Friday, December 30, 2005

Studicus Selects 2005

After unveiling my "Scrooges for the Year that Was 2005," I decided it was a good idea to counterbalance that with some positive things; a kind of "best of" list from this year that has passed us by.

So, here is a very special column, my Studicus Selects for 2005.

Best Theater Experience. Without a doubt, it was Revenge of the Sith, which I saw at an 11 a.m. showing on opening day with my friend Brian, his wife, and my then-girlfriend, now-fiancee. The crowd was very receptive, and I enjoyed the movie immensely. Who knew R2-D2 could do so much (well, except for George Lucas)? I really enjoyed it, and stayed spoiler-free throughout (didn't even pick up a copy of the novelization beforehand). It really packed a punch. The "big audience" experience was even better than the special press screening I got to go to two weeks before it opened.

Favorite DVD Purchase. Actually, this one wasn't very close, either. The Best of SNL Christopher Walken disc is tremendous. Oh, I know, I've written about this a lot. But the truth is, it's the thing I find myself quoting the most these days. And I've drawn Buckeye McGuinness into my insipid trap as well. "I pranked him to death with a tire iron," and "There's no stopping the bird attacks now!" are now staples of my life, much to Krildog's disdain.

Favorite Xbox Game Purchase. It's not even close: NCAA College Football 2006. It may be the best football game I've ever played, and is leaps and bounds ahead of Madden in terms of graphics, presentation, depth, and, most importantly, overall fun. I still love how I created a quarterback, who turned into a coach, who still roams the sidelines at Notre Dame. Right now, we're breaking in a second-year QB who will guide the program to continued greatness.

Favorite Boxed DVD Set. Hmmmm...there aren't a ton of contenders for this honor, but I'm going to have to go with my new Seinfeld Season 5 set. It's got a ton of great episodes ("The Puffy Shirt," "The Bris," etc.) that I remember watching over and over again in syndication. I haven't even started to scratch the surface on the extras yet, either.

Best Purchase, Jewelry Category. Only one nominee in this category, but it's definitely my fiancee's white gold monstrosity of a ring that threatens to bankrupt me and burden Krildog with a new monthly "occupancy" fee (I know...that's just mean!). But there's no doubt it was a terrific buy, and I couldn't be happier. You hear me? I'm happy.

Most inspired Christmas Gift. I received a Walker, Texas Ranger boxed set for Christmas. I thought it was an inspired idea on its own merits. My co-workers and I joke a lot about Chuck Norris, and the Walker, Texas Ranger Lever that Conan O'Brien uses is one of my favorite gags. With that in mind, the DVD set was a terrific idea. Little did I know what my co-workers had planned. They built me a Walker, Texas Ranger Lever of my own, which now sits proudly in my living room. I haven't used it yet, but that's about the most clever thing anyone could have thought of.

Best Comedic Trailer for a Movie that Will Probably Get a Best Picture Nomination. If you've read TFT in the past week or so, then you know the Brokeback Mountain trailer made me bust a gut. Lines like, "Why can't I quit you?" and "You don't go up to that mountain to fish, do you?!" are just too much for me to handle. Sure, I should be able to handle the "Gay Cowboy movie" with a mature outlook, and appreciate its merits as a work of art. But, dammit, this is waaaaaaaay more fun.

Best Personnel Move, NFL. Without a doubt, the Colts' acquistion of Corey Simon helped set the tone for this season, and showed the league the Horseshoes meant business this year. Let's just hope they can cap it all off with a big, shiny trophy. "Multiplex" has meant more to this defense as a leader and a movie theater than any other player in the NFL this season.

Best New Product, in Your Grocer's Freezer. The Good Humor line of ice creams that Krildog has been buying lately. Sure, I know it's December, and that ice cream shouldn't be on my mind at all. But this stuff is so excellent, I just can't help but mention it. I mean, it's fantastic, and I could eat the stuff all day.

Best Purchase, Overall. Ah...this goes back a way this year. Without a doubt, my pride and joy is my 55" Mitsubishi CRT Rear-Projection TV. It's huge, it's awesome, it's hard to move, but it's well worth it, especially considering the deal I got on the thing. I'm very pleased with the TV, and so is my future wife. Watching a college or pro football game in HD is perhaps the greatest thing ever conceived by man.

Favorite Non-Sensical Segue/Spoof in "Family Guy" Episode. For me, it was when Flint from GI JOE showed up, and talked about the evils of alcohol to Chris and his friends during a dance. The rest of the episode was so-so, but that was pure genius. Of course, no one else may think that, but Flint has a special place in my heart, and in Krildog's worst nightmare.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2005 Scrooge Awards

We're toward the end of the year now, and it's en vogue to do a little "Year in Review" type of thing. I should leave that to CNN and ESPN, however. They do a pretty good job in their own right, and I'm afraid my IU/Colts/Pacers/Notre Dame/Cincinnati Reds fandom would taint any such "Year in Sports" type of selection.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Also, I didn't do anything remotely resembling a Christmas column. I didn't so much as say, "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah," "Happy Kwanza," or "Merry Christma-kwanz-akah." So I'm doing that now. Happy Holidays to all, and remember, it's not a Christmas tree, but rather a Union tree. Just ask those crazy kids at Purdue (okay, they now admit it's a Christmas tree, too).

And so, I offer a belated Christmas column, mixed with a "Year in Review" type of deal. It's both too late and too early, in a sense. Here are my "Scrooges for the Year that Was 2005." Of course, I'm sure most of these are fairly recent, since, well, a lot has happened in the second half of the year!

The Cincinnati Reds. The Reds went all "bah-humbug!" on their fans by trading my favorite player, #21, the Great Mayor of the Queen City, Sean Casey. They exiled him to Pittsburgh, where players go to die. Of course, people say the same thing about Cincinnati, but at least I can get them on the radio! I will have a ceremonial burning of my Sean Casey jersey this weekend; the ashes will be mailed to Buckeye McGuinness, and spread over the Ohio River.

Stupid, Overgrown Star Wars "fans." You know who you are. You say things like, "George Lucas raped my childhood," and "I can write a better movie than George Lucas," and "How dare he do that with my favorite character!" I would just like to point out that Mr. Lucas, though a money-making whore, created the entire Star Wars universe, and has every right to do whatever he wants with it. Get over it. I enjoyed Revenge of the Sith, and if you could put aside the cardboard Stormtrooper armor you made in Grandma's garage last week, you would have, too. I will admit, however, that lines like, "One day, I will be the most powerful Jedi EVER," (AOTC) and "It's only because I'm so in love with you," (ROTS) should never have made it from page to screen.

Crazy DJ Ron the "Mixmaster/Fightin' Man/Reformed One/Trade Me/Don't Trade Me Conundrum" Artest. Who would have thought it (besides Bob Kravitz): in one calendar year, Artest managed to ruin not one, but two seasons for the Pacers. Now, the fight was in November of 2004, but its repercussions spread into 2005, and then there's this whole new thing he's doing this year. I mean, really, just call a news conference, stand at the podium, pause dramatically, and then give the ol' one-finger salute to the fans, teammates, and front office people who stuck by you when you went nuts. Or because you are nuts. Whatever.

San Diego Chargers. You thwarted the Colts' bid at perfection, and then went out of your way to play yourself right out of the postseason. I think Krildog would agree...that's Martyball at its finest.

Steve Smith. Only one man stood between my Money League fantasy team, and a $400 payout. His name is Steve Smith, and anyone who wants to pull a Gillooly has my permission to do so.

The New England Patriots and Anything Related to Them Such as Tedy Bruschi, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Corey Dillon, but Excluding Charlie Weis Because His Soul was Saved (and also ended up saving) Notre Dame. I think this rambling, nearly incoherent line says it all. But you have to admit, the cleansing powers of Christ and the Fighting Irish can overwhelm any demonical evil, even when it springs forth from the dark cavern of Foxborough.

Rafael Palmeiro. It was the B12 shot Migs gave you, right Raffy?

USC. I nearly spared the Trojans the "honor" of making my list. Just imagine what woulda, coulda, shoulda been if the Irish had held on to win. We'd be talking a January 4th rematch, my friends. Okay...I'm just bitter. This is a dubious addition.

Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings. Can I get a Merry Christmas? Would someone explain to me why people who celebrate the honorary day of Jesus' birth have to hide their utter joy (and commercialization) with bland, innocuous phrases, while it's okay to wish someone a "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Kwanza" without consequence. I'm not Bible-thumping here, just curious.

Hurricanes. And we're not talking about the ones who play at "The U."

The United States Postal Service. I don't give a rat's ass if they get stuff to you on time. I just bought a 100-stamp roll of 37 cent stamps. But what have those ass doinks done? They've raised the price for a first-class stamp to 39 cents. That means I have to get rid of all my stamps before Dec. 31st, or I'll have to buy a ton of 2 cent stamps. And, even though I'm trying to get rid of them, it's just not working. Damn the eagle! Damn the USPS!

Lake Piedmont Apartments. Oh, sure, they sent a nice letter telling me how nice of a tenant I was, and how they really wanted me to re-up my lease. But then they decided they wanted to raise my monthly rent by $25/month. Now if that doesn't show how much they value me, I don't know what does. It hits not only me, but also Krilich in the pocketbook. Those sons of bitches.

Andrews Jewelers. Hey, I just got engaged, and I have a ring to pay off. But you see, the good people at Andrew Jewelers apparently think I'm in no hurry to start making payments. Thanks for waiting nearly an entire month before sending me a bill, you Punch n' Judy dickwads.

Car radiators, water pumps, and lower gasket intakes. I can already hear an "Amen" from Krildog on this one. Cars, while we love them, and depend on them, can also let us down, even when we take good care of them. Cases in point: my 1997 Grand Am, and Krildog's 1988 Monte Carlo. And when they break down...it costs money. Money that we don't have!

Rusty Bladen. If ever there were a black mark on the entertainment industry that couldn't be drawn out even with copious amounts of Meijer alcohol, it's Rusty Bladen. The self-proclaimed Karaoke King of Crawfish County looks like Jeremy Shockey, smells like ass, can't carry a tune in a spitoon, smells like ass, and doesn't seem to know Neil Diamond exists. Sure, ask him to sing "Sweet Caroline," and he'll pour honey potion in your ear, and then sing for six hours without nary a Neil Diamond song being sung. There are special places in Hell reserved for supercilious bastards like this. Be sure to heckle him accordingly with loud shouts of "You suck," "You blow," and other such mature taunts.

Next Question. Screw Terrell Owens and Drew Rosenhaus. They made a circus out of everything.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

We had the hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny fucking Kaye!



Hello, friends! KrilDog here checking in from the office. I busted my ass this morning doing work and the majority of the afternoon (from about 2 on) has been spent sitting in the conference room (aka my office) dicking around on the ol' internet. I figured since I still don't have jack shit to do and it doesn't look like they are going to let me leave early (since there still need to be some finishing touches applied to tomorrow's log), it seemed like a good idea to pop in and give an update. Hopefully everyone had a good Christmas. I spent mine with the family in the Windy City making the rounds and doing the usual. Santa was very good to me and brought me many more DVD's for my collection as well as some awesome books to read. Perhaps the best gift, however, was watching Da Bears kick the shit out of the FudgePackers Christmas Day. I thought they played very well in all aspects of the game, and if not for a few Muhsin Muhammad drops the offense would have put even more points on the board than the 24 they hung on Sunday. Amazing what happens when they take out BoilerBitch and put in a real QB in Rex Grossman, huh? If the offense can keep chugging along like this, then there's no reason we can't win a playoff game or 2. Super Bowl is a big reach this year but this is a step in the right direction. BEAR DOWN BABY!

Other ramblings:

  • Best christmas song ever? Bob and Doug Mackenzie (of "Strange Brew" and "SCTV" fame) singing The 12 Days of Christmas. Coming in a close second is Blue Christmas by Elvis.
  • No news on the Artest front. His ass is still getting shipped out, now it's just a question of when and to what team. Sacto looks to be out of the running due to the Peja injury. Hopefully in the meantime Ron-Ron is doing something productive, like another rap album.
  • Can't believe the White Sox resigned Jon Garland. Good deal, but he looked to be the odd man out so Brandon McCarthy could be brought up from Charlotte full time to be a starter. Perhaps another pitcher will be on the move soon?
  • Bought the John Mayer Trio cd off of iTunes last week. DAMN! Apparently he has been taking classes at Stevie Ray Vaughan University in his free time. Hopefully he ditches the bubblegum pop bullshit and makes some more good music.
  • Speaking of good music, War Machine by KISS is friggin great. Has a killer riff that just makes you want to bash something to pieces with a baseball bat. No wonder Taz used it for his ECW entrance theme.
  • As many of you know, I had to drop some serious coin to fix the radiator and water pump in my car last week. I'm happy to report that she's running like a champ now. Big thanks again to Studicus for all of his help.
  • Speaking of Studicus...in case you wonder why he hasn't written in over 48 hours, he's at home on a much needed vacation. How do I cope with having the apartment all to myself? Copius amounts of Halo 2 on Xbox Live with Saucy and The Word. Plus a night light. And morphine, glorius morphine! Just kidding....about the morphine part.
Well, time for me to finish up and blow this pop stand. Catch ya'll on the flip side!

~KrilDog

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Colts Emergency Alert! Colts Emergency Alert!

THE SKY IS FALLING!

THE SKY IS FALLING!

OH MY GOSH, THE SKY IS FALLING!

THE PATRIOTS ARE GOING TO GET US AGAIN!

WE'RE A FRAUD!

This is what I'm hearing from fellow Colts fans this morning, the day after a terrible game against the San Diego Super-Chargers. It was a loss to a decent team, one some people have said may be one of the NFL's best (I still maintain that a "great" team would not have lost the number of games the Chargers lost in the way they lost them).

But what does this really mean for the Colts? Does this mean they can't win the Super Bowl because they lost a game? No. Does this mean they're not good because they lost a game? No. Does this mean the Indianapolis Colts are finished, psychologically fragile and unable to rebound from the loss they just suffered? Most certainly, no.

It'll be okay. No more questions about resting the starters. No more comparisons to the 1972 Miami Dolphins. For one, I'm relieved. And listen to Tony Dungy's post-game news conference...so is he.

This Week's Colts Observations...

Boiler Up! Listen, it's true that Drew Brees had a fantastic first half. But Dick Enberg's and Dan Dierdorf's declaration that Brees had a "brilliant" game was one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. As Krildog pointed out, Brees did practically nothing in the second half, and nearly gave the game away. Of course...nearly doesn't mean anything. A loss is a loss, a win is a win.

Will someone please cover #85? And #87? For the love of St. Peter, have the Colts never watched a Chargers game? They have one weapon in the passing game, Antonio Gates. And Keenan McCardell can hurt you to. Both these guys were like Steak n' Shake...open all day. For shame, Bob Sanders, for shame! The long completion on third-and-long was devastating.

Game over, man, game over! Michael Turner's 83-yard scamper sealed the Colts' fate (even though the Candle of Hope was pretty much burnt out anyway at that point). It was a real embarrassment to see the game end like that.

The Rayner No-Brainer. What were the Colts thinking, sending Dave Rayner, the "kickoff specialist" whose kickoffs aren't special, out to attempt a 58-yarder? Before that, his only standout quality was a propensity to make short kickoffs. He'd never had an NFL field goal attempt before that in his career. Gee...send out Vanderjagt. I've seen the guy nail 61-yarders in warm-ups. Seriously.

The Peyton Manning Experience. I'm still not sure what Peyton was thinking on that fourth-and-goal run for the end zone. Mike Vick he is not. Krildog was pretty insistent that the Colts should go for the TD in that situation. That early in the game...I'm more inclined to take the points. And now we know...we could've used them in the end.

Disaster strikes. No sequence was more devastating than the intentional grounding followed by another sack. That forced a punt, which led to...well...you know.

Protecting your investment. Usually, the Colts do a very commendable job of protecting Peyton. But this week was a different story. The first play of the game was a sack, the last meaningful play for the Colts ended in a sack as well. Even when he did complete a pass, Peyton usually ended up on his posterior. It was tough to watch.

Still think undefeated is all that important? Seeing Peyton pummeled, Freeney frazzled, and Wayne wobbly made me wonder if 16-0 was really worth it. Peyton took some shots, Freeney limped off the field, and Wayne was shaken up as well. Not to mention Ryan Diem's injury on the first offensive play of the game. It made me wonder if it was time to call in the reserves.

An open letter to BoilerBitch...




Dear Kyle,

You fucking blow. Sit your talentless Gold and Black ass on the bench and get a good grip on that clipboard. No more of your 16 yard passing games. The only passes you are gonna be making from here on out are at drunk farm heffers in Iowa on the Bye week. You can drink JD and ogle gay guys all you want now. Hell go back to Purdue and have sex with "The World's Largest Drum" like you did in the undergrad days. And if you do, then fucking stay there. We have our answer at QB now; his name is Rex Grossman. And if he somehow gets hurt again, we still don't fucking want you fucking our team up. Hope you like splinters, fuckwad. Get comfortable, Assclown, and BEAR DOWN!

Sincerely,
The KrilDog
Chicago Bears SuperFans - Indianapolis Chapter
"Not only the president, but the only member!"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Studicus' Holiday Movie Guide

Wow, some weeks, when you're in the mood to write, you're in the mood to write!

So, I proudly present my Holiday Movie Guide. For once, I'm getting away from the sarcasm that pervades today's society (and, obviously, 99% of my posts), and writing something a little more light-hearted.

Yeah, yeah...we'll see how long that lasts.

Now, for the movie guide, I'll name the movie (duh!), mention my personal favorite scene (aka the "Quintessential Moment," or "QM"), give a brief plot summary, say what makes the movie work, and list my favorite quote (the "FQ"), which is my favorite, not necessarily the one most identified with that movie.

This is in no way an attempt to be a definitive guide to holiday movies. In fact, you'll find some notable ones missing. These are just movies my family and I enjoy every year.

The Movie: It's a Wonderful Life

What happens? George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) always dreamed of leaving Bedford Falls and seeing the world. But no matter how close he is to getting out of town, his commitment to the Building and Loan always manages to stop him from leaving. When life gets out of control, and there's a scandal at work, George contemplates cashing in his life insurance policy by jumping off a bridge. Fortunately, his guardian angel Clarence is there to help him realize that, no matter what, he really has a wonderful life.

QM: For me, there's no better scene in this movie than when the evil Mr. Potter offers George a job, and it's such a good offer, he's almost suckered in. But George's good character never waivers, and he turns Potter down. It's kind of like when Luke Skywalker tosses his lightsaber aside, and tells the Emperor, "I'll never join you."

Why it works: It's probably the sappiest movie of all time. Yet, it endures, thanks to the strength of Jimmy Stewart. Never once do you doubt his good nature, and even when things get rough, you're sure he'll do the right thing in the end. Without George Bailey's integrity, this movie would be absolutely nothing.

FQ: You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter. In the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider. And...[looks at Potter's assistant] And that goes for you, too! (George Bailey)

The Movie: White Christmas

What Happens? Song-and-dance men Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) are forever linked because Davis saved Wallace's life during World War II. They become major stars, and find love, music, and their old commander in Vermont. When they discover the General's lodge is struggling because there's no snow for the holidays, they agree to put on a holiday show, and get the old unit together to surprise The Old Man.

QM: For me, it's when General Waverly comes in, and sees members of his old unit in uniform that makes the movie. It sets up a fantastic finale complete with the title song and snow everyone's been so desperately seeking. To see a general who's led men into combat get so emotional just gets me. Of course, you can't go wrong with Bing's and Danny's rendition of "Sisters."

Why it works: Simply put, the chemistry between everyone in this movie is fantastic. You really believe Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are old war buddies. While Crosby is the star, it's Kaye's hysterics that really stir the pot. And, when you add in the Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney dynamic, it's just too much fun.

FQ: It's cozier, isn't it? Boy, girl, boy, girl. (Phil Davis)

The Movie: Christmas Vacation

What happens? The ever-lovable Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) tries to deal with the many issues surrounding Christmas, including unwieldy relatives, shopping, sledding, and his Christmas bonus from work. The results are typically hilarious, especially when they involve Clark's favorite relative, Cousin Eddie.

QM: There are many great moments in all of these movies, especially this one. But when I think about White Christmas, the very first scene that comes to mind is when the squirrel jumps out of the Christmas tree, and causes all sorts of havoc for the family Griswold. It's just one of those moments that'll get you rolling on the floor. It's the one scene every member of my family jokes about during the holidays.

Why it works: Chevy Chase makes this whole thing go. His manic performance as the sweet/smart-aleck/aloof Clark Griswold is fantastic, even though he played the same character in previous movies. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he has help from screen legend Randy Quaid, whose great work as Cousin Eddie pretty much steals the show.

FQ: We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f****** Kaye. (Clark Griswold)

The Movie: The Santa Clause

What happens? Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), a divorced father, has a run-in with Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. When he startles Old Saint Nick, the Jolly Old Elf falls off the roof, and doesn't survive. Scott and his son Charlie then climb into the sled, and deliver all the toys. Scott finds out from Head Elf Bernard that he's a victim of the Santa Clause, and must now be the new Kris Kringle. The revelation wreaks havoc on his personal and professional life, with often hilarious results.

QM: My family and I watch this movie every year. For some people, a little Tim Allen goes a long way. But I've always found him entertaining...I blame multiple seasons of "Home Improvement" for that. My favorite scene in this movie, though has little to do with Tim Allen, and everything to do with Judge Reinhold. When his character Neil gets the Oscar Meyer weinie whistle, and blows into with the reverence of a Catholic priest during Mass, my brother and I die laughing. It's so absurd!

Why it works: I think a lot of it has to do with Tim Allen and the chemistry he has with his movie son in this flick. They've got a great relationship that helps turn Scott Calvin from a cynical and disappointing father into the generous and heartfelt Father Christmas. My favorite little moment in the movie is when Tim Allen holds up a toy tool belt...a not-so-subtle nod to his role as Tim "the Toolman" Taylor.

FQ: Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean is doesn't exist. (Charlie)

The Movie: Elf

What happens? Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) grew up in the North Pole, but just can't cut it as a toymaker. He's too tall, and, even though he's full of Christmas Spirit, isn't quite fit to be a worker Elf. After a particularly bad day, he decides to travel to the magical land of New York to seek out his read dad. While there, he makes it his mission to get everybody into the real spirit of Christmas.

QM: This comes when Buddy confronts a mall Santa in front of a kid, and it gets out of hand. The guy insists he's Santa Claus, but Buddy, who knows the REAL St. Nick, gets pretty confrontational for an elf. His line, "you sit on a throne of lies," pretty much sums up Buddy the Elf.

Why it works: Will Farrell is terrific. He has this earnestness and innocence that really shine through during the movie. And James Caan is a great foil as Buddy's real dad, who puts up a tough front before finally giving into his "inner elf." Just a fantastic holiday movie all around, and a very new addition to my family's annual Christmas celebration.

FQ: Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color? (Buddy the Elf)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The 5 Pack: Spotted!

Spotted!

While you revel in Studicus's high class comedy which he so proudly strikes for us to all huddle around and keep warm to this wintery season, allow me to chime in for a brief moment and say that Pete Prisco and the CBS Sportsline people are farging dumbasses for their new Power Poll rankings.

The top ten?
1. Indy
2. Seattle
3. Denver
4. Cincy
5. NYG
6. Jacksonville
7. Tampa Bay
8. NEW ENGLAND
9. Pittsburgh
10. Chicago

Do you see what I see? You should since I boldfaced it. Eveyone talks about the NFC North, but the AFC East is absolutely abismal, so why is their division leader 8th in the power rankings? Wow, they can beat the Saints, the Dolphins, the Bills, and the Jets, but then they lose to the Chiefs? That must mean that they are powerful against sub .500 teams. Anyone could beat Buffalo by as many as the Patsys did Sunday the way that Whatchu-talkin'-bout-Willis is playing. He is averaging 47 rushing yards per game since week 6? Woah! Call the SuperBowl shirt printers and ring makers and tell them, "Not so fast my friend!" They went from 14th to 8th by winning a should-win game? That begs the question who's blowing Billy boy over at CBS?

High-Concept Fun, Low-Brow Humor

I was thinking the other day about Christopher Plummer (you know, General Chang from Star Trek VI), and I was considering: when he dies, what would be the most inappropriate clip to show from his career, and what would be the worst way for a TV news writer to put it into words?

So, I've taken a selection of stars, young and old, highly-regarded, and not-so-highly-regarded (hell, some are already dead!), picked a clip, and written a fake story. It's what I do.

Actor: Christopher Plummer
Movie Clip: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

And the entertainment world was stunned today to hear of the death of respected Shakespearean actor Christopher Plummer...

General Chang: I am constant as the northern star...
Dr. McCoy: I'd give real money if he'd shut up.

Plummer captivated audiences for centuries with appearances in films like National Treasure and Syriana. But it was his work in 1992's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country that brought audiences streaming into theaters to see his work.

In addition to his accomplished career on the screen, Plummer was a stage icon, particularly well known for packing theaters in Canada with his interpretation of King Lear.
Actor: Sir Laurence Olivier
Movie Clip: The Jazz Singer

And a screen legend has passed on.

Cantor Rabinovitch: I have no son! My son is dead!

Sir Laurence Olivier, who shared the screen with legendary entertainer Neil Diamond in 1980's Jazz Singer, has passed away.

Olivier was a highly respected actor until a lack of money forced him to take on questionable roles just to pay his bills.

And, contrary to popular belief, he did not appear in the silver screen classic Lawrence of Arabia. Even though his first name is Laurence, it's spelled differently than the name of that movie's title character.
Actor: Alec Guinness
Movie Clip: Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

For a generation, people knew him only as Obi-Wan Kenobi

You were the Chosen One! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! It was you who would bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!

But Ewan McGregor would erase many fans' memories of Sir Alec Guinness from the first three Star Wars movies. Much of this was Guinness' own doing. He hated the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and never embraced the fans who made his career much longer than it ever should have been.

In fairness, though, Sir Alec Guinness had a true gripe. He was, after all, a highly-respected actor whose work in films like Bridge on the River Kwai (the only part people are familiar with is when the bridge gets blown up), Lawrence of Arabia, and Doctor Zhivago painted him as an uptight, arrogant snob. It was likely inconceivable in his mind that audiences could embrace him as a beloved father figure.
Actor: Jack Warden
Movie Clip: Dirty Work


Another death in hollywood, this time of a true screen icon.

Pops: Get a load of that mountain range!

It was this role as the wily patriach of legendary comedy team Norm MacDonald and Artie Lange that propelled Jack Warden into the public consciousness. 1998's Dirty Work was the setting for the defining role of Warden's career, with his portrayal of owner Edward O'Neil in 2000's The Replacements even coming close in terms of dramatic punch and acting range.

A true gentleman of the arts, Warden also appeared in less notable films with lesser stars, like 1963's Donovan's Reef with John Wayne, 1958's Run Silent, Run Deep with Clark Gable, and 1953's From Here to Eternity with Burt Lancaster and Frank Sinatra.
Actor: Robert Loggia
Movie Clip: Necessary Roughness


In the pantheon of great actors, perhaps no one stood out more than Robert Loggia.

Coach Rig: Not much of a crowd.
Coach Gennero: Well, at least we have the home field advantage.
Coach Rig: The Alamo was the home field.


His performance in Necessary Roughness still sparks fierce emotions in movie goers to this very day.

Loggia also had other memorable roles in movies like Scarface with Al Pacino, Opportunity Knocks with Dana Carvey, Independence Day with Brent Spiner and Bill Pullman, and the videogame Grant Theft Auto III.
Actor: Tom Cruise
Movie Clip: The Oprah Winfrey Show

A man of action and a devoted follower of fake religions created by science fiction writers, Tom Cruise was best known for smiling like an idiot for the camera.

I'm in love!!!! WOOOOHOOOOO! I'm sooooooo in love!

But it was this performance in 2005 on the Oprah Winfrey Show that pushed Tom Cruise from Hollywood Hearthrob to Crazy Tom. Yet, in spite of his crazy love for Scientology (Mr. Cruise is believed to have made it to the Nth Level of Ascendancy, Reuniting him with Kangor the Benevolent of Gelonda III), Cruise was a shining beacon of light and charisma on the big screen.

Career-defining roles included Top Gun, The Last Samurai, Vanilla Sky, Magnolia, and A Few Good Men.

Despite being crazy, no one can argue that Cruise chose his film roles wisely, except for any movie in which he shared the screen with one-time wife Nicole Kidman.

Tom Cruise was 52. He leaves behind wife Katie Cruise, and two young children named Klaatu and Nikto.

Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal
Movie: Brokeback Mountain


Hollywood was rocked today by the death of young actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

I wish I knew how to quit you.

Gyllenhaal's career-making turn as Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain should've punched him a one-way ticket to Tinsel Town's A-list. Instead, the young actor's obsession with co-star Heath Ledger led him down a dark path.

Gyllenhaal, a noted method actor, was unable to let go of the man he shared his heart and his screen time with. And, in the summer of 2006, it all literally came to a head, when Gyllenhaal kidnapped Ledger, and tried to force him into intercourse high in the mountains of Wyoming. But instead of finding illumination, he discovered, once and for all, the true meaning of "brokeback."


Back with a vengeance after a weekend in the Greater Cincinnati Area...

Krildog called for a more inclusive TFT. So, while I'm not going to ditch football for this post, I'm just going to talk more in general about the weekend.

Don't worry, I'll still inexplicably put words in bold. Just because I can.

Syriana. Went to see this movie on Monday, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I can't wait to read the novelization so that I can figure out what the hell actually happened. But, seriously, it was fantastic to see Deep Space Nine's Dr. Bashir tackle such a challenging role as an emir. Hey, if anyone can figure out what "Syriana" actually means or stands for, please let me know. Buckeye McGuinness and I couldn't figure it out. Our prevailing theory right now is that "Syriana" is the name of the fictional Arabic kingdom where the big-time emir and his sons live.

Speaking of Dr. Bashir...it seems our man Alexander Siddig has had quite a run lately playing characters named "Nasir." That was his character's name in Syriana, and, as Buckeye McGuinness uncovered, it was also his character's name in Kingdom of Heaven, which I watched yesterday on DVD. Curiously, in the Chris O'Donnell vehicle Vertical Limit, Mr. Siddig played a character named "Nazir," which is, as I'm sure you'll agree, freakishly similar.

George Clooney + Matt Damon = must-see movie for Studicus and Buckeye McGuinness. You see, my friend has a little bit of an obsession with Matt Damon. It's okay, the guy is a good actor. It's not like Buckeye McG wants to run away in a canoe with Matt Damon or anything like that (although, Buckeye McG was a little upset to hear Bourne got married). On the other hand, I have to admit I love movies with George Clooney in them (except for the one that never happened). Once again, no canoe involved. So, if you send Buckeye and Studicus to a movie with both George Clooney and Matt Damon in it, you're guaranteed we'll like it. Such is Syriana. Much of this immutable law is based on Ocean's 11 and Ocean's 12, which we both loved.

Speaking of such uncomfortable subjects...I also caught the trailer for Brokeback Mountain before Syriana. That is one of the most unsettlingly hilarious movie trailers I've ever seen. If you have a chance to check it out, please do so. You'll never be the same. Seriously, if they just would've come out and said, "Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are gay cowboys," it probably would've worked out better. Much better than lines like, "there are some lies you have to tell" and "there are some truths that can never be known." Intermix this with shots of A Knight's Tale and Donnie Darko holding each other (including an inexplicable shot of one of them standing in the dark on a bridge with a cowboy hat and no shirt), and it's just too much.

(cough, cough) I feel the need now to talk about some manly stuff to reassure us all.

Funniest man alive. Just watched The 40-Year-Old Virgin yesterday, and got a big kick out of it and Steve Carrell. Krildog agrees, and says he needs to go buy it soon. I can't argue with that. Of course, he said that before the ending, which was one of the strangest "sudden, sharp left turns" I've ever seen. If you've watched the movie, you know what I'm talking about with the singing and dancing and all that stuff. My jaw dropped, and stayed open until it was all over. I still say that never happened, along with George Clooney as Batman, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, and Police Academy: Mission to Moscow.

The Frozen Tundra of Paul Brown Stadium. I was at the Bengals-Browns game Sunday, and wow, it was pretty cold out there. How cold was it? So cold that the concession stand couldn't even bring itself to serve nachos with cheese that was even remotely lukewarm. Nothing better to warm you up on a cold day than ice-cold nacho cheese. But at least the Bengals won...barely.

The Colts scored again! That means, of course, that I didn't get to watch the Colts game. I taped it, and will watch it today or tomorrow. But I had my eyes glued to the out-of-town scores at Paul Brown Stadium. And I kept seeing the Colts add field goals time and time again. Usually, I'd hit Buckeye McG on the shoulder, and say, "They scored again!" And he'd be like, "What?" I'd reply, "The Colts, they scored again!!!" Oh, what fun. That brings another point to mind. Before the Colts finish their new stadium, they need to watch a game in Cincy, and see how they do stats and scores there. I love the Dome, but geez, how many times have I walked out of there going, "How many yards did Edge have? Did Peyton throw for 300 yards today?" That was mostly because the RCA Dome is incompetent when it comes to showing stats and out-of-town scores. At Paul Brown, you always know total team and individual yardage. And they have a scoreboard dedicated soley to other games. What a concept.

Who Dey Nation. Wow...I mean, I always liked the whole "Who dey? Who dey? Who dey think gonna beat them Bengals" thing, but c'mon! If you wear a piece of Bengals gear, suddenly, everybody's your best friend in the Greater Cincinnati Area. They'll probably shout "WHO DEEEEEEEEY!" at you. I think they should make that the official greeting of Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky. It can replace "hello."

There's no stopping the bird attacks now! Once again, I watched the SNL Best of Christopher Walken. It remains one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Of course, you know that now. And stop being a Stiffly Stifferson. I hate Stiffly Stiffersons.

That's all for now...gotta jet.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The 5 Pack: Word!

Word!

NBA
Breaking News, Stan Van Gundy is out and Pat Riley is in. My hunch was that Pat was eying the postion since he had all he needed to reinact his Laker Championships of the 80s -- a big center, a skilled PG, and decent forward. Those describe the Heat, not the Lakers which held one of the best teams in NBA history. In my first edition of The 5 Pack I spoke of a potential Riley takeover, and even though Van Gundy is retiring for personal reasons, Pat is still in. Give the Heat a few months to get accustomed to the coaching and Eastern Conf Champisonship look out.

NFL
I look forward to another Studicus Kicker Files after the blown OT opertunity by Kansas City kicker Choker Von Missakik. Maybe he can't do it with just one, but on the flip side Jay Feely actually made a FG to beat Philly. A lot of close games all around the league on Sunday that wouldn't have had the same outcome without kickers.

Da Bears Watch (the road to seeing if the Bears will again become Da Bears)
The Bears have beaten one plausible playoff team all season (Carolina) and after the Steelers ran to kingdom come on them, will Atlanta be another loss? I think it will be a far different story than the Pitt fiasco. The Falcoms aren't power running -- nuf said. Will the bears win? Who knows, but with no Bus to bust them up, the game looks a lot better for the Orange Cs.

Redskins? Playoffs?
It seems that the Skins don't want to make the playoffs. A 17-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals is a victory, but not one that I'd like to brag about. All year we've seen teams run all over Dennis's Green Earth, and what do the Skins do about that? Yes, good job, they throw the ball and commit 3 INTs. If you aren't familiar with the lingo, an INT is a bad thing. Try to keep up. Clinton Portis and a kickoff return saved them from themselves, and with a hungry Dallas team coming into FedEx on Sunday, we all have to pray for the Skins to figure something out. A final fluke 4 minutes doesn't sound likely this time around since the world now knows about Santana Moss and Mark Brunell's scrambling attributes.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Crazy One Is Off His Meds!

Artest to Pacers: Trade Me....from the Indianapolis Star

__________________________________

Injured forward Ron Artest wants to return to the court, but not to the Indiana Pacers.
In a 20-minute interview Saturday, Artest for the first time publicly said he wants to be traded. He calmly described the issues he has with his role on the team, his head coach and his past, and said the team would be better off without him.

"I still think my past haunts me here," Artest said. "I think somewhere else I'm starting fresh. I'm coming in with baggage but people already know about it and how I'm going to be. Either they're going to be for me or they're not going to trade for me. Here I think my past haunts me.
"I think they will be a better team without me."

Coach Rick Carlisle called his forward "one of the elite talents in the league."
"You never want to lose someone like that," Carlisle said Saturday.

The Pacers lost Artest for 73 games after the Nov. 19 brawl last season. They stuck with him even though he said his suspension essentially ruined their season. Now the Pacers might be forced to trade him in order to salvage an already trying season.

"I think I cause a lot of problems here," said Artest, who has missed the past two games with a wrist injury. "If the trade rumors, if there is any truth -- maybe it won't be a bad thing. They probably could win more games without me."

Team President Larry Bird was scouting in Europe and could not be reached for comment. Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh was surprised by Artest's request and said the franchise would decide the next step.

"I've never heard him say anything before," said Walsh, who acquired Artest in a trade in 2002. "He hasn't talked to me, and I see him every day."

Walsh called this latest development a distraction and chided Artest's handling of the situation.
"He can always come up and talk to me or Larry Bird," Walsh said. "From here on out, I expect Ronnie to be a professional. . . . (This) isn't the best way to get a trade done."

Until Saturday, Artest's season had been relatively stress-free. He remains one of the team's hardest workers. He hasn't irritated game officials and has reached out more to teammates off the court.

It's on the court that he's had problems fitting in with Carlisle's system.
Artest is second on the team in shot attempts and scoring at 19.4 points, but he thinks his style disrupts the offense.

"I'm so demanding of the ball. It's not my fault," he said. "Every time somebody is on me it's a mismatch. It messes up the offense. I like Coach (Carlisle) as a person, but I don't like playing for Coach. I like my team, though."

The Pacers run a structured offense in which Carlisle calls out most plays. That frustrates Artest, who has complained about the system in the past. Artest also took issue with practices. He thinks they're too soft.

"Don't get it twisted. He's a very good coach," Artest said. "He knows what he's doing. I personally don't like playing for him. I would not want to see him get fired for me after all the immaturity I've been through with this organization."

Getting offers for Artest won't be difficult -- Artest is a former All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year. But getting equal value in return could be. Artest makes $6.5 million this season, paltry by All-Star standards. Because of the salary cap, NBA trades are as much about matching salaries as swapping talent. Most players of Artest's ability make much more money, meaning the Pacers won't get a player of his caliber unless they include other Pacers in the deal.

What teams interest Artest?

His hometown New York Knicks.

"If I go to the West Coast, I would come back to New York after my contract is up," Artest said. "I would go to Cleveland. I wouldn't mind coming off the bench behind LeBron James. There's a lot of players I wouldn't mind coming off the bench behind. If it was a perfect world, I would be going to New York."

Artest seeks a system in which he can score more, which would lead to a bigger contract when his expires in 2008. He has a player option for $8.5 million for the 2008-09 season.

"Here I don't think I'm going to have a chance to maximize my opportunity for my potential," he said. "When I first got here, all I wanted to do was play defense. I never really cared about offense, but what I see is players like Kobe (Bryant), Tracy (McGrady), (Gilbert) Arenas and Jermaine (O'Neal) getting the opportunity to maximize their potential on the court and to get paid. I'm out of my character a little bit here.

"I don't think I'm going to maximize my opportunity just playing defense. I have to show I'm one of the premier players on offense on the wing. So when it's that time, there's no question what type of player I am."

Artest said he will take a few more days to decide when he is ready to return from his wrist injury.

But the question is: Will he be a Pacer when he returns?

Call Star reporter Mike Wells at (317) 444-6053.

Copyright 2005 IndyStar.com. All rights reserved.

____________________________________

My Comments:

While Artest did not say he wanted to be traded, he made comments about possibly playing behind Lebron and coming off the bench. And the comments about NY.

You do not make comments like that...especially, after what happened last season. Very immature and irresponsible.

I will always be an Artest fan for his play on the court, but when it comes to his behavior off of the court, well, let us just say, he is not intelligent.

Trade him for the best possible player out there...I'm not sure who is truly available, but the Pacers organization has to trade the man.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The 5 Pack: Intangibles

Intangibles: Chicago @ Pittsburgh


Hope in a game. Actually both words, hope and game, contain 4 letters with the first and remaining two of the three consonants separated by a vowel, but as this weeks Intangibles shows, a game can be hope and hope can be a game.

What do the Bears need to do to show themselves as a viable pick for the Xtra Large? Stop Jerome Bettis? No, let him score if he needs to, just win. Win Sunday against a Steelers team who is reeling from two straight losses and has had to deal with everything that comes with Bud Carson dying. The Pittsburgreuresudurge, or something to that effect, fans remember their Steel Cutain Captain you can be sure. The owners have instilled in the cities view on the team over the years a sense of loyalty. There's no Daniel Snyder lets-fire-someone-new-today-because-we're-not-winning-every-game approach, so because of that, the jutting-jawed coaching juggernaut will use the L-streak along with Bud Carson's death as a catalyst for change. A change, my friends, into playoff contenders.

However to do that, they need to get over the leagues premier defense. See how I brought it back to the Bears? Yeah, like Maxwell House, I'm good to the last drop. I digress. The Bears are trying to make a statement for themselves too, and I almost dare not talk about their 8-game W-extravaganza because as evenly balanced as this team is on the edge of a cliff, no one wants to be the ones who tips them over. I'm taking it like the Bears appear to be taking it, one game at a time, but if Chicago can win a big one on the road to a well-balanced Pitt team, then we all might forget about that and utter XL in a whisper of a draft. Eeeecccccckkkksssss EElllllllllllll. Football Field of Dreams, starring Adwale Ogunleye, Brian Urlacher, and Lovie Smith. It'll all be gone in a second though. The media thankfully, as predictable as they are, will forge on with Steelers focused panic, and probably overlook the great defensive game that Chitown (oooh I hate when people call it that) had to defeat them.

Also I feel I'm doing everyone a diservivce by not mentioning Big Ben's thumb. Surgery may be coming soon, and that's a big deal my friends.

So Pitt is the golden boy sibling the media has loved to cover for the past two years, but times are troubling and they need a win, a convincing win to show themselves as the team they once were. The Bears are the opposite. The gritty under appreciated NFC North sibling who isn't worth the ink because of the division they're in was was never suppose to amount to anything. The Bears winning a statement game? Hope. The Steelers righting the ship? Hope.

Hope in a game my friends. And with with the playoffs being only 4 games away, this could mean a collapse in Chicago's or Pittsburgh's remaining, respective seasons.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Back!


Do not adjust your monitors. This is not a test. Yes, my friends, it is indeed I, The KrilDog. It certainly has been a long time since I have graced our little slice of cyberspace with my presence but I am back after an almost month long hiatus. A lot has gone on and I've had a lot to say but no time to sit down and collect my thoughts in blog form. I hope ya'll have missed me as much as I've missed you. Big thanks to Studicus and The Word for picking up the slack in my absence and keeping this train rolling. Also have to send out a big congratulations to Studicus for getting engaged last week.

Another thing I want to mention while I am thinking about it is in regards to the blog. I think part of the reason that it seems like only 2 or 3 of us are writing regularly is because our view is a tad on the narrow side and once we talk football we have nothing else to bring. Well as far as I'm concerned, the leashes are off. No topic too big or small, no subject too controversial if it means more people contributing to the cause. So fellow TFT members, write something, dammit! Also, if you want to join the staff, email me at the_krildog@yahoo.com ( underscore between the and krildog) and I will send you an invite. It's just that simple.

And now, thoughts from The Dog:

  • Saw Walk The Line a few weeks back. Simply awesome film I highly recommend to anyone. Great acting and singing jobs by the cast. If you dug the tunes in the film then the soundtrack is a must buy.
  • Dear Downtown Athletic Club, fuck you for not inviting Brady Quinn to the Heisman ceremony. Yes, I realize that he has no chance of winning this year but you cheap bastards could have brought more players than just Bush, Young and Leinart. Bad enough there are 2 USC fucks gonna be there. Also, fuck all the coaches who jacked the Irish around on their polls and tried to screw them out of a BCS bid. Jealous assholes...
  • Speaking of Bowl games, I'm psyched for the Fiesta. Can't wait to beat some OSU ass!
Well that's it for me tonight. Be back here soon with more stuff. Have a good one and don't get snowed in.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Weekly Colts Review

Those blasted, dirty Colts. The Titans are playing the J-Cats Card, and accusing the Colts of dirty hits. Do they hit low? Sure. Are they trying to sack the quarterback? Yes. Are they trying to kill him? No. Furthermore, there's a simple solution to stopping the defense from hitting your QB: PROTECT HIM.

Those blasted, dirty Colts, Part II (not to be confused with ANYTHING remotely related to Gary Glitter or Vietnamese kids). Coach Jeff Fisher didn't appreciate how Peyton Manning and the Colts thought about going for one last play just before halftime. Sure, the Colts had a lead, and the Titans were overmatched, but it's not the first time it's happened. A few years ago, against the Saints, the Colts pulled the same trick. Manning faked the spike, then walked toward the sideline before sprinting downfield. He ended up getting in the end zone. The initial call was a touchdown, but the dreaded "inadvertent whistle" doomed the play to failure. I'll never forget how Jim Mora tried to get his team to rush into the locker room right after that play. Geez...that guy was a ball of fire. And now...for the Obligatory Jim Mora Moment: "PLAYOFFS!? PL-PL-PLAYOFFS!!?"

He heard there were ribs in the end zone. Look at the wheels on Larry Tripplett, who looked like swift-footed Achilles as he returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown. Wow! Did the big man rumble or what!!?

Hey, whatever happened to...Glad to see Dwight Freeney get back into the action this week. Defenses always have to plan around him, and he's always disruptive, but he was extremely visible against the Titans. Once again, Flamers, protect your quarterback.

The Toughest Quarterback in Football. Hey, since Byron Leftwich is out, Steve McNair regained his title as the toughest man to ever don a football jersey. And the toughest man to ever writhe in pain after every down. And the toughest man to ever watch his receivers drop passes while sitting on his duff. You see where this is going.

And now, I present to this court, Your Eminence, Sir Drops-A-Lot. Bo Scaife, what a great name. And way to drop those passes in the end zone! You didn't even see Mike Doss coming on the first one, did you? That's okay, neither did I. But the second one? Wow...I heard the doink when it went right off your hands!

"Shady Tactics." This goes back to something I wrote earlier in this post, but the only "shady tactics" involved in the Colts' continual pounding of The Toughest Quarterback in Football was an offensive line that couldn't protect him. Kudos to Coach Dungy for checking the tape.

Power Pellet-less. Pacman Jones must hate the Colts. He's been abused by Reggie Wayne several times, and absolutely smacked on a few punt returns by the Dirty Colts. I'm thinking about renaming him Ms. Pacman. Oh, I'm sure he'll haunt us like the Inky, Blinky and the gang in future years...but for now, he's toast.

Hey, the Colts aren't very good, so we'll throw away some points. What was Tennessee thinking by putting Pacman in for that insanely stupid toss play!!!?? An 11 yard loss, and a missed field goal were the net result.

Punching their ticket. The Colts clinched a playoff spot with their win on Sunday. Next, they can go for homefield advantage and the AFC South Division Championship.

Back into form. After struggling a bit in recent weeks, the Colts D is looking very physical again. I think Cincinnati's scoring bonanza was a jolt of reality.

Fletch Three. Three weeks, three Bryan Fletcher touchdowns. Absolutely phenomenal. "It's all in ballbearings these days!"

That running Edge. I'm telling you, when the Colts R.E.A.D., they win. They need to continue that. I just hope they re-sign Edgerrin James, or get another running back with an "E" in his first or last name. Otherwise, I won't be able to use my acronym anymore. I'm sure you would all cry.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The 5 Pack: Word and Deal With It.

Word!

So the Redskins (6-6 after a great game by Clinton Portis who stampeaded ahead of the Rams with 136 yards and 2 TDs to a 24-9 win) have to win 5 of 5 to make the playoffs? This is Joe Gibbs's view and around the Redskins complex in Landover, Maryland he has posters displaying weak motivational techniques -- some showing the 5 teams that have won 5-straight this season, and the other more talked about, the stronger "5-in-a-row or we won't go!" Well this Sunday scratched one game off the list, but their test has yet to come.

Oh how I wish this were the same old NFC where 8-8s were the brightest stars in the conference, but alas the Skins will be headed into their last 4 games which contain 3 NFC East teams -- 7-9 anyone? My preseason pick was 9-7 or possibly 10-6 for the Skins, but at this point the former is more doable. Washington is brilliant on their home turf (the biggest stadium in the league housing over 90,000) and will have to be. The Cowboys will be ready to play as they ride out to FedEx Field on December 18th, especially after the loss handed to them on their bullshit triplets homecoming ring of honor presentation on MNF. But the same will be said for the Skins when playing the Giants the following week. No 36-0 game here, it'll get ugly. The season wraps up at The Linc in Philly, which is a trap game. Though to make the NFC East tourney more meaningful, they'll have to get by an Arizona team who seems to be figuring out what my buddy Herm Edwards always says, "You play to win the game!" So Mr Gibbs, "5-in-a-row or we won't go?" I hope the odds are greater than that and I will be hoping for a wildcard game which if it happens may be against Minnesota or Atlanta. Boos to that possiblity.

Deal With IT! (E-mails)

Word up The Word,

What about UofL's chances in the Gator Bowl with their number two QB going up against Va. Tech -- one of the best teams in all of NCAA?

Frenchy Spinelli

Wow, good question Frenchy, but even though I hail from the Louisville area, let me say my confidence is waivering. I like Hunter Cantwell, but not the same way I like Brian Brohm. Neither matter too much in this game though. You're question is good because it's about Louisville, but sadly off the mark. UofL's D is questionable. They don't know how to contain, tackle, and they over pursue on every play. Does anyone know the stats on the plays the Better Vick gets over pursued on? No, even my Stat guys don't know, but their conclusion: great. If we come to play, which we usually do in huge games of this calibur, then we might have a chance, but it'll have little to do with Hunter Cantwell when considering the paltry excuse for a defense the Cardinals have. Overall, I think the Cards will lose. Deal with it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Kicker Files

I am casting "Blow the Whistle" aside this week. It's mostly because I'm spending my creative allowance today on kickers. Idiot kickers, liquored up kickers, choking kickers, you name it. Okay, mostly choking kickers.

Now, from the Football Secret Files, some big targets of scorn this week.

Subject: D.J. Fitzpatrick, Notre Dame
Offense: Two missed field goals, missed PAT
Analysis: Fitzpatrick almost single-handedly killed the Irish's chances at earning a BCS game with his lackluster performance against Stanford. Those precious points would have put the game out of reach.
Additional information: We'll give Fitzpatrick less grief than some of our other subjects. He was playing with a gimpy leg, and Charlie Weis decided not to use the team's other kicker. Because of this, and the fact the Irish won, we'll let Fitz slide...just a little.

Subject: Matt Bryant, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Offense: Missed game-tying field goal at home
Analysis: The usually reliable Bryant missed a chipshot that would have tied the game against the Chicago Bears. There's no excuse for missing a 29-yard field goal, especially at home in a big game.

Subject: Jay Feely, New York Giants
Offense: Missed THREE game-winning field goals
Analysis: Feely missed from 40, 53, and 45 yards (one at the end of the game, two in overtime) to blow the game against the Seahawks on Sunday. The 'Hawks ended up kicking their own game-winner in OT to seal the deal, leaving Feely as a convenient (and deserved) scapegoat for the loss. The 53-yarder, I'll admit that's tough, but those 40- and 45-yarders must be made (at least one of them, for crying out loud!).
Additional information: I know Feely has to feel pretty badly about the loss. How couldn't he? But his offense certainly didn't do him any favors. True, they got him in position. But a few dropped passes, another play here or there, and he would've been closer. Still, the guy is paid to make field goals, and missing three game-winners is no way to earn your money.

Subject: John Hall, Washington Redskins
Offense: Missed game-winning field goal
Analysis: Hall doesn't have the range he once had, but with a chance to put the Chargers away, he missed with 30 seconds left in the game. In OT, a long run from LaDainian Tomlinson signed the death warrant.
Additional information: I should be somewhat fair and note that a holding call forced Hall to attempt the field goal from 52 yards out, instead of 42. But still, when things are going bad, you've got to make the kick!

Subject: Billy Cundiff, Dallas Cowboys
Offense: Missed go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter
Analysis: The Cowboys really had a chance to stick it to one of the league's best teams. But, instead, like two other good NFC East teams this week (the Giants and Redskins), the 'Boys fell short. They can thank Cundiff. He missed a 34-yard field goal that would've put the Cowboys ahead. In hindsight, we now know the defense would have held through the fourth quarter...just not into overtime.

I'm certain there are a few other kickers teams would like to knock through the uprights themselves, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Colts Review, Week 12

I have to say I hope everyone, from TFT's reader, yes singular, to the contributors and their families, had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. I had a restful few days of food and football, and I hope everyone else had the same opportunity.

Of course, we tend to talk football here as best we can, so that's what I plan to do, as usual.

I'll start off with my review of the Colts game. Then, tomorrow, or later today, I'll hit ya with a belated edition of "TFT's Blow the Whistle!"

INCOMING!!!!! Hey...the refs just threw another flag!

But for now, my weekly Colts review...

Marvelous way to get fired up! Holy Lord, Marvin Harrison was juiced for this game! I've never seen #88 go at it like this, grabbing opposing players by the facemask and that sort of thing. He usually doesn't talk smack, either. But he sure as heck did last night. That said, the penalty was costly on that drive, probably the difference between a touchdown, and the eventual field goal.

Off with a bang. The Colts sent a major message on their first offensive play, getting a terrific 80-yard hookup from Manning-to-Harrison. That's how you start the game. Heck, I can't blame the corner for biting; I was 98% sure the Colts would run on the first play, too.

The Hitman Cometh. He's a freak. We all know it. Did ya see Bob Sanders come out swinging with the big stick? That guy is like an unlicensed nuclear accelerator. I couldn't believe how he punished the Steelers. And that backflip? WOW.

Having a Roethlisberger. Indy's front four put plenty of pressure on Big Ben, who looked extremely rusty. They rattled him, they hit him, and they made him scramble. Of course, Roethlisberger loves contact, and he's mobile, but I can't imagine getting hit time and time again is any fun.

Fletch Lives. It's good to know Pollard Lite is really getting to be part of the game plan. The Colts loved Bryan Fletcher last year, but had to relegate him to the practice squad. This year, especially in the last two weeks, he's been a favorite red zone target, snagging two touchdown passes.

Way to R.E.A.D on offense, again. You know my mantra: Run Edge All Day. And the Colts did that. The numbers weren't impressive at first, but Edgerrin James kept pounding and pounding, giving the Steelers a taste of their own medicine. The Colts dominated time of possession in the second half of the game, thanks to Edge.

Getting it right. This time, with the lead, and the clock in their favor, the Colts ran the ball. No downfield passes on the blitz. No sideline passes to Marvin. They pounded it out. At least they learned their lesson after last week.

Hey, what was that? Yep...I just saw the refs throw another flag! That's two since I started writing. Seriously, 22 penalties called in the game. And the Steelers and the Colts are both known for playing pretty mistake-free football!

Bygones, indeed, become bygones. Nothing was more surreal than seeing Mike Vanderjagt and Peyton Manning standing next to each other, smiling and joking. Nice to see that the "liquored up, idiot kicker" and the "big-game, crumbling pansy" are getting along again. Maybe there will be peace in the Middle East after all.

Cash Money, baby. Speaking of Vandy, I bet his leg is really tired. Two extra points, and four field goals! That's why the Colts carry Dave Raynor, ya know. So Vandy can rest his rocket of a leg, and not worry about those darned kickoffs.

Steak...STEAK. This is what I see in Corey Simon's eyes every time he's in a close-up shot. Multiplex has a major appetite, and I'm pretty sure he thought Roethlisberger came with tomato, lettuce, and pickle. Actually, this has become a fun inside joke between Krildog and me, pertinent for all the Corey Simons and Tony Siragusas of the world.

David and Doss. Both members of the much-maligned secondary duo came away with picks in this game. Doss' was major-league HUGE, and David's was pretty darn athletic. It almost makes up for letting the Bengals run wild in the secondary. ALMOST.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The 5 Pack: Word!

Word!

Since every one seems to be focusing on the Colts as their AFC championship winners, I'll leave the AFC alone. I think they could get there, but lest we count out the Broncos who are steaming right now, and no I don't mean as in a pile of shit. All AFC talk aside, the NFC is where the best football is being played right now. NFC stands for Non Football Conference seems to be the joke of the day and has been for the last few years, but lets examine this season. Football isn't about blowouts, it's about close games, emotion, etc. In the NFC, games come down to the very last play of the game. Take last Sunday for example. The Raiders over the Skins by a field goal, and the same with Tampa over Atlanta, and Minnesota over Green Bay. San Francisco almost upset the NFC leading Seattle Seahawks, but fell short on a 2-point conversion attempt. When you have the better NFC teams play the better AFC teams it tends to come down to the last drive -- it's not all just conference play that these great game show themselves. How can Non Football Conference be justified in today's league? It can't. The National Football Conference is primed to make a return this year and win the Super Bowl once again and I give to you 2 teams who could be hoisting the Lombardi trophy in 2006.

The Chicago Bears. Why count this team out? I hadn't even when they went on a 3 game skid at the beginning to the season and lost Rex Grossman. I remember saying to KrilDog how much I thought Boiler Bitch (Kyle Orton) had promise and that Rex might not get his job back by the time he comes back. I remember watching their crazy defense and knowing that they'd win eventually, and win they have. At 7-3 the Bears are looking more like Da Bears every week, and if the old addage stands true, it's defense that wins championships. Ala the Baltimore Ravens of yore, if Trent Dilfer can QB a horrible offensive team with a great D to a Superbowl win, than why can't Kyle Orton?

The Seattle Seahawks. Sporting the best record in the NFC, the Seahawks look to be the brightest star in the conference. This season is their best start under Mike Holmgren and as I steal from Doritos bags, If Not Now When? Look for it, it's there. Shaun Money is this teams driving force and if LT wasn't throwing TDs every other week, this guy would be on everyone's mind. Add to that Matt Hasselbeck, one of the NFLs most underrated QBs, and a decent recieving corps, and this team through time of possesion can over come a young, small defense and be SB40 bound.

Other mentionable teams are as follows: Carolina, Dallas, and the New York Giants.

Blow the Whistle!

Another undoubtedly unsuccessful attempt at mixing humor with the NFL...

We proudly present...TFT's Blow the Whistle

I love Sunday Night Football. I am soooooo glad we were all treated to the Chiefs-Texans game on ESPN. I know I have vampire hours, and usually don't stay up, but Holy Lord, that's a terrible match-up.

I love Monday Night Football. Okay...it was a much better game between the Packers and the Vikings. But still, what a terrible game to watch. I think one of my buddies said it best this weekend, "When you see a game like that on Monday, the NFL's rotating MNF schedule idea looks a helluvalot better."

We've said it before, but JUST END THE SEASON. Egad, the Jets are bad. Of course, once another QB went down, they just didn't know what to do. And not even 83-year-old Vinny Testaverde could rescue them this week. Instead, the fortunes of New York rested on the young shoulders of Kliff Kingsbury. Wow.

Wayward Brees. Hmmm...so...what do the Chargers do with Phillip Rivers now? Brees is simply playing too well to unload the former Purdue standout. But Rivers has a hefty contract that will be hard to trade. It looks to me like the Chargers have painted themselves in a corner. Maybe, just maybe the team should've kept Brees in the lineup a few years ago to see if he was the Quarterback of the Future. You know...instead of starting Doug Flutie. Just a thought.

Tough at home. The 49ers have only a 2-4 record at home. But they've played some tight games in Monster Park. Really, they looked pretty good against the Colts for a while, and also played pretty tough against the Seahawks this week. Their only two wins came at home against the Rams and in a shocker against the Bucs.

Starting to slip. It looked like the Redskins would be challenging for their division right now. But they've lost three out of four, including a thumping at Giants Stadium, and a heartbreaker last week in Tampa. This week's loss to the Raiders really hurts.

Trying to be the McMahon. Give gutsy Mike McMahon credit for trying to energize the Eagles. The team had better get used to the former Rutgers signal caller. With the playoffs going bye-bye, Donovan McNabb has elected for season-ending surgery. But we all know a TO-ectomy tends to go into remission before coming back.

Another Super Bowl is an inevitability. The Patriots are back! Tedy Bruschi had nine tackles (and also solved that tricky situation in the Middle East), and Tom "Don't Call Me Carol" Brady led his team again to victory. Sing the song boys, sing the song! Bow and kneel before them!

Cardinal Sin. The Rams let Kurt Warner and the Cards beat them at home. Shame, shame, shame. And I think Marc Bulger got hurt again. That's extremely bad news for St. Louis.

The Barber of the Endzone. Julius Jones asks the girl out, takes her to a nice dinner, and then Marion Barber thrills in the music of the night. That's right, he gets to score, while Jones just racks up the yardage.

Dog Pounded. The Dolphins' prospects looked somewhat bright earlier in the season. But now, things are really starting to unravel. The Browns absolutely took it to them, thanks to stud Reuben Droughns. Maybe last year wasn't just the Broncos' O-line.

Delhomme for the holidays. The Bears got an early Thanksgiving feast, sacking Jake Delhomme a staggering eight times. He never looked comfortable in the pocket. Gee, I can't imagine why...

BQWSRNBEAROABG Watch: 15/26, 135 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and he should have had better stats, because his receivers dropped a bunch of passes.

Buc up. Struggling recently, Tampa Bay came away with a big win on the road against the Falcons. Sure the "new" Mike Vick can throw...but he's lost two straight at home.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Offensive Explosion

A review of the Colts-Bengals game

Walking the walk. Chad Johnson talked the talk, and then backed it up with a career performance. Pretty amazing, really. Much like UPS, this guy delivers, whether you like him or not.

Peyton vs. Peyton. This is perhaps the highest compliment I can pay to Carson Palmer. He oversaw the game much like Peyton Manning. The Bengals offense is seriously scary, especially in the no huddle they used this week. Can't wait to see where they are in the years to come.

Running around. The Colts seemed powerless to stop Rudi Johnson and Chris Perry. A lot of this had to do with being set for the pass, some of it had to do with an undersized D-line, some of it had to do with overpursuit and poor gap control.

Never in doubt. I love the Bengals. They just happened to be the enemy this week. That said, I never once thought the Colts were truly in trouble. Sure, that pre-halftime interception made me a little antsy, but once the Colts decided to R.E.A.D in the second half, it was over.

Good idea, bad idea. Taking a cue from Animaniacs... Good idea: trying to pick up a first down to run out the clock. Bad idea: throwing three incompletions in a row while trying to do it. You can debate this all you want, but run the blasted ball. I don't care if the Bengals are blitzing, I don't care if you get the big play. Run the ball on first down, on second down, and then throw on third if you have to. The Colts ran 25 seconds off the clock thanks to those three incompletions. Even if they hit the big play, I'd still say the same thing. Krildog can attest to this...the first pass there toward the end of the game, I wondered what in the name of everything holy and sacred on the face of the earth they were doing.

Defenders Assemble! I'm wondering if the Bengals defensive players were all called off on some uber-important mission. They certainly didn't show up in the first half. Of course, they must have been joined by Team Indianapolis, because the Colts weren't stopping anyone, either.

Manning the offense. Dear Marvin Lewis, why are you blitzing the Colts? Don't you understand that doesn't work? Did you not see the Colts-Packers game from last year? Selective blitzes may work some of the time, but constant blitzes get 35 points dropped on you in the first half. Kudos to Indy for committing to the run in the second half.

Edge of Victory. Another two TDs for Edgerrin James. Not bad for a guy, as idiot Jason Whitlock would say, who "never gets in the endzone."

I write a column under the name "Jane Doe." Nice to see Bryan "Fletch" Fletcher come through with a touchdown grab. Beautifully designed play intended to cater to the Bengals' all-out blitz tendency in the red zone. If you don't get the first line of this one, then there is no help for you. But you should check out my column on off-track betting in the Himalayas. It's a smaller story, but I know you've been following it.

Cue the "Theme from Dallas." With blitzes coming all day, Peyton found Dallas Clark, again, and again, and again. Big DC was great against Cincy.

Two are better than one. The Colts did most of their damage out of their two tight end set. That meant less Brandon Stokley, and more Bryan Fletcher. Both performed well when called upon.

Quick-Draw Carson. Palmer had great protection, but also has the great quality of a lightning-quick release that will serve him very well in the future.

Chances are... Robert "Johnny" Mathis managed to get another big sack. That's ten straight games in which he's downed the quarterback. Not that I'm counting.

Good time for a big pick. Rook Marlin Jackson couldn't have picked a better time for his first career NFL interception. That was major.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Blow the Whistle!

Another undoubtedly unsuccessful attempt to mix humor and insight into this week's NFL action.

Unconventional wisdom. Chucky came through big time when he decided to pitch caution into a swirling windstorm, and go for two at the end of the game. That was an awesome decision, especially (and perhaps only) because it worked.

That Boller kid is really working out. Ravens get Kyle Boller back, lose again in a 30-3 pasting by Jacksonville. Yes, we saw Ray Lewis on the sideline, and yes, we're aware he didn't play.

No offense? No problem! Vikings somehow manage to beat the Giants on the road despite a completely inept offense (Brad Johnson: 17/30, 144 yards; Michael Bennett: 19 rushes, 16 yards). How did they score their 21 of their 24 points? An interception return, a kickoff return, and a punt return. Simply amazing. Everyone gets to ride in the good boat this time.

Return of the Vasher. Nathan Vasher's NFL record 108-yard return propels Bears to 17-9 win in impossibly windy Soldier Field. Speaking of the Da Bears...

BQWSRNBEAROABG Watch: 8/13, 67 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, Bears still win, thanks to Vasher's heroics and Adrian Peterson. Oh, and Cody Pickett's 1/13, 28-yard dynamo performance (but, seriously, I can't imagine trying to throw a pass in that wind).

Cedric the Entertainer. Once again, I mention the Bears only because I want to whine again about how Cedric Benson ruined my fantasy team. When he finally gets the chance to play, he gets hurt. Thanks a lot, and I mean that as nicely as possible.

Don't give the ball to Maddox! So confident in Big Ben Roethlisberger's back-up back-up, the Steelers used something learned from Trickology 101 by having former IU QB Antwaan Randle-El throw a 51-yard TD pass. As for Maddox: seven attempts, four completions, 22 yards, and a spot on the bench when Big Ben gets back.

The Cowboy Way. "America's Team" (only because the Saints were on the bye...and yes I'm rolling my eyes) finishes off Eagles with amazing fourth-quarter comeback. I can't remember his name, but the Eagles were missing a wide receiver. I wish ESPN would keep me better informed when stuff like that happens...

Roy Williams wins Name of the Week Award. Both of them. One returned a game-turning interception for a touchdown, the other caught three TD passes. Not sure which is more of an accomplishment. I think Detroit Roy Williams gets a little more credit, considering Joey Harrington was throwing the passes.

Patriot Act. Blasted never-say-die team manages to beat Dolphins, thanks to, ahem, interesting play-calling at the end of the game. Hey, imagine this: a New England player got hurt, and the clock stopped. But...this time the Pats lost a timeout, because they actually had one left. No red flags were thrown.

Callin' Colin! Ah...Brett Favre triumphed over Michael Vick. I think Colin Cowherd said he had 200 e-mails in his inbox by Sunday night. I hope mine was one of them. See, he's been mouthifying Vick, and beating up Favre for months now. He said the Packers had no shot to win. You can never say that.

Thanks, Fox. We were "treated" this weekend to the Seattle-St. Louis game on Fox. It was barely watchable.

What statement? I originally thought Dick Vermeil made a statement by going for the late TD last week. Instead, the only statement he made was that the Chiefs are bad enough to lose to J.P. Losman.

Super Snake. Man, are we sure that the Jake Plummer who plays for Denver is the same one who played for Arizona?

Fantasy Football has ruined the NFL. The Panthers score 30 points, force six turnovers, and the only thing I can say is, Jake Delhomme only came away with one measly touchdown throw? And two interceptions!!?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Of Scrambling Peyton and Black Chalk...

I was looking for Grin and Barrett's (er...sorry...The Word's) sign during the Colts game, but didn't see it. It's a real shame. Of course, it's possible that "SuperManning" made it on TV, and I was too busy gathering more food from the kitchen to actually see it. If no one mentioned it earlier, that was a fine, fine piece of work (at least the draft that was posted on TFT).

Interesting game against the Texans. I really didn't think the Colts would blow them out, because Houston always plays us tough. I thought the fact Domanick Davis was out of the lineup would help (he always kills the Colts), but Jonathan Wells filled in admirably.

The defense seemed, I don't know, kind of listless throughout most of the game. They didn't seem like they really wanted to be out there. The offense looked pretty much unstoppable, however, aside from that awful opening drive.

And what was the deal with the Magic Punt Trick the Texans kept pulling? It was completely astounding. I think my sister-in-law said it best, recalling the "Seinfeld" magic loogie episode: "that was one magic punt." Weirdest thing I've ever seen...and it HAPPENED TWICE.

Hey...imagine this, as I type...Jason David just got beat again.

Other observations...

Rudi-mentary Bus Concerns. If the Colts try to tackle Rudi Johnson or Jerome Bettis like they tried to tackle against the Pats and Texans, I'm afraid we'll be in for long games in the coming weeks.

Palmer Problems. Now, we look forward to watching the Colts and Bengals locked in mortal combat. But, since Carson Palmer isn't David Carr, how will the defense do? The Bengals are as explosive as anyone in the league, we'll see if the Colts D can get on track.

Undefeated. How long will we hear the '72 Dolphins comparisons (I know...until the Colts lose)? I, for one, think a loss would actually be good for the team. They've got a tough schedule coming up, and I don't want the pressure of an undefeated season on the line during the playoffs. I don't care about an undefeated season, either. Unless it ends with a Lombardi Trophy. Other than that, double-digit wins plus AFC Home Field Advantage sure do it for me.

The Peyton Manning Experience. Anyone else notice how much #18 is tucking and running these days? As Krildog pointed out, when teams are dropping back 67 men into coverage, there's lots of running room. Sure, it's like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob when he takes off, but it's been pretty effective.

Keeping their Edge. Hey...it's time to get a long-term deal for James. He's been fanastic, and if I were to give a mid-season MVP Studdie Award, you can bet "Edgerrin James, Indianapolis Colts" would be found inside the envelope. I can't say this enough.

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday... Uncharacteristically, Jeff Saturday let a Texans defender run right by him. The guy sacked Peyton, just the sixth time Manning's eaten turf (natural or FieldTurf) this season.

Black Chalk! Dumbest comment I've ever heard! On Jonathan Wells' TD run, Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker were lamenting the fact that no chalk was being kicked up to help the refs see where Wells' foot went out of bounds. Then, one of the luminaries discovered the rarest of all elements on the earth: black chalk. Sure as hell looked to me like ground-up tire scraps. Morons!