Saturday, October 09, 2004

Final: Arizona 17 UCLA 37

plays the University of Arizona today. They finally got rid of their pretty boy coach, John Makovic, and replaced him with Mike Stoops, the younger brother of the Oklahoma coach, Bob Stoops. Makovic was relatively successful at Texas, but when he took his act on the road, it did not play very well in Tuscon. In fact, it was a disaster, and the Arizona student-athletes were the losers. But now they have Mike Stoops, former defensive coordinator at Kansas State and he is a good one.

All week long, we raised issues that were first brought up by SD State coach Tom Croft, that UCLA uses the illegal chop block. That's a block where an ofensive lineman first engages a defensive man up top in a normal blocking position, then another offensive player--o-lineman, tightend, runningback--blocks the same offensive player at the legs. Since the defensive man is engaged (locked) on top, the possibility of fall the wrong way when cut from below is great and often leads to injury. Coach Dorrell is offended by the accusation, but UCLA was called for one illegal chop block against SD State last week. Where there's smoke, there's fire? Maybe. New offensive coordinator Tom Cable has implemented a different blocking scheme--zone blocking instead of man-to-man--which includes cut blocking. This is a block that aims at the feet to up end defensive players. this is a completely legal block. What probably happened was that the timing was off and the cut block occured before the first blocker could move away, which is the basis of zone blocking--movement by the offensive line who block whoever is in front of him then if the play calls for it, to move again into another zone. Oh well, Pac-10 officials have checked film and they have determined that the chop block is not integrated into the Bruins' blocking scheme and that the illegal call was an anomaly. Thank God for small favors.

Enough football...

The second debate was on last night, and as usual the talking heads were all over this. My personal opinion, which doesn't amount to a hill of beans (Bogart, Casablanca) is that Bush looked much better than he did in Miami, but that I am even more frightened by him than ever before. He just seemed angry.

In a recent article by Jonathan Alter in Newsweek, Bush is depicted as a "snap judgment" kind of president. In other words, he relies on his instincts to make decisions--which he believes to be right and true--and he sticks to them regardless of whatever other information may come to bear thereafter. This is, in many ways, due to his divorce from reality. As Alter indicates, Bush is perhaps the most secluded president we have known. He is surrounded by men who share his vision and will protect him at all cost. He is kept away from uncontrolled press conferences and interview. If you'll remember, his one-on-one interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press las winter was a disaster. For the 9/11 Commission, the administration insisted that Bush AND Cheney be interviewed together. Why is that? Can't Bush do it alone? The appearance is that even his administration understands his failings. The proof, of course, is in the pudding. Since the Meet the Press fiasco, he has not appeared in public without strict control. He has not interviewed alone since. When he goes out to rallies to make stump speeches, all member of the audience must sign a pledge stating they fully support the president. Because of this coddling, Bush rarely needs to answer tough question about his decisions.

And yesterday's debate was proof of that. When one woman asked him to give three instances in which he realized he had made a bad decision and what he did to correct it, Bushed looked very upset. He started talking about how he made some bad choices in appointments, but on the larger issues, he has not made a mistake. Indeed, he said:

But on the big questions, about whether or not we should have gone into Afghanistan, the big question about whether we should have removed somebody in Iraq, I'll stand by those decisions, because I think they're right.

That's really what you're -- when they ask about the mistakes, that's what they're talking about. They're trying to say, "Did you make a mistake going into Iraq?" And the answer is, "Absolutely not." It was the right decision.

The Duelfer report confirmed that decision today, because what Saddam Hussein was doing was trying to get rid of sanctions so he could reconstitute a weapons program. And the biggest threat facing America is terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

Bush looked right at the questioner and began to say, "That's really what you're..." He fortunately caught himself, but it was obvious that he was taking it personally. Poor lady. But that's not the worst of it. He still insists that going into Iraq was the right thing to do. He is even convinced--or probably his handlers have convinced him--that the Duelfer report confirmed his decision--he said it at least twice during the report. Of course, if any of us reads the same report, we would come to the conclusion that the Duelfer report suggests just the opposite. First there were no WMDs in Iraq. And while Bush focuses on Saddam's attempts to get rid of sanctions so he can reconsitute his nuclear program, Kerry had already stated the obvious: The fact that Saddam tried to get rid of sanctions to reconsitute the program suggests that the sanctions actually were working, something the Bush blindly ignores.

While I am an Independent, my heart is actually more Republican than Democrat and it really hurts to see a man such as this at the head of the Republican party.

So did you see the debate? What did you think?

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