Monday, February 28, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about miracles and how they pertain to Tommy. Recently the Lord has opened my eyes to a particular passage, one I had heard countless times and never applied to Tommy's situation. John 9: 2-5 tells the story of the man born blind. Jesus' disciples ask him whose sin caused his blindness, the man's or his parents. Jesus, of course, tells them it happened so that people might see the glory of God.

As I said I have heard this scripture many times before but never attempted to view it concerning Tommy.

While in the fog of trying to accept and adjust to the reality of Tommy, I sometimes felt as if my in-laws thought Tommy wasn't acceptable or good enough without a miraculous healing. I know they didn't feel that way, but almost immediately they started praying for and talking about how he was going to have a miracle. I'm all for miracles and as a card-carrying Catholic, fully believe in many from the Dancing Sun at Fatima; to the waters of Lourdes; to Padre Pio's many miraculous doings.  Not to mention the one I most often referenced to assure people I believed in miracles, transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

But in that fog I couldn't quite voice my feeling that perhaps God had a greater purpose in Tommy's having been born the way he was. I felt like my in-laws and I were talking past each other and my tongue kept betraying my argument in its inability to voice accurately what I felt in my head and heart.

I realize that in the very story I mentioned Jesus cures the blind man via a miracle, so perhaps it doesn't best describe how I felt then, but I think it does. I also heard that I was limiting God, which aggravated me because God created everything "Seen and unseen," so how was me saying maybe he doesn't want to heal Tommy limiting him. He called a universe into being merely by thinking it. He has no limits, again it was as if my tongue couldn't articulate the argument I had, which I felt and still feel was theologically sound. Which is to say my argument was at the time, if God chooses to heal him I am just fine and dandy with that, but if he doesn't I am ok with that too.

In the last several months as I get Tommy ready for bed it has become part of our ritual to say a handful of prayers: the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be start us off. We follow those with prayers to St. Michael, Tommy's guardian angels, and our big finish is a prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes and one to St. Rita.

If you don't know St. Rita, she is the patroness of the impossible. Tommy and I ask her to pray for Tommy's miracle as fervently as she can. Sometimes I even include a prayer to John Paul the Great, since I figure he probably understood a lot of what Tommy goes through, being trapped inside your own body.

In Hebrews 11:1 we are told that "Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen." I believe Tommy has that faith. I know I do. I believe God can heal Tommy, I just wonder if it is to His purposes to do so. In my own prayers at night I routinely ask God to see Tommy even if just once, even if it's only a dream, through His perfect eyes.

During a trip to our local healing room, one of the guys had a bit of a vision or prophecy for me. He told me that he saw Tommy as my ministry in a way that he could see me talking to a room full of folks and saying you think your kids are hard cases let me tell you about mine. I often wonder if that was God's way of saying "be ready when I do my work so you can carry the message." Or is it the other way, insofar as Tommy's story is a story of survival all it's own with or without miraculous trappings.

Knowing the odds Tommy has already overcome and that he continues to overcome, make me so proud of him. Sometimes I see Matty moving and doing things so effortlessly that his big brother still struggles with after three and a half years and I almost get mad at him. Sometimes I look at Tommy and wonder what I ever did to deserve him, because I am unworthy. I know that God has entrusted Traci and I with one of the best pieces of his work and I have yet to understand why. I just pray for the strength to be what he needs me to be. And I pray for the understanding of what God needs me to be, for my family. 

Over the winter we prayed at Mass for a local nun to be healed. There was a note from her convent in the bulletin this weekend, saying she didn't get the miracle healing. The nuns noted sometimes when we pray we don't get the miracle we want, but we always get the miracle we need.

That's the thing we don't always understand, God but he knows better than we do. Hard knowledge to swallow sometimes. Almost as hard, if not harder, is that just because we get told "No" doesn't mean God didn't answer our prayer.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

America's Chihuahua in Chief.....

On April 9, 1986, Ronald Reagan called Moammar Qaddafi, "The Mad Dog of the Middle East". Yesterday, his successor couldn't even be bothered to name the man accused of strafing his own citizens with the military assets of their own country. Yet Barack Obama always tries to push some sort of connection to Reagan. It makes me want to vomit every time I hear someone bring those two names up in the same breath.

President Reagan believed very strongly in peace. Peace through strength. He didn't feel the need to go pick a fight with anyone, but we would damn sure be ready should someone pick one with us. Obama on the other hand has spent his time in office, apologizing for America and continually weakening us at home and abroad.

As it is it was nine days, nine, seriously nine days before Obama could even be bothered to mention that there was something afoot in Libya. His handlers claim there were some scheduling conflicts..... WHAT!!!! You are the President of the United States, when the world is on fire it behooves you to clear some time from your schedule to address it Mr. President. Could be worse it was what three weeks before he acknowledged the oil spill last summer.

Seems when his buddies/donors are in trouble he sure has lots of scheduling conflicts preventing him from addressing those issues. Remember the vitriol hurled at George W. Bush for not wanting to terrify a group of third graders by running out of the room on 9/11. Where are those voices decrying Obama's lack of mentioning Libya.

The greatest fighting force in the world has not been sent to a forward area to project our force. We could easily put a carrier group in the Mediterranean Sea and also put some assets near the Persian Gulf. Yet, we haven't done any of that.

The Middle East is on fire from our allies to our enemies and we are sitting on our hands and hoping that nice things happen....really...We could with just a little effort likely turn what could potentially be a bad situation into a positive and create stability and democratic ideals in the region.

Yet we sit on our hands and weakly condemn violent force used by a man who was once the world's number one terrorist. A man who was responsible for ordering the bombing of the La Belle Disco in 1986; The Pan Am Lockerbie bombing in 1988. These two events killed nearly 300 people and injured almost as many.

I have said since he was elected that Obama was a second term for Jimmy Carter, but that isn't even a strong enough criticism. Carter was woefully inept to be sure, but I don't think he was trying to weaken the US intentionally, he was just overwhelmed by the job. Obama's foreign policy decisions make Carter look almost hawkish by comparison.

Watching the election results in 2008 as it became clear Obama was going to win I became very sad for the US. I wondered how bad things would get during what I tried to assure myself would be a single term. Now we are getting our answer.

Here's looking forward to the next Reagan, whoever he (or she) will be. Check out this Gallup Poll showing how bad Obama's doing across the country, looks like as of right now 2012 will be a Republican Landslide.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Web Links Wednesday

Hello all, well it's another Hump Day....You know what that means here at the's time for some Web Links.....

  • A couple of great posts on the Canon of Scripture from my friend Joe over at Shameless Popery....ok he's not my friend but he has commented on my blog before and his stuff blows my mind...someday I hope to be this knowledgeable in my faith.....He deals with which Canon(s) might be "correct" and whether Jesus quoted or otherwise used them....
  • Pope Benedict's Lenten message released on the Feast Day of the Chair of St. Peter.....
  • Reaganite Republican has been busy with loads of info on the happenings in some other things...
  • Here's a lot of info from the Middle East straight from the horse's mouth... Al Jazeera is one of the best news organizations they are right in the middle of it all....
  • A little post President's Day info on a recent poll from Michelle Malkin on the Greatest Presidents
  • The winner of that Poll's library......
  • The wikipedia page of one of my favorite EWTN hosts. Fr. Benedict Groeschel, an amazing man with a heck of a story, he nearly died in a 2004 accident, in fact he had no signs of life for 20 minutes at one point and he hosts Sunday Night Live on EWTN plus he is an amazing author....and I won't lie reminds me a bit of my own Papaw....makes me a little homesick every time I see him...
Alright everyone have an amazing day and rest of the week and pray for peace. From Wisconsin to the Middle East. I think I will be posting again later, depends on if the kids behave and I can get the piece I am thinking about written....

Edited to add one more link:

President Obama's HHS Dept. rolled back Conscience regulations for pharmacists and docs, which means some could be forced to violate their moral/religious principles....Catholic Hospitals supposedly still have their same protections in place......

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who Won't Get Credit For Middle East Change

Before I get to my main point today go read this amazing story about Egypt's Muslims and Christians supporting each other. I'll start by saying that story ties in with a lot of what I intend to talk about today.

I'm starting the bulk of this discussion by ignoring the dissonance of whether it was right or wrong for the US to initiate combat in Iraq. I thought it was then and I think it was now. Regardless of all of that in the last month we have seen populist uprisings all through Northern Africa and the Middle East. I don't think it is coincidental that as Iraq has gained more self-control and seen several successful elections, that the rest of the Arab Street is taking notice and attempting at least to throw off the chains of dictators and tyrants.

Throughout his administration President GW Bush said many times a free and independent Iraq would indeed change much in the Middle East. His words are being borne out on the streets of Cairo, Tripoli, Tunis, Manama and Beirut. Tehran is also bubbling with protest fever. Admittedly some of these protests have been against "pro-American" leaders, but so what. The bottom line is these people want the right and the ability to make their own choices and not have governments foisted on them from anyone else.

I remember watching President Bush's second Inaugural address and being touched by this passage:

Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.

The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."

The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.

And all the allies of the United States can know: we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help. Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom's enemies. The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies' defeat.

Clearly he saw something the rest of us didn't yet see, call it the reverse domino theory.

Here's the thing about all of this, the media, well the mainstream media anyway will come up with a whole host of reasons for all of this rioting and desiring of freedom from these countries, and I almost guarantee none of it will mention that President Bush said for the last five years of his administration that Iraq's freedom would lead to other nations demanding the same thing.

They will come up with any thing they can to attribute this sweeping change, but none of the credit will be placed at the man's feet where it belongs. The media HATES George W. Bush, they can't stand him. There is no way they will have the stones to write columns praising the Bush Doctrine.

Meanwhile the despots are vowing to "fight until the very last bullet," as Libyan strongman Moammar Qaddafi's son recently pledged.

It is now in the hands of Bush's successor, Barack Obama to see to it that these protests are heard; that voices are not silenced; and that all that can be done to end these oppressive regimes is done. I am not advocating America show force or attempt to use these moments to install further puppet governments. Rather the last remaining super power needs to merely let the world know we see what is going on and we will as another president said more than 50 years ago "......We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

On the one hand all of the turmoil scares me a little from a geopolitical world view that we could be seeing the beginnings of the next and possibly last great war of mankind. On the other hand, though it could even if there are some bumps in the road, be the stepping stone to some real change in one of the most violent, turbulent regions in all the world.

Here's hoping that the peaceful toleration of Egypt's Muslims and Christians wasn't a one-time affair. We can all hope that this changing climate brings much peace to the Cradle of Civilization and that indeed civility is returned to such a historically rich part of our big green marble.

And here's hoping that someday the man who saw all of what could happen with the ouster of one terrible regime will be recognized properly. George W. Bush might have done with one limited war what thousands of years and hundreds of people could not. Bring peace to the Middle East.

Happy President's Day everyone....or should I say Happy George Washington's birthday (observed). The holiday is properly only intended to be a celebration of our first President under the Constitution. Go here and read up on today's holiday.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Web Links....Special Thursday Edition

Hello all, I missed my usual Web Links Wednesday, so I am bringing them to you today.

  • There is an instruction set to be issued concerning Summorum Pontificum, and Fr. Z has some great ideas on his blog. Ideas to help Benedict XVI keep the document strong, if not strengthen it even more. Pray for the Holy Father, to keep SP strong, that we may reclaim some of our Catholic identity.
  • A great place to read a host of conservative columnists, from Ann Coulter to David Limbaugh and a host of other great conservative thinkers.
  • One of the great phrases ever coined Jumping the Shark, deals with when good TV goes bad.
  • Be warned this great site will suck you in, lots of trivia and quizzes and the like.
  • This is a good place to go for news, especially Catholic News, The NCR was recently acquired by EWTN.
  • And because I mentioned her network here is the wikipedia page on Mother Angelica, EWTN's fiercely orthodox, wickedly funny founder.
  • Keep some Kleenex handy for this sad, sad story. Michelle Malkin details the mass murdering Philadelphia abortion doc case 
  • Check your prescriptions carefully people. People make mistakes. Like this Safeway in Colorado, gave a pregnant woman an abortifacient pill. 
That's it for this week. Hope everyone is doing great. I thought about linking to newscaster Serene Branson's seeming on-air stroke. Even though her employer says she is fine and she didn't have a stroke it sure looked like it to me. Say a prayer for her as well as Mareena Silva and her baby when you hit your knees tonight.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Good Washing....

I've been thinking a lot about Baptism lately. Largely due to the fact that Traci and I are going to have our boys baptized finally. Once Tommy was born it seemed like we had a lot more going on than getting him baptized. Although I tried to have the priest at the hospital in Spokane do it before his first surgery, he refused as Tommy wasn't seen as being in danger of death from surgery.

Sadly baptism seems to be another of those things that divide Christ's followers. Some see it as a symbolic acceptance of Christ's message others see it as a regenerative cleansing and acceptance of the new covenant. For Catholics baptism is the first sacrament of initiation. It cleanses the soul of the stain of the original sin and breaks sins hold on the baptized. St. Peter likens the waters of baptism which save souls to the flood of Noah, we see this in 1 Peter 3: 20-21.

Going back a generation however; we see Jesus himself advocating Baptism. When questioned by Nicodemus, Jesus tells him one must be born by water and the spirit to gain eternal life. Jesus is calling back to his own baptism when he infused the Spirit into the water. Immediately after discussing this with Nicodemus, Jesus and the 12 begin baptizing people. John 3:5, 22.

Another argument I have seen against infant baptism is that babies can't make the profession of faith required of the baptism. This argument seems far more damaging than it is, one need only look to the shadow of baptism seen in the old covenant to realize that it was performed on infants as well. The mark of the old covenant was the ritual circumcision done on eight-day old boys. Jesus was himself presented and circumcised at eight days. In the old covenant as well as the new it is the parents of the child who seal them into the covenant. I doubt even the Incarnate Word was able to profess faith at a week of age. Also Colossians 2: 11-14, tells us that in baptism we die with Christ to be risen to eternal life. This passage is quoted nicely in the Catholic baptismal ritual. 

In addition to all of this Ezekiel tells us that God will unite us to himself with a regenerative bath in pure water. Ezekiel 36:24-28. This passage outlines all of the things baptism does for us. Cleanses us from sin, imparts the Holy Spirit, enables us to avoid sins in the future and makes us covenant children of God. Powerful stuff. I also like what St. Paul says in Romans 6:4.

I have vague memories of my own baptism as I was about Tommy's age when I received my entrance into the new covenant. Mostly I have memories of lots of baptisms that I helped with as an altar server for nearly a decade. I am excited to start Matty and Tommy on their faith journeys and can only hope they learn to love and live their faith. That is the charge given to parents and Godparents at baptism to see that they raise these children as children of God. Here's hoping that between God, Traci and myself we do just that, with a little help from the boys Godparents, when we need it.

A tip of the cap to two wonderful websites that helped formulate a lot of my writing on this topic. They had the appropriate Bible verses searched out already. Shameless Popery and Jesus I Trust in You.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Do Whatever He Commands You...."

You might recognize the title of this post as being from John's Gospel, (John 2:5). It is something Jesus' mother, the Blessed Virgin, tells the servants during the wedding feast at Cana. I think it applies to anyone who calls themselves Christian.

We hear very little about Jesus' earthly parents in the Bible. Some believe Joseph, his stepfather was likely an old man who married his mother to give her a place. One tradition holds that Mary was likely a temple virgin, thus consecrated to God, her whole life. As for myself I tend to sort of mash both of these traditions into a single lump. It is my belief that Joseph took Mary in intending to live a chaste life with her; as she was a temple virgin and he was an old man. Regardless I think the life of the Blessed Virgin has much to teach us.

Mary was the world's first Christian. She believed in her Son, even before the world had beheld Him. But more than that, her existence does nothing but "magnify" him, as she says in the beautiful Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).

Catholics are bound by the teachings of the Church to believe that Mary was conceived free of sin and remained in so pure a state throughout her whole life. I know a lot of people that hear that and it raises their hackles. A lot of people think it means that Mary is somehow equal with God or that she didn't need a Savior, but she even says her soul glories in God her Savior.

The ways I always try to explain this bit of Catholic dogma, are concerning Mary's role as the Ark of the New Covenant and the pit analogy.

The Bible can very easily be read with an eye toward types. Something in the Old Covenant routinely prefigures something in the New. The holiest thing in the Old Testament was the Ark of the Covenant. It housed the tablets on which God wrote the Commandments, the manna from the desert and the rod of Aaron. When God told Moses to build the Ark, he instructed him in complete detail as to every inch of its design. The Ark was to be made with pure acacia wood and pure gold. It was so pure and holy that God smote a man for touching it merely to keep it from falling off an ox cart (2 Samuel 6:6-7).

So if the Ark was that holy and it held stone tablets, a rod and a jar of manna, how much more holy the ark that carried the Incarnate Word. Mary was kept from sin by a special grace of God. Unmerited, undeserved grace. God in his ineffable plan, took the victory of the Cross from Calvary and extended it back in time by about 50 years and infused Mary's soul as one without sin. Catholic theology says that in essence God baptized Mary before he infused her soul; however Mary unlike the rest of us was so devoted to God that she was able to remain free from the stain of all sin.

The pit analogy would be that if someone is walking along in the woods they can be saved from a pit in two different ways. A person could fall into the pit and be pulled from it, thus being dirtied from the fall into the pit. Or the person can be told "hey there's a pit there don't go into it." That person wouldn't be stained from falling into the pit.

Mary shows up routinely in the Gospels at important moments. As I said in John's Gospel she is the one who kick-starts Jesus' ministry by having him turn water into wine. Notice what He calls her during this scene. "Woman" (John 2:4), He does it again in John's Gospel, it's hardly an accident. When Jesus is dying on the cross he turns to his mother once again and address her and "the beloved disciple" (John 19:26-27).

St. John is making a connection, from Genesis to Jesus. In Genesis Eve is called Woman. See Genesis 2:20 and compare it with Genesis 3:23. In Christ we have the new Adam, if we have a new Adam we must have a new Eve. Eve was created immaculately in the Garden from the old Adam. Mary was Immaculately Conceived to bear the new Adam in Bethlehem.

St. John again uses "Woman" to identify Mary in Revelation 12:1-6, compare that with Genesis 3:15. It's clear from the Johannine literature in the Bible that John views Mary as an integral part of salvation. He makes her the Ark of the New Covenant and the Woman against whom the Dragon wages war during the end times.

Which brings me back to my original point. Mary has an important part to play in our salvation and it is more than just bringing Christ to the world. All her efforts, all of her life continually point to her Son and are best summarized in the quote from the beginning of this post. If indeed we "Do whatever He commands of us we shall find our eternal salvation. If we say it's too hard, or not worth it, or we serve ourselves we can easily lose out on that salvation.

On a side note I find it interesting that two of the most famous and most venerated Marian apparitions highlight some of these things. When the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Juan Diego, on a hill outside of Mexico City in 1531, she appeared as a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and crowned with stars.

Three Hundred years later, in 1858, she appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous outside of Lourdes, France. When the young peasant girl asked her who she was, she was told "I am the Immaculate Conception." Blessed Pope Pius IX had formally declared the Immaculate Conception as dogma, just four years before the apparition 1854. It was Pius IX who also declared the apparition at Lourdes to be authentic.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Web Links Wednesday

It's Wednesday, everybody. You know what that means. Web links:

  • How bout a little inspiration from one of the great works of art. The Vatican's virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel.
  • Here's the Wikipedia page on the Chapel.
  • Ken Jennings the all-time Jeopardy Champion has a fun website with a blog and even a forum. He routinely posts in the forums. although so does his father also named Ken Jennings. Tune in to Jeopardy next week when he and Brad Rutter will face Watson the IBM built supercomputer. Rutter was a five-day Champ under the old rules, who went on to win his season's Tournament of Champions. Rutter also won the Ultimate TOC, He has never lost a game of Jeopardy. 
  • One of my all-time favorite websites, the Internet Movie Database, has tons of info on just about every movie ever made. I am not crazy about their latest redesign but it is still a useful resource. Plus they have parents guides for movies to help decide if it is ok for your little ones to see.
  • Miss a Super Bowl ad, check this site out. My favorites were the Faith Hill flower ad and the Darth Vader VW.
  • One of my favorite political sites. Red State is a solidly conservative corner of the internet.
  • Here's a fun little deal from M&M's find the 50 "dark" movies hidden in the poster. 
Ok, that's enough for this week. Hope you're all having a good week.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Doctors, Doctors and More Doctors

From the first day of Tommy's life it seems as if we have had an endless stream of doctors. It seems like every new doctor we meet tells us how we should see one specialist or another. Traci and I refer to this vast network of doctor's as Tommy's village.

The first specialist who came into our lives has always held a sort of primacy of place for us. If for no other reason than she was the first who looked at Tommy and said "I can fix that, for ya," while that isn't a direct quote it might as well have been.

I was sitting with Tommy in the Neonatal ICU in Spokane, when we first met Dr. P. I had been told she would likely come by to consult either that afternoon or in the morning. Remember it was me and Tommy against the world at this point still, his momma was still stuck down in Moscow and our assorted families were all en route.

I remember sitting alone in that quiet space clutching my rosary, looking at my firstborn, wondering what had happened, how it could be fixed, why it had happened. Dr. P came in and introduced herself, took a look at Tommy and started telling me exactly how we could fix the cleft and what sort of time frame we were looking at for the various surgeries. I remember thinking, "She can fix him, and make his face whole, how awesome is she".

I'm pretty sure I even called Traci using a few precious seconds of my cell phones rapidly dwindling battery and told her, "I met the plastic surgeon and she doesn't care about the other stuff going on. She says she can fix Tommy's face."

Over time and several surgeries, she has done just that. Tommy has one upper lip and palate, where he used to have three. We have heard lots of people tell us lots of things about Dr. P, but never has a single one of them been bad. She is an amazing lady who frequently takes trips to developing countries and does cleft repairs for the poor in those nations.

Traci and I often say that God probably had to make Tommy the way he did, because had he been born without the cleft and with his other parts being like they should, he would be too beautiful to look at. Plus it has given us a window into so many things. Dr. P's deft touch as she has repaired his upper lip, his nose and his palate has been amazing.

I almost wrote noses in that last paragraph. One thing we found out after one of Tommy's surgeries is that his body tried to make two noses. It was beneficial for Dr. P as she was able to use them to her advantage in that surgery.

When I look at old pictures of Tommy and see that wide cleft smile, sometimes I get a little sad. Sometimes I miss it. I know everyone looks at their babies and waits to see how they change over their first year or two. Traci and I got to see ours change over a few hours. We would get to the hospital for surgery and get everything squared away, sending our little man off into the capable hands of the hospital staff, then we would go eat breakfast and wait. After a few hours we could go see him in recovery, the first time we got to see him with a whole upper lip was amazing. Every surgery since has had a sort of "let's look at the new Tommy, feel to it". 

If you have the means or the inclination or are looking for a tax write-off. Give Operation Smile a look. They do amazing things.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super Bowl Prediction

I think I am more excited for this Super Bowl than I have been since the last time my Niners made the big game. It should have huge ratings two of the league's oldest, most storied franchises battling for the trophy named for the former head coach of one of the teams.

Pittsburgh has been a regular visitor to the Super Bowl lately winning Super Bowl XL and XLIII. They have a veteran squad that knows how to handle all the potential distractions of the media hype. Green Bay hasn't been since Brett Favre quit the booze and vicodin. Aaron Rodgers has proven an able successor to No. 4 in "Titletown", and brought the Pack to Dallas to try and win their 4th Super Bowl title.

Pittsburgh is looking for their NFL leading 7th Super Bowl victory.

The line was set at Green Bay -2.5 right after the conference championships and hasn't moved. That is about right where I expect it will end up. Both squads control the game with their defenses. They are ranked 1 (Pitt) and 2 (GB) in total defense this season. Both move the ball well on offense, but as I said with the top two defenses in the league the offenses might be slowed. Both teams feature a strong corps of linebackers, who love to get to the quarterback.

The last meeting between the two teams turned into a barnburner, with the Steelers winning, 37-36, on a last-second touchdown throw by Ben Roethlisberger. If the offenses can gameplan for the solid defenses and move the ball well we could see another game like that.

I tend to think that even though they have fewer players who have been to a Super Bowl, the Packers will come out ahead in this one. I think they will just more than cover the spread.

Call it Green Bay 28 Pittsburgh 24.

Aaron Rodgers (20-33, 3 TDs no INTs) will pick up the MVP award and cause Niner fans everywhere to throw things at their televisions.

Here's hoping we have a good game. Hopefully there will be some funny commercials for the first time in several years.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Web Links Wednesday

It's Humpday, everybody and I feel like I unintentionally started something last week due to a Spokane trip that will be a Musings tradition. Web Links for Wednesday. Without further ado.

  • Saw this today, gotta love this kid's exuberance. Gotta say I might be hard pressed to avoid doing the same if I was that close to Benedict XVI
  • A great piece on the unconstitutional health care law. Usually read this blog for the Catholicism but a great piece by my favorite blogger/law student at Shameless Popery. 
  • The English text of Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Issued in 2007 it is basically calling for a return or at least no impediments to some of the older forms of worship including usage of the Tridentine Mass....for all of you who grew up before Vatican II that would be the Mass you remember from your childhood. Unfortunately the Vatican website doesn't have the document in English yet, so I had to dig a little. 
  • Great blog from the Heritage Foundation about the 100th birthday of the greatest president of the 20th Century.
  • Rush's take on Roger Vinson's ruling about Obamacare.
  • All Things Super Bowl and NFLish from Sports Illustrated. My own prediction is on the way I made one last week, but may contradict it this week, tune in and find out. 
  • The homepage of America's favorite quiz show. Looking forward to taking the test again next week. Here's hoping I pass again and get on the show this time.
  • If at least one of the many websites covered in the blanket of this link doesn't make you laugh, check your vital signs.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Bowl Game No One Watches....

So the Pro Bowl was this past Sunday...did you know that? If you are a hardcore NFL fan you probably did. The game was moved from its traditional Sunday after the Super Bowl two years ago in an effort to get more people to watch. I don't think it's working.

The problem is the game is a glorified two-hand touch let's not get anyone hurt affair. IT is hardly a real football game. Besides it happens too close to the football game EVERYONE watches, the Super Bowl.

When the game was held post Super Bowl I watched it knowing it was my last chance to look at football and to sort of put football away and prepare for pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training.

Between the Conference Championships and Super Bowl is a ridiculous place for it for several reasons.

First, players on the Super Bowl teams don't participate, not such a big deal if you are a superstar who seemingly goes every year. But how would you feel if you were an average player whose career year finally helped your team to a Super Bowl and you to your first pro bowl. Sure it's an honor just to be selected....yeah right.

Second, by this time too many people are suffering from football burn out. We had the NCAA bowl season which seems to be getting ever longer, the end of the NFL regular season and playoffs and we are waiting on the Super Bowl.

Third, it shares a crowded weekend with the NHL All-Star festivities and late season college hoops. The Pro Bowl is just asking to be lost in the shuffle. Even when the game features nearly a 100 points scored as it did this year.

My solution, have the voting for the season done as it has always been, but have the Pro Bowl take the place of the annual Hall of Fame Game. The Hall game is held every year on the weekend the NFL inducts its Hall of Fame class. The game usually features at least one team that has an incoming inductee. It is also the start of the NFL preseason so it is usually sloppy, and little more than two-hand touch.

So in the new schedule all of this year's Pro Bowl selections go to Canton next August and the Pro Bowl opens the preseason, everyone selected gets to play and no one cares if it is sloppy.

Seriously don't you watch the first preseason game or two intently because it's football.

By early August baseball is just starting to get interesting and people are just starting to recover from the fact that the interminable NBA playoffs finally ended sometime in June. Preseason football comes along just then as balm for the soul. You can stomach watching bad football in August, because hey at least it's football.

Of course with their impending labor doom the NFL might not have a season next year. Here's hoping some NFL player union rep reads this column and brings this idea to the table. Yeah Right.

But doesn't my idea make more sense than trying to make us care about a bad football game right before the Super Bowl.