Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Update On Blaine Gabbert's Wayward Twitter Tweet

Yesterday, this space reported that Missouri Quarterback, top 2011 NFL Draft candidate, and avid fisherman Blaine Gabbert used Twitter to issue a tweet that was easy to misunderstand. Basically, it looked like Gabbert was calling a classmate named "Stuttering Stanley," an, in caps, IDIOT.

Moreover, I wrote the blog post to emphasize the fact that, with as much as $50 million on the line over the next 29 days and counting, a potential top pick like Gabbert can't afford to make such mistakes. I never blogged that Gabbert actually called anyone "Stuttering Stanley," or that he referred to someone named "Stuttering Stanley," in a negative way. Again, I simply said that it looked that way.

One person, Ryan Faller, got my message, and was kind enough to respond with valuable information:

Mr. Abraham,

I recently read you blog post on Blaine Gabbert's so-called Twitter snafu, and wanted to provide you with some clarification.

Though I certainly don't condone Gabbert labeling someone an idiot, particularly on a social media outlet, his remark was made toward what appears to be an Arkansas fan who blatantly was making fun of Kim English. It is well-known amongst Missouri fans that English endured a severe battle with stuttering growing up, and he has not shied away for recalling how painful it was to live with the handicap, primarily because of the ridicule he received from his peers in school.

From what I can tell, all Gabbert was doing was coming to the defense of English. The best forum for coming to the aid of a friend? Certainly not, particularly for someone who's now being so closely watched as we approach draft day, as you point out.

Just wanted to drop this by you.




Thanks, Ryan.

Again, and I'm going to make this point, again and again. When the endgame is signing a multi-million dollar contract, everyone's looking at you. Twitter tweet are a reflection of the person who's going to be the recipient of some NFL Owners big money. And right now, the competition's so tough, it's not funny.

I think Blaine got the message.


MC Hammer, Happy Birthday To A Hip-Hop Tech Icon

MC Hammer, a great man and personable man who's going through a well-deserved resurrection of sorts, turns 49 years old today.

This blogger first met Hammer at the 2007 BizWorld Luncheon in San Francisco, where he announced the launch of his startup company DanceJam:

Since then, Hammer has become a fixture at Tech Events, and gained a large set of friends in the San Francisco Bay Area Tech Community. I recall running into him in the line to get into the after-party for TechCrunch's The Crunchies 2009 (the same event where I - no kidding - ran into Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as we were both walking past the coat check) and Hsmmer and I ended up walking around San Francisco City Hall and talking for a bit.

The walk turned into a moving who's who tech tour, with Hammer pointing to one person, then another, and explaining what companies they owned, and how much they were worth. It was clear he was "dialed in."

Hammer's also dialed in to making his own tech way, and he's definitely making the right moves. He's even got a Twitter Following of over 2 million!

Happy Birthday, Hammer!

Profiteering From A Panic: The $1,740 Potassium Iodide Supply

With new reports showing that low trace levels of radioactive iodine-131 have been found in the rain as far away as Massachusetts, the Great Potassium Iodide Panic of 2011 continues to simmer along. But what's wrong with that, you may ask yourself. If people are just buying a pill (or 14) to have on hand, just in case, no one's getting hurt by that. Right?

Unfortunately for people who were heading out on short notice to do relief work in Japan, the fallout of the potassium iodide panic had serious repercussions close to home. Just ask Kellie Moore.

She volunteered to do the leg work for two different sets of people who were going directly to Sendai. One couple was going to try to evacuate frail elderly parents who'd been living there before the devastation. And a trio was going to provide disaster aid. They all needed to start taking potassium iodide pills right before they left.

With only 48 hours' notice, finding potassium iodide in the midst of a panic was going to be a thankless job, but Kellie wanted to help. So she spent two solid days trying to find potassium iodide in the Bay Area.

Read more here...

2011 NFL Draft: Jake Locker UW Pro Day: 37 of 39, 2 Deep Balls Missed

Let's get the negative out of the way: the University of Washington, 2011 NFL Draft, Pro Day for Quarterback Jake Locker revealed that the Huskies signal-caller has a fixable deep-ball throwing problem that's just like what Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler exhibited at points during the 2010 NFL Season.

What Jay Cutler did, on his deep passes, was to actually aim the ball deep, rather than throw the ball at the receiver on the run to a point - essentially overcompensating for the fact that the receiver was running deep.

That's why Jay Cutler's passes would sail over the receiver on the deep post or fly pattern, and that's why Jake Locker's two deep passes sailed over the receiver running the deep post during his just completed pro day.  Moreover, Locker's passes came off his hand and went high into the air, almost to the point where it looked like they might hit the ceiling of the UW Football Practice Facility, before coming down.

What both Jay and Jake were doing was looking deep, thus taking their gaze somewhat-off the receiver, trying to throw an arc. What both should have done is keep their eyes squarely on the receiver, and let their throwing motion take the ball where it needs to go.

That's why Jake Locker was, by my count, 39 of 37 passes; the two he missed were both deep throws. Other than that, Locker's best throws were short and mid-range, and his sideline passes were wickedly good. On a couple of throws, Locker "over-kicked" his back leg and let the ball go just a quarter-tick too early, causing the throw to be a bit higher than desired. But even then, he only did that twice; both throws were completions.

If you're going to nit-pick, not all passes were perfect spirals at first, but after the 19th ball, Locker got into a nice rhythm. Locker performed well on play action passes, and on most rollout passes, save for one that was really high because he threw with that leg-kick (again) as he was running.

Was Locker mind-blowing? No. Was he good? Yes. He was. Again, the issues pointed to here are fixable. Overall, his grade should be a B-plus. That's good enough for a low-first round or second round status. But factor in his excellent mobility and the middle-to-low first round area of the 2011 NFL Draft is logical.

Brock Huard A Homer For Jake Locker's coverage of the UW Pro Day was excellent, but Brock Huard,'s announcer, was too much of a homer for Jake Locker.  Huard, who lives in the Washington Area, and went to Washington, made a statement that was just plain wrong.  Brock said that Jake Locker was the best quarterback at the 2011 Senior Bowl.

That's really wrong.

Nevada's Colin Kaepernick was judged to be the better quarterback at the Senior Bowl.  In fact, depending on who you read, Locker was either helped or hurt by the Senior Bowl.  Check it here.

The question is, did Locker do well enough for the Seattle Seahawks?  Only Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Carroll (who was watching Locker today) knows for sure , and he'll have another look at Jake during a workout scheduled for Thursday before he makes a decision.

Stay tuned.

Twitter Down, Over Capacity As Of Now; Jake Locker Saved

Twitter is down. As of this writing, when one tries to go to the website, the page reads "Twitter is over capacity." It has been this way for about 20 minutes now.

What this means is you're being directed, or redirected, to Twitter’s "503 page" meaning "503 Service Unavailable" page.

Generally this lasts for a short period of time, but today, with all that's going on in the World, Twitter has become the international SMS for Earth.

What does this mean?

Well, for one, University of Washington Quarterback Jake Locker's saved from any tweets should his pro-day, on at right now, not go well.

Locker's set to start his throwing session in moments here.

Oakland's John Russo City Attorney Offered Alameda City Manager Job - Congrats

Well, congratulations are in order for Oakland City Attorney John Russo, who was just offered the Alameda City Manager position, and considering the climate in Oakland, that he got the job at all was a blessing for him.

Russo was painted into a corner in several ways. First, Oakland's enormous budget problems caused him to pair down the City Attorney's Office. Second, the election of Oakland Councilmember Jean Quan as Mayor of Oakland gave him a person more an adversary than an advocate to work with. Third, the counter-reaction to the Oakland Gang Injunction Program threatened to give Russo the first serious challenge to his office in the next election, should he have remained in Oakland.

Plus, John's in his 50s with two twin boys; he's not getting younger and it's time to be at a place where there's just less stress and bullshit. And frankly, Oakland City Hall was becoming more like a high school than a government office, with factions, cliques, games, groups, and enemies. Russo was tired of being part of that. He was concerned that his reputation would be sullied by that.

Now, thank God, he doesn't have to deal with it.

Oakland, or at least its current set of players, won't have Russo to kick around any more.

For a while.

The Next Facebook? eduHookups Casual Sex College Social Network; Coming To Berkeley?

Is this the next Facebook or "Random Hookups For Dummies? eduHookups, with the tagline "Where fun comes to thrive," is a social network website that offers college students the chance to find willing partners for casual sex. Currently, eduHookups serves the following colleges in the Chicago Area (or "Chicagoland"): Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago, but "due to popular demand," the sites expanding to DePaul University and Loyola University starting Thursday, March 31st.

But considering the buzz surrounding eduHookups, it's going to grow beyond Chicago, and in fact, it's opening at Brown University starting April 4th. Segments on the sex networking site have been on The Today Show, a number of Chicago news programs, and even The Tonight Show With Jay Leno:

With all that, the eduHookups site has a long way to grow. It's current featuring 300 registered members who've sent over 1,300 private messages.

The eduHookups site started as "UChicago Hookups," a site made by University of Chicago students, for University of Chicago Students. In fact, the tag line "Where fun comes to thrive," is a play on the saying that, at the University of Chicago, "fun comes to die." Here's a news segment on the site when it was called "UChicago Hookups:"

Why eduHookups and not Craiglist?

Why is eduHookups better than the 'Casual Encounters' pages on Craiglist? That question's addressed on the eduHookups site:

Why should I use this site instead of Craigslist?

eduHookups is open to members of selected colleges and universities only, while Craigslist is public. It's not hard to conclude which community is safer and has the more reputable (not to mention the more intelligent!) members.
Because an EDU email address is required to sign up on the site, the amount of spam/fakes/etc can be kept to a minimum.
Craigslist eventually requires interested parties to communicate on their own via email. eduHookups handles every step of the process, from public posting to private communication. Our private messaging system means that no user information is ever disclosed.
Our campus events section allows publication of local events that are more interesting and relevant to our user base.

The Next Facebook

In The Social Network, we learn that Facebook started as a way for college students to network, if not hookup. While Facebook was less "in your face," and perhaps because of that more palatable to a wider audience, eduHookups does provide a need for a society were people don't seem to know how to talk to each other.

Before the Internet, there was voice. A man was expected to approach a woman and talk and mate; to not be afraid to say anything. Now, men generally are the reverse: fearful of saying anything to a woman and more concerned with what other people will think, both women and emasculated men.

It's one of the characteristics of the "emasculated man" of today. It's the reason why so many men at parties just stand around in groups and don't say anything. And it's one reason why there are more interracial parings than ever before - for some people of color, a man is expected to act, period.

All of that, and more, have created the environment for eduHookups. Indeed, it's a great idea. So much so, this blogger's surprised it's not at Cal Berkeley, or Stanford for that matter. But give it time. eduHookups just may be the perfect cure for the emasculated male. Let's hope so.

Downtown Chicago To O'Hare Airport Tour, Obama Fact Of Interest

This tour of Chicago's Lakefront and Chicago Loop on the way to O'Hare Airport to go to Atlanta (where my Mom is) took place last week Wednesday morning. It started at roughly 45th and Lake Shore Drive and takes in a number of legendary and historic sites.

Starting with the large Rolling Meadows Apartments, we see the Lake itself, where Michael Reese Hospital (where I was born) stood. (A hilarious correction. My Mom informed me that I was born at The Bob Roberts Clinic; Michael Reese Hospital was were I was taken during what was at that time a life-threating battle with asthma).

We then came to the redeveloped River Front and what some call "Oprah Ville," a collections of condos and eateries that surrounds the studio where the Oprah Show is filmed.

After Oprah Ville, we passed the giant buildings of McCormick Place. The black building on the right replaced the original structure that burned down in 1967; the building on the left is the giant result of the expansion project.

Then, there's The Sears Tower (now called Willis Tower but everyone refers to it as 'Sears Tower'), and The Chicago Loop.

Then we see The University of Illinois Redevelopment Project. Chicago's West Side, and what used to be called "Jew Town." The stretch of Kennedy Expressway that extends to North Chicago, the suburban business district, including the headquarters of such notable companies as Bally's Total Fitness, and Wilson. The Hyatt Regency O'Hare, an architectural landmark, and the site of my first NFL Owners Meeting in 1999. And finally we arrive at the United Airlines Terminal Of O'Hare itself.

Along the way, Arnold, who's a family friend going back 40 years, explains some of Chicago's history. He also reveals that the man who's now President Of The United States, Barack Obama, sat in the back of Arnold's Mercedes Benz.

Finally, Arnold shares his view of the man who's Chicago's next Mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

Before Obama was an Illinois State Senator, he was a community organizer. The man who's Arnold's son-in-law would use that car to take Barack Obama to some of his community meetings. Yes, they're all friends of the Obama Family.