Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Best critiques of gov't coming from pro wrestling - really

By Rick Morris

If you require further proof of how society has been turned upside down since the global financial crisis began back in September, consider this: some of the best analysis coming from outside the traditional media circles is being produced by individuals associated at one time or another with professional wrestling!

The days of Jesse Ventura and Hulk Hogan dabbling in politics on a celebrity level are the most commonly associated images most of us have of a potential "sports entertainment/big time politics" crossover, but these days, solid breakdowns of the affairs of the day are erasing those impressions. We start with Hogan's good buddy Eric Bischoff on his new blog:

"When the President of the United States chooses a confirmed tax cheat as Secretary of Treasury to manage our financial crisis, and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking lies to the American public on something as serious as his involvement/authorship of the bill that allowed AIG spoon feed millions of taxpayers dollars to its executives, it's pretty clear that we are being led by frauds dressed as public servants ... The real threat to America isn’t Al Qaeda. It’s not the economy. It’s the power-hungry Socialists that control Congress and the Empty Suit that follows, rather than leads them."

Agree or disagree (and I personally find little to quibble with in his commentary), he makes solid points on a number of the day's biggest issues. As a longtime Ric Flair fan, I do feel a bit dirty in putting Easy-E over to this degree, but, hey, the Nature Boy leans to the right also! Ironically, I see little in Bischoff's commentary that would cause Flair to disagree.

A former associate of Bischoff's on the RAW brand, Glenn "Kane" Jacobs, is also making some noise, both under his "Citizen X" identity and through media appearances that he has made under his own name promoting libertarian political and economic stances. He is very learned on the subject of Austrian economics, which is the exact opposite approach to our nation's current heavily-centralized, heavy-handed path. These videos below reveal him as somebody with a great ability to diagnose our nation's current woes in a common-sense fashion and they prove the ignorance of those who dismiss the brainpower of folks in the sports entertainment business.

Video Clips: Some Grey Bloke

By Rick Morris

If you don't mind your humor a tad on the dry side, you will really love these videos. I don't know anything about the brains behind "Some Grey Bloke," but the video commentaries from this character are really funny.

The purpose of Facebook

Gym membership is a fraud

Ex-wife issues

More ex-wife issues

Halloween costume

Personal ad

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XIII

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 FantasyDrafthelp.com 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. Here is this week's newsletter.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Pre-YouTube Days

By Tony Mazur

Earlier this evening, while surfing the World Wide Web on my three-month old Toshiba laptop, I was pummeled with flashbacks. I was sent back to 1999. Everything I'm currently doing would be a foreign concept. Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? If I wanted to get a hold of a friend, I would pull out the White Pages and dial his home phone number.

Our lives have changed so much in ten years. Remember when we had to "be kind and please rewind"? Remember when we had to wait until the next morning to see what happened in sports if we couldn't stay up to watch the 11 O' clock newscast? Remember how long we had to wait for AOL to connect? Thankfully, those days are over.

Let me take you back to 1998. On a Sunday morning, I walked downstairs in my Bedford, Ohio home around 8:30 AM and turned on the TV. I was into CHR music at the time(thanks to Cleveland WZJM/92.3), so I flipped on MTV. Alanis Morissette, fresh off the success from her third album Jagged Little Pill, had come out with a song called "Thank U". The video featured a completely nude Alanis walking around, with her breasts and crotch cleverly concealed. As a ten year old boy, this was the hottest thing in the world. If I wanted to see it again, I would have to wait an hour or two for the video to be shown.

I'll give you two more examples, both set in 2002. The toe-tapping "Can't Get You out of My Head", performed by Kylie Minogue, featured the singer in odd yet erotic outfits throughout the video. Later in the year, the Russian lesbian duo t.A.T.u. released "All The Things She Said", a song that is a guilty pleasure of yours truly. Speaking of pleasure, the video caused controversy all over the world. The girls were outside in the pouring rain, dressed as Catholic school girls. As the rain fell, the girls decided it was a perfect time to have a makeout session.

Thanks to YouTube, the videos that were incredibly hot at the time and the not-too-distant future, seem dull in 2009. We're desensitized. The question here is, was our ignorance bliss, or are we better off?

I enjoy having the world at my fingertips. Multitasking has become a staple in our culture. Now if you will excuse me, I have to post an Tweet, while updating my Facebook, checking the Drudge Report and Wikipedia for vital information, all while listening to music and burning a CD.

In the meantime, here are the aforementioned videos, with the exception of "Thank U". I understand YouTube cracks down on nudity, but for goodness sake, this was on both MTV and VH1.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FDH Lounge Show #51: March 25, 2009

By Rick Morris

Last week, THE FDH LOUNGE (7-10 PM EDT on SportsTalkNetwork.com) celebrated its 50th episode. This week, the show where “nothing is off-topic” lives up to its slogan like never before for the 51st episode.

Prior to The Opening Statements from The Dignitaries of The FDH Lounge and our look at This Week In The FDH Lounge, we welcome in Philadelphia sportscaster Jim Jackson. He is the TV play-by-play announcer for the Flyers and radio pre-game and post-game host for the Phillies. We will discuss the NHL Eastern Conference playoff picture and the Phils’ chances of being the first team since the 2000 Yankees to repeat as World Series Champions.

From there, we move to Part One of our studio roundtable debate about the upcoming closure at Guantanamo Bay. In an atmosphere in which even this new liberal president has admitted that some detainees have been released only to rejoin the jihad, how do we strike a balance between properly protecting American interests at home and abroad and making sure that those who are incarcerated deserve to be?

At the top of Hour Two, we will speak with legendary pro wrestler Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. He’ll share his thoughts on the movie “The Wrestler,” his long career in the business including his present-day work and what life has been like as a participant in his close friend Hulk Hogan’s reality TV shows.

Our Beefcake chat is bookended by Part Two of our Gitmo discussion (are you getting whiplash yet?). Then we handicap in bullet form the chances for success for various parts of the Obama agenda this year: greater regulation of Wall Street, health care reorganization, the card check sop to the unions and the carbon tax.

At the top of Hour Three, we bring in one of the two most recognizable sports mascots in the world: the Phillie Phanatic. Of course, last year in Episode #27, we already interviewed the other one at that level, the industry pioneer himself, the San Diego Chicken. The Phanatic has an interesting story to tell and he now represents the world champions!

It takes a guest the caliber of the Phanatic to alter the course of the third hour, which is normally split down the middle between the show-within-a-show segments known as THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER and THE GOON SQUAD. Instead, each will be slightly truncated tonight. Our fantasy talk will revolve around important spring training notes and how to take our draft-oriented advice and apply it to your auctions. Of course, whatever the format of your league, you’re going in essentially naked if you do it without our free draft guide, FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009! Then, our hockey discussions will revolve around the biggest controversy in the international media today – the Don Cherry/Alex Ovechkin back-and-forth – and the shape of the playoff picture as the league is now inside of the final dozen games on its schedule.

It’s going to be a great program and we hope you can be a part of our audience. As always, we urge you to watch the show live (or listen if you’re on dial-up), but if you can’t catch this as it’s happening, you can always catch the FDH archives 24-7 right here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Maher, Olbermann Discuss Media Bias

By Tony Mazur

On a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Mr. Maher invited Andrew Ross Sorkin, Bernie Sanders, Kerry Washington, and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on his HBO show to talk about the issues that are troubling our country. Apparently, the biggest threat to the country is right-wing radio.

The "open-minded" panelists talked about how dangerous right wingers such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck are to America. They bring up such examples as Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski, and how they listened to Conservative radio religiously before their killing sprees.

I find this rather amusing. For eight years, we were plagued with pompous liberal talk show hosts such as Maher, Olbermann, and Jon Stewart, spewing their hate on a nightly basis. I loathe Olbermann, but Stewart is the worst. His show, which is on Comedy Central, is to show the lighter side of politics. However, his commentary toward the entire Bush administration was ruthless and vile. Stewart, who swears up and down that he is an Independent, has not muttered the same vicious language toward Obama and his cronies.

Last week, the unbiased CNN played phone calls from ticked-off citizens about the recent AIG bonuses. One in particular was a death threat PLAYED ON THE AIR toward all AIG employees.

Are we still talking about the loving and caring liberals?

Liberals will not be satisfied until every American citizen is a registered Democrat (like Cubs, Venezuela, and other communist countries). Right now, the three-headed monster of Obama-Pelosi-Reid is out to rally the American people against capitalism. It's true. The AIG bonuses is a perfect example (and it's the Democrats' fault for it in the first place).

Maher and Olbermann must be forgetting that the media is BLATANTLY liberal and they will NEVER report anything anti-Obama. They attack right wing radio because it's a differing opinion from their own. That's all. As I previously mentioned, liberals detest anyone who doesn't agree with them. It's a very socialist way of thinking.

Saturday, March 21, 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!

Some witless critics of Sarah Palin even took to criticizing the Alaskan way of life: hunting for wild food. Here's a passionate rebuttal from the people who know the most about it:

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams delivers a short presentation with all the basic information you need to know about Twitter:

What a great NBA2K8 simulation: Big O vs. Pistol Pete!

Take in this winter advice from Geddy Lee:

“… not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

I actually got to see this chimp perform in person: Most Valuable Primate. Great entertainment!

We’ve brought some of these to you before: the greatness of more Randy Moller goal calls.

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XII

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 FantasyDrafthelp.com 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. Here is this week's newsletter.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sportsology: NY Islanders need John Tavares badly

By Rick Morris

Courtesy once again of our buddy Russ Cohen at Sportsology, we bring you a column about the pathetic New York Islanders and their quest for a franchise player in the form of this year's consensus #1 draft pick John Tavares.

Interestingly, while the NHL Entry Draft this year doesn't look as feeble as the NFL Draft and NBA Draft crops, it does have one thing in common with the hoops circuit -- the fact that Tavares is a no-brainer #1, similar to Blake Griffin in the NBA this June.

Russ's Rants - Project Islanders - Tavares or Bust
By Russ Cohen

The New York Islanders are at a crossroads. I grew up there, have friends who still live there, and the team is largely irrelevant in the market. They are close to having the worst television ratings in the league (off 37%), their attendance is one of the worst in the league and Forbes ranked them as the 29th most valuable franchise.

They need help and it could be on the horizon. The two most talked-about players in the upcoming draft are the big Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman and the OHL superstar John Tavares. So many people write about Tavares, yet so many of them have never seen him play. I have seen him in action many times and I’m here to tell you that this kid could turn around the fortunes of this franchise.

He broke the OHL scoring record, previously held by former Pittsburgh Penguins forward, Peter Lee. He notched 215 goals. You can’t sneeze at that. He will be 18 at the time of the draft, and if the franchise wants to turn youngsters into Islander fans, then they need to do whatever is humanly possible to acquire this potential superstar center. The kid not only scores, but he wins face-offs and he makes players around him better. He’s been ready for the NHL for two seasons now and he’s chomping at the bit. Hedman could really help the team in the future, but as a defenseman, his impact will be felt on the ice but not at the box office. Mark Streit is a potential Norris Trophy candidate and a solid sign by Islanders GM Garth Snow but he hasn’t changed the fortunes of the franchise and fans don't go out to see him. They won’t flock to see Hedman either.

Why? Here is a short Q and A interview I had with Aaron Cano, a native from Long Island and a long time Farmingdale, NY resident:

Q: When was the last time you bought tickets to an Islanders game?

A: The last time I purchased a ticket for an Islander game was 4 years ago. They were playing the Rangers and my son wanted to see the Islanders lose.

Q: How many years have you been a fan?

A: I have been a long time fan. Since I was in 9th grade, so that is 30 years...Wow.

Q: Why don't you go any longer?

A: I no longer attend for two reasons. First, they have not played competitive hockey for many years and second, the facility where they play has to be the worst in the league.

Q: Do you ever watch them on television? A: I rarely watch them on TV anymore. Maybe when nothing else is on. I mainly watch the highlights on the news, but the news does not even mention them very often.

Long Islanders are an affluent, trendy, yuppie crowd and they are looking for that flash. Tavares can provide that flash and the team can market him the minute they get him, but acquiring him won’t be easy.The team will get their chance in the lottery, but if the ping pong ball doesn’t bounce their way, will they settle for that -- or will they pull out all the stops to try and pry him away from the team that does get the #1 pick?

I personally hope they get him so they can give the fans some hope. But if they have to acquire him, I would trade multiple first round picks and a prospect or two for him. Why would I risk so much? The answer is simple. The franchise can’t wait for the Town of Hempstead to approve or deny the “Lighthouse Project”. The environmental impact statements can be a very lengthy process, and if a decision is to be made in the next year or two, that may be too late. The team could move to Kansas City by then. There is no free agent or any player in the league that they could acquire via a trade to put fannies in the seats, but a solid offensive prospect can do that. I’ve seen it happen before, here, in Philadelphia, when Eric Lindros got a building built and Tavares can do the same thing.The Islanders have already lost a generation of potential new fans for various reasons, but soon, they will have an opportunity to gain a new generation and they can certainly win back some of the others who have stayed away.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

NFL Draft scouting breakdown Part I

By Rick Morris

Notwithstanding my byline above, I can't take credit for any of the material here ... OK, with the exception of coming up with the idea.

To briefly explain, the FDH Lounge's sister brand, FantasyDrafthelp.com, will be producing a pro football draft guide again this year as we have for the past several years. Actually, this year, it will be produced in conjunction with our good friends at Sportsology and also Gridiron Evaluations.

The latter enterprise is built around the work of our good buddy The Scout Ken Becks. Ken has long exchanged draft perspectives by phone with FDH Senior Editor Jason Jones. I quickly came to the belief that we should try to capture some of this discussion in the form of chat transcripts and that doing so would be yet another great way to highlight to our readership the work of Ken and Jason -- who are, in my admittedly biased opinion, the top two NFL Draft evaluators in the business today.

They held their first chat today and this one focused on defensive players. It was everything I thought it would be, and believe me, that's saying something. If you love some hardcore NFL Draft discussion, then strap on your drool bib and keep reading.

Now we could start by posting our respective mock drafts and defending it pick by pick...but that would just be tedious. So I'd like to go in a different direction. I'd like to start by stating a series of players we really like, followed by players we really do not like, to help add perspective to why we may say what we are about to say. For now, we'll try to limit it to the first-day players as we see it.

I'll start and say Brian Orakpo, not only because I want my Cleveland Browns to draft him, but also because I think he could be the most dynamic defensive player in this draft if used properly.

Ken, now be gentle...not everyone is ready for the brutal truth yet...that will come with the players we don't like.

When it comes to Orakpo, I do need a bit more evaluation time on him. But he shows good overall athleticism as he showcased at the combine. From what I have seen of him, I am not so sure he will be able to live up to expectations by most. Though I feel he is best suited as a 4-3 DE/ or 3-4 OLB, I have to reserve my enthusiasm on Orakpo ‘til further analysis.

When it comes to a dynamic player on defense for me, my personal sleeper and possible defensive rookie of the year when he enters the league would DE Robert Ayers of Tennessee!

I'll just say that Orakpo is one of a handful of players in this draft that just jumps off the film to me. Not to mention that he is openly regarded by his teammates and his coaching staff as the strongest player to come from Texas in over a decade and maybe two. Most people believe Aaron Curry is the safest pick in this draft. I put Orakpo in that discussion of safest picks...just my opinion.

I know to most, Ayers may not be on their radar since this past year has really only been his only productive year at the collegiate level.

At about 6-3, 275lbs, Ayers shows the athleticism, speed, strength, and burst to make things happen both as a 3-4 or 4-3 DE at the NFL level! His quickness and burst off the edge on his first step is the best in the draft. The intensity he possesses to play through from snap to whistle is unmatched in this year’s draft.

I really like Robert Ayers for all of the same reasons I like Orakpo, just on a different value level. Five years from now, I think we will look back and say "Why did Ayers go so late?" I say that knowing that Ayers is moving up the board. I have seen him as high as the low 20s.

You mentioned his name before the Senior Bowl, but it wasn’t until then that I really perked up after seeing how he played off the line (i.e. from an OLB position).

Some may say he is a bit light in the pants to play an effective 3-4 DE, but he consistently shows the physical toughness & competitive nature to beat most across from him at any level of play! Then, even at 275lbs, he shows the ability to drop back and actually play effective OLB as he was occasionally employed by his collegiate coaching staff.

Well, not only do I feel he is the best DE in this year’s draft, I will go on record as saying he is my highest rated defensive player, period!

That is what I'm talkin' about! Eat that, big haired Four Letter Network Hack.

There you go..........You might not be talking about the guy known for his sterling hair are ya????????

Since we’re talking on the defensive end of the ball, my second-rated defensive end would be LSU's Tyson Jackson.
Here is another versatile DE who can play in either the 3-4 or 4-3 defensive from the end position effectively. What do you think of Jackson, Jason?

Ahh, Tyson Jackson. I always enjoy bringing up names that were on my top prospects by position from a previous year. (I don’t wait for that undeclared crap...no fear).

Tyson Jackson in my opinion is the ONLY first day 3-4 specific DE in draft. He's built for it and has the skills for it. I say "specific" because most people believe a 4-3 DE and 3-4 DE are the same thing. They are not. Tyson Jackson is the only real 3-4 DE in the first day.

Yes, I remember you mentioning Jackson some time ago as well, Jason. What is it you like about Jackson?

I will respect your opinion as Jackson being the only 1st day DE in this year’s draft. But I feel Mr. Ayers will have something to say about that.

6-4, 295... in most cases that is a respectable DT in a 4-3. Don’t think of Jackson from LSU 2008, think of LSU 2007. He was integral in allowing the linebackers to do what they were able to do. He was the rarely-mentioned defensive player who did not stack up sacks but caused havoc against the run and helped collapse the pocket...A 3-4 DE.

At DT/NG, I have Boston College BJ Raji as my #1 DT and or NG. Not only is he tough and physical at the point of attack, but his quickness for a man of his girth is exceptional. His unique quickness along with attacking style of play is what separates him from most at either position. He is the ideal 3-4 NG for any NFL team. And with the resurgence of the 3-4 defense that will make his services that much more sought-after!

I live in a prototype world. I like my (speaking of the 3-4) DEs to be 6'3+, 285+, I like my OLBs to be converted DEs, I like my ILBs to be thumpers. I think Ayers as a 3-4 DE would be a waste of talent. Ayers could get 15 sacks as an OLB or 4-3 DE as a rookie.
Raji may be the most intriguing prospect of the first round.

Raji could be the one guy in this draft that teams would consider drafting even if they were not considering a NT that early. It is the classic Best Available vs. Team Need argument.

I dont really know if Raji is Vince Wilfork or Casey Hampton...but I do know that he is the best player at that position in a while. There may only be 1 or 2 teams in the top half of the first round that would really target a NT, but there are about 5 or 6 teams who like him enough to take him in the top 15.

12:31pm Ken
I am in total agreement when it comes to what you look for from DE, OLB, ILB, etc...........but Ayers is another story. But B.J. Raji, no question, is the real deal -- with the skill sets to demand a top 5 overall selection!

Larry English of Northern Illinois may be my top rated OLB in this year’s draft. At about 6-2, 255lbs, he shows the all-around game you look for. He is one of the quicker first-step burst defenders in this year’s draft (along with Robert Ayers) to bring a ton of pressure off the edge versus signal-callers in or out of the pocket. And he shows the strength and snap to whistle consistency to man the edges of a NFL defense.

If he is the next Casey Hampton, for instance, he is worthy of a top 5 pick without question.
Gotta love those snap-to-whistle guys.

I love Larry English, and it is no secret that I have a negative bias toward small school players. Larry English has gone above and beyond my expectations regardless of school or competition

Lawrence Sidbury of Richmond, more and more as time goes on, is starting to shed his sleeper tag. He is one of my sleeper OLBs that you can get on the second day, and depending on the NFL team, he can come right in and give you considerable snaps his rookie year! He is ideal as weakside OLB where he can roam and use his athleticism and speed versus opponents.

The one thing I hate is the Belichick bump. This guy could have won defensive rookie of the year from the second round. Now that Belichick has come out and said how much he likes English, it will be no surprise if English goes as high as 8.
I will admit, I have not given Sidbury the attention that I probably should have by now.

To me, there is no question that Rey Maualuga of USC is the #1 rated ILB, and he should be. The physical toughness he exhibits and dishes out to opposing players is legendary. He is the type of player that can come right in and be the catalyst/leader on that side of the ball.

I will say on paper, he definitely fits the bill. My only question on him is: where does he fit among the hybrids? Is he a good/great value in the second or even the third round? Absolutely! I still put him behind Orakpo, Everette Brown, Michael Johnson, Aaron Maybin, Larry English, Robert Ayers (in no particular order).

Oh, Rey Maua-Maua-Maualuga! He is easily one of my top 5 players...that is top 5 favorite players as opposed to top 5 best players.

This guy won me over when a colleague sent me a link to a YouTube video of Maualuga damn near decapitating a UCLA QB with a legal hit. Especially in a 3-4, it is imperative that you have a thumper. Maualuga is a thumper. The funny thing is the top 2 ILBs in this draft (the second of which is debatable) added together would create a superhero quality ILB.
Maualuga is everything Laurinautis is not and vice versa.

Let’s go the other way and ruffle some Ohio St feathers. Is Malcolm Jenkins indeed the best CB? Is he a shutdown corner? Is he worthy of a top 15 pick? I say, emphatically NO.

Who is it on paper that fits the bill but gives you only one question: where does he fit among the hybrids?


Gotcha. No, Sidbury has to refine his game a bit before he can be considered a top tier prospect. But in a few years, his impact will be felt!

I feel Rey Maualuga is the #1 ILB coming out in this years draft, but the sleeper to look for at the same position is South Carolina's Jasper Brinkley!

Jasper Brinkley?!?!?!?

Some of the ILBs in the top 10 of the prospect breakdowns, I admit are suspect, but I don’t see any ILB outside of Maualuga or Laurinautis being selected in the first 60 picks. After that, I could understand your Brinkley.
I do like him better than Jason Phillips and Darry Beckwith.

No doubt you will hear from Jasper Brinkley before it's over. He suffered an ACL injury that set his collegiate career backwards. But if he’s 6-2, 250lbs, he can bring the wood. But he has to have a clean bill of health!
Mr. Jenkins is not considered a top CB whatsoever in my mind. I have moved him to safety and he is nowhere the top safety either on my board!

Either Darius Butler of Connecticut or early-entry Vontae Davis of Illinois would be my top CB in this year’s draft.

As much as I personally want CBs to be 6'0, 200, more than that I want them to run 4.3...but I don’t think the league is moving in that direction. The future feels more like Dominique Rogers-Cromartie than Antonio Cromartie. Smaller, quicker, but not necessarily faster. Malcolm Jenkins is neither of those things.

Both Dominique & Antonio Cromartie are 4.3 corners. And the league will always look for 4.3 and below 40-time corners, because the league is hung up more on speed that true ball players.

I like Vontae Davis as the undisputed #1 CB; for me the jury is still out on whether it’s Darius Butler or Alphonso Smith at #2. And down the list a little, especially if your team needs a CB but wont take one until the second, I like Macho Harris, D.J. Moore and Mark Parsons (you hear that Rick Morris---an Ohio U player mentioned in the mix!).

In the later rounds of the draft, there is good value at CB with players as Bruce Johnson of Miami, Joe Burnett of Central Florida (also looked at safety), DeAngelo Smith of Cincinnati, Sherrod Martin of Troy, and Morgan Trent of Michigan.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

FDH Lounge Show #50: March 18, 2009

By Rick Morris

This broadcast milestone has arrived at long last! Tonight, during its usual timeslot on SportsTalkNetwork.com (7-10 PM EDT), THE FDH LOUNGE celebrates the 50th episode of the groundbreaking Internet TV program where "nothing is off-topic."

After The Opening Statements of The FDH Dignitaries, we move into an examination of how the world has changed since our debut episode that aired on January 14, 2007. Many FDH Lounge Dignitaries who have graced our stage will be back tonight, including Burrell Jackson, Tim Foust, Nate Noy and Sean Trench.

We'll start by taking a look at what was already a point of interest during our first episode: what would become the longest presidential race in US history. Now, the new administration in Washington is bedeviled by a host of problems that it inherited and a Tea Party movement that it helped create. Is this country ever going to get out of the dumper? We'll discuss.

And hey, as long as we're assessing government and the economy circling the drain, why leave society out of the mix? Wrestlers like Andrew "Test" Martin are dropping over dead like there's no tomorrow. Surveys show that young people are able to justify the beatdown that Chris Brown put on his unfortunate girlfriend. Can the downward spiral of society's idiocy be arrested -- and if so, how?

Then, later in Hour Two, we preview the NBA stretch run and make some predictions.

In Hour Three, THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER (9:00-9:30 PM EDT) gets you ready for March Madness with our tournament bracket and our guidelines for a great fantasy bracket draft game. From there, we delve into our fantasy baseball mock draft from last week's program and additional information to distill from our free download, FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009.

Then, on THE GOON SQUAD (9:30-10:00 PM EDT), we examine Martin Brodeur's monumental feat -- having just become the winningest goalie in NHL history. Then, the latest FDH NHL power rankings will help us be able to frame the playoff picture for you very nicely.

We are very grateful for the support of all of you in our audience through our first 50 episodes of "The Great American Radio Show on Internet TV." We urge you to check out accounts of our previous programs on our brand's home page and archives of our past shows here. A great future awaits this brand -- and we thank our supporters for their very large part in that fact.

NBA power rankings for mid-March

By Rick Morris

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

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

6. Denver (7)
7. Portland (8)
8. Atlanta (6)
9. New Orleans (9)
10. Houston (14)
11. Utah (10)
12. Dallas (11)
13. Miami (13)
14. Phoenix (15)
15. Philadelphia (16)
16. Detroit (12)
17. Chicago (18)
18. Milwaukee (17)
19. Charlotte (22)
20. New York (20)
21. New Jersey (19)
22. Indiana (21)

23. Toronto (23)
24. Golden State (24)
25. Oklahoma City (28)
26. Minnesota (25)
27. Memphis (26)
28. Los Angeles Clippers (27)
29. Sacramento (30)
30. Washington (29)

BIGGEST RISERS: Houston (4 spots), Charlotte and Oklahoma City (3 spots)
BIGGEST FALLERS: Detroit (4 spots)

NHL power rankings for mid-March

By Rick Morris

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

1. Boston (2)
2. Detroit (3)
3. San Jose (1)
4. New Jersey (5)
5. Washington (4)

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

21. St. Louis (24)
22. Los Angeles (22)
23. Anaheim (19)
24. Phoenix (23)
25. Colorado (25)

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

BIGGEST RISERS: Carolina and Pittsburgh (6 spots), New York Rangers and St. Louis (3 spots)
BIGGEST FALLERS: Buffalo (5 spots), Anaheim (4 spots), Florida and Minnesota (3 spots)

2009 FDH NCAA Hoops Bracket unveiled

By Rick Morris

Well, here it is, the NCAA hoops bracket from your humble FDH Managing Partner.

During my original analysis of the tournament Sunday night, I indicated my unease with my initial instincts, which were to pick three top seeds to make the Final Four and to pick the overal #1 seed of Louisville to win it all. In a year in which the chalk figures to suffer greatly because of all the parity, I was hoping that I would change my mind in a few areas. I did.

Most importantly, I'm not even picking Louisville to win their regional anymore, notwithstanding the fact that I think that winning both the regular season and conference titles in that conference was an almost unprecedented feat of toughness. I was won over by the arguments of our college hoops analyst Nate Noy, who pointed out that West Virginia has made great adjustments in their rematches this year -- and that if I was picking them to make the Elite Eight anyway (I was), it might not be a huge stretch for them to knock off the Cardinals in the regional final.

So that's my token Big Stones pick for this year, #6 WVU to make the Final Four over #1 Louisville. My other three regional picks are much more along the lines of Chalky McChalkerson: #2 Memphis over UConn in the West, #1 Pitt over #2 Duke in the East and #1 UNC over Oklahoma in the South.

That gives me two #1s, one #2 and one #6 in the Final Four -- reasonable at least according to historical standards. From there, I've got Memphis over West Virginia in one regional semifinal and UNC over Pitt in the other one. In the national championship, I see Memphis coming up as the bridesmaid for a second straight year as this vaunted Caroline Blue team lives up to their billing in the very end and snags the schools' second national championship in five years.

Again, the entire bracket is available here; clip and save these predictions.

Obama's new federal initiative: black market for smokes

By Rick Morris

With all of the new initiatives flying around from the Obama Administration, one very big one that has already been implemented has flown under the radar: the April 1 implementation of a 62 cent tax on each pack of cigarettes sold to fund the expansion of the federal SCHIP program (ostensibly for the health care of poor children).

In some places, like western Florida, manufacturers have already hiked the prices so as to avoid a last-minute panic and supply shortages at the end of March. But just as the Obama crew has been caught off guard by the renewed public interest in the classic tome ATLAS SHRUGGED, they are demonstrating yet again how their alleged egghead genius about all things economics falls apart completely when it is confronted with the reality of human nature.

Just as the high-end taxes that they will raise will stifle economic activity by giving disincentives to our nation's most active federal revenue contributors, so too will people seek to evade the tax that will drive up the price of a pack of smokes to almost $5 a pack in most places. How will they manage this? Two words. Black market.

Now, in the age of the Internet and eBay, this may take more nebulous, non-violent forms -- albeit it could also lead to the rise of underground tobacco sellers operating completely outside the realm of legal accountability, meaning that if you die of pesticide consumption, your immediate family is probably S.O.L. for purposes of a lawsuit. But it could well lead to bloodshed as well. Canada strode down this path years ago and they've been plagued by criminal gangs creating an underground economy ever since. New York State has also been dealing with this for much of this decade already.

For as much as the academics on the left love to mock supply-side economics, they really do work. Whether the subject be income taxes (by the way, if you ever get into an argument with a pinko about the effects of higher tax rates on the wealthiest, ask them why the tax rate isn't 100% so that the government could really clean up), these regressive cigarette taxes that hit the poor disproportionately (irony alert: many of these poor people will be spending money that circles back to their own kids' health care via SCHIP -- once federal bureaucrats have taken their cut, of course) or any other kind of taxation, there is absolutely a tipping point at which people will seek to evade any further pinch on their wallets from Uncle Sam. The ivory tower "experts" that Obama attracts have no concept of basic human nature in that regard. To them, people are dumb enough that they'll continue to hand over whatever amounts of money Da Gubmint deems necessary, no questions asked.

So when Obama, Pelosi and Reid are having a self-congratulatory media event a year from now and tussling the blonde hair of a child that they're going to exploit for a prop when they talk about how now he's got health care thanks to them, remind yourself that the real winners are the bloodthirsty smugglers in the crime syndicates.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Selection Sunday reflections

By Rick Morris

After digesting all of the drama of Championship Week, I joined the rest of the country in scratching down the brackets at 6 PM EDT tonight (never mind the fact that they're available almost immediately on the Internet -- like this printable one -- for those of us who grew up jotting down the brackets starting back in the '80s, it's a part of the fabric of our lives). At that time, I was joined on a conference call by FDH Lounge Dignitary/FDH college hoops analyst Nate Noy. Here are our thoughts, region by region.


^ Ohio State got screwed by getting bounced down to an 8 seed. Although the court in Dayton is marginally closer to their campus, they still face a potentially ugly fate at the hands of Louisville in the second round -- if they get by Siena, which isn't a layup.

^ Nate had the entire tournament plotted out ahead of time and when Arizona got dropped in as the 12 seed here, he was flabbergasted and called it a travesty. He immediately knew that Auburn, who he thought would be in, was out.

^ Another Ohio team that got the shaft was Cleveland State, which deserved better than a 13 seed and a no-chance game against Wake Forest. Also, if Louisville was really the top seed out of all the #1s (deservedly so, BTW, for winning the toughest league in the history of college hoops in the regular season and the conference tourney), then how the heck do they get Wake as the #4 in their region? Don't tell me Wake is slotted below Xavier!

^ West Virginia looks to be a team that could make a long run from a lower seed. 6 seeds in the Elite Eight don't happen every year, but Coach Hug will have his squad ready to go against whoever they would face on the way, including Kansas, Sparty and BC.


^ The top of this bracket didn't have a ton of surprises, but Nate really thought that Purdue deserved a bit better than their 5 seed -- and he saw that the committee did them no favors by delivering a potential second-round matchup with another underseed in Washington.

^ Memphis was the victim of one of the committee's biggest screwjobs as they should have been one of the 1 seeds, as we noted immediately on Twitter. Their path to the Elite Eight isn't especially traumatic, though.

^ Utah State is a very dangerous 11 seed lurking in Boise next weekend -- not too far from home.


^ Nate's conspiracy theory going into the unveiling was that the selection committee would gin up a UConn/Duke regional final to take place in Boston. That didn't happen, but Duke was in this region like he thought they would be. Both Nate and I see, at this time, a Pitt-Duke regional final, but we disagree on the outcome. I don't think the Blue Devils can stand up to Pittsburgh's physicality.

^ A hot Florida State team is a dangerous order for a Wisconsin squad that almost had its bubble popped. Actually, when the Badgers got slotted as a 12, I joked to Nate that TVs were being flipped to other channels all across Michigan and Minnesota. Imagine our surprise when the Wolverines and Gophers ended up with even higher seeds than the Badgers! That really doesn't seem right.

^ For all its protestations of innocence, the committee always throws in a few "storyline-oriented" matchups. The Texas-Minnesota tilt will no doubt be used as a platform for CBS announcers to talk at length about the resumes of the head coaches.

^ Technically, Villanova is not considered a home team in the tournament even though their first-round game will be contested in their home city of Philly. News flash to the tournament: if you're sleeping in your own bed during this regional, it's a home freaking game!

^ The committee punished UCLA for a disappointing season with a 6 seed -- and a first-round matchup against Virginia Commonwealth, who has proven that they are no March speedbump.


^ If you go by my rule of thumb that any time you can make a strong case for an upset that you should write it in on your bracket, you should take Butler to win the 8-9 tilt with LSU.

^ The last tournament teams can be completely predictable, if you follow everything as closely as Nate, who was shouting, "Akron! Akron! Akron!" when it came time for the 13 seed against Gonzaga to be announced. Like their Northeastern Ohio counterpart, the Zips got a certain one-and-done from the committee. Unlike the Vikings, their fate is fairly justifiable.

^ Michigan is thrilled about receiving their first tourney bid since 1998. Will they be so happy after running into the battle-tested buzzsaw of Clemson? Doubtful.

^ The claims of their front-running fanbase aside, Syracuse really didn't deserve to get the 3 seed over Gonzaga in this region. There could well be orange-colored tears running in the second round, though, with a difficult matchup potentially looming in #6 Arizona State.


^ Nate and I agree that St. Mary's has a legitimate beef, especially with Arizona, Michigan and Minnesota all worming invites. 26 and freaking 6 and they're in the NIT? C'mon now. I also feel that San Diego State, with their 23-9 mark and 37 RPI, got disrespected by the committee. All in all, only four mid-major teams received at-large invites this year, as lower-tier Big Ten and Pac Ten squads were able to take what they really did not deserve.

^ In a season that proved how rampant parity really is right now, extending through an upset-filled Championship Week, I had embraced the conventional wisdom going into March Madness about how the tournament itself would be full of upsets and how absolutely vital the concept of examining matchups would be to forecasting each game regardless of respective overall skill levels. I still believe that -- which is why I'm struggling with my first instinct when looking at a potential Final Four. In the end, if these are my final picks (which will be posted here on the site this week for your benefit), I won't be happy about going with so much chalk. In the Midwest, I like #1 Louisville in the final over #6 West Virginia (the exception to my apparent chalk fetish). In the West, I like #2 Memphis over #1 UConn. In the East, I like #1 Pitt over #2 Duke and in the South, I like #1 North Carolina over #2 Oklahoma. That gives me three #1s and a #2, a very disquieting thought in this of all years. In the national semifinals, I like Louisville over Memphis and North Carolina over Pitt and Louisville over North Carolina in the national championship. As I say, though, those may not be my final predictions once I get a chance to move beyond initial impressions.

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue XI

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 FantasyDrafthelp.com 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. Here is this week's newsletter.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

FDH Lounge Show#49: March 11, 2009

By Rick Morris

Tonight’s 49th edition of THE FDH LOUNGE (7-10 PM EDT on SportsTalkNetwork.com) is completely given over to a special edition of THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER. It’s our fifth annual FDH Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft and the Dignitaries of The FDH Lounge will help you sort through the value of all of your favorite baseball players in ’09.

Above all, your preparations for your own Auction Day or Draft Bay should include downloading our free FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009, a co-promotion with our friends at Sportsology.

If you can’t watch our show live, be sure to catch our FDH archives right here.

2009 NFL Mock Draft, Version 2.0

By Jason Jones (posted by Rick Morris)

Here is the first post-combine NFL mock draft from FDH:

Aaron Curry
Jason Smith
Eugene Monroe
Michael Crabtree
Texas Tech
Brian Orakpo
Micheal Oher
Ole Miss
Malcolm Jenkins
Ohio St
Rey Maualuga
Everette Brown
Florida St
Matthew Stafford
Brandon Pettigrew
Okla St
B.J. Raji
Andre Smith
Brian Cushing
Beanie Wells
Ohio St
Knowshon Moreno
Mark Sanchez
Louis Delmas
W. Mich
Michael Johnson
Georgia Tech
Vontae Davis
Jeremy Maclin
Eben Britton
James Laurinautis
Ohio St
Larry English
Aaron Maybin
Penn St
Alphonso Smith
Duke Robinson
LeSean McCoy
Connon Barwin
Alex Mack
Clay Matthews
N. Illinois
Eric Wood

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 the recently-released SNL audition for the late, great Phil Hartman:

That nutjob Nancy Pelosi jumping up repeatedly during the recent presidential address to Congress:

A fart ringtone? Really?

You've probably never seen a kazoo used in QUITE this way:

Hacky-Sac in the office:

Oh my ... a Chris Brown public service announcement:

This is really freaky -- a San Francisco TV station reporting about the trend of reading the daily newspaper on your computer -- IN 1981!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

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. Here’s our latest roundup of top news and analysis on the Internet.

^ The Long War Journal says that new terrorist camps are springing up in Yemen.

^ The Investigative Project holds up evidence that civilian casualty claims in Gaza were grossly inflated.

^ The Donovan has great news that the US Army is working to bring down suicide totals in the ranks.

^ The Counterterrorism Blog reveals that terrorists are penetrating the Pakistani army in great numbers.

^ The Counterterrorism Blog speaks about how governments are appeasing terrorists by voluntarily applying Sharia (Islamic law) in various areas.

^ The Counterterrorism Blog tries to figure out who was really behind the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.

^ The Counterterrorism Blog talks about how criminal cartels are taking advantage of the credit crunch by luring in legitimate businesses in need of financing.

^ The Belmont Club looks at North Korea's warning to the West about interfering with its missile test.

^ In From The Cold goes over Garry Kasparov's statement that the Putin/Medvedev junta is actually in a lot of trouble.

^ The Mudville Gazette reveals a key aspect of how the Iraq drawdown is a fraud.

^ Michael Yon says that the West is struggling to keep from losing in Afghanistan.

^ Jane's examines how the US military opened a transit route between Russia and Afghanistan.

^ Jane's says that apparently even the knuckle-draggers in the Iranian government are now ambivalent about Ahmadinejad.

^ The Foreign Policy Magazine Blog has some lighter-side news: even dog shows in Russia are now rigged – the prez’s dogs won at the big Russki dog show!

^ The Foreign Policy Magazine Blog talks about how Britain is in a tizzy over Obama’s snubbing of Gordon Brown.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Who's in Charge at CBS Radio?

By Tony Mazur

A couple of weeks ago, "Free FM" suffered its official, and, for some, long-anticipated demise. With Howard Stern leaving for Sirius Satellite Radio in 2005, CBS Radio had to fill in the cracks. In 2006, CBS unveiled their sure-fire format to give the middle finger to Howard: Hot Talk. All talk, all day.

Howard's old stations were split in three regional syndicates. Van Halen singer David Lee Roth took over the East Coast affiliates, Shane "Rover" French's Rover's Morning Glory had the Midwest region, and former Man Show and Loveline host Adam Carolla took over the West Coast stations. After a few months, the stations started to tank, and some changes needed to be made. All but three of Rover's stations (including WCKG in Chicago, his one-time flagship) dropped his show, and Roth was subsequently canceled in favor of XM's Opie & Anthony.

While there are still FM talk stations, by 2007, the Free FM moniker became a thing of the recent past. Most of them have since flipped to FM sports talk or CHR, aside from WJFK in Washington D.C., where it remains FM talk but does not have the "Free FM" branding. The final Free FM station changed formats in February 2009, when Los Angeles's KLSX (the former flagship home of Adam Carolla and Tom Leykis) flipped to a Top 40 format.

Gregg "Opie" Hughes has been hinting recently on The Opie & Anthony Show that WXRK (once known as WFNY, a Free FM station) will be canceling their show due to a format change, not because of low ratings. Indeed, the announcement was made that on March 11th at 3:00 PM ET, WXRK will become "92.3 Now", a Contemporary Hits format to compete with rival WHTZ.

The hot talk format, in my humble opinion, could have worked with the right promotion and marketing. However, it seemed like CBS preferred to send juvenile jabs to Stern and Mel Karmazin rather than making sales. Well, who's laughing now? Howard and Mel are counting their millions while CBS is firing people and flipping formats left and right.

CBS Radio has dropped the ball with this one once again. It's to the point that they could really care less about their programming. Rather than have a lineup of talented show hosts, it is much cheaper to throw a block of songs on shuffle, in no particular order. CBS is decaying and it's leading to the demise of terrestrial radio.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume II, Issue X

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 FantasyDrafthelp.com 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. Here is this week's newsletter.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: Obama's Watchdog

By Tony Mazur

Rush Limbaugh has always been in the forefront when it comes to political controversy since he signed on back in August 1988. The "Drive-By Media", as El Rushbo calls them, will throw everything including the kitchen sink to take down Limbaugh. The media has done what they can to make Rush look like the anti-Christ, and, according to many, they've succeeded in doing so.

Limbaugh was an annoyance for Bill Clinton during his tenure in the White House, but for President Barack Obama, Rush is not just a nuisance. He is a threat.

The economy, as anyone with a third of a brain will tell you, is in bad shape. However, it appears that fixing the economy rests solely on Obama's shoulders. The rest of the Democratic Party in Congress, most notably Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, are actively finding loopholes to permanently shut Rush Limbaugh's mouth.

After a failed attempt at reviving the so-called "Fairness Doctrine", Pelosi is interested in promoting "minority ownership" with radio companies. This would be a gigantic step to regulate various radio shows, specifically conservative talk shows.

This is a clear attempt a censorship. Also, with an administration hell-bent on saving jobs, instilling a Fairness Doctrine and eliminating conservative talks shows would KILL radio. Rush Limbaugh is responsible for saving AM radio. Otherwise, AM radio would have went by the wayside like 8-track tapes and Giga Pets. Liberals are upset that Air America never caught on (presumably because one has to have an imagination to listen to the radio).

Rush Limbaugh has once again topped the headlines on many occasions for hoping "Obama fails". I listened to him the day he made that controversial statement, and I knew exactly what he was talking about. Rush wants Obama's socialist policies to fail because he believes that they are harmful to the country. Limbaugh's critics, who hear out-of-context snippets, claim that Rush's wish for an Obama failure would mean that the country would fail also. There are also many who think Rush's statement is purely racial because of Obama's skin color.

Rather than leveling the playing field, the goal for the Democrats is to clear the playing field. These kinds of tactics have been used in communist and fascist regimes throughout world history. With conservative talkers such as Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Michael Medved, Glenn Beck, etc., out of the equation, Obama and the Democrats can do whatever they please without criticism, since the media is disgustingly liberal.

As the Dow Jones continues to plummet, and as more Americans go broke by the second, the real issue is to exile Rush Limbaugh, whom, by the way, seems to be the only person that makes a lick of sense these days. Change we can believe in? Not I.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

FDH Lounge Show #48: March 4, 2009

By Rick Morris

While THE FDH LOUNGE (Wednesdays, 7-10 PM EDT on SportsTalkNetwork.com) is the program where nothing is off-topic, as it happens, tonight’s program is completely loaded with sports topics.

After The Opening Statements of The FDH Lounge Dignitaries, we are joined by our good pal, STN Host Ken Becks (Gridiron Evaluations, Mondays from 7-8 PM EST) of the wonderful Gridiron Evaluations site. With the start of NFL free agency, the fallout from the combine and Ken’s big news about his site’s forthcoming relaunch, we’ll have much to discuss with “The Scout.”

Then, after a brief examination of “This Week in The FDH Lounge,” we are joined by another good friend of ours, STN host Sean Trench (The Vegas Wise Guys, 2-4 PM Monday-Friday and Friday Night Hoops, Fridays from 6-7 PM EDT). With March Madness on the horizon and the final NBA transactions of note before the playoff chase finalizes, we’ll have a lot of basketball to go over with our expert.

In Hour Two, Russ Cohen of Sportsology joins us to help examine the release of our big joint project, FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2009. We’ve got all of the fantasy – and non-fantasy – content you need for the ’09 season and Russ will help us break it down. Click the link to see for yourself what we’ve got!

Later in Hour Two, we get an early start on THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER with a special World Baseball Classic draft to celebrate the huge “best vs. the best” tournament.

Then, at our usual time of 9:30 PM EDT, THE GOON SQUAD comes your way for a look at everything NHL. From the big Anaheim/Pittsburgh deal to anything else deadline-related, we’re on top of it. Also, Sean Avery returns to Gotham, the Red Wings grapple with an identity crisis in net, Martin Brodeur makes it back to the ice … we’ve got so many big hockey stories to talk about tonight.

If you can’t watch us live, you can listen to us on-demand on the FDH archives. Regardless, we urge you to tune in for the program with the widest variety of any on the air today, THE FDH LOUNGE.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Limbaugh, Hannity credibility-challenged after W years

By Rick Morris

After more than 20 years of national syndication and a prime commonly regarded to have come and gone during a period of opposition to the Clinton Administration, Rush Limbaugh is once again the hottest broadcaster in America due to his active feud with the new Obama crew. Surely, this is proof, if proof were yet needed, that what is good for El Rushbo ain't necessarily good for those he claims to represent.

Sandwiched in between Limbaugh's battle against President Bubba and his current clash with Obama were eight years of completely sycophantic shilling for George W. Squish -- and the same is true of America's biggest Rush-wannabe, Sean Hannity. Way before Barack Obama took up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, George Bush was spending like a drunken sailor, backing ill-defined and ill-administered federal bailouts and tainting the political image of sound public policy with his watered-down, wimpy "compassionate conservatism." By creating a climate where a cypher like Obama could succeed, George Bush largely created him. Indeed, inasmuch as FDR did not invent his wild ideas, but took Herbert Hoover's government intervention several steps further, Bush may go down in history as the man who directly laid the groundwork for Obama based on his own practice of government intervention. And as John Derbyshire notes in Pat Buchanan's great paleoconservative journal The American Conservative, Rush and Sean were brown-nosing through it all. As Derbyshire further points out, there are far too few intellectually honest talk show (and really entertaining) hosts like Glenn Beck -- and virtually none who are interested in explaining to people the advantages of Austrian economics.

Clearly, Limbaugh, Hannity and their ilk (including Mike Gallagher) are mere political hacks, Republicans and opportunists first. This is why I am so troubled that conservatives are flocking to them, especially Limbaugh, and playing into the White House's hands by creating a national Obama vs. Limbaugh debate. Given every advantage, fair and unfair, that the president has at his disposal, this is a losing fight -- and the hard-nosed among us know that tactics are every bit as important as principle. It's not enough merely to have the right ideas, it's equally important to have the commitment to use them properly -- and at a time when Republicans in D.C. are virtually powerless anyway, cultivating an image as blind obstructionists is woefully counterproductive no matter how drunk on your own self-satisfaction it makes you.

If, as Limbaugh claims, conservative ideas are what are most important, let them stand as the symbol of opposition to the ObamaJunta, not some bloated gasbag who takes different stands depending on who's in the White House. Because my warning is heartfelt, I am saddened by the fact that it will be dismissed out of hand by so many on the right who I admire -- including, I predict, some of my fellow FDH Lounge Dignitaries. They are falling into a trap by letting the White House create a disastrous one-on-one battle with a man the American people know to be a phony based on his conduct over the last eight years. New faces, untainted by the debacle that George Bush inflicted on American conservatism, are the only ones fit to make the case for an alternative to Obama. But given the fact that so many on the right have yet to even come to grips with the legacy of Bush (he was largely ignored at the CPAC conference in Washington, instead of being recognized as an anchor that would have to be removed from around the proverbial neck), I fear that the conservative movement -- like the economy -- is still nowhere near the bottom.

RIP Paul Harvey

By Rick Morris

Any of us who were ever educated in broadcasting or spent any time in the industry understand the story and the accomplishments of Paul Harvey. He was a great self-made broadcaster who merged journalism and the craft of storytelling to create an art form that lived on for several decades. His voice now stilled at age 90, he left behind an incomparable legacy and countless reels of tape enlivened by his one-of-a-kind voice and style.

Here is the clip of his final Saturday newscast:

Paul Harvey, you were one of a kind. Good Day! RIP.