Sunday, December 18, 2016


I had a thought today: Maybe part of the NFL ratings drop is that people are sick of seeing the same teams over and over? I can watch four games today and I'm sure you can guess the main teams that are being featured. Of course it's Green Bay, New England, and Dallas. The Green Bay and New England games have been practically unwatchable because the commentators spend all their time sucking up to Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Yes, they're very good quarterbacks, but these guys sound like teenage girls fawning over their favorite pop star. Maybe if we had a little more variety and the commentators could act like adults it would help.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Marvel Movie Rankings, Post-Strange

1a.Captain America: Civil War
1b. Guardians of the Galaxy
1c. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
4. Avengers
5. Iron Man
6. Doctor Strange
7. Iron Man 3
8. Avengers: Age of Ultron
9. Thor
10. Captain America: The First Avenger
11. Ant-Man
12. Iron Man 2
13. Thor: The Dark World
14. The Incredible Hulk

Thoughts on Doctor Strange

A few thoughts on Doctor Strange:

-Benedict Cumberbatch is terrific, as you might expect. Marvel wanted a big name for this project and you can see why. Strange suffers more than most Marvel heroes as he becomes a hero and Cumberbatch makes the most of it.

-In the trailers I thought Cumberbatch's American accent might have sounded a bit off. I didn't feel that way watching the movie so it may have just been my brain reacting to the fact that he didn't sound like Sherlock.

-The visuals are the most obviously outstanding part of the movie. Kaleidoscopic would be the best way to describe most of them. Some of the scenes shown in trailers have drawn comparisons to Inception but the whole movie goes far beyond that. There are also a lot of trippy visuals drawn straight out of the original comics drawn by Steve Ditko:

-Because of that it's probably worth seeing this in 3D. I didn't last night but I might later.

-The story bears some obvious similarities to Thor and Iron Man but it is notably different than either. I think there's a lot more depth to the story and themes than you might pick up at first so a second viewing is probably in order.

-Kaecilius, the villain of the movie, has a well-developed point of view and reasonable motivations though I think a lot of people will dismiss him as not being memorable enough.

-There's a vague suggestion that the magic in this movie has some connection to science but it still works as magic, though it's Jedi-like hand-waving and not spoken spells.

-Overall I would put this in my second tier of Marvel movies, somewhere below GotG, Winter Solider, and Civil War.

-Both the mid-credit and post-credit scenes are worth watching. The mid-credit scene ties into the next Thor movie and the post-credit scene is for a Strange sequel.

Monday, October 31, 2016


That's how many subscribers ESPN lost in October. Outkick The Coverage has a fantastic article about this and it's well worth reading the whole thing. The short version is ESPN is bleeding subscribers at an alarming rate and within five years they could be facing some serious financial issues. That's really interesting as ESPN is the heart of the current cable system and distribution of most sports. If ESPN fails or has to make major changes we're going to be living in a dramatically different world when it comes to sports.

The other interesting question is: Why? A few thoughts:

1. The most obvious answer is people are cutting the cord in record numbers. Some don't care about sports anyway, others (like me) do care but just can't justify the extra cost. This isn't changing anytime soon.

2. Another issue is ESPN has become more openly political and specifically left-wing in their coverage, though most ESPN personalities would deny that. I think this matters but I'm not sure how much.

3. Protests by players in various sports doesn't help. Any one thing may not matter a lot but I think all of it taken together and added to these other factors can definitely push people over the edge.

4. I haven't watched the network very often lately but my impression is just about everything that's not an actual sports broadcast is worse than it used to be, though possibly I'm just old or thinking the past was better than it was. I've been particularly unimpressed with SportsCenter, aside from the SVP version. Most of these shows must be cheap to produce but if they're not keeping people interested, or even driving them away, it's an issue.

5. In trying to wring every drop of revenue from sporting events the commercials have gotten ridiculous. An NFL game can barely keep my interest anymore because of all the commercial interruptions.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Escape

 Back in 2001 BMW made The Hire, a series of short films (~10 min each) shown on their website starring Clive Owen as The Driver, various new BMWs, and many notable actors. This was quite something at the time (YouTube was still four years away) and the films were very popular. BMW is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the films with a new one, which is definitely worth a watch:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Uniform Spotlight

I didn't notice any particularly notable uniforms or helmets yesterday (Louisville's mettalic helmets were nice enough but pretty normal at this point) but I did notice something odd about Notre Dame's uniforms: Their pants.

Seeing a football player with sweaty pants isn't unusual but it's particularly noticeable on ND's pants. and kind of gross. A lot of the players looked like this at kickoff. You'd think Under Armour would be able to come up with gold pants that didn't make it look like the players peed themselves before going on the field.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Uniform Spotlight

Yesterday there were a few college football uniforms I thought were worthy of mention. First, while VT collapsed in the Battle at Bristol, they looked great doing it in their Hokie Stone uniforms:

That's much better than what they usually sport and in any other week it would be the coolest uniform, but this week Air Force showed up in these:

In case it's not clear why these are great, here's a better look at the helmet:

If the shark teeth alone aren't awesome enough, the specific design comes from the A-10 Warthog (which, ironically, the Air Force is intent on killing):

There's no point in having a "coolest helmet" competition anymore because Air Force already won.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Movie Reviews

Had a chance to see a few movies lately. While on the cruise ship, they apparently have a couple theaters on board. I mean, why not? So, I took the kids to the 10:30 pm showing of "Finding Dory" in 3D. I believe that was my first 3D experience other than IMAX stuff at amusement parks. Both were okay. The movie and the 3D. I guess I expected more images in the film to feel like they were coming at me. I'm a big fan of "Finding Nemo" and "Dory" didn't meet the same enjoyment. But again, kids loved it and it was free. I'm probably not going to look for a 3D experience any time soon though. Seemed overrated.

The next night they had an 11 pm showing for "Captain America: Civil War." I knew there would be a chance I'd fall asleep around 1 am, but it was worth the risk. My wife actually left around 12:15 am to go back to the stateroom for bed. Great movie. I couldn't remember how many post-credit scenes there would be, so I stayed for the mid-credit scene. 99% of the audience left after the mid-credit scene, so I thought they knew more than I did. Man, at 1:25 am, it felt like forever to get to the very end of the credits, just for the slim possibility of another scene. But I stuck it out, me and 3 other people, for the Spidey tease.

On the flight from ATL to Orlando we had a geeked out tech plane. Tons of free movies to watch. The problem is it's only about a one hour flight once you get going. It's pretty pointless to start a new movie. At least they let you start watching during the taxi portion of the flight, pre-takeoff and post-landing. (That can buy you almost another 20 minutes of the movie.) But, they rudely interrupt the movie every time the Captain or stewardess feels the need to explain something. I chose "The Revenant." I knew this would not be a movie for the wife and children, even though they are sitting right next to me, but hey, that's why they invented headphones...and why you have your own "Zootopia" to watch in front of you. Like I was saying, I only made it about 40 minutes into the movie but well worth it. A week later on the flight back from Orlando to ATL, pretty much the exact same, you guessed it, que up "The Revenant!" Yup, another 40 minutes. Now I just need to rent it for $3 so I can watch the last 60 minutes. Yes, I chose a 2 hour 36 minute movie that I knew would be impossible to finish...and strain my eyes on a 7 or 8 inch screen. Side note: On the flight back, the option to watch "Batman vs Superman" was available. Didn't feel like I could watch 40 minutes of two different movies and not even get half the story.

Back on land, and in CC, I had a little time to catch up on some "classics" because my wife was out of town. She's not a big fan of black and white movies, so this was my chance. Ever since I saw "12 Angry Men" about 15 years ago, I've kind of put that as the gold standard for classics. It's better than "Casablanca" and "Gone With the Wind." Dave W. let me borrow "Rear Window." It's an Alfred Hitchcock classic that I've always heard about but hadn't seen. Then, I've had "To Kill A Mockingbird" queued up for a long time on Netflix, so I finally had the time to watch it. I'd say "12 Angry Men" is still better than both and I'd give a slight edge to "Mockingbird" over "Rear Window."

Finally, we watched "Spotlight" a few nights ago. Again, another movie that I had queued up. I knew it won a bunch of awards, but that can be misleading because sometimes those aren't the types of movies I like. I'd say it was worth watching on Netflix. Not sure I'd see it in a theater, but I'd probably rent it.

That's all for now. Feel free to send me some recommendations, especially Netflix stuff. I'd still like to rent "The Martian" and a few others...and finish "The Revenant."

Oh, and, I've been watching a lot of stand up comedy by Tom Segura lately...without my wife. Lots of bad language, but not necessarily a dirty or crude joke/story teller. Just bad language. The Mike Tyson story at the end of his "Mostly Stories" show was really good.

Thursday, August 04, 2016


I know this is a little late, but serious question: How do Michigan fans feel about uniforms that have a basketball player logo on them? I think if MSU did the same thing, even if it was supposed to be some giant deal and a major help with recruits I wouldn't like it.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

How far is too far?

I've been asking myself this since the news came out earlier in the week that there have been discussions about eliminating the kickoff in college football. So far I've been supportive of most of the changes made in the name of player safety, largely because I think a lot of the things that have been eliminated are the result of bad fundamental football to begin with and the game is still essentially the same. Eliminating the kickoff is the sort of change that makes me wonder how far you can go before it's not really same sport anymore, or more importantly, will I still want to watch?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Sunday, June 05, 2016

Today's NBA

I really don't pay attention or follow the NBA. Mostly because it's boring to watch and I don't have cable. I did watch a little bit of Kobe's final game. I mean he is the GREATEST Laker ever...right behind Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Magic, George Mikan... The short amount of time I did watch was painful. I think he started out 0-6. But then he did heat up and I went to bed at halftime wondering if he could get to 40. I told myself yes. Then I thought about 50. I said no way. I wake up to 60!!! You don't retire dropping 60 in your last game. That would be the equivalent of LaDainian Tomlinson rushing for 250 yards in his last game.

Moving on. Because of the chase for history and how unbelievable Steph Curry's range is, I have followed a lot more than normal because the Warriors were incredible. A few nights ago in game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, Klay Tompson hit 11-3's in the game, a new playoff record. Do you know how many 3-pointers the Celtics-Lakers combined to make in game 7 of the 1987 Finals?

How about this? Steph Curry made 402 3-pointers...HIMSELF this season!

The 1980-1981 LA Lakers were 17-94 on 3-point a TEAM! That's 82 games.

The 1981-1982 Champion LA Lakers were 13-94 on 3-point attempts as a TEAM.

I'd say the NBA has changed. Is it better than 5 years ago which basically consisted of dunks? Now it's 3's.

Z93 The SOFT Station

Z93 has just gotten softer the past two years. I rarely listen, but it's still in my presets just to see if there's some GnR, ACDC, etc. playing. But I've noticed it's not as much of a "Rock" station as it claims to be. Case in point, I was listening the other day and a Bon Jovi song came on. I can't really think of ANY Bon Jovi song worthy of Z93's playlist, but nonetheless, "Shot Through the Heart" apparently made the cut.

But yes, it's still just as dirty and raunchy...and lame in the mornings.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Upcoming Marvel Releases

Here's the current schedule, though it's probably fair to say all of this is subject to change based on the success of various films.

Doctor Strange: 11/4/16
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: 5/5/17
Spider-Man: Homecoming: 7/7/17
Thor: Ragnarok: 11/3/17
Black Panther: 2/16/18
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1: 5/4/18 (This title may change.)
Ant-Man and the Wasp: 7/6/18
Captain Marvel: 3/8/19
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2: 5/3/19
Inhumans: TBD, moved from July 2019
Untitled Movie: 5/1/20
Untitled Movie: 7/10/20
Untitled Movie: 11/6/20

Marvel Rankings, Phase 3

My current rankings of the MCU movies. I think. It's really tough to decide, especially at the top.

1a.Captain America: Civil War
1b. Guardians of the Galaxy
1c. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
4. Avengers
5. Iron Man 3
6. Iron Man
7. Avengers: Age of Ultron
8. Thor
9. Captain America: The First Avenger
10. Ant-Man
11. Iron Man 2
12. Thor: The Dark World
13. The Incredible Hulk

Thoughts on Civil War

I meant to post these earlier but I really wanted to see the movie a second time to help focus my thoughts and some scheduling issues pushed that back. Anyway, some impressions from the movie:

-The movie is very good. I might have to think on this a bit yet but I think it's probably in a tie for the top spot.

-As for tone, I'd say this is about 65% Winter Soldier and 35% Age of Ultron. There's definitely a lot of the slightly darker and more serious feel of Winter Soldier but the extended cast and much of the humor feels like an Avengers movie.

-The action is top-notch. The main fight scene between all the heroes at the airport is the best piece of superhero action committed to film so far. Bucky also has a bit with a motorcycle earlier in the film which is one of the coolest scenes in the whole MCU.

-Ant-Man steals the show. And when he's not stealing it Spider-Man is.

-I never realized how far off the previous versions of Spider-Man were until Tom Holland showed up. He's great and his scenes with Robert Downey Jr. are fantastic.

-Black Panther is quite good too. I was unsure about him but now I'm really interested to see what they do with him in his solo film.

-Considering how stuffed with characters this film is it's amazing that everyone gets some attention, and it manages to do so without feeling overstuffed like Age of Ultron did. The screenwriters deserve a lot of credit.

-I know people are calling this Avengers 2.5 but it really is a Cap movie first, though it's fair to say Stark is the co-lead. 

-The interactions between Falcon and the Winter Soldier are especially good. These are some of my favorite moments from the movie.

-The villain in this is pretty low-key but I think he's effective and interesting. Certainly he's one of the best villains Marvel has done, though that's not necessarily huge praise.

-The final fight in the movie is brutal.

-There is a scene after the credits. It's fun but not essential if you're pressed for time or need to use the restroom, which is possible since the movie is 2 hours and 26 minutes long.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Fantasy Football

Fantasy football is back at Yahoo, so check your email for an invite.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Rogue One

Despite being a huge Star Wars fan I was completely uninterested in The Force Awakens, but this movie could be interesting.

Saturday, April 02, 2016


Would we look at coaches and players in sports differently if their individual sports had catchy names for their semifinal games like the NCAA does? If Izzo's team had advanced to the Final Four and lost instead of throwing up all over themselves in their first game it would have been hailed as an achievement and mentioned every time Izzo's bio was discussed. Dantonio won't get that kind of credit for making it to the football "Final Four" and losing. The same thing is true in the NFL, just ask the Buffalo Bills how much credit they get for winning AFC Championships. Peyton Manning could chime in on the subject too. Even Tom Brady could comment on the idea that going 4-0 in the Super Bowl is somehow better than making it to 6 Super Bowls and losing 2. Are we just dumb about this kind of thing?

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Being a Lions Fan Sucks

I'm not sure how else to respond to the official news that Calvin Johnson is retiring. I don't blame Megatron for the decision but seeing another Hall of Fame caliber player cut their career short is even more depressing than all the losing.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Australia Day

 Another funny Deadpool ad. There's a little language at the end.

Friday, January 15, 2016

QB Results 2015

I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the fantasy results for quarterback this year. First, the top ten quarterback taken with the round and pick noted:

1. Aaron Rodgers 2-5
2. Andrew Luck 2-8
3. Tom Brady 3-2
4. Peyton Manning 4-6
5. Russell Wilson 4-10
6. Drew Brees 5-4
7. Ben Roethlisberger 6-1
8. Matt Ryan 7-7
9. Tony Romo 7-8
10. Cam Newton 7-9

And here are the top ten quarterbacks in scoring:

1. Cam Newton  497.45
2. Tom Brady  463.60
3. Russell Wilson  444.50
4. Blake Bortles  430.40
5. Carson Palmer  425.95
6. Drew Brees  416.90
7. Eli Manning  401.90
8. Aaron Rodgers  401.45
9. Matthew Stafford  396.60
10. Kirk Cousins  393.10

I think it's fascinating that only five of the top picks ended up top ten in scoring. I guess it's better odds than picking a quarterback in the real draft though.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


 I'm not sure if Deadpool is going to be any good or not but I do appreciate all the work Ryan Reynolds is doing to promote it. From Instagram:

A photo posted by Ryan Reynolds (@vancityreynolds) on

This is also pretty funny:

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Friday, January 08, 2016

It begins.

The Lions have a new general manager, Bob Quinn, formerly director of scouting for the New England Patriots. I suppose bringing in someone from such a respected franchise should be encouraging but I find myself wary. First, I think the success of Tom Brady and, to a lesser extent, Julian Edelman gives an inflated impression of the Patriots' drafting prowess. Here's the history. Obviously they have their fair share of hits but I'm not sure the overall record is quite as impressive as people would think. Second, Bill Belichick is the only one who's been able to make the Patriots system work. So far none of his assistants or former executives from the organization have been able to replicate anything near the success he has had. What do you think the chances are that the Lions are the ones who learn all the right lessons?