**Just a note, as part of our ever expanding service, the Meade TV weblog is now posting the “Soundoff’s” Jibber, Jabber column each week.  Unfortunately as you read through it each week, you’ll see that despite the self-professed deep knowledge of sports, the writer is horribly misguided.  Again, unfortunately he’s my boss!

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March 18th, 2009

Sheet of Integrity

You can tell a lot about a person just by how he fills out his tournament bracket.  For example, back in the day when all I had was my mind on my money and my money on my mind, I’d fill out scores of brackets, each one different than the next, in the hopes of increasing my chances at the pot cash at the end of Cousin Shane’s tourney challenge rainbow.  However, a lot has changed since then. I still fill out my bracket, though not with Cousin Shane – Allah is not cool with gambling and it seems like my cousin, a.k.a Claw, is not interested in brackets that do not have $20 bills attached to them.

That’s cool though [even if it’s still kind of jerkish] because I’m a changed man. I no longer carelessly throw bracket sheets around like they are $20 bills in Pacman Jones’ trash bag.  Instead, I’m a one bracket man.  I call it my sheet of integrity (Copyright Mike and Mike in the Morning) and it represents my best and only chance at the perfect bracket.  Gone are the days of flip flopping to whatever bracket is winning.  I no longer gloat over that 15 over two shocker I picked on the seventh of my 10 sheets commonly known as “my upset special” where of course the real upset on that sheet occurred when I picked a favorite to win.   Now the only piece of evidence to validate my college b-ball knowledge is one lone sheet.

If I only got five teams left in the Sweet 16, then obviously I’m a fraud. However, if I’m still strong three rounds in, I legitimately have an elite eight and have the right to make everyone call me daddy, Le Dad or padre depending on how I’m feeling.  Of course, most years you would never see my bracket so I could tell you my sheet of integrity included all four final four teams and Virginia Commonwealth in the Elite 8 and you wouldn’t know better.  But thanks to technology, and the Meade TV Web Blog that’s changed. I’m posting my Sheet of Integrity on the Blog and I’m challenging you to do the same.

If you’re reading this before noon on Thursday you still have time to go to https://meadetv.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/meade-tv-ncaa-challenge/     and register for the Meade TV Bracket challenge.  Our friends at MWR have hooked us up with some prizes including  2 tickets to a major league sporting event, a free round of golf and cart , and two-two game passes at the Lanes.  Plus you get the chance to test your b-ball IQ against the entire installation.

But for those of you not up on the Blog, yet, here is a glimpse of my bracket. All the picks aren’t here, but certainly enough to make your sheet of integrity an accurate one. Or, for those of still chasing that bracket paper, maybe an upset you haven’t picked yet.

First Round: All the 1’s and 2s will advance

Biggest Upsets: #14 Stephen Austin over #3 Syracuse, #11 Utah State over #6 Marquette, #11 VCU over # 6 UCLA

Sweet 16: All four number ones

Cinderellas: Michigan, Minnesota and VCU

Elite 8: Louisville will fall to Utah, Michigan and VCU will still be dancing too.

Final Four: Michigan St, UCONN, Gonzaga and Pittsburgh. Go to the Blog to see who will be cutting down the nets.

Enjoy the tournament and get to the Blog.

For more information on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones@us.army.mil.


Jan. 29, 2009

Isn’t it just my luck?

One week after booking my first voyage to the motherland, planes start falling out of the sky like that’s what the Wright Brothers invented them to do.

First, some fowl forces one plane to land in the Hudson River, and just two days ago a cargo plane took a dive in Texas. And I thought the worst part of my trip to Africa was going to be spending 38 hours in the friendly skies with a 1-year-old or missing the Super Bowl.

Speaking of which, I need to thank all of you who provided me suggestions for how to solve my little issue. Some of them were actually pretty good, and one even inspired me to write the Mauritian Embassy.

It reads: Dear Mr Ambassador: My name is Chad Jones and I’m going to be traveling with my family to Mauritius for the first time from Jan. 29 through Feb. 9. I have a somewhat silly request, but nonetheless one that I’d really like some help with.

As you know, Super Bowl XLIII is taking place on Feb. 1. I believe it will start at 4:30 a.m. Feb. 2 Mauritius time.

I would really like to find somewhere to be able to watch the game, even if it is tape delayed later in the day. Do you have any suggestions for hotels or anywhere else that could be showing the game? This is a serious request, I promise. Respectfully, Chad T. Jones.

I even used my full work title and everything, but believe it or not, I haven’t received a response yet. I certainly hope this is not a sign of the hospitality I’ll get on my trip.

Anyway, I would love to share the rest of the suggestions, but recent developments in the sky have compelled me to make one more brash statement before I test fate and put my life in the hands of a pilot and the Man upstairs.

And that statement is … The Arizona Cardinals are going to win on Sunday.

Sorry Doug Wise and the rest of you Steeler fans. I know how much you want the Curtain to grab their sixth ring, but it’s not going to happen.

Now before you try to stuff your terrible towels down my throat, please allow me to use a couple of graphs to tell you why.

1) Arizona’s Defense: I know the Steel Curtain is the defensive unit everyone wants to talk about and they deserve it. They’re the best defense in football. However, since the playoffs began, Arizona’s D hasn’t been bad at all. In fact, they are only giving up one more point per game during the playoffs (20.7 points per game) than the Steelers (19.0 PPG) despite playing far superior offenses. No disrespect Baltimore, but your “offense” scores about as much as I did in high school. Not to mention, Arizona has forced five more turnovers (11-6) and has as many sacks (7) as Pittsburgh this postseason. In fairness, Pittsburgh has had to play one less game, but the bottom line is Arizona’s D matches up well with the Steelers so-so offense (309.5 yards per game).

2) Larry Fitzgerald: Pittsburgh’s cornerback Ike Taylor is a dawg, but he’s messing with a whole different breed of receiver in Larry Fitzgerald. The dude is a beast, especially in the playoffs where he has 23 receptions, 419 yards and an NFL record five touchdowns. Of course Pittsburgh’s vaunted pass rush led by linebackers Lamar Woodley (go, Blue) and James Harrison should keep Fitzgerald from getting deep, but now that Fitz is getting open underneath, he’s absolutely unstoppable. The real dilemma for Pittsburgh is if they decide to double team Fitzgerald, then another bad mamma jamma, Anquan Boldin, will be open to wreck shop.

3) The Dallas Cowboys: You had to know it was going to get back to America’s Team at some point. Bottom line is if Pittsburgh wins their sixth ring, then they can make a legitimate claim to being the greatest franchise in football history. Nobody wants that and nobody’s going to have to get it. I’m so sure of it that if Pittsburgh does win, I’ll wear Mr. Wise’s Greg Lloyd jersey and walk around post. That is if he’ll let me.

So there it is. Many things may go wrong during the next couple of weeks, but this bold prediction isn’t one of them. Expect a real competitive game, but in the end Arizona will raise the Lombardi Trophy. MVP Ð Larry Fitzgerald. Final Score Ð Arizona 24, Pittsburgh 20.

See you in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, if you have questions with this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones@us.army.mil.


Third World Super Bowl

By Chad T. Jones

Acting Public Affairs Officer

I’m coming to you a mere two hours into Barack Obama’s presidency (2 p.m. on Tuesday) and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t caught up in the moment – even though I’m a little miffed by the ending of the benediction and the scattering of boos I heard for our newest former commander in chief.

Some things just aren’t necessary, especially on such a momentous occasion.

But that’s the nature of free speech and I certainly appreciate the peaceful, though disrespectful, dissent witnessed on the steps of the Capitol over the alternative – see China, Taliban and my mom’s husband, George. That man didn’t take dissent well at all.

Let me tell you something I don’t take well: The prospect of not being able to watch Super Bowl XLIII.

Me not watching the Super Bowl?  Unthinkable, right?


Not only is missing the Steelers versus Cardinals thinkable, it’s probable now that I’m heading to the island of Mauritius on Jan. 29.

For those of you inept in African geography, Mauritius is a tiny island east of Madagascar (that’s the big island east of South Africa). Population:

1,228,000. Capital: Port Louis. Knowledge of football: Zero.

I’m not quite sure how a group of people blessed with the benefit of electricity, testosterone and a hankering for grilled food doesn’t know about the Super Bowl, but Mauritius did it.

In fact, according to relatives who’ve spent time on the island, there¹s a better chance I’ll be attacked by a spider monkey than watch Big Ben throw a touchdown.

To be frank, the prospect is scary. Certainly scarier than a spider monkey bite.

But with 12 days until kickoff, I still have time to pull a MacGyver and make things happen. And by MacGyver, I mean I’m going to grab a metal hanger, stand on top of my father-in-law’s hut and see what signal the Indian Ocean current brings in.

“Chad, Chad, you are too fat for that bamboo roof! Get off,” the old man will say.

“Well you’re too old, Pops, so hold on. I think I got some – AHHHHHHH [Thud]!” Anyway, I’m really in a lurch here and don’t like the prospect of being concussed, so I need your help in solving this pending crisis.

No ideas will be completely rejected, just know I might not be working with the most up-to-date equipment.

Yes, they have the Internet, but not at the house.

I do have television, but not cable (though maybe a satellite). Oh, and there are an awful lot of coconut and mango trees.

Now, if I was the professor on “Gilligan’s Island,” I could probably take a couple of mangos, a coconut leaf, maybe something one of those monkeys will throw at me, and hook it up, but I’m not.

I’m a lowly journalist who has a jonesin’ for some football. So, that is your charge, Fort Meade. You’re supposedly the pre-eminent center for information and intelligence, so prove it, because I need some intelligent suggestions on how to get some vital information on Feb. 1.

And remember, in helping me, you could be helping the world.

Making sure I watch the big game will be spreading one of the greatest pieces of Americana to a part of the world whose only images of our great nation are Britney Spears and whatever TMZ decides to show.

You don’t want that, our new commander in chief doesn’t want that and I – well, I don’t care too much about that. But I certainly care about not missing the Super Bowl, so hook a brother up and send your suggestions as well as questions on anything to do with the world of sports to chad.t.jones@us.army.mil.


Resolute this

Well folks, here we are, 2009.
Change is around every corner and to be honest, not a moment too soon.
As many of you know, sports didn’t treat me well in 2008.   To put it in perspective, the only way the sports world could have been a bigger nightmare is if  The Boy signed a letter of intent to play for “Sweater vest”  in Columbus, O-H-I-O or if my daughter brought Michael Vick home for the weekend.   “Isn’t he the best, Daddy!  And he¹s so good to animals.”   Now, hopefully, the Man upstairs will never be that cruel to me, but you never know.

     I mean through all of his divinity and perfection, he’s found a way to make some pretty dumb sports fans.   Case in point, the goof ball I met a couple of weeks ago.   Some last-minute scheduling by the NFL forced me to watch the Cowboys season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles at a local sports establishment.   Now, I’ve been to more than one sports bar in my life, so I knew I needed to be prepared for some crazy talk  (that’s what happens when you mix passionate, overly optimistic fans with fifths of alcohol.)
So after Tony Romo turned the ball over, again, I was expecting some over-exaggerated chatter.   But I never expected this, especially from a fellow Cowboys fans.   “It’s all right [swig of cheap beer].  Romo is garbage [shot of something very potent].   But you know who Jerry Jones needs to get [burp]? Michael Vick.”  She was as serious as the heart attack I was having. And you know what’s worse? People were agreeing with her.   To be fair, most of them hated the Cowboys and only agreed because they knew teaming Vick with the likes of  T.O. and Pacman would be as successful as if one of the Big Three automakers came out with a new line of domestic monster trucks.
Of course, if Ford or GM were to do that, the American taxpayer would be out a couple billion more dollars and all would be well again.
However, a Vick signing would have more serious consequences, namely plague, drought and all those other signs of the Apocalypse.   Seriously, that one person’s stupidity has stuck with me for more than two weeks, and after some serious soul-searching, I figured out it’s because I wasn’t man enough to address the issue when it occurred.   I let it go with barely an eye twitch and a wish for something with codeine, lots of codeine.  And since that fateful day, every empty moment has been filled with what I should have or could have said.

     It’s the same feeling you get when you think of a comeback 15 minutes after you were blasted with a really good burn or you work through a good response to your boss’  reasoning for giving you a less-than-fair rating 10 minutes after your counseling session is over.   The only difference is that when you don’t respond to your boss or a good cutdown, the only person that is hurt is you.   However, by not putting this wayward fan in her place, she probably left the bar still thinking she knew what she was talking about. I probably even emboldened her to spew that garbage to another innocent, normal-thinking sports fan. That’s just irresponsible on my part. That’s also something I promise I’ll never do to you again.

     There’s no better time to make a resolution than the new year. Some vow to lose weight, watch less TV or even spend more time with the kids.
I, on the other hand, promise to put fans in their place whenever and wherever it’s needed.   So go ahead and talk about how great a quarterback is because he can throw 80 yards on one knee, or how the BCS is a fair system, or how soccer is a real sport.   But do so at your own peril and remember what Drill Sgt. Spann told me before I got to go in public for the first time during basic training.   “Have fun, Private, but just remember, I don’t care about your e-go, so wherever you step out is where I’m going to put you down.”   Amen, Drill Sergeant, Amen.


Shoe to the dome!
12/18/08Chad T. JonesBy Chad T. Jones
Acting Public Affairs Officer
Have you ever had to work with a headache? Man it stinks.  

I’ve been wandering around all day feeling like I just got hit in the face with a shoe.


Fortunately, nothing like that would ever happen to me. The only thing being thrown my way nowadays is the love from the eight or so brave souls who admit they read my words. (I’m looking at you, Donna Ball.)
I did, however, have to go under the knife for about nine seconds.
A physician’s assistant found something growing on my head that she didn’t like and decided to lop it off before anything serious could happen.
At least that’s what she said.
My guess is she wanted an excuse to run her fingers through my thick, curly locks. And believe me, as someone who gets to live with this mop, I can’t blame her. My hair is niiice!
With that off my chest — or head, to be precise, I must admit the frisky-fingered PA did rattle my cage a bit when she threw out the word cancer when describing my growth.
“Not the bad kind,” she assured me, though I’m pretty sure all cancer is at least partially bad — sort of like work.

Think about it, cancer. The word alone forces a person to reflect.

At least it did for me.

And at 34 years old, I’ve done some pretty cool things in my personal and professional life. I’ve also had some sweet opportunities in the sports world.

Some of my most notable include: Having the response to a question I asked Tiger Woods aired on “SportsCenter”; being on the sidelines for two NFL Pro Bowls; walking through the Schofield Barracks commissary with Keyshawn Johnson; traveling with the Fort Meade men’s varsity basketball team to the national intramural tournament; and of course, running Randy Johnson off a blackjack table in Las Vegas. I’d tell you more, but unfortunately, what happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas.

Anywho, the more grateful I became for the things I’ve done, the more I couldn’t help but think about the things I still want to do.

And since I heard some late-night life coach tell some poor sap that the best way to accomplish your goals is by writing them down, here we go:

1) I would like to visit every major league baseball stadium. There is nothing like walking into a baseball park for the first time, especially when you are rolling deep with your best friends. Projected completion: 2026. After Man Weekend ’09 takes me to Cincy, I’ll have 13 stadiums down, 17 more to go.

2) Army/Navy football game. I know the game itself is as predictable as the sunrise and as interesting as a command brief, but come on. The spectacle is certainly worth the two-hour trip to Philadelphia. The Grey Line, rockets, maybe even a visit by the president — who wouldn’t want to go, especially if you can arrange a press pass like a certain acting PAO can? Projected Completion: Next year.

3) I think I’d like to try streaking. Imagine it, me wearing only what God made me, shaking my money-maker on the 50-yard line. Projected Completion: Surprise is half the battle, so you’ll just have to wait and see. But be warned. Unless you’re at a game involving children, none of you are completely safe from the pending awesomeness.

4) I want to win a Copper Championship. My fantasy trophy case is pretty full, but the one trophy I’m missing is the one I want the most. I’ve been playing in my Copper League since 2001 and have yet to enter the elusive hall of champions. I have to say 2004 was my biggest disappointment. I went into the championship with maybe the best team ever, but went home without a trophy because I sat Tiki Barber on a 24-point weekend. The loss still hurts, but I did learn a valuable lesson: Always go with your big guns. Projected completion: One day. I’m playing in my fourth championship game in a row this weekend against the very scrappy Fudge Factor. After Monday I’ll either be the Buffalo Bills or World Champ. You’ll find out next week.

5) Coach one of my children’s teams to victory. The fact that my daughter will be able to say I was her first coach means the world to me. But right now, every time I think about it the only thing that pops into my mind is 0-7. That’s my record and quite frankly, the Jones kids deserve better. Projected completion: This soccer season. All you 6-year-olds beware. Coach Jones is dusting off the whistle and some duck-duck-goose is getting ready to commence on a Fort Meade Youth Field near you. If I come up short this year, I’ll bring my losing streak to youth baseball when the boy is ready to go. (For more information on Youth Sports, call 301-677-1179.)

Well, obviously, this is just a taste of what I’d like to do. Of course I want to go to a Super Bowl, walk up to the 18th green at Augusta and maybe even go on a double date with my wife and a Russian tennis player. … Well, it looks like I might be eating that shoe after all. Love you, honey.

If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones@us.army.mil.










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