Monthly Archives: May 2005

Our Long National Nightmare is Over

Red McCombs is no longer owner of the Minnesota Vikings, as the sale of the team to Zygmunt Wilf will be approved, probably today. From the skipped draft pick to the Moss traffic arrest, from the Tice scalping investigation to the Whizzinator, the McCombs tenure was just one embarrasment after another. And now, after a great offseason and finally a sale, the Vikings have a chance to finally become a class organization again.

Film Critic Quote of the Day

“If Ava Gardner were alive, by contrast, I can’t help but think she’d have a good laugh over the casting of Kate Beckinsale to play her. Nothing against Beckinsale, who seemed promising enough before her career detoured into Pearl Harbor and a series of crummy vampire movies (Underworld, Van Helsing).
But the twiggy young actress utterly lacks Gardner’s carnal heft; she’s like something Ava might have tucked into her cleavage for use at a later date, perhaps as dental floss. (Beckinsale reportedly gained 20 pounds for the role; it’s disturbing to think that she probably needed at least 20 more.) Gwyneth Paltrow was originally signed to play Gardner, but it’s doubtful she would have been much better. Is this really where we’ve wound up? A Hollywood so weight-obsessed that it’s impossible to find an actress with enough meat on her bones to play a sex symbol of yesteryear?”

TNR’s Chris Orr, reviewing the DVD of “The Aviator.” I’m also upset that the film shed no light on whether the Kate Beckinsale “45 degree angle” rumor is true.

Santorum/Hitler! Santorum/Hitler!

Unlike some of my friends, I don’t like comparing right-wing politicians to Hitler. Then again, I also don’t like when the politicians themselves do it. Here’s Rick Santorum, last week, on the filibuster:

“It’s the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, ‘I’m in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city? It’s mine,'”

Should the “frothy mixture” decide to run for president, I want him to be asked about this EVERY DAY. And I wouldn’t mind some occasional use of “will you condemn this” card, either.
Just a few days later, Senator Man-on-Dog found himself the subject of a long New York Times Magazine cover story that mentioned neither the Hitler remark, nor the “frothy mixture” thing. You figure it out…
And speaking of the filibuster fight, a compromise tonight means that, for the time being, it’s over. A rare triumph for centrism in Washington, and as the obnoxious, rabid partisans of both sides are hopping mad, I say it’s a wonderful thing. Don’t expect it to last, however- “extraordinary circumstances” is a loophole big enough to push Ted Kennedy through.

The 24th Hour

SPOILERS! SPOILERS SPOILERS!
It wasn’t perfect, but tonight’s “24” season finale was satisfying, marking the first season in the history of the show with a strong beginning, middle, and end.
Yes, the resolution of the missile plot was a bit of a letdown- call it deus ex Edgar– but I did enjoy the entire Mia Kirschner sequence, as well as the Tony/Michelle stuff. But wasn’t the Tony-isn’t-dead twist given away in last week’s promo, where we saw Jack confronting Mia as she held him at gunpoint? This took place after Tony’s “death.”
And was I the only one who, as soon as Michelle got off the phone with a suddenly-alive Tony, expected her to get into a fatal car accident? And who else expected Kim Bauer to meet Jack at the border?
While not as daring as actually killing off Jack, the ending took chutzpah. Will the fifth season begin without Jack? Will it start with him in Mexico (uh oh- they already tried that in Season 3, with disastrous results). Will it be a prequel? We’ll find out in 2006, as Fox once again will broadcast the entire season, rerun-free, between January and May.

Another iPod/iTunes Meme

(This one came from Eric at Off Wing):
Q: Total volume of music files on my computer:
3,909 songs comprising over 14 gigs. 11 days in total. (When I was in college, my entire hard drive wasn’t even 1 gig).
Q: The last CD I bought:
“Separation Sunday,” The Hold Steady
Q: Song playing now:
“Motorcycle Song (The Significance of the Pickle),” Arlo Guthrie
Q: Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:
“Mr. Blue Sky,” ELO: Song I discovered in the great trailer for the great film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and has been #1 on my most-played list ever since.
“The Good Life,” Weezer: Listening daily to the “Pinkerton” album helped me get through a very difficult time in my life a few years back, this song especially. So what if I didn’t discover the album until about 5 years after it was released?
“Mr. Jones,” Counting Crows: I learned how to play guitar in 9th grade, mostly to impress girls. The first time I ever actually impressed a girl was by playing her this song- in 11th grade.
“Duke of Earl,” Gene Chandler: My dad gave me this one on a 45 record when I was about five years old, and I still love it to this day.
“Letterbomb,” Green Day: The best song on Green Day’s improbably magnificent “American Idiot” album may be the best treadmill song I’ve ever heard.
Five people I’d like to see do this one: Jeremy, Petitedov, C, Big Red, and Sheila.

He Could Use a Manual

From WIP (via my girlfriend) comes the story that Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid recently paid a visit to Citizens’ Bank Park to catch a Phillies game and hang out with the team, and during the visit he stopped by the office of manager Charlie Manuel. Charlie- who has drawn the ire of the Phils’ fanbase with his too-folksy personality and sometimes absent-minded game-managerial skills- had no idea who Reid was.
But this got me thinking- what if Andy Reid were to manage the Phillies for a game? Assuming he’s familiar with the rules of baseball and knows something about pitching changes, lineup dynamics, and other stuff that’s nowhere near as complex as football game plans, I don’t see how he wouldn’t do a better job than Manuel. Ditto for Bill Belichick/Terry Francona- but NOT Mike Tice/Ron Gardenhire.
And in other Philadelphia coaching news, Jim O’Brien was fired today as coach of the Sixers, and replaced by former Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks. The news means that while a year ago there were two working, Boston-connected basketball coaches named Jim O’Brien (the Celtics/Sixers O’Brien and the Boston College/Ohio State O’Brien), now there are none. As for Cheeks, the Philly sports market can be tough, but after four years with the crime family known as the Portland Trail Blazers, Iverson and Co. should be a breeze.

Worst Film Critic Quote of the Week

A TV commercial for the upcoming remake of “The Longest Yard” that aired on ABC last night consisted of only one critic quote: Joel Siegel of “Good Morning America,” calling the film “a summer blockbuster.” A good blockbuster? A bad one? That’s not clear.
Not that it matters to this particular film’s audience what the critics think. But I find it hilarious that the studio releasing it couldn’t find a single positive quote, that they found a neutral quote preferable to none at all, and that they couldn’t get Siegel- who loves everything– to give it a positive notice.