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Malik (10/4/10)

Saturday was a day for sports to be on my side. The Huskies, Ducks, Boise State, and Sounders FC all took down their opponents in some damned good games. Ok, most were good games, but when Boise wins like they did, it's anything but a good game. I mean once you hit at least 30 points and shut out your opponent, the game is no longer a good one to follow since it's just too damned one sided to be fun.

Unfortunately, the luck didn't continue with the NFL on Sunday. This season is just a giant question mark with most teams. The Seahawks, however, are more predictable in all the worst ways. Is it a home game? If so, then it's a real game. If it's a road game, then the Seahawks looks like some high school team trying to cut it in the NFL. It only gets worse when the Seahawks are now tied with the Rams...for first place. What is going on with the NFC West?

I think, despite what I used to say, that the problem is Hasselbeck. While the last two years saw him flounder due to a lack of protection by the offensive line, it's no longer the case. Do the 'Hawks have a good O-line? No. But it is improved versus last year. Hasselbeck is just older now, and every NFL player hits "the age" eventually. The age would be when a player's game suffers and they just have nowhere to go but further down. Most QBs can last a while in the NFL, and Hasselbeck has over a dozen years of NFL experience. It looks like it may be time for him to go. It only gets worse and more "real" when you see someone like Bradford (the Ram's rookie QB) with a laser sight on his arm and a pure cannon behind that sight. It's been a long time since I could say so, but I think the Rams have one hell of a QB who can and does make plays.

Unlike many Hasselbeck haters, I just think he's a bit too old now. I also think the answer is not Charlie Whitehurst. Whitehurst is not an NFL caliber QB. He is not too bad of a backup when injuries happen, but he is no starter. The best solution for the Seahawks is for them to struggle through this season, maybe even have a good enough of record to capture the lame NFC West title, and then to draft a QB. Unlike during back seasons with Ruskell, Schneider can hopefully get Seattle a good rookie QB for next year.

Anyway, next up for Seattle is a bye week. Maybe they will take some time to regroup and refocus, but then comes another road game and an almost guaranteed loss.

On a final Seahawk thought; since Hasselbeck is not looking good this year, and Whitehurst looked like garbage in the pre-season, why not try Robinson?  He played QB at Penn State, and threw the longest pass of the game for Seattle on his wildcat play.  Just a thought...

On a different note, I have now ended my battle with Fry's Electronics. I was finally given a replacement TV for my busted (under extended service plan) Mitsubishi 52" DLP. What I was given was a Samsung 50" plasma...a 720p plasma with no composite connections. That isn't quite comparably to my old TV, so I thought the feud would continue.

Then I wrote one hell of an email to detail what the service department had been up to, and actions came quick and professionally from Fry's. The Floor Manager for the Renton (WA) Fry's contacted me and was ready to give me a new replacement TV that cost a fair bit more than the Samsung. However, since I only wanted an equivalent TV, or as close as possible to my old set, I simply requested an exchange set that cost the same as the Samsung (and named one that was $50 more, but also more of an equivalent exchange), but was 1080p (I don't care about p or i on 1080...just the pixel count for using the TV as a PC monitor) and had the composite connections that a geek like myself needs (for all PS2 era and older consoles). The main difference, above all else, was how I requested a Panasonic or an LG. The Floor Manager was good about seeing that I wasn't asking for the world, and started to look for the replacement.

After a little time, the Floor Manager told me the one I asked for was a clearance model, and the LG was only available as a floor model. He didn't feel right with giving one of those, so he got me set up with the next step up on the Panasonic. Better yet, I was set up with delivery the next day. So, after a month of headaches, I am finally done and can put this whole incident behind me.

My final thoughts on this whole ordeal are pretty simple. For one, I was close to saying that I'm flat-out done with Fry's. That would be a shame since there are no local stores, other than Fry's, to get good prices on random bits of tech. I know online is an option, but sometimes you need instant gratification (I need an adapter now, so I will pick it up now). So, I'm not throwing in the towel with Fry's. However, I think I will avoid their service department. The rest of the store; I have no problems giving more money over to Fry's instead of a random price gouging big box store.

Secondly, I can't stand how the resolutions in HDTVs are going right now. If you show me someone who can honestly find a real difference in 1080i versus 1080p, I'll show you someone talking out of their ass. There are a few rare exceptions, but typically the noticeable resolution differences come in from either 720 versus 1080 (especially on anything 40" and larger, or using a TV as a PC monitor) and from the quality of the TV. A high end 1080i display will look better than a low end budget 1080p any day of the week. Also, I hate how HDMI is so forced on the market ("a TV isn't good unless it has 4 HDMI slots"), especially on 720p TVs. HDMI is needed for 1080p, and nothing less. Component does the same job, with occasional issues on HDCP...very occasional issues. Also, Samsung really has me at a loss with the loss of composite. While it may not be standard issue anymore, it still is what will do the job for regular DVD, PS2, Wii, and any older consoles.

Also, I do have to say, despite it's lacking features, Samsung makes a nice low end plasma. If you don't mind 720p (especially if you're not using it as a PC monitor, or you just don't run your PC at high resolutions) and a lack of inputs for older technology, I say the 720p 50" plasmas from Samsung are really nice.

I also have to say that the Panasonic U2 series of 50" plasma is really nice. I can't find too many faults, beyond no VGA port...but when a DVI/VGA to HDMI adapter can be found for under $3 online (the route I'm going), it doesn't matter. I'm still tweaking the settings to find the best image possible. I guess you could say, however, that the image settings are definitely less user friendly to adjust on the Panasonic than on either the Samsung or even my old Mitsubishi 1080i DLP. Still, once you find the right settings, you should have to worry about it any more. Also, the Panasonic U2 series has a better screen (less reflective) than the Samsung. I'm not sure what to think of CATS (the display can automatically adjust contrast and brightness according to the lighting in the room) yet, but it's a neat feature and it can be turned on or off easily enough.

Anyway, best of all, I can now get back to playing Rock Band 2 and I am thinking I'll play some good old SNES games while waiting for Fable 3 and RB3 at the end of this month.


Malik (10/6/10)

Normally, the Seahawks capturing Marshawn Lynch would be big news. Well, it is big news. I mean Seattle may finally have a play-maker in the running game. I'm not trying to talk down about Forsett, but he is too small to run through the lack of openings that the Seahawks are not opening up for him. I'm also not trying to talk down about Washington, but Pete Carroll is just not using him enough in the run game, so I don't know what he really can do with the lack of running lanes. However, Lynch may be able to bring about the type of powerful and swift running that can give Seattle an edge on the ground. Best of all, he is not a washed up big named talent, like Seattle would previously go for. Lynch is current.

However, when the Sounders FC has become the first team to ever win the US Open Cup in back-to-back title games in the MLS era, I cannot pay much attention to the Seahawks (who have a bye week this week). Let me say that again; Sounders FC, thanks to Nyassi playing like a man possessed, are two time US Open Cup winners in only two seasons of existence! Plus, Seattle set the record for attendance for the US Open Cup final game in it's first time of hosting.

What more could you want if you're a Sounders FC fan? Well, I think I would have liked the game to have been on a channel more people could access. I am one of the few people I know who gets FSC (Fox Soccer Channel), so I am one of the few people I know to watch the game who weren't present at Qwest Field. Also, FSC is only in SD for the Seattle area, as opposed to ESPN-2, FSN (Fox Sports Northwest), and KONG (the local usual station for Sounders matches). It only gets worse when the local voice of the Sounders, Arlo White, is an amazing announcer, but national announcing teams sound like they are still trying to learn the game...and getting bored in the process.

Still, with standard definition, horrible announcing, not many easy ways to watch the match, and some audio problems (FSC has poor audio which cuts out and changes volume constantly), you cannot be too down when you can see Nyassi own the field.


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