Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Just throwing around some more stuff...

Quickies from saucy

saucy came up with a few quick ideas on logos for the TFT. The first one is for a shirt. On the back it shall read: "Home of the fifth Beatle...but damned if we can figure out which one of us it is" and the front shall look like this:
The other is something saucy just through together.
You could even complete the triangle and do some kind of Dark Side of the Moon thing. So Studicus saucy put up some ideas. Let's see what everyone else comes up with, and go from there.

TFT-shirts, logos, and Stalin

Last week, Krildog and The Word combined for an extremely fun "column" about potential mottos for TFT. It was sparked by an earlier post of mine in which I talked about pining for a TFT-shirt (yes, after rereading that post, I realize that "TFT t-shirt" is moronically redundant). You can't really have a t-shirt (or a hooded sweatshirt, for that matter) without a logo. And you can't have a logo, really, without a motto. And, you can't have a motto without words.

You get the point.

So, over the last few days, I've been hunched over my computer, thinking of ways to incorporate the letters "TFT" with various images and mottoes. Krildog can tell you that I'm pretty much obsessed with the whole deal right now. If you need any proof, well here it is. It's no secret that I work strange hours. Usually, I'm in bed by 1 p.m. unless my future wife doesn't have to work, in which case I'll hang out with her, and go to bed later. But on at least three occasions, I've stayed up until at least 7 p.m. working on logos, banners, and that sort of thing for TFT.

They've varied from things like "Sports. Movies. Flint." to "Where 5 of the 8 people on staff contribute on a regular basis," "Official Illianatucky blog of angst, High Life Lite, and Rockin' the Free World," "Sentence Fragments Welcome," and "Like KrilDog With the Ladies, We Hit All the Right Spots."

And I've incorporated images from all kinds of movies and TV shows, including but not limited to Anchorman, Dodgeball, Star Wars, Seinfeld, Dirty Work, G.I. Joe, and Transformers. And then I started thinking...I was being selfish. Dictatorial. This is, after all, a public forum, and every contributor of TFT should have a say.

This isn't like Russia or anything. I don't pick a single logo or picture, and then force it upon my fellow TFT contributors. I don't take political dissidents, put them in a gulag, and then throw away the key. I don't roll like that. That's Stalin's department. So what's my point here? Well, gentlemen, we need to 1) pick a motto, 2) think of a color scheme, 3) come up with some logos, and 4) consider what kind of photo "attitude" we'd like to have. Of course...if none of this appeals to you, then well, I'll sickle-and-hammer it right down your throat.

It's just something to think about. Sometime this week, I'll post some samples of what I've done so far to give you a taste of my inept photo editing/layout design skills, and to let you see the direction I'm going in.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Hoosiers Shoot, Miss Broad side of Barn

Hmmm...just how bad was IU's performance against Minnesota yesterday? Let's put it this way: I performed better in a couple of games of pool. And as Krildog can invariably tell you, I suck at pool. Yet, despite all my table-scuffing, weak-hitting, and ball-hopping shots, I still had a higher success rate than IU yesterday.

I met a couple of friends for lunch in Carmel (it was $9 beer day), and after we ate, we decided we'd watch the game on a big screen, and shoot some pool. Man, I'm sure glad we played pool instead of actually watching the game! I think I would've thrown my lunch right back up if I'd sat down and watched it in its bloody entirety. Of course, it was even more exciting on the radio during the drive home, when Don Fisher sardonically noted that a Robert Vaden three-ball "cut the lead to 19." Man...it's hard being an announcer when you're in the middle of a blowout. Franklin College provided too many of those (especially in football). The ways to describe a rout on that scale (and stay within FCC regulations) are severely limited, as I can attest to with my old color analyst Krildog.

I haven't seen that many missed shots since Stormtrooper School. I mean, really, 5 for 23 from beyond the arc? The only performance I can think of that's even comparable is the failed attempt by troopers Tweedledee and Tweedledum here who couldn't manage to blast Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker while they were trying to escape Death Star security. That was pretty futile, too. I mean...Princess Leia never misses when it counts. Those guys can't hit anything. I just can't imagine why the Empire was doomed to failure with these highly-skilled and specialized shock troops on the job. It's absolutely unfathomable.

As for IU, well, how in the world can you sink any lower than this? On the road in Big Ten play, the Hoosiers are limper than a 90-year-old man who's taken three Viagras, but still can't manage to get it up. They're flipping, they're flopping, and they're just terrible. The team quit yesterday. And I don't know why. They weren't aggressive, and they managed to play worse than they did against Iowa. That means no defense, no blocking out, and absolute incoherency in all offensive phases of the game. And Minnesota flat-out outplayed the Hoosiers. It's disgusting and embarrassing.

I hear the drums of war pounding once again. And their battle cry from Bloomington rises on a light fog of cream and crimson to a fever pitch: "Fire Mike Davis, Fire Mike Davis, Fire Mike Davis..."

And so it shall pass.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Tea Bag Anyone?

You know, I feel as if I am playing college football and trying to recruit people to this Halo 2 party. I get commitments and I get denials. I take the good and except the losses. So far this Halo "Recruiting Class" isn't as large as last "season" but it will be very competitive. The people who have "committed" are really good players which will make for challenging matches. I also may have possibly landed the BOMBSHELL in recruiting. Yes that's right, I have gotten a verbal from James DeBurger. That's right THE James DeBurger. For those of you who don't know James comes from Jeffersonville, IN and was apart of the "Original 8" that at one time played Halo CE every Sunday. So if you are reading this you should be considering the Halo 2 Party Saturday February 11th 2006!

Don't Boo the flow.

We're all stocked up on sports, movies, but music -- music is something that hardly graces the pages of TFT. I feel, with my adept new-and-underground-band-finderness© that I would alert you all to some bands on the cusp of superstardom, or at least on the cusp of moving out of their parents basement, but worth taking a look at nevertheless.

The Exit's Home For An Island is a blend of rock-sounds from the 80s, 90s, with a mix of the new, and grooves along from track to track. You'll notice a Police influence in the first song Don't Push, which sets the tone for the majority of the album as the song builds and builds until it gives way to a melodic bridge. At times you'll catch yourself wondering who they sound like -- 311? Incubus? The Clash? U2? The Police? You'd be right on every instance, but with a blend of the new style emo-punk vocals -- not the whiney variety, but almost Rushian -- you'd be hard pressed to consider this band anything other than on the verge of breaking out. Solid album; the next will be chart topping.

The Mouse and the Mask is hip-hop in the old fray. What does this mean exactly? Think A Tribe Call Quest, Slick Rick, De La Soul, Digital Underground and then you'll have an idea. I say that and then you sit back and say, "but The Word, those bands all sound somewhat different." Not in flow, not in content, not in the basics they don't. And while neither Danger or Doom could really be considered underground in the true sense, this album is something to look at. MF Doom's lyrics and execution is worthy and envokes that early 90s pre-gangsta-rap era of clever lines and almost freestyle delivery. Add to that DJ Danger Mouse's (The Grey Album) clever beats, which you can't say enough about, and a few guest appearances and this album -- regardless of it's Adult Swim influence that some may call hokey -- is legitimate in any circle of hip-hop and deserves a look.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Saucy and The Word's Wife, Mañana

The moment has finally arrived for saucy and the word's wife to have a date. Oh yes, Scarlett Johannsen for those of you uneducated in the fact that The Word is married, Match Point has finally made its way to Louisville. I have waited for many months for this film, and now the time has come. Beyond that, the boat show is coming up so saucy may have to take a short sabbatical from the TFT writing. Although, before the "not so maternity" leave that is upcoming for saucy arrives, he promises to provide a short and wonderful review of the much anticipated Match Point by Woody Allen. Until then, enjoy this great picture of Johannsen from Lost in Translation.

A "Warrier" Becomes a King

The Pacers finally did it. They cut off the head of the best crazy swingman on the planet. Bye-bye, Ron Artest. May your Tru Warrier self find peace and self-acceptance on the West Coast.

I know I've been hard on Artest, and rightfully so. But really, and hindsight is 20/20, but I don't think there's any doubt the Pacers shoulder some of the blame. The guy is a loose cannon. But playing "on the edge" is also what makes him a terrific player. I guess that's why Ron Artest is the ultimate Catch-22. He can score inside, outside, or off the dribble. And he's the best lockdown defender in the game. I can totally understand why the Pacers had a hard time parting ways with those kinds of All Star-caliber skills. As Krildog and I were discussing during Sportscenter last night, he's about the only lockdown defender who's also capable of being his team's greatest offensive threat. And with his speed, size, and strength, it's a very attractive package if you're an NBA personnel guy.

Ah...but then again, there's that rap sheet that runs all the way from Indianapolis to Sacramento, ironically enough. It's strange when you've followed Artest, and you know all the crap he's pulled throughout his career. But the number of incidents he's been involved in over the years is staggering. While watching ESPN, they flipped through three fullscreen graphics about the Chronicles of Ronnia. I wasn't shocked, but I looked at Krildog, and we were both amazed at the amount of time it took for Dan Patrick to run down Artest's various troubles over the years.

There are certain things we all remember, oh, I don't know, like the time we heard the famous phrase, "Artest is in the stands!" And I remembered every single incident involving him. Thus, I began to wonder once again, why did I support this guy? Why didn't I want him sent on the next plane to Morocco, and stranded there forever? Why couldn't I come to terms with the fact he ruined Reggie Miller's last year in the Blue and Gold? Why did I really think that Ron Artest's league-imposed punishment would actually make him snap into reality, and come out a changed man?

There are two reasons for this: 1) this is what would happen with a sane person, and Ron Artest is anything but sane; 2) despite the played-up cynicism that permeates most of my writings, I truly believe people can change. I'm working on changing the latter opinion stated there after this whole thing.

So, now the Pacers get to look ahead for once, instead of having to look behind with the towering and possibly mentally unbalanced spectre of Ron Artest rapping over their shoulder. They can forget about all the wackiness that came along with him, from the Tru Warrier logo haircut, to the camera destruction, the fighting, and his alter-ego DJ Mixmaster Ron. Of course, it will all come rushing back real quick-like on March 17, 2006, when Sacramento visits Conseco Fieldhouse.

And let's all be prepared for the obligatory stories that will follow in the coming months on Sportscenter. Since I'm an astute observer of the media (and a worker bee in the industry), I'm going to give you a little preview of the types of "exclusive" video stories you'll be seeing on Sportscenter. In the next few weeks, you'll watch as Ron Artest:
  • prepares to arrive in Sacramento
  • arrives in Sacramento
  • answers questions in his first press conference with Sacramento
  • prepares for his first practice with Sacramento
  • participates in his his first practice with Sacramento
  • reacts to his first practice with Sacramento
  • gets ready for his first game action with Sacramento
  • plays his first game with Sacramento
  • talks about his first game back with Sacramento
  • gets ready for his first road game with Sacramento
  • plays his first road game in Sacramento
  • cuts his first Tru Warrier track with Sacramento
  • delivers his first flagrant foul with Sacramento
  • gets fined for his first flagrant foul with Sacramento
  • reacts to being fined for his first flagrant foul with Sacramento
  • breaks his first TV camera with Sacramento
  • prepares for his first game in Indiana since being traded to Sacramento
You get the point (actually, you probably got the point about seven or eight lines ago). I'm just trying to prepare you all for what's ahead, because ESPN loves Ron Artest. Or, at least, ESPN loves to talk about Ron Artest.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Scaling Back about 5%

Krildog and The Word: Well played. I honor you this day. The only thing I could think of off the top of my head this morning was "Flint tested, Krildog approved."

My personal favorites? Hmmmm..."Now 20% More Studicus -- not that we asked for it," "Where 5 of the 8 people on staff contribute on a regular basis" (oh, oh, how true), "official Illianatucky blog of angst, High Life Lite, and Rockin' the Free World," "Like KrilDog With the Ladies, We Hit All the Right Spots," and "Sentence Fragments Welcome."

I think you're onto something there. Truly excellent work.

I'll keep things brief today, and avoid any endorsement deals or long rants. But I would like to briefly address the Ron Artest Phenomenon. Stryder had it absolutely right yesterday: Ron Ron is Crazy Crazy (Pizza! Pizza!). I mean, c'mon, you've already single-handedly ruined two consecutive seasons for the Pacers (that's an NBA record!), and now, you're going to prolong the misery?

I suppose it serves the Pacers right. I begrudgingly admit, that all these long years, Bob Kravitz was right: Ron Artest is a menace. I read Kravitz's columns, dismissed them as "Oh, he's on Artest again," and then stored them in the place in my brain where questionable pieces of Anti-My Favorite NBA Team propaganda reside. And with that admission, I seal my ticket to afterlife in the "bad place." I'll hope you'll all join me for dinner. Here's the itinery: First, we eat the pig, and then together we burn. BURN!!!

If you're a Pacers fan, there's only one thing to do. And that's to kill that rat bastard. Use your Jack Warden hands, and strangle him. Make him suffer as he has made us all suffer, all the way from the destroyed cameras, to the Friday Night Fight, to this latest unspeakable, unfathomable act. The fans stuck by him, the organization stuck by him, and now, he's sticking it to them. Artest's latest act makes him even more difficult to trade. But the Terrell Owens/Lawrence Phillips/Maurice Clarrett Postulate applies here: when you're talented, there's a schmuck somewhere willing to give you a chance.

Brought to you by The Word and KrilDog

After talking with KrilDog about our beloved TFT and possibilities of what the logo could be from the idea that Studicus came up with, I had a break-through: Slogans. After a brief rundown of the days events, to keep up with our friendship duties, KrilDog and I began the journey and came up with a list of slogans which may or may not be on display someday soon here at the good ol' The Flying Trapeezius. So without further a do...

The Flying Trapeezius: "Beating the Clap since 2002"
The Flying Trapeezius: "Better than Peanut Butter and Jelly -- on Natalie Portman's Naked Ass"
The Flying Trapeezius: "Like KrilDog as Mr. T, but with a lot more pitying the foo!"
The Flying Trapeezius: "Now 20% More Studicus -- not that we asked for it"
The Flying Trapeezius: "All the Benefits of ESPN Without the Idiotic Analysts"
The Flying Trapeezius: "We Find Ourselves Amusing"
The Flying Trapeezius: "Like Robots in Disguise, but Without the Homoerotic Undertones"
The Flying Trapeezius: "HOOOOO!" [ed note: thundercats reference]
The Flying Trapeezius: Home of the Down Payment Blues
The Flying Trapeezius: "Collectively Waiting for the Road to Forty-One"
The Flying Trapeezius: Read it or Studicus will punch you in the fucking face
The Flying Trapeezius: "We Take a Bite Out of Crime"
The Flying Trapeezius: KrilDog says we're number 1 by using his middle finger
The Flying Trapeezius: Where 5 of the 8 people on staff contribute on a regular basis
The Flying Trapeezius: Because who the hell is Mel Kiper, Jr. anyways?
The Flying Trapeezius: What Bill Simmons would be like if he removed his head from Boston's collective ass
The Flying Trapeezius: Home of the fifth Beatle...but damned if we can figure out which one of us it is
The Flying Trapeezius: Because we all decided that solitaire wasn't cutting it in terms of slacking off at work
The Flying Trapeezius: why the fuck not?
The Flying Trapeezius: The Only Place The Word has Friends
The Flying Trapeezius: official Illianatucky blog of angst, High Life Lite, and Rockin' the Free World
The Flying Trapeezius: it was either build this or find God, and God don't surf the internet
The Flying Trapeezius: now with flavor crystals
The Flying Trapeezius: firmly entrenched in Eastern Standard Time
The Flying Trapeezius: "Unlike Some Cities, Our Bars Stay Open 'Til 4 AM"
The Flying Trapeezius: allowing krildog and studicus to ignore everything they learned about journalism in college since Sept 2005
The Flying Trapeezius: more cursing than scarface, casino and raging bull combined
The Flying Trapeezius: home of the 6.99 prime rib special
The Flying Trapeezius: You only wish you were cool enough to work here
The Flying Trapeezius: Fueled by a 30 pack of 'Stones
The Flying Trapeezius: Why can't I quit you?
The Flying Trapeezius: Sentence Fragments Welcome
The Flying Trapeezius: Like KrilDog With the Ladies, We Hit All the Right Spots
The Flying Trapeezius: More Seinfeld References than in Jason Alexander's Eulogy
The Flying Trapeezius: We Write Our Opinions so You Don't Have to
The Flying Trapeezius: Because Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
The Flying Trapeezius: It's True, We All Hate Flint From GI Joe.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Artest: Crazy is as Crazy Does

The saga continues...

Well, it looks like Artest is up to it again. I left the lab today happy, especially since I had heard that the Pacers and Kings had agreed to a deal, i.e. swapping Peja for Ron Ron. I get home and what do I hear? A thunderous crash. Artest supposedly doesn't want to go to Sac-town. Therefore, the Kings nixed the trade. I'm still pissed.

I'm not sure who to believe. Donnie Walsh has released a statement saying that there is no deal. I believe Ron's agent released a statement saying Ron would report to Sac-town, but doesn't want to go there.

I just heard on NBA Coast to Coast on ESPN: "The Ocho" that the Pacers org. want to here it straight from Ron and have ordered him to Conseco tomorrow for a meeting. I believe they said if he doesn't go or doesn't want to go, they are considering suspending him for the rest of the season without pay. I hope so. The Pacers org. has to hold Artest's balls in a vice over this stunt.

I used to be an Artest fan. I love his game. He's a tremendous player. But, he is a moron. As I have said before, he is a ten million dollar talent with a one cent head. And that fact is something I cannot respect.

He has screwed up two seasons for the Pacers and he doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. If his trade value was nil before this nixed trade, then his trade value is in negative territory now.

I want him gone NOW. If there is a Hell, I want him banished there for all eternity. If there was a way to ban him from the game of basketball, I wish they would do it. It is time that the Association cuts ties with The Crazy One.

'F' you Ron Artest. 'F' you and the f'ing horse on which you rode.

And the drum beats on...

Flint Forever

Okay, I apologize for the advertisement earlier, but I really thought it was a good deal. I was just trying to pass the savings onto my fellow readers and contributors. I asked a trusted adviser, and he said it was a very good deal. An excellent deal. A tactically sound maneuver. And no one argues with Flint. You see, people who argue with Flint disappear. It's just one of those things that happens. I'm telling you, you put Flint toe-to-toe with Chuck Norris, I think the world would explode. That's the kind of power Flint possesses. He's more than just a chief warrant officer, or, as some have speculated, a second-rate Duke. He's a legend. He's in touch with his feelings, but he can destroy you with one mighty stare from underneath his combat beret.

The power of Flint can be overwhelming. Once, long ago in the far away and enchanted land of Franklin College, Krildog challenged the legitimacy of Flint. His words made me cold to my very core. And I will never forget how he dismissed the legendary Dashiell R. Faireborne as a pale imitation of Conrad S. Hauser, who you probably know better as Duke.

I suppose the comparison has some merit. Flint was a later addition to the G.I. Joe team, compared to Duke. And it's probably true that his figure had better accessories, considering Duke had a helmet, a submachine gun, binoculars, and a backpack. Flint, the mightiest of all G.I. Joe warriors, came with only a shotgun and a backpack. So, in the weapons department, I suppose Duke wins.

In the girl department? Well, Duke was constantly getting involved with that smokin' hot redhead, Scarlett. Flint, meanwhile, was usually put in situations where he was supposed to be with Lady Jaye. Sure, "lady" is in her name, but we're not really sure which side of the plate she was slinging those javelins from. And that's what makes Flint so cool, as you can see from this Brokeback Mountain-esque shot from G.I. Joe and the Revenge of Cobra. Flint's an equal opportunity exploiter. I can already hear Gung-Ho grumble, "Why can't I quit you, sir!"

On the battlefield, there's no one you want to be with more than Flint. He's a highly capable field commander who has the uncanny ability to rally his men in times of crisis. And, since Duke was kidnapped every other episode, well, Flint was left in charge. A lot. And, oh how he led the Joes to victory. And Duke grabbed the glory every time, even when he was in a coma for four episodes of a five-episode miniseries arc. But Flint was always the one who held the team together. As you can imagine, that only inspires jealously in me.

Now, back to real life, Krildog once made the assertion that Flint was no more than a second-rate Duke. And one magical night in Franklin, Krildog almost became no more. Because insulting a man like Flint is an abomination, and it upsets the natural balance, something one should never do willingly. And that's why I threatened to punch him in the fucking face.

Yes, the writer here on TFT who swears only when high-spirited, threatened to punch Krildog in the fucking face if he ever defamed Flint again. And I towered over Krildog's dorm room bed, hands clenched in fists of rage, ready for him to commit the heresy once more, daring him to insult The Bereted One, tempt fate, and face the ultimate justice. Not to get too metaphysical, but I believe, in that very moment, the spirit of Flint and I became one, determined to defend his honor. And since Flint is a merciful soldier when it comes to converted True Believers, Krildog and his face were spared that day. Because he was trembling, cowering in fear beneath the mighty but benevolent visage of Flint incarnate.

And now, Krildog speaks of G.I. Joe's chief warrant officer only in glowing terms, and knows that the true measure of a man is how he stacks up to The Bereted One.

And never again will he doubt the all-knowing, compassionate, and downright bone-chilling power of Flint.

And neither should you.

TV Box Set Madness!

I'll have something of more significant content later today.

But Best Buy has a pretty good deal going if you're in need of the Seinfeld box sets (or if you're a Stargate or Rescue Me fan). It's buy one, get one free time on select TV box sets. I realize this is basically a Best Buy advertisement, but I know I'll be catching up and getting the two Seinfeld sets I missed (the Season 1 & 2 combo set, and Season 4).

And c'mon...you know you need to get your Dawson's Creek sets ASAP!

I did a little research, and found that many of the discount retailers are offering (this only applies to the Seinfeld sets) the newest ones for lower prices than Best Buy. Target, for example, is offering season six for $28.96 on its online site. Best Buy is "offering" the same set for the "bargain price" of $39.99. So, if you just need one set, pick it up from Target. However, and I know this is repetitive, but if you need multiple sets, you can't go wrong with the Best Buy deal.

For example, I need the Season 1 & 2 set. It's listed at $32.47 at Target ($39.99 at Best Buy). I also need the Season 4 set, which is $32.48 at Target ($41.99 at Best Buy). Buying them both at Target will cost a total of $64.95 (before taxes, and any shipping charges). Buying them together at Best Buy will cost $41.99 (before taxes, and any shipping charges), because I get the cheaper set free. That means I'll be getting each set for about $20.99 each (once again, before taxes, and any shipping charges).

I'll be taking advantage of the deal later today. I just thought other TFT readers may be interested.

And here's a disclaimer: The Flying Trapeezius, its authors, and contributors are in no way affiliated with Best Buy, its subsidiaries, or online sites. If Best Buy were to take legal action regarding this post, it would be incredibly stupid on its part because, in effect, TFT is giving Best Buy, its subsidiaries, and online sites free publicity.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Evolution's not noise pollution

Kudos Len Wiseman, you make a great film and have a hot wife. Underworld: Evolution was an outstanding film that the critics bashed as much as the first Underworld. As always, I will try to keep the review as vague as possible for those unfortunate souls that have not witnessed this gift from the underworld. Kate did a fantastic job with her role, as usual. She looked good as well (not quite as good as in the Aviator, but with more sexuality). For you Kate Beckinsale fans out there, she does not get nude in this flick, but Len does let his wife perform a sex scene with Michael (Scott Speedman) which was the only bad part of the movie. The scene felt like it was thrown in just to show a little Katie bear skin. A little tid bit from Saucy, Kate does get nude in the 1994 mystery Uncovered shortly after her break out role in Much Ado About Nothing. The film tells the history of both vampire and lycan with a nice little plot twist dealing with Selene. Wiseman does a fine job of keeping characters a mystery until he wants you to know their importance. The acting was terrific throughout, but in an action film the most important thing is well the action which is even better than the first film. The fight scene at the end, which has a nice little Indiana Jones moment, is worth the $8.50 for admission alone. After adding the great storyline, Kate in tight black leather, and a better understanding of the vampire/lycan war Saucy must give Underworld: Evolution an 8.5 on the Saucy Scale of High Quality Films. This is definitely a must see. So since there is no football this weekend, there is no excuse for not giving yourself the pleasure of this film.

The Lando System, Underworld, and a Delicious Ford

I've been hearing the whispers for about a week now. Has Peyton Manning turned Lando Calrissian on his teammates, specifically, his offensive line?

You heard his postgame comments. Were they frustration for another season down the toilet, or were they a specific attempt to deflect blame from the most important player on the Colts roster, perhaps the most visible player in the team's history?

Anyone who reads this knows I'm probably one of the biggest Peyton Manning fans in the world. I love the guy, and am absolutely amazed by what he's able to accomplish on the field. But it's time for him to answer his own critics a little bit, and do a little self-examination.

He has too much power for one player on a team. He has more power than any NFL quarterback in the history of the game. And if the offensive line didn't know its protection calls, if it broke down, it's on Peyton's shoulders because he's the one who's directing the symphony of chaos out there. Or, heaven forbid, maybe Peyton made the wrong protection call.

In addition, once the Colts got down 14-0, he decided it was time to air it out for the rest of the game. It was still the first quarter, and the Colts had already given up on the run. That's why Edgerrin James will probably be happy to leave Indianapolis; because his quarterback effectively removed him from the game. It's easy to blitz all day when you know the Colts aren't going to do anything but pass the ball.

So, how does Peyton make amends? I mean, it's not like he can go rescue the offensive line from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. But he can go back, and explain himself to his teammates. And I'm sure "protection problems" can mean a lot of things here, from communication on Peyton's end, to reads, to line calls, to communication among the linemen and even the running backs. We'll just have to see if it gets resolved.

Well, the Super Bowl is set. I'm honestly not sure if I'll be watching this year. Yeah, as you've probably guessed by now, the recovery from the Colts game is still ongoing. I didn't even watch yesterday's games. It looks like they were pretty lopsided, anyway.

Now, I want to make it clear here. I'm not a sore loser (okay, okay, a totally sore loser). The Colts' loss just sucked the air out of me, and I don't really care about the remaining teams. I don't even know who I'd root for, to be honest. Not a single final four team was really all that appealing to me.

And, heck, once the Bears got bounced, too, it was just like, "Why even care?"

So, instead of watching one iota of real football this weekend, I watched The Replacements and Remember the Titans with my fiancee. After that, I went to see The New World. And let me tell you, it was a miserable experience.

Actually, I need to backtrack a little bit here.

Friday, I checked out the place where I'm having the wedding reception (wedding date is now set for October 7th, if I haven't mentioned it before). It's very nice. Well, after that, I went to go see Underworld: Evolution.

I really enjoyed the first Underworld movie. This one, was, well, it was good (the opening was awesome), but I was a little surprised by the sheer amount of blood splashed here. Now, I'm not one of those anti-violence in movies people, but I was a little taken aback. Sure, the first one had some violence, some blood. But this one treated it as if the director bought buckets and buckets of red paint, and wanted to make sure he splashed all of it across his movie canvas. The problem with that is that, personally, I thought it detracted significantly from the final fight at the end, which had copious amounts of blood as well.

It's like Mortal Kombat. It's a terrific game, but when every punch and kick lets out a burst of crimson (or black if you're playing as a character like Cyrax), it's really not that big of a deal when someone gets their spine ripped out. I mean, did you see Khan putting one of those disgusting little creatures in everyone's ears? I didn't think so. So, for me, the head-ripping, the bleeding, the pain...it just all kind of fell flat at the end (even the helicopter thing) for me, because I had seen so much of it throughout the entire movie.

Other than that admittedly mild gripe, I'd say I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I just wish the filmmakers would've shown just a little more restraint. The final fight would've been better, in my opinion.

Now, Saturday I watched a lot of high-quality college basketball games. See my previous post about Count Dukie for more on that.

So, on Sunday, my fiancee and I decided we'd go see The New World. And, I was expecting an epic movie. Instead, we were "treated" to more than two hours of meditation about John Smith and Pocahontas. And, when John Smith is played by scuzzy Colin Farrell, it's just not much fun. Christian Bale's all-too late appearance wasn't even enough to save the movie.

On top of that, Christopher Plummer's best line from the trailer didn't even appear in the movie: "Let not America go wrong in her first hour." I was so looking forward to hearing him say that.

In light of the Maximum Suckocity of The New World, I'll have to significantly upgrade the score for Underworld: Evolution. The two movies don't even compare.

On an unrelated note, former president Gerald Ford is ailing right now in a California hospital. Not to make light of it, okay, I am making light of it, but I can't help but think of the great SNL sketch involving Dana Carvey as Tom Brokaw. In that skit, Brokaw was pre-taping news stories because he was going on summer vacation. And one of the stories was that Gerald Ford had died.

"Tragedy today, as former President Gerald Ford was eaten by wolves. He was delicious."

Of course, he won't be eaten by wolves, or chopped into bits by the propellers of a commuter plane. And we do sincerely wish him the best.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Down goes Count Dukie!

Well, it's been an amazing day of college bball so far. Pittsburgh goes down, and then Duke follows that up with a loss to Georgetown. And, now, Florida goes down! There are no more undefeated teams in college basketball!

Of course, it wasn't easy for G'Town to finish off Count Dukie. No, not at all. While the first half was a rout, the second half was anything but. And the Hoyas really struggled to finish off the Blue Devils. It played out kind of like a scene from Revenge of the Sith. You see, the Hoyas had Count Dukie on his knees, and were ready to finish the job. But the Hoyas hesitated, apparently wanting to make it interesting. J.J. Redick kept his team in the game with his 41 points. And really, Count Dukie had a chance to even tie it up at the end.

It was really an amazing basketball game, a fact I think anyone would attest to. After being outscored 42-28 in the first half, the Blue Devils turned the tables in round two, putting up 56 points to Georgetown's 45. If you're doing the math here, you'll realize that the Hoyas managed to win the game by just three points. They missed too many free throws at the end, and turned the ball over a few times, sure signs of a team that's not used to being up on top of a #1 ranked squad.

With about 4:00 remaining, the Blue Devils closed what had at one point been a 16-point deficit just two points. Yet, through some timely shooting and fortuitous breaks, the Hoyas managed to keep the lead. And Georgetown also made some big plays, blocking Redick once or twice, and stripping him of the ball at some timely moments.

Still, Duke had its opportunities. Despite the lackluster first half effort, the Blue Devils had a chance to tie it at the end. But a swarming Georgetown defense forced a turnover at the end, and the nation let out a collective sigh because Redick never got a chance to touch the ball on that final possession.

If he had, the game probably would've gone into overtime. But, instead, the Hoyas, in need of a major stop with time running out, heard someone say, "Do it!" And thusly, the head of Count Dukie was separated from his body, and rolled toward infinity, the mere possibility of 18-0 gone once and for all, thanks to the clean cutting of twin lightsabers.

Congratulations, Georgetown. Hey, and while I'm at it, congratulations to St. John's, too, for bringing down undefeated Pitt, and to Tennessee for finishing off Florida. What a day in college bball, even if IU did kind of just toy with Purdue until late in the game!

Friday, January 20, 2006

A couple of Georges with a Woody

I have finally followed George Lucas into the realm of digital excellence. Yes, I purchased an HDTV. After I got the HD antenna to work, I watched some of the Late Show in HD before putting in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I have to say that even after the hundreds of times I've seen ROTS I have never seen it like this. First, the midnight showing. Then, the bootleg my customer gave me a copy of (Kelly's mom did a wonderful job copying them for us, thanks Debbie). Now, HDTV ROTS the way George wanted us to see it. Wow! I can't wait to watch my first ball game in HD.

Now that I have my tv, I intend to sit in my underwear all day surrounding myself in the pinnacle of light and sound that I just acquired. So while I do this, you can imagine this picture of me (well not me, but pretty damn close). Enjoy.

Tonight is Underworld: Evolution. Look forward to a review upcoming. The Saucy Scale of High Quality Films has been on vacation throughout the last few weeks due to the playoffs. We are now back in business fully so keep an eye out. Bad news TFT faithful, Match Point is not playing in the Louisville area. In fact, the closest place is Chicago. So Krildog, I may need to go visit your sister and watch this movie. If you don't mind, then help a brother out. If not, then I guess Woody Allen won't get my money until the DVD. Sorry Woody. I guess that's it for me.

A Wordy Comment

What a stint Studicus. 5 posts in a row with nary a hitch in content -- you are applauded good sir.

I am intrigued by his idea for a possible logo for this esteemed blog, and I have been working dilligently on a few ideas. Some professionally sound and some fun along the lines of a Kontraband.

As far as Vandy McVanderson goes on Letterman last night, you could clearly see the look on the mans face and how he's completely agonizing over it while Indiana's favorite son was interviewing him. Of course he said that he wasn't taking it too hard because the Steelers played well and what-have-you, but he had the eyes of a man completely distraught. And I disagree with Studicus, I suspect he was completely nervous about the kick on 53rd Street. Think of the ridicule that would have been placed on top of what he's already getting in Indianapolis, let alone the national scope, if he'd missed it. Vanderjagt realized it, but still wobbled a kick just the the right of the left upright. "You're only as good as your last kick" Mike said talking about missing the 46-yarder in the RCA DOME, let's hope that the made attempt last night gave him some dignity back, even though 53rd Street was sans 50,000 fans and 11 300-pounders in a full rush.

Taking Over the World, One Walken DVD at a Time

I had a Khan-like revelation yesterday as I was using Krildog's computer to make more than 80 screen captures from some of my favorite movies. Look at Khan's reaction when he realizes the Enterprise managed to bring down the shields on the Reliant. I had a similar reaction yesterday, when I thought of how cool it would be to have TFT t-shirts (or hooded fleeces!). Would that not be phenomenal? What could be more geeked out than that? You know, despite like a flagship sponsorship at a major sports arena. Could you imagine it? "Indiana Stadium Presented by The Flying Trapeezius." Now that would be something else.

But of course, before TFT takes over the world, well, I guess it should be incumbent upon the members of this forum to come up with a logo. But what kind of a logo would that be? Would it just be a bold arrangement of the letters T, F, and T? Those letters combined with some kind of snappy motto? A picture of Krildog dressed like Mr. T giving everyone the one-fingered salute? The possibilities are endless. And priceless, from a comedic standpoint. I'll try to work on something over the next few days. Any interested parties...well...have at it!

Just think...your very own TFT t-shirt that would mean nothing to anyone else, but absolutely everything to you. That would be a very proud moment, wouldn't it?

Speaking of proud, kudos to Stryder. He took me up on my 30-day, money back guarantee on the SNL Best of Christopher Walken DVD. And the results? He loved it! I consider my whole life a success now. I've convinced one person to check that particular DVD, and can now officially consider my life an accomplished one. Now, at least one more reader can amuse himself or herself with this drivel, and think, Wow, I know what he's talking about when I write things like, "That's what happens when you're on a cocaine high!" or "I want to prank them for hours in my basement."

Pure gold, Jerry. Pure gold.

I'm really starting to wonder if there's any real reason to watch football this weekend. I'm free Sunday, for the first time since the Colts' open date in October. Even then, I went to go see the Bengals. That was, of course, pretty enjoyable. Sure, I may watch the games this weekend, if just to hope I can reach out with my Force powers and send hundreds of thousands of volts of Sith electricity coursing through Troy Polamalu. Of course, from the dude's hair, you'd never know he was just hit with jolts of lightning. And, heck, he's tougher than Chuck Norris, so he probably wouldn't feel a darn thing anyway. I really shouldn't blame Polamalu, heck, he was Carson Palmer's teammate at USC, but he's on my Tedy Bruschi list. I don't like him, but doggone it, I do respect him. And, yes it was an interception after all.

It's still tough to handle the loss. Just when I thought I was over it, I saw Mike Vanderjagt's appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. He was having a good ol' time talking about the field goal that he blew. Of course, with no pressure on, he hit a 46-yarder on 53rd Street in New York. I shouldn't be so hard on Vandy, after all, despite his liquored-up kicker persona, he remains one of my favorite Colts. And it wasn't like he was bragging about killing the Colts season. He had a decent time with Letterman, but he was pretty subdued. He knows he should've made that kick, and really, he shouldn't have been in that situation in the first place. The Colts should've gone for the first down on second and two, and third and two instead of taking shots downfield. Remember, they still had two timeouts at that point.

But, really, why talk about this anymore? It's over. My sports talk blackout has ended, and I've been able to learn how to love again. The Colts have got to learn something from this. And I hope they understand that things could've been different if they'd done a million different things, many of them related to running the ball. And I'm done talking about this for now, because it's too painful for me and thousands of other Colts fans.

But, let me make it clear, I don't care who goes to the Super Bowl. Whoever wins, wins. Congratulations, here's your trophy.

Speaking of learning to love again, I've got some wedding stuff to take care of this today. That's right, I'm still engaged. The wedding is set for October 7th. I've been kind of giving my fiancee the Bill Lumbergh treatment lately. I've been hounding her about small but important things. "You contacted the church, right? Greeeeeeeeeat. Say, I'm going to need you to call the people at the reception hall and get the menu for the lunch buffet. Could you do that for me? That would be terrific."

"Have you looked over the invitations yet? Because if you could sort of go ahead and do that, it would really help a lot."

I'm sure I'm annoying her to death.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Four days in a row

Don't look now, but I'm hitting my fourth straight day with an entry. What can I say? I enjoy writing. And I hope you enjoy reading it. I know Christopher Walken would've given the thumbs up to my last column about his tremendous career. I actually had a friend who was a little upset that I forgot to mention that Walken was also in the Weapon of Choice video, where he showed off his legendary dancing skills.

So...I'm making amends.

Anyone remember that Weapon of Choice video, where Christopher Walken showed off his legendary dancing skills?

There, I mentioned it.

My greatest fear: being pranked to death with a tire iron. Once again, if you haven't seen the SNL Best of Christopher Walken, rent or buy it today. Not only will it be the most enjoyable "approximately one hour" of your life, you'll finally get most of my references to that masterwork. Krildog is now a better person for having seen it. And so is Buckeye McGuinness.

Also, I mentioned Alan Tudyk in my entry yesterday. You probably know him better as Steve the Pirate from Dodgeball. I had stated that, in my opinion, he hadn't really done anything of note. I mentioned he was in I, Robot, and said I didn't remember seeing him in the movie. Ah...but there was something familiar about his voice. And that's because, as a friend of mine pointed out, he was the voice of the Sonny the robot. So, he had a rather significant role in the flick, even though he wasn't on camera. I guess it just goes to show that you don't have to actually be on camera to have a significant role as a performer in a movie. Further proof? Well, Tudyk did the motion capture work for the robot as well, meaning most of that performance was him.

So, I guess I should be a little less hasty next time in passing judgment. But, of course, he'll still always be Steve the Pirate to me. For example, let's say they cast Alan Tudyk as a distinguished historical figure in a heavyweight dramatic role (like, say, Andrew Johnson in my dream movie project, Impeached: The Man who Replaced Lincoln or Andrew Johnson: Boy Blunder). It wouldn't matter what was happening during the movie, I'd be sitting in the theater thinking, "It's Steve the Pirate!" Some people may say that's a bad thing, but I say, hey, instant recognizability is good for a career, right?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"Walken" with the Hoosiers and Steve the Pirate

Indiana, Our Indiana! The Hoosiers came through with a big win against mighty and feared Illinois. I'd like to say I watched the whole game, but the truth is, I fell asleep and missed the start, and then fell asleep again before waking up in the last five minutes of the game (Krildog can kind of attest to this). From what I understand, the Hoosiers got down big, then led big, then had a nail-biter of an ending. Of course, I did see the end, so I know how that all played out. But wow...even without DJ White, they beat an elite team. Of course, they did it within the safe confines of Assembly Hall (we saw what happened at the Breslin Center last week). But still...I didn't think they'd be able to take down the Illini. Bravo, boys! Bravo!

So why did I miss one of the most important games so far in IU's season?

Well, you see, I went to see my fiancee, and didn't get home until 2 p.m. Now, I work a weird shift (2 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday-Friday), so that's pretty late for me. I just knew I wouldn't be able to get up for the game if I went to bed then. So, I rented a couple of movies, and grabbed a notebook (I have a tremendous idea for TFT that I'm holding off on right now, and I wanted to make sure I "captured" it before I forgot all about it). Of course, the irony here is that, by the time the game started, I couldn't keep my eyes open, and moved from the living room into my bedroom, where I promptly missed 85% of the game. Oh well, at least I saw the good part, right?

And the movies I rented? (all of us at TFT applaud you if you're still reading this drivel) Well, I got Mr. and Mrs. Smith (which I didn't watch), Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two (which I did watch with the commentary), and Serenity (ditto, minus the commentary). I had seen the second season of Clone Wars, and found it pretty interesting. The guys on the commentary were complete Star Wars geeks, and let me tell you, that's a good thing.

As for Serenity, well, I never watched Firefly when it was on, so maybe I didn't have a deep connection to the characters. It was all right; one of those movies you know you're trying so hard to like, that maybe you didn't enjoy it as much as you could have. The best part? Seeing Steve the Pirate pilot a starship. Now that's cool!

I feel sorry for that guy...I mean...he did a nice job in Serenity. But the whole time I'm watching that movie, all I can think of is "Yarr, I be the dread pirate Steve!" and "Steve's got to go drain the sea monster!" and "There's a guy on our team dressed like a pirate?"

Of course a quick survey of the essential Internet Movie Database (that's what IMDB stands for, in case you didn't know) shows that the actor, Alan Tudyk, hasn't really done anything of note. He was in I, Robot, though I don't remember his role. And he did one of the voices in Ice Age. Just thought that was interesting. Then again, maybe it's not. And those of us at TFT continue to applaud you if you've read this far down. Apparently I've set today's ship to Maximum Suckocity, and I have to apologize for that.

So, then, really, the only way to pump up the volume on this particular entry is to start talking about Christopher Walken. Now, I've gotta tell ya, I don't know if you'll find a more versatile actor in all of Hollywood. And, of course, by versatile, I mean this guy will do anything.

Don't believe me? Well, a quick scan of IMBD shows that Mr. Walken has been part of approximately 100 or so projects. Among those projects are several noteworthy performances, such as his Oscar-winning turn in 1979's The Deer Hunter. I've heard it's a fantastic movie, even though it pretty much put me to sleep (I'm sure that's a shocker). He was also in 2003's Catch Me If You Can, and I think he should've won the Oscar that year (Chris Cooper won if for Adaptation); he was terrific in that movie.

Yet, along with those Oscar-worthy performances, Walken ends up in things like Joe Dirt, Blast from the Past, The Prophecy (and its two sequels), The Country Bears, and Wayne's World 2. Not that there's anything wrong with those movies, but here you've got this Oscar-winner, and he'll do anything. It's awesome.

Not even videogames are outside the scope and reach of this incredibly talented/possibly mentally unbalanced man. Recently, he's lent his voice to True Crime: New York (a performance I've read was pretty much phoned in). And he's been in the videogame voice acting game since at least 1996, which I'd say is pretty early. The man's a visionary. And there's no stopping him!

He doesn't let appearances in Gigli and Kangaroo Jack stand in the way of his eccentric genius. Because, after all, whenever anyone questions him, he can reach into his breast pocket, pull out a cigarette, pour some fine champagna and show off his 1979 Oscar.

I mean, this is the same guy who was in A View to a Kill! The Dead Zone! But he's also in things like Batman Returns and The Rundown with the Rock and Seann William Scott. I'm not sure if this means he's the hardest working man in showbusiness, or a complete lunatic like the Captain Tyus in an SNL sketch that's become an absolute classic in my little corner of the world.

But nevertheless, here's to you, Christopher Walken, and may you inexplicably pop up in every movie trailer I see for the rest of my life for as long as you draw breath!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Recovery, Day Two

See, even Darth Vader bows his head in reverence to the unceremonious ending to the Colts' season.

Why use a picture of the Dark Lord of the Sith? Could it be some big case of symbolism? An analogy that the playoffs are to the Colts like Vader is to Jedi (a.k.a. "Instant Death")? Or could it be that I've recently begun playing with the post-a-picture feature to break up the long blocks of text and inevitable random way I like to make letters bold?

Perhaps, dear friends, it's just a little bit of both. Those of you who know me, know that I'm almost as passionate about Star Wars as I am about sports. While I write mostly about sports here on TFT, Star Wars is near and dear to my heart. If you dispute that, well, then, I suppose you're entitled to your opinion. Even when previously stated opinion would be utterly and ignorantly wrong.

Krildog can tell you. I've been to two Star Wars conventions, I display action figures. I even read the darn books. During my last trip to Waldenbooks, I couldn't help but take advantage of their "buy three paperbacks, get one free" deal. I bought all Star Wars books. Now, the mere quality of buying merchandise is not the true measure of a fan. In fact, someone who's never bought a single plastic lightsaber or horsehead hat could be just as big of a Star Wars or Colts fan as anyone else. Being a fan is a matter of heart, a matter of believing, a matter of passion. It has little to do with spending money. That's my official position, anyway.

So why do I bring this up?

Well, back in 1999, The Phantom Menace came out. It was critically reviled, punched, kicked, slammed, and pounded into a pulp. "Jar Jar Binks sucked, the bad guys were stupid, Anakin's a whiny little brat, Darth Vader is nowhere to be found, a trade dispute can't really be that important, Star Wars sucks," you get the point. But I stood by the franchise.

In 1999-2000, the Colts went 13-3, then dropped their first playoff game at home to the Titans. "These guys aren't winners, Peyton Manning has never won the big one, they put up pretty numbers, they're soft, they don't have a defense, these guys aren't winners," once again, you get the point. But I stood by the franchise.

So here we are, it's 2006 now. And guess what? Revenge of the Sith hit theaters last summer (long live the DVD!). Fans liked it, and the critics were a little more hesitant to bash it. But we still heard the whispers this time around. "Hayden Christensen can't act, the Emperor overacts, the dialogue is insufferable, the last fight is a disappointment, the ending is a joke." I stood by the franchise.

Now, for the 2005-2006 season, the Colts went 14-2, then dropped their first playoff game at home, this time to the Steelers. And here we go again, "They're soft, Peyton Manning can't win the big one, the Colts crack under pressure, pretty numbers but no substance, they can't handle the national stage." And I find myself once again standing by the franchise.

My point is that, years after Star Wars bashing became extremely popular, it's still en vogue. And Peyton Manning and the Colts are dealing with the same issues they faced years ago. I love #18, he's the best of the best, but I feel my faith starting to waver. And it's really unfortunate, because Peyton Manning works so hard, and has accomplished so much, yet, in a sense, he's accomplished nothing.

So what do we do with the Indianapolis Colts as fans? You've got your bandwagon fans, who are without a doubt gone until the next playoff berth. You've got the diehards who insist the Colts are hosting the AFC Championship Game next week (you mean...they're not!?). You've got your casual fans who rag on the Colts without hesitation. Your fake fans who only feign interest because they're your friend. Then you've got the face painters, the shirtless guys, the loud drunks, the "Jim Harbaugh and Marshall Faulk would've pulled it out" fans, your "I hate the Colts, but secretly love them" fans. You've got the criers, the deluded ones, the fans who swear Vandy's field goal was thrown off course by an atomic death ray designed and fired by Tom Brady, Kordell Stewart and Bill Belichick.

But for the tried and true members of the Blue Nation, who have been through this time and time again, I can only offer one thought: the Horse will be with you, always. No matter how you treat it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Black Monday and Other non-depressing things

Another season ends, of course with disappointment. The colts went 14-2. An unbelievable season, that should make anyone be proud. Except that the colts, nor myself, are anything but proud of the achievements of the season. Once again they fell short of the glory that is within a hairsbreadth away. I think that's about as far as I can go with this line of thought due to depression that will inevitably kick in due to remembrance of solemnly walking out of the Hoosier Dome with a season ending loss.

I have been considering acquiring an HDTV. Best Buy has 24 mos. SAC, wow! The only thing stopping me so far is laziness of having to rearrange my furniture, and putting together a damn tv stand. I hate those things. My driving force is watching the NCAA tournament, NASCAR (starting Feb 19, woo hoo), and of course the XBox 360 in Hi Def. So if anyone has any words of encouragement, or would like to lend a hand in the redecorating of my room then please don't hesitate.

This Friday is Underworld: Evolution. After much anticipation, the sequel to the lycan/vampire war is finally upon us. If you are interested, I am going to see this film friday night. Also, the new Woody Allen film comes out Friday as well, Match Point, check your local listings.

Newsflash: Colts lose, world still turns

That says it all right there. And I promise I'll stop it with the "motivational" signs soon. Then again...maybe I shouldn't promise something like that, since I enjoy making them way too much. At least I'm having some fun with it, right? And they're not horrible.

My goodness...here we go again. All year, this seemed different. They seemed better. They seemed ready to take that next leap. But defeat is a bitter pill to swallow, especially when you think you've got it made. Make no mistake, the Colts couldn't have just expected to show up and win. It doesn't work that way. They had to execute on both sides of the ball, in all facets, to beat the Steelers. They didn't do any of that.

Pass protection. Where was it? There were maybe two or three really nice blitz pickups during the game. That's it. The rest of the time, it was a Double Peyton Sandwich on FieldTurf. And I don't care who you are, when you're getting sacked one second after the ball is snapped, you're not going to be successful.

Misfire or miscommunication? Protection be damned, Peyton sure seems to think his receivers weren't always running the right routes. But come on, man, some of those throws weren't even close. I don't know what happened. I guess it's not the Patriots who bring out the worst in the Colts. The Colts do it to themselves in the playoffs.

Clutch Kicker. Oh come on, Mike Vanderjagt. You're cash-money, that's what you say about yourself. But your kick wasn't close. It wasn't even remotely located in the important area between the big yellow poles. Sure, we expect a miss every once and a while, but when a guy tells us every week how great he is, maybe he should think about actually backing it up. I don't foresee that the Colts will retain Vandy's services. I will miss his towel wagging.

Lazurus. I still can't believe what happened with the "Interception that Wasn't" (which I believe actually was). How exactly was that overturned? Not that I'm complaining, but dear Lord, it was nearly the Tuck Rule all over again. I want my team to win...but not that way. Not that way.

Lazurus, Part II. It's 4th and 16, your quarterback just got sacked for the second play in a row. You turn the ball over on downs, and it looks like it's all over. And then Gary Brackett's helmet knocks the ball out of Jerome Bettis' grasp, and Nick Harper gets a decent return, giving everyone a little hope. I still can't believe that actually happened.

The Forward Pass. Wow, the Steelers discovered this new "trick" play. And the Colts were shocked, too. Can't blame them...who knew Roethlisberger could throw (you know...except Terry Hoeppner)?

Stopping the run. In the second half, the Colts couldn't stop the run. Parker and Bettis ran right through them...like Taco Bell through a man with the stomach flu. There was no stopping them. Too many missed tackles. Not enough penetration. Too many instances of a good stop on first down, followed by an eight-yard run, and third and short.

And thus ends another season of Indianapolis Colts football. Unceremoniously, they went out like a lamb, looking confused, deflated, surprised, and inexplicably flatter than they should have. Such disappointment for such a promising season in which the team thrived from most every other challenge. Instead, the result is a pretty 14-2 record, and nothing else, a season of historic possibilities impossibly wasted by The Team of Destiny, that wasn't.

After the Colts lost, I didn't feel like watching another football game. It's not always been like this, because the Colts haven't always been a perennial playoff team. About five years ago, I considered myself lucky if the Colts made the playoffs. Now that they've had some success, I want them to win it all. And snowy days in Foxborough were the worst. In some ways, this loss was almost worse. But that's a very reactional thing to say right now.

Anyway, once the game was over, I needed something to entertain me. So my fiancee and I watched a movie I hadn't seen in a long time: The Rocketeer. I've gotta tell you, Comcast On-Demand is pretty cool. I've not taken advantage of it too often, but it was nice to sit back and turn my mind off for about an hour and 40 minutes. The musical score in this movie is fantastic, and the special effects are excellent (for the pre-CGI period, anyway).

I sorely needed disposable entertainment like that after watching the Colt stomp on my heart again. And, after seeing the score of the Bears game, I'm glad I didn't watch it. I'm not the biggest Bears fan in the world, but Krildog likes them, so I pull for them (you know, just to keep the peace). But even the staunchest fan will admit the Bears offense isn't very exciting. It's too bad their season, like the Colts', ended early.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Celebrating 100 posts

100th post bitches!

Congradulations to the staff of TFT for making it all possible. Congrats to the fathers of said blog and the readers. For the next 100, which will probably be around June since I invision a slow-down from the absence of football in Febuary, and then a pick up in March again for the tourny -- you know which one -- like Tony K always says on PTI, we'll try to do better. And by that I mean that Studicus will have to carry us on his back for another 100.

Friday, January 13, 2006

If I Were a Betting Man: DC Mayor Eats From Streak

As taken from the Redskins.com article.

On Tuesday, [DC] Mayor Anthony A. Williams issued a friendly wager to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels regarding Saturday's game. If the Redskins win, Mayor Nickels has agreed to send Mayor Williams salmon from the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle. A Redskin loss would have Mayor Williams buy Mayor Nickels four chilidogs from Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street.

Last week, Mayor Williams won Cuban sandwiches when the Redskins beat Tampa Bay. Prior to that, Mayor Williams won four Philly cheesesteaks from Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street when the Redskins beat the Eagles.

How tasty does the Mayor of Seattle expect chilidogs to be after a 4+ hour trip from one coast to the other? Salmon can be kept on ice, but chilidogs? Hopefully, being Mayors and all, they have already taken measures that weren't discussed in the article.

If the 'Skins go farther, what other things might we expect a wager with? Chicago has deep-dish pizza, Pittsburgh gets him a shot at more cheesesteaks, New England has chowda,' but what does Carolina, Indy, and Denver have to offer? Denver: a case of Coors Light? Indianapolis: we have no food or beverage that is a staple of Indiana cuisine, so it'd have to be a racecar. And in very much the same fray there's Carolina. What do they have in Carolina, but slutty cheerleaders? I could go for a slutty cheerleader or two, but that's also why they don't make me Mayor of anything.

May the wagers live on through the Super Bowl!

The Word: Ranked!

Top 8 Playoff Running Backs? The Word ranks it like he sees it.

8. Corey Dillon. He's basically been under the radar since he's been in New England, but this is the man who used to hold the single-game rushing record. You can't count him out. Though this is about which is better in their current situations and Corey Dillon is in the wrong system to really dish out any real danger. Take last weeks stats 17-att for 40-yards, but he does have that ability to put up numbers as shown in the past.

7. Mike Anderson. Mike's been bruised up a tad, but he's had some time to recover and I expect a big game out of him because he is a truly solid back who has proved his worth when healthy. The reason he's not higher in the list is simple: Mike Shanahan, at will, for no reason, will take out Anderson and put in Tatum Bell or former Heisman winner Ron Dayne (didn't the Camp Randall Alum win it?). I like his chances, with him being in Denver's system, better than Willie Parker's, but because of the committee Mike is 7th.

6. Willie Parker. Fast Willie as he's commonly referred to is helped out greatly by his running teammates Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley (when he's healthy). In the first couple of games of the season we looked at Willie and the Steelers and said contender, but by the last few he's been less than impressive -- merely adequate. Merely adequate is not something you want as your starter in any game, but you'll take it if need be. Even though Jerome will be punching it in on potential goal line situations, I still pick Willie Parker for 6th because he does produce, and he is fast.

5. Thomas Jones. Maybe KrilDog should write this one, but I think he fits here. A 1300 yard back is far from explosive, but he played on a Bears team that hasn't proved much on offense without Rex Grosman and maybe a little more with him. He did grind out 1300 yards with no air attack to speak of in Chicago's system, so while he's not higher, he's also not lower.

4. Clinton Portis. Clinton has been spelled a lot by Ladell Betts and at times Rock Cartright, but I wouldn't consider it a running back by committe setup at Washington. He's banged up though, and those spells hurt his production and sometimes his team -- being that they take a universal back out and put in a 1 to 1 1/2 demensional back to run plays. With Ladell Betts the opposing team knows that any running play will be a dive or a draw, with Portis who knows. He did rush for over 1500 yards and was 3rd in the NFC in rushing TDs in the regular season, so all things considered, a worthy 4.

3. DeShawn Foster. Let the boos ring. Yes, the man is always injured. Yes, the man is proned to fumbling. Yes, the man is incredibly good and can turn the corner and take it 90-yards for a TD on any play. He is explosive, and now intimidating, after showing up at the end of the regular season and also destroying the Giants in the Wild Card game.

2. Shaun Alexander. Rushing title? Check. MVP? Check. Number 1 on The Words list? Sorry. But why, you ask? Good question. Shaun is a great back, I've always thought so, but his greatness this season is marred by his team's weak schedule through the regular season. Okay, no yard is an easy yard, but some are easier than others. The playoff field is getting narrower and harder which means if the Redskins don't hold him in check, which they are capable of, then either the Bears or Carolina will. The Seahawks have had less than stellar performances when playing tough opponents this year i.e. the Cowboys -- a non playoff team, but equally tough. The result of that game was 13-10 Seattle, and it was at Seattle. Alexander had 21-att for 61-yards that game. Number 2 for you Sir, but you still have your MVP trophy.

1. Edgerrin James. Over 1500 yards rushing, 13 TDs, and he only played 13 full games. Of course he's number one here. You give him another 3 100-yard games and he's up there in stats with my number 2 pick. They played a tougher schedule than the Seahawks this year, and that's basically the only reason I give him my number one spot because they're both pretty even. Both offenses are both finesse, not an insult I swear, and both can kill you with passing and running. James learned to hold on to the ball this year, and he stayed healthy showing what he's capable of. Edge is my number one.

A lesson for us all...

Make your own anti-Steelers propanda at...


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Words from The Word

Mike Check 1, 2.

Pack, what are you doing? Hiring a coach (McCarthy) for his ties to your HOF QB -- sorry for the acronymns -- whose ties aren't strong in the first place, and not for his ability to coach? If you wanted to keep Brett around, you should have kept Mike Sherman. Sherman was 30 games over .500 in his career at Green Bay and got dicked out of another run at the Bowl because of injuries. To the Packers' front office, I say I hope Brett follows Sherman wherever he lands and then kicks your ass in every game for as long as he plays. The Babe had a curse -- beware the Curse of the Farve. May Bart Starr also haunt you before and from the grave you silly, silly people.

Circling the Horses in the Circle City

May I also extend my condolences to the Pittsburgh Steeler on what is sure to be a loss coming your way via the Indianapolis Colts? The last team to call them soft lost the next game, in fact every team that calls them soft eventually loses. I dont even understand Joey Porter's attacks in how the Colts use trick plays and think too much and that thinking isn't football. Well gee wilikers everyone, I think someone should tell him what play calling and studying film is before games or what reading play actions and audible are during a game. Reaction comes from thinking Joey. It's a good thing Big Ben is the leader of this team and not you. Someone who actually understands offense and the complexities of Indy's and who knows defense enough to figure out how to make your trick plays (at Cincinnati last week) work without tipping off the opposing teams defense. Sorry Ben, I think you're in for a struggle because of something not even close to your fault.

Rank: The remaining eight NFL coaches as playoff coaches (last to first).

8. Lovie Smith
7. Mike Holmgren
6. Tony Dungy
5. Mike Shanahan
4. Bill Cowher
3. John Fox
2. Bill Billichick
1. Joe Gibbs

Even though I'm a Gibbs supporter and a Redskins fan, let me explain. Lovie has no playoff experience as a head coach of a football team, so he's eighth. Mike Holmgren hasn't won a playoff game since the NFC Championship in 98. Tony Dungy is usually one and done in playoff games and in previous playoff games he's 3-4, which is why he's number 6 -- Peyton or not. The Broncos coach comes in at 5 because out of the lot, he's the last in this back-of-the-pack group to win the Super Bowl and he did it back to back years. There's some debate on whether it was all Elway or not, but when a team is so closely geared around one person it's hard to get back to form -- Indianapolis and Bill Polian need to take notice -- but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt this year and he's 5th on the list. Bill Cowher was in the AFC Championship last year with a rookie QB in Ben Rothlisberger. He's been to the playoffs (and one Super Bowl) a couple of times over the last decade all with completely different teams pretty much. He fits well with his team and they tend to carry out what he asks ,except for not talking about the Colts game this week. Cowher's 4. John Fox -- the most underrated coach in the field of eight. He just lost the Super Bowl a few years ago by a hair and an artificially enhanced kicker by the name of Adam Vinatieri. I have no proof for my charges. After a bludgenoning of the NFC East Champs last week, I'd take him 3rd of all remaining coaches. Number 2 is New England's head coach. 10 straight playoff victories that I'd give to Bill over Tom Brady anyday. Sometimes it seems as if Bill Billichick could replace Brady with Troy Brown and still be in a game. He's one of the best with personel managment. Last, but not least Joe Gibbs. 17-5 in the post-season, most of which came in the 2-game playoff system before 1990 when the playoff field was stretched to 12 teams and 3 games, 3 Super Bowl rings in 4 appearences, and nine playoff appearences in 13 years as a head coach.

A Day of Mourning for Pete Caroll

Many have been making predictions on the NFL games, but I can't. I don't like being wrong and also this year my team is in it. So I move to college football where the top 3 skill players on USC are going pro in the same draft as earlier today Reggie Bush declared for the 2006 draft. Look for USC to match last years first round draft picks number put up by Auburn in a few months as I'm sure other players will be selected first rounf drom that team if they enter. Great news for UofL fans is that the other Bush, Michael Bush, has decided to return for his senior season. A good first half effort by the running back from Louisville in the Gator Bowl, but a lesser performance in the second may have caused him to stay. Either way, look for him to lead the nation in scoring again next season.

Joey Porter is a fucking moron...

Read This

Dear Joey,

The last dumb fuck to make comments along these lines was John Lynch last year. The Colts then proceeded to rape and pillage the Broncos in the playoffs and turn Mile-High stadium into their own personal Brokeback Mountain. Also, I dunno if you remember or were there, but the Colts made you guys look like a bunch of Punch 'N Judy Dickwads on national TV not too long ago. Congratulations, dumbass, you just woke the sleeping giants of Indy. Hope you're packing Vaseline in your luggage for the trip, you're gonna need it.


IU Basketball and The Dolph War Syndrome

Interesting night for Krildog and me. We watched the IU-MSU game (second half was awful if you're an IU fan). The Hoosiers have got to find other people to score besides Robert Vaden and Marco Killingsworth. And, as Krildog pointed out, it would also be nice to see the perimeter players, oh I don't know, set some screens and cut to the basket when Killingsworth is working underneath. You know...try to run an actual offense instead of a spectator show in which everyone watches Marco work.

On defense, well, gee, would someone like to actually guard Maurice Ager? Or is that wrong? Are we not allowed to do that? Just too many wide open shots for that guy. I mean, if it happened once or twice in the first half, I'll concede a breakdown or two. But when the dude who burned you in the first half gets wide open looks in the second, you've got to wonder. It was just a real disappointing effort, especially in the closing half. And it sucks to once again see D.J. White riding the pine because of an injury.

Speaking of D.J. White, I asked Krildog whether he thought the IU staff would try to get him a medical redshirt. But, since he's probably not going to use all of his eligibility anyway, Kril thinks it'd be best to have him back in time for the Big Ten tournament and March Madness. That makes a lot of sense. I think D.J. is going to have to stay for at least one more season. Unless he comes back this year, and has one heckuva performance in the postseason, I'm wondering if NBA teams may shy away from him because of his injury problems. That'd mean less money for D.J., unless some team is willing to gamble on him with a high pick. I just thought it was an interesting issue.

Now, after IU flamed out against the Spartans, we fired up Dolph Lundgren's magnum opus, The Defender. I've got to say, I was looking forward to see how he'd fare in his directorial debut. Oh, I had visions of hastily-staged shootouts, bodies flying through windows, a visceral one-on-one battle between a shirtless Dolph Lundren and an Islamic terrorist, and a scene where Dolph single-handedly dismantles a helicopter while talking on his cell phone as an enemy soldier lines him up in the sights of his RPG launcher.

Some of these things happened: a few bodies flew through windows, the shootouts were confusing, and we saw Dolph Lundgren shirtless, getting beaten to a pulp as a POW during the First Gulf War. However, the scene I imagined in which he tried to destroy a chopper himself never materialized. That was kind of disappointing.

You know what else was disappointing? Nothing blew up until 30 minutes into the film. There's no hokey Commando-style dialogue. No cringe-inducing one-liners from our hero (you know, like: "You'll have to excuse my friend. He's dead tired."). Instead, we got an attempt at a "taught action-adventure thriller about the war on terror." Krildog and I were very surprised by the weighty, solemn way in which everything was treated. It's as if the filmmakers tried to actually make a decent movie! What's up with that!!?? No explosions until 30 minutes in!!! And the movie only lasted 90 minutes! Dolph! What have you done!!!??

Of course, in an attempt to a "real movie," Dolph and company forgot to include a coherent plot. As it goes, Dolph (Lance Rockford, yes, Lance Rockford) is a secret service agent protecting the Secretary of State, who's involved in a secret meeting outside Budapest. Of course, the "secret" meeting turns out to be not so secret after the Secretary of Defense conspires to send U.S. troops to the meeting to assassinate the person the Secretary of State is meeting with. And who's she meeting with? Why...basically, it's an Osama Bin Laden clone (not a literal clone of Bin Laden, mind you, but rather a guy who basically acts and looks the same), who wants to negotiate peace with President Jerry Springer's administration in the War on Terror.

Oh, but wait. There are strange intrigues afoot. As it turns out, President Springer knows he has traitors in his administration. So, the Osama Bin Laden guy and his bodyguard are really agents from Britain's MI 5 unit. The whole meeting was a trick to flush out those people who would betray the President and their country! Oh...so that's why so many of Dolph Lundgren's soldiers had to die...for an exercise to root out sedition. Fantastic! And don't forget that there's a traitor on Dolph's own squad, yes, the new agent he seems to be watching out for! She dies in the end when Dolph throws a knife he pulled off the body of a Romanian soldier (don't ask), and hits her right in the abdomen while she's trying to kill the Secretary of State. There are many speeches throughout the movie about "serving a greater good" and doing things "you don't understand now, but will later." Too bad that doesn't apply to the viewing audience.

Of course, while fighting, Dolph has flashbacks about his torture at the hands of Iraqi soldiers. Krildog and I have dubbed these unfortunate visions as a recurrence of "Dolph War Syndrome." You can imagine we'll be referencing that in future editions of TFT.

I was just disappointed in The Defender. I was expecting a criminally bad movie so half-heartedly heavy-handed and hokey that we'd be choked up with laughter. Instead, we got a solemn character study devoid of enjoyable characters, humor, or insanely staged stunt scenes involving helicopters or killer Islamic terror droids.

That's just a shame.