Sunday, July 30, 2006

Make Jump Shots, Not War

ESPN has been thoroughly covering the efforts of Playing for Peace (PFP), a program that brings together children of warring nationalities and ethnicities and has them face off on the court. While PFP has been successful in Northern Ireland, South Africa, and elsewhere, much attention has been paid to what the program is doing in the Middle East. frames the story nicely:

You'd expect it to be like this:

Khaled, 14, [pictured on the left] is supposed to be kneeling in a mosque, praying to the East five times a day. He's from Issawiya, a gritty Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. At night, he sneaks out of the house and works by candlelight in a bombed-out factory, helping to build explosive devices for attacks on Israel or maybe the United States. His life is a palette of dust and dirt. . . .

You'd expect it to be like this:

Pini, 14, [pictured in the center] is supposed to be going to school, getting a good Hebrew education. He's from Bet Shemesh, an Israeli Jew from a poor suburb west of Jerusalem. He'll serve in the Israeli military for two years, then go on to college. He'll become a doctor, maybe a lawyer. . . .

You'd never expect it to be like this:

Pini dribbles the basketball through his legs in a dimly lit high school gym in Shemesh. His defender stumbles, literally faked out of his yarmulke. As Pini penetrates to the basket, the defense collapses. Pini spins and finds Khaled with a perfect pass on the baseline.


Friday, July 28, 2006

We Don't Have Enough Arabic Translators to Be Weeding Out the Gay Ones

From the Associated Press:

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, though he says he never told his superiors he was gay and his accuser was never identified.

Bleu Copas, 30, told The Associated Press he is gay, but said he was "outed" by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is such a strange policy, and it doesn't seem to be doing any good. If anything, the policy has become a means of removing capable men and women from the military at a time when all other standards are being relaxed to keep numbers up.

Anyway, Wonkette points out the strangest part of the Bleu Copas case:

On Dec. 2, investigators formally interviewed Copas and asked if he understood the military's policy on homosexuals, if he had any close acquaintances who were gay, and if he was involved in community theater. He answered affirmatively.

I've known my share of people who have been involved in community theater. I guess most of them are in the closet.

My Understanding of the Floyd Landis Debacle: Why I Kind of Think Floyd Is Innocent

The test that Tour de France winner Floyd Landis recently failed, raising suspicions of doping, measures not the level of testosterone in the blood, but rather the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone. In other words a "positive" test could be either the result of unusually high levels of testosterone (which can be produced sythetically and taken as a performance enhancer) or ususually low levels of epitestosterone (which is produced naturally and would not benefit athletic performance). Correct me if I'm getting any of this wrong.

This is how I see it: If someone were to evaluate my diet, that person would conclude that I have an unusually high veggie-to-meat ratio. One might then suspect that I had been gorging myself on broccoli and squash; but in truth, I am a vegetarian and therefore consume very little meat (occasional seafood). With this analogy in mind, I suspect that Floyd Landis did not take illegal performance-enhancing substances.

This article from the Associated Press makes a much stronger, more scientific argument in favor of Landis.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Not So Good: Landis Tests Positive for Drugs


LONDON -- Tour de France champion Floyd Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race, his Phonak team said Thursday on its Web site.

The statement came a day after the UCI, cycling's world governing body, said an unidentified rider had failed a drug test during the Tour.

The Swiss-based Phonak team said it was notified by the UCI on Wednesday that Landis' sample showed "an unusual level of testosterone/epitestosterone" when he was tested after stage 17 of the race last Thursday.

Floyd's Mennonite parents won't be happy. On the other hand, excess testosterone isn't necessarily due to drug use; maybe Landis is just a manly man. Landis and his Phonak team are hoping as much:

"The team management and the rider were both totally surprised of this physiological result," the Phonak statement said.

Phonak said Landis would ask for an analysis of his backup "B" sample "to prove either that this result is coming from a natural process or that this is resulting from a mistake."

You know, I actually asked my dad after the Tour's conclusion on Sunday, "Now this guy's never even been accused of doping, has he?" So much for that.

Help UMCOR Provide Much Needed Relief in the Middle East

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Muppet Wiki: A Valuable Resource You Need to Know About

Muppet Wiki is a reference database that any Muppet fan can edit. The site includes over 10,000 articles on Muppets, The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and all other things Muppet related. Give it a visit.

What Are the Republicans Looking for in a Senatorial Candidate?

Van Hilleary's new television spot argues that Tennessee Republicans should nominate Van for U.S. Senate because he served his country by fighting in the Gulf War. The commercial also notes that probable primary frontrunner Bob Corker, by comparison, never served in the military, let alone in combat. (Van's legislative priorities and vision for America are again absent.)

Van's strategy might sway a few voters in a general election, but not in a Republican primary. In the past two presidential elections the Republicans ran a ticket consisting of two guys who avoided military service; both times Bush and Cheney actually profited from attacks on their opponents' (McCain in 2000, Kerry in 2004) military service.

Hilleary's primary opponent Bob Corker is setting himself apart by telling voters about a church mission trip he once took to Haiti. As he recalls his trip in a recent commercial, the words "pro life" scroll across the screen. I suppose assisting people in an economically depressed country favors "life," but I suspect the phrase refers to Corker's stance on abortion. (His opponents have suggested that he does not oppose abortion strongly enough.) I'm not entirely sure how abortion has anything to do with Corker's mission trip to Haiti, but whatever.

I am bothered that Corker is using his experience in Haiti to get votes. After all, Jesus says:

When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. . . .

Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:3-4, 6).

Jesus doesn't explicitly mention church mission trips, but the spirit of his teaching is clear. Then again, by writing this I am probably violating another of Jesus' teachings: "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged" (Matthew 7:1).

Monday, July 24, 2006

Video Killed the Piano Star

Meyer discovered the DVD player. Until recently, Ashlee and I had been impressed with Meyer's seeming disinterest in television. Aside fromt the occasional identity theft commercial or episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, he ignored the tube entirely.

Still, through several gift-giving occasions, Meyer managed to build a small library of DVDs. From time to time, we'd play one of Meyer's DVDs—sometimes he'd even ask us to pop in The Aristocats or Monsters, Inc.—but nothing on the screen kept his attention. Meyer was always more interested in blocks, books, and household destruction.

They say (by "they" I mean any child development expert that has said the following) that small children are stimulated by watching other children sing. That is, videos of preschoolers singing should inspire toddlers to break into song. I thought Meyer might be an exception to the rule. He preferred to learn songs from Mr. Green, the music teacher at his playcare. At home, Meyer would ask me to play his favorite songs—"The Alphabet Song," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "You Are My Sunshine," and "If You're Happy and You Know It"—on the piano. I spent many afternoons singing and playing these three-chord standards while Meyer danced and sang along.

Then Meyer discovered Sesame Street: Kids' Favorite Songs, one of the DVDs in his collection. Elmo, Telly, Zoe, Big Bird, and crew sing all the classic children's tunes and invite viewers to join in. Apparently, Muppets make better song leaders than daddies, so I have been replaced by technology, much like John Henry or the protagonist in a bad science-fiction movie. When Meyer discovered that Barney also leads songs, daddy-at-the-piano has gone the way of the electric typewriter, the car phone, or WebTV®: What was once novel and convenient is now unnecessary and cumbersome.

I suppose Meyer was bound to become a TV-watcher; after all, his parents certainly are. And I suppose I should be glad that Meyer prefers DVDs that are interactive—that invite him to sing, dance, and use his imagination. As a fellow lover of Muppets, I can hardly chide him for loving the furry monsters he sees on television. He could do much worse. Still, my feelings of loss are inevitable. Maybe Kate will go through a daddy-at-the-piano phase. Maybe I can catch her in the rye before she goes over the cliff of children's television dependency.

Cycling Is an American Sport

Prior to 1986 no American had won le Tour de France, cycling's most demanding and prestigious race. When Greg LeMond recovered from a potentially career-ending hunting accident to win his second tour in 1989, a substantial minority of American sports fans took notice. LeMond was even named Sports Illustrated's 1989 Sportsman of the Year. After LeMond's third tour win in 1990, the future of American cycling was uncertain. Prior to his bout with cancer, Lance Armstrong was a talented young cyclist with a lot of potential, but one who couldn't seem to finish a Tour. Armstrong, of course, would eventually become the greatest cyclist in history and the subject of one of the most memorable stories in American sports history.

2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Tyler Hamilton seemed to be Armstrong's heir apparent. But the promising young American got suspended for doping, and after Armstrong's retirement the United States was willing to let cycling return to obscurity.

But yesterday 30-year-old Mennonite Floyd Landis became the third American to win the Tour. (Actually, for all intents and purposes, Landis won the Tour after Saturday's time trial. The Tour's final stage is more ceremonial than competitive.) Sure, Landis benefited from the suspensions of favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, but his dramatic come-from-behind win is evidence that LeMond and Armstrong were not anomalies. The United States can and does produce world-class champion cyclists; and Americans have now won 11 of the last 21 Tours de France.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Public Schools Aren't That Bad After All

As a product of the public school system who feels that he got a pretty good education, I feel vindicated by a new study by the National Center for Education Statistics, an independent arm of the Department of Education:

The independent research arm of the Department of Education issued a report showing that public schools are performing as well as or better than private schools, with the exception of eighth-grade reading, in which private schools excelled. . . .

The National Center for Education Statistics compared fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores from about 7,000 public schools and more than 530 private schools. Private-school students historically score higher, but the NCES made adjustments to account for student background -- such as socioeconomic factors and race -- which leveled the playing field.

The report also found that conservative Christian schools -- a constituency that supports vouchers -- lagged significantly behind public schools in eighth-grade math. The report supported similar findings from a University of Illinois study on math.

Of course, this study is a generalization. I concede that there are communities where public schools struggle to meet students' needs and area private schools provide a better education. On the other hand, I truly believe that there are communities where the public schools are stronger academically and have better facilities and better trained teachers than their private counterparts.

Truthfully, after three years of teaching at Sylvan Learning Centers in Evansville and Nashville, where I worked with both public and private school students, I think that the quality of a school has more to do with how much time and passion are invested in the school by parents and the community than whether the school is public or private. Moreover, the quality of a student's education has as much to do with the environment in which the student lives and how much family support he or she receives as it does with the school he or she attends. Certain homes and family situations are simply more conducive to learning and studying than others.

(Disclaimer: Both of my parents, my sister, and my wife's brother-in-law are career public school teachers.)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Good Stuff Happens At Corrupt

I promise. Stop by sometime for God-related news, commentary, and nonsense.

(I say this because, according to Google, Save Yourselves From This Corrupt Generation gets only about 29% the visitors that this site gets.)

Curiously, Corrupt Generation has earned me an even $1.00 from Google Ads. This site, by comparison has only generated $0.73.

I Can't Take the Heat! I Can't Take It

Were I a single man who didn't care for his job, I'd move to Calgary. I get uncomfortable when the temperature breaks 75° F, 24° C. 95° F, 35° C is intolerable.

Personally, I'm prepared to blame greenhouse gases. From the Huffington Post:

A recent study published in the journal Nature clearly stated that severe heat waves are now four times as likely to occur because of increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. This summer's miserable heat and extreme weather are going to be the norm. . . .

Officials in the National Weather Service estimate that more than 200 heat records have been broken in the United States in the past two weeks alone.

So stop using aerosol hairspray and turn out the lights when you leave the room, because I can't take this much longer.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Josh So You Think You Can Dance Rankings

I don't feel good about it, but I'm hooked. Here's how I rank the remaining contestants:


1. Donyelle
2. Natalie
3. Allison
4. Heidi
5. Martha


1. Benji
2. Travis
3. Ryan
4. Dmitry
5. Ivan

I Support a Constitutional Amendment Abolishing the U.S. House of Representatives

More from yesterday's House debate on the anti-gay marriage amendment:

Another Georgia Republican, Representative Phil Gingrey, said support for traditional marriage “is perhaps the best message we can give to the Middle East and all the trouble they’re having over there right now.”

Sure. Makes a lot of sense.

I'm trying to decide whether Gingrey's statement is more ridiculous than Lincoln Davis's divorce-should-disqualify-one-from-holding-public-office rant. (Sadly, it seems that Davis's tirade was totally sincere.) Either way, keep in mind that all of this silliness comes from a debate about a constitutional amendment that has already been defeated.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Meyer Dresses Himself

What a Depressing News Day

Just some of the headlines today at

Let Go, Daddy!

Lincoln Davis Makes Pointless House Debate Interesting

Tennessee's own Lincoln Davis during today's House debate on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (via Think Progress):

LINCOLN DAVIS: Marriage is for life, and this amendment needs to include that basic tenant. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I think we should expand the scope of the amendment to outlaw divorce in this country. Going further Mr. Speaker, I believe in fidelity. Adultery is an evil that threatens the marriage and the heart of every marriage, which is commitment.

How can we as a country allow adulterers to go unpunished and continue to make a mockery of marriage? Again by doing so, what lessons are we teaching our children about marriage? I certainly think that it shows we are not serious about protecting the institution and this is why I think the amendment should outlaw adultery and make it a felony. Additionally, Mr. Speaker, we must address spousal abuse and child abuse. Think of how many marriages end in a divorce or permanent separation because one spouse is abusive.

And, Mr. Speaker, I personally think child abuse may be the most despicable act one can commit. This is why if we are truly serious about protecting marriage to the point we will amend the constitution, we should extend the punishment of abuse to prevent those who do such a hideous act from ever running for an elected position anywhere.

We should also prevent those who commit adultery, or get a divorce, from running for office. Mr. Speaker, this House must lead by example. If we want those watching on CSPAN to actually believe we are serious about protecting marriage, then we should go after the other major threats to the institution. Not just the threat that homosexuals may some day be allowed to marry in a state other than Massachusetts. An elected official should certainly lead by example.

Davis managed to take this debate to ridiculous new levels and called into question the moral integrity of the congressional anti-gay movement. The question is, Was he being serious or satirical?

Monday, July 17, 2006

A "Fair Tax"? Really? Do We Really Want to Go There?

The trio of Republicans running for U.S. Senator from Tennessee held their first debate last night. In addition to the requisite childish fighting that accompanies any political debate and the obvious questions about immigration reform, candidates were asked their views on a "fair tax," a national sales tax that would replace the federal income tax. (I can't imagine how high a sales tax would have to be to pay for the war and bring down the elephantine budget deficit.)

Is the "fair tax" really on the Republicans' legislative agenda? High sales taxes always disproportionately hurt low income families, who spend a much larger portion of their income on goods and services than wealthy families. A "fair tax" coupled with a repeal of the estate tax (which is certainly on the GOP's legislative agenda) would widen the existing moat-filled-with-alligators separating the haves and have-nots and perpetuate the concentration of wealth in the United States. Bootstraps would no longer be sufficient for pulling oneself up.

You May Be Wondering Why Kate Doesn't Have Her Own Website

First of all, Kate is a nine-week-old baby, and she can't really express herself in writing yet. Secondly, maintaining a website (like caring for a dog) is a responsibility that requires a certain amount of maturity. Meyer, for example, didn't get a website until he turned one. Right now, the plan is to do the same for Kate. Then again, none of the cats (who range in age from four to six) has a website, so if Kate starts jumping on the kitchen table and licking leftover food off the plates, she could lose her web privileges.

In the meantime, I'll post plenty of pictures of Baby Kate here.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I Don't Want to Talk About the Middle East

I used to talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict all the time; it used to be a subject that really intrigued me. Now I don't even want to hear about it. As far as I can gather, neither side is really interested in a long-term solution that doesn't involve eliminating the other side. The recent attacks in Lebanon and northern Israel are too frustrating for me to read about.

I will, however, give you this opportunity to download Palestinian Girl, my 2003 song that tries to bring a human face to this exceedingly ridiculous conflict.

Is Anyone Else Upset . . .

. . . about Musa being eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance last night?

Series of Tubes, Remix

The Bold Headed Broadcast has produced a techno remix of Ted Stevens' recent speech to the Senate Commerce Committee.

Update: Now there's a video up at YouTube.

Related: Legislative Bloopers

Brother and Sister

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Sister's Middle School Teammate Is MVP of WNBA All-Star Game

The Connecticut Sun's Katie Douglas last night was named MVP of the WNBA All-Star Game. I went to high school with Katie at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis; she was in my sister Whitney's class. She and Whitney even played together on the middle school team in seventh and eighth grade. (Prior to that, they were teammates on a traveling softball team.) When I was 8, I actually played baseball with Katie's older brother. And, while I didn't really know Katie, she did attend my sister's twelfth birthday party. All this is to say that I am not far removed from basketball superstardom.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

CBS Picks Up on the Religious Left

Too bad I beat them to the story three years ago (even though the Nashville Scene has deleted my by-line from its archives):

Religion Taking A Left Turn? Conservative Christians Watch Out: There's A Big Churchgoing Group Seeking Political Power (CBS News; July 10, 2006)

Left of the Altar: Nashville’s liberal clergy is stronger than ever, reflecting changing values and a changing city (Nashville Scene; March 27, 2003)

Of course, those of us who have been lumped into the "religious left" don't like the name "religious left." We're like emo bands in that regard.

More at Corrupt Generation.

Haves and Have-Nots

House Republicans today blocked yet another vote on a minimum wage increase. (Granted, the House really doesn't need to waste time debating a minimum wage increase when the Senate has already defeated such a measure. Still, a full-time worker making minimum wage earns about $10,000 per year, often without benefits. That doesn't pay the bills in this country.) Meanwhile, the National Journal's report on White House salaries reveals that the White House "director of lessons learned" makes $106,641 annually. Impressive, considering this administration's seeming inability to learn lessons.

Monday, July 10, 2006

What Van Lacks in Substance He Makes Up for in Lack of Substance

I saw a Van Hilleary-for-Senate commercial for the first time today. Van's message is, "When I was in the House, I voted against Bill Clinton more than any other congressman." I understand that many Republicans don't like Clinton, but "I'm against Clinton" isn't really a viable political philosophy, especially since Clinton has been out of office for over five years. Even the most conservative Republicans could probably find some Clinton administration policies that they agree with. (Likewise, the most liberal Democrats could probably find some Bush administration policies that they agree with, even if they won't admit it.)

The message behind Hilleary's 2002 gubernatorial campaign was simply, "I oppose a state income tax, no matter what." Of course, his chief opponent, current Governor Phil Bredesen, also opposed a state income tax, so the message wasn't terribly effective.

As it stands, Hilleary seems like a lock to finish third in the Republican primary; and I really don't think that he'll ever win a statewide election. I respect Hilleary for his service in Desert Storm and his refusal to take money from political action committees, but I think he lacks the vision to represent the entire state of Tennessee.

Update: I saw another of Van's commercials today. In this one he mentions conservative values and securing our borders (phrases that could have been lifted from any Bob Corker commercial). Van also vows to "fight Hillary Clinton." I guess the former congressman wants to set himself apart by assuring voters of his strangely intense hatred of the Clintons.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Psyched About Psych

The USA Network has given the USA another great, less-than-ordinary crime drama. Psych chronicles a slacker with keen observation skills and a photographic memory who pretends to be a psychic so that he can work as a private detective. If every episode is as good as Friday's premiere, then Psych is as good as Monk, and that's saying something.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Best Animated Comedy Short Ever

The Olde English sketch comedy team put together this animated short about a blind date between two irrational numbers. It's wonderful. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Kitten Survives Wood Chipper

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The little orange-and-white ball of fluff is a fighter.

Any kitten that survives a tumble through the deadly maw of a wood chipper would have to be.

His meow would almost be pitiable, if he weren't so full of energy and spunk just two weeks after his rescuer and veterinarian debated whether his injuries were so severe that he couldn't be saved.

"Chipper's" head is tilted to the right, the result of a fracture to the neck that apparently didn't damage the spinal cord nerves. Both of the miracle kitten's front legs were badly mangled and broken, but he gets around, if a little awkwardly. His right eye now appears to be functioning, even if it is damaged.

More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Legislative Bloopers

I'm late on this one, but Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) gave the following explanation for voting against a net-neutrality amendment when it came up for a vote in the Senate Commerce Committee:

There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service is now going to go through the internet* and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially. . . .

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

More at Wired Blogs.

Stevens, a grumpy old man who will go to any lengths to defend his pork barrell projects, is an easy target for Daily Show viewers like myself. But Alaskans love the guy, and he represents them well, so those of us in the other 49 states just have to accept Stevens as a prominent member of the U.S. Senate. (He is currently the president pro tempore.)

But as a high-ranking member of the Senate, Stevens needs to do some research before making public statements about subjects he knows little about. Getting blasted by cyber-bloggers won't hurt Stevens politically, but his warped understanding of the subject of an important committee vote hurts the Senate's credibility.

I'm Uncomfortable With the Sharapova-Kournikova Comparisons

My intent with this post was to call the media (particularly the non-sports media) to task for continuing to mention in tandem current tennis star Maria Sharapova and former player Anna Kournikova. I wanted to contrast the two: Kournikova embraced her role as a sex symbol, became a model, and never lived up to her potential as a player; Sharapova is a tennis nerd, as awkward off the court as she is graceful on the court, who just happens to be attractive. Canon commercials notwithstanding, she has not played up her appearance. My argument was weakened when a basic Google search informed me that Sharapova signed a modeling contract as early as 2003 and last year did a sexy photo shoot for Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue. So much for that.

Still, Maria Sharapova is simply one of the best tennis players in the world and has been for the past two years. While she has won only one major tournament, she has been consistently competitive against the best players in the world. Kournikova, by comparison, never won a singles title and was never consistently ranked in the top ten. That's not to say that Anna Kournikova was not a good tennis player in her prime. She was; just not nearly as good as Maria Sharapova.

And Sharapova is a tennis nerd with the personality of a gawky teenager, so much so that the idea of her posing in a bikini just seems wrong. Sharapova is in action today against top-seed Amelie Mauresmo.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Kids

Baby Kate lifts her voice:

Meanwhile, Meyer has entered a new phase as an artist and has some choice words for children's book authors.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Answer to Mainline Revitalization? Willie Nelson

From my other site, Save Yourselves From This Corrupt Generation:

The legendary singer-songwriter recently purchased the Abbott United Methodist Church building in hopes of rebuilding the congregation he'd been a part of as a boy. After years of declining attendance, Abbott's congregation merged with another United Methodist church in May.

Sunday, the congregation, along with friends and former members, returned to Abbott for a service featuring music by Nelson, his sister Bobbie, fellow music legend Leon Russell, and others. "Sister Bobbie and I have been going to this church since we were born," Nelson said to the crowd. "Now, you're all members of the Abbott Methodist Church, and you will be, forever and ever."

Read more at andPOP.

Direct TV to Nashville: "Titans Aren't Worth Watching"

This weekend an ad for Direct TV featuring Colts quarterback Peyton Manning aired several times in middle Tennessee (and possibly elsewhere). In the commercial Manning's Colts are leading my Titans 28-3 and are about to score again. Manning turns to the camera and insists that viewers order Direct TV so that they will have the option of watching a more exciting game.

When the Titans are playing, Nashville viewers with basic cable have only one option: the Titans game. During the last two seasons, we have watched plenty of Titans losses, several by large margins. Naturally, many of us would prefer having another game to flip to. Is Direct TV acknowledging Nashvillians' frustration with the home team? Is Direct TV essentially telling us, "The Titans aren't worth your time; come with us, and we'll give you more options"?