Thursday, December 24, 2009

Right Now

Start the clip at exactly 8:24. I'm feelin' a lot like Sheryl Yoast right now...the part of the clip I'm asking you to watch ends at 9:04.

Again, and the last time I'll say it for a while since I'm taking a break from blogging...thanks for reading. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Future


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let's Go Bowling

Here's the rest of the picks for the...uh...third most wonderful time of the year? Let's see, March Madness, NFL's Divisional playoff weekend, and then college bowl season? That's about right, and that's amazing, because college bowl season is so, so wonderful. As usual, outside the BCS, there are plenty of bright spots (Champs Sports, Capital One, Sun Bowl) and many of those "Why?" games (Insight, International). Bowls are separated by days, and when games go final, green indicates a correct pick, and red tells you that I missed (sometimes badly)...


New Mexico: Fresno State (8-4) - 33; Wyoming (6-6) - 14
St. Petersburg: Rutgers (8-4) - 24; UCF (8-4) - 23

New Orleans: Southern Miss (7-5) - 34; Middle Tennessee (9-3) - 20

Las Vegas: #14 BYU (10-2) - 30; #18 Oregon State (8-4) - 24

Poinsettia: California (8-4) - 27; #23 Utah (9-3) - 23

Hawaii: SMU (7-5) - 17; Nevada (8-4) - 10

Little Caesars: Ohio (9-3) - 691; Marshall (6-6) - 6
Meineke Car Care: #17 Pittsburgh (9-3) - 27; UNC (8-4) - 13
Emerald: Boston College (8-4) - 27; #24 USC (8-4) - 17

Music City: Kentucky (7-5) - 24; Clemson (8-5) - 17

Independence: Georgia (7-5) - 24; Texas A&M (6-6) - 10

Eaglebank: UCLA (6-6) - 20; Temple (9-3) - 17
Champs Sports: #25 Wisconsin (9-3) - 27; #15 Miami (FL) (9-3) - 23

Humanitarian: Idaho (7-5) - 27; Bowling Green (7-5) - 23
Holiday: #22 Nebraska (9-4) - 17; #20 Arizona (8-4) - 13

Armed Forces: Houston (10-3) - 45; Air Force Academy (7-5) - 27
Sun: #21 Stanford (8-4) - 35; Oklahoma (7-5) - 23
Texas: Navy (9-4) - 23; Missouri (8-4) - 14
Insight: Iowa State (6-6) - 17; Minnesota (6-6) - 13
Chick-fil-A: Tennessee (7-5) - 20; #11 Virginia Tech (9-3) - 13

Outback: Auburn (7-5) - 34; Northwestern (8-4) - 27
Capital One: #12 LSU (9-3) - 27; #13 Penn State (10-2) - 24
Gator: Florida State (6-6) - 27; #16 West Virginia (9-3) - 14
Rose: #7 Oregon (10-2) - 20; #8 Ohio State (10-2) - 14
Sugar: #5 Florida (12-1) - 23; #3 Cincinnati (12-0) - 20

International: South Florida (7-5) - 23; Northern Illinois (7-5) - 14
Cotton: #19 Oklahoma State (9-3) - 27; Mississippi (8-4) - 20 Connecticut (7-5) - 27; South Carolina (7-5) - 20
Liberty: Arkansas (7-5) - 27; East Carolina (9-4) - 14
Alamo: Texas Tech (8-4) - 34; Michigan State (6-6) - 20

Fiesta: #4 TCU (12-0) - 27; #6 Boise State (13-0) - 24

Orange: #9 Georgia Tech (11-2) - 33; #10 Iowa (10-2) - 27

GMAC: Central Michigan (11-2) - 44; Troy (9-3) - 27

Nat'l Championship: #2 Texas (13-0) - 27; #1 Alabama (13-0) - 21

Overall: 19-15


It's the (third) mossssst wonderful timeeee of the year! Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

p.s. chips and salsa is a great snack to have handy when you're bowling.

College Football: A Look Back, A Look Forward

Preseason college football polls are awful. They always have been, and they make for mass confusion at the end of the season. But I finally know why they exist.
Preseason polls are created so the voters can see how their predictions held up at the end of the season.
I'm finding out that the best part of making predictions is going back at the end of the year and finding out just how good (or bad) you did. My first year of college football predictions actually went pretty well. Here's the look-back. (My preseason picks are in red (wrong) and green (correct))

Heisman Trophy Winner: Colt McCoy, Texas
Actual: Mark Ingram, Alabama

ACC Champion: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

I'm very proud of this one...GT had its' best season since the '50's and I rode the triple-option train all year long.

Big Ten Champion: Penn State Nittany Lions
Actual: Ohio State Buckeyes

It's quite funny, actually, if you know anything about the recent history of Ohio State football, it seems like the Buckeye fan base loses faith in the team after they perennially lose to USC. It was the same story this year. OSU loses to Southern Cal and to Purdue, the season is seemingly lost, and then they run the table to get to their first Rose Bowl in forever. It's about time the state of Ohio had a better-than-disappointing football team (the Bengals' great season coupled with Cincy's BCS berth gives Ohio THREE postseason the apocalypse coming?)

Big East Champion: South Florida Bulls
Actual: Cincinnati Bearcats

It may look like a horrible pick, but USF was crushed by injuries, and both Cincinnati and South Florida were talented and unranked at the start of the season (how ridiculous does THAT sound for Cincy?).

Big Twelve Champion: Texas Longhorns

There was never any doubt. This pick was really too easy.

Pac-10 Champion: Oregon Ducks

I'm most proud of my Oregon pick. For as much as I was on the GT train all year, I was driving the Oregon bandwagon from day one (yes, even after they got dismantled on the blue turf at Boise). UO's win over Arizona was one of my favorite games of the year, and, as always, Oregon's jerseys never disappointed.

SEC Champion: Florida Gators
Actual: Alabama Crimson Tide

Very glad this pick didn't come true. Alabama was clearly the better team in the SEC Championship game (and all year, for that matter), but if Florida would have won the SEC, Tebow would have been in serious talk for the Heisman, and as I've said before, that would have been a travesty.

MAC Champion: Central Michigan Chippewas
Mountain West Champion: TCU Horned Frogs
WAC Champion: Boise State Blue Fields

These three were no-brainers from the beginning.

Conference USA Champion: Houston Cougars
Actual: East Carolina Pirates

I'm legitimately upset about Houston not winning C-USA. ECU needed OT to upset the Cougs in the title game, and you probably didn't even think about reading about how it happened, because it's C-USA, right? You saw the headline and glanced over it to read about how Tiger had an affair with Joan Rivers or someone (too soon?), but I lost my mind when I heard. Case Keenum isn't a "Rick", but he was "Rick-diculous" in 2009, routinely throwing for over 500 yards in single games. East Carolina, prepare to enter my doghouse, effective immediately.

Sun Belt Champion: Florida International Golden Panthers
Actual: Troy Trojans

It was a shot in the dark, ok? I had no realistic chance at getting this one right.

Do they matter anymore?
Notre Dame: 7-5
Actual: 6-6

Michigan: 6-6
Actual: 5-7

BCS Bowl Predictions:
BCS National Championship Game: Tim Tebow's vs. Colt 45's
Rose Bowl (of course, presented by Citi): Oregon Ducks vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Sugar Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Boise State Blue Fields
Orange Bowl: South Florida Bulls vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Fiesta Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Southern California Trojans
Missed on: TCU, Iowa, Cincinnati

Season picks: 48-25 (wow, not bad for a first year)
Now that we've recapped the season, complained about the BCS and watched Tebow get knocked out for the ump-teenth time (the song is the best part of that video), we can go bowling. I'll give you today's picks, and then get the rest of them out there in a day or two.

New Mexico: Fresno State - 33; Wyoming - 14
St. Petersburg: Rutgers - 24; UCF - 23

Thanks for reading.

p.s. I've gotten a bunch of inquiries about the Winter Olympics Competition, and my answer is still the same...I have no idea whether I won or not. Hopefully I'll be finding out in the next few days, but I can't say enough how much I appreciate the support I got from all of you. If you voted for me or told me you read my writing, even if I don't personally know you, I can't thank you enough. Even if I don't win, seeing all the support I got from everyone in my life will be the silver lining.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Can You Not Laugh?

So simple, yet so hilarious. Even SportsCenter anchors are in awe of the Arnold Palmer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Heisman Pick

     Can you think of a Heisman race that has ever been this wide-open? Seriously, the award could go to any of the five finalists, and I think that makes for great TV...anyway, I'm not even sure I have a guess as to who will win (I might by the time I finish this article, but my pick will change three times today).  So, let's break it down.

The Legacy
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida Gators
Passing: 182/279 (65%), 2,413 yds, 18 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: 203 rush, 859 yds, 13 TD

I'm not saying Tebow isn't a great football player, because he is.  But if he wins his second Trophy, it will be the travesty of all travesties. Honestly, he has been just a mediocre version of his 2007 - and even his 2008 - self, he just happens to be the best player on the formerly-best-team-in-the-country.  Side note: That argument for the Heisman winner is complete garbage.  Why should whether or not you're 12-0 or 11-1 make any difference whether you win the award? If his name wasn't Tim Tebow he wouldn't even be invited (enter, Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State).

The Star with No Shot
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska Huskers
87 tackles, 47 solo, 12 sacks, 12 quarterbacks who crapped their pants when playing him

That last stat is unofficial, of course.  Suh has been phenomenal all year, but no one outside of college football diehards and Nebraska fans really knew who he was.  Until last week, that is.  Good ol' Colt is one of those twelve QB's who need new pants.  Four sacks and much havoc reeked on a team who is playing for the National Championship.  We saw more ridiculous individual performances this year that we've ever seen before, and that was certainly one of them.

The Trendy Gunslinger
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas Longhorns
Passing: 330/468 (70%), 3,512 yds, 27 TD, 12 INT
Rushing: 128 rush, 327 yds, 3 TD

Ladies and gentlemen, a quarterback should not win the Heisman this year. Even though I picked Colt 45 to win it in the preseason, voters usually love quarterbacks from Nat'l Championship-caliber teams, and was hoping he'd have a Heisman-type game against Nebraska last week, we've already established that he did not (see: Suh, Ndamukong).  McCoy was another QB who didn't come close to his 2008 stats, and that (should) hurt him in the voting.  I would be extremely surprised if he wins the award, but then again I've been surprised before (hello, Jason White over Larry Fitzgerald).

The Sleeper
Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford Cardinal
Rushing: 311 rush, 1,736 yds, 26 TD
Receiving: 10 rec, 149 yds

I sure hope you saw Toby run wild over Notre Dame, because if you didn't, wow, you missed out on one of the finest performances of the year.  Just a little taste. Kid's an absolute beast, and he is absolutely deserving of winning tonight.  He leads the country in yards and touchdowns (and I'm told he's a stellar student at Stanford, of all places).  If you've never watched him play first-hand, you probably think he's a nobody. But let me tell you, he will be drafted higher than Tebow in the NFL draft next April, you can bet on it.

The Winner
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Rushing: 249 rush, 1,542 yds, 15 TD
Receiving: 30 rec, 322 yds, 3 TD

I struggled with this pick, even as I wrote the Gerhart paragraph, and I know in an hour I'll change my mind.  Ingram has been more than incredible for 11 games, and, most importantly, was huge in the blowout of Florida which made Tebow cry and Urban Meyer dehydrate himself so he could feel more pain (I kid, I kid).  He, like Gerhart, is not flashy (like a Reggie Bush), but he is an extremely dangerous running back who will beat you up and knock you down whenever he wants to.

Want to know how close the top two are (and not just in my head)? On's "Heisman Watch," the panel of voters wound up giving Ingram and Gerhart 77 points each.  So, if it's a tie there, and it's basically a tie in my head too, can't we just have them suit up and run at each other full-speed?  I say the one who knocks the other one backward is the winner.

Good idea?

Thanks for reading, enjoy the night.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

(Follow-up) Three Hours of More Disappointment, Followed by 21 Yards of Pure Joy

     Last night, I was ecstatic.
     Tonight, I was franticly worried.
     All I needed was seven points from Ray Rice to get my fantasy football team into the playoffs. To put it into perspective, I'm talking about a running back who was averaging 20 per game.  Seven points is the equivalent to fifty total yards and two catches out of the backfield. It was just that easy.
     Well, after an opening-drive fumble by Rice (-2 pts.) and Ray completely disappearing as his team struggled on offense, my playoff hopes came down to a drive that, the scope of the NFL, did. not. matter.
     See, Rice was stuck on five points for the majority of the fourth quarter, and if that were to finish that way, Team B (and consequently me) would lose by two points.
     Baltimore was down 27-14 with less than two minutes to go.  Green Bay was going to win, there was no doubt.  All it would take was one catch for three or more yards (Rice had 17 yards receiving to that point) to make me postseason bound.  But Joe Flacco looked awful.  It looked like he'd never complete another pass.  And I had just about given up hope and turned the game off to catch up on Family Guy and Flashforward.  But then it happened.
     On first-and-15 and from the shotgun, Flacco handed the ball to Rice (!!!), and Rice found a hole in the line and exploded into the Packers secondary.  He got the first down.  I checked the box score.  He only needed 17 rushing yards to get two more fantasy points.

Mike: "a 21-yard run for Rice gives the Ravens a first-down and, oh, this just in, Grant Burkhardt's fantasy football has just secured the last spot in the playoffs! Listen to the crowd roar!"

(That's a loose translation of course, I wasn't able to hear what he was saying over the Lambeau Field crowd. I just figured that's what he said.)
     A side-note: I'm realizing that garbage-time drives are horrific for fantasy owners.  From Favre's TD pass to Harvin to Rice's 21-yard miracle, I've had enough football for a while.
     But the playoffs begin this weekend. And Team "Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe" (say it fast for full effect) is going to be playing for the Championship.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What's Great About Sports

     In a game between two teams who had combined to win TWO games, Matthew Stafford made Detroit believe in the Lions.  Here's what the best game of the season sounded like from inside the helmet of the hero.

A Moment of Disappointment, Followed by One of Joy

     If you know me even a small amount, you probably know that I'm an avid fantasy sports player.  I've played everything from fantasy football to fantasy bass fishing.  Yes, I'm insane, I get that a lot actually.  But have you tried it? Fantasy sports are addicting. Ask my dad, who was in the room talking to me about fantasy sports when I explained my situation to him.
     One of my fantasy football teams was sitting on the outside of the playoff picture looking in coming into this week, the final week of the regular season.  I needed to beat a 9-3 division leader (a week after beating the then-top-ranked team in the league) and get help to grab the last spot in the postseason.  Highly unlikely.
     So, for the second straight week, my team played inspired (fantasy) football and beat a tough opponent (you'll find that I refer to my fantasy team as if it were a real football team) by a bunch.
     Now I needed help.  The team in front of me, Team A, HAD to lose or my streak of consecutive postseason appearances (six) would be over.  But, as of 8:00 p.m., it didn't look likely.  Team A had a twenty-five-point lead and Brett Favre left to play, whereas its' opponent, Team B, had the Vikings defense, Percy Harvin, and Baltimore's Ray Rice.  Definitely going to be close.
    As the Sunday night game goes along, it becomes apparent that Brett simply doesn't have it tonight, and I might have a chance to squeak into the playoffs.  My dad and I are talking about this possibility, and he says that as long as Favre, who my dad is playing against this week, doesn't throw a touchdown in the last two minutes, we're both making the playoffs in our respective leagues.
    Well, as Favre would do, he drove the Vikings down to the Cardinals 31-yard line.  I'll let Al Michaels take it from here.

Al: "Favre back to pass, steps aside the rush and slings it down the middle, and it's caught for the touchdown!"...

     Utter devastation. My head hits my comforter in pure disbelief, and my dad's slumps to his chest. No playoffs for us this year.

..."to Percy Harvin!"


     My room became a place of complete euphoria.
     Explanation: Because Brett's pass went to Harvin and not someone else, Team B got a point for the reception, three for the yardage, and six for the touchdown.  So instead of being down by 17 going into tomorrow's game, Team B is only down seven. And as long as Ray Rice doesn't get injured or have a horrid game, I'm going to make the playoffs. Incredible.
     Honestly, I know I'm a big proponent of sports. I love them, and they love me back.  I say this a lot, sure, but emotion like that only happens in sports. Even if they're fantasy sports.
     Oh, and my dad? Euphoria never hit my old man.  His postseason hopes were dashed by Favre's garbage-time touchdown.
     There's always next year, dad.
     (Fantasy) Sports can be cruel.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Anatomy of a Jersey Selection

It's December already? Wow. Christmas is quickly approaching, and you'd like Santa to get you a cool jersey.  But which one do you choose to put on your list?  The jersey-selection process is quite a science, trust me.  I've made every jersey faux pas known to sports fans, so I think I can help.  Here's how you should proceed.  Consider every option before you make a choice.

The Draft Pick:
You're stoked about your team's most recent first-rounder (or second rounder, in some cases), and the Cheese of the organization just gave Mr. Super-Athlete the big bucks, so you decide he's your guy.  He's a no-brainer.  He was incredible in college, maybe won the Heisman, and is going to be a stud in the pros, you have no doubt.

You promptly buy a Reggie Bush jersey. Ohno!

(Not to say Reggie isn't a good football player, but if you splurged and bought a Bush jersey (like I so desperately wanted to) you've seen a career of mediocrity, injury, and only a few flashes of brilliance - don't you wish you would have gone with the "Star" approach?)

I was with you on this approach for the longest time.  I loved when the Steelers would draft new players so I could ogle at the sight of new jerseys in all the stores.

Grant's previous choice:  Antwaan Randle-El, former wide-receiver/returner, Pittsburgh Steelers. 

So, I got overly-excited and asked for an Antwaan Randle-El jersey.  Ugh.  Horrible.  He ran back a few punts for touchdowns in his first year and I thought, "Alright, I made a great choice! Guy's electric!" But then I realized he couldn't play wide receiver if I was covering him, and El hit the road in free agency.  Jersey Gods - 1, Grant - 0.  Proceed with caution.

The Popular Role Guy:
I've been a fan of this one too, and the "Role Player" theory is one I fully endorse.  Go with a sure-handed tight end, a sixth man (Ben Gordon comes to mind), or a lock-down defenseman (Nicklas Lidstrom?).  But please, avoid kickers at all costs.  You'll just look like you're trying too hard. (Side note: The kicker part also applies to putting your own name on the back of the jersey...don't do it.  You'll just look dumb)

Grant's previous choice: Heath Miller, tight end, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sure-handed, reliable, and has a long-term contract.  Bingo.

The Star Player:
To me, this is a rookie mistake.  You go to the local sporting goods store and you see "Peterson," "James," "Ovechkin," or "Manning" and you automatically pounce and say, "YES! I love jersey shopping. So fun and so convenient!"  Wrong.

Sure, the star has lasting power, and yes he's the best and most well-known of the players on the team, but how many people do you see in stadiums wearing the pin-striped #2? Way. Too. Many.  But ok, I can't fault you for wanting to go with the biggest and the best.

So go ahead, be cliché.  Creativity and imagination? Nah, not needed.  Psh, I remember MY first jersey (black-and-gold Jerome Bettis jersey)...haven't seen any of those before now have you?

Grant's previous choice(s): Roethlisberger, Polamalu, a blue Sidney Crosby jersey, 

The Collegiate Favorite:
This is close, but it's not quite what you want.  Main problem?  Slightly different from the "El" situation, college players have a permanent shelf life.  Then after that, you're subject to one of a few scenarios:

Scenario One:  Because most college jerseys don't have names attached, you get post-player-graduation questions like, "Whose jersey is that?" And you end up explaining who the player is, why you bought the jersey, and why the player was so, so good when he played.

Scenario Two:  Once again, because of the no-names thing, you get asked, "Is that (insert player who has taken your jersey's number)'s jersey? Good choice!"  You can either lie and say you recently bought the jersey because you like said player, or you can repeat the end of scenario one.

Grant's previous choice: Julius Page, number 1, former high-flying guard, Pittsburgh Panthers basketball.  

Page was my favorite player when I first started loving Pitt basketball.  I would have loved to see him in a dunk contest, but never got the chance.  In his sophomore and junior seasons, the kid could hit three's from literally everywhere.  He was fast, he was electric, and he was a joy to watch on the court.  Unfortunately Julius couldn't hit the Berlin Wall (before it got torn down, of course) in his senior year, but my love for JPage didn't end.

(Side note for scenario two: Keith Benjamin and Travon Woodall. The two players who wore Page's number after he graduated.  In my eyes, neither will ever be able to carry Julius' jock strap, but I am slightly biased)

The Team Jersey:
"But Grant, I don't want to fall victim to any of these problems, so I'm just gonna get a jersey that doesn't have a name or number on the back...solves all my problems."

Don't let a few bad relationships get you turned off from them altogether!  You have to take a chance!  Don't close your heart off forever! Wait, what am I talking about here?

Grant's previous choice(s): Assorted non-commitments

Something resembling a hockey jersey with PITTSBURGH spelled out diagonally across the front.  I guess my parents thought I could wear it to any sporting venue?

And, most recently, a Pittsburgh Pirates jersey.  Come on! You can't blame me for that! They trade EVERYONE, ALL THE TIME.  I'm a huge Pirates fan and I have to support my team, but it's just a bad investment!  Get off my back, please.

The Throwback:

The throwback is the no-risk, all-reward selection.  It's the Kevin Durant-as-the-first-pick choice, it's that eas--oh wait, Portland missed on that one. Ok, bad example, but you get the idea.  You can't lose with a throwback.

The majority of players available for purchase on a throwback are already either in the Hall of Fame or extremely close.  And as an added bonus, throwbacks are usually cool colors that show off how classy an individual you are.  Plus, you aren't obligated to pick a throwback of your own team, so if, say, you're a fan of the now-0-18 New Jersey Nets, you could go with a Shawn Kemp or a Shaq-circa-Orlando jersey.

Also, you have the option of something outside professional sports...may I suggest a Rizzo sweater?

Grant's future choice: Rod Woodson, former defensive back, Pittsburgh Steelers

Number 26 was my favorite Steeler when I was little, and one of my most vivid early memories is seeing RW intercept an Oakland Raiders pass and return it for a touchdown along the far sideline.  He was the best.

If you're in a bind, and in need of a jersey, I suggest you print this out and keep it with you while you shop.  I'm not saying my methods are foolproof, but if the saying "You have to lose before you can win" is true, then I think I've made enough bad jersey decisions to deem my current strategy at least "usable."

Have a great time, jersey shopping is simply good, old-fashioned, family fun. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Problem with the Tiger Saga

     My problem is not with the Enquirer's story.
     My problem is not with Tiger's silence.
     My problem is not even with the never ending coverage of what could turn out to be a "nothing" story just because it's about a God-man who can hit a 9-iron farther than I can shoot a gun.
     My problem is that no one seems to have any respect for Tiger's family.
     For example, every major media outlet has begun calling his wife (yes, they're still married) Elin Nordegren.  Don't see the mistake?  She got married.  Her name is Elin Woods.  Nothing changes with an article from the National Enquirer.  Have some respect, please.
     I'm not saying that I have an opinion on his speculated affair.  The most I'll say is that I sure hope it isn't true, but mostly because I like to take the "Brighter Look" (hence the name of my site) on things.  I'll be the first to tell you that I do not believe ANYTHING a tabloid says.  I mean, do you?
     When you see a tabloid at the checkout counter, isn't your first reaction to read the headline and laugh?  Because they're obviously making a huge deal out of absolutely nothing.  And if Brad and Angelina don't have to respond to malicious rumors just because they're so used to them, why does Tiger?
     Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Back to the Normal...for Now

     The Olympic contest voting period is over.  But, wow, it was a crazy ride.
     Thanks to everyone who voted for me, I reallyreallyreallyreally appreciate it.  Hopefully I'll be getting a call soon saying I made the Finals (top three), and if/when I do, I will let all of you know.
     And hopefully I'll get to see Apollo become the most decorated American winter Olympian ever.  That way I'd be able to say "Ohno!" every time there's a crash in any sport. Maybe that's only funny to me?
     In other news, I think I need to come up with a unique logo for my site...any ideas?