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Friday, April 30, 2004

2004 Hugo Nominees

Interesting to see what's been nominated for this year...I've not read any of the novels up for the award. I am going to get to work on reading the books on the list--I've been interested in reading Illium and the new Lois McMaster Bujold novel for quite some time. And I really enjoyed Wilson's Chronoliths so I'm also looking forward to reading his latest novel. What I'm not looking forward to--and may not read at all--is the latest Robert Sawyer. I didn't enjoy the first one in the series and I'm none too excited to keep following the story.

Also of interest as you scroll done is the retro Hugos for 1953. That list reads like a "Whose Who" of great sci-fi novels. I may have to give those a read or a re-read.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/30/2004 02:51:00 PM | |


Is it over yet?!?

I am just soooo over Friends right now...and I haven't even watched last night's episode yet. It's not that I mind the show really--I like it. I am just sick and tired of the relentless promos about it. Seriously, NBC can't go one break without reminding--hey, by the way, did you know that Friends is going off the air next week?!?

No, I just came in from a desert island where we haven't seen the show for the past ten years!

I will be happy when the show is all over, just to get rid of all the hype surrounding the end of the show.

Oh yeah--and best cameo of the week has to go to Scrubs for having the Soup Nazi guy on there...and having him do his classic line. Man, that show is soooo good...if NBC would put half the promo power into it that they have into Friends (because let's face it, if you've got a pulse, you're probably going to tune in for the last episode just out of curiousity, whether you like or not and all these promos aint' gonna sway you at this point!), this show would be the monster hit it deserves to be.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/30/2004 08:01:00 AM | |


Weird, wild stuff & Survivor: All Stars Wrap-Up

Every time I eat Sonic late at night (late at night being less than two hours before bedtime), I end up having the oddest dreams...and last night was certainly no exception. I had the oddest dream that I was somehow back in some huge chapel, where all kinds of people I knew back from the Wesley Foundation had all gathered there together for a dramatic presentation of the Crucible. I remember walking in and seeing Enoch handing out bulletins and introducing him to my wife, who sat near me the entire time but I could never see her, if that makes any kind of sense (of course it doesn't you say--it was a dream!) I remember Enoch asking me if I'd be around and I said, I want to because this is home and I want to stay here. (I'd been doing some heavy thinking on where I am and where I want to be in my life yesterday and so the subconsious was probably working overtime on that one). I also remember seeing Barry looking around and I think maybe he was the director of the show, getting over those opening night butterflies. In some ways it was like we had a contempory worship service before the play began...but I woke up before the play actually started. Which is a shame really as I think it might have been pretty good.

As for Survivor: All Stars....my bold prediction from last week came to pass-Shii-Ann got the boot. The woman is not all that bright...she started playing the game too well, too late. She may have had some good alliances built up or sewed some seeds that would have led to a split in the voting, but than at tribal council she opens her mouth and burns every bridge she's built. Oh, I know who the real power player is and I'm gonna write it down and expose them for all of you to see! Also, I'm gonna shake it up...I hate to tell you kid, but the way to win this one is to fly under the radar. And take Boston Rahb to the finals with you--he's got three people who won't vote for him on the jury so far (and I can't wait for the reunion show now that we saw Boston Rahb bragging to his brother how he screwed Lex over and thinks its funny...NOW that's good television!). One more and you're guaranteed a million bucks...which is why, unless they get rid of Amber, she could do it. She can fly under the radar and come off like Tina Wesson--she didn't piss anyone off but she played the game. She knew how to build an alliance and how to stick with it to win a million bucks...which that could be interesting to see how it all plays out.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/30/2004 07:53:00 AM | |
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

24: Day Three, 6-9 a.m.

A couple of things related to the last few hours of 24, which I finally had some time to get caught up watching.

Someone needs to tell Tony that when they offer to make him head of CTU, he needs to NOT take this offer. Last year, George Mason perished and then this sesaon, Dave Chapelle perished. Now, I know there is some good amount of real world time that takes place between the days we see unfolding on 24, but in terms of long-term life security, being the head of the place isn't exactly the best way to go. Of course, after this week's episode where Tony lets Saunders go to save Michelle, I doubt they'll be beating down a path to his door for this promotion.

Speaking of which--it's interesting to note that last year, everyone complained that Kim got kidnapped a lot. And now we're into day three and despite being help prisoner by evil Gael (before we knew he was Just Pretending To Be Evil Gael), she hasn't been kidnapped by anyone...though a lot of people around her are getting kidnapped. As I've said before, Michelle is just the latest victim and has fallen into the hands of Saunders. Man, she is having a really crappy day...first her husband is shot in the neck, then she has a huge fight with Tony and tries to run a powerplay against him with Kim Bauer as her lead witness, then she's in the hotel with the virus but is immune and now she's kidnapped. How much comp time is this poor woman entitled to? Also--where the heck to they get their cell phone batteries since they run all the time and show no signs of draining? If somone can tell me this, I'd love to know.

I also love how L.A. is apparently only five square miles since no one is more than five to 10 minutes away from anything! And helicopters can apparently fly 500 miles per hour since Jack just jaunts back and forth between L.A. and Santa Barbara at the drop of a hat.

All levity aside--wow, this day has really picked up in intensity these past couple of weeks. I think jettisoning all the subplots has helped--though from the previews it looks like one is gonna come back to bite Palmer in the rear come next week. Interesting to think that just a few hours ago in 24 time we were all down in Mexico batering for the virus against Nina and now we're racing against time to stop the virus from wiping out more of the population than it already has. The death of Chapelle was one of those moments--you felt as though there were some way they'd get out of it...as if some miracle would happen and our heroes wouldn't have to kill him. But they had to...and there was no way out. I love it when writers paint themselves into the corner and have to stay there. No magical reset button, no easy way out.

Finally, I am beginning to wonder (and I wondered this before the preview) if there wasnt' some type of mole in CTU. Saunders knows waaaaay too much about what's going on. There's gotta be someone in there feeding him info. As annoying as she is, I'd love it to be Chloe (who apparently not sleeping brings out her bitchiness even more!) but I have my money on Adam. Chloe seems a bit too obvious...she's been put out there as too easy a target to hate. But, of course, with Nina gone, I guess we might need a new female villian to hate...and while Chloe doesn't have that Nina evil to her, she does have the whole snarky, better-than-you attitude that makes most of us want to slap her as hard as we possibly can.

There's been worse motivation for a villian...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/28/2004 03:23:00 PM | |


Fiction That Hits Close To Home

One of the books I'm currently reading is Lisa Samson's Songbird. I saw it recommended as one of the better contemporary Christian novels to come out recently in an article and so I figured why not try it. (Honestly, as much as I enjoy contemporary Christian fiction, a lot of it is what I refer to as the Star Trek novel mold--it's cookie cutter with characters who are rather one-dimensional and you can see the chances coming a mile away...you know that in a lot of stories we start off with someone who is totally aliennated from God, but comes to see the light by the end of the novel...and I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but reality is just not that black and white.) And it's a good book, don't get me wrong, but I can only read so much of it. It's extremely hard to read because the main character, who is a first-person narrator, struggles mightily with depression issues and trauma from her childhood. And I find myself reading, marvelling that she finds hope and strength in the Lord, but also getting a bit down about it because it really hits close to home with someone I know very well. I guess it's just in reading it I see glimpses of someone I care deeply about and who suffers the same thing...and I find myself wishing that she'd have the faith that Myrtle does in the book to lean upon Jesus and find that in her life to help her with that struggle. There are times I find myself thinking--why are you still reading this? Except that part of me so hopes for a happy ending for Mrtyle that I feel like I need to keep on plowing on. And for as close to home as it hits, the books is extremely well written and the narrative voice is superbly done.

Of course, I had no idea when I picked this up, that the author was considered a "woman's writer." I just picked it up because it sounded good and the recommendation made it sound intriguing. But then again, I don't necessarily think labels on things help much...just cause you're a man doesnt' mean you can't read this book. Certainly I think being a male there are some things I'm not gonna get or catch, but it's still a well written novel. I found all this out about the author from her blogger, which is over at Lisa Sampson's Blogger. Surf on over and have a read...it's interesting. If I get really wild later, I might link up to it permanently.

I am just living it up here in Nashville, let me tell you!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/28/2004 01:03:00 PM | |
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The Things That Make You Feel Better

Never underestimate the power of children to put the world in perspective. This last weekend, I'm cleaning out my stuff, whining at certain things that should be there aren't and generally having a very negative viewpoint of the universe in general. Then I get a phone call...my two year old neice (who the night before I had introduced to the world of Star Trek 2, though honestly she could have cared less about it) wanted me to come over and blow bubbles with her. And so I did and it just put the right postlude on what had been a trying, tiring day. As much as I am upset about my stuff, it can be replaced. You can't replace blowing bubbles and picking buttercups with a niece who thinks you are the coolest thing in the world and is so happy her Uncle Michael shaped toy is around.

Also, figuring out how to make a six-month old child giggle and gurgle happily is one of the finest things ever

Then, yesterday...having an awful day. It is a Murphy's Law Day to the n-th power. And in it all, the neice and nephew come over to visit. Just playing with them and getting ice cream from Sonic helped me to remember what is important in this world. So much of life is transitory and we're really all being prepared for the life to come when we get to heaven. This is just a stopping point and while it's an important one, someday all of these things I am so caught up in now won't seem important. But the memories of sharing my shake with Gracie, helping her pet the neighbors dog and blowing bubbles with her will be things that I hold onto and treasure forever.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/27/2004 10:40:00 AM | |
Monday, April 26, 2004

Enterprise--Damage

"Patriotism and the 9/11 Trek: T'Pol's subdued "I didn't mean what I said" vexes me more, though. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive about this. I don't agree with everything the president of my country is doing these days, but voicing my concerns tends to get me labeled 'unpatriotic.' In some sense, does Archer's crew feel the same way? The first episode of Enterprise aired about one month after 9/11, and the whole series is being written in the context of these new and uncertain times. Sometimes, the parallels make me uncomfortable. I don't want to see Enterprise become one big commercial for the Bush administration.

Like I said, I'm probably reading way too much into it. And this is a mighty gray area for Archer and company. They do have a serious threat to Earth to consider - the needs of the many, and all that. But I never thought I'd live to see the day when the Starship Enterprise, ANY Starship Enterprise, would board a friendly alien vessel and steal their warp core just because they could, desperate or not. It saddens me."
--From Monkee's Review of 'Damage'

I couldn't agree any less strongly with Monkee's analysis of last week's Enterprise in this regard. In fact, I strongly think she is reaching a lot based on her own political bias. I do not consider Enterprise to be a giant commerical for Bush and his foreign policy, especially in relationship to the war in Iraq. Certainly, Star Trek has gone decidely more of an anti-war stance and into tolerance over the years. Hell, earlier this year, Enterprise had an episode that dealt with Archer and company having to overcome their own racial profiling to see that not all Xindi want humanity destroyed. So, I think that one episode that examines a leader who's motive may be questionable as suddenly turning Star Trek into this propogranda piece for the current President and his staff is a bit much.

Anyway, onto the rest of Enterprise this week...

I am beginning to wonder if the reason that we've not heard that much about Archer and the original Enterprise mission (I mean other than the obvious that it's a prequel series and Gene Roddenberry never imagined that 40 years later we'd have a prequel series) is because of the slippery slope Archer is now on. Specifically, for all the good he's done exploring and opening up doors for humanity to go through if he isn't going to be remembered for how far he went and how much he comprimised on the Xindi mission. I think about the original series with Commodore Decker from the Doomsday Machine. He may have been a fine captain in the weeks, months and years leading up to his battle with the Doomsday Machine and losing his crew..but then he went a bit plumb loco. And even though Kirk tried to honor Decker in his last log and have his memory not be tainted, I bet the truth slipped out and Decker was thought of as--well, he did some good stuff, but boy did he go wacko. I wonder if this is what we'll get with Archer. He's a good man who has good intentions, but circumstances aren't helping him to really show that. And he's gone so far down the dark path that it's gonna be hard to see him come back to being the more light character we saw in season one.

I do agree with some critics who say that maybe Archer has gone too far and that Enterprise is running the risk of forever aliennating the audience from him long term. Yes, short term it's fun to watch him go down the dark path but how does this affect things for him long term. I know he's using the logic of the ends justify the means in taking the other crew's warp coils...but at what price to him personally? I am hoping we get some answers to this as the season continues or maybe even next year. I am hopeful, but not at all certain if this is what we'll get...you never quite know with Berman and Braga.

There were a lot of things to really like about Damage. For one, we got to see Enterprise not magically restored to working order. And the scene between Phlox and Archer as Phlox said he would prepare for casulaties--that was so well done by two good actors. It also felt like a Kirk/McCoy moment in a lot of ways and that is always a good thing.

But there were some things that bothered me and kept this one from being great. The Xindi council just calls off the attack. Also see--the "sleep" command from Best of Both Worlds, Part 2. It's just one of those ways that we quickly and easily get out of a cliffhanger. I am not sure how glaring this would be if they hadn't gone on a two month hiatus with that as the cliffhanger, but it did stick out. Also, the reasoning for letting Archer go seems a bit suspect. And as much as the crew is happy to have him back, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense that there wouldn't be more questions asked as to his return. Also, did Degra arrange it? We're not sure. I hope that they will answer these issues as the weeks progess because they're a bit niggling. Also, having watched B5, I wonder if Archer has some type of monitoring system on him so the Xindi can keep up with what he's doing...you never know, it could be.

Finally, T'Pol and her wacky emotions. Thankfully, they came up with an idea for this that wasn't just--gee, T'Pol thought it'd be fun to explore emotions. Thank you, thank you, thank you! But her addiction, while it was established back early on this season, is troubling. Namely that Phlox lets an addict going through withdrawl to take command during a major battle. Now, I know that it's doctor/patient privilege and all that good stuff, but I can't imagine that I'd want someone in withdrawal making split second decisions in the heat of battle. Phlox really needed to weigh the needs of the many against the needs of the few or the one (can you tell I watched Star Trek II recently?)

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/26/2004 04:12:00 PM | |


Chief Clausen

Clausen Goes to the Chiefs

So, Casey is now a member of the Chiefs. That should be an interesting fit for him, though he goes from a team with high expectations like UT to another team with high expectations to do well every year in KC. From what I gather, the sports community of KC pretty much revolves around the Chiefs. I do wish him well and hope he gets a chance there. I think he's shown that he can shrug off criticism and a lack of love from the fanbase to concentrate on just doing the job he has to do.

Honestly, I don't understand why so many of the Vol nation just out and out don't like him. I don't love him but I don't hate him. I'm just kind of neutral. He doesn't inspire much feeling me in at all, except that I'm happy he beat Florida twice in the Swamp and he won in Miami. But I don't hate him. Part of it is--he's just not Peyton Manning. But then NO UT quarterback will ever be Peyton Manning. Casey did enough to help us win some big games...he also didn't play his best in some other big games. He had the ego, but to be a QB you gotta have some of that. I think Peyton has an ego, but he keeps it more under wraps or hidden from the press and public. And maybe that was Casey's problem--running off at the mouth too much in the media.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/26/2004 09:59:00 AM | |
Sunday, April 25, 2004

There's no better way to take stock of your life than to do spring cleaning. I've been doing that this past weekend and let me tell you that while I have a bunch of really great stuff that I'm really quite fond of, I've also got a bunch of utter crap that I have no idea why I purchased it at the time. Or even why I felt so compelled to save any of it. I find myself thinking about the flea market that I like to go to every once in a while here in Nashville. There are just vendors upon vendors with all this stuff--and to the casual eye it looks like so much junk. And then I find myself thinking that to the person who purchased it and held onto it, it had some meaning, so intrinsic value to them that made them want to save it. And I hope that someday when I die and all my stuff is sold to someone who takes it to a flea market that people don't say--what the heck was anyone thinking collecting all these old episodes of Doctor Who on VHS and DVD?

Oh wait...people say that about my massive collection of Doctor Who vids and DVDs anyway....

But I think you get the point...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/25/2004 02:27:00 PM | |
Friday, April 23, 2004

Star Trek II on AMC

A couple of years ago, I felt a bit old that AMC was airing Superman II as a "classic" movie. Not that it isn't a classic movie, mind you...it's just that I was young enough to see it in a theater when it first came out. Thus, I felt old.

Now several years later, we're showing another movie from my formative years and one of my all-time favorites, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. First of all, I have to admit that commericals on AMC--they pretty much suck. They just come in once every ten or so minutes and damn where the movie is. In the middle of a space battle?!? We don't give a damn--we're cutting to sell Livitria! And the interesting thing is that AMC doesn't get the original cut of this one or even the newly done director's cut. Nope...they go for the TV edit..which I guess I'm one of the few who would be able to tell but there are some small, minor edits here and there and just things not flowing right and it just bugs me.

American Movie Classics...yeah, whatever!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/23/2004 09:47:00 PM | |


Survivor All Stars

For the first time since the merge, Boston Rob loses individual immunity and yet, no one quite puts all the pieces together that he's the spider in the center of the web and seriously tries to take him out. Of course, from this point onward, I wouldn't bother trying to take him out as he's already ensured at least three votes against him on the jury. Lex, Kathy and now Alicia ain't gonna vote for him and if you're shrewd, you take him with you to the final because you're going to look like a saint standing up next to him...unless of course Amber makes it all the way with him, which then you might see them all default and give to the money to Jeff Probst (like he needs it).

A couple of players had things go interestingly last night. First of all, Rupert wins this great reward and then has to choose who gets what at the dinner. Clearly this is meant to smoke out favorites and alliances, but in the end, Rupert is shrewd enough to pull out his take on the alphabetical voting order that Doctor Sean used in season one and just let people select based on how they lost out in the reward challenge. Honestly, I'm sitting there thinking--they should've let Rob win so you can see him squirm a bit. Let's face it--everyone knows that his first priority is Amber and to see him facing the dilemma of should he give the good prize to his little hottie or try and play the game.

Then, there is Shii-Ann, who won immunity and then went with the "in your face" theory. Now, winning is one thing and I understand she needed it. But the way she won is not going to make life around camp any easier. And you've just now put a huge target on your back--you have to win every immunity from now on or else you are gone.

So, here's my bold prediction for next week. If Shii-Ann doesn't win immunity she's gone. If she does, then we'll see Jenna take a hike.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/23/2004 08:15:00 AM | |
Thursday, April 22, 2004

The Florida Game Start Time Is Set (or how will the rest of the team look this fall?)

After their mistake last year of requiring the UT vs Florida game to start at noon, CBS has finally shown some sense and scheduled the UT/Florida game to be in prime time. If you're a Vol fan, you gotta like the chances--the past two prime time games with the Gators, we've won. Of course, those two have been decided by a total of five points, but I bet that is what CBS wants. Well, that and to promote the heck of out the Leak brothers battling it out.

Which brings up some interesting thoughts--while we have this on-going battle for QB, how does the rest of the team stack up? Well, after seeing the Orange and White game last weekend, I've got to say it looks good. Our defense could be quite good and hopefully get back to the dominance we once had. We've got a good crew of wide receivers--some say the most talent we've had in a while. I am not sure about that just yet, but then again, you gotta have a QB to get the ball in their hands. I'm taking the wait and see attitude on this one, though I was fairly impressed with what I saw Saturday.

As for running back--well, we've got a boatload of talent. And while Gerald Riggs Jr hasn't yet lived up to the hype, I think we've got enough talent there that it could be a good thing. While I'm all about a good passing game, I think we need to get back to some pounding the ball with a strong running back. Of course, to do that we need a good offensive line. For me the jury is still out on that one. Part of it is the Orange and White game separated a lot of the starters so it's hard to get a good read. I hope we'll know more in the fall and at the UNLV game.

The thing that is always hardest is Florida comes up early on the schedule. We don't have a lot of time to address issues and get things ironed out before we play them. And it's not like home field has been all that great an advantage in this series the past three or so years. It's going to be interesting to see how this all shakes out in the upcoming season.

Man, I can't wait for September....


posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/22/2004 09:41:00 AM | |
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Well, at least Fox got this one right!

With so much going on in the world today--a war with Iraq, the presidential campaign, the volatility of the stock market--something as inconsequential as 24 getting might not seem like such a huge big deal. But, to me, it is a huge, big deal and some news that I'm genuinely pleased to hear. It just means that we will get yet another roller-coaster ride day in the life of Jack Bauer and company. And while I know this year has struggled at times to be great, the past couple of episodes have reminded me of why it's just such a must see show and one that I would be sorry to see gone from the schedule.

Because let's face it--if it ain't American Idol, it ain't got a good track record at FOX. First of all, they cancel the little show that was ready to bust out, Firefly (I think the DVD sales and the fact that they're doing a movie should show there was an audience, but putting the show on Fridays and airing it out of order (note to Fox: in all things, defer to the wisdom of Joss Whedon) wasn't the best way to go). But then, they also go this year and yank off Wonderfalls, after pulling it all over the schedule. Now, I was interested in Wonderfalls because it was by some of the guys who did superlative work on Angel and so I would've watched no matter what. But I think no one at FOX has a clue how to market a show and establish it. If it's not a day one hit, it's gone. I guess they really have become a real network. Congrats to you guys! You're on the road to greatness.

Those last two lines were sarcasm for those of you reading at home who couldn't tell.

And in a season where a lot of the shows I consider appointment TV going the way of the dodo--such as Angel (still pissed about that one!), I'm glad to see one staying. Now, I have TV that I like to watch and then there are things that I must see or I will be grumpy for days on end. Angel and 24 are those shows for me right now, added in with the Sopranoes. So, to have one of the two survive is GREAT news for me. I am doing the dance of joy right now.

Also along those lines, you've gotta hand it to George Lucas. First he makes the entire Star Wars fan nation weep for joy that he's decided we're worthy of having the original Star Wars trilogy out on DVD in time for Christmas (aka, he say the all powerful dollar signs and the trucks of money that would be pulling up to the Skywalker Ranch). But now he's figured--why not put some footage from episode three on there as a hidden extra. I have to admit I like the strategy. For one thing, it's gonna get some buzz going about the new movie--which after episode two got overshadowed by the greatness that was Spider-Man (which Spidey 2 cannot start playing soon enough, thank you!) and the Lord of the Rings won the hearts of fanboys everywhere, he needed something. Don't get me wrong--Star Wars is, was and always shall be Star Wars. But it needs some positive buzz and I think this is gonna be it. Episode three should be dark and brooding, like Empire was. It ain't gonna have a happy ending and I think that will be good. But, back to the DVDs...I have to love that George Lucas has learned from Peter Jackson. One thing that the Lord of the Rings super box set, kiss your family goodbye because damn there's a lot of footage on these things! showed us was that you use the current product to tease the future product. Which it's interesting--seeing how Star Wars built on Lord of the Rings which the movies built on Star Wars success and now George is taking lessons from them. It's like the Circle of Life but without the dancing animals.

So, all of that took me away from my main point today--looking at the rest of the UT football team for next year. But I will get to that eventually. Just stay tuned!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/21/2004 03:16:00 PM | |
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Big Orange Cliffhanger

It's spring time and in the land of television, series are building up for their final run of new episodes all complete with twists, turns, revelations and, in some cases, season ending cliffhangers.

If you're a UT football fan, you can understand that feeling of waiting, without knowing what's going to happen next right now. We've got a cliffhanger of sorts to be sorted out before the big kick-off in September. But instead of whether or not our heroes will survive to live another day, the question weighing on a lot of fans minds is--who is going to be the starting quarterback next year?

I know that the coaching staff had hoped to have a better idea of who would start--or better yet that someone would step it up in spring practice. But that honestly hasn't happened. And based on what I saw in the orange and white game on Saturday, it's not something that will necessarily resolve itself anytime soon.

Sort of like when Star Trek: The Next Generation ended season three on a cliffhanger and the writers had no idea where it was all going to work out, the coaching staff of UT has ended the spring with no clear idea of the direction we're headed in at quarterback.

Honestly, the best of the bunch was Jim Bob Cooter. First of all, that just SOUNDS like a Tennessee quarterback name. Nothing against Peyton Manning here (who is probably the most personable and may be the greatest QB we've ever had and was the best embodiment of all things good for Tennessee football), but the name Jim Bob just sounds like a guy who is proud to be playing for Tennessee. And what he did on the field was fairly impressive. He led the team to a touchdown and looked like he had a fairly good idea of just what he was doing. Now I don't know if they had simplified the defense for him a bit or were calling set plays to make him look better, but honestly, the man just looked like a quarterback. He had the confidence to him that you need and want in the position. He looked like a leader.

Unlike the other two quarterbacks we have now. I'm not saying they're bad. I'm just saying they don't instill the same confidence that we can win and win right away with them at the helm. And by win right away, I mean, beat Florida in Neyland on Sept. 18. We haven't had a victory against them on our home turf since 98 and while I enjoy winning at the Swamp, I really want to take it to them on our home turf. (Oh yeah..and we should have won in 2000, but that's about 50 other blog entries for another time!)

C.J. Leak looked impressive at times, esp. when it came to being a mobile QB. In the era in which Michael Vick has redefined the QB identity (really, the way was paved by Steve McNair, but Vick has taken it to a whole new level), a mobile QB is just part of the package. For all his arm strength, Casey Clausen was not a mobile QB. And we didn't expect him to be. But Leak still looked flumoxed when the defense threw different looks at him. He doesn't quite have the instinct to read and react to them that he should. And I don't think we can ever forget how he looked against Georgia two years ago. I can't really hold that against him (OK, I can but what's the point), but I think a lot of fans remember that deer in headlights look he had. Honestly, as bad as that game was, it wasn't nearly as bad as the team giving up last year at home and letting Georgia stomp us on our home turf.

Is Leak the answer?

If he is, I'm not sure we're asking the right questions.

On the other hand, Rick Clausen ain't too hot either. As I told some friends who went to the game with me, "It really looks like overthrowing recievers runs in the Clausen family." Now, I know that all great QBs get nervous and have those moments early in the game where butterflies take over. Heck, Brett Favre has done it in countless playoff games that I've watched. But the thing with Brett Favre was he settled down and did what it took to put the team into the game. Casey Clausen seemed to run hot and cold at times and it seemed to take a long time for the nerves to calm down. And I wonder if his younger brother is the same. Again, he looked good at times and he looked just solidly OK at times.

I do get the impression the coaching staff are a bit on his side, since he got a few more chances to win over the orange and white crowd. He did get a chance to try and lead his squad to a win with some last second heroics. And while he almost did, I'm not sure that's enough to really get me over on his side.

So, we have a cliffhanger. And since this is the Internet, where SPOILERS abound and wacky predictions about the future are part of the norm, I will make my own bold prediction.

I think that C.J. Leak will start the season. Fulmer seems to be leaning that way. Also, the SEC and CBS want the brothers Leak to play each other September 18th on national TV. Better storyline that way and it gives all of us something to debate until the game instead of just the usual "Are we gonna beat Florida?" discussion (which is fun on Monday, but by Friday...well, it's getting thin). However, I see one of the freshman QBs coming in and getting the same change that Peyton and Casey did--they will get inserted into the lineup at some point and possibly be the savior of our season. My only real question is this--will it be on the road against UGA or at home against Alabama?

Time will tell, I suppose.

Until then, all I see are the words "To Be Continued" and all the rest of the Vol nation left hanging on the edge of our seats.
________________

Next up: Looking at the rest of the team (or we've got some potentially great weapons...are we going to use them?)

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/20/2004 01:53:00 PM | |
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