Friday, November 30, 2007

Is it really that bad?

So it's Friday night and sadly I have not much else to do. Sometimes when I have a little extra free time I put random topics through google and see what pops up. Tonight's topic was the top skylines in the United States. Interestingly enough I found a website devoted to the debate of the best skylines in the Midwest.

Before I clicked there was little doubt in my mind which would rank number one: the city of broad shoulders itself-- Chicago. But I was a little taken back by the ranking of my adopted hometown of Indianapolis. Now I know it is only a web site and only some random yahoos' opinions but I have to tell you everyone seemed to put Indianapolis near the bottom. Heck some even put Indy's skyline behind Des Moines and Omaha. Really?

Now don't get me wrong, I have always dreamed of a larger skyline. But I have never found Indy's skyline to be that pathetic. Maybe I am blinded because of my love for all things Indiana. Or maybe I am still ticked off at that Mass-holes comment about coming to Boston and being in awe of all the skyscrapers. Really dude that skyline is weak.

I mean seriously. Indianapolis has the largest building between Chicago and Atlanta, isn't that worth something?

But sadly not since the Chase Tower has Indy built a building that is awe inspiring. The Conrad. It's nice but stands at around 23 stories. The Simon building? Under 20 stories. It is also a little suburban but I have grown to like it over the last few months.

I do have room for hope. There is a 25 story mixed use building planned across the Fieldhouse. A 25 story mixed use building is planned for around Lucus Oil Stadium. The new convention hotel will stand at 30 stories. And the old MSA lot should have a building that would shore up the East side of downtown.

After that building spree maybe just maybe we can find ourselves in the same conversation as Omaha.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sean Taylor

The death of Sean Taylor, Washington Redskins safety, struck me pretty hard. It is hard to comprehend such senseless violence. I also find it very sad to see a young person taken way too early. Taylor was 24 years old.

Jason Whitlock from Fox Sports has written an article that has caused some controversy. No matter what your thoughts on the subject, Whitlock's article is certainly a starting point to understand the social significance of Taylor's violent passing. I thought the article was thought provoking and you can access it by clicking his name at the beginning of this paragraph.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Good weekend for Indiana Sports Fans

The stars aligned for sports teams this weekend in Indiana. The Pacers stopped their six game losing streak by beating a very good Utah Jazz team on Saturday. In fact they routed them by twenty. The Indiana Hoosiers, who have not been bowl eligible since 1994 and not to a bowl since 1993, beat Purdue in a thriller in the Oaken Bucket. Notre Dame avoided the embarrassment of never winning a game at home by beating Duke. And the Indianapolis Colts won today defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in a nail-biter, 13-10.

I know in the Oaken Bucket an Indiana sports fan gets to hedge their bets between the two in state rivals but I really wanted Indiana to win this game. With their seventh win it should put them in the position to get an invitation to a bowl. I never could comprehend why Indiana would struggle so much in football. But their fortunes changed when they hired Coach Hep. Coach Hep may not have been able to take them to a bowl himself, but it is clear his teachings and his too early passing motivated this team to have its best season in years. Hopefully this will be the start of Indiana's football program to respectability. Now what about that contract for Bill Lynch?

The Colts have had quite the change of fortune. In years pass their defense was terrible but their offense could bail them out most of the time. That has changed for the last few games. The Colts offense is simply not in sync and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why. There have been far too many injuries. The O line is a shell of its former self. As a consequence Peyton doesn't have the time to find his receivers. If he was given time to find his receivers chances are they are running the wrong routes. Sadly the Colts opponents' secondary simply has to shut down Reggie Wayne to have a chance to stop the offense. Joseph Addai continues to impress me though.

Hopefully the injuries of the Colts will improve. Their careful attitude with injuries paid dividends last year in the playoffs. I hoping for more of the same this year.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blue Monday

I hate when the Colts lose.

I have been in a foul mood all day today. I couldn't sleep last night. I guess I probably shouldn't take the whole thing that seriously.

In case you missed it, the Colts let off a real stinker last night. They got down by 23 points, came roaring back, and then lost it when Adam Vinatieri missed a chip shot field goal.

I don't want to be too hard on the Colts. Many of the players last night were warriors. The Colts only had 17 players on offense last night due to injuries. Their wide receiving core was down to three, including one wide receiver who had never caught a pass in his four year career. Reggie Wayne played out of his mind. Especially given the coverage he had as he was the perceived threat out on the field.

Peyton threw six interceptions (really only five given one was a toss up at the end of the game). He looked like the Peyton of old: trying too hard to do everything. But you can't blame him. Those injuries are really starting to mount up. Anyone else wonder what is going on with Marvin Harrison? My gut is telling me he is done for the year but the Colts don't want to let the cat out of the bag. They need their opponents to keep planning like Harrison is going to play. It is obvious how important he is to the team and Peyton running the offense.

We took it in the can last night on injuries too. But none more important than Dwight Freeney. I hope that his season isn't done. That might be the death blow on what looked to be a great season. This team is better than last years and I would love to see them at full strength against the New England Cheaters.

Speaking of which, former Patriot Adam Vinateri laid a real egg last night. Remember that we ran Vandy out of town because of his kicking. Well Vandy missed the tough clutch kicks, he didn't miss the clutch easy kicks. Last night that was a clutch easy kick and Vinateri blew it. He may be human (as Kravitz from the Star makes the argument today) but it is hard for me to swallow that kick. Maybe the Colts didn't deserve to win but they could have and that is what makes it more difficult to let this one go.

If the injuries shore up the Colts still have to deal with their special teams, a liability for the team for the last five years. But either way I hope we can get our team back at full strength. If not, we might be playing for a wild card.

More Downtown Development

There are published reports that this new development will make its way to downtown Indy. It is rumoured to be built off South Street where a free standing Arby's and Subway now sit. The developers are looking at dropping $480 million. It is supposed to have a Legends theme. The screen at the top of the building will have rolling pictures of great Hoosier legends including Larry Bird and David Letterman.
I think the theme might be a little corny but it does look like a nice building. I am also excited about the demise of the free standing Arby's and Subway. Nothing against those tasty roast beef sandwiches but those two buildings took away from the urban character of the city. But the report also notes that the development would have retailers such as Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Best Buy. So much for urban character.
I would rather see the development capitalize on the proximity to Lucas Oil Stadium and the Fieldhouse and develop into its own Wrigleyville or the Stadium District that they have in Columbus, Ohio. Of course it isn't my 480 million.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

US among worst in world for infant death

The rate at which infants die in the United States has dropped substantially over the past half-century, but broad disparities remain among racial groups, and the country stacks up poorly next to other industrialized nations.

In 2004, the most recent year for which statistics are available, roughly seven babies died for every 1,000 live births before reaching their first birthday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. That was down from about 26 in 1960.

Babies born to black mothers died at two and a half times the rate of those born to white mothers, according to the CDC figures.

The United States ranks near the bottom for infant survival rates among modernized nations. A Save the Children report last year placed the United States ahead of only Latvia, and tied with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia.

The same report noted the United States had more neonatologists and newborn intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom - but still had a higher rate of infant mortality than any of those nations.

Doctors and analysts blame broad disparities in access to health care among racial and income groups in the United States.



Monday, November 5, 2007

New England Hicks

Okay, I am a Colts fan, but when we were up by ten in the 4th quarter I was mostly excited as to what the East Coast media would say about the Patriots loss. I am sick of hearing about this New England team and how great they are. As a matter of fact, I am sick of Boston sports. I am tired of hearing about the damn Red Sox and now the Celtics are going to have a great season. Well, at least Boston College lost last night.

I don't want to talk about the game, but I do have an opinion about Massachusetts sports fans and it's colored from both personal experience and by the comments that their fans posted in response to the latest Bob Kravitz article.

The fact is that Boston has a strong history of racism and perhaps as a result it is one of the whitest major metropolitan areas in America. Small-mindedness and bigotry exist everywhere including Indiana. New England has its fair share of hicks too as evidenced by some of the comments below.

Indianapolis is nothing but the biggest hick town in the country! Go sleep with your cousin, you rednecks! Half of your bars have a two-tooth minimum that you can never satify!

Hmmm, Boston vs. there is any comparison between the two cities. Give me a break. What do you have in Indy, like two restaraunts that aren't a Chili's or Applebee's location?

Buckwheat Addai was good in the first half but the Pats adjusted and shut him down in the second. But the real MVP of this game for the Colts were the refs on the Colts payroll. The Pats overcame all that and still beat you.

Sorry fly-over country, we're just better...proved it in your house, with the refs in your pocket, the league in your pocket....What's Polian gonna cry about now?

Have fun cow-tippeng after your stores close at 8:00 pm.

oooo...nice comeback retaaaahd. we do look down on you because you s**k. where exactly is Indiana again?

Surely only the idiots from New England post on Indianapolis Star forum, right? I selected these quotations from the first few dozen posts. I have to admit that the one guy might be right about Chili's and Applebee's though.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Hope Mono-Rail Doesn't Come to Town

Is anyone sure what the hell this is or its utility? Apparently some important people believe it is worth an investment of 10 million dollars. Ten million dollars? That's a lot of clams folks.

I hadn't heard of this in awhile. But tonight I read that this planning is still continuing. I read awhile ago that the idea was to create a new landmark for the city. How about the landmark that has served this city well for a number of years and surpasses this in beauty: The Soldiers and Sailors Monument?
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