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  • It's OK to leave the bench in the NBA -- If You're a Star

    This week, it's been really tough to find a sports type yakker who thinks that the one game suspension of the Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw was justified.

    Why? Because suspending to key players for violating a rule that mandates a suspension for leaving the bench during an altercation apparently should be ignored when the next game could be directly impacted by the suspensions.

    So, since the suspended Suns actually play and contribute to the team on a nightly basis, they shouldn't have been suspended, even though they violated the rule.

    How come nobody is blasting Raja Bell for trying to mix it up with the Spurs' Robert Horry, which created the 'altercation' that activated the no-leaving-the-bench rule? If Bell doesn't mix it up with Horry, then Stoudemire and Diaw don't get suspended for leaving the bench, right?

    And how many of these sports yakkers would have been defending two players who never play for getting suspended in the same situation? If it has been Sean Marks and Pat Burke, who would have said that they shouldn't be suspended for violating the rule? Anyone? Anyone at all?

  • I don't get the DVR craze

    More and more, I am reading about how much people love their DVRs, and how unbelievably wonderful they are.

    I just don't get it.

    We have an HDTV in the house, so I can't see any point in getting a DVR that doesn't record in HD. That means I'd have to shell out HUNDREDS of dollars for an HD-capable DVR. My old fashioned VCR records HD programming just fine, at a drastically lower cost. The minor downgrade in picture quality is barely an inconvenience.

    We have 3 VCRs. We can record a program on one VCR, take the tape out, and play it in any other VCR. If I record a program on a DVR, how much hassle do I have to go through to watch it on another television? Is it even possible?

    DVRs seem to have monthly service fees. Why? So my DVR can record things I'm not smart enough to remember to tell it to record? I'm smart enough to know how to program a VCR, and it doesn't cost me a monthly fee to do it.

    Even worse, DVR programming isn't foolproof. My wife and I watched this year's Academy Awards at a house that was recording the Awards on DVR. Guess what? Since the DVR only records a program for a pre-set period of time, it stopped recording before the show was over, because the programming guide didn't know the show would run over the preset time limit, and it can't be programmed to run extra time, becuase it's not smart enough. I can program my VCR to start a few minutes before a program starts, so I don't miss the beginning, and I can program it to run as far over the end time as I can fit on a tape.

    So, until a DVR can do what my VCR can do, as reliably as my VCR can do it, as cheaply as my VCR can do it, without a monthly fee, I'm sticking with my VCR.