... A Sour Apple Tree

Your source for fast and/or frozen food reviews, Huntington and/or West Virginia commentary, rasslin' (not wrestling) nostalgia, bad parody, dumb satire, rejected slogans, pointless lists, unreliable sports predictions, and funny local pictures.

Name:
Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Top 5 Wrestling Entrance Themes

5. Shawn Michaels

While the Heartbreak Kid is one of the WWE's old gray mares these days, he was one of the great 'tweeners back in the 90s. Whether he was a heal or a face, his cocky persona enraged opponents including Diesel, Razor Ramon, and Bret Hart and in the process, made for some great storylines. His theme song, "Sexy Boy," set the tone for one of the great arrogant characters of recent years.

4. Ric Flair

In the 80s and early 90s, when you heard the intro to "Also sprach Zarathustra," you knew for sure that you were gonna see the champ do whatever it took to keep the Big Gold Belt around his waste. IF you are gonna go around reminding folks that "to be the man, you gotta beat the man," it helps to use the theme song of the √úbermensch. Few could have backed up such hubris and Flair's record spoke for itself.

3. Demolition.

With their Rick Derringer-penned theme song, Ax and Smash let you know that, if you were going to challenge them for the tag team belts, you were probably going to get your head knocked off. The hard rock theme matched perfectly with the personas of brawlers in bondage gear. If you faced them, you were gonna be demolished.

2. Hulk Hogan

I know, this song is cheesy-as-fuck, but how many PPVs in the 80s ended with the Hulkster flexing to this song after overcoming the odds and defeating the latest monster heal du jour? Go ahead, listen to the song and just try to not cup your hang to your ear or do any other of the classic poses. I dare you.

1. The Honky Tonk Man

This song has to be the highlight of Jimmy Hart's artistic career. The southern-fried rock tune and boastful lyrics went along perfectly with Farris' Elvis-inspired theme as a show-boating, rockabilly bad guy. It is only fitting that the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time have the greatest theme song of all time.


(ed. note: massive kayfabe throughout)

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Monday, January 28, 2008

...ASAT Beer Round-Up: Mountaineer Brewing Company's Stout

I've heard of Mountaineer Brewing Company before, but, until the other day, I had not had a chance to sample the product from the Martinsburg-based brewery. They seem to not be distributing in Huntington too much, but I saw some in the Charleston area, so I decided to pick up a sixer. They had a lager (yawn), a red ale (meh), a pale ale (hmm), and a stout (bingo!).

One thing I've learned over the years is that any idiot with the desire and the equipment thinks that they can make an Irish-style stout. Unfortunately, the results usually end up tasting like a mix of rusty nails and hospital disinfectant, so my expectations were rather low going into the first bottle.

Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise!

Now don't get me wrong. This stuff isn't as good as a properly-pulled Guinness on-tap, but, hell, few things are. That being said, MBC's stout was one of the best American-made stouts that I have ever tasted. The color was that of burnt caramel, the aroma was like a great coffee from the Starbucks at Pike Place Market, the presentation was crisp and smooth but still earthy, and the finish was muy chocolaty.

I cannot pass judgement on Mountaineer until I sample more of their portfolio and find a place that has some of their product on tap, but I can say that the stout gives Virginia Occidental an entirely respectable beer to put on the national stage.

I give Mountaineer Brewing Company's Stout 4 out of 5 Slumpbusters.
(PS - Marco would look much better on a beer bottle than "Inbred Jed" or whatever the WVU mascot's name is, BTW :) )

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tons of rebates at Kroger

Right now at some local Kroger stores have up to 3 rebate coupons over in the beer section. Miller has a $25 rebate on $50 worth of party food, Heineken has $10 back on $15 worth of snacks, and Budweiser has several different rebate offers. Note that WV residents are not required to purchase beer for the offers to be redeemed (read the fine print on the back).

Hurry, though, these offers expire in a few days.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Pre-South Carolina/Florida momentum check

Here's how the candidates are ranking in terms of overall momentum going into the SC Democratic Primary and the Florida GOP Primary:

Dems 1) Obama 2) Clinton 3) Edwards

Obama seems set to win in South Carolina, but we can never really tell with polls these days. The whole "Bill the Hatchet Man" thing seems to be backfiring more than it is working for HRC, but we could have yet another case of people polling for the "change" guy but pulling the lever for "experience" when no one is watching. Don't count out Edwards here, either, folks. I don't think that he will win this primary or the nomination, but as long as he racks up 15% of the vote here and in other states, he may indeed may play the roll of the Earl of Warwick at the convention. My guess is that Obama will win, Clinton will finish a mildly-disappointing second, and Edwards will place a strong third.

GOP 1) McCain 2) Huckabee 3) Romney 4) Giuliani 5) Paul

Despite grumbling from the evangelical wing of the party, McCain seems poised to give the GOP its best shot at a win in November. The Huckster has pulled out of Florida to focus on Tsunami Tuesday, where he might gain back some lost momentum by picking up support among some of Freddie's supporters. Romney still has a real shot in FL and at the nom, but he lost some major mo' with the "Well, I'm not concerned about the voters" comment at the most recent debate. What a dumbass. Giuliani is lagging behind in third in FL and must pull off something spectacular to stay in the game. Meanwhile, Paul is just chillin' for the platform and the spot at the top of the Libertarian ticket. My guess is that FL will finish like this: McCain, Romney, Giuliani, Huckabee, Paul.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

The songs of my life, early 2000

S Club 7 - "Bring It All Back"

In early 2000, I studied for a semester in England and this song seemed to be everywhere. It is a formulaic, garden-variety British pop song by a vocal group manufactured for a teeny bopper show set in Los Angeles. Even though it had been out for sometime by the time I got there, this song could only be avoided by stabbing one's ears with a screw driver. It was always on the radio, in the shoppes, and in pubs filled with irony-loving undergrads. While I hated it then, and still find the music to be quite dreadful, the song still brings back fond memories of a once-in-a-lifetime time and place.


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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

...ASAT grocery store death tournament, round 2

1. Barboursville Kroger vs 9. Barboursville Food Fair
The Food Fair in Bville sets in the shadow of the Kroger, both literally and figuratively. I've always found it odd that two grocery stores essentially share a parking lot, especially when one is about 4x larger than the other. While FF does get a nod for Angus beef and some specialty items, they cannot hang with Kroger in modernity, selection, or price.

4. 5th Ave Kroger vs 5. South Point WalMart
The 5th Ave Kroger could be so much better, but it appears that the folks in at corporate in Cincinnati have written of the city in favor of the suburban Bville location. A crappy wine selection, no butcher, and entirely too much open space all hobble this once-proud store now known mainly for a kick-ass beer section. Meanwhile, the lack of a sales tax on food in Ohio and a a pretty standard WalMart Super Center food selection helps WM win this battle of two under-achievers.

2. Huntington Mall WalMart vs 10. Julian's
What does it take for a small neighborhood grocer to defeat a monolithic mega box store? How about a much more convenient location, a superbad meat and deli dept., and homemade hummus? Yup, that's what it takes.

3. Rt. 60 WalMart vs 6. 1st St. Food Fair
Food Fair is a fun place to shop now and then for some unique items and when you need one or two things for dinner, but the WalMart on 60 is easy to get in and out of and has a great variety of everyday items at below-averages prices.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

What did she do to the competition?

Read paragraph four.



uhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh

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From Marshall, they still play for championships.

No doubt that it has been a few years since anyone dropped the ol' 90s boast "At Marshall, we play for championships" outside of the context of women's volleyball or pairs tennis. However, a check of the rosters of the two teams in the Super Bowl, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, reveals that four Thundering Herd alumni will be playing for the biggest team prize in football. The Jints have running back Ahmad Bradshaw, while the Pats include wide receivers Randy Moss and Troy Brown and punter Chris Hanson.

Here is how Marshall stacks up against some other schools in terms of representation in the big game:
LSU 5
USC 4
Miami (FL) 4
Tennessee 4
Michigan 3
Notre Dame 2
Florida 2
Ohio State 1
West Virginia 0

So, although folks in Herd Nation have had little to cheer for in recent years, we have a lot of excitement in store for us on February 3.

Go Herd/Pats/Jints!

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Breaking news

A scoop over at Appalachian Greens about the GOP '08 ticket.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

What is it about a fart...

...that summons the boss to one's office?

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...ASAT NFL conference championship game picks

Giants at Packers
Chargers at Patriots

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Someone got fired for this, I'm sure


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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

...ASAT grocery store death tournament, round 1

To determine the best grocery store in the Huntington area, I've semi-arbitrarily seeded the top 16 (that I could think of) and will square them off in a single elimination tournament in order to determine the best place to buy groceries in Huntington and its suburbs.

1. Barboursville Kroger vs 16. Rt 60 Save-A-Lot
The newly-expanded Bville Kroger easily crushes the tiny Eastern Heights off-brand grocer after a flying sushi drop and an organic spinning heel kick.

8. Proctorville Kroger vs 9. Barboursville Food Fair
Despite not charging any state sales tax on food, Proctorvegas' Kroger falls victim to the Food Fair due to the former having something of a old milk carton smell and the latter having a good selection of Angus beef.

4. 5th Ave. Kroger vs 13. Adams Ave Aldi
Chris James put a quarter in a cart to unlock it? I don't think so. Despite having good produce, Aldi can't overcome the silly anti-cart theft policy or 5th Ave's massif beer selection.

5. South Point WalMart vs 12. International Market
The International Market puts up a damn good fight with specialty products not available anywhere else in the Tri State, but it just cannot compete with the juggernaut that is WalMart, especially since Ohio does not charge a sales tax on food and the IM doesn't carry much in the way of (warning: admittedly western-centric comment ahead) "staples."

2. Huntington Mall WalMart vs 15. Central City Save-A-Lot
West Virginia's largest Wally World easily crushes CC's Save-A-Lot. Not even Bubba Cola can save them.

7. 1st St. Kroger vs 10. Julian's
The little market that could scores a big upset here with the best meat department to be found anywhere in the area (RIP Miller's Meat Market) and a super-convenient location in the South Side of Huntington. This Kroger, meanwhile, smells bad, has rude employees, and scary customers and, as a result, I only shop there in emergencies.

3. Rt. 60 WalMart vs 14. Chesapeake Save-A-Lot
If any of the generic stores can pull off an upset, it'd be this one because, as I've already mentioned, Ohio has no sales tax on food. But, alas, they too fall short, as this Super WalMart has a killer frozen orange chicken from InnovAsian and a back exit that gets you back into town via Norway Ave.

6. 1st St. Food Fair vs 11. Westmoreland Foodland
Although Westmoreland's Foodland is a great place to shop for folks who live in Huntington's portion of Wayne County, they just can't hang with the Angus beef and three kinds of Cincinnati chili offered at Food Fair.

Check back soon for round 2.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Stick it to the men.

The AP is reporting that Friends of Coal, the lobbying group best known for tacky bumper stickers and artificial football "rivalries," is pissed off at Kroger for selling gift cards that give 5% back to the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

Well, hell, if they hadn't made a stink about it, I would have never known. Click here to find out how you can support OVEC in their struggle against mountaintop removal AND have yet another reason to avoid shopping at WalMart.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

...ASAT divisional playoff NFL picks

Giants at Cowboys
Seahawks at Packers
Jaguars at Patriots

Chargers at Colts

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dems and Dawgs

Right about now, there is a decision to be made by both Democratic voters and Cleveland Browns management. But, unusually, it is a pretty good place to be for both of 'em.

Gone are the days of choosing between John "ZZZZzzzz" Kerry and Howard "WHOOOOOOOaaaahh" Dean or Tim "Crybaby" Couch and Kelly "another interception" Holcomb. This time we have some exciting, viable candidates on all fronts.

On one hand, we have experienced field generals like Hillary Clinton and Derek Anderson. They've shown in the past that they can get the job done under pressure and have both been responsible for some amazing comebacks. On the other, you have up-and-comers Barack Obama and Brady Quinn. While these guys haven't been battle-tested yet, they each possess limitless potential to truly be among the all-time greats someday.

So, Democrats and the Dawg Pound, do we go with proven leadership or the hope of a fresh face to lead us to victory?

Either way, I'm pretty sure that I will have two reasons to smile come November.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

WOODSTOCK!!!

Some of my faves from the Woodstocks over the years:


'69

Richie Havens, "Handsome Johnny"



Country Joe and The Fish, "Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag"



'94

Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Higher Ground"



Green Day, "Paper Lanterns"



'99

Bush, "Glycerine"



OK, the rest of Woodstock '99 was a commercialized orgy of violence and destruction, so I will play a clip from the worst performance from that year:

Limp Bizkit, "Break Stuff"

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Pre New Hampshire Mo' Check

Dems: 1) Obama 2) Clinton 3) Edwards 4) Richardson
Coming off of his big win in Iowa, Barack Obama has surged to a double-digit lead in New Hampshire over Hillary Clinton and has seemingly taken a lead in the race to the nomination. Don't count HRC out just yet, though, as the real winner will likely be set on Tsunami Tuesday and it seems that most of Obama's support has come from Edwards and the undecideds. Edwards is sinking fast and I really don't see him making it to February 5th unless he pulls off a surprise in South Carolina. Meanwhile, Richardson continues his push towards getting the VP slot unabated.


GOP: 1) McCain 2) Huckabee 3) Romney 4) Giuliani 5) Paul 6) Thompson 7) Hunter
John McCain is looking strong in New Hampshire where GOP voters, like their counterparts in Iowa, have started seeing through Mitt Romney's bologna-thon. Unlike Iowa, though, NH tories are more hawkish and less social in their conservatism and are looking to McCain rather than Huckabee, although Huck has seemed to pass Rudy Giuliani in recent days. Romney is still in the hunt, but he has to do well in NH and South Carolina, or he is likely finished. Giuliani is still biding his time and hoping that strong showings in Florida and the big states on Feb 5 can push him to victory. Ron Paul is hot online but he seems content with using the GOP primaries to build momentum for a run as the Libertarian nominee. Rumor has it that Thompson is this close to dropping out and backing McCain, especially if he flops in SC. At this point, Duncan Hunter seems to only still be around so that he can give a "I'm scared of Mexicans" speech at the convention.

Here's how I see NH panning out:

Dems: 1) Obama 2) Clinton 3) Edwards 4) Richardson
GOP: 1) McCain 2) Romney 3) Huckabee 4) Paul 5) Giuliani 6) Thompson 7) Hunter

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

...2007 Appies, part 1

It is again time to give out the Apppies, ...A Sour Apple Tree's own pointless award. Check back over the next few days/weeks for more:

The Randy Moss West Virginia Athlete of the Year: Randy Moss
2007 was a great year for Rand University's only alumnus. He proved to be the missing component to completing what is possibly the greatest NFL team of all time and managed to set the single season TD receiving record in the process. His presence has made a legend out of Tom Brady and gained Wes Welker the recognition he deserves as one of the best possession receivers in the history of the game. He now has a darn good shot at getting a ring on his finger that will grant in enshrinement at Canton when he calls it a career.

The Marie Antoinette Screw the Working Classes Award: The Huntington YMCA
Just to see the inside of the joint you gotta drop a nice chunk of change for an annual membership. Month-by-month memberships? Nope, they don't want the sort of people that that would attract. Sure, most of the six-figure crowd probably think that the membership fee is quite reasonable, but young families with student loans have pesky things like food and $3 gasoline to buy. Speaking of the Y, their members get the Lindsay Lohan Award for Excellence in Motor Vehicle Operation. Guess what, folks, just because you don't live in that area, the basic laws of the road and common courtesy still apply. You do not have the right-of-way just because you are on the phone and those red octagon signs say "stop."

Best Game Show: "Cash Explosion Double Play"
After a hard work week, nothing calms the brain like the inanity of "Cash Explosion," the Ohio Lottery's weekly game show. They replaced it with some lame "Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich" show that flopped, but fortunately they went back to the old format. They game basically consists of winning cash for making random guesses. In other words, Britney Spears could kick Ken Jennings' ass.

Political Rising Star: Brandi Jones.
Even with the success of Pullman Square, it may prove that the greatest contribution to public life of the Felinton administration may be his appointment of Brandi Jones as his consiglieri. I've been impressed with her since she was SGA president at Marshall when I was an undergrad. She was an effective voice for change on City Council and has gone a long way to get the city back on track as finance director. Someday she will be mayor, maybe even governor, and we will all be better for it.

The Tom Hanks Nice Guys Finish First Award: Bill Stewart.
Was he the best choice? Um... Will he succeed? Erm... Will everyone from Key West to Point Roberts be rooting for him? Goddam right.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

...ASAT 2008 mock NFL Draft #1

With the 2007 regular season ending last weekend, the 2008 NFL season has effectively begun for the 20 teams who did not make the playoffs. This includes the coaching carousel, the hiring and firing of front office staff, and preparation for April's NFL Draft.

In my first stab at gauging the 2008 NFL Draft, I have to make a few assumptions. First of all, I am working off of the premise that the Patriots beat the Cowboys in the Super Bowl, who in turn beat the Colts and the Packers, respectively, in the conference title games, and so on based on seeding and tiebreakers, in determining the order of the final few playoff teams. I'm also assuming that the Falcons win the coin-flip over the Raiders for the third pick at the NFL Combine and that there will be no additional trades of picks before the draft (bloody unlikely). For more on tie-breaking procedure, check out the Wikipedia article on the 2008 Draft.

1. Miami Dolphins: Glen Dorsey, DT, LSU
My gut tells me that Parcells will deal this pick to a team eager to grab McFadden or Dorsey so that he can fill in some of the many, many, gaps on the team. If not, though, Long and Pro Bowl DE Jason Taylor could work together to create a fearsome set of bookends on the D-line.


2. St. Louis Rams: Jake Long, OT, Michigan
The Rams have a good quarterback in Mark Bulger and a star RB with Steven Jackson but little in the way of protection for either, especially with the clock ticking on Orlando Pace's career. Long could work wonders for keeping Bulger from being beaten like a red-headed stepchild and possibly put St. Louis back into contention in the weak NFC West.


3. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
In the post-Vick, post-Petrino era, the Falcons need a solid, stable leader at the position who can bring the franchise back from oblivion. Ryan gets the nod over Brohm or Woodson for the poise shown in '07.


4. Oakland Raiders: Chris Long, DE, Virginia
With Justin Fargas showing potential at RB (thereby making McFadden unnecessary) and Al Davis' love of tradition, it would be hard to imagine the Raiders passing on the son of one of their all-time greats, Howie Long, especially considering how gifted of a DE Chris Long has been at UVA.


5. Kansas City Chiefs: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise St.
Brody Coyle is looking promising at QB and Larry Johnson and Kolby Smith seem to be a solid 1-2 punch at RB, so the Chiefs need someone to keep these guys on their feet.


6. New York Jets: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
While I doubt that McFadden will still be on the board at #6, if he is still around, the Jets will surely pick him. Thomas Jones only seems to be solid when he has a O-line like the one back in Chicago, so grabbing a feature back of this caliber would be huge for the Green Slime.


7. New England Patriots (from San Fransisco): James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State Linebacker is one of the few slots where the Pats need some help, and Nagurski Trophy-winner (and son of the Road Warrior's Animal) should fit the bill.


8. Baltimore Ravens: Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State
If Terrell Suggs bolts in FA, this will be the most glaring need for the Ravens, save the QB position which will either be filled by Troy Smith or a veteran from another team.


9. Cincinnati Bengals: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
Assuming that they don't try to trade up for Dorsey, Ellis will be Plan B for fixing an anemic rush defense.


10. New Orleans Saints: Malcom Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
Did you see the Saints' secondary this season? The saddest lot of players ever on a so-called contender.


11. Buffalo Bills: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
If the Bills had had a better pass defense this year, they would have made a solid run for the 6th seed in the playoffs. This is the one player at the 11 spot who can provide instant results.


12. Denver Broncos: Kenny Phillips, FS, Miami
John Lynch is ancient and Phillips is the real deal.


13. Carolina Panthers: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
Jake Delhomme ain't getting any younger, David Carr is a bust, and Matt Moore probably isn't a franchise player, so it would be hard to turn down one of the two great QBs left in the draft at this point. Brohm gets the nod by a hair, as Woodson is still a tad bit raw, but it is almost a coin flip.


14. Chicago Bears: Andre Woodson, QB, Kentucky
Unless Kyle Orton has the faith of the management (Ha!), the Bears are going to have to go quarterback with this pick. Again, either Woodson or Brohm would be fine.


15. Detroit Lions: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
Finally, the Lions do not have to use their pick on a receiver. They need a CB, but with both of the Jenkinses out of play, they should go with the next-best talent, being Harvey in this case. That being said, I wouldn't be shocked if they grabbed Kansas' Aqib Talib or Oklahoma's Reggie Smith in this situation or traded the pick up or down.


16. Arizona Cardinals: Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
A better defense would have gotten the Cards into the post season this year, and either Rivers of Dan Connor would go a long way to addressing their concerns. Rivers seems like the better pick, though, based on is speed.


17. Minnesota Vikings: DeSean Jackson, WR, California
The Vikes need a quarterback badly, but I'm guessing that they'll address the need via trade or free agency and snag someone like Delaware's Joe Flacco or Hawaii's Colt Brennan in a later round. They need a big-time receiver to take some the heat off of Adrian Peterson and Jackson is the most explosive deep threat of this year's crop.


18. Houston Texans: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
The Texans have some solid journeymen at running back right now but no real long-term answer. A back like Stewart could be the missing piece in bringing January football back to Houston.


19. Philadelphia Eagles: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
Campbell can be the guy that Javon Kearse was supposed to be.


20. Washington Redskins: Dan Connor, OLB, Penn St,
Connor would be a great addition to a linebacker corps that would include London Fletcher and put a hurtin' on opposing offenses.


21. Dallas Cowboys (from Cleveland): Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
The Dallas defensive backfield is aging and Talib could give them a much-needed shot of youth and speed. Also don't be shocked if they go with Reggie Smith or Arkansas RB Felix Jones with this pick.


22. Tennessee Titans: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
Believe it or not, Vince Young can throw the football. It just helps if he has someone to catch it. Sweed is a good receiver who played with Young at Texas and should work well with last season's Rookie of the Year.


23. New York Giants: Early Doucet III, WR, LSU
The Jints have several older receivers and Doucet seems to be the best choice of the remaining WRs.


24. Jacksonville Jaguars: James Hardy, WR, Indiana
The Jags need some good receivers to help out David Garrard. Michigan's Mario Manningham would also be a good choice.


25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Malcom Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
This 6'4" giant is just the sort of possession receiver the Bucs will need when Joey Galloway retires.


26. Seattle Seahawks: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
The Seahawks should really start worrying about the prospect that Shaun Alexander's best days are gone and Jones, overshadowed by McFadden at Arkansas, would have a chance to shine in a system built around a back like Alexander.


27. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jeffrey Otah, OT, Pitt
With Ben Roethlisberger being sacked way too much this year and Alan Faneca set to explore free agency, this is just the sort of local meat 'n potatoes pick that would prove popular with the fans and players and give them a leg-up with the Browns in hot pursuit for AFC North supremacy.


28. San Diego Chargers: Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
The Chargers have some issues on run defense and Maualuga could help plug the hole that Adrian Peterson exploited for 296 yards earlier this season.


29. Green Bay Packers: Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma
The starting CBs for the Pack are in their 30s and could probably use a breather from time to time, which Smith could do nicely as he learns the system.


30. San Fransisco 49ers (from Indianapolis): Samuel Baker, OT, USC
Alex Smith needs some protection to avoid ending up as the next David Carr. If Baker is still around at 30, the 9ers will likely snap him up. Even if he has been picked up, look for them to get an OT with this pick.


31. Dallas Cowboys: Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn are both becoming injury-prone at this point in their careers, as another threat at wide-out would be a great addition for Phillips, Romo, & Co.


32. New England Patriots: Forfeited.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Years Day black-eyed peas

In preparation for New Years Day's dinner, I did some research on how to use that bag of black-eyed peas I've had for a while in making a traditional southern New Years' dish. After some googling, I stumbled across this recipe from about.com for "Happy New Year Peas" and figured that it looked mighty tasty. While I'm not going to repeat the recipe here (just click on the link), I did take step-by-step photos of my cooking 'speriment.

I boiled the black-eyed peas with some left-over ham chunks for flavor.

I used a winter sweet onion. I can't wait 'til Vidalia season to try this again!
I fried 'em in a blend of olive oil and bacon grease.

Instead of sausage links, I used Gaspar's Portuguese-style linguica sausage. It is mild flavor and can be found with the smoke sausages at the Kroger in Barboursville.

I cut the sausages into half-inch thick disks.

I went with Cattlemen's bbq sauce and French's mustard.


The peas and the reserve liquid in the baking dish

Add the other ingredients...

Stir 'em up and put 'em in the oven...

And now it's time to eat!!!

This pea recipe was da bomb (yes, I'm bringing that back). It tasted sort-of like a home-made baked pea recipe, but with the nutty, earthy taste of black-eyed peas and a salty-sweet zing from the linguica. This recipe was plenty sweet, so I would advise against using any sort of honey-flavored bbq sauce or mustard. I dashed a little Frank's Red Hot on mine, but if everyone in your family likes some heat in their food, some diced jalapeno added to the recipe would work, too. As for beverage pairings, I'd go with a citrus soda, a sturdy lager, riesling, or a sparkling white wine.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

...ASAT wild card NFL playoff picks

Redskins at Seahawks
Jaguars at Steelers
Giants at Buccaneers
Titans at Chargers

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