Sunday, February 04, 2007

Decidedly Good News and a Super Bowl Pick

Sometimes in life, you find opportunities and sometimes opportunities find you. I was fairly convinced after not hearing from the company I interviewed with in November for almost a month, that they weren't going to complete the process to legalize my work status. I had called several times, was never able to talk with the my contact there, and figured that was that. So I took the job at Javeriana and started looking for other opportunities.

Well, Thursday, they called. The process is finished, they said. And they asked me to come in on Friday. So I went in on Friday, we worked out the details for the visa and I spoke with my now future boss (again) and he said not to worry about Javeriana, that we'll work something out between the two of us. They asked me to come in on Monday to pick up the package I have to take to the Ministry of External Relations and, assuming all goes well, I'll have my visa on Tuesday. The next step of the process is for them to resend my documents to the US embassy, negotiate salary, and receive final approval. That process should take between 7-10 working days. Which means, that within two weeks, I should be starting my new job.

I owe all of this to the new HR manager that they hired in the beginning of January. Not only does she speak near perfect English, she obviously knows how to get things done. She explained that normally it takes 2 months to get the documents from the government, but that she has a friend on the inside, so it took like 2 weeks. This is about 22-44 weeks different from what the old HR person had told my future boss. So bully for her.

At any rate, as I've learned here in Colombia, I'm definitely not counting my chickens until they hatch. I won't feel like this job is mine until I have a work contract, with a salary, and a start date in hand. Things can and do go wrong here all the time and since it's already been almost 3 months since my interview, I'm not basing my hopes on the timetable I laid out above. But, I do feel pretty good about this since it's with a major company in my field, the work should be very important for Colombia, and I'm going to be able to improve my Spanish in a mixed office. Should be a great learning experience, if nothing else.

Of course, my life looks to be very complicated for the next 4 months as I'll be splitting time between Javeriana and ARD, but I trust that my future boss and I will work out a solution. I realized when talking with him in person, that he just doesn't do very well in English over the phone. In person, he was very apologetic and when I offered to talk with my boss at Javeriana about getting someone to take one or two of my classes, he adamantly said no, that we would work something out, since he had given me the OK to take that job for the short term. At any rate, I'm still going to design another course for Javeriana as well as I want to continue with my academic development and the University is planning on having one of the IR courses at night so that more students can take it. So that's a good thing.


Ok, now to the Super Bowl. I've thought long and hard about this and I've really tried to be objective. But when it comes down to it, I just can't go with the Colts. I have the following reasons:

1. My conscious just couldn't take it. Against the Patriots (arrogant winners of 3 recent Super Bowls), I could root for the Colts. But against the Bears? I don't think so. The Bears are too lovable and really don't have anyone not to root for. Even Tank Johnson (aka Mr. Firearm) is worth pulling for, even if it is just to see if he pulls a sidearm out of his shorts and shoots Manning in the back. My point is, the Bears are just so much more interesting than the Colts. And, I hate rooting for Manning. I want to root for the Manning face. (Plus, my very good friend in Chicago would never forgive me if I rooted against his Bears.)

2. The weather. One reason I waited to make a prediction is because I wanted to see what the playing conditions were going to look like. It makes a huge difference to a team like the Colts, but for the Bears, not so much. And, today, Miami is expecting wind and rain. That's good for the Bears, bad for the Colts.

3. Everyone, and I mean everyone, thinks this will be a walkover win for the Colts. That means that I should immediately call Vegas and put money down on the Bears. Because one thing that I know to be true, professional predictions of Super Bowl victors are almost universally wrong (See Bucs, Tampa Bay vs. Raiders, Oakland).

4. I don't trust the Colts Defense. This story has been spun masterfully by ESPN's Sports Guy and I won't go into too much detail here. But, the bottom line is, the Colts D didn't get miraculously better in the last month. They were smart and played two one-dimensional teams and gave up 30+ to the only team that had a balanced offense. One thing the Bears do is mix the run with the pass quite well and I think the Colts give up a lot of points in this one.

5. Last, but not least, defense wins Championships and the Bears got the D to do the job. I expect Urlacher and Briggs to be all over the field, dominating the Colts TE, which will be the difference. Take away the middle of the field and I don't expect the Colts to move the ball with the authority that they're used to. And if they can't move the football and drives stall, then Manning has to take more risks. That's a bad idea against a very opportunistic Bears defense that can, and I think will, score points in this game.

Bring on the Manning Face.

Bears 30 - Colts 22

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