Sunday, April 02, 2006

"The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces", or Opening Night Ramblings

You were going to get an extended post on all sorts of stuff, but I didn’t go along with my unwritten rule of “Always type every blog post in word, because laptops are not conducive for not screwing up browser windows”, and now I lost a solid post of ramblings. Now, you’re going to get shorter, more link-heavy ramblings, but it’ll still hopefully be enough to make up for the lack of posting over the weekend.


Extended college basketball summary coming tomorrow, but let’s just say after the disaster that was last night’s Final Four games (Billy Packer actually said “long length” and “long hands”), UCLA/Florida will not have my undivided attention when faced with new episodes of Prison Break and 24, along with two hours of Deal or No Deal and a full-slate of opening day baseball unless it is significantly more UCLA/Gonzaga than UCLA/everyone else they’ve played in excitement level.

RIP Big Baby and Tyrus. I only hope you both return next year to strike fear into the hearts of SEC opponents and Baton Rouge all-you-can-eat buffets.


If you’re not frequenting YouTube everyday just to look around for a random music video, movie trailer or “viral video” (I love how everything gets both techno jargon-termed and thrown on VH1 in a countdown show these days), you’re robbing yourself of some potentially fantastic times.

The best video of this last week? As found by CollegeHumor and linked to me by Barcus, a discarded FOX pilot from 1999 called Heat Vision and Jack, starring Owen Wilson and Jack Black. Now, you immediately think “How did this not get made?”, but you must remember that neither of those names were huge back then. The problem with accepting that explanation from FOX is that A) Ben Stiller, which was a pretty big name back before the turn of the millennium, was involved and B) This pilot is pretty damn funny. It’s cheesy, yes, but cheesy doesn’t necessarily equal bad as long as you realize you’re cheesy, which is probably why Slither is apparently a really good movie and the same reason we’re all really excited for the admitted B-movie goodness of Snakes on a Plane.

I seriously think I could run FOX and there would be little or no drop-off with the quality of the show or the success of the network. Heavy on the Idol, but only in the spring so you hit both February and May sweeps, then filter in some quality comedies, darker dramas and teen suds. How freaking hard can it be?

This is thirty minutes long, but well worth your time should you be debating between Facebooking and checking AIM aways for an extended period of time.


Congratulations to the little sis on her acceptance to NYU. She still doesn’t know where she’s going yet, but I think that’s healthy. I didn’t decide to cast my lot with the barren plains of South Bend until April, so there needs to be no hurry. If anyone knows anyone that attends NYU and could forward me their general opinion of it – I’ve already badgered Kim and Meg – that would be greatly appreciated.


For as bad as The Gauntlet 2 was – TJ Lavin need never be around another game show in his life – The Real World is really making up for it. Here I thought the only fun would come from Paula’s eating disorders and Svetlana containing every negative quality I can imagine in a girl, save for being brunette and having a kicking bod, but the last episode was extremely intense and focused solely on their job. It’s like they’re in, dare I say, the real world? I’m sure we’ll slip back into party antics by next week, with John leading the charge, but for a few short episodes, Key West has been marginally mature.

And one final note on The Gauntlet, other than I don’t get the Susie thing (she’s not that attractive), is that Alton should be banned from all further Challenges, only because he’s reached a level of destruction never before seen. Honestly, can you imagine Wes taking this guy on in an Inferno? He’s maybe the greatest athlete on the face of this earth, and I say that having just watched LeBron and D-Wade knock heads yesterday. Alton would probably beat them both in “Capture the Flag”, then knock out Shaq in a street fight just to prove himself.


Checking the pulse on a few shows…

Desperate Housewives: Dead. Gone from the Tivo To-Do List, completely and totally unimportant to the television hierarchy after only one season. I don’t find myself remotely caring about any of the characters, or anything they do, and I think the writers realize this. If you’re still watching this, I simply ask you why.

The OC: Staying alive. Give the folks behind this some credit, as just like last season’s lackluster effort ended with a bang, they’re turning the heat up a little and sending Marissa into a nice little “slut spiral”. Of course, because they can’t possibly extend anything for more than an episode, she already did a kind deed in telling Sadie to stay. The last couple of episodes has earned it a section chance, although my patience grows thin.

(TVGasm beautifully rips creator Josh Schwartz here.)

The Amazing Race: Pace picking up. Despite a timeslot change to 8:00 Wednesday (probably for the better), the last episode was one of the more enjoyable hours of television this season. Airport intrigue, varied detours, foot races, puzzles, yields, the Italian countryside and some great one-liners. If you have any interest in the following things, you should be watching this:

1) Traveling

2) Seeing cool locales

3) Game shows

4) Reality programming

5) Southern dentists that slightly resemble Tom Cruise in their insanity

6) Two fun-loving hippies that are a joy to watch

7) Two old people who have no idea what they’re doing, yet manage to survive.

8th and Ocean: DOA. Watched five minutes. It’s awful. When MTV reality programming becomes too vapid, you know it’s bad. Chad tried it for a couple of episodes just because the lead girl was hot, but even he couldn’t stick with it. Do not watch this show.

The Office: Straight flowing. I don’t mean to speak blasphemy, but this is just as good, if not better, than the British original. Did you expect anything less from Steve Carrell? Their public service announcements for April Fools Day were awesome, and all conveniently available here. The Office/Earl combo is a powerhouse that might give NBC a shot at restoring its Thursday night comedy dominance, but they should probably just be happy to be competing against CBS at this point.


The Crocodile Hunter + SportsCenter = Absolutely awesome, as you can see here.

(Again, YouTube providing the love. God bless in the internet.)


Tomorrow is opening day for the Buccos, and everyone else in the major leagues that didn’t get rained out tonight (at least you got your rings, ChiSox). Just like I understand people not liking NBA basketball, I can understand people not liking baseball. It’s a slow-paced game that you really have to know the nuances of to enjoy at a high level. There’s just something about following a team, be that real life or fantasy, for 162 games that provides something no other sport can. I’ll still take both versions of football and college basketball over it, but baseball has it’s only little place in my heart.

My return date to PNC Park, barring inclement weather? April 15th, for Jason Bay Bobblehead Night and Patrick’s first trip to Pittsburgh’s ballpark gem. This was my away earlier, but I think it needs reposted for the sake of the game:

”Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”

Two weeks until I’m back at the greatest venue on earth.

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