Thursday, December 18, 2008

When Vegas freezes over

After almost 24 hours in airports and on airplanes, I guess it's time to post a blog. It's about the only thing I haven't done on the internet thus far. Well, no porn either. I'm pretty sure that's illegal at the airport and I'm not Larry Craig.

My parents were supposed to leave for Latvia three hours after me and they will get to the other side of the earth faster than I can get to Hartford. This all thanks to a snowstorm in Las Vegas. That's right...Vegas. What snows in Vegas stays in Vegas. That's how the slogan goes, right?

I can't complain though. The operator on the 1-800 number said I wouldn't be able to leave LA until Friday morning, but after waiting in a 3-hour line, I was able to finagle a flight to Chicago where I was the lone person in the airport for about 2 hours, before my connecting flight to Hartford. (Word of advice: be nice to the people at the counter).That got me to thinking about that movie The Terminal with Tom Hanks and led to the following conversation:

romoballa (4:33:12 AM):
wat did tom hanks character in the movie do

romoballa (4:33:23 AM): haha, aight, im gonna pass the time by looking that up

greenmachineAZ (4:33:23 AM): he was from another country

greenmachineAZ (4:33:27 AM): which ended up being in a war

greenmachineAZ (4:33:33 AM): so he couldn't go back there because it would have been dangerous

greenmachineAZ (4:33:40 AM): but he couldn't get a visa or something to be in America

greenmachineAZ (4:33:47 AM): so he ended up working around the airport

greenmachineAZ (4:33:50 AM): built a nice bathroom

greenmachineAZ (4:33:58 AM): and almost hooked up with catherine zeta jones

greenmachineAZ (4:33:59 AM): almost

romoballa (4:34:19 AM): wow

romoballa (4:34:31 AM): i'd be down to almost hook up with czj

greenmachineAZ (4:34:38 AM): haha

greenmachineAZ (4:34:39 AM): sure

greenmachineAZ (4:34:40 AM): well

greenmachineAZ (4:34:44 AM): go build a nice bathroom

greenmachineAZ (4:34:45 AM): with a fountain

greenmachineAZ (4:34:48 AM): and I'm sure you could

Now onto the sports section of the Empire.

Speaking of Vegas, big day for Arizona in the City of Sin on Saturday. Basketball/Football doubleheader with Arizona taking UNLV on the hardwood followed by Arizona/BYU in the Las Vegas bowl.

The hoops squad continues taking on Arizona coaching candidates facing Lon Kruger after toppling Mark Few and Gonzaga in a shocking upset. I'll quote a facebook status I saw after that game. "If you can't beat us, join us, Mark."

One Arizona football player got the partying started a little early. Linebacker Sterling Lewis was charged with DUI in Tucson and was suspended for the game.

Speaking of gambling, Jamelle Horne had this to say after Arizona's win over San Diego State when asked if the victory had any special meaning for him.

"Of course," Horne replied. "More than half of those guys were AAU traveling teammates or guys I know from San Diego. So we were chirping for the entire game. We even had a little wager on the game. We'll be going out to dinner and my dinner will be paid for."

Then Horne said that no wager actually took place and he wanted to apologize for suggesting it did, through a statement of course.

"I understand that sports and gambling do not mix," Horne said. "In an effort to be funny after a tough game, I made a poor choice of words and now realize that I should choose my words more carefully."

And more gambling news:

The Suns traded Boris Diaw and Raja Bell to the Bobcats for Jason Richardson as Suns fans quickly soured on Diaw and Bell while Steve Nash sobbed quietly in the corner. Diaw, left with some parting shots.

“It definitely wasn’t as fun,” Diaw told The Arizona Republic. “… It wasn’t as exciting for the fans. It’s not as fun for everybody (on the team). I’ll always remember Phoenix with Mike (D’Antoni). We went from a winning team that was the most exciting team in the league to a half-winning team that wasn’t exciting at all.”

Kudos to Suns fans for cheering D'Antoni in his return to the Valley of the Sun.

And finally:

I'm a little shocked at myself but I actually agree with Joey Porter's comments regarding Plaxico Burress. And I don't blame Burress for his Cheddar Bob impression. No, I'm not being sarcastic.

"Plaxico is like a brother to me. I take it real personal how he's being treated," Porter said. "Everybody has their mistakes, but that's exactly what they are ... Until you've been in that situation, when you've been robbed at gunpoint or you've had a gun waved in your face or had your house broken into before or been carjacked, you really don't know what it's like."

"For a person to carry a gun, I mean, you're not carrying a gun to show that 'I'm tough.' It's safety, it's nothing but safety," Porter said.

"When you get out of a situation like that and you've been in harm's way, the first thing that goes through your mind, I'd rather get caught and take the little penalty from the media, whatever the situation may be, than not have a chance to save my life," Porter said.

"It's tough out there so I'm not gonna say I condone what happened. It was a mistake by [Plax]. I know he wish he never did it. But I don't think it's as bad as everybody made it seem, either."

I understand why the gun laws are in place, but after knowing that your teammate was robbed at gunpoint and having an NFL player killed in his own house I don't have a huge problem with Burress carrying a gun. Yes, he should have known the New York law. As an adult that's his responsibility. But the possibility of serving five years in prison for shooting yourself in the leg on accident is astounding.

Like Porter said, Burress wasn't there to shoot anyone. He was carrying the gun as protection. Every American has the right to bear arms and NFL players are no different. Intent must matter in a case like this, though it's obviously hard to prove.

Unfortunately, Burress has a long rap sheet of transgressions so the media and the publc won't give him the benefit of the doubt. Usually I think that's fair, but in this case the proposed punishment doesn't fit the crime.

Every person deserves the right to protect himself.

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