Rough day in sports.

Vandy falls 78-73 in OT at Alabama. Finishes 25-6, 10-6 in the SEC and 15-0 non-conf, along with 19-0 at home. And that’s good enough for third in the SEC East. That would make you think the SEC was the Death Star of basketball but this year, I’m not sure that’s the case. Take as example Kentucky, who were shite on toast until January and still finished above us in the conference race, despite needing double-OT to beat us at home and taking the worst hiding since the Romans ran up against Hannibal at Cannae in the return match at Memorial.

We ought to be pretty good – nobody but Florida seems to be able to contain Shan Foster – but a one-and-done seems more likely this year than in our last two NCAA appearances.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United look to be for the drop. They are only 3 points clear of relegation and have not won since changing managers. After casting a weathered eye around the Premiership, I’m leaning toward Aston Villa if Newcastle goes away. For three reasons:

1) They are from Birmingham. Like me! Sort of.

2) They are owned by Americans – namely the guys who own the Cleveland Browns, and that lot have a specialty in returning football pride to depressed steel towns.

3) They are managed by Martin O’Neill, the Ulsterman who shares my birthday and who put Celtic back on top. (Hail! Hail!)

So I can kind of count on them not being horrible. I’m also thinking about Man City because I’m afraid Gene Hunt will come beat the hell out of me if I don’t. (“Today, my friend, your diary will read ‘rebuilt two workstations and was stomped by armed bastards.'”)

You have GOT to be kidding me…

Vandals halt some hybrid buses in Hunters Point:

The Municipal Railway will not use buses from its new hybrid fleet on one line that runs through the public housing projects in San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood until officials can stop troublemakers there from turning off the buses’ power switches.

Muni drivers have reported over the last couple of weeks that people have been shutting down the power on their buses by flipping a switch that can be accessed easily through an unlocked panel on the outside of the bus.

When that happens, the drivers can’t accelerate, they lose radio contact with dispatchers and the interior lights on the buses go out. The power loss does not affect the brakes.

What engineering spastic decided to put the POWER SWITCH on the OUTSIDE of the bus??

Memo to SF-MUNI: stop buying buses designed by UT students!!

Normally this would be headlined “MEMORIAL MAGIC”

However, while Memorial was indeed magical on Senior Night, tonight belongs to Shan Foster.

42 points, including nine straight three-pointers down the stretch, including the winning 3 with 2.7 seconds to play in OT.

(25) MISS ST 85

(16) VANDY 86


Won every non-conference game. Won every home game. 25-5 with only a trip to Tuscaloosa before the SEC tournament tips off next week. Our ticket to the tournament is punched…now we’re just playing to get into first class. =)


EDIT: Had to include the extended quote from Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury:

“You can’t say anything else about it. He jumped up in a stressful situation and made shots. Absolutely nothing else I would have done different, and absolutely nothing else I could have done. He jumped up and made 30-footers with someone in his face. He jumped up in those situations and made shots. It was him. Forty-two points.”

You can almost see him shaking his head.

No offense to my many friends above the 49…

…but I doubt too many of you voted for him anyway. Therefore:

Dear Stephen Harper,

You don’t want NO part of this, so tell your staff to have a big bowl of Honey Bunches of ShutTheFuckUp. If you don’t think the next President can make it rough for the PM of a minority government, you’re punching WAY above your weight limit.

Love and kisses,

The Democratic Party

Get ready for the long haul, folks…

…you couldn’t have asked for a better night for the GOP. McCain clinches, Huckabee concedes, all effort can now be turned toward the general election…and in the meantime, Clinton wins 3 out of 4 and stops the Obama momentum.

In theory and on paper, this is not as huge a deal as it looks like – remember, we’re still doing proportional allocation on the Dem side. Even though Ohio is a big win, Texas is narrower, and Obama will almost certainly come out of the night still holding a delegate lead. Once he got over the tipping point, the likelihood of him falling behind (barring a spectacular flameout) is pretty slim.

But elections are not fought in theory or on paper, and Wednesday morning’s narrative will be the Clinton Comeback, and the notion that she now has the momentum with seven weeks to go before the next primary, in Pennsylvania – and presumably, the same message that won Ohio will play well at least in the western part of the state. More to the point, the story will be that the Obama train has hit a brick wall and will have to recover from this dizzying blow. And above all, there are two Democrats guaranteed to be punching away at each other for almost two more months, while John McCain stands aside looking Presidential and taking notes to recycle any useful attacks in the fall.

Realistically, it’s probably still Obama’s nomination to lose. But the fact that Clinton made her stand in Ohio and Texas – and pulled it off – means that there’s still a long slow slog ahead. And now, it’s difficult to see how this is anything but harmful for the D’s; the long knives were already starting to come out before today and you can expect the race to take a turn for the uglier almost immediately.

Going forward, for the Democrats to have a chance in November, one of two things has to happen. Either Obama has to turn this into a story about him being able to take a punch and come back hard, and run the table the rest of the way (and the remaining schedule looks somewhat favorable for him), or Clinton has to really make this the point at which everything changes, win big over and over the rest of the way, and make a plausible case to the superdelegates that she has the momentum and deserves the nod going into the convention. Which is kind of a longshot at this point, but cannot be counted out of the realm of possibility. But either way, the odds just took a huge leap that the Democratic nominee will wander out of Denver as damaged goods…which means that at least for tonight, John McCain has to be considered the favorite to win the White House in November.

EDITED TO ADD: Two thoughts, late into the night:

1) John Edwards looked like an idiot for not making his endorsement before Super Tuesday…and now he looks like a genius. Sure, he only controls 26 delegates, but his endorsement could go a long way in the remaining races, especially North Carolina – and the fact that he was probably the furthest left of the Big Three Dems on trade and labor issues means that he could provide somebody with a credibility boost on NAFTA in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

2) Something’s going to have to be done with Florida and Michigan. Sure, they broke the rules and they deserve to be dinged for it – especially since it turns out that states later in the process are becoming more and more important, rather than less and less – but the symbolism of the Democrats not counting votes from Florida is just too egregious to let stand. That said, four things:

* Getting an election do-over will be virtually impossible, due to timetable and expense

* Since the original beauty-contest elections were not fully contested, those totals cannot be considered remotely valid

* While a caucus sort of thing could happen, the caucus format has been so favorable to Obama that it might be tough to get both sides to sign on to any plan that exclusively allocates delegates by caucus

* It is not inconceivable that some combination of Florida, Michigan and the Edwards delegates could be the margin of victory before the superdelegates come into effect…and what will be done about superdelegates to try to reflect some sort of small-d democratic process? Anybody’s guess at this point

I guess what I’m saying is that in a world that gave us impeachment in 1999, the Florida recount in 2000, the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Gulf War in 2003, an eight-month campaign in 2004, a two-house turnover in 2006, and a presidential campaign that has gone on continuously since then…the only thing you can count on is that nothing is too insane to contemplate.

Hanging Out Tuesday’s Wash

* My new employer (well, the organization that leases me from my employer) was giving out T-shirts today. I don’t really feel like I’m in the Valley unless there’s at least one new work T-shirt every year. This one is actually kind of cool, too.

* I’m smack in the middle of a major re-organization of my backup strategy. It’s not enough to run Time Machine; I need a secondary backup as well (which is currently spread between an iMac, an old iPod, and .Mac). Now if I get my new DVD project done, there’s a very real chance I could wind up with a hard drive only 60% full. Which would be nice.

* Said DVD project suddenly took off like a rocket this morning, when I realized that maybe iDVD looks for movies in the “Movies” folder. (Hold the applause please.) As soon as I moved the project files off the desktop and into that directory, boom, everything was there, and it took me all of 5 minutes to configure the DVD mapping and get the special features menu together. Not only will this one have the new movie, but it will have the trailer, the original 02-02-02 trailer, AND a 10-minute reel of deleted scenes from the new picture. Next trick: getting it burned while working in the background on a couple of actual work projects…

* Celtic is playing at Barcelona today. Barca are the only Continental team that I sort of like, and I do respect the hell out of them: for their record, for their ties to the Catalan region and their role as anti-fascist stand-in against Franco’s Real Madrid back in the day, for the fact that they never had a sponsor on their shirt ever…until THEY decided to sponsor UNICEF and put their logo on the shirt. Couple that with the fact that the game is at the Nou Camp, and that Celtic have never won on the road in the Champions League era…well, no spoilers please, but I have a sneaking suspicion how this one will turn out.

* Am I mixing my plural-noun cases here? Probably. Put it down to the influence of Setanta Sports and having the Geoff Show podcast on in the background.

* I don’t really need a pair of blue sunglasses, do I? That would just be silly. (Not $illy.) Although I do sort of think that since I tend to use my eye color as a trademark, having brown shades is a bit counterproductive. OK, now I’m just talking shite. I will stop now.

* Last year’s Celtic road shirt (the green/black stripes) for £9.99? Now THAT is $illy.