Patriots vs. the Giants

Watching the game now. I'll live-blog now and fix the misquotes later. I found the pre-game commentary interesting.
Rich Eisen: This one game, being broadcast on so many channels. It's like the State of the Union.

A football game, a regular season game, one that will have absolutely no impact on the playoffs, and Eisen compares it to the President's State of the Union address. And the biggest difference is, most people in this country will actually watch the game.
Roger Goodell (NFL commissioner): We believe there is fan interest in the NFL Network... [So why not leave the game on just the NFL Network?] This is about giving the fans what they want.

What is Brady Quinn doing in commercials? Did I miss him getting a starting spot on the Browns?

Four minutes into the game. The Giants score on the opening drive and take a 7-0 lead. As *Astro* (not Scooby Doo, Bryant Gumbel) would say, "Ruh row, Reorge!"

Starting the 2nd Quarter, Brady to Moss and the Patriots take a 10-7 lead. The Pats also set the single season team scoring record. Brady and Moss both tie single season TD records. After the catch, Moss is flagged for celebration, the kickoff will be moved back 10 yards.
Gumbel: The penalty was worth it to see the ref try to dance.
Me: Yeah, sure it was worth it.
Seconds later, the Giants' Domenik Hixon runs the kickoff back for a TD. Giants 14-10.

The Giants are up, 28-16. The NFL is doing "Road to Perfection" highlights from the Patriots season. Can't they wait until, say the end of the game, before declaring it a perfect season?

Near the end of the game, after it looked like the Patriots would win, Gumbel asked Collinsworth what going 16-0 means. Collinsworth: They still have to win the Superbowl for this to mean anything, for this to be considered a better team than the Dolphins. Gumbel: But if they don't win, doesn't going 16-0 mean anything? Collinsworth: No.

After the game. Collinsworth [reading from script]: The New England Patriots have gone 16-0, putting them right there with the Dolphins.


MLB Steroid Report Released

The Mitchell Report has been released (pdf), giving the results of Major League Baseball's year long independent investigation into steroids.

And yes, names were named.
Roger Clemens, Miguel Tijada, Andy Pettitte, are among 75 players named.

My initial thoughts:
Most of the players seemed to be from specific teams, but this is because the players were named by three trainers. I doubt they were the only ones providing steroids.

Most of the players named are pitchers. So even if Bonds and McGuire were using steroids, they were facing pitchers with the same edge.

The owners and managers knew which players used steroids.
When the Boston Red Sox were considering acquiring Gagné, a Red Sox official made specific inquiries about Gagné’s possible use of steroids. In a November 1, 2006 email to a Red Sox scout, general manager Theo Epstein asked, “Have you done any digging on Gagne? I know the Dodgers think he was a steroid guy. Maybe so. What do you hear on his medical?” The scout, Mark Delpiano, responded, "Some digging on Gagne and steroids IS the issue. Has had a checkered medical past throughout career including minor leagues. Lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy, maintain body and re invent self. What made him a tenacious closer was the max effort plus stuff... Mentality without the plus weapons and without steroid help probably creates a large risk in bounce back durability and ability to throw average while allowing the changeup to play as it once did... Personally, durability (or lack of) will follow Gagne...

The Brewers made a very bad decision to sign Gagné unless he has started using roids again.


My Compass Points Out

Bishop Jerome Listecki, Bishop of the La Cross Diocese, has issued a statement to parishoners urging them to not see the Golden Compass. “Instead of using fantasy to lead people to truth and to God,” Listecki wrote, the trilogy of books on which “The Golden Compass” is based “tries to lead them away from God.” Now, the U.S. Conference of Bishops has approved viewing the movie, pleased with the effort to remove most of the anti-Catholicism in the book. I have a bigger question: why is it so bad for Catholics to see anti-Catholic ideas?

If Catholicism is the One True Religion©, then nothing should be able to convince you otherwise. Does Listecki think that his parishioners are stupid, nothing more than sheep who believe whatever they are told without questioning it themselves? Does he believe that children are especially impressionable? Is he not aware of the sad, sad irony?

I understand that in a general sense, this is something many groups do, but it is especially prevalent with religious groups. Why is it so necessary to shelter ourselves from differing views? If you encounter an argument opposing yours, and it makes sense, I think you should consider it. When your beliefs don’t hold up to scrutiny, you really should think about why exactly you believe what you do, and if you can’t justify it, you are an idiot to continue to believe it. And, if your beliefs do hold up, then they will be stronger, reinforced.

In writing this, I can’t help but be reminded of Republican Presidential candidate (and frontrunner) Mitt Romney. Romney has refused to answer any questions about his religious beliefs. For the record, Romney is a follower in the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints; you know him as a Mormon. Mormons have many peculiar beliefs. If Romney truly believes these things, then he should be able to justify his beliefs. Perhaps his magic underwear is a bit too tight, and is cutting off the circulation to his testicles. Either he knows his religion is stupid and is in denial, or he thinks everyone else will think his religion is stupid and he won’t be able to convince anyone that it isn’t (These are the same thing).

Romney is not alone. Most people have never taken an analytical view on their religious beliefs, or their philosophical beliefs, or their political beliefs… When encountering opposing views, instead of engaging them, they retreat and hide. Our President clings to ideas and plans that have been shown to be wrong, insisting that he has always been right. If he could only learn to change his beliefs as new evidence arises, then he could actually be always right. People are afraid to consider that they might be wrong. They never consider that if they are wrong, they can change and become right.

I am not saying that your or anyone’s beliefs are wrong. I’m just asking you to consider it. If you are a devout Christian, go watch the Golden Compass. If you are opposed to universal health care, go watch Sicko. If you support a progressive tax, read Atlas Shrugged. Be open to all viewpoints. If your beliefs change from new evidence, then they have probably changed for the better. You have nothing to lose but ignorance.

Faith means not wanting to know what is true. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. — George Bernard Shaw
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile. — Kurt Vonnegut