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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Penn St. Falls, The Dark Knight Rises & Ostrich Racing...Apparently Exists


In the past week, I've seen the Dark Knight Rise, Penn St. fall, and the Red Sox waffle around like...well, like the waffles they should have been eating with that fried chicken and beer. So, yeah. I'll tell you what was wrong with the punishment at PSU, what was right about the final installment of the latest Batman franchise, and provide further proof that the folks on Yawkee Way are just spinning their tires. Yep, it's a regular Goldilocks type situation over here. One hot, one cold, and one in the middle. I'll also touch on Ernie Els' unlikely victory at the British Open, and seeing as he looks a touch like the South African version of the "Golden Bear" Jack Nicklaus, he should fit right in...

And yes, apparently Ostrich Racing is a thing. An utterly hilarious thing. And I'll get to that as well...

Enjoy...


I'll start with Penn St.. Sure, they weren't given the "death penalty", as many assumed, but they were hit with a $60 million dollar fine (average yearly income from football) as well as various bowl game and scholarship restrictions. My reaction? Good idea, the NCAA just didn't go far enough...

See, after I thought about it some more, I realized the death penalty wasn't the best of ideas. Why? Because the complete loss of football would also result in the loss of many other athletic programs that depend on that football money to live. Without that $60 mil, there's no women's volleyball, there's no fencing etc. So killing football all together just wouldn't make all that much sense. And I know I said last week that "life wasn't fair", but having to kill those sports because of an injustice in the football department really would be as close to "unfair" in this world as you can possibly get...

However, just because I agree with their method of punishment, doesn't mean I agree with the NCAA's ultimate decisions. You want to fine them? Great. Then make it hurt. $60 mil? Try $100 mil up front and then $10 mil per year for the next 10 years. Why? Because they have the money to give. Due in no small part to the fact that the school has received more in donations since the Sandusky scandal broke than they have at any other point in their school's storied history. So, yeah. You want to send a message by hitting them in the wallet? I'm all for that. Just make sure you empty that sucker out. Debit card and all. They're sick fan base has already proven that they'll do whatever it takes to make sure the coffers are full, so leave them just enough to survive this year, and watch the fundraisers do their thing...

As to how long it will take Penn St. to "recover" from these sanctions, your guess is as good as mine. 10 years? 15 years? Those are the numbers I've heard tossed around most consistently, but I'd be more apt to take the UNDER on those #'s before I'd ever take the OVER. Not because I don't think these penalties will hurt as much as others do, but because I think "getting back" isn't as big a leap forward. Getting back will mean being an above average team in the BIG 10, with a fanatical fan base that packs 100,000 plus into their building on a weekly basis. And seeing as I don't see the attendance ever coming down, it should only take a year or two after they regain their full compliment of scholarships for the Nittany Lions to be right back where they have been recently in terms of the college football hierarchy...

I think that's the takeaway from this whole situation, too. That when it comes down to it, Penn St. football, like so many investment banks, was just "too big to fail". You can't penalize them too much, or too many "innocents" will suffer. So you slap them on the wrist, give them what appears to be a fierce public scolding, and let them go about their business. It's certainly a sad commentary on the world in which we live, but let's be honest, that's the way the world works. Justice for all...as long as it doesn't affect the bottom line...


I've been a broken record in terms of the Sox this year, and if you're looking for anything different this week, you're going to be very disappointed. They're still at the top of the Majors in scoring (2nd in MLB), they're still getting great performances from role players and back-end starters, but they still don't have anything resembling a top of their rotation. Mainly due to the performance, or lack there of, of the 3 multi-millionaires pictured above...

And as the trade deadline looms, I'll continuing preaching the message I gave you all last week. Either make a big deadline deal, for the present or more preferably the future, or resign yourself to the mediocrity that this pitching staff has come to represent. That's it. Flat out, this pitching staff as constituted can NOT be expected to even make the playoffs, let alone win if they should happen to get there. Granted, it's a tough problem to fix, especially when Beckett and Lackey's contracts make them impossible to move for anything but pennies on the dollar, and you'd want to keep Lester and Buchholz. But that's why they pay Ben Cherington the big bucks...

He needs to figure out a way to fix this rotation either in the short term OR the long term, and he needs to start doing it sooner rather than later. I mean, there's something to be said for waiting on Beckett and Lackey to get their value back up before you ship them out the door, but being of the opinion that's not going to ever happen, dealing them at the deadline would at least go a long way towards changing the attitude in the clubhouse. Not saying those guys are bad influences (not saying they aren't, either), but it should send the message that the front office realizes that there are problems with this team, and they're intent on fixing them as best and as quickly as they can. That's the type of message that any player on a scuffling team would love to hear...

So have at it, Ben. Ask Uncle Larry if you can use the phone, and get to shippin' those bloated bastards out of town. Oh, and feel free to wonder if by "bastards" I meant "contracts" or  if I was referencing actual people. Here's a hint. It's Beckett and Lackey...


Saw The Dark Knight Rises this weekend, and as promised, here's my review:

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being Godfather II, Caddyshack and The Big Lebowski, and 1 being Spice World and Caddyshack II, I give this thing somewhere between a 7-8. Right below the solid 8's I gave the first two installments, but not quite up to their level. So, yeah. It's a very good movie, but I didn't like it as much as I did the previous two...

It was very good, though. So let's not let that fact get lost in the shuffle. Chris Nolan did another fantastic job directing, and all the regulars, led by Christian Bale, also provided similarly strong performances as they did in the first two. As for the newcomers? Aside from Marion Cotillard looking like she had been double-fisting Krispy Kremes since she last appeared on film (turns out she had just had a kid, but whatever. Then don't cast her as eye candy!), they were all great additions to the series. Especially Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy (whose "Bane" looked like Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on steroids) were great as well, but Hathaway really impressed. Maybe it's because I've essentially never really cared for any of her previous work, but for whatever reason, I thought she brought a lot to the table...
Just sayin'...

The action sequences were as advertised, leading me to recommend that this is definitely a film to see in IMAX if possible. They certainly utilized the technology with a lot of loud noises and helicopter city shots, and I'm led to think that even Bane's menacing voice might not even be as effective if it's not heard in the enhanced way it was intended. A good action movie obviously needs to have great action scenes, and from start to finish this one didn't disappoint...

I only have one real plot beef with the movie, which I won't get into here, and all things considered, it's really a rather minor one. After all, we are talking about a guy that has a flying car and a flying suit. So to get hung up on minor plot holes is really like trying to find a needle in one of the rolls on Marion Cotillard. Ouch. Yeah, probably a bit below the belt....but I couldn't see her belt because her stomach had rolled over it. Oh!

Nah, childbirth is a beautiful thing, and shouldn't be mocked. And neither should this movie. Go see it. It may not be as good as the first two, but it delivers, and should stand the test of time as an ending worthy of the greatest superhero trilogy of all time...

Closing things out:


Tough break, bud. But man is that a nice lookin' shirt...


*Congrats to Ernie Els for his epic come from behind victory at the British Open this past weekend. Granted, it took a come from ahead tank job from Adam Scott for Big Ern to grab the jug, but it was still a well deserved win by one of the most well respected players on tour...

Oh, and as a side note. Where did Adam Scott get that gear he was wearing? I was a big fan of how each of his outfits had a plaid pattern sneakily put in there (elbow pads, inside collar). Probably sounds as metro as it gets, but if anyone knows where I can go about procuring myself some of that "Choker Swag", then I'd really appreciate it...


*I said last week that I was going to head to DigiTurf.com to look into building and racing my own virtual thoroughbred. And I did. My conclusion? It's just too much damn work. Sure, it was fun watching my horse, Medium Rare, explode down the stretch to capture his first victory, but it quickly became apparent that to train that fool was going to be a much larger undertaking than I would be willing to..well, to undertake. So now, I've got a new place to focus my passion for racing, and that's right here. These birds are crazy, look out!




1) WOW. Awesome.

AND

2) "That is the craziest ostrich race we've ever seen"

Haha what a crazy freakin' sport. And needless to say, I want in. If for no other reason than to name an ostrich and meet that announcer. I still can't tell if he's talking down to the sport, or the biggest fan ever. And I love that about him...


That's it for me, friends. Hope you enjoyed the racing birds and the movie review, and I'll catch you next week. That is, if I make it back from central Pennsylvania. Yeah, pray for me. I'll explain later...

Have a good week, kids. And I'll catch you on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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