09-04-11: A Friday

Word

candor [kan-der] n. 1. the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness: The candor of the speech impressed the audience 2. freedom from bias; fairness; impartiality: to consider an issue with candor

Birthday

Anton Bruckner (1824), Mickey Cohen (1913), Henry Ford II (1917), Paul Harvey (1918), Forrest Carter (1925), Dick York (1928), Clive Granger (1934), Raymond Floyd (1942), Tom Watson (1949), Khandi Alexander (1957), David Drew Pinsky (Dr. Drew) (1958), Kim Thayil (1960), Damon Wayans (1960), Mike Piazza (1968), Dave Buchwald (1970), Ione Skye (1971), Beyoncé Knowles (1981)

Standpoint

With the return of the NFL season, we are inevitably going to be forced to face the dreaded return of NFL commentary and game announcing. Here are a few things that bug the shit out of me routinely on Sunday and Monday Night (and occasionally Thursday night).

Keys To The Game – Right before the kickoff of each and every game, the expert announcers rattle off something called the “Keys to the Game.” Usually, these “Keys” are the factors the entire production staff has figured out one team will need to do to win the game. Most of the time, it boils down to three bulletpoints that usually translate into (a) limiting the other team’s scoring to as much as possible, while on the other hand, (b) scoring as many points as possible, and (c) not taking stupid penalties. Concepts easily grasped by anyone who has a rudimentary understanding of how a competitive game actually works.

The On-Field Interview – Usually, some newbie sportscaster is relegated to the sidelines for the duration of the game. This person is usually asked, in whatever kind of weather, to comment on things like “the feel of the crowd,” or “the mood on the bench.” But the sideline reporter’s time to shine is definitely the on-field interview where he or she gets the opportunity to ask the coach, either right before the game or the second half starts, a supposedly poignant question like, “Coach, your team is down 42-7. What’s your strategy for the second half.” The coach will normally respond with something like, “Well, I had a talk with the guys during halftime and I think you’re going to see a different football team out there in the second half.” Translation? “Well, I went into the locker room and threatened everyone within an inch of their life and I’m pretty sure the entire team knows I’m absolutely serious about killing them and everyone they know if the other team scores one more fucking point. But, honestly, I gotta say I’m ecstatic you stopped me to chat. Besides picking you up over my head and throwing you as far as humanly possible, it’s difficult to conjure anything else I’d rather be doing right now.”

The In-The-Booth GuestMonday Night Football is the main culprit here. Whatever city the MNF game is in, some famous person gets scheduled to come up and chat about the game with the commentators. A nice idea. The only problem is that everyone involved in the conversation eventually gets wrapped up in whatever the hell it is they’re talking about and we get to hear Kiefer Sutherland talk about all intense action on the upcoming season of 24 while, on the field, some guy is breaking a 90-yard touchdown run.

Tony Siragusa“The Goose” can make even the most exciting game kind of suck. Waddling around the sidelines and making ill-informed, unfunny, random observations is apparently something you can get paid for. Even in this economy.

Quotation

Among creatures born into chaos, a majority will imagine an order, a minority will question the order, and the rest will be pronounced insane.Robert Brault

Tune

Brendan Benson has recently gained fame as part of the Jack White-led outfit The Raconteurs. But he’s been around for years, making outstanding music all by himself. His latest release, My Old, Familiar Friend, is no exception. Try “A Whole Lot Better.”

Gallimaufry

→ About seven years ago, poolside on some cruise ship, I read “Video-Game Character Wondering Why Heartless God Always Chooses ‘Continue'” and became convinced that The Onion was the funniest periodical of all time. I actually spit out my banana daquiri when I read, “But sometimes, like when I suicidally attack dozens of armed guards with only my bare hands, it seems that God is putting me through hell merely to amuse Himself. It just doesn’t make sense.” Trust me. It’s funny in context. Go read it if you don’t believe me.

→ To the depths of my core, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I don’t go to conventions or sleep out for any kind of tickets, but it’s likely I know more about George Lucas‘ epic than you do. Geeky? Yes. Let’s move on. I’m no idiot. Nor am I blind or deaf. So I understand there are fundamental plot faults in everything, including my much beloved Star Wars. For more information on this topic, please read “7 Classic Star Wars Characters Who Totally Dropped The Ball.”

→ I’ve worked in the restaurant business my entire adult life and can testify that most of “Five Secrets Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know” is absolutely true. Except for the “Be Wary of Fish” part. Never once heard of that happening.

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07.09.09 – Thursday

Word: acrimony [ak-ruh-moh-nee] n. sharpness, harshness, or bitterness of nature, speech, disposition, etc.: The speaker attacked him with great acrimony

Birthday:  Ann Radcliffe (1764), Clarence Campbell (1905), Lee Hazlewood (1929), Donald Rumsfeld (1932), Brian Dennehy (1938), Dean R Koontz (1945), Bon Scott (1946), O.J. Simpson (1947), Chris Cooper (1951), John Tesh (1952), Jimmy Smits (1955), Marc Almond (1956), Tom Hanks (1956), Kelly McGillis (1957), Courtney Love (1964), Jack White (1975), Fred Savage (1976)

Quotation: A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.Herm Albright

Tune: Yet another gem I unearthed in the catacombs of my iPod. Pinback‘s “Seville” might be the best driving-on-a-highway song I’ve ever heard.

Gallimaufry: Hey, married men out there, if you’re thinking about engaging in an extra-marital affair, you should take note of what happened to Steve McNair this past 4th of July. The former NFL quarterback was shot in his sleep by his 20-year old mistress, Sahel Kazemi. Here’s the thing: If one person wants to date another, knowing full well that person is married, there’s automatically something off-kilter. It’s a good chance the individual is a few sandwiches short of a picnic. We’re not talking about an ironclad rule here, or anything, but don’t act totally surprised if that person does something like, say, shoot you while you’re taking a nap on the couch. I like LeBron James. But the fact that he got dunked on, at his very own Nike LeBron James Skills Academy, by college basketball star Jordan Crawford is kind of funny. What’s even funnier is Nike confiscated all video footage of the event, including that of CBS Sports.com. It’s also kind of messed up. Nobody’s perfect. LeBron and Nike may have gone too far in trying to protect the current NBA MVP’s image. If you’re not yet convinced that most everyone around you is crazy, you need to know something. A USA Today/Gallup Poll turned up some pretty nauseating results. 71% of Republicans are saying they will still vote for Sarah Palin, who stepped down as governor of Alaska last week for no apparent reason. Also, 53% of all people polled said they felt coverage of Palin was “unfairly negative.” It might be time to do some serious soul searching, America.