Welcome! (I guess...)

For those of you who by some extremely unlikely set of circumstances happened to stumble upon this page, I apologize to you. For those of you who intentionally came to this page - yikes! As the title of the weblog indicates, these are my Ramblings About Whatever. There is a chance that I will ramble about just about anything (as I am in this introduction), but only a select few topics will actually make this site. Enjoy! (I guess...)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Belmont Stakes - Big Brown Looks Unbeatable

Okay so we are now finally a day away from the Belmont Stakes and quite frankly, I'm going to have to agree with Big Brown's trainer, Rick Dutrow; I just cannot see how Big Brown is going to lose this race. Assuming Big Brown is healthy, and assuming all of the other horse are healthy as well (unfortunately there is word that Casino Drive has come down with a bruised hind foot today), it just seems hard to imagine that another horse can win.

Big Brown is thus far undefeated, so it is somewhat ridiculous to talk about the way to beat Big Brown. It has not happened yet, so any talk of how to beat Big Brown is pure speculation. However, one can certainly take some guesses about how it would be possible. Based on watching the races in which Big Brown has run thus far, in order to beat him, a horse would have to debilitate Big Brown's kick. Based on watching these horses run, Big Brown seems to easily have the highest top speed. In order to beat Big Brown, another horse would have to set dangerously fast fractions (:23.x, :46.x, 1:10.x perhaps) and hope that Big Brown follows and wilts on the final straightaway. The problem with this scenario is that (1) Big Brown has shown thus far that he totally responds to Kent Desormeaux's commands and Desormeaux would likely not allow Big Brown to chase an insane pace and (2) I don't really see any horse in this field setting such a suicidal pace.

The problem with picking another horse against Big Brown is that despite the fact that some of these other horses might be closers, I don't think that any of them have demonstrated anywhere near the closing speed to handle Big Brown's finishing acceleration. The paces off of which Big Brown delivered those bursts were legitimate paces, slow by no means. What this means is that Big Brown should have been able to handle even stronger paces, if other horses had set them. Sure, Big Brown may have not had quite the ending acceleration that he has displayed in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but against the horses he has faced so far, he would not have needed it as he would have separated from them with ease at those paces. The bottom line is that there does not appear to be any horse here that will take that kick out of Big Brown. Casino Drive may be a more talented horse than any other Big Brown has faced so far (and I do say he may be more talented because many people thought that some of the competition was pretty strong in the Kentucky Derby before Big Brown dispatched those horses with ease), but much of the hype concerning Casino Drive is based on two things. The first thing is his victory in the Peter Pan Stakes four weeks ago that I would argue is a weaker performance than any of Big Brown's last three races. The second thing is that Casino Drive's half siblings have won the last two Belmont Stakes races and so the story is that Casino Drive was "bred" for the distance. Yes, rather than seeing the last two Belmonts as some sort of a fluke occurrence (which it very may well be), I think that because there are many out there who do not respect what Big Brown has done and do not respect Big Brown's capabilities, they are willing to so easily talk themselves into giving Casino Drive a questionable edge.

I just cannot see Big Brown losing to these horses.

Welcome Back 1980s!

I am quite thrilled, just as I suspect anyone else reading this certainly is, to welcome back the 1980s! For quite some time I've desired to be transported back to my favorite decade when we were introduced to the highest quality of television and the highest quality of musical performers. But being ostensibly a scientist, I'm well aware that the technology needed to accomplish time travel into the past is probably a good 10 billion years away from being perfected (sigh...). Well joy of joys, it seems as if the late 1980s has been transported to me! (And I guess to all of you too...)

I first came to suspect that something was up when during the fall of last year, old episodes of American Gladiators started popping up on ESPN Classic. I remember when American Gladiators began those long years ago and I remember thinking the show was really cool. But there must have been something that happened along the way that caused me to stop watching the show because after all, the original run of the show lasted until 1996. Let's see, what could have possibly caused me to stop watching that show...

Oh, I remember! I grew beyond the age of twelve or thirteen. I mean seriously, there are reasons that shows like American Gladiators go off the air. Or maybe there is just one reason; people come to their senses and realize that the show is stupid. When the XFL folded, it folded because, you guessed it, people realized that it was stupid. When American Idol and Dancing with the Stars fold, they will fold because, you guessed it, people will have come to their senses (finally) and finally realized that these shows are stupid. No but wait, there's more.

Have you ever wondered what ever became of the New Kids on the Block? No? Well you're not alone. I just can't figure this out; really, who thought it was a good idea for these guys to make a comeback? Who really wants to see some more of the New Kids Hangin' Tough? Let's do a quick analysis. Back in the late 80s, I can remember that the New Kids on the Block were popular with a certain segment of the population. And that segment would be the pre-teen to early teenage girls who were completely insane. Well, fast-forward about twenty years and I just wonder to myself what could possibly draw these girls (now in their late twenties to early thirties) to a bunch of guys who are probably in their late thirties to early forties and are calling themselves the New Kids on the Block. They are almost forty years old!!! There was presumably a reason why their act died away a decade and a half ago; everyone (and by everyone I mean teenaged girls) realized that these guys were lame. Nothing has changed in the last fifteen years. These guys are still lame. So really, why would you want to waste your money, and more importantly, your time going to see these washed, boy-band jokers struggle their way through twenty year old songs? That's time that you will never, ever get back.

And finally we have one last example. Now in truth, this particular show did premiere in 1990, but I figured that 1990 was close enough to not really change the premise of my argument. What show am I talking about? Well, Beverly Hills, 90210, of course! So I got wind of the fact that a stupid spinoff of this show (titled 90210, creatively enough) was planned as I had the msn.com site open a couple of weeks back. I happened to see that for some reason Lori Loughlin was listed in their popular searches. I thought to myself, Lori Loughlin!? They're not planning to bring back Full House, are they? Because that was truly a horrible show, and besides, John Stamos and his hair are currently tied up ruining ER. Admittedly, though, when I decided to click on the search for Lori Loughlin and I saw that the information indicated that she was going to be on a new 90210 show, my immediate impulse led me to believe that this was going to be a spinoff from Melrose Place. My thought was that with Loughlin in her mid forties, there is no way she was going to star in a show that in its genesis, centered around high school students (although Ian Ziering was indeed thirty something at some point while he was playing a high school student I believe, and maybe forty something as well). But sure enough, it is a spinoff/sequel to the original Beverly Hills, 90210! And apparently, they've brought some of the old crew back, with Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling reportedly reprising their roles! Yaaaaaay! Wait a minute; who exactly was it who thought that it would be a good idea to bring this show back?

Welcome back 1980s (and early 1990s)!