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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 03:11 pm:   

Actually, six games tomorrow.

Lucius 225
AI 184
Jeff F 180
Jeff V 168 -- 12
John P 160
Dave -- 142 -- 6
Darren 157
Minz -- 144
JK 133
Forrest 132
Lynn 118
JOSH 82
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 04:17 pm:   

Lucius 225
AI 184
Jeff F 180
Jeff V 168
John P 160
Darren 157
Minz 144
Dave -- 142
JK 133
Forrest 132
Lynn 118
JOSH 82
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John Klima
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 05:36 pm:   

As long as I beat Forrest....

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 05:43 pm:   

I expect many feel that way. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 06:23 am:   

Big points today, my biggest expenditures 27 on Va Tech and 25 on the Badgers (what was I thinking?), the other games not so much. The others, small points. TT, Fla, and Ga (3). Good luck.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 06:40 am:   

Oh, yeah...OSU, for 5
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 06:51 am:   

Oops. Just looked at my list. I picked Bama. Another case of what was I thinking.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 08:48 am:   

Actually, I don't think I can win it this year. Are there enough points left? Well . . . I can still drag a few of you down with me. Mwahahaha!!!

25 on the BADgers, Lucius? Uh - I don't even know what to say.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 09:14 am:   

I felt I'd be in the lead by now, and so it was incumbent upon me to give everyone a shot. :-)

You can say, Go BADgers!
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Darren S.
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 09:56 am:   

I like the way Bama's D is playing, knock knock knock on wood.
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jeff ford
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:02 am:   

Just got down to looking things over. Iowa is blowing. Texas Tech is blowing. Louisville is ahead, but for how long? God save the souls of my miserable picks. It's gonna be a long day.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:11 am:   

Yeah, I've given up hope, Jeff.

GO BUCKY!!
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:36 am:   

Wow. My BADgers are looking good so far.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:42 am:   

Really good.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:56 am:   

Now they your badgers!!! :-)
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 11:37 am:   

They were always my BADgers, I just thought Auburn was the better team, hence my pick. This is a really surprising game. Not over yet, but if the second half is a repeat performance, we're in good shape.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 11:41 am:   

Should have put your money where your mouth was. :-)
I had a feeling it would be a good game.
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Darren S.
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 11:47 am:   

Bama takes it. Only 3 points, but my Tide finally fixed their offensive line problems. Whew.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 12:01 pm:   

Includes both Cotton and Iowa-Fla

Lucius 239
AI 189
Jeff F 186
Jeff V 181
Darren 180
Dave 176
John P 160
JK 158
Minz 157
Lynn 150
Forrest 132
JOSH 83
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Darren S.
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 12:13 pm:   

Hey, Lucius, I think I should be at 182, with 25 points on those two games. I need every point I can get.:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 12:50 pm:   

Sorry, Darren....

Lucius 239
AI 189
Jeff F 186
Darren 182
Jeff V 181
Dave 176
John P 160
JK 158
Minz 157
Lynn 150
Forrest 132
JOSH 83
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 01:28 pm:   

Lucius 266
AI 209
Darren 200
Dave 200
Jeff F 186 (19)
JK 186
John P 184
Jeff V 183
Minz 182
Lynn 174
Forrest 155
JOSH 105

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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 01:33 pm:   

And including Wisc....

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lucius 291
AI 209
Darren 200
Dave 200
Jeff F 198
JK 186
Lynn 184
John P 184
Jeff V 183
Minz 183
Forrest 155
JOSH 105
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 01:45 pm:   

The BADgers have driven me into ignominy. And I don't care!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 01:52 pm:   

:-)
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John Picacio
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 02:15 pm:   

Hey, Lucius --

I've been out all day and I'm just now getting caught up with the scores. Damn. I'm 2 out of 4 for today's games, so far. Lost bad with Iowa and Auburn. Still got the Fiesta and the Sugar to go.

Looks to me like I started today at 160, and you gave me my 24 for Va Tech, but I think you forgot my 14 points for Bama in the Cotton. So I should now have a total of 198 (before the Fiesta and Cotton).

I may be jumping the gun and you may be in the middle of adjusting tallies. So if so, apologies from me to you.

Damn. Notre Dame just scored first in the Fiesta. C'mon, Buckeyes!!

Thanks, Lucius!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 02:22 pm:   

I forgot...lot of games.

Lucius 291
AI 209
Darren 200
Dave 200
Jeff F 198
John P 198
JK 186
Lynn 184
Jeff V 183
Minz 183
Forrest 155
JOSH 105
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 05:18 pm:   

Listening to Brent Musberger almost makes me hate football.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 05:49 pm:   

Lucius 296
AI 230
Jeff F 216
John P 215
Darren 201
Dave 200
Jeff V 200
Minz 198
JK 192
Lynn 184
Forrest 169
JOSH 105
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 06:36 pm:   

How about them dawgs. I felt weird about three games at the end. The Wisc, WVU and PSU. Thought the favorites were either way overrated or the dogs were way underrated. Maybe that's true of Texas as well. Maybe the locus of power is shifting...
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John Picacio
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 06:47 pm:   

Did you go WVU, Lucius?

I thought about it, but went against. Damn, shoulda listened to my Spidey-sense....

Georgia is getting murdered, and thus I am. Damn, WVU scores again. Holy crap. 28-0, WVU.

Well, at least the Buckeyes won. Looks like I'm gonna end up 3 of 6 today. Oh well. Two more after this one!

BTW....yeah, amen. Musberger sucks.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 07:08 pm:   

Don't get me started on Musberger. Most appropriately named play caller ever.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 07:09 pm:   

I thought about it, but I just went GA low, for three. I went low on FSU and SC, too. The only one of my feelings I listened to closely was this squeaky little Badger voice that kept going, Hey...Hey, Lucius.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 07:12 pm:   

Actually, UGA's coming back now.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 07:16 pm:   

If I knew the BADger defense was going to be half as good as it was, I might've gone with my alma mater. I didn't know they were even capable of being that dominant against a team like Auburn. What happened?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 07:54 pm:   

I think it's a case of overconfidence, etc. I do think Auburn's a better team by a bit, but they were walking tall after destroying Georgia and Wisc played the Barry card and emotion plays so big in these games. All the top conferences have athletes, and a little edge is all you need, and in a game like this, once it starts going downhill, it's hard to get things righted. We saw this earlier in the day, but there the talent gap was just too wide. Plus I do believe that Auburn is overrated -- this is not last years Tigers. LSU is not 37 points better than Miami, etc. I won't take Miami in a bowl game for money until they get rid of Coker. So it's just a combination of factors.
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John Picacio
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 09:43 pm:   

Hey, Lucius --

Your thoughts on the firing of all those Miami coaches? A step in the right direction or just a bandaid move, in your opinion? I figure you're not satisfied until there's no more Coker, but I was wondering what your thoughts are on that news...
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 09:54 pm:   

I guess it's good, as long as Coker hires good people and lets himself become an emeritus figure; but what they really need is a innovative young coach to jump the recruiting.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 09:57 pm:   

Lynn rules the night....

Lucius 296 (3)
AI 230 (19)
Jeff F 216 (3)
John P 215 (16)
Darren 201 (24)
Dave 200 (19)
Jeff V 200 (24)
Minz 198 (12)
Lynn 196
JK 192 (6)
Forrest 169 (24)
JOSH 105 (11)
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jeff ford
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:03 pm:   

Lucius: I'll tell Lynn she was the only one with WV. She actually won a couple today. Meanwhile, I took a huge bath on these five stinkers, only coming up with like one ten point game. Picacio is breathing down my neck and Alex put distance between us, and you're out of sight. All and all a shit day in the trenches. Onward!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:08 pm:   

You may not have noticed, but I've won the pool. Nobody has enough points in reserve to catch up. Instead of sending the books and stuff to the second-place winner, I'd like you to send them to me. There's a local chariity that runs a bookstore that benefits kids with cancer to which I give a lot of copies of my books, so I thought I might do the same with your books.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:17 pm:   

Hey, Jeff -- yeah, kudos to Lynn. She did good. As for you, you need a new chicken. But there will be other seasons, other fowls....
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Darren S.
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:19 pm:   

Will do, Lucius. Nice to know they'll be going to such good use. Congrats to you. You've been a gracious if dominating host.;)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:27 pm:   

Thanks, Darren. But for that midseason slump, you'd have been right in there. I wasn't that dominating the first two years, and I doubt I will be again. Though come to think of it, I do sorta rule. :-)
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jeff ford
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:47 pm:   

Lucius: Congrats on the picks, and I like your idea of donating the winnings to a good cause. Let's not dis the chicken just yet. Can I possibly finish second -- that's not bad for a totally randomly generated score card. With the way things are going , though, the chicken's day seem numbered. It was a lot of fun. Thanks for tallying and organizing.
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John Picacio
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 11:04 pm:   

Hey, Lucius --

Thanks for driving the bus and making this thing happen. It was a blast, man. Great fun all around. Congrats on winning the whole shebang. Dominant.

I was gonna congratulate you after I got home this afternoon and saw that I had lost two. I knew at that point that I had no mathematical chance to catch up, and it was gonna be up to AI and Jeff F. in all likelihood.

Congrats to Badger Nation and Gator Nation for their respective wins. (You know who you are....) Even though your victories cost me in the pool, I was happy to see you get the wins.

More tomorrow and then the Big One on Wednesday...
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 11:05 pm:   

Thanks, Jeff. I haven't looked at the points in reserve, but I think second is possible for you. It all depends on the NC game...as it should. And it is indeed good for a randomly generated deal. Goes to prove my point about this stuff. It ain't wisdom, it's what John calls the Spidey senses....
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 11:09 pm:   

Thanks, John... I can't believe it was the BADgers put me over the top; I thought they'd lose me the whole thing if I was in position to win, but hey...

Hook 'em, Horns!
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John Picacio
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 11:22 pm:   

Hey, Jeff --

In case you're wondering as far as points in reserve, I got Penn State tomorrow with 18 and then I put the house on Texas with 28 fat ones and a 38-24 final score over USC.

What can I say....I love my team and I love their chances....I'm tired of the hype....I'm ready for that game NOW! :-)
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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 05:59 am:   

John: Best of luck. It'll be a battle to the death for second place. The only thing I like about Texas is that some of my favorite people live there, otherwise... Who knows what Irvine has up his sleeve, so to speak. And Darren is still within striking distance. Shit, in fact, pretty much everybody on the list is probably within striking distance. The chicken stirs from a season long slumber and snaps its beak.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 06:10 am:   

John - I put all my money on Texas too. Wednesday will be a special night.

As for the pool, I'm just glad I finally managed to break 100. Rough picking year for me. Guess I need to look into this chicken thing...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 07:09 am:   

Try Ford's Rent-a-Chicken in Tumway, New Jersey or, in Manhattan, The Occult Fowl. :-)

You almost won last year. That's just the way these things go.
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Alex
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 07:23 am:   

I'm just glad I made the trip to New Jersey so I could steal Jeff's chicken and replace it with the slightly inferior Beta Chicken.
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Forrest
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 10:09 am:   

Lucius, thanks for running things again this year. Glad to know the books will go to a good cause.

Any chance I can beat Klima? :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 10:27 am:   

Actually, Forrest...no. :-( You both have PSU and FSU for approx the same points. Sorry.

Alex, you and Jeff have yet to prove whose chicken is superior. Is that a metaphor?

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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 10:28 am:   

I meant PSU and SC
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Alex
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 10:51 am:   

I am confident in my chicken, which is to say that I am confident in Jeff's previous chicken.

The above statement may or may not be figurative.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 11:39 am:   

We'll analyze and get back to you.
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minz
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 01:56 pm:   

Sorry I was offline while visiting family in Wisconsin. Wish I could've contributed more to the chatter.

First and foremost, thanks for the work, Lucius. Second, congrats on the big win.

As for the Badgers, I liked the matchup all along. The teams that gave the Badgers trouble were spread offenses and/or teams with mobile qbs, Auburn had neither. They're like Michigan, but with a worse qb.

And I came out ahead by taking them and the points. Wish I would've bet even up, but the odds weren't that great, so I went with the points instead. Still, a profitable and pleasing win, and a damn fine way to end Barry's career.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 02:09 pm:   

Thanks, Jim. I liked the points too. But for slightly different reasons. Hope you had a great Xmas.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 04:57 pm:   

I go away for four days and look what happens...At least the Gators won and Notre Dame didn't!!!

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 06:44 pm:   

You gotta keep your finger on the pulse. Yeah, the Gators looked right good.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 10:03 pm:   

Lucius 296 -- 1
AI 248
Jeff F 244
Darren 238
John P 233
Minz 225
Jeff V 223
Dave 221
JK 215
Forrest 207
Lynn 196 -- 8
JOSH 132
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John Picacio
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 10:03 pm:   

Wow. What a game.

Freaking kickers.....

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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 11:09 pm:   

Boy, yeah, they busted some heads...and legs...and everything else.
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Darren S.
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 06:25 am:   

Hey, Lucius, check mine again if you would. I hate it, but I should be at 228 instead of 238.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 06:44 am:   

oops...

Lucius 296 -- 1
AI 248
Jeff F 244
John P 233
Darren 228
Minz 225
Jeff V 223
Dave 221
JK 215
Forrest 207
Lynn 196 -- 8
JOSH 132
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 06:48 am:   

I just saw a Sportscenter piece that incorporared strings playing over a Reggie Bush highlight film while Marcus Allen recited the entire Kipling poem that begins, "If you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs..." and ends "...you'll be a man, my son."

I so want Texas to win!
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 07:12 am:   

Lucius: I was out all day yesterday and didn't get back till 2 am. Lynn told me the Penn State game went into triple overtime and was crazy. Did you post the scores from that game yet? Cause I don't think I had Penn State, but I know she did for like 20 something points. Just was wondering if you caught that one. Sorry I missed it. Lynn is cursing us now because she's hooked on watching college bowl games.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 07:43 am:   

Jeff, I got the two of you mixed up. Sorry. I was sleepy when I did the scores. It was a great game. Lynn leaps into sixth place. She can quit cursing.... :-)

Lucius 296 -- 1
AI 248
John P 233
Darren 228
Minz 225
Lynn 224
Jeff V 223
Dave 221
Jeff f 216 - 8
JK 215
Forrest 207
JOSH 132
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 08:23 am:   

Only seven points separate positions 4-8. Is there the possibility of breaking this logjam, or does everyone have pretty much the same winner/pt value? If John P. has seven or less riding on it, could I still medal?
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John Picacio
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:22 am:   

RE: "I so want Texas to win!" ....that's the spirit, Lucius!!!

RE: the Kipling/Marcus Allen piece....hilarious. ESPN is a laughing stock. I didn't see the piece, and I probably won't since I'm not turning on the TV until 7pm CST tonight. No ESPN, no more hype, no nothing. I'm ready to get this thing on. T-minus 8 hours, 13 minutes....

RE: the pool....wow, look at how bunched up everyone is. If Texas wins tonight, I finish no worst than a very respectable 3rd, and I party until the wee hours of the morning. If the condoms win, I turn off my TV for the next week lest I endlessly hear how a team who barely beat an average Fresno State team (needing every one of Bush's 513 yards to win) is the greatest college football team of all-time and I finish near the bottom with fellow Longhorn Josh. Gotta love it.....:-)

Things I like in Texas' favor:

1. The massive overhype for USC -- The overhype totally puts Texas in an "us against the world" mentality that takes a lot of pressure off. I think that's huge.

2. As mentioned above -- Chizik. Yeah, Pete Carroll is a great defensive coordinator, but with all of the Bush/Leinart love, Chizik is forgotten as a great defensive architect himself.

3. An O-line of upperclassmen and All-Americans...Blalock, Scott and Allen are all AP All-Americans and they're gonna play on Sundays. I think they wear down USC's d-line by the 4th quarter. Kasey Studdard is my favorite of the O-line. He's not as heralded, but has a mean streak that will come in handy tonight.

4. USC's offense is all-world this year, but their defense and special teams are not. Texas is better balanced in all three phases, all season long.

Enough with this.....I'm ready for this thing!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:36 am:   

Well, John...USC's defence is healthy for the first time this season, so we'll see. As for ESPN, the Allen piece is tapeworthy, I swear. You should catch it.

Dave, why take the suspense out of things? Let's just let it play out.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:49 am:   

Wait, they're still going to play the game??

I thought USC would be given the trophy by media default. I'm counting the minutes until this one starts!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 11:16 am:   

Actually, no. The Texicans have chosen the better part of valor and allowing a simulation to be shown instead of a real game, as was done with the moon landing.

:-)
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 04:39 pm:   

Just saw the Bush / Allen sob piece. Gag.

Twenty minutes 'till showtime. Hook 'em!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 05:36 pm:   

Oh-oh. Texas not real poised thusfar. But it's early.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 06:21 pm:   

Lateral? LATERAL? What the fuck was Reggie Bush thinking? He's a Heisman winner, not MAGIC.

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 07:33 pm:   

Neither team played very well. This is one overhyped game that's definitely not living up to its billing. Last year, the game between Tx and Mich was a lot more crisply played.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 08:16 pm:   

Now, in the second half, they're playing well. I smell overtime.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 08:21 pm:   

I don't see why Carroll keeps trying to run wide. He's got a whole lot going up the middle with White.
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 08:49 pm:   

john: i don't know how things will eventually shake out, but you were definitely right about the offensive line for texas. they're great.

the announcers were wetting themselves over the fact that bush jumped into the end zone, but i thought the more amazing thing was the precision with which he ran the sideline.

lucius: the way their trading touchdowns, it does look like ot.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 08:52 pm:   

Not no more. Lienert's had the quietest 300 yd game I've ever seen.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:21 pm:   

Lucius 296
John P 261
Alex 248
Darren 228
Minz 225
Lynn 224
Jeff V 223
Dave 221
Jeff f 216
JK 215
Forrest 207
JOSH 160
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:24 pm:   

Conga rats, John
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:31 pm:   

And THAT is why Vince should have won the Heisman.

WOOOOHOOOO!

I'll post more tomorrow when I can breathe again.
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:36 pm:   

Breathe, Josh, you gotta keep singin' all night and how you sposed to sing if you ain't breathin'?

Props to the Horns...what an awesome finish!
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John Picacio
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:37 pm:   

Thanks so much, Lucius!!!!

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm gonna fly thru the ceiling! I am so freaking happy right now I can barely type!!!!

More tomorrow!!!!!!

YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:44 pm:   

Those are the final standing, BTW. Thanks, everyone who participated. It was a lot of fun.
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Darren S.
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 10:07 pm:   

Wow, what a game. John and Josh, I was rooting all the way in spite of my 10 points for USC. Congrats on second, John. Well done.

Lucius, hope to do this again next year. So where do we send the goods to?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 10:16 pm:   

Email me and I'll send you my address.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 04:58 am:   

In your face Forrest! :-)

What a monster game. What a monster QB. Will he stay and try to win another national title, or will he go for the money now?

Lucius, where am I sending books to?

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 05:42 am:   

All right. Here's the address. 4105 Main St. #7, Vancouver WA 98663.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 06:15 am:   

Great game. A classic.

The only sour note was Leinart saying "I still think we're a better team"...Why did pretty boy have to go and say something like that? Have some class, man.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 06:21 am:   

John:

CONGRATS! Man, that was a thing of beauty, watching your quarterback play. Just beautiful.

And congrats Lucius for winning the pool.

JeffV
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John Picacio
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 07:56 am:   

I wanted to come in here a little earlier, but I'm working on a deadline this morning so I'm running late.

A few notes and observations about last night:

1. First, thanks, JV...thanks, Darren. I barely slept last night, and I'm beat tired, but so freaking euphoric right now.

2. Thanks again, Lucius, for bringing us all together for this pool. Your books are coming and congrats on being the King of the Pool again this year.

3. JK -- you asked if Vince is staying or going to the NFL....first of all, that was one of the greatest clutch performances I will ever see in my life....the way Vince played pretty much defines grace under pressure....to be down by two scores to the two-time defending champions on their home field, with their fans howling, with one of your defensive leaders breaking his arm on the previous series and your defense demoralized, and he just TOOK OVER....I don't have words for it. So back to the question, I obviously pray that Vince stays, but how can he??? I can't see it. He's never gonna be higher than he is right now, and his hometown team, the Houston Texans, have the #1 pick in the draft. But Houston's got David Carr already so that doesn't make sense on the surface, but stranger things have happened....I don't know, but I just can't see him staying when he just did what he just did....you can't go out any higher, and he comes from a broken family background with financial issues, so I think he's gone. Everyone at Texas will forever be grateful for what he's done here. But if he stays, WOW.....

4. Dave -- I heard those Leinart comments also, and I just rolled my eyes, but in his defense, he and Bush went to the Texas locker room after the game and personally offered props to the team themselves. Plus the comments were made in the heat of the moment after he had been told for an entire month that he was the QB of The Greatest Team in the History of College Football.

5. Which brings me to ESPN.....OK, I'll admit it....I've watched Sportscenter 5 times since last night....yeah, I want to see the highlights of my team win a game for the ages, but just as much I wanted to see guys like Chris Fowler and Mark May eat mad amounts of crow. Fowler looked defensive and disconsolate in the postgame after one month of hosting those stupid hypothetical countdown shows of USC vs. the best 11 teams in history. May was nowhere in sight unfortunately, but hopefully he'll wipe the Trojan mangravy off his smug chin the next time he gets in front of a camera. I could go on and on, but you guys have already kindly tolerated my rants about the ESPN hype job these last few days, so onward....

6. Back to JK's question for a second....I've been as big a Vince Young supporter as anyone since he arrived three years ago, but I think his delivery is gonna have to be completely retooled to work on the pro level. I just don't think that sidearm business will work over a long career. If he jumps to the NFL, he may be the Offensive Rookie of the Year if he gets into the right system, but he'll also have a year when he leads the league in interceptions (too low...he'll get tipped and intercepted at the d-line over and over), if he doesn't retool that delivery for the pros. That's a lot of work for an overall #1 pick, I think. I think Reggie Bush needs less work to succeed on the next level. If he gets a decent offensive line, he's ready to go. Vince has got surefire NFL Hall-of-Fame ability though if he refines his arm motion. His accuracy and arm strength are dynamite and he's shown cool and killer instinct on the biggest stage. The way I see it, if a guy with the much-lesser athletic ability of Tom Brady can win 3 Super Bowls, what could Vince do in the right NFL system? Wow. All I'm saying is I think Reggie Bush is still the #1 pick in the NFL Draft, even if Vince comes out this year.

7. Two or three years ago, after another crushing loss to Oklahoma, I was so ready to dump Mack Brown. I was tired of having so many great athletes and such horrible x&o's in the big games year after year. I gotta give credit to Lucius The Pigskin Prophet for saying the following to me (or words to this effect): Bobby Bowden and Mack Brown are not terrific x&o coaches, but they're crazy-good recruiters. Lucius said that when Bowden won his championship, the stars aligned and he had a crew of dynamite assistant coaches and good senior leaders and bluechippers and it made up for Bowden's coaching shortcomings. His point was, if Bowden could do it, it could very well happen for Mack at Texas. And as it turns out, Lucius was dead right. That's exactly what happened this year. Great assistant coaches and Vince Young's headiness and leadership overcame Mack's tight sphincter. He may even be a better coaching leader now because now he's seen what it takes to get there. We'll see. So props to the almighty Prophet Lucius....

I gotta get back to work here, but yeah, I'll be on Cloud Ten for a while, and I'll probably stop by later with a little more....

Texas Longhorns -- NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!! Sure sounds good....:-)
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 08:40 am:   

John: Got to hand it to Texas. Great game. Congrats on the 2nd place finish.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:17 am:   

A few comments, some of which are bound to piss off John P.

Another reason for Young leaving -- a goodly part of his OL is leaving. Now to piss off John. I have my doubts that Young will be half the QB the Untalented Tom Brady is. And that assessment has nothing to do with his passing mechanics. They don't retool deliveries in the NFL; they've learned that doesn't take, and so, though they make some minor adjustments, what you see now is basically the Vince you'll get. My assessment is based solely on the fact that he's a running QB and will suffer a major injury in the first four or five years of his pro career. The fact that he's likely to be with a poor team may accelerate that process. Dante Culpepper, who's every bit as big and strong as Young, and with a decent OL, tore every ligament in his knee and may be out for half next season as well as losing this one. It happens to all of them. Cunningham, McNabb, etc. And thereafter they're not as good as they were. Now it may eventuate that Vince eludes this fate, but the odds are he won't. Talent in the NFL has a different measure and is more than poise and athleticism. More than flamboyance. It's accuracy, it's being able to do it game after game in the face of feral. fleet defences, its being able to throw accurately while moving IN the pocket. I haven't seen Young do this last. I don't know if he can. The few times that USC pressured him and got him to throw on the move, he did not throw well.

USC IS a better team than Texas, in my opinon. Several times that game verged on a blow-out and if USC had put the hammer down and not squandered their opportunuties, esp in the first half, it might have been another Oklahoma game. Closer, maybe. 55-35. Texas didn't stop USC except on one play, they got a TD on a play that couldn't be reviewed, etc. The stars aligned. Sometimes the best team loses. That shouldn't affect DVD sales in Texas, however, and doesn't dimimish the fact that Texas is National Champions.
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Forrest
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:22 am:   

Congrats, John and other horners! Wow, what a topsy-turvy bowl season.

And Klima - just wait till March Madness! I will take last place!:-)

Anyone planning a World Cup pool this summer?

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Minz
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 12:35 pm:   

WOW. Congrats to all you 'Horns!!!
Friggin' amazing. If Bush were a real Mensch, he woulda brought along the Heisman to the TX lockerroom and turned it over to Vince. :-)
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 12:37 pm:   

And a quick review of my picks puts me in a tie with JV, at 223. I knew I shouldn't have shared that roasted chicken with 'im...
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JV
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 02:06 pm:   

It was me, you, and the Evil Monkey, if you remember, Minz.

Jeff
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 02:45 pm:   

To continue the conversation, if only with myself, I've been on both sides of this best team question. In '83, when Miami beat Neb for the title, Nebraska was clearly the better team. When they lost to Penn State, with Jerome Brown, Testaverde, Irvin, and those guys, they were clearly the best team. I omit Miami's win over OSU in 'O2 for obvious reasons. The only thing that kept that game close was an early manifestation of the Coker Effect. But last night, I think what we saw, apart from a great VY performance, was a team caving in to the pressure. I think all the hype that JP and Josh complained about had a negative effect on the Trojans and they made mistakes at key moments. But be that as it may, it's a great day for the Longhorns.

Btw, Mel Kiper says that Houston may take Young no 1.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 03:56 pm:   

I can't get enough ESPN now.

One week they're crowning USC champions before the game is played, saying Texas won't be able to keep up with the greatest team ever, the next they're throwing around phrases like "greatest game ever played" and "greatest quarterback play in the history of the sport, at any level." How cool is this, John?? ;)

One of my favorite plays of the game, now almost forgotten amid the Vincemania: Michael Griffin's amazing interception at the goal line. What a sweet play.
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John Picacio
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 06:26 pm:   

You'll hear no Greatest Team Ever crap from me re: the Longhorns. Geezus, just the joy of my team being National Champions is good enough for me right now.

I will say that I think neither of the teams last night would've beaten the Miami team of Brown, Testaverde, Irvin, etc.....I feel fairly certain of that. The thing that pissed me off prior to the game was simply ESPN's coronation of USC as a three-peat champion before the game was even played and I felt equally certain that the Horns would find a lot of gametime fuel there. Texas played with a chip on its shoulder and I thought that was key down the stretch. Both teams had shaky execution in the first quarter, but I thought that second half was the story of two offensive lines just killing their opposing d-lines. Texas made that 4th down defensive stand with 2:10 and they were the first defense to put the brakes on the other team in the second half and that was the deciding moment in my mind. Yeah, Texas couldn't stop USC until the game was in the balance, but I didn't see USC stopping Texas either in the second half. Texas' o-line was murdering USC, and that gets overlooked in the postgame highlight packages.

I think it's very possible that USC was overconfident and underestimated Texas, and that probably did hurt USC. They thought they could walk on water. That's a large reason why I was so confident in Texas coming into the game. You can't help but be motivated when you're 12-0 and everyone keeps saying you're gonna get your ass kicked.

I'm thrilled that it came down the way it did. As far as Vince and the NFL, I guess we'll have to just wait and see. I saw that Kiper bit you were talking about. You know, it makes zero sense for the Texans to draft Vince #1. They should draft Reggie Bush and stick with the David Carr plan that's already in place. And building an O-line would be a good idea. I think New Orleans should draft Leinart second (more proven, formulaic pocket passer). And then the Titans have the third pick and that's where it's interesting. Vince is very, very close friends with Steve McNair and has often referred to McNair as a father figure in place of his estranged real dad who is in prison. Norm Chow is the offensive coordinator over there and I think he could really help Vince while he learns the ropes with McNair as the starting QB. He respects McNair so he wouldn't bitch about being a OB-in-waiting, and it would be interesting to see the Titans use him as a receiver in the meantime to make use of his freaky playmaking ability. Far-fetched? I don't know.....but it makes more sense the more I think about it....

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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 07:13 pm:   

Tennessee would be a good place for Young. And watching McNair go through therapy every week would be a good object lesson. You're right about Houston. All this is very good news for Omar Jacobs, the new Roethlisberger, who I believe may end the best QB of the bunch, since he'll be drafted by a better team.

Anyway, Congrats again. You're the king for a year, and you've got Mack Brown for life. :-)
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Minz
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 06:29 am:   

I agree with Lucius. I think Jacobs has the best shot of coming in and performing well of all the QBs, not just because he's a more polished pocket passer than Vince, but more importantly because he'll be drafted later in the round, he'll probably have more talent around him.

While USC had the more talented team overall, the gap wasn't that big between them (except at RB and maybe WR). And watching Vince strap TX to his back and literally carry it to the championship may indeed be the best performance from a QB that I've ever seen. I didn't think he'd be able to carry them that far, and was delighted to watch him prove me wrong. And I sure hope he comes out (because it'll probably mean a better player for the Pack at #5 in the draft...)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 08:04 am:   

Omar's the forgotten man in ail this.

It's all about you and the pack, huh? :-)

Actually, unless they're thinking about a QB or an RB, it doesn't change the Pack's prorities much, I shouldn't think. They should still draft Hawk.
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John Picacio
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 09:09 am:   

From the It's-All-About-The-Cowboys Dept:

Any prayer that Jacobs would slip to Dallas' #18 pick? Or maybe that Dallas could trade up and grab him?

The more I think about it, the more I think Vince gets drafted by Tennessee with the 3rd pick after all. It's the best situation for a QB project like him....he gets to learn the ropes from his big brother/mentor Steve McNair and meantime they can use him as a receiver until he figures out the NFL QB position. It's a perfect transitional fit for him with relatively low pressure. With Tennessee and McNair in such a plum draft position, I would say that he's as good as gone.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 09:28 am:   

Yeah, Jacobs could slip that far. You seen him? He's a stud. Jake Cutler out of Vandy's another good one. But I love Jacobs. He's the black Roethlisberger...and with a better arm.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 09:53 am:   

Jacobs may slip that far, but it'll be interesting to see how the Cowboys react. We have two unproven guys on the bench and Jones/Parcells have said in the past they're reluctant to add more. That being said, you can't help but feel that Parcells has lost faith in Henson. He might be able to talk Jerry into taking the kid and dumping Henson.

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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 10:24 am:   

As well as Young did in the Rose Bowl, something about him bugged me. Maybe it was his funny throwing motion, almost a pushing kind of motion. He certainly didn't have the classic professional QB mechanics. And I can't imagine he's going to run through NFL tackles like he ran through the Trojans'.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 10:24 am:   

Jacobs has a whole lot more potential than Henson. They gotta take a QB, I think. Bledsoe may not last out another year.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 10:45 am:   

Dave, he'll be good, but I still prefer a non-running QB. Someone who's mobile in the pocket, not looking to run downfield. I think their shelf life is longer. His throwing motion doesn't bother me. I've seen Kosar and others get by with less than perfect mechanics.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 12:10 pm:   

I think Young will be a sturdy version of Michael Vick.
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JV
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 12:16 pm:   

Yeah, but Vick was supposed to be a sturdy version of previous running NFL quarterbacks. I tend to think Lucius is more likely to be right than wrong about Young in the NFL, alas.

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 12:40 pm:   

Again, look at Daunte Culpepper. You can't get much sturdier than Dante. I hope i'm wrong about VY, but if I were a GM, I'd be cautious.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 02:03 pm:   

Jeez, Darren...you didn't have to send me a library. :-) But thanks. The bookstore will appreciate it.
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Darren
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 11:55 pm:   

I'll hope to get a library back when I kick ass next year.;)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 03:41 am:   

You got it.

By the way, if anyone wants to make a contribution to the bookstore, y'all, I'm off to Honduras soon, so...
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John Picacio
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 09:26 am:   

Good luck out there, Lucius.

Sent mine via book rate last week. So hope it gets there soon.

Best,
John
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 09:45 am:   

I'm sure it will John. And thanks...

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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 10:15 am:   

Chit. I started packing up your ill-gotten loot and forgot to finish and send it. I'm off to take care of it posthaste.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 10:17 am:   

Thanks, Minz...
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minz
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 10:28 am:   

Done and enroute.
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Forrest
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 03:14 pm:   

Whoops! How long are you going to be gone, Lucius?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 03:24 pm:   

I'll be here for another three weeks, than gone on and off till September--first to honduras for a month, then a week at home, then off again for three weeks to new york, home most of April, gone to Europe in May...I'm back back in August for a couple of months....after that. depends/
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 09:43 am:   

Thanks to John, Darren, and Minz for the books, I took them down to the store yesterday. The rest of you, well, if you don't get em in, you don't get 'em in. I'll donate 'em when I get back.

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