Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours

-- Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”


At about 1915 EST, on Nov. 10, 1975, the Great Lakes bulk cargo vessel SS Edmund Fitzgerald, fully loaded with taconite pellets, sank in eastern Lake Superior in position 46 59.9’N, 85 06.6’W, approximately 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay, Mich. The ship was en route from Superior, Wis., to Detroit and had been proceeding at a reduced speed in a severe storm. All the vessel’s 29 officers and crew members were presumed dead. No distress call was heard by vessels or shore stations.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was the sudden massive flooding of the cargo hold due to the collapse of one or more hatch covers. Before the hatch covers collapsed, flooding into the ballast tanks and tunnel through topside damage and flooding into the cargo hold through non-weathertight hatch covers caused a reduction of freeboard and a list. The hydrostatic and hydrodynamic forces imposed on the hatch covers by heavy boarding seas at this reduced freeboard and with the list caused the hatch covers to collapse.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald

-- Gordan Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.


Last, First Position Age Hometown

1. Armagost, Michael E., Third Mate, 37, Iron River, Wis.
2. Beetcher, Fred J., Porter, 56, Superior, Wis.
3. Bentsen, Thomas D., Oiler, 23, St. Joseph, Mich.
4. Bindon, Edward F., First Assistant Engineer, 47, Fairport Harbor, Ohio
5. Borgeson, Thomas D., Maintenance Man, 41, Duluth, Minn.
6. Champeau, Oliver J., Third Assistant Engineer, 41, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
7. Church, Nolan S., Porter, 55, Silver Bay, Minn.
8. Cundy, Ransom E., Watchman, 53, Superior, Wis.
9. Edwards, Thomas E., Second Assistant Engineer, 50, Oregon, Ohio
10. Haskell, Russell G., Second Assistant Engineer, 40, Millbury, Ohio
11. Holl, George J., Chief Engineer, 60, Cabot, Penn.
12. Hudson, Bruce L., Deck Hand, 22, North Olmsted, Ohio
13. Kalmon, Allen G., Second Cook, 43, Washburn, Wis.
14. MacLellan, Gordon F., Wiper, 30, Clearwater, Fla.
15. Mazes, Joseph W., Special Maintenance Man, 59, Ashland, Wis.
16. McCarthy, John H., First Mate, 62, Bay Village, Ohio
17. McSorley, Ernest M., Captain, 63, Toledo, Ohio
18. O'Brien, Eugene W., Wheelsman, 50, Toledo, Ohio
19. Peckol, Karl A., Watchman, 20, Ashtabula, Ohio
20. Poviach, John J., Wheelsman, 59, Bradenton, Fla.
21. Pratt, James A., Second Mate, 44, Lakewood, Ohio
22. Rafferty, Robert C., Steward, 62, Toledo, Ohio
23. Rippa, Paul M., Deck Hand, 22, Ashtabula, Ohio
24. Simmons, John D., Wheelsman, 62, Ashland, Wis.
25. Spengler, William J., Watchman, 59, Toledo, Ohio
26. Thomas, Mark A., Deck Hand, 21, Richmond Heights, Ohio
27. Walton, Ralph G., Oiler, 58, Fremont, Ohio
28. Weiss, David E., Cadet, 22 Agoura, Calif.
29. Wilhelm, Blaine H., Oiler, 52, Moquah, Wis.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

-- Gordan Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”


“To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered.” -- John Ruskin

1. Given the sensational play of New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper, you have to wonder how good the Vikings would be had they kept him. I know he’s not always the fastest and can’t cover man to man, but Sharper makes plays in the red zone that are critical to good defense in the NFL.

2. Bears head coach Lovie Smith is now in charge of the defense, and last week they made some very elementary mistakes with their alignments and fundamentals. They must get this fixed or the heat will be on in Chicago — really high.

3. Expect Larry Johnson to file a grievance against the Chiefs over his suspension. If they really want him off the team, they might have to just waive him.

4. The three teams that fired their offensive coordinators this summer are currently ranked 27th (Buffalo), 28th (Tampa Bay) and 30th (Kansas City) in the NFL in offense. Changing coaches that late never seems to work.

5. Redskins head coach Jim Zorn was prepared to turn down the idea of letting someone else call plays until he was reminded to read his contract and consult with his lawyers. That changed his mind.


“It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.” -- Author unknown

Miami Dolphins (2-4) at New York Jets (4-2)

Partly cloudy, 56 degrees.

Wind is not supposed to be a factor, but the reality is that Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will have to prove he can make throws at home.

Last game, the Jets had 138 yards rushing, but 38 came on two fake punts. So in essence they had 28 carries for 100 yards. Leon Washington was their most productive runner.

The Dolphins must control Mark Sanchez in the pocket and force him to move side to side, not up into the pocket, where he can drive the ball. The key for the Fins will be to force Sanchez to throw the ball off balance. Sanchez has struggled when teams have blitzed him and forced him to throw in tight spots. He’s ranked 30th in the NFL when teams blitz him.

Last game, the Dolphins gave away 112 yards in penalties. The Jets needed help from the kicking game and penalties to keep the game close. Miami is the most penalized defense in the NFL, so look for a few P.I. penalties today.

Miami scored touchdowns three of the last four times it touched the ball. It had three drives in the game of over 12 plays.

The Jets had the ball nine times in the last game and scored points on five of them. They must move the ball with their passing game; the past two weeks it’s been all run.

As the game went along, the Dolphins dominated. The Jets had the ball for only 10 minutes, 15 seconds in the second half. What saved the Jets was their 3-of-3 performance in the red zone. This game will be a fourth-quarter game. The Jets are 3-0 this season when they have a longer time of possession than their opponent.

Losing Washington, the Jets lose vertical field position, they lose a nickel playmaker and their best screen runner. His loss will be hard to overcome; Shonn Greene is more Thomas Jones than Leon Washington.

Only four teams in the NFL run the ball more in the first half than throw it, and the Jets and Dolphins both do. The Giants and Browns are the other two.

Miami is sixth in the NFL in sacks but fourth in sacks on first down. It must pressure Sanchez on first down and win the down-and-distance battle.

Denver Broncos (6-0) at Baltimore Ravens (3-3)

Partly cloudy, light wind, 56 degrees.

Baltimore’s defense has been victimized by the big play but also can’t get off the field on third and less than four yards. It has to find a way to make plays on third down.

Baltimore has lost three games by an average of 3.67 points, ranking second in the NFL. Denver has averaged an 11-point differential in its six wins. The Broncos are risking their season with an inexperienced field-goal kicker.

Baltimore is a very good third-down team, and the Broncos’ success on defense comes from being sensational on third down. Baltimore’s ability to run the ball on third down will stress the Broncos’ defense.

The Ravens’ big plays come on first down, and they love to work the ball upfield on that down. They must be ahead of the count and keep the Broncos off balance.

Who guards Brandon Marshall is a concern, but who can tackle him is a bigger concern. Domonique Foxworth will struggle to cover him, which he knows from practicing against Marshall.

Quarterback Kyle Orton is best when he can throw the ball in the weak areas of the coverage, and the Broncos show him these areas with their formations. He’s 7 of 23 on throws of over 20 yards. He’s best working the short throws outside.

Orton leads the NFL with a fourth-quarter passer rating of 142.1.

Highest Fourth-Quarter Passer Rating

DEN Kyle Orton           142.1
NO Drew Brees            121.6
GB Aaron Rodgers        118.4
BAL Joe Flacco            116.8
IND Peyton Manning     116.6

Kyle Orton in Fourth Quarter

Comp Pct.         69.0
Pass Yds           511
TD-INT               4-0
Passer Rating    142.1<<
Yards per Att.    12.2

Broncos Third-Down Defense

                      Week        Conv-Att

SD Chargers     6                  0-5
NE Patriots       5                  0-6
DAL Cowboys   4                   0-7
OAK Raiders     3                   0-5
CLE Browns      2                   1-7
CIN Bengals      1                   1-5

Elvis Dumervil leads the NFL with 10 sacks and is on pace for 26.7 sacks (first NFL player with 10 sacks through the first six games since 2001 when Michael Strahan had 10½ sacks through six games and set the NFL single-season record of 22½ sacks).

St. Louis Rams (0-7) at Detroit Lions (1-5)


The Rams enter the game on a 17-game losing streak (including nine in a row on the road), the longest losing streak in franchise history and longest active losing streak in the NFL.

Rams vs. Lions

                   Rams        Lions

Scoring         30th          31st
Total             30th          26th
Rush             27th          20th
Pass             25th          30th

The Lions need quarterback Matthew Stafford to play or they won’t have a chance to win the game. The Lions’ success on offense starts and ends with Stafford. They can game plan well, and former Rams coach Scott Linehan (now Detroit’s offensive coordinator) knows how to attack their personnel.

The Rams gained a ton of yards in the third quarter running the ball against the Colts when the game was basically over. To beat the Lions, Steven Jackson must run effectively.

The Lions will attack Marc Bulger and force him to make tight throws. This might be the only time all season the Lions match up to their opponent.

Seattle Seahawks (2-4) at Dallas Cowboys (4-2)

Clear, 68 degrees.

The Seahawks are 0-2 on road and have lost 10 of their last 12 road games. Five of the Seahawks’ six games have been decided by 13 points or more. They’re not a good road team because they’re bad on the offensive line.

Seattle cannot run the ball and should struggle to match the physical play of the Cowboys, assuming they play with the same intensity of the past week. Edgerrin James has 40 rushes, 108 yards, 2.7 yards per rush this season. I’s over for Edge.

In their only two wins of the year, the Seahawks have shut out their opponents. But they’re a different defense away from the noise of their stadium.

The Cowboys defense has four sacks in each of its last two games and 14 sacks in its last four after having none in its first two. That’s why they’re playing much better.

John Carlson will have a big day today; the Cowboys struggle to handle a tight ends in coverage.

The Cowboys have 400-plus yards in two straight games and have not had 400-plus in three consecutive games since 1983. The Cowboys are second in total offense with 419.3 YPG and lead the NFL with 6.8 yards per play. They are fourth in rush offense and ninth in pass offense (joining the Saints and Ravens as the only teams in the top 10 in both rushing and passing). This is a difficult match for Seattle’s soft defense.

Tony Romo is 11-1 career in November as starter and won his last 11 November starts. Since the bye weekend, he looks like he’s throwing the ball better than he has all season.

Miles Austin leads the NFL with 23.9 yards per reception, and his five reception TDs are tied for second. He has 16 receptions, 421 yards, 4 TDs and seven receptions of 25 or more yards in his last two games (first two career starts). He’ll break tackles against this poor tackling team.

Cleveland Browns (1-6) at Chicago Bears (3-3)

Partly cloudy, 49 degrees.

The Browns have four TDs and 43 punts in 86 offensive possessions this season. They’ve been held under 200 total yards in three straight games and nine of their last 12. If Joshua Cribbs doesn’t make a play, they struggle.

The Browns are 31st in total offense (225.4 YPG) and last in total defense (414.9 YPG). Jerome Harrison leads the team with 18 receptions. The Browns have 18 turnovers (T-2nd in NFL) and have a minus-7 turnover differential.

From Stats Inc.:

Highest Pct. of Drops on Catchable Passes

                                           Catchable     Drops     Pct.

CLE Derek Anderson                  77              17        22.1
OAK JaMarcus Russell               88              14        15.9
PHI Donovan McNabb                  74              11        14.9
KC Matt Cassel                          119             17        14.3

The Bears better get lined up correctly on defense because as bad as the Browns are, they can still run the ball against a poorly aligned team.

The Bears are 2-0 at home and have won five straight home games (longest home win streak since winning 10 in a row at home in 2005-06). They’re a different offense at home because they can hide their lack of protection

The Bears have been outscored 45-7 in the first quarter this season (seven points is the second fewest in the NFL; the Chiefs have six first-quarter points). They start slowly, which compounds their mistakes. Defense is their problem — they must fix this mess.

The Bears have a minus-5 turnover differential (26th in the NFL). They’ll be wearing their orange alternate jerseys for the fifth straight year and are 3-1 when wearing orange.

Houston Texans (4-3) at Buffalo Bills (3-4)

Partly cloudy, swirling winds, 47 degrees.

The Texans are 4-3, tying the franchise’s best start through seven games (2004). They have never been 5-3. If the Texans win, it would be the first time in their history that they’ve been two games above .500.

Wind will be a huge factor in the game. If it’s a two-quarter game, it might be hard for the Texans to be explosive on offense. They’re a passing team, and they need ideal condition to function well.

The Texans’ offense has played well on the road, averaging 436.0 yards per game (leads NFL). They have averaged 27.7 PPG on the road (T-7th in NFL). Road games have been in Cincinnati, Tennessee and Arizona.

Buffalo’s Terrell Owens leads the NFL in dropped passes and was second last year.

The Bills must be able to run the ball to keep the Texans off the field and control their offense. With Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, it might be hard for the Bills to throw the ball consistently. They must run it well. In spite of the great run defense the last three weeks, the Texans still allow more than 4.5 yards per carry.

The Texans’ special teams have helped their defense. The Texans lead the league in allowing only 19.6 yards per kick return and are third in allowing only 4.1 yards per punt return. The kicking game always decides games in the wind.

San Francisco 49ers (3-3) at Indianapolis Colts (6-0)


The 49ers have lost two in a row and have never lost three straight under Mike Singletary. They’re 1-2 on the road this season and have lost their last two road games.

The 49ers are 29th in total offense (272.0 YPG) and 24th in pass offense (173.7 YPG). They have five turnovers in their last two games and have been outscored 56-10 in the first half in their last two games. When they get behind, they get out of their comfort zone and will turn over the ball.

As the first quarter goes, so goes this game. If the Colts make the 49ers play from behind, it will be a long day.

The Colts will move the ball. The key for the 49ers is to play their best red zone defense of the year. They’re 21st in the NFL in this area, which is not good enough against Peyton Manning. The Colts have the third-best RZ offense in the NFL.

Alex Smith is 5-11 career on the road as starter with eight TDs, 17 INTs. Smith has not started a game since Nov. 12, 2007 vs. the Seahawks. The speed of the game is a factor, and the good part for Smith is that he doesn’t have to deal with wind in the dome.

Dwight Freeney has seven sacks (fifth in the NFL) and has at least one sack in seven straight games. The Colts defense has 16 sacks and six INTs and has allowed a league-low two passing TDs. They get their pressure from their ability to get an early lead.

Manning leads the NFL with a 114.5 passer rating and has not been sacked in his last four games.

New York Giants (5-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-2)

Partly cloudy, slight wind, 54 degrees.

The Eagles won two of their three meetings last season, including the last two at New York and the divisional playoff (23-11). The Giants have won their last four regular-season games at Philadelphia.

The Giants have nine turnovers in their last four games after committing just two in their first three games. They’re 7-25 on third downs (28 percent) in their last two games. The Giants have allowed 585 passing yards in their last two games after allowing 524 pass yards in their first five.

The team that protects will win. The Eagles not having Brian Westbrook affects them more in protection than anywhere on offense. LeSean McCoy isn’t ready to protect.

The Giants will be one of the first teams that press the Eagles’ wideouts and disrupt their timing.

The Giants will be able to break tackles in the secondary if they can protect and handle Philly’s blitz scheme.

The Eagles are 6-31 on third downs (19.4 percent) in their last two games. All five of DeSean Jackson’s TDs have been for 50-plus yards (85-yard punt return, 67-yard run and receptions of 71, 64 and 57 yards).

Oakland Raiders (2-5) at San Diego Chargers (3-3)

Clear, 74 degrees.

The Raiders have two personalities -- one that faced the Chargers on opening day and the other that played the Jets at home.

The Raiders have been held to 13 points or les in six straight games. In their last six games against the Chargers, they’ve committed 18 turnovers.

The Raiders can’t even run the ball well this year, something they’ve done in the past: 19th in the NFL.

The Chargers make big plays when they protect well and when their wideouts get away from press coverage. They need to escape and make plays down the field.

Philip Rivers is 17-4 career vs. the AFC West as starter (7-0 career vs. the Raiders). He has 250-plus passing yards in each game this season and has seven TDs, no INTs in his last three games.

Vincent Jackson is sixth in receiving yards (561) and fourth in the NFL with 19.3 yards per reception.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) at Tennessee Titans (0-6)

Clear, 58 degrees.

Vince Young has won five of his last six starts and is 18-11 career as starter. He will need to move around and make loose plays with his feet and arm.

The Titans must get Chris Johnson going early in the game to help Young with the passing game. Johnson is fifth in the NFL with 596 rushing yards and second in the NFL with 6.3 yards per rush. Johnson is second in the NFL with 120.3 scrimmage YPG.

In their last meeting, David Garrard had 323 yards, three TDs, and Mike Sims-Walker had seven receptions, 91 yards, 2 TDs. Both teams are coming off byes.

The Jaguars are 1-2 on road and have lost five of their last six road games. Under coach Jack Del Rio, they are 2-4 in games following a bye. They are .500 or better after the first six games for the sixth straight year.

The Jaguars are 31st in pass defense, allowing 262.0 YPG, while the Titans are last in pass defense (310.7 YPG). The Titans should be able to throw the ball.

The Titans are last in scoring defense (33.0 PPG), last in pass defense (310.7 YPG) and 31st in total defense (405.7 YPG). They are T-30th with a minus-10 turnover differential, and their 18 turnovers is T-2nd most in the NFL.

Minnesota Vikings (6-1) at Green Bay Packers (4-2)

Mostly cloudy, light wind, 49 degrees.

The Packers have won two in a row following their Week 4 loss to the Vikings and have outscored their last two opponents (Lions and Browns) by a combined 57-3. This is an all-in game for the Packers; a loss and they’re done in the NFC North. Look for special teams to have to make a play.

Aaron Rodgers’ first career start was at Lambeau Field vs. the Vikings in the 2008 season opener and was 18 of 22 for a completion percentage of 81.8 percent, second-highest in NFL history by a QB in his first career start (minimum 20 pass attempts). If he’s protected today, he’ll make a ton of throws.

The Vikings on defense are all about their pass rush, but on the road, the snap count and crowd noise will work against them. They must pressure Rogers. These wideouts are the best with the ball in their hands and running after the catch. But they drop too many balls, ranking 28th in the NFL.

Both teams have very good wideouts who can make plays with the ball. Whichever secondary can tackle the best will win the game.

How the officials call this game will be key — for Packers defense. Charles Woodson is T-3rd in NFL with four INTs. Woodson has 23 INTs in 52 games with Packers.

The Vikings are T-5th in NFL with a plus-5 turnover differential. They have six turnovers in seven games compared to 15 turnovers in their first seven games last season. The Vikings are 2-0 in divisional games and have won their last five divisional games.

The Packers must not kick the ball to Percy Harvin. Most teams now kick away from him.

Carolina Panthers (2-4) at Arizona Cardinals (4-2)

Clear, 81 degrees.

The Panthers are 1-2 on road. They are also last in the NFL with a minus-14 turnover differential and lead with 21 turnovers (they had 19 last season).

Because of their turnovers, the Panthers are 23rd in scoring defense (24.2 PPG) despite ranking fourth in total defense (282.8 YPG) and first in pass defense (149.7 YPG).

The Panthers have rushed for 383 yards in their last two games after averaging 97.3 rush YPG in their first four games. QB Jake Delhomme leads the NFL with 13 INTs; he had 12 last season.

Steve Smith is without a touchdown in his last eight games.


“Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.” -- Washington Irving

I was on the radio in Chicago last week talking about my “Curly in the Boat” theory. When the Three Stooges are in a row boat, they spring a leak and decide to make another one to let the water from the first hole out. It’s in this video at the five-minute mark. Watch the whole thing. It’s too good.

Bill Simmons on Morning Joe, talking about “The Secret.” By the way, he did not tell Eric “The Secret” Mangini, I promise.


“Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.” -- Author unknown

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News on Rookie QBs. A very good read.

Please read this -- a remarkable coach and story.

The NBA is trying to cut corners everywhere…


“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” -- General Douglas MacArthur


1. Enjoy yourself.
2. Stay young at heart.
3. Be honest and open.
4. Look for rainbows.
5. Walk to work.
6. Take the stairs.
7. Keep your curiosity.
8. Stop smoking.
9. Listen to your body.
10. Watch what you eat.
11. Watch what you say.
12. Make time for your children.
13. Don't rest on your laurels.
14. Drink lots of water.
15. Have faith in others.
16. Walk in the park.
17. Forgive.
18. Be an optimist.
19. Make love.
20. Cross-country ski.
21. Discover romance.
22. Exercise regularly.
23. Do Tai Chi.
24. Try Yoga.
25. Plant a garden.
26. Eat plenty of fruit.
27. Golf.
28. Adopt a pet.
29. Laugh often.
30. Be positive.
31. Give, don't take.
32. Marry your sweetheart.
33. Celebrate your marriage.
34. Enjoy being single.
35. Relax.
36. Eat your greens.
37. Take up lawn bowling.
38. Do nothing in excess.
39. Do everything in excess.
40. Serve chicken noodle soup.
41. Practice what you preach.
42. Look before you leap.
43. Make time for your friends.
44. Reduce your cholesterol.
45. Early to bed, early to rise.
46. Don't mope.
47. Try new things.
48. Skinny dip.
49. Write to a friend.
50. Play tennis.
51. Commune with nature.
52. Sing in the car.
53. Write a poem.
54. Whistle while you work.
55. Read a book.
56. Take your medicine as prescribed.
57. Challenge yourself.
58. Count your blessings.
59. Indulge yourself.
60. "Carpe diem" (Seize the day).
61. Take setbacks in stride.
62. If you want to stop taking a medication, ask your doctor.
63. Cuddle.
64. Use olive oil.
65. Eat your Brussel sprouts.
66. Lighten up.
67. Choose a career you love.
68. Be active in your community.
69. Read the paper every day.
70. Sit up straight.
71. Keep your mind active.
72. Travel.
73. Soak in the tub.
74. Don't be jealous.
75. Eat an apple a day.
76. Be generous with hugs.
77. Make time for your partner.
78. Keep in touch with family.
79. Bake a pie.
80. Eat plenty of fish.
81. Get plenty of fresh air.
82. Be yourself.
83. Swim.
84. Make time for your grandchildren.
85. Control your temper.
86. Share.
87. Take nothing for granted.
88. Ask questions when your doctor gives you new medications.
89. Power walk at the mall.
90. Don't procrastinate.
91. Accept those things which you cannot change.
92. Don't drink and drive.
93. Create solutions, not problems.
94. Be sociable.
95. Feed the birds.
96. Pamper yourself once a day.
97. Go fishing.
98. Smile.
99. Smell the flowers.
100. Listen to your doctor.

-- Author unknown

Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi