Wednesday, August 10, 2005

And 3000 Words Later, I'm Spent

This is going to be long and all over the place. As I sit around work, or drive somewhere, or eat wings, or whatever, I’m thinking of junk to put in here. I’ve got a load of links, some movie trailers and who knows what else. I apologize, because it’s going to be rambling and completely unedited, so get ready for some typos.

(The first bit is going to be football. There’ll be more football later, but if you wanna skip the first, oozing-sentimental Dan Marino stuff, just scroll on down until you see the first picture. Aren’t I making this easy? So fun when I set aside time to blog.)

This past weekend, my dad and I went out to Canton for Dan Marino’s Hall of Fame enshrinement. My mom had made reservations way back in January, around Super Bowl time, when they announced it. I had grand plans to sit on the hill, thinking we wouldn’t need tickets of any sort, because Dill, John and I conferred, and we knew there was that hill you could sit on.

Well, as it turns out, things had changed around the way of Canton. The induction ceremony was now in the stadium, and you needed tickets, because the hill I saw in the picture was now enclosed by a fence. Not good times for the men of the Wilson family. I called up Brendan and had him check out ticket prices on EBay and StubHub, then left Dill a really angry voicemail demanding he confirm that there had been a hill in year’s past. I hate screwing up details, and this definitely fell into that realm.

So after realizing we were going to have to come back early the next morning and look into tickets, we toured the Hall itself. I wish I understood the whole Blogger Images thing better, because I have a ton of cool pictures to post. Andre Davis’s jersey is in the Hall of freakin’ Fame. I have the recap of the 1972 AFC Championship game, in which the Steelers lost yet another such game at home, this time to the mighty Undepheated Phins. I have a picture of Neil O’ Donnell’s statline from the Super Bowl loss to the Cowboys. I enjoyed myself immensely, and after hitting the gift shop way too hard – to the tune of a 1984 Marino throwback I may cuddle with on cold, lonely nights – my Dad and I retired to the hotel room, ready for an early morning of ticket getting.

(Note: I’m not sure if there’s a better radio area in the country than the Canton-Akron stretch of I-77. Since my car’s battery had died earlier in the week, all my presets were gone, so I easily filled up FM1 with random stations I came across. It’s like the Anti-Buffalo, which easily has the worst collection of music of any city I’ve been in.)

The people in the Hall told us some tickets would be available at 9:00 in the morning at Gates 3 and 4, so Dad dropped me off, and in order to avoid the exorbitant parking prices in random Cantonite’s yards, he drove off to the nearby Dunkin Donuts/gas station to wait. Clad in my Puma Marino jersey which still magically fit, carrying a foldable lawn chair and with Dave Eggers’ You Shall Know Our Velocity stuffed in my cargo short pocket, I was ready for the wait at 7:40.

Things looked good, because there was one random guy and a family of three in front of me – all in Marino jerseys, which was a fun recurring theme – but then the people at the gate told us tickets would go on sale at the Will Call, not Gates 3 and 4. I looked around, and the dad of the family of three told us son to just go buy three tickets off some guy that was selling them for twenty-five bucks apiece, only ten over face. I figured that wasn’t too much to spend, so I just went and got them off of him, too. But here’s the kicker I couldn’t get over:

The guy was wearing a freaking Mike Nugent jersey. And not an Ohio State one, but what may be the only Nugent New York Jets jersey in existence. I took a picture of it, just because it tickled me so, and it also gave me the idea that I’m definitely rounding up some people and getting them all random kicker jerseys, then we’re scalping tickets at the Hall next year. You could easily sell ten to fifteen tickets at a ten dollar profit with no trouble. As long as you get there early enough, you’d have no issues.

Anyway, the ceremony itself was fantastic. It was 95% Dolphin fans, with Steve Young jerseys being outgunned by Marino jerseys at least 30 to 1. Berman kept calling it a “Miami home game”, and some guys got a “Let’s Go Dolphins” chant started after the national anthem that I’m pretty sure would have went on forever if not for the jet flyover interrupting us. The only faults of the ceremony was the people trying to convince us that Fritz Pollard and Benny Friedman were so damn important to football, despite the fact it took them forty years to get in the Hall – and yes, I realize when you look at what they did, they were important, but honestly, I was sick of hearing the same stuff – and the fact Steve Young’s dad talked for about thirty minutes, going over every single detail of Young’s life.

Marino’s speech was great, and when he threw the ball to Mark Clayton, there have been few cooler moments. Everyone was getting a little choked up when he said the thing he misses the most is running out of that tunnel every home game, knowing he was playing in front of the greatest fans in the world. For the 25,000 people in attendance wearing the aqua and orange, no words could have rang truer.

(And here’s my favorite article about how fantastic Marino is. Although this one isn’t bad. And neither is this one.)


As far as the Phins did in their first preseason game Monday night, there were issues. The offensive line wasn’t getting much of a push, and none of the running backs – first round pick Ronnie Brown hasn’t signed yet – showed any burst at all. Both Gus Frerotte and AJ Feeley looked pretty good, although AJ is just so injury prone it’s hard to trust him to last sixteen games. He got a freakin’ contusion of the buttocks Monday night. Come on, you’re a football player.

Our secondary also had some holes, although Lance Schulters and Tebucky Jones didn’t start, and our linebacking corps looks a lot bigger, but also a tad slower. I love our rotation on the defensive line, but we’ll need to get more pressure on the quarterback. The best showing came from the receivers, as with the exception of perennial underachievers Derrius Thompson and Donald Lee, there were some nice catches and some nice runs after the catch. The strength of this team could easily be the passing game this year, and why not, especially considering Ronnie Brown could come out of the backfield and be yet another threat.

Also, anyone willing to take the bet that Kyle Orton will be starting for the Bears by the end of this year? I’d put ten bucks on it right now. Just let me know.


Okay, out of the football stuff for now.

Jake and I were cruising the Fall Movie Preview at work today (two days left, I’m actually pretty sad about this), and we stumbled upon a preview for a film called Dirty Deeds. Standard high school fare, but we thought it had some potential. Plus, it involves the hottest girl from Mean Girls, Lacey Chabert (The Toaster Strudels girl.)

Well, honestly, the trailer isn’t really that good. In fact, I’d call it bad, a decent concept ruined by poor execution. But, however, it does give me ample opportunity to post a blatant hot picture of Lacey.

Aw hell, why not two?


I have a real problem with The Real World: Austin getting so, ugh, real. Danny’s mom dying is a terrible tragedy, and obviously everyone should feel bad for him and such, but honestly, I don’t want my Real World to be like that. By “that”, I mean totally and completely serious, or “real”. I watch that show, as well as Laguna Beach, so I can laugh at those who are much more fortunate and much more attractive than I, simply because they fail miserably in the areas of “common sense”, “coherent sentence forming skills” and “intelligence”.

Now all of a sudden Danny’s mom is dead, Melinda’s crying because her boyfriend might not be coming back and I’m kind of just sitting there, wanting to have an opportunity to make a smart comment about Wes being completely lame, but not having the chance. It sucks. Stop it, Real World. I know I make fun of you, but I like the drunken pettiness. I need the drunken pettiness.


Thankfully, there’s Laguna Beach to fill the void Real World has left the last couple weeks. Kristin is my new favorite villain on TV, and my Monday night away message hate letter to her had a couple of non Laguna watchers wondering why in the world I hated this poor girl so much, to the point I wished she’d wreck and die.

Obviously, I don’t want Kristin to die, no matter how many times she goes “That’s what cheaters do! That’s what I did!!!” or goes to a gaming parlor of some sort – bowling alley, Dave & Buster’s – and doesn’t play any games at all. If I lost her, they’d probably make Laguna serious, and I’d have to confront the doldrums of my own life. Thankfully, as far as petty and superficial materialism go, My Super Sweet Sixteen premieres this coming Monday, making the Ten Spot to start the week essential viewing. I want my MTV.


Honestly, I understand the Steelers have some kind of “precedent” set where they don’t negotiate contract extensions at the beginning of the season or whatever, but they should just give Hines Ward what he wants. He’s one of the few guys you wouldn’t mind see getting a ton of cash, because he plays hard all the time and is great in every facet of the game. When the Steelers were a running team, you couldn’t ask for a better blocker out on the corner or downfield. When the Steelers were a passing team, he was not only a deep threat but a clutch possession receiver. He’s worth every penny, and if you don’t have him to start the season, Fred “I Almost Caught That, But That Big Guy Was Going To Hit Me” Gibson will be starting across the field from Randle El.

And since I’m tired of hearing the excuse “Well, they offered him the richest contract in Steeler history!”, let me break it down for you Steel Town fans who may not understand how NFL contracts work. The only money in an NFL contract that’s guaranteed to a player is the signing bonus and the first year, meaning that back-loaded contract the Rooneys offered Ward was worthless to him. For a guy that’s been lucky avoiding injury and puts his body on the line every game, he needs to get his cash now, so a nine million dollar signing bonus seems kind of slim when you look at the fact Joey Galloway got twelve million for his.

Just give him the money. You’re going to need all the help you can get with the Ravens and Bengals breathing very heavily down your neck.


Peter Jennings is dead?! It seems like only last night he was giving me election coverage, and now the long-time ABC anchor has passed away. I threw one up for him and drank one for my fallen homie last night, and I’m watching his tribute on ABC right now, but it still sucks that it had to happen.

We’re going to put him in the Blog Deceased Hall of Fame, right next to Jerry Orbach and Ray Charles. I’m sure those guys will have something to talk about.


Just so you know, if I ever play anyone at Madden 2006, we’re turning off the passing cone thing. This isn’t something we’re going to debate or think about, we’re turning it off. Just saying.


Just as Rachel McAdams and I plan our wedding, a huge red flag goes up in the way of the trailer for Red Eye, in which she appears to struggle mightily in the thriller genre. Now obviously, this is the just the trailer, and a really confusing one at that, so we won’t give it too much credence. This is a nice test in the young career of my fiancé, as she already nailed down the teen comedy (Mean Girls), uber-dramatic tear-jerker (The Notebook) and raunchy rom-com (Wedding Crashers), so if she can handle this, there really would be no genre, save for action, she hadn’t already nailed down.

But, I have faith in this film. Wes Craven directs, and Cillian Murphy, fresh off his fantastic portrayal of Scarecrow in Batman Begins, is the killer who enlists my darling for his cause. I hope Murphy never, ever plays a good guy again (like he did in 28 Days Later), simply because he’s so damn creepy as the bad guy. Comes out next Friday, so get ready for some review linkage for that.


Of course, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team opens it’s season September 3rd at Pitt, in a battle of new coaches Charlie Weis and “Diamond” Dave Wannstedt. Honestly, Irish fans should be somewhat worried, not only because Tyler Palko has the potential to throw for another five touchdowns against our secondary, but also because Dave’s Dolphin defense always gave the Patriots fits, even when they beat us. I’m pumped for the game though, and Jake and I will have some manner of money put on this, along with a side-bet of whether Darius Walker stiff-arms H.B. Blades embarrassingly into the ground or not.

However, September 3rd also provides a host of other healthy college football action to get the season, and Weekend Number Three in South Bend, started. Some highlights?

Bowling Green at Wisconsin - Not-Really Heisman Hopeful and NFL prospect Omar Jacobs begins the Barry Alvarez Farwell Tour in Madison, bringing BGSU’s spread offense into the land of the Big Ten. If Wisconsin is supposedly having a down year and Bowling Green is supposed to be good, the road team better do well here.

Miami (OH) at Ohio State - Little instate rivalry, maybe the Buckeyes are looking ahead to Texas just a bit?

Boston College at BYU - Big-time ACC sleeper pick BC going into the Cougar’s Den. Take if from a guy that knows, Eagles fans: Do not sleep on BYU in season openers in Provo. Just a tip.

Boise State at Georgia - Now we’re talking. We’ll see if Dan Hawkins’ scheme stack up between the hedges against the perennially overrated, underachieving Bulldogs. Anyone outside of Athens not rooting for the Broncos in this game?

Wyoming at Florida - All this Top 25 talk for Wyoming gets put to the test right away – along with Urban Meyer’s debut with Chris Leak and company – down in The Swamp. From everything Katie tells me and what I see on NCAA 06, there should be a quality amount of bikini tops in the crowd. Granted, this isn’t relevant in anyway, I’d just like to point out I’m insanely jealous.

Texas A&M at Clemson - My Big XII sleeper, along with Heisman sleeper Reggie McNeal, go into South Carolina for an incredibly tough road test to start the reason. But they’re not the only ones.

Georgia Tech at Auburn - This is all on opening weekend?! Tough non-conference games!? People are talking about Auburn’s defense and offensive line carrying them, but how do you lose three first round draft picks from your back field, plus get coached by Tommy Tubberville, and bounce back the next season? Color me skeptical.

And of course, Pitt vs. Notre Dame, which we will get into much more detail about over the next couple of weeks. But to close out some college football talk, here’s a kick-ass video of Steve Breaston, whom the Irish face on September 10th.


Jeff’s Dukes of Hazzard review:

”The Dukes of Hazzard was a surprise for me, at first I thought it’d be bad, then I thought maybe it wouldn’t be, and then I thought it'd be bad. But all in all, this movie wasn’t all that bad, action comedy..3 out of 5 stars.”

I’m not really sure what to make of that review, but I do know I definitely will not be seeing it. But I’m not ready to move on yet, plus I’m in a picture posting mood, so why not this:

(I really apologize to the ladies for putting up with the blatant T&A this post. In fact, I’ll make it up to you completely with the next link.)


I keep reading little snippets about The Brothers Grimm, but I never actually looked into it. Turns out to be a nice little concept starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. The trailer is a little shaky, but honestly, who am I to be questioning Matt Damon?

He’s not at a Tom Hanks-level right now, but he hasn’t had a significant part in a truly bad movie in some time. Yeah, Ocean’s Twelve was insanely disappointing, but that was more a fault of the cast and the director for letting things get out of hand, plus the stupid Julia Roberts idea.

(Release date for Grimm is the 26th. Honestly, I’m pretty excited about it, too.)


I know I’m forgetting some stuff, but after 3000 words, I’m burnt out. Plus, nobody’s reading any more of this stuff by now. I’m just rambling on, so we’ll end it here. I know a lot of people will be heading back to school, or to school for the first time next week, so enjoy your last weekend at home. We'll throw up a freshman year guide for you young ones, and I'll be putting up my "Most Excited For.." list.

Keep it classy.

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