2008 Labor Day Weekend
THURSDAY: I turned 21 years old.
FRIDAY: We celebrated my 21st birthday at Flat Branch Brewery downtown. My good friend Justin Ginter drove all the way in from St. Louis to help me celebrate and I much appreciate that.
SATURDAY: Tanner and I drove into St. Louis at 10 in the morning in preparation for the Arch Rivalry game. We went to the Apple Store to see if their geniuses could fix the wireless on his laptop. We killed some time at his dad’s house talking about this and that. Then we hopped onto Metro (St. Louis’ version of MARTA) and rode into the city for the game. We got there early and stayed late. We got to see the pre-game show put on by both marching bands. Illinois had a great band. Missouri, not so much. Here’s a nice example of Marching Mizzou’s ability to dress lines.
Ouch. The Illinois band marched circles (and squares and I’s and stars and outlines of the US) around our band. Mizzou’s band is a lot of playing and standing. They even used about 35 Golden Girls in their second song to distract everyone from the fact that they didn’t move once.
Other than the bands though, there was a very good college football game between two ranked teams. Missouri got the ball first and marched methodically down the field and Derrick Washington went over the goal line for a 7-0 lead. After two Illinois punts, a Mizzou fumble and failed fourth down, Illinois got a touchdown pass and kicked the extra point attempt into Mizzou’s frontline. Illinois’ receiver didn’t get even one foot inbounds, but because of the new rules, the officials ruled he would have come down inbounds.
Jeff Wolfert started his season with a 51-yard field goal and then Chase Daniel handed the ball to Illinois’ defensive lineman who walked into the endzone for a 13-10 Illini lead. So Illinois had 13 points without a single offensive player getting a foot in the endzone. Maclin brought the ensuing kickoff back 99 yards and Washington went in from 40 yards out on the next possession. Daniel hit Coffman for 17 yards just before halftime.
Illinois got a touchdown on their second possession of the second half, but Mizzou got touchdown passes to Tommy Saunders and led by 25. Then Illinois got long touchdown passes on each of their next two drives before Sean Weatherspoon picked off Juice Williams and brought it back for a score. Illinois got a touchdown after time expired to make the game closer than it really was.
Mizzou’s offense looked really good against a ranked defense, and their defense looked pretty good in the first half, but ended up letting Juice Williams, more of an annoying scrambler than a feared passer, throw for over 450 yards and five scores. Three Illini receivers had 92 yards receiving or more, and four went for 50 or more. The secondary was repeatedly beaten and beaten badly on occasion. William Moore didn’t seem to be the impact player we’ve come to expect.
The offense on the other hand was in midseason form. Derrick Washington averaged nearly 7 yards a carry while racking up 130 yards and two scores. Jimmy Jackson averaged almost 10 yards a carry. Tommy Saunders caught two touchdowns, Jared Perry went for 94 yards and Chase Coffman hurdled Illinois cornerback Dere Hicks to 130 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Maclin was held in check on offense (33 yards) but racked up 201 return yards, including a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
The biggest question mark, the O-line looked decent. Derrick Washington and Jackson looked to be running both sides effectively and Chase Daniel wasn’t pressured too much. Stryker Sulak had three sacks and Weatherspoon picked off Williams twice. Wasn’t an overly pretty win, but they won. And Mizzou opened their season against a ranked team. It usually takes them a few weeks to really start firing on every cylinder. And they’ll have plenty of time to practice with SE Missouri State, Buffalo and Nevada. Nice.
SUNDAY: Tanner, Alicia and I enjoyed a Waffle House breakfast before heading out into the unbearable heat to TR Hughes Field, for the John McCain rally. A bunch of local republicans spoke (Matt Blunt, Jim Talent, Talent’s wife, Kenny Hulshof, Blaine Luetkemeyer) before the Straight Talk Express pulled into the stadium and unloaded the A-Team Republicans. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney spoke briefly before giving way to John McCain himself and his newly selected running-mate, Sarah Palin. I discussed the choice of Palin earlier and I like it even more than I did then. Hearing her speak in person convinced me that she was the right choice. She was honest, real and convincing.
The two arguments being used by Democrats in the past few days are of McCain’s age (only 8 years older than Joe Biden) and Palin’s inexperience. But that’s it. Much like their own Presidential nominee, they provide no true substance to their argument. Let me address the experience argument.
Sarah Palin’s experience includes being a City Councilwoman from 1992-1996, the Mayor of Wasilla from 1996-2006 and most recently, the governor of Alaska since 2006.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, served on the Illinois Senate from 1997-2004 and has served as a US Senator since 2005, being ranked as the most liberal Senator by the National Journal.
It’s hilarious how liberals are flocking to knock Palin’s experience, or lack thereof. Yet she is the only Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate with any Executive experience. Not only has she had Executive experience, she’s embraced it and excelled. Palin’s executive experience trumps Barack Obama’s six years of legislative experience – much of which was spent off the Senate floor. She succeeded in being a leader. Democrats also say her experience is worthless because she’s from Alaska.
Really? Seriously, Democrats?
I spend several hours each year driving through Illinois on my way to and from school. And I’ll be honest. I hate it. It smells like ass, the speed limit on the interstates is lower than anywhere else I’ve driven, and there’s nothing there. I’ve also been to Alaska, and it is probably my favorite state. It’s gorgeous and the people are friendly and regularly bathe.
Palin is a proven leader and reformer. Maybe not for as long as the other people John McCain should have chosen, but she is the quality to other’s quantity. Sarah Palin has a track-record of paying attention to what her constituents want and working hard to make Alaska a better place. Sarah Palin cares about her city, her state and her country.
Barack Obama is a proven panderer and self-interest lapdog. He’s a charismatic orator, but is lost without a teleprompter. He cannot think for himself and everything he does is out to make his life easier. He’s immature and juvenile, like much of his party members. Even though Hillary Clinton would have been a better VP pick than Biden, and united the party like he’s always talking about, Obama is too worried about petty problems and his own interests to care about what can help the country.
The difference between Obama’s experience and Palin’s experience is negligible. A Presidential/VP slate should complement each other (like McCain and Palin) not be the same person with an age and racial difference(Obama and Biden).
And if I have a question about domestic drilling in ANWR, which candidate should I ask? Obama, who’s probably never set foot there, or Palin, who chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004?
Or, if I want to make sure that Washington is filled with ethical and trustworthy people, do I turn to Palin, who purged the appointments made by the Murkowski administration of people that eventually pleaded guilty to conspiring with a oil services company to channel money into Frank Murkowski’s re-election campaign, or Mr. Obama who calls an America-hating pastor “like a member of my family”, another similar pastor his “spiritual adviser and/or guide” or associated closely with people like Tony Rezko (currently facing federal charges of attempted extortion, money laundering, and fraud), or Sam Graham-Felsen, a paid Obama staffer under fire for his reputed Marxist sympathies.
The truth is, Palin, while relatively new to the political scene, is infinitely more qualified to serve America and help make it a better place. A Democrat friend said to me the other day that he was voting for Obama because he “related to” Obama and could see himself sitting down and having a beer with Obama. Here’s a newsflash, beer-drinking is not going to be high on the to-do list of the POTUS.
Blaine Luetkemeyer had some great material Sunday afternoon and made some great points. The only new thing Obama and Biden have proposed is inflating your car tires to save energy. Deep. And as for Barack Obama’s nomination being one of historical proportions, don’t kid Mr. Blaine Luetkemeyer. The Democratic Party has been nominating extreme liberals for years. Obama is no different.
Barack Obama is a pandering lapdog incapable of independent thought that thinks the individual achievement and success of certain Americans should be punished and used to reward those that have refused to help themselves. And I just can’t understand how anyone could support a candidate with that kind of mindset. And I’m still getting around to addressing Obama’s acceptance speech. If you think that was inspiring and touching, think again.