Saturday, April 18, 2009

Podcast #2

In this episode me and a friend discuss all things that are comedy. From sitcoms, to standup to movies. Also we'll discuss his recently finished screenplay as I pitch him new ideas for his next project

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This little blog

may soon be moving to this little podcast.

I just recorded my 1st one and it's pretty bad for the most part. I keep breathing in my microphone and sound very monotone and often times I'm talking to my roomate who's not on a phone or microphone or anything.

But it's a step in the right direction and primarily what I want to do.

Here's the 1st episode:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Oscars and my Top 12 films of the year...

Well the Oscar's are over and for the time being it looks like award season is over until the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards!!! In all seriousness though the Oscars are over and I couldn't be more annoyed, moreso at the results then anything. Why you ask? Because my opinion's better then the voters at the Academy.

As for the show itself, I thought Hugh Jackman did a good job as host, the musical numbers were great. Only thing that was partially bothersome was his little spiel on how "the musical was back!" But then that dance he did with Beyonce (who looked incredible) was nice. I don't think I'd want him back as a host though, I prefer comedy over dance numbers, perhaps Conan O'brien can do it next year since he'll be in LA from now on.

The one part that really bothered me was the past winners coming out and slathering on the praise to all the acting nominees. I really don't care to hear Whoopi Goldberg or Robert DeNiro tell Sean Penn he's a really neat guy, and it all took so long. Once they were finally introduced it took damn near 10 minutes to finally give out the award, what happened to just showing a film clip of each nominee, I don't think they've done that for several years. Gives you a better idea of the performances the actors took part in.

I'd say the 3 best things of the night was the Tina Fey/Steve Martin bit, the Japanese guy who knew about 16 words of English and ends his speech saying, "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" now that's play to your constituencies. And then when Will Smith flubbed his line and drops, "Boom goes the dynamite!" leaving an entire internet community in hysterics.

And finally the worst part of the night were some of the awards that were taken home. Martin McDonagh deserved Best Original Screenplay over Milk, Wall-E deserved some type of award for achievement in sound but of course the Academy couldn't go away from Slumdog for more then 3 minutes. And the best actor/actresses awards went to those not deserving. Kate Winslet was about the only thing I liked in the movie 'The Reader' it just flat out sucked, I'm almost surprised her boobs didn't get 3rd billing in the movie since they were on screen so much. We get it Kate you like to show off your body because it's what a real woman looks like, newsflash Kate, most people go to movies to see a bit of eye candy not something they can see walking up and down the street 500 times a day. Anne Hathaway was much better in Rachel Getting Married.

Excuse me I just remembered the absolute worst part of the night, during the in memoriam montage, they forgot George Carlin. How embarrassing.

And the biggest snub of them all was Sean Penn getting best actor. He was a distant 3rd in my opinion with Mickey Rourke and Frank Langella of Frost/Nixon neck and neck (with Rourke coming out on top.) What I hated the most was I have to hear Sean Penn being a douchebag 1 more time and he never fails to live up to his billing. I could give a crap to what you have to say about gay marriage, just get up there thank people and get off when the music starts. Hell I even agree with what he's saying about gays being able to get married but why does he feel obligated to speak as if he's some activist where people actually respect his opinion. Not to mention look at the possible badass speech we could have seen if Mickey would have won, here's a taste of what we missed out on

Now onto my 2008 review of film:

This will go down as the year of the Dark Knight and deservedly so. It had ungodly expectations not just as a comic book film but as a possible cinematic masterpiece and not only did it surpass it, but it did so with flying colors and with one of the most haunting and revered villains to ever grace the big screen. People will also remember Robert Downey Jr. from this year scoring big with Iron Man and playing a black guy in Tropic Thunder, had his upcoming movie 'The Soloist' with Jamie Foxx not been pushed back and was released when it was scheduled to, 2008 could have been called the year of the Downey. People will also remember this when Mickey Rourke made it back big with his role Randy 'the Ram' Robinson in the Wrestler.

I think 2007 was more top heavy with films like No Country for Old Men, There will be Blood and Gone Baby Gone but 2008 put out more quality top to bottom when comparing the best films of the year, but not many of them just blew you away. And as far as the Academy goes I think the Wrestler, Dark Knight and even Wall-E got the shaft.

Now onto my most hated films of the year:

Worst film of the year: Normally I would never see such filth and I have an excuse as to why I was subjected to this giant piece of crap. The semester just ended up here at Oklahoma State and my parents were changing the carpet in our house and putting down tiles in there house. Apparently it took longer then it was supposed to when they were laying down cement. So when I got home I wasn't allowed to go into the house until the cement dried. So to kill a couple hours I went to the movies and since my brother couldn't get in a rated R movie we saw this instead of Role Models. It may have been the worst spent 8 dollars of last year. I'm ashamed that Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper in Mad Men) was associated with this. So everyone if you haven't been warned yet, stay away from this movie.

Movie with a great premise but terrible execution:
Hancock - This actually could have been a really really good movie, the 1st half was okay but the 1st and 2nd half of the movie were like 2 guys wrote 1 half of the script and then combined it without even thinking about it. And then when you see it on the big screen you think to yourself, "What the hell is going on???" A chance to have an original concept for a superhero and then BOOM out of nowhere we find out he and Charlize Theron were lovers (or was it siblings?) and things take a horrific turn.

Movie that makes me wonder why the hell it got award consideration:
The Reader - I hate hate hated this movie. Plus the entire time I was watching this movie this scene from the fantastic TV show Extras starring Ricky Gervais was in the back of my mind. Enjoy.

Other giant disappointments or movies I wish I hadn't wasted my time on:

What happens in Vegas - there is really no excuse to why I watched this. I watched this with my roomate and we pretty much mocked it the entire time.

Vantage Point - this movie is partly the reason why I hate action films. I'm able to suspend my belief, but not to the extent of some or most people, watching the final scene where Dennis Quaid is chasing the bad guy in his car made me want to throw something at the screen.

Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay - This movie lacked the charm and whatever made the first one so great. They attacked race in the first film but it was funny, here aside from a few instances it just wasn't funny and then they almost tried to sound smart when attacking republicans but it just came up short. They were under pressure by a bunch of fan boys to make this movie but it was a disappointment as a whole.

Austrailia - I actually loved the 1st half of the movie but then it turned into a love story and was beyond repair. The stampede scene where they're near a cliff in the outback was thrilling stuff though.

Quantum of Solace - This was really disappointing especially considering how fantastic Casino Royale was. I felt dizzy through half the film too with all the shaky camera going on, particularly the opening car chase scene which all seemed like a blur as they were whizzing back and forth for the opening 10 minutes.

21 - A great premise from the book and then Hollywood gets a hold of it and does what they do best, add a love interest, violence where nobody can see and commotion between the main stars of the movie.

Films I liked but aren't making the top 10

Zack and Miri Make a Porno - Kevin Smith gets another comedy hit with this movie, only real beef was the rushed ending. Really ruined a good movie, it's almost like Smith forgot to write an ending and came up with it 15 minutes before he shot it.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - I liked it better when it was called Forrest Gump

Pineapple Express - Comedically I was disappointed by this, it was ok but the action scenes were fantastic, or a lot better then anybody could have expected. As a whole I kind of think comedies were a bit weak (I still need to see Role Models though)
Vicky Christina Barcelona - I was expecting this to be more of a comedy than it was. Barcelona looks gorgeous in this flick though and the confidence Javier Bardem has when he approaches Scarlett Johannsen and Rebecca Hall is something I will forever envy.

Burn After Reading - "I have a drinking problem? F*ck you, Peck, you're a Mormon. Compared to you we ALL have a drinking problem!" It's a shame when the funniest part of the whole movie comes five minutes in, but in all fairness it was one of the funniest lines of the entire year.

Waltz with Bashir - rarely do I see a film without seeing the trailer, this was one of the few cases where I watched purely on hearing positive things about it. So I was playing catch up not really knowing what it was about most of the movie and because of that, I believe the impact didn't hit me nearly as much as it should have, because I'm sure most people have been just absolutely blown away by the ending. I'd recommend this.

Milk - "My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you!"
This was a good movie with some good performances by the likes of Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Emile Hirsch among others but I didn't think there was anything particularly special about it other then to show how dumb it was to hate on gays and how they almost lost there entire lives due to there sexual preference. Perhaps it will grow on me as the years pass since I'm sure it will age fine, perhaps even an iconic film for gay rights.

Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk - this was far and away the best years ever for comic books and I liked both of these films a great deal. In my opinion the action in the Incredible Hulk was better than Iron Man but the presence of Robert Downey and how he commands every scene he's in forces me to put Iron Man over the Incredible Hulk.

Step Brothers and Semi Pro - a couple of funny scenes and/or lines of dialogue surrounded by bits of mediocrity, which seems to be the common theme of Will Ferrell movies since Anchorman. Though the scene in Semi Pro where Tim Meadows calls Will Arnett a jive turkey was one of the more memorable of last year. Have a look for yourself, it's just so absurd it makes you laugh.

Leatherheads - I see this as a love hate film, I liked it alot after going in with low expectations. But George Clooney and Renee Zelwegger have great chemistry in this screwball comedy set in the 1920's.

Top 12 movies of the year...

Tied for 12/11/10 The Visitor/Doubt/JCVD

It was to hard for me to omit one of these pictures so I decided to just include all of them, there are all parts of each of these movies I really enjoy. For those who haven't heard of JCVD yes that is short for Jean Claude Van Damme, he stars in a movie playing himself where he's held hostage as a group of robbers try to make it seem as if he was the main culprit behind the robbery. Van Damme delivers a great performance and the subtitles really don't get distracting aside from one scene where VD delivers his heart felt monologue, this is the 1st of 2 Belgium films to appear on this list.

Doubt delivers great performance in the ensemble cast in this play turned movie. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is casted almost as a sympathetic figure despite being accused of molesting a child and all 3 women nominated for Oscars were deserving. Throughout the 1st half of the Visitor I just really dug the vibe of it as Richard Jenkins learns to play the djembe (skin covered hand drum) from his new found friend Tarek (played by Haaz Sleiman) You become attached to the characters as an outsider and feel sorry for Tarek and his wife Zainab as Tarek gets taken away by authorities for being an illegal immigrant.

9. Slumdog Millionaire
I awoke one Saturday December (or November) morning slightly hung over but wide awake enough to not go back to sleep. So I figured I'd kill some time by going to see a movie and after hearing good things about this movie I'd give it a go. It was good, real good but I'm not so sure it's deserving of all its praise it's gotten during award season. Just thinking back on it I just can't really get past just how implausible the entire movie and how all the pieces fall into place magically, and yet everyone's eaten it up. I don't think it deserved best picture or best director, but then again I don't think the most deserving people were even nominated. So out of it's competetion I guess it deserved it.

8. Gran Torino - "Get off my lawn!"
I loved Clint Eastwood's snarl and demeanor this entire film. Going into this I expected a typical Clint Eastood movie along with him trying to fit every type of racial slur he could think of. And I wasn't wrong, but I didn't hate it either despite how odd it is seeing a near 80 year old Eastwood playing a badass for the umpteenth time. The acting outside of Clint was nothing to write home about and at times laughable but it didn't take away from how much I enjoyed this.

7. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Judd Apatow's company once again proved why he's on top of the comedy world in what was my favorite comedy of the year by far. Starring Jason Segel, Mila Kunis and Russell Brand has a great mix of subtle and in your face humor that has still proved hilarious after several viewings. Mila Kunis just looked absolutely stunning in this, I mean in That 70's show she looked good, but she was smokin in this movie. And perhaps my favorite song of the year was Dracula's Lament

6. Rachel Getting Married
This movie or Milk probably produced the best ensemble cast of the year and Anne Hathaway deserved the Best Actress award for her portrayal as Kym the recovering drug addict who's coming home for her sister's weeding. Had Kate Winslet not been nominated about 31 times prior to this years Oscars I'd have given Hathaway a fair shot at winning this thing. As someone who's only been on the outside looking in at weddings there always seems to be plenty of turmoil surrounding the wedding and this portrayed it perfectly. And although there was a lot of conflict throughout the film and was overall very depressing family was able to overcome all the problems. And although the pre-wedding party went on a little to long along with the reception I still thought it was very well done. MY 4-5-6 films are all fairly interchangeable.

5. Wall-E
This is Pixar's cinematic masterpiece and deserved a best picture nod and is some of there best work to date. I imagine this movie was a lot more for adults then kids, if I saw this as an 8 year old I would probably dislike it or be bored the majority of the movie with the lack of dialogue but it appears that the majority of the adult audience was blown away as Pixar scores another hit. Only a studio with the pedigree and critical acclaim as Pixar has the balls to do a movie like this where 1/3 of the movie is done with no dialogue at all. I was a little beaten over the head with the message the last half of the movie but I'm able to overlook that.

4. Frost/Nixon
"I'm saying that when the President does it, that means it's not illegal!"
Frank Langella was incredible in this movie in this compelling drama between Michael Sheen's David Frost and Frank Langella's Tricky Dick Nixon. Nixon was just so fascinating in this movie as a socially awkward and at times downright depressed individual while at other times being drunk and incredibly hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing when Nixon asked Frost if he had fornicated the night before. In the end Ron Howard leaves Nixon looking as a guy who had just been completely demoralized and defeated as he was trying to re-build his image. You leave the theatre feeling sorry for Nixon and I did because I just became enamored with Langella's character throughout the movie. If not for Mickey Rourke he would be my choice for Best actor, I also thought Sam Rockwell could have possibly picked up a supporting actor nod, but I digress. I don't really understand why this wasn't pushed harder at the box office because it was very well done.

3. In Bruges
"If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn't, so it doesn't."
The most overlooked and underrated film from 2008. This film is much more then the comedy it's trailer makes it out to be and is a nice blend of comedy, drama, action and vioence. And lots and lots of cussing. And although the main character Ray (played by Collin Farrell) craps on the city Bruges the entire time, the film does a great job capturing the beauty of the city. Ralph Fiennes is hilarious as the boss hitman who's after Ray after a botched hit gone horribly wrong when Ray killed a kid claiming if he would have killed a kid he would have pulled the trigger on himself on the spot. I can't recommend this movie enough. It's bold brash, un-PC and doesn't hold back and Screenwriter/Director Martin McDonagh was deserving of best original screenplay in my opinion over Milk. But I suppose the movie was generally overlooked because of its early release date and it not being the typical Hollywood award film.

2. The Wrestler
"I'm an old broken down piece of meat and I deserve to be all alone, I just don't want you to hate me."
This movie and In Bruges were neck and neck but Mickey Rourke's performance was so iconic that in the end it just edged out In Bruges. Everything about this was terrific, from the wrestling scenes, the cinematography and direction of the film to the song 'The Wrestler' by Bruce Springsteen I just adored this movie. Mickey Rourke plays Randy 'The Ram' Robinson a broken down wrestler who's stuck in the past where he's a big star in the 80's and crashed and burned in the 90's. You can just see how stuck in the past he is when he's talking with Marissa Tomei and they're both so nostalgic on how great the 80's hairbands were (crazy, I know) and whenever he invites a kid living in the trailer parks to come play a videogame he was in on the original Nintendo until the kid suggests they go play Call of Duty 3. I thought the wrestling scenes were very well choreographed and Rourke looked pretty legit when in the ring. The movie carries a depressing tone much of the film (which for whatever reason I've always loved) as 'The Ram' keeps making mistake after mistake until he's left with nothing and all comes crashing down at the end. This is a must see for anybody and Darren Aronofsky was absolutely robbed of the best picture and best director nomination. (and probably should have won one of those.)

1. Dark Knight
As I mentioned earlier no film going into this year had more hype going into it, from the 1st time we saw pictures of Heath Ledger's joker to where we saw the 1st 6 minutes of the movie in December 2007. Hell at the midnight screening there were about 10 people dressed up as the joker, people were so amped for this movie. And after multiple viewings it has still held up great, even for a 2 and a half hour movie there's rarely a dull moment. And I don't buy the argument Heath Ledger is only being iconicized like this because he died, he had the best role out of anybody all year and will go down as one of the most remembered and revered characters in movie history. The fact that the role may have killed him makes it just a little more chilling. Christopher Nolan is proving to be one of the best directors in Hollywood today as he did a great job with the action, pacing, sound and everything else that went into making this. Just because it's a comic book film doesn't mean it's not deserving of nominations outside of the technical awards (sound, sound editing etc...) It was the best film of the year and will most likely be the film everyone looks back to when reviewing 2008. (whether people will view this as a positive remains to be seen.) I'll be shocked if the 3rd installment of Nolan's Batman is even close to this one.

And before I go, this week was Conan Obrien's last week on the air until he takes over for Jay Leno in June. These last couple weeks of watching him has been fantastic watching all his clips of past events has been a joy. I trust that Conan won't change but I hope that everything around him doesn't either because that's part of what makes him the best Late show on TV. Here's my favorite clip from his show
conan o'brien play baseball

And if I didn't mention a film you liked, either I didn't see it or didn't care to write about it. Until next time...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Preparing for NBA 2nd half.

Well the NBA's 1st night back in the 2nd half was a decent one. The finale to the Hornets/Thunder game was thrilling as Kevin Durant had 47 points including a game tying turn around 3 with 10 seconds left. And then Chris Paul took control and spun into the lane and hit a little floater with 2 seconds left. Hornets win by 100-98.

Greetings people it's been awhile since I've actually written something, it's just taken a long time to get over the Cardinals Superbowl loss. All sarcasm aside we're heading into the stretch drive of the best part of the sports year. March Madness is just around the corner along with pitchers and catchers and opening day after the NCAA tourney and after baseball season starts we have the NBA playoffs and the NFL draft. Always a great time to look forward to, just takes a while to get to, especially since the allure of 'pitchers and catchers' wears off after about 5 minutes.

1st and foremost, when you are done reading this go straight to this link about Shane Battier, Darryl Morey and the Houston Rockets. It's written by famed author of Moneyball, Michael Lewis. It takes awhile to read but by god it is so worth it:

The NBA just came off one of the most rigged All star breaks I've ever seen, didn't bother me to terribly but was annoying none the less. The dunk contest was set up before they even started to go down between Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson. I didn't want Rudy Fernandez in the dunk contest but he had the best dunk in the 1st round but got shafted by the judges (and I think part of it is because he's a foreigner and not your classic high flyer. I.E not black) But the showmanship between Nate and Dwight did make for an entertaining final round. But I just sat there in awe when I saw Dwight dunked the ball on that 12 ft. rim so effortlessly. And then after thinking Nate Robinson was all tapped out, he jumps over 6'10 Dwight Howard, his final round dunks did deserve to win.

But the best moment of the night was LeBron preliminary putting his name into next year's dunk contest in Dallas. If he actually goes through with this I'm going (and you know he'll win it regardless if he deserves it) if not he'll get killed from a PR standpoint, but he'll have the drones at Nike thinking up over the next year stuff that has never been seen before. Oh and the NBA almost lost me as a fan when they let Kevin Rudolf sing "Let it Rock" live, that's one of those songs that I'd normally hate but for whatever reason isn't that bad but holy hell he can not sing live nor should he ever be able to EVER AGAIN!

Kobe didn't deserve the All star MVP and it was Shaq's game and he owned it. Kobe like the 1st 3 titles just road his coat tails and had it not been for the Shaq/Kobe storyline he wouldn't have gotten any consideration. 27 points on 23 shots, are you kidding? Chris Paul was much more worthy then him. But this All Star game exemplifies why people love Shaq, Dwight Howard may be young and charismatic but he's no Shaq. Something about Shaq's charisma and joking nature and I guess how we've never seen a guy of his size (Oliver Miller not withstanding) just makes you love the guy like a big teddy bear. Plus I had no idea he had moves like that when he came out with the Jabbawockeez. Watch for yourself:

The reason the media loves Shaq is also why he's gotten a pass for being this immature guy the majority of his career, from stuff like 'Tell me how my ass tastes' to off color comments about Kobe in 2004 or mocking other players (Vlade Divac/Sacrament Queens or Erica Dampier) But seeing how this past weekend is going to be one of my last All Star games makes me think how much I'm going to miss that guy. There will never be another Shaq, prime Shaq is a top 5 player all time in my opinion.

I think I finally figured out which sport I like out of the 3 major sports I enjoy most out of all. People always ask me which sport I enjoy the most and it still is extremely close but it's always so hard to choose (might have to ask me in a certain season, this question should change) I think I enjoy basketball the most. I enjoy watching top NBA teams go at it more then anything and then the NCAA tourney puts it over the top. I think my favorite sport team is the Texas Rangers 1A to the Mavericks 1B with the Cowboys a close 2nd. The Rangers may be my favorite team but in terms of watching a normal baseball game that'd probably be a distant 3rd to the NFL/NCAAF being 2nd.

But I'm excited for this 2nd half of the year. Oklahoma City Thunder almost improved there team tremendously getting Tyson Chandler until he failed his physical and is going back to New Orleans. It's a shame that the Hornets are going through money problems (I believe that's the main motivation behind this near deal) because I think that's one of the main reasons why the Phoenix Suns won't win a title because the Suns owner was selling off draft picks left and right and not resigning certain players. I wouldn't be surprised if the Hornets are in Seattle in a couple years, that is if Seattle puts up the dough for a new arena. Here's an article about how the Hornets owner is barely able to scrape by:

But onto the 2nd half, I think that the LA Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers will be meeting in the NBA finals. The only other teams who have a shot are the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs. Now this is always one of the main criticisms of the NBA there's always plenty of top notch teams, but at the end of the day, you know only a select few teams have a chance to win. But I think LeBron finally has above average teammates, I mean aside from Mo Williams and JJ Hickson LeBron's teammates are all the same but they've gotten better offensively and that's why I think he's finally going to get over the hump. Maybe they won't be overtaking the Lakers since they lost fairly easily both games but this is the Cavs best they've had.

On the local side of things for the Mavericks, they've been playing better as of late, but the injury to Jason Terry certainly set them back but they're only a game or 2 back from the 4 seed. But given the competitive nature of the Western Conference they could be out of the playoffs with a couple losses. They need to start playing better against the top teams, it's nice knowing they can compete with top teams but they need to pull out a couple of these games on the road, they got both Houston and San Antonio on the road in the next week and it will be huge if they can at least split those games. And then in March they play 12 games in the 1st 20 games which will test this team.

I don't think they're going to make a move at the deadline tomorrow but never doubt Mark Cuban. As for a possible Vince Carter trade talk, if I'm Dallas I don't do the deal unless I'm getting back the 1st round pick I gave up last year because VC has 14 million over the next 4 years including this season. He would probably be the best 2nd option Dirk's ever had in his career but is it worth giving up Josh Howard? Tough to say, if you go through with the trade you're changing up your strategy where you try and grab a big free agent in 2010, because Dirk, Howard and in all likeliness Erick Dampier are all free agents (and let's not forget about Kidd's expiring deal this year) So in conclusion I see this team as a probably 1st round exit again in the playoffs, we don't really match up well with any of the top teams although a Dallas/San Antonio matchup would be intriguing. But that's about the only top team we would match up well against (maybe a young Blazers team)

So as I mentioned earlier, I'm predicting a Laker/Cavs finals with a possible chance of the Celtics or Spurs replacing either of those teams and if I had to choose a possible dark horse give me the Utah Jazz.

Since the Oscars are coming up this Sunday I shall have my top 10 films of the year up soon, until then sayonara.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl Sunday!!!

Well Superbowl Sunday is one of the days I look forward to in the calendar year. It sucks that I'll be pining for the NFL season to start by the time the draft comes by in late April but it's always an excuse to party, get drunk and hope for a good game...and if not pray like hell the commercials are at least passable.

Just reviewing some of my predictions, well they weren't good. I only got 5 of the 12 playoff teams correct. I failed to forsee the failings and shortcomings of the Jaguars, Cowboys and Packers nor did I think the Bills would wilt like a flower in a Buffalo winter. I also assumed the Seahawks would at one point be healthy but that didn't happen, especially at QB and WR, oh well at least they'll probably get Crabtree which is a plus for them. And nobody would have guessed Brady goes down for the year 8 minutes into the season. Had they actually made the playoffs over the Dolphins they would have probably been the 1st or 2nd most dangerous teams in the playoffs, they were clicking on all cylinders.

My picks for award winners left something to be desired, I picked the aforementioned Brady for MVP and DeMarcus Ware for DPOY. In my opinion he deserved it and had a case for MVP in what I considered to be a less then stellar offensive year which led to Peyton Manning picking up his MVP trophy (that and Adrian Peterson's fumble-itis) And my picks for rookie of the year consisted of a running back on a winless team (though he did improve as the year went on) and a linebacker who was done for the year 5 weeks in. And Dick Jauron looked like he would have been in the running for Coach of the year until the Bills lied down like a (insert profane reference here)

I'd say it was a largely forgettable season, nothing that was just absolutely spectacular that happened. There was a giant inflation in sacks for the top pass rushers. I'm actually a little worn out by this season, especially being a Cowboys fan. The national media hates us, the local media craps on us, the fans can't stand either the players or the coaches and ever since Romo's thumb injury it has been a bitch fest 24/7 on Dallas radio and on the national circuit. Just really tiresome hearing the same crap spewed over and over and finding ways to make this team worse then it already is. I'd almost wish the media would treat us like a normal team rather then devoting a minimum of 25% to this team despite them not even playing a down for over the past month. It just gets old and I get beaten down by it.

But I'll still miss it, in the dog days of summer when the Rangers are playing game 90 in July right as training camp's beginning. That's what makes football so great, is the anticipation and the angst you build up while waiting for the matchup. It's almost as good (and in some cases is) better then the game itself, just sitting around dreaming up all these different scenarios for how the game can maybe play out in your head and trying to convince yourself your team is capable of winning. I also think that's why it's so popular is how so much is on the line in every game and how you don't play 80 games a year and it's easier to follow for most as compared to baseball and basketball. All you need to do is devote 16 days (mainly weekends or weeknights) out of the year for your team.

But now let's get to favorite Superbowl eateries:
Buffalo wings or buffalo tenders. Almost a must at any party you're going to and of course it has to be accompanied by ranch, I hate everything associated with bleu cheese. I mention buffalo tenders because I am a fan of the boneless buffalo wings.

Chips and dip. Doesn't matter what kind of dip, everyone likes some kind of dip, whether it's chips and salsa, chips and queso or a 7 layered dip or this delicious ranch dip that my mother showed me how to make (and I swear by it) Also guacamole for those who can't handle the salsa. Oh yea and if you don't like chips and opt for the healthier alternative (lameass) I suppose there's carrots or celery, but seriously get out of my sight.

Food in bowls? I don't know if you're the type of person who serves tons of snacks but normally if that's the case somebody may pull out like a little bowl of M&M's. Also stuff you may find is Chex Mix, Cheeze-it's. Also people tend to like pretzels or peanuts. Meh...

Also if you host a party it better feature beer and lots of it, if I even detect the scent of a wine bottle I'm leaving.

Onto some of my favorite Superbowl Commercials

This is an extended version of the Terry Tate commercial, but this is probably my favorite commercial of all time. And what's great is there's about 6 of these on youtube.

This was my favorite commercial of last year, you can't go wrong with gecko's dancing to Thriller (greatest music video of all time? Hell yea!)

I could give a crap about Mountain Dew but I love Bohemian Rhapsody and thought they did a great job with the song and what they had to work with.

And finally because I'm a bit biased towards wrestling (especially the WWF Attitude days) I'll show this one, and mainly because I can't quite find a beer commercial I like. And because I'm not gay enough to show you that Mean Joe Greene Coke commercial.

And before we get to the actual game I'd like to introduce to you the greatest snack maybe ever. Behold the Stadium of food!

This bad boy consists of 3 ways to dip your chip. The field is made in a pan and has guacamole and sour cream hash marks, while the endzones are salsa and cheese. The 'players' are sausages with cheese stacked on them and the goal posts are Slim Jim's. The exterior of the stadium is 58 twinkies and what's holding the chips from crashing the field are toothpicks and a wall of bacon. And I assume you can add your own snacks of choice, they went with Cheetos, Doritos, tortilla chips and Chex Mix.

And your total calorie intake comes out to be...
TOTAL COST: $86.47

To see how it was made go here:

Simply stunning.

Onto the game.

Arizona Cardinals @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)

There are tons of scenarios that can play out in this game and might I add 1st that I think Arizona will be affected most by this 2 week layoff. The NFL needs to get rid of this stupid crap, we don't need 2 weeks to build up hype for what will already be the most watched event of the year. Stories become stale and people become cranky waiting for this freaking thing to start. Plus it hurts all the momentum the Cardinals have built up over the past month on this magical playoff ride. Just something that is bugging me because I see no need to wait 2 weeks for it.

But the Cardinals to win have to keep doing what they have done all playoffs, pounce on there opponent early and hope to sit on that lead for the remainder of the game. We already know they're going to be passing the ball just about all game long, but the small possibility of them running the ball gets thrown out the window if they get down by 2 scores early. The Cardinals counter acted the agressive blitzing schemes of Jim Johnson and the Philadelphia Eagles by doing quick routes and getting rid of the ball within 2 seconds after the snap and it worked perfectly until Philadelphia adjusted but luckily were able to hang on after Kurt Warner and there running game put together a game winning drive in the NFC Title game. The offensive line must protect Warner and Kurt needs to be on the lookout for Troy Polamalu, I imagine he'll be playing very close to the line of scrimmage and can picture him reading Warner's eyes and picking off a pass. But this all easier said then done, particularly when you're going up against possibly the greatest defensive coordinator in the past 30 years in Dick Lebeau. One thing that plays in the Cardinals favor is the big play factor of Larry Fitzgerald and even Steve Breaston. Where Baltimore was able to generate a majority of there offense was on pass interference calls on the Steelers, and with the best jumpball WR in the league on your side you know they will test the Steelers secondary early and often.

I think the Cardinals have done a magnificent job this post season limiting some of the top rushers the league has to offer. They shutdown Michael Turner, limited DeAngelo Williams as they forced the Panthers to pass most of the game and held Brian Westbrook in check as he was hobbled. The passing game may be where I start to worry, I mean the Steelers O-line is mediocre at best but Ben Roethlisberger is so great at creating time for himself, sure he takes some sacks every now and then but he's very elusive for a man that size.

So I'll take the Cardinals and assuming they win they'll clear the over too (set at 46.5)

This is my argument for the Cardinals because I really want to believe they can take this game, and because I don't want Pittsburgh to win (or want to believe they will win) there NFL record 6th Superbowl. But just about every other thing I've wanted to go right in this NFL season has gone wrong so why change it now.

But I can't wait for tomorrow to be a new season awaits. I leave you with one final Superbowl commercial that I always found to be quite charming.

until next time...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ranger things...

Red is back in the Rangers life...

This past Friday the Texas Rangers unveiled there new alternate uniform that will be worn on Saturday home games and special occasions, such as this upcoming Opening Day in April.

The club also unveiled new home uniforms, the main difference is on the front of every jersey it says Texas rather then Rangers on the home uniforms. The club has also gotten rid of the sleeveless jerseys (which I was a fan of.) Here's a look of some of the players and manager Ron Washington modeling the new uni's.

They're all pretty snappy, I would like for the home jersey to say Rangers on them because it is devoid of that on every one of the jerseys but aside from that they're good. I think the new red alternate looks good, personally I'm glad they didn't make the full transition back to red, blue in my opinion looks better, but seeing how I am very superstitious and red is the only color we have ever made the playoffs in it's nice to see it back. It's even better that they'll be wearing black cleats because I always thought the all red uniform (including red cleats) years ago looked awkward.

Now the real problem I have is the batting helmets, these things are attrocities on the level of the Chicago White Sox thinking shorts were a good idea for a baseball team and camoflauge jerseys for the San Diego Padres. Just look at these things

It's hard to form a coherent sentence thinking about who the dumbass is who thought these were a good idea. Blue and red are solid colors apart but when they form to go ontop of a hat? What the hell is that! This has to be a gag right? I pray these go the way of the Dallas Mavericks failed silver jersey and never see the light of day again after the backlash for these things will be, HUH!?! I would sleep better knowing the person who made these helmets never receive another job again, at least until he releases a full apology for this heinous creation.

But enough about that let's talk about this. Michael Young moving to 3rd base. This is the right move, I think most people who follow the Rangers farm team and have a decent idea about Elvis Andrus figured this move was going to come sooner then later. I honestly thought it wasn't going to come to 2010 but the Rangers of the last year or 2 have pushed and challenged there top talent (Chris Davis jump to the Majors, Tommy Hunter in the big leagues and Neftali Feliz going from Low A to AA skipping High A altogether. These would just be a few examples) This move makes Youngs gold glove which he won in November look all the more worthless (which it was stupid for him to win) But it may have actually made Young think he was a top tier defender. I don't want to make this a bash Young thread because if he can get to balls he's normally pretty solid with his strong arm but I have seen so many times balls slowly go past the pitcher up the middle or see him half flailing for a ball to his right as it slow dribbles past him into left field causing 2 runs to score. If Andrus is as great defensively as we all here then we are in for a treat. Sure he will make mistakes early on but he will also get to balls Young could only dream of and him and Ian Kinsler could help to form one of the best double play combos this franchise has ever seen.

And some people think it's a dumb move to make the "savvy vet" change positions especially when Andrus had 32 errors last season. Just as a point of reference minor league fields are no where near top condition when it comes to playing surfaces (though I would expect Frisco to have some of the better playing conditions in the minor leagues) Adam Everett and Edgar Renteria are 2 of the top defenders at the SS position, in 2000 and 20001 Everett had 49 errors in 137 games. Renteria was in AA in 1995 he had 33 errors and in his rookie year 1996 only had 11 errors in 106 games. I expect if Andrus is up the entire year he will have around 20 to maybe even 25 errors but you know what, it's ok because I know he'll be able to get to more balls and save some runs so I can deal with the growing pains (along with the problems at the plate he will likely experience) And not to mention all throughout spring training he has one of the greatest defensive short stops of all time to turn to for advice in Omar Vizquel. This kid supposedly has the makeup to be a phenomenal player and a great leader and I for one am excited to see him for years to come, with Young to his right and Kinsler to his left.

This team has to sign Ben Sheets and there is really no way around it, only reason they shouldn't is if reports say he won't pitch until the All Star break. The Rangers rarely if ever have had the opportunity to land a #1 starter especially at this bargain basement price. Tom Hicks, you bitch about not spending money because the fans won't go out to support the team well if you want a chance to rejuvenate some interest around the metroplex and keep the damn media from bashing you and stop talking about the latest Cowboys screw up sign him. The AL West is as weak as it's been in a long time, the Angels have questions on offense and there best offensive players are another year older on the wrong side of 30. The Oakland A's are going for it this year with a rotation almost as bad as the Rangers with there only proven starter is a converted reliever who threw a career high 154 innings last year. And unless they get great production out of Jason Giambi, Jack Cust and Matt Holliday that offense is as big a mess as there lackluster defense. I mean you have to realize that one of Jack Cust or Giambi will have to play the field everyday, that's funny. Billy Beane sees that they have shot to possibly steal the division this year and you should do the same and it starts with signing Ben Sheets to a cheap AFFORDABLE contract.

You already have arguably the best offense in the league, a league average pitching staff (and a little luck) can win this division. You sign Ben Sheets to a 2 year 20 million dollar contract and you have a solidified front of the rotation guy who's been as healthy as your top 2 pitchers the past 2 years. Another positive is you bump down Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla a rotation spot AND they're going to be pitching in a contract years. Technically they both have another year on there contract but Millwood's contract becomes non guaranteed if he fails to pitch 180 IP's (which he hasn't the past 2 years) and Padilla has a team option following this season. Add a guy like Matt Harrison and possibly healthy (crosses fingers) Brandon McCarthy who has apparently put on 25 pounds this off season and you have a decent pitching staff. And if Sheets goes unsigned you're back to being branded as a band of mediocrity with little to no fan interest. I'll of course be interested because I'll always support the team and understand if we don't sign him there is still help on the way but not that many people know that nor have the patience to watch Texas build a winner. The time to act is now and then go for it all in 2010 and 2011.

As documented by baseball blogger over at the Dallas Morning News Mike Hindman he talks about Ben Sheets injury history over the past 4 seasons:

He states in 2004 he missed 3 months due to dizziness caused by an inner ear infection. In 2005 it appears to be documented by many that he had shoulder problems (a big red flag) but it was actually a muscle tear called the latissimus dorsi, which causes you to move the shoulder. In 2006 he was very limited only pitching 106 innings removing scar tissue from his latissimus dorsi. The article goes on to state he has had 0 structure damage done to his shoulder or rotator cuff and no ligament damage to his elbow. Really just a bunch of muscle pulls and odd injuries, seemingly a bit unlucky.

I see no reason why we can't give him 2 (and I'll even give a mutual option for 3 if that's what it takes) and a bunch of incentive type stuff to get him signed. Really I think the club is doing all there homework they can so they don't sign a guy who pitches 12 times a year and has to be shut down, but even if he only pitches 12-20 times a year he'll still be our best pitcher in those appearances, so why not take the risk. And of course everybody knows if we fail to sign him he will prove the doubters wrong and win a CY Young somewhere, that's what happens when you're a Rangers fan.

Gil Lebreton has this to say about the potential Sheets signing:

Finally I want to get to Eric Hurley and the Rangers minor league system. 4 days ago it came out that Eric Hurley was going to miss the entire 2009 season to repair a torn rotator cuff. In 2007 he was ranked by Baseball America as there #68 prospect and the Rangers system was ranked 28th in the major leagues. The year before that the system was pretty barren with only Thomas Diamond, Edinson Volquez and John Danks to hang there hat on. Had Hurley gone down and missed all season in one of those years those who follow the minor leagues would have been crushed because of the amount of pressure and stock that has gone into him. And while it still is a huge blow and I will miss watching him progress this year it's not as big a deal as it once was. Because for the 1st time they have depth.

Baseball America and Keith Law from ESPN have come out ranking the Rangers as both having the top systems in baseball.

In this article Editor in chief for Baseball America states, "Other teams had great pitching or great hitting, but the Rangers had the best of both"

And here is a quote from ESPN's Keith Law, "The Rangers have far and away the best farm system in the game right now, with impact prospects, lots of depth (particularly in very young pitching) and plenty of prospects close enough to the majors to help the big league club in 2009 and 2010."

To read a little more of what Keith has to say click this link:

In Keith's rankings of the top 100 prospects he lists 5 Rangers in the top 40 and 9 in his top 100 (not even including a guy like Eric Hurley) The amount of depth this system has is simply amazing, from guys who are ready or close to being ready (Elvis Andrus, Max Ramirez or Derek Holland) for the big leagues to guys who are just starting (like 17 year old Martin Perez or Engel Beltre) and the depth this team has will cause to lose players to the Rule V draft and will force Jon Daniels to possibly make a mistake or 2. But he's put together some fantastic drafts and some of the best scouting money can buy in Latin America and the last couple years in the Pacific Rim around Korea or Japan. This is why you should get excited about the future of this team, because it truly is the most exciting time in the franchises history.

Until next week where I will write about the Superbowl, and hopefully be able to give my top 10 movies of the year, though i still need a to view a couple more. cya...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Picks for Championship games

Greetings chums, long time no typing, been a little slow to get back to hitting keys as evidenced by missing the last 2 weeks.

Quite a bit's happened, in the DFW area and nationally. Coaching vacancies are being filled while some are losing their job (like defensive coordinator Brian Stewart for the Cowboys, hooray!) But since it's 6:15 in the morning, I'm just going to get to the picks for who will represent the respective conferences in the NFL.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
The Eagles are fantastic both against the run and pass and I expect d-coordinator Jim Johnson to blitz the hell out of Cardinals QB Kurt Warner and force him to get rid of the ball quick and not allow Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin to run downfield. The Eagles secondary matches up against the Cardinals receiving core as well as any team in the league and that will help Philadelphia succeed in winning this game on the road. And if Brian Westbrook is a factor in the ground game against a Cardinals defense that's been fantastic against the run then this game could get out of hand allowing the Eagles to be more balanced rather then Donovan McNabb being forced to make plays the entire game. I don't expect this game to be as lopsided as there 1st meeting but expect it to just start gradually start slipping away from the Cardinals, much like last week in the Giants game.

The Over/under is 47, I can see this going either way, which probably means you should take the under. If the Cardinals are to win this game I'd expect it to be over, if Philly wins which I presume they will I'm going to guess the under.

Baltimore Ravens @ Shittsburgh Steelers (-6) you see what I did there?
I probably hate the Eagles more then the Steelers but this team just bugs the hell out of me and seeing them hoist there would be NFL record 6th Superbowl trophy makes me sick to my stomach. I'm tired of this stupid mentality there fans have and those stupid towels (aren't they just so innovative!) I hate that there's a bias to get Steelers in the Hall of Fame while there's a bias to keep some Cowboys players out of them. I hated seeing James Harrison win Defensive player of the year over DeMarcus Ware (not saying he didn't deserve it, the homer in me felt Ware was the more qualified candidate) and I hate watching Polamalu and his hair flop around week after week. And we aren't even getting to Big Ben and that fat head of his, I often wonder how there is a helmet big enough for Chase Daniel's older brother.

Oh in case you were able to get through all that rambling there is a game to be talked about. I've told this to about everyone I know, the Ravens outplayed the Steelers both times they played each other only to lose it at the end. One of those games being where the refs came to the conclusion of overturning a call despite there not being sufficient evidence in the waning seconds of the game (though Ben probably sneaks it in the very next play)But I'll still never understand how the refs make that call. If Terrell Suggs plays, which I think he will and is as effective as he's been throughout this entire season, I think the Ravens can win, or at least cover the spread, which is what this is supposed to be about anyways. Rookie QB Joe Flacco has to be more composed (that and his receivers need to get opened) I realize he's gone against some top notch defenses the past couple weeks but he needs to be completing more then 50% of his passes to give the Ravens a chance. So it sounds like a lot has to happen for the Ravens to win and while that may be so they've lost there 1st 2 games vs. the Steelers by a combined 7 points so don't just automatically count them out, especially a defense led by the mammoth up front Haloti Ngata future HoF'er Ray Lewis and the best safety this decade in Ed Reed.

Ravens, and the over/under is 34, you'd expect temperature to be a little bit of a factor, which leads me to taking the under.

until next time...