The NFL Playoffs

posted on 2005-01-19 at 22:51:12 by Joel Ross

We are now down to three games left in the NFL season. And after a wild card weekend that saw three upsets, this weekend saw none, with the Jets coming the closest. If Brien could kick a field goal, the Jets would be playing against the Patriots this weekend, but after missing two, they will be watching the game at home, just like members of the other 28 teams will be. Let's do a full review, shall we?

Of course we will! The first game of the weekend was the above game. I told you the Steelers could win without Roethlisberger having a good game. And he didn't, yet they still beat the Jets. Remember, they beat the Jets without Ben in the last game of the season. This was the only game that I picked the favorite, and they didn't cover. 0-1.

The late game on Saturday - St. Louis against the Falcons. Mike Vick ran all over them. I found it amusing that the latest Rick Radio show (mp3) said he thought Vick wouldn't be able to run all over the Rams. He said Vick would get yards, but he wouldn't go for 120 yards. He was right. Vick only ran for 119 yards! I thought St. Louis would put up more of a fight than they did, but when Vick ran for 47 yards on the first drive, I knew the Falcons would win. He's just too fast! There goes another pick. 0-2.

Sunday rolled around, and Minnesota faced the daunting task of taking out the Eagles before their destined time (that's the Conference championship game, right?). But first, a flashback to the whole Randy Moss "mooning" thing. Overblown. And I didn't know this, but it wasn't without provocation. Apparently, whenever the Packers win, their fans moon the opposing team's bus after the game. You would think the NFL would want to highlight rivalries like this, not punish them! Anyway, back to this week. How is Freddie Mitchell pulling up his pants any different? It makes everyone recall a (according to the NFL) punishable offense from last week. Of course, this takes the attention away from the game, in which the Eagles won, which I picked. But Minnesota didn't cover. 0-3.

The NFL saved the best for last (at least on paper). Manning, who led the league with the most touchdowns (ever!) against the defending Super Bowl champion. But then the game started, and there was snow. There wasn't supposed to be snow that early. But there was, and New England was prepared for Manning. And the snow didn't help. New England was good enough to get the points on the board, and the Colts couldn't answer. Did I mention it snowed? It did. And Indy lost. 0-4.

0-4 against the spread. 2-6 for the playoffs. Although, I was 2-2 picking winners. But I'm still 4-4 picking winners. Not real good.

But that was last week. Let's look at this week.

  • New England (-3) vs. Pittsburgh: I'm not sure how, but the Patriots are favored. Pittsburgh was the number one team in the NFL during the regular season, but they can't even be favored at home? I know the Patriots beat Indy, but Indy isn't a good team outdoors. Pittsburgh is. Roethisberger probably won't have a game worse than last week, and most likely will be better. With Bettis and Staley running, and the recievers they have, they can score against New England. On the other side, the Steelers defense will give New England's offense fits all day.
  • Atlanta vs. Philadelphia (-5): Philly will finally make it over the hump, into the Super Bowl. The Eagles just beat the Vikings, who have a running quarterback, albeit not on the scale of Atlanta, so they know how to defend against one, and are already in that mindset. Kearse was all over Culpepper last week. And remember, take Manning out of the equation, and Culpepper would be the MVP this year. And the Eagles shut him down. Just for fun, Owens is starting rumors (and later denying them) that he may play!

Time to enjoy the last weekend of football!

  • Atlanta vs. Philadelphia (-5):

Categories: Football


PostXING, Again

posted on 2005-01-17 at 22:08:23 by Joel Ross

Interesting news from Chris Frazier. He's implemented (and released) IBlogExtension into his PostXING project. I've been communicating with him off and on over the past week or so, and because I provided him with a sample to look at, I'm now listed on the about screen! Very cool.

I'm testing posting from it right now. Let's see how it works!

Categories: Blogging


NFL Conference Semi's

posted on 2005-01-14 at 17:30:01 by Joel Ross

Once again, I'm late getting my picks up. Not that it really matters, though. I still beat the games actually being played. Of course, predictions are easier once they are played. Or would those be postdictions?

Last week I ended up 2-2 both against the spread and head to head. I called the St. Louis upset and knew Indy would run away with the game, which they did. Manning is looking unstoppable, but then again, everyone said that last year too, after Indy destroyed Denver. Now, after Denver traded to get Champ Bailey and they've been eliminated the same way this year, what is the next step? I still don't think Jake Plummer is the quarterback for them. In the other game in the AFC, San Diego's dream season came to an end. In dramatic fashion too. San Diego had thier chance - a chance at a field goal in OT. And the Jets? Well, a late penalty allowed it to even go into overtime.

The last game. Ahh. Randy Moss. What a character! I don't get the whole controversy. He mooned the audience? So what? Oh wait. He fake mooned the audience? Not even a real moon? And we're talking about this? Why? Anyway, Minnesota dominated this one from the beginning, starting with a fake run by Culpepper, with a little flip pass that se tthe tone for the day. Green Bay at the Frozen Tundra doesn't seem so threatening anymore.

So with last week out of the way, here's this week's games.

  • Minnesota vs. Philadelphia (-9): This should be a very good game. Two months ago, Philadelphia would have run away with this one. In fact, in week two, before Minnesota started tanking, Philadelphia beat them on Monday night. But now, Philly is without Owens, and that changes things. Basically, they are the same team as the last three years, where they lost in the Conference finals. I don't think Minnesota can win it, but they can cover.
  • Indianapolis vs. New England (-2.5): Last year, I picked Indy when they played the Patriots. It was based on good weather. This year, I'm doing the same thing, but it seems more likely that they'll have mid thirties this weekend, and it's supposed to be partly sunny. I think Manning will have a spectacular day against a depleted Patriots secondary. This should be a high scoring game, with Indy coming out on top.
  • St. Louis vs. Atlanta (-7): I'm not sure why I'm picking the Rams. Call it a hunch. It's all about containing Vick. If they can do that, they will beat them. Even if they can't, the Rams have the potential to still beat the Falcons.
  • New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh (-9): These two played in week 14, and Pittsburgh won, 17-6. So Ben won't have the same jitters he might have if he'd never played against his opponent before. Still, while the Pittsburgh offense relies on Ben, it can win without him. In week 17, they beat the Bills in a game that was meaningless to them, but key to Buffalo. They can win even if their offense starts to spudder tomorrow. Thier defense is solid, and should be able to contain Martin, leaving it up to Pennington to beat them.

It's going to be a busy weekend for me, and I'm not even sure I'll watch any games, but Sunday night, I'll be checking out the highlights!

Categories: Football



posted on 2005-01-11 at 23:34:14 by Joel Ross

PostXING is a tool that allows you to post to multiple .Text blogs at the same time. It's much farther along in the development cycle than my homegrown blogging tool I use. Unfortunately, I haven't used PostXING yet, because it doesn't allow me to post to my b2evo blog.

But that may change some time in the future. I found a post of Chris' talking about cross posting, something I am interested in. He mentioned that he would be interested in some other posting API's besides the Metablog API, so I told him about my implementation, and how I use the IBlogExtension interface to post to any API.

He was interested, and this morning, I sent the code his way. I'm very interested in seeing what (if anything) he does with it. Assuming his editor supports valid XHTML, then I should be able to use it.

Plus, it'll feel good to contribute in some way to a project like this!

Categories: Software


Regular Expressions

posted on 2005-01-11 at 00:12:09 by Joel Ross

It looks like Roy Osherove has released the souce code of The Regulator.

I've used The Regulator to help me create a few regular expressions. I have some sort of mental blog on regex I think. Every time I read how to do it, I "get it" until I have to use it. Then I'm stuck.

Anyway, here's a couple of good articles from Roy explaining regular expressions. If I remember correctly, this was before he even wrote The Regulator.

And for good measure, here's a Regex tutorial on Code Project.

Categories: Software


posted on 2005-01-11 at 00:00:29 by Joel Ross

If you haven't seen Memeorandum, you should check it out. It's a lot like Google News, but instead of giving you links to other news sites with the same story, they point to bloggers who have covered the story. It's another way to find bloggers that you may be interested in.

I would like to see this done for technical news, but I'm not sure where the story would come from. I suppose you could pull stories from places like PCMag, Wired, and eWeek, for example. Or maybe instead of relying on news organizations, it could come up with the top blog stories, and show who else is talking about the same thing. A Google News for blogs!

Categories: General


MSBuild on .NET 1.1?

posted on 2005-01-10 at 23:57:00 by Joel Ross

This is older, but there's apparently an effort to convince Microsoft to release MSBuild with support for the 1.1 framework. You can see the issue here.

There are work arounds to get it to work, but it would be nice if I could start writing build files now without the hassle of a workaround.

Categories: Development


Skype 1.1

posted on 2005-01-10 at 23:53:04 by Joel Ross

It's been out for a while, but I have been too busy to get a lot of posts up lately. I downloaded it, and installed it. It looks better, but I haven't used it a whole lot to see the changes. You can get it here.

According to the website, it adds multiple person chatting, and some visual enhancements.

Categories: Software


.Text Modifications - Revisited

posted on 2005-01-09 at 15:46:04 by Joel Ross

I was a little premature with my .Text modifications to get the www back into our URLs. I eventually reverted all code changes for that back to the original way it was done, and added the following line in the BlogConfigurationSettings section:


That's it. Much easier than what I was trying to do.

Well, almost. It doesn't work for the aggregate page. For that, I had to add one function to the code behind:

     1: protected string GetFormattedHost(string host, bool useWWW) {
     2:             if(useWWW) {
     3:                 return "www." +  host;
     4:             }
     5:             else {
     6:                 return host;
     7:             }
     8:         }

Then, in the GetFullUrl method, add this to the first line of the function:

     1: host = GetFormattedHost(host, true);

Now, all the links on the home page use www too, meaning our stats will start working again.

Categories: ASP.NET


.Text Modifications In Action

posted on 2005-01-08 at 00:42:18 by Joel Ross

I made my first modifications to the Tourney Logic blogs, which use the .Text blog engine. Both issues I addressed tonight have been bothering us for a while, so I went ahead and fixed them.

The first had to do with the application name. It was coming across as, when we wanted Not having the www on there was reeking havoc in our stats (mainly our referrers). That was a quick fix. There are a few places that replace www with nothing. I just changed those, but I think there may have been an easier way - somehow (I'm still looking into it) you can set a setting for useWWW. Not sure that will do it, but for now, my solution works.

The second change was to implement CAPTCHA. Not sure how, but this blog is getting spam like crazy. I deleted at least 20 messages today alone. So I thought it was time do something about it. I used Dave Burke's two posts to do it, and it works perfectly. Thanks Dave!

Categories: ASP.NET


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