Virgin America

Virgin America cabin
When we went to San Francisco, Erica and I flew out of Dulles International Airport (IAD) on Virgin America to San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the latest offering from Richard Branson’s empire. Like the return flight, the flight out was on a new A320.

Walking into the plane we immediately notice the mood lighting and ambient music which elicited little more than a shrug. Whatever. Each seat had its own screen with TV, music and instant messaging. I skipped the IM, but watched some TV, when the satellite feed could be picked up, until I got tired of hearing about The Mitchell Report on ESPN. Thankfully, by that time the clouds finally parted and I could look out the window. From Illinois to Nevada, the ground was snow-covered. I also listened to some tunes by Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and others. Not too bad. We could also order snacks and drinks via the touchscreen; no cash transactions on Virgin America. Typical freebies like soda were free on Virgin America as well.

The return flight, a red-eye, was more of the same, though the TVs were not able to get much this time either. Not a big deal since I slept through most of the flight. The flight attendants were a little too loud with their chatting for a red-eye though.

Overall, we were satisfied with Virgin America and would fly them again. We departed and arrived on time and our luggage arrived the same time we did. Roundtrip for the two of us came in at under $600.

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WWN PENN STATE POSTGAME #13

VS.


Penn State 24 Texas A&M 17

As expected and predicted, Penn State won the Valero Alamo Bowl. Joe Paterno wins about 67% of bowl games he has coached because he is successful in putting in new schemes like Daryl Clark running draw plays at quarterback while Anthony Morelli stays out of trouble split wide. When you consider that Morelli as a wideout ultimately meant Penn State was playing with ten players and just about every play Clark played at QB was a draw play, the success rate of Clark was phenomenal. It worked the other night, but won’t work against the top half of the Big11Ten. We still don’t know if Clark can throw the ball.

  • I think this was the Penn State bowl game that I was the least emotionally invested in ever. I even nodded off in the third quarter and missed A&M’s field goal. This is what happens when a team gets in fights off the field and underachieves on it does to fans.
  • Speaking of Morelli, he’s done! His disappointing career is finally over. I think he got some bad breaks along the way, but ultimately, he didn’t have the necessary leadership skills and accuracy to lead a high powered team.
  • Rodney Kinlaw had another 100+ yards game. He is one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. The offensive line was the most pleasant surprise of the season.
  • I’m glad the coaches didn’t panic when the Lions went down 14-0 and put the ball in Morelli’s hands too much. I guess the realized that A&M just wasn’t very good.
  • Good job by the defense overall, but holding the Aggies to no points after a 90+ yards drive has a lot to do with luck like A&M not using Jorvorskie Lane in short yardage. What were they thinking? No wonder Lane was on the sidelines crying.
  • A.J. Wallace had a costly fumble that led to 7 A&M points, but also recovered a fumble and an interception. I guess he was +1.
  • I’ll acknowledge that Erin Andrews is probably the best sideline reporter out there, but seriously, she isn’t a goddess. Good hair though.
  • Dan Connor had a solid final game, 9 tackles. He will be missed, but I still think Paul Posluszny was better overall. Sean Lee was in on 14 tackles.
  • NoVa native Evan Royster was effective in limited action, scoring the game clinching TD.
  • I’m excited about the lines for next season. The offensive line returns everyone and the defensive line will have lots of experience.
  • Good to see the cornerbacks weren’t lined-up twelve yards deep on every play.
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  • Blue White Roundtable: Alamo Bowl Eve

    This pre-Alamo Bowl edition of Blue White Roundtable features questions from all of us.

    WFY: Do you think any of the quarterbacks below Anthony Morelli will get any meaningful playing time on Saturday?

    I don’t think either Daryl Clark or Pat Devlin will get much playing time unless Penn State runs it up in the first half or Anthony Morelli gets hurt.

    The Nittany Notebook: Other than the quarterbacks, what players would you like to see get significant playing time in the game for preparation for 2008?

    Evan Royster, the next generation of linebackers and probably some DBs.

    There Is No Name On My Jersey: Will Royster finish the game healthy? If not, how concerned should fans be about the RB position in ’08?

    I will give a Joe Paterno-type answer — how should I know? I’m not too concerned about the running back position, because the offensive line looks better than it has in a long time.

    Black Shoe Diaries: Obviously a loss to Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl would be devastating for the psyche of the program going into the off season. But is there anything good that can come out of beating a middle of the road Big XII team in a non-New Years Day bowl game? Basically, tell me why I should care about this game?

    I don’t think it is devastating to loss to Texas A&M unless they are completely embarrassed. They are basically playing a road game indoors against a team that can beat Texas. A loss could provide a wake-up call to a lot of people and get them to be more motivated for 2008. That being said, I’d prefer a victory. The reason to care about this game is self-evident.

    The Nittany Line: Will 2008 be JoePa’s last year and if so will the old man bow out gracefully or will he be forced out?

    I don’t think it will be his last year because I don’t believe either Tim Curley or Graham Spainer has the guts to force Paterno out.

    Run Up the Score!: When Joe Paterno finally retires, how long of a leash should the next coach get? What’s the standard he’ll be judged by, and does your answer depend on whether the new head coach comes from within or outside the program?

    The next coach should start off with a five year contract and barring any seasons with eight or more losses after year two should be given the opportunity to coach for the duration of the contract. I believe a head coach from inside the program will be judged less harshly than an outsider, even though the opposite should be true.

    Lightning Round

    Your Alamo Bowl Prediction?

    Penn State 28 Texas A&M 20


    Hopefully, we’ll be back next week with a post-Alamo Bowl wrap-up.

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    Another ballpark I’ve never been in

    2007_1216_2007_1216(089)
    SAN FRANCISCO — A few years ago I had a page called BALLPARKS I HAVE SORT OF BEEN TO1? It was a collection of photos of me standing in front of MLB stadia that I had never seen a game in. At one time there were six, but I have since been to RFK Stadium and Citizens Bank Park for regular season games. Le Stade Olympique is no longer a MLB venue. I could probably add Nationals Park to the list, but it hasn’t hosted any regular season games yet.

    Any way, I’ve added a new ballpark to the list — Pacific Bell SBC AT&T Park. We stopped by it on the night we flew back. It was dark and my camera doesn’t take great night photos, so it is not the best example. Also, it isn’t the best photograph of me either, a longstanding tradition with this series.

    1This wasn’t originally in Blogger — I just imported it.

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    Alamo Bowl notes

    After not talking to the media for 47 days and skipping an earlier press conference, Anthony Morelli showed up at the press conference for defensive players (The Collegian). Officially, there was a mix-up the other day and he’s concerned with playing football.

    A Texas A&M yell leader had this to say (Dallas Morning News) at the joint-pep rally (which is an odd thing, no?): “Joe Paterno’s on his death bed! And someone needs to find him a casket!”

    That went over about as well as one could expect and official A&M was all apologetic. I’m not too upset — more bulletin board material for the Nittany Lions!

    By the way, I would have linked to the Patriot-News story, but there was a flash ad that wouldn’t go away and let me read the content.

    Tom Bradly isn’t going anywhere else (The Inky) — yet.

    The Philly Daily News ran a back cover story on Penn State’s linebacker tradition yesterday.

    Blue White Roundtable will appear during the lunchtime hour.

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    I-80 terminus

    I-80 weatern terminus
    SAN FRANCISCO — I can now say that I have been at both ends of Interstate 80. We jumped on it from US 101 at its western terminus for our brief jaunt to Treasure Island. I have been to the eastern terminus at I-95 in New Jersey several times. By the way, I think the eastern terminus needs to be somewhere in New York City, so that it can cross the George Washington Bridge. It would be fitting to have to big bridges on opposite ends of the road.

    I-80 is easily the longest interstate that I have seen from both ends. The next longest is probably I-78, though I may have been to both ends of I-87, I can’t say for sure. I’ve passed both ends of I-84, but I wasn’t on the eastern end, I was on I-90 (Mass Pike). I have been on all of I-66 and I-68 too.

    I-80′s current terminus was once the end of US 40 and US 50 until 1964, when California wiped out most of its US routes to avoid duplication with interstate highways. I can understand getting rid of US 40 since there is an I-40 in Southern California, but would it have been so bad to keep US 50 as a sea-to-sea route? I have been to the eastern end in Ocean City, Md. Additionally, extending US 50 back to San Francisco would mean that US 50 was routed over a Bay Bridge twice since there is the William Preston Lane Jr. (Chesapeake Bay) Bridge in Maryland. One of the spans of that cross is even the same X truss style as San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.

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    Big Dig officially done next Monday

    DSCF0270
    An old Central Artery ramp, circa 2006 (PHOTO BY WILLIAM F. YURASKO)

    On Dec. 31, It’s Official: Boston’s Big Dig Will Be DoneAP/The Post
    The $2.6 million $14.8 billion Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel Project will be declared complete on Dec. 31. I’m glad Boston is no longer bisected by an ugly highway, but to all involved, you blew it for the rest of us with all of the massive overruns and shoddy workmanship. It will be a generation before this sort of urban reclamation gets attempted again.

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