JP Fanshawe

  • joined Jan 20, 2009
  • last login Jul 12, 2014
  • posts 99
  • comments 4274

Relentlessly positive, because I believe what one puts out, one gets back.

College: A School In West Virginia

Degrees: Literature and Philosophy

Masters: A School In New York City....for filmmaking.

Irony: Now I work in sales and land development. Every now and then I make a film.

Marital Status: Once-Divorced, now happily married. One child from first marriage, three children with my second wife.

Further comments: I love being a dad, a husband, a brother, and a son.
I love horse racing, baseball, chess, and the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Books: October Light by John Gardner, The Wild Palms by William Faulkner, Absalom! Absalom! by William Faulkner, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Old Life by Donald Hall, Bodies in Motion and at Rest by Thomas Lynch, Radios by Jerome Stern, Small Wonders by Barbara Kingsolver, For The Time Being by Annie Dillard, Blood Horses by John Jeremiah Sullivan, Cathedrals of Kudzu by Hal Crowther, Gather At The River by Hal Crowther

Music: The Beatles, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Howlin' Wolf, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, 311, Crowded House, Neil Finn, Hall and Oates, Paul Simon, Gomez, Sam Phillips, Bodeans, Prince, Tears For Fears, Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Sonny Boy Williamson II.

Movies: Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy, Rear Window, Vertigo, Unforgiven, Casablanca, Chinatown, How Green Was My Valley, The Quiet Man, Major League, Trading Places, A Fish Called Wanda, City Lights, Moonstruck, Pleasantville, A River Runs Through It, Let It Ride, Goin' South, Groundhog Day, Seabiscuit, The Big Sleep.

Last Meal Request: Skinless chicken thighs in my soon-to-be famous Buffalo sauce, followed by a burger. Oh, and a boatload of beer.

Favorite Sports Moments Attended: Bob Walk's complete game win in the 1992 NLCS. WVU over Miami in 1993. WVU over Pitt and Virginia Tech every single time it happened since 1990. WVU over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Every single time I have spent a day at the races at Keeneland.

Credos: Do what's right. Apologize when you're wrong. Eat less, do more. Listen. Never leave a waiter or waitress less than three dollars. And, in a phrase borrowed from Paul Auster: "To say, what else matters?" ..

A Fan Of...

  • MLB Pittsburgh Pirates
  • NFL Pittsburgh Steelers
  • NCAAF West Virginia Mountaineers
  • NCAAB West Virginia Mountaineers
  • NHL Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Soccer Everton FC
  • General Sunday Silence, Unbridled, AP Indy, Point Given, Rock Hard Ten, Afleet Alex, Ghostzapper, The Tin Man, Zenyatta
User Blog

The Bad News: Maybe We Just Are Who We Are On Offense

The Bad News Of WVU Football: Maybe We Just Are Who We Are On Offense


The Principles Of Offense, As In, Have Some

via Does anyone else feel like the above photo is an accurate visual metaphor for our offense? I guess the one upside of the weekend has to be that we weren't the worst loss...

The more positive and supportive we can be at our program at a time where it’s necessary, the...


The more positive and supportive we can be at our program at a time where it’s necessary, the better our program will be. If we don’t perform well on the football field, turn the ball over, or we couldn’t stop a team or get off the field on 3rd down, or give up five or six plays…am I saying that people shouldn’t say "Boy, they were awful today?" No, I mean, it is what it is on the field, but you support the program or you don’t support the program. And if you have any questions, hopefully through the media outlets that we have, people can answer. Part of my job is to educate everyone on exactly the direction of the program and I have to do a very good job of that.

Eyeandeer posted a link to Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician where Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said the above in an interview just after he was hired. Granted, he was saying this in the light of taking the helm of a storied program that had been decimated. My great fear is that we move on from Stewart, and hire a Greg Robinson, who, no doubt, made a lot of Syracuse alums miss Paul Pasqualoni. So, offensive ineptitude aside, I support the Mountaineer program. The more I think about it, the more I think about a text I got from my brother in the first quarter, which read: "We are in for a war. Syracuse is hungry and hitting hard." I am worried that our offense did not match Syracuse's intensity. Our defense certainly did in the second half, and I feel for those kids.

Strength of Schedule, and Gary Patterson on Style Points


An interesting take from ESPN blogger Andrea Adelson. And I like Patterson's view on style points, if only because he makes clear that suffocating defense is stylish, too. Related to Adelson's info: WVU's past opponents are 12-12, its future opposition is 13-16. And since I trust Sagarin's schedule strength more than the NCAA's oversimplified method of looking only at a team's oppnents' records, WVU's is 135th, while Oregon, Boise, and TCU come in at 50th, 55th, and 64th, respectively. And all you Big East bashers out've got some ammo this week. The Big East is rated ninth by Sagarin in both central mean and simple average, behind the likes of the I-A Independents, Mountain West, and the WAC. Further, only Cincy and Pitt have schedule strength numbers higher than 91st. When a horse drops two classes he becomes a viable contender, usually, even if he has never come close to running like a winner. This is especially true, if said horse is also turning back in distance. I bring this up because I am a bit of a class player. So let me say, the only teams that I think should have a shot at beating us the rest of the way are Cincy, Pitt, and maybe UConn. I hate to fuel some of your fires, and I don't think these numbers will last...but for now, there is no doubting that the Big East is, uh, not good.

I played a little hooky from work today, as my children were off from school for Columbus Day. I...


I played a little hooky from work today, as my children were off from school for Columbus Day. I took them to see Disney's film "Secretariat," which I found moving for much the same reasons that I did Lawrence Scanlan's "The Horse That God Built." It is a story about other-worldly greatness, about the horse-human bond, about perfection that occurs in a span of 2:24. This movie is "suggested" by Bill Nack's book on the great horse, which, unbelievably to me, I have not read. Even though there are a couple of things I might have done differently, were I directing it - such as spending a whole lot more time with Secretariat's groom, jockey, and trainer, and going for a little less schmaltz and more historical accuracy - it is still a wonderful film for the fact that it presents these moments of grace: the love of horses - caring for them, contemplating their eyes, watching them in a full-out run - just might be a connection to the soul of a happy world, one that is beyond words.


Sorry, Stewart Is Just Not As Bad As You Say, Or Hope...He's Just Not The Product

via Reading through the comments in the Approval Meter yesterday I came across this comment from VTsucks: "Your joking right? 22-9 against garbage competition. The only good...


Would A Playoff Make For Happier Fans?

via My wife is from Wisconsin.  When I married her a decade ago, it was required that I adopt the Green Bay Packers.  As a life-long Steelers fan, this wasn't much of a...


Recipe For Frustration: WVU's 4th Quarter Offense

Recipe For Frustration: WVU's 4th Quarter Offense

Del Mar's free Online Contest starts Wednesday. You get a mythical $100 to play each day of the...


Del Mar's free Online Contest starts Wednesday. You get a mythical $100 to play each day of the meet on one race. You can use the money to make any kind of win, place and/or show bet on any number of horses in the race. Which brings up a question I would like to discuss. What is the best strategy for approaching a tourney such as this one? I know how I like to approach handicapping contests that use the win/place format of the National Handicapping Contest, but tournaments that use live-money formats still find me shaky in my approach. You are only allowed one entry in the DMTC contest, but I am going to track a few different options. I sometimes employ what I call the 2-6-12 wager, which is based on the fact that the place and show pools are usually a third, and a sixth of the win pool. Hence, the ratios. So, on one mythical entry I am going to bet $10 to win, $30 to place, and $60 to show on one horse. On another, I am going to bet $25 to win, and $75 to show. On a third mythical entry, I plan to employ another tactic - two-horse win betting, also called dutching - in which you place wagers of $40 and $60 on two different horses with the lower wager going on the longer-odds horse of the two. And then finally, I am going to play one mythical entry in which the whole $100 will go on one 8-1 or longer horse to show. I will be intrigued to see which entry winds up ahead after the 37 races of the contest. Any thoughts on strategy, because this is something I would like to hash out enough to come to a position where I would be comfortable playing in actual live-money tournaments (which is further complicated by the fact that most of them also allow exotic wagers!)? This is necessary, because it seems the live-money format is gaining in popularity. I much prefer the NHC format.


Just For Fun - An 8-race Virginia Derby Day Contest

A just-for-fun 8-race handicapping contest for Saturday, featuring five races at Colonial Downs and three races at Monmouth Park.

Good the Breeder's Cup site, under Breeder's Cup Challenge, there is a "Breeder's Cup...


Good the Breeder's Cup site, under Breeder's Cup Challenge, there is a "Breeder's Cup Betting Challenge" listed. Hopefully, that means a contest coinciding with the win-and-you're in races is in the offing. Also, my wife is in 310th place in the Survival at the Shore contest, and earned back a life-preserver by staying alive this long. Also, are any of you playing in the Colonial Downs online contest? It is free, and it has a very interesting format. Contestants make four wagers each day, usually on races 4 through 7. The first wager is a WPS, the second a 3-horse exacta box, the third a 4-horse tri, and the fourth a 5-horse super. Highest bankroll wins, so even though the contest is a couple of weeks old, one big exotic score can skyrocket you to the top. What makes it interesting is that everyone is playing the same kind of wager in each race. Naturally, my wife is crushing me so far in that contest as well! I trained her well...

Nebraska eyes Big Ten, could vote Friday on conference shift

+ reported in USA Today...shit is about to get hectic. A major shift is coming, and I can't wait to see where we land. Does the Big East nut-up and try to stay relevant? Or does it dissolve, like the Big 12 apparently will? It has to be noted...who was talking about the non-existence of the Big 12 six months ago? It looks like only three conference are impervious...the SEC, the Big Televem, and the soon-to-be Pac 16. I swear the BCS is behind all this. The end result will be four 16-team mega conferences each with championship game, which will go a long way toward solving the BCS's playoff problem.

New World Record For A Mile On Turf Set At Monmouth


Guess, the turf was playing pretty fast yesterday. Perhaps Mandurah is one to watch in the next couple of years. Oh, wait...he is six years old!


And The Greatest Performance Ever By A Horse Goes To....

SECRETARIAT - 1973 Belmont Stakes - a new look! (via gfn02) It was a good year, if only for two wife was born and Secretariat won the Triple Crown in crushing fashion.  If you have...


Just For Fun - An Eight-Race Belmont Day Contest

via It was such a fun exercise last week, I thought I would do it again.  This week's races are Belmont 4 through 11, and if you are playing along, you might as well join...


Just For Fun - A Seven-Race Saturday Contest

A just-for-fun handicapping contest for Saturday afternoon.


Who Wins The Preakness When Just About Nobody Wants The Lead?

Who wins the Preakness when just about nobody wants the lead?

Pictured above, Sweet Goodbye with jockey JD Acosta aboard, my key horse for leg 1 of the Pick 3,...


Pictured above, Sweet Goodbye with jockey JD Acosta aboard, my key horse for leg 1 of the Pick 3, races 11-13, on Black-Eyed Susan Day. Ticket 1: 2 with 1,4,5,6 with 1,2,5,11 Ticket 2: 2,6,8,9 with 4 with 1,2,5,11 Ticket 3: 2,6,8,9 with 1,4,5,6 with 11 It's a tough little sequence. I had difficulty narrowing down to just four horses in all three races. Thoughts?


Who Wins The Derby When Just About Everyone Needs The Lead?

Who wins the Derby when just about everyone needs the lead?


Pick 4 Strategy

via The above image is indicative of how I used to play the Pick 4.  MattGSeattle had a post a while back for which the comments are now closed, but, in the...


Have Trainers Figured Out The Synthetic-to-Dirt Move Yet?

via So, last year I threw out all the Derby horses coming into the race out of synthetic preps, and I was mostly right.  I was keyed to Papa Clem and Musket Man with...


Maybe 2011 Is The Year

This was posted by McCutchenIsTheTruth in reply to another post I wrote, and I thought maybe more people would see it if reposted it separately.  He makes an interesting point. "...Oh, and for...


Just So I'm Sure You See It...Hey Cbus, Check This Out

via I posted this in a response to another post elsewhere...but I wanted to be sure it got its due, and it had typos and needed editing, and, yes, that is a douchebag pictured...

Cincinnati will always be in a state of flux. They looked inept in the Sugar Bowl. In my opinion,...


Cincinnati will always be in a state of flux. They looked inept in the Sugar Bowl. In my opinion, West Virginia has the best porgram in the Big East - by far. If you look at the facilities and support, it's not ever close. Nobody has what we have. We'll dominate for a long time. Basketball is a different story. There are a lot of (Big East) teams with the same facilities and support. But nobody compares in football. I think we should dominate - and I think we will."

Don Nehlen, quoted in Vingle's Sunday column.

Where is the love for the basketball team? A tough loss last night. Incredible foul line...


Where is the love for the basketball team? A tough loss last night. Incredible foul line discrepancy. Anyway, I am just wondering why there is so much less stuff posted for basketball games? Is it because there is less to argue about? I excpected an open thread last night...


Negativity Is Contagious

via Because of a snowy day that forced me to spend more time in the office, which means access to the virtual world, I spent an hour earlier today surfing the net,...

"You go into different schools, people say things and they call. It’s amazing how many people know a...


"You go into different schools, people say things and they call. It’s amazing how many people know about me other than me. I know what jacket I’m wearing. It’s really kind of funny to me. People try and put two and two together and it doesn’t always equal four. I’m here until somebody tells me different. I hope that means I’m doing a good job. It’s like I tell the players, ‘The day I stop yelling at you is the day you need to start being worried.’ When people mention your name, you take it as, ‘hey I must be doing something right.’"

I no longer care about losing Doc. Just another guy who left his alma mater, and for the second time, in his case. Clearly, he doesn't bellieve patience is a virtue. But after reading the above quotes from Chris Beatty, and just those quotes, I sure hope we keep him. He sounds like the future, and one that I think I would like.

Sorry, Bearcats...But Kelly Green It Is

via Really, I am disappointed for all the fans of Cincinnati, and for the enitre Big East, that Brian Kelly has decided to head for (Greener) pastures.  I had hoped that Kelly...

"We're not going to go play in a game if 10 guys want to play and 70 guys don't. The only way we're...


"We're not going to go play in a game if 10 guys want to play and 70 guys don't. The only way we're going to do it is if we're full force ahead. We're going to talk to the team this week and decide."

Notre Dame co-captain Kyle McCarthy, on whether or not the Irish team will accept an invitation to a minor bowl. Does anyone else find Notre Dame's ego, elitism, and sense of entitlement appalling? This is a school with a winning percentage just over .500 since 1996. Sorry, but with numbers like those, the Irish and their fans should be happy just to get a bowl invitation.

Cincinnati's Situation Feels Oddly Familiar

via With the news, that Charlie Weis is officially out at Notre Dame, it strikes me that Cincinnati's fans find themselves in a similar spot to the one Mountaineer fans found...

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