Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

TACO COUNT

Pigpen: 15
Tondar: 14
Brado: 13

And now we die.

It's funny how sometimes you can walk in and eat 20 with no problem and other times it's a struggle to choke down 13. This just proves we have a lot to learn about the science behind all you can eat.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

NEW YORK IT IS

In case you are wondering what ole Tondar has been up to these days, I am no longer working in Malebolge. I quit my job last Friday and I will be moving on to look for work as a paralegal in New York. I just got done booking my ticket online so it is finally official. No more will there be stories of poor people crying because I won't let them cheat the tax payers. I have to admit I'm not going to miss them nor their moans of torment as their tears and blood drip down the walls and mix with the vomit on the floor to be devoured by worms. And most likely they won't miss my apathetic amusement at their miserable lives. Good luck with that Melvin Thornton (not the monkey).
SETH ON BRAYLON EDWARDS

"Braylon Edwards is coming back to Michigan.

Although he put us through some turns over the past two months, Michigan's star receiver announced today that he will be returning for his senior season.

I understand why he was considering taking the next step. With John Navarre out of eligibility, Edwards would be breaking in at best a sophomore quarterback (Matt Gutierrez) if not a freshman (Clayton Richard) or true freshman (Chad Henne). He had a banner year this season, which means he'd very likely get selected. There's also a relative dearth of receivers in the NFL who possess both his size and speed.

Edwards announced that he was considering going pro in October, rescinding a pre-season promise to come back. This happened at about the same time that Steve Breaston and Jason Avant began making names for themselves. I think when he made the original promise, Edwards was still high from getting the #1 jersey and thought he would be the go-to star that David Terrell and Marquise Walker had been before him. With Breaston and Avant emerging as star receivers, Edwards was very likely worrying about losing his spot on the team.

As with any player choosing to go pro, it means one more year earning NFL dollars ? at least $150,000 that otherwise wouldn't be in his bank account. Underclassmen, especially those at the skill positions and those who play in the tough tackling Big Ten, also have to worry about the possibility of injury. Look no further than Lee Evans, who came back for his senior season (2002) at Wisconsin only to sit out all year with a horrible leg injury.

Considering all of this, I still think Edwards made the right decision for himself despite my obvious bias in wanting the Wolverines to win next year.

Matt Gutierrez demonstrated in winning the back-up role this year that he's the heir apparent to Navarre's long-held throne. He'll need Edwards to pull him through his growing pains, much like what Walker did for Navarre. Also, with Chris Perry moving on, the Wolverines don't have a truly great running back. Even if he's competing with Avant, Breaston, and emerging tight-end Tim Massaquoi for throws, in the pass-happy offense we're likely to have next year, the guy with #1 on his jersey should still be a prime target. Carr still uses Edwards more than his other wideouts, especially on the star-making long ball. He's their go-to guy in the red-zone, which should equal more touchdowns for his stat column. My point is, Edwards still has a great chance of blowing his 2003 stats out of the water in 2004.

The Wolverines are not the odds-end favorites to return to the Rose Bowl next year, so the "unfinished business" argument doesn't necessarily apply. However, Edwards is only helping himself as a receiver by gunning for another Big Ten championship. Michigan's training staff are on par with just about any in the NFL so he's likely to improve as much if not more as a receiver by being the big man on campus rather than the bench warmer in the big city.

As for the Lee Evans factor, it's important to remember that Evans did get his senior season. The NCAA gave him a medical redshirt and he took full advantage of it this year. Think about it; the man is right up there with Brett Favre and the Laughing Cow in Wisconsin heroes. Had he gone pro after the 2001 season, he'd at best be the Packer's third or fourth split end (chosen at #20 overall instead of Javon Walker).

Which brings us to the draft ? a major reason for sticking around one more season. Edwards is a talented receiver, but this year's draft is loaded at the position. If anyone needs a first or second round receiver, there's Evans, Pittsburgh's Larry Fitzgerald, Texas' Roy Williams, Washington's Reggie Williams, Oklahoma's Mark Clayton, Oklahoma State's Rashaun Woods, LSU's Michael Clayton, Miami (Ohio)'s Martin Nance, California's Geoff McArthur (if he goes pro), Kansas State's James Terry, and Purdue's John Standeford. Looking to next year, the 2005 draft right now would only have USC's Mike Williams ahead of Edwards. That's a difference between the 1st and 3rd round, which translates into a $3 million per year contract or a $250,000 rookie contract.

Finally, there's still a modicum of growing that Braylon needs to accomplish before hitting the NFL. He has great hands, but still drops some passes that he shouldn't. I also think that he needs to protect the ball better when he has it. I know he didn't fumble much this year but if you watch how he's carrying the ball after catching it, you can see that an NFL linebacker should be able to knock it loose, even if a Big Ten defender can't.

I'm sure his family played a role in the decision. Edwards' father played football for Michigan, graduating with a degree in the 1970s, and told media sources often enough that he hoped Braylon would do the same.

As for the star receiver himself, I think the decision was a very classy act considering that Carr gave him the coveted #1 jersey at the beginning of the season. The number that was worn by Anthony Carter, Derrick Alexander, and David Terrell isn't one cast off after only a season. The tradition was certainly meaningful to Edwards; he's the one who asked for the opportunity to earn it.

Anyway, this analysis is a bit post-hoc considering today's announcement, but I wanted to weigh in when I heard the news. Welcome back, Braylon, and Go Blue!"
SETH ON THE DEMOCRATS

"It may not be the reality of the situation, but it does say something about the Democratic consciousness.

Dean's leading the pack.
Clark is gaining.

One good way to identify which candidates are worth watching is to see who's getting attacked. Case in point: since Dean started pulling ahead, ol' Tondar has been spitting out anti-Dean text on his website at roughly the same rate that American troops are dying in Iraq.

So Dean is leading.
Clark is gaining.

Look closely at the candidates; now think about who the Democrats consider their dream president.

What I think we're seeing is the real-life dual of the former President Bill Clinton and fictional oval office luminary Jed Bartlett.

Like I said before, Dean is the West Wing benefactor. Like the fictional President Bartlett, Dean is an intellectual, New England Democrat with ties to medicine; a political outsider who has the ability to tap into the Party's and the nation's disgust with the arrogant and unsuccessful Bush administration.

As for Clark, there's been no hiding the fact that he wants to be the Clinton choice. There's been a strong sense among Democrats for the past four years that if Clinton were in office rather than Bush, the economy and the world wouldn't be in as bad a shape as it's become. Clark comes from Clinton's home state of Arkansas and out of the contenders for the 2004 presidency, he posesses the best pedigree on foreign relations.

So here you have a paradox; the two penultimate Democratic leaders have come alive in the '04 nomination race. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see which one eventually wins the heart of the Party."

It's an interesting theory but may I make the point that the Daily Rant has not been going after Dean alone. The two articles below provide another angle and take a behind the scenes look at Dean. If anything Buchanan praises Dean by comparing him to Goldwater. Seth may be right in his West Wing analysis but read the Rant before you make your hasty generalizations. The only candidate I have been going after is Kucinich for not getting out of the race.