Chargers Lose to Steelers

I was thinking about posting something about how the Chargers would beat the Steelers like I did about the Colts, but I really wasn’t feeling it. Turns out they got thrashed by the Steelers, and the dream of an 8-8 team winning the Super Bowl is over.

I didn’t see the first third of the game, which was from all reports very competitive. I tuned in just in time to see the Chargers take their last lead of the game on the Kaeding field goal, and watch the Steelers march down the field for a touchdown in response. Then there was that horrible, terrible, very bad third quarter that doomed this effort. I have never seen a quarter of football like it–*one* offensive play for the Chargers in the entire 15 minutes, which was a tipped ball for an INT. Phillip Rivers was quoted as saying

“There was a little bit of disbelief. … You can’t call it a fluke, those guys made plays, but that was crazy.”

which is exactly what I was thinking.

* The Chargers defense missed a lot of tackles at the initial point of contact in this game, apparently starting from when I started watching. The defense was very successful at getting the Steelers into third-and-long situations throughout the second half, but they kept blowing it.

* Let’s not get our knickers in a bunch about Darren Sproles if he leaves San Diego. He’s a very good kick returner and a pretty good change of pace back, not a dominant player. I hope the Chargers keep him, but I hope they don’t break the bank to do so. Remember, he was a fourth-round pick. AJ Smith can find difference-makers on special teams in the lower rounds.

* Shawne Merriman, on the other hand… they need him, or someone like him, badly. A top-flight pass-rusher crashing the pocket does a few things. He turns second banana Shaun Phillips from an overmatched primary threat to a dangerous bookend. He keeps the secondary from having to cover all day. I’m looking forward to seeing what a reloaded defense does with a defensive coordinator who isn’t afraid to bring the heat next year.

* I think LaDainian Tomlinson will be back, and I think he’ll have a better year in 2009.

* I was very encouraged with what I saw from Jacob Hester late in the season. This guy is a fullback who can run and catch, and he seems to be learning to block. Mike Tolbert had some nifty moves but wasn’t much for blocking, and former Charger Lorenzo Neal couldn’t run for shit. Having a guy who can do all three things is going to be helpful.

Florida wins BCS

I saw the end of the Florida’s college football win over Oklahoma last night. I hadn’t seen a minute of college football since Woody and I watched the end of a very entertaining USC-Oregon State game a couple of years back at Vivandres’ place, and I was amazed at how dinky and slow these teams–surely, other than USC, the best in the country–were.

I seriously don’t understand how anyone watches college football. The whole time I found myself thinking “the Detroit Lions would murder these guys.” If it wants me as a regular viewer of its football product, the NCAA needs to put its student athletes on a rigorous steroid regimen.

Wireless Home Audio

How about them Chargers? OK, OK, so it wasn’t two touchdowns…

I have a technical question for the JesusH community.

We’ve got two TVs on the ground floor of the house, and connected to each TV I’ve got a stereo system, complete with amplifiers and speakers and whatnot. What I want to do is give them the ability to use each other as an audio source, and play the same thing simultaneously. In other words, when I play a CD in the DVD player connected to Stereo A, I’d like to be able to get that line output sent to Stereo B so I can hear the music in the other room from the other set of speakers (and vice versa).

It’d be simple to connect some RCA cables from each stereo’s line out jack to an input on the other stereo; I’d then just have to set input on Stereo B appropriately to hear whatever Stereo A is playing. But unlike my old house, I don’t have a crawlspace or an attic to run wires, and I don’t have a carpet to stick speaker wire under either. Running a pair of stereo audio wire between the stereos is certainly possible, but it’s going to be a pain in the ass.

So I need to either use the existing house wiring or go wireless. I see there’s an outfit called Devolo that has a product that appears to send an audio signal through powerline. That’s a clever solution that would meet my needs, as I obviously have power near both stereos. But the product line isn’t exactly established, and they’re 220V in any case, so they’re not going to work in the good old USA.

Wireless is the only other idea I have. I know some wireless house audio systems like Sonos have been getting written up in major newspapers and periodicals, and I could probably get them to do what I want and then some, but that’d be like swatting a fly with an axe–and considering these jagoffs are charging four figures just to get into the game, it’d have to be a totally blinged-out axe at that. I don’t want a wireless controller for my music. I don’t want to control my music at all.

There’s a lot of consternation about wireless rear speakers in home theatre setups, which seems kind of like the problem I want to solve. Here’s a recent blog post from the always-interesting Bob Cringely about the absence of wireless audo in today’s whiz-bang HDTVs, for example. But I think most of the problem there is that you’ve still got to get power to the rear speakers to get any output, and until someone solves that problem you’ll still have a power wire going to those speakers even if you have them get their audio signal wirelessly, so it’s generally kind of dumb to not just wire audio as well. The true solution for wireless satellite speakers probably involves some nifty engineering on the part of the radiant power geeks, but I don’t need to wait on that. I’ve got power at both locations, and don’t need it from whatever the solution to my problem is.

I guess I could use something like the idiotically-branded RocketFish™ rear speaker wireless kit, but that’s over $100, it’s unidirectional, and it looks like I’d have to do some goofy bare-wire-to-RCA hacking on both ends to get it sorted.

All I want is to take a stereo signal at Stereo A and transmit it to Stereo B, across about twenty feet and through one wall. It seems like in 2009, when I can see about a dozen access points from my computer’s wireless network dialog box and buy a wireless router for twenty bucks, this should be dirt-cheap and easy, but I’ve been looking around and so far I’m not seeing much. Any ideas?