State of the Franchise: Baltimore Ravens 3/30/13

A few quick updates on our beloved Super Bowl XLVII Champion Baltimore Ravens.

Things are not NEARLY as bad as everyone thought only a few short weeks ago. The sky is not falling, the Ravens are rebuilding but not in bad shape at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the biggest fan of the Boldin to San Francisco trade (more on this later), nor the release of Bernard Pollard or Ed Reed. I just realize that there will always be turnover each year, just like the NFL analysts and the radio show hosts are saying. Get with the program, our team will still compete for the AFC North crown with Pittsburgh and *cough* Cincinnati. So relax.

1. Furthermore, I have to say I like many of the free-agent signings so far this offseason. Michael Huff, the versatile former 1st-round draft pick out of Texas, has a ton of potential and can be very good in Baltimore. He’s far from a lock Hall of Famer like Ed Reed is but at this point in their respective careers, I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s going to play a lot better than he did in Oakland. He might even make the Pro Bowl if our defensive line can generate any pass rush this year.

2. Chris Canty is another big acquisition this offseason. I seem to remember him being a pretty big deal a few years back when he got traded from Dallas to New York. I think that was 2009 or 2010. Either way, he’s definitely a good defensive lineman, better in run-support than pass-rush, and I’m pretty sure he’s got at least a few more good years in the tank. If you don’t really understand what kind of player he was previously, only 3-4 years ago he was worth $42 million to the Giants. He JUST turned 30. Unlike wide receiver or cornerback or ESPECIALLY running back, the big uglies in the middle of the field don’t suddenly go bad, they often play into their mid or even late 30s.

3. F*#k Paul Kruger. He can go eat a bag of baby dicks in Cleveland. For all of you who thought he was such a huge loss this offseason, I promise you never even heard of him until really the beginning of this season. He was a huge bust for like 3 years of his rookie contract coming out of Utah. So either he was lazy as shit and just underwhelmed with his play for several years or was too stupid and just took that long to figure out our defense. Either way he’s the Browns problem now. Here, let me make it real simple for you:

Paul Kruger is 27 years old. In 4 seasons he has a total of 15.5 sacks regular season, 6.0 sacks postseason. Since 9.0 regular season and 4 postseason sacks all happened this season, he only had 6.5 and 2.0 through 3 whole seasons. Combine that with how bad he truly is in run-support and you can see why I’m not really all that stressed over losing him. He’s costing Cleveland $40 million dollars/5 years!

“One year of decent pass rush does not a star defensive end make.”

Elvis Dumervil is 29 years old. in 7 seasons he has 63.5 sacks regular season, 1.5 sacks postseason. 5 out of 7 seasons he’s had at LEAST 8.5 sacks, including 17 in just 2019!!! Look up the definition of reliable pass-rushing defensive end and there’s a picture of Dumervil next to it. Nobody in the league short of Jared Allen, Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware or Terrell Suggs gets to the QB as often as he does. Guess how much we got him for? $26 million base or $35 million max, contributing only $2.5 million towards this years salary cap.

Who would you take, Kruger for 40 mill over 5 years or Dumervil for 35 mill over 5 years. Enough said.

4. Let’s talk about Anquan Boldin for a minute. This is the guy who dominated the Super Bowl this season, the guy who caught 6 TDs this postseason. Boldin is a large, powerful possession-type receiver who is hard to tackle and even harder to bring down. That kind of receiver can be quite effective in the NFL for a long time, especially when he’s comfortable in an offensive system with a good Quarterback. So WHY the F#$K did we give him to San Francisco for peanuts?!?! Answer me that!!

Ok, now that I’ve calmed down, slightly, let me explain. Keep in mind that I might not have access to all relevant information involving Boldin’s contract, cap numbers or terms of the trade. This is what I think:

Boldin would have costed Baltimore around $6 million dollars this season, which would mean 6 million towards our salary cap number. Because he would be an unrestricted free-agent if we refused to pay this number, Ozzie/Harbaugh/Whoever decided to offer him up to San Francisco in return for a) not having to pay him $6 million dollars and b) because we would receive a 6th round draft pick in return. Seriously think about that for a second.

There is nothing wrong with a 6th or even 7th rounder, plenty of decent NFL starters are drafted in the later rounds. At the time Baltimore had next to no salary cap room, and that’s why we gave him away for chump change. The thing is, we’re not talking about Bobbie Williams here or even David Reed, the receiver we did end up resigning, albeit for a lot less money ($2.5 million). This is arguably the best receiver on the team when you consider just how valuable he was during the playoffs if nothing else. Instead of getting all antsy and dumping him for whatever we could get for him at the time, I would have done things way differently.

Instead of accepting that trade offer, a better strategy involves paying him the 6 million we owed him this season, and then initiating trade talks with any number of teams. I’m sure there are plenty of teams who would be willing to give us more than a 6th rounder. Since any team that traded for him would essentially be picking up his tab, the $6 mill that we couldn’t afford to pay him wouldn’t have been a problem anyways. Or we could have just kept him, especially since we made so many other moves to free up cap space later anyways.

5. Quickly running through the projected starting lineup. This is how I see things in terms of positional value at this very moment. I’m sure things will fluctuate all the way up until opening day, so in no way is this issue settled:

Quarterbacks: A+ Starting QB Joe Flacco is coming off his best season ever, culminating with a world championship for the team and a Super Bowl MVP award for himself. You couldn’t ask for much more from your QB. Back-up QB Tyrod Taylor is, well, Tyrod Taylor. He’s not great at anything in particular, except for scrambling around during the preseason. It’s not like we ever use him anyways, knock on wood.

Running Backs: A+ Ray Rice is still one of the premier backs in the league, regardless of a minor case of fumblitis during the playoffs. He should still have a few good years left in the tank, especially since his back-up Bernard Pierce is looking like a capable starter himself. Hopefully both will stay healthy and be a steadying veteran influence on the many new players joining the team this offseason. There are several other young backs on the team, such as Bobby Rainey, trying to make the team but they are trying to make the final roster. There’s always hope that one of them can help the team, maybe. FB Vonta Leach is still on the team too. He is a gigantic part of our running game and continues to play at a Pro Bowl-level, despite the NFL’s numerous attempts to eradicate the position.

Wide Receivers: C+ Torrey Smith will be the primary option now that Boldin is playing for San Francisco. He has become an exceptional player over the past couple years, bringing elite speed and above average route running to the table. Jacoby Jones will help him stretch the field, using his speed and quickness for other things besides Dancing with the Stars. David Reed was re-signed during the off-season and will compete for playing time w/ Tandon Doss, LaQuan Williams, Tommy Streeter and several other players that have thus far failed to make an impact. Luckily we’ve got over a dozen draft picks AND we’re solid at the tight end position.

Tight Ends: B+ Both of our impact tight ends, Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, are restricted free agents this season. We’ll get Dickson back since he already signed his tender but Pitta is still up in the air for the moment. Tight ends that can take advantage of mismatches are in high demand, especially those with a history of making big plays in the postseason like him. If we somehow escape free agency with both, the Ravens will be in pretty decent shape in terms of receiving options. If all else fails, we still have uh… Billy Bajema, Alex Silvestro, and Steve Watson? 😛

Offensive Line: B For some reason, Michael Oher is still with the team. Ever since the Blind Side came out, he has been one of the most overrated players in the league. He will NEVER be the franchise left tackle the Ravens thought we would be when they drafted him out of Mississippi, contrary to what Hollywood says. Having said that, I am still overwhelmingly impressed with how the O-line blocked during the playoffs. They should staple Oher to the ground at right tackle. Bryant McKinnie, the incredible bulk, looked like a new man after being benched and embarrassed during the regular season. Marshal Yanda continues to play at a Pro Bowl-level, while Kelechi Osemele will be even better with a year (and a Super Bowl ring) under his belt. Gradkowski is in for some “Welcome to the NFL”-moments this year at Center, while everyone else will battle for playing time while continuing to provide depth. If you asked me this question before the playoffs, I would have given a very different answer. As it stands though, I’m actually ok with this group of relatively young men.

PS: KEEP MICHAEL OHER @ RIGHT TACKLE. Or cut him, whichever.

Defensive Line: B- Star Defensive Tackle Haloti Ngata should move back in the middle, surrounded by Chris Canty, Arthur Jones, Marcus Spears, Pernell McPhee, etc. That doesn’t sound TOO bad. I’m obviously not 100% sure about how good this group will be since games are won on the field, not on paper. Canty and Spears are new acquisitions and will need time to get comfortable. They might not be accustomed to playing Baltimore defense, which is more aggressive, and more physical than anywhere outside of the AFC North. Players need time to play instinctively, or as a team. The primary objective of this group will mostly be to take on blockers and stop the run so that our linebackers can flow to the ball.

Linebackers: A- Speaking of which, our star linebackers appear to be all set to make plays all over the field. Close your eyes and imagine a back to 100% Terrell Suggs on one side, elite pass rusher Elvis Dumervil on the other side, with Courtney Upshaw, Jameel McClain, and Albert McClellan rotating in the middle. Even before adding anyone else through free agency or the draft, our linebackers look pretty solid. There’s plenty of potential fireworks in this group, as long as they can figure out how to work together. We still have to find Ray Lewis’s heir apparent but with 12+ draft picks already, it won’t be as difficult as many people think. We don’t need a Hall of Fame-caliber middle linebacker, at least not at the moment, we just need someone who can get the job done for now.

Cornerbacks/Safeties: C+ Did anyone see Jimmy Smith during the Super Bowl? The former 1st round pick out of Colorado made two of the biggest plays of the game, solidifying the Ravens trust & faith in his abilities. If you don’t know which two plays I’m talking about, go watch the 4th quarter, you’ll figure it out. Jimmy-boy still has a long way before I will consider him a dependable starter on Baltimore’s defense but luckily he won’t have to do everything by himself. Cary Williams is long gone, having taken a job in Philly to the tune of $17 million over 3 years. Lardarius Webb (aka: Webbie) is on schedule to make it to training camp. When he’s healthy he’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player, which will take some of the pressure off losing Williams, Ed Reed AND Bernard Pollard. Corey Graham is coming back too, and he played well enough to warrant a starting gig last season. Hopefully between free agency and the upcoming draft, we’ll find some upgrades for the defensive backfield.

Special Teams: A+ This is the best Special Teams group in the entire country. Period. There might have been games where the Ravens gave up some big plays or missed a field goal, but that happens to every team. Both of our kickers, punter Sam Koch and kicker Justin Tucker, are as good and confident as they get. Koch already has a few Pro Bowls under his belt, while Tucker will get his share if he continues to play like he did last season (He got ROBBED by Phil Dawson BTW). Jacoby Jones was the best kick returner in the NFL last year, even over the usual suspects like Devin Hester or Josh Cribbs. Baltimore’s coverage unit continues to be led by Pro Bowl Special Teams-Ace Brendan Ayanbadejo.

To put that in perspective, Pro Bowl-caliber Punter, Pro Bowl-caliber Kicker (check his stats! honestly!), Pro Bowl-caliber kick returner, AND Pro Bowl-caliber coverage gunner. You can’t really beat that, but I dare you to try.

That’s pretty much all I got for today. Feel free to voice your agreements and complaints alike, it’s not like I honestly care what anyone thinks about my beloved Ravens anyways but I’d love to hear what everyone has to say. Opinions are like chocolate cake, they can go fudge themselves. I’m just kidding, I must be tired or something.

~Michael

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Contact me @ Wong_83@Hotmail.com OR message me @ Kyarnboy.Wordpress.com

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Congratulations Baltimore, the newly minted 2012 World Champions!

This is my shout-out to the 2012 World Champion Baltimore Ravens, the best team in the NFL. Finally you did it! Against all odds, you got to the mountain top, taking the hardest possible route through the playoffs to boot. All I can say is WOW. You did it for us, you did it for Ray Lewis, and you did it for Ed Reed. This is just a list of thoughts I’ve been gathering for such an occasion, I figured there’s no better time to share them with y’all than right now, while the memories are still fresh and the celebration is still rampaging through Maryland. In CatonsvilleArbutusBaltimore CityReisterstown, Columbia, Ellicott City, Turf Valley, Glen Burnie, Pasadena, Clarksville, Silver SpringWhite Marsh, Bel Air, and everywhere in between, the streets filled with Purple & Black flags, streamers, hoodies, jerseys, hats and anything else that the team can put their stamp on. So what should we remember from this historic trip through the playoffs? Here’s 10 things I took away from our romp through the playoffs.

1. Can anyone else in the modern era say they went through Tom Brady & Peyton Manning to get to the Super Bowl? That’s a combined 7 Super Bowl appearances, 4 Super Bowls, 3 Super Bowl MVP awards, and 6 Regular Season MVP awards between them.

2. Nobody can deny Joe Flacco his Elite-status any longer. 11 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions in 4 Postseason games. I think that speaks for itself.

3. Baltimore’s defense, the same defense that struggled the entire regular season, was also the main reason we just won the championship. It still wasn’t as dominant as it’s been in past seasons but came up big on numerous occasions against Indianapolis, against Denver in overtime, definitely against New England, and even at the end of the Super Bowl against San Francisco. The Last Stand of Ray Lewis indeed.

4. I’m still not convinced the power outage right after halftime in the Super Bowl wasn’t some insidious plot hatched by a vindictive 49ers fan. According to Entergy Corp., the company in charge of providing and maintaining power for Mercedes-Benz Superdome Stadium, an electrical device installed expressly to prevent such power outages was the source of the Super Bowl Blackout. HELL NO, that’s the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard plenty of lame excuses. Mainly coming from me in a vain attempt to not go to school.

I imagine a rabid 49ers fan, dripping with red & gold apparel, creeping through the labyrinth of stadium corridors while gripping a chainsaw. Maniacally. He had plenty of time to plan his terrorist plot considering his team hadn’t scored but a pair of field goals the entire 1st half. Watching the game on his smartphone, the score becoming more and more lopsided by the minute, his frustration and necessity to help his team growing by the minute, the Jacoby Jones kickoff-return for a touchdown was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Two things, my family always tells me I’ve got the most vivid imagination, and hell, I would’ve done the same thing if my team was down 28-6 in the Super Bowl. The NFL was just happy to have a more competitive game, so they kept the whole thing hushed-up and made up some random “device failure”-excuse instead.

5. Speaking of Jacoby Jones, I sure hope we have enough Cap-space next season. Can you imagine the Baltimore Ravens without Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Anquan Boldin, Paul Kruger, or Matt Birk? I mean Birk’s getting kinda old but still. The same thing happened the last time we won the Super Bowl, in 2000. That time we figured out ways to keep most of our team intact, at the expense of forfeiting the 2002 team. A balance must be struck between paying players what they’re due for years of faithful service, and cutthroat business tactics to ensure continuity, like the New England Patriots. They don’t really pay anybody, especially not homegrown talent. Look at WR Randy Moss or WR Wes Welker, WR David Patten, and TE Benjamin Watson. Rather I should say they don’t pay anyone what they’re worth.

6. I’ve said this before but Joe Flacco deserves every penny of a 100+ million dollar contract. He’s not worth more than say Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but pretty close to it. Look at it this way, if we don’t pay him 17+ million dollars a year, with most of the money back-loaded and an enormous signing bonus, we’re still going to have to use the franchise tag on him or chance him skipping town to a team starving for decent quarterback play. The franchise tag would still cost almost 16 million in pure, guaranteed money, and that way we wouldn’t be able to use the tag on someone else extremely important to the continued success of the Ravens.

Someone like one of the players I listed in the previous paragraph.

7.  I know Terrell Suggs has been playing with his arm nearly falling off for over half a season, and Haloti Ngata has been more banged up than a hooker by the Slap-Chop guy, but can we please get some pressure on the opposing QB? Paul Kruger led the team with 9 sacks in the regular season, and 2.5 in the postseason. To put this in perspective, Broncos LB Von Miller  had 18.5 sacks in the regular season, 49ers LB Aldon Smith had 19.5, Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware had 11.5, which is an off-year for him, and Broncos DE Elvis Dumervil had 11. If we’re not going to pay Paul Kruger, I’m pretty sure we won’t, somebody is going to have to take his place.

8. Oh and another thing about Joe Flacco. Did anyone else see him sleeping on the sideline during the power outage? What’s that about? I was probably the only person on Earth screaming at the TV-screen when I saw him lounging around, cool as a cucumber. No wonder our offense was so slow out the gate during the 2nd half. If not for the defense stepping up, especially Jimmy Smith, everything could have gone so terribly wrong. I know I’m nitpicking but still.

9.  Statistics my ass. Everyone and everybody is using their considerable brainpower to come up with new analytical statistics in a vain attempt to predict the future of football. “This quarterback or that one is elite because of his true QBR or true yards per attempt.” If we used even a portion of that computing power on say, Cancer research, we’d all be immortal by now. “Turnovers are divided into different categories of harm. Some can even be beneficial.” I read that in ESPN Insider a couple of weeks ago. All I can say is REALLY? Maybe NFL teams should turn the ball over on purpose sometimes. Yeah right.

10. I leave you with this final thought… for now. Does any team have better fans than Baltimore? The people who run M&T Bank Stadium projected 25-30,000 people max to show up for the free-admission fan celebration on Tuesday. Do you have any idea how many people showed up at the stadium alone, not to mention the parade route?

200,000 people packed the stadium and its immediate surroundings. Police acted as crowd control since the stadium authority couldn’t handle all the crazed fanatics climbing over the entrance gates. Hundreds of thousands more called out of work sick *cough cough*, just to see Ed Reed walking down the street with a camera strapped to his Django-style hairdo. Every window of every building along the parade route was open and filled with screaming fans, including the church. Everyone sure loves the Baltimore Ravens, even if many of them are just bandwagon fans.

Either way, we gladly embrace all football fans who want to convert. Just make sure you keep your purple & black jerseys on, regardless of whether we do well next season.

Las Vegas Betting Line Favors 49ers in Super Bowl

The opening line, posted a few hours after the Ravens punched their tickets to Super Bowl XLVII, has the 49ers as 5 point favorites. Somehow that doesn’t sound quite right to me.

Oddsmaker Benjamin Eckstein of America’s Line says he set the line at 4 1/2 to encourage betting action on both sides. Even if that response makes sense, it still feels like more of a popularity contest than anything based on logic.

It seems like that contest is quickly shifting in Baltimore’s favor. Within a matter of hours, the line has already changed to 4 even. I could honestly care less whether my boys are considered the underdog in New Orleans. Just ask Tom Brady what he thinks about those odds. Zing!

First it was Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, favored to beat the Ravens by 9 1/2 points.  Then it was Princess Brady and the New England Patriots,  favored to win by 8 1/2. Baltimore won 38-35 and 28-13, respectively.

Now it’s San Francisco’s turn. According to Bill Cowher, the ex-Pittsburgh Steelers coach, the Ravens will have trouble with the 49er-offense because ‘we have never faced a quarterback like Colin Kaepernick.’ *dramatic pause*

ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!

We haven’t faced a quarterback like a 2nd year player with 9 total starts?! Oh I’m sorry, our team was too busy beating 3-time Super Bowl champion,  2-time Super Bowl MVP, 8-time Pro Bowl Quarterback Tom Brady last night.  Did I mention his two regular season MVP awards or that he currently holds the record for most playoff wins in NFL history? What a load of crap.
What about the quarterback we beat in the AFC divisional round, 4-time regular season MVP, Super Bowl MVP,  Super Bowl-winning, 12-time Pro Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning?! I know Bill Cowher used to be the Steelers head coach but come the fuck on,  you can’t be serious. Colin WHO???

I get the feeling that it doesn’t matter who the Ravens beat to get to the Super Bowl. Insert quarterback’s name here, Bill Cowher will find a way to tell the public the Ravens can’t handle ‘him.’ All I have to say is, “we’ll see about that.”

Consider this. No rookie quarterback has EVER won a playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.  Not Andrew Luck, not Ben Roethlisberger, not T.J. Yates, NOBODY. Technically, Colin Kaepernick isn’t a rookie quarterback but since he hasn’t even played a full season,  for all intents and purposes he’s still a rookie to me.

Who really cares about the wildcat/pistol offense?  Does anyone really think a few gimmick plays or a quarterback who can run the ball effectively is going to fool a defense led by Ray Lewis at linebacker and Ed Reed in the secondary?  We’re not talking about scrubs or even Pro Bowl players here.  We’re talking Hall of Fame-caliber defensive stalwarts,  each with over a decade of experience.

That’s plenty of time to get acquainted with every little offensive nuance and gesture. The only way to win against experience like that is to beat them physically;  to out muscle the other team. Not that there’s a chance of that happening. Nobody can match Lewis/Reed or even Bernard Pollard’s intensity. Just ask Stevan Ridley.

Dubbed the “Patriot Killer,” by his loving teammates, Safety Bernard Pollard has slayed 4 New England players since 2008. His hit last night on Ridley caused a crucial 4th quarter fumble, helping the Ravens limit the Patriots to a season-low 13 points. Luckily,  the referees forgot to flag Pollard.

How I feel about the many legal-yet-flagged hits by Baltimore players is a topic for another day. Suffice it to say that nobody will ever mistake Baltimore for a finesse team. Anyone who knows anything about the AFC North teams can attest to that. We love to play defense and run the ball through our opponent’s guts here in the Charm City.  So is anyone around here worried about a “dual-threat QB?”

Not Really. 

We feast on them. The Ravens will come hungry on February 3rd. Paul Kruger, Terrell Suggs, Haloti
Ngata, Ray Lewis, Courtney Upshaw, Ed Reed, Dannell Ellerbe, Corey Graham and all the other members of the vaunted Ravens defense will be chomping at the bit come Super Bowl Sunday. 

As Terrell Owens once said, “Getcha’ Popcorn Ready.” After 12 years of waiting, Ravens fans are ready. Trust me.

SUPER BOWL PREDICTIONS:

Ravens(-6) defeat 49ers: 30-24 (54 total points)

Making Sense of the 2012 Presidential Election(MY Perspective)

“I’m not spinning this opinion, that’s just what I think.” ~Governor John Kasick of Ohio.

Excuse me? So you’re not spinning or changing the way your interpreting the pre-election polls but that’s just in YOUR opinion? That’s a bunch of bullshit, please excuse my language. How can you get on CBS News, and say that line with a straight face when you know that sometimes actual intelligent people(from time to time) watching this program.

Well here’s my opinion on the matter. I’m not usually a big fan of political opinions, I think most of the advertising and commercials you see on TV, or even news correspondence shows, are about as skewed as my view on capital punishment. I think anyone who’s been proven guilty of murder, meaning they got caught red-handed with real physical evidence, should be hung, electrocuted, given lethal injection or burned at the stake for their crimes. What’s wrong with an eye for an eye? If it’s good enough for the Bible, it’s good enough for me.

So you can see how biased I am when it comes to the topic of capital punishment. That’s exactly what I feel’s going on every time I see another anonymous face in a bad suit get in front of the camera. I don’t believe 99% of what’s said. I try to be less pessimistic, to look at what’s being said with an open-mind, but I find it increasingly hard to swallow each side’s warped views on subjects such as the national economy.

It seems like everyone has their own personal agenda when it comes to telling their version of the truth.

In terms of what has happened to the economy, I don’t need to watch television to know how it impacts my family and community. Some of my friends have lost their jobs while others still have their job but are getting paid a lot less. What I want to know is why both sides are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and campaigning, instead of giving that money back to the community. If you really cared about the people without jobs, starving on the street, why don’t you donate that money to a charity or relief fund, instead of making another terrible commercial? Trust me, if my wife ever comes back from the mailbox with a check from the government in hand, whoever’s in office at the time is getting my vote. Period.  Don’t think of this as a bribe, just in case your new to the business of getting or giving bribes. Just earmark it as reparations, money paid out to my family in return for my ancestors getting forced to build railroads so that chefs and homosexuals can live in San Francisco today.

I like to consider myself as a relatively conservative Democrat. Some people might categorize me slightly on the other side but you get the point. I’m pretty close to being right in the middle. This gives me a  fairly unique perspective on many of the main topics of battle between both sides. I’m all for gun-control but also believe that every US “citizen” has a right to protect their home. With an automatic weapon.  I’m pro-choice, I’m against increasing government regulation, I think we do need a strong military but less police at home. Not that I’m against having police, if you think human rights are bad in the US, I dare you to commit crimes in China.

If you’ve ever watched the show ,”Locked-up Abroad,” you know exactly what I’m talking about. People get shot in the back of the head, or just flat-out disappear in China. I know this because some of my family members are card-carrying Triad members while others have just spent time in a Chinese jail. Due process, right to representation, regular visitation, these are just a few things that do not exist in many other countries. Sometimes we take these things for granted, especially when we’re too busy worrying about the economy, unemployment or real-estate value across the US.

Mitt Romney would have us believe the economy was just fine before Barack Obama came to office. Unemployment did not exist, Wall-street and US Auto didn’t need government assistance, and rainbows come from a Leprechaun’s pot of gold. I’m not a lawyer, lobbyist or politician, meaning I don’t know left from right when it comes to making government policies. I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to pointing fingers at whether Republicans or Democrats are to blame for most of the countries woes. What I do know is that these problems were not created by the current residents of the White House. If I had to guess where most of these problems began, I would have to say President George W. Bush is the first thing that comes to mind.

The last time I can honestly say I thought things were going well in this country was during the Clinton Administration. The major defining moment of his two terms in office is definitely not what he did with Monica Lewinsky. I don’t really care if he’s involved in extracurricular activities, as long as he was looking out for the rest of the country. Which he did admirably. His two terms in office were some of the best from an economic standpoint in US history. Bill Clinton balanced the national budget so well that instead of cutting the deficit, we actually had a surplus. We were a world leader in technology and education, the stock market reached an all-time high and real-estate values were never better. Overall things were trending upwards.

What most people are forgetting is that between the Clinton years, usually considered good, and Obama’s presidency, so-so at best, there was only one other president! President George Bush the 2nd was the cause and reason for many of the problems we see today. During his two terms in office we went to war twice, the economy went into the tank, and the US experienced one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history. Bush was a Republican, just like Mitt Romney, even though both blame all the problems we face today on…

You guessed it, the Democrats.

Even though things aren’t going as well as I want, I think equal blame can and be applied to Congress and the Senate. Currently the floors of Congress and the Senate are mostly Republicans while President Obama’s a Democrat. Every time the legislative branch and executive branches of government are controlled by opposing political parties, they usually deny the goals and laws of their opponents. Even though this’s meant to keep any branch of government from becoming too powerful, in reality it usually just keeps all of them from doing ANYTHING. If you want to blame anyone for keeping Obama’s measures, either right or wrong, from happening, blame them.

More than anything else, I think the most important characteristic of a Presidential candidate is his or her conviction. To stand for something is more important than pandering to get you elected into office. Even if you don’t like the current president, if you think his opinion is full of crap, it’s important to know that he will stand behind his beliefs. Mitt Romney has gained my everlasting enmity for changing his opinion throughout his campaign. I don’t know exactly what either candidate will do, therefore all I have to go by his word. How can we put our trust in anyone who’s so deceptive, lies and manipulations flowing from his mouth like poisoned honey?

Would you rather sign an agreement with someone who promises to give you 100 dollars and does exactly that or someone who promises to give you a 1000 dollars and changes their mind at the last moment? Which person sets a better example for our children? What if that same person told you he would actually give you 2000 dollars as long as you waited another 6 months and later told you he had only promised you 500? Do you feel like that person should represent our entire nation for at least the next four years?

I know I wouldn’t. I’m choosing to vote for Obama specifically for that reason. Given two bad choices, one bad and one worse, I’ve decided to vote for the one that will cause the least damage in the long run. I think both candidates could, in a perfect situation, make this country better than it seems now. The problem is that the perfect situation will never happen.

Our country has a  number of serious problems to face every day. Either candidate will be climbing into the cockpit of a 747 passenger plane running low on fuel and with one engine down due to malfunction. He will have to make some tough decisions in the near future in order to safely get everyone on board to their destination. More than anything else, the most important thing on the line is a better standard of living for our children.

I’ve got two daughters, one blood-related and one that’s adopted. I hope for a number of things in the future. First, I hope the environment is still a beautiful place that they can enjoy when they have children. This will not happen if we continue to warm the planet or kill off hundreds of species each year. I’ve always had a love for sharks, fish and sea mammals, hopefully the Japanese and Chinese do not kill them all off by dumping radiation in the water or massive overpopulation. Secondly, I want to give them some money to spend through sound investments and a home they can either live in or sell. If our economy and real-estate situations continue to deteriorate, pretty soon nobody will have the money to buy a home in the country. Third, I don’t want them to get killed by a suicide bomber or religious fanatics. This will only happen if we make education a priority. Not just science, math or biology ,but religious cooperation. There will never be an understanding between Christians and Muslims if we don’t stop telling everyone they’re going to hell. Just because they do things differently does not mean they are working for the devil or threatening to corrupt your children. Personally, I don’t care what other people are doing, as long as it doesn’t affect my wife or kids.

Finally, I hope that the US continues to survive as a land of the free. Free to read and write whatever I want. Free to marry whoever I want, and free to live my life however I want. This goes back to my view on the police. As long as what I’m doing isn’t threatening or harming anyone else, I really don’t see how it’s anyone else’s business. Freedom and equality are the things that make the United States different from any other country in the world. There are no robed men with their faces covered telling me how my wife can dress. I’m a big fan of her being able to show off her beautiful figure. There are no men wearing dresses and machine guns pressuring me to sift through mud for diamonds, or killing my family for speaking out against the government. As long as I pay for it, my children can go to almost any school they choose, regardless of the fact that they’re Chinese and eat duck feet.

Hopefully in the future, my children can enjoy these things as well.

 

Michael, Wong_83@Hotmail.Com

 

Hey Losers! Review THIS!

What is wrong with people today??? Do you seriously need to tel your sob story online?

I realize the irony here, what with me writing and complaining about why people shouldn’t complain about things.If there was any other possible way to deal with this source of irritation besides writing in my blog, trust me, I would. I just don’t see a way around it, as much as I really don’t want to spend precious time sitting in front of the computer, trying to figure out what I’m going to tell you guys. When it comes to writing about any number of other topics, opinions and phrasing just pours out of me like poisonous vapors. About idiots online, it becomes an epic struggle just to start the first paragraph. So let me try to explain what exactly my problem with them is.

My main issue with these ignorant bastards and their nearly illiterate ramblings is how they affect local businesses and other people. It seems like these mentally handicapped assholes just start vomiting words out anytime they see a comment box. If this wasn’t bothering anybody else, if it was just about them needing to release some pent-up aggression, I would be totally OK with it. But it does affect other people. I’ll give you an example. Just the other day I was on Yelp.com reading some of the reviews on my family’s two restaurants, The Red Parrot in Locust Point, Baltimore, and the Red Parrot in Arundel Mills. People have written hundreds of reviews on both locations, ranging from “It was amazing,” to,” I wouldn’t go back there again.” That’s understandable, even if I don’t always agree with the reviews.

Sometimes you can actually feel when someone’s writing honestly, while other times all you feel is malice and stupidity. Is it really necessary for you to take the time to tell the world how your soup was a few degrees colder or warmer than you might like? Do you really think the vast majority of people are going to care that you personally had to wait a few minutes longer than normal? The answer to both is probably a resounding NO. Wouldn’t it have been much more effective for you to write your comments on the back of  your restaurant check, or even emailing the owners/managers of the restaurant? Mm-hmm.

The way I see it, when you write something it becomes an extension of you. It’s a mirror into your thought process, telling more about you than anything you might be writing about. The only reason you would write some garbage about your bad experience in a restaurant is to get attention. This isn’t always true. If I saw a rack of cockroaches coming out from under my burger at Wendy’s, I’d be pretty mad as well.

Unless it’s extremely important, I usually keep my opinion to myself.

Why can’t people ever write reviews when they enjoy their experience. The vast majority of these people can barely read and write but somehow manage to only ever bother when something has gone wrong. I feel for you, I really do, but if the restaurant can’t handle a completely packed restaurant due to lacking space or things actually getting cooked, it’s probably not going to change just because you feel like being a whiny bitch.

More importantly, you might want to approach someone who works there, other than the waiter who caused you mental anguish, and tell them what the problem is. Not only are you being helpful but I’m sure most places would be dying to make things right, rather than get your shitty review. Personally, I would never EVER mess with anyone who cooks and prepares my food or beverages.  Not that I’ve ever done this but I’m sure you’ve heard the stories. Man finds pubic hair in food. Waiter urinates in soup. Host masturbates into special burger sauce. Yum.

You don’t want this to happen to you. Trust me, retail employees are very resourceful people when they get motivated. I don’t care if you live in New York City, San Francisco, or Wichita Falls, Texas, when you write a f-ed up review blasting your local businesses, someone’s going to make you pay. It’s just a matter of when and where. Hopefully the damage you have done with your trumped-up charges of bad service or tiny portions doesn’t cause anyone to lose their job, house or children. I seriously doubt that most of these idiots haven’t even thought about the effects of those damning paragraphs.

So why don’t you all try to consider everything next time before you actually hit the post button beneath the writing box. Even if your server wasn’t very good, why don’t you just tip him badly or write him a little note instead. I’m pretty sure he can live with your bad tip, especially if they are aware of what they’ve done. What they can’t live with is getting fired, or having their customers leave because of one little mistake. That’s why some people become murderers, or at least a burglar.

It’s not like they have anything to fear now that they don’t have a job. Because they don’t have a job, they now have to figure out a way to pay the bills, pay child support, buy groceries, or even gas to look for other employment. Because of that review, now that man is probably looking at your beautiful single-family home, thinking to himself how easy it would be to murder everyone and pawn/sell your belongings on Craigslist. If your like me and watch a lot of crime shows on cable TV, you might think the police will save you.

Trust me, they won’t.

85% or more of all burglaries, theft, muggings and robberies in the US are never solved, becoming a cold case, a thin manila file in a warehouse full of files. When your daughter gets kidnapped and you find a cut & paste ransom letter dropped on your doorstep, you would never suspect that the criminal is in reality just your average server, trying to keep his family alive.

All thanks to your resume.

Ok, maybe it’s not that bad. I might have exaggerated a thing or two, just to put the fear of god in anyone who might be reading this. It’s not very likely, but it definitely could happen. We read about it in the news ALL THE TIME So don’t we all try to behave a little better, love thy neighbor and all that good stuff. It wouldn’t hurt if you gave that open-all-night diner down the street a second chance. If not for any of the reasons I’ve just described, then why not just because you r a decent human being.

Yeah right. Like that’s ever going to happen… At least not anytime soon.

 

~MSW WONG_83@HOTMAIL.COM