October 30, 2009

Thoughts on Game 2

Well, the Phillies lost Game 2 to the Yankees, although a split in Yankee Stadium isn't the worst outcome in the world for the Fightins. And remember- in each of the first two series, the Phils won Game 1, lost game 2, and then swept the remainder of the series.

At any rate, in Game 2 the baseball universe reverted to its pre-2008 state- Charlie Manuel made bad managerial moves that cost the Phils games, and A-Rod sucked in the postseason. Yes, Pedro Martinez was left in a postseason game an inning too late by his gray-haired, Southern bumpkin manager.

Two other things that bothered me, besides the horrid umpiring: Derek Jeter invalidating every "he plays the game the right way" pronouncement of his career by bunting out with two strikes. And those commercials with Wanda Sykes. I like Wanda, she's been funny before- her recent HBO special was excellent- but are those really the best jokes they can think of to showcase?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:20 PM | Comments (1)

"The Book Has Been Shot"

I got Bill Simmons' book and plan to start reading it next week- even though the line was too long and I ended up leaving his book signing early the other night- and I've enjoyed the media blitz. Here's his visit to SportsNation (my apologies for the Colin Cowherd), where someone opens fire on live TV:

I'd really love to do that to Sarah Palin's book.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:20 PM | Comments (0)


Attention "South Park"- now THAT's how you do a wrestling parody! "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" continued its stellar recent run with an episode that paid tribute to all sorts of obscure wrestling stuff, from the Fabulous Freebirds to Philly's own ECW to "The Wrestler."

It's Roddy Piper's best acting role since "They Live." I'm not sure if they made him up to look scuzzy, disgusting and drunk, or if that's just what he always looks like- probably the latter.

"The League"? Wildly uneven. But still funny, and very realistic. The guys in my league are just as obsessed- but I don't think any of us have a wife as awful as all those women. This also might be the raunchiest stuff on TV- it makes "Always Sunny" look like "Sesame Street."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:19 PM | Comments (1)

Yep, Sounds Like Us

Onion: State of Minnesota Too Polite to Ask For Federal Funding

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

Really, Shouldn't Every Veto Spell That Out?

News Item: Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoes bill; first letter of each line reads "Fuck You"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

Not News!

Some of the best anti-Fox stuff ever, from Jon Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
For Fox Sake!
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

"The Daily Show" has gone seamlessly from a primarily anti-Bush/Cheney show to an anti-Fox show, and may have even gotten better.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

A Proposition For You

Some of the better prop bets for the World Series are available here. My favorite one is a proposal of another kind.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

Colbert on Halloween

Sometimes his non-political stuff is best of all:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
ThreatDown - Halloween Edition
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorReligion
Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2009

Out With the Drought!

From the people who brought you "Fans give McNabb three-week deadline to win Super Bowl":

Phillies Hope To End 364-Day World Series Drought
PHILADELPHIA—The last time the Philadelphia Phillies brought a World Series title back to the City of Brotherly Love, the nation's financial sector was in complete ruin, the cost of a gallon of milk was only $2.74, fans watched the Fall Classic while huddled around their slightly-less-streamlined high-definition television sets, and Philadelphia slugger Ryan Howard was just 28 years old.
And you thought the Yankees' nine-year drought was long.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2009

Phillies Win Game 1

"What an exhilarating performance by Cliff Lee," McCarver says. First thing he's said that I've agreed with all night.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

Chris Daggett's Rasslin' War Room

I like this idea from New Jersey governor candidate Chris Daggett, hiring actors to imitate his two opponents, Jon Corzine and Chris Christie...

Except, he appears to have stolen the idea from Vince McMahon's old "Billionaire Ted" skits, with the "Huckster" and "Nacho Man."

By the way, that sketch was making fun of Hulk Hogan for being old. That was in 1995. This week, Hogan announced another return to wrestling.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:29 PM | Comments (1)

Anti-Fox Quote of the Week

Paul Waldman:

From the early morning fun on Fox & Friends (just as right-wing as the rest of the network but so insipid it makes Jackass look like a meeting of the Oxford Union), to the cheerleading for unfettered capitalism on Neil Cavuto, to the nightly tirades from the prime-time lineup of Beck, O'Reilly, and Hannity, to the weekend shows hosted by the likes of Oliver North and Mike Huckabee, Fox is the place to go if you want to learn how Republicans are strong and manly, Democrats are crooks, and Obama has a secret plan to lead America toward a socialist nightmare.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

Greatly Exaggerated

Strange doings tonight- it was reported that former Vikings safety Orlando Thomas, who has ALS, had died- but then his agent and friends chimed in with the news that Thomas is alive, after all. No idea how that happened.

Mark Craig wrote a wonderful, heartbreaking piece about Thomas two years ago.

UPDATE: Apparently it came from... someone's Myspace page.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

Hopefully It'll Go As Well As When He Bought the Wolves

News Item: Glen Taylor bids for stake in Star Tribune

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:27 PM | Comments (0)

The Series

The biggest story in the days leading up to the Yankees-Phillies World Series has been trash talk between the respective fan bases, most of which, I'm sure, has been sprinkled with the phrase "you think you're better than me"?

I know a lot of Yankees and Phillies fans, and I've been to games in both places and you know what? The fan bases aren't all that different from one another. They're both passionate and obsessed, they're both loud, and they both consist of a small but still too-large minority of drunken, violent hooligans.

One more thing- don't give me any of this "Win One For George" bullshit. Steinbrenner already has five rings, and he's not exactly a sympathetic or likable figure to begin with. The implication is that he's in poor health and/or near death, yet no one has come right out and said that.

At any rate, should be a series for the ages. Phillies in 7.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

Film Critic Quote of the Week

The New York Post's Lou Lumenick on "This Is It":

Neither a concert film nor a documentary but a ghoulish “event” offered just in time for Halloween... This Is It” was hastily cobbled together from often badly photographed and recorded rehearsal footage never intended to be shown to an audience, hokey backstage scenes that were, and elaborate 3-D sequences that were shot for use in the concerts
I saw this last night and am flabbergasted by the positive critical reaction- it's a creepy, not to mention nakedly exploitative cash grab, based around someone who was, literally, days from death.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

Anti-MoDo Quote of the Week

Gawker, going after Dowd's latest gender nonsense:

What do you do when you write a million columns unsubtly disparaging a man as feminine, and then it turns out that he talks sports and golfs exclusively with men? If you're Maureen Dowd, you just crank out another column... In her column on this important matter, Dowd simply ignores her own lengthy history of interpreting Obama according to her rigid "Democrats are fags and Republicans are real men" worldview. Instead, he is like presidents of old, who crack "racy" jokes with male aides. She quotes "a girlfriend" (Alessandra?) who wishes the uppity ladies would just let the president be a man with men in peace.

You would think someone who repeatedly called Obama "oBambi," and also butterfly, in columns dedicated to the argument that Hillary Clinton was the real man in the party, even if she pretended to have a vagina and ladylike tendencies (like those tears), would write a column expressing some sort of mild surprise that Obama is perhaps more traditionally masculine than she thought.

Still, she's about a hundred times the writer Andrea Peyser is.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

Caruso on Leno

I agree- this never gets old.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

Headline of the Day

Fox News: Larry David under fire for urinating on Jesus

What an outrage. He should've urinated on Bill Donohue instead.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2009

Fort Philly, the Bronx

Philly radio host Mike Missanelli will be broadcasting Wednesday from The Dugout, one of those scary bars near Yankee Stadium. It's a 5-hour show; I put the over/under on fistfights at around 6. (Michael Kay of the New York ESPN affiliate will be there as well.)

It would be the worst decision of the day for 950ESPN/The Fanatic, had they not given two hours of airtime to Pete Rose this morning.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:49 PM | Comments (1)

Inside the Simmons Mansion

Kenny Mayne visits Bizarro Bill Simmons:

Why is he wearing a Doug Christie jersey?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:48 PM | Comments (1)

Anti-Philly Hate Crime of the Week

The New York Post piles on, in a piece that also doubles as a crime against journalism. Sheesh. I'm just wondering why this drivel required three bylines.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:48 PM | Comments (1)

Quote of the Day

Deadspin's Tommy Craggs, on the not-very-gentlemanly media coverage of Steve Phillips' mistress:

The biggest reason this is in the news," CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel said on CNN yesterday, apropos the Steve Phillips saga, "is because she's not real good looking." She isn't? I hadn't heard. People are usually so delicate about such things.

I mean, other than the New York Post's dubbing Brooke Hundley "the shlubby seductress," "the tubby temptress" and "the portly production assistant," of whom the press got its first glimpse when she "waddled" out of her apartment; and other than the Post's general habit of calling her "shlubby" and "portly" to draw a contrast with the "handsome Phillips" and the "handsome married baseball analyst Phillips," whose wife is the "beautiful, blond, green-eyed" Marni, a "stunning, green-eyed blonde"; and other than Doyel's going on Howard Kurtz's useless Reliable Sources and calling Hundley "not very pretty," "not very photogenic," "not real good looking" and adding that all the people Googling like mad for her image have come away "not impressed"; and other than that one guy on Joy Behar's CNN show who compared Hundley to Jack Black and Danny Devito and declared that Marni Phillips had every reason to be nervous about a "woman with an 18-inch neck"; and other than Joy Behar's mistakenly referring to her as "this guy Hundley" and then correcting herself by saying to her panelist, "You got me so crazy that she's so not attractive, I think she's a man" — other than that, I'd say that, yeah, the media have been pretty mature about the irrelevant matter of her looks.

Not that i'm defending Deadspin's recent behavior- or Hundley's, or Phillips'- but going on and on about how unattractive a woman is strikes me as ungallant, to say the least.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)

Eagles-Redskins Thoughts

My goodness the Redskins are a disaster. I can see the change in offense play-callers made a huge difference for them. Is there a reason they left Jason Campbell in the game, when he was noticeably limping from the first quarter on?

The Eagles offense wasn't exactly high-octane, but they made some big plays, and they didn't look nearly as inept as they did last week against Oakland, even though Washington is a much stronger defense. Looks like McNabb's annual funk may have lasted only one game this time.

Speaking of Donovan, he crossed both 30,000 yards and 200 touchdowns for his career. But he sucks, and they should totally get rid of him.

And when ESPN needed analysis after the game on what a shambles the Redskins organization has become, they went to... Matt Millen, who should know a thing or two about the subject.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

Favre Goat Sacrifice Update

The male accomplice of the woman who tried to sacrifice a goat painted like Brett Favre did not appear as scheduled in court and is now a fugitive. Clearly, he's waiting until after next Sunday's game to turn himself in.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

Some Thoughts on the "30 For 30" "Small Potatoes" Documentary

- It's generally great- an entertaining story, that everyone forgot about, told breezily and amusingly. I'm sure that'll describe a big chunk of the "30 For 30" lineup, and I for one can't wait for it.

- Donald Trump is even more evil than I thought- not only did he kill the league, but his lawyer in the antitrust lawsuit? Roy Cohn.

- The addition of Howard Cosell voice footage makes any documentary about 20 percent better.

- When they showed Nate Newton, and he was wearing orange, I at first assumed it must be a jailhouse interview. But no, Newton got out a few years ago, and it was just a polo shirt.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:45 PM | Comments (1)

"It's Not Illegal, it's Frowned Upon, Like... Masturbating On an Airplane."

Zach G. in "The Hangover" could've been talking about the two Northwest pilots who overshot Minneapolis by a hundred miles last week. Michael Roston suggests Internet porn may have played a role.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

Film Critic Quote of the Week

David Poland on the awful-sounding "Amelia":

So you sit there and try to move past the bad accents… as though you were on a date with someone with a specific physical thing that bothers you, but that you don’t want to judge him/her on that… makes you feel shallow… and you so want the date to become something good… maybe green people with big warts on their noses and pointy black hats are really good in bed or will make you feel safe from those flying monkeys you have always feared or will change your life by teaching you how to bathe without ever having water touch your skin…

Or not.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)

Big Mac's Back

News Item: Mark McGwire hired as Cardinals hitting coach

I'd say Big Mac- who hasn't been in baseball or, really, appeared in public since his unfortunate Congressional testimony in 2002- has suffered more from his steroid use than any other superstar that used, with the possibly exception of Barry Bonds. No reason he should continue to be punished for receiving atrociously bad legal advice almost ten years ago.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2009

A True Fall Classic

So the World Series between the Yankees and Phillies is finally set, and has the potential to be a Series for the ages. You've got probably the two best teams in baseball, both hot throughout the playoffs, complete with the New York/Philly angle. It's also Fox and Bud Selig's ultimate dream matchup.

They're two teams that have each been around for over 100 years, yet this is only their second time facing each other in the World Series (the other was 1950, when the Yanks swept.)

At any rate, as a Philly resident, longtime Yankee hater, and Twins fan hoping for ALDS revenge, all I can say is, "Go Phillies."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:40 AM | Comments (2)

Vikings Fall

Well, that was pretty awful, as the Vikings turned two potential late-game scores into defensive touchdowns by the Steelers and fell to their first loss of a year.

It's disappointing, yes, and they made way too many stupid mistakes, especially penalties. And it's not so great to see Brett Favre refer to his crucial-intercepting-tossing self of the last ten years. But I wouldn't panic yet- especially with the big Packers game in Green Bay next week.

At any rate, they had better play better against the Steelers if they meet again in the Super Bowl.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:39 AM | Comments (0)

Cue Up the Arcade Fire...

My review of "Where the Wild Things Are" is online at Philly.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:38 AM | Comments (1)

Anti-Frank Rich Quote of the Week

Isaac Chotiner of TNR on the NYT's second-worst op-ed columnist, who tried to tie the Balloon Boy thing to the financial bubble:

The problem here, again, is that Rich is comparing two things that should not be compared. I can glibly say that "Just as numerous Americans were fooled by the few hyped instances of shark attacks into staying out of the water in the summer of 2001, so were many Americans fooled by Bill Clinton's initial comments on Monica Lewinsky." The problem is that such a comparison is completely inane and worthless. Rich should stop looking for patterns where none exist. If only his columns were not required to demarcate the supposed intersection between American cultural life and America political life...
Still, an improvement over the "here's this week's number one movie, and here's how it proves Bush sucks," a variation on which Rich wrote every week between 2001 and 2008.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:36 AM | Comments (0)

Three Terrible Things About the Chris Farley/DirecTV Spot

1. Chris Farley is long dead and, as far as I know, never agreed to endorse DirecTV.

2. It's just a dreadful campaign in general- repetitive, witless and stupid.

3. "Tommy Boy" wasn't that funny- Farley did a lot better in his brief career- and the "fat guy in little coat" bit was always a lot more cringe-inducing, to me, than funny.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:35 AM | Comments (0)

The Great Left-Right Graph

This is pretty great.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:34 AM | Comments (1)

Green vs. Green

The two best green mascots in Philadelphia- Green Man and "The Phillie Phrenetic"- square off on "it's Always Sunny":

I'd love to see the Phanatic fight the Phrenetic.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

The Spectrum's Long Goodbye

I've never been a huge fan of Delco Times columnist Jack McCaffery, but he's dead on in Sunday's column, about how the demise of the Spectrum has dragged on for a ridiculously long time:

That’s in case you didn’t catch the announcement, or the Globetrotters game on the roof, or the last hockey game, or the other last hockey game, or the last college basketball game, or the last pro basketball game, or the TV documentary, or the last Sixers practice, or the open walk-through of the joint Saturday... If a landlord believes it fit to knock a joint down, then do it and get out of the way. Just stop beating people over the head with so many tributes that a hardhat becomes necessary.
I went to that "last hockey game"- which was over a year ago, I believe. The Spectrum will "close"- I think- with a concert by Pearl Jam next week, although there have been at least 10 different shows, at various times, billed as "the last concert ever at the Spectrum."

At last there was a good excuse for there being so many different "last baseball games ever at the Metrodome."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

"Fox News Slash Fanfic"

Gawker rightly whacks this "boomlet" of the head of Fox News, Roger Ailes, running for president in 2012:

This is of course a winking meta-joke, though it's not labeled as such. Roger Ailes is a personally loathsome fat man who literally has dozens of dead bodies in various closets around his various homes as a consequence of his 40-year career of killing people with television. The notion that he's considering a presidential run, or that any of his friends would urge him to consider one, exists exclusively in the mind of Mike Allen, who has confused the late-night "campaigns" he conducts in his bedroom with the help of a Roger Ailes doll and a Jon Stewart doll with reality.
Speaking of which, some highlights of the Fox war on Obama, which started way before Obama declared war back:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:32 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2009

Quote of the Day

Deadspin's Dashiell Bennett, on the Magic Johnson/Isiah Thomas falling out:

It takes a special kind of jerk to make people feel sorry for Isiah Thomas, but Magic just might be that guy. Whoever you believe, it's pretty clear from this sordid tale—and Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame speech, among other incidents—that pretty much every superstar you idolized as a kid is a selfish, insecure, backstabbing prick. Of course, that's also why they were all such awesome basketball players.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)


The Phillies continued their rampage through the playoffs last night, finishing a 4-1 series win to beat the Dodgers at Citizen's Bank Park Wednesday. A few notes:

- The Phillies are on a tear, at the plate and on the mound, and this is probably the worst time ever for a six-day layoff. But hey, at least everyone will be rested.

- Their opponent will presumably be the Yankees, who lead the Angels 3-1, setting up all sorts of wonderful angles. At some point in the fifth inning, the chant in the crowd went from "Beat L.A." to "Yankees Suck"

- Nice to see Dallas Green threw out the first pitch to Charlie Manuel, when the two men memorably almost got in a fistfight on the field three years ago, in an incident I dubbed "age in the cage."

- Ozzie Guillen is going to do commentary on the Fox pre- and post-game show! That couldn't possibly not be awesome.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

Finn! Klosterman!

News Item: Craig Finn to adapt Chuck Klosterman's "Fargo Rock City" for movie

The only thing possibly more in my wheelhouse would be if they both went on "The B.S. Report" together.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

Go to Hell, Andrea Peyser

America's worst newspaper columnist, Andrea Peyser, read the harrowing, five-part account by David Rhode in the New York Times of his months-long kidnapping ordeal in Afghanistan and Pakistan by accusing him of... being too sympathetic to the Taliban!

Sprinkled through the articles, in which Rohde describes his harrowing capture by cave-hopping demons who, the author notes, enjoy "superior roads, electricity and infrastructure," is evidence of deep sympathy for their mental garbage.
"After seven years of reporting in the region, I did not fully understand how extreme many of the Taliban had become." Had become?
"I also saw how some of the consequences of Washington's antiterrorism policies had galvanized the Taliban," he wrote in Part 1. "Commanders fixated on the deaths of Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian civilians in military airstrikes, as well as the America
Really? David Rohde reports from war zones, risking his life numerous times, and was kidnapped and very nearly murdered by terrorists- and he does it for a real newspaper. Andrea Peyser, who has never been within a thousand miles of war, specializes in writing about how mean David Letterman is. Sorry she objects to the way he covered his own captivity.
What a loathsome, solipsistic harpy.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

Film Critic Quote of the Day

Alonso Duralde of MSNBC on the latest Lars Von Trier drivel:

“Antichrist” is a thoroughly pretentious and unpleasant wallow that tortures its audience for no apparent reason. Why bother being dragged through slime for art if there’s no destination at the other end of it?...

The movie’s tasteless and much-discussed shock tactics desperately want to unnerve the audience, but they ultimately have all the impact of a 5-year-old repeatedly poking you, saying, “Does this bug you? Am I bugging you?”

Von Trier seems to be a guy who greatly hates two things (America and women) that I love very much. I can't tell if this movie is intensely horrifying, or unintentionally hilarious, but either way, I'm not planning to see it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)

Daniel Snyder, Fool

The Redskins owner gets the full Motley Fool tournament.

I've said it before, but I will again- Snyder is the guy in your fantasy league who doesn't really follow football closely, and only drafts people he's heard of. Except he really runs an NFL team, and it's $50 million at a time he's throwing at real, mostly- over-the-hill players.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

"South Park" on Wrestling

What a missed opportunity last night's episode was. They finally go after pro wrestling- something that would have been more salient in, say, '99 or 2000- and the only points they can make are that wrestling story lines are melodramatic and amateur wrestling is gay? Really? Plus, they brought Vince McMahon on screen but neglected to poke fun of him in any way. Very, very subpar, although I did sort of like the "Chorus Line" takeoff.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

Ben On the Jews

My old friend, the recently married Ben Dreyfus, has an op-ed in the Forward this week. A very interesting argument that he's been making for several years.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:34 PM | Comments (2)

Sports Radio Moment of the Day

On Danny Bonaduce's talk show on WYSP yesterday, they were going through a regular bit called "Who'd Win in a Fight?," and the question was topical: the '93 Phillies, or the current team?

Now I'd say when it came to fighting, you have to give the nod to Kruk, Dykstra, and Co. But if the two sides played a baseball game? No question, Howard/Utley have it. Now I realize there are those in town who feel the former is more important than the latter, but...

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

Only Lefty Hippies Support Gay Marriage

Well, other than this guy:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)


Of all the potential scandals that could've happened in sports this year, "Goldy Gopher draws fire for mocking the pregame prayer of a Penn State player" was pretty far down the list. Much further down than "Steve Phillips adultery scandal."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2009

Two Thoughts on "Men of a Certain Age"

- It looks like a once-a-week, 60-minute Flomax commercial, a point I noted tonight when the ad for its aired after an actual Flomax commercial, and...

- Is this the best role Andre Braugher can come up with? He gave one of the all-time great TV performances, for six seasons on "Homicide: Life on the Street," and should have had a dynamite movie career that never materialized.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:24 PM | Comments (1)

October 20, 2009

Retail Crime Remains Rampant

Here's my latest roundup for Dealerscope. My personal favorite part, which I am in no way highlighting because the guy is probably a Packers fan:

Phone Left at Bar Leads to Porn Charges
In a twist on the familiar computer-left-at-the-store-with-child-porn tale, a Wisconsin man has been arrested after he left his cell phone- which contained child pornography- at a bar. According to the City Pages newspaper, the 24-year-old man had left a bar without paying a nearly $60 tab but left his phone as collateral. A bartender, while searching for the man's number, found the illicit images, and called police, who arrived at the bar and arrested the man when he returned for the phone. He was also carrying drugs, and charged with that as well, not to mention additional child porn charges for the hundreds of images found on his home computer.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)


What an exciting win for the Phillies last night:

(Original video was pulled; this one has better music):

If I were a born-and-bred Phillies fan, right now I'd be worried that they're going to win Game 5 and the series on Wednesday, at which point they'll have a six-day layoff before the start of the World Series, allowing them to lose all of their momentum and then get crushed by the Yankees. But I'm not, so I won't think that.

At any rate, Sunday, Nov. 1- Eagles-Giants at 1, Vikings-Packers at 4:15, World Series Game 4 at 8- has the potential to be an all-time great sports day. A lot of those, lately.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:57 PM | Comments (1)

Rabbi Shapiro, RIP

No, he was not the inspiration for the elderly Minneapolis rabbi character in "A Serious Man," but Rabbi Max Shapiro, who passed away this week at the age of 92, was a legend of Twin Cities Jewry nonetheless. I barely knew the man- he had assumed the "emeritus" title at Temple Israel when I was very young- but Shapiro was a civil rights activist, tireless defender of his people, a thundering orator and an all-around mensch. He will be greatly missed.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

Weisberg vs. Fox

Jacob Weisberg absolutely destroys Fox News in a Newsweek piece. The part where they were simultaneously covering the tea party protests- while organizing them- was the last straw for me.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:55 PM | Comments (1)

Jeremiah Trotter = The Death Star

When I saw that headline, I knew exactly what Football Outsiders were talking about. Bravo to Vince Verhei, who doubles as cohost of an improbably entertaining wrestling podcast.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)

Worst Phrases in Tech

Here's a great list. Not "sent from my iPhone."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

In Praise of Book Price Wars

I'm all for what Target is doing this holiday season, especially since I have about 15 upcoming books I want to read.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2009

Retreat, Couples!

My review of the pretty awful "Couples Retreat" is online at Philly.com. The next two weeks will see my reviews of 'Where the Wild Things Are" and "A Serious Man," both of which I saw last week and are top five of the year, easily.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2009

Obama/McNabb Parallel, Cont'd

From Rush Limbaugh's extremely, extremely dishonest Wall Street Journal op-ed:

When Mr. Goodell was asked about me, he suggested that my 2003 comment criticizing the media's coverage of Donovan McNabb—in which I said the media was cheerleading Mr. McNabb because they wanted a successful black quarterback—fell short of the NFL's "high standard." High standard? Half a decade later, the media would behave the same way about the presidential candidacy of Mr. Obama.
Translation: they're both black, and Limbaugh hates them both. And he's made dozens and dozens and dozens of purely racist comments over the years. But he's not racist, of course- there are no racists but Al Sharpton.

Meanwhile, Matt Yglesias:

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, but it’s continually striking how thoroughly defined modern American conservatism is by opposition to opposition to racism... next time Republican strategists are wondering why Michael Steele’s embrace of hip slang hasn’t brought black people flocking to their doors, conservatives might want to consider some of this behavior. I suspect it’s not helping the right with its endless quest to woo Jews, either.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:36 PM | Comments (2)

Baseball Thoughts

- The Yankees are looking pretty dominant in the AL, although I only saw a little bit of each game, going to bed early for Game 1 and being at a bachelor party for most of Game 2. As for the Phillies, they lost threw away Game 2, due to Charlie Manuel pulling a reverse Grady Little and pulling Pedro too early, and Chase Utley overthrowing first base. But please, stop the Chuck Knoblauch comparisons- Chase will almost certainly have a much longer career, and never get arrested for hitting his wife, as Chuck did last month.

The Phils lead the Dodgers 8-0 in Game 3 as of this writing.

UPDATE: Phillies win 11-0, and outscore the Eagles by two.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

NFL Thoughts

- The Vikings went to 6-0, just barely, after blowing a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter to the Ravens, before kicking the go-ahead field goal and having the Ravens miss a field goal as time expired. The loss of Antoine Winfield was devastating for the Vikings, as Baltimore threw and ran to his side repeatedly, and Ray Rice ran over the Vikings' defense. Still, the Vikes passed a huge test, and get a bye week so Winfield and Percy Harvin can rest their injuries. Oops... misread my schedule- bye isn't for two more weeks.

- That was a pretty horrible effort by the Eagles, as they lost to the awful Raiders . They usually have a game or two a year where they just plain put up a goose egg, and that happened here. Injuries to the offensive line were costly, as Donovan McNabb had no time to throw.

But I wouldn't give up hope on the season yet. The Philadelphia fan/talk radio attitude is generally that when the Eagles win, it doesn't count, but when they lose, it proves how terrible they are and always will be.

- At any rate, I'm going to guess there wasn't a single fantasy owner in the entire country that started JaMarcus Russell this week.

- What an embarrassment the Redskins are. Will Jim Zorn be fired next week, or the week after?

- I was worried about my fantasy team, especially when I started Ben Roethlisberger over Tom Brady and Ben had a good day. But then Brady threw for six TD passes in a 59-0 victory over Tennessee. So I think i'll win in that league.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

Worst Sports Column of the Year?

It would be if not for the Jaycee Dugard/"You left the yard" thing, but here, Stu Bykofsky compares the Phillies and Dodgers to the Bloods and the Crips. And yes, that exact analogy was one of the comments that got Limbaugh in trouble just last week.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

TV Thoughts

- "30 For 30" I'll say at first that I love the idea- apparently Bill Simmons'- of 30 documentaries by 30 celebrated directors looking at sports history in the ESPN years. It's, essentially, 30 stories that could have been Gary Smith pieces in SI, and some of them, I'm sure, were. It's much better than the usual, self-congratulatory bullshit that usually marks ESPN anniversaries.

I wasn't a huge fan of "King's Ransom," the Wayne Gretzky doc that opened the series, mostly because Peter Berg is a truly wretched director who brought a lot of the tics common to his awful action pictures- shaky cam, rapidly flashing images- to what should have been a fascinating story of the Great One's trade to L.A. in 1988.

But the second installment, Barry Levinson's "The Band That Wouldn't Die," is a true gem- telling a heartbreaking story in an original and compelling way. The Baltimore Colts' move came a little bit before I started watching sports, but it's really terrible that it happened the way it did, and the amazing story of the Colts marching band. I still couldn't get over the drunken airport press conference by Robert Irsay- if an owner did that in the Roger Goodell era, I'm sure the league would've intervened and certainly not allowed him to move the team.

- "Law and Order" I've seen about 400 episodes of this show and its various spinoffs over the years, but Friday's may have been the worst ever, a lazy "satire" about reality TV, "Jon and Kate" and Octomom that not only was aggressively silly, but didn't even have an ending. I liked JIm Gaffigan as the dad, but still.. horrible episode.

- "Saturday Night Live" Another weak effort Saturday, hosted by Gerard Butler. How many "300"-is-gay jokes can you make? At least four of the bits were completely laugh-free, especially the Obama/The Rock/"Incredible Hulk" bit that they already did almost word for word last year. "Weekend Update" was good, especially the interview with Balloon Boy's ballon.

The other odd thing was the show's sponsorship by Bud Light Wheat, which interspersed old dress rehearsal outtakes (only one of which was very funny) with ads for the titular beer. The latter was especially creepy- I was thinking, "heh heh, the Bud Light and the wheat are gonna have sex!" And then... they had sex.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

Caruso on Balloon Boy

Horatio Crane comments on the hoax. YEAAAAAAAAH!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:32 PM | Comments (0)

There's a Rep For That!

I would never download Michele Bachmann, but this is still funny:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2009

Another Reason to Hate the Yankees

News Item: Yankees soloist Ronan Tynen suspended for anti-Semitic slur

The 25-minute seventh inning stretch at the stadium will never be the same.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2009

Covering Tesh

A rap over John Tesh's old NBC-on-NBC theme- as performed by my wife's cousin David Wylen:

He won third prize in a Tesh-sponsored contest.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:49 PM | Comments (1)

The Real Problem With Rush

Here's why, in the end, I'm happy the owners kept Rush Limbaugh out of the club:

Over the course of American sports history, few things have done more damage than racist team owners. Just last week, Sports Illustrated had a great piece about how the NFL, which was completely integrated throughout the '20s and '30s, suddenly threw out all the blacks and didn't allow them back in the league until after World War II, thanks largely to race-baiting Redskins owner George Preston Marshall.

There was also the Yawkey family, which refused to integrate the Boston Red Sox until 12 years after Jackie Robinson, and ex-Twins and Senators owner Calvin Griffith, who infamously told a Lion's Club dinner that he moved the team to the Twin Cities because "you only had 15,000 blacks here," all the way down to Nazi-memorabilia-collecting Marge Schott.

If a team wants to attract black players and black fans, it can't be owned by a man who's made dozens and dozens of comments over the years that are nothing less than hateful towards black people.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

Tecmo Favre!

A recreation of the best moment of the football season thus far:

What were the odds before the season that at some point we'd see a recreated Tecmo highlight involving Greg Lewis?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

He's a Weak Pushover- and Also an All-Powerful Dictator!

David Frum looks at the central contradiction behind the anti-Obama criticism.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

The Radical Unfair Double Standard Between Racists and Non-Racists

I wholeheartedly agree with Adam Serwer

Limbaugh's "political views" weren't the problem. His racial views were the problem. The players and NFL officials who spoke up didn't complain that Limbaugh was a Republican, they didn't even complain about his "views." They complained about actual things he said about black people that made him an inappropriate candidate to own a team in an organization with such a large contingent of African Americans.

While the right was focused on debunking racist things Limbaugh didn't say, they pretty much ignored Limbaugh's record of racist commentary, which includes not only a habit of comparing black athletes to gang members but a general hostility toward black people. Limbaugh only recently suggested that having a black president encouraged black children to beat up white children -- he's also compared President Obama's agenda to "slavery reparations," used epithets to reference his biracial background, and compared Democrats responding to the concerns of black voters to rape.

UPDATE: "We are all Rush Limbaugh now"! First they came for the trade unionists!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

Legacy of Lou

I really am genuinely shocked, following the death of Capt. Lou Albano, that he was such a household name. I knew him as an obscure pro wrestling figure from the '70s and early '80s, I guess I sort of remembered his involvement in the Cyndi Lauper/Rock 'n' wrestling stuff, and being on the "Super Mario Bros" TV show... but it really appears that everyone I know knew who he was.

I agree with Jonathan Last:

It's striking looking at the contrast between some wrestlers, such as Albano or Andre the Giant or Ted Dibiase--who really do use the sport to live big, wonderful, only-in-America kind of lives--and others, like Jake Roberts or the Von Erichs, who just get used up by it. What's sad is how much the latter category outnumbers the former.
What about Jesse Ventura? That might be the most only-in-America life of all.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:15 PM | Comments (2)

"Anti-Christ"... Yikes!

This description of the new Lars Von Trier movie makes me really, really glad to be a critic who gets to choose which movies he reviews. Maybe it's just my palate, but I tend to prefer movies that don't include male and female genital mutilation.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:12 PM | Comments (0)

TV Thoughts

- "South Park" For the second week in a row, started lame but got good around the halfway point. I saw the ACORN joke coming but still enjoyed it. This season's been enjoyable so far, but not transcendent yet.

- "How I Met Your Mother" I'm underwhelmed so far this year, to be honest. I feel like they're sort of checking boxes of the various stories they can do with Barney and Robin together, and don't have a whole season's worth of good ideas. And what's up with the "couples nights," when it's really the five of them who are together all the time anyway, minus Ted?

- "New Adventures of Old Christine." This is a very funny show with a very huge hole at the center of it: even though Julia Louis-Dreyfus is universally acknowledged as hotter than ever, half the jokes about how her character is old, ugly, and disgusting. Why? Is it supposed to be ironic? At any rate, this old "L.A. Law" fan loved the stunt-casting of Corbin Bernsen as a divorce lawyer, even though the older he gets the more he looks like Sean Salisbury.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)

Rush Away

News Item: Rush Limbaugh dropped from Rams bid

Clearly this is a national tragedy. Rush's constitutional right to own an NFL team has been violated, thanks to the liberal media. Boycott the NFL; McNabb sucks.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:37 AM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2009

Capt. Lou, RIP

The legendary wrestling manager -and Cyndi Lauper video costar- Capt. Lou Albano passed away Wednesday at the age of 76. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much attention Lou's death has gotten in the mainstream.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:11 PM | Comments (1)

Polanski, In Verse

This is pretty funny.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

Pat Buchanan Hates Blacks, Cont'd

Wouldn't anyone else get fired immediately if they wrote or said this?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

Olympia Snowe = Gail the Snail?

The Republicans, it appears, have taken some inspiration from last week's episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

"We should melt her"? Really?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:09 PM | Comments (0)

The Case Against "30 Rock"

I thought I was the only person on Earth who didn't find '30 Rock" funny. But it appears Todd from the AV Club agrees.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:09 PM | Comments (2)

October 13, 2009

"Without Championship Players"

I agree with every word of this Pat Borzi piece about the Twins. They just plain have too many players who suck, and that's why they didn't get further than they did.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:04 PM | Comments (1)

America's Fattest Governors

I don't really understand the idea of Jon Corzine implying we shouldn't vote for Chris Christie because he's fat- what, people didn't know Christie was fat, but after the "threw his weight around" ad, they were convinced? And once they were, they aren't going to be put off by Corzine saying it? And besides, it's not like fat people are rare in New Jersey- ever seen "The Sopranos"? Or watched a Giants game?

At any rate, Nate Silver (yes, that's right) looks at the physiques of the 50 governors. Guess which one is described as "Flinstone-eque." (Hint: his name rhymes with "Ted Krendell.")

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:37 PM | Comments (1)

The Age of Boneless Buffalo Wings

It may be on the way, the New York Times says. This is certainly the most in-depth newspaper article about buffalo wings that I've ever read.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:37 PM | Comments (1)

Phils Advance

The Phillies notched a huge comeback win tonight in Colorado to close out the first round, as Huston Street did his best impression of regular-season Brad Lidge. The real Lidge, meanwhile, came in for the final out and successfully saved the game for the second straight night.

Throughout the series, Charlie Manuel kept making one inexplicable move after another, and they all seemed to work out fine. The win sets up a rematch between the Dodgers and Phillies in the NLCS. Really, we're probably looking at two classics in the second round.

I just hope it isn't too much of a classic- my sister-in-law is getting married a week from Saturday, when Game 7 of the NLCS is scheduled; let's hope for the wedding's sake that the series is over by then.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

Excessively Macho

This is pretty humorous:

Tosh.0Thursdays at 10pm / 9c
"Macho Man" Randy Savage
Web Redemption2 Girls, 1 Cup ReactionDemi Moore Picture

True or false: Macho Man is the easiest impression in the world to do. The only other candidates I can think of are Bob Dylan, Jack Nicholson and Bill Clinton.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:17 AM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2009

Baseball in Late Night

Yes, the Phillies beat the Rockies last night to take a 2-1 lead in the NLDS, leaving the Phils one win away from a second straight NLCS against the Dodgers.

Brad Lidge saved the game for the Phils... and it ended at 2:14 a.m. How ridiculous is that? The game started at 10:00 Eastern time, on a Sunday night. How is this acceptable? How does baseball expect to gain and keep young fans if they have to stay up into the wee hours on a Sunday night? And it was only a nine-inning game!

I get that they don't want to have multiple games at the same time or too many days off, and they have to balance the interests of the West Coast fans with the East Coast. But the game still started after 8 Colorado time- and there was no game played at 4 p.m. Why not? Come on, baseball- fix this.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:58 PM | Comments (1)

Another Reason to Hate the Yankees

Wright Thompson has a great piece about the Yankees' "Legends Suite" that will make your blood boil, even if you don't follow baseball. They're not a baseball team; they're a Wall Street-perk-delivering machine.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

Herschel + 20

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the most infamous moment in Minnesota sports history- the Vikings' gargantuan trade for Herschel Walker. How was that story left out of "30 For 30"?

I'm just glad the Vikes are doing well on the occasion. And besides, the Favre trade was much better- they didn't have to give up any players or draft picks.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

St. Louis Park Gets Its Closeup

My fellow St. Louis Park native Neal Karlen looks at "A Serious Man"- and it's reaction back in SLP- in the Washington Post. I'm seeing it Wednesday and can't wait.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:55 PM | Comments (2)

It's Not the Macabees, But...

News Item: Hollywood to make "300"-like movie about the Book of Exodus

Between "Inglourious Basterds" and "A Serious Man," it's a great year for on-screen Jews.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)

Team Obama Plays the "Mother's Basement" Card

Not cool, anonymous White House source, not cool.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:54 PM | Comments (2)

October 11, 2009

Baseball Playoff Notes, or Bye Bye Dome

The Twins were swept out of the American League Division Series Sunday, losing Game 3 to the Yankees 4-1. The last two games of the series, especially, played like an extended refutation of the idea that the Twins "do the little things" and "play the game the right way."

Yes, I know the Twins can't ever seem beat the Yankees, and that they were doubled (or possibly tripled) up in payroll, and it's hard to imagine a team giving key at-bats to Carlos Gomez, Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert even making the playoffs, much less winning a series. It didn't help that the team was seriously overmatched; I was impressed that they even stayed in all three games until relatively late.

But still- Nick Punto's over-running third base and getting thrown out? Joe Nathan's throwing the ball into center field in Game 2? The bases-loaded/nobody out/no runs debacle in Game 2? Not the makings of fundamentally sound baseball, that's for sure.

So what can the Twins do in the offseason? Number 1- extend Joe Mauer. Number 2- get an above-average veteran starting pitcher, and 3- address the infield, bringing in at least one and probably two new players who can play second, short, or third.

In the meantime, it was nice knowing you, Metrodome. I prefer to say goodbye to the field in a more constructive manner than did the guy at the game who tried to jump into the Hefty Bag. I guess he couldn't handle A-Rod being the final guy to hit one into it.

- Also a sad day for the Red Sox, who were swept out by the Angels Sunday as well. Which closer has killed their credibility more this week- Papelbon or Nathan? Both will face big, big questions all offseason long.

- One advantage to the Cardinals going out- Phillie fans don't have to worry about the Lidge/Pujols nightmare scenario.

- The other big story of the playoffs- Chip Caray's emergence as the Worst Baseball Announcer Ever. From "he fisted it" to all of the missed calls, he made Joe Buck look like a genius. My personal favorite moment was when he said, twice, that the Twins will soon move "across the street" to Target Field, when it's in fact on the other side of downtown. Dude- you're at the stadium! As you were walking in, did you notice a brand new ballpark across the street?

Maybe Chip should start drinking in the booth, like his grandfather used to. If you're like me and interested in defeating the vile nepotism that plagues sports broadcasting, follow the Fake Chip Caray Twitter!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

David Brent, Downsized

I review the underwhelming "The Invention of Lying" on Philly.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

Sunday NFL Thoughts

- I think, especially after their dismantling of the Rams today, that this is officially the best Vikings team of my lifetime. Sure, the '98 team went 15-1 and scored the most points in the history of the league, but they blew it at the end, and Favre and Co. might not. And besides, they've just kicked all kinds of ass every week, even if they're not playing especially strong teams. They have so many weapons, on offense and defense... and I was nervous about their game against the Ravens next week, until they went and lost to the Bengals.

- The Eagles had another dominant victory, this time over Tampa Bay, as Donovan McNabb returned from injuries and showed few effects, throwing two touchdown passes to rookie Jeremy Maclin. They look like a juggernaut as well, and are fortunate to get Tampa, the Raiders and the Redskins all in a row, before the tough part of their schedule starts in November.

- Derek Anderson's line for the Browns Sunday: 2-for-17 for 23 yards, one interception and no touchdowns. And they won, beating Buffalo 6-3!

- Don't know if I'm really good at fantasy football or just lucky (most likely the latter), but I'm 5-0 in one league and 4-1 in the other. And I got a big win in one of my leagues this week despite benching Maclin, Cedric Benson and Wes Welker.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:31 PM | Comments (2)

Dumbest Thief Ever

They caught the guy who stole World Series rings from the Phillies offices. Here's how:

Matthew Mervine, 22, of Berlin Borough made detectives' work easy, because, not only was he videotaped stealing the rings, he had just left his real name, address and phone numbers on a job application, police said....

Apparently, Mervine, who wore a rubber skull mask to yesterday's game against the Rockies, found his way to the Phillies offices after being kicked out of the game with other fans who were being too boisterous, police said.

It's not generally a good idea to leave your name at a crime scene.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

Pulp Muppets!

Why are there so many songs about hitmen?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2009

Best Commentary on Obama/Nobel of All

Josh Levin compares it to Tiger Woods winning SI's Sportsman of the Year in 1996. Yes, absolutely.

As long as it doesn't lead to Obama winning a second Nobel a few years from now, and showing up to Norway dressed like this.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)

The Best Sports Day Ever?

This Sunday, there's a full slate of NFL games, and then the Twins and Yankees play Game 3 at 6 Eastern (in the latest "Last game ever at the Metrodome,") then the Phillies play the Rockies in Game 4 in Colorado. Should be a truly wondrous 12 hours on the couch- but when will I watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Mad Men"?

UPDATE: What have there been more of- "the last game ever at the Metrodome," or "the last game of Roger Clemens' career"? I suppose Favre probably has them both beat.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)


This is this blog's 10,000th post. Thanks so much for all your support over the years.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:23 PM | Comments (2)

The Obama Nobel

Two thoughts on Obama's Nobel prize: congrats that he won it and all, but shouldn't they have waited until he'd, you know, accomplished a bit more, after being in office a bit longer? I mean, I love Barack, but he hasn't solved any major conflicts yet.

But anyway, so much for "World Rejects Obama."

I also think it's funny that the right is going nuts about this- bashing an institution they hate (the Nobel Academy) for awarding a guy they hate (Obama.) If the Nobel Prize is so terrible, why get outraged about who they're giving it to?

It's sort of like conservatives hating the Oscars for giving Michael Moore one. But you hate the Oscars anyway! Would you hate them any less if, say, "An American Carol" won Best Picture?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

The Coen Century

Vanity Fair's Oscar blog has an interesting take on the Coen Brothers' career, organizing their films by decade and pointing out that they've made a different movie about just about every decade of the 20th century except the '70s. Maybe they can remake "Boogie Nights."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:21 PM | Comments (0)

The "Soft" Cole Hamels

I think I'd like to declare a moratorium on unilateral declarations that a certain athlete is "soft." Donovan McNabb? He once played most of a game on a broken leg. So what. He's still soft.

Now we're hearing this about Cole Hamels. Why? Because he pitched poorly in Game 2 of the playoffs yesterday, while awaiting word on his wife, who was due to give birth. She did go into labor, shortly after Hamels came out of the game, and the pitcher left the building to be at her side.

I don't want to hear any of this bullshit about how Hamels is "soft," because he had his mind on his kid rather than the game. Because a child is more important than even a playoff game. It just is. Deal with it. The same thing happened last year, when McNabb went through a slump while his wife was expecting twins and having a difficult pregnancy.

At any rate, I really hope the new Hamels baby never, ever sees this.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)

"Crosby Sucks!"

I went to the Flyers-Penguins game at the Wachovia Center last night, and couldn't help but notice that just about every free moment- including every single musical interlude throughout the night- was seen as the occasion for a "Crosby Sucks" chant. Meanwhile, I saw one guy in the mens' room who not only was wearing a "You can't spell 'Crosby' without 'Cry'" T-shirt -complete with crying penguin- but was handing out business cards so others could order them.

The last time I heard a hockey arena full of fans expressing that much vitriol towards one man, it was the Met Center, and Norm Green.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:18 PM | Comments (1)

The Rush Rams?

News Item: Rush Limbaugh may be in mix to buy St. Louis Rams

I'm not entirely sure what to think about this. First of all, Rush will be just one member of a group, and I can't imagine he'll be the one guy representing the team at league meetings, making personnel decisions, etc. Which is probably good, since his opinion that McNabb is overrated doesn't say much for Rush's talent-judging acumen.

Meanwhile, NFL owners, in general, are no stranger to the things Rush is most known for, i.e. right-wing politics, controversial off-color comments, being a huge asshole, and obesity.

Then again, there are rumblings that black players may not be keen on suiting up for a man who's made so many nasty comments over the years, and besides- if a guy is drummed out of something so insignificant as the ESPN pregame show, how can he get back in the game as an owner?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Kleinsasser Week

The Onion has an entertaining dispatch from an alternate universe where ESPN didn't cover Favre-Packers at all.

I sort of like living in the actual universe, where the Vikes are 4-0.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

Cheese or Font!

This idea is so brilliant I sort of wish it was mine.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

Hannity and Moore

A surprisingly interesting discussion between two serially dishonest demagogues:

I'm far from sympathetic to Moore, ever, but he's much more convincing here than Sean is. His films, though, are still simplistic, overrated garbage.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

"The Office" Wedding

Hilarious, sweet, shocking, and more- that was probably the best "Office" episode and the best TV wedding I can remember, except maybe for Marshall and Lily in the HIMYM second season finale. I still chuckle thinking of Kevin's kleenex box/shoes.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

The Obvious Conclusion: Obama is a Pedophile

Politico: Roman Polanski Backers Gave $34K to Barack Obama, DNC.

First reaction: who cares? Second reaction: Non-Roman Polanski backers gave about $300 million to Obama and the DNC.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:21 AM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2009

The Worst Twins Game of the Week

Yikes. Not a good start for the Twins in the ALDS tonight, as they lost to the Yankees 7-2 in Game 1, in the totally world-historic First Playoff Game at the New Yankee Stadium.

I don't know what boded worse for the Twins- that got swept in the season series this year, that they already lost in the first round twice this decade to the Yanks, that the Twins clinched their division less than 24 hours before the game, or that the pitching matchup was C.C. Sabathia vs. Brian Duensing.

Yes, that's right: Sabathia, the highest-paid pitcher in baseball and perennial Cy Young contender, against Duensing, a rookie making the minimum who was not only making his first career playoff start, but had never been to New York before.

No, it's not over yet, and the last couple of weeks have taught us to never count the Twins out. Then again, a team that finds room in its lineup, in Game 1 of a playoff series, Nick Punto, Matt Tolbert AND Brendan Harris generally has no business advancing very far.

The one silver lining for the Twinkies: the Yankees will never have Joe Mauer. Never, ever. And LeBron won't be a Knick either. The best athlete New York's going to steal from the Midwest this year is Braylon Edwards.

After the game was over I watched a few minutes of "Blue Velvet" on HDNet which, believe it or not, was less of a downer than the game.

My lord, this TBS broadcasting team is terrible. He "fisted" the ball to right? Really? I thought I heard that one a few times last night but I didn't think I heard right. I also loved the part where they explained what "on base percentage" is, which is sort of like NFL broadcasters going in-depth on the definition of "completion percentage."

They also need to stop calling the first round "the LDS." Makes it sound like it's Mormon vs. Mormon.

As for the commercials, clearly TBS decided the "unfunny comedian will suddenly become funny if we air his spots every five minutes" schtick worked so well with "Frank TV" that they've repeated it with George Lopez. If had to rank my three biggest disappoints about Obama so far, doing that Lopez ad is up there with not yet closing Gitmo or repealing Don't Ask Don't tell.

Speaking of commercials, when will Donal Logue file suit against Rainn Wilson for blatantly stealing his old "Jimmy the Cabbie" character?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

On Tonight's "South Park"

Pretty weak for the first 20 minutes, until the sudden return of the one of the series' great one-off characters: Mr. Jefferson! "That's ignorant!" Pointing out which dead celebrity on the plane was which was fun too- a lesser show would've identified them all.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2009

To Catch a Polanski

This is pretty funny, as Chris Hanson "grills" Roman Polanski, who raped a 13-year-old girl:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2009

One Last Dome Classic

True or false: Monday and Tuesday were the best two nights in a row at the Metrodome since October 26-27, 1991.

The Twins gave the Dome one more classic Tuesday, defeating the Tigers in a one-game playoff in 12 innings to win the AL Central. The game, as my friend Jeremy pointed out tonight, is going to necessitate a rewrite of all of those "best games/moments in Dome history" lists.

It was the Twins' 7th straight win, which put them all alone in first place for the first time since April. After spending most of the season within a game or two on either side of .500, the Twins were 7 games back in early September, and became the first team in history to come back from three games back with four to play.

In my capacity as a movie critic, I had a screening tonight that I had to go to at 7:30. So I watched the first hour of the game at a restaurant by my office before heading to the movie. After it was over, astonishingly, the game was still going on, so I watched the final inning at a nearby bar.

The Twins, following the five-hour game and celebration, will have to get on a plane tonight to New York, where they face the Yankees tomorrow night. A rainout would be helpful. The odds are long, but the Twins have done it before- and the Yanks haven't won a playoff series since 2004.

Meanwhile, I'm just glad that Miguel Cabrera homer didn't win the game. The "Miggy redeems himself after drunken-wifebeating asshattery" storyline would've been just too much.

The biggest surprise of all- the team was able to win the division with people like Matt Tolbert and Nick Punto in the lineup- and season-long disappoints Alexi Casilla driving in and scoring the winning run. Amazing.

A five-hour baseball game- I've got a feeling there will be a lot more of those in the next few weeks.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:45 PM | Comments (1)

Twins Celebration Quote of the Day

"[Orlando Cabrera] just said that was the greatest game he's ever been involved in. He's dead to me. I hope the Twins get swept.
- Bill Simmons, slamming the '04 Red Sox shortstop, via Twitter.
Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:43 PM | Comments (1)

Playoff Predictions

Yankees over Twins
Red Sox over Angels
Yankees over Red Sox

Phillies over Rockies
Cardinals over Dodgers
Cardinals over Phillies

World Series
Yankees over Cardinals

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:42 PM | Comments (2)

More Favre Thoughts

I know I'm on Favre's side now, but the constant extolling of him by the announcers still bothered me. Sort of like watching them talk about Obama on MSNBC.

The difference between the Midwest and East Coast: Brett Favre owns a restaurant in Green Bay, with his name on it, and not only is it still in business, but people went to the game there last night! If there'd been a T.O.'s Steakhouse in Philly, it probably would've been burned to the ground at some point in 2005.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

Walmart is a Dangerous Place

My latest Week in Electronics Retail Crime piece is here. Highlights: a Netflix-stealing mailman, the guy who threatened to shoot his iPhone, and the couple that used a baby to conceal their computer theft.

And yes, of the nine stories this week, seven are Walmart-related.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

Movie Notes

"The Invention of Lying." One of the year's biggest disappointments. It's got two very good ideas that don't fit together, layers them on top of a romantic comedy plot that's DOA, and Ricky Gervais, much like Chris Rock, is 70% less funny in movies than he is in TV or standup. It's punctuated by a parade of cameos by people not being as funny as they usually are.

"Whip It." I pretty much lived this one from start to finish- great plot, great characters, and how can you not love roller derby? Also, a cast of lots of my female favorites, from Ellen Page to Kristen Wiig to Alia Shawkat (Maeby!), who walks away with the movie in a best-friend role. I'm mystified that this was such a flop.

"Zombieland." This movie was lots of fun and I enjoyed it immensely, but no, it's no "Shaun of the Dead." Still, the second-act cameo is brilliant, and make sure you don't know about it before you see the movie.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

Monday Night Favre

- The Vikings put on a damn good showing tonight, beating the Packers 30-23 at the Metrodome to go to 4-0. The offense clicked, the defense dominated with 7 sacks, and even the special teams came up strong, downing two punts within the five yard line, while Sidney Rice caught two crucial onside kicks.

The Packers made it interesting at the end, but the game wasn't nearly as close as the score would indicate. The Pack, an alleged Super Bowl contender heading into the year, really looked terrible.

- A word on the announcers: the constant Favre worship by the broadcasters during every one of his games was bad enough for the last ten years- but now that I root for him, it might have been even more tiresome. Favre's a good player! He's playing his former team! We get it! Enough already!

- That challenge in the second half, when a fumble recovery on the 1 yard line that was overturned and ruled a safety, was probably the first challenge in history that put points on the board for the other team.

- Mike Tirico had the misfortune of being the first announcer to say "here at Mall of America Field." Never again. Please.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:05 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2009

Worst Analogy Ever

Wendi Nix, on ESPN during the five-hour Vikings-Packers pregame, compared Favre vs. the Packers to this:

"It's sort of like a divorce that gets messy. It's fine if you eventually go on and marry someone else, but when you come home and marry your sister, well then it gets ugly."
So that's how they do it in Wisconsin.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

Conan vs. Cory Booker

It's two people I like a lot, but it's still fun to watch them fight:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

Weekend TV Notes

- "Mad Men." It's still great. I really have nothing to add.

- "Saturday Night Live." Another pretty weak effort, although the sketches in the show's last half hour weren't so bad. Still, Ryan Reynolds (who I like in movies) was a nonentity as host, and it's almost shocking how few good ideas the writers have after a long, news-filled summer. Also, I didn't know until the end of the show that was actually Madonna. I assumed it was one of the young cast members doing a feeble impression.

- "Entourage." What a surprise- everything worked out for everyone! Who could've seen that one coming? Even if it required multiple characters- from Ari to Ari's wife to Sloan to Drama's network exec- making totally inexplicable decisions?

- "Bored to Death" It took three episodes, but I'm finally starting to warm to this show. I love the way it's shot- great to have an HBO show filming in New York again- and the Roman Polanski subplot was a nicely-timed touch. Great music too.

- "Curb Your Enthusiasm." So wonderful, yet surreal, to see the "Seinfeld" cast together again- and the set, too! Larry and Jason Alexander arguing about whether George is a loser never, ever gets old- and now they get to fight over the finale. I love where this is going.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:31 PM | Comments (1)

In Defense of Jimmies

Back in college, people used to tell me that you weren't supposed to call the ice cream sprinkles "jimmies" because it was racist. I didn't believe it then, and Snopes agrees.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:30 PM | Comments (2)

The Worst Column of the Year?

It has to go to New York Post scold Andrea Peyser, whose reaction to the Letterman scandal is that... CBS should fire Dave immediately. She calls him a "a walking, breathing, sexual-harassment lawsuit waiting to happen," which is totally true except for the part about Letterman never, at any point, being accused of sexual harassment by anyone.

Peyser's real argument seems to be that Letterman should be fired for being liberal.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:29 PM | Comments (1)

Twinkies Live!

The Twins closed out the Metrodome's regular season era in style this weekend, sweeping the Royals to finish tied with Detroit. Sunday's 13-4 win forced a one-game playoff- the Twins' second in two years- to be played at the Dome Tuesday.

Great to see the Twins hitting for power and getting off to huge leads; much as they're celebrated for "small ball," they seem to win they slug it out and lose when they live and die by the sacrifice bunt.

I'm sorry I missed the Metrodome closing ceremony Sunday; MLB Network saw it fit to broadcast all of the White Sox-Tiger game (which WGN was showing anyway) but only highlights of Twins-Royals, and none of the ceremony.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:15 AM | Comments (1)

It Doesn't Live Forever

I review the DOA "Fame" remake in Philly.com. See the rest of my recent reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

The Best TV Moment of the Season So Far

"Glee" Covers Queen:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

The Other Pederast in the News This Week

News Item: R. Kelly reveals he's illiterate

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:13 AM | Comments (1)

Political Radio Moment of the Day

Sean Hannity, on his radio show Friday, said that the reason Chicago didn't get the Olympics is because Obama "has been going around the world and trashing America."

Um, say what? That short statement contains so much bullshit it might take several paragraphs to unpack it.

So we're supposed to think that Obama's "trashing of America" (really, apologizing for the undoubtedly terrible stuff Bush did) has turned world opinion against America, to the point where they want to punish us by not giving us the Olympics. But Obama is therefore persuasive enough to convince the world of America's perfidy, but not enough to convince them that an American city should have the Olympics?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:12 AM | Comments (0)

Blowers Calls His Shot

This is pretty awesome, if you missed it over the weekend?

"He's like Nate Silver." Nice.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:11 AM | Comments (1)

Do We Have a Mother?

According to EW, HIMYM has cast the pivotal role. I must say I approve of the choice. Better her than Mischa Barton.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:10 AM | Comments (1)

October 02, 2009

"World Rejects Obama"

Sure, it sucks that Chicago didn't get the Olympics, and it's sort of embarrassing, in a one-day sort of way, for the president who stuck his neck out for the cause. But is "World Rejects Obama," the headline Matt Drudge used today, really an accurate representation of what happened? Not exactly.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

The Letterman Shocker

It's pretty surprising that Letterman would be involved in a sex scandal, although I must say he handled it about as well on the air as one could possibly expect.

Still, I wonder if he'll ever have Rick Pitino on.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2009

Still Alive

The Twins managed to salvage a split in their four-game series with the Tigers, beating Detroit today. Their chances of a playoff birth remain remote, but the good news is that their series against Kansas City this weekend- the last at the Metrodome- will be meaningful. And I've got a feeling the crowd's going to be into it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:54 PM | Comments (1)

Simmons and Sepinwall

Two of my favorite writers got together today- twice. Bill Simmons interviews Alan Sepinwall in the B.S. Report, while they switch sides and Alan interviews Bill in the Star Ledger. Both worth your time.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

Sterling, Cooper and Henson

Yes yes yes:

So who's the closeted art director- Ernie or Bert?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

Let's Go to the Mall Dome

News Item: Metrodome now officially known as "Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome"

Is this a good idea? Not really. But I can't get that pissed off. No one's ever going to call it anything but "The Dome," for the couple of years that the Vikes are still there.

Besides, look on the bright side- they're not playing Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)