Thursday, January 04, 2007

Again, it's been a fairly long time since I last posted. Sorry. Maybe I would have more than two loyal readers if I updated more often, but what can you do? As Eddie Curry once said: "Some nights the effort's there, some nights it's not. There isn't much I can do about that." A lot has happened since that last post. And I have a few things to say about the last two weeks.

Every time I write something positive about the Cowboys or the Bears, the teams seem to regard it as license to go in the tank. Two days after my defense of TO, he's over at the Eagles' hotel visiting people the night before the big game between his Cowboys and their team. On the off chance that you read this, Terrell, do me a favor. As your last fan in America, all I want is for you to play one game without a catastrophic public relations mistake. Just one. Maybe then you can build on that. But baby steps, as Bob from What about Bob would say.

Then there was Tony Romo hugging Carrie Underwood on the field during warm-ups. There was a time when Bill Parcells ruled his teams with an iron fist. This simply would not happen back in the day. Madden was right to be surprised and right to say that he'd go nuts if the situation had happened on the field when he coached.

It isn't any of any one's business whom Romo dates and what he does when he isn't on the field. However, when he is on the field, he has the chance to do something that millions upon millions of guys in this country would kill for, and for which he is well paid. He ought to act accordingly. On the field before the game he should be focused on the game.

That said, I don't have a problem with TO signing the football, or Chad Johnson proposing to the cheerleader. I don't even mind TO defiling the Star when he played for San Francisco. In my way of thinking, it's not the same type of distraction. A touchdown celebration can be childish, but there is a certain amount of evidence to show that the player who celebrates must have had his head in the game, at least enough to score in the first place. In the end NFL players are paid to put points on the board and win games. Celebrating like an idiot isn't a problem for me because they've done their job.

Hugging an attractive celebrity when you ought to be thinking about the Philly defense and winning the game isn't a good idea. In fact, it seems like something one could expect to see in the Nationwide insurance "Life Comes At You Fast" ad series, followed by a quick cut to a group of Eagle defenders bearing down on a starstruck/lovesick QB. I didn't expect to see it from a Bill Parcells team. The atmosphere created by that hug and that hotel visit is a big reason Dallas is playing in Seattle and not hosting a game this week.

As for the Bears, there really isn't anything to say about the loss to Green Bay. As for their QB situation, what can you do. Maybe I'll finish the version of The Night Chicago Died that I promised in the buildup to the Pats vs. Bears game in November. I never finished it because I never thought I'd need it. Then I had to travel, then I got sick. I should get working, though, since it could be the third quickest exit of this NFL postseason behind Dennis Green and Jim Mora and slightly ahead of Nick Saban and Art Shell.

Then there is the Notre Dame debacle. Everybody said LSU would kill them, and kill them they did. It was a marked improvement over last year's blowout in the Fiesta Bowl, I thought. Yes, this year's margin of defeat was larger, but at least it was close for a while. The Ohio State game was a savage beating by the end of one quarter. I am deeply disappointed in the poor offensive play in the third quarter. I'm not surprised that they were blown out when they let LSU keep the ball for 10 minutes in the quarter. The defense was dead on its feet after that.

But as I said in the bit about TO, baby steps. Weis has reached two BCS bowls. They were slightly more competitive in this one than they were in the first. The next step is competing for an entire game. Then the next step after that is actually winning a BCS game. I am not overly concerned about the bowl losing streak. As long as they keep getting to BCS bowls, it's fine. As a fan, I'd rather have the team blown out in the Sugar Bowl than win 8 straight Who Gives A Damn Bowls like a certain ACC school with a fan base that doesn't travel well.

Of course today is a day that will live in infamy in Red Sox Nation. Bud Selig, the two Presidents Bush, the Three Billy Goats Gruff, the Bilderbergers, the Trilalteral Corporation, the Rand Company and the Knights Hospitaler have colluded with George Steinbrenner in such a way that Randy Johnson has been tentatively traded back to Arizona for Jose Viscaino, among others. The true injustice of this deal is that the Yankees are on the hook for only 1.5-2 million of his $16 million salary for next season.

Every right thinking American knows that the Yankees should have to pay far more than that. More, even, than the $16 million Johnson is slated to earn. I figure it should be in the $40 million range. Then the Yankees should have to pay for 4 or 5 teams entire payrolls. But to truly make it fair, the Evil Empire should be forced to reimburse the Red Sox for the ludicrous sum they spent to secure the negotiating rights to Matsuzaka. As for the salary the best pitcher since David from the Bible is set to earn, I think the Sox might be able to manage by sticking 100 more seats in Fenway. Anything more and the bubble gum might give out. I expect that the bailing wire might continue to hold the relic together for one more year, though.

On a final note, I saw Rocky Balboa tonight. I thought it was great. Outside of the scene with the licensing board and the scene where Little Marie brought him Adrian's picture, I would not have changed a thing. I thought it was the best installment since Rocky II (I am far less impressed with III and IV than some others are). I think it's a bit sad that we're losing Rocky now.

The character came on the scene in the mid 1970s when spirits were low. The economy was in ruins, Vietnam, Watergate, the oil embargo, rampant inflation, bell bottoms. Truly it was, as the late President Ford said, a long national nightmare. And there was Rocky. He made people feel like an underdog could go the distance against all odds.

And the strangest part of all of it is that Stallone created Rocky. He wrote the script. He was a down on his luck actor, a guy who had done a pornographic film. He had no money. But he wrote this script and wouldn't sell it (even for $100,000). So he gets a mulligan for Rocky V, and every other bad decision he made (Demolition Man, Judge Dredd, Stop or My Mom Will Shoot, all of them), except Cobra and Tango and Cash.

I think the one thing missing from this list of suggestions on how Rocky Balboa could have been improved is this: a tool from Connecticut who never slid into second base, whose athletic career highlight is donning a banana hammock and ski mask to parade in front of the giant windows in his college's library and running Norv Turner off a $5 blackjack table in Vegas could come and offer Rocky career advice.

It seems each day brings the Sports Guy closer to tool of the week or the Max Mercy Hall of Fame. Unfortunately I would then have to bestow that same honor on myself, and I'm just not ready to do it. He has it coming, had it coming for a long time. Since 2001 when he asked how long we'd have to wait for Springsteen to sell the Rising to Verizon. Imagine that. Bill Simmons questions Springsteen, implies that he might sell out. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world...

Unlike many people, I did not go into Rocky Balboa expecting a train wreck. I had no problem forgetting Rocky V and the brain damage. It isn't as though things like that have not been asked of us before in the franchise. Lest we forget that Rocky has sustained so much damage to his right eye in the first fight with Apollo Creed that there was a chance mentioned throughout the early stages of the film that he could go blind if he were hit there. And yet he goes on to defend his title a number of times, fight a charity exhibition against Thunderlips, fight Lang twice and Drago before fighting Mason Dixon. This injury to his right eye is also the reason for his switch from southpaw to right handed fighting. So I can suspend my disbelief.

Now it's 2007. This war we're in keeps getting longer. The economy isn't very good. Entertainment is dying around us. If you don't believe me, consider this: Alpha Dog is soon to hit theaters and it features Justin Timberlake and the cat from Girl Next Door as tough guys. Can Rosie O'Donnell playing a lesbian version of Richard III be far off? Truly that will be the winter of our discontent. You picked a fine time to leave us, Rocco.

PS - I apologize for that awful series of jokes/references, that was a very CHB way to end a post. So in the way of making up for it, I must confess that I had to see for myself if Adrian had simply been written out, or had Talia Shire died and I simply hadn't heard. As far as IMDB knows, she'd still alive. But tell me that you knew without clicking the link. What has she been in that hasn't been awful and a massive disappointment in the last 20 years? Look at her IMDB resume and tell me that isn't the career of someone who could have died ten years ago and no one would have noticed. And like that, a lightning bolt is headed this way.

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