Monday, May 26, 2014

Music for Memorial Day

Today, we Americans honor and thank the ones who have died fighting to protect us, our freedom, and the American way of life. Our military men and women, and their families, sacrifice time and time again for us, and it doesn't seem to me that one day a year is enough to honor them.

A friend of mine forwarded today's music video to me several months back. I feel like today is the right time to share it with you.

Today's song and music video is "Bad Company." It was originally recorded by the band Bad Company in 1974 becoming one of the band's biggest hits. However, today's video is a cover of the Bad Company original by Five Finger Death Punch recorded while they visited with American troops during the band's 2010 tour of Iraq.

The video seems perfect for today as America's enemies everywhere know that when American fighting men and women are sent in after them, it means some bad company is coming. The video is embedded below or can be watched by clicking here.

Five Finger Death Punch - Bad Company by FiveFingerDeathPunch-Official

Once again, The Sheepdog says a HUGE thank you to all who have fought and died for him, their families, and to the ones who are still on the field of battle.
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Why did the chicken cross the road? **

SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he's a maverick!

JOHN McCAIN: My friends, the chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make why the chicken crossed the road?

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or against us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

A hen chicken (Gallus gallus)
A hen chicken (Gallus gallus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it!  It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions.  I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white?

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he is acting by not taking on his current problems before adding any new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross the road so badly. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a NEW CAR so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way the chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken was gay. If you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the Liberal media whitewashes with seemingly    harmless phrases like 'the other side.' That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish it's lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2013, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents and balance your checkbook. Internet    Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2014This new platform is much more stable and will never reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

** submitted
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Music Monday In Living Colour

Wow. It's been over two months since we had Music Monday on The Sheepdog. That changes now, and we are going back to 1988 with a rocker of a tune in order to do so.

Today's band, Living Colour, makes it's first appearance on my Music Monday series. The tune and video I'm featuring is the band's best known song, "Cult of Personality." When Living Colour released the song on its 1988 debut album Vivid, it experienced instance success as the song shot straight up the charts.

Living Colour won a Grammy for "Best Hard Rock Performance" in 1990 and two MTV Music Video Awards, "Best Group Video" and "Best New Artist," for the song. Without further delay, the "Cult of Personality" music video is embedded below or can be watched by clicking here.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Open Letter to the NFL and Sports Media Everywhere

Dear NFL, NFL Network, ESPN, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and Other Media Outlets,

I am a football fan. I have been since I was old enough to know what a football is. During the fall, I eat, drink, and dream about football. I love the game. I love the game inside the game. I love the strategy. I love the best offensive minds in the game matching wits with the greatest defensive minds in the game. However, now that the 2014 NFL draft is over, I've come to the conclusion that it's time to set you straight about some things. 

First of all, I do NOT care.

NFL Network
NFL Network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I do NOT care about any NFL player's sexual orientation. I do NOT care if they are, or are not, married. I do NOT care who they are married to. I do NOT care if they have kids, or if they do, how many and what sex they are. I do NOT care to know about a player's mistress or mistresses, girlfriend(s), boyfriend(s), or their baby's momma. I do NOT care about what make, model, and year of car they drive or how many cars they have. I do NOT care about their charities or their charity work. Heck, I do NOT even care about what color of eyes they have.

Why? It's simple - the things I pointed out above are NOT relevant to the game of football even a little bit. In short, if the information you are about to report to me and the rest of the football world does not involve a player's ability to play the game, play in the upcoming season, and help his team win games and championships, then I ... DO ... NOT ... CARE!!

To put this in perspective, I've been a Steelers fan since I was "knee high to a grasshopper," but I don't even care about how long Troy Polamalu's hair or Brett Kiesel's beard are. Neither of those things is relevant to their ability to play football. All I want to know is how they plan to play better pass defense and run defense, versus last year, in order to sack more quarterbacks and crush more opposing running backs in order to win that 7th Super Bowl Trophy.  

If for some reason I decide I do want to know all that other personal, societal, and gossip crap, there are plenty of gossip and other crappy columns I can subscribe to. Heck, I can even visit a player's Facebook page if I want to hear it straight from them. So, knock it off, will ya? If you're gonna report on football, then report on stuff relevant to football - period.

For instance, if you want to report on a player's height, weight, 40-yard dash speed, how much they can bench press and / or squat, I'm good with that. Those things are "football relevant facts." If you want to share a player's stats from last year, or what they have done in the off season to improve their game, I'm good with that, too. During the season, please do share a player's injury status for the upcoming week's game. I'm cool with that, also. In fact, I need that information as quick and as accurate as you can report it. So, please try to be more accurate than the weather people. If you tell me a player is "doubtful" for Sunday, I better not see him play more than a few downs, if that. You feel me? It's imperative I set the lineup for my Fantasy Football Team based upon the most accurate intel possible. I have a championship to win, you know. Priorities, priorities. 

NFL-Chicago-Bears-Family (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Now, before you guys and gals write me off as some nut, you should consider whether or not I'm the only football fan that feels this way. I think it's a safe bet that I'm not. For instance, how many Chicago Bears' fans do you think give a crap about Aaron Rogers' new mustache? How many New York Jets' fans do you think give a crap about Tom "Pretty Boy" Brady's newest, even more ridiculous, unmanly looking haircut?  It's a safe bet the answer to both questions is none. Nada. Zero. Zilch. We football fans just want football relevant news. Nothing more, nothing less. Capische?

I hope I have been clear. To me, this is "so easy a caveman can do it." However, if we need to discuss or you need some clarification on one of the points I've made above, I am more that happy to do so. As I said - I love the game. I can be e-mailed via my contact information in this blog's profile.

Johnny a.k.a. The Second Chance Sheepdog
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

'Noles, Crabs, and Tough Love

"Tough Love" - what is it? Well, Mirriam-Webster's online dictionary defines it as "love or affectionate concern expressed in a stern or insentimental manner (as through discipline) especially to promote responsible behavior." Wikipedia says it "is an expression used, usually for the purpose of justification, when someone treats another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run." Wikipedia goes on to add "there must be some actual love or feeling of affection behind the harsh or stern treatment to be defined as tough love." Now, you're probably wondering, "Sheepdog, where you going with this?"

Florida State University
Florida State University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I bring this up today, because I'm am getting concerned about a young, talented athlete - Jameis Winston of Florida State. A year ago few knew much about him, but by now most of us know of him and his accomplishments. He won the Heisman Trophy this year and led my Florida State (FSU) Seminoles to the NCAA football championship. He's a pretty good baseball player, too. On the FSU baseball team, he serves as the closer. I've seen the dude play baseball in person a couple of times. I hope to watch him play football in Tallahassee, soon.

The problem with Winston is not what he does on the ball field, it's what he does off. First, there was the rape allegation. Then, there was the BB gun fight with numerous apartment windows being shot out. Next, there were allegations of stealing soft drinks at a fast food restaurant, and now we hear about a "5 fingered discount" on crab legs at Publix. Really Jameis? C'mon man.

The crab legs incident led to a civil citation and 20 hours of community service for Winston and resulted in FSU Baseball Coach Mike Martin suspending Winston from the team until he completed the community service. The question is, was this suspension enough? As an FSU fan, my two cents follows.

Don't get me wrong - I like this kid. He can play. There's no doubt about that. He seems to be a likable guy, too. He's been a leader on his football team. When the sexual assault allegations swirled, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. "Innocent until proven guilty," I said. I thought the evidence reported in the media was "iffy" at best, but I also felt like if Winston did it, by all means he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but - be sure. Rape is a serious crime. Don't ruin a kid's life unless the evidence shows that he did it. Rape and / or sexual assault is one of my pet peeves. I've got a serious problem with any cowardly male, notice I didn't say man, who mistreats a woman.

The problem now is that these other off-the-field issues could be looked at as giving credibility to the previous, more serious allegation of rape. Think about it - how does a 20-year-old man walk out of a grocery store and "forget" to pay for the crab legs he's carrying? I don't get that one. In fact, just today, a report, on, suggests that Winston didn't forget to pay for the crab legs - he walked off with them intentionally by alluding an off-duty Sheriff's Deputy who was working security at the store. When you couple this with the soft drink deal at the fast food restaurant where apparently Winston asked for a water cup, and then helped himself to the soft drinks instead, folks could make a pretty good case that he's got an "entitlement complex," no respect for the law, or worse. So, once again, was the baseball suspension enough?

English: Mike Martin (11) visits the mound to ...
English: Mike Martin (11) visits the mound to coach members of the 2010 Florida State University baseball team at the 2010 College World Series at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I said after the rape allegation cleared up that Winston has got a bright future in front of him if he can stay healthy and stay out of trouble. I still feel that way. However, when I saw Monday where Winston has completed his community service and already been reinstated to the FSU baseball team, I had a problem with it, because it only amounted to a 3-game suspension.

I feel like with the crab incident, it's time for the FSU coaching staff to dish out some "tough love" on Winston and send him a message. If I had been Coach Martin, the suspension would have been for the rest of the baseball season, even through the College World Series, if FSU made it that far, because Winston keeps behaving badly. And yes, before my fellow FSU fans jump on me, I know he was not charged in the alleged rape case. Based upon what had been reported in regards to the evidence in the case, my opinion was that it was the correct decision. However, he did admit to being out drinking, partying, etc., and then sleeping with his accuser - bad behavior, bad moral decision, poor judgment. Keep your pants zipped.

I'd like to see this kid go far and have a great career in the NFL or Major League Baseball. However, I am concerned that since he has only received a slap on the wrist for these incidents, he could get in a mindset that, "I can do whatever I want, and there won't be any consequences." That's a dangerous place for a 20-year-old man to be in, star athlete or not. Most men Winston's age already think they're invincible. Fuel should not be added, such as slaps on the wrist, to that fire.

FSU is gonna do what it wants. The baseball team wants to keep winning and donors must be kept happy. I get that. But which is more important? Wins and money, or helping a young man mature, become responsible, and learn how to behave properly so that he stays out of trouble? You often hear coaches described as mentors, and even as father figures, to young players. Coaches will talk about helping players develop not just into good ball players, but also into good men. It appears the FSU coaching staff could do a better job of that with Winston.

I really hope to see Winston get it together and the crab incident be the end of his run-ins with the law, but I think it's gonna take someone dishing out some "tough love" for it to happen. If his behavior doesn't improve, I'm concerned it's only a matter of time until he does something really foolish that gets either himself or someone else hurt really bad. We've all seen young athletes do stupid stuff and subsequently go down in flames. I'd hate to see that happen with Winston. That would be a real shame.

The logo of the Florida State Seminoles.
The logo of the Florida State Seminoles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm not sure Winston understands that his off the field shenanigans not only affect him, but also his teammates, both football and baseball, too. His football teammates and coaches had his back during the fall when the hailstorm of a rape allegation was coming down on him. It's time for him to have theirs by acting like a responsible adult with some sense off the field, as well as on. I'd hate to see his nickname of "Famous Jameis" become something like "Infamous Jameis" or "Shame Us Jameis."

I'll be pulling for ya, Jameis, to get your stuff together. I enjoy watching you play and wish you the best. I'll continue to root for my 'Noles, too, but in my opinion, the FSU coaching staff has dropped the ball in this situation.

C'mon man.  
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