Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Final Four!

This post title kind of has a double meaning for me - the obvious to you loyal readers being the NCAA Final Four NCAA Basketball Tournament games happening tonight in Atlanta. I actually thought flying out there for the games, but then I remembered I had my final four Fantasy Baseball Drafts scheduled for today - two of them being very important CBS Sportsline money league drafts. I'll be here watching from the comfort of my home here in sunny Southern California.

Needless to say, I'm rooting for my alma-mater UCLA to win tonight and I'll be pulling hard for Georgetown as well to match my bracket final... GO BRUINS AND HOYAS!!! I'm still amazed that my final four made it through and now I could actually WIN my group after my embarassingly bad start! The winner of my group of seven friends from the site hinges on the Georgetown-Ohio State game this evening - if the Hoyas win, then I win no matter what as the person I'm battling for first also picked UCLA to beat Florida tonight... if Ohio State wins, then I end up no better than 2nd...

Now it's time for me to head off to the first of my drafts... thanks to everyone who has sent me messages of support and encouragement since I started blogging here... I'm really having a lot of fun with this!

Friday, March 30, 2007

CD Review: Tim McGraw "Let It Go"

With sales of over 24 million in the U.S. to date off his string of seven consecutive multi-platinum albums, Tim McGraw has firmly established himself as one of the faces of Country music. One of the things that I truly enjoy about Tim's music is that he is always willing to try something different. Over the years the "Indian Outlaw" has made a lot of traditional Country & Rock laced tunes, but he's also never been afraid to venture into other genres and also put his own spin on classics - his huge number 1 Pop hit with rapper Nelly "Over and Over" along with his outstanding remake of Elton John's classic "Tiny Dancer" are a testament to the fact that Tim's music knows no boundaries... not surprisingly, Tim's latest release with the Dancehall Doctors called "Let It Go" further cements Tim's reputation as a risk-taker, and no doubt will extend his string of multi-platinum efforts to eight.

The first track on "Let It Go" is the very infectitious "Last Dollar (Fly Away)." Currently at #2 on the Country charts (and almost sure to hit #1 in a few days), the song is a very optimistic song about not being tied down and having the freedom to just "fly away" at any time. It also features vocals at the end of the song from his (and wife Faith Hill's) children.

Next up is a great ballad called "I'm Workin'" on which he sings about work taking priority over his personal life and how he wishes it wasn't that way. This one has "single" written ALL OVER IT!

Third up on this CD is the title track, "Let It Go." A very catchy mid-tempo tune about letting go of the past and starting anew. The tone of the tune is optimistic as he sings "I know, I know, I know, I'm gonna start livin.'" Yes, this one is also VERY "single worthy".

Track number four is a traditional Country tune called "Whiskey and You." Not surprisingly, it's a song about guy has girl, guy loses girl, guy has regrets and turns to drinking to help him deal with it. He bemoans "I drink because I'm lonesome, I'm lonesome cause I drink."

The fifth track is a great remake of the late Eddie Rabbitt's tune "Suspicions." Although he's caught himself quite the great woman, he's also very afraid of losing her as he bemoans "I can't help it you're just so good lookin'. I'm afraid somebody's gonna steal you away from me. When I go out to a party with you, you always turn every head in the room."

Track number six is a tune which pays homage to the legendary Kris Kristofferson. On "Kristoferrson", Tim once again bemoans about losing his love and he's going to drink and write a song about it just "like Kristofferrson would do."

The seventh selection is called "Put Your Lovin' On Me." It's a song about how his love helps him forget about the reality and harshness of everyday life.

Next up is a personal anthem called "Nothin' To Die For." This track is about a guy who is so giving that he often forgets to take care of himself... and if you don't take care of yourself you're not going to be any good to those others.

Track nine is a tune called "Between The River And Me." This is perhaps the most moving song on the entire CD... it's a very up-tempo song with a very dark message - a young boy and his step father make a trip to the river and one of them doesn't come back home...

The 10th track is appropriately called "Train #10." This one is about a vengeful man who in a nutshell is tired of his circumstances and is now taking the last train out of town to "say goodbye to you and all the things you've done."

Track 11 is a duet with his wife Faith Hill" called "I Need You." This isn't your typical Tim and Faith ballad - no, Tim throws us a curveball here as this one is a traditional Country tune about smoking, drinking and reminiscing. However, the song comes full circle in the end and it's just as full of passion as any of their famous duets - "I need you... like a needle needs a vein" gives you a feel of how he truely feels about her.

Up next is a song called "Comin' Home." It's an optimistic song about starting fresh and anew and he thanks his girl for helping him through some "stormy weather" and setting him free. This is one that definitely could be a single at some point.

The 13th and final track is called "Shotgun Rider." It's a traditional Country tune in the honky-tonk mode about a musician who is wondering if he should continue on his current path of being on the road playing in bars or if he should settle down for good with his love.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed this CD and have been playing it over and over again since I picked it up. The tone overall may be a little darker than most of his previous work, but the quality of this latest work of his is second to none! This is one that any Tim McGraw fan will truly love, and it also has a lot of potential to attract new fans. The most likely candidates for future singles would include "Let It Go", "I'm Workin'", "I Need You", "Comin' Home" and "Suspicions." By the way, for those of you that don't know, it's always best to try and get your new CD's the first week of release as you can often find them for under $10 - It's currenly available at my local Wal-Mart for only $9.72.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Friend's Trip To DC

As a few of you know, one of my friends and co-workers (Teresa) went to DC on a business trip this past week. Yesterday was her first day back at work - surprisingly she didn't seem to be suffering from any jet lag... Needless to say we all had a lot of questions for her about the trip. Once she got to DC this past Thursday, she got her schedule, and it was almost all planned out for her - meetings were scheduled for almost her entire stay there. From morning to night, she was pretty much stuck within the confines of her hotel on the Hill - the Holiday Inn.

Teresa did get about three hours worth of freedom on Sunday, so she was able to do a little sight seeing. She spent most of her free time visting such landmarks as the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument - she had some nice pictures of both to show me which she had taken with her cellphone. I'm hoping to post a few of those there in the next few days. After being confined to her hotel room for the better part of four days, her one night out ended up being spent at the Dubliner - an Irish Pub located on "F" Street by Union Station... She said her and her traveling companions had a jolly good time... too bad that business trip couldn't have been a week earlier so she could have celebrated St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

... I Have Visitors!!!

I got a nice surprise yesterday when I checked my "profile views" page yesterday... I started the day with about 50 hits in my first four days out - many of these my own as I reviewed my entries. At the end of the day, I was pleasantly surprised to find I had received nearly 30 "hits" ... I'm thinking that an article entitled "Rename K Street to Kate Street" at featuring a couple of links to Miss DC Kate Michael's blog (on which I've commented a few times) is the possible culprit:

Kate's blog received upwards of 175 "hits" yesterday alone by my estimation... and I'm thinking I got a few new visitors as a result - thanks for stopping by!

Speaking of DC, one of my friends and present co-workers flew out there this past Thursday on some company business and is supposed to be back at work today... I'm anxious to see what she has to say about her five day trip, who and what she saw, where she ate, and what she liked most and least about DC... Hopefully she will have some pictures to share - I'll post some here if there is anything noteworthy...

FYI, I did get to listen to the new Tim McGraw "Let It Go" CD yesterday and I was very impressed! I'm going to give it a few more spins over the next few days and post a full review here this Friday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"2 For Tuesday" - #1

Welcome all!

One idea I've had in my head for a very long time before becoming a blogger was to have a weekly feature... I figured if I made the title catchy and interesting, it would be something people would look forward to seeing every week... With that in mind, I decided to use Tuesday as the day for this feature. First off, it's an easy way to get a catchy blog title! Secondly, all new music is released for sale on Tuesdays so I figured this would be a great way to get the word out about new CD's that I would strongly recommend purchasing. Without further ado, here's my first installment of "2 For Tuesday"!


Appropriately, the first of my two topics on the day is new music. This week, there is definitely one CD which stands out above all the rest - the new Tim McGraw release entitled "Let It Go". A friend of mine has already heard the CD and he stated the following to me last night regarding Tim's new release: "I'm looking forward to buying it tomorrow; it's really impressive." The CD includes 13 tracks and features the current #2 Country song in the land: "The Last Dollar (Fly Away"). In case you haven't heard the song, it features some kids singing at both the beginning and the end. Those aren't just any kids singing - they are his and wife Faith Hill's! Anyways, I'll be travelling off in a bit to pick this up and throw it in my CD player on my way to work. I'll give a full review sometime over the next few days.


My second topic on the day is one that is always on my mind at this time of the year: Fantasy Baseball sleepers! Just what is a "fantasy baseball sleeper"??? Well, by my definition, it's a baseball player who is going to be VERY undervalued on draft day. Someone who will VERY MUCH outperform his expectations. Take notes here as I expect you'll be able to get some nice bargains!

1. Chris Duncan (OF - STL) - With 22 homers and a .293 BA in only 280 at bats last year, some were expecting Duncan to be this year's Ryan Howard. This probably won't happen with him hitting 2nd in the lineup for the Cardinals - the RBI opporunities simply won't be there. However, hitting in front of Albert Pujols should have HUGE benefits in the runs scored department. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he hits 40 homers and scores 120. For an end game pick, that is too much upside to pass up!

2. Rafael Soriano (RP - ATL) - You're all probably wondering why in the heck would I recommend a guy who is currently third in line for saves for the Braves. Well, successfully drafting a sleeper sometimes means taking guys with skills who at some point may get an opportunity to have a much bigger role. Studying Braves history, manager Bobby Cox has always eventually put his best reliever into the closer's role. You may remember that future Hall of Famer John Smoltz moved from starter to closer to alleviate arm issues late in 2001, notching 154 saves in his 3+ years in the role. Smoltz went back to starting in 2005 and the Braves tried several different closers in the pen without ANY success. Finally, they traded for a guy with GREAT "closer stuff" named Kyle Farnsworth on July 31, 2005. As pitchers continued to struggle in the role, Cox finally gave "Farny" a shot on August 24th... all he did was go a perfect 10 for 10 in save opportunites the rest of the way with a sparkling 1.98 ERA. The Braves currently have Bob Wickman in the closer's role - but at 38 years old, he simply isn't the pitcher he once was. Soriano, on the other hand, is a power pitcher in the mold of Smoltzie and Farny... with a 2.25 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and 65 K's in 60 IP last year for Seattle. At worst, this end gamer will help stabilize your staff. At best, you could get a cheap 30 saves.

3. Jonathan Broxton - (RP - LAD) - This one is a little easier to figure out than Soriano. The Dodgers had the AMAZING Eric Gagne in the closer's role for 5 years - for three of those years (2002-2004) he posted argubaly the best closer numbers in history: 152 saves a 1.79 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and an incredible 365 K's in only 247 innings pitched. Gagne was supposed to come back each of the last two years, but elbow and back issues sidelined him. Last year he saved all of 1 game - a game versus the Mets where I was with friends at Dodger Stadium to watch future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez pitch. I immediately knew something was wrong with "Gags" that night despite his 2 K's as his fastball was topping out at only 89 MPH, as opposed to the 91-93 MPH in his previous outing. With that, Japanese import Takashi Saito seized the role, posting a Gagne-like line of 24 saves, a 2.07 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 107 K's in 78 1/3 IP. So why am I down on Saito with those numbers? Three things - Firstly, many Japanese pitchers in the past have been very successful in their first runs through the big leagues - Byung Hyun-Kim and many others started well, only to struggle once hitters figured them out. Secondly, Saito's numbers in Japan were plain AWFUL his final 3 years - with 5.21, 9.65 and 4.75 ERA's in the 2003 thru 2005 seasons. Lastly, Saito is 37 now... so age is not on his side. Saito uses deception to get batters out... Broxton just overpowers them with a high 90's fastball and some nasty offspeed breaking pitches. In 2006, Broxton had a 2.59 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and a VERY impressive 97 K's in 76 1/3 IP... I look for Broxton to be in the closer's role by mid-season at the latest.

4. Michael Barrett (C- CHI) - One of my rules of thumb to successfully drafting a fantasy baseball team is to NEVER draft based on positional scarcity (at least in the traditional 5x5, 10 team setting). In the days where Mike Piazza and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez were putting up gaudy numbers, picking these Catchers in the first few rounds was definitely worth it. These days though, you have the Mauer's and V-Mart's of the world putting up much less lofty numbers, yet getting picked almost as early as Piazza and Pudge did in their prime... my question is why? All you're doing by taking these guys early is putting yourself behind numbers-wise across the board. This is where Barrett comes in. Last year, I was able to make Barrett an end-game pick in many leagues and he didn't disappoint (asides from the "punch AJ" incident)... posting a .307 BA, a .512 SLG and a very impressive .885 OPS along with 16 homers and 57 RBI's in only 375 at bats. Assume he is healthy this year and doesn't punch AJ - he gets 450 AB's at least and posts 20-25 HR, 75-80 RBI, a .300-ish BA and a near .900 OPS! Numbers which compare VERY favorably to those guys going in rounds 4 and 5. The word is getting out about Barrett though, so take him a couple of rounds early to be safe - round 15 or so in a standard roto draft, round 10-11 in a Saber league.

5. Dave Bush (SP - MIL) - What's not to like about this guy other than the team he pitches for? People will look at the 4.41 ERA he posted last year and quickly dismiss him... what one often fails to notice though is that sparkling 1.14 WHIP he put up last year! Most pitchers with that kind of WHIP have an ERA at least a run lower than Bush had in '06. Bush was incredibly unlucky last year, as 36% of all baserunners he allowed ended scoring - the league average is around 28%-30%... one of the main culprits to his high ERA was the bullpen allowing a lot of his runners to score. That should be less of a problem this year as they grabbed closer Francisco Cordero from Texas late last year. What kind of numbers should we expect? I'll say 15 wins, a 3.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 170 K's. For a 16-20th round draft pick, that's what we call in this business A STEAL!


This just in - some sad news to report nationally - George Bush press secretary and former Fox News reporter Tony Snow has had a return of his conon cancer. Not only has the cancer returned, but it's spread to his liver. Please keep Tony in your thoughts and prayers. He's a great man who loves his job and his family and has done so much for this country. I hope that he can beat this thing a second time.

Monday, March 26, 2007

FIVE DRAFTS! : Walking Off The Buzz...

Well, I somehow survived my version of "March Madness" yesterday. I could have written an entire blog about the buzz I created in the draft rooms with all of the sleepers I took out of my competitor's pendings. As you know, I was supposed to be drafting four fantasy baseball teams over the course of the day. However, for the second time in a week, I found myself filling in for my friend Dan Christopherson - he was in St. Louis covering the Oregon Ducks for the Sports report on the Portland TV station he works for. Yes, I ended up drafting FIVE teams yesterday!!! Somehow I got through it, even for a time doing two drafts at once! Good thing for me that I study for these drafts as if they were final exams! I'm proud to say I did well in every one of them, and I just know Dan is going to love that team I drafted him.

What else is up? Well, Tiger Woods won AGAIN - further strengthing his case to be the odds on favorite to win his fifth Masters in a couple of weeks. The Masters is the one golf tournament I really look forward to watching to every year - the prestige, the tradition and the beauty of that golf course make it a "must see" for me every year. One of these years, I hope to see it in person.

Speaking of tradition, the final four is set in the NCAA tournament, and somehow after my horrible start I managed to pick the final four correctly! I told several people this past Tuesday and the following couple of days how embarrassed I was at my bracket - I was at 11%! Well, here we are six days later and I'm at 88.2%! And how about those Hoyas? I told several friends and relatives over the past week that my toughest pick in all of the brackets was the UNC/Georgetown matchup... I wavered back and forth, before using the same reasoning I did to pick UCLA as the eventual national champ. I tend not to go with the "hot" team - rather the most talented one when facing a tough decision in the brackets. As for the game itself, I told many friends to watch this game as it was going to be decided in the closing seconds. But alas, I guess I was wrong on that one as it indeed went right down to the end - it ended up taking OVERTIME to decide the outcome!!! UNC controlled the game throughout, but somehow the Hoyas managed to come back and then run away in OT. Needless to say, this one affected many brackets.

In other news, Carrie Underwood is making Simon Cowell look more like a prophet every day, as "Before He Cheats" crosses over and reaches the top 20 of the Pop chart and the top 15 of the Hot AC chart as of this morning. It's looking very possible it will go top 10 at three formats. Carrie's debut album "Some Hearts" is 5x Platinum (five million in CD shipments) as we speak. Ultimately, it may end up being the biggest selling Americal Idol alumni album ever - Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" currently holds that title at 6x Platinum. When "Some Hearts" first came out nearly a year and a half ago, I boldly predicted it would reach the 6x Platinum plateau. As of now, I'm revising that projection to 7x Platinum! Yes, that album has some SERIOUS legs - "Some Hearts" currently resides at #10 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart in it's 70th week of release!

Lastly, and definitely not least, for those of you like me that always want to stay up to date on the "what's HOT and what's NOT" nationally, take a look at this recent article in the Politico: The article talks about how Washington D.C.'s image continues to transform from "frumpy" to downright "fashionable". It also features a shot of the lovely 2006 Miss DC, Kate Michael, and several comments from her and others regarding DC's continuing image transformation. By the way, if you would like see and hear more about Ms. Michael, her literacy platform and her insights, visit and also her blog Ms. Michael is extremely well-versed and has great fashion sense!

FYI - for those of you wondering about today's blog title, I took it from a CD of one of my all-time favorite pop/rock/top 40 groups: Blessid Union of Souls. Check them out if you get a chance.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

OH MY! : UCLA in Final 4, Carrie & Peyton on SNL

Yesterday began my personal March madness - aka: fantasy baseball drafting time. Yesterday's draft went VERY well. I had the 9th pick and Big Papi fell to me there. I was able to scoop up Miguel Cabrera with the 12th pick, and Jimmy Rollins and Derrek Lee with my next two picks. I got a nice end gamer in Carlos Quentin with my final pick. Worst case scenario is the D-Backs DL him and I put him in my DL slot, allowing me to pick up another free agent. Everyone knows this guy is going to be GREAT someday. As for the rest of my team, I really don't feel like I have a weakness on my team other than speed (where I always draft to be middle of the pack). Maybe I can win this league this year instead of finishing 2nd. Have a look:

Well, there is excitement here in So.Cal when it comes to basketball... In case you don't know, the Lakers' Kobe Bryant has posted four consective 50+ point games! He's only the 2nd player in NBA history to do this - Wilt Chamberlain holds the record with seven of them in a row. Perhaps now, NBA Commissioner David Stern will stop it with his personal vendetta against Kobe.... he's had something against him ever since Kobe's lapse of judgement a few years ago. None of us are perfect, Commissioner... Maybe one of these days you might understand that!

While Kobe's heroics have been magical, the big story for me is my UCLA Bruins! They played a FLAWLESS game defensively en route to defeating Kansas 68-55 last night for a trip to Atlanta and the final 4! Do I hear "rematch"? Well, if Florida takes care of business today against Oregon, then we will have the opportunity avenge the loss to them in last year's Championship game. By the way, my final 4 are STILL there in my bracket. I'm suddenly up to 73.3% in my ESPN entry!

Finally, I went to a relatives home last night to watch Saturday Night Live. Said relative has the East coast feed of anything televised! Yes, so I got to watch it at 8:30 PT last night. Two of my favorite people - Colts Super Bowl MVP quarterback Peyton Manning and 2x Grammy winner Carrie Underwood were the host and musical guest. There was a time in the when SNL was a staple of mine - the late 80's-mid 90's when Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Chris Rock, David Spade, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon, Tim Meadows and the late Chris Farley and Phil Hartman were amongst the cast. It was definitely "must see TV" for me. Over the years though as cast members and writers have left, the show has REALLY deteriorated in quality. The only time I watch now is when there is a host and/or musical guest I want to see... last night I had BOTH, so it seemed to be a perfect situation. The show got off to a good start, beginning with the obligatory White House President Bush at the podium skit. There then were a few pretty good skits involving Peyton, but as the show went on, the skits became not just bad, but AWFUL! Thankfully, musical guest Carrie Underwood temporarily stopped the bleeding - not once, but TWICE! Carrie delivered rousing performances of her huge crossover hit "Before He Cheats" and her current single (#3 on the Country chart) "Wasted". Having had the privledge of seeing Ms. Underwood three times in concert last year, it was GREAT to see her on that SNL stage just singing her heart out! Chatting with a few others last night on her official fansite, many there thought it was Carrie's best televised live performace they had EVER seen! It certainly looks like the sky's the limit for her, doesn't it? The show closed with the cast and crew getting together to give Peyton a little birthday sendoff - yesterday was his 31st b-day... Peyton gave Carrie a kiss on the cheek and a little hug - something sure to cause lots more rumors on the Carrie fansite!

That would be all for now. I start the first of my 4 drafts today in a little less than 2 1/2 hours. Good luck to all of you in your brackets today!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

More "March Madness"...

Today begins a VERY busy week for me... in a little more than an hour from now, I'll be doing the first of 14 fantasy baseball drafts to be held over the next eight days... I've already participated in four drafts, so I will end up managing 18 teams this year. Although 18 teams may seem like a lot, it really isn't. For instance, did you know the singer Meat Loaf plays fantasy baseball? I know from a reliable source that he manages in excess of 30 teams! I've heard of others who manage over 50 teams!

I've been a HUGE baseball fan since I was very young, so being able to play a game in which I can win some nice cash prizes, along with claiming some bragging rights amongst my friends while getting to watch my favorite sport is all the motivation I need... I also have to admit, this fantasy baseball game is EXTREMELY fun and addicting! My friend Chris had no idea what he was doing when he introduced me to fantasy baseball eight years ago. How did I do last year, you may ask? Well, out of the 22 teams I began the season with, 11 of them wound up winning! Given that the average league consists of 10 teams, winning 50% of my leagues was a MAJOR accomplishment!

I may post some draft results later today, time permitting. I hope you all enjoy the NCAA Tourney this weekend - my bracket is looking A LOT better than it was a few days ago... My final 4 are STILL alive!!! The games once again were very exciting and dramatic: Georgetown BARELY escaped - winning by one on a very difficult layup with 2.5 seconds to play, and North Carolina got way down against my arch rival (USC) yesterday before coming alive in the 2nd half... I'll be rooting hard for my UCLA Bruins today against Kansas!

Lastly, don't forget to remember to watch "Saturday Night Live" tonight - Carrie Underwood is the musical guest, Peyton Manning the host!

Friday, March 23, 2007

My First Entry...

Hello friends and visitors!

As some of you know, this blog has been a LONG TIME coming... and well today is the day that it finally makes it's debut!

First off, I want to give a big THANKS to my friend and long time fellow Fantasy Baseball competitor, Dan Christopherson. Dan is a sportscaster in the Portland, Oregon area - who at last report was headed off to cover March Madness. Yes, I'd like to be in your shoes, buddy! Dan was a driving force behind me creating this blog and provided me all the encouragement a guy could ever ask for. I had the privledge of filling in for Dan at an auction baseball draft on Tuesday night and had a blast! As Dan gave me the link to the draft and the participants, one name jumped out at me immediately - Scott Pianowski! For those of you that don't know, Scott is a contributor to and Yahoo Sports - he dispenses some GREAT fantasy baseball advice! I corresponded with him several times last year, so it was a lot of fun getting to draft with him and the other 8 participants. Dan sent me a PM on Wednesday thanking for me for the "great job" I did!!! Dan is a lifelong L.A. Dodger fan, so I made sure I got him a couple of Dodgers - Juan Pierre and Derek Lowe - on his roster.

Although I will be talking a lot about fantasy baseball here, I'll be talking about a lot of other things too... first and foremost at the moment is the NCAA Tournament. As some of you know, I'm a UCLA graduate so I'm a faithful Bruin supporter. Last year was a bitter pill to swallow - getting to the Championship game only to lose to Florida. It's been 12 years since we last won the title - Tyus Edney and the "coast-to-coast" drive with 4.8 seconds to play in the 2nd round against Missouri saved our season that year! Here it is on YouTube in case you don't remember or want to relive this classic: My Bruins are now in the elite-8... next up is a one seed - Kansas.

If we can beat Kansas, and Florida can take care of business against Butler and then beat the Oregon/UNLV winner, then we will have our much awaited rematch!!! Needless to say, I'm hoping for a different result this year. FYI, I got off to a VERY rocky start in my brackets... hiding out in the low and embarrassing 10% range through the first two rounds!! Fortunately for me, my final 4 - UCLA, Florida, Georgetown & Ohio State (whew x2!) - are still alive, and I'm now up to 31% in my ESPN bracket:

Another of my HUGE passions is music... I'm mainly a Country listener these days, though I do like a wide variety of music styles... I'm also a VERY avid music chart watcher (more on that another time)... so I'm really enjoying seeing my 5 favorite Country artists amongst the top 10 at the moment - Tim McGraw at #2 with "Last Dollar", Carrie Underwood at #3 with "Wasted", Martina McBride at #4 with "Anyway", Rascal Flatts at #5 with "Stand" and Keith Urban at #8 with "Stupid Boy" (which peaked at #2 last week)... For those others of you who are big Tim fans, he has a new CD coming out next Tuesday, March 27th called "Let It Go"... Martina's new CD "Waking Up Laughing" drops the following Tuedsay, April 3rd, as does a re-release of Carrie's "Some Hearts" with "exclusive digital content". One other piece of news for you Carrie fans - she's going to be on Saturday Night Live tomorrow night, along with Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning! Yes, two of my idols on the same show - I can't wait to watch!!!

Time will be in short supply for me the next week or so - I have fantasy baseball drafts happening every day the next eight days starting tomorrow morning... I will try to post as often as I can and also hope to give out some good fantasy advice and also discuss other topics of interest in future blogs... I hope you all enjoyed my first blog entry... feel free to leave me a comment!