Friday, September 29, 2006

Want to see an awesome movie? 

Then check out The Departed when it comes out next Friday. I was lucky enough to catch an advance screening last night and it is awesome. Scorsese is still terrific at what he does. Might be considered a very "guy" movie, but Vera Farmiga really shines when she's on screen. The respective descent and ascent of Damon and Leo is really fun to watch and, of course, it's got Jack chewing the scenery in a roll that'll probably earn him an Oscar nom if only because he is who he is. Alec Baldwin: scene stealer.

See this movie! It rocks harder than throwing a live bag of puppies into traffic (and that's a lot)!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

900 posts 

It's almost depressing to think I've spent that much time on this page, but oh well. Whatever it takes to keep me going...

And now, we talk about Veronica Mars.

Just finished the DVDs for season 2, last night, and I was pretty damn disappointed by the finale. In a major way. If you plan on watching the DVDs, don't read further.

I cannot imagine that anyone would buy that Beaver was the bad guy mastermind. Not for a second. Why? Because unlike Aaron Echolls in season 1, what we see of Beaver's character offers absolutely zero credence to the suggestion that he's a murderer. Zip. Ziltch. Nada. Not only that, it's only in the last 20 minutes of the series when Veronica looks at a little league team photo in a Woody's Burger that reads "not pictured: Cassidy Casablancas" that there's eve a hint that Beaver blew up the bus. For a show that seemingly prides itself oh so much on plotting and pacing, I'm sorry, that's just bullshit. I mentioned Aaron Echolls being the heavy in season 1 and, at first, having issues with that, but the way that the first season finale carried it off made me buy it. We've seen that he's a bad guy. Peripheral character, yes, but the seeds had been planted long before. Whereas with Cassidy, it's as unjustified as Scream 2 when Laurie Metcalf's character (who has nothing to do with anything and is long forgotten) just happens to be one of the bad guys. I hate it. The mystery for season 1, I thought, was far more compelling than that of season 2.

There are a good half dozen episodes that I wish I had skipped, looking back on them. Among those: "My Mother, the Fiend," "Rapes of Graff," and whichever one was set at the school carnival ("Plan B?"). Having so much filler in an otherwise pretty serialized storyline irritates even further when you note the show's awful habit of not showing key events that just happened to have occurred between episodes (Logan's dropped trial, Terrence in the hospital, etc). At the risk of sounding horribly racist, anytime that black characters on this show are on screen, time slows to a painful crawl. BOOOORRRIIIIINNNNGGGG.

I'm totally immersed in the noir world created by the show and the build up is so good, but damn... Beaver? It's stupid. Am I willing to watch season 3? Definitely. There's a lot of strength in this series. I just hope they can come up with a satisfying ending this time. Also, dollars to donuts says that the next washed-up, faded celebrity guest star of yesteryear (Hamlin, Guttenberg) ends up being a bad guy. I can't wait for Dabney Coleman to show up and be a serial rapist druglord.

Other stuff on the TV:

Project Runway - Last night's episode turned out to be so fluffy and feel-good. I'm down with that, as nearly all reality TV feasts on the opposite. I just wish Bravo hadn't ruined this surprise with their promos.

Studio 60 - I'm still with this show. It's not mind-blowing, but it's got a fair start and has promise. Everyone fawns over Sorkin's dialogue, but I have to say, his unrealistic dialogue is probably the number one inhibitor to making this show (or any Sorkin shows, for that matter) laugh-out-loud funny. When you don't believe that people really talk that way on a constant basis and it feels like the writer is just dripping with self-love, it's hard to laugh.

The Daily Show - Think for a moment about how absurd it is that President Musharraf (sp?) of Pakistan appeared on this show before all others. He wasn't on CNN or FOX News or any of the networks... he was on Comedy Central with Jon Stewart. It is simultaneously hilarious and depressing when thinking about the state of television news.

The Office - Thank God, they're bringing back Jim already. It took all of one episode before they realized that the show loses a ton of comedic zip when it's core characters aren't physically in the same space. Love this show, though. Best on the air, right now.


Miserable 7-7, both straight up and against the spread, last week. Just a really bad week.

Sometimes, you're right on (Cincinnati 28 Pittsburgh 20)
Sometimes, you just miss (St. Louis 16 Arizona 14)
Sometimes, you get lucky (Baltimore 15 Cleveland 14)
Sometimes, you're just horribly wrong (Seattle 42 NY Giants 30)
And sometimes, you didn't expect the emotion of the night to carry (New Orleans 23 Atlanta 3)

If you're a Steelers fan, don't panic. The team is 1-2 and they have a couple real difficult games to come after the bye, but they're still a good team. They've just facing a brutal schedule.

Patriots fans, maybe you have a little more cause for worry. Pats just looked flat out bad at home to Denver on Sunday night. They might just be one Corey Dillon recovery away from bouncing back, but narrow wins against Buffalo and the Jets to start the year don't exactly inspire confidence.

Terrell Owens claims that he did not try to committ suicide. Fine. I believe him. Let's move on. Dallas is a suspect team, so long as he is out of the lineup.

Kurt Warner's days are numbered. ESPN reported that Matt Leinart was going to start this weekend before coach Dennis Green had to clarify that Warner was still the starter. But really, is Warner going to make it to, say week 6? I don't think so. He's bad.

Picks -
Philadelphia, on Monday night, over Green Bay. It's the lock of the week.
Best game of the week will feature San Diego beating Baltimore.
Cincinnati over New England in a game of two teams headed in opposite directions.
No Shaun Alexander maybe open things up for Chicago as they nip Seattle.
Atlanta over Arizona
Minnesota over Buffalo
Carolina over New Orleans
St. Louis over Detroit
Dallas over Tennessee
Kansas City over San Francisco
Jacksonville over Washington
Indy over NY Jets
Miami over Houston
Even in this matchup of winless teams, I think the Raiders are probably the inferior team. But if they can't beat Cleveland at home after a bye week, we may as well cancel the season immediately. Hoping against hope, going with Oakland.
(B, I like all of these winners to cover except for KC, Carolina, and Dallas)

War Raider Nation!


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Axl and Alice and Muse, OH MY! 

I'm fairly certain that I went to the best concert of my life yesterday. Actually, there's no "fairly" about it. Certainly the best. And there were a host of shitty opening acts, too!

As I've mentioned here before, yesterday, I went to KROQ's Inland Invasion. It's an all-day music fest and this year's headlining acts hadn't performed in quite some time: Alice in Chains and Guns N' Roses. But it had an auspicious start. First off, the venue (Hyundai Pavillion) is a good hour and twenty away from anything, nestled in an orifice of Rancho Cucamunga or Upland or one of those Inland Empire dumps. Before we even parked, I made up my mind to never come back out here again unless it was for a really really special reason (so probably never). Arriving at about 4:30 p.m. we were fortunate enough to miss a few of the lousy KROQ acts, but not all.

30 Seconds to Mars - Actor Jared Leto has a band. Someone should take it away from him.

Papa Roach - I don't really like their music, but I have to admit that they weren't half bad as performers. Very spirited and unabashedly honest about who they are. It's just that it was Papa Roach.

Avenged Sevenfold - Do I even want to waste time writing about these meatheads? They're stunningly awful. With cries to the audience of "I want you to kill eachother (mosh and whatnot)," it's not hard to figure out that their fanbase is amazingly stupid. There were video monitors screened on the stage behind the bands. Everyone had trippy graphics except for Avenged who chose to show their own music videos. If someone told these knuckle-dragging screamers that they could make a video just purely of them masturbating, they would. So in love with themselves.

The highlight of this early session was unquestionably a couple of dolts sprinting for their lives behind us, tearing across the entire lawn and chased by at least a dozen security guards. It was more like a train of security guards, as, funnily enough, they were sprinting in single file. So these dozen security guards finally catch up to the two trouble-makers, beat them down, 'cuff 'em, and escort them out. That was better than anything that had been on stage to that point.

Then it was the headliners' turn. This is the point in the evening, about 7:30ish, where I started cheering.

MUSE - Very little crowd interaction, but damn it, they didn't need it. They flawlessly and brilliantly played, blasting through their set. So skilled, so talented. Unreal transfer from recording to live performance. They fucking rocked! I'm sure we've all heard the knock, 'Radiohead with guitars,' but Muse is so much better than that condescending label. I hope all the preceding bands took note.

ALICE IN CHAINS - AHHHH! They said it would never happen again after Layne Staley died, but AIC has returned and, stunningly, they sound as though they haven't missed a beat. They're as good as ever. They acquired a new singer, whose name I don't know, and the guy is an exact match of Staley's voice. Absolutely spot-on. To hear a recording of each, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Hardly any theatrics, just the straight-up rock that Alice in Chains is known for. The set included "Dem Bones," "Damn that River," "Heaven Beside You," "Angry Chair," "No Excuses," and "Rooster." They closed with "Would?" but the highlight of the set was undoubtedly when they brought special guest Chester from Linkin Park out to sing "Man in the Box." Chester from Linkin Park? That's a KROQ exec pulling the strings, no doubt, because no AIC fan, myself included, could give a damn. But "Man in the Box" was the highlight because every single person there, I'd say at least 2,500 - 3,000, sang along at full blast. So impressive was the crowd performance that we couldn't even hear Chester and I'd say that no one was complaining about that. This was only AIC's second show since returning and, again, they sounded just amazing. You'd never know they've been off for so long. Everyone was blown away.

When Alice in Chains finished their set, it was 9:15 and there was a scheduled break of about 45 minutes for people to run to the bathroom, get refreshments, whatever while the stage set was changed. G N' R was slated to come on at 10:00. The layout of the venue was very simple. A proscenium stage with two tiers of seating. Closest to the stage were "the seats," premium seating. Towards the back was the lawn, general admission. In between the two was a walkway divide that security could patrol, as each section was fenced off. For the benefit of those in the back, KROQ provided jumbotron screens that showed up close what was happening on stage. During the intermissions, though, they would show music videos. The problem is, they only brought about seven videos. This turned out to be a major problem during the wait between AIC and G N' R.

Anyone who is anyone knows that Guns N' Roses were known least of all for their punctuality. But after a long day in the sun and massive consumption of alcohol, not many in the crowd were receptive. 10 pm came and went and everything on the stage seemed to be set to go. 10:15... 10:20... and all the while, the same few music videos are blaring throughout the pavillion. When they looped for the third time, the crowd began to get powerfully unruly. Sitting on the lawn, you also happen to be amid a lot of trash. At concerts, those lead to trash fires. Several of them! Just behind me we could both see and inhale the burning plastics. Mmm... noxious... But that wasn't even the best part. Shitty music over the p.a. and a never-ending wait lead to groans. Those groans turned to boos. Soon enough, those boos turned to projectile launching. Remember the Seats and the Lawn? The haves and have nots? Well, they went to war. Some jackass lobbed a water bottle into the lawn section. This prompted retaliation and before you could say, "Avenged Sevenfold sucks," trash was flying all over the sky. It was fun! You had to have your head on a swivel, but it was pretty hilarious. Trash and water bottles became FULL water bottles and the stakes were raised a little further. One guy on my side (the Lawns), a burly Hispanic guy, not wearing a shirt, about 25, and decked out with a mohawk, rushes to the front, cheering, "Yeah! Bring it! Me too! I want in!" He was just a funny looking character to begin with and he was just so excited. Moments after he charged forward -- THUNK! He catches a water bottle thrown by the enemy. "YEAH!!!" It's not just Mohawk who is cheering, everyone on the lawn was going apeshit. Our guy just intercepted a bomb and we (especially him) were busting with elation. He then fires it back at the seats and pegs some guy straight on in the head. Another roar from the crowd followed by a chant of "Fuck the Seats!" Soon, security tries to impose their will and break up the chaos, but they weren't very effective. The shitty KROQ music is still blaring over the speakers and then, in a moment of pure Westside Story, the Lawns and Seats became Sharks and Jets. "Chop Suey" by System of a Down (another regrettable band) was playing. After the halting ruckus portion of the song is over and it segues into that pretty chorus, the Lawns and Seats showed down, arms extended out, and sang to eachother. A chorus of "Chop Suey" between two warring factions while plastic bombs were still being lobbed at either side... you can't make this stuff up, people. That carried on for a few minutes more and then...


Everyone quits the war and immediately goes balistic! No mistaking that one single chord. Everyone knew what it was. The whole place goes dark. Ba-na-da-nananana... Ba-na-da-nananana... There's only one song that that guitar chord leads to. And then, in the darkness...

"DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE FUCK YOU ARE?!" Boom! Pyrotechnics light up the stage and there's Axl Rose rocking the shit out of "Welcome to the Jungle." It's 10:50 and the main event is finally underway, off and running. After that intro, the set continued:
- It's So Easy
- Mr. Brownstone (Signs of Axl's age first showed here. No one can tear up their voice like that and expect to be intact.)
- Live and Let Die
- Sweet Child O'Mine
- Knockin' On Heaven's Door
- You Could Be Mine
To prolong Axl's voice and make it last, Axl introduced each member of the band -- Robin Fink from Nine Inch Nails, Tommy Stinson from The Replacements, Brain from Primus, Dizzy Reed, and the other two guitarists whose names I can't remember. Sporadically, throughout the show, he would introduce them between songs and each would solo on their instrument. Extended solo. The point was two-fold, 1) Give Axl a chance to catch his breath and 2) show the world that each one of these "new" members fucking rock at what they do.
- Out To Get Me
- November Rain
- My Michelle (duet w/ special guest SEBASTIAN BACH!! 15 years ago, could you ever possibly imagine?!?)
- Don't Cry (guitar only!! One of the extended solos. What balls to carry this song off without lyrical accompaniment.)
- Patience
- Night Train (end of set -- wink)
Mixed in there was one song, the title of which I don't remember, from Chinese Democracy and both of the new tracks that were leaked onto the internet. Couldn't tell you what those were called either, but they sound right about like what you'd expect the natural progression of Guns N' Roses, in the year 2006, to be. Satisfying. Also, one of the musical solos transformed into a guitar faceoff which then segued into Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful." People didn't realize it until the notable chorus, but it was incredibly pretty. Style points from end-to-end. I lost my voice during "Out To Get Me" which was ONE HOUR into their set. They would playing for two hours and fifteen minutes. 2hr 15min. YO!
- another song from Chinese Democracy
- Paradise City
There was a curtain call to follow. Again, 2 hours and 15 minutes of brilliance. The band had two warmup gigs in New York before touring in Europe, but this show last night in Southern California marked their official return to the American music scene. Gone were the images of four years ago when Axl and a rag-tag bunch surprised the MTV Music Awards, only to disappoint on every level imaginable. That performance was embarrasing. But last night? That was a different group. The new G N' R is a lean music machine, concerned as much with showmanship and they are with attitude. It was a committed performance. Electric. Axl will never be able to race through lyrics like he did before and the image of him that we all remember will forever remain in memory, but all other parts of the group were tip-top. And as the group took a bow, Axl had some inspiring parting words for the crowd. He was happy, smiling ear-to-ear, proclaiming how indebted he was to the fans for spurring this comeback and how committed the group is to making performances like tonight's a regular thing. It might sound cheesy, but it felt historical to me. The one-time biggest band in the world is back. Seeing them in concert is an experience I was certain had passed by long, long ago. But now, I can joyfully cross it off my list of things to do before I die.

Can you believe these tickets were a mere $35? I was dead on my feet by the time the show was over, but obviously, it was worth every penny. Best concert ever.


Friday, September 22, 2006

We belong to the night, we belong to eachother! 

Sorry, I've got Pat Benatar stuck in my head for some reason. I think it's because there's a commercial in heavy rotation on ESPNEWS featuring that song. Hmm...


- I was here. We marched around CBS and acted powerful angry. We were many in number. A limo pulls over on Beverly Boulevard and the back passenger window rolls down to reveal -- who else -- Harry Hamlin. "What's going," he asks. We fill him in and he pumps his fist in solidarity. "Power to the people," says The Hamlin. Look at Harry Hamlin, charismatic rabble-rouser. He is Perseus, after all. It's funny, I've been involved with this thing for a couple years, now, and, Wednesday morning more than ever, it felt like a giant social club. Sure, there's a significant cause we're pushing for, but the rally really felt like a big reunion for a lot of people. One of those instances where LA really is a small town and you bump into old friends you haven't seen since you worked together. Some applause, everyone, for the "Top Model 12."

- The Office of Finance for the City of Los Angeles sent me a notice of delinquency, this week, claiming that I owed several years of back taxes for the small business that I'm operating. COOL, RIGHT?! Yeah, so I don't own a small business. Now, I've got to go through a river of shit to clear this mess up once and for all -- something I thought I was rid of back in February. Turns out that because I worked a three-week stint in January of 2003 as a production assistant and was paid with a 1099, the city believes I'm an entrepreneur. Yay!

- Speaking of idiocy, I lost my debit card the other day (only to find it today because I'm a fucking putts). The night I lost it, though, I called up Bank of America to cancel it. The receptionist asks the requisite security questions, finally inquiring what my address is for verification. She tells me, horrified, "Oh my God... whoever entered your information misspelled 'Los Angeles.'" What could I say? "Wow. I'm very disheartened by that." There was a "p" in there, people. For the record, the misspelling was, "Les Angolps."

- What do you do if you find your dog rolling around in the grass on top of a dead squirrel, batting it around, using it as both a toy and a back-scratcher? Well, first you cover your nose and mouth because the smell is incapacitating. Get a plastic bag to put your hand over when you pick up the dead squirrel to chuck it in the garbage bin. Chain your dog to the wall, so that she won't run away when you blast her in the face with water while soaping her down. Wait for garbage to be collected, then hose out the inside of the garbage bin. It's a process.

- The Black Dahlia is just plain stupid. It's dumb, not a good movie. And it is because of it's dumbness that it is bad. To list off my problems with it would just get me angry, so I'm not going to do it. Nice photography, fair performances, stupid story. Acknowledging how awful his last couple movies have been, Brian De Palma is still horribly overrated.

- Oldboy? Now, there's a movie that is just totally nuts and all the way eff'd. It's good, too, if not completely disturbing in ways you never saw coming.

- Tough slate for week 3 of the NFL. I went a sparkling 14-2 last week, 13-3 against the spread. Give me my own 900-hotline, damn it! Pick of the week, no question, is Baltimore over Cleveland. Three great games this week and I'm picking the road team in all of them: Cincinnati over Pittsburgh, Jacksonville over Indianapolis, and NY Giants over Seattle. Other winners: Carolina, Chicago, Miami, Buffalo, Arizona, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, New England, and on Monday Night, Atlanta will beat the Saints in the first event to be held in the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina. You can bank on the NFL miliking that one.

- Want to see something cool? Check this out. I'm sure that the keeper is on suicide watch.

- Finally, tonight is Rosh Hashanah, so let me just wish everyone a happy new year. Have some apples and honey or something. L'shana Tova.


Monday, September 18, 2006


Raiders sucked dong, yesterday, but I was encouraged somewhat by the performance of the defense. Baltimore probably should've hung 45 on the scoreboard, but the Oakland D held them to several field goals instead. An accomplishment considering the inept offense put them in a hole all game long. Man, that offense is bad. I'm happy to see Andrew Walter in there, though. Even if Aaron Brooks recovers from his "shoulder injury," I think I'd prefer to see Walter be the starter for the remainder of the season. The good news is that next week they can't possibly lose... because they won't be playing.

Stuff that's annoying:
- ants
- Silverlake (obviously)
- that dude at the gym who always flexes naked in front of the mirror in the locker room (gross)
- people with selective memory who don't have a leg to stand on
- Myspace (worse than the "friend requests" are the log-in delays -- it's just not worth it, is it?)
- how bad the Raiders look
- Liverpool's mediocre start to the season
- the "Oh yeah, well I was "..." So there!" one-ups-manship (sp? I've never actually written one-ups-manship -- one-upsmanship? -- before) level of immaturity
- spam that doesn't contain any random passages of mangled Russian literature -- what fun are those?
- feeling sheepish about blowing $90 on drinks at a bar, only to do it again later
- hangovers
- my cable provider just dropped the NFL Network! What the fuck, Time Warner Cable?! Faceless Fuckers!
- manual transmission -- WHY?

Stuff that's great:
- sleeping in
- bumping into really old friends that you haven't seen in ages (especially when you don't even recognize them)
- doing it
- Sitemeter (those "returning visitor" reports do not lie... it's disturbing, actually)
- "The Authority" (it's just awesome)
- The Office (particularly that season 3 premieres this Thursday. Also, the "Booze Cruise" episode in season 2. It may not be the funniest of them all -- though it is funny -- but it's definitely in my top 3, if only for that last scene between Jim and Michael)
- Oakland A's are all but in the playoffs and Anaheim sucks. Love it! (let's not focus on how the A's will likely fold in the divisional playoffs)
- Studio 60 debuts tonight (It's one of perhaps three shows I'd like to invest time into this new TV season)
- I've got peace of mind on several fronts and it is deeply satisfying
- Crank (DELIVERS!)
- in just five days: Guns N' Roses and Alice in Chains (me: excited)
- I'm happy


Grand Theft Auto: The Movie 

They made it! Oh yes, they did. It's called Crank and, while it isn't a "good movie," believe me, it DELIVERS! Laugh-out-loud crazy. Now, excuse me while I go beat some black ass and have sex in the middle of Chinatown.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

They're calling today "Separation Saturday" 

But, as I see it, of the seven intra top 25 showdowns in college football this afternoon, only two of them have serious national title implications: LSU v Auburn and Michigan v Notre Dame. Let it not be said that the other games simply don't matter -- on the contrary, they're all good contests -- but in terms of January, these are the two that really matter. I don't think there's much doubt among anyone outside of Lincoln that USC will stomp Nebraska. Florida v Tennessee will be good, as always, but I don't think either team has the quality to pip Auburn (or LSU, for that matter). Miami's season was already struck down after losing to FSU in week one and I don't believe that Louisville has a real chance at the national title -- not with a Big East schedule hampering them. Texas Tech v TCU? Puh-lease. Oklahoma v Oregon is intriguing, but again, I don't think either have much chance at the nat'l title game. The Ducks do have an outside shot at the Pac Ten crown, though, but it means winning AT USC later this season.

In summation, I'm taking:
Notre Dame (much to my own chagrin)

Week 2 of the NFL is set to go. Went a middling 10-6 in my picks last week. Things look a little clearer for round 2, but there's always concern that a team's initial performance for the season may just have been a fluke. Two instances where I don't think that's the case: Baltimore v Oakland and San Diego v Tennessee. The Raiders couldn't have looked like a worse football team on Monday night. It's the kind of dreadful performance that has nightmarish visions of 2-14 dancing in your head. Baltimore looked excellent in their opener and I'm content to ride a healthy Steve McNair and that Ravens defense against my out-manned, underprepared favorite team. Similarly, there's no way in hell I'm picking against San Diego at home with Shawn Merriman and Luis Castillo licking their chops ahead of the Titans rotation of crappy QBs. I like Miami in a tough one over Buffalo. Minnesota continues their unlikely good start against dinged Carolina. Picking the Saints on the road? Yes, they're playing a pitiful Green Bay team. Speaking of the Pack, they're betters in week one, Chicago, will show that Detroit's promising start -- albeit in defeat to Seattle -- will be somewhat of a fluke. I like the Bears to prevail against Shaun Rodgers & co. As for Seattle... possible upset victims against Arizona this weekend? Nah. Best game of the week is Giants vs Philly. I'll take NY in a minor upset. Other selections: Indy, Atlanta, Denver, St. Louis, Cincy, New England, Dallas on Sunday night, and you better believe that the Jacksonville Jaguars are for real. At home, they're pipping the Superbowl champion Steelers with a questionable Big Ben Motorcycle on Monday night.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Here's a new one 

You get cut a couple weeks early from your gig, then brought back shortly after because, damn, the powers that be realize they still need you. I'll be rolling in employment for literally a couple more days, but I take a lot of satisfaction in knowing that the bosses admit to making a mistake by letting the story department go early. Of course, I'm the only one back for the next few days, but that's not a problem. This show, man... this show... It'll be interesting to have not one, but TWO last days of work for the same job.

Raise your hand if you picked up season 2 of American The Office and are loving the shit out of it. *my hand: raised*


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Same old crappy Raiders 

Wow. That was embarrassing. Not unexpected, though. But surrendering 403 sacks (it was actually 9)? Disgusting. We deserved every bit of that 27-0 shelacking.

Other thoughts on week one:

- Brad Johnson looked like a man with a mission for this season last night. Vikings were the better team. Playoffs are in sight as long as long as Johnson is at the helm.

- Speaking of players at the helm, Kansas City is in major trouble if Trent Green ends up missing more than the expected three weeks. Not all bad for the Raiders, as the Chiefs and Broncos both lost. I like that.

- Reggie Bush impressed, sure, but two other rookies who looked awesome: Laurence Maroney of New England and Vernon Davis of San Francisco. On Maroney, he's pretty much the reason the Patriots escaped Buffalo this weekend.

- The loss of Edgerrin James leaves the Colts with a ridiculously one-dimensional offense. Dominic Rhodes is lousy. Didn't seem to matter, did it? But as the season goes on, Indy will have to figure out how to establish the run because it'll catch up with them at some point.

- Atlanta is for real. Carolina is cooked without Steve Smith.

- How about those Baltimore Ravens? And, uh, how about those Tampa Bay Yuck-aneers?

- Vince Young: one series = one interception. Get used to it, folks. Quarterback may be the most difficult position to master in sports, but VY is never getting there.

- Let's make one thing perfectly clear: Jacksonville beating Dallas on Sunday was NOT an upset. The Jaguars are a solid team, up and down. Fred Taylor's health is the eternal question mark, but if he's good, the Jags are great. With the AFC so difficult this season, Jacksonville could miss the playoffs, sure, but they could just as easily rep the conference in the Superbowl.

Okay, time to watch Liverpool v PSV. No Gerrard, Alonso, or Garcia starting? Maybe Rafa is planning ahead for Saturday's clash with Chelsea. Either that, or it's a desperate attempt to inspire the side after the shameful loss to Everton last weekend.


Friday, September 08, 2006

National Project Football Runway League 

To watch last night's NFL kickoff between Pittsburgh and Miami is to see, in a microcosm, why Daunte Culpepper has never been able to get his phenomenal talent to translate into wins. An underachiever all his career and it's due entirely to poor judgement. The Dolphins probably should've won last night, but Culpepper's woeful 4th quarter lead to Pittsburgh's 28-17 win. No Big Ben, either, though Hines Ward did end up playing. I'm not backing off my prediction that Miami will make the playoffs, but it's going to be a hell of a ride for them this season.

Project Runway... ahem... yeah, I have to say, even though he never had a chance at winning, the show really loses something without Vincent. As easy to dislike as he was, he was so much fun to watch -- far more so than anyone still on the show. But what do I care? Michael is my favorite, anyway. He's going to win.

Merseyside derby tomorrow. I won't be watching because it's on Setanta (which I don't have) at 4:30 a.m. local time. Come on you Reds!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sunday night is the new Monday night 

I say that because, with the new NFL season only a couple hours away, the new broadcast booth for the ESPN Monday Night telecasts includes Tony Kornheiser and Joe Theisman. Why don't I just stab myself in the ear? Sunday night, conversely, has Al Michaels. He is, of course, the best.

Not so much about football, now, and more about the tragic death of the Crocodile Hunter. I suppose there isn't much left to say about it other than, "damn." The way in which I found out was pretty novel, though. It may very well stand out as one of those "you remember where you were when it happened" situations. Out at a bar on Sunday night, this pretty well-put-together girl -- total stranger -- pulls me aside and gasps, "Look at what my friend just texted me!" She shoves the display on her phone in my face and, sure enough, it's Steve Irwin's obit. 44 years-old, killed by a sting ray. I was shocked and caught completely off-guard. We grieved together for about two seconds before she scampered off with friends to a photo booth. Bizarre.

I know it's coming up, but please, I beg all of you, give the bashing of 9/11 a rest. Yes, it's the 5-year anniversary on Monday. Yes, we're reminded of it on a pretty regular basis. Yes, it is sensationalized more and more with each passing year by the networks. But please just accept it. That day will live on forever. I don't see how getting upset at the attention it'll receive from network news helps at all. Unless you're just happier that way.

Another reason why the NFL has it in spades over college football: Cal and Miami -- two strong programs with big expectations this season -- are already out of the picture for the national championship. There has been exactly one game played. Additionally, the loser of Ohio State v Texas this Saturday (the second game of the season) -- the top two teams in the country according to the polls -- will also have pretty much nothing left to play for. And no, just because the Gator Bowl or whatever is played on New Year's Day, does not mean that it matters. At all.

Futbol. I watched some yesterday. Went to Ye Olde King's Head Pub (love it there) to catch the European qualifiers. England struggled to overcome Macedonia 1-0. Nightmare start for the World Champion Italians. Held to a draw on Saturday by little Lithuania, then getting romped 3-1 to the hated French.

Tonight, I predict, will involve some sort of drinking.

Two For The Money is not a particularly interesting film, no matter how much Al Pacino Pacinoes it. But I've got nothing against it, even if it doesn't end up being about one protagonist, but rather the addiction of gambling. Also, I want to gamble more on football. I know, that was not the point of the movie. I don't care too much.

Right, so the NFL. Crapshoot this season, I'd say. Starting with week one (the biggest football gambling crap shoot of them all), it's tough to predict this year if any team(s) truly stand out from the rest. Parity could be at an all-time high this season. It's debatable whether or not that is necessarily a good thing. Week one. Crapshoot. Every year. Why not pick Oakland at home on Monday night against a seemingly superior San Diego team? Philip Rivers is a virtual rookie and Tomlinson didn't play a down all of preseason. Who say Seattle is going to continue the Superbowl-runners up jinx? They've got Detroit on Sunday! Carolina may not have Steve Smith and they can probably still take Atlanta. Baltimore's new (iffy) offense on the road against Tampa Bay's D? Why not? Everyone likes Dallas with Terrell Owens, this year, but I'll take the Jaguars at home, thank you. I'm also going with New England, Philadelphia, Tennessee, Arizona, KC, Denver, New Orleans (here comes Reggie Bush!) Minnesota, Eli in the "Manning Bowl" over Peyton, and in tonight's game, Miami upsets the defending Superbowl champs who will be without Big Ben Motorcycle and Hines Ward.

Here's how I see it all unfolding:

AFC East
1. New England x
2. Miami x
3. Buffalo
4. NY Jets

AFC North
1. Pittsburgh x
2. Baltimore x
3. Cincy
4. Cleveland

AFC South
1. Indy x
2. Jacksonville
3. Tennessee
4. Houston

AFC West
1. Kansas City x
2. San Diego
3. Oakland
4. Denver (call me crazy, but I've got a hunch the Raiders finish ahead of Denver. Don't know why or how.)

AFC Championship: New England over Pittsburgh

NFC East (best division this season)
1. NY Giants x
2. Philadelphia (yup, they're back) x
3. Dallas
4. Washington

NFC North (worst division in football)
1. Minnesota (you'd be surprised what no Mike Tice can do for a team) x
2. Chicago
3. Green Bay
4. Detroit

NFC South
1. Carolina x
2. Atlanta x
3. Tampa Bay
4. N'Orleans

NFC West
1. Seattle x
2. Arizona
3. St. Louis
4. San Francisco

NFC Championship: Carolina over New York

Superbowl: (like 2003) New England over Carolina

Neil Young says, "Keep on rocking in the free world." Sounds good.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Still not good enough 

I didn't watch the game, but from what I've read 1) Coach K blew it and 2) USA simply didn't execute. Why no Dwight Howard in the 2nd half?!?

Bothers me a lot (and I mean A LOT) that imps like Chris Sheridan now get to prance around yelling, "Told you so!"

I gotta say, I'm pretty disappointed. I didn't think I'd feel like this if the US lost, but it's fairly humiliating to see the Greeks jumping around at halfcourt while LeBron, Carmelo, and all the other best individual players in this tournament walk off sullen and gutted. Then to hear the Greek coach philosophise about basketball after defeating it's architects... damn, that is insulting. What this team could have done with more sharpshooters (Redd, Billups)... oh well...

Today is my last on the current gig and I am HUNG OVER. Water never tasted so good.

EDIT: Mimosas never tasted so good! Hair of the dog, people. Hair of the dog. I've got a tallboy of Bud Light in the fridge, too, I think. I don't know. Blah.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?