OYB August 31

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 6 September, back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 37-39
NT: II Corinthians 4:13-18, II Corinthians 5:1-10
Ps: Psalm 44:9-26
Pr: Proverbs 22:13

Today´s notable verse:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

II Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB August 30

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 34-36
NT: II Corinthians 4:1-12
Ps: Psalm 44
Pr: Proverbs 22:10-12

Today´s notable verse:

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

II Corinthians 4:7-10 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Plame-Gate: Flame-Out

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias, Republicans, War on Terror

I told you so.

Christopher Hitchens lays it out.

Plame-Gate, Part I: The Joe Wilson Niger Affair:

I have now presented thousands of words of evidence and argument to the effect that, yes, the Saddam Hussein regime did send an important Iraqi nuclear diplomat to Niger in early 1999. And I have not so far received any rebuttal from any source on this crucial point of contention.

Plame-Gate, Part II: The "Outing" of Valerie Plame:

But there was always another layer to the Joseph Wilson fantasy. Easy enough as it was to prove that he had completely missed the West African evidence that was staring him in the face, there remained the charge that his nonreport on a real threat had led to a government-sponsored vendetta against him and his wife, Valerie Plame.

In his July 12 column in the Washington Post, Robert Novak had already partly exposed this paranoid myth by stating plainly that nobody had leaked anything, or outed anyone, to him. On the contrary, it was he who approached sources within the administration and the CIA and not the other way around. But now we have the final word on who did disclose the name and occupation of Valerie Plame, and it turns out to be someone whose opposition to the Bush policy in Iraq has—like Robert Novak's—long been a byword in Washington. It is particularly satisfying that this admission comes from two of the journalists—Michael Isikoff and David Corn—who did the most to get the story wrong in the first place and the most to keep it going long beyond the span of its natural life.

And the conclusion:

The answer to that question (of whether the Intelligence Identities Protection Act had been broken), as Patrick Fitzgerald has since determined, is "no." But there were plenty of senior people who had known that all along. And can one imagine anybody with a stronger motive to change the subject from CIA incompetence and to present a widely discredited agency as, instead, a victim, than Tenet himself? The man who kept the knowledge of the Minnesota flight schools to himself and who was facing every kind of investigation and obloquy finally saw a chance to change the subject. If there is any "irony" in the absurd and expensive and pointless brouhaha that followed, it is that he was abetted in this by so many who consider themselves "radical."

Checkmate.

(Hat tip: Lucianne)

More Re-Definition of Terminology

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Clone The Truth, Cloning, Missouri, Sanctity of Life, Stem Cells

First, they tried to re-define "embryonic" as "early". Next, they tried to re-define "cloning" as "implantation". Now, they're trying to re-define "cure".

Adult stem cells have thus far produced at least 72 human treatments. It appears that one of the latest tactics of the pro-Amendment 2 Coalition is to refute that fact (emphasis added):

Winship says there have been no proven cures found with embryonic stem cell research and said adult stem cells are a proven - and ethical - alternative.

"The reality is, it’s still zero" cures "for embryonic stem cells," she said.

Farrow said embryonic stem cell opponents would do anything to derail the initiative, including overstating the potency of adult stem cells.

"You’ll hear our opponents say that there are between 65 to 100 adult stem cell cures. That’s simply not true," Farrow said.

"The truth is there are only nine adult stem cell cures, and we believe that research needs to go forward," she said. "But adult stem cells have been researched for over 50 years. The first earlier embryonic stem cell research didn’t start until 1998. We haven’t even had a full decade of research with embryonic stem cells."

What on earth could possibly explain such disparity? Apparently, the Coalition, in an attempt to level the playing field in their favor, have begun applying a "FDA-approved" qualification (emphasis added):

Dr. William Neaves is with the Stowers Institute Medical Research. "This is a contest between society and disease, not between adult stem cells and early stem cells," says Neaves.

Researchers say embryonic stem cells hold infinitely more potential than adult stem cells for curing disease. They say the claim about dozens of treatments already developed from adult stem cells is not true. "At best, only nine of those diseases have, after 50 years of research with adult stems cells, FDA-approved therapies that are available to patients," says Neaves.

The Coalition is obviously hedging on the belief that the general public have no real understanding of what FDA approval is, what it means, or how it happens. I will try to give a brief overview.

FDA is divided into various "centers". I work for a pharmaceutical company that manufactures, packages, and sells drugs. We are under the direction of FDA's CDER: the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Medical devices - pacemakers or defibrilators, for example - are under the direction of CDRH: the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Stem cell treatments are under yet another center - CBER: the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

In order for a drug, device, vaccine, or other treatment (hereafter, treatment) to get FDA approval, a rigorous and intensive process is required. The sponsor (company requesting approval) must complete a submission application including all the data supporting the approval request. For a new treatment, the submission would include data from three phases (Phase I, Phase II, Phase III) of clinical studies. These clinicals are the heart of the company's justification for requesting approval. Phase I clinicals are very small (less than 100 participants) studies, generally using healthy humans, to determine physiological interaction of a treatment with humans. Phase II clinicals follow successful of Phase I, and are controlled, small-scale (a few hundred participants) studies using people who have the condition for which the treatment is indicated, used to determine preliminary data with respect to the effectiveness of the treatment, and any side effects associated with the treatment. Phase III clinicals follow successful completion of Phase II, and are controlled (or uncontrolled), large-scale (a few hundred to thousands of participants) studies used to determine the effectiveness of the treatment for the general population, and to ascertain the overall risk-benefit relationship of the treatment.

Based on these data, in addition to other aspects of the submission (stability data for a drug, for example), FDA will approve or reject the application. Once FDA has approved an application, the sponsor can legally market and sell the treatment in the US.

As with many other treatments, due to the nature of the conditions for which stem cell treatments are intended, such treatments are not always well-suited for typical clinical trials. FDA is aware of and working to reconcile the difficulty of translating stem-cell treatments into clinical trials.

Note, however, that other mechanisms exist, prior to or in lieu of FDA final approval, for treatments to be used (legally and effectively). Two such mechanisms are the Treatment Investigational New Drug (Treatment IND) approval, in which "FDA will permit an investigational drug to be used under a treatment IND if there is preliminary evidence of drug efficacy and the drug is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease, or if there is no comparable alternative drug or therapy available to treat that stage of the disease in the intended patient population", and the parallel track policy, in which "patients with AIDS whose condition prevents them from participating in controlled clinical trials can receive investigational drugs shown in preliminary studies to be promising."

Some treatments - such as prenatal drugs - may never proceed through all clinical phases and final approval, but may be given to patients as investigational treatments for non-approved indications as long as the patient gives informed consent (which is also required for participation in clinical studies). Such is the case for Treatment INDs discussed above.

The bottom line is this: all treatments administered in the US must have FDA approval, whether in the form of a final New Drug Approval (NDA), or as an Investiational New Drug approval (IND). So, of the more than 72 treatments currently in use, every single one in use in the US has FDA approval of one form or another.

That said, much stem cell research and advancement takes place outside the borders of the US and outside the control of FDA. Any treatments derived from such research would not be subject to FDA approval; therefore, any implication regarding such approval is

This argument is not unique to the Missouri Amendment battle. In this 07/06 letter to Science, Do No Harm refutes the argument for the straw man that it is, and also points out that some 1170 clinical trials involving stem cells currently exist, including some 565 trials currently active and seeking participants - while not one single clinical trial is underway for embryonic stem cell treatments. Moreover, the letter points out that there are currently no peer-reviewed references to embryonic stem cell-derived human treatments. The above-referenced list of 72 human treatments derived from adult stem cells, which Do No Harm maintains, includes only those treatments for which peer-reviewed scientific publication of their effectiveness exists.

Yet again, the Coalition can only offer mistruths and deception.

Christians Against Human Cloning Rally

Filed in Politics, Religion, Science, Social IssuesTags: Christianity, Cloning, Missouri, Saint Louis, Sanctity of Life, Stem Cells

Last night, I attended the Christians Against Human Cloning Rally, held at Life Christian Church and sponsored by Vision America/Missourians for Truth. Speakers included Shao-Chun Chang (professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis), Charles Drury (Hotel Developer), Archbishop Raymond Burke, Rich Bott (executive vice president, Bott Radio Network), Rick Scarborough (President, Vision America), Phyllis Schlafly (Founder and President, Eagle Forum), and Alan Keyes.

Some notable quotes:

"It is wrong to create human life for the purpose of destroying that life."

-- Archbishop Raymond Burke

"The most fundamental premise of our nation is not that we have rights, but that our rights come from God."

-- Dr. Alan Keyes

(Pictures will be available soon.)

UPDATE: See the Flickr photoset for the rally.

CAHC Rally 001

Christians Against Human Cloning Rally, Life Christian Church, Saint Louis, 28 August 2006
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

The Post-Dispatch covered the rally. Below are some excerpts from the article.

(St. Loius Archbiship Raymond) Burke, head of the St. Louis Roman Catholic archdiocese, joined other regional and national religious conservatives - from Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly to commentator Alan Keyes - who addressed hundreds who packed the sanctuary at the Life Christian Church, 13001 Gravois Road in south St. Louis County.

"Hundreds"? My estimation was more like 2,000. I was in the balcony, and couldn't see the entire floor seating area. The Cape Girardeau rally had 300, and gauging by the photo, we had as many in the balcony seating, alone.

(I just called the church to inquire about estimated attendance. Though I didn't get an actual number, I was informed that the rally was believed to be essentially a "full house", and the church sanctuary/auditorium holds between 3,000 and 4,000 people. I know the balcony wasn't entirely full, but the floor seating was.)

Back to the article:

In a telephone interview, (chairman of the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Donn) Rubin contended that it was the opponents who were spreading untruths. Otherwise, he said, the Cures Coalition wouldn't have support from more than 100 groups, including research centers, health care groups and patient groups.

We'll see the most fundamental of your untruths, a couple paragraphs below. And it's about time I parsed your "factsheet" as well, since every single point listed is a mistruth at best, or a bald-faced lie at worst.

Critics, said Rubin, are "inventing wild claims to distract the public from what we're really voting on - the right of Missourians to obtain the same medical treatments available in other states."

The "medical treatments" canard is nothing but a "wild [claim] to distract the public from what we're really voting on." Missouri's access to medical treatments available in other states has never been in question, and likely will never be in question. In the far-off (and, in all reality, unlikely) event that a human treatment derived from embryonic stem cells ever becomes available, the location of the research into that treatment will not determine the location of the application of such a treatment. The availability of such a treatment will depend only upon the availability of access to the stem cell line from which such treatment was developed.

At the rally, opponents emphasized that much of the debate centers on a procedure known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, or therapeutic cloning.

Under that procedure, the nucleus of an unfertilized human egg is replaced with the nucleus of another human cell. Opponents say it is a form of human cloning and cite the use of the procedure to clone Dolly the sheep. The Lifesaving Cures Coalition says the procedure is not cloning and cites the proposed amendment's specific ban against implanting such an egg in a womb.

And here it is: the number one, most fundamental, outright, bald-faced lie of the Coalition. By definition Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) is cloning; cloning is SCNT. The two terms are interchangeable.

In genetics, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a technique for cloning.

...

This technique is currently the basis for cloning animals, such as the famous Dolly the sheep, and could theoretically be used to clone humans. Scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute are currently researching a technique to use somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce embryonic stem cells.

For human cells, no other method exists as a viable means of cloning.

Even your own supporters recognize and admit this truth. From your own website:

Let us freely admit that the procedure used to produce human stem cells for research is cloning, but not in any way part of a process for creating human babies. The distinction should be clear.

The distinction is clear, but it is also irrelevant. Your Coalition is promoting Amendment 2, specifically stating that the amendment "bans human cloning" - yet, you never reveal that the amendment uses a conjured definition of "cloning" not recognized anywhere else, nor do you point out that the amendment actually prohibits the banning of human cloning - that is, cloning according to the proper usage of the term.

So, which side is it, again, using distractions and spreading untruths?

Back to the article:

Scarborough said the number of Missouri rallies would depend on how much money can be raised to pay for them. So far, each rally has cost close to $20,000. That includes Keyes' speaking fee of $2,500.

The Lifesaving Cures' leaders point to the payments as evidence that Keyes and Scarborough may have financial motives. Scarborough said he was offended by such talk, and added that Keyes' payment was a fraction of his usual speaking fee.

Let's compare rallies, shall we?

How much do you want to wager that the Coalition Rally held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, with its Hollywood glitz, busloads of "hundreds" (er, make that, about 150) attendees from across the state, red-carpet treatment of speakers, and applause cues cost more than the Christians Against Human Cloning rallies? To wit (emphasis added):

From their state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment to the busloads of backers brought to town from across the state, it was clear supporters of an effort to amend Missouri's constitution to protect embryonic stem cell research spared no expense at a Monday morning campaign kickoff rally.

With an audience of nearly 150 proponents at the Capitol Plaza Hotel prompted to applaud on cue and a podium of speakers from the political to the poignant, the rally in favor of the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative had the look and feel of a television talk show.

Are you going to imply, with a straight face, that all of the Coalition's speakers are speaking without compensation? Further, what of the over ten million dollars in Coalition support from the Stowers Institute? Would you actually lead to believe that this investment is made without an expectation of a return? Follow the money, indeed!

See also: LifeNews coverage.

OYB August 29

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 31-33
NT: II Corinthians 3:1-18
Ps: Psalm 43
Pr: Proverbs 22:8-9

Today´s notable verse:

7 I thought, 'Age should speak;
advanced years should teach wisdom.'
8 But it is the spirit in a man,
the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.
9 It is not only the old who are wise,
not only the aged who understand what is right.

Job 32:7-9 (NIV)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

II Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB August 28

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 28-30
NT: II Corinthians 2:12-17
Ps: Psalm 42
Pr: Proverbs 22:7

Today´s notable verse:

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

Proverbs 22:7 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB August 27

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 23-27
NT: II Corinthians 1:12-24, II Corinthians 2:1-11
Ps: Psalm 41
Pr: Proverbs 22:5-6

Today´s notable verse:

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Fisking Freeman, a Foolish, Fumbling Flake

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

A recent post on the Indy Star Colts Message board referenced this hack-job column on Peyton Manning, written by Mike Freeman.

Before I get into the article, some background information. From Freeman's CBS Sportsline Bio, we know the following (emphasis added):

Freeman has been a full-time sportswriter for the Dallas Morning News, Boston Globe, Washington Post, New York Times and the Florida Times-Union covering every aspect of the sports world. Freeman is proud to announce that in his last job as a columnist for the Times-Union in Jacksonville, Fla., he twice angered thousands of Gators fans. OK, maybe it was 10,000. OK, maybe several hundred thousand.

So, Freeman has been a sportswriter/columnist in the two cities that are home to the Indianapolis Colts' two chief rivals: the New England Patriots, and the Jacksonville Jaguars! Certainly, no question of objectivity there...

But, it gets even better! As pointed out by message-board member IUColtPacerFAN, Freeman was actually hired by the Indianapolis Star, and then immediately resigned when he was caught lying on his resume. So, this guy shouldn't even be working as a sports columnist, much less having anything published that he has written about any Indianapolis team or player.

Now, with the appropriate background, on to the "column":

There is good news and bad news when it comes to Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, aka Stat Boy.

Because every objective analysis begins with an ad hominem attack on the protagonist...

The good news. The pain for Colts fans has probably subsided by now. It has been many months since Stat Boy cooked in the juices that are the expectations generated by his uber-celeb, pitch-man, face-on-the-TV-every-millisecond visibility.

The man is allegedly a bona fide journalist; why, then, does this article begin with such obvious grammatical errors as a one-sentence paragraph and a sentence fragment? Regardless, his premise is nonsense anyway. Manning only has so much media visibility because of his success on the field, and that on-field success - not the media visibility - that generates expectation of greatness among Indianapolis Colts fans. The Colts made Manning the number-one pick in the Draft, amid all the obvious media hoopla, yet Colts fans did not hold Manning to the same level of expectation then as the one to which he is held today. The difference between then and now is that, then, Manning joined a horrid team, but now, has been instrumental in turning the team into one of the league's perennial best.

You remember that day, don't you? When the Pittsburgh Steelers marched into Indianapolis, twisted Manning in plastic wrap, and punked him in his own palace, leaving him pouting like a Lhasa apso that had just been neutered.

You might recall, the Steelers didn't so much "[march] into Indianapolis" as they marched through the Indianapolis Offensive Line like so much tissue paper, to the tune of 5 sacks for 43 yards. Despite those sacks, and constant pressure, Manning was 22 of 38, for 290 yards and 1 TD, with no INTs - which adds up to a more-than-respectable 90.8 passer rating. Granted, a 90.8 passer rating isn't as good as Manning's 104.1 passer rating for the 2005 season, but it is still better than the passer rating for all but 5 other QBs in the league for 2005. Nor was it Manning's fault that the Colts' defense tanked in the first half - letting Pittsburgh rattle off a 8.4 yards per play in their opening drive, resulting in a touchdown and more than 10 yards per play in their second touchdown drive. Nor could Manning in any way impact the Special-Teams advantage Pittsburgh enjoyed: a 15-yard return to their own 45 on the Steelers' first punt return and another 20-yard return to the Colts' 30 in the second half, penalties and muffed catches by the Colts, touchbacks and downing inside the Colts' 5 by the Steelers. Manning also did not contribute to the Colts' 9 penalties for 67 yards. But, you just go on ahead, drinking the Manning Hater-ade, Freeman.

The bad news. Another NFL season is here, meaning another Stat Boy playoff swoon is likely imminent. Once again, his throwing numbers will be puffed up and glorious. He is, after all, a machine, a walking Gameboy, king of the regular season, destroying odorous clubs like Houston and Tennessee. He deflowers the weak and blows apart hapless defensive backs who have yet to schedule their Lasik surgery.

So, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Saint Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh - oh, and let us not forget - New England are all "odorous" as well? Every defensive back that Manning faces - and abuses - suddenly needs Lasik? That argument too closely resembles the one (that Freeman will entertain later in his screed) that every game Manning wins is meaningless, while every game he loses is a "big" game. I'm sure Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle (BAL), Rashean Mathis and Terry Cousin (JAX), Leigh Bodden (CLE), Travis Fisher (STL), Asante Samuel (NE), Deltha O'Neal and Tory James (CIN), and Ike Taylor (PIT) are all a bunch of Pop Warner DBs?

Then the playoffs come, and Stat Boy becomes the incredible shrinking quarterback. In big game after big game, his jockstrap tightened as the competition became more intense, whether it was at the University of Tennessee, or in the postseason last year against the Steelers, a game he had no business losing.

Ah, here it is: the old "big game" canard. Let me put this one to rest: in the NFL, every game is a "big" game. Every regular season game represents 6.25% of the team's final record. Lose a game you should or are supposed to win, and you go from being a first-round bye team to being a wild-card team. The Colts don't get a wild-card bye, and homefield throughout the conference playoffs unless Manning plays well in the regular season. Further, as clearly pointed out above, the divisional-round loss to Pittsburgh was a team loss; whatever Manning's contribution to that game, had every Colts player performed even as well as Manning did, the Colts would have won that game, perhaps easily so.

In those moments, when he is supposed to shine, when he is supposed to be Stat-a-licious, Manning rolls up into a big, hunking ball of mediocrity, becoming kin with the ordinary.

Once again: Manning posted a 90.8 passer rating in that game - much better than a "ball of mediocrity" or "kin with the ordinary." In fact, Manning's passer rating was third-best in all of the 2005 post-season.

That's why this season might be one of the biggest in the star's career thus far. Another one of those patented Manning playoff drubbings will lead to almost universal criticism of his game and more out-loud wondering in a gossipy league about the makeup of Manning's heart muscle.

Please do not misunderstand. Manning is good. Manning is great. He will take a grenade to the record books. Construction of the Stat Boy Wing in the Hall of Fame is already under way. Yet we still, all these years later, do not know what Manning is yet. Is he a winner or is he Stat Boy?

Let's get one thing straight: without Manning on the roster, the Colts don't even make the playoffs for the past eight seasons. Manning took a perennial cellar-dweller, and turned it into the winningest team in the league. Manning is the hardest-working, most studious player in the NFL today. He is a fan and student of the game, and invests himself emotionally in each game to such an extent that his reactions to personal and team failure are ridiculed by pissant hacks like Mike Freeman.

The problem for Manning is that he shares the same airspace with another luxury liner in New England's Tom Brady, and there could not be two more different people.

Ah, now we see the real reason for this "column": to pay homage to Tom Brady, like the drooling sycophant Freeman exposes himself to be.

Manning bear-hugs stats as a broken passing record brings a smile to his face. Brady, skinny, personable, kinda quiet, still a little goofy, quotable, has that powerful intangible Manning lacks -- Brady knows how to win.

Do you have even one quote to back up this asinine and slanderous statement that "Manning bear-hugs stats as a broken passing record brings a smile to his face"? Put up or shut up.

There is a reason Brady, despite playing with 5-foot-4 receivers and running backs with hitches in their giddy up, has won Super Bowls while Manning has captured passing titles. Manning has played most of his career with a Hall of Fame wideout, a perennial Pro Bowl running back, a decent offensive line and, recently, a swift defense. Still, zippo in the big game department.

The reason: Adam Vinateri, the "tuck rule", a defense that could win games without the help of their offense. Winning - especially in the playoffs - is a team affair. Just as in the divisional loss to Pittsburgh, most of the Colts' playoff losses (again, that the Colts were in the playoffs even to have a chance to win or lose, is because of Manning) have come because of team failures. Manning is not immune to criticism, but the responsibility is not his to bear alone.

Behind Brady's handsome looks is a cutthroat guy who would steal his grand momma's purse if it meant he could win a Super Bowl. Brady has ridden the wave of Bill Belichick's brain power while willing his team to multiple championships.

Give Brady the same kind of mediocre team that Manning had for his early career, and the ultimate result is the same. Last season, Brady did everything he could to "will" his team to win - including putting up his own "stat-boy" numbers - but it was not enough. Head-to-head, Manning and the Colts absolutely abused Brady and the Pats, in Foxboro, on national television. Mr. Cutthroat was throwing around water cups on the sideline and crying like, well, like idiots such as Mike Freeman accuse Manning of doing, and Mr. Handsome Looks was so dejected he couldn't even face reporters in the post-game press conference.

Brady stood in front of his locker Thursday and was asked what drives him. He gave a smart answer, but when I asked him to explain further, Brady gave an answer that might define why he is who he is and why he is so different from Manning.

"I was a backup quarterback in high school as a freshman, on a team that lost every game," Brady said. "I was seventh string at Michigan. I was fourth string at the Patriots, barely dressed the first year I played. Had to compete every step of the way.

"Because of that, I've had to compete. And I still feel like I'm competing every time I step on the field. I compete against other quarterbacks, I compete against myself, because the expectations continue to go up. I wish I was satisfied at some point, but I don't think any part of my life I'm satisfied. It's a blessing and a curse. A blessing in this career."

Manning and Brady are both intelligent. They both work hard. They study more film than Spielberg. The difference is that there is no silver spoon with Brady. He does not come from NFL family royalty. Brady has had to work hard for every little thing he has gotten.

The insinuation, of course, being that Manning has had a "silver spoon" and that he didn't have to work hard for everything he has gotten. Again, try backing up that insinuation, Freeman.

You cannot define what a winner is. It is not something that can be concocted on a blackboard or diabolically designed in a test tube. Like a Supreme Court justice once said of pornography, you just know it when you see it.

Wow, leave it to Freeman to make "winning" analogous to "pornography". Of course, just as Justice Stewart was wrong about pornography, so is Freeman wrong about winning. The definition of "winning" is actually quite clear; sports fans usually refer to this metric as "scoreboard".

Brady is a winner. So far, Manning is not.

In so declaring, obviously, you have assumed "Super Bowl winner" as the definition of "winner". Such a definition is fine, but why not just state it?

Manning is a huge talent and box office draw but his 3-6 playoff record makes him Adam Sandler. Brady's multiple Super Bowl wins mean he is Denzel or De Niro. He's been da bomb. He takes his shrimpy receivers and tells the stats to shove it.

Again, what part of "team sport" do you not understand?

Several years ago, after the Jets shellacked Indianapolis in a wild-card game 41-0, former Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt took Manning to task.

"All week before the Jets game I'm like, '(No.) 18, we're going to handle it, me and you we're going to win this game.' And he's like, 'Yeah, yeah, OK,'" Vanderjagt said. "And I'm like, 'Peyton, show some enthusiasm, you're the quarterback and we need to win this game.' I just don't see it from him."

Oh, that's rich: quoting the guy who not only had more to do with the Colts' loss to Pittsburgh last season, but also who is almost single-handedly responsible for a previous playoff loss - part of which Freeman attributs to Manning as "his" 3-6 playoff record. And why would Vandy take Manning to task for a game in which the Colts' Defense gave up 41 points?!?

Manning blasted Vanderjagt as the "idiot kicker" that was liquored up, and the mainstream media, many members of which have been apologists for Manning, beat Vanderjagt over the head with a baseball bat. The beefy ex-jocks on TV said kickers aren't real football players and dismissed his words.

But wasn't Vanderjagt right?

Wasn't he?

Perhaps we need to "see it" from Vanderjagt, before he takes anyone else to task. If you want to talk about choking in the "big game", look no further than the Idiot Kicker.

Maybe this will be the Year of Manning.

Or maybe we will see the same old Stat Boy.

We know this for certain: all Freeman ever will see is "Stat Boy". He's too blinded by "Brady's handsome looks" and his own hatred for Indianapolis, the Colts, and Manning.

OYB August 26

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 20-22
NT: II Corinthians 1:1-11
Ps: Psalm 40:11-17
Pr: Proverbs 22:2-4

Today´s notable verse:

Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.

Proverbs 22:4 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.