Should NFL Division Winners with Losing Records Be Allowed in the Playoffs? A Poll and Proposal.

The Seattle Seahawks have just defeated the St Louis Rams to win the comical NFC West this year, with a losing record of 7-9. Yet, by existing NFL rules, they will get to host a playoff game next week. Should this rule be changed?

My personal feeling is yes, it should. However, I have an appreciation for “business” to involve teams from all parts of the country to maintain a true “national” interest in the game, so I propose a compromise.

Division winners should get in as they currently do. However, Division winners without a winning record (so .500 won’t cut it) should not be allowed to host a playoff game.

You still keep the national interest this way because the team is still in. Their fans will just have to travel or watch it on TV.

I think that’s just sick that Seattle got in with a 7-9 record and gets to host a playoff game. I want to see a competitive playoff game, not a butt kicking. Furthermore, it’s an absolute insult to all the good teams in the NFC with better records than the Seahawks.

You know, I thought football was a man’s game. Alas, if it were, the Seahawks should man up and let someone else in the NFC get in, or offer to travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints. But maybe it’ll be appropriate that their fans will get to see the Saints kick their butts as a lasting momento to end the season.

But to be a man, I’ll congratulate the Seahawks on making the playoffs and stepping up when they needed to and win a do or die game. I will thoroughly enjoy their annihilation next week.

What do you think of this rule about automatic playoff hosting for division winners?

As of Oct 8 2010, Try Harder NOT to Get Arrested in Canada

A Canadian Supreme Court ruling came down today that limits access to lawyers for people being questioned by police regarding a criminal case.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a person questioned by police in connection with a criminal case does not have the right to have a lawyer present during the interview. The Supreme Court also said a suspect doesn’t have the right to re-consult with a lawyer midway through an interview, unless the situation in the interview has changed significantly. Finally, the court said a suspect does not have the absolute right to consult with a specific lawyer if that attorney can’t be reached within a reasonable time.
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– Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC, Oct 8 2010)

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I’m no lawyer, but in the spirit of free speech, I’ll throw in an opinion.

I’m siding with the decision here. I do think suspects have too much access and counsel to “prepare” themselves for questioning by police. Really, if you’re innocent, a little preparation to make sure you say what you need to properly, which isn’t necessarily the “right” thing to say, is all you need. Extensive counseling from lawyers so you don’t incriminate yourself basically alludes just that, even if you’re presumed innocent till proven guilty. That’s an ideal, and we all know humans aren’t ideal people, as much as we strive for it.

But I write this post because I have a practical piece of advice to those worried about this split 5-4 ruling.

Try harder NOT to get arrested.

This ruling will then have no direct significance to them. If they worry about it affecting them indirectly through those they know and/or love, advise them of the same thing. More common sense in the world means less legal system.

I’m not encouraging people to be better criminal while in Canada so as not to get caught. I’m encouraging people to stay within the law in Canada.

Save the tax system some money. Save the yourself some hassle. Save the lawyers some income.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.5

Colbie Caillat Singing the Best US National Anthem I’ve Ever Heard

My annual list of Best New Songs I Heard is usually reserved for songs I had never heard before. Sometimes, I throw in songs I had heard before, but never nearly as good that a version I just heard for the first time. This song falls in that second category, though it doesn’t quite have the gap for me to put on my list this year because of how many great versions I have heard in the past. Still,  it was good enough that I know, for me, it was the best rendition of this song that I have ever heard among the many I have heard.

The Star Spangled Banner is played at so many events I watch, on television or in person, that I am sure I have heard over 1000 renditions of it over the years. Naturally, there have been some outstanding versions among them, as well as some pretty grotesque ones. To me, though, Colbie Caillat’s version at the opening game of the National Football League season between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints was the best rendition of the song I have ever heard. Sorry, I don’t know the guitarist’s name.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

She sung it quietly and built it, without having to rely on volume power to peak. She didn’t need more drums or instruments to come in, or additional parts, either. She just rocked it gently a tad more each time and achieved the effect. That’s a hard thing to do!

The television footage of the players and crowd were also inspiring, and credits go to the NBC camera crew for capturing all that. Lots of players and coaches with hands over their heart, standing pretty still mostly, too. I also liked the shot of Jared Allen with the helmet held high. The New Orleans fans deserve credit for being in such solemn attention. A little cheer here or there in the right places can have just as good an impact as a roaring crowd all the way through like at some events. But you know, the right rendition will help you be like that to listen and be proud rather than not pay attention for any number of reasons.

All and all, I thought it was just superb. Too bad the online version I have above had the image and sound timing just a tad off to make it look like Colbie badly lip synced it.

I saw some online articles today on the rendition by Colbie Caillat. She’s got the Net talking about it, that’s for sure. There were likes and dislikes, and loves and hates, as to be expected. However, I’ve got to say the reasonings given for those who didn’t like it weren’t very sound. If the reasonings those people generally gave were valid, they should just go plunk it out on an out of tune synthesizer, or just get their computer to mechanically play it. They should appreciate how flexible their national anthem is that they could think so poorly of such a performance and yet, some people like myself think it’s the best rendition they’ve ever heard!

Leave me a comment with some other favourite renditions of the Star Spangled Banner if you care to share. Thanks!

Meanwhile, I’m going to look up some more of Colbie’s music. I had never heard of her till last night, but man, did she impress and got a new fan for that performance!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.5