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I should be talking about the disgusting exhibition put forth this past weekend in DC by individuals I am ASHAMED to know are my fellow citizens, but I won’t.  I ought to be pointing out the blatant lies being spread about what’s in Obama’s health care plan (coverage for illegal aliens, death panels, etc.), but I won’t.  I am tempted to join in the talk of the utter lack of civility by the likes of Joe Wilson, Kanye West, and yes, even Serena Williams, but I won’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Chargers 50thYup, it’s that time of year again: CHARGERS time!  Seems like it’s been much longer than a few months since delving back into the blue and gold, but all that matters now is that it’s training camp time, with the official season just around the corner.  Woo-hoo!  Larry English’s contract was signed Saturday morning, just in time for him to then get the “newbie” treatment from veterans later at his first training camp practice,  Shawne Merriman is working his mohawk and ready to play, and early camp word is that things are looking VERY good all around.  Anxious, anxious, anxious for this season to get under way, and would LOVE to have Chargers talks with the City of Oceanside come to fruition, but I’ve seen far too many ventures at the old Valley Drive-In site fall through over the years.  Fingers crossed, though! Read the rest of this entry »

michael-vick-and-dogfighting

I thought I had previously reached the highest level of disgust with Michael Vick’s animal cruelty that I could (my previous posts), but after reading an AP story and one on ESPN, detailing portions of a 17-page USDA report released on Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, I’m even more disgusted and sickened than I ever imagined possible.  And that’s saying a lot.

Here are some extremely disturbing details:

  • A person identified as confidential witness No. 1 said Vick placed pets in the ring against pit bulls owned by “Bad Newz Kennels” at least twice and watched as the pit bulls “caused major injuries.”
  • The witness said Vick and co-defendants Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips “thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs.”
  • Vick was administered a polygraph test by the FBI in October 2007 and denied taking part in the killing of dogs in mid-April. When told he had failed that part of the test, Vick recanted his story and admitted to helping hang six to eight underperforming dogs.
  • The dogs were killed by shooting, hanging, electrocution and drowning, and in at least one instance, according to one of the witnesses, when Vick and Phillips killed a red pit bull by “slamming it to the ground several times before it died, breaking the dog’s back or neck.”
  • According to the report, the three men hung the dogs “by placing a nylon cord over a 2 X 4 that was nailed to two trees located next to the big shed. They also drowned approximately three dogs by putting the dogs’ heads in a five gallon bucket of water.”

You need help, Michael Vick, serious help.  I only wish all you were ever allowed to lay your hands on again are the pots and pans you’re washing in jail for 12 cents an hour, and never, ever again on any innocent animals.  Sick and twisted, you are, mentally sick and twisted.

Nice to read some good news after just watching my boys (San Diego Chargers)lose another game, this time about as far away from home as possible: the UK (Saints 37-Chargers 32) .  So the good news is that the Anchorage Daily News has endorsed Barack Obama over the ticket which boasts their own governor, Sarah Palin.  The editorial brings up many valid points, most especially who will best handle the monumental task of getting our country back on the road to recovery after the incredible economic mess we are all enduring.  But perhaps what should really ring loud and long for anyone considering a vote for the McCain/Palin ticket is in the last paragraph, which I’m copying below. (Emphasis added by me. ;))

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

While this season didn’t end the way any die-hard Chargers fan would like (sigh), it was great fun to hope for a trip to the big game, and to see San Diego County come together with some serious Chargers Pride. Our team ironed out a lot of kinks this season, from huge coaching changes to injuries and shifting of players, and as trite and cliche as it sounds, everyone better watch out for us next year!

THANK YOU CHARGERS!!!! 🙂

PS As much as I can’t stand Tom Brady and do not like the Patriots, I DO hope they win ONLY so that our Oceanside, CA, hometown boy Junior Seau, can get a well-deserved Super Bowl ring. On the other hand… 😉

Sunday’s the day, and on any given Sunday ANY team can win, so naysayers step aside and allow my San Diego Chargers to exhibit their skills, and play some serious, hard-hitting, play-making football against the New England Patriots. (Sorry, Junior Seau, as someone who pretty much grew up in Oceanside, too, I’ll always love #55, but gotta stay true to the Bolts. ;))

Despite our boys being banged up for the game (especially Rivers, Tomlinson, Gates), if they can all come together and rally as the cohesive unit they showed themselves to be in the game last week against the Indianapolis Colts, and have Jackson, Turner, Sproles, Cromartie, and Chambers step up to the plate, with Merriman and our defense putting the pressure on Brady, then there is no way anyone can guarantee who will win until the final seconds tick off the clock.

Regardless of the outcome, I’m very excited to see how far our team has come after massive changes with the coaching staff, and a very sluggish start. Here’s hoping that after the game is done on Sunday, San Diego Chargers fans everywhere will be prepping for one heck of a Super Bowl showdown. GO CHARGERS!!!!!

Yeah baby, yeah baby, yeah baby!!! My San Diego Chargers came to play and play they did, NEVER allowing the much-favored Indianapolis Colts to run away with the lead, or to allow the raucous hometown crowd to get them down. It has been very frustrating to not have the Chargers receive the props they have deserved, and instead hear about how wonderful other teams are. Can we PUH-LEEZE finally give the San Diego Chargers a little credit and admit that they ARE a real football team, that they CAN come together to hang tough and pull out some serious wins, and that they ARE a team to be reckoned with and not some fluke? I’m anxious to read the write-ups about this game and see if ANYONE gives respect to my Bolts. (Boomer Esiason seemed to be the only one to give any kudos to the team at halftime on CBS…thanks Boomer!)

(VIDEO BELOW ADDED 1/20/07: Found this good video recap of the game when posting today’s blog entry about the Chargers/Pats game…enjoy!)

I’ll probably have more to add later, but just HAD to head over to give some major lovin’ to my boys from SD–thank you San Diego Chargers for representing 619 (760 and 858, too! ;)) as well as you have!!! While the video below of San Diego’s own POD (Payable On Death) performing their “Chargers Anthem” at a Chargers rally isn’t of very good quality, that sooooo doesn’t matter since it goes above and beyond expressing the enthusiasm and support of San Diego Chargers fans for their team. Watch out Patriots, do NOT underestimate us because we’re heading your way to ruin your perfect record!

Chargers Anthem lyrics

San Diego Chargers, Chargers

The west coast is back, better respect the name.
It’s the San Diego Chargers, feel the lightning bang.
Kill the hype we reign, S.D. runnin this game.
This is 619 straight born and raised.

This ain’t no fad or phase, this is Cali for life.
We gon’ rally tonight, so pump your fists till you get it right.
And keep it real so all of Diego can feel you.
But for now, sing the anthem so the whole world can hear you.

San Diego Chargers!
San Diego come on, come on!
Chargers!
San Diego come on!

San Diego Chargers!
San Diego where you at? come on!
Chargers!
San Diego where you at?

Stay true to your hood, don’t betray your roots.
East, West, North, South, Diego know your roots.
Fly your flag through the city, cause we callin all crews.
All you Diego dedicated rock your yellow’s and blue’s.

It’s the West Coast, California resurrection.
America’s finest city with border-line connections.
You can have your Raider Nation cause we ready for war.
It’s the San Diego Chargers takin over the world.

And we still Raider hatin’
San Diego Chargers!
South side come on, come on!
Chargers!
South side come on!

San Diego Chargers!
East side where you at east side?
Chargers!
East side where you at? come on!

San Diego Chargers!
North side come on!
Chargers!
North side come on, come on!

San Diego Chargers!
Everybody on the west side
Chargers!
Everybody on the west side

San Diego Chargers!
West Coast are you with me?
Chargers!
West Coast are you with me?

San Diego Chargers!
West Coast where you at? where you at?
Chargers!
West Coast where you at? where you at?

Just putting some “good luck vibes” out into the universe in the hope they work well for my 2nd favorite football team, the Seattle Seahawks (I’m a Seattle-born gal) against the Green Bay Packers today, and for my FAVORITE TEAM, the San Diego Chargers (grew up in San Diego County) against the Colts tomorrow. Both of my teams have been deemed the underdogs by most of those who are supposedly “in the know” (cough-cough), but quite honestly being the underdog is a place I’d much rather be. Here’s hoping both teams surprise everyone (well, other than their fans who always have faith ;)) and rack up big wins this weekend.

Still not really feeling the blogging bug, kiddos (despite there being so much to blog about from the continuing WGA strike to politics), but since it was one year ago today that I first took the plunge (blog was named “If I only knew then… “) into the blogging world I just HAD to pop on over to acknowledge the occasion. It’s been odd to look back on the previous 168 posts and be reminded of the events I blogged about and the feelings they invoked in me and in others. Goes without saying that the pet food recall is really what put this lil’ ole blog on the WordPress map last spring, which was surprising to me and something I definitely never envisioned. This blog has never been about trying to get readers or hits, but more about me just having a venue to express my thoughts, frustrations, happiness, and of course share pictures of my poochies, past and present. And especially this time of year, to lament AND CHEER my San Diego Chargers and their play-off experiences. Here’s hoping this year my boys take it all the way after having put it to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday, beating them 16-7. Since we already beat the Colts this year, I’m sure we can take care of them again this coming Sunday–GO CHARGERS!

So I’ll close with a “Happy Birthday” video from Concrete Blonde, which I suppose could be me; am still in my pj’s at 9AM…just substitute the cat for my pooch Rudy, and her dark hair for my blond…am sure I can dig up some champagne to toast in the event..but rest assured I would NOT release any balloon into the air since it causes harm to not only our environment, but to wildlife. (Hey, if you didn’t know that last part about me from reading this blog over the past year, you’ve got more reading to do! ;)) I’m sending out a HUGE thank you to all that have popped over to SoCal Muchacha to read a blog entry, agree or disagree with me in the comment section, and who also put out so much interesting reading on their own blogs. Happy blogging everyone!

First off, CONGRATULATIONS to my San Diego Chargers (long-time Chargers fans like myself stake claim on the team, hence the “my”) on becoming the AFC West Division Champions! (insert crazy, pathetic dancing) Mind you, a 9-5 record is not where Chargers fans thought we would be at this point in the season, after coming off the incredible season we had last year, but we’ll take it. Our team has been through some tumultuous times this year, from the head coach change to most of the coaching staff changing as well, from Merriman’s suspension to Rivers’ hit-and-miss effective efforts, so to be able to somehow keep it all together and have more wins than losses is something worthy of a bit of pride.

Second, FOX 11 in Los Angeles you are officially dubbed the Scrooge of this holiday season by all Time-Warner subscribing Chargers fans in the Temecula Valley area (Southwest Riverside County…just northeast of San Diego County). For some absolutely ridiculous reason you opted to NOT show yesterday’s Chargers-v-Lions game and instead showed the Eagles-v-Cowboys game! ARGH, which definitely makes you worthy of being added to Santa’s naughty list for life!!! We were seriously in shock when we flipped on the FOX station (something I try hard to NOT do too often ;)) and didn’t see the Chargers game as we have all season on the various LA networks. Was bittersweet to see the constant positive updates online on NFL.com and realize we were missing such a high-scoring game. Trust me, Chargers fans deserve to see some fun after having endured some seriously disappointing times this season, yet FOX 11 decided to keep that fun away from those of us just outside San Diego County lines. Lumps of coal in your stockings, FOX 11, lumps of coal!

Here are some previous Chargers-related posts I’ve done. Fingers crossed that the good Chargers streak continues! Back to the pathetic, celebratory dancing. 😉

“Sometimes when you cheer, you’re able to let some steam off, just to yell,” Tomlinson said. “So hopefully we give them a lot to cheer about on Sunday.”

(LaDainian Tomlinson on Chargers returning to Qualcomm.)

Are you ready for some football? I am! And I’m pretty darn sure that Chargers fans everywhere are welcoming the opportunity to escape the reality of the heart-wrenching scenes we have all experienced over the past week, most especially those directly affected by the California fires of October 2007. (***Update: Chargers 35-Texans 10!!!***)

There has been debate as to whether the San Diego Chargers should be playing today at home (Qualcomm Stadium, although it will ALWAYS be “The Murph” to old school San Diegans like me! :)), but I find it very hard to believe that not only the City of San Diego, but the San Diego Chargers organization AND the NFL would go forward with the game without regard to the health and welfare of San Diegans, all in the name of the almighty dollar. That’s just not the case. There was a lot of thought put into whether the air quality would be safe enough, whether public safety officers would be able to help with the much more urgent need of San Diegans regaining and rebuilding their lives while still able to cover the game, whether the stadium would still be needed as an evacuation center, and whether moving so quickly forward with the football game (which to some may appear to be quite trivial) is a slap in the face to those facing the life-changing events caused by the fires. San Diego Chargers president, Dean Spanos, covered such issues in this story.

The few folks who were still at Qualcomm as evacuees (less than 100 Thursday night) either returned home, were moved to evacuation centers closer to where they lived, or transfered to the Del Mar Fairgrounds which has said it will NOT close until each and every evacuee there (animals included!) is able to go where they need/want to. San Diego air quality as of 7AM this morning was “moderate” in only four scattered areas of San Diego County, with the “unhealthy” category being tagged onto Poway and Escondido, ground zero for two of the worst fires. And the mental health benefits of returning to something so “normal” for many of San Diego’s citizens can’t be denied. Of course it’s just a mere break, and the ramifications of the seriousness of what has occurred and how it is affecting the psyche of so many, is nothing anyone seriously thinks will magically disappear just because of a football game, but it CAN help, even if only a little, and only for a few hours. There is no denying the community-building that a good Chargers game can have, as is brought up by many Chargers players in this article.

One of my dear buddies, Pinky (pseudonym for her internet life ;)), did a FABULOUS blog today; so good that I just HAD to post it here. Pinky has an incredible sense of humor, so I would highly advise checking out her blog for that reason, but in this case her devotion to, and love of, San Diego shines through, despite the fact the poor gal is now living in Texas. (Sorry, Pinky, just HAD to get in that jab!) She and I both adore San Diego County and spent many of our best years (not that we don’t have many more “best years” ahead! ;)) in various areas of the county, but most especially North San Diego County. To say we are Chargers fans would be a total understatement!

From the incredibly talented Pinky:

san diego chargers…it’s more than football
Current mood: rejuvenated
Category: Sports

the bolts………the san diego chargers are playing this weekend. in their home stadium. as it should be. and just like when the new orleans saints took the field for the very first time after hurricane katrina, this game is about a lot more than football. it’s about showing pride. it’s about showing that we can get on with our life. it’s about showing that we can succeed, despite tragedy. so many homes were lost. so many lives were lost. and everybody’s lives were changed. forever. sure, as a native san diegan, fire is part of life. people say that california doesn’t have four seasons. we always joked that we did, fire, flood, mud and earthquake. and this year, we took our hardest hit. ever. and when the chargers take the field this weekend, they’re not just playing for themselves. they’re showing san diego and all the world, that we will get on with life. why do we rebuild? because it’s our home. and that’s what we do. san diego is about so much. the navy, the beaches, the zoo & wild animal park, balboa park, the padres, the chargers, trips to tijuana, the apple festival in julian, the mt carmel high school marching band (ok, just some props for my high school!), fish tacos, etc. but first and foremost, it’s about the people. and when things turn bad, that’s when people show their true colors. and today, our colors are flying……..blue and gold. go chargers! let’s go bolts! we love you.

So, for all our fellow Chargers fan across the globe, and for our dear San Diegans affected by the fires, here’s hoping our Chargers can give us all a brief break from the sadness, pain, and heartache, and give us a few hours of slipping away from reality and into the time warp of high energy, fun, and community our Chargers give each Sunday.

GO CHARGERS!

Hard to believe that pockets of SoCal are continuing to deal with possible threats from still raging fires. Here in Murrieta (part of the Temecula Valley/Riverside County) we’ve got the San Diego County Poomacha fire about 15 miles to the south, and the arson-set Orange County Santiago fire northwest of us about 20 miles or so. Granted, we are not in any immediate danger, and for that we are eternally grateful, but continuing to see the enormous clouds of smoke from both fires is something that reminds you daily that even if they are that far away, it’s still too close for comfort.

View of the Poomacha fire from a hilltop in north Murrieta on 10/27/07 morning.

I’ve continued to trek up to a nearby north Murrieta hilltop to videotape the view west (where the now-contained Rosa/De Luz fire was), then down south (where the currently raging Poomacha fire is), and seeing the differences each day has been interesting. Click here for videos from three different days from the same area hilltop.

On Thursday, Rudy (that dog LOVES to go for car rides! :)) and I headed north on I-15 to see what the area was like with the Santiago fire about 20 miles northwest of us, still in Orange County, not yet dropping over the Santa Ana mountains into Riverside County. Just getting on the 15 and heading north from the Clinton Keith on-ramp (in Wildomar, just north of Murrieta), allowed you to see that the normally clear Santa Ana mountains were obscured by smoke, which quite honestly would normally lead one to believe that there was a heavy marine layer hanging over them. I snapped a few photos of the increasingly pink/orange color on the western horizon atop the mountains on the way north, then opted to only go as far as the exit (pictured below), where local favorite, Tom’s Farms, is located. The colors in the photos are quite accurate: very pink/orange/brown.

As I headed toward a dirt lot across from Tom’s Farms to let Rudy relieve that constantly full bladder of his, I could see a few fire trucks parked nearby, which always gives a jolt of reality to the entire situation.


After Rudy gave the area his “expert sniffer on the job” okay, and marked his new territory alongside a small dirt hill (to the right in the photo below, and also in the video), I popped him back in the auto and took out the camera. As had been the case a few days prior in Murrieta (although not the case on Wednesday and Thursday), the air so close to the fire was not smelling much like a fire at all, nor were ashes flying about. Again, those erratic winds, which were much calmer that day, quite often kept the polluted air at bay.

The video I took isn’t the best, but quite honestly it was hard to see what the camera viewfinder was focusing on, once it was immersed in the orange/pink smoke over the mountains. You can even hear the camera itself trying to adjust and focus in on what it was taping.

The yellow spot you can see in it is the very eerie smoke-covered sun doing it’s best to break through.

 

As we headed back onto the I-15 south we passed a small convoy of fire trucks headed in the same direction, and after I passed them I snapped this shot of them in my rear view mirror. Those fire fighters deserve more respect, love, and thanks than we could EVER possibly give them; truly amazing, dedicated individuals.

As of today, Saturday (10/27/07), the latest news is that the Santiago fire is continuing its trek, albeit a much slower one, through the Cleveland National Forest. As Rudy and I took another jaunt north to Tom’s Farms today, we saw the Martin Mars flying boat Canada sent to help us fight the fires (here’s a video someone else posted of it yesterday as it loaded up with water at Lake Elsinore), as it was heading south toward the Poomacha fire–thanks my Canuck friends! And more good news is that we did get a slight misting of rain this morning in Murrieta, as did other areas along the Santa Ana Mountain region, and one can only assume this HAS to help the fire fighting efforts. (THANKFULLY we just now (5PM PST) are getting some SERIOUS rainfall and I couldn’t be happier!)

This is a short video of what you can see of the Santiago fire from the Lake Elsinore Outlet mall, along with a photo below of the same.

Here are some interesting articles. Was extremely sad to read that two animals at the San Diego Wild Animal Park did perish, but happy to read others were born!

And last, here is an incredible video montage I found on YouTube yesterday. Take care, everyone, and please continue to keep the victims of the SoCal fires in your thoughts. I’m off to go revel in the rain!!!

I’m beginning to think that in addition to my Must See/Must Read/Must Listen categories, I need to add a “WTF” category after the other day’s Senate resolution to, yet again, nix our free speech rights (by way of their condemnation of the MoveOn.org Petraeus ad), and now with the absurdity of the grand jury for the State of Virginia passing on animal cruelty charges against Michael Vick and the three other co-defendants. How on EARTH can they bypass what is at the bottom of all of this mess: the cruelty inflicted upon countless dogs?!?! The CNN story says a charge of one count of killing dogs WAS brought against Michael Vick, but according to the AP story there could have been 8 counts of animal cruelty leveled. A little confusing for this layperson, especially since MANY more dogs than that were killed as part of his heinous dogfighting ring. The story is just breaking as of 11AM PST, so perhaps it will become a bit clearer over the course of the day. (***UPDATE 9/26/07: Vick tests positive for marijuana***)

Oh, and a little PS for those who sadly insisted on bringing race into this whole disaster, per CNN the composition of the State of Virginia grand jury that handed down today’s indictment: 2 black males, 2 black females, 2 white females.

  • Vick indicted on state dogfighting charges-AP via Fox Sports
    • “The grand jury passed on indicting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and two co-defendants on eight counts of animal cruelty, which would have exposed them to as many as 40 years in prison if convicted.Any animal cruelty charge in Virginia is punishable by up to five years in prison. And in a written plea for the federal case, Vick admitted helping kill six to eight dogs at the Surry County property. Similarly, the three co-defendants in the case have admitted their involvement and detailed what they claim was Vick’s role.”
  • Vick indicted by state grand jury on dogfighting charges-CNN
    • “The grand jury brought two charges against Vick: one count of killing dogs and one of promoting dogfights. In a plea agreement on federal charges, the quarterback has admitted to bankrolling a dogfighting operation from his home in Surry County, Virginia.”
  • Surry grand jury hits Vick with 2 new charges-DailyPress.com
    • “Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Poindexter had maintained that he wanted to prosecute Vick in Surry County, but said earlier that charges might not come this month because he did not have access to evidence that federal prosecutors had taken to pursue their case, including some witnesses. Today, however, he said that while federal investigators still had a great deal of the evidence in the case, he now had on hand the witnesses he needed to move forward.”

Put this one in the “karma will get you Vick” category:

  • Bank sues Vick for more than $2M-DailyPress.com
    • “The contract has a clause that says if Vick experiences an employment change that might affect his ability to repay the loan, that constitutes a default. Vick still owes the bank $2.3 million, plus $499 of interest per day, according to the complaint. The bank is also asking District Judge Henry C. Morgan Jr. to order Vick to pay the bank’s legal fees.”

Take action HERE by sending a note to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, asking the NFL to add all forms of animal cruelty to its personal conduct policy. Thanks!

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9/14/07

Statement from Bill Belichick

New England Patriots

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has issued the following statement.

“I accept full responsibility for the actions that led to tonight’s
ruling. Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person
directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the
embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused. I also
apologize to Patriots fans and would like to thank them for their
support during the past few days and throughout my career. ”

“As the Commissioner acknowledged, our use of sideline video had no
impact on the outcome of last week’s game. We have never used sideline
video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress.”

“Part of my job as head coach is to ensure that our football
operations are conducted in compliance of the league rules and all
accepted interpretations of them. My interpretation of a rule in the
Constitution and Bylaws was incorrect.”

“With tonight’s resolution, I will not be offering any further
comments on this matter. We are moving on with our preparations for
Sunday’s game.”

Yeah, Sunday’s game against my San Diego Chargers, a team whose fans just HAVE to be wondering how much (if any) of Bill’s “interpretation of a rule in the Constitution and Bylaws” might have had to do with the Patriots win over the Chargers in that heartbreaking January 14th, 2007 AFC Divisional Playoff game. Nothing we can do about that now, but we can look forward to our Bolts knocking some sense into Tom Brady come Sunday night. I’ve read portions of a North County Times article over and over again to try and understand the point Brady was weakly making, and all I continue to come up with is that he feels you can do whatever you want, right or wrong, not worry about repercussions, and just go along your merry little way.

“I don’t think this is a concern of anybody,” Brady said during a conference call with the San Diego media. “It’s certainly not a concern of mine. I don’t think anybody cares too much about what people say or what people do. It’s probably more flattering to us than anything.

“People sometimes, when they think we have everything figured out, maybe it speaks to our preparation so I’m actually flattered by it.”

Flattered? Did he actually say flattered? Perhaps dear Tom has been sacked one too many times (Go for it, Merriman!), and his gray matter has begun seeping out in large portions. If the Michael Vick debacle didn’t show you that people DO take notice, and people DO care about the actions of others, Tom, then you really are more clueless than anyone imagined. So much for role models, eh? Say LaDainian, mind showing him how it’s done? Thanks. Perhaps you can don one of Belichick’s infamous hoodies, Tom, and do as Dennis Dillon of Sporting News suggested to Belichick.

Shame on you, Bill Belichick. You need to put a zipper on that hoodie so you can hide your head — and hang it.

Guess NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision doesn’t quite agree with your “I don’t think this is a concern of anybody” logic, either, Tom, since he handed down fines and the loss of draft choices to your team.

New England coach Bill Belichick was fined the NFL maximum of $500,000 Thursday and the Patriots were ordered to pay $250,000 for spying on an opponent’s defensive signals. The commissioner also ordered the team to give up next year’s first-round draft choice if it reaches the playoffs and second- and third-round picks if it doesn’t.

“This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field,” Goodell said in a letter to the Patriots.

While I do appreciate the tough position Goodell has been in this year from Vick to this situation, I tend to agree with Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, regarding the fact that monetary fines for those in the NFL really means diddley-squat.

Money? Roger, it means nothing. It’s the NFL.

I won’t say he totally blew it, but after discovering Belichick, who personifies the latter-day, Paul Revere-less Patriots (coincidentally, they play host to the Chargers on Sunday night) had been cheating, he should have gone Samson on the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.

Fines are not fine in 2007.

So Sunday night’s Chargers-v-Patriots game will be interesting on many fronts. Have to say it would be a lot more fun if it was a home game for the Chargers and we got to see how SD fans would express their thoughts on the cheating scandal. Oh well, either way it’s bound to be a good game. Think I’ll go with what Tony Moss of Sports Network predicts for the game.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Many will give the Patriots the advantage in this matchup of talented teams. First, because of the homefield factor, and second, because Belichick is twice the tactician that Turner is. But don’t let last week’s dominant performance against a mediocre Jets team fool you. With the new pieces on offense and Seymour and Harrison missing on defense, New England is not as good in Week 2 as it will be in Week 16, giving a San Diego club that basically had no turnover from last year’s 14-2 unit the edge. The Chargers win this battle, though things could be very different when and if these two meet in the postseason.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Chargers 27, Patriots 20

Have a great football weekend, everyone. And LET’S GO CHARGERS!

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PS Leave it to the Daily Kos to post this delightful (yet somehow all too believable) item about a possible “back up” job for Bill Belichick.

Looks like Michael Vick will be pleading guilty to a felony conspiracy charge at 10:30 a.m. next Monday, August 27th. This will apparently keep him from facing more serious charges, but I am hope, hope, HOPING that the judge (who has the final say on sentencing terms, despite plea agreements) surprises the heck out of Vick and throws more than just a one-year prison sentence at him, along with some serious financial penalties. I’ll definitely have more to say on the matter once the actual sentence is handed down, but until then here is the first online source (Virginia Pilot) to break the story, and here are previous posts on the subject.

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UPDATE: To read the latest from the Humane Society of the United States, CLICK HERE.  Please take the time to add your name to their thank you card for the U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the Michael Vick dogfighting case.

vick-cartoon-dog-years.jpg

Joel Pett ~ MICHAEL-VICK-DOG-YEARS-HYDRANT-BAR-CAI-072307

Here’s hoping Tony Taylor’s guilty plea might be the nail in the coffin needed to put Vick away. Hey, a gal can dream, right? Of course the flip side would be if his other co-defendants follow suit and plead guilty, somehow hoping this might make it look like Vick had no awareness of what was taking place on his property. I think we’ve all seen such deviousness take place in the legal system before, so who really knows how it will turn out. Here’s hoping the truth prevails and there is some (belated) justice for the innocent dogs involved in all of this disgusting mess.

And how disappointing to read about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s stance on the issue.

SCLC President Charles Steele Jr. said his organization prefers to focus on Vick’s redemption and plans to honor him for his community contributions at its convention next month in Atlanta. “We need to support him no matter what the evidence reveals,” Steele said.

I have had nothing but respect for the work the SCLC has done on the civil rights front over the past decades, and respect the right of folks to support the good that Vick has done in the past, but to give so little regard to the possible outcome of the dogfighting charges is something I don’t get, never mind it sends a message to others who condone dogfighting that it’s okay to do so. Yes, people make mistakes in life and should be given a second chance, but be honest about what you’ve done. When Vick admits his wrongdoing and makes redemption, then we’ll talk about support. (***8/7/07 UPDATE: SCLC backtracks regarding “support” of Vick.***)

And this train of thought just blows me away:

“We Support Vick a Human Being Over Dogs,” was the message of one placard to honking passing cars on Northside Drive.”

Say what?!?! You mean to tell me folks will ACTUALLY blindly support someone involved in dog fighting just because that person is a “human being” (a term I’d use very loosely for dog fighters), and TOTALLY disregard the actions of that “human being” because the victims are dogs?? Then again, these are the same folks in the article who think the NFL should be supporting Vick and attacking PETA and the HSUS. Ah, the mentality of some folks is such a continuous disappointment.

As I’ve said before, if Vick is shown to be innocent of the vile crimes the federal grand jury indictment states he took part in, then I will admit to being wrong. But until that time I am going with the evidence put forth, and the common sense notion (especially in light of Tony Taylor’s guilty plea) that there is virtually no way possible that Vick had NO CLUE, let alone no voluntary action in, the barbaric treatment of animals on his property. Guess we’ll have to wait for the trial on November 26th to find out, unless Vick and his cohorts decided to come clean and tell the truth before then–won’t hold my breath.

Your voices are being heard regarding Michael Vick, fellow animal lovers, and NIKE and Reebok have most definitely taken notice, as has trading card company, Donruss. (Previous related posts.)

From PETA:

Following PETA protests outside Niketown stores and countless calls and emails to the company asking that they cut ties with Michael Vick in light of horrific allegations of his involvement with dogfighting rings, Nike has released the following statement:

“Nike has suspended Michael Vick’s contract without pay, and will not sell any more Michael Vick product at Nike-owned retail at this time.”

As a result, we have called off our planned protests outside Nike stores around the country. Thanks to everyone who wrote to the company about this issue or attended the demonstrations, and thanks to Nike for doing the right thing by ending its association with someone accused of torture.

Reebok has also made the decision to stop sales of Michael Vick apparel, stating:

“While we respect the legal process we find the allegations against Mr. Vick too disturbing to ignore, therefore, we have decided to immediately suspend selling Vick NFL product, both at retail and online through the Reebok website.”

This is great news for anyone who is concerned about cruelty to animals, and we hope that it sends a strong message to the NFL that they need to do the same thing and suspend Michael Vick immediately, pending the outcome of this case. To send a message to the NFL asking them to get on with that, please click here.

Thank you for all you do for animals,

Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
LindseyT@peta.org

pitgear-005-3t.jpgNo big surprise that Michael Vick and his three cruelty-driven cohorts, Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips, and Tony Taylor (***UPDATE on Tony Taylor: guilty***), pleaded not guilty in a Richmond, VA., courtroom to federal dogfighting charges today. (Trial date set for November 26th.) Did anyone REALLY think any of these four miserable excuses for human beings would have enough cajones to admit to the atrocities they have committed? Of course not! Here’s my previous blog entry on the subject, which includes a link to a copy of the 18 page indictment. (And yes, defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but can you honestly read that indictment and NOT believe they are guilty? If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it, but until then I’m going against what I usually believe-innocent until proven guilty- and WILL consider these four guilty as hell…so sue me.)

While none of us can bring back the dogs Vick, Peace, Phillips, or Taylor, killed by their own hands on the property or via the incredibly vicious fighting they subjected dogs to, nor undo the damage done mentally and physically to those dogs who survived, we CAN let big business know that we will NOT tolerate such abuses, nor will we give money to companies who continue to support athletes (or anyone guilty of these crimes) with lucrative contracts. (Namely the Atlanta Falcons and Nike). You can follow the links I’m providing below to voice your displeasure OR you can take part in various demonstrations around the country, or start your own. This Monday, July 30th, I’ll be joining what will hopefully be MANY other outraged animal lovers, in a PETA demonstration outside Niketown in Los Angeles. (***Protests canceled. Read more here.***) If you are in the area (and I’m really not since I’ll be driving about 1 1/2 hours to get there), please consider joining us. But if you are not, here’s some information in an email today from Ingrid Newkirk of PETA:

“On Monday, July 30, PETA will hold demonstrations in front of every Niketown store from New York to Los Angeles to call on Nike—which employs Vick as a promotional spokesperson—to sack him.

Already, the pressure is working. Both the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons have taken important “first steps” to discipline Vick by keeping him away from the Falcons’ training camp pending their own investigation of the case. In my view, this is the beginning of the end for Vick’s career.”

So come on folks, let’s get active, get vocal, and NOT let this situation be swept under the carpet and forgotten. Thanks!

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PETA's Action Center Alert
Dove icon Donate Now | Check icon Join Our Activist Network
Dear *****,

NFL quarterback Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons was recently indicted on charges of sponsoring a large dogfighting operation. The indictment alleges that dogs were housed, trained, and fought at a property owned by Vick and that those who did not perform well were executed by “hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground.” PETA will be at Niketown in Los Angeles on Monday, July 30, to demand that the company immediately break all ties with Michael Vick.

Please join PETA campaigner Matt Rice for a demonstration outside Niketown in Los Angeles. All materials will be provided, and we need activists to hold posters. Please contact me at LindseyT@peta.org if you can help or if you have any questions.

What: Michael Vick dogfighting demonstration
When: Monday, July 30, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Where: Niketown, at the corner of Wilshire and Rodeo, Beverly Hills

The professional sports world is plagued with players who have been accused, charged, or convicted of cruelty to animals, abusing pit bulls, and dogfighting. We need to send a clear message to players and Nike that being a celebrity is not a sufficient excuse for breaking the law and that animal abuse should never be tolerated under any circumstances. Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know!

Be sure to tell people to visit PETA.org to learn more about the cruelty of dogfighting and to tell Nike to drop Vick now!

Thanks for being on PETA’s Activist Network and for everything you do to help animals!

Warm regards,

Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
LindseyT@peta.org| 757-213-8746

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Links to send messages to Nike and the Atlanta Falcons

Related articles

Anti-Vick gear

YouTube videos

Here is the code (just copy it all, then paste in your own site) for each of the Humane Society of the United States web badges you can place on your own web site or blog to help spread the word.

vick-hsus-nfl.gif

<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nfl2?source=gaba7m&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nfl.gif&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety&#8221; target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>

vick-hsus-nike.gif

<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nike?source=gaba7l&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nike.gif&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety&#8221; target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>

mvick2d1.jpgAt long last it looks as though those who condone and perpetuate the horrendous, vicious, and cruel practice of illegal dogfighting may finally be held accountable for their actions. Today Michael Vick (Atlanta Falcons) and three counterparts (Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips, Tony Taylor) were indicted by a federal grand jury and will hopefully have the book thrown at them. This news goes directly against this news article stating it was unlikely Vick would face any charges. (***Update 7/26/07.***)

The “training facility” for over 50 pit bulls seized by officials back in April included drugs, an electronic treadmill, and a rape stand used for forced breeding.

“Fights would end when one dog died or with the surrender of the losing dog, which was sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot, electrocution or some other method, according to the documents.”CBS News

Disgusting! Howdog-fight.jpg people can live with themselves while committing such atrocities, I will never know. And those who take part in watching these bloody, “to the death” dog fights; well, in my opinion they should be held as accomplices. I’m thinking that the rape stand Michael and his cohorts had no problem putting to use ought to come into play when decisions are being made about how restitution for their reviling crimes might be met. I mean they can adjust that stand to fit someone of Michael’s size, right?

Here are some links to various stories regarding today’s indictment:

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WTF, John Mayer?!?!

While searching for a Michael Vick photo for this blog entry I found the “red slash through Michael’s face” picture on Photobucket. I saw the MySpace address at the bottom of it and went to check it out. While there I read “Dog Fighting Idiots List” which had a John Mayer video embedded, and I have to say I was totally shocked and surprised that John would have such an enormous lapse in common sense, judgment, and humor. Did he really think the video was the least bit amusing?! Did he assume everyone would get that he was trying to poke fun at Vick? (Which is the ONLY excuse I can think of for even thinking of making the video, let alone actually following through with it!) Did he think there was even one shred of humor in anything related to dog fighting? Shame on you, John Mayer, shame on you. What a total and complete disappointment.

Sometimes people need to just keep their mouth shut, and from what I’ve seen and read of Clinton Portis today (and Chris Samuels wasn’t much better), he is one who would be wise to think before speaking.

Redskins RB Portis: Vick can do what he wants-ESPN.com

When told that dog fighting is a felony, Portis replied, “It can’t be too bad of a crime.”

Sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Portis, but it IS a crime, and it IS a bad one. Perhaps you’d like to trade places with any of the dogs used in dog fighting? We’ll see how you feel about how “bad of a crime” it is after that, okay?

Portis, Samuels defend Vick, ridicule dog fighting as a crime-AP-DailyPress.com

In an interview with WAVY-TV, Portis said that if the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is charged and convicted of being involved in a dog fighting operation, then authorities would be “putting him behind bars for no reason.”

Um, no reason? If Michael Vick is charged and convicted then that means he broke the law. Sounds like a reason to me.

For more information on animal fighting and the recent legislation aimed at penalizing those who take part in it, click here. For the Humane Society of the United States response to the situation, click here.

Sniffin’ out the info

Photobucket

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