Saturday, February 28, 2009

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue IX

By Rick Morris

For the most part, we keep our fantasy content on our fantasy website and fantasy blog and keep this site for content on all subjects. It allows our readers to find specific content more easily that way. However, it has come to our attention that because our new fantasy sports newsletter is published on the older Blogger platform that our readers may be limited in their ability to subscribe to it. There does not appear to be a way to have content on the blog forwarded to an aggregate news reader -- however, we know that we have that ability here. So we will link to that newsletter each week right here when it is published. This week's newsletter serializes several features from our forthcoming joint production with Sportsology, FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009. Here is this week's newsletter.

Sportsology: Evaluating NHL trades

By Rick Morris

As part of our content exchange with our peeps at Sportsology, here's a breakdown of some of the NHL trades coming in advance of this week's March 4 trade deadline.

2009 Hockeyology Trading Floor
By Russ Cohen

My colleague Jon Waldman and I will critique trades being made as teams prepare for the stretch run.

To Pittsburgh: Chris Kunitz, Eric Tangradi, To Anaheim: Ryan Whitney.

Jon’s Analysis: Whitney is a strong D-man who is still growing in the league. While he may never develop into an Olympic-level rearguard, he goes into a system now where he will be the torchbearer for Anaheim’s blueliners for years to come. This could also signal the end of Chris Pronger’s time in California. Kunitz, meanwhile, is a 38-point forward so far this year and if teamed with Crosby and/or Malkin, he could hit 50 points. He’s got some Cup experience which is invaluable. He will be counted on to be a leader. Tangradi, a second-round pick in ’07, is developing well in the CHL and likely will be in the AHL next year.

Russ's Analysis: Whitney has obvious offensive talent, a great shot from the point, especially on the power play, and also toughness. He is still improving on his defensive game and he has a bright future. Pittsburgh can slide Kris Letang in Whitney's second power-play spot and Alex Goligoski is further insurance. Kunitz has moved around quite a bit, but he might be the most talented player Crosby has had on his line as a permanent fixture. Malkin gets Sykora and Crosby has had a host of linemates, and now Kunitz will help Pittsburgh make a real run at the playoffs. Eric Tangradi, 6-4, 221, is a few years away from the NHL, but he could be a terrific first or second-line winger when he makes it.

The Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Steve Begin to the Dallas Stars for defenseman Doug Janik.

Jon’s Analysis: Seems like a salary cap move to me, which means that Lecavalier should be on his way to Montreal. Janik has potential, but not enough. Dallas got the better end of the deal in the immediate sense, but this was a trade to benefit Montreal down the road.

Russ's Analysis: Begin will be reunited with Mike Ribeiro and Janik is a useful sixth d-man, so it makes sense for both teams. Dallas is starting to turn into a contender and Montreal is getting ready for the next move.

To Montreal – Glen Metropolit (from Philadelphia, waiver)

Jon’s Analysis – Ah the perils of a returning superstar. With Danny Briere coming back into the fold, Philly had to risk losing Metropolit in this waiver move. That it’s the Habs picking up the veteran forward is a bit of a curiosity, but it may just be a stopgap solution for the weekend-plus activity before the assumed acquisition of Lecavalier on Wednesday. Metropolit is a sturdy third-line player, but won’t do much more than be a filler.

Russ's Analysis - Metropolit might play his first game as a Hab against the Flyers - - that's good theatre. He has played very well in the last month and he could add a spark as a 4th-liner and penalty killer for Montreal.

To Vancouver – Ossi Vaananen (from Philadelphia, waiver)

Jon’s Analysis – Another victim of the Briere Bounce, Vaananen now moves to a squad that has had trouble keeping their rearguards healthy over the last few years. Let the speculation that Matthias Ohlund is on his way out of BC officially begin. While Ossi won’t fill the veteran’s skates necessarily, he is a decent stopgap solution should the ‘Nucks choose to move the oft-injured 1st-line d-man.

Russ's Analysis - Brilliant pickup by the Canucks. Vaananen has been decent this year and he will add valuable veteran minutes to a roster that needed some defensive help.

The merits and demerits of some female celebs

By Rick Morris

As we mentioned previously, The FDH Lounge staged our 4th semiannual fantasy-style draft Wednesday night with attractive female celebrities being the topic. Although unpopular with some who feel the program to be sexist and objectifying, it has been very popular with a great many who hold it up as one of our best shows of the year and is in fact done in light-hearted fun with no vulgar language.

I have never for one moment regretted green-lighting the idea from our Senior Editor Jason Jones and our Entertainment Editor Samantha Jones. They were right that our core audience finds the idea of arguing about the various merits and demerits of females in a competitive environment to be a lot of fun.

Jason won our first event in 2007, followed by Paul Belfi with two wins in 2008. This time, I must salute our new champion, Tony Mazur, who won in sudden-death overtime.

Our format for this show involved having participants select four women over 50 and four female athletes in a serpentive-style draft. We graded one another's picks, dropping the low grade for each judge (the so-called "Burrell Jackson Rule," necessitated by our first draft when he gave a multitude of unrealistically low scores).

Here's how everything shook out (and for the record, I got robbed once again and my last few picks, which were harshed on by the judges, were given completely insane scores):

FIRST PLACE: Tony Mazur (69 points) - Amanda Beard (9), Jane Seymour (9), Ana Paula Mancini (9), Natalie Gulbis (9), Mimi Rogers (8), Kim Basinger (8), Leryn Franco (9), Janice Dickinson (8), Gina Carano (9 -- sudden death overtime selection)

SECOND PLACE: Mike Vili (69 points) - Michelle Pfeiffer (9), Sharon Stone (9), Holly Hunter (8), Lokelani McMichael (9), Malia Jones (9), Kristi Leskinen (8.5), Christie Brinkley (8), Rita Dravucz (8.5), Heather Mitts (8 - sudden death overtime selection)

THIRD PLACE - Rick Morris (65.5 points) - Sela Ward (9), Joan Allen (9), Peggy Lipton (8 -- side note: I selected her daughter Rashida Jones in a previous all-ages draft), Ashley Force (9), Jaclyn Smith (9), Stacey Dales (8), Tara Lipinski (7.5), Jennifer Petrick (7)

FOURTH PLACE - The FDH New York Bureau (aka Team Cliche - 62.5 points) - the 69 year-old Raquel Welch (7.5), Mary Hart (7), Danica Patrick (7.5), Susanne Somers (7.5), Sasha Cohen (8), Tanith Belbin (9.5 - highest individual score and winner of one of only two "10" votes from a judge all evening), Milka Duno (9), Dorothy Hamill (side note: ????? - 6.5)

FIFTH PLACE - Jason Jones (60.8 points) - Jennifer Tilly (9 - recipient of the only other "10" vote from a judge all night), Debbie Harry (4.5 - prompting a mean email from a listener wondering if Jason was going to take Bea Arthur in the next round), Rene Russo (7), Jennie Finch (8.3), Olivia Newton-John (8.3), Tatiana Golovin (7), Katrina Petroni (8.7), Daniela Hantuchova (8.3)

Do you agree with the scoring? Let the controversy begin ...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

FDH Lounge Show #47: February 25, 2009

By Rick Morris

The 47th edition of THE FDH LOUNGE on (Wednesday, 7-10 PM EST) is completely given over to our fourth semi-annual celebration of female celebrity pulchritude – or, in common parlance (and boy, do we hope that all of you have a good sense of humor!), our fourth semi-annual Fantasy I’d Hit That Draft. We’re even breaking format and leaving aside THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER and THE GOON SQUAD in the final hour.

Yes, once The Opening Statements of The FDH Lounge Dignitaries and This Week In The FDH Lounge are behind us, the entire program will be a sports-style serpentine draft of female celebrities: in this case, athletes and women over 50. Our Dignitaries will draft an equal number of women in both categories and be judged by their peers on their sense of good taste. At the end of the evening’s proceedings, we will tally a winner on the judges’ scorecards.

Is Maria Sharapova hotter than Danica Patrick? Actually, that’s not a hypothetical question, but rather one deserving a firm and ripe yes, but we digress. For three hours, we will debate one another on these subjects, question one another’s eyesight and yes, dare we say even sexuality, and consider such questions as to whether Halle Berry’s sixth toe on her one foot renders her unattractive (this question arose during our first such draft and we graciously indicated that we’d tolerate her presence nonetheless!).

We’ll grant you that this is a program unlikely to win us any image awards from the National Organization for Women, but it’s honestly all in good fun and there’s nothing being discussed that’s worse than PG-13 rated. No Lounge programming that we produce during the year elicits stronger feedback and we look forward to entertaining the audience once again. As always, we urge you to check out our program archives as well on the FDH site.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Video Clips: Fun Timewasters

By Rick Morris

From time to time, we try to accommodate our Lounge content consumers who just want some fun, light entertainment. Hence this edition of our Video Clips series, entitled "Fun Timewasters." These are simply some video clips that you can enjoy and consume in the form of good, mindless entertainment. On with the show!

Here's a collection of many great Sonic commercials!

This might be the greatest collection of hockey goal calls from an announcer that you will ever hear:

A great cartoon about U.S. presidents:

From CNBC last week, Rick Santelli's now-infamous rant about the gubmint's mortgage support package:

Here's a highlight reel of the man I consider to be the greatest hockey player of all time, Bobby Orr:

Emmitt Smith, the man who selfishly stuck around past his prime just so that he could knock the late, great Walter Payton from first place in the NFL all-time rushing record book, is now gone from ESPN -- but thanks to this video, his crimes against the English language won't soon be forgotten.

I'd hit that!

NBA power rankings for mid-February

By Rick Morris

NOTE: Last month’s ranking for each team is in parentheses.

1. Los Angeles Lakers (2)
2. Cleveland (1)
3. Boston (3)
4. San Antonio (6)
5. Orlando (4)

6. Atlanta (10)
7. Denver (5)
8. Portland (11)
9. New Orleans (7)
10. Utah (9)
11. Dallas (13)
12. Detroit (14)
13. Miami (15)
14. Houston (8)
15. Phoenix (12)
16. Philadelphia (16)
17. Milwaukee (18)

18. Chicago (19)
19. New Jersey (17)
20. New York (21)
21. Indiana (23)
22. Charlotte (22)
23. Toronto (20)

24. Golden State (26)
25. Minnesota (25)
26. Memphis (24)
27. Los Angeles Clippers (28)
28. Oklahoma City (30)
29. Washington (29)
30. Sacramento (27)

Biggest risers: Atlanta (4 spots), Portland (3 spots)
Biggest fallers: Houston (6 spots), Phoenix and Toronto (3 spots)

NHL power rankings for mid-February

By Rick Morris

NOTE: Last month’s ranking for each team is in parentheses.

1. San Jose (2)
2. Boston (3)
3. Detroit (1)

4. Washington (4)
5. New Jersey (7)
6. Calgary (8)
7. Chicago (6)
8. Philadelphia (10)
9. Montreal (5)
10. Vancouver (13)
11. Buffalo (11)
12. Florida (19)
13. Columbus (16)
14. New York Rangers (9)
15. Pittsburgh (12)
16. Minnesota (14)
17. Edmonton (17)
18. Dallas (22)
19. Anaheim (15)
20. Carolina (21)

21. Nashville (20)
22. Los Angeles (24)
23. Phoenix (18)
24. St. Louis (27)
25. Colorado (23)

26. Toronto (25)
27. Ottawa (26)
28. Tampa Bay (28)
29. Atlanta (29)
30. New York Islanders (30)

Biggest risers: Florida (7 spots), Dallas (4 spots), Columbus, St. Louis and Vancouver (3 spots)
Biggest fallers: New York Rangers and Phoenix (5 spots), Anaheim and Montreal (4 spots), Pittsburgh (3 spots)

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue VIII

By Rick Morris

For the most part, we keep our fantasy content on our fantasy website and fantasy blog and keep this site for content on all subjects. It allows our readers to find specific content more easily that way. However, it has come to our attention that because our new fantasy sports newsletter is published on the older Blogger platform that our readers may be limited in their ability to subscribe to it. There does not appear to be a way to have content on the blog forwarded to an aggregate news reader -- however, we know that we have that ability here. So we will link to that newsletter each week right here when it is published. This week's newsletter serializes several features from our forthcoming joint production with Sportsology, FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009. Here is this week's newsletter.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sportsology: Philadelphia Flyers charity fundraiser

By Rick Morris

Our good pal Russ Cohen at Sportsology has forwarded us another great feature from his site: a very unique fundraiser that the Philadelphia Flyers will be holding this Sunday afternoon. If you have nothing else going on and are anywhere at all near the Philadelphia area, you really should check this out in person.

Step Up And Box Riley Cote At "The Flyers Wives Fight For Lives Carnival -- If You Have The Nerve
By Russ Cohen

That's right, if you are a gamer, and you are in Philadelphia this Sunday, then you can take a few "virtual" swipes at Flyers forward Riley Cote. Sure, he's 6-2, 216 pounds, but in the game -- if you know what you are doing -- you have a good shot at beating him, according to an inside source.

“A lot of the stuff is the same, but since interactive games went so well this year, we will have a lot more of those. So we’ll have Rock Band and Wii Boxing as well,” said Holly Cote, the Carnival Co-Chair and wife of Riley Cote.

“My husband will be available to box. He’s not that good at it, though. He’ll be losing a lot, I have a feeling,” she added. “We used to box a lot, but we haven’t done it in a while. So I’m out of practice and he’s out of practice.”

When asked if she could beat him, she answered, “Probably not, but his sisters can. So we should probably fly them in on the big day to embarrass him.”

In my opinion, you couldn’t meet two nicer people than the Cotes and I have known them for years now. They have always gone out of their way to interact with the fans, and that goes back to Riley’s days with the Phantoms.

From what I was told, the Finnish players like Guitar Hero, and they are all big Metallica fans, so that should be fun.

“The fans can come up and be in a band with one of the guys,” she said.

Fans will also get to take a shot at Hockey Hall of Famer and Flyers legendary goaltender Bernie Parent. I grew up watching him, and he was nearly impossible to score on, so good luck with scoring on him now!

All of the Flyers wives have been working hard to promote this very worthy cause. I think the players and families deserve very high marks for making this event a big success every year. It’s a great way for fans to meet and interact with the players and grab a few autographs in the process. The annual event will be held at the Wachovia Center on Sunday, February 22 from 1:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. Fans can also tune in and watch the Carnival and donate through the telethon on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and The Comcast Network from 2-4 p.m. The Carnival will also be replayed on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia at 7 p.m. that evening. Carnival tickets, as low as $15, are available now exclusively through ComcastTIX at 1-800-298-4200, online at, in person at the Wachovia Complex box office, or available at the door. Pre-sold photograph sessions with Flyers players are priced at $27 and autograph sessions with Flyers players are priced at $22, and are also expected to sell out in advance. For more information on the Carnival, visit

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sharpton Strikes Again

By Tony Mazur

I haven't heard a peep out of Al Sharpton in a while. In these extra-sensitive times, people are afraid to utter anything remotely offensive that may upset a particular group. But a cartoon published in the New York Post has brought the "Reverend" out of his cave.

The cartoon (seen here) is causing major controversy. It depicts two police officers shooting down a crazed chimpanzee, as a reference to the story out of Connecticut. The officer that is not holding the gun says to the shooter, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

Sharpton and thousands of other guilty white people are calling for the cartoonist's head, crying racism. Sharpton claims that the cartoonist's intent was to portray President Obama as the dead chimpanzee. Not surprisingly, Reverend Al would see to it that the cartoonist's tenure with the NY Post is over.

Also not surprisingly, I do not find this cartoon racist in any way. And why is that? BECAUSE BARACK OBAMA DID NOT WRITE THE STIMULUS BILL! For years, the media and political cartoonists have portrayed lawmakers and the government as a bunch of monkeys (remember the age-old joke about how monkeys with typewriters could write rewrite Shakespeare?).

This is yet another example of Al Sharpton shoving his nose in anything that COULD be a tad offensive to black people. What makes it worse is that the media gives this race-bating jackass the time of day. I guarentee you he does not watch Seinfeld and Dog the Bounty Hunter. I guarentee you he does not listen to "Imus in the Morning". What makes you think he reads anti-Obama administration jokes? He is a racist, yet no one ever calls him on it.

What makes this story even more despicable is the fact that all of "Sharpton's Sheep" are coming out from the woodwork to call racism. Well, I'm calling shenanigans.

I thought we're a more open-minded society now that America elected a )half) black president. But with the talk of the Fairness Doctrine looming overhead, this country is acting like preteen girls. It's a political cartoon. It may not be a knee-slapper, but it's at least a relevant joke. Lighten up and read the joke thoroughly.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FDH Lounge Show #46: February 18, 2009

By Rick Morris

The 46th edition of THE FDH LOUNGE on (Wednesday, 7-10 PM EST) lives up -- as always -- to our mantra of "nothing is off-topic."

After The Opening Statements of The FDH Lounge Dignitaries, we debut a new 5-minute segment called "This Week in The FDH Lounge," where we will spotlight recent developments and material in all manifestations of The FDH Lounge (including our Multimedia Magazine and Twitter content).

Shortly thereafter, we welcome in the newest friend of The FDH Lounge family, Restrictor Plated proprietor and noted NASCAR writer Ben Dyer. In a wonderful example of how this modern age of communication works at light speed, Ben's Restrictor Plate Twitter account started following us on Daytona Race Sunday, we reciprocated and voila, the next thing you know he's booked for this program! We'll examine Ben's controversial thoughts on whether Lil' E is overrated, the Lil' E/Brian Vickers dustup at Daytona, the late start time to the race for a kind of wannabe-Super Bowl/daylong TV effect and the state of motorsports in general in this circling-the-drain economy. By the way, the "Daytona 380" graphic on Restrictor Plated is awesome.

Later in Hour One, we bring back the man who was perhaps the first individual to graduate from mere guest to full-fledged FDH Lounge Dignitary: the man, the myth, the legend, Russ Cohen from Sportsology. Because he's been covering so much topical content lately, we have a lot to discuss: the recent retirement of WWE Diva Victoria, the latest and greatest cartoon and gaming news coming out of Comic Con, three great profiles about the red-hot USA Network program BURN NOTICE, what Eric Mangini's departure means to the 2009 Jets -- and what his arrival means to the 2009 Browns, the spotlighting of the Free Ted Williams website, Bert Blyleven's Hall of Fame credentials, and ARod's weak "apology."

Midway through Hour Two, we start our FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER "show-within-a-show" a half hour early to bring you bonus coverage of fantasy baseball 2009. In our most recent free weekly newsletter, we just unveiled the beta version of our 2009 Top 72 Overall. We'll examine the reasons for some of the slottings, as well as some of our Overvalued and Undervalued Players for this year and the players with the widest ranges of expectations for the season.

In the final half of Hour Three, we bring you as always THE GOON SQUAD, our look at all things NHL. The Penguins just whacked coach Michel Therrien in a shocking move and we must wonder now, what comes next? With the Red Wings now looking to keep Hossa long-term, how will that be possible? Is Brian Burke going to make a Tomas Kaberle trade his first big move in Toronto? And how do we see those pesky playoff standings shaking out? We'll go over it all for you.

It's a loaded program, to be sure, but it's just another day in the life of The FDH Lounge! Watch us live Wednesday night or listen to our archives on-demand at STN.

Sportsology: Memories of (former) Diva Victoria

By Rick Morris

Our good pal Russ Cohen at Wrestleology took the time recently to note the departure from the WWE of one of the greatest Divas of this decade, Victoria. He had the pleasure of interviewing this dedicated performer five years ago and he shares his memories in this great column, which is accompanied by pictures of Victoria and some other WWE Divas -- how's that for an inducement to click through? For the benefit of those who want to digest Russ's prose before they view these lovely ladies, though, we reproduce it here in full thanks to our content-sharing agreement.

Victoria Was a Terrific Wrestler
By Russ Cohen

Lisa Marie Varon was better known as Victoria in the WWE and now that she's retired, the federation will take yet another hit in the already-weakened women's division. Having her lose her final match against Michelle McCool was yet another slap in her face. She was a former two-time champion and these days when you leave the WWE, its almost always with a loss -- and that's sad.

I had the chance to interview her before Wrestlemania XX and the Hair vs. Title match with Molly Holly. Before she got into character, she had noticed my last name and said, “Hello Russ, by the way I’m in the tribe." I was stunned, and really caught off guard. She told me about her Sephardic Jewish heritage, which explains her exotic good looks. She also mentioned that her father was from the Bronx and I knew she was telling the truth by the way she was pointing her finger at me - no, not that finger! She then told me about some times that she used to spend in New York, in the Bronx and in her uncle’s barber shop. Again it was a nice unexpected conversation that I had with her and that showed me how personable she really was.

That night I had the chance to interview Trish Stratus, and Torrie was there, but she was too swamped to talk to -- however, I thought Victoria was easily the best interview of the evening. Don’t get me wrong, Trish was great, but Victoria was just a bit better, maybe because she didn’t get bombarded like the other two did that night, or maybe because she felt more comfortable in New York.

She was always a hard worker and fun to watch, even when the federation was ruining her character, and make no mistake, at times they did just to have a “hot chick” try and climb the charts in the women’s division. Varon could wrestle, but many of the women in the last few years can’t. I think we all know who they are. I can’t wait to see what she does next. Who knows if she will be in the public eye or not but I will keep an eye out for her because she knows how to entertain. If nothing else, I can always get my car worked on at Black Widow Customs in Louisville, Kentucky where she is likely to be spending some time in the future.

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue VII

By Rick Morris

For the most part, we keep our fantasy content on our fantasy website and fantasy blog and keep this site for content on all subjects. It allows our readers to find specific content more easily that way. However, it has come to our attention that because our new fantasy sports newsletter is published on the older Blogger platform that our readers may be limited in their ability to subscribe to it. There does not appear to be a way to have content on the blog forwarded to an aggregate news reader -- however, we know that we have that ability here. So we will link to that newsletter each week right here when it is published. This week's newsletter is completely given over to unveiling our Top 72 Overall for 2009 Fantasy Baseball. Here is this week's newsletter.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Video Clips: Fun Timewasters

By Rick Morris

From time to time, we try to accommodate our Lounge content consumers who just want some fun, light entertainment. Hence this edition of our Video Clips series, entitled "Fun Timewasters." These are simply some video clips that you can enjoy and consume in the form of good, mindless entertainment. On with the show!

Here's a Benny Hill-like scenario that could happen to any red-blooded male (hat tip to my dad for sending this to me):

NFL players have egos like anyone else, and surely that extends to wanting to be selected high in fantasy football drafts. With the help of some great special effects, you will see some players making a campaign pitch here:

Australian Rules Football highlights? With AC/DC as the soundtrack? Sign us up!

One of the great movie scenes of the 1990s. Two words equal comedic genius: Mallrats, stinkpalm.

Here's one of the gnarliest visions you'll ever come across (don't view on a full stomach!). Kimbo Slice, in his CBS debut last spring, pops out some dude's bloody cauliflower ear.

Courtesy of HBO's "Entourage" (one of our favorite shows in The FDH Lounge), a warped look at the deal-making process for getting a movie off the ground:

Brilliant comedian Jim Gaffigan mines the unlikely topic of Hot Pockets for humor:

Here is a hysterical commercial for Wienerschnitzel:

Octo-Mom becomes a symbol of taxpayer outrage

By Rick Morris

The woman who spawned the question "Is that your reproductive system or is that a clown car?" is becoming a giant magnet for taxpayer outrage in this circling-the-drain economy. The picture of her ginormous bare prego belly in TMZ is fueling the backlash, as is her oblivious denial that she has put her family on welfare.

I understand the gut feeling that people have about this woman's irresponsible decision to bring 14 children into the world with only the barest sense of "somebody else will help me to manage." Really I do. But I do have some issues with the selective sense of outrage that I see bubbling around this issue.

First of all, the people who have been stressed the most by this situation are Nadya Suleman's parents and it's THEIR house that's being picketed by people. That's not cool. We don't shoot hostages in America and posing an additional disruption outside the house of these people is uncalled for under the circumstances. The decision to bring eight more babies into the household surely wasn't their choice!

Also, I couldn't help but notice an article (which regrettably, I cannot find anymore) that showed a gentleman with a Hispanic surname protesting outside the house. I found that very interesting. I cannot help but wonder if this man is consistent in his opposition to manipulation of welfare services.

Polls always show that Hispanics, by a wide margin, feel that any legislation aimed at halting illegal immigration is racist against all Hispanics. I completely disagree with this sentiment. Among many other things, illegal aliens strain the social safety net, especially in places like California where the clueless and gutless politicians can't keep from overspending on those who actually PAY taxes. Moreover (not to condone racist thoughts, but just to acknowledge reality and explain what fuels the ignorant minds who practice racism), any discrimination still aimed at Hispanics would clearly recede if illegal aliens were a smaller part of the fabric of our society.

I do understand people's tendency to focus on the micro level of one Jolie-wannabe in California instead of the macro level of societal manipulation of the social services system -- although my mind happens to work backwards on that. I can say that although I have been forcefully opposed to our government's toleration of illegal immigration for a long, long time, I do feel more sympathy on a human level since driving past some of the "day labor" sites populated by illegals in the Atlanta area. While I feel that our government has a solemn duty to protect our soveriegnty and the sanctity of our borders -- and while I also am aware that MS-13 thugs and other criminals are also flooding across in large numbers -- I cannot feel anything but sympathy for those who left their Third World rathole in search of a better life. Not that I would allow them free access, because our laws cannot afford to be treated like toilet paper after a bender at Taco Bell, but I refuse to demonize any hard-working, well-meaning people on a human level.

So in my estimation, rather than turning our collective wrath on any single individual who is working our welfare system -- in a manner that my paleocon mind would say inevitably stems from the moral hazard of said programs -- we would better served to go after the worthless politicians who allow for such manipulation in the first place. Voting out of office any pathetic jerk who won't support proper border security for fear of being labeled a racist would be a good first step.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"I Love You, Barack"

By Tony Mazur

Three weeks into the new administration. And what a long three weeks it has been.

I use this blog to vent my anger for "Obamamania". On February 10th, at a town hall meeting in Fort Myers, Florida, video captured two of my biggest issues with Obama and the "Barack Backers".

First, Henrietta Hughes, a woman who is fed up with her current standard of living, would like President Obama to personally do something about it. During the election, the media portrayed Obama the way the Old Testament prophets proclaimed the arrival of the Messiah. Not only is Barack the next Jesus Christ, apparently he is now Kris Kringle. Ms. Hughes asks Mr. Obama for a new house, new car, and a new kitchen. Unfortunately, this is not included in the video, but take my word for it. Sure, he'll help you, as soon as he helps his half-brother move out of his small hut in Kenya.

Another aspect of Obamamania that irritates me is the way people want to screw him. Literally. Take a look at the unnamed woman to the left of the video who looks like Rod Stewart, circa 1981. The emotionally-filled lady mouths the words "I love you, Barack!" Another example of how disgusting the media and the American people have portrayed this man who is nothing more than Pelosi and Reid's puppet. I cannot WAIT for November 2010 and 2012.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

FDH Lounge Show #45: February 11, 2009

By Rick Morris

This Wednesday's 45th edition of THE FDH LOUNGE on (7-10 PM EST) proves yet again our adage of "nothing is off-topic."

After the Opening Statements of The FDH Lounge Dignitaries, we welcome in Newsday sportswriter Neil Best for his perspective on events he has witnessed recently in New York: the LBJ/MSG supergame, Joe Torre's tell-all book and the ARod "confession" meltdown. From there, we discuss all things football with NFL Films Senior Producer Ray Didinger. Ray is an accomplished author, Football Hall of Fame writer and broadcaster and he will be on to discuss many aspects of the game, past and present.

Then, well into Hour Two, we delve into The FDH Lounge News Nuggets: Chris Brown behaving in a manner as crappy as his music, a powerful congressman slipping up and revealing for the first time how close we came to a global financial collapse in September and ESPN gutlessly suspending Scott Van Pelt for telling the truth about Bud Selig.

We wrap up the Hour Two with a look at the opening of spring training with FDH Baseball Correspondant Tim Foust -- and of course, we'll talk about the ARod scandal. Tim will stay with us for THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER in Hour Three when we talk fantasy baseball and unveil our brand-new Ultimate Quantitative Baseline statistic for MLB '09. After that, The Insider will take one more look at NASCAR before the big Daytona race on Sunday and then reveal the results of our 2009 fantasy golf mock draft. In our final half hour, on THE GOON SQUAD, we talk about the Sean Avery/Rangers story, the Jagr/Oilers blockbuster potential possibility and the looming trading deadline with CBC's Craig Simpson pronouncing 25 of the league's 30 teams in some state of playoff contention.

It's a loaded program, to be sure, but it's just another day in the life of The FDH Lounge! Watch us live Wednesday night or listen to our archives on-demand at STN.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue VI

By Rick Morris

For the most part, we keep our fantasy content on our fantasy website and fantasy blog and keep this site for content on all subjects. It allows our readers to find specific content more easily that way. However, it has come to our attention that because our new fantasy sports newsletter is published on the older Blogger platform that our readers may be limited in their ability to subscribe to it. There does not appear to be a way to have content on the blog forwarded to an aggregate news reader -- however, we know that we have that ability here. So we will link to that newsletter each week right here when it is published. This week's newsletter is completely given over to unveiling our Ultimate Quantitative Baseline (UQB) statistic for fantasy baseball in 2009. Here is this week's newsletter.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

25 random things about FDH

By Rick Morris

Presently, we have a page but not an FDH Lounge Facebook page. One is deemed to be too intrusively commercial for Facebook, I guess, and the other is not. Whatever.

So essentially we treat our page as a representative of all of FDH Enterprises, LLC, not just the fantasy sports division but our "nothing is off-topic" Lounge division as well. In that spirit, we bring you here from our Facebook page one of the big Facebook crazes of the moment: 25 Random Things About Us:

1) We started off as a part of our good friend Pat Luft’s site.

2) We started focusing on different aspects of the fantasy sports industry and parted amicably in 2006.

3) Pat’s site continues in great form to this very day.

4) In 2003, and (STN) forged a working relationship that transferred over to as part of the spinoff agreement.

5) has put together upwards of a dozen programs for in the past six years and appeared on about 40 others.

6) partners Rick Morris (Managing Partner) and Jason Jones (Senior Editor) met when both were broadcasting for STN.

7) In 2007, became the first division of FDH Enteprises, LLC when the company divided into two parts.

8) The second division is The FDH Lounge (, a multimedia organization focusing on sports and everything else (Motto: Nothing is Off-Topic).

9) When we needed a name for our FDH Lounge staff (both columnists for the website and participants on our Internet TV show), we settled on “The Dignitaries.”

10) Rick’s first partner with was current (and charter member) FDH Lounge Dignitary Nathan Noy, before Nathan decided to depart the fantasy sports tout business.

11) We’ve put up almost 900 posts on since launching it in August 2007.

12) Of those posts, only about half of them are sports-related, with politics, geopolitics, news, entertainment and countless other subjects making up the rest.

13) We have over 1,325 links on our FDH Lounge Ultimate Links page (

14) Of those links, only about half of them are sports-related, with politics, geopolitics, news, entertainment and countless other subjects making up the rest.

15) We have content-exchange relationships with a number of great sites, including STN,,,, and

16) Our core philosophy at involves the Value Pyramid: Information and Process leading to Value.

17) We believe that fantasy sports championships are won by patiently accruing value with each and every selection.

18) Our core statistic at is called the Ultimate Quantitative Baseline (UQB).

19) The UQB is based on the standard deviation from the mean and it is a composite of exactly how much better or worse an athlete performed proportionate to his peers in a number of different categories.

20) We believe that we cover more different fantasy sports than any other organization in existence (including a fantasy 4th of July hot dog eating game!).

21) We work on spotlighting trends not merely in a single fantasy sport, but across different fantasy sports where applicable.

22) We publish a weekly newsletter on our fantasy blog ( and also have a presence on MySpace, Twitter and a message board at STN.

23) We have set up fantasy-based competitions on our STN shows even outside of sports: competing to draft the best rock band and the finest array of attractive female celebrities!

24) We are adding videoblogging to our many media platforms in 2009 and even have a set built with our excellent logo (which was created by Jason).

25) FDH Lounge Entertainment Editor Samantha Jones is Jason’s wife and also worked extensively with Rick and Jason at STN.

NCAA National Signing Day roundup

By Rick Morris

For the first time here at The FDH Lounge we are pulling together a compendium of National Signing Day coverage so that you can get an idea of how your school and other top schools are judged to have fared by a variety of sources.

^ Here's ESPNU's Top 150, now updated to show where everyone is going.

^ ESPNU subsequently rated the top classes, with LSU on top. Here's the list.

^ ESPNU compiled analyses by conference: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 10 and SEC. They also rated the mid-majors and independents.

^ Maxpreps has its own overview on this page, which includes embedded recruit videos, links to stories and Tom Lemming's Top 100 players and where they are headed.

^ presents its own Top 25 classes, with Ohio State rated #1.

Geopolitics roundup

By Rick Morris

We have long covered geopolitics at The FDH Lounge, both in terms of our own analysis and linking to great coverage elsewhere. If you go through our monthly archive links, you can find coverage dating back to January 2008. Here’s our latest roundup of top news and analysis on the Internet:

^ Tigerhawk reports that major, decisive victories over Al Qaeda via drone strikes in the last year have gone largely unreported.

^ What's the next big energy source? The Foreign Policy Blog says it could be Bolivian lithium.

^ Jane's reports on a few big stories. Kyrgyzstan is booting a key US airbase used for operations in Afghanistan. The US is trying to shore up access to Caspian Sea energy reserves. Holdover US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is warning about the unintended consequences of new federal government ethics guidelines on the military's well-being. After the Gaza war has ended, at least for now, Hamas is at the crossroads. And the US military is trying out a new biofuel testing program.

^ Michael Yon, one of the greatest milbloggers in the world (if not the greatest), warns from firsthand observations that expectations for what constitutes victory in Afghanistan have to be realistic. Additionally, he wonders how so many analysts can downplay the threats posed to Israel on a daily basis.

^ The Asia Times reports on the evolving US-China relationship.

^ The Belmont Club assesses Dick Cheney's warnings about the future of US national security. Also, they warn, Hamas is gearing up for further warfare.

^ The Counterterrorism Blog talks about the meaning of Iran's new satellites and also the downward spiral of Afghanistan.

^ The Long War Journal discusses the implications of the Taliban severing a key NATO supply line through the northwest region of Pakistan and also the case of a key sleeper agent in US custody.

^ And finally, here's a video (just under eight minutes in length) passed along to me by my dad from the online VBS channel. It depicts a trip into the part of Pakistan deemed the most dangerous piece of soil in the world, where Pakistani gunrunners dominate the landscape.

NCAA hoops conference play halftime report

By Rick Morris

ESPN's Andy Katz is right when he proclaims this season quite possibly the most topsy-turvy in recent memory and one that foreshadows a wild March with many upsets. Among other factors, we are seeing the trickle-down effects this year of having very few absolutely dominant players such as Oklahoma's Blake Griffin.

The latest standings can be found here.

^ The Big East, now a couple of years into its expansion as a mega-conference, continues to be the biggest meatgrinder in the sport's history. UConn, Pitt, Villanova and Louisville have survived quite handsomely; Georgetown and Notre Dame, not so much. Marquette has been a bit of a pleasant surprise, as has Syracuse (heartbreaking last-second miracle loss to Cleveland State notwithstanding). West Virginia's going to have to close fairly strong and make a good run in the Big East tournament to get into March Madness, but with their physical style of play, they're going to be the epitome of the team nobody wants to play.

^ The ACC has been very unpredictable, starting with a Tar Heel team that many thought could be the first to run the table in 33 years barely making it into conference play undefeated. North Carolina has still hung around the top, however, as has Duke, Clemson, a skilled young Wake Forest team and a Boston College squad that is capable of beating anyone or losing to anyone on a given night.

^ The aforementioned Sooners are leading the Big 12, thanks to both Griffin brothers, with defending national champions Kansas the closest on their heels. Missouri and year-in, year-out conference power Texas appear to be the only other teams capable of tripping up Oklahoma right now.

^ In the Big 10, Michigan State is no longer unbeatable at home, but still the conference favorite. The circuit has almost been a microcosm of the NCAA itself this year, with a host of teams that have a chance to pull off the upset and take the conference crown in March -- extending down to disappointing ninth-place Wisconsin.

^ Depending on your point of view, the SEC is either awash in mediocrity or a poor man's version of the Big East where everyone is beating each other's brains in. Regardless, Florida and LSU are the only teams at the moment who are a full-blown collapse away from missing the NCAA tournament. Kentucky is a team that could cause a lot of problems for higher-rated teams if they make it to the big tournament in March.

^ The Pac 10 has been an interesting conference, with UCLA the cream of the crop once again, but this time trying to get their offensive game in gear so that they can make yet another return trip to the Final Four. There are several other teams who look to be ready for March, with USC a bit of a disappointment as a bubble team right now.

^ Two of the big boys in the mid-majors are going to square off today when Memphis invades the Pacific Northwest to take on Gonzaga. Other mid-major bullies are faring well as usual, including Xavier, Butler (who is fending off expected rival Cleveland State by a comfortable margin) and Utah State.

Essentially, unless the second half of conference play and the conference tournaments deliver more predictable results, the NCAA selection committee is going to have a heck of a time seeding teams in a manner that reflects their true value. As such, there should be upsets galore from top to bottom. Those filling out office pool brackets (or participating in a fantasy bracket pool along the lines of the game we invented at should pay more attention than ever to individual matchups in each game.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Movie review: My Bloody Valentine 3D

By Rick Morris

I will preface this review by saying that I'm not a huge horror movie fan -- not that I don't like them, because the ones I've seen have been pretty good, but the genre seems to mostly appeal to hard-core fans and I'm fairly lukewarm in that I can take them or leave them. But I was hugely impressed with MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D.

This remake of the 1981 classic takes place in a small Pennsylvania mining town. 10 years earlier, an accident in the mines killed several workers and turned survivor Harry Warden into a murderous maniac. His killing spree erupted again at a subsequent party that some young folks were throwing at the site. With the death of the mine owner, his heir, son Tom, has returned a decade later with the intention of selling the property.

The would-be transfer of the property is complicated by the start of another killing spree that, by all apparent accounts, is being perpetrated by Harry again. Notwithstanding evidence that he died at the end of the previous run of murders, he appears to be back -- either that, or somebody is imitating him with the miner's uniform and mask. And the few who survived the massacre at the party are squarely in the crosshairs. Tom had fled the small town after that attack, leaving behind high school sweetheart Sarah. She then ended up, in what we are led to believe may have been a rebound situation, in a marriage-and-motherhood scenario with another member of that high school crowd, Axel -- who has become the town's sheriff. Tom's return rekindles a rivalry between Axel and he and both men point the finger at each other for being responsible for the new run of murders, even while the specter of Harry's alleged return hovers over everyone in town.

Those who watch a lot of horror movies may find some of the twists and turns formulaic and perhaps even predictable. If so, that's fair enough. As someone not regularly exposed to the genre, I found the storytelling to be of decent caliber and I was impressed with how the movie built to a climax.

But the true star of this film is the technology. The 3D elements are simply spectacular, from the heinous amounts of gore to other action/chase scenes to the mundane made special. There is a scene early in the movie where Tom drives down to take a look at the mine and he parks at the top of a small hill. With the camera shot from lower down on the incline, the car points out towards the viewers in 3D such that it appears to be within arm's reach. For all of the attention that the movie is getting for the 3D blood/flying weapons -- and they're impressive -- and a 3D sex scene -- also, uh, well-done -- the simple elements of life in 3D come across in an unbelievable way.

The ironic title of the movie aside, this isn't a great date movie, especially around Valentine's Day -- but it's unbeatable for a couple of escapist hours with your friends. I had the pleasure of watching this with fellow FDH Lounge Dignitaries and longtime friends Jonny Adams and Mike Vili and we were all completely entertained. Two (severed) thumbs up.

Here is the trailer, which actually does a pretty good job of conveying some of the 3D elements.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

FDH Lounge Show #44: February 4, 2009

By Rick Morris

The 44th edition of THE FDH LOUNGE on (7-10 PM EST) does what is rare for the show where “nothing is off-topic” – focusing for one night pretty much on sports. After the Opening Statements of The Dignitaries of The FDH Lounge, we welcome in our newest Dignitary, Sean Trench. As host of STN’s FRIDAY NIGHT HOOPS program (Fridays, 6-7 PM EST), he is well-positioned to help us break down the NBA season at about the halfway point. We will also discuss the Super Bowl with him, which has also been another focal point of his STN work.

Later in Hour One, we welcome back’s Ken Palmer for another interesting conversation like the one we had with him last fall. He covers the New York Giants and New Jersey Devils, so we will break down the ups and downs of these two teams and take a look at what lies ahead for the Giants this offseason.

About halfway through Hour Two, we welcome in Eric Fisher from Sports Business Journal to help us take a look back at some of the top sports business stories in 2008 and looking ahead to 2009. Like Ken, we’ve had Eric on previously and have had some great discussions with him.

Then, for the rest of Hour Two, we take a look at MLB’s Hot Stove League and the effects that the horrible global economy are having on the free agent pool. We hope everyone feels as bad for Manny Ramirez not having a contract as we do!

Hour Three as usual consists of THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER during the first half and THE GOON SQUAD for the second half. On the fantasy “show within a show,” we discuss the premier power/speed players, the so-called “five-category studs” who are positioning themselves for first-round selections this year. Then, we go over our brand-new free downloadable publication FANTASY NASCAR DRAFTOLOGY 2009 and review such features as the FDH mock draft and the most overvalued and undervalued drivers of the year. Next, our hockey coverage includes a breakdown of the NHL All-Star Game and a look at teams on the league’s “playoff bubble” as we start in earnest to head down the homestretch.

As always, we welcome you to our Internet TV audience and encourage you to check out the archives if you cannot tune in live. We are moving towards the 50th edition of The Lounge in a few weeks and we appreciate the support of our audience as we build towards that episode.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl 43 recap: not a Whiz on Super Sunday

By Rick Morris

OK, for those of you who noticed the bitter live-Tweeting during the Super Bowl, let's get this out of the way before the objective analysis follows: the officiating was horrid and one-sided and low-class folks like this dweeb perfectly represent Steeler fans everywhere.

And now on to the game itself ... lost in the discussion everywhere is the fact that Ken Whisenhunt cost his team a chance to win yesterday's big game. I'm one of the biggest Whisenhunt shills anywhere, but the decision-making in the Super Bowl was exceedingly poor. Much to my surprise, few columnists picked up on what I found to be rather obvious, but it's no surprise to me that the perceptive John Czarnecki was one of them.

With the Steelers chewing up clock early in the game, into the second quarter, the Cardinals fell into a trap. "Why, we've got to establish the run, don'cha know! Chew up some clock ourselves! Give our defense a chance to rest."

Two problems with that: the Arizona running game flat-out sucks (last in the league statistically). Sure, Edgerrin James has a big name, but so does Red Grange and I wouldn't want him out there playing a significant role in the year 2009. The other problem? Hardly anybody can run the ball on Pittsburgh.

Whisenhunt and his braintrust also blew it on the final call of the first half. Talk about overthinking! "We can't throw a fade to Fitzgerald, everyone will be expecting it!" Yeah, but expecting Fitzgerald to get the ball and doing anything about it are two separate things, as was proven when the Cards FINALLY, belatedly, got him the ball. Think about this: if the Cards come away with no points at the end of the first half, but don't allow a freaking 100-Yard Pick Six, they probably win the game. Sickening, huh?

The Arizona offense is predicated completely on rhythm. All offenses are, of course, to some degree, and the great ones tend to be even more so. When a great defense is clicking, with a crafty gunslinger at the helm, even a great defense like Pittsburgh's is back on its heels. Every time the Cardinals went into sustained "attack mode" yesterday, they were successful and in so doing, they almost became the first team in Super Bowl history to come back from more than 10 points down to win a game.

In the end, ultimately, they waited too long -- and yet still gave the Steelers the ball back with too much time on the clock, but that points out the Arizona deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball. I think I could have done a better job of covering receivers across the middle than the Cards did on the first and last drives of the game. Ken Whisenhunt has been a big winner in a short period of time in Arizona, turning around that organization as I predicted he would. Here's hoping that his next time on the big stage is more representative of his overall talent.