Thursday, June 17, 2010

In Times Of Recession, Go For Broke

For the last few years the Dolphins have had a weakness at wide receiver, and before that they had a weakness on the D-line, and before that they had a weakness on the O-line, and yadda yadda, I could go on forever.  It's not unusual for any (or all) NFL team(s) to have a missing link and/or be known for being weak at a particular area for more than one season at a time, often several seasons at a time.  And as long as any given team has such a reputation, its fans have blogged, commented, called-in, shouted from the rooftops, etc, that the team needed to spend a huge chunk of money or draft picks on [insert name of whoever best player in the NFL at that position is]. 


Case in point, for at least 3 years, Dolfans the world over have recognized the scrawny Dolphins wide receiver unit and played at-home GM, making it evidently clear that the Dolphins should trade for Anquan Boldin, the former Arizona Cardinal.  Boldin, of course, provided the easiest possible answer to Miami's problems.  He was a local kid, was big, tough, and made big plays on a regular basis.  He also wanted to be the #1 receiver, and being on a team with Larry Fitzgerald, that was unlikely to happen.

I was not in this camp of thought, however, understanding that a trade for Boldin would've cost too much.  For starters, with a salary cap in place, a Boldin contract would've caused immediate problems elsewhere on the roster - you'd have to sacrifice more than one solid vet to accomodate Boldin's paycheck.  Secondly, the draft picks lost would've set Miami back dramatically - can you imagine if in 2009 we didn't have the draft picks to get Vontae Davis and Sean Smith because we had traded them to get Boldin?

This is why it may have seemed surprising, nay, shocking at first when the Dolphins signed Brandon Marshall.  Two 2nd round draft picks and a massive contract similar to what Boldin would've requested a couple of seasons ago (keep in mind that recent injuries drove down the Boldin price tag) seemed out of sync with what the Trifecta values.  But when you look a bit further you'll see why the deal made sense now for Marshall and not two years ago for Boldin.

Keep in mind that 2 years ago, Boldin would've cost the same as Marshall got - 2 high draft picks and $8M to $10M per season.  However, this year a few things worked out for the Dolphins that allowed them to make the deal:

1.  No Salary Cap.  While this allowed teams to cut their costs as much as they wanted, it allowed them also to overspend, or at least be a little more adventurous with their money.

2.  A very deep draft and loads of late round picks.  The Dolphins knew that they could trade a 2nd round pick this year where a 1st round would've been required the year before.  That combined with their high 1st round pick meant they were pretty confident they could get a 1st round talent like Marshall for a 2nd, and then trade their other picks to get back the quality they hoped for in the draft.  Bottom line, in 2008, the only offer Arizona would listen to for Boldin was a  1st and a 3rd, minimum.  

3. Arizona didn't want to lose Boldin.  Denver, on the other hand, led by boy-genius Josh McDaniel, couldn't wait to get rid of Marshall.

Also, there's the intangibles - Boldin too often fumbles the ball, has had concussions, knee injuries, back injuries, etc.  Marshall is a number 1 WR - Boldin is just now coming into that role.  Think of TJ Houshmandzadeh leaving Cincinnati where he was brilliant and being the guy in Seattle, where he was rubbish.  Marshall didn't have a lot of help in Denver, he pretty much was the guy.  Marshall has 4 inches and 13lbs on Boldin.  Boldin is more of a bruiser whilst Marshall is more of a finesse player - something to keep in mind when thinking of the longevity of a player in a skill position.  

Still, Marshall will be the highest paid Dolphin skill player for the next 5 years, making $5.1M, $10.6M, $10.1M, $10.2M, and $10.2M over the course of his contract (and this is not taking into consideration any escalators/incentives we don't know about).  It's the kind of thing that probably irks Ronnie Brown, and makes Davone Bess look like nickel-plating compared to Marshall's platinum.  

Marshall will be under a lot of pressure from fans and the media simply because of his contract.  The Dolphins will be forced to use him according to that contract in order to get any kind of value out of the deal.  You don't pay a WR $10M per year unless you intend to win the Super Bowl during the course of that contract and intend on that WR being the driving force behind that push.

Think of what the Jets have been doing the past 3 years, paying out the big bucks in order to get to that level.  The Dolphins are doing the same thing, though in a slightly different way, choosing to spend the money on key players in an attempt to get the overall make-up right rather than just getting as many top-flight players under one roof as imaginable.  Marshall, Karlos Dansby, Jake Long - these are some of the high-priced anchors that the Trifecta hopes will elevate the rest of the team - bottom line, a guy who wants the big contract could look to his left and see what kind of production he needs to contribute in order to get there.  

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, or in this case, get quality payback.

52 comments:

  1. tin,

    you trying to make us go blind with the small font.  come on, give an old man a break.  :)

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  2. what are you talking about - its the same size as every other blog.  Try pressing Ctrl + to increase the size.

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  3. We Have PlaymakersJune 17, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Tin,

    Where does this come from???  I'm a bit confused.  We signed Marshall like two months ago right???

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  4. Tim The EnchanterJune 17, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    ffr, Tin is right just go under view and hit zoom in. But using bold fonts for an article is not a good way to go. That's good for headlines, subheads and bullets, but not paragraphs.

    I haven't read the article yet, just got beginning. I will though, I promise.  :-P

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  5. Tim,

    maybe that is what it is, it is all in bold. 

    Tin,

    thanks for the shortcut, that is much better. 

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  6. Tinshaker, unlike all the complainers, I'm just glad to see you have your blog fixed. O:-)

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  7. ffr how long have you been a dolphin fan ?  I was wondering because of the small print comment.  Are you still able to see the field if you get to a game ?  :)   I'm glad the players are bigger now, it makes it easier to see them when I go to a game...

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  8. Thanks herdfan - I'm a bit worried that once I reach the 20 year mark of being a Dolfan, my eyesight will decrease and my grumpiness will increase....

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  9. kiss azz.    lol

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  10. Tim The EnchanterJune 17, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Tin typed all his school reports in fluorescent green on yellow paper in the attempt to make his teachers blind.  8-)

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  11. I didn't think the dolphins would go for Marshall, he is going to make a differnce on the outside for sure.  Now if Henne can get him the ball, he and the passing game are going to be a real problem for every team we play.  

    I think Tin said that every team has their weaknesses ( I'm not sure of that because I didn't read what he posted :) ) If that is true the burden will now shift to the defense to step up and make the stops when they are needed.  Lets hope they can do that.

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  12. Agreed - this format is much better, but CAN WE HAVE IT ALL ON ONE PAGE PLEASE? Having to go through 5-6 pages is a pain in the ***.
    And for the record, my eyesight started to go after my 26th season following the Fins (the last one), but I've been a "grumpy old man" a lot longer than that!

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  13. fang,

    been a fan since the 72 season, so going on 38 years.  but to be honest, i dont think it is my age that is making my eyesight go. 


    did u guys here they finally stopped the oil leak in the gulf.  the put a ring around it and it stopped putting out

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  14. How the f do yall comment on the sun sentinal that Eddie guy is a real downer I could never watch a game with him sorry this is Alex13 but I'm on my iPhone 8-)

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  15. ffr, speaking of the leak, is it having an impact on the beaches in your area?

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  16. ffr - I haven't replied to your SS WC post cos there was "quite a result" today (won't say and be a spoiler) but after 1 game it's v difficult to make predictions. Ask me again when the group results are in. I agree Germany looked good, but they aren't the only team that looks good and it isn't always good teams who win. Big day for US and England tomorrow!

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  17. nice, an iphone, dropped mine in a pool last week, had to go get another one, now the first one seems to be dried out and is powering up but for some reason keeps asking me if I want airplane mode?  WTF???

    And Eddie is not the prob at the SS right now IMO, it's the pissing contest between NJ and randy....STFU already!!!!!!   There....I feel better now.  :-D

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  18. no, and from what they are saying, the gulf current wont bring it to the west coast beaches.  it is projected to go down to the keys, then hit the miami beaches and end up in NC somewhere.  so grab your bikini and come on down

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  19. well duh, i was just saying who looked best so far, i know some teams may of been laying back just trying to get out of group play, but what else is there to go on other then the play so far.

    and yeah, i was going to take the day off to watch the game tomorrow but that aint going to happen now.  fooking clients and their invertory counts

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  20. I watched the Spain vs Switzerland game and for the first 30 minutes, Spain
    looked amazing moving the ball, but right at the 30 min mark they totally
    ran out of gas and they didn't get back up to speed until Torres and the
    other guy (Navas?) were subbed in, but then those two were practically
    playing on their own because everyone else was worn out. Were Spain the
    favorites to win the WC...definitely. Are Spain the most talented team in
    the WC...probably. Are they going to last the whole tournament after
    looking winded after 30 minutes? No way. They either need to train harder
    (no more siesta) or slow down the pace. Of course, some of it had to do
    with Switzerland placing a lockdown on their penalty box but still, Spain
    was trying to force it too much.
    I haven't watched every game but have been following the match of the day
    highlights and so far I'd say Switzerland had the best defense, Germany had
    the best offense, and England has the best potential/upside. I'm going to
    wager whomever wins between England and Germany will be in the final.

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  21. OK sweetie, just a sec and I'll be right there....lol

    Seriously, I've been holding off making any vacay plans, my kids want either FL or Yosemite(WTF???  where did I go wrong?).  I've been afraid to do the FL thing because of this disaster thing.  And who knows what it will be like when we actually go...I hate making decisions....

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  22. Germany remind me of the Pats - the old enemy and always seem to find a way to win no matter what 11 they put out there. Coming second in this division and potentially meeting the Germans (and if it's England, going out on pens) is s/thing I wake up lathered in sweat having nightmares about. They always seem to play better then one would expect looking at the team and rise to the occasion.
    Spain, on the otherhand, look great on paper, but rarely live up to expectations, until Euro 2008. Will the real Spain please stand up?
    Lots of teams are complaining about (=blaming) the new ball. Klinsman revealed last night that the Germans have been practising with it for 6 months, Rooney admitted England had had 3 weeks with it and are "just starting to get the hang of it". If you can, try to catch the Nigerian keeper doing a "Robert Green" with it today!
    I'm nervous about England. Their warm-up games were less than convincing and they don't seem very together on or off the pitch. Of course, one win changes everything, but my glass is a bit less than half full right now.

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  23. Could someone please explain how this world cup thing works, I mean if all there are all these ties, how does anyone advance/when will it ever end?  I just don't understand it! 

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  24. Herd. Eight groups of 4, top 2 go through from each group based on points scored (W=3, T=1, L=0) then goal difference as tie-breaker. So a bit like the NFL reg-season? Then it's sudden death like NFL play-offs (seeded based on divisional positions) through to the final, with 2 halves of the draw, the winner from each half playing in a SB-type final and a 3rd place play-off game (imagine the losers of the Championship games playing .. ha-ha). If any sudden death game is tied after 90, they play an extra 2x15, then a penalty shoot-out. Make sense?

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  25. Tim The EnchanterJune 17, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    They play Parcheesi as the tie-breaker. It's just as exciting.  :-D

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  26. well, i will let you know first hand in a few weeks.  going on vaca myself and going to the beach, i will let you know how it is.  and before you ask, sure come on down, your invited

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  27. i take this one guys


    herd, come over here next me on the sofa and let me show you how 'ties' really helps one advance to a higher level where scoring is so much easier

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  28. My bro just sent me a good one:

    <p><span>Robert Green saved 800 shots in row in training earlier today, to help build his confidence back up.</span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>But Fabio says he & Hesky have got to train with the rest of the squad tomorrow. :-D </span>
    </p>

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  29. ffr is through on goal ...... he only has the keeper to beat ...... will he lose his bottle ..... he sets himself ...... takes aim ...... and GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

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  30. What's wrong with Yosemite?

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  31. And you never will! BWAHAHAHA!

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  32. Another week in that lockdown together and they'll start to mesh (or really
    hate each other). Of course, the fact that there are Elephants and Giraffes
    walking around their resort is probably a bit distracting....although...they
    do have Peter Crouch on the team so maybe they're used to it....

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  33. That' s just harsh - why does everyone beat up on Hesky so much? He worked
    damn hard last Saturday. One thing I will say is that there's a British
    actor who always plays a bad guy and everytime I see him in something I
    think it's Hesky, and I kept wondering how he could be in so many programmes
    making himself look evil then go out and have thousands of fans cheer for
    him....took me a good couple of years to realize it wasn't him....

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  34. If anyone is concerned about the Fl. beaches there are a few sites you may want to check out.  This is a wild life care taker on the west coast of florida that was doing beach reports of the west coast.  Mote Marine
    http://www.mote.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=beach%20conditions%20reports&category=Main
    No one will be more up to date on the spill than these guys.
    Also you may want to check out the Florida Wildlife Commission FWC.

    As for Yosemite !!! Does it have a beach :) ?

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  35. Just stay hear and you don't have to put up with all of that crap.

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  36. That or we can all go outside and watch the grass grow.

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  37. Yosemite beach??

    Yes ,river,stream's, nearby lakes!!
    The top of a mountain w'lake ,kicks any salt water beaches ass,IMHO!!
    @least for nature lovers, maybe not for kids/Herds dilema..

    Yosemite would be a better romantic rendevous,
    if the kids & (hubby for that matter) can survive for a wk (bound&gagged in the closet)..  GIGGITTY!!

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  38. Seems alot of the goal keepers are having a tough time w'that ball,
    even though there's not been alot of scoring...

    I was kinda involved elsewhere but had the corner of my eye on the US,England game..
    Saw the goal that squirted through Greens grasp, but couldn't really tell how well it was struck...
    Was it struck well, or did it have the movement of a spitball??
    Looked to me like Green planned on sliding on his knees into the ball's path,
    but instead of sliding,his knees dug-in minimizing his planned forward progress forcing him to reach for a said to be slippery ball...

    LUV'D watching Brazil,and (Argentina's hat-trick) game's!!
    Can't wait for the more important part of the tournament,(when team's start playin for the W)!!

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  39. lol Tin. Don't know that actor, but could he be playing Heskey and pretending to be a footballer rather than the other way round? But seriously, I think everyone loves his work rate, but as a striker, he's paid to score goals and his strike rate is about 1 goal every 80 games or something and then only against pants teams.(Berbatov is a lazy Heskey, which is why Utd fans are losing patience with him). I exaggerate but you get the picture. He isn't just there to score goals, but if Rooney isn't getting them, we need someone who will.  Crouch, for all his ungainliness, disrupts defences and scores goals. Just a little over 10 hours to k.o. now!

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  40. ZZZZZZZZ... I know you all like this brand of football but I just can't get into it. Try as I may, boredom overcomes me and I find myself staring at the back of my eyelids. I won't say anything bad about it because if that many people like it there must be something to it, but it's not my cup of tea.

    Over the years I've found myself wondering why I spent so much time thinking about sports I will never play again. I look at the SS or MH blog and realize there are people who spend the entire day berating each other on a sports blog! Am I the only one who thinks there's a touch of "Home for the Superbowl" in all this?

    Anyway, I decided to limit myself to one sport and one team and now I feel like an addict who finally kicked the habit. Who knows maybe I could sit down and really get into soccer but that would be like an alcky drinking one more beer.

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  41. Soccer never did it for me, either, probably 'cause I grew up with football, baseball and basketball in my youth! Today, I follow the Dolphins and the Yankees, period. Oh yeah, and the PGA! ...and MMA! ...and NHL playoffs! ...only because I can see the puck with Hi-Def!

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  42. The SS was once a real fun place to while away a few hours and have a good laugh. It's now like one few over the cuckoos nest in a playground. I read the blogs but rarely read/comment these days. "It's not like it used to be" ..... I find myself saying that a lot more these days!

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  43. Patrick ..... one little beer wouldn't hurt would it?

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  44. ffr - hope you haven't been too snowed under beneath all that inventory. Having seen today's results (and yesterdays) I guess my comments make more sense? Germany looked the best after the first matches, the Argies looked the best after the second matches and the Germans may not even progress. Any given Sunday and all that.

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  45. UK, I'm thinking about 10 will be appropriate this evening!

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  46. I only like the World Cup game's, and meaningful/qualifying U.S.A. National team games...
    (SUKKS they are so few & far between),and the WC should be every two yrs,so the sport can gain and maintain fan growth!! 

    EVEN IFF the SB were only every 4 yrs, the preceding 3 yrs of Fin fandem would seem hohumm,
    and EVEN I would be far less of a football fan,though no-less a Fin fan,just less enthusiastic for 3 of every 4 yrs...  MANNNN THAT WOULD SUKKK!!!

    Otherwise Canam, we'd get along good, FINS, PGA, MMA, NHL Playoffs's,
    and OhYeaaa MY ORIOLES are LEAGUE LEADERS in futility, so take that Yankee's...

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  47. USA GOT ROBBED >:o !!!!

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  48. We're either drafting very well, &/OR we were the worst team in the league once upon a time!!

    Only TWO of our 26 draft pks aren't currently on the roster,
    (SEVEN are already starters), w'likely @least 2 to 3 more from o10 to join those ranks shortly..

    10 STARTERS (in 3 yrs) out of 26 pks w'24 still on the roster,
    whatsdatlike a 384 slugging percentage & 998 batting avg..  BP the BABE of the NFL !!

    Probably a good thing when fewer and fewer of our future draft pks become starters
    while we gather even more starting material as backups as the yrs add up..

    GOODJOB on the "Trifecta Draftee's" TIN, THANX!! GO UTAH, MICH, OHIO ST, CLEMSON!!GOFINS!!

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  49. <span>" We're either drafting very well, &/OR we were the worst team in the league once upon a time!! "</span>

    13 I think it's a little of both.  The team was awful and had no direction for the future which made for a bad outlook.  Someone needed to come in and set the team up on a track that had some forethought and that is what we have now.

    As for most of the draft picks sticking with the team to this point. I think we could say most of the players from the 1 and 15 team could be replaced pretty easily with no ill effects.  It's easy to see why so many of the draft picks are still with the team and starting.

    The proof in the trifecta will be in the wins and division titles, not in playing better and being respectable.  I'll take that over what we saw in the past for sure.  I don't think BP was brought here to be average he was brought here to make this team into a contender year in and year out.

    I think if the Trifecta went out and drafted Billie Goats, and Chickens as the players they would have made the team and been starters.  The trifecta have shown they believe in the players they drafted over the players that were on the team when they took over.  So those are going to be who they go with sink or swim.  That's fine with me, I trust in Bill Parcells. 

    Ireland is a different story, some of the free agent moves he has made seem a bit well dumb, not all of them are, but there have been some real stinkers in there for sure.

    Now I have saved the best for last finally.  The Trifecta have brought with them what I call a NFL mentallity.  If they see they have made a mistake they correct it.  We saw that with the coaching staff and players.  No one is safe on this team, perform or your gone.  These are grown Men playing a "game" and being well paid to do it.  If they can't stay on the field because of injuries, or they won't bye into what the team is doing, then I'm fine with them saying goodbye to any player with those problems.  I don't care what name is on the back of the jersey's.

    I'm an old fart, and I've seen how to win in the NFL.  Sure you have to have the talent, but it's more then just that, and this team has the IT what ever that is.  That's why I'm excited about the team and the future for the Dolphins.  Players come and go, but the IT factor is hard to find, I know this team has it.

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  50. HIPPPHIPPPHOOOORAYYYY, a reformed BELIEVER, & I OBVIOUSLY AGREE!!!

    The 2nd half of what you quoted was a DISCREET semi-sarcastic admission!!

    I don't like puttin obvious ammo out there for rival team followers to use against us real team fans!!
    Believe me, I KNOW 07 only had a few gyz that wouldn't have been bench warming elsewhere!!

    @ my last count we have TWENTY new starters out of 25 position's,(in only 2 completed yrs)!!
    The other 5 positional starter's that are still here,
    are the gyz that wouldn't likely have been bench-warming everywhere else in 07!!

    GOFINS!!

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  51. Alex13,

    ONLY KNIGHT is glutton for punishment, afterall he is the Enchanter!! THANKFUL he's PRO'FIN!!
    SS comment boards are a waste of time for anyone that graduated the 2nd grade,IMHO!!

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