Monday, October 20, 2008

Stat of the week

The Tampa Bay Rays have the 29th largest payroll out of 30 teams in Major League Baseball. That is the lowest payroll ranking for a team that made the World Series.

Go Rays! Let's keep the party going.

Also, as documented before, I am now officially a harbinger of World Series baseball. I imagine Aaron would observe that we've reached "disturbing trend" status here.

"We waste our time when we could be writing everyone"
- the Broken West, Perfect Games

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oscar revote

Entertainment Weekly is apparently launching an Oscar revote, in which a whole bunch of Hollywood people are going to play the role of revisionist historians and decide if the award winners . Basically it's a statement on which movies hold up the best, but it also may reflect how much impact ad campaigns have on the awards.

I think this is a great idea. While I believe the Academy Awards are mostly an excuse for Hollywood to pat each other on the back for whatever good output they've had the previous year (often a depressingly scant amount), they're still interesting to pay attention to, and they do occasionally unearth some diamonds in the rough. And they've been woefully misguided in many of their choices over the years.

By the way, for the years they're doing, here are what should be the Best Picture winners in the revised Oscars:

  • 2003 - still "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King". The cherry on top of one of the greatest cinematic achievements of our lifetimes will always deserve this recognition. Were it not for "Lost In Translation", I wouldn't even care about any of the competition in this one.

  • 1998 - um, "Saving Private Ryan". Sure, "Shakespeare in Love" was a delightful movie, but c'mon, this one was a no-brainer the first time. I'm still not sure what the Academy was smoking.

  • 1993 - still "Schindler's List". C'mon, it's just an amazing piece of filmmaking. (Granted, I haven't seen two of its competitors, but dude, it's friggin' "Schindler's List" for crying out loud.)

  • 1988 - the only nominee I've actually seen is "Rain Man", so let's stick with that.

  • 1983 - haven't seen any of the nominees, so I can't comment.

Other egregiously incorrect years that should be corrected include 2005 ("Brokeback Mountain" over "Crash"), 2000 ("Almost Famous" over "Gladiator", even though it wasn't nominated because the Academy are idiots), 1997 ("L.A. Confidential" over "Titanic"), 1996 ("Fargo" over "The English Patient"), 1979 ("Apocalypse Now" over "Kramer vs. Kramer"), 1971 ("A Clockwork Orange" over "The French Connection"), 1951 ("A Streetcar Named Desire" over "An American in Paris"), and of course, 1941 ("Citizen Kane" over "How Green Was My Valley", probably the most infamous of Academy oversights).

"I could have been wild and I could have been free
But nature played this trick on me"
- the Smiths, Pretty Girls Make Graves

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Obligatory Chinese Democracy update

Apparently, the long-time-coming Guns n Roses (okay, Axl Rose fronting a new band that is otherwise completely unassociated with Guns n Roses) album Chinese Democracy actually has an official release date. November 23. Best Buy exclusive. Not surprisingly, the report remains unconfirmed. So as always, I leave you with the caveat of "I'll believe it when I see it".

But in the event that it does happen, does anyone want my Dr. Pepper?

"No one ever told me when I was alone
They just thought I'd know better"
- Guns n Roses, Better

Friday, October 03, 2008

Brief thoughts on the debate

In my opinion, Joe Biden won the debate pretty handily, sounding knowledgeable and confident (though I cringed when he referred to Article I of the Constitution discussing the executive branch - I hope and pray that was just a slip of the tongue). However, I thought Sarah Palin acquitted herself quite well, especially in the wake of horrendous television interviews. She reverted to talking points rather than answering questions entirely too often (but then, who doesn't?), but overall, she made herself appear at least vaguely competent, and in that sense may have won the expectations game, which is probably more important.

Still, I freely acknowledge how funny it is that I watched the Vice Presidential Debate while the first Presidential Debate is still sitting unviewed on my DVR. (I hope to get to it before debate number two.) Oh well, maybe now that this is over, we can back to focusing on the important half of the party tickets.

"I'm Mr. November, I won't fuck us over"
- the National, Mr. November

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Okay, sure, maybe Day 1 pretty much sucked: the Red Sox won, the Phillies won, and worst of all, the Dodgers won. The latter outcome put certainly a small dent in the Cubs' chance for their first World Series appearance in 63 years. (Yes, to put it in perspective, the last time the Cubs went to the World Series, both V-E and V-J day occurred during the Major League season.) Due largely to the fact that most of their games were a) played in the afternoon and b) televised on national network WGN, I grew up watching the Cubs, and I've always rooted for them. This is the best team I've ever seen them have and they sure as hell better make the Series - no other National League team is really deserving, except possibly the Phillies, but, well, phuck the Phillies. But certainly not the Trolley Dodgers or the Brew Crew.

My optimal World Series would pit the Cubs versus the Rays. Not just because I live in Tampa and have of late come around to the Rays bandwagon (though that's a large part of it), but also because if the Red Sox go, I'm out ten bucks. I can handle the Angels going, as an erstwhile Orange Countian. The White Sox would be simply unacceptable.

Hopefully today, Day 2, will be better. It starts with the Rays against the White Sox at 2:30. As documented earlier, I'll be there.

Later this week, ESPN visits Nashville for the first time ever for College GameDay, to see the Commodores take on the Auburn Tigers, who hopefully won't suddenly discover how to score. Then, it's the Redskins taking on the Eagles, who, as I put it over on Jeff's blog, may not have a monopoly on asshole fans, but they definitely own Boardwalk, Park Place, and all the railroads.

Just try and tell me the title of this post isn't accurate.

"This is beginning to feel like the long winded blues of the never"
- TV on the Radio, DLZ