ALOTT5MA asks us to guess:
1. Winner/final score.Here goes nothing:
2. Official Game MVP.
3. Which movie ad/trailer will get the top score on the USA Today Ad Meter?
4. Springsteen's setlist, being reported as four songs squeezed into twelve minutes.
1. Steelers 27, Cardinals 17.
2. Troy Polamalu
3. "Star Trek"
4. "The Rising"/"Born to Run"/"Working on a Dream"/"Glory Days"
I thought I was the only one who loved Dennis Hopper's mid-'90s Nike commercials where he played a deranged shoe salesman, but Ta-Nehisi does too:
News Item: McNabb: 'I Want to Retire an Eagle'
I can't wait to hear an hour of talk radio speculation about whether McNabb still wants to play for the Eagles.
Dana Stevens, on the abominable "New in Town":
Maybe it's just my native Zellweger animosity speaking, but I don't know when there's been a romantic-comedy heroine as relentlessly unpleasant as Lucy Hill. Baby Boom and its formulaic offspring may have been retrograde, arguably anti-feminist comedies, but at least they featured women who were struggling to balance career success with human relationships. Lucy Hill is Type A, as in asshole; she picks her high-heeled way through the icy streets of New Ulm as if walking in excrement and treats her secretary, the provincial but kindhearted Blanche Gunderson (Siobhan Fallon Hogan), with such horrific snobbery that it's hard to accept the plot convention by which they eventually become friends. When Lucy's car gets trapped in a snowbank on a remote farm road and Ted happens along to dig her out—thereby saving her from potential death by hypothermia—her first response is not, "Oh my God, thank you," but "Watch the hands, buster." Why is this woman worth saving from the snow, much less building a movie around?I hated this movie for many reasons, but the biggest one of all is that it treats its Minnesota characters like they're functionally retarded. Call it "Fargo" without the violence, or the brilliance.
Yes, that's right, lynching. At least it was only second-degree.
Esquire gives us PETA's infamous veggie-fucking ad, and a few others banned from the Super Bowl.
News Item: Vikings may send QB Jackson for MMA training
Those people are much stronger, authoritative advocates than Alan Colmes ever was.
Drew Magary, on the video for Megadeth's "Hangar 18":
It’s hard to take in all that this video has to offer in just one viewing. It’s got Dave Mustaine dressed like a pirate. It has hot chick lab researchers. It has over 500 examples of unconvincing alien puppetry. It has an abducted alien that is clearly just a stripper wearing a mask. The song itself has a time signature change halfway through that’s more abrupt than a fart during intercourse. All it needs is Gamera to come flying in at the end for it to be an all-out masterpiece.If Peter King and Beavis co-wrote a column, it would look something like the Jamboroo.
I really wish Dave Mustaine had set his ego aside and hired someone else to be lead vocalist for Megadeth. This man is a horrible, horrible singer. He sounds like a ferret being sexually abused. And that’s annoying, because Megadeth has riffs that will pummel your fucking balls. Dave Mustaine is the guy who helped write “Ride The Lightning” and “Call Of The Ktulu”. He knows how to write songs that will DESTROY YOUR SHIT, but he sure as fuck can’t sing any of them.
Everyone has a porn name! It's almost a surprise that no one on the Blazers isn't involved.
I'm still not enjoying it as much as last season- the show misses Zeljko Ivanek and Ted Danson badly, and Rose Byrne's character at this point is almost as wispy as her ever-diminishing figure.
But last night took the series to a new level, with the debut of Scary, Evil Darrell Hammond. Pure genius- Hammond as an evil company's scary enforcer. With more roles like this, he might actually get to leave "Saturday Night Live' one of these years.
It's quite a complex and ever-evolving issue- unless you hate Jews!
Shysterball on the Joe Torre book, which I very much want to read:
Here is a list of the people who are probably happy with the Joe Torre book: Joe Torre, Tom Verducci, The Doubleday Publishing Group, column writers, bloggers, talk radio hosts and Joe Girardi, who will no longer have to compete with the fiction that Torre inspired some preternatural calm and good chemistry in the Yankee clubhouse which he cannot replicate.
And here is a list of the people who are probably not very happy with the Joe Torre book: Every Yankee player who joined the team after 2000, the Yankee front office and, in all likelihood, every player on the current Los Angeles Dodgers roster who can now expect to be thrown under the bus by their boss when the sequel implied by the title of this book is inevitably written.
On the occasion of Obama's election, Liz Spikol buries it.
I review "Notorious" on Philly.com.
Steve King really has to be the dumbest man in politics. He's the same guy who said that he doesn't trust Obama because his name comes up as "Osama" in his spell-checker.
Jonathan Chait has a great, great piece in TNR about how J Street, the new dovish Jewish lobby, isn't so different from the right-wing Likudniks it claims to oppose:
J Street's own rhetoric, though, pulls off an analogous trick. It calls itself the "pro-peace, pro-Israel lobby." Well, who opposes peace? Everybody has their own iteration of peace, from Hamas (all Jews decide to leave the Middle East or submit to Islamic rule) to the Israeli settler movement (Palestinians decide to move to Jordan or submit to perpetual Israeli occupation) to more reasonable compromises in between. Among advocates of a two-state solution, the debate focuses on whether Palestinian or Israeli intransigence is the major impediment...
There is, to say the least, a delicate balancing act involved in declaring your love for a country while deeming it the moral equal of a terrorist death cult. At some point you begin to sound like the Saturday Night Live version of Joe Biden. ("I love John McCain, he's one of my dearest friends, but at the same time, he's also dangerously unbalanced.")
I look at the uncertain Mideast situation that will soon be George Mitchell's problem, in this week's North Star column.
KSK follows everyone's favorite muppet around our nation's capital.
A truly bizarre analogy from Will Leitch:
He's probably going to the Hall of Fame even though he's had only three years in which he started more than twelve games. With any team that wasn't perfectly suited to his talents, he collapsed. He's basically the sports equivalent of Naughty by Nature having two separate one-hit wonders, "O.P.P" in 1991 and "Hip Hop Hooray"in 1996, and then never doing anything else of note. But just as Naughty by Nature gets to keep those gold records, Warner gets to keep the Super Bowl rings.
When they heard the news, Sean Penn immediately announced plans to become a gay politician.
News Item: Brandeis to close Rose Art Museum
The university will sell its entire art collection, in order to cope with the financial crisis. Now I could call this a huge tragedy and an embarrassing day for the university, but that would be a lie; I don't think I ever actually set foot in the museum in my whole four years there.
Behold- a panoramic photograph of the inaugural address. Zoom in to see how many people on stage you can recognize.
Donovan McNabb: 'Eagles Fans Deserve This Loss More Than Anyone'
GLENDALE, AZ—Moments after losing 32-25 to the Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb dedicated the game to Eagles fans everywhere, saying no fans in the country deserved it more. "We have the most single-minded fans in the world, and I can't think of anyone else I'd rather wish this on than them," McNabb said after settling down a locker room of screaming Philadelphia sportswriters. "To have an entire city behind us this whole season, breathing down our necks, waiting silently and patiently through our triumphs until they get to the parts of the season they really love.... There's nothing like it. And it's not just this year—they've been like this for the past decade. So what better way to pay them back than with a nerve-racking, soul-crushing near-comeback like this one? The fans of Philadelphia deserve it." McNabb went on to wish the Cardinals luck and express his admiration for their fans, who, he observed, "seem to be able to actually enjoy football."
I still don't understand why these liberal newspapers keep hiring conservative columnists, especially hacks of the Kristol variety. Like they're going to appease the right just because they gave Kristol a perch. The Times could hire 100 Bill Kristols, and Rush Limbaugh would still call them radical left-wing America-haters.
Even worse- the Philadelphia Inquirer has been running columns by John Yoo, who is far beyond a hack- he's actually legitimately a war criminal. I didn't think anyone more loathsome than Rick Santorum would write for the Inquirer op-ed page this year, but I guess I was wrong.
It's the only show currently on TV that would include the line "Why are you massaging that bird's anus with a Q-tip?" But beyond that, the season's running on all cylinders in Season 3.
Big Stupid Tommy goes through every Royal Rumble and points out how many of the wrestlers in it are dead. A lot, every year, clearly.
A quote from Donald Rumsfeld, from Jane Mayer's "The Dark Side":
I have plenty of advisers, but I only listen to one of them—the one I take a shower with every morning.Huh? What could he be talking about? His wife? His mistress? His rubber duckie?
JamsBIO magazine ranks all 185 Beatles songs- complete with lengthy notes about each one. "A Day in the Life" is #1; "Revolution #9" is last.
I won't rank the songs, but I will rank the Beatles:
Then again, the #3 Beatle would've been #1 in all but a handful of bands in the history of music.
Yes, they're having trouble adjusting to Obama, as Stewart noticed:
Now that Bush is out of office "The Daily Show" is really going to turn into all Fox-bashing, all the time. Not that I mind.
Shysterball guesses what George Mitchell will do when he gets to Israel. Say what you will about Bonds and Clemens, at least they never launched rockets at civilians.
The Houston Chronicle gets the scoop- from Ed Wade, of all people.
So I'm not as upset about the Oscar nominations as most people seem to be, or as I am in most years. "The Dark Knight" absolutely should've been a Best Picture nominee- and Christopher Nolan deserved a director nod- and "Rachel Getting Married" deserved a lot more nods than it got (no Best Original Screenplay for Jenny Lumet?!?)
No problem with "Milk," "Frost/Nixon" or 'Button' getting a Best Picture nod and I'd be fine with any of them winning. I'm not a huge 'Slumdog' fan but I knew it would get picked, and I didn't see "The Reader" (a correspondent of Kyle Smith called it "Death Camp For Cutie.") I thought "Revolutionary Road" and "Doubt" were both loathsome, awful films that were made only to win Oscars, so I'm glad they won't.
The most conspicuous non-nomination? Bruce Springsteen's great song from "The Wrestler," nowhere to be found in the Best Original Song category. What, did Bruce figure he already has a Best Song Oscar (from "Philadelphia") and wanted to give someone else a chance?
Great to see Melissa Leo, Det. Howard from "Homicide," nominated for "Frozen River," though I never saw it. I haven't seen any of the eye-candy actresses who replaced her on that show- Michael Michele, Carrie Thorne, etc.- nominated for anything lately, have you?
Why, exactly, do fans care how much professional athletes earn? Once we realize and accept that they make sick amounts of money, why do we concern ourselves with whether Howard gets $18 million or the $14 million the Phillies submitted?The Phillies' payroll, after they signed 9 of their 10 arbitration-eligibles, is now around $130 million, and the Eagles are always near the top of every "most money paid in the last five years" list. But I'm sure they'll both called cheap, frequently, for the next several years.
He'll either be richer than Croesus or Albert Pujols. Does it matter which? And if it does matter to you, then why?
Bill Simmons and Chuck Klosterman chatted earlier this week, and it was predictably awesome. (Go here, and click 1/20.) Among the highlights:
- Klosterman complaining that Michael Phelps only won all those medals because there are 8 different ways to swim and win a medal. They also discussed how certain sports- like basketball- should get bigger Olympic medals, even though athletes never consider the "street value" of the actual gold.
- Simmons' great analogy that America now resembles an NBA team that has been horrible and capped out for years, and that Obama is like the big-name free agent who just signed and we all hope works out. But comparing the country to the Sixers and Obama to Elton Brand was (hopefully) where the analogy breaks down- at this point in their respective careers, Obama looks like a better basketball player than Brand.
- Klosterman's idea that someone will one day write a great biography of Donovan McNabb. Chuck should do it himself, in fact.
I could listen to those guys for 10 hours. Check it out.
Hey- it don't move at all, like a subway!
Someone who's never seen it describes the plot of "Star Wars":
Sadly, No on the fake outrage from Malkin and Co. on the Joseph Lowery benediction:
They might then express their hope for a future in which Malkin would stop talkin’, one in which Fox News would take a snooze and Glenn Beck would hit the deck, where right-wing choads would hit the road, where Dan Riehl would cop a deal, Ace would shut his face, Bill Kristol would become distal, K-Lo would go blow; one in which the National Review would go screw and the Ol’ Perfesser would be keiner desto besser, where Mary Katherine Ham would scram, where Brent Bozell would go to Hell.
The L.A. Times has reported on a fistfight that allegedly took place during Sundance. On one side- Variety film critic John Anderson. On the other- Jeff Dowd, a studio rep who doubles as having been the inspiration for Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski.
Even though Dowd/Dude enlisted the aid of none other than Jackie ("The Joke Man") Martling, the critic won the fight. That's the story, at least until new shit has come to light.
Former UNBer Ryan Burgoyne of St. Andrews has 32 points including 10 goals with Adam Nelson of St. Stephen Silver Kings tied with former UNBer Kyle Werner of St. Andrews for seventh each with 31 pointsThat's right- St. Stephen Silver Kings. I should write to them and ask for a jersey.
Sounds to me like the "If I Did It" of reality shows.
Now that Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren, and Mike Shanahan are out of the league, the only active coaches in the NFL who have won a Super Bowl are Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin. Had the Patriots won last year's Super Bowl, it would be only Belichick, although whoever wins this year's game will join the club too.
Yes, as Kottke points out, the sketch of the suspect from the killing of Notorious B.I.G. looks suspiciously like the Nation of Islam hitman from "The Wire." I would've expected it to look like Suge Knight.
Funny or Die points out the similarities of "Forrest Gump" and "The Curious Case of Benjmain Button," both written by screenwriter Eric Roth:
Huh, huh, "inaugural balls."
Also on "The Daily Show" last night- the best-ever moment of zen.
Yes, Barack Obama, at last, is president. I'll have full thoughts on the big day in a North Star column tomorrow, but I thought the speech was excellent, and the day was full of highlights. Other than the speech, I'd say my favorite part was when Bush flew away.
Bob Grotz, Delaware County Times, Jan. 20:
The Eagles have done little to curb speculation about the futures of head coach/executive vice president of football operations Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb.ESPN, Jan. 19 (the day before):
And they have a pretty good reason.
They don’t know exactly how it will play out.
ESPN - Eagles' president Joe Banner issued a statement on Monday saying that head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb will be back next season.But other than that, they've done little to curb speculation.
In other news, Barack Obama has done little to indicate that he'll become president on Tuesday.
As a longtime Twins fan, I appreciated this.
The sun has now set on George W. Bush's America for the last time.
Michael Wolff on Apple and Jobs- it's like he tried as hard as he could to get as many counterfactual statements as possible into 500 words. Apple, you'll be surprised to know, is a "failing company," Jobs cured his cancer in 2004 with "voodoo remedies," and the company will die as soon as Jobs does.
Tbogg, after Michelle Malkin likened the Obama inauguration to "pimp and self-aggrandizement":
Nowhere in her "pimp and self-aggrandizement" link could I find any reason to use the word "pimp", but then this kind of crap comes as easily to the little rage-puppet's mouth as taking a breath. After spending the past eight Republican years in a bitter hateful froth, even though she got almost everything she wanted (endless war against brown people, spying on citizens, the destruction of the social safety net, racism's return to being fashionable), I'm not sure she has the anger management skills to handle Democratic control of the government. One day she's just going to explode leaving only a little greasy smear on the ground and a whiff of sulfur.
He's back again, for the 200th time!
The Eagles' season came to an end today with a loss to the Cardinals in Arizona.
The Cards, led by Larry Fitzgerald, dominated the first half, before the Eagles made it interesting in the third quarter, scoring three quick touchdowns and briefly taking the lead before the Cards went ahead to stay at the end. A few notes:
- No, McNabb didn't "choke." He could've played better, but this loss wasn't on him, and it isn't on Andy Reid either. The unstoppable-for-the-past-month defense collapsed, giving up 32 points.
- All week long, every radio caller who tried to guess the final score said something like "Eagles, 27-21," and the host always replied "come on, you think this defense is giving up 21 points?"
- Lots of questionable calls by the refs throughout, especially the lack of a pass interference call on the last play.
- So what can the Eagles do? No, they don't need a full-scale houseclearning, and yes, Reid and McNabb will both be back. They'll need to get two new offensive tackles, a power running back to take some of the load from Westbrook, and a heir apparent for Brian Dawkins.
- A new "big time receiver?" I'm thinking maybe DeSean Jackson is that, and they don't need another one. But I can already hear the revisionist history, that the Eagles "could've had Larry Fitzgerald" last offseason. Not true. He was never going to leave the Cardinals.
- And yes, now that Jon Gruden has been fired by the Bucs, every Eagles fan will be screaming for him to be the new coach. Sorry, not gonna happen.
- So Steelers-Cards in the Super Bowl. Who else is excited for two weeks of strories about how the Steelers passed over Ken Whisenhunt and hired Mike Tomlin instead? Can you feel the excitement?
No, it's not. That lunatic Debbie Schlussel thinks it is, but those of us back on planet Earth realize that it's sort of hard for a movie set in 1941 to be in any way prejudicial towards a nation that wasn't established until 1948.
Great, great news out of Hollywood on Friday. Can't wait for Season 3.
Gary Coleman, however, will remain in the show indefinitely.
Now, the "Some Kind of Monster' documentary made it all but impossible for me to take Metallica seriously for a period of several years, but their album last was pretty good, and when my friends invited me, I figured why not.
It was a good show- the band still plays with a ton of energy and gets the crowd into it, and they played a combination of old stuff and new. But at the end, James Hetfield called up his 4-year-old daughter to the stage, told everyone it was her birthday, and had the crowd sing "Happy Birthday." That's not the sort of thing I would've expected the "Kill 'Em All"-era Metallica to ever do.
The crowd, for what it's worth, seemed a lot more fired up for Sunday's Eagles game than for the show, although in fairness Metallica was much less of a disappointment than the Eagles were.
Skillz runs down all five seasons:
"Remember that scene in Knocked Up where Seth Rogen's Ben said that he dug Munich because he finally got to see a film in which the Jews kicked ass? He would have loved Defiance even more."-Owen Gleiberman,Entertainment Weekly, Jan. 14.
"There's a famous scene in Judd Apatow's comedy "Knocked Up" in which the film's hero, played by Seth Rogen, gives a speech extolling the Steven Spielberg movie "Munich." FInally, Rogen's character says, there's a movie about Jews kicking everyone else's butts, as opposed to the other way around...Edward Zwick's "Defiance" is not a better film than "Munich," but had it come out three years earlier, might have been a better example for Rogen to cite."- Stephen Silver, Philly.com, Jan. 21.
True, my review hasn't been published yet, and the point was sort of obvious...
I've gotta go with Julian Cope's "All The Blowing-Themselves-Up Motherfuckers (Will Realize the Minute They Die That They Were Suckers)." A category of one, sure, but a pretty clear winner nonetheless.
Dan Kennedy, on Bush's farewell address:
"You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made," he said. "But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions." Presidents, needless to say, must decide. It is not immediately apparent why we should give Bush credit merely for making decisions, when virtually every decision he's made for the past eight years has been wrong and damaging to the country and the world.What Bush wants, in other words, is credit just for trying. A participation trophy, if you will. Jon Chait has more.
I was hoping for Cleatus to punch Joe Buck in the face.
The new U2 album has a cover:
March 3. I might actually buy this one in the store.
News Item: Star Tribune files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Amazing story out of New York, and an amazing photograph:
Cars in the river in Minneapolis, planes in New York. What will it be in Philly? Zambonis in the Schuykill?
Rich Hofmann, making sense on McNabb:
DONOVAN McNABB has done this before, happy and joking on the eve of the NFC Championship Game. It was true in 2002 and it was true in 2005 and it is true in 2009. It is not all that predictive about how things will turn out.I can't tell you how much I'm rooting for McNabb to steamroll through these last two games and shut all the idiots up, from Limbaugh on down. Imagine the smile then.
He will play well or not, and the Eagles will win the game or not, and it will not be about demeanor. It will not be about smiling through a bad moment or picking up a sideline telephone or jokes on the Wednesday before. We're all past that at this point, right?
Mind reading with this guy is pointless. Sentence parsing is a total waste of time. There is no predicting. The past is not prologue. The future is not destined. Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals will be 3 hours in isolation.
The same day Steve Jobs announces a possibly permanent leave of absence... "Fake Steve Jobs" does this, which gets him banned for life from CNBC:
Pretty innocuous, if you ask me, especially considering all the nutso stuff that gets said on Fox on a daily basis. But I guess if you bash a network while you're on that network, there are going to be consequences.
There once was a time, I shudder to admit, when I opposed Bert Blyleven's Hall of Fame bid. Between that and the Iraq war, I sure took some bad positions in the early years of this blog...
Anyway, I've since changed my mind and I'm all for Bert's bid (and against Jack Morris'), but my previous position was brought back with a thud this week, when SI.com writer John Rolfe linked to an old post of mine, in which I made fun of Bert for being a notorious nosepicker.
Sorry about that, Bert.
At the end of "Big Bang Theory" the other night, Chuck Lorre shared his thoughts on some of the Oscar Movies (spoiler alert!)
News Item: Ricardo Montalban dead at 88
I'll remember Ricardo most of all from the best "Star Trek" movie of all, "The Wrath of Khan," and as villain Vincent Ludwig in the first "Naked Gun" movie. A great actor, he'll be missed.
The other funniest part of the story is that the subpoenaed city official is the son of my former rabbi.
News Item: Baseball owners call for salary cap
I review the generally awful "Revolutionary Road"- the one where Kate Winslet doesn't get naked- on Philly.com.
No, not the Ravens (or Colts). Writer Mark Lamster assembles a football team full of Wire characters. I love that the entire offense is cops and journalists, while the entire defense is drug dealers. Omar, of course, is special teams, while Levy the Evil Jewish Lawyer is (of course) an agent.
The only problem? Lots of drug suspensions, I'm guessing.
I have a new retail crime update up at Dealerscope.
Imagine an Eagles-Ravens Super Bowl- not only Bird vs. Bird, but a proxy fight for the Poe Wars.
The New York Times has an op-ed by Jeffrey Goldberg on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Except on the front page of the site, the piece is attributed to "Jonah Goldberg of the Atlantic":
Jeffrey Goldberg, who is generally centrist but more left-leaning than not, is a respected reporter with an impressive body of work on all sorts of subjects. Jonah Goldberg, of National Review, author of "Liberal Fascism," is many things, a centrist not being among them. I'm wondering which of them is more pissed off about the mistake.
ESPN takes a fascinating look at whether spending money on team payroll does or doesn't lead to winning. The conclusion:
For every $7 million a team spends on payroll (at 2008 player salary levels) the team will on average win one more game. A team that spends $125 million, or $35 million more than the 2008 average payroll of about $90 million, would be expected to win five more games than average. That comes out to 86 for the season.The survey also ranks Oakland and the Twins as the teams that get the most out of low payrolls. The allegedly cheap Phillies? They're not mentioned.
Yes, it's a personal annual report, from Nick Felton. I have no idea how much time he spent on this- probably a lot- but it's great.
Very good first four hours, I've gotta say. They're setting up the season well, they're bringing in some intriguing plotlines that they haven't done before, and I really like how they're using Washington, D.C. (though I doubt they actually did much filming there.)
Three caveats- last year's disastrous season had a pretty good first four hours too, and the "shock" of Tony still being alive was sort of undone since I've known about it since 2007, and now it's 2009.
And finally, reading "The Dark Side" and hearing specifics about all the loathsome shit our government actually did, it's sort of hard to root for government agents doing the same thing on the show. I mean, not even Dick Cheney, John Yoo or David Addington would sign off on pulling someone's life support out of the wall as they lay dying in a hospital bed.
It's not a good one, as I lay out in a new North Star column- and it's not going to get better over time.
Both are on the same side of the Israel/Gaza conflict, as this video shows.
And then there's Michele Bachmann- a Mideast war in which children are dying on both sides is "our day for joy, our day for rejoicing"? Really?
HIMYM reads my mind, once again. I, too, once discovered a nearly-empty floor in my office building in New York where I found my pseudo-private mens' room. Never checked into a hotel, though.
Philadelphia Will Do gives us a great Inquirer parody site, via Flickr:
Blog Bleeding Green Nation, as quoted by Philly.com, on McNabb:
1.) Donovan Jamal McNabb wants nothing more than a Super Bowl victory for his teammates and the city of Philadelphia.I think if the Eagles win the Super Bowl, every single person who called for Andy Reid's firing on WIP- from Angelo Cataldi on down- should be banned from the parade.
2) Donovan Jamal McNabb wants to retire as a Philadelphia Eagle.
Got it? Is the fan base OK? Is the media OK?
. . . This whole "will he stay/does he want to leave/is he happy/has he lost the locker room/does he like philly" [routine] is complete media-driven, fan-incensed nonsense. . . .
The media say: "OK, Philly wants him gone." . . . It's not fair, it's not entirely true. But it is true that McNabb has to deal with ridiculous questions about his future in Philly. Continually.
You can say that all the QBs deal with idiot fans that "call for their heads." But I don't remember the last news conference that Peyton Manning had to discuss his "future in Indianapolis." I don't remember the last news conference that Eli Manning had to discuss his "future in New York." I don't remember the last news conference that Jake Delhomme had to discuss his "future in Carolina."
Douthat and Yglesias make sense on the conflict behind the conflict in the Middle East:
This is fascinating- how will his teammates react? Might we finally have our first gay active NBA player?
Stephanie Zacharek, on "Bride Wars":
t's possible you could take that concept and turn it into a movie that's good, fluffy fun. It's also possible that putting barbecue skewers through your eyeballs might not be as painful as you expect -- but do you really want to try it?Yea, the other Anne Hathaway marriage movie is a lot better.
Letterman gives up the Top Ten moments of the 43rd-best president in U.S. history:
In just seven days, it'll finally be over.
News Item: Tony Dungy retires as Colts coach
Thus marks the departure of one of my favorite people in the NFL. The first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl, Dungy proved that you can be a successful NFL coach without being a total asshole. I'll forever be angry with the Vikings for not hiring him after 2001, when they had the chance.
Congrats to both. Rickey is sure to give one of the more entertaining speeches in history, which will be surpassed only when Bert Blyleven (just a few votes short) gets in, and drops trou mid-speech. And I can only imagine what Manny Ramirez will do when he gets in, maybe urinate off the back of the dais or something.
Neil Patrick Harris, welcome to the SNL host pantheon:
Legen... wait for it...
Joe the Plumber: "I think media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting"
I'm sure McCain is just thrilled that he hitched his wagon to this guy, isn't he?
Neocon exit question: Who would be more obnoxiously aggressive--a Philadelphia fan with a Super Bowl and World Series victories or a nuclear-armed Iran?The Philly fan would be angrier, but pose much less of a threat to Israel.
It's a heavy metal name flow chart, showing where the bands get their names.
So many, many, many sacred cows of Eagles fan/bashers died today in Giants Stadium, as the Eagles beat the Giants to advance to the NFC championship game, the fifth of the Reid/McNabb era.
McNabb "can't win big games." Reid "always gets outcoached." The team "doesn't care enough about winning to succeed." They "can't win without a big-time receiver." Yes, just six weeks after tying the Cincinnati Bengals, the Eagles are a win from the Super Bowl- and have as good a chance as anyone left of taking the title.
I'm rooting for an Eagles-Steelers Super Bowl. Two rabid fan bases, from the same state... there'd be brawls outside the Fox and Hound on Spruce Street for two week straight.
I'm here at CES in Las Vegas, for another few hours anyway, and it's been quite an experience. It's hard to grasp the sheer enormity of it all, but I think I got to see everything I wanted to see.
We have full coverage at E-Gear.com. But I'm happy to have become, on Saturday, the first American journalist to interview both a sitting FCC chairman and a sitting host of "Jeopardy" on the same day. Some highlights:
- Yes, "Jeopardy" filmed near the Sony booth, and I got to see both a taping of this year's Tournament of Champions and speak with Trebek for about three minutes. I did not ask him about the Will Ferrell/SNL impression, but I did mention the Cliff Clavin/"Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?" episode of Cheers. Full story here.
- As for the FCC's Kevin Martin, I covered his "exit interview"- as he leaves when Dubya does in nine days- and he's against moving the DTV transition date. He also issued a full-throated defense of "indecency" fines, and at said he would also support banning junk food and cigarettes from programming aimed at children. Here's the full story; my favorite part was when someone asked Martin if the FCC has a position on "subliminal messages."
- NBC Universal is very proud of all of their content; here's my story on their booth at CES. I missed Maria Bartiromo, unfortunately.
- Sharp had a bunch of ballplayers signing autographs at their booth, including David Ortiz and Joba Chamberlain. Here's my story on the company's MLB sponsorship; I only saw Joba.
- Behold- the first-ever touchscreen Coke machine!
- And here are some cool iPod/iPhone accessories from a company called iLuv, including a dock that can charge multiple iPods and another that's also a four-disc CD changer.
And that's just what I saw in the three days I was here...
News Item: Phish announces reunion tour dates
A New York Post letter writer didn't like the Leon Panetta pick:
I couldn't disagree more with Obama's choice of Panetta - the man lacks the experience needed for this most important job.Oh, it would be "bold," all right. And not in a good way.
If Obama wants to make the right move, be bold and mend fences with the GOP for the good of the nation, he should name current Vice President Dick Cheney as head of CIA.
Cheney is, if anything, overqualified and has a track record bar none in keeping America safe from its enemies.
Be bold, Obama. Reverse course and name Cheney.
All sorts of stuff on E-Gear on products announced today. Movies in 3D! Interactive TV! Blu-ray IN your TV! Read about it all on the site. I'll be there starting tomorrow.
Jim Caple joins the Pohlad anti-obit party.
"The Daily Show" on cable news covering, among other things, the school menus at Obamas' daughters' school:
The Steely Dan song in the background is the best part, along with Mika Brzezinski's perturbed facial expression. Damn, I love "Morning Joe."
Congress recently released a report on steroid use in wrestling, and Time magazine has some details. Including this interview with Stephanie McMahon:
When someone walks out on that stage, they either connect with the people or they don't. If you walk out on stage and nobody cares and you don't have any presence, you are never going to be a main-event guy. But if you walk out and you make the people notice you, you can be a main-event guy. You really don't even have to be a good wrestler. Hulk Hogan was a terrible wrestler, and he still is.Is that a real interview, or setup for a Wrestlemania angle? Stephanie sure has guts, brother.
Speaking of wrestling- "The Wrestler" is a great, great movie. I put it in the bottom half of the top ten for the year, and really can't decide between Mickey Roarke and Sean Penn for Best Actor. My favorite touch in the movie was probably that the Iron Sheik character ("The Ayatollah") wasn't Iranian or Middle Eastern at all, but rather an American black guy.
News Item: John Smoltz signs with Red Sox
I devoured the entire first season in the last two weeks and enjoyed the season premiere last night. Love Ted Danson as a villain- almost as much as in the "Anonymous donor" episode of 'Curb'- and it's a super-strong top-to-bottom cast. it's been called "'24' With Lawyers,'"; if that's true, the show should get to at least its fifth season before it starts to suck.
One complaint about the premiere- the formerly hot female lead, Rose Byrne, looks like she weighs about 90 pounds- and not only that, they keep putting her in sleaveless outfits that accentuate her Jolie-like arms. Eat a sandwich!
News Item: Chris Matthews won't run for Senate.
The 2010 PA Senate race just got a lot more boring. Then again, I don't know that the Senate could handle both him and Al Franken.
It all sounds so familiar to John Cole.
Michael Totten, on who does and doesn't support Israel:
The United States is more supportive of Israel’s existence and right to defend itself than any other country on earth. The conservative and supposedly pro-Israel President of France Nicolas Sarkozy condemned Israel’s response on the very first day, while the hyperpartisan left-wing American senator stridently defended Israel after more than a week of fierce fighting. Hatred of Israel consumes the mainstream political Right as well as the Left in Europe, while hatred of Israel in the United States is relegated only to part of the intellectual class and to the left-wing and right-wing lunatic fringes.But what about Obama? Doesn't he hate Israel too?
This guy heard that the sets for "The Wire" were about to be destroyed, so he took a trip and took some photos. Great stuff, and the first worthwhile LiveJournal post I've seen in five years.
CES starts this week in Vegas; check out E-Gear.com for our magazine's coverage of the events. I'll be there from Friday to Sunday.
I look at the trio of up-in-the-air Senate seats in this week's North Star column.
Jeffrey Goldberg on how he sees the Israel/Gaza situation:
I have friends in Gaza about whom I worry a great deal; I've seen many people killed in Gaza; I've served in the Israeli Army in Gaza; I've been kidnapped in Gaza; I've reported for years from Gaza; I hope my former army doesn't kill the wrong people in Gaza; I hope Israeli soldiers all leave Gaza alive; I know they'll be back in Gaza; I think this operation will work; and I have no actual hope that it will work for very long, because nothing works for very long in the Middle East. Gaza is where dreams of reconciliation go to die. Gaza is where the dream of Palestinian statehood goes to die; Gaza is where the Zionist dream might yet die. Or, more to the point, might be murdered. I'm not a J Street moral-equivalence sort of guy. Yes, Israel makes constant mistakes, which I note rather frequently, but this conflict reminds me once again that Israel is up against an implacable force, namely, an interpretation of Islam that disallows the idea of Jewish national equality.
My paralysis isn't an analytical paralysis. It's the paralysis that comes from thinking that maybe there's no way out. Not out of Gaza, out of the whole thing.
Tom Powers on Carl Pohlad. Ouch.
Apparently I wasn't the only one who spent years thinking that "Marley and Me" was not the heartwarming tale of a writer and his dog, but rather a biography of Bob Marley. Entertainment Weekly this week ran a sidebar of "other movies that sound like "Bob Marley biopics: "Legend," "Exodus," "What About Bob," and "Buffalo Soldiers."
In his career running for statewide office, Coleman has lost to a professional wrestler, beaten a dead guy, and then tied a comedian.
The longtime Twins owner Carl Pohlad died today at the age of 93.
Pohlad's legacy as an owner is the definition of "mixed." Yes, he saved the team from being sold and possibly moved to Tampa in 1984, and he of course presided over the team's two championships in '87 and '91.
But then there was the years of threatening to move the team, the cheapness, the consistently low payroll, and the attempted contraction in 2001. Pohlad is the owner I like to point at when people, usually in Philly, complain about how cheap their $100 million-payroll team is.
I believe Pohlad's son, Jim, will run the team now.
FanIQ has updated its list of which athletes have the most illegitimate children.
I elaborate on the year's best movies in the Trend.
News Item: Pat Burrell signs with Rays
Pat Burrell today signed with Tampa Bay for two years and $16 million, which actually represents a pay cut for the slugger, who made $13 million last year.
Pat, as most star Philly athletes do, had a checkered record in town, having a couple of great years, as well as a couple of bad ones, but his tenure ended as well as it possibly could have, with a ring.
Burrell also, I believe, was near the top of the getting-laid-the-most-by-a-Philly-athlete leader board, though I have no way of documenting that as a journalist, and he almost certainly ranks below Wilt Chamberlain.
Mark Craig of the Strib, after Sunday:
Eagles fans who don't appreciate Donovan McNabb should be sentenced to spend eternal damnation with a 25-year-old Tarvaris Jackson as their quarterback.At least Tarvaris wasn't booed at the draft. 'cause most of the fans had gone home by the time he was picked.
Either that or be forced to watch a continuous loop of Philadelphia's 26-14 victory over the Vikings in Sunday's NFC first-round playoff game at the Metrodome.
Cracked has some fun:
News Item: Franken declared winner of Senate race
I didn't want him to run, or get the Democratic nomination, but now that he's in there, it should be fascinating.
A tense day in the Silver household is over, as the Vikings lost to the Eagles today in the NFC playoffs. Not a huge surprise, but a disappointment nonetheless. A few thoughts-
- The loss was like a microcosm of all the Vikings' problems all year- weak quarterback play, bad playcalling, misuse of Adrian Peterson, stupid turnovers. I know they went 10-6 and won the division and everything, but changes need to be made.
- Even though everyone in town hates him, it doesn't look like there's any chance Brad Childress will be fired. I'd wait for a year from now, when five different Super Bowl-winning coaches will be on the market.
- No, Andy Reid won't be fired, either. Sorry, Angelo. Though nice to see him and Childress hug after the game, I guess they don't hate each other like Belichick and Mangini do.
- The Tarvaris Jackson experiment really needs to end, this team isn't going anywhere with him. I'd be for bringing in a veteran, one better than Gus Frerotte, although it's looking like Donovan McNabb probably won't be available.
- Speaking of Donovan, he won the big game. Again. He didn't come up small. Remember that next time someone says he "always chokes in big games."
- What the hell was that "rap" that played over the Fox music at the beginning? It made the mediocre NBC Faith Hill song sound like "Stairway to Heaven."
- After all the talk of the Vikings having trouble selling out and Eagles fans "taking over" the stadium, I didn't get the idea that there was much of an Eagles fan presence, at least going by crowd noise.
- Eagles play the Giants next weekend at 1 p.m. It seems like they've already played four games this year (really only two), but the Eagles won in New York a few weeks ago and I can see them doing it again. I'll be in Vegas for CES but maybe I'll sneak into a sports book and watch it that morning.
Looking for a movie to rent or Netflix? Don't choose "Noise," a pretty absurd comedy-drama starring Tim Robbins that I watched the other night.
Robbins stars as an Upper West Side yuppie, married to Bridget "Tom Brady's baby momma" Moynihan, who really, really, hates car alarms. Rather than just get over it, or buy an iPod, like most people, he decides to go outside, break into the cars, and cut the power to the alarms. First he does it and gets arrested three times, and then he starts doing it anonymously, calling himself "The Rectifier," leaving stickers on the cars, and becoming a city folk hero.
The plot, let's say, has quite a few holes in it. First, most people who live in New York either stop noticing the noise after while or, if it really bothers them, move to the suburbs or another city. Robbins, for some reason, stays.
But even worse is this- once this anonymous "Rectifier" appears, wouldn't it maybe occur to the police that perhaps it might be the guy who's been arrested on three separate occasions for exactly the same thing, and later tried to sue to ban car alarms? And it appears that every car he cuts off is on his street- doesn't that sort of give away that it's someone who lives nearby?
Then again, it sounds an awful lot like Robbins was playing himself.
ALOTT5MA's Adam Bonin, on "Frost/Nixon":
To try to put yourself in the environment of Frost/Nixon, imagine it's 2010 and George W. Bush has decided to sit for his first post-Presidency interview as a twenty-plus hours exclusive taping with ... Carson Daly, or somewhere halfway between Ryan Seacrest and that guy who does the sex predator busts for Dateline."Dubya- why don't you have a seat?"
Jim Souhan has an uncharacteristically great column about how Donovan McNabb is the thread that connects everything in Sunday's game. More importantly, there's pretty much no scenario Sunday that could possibly lead to Donovan ending up with the Vikings next year.
Meanwhile, Steve Aschburner has recognized that fans of the Vikings and Eagles are very, very different. This column would greatly anger everyone in Philly if they had ever heard of MinnPost.com.
Bill Simmons, KSK and Deadspin, meanwhile, have devoted their coverage of the game to the "two horrible coaches square off" subplot.
How will it end up? It depends on which Eagles team shows up, and which Vikings team. My gut feeling? Eagles 21, Vikings 16.
As for the overall playoffs, I see a Manning-Manning Super Bowl, and the most insufferable two-week lead-in imaginable.
News Item: Marbury may reunite with Garnett on Celtics
Yet another reason for Wolves fans to feel miserable...
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. "Theme From Shaft." Go:
I once heard a tuba player cover the same song at a St. Paul Saints game, but this was even better.
It's long been alleged that Charles Barkley can get away with saying and doing absolutely anything; this is the latest and greatest test of that hypothesis.
Really? This week? When a playoff game isn't sold out yet? Really, Zygi?