Seven Degrees of Participation

June 18, 2010

June Book of the Month

Folks this is the one book not to miss. Make sure all your Republican friends get this one soon before the money to buy it with is worth nothing.


June 14, 2010

Detroit Lions on the Rise: 10-6 this Season?

Lions Roar Once More

by Alan Meranda

Some pundit out there thinks the Lions will go 3-13. The Patriots game could be an upset game for the Lions.

Minnesota is expecting Favre back, but this isn’t the same Lions defense anymore. A lot of pundits are picking the Lions fourth in the conference. I think the Lions will make Chicago their bitch this season. 12-4 will take the conference this year. This is going to sound like crazy talk, but I think the Lions could go 10-6. But the bad thing is four of those losses will be in the conference.

The other thing intriguing about the Lion’s schedule is that the Giants, Vikings, Packers and Patriots are the only true defensive monsters the Lions play this year. If I am Suh and the Lions defensive line, I think there could be a badly thrashed Manning by the end of the game with the Giants.

The NFL has maybe 6-8 quarterbacks that are difficult to deal with defensively and the Lions have six games against them. If Favre doesn’t return that means four games. I like those odds. Besides our running game doesn’t put the ball on the turf.

One of the interesting things to note is that with all of the Lions player changes so far this season, it makes sense towards becoming a better Lions team.

Many of the teams in the NFL this year have had players retire and the players added to those rosters for those positions have yet to be proven. Lions are in the same boat, yet the Lions have been playing in tough times a long time, other teams can’t say that and will have a tough time adapting.

June 10, 2010


Which USC booster Paid for that "Cuban Stogie" Reggie?

The NCAA needs to inflict forfeits on the USC college football program in their regular season and any bowl games. The NCAA also needs to remove the Heisman awards from both Matt Leinart, 2004 and Reggie Bush, 2005. Anything less means nothing! This needs to be done not in the spirit of good sportsmanship but  in the spirit of great sportsmanship! The treacherous audacity of the USC football program and how their antics have poisoned college athletics and college football needs to be corrected.

Does this mean that the “Sweater Vest” in Columbus, Ohio will be fleeing to the NFL after next season?

May 20, 2010

Ghost Whisperer Might Be Gone What’s Next?


by Alan Meranda

Let’s look at the degrees of television success. Just being able to get a program on broadcast TV is rather impressive. Lasting three seasons is special. Making it to 100 episodes is a huge benchmark of success on broadcast television. Getting to the five year mark means that your show meant something. Seven years is magical and it sets your show in the company of some amazing broadcast television legends. Nine years is absolutely incredible. Finally, 20 years says that your show is undeniably classic television.

On May 18, 2010, CBS announced that Ghost Whisperer will not be returning for another season on CBS, citing rising costs and a decline in viewing figures as the reasons. 2005 saw the first episode of Ghost Whisperer and the show lasted five seasons and 106 episodes. Most noticeable on the show was Jennifer Love Hewitt cast as the Melinda Gordon, the lady that whispered with the ghosts and solved mysteries related to the deaths causing the ghosts. At times the show had an eerie and unfotunate likeness to a Nancy Drew Mystery Story.

Was this controversial or inevitable? Shows like Ghost Whisperer on CBS get settled, run for several seasons and get kicked to the curb. Joan of Arcadia suffered a similar fate. Based on a general gander at the number of viewers watching successful television shows, you want to hit double-digit viewers in the millions to remain on television till it’s time to call it quits. There are exceptions to this, the most interesting being Smallville. Entering its tenth and final season this fall, Smallville has a fierce and loyal following. But the overall numbers watching Smallville are barely one fifth those of Law & Order which also was canceled.

I will fess up, I watched Ghost Whisperer regularly. The last season was a struggle to stay motivated to watch. In contrast, Medium which was picked up by CBS after being dropped by NBC due to the whole Jay Leno blunder, thrived on CBS following Ghost Whisperer. CBS renewed Medium. If anything there was a distinct edginess to the episodes of Medium this season.

Now to CBS’s credit, Ghost Whisperer lasted longer than any of the esoteric shows Fox has ever tried to make last. But the question is why do these types of shows lack long-term success? I am a serious fan of the genre. It’s great to see broadcast television bring these shows out. But the shows just don’t have a lasting impact. What’s more, I watch many of the BBC offerings on cable and have found that British television, when it comes to esoteric dramas, handily are better than what’s offered on the American broadcast airwaves.

The  folks running broadcast television are scrambling to drive numbers up for the advertisers by putting out moronic, inept, vapid, imbecilic shows that cater to the lowest common denominators of the viewing audience. These shows mirror the shortsightedness and general incompetence of the broadcast executives trying to force this crap on the viewing audience. It’s almost as if the broadcast executives of America are on par with the leadership counterparts of American politics.

All I wanted to do was expound on the demise of Ghost Whisperer. Yet an ironic association can be made to the fall of broadcast television and the economic collapse of America. Now I am not suggesting that watching more broadcast television will improve the economy.  The America political process, in too many instances, establishes lackluster political iniatives that just don’t have the legs to last like the 20-year television classic Gunsmoke did.

(–Alan Meranda is a professed and confessed aficionado of esoteric television at its finest. His latest guilty television pleasure is the third season of the Batman television show featuring Yvonne Craig as Batgirl.)

May 17, 2010


Filed under: POLITICS — Alan M @ 12:23 am

May 16, 2010


Filed under: POLITICS — Alan M @ 11:29 pm

Advice from Curtis & Leroy: 


Limit all US politicians to two terms.

One in office

One in prison

Detroit already does this.

May 10, 2010

Controversy About the Conspiracy

Filed under: SPORTS — Alan M @ 1:42 pm










by Alan Meranda

Let’s be clear about one thing. I am a Detroit Red Wings fan and have been since 1970. I have followed hockey from that perspective for a long time. One of my buddies Dave Maerten is an equally rabid  Montreal Canadians fan. His post season hockey happiness continues and mine has ended.

The idea that a conspiracy against the continued success of the Detroit Red Wings is considered to be wrong. I disagree and want to point out some things that are solid facts to support a conspiracy against the Detroit Red Wings. The bottom line in any conspiracy is motivation and or purpose.

The Wings are a storied and successful hockey franchise, probably one of the best if not the best.  Now to say that the Wings were jobbed in the playoff series loss to the San Jose Sharks is not that far-fetched.

Most obvious was the way the playoff games were officiated. Yes there were missed calls on both sides. There were many “phantom” calls as well. To me the trick isn’t to make or not make a call against your team. It’s to make or not make calls that influence your team to leave the style of play that makes them most successful.

The Wings lost the first game against the Coyotes in the first round of playoffs. It was a physical and intimidating style of play that the Coyotes brought to the Wings. The Red Wings since the end of the Olympics were one of the best teams playing. The Red Wings responded to the fierce and feisty play of the Coyotes and eventually won in seven games. The odd thing about this series was that the officials were not calling penalties as often as the letter of the rules seemed to indicate.

The play of the Detroit Red Wings against the Sharks was now shifted by the officiating from not calling penalties to being blatantly anal about what they were calling as penalties. Mike Babcock, head coach of the Detroit Red Wings is a terrific coach. Babcock knows hockey, has a team that plays hockey as a team and as a team doesn’t need individual heroics to win games. Babcock has continued the legacy of winning hockey in Detroit.

It wasn’t the coaching. The play of the Wings was strange at times. Losing face-offs, having players removed from the face-off circle and the Wings being able to play their game based on what and how the officials were calling penalties. One of the tenets of playing hockey is adapting. The Wings proved that they could do that in the first round of the playoffs. The Red Wings have sharp talented players. All of this amounts to the enigmatic question: Was this some sort of conspiracy?

Let’s approach this from the usual suspect: Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League.  Granted this is the National Hockey League and the money just isn’t there for a quality person to lead the NHL. Bettman has proved to be arrogant, belligerent, ignorant of the history of the NHL and incapable of growing let alone maintaining the status of hockey as a sport. Now let’s contrast Bettman with not one person, but an organization that turned itself around from being one of the worst in the sport to one of the best. Yes folks, the Detroit Red Wings. The spirit of winning hockey is with the Detroit Red Wings. The players are winners, the management is winning and ultimately all of Michigan wins because of the quality and excellence that is the Detroit Red Wings as an organization.

What has Bettman decided to do to improve hockey? In general all of his lame maneuvers have seemingly been indirect attacks on the successful hockey as implemented by the Detroit Red Wings.

The Wings were moved to the Western Conference, displacing them from direct competition against their Original Six compatriots. The Original Six teams made hockey happen. This evidences Bettman’s ignorance for the history of hockey.

Bettman due to his lack of vision caused financial disruption and the collapse of many hockey organizations. Rather than citing all the teams forced to be sold to different ownership and moved to different cities to survive, Bettman’s failed fix was a salary cap to generate financial solvency for the entire league. The end result of this was a diluted talent pool, a dubious new “Great One” of hockey in Sid Crosby, amoral interpretation of the rules of hockey play in the playoffs to create Stanley Cup match-ups to bolster television audience numbers. And yes, the winning ways of hockey as applied successfully by the Detroit Red Wings suffered from all of this.

It’s not a conspiracy. It’s the incompetence of Gary Bettman that has soiled hockey and ultimately the pleasures of the Detroit Red Wing hockey fans.

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