Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Random notes: March 24, 2014.

Monday, March 24th, 2014

What does the fox say?

“I resign.”

Rhode Island Speaker of the House Gordon D. Fox, enveloped by an apparent criminal investigation, announced Saturday that he has resigned his leadership post.
He fell in a lightning-quick series of events that began Friday with investigators, armed with search warrants in a probe of an undisclosed matter, taking boxes of evidence from his State House office and his East Side home.

The paper of record describes agents “carting out boxes and bags labeled ‘evidence.’” This raises some questions, at least for me: did they write “evidence” on the side with a Sharpie? Or do these boxes and bags come pre-labeled as “evidence”? Can you buy “evidence” boxes and bags from your local law enforcement supply store?

(Isn’t it kind of cartoonish when you think about it? Sort of like Scrooge McDuck carrying around a big bag with a “$” on it, only instead you’ve got a neatly attired IRS agent with a bag that says “Evidence”?)

So much for that. Looks like I owe Lawrence $5. See if I buy one of your damn t-shirts now, Gonzaga.

(Still hopeful for those Cubs, though.)

City That Squandered Baseball Relishes Brief Return

“Squandered Baseball”? Well, I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that the Expos made unreasonable demands after the 1995 baseball strike and drove fans away.

Random notes: March 22, 2014.

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Which United States city is the “Bank Robbery Capital of the World”?

(Bzzzzzt!) Oh, I’m sorry. That was a trick question. If you answered “Los Angeles”, you would have been correct for a long time.

But last year, San Francisco actually passed LA.

The seven-county region covered by the FBI’s L.A. office saw a mere 212 bank robberies in 2013, reaching a low not seen since the 1960s. That’s less than a tenth of what it was at its height in the early ’90s, when the region logged 2,641.

(And I’ve mentioned this before, but Where the Money Is is a swell book that I enthusiastically recommend.)

Gonzaga!

A sixth-round pick?

Obit watch and other random notes for March 18, 2014.

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Clarissa Dickson Wright. Damn, this sucks. I was a fan of “Two Fat Ladies”.

For the record, here’s your David Brenner obit: I’ve been just a touch busy. Sorry.

Part of that busy has involved visiting various Half-Price Books locations: would you believe I can’t find a used copy of Fatal Vision? It used to be all over the place…

Once again, I don’t care about college basketball. Once again, I’m rooting for Gonzaga just because I like saying “Gonzaga!” I think this might be their year. And, once again, I’ve bet Lawrence $5 that Gonzaga will win the championship.

And baseball season is about to get started as well. Everyone knows what that means: yes, I’ve also bet Lawrence $5 that the Cubs will win the World Series.

Still here. Just quiet.

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Nothing really worth writing about. I don’t even have any interesting beef jerky and Michael Jackson fueled dreams to discuss.

(Possible addition to The Rules Of the Gunfight: Never bring beef jerky to a gunfight.)

Speaking of being quiet, is it just me, or did the NBA have their All-Star Game this past weekend…to massive public indifference? I don’t think there was even a FARK Sports tab thread.

Two random movie related notes:

  1. I’ve pretty much reached the limit of my tolerance for the trailer for “Cheap Thrills“, as well as the movie itself. I don’t care if it marks me as an old man; I’ve already fully embraced my old man status, and I’m just tired of movies about horrible people doing horrible things to other people.
  2. Dear Tim League: I totally get that you like Wes Anderson movies. I, personally, would not have made 4% of my desert island movie list Wes Anderson films; I’m not even sure a Wes Anderson film would be in my top 100. But de gustibus non est disputandum.
    And the trailer for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” does look interesting; it almost seems like Wes Anderson trying to do his own version of “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” It is possible that I’ll actually pay money to see this at the Drafthouse. (I’m not sure if it helps or hurts the cause that I accidentally stumbled across and read a complete plot synopsis online. Even after that, I’m still not sure what Harvey Keitel is doing in this movie.)
    But could we please lose your interminable introduction to the frigging trailer, for crying out loud? Hand to God, I think your introduction is as long as the trailer itself. Put it on YouTube or something, but don’t make me sit through it again. Let the trailer stand on its own.

Some people call him Maurice…

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

…but not “Coach” any longer: Maurice Cheeks out as head coach of the Pistons, in what I believe is the first NBA coach firing of the season.

Cheeks was hired in the offseason last year and coached a total of 50 games for Detroit, with a 21-29 record.

(Hattip: Lawrence.)

TMQ Watch: February 4, 2014.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

And thus we slog to the end of another NFL season, and the end of another TMQ season. Surprisingly (at least to us) TMQ avoids any discussion of unrealistic television shows, but there’s a lot of discussion of books. Speaking of which, did you know TMQ had a new book out?

After the jump, the last TMQ for the 2013 NFL season

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Quick random stuff.

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The NYT has a feature on the “industrial musical”.

The 1956 Chevy show cost $3 million, while “My Fair Lady” opened on Broadway with a budget of $500,000. Big budgets attracted top-drawer talent. “Go Fly a Kite” was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, the team behind “Cabaret” and “Chicago.” Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock wrote “Ford-i-fy Your Future” for the tractor and implement division of Ford, as well as the songs for “Fiorello!” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” Bob Fosse was already at work on “The Pajama Game” when he toured with “The Mighty ‘O’,” a 1953 Oldsmobile show.

$3 million in 1956 money works out to about $25,700,000 in 2013 money. Or about a third of the cost of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”. The NYT piece seems to be mostly promotion for a new book: Everything’s Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals. But I’ll admit: I’m intrigued by the book, and will probably purchase it at Half-Price when it shows up there.

Apparently, there was a serious proposal last year to add bass fishing to the list of high school sports which are approved and regulated by the Texas University Interscholastic League. It did not pass. And honestly, I’m a little weirded out by the idea; where would students practice? How? How often? In boats or from the shore? Can you practice bass fishing in Midland? What would the bass fishing championship look like? Would it be televised on one of cable’s many outdoor channels?

(Not making fun of bass fishermen at all. I realize there’s an active bass tournament scene, and if that’s your thing, God bless you. I just think the logistics of doing this at the high school level are strange. Especially since if you’re a high school bass fisherman, you can probably compete in professional tournaments for real money; it isn’t like professional bass fishing is subject to the same sort of size and weight issue that high school football is.)

TMQ Watch: the votes are in…

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

…and Richard Sherman is your 2013 Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-QB Non-RB MVP.

Mike the Musicologist made a good point to us last night, in reference to TMQ’s (and, we think, specifically Tony Dungy’s) comments about America needing more time away from football: the NFL is a profession. They call it “pro football” for a reason.

Our bosses would never say to us, “you need some time away from security. Take three or six months and go do something else.” And if we did decide we needed some time away from security, we wouldn’t expect to get paid – or for that matter to have a job when we came back. (Yes, there are some professions where you can take a sabbatical or a leave of absence, but not every year.)

So why do football players need “time away from football”, other than the usual rest, recuperation, and vacation you get in most other professions? What’s special about the NFL? Maybe the physical demands of the job, but we suspect that’s built into the training and off-season expectations of NFL teams.

As far as needing “time off from football” as a society, we already feel there’s a pretty long gap from February to August. The attention of society during those months is pretty much devoted to basketball and baseball; we don’t see a lot of football coverage during this period (major events excepted). Indeed, if we wanted “time off a sport”, our pick would be basketball: the 2012 NBA season ended on June 20th, 2013. The first preseason game of the 2013 season was October 5th. So that’s basically what, three months with no basketball compared to the NFL’s six months with no football?

“But don’t you agree college players need time away?” No, we pretty much agree with MtM’s other point: college is just the minor leagues for the NFL, and college players are every bit as much professionals as NFL players.

When you get down to high school and lower levels, yes, we’d agree that time away is needed. But we’re not sure that kids aren’t getting that; we’re still trying to figure out the UIL regulations, but so far we’ve determined that junior high kids can’t start practicing before the first day of school. (When do they have to stop? Good question. Any UIL rulebook experts out there? Feel free to comment.)

TMQ Watch: January 28, 2014 (part 2).

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Where were we? Oh, yes: cheerleaders.

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TMQ Watch: January 28, 2014 (part 1).

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

We were wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong! This is appropriate, as part of TMQ’s column this week is the “bad predictions review”.

Why were we wrong? We predicted last week that TMQ would use this week’s column for lots of gratuitous TV bashing. Instead, there’s pretty much…none.

So how does TMQ fill column space in this, the most boring week in football? After the jump, this week’s TMQ

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TMQ Watch: January 21, 2014.

Friday, January 24th, 2014

It is official. It is now impossible for us to care any less about the Super Bowl (or, as some are calling it, “The Pot Bowl”) than we do now.

But we still have this week’s TMQ to get through after the jump…

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Random notes: January 18, 2014.

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Obit watch: Larry Monroe, former KUT-FM DJ. Yes, it was radio – worse yet, public radio. But I liked pretty much everything Monroe did for the station. I drove home from South Austin many Thursday nights listening to the “Phil Music” show, back when KUT broadcast city council meetings. (This was a long time ago, in another country. It was called “Phil Music” because it began with Monroe playing music while the council members were in private session and/or there were gaps in the broadcast; in other words, “fill music”.)

I don’t care much for golf. But, by way of Jimbo, one of the more interesting things I’ve read so far this year: Grantland writer discovers a woman who’s invented a revolutionary putter, and starts working on a story about her. Then things get weird.

Edited to add: adding link to MetaFilter discussion of the story above.