Saturday, April 26, 2008

Draft Day 2008.

I have turned on ESPN coverage of the 2008 NFL Draft. Hours of speculation to come. Can I tell you, I hate Steve Young. So smug...and such a blabbermouth. Keyshawn is wearing a black and white checked shirt with a pink tie. This is very distracting, and his commentary can't bring you back from this fashion debacle. Throw Berman on this shit pile and hitting the mute button is the only option. Soon the Bears will pick and for their sake, they better get it right. I will check back in.

Day one is complete, and the Bears did well. Chris Williams was my choice for OT. You can see from the film, he can protect the QB. Williams is smart (Vanderbilt grad), has great feet and will be the starter at left tackle for years to come. Unless he blows out his kneecap and all related tendons or gets shot in the head like the Bears last two first-round offensive lineman picks. Matt Forte from Tulane is a good pick in the second round. A solid running back would be there at that pick, and this guy will push Cedric Benson all preseason. I am very pleased. Not a difficult draft to plan, Bears hit their marks. Day two brings many picks and hopefully, some players will emerge. Help is needed in all areas.

I am almost getting excited for football season. Almost.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Favorite Chicagoans

I know the "lawyer" in this John Kass column.,0,1075549.column. I also know the subject of the article, Rudy Acosta. He was a Genson client for a time. I like Acosta more than the lawyer. What a clown. You wonder how I can do this job sometimes.

Another bitching Bear. Now Urlacher wants to rework his contract. He needs the money seeing that he has another fiancee. This guy just loves to give away his money to baby mamas. He should start wearing that cup and supporter 24/7. Kind of like an NFL chastity belt.

Our good governor has left his legacy upon the greater Chicagoland area. He has allowed the destruction-construction of every Illinois tollway and interstate to proceed at the same time. Obviously, he followed the same planning schedule as the Bush administration's Iraq policy. When hairboy is out of office, I will still be driving in construction traffic.

I have been in fiction mode lately. I have just completed my first Daniel Silva spy novel, Mark of the Assassin. Very good. I will do another. Also, I am on another Dennis Lehane novel with his characters, private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. Recently, one of this series, Gone, Baby, Gone was made into a movie with Casey Affleck. Lehane also wrote Mystic River. These are good books, not large-type, pulpy bestsellers. Very dark and complicated characters. Also, my car is featuring the recording of Soul Circus by George Pelecanos. Pelecanos was one of the main writers on the Wire, which I have exalted in this blog on several occasions. You can pick up the development of some of the Wire characters in his books. They are highly recommended.

I have had enough reality lately. It is time for some good stories.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Be True to One's "Self"

A fitting end to the 2007-08 Matt sports season. An overtime national championship game. Kansas deserved the victory, and it pains me not at all to congratulate former Illini hoop coach, Bill Self, on out coaching his slickster counterpart, John Calipari at every turn. First, Memphis was overconfident. So much so that they did not adjust AT ALL to Kansas' defensive strategy. The Jayhawks put up a wall in the middle of the floor, thus eliminating the "drive" from the dribble-drive-motion offense. This "offense du jour" has seen its last days ala the "run n' shoot." Kansas denied Rose the middle, ran its big guys up front and forced Memphis into many bad or guarded shots. The "Cal" did nothing to change it up, even neglecting the baseline attack suggested by Bob Knight at halftime. In the end, Memphis had only two guys looking to score, and Kansas made it tough for them all night.

Self's sharp game decisions culminated in several easy baskets off time-outs including one alley-oop dunk that everyone except Memphis knew was coming. Also, when Derrick Rose started to get off and handle the ball during the Jayhawk nine-point comeback, Ol' Billy switched to a 1-2-2 zone with his larger guard, Brandon Rush up top. You could see Roses's discomfort. In fact, all game, Rose forced the action into traffic and made poor decisions and turnovers. I credit the Kansas defense and thus credit Self.

Finally, the easy call was to foul the piss-poor free throw shooters on the floor wearing the whites. No-brainer for Bill. Then, his boys knocked down the shots in the clutch. Alas, the better team players win the game. Rock, Chalk. Bill, enjoy the $10 million in Stillwater. Once a Cowboy, always a Cowboy. That T. Boone Pickens money at Oklahoma State sure comes in handy y'all.

I enjoyed Bob Knight's comments on ESPN very much. That guy could teach any subject. I learned more about basketball strategy during this tournament than all previous tournaments combined. Digger Phelps, however, is insane. I watched the whole game and could not figure out what the fuck this guy was talking about. He needs to stop talking, forever. When they added Vitale for the postgame analysis, that bald prick kept interrupting the General. OK, let's crunch the numbers. Knight 800+ coaching wins, Vitale career % under .500. I got two words for you Dick...Shut the fuck up.

I went to White Sox opening day. It is always fun to go to Comiskey and observe the crowd. I play several guessing games. Game 1-"How many women at the game?" My guess was 5, and I won. Of those 5, 4 were more manly than me. The one other women was "good-looking" so much so that she was surrounded by 15 guys, 2 of whom actually knew her. Game 2-"Look at the people and decide if "he will be fighting later." One giant sausage party. I swear a Sox crowd would kick the shit out of a Bears crowd anytime. The reason being is that many Cub fans are also attend Bears games. This is not an insult to Cub fans, it is more of a Darwinian truth. Once there was a shooting after a Cubs game. A Sox fan would consider this silly. Guns are for sissies. Better to pummel a dude with a mini-bat and kill him with a back-of-the-head skull kick while the dude has his mouth on the curb like Ed Norton did it in American History X. Much more sporting. Yep, these are the people I grew up with.

By the way, that will be my last baseball game of the year. For the aforementioned reasons. Some movies can only be watched once. See American History X.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Baseball Fever...Get the Vaccine

Opening Day has arrived. The official beginning of hibernation for my sports jones. Of course, there will be NFL Draft weekend, but I can only tolerate some in-and-out viewing. I will watch the Bears picks (O-line, dummies). This is Final Four weekend, three games left in the season. After that, nothing, only darkness.

I take a very Grinchy attitude toward the unbridled optimism of Chicago baseball fans. First delusion, this is our Cubs/Sox year. Uh huh. And we are not in a recession, gas is cheap and Bush has cunning. Second delusion, baseball=spring=nice weather. Right, enjoy those outdoor seats during April and May in Chicago. Hey Cindy-Lou Who, where is that Roast Beast?

We in the criminal law world lost one of the good ones this week. The Honorable Jim O'Malley, Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court, passed away from a massive heart attack most likely induced from the two years of chemo therapy he endured for throat cancer. Sox fanatic, Notre Dame loyalist and respected judge are all relevant monikers. Always direct, always fair, liked good lawyers and treated you with respect. He was no pushover, but he treated every defendant with a velvet hammer. If he saw a chance to save a young person from a conviction, he would give that kid extra attention. That way, he could get it through their thick skulls that this could be there last trip to criminal court. I met him during these past several years in private practice and was lucky to know him. He is being waked over two days. Obviously, he will be missed by many.

As I get older, I experience more death. It is only natural. However, I find myself more affected by the loss of life as time passes. I truly value life and respect its fragility. I want to spend as much time on this earth loving and being loved. It has become the driving force of my days. I would even go to the world's largest shopping mall during spring break in Minnesota with four daughters (two of which cannot potty solo) and feel good about the experience. Love is frightening.

Hearing about Judge O'Malley's death frightened me. He was not given as much time as he deserved. He was a good man. He deserved more sunrises. I get angry about this. Mostly, I get motivated to live a better life. I can't say I succeed every day, but I sure as hell try.

Not a happy blog entry, I know. My wife got a good look at my gray hair in the sunlight today. I felt stiff and sore after my workout. I have this dull headache lately. I feel stressed out. Maybe I will check out the Illini football scrimmage at Lemont High School next Saturday. Prolong that hibernation for another week. I won't go gently into that good night. Rage against the dying of the light.