Monthly Archives: January 2010

The incredible UConn women. 4 days till Gameday. And a rough loss for the Dukies

So I’m not really that big a fan of women’s basketball. Oh, I love that there’s a WNBA, so young women hoopsters have something to aspire to.  But I don’t really watch much women’s basketball on TV, except for maybe the Final Four, and an occasional Duke-Carolina game (Hey, I’ll watch Duke-Carolina in badminton. Anything Duke-Carolina, I’m there.)

And I really don’t care for Connecticut women’s coach Geno Auriemma. I think he’s arrogant, rude and a poor sport. He makes fun of any program that dares take a top recruit from him, and he rules with an iron fist, cowering all who dare challenge him.

But given all that, I am right now a huge admirer of the incredible streak the Huskies program is on. It’s not just that they’ve won 57 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in women’s Division I history. It’s the way they’re beating teams.

They’re positively crushing everyone they play. During this remarkable run of 57 straight, they’ve won every game by at least 10 points. Do you realize how difficult that is to do? You’re getting everyone’s best shot, everyone wants to play their absolute best against you, and none of them are even coming close.

And this isn’t one of those Memphis John Calipari deals, where they only beat bad teams. Lately UConn has been beating up everyone who’s supposedly ranked close to them. They beat No.2 Stanford by 12. Then No. 7 UNC by 31. Then the Huskies destroyed No. 3 Notre Dame by 24, and Monday night they just throttled No. 7 Duke in Cameron Indoor, 81-48.

They play beautiful team basketball, with no egos and a wonderful flair. Check out their highlights like I’ve been lately, if you love the sport and want to see something special, something historic, in this sport.

Teams like this don’t come around too often.

***So it’s been hard for me concentrate on work this week. I’m all Jets, all the time. I think I had a dream last night that Darrelle Revis and I were in a mall together. Or maybe it was just me and Damien Woody, I can’t remember. I’m waiting for the Jets to announce how Super Bowl tickets will be dispersed, should they get there. I’m told it’ll be a lottery, and I have a scary feeling it’ll only be open to season-ticket holders. That’s OK, after waiting 34 years for this moment, I’ll find a way into the stadium.

Anyway, been reading everything I can about the Jets-Colts matchup Sunday, and my initial euphoria is starting to turn to concern. Yes, I still think the Jets can win. But I don’t see how they’re going to rattle Peyton Manning when the guy never gets sacked, and hardly ever gets hit. Dallas Clark is unstoppable. Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, rookie QB Mark Sanchez … oy.

I’m officially nervous. Sunday at 3 cannot get here fast enough.

***So every couple of years my Duke boys go into Raleigh and N.C. State wipes away years of frustration and kicks the holy hell out of the Blue Devils. It happened again Wednesday night; you’d think I’d cease being surprised after a while, but nope, kicked me in the shins again.

State played a great game, no doubt about it. They hustled and rebounded and made some incredibly athletic plays. But Duke looked awful on defense. And not just Brian Zoubek and Miles Plumlee, I mean everybody. They’re 0-3 on the road now, Singler’s still not shooting well, and nobody seems to ever want to pass to Andre Dawkins, even though he’s like the best shooter on the team.

Duke is 0-3 on the road, and at Clemson Saturday night in a national TV game. Uh-oh.

Ashamed to be a Democrat today. How ’bout those Rangers? And is it Sunday yet?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Quick note: For any tennis fans out there, I do a daily blog on the Grand Slam tournaments. For my thoughts on the Australian Open, which so far has been pretty good, click here.

Yep, it’s a fun day to be a Democrat today.

You’ve got to hand it to my party. Nobody, and I mean nobody, screws up a sure thing like the Democrats. If they were in charge of Rick’s from Casablanca, the joint would’ve burned down long before Bogie ever showed up.

My Democrats had an unloseable election in the race to succeed the late, great Ted Kennedy as the senator from Massachusetts. I mean, Kennedy held the seat for almost 50 years! No way a Republican was going to win that seat. Especially a Republican schmoe like Scott Brown, a pro-torture, right-wing, obstructionist, deficit-adding, stands-for-nothing but is against everything idiot.

This thing was a slam dunk. Beyond a slam dunk. Again, you could NOT blow this.

But yes, oh yes, we Democrats can blow anything. And so we put up Martha Coakley, who, yes, won a primary, but then went about refusing to debate her opponent, refusing to campaign much, belittling the voters of Massachusetts, and calling Curt Schilling A YANKEES FAN! That’s like running for the Senate in 1998 in Wisconsin and not knowing who Brett Favre is.

And so, of course, because Scott Brown tapped into all this rage, ginned up by so many obstructionist idiots in the right-wing media and others, pulled out a victory Tuesday night in this special election.

Health-care reform? Pretty much dead. ANY progressive legislation passed by this Congress in 2010? Put a tag on its toe and close the drawer.

So, so, so sad, and so pathetic. And yet, why do all the progressive government programs, things like education and immigration reform, and helping the economy, and saving the environment, and making all the changes to so many screw-ups in the Bush administration have to end now?

As Jon Stewart put it brilliantly in the video above, the Democrats “will only have then an 18-vote majority in the Senate. Which is more than George W. Bush ever had in the Senate when he did whenever the f**k he wanted.”

As usual, Jon Stewart nails it. I laugh, but it’s so goddamn sad that my party is so incapable of leading, of doing ANYTHING.

**So I’ve neglected writing about hockey that much on the blog lately because my New York Rangers have been so, well, mediocre. Which is why I’m completely baffled and amazed that the Blueshirts have scored 14 goals in their last two games. And Marian Gaborik didn’t score all of them, which is amazing. Now of course every team has goal-scoring spurts, but maybe, just maybe, the Rangers are turning things around.

Hell, the sports gods really are on my side this week.

**And oh yeah, four more days until Jets-Colts for the right to go to the Super Bowl. I don’t think I can wait that long, I may explode with excitement.

A night at the circus, and Favre channels his inner “American Idol.”

As part of my Christmas present to Julie, I took her to the circus Saturday night. We’re big circus fans in my house. We went five years ago to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey show in Albany, and I figured it was time to go again.

You never have a bad time at the circus, do you? At least I don’t. Some random thoughts from a fun evening in Orlando:

— As an adult, I find the circus a visual assault on my senses; there’s so much to look at at once, so much to take in. How can a 7-year-old brain possibly handle it? They can’t, that’s how. Most of the kids, as I looked around the arena, had a delighted yet glazed look on their face.

— Of all the things that make me say “How do they do that?” at the circus, the guys in the mini-motorcycles in that little cage wow me the most. I mean, they had 7 of them in there at one point, zooming around really fast and in a tiny space. How do they not kill each other?

— On that note, how many injuries do those guys and the acrobats and the tightrope walkers suffer while practicing all this stuff? I’ve got to think medical insurance for circus people is astronomically expensive. Maybe our government could get into that after this other health care bill thingy is dealt with.

— Do you think the costume designer for the circus performers is ever told, “No, not that. It’s too shiny and sparkly.”

— There was one act that freaked me out, when they had something called the “Bionic Benders,” a man and woman who like bent their bodies in grotesque fashion. Totally disgusted me.

— Finally, I was thinking of how the circus is like baseball. You start out at the smaller ones, the local and regional circuses, where you learn how to play to the crowd and do something cool to be a part of the show. Then you work your way up, hoping to get a shot at the majors, and then one day you’re good enough for Ringling Bros. It’s got to be like getting called up to the big leagues, right? I have to believe when you’re at that level, it’s so rewarding. All the bumps and bruises, all the travel, everything is worth it, because you’re in the best circus in America.

**So, because I’m still kind of flying high after Sunday, a little fun review:

***OK, so have you heard that “Pants on the Ground” song that the old guy did on “American Idol” last week? Of course you have, I have a very hip readership.

Anyway, well, that noted cool guy Brett Favre started singing it after the Minnesota Vikings win Sunday. Pretty damn funny, if you ask me:

Pinch me, the Jets are 60 minutes from the Super Bowl. And some Golden Globes thoughts

I have resided in sports nirvana just once before. It was on June 14, 1994, when something I never thought would happen in my lifetime occurred: The New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup.

I never thought a moment in sports could ever make me that happy again.

Dear readers,  the professional football team I root for is 60 minutes away from giving me that feeling again.

Unbelievably, improbably, ridiculously, the New York freaking Jets, a team that couldn’t beat the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Buffalo Bills earlier this season, won their second straight playoff game on the road Sunday.

They beat the San Diego Chargers, a team many thought had too much offense, too many weapons, and too strong a pass rush.

But by God, the Jets did it the way they’ve done it the last seven weeks: Pound the ball with the running game, play excellent defense, hang around, hang hang around, make a few passing plays with our rookie QB Mark Sanchez, and then put the game away in the fourth quarter.

I mean, this game unfolded exactly as the Jets hoped it would. They didn’t do much early, but they kept the game reasonable (7-0 at halftime).

They got some tremendous breaks, yes, as Nate Kaeding, who just never misses against other teams, melted down and missed 3 field goals (although 1 was from 57 yards, which wasn’t his fault), but were 40 yards or less.

But the Jets earned this win every which way, and I cannot tell you how excited I am that they’ve got a shot next Sunday in Indianapolis, to go the Super Bowl.

God, just saying it gives me goosebumps.

Some ruminations from today’s 17-14 win:

— Rex Ryan, God bless you, you’re the Jets coach I’ve been waiting my whole life for. Not just because you’re smart and funny and know what you’re doing, but because today, and always, you don’t play not to lose, you play to win. Fourth and 1, at the Chargers 28, up 17-14, little over a minute to go.

EVERY other Jets coach in my lifetime either kicks the field goal there, which makes it 20-14, but gives San Diego the ball back with a (slight) chance to win, or even worse, punts it, to try to pin the Chargers deep.

But Rex said, nope, I trust my line, I trust my running back (Thomas Jones), and dammit, we’re not giving them the ball back. And the Jets got the first down,( with me on my knees, on the floor of Houligan’s, with my hands clasped). Game over. Fantastic. A coach with balls.

–What a tremendous game by the Jets defense. They got just enough pressure on Philip Rivers to rattle him a little, and the Chargers’ run game was totally shut down, and Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates were held pretty well in check (though Gates did make a sick catch in the first half). You hold the Chargers to 7 points through 3 1/2 quarters, that’s damn impressive.

— Sad to see LaDainian Tomlinson a shell of his former self. Man, did he get old.

— Lot of people criticized the Jets for trading up to get Shonn Greene in the draft last April. Not hearing those people now. How about the strength of this kid, to run through tackles on his way to the end zone in the fourth quarter?

— Darrelle Revis, that interception in the fourth quarter was spectacular. Just spectacular. And Mike DeVito, the nose tackle no one talks about, had a fantastic game pressuring Rivers.

— Can’t say enough about the Jets’ offensive line. Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Damien Woody, Brandon Moore, and Alan Faneca did such a great job run-blocking, and protecting Sanchez today.– Rich Cimini of the Daily News said this was the Jets’ biggest upset win since Super Bowl III. Hard to argue.

—Man the Chargers totally lost their poise Sunday. Stupid penalties after the whistle, Vincent Jackson kicking the challenge flag and taking a 15-yarder? Just stupid.

— I’m sure Norv Turner will get criticized for the onside kick attempt with just more than two minutes left, but I thought it was the right call. Ah, Norv. So good to see you on the other sideline.

–Finally, there’s this: Everything is going right for the Jets the last four weeks. Everything. Why won’t it continue? Especially with the Super Bowl just 240 miles from my home?

This week, I’m going to honestly think about how much I’d be willing to spend on Super Bowl tickets. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be doing that this year.

What a country, America.

**OK, some quick thoughts on the Golden Globes, since this post is running way too long:

— Thought most of the big awards went to the right people; was thrilled to see Toni Collette rewarded for the underappreciated “United States of Tara” on Showtime (seriously, check it out on DVD if you can, it’s a great show), and equally thrilled that “Glee” won for best musical or comedy (though “Modern Family” getting a win would’ve thrilled me, too.)

— Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men,” wow, that was quite a dress.

–Robert Downey Jr.’s speech was very funny.

— Did James Cameron look like a guy who had just signed the Declaration of Independence, or what? Seriously, he was channeling John Adams or something.

— Sorry to see Jane Lynch from “Glee” not win, though Chloe Sevigny is awesome in “Big Love.” So glad to see good TV getting rewarded.

The New York Jets can win today. Seriously. But they won’t. And that Manning kid is pretty good

It’s extremely rare I get to watch the Jets in the AFC Divisional playoffs, but today will be the third time in the last eight years.

Which for this woeful franchise, qualifies the past decade as almost a dynasty.

In 2002 the Jets went to Oakland, had a tremendous roll going with a young quarterback named Chad Pennington, and got their doors blown off by Rich Gannon (Delaware Blue Hen!) and his friends.

Three years later came one of the most agonizing losses of my Jets lifetime. Doug Brien misses two late field goals, including one that would’ve won the game, and the Jets lose to Pittsburgh on the road, 20-17.

Today could be the day. All week I’ve been reading and hearing that my beloved Gang Green have a chance.

Here are the ways it can happen:

— The Chargers can’t run the ball, so the Jets No.1-ranked defense stuffs the rushing game, then harass QB Phillip Rivers into some interceptions and sack him a bunch.

— Darrelle Revis, the Jets’ awesome cornerback, shuts down Vincent Jackson of the Bolts.

— Mark Sanchez makes a few big plays, and the Jets running game, led by Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene, gashes a bad San Diego run defense.

— Chargers coach Norv Turner, last seen advising Napoleon that Waterloo “would be a piece of cake, no problem” could do something monumentally stupid and cause his team to lose. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

Look, this can happen. I’m not deluding myself, nor were the other writers, pundits and friends who I talked to or read this week. It’s entirely possible I’m going to be going out of my mind with joy around 8 p.m. tonight, as the Jets would be one game away from the Super Bowl (and believe me, if the Jets get to the Super Bowl, I will be there. I don’t care how much it costs.)

But I just don’t think it will. San Diego is really, really good. Rivers is a sensational quarterback on a wonderful, and the Chargers have too many weapons on offense.

I think my boys will keep it close, and it’ll be something like 20-13 going into the fourth quarter, and I’ll be walking around Houligan’s bar telling everyone the Jets are in it, they’ve got a shot, and talking myself into it, too.

But I just don’t think my boy Sanchez is ready to win this one yet.

And by the way, if you’re a Jets fan and that video above didn’t get you fired up, you might not be alive.

Final prediction: Chargers 23, Jets 16. And a hell of an entertaining season for my Jets.

***Couple thoughts on the two NFL games Saturday:

–Arizona gave up 90 points in two playoff games this year. NINETY! Hard to do.

— Another sign of Peyton Manning’s greatness: Twice Saturday when he was about to get hammered, he went down himself and saved himself the punishment. As Joe Theismann once said, you don’t have to be a genius like “Norman Einstein” to play this game.

But it helps.

The brilliant, now tragic writing of Roger Ebert, and the last decade in 2 minutes

**So, have you heard the New York Jets are playing this Sunday? Hmm, slipped my mind.

So if you only know Roger Ebert from his old television show with Gene Siskel, then you don’t know Ebert at all.

The man has been a fantastic critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for more than three decades. His reviews are incisive,

often hilarious, and sometimes poignant. His best reviews are, of course, of the movies that are truly wretched. Check out his review here of “Transformers 2.” The opening paragraph says it all:

“If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.”

Anyway, Ebert’s a true giant of film criticism, and of newspaper writing in general. Tragically, he’s had some major health problems over the past few years, including a major stroke. His health has detoriated now to the point where not only can he not talk, he can’t drink, or eat food.

Still, his mind is working perfectly, and on his blog recently he wrote this beautiful elegy of what he’s missing, and how happy he is to still have his memories. He paints such vivid word pictures in his prose. It’s really a wonderful piece; check it out here.

**So as I’ve said before I’m a sucker for all of those “end of year” and “end of decade” things, and I thought I was all done with that now that we’re in mid-January.

But this, well, this was so damn cool. The American Society of Magazine Editors and the Magazine Publishers of America created this ad, showing the last 10 years through 92 magazine covers. It’s bloody brilliant. Enjoy.

Pat Robertson is bat-shit crazy, Lane Kiffin’s just a fool, and a wonderful Bree McMahon story

I’m not going to hit you with pictures of the devastation in Haiti on my blog today. God knows, if you’re alive in this country you’ve seen the unspeakable horror, and I’m sure you feel as helpless as I do. Giving money to a cause never felt so hollow as when Julie and I donated tonight; when there is such incredible devastation and loss of life, everything you do feels like a pebble in the ocean.

No, I’m not going to hit you with pictures of Haiti. Instead, a brief moment of rage about Pat Robertson. If you haven’t heard by now, this is what Robertson, the 1,000-year-old televangelist, had to say about this week’s horrific earthquake:

“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French … and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French. And the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’ Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another.

Forget, for a minute, the absolute cruelty and insensitivity of that statement. Forget just how unbelievably stupid and senseless this makes Robertson sound.

My question is this: This was a major headline on all the news sites I looked at Wednesday and Thursday. What I want to know is: Why? Why do the media still treat Pat Robertson like he’s someone important? Are there millions who still look up to him and worship him? Why does he continue to get a platform to spew such hatred and venom?

I mean seriously, if the cameras and notebooks went away, he’d just be the bat-shit crazy guy yelling at people on a street-corner.

**Speaking of men I love, how ’bout that Lane Kiffin, eh? The University of Tenness … oops, sorry, I mean the University of Southern California coach has done what I thought was impossible: Despise him even more. The man who put the smug in “smugness” and the ass in … well, you know, spent the last 14 months spewing all kinds of fire and brimstone bout how wonderful Tennessee is, making all kinds of accusations about rivals that of course were untrue, getting caught by the NCAA for all kinds of minor violations, well, he up and left after just one season.

Contract, schmontract. Loyalty, schmoyalty. This guy was a schmuck before all this happened; (just check out this SI story from last year) now, he stands out as a scumbag among the vast legions of similar-behaving scumbags who came before him (see Saban, Nick, and Petrino, Bobby for example).

Let’s see how this USC thing works out: A guy who already has a track record for playing fast and loose with the rules, going to a place that’s about to get heavily sanctioned by the NCAA for Reggie Bush-related crimes.

Sounds like a marriage made in heaven.

***And now, a wonderfully positive story:

So if you read this blog regularly you might remember my telling the inspirational story of Freedom High School (Orlando, Fla.) girls soccer player Bree McMahon. (The original posts are here, here, and here.) In September the teenager was crushed by a car in a freak accident while helping her team raise money at a car wash. McMahon had to have one leg amputated, and suffered numerous other injuries.

Well, McMahon’s Freedom High team had its Senior night game Wednesday night, and even though it was quite painful for her to do so, Bree got out of her wheelchair and walked across the field, to the cheers of the crowd.

It was a beautiful moment. I wish I could’ve been there. The Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi was, and he wrote a great column about it.

Way to go Bree!

The sad tale of John and Elizabeth, and a whole lotta “Big Love.”

You could say I asked for it, the utter and complete disappointment I felt at the collapse of John Edwards.

I bought in completely back in 2003, even though I knew most politicians are phonies, that they tell you what they want to hear, and that they’re not worth the physical and emotional investment people like me, the true believers, invest in them.

But still, just because I knew it could end badly, and maybe I was naive when I spent months volunteering for him in New Hampshire and New York in the winter of 2003-04, doesn’t make it any less sad, as over the past year the real John Edwards has been revealed.

The shallow, egomaniacal, out-of-control philanderer who keeps on being exposed, the latest evidence coming in this excerpt from a new book about the 2008 campaign just out, “Game Change.”

If you follow politics, you probably know by now that John comes off like an awful person in the book; forget just the cheating on his wife, he’s seen as a tyrannical, obsessed human being who lusted for power like I lust for chocolate chip cookies.

What’s more surprising is Elizabeth, who up till now had a sparkling reputation, comes off in the book as a fairly evil shrew. Screaming at staffers that “none of you get health care coverage until John and I do,” going on wild behavioral mood swings, and often acting like a total jerk. It’s so at odds with her public reputation that my first reaction to all these revelations was “No, that can’t be true.”

But it is, presumably, and a man I once felt so certain was going to be our next President, a man whose 2004 campaign I put my heart and soul into, is revealed yet again to be just another lying, scheming politician.

I don’t think watching Edwards’ downfall has made me more cautious about believing in politicians, nor has it shaken my belief that all of the ideas and principal points he was making while running for President were correct.

I still believe in what he preached out on the stump.

Sometimes, the message has to outlive the man. I’m waiting for someone else with a chance at power to talk about the extreme poverty in this country that no one wants to confront. Someone else to talk about the “Two Americas,” and all the other issues John Edwards championed.

Someone will pick up that mantle. The man and his wife have been disgraced, but the message must live on, for someone else to grab onto, and lift up so many who want to believe.

**So as usual I’m a few days late on this, but the new season of “Big Love” started on HBO Sunday, and I’m quite happy. I love this show, have loved it from the start, even though each season the storylines and the characters get more and more ridiculous.

Still, a great start to the season in the first episode, I thought. I’m glad that damn casino they’ve been talking about forever is finally open, and I’m also glad Roman Grant is finally dead, because man, if he was somehow alive after being strangled by Joey at the end of last season, I was done with the show for sure.

The acting was typically great; I can never decide if Margene or Nikki is my favorite wife. And Albie, oh Albie, you know better than to go cruising for a quickie in a public park!

Can’t wait to see where they go next with the story; poor Bill always seems so overwhelmed each episode, I’m thinking he has to have a breakdown at some point.

Until he does, though, the show is great fun.

The lunacy of “Avatar” depression, a few words about Braylon, and an original wedding proposal

So I’ve thought for years that we’d just about run out of fake reasons for people to claim they’re sick.

But nope, every year, we get more and more “fake” illnesses and bullshit medical conditions that seem to afflict so many of our citizens.

Now my friends, we’ve got something called the “Avatar” blues, wherein people who see James Cameron’s epic movie leave the theatre and are seriously depressed for weeks afterward, because the reality of life on Earth can’t match the wonder that is Pandora (the planet in the movie.)

According to this CNN story, thousands of people have logged onto “Avatar” fan sites to deal with their depression, and some have had near-suicidal thoughts:

“Ever since I went to see ‘Avatar’ I have been depressed,” said a user named Mike. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it,” Mike posted. “I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in ‘Avatar.”

To which my response is: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It’s a movie, people! A movie! This is driving you to depression, that you can’t live in this world???

Look, when I was little I saw “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and I desperately wanted to go live in the factory. But after a few minutes I knew it was fake and I got on with my life!!!

Ugh. Just makes me mad.

***On a less-depressing note, New York Jets receiver Braylon Edwards was in a Cleveland court Tuesday, and received a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Of course, when our man Braylon was handed the sentence by the judge, he dropped it.

(Braylon, sweetheart, you’ve got to make a big play this week against the Chargers! We need you!)

I’m pretty sure she said yes:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

My “Jersey Shore” dilemma, Mom’s new word, and the most hysterical sports announcer ever

Here at Wide World of Stuff, I often wrestle with the pressing issues of our time:

Is America a country that tortures innocent suspects? What can we do to solve the hunger problem in the world?

And of course: “Jersey Shore.” Do I watch or do I ignore?

It’s that last one that’s roiled my wife and I the last few days. By now I’m sure you know all about the train-wreck television show that is “Jersey Shore,” MTV’s latest and apparently, most offensive reality show. From what I’ve gathered, a bunch of Italian 20-somethings live in a house in on the New Jersey Shore and get into adventures and drama.

I’ve heard nothing but horrible things. My friend and co-worker Casey, who watches some of the best and worst TV of anyone I know, told me that “after I watch Jersey Shore, I just feel bad about myself, and human beings in general.”

Others have said it’s so bad, it’s good. I’ve read it called “the most offensive show ever” Still others have urged me to stay far, far, away, and never look back.

Still, I wonder. I occasionally love good train-wreck television. I watched an entire season of “The Two Coreys,” because dammit, Feldman and Haim were awesome in the 1980s. I even gave “Outsider’s Inn” a few episodes; that was the remarkably bad CMT show where Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady), Chynna Phillips and Bobby Brown ran an inn in Tennessee (and for the record, hilarity did not ensue).

But this “Jersey Shore” thing, well, I just don’t know. Do I want to watch a show with people named “J-Woww” and one who calls his body “The Situation?” Will it offend me, or weirdly fascinate me, sucking me into its vortex?

Help me out, dear readers. My remote control is in your hands.

***So I’m not sure what this means for my Mom, the Democratic Party, or the world, but the other day when talking about health care reform, and the compromises that are being made in Washington, my sweet mother called the Democrats in Congress “pansies.”

My mother has never used that word before. I didn’t even know it was in her vocabulary.

I’m a little frightened, frankly. Those Democrats better shape up, or she’ll break out the really big snaps.

**Finally, all of you who think Gus Johnson and Kevin Harlan have set the standard for hysterical sports announcing, I’ve got a guy who blows them away. He’s calling an Italian League soccer game, and the team he’s clearly rooting for, Inter Milan, scores two goals in the final minutes to win. It really gets good about :26 in, and the shot at 2:18 just kills me.