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Folks, I’m privileged this year to join an elite group of fellow bloggers on the field of battle. Our fearless leader is Maximus Decimus Meridius, who will have his revenge in this life, or the next.

Wait–that’s not right. Our team captain is Ricky “I have 2 Sheds” Anderson. If you followed the festivities last year, you’ll recall that “Team Ricky” was doing quite well until Jon Acuff got wind of the fact he was on “Team Rob.”

After that, it was pretty much game, set, and match.

But you can change all that. Internet, you have a chance to right a wrong, rectify an injustice, help Maximus be reunited with his wife…

Oops, again that’s not right. My bad.

What I’m asking you–sane, level-headed souls that you are–is to please head over to Rob Shepherd’s blog, and vote Team Ricky. (Click right there where it says “Rob Shepherd’s blog” to be taken to the post and poll).

Vote early, vote often, vote from multiple computers. Clear your browser’s cache, and vote again. Vote from your smartphone, your tablet, or other Internet-connected device. Write your congressman, enlist your family, call a meeting of your HOA–JUST PLEASE GET OUT THE VOTE!

Sure, there’s a pesky presidential election this year, but who cares? This is far more important. Besides, that’s not ’til November–vote now!

Joining me, under the auspices of Captain Ricky, are:

Tor “the Sleep-Deprived” Constantino .

Jamie “Rabbit Trails” Golden

Monica “the Other Captain’s Wife” Shepherd

Amanda “She’s The” Bast

Kevin “the Isle of Man” Haggerty

Renee A. “I Will School You” Schuls-Jacobson

Joseph “I’ve Never Hunted Spider-Man in My Life” Craven

Paul “not the BBQ sauce guy” Johnson (Bill is the BBQ sauce guy, in case you were wondering).

Jessica “Callipygean” Buttram

So that’s the team. Remember to head over to , and vote Team Ricky.

Tell him, I “randomly” sent you.

What are you doing still reading this? GO VOTE!!!!!

Did you vote?

Vote already.

Peace out.

For my first time ever, I’m involved in Clay Morgan’s March Movie Madness, Part Deaux. Which I guess means that this is his second time doing this.

You can follow the bracket on Challonge.

You’ll see there that, for my first time at bat, I’m not doing too badly: my “hero,” Sam Gamgee, has advanced to the second round!

I’m giddy!

Thank-you to everyone who voted Sam!

You’ll also see that Sam faces some potentially stiff competition in the form of Matt Damon’s 1990’s era ‘Holden Caulfield’ impression, er, Will Hunting (I don’t think Chance even has one).

So, please, people, vote early, vote often, vote Sam!


Going forward, should my Sam best Mr. Hunting, he’ll face even stiffer competition in the form of Jared Hollier’s ‘Harry Potter.’

I have some thoughts on this below:

Sure, Harry is the sexy–lightning bolt scar, and all–face of the wizarding rebellion, but he stood on many, many shoulders to get there. But who are the real heroes? Where would Harry have been without his loyal friends? Loyal friends who believed in him? I submit to you he was nothing without Ron & Hermione. (Actually, think of all those who sacrificed, did their part (Dumbledore gave his life), so Harry could do his.

And like Harry, Frodo is the more obvious choice–he was after all the ringbearer, but where would he have gotten without his loyal Sam? It was Sam who almost drowned himself in his insistence in going along with Frodo after the breaking of the fellowship. Sam who faced down Shelob in the pass of Cirith Ungol. Sam who rescued Frodo from the Orcs of Minas Morgul. And Sam who carried Frodo up Mount Doom to the very Cracks of Doom.
Where would Frodo, the ostendible hero, have been without heroic, loyal Sam? The entire fate of Middle Earth rested squarely on Sam’s diminutive shoulders.

This is why I like Sam: he’s just a “regular guy,” yet stayed the course, did great things. And all because it was the right thing to do. Because “Mr. Frodo” was his friend. It’s not, like Harry Potter, sexy, but it makes him a hero in my book.

If none of that persuades you, please consider that:

Sam knew the value of good elvish rope, that potatoes are rare, good ballast for an empty stomach, and he could cook up a mean brace of coneys in his spare time! Not to mention he got to see real, live oliphaunts!

As above:

Vote early, vote often, vote Sam Gamgee!*

Thanks for your consideration!

*My name is Chad, and I approve of this message.