Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Predictions on Predictions

Credit to Cameron Morfit for doing all the heavy lifting, but I've assessed the likelihood of his predictions below.

1. Tiger’s first official PGA Tour victory in more than two years will come at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. 40% - Good course for scoring, and a good track record. TW is the 'whelming' (vice overwhelming) favorite.

2. Jim Furyk, who dropped from fifth to 50th in the World Ranking in 2011, will go the other direction in 2012. 100% - Furyk had a terrible 2011, hard to see him not playing better in 2012.

3. Rickie Fowler will win on the PGA Tour. 90% - Like the prediction, but I wouldn't bet the house. If I had in 2011, I'd be homeless.

4. We will all slap our foreheads and lament having overlooked 2011 super-rookie Brendan Steele. 100% - Steele has got ridiculous game, and will win multiple times in 2012.

5. Hunter Mahan will win again. 100% - He's got too much talent, and has won on a variety of courses. He'll kiss a cup in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the Wells Fargo at Quail Creek.

6. Yani Tseng will finally pop up on the radar of the American sports fan. 0% - She could win all four (five?) Women's Majors and outdraw a September Bengals/Chiefs afternoon game.

7. John Daly’s sponsor exemptions will dry up as “Daly fatigue” outweighs “Daly curiosity.” 0% - JD will find a way to do something outrageous, draw attention, and undeserved sponsor exemptions.

8. Martin Kaymer will miss the cut, again, at the Masters. 0% - MK tooled his game for Augusta in 2011, to no avail. He goes a different route in 2012, trusts his talent, and makes the weekend easily.

9. Leading the Par-3 Contest the day before the start of the Masters, McIlroy will have his caddie, girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, hit his tee shot on nine. Who cares? - I watch the Par-3 for the needling between Nicklaus/Palmer/Player. Winner is always an afterthought.

10. Ernie Els will play his way back to Augusta despite finishing 2011 outside the top 50, which jeopardized his streak of Masters starts that dates to 1994. 20% - as much as I love the Big Easy, who is one of my favorite professional golfers, he needs to rid himself of the belly putter and find confidence on the greens before reascending the OWGR. I don't see it happening in early 2012.

11. Ian Poulter, coming off a victory at the Australian Masters in December, will bounce back after a poor 2011. 90% - Poulter wins on tour(s), both PGA and European in (calendar year) 2012, which qualifies as a bounce back.

12. Caddie Joe LaCava will look like the second biggest genius in golf after having left reliable money-maker Dustin Johnson to work for the retooling and fragile-looking Tiger Woods last fall. 100% - I've never been fond of DJ's putting stroke, or short game. He played abysmally in the President's Cup, and his win at the Barclay's was more on account of Kuchar faltering (has he ever won on slick greens?).

Overall, Morfit hits on more than 50% (discarding #9) which is commendable.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011/2012 Washington Wizards

Great new uniform, same old team.

I watched portions of last night's loss, at home, to the New Jersey Nets, and, while I have no optimism for this season, see a core group of players around which the team can grow.

John Wall, Jordan Crawford, and JaVale McGee have talent. Nick Young is a 15 ppg scorer. Shelvin Mack is a rookie who can contribute backup minutes to Wall, and is a team-oriented player. Roger Mason Jr. provides veteran leadership, and Jan Vesley is a wild card.

Unfortunately, the team doesn't have the concentrated talent to rely on the skills of a few star players, any shot at success will be based on cohesion and defense. I can't speak to cohesion, but defense is tough to learn in an abbreviated camp, and has never being a strength for the Wizards. They need to commit to taking risks on defense, pushing the game tempo, and building around speed (Wall) and shooters (Crawford and Young).

Thursday, December 15, 2011


A comparison of Bowl games to PGA Tournaments.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2012 PGA Tour - Quick Wins

The 2012 PGA Tour season is shaping up to be both competitive and wide open. Tiger Woods's game is rounding into form (or did he just experience three good weeks of golf?), Luke Donald is a Top Ten machine, and Rory McIlroy has the talent to cruise to tournament wins, evidenced by his victory at the 2011 US Open.

Aside from the headlines, two golfers I'd like to see win post haste are Erik Compton and JB Holmes.

Compton's story is nothing short of a miracle. A professional golfer, on the PGA Tour, on his third heart. A PGA victory would be the golf story of the year.

To quote from JB Holmes' website, "JB had a successful brain decompression surgery on September 1 at Johns Hopkins for chiari malformation. JB has been released and is back home starting his recovery process. His plans are to start chipping and putting in a month, full swings in two months and return to competition in 3 months. JB is looking forward to a full recovery and returning to the tour in 2012. JB is very appreciative of all the emails, thoughts and prayers during this time."

There is no such thing as minor surgery, let alone brain surgery. He deserves all the best in health and a speedy return to the upper echelon of competitive golf.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Why Square CardCase will Win

Square ( has been an interesting company to follow. Founded by Jack Dorsey, they specialize in seamless mobile transactions, via iDevice (iPhone, iPad, etc.).

Today they released CardCase, a dramatically landscape shifting application. CardCase makes mobile payment seamless for the buyer (I imagine a parent juggling three kids without having to dig into a wallet/purse for a credit card), but, I see bigger growth and traction for vendors, who will have detailed (and realtime) tracking of their clientele. Vendors will be able to develop tailored merchandising metrics (based on users, purchase times, etc.) to cater to loyal patrons and entice potential buyers within their vicinity.

As an added bonus, CardCase is aesthetically sound. Once Square spells out its privacy restrictions (to allay user trepidation) I would expect exponential growth.

Job well done.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Youth Gone Wild

Tom Lewis' win on the European Tour and another strong performance from Bud Cauley at the McGladrey Classic are additional examples of youth being served in professional golf. The Young Guns (cue JBJ, or a Chavez y Chavez vignette) aren't part of the 'Valley of Woods' generation (32-25) who flailed against the immense success of Tiger in his prime.

In addition to Lewis and Cauley, other professionals starting to rake include:

Matteo Manassero (two Euro Tour wins)
Harris English (Nationwide win)
Russell Henley (Nationwide win)
Rickie Fowler (Korean win)

Peter Uihlein and Jordan Speith will soon follow their predecessors.

None of the aforementioned golfers are prototypically huge, but tactically manage their games, and are fearless.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs, thank you

I'm thankful for Steve Jobs providing me with one of the best memories of my life, when I received an Apple IIC computer for Christmas in 1986.

A computer was the only gift I wanted, and I'll never forget rounding the corner to the living room on Christmas morning to huge wrapped boxes next to the Christmas tree.

There was a note on the wrapping paper stating, "This is from your parents, not Santa Claus".

I played Oregon Trail endlessly, and can still hear the rickety hum of the dot matrix printer (and the paper with the tearaway perforated edging).

After setting up our machine, my Dad was somewhat of a computer guru, he came into my school (Grafton Elementary) and set up class computer. I was so proud.

I thought I was keeping it over the years in the hopes it would become a collectors's item, but, in truth, I've kept it for sentimental value.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Carnac the Magnificent would be Proud

A quick review of my archives exhumed the following.

MONDAY, JULY 19, 2010
Future Major Winners - Who, Where, and When

"...who will be the next first time winners in Majors, and when. In order of overall likelihood of winning a Major:

3. Rory McIlroy (US Open, Congressional C.C., 2011). Young, with many opportunities to win. Game is well suited for all Majors.

1. Martin Kaymer (PGA, Atlanta A.C. 2011). Great swing? Check. Young? Check (24). Major experience? Check (T7 @ Open). Other wins? Check (Five Euro Tour wins). MK will win multiple Majors. His stoicism reminds me of fellow countryman Bernhard Langer."

Five Majors later, hitting two out of five (with McIlroy nailing the trifecta) isn't bad. Maybe watching immense amounts of golf has some redeeming value.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Slide it Down

To update the following post:


Top 5 - Black Crowes
I'm stoked for the new Black Crowes album, and summer tour. In honor, my top five studio tracks. I do not take into account any song performed live (which would produce an entirely different list).

5. Remedy
4. Sister Luck
3. Cursed Diamond
2. Hotel Illness
1. Twice as Hard

I'd dump Sister Luck, drop 1-3, and elevate 'Descending' to #1. Leaving it off the list was a colossal oversight.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2011 US Amateur

I cannot remember a (post-Tiger Woods) US Amateur receiving the attention the 2011 playing has garnered. It is deserved.

All the superstars advanced through stroke play, and are leading and/or have won their opening matches.

If Harris English, Peter Uihlein, Russell Henley, Tom Lewis, and Jordan Spieth continue to advance, English/Uihlein would meet in the semifinals, and Henley/Lewis in the Round of 16. Spieth could advance to the finals before meeting any of the other four.

Five years ago the 'Big Five' in golf were Woods, Mickelson, Goosen, Els, Singh. Recognize the emergence of the 'New Five'.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The President's Cup - Potential Team

The President's Cup is the perfect breeding ground for Ryder Cup exploits. Captain Couples should award as many spots as possible to up and coming American golfers. The leaderboard at the Greenbrier Classic would comprise a good US team, to include.

Anthony Kim
Webb Simpson
Gary Woodland

Stalwarts include:
Phil Mickelson
Steve Stricker
Matt Kuchar
Nick Watney
Dustin Johnson
Bubba Watson
Hunter Mahan

With Jim Furyk and David Toms on the edges of qualification, I'd consider choosing younger golfers to complete the team. The remaining two? Rickie Fowler and last week's winner, Sean O'Hair. Do TIger the favor of not offering him a cross-world obligation.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ten Things I Love - 2011 Open - Thursday

10. Shot tracker displaying all tee shots for the day.
9. The yellow hand-controlled scoreboards.
8. Tom Lewis still hasn't woken up, and refuses to pinch himself.
7. The Easter-colored putter grip of Mark Calcavecchia.
6. The steamrolled birdies of Rickie Fowler and John Daly on the first hole, a combined 130 foot of putt.
5. A bogey free Thursday, coupled with four birdies and a 66 for Miguel Angel Jimenez.
4. The wristy clip of Tom Watson's downswing. The perfect swing for Open golf. Why aren't young Americans taught to mimic his swing.
3. The sing-song voice of Igor Robson on the first tee.
2. Redemption for Thomas Bjorn, if only for one day.
1. Peter Alliss

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Going, Going, Gone

For all the fantastic sporting events, there are a few I'd lose no sleep over their extinction.

1.) Tour de France - Definitely needs a hiatus/reset (five years?) or possible retirement, to get over the drug-laden cloud blanketing the participants.

2.) America's Cup - The swashbuckling days of Dennis Connor are two decades past, it has become the Larry Ellison Invitational.

3.) The Davis Cup - They could play the finals today and I couldn't tell you the winner tomorrow. Sadly, tennis professionals seem to care less about tDC than I do.

Friday, July 01, 2011


Listening to The Steve Czaban show during yesterday's commute, I was incredulous when an on-air personality (I cannot remember who) claimed to support owners 100% in all lockouts.

Absolutely ridiculous.

The rationale behind the decision was the great sum of money owners stood to lose when a season is not played, either partially, or in its entirety. He went on to claim owners take huge risks when purchasing teams, and an upside isn't always guaranteed.

Not to compare apples (NFL) and oranges (NBA), but owners brought on the NFL lockout. An owner can run an organization (Redskins) as a purely profit driven enterprise, to the detriment of the team, and still rake gobs of cash.

I have no sympathy for owners who are sitting on advance season ticket payments, collecting interest, and offering the paltry exchange of credit or future tickets if the season is cancelled. Obviously, season ticket holders bought into the scheme/plan, (I'm not deeming who is right/wrong) but owners stand to benefit and act in their best interests. Ownership can stay within a family for decades, but player careers are brief, and the possibility of not playing has a greater detrimental impact on an athlete, sacrificing part of his career, than an owner, who can weather the storm of a bad season or a poor economic climate, and, sooner or later, embrace profitability.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Grand Slam - Ordered

If you could win only one Major, which major would it be, and on which course? I've expanded to order for all the Majors, and the corresponding course.

1. The Masters
2. US Open @ Oakmont
3. The Open @ St. Andrews
4. PGA @ Baltusrol

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


What a win for Virginia baseball, staged with a ninth inning two out rally, to advance to the College World Series.

Brian O'Connor is the best in the business.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

From Washington to Washington

The NFL Draft is tomorrow. The Washington Redskins are picking tenth. When not devouring, I've been pondering who I'd like the Redskins to select in the First Round, based on who is likely to be available (strike Von Miller from the list, although he is worth improving draft position to select). My list is very short.

3. Prince Amukamara (CB) - If only because 10th is a good spot to pick a QB. Still too high in the draft to select RB/WR, and the top DE selections will most likely have been chosen.

2. Robert Quinn (DE) - He bolsters the front seven and he's had a year off.

1. Jake Locker (QB). He'd be a reach at ten. I don't care.
- He's been the face of UW for five years, and would be the face of the Redskins.
- He's worked with different coaches, and adapted to a pro-style offense.
- I think he's the best QB in the draft.

Selecting JL with the 10th pick in 2010 would have been considered a steal. One year later, after winning three must win games to be bowl eligible, he accomplished the feat. He's been the focal point of his program for five years. His athleticism (size, baseball skills, etc.) and West Coast origins remind me of one person, John Elway.

Washington has a variety of deficiencies and gaps. Choose the player who addresses the most glaring shortcoming, and, potentially, can provide the greatest improvement.

Monday, February 28, 2011

To Quit, and How?

As a lifelong Washington Redskins fan, it is obvious the team is the scourge of the NFL, and has been for the past 20 years. A friend who shares the same affliction and I were pondering if one was to 'quit' the Redskins, to abdicate his/her loyalty, which would be the best option to follow?

A.) Quit football entirely

B.) Start rooting for another team, which begs the follow-up question, do you choose 1.) another team based on locality (Redskin -> PA team fan) or must you 2.) 'exile' your loyalty to an offbeat team, to avoid any appearance of jumping on a bandwagon (Carolina Panthers, anyone?).

Option B1 is the least realistic option, followed by A, and B2.

Friday, February 11, 2011

RRD's Grammy Picks

Based on a combination of who deserves to win, and my personal preference(s). My choices in bold, projected winners with ***.

Song of the Year
'Beg, Steal or Borrow' -- Ray LaMontagne
***'Forget You' -- Cee-Lo - It has been everywhere
'The House That Built Me' -- Miranda Lambert
'Love the Way You Lie' -- Eminem Feat. Rihanna
'Need You Now' -- Lady Antebellum

Album of the Year
'The Suburbs' -- Arcade Fire
'Recovery' -- Eminem
'Need You Now' -- Lady Antebellum
***'The Fame Monster' -- Lady Gaga - LG is everywhere, KP makes terrible music
'Teenage Dream' -- Katy Perry

Best New Artist
***Justin Bieber
Drake - Terrible to lose to JB
Florence and the Machine
Mumford and Sons
Esperanza Spalding

Record of the Year
'Nothing on You' -- B.o.B. Feat. Bruno Mars
'Love the Way You Lie' -- Eminem Feat. Rihanna
'Forget You' -- Cee-Lo
***'Empire State of Mind -- Jay-Z Feat. Alicia Keys - An instant and immediate classic
'Need You Now' -- Lady Antebellum

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
'King of Anything' -- Sara Bareilles
'Halo (Live)' -- Beyoncé
'Chasing Pirates' -- Norah Jones
***'Bad Romance' -- Lady Gaga - Anything but KP
'Teenage Dream' -- Katy Perry

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
'Haven't Met You Yet' -- Michael Bublé
'This is It' -- Michael Jackson
'Whataya Want from Me' -- Adam Lambert
***'Just the Way You Are' -- Bruno Mars
'Half of My Heart' -- John Mayer

Best Female Country Vocal Performance
'Satisfied' -- Jewel
***'The House That Built Me' -- Miranda Lambert - ML has had a great awards season, I see no reason for it not to keep going
'Swingin'' -- LeAnn Rimes
'Temporary Home' -- Carrie Underwood
'I'd Love to Be Your Last' -- Gretchen Wilson

Best Pop Performance by a Group or Duo with Vocals
'Don't Stop Believin' (Regionals Version)' -- 'Glee' cast
***'The Only Exception' -- Paramore - Are Glee remakes really music?
'Babyfather' -- Sade
'Hey, Soul Sister (Live)' -- Train

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals
'Airplanes, Part II' -- B.o.B., Eminem & Hayley Williams
'Imagine' -- Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare
'If it Wasn't for Bad' -- Elton John & Leon Russell
'Telephone' -- Lady Gaga & Beyoncé
***'California Gurls' -- Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg

Best Pop Vocal Album
'My World 2.0' -- Justin Bieber
'I Dreamed a Dream' -- Susan Boyle
***'The Fame Monster' -- Lady Gaga - SB is pop?
'Battle Studies' -- John Mayer
'Teenage Dream' -- Katy Perry

Best Country Song
'The Breath You Take' -- George Strait
'Free' -- Zac Brown Band
'The House That Built Me' -- Miranda Lambert
'I'd Love to Be Your Last' -- Gretchen Wilson
'If I Die Young' -- The Band Perry
***'Need You Now' -- Lady Antebellum - Biggest country song of the year

Best Country Album
'Up on the Ridge' -- Dierks Bentley
'You Get What You Give' -- Zac Brown Band
'The Guitar Song' -- Jamey Johnson - Forward-thinking, vastly underrated album
***'Need You Now' -- Lady Antebellum
'Revolution' -- Miranda Lambert

Best Rock Song
'Angry World' -- Neil Young
'Little Lion Man' -- Mumford & Sons
***'Radioactive' -- Kings Of Leon
'Resistance' -- Muse
'Tighten Up' -- The Black Keys

Best Rock Album
'Emotion & Commotion' -- Jeff Beck
'The Resistance' -- Muse
'Backspacer' -- Pearl Jam
'Mojo' -- Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
***'Le Noise' -- Neil Young

Best R&B Song
'Bittersweet' -- Fantasia
'Finding My Way Back' -- Jaheim
'Second Chance' -- El DeBarge
***'Shine' -- John Legend & The Roots
'Why Would You Stay' -- Kem

Best R&B Album
'The Love & War Masterpeace' -- Raheem DeVaughn
'Back To Me' -- Fantasia
'Another Round' -- Jaheim
***'Wake Up!' -- John Legend & The Roots
'Still Standing' -- Monica

Best Contemporary R&B Album
'Graffiti' -- Chris Brown
'Untitled' -- R. Kelly
'Transition' -- Ryan Leslie
'The ArchAndroid' -- Janelle Monáe
***'Raymond V Raymond' -- Usher

Best Rap Song
'Empire State Of Mind -- Jay-Z & Alicia Keys - Jay-Z and Eminem split their votes
'Love the Way You Lie' -- Eminem & Rihanna
'Not Afraid -- Eminem
***'Nothin' On You' -- B.o.B & Bruno Mars
'On To The Next One' --Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz

Best Rap Album
'The Adventures of Bobby Ray' -- B.o.B
'Thank Me Later' -- Drake
***'Recovery' -- Eminem
'The Blueprint 3' -- Jay-Z
'How I Got Over' -- The Roots

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
***'Crazy Heart' -- Various Artists - T-Bone Burnett is a master, Ryan Bingham is a worthy muse
'Glee: The Music, Volume 1' -- 'Glee' Cast
'Treme' -- Various Artists
'True Blood-Volume 2' -- Various Artists
'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' -- Various Artists.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The First Time and Feels Like the First Time

Professional golfers I'd like to see win on the PGA in 2011.

5. Jamie Lovemark - Add another name to the young greats on tour.
4. Rickie Fowler - A swashbuckling swing and swashbuckling game. I see him winning before the Masters in 2011 (Waste Management at TPC Scottsdale?).
3. Steve Marino - Great Tour talent. I see him winning, and winning again soon thereafter.
2. Jeff Overton - "Boom Baby" would have his confidence skyrocket with a W. His experience from the Ryder Cup will push him over the hump early in 2011.
1. David Duval - Glad to see him playing well at the Hope. A fitting tournament name for a man who has turned around his golf game, and is playing competitively.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Will Read, Reading, and Read

Mostly as a self tracking mechanism, I'm listing the books I read in 2011 on the right. I've got no reading goal (# books) etc., but think it will be interesting to revisit my 2011 rota for insight into my tastes and preferences.

I will follow the honor code, and list all books I am reading, or plan to read.