Saturday, February 09, 2008


I'm pretty sure I've written about this before, but it has fallen under different contexts. So now I'm devoting an entire entry to it.

I cancelled my subscription to Sports Illustrated about three years ago - maybe four. When I started teaching, I started reading so many children's books and educational publications that I just wasn't reading the magazine, so I viewed it as a waste and cancelled.

Now, I have since subscribed to two magazines - TIME and American History. I read both cover to cover, but American History is quarterly, so it's not a big time investment (but it was a great idea to subscribe to it - I highly recommend it). TIME, obviously, is weekly, but I make time for it. As I progress through my teaching career, I have less planning time, more time not devoted to school work, so I can read a magazine. Maybe two. But I don't know that I'm ready to go back to SI.

And they aren't making it easy for me to come back. Each time they send me an offer, the free gift with the subscription is the same - it's an NFL windbreaker. No one must be biting, because they seem to be having a hard time getting rid of these things:

I think I would go back to SI - but I'm waiting for them to offer something really good. There's a chance I'll go back in October, 2008, if the Mets win the World Series and there's some kind of related gift offer. Anything Mets or Jets-related would draw me...but they need to do better than a windbreaker.

I'm still a little leery about these free gifts. The whole reason I got TIME was because they were offering a free AM/FM radio. I am under the impression that someday I'll find a radio that will allow me to tune into New York's SportsRadio 66/WFAN (660 AM) from my home here in Framingham, Massachusetts. So I bit. Suffice it to say, this radio is not the one - I'm lucky to get an FM station in Massachusetts on this thing, let alone AM in New York City.

So, Sports Illustrated, I'll come back. But I need something good - and it needs to be of good quality. I'm waiting for your next offer.

GOLF: Because I am doing fantasy golf this year, I now have an excuse to watch all of the tournaments, which is why I spent part of this snowy Saturday watching the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. A couple of thoughts:

1) Last year, HBO aired a documentary about Kevin James and Ray Romano participating in the event. It was awesome...but it didn't get a lot of airtime. I saw about 50 minutes of what I think was an hour-long show, and I didn't see it on again. Anyway, it was pretty intriguing, especially when Romano almost made the cut. I wonder if they're doing a follow-up this year, because Romano is in good shape to make the cut this year.

2) The probable joy of James and Romano when they found out they would be golfing together (with their pros) after the pairings came out could only have been rivaled by the agony felt by Don Cheadle when he found out who his amateur partner would be.....Kenny G.

A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: This e-mail from Rob in Jersey serves the purpose of informing, after yesterday's post about the Jets' schedule in 2008:

"Hi John. Regarding the NFL schedules, I don't think many people have caught on to the general change in the weighting procedure since the last divisional realignment. Before Houston joined the league and they went to six four-team divisions, it was three five-team divisions in the NFC, two five-team divisions and one six-team division in the AFC.

Each team played four out of five teams from a given division in the opposite conference. The team that was skipped was based on the previous year's finish. (In other words, a last place team from the year before would get to miss the first place team on the crossover.) Then there were, of course, 8 intra-divisional games (for a total of 12). The final four games were intra-conference games based in part on the previous year's finish and not restricted to just one division.

Now, teams play an entire pre-determined four team NFC division, six intra-divisional games and an entire pre-determined intra-conference division (for a total of 14). There are only two games on the schedule that are based on previous year's finish. Next year, for instance, the Patriots play both of the other AFC first place teams, Indy and Pittsburgh, in addition to the entire AFC West. I'm sure you've known all that silly minutia for eons, but I thought it might be instructive to some of your legions of readers. Call it a pre-emptive strike against people wondering why the Patriots have such a joke of a schedule after going 16-0!"

Thanks for that, Rob.

A COMMENT ON THE COMMENTS: The Southern Bureau weighed in on the Erik Bedard trade, and just to respond/clarify: I did think about him leaving the AL East, and how that could be a benefit...but I just get a feeling. And perhaps it will be just a one-year adjustment, and then Bedard is back to his old self. I don't know....again, just a gut feeling. And I will be rooting for him to do well, though I fear he might not do well in 2008.

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