project, all the women photographed in white or off-white. The stark background and no-frills style bears witness to their testimony.

Though this report will not be presented here except for brief excerpts and two pictures, details show this attitude toward drugs and women. “I used them,” he said, “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.’ ” He asked a modeling agent to connect him with young women who were new in town and “financially not doing well.” In the deposition, Cosby seemed confident that his behavior did not constitute rape; he apparently saw little difference between buying someone dinner in pursuit of sex and drugging them to reach the same goal. As for consent, he said, “I think that I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things.”

In the ’60s, when the first alleged assault by Cosby occurred, rape was considered to be something violent committed by a stranger; acquaintance rape didn’t register as such, even for the women experiencing it. In the ’70s and ’80s, campus movements like Take Back the Night and “No Means No” helped raise awareness of the reality that 80 to 90 percent of victims know their attacker. Still, the culture of silence and shame lingers.

Now, in their own words, pictures, memories, and vids, are 35 of the, at-press time, 49 different victims of America's greatest alleged serial rapist. Here's how they came to be a victim of Bill Cosby.


All 35 were interviewed separately, and yet their stories have remarkable similarities, in everything from their descriptions of the incidents to the way they felt in the aftermath. The women have found solace in their number — discovering that they hadn’t been alone, that there were others out there who believed them implicitly, with whom they didn’t need to be afraid of sharing the darkest details of their lives. They are scattered all over the country — ten different states are represented — and most of them had no contact with their fellow accusers until recently. But since reading about each other’s stories in the news, or finding one another on social media, or meeting in person at the photo shoots arranged by New York,many of the women have forged a bond. It is, as Tarshis calls it, “a sorrowful sisterhood.”

Sunday, July 26, 2015

THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII

COVERING THE STORY OF A LIFETIME

Temecula, CA – I have to wonder, is this the last days of Pompeii? Am I covering the story of a lifetime, the end of America's lifetime? Like every great story, even one in the making, you have your cast of characters, who we like to say are 'The Usual Suspects' and this story is no different.

Every great upheaval begins the same, usually with a small group of people meeting in some fairly remote place that is over-sized. A Saturday meeting to make a plan to stop the ratification of the TPP from becoming law, resulting in the wholesale forfeiture of America as a sovereign nation, began in earnest at various cities across the nation. From being involved politically during the days of Nixon, the faces may be different but the players are the same. So rather than reveal names and details, the Calendar gives you the down low, not the tippy-toe. Here's the rundown.


The Breakfast Lady, or Gent. This is the person who knows a guy. They actually know the guy or girl in public office because they said 'hello' to them when that person first hit the election trail. The Breakfast Lady is the Peoples' Lobbyist, taking the seat member out to brunch on a personal level so as not to 'cold call' on a rep. Our Breakfast Lady was charming and seemed straight off the set of Dallas, well, north Dallas. Down home charm like a truck stop waitress.

The Mouthpiece. This is the person who will become the spokesperson of the group for on-camera statements. Our 'mouthpiece' is a political science college professor, handsome and manly, with a radio host demeanor, a horde of volunteer student help, and a book out about the politics of the hour.

The Press. That of course would be me, a contact to the world beyond the grassroots demo. Activist, author, and cultural minister, aka the free radical. The Press is also the historian. I have known about CODEX from being on the internet over ten years ago covering politics. This plan for complete globalization through America has been advancing since 1913.

The Grandmother, and like the scientist in the Sci-fy films, only aware of one of the core issues, now thrust into a bigger picture, meeting new friends against the same enemy. Gentile and motherly, this woman seems like a Disney version Mother Nature before being fooled by GMO margarine.

The Spark Plug. That would be my ride to the party and fellow OLA-mate, John, seen in many of my past Monsanto March/Label GMOs/Prop 37 story pics. We may not see eye-to-eye but we are both always looking. Learning about Monsanto and GMOs led to the cross cause of the TPP and Fast Track over a year ago.

Ralph and Ed, for Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton of The Honeymooners, represent the two union guys. Our union guys were from local 1167. There was also the mystery guy, a person who didn't say much and came after the introductions. Our mystery guy wore a red shirt and walked to the meeting.

And last but not least by any measure, is The Field General or area coalition leader. If this person is someone you don't like or have respect for, then they become the 'fearless leader' after the Boris Badenov reference in Bullwinkle. This leader did have the respect and led the meeting with poise and experience gained from past political reform events, including Occupy San Diego. So what does an area coalition leader do?

Well for one, they manage this coalition of various groups that form under the single regional banner for political battle. Now that the TPP iceberg is here a number of grassroots organizations covering various and sundry social injustices see the root evil is the same for all the causes. The veil has been lifted now for all to see. Our area coalition leader, ACL, laid out the meeting which kept to the time allotted and covered a lot of ground.

The first bit of business was going over the last two-three years battle recently lost by one vote in the Senate, the Fast Track. Losing that big battle took a toll on us all. We expected a fight but to lose by a vote is like losing the big game by a point. Exercising that angst, the topic turned to expanding the TPP topic into an election hot button buzz. The ways to do this were brainstormed.

Ways to stop the forward approach were discussed including filing an injunction to stop the Federal process, in it being unconstitutional, but one thing was clear to all present. We may all be strange bedfellows, as tends to happen in politics, but knowing what we know about the TPP, it's more akin to the Alamo.

Still today we have the internet and social media. The question is will it be enough against the government's smoke and mirrors given the lame-stream media blackout?

The ACL now moves on to meetings in LA and that areas' unions, activists, artists, foodies, and organic mersh people for more input. A more concrete plan is sought by September.

On the public front, the TPP document will be visible online two months for public scrutiny during a 90 day window allowing Congress to review for ratifying it in an up and down vote at the end of that period. It's not a done deal but it could be. This would be a tense moment in a movie, if this were a movie.

What is truly awe-inspiring is that the TPP doesn't just concern America, it hands over 40% of the world, Americans are just the icing. As an old friend used to say, it's always darkest just before everything goes completely black.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

ANT-MAN ANOTHER WINNER

FUNKY NOT QUIRKY

Temecula, CA – The hippest bet in Vegas now has to be which will stop first, the Rolling Stones tours or Stan Lee's cameos?

Once again Marvel/Disney has put out a popcorn thriller that leaves a smile on your face and a cheer in your heart. 


The 'professional' critics/reviewers are giving it mixed reviews but what credit can you give a critic when he says 'mental telepathy'. What year is this?

Anyway, without giving up any spoilers, here's my review of the coolest movie of the summer that is just plain fun and a movie that deals with a segment of the population that rarely gets explored beyond statistics.

Surprising you much like Guardians did in 2014, Ant-Man is funky where GoG was quirky so don't look for any talking plants or animals. Ant-Man's story takes place in the here and now but surprising isn't overdone on the politics. Instead, the movie focuses on plain folk who happen to be noble. Being noble today costs you, like the way Skinner rubbed his fingers in addressing school tax hikes debating Krabappel in Springfield's town meeting.

The original film director quit the picture just weeks before filming was to start and with everything set plus a 'show must go on' attitude, the star Paul Rudd and the new director stepped in to rework the original script. Some critics have offered that because of this, this story seems pieced together in styles. Maybe if I saw the movie a second time, I might find this too. But this movie works for two reasons; the fine character acting and the nature for the action, a man who can shrink to the size of an ants.

For the acting, all the characters are not over the top, just down-to-earth and not too grandiose in nature. No one is out to rule the world or stop world domination [besides that question has already been settled with the sellout of America, so this change of pace was sorely welcomed].

Veteran actor Michael Douglas puts in a splendid 'good doctor' turn that is solid and not overdone. He looks good for his age. Paul Rudd does a fine job of being the smart but slightly hapless hero who feels genuine when caught in a situation all too familiar to many nowadays. Michael Pena in his comedy relief seems to have come in with the cast's food truck in being a real person also on the bottom of life. In fact, even the villain is grounded for opting to sell out for money, a common theme so real today in government everywhere. The villain stays grounded even when he and Douglas finally have their one-on-one face time as to 'why?' The rest of the supporting actor portrayals are just as believable with basic, normal, not comic book, agendas and emotions.

Of course, all this is loosely based on a comic book so the action is larger than life, or smaller than life pictorially in this case. Once again Marvel, or in this case, the 'b' team, has really flushed out a rather thin back story as I recall and spun a feel good, just enough action, believable hit movie to enjoy this summer with your peeps, be they tiny or adult-sized. And remember, a true Marvel Cinematic Universe fan stays till the end of the credit roll, cause it's always worth it.

See, no spoilers. Told ya. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

REMEMBERING WOODYS 60TH

SPOONBILLS, PHATHEADS, AND THE CREEPIN' CHARLIES

Temecula, CA – Shortly before this current news cycle started, I had received a request to attend the 60th birthday party for a person mentioned somewhat in Memoirs but who enjoyed a much more behind-the-scenes role in my 'memoirs' life. As much as 'Winston' also in Memoirs became a brother to me in adventures, so Woody [his real scene name unlike 'Winston' which is totally fabricated] became a brother to me through music, aka band life and also because he was Max's brother-in-law. Winston's music broadening was more the music genre and bands; Woody's was more about band life, along with blues and some honky-tonk Rock'n'Roll as part of the band. For a time I was the Spoonbills road mgr.

In another place perhaps, the three of us would have become running buddies, but in the strangeness of Iowa, and it does have its own uniqueness, the paths of Winston and Woody rarely ever crossed, with me as the only common thread. On March 29thof this year, that thread would become common again as Woody turned 60 and the bands he spent time in were set to reunite at the Rusty Nail for the event.


Though I've been back to Iowa a number of times since I left in 94 ['Tis The Season of The Witch', Ch.18, Memoirs of Mr. Pete & Mary Jane Green], this last visit of discovery was heralded by Woody's 60th birthday celebration. To understand this, you have to know some things. The first being that Woody helped me to segue into So Cali life by his steering me to my last job in Iowa, a mini-mart job.

While we all bask in warm temps now, when I went back to Iowa for the birthday bash, temps were in the 30s there.


The 'new' Rusty Nail is a building in the same parking lot as the old Rusty Nail, which is now a different place entirely. The most recent owners have updated the venue's food to reflect the times while keeping the same tap atmosphere, a friendly homestyle bar you can bring your family to. Coming in with the band[s], I got to roadie and help set up, just like in the old days. Though it is a backdrop, a long period of my time being involved with Max [Memoirs] played to the tune of the Spoonbills on Friday and many Saturday nights through their lineup changes over the years.

When the Spoonbills reunion started, putting on the opening set, it didn't seem hardly a day had passed since I last heard Woody doing his front man thing. Except, he has gotten better at it. 


It was Woody who taught me that the only difference in bands/talent is whether roadies carry in your equipment or you do. Otherwise bands/talent are the same with the same problems, same amount of assholes, etc., same as any band. When you understand one band, you understand them all. Woody was my entrance to band life. So what I say next, understand how I mean it.



Like Sinatra in his later years, Woody has gotten to be himself as a frontman, comfortable in the spotlight. To the room, which was full by the end of the first set, Woody was the man. 


And The Spoonbills rocked it with long time original member Barry Baranek 5th right, with long time members Allen Garcia and Bill Van Atta flanking original birthday boy, Woody.


The Phatheads/Phathead Deluxe were bands that came along after The Spoonbills, and they took the stage next. This time Woody just played the drums. Andy Garcia, the young one is nephew to Allen.


Time was spent between sets as Woody acknowledged various old friends, other musicians, members wives, and long time fans and cut the cake.

Cutting the cake with wife, Cindy
In the time after the Spoonbill Family Dancers, the Spoonbills entered their last regular lineup with the late Dean, far left (killer keys and ultimate Sports Fan) and Randy, blk muscle tee (lead guitar) who I never met but had to be excellent because of the respect and fond memories Woody has talked about.


Barry Baranek, someone I knew from my original CASE days before I knew him in the Bills, has the perfect spot. It is a place called the Chicken Shack.


This is where everyone meets, greets and practices. This provided the warm-up sessions for the latest Spoonbill lineup, which was formed just for the birthday show. The Rusty Nail already asked if they could pencil in next year, just saying.

Barry on guitar and Bill on drums
The discovery to this outing was getting to know Barry a little better beyond his vintage years. Turns out the Chicken Shack is also home to Barry and Bill Van Atta's latest project of being members in The Creepin' Charlies. The band has an album out and if you like bluegrass country blues done right. I'm listening to it right now as I write this article up. It really kicks ass with some serious pickin'.

This is how my trip to Iowa started out as I went to celebrate a brother from another mother,


Woody Trauffer, a real person from the magical tale, Memoirs of Mr. Pete & Mary Jane Green, Amazon.

Photo credit - Kirk Koster, husband of Cathy Koster

Sunday, July 12, 2015

COSBY COURT DOCUMENTS FROM 2005

INSPECT FULL RECORD HERE

Temecula, CA - Last Monday night, a federal court unsealed documents from Andrea Constand's 2005 lawsuit against Bill Cosby following a request from the Associated Press. Constand accused Cosby of drugging and raping her, and found numerous Jane Doe witnesses who said the same. (The suit was settled out of court in 2006.) Cosby and his lawyer had tried to block the release of the records by claiming the comedian was not a public figure; judge Eduardo C. Robreno disagreed, ruling that Cosby had "donned the mantle of public moralist" and thus "voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim."



Before the official release, the AP reported that Cosby had admitted to obtaining quaaludes to give to women he intended to have sex with. The full records reveal that Cosby had seven prescriptions for quaaludes, which he used for this purpose. In his testimony, the comedian said he did give the drugs to other people, and confirmed a Jane Doe witness's account that they had sex after he gave her the pills: "She meets me back stage. I give her Quaaludes. We then have sex." Cosby did not answer the question of whether he gave women drugs without their consent.

Elsewhere in the testimony, Cosby remembered calling Tom Illus at the William Morris Agency and telling him to send money to one of the accusers. On another occasion, Cosby admitted to offering Constand money for her "education" (she had asked only for an apology) and testified that he had set up a similar "educational trust" for one of the Jane Does. When pressed, Cosby said only that he had made similar donations "for a variety of people, for a variety of reasons."


Other documents reveal additional details of the comedian's damage-control strategy. When he learned that The National Enquirer was going to interview Jane Doe witness Beth Ferrier, Cosby testified, he got famed attorney Marty Singer to negotiate a compromise with the tabloid. In the words of Constand's lawyer, Cosby "decided to give the paper an 'exclusive interview' in exchange for their not printing the Beth Ferrier story, which he had been given the opportunity to review."

The full 400 pages of court documents are online at Deadspin's Scribd page. In response to the records, prominent Cosby defender Jill Scott walked back her earlier support of the comedian on Twitter.

(Story source - Nate Jones)

Friday, July 10, 2015

BETTER THAN THE COLONEL, FOLKS

MEET BERNIE

Temecula, CA – Under the radar of the main stream news, on purpose, and six months away from any recognition by black people everywhere, is newly announced presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The independent Senator from Vermont and possibly the only non-millionaire in Congress has a voting record that backs his words and political focus.

Hillary Clinton is ahead on the polls based on name recognition and power access. Blacks recognize her as Bill's wife and many black women, and women in general, resonate with her being a mother, much the same way people were mesmerized by a 'black' man running for president. In our next report we take a view at the aftermath of that ill-fated ruse.

Though it hasn't broken through to the main stream yet, the fight against Bernie by Hillary is one being played by proxy, since any direct confrontation would show the grandmother up for what she is. In this report to keep our readers on top of things as usual, here are two short vids after the jump showing the character of the man from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, running for President, 2016.

Bernie Sanders on RT


Bernie Sanders on Alan Greenspan


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

DOC RECIPE FOR POUND CAKE SILENCES DEFENDERS

LECHER NOT TEACHER IS LEGACY

Temecula, CA – No one is perfect, not even the Pope. We come into this life a blank slate and as we go through it, we make mistakes predicated on selfish desires and wrong opinions. However going through life, either maturity or religious beliefs are counted on to bring about a character arc of repentance with both luck and hindsight playing a role.

Stephen Collins started the Hollywood sex ball rolling by the admitting that he had inappropriate relations with several underage girls via his TV persona of squeaky clean character portrayals. At first Collins fought the charges by lashing out at his estranged wife but later he came clean, admitted his guilt, and arranged to apologize to two of the now grown women. The third refused any contact. It would be interesting to know how Collins views Cosby's predicament.


When you look at Bill Cosby today, you see the type of 'black man pride' that refuses to budge, much the same type of character as the man who shot Marvin Gaye dead, a preacher and his father. Cosby too, has tried to be a moralist, adept at telling others how to best live, telling young men how to be more 'white' because their lifestyle wasn't acceptable to folks that owned Coke, Jello, and Kodiak. He also scolded young mothers who followed fads for their kids rather than raise these unfortunates more Spartan-like.

Now we see the clown without his make-up, penis in one hand, pill bottle in the other. It's not a pretty sight but it is a sight to see.

My grandmother, one of my two magical ancestors used to say, “In the last days, all of Man's secrets will be revealed.”

She died way before the advent of the computer. She also saw a UFO in her day as a young girl [something that raised her level in my eyes as a child]. I have no way of knowing whether she would have been a Cosby defender or would have seen through his disguise as I did with my first stories. I have a feeling that she would have sided with the women, since she and her sister were both from her mother being a victim as a hotel maid, twice. To his credit, her Jewish traveling salesman father did come and look for Granny's mother once he found out she had conceived but it was too late. She, her mom, and her sister had left her small town.

Granny never became a victim and though she wasn't an angry black woman like Tyler Perry, she was a force to be reckoned with. Tales of her once chasing a white salesman off her front poach with a broom still resonated when I was a kid. Nobody fucked with Granny, and my grandfather loved her up to the day he died, something I never understood at that time. Given Cosby's wife and Cosby's life, it would seem that there was no woman like my grandmother in his family background, or one like Nikki Giovannieither.

And that's just too bad because all that The Cos worked for his whole life has now gone down like the Hindenburg [a tragic event witnessed by the world reference for anyone under 60, lol. Dude, I'm old so I sprinkle a little something for my older readers and a little something for my younger readers who might not know of such things today.]

So will the pudding man ever own up to pudding it where he shouldn't have? Sadly, I can see Bill and Camille sitting quietly in a car with the motor running in the garage before I could see him admitting to any guilt. To admit guilt takes a recognition of insight, an insight past the pride and the feeling of gutter respect for every woman you see. We may never know why Bill Cosby felt it was his prerogative to 'Spanish Fly' women into his 60s, way past the age of maturity, but if you want to understand why women 'wait' to report such things, read 'I Never Told Anyone' – Ellen Bass, Louise Thornton, pick up any history book about women [including The Bible], and understand why John and Yoko said 'Women are the niggers of the world.”

We all start out not knowing right from wrong, but somewhere along the line we are expected to discern the difference.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

FLYING HIGH, LOW TO THE GROUND

SMOKING 70

Temecula, CA – As some of you out there know, I turned 70 years old a week ago. Hardly anyone I meet and greet believes that fact, and that includes me when I stare back at the mirror. From my stories, I think you can tell I take no credit for that anomaly. No matter though, when a couple of months ago I received a call from my Colorado Justice cousin who worked the Detroit bankruptcy.

Happily he asked if I wouldn't mind my cousins throwing a party in my honor up in LA at a place of their choosing. Slightly stunned, I muttered, “Sure.”

The Four Amigos, all only-child cousins
This call happened only a few days into my trip of discovery back in Iowa when I was there for Woody's 60thbirthday at the end of March. That trip would start a new precedent of not being in my now So Cali hometown for a celebration since moving there, a time-span of 20 years. I didn't see the pattern then since that was the first time it happened.

Spending my birthday in LA this last weekend was the second. It being a jubilee shemitah year and my 70thall things contributed to produce the most magical trip ever to LA. After the jump, the story behind the group of people who came by jet, by train, and by car to honor yours truly, as only a family can.



Group shot taken at The Proud Bird, with LAX in background.

Starting in the back row, left corner, is my cuz Wiley, the only son of my mother's oldest brother, Wiley, himself named for the grand patriarch of the family, Wiley Daniel, who was also known by his scene name of Cap'n Dan, as his last name was Daniel. This locally [Louisville, KY] renowned figure is mentioned in two books [ISBN 0-8131-1674-0, by name, page 115, The Rest of The Dream, and ISBN 978-1-935497-36-3, by photo, page 141, ninth counting from the right end of the second row. My father is sixth from that end same row, Two Centuries of Black Louisville]. My own picture can be seen on page 181 as the last kid protestor in line at Fountain Ferry in the time when it was 'whites only'. This rarity of 3 male generations in one historical publication was predicted to me by my grandfather before I was out of high school, a magical occurrence I made known to my cousins honoring me, as I honored the couple who for most of us, started it all. He was our family's lighthouse. He and his wife were both magical but not in a witchy way.

My personal esoteric research has led me to believe that Cap'n Dan descended from the tribe of Levi, the only Jewish tribe not to dance around the golden calf while Moses was up talking to a bush. Eldest son Wiley was called Uncle Dub but not for any modern reasons. Having been given Cap'n Dan's wife's maiden name as a middle name, 'Dub' came from running together ' Little W. B.' becoming a junior since Cap'n Dan took the same middle name also, via his wife's suggestion for the Brown Hotel job app. Wiley Daniel, aka Cap'n Dan, had no middle name at birth or when he and Mary Belle got married.

Standing to Wiley's left are three sisters, Lanny, Rochelle, and Malva, three of the four children by my mother's other brother, Reginald, [Wiley Jr's younger brother] and his second wife. The tall young man bending down in front of Wiley is Justin, Lanny's 25 year old Las Vegas dancing troupe son. Malva, the oldest, has her PhD and recently retired from Amtrak. The last time seeing any of them, two of the girls were just starting college. Their father, 'Uncle Chunk' nicknamed that because he resembled the Micheline Tire baby [he was chunky] became a doctor later in life after serving as an officer in the second World War.

Next to the 'girls' is Kenny, whose mother was my mother's first cousin, making Kenny officially a second cousin. But as he said during our remarks part, he never felt like a second cousin. In my grandfather's house everyone was equal, except Granny was the boss. However, everybody else was equal. Kenny is in the middle of labor talks with the union since he is a General Motors VP. After my party at about ten am the next morning, Kenny was on a flight to Beijing, China. While in town though, I rode in style; 'shotgun' in a red Escalade SUV. I didn't have to ask what year it was. And really, I don't say these things to brag about my family, only to show how proud I am of them all. I told them our ancestors felt the same way watching this gathering and than said an invocation.

The blond woman standing just in front of Kenny is Wiley's wife, Ida, who recently retired and does volunteer work. Last by not least on the corner, is my UCSB professor cousin Danny, the only son and first Reginald [Jr.] from Uncle Chunk's first marriage to Aunt Billy. The second Reginald[Jr.], Uncle Chunk's other son and brother to the three sisters didn't make it. I had prepared something for him though.

In fact, I had something prepared for them all. Early in June I ordered a set of books [Memoirs] to be delivered to the hotel where I was staying. Ordering 11, I had only nine by the time of my party, having sold two in as many days on the hotel block where I was staying in DTLA. Later I would realize the number of church victims was the same number.

Told my cousin was waiting outside, I walked out of the hotel, stopped and looked at the row of cars parked along the front and said to myself, 'which car would my cousin be in?' I then walked over to the red SUV and put my head in the window. Later we would stop at Popeye's since the delicious croissant I had for breakfast was history and the party didn't start for about 3 more hours.

Back at his executive suite I explained that I too had a message to deliver which I hoped everyone would be receptive to. I then showed him my outfit. The jacket got a nod, the shirt an OK, but pulling out the green plaid shorts got me a 'Dis nigga' smile, and suddenly we were kids again.

When I got out of the shower, Danny, who had frown in from Santa Barbara [45 min/plane; 2-3 hours/ train] was out front in the living room. Danny has 3 books out. When some word-pimp dropped an 'O' bomb, which was followed by an 'Oh, don't get me started', well the night began. I then brought out a copy of Memoirs to show them both the two 'extras' each book contained. One marked Chapter 7, the start onto the path less traveled and began with a Beatles music reference, something picked up by Danny.


The second 'extra' bookmarked Chapter 20. When I note in a story that Memoirs is magical [in the signs it affords], I don't mean to say anything I wrote is magical. In Memoirs, Chapters 1-19 are the ones I wrote, mymemoirs. Chapter 20 came to me in two epiphanies. That's the magic part. The signs recorded are now in the twenties and number 25 was strategically placed at the start of Chapter 20, the chapter that deals with the now, and what's to come. See Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, The Secret of the Shemitah.

When the night was over, my cousins had learned something new about our uncommon common ancestors, and something about tomorrow. One cousin, after buying a single copy, goggled a main talking point and came back to buy 5 more copies, cornering the market. I may be the only public acknowledged wizard character, but i'm just a diamond of a different cut in the sibling offspring and generations of Wiley and Mary Belle.

We cousins have moved past being 'The Young & The Brest-less', through 'The Days of Our Lays' advancing to maturity for 'Guiding The Light'. The original Wiley Daniel was a lighthouse for the whole startup Daniel clan. As the oldest reigning member I hope to keep the fam and all the offshoots from dashing on the coming rocks. These are the days of Noah.

It felt good to catch up with family that I haven't seen since before my mother died. I managed to catch up a little with everybody, but it was the feeling of being in their company that was the best. It was a feeling that I hadn't experienced in a long time, too long a time.

The next planned party is for Wiley's 70th, in a year and two months.

Also present but not pictured were Wiley's in-laws, Ida's brother Clifford [now Cliff], his wife and party planner for this, Vanessa, and their son, also 25, Matthew. One final note:

Amazon; CDBaby, and everywhere else for audiobooks

A cannabis joint of the lowest grade, smoked in the first five minutes of a stroke will stop 95% of after-stroke damage. Cannabis protects the brain. Peace out. See you all next 70th birthday event. Ttfn.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

THE LAST FOURTH OF JULY

THE END ISN'T NEAR, IT'S HERE

Temecula, CA – Today we may be celebrating our next-to-last Great American Holiday. On the surface things look great, almost too great. The stock market is booming. The NASDAQ is high and so am I, as the saying goes in the escalating cannabis market which is growing like a weed.

So as we celebrate our now limited freedom and puff tuff, those of us who partake in the magical indulgence of gathering two or more in the name of Mary Jane Green, see Memoirs of Mr. Pete & …

And magic is what you need nowadays, even if it is just to make sense of things. Knowing how magic works adds logic to things that otherwise would make no sense, whether they be good or evil. Proposed in Memoirs is the theme that says you can't begin to understand how cannabis works [to relieve so many ailments] unless you know magic or esoteric principles. This is good magic.

The same is true for events like the recent South Carolina church massacre. If you believe Alex Jones and some of his theories about who or what runs the world, then you know though most people think the event was racial, it was only painted with a racial brush to mask the true intent and purpose. If you believe what they say about the Bohemian Grove, then that Wednesday night massacre was really a Wednesday night sacrifice; a blood sacrifice carried out for that same worshiped grove entity. That was bad magic.

Before we move on to shed some light on good magic, which is complicated, let us look at bad magic, which is less so. For evil to work some energy must be released in a directed fashion so the entity receiver is satisfied. Of course you can sell your own soul but that is too short-sighted since everything begins and ends with you. It is better to join a movement already in progress; that way, you can pass something along to your family and feel good about doing what ever it is you are a part of. This happened to the Jews who danced around the golden calf [sans the Levitt].

The Bible tells us that 'the power [or life] is in the blood' of the sacrifice. Though mass shootings have been around for a while, churches/religious places, and schools/colleges, carry the most shook value given the innocence, but it is the former which matches all the requirements of a legitimate sacrifice.

Hopefully the people of the United States won't simply hand over their small arms unless you trust the police to do the right thing, cough Freddie Gray.

On the medical marijuana front, two treats have materialized. The first is illustrated by this story about Oregon's first day of legal regulated weed, the know-nothing politicians who currently have power over people as if a new royalty controlling every aspect of freedom for the sake of money.

On July 2nd State Senator Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) received a new bong on the first day recreational marijuana was legal in Oregon.

State Senator Ginny Burdick, left

The Oregonian reported that Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) gave Burdick the navy and gold bong as a thank-you for her work implementing Measure 91 as co-chair of the Legislature's committee.

The bong was handcrafted by glass artist Woody Nelson and the $400 price tag was paid for by donations from every member of the Senate, The Oregonian said.

The words "State of Oregon" can be seen on the base.


Burdick said she would use it only as a vase.

The second treat to MMJ patients is that of the 'do-gooder', found in this story, also from Oregon.

'Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli could have been the worst nightmare of every marijuana advocate in the Oregon Legislature this year.
 
Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, far left

The conservative Republican from John Day comes from an eastern Oregon district that voted resoundingly against legalizing the drug. And in his GOP leadership role, he has no reason to make the Democrats who dominate the Legislature look good.

But Ferrioli wound up pushing the Legislature's marijuana committee to start retail sales far earlier than expected, and he played a key role in shaping the Legislature's unique approach to regulating the upcoming legal cannabis market.

As possession of marijuana becomes legal for Oregon adults, the Legislature is finishing work on a series of bills that — almost as much as Measure 91 — will determine how and where the drug is bought, sold and consumed in Oregon.

"I wasn't at all conflicted about my role in trying to facilitate the end of prohibition," said Ferrioli, arguing that he was interested in "ending the black market, combating gangsterism" and getting marijuana offenders out of jail.

As it happens, Ferrioli's family history played a big role in shaping his views on the drive to make pot legal. The son of a liquor salesman and the grandson of a bootlegger, he grew up learning about the ills of America's failed attempt to prohibit alcohol in the 1920s.'



Let's set the record straight. America's prohibition did work. The hidden agenda of stopping all research into alcohol use as an alternative energy source against the toxic fuel gasoline worked fine and dandy, like patriotism and cotton candy.

So the question is, why would you allow someone unqualified to dictate your medicine simply because they are elected or worse, assigned an office based solely on who they know or who knows them? Does being elected qualify one as a physician? Are you really going to let people like this,





determine a situation like this?


On the side of good magic, Divine Intervention is the Mother of Cannabis.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA! SUMMER FOOTBALL NEWS

FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER

Hello Football Fans,

Attached is some football info to chew on as the season approaches.  I'll provide more details in late August before the season starts.

I've included four quiz questions plus lots of other hopefully entertaining stuff.


Enjoy,

The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL, on the lam from the gambling police


While there is not much big news in football right now (I’m talking real football, not soccer), I would like to give you a snapshot of some ongoing issues and statistical minutia for your entertainment.  NFL training camps will open soon, and the college football season begins in less than two months (August 27th).

FOOTBALL IN LOS ANGELES (after a two-decade absence)??

Los Angeles has not had an NFL team since the Rams and Raiders departed for St. Louis and Oakland, respectively, in 1995.  I’ve been ignoring the return of football to LA for many years, because prior proposals have been fraught with snafus (e.g., Ed Roski’s stadium in City of Industry).

But now the re-migration is imminent; widespread speculation is that football will actually be back in Los Angeles for the 2016 season.  The league has two LA proposals on the table.  In January, a developer and a company operated by STL Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke unveiled plans to build a $1.86 billion, 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood, CA on land he owns near Hollywood Park.  St. Louis is fighting the move, trying to keep the team in Missouri.  In February, the SD Chargers and OAK Raiders proposed building a $1.7 billion NFL stadium in Carson, CA (south of LA), which would be shared by the two teams (and presumably one of those teams would switch from the AFC West to the NFC West).  Both San Diego and Oakland seem to be having problems getting adequate commitments from their respective cities (or are purposely not negotiating in good faith with those cities).

Whatever happens, and it’s still hard to guess which proposal will prevail or if an alternative plan ends up winning out, football most likely will be back in LA in 2016.  The NFL is already searching out temporary venues for playing games in the LA area while a stadium is being built (likely the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and/or the Los Angeles Coliseum).  A new stadium would be ready for the 2018 NFL season.

One alternative plan would be to have the Chargers and Rams share a new LA stadium, leaving Oakland to figure out their situation – working with the City of Oakland, caving in and sharing the SF 49’ers new Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, or maybe moving to another city (St. Louis, perhaps).

The next significant action will be an owners-only meeting in Chicago on August 11th to discuss the issues at hand.
Stay tuned.




#DEFLATE-GATE

The CLE Browns had a relatively minor #Text-Gateviolation resolved earlier this year, basically because the organization cooperated with the NFL. 

In case you missed it, General Manager Ray Farmer texted messages to on-field personnel during games, which is against league rules.  He was texting his opinions to tell coaches what plays to run; this was not considered by the NFL to be with intent to gain a competitive advantage.  Farmer was suspended for the first four games of 2015 and the team was fined $250,000 but did not lose any draft picks.

The ATL Falcons had a relatively minor #Decibel-Gateviolation resolved earlier this year, basically because the organization cooperated with the NFL.  The punishment --- Team President Rich McKay was suspended 3 months from the NFL Competition Committee and the team was fined $350,000 and lost a 5thround draft pick in 2016.

In case you missed it, the team piped in artificial noise through the intercom system of the indoor stadium in an attempt to gain additional home-field advantage.  Presumably the Falcons’ Director of Event Marketing made a unilateral decision to pump in the noise and violate league rules (the idea probably sounded intelligent to him at the time); he was fired in March.

On the other hand, the NE Patriots have an ongoing dispute with the NFL -- #Deflate-Gate.  This also could have been a relatively minor violation, but there has not been full cooperation from the Patriots organization and its main participant, QB Tom Brady.  As such, it has become a big deal.  The Patriots are being tagged as “repeat offenders”, after having been busted for blatant violations of NFL rules in 2007 for illegally videotaping opponents’ defensive signals (repeatedly) (aka #Spy-Gate, at which time objective football fans would start labeling them “Cheaters”).  Back then, HC Bill Belichick took the hit with a $500,000 fine and the team forfeited a 1stround draft pick.

This time, Tom Brady was the fall-guy and he was nailed with a 4-game suspension without pay (“for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL”) to start the 2015 NFL season (partly for his role and responsibility for footballs being illegally deflated, and partly for non-cooperation with the league’s investigation; he didn’t make his cell phone info available, whereas Ray Rice and all of Miami bullying scandal players and other players did comply with cell phone requests by the NFL).  Of course, Brady appealed the suspension and had his hearing on June 23rd, but no final decision on the appeal has been made by the league.  The New England team has been fined $1 million and lost a 1st round draft pick in 2016 and a 4th round pick in 2017, and owner Robert Kraft accepted the team punishment (probably in the interest of keeping overall league harmony and to avoid a conflict with other team owners), while still not admitting any wrongdoing nor conceding to Brady’s guilt and suspension.

The $1MM fine to the Patriots matched the all-time high fine levied in 1999 against former San Francisco 49’ers owner Eddie DeBartolo for his role in a failed Louisiana riverboat gambling scheme.

Warning: The Fugitive’s opinions are about to be unleashed
The Brady suspension came after the 243-page Wells Report was presented to the league, which was written by Ted Wells after he investigated the incident(s) in question.  According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between players and the league, the standard of “proof” for determining whether rules regarding the integrity of the game were violated requires that it was “more probable than not” that Brady was responsible for the illegal deflating of game balls (presumably that Brady instructed two New England employees: Jim McNally, a game-day attendant for the officials’ locker room and/or John Jastremski, the “Deflator”-- to do the dastardly deeds for him).  After the report was issued and made public, Brady and New England began the subterfuge, coverup, denials, and lack of cooperation and gave the impression of a “lack of institutional control” by the Patriots (language more familiarly used in an NCAA investigation of a college program).  Interestingly, the team indefinitely suspended both McNally and Jastremski without pay (but why, if there was no wrongdoing?).

And of course the following example may have to be taken with a grain of salt, but former NFL A.J. Feely claims that the Patriots were breaking the rules about properly preparing footballs long before Deflate-Gate.  He recalled a game in 2004 when he was playing for the MIA Dolphins in which he saw Brady using old, broken-in balls at a time when NFL rules required teams to use new balls provided by the league.  According to Feely on a radio show recently:  “Prior to Tommy [Brady] and Peyton Manning going to the league and saying ‘Let us doctor our balls’, we used to all play with the same balls.  Somehow this beat-up ball from the ball boy was getting thrown in on offense for New England, yet when we were on offense this orange brand new ball was getting thrown in.”  That was over a decade ago, my friends.  I have to believe it has been going on for a long time, and not just by Brady (although that doesn’t excuse him; he got “caught”-sort of).

And just to pile on the NE Cheaters a bit more, the team has been accused of tampering with the on-field communications systems to the detriment of opponents.  In 2005, the JAX Jaguars HC Jack Del Rio stated that during their playoff game at New England, his coaches’ headsets “mysteriously malfunctioned”.  In a 2006 DET Lions’ game at New England, Detroit OC Mike Martz had the Lions’ offense off to a good start until he lost the ability to call plays because the communications system went out.  It reportedly happened twice to the Lions in this game, both times in the middle of drives when the Lions were picking up steam (according to Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated).  Cincinnati HC Marvin Lewis chimed in upon hearing about this: “Yeah, I know.  Headset went out.  It happened to me in Foxboro, too.”  In 2008, Arizona defensive captain Karlos Dansby suspected the Patriots of wrongdoing when his Cardinals visited New England for a game and had trouble with their coach-to-helmet communications system, as he recalled recently on PFT Live.
[The Fugitive Pontifi-Kurts:  I smell a rat, a big smelly diseased rat; this team is no longer the NE Pats, but instead the NE Rats]

The decision on Brady’s appeal should come down in the next month or so, although you shouldn’t hold your breath.  The appeal of DE Greg Hardy’s 10-game suspension for domestic violence has been on hold for over a month without a final decision.

In the aftermath of the various punishments, Atlanta Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank noted that he fully cooperated and fessed up in Decibel-Gate, whereas the Patriots’ failure to acknowledge any wrongdoing was the difference in penalties assessed by the NFL.

Let’s get on to some real football stuff.





COLLEGE

POWER FIVE CONFERENCE RACES - EARLY ODDS

The CG Technology sportsbook came out with early odds for each of the Power Five (“P5”) conferences in mid-June.  Following is a summary of the favorites to win each conference, and a smattering of odds for other teams of interest to The Fugitive’s loyal readers:

BIG XII

TCU                  1.7 to 1
Baylor               2.5 to 1
Oklahoma         4 to 1
Okie State         5 to 1
Texas                7 to 1
(Iowa State is 25 to 1)

This 10-team conference race should be quite interesting; each team will play the other nine conference members during the regular season.  The Big 12 got left out of the CFP playoffs last year, purportedly because there was a tie for the conference title and a clear winner was not declared by the conference due to rules in place at the time.  That has since been rectified by the Big XII for the 2016 season (i.e., only oneteam will win the conference title, even if it takes multiple tiebreakers).  However, there still will be no conference title game in 2015 (earliest would be 2016).

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE (ACC)

FSU                  2.5 to 1
Clemson           3 to 1
GA Tech           4 to 1
Louisville         8 to 1
VA Tech           8 to 1
Miami               10 to 1

This 14-team conference appears to be led by the dominant Atlantic Division (Clemson, FSU).  The Coastal Division favorite is Georgia Tech over Virginia Tech.
Florida State must play road games at Clemson and at GA Tech this year.
Clemson must play a road game at Louisville and hosts GA Tech from the other division.
VA Tech must play at GA Tech, but faces neither Clemson nor FSU in the other division.
GA Tech must play both Clemson and FSU from the other division.

BIG TEN (14-team conference)

Ohio State        1 to 2               Loaded with talent, including three top QB’s
Michigan St      3.25 to 1
Wisconsin        8 to 1
Michigan & Nebraska  12 to 1
(Minnesota 18 to 1, Iowa is 25 to 1, Illinois 60 to 1)

The OSU Buckeyes are projected to have the best player in the conference at 10 of the 22 positions, and appear to be an easy run-away winner of the East Division.  The weaker West Division appears to be a two-team contest between Wisconsin and Nebraska.

PACIFIC 12 CONFERENCE (PAC-12, or 12-PACK)

Oregon              2.25 to 1
USC                  2.75 to 1
Stanford            5 to 1
UCLA               5 to 1
Arizona St        6 to 1
Arizona             7 to 1
Utah                  10 to 1

In the South Division, USC plays at AZ State and at Oregon this year but gets Stanford, UCLA, Utah and Arizona at home.  Arizona State faces road games at UCLA and Utah, but gets USC, Oregon, and Arizona at home.  The Sun Devils don’t have to face Stanford in the regular season.
In the North Division, Oregon plays road games at AZ State and Stanford, but gets USC, Oregon State and Utah at home.  The Ducks don’t play Arizona or UCLA in the regular season.  Stanford looks to be the OU Ducks’ biggest threat; the Cardinal plays a road game at USC, but gets home games against “contenders” in Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon; Stanford doesn’t have to play ASU in the regular season.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE (the lowly SEC)

Alabama           2.5 to 1
Auburn             3.75 to 1
Georgia             5 to 1
LSU                  8 to 1
Mississippi       8 to 1
Tennessee         8 to 1
Arkansas           10 to 1
Missouri           12 to 1

The 14-team conference has been dominated by the 7-team West Division, with the ALA Crimson Tide as a slight favorite over Auburn.  The East Division should be a two-team race between Georgia and Tennessee, with Missouri potentially contending (since the Tigers have won the last two West Division titles after being given little chance to do so in both years since they moved into the SEC in 2013).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS (CFP) – EARLY ODDS

Let’s compare the early odds for a team to win the whole thing – the NCAA Championship, as posted by Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (6/21/15) and Bovada.lv (there were more extensive odds posted by Westgate; n/a=not available).

Team                            Westgate         Bovada            Comments

Ohio State                    3 to 1               3.5 to 1            The clear favorite; defending champs
Alabama                       7 to 1               7 to 1               SEC favorite; 2014 CFP semifinalist
TCU                              7 to 1               10 to 1             Big XII favorite
Auburn                         12 to 1             12 to 1            
USC                              15 to 1             n/a                   PAC-12 favorite
Baylor                           18 to 1             n/a
Notre Dame                  20 to 1             n/a
Oregon                          20 to 1             n/a                   2014 CFP finalist
FSU                              20 to 1             12 to 1             ACC favorite; 2014 CFP semifinalist

ALABAMA REGULAR SEASON MINUTIA
It's been five years since Alabamahas been the betting underdog. That streak is in jeopardy.
The Golden Nugget sportsbook in Las Vegas released point spreads on more than 150 gameson June 26th. The line on Alabama's game at Georgiaon Oct. 3 opened at Pick 'em (no favorite or underdog).
The Crimson Tide enters the season having been favored in 68 consecutive games, the longest streak in the modern era that dates back to the 2009 SEC championship game, when Tim Tebow's FL Gators were a 5½ -point favorite over Alabama. The Tide rolled over Florida 32-13 and has been in the role of favorite in every game since.  Alabama opened as a 10-point favorite over Wisconsinin the first week of this season at neutral site AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

Other notable Week 1 lines include Auburn (-11h) favored over Louisvillein neutral site Atlanta, Texas A&M (-3) over Arizona State in neutral site Houston, Notre Dame (-7h) over Texasand Ohio State (-16) at Virginia Tech
The OSU Buckeyes are ranked #1 by a significant margin in Golden Nugget oddsmaker Aaron Kessler's power ratings. Kessler told ESPN Chalk that TCUand Baylorare second and third, respectively. Four Ohio State's games made the opening board. The Buckeyes are favored by double digits in all of them, including by 16 at Michigan.
The Golden Nugget sportsbook in Las Vegas will take $1,000 limit bets on the games.

COLLEGE BOWL SCHEDULE

It may be a bit early for this, but we’re going to have more bowl games this year than in prior years.  Last year, there were 39 bowl games; another expansion will result in 41 bowl games this year (supposed to be 42, but one bowl (the Austin Bowl; no sponsor yet) was postponed until the 2016 season).  The two new bowls will be in Tucson, AZ (C-USA team vs. Mountain West team) and Orlando, FL (American vs. Sun Belt).

That means 62.5% of all FBS schools will get into a bowl game (41 games x 2 = 82 less 2 repeat teams for CFP title game = 80 divided by 128 FBS schools this year).  And for you proponents of the student-athlete, you’ll be happy to know that for this year there will be no FBS schools facing an Academic Performance Report (APR) ban from the postseason (only Idaho was banned for academics last year).  Among all Power 5 teams, Oklahoma State has the lowest APR at .934 [threshold for eligibility is .930; maximum is 1.000].  The Top 5 highest APR scores: Wisconsin .998, followed by Northwestern and Duke at .992, Michigan .990, and Stanford .987.

Interestingly, there will be five FCS schools ineligible for the 2015 season because of substandard APR – Alabama State, Florida A&M, Gardner-Webb, Savannah State, and Tennessee State.

Has the increase in the number of bowl games created less fan interest?  Presumably not, if you follow the money.

After the 2013 season, there were 35 bowl games that generated $309.9MM to be disbursed to the various FBS conferences and teams.  With the advent of the CFP playoff system for the 2014 season and an increase to 39 bowl games, there was $505.9MM doled out.  The increase was mainly due to a $180MM payment by ESPN for the rights to the CFP television package (and that TV package amount will escalate in future years).

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA-BURMINGHAM (UAB)

UAB abandoned its football program at the end of the 2014 regular season.  So you astute college football fans ask why there are still 128 FBS schools this year, when there were 128 teams last year including Alabama-Birmingham.  The answer is that a new school has been elevated to FBS status – the UNC-Charlotte 49-ers, who will play in Conference USA.

Back to UAB:

In December, the school’s president decided to drop the football program for financial reasons.  Around 55 of the UAB players transferred to other football schools and were given immediate eligibility for the 2015 season.  On June 1, 2015, UAB announced that it would be reinstating the sport of football at the school.  Reportedly, AUB football boosters and community members met with the president and agreed to cover the cost of a projected $17.2 million deficit over the next five years.  Supporters have already raised about $6 million of the estimated $14 million needed for a turf practice field and new fieldhouse.

UAB will remain a full member of the Conference USA, and should resume play for the 2016 or 2017 season, but the quality of the team has been devastated by the mass exodus.  The UAB Blazers’ head coach Bill Clark had done a phenomenal job with the program last year in his first year there (bowl-eligible, but no team remaining to take to the postseason due to school’s hasty decision to abandon program).  He decided not to move to greener pastures (plenty of offers) in hopes that the program would be resurrected – so he still has the UAB head job starting in 2016 (or whenever the team starts playing again) and will have to virtually build the team back up from scratch.

OTHER COLLEGE RESTRUCTURING

As mentioned above, UAB is out of the FBS for 2015; UNC-Charlotte is being added and will in effect take the place of UAB in the Conference USA (so still 13 members in the conference for 2015).

Navy, formerly an independent for over 100 years, has joined the American Athletic Conference (AAC).   That leaves only three teams without a conference affiliation: Notre Dame, BYU, and Army.
The AAC now has 12 members, and the “American” conference will be split into two divisions (and will have a conference title game after the regular season).

East: UCF, CIN, UConn, ECU, USF, and Temple

West: HOU, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane, and Tulsa

That’s pretty much geographically solid, except that Cincinnati “should” be in the West, and Navy “should” be in the East.

That’s it; there are no other conference realignments for the upcoming season.

In the Sun Belt Conference (SBC), Georgia Southern won the conference title last year but was ineligible for a bowl game while in transition from FCS to FBS (as was Appalachian State).  Both teams will be eligible for postseason play this year.

NFL

ONE INTERESTING RULE CHANGE

The “extra point” or “point-after-touchdown” (PAT) rule is being changed for the 2015 regular season.  After a TD, a team will choose whether to go for the 1-point PAT (kick) or 2-point PAT.  The one-point conversion will have the ball placed at the 15-yard line, making the kick the same as a 32-yard field goal; previously, a PAT kick was the same as a 19-yard FG.  If a team elects to “go for two”, the ball will be placed at the 2-yard line, where it had been placed in prior years for all PAT’s.

Will this make a big difference?
In 2014, there were only 8 misses in 1,230 PAT kick attempts (99.35% success rate).  Also last year, the conversion rate for 30-35 yard FG’s was 161 of 169, or 95.3%.  And over the last 10 years at the same field goal distance, the conversion rate was 92%.  So I don’t see much difference here (some, but not earth-moving). 

However, there could be an interesting difference with the rule change that allows the defense to score on a PAT (previously the defense could not score; the NFL rule is changed to match the college rule in that regard).  For example, the defense blocks the PAT kick (or intercepts a pass or recovers a fumble) and returns it to opposite endzone for 2 points.

By the way, the successful conversion rate for the two-point try in the NFL from the 2-yard line has been about 47% over the last ten years.

With the advent of the new rule, you are probably dreaming up oddball scenarios that could occur….. or maybe not, so I’ll give you a few:

1.     Can you still go for two, even though you elected to place the ball at the 15-yard line for a PAT kick?
YES, although this would normally only happen if there was a bobbled snap (element of surprise is probably not enough).

2.     What happens when a penalty occurs on the PAT play?
The team that scored the touchdown can change its mind about whether to go for one or two.  For example, scoring team elects to go for two, commits holding penalty, ball moved back to 12-yard line; offense can elect to move ball back to 15, forego the 2-point conversion, and instead go for the 1-point kick after the 10-yard penalty is imposed, moving the line of scrimmage back to the 25-yard line and forcing a 42-yard extra point try.
Another example: 1-point try from the 15-yard line, defense jumps offside, offense can change to going for 2-point try from the 1-yard line (that is, 2-yard line with penalty enforced as “half-the-distance-to-the-goal”).


3.     What happens on an “excessive celebration” penalty by the scoring team (offense)?
Penalty enforcement will not change from last year; it will be enforced on the ensuing kickoff, not on the PAT try.

4.     One more: Can the offense score ONE point on a two-point conversion try?
YES, of course, or I wouldn’t have brought it up.

How?

If the defense gets the ball on a PAT (e.g., blocked kick; fumble; INT) and then “advances” the ball back into the offensive team’s end zone and gets tackled, the result will be a one-point safety for the offense.

Don’t laugh – it has recently happened in college football:
In the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, Kansas State blocked an Oregon extra point kick and a KSU player picked up the ball and ran it into his own endzone, after which Oregon was credited with one point.

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE (CFL) EXTRA POINT CHANGE

Much like the NFL (only a bit more radical), the Canadian Football League changed its extra point rules this year.

In the past, a missed extra point was rare in the CFL — 99.4% of extra points were successful last season.  But this year the CFL has moved the line of scrimmage on extra-point kicks back 20 yards, from the 12-yard line to the 32-yard line.

Going for two” hadn’t been a common occurrence in the past.  Last year, there were only seven successful two-point conversion attempts in the entire CFL season. But this year two-point conversions have been moved up two yards, from the 5-yard line to the 3-yard line.

The CFL decided to change extra points for the same reason as the NFL did: concerns that the play had become so easy as to be boring. But while the NFL only tweaked the rule, the CFL made a much more radical change, making extra-point kicks significantly harder and two-point conversions significantly easier.

OTHER NFL RULE CHANGES


I’ll get to the other rule changes in late August before the regular season games start.

OTHER CATCH-UP and MINUTIA OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Updates on College Football Playoff (CFP)

The playoff semifinals will controversially be played on New Year’s Eve.  But at least the third and last of the “Major 6” bowl games for the day should end at about 11PM (Eastern), giving the East Coasters one hour to get ready to properly celebrate the new year. 

December 31st    (Thursday)
PEACH BOWL            Noon ET, 11AM Central, 10AM Mountain, 9AM Pacific
COTTON BOWL       4PM or 8PM ET (CFP semifinal)
ORANGE BOWL       4PM or 8PM ET (CFP semifinal)

January 1st (Friday)
FIESTA BOWL            1PM ET
ROSE BOWL               5PM ET
SUGAR BOWL            8:30PM ET

The participants for these games will be announced by the CFP Selection Committee on Sunday, December 6th.  Prior to that date, the Committee will release preliminary rankings starting on Tuesday, November 3rd (one week later as compared to last year) and then weekly thereafter.

The CFP Championship Game will be played on Monday, January 11, 2016 (8:30PM ET) at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

NFL Supplemental Draft

The 2015 supplemental draft will be held on July 9th.  In the prior two years, none of the 11 eligible players were drafted.  The last supplemental pick was in 2012 when the Cleveland Browns selected WR Josh Gordon in the 2ndround. 

This year four players are eligible (to date):

Isaiah Battle    OLT    Clemson          “Minor” disciplinary suspensions 2013 and 2014
6’7” and 290 lbs. (age 22)                   Pot possession incident 2015 (three strikes & out)
                                                              Expectant father this summer – needs a job                                     
                                                              Should get selected (I’ll guess 3rdor 4th round)
                         
Darrius Caldwell         DE                   University of West Georgia (Division II)
                                                              I’m guessing he won’t get selected

Dalvon Stuckey           DT                   Also out of West Georgia
                                                              I’m guessing he won’t get selected either

Adrian Wilkins WR/KR           North Carolina Central University (FCS)
I’m guessing he won’t get selected

The guys not selected become unrestricted free agents and may sign with any NFL team.

25 years ago, three players were selected in the first round of the supplemental draft – QB Steve Walsh (Miami.FL), QB Timm Rosenbach (WA.St) and RB Bobby Humphrey (ALA).  Two other players were selected in later rounds; overall, the five selections in one supplemental draft is still the all-time record.

Walsh was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, whose new coach was Jimmy Johnson.  A few months earlier in the regular 1989 NFL draft, the Cowboys had picked up a QB (Troy Aikman, you may have heard of him).  Jimmy had been Walsh’s head coach in college the previous year.  Aikman won the starting job; Walsh was traded to New Orleans the next year for three draft picks, including a 1st-rounder.

The last time a first round pick was used on a supplemental pick was in 1992.  The NY Giants selected Duke QB Dave Brown.

POTPOURRI

Syracuse University has “unretired” jersey number 44 without asking all-time great Jim Brown how he felt about it.  Brown was not all that thrilled with the decision, at least as it appeared by his comments, but he didn’t raise a big stink about it either.  To me, there just doesn’t seem to be any good explanation for the school to make this decision.  Stay tuned.

Sarah Thomas will be officiating in a regular season NFL game this year, the first time ever for a female.

The University of North Carolina is being accused of “lack of institutional control” by the NCAA (June 2015), not long after the NCAA had nailed the football program for past transgressions.  This time, it appears the women’s basketball team will be the main focus.  There was allegedly a lack of cooperation by the persons allegedly involved.

The Dallas Cowboys are the first NFL team to jump on board in trying out an experimental “virtual reality” 3-D simulation devise produced by the STRIVR company.  With this new technology, players can get in practice reps without risking injury.  Once thought to be only good for QB’s, the product now appears to have many additional applications.

The Washington D.C. NFL football team has been controversially hanging onto its traditional nickname.  ‘Skins owner Daniel Snyder is holding firm in keeping the name, in spite of various protests.  Congress has even tried to get involved in the fray.  Right now, the team has 12 years remaining on its football stadium lease in the state of Maryland, where there is no pressure to change the nickname.  If the team would try to relocate to the site of RFK Stadium, the nickname would surely have to be changed.  I’m guessing the nickname will change before the 2017 season.
[How ‘bout the Washington Generals?  Any Harlem Globetrotter fans out there?  RIP – Marcus Haynes, who passed away on May 22, 2015 at the age of 89; he was the renowned “world’s best dribbler”].

Speaking of name changes, the FBS independent Army(West Point) football team agreed on a partnership deal with Nike to change its nickname on April 13th as part of its overall rebranding project.  In 1999, the Cadets officially changed their nickname to the Black Knights.  Since then, their rival Navy beat them 15 of the next 16 seasons.  Subsequent to the preliminary deal to change their name back to the “Cadets”, Army has decided to keep the moniker “Black Knights” as the team moves forward with their new look and rebranding.

As part of the Deflate-Gate scandal, there had been discussions and other related scientific analyses concerning PSI measurements and the physics of air pressure changes due to temperature changes and other variables.  But there has been no change in the NFL rules regarding the PSI for footballs, although there will be changes in the administrative handling of footballs prior to game time.  Duh!  Baseball announced its rule changes to the handling of game balls before the NFL did.

PLAYER UPDATES

NFL Player Updates

BUMMER: JAX Jaguars’ first round draft pick, selected #3 overall, Dante Fowler Jr. tore his ACL in the first day of rookie minicamp, had surgery in late May, and is out for the year.

Bummer for you Broncos’ fans: DEN left OT Ryan Clady tore his ACL in OTA’s in late May and is probably out for the whole season.  And the less-than-nimble aging QB Peyton Manning will be relying on someone else to protect his blind side in 2015.

NY Giants’ left OT Will Beatty tore a pectoral muscle while lifting weights, had surgery in May and will be out until at least November.  This misfortune leaves another Manning QB with compromised blind side protection (Eli) to start the 2015 season.

MIA Dolphins’ OT Branden Albert tore his ACL/MCL in November of 2014, and after rehab has a decent chance to start in Week #1 of the 2015 season.

The DAL Cowboys signed former LSU offensive tackle La’el Collins as an unrestricted free agent soon after the 2015 NFL Draft concluded.  Collins had been projected as a first round talent, but his draft day got derailed when his pregnant ex-girlfriend was murdered the week before the draft.  He went undrafted due to the uncertainty and Dallas took the chance on him, giving him a paltry 3-year, $1.7MM deal.  It was later determined that Collins was not the father of the baby and he was not implicated in the murder after fully cooperating with authorities in the week following the draft.

As an aside to this story, there were 24 early entries (“underclassmen”) who declared for the 2015 NFL Draft that did not get selected in any of the seven rounds.  Sixteen of the twenty-four came from Power Five conferences.  Of the total 84 underclassmen who declared for the 2015 NFL Draft, 43 were drafted in the first three rounds and then only 17 in rounds 4-7.

CAR Panthers’ QB Cam Newton signed a 5-year extension with $103.8MM in new money [full contract now 6-years and $118.5MM with $60MM guaranteed].
MIA Dolphins’ QB Ryan Tannehill re-signed with a 6-year, $96MM contract and $45MM guaranteed, including $25MM guaranteed over the next two years.
SEA Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson is still under his rookie contract for one more year (and getting paid diddly-squat in comparison to others).  He wants a new contract sooner rather than later, and recent signings by other quarterbacks gives him some leverage in negotiations (it appears).  Stay tuned.

SF 49’ers aging DT Justin Smith formally announced his retirement from the NFL on May 17th.

SF 49’ers OT Anthony Davis has “retired” at the age of 25.  However, he is planning to come back to play “in a year or so” after recovering from injuries including concussion problems.

CHI Bears’ Jared Allen is trying to put new life into his career by switching from defensive end to outside linebacker.

College Player Updates

Remember Texas A&M QB Kenny “The Thrill” Hill, who took over for the departed Johnny “Football” Manziel last year and started the 2014 season by leading the Aggies to a 5-0 record with 17 TD passes and only 2 interceptions?  After that, his team went 0-3 and he lost his starting job and was suspended for two games.  The Thrill has since transferred to TCU and must sit out the 2015 season (he will have two years of eligibility remaining).  The TCU Horned Frogs already have top Heisman candidate QB Trevone Boykin as their starter; he is a junior and with a good year will probably declare for the NFL Draft after this season.

In late May, Ex-Missouri DE Michael Sam signed a two-year contract to play football with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.  After showing up for practices, he later left the team (roughly two weeks ago) for “personal reasons” (no details became available), but then returned to the team last week.  Seems that he is ready to play some pro football.

Attempted humorous insert:
A former Alabama defensive lineman and a 4-star recruit out of high school failed to crack the lineup for the Crimson Tide, so he will be transferring to Arkansas State and will sit out the 2015 season.  His name….. Dee Liner (no joke!).

Former Notre Dame QB Everett Golson has transferred to Florida State and will use his final year of eligibility in Tallahassee.  Golson received his degree from ND University in May and as a graduate transfer will be immediately eligible to play the 2015 season.  He will compete for the starting job with last year’s FSU Seminoles’ backup to Jameis Winston – Sean Maguire.

Ex-USC quarterback Max Wittek will be the starter for Hawaii out of the Mountain West conference this year.

Ex-Iowa QB Jake Ruddock, who started for two years for the Hawkeyes, transferred to the enemy – University of Michigan and will be immediately eligible to play for the Wolverines during the 2015 season.

Speaking of quarterbacks, Ohio State really has a “problem”.  The Buckeyes have three quarterbacks, any one of which could be the starter for over 110 of the 128 FBS schools (Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett, and Braxton Miller).  The 2015 team is loaded with talent, having lost only five players to the 2015 NFL Draft.

FOOTBALL (and other sports) QUIZ QUESTIONS


QUESTION #1:  As noted above, Alabama has a current 68-game streak of being the betting favorite.  In the NFL, Jacksonville had a 42-game streak as an underdog until Week #16 last season (favored by 3 over visiting Tennessee).  Now that the Jaguars’ streak has been snapped, what NFL team has the longest current streak of games as an underdog?

QUESTION #2:  The Seattle Seahawks are seeking to reach a third straight Super Bowl this season.  Who was the last NFL team to accomplish this feat?

BONUS: There was one other team to do it since the beginning of the “Super Bowl” after the 1966 season.  Name that team.

QUESTION #3:  Name the college team with the longest current winning streak.

BONUS: Name the college team with the longest current losing streak (Good luck; not a Power 5 team).

QUESTION #4:  Big talk during the NBA Finals was whether LeBron James would win the MVP Award even if the CLE Cavaliers lost to the GS Warriors.  He ended up not winning the award; Golden State’s Andre Iguodala won it.  What three players on losing teams from three major American sports (basketball, baseball, football) have won Championship Series MVP awards?
HINT: There is only one from each of these three sports.




ANSWER #1:
Oakland Raiders with 24 straight games as a ‘dog heading into the 2015 season.

ANSWER #2:
Buffalo Bills actually went to four straight Super Bowls with QB Jim Kelly from the 1990-1993 seasons.
I thought you might get this one.
BONUS: The Miami Dolphins went to three straight Super Bowls in the 1971-1973 seasons.
The Minnesota Vikings went to three Super Bowls in a four-year span (1973-74, 1976 seasons).
The Denver Broncos went to three Super Bowls in a four-year span (1986-87, 1989 seasons).
The Dallas Cowboys went to three Super Bowls in a four-year span (1992-93, 1995 seasons).
The New England Rats (that’s an “R”, not a “P”) went to three Super Bowls in a four-year span (2001-02, 2004 seasons).

ANSWER #3:
Ohio State with 13 straight wins.
Bonus: Georgia State with 11 straight losses.

ANSWER #4:
In baseball, NY Yankees’ 2B Bobby Richardson received the 1960 World Series MVP Award after the Pinstripers lost the seventh and deciding game to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-9.  The Yankees scored two in the top of the ninth to tie the game, and then Bill Mazeroski hit a leadoff HR in the bottom of the ninth to win the Series.

In football, Dallas LB Chuck Howley won the Super Bowl V most valuable player award (1970 season) in a 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Colts.

In basketball, LA Lakers’ guard Jerry West at age 30 won the NBA Finals MVP Award after a 7-game series loss to the Boston Celtics in 1969.