Monday, February 06, 2006

"Thanks Mean Joe!"

Watching Alberto Gonzales vigorously defend the NSA surveillance program before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning was like mainlining Drano. Which I hear is pretty bad. Gonzo's pretty much always a slippery little pecker, but in this case he was also gratingly standoffish. Specter and Leahy landed the early punches, Kennedy rambled but hit him with a barrage. Everyone's got a gripe, probably even the GOP bootlickers like Jeff Sessions. They're totally gonna call Ashcroft and the Assistant AG (James Comey) who objected to a reauthorization when Ash-hole-croft was in the hospital. Hopefully the Committee will at least swear them in before testifying. Gonzo didn't swear to the oath because the Republicans voted that he shouldn't. Does that make sense to anyone? The Attorney General - the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the Country - doesn't testify before Congress under oath? Like I said, mainlining Drano.

Like most sportsfans out there, I'm still trying to digest yesterday's Super Bowl XL. The Steelers did more than enough to pants-to-the-ankles the hapless Seahags. Some of you might recall that I was all Seahags, all the way. But I must admit that I was rooting for the Steelers, led by my wallet and ego. I run a football pool with friends and my Steelers pick netted me the final two pots and rescued my season famously. The guy I beat out lives in Seattle and was fully ensconsed in the 12th Man phenomenon up yonder even though he's actually a manic Packer fan from Milwaukee. I fear it's extra grey and bleak for him and so many other formerly excited fans in the Northwest. Still, everyone should be able to see the poetry in Bill Cowher and Jerome Bettis getting their Championships, more focus on the Old School Rooneys, and Pittsburgh getting a well-deserved return to sporty prominence. This is like when the NY Rangers won the Stanley Cup in the mid-90s after decades of nothing. Not nearly like the Red Sox finally winning in '04, but from the same distillation. The Seahags were pretty much uninspired across the Board. Sure, there were some inexplicable calls from the refs. But the Steelmen had enough of everything and got a few huge plays. They seriously WORKED the Playoffs this year. Winning on the road, surprising everyone at each step along the way. They deflated the Bengals, dessimated the Colts, crushed the Broncos, and stymied the Seahags. They had some bigmouths (Porter) and some treacly storylines (Bettis returning to his childhood home, Detroit, and seeing that his old neighborhood looks like an American Baghdad). They had the thing I love but far too seldom see in big-time sports. They had zazz. And now that zazz will be dipped in amber and preserved forever like a perfect bee, clad in yellow and black.

Maya has been lighting up the emotional guilt meter when we try the handoff with Megan in the morning. Makes me wonder if kids understand the reality of the weekend when they're way young. On some level they must think, "Yay!" with everyone at home and visitors coming through the door and football mumbling in the background. And then suddenly, it's back to that other schedule. Drag.

Winter Olympics will be a good end o' the NFL season methadone in the coming weeks. I secretly want to be a luge racer. Solo - none of that silly two-person crap. I'm a purist. Hope your own events are being held at modern and impressive venues. Rock on.

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