Monday, December 25, 2006

James Brown Passes At 73 - CNN.Com

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- James Brown, the legendary R&B belter, a singer and songwriter who created a foundation for funk and provided the roots of rap, a man of many nicknames but a talent that can only be described as one of a kind, is dead.

Brown died early Monday at Atlanta's Emory Crawford Long Hospital of congestive heart failure, his agent said. He was 73.

Brown was in Atlanta for a dental appointment when he fell ill and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend for treatment of "severe pneumonia," said his agent, Frank Copsidas.

"It appears what happened is that he did die of a heart attack as a result of his pneumonia," Copsidas told CNN Radio.

Brown -- known variously as "the Godfather of Soul," "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business," "Soul Brother Number One" and "Mr. Dynamite" (and often introduced as all of the above) -- was known for his elastic dance moves, razor-sharp musicianship and all-stops-out performances. (Watch the incomparable Brown perform )

He was, literally, an impossible act to follow: The Rolling Stones were said to have been terrified to come on after Brown in "The T.A.M.I. Show," a 1964 concert that appeared on film the next year. ("Nobody could follow me," Brown told "T.A.M.I. Show" director Steve Binder, according to a Los Angeles Times article.) Brown's performance in that show even earned an ovation from the backing band.

"You have the Rolling Stones on the same stage, all of the important rock acts of the day, doing their best -- and James Brown comes out and destroys them," producer Rick Rubin wrote in Rolling Stone. (i-Report: Your thoughts on James Brown)

His influence was broad and deep. He was a soul innovator, bringing a churchy rawness to R&B with his early hits "Please, Please, Please" and "Think." He essentially created funk with mid-'60s songs such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Cold Sweat." His grooves were sampled by rappers and hip-hop artists. (Gallery: James Brown through the years)

He was tough on his own backing band, the Famous Flames -- which included saxophonist Maceo Parker, guitarist Jimmy Nolen and drummer Clyde Stubblefield -- famously fining them if they missed a cue. They even walked out on him in 1969; Brown simply recruited a new band, which included bassist Bootsy Collins. (Many of the Flames later returned; they were renamed the J.B.'s.)

He provided the ground that much of black music -- much of pop music -- stands on. (Story: James Brown's greatest hits)

"James presented obviously the best grooves," rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy once told The Associated Press. "To this day, there has been no one near as funky. No one's coming even close." (Watch "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" do his thing )

Despite much-publicized personal problems that included a rap sheet and drug troubles, he also was a community leader. In the 1960s, he was a voice for calm during a period of urban riots; J. Anthony Lukas' book on Boston race relations, "Common Ground," notes that a 1968 Brown performance the day after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination helped keep the Massachusetts city from exploding.

Later, dismayed by the school shootings of the late '90s, he spoke out against violence in schools, even writing a song, "Killing's Out and School's In."

"We need to protect the kids by giving them something to do," Brown told CNN in 2001. "[It's about] making them interested, making them love mom and dad more, love the family more, love themselves more and love their school. So there won't have to be killing in school."

'Superhuman determination'
James Brown was born on May 3, 1933, in Barnwell, South Carolina. His early years were rough. Abandoned by his immediate family, he was taken in by friends and relatives and grew up in an "ill-repute area" of Augusta, Georgia, he once said. He shined shoes and danced for change, and he also served time in a reform school for breaking into cars, rescued by the family of friend Bobby Byrd.

Byrd invited Brown to join his group, the Gospel Starlighters, which later changed its name to the Flames and then the Famous Flames. The group was signed to King Records and released its song "Please, Please, Please" in early 1956. The song hit the R&B Top 10 and the group worked it hard, touring the "chitlin circuit" -- as the series of African-American clubs and theaters was called -- incessantly.

"What made Brown succeed where hundreds of others failed was his superhuman determination, working the chitlin circuit to death, sharpening his band, and keeping an eye on new trends," Richie Unterberger wrote on

A second hit, "Try Me," gave the group staying power, and from there it was hit after hit: "Think," "This Old Heart," "Bewildered," "Lost Someone," "Night Train," "Prisoner of Love." Brown eventually scored more than 50 Top 10 hits on the R&B charts. Seventeen hit No. 1.

Despite the occasional pop hit, crossover stardom eluded him until 1963, when "Live at the Apollo" -- still considered one of the great live albums of all time -- hit No. 2 on Billboard's album chart. In 1965, Brown hit the pop Top 10 with the groundbreaking "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," a song that incorporated the intricate start-and-stop rhythms that would come to define funk, and his mainstream stardom was sealed.

Brown's music was bold: 1968's "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" was a defiant statement of black pride; 1970's "Get Up (I Feel Like Being Like A) Sex Machine" was blatantly sexual; 1971's "Hot Pants" leering. His sound was unlike anything on the charts and was copied by many artists, including Sly and the Family Stone and Parliament -- who, in turn, gave it their own spin.

Influence on disco, hip-hop, rap
Brown went into eclipse in the mid-'70s. His 1974 song "The Payback" was his last Top 40 hit for 11 years, and even his appearances on the R&B/black music charts were irregular. He returned to the Top 10 with "Living in America," the theme from "Rocky IV," in 1985, but it was his last hurrah on the pop chart.

Brown also was plagued by personal problems. In the late '80s he was in the news for being accused of assault and battery by his then-wife. In 1988, high on PCP, he led police on a chase through two states before officers shot out the tires of his truck. He received a six-year prison sentence, serving 15 months in prison and 10 months in a work release program before being paroled in 1991, according to the AP.

But his musical influence was undeniable. He was part of the first group of artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He won Grammys for "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "Living in America." He received a Kennedy Center honor in 2003.

He knew what he'd accomplished.

"Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown; you know what I'm saying? You hear all the rappers, 90 percent of their music is me," he told the AP in 2003.

Brown's traditional performance close -- wailing "Please, Please, Please," falling to his knees, being covered with a cape, led almost off stage, still singing quietly, only to rise again, returned to the center, bringing the crowd to its screaming feet -- is indelible. It suggested nothing short of a life force, one that lives on in his many followers.

Which was what James Brown hoped for.

"I would like to pass on the want to do something," he told CNN in 2000. "The need is there. Good lyrics are good things, but I would like to pass on that drive, that vigorous undying determination."

Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

"Vince The Great" - Vince Young Leads Titans To 30-29 Win v. Buffalo Bills -

Young keeps Titans' streak, hopes alive wire reports

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (Dec. 24, 2006) -- If Vince Young keeps this up, the Tennessee Titans just might do the unthinkable and make the playoffs.

The rookie first-round draft pick has the Titans (8-7), who started the season with five losses in a row, alive in the AFC playoff race entering the final weekend after rallying them to a 30-29 victory against the Buffalo Bills.

The doubters have motivated Young all season long.

"That's all you heard all season, that a rookie's not going to be able to do this and that," Young said. "And I took that as, 'Hey, let's show the world that you can do that.' "

Young threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another to engineer his fourth comeback in the fourth quarter or overtime. This time, he helped Tennessee overcome a 29-20 deficit in the final 12 minutes. After hitting Brandon Jones for a 29-yard touchdown pass, Young engineered a 14-play, 75-yard drive, which Rob Bironas capped with a 30-yard field goal with 2:10 left.

Young's most electrifying play came at the end of the first half, when he scored on a 36-yard keeper on a fourth-and-2.

The loss knocked the Bills, now 7-8, out of playoff contention.

"This loss really hurts," said linebacker London Fletcher, whose team entered the game having won five of seven. "We had everything fall into place the way you want it to fall. We played a home game in a situation where you have to beat a team. And we just didn't get the job done."

Young improved to 8-4 as a starter and has led the Titans to six consecutive victories as they attempt to become the first NFL team to qualify for the playoffs after starting the season 0-5.

Tennessee still needs help, and must win its season finale when it plays host to New England next weekend.

"Every week he does something to amaze me," Jones said. "I can't believe some of the things that he does."

It was a wild, back-and-forth contest, featuring seven lead changes.

Vince Young made more magic when he beat the clock with his 36-yard touchdown run before halftime.
The Bills had a chance to pull it out but failed in the final minute.

Facing fourth-and-5 at the Titans 28, J.P. Losman scrambled out of trouble and threw a desperation pass that was intercepted by Reynaldo Hill at the goal line. On the play, the Bills elected against a field goal. They were driving into a wind that was gusting up to 20 mph.

Losman finished 19-for-33 for 266 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice. Willis McGahee had 95 yards rushing and a touchdown.

"All we wanted was an opportunity," Bills receiver Lee Evans said. "It came down to the end of the game and, defensively, they made more plays than we did offensively."

The game turned after Rian Lindell, with a career-tying fifth field goal, put the Bills ahead 29-20 late in the third quarter.

Young took over and led the Titans on a nine-play, 62-yard march, which he capped by hitting a wide-open Jones over the middle at the 10. Jones eluded Terrence McGee, who slipped on the play, and ran it in for a 29-yard reception.

After the Bills went three-and-out, the Titans turned to running back Travis Henry in a drive that ate up 7:15 and, more significant, produced the winning points.

Henry had 41 yards on eight carries during the drive, and finished with 135 yards rushing while facing his former team for the first time since being traded to Tennessee in 2004.

More surprising is that Henry arrived in Buffalo late after he missed the Titans' flight the day before.

"I was home just chilling and I got a call from a teammate like they were going to leave," Henry said, noting he had misread the Titans' travel schedule. "I got on the first flight that was available and I had to connect through Charlotte. ... It was crazy."

Young laughed when asked about Henry's late arrival.

"He's got a lot of money to book him another flight," Young said. "He got here, no problems, and went out there and played the game."


With six victories in a row, Young moved into a tie for third with Pittsburgh's Mike Kruzcek for the longest streak among rookie NFL quarterbacks.
Losman has 12 touchdown passes in his past eight games, eight of them for 20 yards or longer after he hit Evans for a 37-yarder on Sunday.
Bironas hit all three field-goal attempts for Tennessee, including a tough 42-yarder into the wind.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

Baltimore Ravens Smell Miami; Rout Steelers 31-7

Ravens keep rolling, rout Steelers 31-7 wire reports

PITTSBURGH (Dec. 24, 2006) -- Minutes after they ended the Pittsburgh Steelers' run as the Super Bowl champion, the Baltimore Ravens were ready to proclaim a new NFL title favorite -- themselves.

Steve McNair, masterfully running an offense that was productive and efficient, threw three touchdown passes and Baltimore took a big step toward securing a first-round AFC playoffs bye with a 31-7 victory over the Steelers.

The Ravens (12-3) matched a franchise record for victories in a season set by their Super Bowl championship team in 2000 and swept the series from the despised Steelers (7-8) for the first time since the former Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996. They also won in Heinz Field for the first time since their initial game there in 2001.

"The satisfaction is what we're trying to accomplish, it's not about ending the Steelers' season," cornerback Chris McAlister said.

The Ravens got some unexpected help from the Houston Texans, who upset the Indianapolis Colts 24-21 to move Baltimore ahead of the Colts (11-4) for the No. 2 seeding in the AFC playoffs. Baltimore, which still can surpass San Diego and be seeded No. 1, will finish at home next Sunday against Buffalo (8-7).

"We're in a prime position to get home-field advantage," linebacker Ray Lewis said. "With the way we're playing defense and the way our offense is clicking, we're going to be a hard team to beat in the playoffs."

If this was Bill Cowher's last home game as Steelers coach, and there is a possibility it was, his players didn't throw much of a going-away party.

With Ben Roethlisberger (156 yards passing, two interceptions) and Willie Parker (29 yards on 13 carries) again having rough afternoons against one of the NFL's top defenses, the Steelers (7-8) became the first defending Super Bowl champions since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002 to miss the playoffs.

"We just didn't play the way we played last year," wide receiver Hines Ward said, pointing to a season-long problem with turnovers -- 35, including three more in Week 16. "You never give yourself a chance to win when you turn it over."

Mark Clayton continues to be a deep threat with a 35-yard TD and 108 total yards.
The Steelers tried to rally by winning five of six following a 2-6 start, but now can finish no better than 8-8 -- the same record they had in 1980, the year after they won the fourth and last of the Super Bowls under coach Chuck Noll.

"Nobody expected us to be in this position," linebacker James Farrior said. "Everybody is going to have to pick themselves up after this."

Parker, a Pro Bowl running back, had averaged 144 yards rushing in the previous four home games only to be held below 30 yards for the second time in a month by Baltimore. He had 22 yards on 10 carries in the Ravens' 27-0 rout on Nov. 26. The Steelers were out-gained 634-423 and outscored 58-7 in the two losses to the Ravens.

The Ravens defense wasn't quite as good as the first matchup, when it sacked Roethlisberger nine times and forced three turnovers, but it didn't have to be the way McNair (21 of 31, 256 yards, two interceptions) took advantage of repeatedly good field position.

"To me, he's the secret weapon this year," Steelers lineman Brett Keisel said of McNair, acquired from Tennessee in a trade earlier this year. "He's the reason they are where they are. He came into a new system and now he's taking them to the playoffs."

Who are the greatest Super Bowl champions of all time? America's Game on NFL Network answers that question every Friday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Jamal Lewis helped out with 77 yards, giving him 1,063 yards for the season, and a 1-yard touchdown run.

After Baltimore got the ball at the Steelers 43 late in the first quarter following a short punt by Chris Gardocki, McNair found Mark Clayton behind Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu on a 35-yard scoring play. The touchdown came one play after McNair kept the drive going by barely gaining enough ground on a fourth-and-1 sneak.

Another short punt by Gardocki on Pittsburgh's next possession led to McNair's 1-yard scoring pass to tight end Daniel Wilcox on fourth-and-goal.

The Steelers had gained only 34 yards in the first half until a McNair-thrown interception on a tipped pass led to Roethlisberger's 1-yard TD pass to Heath Miller seven seconds before halftime.

The Ravens regained control on their opening drive of the second half, with McNair finding Demetrius Williams open behind Polamalu down the Baltimore sideline for a 25-yard touchdown. That made it 21-7, and the Steelers were so desperate to score after that they went for it on a fourth-and-2 at their 37 midway through the quarter. They didn't get the first down -- a perfect summation of their failed season.

Polamalu, an All-Pro safety last season, returned after missing the Steelers' previous three games with a knee injury.

Notes: McNair is 10-4 against Pittsburgh. ... Baltimore has won eight of nine. ... The Steelers were 2 of 14 on third downs, with both conversions coming on penalties, and 3 of 26 against Baltimore this season. ... Six of the last eight Super Bowl winners held a first-round bye. ... McNair had thrown 163 passes without an interception. ... The Ravens have allowed 57 points in their last six games. ... Baltimore finished 5-1 in the division. The Steelers are 2-3.

Arizona Cardinals QB Matt Leinart Sprained His Left Shoulder Against 49ers -

Cards QB Leinart sprains throwing shoulder wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 24, 2006) -- Matt Leinart sprained his left shoulder late in the first half of the Arizona Cardinals ' game against San Francisco, ending the quarterback's strong rookie season one game early.

Leinart was hurt when Roderick Green sacked him on third down during a drive that ended in Neil Rackers' 39-yard field goal with 1:57 left in the second quarter. Leinart went to the locker room after the hit, and returned to the sideline in street clothes as Kurt Warner finished off the Cardinals' 26-20 victory.

Though the injury apparently isn't serious, Arizona coach Dennis Green said Leinart will be shelved for the season finale at San Diego on Dec. 31. Leinart won't need surgery, but is scheduled for an MRI exam Dec. 27.

"It hurts pretty good, but it's nothing serious, so that's a good thing," said Leinart, who was told such injuries require about four weeks to heal. "Nothing popped, nothing tore. There were no noises. I just fell on it hard."

Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner from USC, was outstanding against the 49ers, going 9-for-13 for 162 yards with a touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald as Arizona took a 20-3 lead.

Leinart has passed for 2,547 yards and 11 TDs this season despite sitting out most of the Cardinals' first four games. Arizona won four of its last six games under Leinart, but is out of playoff contention after an eight-game losing streak early in the season.

Warner, who lost his job to Leinart in October, passed for 105 conservative yards in the second half as Arizona barely held on.

"When you come in with a situation where somebody is doing well, you just don't want to mess up what's going on," Warner said. "It was really about managing the game at that point."


Offense ranking and stats by NFL:

Stat list order:Games Plays Yards Game Play Game Eff Eff Game of Poss
Yds/ Yds/ 1st Dn/ 3rd Dn 4th Dn Pts/Avg Time

1. New Orleans Saints 15 1024 5967 397.8 5.8 21.1 45.1 57.9 26.1 32:19
2. Indianapolis Colts 15 943 5671 378.1 6.0 23.5 56.1 0.0 26.7 29:27
3. San Diego Chargers 15 954 5453 363.5 5.7 19.9 43.3 54.5 31.0 31:31
4. St. Louis Rams 15 998 5351 356.7 5.4 20.6 37.1 64.7 21.7 31:04
5. Philadelphia Eagles 14 868 5284 377.4 6.1 19.4 41.2 40.0 25.1 28:19
6. Pittsburgh Steelers 15 967 5243 349.5 5.4 19.9 42.2 47.6 22.0 30:38
7. Dallas Cowboys 14 907 5206 371.9 5.7 21.5 48.4 53.3 27.6 31:51
8. Cincinnati Bengals 15 940 5167 344.5 5.5 19.9 35.6 66.7 23.7 29:07
9. Green Bay Packers 15 1007 5085 339.0 5.0 18.7 37.7 41.2 18.3 30:21
10. Jacksonville Jaguars 15 924 5026 335.1 5.4 17.9 38.9 50.0 22.7 32:22
11. New England Patriots 15 994 4955 330.3 5.0 20.7 42.9 78.9 23.0 31:43
12. Atlanta Falcons 15 926 4932 328.8 5.3 17.7 35.5 44.4 18.3 29:27
13. Chicago Bears 15 988 4883 325.5 4.9 19.1 38.1 66.7 28.0 31:04
14. New York Giants 15 942 4859 323.9 5.2 18.7 36.5 46.7 21.4 29:41
15. Washington Redskins 15 917 4850 323.3 5.3 18.3 37.0 45.5 18.6 29:51
16. Kansas City Chiefs 15 936 4748 316.5 5.1 19.1 40.4 57.1 19.7 30:04
17. Baltimore Ravens 15 951 4745 316.3 5.0 17.6 41.1 72.7 22.3 32:34
18. Minnesota Vikings 15 964 4650 310.0 4.8 17.0 32.4 71.4 17.4 31:51
19. Seattle Seahawks 15 973 4633 308.9 4.8 18.9 36.7 25.0 20.8 29:18
20. Denver Broncos 15 909 4626 308.4 5.1 17.7 37.9 53.8 19.7 29:59
21. Carolina Panthers 15 934 4610 307.3 4.9 17.2 31.0 25.0 15.9 29:55
22. Detroit Lions 15 891 4587 305.8 5.1 17.9 30.6 38.1 17.7 27:23
23. Arizona Cardinals 15 944 4556 303.7 4.8 18.6 38.8 66.7 19.6 30:13
24. San Francisco 49ers 15 842 4500 300.0 5.3 15.1 33.3 55.6 18.1 28:20
25. Tennessee Titans 15 879 4468 297.9 5.1 16.3 33.0 43.8 20.1 27:05
26. Miami Dolphins 14 912 4353 310.9 4.8 17.7 38.3 50.0 16.3 30:07
27. New York Jets 14 885 4301 307.2 4.9 18.4 42.9 33.3 20.0 30:40
28. Houston Texans 15 913 4286 285.7 4.7 18.1 39.5 69.2 16.9 29:44
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15 923 4034 268.9 4.4 14.8 37.1 26.7 13.6 28:27
30. Buffalo Bills 15 846 4018 267.9 4.7 14.9 31.2 40.0 19.5 28:22
31. Cleveland Browns 15 874 3927 261.8 4.5 15.4 33.0 42.9 15.5 28:46
32. Oakland Raiders 15 899 3730 248.7 4.1 15.4 36.8 33.3 11.0 28:34



(Before 12/25 Philadelphia-Dallas & N.Y, Jets-Miami Monday night games)
December 25, 2006 - Christmas Day

For Week 17
Clinched: San Diego - West Division and first-round bye
Indianapolis - South Division
Baltimore - North Division
New England - East Division
Eliminated: Oakland, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, Buffalo, Pittsburgh.
San Diego clinches homefield advantage:
1) SD win or tie
2) BAL loss or tie
Baltimore clinches homefield advantage:
1) BAL win + SD loss
Baltimore clinches a first-round bye:
1) BAL win or tie
2) IND loss or tie
Indianapolis clinches a first-round bye:
1) IND win + BAL loss
Denver clinches a playoff berth:
1) DEN win or tie
2) KC loss or tie
Denver clinches a playoff berth:
1) DEN win or tie
2) KC loss or tie
3) NYJ loss or tie + CIN loss or tie + TEN loss or tie
NY Jets clinch a playoff berth:
1) NYJ win or tie
2) CIN loss or tie + JAC loss or tie
3) CIN loss or tie + TEN win
4) DEN loss + JAC loss
NY Jets clinch a playoff berth:
1) NYJ win + CIN loss or tie + JAC loss or tie
2) NYJ win + CIN loss or tie + TEN win
3) NYJ win + DEN loss + JAC loss
4) NYJ tie + CIN loss + KC/JAC tie + TEN tie
Cincinnati clinches a playoff berth:
1) CIN win + NYJ loss
2) CIN win + DEN loss + KC win
1) CIN win
2) CIN tie + KC/JAC tie + NYJ loss or tie + TEN loss or tie
Tennessee clinches a playoff berth:
1) TEN win + CIN loss or tie + DEN loss + KC win
Tennessee clinches a playoff berth:
1) TEN win + NYJ loss or tie + CIN loss or tie
2) TEN win + NYJ loss or tie + DEN loss + KC win
3) TEN win + CIN loss or tie + DEN loss + KC win
4) TEN tie + NYJ loss + CIN loss + JAC/KC tie
Jacksonville clinches a playoff berth:
1) JAC win + NYJ loss + CIN loss or tie + TEN loss or tie
Jacksonville clinches a playoff berth:
1) JAC win + CIN loss or tie + TEN loss or tie
2) JAC tie + CIN loss + TEN loss + NYJ loss or tie
Kansas City clinches a playoff berth:
1) KC win + CIN loss or tie + DEN loss + TEN loss or tie
Kansas City clinches a playoff berth:
1) KC win + NYJ loss or tie + CIN loss or tie + DEN loss
2) KC win + NYJ loss or tie + CIN loss or tie + TEN loss or tie
3) KC win + NYJ loss or tie + DEN loss + TEN loss or tie
4) KC win + CIN loss or tie + DEN loss + TEN loss or tie
Clinched: Chicago - North Division and homefield advantage
New Orleans - South Division
Seattle - West Division
Dallas - playoff berth
Eliminated: Detroit, Arizona, Tampa Bay, Washington, Minnesota,
San Francisco.
New Orleans clinches a first-round bye:
1) NO win
2) DAL loss
3) NO tie + DAL tie
Dallas clinches a first-round bye:
1) DAL win + NO loss or tie
2) DAL tie + NO loss
Dallas clinches East Division:
1) DAL win + PHI loss or tie
2) DAL tie + PHI loss
Philadelphia clinches playoff berth:
1) PHI win or tie
2) NYG loss or tie
3) GB loss or tie + CAR win
4) GB loss or tie + STL win
5) GB win + NYG win strength of victory tiebreaker over GB
Philadelphia clinches East Division:
1) PHI win
2) DAL loss
3) PHI tie + DAL tie
NY Giants clinch a playoff berth:
1) NYG win + NYG clinch strength of victory tiebreaker over GB
2) NYG win + PHI loss
3) NYG win + GB loss or tie
4) NYG tie + GB loss or tie + STL loss or tie + ATL loss or tie +
CAR loss or tie
5) GB loss + STL loss + ATL loss + CAR loss
NY Giants clinch a playoff berth:
1) NYG win + NYG clinch strength of victory tiebreaker over GB
2) NYG win + GB loss or tie
3) NYG tie + GB loss or tie + STL loss or tie + ATL loss or tie +
CAR loss or tie
4) GB loss + STL loss + ATL loss + CAR loss
Green Bay clinches a playoff berth:
1) GB win + NYG win + GB clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over NYG
2) GB win + NYG loss or tie + STL loss or tie
3) GB win + NYG loss or tie + CAR win
4) GB win + NYG loss or tie + ATL win
5) GB tie + NYG loss + STL loss + ATL loss or tie + CAR loss or tie
Carolina clinches a playoff berth:
1) CAR win + NYG loss or tie + GB loss or tie
2) CAR tie + NYG loss + GB loss + STL loss or tie + ATL loss or tie
Atlanta clinches a playoff berth:
1) ATL win + CAR loss or tie + GB loss or tie + STL loss or tie
2) ATL win + CAR loss or tie + GB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie
3) ATL tie + CAR loss + GB loss + NYG loss + STL loss
Atlanta clinches a playoff berth:
1) ATL win + CAR loss or tie + GB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie
2) ATL tie + CAR loss + GB loss + NYG loss + STL loss
St. Louis clinches a playoff berth:
1) STL win + NYG loss or tie + CAR loss or tie + ATL loss or tie
2) STL tie + NYG loss + CAR loss + ATL loss + GB loss

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Justin Timberlake - Video - Rock Your Body

This is the song that catapulted Justin Timberlake into mega-star status. "Rock Your Body" was released in 2003 and rose to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It's also the song he was singing at Super Bowl XXXVIII and during the famous "wardrobe malfunction." Justin's going on a multi-city concert tour. You can get tickets with a click here.

Here's the video:

Friday, December 22, 2006

More Behind Art Shell Firing Rumor Than Meets The Eye

It's all over the news and the blogs that Adam Schefter of the NFL Network reported that Oakland Raiders Head Coach Art Shell will not be back to coach the Silver and Black next season. It's also now all over the same news and blogs that Schefter's report was rejected by the Raiders and in a tone that can only be described as "testy."

The Raiders reportedly issued a press release with a message that looked like this:



Ask Raiders fans if Shell should go or stay and you get a variety of answers and a mix of "yes" and "no" according to But all of the talk about this seems to mask one fact: the supposed source was a "High Placed" Raiders Official, so it's another case of "Here we go again" with the attacking news coming from inside the organization.

It reminds me of the movie "When A Stranger Calls" where the weird phone calls were coming from a weirdo who was inside the house the poor girl was at. That poor girl is Art Shell. But who the caller could be is anyone's guess: earlier in the season, some pointed to Raiders Senior Assistant Mike Lombardi. But regardless of the same, the Raiders organization once again takes a massive slap in the face for looking like a haven for backstabbers. It's a sad scene.

But with all of this, one area of the Raiders that is really good is in media relations, where Mike Taylor runs a tight ship. Yak it up, but remember, Mike's job is gate-keeper in the Raiders organization, and from that perspective, he's good at keeping the Raiders at Bay. Mike understands where the power is and leads from the position of being next to the ear of the leader, Al Davis. So, Mike's not the one to backstab. Forget it.

I think the backstabber person who is one to do so would be more able to work in stealth and without a normal job title.


From Newsday-A Farewell to Tiki Barber - By Bob Glauber

Farewell to Tiki
December 22, 2006

It dawned on Tiki Barber the morning after the Giants beat the Eagles with a dramatic comeback in Week 2. That's when he knew this would be his final season.

"I felt like I was 50 years old," Barber said Thursday. "I consciously told myself, 'I don't want to do this anymore. I want to move on with the rest of my life.' "

The Giants staged a remarkable fourth-quarter rally against the Eagles and beat their divisional rival in overtime. Barber was exhausted.

"Literally, the next morning, I couldn't pick my head up off my pillow because I had an injury to my neck and back," he said. "My kids wanted to play with me, but all I could do was lay in bed. Jeremiah Trotter hit me like 20 times. I was tired. I was beat up. I didn't recover from that game until probably the next Saturday."

He thought seriously about life after football, and about some of the great players who are living with the wounds of their NFL careers. He did not want to be one of them.

"I don't want to be like Earl Campbell when I'm 50, not being able to walk, especially with all the opportunities that I have, that I have a passion for," said Barber, who plans a career as a television broadcaster.

After that, it was over. .Barber knew he still had enough left to give his best for the rest of the season, but he knew he could go no further. On Sunday, he will walk out of the tunnel against the Saints knowing it will be his final game at Giants Stadium.

"This is a stadium I've been coming to for 10 years, and there are tons of memories for me," he said. "But I think the emotion won't come until later, because I'm so focused on my job and the things I need to do."

But Giants fans should be very emotional about the most productive running back in franchise history. They should chant his name over and over, knowing this will be the last time they see him at the stadium where he produced so many memorable moments.

"Very special, very emotional, to be honest with you," coach Tom Coughlin said after practice. "It will be a very special day for all Giants fans, the last day that Tiki plays in Giants Stadium."

Coughlin and Barber have had their differences over the years, especially with Barber's occasional public criticism of the coaching staff, particularly after last season's playoff loss to Carolina. But Barber insists their relationship is misunderstood, and he shared a story rarely told.

"People think we're combative and that because of my personality and his personality we don't get along," Barber said. "His first season, my son had problems with high fevers and ear infections, and he had a seizure when we played our first game in 2004. was great. He pulled me aside and said, 'Whatever you need to do, you go do it. If you have to leave, leave.'

"We formed a bond there that most people aren't aware of, and it opened a dialogue on a non-player/coach relationship, and it allows us to have a better .relationship as a player/coach."

Bottom line: Barber has .enjoyed his greatest years under Coughlin, to the point that his 10-season career is worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. Even if he believes that he won't be the Barber to get into Canton.

"I see myself walking up to that podium and introducing my brother into the Hall of Fame," Barber said of his twin, Bucs cornerback Ronde.

"People say if I don't make it to the Hall of Fame that he was a pretty good player. That's all that matters. I never played this game to be a Hall of Famer. I played it to try to win championships. I went to one; we lost to the Ravens. I want to get back again. If that doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. But I won't define my life whether or not I win a championship or get to the Hall of Fame."

So many great games. So many splendid memories. But there's one that stands out from all the rest.

"A lot of people will point to that beautiful game we played in the 2000 NFC Championship Game when we beat the Vikings, or the Kansas City game last year where I set the single-game rushing record," Barber said.

"But I think my greatest is when we played the Redskins that same year, after Wellington Mara passed away and I had an opportunity to do something a lot of guys don't get to do, which is thank the Mara family for what they've been to me and to my career the only way I can: by putting on a great performance [206 rushing yards], scoring a touchdown and giving the ball to his grandson, and saying, 'This is for you. I love you guys, and thank you.' You can't write it any better than that."

No, you cannot. Unless there is an unexpected run to the Super Bowl this season, especially when the Giants look like they just don't have it in them.

That's why Giants fans must appreciate Sunday all the more. It's their last time to pay homage to one of the greatest players in franchise history. One final time to chant his name and salute his legacy.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New York's "21" Club Loses A Legend - Jerry Berns - NY Times

This NY Times article was sent to me by my friend Mike Dotterer, who I took to dinner at 21 this year. It's my favorite restaurant in all the World.

Jerry Berns, '21' Club’s Pre-eminent Greeter, Is Dead at 99

Published: December 22, 2006

Jerry Berns, a proprietor of the “21” Club for a half-century and the last link to the restaurant’s past as Manhattan’s most celebrated speakeasy, died yesterday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 99 and had homes in Rancho Mirage, Manhattan and Southampton, N.Y.

At top, Jerry Berns, right, and H. Peter Kriendler in 1985. Above, Artie D. DiRusso, a doorman, early that year trying to find a taxi for a patron.

His daughter, Cecily Berns Rosenthal, his banquet manager for 14 years, noted that he died on Dec. 21. The cause, she said, was complications of surgery.

Under a ceiling hung with toy planes and trucks, Mr. Berns, his brother, Charlie, and their cousin, H. Peter Kriendler, created a center of Manhattan’s social swirl at “21.”

For the better part of the 20th century, Mr. Berns and his two partners were the faces of “21.” He received the most powerful people in the nation as they arrived at the restaurant, housed in a brownstone at 21 West 52nd Street, walked past an honor guard of lawn jockeys and stepped inside. He was a host to every president of the United States from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter, the chiefs of corporate America, potentates and panjandrums. He made a practice of kissing prominent women on both cheeks.

Some well-heeled regulars ate at “21” almost every day for 50 years, and the ever-present Mr. Berns helped make the club a tradition through generations. Couples celebrated the birth of a child by stocking wine to be opened when the newborn turned 21. The consummation of a business deal or a love affair was a cause for a table for two.

The best tables at “21” were in the original building; the outer-room Siberias opened when the restaurant expanded two doors down on 52nd Street. Mr. Berns knew who sat where, whether it was Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra or Humphrey Bogart, who proposed to Lauren Bacall in the restaurant.

More than once, his daughter said, Mr. Berns averted disaster by making sure that the third party in a love triangle was seated out of sight.

Mr. Berns saw “21” evolve from a clandestine saloon to a grand salon. Before World War II, writers and actors and slumming millionaires drank elbow-to-elbow. Groucho Marx might rub shoulders with J. Paul Getty. After the war, the scene began to shift to brokers, bankers and the business elite.

The rooms smelled of cigars and money. The place practically invented the power lunch. It was very likely the first restaurant to charge $21 for a hamburger, a pinnacle it hit 21 years ago. It was perhaps the priciest place in the world to chow down on chicken hash.

The menu became fancier but the aura faded after the Berns and Kriendler families sold the restaurant to a business magnate in 1985 for $21 million. But “21” was never about the food. It was about the mood.

Herman Jerome Bernfeld was born on Feb. 19, 1907, one block north and five blocks west of “21” in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. His parents had emigrated from what is now Poland. His father, Abraham, was a tinsmith who made the old-fashioned ceilings still found in Manhattan tenements.

His brother, Charlie, ran a string of speakeasies that were “21” precursors. His mother, Sophia, demanded that Jerry leave Columbia College to avoid the risks of running rum in New York. Sent to Ohio, Mr. Berns received an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Cincinnati in 1929.

His first wife, the former Martha Baeffsky, died in 1976 after 45 years of marriage. Their daughter Diane died in 1986. He married Suzanne Pogany in 1977; she died in 2000. In addition to Mrs. Rosenthal, he is survived by his wife, the former Dorothy Lyons, whom he married in 2005; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Charlie Berns died in 1970; H. Peter Kriendler in 2001.

The club opened at its present address on New Year’s Day 1930. In 1938, Jerry Berns, then the drama critic for The Cincinnati Enquirer, left the footlights of the Midwest for the grander stage on 52nd Street. For more than 12,000 nights thereafter, he was the first man the guests of the “21” Club met after they checked their hats and coats.
More Articles in New York Region »

Pro Bowl Rosters

Position Player Team
WR Marvin Harrison Indianapolis Colts
WR Andre Johnson Houston Texans
WR Chad Johnson Cincinnati Bengals
WR Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts
OT Willie Anderson Cincinnati Bengals
OT Tarik Glenn Indianapolis Colts
OT Jonathan Ogden Baltimore Ravens
OG Alan Faneca Pittsburgh Steelers
OG Will Shields Kansas City Chiefs
OG Brian Waters Kansas City Chiefs
C Nick Hardwick San Diego Chargers
C Jeff Saturday Indianapolis Colts
TE Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers
TE Tony Gonzalez Kansas City Chiefs
QB Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts
QB Carson Palmer Cincinnati Bengals
QB Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers
RB Larry Johnson Kansas City Chiefs
RB Willie Parker Pittsburgh Steelers
RB LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers
FB Lorenzo Neal San Diego Chargers
Position Player Team
DE Derrick Burgess Oakland Raiders
DE Aaron Schobel Buffalo Bills
DE Jason Taylor Miami Dolphins
DL Casey Hampton Pittsburgh Steelers
DL Richard Seymour New England Patriots
DL Jamal Williams San Diego Chargers
OLB Shawne Merriman San Diego Chargers
OLB Terrell Suggs Baltimore Ravens
OLB Adalius Thomas Baltimore Ravens
ILB Zach Thomas Miami Dolphins
ILB Al Wilson Denver Broncos
CB Champ Bailey Denver Broncos
CB Rashean Mathis Jacksonville Jaguars
CB Chris McAlister Baltimore Ravens
SS Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers
FS John Lynch Denver Broncos
FS Ed Reed Baltimore Ravens
PK Nate Kaeding San Diego Chargers
KR Justin Miller New York Jets
Special teams Kassim Osgood San Diego Chargers

Position Player Team
WR Anquan Boldin Arizona Cardinals
WR Donald Driver Green Bay Packers
WR Torry Holt St. Louis Rams
WR Steve Smith Carolina Panthers
OT Jammal Brown New Orleans Saints
OT Walter Jones Seattle Seahawks
OT Chris Samuels Washington Redskins
OG Shawn Andrews Philadelphia Eagles
OG Steve Hutchinson Minnesota Vikings
C Matt Birk Minnesota Vikings
C Olin Kreutz Chicago Bears
TE Alge Crumpler Atlanta Falcons
TE Jeremy Shockey New York Giants
QB Drew Brees New Orleans Saints
QB Marc Bulger St. Louis Rams
QB Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys
RB Tiki Barber New York Giants
RB Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers
RB Steven Jackson St. Louis Rams
FB Mack Strong Seattle Seahawks
Position Player Team
DE Aaron Kampman Green Bay Packers
DE Julius Peppers Carolina Panthers
DE Will Smith New Orleans Saints
DL Tommie Harris Chicago Bears
DL Kris Jenkins Carolina Panthers
DL Kevin Williams Minnesota Vikings
OLB Lance Briggs Chicago Bears
OLB Julian Peterson Seattle Seahawks
OLB DeMarcus Ware Dallas Cowboys
ILB Lofa Tatupu Seattle Seahawks
ILB Brian Urlacher Chicago Bears
CB Ronde Barber Tampa Bay Buccaneers
CB DeAngelo Hall Atlanta Falcons
CB Lito Sheppard Philadelphia Eagles
SS Roy Williams Dallas Cowboys
SS Adrian Wilson Arizona Cardinals
FS Brian Dawkins Philadelphia Eagles
PK Robbie Gould Chicago Bears
KR Devin Hester Chicago Bears
Special teams Brendon Ayanbadejo Chicago Bears

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pro Bowl Selections - What, No Chad Pennington??

Look for my comments at the end.....


December 19, 2006, 7:52 PM EST

The San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears lead the NFL in wins -- and Pro Bowlers.

The Chargers placed nine players on the AFC squad Tuesday and the Bears had seven on the NFC team, which also includes a quarterback -- Dallas' Tony Romo -- who wasn't a starter when the season began.

San Diego's contingent includes quarterback Philip Rivers, who sat on the bench for his first two seasons behind Drew Brees. The former Chargers quarterback signed as a free agent with New Orleans in the offseason and will start for the NFC.

Also among the players representing the Chargers is linebacker Shawne Merriman, last year's defensive rookie of the year, who made it despite missing four games for flunking a steroid test.

"I'm very proud of our team and players," said general manager A.J. Smith of the Chargers, who like the Bears are 12-2. "We have a special group of players. These individuals are being recognized, but this is also a positive reflection on their teammates and the overall strength and depth of the entire roster."

The game will be played in Honolulu on Feb. 10.

Chicago's representatives demonstrate how the Bears won: with defense and special teams.

Three of the seven Bears, led by linebacker Brian Urlacher, are on defense and three are on special teams -- kicker Robbie Gould, specialist Brendan Ayanbadejo and rookie return man Devin Hester, who has shattered records with six returns for touchdowns on three punts, two kickoffs and a missed field goal.

Center Olin Kreutz, a perennial at his position, is the only Bears Pro Bowler on offense.

The NFC team also includes the Barber twins -- running back Tiki of the New York Giants and Ronde of Tampa Bay. The first twins to make it together, they now become the second set of brothers to make the Pro Bowl for three straight seasons -- Shannon and Sterling Sharpe from 1993-95 are the others.

"With this being my final season in the NFL and the final time my brother Ronde and I will be teammates, the honor carries even more significance than in previous years," said Tiki Barber, who described himself as "emotional and ecstatic."

In a year of outstanding rookies, Hester is the only one to make it, although Tennessee quarterback Vince Young is an alternate.

And Romo is almost a rookie. Until this season, he hadn't thrown a pass in three seasons with Dallas, mostly as a third-stringer.

But he is 6-2 as a starter since taking over from Drew Bledsoe at halftime of a loss to the Giants, leading the team to a playoff berth and control of the NFC East. When his potential selection to the Pro Bowl came up after his fourth start, coach Bill Parcells called it "ludicrous."

Like Kreutz, Urlacher and the Barbers, many of the Pro Bowlers are perennials although Ray Lewis of the Ravens didn't make it -- beaten out at inside linebacker on the AFC roster by Al Wilson of Denver and Zach Thomas of Miami.

One non-perennial is Reggie Wayne of the Colts, one of the league's best receivers for the past few years but always in the shadow of Marvin Harrison and never before a Pro Bowler.

"I really didn't think he would make it, not that he didn't deserve it," Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "But it's a tough perception to overcome -- that your No. 2 receiver is better than 28 other receivers in the league."

Harrison also made it, although he is a backup to the two Johnsons who will start at wide receiver -- Chad of Cincinnati and Andre of Houston.

Buffalo linebacker Aaron Schobel and Pittsburgh running back Willie Parker are two of the nine first-time selections on the AFC squad, including Rivers and Wayne.

"From this day on, I guess I'll always be remembered as a Pro Bowler," Schobel said. "That's something nobody can take away from me."

Arizona safety Adrian Wilson joined 12 others, including Romo, Hester, Gould, San Francisco running back Frank Gore and St. Louis running back Steven Jackson as first-timers on the NFC team.

Wilson said he got a phone call from Cardinals vice president Michael Bidwill on Tuesday afternoon.

"I had to go in the closet because I didn't want to scare my son," Wilson said. "I was pretty ecstatic."

The position with the most repeaters is traditionally the offensive line.

Guard Will Shields of Kansas City will go for the 12th time, tying a mark held by former Viking Randall McDaniel, also a guard. Another guard, Pittsburgh's Alan Faneca, will represent the AFC for the sixth straight time.

The AFC quarterbacks in addition to Rivers are the Colts' Peyton Manning, who'll start, and the Bengals' Carson Palmer.

The Rams' Marc Bulger joins Brees and Romo as the NFC's quarterbacks.

And My Spin: What, No Chad Pennington?? there are about 5 or 6 others that come to mind but The Chadster is the most glaring omission from the AFC squad. Also Jets Rookie Center Nick Mangold has Made people forget Kevin Mahwae ever played there. BC(draftnik)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Annouced Apple iTV - Video

If you watch this video of Apple CEO Steve Jobs introducing Apple iTV, you'll see a revolution in digital media unfolding before your very eyes. In the video, he takes a movie downloaded from iTunes and shows it on a large-screen television. That movie, The Incredibles, can also be purchased as a DVD. But if you can use your cheaper (I think) ITunes download version and see it on your big screen television, why would you bother to buy or rent a DVD?

I don't think most people understand the implications of this new product, set to be introduced next month. Here's the video:

Giants dive for Birds-Eagles win 36-22

Eagles give Giants taste of own medicine, 36-22
The visiting Eagles used two late fourth-quarter touchdowns to bump the Giants back down to .500 making the playoff question mark larger.

Newsday Staff Writer

December 17, 2006, 10:47 PM EST

The Giants still control their own playoff fate. Yet how can anyone expect them to maintain control after playing the way they did Sunday?

With a chance to solidify a playoff position in front of a home crowd and against a hated opponent, the Giants came up small. Their 36-22 loss wasn't decided until Eagles defensive end Trent Cole intercepted Eli Manning's pop-up pass and danced 19 yards into the end zone with 2:47 to play, but the Giants (7-7) already had killed themselves in a game the Eagles (8-6) were begging them to take.

Manning was intercepted twice and the Giants lost two fumbles. The defense, charged with holding a 22-21 lead with 6:59 to play, allowed an 80-yard drive in easy fashion to give the lead back. The Giants' offense failed twice on first-and-goal situations, as it did against the Cowboys in a similarly important home game two weeks ago. Again, getting field goals instead of touchdowns was costly.

Still, thanks to the weak NFC, the Giants still can make the postseason by winning their final two games, against the Saints at home Sunday and against the Redskins on the road. And even a split might be good enough, depending on what other contenders do.

"Right now, we're not playing like a playoff-caliber team, especially with the mistakes we're making," said Tiki Barber, who had an 11-yard TD run on the Giants' second play from scrimmage but only 64 yards on 18 carries after that. "The way we played, we're destined to be a .500 team. There's a lot of mediocrity in the NFC. And we're certainly in that class."

The Giants trailed 14-10 at the half and clawed into the lead with a pair of short Jay Feely field goals, the second a 24-yarder after the Giants got the ball at the Eagles' 7 after Will Demps' sack and forced fumble, which Antonio Pierce recovered.

On the ensuing kickoff, Reno Mahe went 64 yards untouched to the 36. Two plays later, on third-and-2 from the 28, the Eagles used a timeout and came back with a four-wide-receiver set. Tom Coughlin said his defense had the play called correctly, anticipating a run, but Brian Westbrook sped through a gap in the left side of the line and went 28 yards for a 21-16 .Eagles lead with 12:36 to play.

"There's no excuse for that," Coughlin said. "We've got a call to stop the run. We're thinking run."

The Giants were thinking it most of the day, but they did little to stop Westbrook (19 carries, 97 yards, two TDs) and Correll Buckhalter (eight carries, 48 yards, one TD). The Eagles were the ones who came into the game with a porous run defense, but they were far stingier.

Still, even after Visanthe Shiancoe fumbled the ball away after picking up a first down on a short pass, the Giants came back to take the lead. Demps picked off Jeff Garcia, who rolled away from trouble most of the game, and the Giants were in business at the Eagles' 35. A pass-interference call gave the Giants a third first-and-goal situation, and Brandon Jacobs, who hadn't played since fumbling after a 12-yard gain in the second quarter, bulled in on his second try from a yard out.

The two-point conversion failed, but that didn't matter. Trailing 22-21, the Eagles needed only 4:02 to go 80 yards and take the lead back. Already well in field-goal range, Garcia and the Eagles stayed aggressive, calling a play-action fade route on second down from the 19 that Reggie Brown hauled in behind R.W. McQuarters in the right side of the end zone.

Still, the Giants had the ball at their 20, 2:57 on the clock and two timeouts. But on the first play, Manning didn't see Sheldon Brown coming on a corner blitz, and Brown hit him as he threw. The floater fell into Cole's arms after Barber unsuccessfully tried to bat it down, and by the time he reached the end zone, the game was over.

"He should have seen it," Coughlin said of Manning, who completed 28 of 40 for 282 yards and two interceptions after going two games without a pick. "It's just one of those key plays that could have been key [for us] in the game."

Coughlin's postgame speech was positive, according to several players. The message was clear: No finger-pointing, no head-hanging, because there still are two games to play.

Those games will decide the fate of the team -- and the coaches.

"There's no feeling sorry for ourselves. Anything we did, we caused for ourselves," Coughlin said. "We're going to work and play as hard as we can and see if we can't win the next two games and see what happens."

It sounds like a plan. But the Giants haven't shown much reason to have faith.

"Considering what was at stake, how close we were to taking great steps toward the playoffs," Barber said, "we took an enormous step back."

Rocketboom Fight on Yahoo! - Andrew Baron's Recap Of The Weekend Fight

Over at his blog Rocketboom creator Andrew Baron posted this response to the weekend online fighting with Amanda Congdon ....

Well, I feel as though it's a mess around here this weekend for sure. I just put my chain saw away and had a look around at all the damage.

I feel like I just lived through an epic war film.

This all started a long, long time ago.

When Amanda Congdon quit and went public with major attacks on my character, that was the hand I was dealt and most who know me know I didn't have the experience to deal with it.

And then I never really got to say my side of the story.

It's okay to say what you need to say, get it out and move on, but that didn't happen originally.

So this weekend, I finally set out to get it all out and off my chest and I did.

Over the last several months, I feel as though Amanda has misrepresented herself and has continued to speak out with personal attacks and so I became more and more effected by my own silence. Even today she is still making claims about "how I am" that are just meant to hurt me, in my opinion.

Most people probably don't know the details of what I have been going through, and they probably also feel as though it's still muddy and silly.

But I feel as though this weekend I have finally shown my side of the story. It's only one side, yes, but its mine and its been missing all this time.

That is, I feel as though I adequately showed that she (a) gave up and left, (b) took the projects with her, (c) has not been forthright about all of this information, and yes, (d) it is my position that she forfeited her share when she quit (which is why she said she was fired).

There is more to come and more to resolve but I have said all I need to say publicly on this topic.

All in all, this has been the most difficult year ever, and its also by far been the best.

For the first time in my life, Im really proud of what I have accomplished.

Im ready more than ever to take on 2007 and I expect it to be the best, most progressive year of my life.

That's a great outlook, but I think he should soften his views on Amanda. She's actually been his benefactor.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

TIME Magazine's Person Of The Year? You (And The YouTube Guys Chad Hurley and Steve Chen)

There has been much speculation of who or what the TIME Magazine "Person Of The Year" was going to be. Al Gore, for his pathbreaking movie "An Inconvenient Truth"? Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat from San Francisco (Yeah!) and the first female majority leader? Or how about YouTube as the what?

Well, TIME tripped us up again. This time the Person Of The Year is you...and me too. It's me because in part of what I'm doing now, which is blogging. But it's also YouTube and its founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. What I mean is TIME decided to focus of them, but it seems like they went beyond just making Chad and Steve the selection, and with the logic that if no one used YouTube, there would be no popularity of it, no change in media, and no Chad and Steve to be considered as Persons Of The Year.

The video below features Chad and Steve talking about how YouTube started with Charlie Rose.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dallas Cowboys Beat Atlanta Falcons, 38-28

Cowboys power past tricky Falcons, 38-28 as Terrell Owens Admits Spitting In Cornerback D-Hall's Face. wire reports

ATLANTA (Dec. 16, 2006) -- Michael Vick and Morten Andersen got their records. Terrell Owens and the Dallas Cowboys got a crucial victory.

Owens hauled in a couple of touchdown passes, Marion Barber scored on two punishing runs and the Cowboys protected their NFC East lead with a 38-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Dallas (9-5) bounced back from a 42-17 home loss to New Orleans to bolster its playoff hopes. It was a devastating defeat for the Falcons (7-7), who had climbed back into the NFC wild-card race with two straight wins and overcame an early 14-0 deficit in this one.

Owens, who was kept out of the end zone by Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall when the two faced off in the 2005 opener, took care of that blemish. Owens made a 7-yard touchdown reception with a brilliant one-handed catch, then blew past Hall to haul in a 51-yarder.

T.O. toasted both scores with the same gesture. He faced the crowd with his arms outstretched -- that's the 'T' -- then clasped his hands in a circle above his head -- that's an 'O.'

Vick tied a career high with four touchdown passes and eclipsed Bobby Douglass' 34-year-old record for most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback. He has 990 yards, breaking Douglass' mark of 968 with the 1972 Chicago Bears.

Andersen, meanwhile, became the leading scorer in NFL history. The 46-year-old kicker booted four extra points, giving him 2,437 points for his career and breaking Gary Anderson's mark of 2,434.

It wasn't enough to hold off the Cowboys. Barber put them ahead for good on a 9-yard run with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, leaving Chris Crocker sprawled on the turf.

Barber added a 3-yard TD run with 2:18 remaining to clinch the victory.

Tony Romo, coming off his worst game since taking over the starting job, completed 22 of 29 for 278 yards. He spread it around -- Terry Glenn had five receptions for 96 yards, Owens caught five for 69 yards and Jason Witten pulled in five passes for 56 yards.

Vick had one horrible pass, which was intercepted by DeMarcus Ware and returned 41 yards for a touchdown on the first play of a wild second quarter. Otherwise, the Atlanta quarterback played well, completing 16 of 24 for 237 yards and running eight times for 56 yards.

The four touchdown passes tied Vick's personal best from an overtime tie with Pittsburgh in 2002, his first year as a starter.

Still smarting from their blowout loss to New Orleans, the Cowboys started this one like they wanted to do the same thing to the Falcons.

Dallas jumped ahead on Romo's first TD pass to Owens, who pulled the ball in with his right arm before falling out of bounds with Hall all over him. Then it was Ware's turn for an even more spectacular play.

Vick, under pressure from Chris Canty as he dropped back to throw, managed to flip a pass over the defensive end -- and right into the arms of Ware, lurking behind his teammate. He took off the other way, breaking a feeble attempt at a tackle by Vick on the way to giving the Cowboys a 14-0 lead.

The Falcons didn't fold, however, getting back in the game after a big play by their defense.

Just three plays after an interception by Lawyer Milloy was wiped out by a penalty, Romo had a pass tipped at the line by Rod Coleman. The fluttering ball fell into the arms of Atlanta linebacker Michael Boley, who returned it 40 yards to the Dallas 12.

Vick ripped off an 11-yard run, then flipped a 1-yard touchdown pass to Griffith to pull the Falcons to 14-7.

The Atlanta offense did all the work on its next possession, driving 63 yards in five plays for the tying touchdown. Vick threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins, left all alone in the left side of the end zone.

After that touchdown, Andersen punched through the extra point that broke Anderson's career scoring record. The 46-year-old kicker threw up his arms and leaped into the arms of holder Matt Schaub before being mobbed by his teammates.

Romo went deep to Owens to put Dallas back ahead. The receiver cut to the inside and ran right past Hall, catching the ball in stride for a 51-yard touchdown.

Vick capped off the 35-point quarter with his third TD pass, this one with just 11 seconds remaining in the half.

After an illegal formation penalty negated a scoring pass to Griffith, Vick fired a blistering pass to Ashley Lelie for an 8-yard touchdown, the ball seeming to go right through the hands of defender Roy Williams.

Vick put the Falcons ahead for the first time on the first series of the second half. He hooked up for the second time with Griffith, who again managed to get all alone for a 5-yard TD catch.

It was all Dallas from there. Martin Gramatica connected on a 48-yard field goal, and Barber did the rest.

Terrell Owens Admits Spitting In Atlanta Falcons CB DeAngelo Hall's Face During Game

The Dallas Cowboys won a hard fought battle against their NFC foes the Atlanta Falcons 38 to 28 tonight. It was a game played with emotion -- perhaps too much so. After the game, Falcons Cornerback De Angelo Hall said Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Terrell Owens spit in his face during the contest.

De Angelo Hall said that in the middle of the first quarter after a third down play they wer walking back to the huddle and "He just hauled off and spit in my face."

Approached with this accusation during an after game interview with Rich Isen, Deion Sanders, and Steve Marriuci, Owens admitted that he did just that. When Deion Sanders asked him why he did it, Owens said "The kid was bothering me. He was annoying me. Getting into my face." Sanders then asked "You know what you did was wrong? Owens said that he appologized for it and it's time to "move on."

Wow. He admitted it. And as I write this, Isen, Sanders, Marriuci, and now Marshall Faulk are still talking about it.

The next question is what will the NFL do about it in the way of a fine? Another question is how will this alter Owens reputation around the league? If the reaction of the seasoned NFL alumns on the NFL Network is any indication, it's taken an immediate turn for the worst.

Stay tuned for more on this.

Rocketboom Fight on Yahoo! - Amanda Congdon and Andrew Michael Baron Battle On ABC Content

Update! Andrew Baron responds to this dustup.

As I just reported, Amanda Congdon's got a new show on When I was watching the program, my first reaction was "Gee, that looks like Amanda on Rocketboom, but without the map."

Well it seems like I wasn't the only one who thought so. Andrew Michael Baron (pictured below), Rocketboom creator and co-owner (with Congdon) apparently has seen the show and doesn't at all like it, feeling it's a kind of rip off of his original work. This position has spilled over into a massive argument being played out in all of its ugliness on the Yahoo message board for video-bloggers. But you don't have to worry about finding the message board thread, I'll give you the blow-by-blow as it stands here Saturday, December 16th.

It started on Wednesday, December 13th, with this Yahoo! post from Andrew Michael Baron where he states he's offended:

"Jeeze, I have never been so offended.

Its like Alice and Wonderland around here, somebody pinch me:
http://www.dembot. com/011895. html"

The link above refers to this message Andrew wrote:

"Some of the legal documents between me and Amanda Congdon are circulating and I have received several calls from the press on the "Amanda story" or "Amanda Gate" as I have heard it said in one email.

A writer from the LA Times, Richard Rushfield, who was referred by Gina Piccalo, is currently investigating the information and mentioned I could say as much here so let's just wait and see his take instead of hearing it from me.

I will say this: yes, it is in fact my position that the Amanda Across America, ABC News and HBO projects are all Rocketboom projects that were usurped out of Rocketboom by Amanda when she quit.

And when I say usurped, I don't just mean a little bit. I spent months working on these projects and relationships. I spent a great deal of legal fees on contracts, etc. - we are talking deep, deep development.

Cory Bergman is asking people what they think of her new project and others will no doubt be pitching in with commentary. Well I have an opinion too and I am going to be candid. This is a subject that is important to me and my field.

After seeing what she has done with Amanda Across America (no spirit or production value) and now ABC News which is a carbon copy of what I hired her to do for Rocketboom, I give her an F for creativity and originality and a D- for effort. Seeing her take a "turn to camera 2", just as we do in today's episode of Rocketboom is just embarrassing.

So besides all this, which only just scratches the surface, there is a great deal of news that I will leave up to Richard to report on regarding the progress that Rocketboom has made, some pretty damn big news that no one yet knows!"

That fired the first shot on the Yahoo! Message Board; the fur started flying from there...

First, a couple of vloggers referred to a misspelling of the word "Internet" as "Iternet" and which in an Intenet world can be quickly repaired with little fuss. But I think the vloggers were trying to be nasty toward Amanda behind Andrew's cries over content theft.

Then Amanda saw Andrew's rant that I posted above and responded with this:

"Andrew, get a grip. Please.


is not my fault.

You made the decision to let me go. So I went.

As for your outlandish claims about HBO and ABC, please contact my lawyers. Let's do this the right way. And having a desk and a second camera are not ideas you own. Those are conventions.

Best to focus on your own show, I think. Or you can continue to attempt to drag me down and write "emotional" emails to ABC but I'm done talking about this publicly. Time to move on."

That "this" Amanda refers to is the graph shown here:

What it shows is that Rocketboom traffic dropped from the 1.2 million daily visitors it enjoyed during the much publicized and televised business breakup of Amanda and Andrew to an average of around 150,000 daily visitors now. In part, Amanda's departure caused the rise and the eventual fall of the shows traffic, so she's wrong there. But I digress.

Andrew's rant caused Steve Watkins, another participant on the message board, to write this response to Baron:

"Wow you still havent got over this? You still dont recognise that this whining makes you look like a bit of an ass? You think you can turn back time or use legal means to ensure you get the credit etc you deserve for all those wonderfully original ideas and contract negotiations?

Its not like rocketboom was 100% original, borrows from the past and otehr formats all the time.

You'll just have to learn to live with the fact that Amanda has as much moral right to build on her legacy with rocketboom as you do. I dont know what the law will say, obviously there are a load of boring specifics that I dont want to know about (Im sick of your dirty laundry being waved in my face), I hope you get laughed out of court. Theres not a single idea in rocketboom or anythign else that I think should be protected, and it would be utterly unrealistic to expect Amanda to build a totally new no-camera persona just to avoid any comparisons with the past.

You arent the first person to get a rude awakening when it comes to the fact that the person the viewers see may have an equal or stronger relationship with the viewer than the show/brand itself. But time has now passed, isnt there any progress?

For me you are defecating on your own legacy, please stop.

Steve Elbows"

Andrew answered Amanda's original reponse presented above with this:

"Amanda, I have always been outspoken about sharing my experiences with Rocketboom and this is no longer an exception.

You can hide talking about it publicly, we see how that has led to your advantage. As long as no one speaks up, you continue to lie and mislead people about what you have done for "yourself". Meanwhile no one can learn from the problems you have created.

As you know our lawyers ARE working on it. I hope your lawyer is listening when I say yet again, look here below how you have out right lied in saying I let you go.

People should know that in order to do business in this field there is a need to protect oneself from this kind of atrocious behavior.

Luckily I have, its just that I have previously been quiet about it for legal reasons myself.

So now Im ready to share with everyone how I expect this will turn out and then we can talk about it, take wagers, and see what the judge has to say.

In the end, we should all be in a better position to engage in creative partnerships."

Hmm....Take wagers?! More on that in a bit. Let's move on.

Jesse Cooper, another member of the message board, wrote this:

"A creative partnership? ??? I thought you all had that with rocketboom.. . now it sounds as if you would like to creatively get paid by ABC for what Amanda does regardless if you are a part of it or not."

On top of Jesse -- no pun intended -- was this post by of all people Mario Librandi, Amanda's boyfriend and participant in Rocketboom when Amanda was working for it:


There is nothing to hide. Facts are facts. You made a mistake by kicking us out and now you have to live with it. Good luck with the lawsuit.

And if you really want to share experiences, I am still waiting for that $7,050 check.

I've always said to Amanda that we should just have a public debate to end this once and for all, that way we can show everyone the truth. "

Well the "public debate" is actually unfolding on the message board. Here's Andrew Michael Baron's retort:

"I dont want anything at all right now. I just want to talk about it. I think its lame, that all. I have not filed a suit against Amanda.

If you had a business yourself and one of your partners left and took all of your contacts and business relationships, your code, your design and your format and the projects that meant the most to you, the same projects that you spent a lot of money on, I think you would be concerned, especially if they did not have any control over these projects.

Its illegal in most cases. This is just what I have learned."

And this direct reponse to Mario:

"Great, easy.

Chuck, you are the man with the answer. It was the night before
Amanda posted her video. As our mediator, I told you I was going to
make a demand.

I said I was no longer negotiating and I demanded that Amanda come
into work on Monday and film a news day for Rocketboom.

Everything else was negotiable but that one demand I put on Amanda
was non negotiable.

So what happened? As a matter of fact she did not meet my demand,
gave up, as we expected she would, and that was it.

This was the third time she had quit and this time she quit for good.

End of story on that one."

Yahoo! Message Board member Adam Quirk feels its necessary to "take sides" in this issue because, as he states it, Amanda has "has lied to the public, specifically us in this group, about the Rocketboom situation, and has underhandedly stolen our colleague Andrew's hard work, time, and business contacts and passed them off as her own.

I find it's necessary to take sides in situations such as this, because standing on the sideline applauding the chaos is inhumane.

Someone is lying to you, either Amanda or Andrew. I don't know Amanda. I know Andrew. He has not lied to me before and I see no reason why he would now."

Wow. And John Coffey sides with Steve writing:

"Right on Steve! I began to think Andrew was a real schmuck when he posted the contract from Microsoft re Zune on his blog.


He did? Gotta check that out. But first, Chuck Olsen, who was the business manager for Rocketboom and may still be, answers here and with love:

"First -- I want to say congrats to Amanda. It's very surreal seeing her on, sort of like the grownups left
the cameras and lights on and she snuck in and made a show.

I'm also tickled to see links to AAA shows I edited up there (Atrios, Vilsack, Jarvis).

As for rehashing Rocketboom.. . the community has spoken and said "No."

I'm very intrigued by all of this and have my own thoughts/insights. And I do understand why you'd be upset today Andrew.

However I fear any comment I make on that last offer to Amanda (and whether she quit or was fired) will have some legal significance in the future. It'll also reopen the whole can of worms. We have the emails of the final proposal, and we all know things fell apart at the end.

Anyway, y'all are happier and more successful than ever going your separate ways. Hopefully that will still be the case after the lawyers battle it out...


Then, just when it seemed this thread was about to reach an end, Andrew Baron chimed in with this post, which reveals a bit of jealously over Amanda's success at securing a show with ABC:

"On the topic of ABC's videoblog, I'm going to set aside all of the technical problems everyone has already mentioned with the video distribution and the ABC platform - the fact that there are no RSS feeds, the comments are pre-approved and filtered (even when not offensive), the video scrolls have been turned off, one is forced to view long, irrelevant pre-roll ads that outlast many people's curiosity and especially the closed platform with no mobile or local

In otherwords, the only difference between this video platform and one from say, 1997, is that for this one, at least the video does come on and plays.

Maybe they can hire someone who knows a thing or two about it.

I'm going to suggest that the greatest failure of this project however has to do with the severely expensive resources that are
being used for a product that can be much more valuable for a mere fraction of the effort and costs.

My question is, how much money did it take to produce this?

Also, if all of the effort only goes into a once-a-week show, how effective and interested are the people behind the show to take so much time and money to do so little?

For instance, we know they are probably paying Amanda a professional salary. They are also paying two senior level producers for this. Then there is at least one editor, a camera person (unless one of the producers is a cameraman), lighting tech, audio guy, all with premium 'ABC' salaries. I am just speculating, perhaps I have missed some.

In addition to that, the entity ABC needs to make revenue (beside the people), yet they also have at least one rep that works with Amanda besides the producers and other production staff. Surely they have someone who works on the website if not a section of a team. Amanda's agent needs a professional share. Amanda's manager too. They obviously have a very aggressive PR team too (which they will definitely need to drive people to the show). Lets not forget the advertisers! They are the ones supporting this and because so many people need to get paid such high salaries, the advertisers need to get paid most of the real-estate of the website. In many ways, this scenario is typical of one where the advertisers are way more important than the show itself. The show is just a tool for ad sales in the end, after all.

The point I want to make is, there are probably WAY too many people needed to pull off this one 5 minute production exclusively for a small flash file on one website.

A company like ABC should perhaps use their expensive resources to produce content that needs expensive resources. Was there special access gained? Was there need for expensive equipment? Travel expenses? 3 producers?

No, there was no sign of any need for any of the above that I could see."

That new rant caused Amanda's brother Andrew Congdon to give this link to the Wikipedia definition for "Sour Grapes"

To which Andrew fires back: "Apparently, not having your own ideas runs in the family. ;)"

Freakin nasty, man! Wow. It wasn't called for at all, and got Gary Short really pissed off, leading him to write this:

"Andrew, you are really starting to get on my nerves now with this carping; it is so childish, it's like listening to my kids arguing over who has been given the most veg and how it's soooo unfair. For goodness sake stop being such a baby.

"The sad fact of business is that people come together, they do great work and sometimes they disagree and go their own way - that's life Andrew, get over it. The thing is there is no doubt you have talent, but you are not encouraging
anyone to reach out to you with a new business idea/partnership with this behavior. People will be reading these outbursts of yours and saying to themselves, "is this what it is like if it doesn't work out?" and they'll be giving you a big body swerve.

While we are on the subject, stop pretending that Rocketboom was some huge intellectual breakthrough on your part, that it was all your wonderful idea. What utter nonsense. Entertaining though Rocketboom was (and still is) there wasn't a single new idea there. I mean, taking a look at the more quirky aspects of the news? Been done. Fronting the show with a good looking, intelligent and charismatic woman. Been done. Hosting the show as a video cast for download?
Been done. So what was your idea exactly?

Like I said though, I don't want to pour oil on troubled waters, as I think we are all tired of hearing about it - just please, get over yourself will you?


Whew! Man, the fur's flyin! It's a good thing they're not in the same room! This was on Thursday, and it continued on and on through Friday, December 15th, with some posters asking for an end to the feud and others actually adding fuel to the fire, and firing-up Andrew in the process. Here's a posting example by Andrew that shows he's ready to fight, sort of:

"Gary, whats the point of telling me Im getting on your nerves? You are doing exactly what Andrew Congdon did and I have no problem speaking up about it and defending myself.

I think I provided a well rounded argument for disucssion about the cost of doing business when merging established media and new media.

When Andrew Congdon chimed in to "refute" my contribution to this group by saying "Sour Grapes", I think this shows dolt behavior.

I think this is now your unfortunate oversight.

Your comments should have been directed at him."

Then on Saturday, just when it seemed the thread finally did pass on, it gained new life, with Andrew accusing Amanda of taking business relationships and deals he started:

"Oh boy, digging a deeper hole for yourself.

ABC News is exactly the people we were in deep talks with. ABC NEws and ABC Family. Its all under Dinsey and we were in project talks with all. You have just lied again, mark my words here. I will release the document to my blog then.

The AAA story? Jeze, you have not told the relevant truth, documents are forthcoming. I spent months on this project and it was my sponsor relationship you took for Ford. You quit before the deal was done. You were only able to complete the deal for no money. My deal was for $250,000. No wonder you were able to close it.

HBO contacted Rocketboom and wanted to do a show with Rocketboom. You told them I didnt want to. I said I did. I will provide docs, forthcoming.

Finally, now we can get somewhere.

And Amanda fires back, with gusto:

"Call up ABC. We were working on shows for ABC Family that I was never intended to host. Isn't that right? Anyone at ABC will attest to that. They were trying to to figure out what department to put us in and
that's where we landed. ABC Family.

"Ari, my agent at Endeavor, turned HBO onto me. HBO never approached Rocketboom directly. They never wanted you. They wanted my personality. I considered bring you along for the ride IF things panned out and if HBO was game, but since there was only one meeting at that point it was far from a sure thing... sure glad you never got involved.

"As far as AAA goes, just another example of you failing to secure sponsorship. No contract, no deal. Unless there was a contract that you hid from me? You did hide a lot of business stuff."

Then Andrew goes and digs up past emails that were exchanged between HBO, he, Amanda, and other parties, and presents the whole kit-and-kaboodle on the message board for all to see. Here it is:

As you can see, I spent legal fees on the HBO opportunity that was
meant for Rocketboom but yea, as I said, you stole it away for yourself.

Lie #2. Resolved.

Begin forwarded message:
> From: "Amanda Congdon"
> Date: June 2, 2006 2:20:46 PM EDT
> To: "Thompson, Bryan"
> Cc: "Johnson, Channing" , "andrew michael
> baron" , "Jim Congdon"
> Subject: Re: Matthew Lesher, semi-urgent
> Bryan and Channing,
> Thank you for getting back to me on this so quickly. As it turns
> out, the HBO meeting is now happening on Monday rather than later
> today. The introductory meeting between Ari, Andrew and me is still
> on as scheduled at 3pm Pacific. How does this change the order of
> events, if at all?
> Yes, please prepare Matthew's termination letter.
> Thanks again,
> Amanda
> On 6/2/06, Thompson, Bryan < bthompson@akingump. com> wrote:
> Amanda:
> I spoke to Channing about this. We think that your analysis of the
> situation is spot-on accurate and that it would be appropriate for
> you now to terminate your relationship with Matthew.
> Accordingly, we believe that you should inform Matthew, both orally
> and in writing, that your relationship with him is now terminated.
> You should also inform him that he is not to participate in the HBO
> conference call, nor is he to contact or speak with HBO or Endeavor
> concerning you, Andrew, or Rocketboom.
> Let me know if you would like us to prepare a letter to Matthew
> concerning this.
> In order to assure that Matthew is not on the call, you will need
> to contact him orally before the call. Even if we sent a letter
> right now, he might not actually read it before the HBO call
> begins. When you speak to him you can let him know that a letter
> will be coming.
> From: amazingamanda@ [mailto:amazingamanda@] On
> Behalf Of Amanda Congdon
> Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 10:19 PM
> To: Johnson, Channing; Thompson, Bryan; andrew michael baron
> Cc: Jim Congdon
> Subject: Matthew Lesher, semi-urgent
> Hello everyone,
> I spoke with Matthew Lesher this evening. I asked him why Ari
> Emanuel would be under the impression he was Rocketboom's manger.
> He said he didn't know, that maybe Ari just "assumed" as much. He
> then said, in fact, that both he and Ari had no interest in the
> management of Rocketboom. He also said that because Ari (and thus
> Endeavor) were not involved in the book deal, that he felt Ari was
> being "aggressive" in wanting 10% equity in Rocketboom. I asked him
> why he then jumped on the bandwagon and asked for the same thing
> (on Friday Matthew brought up getting 10% too). He started back
> peddling and saying that we were just beginning the conversation,
> that nothing had been decided. I told him it sounded like he didn't
> have my best interests in mind, and he said no, he was just
> presenting all the options. If he truly had my best interest in
> mind, he would have told me he thought Ari was being aggressive on
> Friday, not now after I pressed him about it. Bottom line is that I
> don't trust him, so I believe the relationship will have to be
> terminated. I would love to hear what everyone else thinks.
> The big issue now is that I have a conference call today (Friday)
> scheduled with Caroline Strauss at HBO to workshop show ideas at
> 2:30 Pacific, and I don't want Matthew in on that. Ari is the only
> one that had anything to do with setting that up. Matthew also has
> included himself in an introductory conversation that was supposed
> to happen directly before the HBO meeting, with Andrew, Ari and
> me. Andrew just sent me an email suggesting perhaps the talk with
> Matthew occur very shortly before the HBO meeting is scheduled, so
> as not to give Matthew time to backlash before the meeting. Help
> please!!
> Thanks so much for all of your guidance,
> Amanda

What Andrew is trying to show is that the HBO relationship started with him and Amanda but she's basically correct. What HBO was talking about according to these emails is how Amanda would work with them. it shows that Amanda was talking about show ideas with an HBO rep. Unless there was something in the contract to block this possibility, there's nothing Andrew can do about Amanda profiting from relationships she started at Rocketboom. Plus, if she owns 49 percent of Rocketboom, she still has rights to these contacts by that agreement alone.

But I digress, again. The Yahoo! feud carried on from there today, with Amanda calling for Andrew to be banned from the message board!: :

"Hi Ryanne,

I think considering Andrew's onslaught of attacks have been unprovoked and
unsubstantiated, it might not be a bad idea to ban him. All I have ever done is defend

But of course that didn't happen. Hell. It's a soap opera, and people love these things, and I guess I'm one of them. It's content. But after three days of this, even Robert Scoble (pictured) and Ted Tagami the "Digital Buddha" had enough:

"I agree. This isn't impressing me in the least about either party.

I don't really care anymore. You both are polluting this group and it needs to stop, and stop now.

Take it onto your blogs where, if we care, we can read your slings at each



From: videoblogging@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:videoblogging@ yahoogroups. com]
On Behalf Of Digital Buddha
Sent: Saturday, December 16, 2006 10:49 AM
To: videoblogging@ yahoogroups. com
Subject: Re: [videoblogging] Re: OOoh, Amanda's Up!

"Andrew and Amada, I admire your work both when you were working together, and now independently of one another. I am embarrassed for the two of you with your public display. The court of public opinion is not the one to discuss this. It may not seem like poor judgement today to either of you, but you may be thinking much differently a year or two from now.

Please, please, please take it off line. You are now at the stage of "virtual shouting". I am waiting for objects to start to fly. It will just get uglier. I hope you and your respective legal counsel will be able to settle this swiftly."

I doubt it. What's happening is Andrew's rather upset over Amanda's success. I for one am proud of her. Andrew does have some very sound concerns and he uses his blog to explain them, but the bottom line is that without an agreement not to basically go off and start a new Rocketboom, a competitor, then he can do nothing to recover damages. The other nagging problem -- for Andrew -- is that Rocketboom was supposedly 49 percent owned by Amanda, which places Andrew even more in a position of loss.

So, while Amanda's new show gets recognized around the World (in Japan for example and Italy as another), cheered, jeered, and hailed in the New York Times, the one thing that's fact is she's back and with just a bit of a loss in her Q rating for just a month before this deal with ABC emerged into the new show. Now, she's on CNN today, sounds great, and is moving forward.

Meanwhile, Andrew's coming off as, well, jealous in the blogsphere, with such words at "trashes" associated with his name or just being the guy who fired Amanda as he comes off in TechCrunch and of course on Amanda's own blog, which is now even more popular -- and looking rather stupid in the process. That's not good at all. Andrew's best move is to congradulate Amanda.

Heck, if I were him, I'd hug her and kiss her and whisper sweet nothings in her ear -- and get her a Christmas Present -- for breaking down the door between vlogging and television and entering it just by feuding with him. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was a plot hatched by Andrew. What stops me from believing it is, is that Andrew's not making money or traffic from it. In this, he's hurting himself -- and guaranteeing that this will continue to be a nightmare for him.