25 Things

I posted this on my Facebook profile. I’ve been nagged and tagged by all kinds of friends to participate in this 25 Things meme. The rule is I have to post 25 things about me. I did. Here they are:

1. I eat my meat medium rare
2. I’m an avid gamer (if you call actually playing my Xbox 360 less than once every other week “avid”)
3. I have the largest non-political blog in the DC Metro
4. I’m still self-conscious around people from high school
5. I am a beer snob, but I understand my genetic propensities so I do so carefully
6. My doctor tells me I need to eat right, sleep better and lose the stress. My room mate calls it the “Prime Directive”
7. I am anti-religion, but pro-faith. My faith is inline with the traditional Christian faith, but do not consider myself “Evangelical” due to my perception of incompatibility between modern “Evangelical Christianity” and Jesus’ two commands “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself”. Evangelical Christianity, as a political force, seems to miss the second command altogether.
8. My favorite cities in America are Boston, New York and San Francisco.
9. I see Obama as someone who can restore American faith in the Office of the President: Much like Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy and Reagan did.
10. I am a fan of the Dragonlance books. Very teenagerish, but the stories are rich. If I were any of the Heroes of the Lance, I would be Raistlin: Intelligent, self serving and with a bit of an evil streak. Sue me. At least I’m honest. :-)
11. My 5 year old son makes me extremely proud. :-)
12. I can’t wait to go on my next trip, whenever that will be.
13. Everyone thinks I’m a marketer. Maybe because I don’t confuse communicating with an industry.
14. My favorite past time is photography. You can see my best work at http://photos.aaronbrazell.com
15. Someday I’ll learn how to golf.
16. I went to 8 schools growing up
17. I’ve lived in Africa. CNN reported on the Rwandan refugee crisis in the early 90s from my back yard in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the border with Rwanda.
18. The last time I “worked in an office” was in 2006
19. I remember the panic on people’s face at the government agency I worked at on September 11, 2001.
20. I remember the panic I experienced when the Gulf War bombing began. I was 12.
21. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up or where I will be in 10 years. Don’t ask.
22. I am a World War II history buff
23. I own a 2001 Ford Taurus that is holding up, despite the fact that I abuse it
24. I am not impressed with celebrity – major or minor.
25. I own a Seagull acoustic guitar and a PRS electric.

NFL FAIL (Or, how Hurricane Ike Helped Good Men Forget How to Do Business)

As a Baltimore Ravens fan, I’m pretty pissed off at the moment. The reason is very simple. Due to the NFLs incompetence and lack of planning, the team with the fourth most difficult schedule before the season began is stuck with a Week 2 BYE.

The scenario was clear on Monday. A massive hurricane was bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico and showed no sign in wavering off course. It was headed straight for the Texas gulf coast. A handful of teams play in proximity to the gulf coast, all of who might have been affected at that time. New Orleans was scheduled to be in Washington, so no concerns were merited there. Tampa Bay was at home against Atlanta, but there was no expected threat to western Florida. Dallas was playing host to the Philadelphia Eagles way inland. And of course, the Ravens were traveling to Houston for a week 2 showdown at Reliant Stadium.

As we know now, only one game was directly affected by Hurricane Ike making landfall around Galveston, TX early Saturday morning. By all accounts, Reliant Stadium may not be able to be played in until the second half of the season. Chunks of the roof have been torn off and excessive water damage, according to officials, is at ground level.

Surprised as they were, the NFL has juggled the schedule to allow the game to be played during Week 10, bumping the scheduled Bengals-Texans game to Week 8 when those teams had scheduled BYEs and leaving the Ravens and the Texans with a Week 2 BYE.

That’s right, a week 2 BYE. For the team with the fourth most difficult schedule. The original Week 10 BYE was scheduled after a long run where the Ravens would face all division rivals once, including the hated Steelers, plus matchups against Indianapolis and Tennessee. Now, with the exception of the week 1 win against the Bengals, all of those games will fall after the one and only break the team gets all year. There is no “recharge for the second half”.

Let me be clear, disasters happen and what has happened in Texas along the Gulf Coast is, indeed, tragic. However, with the Saints in Washington, this game could have been scheduled for the Superdome and still have drawn a home crowd. LSU has a night game tonight, but in a pinch, an NFL game could have been played on Monday or Tuesday. The Alamodome in San Antonio is two hundred miles inland, and was largely unaffected by Ike. It seats 65,000 people.

Or, hey, at least have a Plan B. Maybe actually get your inspections in so that the Astrodome could have been utilized in case of damage to Reliant Stadium.

Or maybe the Baltimore Ravens themselves could have opened up their home of M&T Bank Stadium to play as “the visiting team” and allow Texans fans right of first ticket, honoring the tickets already purchased for the game in Houston.

Any number of things could have been done to avoid the doomsday scenario that is happening right now. But the NFL did not plan and did not look ahead. They waited to make a game-time decision, pardon the pun, affected teams practicing and mental preparation and quite possibly have caused serious injuries that might not have come later in the season if players had an adequate opportunity for a rest and healing cycle which was the impetus for the BYE week in the first place.

Shame on the NFL. If you have fantasy teams, makes sure you peek at your rosters this week and are not starting Ravens or Texans in week 2 and that you have enough time, if the waiver period has not already passed, to complement your roster if necessary.