Friday, December 29, 2006


Congrats to the the San Francisco Giants on signing free agent LHP Barry Zito to a huge contract. I really thought that New York Mets were going to bring in the young gun but the Giants stepped up and grabbed him by the horns. Barry Zito is not 40 and that is a good thing for San Fran. He doesnt need to get up early on Sundays for the Senior breakfast club. Club members are: Barry Bonds, Dave Roberts, Rich Aurilla, Randy Wynn, and Coach Bruce Bochy. Seven years and $126 million nice job Zito for holding out, very smart by the youngster. People say it was too much for Zito but wait one minute: Jason Schmidt 3 years 47 mil, Gil Meche 5 years 55 mil, Roger Clemens 2 months of baseball 22 mil, Ted "lights out" Lilly 4 years 40 mil, come on the giants stole him 7 years 126 mil, thats funny shit. They couldnt resign Schmidt but went out and spent too freakin' much money on Zito. Zito will have about two outstanding years and then fall apart. Im sorry but that is a little too much for a pitcher. In todays game I can see paying someone that plays every day of the week but not every four to five days. Well all I can say is that the ticket prices for the Giants are going up. Good luck to all of those poor people that would like to watch a game . The bleachers just went from $10 a game to $52 a game. Good Luck to the San Fran Giants.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A few thoughts on the week

The Giants sign a replacement for Jason Schmidt:
Making the cross-Bay move

Just breaking news has the Giants signing LHP Barry Zito of the crossbay Oakland A's to a 7 year $126 million dollar deal with an option for an 8th year. There is also a no trade clause thrown in along with some Zito's demands for some charity money for the Giants to pay that sounds nice. JK should be posting more on this later because he is this blogs go to guy when it comes time to spell out contracts and evaluate worth in the crazy sports market we are living in today. As far as my opinion of the signing I hope that Zito can remain interested in pitching at a high level and stay healthy because he has been a very durable pitcher for the A's. To pay for himself he needs 18-20 wins a year in my book and needs to be able to pitch a lot of innings and I just dont know if that is going to happen. When was the last time the Giants had a lefty as the ace of the staff unless Noah Lowery was considered an ace last year when Schmidt was down? The last lefty that was going to be a great starter for the Giants was a kid named Shawn Estes and we all know how that worked out. All in all I look forward to the upcoming season to see how Zito can help the team and if they can keep anyone on the 35 and older roster healthy.

-Zito agrees to 7 yr deal with Giants-

Bowl Season off to a slow start:

406-559~72.1%~5,549 yds~58 tds~12 ints

Of the handful of games played until last night, the Hawaii matchup has been the only game that has provided any sort of enjoyment thus far. Colt Brennan was unbelievable in the 2nd half and how often do you see a guy pass for 559 yards and have a receiver with 14 catches for 308 yards? Not many people have seen UH play this season because lack of TV time and the fact that they kickoff at 7-8 pm on the islands. I was very impressed with them this year and also Jerry Glanville deserves credit for making the defense much more competitive. It doesnt hurt that he has Leonard aka "the next Troy Polumalu" Peters roaming the secondary. If you didnt watch the game that joke may not be understood very well.

Why wasnt every game like this for Lo Booker?

Last nights UCLA-Florida State matchup was an interesting pairing in the Emerald Bowl from San Francisco. Most people were predicting a low scoring affair in which UCLA would prevail. I even saw a 15-6 prediction. Most believed that UCLA had a huge advantage coming in because of the big win over crosstown rival USC and that the momentum would spill over into the bowl game. That just didnt happen as the UCLA defense did not play as insired or that well as a whole considering the quality of offense they were facing. The final score was 44-27 FSU but the late pick six thrown by UCLA Qb Patrick Cowan made it look like a bit of a rout which it was not.

Former Edison (Fresno) standout Brandon Breazell had one catch, but he made the most of it with a 78 yard TD. UCLA played three quarters of sufficient football and then just imploded. Give credit to "Bobby" and FSU for pulling this thing out, actually displaying what looked like an offense, and building some momentum heading into next year. He had better hire himself a great offensive coordinator this offseason though. Kudos also to FSU Rb Lorenzo Booker in his performance last night (22 carries 91 yds. 2 tds.-5 recs 117 yds). He was as good a prospect as Reggie Bush coming out of St. Bonaventure High in Ventura, Ca, but he never did get it going in his time as a Seminole. He showed well last night and also played the way most thought he would throughout his career in Tallahassee. Fact is, I still consider him a much better pro prospect than he ever was a player at FSU. He is great athlete and he is versatile out of the backfield like Mr. Bush. He is a 2nd or 3rd round Reggie Bush type player that will begin his NFL career with little hype which may just work to his advantage this time around.

-FSU 44 UCLA 27-

A few "potentially" good bowl matchups tonight:
Last game as a Golden Bear?

#21 Texas A&M versus #20 Cal looks to be one of the better matchup leading up to the January 1st slough of Bowl games. Both teams come in at 9-3 and had some good moment in the course of the season, but both leave their fan bases wondering both what could have been and asking how good they really are? The importance of this game on a national stage may not be much at all, but going into next year Coach Fran needs to prove to Aggie fan there is something to be excited about and he is building things for a run next year. Coach Jeff Tedford returns much of the offense next year and has a capable starter in Rb Justin Forsett if Marshawn Lynch heads to the NFL like many believe he will. A good showing for Golden Bear Qb Nate Longshore is in order, he has plenty of weapons to work with, I just think his nonchalance at the Qb position is detrimental to both him and his teammates at times.

The NFL Network will have their first broadcast of a College game tonight when Rutgers matches up with Kansas State in the Texas Bowl. Rutgers season has been intriguing, and the progression Coach Greg Schiano has went through in Piscataway has been remarkable. A loss to a surging Kansas State team could be a damaging and put a negative spin on an otherwise fruitful season for the Scarlet Knights. Fresno State fans such as myself will be interested to see the Wildcats play because they have a road date in Fresno in the 07 season.

Fresno State Sat. Vs. University of San Diego:
Mr. McGuire has been a meast of late

Coming off of a 95-75 victory over Cal Poly, the Dogs will be hosting the Toreros of San Diego on Saturday at the Save Mart Center. Hector Hernandez led the way against Cal Poly with a career high 31 point including hitting 8 of the teams record 16 3s. Unfortunately, guard Javance Coleman has found no sort of touch or scoring ability and is still mired in a slump of epic proportions. Thankfully, junior PG Kevin Bell is running the team well and handed out 12 assists, Dominic McGuire continues to do it on both ends of the floor along with fellow forward Quinton Hosley. They combine to average 19 rebounds per game and team to help makeup for an obvious lack of a true post presence. The Dogs are facing a USD team playing much improved ball of late and need to protect the home court. There is a very tiny margin of error for Coach Steve Cleveland and the Bulldogs because of a soft non-conference schedule and an unproven ability to win a big road game against a good opponent. (Oregon State and USF do not count in my eyes)

-FSU Vs. USD Saturday at SMC-

Michigan will return both Henne and Hart for 07':

Lastly, the Wolverines have had a bounceback year for sure and have proven themselves as a top 5 program again. If they can play well in the Rose Bowl and beat Petey and the Trojans, they will definately solidify themselves as a favorite heading into next year.

-Hart solidifies Wolverine backfield for 07'-

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Next-Gen Trifecta

Well here it is. The XBOX 360 Pro, PS3 60GB, and the Wii. Nearly $1500 worth of electronic crap sitting there. Well I mean, only the PS3 box has anything in it.

The Wii is up for sale to anyone who will buy it. It is now down to the PS3 and 360.

First things first- The PS3 controller is extremely nice, and I like it alot. Besides lacking rumble, it feels great in your hand. The 360 still probably has the better controller overall, but the PS3 was surprisingly good.

I have one game for it, Resistance: Fall of Man. Pretty good game. They need some more games for the PS3, and quick. I am unsure which I will choose at this point, The 360 certainly has the edge being out for a year already, and also most of the marquee games are going to be available on both systems.

On my TV, there is little, if any difference in graphics between the systems. HDMI being used for the PS3 and component for 360. The game(resistance) is a 720p game, and I think to really see a difference between the two, you will need a full 1080p set.

So again, thats a plus for the 360, works just as good on my TV, more games, cheaper.. I will be down to one system eventually, I don't know when though. Could be very soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bulldogs Stopped at Home by Cardinal

Tough night at the SMC for the Dogs

It was the game that many pointed to coming in to this season, a home date with a middle of the road PAC-10 team that would be a great opportuntity to get the fans out and show them their is a reason to get to the Save Mart Center and support the Bulldogs. That nearly happened Tuesday night if it wasnt for a few key issues.
  • Free throw shooting-Bulldogs finish 14-25 from the stripe
  • Javance Coleman-Finishes 1-10 from the floor and contributes next to nothing in 31 min
  • Eddie Miller-Played 24 minutes and only shot two shots from the floor
  • Stanford made only 6 threes, but they were wide open on 4 of them
  • The inside presence of the Cardinal wore down the Dogs on the interior
  • 2 key lapses on the boards led to second possesions for Stanford that they converted
  • Too many forced 3s as usual, and no patience on the offensive end
  • Lastly, the officials needed to swallow their whistles at key points in the 2nd half
The game started extremely slow, Dogs couldnt get a shot to go down and Stanford started to find it. Coach Steve Cleveland made a mistake by trying to wait for the first TV timeout to not burn one of his. That proved costly as before he knew it the Cardinal went on a 10-0 run and with just under 16 in the first half remaining it was 12-2 Stanford. The Dogs trailed the entire first half and could not cut into the 7-10 point Stanford lead due to poor shot selection coupled with poor shooting. Coleman especially, who finished 1 for 10 from the floor took too many shots that in all honesty may as well be in the turnover category. Too many one and done possesions without an opportunity for an offensive rebound and they didnt run any of the shot clock. Halftime score:34-26 Stanford

The second half started well with junior F/C Hector Hernandez burying 2 threes from the same spot to cut into the 8 point deficit. The way the ebb and flow of the game went reminded me of the Creighton/FSU from Saturday where the Blue Jays could never quite gain control and get over the hump. The Bulldogs were finally able to overcome the deficit and bring the crowd back into it(The largest crowd to ever watch and FSU Basketball game which ended up an announce 15,142) with a Kevin Bell three to take the 44-43 lead with 13 minutes remaining.

From that point on the game was a back and forth nailbiter, the only thing that hampered the overrall enjoyment was the officials insistance to interject themselves in the contest at the most inopportune times. They blew their whistles twice to stop the flow of the game, one a McGuire block that was clean that gave Stanford 2 free throws, and another where Hosley was hustling and made the slightest contact with a Stanford player when he was on his way for a dunk and a 4 point Dog lead. Those two plays were gamechangers for sure, the crowd was definately into it but they were ready to explode and I felt if they did they would overwhelm the Cardinal. The Dogs never could get up by two possesions worth of points, and when they led by three Stanford guard Anthony Goods buried a deep three to knot it up at 56.

Lastly, I want to say that junior forward Dominic McGuire carried this team in the second half with his slashing and finishing abilites around the rim. Without McGuire and Hosley coming up big, this would have been an easy road W for the Cardinal.

Stat line for both of the read:

McGuire-25 pts-13 rebs-2 assts-2 blks-2 stls
Q Hosley-18pts-14 rebs-2assts -1 blk -2 stls

On to Saturday where Coach Cleveland and his Bulldogs will try to shake this difficult home loss with a victory over Cal Poly, who will be making the trip inland to the flatlands from the Central Coast. Will there be a hangover and will the cold shooting remain? Can Coleman find and sort of way to get the ball in the hole? Will ball movement and player movement be a point of emphasis leading up to Saturday? These questions need to be answered with a resounding yes to renew my confidence that this team can not only compete in the WAC but compete for a title in it against the like of Nevada, NMSU, and Utah State. Im a bit worried about that right now.

Also, they really pushed attendance of this game, with a little ad campaign, and it really work with the largest crowd in SMC history, with over 15,500 people.


Box Score

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2008 CTS Sneak Peek

Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn(left) and Vice Chairman Global Product Development Bob Lutz of GM show another sneak peek at the hugely anticipated Second generation CTS.

Let me be the first to say..... WOW. I already saw the 60 Minutes peek that Lutz offered, but everytime I see it I get more excited. January, and the North American International Auto Show is right around the corner.

Here is a photochop to see the whole front end.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dogs Down Creighton-Stanford Next

Saturdays game ball goes to Dominic McGuire
9 pts.-14 rebs.-4 assts.-7 blks.

The Bulldogs were able to get things back to where they are expected to be in the friendly confines of the Save Mart Center on Saturday night versus the Creighton Blue Jays of the competitive Missouri Valley Conference. All three of Measured Buildups bloggers were in attendance on Sat. and were finally joined by more than 6,000 fans which has been about the average seated attendance for home dates this year. My guess was that somewhere between 10-11K turned out for the biggest nonconference game to date for the Dogs whose schedule has been uninspiring at best thus far. The game Saturday comes at the right time after the Dogs dropped an embarrasing game at UCSB and then had to eek out an OT victory at lowly Montana State thanks mainly to Quinton Hosleys 30 point effort. The importance of this game and the Stanford and Cal Poly home dates following mark the most important stretch of the season for Coach Steve Cleveland's Bulldogs because the table needs to be set before entering WAC play. The defense must be ramped up, roles need to be defined and the team must be a unit heading into conference play.

I was interested to see how the Dogs would respond against the Blue Jays, and they were able to shake off both the suspect outside shooting and defensive lapses that have plagued them most of the season thus far. The Dogs were able to jump on Coach Dana Altman's Blue Jays from the opening tip forcing Altman to use two timeouts in the games first 8 minutes. The Dogs came out firing from 3 per the usual, but fortunately they were connecting with regularity. The Dogs were able to attack the Jays in a very balanced manner with everyone getting into the mix offensively, lead by junior F/C Hector Hernandez early. The largest lead of the game came at the 6 minute mark of the first half where the Dogs lead by 17. They also finished a blistering 8 for 19 from three in that first half. Score at half:35-26 Dogs

Dominic McGuire was the story of the game with his huge defensive efforts. The Junior Forward(Transfer from CAL) finished with 9 points, 14 rebounds, and a career high 7 blocked shots. He dominated the paint and even though the defense was penetrated on at times, McGuire held back the Jays basket attacks by blocking their attempts away with his left hand. By the midway point of the first half, McGuire had taken on the role of the stopper and was changing shots with regularity. A couple of the blocks were awe-inspiring, one on center Anthony Tolliver and another on a breakaway layup attempt by guard Nick Porter. Porter thought he had the easy deuce, but McGuire timed his steps from behind and came up with a huge stop, getting a sometimes lethargic crowd to raise its decibal level. Kudos to the students who finally made their way to the conveniently placed on-campus arena and decided to assimalate under a basket assembly in large numbers, I hadnt been able to see them in the home games prior but im sure they were just bogged down with loads of schoolwork and couldnt make it.

Creightons second half efforts were hampered by their poor 3 point shooting. Although they were finding themselves open, they shot 0-13 from three in the second half. They came out and quickly drew to within 35-30 in the opening minutes of the 2nd half due to the Dogs poor shot selection and suspect perimeter defense. Coach Cleve called a timeout and got things settled down. The Jays played within 5 to 7 points for the first 10 minutes in the 2nd half. They were a shot or two away from really putting a scare into the Dogs, but the iron was truly unkind to the Jays on Saturday. The Dogs answered the charge each time the lead was cut to 5. First a McGuire 3 in transition to put it back to 8. Lead down to 5 again Hosley rebounds and a quick outlet and pass to Shawn Taylor for a dunk lead back to 7. Ten minutes to go, lead down to 6 and Javance Coleman finally buries a three and that would be as close as the Jays would get.

All in all, a good and very important win at home. I still do have my worries and there are things I still have questions about. The defensive intensity must remain as it was on Sat, but the perimeter defense must pick up because leaving McGuire in the paint to block shots isnt a good game plan normally. He will pick up fouls early and he cannot be on the bench with foul issues against Stanford. The amount of open shots Creighton had was unacceptable also, if they shoot 33% from three on Sat. we have a whole different game. Can the Dogs play on the road is a question that will constanly plague me. Will PG Kevin Bell limit his outside shots to around 4-6 from outside the paint? Will SG Javance Coleman find his touch or is the injured hand that no one seems to talk about a much larger issue than anyone lets on? Will the team look to Hosley more? He drops 30 one night and leads the team, next game he doesnt see the ball much and takes a role as 5th option on the court. If Bell and Coleman cut out the forced and defended shot attempts and make the extra passes, maybe Hosley gets more into the flow offensively. This team is an extra pass away from being lethal offensively. They settle too much and do not value their possesions when things are going well.

Big game Tuesday against Stanford at the Save Mart Center, the crowd should be a larger turnout than Saturday and should be louder since Dogfans always love to show up against teams from the PAC-10. Since the California schools of the PAC-10 look down on the backwards, white-trash, 4th rate University, and uneducated Central Valley, it always makes for a good time when they finally meet on the court or on the field. Lastly, lets look for the former San Joaqun Memorial stars the 7 ft. Lopez twins to have a disheartening homecomeing to Fresno!

Box Score

ESPN Recap

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Boston And Their "National Treasure"

Congrats to all Red Sox fans out there. You have just signed one of the most talented pitchers of all time. They call him "MATSUZAKA", or "Dice-K," don't those names just give you the chills when you say them? I have chills going down my spine right now. Look at the picture for a moment, take in his huge frame, his confident stroll, and please ask yourself, if he is worth over $100million, what the hell am I worth?

WOW! Well all I have to say is what the hell is wrong with the ownership in Boston. You spend 51 million(DOLLARS, NOT YEN!) to talk to someone who cant speak english (well maybe a little english) and his agent "Man of the year Scott the terminator Boras." Come on now, you have Jason Schmidt, Ted Lilly, and even Gagne on the market. If you sign Schmidt to 3 years 47 million, Lilly 4 years 40 mil and Gagne 1 year 6 mil thats 93 million dollars you get three picthers for the price of one.

What I dont understand is how an unproven Japanese pitcher is worth 103 mil? I know he only signed for 52 over six years but dont forget to add the 51 mil they spent to chat with him over cookies and milk, tea and crumpets, or whatever it is they had as refreshments, maybe fortune cookies? Then Epstein flies in the private jet to Newport Beach of all places, to beg Matsuzaka to sign with the Sox. Perfect place to showcase what the wonderful city of Boston has to offer Dice-K. Hopefully the rug burn wasnt too bad.

Dice-Ks former team in Japan ended up as the real winner here, as they are now able to pay their entire rosters contracts for the next 3 seasons thanks to the Boston Red Sox. With the kind of money these MLB teams are able to throw around and they could have the opportunity to own a team in Japan, they could rule the league. 150 million in Japan could field one heck of a team. Sadly, they probably wouldnt end up champions in the Far East even with the bloated payroll. I believe that baseball is a disaster and disappointment to all of mankind. Well done Chowds, youve done it again.

Photo Courtesy of ESPN.

Fresno St. Basketball

I figured it was about time to throw a little update, seeing as we are now slightly into the season. MB has been to every home this year, I have been to 2 of them, and I believe JK has been to 2, I was there to enjoy his awesome presence for one such occasion.

The Bulldogs record right now is a disappointing 8 and 1. How can you be disappointed with only one loss you ask?

Their one loss comes to UCSB in SB, a team they were favored to beat by about 13 points, and it was by an astounding 28 points. 70 - 42. They had 17 turnovers, and shot 28% from the field. 5-27 from 3 point. Played with no heart, and no desire.

Their schedule thus far has been cake. A little too cake, as they are beginning to form bad habits. They barely beat an average Oregon St. team on the road (a game that we listened to on XM on the way to Santa Monica), then followed the atrocious loss at UCSB, and then played Montana St. for the 2nd time this year, a team they beat 80 - 41 their first meeting, they beat 82 - 77 in OT, a game where Quinton Hosley saved the Dogs by pouring in 30.

The question is, are this UCSB loss and Montana St. near loss an early season anamoly, or because both of these games were on the road, can Fresno St. just not play on the road? If they are going to have road troubles this season, it doesn't look like this team will be going anywhere. With the players they have, the tournament is definately not out of the question. But it hasn't been all bad, they were rebounding with the teams they had been playing recently. A big change, as usually they are pretty passive on the glass.

Hopefully they can work through their recent inability to hit a jumper with any consistency, and play with some intensity on both sides of the ball. With Creighton in 2 days, followed by Stanford, and Cal Poly all at home, they can pick up their game. Creighton will be a tough test, they have been playing extremely tough as of late, even with 2 early losses, behind Nate Funk and Anthony Tolliver.

Two Not So Distant- Future Games

Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 and apparently UEFA Champions League are coming out for XB360. I cannot find one bit of information regarding UEFA, but Winning Eleven is coming in February and because of the fact that Winning Eleven is regarded as the best Soccer franchise available out there, I think this game should be a little less disappointing than FIFA 07. HOPEFULLY.

Other than that, and Virtua Tennis, I am really not looking forward to ANY game, on ANY system.
P.S. The Wii is now at my girlfriends house, because I thought it sucked. She, on the other hand, likes it, so perhaps Nintendo is smarter than all of us, they are bringing everybody back to gaming. Maybe if they had some better games I would give it more of a chance.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Whats Up
I just wanted to thank JB and MB for letting me join there amazing group of people. Even though there is only two of them. Thanks jk

40 and OVER

The Giant Outfields Favorite Brunch Hangout

Thursday, December 07, 2006

LAIAS Pics from the 1.3 MP Motorola Q(subpar)

We have 2 pictures of the Audi R8 on top(in the first pic we see the RS4 in the background...sorta), the Saab Aero-X(which is apparently ready for production, or so one man was telling his son. he swore it was going to production, ignoring the fact that it has been said numerous times it would not), and some car in the background of a chick who was willing to pose for guys who were not afraid to ask. I bet she'
Aftermarket Ford Edge, they wouldn't even put up a stock one.
Another Lotus Chick pic
front nose of the R8
maserati quattraporte x2 + maserati le mans car
hello nitro chick..... please stop moving so I can get a better picture?
challenger, retro is back.... no wait retro is on its way out
more lotus, yes the cars this time
camaro concept
camaro concept
aston martin vantage

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Measured Buildup Field Trips to LAIAS

Can you say drab? Try 7 hours of it.
Well, the two humble writers of this illustrious blog smashed both of their piggy-banks and were able to put enough coinage together to make a little weekend road trip, one that proved to be better than advertised, but not quite what had been hoped. We ventured from the picturesque flatlands of the great San Joaquin Valley over the hill to the Metropolis that is Los Angeles. We made the trip in the Measured Buildup offical car which is an ordeal in itself with its clunky rear end and dreadfully drab interior. We will let you in to tell you that not only is the official car a domestic piece of iron, it also happens to be a Cadillac of Art and Science fame.

Well the show had a $10 Dollar entry fee which both me an JB had to panhandle by the Staples Center for all morning until we could collect the twenty to gain admission, although we couldnt buy programs which was a travesty in itself. Anyways we attended on Sunday Dec. 3rd which was the third day of the show. First things first was some exotics from a short movie coming out in February that were on display, one of which had been involved in a pretty harsh crash. It was there on the floor of the show in its semi-mangled glory. Took a quick gander at the cars, watched the advertisement for the movie and we were on our way to the West hall of the show containing Ford Motor Company products in all of their greatness along with Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Mercedes/Maybach.

I will describe Ford with a couple of words:repetition and uninspiring. They took a good approach to flooring their cars which was put a multitude of the same cars across the floor across the brands. Multiple Ford 500s, Lincoln MKZs, and Mercury Milans. None of these cars are particularly interesting, I do think the Lincoln has a decent view from the side, just dont look at the grill or the tailights or you may get the same response I had, an upset stomach. I was also surprised at just how much fender-gap the Mustang GT500 had. It had to be 3.5 inches at least. In this day in age I would think that 2-2.5 inches would be the max. It baffled me a bit, but most know I am not a big Mustang guy being that I have owned both a 94 Z28 and Y2K SS. The GT500 is a nice car though. The Mazda Nagare concept was there, it is a rather odd looking thing that I cant describe, but they are supposed to be using styling cues from it on new models. It had a ripple effect going down its side that was pretty cool methinks, but I dont see how it fits into production vehicles.

Near Mercury and their atrocious lineup was Suzuki, sadly they did not bring any sportbikes. Therefore, we did not visit for long. Honda was next to Suzuki, with a special variant of the FCX fuel cell car. They also had the Remix concept, and otherwise, former truck on van chassis of the year, the awesome(for a woman who wants a truck) Ridgeline, and the usual suspects the civic, accord, and hybrid variants.

The Lexus section was boring because Lexus designed cars are a direct result of Toyota, the master of nothing designs. If the soon to be seen at Detroit IS500F was at the show it would have been a point of excitement because I am interested to see how the Lexus performance variant is taken and how agressive it looks. Dont get me wrong I like the IS350 but the cars that Lexus throws out there dont distinguish themselves enough for me to really take a liking to them.

On Mercedes-Benz/Maybach where they had a multitude of cars, most of which arent that special, but of note for me was the S63 AMG and CL63 AMG. Of those two im partial to the SL63 which sported an interior more to my liking. I also like the LED backlighting, it added a nice touch to an already well though out interior design. Of the S550 and the CLS500, one has to lean towards the CLS for the simple fact that the sweeping greenhouse lends itself to the CLS design, and also style points to it for the front end design along with its lighting layout. The S550 and its Maybach roots may be a positive direction in the eyes of some enthusiasts, but the Measured Buildup crew of two are not takers on the styling direction much at all. The Maybachs are worth looking at because how often do you get to see them when you live in the flatlands like us backwards hicks. After the West hall, we headed to the Concourse hall to check out some high class offerings of only one we could ever be in the market for, Lotus.

Ferrari had the new 612 Scaglietti in attendance, along with 360 and a few other cars. Bentley was next to them(didn't pay much attention, but when we turned off of Wilshire to our sister/brother in laws place, there was a Continental GT there on the side, apparently using his navigation for the first time). Lambo was next to them, and we did not really look at them much... Gallardo, Murcielago, again, the usual suspects, nothing we haven't seen there. The Bugatti Veyron, in all of its 1000hp glory, was there. Spyker was there with the C8, and a weird looking SUV type offering, which I greatly hope was a concept. Lotus was last in the Concourse Hall, the one we truly looked forward to seeing. They had a few Elise, a few Exige, and they also brought the Lotus girl, who was definately photogenic. I didn't know they had Lotus, but everyone was quite grateful! The Lotus lineup looks awesome, they had about 8 cars, in all the colors of the rainbow, baby blue, silver, yellow, orange, and others. They are cool little cars.

Moving onto the larger South Hall, we knew there was a little to look forward to. I was looking forward to Audi, their latest generation of cars has really grown on me. And BMW was also there to make a strong showing, as always. As we entered the Hall, we immediately set eyes on the STS V8 they had there, while a formidable car, it is 3 years too late. Time for a redesign Cadi-guys or you will be smoked again by the Asians and Germans as usual. I hopped in for a second to investigate the latest Nav screen offering from Cadillac, played with the XM, could not get it to play XM 48 Squizz, and left. We went and looked at the V-Series lineup, and laughed at the people who thought they were nice even though the CTS-V is on its 4th year(we like to bash what we can have, or the "horse" we rode in on too, not just what we can't have). The color choice for the XLR was interesting to say the least, it may have ruined it actually, but Pac-Man would have loved it. They had at least 4 Escalades, surrounded by people. They should be, they are best in their class in pretty much every aspect, no matter what toyota reports says. Oops I meant to say consumer reports, a faux paux or no?

Next door was Saturn, about the only lineup GM has to offer with product that can compete with its foreign competitors. The Aura was there, the Green line Aura made its debut, as did the Outlook, and the Vue. The icing on the cake was the Sky Redline(Thats a Saturn?), a car MB would own right now had he not second guessed a purchase of a 2-seater convertible. Let me be the first to say, good choice. Then we headed to Pontiac, for some ungodly reason. Buick was next door, and both were desolate because they took the anti FoMoCo approach. That was the approach where you put very few of each model on the floor and leave plenty of empty space. FoMoCo just packed as many cars in as they could to appear as though there was more people and product. I dont blame the folks for not clammoring to be near Buick and Pontiac, there was only about 4 reasons to visit the two. If any 2 divisions needed a time machine to get new product, it is these. Buick at the very least, was showing the Production Enclave, and Pontiac has the Solstice, and GXP variant as well. We went to look at an important car next, the Camaro.

Chevrolet had the Corvette, the new tahoe, Cobalt a bunch of other throw away cars(who wants to talk about volume cars?). The Camaro was swarmed, I could barely see it from 50 ft away there was so many people around. By the way, do something about the interior Chevrolet. You want this car to appeal to the younger crowd so you dont go 100% retro exterior ala Challenger. Then you go ahead with the retro interior. I think that is an error in judgement myself but I will withhold full damnation of it until I set in a production version down the road. That led us to Dodge/Chrysler. With enough new product to make your head spin. We stopped at the Nitro, probably one of the best decisions we had made. Dodge did a hell of a job casting their women to speak about their cars on the turntables, they were the hands down winner if I had to give out a trophy, not flashy or trashy, purely elegant and tasteful like a well crafted Syrah. To say it in a more simple way, the Nitro girl was hot. She had a timeless look about her, piercing eyes, a perfectly proportioned body, a well chosen attire, the necessary height, a great public speaker, and she had that "it" that people talk about. She was the kind of woman that Iam sure would just love to accompany me in my luxury sled back to the flatlands to meet mom and dad, at least dad would be thrilled, right? Best looking gal at the show. Next we went to the Challenger, retro "muscle." Retro is not so good. More on that in a second.

We finally had made our way to Audi. The have a nice lineup of cars, but Measured Buildup thinks these cars are priced 20% too high for the common folk. The RS4 is a particularly nice sedan, but drop the price and they may hit a homerun, its only a 2-bagger for now. I also like the S8 which has its Lamborghini soucred V-10 under the hood. Both cars had nice stances and very well put together interiors, interiors much too nice for anyone to actually sit in because lets face it these cars are too upscale for 98.5% of those attending the show. Now comes a truly bright spot and pleasant surprise in the show. Thats right the Audi R8, a truly amazing car when seen in its entirety in person. I had seen photos online and a magazine spread too, but this car in person was without a doubt a winner. The car is smaller in person than pictures seem, and the overrall view of it is stunning. The rear end ties in very nicely, and everything seems to flow together and make a truly formidable package. If this car would start at 75-85K instead of 95-105K it would be a wise decision by Audi. They seem to take the Caterpillar (Industrial machinery for those of you who arent following) approach to pricing their cars, which is build something equal or slightly better than your competitors but price it no less than 10% higher than them. Well played Audi, indeed youve done it again. One can only think back to the stunning Cadillac Cien concept, which was also a mid-engine car, with nearly the exact same proportions. It has to be JB's favorite concept car of all time, and its a shame such a beautiful car could not make it to the showroom. Perhaps some day they will have something similar to it, as the general is always known for having equal to better performance, with a cheaper price tag.

Now Infiniti, which although having a formidable lineup, does not have what I would call an eye catching lineup. When you place magazine ads of the G35 sedan comparing it to a boat, it cant be a good thing to describe appearance. Predictable, boring, uninspiring are some things that come to mind. I like the M35 and 45 too, but they arent jaw-droppers, they are well thought out machines though. The new G35 sedan was there in all of its Infini-glory, or was that the previous one, I could hardly tell. Infiniti took the if it aint broke dont fix it approach with the G35 and it isnt the worst decision ever, I would have liked to see something that actually made me look again, because look again I did not. Iam interested in seeing the next G35 coupe though, now I would have been a bit more excited to be in the awe-inspiring Infiniti space if that had been the case. How about a visit to Acura, nope it just wasnt worth the time or effort for more than just a walk through. By the way, the G35 sedan has all the makings of a great car with great exterior design for the masses, a solid chassis, a well designed and executed powertrain that has the muscle to push the G, yet the refinement a luxury sedan demands, followed by a perfectly laid out interior design with top notch fit and finish second to none. Although the G35 sedan reaches the pinnacle of luxury sedans, we here at Measured Buildup feel that it falls just the slightest bit short in its attempts to pass the BMW 3-series as the torch bearer in this competitive segment where only one true leader and innovator can rest. That was my little play on Magazine-speak whenever the 3-series is involved in any type of test in every automotive publication.

On to the BMW showing, which is a nice stable as usual despite Chris Bangle's best efforts to ruin the styling or so we are told. The new X5 was debuted at LA and no one seemed to care too much when we were around it, nice vehicle but nothing to get too excited about. The 335i was there in the coupe form, a car I have quite an affection for I must add. The exterior design is enough to keep you surveying its lines, I have it ranked high on my list in that department, and the interior layout is second to none which is to be expected from BMW. Couple that with its all new all-aluminum V6 with bi-turbos and you have yourself a heck of a package. The 330i sedan holds its own as well and is the standard in its segment as I layed out prior in my Infiniti comparison. The affordable M5 was obviously there in all of its glory, but you know what that car is all about, as well as the M-coupe which although an improvement just does not do it for me. Never been too big on the layout and overrall design cues the car takes and this one may be less egregious, it still isnt right to me. Let us not forget the stunning 2002 325 that was in attendance to show off how awesome of a car you can get when you go through certified BMW pre-owned. Iam just here to say that made absolutely no sense to have a 5 year old car in the building that already has been redesigned even if it was to show off the pre-owned greatness that is BMW. No one else did, but the Bavarians seemed to pull this one off in stunning fashion. What can I say, they do a great job there, and they also have the best wheel options on the market today too. I give them many points for the size and style options that they provide. Kudos BMW. I guess I should have some words about Mini here but guess what, I wont.

We then made a turn and went to see the GM company nobody knows about which is the Swedish darling known as Saab. They had the the amazing 9-2x sportcombi on display along with 9-3 and 9-5 Aeros. The Aero name is uber-cool and may be the only connection we can find to the "Born from Jets" commercials we see. A lot of marketing put into a car company that no one buys nor seems willing to buy. The dealer network isnt there, the parts arent available, and the designs are growing tired. Maybe it is time to send the Jets on a one way mission to Europe to stay where the elitists of the EU respect a car the Americans find a joke while they thumb there noses at the Premiership and get fatter. The 9-7x SUV was there too but no one noticed, but the Aero-x concept was the one reason people came to Saab. It is a very nice concept showing off the Swedish jet heritage we all are looking for in our next purchases. Seriously, they need to utilize some of this more bold styling on an 9-3 redesign. Anyways, how do the 9-3 and 9-5 Aero drivers like there AC vents because I hate mine, you can never quite get them on you. Oh you wouldnt know that because no one drives Saabs in this wrongheaded country.

Not to be left out was the great turnaround story know as Nissan. It aint gonna happen folks, you cant turn something around without an actual turn, we all know Ghosn is a turnaround Jesus but where oh where is this product to grow with guys. Nothing new here where is the redesigned 350Z? If the other Nissan cars are any indication, there isnt much to look forward to. Look at the G35, that didnt show much in its redesign now did it. We cant overlook the Murano, oh what an absolutely brilliantly designed an absolutely elegant SUV. Not that I know anyone that drives one that gave me and JB free lodging in Santa Monica, allowing us to afford the trip on the contents of a center console in a Chevy Colorado, or did we break our piggy-banks? Oh well we need all the help we can get, we like SOME domestic cars. Scary, huh? What about Mitsubishi Motors? Well we didnt quite make there to see the Dodge, errr I mean Mitsubishi Raider. Oh, you cant discount the Eclipse, or the Eskips as we call them, but we found a way to discount this entire car company in one brisk walk around it. Im sure they will dig there way out of financial ruin though, right? What a glorious company though, we mustnt judge, its not our place, we arent a real magazine so we have no right.

All in all a good showing across the board and since the LA show is gaining some stature in the show ranks, maybe there will be a growing list of debuts next year. I would also like to tell GM to get their stuff together because walking around Buick and Pontiac made me want to cry and I also felt lost, lonely, and scared when I wasnt standing next to either the Solstice or the Enclave. You had better get out a top notch product and that means bold designs that grab attention and are unique in a positive way, powerful, fuel efficient motors with Displacement on Demand and Direct Injection that are backed by 6 speed automatic transmissions. Dont forget about an interior layout that makes sense, has features, is ergonomic, and has quality materials with a high level of fit and finish. Lastly, skip the rebates and price these things competitively and people will come. Quality product priced right will sell, because it becomes a brand that has a reputation. Step it up at the dealer level too, demand excellence across the board. Cadillac dealers must be more upscale to carry weight against the other luxury brands. Many Cadillac dealers across the nation are in need of an overhaul, with better product finally here along with respect being gained, the next knock is going to be how the Cadillac dealers cant stand toe to toe with the BMW and Mercedes dealers. Do not let this happen because the time is now more than ever before. The margins are thin and mistakes are too costly at this point. Do not go the Ford route, it will sadden Measured Buildup greatly.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A much deserved post for #32

-It takes at least 3 to bring him down every attempt-

This is the post where I give the credit due to Fresno State RB Dwayne Wright. How hard would this season have been without the steady force that is Wright or shall we say the "offense" that was Dwayne Wright. After one season at the JC level at West Hills (Coalinga, Ca) Wright transferred to FSU and in 2003 rushed for 1,038 yards during a very productive sophmore season in which he was able to show his abilities but also left Bulldog fans excited to see where his progression would take him heading into the 2004 season. That season began with a 104 yard effort in a victory on the road at Washington. The following week was a road test at Kansas State in which the Bulldogs jumped all over the Wildcats early. I remember watching the game excited as ever of the effort that the Dogs were putting forth on both sides of the ball. Nothing saps away spirits in an early season win then a season-ending injury. Wright caught a screen pass and had a cavalcade of blockers in front of him which allowed him to break the 61 yard play. At the end of the run a KSU defender was able to run Wright down, and on that tackle end both Wright's season but ptentially his career. The knee injury was so severe that he missed not only the remainder of the 04 season but watched the 05 season also while rehabbing. The one thing Wright was able to accomplish besides regaining the strength in his knee was to add 25 pounds of muscle to an already sizeable frame.

Wright came into the 06 season with big thoughts on his mind, as did his teamates, coaches, and the fans that were thrilled to have him back. He had watched nearly 2 seasons of football while preparing himself diligently for the rigors of full contact and game speed. Heading into the season most knew that Wright was to be the key to success with uncertainty offensively under center but a solid returning offensive line. Since the Bulldogs were starting anew at the QB position, I was of the opinion that the first 3 games were going to be Wright shouldering the offensive burden while sophmore QB Tom Brandstater was limited in his passing load while he became accustomed to the offense and to reading defenses. After those early season tests, it was thought the passing offense would expand and provide the balance needed for both Brandstater's arm and Wright's legs to shine. My first 3 games theory was proven true as Wright rushed for 158 yards and 3 TDs in a payback game with Nevada to kickoff the season. In a home date with Oregon in which the special teams gave the victory to the Ducks, Wright carried 29 times for 154 yards and a TD, doing his part to lay the foundation for victory. The following week at Washington, Wright again carried the load again with 28 rushes for 136 yards and 2 Tds in a deflating road loss for the Dogs. With the passing game led by Brandstater unable to find any consistency or flow, teams began to load up the box to stop the only player that could hurt them in Wright. This led to 8 and 9 man fronts that began to dare the Bulldogs to throw the ball downfield. This was the point in the season where Wright began to see less carries and his effectiveness became very limited. To his credit, Wright stayed extremely positive and continued to do his work, never calling out any of his offensive mates and understanding the need to come together over the stretch where he saw his team lose 7 games in a row. He still played hard and put in some good rushing performances, but also was able to show off his pass catching abilites out of the backfield against Colorado State and LSU.

After the 35-0 defeat of Idaho at home where Wright carried only 19 times but amassed 133 yards, he announced as all had been speculating, that he would be leaving FSU to enter the NFL draft. He then followed up the next week with his signature performance at Louisiana Tech. He amassed 295 yards on 25 carries in a 34-27 victory, the Bulldogs 3rd in a row. His only TD of the game, a 33 yard burst, proved to be the game winner, a run in which I was yelling for him to get to the enzone as soon as he broke into the 2nd level of the defense. He broke the 54 year old school record with that total and finds himself 241 yards behind the single-season record with the San Jose road date his final opportunity of the season to break the record. The Louisiana Tech performance earned Wright WAC player of the week honors, the second time during the season that distinction was bestowed upon him.

Wright overcame a career threatening injury, proved to the scouts he can take a season worth of beating (One reamining game @ San Jose State on Sat.) and will be 24 in June. He also has a wife and 2 children and the time is now for Dwayne to utilize his talents along with having the opportunity to perform on the NFL level after all of the hard work and dedication he has put in. I wish him all the best and the NFL team that ends up drafting him with whatever pick he is taken will be blessed with not only a stout, hard-running, punishing back, but will also have a great person in the locker room who despite leaving a year of football behind will be getting his degree. I have much respect for Dwayne Wright and he became the main reason I enjoyed watching the Bulldogs this year despite the deflating season, and he is without a doubt the MVP for the 2006 season. Thanks again Mr. Wright.

Yahoo! article on Wright

Wright named WAC player of the week

Another Bloggers take

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday Madness

Biggest shopping day of the year?

How about.... Dreamiest shopping day of the year? I could hardly contain my happiness.

They weren't authentic, but you could have fooled me. We got to watch the LSU Arkansas game while browsing this sports memoribilia store. And that turned out to be a disappointment.

All in all, good day, got some Christmas shopping done, got exercise, and the crowds weren't as bad as in past years.

Hope Everybody else had a Happy Black Friday(it's a holiday now right?).

Monday, November 20, 2006

College Football Weekend in Review

"You mean we can't win if I hand it off every play?"
"Everyone step back, Peteys going to do a fist pump"

#1 Ohio State 42 #2 Michigan 39

No game can live up to the hype that ESPN/ABC laid forth for this matchup, but the game came as close to living up to expectations as one could hope for. Buckeye QB Troy Smith continued his dominance of Michigan with a great 1st half performance, and did enough in the 2nd half to hold off the Wolverines comeback attempt. The play of the game in my eyes was the late hit by Michigans speedy LB Shawn Crable on Smith on the 3rd and 15 pass. Not a smart play at all and that changed the complexity of the game going from a field goal attempt and a 7 point lead to a TD and a 10 point lead. Michigans worthiness has been written off by some, but I will hold to the fact that on a neutral site or in Michigan that the Wolverines would top the Buckeyes with the team they have.

#3 Florida 62 Western Carolina 0

Coach Meyer got to peer into the future and see what 2007 is going to look like in a game where the almighty Tebow took the majority of the snaps against a very feisty Western Carolina. Very gutsy by the Gators to schedule a foe of that caliber this into the season, well done indeed.

#4 USC #17 California 9

Yes, I was wrong and Cal didnt do the necessary things to get the job done on the road, mainly not being up on the Trojans by at least a TD going into the 4th quarter which seems to be a necessity when trying to actually defeat them. Maybe all of the press the Golden Bears offense has been getting about how they are so loose and have such a wonderful time in the huddle is proving to be slightly problematic. Does QB Nate Longshore get affected by throwing an interception or coughing up a fumble? Doesnt seem that way when the best he can muster up is a nice smile and clap of his hands. I was so happy to see the illustrious Petey warmly embrace his unbelievable team after the game it gave me that warm feeling inside, ehhh no.

#5 Arkansas 28 Mississippi State 14

Not a good showing for the Razorbacks, the score was no indicator of how poorly this offense played against coach Sylvester Croom and the Bulldogs stingy of late defense. RB Darren McFaddens 92 yard kickoff return for a TD and an interception return for TD by Chris Houston proved to be the diffence. The offensive direction and production in this game does not bode well for this weeks matchup with LSU.

#6 Notre Dame 41 Army 9

Brady Quinn is God-like in his ability to throw the football, which is really nothing new, and the Irish have become my favorite service academy. Im guessing they specialize in total and utter dominance of inferior opponents through all facets of warfare or no? I envision Quinn tossing for some decent numbers vs. the Trojans, but he will be pressured into a few mistakes that will prove too costly for both him and coach Charlie Profanity. Also, the Irish defense hasnt stopped anyone decent since Georgia Tech but that was only because the Yellow Jackets forgot they had a WR that was #21 that was 6'4" and was named Calvin Johnson on the team.

#7 Rutgers 11 Cincinnati 30

Not much of a surprise here, teams that cant pass the ball do not go undefeated and have a hard time winning on the road. I like Rutgers and what the have been able to do, lacking a vertical attack and having a smallish defensive line, and this team still has a lot to play for because a slide at this point would overshadow much of the work that has been done. Kudos to Bearcat coach Mark D'Antoni for the improvement on the defensive side of the ball they have shown. They will be much improved and maybe even an outside contender in the Big East next year.

#8 West Virginia 45 Pittsburgh 27

A spectacular offensive showing for the Mountaineers who are out to prove the Lousiville loss was a fluke. Both QB Pat White and RB Steve Slaton rushed for over 200 yards, and Slaton went ahead and added 130 yards recieving for good measure.

#9 LSU 23 Mississippi 20

LSU has not been able to find a way to play up to their potential against their average SEC foes. The Tigers were forced to make a comeback against a Rebels team that does feature a solid defense. Ole Miss happens to be one of the youngest teams in all of CFB, and hopefully the Ogeron can use these games as learning experiences to lift them next year.

#10 Louisville 31 South Florida 8

The Cardinals were able to avenge last years loss and get some good offensive production while doing so, but Pittsburgh looms so the offense better get their track shoes out because there will be even more fun had this week.

#12 Wisconsin 35 Buffalo 3

The regular season is over for the Badgers who put together a nice record of 11-1 which was paved with epic victories like this one over Buffalo.

#13 Boise State 49 Utah State 10

The victory by the Broncos sets up a showdown at Nevada this week to keep the undefeated season and BCS hopes alive. Hopefully RB Ian Johnson will be able to play after sitting out this week with that pesky collapsed lung.

#14 Wake Forest 6 #19 Virginia Tech 27

The Demon Deacon juggernaut has officially ran out of steam. The Hokies waltzed into Winston-Salem and showed the North-Carolinians whos boss which no one seems to accomplish. Wake does have a chance to prove they arent that bad this week in a matchup with Maryland.

#15 Auburn 25 Alabama 15

What do you know, Tiger QB Brandon Cox can complete a pass to his own team for a TD! Auburn owns Bama in the Iron Bowl (5 straight) which has to make everyone down in Tuscaloosa even more thrilled with coach Mike Shula.

#16 Oklahoma 36 Baylor 10

All this game proved was that you can turn the ball over 5 times and win by 26 points in the Big 12.

#18 Georgia Tech 49 Duke 21

So how many headlines following this game referred to Yellow Jackets QB Reggie Ball as having a "Ball" in the victory vs. Duke. Sadly, more than zero which is both pathetic and appalling. Headlines just have a way of writing themselves dont they?

#20 Boston College 38 #21 Maryland 16

Maybe Maryland coach Fridge needs to work on the technique of the option pitch with QB Sam Hollenbach. You dont pitch it to your RB when a defender is 2 feet away so you get your RB de-cleated. Second, you dont pitch the ball 105 MPH to your RB when you are 4 feet away from him. Both plays were fumbles that were recovered and returned for BC TDs and showed both the "smoke" and "mirrors" side of the Terps off.

#22 Tennessee 39 Vanderbilt 10

Erik Ainge is back at the helm and all is well for the Volunteers. I feel sad for Vandy because I just cant find a way to concoct this performance as a "moral" victory.

#23 BYU 42 NMSU 17

I say BYU and Boise State play a game for WAC-MWC dominance and the winner gets an auto-BCS bid. I think thats pretty darn fair and would be a good game too.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Nintendo Wii Launch V.2

Here is the first reported problem, and depending on who you are, it can be a big deal.

There is no remotes, or nunchucks anywhere. I would imagine some store 2 towns over has plenty, but here there is none. They did not apparently think that people who would buy the system would buy a second set, which is indeed was terribly wrong. Maybe this is a problem with having the nunchuck and the remote seperate for this time being?

All I know is for all the bad pub the PS3 got, you can go find a remote for one pretty easy. Granted, there was less systems, but I cannot play anyone, and there is no excuse for not having them.

I am now experiencing some problems during gameplay. Playing Red Steel, if my cursor leaves the screen, sometimes it begins spinning the character wildly in circles, and sometimes I cannot control the spins. I just let myself die, or shut it off in frustration.

Death to Nissan

Before you get upset sister(she drives a Murano), let me explain.

If you watch any kind of TV, and especially NFL football, you have seen a Commercial. It is for the Nissan Titan. It touts its 315 horsepower, and some other stuff I am not quite sure I care about. In the background you hear Ozzy Osbourne and his cronies playing Iron Man. We all know the song, and now, we all hate it a little more than we already did for getting overplayed.

They play this commercial, not exaggerating, 15 times a day. ATLEAST. Not only that, but oftentimes they play it twice in the same commercial break! What is up with this? We are the land of the free, why must we be bombarded with these crappy commercials so consistently often. It doesn't seem right.

So please, get a new song, get a new commercial, or just go away.

Nintendo Wii Launch

Today, November 19th 2006, was the launch of the Wii. We all saw the PS3 launch 2 days ago, and all of its juicy storylines, including, but not limited to, people being robbed at gunpoint for their PS3 cash, one man being shot twice when he would not forfeit his cash. Hoardes of people trampling each other in an effort to get ahold of one of the 10 PS3's the store probably had. And of course the ridiculous prices people are paying on online auction sites.

One person I know was offered $4k, and there was also a PS3 with no software(games) that went for $9k on Ebay. $9,000. It costs about $640 with tax.

The Wii was quite a bit different thus far. No absolute horror stories. I picked mine up around 10:15am, store opened at 10. There were 4 others outside before opening with me, and about 5 or 6 came as I was paying. One had been waiting for a few hours, the others showed up around the same time as me. One was a serviceman, and had just returned for a nice boat ride. Last night there were about 15 people outside of a Best Buy in Visalia at about 7pm, all seemed to be having a good time through the cool temps and the fog.

My first impressions of the Wii and the controller..... Are pretty good. I have played all of the Wii Sports lineup, which includes baseball boxing tennis golf and bowling. If you can get past the Mii's(little people you create in your own likeness and can plug into certain games) then the games are pretty fun.

Hold the controller facing down, pull arm back, and swing forward.... I just drove the ball to the Green on Golf. Hold nunchuck on left and wii-mote in right, lean side to side, and punch forward to do boxing. It is all pretty interesting, and would definately be fun to play with someone else.

I will keep everybody updated on my thoughts, I have Call of Duty 3, and Red Steel to play.

Also, there was no review given of Fifa 07 as I promised, because I was extremely disappointed. Graphics were great, gameplay went backwards. And also, highly acclaimed game Gears of War. I purchased it, played it, and just was not into it. So I guess I am in a huge minority, but I disliked the game. Again, sweet graphics, best of pretty much any game I have ever seen, but not my type of game.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

College Footbal Recap

"Can the 12th man be utilized as an extra DB?"
"We have a home game this week? Against who?"

#1 Ohio State 54 Northwestern 10

Nothing here to comment about, the win preserves the showdown in C-Bus for Saturday. Wait, theres a game this weekend for the Buckeyes? Is it a home game? Who they playing?

#2 Michigan 34 Indiana 3

No comment on the game, time to get to the Shoe and prove that Ron English and his defense are for real.

#3 Louisville 25 #15 Rutgers 28

A very exciting Thursday night game that Rutgers showed a lot of heart in coming back from an early 25-7 deficit. I don't want to extrapolate anything out of this game for the Scarlet Knights except it was a great win for the program in a feature game and one really has to respect what coach Greg Schiano is doing with that program.

#4 Texas 42 Kansas State 45

One of the upsets of the weekend that looks like a shock if only the score is analyzed. Losing standout QB Colt McCoy in the 1st quarter was the one turning point in this contest. Backup QB Jevan Snead stepped in, but as goes Colt so goes the Longhorns hopes of a title defense.

#5 Auburn 15 Georgia 37

I was completely wrong with my assesment of this SEC matchup. Georgia has found their QB of the future in Matthew Stafford, and Auburn coach Tube had better find himself a future QB too. Tigers QB Brandon Cox has a great on and off field story but has regressed in his time at Auburn.

#7 USC 35 Oregon 10

The real highlight of this game was the challenge of a play by USC fist-pumping coach Petey Carroll that was won and the rechallenge of Carroll's challenge by Oregon coach Mike Belloti that he im turn won. Petey's reaction was one that would make coach Weiss proud. The door is open for the Trojans to return to the BCS title game now and I for one do not care for that prospect.

#8 Cal 20 Arizona 24

I basically called this out, wording this as a "trap" game for the Golden Bears, but still felt they could find a way to squeak out a road victory heading into the showdown at the Coliseum with USC. Cal QB Nate Longshore had other plans throwing a perplexing pick-six to Wildcat CB Antoine Cason. Iam still hanging on to the fact that not only is the Cal defense not that great, but the preseason loss of standout CB/PR Tim Mixon is affecting defensive performance more than many will let on. CB Daymeion Hughes had one interception in this game to increase his season total to 9 but was robbed of a second that would have negated an Arizona TD that may well have allowed Cal to survive. I still think Cal finds a way to bounce back and beat the Trojans Saturday.

#11 Arkansas 31 Tennessee 14

Arkansas is a win away from the SEC Title game appearance and they have definately hit their stride. RB Darren McFadden displayed his versatility by lining up at QB and throwing a TD pass and also running in a score off of a shotgun snap.

#14 Boise State 23 San Jose State 20

The Broncos have had past issues in San Jose (won a 56-49 shootout in OT in 2004) but continue to exert their dominance over the WAC. Although they play close games against lesser competition at times, like all good teams they find a way to win in whatever fashion necessary. The question following this victory is the health of all-everything RB Ian Johnson who had a rib injury versus the Spartans.

#18 Wake Forest 30 Florida State 0

This is no typo, Wake is the class of the ACC with Maryland right behind and the Demon Deacons dominated the Seminoles. When will embattled FSU Offensive Coordinator Jeff Bowden resign? How about Tuesday, its as good a day as any.

#19 Georgia Tech 7 North Carolina 0

The Tar Heels came into this game with newfound confidence following a loss to Notre Dame. They performed well in a super-exciting game nobody got excited enough to watch.

#24 Texas A&M 27 Nebraska 28

Coach Fran has lost his last two home games by a total of 2 points. Its just too bad there wasn't a rule that the Aggies could bring out the "12th" man to help in pass coverage during the 4th quarter of home games.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rest Easy

I know we want to avoid politics here, but I think this goes much further beyond politics.

As some of you may know, November 7th is election day. Here in the sunny state of California, we had a Governor's race between Arnold Schwarzenegger and some dork named Phil Angelides.

Angelides never really had a chance, he is a small frail man, with puny shoulders. About the time half of CA precincts were reporting Angelides had conceded.

So we can hear more jokes about the "Governator" and "girly men" and "groping" for a few more years. Thank goodness we can still keep those punch lines! I am sure Arnold will be driving around in his Hummer to thank everybody for their vote! No wait, that was another one of those jokes.....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

College Football in Review

"You ever been on a Ghost Ride?"
"If Ball State's in the Big Ten they'd be the #2 team behind Ohio State"

#1 Ohio State 17 Illinois 10

Buckeye QB Troy Smith had one of those signature performances that solidifies a Heisman run. The Illini defense stepped up big and played above and beyond what anyone expected, unfortunately the Illinois offense could not get the job done despite the opportunities they were given.

#2 Michigan 34 Ball State 26

This was a game I had the honor to watch the 2nd half of, and it was one of those games where you sit back, scratch your head, and smile. A middle of the pack team from the MAC marching the ball down the field late in the game and with ease, mind you in the big house. The Wolverines are who we thought they were, and we let em' off the hook.

#3 West Virginia 34 # 5 Louisville 44

Not much to say about this game from my perspective. West Virginia made key mistakes and two of them by RB Steve Slaton overshadowed his impressive showing. This win for the Cardinals sets up the epic battle of the remaining undefeated Big East teams with Rutgers, I for one was with everyone else that foresaw this coming to pass in the preseason predictions.

#4 Texas 36 Oklahoma State 10

Texas QB Colt McCoy continues to impress going 22 of 28 for 343 yards and 3 TDs. I have seen a few of McCoy's games this season and really like his progress as a first year starter. He is not Vince Young, but that is not the type of player he is, and I think the Longhorns are the best 1-loss team in America.

#6 Auburn 27 Arkansas State 0

A good opportunity to get QB Brandon Cox's confidence up in the passing game since he isn't able to do that in the SEC, and that was about the only purpose it served. How can Arkansas State prepare a team for an SEC mainstay like Georgia? Oh, right, no prep necessary for the Bulldogs when one thinks about it.

#7 Florida 25 Vanderbilt 19

Give Vandy another satisfying moral victory here, coming within a touchdown of the #7 team in the nation, they have definately mastered this great art they have carved out. I for one move to create a third line in the win loss record. There used to be the T for tie, but since we fixed that whole thing with overtime, why no MV for moral victory?

#8 Tennessee 24 LSU 28

Even without hobbled and improved starting QB Erik Ainge, the Volunteers put themselves in a position to beat LSU. Backup QB Jonathon Crompton did enough to lead his team, throwing what should have been the game winning TD pass of 54 yards with 7:29 remaining. Erratic LSU QB Jamarcus Russell had other ideas and was able to shake off three INTs and lead his Tigers on the game winning drive even though no one is quite sure where he was throwing the pass that WR Early Doucet came up with for the win.

#9 USC 42 Stanford 0

No Surprise here, as the Cardinal are a good coming off a tough road loss, bounceback, right the ship, whipping boy type of team. Why couldnt Fresno State have gotten a matchup in Palo Alto with Stanford instead of a road trip to Baton Rouge to find that elusive victory.

#10 Cal 38 UCLA 24

Ive said it before and I'll say it again, I like Cal RB Marshawn Lynch, he is a favorite to watch. It was a nice home win for the Golden Bears, although I do see this Saturdays game in Tuscon to face Arizona as a sort of trap game. I was not thinking this until the Wildcats went up to Pullman and had a nice victory over Washington State.

#11 Notre Dame 45 North Carolina 26

Another signature win for Charlie Weiss and the Golden Domers over a very impressive opponent. The fact that the Tar Heels dropped 26 points on the Irish is a testament to the improvement and commitment they have made to the defensive side of the ball. They havent beat anybody in two years but Coach Weiss believes they are getting the shaft in the polls, that is the more of a joke than their alleged "defense" they field weekly.

#12 Arkansas 26 South Carolina 20

Darren McFadden is a stud as he rushed for 219 yards, as the Blake Mitchell led Gamecock comeback attempt proved futile and too little too late.

#14 Boise State 45 Fresno State 21

The Bulldogs were blown out in their 3rd straight game, the defense is still atrocious, WR Chastin West is still giving us a positive glimpse into the future, and QB Sean Norton is headed to the bench. The Broncos own coach Pat Hill and the Bulldogs, and there is no doubt they are the class of the WAC. Not too many positives came out of this beatdown for the Bulldogs except West's kickoff return TD and Damon Jenkins making Fresno State the last team in division 1-A to get an INT, and he went ahead and returned it for a TD. The problem that poses is the fact that the offense only generated one TD and it was a gift for QB Tom Brandstater as the Boise State safety blew the coverage leaving WR Joe Fernandez all alone in the endzone.

#16 Boston College 14 Wake Forest 21

Coach Jim Grobe has definately turned things around for the Demon Deacons and has his team sitting at 8-1. Definately a surprise team in the ACC, and this Saturday gives them the opportunity to solidify their place by beating a mediocre, offense led by Jeff Bowden, Florida State. By the way, Wake is starting their backup QB Riley Skinner and had to move a WR to RB becasue of injuries. It is mostly up to the defense to carry this team from here on out.

#19 Clemson 12 Maryland 13

Kicking 4 FGs always leaves the door open for the opponent, especially when those FGs end up being your game total. The Tigers did this, and although 12 was enough to win over the smoke and mirror Terrapins and their offensive guru coach Ralph Friedgen, the defense was not able to garner a stop on the possession it needed one most.

#23 Virginia Tech 17 Miami 10

A decent win for the Hokies which would have been a slighlty disappointing loss. Who would have thought that the above phrasing after this ACC matchup would have rang true 2 or 3 years ago?

#25 Washington State 17 Arizona 27

Just when I start handing out praise to coach Bill Doba and his Wazzou Cougars, they lose at home to a struggling Arizona. You cant lose home games like this if you want to be in the top half of the PAC-10. If I give some credit to Arizona coach Mike Stoops, will Cal roll into Tuscon and smoke the Wildcats this Saturday?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

First Two Days in the NBA

On Halloween, we saw 2 games on TNT.

I mentioned the matchups down the page and we saw the Bulls-Heat first. The Bulls came out and absolutely dominated both sides of the ball, for 4 quarters. The Suns-Lakers game saw much of the same in the first half, as the Suns came out and took over control, but the Lakers came back behind Lamar Odom and the Suns inability to guard him, and won the game.

Yesterday, the first day of November, we saw Lebron and the Cavs take on the crazy Arenas's, also known as the Wizards. Pretty good up and down the floor game, the Cavs eventually took control in the 4th quarter, and held off the Wizards behind a terrible shooting night for Arenas, and a good night for Caron Butler. Lebron had a pretty good game, but the surprise was Larry Hughes. He had a good game, pouring on 32 points.

In the late game, the Suns took on the Clippers. Suns came out playing pretty bad, but stayed in the game, and after leading at half time Mr. 2 time MVP Steve Nash starting to be a little more aggresive, and behind a 27 point Shawn Marion effort, the Suns won. Suns still could not slow down Elton Brand, who is still giving them fits going back to last years playoffs. He finished with 28 points 13 rebounds.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Recent Game Releases

The Godfather made it out to the PSP and XBOX 360, and is no different from the PS2/XBOX version. Still a good game, but definately better suited for console. Pretty good game overall, nothing over spectacular, but you get a good feel for the Movie while playing the game. They did a decent job here.

Scarface. Let me just start this off by saying, if you haven't seen the movie, there is a guy named Tony Montana. He was killed. For this game, the moment in the movie where he was killed, he blasts the guy. So you get to live the life of Tony Montana and settle all the scores. Changing the plot line of the movie somewhat pissed me off. It is an OK game. If you are a big Scarface fan, go ahead. But if you really don't care about the movie, there are much better options available.

Gangs of London (PSP), which looked promising way back when they first announced it, is a total flop. Don't waste your time.

Family Guy, out on XBOX PS2 and PSP. Again, better suited for console here. They really need to put a little more effort into developing games for the PSP. I would say this game is about par for the course.

Tiger Woods 07(PSP PS2 XBOX XBOX360 DS)- I am not a golf fan, I pretty much hate it. But the game is fun, very fun. The game of golf is alot better to play than to watch. And this game is proof of that.

Ace Combat X- Skies of Deception. Best. PSP. Game. Ever. If you are a fan of the Ace Combat series, this is a must have, and if you just want a game that looks and feels like it belongs on the PSP, get this game now. Not an old story retread, Bandai Namco is one of the few companies out there trying to bring original games to the PSP.

The PSP has been selling on the dismal side of things, almost tripled by the amount of Nintendo DS lite's sold in the month of September. But the good news for Sorny is the PS2 has steadily been outselling the Next-Gen XBOX 360. Methinks sales will pick up around the Holiday season, which we are closing in on.

Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories. PSP. It came out today, I was all ready to purchase it, went in today, and it was $49.99. No thank you. FIFTY BUCKS, for a PSP GAME? I guess after the popularity of the Liberty City Story game, they figured another $10 wasn't going to stop anyone from purchasing. And other than me, I think everyone else that Pre-ordered at the store bought theirs. I am going to wait on this, with Ace Combat to keep me entertained, and one other game coming out tomorrow for 360..

FIFA 07 tomorrow. Review to follow, although it has been out on every other platform for a while, I couldn't view it on the inferior 480i, I paid too much for my TV to not use it.

Also, we are now under 20 days away from the PS3 and Wii Launch.