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Are we really that angry? Probably
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One of the joys of spending any sort of time working in a media capacity is that sooner or later, your email address is going to end up on mailing lists that you never knew existed.
Sometimes they’re informative – something that you write about will get you placed on a list of public relations handlers that will constantly feed you information on whatever topic may have been discussed.
And other times, they’re added out of spite – I can’t tell you how many political candidates that I would never vote for end up lobbying me for “last minute emergency funds” during election time because somebody thought it would be amusing to add my name as a supporter (and I’m delightfully waiting to see what happens after I admit this).
Almost 99 percent of the time they go straight into the trash, but every once in a while, there’s a gem that warrants further discussion.
According to new data released by, California has the second angriest drivers in the entire United States and trails only Hawaii – renowned for its constant gridlock and bevy of tourists unfamiliar with where they are going – and slightly ahead of New York.
Think about that for a second. The city with a million taxicabs and 20.2 million residents within its larger Metropolitan Area (although this includes New Jersey, which finished right behind New York) isn’t quite as bad in terms of road rage as a city known for its picturesque sunshine and laid-back attitudes.
It’s worth noting that this list was compiled by identifying the frequency of the hashtag “Road Rage” on social media, so it’s by no means a comprehensive or even scientific finding.
But as I started to sit back and think about it – and the recent, local examples of the attitudes of drivers that I encounter on the road – it really made me think about how much of an issue it really is on a day-to-day basis.
Not every incident of road rage is like the one I encountered last year when a driver heading south on Highway 99 didn’t like the fact that I approached behind him moving faster than he was, and slowing as I got closer.
It’s worth pointing out that while I may have been, by the handbook definition, following too closely, I was far from riding his bumper like most people do on that roadway (subsequently designated one of if not the deadliest highway in the entire state) and never did anything that I would have considered unsafe. I simply slowed down as I approached and followed as we passed traffic together.
He didn’t like this. In fact, his anger was so severe that he actually pulled over in the other lane once he had the space, slowed down, and made a throat-slitting gesture with his thumb before slamming on his brakes, cutting straight in behind me, and then proceeding inches off of my bumper for five miles or so while making gun gestures with his hand and waving his arms wildly.
It wasn’t my best trip home.
This is obviously an outlier, but as anybody who has ever driven more than 30 miles from their house on a daily basis for work can tell you, people in this state will do nearly anything behind the wheel to keep their position in the living beast that is traffic.
And they’ll do it all while eating breakfast, shaving, reading the newspaper, texting and talking on the phone – which is another issue entirely.
Do we deserve this infamous distinction as a state with some of the angriest drivers?
But does that guy really need to be going the speed limit in the fast lane?

Pigskin Prognosticators Hitting the Home Stretch
Here we are in the fifth week of the Valley Oak League season and things couldn’t be any tighter.
Currently I’m leading with a 16-7 record while Chris Teicheira, Mark Condit and Eric Wohle are tied at 15-8 with three weeks left in our race to capture the crown.
Condit deserves some extra praise for an unblemished record last week – moving him out of the solo cellar and into a respectable position to make a move this week – while Teicheira fell from the shared throne with myself after he went 3-3 with his calls.
The competition is fierce and the banter is heavy, and with Manteca facing Sierra next week and East Union the week after that, all of the stops will be pulled out in the coming weeks as each respective participant tries to steal some glory in the name of their alma mater – which is looking like the only glory my Alma Mater is going to have this season.
Sierra would have to win its next three games – against East Union, Manteca and Weston Ranch – to even stand a chance at making the playoffs, and to put it mildly that’s not looking very likely.
So, with that in mind, here’s what we’re thinking about this Friday’s slate of games:
uMyself – I don’t really want to give up the crown, but the only safety net is putting some distance between myself and the rest and I hope I have enough variety this week to do just that. I’m taking East Union over Sierra – that Lancer offense is going to give the Sierra defense trouble – and I’m taking Manteca in a rout over Weston Ranch. I’m also taking Escalon over Ripon – a team I think will be heartbroken after a 42-41 loss last week and are going to have their hands full with the scrappy Cougars – as well as the Raiders over the Chiefs. Now, while I said I wasn’t going to pick San Francisco until they proved they could win a game, they have lost five consecutive games by less than three points, and I hate the Dallas Cowboys with every bone in my body and would be a fraud if I didn’t pick against them. So, the 49ers are going to get their first win of the season this year against Dallas, and it’s going to be spectacular.
uTeicheira – Chris is also taking the Lancers (that must have been tough for him, but certain ties bind stronger than others) and the Buffaloes, and is picking Escalon – a place where he spent some time as a kid – despite the fact he was boasting last week about riding the Ripon red for its consistency. And he’s even personalized his prediction there – he believes that “Escalon is going to win by the length of Mark Loureiro’s moustache.” I haven’t seen the Wing-T master this season, which will be last at the helm of the storied program, but I think that comparison means by at least a touchdown. He is taking his Raiders over the Chiefs, and the Cowboys over the 49ers even though he dabbled with the idea of switching his red luck charm to the boys of San Francisco but thought better of it. Does he return to the top this week as a result?
uCondit – He was perfect last week, and he’s taking a bold stand this week as well.. The man affectionately referred to as “Yoda” is taking Manteca and East Union, Escalon the Chiefs and the Cowboys. He’s going against the Bay Area grain to try and get ahead. Lets’ hope it pays off. 
uWohle – In a strange twist, Wohle – who submitted his picks just before the deadline – picked the same schools as Condit with Manteca, East Union, Escalon, Kansas City and Dallas rounding out his sheet. This means that either I’m moving up two game in the next week, or I’m going to get passed over by a Buffalo and a Lancer at the same time. Things are getting interesting indeed. 
Until next week.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.