And only on Halloween:
HOBOKEN - A woman told police she was attacked by women dressed as French maids during a bar fight that spilled into the street, reports said.Sounds pretty representative of my experience living in the 'boken. Lana Lounge, by the way, used to be called River Street. That's the bar where, in 2000, Penn State quarterback Rashard Casey was arrested for beating up an off-duty police officer.
Police were called Sunday at 12:48 a.m. on a report of women fighting in the street outside the Lana Lounge, at the corner of Newark and River streets, where they found a group of women fighting and screaming.
I praise the biannual October tradition in this week's North Star column.
Just when I was getting some optimism about this year's Vikings, they go and get crushed by the Patriots, at home, on Monday Night Football. Just a debacle from beginning to end, which upset me almost as much as Paris Hilton's cameo at the beginning of the broadcast.
I did love that halftime mascot race, however. Hilarious stuff.
Star Tribune: Antichrist buzz brings Bachmann camp denials
Now, I'm not the expert on Minnesota politics that I once was. But I don't believe it's a good sign for a political campaign to have "Antichrist buzz."
Want an indication of how awry things have gone for the Eagles, after losing three games in a row? Even WIP's Howard Eskin, the most blatant Eagles/Andy Reid sycophant in town, now admits that he doesn't believe the Eagles are a playoff team. And this when they're 4-4 after eight weeks, and still have McNabb and Westbrook healthy...
Things looked so good for the Eagles after the Dallas victory. I'm not ready to give up on them yet, but then I haven't been through the decades-long self-flaggelation that is Philly fandom, so perhaps I'm not one to talk.
The Star Tribune is running a fascinating, multi-part series on the direction Kirby Puckett's life took in the years between his retirement from baseball in 1996 and his death earlier this year. It's worth checking out here.
If this doesn't get him the Eckstein Award, nothing will...
David Eckstein was named World Series MVP, when the Cardinals beat the Tigers on Friday to win the World Series in five games. And here we thought Rex Grossman was a shoo-in...
I admit, I was wrong about the Cards. Then again, so was most of baseball. They've been a good team for a very long time, pretty much continuously in contention for as long as Tony LaRussa has been their manager. Raise your hand if you guessed before the series that it would end with a montage of Jeff Weaver highlights, scored to "Ain't No Other Man."
Now, the Hot Stove League begins. It's the most wonderful time of the year...
Legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach died on Saturday at the age of 89. He won 988 games as Celtics coach and was team president for many years after that. When the Celtics practiced at Brandeis, I remember him puffing away on a cigar at the Gosman Sports complex, right in front of the "no smoking" sign.
Former major league pitcher Joe Niekro, who was on the Twins' 1987 championship team, died Friday of a brain aneurysm at age 61. Niekro had a long and distinguished career, but he might be best known for the incident in 1987 in which a piece of sandpaper fell out of his pocket, and he was suspended for 10 games.
It's sort of like Gerry Studds: Niekro got back in the news because of a similar transgression (by Kenny Rogers), and then died about a week later.
Not a good year for the '87 Twins: Puckett and Niekro die, Jeff Reardon gets arrested for robbery, Gary Gaetti gets fired from the Astros, and Bert Blyleven gets suspended for cursing on the air.
Stephen A. Smith actually wrote a good column the other day. Of course, that may be because about 80% of it is quotes by NFL legend Jim Brown. In it, Brown assesses the high level of damage done to Donovan McNabb's psyche as a result of last year's T.O. debacle.
There's no question that damage has been done, although I suppose the last three consecutive losses, including today's to Jacksonville, are on him.
I got a letter the other day asking if I'd like to subscribe to something called the Hedgehog Review, which describes itself as "an interdisciplinary journal of critical reflections on contemporary culture, published three times a year by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture."
Gee, I had no idea Ron Jeremy's interests were so highbrow...
Bill Simmons, in today's NFL rankings column:
"THE ADAM SANDLER TEAM:Minnesota (4-2)Well as they're playing, I'm having trouble getting excited about this team. But if they beat the Pats Monday night, it'll get a little easier.
You know how Sandler's movies consistently make more money than anyone else in Hollywood, but if somebody argued in a room full of people that Sandler was the biggest movie star alive, everyone would think that person was crazy? Well, the Vikings are a little like that. They hang around, don't make mistakes, force 1-2 dumb turnovers a game and control the football with a superior offensive line (their one true strength). And if that's not enough, their Ewing Theory potential with Culpepper and Moss is off the charts. But if somebody claimed they had a chance to win the Super Bowl, everyone would pull the "You're crazy!" routine. Let's see what happens on Monday night against the Pats. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous."
Ouch. Now that's a smackdown. Yes, of course he was cheating. And, as Simmons pointed out the other day, Rogers bears all the markings (late-career resurgence, increase in velocity, extreme rage) of a steroid guy.
I'd been wondering why we don't hear anything anymore about pitchers scuffing the ball. We've come a long way since the glory days of Gaylord Perry's spit, Mike Scott's emery board, and (of course) Joe Niekro's sandpaper.
Derek Jeter gave an interview this week about the Yankees, their playoff loss, A-Rod, and various other topics. My favorite part:
Somebody asked him if he'd lobbied Yankees owner George Steinbrenner on behalf of embattled manager Joe Torre in the wake of the Yankees' Division Series loss to the Tigers.Yes, that's right- he calls Joe Torre "Mr. T." I don't even have a joke, because nothing I could possibly say could possibly be as funny as the thought of Torre with a mohawk, denim vest, and gold chains.
"You don't have to lobby on behalf of Mr. T," Jeter said. "And if I did, that's a conversation that would be private."
Remember Christine O'Donnell? She was a mid-level conservative pundit who would appear frequently on Bill Maher, Chris Matthews, and various Fox News shows around the time of the 2000 election, arguing the conservative Christian case under the auspices of something called Savior's Alliance For Lifting Truth (SALT- strange for a far-right group to give themselves the name of a Jimmy Carter-negotiated arms control treaty. Sort of like Air America naming themselves after a Mel Gibson movie).
O'Donnell was primarily known for arguing about the "radical homosexual agenda"- and also being for being very, very attractive. She would say all the same things Laura Ingraham or Kellyanne Fitzpatrick would; the difference was, Ben Affleck would flirt with her while she did it.
Anyway, I noticed Christine hadn't been around lately, so I Googled her today and... she's running for the Senate in Delaware! Or rather, she was running- she lost the Republican primary this summer. This is a petition afoot, however, to draft her as a write-in candidate, against Sen. Thomas Carper and the Republican nominee, Jan Ting.
O'Donnell is certainly much better looking than the last guy Carper ran against.
Here's Hugh Hewitt, one of the right's most popular bloggers, on the New Jersey Supreme Court decision:
The acts of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and before it the highest courts in Massachusetts and Vermont, are mere legalistic, non-violent coups, as disreputable as the Dred Scott decision and Plessy v. Ferguson. The will of a handful of judicial radicals has replaced that of elected representatives of the people in a tiny number of states, and such usurpations are very ominous indeed.Yes, because allowing people to marry each other is just as bad as slavery and segregation. And he's a law professor? Never mind that the law does not actually legalize gay marriage, but rather kicks the question back to the state legislature. But of course, it still won't stop the GOP from trying to win the election by dangling Those Scary Homos in front of their base.
Good for New Jersey. They don't get a lot right, politics-wise, but this decision was the right one.
The biggest asshole in baseball, Gary Sheffield, reacted with outrage yesterday when he learned that the Yankees had exercised his option for next year. How much is the option for? $13 million.
This, despite the fact that Sheffield was injured most of last year, will be 38 years old next year, and played first base -badly- in the postseason after the Yankees traded for someone (Bobby Abreu) who plays his position.
"This will not work, this will not work at all," Sheffield told the newspaper. "I don't want to play first base a year for them. I will not do that."My heart just bleeds for Gary, it really does. He and the Yankees deserve each other.
I was thinking about this today, while I listened to WIP and heard a solid hour of the hosts and callers ripping Donovan McNabb - because he hasn't yet apologized for missing the touchdown pass at the end of the first half on Sunday. Priorities, people, priorities.
I don't know what's worse- that Comedy Central is preparing an animated series, called "Baxter & McGuire," in which the two lead characters are a pair of testicles- or that in this UPI story about it, the self-generated Amazon ad is for the "South Park: Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls" DVD. I guess they know their market.
They did kind of steal the end, though, from the groundbreaking "Dickesode" episode of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," which aired on Sunday. And, the show would be even better if instead of "Baxter and McGuire" the testicles were named "Sosa & McGwire," and if they atrophied at the end of every show.
"[Hugh] Hewitt, and many of the pro-Republican bloggers/pundits/radio jabberers that he cites, have taken such a long breather from justifying their party's policies that they've forgotten how to... The problem isn't that the authors and bloggers are negative. Hey, that's campaigning. The problem is their lack of ideas, their lack of a defense of the GOP, their lack of interest in justifying the party to its former faithful. They hate being told that the beloved party might need to be kicked into the minority to rediscover its reason for being. They hate it so much that they can provide scary pictures of Nancy Pelosi, nasty names for anti-PATRIOT Act Democrat Jon Tester, and even more evidence that they desperately need a little time back on the bench.Dave Weigel of Reason.com, pointing out all that's wrong in modern-day GOP punditry, in a piece smartly called "I Just Blogged to Say I Hate You."
Doesn't this seem like the sort of thing Biff would've done to Marty and/or George McFly? I'd bet Rush's house looks an awful lot like Biff's Pleasure Palace.
Spencer Ackerman, who I remember as an intern/freelancer with New York Press, has been fired from The New Republic after four years, the New York Observer reports. The cause was no type of misconduct so much as insubordination, as well as political disagreement. It's another incident, of course, of the liberal/leftist divide. The best part of the piece:
Mr. Ackerman had been acting out, by his own account: telling a colleague it “wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world” to get fired “for being too left-wing”; declaring in an editorial meeting that he would “skullfuck” the corpse of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to establish his anti-terrorist bona fides. And there was the baseball-bat remark, which Mr. Ackerman said was meant as a joke.Damn, I wish the editorial meetings at my office were anywhere close to that lively.
See you in '08, Franchise. This isn't good news, but at least he'll hopefully be healthy when he returns, and well rested for his 15-year run atop the Twins' rotation.
A Muslim-American was granted posting privileges in Ann Coulter's official message board. It ended, as they say, predictably.
(Via Michael Totten, who has an interesting take on the whole thing.)
In this week’s North Star column, I look at the possible ends to the Democrats’ gubernatorial droughts in three blue states in which I’ve lived: Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New York.
Will Ferrell has appeared in his first-ever masterpiece. It’s “Stranger Than Fiction,” which I saw at a critics screening today. Directed by Marc Forster- who made “Monster’s Ball” and “Finding Neverland”- it’s a funny, creative, and poignant mind-bender that’s pretty much the movie “Adaptation” should have been. Just as they used to call “Charade” the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made, I’d call “Stranger Than Fiction” the best Charlie Kaufman script that Charlie Kaufman didn’t write.
See this movie when it comes out in mid-November. It’s almost certainly in the top five for the year.
Prior to the last couple of days, it hadn’t been a very good year for the legions of Donovan McNabb haters. If he wasn’t the best quarterback in the league for the first six weeks of the season, he was certainly in the top three or four. He led the league in quarterback rating, threw only one interception, and the team’s two losses were certainly not his fault.
But when McNabb threw three interceptions in Sunday’s Eagles loss to Tampa Bay, including two that were returned for touchdowns by perennial McNabb nemesis Ronde Barber – while also vomiting, and failing to throw a touchdown pass at the end of the first half- I knew the Donovan-bashers would come out of their collective hole. And they have, burning up the talk radio airwaves with the usual questions about whether Donovan has the “heart” or “makes the right decisions” or is “enough of a leader” to take the Eagles to the championship.
We heard enough of this last year, when McNabb feuded with Terrell Owens and eventually suffered a season-ending injury. Boxer and Philly native Bernard Hopkins emerges every once in awhile to recycle the usual anti-McNabb talking points. Even the local head of the NAACP ripped Donovan as “mediocre at best.”
But the fact is, the McNabb-bashers are delusional. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and has been since he arrived in town. He took the teams to four NFC title games and a Super Bowl, and has brought the Eagles a run of glory unseen in this town in quite a long time. And have you looked around the league? Would you prefer your quarterback be Bruce Gradkowski? Tony Romo? Kyle Boller? Koy Detmer?
McNabb had a bad game on Sunday –although he did lead the Eagles back to a late lead- and there’s nothing wrong with criticizing his performance in the game. But to call for his ouster, and question his skill as a quarterback, is nothing short of hysterical. And, the true motives of those who say such things must surely be questioned.
Soon-to-be-ex-Senator Rick Santorum appeared on “Hardball” tonight, as part of MSNBC’s full day of political coverage, in an attempt to save his faltering campaign. He attempted to argue that he’s more effective than anyone else at articulating the conservative position, and that’s the reason “they” want to get rid of him. Then he went into an ill-considered football analogy just as bad as the one when he invoked Tolkien (I’m quoting from memory, but this isn’t far off):
When you’re playing a football game, you don’t go out and try to injure the offensive guard. You try to take out their running back, or take out their quarterback.Is Santorum under the impression that it’s the goal in football to purposely injure the other team’s best players? If so, that’s not so Christian of him.
I had no idea Walter Sobchak was now living in the Philadelphia area.
Yes, I get it. This is your country. You “stand beside the ideals I think are right.” (Who the hell doesn’t?) But I really don’t need to see the commercial roughly 500 times every day. And after I and every other sports fan saw the ad hundreds of times during football on Sunday were in for a rude awakening that night when Mellencamp showed up, live, to sing the song in Detroit before Game 1 of the World Series. Thanks a lot, John- I’ve had the song in my head constantly for the last 48 hours.
I remember the good old days, when the most offensive thing about the ad was that it was using Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Vietnam footage to sell cars.
Interesting little note in Peter Gammons' column yesterday:
"Bud Selig made baseball a business, and as he watches a series that assures a seventh champion in seven years -- something the NFL, NBA and NHL have never done -- he can rest assured that the business he will eventually turn over to Andy MacPhail will be judged by its financial record, not steroids tests."Andy MacPhail's going to be commissioner? Really? Where'd that come from? I love Andy for putting together the '87 Twins, but shouldn't his tenure with the Cubs sort of imply that he's not commish material?
WXPN's countdown of the 885 greatest artists of all time is over, after the station played an hour of music today by each of the top ten. And for such a countercultural operation, the top ten was pretty mainstream.
The Beatles came in first, following by Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, and Joni Mitchell. Hendrix, The Who, Van Morrison, Bob Marley, and Eric Clapton. Billy Joel was 48th, which I think is ridiculous, especially since Yes was picked #40. (Yes?)
If you're interested, XPN is hosting a Halloween party, where you're supposed to come costumed as one of the 885.
PURPLE PUNISHMENT: Quite a convincing road victory for the Vikings over the Seahawks yesterday, thanks to a career day from Chester Taylor, standout defensive play, and Seattle missing both Shaun Alexander and (for half the game) Matt Hasselback.
Seneca Wallace was a hell of a college quarterback, and it's good to see him get a shot. But if he can't handle it, next on the depth chart is former Eckstein Award Winner David Greene.
GROUNDED EAGLES: The Eagles, meanwhile, suffered through their second straight heartbreaking loss to a road underdog, losing to Tampa Bay on an unbelievable 62-yard field goal by mediocre kicker Matt Bryant. The Iggles, though, made plenty of mistakes throughout the day, including lots of dropped passes and Jerome McDougle's kicking of a penalty flag (for another penalty.) Donovan McNabb, meanwhile, had an old-school game- he ran the ball, threw interceptions, and vomited on the field.
Some of the criticism of the Eagles after the loss ripped Brian Westbrook for scoring a touchdown while leaving more than a minute on the clock. He should have, the radio callers said, run out of bounds at the 1, or perhaps zig-zagged at the goal line and ticked more time off the clock. Please. That sort of thing works in Madden, but not real life.
Still, the Eagles have lost three games this year, and all were on the final play. I'm not ready to back off my NFC East championship pick of them yet.
THE RAIDERS AREN'T WHAT WE THOUGHT THEY WERE: The Raiders will not be winless, after they beat the still-reeling Cardinals in Oakland. Denny Green has to be fired now, right? Because if you look at it, coaches/managers who have highlight-reel-worthy meltdowns rarely keep their jobs for much longer afterward.
The Skinny Kid With a Funny Name is thinking about it. Hell yea.
A writer to Bill Simmons, on the debacle of a Raiders season:
If you ever wondered what it was like to be a Raiders fan, you are in luck because I'm about to give you some insight: First, take an ice pick and just ram it into your left testicle. Just do it for no reason at all. If you can make it all the way through so it sticks into a table or chair, that is preferable. Next, headbutt the nearest immovable object (table, brick wall, etc.) seven times or until you draw blood, whichever comes first. After that, put your left hand on a table and smash it with a hammer three times as hard as you can, then dip it in scalding hot water. After that wears off, eat an Oreo cookie because they actually look like they are going to score, but as soon as you eat the cookie wash it down with a quart of antifreeze because they found some way to screw it up. While you are still alive, slowly remove the ice pick to make sure you acheive maximum torture, and then stab yourself in the temple.Yes, their offensive coordinator was running a bed-and-breakfast before they dragged him back to the league.
There's a story in this week's Entertainment Weekly about "Scarface," and how it's more popular than ever, and in the story we learn that a "Scarface" video game will soon be released (along with the new DVD, which will purchased by lots of people who already own the other five versions.)
Anyway, we discover from the piece that the "Scarface" game was created by David McKenna, a Hollywood screenwriter best known for writing "American History X." So I got to thinking- why not an "American History X" video game? Where you play a skinhead, and you get points for kicking people in the head against the curb, as well as avoiding prison rape. Come on, is that idea really that much worse than one where you play a Miami drug dealer?
The crypto-fascist Russian president had some not-so-PC things to say when recently meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert:
MOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin made joking references to the sexual assault accusations against Israeli President Moshe Katsav during a meeting with the visiting Israeli prime minister in remarks that shocked longtime Kremlin-watchers... As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with the Russian leader in an ornate reception room in the Kremlin on Wednesday, reporters overheard Putin tell him: "Say hello to your president. He really surprised us."Sounds like a great guy, huh? Though that whole "crushing democracy" thing is a bit more outrageous, if you ask me.
The microphones were then cut off, but a member of the Israeli delegation told The Associated Press that Putin went on to say of Katsav: "I met him. He didn't look like a guy who could be with 10 women."
Russia's Kommersant daily conveyed a more graphic version of the conversation, quoting Putin as saying: "He turns out to be a really powerful guy! He raped 10 women!" It also quoted Putin himself as saying "We all envy him."
Prior to last night, I knew Oliver Perez primarily as the pitcher who I traded for in my fantasy league last year, only to hear a few hours later that he'd broken his toe while kicking a laundry basket, and was out for the season. Last night, he pitched very well in Game 7 -despite being the worst pitcher ever to start a Game 7- but it wasn't enough, as the Cardinals won the NLCS and will face the Tigers in the World Series.
The Cards didn't look that bad in the NLCS, but as we all know, the NL is a minor league at this time. If they win a single game in the World Series, I'll be shocked.
Tigers in 4. If you want to crown them, just crown their ass.
There are only 7 people nationwide with my fiance's name, but once we're married she'll be one of 58 Rebecca Silvers.
Jeffrey Zaslow has a great Wall Street Journal piece about the bottom-feeders of the political pundit world, constantly whoring themselves to talk show bookers with the goal of getting on the air to promote themselves as much as possible. The focus of the piece, not surprisingly, is the Grade-Z Coulter wannabe Debbie Schlussel, best known for arguing that "Superman Returns" was a bad movie because it depicted Lois Lane as a working mother.
Zaslow calls Schlussel a "B-lister," but that's several levels too high. Here's my favorite part of the story:
Last year, Jason Alexander was on Howard Stern's show pitching a children's book he'd written. Ms. Schlussel called in and berated the "Seinfeld" actor for supporting OneVoice, a group that advocates nonviolent conflict resolution in the Middle East. Ms. Schlussel charged that the organization has ties to Hamas. Mr. Stern got laughs saying he'd like to create a "Six Degrees of Separation" game based on her ability to connect any person to terrorists in six links or less.Sounds to me like the jerk store called, and they're running out of Debbie Schlussel.
After much arguing, and repeated impersonations of a raving Ms. Schlussel by Mr. Stern's sidekicks, Mr. Alexander lamented on air that he "came in to talk about a children's book and ended up being branded a terrorist."
A newsstand vendor in the Old City section of Philadelphia was stripped of his corner earlier this week after a controversial- and highly hilarious- string of events.
Muhammad Shaukat, an immigrant from India, had run a newsstand at the corner of 6th and Chestnut that sold a wide variety of porn magazines, often keeping them uncovered and visible in broad daylight. When city officials responded to complaints, Shaukat posted a sign at the stand in which he threatened to "rape and kill" anyone who interfered with his business. The City Council responded by banning newsstands from that particular corner.
Guess this sort of puts English-only sign at Geno's in the clear, doesn't it?
Wanna know why Congress' disapproval rating is at 75%- and that more Americans believe they can communicate with the dead than approve of Congress? This hilarious list from Radar Magazine of the 10 dumbest members of Congress is as good an indication as anything- and it leaves off Ted Stevens, Rick Santorum, and Mark Foley.
A flowershop owner in the Boston area is offering $1000 to anyone who can find him a wife. Dave Greenberg, who describes himself as ""honest, faithful and fun," will give the money to the person who sets him up with his future wife; it does not appear as though he's willing to cut out the middle man and pay for the wife himself.
And where in the Boston area does Greenberg live? You guessed it, Waltham. Let's hope his search for a wife takes him... well... outside of Waltham.
As a play about terrorist sympathizer Rachel Corrie opens in New York, Judith remembers several other Rachels who are much more worthy of our attention. Brilliant.
Sen. Rick Santorum is throwing a Hail Mary pass to retain his Senate seat: a long, belabored “Lord of the Rings” analogy:
"As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else," Santorum said, describing the tool the evil Lord Sauron used in search of the magical ring that would consolidate his power over Middle-earth.If nothing else, the analogy is sure to win Rick the votes of Pennsylvania’s sizable gay-hating Tolkien-nerd demographic.
"It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S.," Santorum continued. "You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States."
The Mets won Game 6 tonight 4-2 over the Cardinals (is it just me, or have there been tons of 4-2 games this offseason?), tying the NLCS at 3 apiece with Game 7 scheduled for Thursday night. It was, of course, the first Game 6 played at Shea since the Buckner game.
I’m pulling for the Mets for a few reasons. One, I’m friends with quite a few Mets fans and not any Cards fans. Two, it’s sort of silly for a team with 83 wins (St. Louis) to play in the World Series. And three, if the Cards make it and play the Tigers, it’ll be a rematch of 1968, and we’ll be subjected to a whole week of think pieces pretending it’s 1968 again, complete with Vietnam/Iraq parallels and every other journalistic cliché.
I felt the same way about the '04 NLCS between the Cardinals and Astros, because a Massachusetts-Texas World Series the week of the Massachusetts-Texas presidential election would have been just too much.
Ex-Twin Randy Bush, the 1980s reserve outfielder who seemed to hit a home run at every Twins game I went to as a kid, is a New Orleans resident who now works as a scout for the Cubs. Interviewed by the Strib’s Patrick Reusse, Bush expressed gratitude that the Saints have returned to New Orleans, and also that they drafted Reggie Bush. Reggie, Randy said, wears #25, which was Randy’s number with the Twins, and he proudly wears a Bush Saints jersey.
That’s great for Randy, because it certainly must not have been easy for the last few years to have that last name. Especially in New Orleans.
Homer Bush could not be reached for comment.
From last night, "The Daily Show" runs clips together of their mocking all 43 presidents of the United States:
My favorite part? You'd think from the montage that Monica Lewinsky was president from 1993 through 2000.
I think I officially have nothing to add.
Q: Have you been keeping up on MTV's TV show "Two-A-Days"? I watched last week's episode where they showed Repete's dad and guess what his name is? Yes, its Pete. So you have Pete and his son Repete. I am thinking of changing my name to Pete so I can name my son Repete.It's still mind-boggling to me that Simmons is still yet to address either the Christies' reality show, or the announcement that the Two Coreys are returning. He must not have BET J, either.
--Brendan Collins, New York
SG: But here's the question nobody is asking: When Repete has a kid (and for all we know, this might already be in the works), would there be family pressure on him to name the kid ThreePeat? And would he have to pay trademark fees to Pat Riley?
Saw Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers" last night; big disappointment. Long and boring and ponderous and obvious, it's what we've come to expect from the world's most acclaimed hack screenwriter, Paul Haggis. But it'll likely get a truckload of Oscar nominations anyway, mostly because it's "timely," and "relevant," and "really about Iraq." What it isn't is particularly entertaining or profound in any way whatsoever.
And besides, it's sort of hard to take a gravitas-grabbing war movie seriously when two of the three main characters are played by the male leads from "Bring It On" (Jesse Bradford) and "Cruel Intentions" (Ryan Phillippe).
Skip this, and rent "Band of Brothers" instead.
When Alan Jackson sang those words in his post-9/11 country song five years ago, I didn't think the actual U.S. government would be following his lead. But I learned otherwise today, after reading this astonishing New York Times op-ed by Congressional Quarterly editor Jeff Stein, who discovered that several top counterterrorism officials have no idea what the difference is between the Sunnis and Shi'ites. One guy, the recently installed head of the FBI's new counterterrorism operation, mistakenly believed that Iran and Hezbollah are Sunni.
Truly shocking. Though once you consider how things have turned out in Iraq with these people in charge, perhaps not so shocking after all.
After the Cardinals lost one of the wildest NFL games ever last night to the Bears- one in which they blew a 20-0 lead, failed to capitalize on six Chicago turnovers, and blew the game-winning field goal- Arizona coach Dennis Green was in a less-than-jovial mood:
I don't remember Green ever getting that angry when he was coach of the Vikings. Even that time when he said three unnamed members of the media were conspiring against him.
Who do you root for here?
When I was in college my sketch comedy troupe once did a "MacLaughlin Group" parody in which two of the panelists were Buchanan and Eric Cartman. So I was reminded of this when I read the transcript of last night's Scarborough Country, in which the bile-spitting Jew hater (Pat, not Cartman) tried to tie the current Democratic leadership to the North American Man-Boy Love Association (vis a vis "that flamer," Mark Foley)- a group, of course, that Cartman once accidentally joined:
"Ms. Pelosi has marched in gay pride parades with the North American Man Boy Love Association, NAMBLA. Which, who are pedophiles who are trying to get the laws repealed for sex between men and boys. If she’s been marching with pedophiles, is she credible standing up there saying I’m shocked, shocked that some Republican is after 17 year old pages?... let me tell you something. Two national figures, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Rodham Clinton, marched in gay pride parades in New York, in which I believe that NAMBLA floats were moved right along.Never mind that none of those people- especially not Rudy- ever actually endorsed NAMBLA, or even knew they were marching with them. But Pat himself delivers the coup de grace:
Pat Buchanan: but if they march with them.. Look if I march with the Klan. I have to answer whether...What do you mean, "if"?
The mayor had better be careful- an uptight, conservative city like San Francisco might have a problem with that sort of thing.
In last week's edition of ESPN The Magazine, which was published prior to Saturday's brawl between the University of Miami and Florida International football teams, there appeared a brief item offered by none other than Luther Campbell, the onetime frontman of 2 Live Crew, and also a longtime Hurricanes booster, on "how I'd fix the Hurricanes." That previous sentence should tell you a lot about the Miami program right there, and the fact that it appeared should tell you something about The Magazine.
Anyway, in the piece, Campbell argues that he should be named coach of the Hurricanes, because the team has lost its swagger. His biggest problem, as opposed to the old days? "We used to walk around wearing swagger scarves. We used to hit people in the mouth."
Someone, apparently, was listening. Especially about the "hit people in the mouth" part.
(This AOL Sports blog noticed this too.)
I look at the Borat film and its political implications in this week’s North Star column.
With the Twins out, I guess I've been blogging less about baseball than I normally do, so I figured I'd catch up right now.
I'm thrilled about the Tigers making it to the Series, and I feel quite happy for their fans, who have been through quite a lot of garbage in the past two decades. Who could have guessed at the start of the decade that a World Series and a Super Bowl would both be played in Detroit the same year?
Regardless of who wins the NLCS, Detroit looks to me like an unstoppable team of destiny. But I expect the Mets to get by St. Louis, especially with Pujols not playing very well. And I say that even though the Mets are essentially dragging people in off the streets at this point and inserting them in their starting rotation. But they'd better close it out in 6, as I actually heard the words "Darren Oliver" and "Game 7 starter" in the same sentence the other night. Maybe they should pray for a major, days-long thunderstorm after Game 5, so that Tom Glavine can start both Games 5 and 6.
The terrific Philadelphia radio station WXPN, which is housed at UPenn, is running a great countdown this week: they’re running down the 885 greatest artists of all time, and playing a song or two from each one. Now, I know everyone’s sick to death of these stupid pop culture lists, since they mostly consist of arguments over who should be in the top ten. But things get a lot more esoteric, when you get into whether or not the 293rd best artist (Sleater Kinney) is better than the 308th (Dan Fogelberg.)
Tuning in tonight, when I figured they were up to about #150, I heard… “The Pancreas Song,” by Weird Al Yankovic. Now, it’s not to say that Weird Al isn’t the 150ish best artist, but such a designation is certainly questionable, and I wouldn’t have expected XPN to come to that conclusion. But I eventually realized, in fact, that the Weird Al song was not part of the countdown, but rather a kids show broadcast at night while the countdown was paused.
If you’re interesting in listening to the countdown, XPN streams on the web at XPN.org.
There had been rumors that, after not firing Charlie Manuel but instead dismissing three of his assistant coaches, the Phillies would bring in some new coaches who could perhaps be seen as "managers in waiting," should things not work out with Charlie. Today, three of the new coaches were named, and all are ex-managers: Art Howe, Davey Lopes, and Jimy Williams. Considering the performances of the three of them in their previous managerial stops, the idea of keeping Uncle Charlie around suddenly looks a lot better.
A fascinating question posed by Deadspin today:
Here's a question: Considering how much gruff the late Cory Lidle had to deal with during his baseball career for being a replacement player, why does no one in the NFL seem to care that Saints coach Sean Payton was one as well, for the Bears in 1987? Not to spoil another stirring Saints win, but we do find it surprising that this is rarely brought up, considering Lidle was never able to live it down.A few reasons, I'd say. First of all, I don't know that it's correct that Lidle "was never able to live it down." He pitched in the majors for years, after all, and I never heard about him being an ex-replacement until he had that blowup with Arthur Rhodes in August, right after he was traded by the Phillies.
Another reason is that Payton never actually went on to an NFL playing career of any significance; he went into coaching not much later, and I hadn't been aware that ex-scabs are looked down upon by players once they've moved on to coaching.
But the biggest difference of all is probably that baseball has both had a more acrimonious labor history in recent years*, and a stronger union more likely to punish dissenters. In the '87 strike, remember, about a third of the players ended up crossing the picket line, and the strike failed when the players essentially gave up.
*Speaking of which, Bill Madden in the New York Daily News says a new labor agreement has been tentatively reached, and will be announced at the World Series. That's great, great news, and I'm surprised no one else has picked up the story.
A New York magazine piece on whether the Democrats will actually win this fall includes an interesting quote:
The Contract was a silly, obvious gimmick, its planks ranging from the merely hoary to the plainly unconstitutional. But it also embodied a clear, coherent, and specific governing agenda—something the Democrats have failed utterly to offer in this campaign cycle. “A lot of people don’t leave unhappy marriages until they find someone they want to have an affair with—they need an attractive alternative,” says a Democratic consultant who worked in the Clinton White House.Gee, why would someone who worked in, of all places, the Clinton White House, come up with an analogy that involved cheating on one's wife?
"Many of the new Democrats in the House will hail from Red or Dark Purple states... They are also likely to be marginally more conservative than the Democratic mean... These new Dems will pull their caucus to the right. By "the right," read "social conservatism and foreign policy hawkishness." Democrats in tight races in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the rest of the swing districts are mostly running against voter malaise and Iraq war conduct, as opposed to the idea of the Iraq war. You're not hearing many Democrats rule out strikes on Iran or North Korea, and you are hearing many backpedal at Roadrunner-speed from citizenship-based immigration reform and gay marriage.-Commenter Vanya, on Michael Totten's blog. The Democrats, I'm astonished to believe, actually seem to be getting it this year. Granted, "getting it" much of the time entails "getting out of the way," but they're getting it nonetheless.
The idea that a Democratic Congress would turn the US into one gigantic socialist Islamic-loving Berkeley is completely ridiculous. But if you like corruption and incompetence from people who talk like conservatives, by all means go ahead and vote Republican in November.
Notice, incidentally, that several of Michael's commenters have vowed to never donate or read his blog again, after he stated he would vote for local Democrats in this year's elections. How simple-minded and petulant can one get?
Andrew Sullivan, quoting a particularly laughable pre-election missive from NRO's Tim Graham that the liberals have a "sexually omniverous" agenda:
"Sexually omniverous"? Liberals want to screw celery? Or just, as Oscar Wilde had it, a very ripe cantaloupe?The Republicans' last hope, of course, is fanning up hatred of gays and Mexicans, and pretending that Democrats want the terrorists to win. Why won't it work? Because the Republican base has wised up to the fact that- guess what- the DC Republicans don't really hate gays and Mexicans!
Yes, a principal in a rural area near International Falls has resigned after admitting that he shot two orphaned kittens on school property last month. Wade Pilloud said he "shot the kittens to spare them from starving after their mother died in an animal trap." Left unstated in the story is why didn't just feed them.
Surprisingly, this time the former Miami player, who went on TV and praised the sort of indefensible acts that he used to commit, was not Michael Irvin. It was Lamar Thomas, who said:
"Now, that's what I'm talking about," Thomas said as the brawl raged out of control. "You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don't come into the OB playing that stuff. You're across the ocean over there. You're across the city. You can't come over to our place talking noise like that. You'll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing."That's a lot worse than what Steve Lyons said, if you ask me.
Petitedov lets us know about a candidate for the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco who has a great name: Ed Jew. He does not appear to in fact be Jewish but is in fact a Chinese-American. It's the best name I've heard of in politics since Ira Jersey ran for office in New Jersey in 2001.
Former Massachusetts Congressman Gerry Studds died this morning at the age of 69. Studds, of course, had recently been back in the news due to the Mark Foley page scandal- as Studds had a similar scandal of his own in the early '80s. What are the odds, that someone's death would come just two weeks after his sudden re-emergence?
"Any movie that lists someone with the job of feces provider in the end credits is either going to be a disaster or one of the funniest, most outrageous films of the year. Boratis clearly the later, 82-minutes of the uber-outre antics of Sacha Baron Cohen’s hapless, casually racist, sexist, and faux Kazakhstani TV reporter alter-ego as he road-trips across America in an odyssey of bears, rubber fists, chocolate faces, and naked Greco-Roman wrestling."-Jessica Letkamann, in Premiere. "Borat" has a perfect 100 on the Tomatometer so far.
I saw it last night, and my expectations were met and exceeded. What unalloyed and unafraid comical brilliance from Sacha Baron Cohen, from beginning to end. I don't think I laughed more at any movie this year. See it when it comes out, for sure.
Not nearly as good? Richard Linklater's "Fast Food Nation," which took a good-by-all-accounts book by Eric Schlosser and turned it into a preachy and condescending bore of a film. I was hoping it would at least turn out to be a satire of some sort, but instead the film is such an exercise in over-the-top guilt-mongering that it may as well have kept a neon sign in the upper lefthand corner reading "FEEL GUILTY!" If Paul Haggis didn't do an uncreated re-write, I'd be shocked.
They've certainly got to do something, because it's pretty cold in Minnesota in April and October.
Everyone's favorite loony Israel-basher, Charlotte Kates, has resurfaced, and is now running pro-Hezbollah rallies in Brooklyn, according to Jewlicious. Kates, who went to law school with some of my friends at Rutgers, was shunned by the rest of the pro-Palestinian movement in the U.S. for being too extreme. Yes, you read that right. That's like getting kicked out of the Klan for being too racist.
In a major surprise, former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner announced this morning that he's not running for president in 2008, citing a proverbial wish to spend more time with his family. I don't begrudge that, but Warner may very well have been my candidate in the primaries had he gone ahead with the race.
You all realize we're just a month away from the presidential race starting, right?
Here's Armond White in New York Press, reviewing "Infamous":
"The difference between Infamous and last year’s Capote is the difference between feeling and sophistication. Hoffman and his writer, director team Dan Futterman and Bennett Miller took pride in loathing Capote (a subtle, culturally accepted homophobia). They built their bad-art, Oscar-nominated reputations on Capote’s dead body while sneering that Capote had built his literary reputation on the deaths of Smith, Hickok and the Clutter family. It was an arrogant indie attempt at seeming superior to an artist of an earlier era. (There are Hitler biopics more compassionate than Capote.)"Armond hasn't quite been bringing the crazy lately like he used to. Perhaps the new editors aren't giving him space to breathe?
Late last night I briefly caught part of an SNL rerun on E!, of the 2003 episode that Justin Timberlake hosted. I watched it for the classic "Barry Gibb Talk Show" sketch, as well as that infamous moment where Kermit the Frog called Timberlake a "douchebag."
But one thing jumped out at me during the Weekend Update segment. Tina Fey made a joke that I remembered, about how Kobe Bryant's lawyer, Pamela Mackey, "likes to give wobblejobs to homeless guys." But interestingly, the E! censors bleeped out the word "wobblejob." Because I have no idea what a "wobblejob" is, and I'd imagine the censors probably don't, either.
According to Gawker, Grace yesterday was trying to get a guest to admit that Cory Lidle must have committed suicide, as opposed to crashing his plane into the building by accident. If that's true, Grace should fry.
A small plane, it was reported this afternoon, crashed into an apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, creating a massive fireball and at least a couple of deaths. Then, a few minutes ago, we got news that the pilot of the plane was none other than Yankees (and former Phillies) pitcher Cory Lidle, who was reportedly killed in the crash.
Lidle is, if I'm not mistaken, the first Yankee killed in a plane crash since Thurman Munson in 1979.
"It was a windbag essay about how anyone who could trumpet a show about a serial killer must be...I don't know, Satanic, maybe? It was more of what Bozell traffics in - denigrating television that isn't produced by Pax or peopled with God-fearing white Christians who love vanilla and Christmas and a good hug over a good nooner."-Tim Goodman, bashing culture-hater Brent Bozell, who actually asked, in all seriousness in a newspaper column, whether TV critics are a "menace to society."
The administrators at my alma mater, Brandeis, seem to have gotten the word that people on campus were actually having fun and enjoying themselves- so naturally, they rushed to put a stop to it.
An annual dance called "The Less You Wear, the Less You Pay," which has an admission policy that is easy to deduce from its name, will not take place on campus again, the school announced earlier this week. The stated reason? Three students at this year's event were hospitalized for "alcohol intoxication."
Alcohol intoxication? At a college? Who ever heard of such a thing? I was at the first-ever "Less You Wear, Less You Pay" dance, and I don't remember anything of the kind (just one guy whose entire costume was two strategically placed frisbies.)
It really bothers me that the school administrators, when I was there up until now, have cracked down on fun at every turn, yet they wonder why everyone's so unhappy all the time. For people who are such across-the-board doctrinaire leftists, they're sure behaving an awful lot like red-state moralists.
Want an indication that the Democrats might actually win in November? They seem to have broken with adviser/linguist Goerge Lakoff, according to this column. Whatever it is they were thinking, with the idea that the road back to electoral success was a Chomskyite bullshit artist from Berkeley, I'm very glad they're not thinking it anymore.
1. Since the Tigers managed to beat Barry Zito, in Oakland, in convincing fashion in Game 1, I've got a pretty good feeling that Detroit's winning the series. Though recent history has taught me not to underestimate the A's this year.
2. I'm hoping someone hires Lou Piniella to manage them in the next few days, because we've got to get him out of the booth, pronto. Yikes. My least favorite Fox baseball announcer is no longer Joe Buck.
Good for Cathy Young of the Boston Globe.
Joe Torre will remain as manager of the Yankees, after George Steinbrenner changed his mind and decided to keep him around. I don't know how Torre can come back for one year knowing he was close to be fired, but then there's a lot about the Yankees I don't understand.
I say this mean A-Rod's gone. If Piniella had come in, I could've imagined Rodriguez being invigorated by his former Seattle manager, but now I'd imagine he'll be moved. Angels are my guess.
Torii Hunter will patrol center field at the Metrodome for one more year, as the Twins picked up his $12 million option for 2007.
I like Hunter a lot and was hoping he would stay, but I was hoping it would be more along the lines of a three- or four-year deal for less than $12 million a year. That's just too much for Hunter at this stage of his career, and it's the sort of thing that will give the Twins a built-in excuse to not spend any more money for the rest of the offseason. Mauer, Morneau, Santana and Nathan are coming due for extensions pretty soon, after all, and another starter and another bat wouldn't hurt either.
The venerable record store chain will go out of business later this fall, a casualty of the iTunes era. I stopped in the one on Broad Street today, and it felt like a funeral or something.
I didn't grow up with Tower, but I do have fond memories of waiting in line early in the morning at the one on E. 4th St. in New York, for Springsteen tickets. But honestly, I think I've bought maybe two CDs this year.
I haven't seen the Doug/Jackie Christie reality show yet (I don't think I have BET J), but this guy watched it, I guess so the rest of us don't have to. My favorite part:
Three minutes into the show, Jackie and Doug are walking through a CD store when a young girl comes up to see if they need any help. “He knows what he wants,” Jackie snaps, and then adds, “Get away from me.”Watch at your own risk.
I look at the possible imminent political death of Sen. Rick Santorum in this week's North Star column.
I finally watched it tonight, after starting and failing to finish three previous times, and I generally liked it. My only complaint? How could a documentary about 100 years of sorry Cubs futility leave out Lee Elia's "fuckin' playground for the cocksuckers" rant from 1983? It's probably my favorite moment in Cubs history.
I'm not sure if I could have imagined a more ideal three-man panel for Tuesday night's World Affairs Council event at the Union League in Philly. The event, titled "Red vs. Blue: Two Leading Thinkers Discuss a Divided America," will feature Andrew Sullivan and Peter Beinart, and the moderator will be Chris Satullo, editorial page editor and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. I'll be there, and will certainly write about either here, in the column, or both.
No word on whether or not he's in league with the Metrodome swastika guy.
Bill Simmons, in last week's NFL preview:
Four predictions...: 4. Mike Tirico officially starts to look like one of the kids from "The Squid and the Whale."So what if I'm probably one of five people who got that- it's still great.
Kissing Suzy Kolber is running a great series this week on comparing NFL teams to film directors. The best so far:
49ers = Francis Ford Coppola: "Fading former greats done in by their fuckwit families."
Seahawks = Oliver Stone: "The refs are out to get us!"
Eagles= Martin Scorsese: "Can't win the big one" (Super Bowl/Oscar)
Redskins = Michael Bay: "Pearl Harbor and the Deion Sanders signing are similarly epic, costly blunders."
Vikings = Sofia Coppola: "She, like the Vikings' offense, is quiet and shitty." (Though the '05 Vikings would've been compared to Russ Meyer.)
As they've demonstrated before, Fox News and other Murdoch properties tend not to take criticism lying down. Case in point: MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has been ripping Fox News and its rightward tilt for years. So, today, the Murdoch-owned New York Post's Page Six lets us know about a blog written by a woman who had an unsatisfying one-night stand with Olbermann. Ouch, that's low. Though not as low as when the Post ran interference for Bill O'Reilly during his sexual harassment suit, running stories every day for over a week on what a slut the accuser was.
I'll keep this in mind next time O'Reilly or Hannity rips the Democrats for making "personal attacks."
Via Dan Kennedy's blog, it's the best news/advertising juxtaposition ever. At least, the best since the Village Voice paired an article about the Taliban with an ad for "laser vaginal rejuvenation."
Everything went exactly right for Philly in today's Eagles-Cowboys game: The Eagles won by two touchdowns, Terrell Owens was shut down almost completely and sulked on the sidelines all afternoon, Donovan McNabb played a great game, and there was no was next to no violent/over-the-top fan behavior that brought shame upon the city, at least not according to early reports.
As their first NFC East win since 2004, it's a monkey off the Eagles' back, no question about it.
As for the Vikings, I watched the first half at a bar and was so disgusted by the horribly sloppy play by both teams that I went home at halftime. So glad to see from ESPN Gamecast that they scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to beat the Lions. Then again, it was the Lions. They could have given up 223 points in the fourth, and they still wouldn't fire Matt Millen.
I still love the Vikes, but everything about them this year screams "8-8" to me. At least they've stayed off the boats this year, although we haven't hit the bye week yet.
In picking the winners of the first-round playoff series, I went a wonderful 0-for-4, as I chose the Twins, Yankees, Dodgers, and Padres, all of whom went down to defeat in the Division Series. I'm sorry I was wrong about the Twins, but thrilled that I was wrong about the Yankees.
Speaking of which, the Yanks are crazy- CRAZY- if they fire Joe Torre as a result. They'd be going after exactly what isn't wrong, a manager who's going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame based on his work in the Bronx. With Lou Piniella coming back, it'll be the '80s again- those great days when they fired a manager every six months and didn't make the playoffs between '82 and '95. It's too bad Billy Martin isn't still alive, or else I'm sure they'd eventually drag him back out too.
(Speaking of which- ESPN is producing a miniseries adaptation of Jonathan Mahler's excellent book about the '77 Yanks, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning." It's set to star Oliver Platt as Steinbrenner and John Turturro as Martin. Can't wait.)
Twins' amazing 2006 season, in which they won 96 games and roared back from nowhere to win the AL Central title, ended unceremoniously Friday afternoon, as Oakland completed a three-game sweep of "Minny" at the Coliseum.
The Twins just played horribly for the entire series, making stupid mistakes on the bases, in the field, and at the plate (was it really necessary for Luis Castillo to try to bunt just about every time he came up?)
But we all as Twins fans owe a debt of gratitude to Brad Radke, who pitched Friday for the final time. Radke was with the Twins for 11 years, and for years was literally their only good pitcher. He took less money to re-sign with them as a free agent on two different occasions, and this year came back to pitch despite a gruesome arm injury that would have required immediate retirement for most pitchers.
But on the bright side, the Twins' core is still together for next year (minus Radke and possibly Torii Hunter), and there's no reason to think they can't still be a contender.
And also on the bright side? The Yankees are down 2-1 to Detroit, and face elimination this afternoon at Comerica Park.
The Negro Leagues baseball legend Buck O'Neil died this morning at the age of 94, after a long and wonderful life as a baseball player, coach, and ambassador of the game.
O'Neil, outrageously, was not voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, when a special committee of historians was chosen to comb Negro League history and select worthy inductees. But he did give a rousing speech at the induction regardless. O'Neil will be remembered by all who cared about baseball.
An indication that Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" isn't very good? They're only screening it once for critics (in Philly at least), it's on a Monday morning, and the e-mail about it went out late Friday afternoon.
Another one that looks purely awful? "Man of the Year," with Robin Williams playing a comic who runs for president. It's probably a problem that it's supposed to be a "comedy," but every joke in the trailer is either very lame, very old, or both. Really, it's little but a fantasy for liberals who want Jon Stewart to run for president.
In fact, it's only the second most-obvious liberal fantasy of the season, behind only "Death of a President."
Well, I certainly wasn't expected the Twins to fall behind 2-0 at home... but fall behind they did, after Oakland's 5-2 victory yesterday at the Dome. It was, sadly, the Twins' 7th straight playoff loss at home, after they of course went 8-0 in home World Series games in '87 and '91.
Torii Hunter, unfortunately, was the one who blew it, as he dove for one his trademark spectacular catches. But he missed the ball, which rolled to the wall, allowing an inside-the-park homer by Mark Kotsay to put the A's up 4-2. Even more sadly, it may be Hunter's last home game in a Twins uniform.
A silver lining? The A's have already lost two first-round series this decade after leading 2-0, and the Twins have Miracle Brad Radke going in Game 3. Go Twins- this season has been way too memorable to lose in a first-round sweep.
It's everything you could have imagined, and more. A lot of action, a lot of excitement, hilarious dialogue, and all of the same crackling plot machinations of its Hong Kong source material, "Infernal Affairs" (also worth seeing, btw). Jack is great, doing an over-the-top Whitey Bulger impression, but Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg both nearly steal the movie as foul-mouthed cops.
In other words, see this movie. It's Scorsese's best since "Goodfellas."
It was bad enough when Fox decided to essentially make Joe Buck the face of their sports broadcasting operation, giving him THREE jobs (lead baseball announcer, lead football announcer, and football pre-game show host), which necessitate his traveling every week and bringing the show with him.
Now comes word that equally mediocre ESPN baseball commentator Joe Morgan is so important to their presentation of the games that he was to announce both the Mets' game in Queens in the afternoon and the Yankees' game in the Bronx at night yesterday (the latter game, however, was rained out).
I'd have preferred neither; here, Aaron Gleeman goes through a few Miller/Morgan howlers from ALCS Game 1.
In the final phase of his campaign against Santorum in all its forms, Dan Savage is coming to Philly next Tuesday, for an anti-Rick fundraiser called Savage Love Live. Benefiting a group called Philadelphians Against Santorum, the event will be held at the Trocadero Theatre at 7:30 Tuesday.
It's a good idea, but I can't help but think it might backfire on Santorum's opponent, Bob Casey. Casey already returned a check from Savage, as the conservative Democrat didn't want to be associated with such a ribald figure, and instead redirected the money to PAS. If a parade of freaks shows up at Savage's event next week, can't Santorum show up with cameras, make an ad, and scare the shit out of Central Pennsylvania that "these are the people" who support Bob Casey? It wouldn't surprise me for a second if exactly that happened.
At any rate, Savage is interviewed about the event in a cover story in this week's Philadelphia Weekly. If nothing else, you've gotta love the bondage/Abu Ghraib-themed cover art.
McSweeney's looks at various instances of American history, as acted in the pro wrestling ring. Great idea, but will Al Gore and his steel chair return in '08?
And speaking of wrestling, check out the latest issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated (with John Cena/PWI 500 on the cover). It has a review, by yours truly, of this DVD. (The review isn't online, but check your local newsstand.) No, it's not the New Yorker, but I read PWI religiously as a kid, so it's really something to actually get into the magazine.
Bob Ford of the Inquirer, previewing Eagles-Cowboys:
"Dallas week had officially begun and, with it, the promise of a homecoming that should be filmed by Martin Scorsese rather than Steve Sabol.- Can't wait. This game could set back the reputation of Philly sports fans by three decades.
'Ooh, it's going to be bad. I mean bad,' the man in the hat said. "There are a bunch of people I know who are dressing up as pills, and their girlfriends are going to be sitting next to them dressed up as nurses...'
All the entertainment value in this contest will probably come from the people pouring beer into the little mouth holes of their pill costumes, which is probably not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration.
Headline from Bill Conlin's column this morning in the Philadelphia Daily News: "Charlie [Manuel]'s Massages Don't Have Happy Endings"
Ick. Ick ick ick. Even more icky is how Conlin would know. Ick.
Yes, much to the consternation of the Phillies fan base, they have brought back Manuel to manage them for another year, despite missing the playoffs, and despite the fact that he's massively hated by the vast majority of fans due to his Southern drawl, and sometimes-questionable game time decisions. (Three assistant coaches were fired.)
I think Charlie's at best an average manager, but still not quite the idiot that everyone thinks he is. The players seem to come to play for him, and they charged back -after their own GM gave up on them- to stay in the wild card race until the second-to-last day of the season. He earned the chance to at least start next season in the dugout.
Reading Eagle: "Hard Hit Ends Owens' Career"
The headline, unfortunately, refers to University of Minnesota football player Brandon Owens, and not T.Overdose. But we can all dream, can't we?
"Derek Jeter, taking his role as captain seriously in this as in all things, is an exception. But although he makes a point of being available, he's also savvy enough to avoid saying anything at all that might conceivably be twisted into any sort of controversy. Which is why, despite being affable and well-spoken, he hasn't had a truly interesting quote since roughly 1997. If a dozen streaking midgets ran through the clubhouse followed by Ted Williams's frozen head riding a fire-breathing unicorn, the captain would simply blink and then politely say that it's all about winning, and he's just focused on helping this team get another championship. If Yankee Stadium security weren't so tight, I would try to test this hypothesis."-Emma Span, breaking down the postseason in the Village Voice. Come on, at least have a superstar who's interesting.
Oops... that wasn't quite the start I wanted to see from the Twins in their playoff run this year. They lost game one to Oakland, 3-2, in a classic pitchers' duel that resulted in Johan Santana's first loss at the Metrodome in over a year. Frank Thomas hit two homers, Barry Zito took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and the Twins' offense never really got going, aside from (!) Rondell White.
I watched the game at a bar, where I went for lunch with the intention of watching the first four innings. Then I resolved to not leave until the Twins got a hit. I ended up sticking around through 6, and using GameCast the rest of the way. My dad, however, was in court all day today and saw none of the game- he still doesn't understand why they'd give the Twins day games for the first three games.
Am I panicking? No, not yet. The A's, after all, have never won an ALDS, and have lost Game 5s four times in the last few years.
From Deadspin's description of the scene prior to last night's Eagles-Packers game on Monday Night Football:
"The Philly fans are already in rare form: from all accounts, they were having tons of fun with the ESPN Gameday crew there last night. Reports one reader:Funny stuff. And next week's Eagles-Cowboys game will make last night look like an episode of "Barney and Friends."
"I do not know if there are any other pictures, video or stories to support this, but the scene behind the MNF pre-game in Philly was uncomfortable at best, scary at worst. TJ was let off the hook. Berman got quite a few YWML screams, including yours truly Steve Young's orientation was questioned, but the chants sent to the Playmaker while on live TV sent Philly fans to a new low, which hard to do. Between the constant 'Dallas Sucks,' ' You Suck,' ' You're an asshole' and the very nice 'Where's your crack pipe?' It was wild. Berman turned to the crowd every couple of seconds to try and shut us up, which enraged the guys Finally, Michael flipped us off, mouthed 'fuck you!' and held up three fingers and counted his "rings," all while Berman and Young were live."
By the way, I loved the announcers' usual loving tributes to Brett Favre. When he got heart in the last two minutes, I kept expecting them to start a candlelight vigil in the booth.
St. Louis Park High School outside Minneapolis, my alma mater, was closed for the day Monday, and while initial reports blamed the school closing on a water main break, it later emerged that this was a cover story, and in fact the closure was due to a threat involving a weapon.
I loved the quote in the above-linked story, where a kid says he's glad the school day was called off, because of "rumors there was going to be a Mexican gang coming with guns." Mexican gangs, as we all know, are EVERYWHERE in suburban Minneapolis.
I eagerly await the coverage of this important story from the Echo.
Even though the Phillies weren't able to pull off the NL Wild Card, this still looks to me like the most fascinating baseball postseason in recent memory. Even though the four best of the eight teams are all in the AL, and it'll be absolutely shocking if the NL team wins even a single game in the World Series.
My prediction before the season was an A's-Mets World Series, which could still technically happen, though I'm not about to stick by it. I also correctly guesssed that the Mets, Dodgers, Cardinals, A's, and Twins would make it, though I wiffed on the White Sox, Red Sox, and Phillies.
The Twins take on the A's in round one, in a rematch of their 2002 ALDS that the Twins win, although neither team has more than a handful of players remaining from back then (I count only Hunter, Cuddyer, Santana, Radke, and Rincon on "Minny," and Ellis, Chavez, and Zito from Oakland.) In fact, it has the potential to be a season of rematches- if they win, the Twins could then take on their '03 and '04 ALDS rival the Yankees, or their '87 ALCS rival Detroit. Then, they could re-enact the 1965 World Series- three weeks after Yom Kippur- against the Dodgers.
Other intriguing potential World Series, along with who should throw out the first pitch at Game 1: Subway Series (Yankees-Mets, Rudy Giuliani); Here We Go Again (Yankees-Dodgers, Steve Sax); Spirit of '64 (Yankees-Cardinals, Whitey Ford); Spirit of '67 (Tigers-Cardinals, Denny McLain and Bob Gibson); Spirit of '84 (Tigers-Padres, Willie Hernandez); Back to '87 (Twins-Cardinals, Tommy Herr and Tom Brunansky); Back to '88 (A's-Dodgers, Bob Welch and Alfredo Griffin); I Don't Believe What I Just Saw (Tigers-Dodgers, Kirk Gibson) and my personal favorite, Construction Site Blues (Yankees-Padres, Finn DiTrolio and Vito Spatafore).
As for predictions, the Twins will beat out the A's without much trouble, while the Yanks will overcome A-Rod's annual playoff slump to beat the Tigers in five. The Dodgers will stay hot and get by the Mets, setting up an all-West Coast NLCS with San Diego, who will reverse last year's sweep and easily beat back St. Louis.
The Twins will beat the Yankees in 7 games to win the AL pennant, but it'll be 1965 all over again, as the Dodgers win the World Series, once again in 7 games. I'm not wishing for it, just predicting it.
Rep. Mark Foley apparently neglected to follow the latter half of Edwin Edwards' famous political maxim. The congressman, long a participant in Bill O'Reilly's criminal witchhunts and the chairman of (yes, that's right) the Missing and Exploited Childrens' Caucus, has resigned from Congress after it came to light that he had sent sexually explicit e-mails to several underage male congressional pages.
Foley, who had long been rumored to be secretly gay, may even end up bringing down the entire current GOP leadership, as it came out the next day that Speaker Dennis Hastert and several others knew about the Foley e-mails months ago. At the very least, Foley's seat may be the one that flips the House to the Democrats.
The most ridiculous spin from the GOP on this issue? You win, Ben Stein.
News Item: Cubs Fire Manager Dusty Baker.
Congrats to the Twins, for winning the AL Central- after not leading for the entire season- on the final day, and forcing a first-round series with Oakland, instead of the Yankees (thus postponing the Pohlad-Steinbrenner Giant Douche/Turd Sandwich war for at least another week).
I'm heading off to Yom Kippur services, but I'll have more when I return. L'Shanah Tovah, and go Twins!
Did Friday's "Law & Order" episode suck, or what? Not only was the plot line stupid, as it took the dubious position that the murder was mostly the fault of a Myspace-like web site, but the new cast leaves much to be desired as well. Why is it necessary for the new detective and new DA to both look much more like models than law-enforcement personnel? It's going in the direction of the final season of "NYPD Blue," when the 15th Precinct looked more like a modeling agency than a police station house.
One thing I love about the "The Wire"- one of literally hundreds- is that the police actually look like police. It was great to see Beadie Russell (Amy Ryan), who I always had a crush on, back on last week's episode.
As for SNL, also pretty ho-hum, although I did like the Fred-Armisen-as-Hugo-Chavez sketch. I was shocked to discover that Darrell Hammond was still on the show; earlier in the day I'd had the exact same reaction when I discovered that Mike Sweeney was still with the Kansas City Royals.
Davis, you may remember, is the player from Duke who followed Christian Laettner to the Timberwolves for a year, leading to rumors (most likely false) that the two were lovers. Left unanswered by the above story is how, exactly, an obscure former NBA player who just retired a few years ago was able to come up with the $350 million purchase price for the 70% controlling interest in the team. He also, if he gets the team, plans to kick out GM Jerry West, a man whose stature in the game is, shall we say, bigger than Davis'.
Brian Davis is also not to be confused with Baron Davis, or with Brandon Davis, the "Lindsay Lohan is a firecrotch!" guy.
UPDATE: They're saying now that Davis will lead the ownership group, Laettner willl be a part of it, West will remain in place, and a mysterious group of investors will back them. Still sounds fishy.
"An article on Sept. 17 about the abundance of satire in American culture referred incorrectly to an episode of “South Park.” In it, the character Cartman tricks another child into eating his own parents in a bowl of chili; Cartman himself does not eat them."'Cause that would be wrong.
Bryan Curtis of Slate goes after the hyper-earnest sportswriter/novelist, accusing him of fetishizing death and schmaltz. I'd agree with the critique of Albom's sports work, except that everything Curtis writes is even more true of Rick Reilly.